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A Quarter of a Million Words, and I’m Still Feeling Like a Slacker?

October is almost over. I can’t believe how crazy it’s been. When it started, I had pie in the sky plans for finishing my third Legally in Love novel, and I was off to a running start, about 45,000 words in ten days. Yay! And then… for the next three weeks, not even 100 words as life high-jacked all my plans.


Sometimes, just to feel like a bit of a martyr perhaps or so that I don’t feel like a slouch and a time-wasting loser, I make a “ta-da” list instead of a “to do” list, especially when I am down on myself for not reaching a certain arbitrary deadline or goal I’ve given myself. Looking back on the word count disaster, I have to do this or else I’ll just mope.



  • Edited three 90,000+-word novels, for myself and two crit partners. That, my pretties, is over a quarter of a million words edited in the last 12 days. Shoosh!
  • Cleaned my house, yard, and truck for when my parents came to visit—quite a feat, since I’ve been writing like a maniac, and let’s just say things had started looking like nature was going to take the place back as her own.
  • Planned a lunch for 50 teenage boys
  • Planned and prepared a meal for 35 teenagers—the same day as the 50-kid lunch
  • Formed a committee to create a scholarship
  • Helped my kids enter stuff in the county fair, went to the fair FOUR times, and worked twice at the political booth
  • Went on three all-day trips out of town for kids’ events and stuff for my husband’s work
  • Prepared and taught a church lesson and attended quite a few meetings (normal Mormon life being that we believe in meetings; we believe in all meetings; we have attended many meetings and hope to attend all meetings…)
  • Ran 55 miles and biked about 70
  • Drove for the field trip (I’m sitting in the parking lot at the Observatory writing this right now)
  • Helped kids organize a total of SEVENTEEN (no exaggeration) different costumes, including sewing a skunk costume from scratch (and I don’t really sew)
  • Chauffeured a cute little batch of girls to play practice a dozen times and volunteered to keep the peace in the dressing room
  • Listened to and approved 4 hours of audio for the Immersed audiobook project (yay! It’s happening!)
  • Released TWO novels: Asked & Answered, and Under the Mistletoe (a Timeless Romance Anthology) which went to #1 in Amazon’s “Clean Romance” new releases. Woot!
  • Organized the ARC distribution of those novels to my Review Team
  • Formalized a Review Team
  • Developed an official mailing list
  • Created and distributed an author newsletter
  • Chose covers for two new novels, which I’ll reveal sometime soon
  • Had a great visit with my parents
  • Organized a family lunch for 30 at my house
  • And last but not least, saw my little daughter get baptized on one of the sweetest, happiest days of my entire life.


This is only stuff I can think of off the top of my head, and I’m not even going to mention the little skirmishes I had to fight against myself now and then. One thing that’s not on this list: slept eight hours at a stretch even once. One thing I wish weren’t on the list: gained seven pounds. Alas.


I know there’s a touch of martyr syndrome in me, and I’m working on that, but when I look at this list it does make me feel a touch better and less like a total slacker as a writer. Now, enough whining. I’m going to go add some padding to my word count. I wish I could get this whole project done in time to start a new book (which I outlined on one of the out of town trips) for NaNoWriMo for November, but I’m going to just cut myself some slack and write this book at a reasonable pace.


Meanwhile, ASKED AND ANSWERED comes out tomorrow! I’m really happy with the feedback reviewers have given it so far. It’s still fluff, but I think the characters are sweet, and their story makes me happy. I hope it will make you happy too.

What’s Your Blockage?

What causes your writer’s block? Not necessarily the proverbial blockage that keeps a writer from putting any words on the page for days or weeks or more, but the thing that bumps you out of your groove so you have to go get a snack or check the interwebs or waste valuable writing time in any way?


Mine’s METAPHOR. Metaphor is my productivity Achilles heel. I’ll be sailing along fine, and then I come to a sentence that requires a comparison for explanation, and urrrrrch! I’m suddenly leaving my document and writing a blog post on the pain of metaphor instead.


Once I read a Jasper Fforde book in the Tuesday Next Series (Tuesday is a book jumper and has to enforce laws in literary crime), where there was a dangerous shortage of metaphor, and it’s being sold on the black market. (In another of his books, the weapons of mass destruction are highly aged cheeses, so stinky they can kill. He’s wildly creative.) I’ve often since thought about how accurate that is! All the good metaphors have already been thought of, surely, and have to be recycled by us latter-day writers.


So now I have to go back to my piece and try to think of a good metaphor to contrast the wretched apartment the heroine has been living in with the palatial mansion she’s being offered. The hell-versus-heaven metaphor is overdone. What else is there? I’ll be racking my brains.


Or maybe I can find some nice, melty (but non-WMD) cheese to eat instead.


Cover Reveal: Asked & Answered

He asked, she answered—a definite no. Now, seven years later, they’re facing off in court. Sparks will fly.

It’s ready! I’m so excited! Laura Tolman at CMI Signs has come up with another fun cover. She’s really creative. I appreciate her neverending supply of artistic ideas. Check out how she put the hair of Becca so it’s coming through the ring! Awesome.

ASKED & ANSWERED is the second book in my little love stories about lawyers. Being the wife of an attorney, I actually know this is possible: for lawyers to be in love. It’s a complete stand-alone, but it has that same little law-and-love theme as its predecessor ATTRACTIVE NUISANCE. Different characters, no other tie-ins but theme. (I always want to know that about a series, don’t you?) You can read them in either order.

ASKED & ANSWERED is available for pre-order on Amazon. Click here! It’s scheduled for November 17th, and will be for sale at an introductory price of $2.99. Bargain city, right?

And now… What do you think of the cover?

Asked & Answered Book 2 in the Legally in Love Series

Asked & Answered:  Book 2 in the Legally in Love Series

And now for the blurb!

Becca is scared. Sure, she’s crazy about Carson, but she’s young, and with a proposal looming, she finds advice from the only person she can, her amateur-psychologist hairdresser.

Despite his plans for the future being completely thrown off, Carson can’t imagine life without Becca. But when the proposal goes horrible wrong, neither one of them expects to end up facing the other seven years later—in court—as enemies. And with Carson nearly engaged to his boss’s daughter.

Seeing each other again is the last thing either of them expected when they signed on to the land dispute case. And working through the long-buried feelings they have for each other is a huge distraction, with a side of Caramel Frozen Hot Chocolate. After all, they’re supposed to be representing clients, not falling legally in love.

Signed Copy Giveaway! Enter Now!

Hey, hey! It’s a giveaway! Teri Harman, the lovely and amazing, is giving away FIVE signed copies of STORM MOON!
Enter to win! This contest is open until August 31st, so don’t wait!

A betrayal. An invasion. A plan centuries old.

Two members of the Covenant are dead, the Bond broken. Archard is also dead,

but only because Simon used the forbidden control of his healing powers. Willa

wakes the next morning beside him. But it’s not Simon – not her soul mate and

husband – it’s Bartholomew the Dark. And she has no idea.

Sarah Fairfield, Willa’s mother, watches Willa and Simon leave for a honeymoon

in Europe. She feels something is wrong; the crows circle the house. But she

tells herself she stopped believing in those signs a long time ago – the day she

turned away from magic. The day her mother, Tara Algood, died in search of a

girl Grandma Mabel dreamed about until it killed her.

How can Willa fight an enemy hidden behind Simon’s eyes? How can she

discover the evil that squats inside him when Bartholomew has the ability to

control her mind? How can she save Simon and herself before Bartholomew

destroys everything?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Storm Moon!

Storm Moon!

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Alaskan Wilderness…

I had a little coincidence hit me today, or tender mercy of the Lord today, if that’s how you like to look at things. It’s how I see it.

 Today I was invited to a political luncheon. Nice, right? Yeah, but some days you just don’t want to go. Some days when you’re a writer, you want to stay home and write. The organizer, however, asked for some help. He’s helped me out numerous times in the past, and I didn’t want to leave him hanging, so I agreed to go, even though I’d had plans to do some research for my next novel. I didn’t exactly know where I’d find first-hand accounts of people who had served as wilderness guides or hunt guides in the bush in Alaska, but today was my day to dig it out—except this political thing got in my way.

Now, in my church, our leaders have encouraged us to serve in our community, not to just get caught up in our families or with our church friends. Get out and serve. That’s probably why there is a disproportionate number of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in office. It’s just what we try to do as our duty to preserve freedom.

So, with those nudges to get me out of my writing hidey hole, I put on some heels and lipstick and went.

Well, after my help at the sign-in desk was over, I went and sat down at the seat my husband saved for me. It happened to be beside a couple I’d never met before. When the man introduced himself, I recognized his name as a local dentist whose office I pass all the time on picking my kids up from school. We visited, and then the men at my table started swapping fishing stories. I sometimes glaze over during fishing stories, except that my novel needed some research along these lines, so I listened up.

Then, to my sheer surprise—the dentist began talking about a two week trip to the Alaskan bush, where he was on a hunting and fishing trip.

What? Seriously? I listened more.

And then he talked about some other trips he’d gone on to other places in Alaska, some interesting locals he’d met (something else I’d had no idea how to research), as well as mentioned he’d spent some years as, you guessed it, a hunting and fishing guide. In the Alaskan bush.

“Well, I’m very interested in all of this,” I said and explained that I needed research on just his area of expertise for what I was writing. “Can I come by and interview you?” His wife looked delighted and offered for us to come spend an evening, for he could surely fill one.

No. Way. I gratefully took her card, and sat back and enjoyed the political speech a hundred times more than I expected to.

It kind of made me think about the Lord’s economy. If we are doing what our duty is to God, then He can make much more of our time than we can for ourselves. We only have to obey, and prioritize His counsel, and He will magnify our efforts.

And send us our very own Alaskan bush hunting guide if that happens to be what we need.



I love a good bargain. Don’t you?

Here’s one. BIG IN JAPAN is only $1.99 right now for Kindle. That’s, what? Like 80% off? I LOVE 80% off. It’s the cheapest my publisher has ever listed it, I think. Just get it. It’s less than the $2 that demonic newspaper delivery kid fought for in Better Off Dead. What have you got to lose, right? Especially because if it’s lame, you can return it. Amazon lets you do such things.

Here’s another one. PANDORA is only $2.99 right now for Kindle. That’s 30% off. It’s amazing! Together, it’s like 110% off, which is almost like getting money back! Wait…that’s not logical. But anyway. I loved this recent review: “Mythology meets Indiana Jones meets modern fantasy, all wrapped up in a sweet romance.” Awesome? Yes! Thank you, Kind Reviewer!

Two fun reads. Two great sales. Two times the cheap-o fun.

Happy weekend to you.


I’m so excited to announce the launch of PANDORA: Book 1 in the Goddesses and Geeks Series. (More books of this theme are fomenting in my brain and on my giant book-outlining pad of paper.)

PANDORA: If he wants to get this goddess, he'll have to break her curse.

PANDORA: If he wants to get this goddess, he’ll have to break her curse.

Here’s the blurb:

Blake Wells seems to have it made: the wealthy bachelor life, Kennedy-esque good looks, rising political star. The tabloids love him. But one barracuda date after another drains his hopes for finding a girl who’s sincere.

So when his Chief of Staff insists he take a beach vacation, Blake doesn’t go expecting to meet Cressida, the perfect girl. Shazam! She’s seriously a goddess. And even though she protests that she’s bad luck, he’s a goner.

But when a string of crazy (albeit hilarious) coincidences threatens to sink his career, Blake must choose whether to save his campaign or save the love of his life.

If he wants to get this goddess, he’ll have to break her curse.

To celebrate the launch, I’ve put BIG IN JAPAN at a lower price on Kindle! It’s 35% off its normal price. Woot! If you haven’t read it, now’s a great time. It’s got almost 100 reviews on Amazon with an average of five stars. So, it’s a safe guess you’ll like it.



Also, I’m going to run a contest next week, so stay tuned!

Cover Reveal! PANDORA…Tell Me What You Think (And an ARC Giveaway!)

If he wants to get this goddess, he’ll have to break her curse.

Blake Wells seems to have it made: the wealthy bachelor life, Kennedy-esque good looks, rising political star. The tabloids love him. But one barracuda date after another drains his hopes for finding a girl who’s sincere.

So when his Chief of Staff insists he take a beach vacation, Blake doesn’t go expecting to meet Cressida, the perfect girl. Shazam! She’s seriously a goddess. And even though she protests that she’s bad luck, he’s a goner.

But when a string of crazy, albeit hilarious, coincidences threatens sink his career, Blake must choose whether to save his campaign or save the love of his life.

Pandora! A new Rom-Com Fantasy!

Pandora! A new Rom-Com Fantasy!

Way to go, Laura Tolman at CMI Signs for this awesome design. I say it’s her best yet. Who’s with me?

Annnnnnnd…. to go along with this cover reveal, I’m giving away an ARC (advanced reader copy) of the book. Yay! If you want to WIN, just post in the comments below why.

Good luck!

And just so you know, this book will be available for purchase on Kindle and Amazon August 4th. Wahoo!

Cover Reveal! Under the Mistletoe

It’s just plain HOT. And so our thoughts turn to Christmastime.

Okay, maybe they don’t. But maybe they should! At least they could–and they can, since today is the big COVER REVEAL for the Christmas version of the ever-popular “Timeless Romance Anthology” installment coming out this Christmas, of which I’m super honored to be a part. Here’s the cover. What do you think? Does it make YOU feel cooler?

Isn't it holiday romance fantastic?

Isn’t it holiday romance fantastic?

Truth is, I wrote my installment in the hottest week of the year in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was a little bit tricky to let my thoughts drift to hot cocoa and cozy sweaters when I couldn’t do anything but swill ice-laced Diet Pepsi and sit under the fan. But I am actually pretty excited about how my little contribution to this turned out. Watch for it later this fall. I’ll keep you posted. Ooh, and look at which other authors are involved! Super fun group of ladies I LOVE. Oh, and they’re amazing writers, too. Feeling pretty lucky and blessed to be involved here.