Sunday, January 26, 2014

"Contests and Conferences"

Since I feel whole-heartedly that contests and conferences are important part of writing, I like to periodically post an update on upcoming events.

Please visit the links for more information.

Fab Five 2014 Contest sponsored by Wisconsin RWA; deadline March 1, 2014; entry first 2,500 words of manuscript; FMI,

2014 Great Beginnings Writing Contest sponsored by Utah Romance Writers of America; deadline March 1, 2014; entry opening five pages of novel; FMI,

Fool for Love 2014 Contest sponsored by Virginia Romance Writers; deadline April 1, 2014; entry up to 35 pages (prologue included if you have one); FMI,

ROMFEST 2014 Readers and Writers Conference sponsored by Smoky Mountain Romance Writers; March 19-23, 2014; Knoxville Airport Hilton, Alcoa, Tennessee; FMI,

Desert Dreams Conference: Turn your Dreams to Reality sponsored by Phoenix Desert Rose RWA; April 4-6, 2014; Tempe Mission Palms Resort, Tempe, AZ; FMI,

2014 Spring Fling presented by The Chicago-North Chapter of RWA; April 24-26, 2014; Registration until April 1, 2014 or sell out; FMI,

Have a great and safe week, Everyone!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Leisurely Snow Day...

Here, in Philly, we started out 2014 with a snow storm – a brutally cold,windy snow storm – which resulted in most of us having a “snow day.” Many operations in the city were either closed or operated at half pace.  I spent the day at home, drinking hot chocolate, doing a little writing, and watching television.

While channel surfing, I came across, “The Natural,” about fifteen minutes into the movie. Despite having seen “The Natural” at least 110 times, it has three of my favorite components: a good story, baseball, and Robert Redford...Never mind that I have the movie on VHS and DVD, so I can watch it whenever I want, I settled back to watch “Roy Hobbs,” for the 111th time.
There are some movies that although I’ve seen before and even keep on the middle shelf of my bookcase, I’m compelled to stop whatever I’m doing and watch when I see it’s on television. I almost feel a bit of disrespect to miss it or change the channel.  The same sentiment I hold for “The Natural” is reserved for other classics like "The Way We Were," "Field of Dreams,"and "E.T. The Extraterrestrial." And although I recently spent part of a rainy Saturday with "You’ve Got Mail" on DVD, I still couldn’t resist watching it on television a few days later.

I guess I feel the same affection for these movies as I do for friends and relatives. Movies, like people you love, you just can't turn away.

Are there any movies out there that you can watch over and over again? Please feel free to share.

Have a good week, Everyone!

                                                                            ("baseball" photo c/o

Sunday, January 12, 2014

...A "Magic Moment" Moment...

Thank you to all my new "Google+" followers. I enjoy your funny posts, inspirational quotes, and book reviews, and appreciate being included in sharing your photos of children and pets.  

Over the holidays, since "Magic Moment" was new to them, several people asked about the book ("thank you" for your interest). I thought I'd use this week to post a blurb and two excerpts.


When the FBI brings Laura Roberts - a quiet, reserved bookkeeper - in for questioning regarding activities at the warehouse where she works, an uneasy Laura resigns her job - only to be attacked by thugs.

Chase Donovan intends to spend a few peaceful days on his boat getting his head together - and finds a woman being assaulted by two men who say his father told them to do it.
Chase doesn’t want to believe his father could hurt anyone. Laura doesn’t understand why she’s a target. Can they learn to work together to discover the truth - before someone dies?

Excerpt One:

Chase and Laura, traveling by his boat, are on the run from the men who kidnapped and tried to kill her.

           “Hey, my sleepy first mate.”  Chase grinned as Laura entered the wheelhouse. 

            Dusk skimmed the sky.  Having glided Madre into the marina, Chase aimed for an empty spot along the dock. 

“You slept all day. I thought you planned on sleeping all the way to the Chesapeake.”  He focused on maneuvering Madre between two set boats.

“I did get up for a little while. You were asleep in the kitchen, so I went back to bed."

            “Galley,” he corrected.

“What galley?”
             “On a boat, it’s not a kitchen but a galley,” he replied with an easy smile. “If you’re gonna be a sailor, you have to know these things.” 

“Gotcha.”  Her lips twitched and she returned his grin. 
             She looked cozy wearing his sweats. The swelling around her eye area had eased, but the heavy bruises showed more profoundly.

Physically, Chase had always thought Laura a knockout. She generally wore her blond hair loose and flowing.  Her green eyes kind of gleamed whenever she smiled. Their working environment was casual, yet Laura always wore a dress. Chase never seemed to mind. The woman had one fine set of legs and he had a hellva good time watching those limbs whenever she walked from her desk to the photocopier. They never talked much unless conversation was about the warehouse or the weather. Chase didn’t encourage otherwise. If he did, and decided her personality matched her looks, he might forget his rule about not dating women who worked for his father.   



Excerpt Two: 
Laura, using Chase’s computer to pay her household bills, reflects on her time with him. She had always perceived him as a self-absorbed playboy. She’s surprised to see another, more revealing side to his personality.

Laura hopped on the bar stool and waited while the laptop hummed. She had heard the stories, mostly from Rachel, of Chase Donovan’s revolving door of women, his gambling nights in Atlantic City, his “good-time-Charlie” persona. She already knew he didn’t really have a job, unless one called taking customers and suppliers to dinner a job. Many times he sat at his desk feigning a business task while merely scanning the internet. This was a man in his thirties who basically made a career of not having a career at all.
Who would have guessed he had wanted to be an attorney to help others? Who would have guessed he even was an attorney? Or that his eyes would get misty when he talked about a repulsive individual beating a defenseless horse? A few weeks ago, Laura would have imagined Chase’s only link to homeless people had been a monetary donation for a tax deduction. Like his late mother before him, he bought these unfortunate souls coffee.


For more information: 
Barnes & Noble
Powell Books
All Romance ebooks
Have a great week, Everyone!

                                                                               ("river"photo c/o

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The After-The-Holidays Blues...

We’re finished with "the Holidays" – Thanksgiving, the 8 days of Hanukkah, Christmas, the 7 days of Kwanzaa, and New Year’s!

I love the Holiday season. The city streets are bright with decorations and twinkling lights, folks riding the bus always appear to smile more, and there’s the hope that there really will be “peace on earth, goodwill toward men” …(and women, children, and animals too). But once the Holidays are over and we get back to our routines, all of the "holiday spirit" seems to disappear. So, I’m always a bit sad while I make my way through the early days of January. 

Plus, it snowed this week…(and I’ve said many times -- the only way I like my snow is on a Holiday card). I'm now counting the days until Spring. Is there anyone else out there, besides me, who always feels a little sad once the Holiday season has ended?

                                                      (photo c/o