Lady Catherine’s Secret comes out tomorrow, December 1st

I love you all! Thanks for supporting me! My book will be sale-priced until late tonight to give you all a chance to preorder it at a reduced price. It’s only $1.99 right now, but it will go back up to its regular price of $4.99 tomorrow when it is officially released.

Did you follow me over to my new website? If not, please check it out at and sign up to get updates. I won’t often post things here anymore, so if you’d like to stay up to date, you’ll need to come to my new place!

Without further ado…


Things are heating up for Lady Catherine!

Train car - date

Buy the ebook on Amazon here

Buy the print book on Amazon here


Advice from my son (or: When did you get so damned wise?)

I’m happy to say that my reading at Lady Jane’s Salon in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went off without a hitch! The women running 5557633_sthe program were kind and welcoming, and immediately put me at ease. The audience was wonderful, and the other authors were entertaining and entirely fabulous.

Of course, I didn’t know any of that during the days leading up to the reading. Since it was my first one, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was nervous. I kept changing my mind about which scene to read from “Gambling on a Scoundrel,” and I was convinced that I would stutter and stumble on stage.

Did you ever try to choose a great scene to read aloud from a romance novel, only to realize that the wonderful “first kiss” scene you’d selected made you blush when you imagined reading it in front of your kids? No? All I can say is that the flush of embarrassment I felt wasn’t pleasant. Not pleasant at all.

I had finally chosen the perfect scene, printed it out in large font, and was practicing it when my seventeen year-old son came in to say goodnight. He could see I was nervous and decided to offer advice.

“Mom,” he said, “I’m a fan of (band name I can’t remember), and their first two albums were similar, but the third one was quite different. You see, the guy who wrote the lyrics went through a hard time, and while working through things, he decided to write what he was feeling. He put it on paper, made it rhyme, turned it into music, and used it for the album. When it came time to perform his songs, he was much more embarrassed than he had been with his previous albums. But he said he realized that he was embarrassed because he was revealing things he’d kept private… pieces of himself, and that although he was proud of what he’d created, it was hard to bare himself that way. But sometimes the cost of good art is a bit of embarrassment when it comes time to share it with the world.”

When did my son get so wise? When did he learn exactly the right thing to say?


Where did Tempy Bliss come from?

Where did Tempy Bliss come from?

Since Gambling on a Scoundrel was released, a number of people have asked me about my inspiration for my heroine, Temperance Bliss, or, as I affectionately call her, Tempy.

An Idea
Tempy started out as an idea. I wanted a heroine who was confident in her abilities, but not about her relationships with other people, because I wanted to write a Pygmalion type story. To me, the only way this sort of story made sense for a strong-willed character would be if my heroine could only get her heart’s desire by making fundamental changes to herself. But how could my heroine truly be strong if she is willing to change to please someone else?

A Toehold
Trying to wrap my head around this character was a bit of a challenge, because until I could understand her motivation, I couldn’t write her properly. One of the first things that helped me pin her down was through naming her Tempy. It helped me focus on the fact that while the changes she would make to herself would be temporary (Tempy-orary?), at the core, my heroine was strong and would inevitably revert to her former self (but perhaps with a bit more polish).

While I was still trying to figure out what Tempy’s story would be, I was talking with a friend of mine who is a food blogger. She told me about some problems she was having with a particular fan who was constantly contacting her. The communications had become so frequent and felt so personal that it was beginning to make my friend feel as though she was being stalked. This gave me the idea that Tempy could be a journalist (bloggers didn’t exist in 1861!) who was being harassed by someone through the newspapers. That’s the moment when the shadowy Earl E. Byrd was born. (Journalists who wanted to disguise their identity often wrote under obvious pseudonyms such as these in the Victorian era.)

Women from that time period

There were very few female journalists in 1861, so the mere fact that Tempy was pursuing a career was enough to make her an outcast. As I got to know Tempy, I realized what a strong and determined woman she was. She knew what she wanted and she wasn’t afraid to go and get it. She was fortunate that she didn’t have someone controlling her life and that she had enough money to allow her to follow her dreams.

Nellie Bly
As far as real-life people are concerned, Nellie Bly was quite similar to Tempy Bliss, but Nellie’s career began a couple of decades after Tempy’s fictional story. Nellie began her career as a journalist in Pittsburgh in 1880.

H. J. Myers, photographer - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3b22819

Nellie Bly, from Wikipedia


Eliza Lynn Linton
A real-life contemporary of Tempy’s would have been Eliza Lynn Linton. She was a novelist, essayist, and journalist in England. I’m not certain, however, that if Tempy and Eliza had met in some alternate dimension where fictional characters and real people meet and talk, that they would have seen eye-to-eye on many topics. I’m fairly certain that Eliza would have publicly disapproved of Tempy’s belief that women should be able to do anything men could do.

I loved learning about these inspiring women as I wrote about Tempy.

So there you have it. How Tempy Bliss came into being. I hope you love her as much as I do!

Times, They Are A-Changin

It’s springtime, my first book is out, my son went on his first round of college visits last week, and my kitten just came in heat. Times, they are a-changin.

I’m thrilled that my book, Gambling on a Scoundrel, is out. Thank you to everyone who supported me and purchased a copy. You’re my angels!

Released April 1, 2014

Released April 1, 2014 Available on Amazon and through your local bookstore

I absolutely LOVE the cover, and I must thank Su at Earthly Charms for making it look marvelous! There’s nothing quite like holding your very own book in your hand.

Yes, my son is beginning to investigate colleges. Fortunately, he doesn’t want to travel far from home, so that makes the prospect of him leaving infinitesimally easier for me to face. At least he isn’t trying to move to the other side of the country.

And my sweet kitten Leia turns a year old this month, so I won’t be able to call her a kitten much longer. She’s been a wonderful addition to our family and I’m thankful that I decided to sit on the porch one day last summer to write and heard her cries of distress. She was such a wee little mite of a thing when I coaxed her out from under our woodpile. It’s amazing that a predator didn’t decide to swoop down and eat her for lunch! With her white coat she’d stand out in the dark woods.

Leia - March 2014

Leia – March 2014

I’m busily polishing my novella, It Takes a Spy. It will kick off my Secrets and Seduction series and will be out this summer, so watch for it! What sort of cover do you think Su will manage to create this time? Something stellar, I’m certain! I can’t wait for the cover reveal!


The Benefits of Being a Brown Bear

There’s a lot to be said for Brown Bears. They are at the top of the food chain. No one ever accuses them of being fat (at least not to their faces). AND, they get to SLEEP through the worst part of winter.

By Nevit Dilmen (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

“Brown bear, Brown bear, turn around. 
Brown bear, Brown bear, touch the ground 
Brown bear, Brown bear, go to your den. 
Brown bear, Brown bear, stay ’til winter’s end. 
Brown bear, Brown bear, turn out the lights. 
Brown bear, Brown bear, say good night.”
But, alas, we aren’t hibernating. Stay safe, stay warm, and drive carefully!

Leaps and Bounds

My kitten, Leia, is growing by leaps and bounds, as demonstrated by the way she leaps into the Christmas tree and bounds up the stairs after successfully teasing the dog into chasing her. As you can see, she’s become quite the prima donna.Image

Here she is posing for her pin-up poster.

My book, Gambling on a Scoundrel, is getting closer and closer to its release date. Copy editing is complete and it is off to my proofreaders. The cover artist has every thing she needs to start working on the most fabulous cover ever, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she creates.

As soon as I have a firm release date for Gambling on a Scoundrel, I’ll let you know!


Some beautiful social media icon images

I recently went on a quest… a Google search quest that is… to try to find some social media icon images.  I discovered there are tons and tons of free ones out there on the web. Thank you so very much to all the artists who have shared their work! To find them, simply do a search on “Social Media Icon” and then add a word to narrow the search so you can find some attractive icons to match your website mood. 

Once you find one you like, make sure it offers buttons for all of the social media sites you think you will use in the foreseeable future.  I specifically wanted buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and possibly Google+.  Although I found quite a few buttons out there that I loved, I discovered that wanting a Goodreads button narrowed my search considerably.

I was quite happy when I stumbled upon a set of buttons called “Earth Social” posted by pancake ninja at

They are absolutely lovely!



I plan to use them on my website once I figure out how to link things in.