You can check out my books on, and at Barnes & Noble too.

Friday, November 30, 2012

November's Last Day

Winter won't be here officially for another few weeks, but it already feels like autumn is gone. The grass has stopped growing, all but the bravest of leaves have fallen, the horses are in their blankets and I'm searching for my pom-pom ski cap in the top of the closet. Christmas brings color and vibrancy back into the world, but only for a short spell, and then it's a long wait for spring. This is a good time of year for reading (hint: I have book recommendations if you're in need of them!) and writing, and it's also the time of year when I realize that if I can barely survive a Georgia winter, I'm never moving out West!

November gets plowed over by Christmas most of the time, but while I'm still shivering in front of my space heater doing a whole lot of blank staring out the window, I realized how pretty the end of autumn is in its own right.

Markus sees and hears everything. He was eating acorns when the first picture was snapped...
...but then he turned around because he is Markus. And he is lead horse. And he will break that which he does not my camera or any other unfortunate object left within his reach.

This was the last flare of color in the trees.
Happy Friday, everyone. I hope you're all feeling better than I am. I should have more chapters of Better Than You up soon.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Better Than You: part 9




Mike lived in a townhouse: an end unit done in antique white brick with black shutters and door, a crabapple tree anchoring the complex-provided landscaping at the front corner. Parked cars went up the narrow drive and around the front curb. Delta nosed her Volvo up behind a black 4Runner and took a deep, rattled breath.

Cobb Library Foundation Luncheon

You'll have to forgive me today if I sound like an idiot - my cold, or whatever it is, has come back with a vengeance and it's all I can do to string a sentence together.

Yesterday, I attended the Cobb Library Foundation's Booked for Lunch event with my mom and my Aunt Sandy, who was generous enough to invite us. The luncheon was part of a series designed to help raise funds for the Library Foundation and was held at the Marietta Country Club. It was lunch, a wonderful guest speaker, and a little elbow rubbing.

The Foundation held seven of these lunches in 2012, and yesterday's featured author was James Farmer.

Quoting his website, James is, "a Southern author, gardener, floral and interior designer, cook and garden-to-table lifestyle expert" ( He is Editor-at-Large for Southern Living, the author of bestselling books A Time to Plant, Sip & Savor, Porch Living, and Wreaths For All Seasons, and has his own garden design business. He shared his personal background, beautiful books and a wide sampling of his design work . I'm a fiction writer, but I'm a farm girl too, and his presentation gave us lots of new ideas. If you enjoy gardening, cooking and design, follow the link I provided.

Fun tidbit: I sat next to Vince Dooley at lunch! Sandy landed us at a table right up front and clearly it was the VIP table because the former University of Georgia football coach joined us. Needless to say, I felt like a ridiculous dumb kid telling a College Football Hall of Fame coach I was a novelist when he asked me about myself. So, like I said, elbow rubbing.

It was a fun outing and I got to shake a lot of hands. I'm hoping to be a part of a new author event the library will be putting on sometime after New Years at which I'd have an opportunity to sell and promote my books. I can't thank Sandy enough for the chance to attend yesterday.

Oh, and check out the clubhouse's Christmas decor.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Girl on a Mission

I spend the majority of my time writing, but tomorrow is going to be all about marketing. My aunt has very generously offered to take me to a luncheon hosted by the Cobb Library Foundation. As wonderful as it is to meet and connect with other writers, it's important to make connections with potential readers too, so it should be interesting. Afterward, I'm going to shop my books around to some local bookstores and see if I can get some bites. I'll have a full writeup Thursday.Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Better Than You: part 8



“Stop smiling. I’m a shameless slut.”


Regina’s eyes rolled as she popped another French fry in her mouth. “Puh-lease. You need to chill the hell out, girl. You went out with a hot guy, you got laid. You aren’t married – you can do stuff like that. Besides,” she reached for another fry, “when was the last time you did anything just for the fun of it?”


“If we all went through life doing things ‘for the fun of it’, it’d be anarchy.”

Sharing Food...and Germs

It never fails that I'm sick right after Thanksgiving. Between Mom's family's day-of dinner and Dad's family's weekend-after dinner, I come down a cold that laughs at my puny immune system and leaves me huddled up in front of a space heater, absolutely useless. Not only does a fever impede my dinner prepping abilities, but it makes it hard to write too. I have to take the good with the bad; with togetherness comes germ-spreading.

This Thanksgiving, though, was healthier than last in a different way. Back in June, I decided to experiment with my constantly-problematic stomach by going gluten free. It's taken almost six months, but I'm finally starting to feel more like a human, and what do you know, I don't miss bread that much when I feel better! And one of the things I was most thankful for this Thanksgiving was my sweet mom's ability to take my favorite holiday dishes and make them gluten free.

I LOVE this mac and cheese and we made it with gluten free corn pasta and gluten free all purpose flour. The cornbread and breakfast sausage dressing was made with this gluten free cornbread mix. And all of it came from Kroger, so that was convenient and didn't involve some trek through the great country backwoods to get to a specialty market. When you live where I do, if they don't have it at the closest available store, you're not getting it.

This year, I was also so thankful for my loving, supportive family, for my animals, for rural Georgia, for the chance to do what I love most and for the inspiration and crazy streak that have led me to indie publishing.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and please enjoy this random, irrelevant picture of a tree because I pass by it on the way to the barn every day and I think it's pretty.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Better Than You: part 7





The soft thunk of Delta’s head connecting with the doorframe told Mike he’d missed the entrance to her bedroom. By a lot. As it turned out, walking through an apartment with a girl’s legs wrapped around his waist was a lot more precarious and dangerous than it was sexy. He was pretty sure whatever had fallen off the end table beside the sofa had shattered, and now he’d given her a concussion against the doorjamb.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Better Than You: part 6



She was slower to warm up than any girl he’d ever met, but after two glasses of wine, Delta began to shed some of her biting defensiveness and talk to him like he wasn’t something she’d scraped off the bottom of her expensive shoe.


“You didn’t!” she exclaimed over the top of her wineglass, her smile wide, her brown eyes full of laughter. She was a completely different person from the frosty bitch who’d squared off from him at Nordstrom.


“Well, I scanned it,” he admitted. “You shoulda seen the look the checkout girl at Barnes & Noble gave me. Guess that’s what I get for buying a chick book.”


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

When Daydreaming Becomes Something Else

At the doctor's office yesterday, I saw this cute punk rock couple come into the waiting room, She was pregnant and in leggings and what looked like one of his shirts. He had the black hair and leather jacket and high top sneakers. My mind went to Tam and Jo. Which isn't so strange because it goes to them - to all my characters - about every five minutes. Maybe more frequently.

Daydreaming is healthy and necessary for writers; I need my quiet time. I need structured, creative quiet time to plan and map things out in my head. But I do most of my story planning on the fly. In the car, in the waiting room, at the barn, at school before I graduated (oops). I'm sure I'll be daydreaming at Thanksgiving dinner.

But is it daydreaming if it's productive? When I go inside my own head, I'm never thinking about myself. I'm supremely boring. No, I'm thinking about my characters: their hopes and dreams, their futures, histories, children and legacies. I rehearse scenes down to the most minute detail and when I need them, call them up like file footage from a movie I've seen. In that respect, it's not so much dreaming as it is writing, even if the words aren't being put on paper.

When daydreaming becomes writing, I couldn't care less if people think I'm too quiet and strange.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Better Than You: part 5



“And you didn’t go home with him?!” Regina’s eyes went big as half dollars as she glanced down at the screen of Delta’s phone. The picture was a candid shot of Mike Walker Delta had snapped while he was bowling, taken for the sole purpose of showing her best friend. “Girl,” Regina had to shout to be heard inside the club, but even in the dim, purplish light that made everyone look like zombies, her expression was plain; she thought Delta was an idiot. “He looks like that and you’re here tonight with Greg? What the hell’s wrong with you? I woulda jumped him in the bowling alley bathroom.”


“I was in that bathroom,” Delta said as she slipped her phone back in her purse, “trust me, no one’s worth jumping in there.”

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Better Than You: part 4



The girl was seriously kicking his ass. The effect of her second-skin black dress was compromised by the bowling shoes, but only a little. It softened her just the smallest touch, made her seem less intimidating, but clearly she didn’t believe in playing the helpless female on a first date.


Mike watched her toe up to the line and turn her ball loose with a long, smooth, practiced motion. She’d bowled before: enough to be proficient. The ball went right down the middle of the lane and clipped the two pins left standing from her first throw, giving her a spare to put up alongside her three strikes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Better Than You: part 3



“…no, see, I’m not charming. I don’t believe in wasting valuable time trying to sweet talk some crying-into-her-cosmo jilted date to take me home with them.” Jordan pulled a mug down from the overhead rack and put it under the Budweiser tap. “The trick is to find someone who wants exactly what you want out of the night. No clutter. No awkwardness.”


“My brother the love doctor,” Mike shook his head and reached for his beer. “Dude, no offense -,”


“Hey,” Tam said beside him at the bar, “you don’t have to tell him he’s full of it. Just nod and smile and try not to hurt his little feelings.”


“Thanks,” Jordan said, dead-faced. “Thanks for making me feel all grown up and validated.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday Housekeeping

1) Email: I logged onto my old laptop this weekend and when I pulled up my email, I noticed a slew of email chat requests that for whatever reason don't show up on this laptop. I love hearing from people, but I'm never on chat so that's not the best way to reach me. I respond to all emails, so if you want to get in touch with me, feel free to use the address I posted here on the blog. You have to scroll a bit to find it, but it's in the sidebar.

2) Shelter: I'm getting some really good feedback about Shelter. It's on the edgy side and that seems to be appealing to readers. When I complete Fix You (and it's well underway) I'm going back to my mystery/thriller roots with a revived and revised manuscript that I think will really grab readers who liked Shelter.

3) Discount: Tomorrow afternoon, Dream of You will become available to other booksellers and that means the price will go up! If you want it at the reduced price, you can still get it today and tomorrow morning.

I should have the next installment of Better Than You out soon if I can thaw out and regain proper blood flow in my fingers. Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans' Day

I wanted to say a special thank you to our men and women in uniform on Veterans' Day, including those in my family. It's a sacrifice and service that I don't take lightly and appreciate in the most sincere way. Thank you to my Granddaddy and his brother Ted, my Uncle Kendall, Uncle Hugh and my cousin Ashley and her husband Ryan. I'm certainly not brave enough to do what you all have done!

It's good for the soul - especially on a blustery and bleak November afternoon - to set aside stress and think about the people in my life for whom I'm grateful. Writing is a private, lonely thing at times; I spend so much time in my own head, taking characters out of my imagination and shaping them into "real" people on paper. As much as I enjoy the process, it starts to feel heavy at times. And I'm so thankful to have the encouragement and support of my family when I say such crazy things as, "I want to be a novelist."

My mom reads all my books before anyone else does. She listens to countless rambled monologues as I try to talk myself into and out of ideas, and she tells me when one of my characters doesn't quite feel in character - because she gets to know them and cares about them and humors my worries about them. I owe her a lot! And to my dad and grandparents, my aunts and uncles - those of you who believe, even if what I'm doing isn't your thing - I thank you for believing. Even if I'm a starving artist right now, even if I stare in frustration at my computer screen at times, I'm a lucky gal.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Better Than You: part 2



Tam had been right: she thought he was a jackass. But Mike, for some reason, had a feeling she thought everyone was a jackass.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dream of You now for sale!

It's here!  You can get the paperback at Amazon here, and the $6.99 Kindle download here. Remember, for the first week, Dream of You will be $15. Next Wednesday, the price will increase when it's distributed to BN and other booksellers. So, if you want a discount, order this week! It's 6 x 9 with legible print and is 516 pages.

Gary Jones of Gary and Elaine's Photography shot my beautiful cover image. I'm so happy with the way it turned out.

Thank you to all of my wonderful readers who've supported Keep You and Shelter. I hope you'll enjoy the new one!

The Sales Pitch

This is the sales pitch you won't find on Amazon, or at Barnes & Noble, or at the Kindle store. My books - all books, really - are shiny covers and thick bundles of pages and a bit of a leap of faith on the reader's part. Some readers are adventurous about trying new authors; some stick to the Times bestseller list. Some need little encouragement and some need lots. And the only way any writer makes it to that list is thanks to adventurous readers, and the more reluctant readers encouraged by their adventurous friends. So, while I'm still watching the NY Times through binoculars from all the way back here, I wanted to take a moment and share what you won't find on the back cover of my books, but what I think you should know.

The wind up...and the delivery...

As a writer I have two goals: to entertain, and to entertain well. Some books feel like a story a co-worker told you over the water cooler. But some books feel like movies - whatever the subject, whatever the plot, some books feel like experiences, the characters feel like your friends, and the world in which they live feels like a place you could close your eyes and fall into. Those books - the movie books - are the ones I strive to write.

All my stories start with the characters. I figure out who they are, what they care about, where they live, and then I decide what kind of story they're going to bring to life. Sometimes it's a romance, sometimes a thriller or mystery or horror story. And for me, it's their story, and not a cookie-cutter genre novel full of cliches. My Walker Family Series is a romance series - but I don't believe in sticking to convention or following current trends. My men and women are real; their relationships are messy and at times awkward; their personalities leap off the page. I strive to bring a contemporary, realistic world view together with lyrical prose to create a book that is full of sensory details, humor, and the smallest touch of literary elegance sorely missing in today's romance market. I want to make you cry, make you laugh, and most of all, make you care what happens to the characters.

Dream of You is centered around my favorite Walker. Jordan is skinny, sarcastic, and not impressed by anything. He's a runner and he eats too many carbs and he can't ever get his hair to cooperate. He's a closet Game of Thrones fan and everyone thinks he and his little sister are twins fathered by the mailman. He isn't a growling, dominating, swaggering sex god with smoldering eyes and no personality, and that's a good thing. Dream of You is not a hundred page romp; its not genre fiction. It's the story of Jordan Walker evaluating his life, his choices, and the big-dreaming girl sitting three rows back in his HPS class.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Keep You tie-in story: Better Than You

In Keep You, the Walker family travels to Ireland for Mike's wedding. His fiancee, Delta, is a pampered, demanding, perfectionist least, that's how Jo sees her.

But so rarely is a person ever just what she seems from the outside.

This is Delta and Mike's story, as seen through their eyes, accompanied by all their preconceived notions and biases. Jo doesn't know all there is to know about her future sister-in-law, or her older brother, for that matter.

It's a tie-in story, and is set before Keep You. I'll be posting it in installments for the next few weeks and I hope you enjoy this very different side of the Walker family.


Better Than You




“Let me make some phone calls,” were the first words out of Dennis Brooks’ mouth the day his only daughter graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia’s Terry School of Business with dual degrees in marketing and management. Delta’s middle name may have been Charity, but it was something she hadn’t wanted – nor did she want now – from her father. The resulting argument when she told him “no” had been the kind that left her with a headache like screws being twisted through her temples, but she’d won. “Fine,” he’d snapped, and strode out of the bedroom she would call her own for only a fortnight before her meager savings were put up as a security deposit on an apartment and her best black suit was put to good use in a business meeting her pretty straight teeth and stunning post-college resume had cinched for her.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Post-Halloween Treat

Dream of You will go on sale sometime next week (or the week after, but I'm shooting for next week). I'll announce it here when it's official. And for the first week that it's available, I'll be running a discounted price for the 6 x 9 paperbacks.

My favorite thing about indie publishing is the freedom it gives me. I don't have anyone telling me that I need to cut content or simplify my stories. Granted, I had to do some cutting myself, but with Dream of You, I was thrilled to be able to not only introduce a new character and a new relationship, but to revisit the characters from Keep You as well. The result is a novel that is two interlocking stories, and the page count reflects that.

When I make Dream of You available to Barnes & Noble and other retail sellers, it will be priced accordingly. But for my blog followers, I'll offer the novel at a reduced price for the first week only. So jump on the chance! It will of course be $6.99 per digital download and that price will not change.