Saturday, January 31, 2015

This Month!!!

Today is not February 1st 
Tomorrow is...
And what does that mean?
A whole new batch of Harlequin Heartwarming books

Today we recommend for you Lone Star Refuge.

He's willing to risk it all…is she? 

Stella Jane Scout has never met a cowboy as handsome as Joiner Temple. Or as aggravating. His Thoroughbred Argentinian stallion and professional polo player pedigree don't impress her one bit. At heart, he's still a footloose cowboy from Kilgore, and a reckless one at that. But her father hired him as a ranch hand for her riding school, so she'll have to rein in Joiner's wild streak and teach him to put safety first. At the same time, Joiner seems determined to bring out Stella's long-buried free spirit. If she can give him a place to call home, maybe he can teach her how to live.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

It's a HUGE Heartwarming Valentine's Day Giveaway

There's nothing we love more at Heartwarming than the holiday that celebrates romance. As a special treat to all the readers out there, we've put together our biggest giveaway yet. Eighteen of the Heartwarming authors have joined together to giveaway five amazing prize packs. Not only are we ready to send you some sweet stories, we also have chocolate and flowers!

First, we have some new titles and some old. This prize contains:
Back to McGuffey's by Liz Flaherty
Once a Marine by Loree Lough
After the Silence by Rula Sinara
Return to Pelican Inn by Dana Mentink
All four of these are sure to provide you with hours of reading enjoyment!

Next up, we have a foursome that's sure to melt your heart.
Christmas, Actually by Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, and Melinda Curtis
An Act of Love by Marion Ekholm
Mountains Apart by Carol Ross
A League of Her Own by Karen Rock
These four stories have unforgettable love stories we don't want you to miss!

Another wonderful group with some of the most beautiful covers here at Heartwarming are part of Prize Pack #3.
If I Loved You by Leigh Riker
In My Dreams by Muriel Jensen
Honeysuckle Bride by Tara Randel
Matthew's Choice by Patricia Bradley
The words inside are just as pretty as the pictures on the outside!

Here's a fun group! These spectacular ladies never disappoint.
The Parent Trap by Lee McKenzie
Eva's Deadline by Linda Hope Lee
An Unlikely Rancher by Rox Denny Fox
And as a special treat to the winner of this prize, Melinda Curtis is offering up any one of her novels in the Harmony Valley series including her upcoming March release, One Perfect Year!

Lastly, we have a special Grand Prize, sure to warm the heart of any lovely lady on Valentine's Day. The Heartwarming authors want to send you a bouquet of roses along with these pull-at-your-heartstrings reads: In My Dreams by Muriel Jensen, A Child's Christmas by Kate James, The Better Man by Amy Vastine, and Christmas, Actually by Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, and Melinda Curtis.


There you have it - five amazing prizes just waiting to be won. Enter as many times as you like. Post a comment on the blog for TWO entries, visit our Facebook pages, follow us on Twitter, and tweet about the contest once a day while it's running!

So tell us, what's your favorite Heartwarming moment? We can't wait to hear all about it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Page-turners in my life

I decided to write about books that have influenced me greatly in my life and in my career. Like all of you reading this, I am a book lover. I've read hundreds of books, many of them definite keepers by super authors. But three stand out.
Belva Plain's EVERGREEN, published in 1980. This was probably the first book I read which I did not want to end. It was a touching and scathing look into a classed society and showed the struggles of women and immigrants. I became a forever fan of Ms. Plain's after this book, and I miss her today.
Colleen McCullough's THE THORN BIRDS, published in hard cover in 1977. This was probably my first experience with true romance which also crosses the divide into main stream women's fiction. It was a rich, full, vibrant story set in a land alien to me and handled beautifully by the author. And, oh, that priest!
Pat Conroy's THE PRINCE OF TIDES, published in 2002. A study in character development, a lush setting, and undoubtedly some of the best "wordsmithing" I've ever encountered. I've often said that I could write for a full week and never produce one paragraph the quality of Conroy's.

So... is there one/two/three books that stand out from all the others on your bookshelf? Have you read any of my top three?  Please comment. I'd love to know if I've read any of your favorites and also if you relate to any of mine.

We're all together in this love of reading. Thick or thin, old or new - books, we love you.

Cynthia Thomason

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Are we there yet?

          Do you have days you look forward to...more than others, I mean?
          My husband, the roommate, sits in wait from the day after Christmas until February 1st. Because then the longest, darkest month with the shortest, coldest days is over. Theoretically. According to his theory, that is. Because I know, of course, that Punxsutawney Phil is going to stick
his head out the next day and haul it back inside rather than freeze to death in the darkness of his shadow.
          When I was a kid, I looked forward to Valentine’s Day because everybody in the class gave nearly everyone else a valentine. And we got candy. Then I looked forward to Easter because there was often a new dress in it for me, not to mention we wore new white shoes to church instead of the black patent ones that hadn’t survived the ravages of winter all that well. We had ham for Sunday dinner, the grandparents came to visit. And we got candy.
          There were other days of excitement. I loved the 4th of July, complete with fireworks. The first day of school was a biggie all the way from the first year to the last. Thanksgiving and Christmas were my favorites.
          I’m not sure when it all changed. When I stopped saying, “Oh, I can’t wait...” about times, events, things. When my emotional February 1st became unimportant because all the days before it were so much fun and so full of life going on.
          At some point—somewhere between my first book in 1998 and my 10th sometime this year or next—it all became about the journey. I still love holidays, but the getting ready for them is more exciting than the actual days. I love having a new book, but the anticipation is more fun to me than Release Day, when my stomach hurts and I’m afraid no one will read it.
          So, as the roommate makes cross-offs on his mental calendar, I just look out the window at the snow. I think about spring, but winter works for me while we get there. I think about my next book and wonder when its release date will be, but in the end it’s the writing, the revising, the anticipating what the cover will look like that make it so much fun. It’s the journey.

Liz Flaherty

Monday, January 26, 2015

Does Writing Give You a Pain in the Neck?

by Patricia Bradley

One of my goals this year is to step out of my comfort zone and what better way than to write a blog about neck exercises and use myself as a model. Scary thought.

Because these exercises have helped me so much, I wanted to share them with other writers or anyone who sits behind a computer all day. As you know writing is sedentary work, and can result in neck, shoulder and back pain. That's where I was a few years ago.

Before I continue, I am not a physical therapist, and if you have any doubts about doing exercises, consult your doctor. 

Burning pain under my shoulder blade and through my neck resulted in a visit to an orthopedic doctor who sent me to a physical therapist. She gave me a set of exercises that stopped the pain and allowed me to get back to writing. 

The first exercise is a stretching exercise for the neck. Sit in a chair, (can be your office chair) and place one hand on top of your head and the other behind your back. Make sure you are sitting tall. 

Disregard all the kitty toys in the floor and the flower coming out of my head.

Next, pull your head over like you were trying to smell under your arm. Hold this stretch for a count of 20. Be sure to focus on letting those muscle relax.  Go ahead, try it. I'll wait.

Doesn't that feel good! 

Now do the same thing for the other side. I do ten of these every morning after I get out of bed. This is after I've stretched my hamstrings (before getting up). If you have tight hamstrings, you probably have back pain. Tight hamstrings = shorten muscles that support your back. And this can cause pain.

The next exercises I do are head rolls and shoulder rolls. For the head roll, I sit straight, and look as far as I can to the left for a count of 10. If I'm looking to the left, I put my right arm behind my back. This gives more stretch.  Then I look forward and press my finger to my chin, pushing it in and stretching my neck. I hold this for a count of 10. Be sure to repeat the first exercise by turning your neck as far to the right as you can. 

The shoulder rolls are just that. Rolling your shoulders, first one way, then another. 

When I started these exercises, I set a timer and did them about every 4 hours. Now I only do them first thing in the morning.

I really want to encourage anyone who sits at a desk all day to find some type of stretching exercise. These just happen to be the ones that have helped me to stay pain freer...if that's a word. At my age, pain and I are old friends. But I believe in exercise. I was facing knee replacement surgery later this year, but since I've been doing a 100 leg lifts with 5 pound weights on each leg, the muscles above the knee are doing their job and surgery has been cancelled. 

What exercises do you do to feel better?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sit-Down Saturday with Catherine Lanigan

So, Catherine, where did you get the idea for this novel?

            When I devised the concept of the Indian Lake Series, this was one of the first story ideas that came to me. Granted, there were more than the first dozen, but this one, set in a vineyard in Northwestern Indiana fascinated me. Just north of us, along the western edge of Lake Michigan are numerous vineyards, that some say, rival those of California. I lived in Stevensville, Michigan for three years back when Tabor Hill Vineyard was just beginning to take root. I also have always been drawn to strong female heroines who will do anything and everything to preserve her family heritage, whether it be a botanical garden in Houston or a farm in Indiana. 

In looking at the cover, if you could add a caption or captions, what would they say?

          This cover is delightful to me, because it reminds me a bit of the movies “A Walk in the Clouds” and “French Kiss” two of my favorite films ever.

How long did it take you to write?

     About six months including a few months to cogitate the story in the very beginning.

What is your favorite scene?

    My favorite scene is opening sequence when Liz catches Gabe stealing her soil for samples. She’s got a shotgun in her hand and she wants some straight answers, which Gabe is reluctant to give her.

Who was your favorite character and why?
     That’s a toss up between Liz and Gabe.  I love Liz’s feisty attitude and her die-hard loyalty to her father’s memory and his dreams, even though they trip her up in her own life.  Gabe is funny, charming and daring.  He’s determined to build a life of his own, away from his father’s shadow, and that takes real guts.

If you could pick fictional characters to play the hero and heroine, who would they be?
          Jennifer Gardner for Liz. She soft and yet athletic and believable in tough situations.
     Ryan Reynolds for Gabe.

Tell us one thing you learned during research.

    I learned a great deal with this research. Though a lot is not in the book, the massive equipment and investment it takes to open and run a vineyard today is astounding. Fascinating was the number of vitners who travel the world and buy grapes from South Africa, Argentina, France and Australia to make that one perfect, unforgettable tasting bottle of wine.

What music would match the mood of this novel?

    Old classic romantic songs.

This is your 3rd book in this series.   Exactly what does that mean to you?

    I feel as I’m just getting started with my Indian Lake series. There are so many romances on my plate in this “town” of characters. I want to write them all!!

What do you plan to work on next?

    Next up is KATIA’S PROMISE coming in May. Right now, I’m working on UNBRIDLED LOVE.
What are you reading for pleasure right now?

          I am reading two political theory books, The Goldfinch, and my order for all the January Heartwarming releases is on its way!

Friday, January 23, 2015

How You Benefit From Generosity by Roz Denny Fox

A friend sent me a flyer recently on improving health and well-being for the new year. I expected it to be news on exercising and eating right. But instead it was all about practicing generosity. According to a 2014 Gallup Poll, generous people tended to be happier and healthier than less generous peers.

Small acts of generosity toward a friend or stranger will improve a person’s mood and even prompt them to pay it forward.

Donations in any form contributes to the greater good of your community. You will feel more connected to other people around you when you serve.

You will feel more grateful. Your kind gesture of help or good will make you thankful that you’re able to help. You will be more satisfied with your life.

Believe it or not, it will lower your level of stress to do a good deed. Being generous releases feel-good chemicals in your brain.

When you feel more relaxed it improves your work performance. Altruism on the job improves your relationships with coworkers, boosts your satisfaction with your work, and makes you more committed to your job.

The flyer listed 5 ways to pay generosity forward. Something that struck me when I read the list was by how many of the ways are practiced by the writers I’m fortunate to know.

Mentor Someone—Mentors help guide people along their career paths. You don’t need a fancy title, just be comfortable enough to share your experiences, give advice, or offer an ear to listen.

Share a Skill—You may be a whiz at creating spread sheets, at using social media, or using a new software. You’ll reap rewards in teaching others.

Use Your Skills to Help Others—If you knit well, knit lap robes for the elderly. Make dinner for a sick neighbor. Simply smile at someone who looks stressed in a grocery store, or in line at the post office.

Write a Kind Note to Someone—It doesn’t matter who you write a nice, short note too, but make it genuine. Tell a former teacher how much they impacted your life. Tell an author how much you like their book. Drop off a note for the barista who always has a smile when you get your morning coffee.

Volunteer—Busy people seem to find time to help with local charities. It only takes a few hours a month to show you care.

I like to give books away to people I think may not be able to afford to buy them because they can’t get out to stores and live on fixed incomes. It’s not a big thing, but at area Assisted Living facilities, some residents still love to read a good romance.

Your small acts of generosity will boost the spirits of persons on the receiving end. It will also encourage them to pay it forward. Kindness begets kindness, and won’t that make for a better world?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Let it Go by Syndi Powell

2014 was not a stellar year for my family, many friends, but especially myself. After all, I'd gotten divorced, moved in with my parents, lost my bid on three houses, had car troubles resulting in repair bills in the thousands of dollars, been diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have a double mastectomy. Not a great year.

As I approached the end of 2014, I wanted to do something to symbolize that I was letting go of all the bad stuff (the anger, the fear, the worry) for the year and starting 2015 with a blank slate. That's when I came up with the balloon idea.

On New Year's Eve, a group of us gathered together before all the night's festivities. We wrote down on Post-It notes all the bad events, feelings and resentments for the year. Then rolling up those notes, we inserted them into a balloon and filled it with helium. We took the balloons outside, said goodbye to all that negativity and released them into the night sky. Almost a dozen balloons were released that night, but more importantly we all were able to figuratively let go of all that had weighed us down that year.

Now that we're in 2015, it's nice not to bring with me the old hurts and fears. I've started anew and look forward to an amazing year. After all, I'm now cancer free and on the road to a new body.

What did you let go of in 2014? What does 2015 have in store for you?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Many Apologies for Being MIA - by Cynthia Reese

My apologies to my fellow Hearwarming sisters, and to those who follow our blog! I have been MIA for a while now.

Part of that has been surgery for endometriosis, which I am recovering from as I write. I am on the mend, and my surgery turned out as well as could be expected, which was very good news to me.

But my incisions are arguing with my laptop! Am I the only writer out there who likes to write lying down on the couch? I theorize that there's no strain to my brain and my words can easily flow while I'm in this position. 

In an attempt to ward off future surgeries, I intend to add another hobby to my list: running. 

I've never been much of a runner. In fact, I've always wondered about people who run pointlessly, with no bear or other beast in hot pursuit behind them.

But I understand from medical research that I will have a 70% reduced risk of ending up back on my surgeon's table if I strap on my running shoes. So there really is a bear behind me!

I have bought the running shoes, and I have been doing some walking as I recover from my surgery. Still, I am very smug in the knowledge that I MUST wait another three weeks before I can start my couch to 5K program.

I hope I like running. I REALLY hope I like running because I REALLY hate surgery. This was my third surgery since 2007, and my surgeon and I have a bargain. If I can make it another five years, he thinks that I will be okay and not need any further surgery, at least for this malady. 

In the meantime, my incisions are just going to have to knuckle under. I have a manuscript that needs to be finished and revised by February 15 if I am to keep my promise to my wonderful editor Kathryn Lye -- and I intend to do that.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Throwing Away My Printer

No, I wasn't angry with my printer. I loved it. The two of us had gone through eleven years of wedded bliss. But I'm a pack-rat, and with the advent of HGTV the DIY Network, where I can find ways to use all the trash/treasure I have around the house, I can't ever move or die. There's just too much stuff for me recycle into something fantastic.

I'd been working on a novel that was due July 1st. I finished it and sent it off to my editor. Then yesterday I decided to clean up my office. It's amazing the amount of things that collect on the floor when you're writing, not to mention I was also sleeping there since we had no central air and I'd installed a window air conditioning unit in that room.

Jerome Library

Anyway, I folded up all the blankets creating my pallet when the heating and cooling company got the air working. Then I started on the other stuff. I threw out old papers, magazines I'll never read again, mail I'd answered, old cards and thank you notes, I emptied a box of supplies putting them on shelves and filling the box with manuscript papers to send to the Library of Popular Culture at Bowling Green University in Ohio. At that point I unearth my printer.

It had been sitting, broken, on the floor for six months blocking the closet and forcing me to lean over it to reach my printing and promotional supplies. I got a new printer at the beginning of the year and this old one I just couldn't make myself get rid of. I told myself I was going to fix it (liar). It was an HP Laserjet III. When I bought it, it was state of the art, cost $1,000.00 and worked like a horse. Many letters, articles, and books flowed through the mechanisms that were unknown and invisible to me as to how they worked. My first published novel came off that printer. It moved with me to two houses. And I had a brand new cartridge just waiting to begin printing up to 5,000 additional pages, but a decision had to be made.

                               My hardworking LaserJet III                                                           My new HP Color Sphere

It was trash night. Friday. I decided, pumping my fist in the air, I was going to throw it out. I took a final look at it and left the room. The printer must have weighed 50 pounds. I couldn't lift it and carry it all the way from my upstairs office to the garage where the huge trash bin was. My son even said it was way too heavy when he brought it down for me and dumped it.

I don't know why it is that we feel the equipment we've bought and used for years past its useful life has the same worth as it did when we bought it. But I did. To me I was throwing a $1,000.00 in the trash. And it hurt.

The next morning, as I went out to retrieve the trash bin and return it to the garage, I knew the printer was well and truly gone. But on the floor in my office, sunk into the carpeting, is the footprint it left me as a reminder.

I won't spend too much time lamenting on the loss of the printer.  I have another book to write, but before that, it's time to READ.  And when I read, I can block out all other thoughts.

That's all for now.  And remember, keep reading.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sit-Down Saturday with Shirley Hailstock

Today we’re celebrating the release of Summer on Kendall Farm.

So, Shirley, where did you get the idea for this novel?

I visited a horse farm in Maryland years ago and watched a guy racing around a track.  The two were so in tune with each other that I wanted to try riding.  I'm not a good horsewoman, but when Jace appeared in my head and said he was the guy on the horse, a story idea took root.   

Do you ever use visuals when you write a story, photos of people, places and things?

Yes! Yes! Yes!  I love being able to know what characters look like and what the world they move about in looks like.  Sometimes I would draw or sketch out the way a place looks.  For Kendall Farm, I found a photo of exactly what the house looks like.  As for the characters, I knew them so well, but did not find a photo to depict them.  The same is true of the grounds and the area where the heroine lived as a child.  They were all clear in my mind.

In looking at the cover, if you could add a caption or captions, what would they say?

"My kingdom for a horse."

How long did it take you to write?

Writing this book wasn't easy, but it was fast.  I knew the story.  The entire book was in my head and I am a plotter, so I had the story in detail on a file.  During the month of Febraury, my romance writers group does the equivalent of NANOWRI.  We call it JeRoWriMo (Jersey Writing Month).  In the 28 days, the common goal is to write 30,000 words.  I wrote 66,000+ words that month and finished the book.

Don't think this is common for me.  It isn't.  At the end of the JeRoWriMo month, the book was only complete, not ready.  I still had to edit and correct it before sending it to my editor.  So all in all it took about two months.

Usually, it takes me about three months to write a series novel (55,000-65,000 words).  Other word lengths take a little longer.

What is your favorite scene?

Since the inspiration of this book came from me watching a man ride a horse around a track, my favorite scene is when Kelly (the heroine) tells Jace (the hero) to ride like the wind, and he takes the horse through its paces as she watches.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kelly is my favorite character.  She is a strong woman who is determined get what she wants.  She's compassionate and logical, willing to compromise, but not be run over.

If you could pick fictional characters to play the hero and heroine, who would they be?

My hero would definitely be McGyver and my hot-headed, red-haired heroine would be Major Samantha Carter from Stargate SG-1.

Tell us one thing you learned during research.

The epilogue of the story mentions that it took the heroine two years to get through all the red tape in order to build the racetrack.  I learned all the committees, governmental agency, and licenses she'd need to first have the track approved and then to build it.  These details are not in the book.

What music would match the mood of this novel?

I don't usually use music when I write.  I know too many songs and I love to sing.  If I had music, I'd sing and not write.  But if I think about it, You Haven't Seen the Last of Me by Cher from the musical Burlesque would work.  Both the hero and heroine were determined to mount any obstacle in their paths.  And this song epitomizes that.

This is your
34th book.  Exactly what does that mean to you?

That I love what I do and that people like my storytelling.  I am in awe of each book and of course, I feel nervous and apprehensive about them, but then the mail comes in and someone will make my day.  A reader will understand and connect with my characters.  It's a fleeting feeling, but when it's there, there's nothing better.

What do you plan to work on next?

I wrote my goals for 2015 last October.  On the list is to send in proposals for new Heartwarming novels and to complete some of my works-in-progress that will be self-published.  The very next thing on the list is a short story to enter into the RWA anthology competition.  Then Heartwarming proposals.

What are you reading for pleasure right now?

I'm reading BAG of BONES by Stephen King.  At least, I'm listening to it.  I'm readying THE HUSBAND SHOW by fellow Heartwarming author Kristine Rolofson.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Writer’s Use of Television

I don’t watch much television.  At least I didn't think I watched a lot of it.  But I've discovered I watch a lot of television.  I can write through the noise.  Growing up with a lot of sisters and one brother, the television, record player (we had records then), and radio could all be going at once, not to mention conversations (aka arguments).  I learned to either tune it out or work with it.

I thought working with television began when CSI-Crime Scene Investigation debuted on the small screen.  They would show what happened inside the body when an event occurred, like a bullet penetrating a lung.  I thought of it as research, giving myself permission to watch it for writing purposes.  But then I remembered back when I was in high school, I used to used Walt Disney Presents (Sunday nights at 8:00) to write my book reports.  It wasn't until later that I discovered books and movies were different, sometimes markedly different.  Luckily, I stuck with the legends, so I was all right.  After that, I only used the stories to give me a jumping off point (compositions and book reports for class).  I wrote my own (and got better grades).

Going to the movies was something a friend and I did often when I lived in D.C.  When the movie ended and everyone else was leaving the theater, my friend and I were still sitting there after the credits rolled, discussing the film, its meaning, what was true, possible, or impossible.  It wasn't just what Hollywood had sent us.  We’d dissect it every part of it.  And this was long before I began writing and dissecting what made a good book.  I didn't know it at the time, but sitting in that theater, analyzing what happened, was training for becoming a writer.

Movies also sent me to books.  If a story was intriguing, I often wanted to know more about the characters portrayed or I wanted to know what was in the book that didn't translate to the screen.  By now, I'd learned that what I saw was only a fraction of what a book could tell me.  These were often biographies.  I wanted to separate the truth from fiction.  Amadeus was one of the first ones I watched and went almost immediately to the library to check out several books on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  Mozart isn't my favorite classical pianist.  That would be Chopin, but the story behind Amadeus was so intriguing that despite the wonderful music, I wanted to know more about the man and his relationship with his wife, his absent mother and his stern father.

Audio Cover

Books also send me to learn more about other people’s lives.  The book Emily’s Secret by Jill Jones led me to learn more about the Bronte’s.  Emily’s Secret, a work of fiction, was recommended by the publisher through a teaser booklet.  I read the teaser and then haunted bookstores until the book was released.  After reading it, I discovered it was one of those books that you tell everyone, they have got to read.  And of course, I did.

Richard Dean Anderson as MacGyner

But let’s go back to television.  I’m not a reality fan, but I watch some shows for the science or the technology.  McGyver and his ingenious use of whatever was available was one of my favorites. I still have the entire series on DVD’s.  I was a chemistry major in college, and still wonder if some of the improvised concoctions he used would work.  Years after it went off the air, there was another program where they tried the physics and chemistry of McGyver. Most of it didn’t work. However, the takeaway from this is that there are things my characters can do with only what is available.  And before you ask, no, I never used anything I saw McGyver do on television in my books.  But he was certainly good to look at. And still is.

Today I watch Scandal with Kerry Washington.  She’s a fixer.  Until I saw Michael Clayton with George Clooney, I’d never heard of a fixer.  I thought they’d have a sexier name.  I can’t think what, just that they would.  The problems they have and the solutions they come up with are amazing.  As a writer, it’s a not to be missed program.  And of course, NCIS is on my list program that I watch over and over again.

So, when readers ask me where did the idea for a book came from, sometimes it came from something I saw on television.  Of course, it’s not exactly the same, but the germ of the plot can spark an entire book.  Sometimes only one line in a movie gives me an idea for a story.  I have to quickly write it down, or I'll forget it.  Once I got the idea for a book from a bumper sticker on the back of a truck.  All it said was Summer Thunder.  I thought of writing a book about the permanent residents of a summer resort.  They referred to the influx of hard bodies during the season as Summer Thunder.  It’s still in the idea file, waiting for me to write it.

The idea for my latest book, His 1-800 WIFE, did not consciously come from any television program.  However, I use television to give me ideas.  The abundance of 800 numbers splashed across the screen, combined with some real-life friends always asking about my love life, sparked the idea of a book about someone who quells those questions by conforming, but in an unusual way.  Yet, like the cliché says, the best laid plans often go astray, and for Catherine and Jarrod, the adage is true.  (Note: Cover image is tentative.  The final cover has not been determined yet.)

Tentative Cover

When I think about the programs I've watch in the past, I could give some credit to Doris Day and Rock Hudson and the plot of Pillow Talk (a movie, but I saw it on television).  Their relationship started because of a party line (something that hasn't been around since mid-century modern furniture was contemporary).  Catherine and Jarrod already knew each other, but their relationship began over a telephone.

His 1-800 Wife will be released January 31, 2015.

I hope you enjoy it.