Friday, October 31, 2008

Interview with Kerrie Droban

At times we all wish the truth was fiction. It might be more palatable. After all, imagination is a kind of frontier without borders or restrictions; with true evil, at least we hope there is definition, limit and some moral barometer. And if there isn’t . . . we search for explanation, excuse, and even justification. And if we don’t find any . . . then we look for motivation, for clues in a person’s childhood, for that toxic cocktail that transformed them into a monster, for brutal figures who influenced them, used them, abused them and ultimately erased what made them human. And if we don’t find those factors . . . then we’re left with the untenable hypothesis that there really are natural born killers.

Why else would a Phoenix woman who had been “happily” married for eight years to a devoted and wealthy arts dealer decide one day to throw his body into a freezer, defrost him, dice him up and put his remains into a large garbage bag? Or, a father conclude that it was okay to keep his daughter hostage in a makeshift cellar for twenty-four years so that she could gratify his sexual urges and bear his children? Or, a woman slice up her boyfriend to drink his blood in a perverse vampire love ritual?

Everyday as I stand in the court room and defend against this kind of pathology I search for a way to mitigate my clients’ horrific choices. The challenge is to find a kernel of good, to convey to the judge and the jury that something about them is worth salvaging because our knee-jerk reaction is to warehouse them in cells or exterminate them like rats. My real life experiences have fueled my desire to write true crime because I don’t want refuge or respite from the real stories or the real macabre. I want to understand. Writing is a kind of catharsis for me, a way to process savage behavior with a goal toward inspiring change in the social institutions—schools, families, prisons—who house and guide these sad individuals.

My goal, in many ways is to do what the operatives did in my first book, Running with the Devil, to journey through the darkness in order to understand the criminal mind, its violence, rage and purpose. The undercover operatives lived for eighteen months as outlaw motorcyclists in order to infiltrate another vicious gang, The Hells Angels. They lived a triple life as outlaw bikers, ATF agents and family men. And the stress nearly destroyed them.

Their goal was to cripple the Hells Angels, chill the club’s criminal exploits and enlighten the public about the gang’s activities. In the end few of the criminal charges against the bikers held and the ATF operatives were rewarded with fear of reprisal from the Hells Angels without government protection or, sadly at times, even government interest. But, the operatives’ efforts were not entirely in vain, the Hells’ Angels public persona was tarnished and the club’s reign as Lord of the flies has diminished. But what may have died as a news story lives on in Running with the Devil. With both of their secret lives exposed—the operatives’ sacrifice and bravery and the gang’s savagery and pathology—the public cannot forget what happened or why it happened. That’s the real goal for me in writing true crime, to preserve a moment in time and to hopefully learn from the experience so that we can effect change through information and knowledge.
Running with the Devil, The True Story of the ATF’s Infiltration of the Arizona Hells Angels. ISBN:978-1-59228-976-9

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The History behind Trick-or-Treating

Last weekend I spent hours at various stores trying to find the perfect costume for my kids. Not an easy task , especially when the kids kept changing their minds about what they wanted to be. They both finally decided to be vampires, which got me to thinking about the not so commercial aspect of the trick-or-treating. How many of you know where the tradition started?

The custom of trick-or-treating is thought to have originated not with the Irish Celts, but with a ninth-century European custom called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village begging for "soul cakes," made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers, could expedite a soul's passage to heaven.

Something to think about as you're herding you little ghost or goblin along the sidewalks between houses.
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The History behind the Jack-o-lantern

The Jack-o-lantern custom probably comes from Irish folklore. As the tale is told, a man named Jack, who was notorious as a drunkard and trickster, tricked Satan into climbing a tree. Jack then carved an image of a cross in the tree's trunk, trapping the devil up the tree. Jack made a deal with the devil that, if he would never tempt him again, he would promise to let him down the tree.

According to folklore, after Jack died, he was denied entrance to Heaven because of his evil ways, but he was also denied access to Hell because he had tricked the devil. Instead, the devil gave him a single ember to light his way through the frigid darkness. The ember was placed inside a hollowed-out turnip to keep it glowing longer.

The Irish used turnips as their "Jack's lanterns" originally. But when the immigrants came to America, they found that pumpkins were far more plentiful than turnips. So the Jack-O-Lantern in America was a hollowed-out pumpkin, lit with an ember.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sleeping With Ghosts

I promised I would tell you about my stay at the Grand Hotel in Jerome, AZ. The weekend began with my sister being informed that she had to work Friday, so we didn’t leave Phoenix until 3:00. I refused to get upset or disappointed. I look forward to this getaway all year and NOTHING was going to ruin it for me. Any setbacks can be ignored or worked around. It’s all in the mind.

Jerome is an old mining town set on the side of a mile-high mountain/hill. The old, crumbling buildings house artists who sell their work in the shops lining the main street. I highly recommend the restaurants. I’ve never had a bad meal in that town. This year we visited the winery store. It was my first wine tasting experience. My college friend, Rosie, is the budding wine connoisseur. I just know what I like. I don't know which six-dollar bottles of Safeway wine have to breathe and which can suffocate in the refregerator. Rosie did convince me to buy a $30 bottle of Late Harvest Zinfandel for the day I finish my current manuscript. Okay, I’m letting that one breathe.

Once again, the writers on our retreat reserved the third floor of the Grand, which sits on top of the mountain. It was once The United Verde Hospital owned by Phelps Dodge. He sold it in 1999 and it was turned into a hotel. That’s when the haunting began again. On the hotel’s website, they quote as saying The Grand is “probably one of the most active haunted locations in the world.” The front desk proudly displays pictures of an apparition of a woman. Another photo reveals more orbs hovering above the town than I had the patience to count.

Upon our arrival, we discovered a handful of our over twenty writers had gone on a haunted tour that day and were still playing with the EMT meters and IR thermometers. The detectors kept beeping in the room housing my Much Cheaper Than Therapy Blog partners, Kim Watters and Carol Webb, plus another writer, Kerrie Droban. The area with the most activity was the bed. I won’t be staying in that room.

My sister, Tacha, usually attracts ghosts. Not this October. She stayed with my daughter, Jackie, in the Garden Room, which connects to the sun porch. It’s an enclosed area with a spectacular view of The Verde Valley. I sit out there for hours, reading and enjoying the scenery. I could picture myself living there – minus the ghosts.

It was probably a good thing my relatives didn’t experience any ghostly activity. I didn’t need my twenty-year-old daughter pounding on my door in the middle of the night, so she could sleep with her mommy.

Apparently, my friend, Rosie, attracted the ghosts this year. Interestingly enough, we used the detectors in our room and came up empty. The ghosts didn’t pay their respects until after the sun went down. Friday night, Rosie felt someone smooth the covers over her feet. She didn’t know the stories about a ghostly nurse tucking people in for the night. Saturday night, I woke up to the aroma of roses. The smell was so heavy, I thought Rosie must have sprayed perfume. The next morning, I asked her about it, and she informed me she didn’t bring any with her. It wasn’t until I checked the hotel’s website for this blog post, that I discovered other hotel guests have also smelled flowers. That was my first experience with ghosts at this particular hotel and we’ve stayed there three years in a row. I’m glad our paranormal visitors were friendly.

Saturday night, the woman working the front desk let a dozen of us sit in the boiler room right off the lobby. She said the ghost cat makes noise between 10:00 and 10:15 every night. We did hear noises I would describe as squeaking three or four times. I’m not positive it sounded like a cat, but I know it didn’t sound like machinery. The hotel employee also said she had light bulbs explode above her head in the area on more than one occasion. I doubt the cat is responsible for the explosions. Most likely, it’s one of the two men who died in that area.

When I first sat on the patio chair, I felt a presence in the empty spot next to me. I thought it was probably due to the tank behind and above me, but it went away a few minutes later. My sister said it was a man who walked in front of everyone. (She sees ghosts – glad I don’t.) She claims the man walked down the aisle, studying each woman with a confused look on his face. I’m not surprised. How many men have seen a dozen women hanging out in a boiler room at night?

Once again, the weekend ended too quickly.

On the way home, we drove through red rock country. If you’ve never been to Sedona, AZ, it needs to be on your to-do list. I’m always left feeling awestruck by its beauty.

How much writing did I get done with all of the ghostly activity? Enough for the IRS to claim it as a deduction.

I’m already counting down the days until next year’s retreat.

(Picture above: Jackie with Elvis in the Liberty Theatre. Below: Rosie and Tacha with the view of The Verde Valley in the distance.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Interview with Dawn Atkins

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Dawn Atkins. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called HER SEXIEST SURPRISE. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Sure. HER SEXIEST SURPRISE brings together wannabe chef Chloe Baxter and undercover cop Riley Connelly, whose investigation has Chloe spying on the friends who hired her as their cook.

HER SEXIEST SURPRISE is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

That’s a good question, since I didn’t choose it. My editors put their heads together to get the right title for each book. Sometimes they choose my working title, but often not. This one is appropriate, since it starts out with Chloe making a birthday wish to finally talk to Riley--she has a crush on him. She does and gets more of her wish than she ever dreamed. She went for a birthday kiss and got a birthday…well, you know. This is a Blaze, remember?

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I’ve always written funny, sexy books. That’s comfortable for me. I started out writing for Harlequin’s two humor lines, as well as for Temptation. Blaze was a natural progression. My Blazes contain my humor along with spicier themes and scenes, plus I’ve been adding suspense elements in the last couple of years, which I find quite exciting and very challenging. Writers are never content, you know?

Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?

I’m a little of both. I forget what famous writer said that writing a book is like driving in the dark. You can only see as far as the headlights, but you can make an entire journey that way. My only problem is when fog sets in and I can’t see at all, ahem.

I often vary substantially from the synopsis on which I sell the book. For this one, because I experienced a family crisis with a failing relative while I was writing it, I was grateful the synopsis was quite detailed and I didn’t have to flail around too much to make the story work, since the deadline crept up quickly this time.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

I had to do research on catering and culinary school as well as some law enforcement procedures. I’m lucky to have a local police lieutenant and a female officer who have answered numerous questions for me in the past. I belong to a crime writers online group, which has been immensely helpful. For example, I needed to know how dispatch handles emergency cell phone calls from, say, the trunk of a car--and among the online experts were people who either had been or were married to 9-1-1 dispatchers, so I got exactly what I needed to know. I have a dear friend who graduated from culinary school who helped me with the food aspects. Of course, I hung out on the Food Network for months and months watching chefs and coming up with menu ideas--and drooling, of course.

As far as research sources, it varies with the story. I’m happy to get on the phone and cold call an expert when I need to. Email works, too, in some cases. Google is my friend, too, for spot questions or places to start. And I use my public library a lot for books to set me in the context of the subjects I need to understand well.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

It was one of those percolating ideas. I’ve been in love with Top Chef for years and I’m always fascinated by undercover police work. The themes of trust and dependence and loyalty pop up frequently in my writing.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

I loved Riley sooo much. He was so sexy, so down-to-earth and practical, yet warm and caring and tenderhearted. My ideal man. Yum.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

They come to me in different ways. Sometimes I see them first. Other times I hear them or see them in action. I try different approaches, sometimes using a formal analysis sheet, but I stick with questions that seem pertinent to the character journey. I don’t need to know his favorite flavor of ice cream….unless they’re going to take it to bed with them….

Are there any authors that inspired you?

There are too many to list--I bet you get that a lot. Right now, I’m grateful to the members of a long-time loop of women who used to write for Harlequin’s comedy lines with me and stayed together. Daily, they inspire me as they struggle with their own plots and characters, and health and family, lose publishers, get new contracts and write books I love to read.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

Since Harlequin’s category lines tend to sell themselves, I don’t do very much promotion beyond my Web site, which I update before each book comes out. I belong to the DEADLINE HELLIONS blog and post there regularly. I give my readers a heads-up when a book is coming out via an email newsletter. Ooh, that reminds me it’s time for the next one! I’d better get on that.

What do we have to look forward next?

In STILL IRRESISTIBLE, out in April, Callie Cummings returns to Arizona to turn her father’s failing guest ranch into a desert spa only to fall in love with the ranch foreman, her old flame Declan O’Neill. Soon, she’s fighting off the town’s too-helpful police chief…and criminal charges. That was a complicated story to write, but I’m pleased with how it came out. I hope readers will be, too.

Thanks, Dawn!

To celebrate her book release, Dawn, is offering a free copy of HER SEXIEST SURPRISE to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Award-wining Blaze author has published 23 romances since 2001. Known for her funny, spicy romances with a touch of mystery, she’s won the Golden Quill for Best Sexy Romance and has been a several-times Romantic Times Reviewers Choice finalist for Best Blaze, as well as a finalist for the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for “Best Love and Laughter.” She lives in Paradise Valley with her husband and son.

Check out author’s website at www.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

On-Line Classes at WriterU

November 3-28, 2008
"The Heart of Your Story"
by Bob Mayer
Registration $30 at

Can you say what your book is about in 25 words or less? Summarizing your original idea is essential to both writing a tight book and then selling it. Participants will get the opportunity to share their idea and have it discussed by the instructor and group.

Find out what you really meant to write, and the level of interest it generates. In this highly interactive workshop, you'll learn how to:

* Find and state your original idea in order to...
* Excite the reader and stay the course while writing
* Focus your creative energies
* Keep from having a new idea supplant it during the creative process
* Be able to pitch the book to an agent and editor succinctly
* Allow your agent and editor to be able to sell the book
* Give you the center of your marketing plan for your book

New York Times best-selling author Bob Mayer graduated West Point and served in the Infantry and Special Forces (Green Berets) before earning his MA in Education. He's the author of over 35 fiction and non-fiction books, including The Novel Writer's Toolkit: a Guide to Writing Great Fiction and Getting it Published. He has been a speaker for over 500 groups and organizations, ranging from the US Army and the CIA to the University of Georgia and the Maui Writers Conference, on topics including the use of Special Operations Theory and Tactics in the Civilian World. Check him out at

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

November 3-15, 2008
MASTER CLASS: "Mastering Scene & Sequel"
by Sherry Lewis
Registration $55 at
Prerequisite: Must have a completed manuscript ready to submit

You've heard about scene and sequel, and the idea of using it makes sense -- but can you use scene and sequel and still maintain the fluid style of writing you prefer? Will using scene and sequel box you in, or can you still fly by the seat of your pants? Learn how to use scene and sequel to create powerful scenes while maintaining your own artistic integrity.

By taking this course you'll learn how to:

* Identify the anatomy of scene and sequel
* Use scene/sequel structure to build tension and highlight conflict
* Use it to drive your story from scene to scene
* Create hooks that keep the reader turning pages
* Make characterization, motivation & conflict work together powerfully
* Decide what to include and leave out of your manuscript
* Avoid wandering off your story's path
* Tailor scene-sequel to fit your writing style and unique story

Sherry Lewis is an award-winning, bestselling author, writing teacher and writing coach for both published and aspiring writers. She has been using scene and sequel techniques in her own work since 1992, and teaching it to others around the country and online for more than 15 years. Read more about her at

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Top Ten Pet Peeves We Hate to See

Top Ten Peeves We Hate to See
By editors Laura Kelly and Vicky Reed

1. The story is filled with happy coincidences that magically solve problems for the hero and heroine.

A good example of this is the romantic suspense where the hero and heroine are trapped. The hero dropped his gun into the elevator shaft to save the heroine from tumbling to her doom, the building is on fire, and a killer is on the loose. It looks like the end for our dauntless duo—but suddenly, a SWAT team arrives.

Anton Chehkov, the great Russian playwright, once said that if you have a gun above the mantelpiece in Act One, you’d better shoot it before the curtain falls. In other words, if you lock your hero in a building with a crazed killer, and set the basement on fire, tell your reader who the hero is, what he does, and why SWAT is keeping track of him—before they break in.

Write down the major plot points. Does everything flow logically from point A to point B? If not, then re-think your story line.

2. Writers who manipulate the plot to suit their ideas of what a nice scene would be, and it doesn’t logically follow the plot.

Usually this involves some clichéd love scene. Maybe after being rescued your hero and heroine are caught in a torrential downpour and find shelter in a ramshackle tenement. It’s cold, they’re both soaked, wind is whistling through the bug-sized cracks but--despite the blue tinge to their anatomy--they stop to have sex.

Like like that Seinfield episode where George yells, “I have shrinkage,” events have to contain logic. Unless you’ve laid the groundwork to establish your hero is a superhuman sex machine, sub-zero temperatures are the opposite of a turn on. So are sand, insects, reptiles, or rodents in the vicinity, and scenes where they haven’t bathed in days, but the minute they are alone and supposedly ‘safe,’ they have sex.

3. Characters not acting in character.

In Linda Seger’s book, Creating Unforgettable Characters, she explains that every character is the result of how they grew up, their background and their core personalities. We are the sum of our parts. A person’s qualities in turn imply other qualities. A former policeman can be expected to know something about guns and the law. A heroine presented as a savvy businesswoman can’t go around making one bad decision after another. Every action is filtered through experience and background. Once you create a person, you must remain true to who and what you have created.

4. Characters who stomp, stalk, clench fists and glare at each other, exhibit no self-control and are victims of their emotions, including passion.

A character who stomps around with her fists clenched, glaring at the hero until the touch of his hand makes her hot for him is two-dimensional. A well-drawn heroine has emotions that are true to her background and core personality. Nobody has only one or two emotional reactions, and as we grow, we learn to exert control over our actions. It’s all a part of growing up.

5. Writers who think bickering equals conflict.

Every word should push your story forward. Bickering is verbal quicksand. Once the snappy comebacks stop, is there anything preventing your hero and heroine from falling into each other’s arms except word count? Tell me why your hero and heroine can’t be joined, and then—put that gun on the mantelpiece.

6. Writers who think every line of dialogue must be answered, and every inner thought conveyed to the reader, in case they ‘don’t understand’what you are trying to say.

If a reader doesn’t understand why your character says or does something, it’s because you haven’t fleshed out that character well enough. Telling the reader why Indiana Jones hates snakes isn’t enough. You need to show it. Through dialogue and action.

Dialogue is action, by the way, and only dialogue that moves the story forward needs to be included. Excessive dialogue slows the story down, and only bores the reader.

What really bogs down a story is when every time the hero or heroine speaks, we get a mental assessment of what they said by the other party, before the other party speaks.

Don’t have them think their responses and feelings, have them act upon them, preferably with a conflict-enhancing line of dialogue. (Not bickering, as stated above).

7. Don’t tell us what the characters are about to do, then show them doing it.

Susie had a plan, first she’d sneak out the back door, then go to the store and buy a wig and some make-up, and then she’d sneak back to Joe’s place and find the missing key, but she’d make sure Dave saw her, so he would follow her, and then Joe would know what Dave was up to and could arrest him. And on the way, she’d call the SWAT team, just in case there was trouble.

Just show her sneaking out the back door, shopping at the store, making her phone call to the SWAT team and then showing up at Joe’s apartment. Make us wonder what’s going to happen, next.

Another thing we see a lot of is writers who think laying out their character’s plan in this way, ahead of time, then having that plan go awry when the character tries to put it into action, equals conflict. As in “Oh, no, Susie was going to go to the store and buy the wig, but they didn’t have any for sale. She’d have to go with plan B.”

If plan A never happens, that’s even more pointless than telling us Plan A, then showing us plan A. It just frustrates the reader.

8. Writers who don’t know how to end the scene with a hook.

A good hook can be a snappy line of dialogue that leaves the reader wondering what will happen next, and pulls them into the next scene, or chapter. A lot of writers seem to have trouble getting their characters out of the room, or scene. Or ending the day. Never end the scene with your character going to bed alone. It might give the reader the idea to put the book down and do the same.

9. Point of view violations.

When you are in a character’s point of view, you can only see, hear, taste, smell and feel what that character sees, hears, tastes, smells and feels. And you can only describe what they are experiencing using vocabulary your character would use. What self-respecting alpha male describes anything as “horrid?”

Beware of using your own extensive writer’s vocabulary instead of limiting dialogue and internal narrative to words your characters would use. What construction worker hero would describe the heroine’s hair as ‘golden tresses?’ Her golden tresses flowed over his arm as… This is you, the author speaking, and using omniscient POV, to boot, which only distances your reader from the story. If your hero wouldn’t notice the color of the wallpaper or delicate brocade of the furniture, then let that be described in the heroine’s POV.

10. Overuse of qualifiers.

Make every word count. Do a word search and take out every even, just, actually, really, usually, generally, especially, that doesn’t have to be there. He just wanted to see her one more time. She didn’t really even know his name. That wasn’t exactly what she’d meant to say. She wasn’t generally a fast talker. He wasn’t especially fond of turtles.

Last, but not least, put your manuscript on a low-that diet, and take out any ‘that’ that does not add to the story. Otherwise, you’re just padding your word count.

For more information on editors Laura Kelly and Vicky Reed, please go to

Monday, October 20, 2008

And the Winner is........

Congratulations Pat Cochran. Loucinda used her handy dandy random number generator and you're the winner of her book. Please contact me at k watters 21 (at) (no spaces) Have a great day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Interview with Loucinda McCary

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Loucinda McGary, also known as Aunty Cindy of the Romance Bandits. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called The Wild Sight. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

The Wild Sight is a sensual contemporary romantic suspense tale set in Ireland with a hero who is psychic. The front cover actually says: The Wild Sight an Irish tale of deadly deeds and forbidden love.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

He was cursed with a “gift”
Born with the clairvoyance known to the Irish as “The Sight,” Donovan O’Shea fled to America to escape his visions. On a return trip to Ireland to see his ailing father, staggering family secrets threaten to turn his world upside down. And then beautiful, sensual Rylie Powell shows up, claiming to be his half-sister . . .

She’s just looking for the family she never knew . . .
After her mother’s death, Rylie finds tantalizing clues that send her off to Ireland to find the man listed on her birth certificate as her father. She needs the truth—but how can she and Donovan be brother and sister when the chemistry between them is nearly irresistible?

Uncovering the past leads them dangerously close to madness . . .

Donovan’s visions lead them into mystery and murder, and only by going deep into the fens can they defeat an ancient enemy and bring the truth to light . . . but will they ever be able to get out?

The Wild Sight is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

Actually, my publisher’s marketing department came up with that title. My original title was Death In The Fens but apparently nobody in marketing knew what a fen was. For awhile, the book was called Secrets In The Irish Mist, but that title didn’t stick either. Eventually someone decided on The Wild Sight, and my book’s identity crisis was over.

Would you describe your book as a cozy, mystery, suspense, or thriller?

I call The Wild Sight a romantic suspense with paranormal elements. Basically, it has all the ingredients I like to read.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I grew up reading and loving the great gothic romances of Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney and Mary Stewart, and they strongly influenced both my reading and writing preferences. (me, too-KW)

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

My two previous manuscripts were romantic suspense stories both set in Italy, and since neither of them had sold, I decided I would set my next story in Ireland. I had always been fascinated with the concept of the Irish “Second Sight,” but in most stories a female possesses this ability. I started thinking, “What if a man had it?” And that’s when my hero, Donovan O’Shea was born.

Do you have all the key suspense/mystery elements thought out before you begin writing?

I wish! I’m much more of a seat-of-the-pants writer than that, I’m afraid. When I sat down to write my first draft of The Wild Sight, I tried to mend my ways and do more up front work. I actually wrote an eleven page rough outline of key plot points and character arcs before I started writing, but that pretty much went by the wayside after about three chapters.

I did know that I wanted my hero to have “the sight” but I wasn’t exactly sure about all the ways that ability would manifest itself until I got into the story. I also knew I wanted at least two murders, one recent and one not, that needed to be solved. Plus, there was the whole “mystery” of the heroine’s parentage to be solved, again, I wasn’t sure of the details until I started writing.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

Yes, I did do quite a bit of research. I have been to Ireland but not for several years. In fact, my DH has family in Northern Ireland, which is why I set The Wild Sight there, instead of in the Republic. I pulled out old photos and maps from our previous trips, and checked out every book on Ireland that my local library branch would allow me to take. For about three weeks, I surrounded myself with all things Irish including history, geography, folklore, I even had a book on Celtic jewelry. I also did research on the net and found some fascinating things like census data broken down by county that helped me with authentic surnames, and a gender specific genetic trait, the Niall Marker that provided me with a key element in the story.

One of the things I wanted to be sure and convey was the distinctive speech patterns of the Irish. I wanted my Irish characters to “sound” Irish with the lilting syntax and unique colloquialisms. A couple of great websites I found were one with Irish curses, blessings, and proverbs, and another of modern Irish slang. Reading blogs by Irish men and women helped too.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

Most definitely my hero! I’m always a little in love with my heroes. I think it’s a necessity. If I don’t love them then neither will my readers.

Donovan was a bit of the strong and silent type. In fact, for an Irishman, he was quite taciturn. Since he was a young child, he’d been burdened with this ability to see and hear things other people did not. All his life he had to deny who and what he really was. It was fun to have my sassy little heroine force him to come to grips with his feelings and learn to trust her and others.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

It’s nothing so formal as character sheets or interviews. My characters reveal themselves to me. They usually (but not always) arrive in my creative consciousness with their names--first, middle and last--and they start “talking” to me. Yes, they each have a distinctive voice, and they talk about their families, their background, their professions, stuff like that. Sometimes I write down these basics, sometimes I don’t. I generally know far more about my characters than I ever put into the story.

As I mentioned, my research led me to include a genetic trait called the Niall Marker in my hero. I also used research about the ancient Celts to create secondary characters, and census data to name others. I purposely named one minor character after my son, who does have an Irish first name. When I told him, he thought it was “cool.”

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Besides the three mentioned above, I was definitely inspired by Terry Brooks and his Sword of Shannara fantasy series, and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books. In both cases, when I read the first book in each of these series, I was completely awe-struck by the diverse characters, the complex world each author created, and the great action-adventure plots. They made me want to write my own stories.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

It’s rather early to tell, but I hope all these guest blog appearances will start some buzz. By being involved in a couple of group blogs myself, I’ve been amazed at the large number of people all over the world who visit blogs and websites.

Everything I’ve heard and read points to word-of-mouth as the best way to sell books. By putting myself out here in cyber-space, I can reach far more potential readers than I can by print advertising, and I get the wonderful bonus of being able to interact with readers. I really love to hear from readers! I won’t know for sure until my publisher receives sales figures, but I’m convinced that online promotion is worthwhile.

What do we have to look forward next?

Another Irish tale or two, with a hunky Irish hero and an Irish-American heroine. Or maybe a hunky Irish-American hero and a spunky Irish lass…

I’d love to hear from my readers what they would like! Is there a character you’d like to see more of? A setting you’d like to read about? Please let me and/or my publisher know. In fact, if you’ve already read The Wild Sight, or have an opinion about characters and settings, please share with me in the comments.

Thanks, Aunty Cindy!

To celebrate her book release, Loucinda is offering a free copy of The Wild Sight to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...


A life-long avid reader and writer, Loucinda McGary left her civil service managerial career in 2003 to fully pursue her twin passions of travel and writing. She sets her novels of romance and suspense in some of the fascinating places she has visited. The Wild Sight is her first published novel.

Check out author’s website at

Buy The Wild Sight at your local bookstore or order it from Amazon or the Sourcebooks website:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

On-Line Class from PASIC

An EXCLUSIVE, one-time only, PASIC Event from
New York Times Bestseller Allison Brennan


Presenter: Allison Brennan
Cost: $30 payable by PayPal
Deadline to Register: October 31, 2008 and space is limited!

Go to for more information

What happens after you receive THE CALL? You’re going to be published. . .
then what? Join New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan in a
writer’s journey from The Call to Staying Published.

Part One: The Call to Publication
Learn what happens after you sell, who the players are from your agent
to editor to publicist and more; what does everyone do in a publishing
house and how do they impact your book and you career?

—What should an author expect from their agent and their editor?
—How do you query an agent after you receive The Call?
—What are common contract clauses and what do they mean?
—What are foreign rights? Subsidiary rights?
—What happens in production?
—What is expected from the author?

And much more... The nuts and bolts of what is required for every author after a sale.

Part Two: The Three Ps: Publication, Placement and Promotion
What do you HAVE to do before your book is released, what MIGHT you do,and what should you NOT do?

—Pre-book buzz–what is it and how do you get it?
—What is co-op and other publication terms? How are books distributed? What are wholesalers and what do they do?
—How are bestseller lists determined?
—What do sales numbers mean?
—How do you read a royalty statement?
—Velocity, word-of-mouth, reviews, interviews, fans, blogs, MySpace, and your space. What will your publisher do, what MIGHT they do, what can YOU do?
—Is promotion worth it?
—How much time to bestselling authors REALLY spend on promotion?

Pros and cons of promotion–from authors, agents, editors, and publicists. That's just the beginning...

Part Three: The Career Author
What it means to be a career author and how to get there; roadblocks;
and success. Blunt and to the point, you’ll never again say to an author, “I wish I were you.” Stories from authors who are successful, and those who are struggling.

—What they’ve learned and why it’s never the same path for any author.
—How to be a career author from the viewpoint of agents and editors.
—How to rebuild your career.
—Professional jealousy; career management; changing agents; changing houses; and everything in between.
—Business management and surviving, pros and cons of quitting the “day” job, and
practical issues like managing deadlines, speaking engagements, and family.
—Dos and don’ts of being active online–i.e. you’re now a public figure, what does it mean?
—The rudest questions authors get and how to answer them without telling the person to go jump in a piranha infested river.
—Questions and answers.

About the Presenter:
Allison Brennan is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of romantic thrillers. A three-time RITA(r) finalist, two-time Romantic Times "Reviewers Award" finalist (including a win for Best Suspense of 2006 for THE KILL), Allison is published in a dozen languages and in the UK. She's a member of Romance Writers of America, where she serves as President of PASIC (for published authors), as well as International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America. She lives in Northern
California with her husband and five children and when she's not writing, she's playing video games or a myriad of kid sports and activities.

NOTE: Allison has developed this workshop exclusively for PASIC and this will be the only time it is offered, anywhere!!

Deadline to Register: October 31, 2008, space is limited!!!
Go to for more information

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

And the Winner is........

Congratulations Skhye. You're the winner of Bette's book, Farragut Square. Please contact Kim at kwatters21 (at) no spaces to collect your prize.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Haunted Weekends

October is one of my favorite months. The weather in Arizona begins to cool off, children are excited over the candy binge about to take place on the 31st, and just under twenty female writers invade a local haunted hotel armed with laptops and alcoholic beverages.

I turned the Valley of the Sun Chapter of RWA retreat into a haunted getaway several years ago. We have stayed at the Venn Dome in Prescott and at the Grand Hotel in Jerome. This year we will return to Jerome, an old mining town an hour north of Phoenix.

It's hard to tell if our ghostly encounters have been the result of a mixture of overactive imaginations and wine coolers, or a true paranormal experience. At the Venn Dome, a group of us piled into the haunted room and the closest door slammed shut. I wasn't in a position to see if anyone tapped it, so I can only rely on the testimony of those standing near the door, who to this day swear no one touched it - at least, no one human.

My sister, Tacha, says she attracts ghosts. One night at the Venn Dome, I experienced what felt like a small animal jumping off the bed. I thought my sister was walking beside me, but when I turned over, she was tucked safely into her own bed across the room. Oddly enough, I wasn't frightened or even concerned. A cat supposedly haunts the hotel, and if it did visit my bed, it meant no ill will.

In Jerome, I woke to find my sister working crossword puzzles in the middle of the night. I know something spooked her. She claims she saw the bed coverings depress and felt the presence of something crawling into bed between the two of us. I always thought someone should at least tell you their name and buy you dinner before slipping into bed with you. Maybe I'm being old fashioned. Was I scared when she told me about our visitor? A bit. Okay, more than a bit. The next day I bought rocks that are suppose to ward off evil, asked the archangels to protect us, pulled the covers up to my neck, and listened to a meditative CD while falling asleep.

So why do I continue to plan these haunted trips? Why do people ride roller coasters? The thrill of the ride. Anything can happen when you stay at a haunted hotel.

I became interested in the paranormal at a young age, after my mother told me the toys on our kitchen floor began flying around the room while she was paying bills. Paper flies around the room when I pay bills, but there's nothing ghostly about it.

The adventurous side of me wants to see an apparition next weekend and the frightened child in me hopes the ghosts stick to haunting the local graveyards.

Do you have a ghostly tale? If so, please leave a comment. We would love to hear it.
I'll let you know what happens at the Grand Hotel after we return.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Interview with Bette McNicholas

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Bette McNicholas. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called Farragut Square. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Yes, Farragut Square is a novel about Lindsay McCallister, a ballerina who trades in her tutu for a blue policeman’s uniform and her ballet shoes for a 9mm Glöck. She changes her name and enters a man’s world and works hard for five years to become a detective on the Unsolved Mystery Task Force in order to find out what happened to her half-sister who disappeared from a park bench in Farragut Square over eight years ago.

She meets her new boss, Sgt. Joseph Dragani, Washington, D.C.’s top detective who isn’t pleased he’s forced to accept a female rookie on his team. He also has a mission and she’s afraid he will delve into her past and expose her secrets and remove her from the squad.

Lindsay finds an escaped prisoner (the man who abducted her sister), who is obsessed with having sex with virgins, hiding in her closet when she comes home from work one evening. But Dragani, the street-smart detective who has now fallen in love with his partner, has other plans for Lindsay and is not about to let this murderer strike again…

Farragut Square is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

Farragut Square is a prime piece of real estate in the heart of D.C.’s financial district and is in one of the largest police districts. I have always loved walking through the park and going to the restaurants and shops in the area because it is very metropolitan.

Would you describe your book as a cozy, mystery, suspense, or thriller?

This novel is my first attempt at romantic suspense, but there is mystery and a woman in jeopardy too—a little bit of everything except a cozy.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

When I started writing about 30 years ago, I only wanted to write Civil War novels. And I did, I finished several, started others that have anywhere from 3 to 8 chapters written. I loved the research, but the genre was dying and most large publishing houses had a CW author. So, I decided to change genres.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

I wanted to write about a heroine who was a ballerina and that’s where I started! Don’t ask me how I got to where the book ended—it just happened as I went along…

Do you have all the key suspense/mystery elements thought out before you begin writing?

No. I had my two protagonists lurking in my brain and I saw a young man on a TV show that said he only had sex w/ virgins. That led me to call a psychologist friend who gave me about six reasons why someone would have this obsession and I went from there!

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

I did a lot of reading and watched videos about the ballet. I took the subway into the city and spent a few days in Farragut Square getting the feel of the area and the people who work there, wrote down the sights, sounds and aromas while I sat on the park bench. Did some research about Admiral Farragut, spent time in the police station and took a tour and went to a firing range and learned how to use a Glöck, the police department’s choice weapon. It was a great venture. The rest was from living and working in the D.C. area for 40 years.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

I seem to have more fun developing the male protagonist and he’s Italian. But I had fun with Lindsay because she was a tad sarcastic and strong.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

I do one or two paragraphs about my two protagonists and the antagonist: grandparents, parents, ethnic background, birth date, occupations etc. My research doesn’t affect my character development because I have them in my head before I do any research. I write around them and let them take me where they want to go.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

No. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have favorite authors. I wish I could write like some of my favorite authors, but don’t even try. Before I started writing, I read about one historical romance a day. I began reading paperback novels because I was obsessed w/ reading and spent too much money buying hardbound books. I’m dyslexic and until I took a speed-reading course at Georgetown University, I only ever read books that were required in school. After I took that course, I discovered I could read a book in a month, then a week, and so on and so on…It was a whole new world for me.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

I sent postcards to all the bookstores in the Farragut Square and Phoenix areas and to all the librarians here also, announcing my book. And I sent postcards to bookstores in my hometown and places where I have lived. And being on the Much Cheaper Than Therapy blog is a great opportunity. Another Wild Rose Press author has a blog that announces new releases and Farragut Square was on there. I had notices in July newsletters and websites on three RWA chapters that I’m a member. I hope these things will have an effect.

What do we have to look forward next?

Memory’s Edge, a Civil War novel. My editor called this weekend and it has been edited and sent to a reader for a final proofreading and then I will read it again before it goes into production, but I don’t have the pub date yet.

Thanks, Bette!

To celebrate her book release, Bette is offering a free ebook of Farragut Square to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...


With a background in politics and real estate, Bette is a published author of fiction. Prior to Farragut Square, she co-authored An Obsession with Honor (Warner Books) a historical romance set in the Washington, D. C. area. Romantic Times called the novel, "The kind of love story you want to read again and again."

Bette attended Bryant College in Providence, Rhode Island, worked as an assistant to a U.S. Senator, an executive in radio and later as a real estate executive with expertise in financing, law and marketing. She brings knowledge of these diverse fields to her work as an author. She recently finished collaborating on a contemporary novel with one of her friends. She has a Civil War novel coming out soon and is completing another one, besides finishing her second romantic suspense.

She is an active member of Romance Writers of America, its Published Authors Network, PASIC, the Desert Rose Chapter, and is a charter member of the Washington Romance Writers. For Washington Romance Writers, she served on the Board of Directors for two years, was the Published Author Liaison, as well as Published Author Chapter Representative to RWA.

Bette is married, has three adult children, three grandsons and two granddaughters. Besides writing, she enjoys reading history books, biographies and novels, knitting, and cooking Italian food. She also played duplicate bridge and was a Junior Master.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

And The Winner Is........

Congratulations Rebekah. You're the winner of Diane Whiteside's book. Please e-mail Kim at kwatters 21 (at) (no spaces) so we can get your address. Thanks for commenting everyone. Make sure to stop back every Friday and see our weekly guests. Kim

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Don't Forget MySpace Promos

The Writing Doctor says,
"The magic words are promo, promo, promo!"
That includes doing interviews on blogs like Much Cheaper Than Therapy, booksignings, getting to know your local booksellers, giving away those bookmarks, magnets, pens, etc., holding contests - which can be advertised at Coffee Time, and one of my favorites - MySpace.
Some of you may know I list the links to MySpace readers, writers, editors, publishers, reviewers, and booksellers on my other blog The links make it easier for the writing community to find each other on MySpace and I only post a link if the owner has agreed to it, so you know they want you to add them. There are 1100 links now. In the past I mainly listed the romance community. Recently, I decided to extend the lists to the entire writing community.
If you want your MySpace link added you can leave a comment here, or add me on MySpace and send me a message. While you are there you'll find Kathryne, Kim, Carol, and Judy on my profile page. Make sure you add them, too.
Let's review the updated top ten reasons you should promote on Myspace.
(Half-serious, half-not. You guess what is which, or which is what.)
10. Promotion! Promotion! Promotion! Download/upload a picture of your book instead of your smiling mug and leave it with every comment, message, and request to add friends. You want to get your name out there! Also, when you make a change on your profile, such as adding pictures, everyone in your network receives a notice and your name is shown AGAIN!
9. Networking is great! I have “met” some incredibly nice people who have offered to do cross-promotional work. I’ll blogroll you, you blogroll me. Kinda kinky.
8. Speaking of kinky, cute men will hit on you! Okay, they want your money, but hey, no one else needs to know that. Brag about all the men who want to be your friend, then change your age to 90 if it bothers you. (Use common sense. I know someone who was conned. I never met anyone who really fell in love on MySpace and needed money for legitimate reasons to be bailed out of some catastrophe.)
7. Speaking of men, you can spy on your old boyfriends if they have a MySpace page. Create a fake account with a picture of a buxom blonde, then befriend your ex. You can see all of his photos, read who is leaving comments, and then get mad, throw pillows, and devour twelve gallons of Ben and Jerry. Okay. Maybe you shouldn’t do that, after all. You'll gain 1000 pounds and the MySpace police will get you.
6. Bulletins are a great promotional tool! Stamps will soon be $20 each. Instead of mailing out your newsletter, you can send your latest news to all of your friends for free. Simply type a message on the bulletin board and click send. It automatically goes to all of your friends. Can't beat the price! (Note: Once you have over 1,000 friends, you no longer see your bulletins automatically.)
5. Explore new technology. (Sounds like Star Trek) I’ve learned so much since I’ve started my blogs and playing on MySpace. Play with all of the links and doohickeys, see what they do, then call in a teenager to fix the mess you made.
4. Invites are even better than bulletins! Bulletins can be ignored. They go away, eventually. The message that you have an invite sticks around until you can’t stand it anymore and you have to go delete it, which makes you read the invite post. Invite all of your friends to your book signings. It doesn’t matter if you live in Fargo and they live in Hawaii, they will see your name and the name of your book. More name recognition! See how this works!
3. Multi-tasking takes on a new meaning! While you’re up watching movies on a weekend, you can add friends while you fold laundry and cry over the tragic love story on the TV. I once painted my living room, while adding friends and watching a Murder She Wrote DVD. Okay, my computer screen ended up with a lovely smudge of green. I put a smiley face in the middle and it looks like I did it on purpose. (Do you really believe that? Paint comes off.)
2. Forget stamps and coins, collect friends! I’ve seen people with tens of thousands of friends. The reader/writer with the most friends WINS! (Don’t forget to leave comments on profile pages. It’s all about promotion.)
And the number one reason to create a MySpace page is…
1. You can become friends with famous people! They’re all over MySpace. Or maybe nerdy guys in Fargo are pretending to be famous people. It doesn’t really matter. If I want to look lonely and desperate, I can tell everyone I’m friends with Will Smith, the women of Sex and The City, and Dolly Parton and it’s no lie. I have proof.
If you don't have a profile page, go to MySpace and start one now. Don't let the computer intimidate you. That's what the delete button is for.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Interview with Diane Whiteside

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Diane Whiteside. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called Bond of Darkness. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Texas Ranger Stephanie “Steve” Reynolds is on the hunt for a serial killer who is stalking innocent women in the Lone Star State. The beautiful Ranger comes to suspect the unbelievable – that the killer is a vampire. Steve knows all about vampires, since she has a demon lover of her own, Ethan Templeton, who has been helping her on cases when he wasn’t sharing her bed.

Ethan loves Steve, but he thinks nothing can come of their passion, even if he could convince her to share his immortal life. But when a killer menaces Steve, Ethan realizes he has no choice except to risk everything. Will she agree to join a man she’s called murderer – or will she refuse her one chance at eternal life and love?
Bond of Darkness is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

It’s the third book in a trilogy, following Bond of Blood and Bond of Fire. In both those books, blood and fire refer to the stumbling blocks in the relationships. My working title for Bond of Darkness was pretty horrific and I wasn’t particularly fond of it. There was apparently some mad dashing up and down the editorial hallways to come up with a new title when they needed to list the third volume in a catalog. The publisher finally put her foot down and said the title would be Bond of Darkness. My editor called me and gave me the news that afternoon, in some fear and trepidation. Steve and Ethan let me know they were very pleased and later on told me why darkness referred to their relationship’s stumbling block. Amazing how these things work out, isn’t it?

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I love to read paranormal romance, romantic suspense, and historicals. I wanted to write something that combined elements of all three, with world building based much more on science rather than literature or folk tales.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

The Texas vampire trilogy universe hit me while I was talking to a friend, who’s a native Texan. She wondered why there weren’t any vampires written in Texas. I had an immediate vision of a tall, sexy vampire cowboy sauntering into a western saloon – and my brain immediately went into overdrive. I had to write that book! I had to write that series! I had to create that universe! Bond of Darkness is the third volume in the Texas vampire trilogy and creates the basis for the series. (No way a heterosexual couple gets an HEA in Texas until Steve and Ethan do…)

What are your favorite paranormal research books or sites, and why?

Oh, that’s a very hard question. I also write historicals and almost all of my research books and websites do double-duty for historicals. But I’m going to say foreign language dictionaries. An author always has to create new terms for stuff and your own brain runs dry very, very quickly. Foreign languages have an amazing bounty of terms. I’m always hunting for more.

When Andre Norton – the great science fiction and fantasy author – died, she left her entire library to be used by other authors. The collection of foreign language dictionaries was amazing.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

When Don Rafael is in the scene, he takes it over. The man writes his own dialogue; I just close my eyes and he takes it from there. He’s the only character I’ve ever written who did that. It can be infuriating because we still have arguments with each other when I’m trying to persuade him to do something convenient for the plot. Hah!

Ethan is unbelievably drop-dead sexy and lethal at the same time. I don’t trust him, I wouldn’t want to be in Steve’s shoes as his soul mate – but I’d sleep with him in a minute, if he was in a good mood. He can be a little easier to write than Don Rafael.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research and/or world affect your character development?

I have a character sheet for the hero, heroine, and villain with key facts that I’ve found useful. I also do a detailed goal-motivation-conflict worksheet for the hero and heroine. I translate these to index cards, which also have odd factoids for each person (like Steve’s bridesmaid dress). World building factoids also go into the index cards because I treat the setting as a character.
The research and/or world effects on the characters’ environment (as in the nature-nurture-environment triad) are usually recorded in the index cards. Big issues from nature and/or nurture hopefully show up in the goal-motivation-conflict worksheet. It’s painful if they don’t show up until the index cards phase.

The index cards are continually updated while writing. Bond of Blood, the first book which established the universe, took more than 300 index cards.

How do you go about building your world, if you use one? Do you use maps, charts, or drawings?

The Texas vampires are based on the premise that vampiros actually exist; they just don’t want us prosaicos to know they’re out there. They live in real cities – Austin, San Antonio, New Orleans, etc. But their individual homes are fictional, although located in real neighborhoods. (Fans living in those cities tell me they’ve guessed where my vampires live, which thrills me.) I’ve got lots of maps of Texas, neighborhood guides, photographs, architectural analysis, etc. for the actual buildings.

How vampirism works is based on current animal metabolism science, which I vetted with top researchers. We played a what-if game, which is very common with scientific researchers when figuring out a scientific theory. To our considerable shock, vampires were all too easily feasible.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Christine Feehan, who inspired me to go for my dreams, and Georgette Heyer, who inspires me to be a better writer

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

An excellent website. You can’t have too good a website.

What do we have to look forward to next?

Captive Dreams, which I co-wrote with Angela Knight, is being re-issued in mass-market this December. The River Devil, one of my historical, is also being re-issued in mass-market the same month.

After that, Kisses Like A Devil comes out in March 2009, featuring a student heroine who steals the plans for a super-weapons coveted by every country in Europe and the American adventurer who reluctantly has to protect her. It’s a historical set in the original steampunk world.

Thanks, Diane!

To celebrate her book release, Diane is offering a free ebook of Bond of Fire to one lucky commenter on today’s blog. She will be around all day today. I’m sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away…

By day, Diane Whiteside builds and designs computer systems for the federal government. By night, she escapes into a world of alpha males and the unique women who turn their lives upside down, whether the setting is historical, contemporary, or time traveling somewhere in between. Diane is thrilled and grateful readers enjoy these escapades as much as she does. She invites fans to visit her website at, where they can also contact her.

You can purchase Bond of Darkness at Amazon or Powell’s Books.