Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Monday, November 21, 2016

All She Loves

Release day is getting closer for All She Loves!
(Sorry - my typing is not up to par because I nearly cut the tip off one of my fingers a few days ago when cutting veggies for soup, so please forgive any typos. Anyway...)

The Archer Family Regency Romances series is  completed, although I have had requests for some other stories to there may be related ones here and there in the future. But never fear, I have not stopped writing Regencies.

Wreck and Ruin  is a Regency that is still on the drawing board and will hopefully be released by Drakon Publishers sometimes during the summer of 2017. Trust, friendship, and social acceptance are the subject of Wreck and Ruin as the heroine faces what it means to be a stranger in a strange land after being in a shipwreck off the coast of England.

Early in 2017 (hopefully, January) All She Loves will be released. It is in the hands of the first editor, now. All She Loves is about revenge, facing tragedy, and moving on with your life--themes that we all have to face at times during our own lives. Elspeth plans go awry when she investigates the death of her best friend and finds herself losing her heart to an earl.

That's all for now--hope I didn't make too many typos!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hurricane Matthew in Coastal North Carolina

I really should be writing about a contest I'm sponsoring to win a free Kindle Fire and fifty (50) Regency Romances from several participating authors (including myself), but we got hammered by hurricane Matthew so you'll forgive me if I babble about that, first. It's really what is on my mind at the moment. We live in coastal North Carolina, between Wilmington and Lumberton and we back up to a swamp.

Here's a video showing what was going on when things began to get hairy. It was scary. My video just missed the downing of a huge, old White Oak behind the house. We lost over half a dozen huge trees, but thankfully, none of them hit the house or our cars.

We lost power Saturday evening and were starting to worry by Monday since I'd only filled 3 gallons of drinking water. I'd put out buckets for "other" water and we boiled that to use. What a lot of "city folks" don't realize is that if we folks out in the country don't have electricity, we don't have water because we rely on wells with pumps. We had a generator and used that to keep our refrigerator and freezer going, and we had plenty of food, but you really miss that running water.

Monday evening we got water back, hurray! But then I realized that we were (and are) not out of the woods (or in our case, the swamp) yet, because so many roads have washed out around here, and so many stores are flooded, that there is no place to buy anything.

We're kind of pseudo-preppers, though, so I have a pantry full of canned food, I bake bread, and had bought things before the storm, so we'll be okay for a while, but even so, we're going to eventually run out of things like cleaning supplies, butter, milk, and perishables. I can only hope that our tiny local grocery store does eventually get resupplied (the place they get resupplied from is under water right now). I really worry about people who didn't stock up.
One of the White Oaks that we lost, just a few feet from the house.

Another view - I have no idea how we're going to fill the huge holes left by all the trees that came down. This is just one of many...

Unfortunately, we weren't the only ones affected by the devastation. This beautiful male Rose-breasted Grosbeak died. We found it in the yard. These birds usually only pass through our area during migration, so I was really sorry to see this one perish on its way south.
We have one hummingbird that hung around and was feeding right through the hurricane from our feeder. Fortunately, it survived and is still hanging around, though it really needs to go on down south.

Our driveway and front yard. The water stopped before it came too close to the house, though. Thank goodness.

And I feel sick about the people around Lumberton who have lost everything. I just can't imagine how horrible that must be. It's bad enough here, but we still have a house, electricity, and water. Our friends who are in law enforcement said they are using depth finders to locate cars under the water, and hopefully, they are empty. I pray that they are.

So...if you are able to do so, please give to the Red Cross and other agencies already starting the work of supporting the survivors who lost so much. It's a terrible tragedy, and I know all our thoughts are with them.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Something Completely Different

A Change of Pace

My latest book (novella) is now available on, and it is quite a bit different than my usual books. Sometimes, you just get an idea that won't leave you alone until you give in and write it, and that's what happened with me.

What is it?
Well, it's not a romance, for one thing. Nor is it historical. It's a horror story--specifically a haunted house story--with a bit of humor thrown into the mix. Paranormal suspense. Ghost story. Someone even suggested Women's Fiction (what!?). Quirky ghost story might work.

I don't know about you, but I'm totally addicted to haunted house stories, whether they are short stories, novellas, or novels. Haunting of Hill House, The Shining, etc. I can't ever seem to get enough. Maybe that explains why I wrote Flashes. Or maybe not. I don't think it's a story Stephen King would have thought of. Shirley Jackson might have, but it's not quite dark enough for her.

Flashes isn't your normal story. Not sure what that says about me, but let us know what you think by leaving a comment.


Sometimes the perfect home isn’t so perfect…

Escaping from her abusive husband, Sheryl thinks she’s finally safe when she finds a job and a cheap house in a small, sleepy town. Sure, the house is a little run-down and could use a few repairs, but she’s got her whole life ahead of her to fix it up and make it her own. Unfortunately, her home seems to have other ideas. The cheerful, yellow house that is so perfect during the day grows dark and uninviting at night, full of strange noises and the icy chill of something unnatural hiding in the shadows.

And it’s not long before she comes to realize that what might have looked like a secure haven could very well be a death trap waiting for its first victim.

Or...maybe not.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

New Release and a Free Book

A New Release for the Archer Family Regency Romance Series

Love Across the Pond is now available!

I'm so pleased to announce the release of my latest book in the Archer Family Regency Romance series, Love Across the Pond. This book completes the series, which began with an American heiress Charlotte Haywood (The Unwanted Heiress) in London and now ends with Edward Archer traveling to Charleston, South Carolina to settle a property dispute for Charlotte.

But don't worry, even though this particular series is now complete, there will be other Regency romantic mysteries in the future.

Love Across the Pond is available for a limited time at a discount, so grab your copy now before the price goes up!

Love Across the Pond on


Edward Archer walks right into the den of lioness Charity Stonewright when he sails across the pond to South Carolina to resolve a property dispute for his cousin, the Duchess of Peckham. Astute but bookish, the Englishman isn’t prepared for Charity, a strong-willed woman determined to prove the Charleston mansion is hers. And unbeknownst to Edward, Charity has a secret purpose. She is searching for the lost Stonewright fortune, hidden over sixty years ago, somewhere within the walls of the old, decaying mansion. Finding it will mean an end to the grinding poverty she’s endured and fulfill her dream to establish herself in Charleston society as a wealthy heiress.

Drawn to the mysterious woman, Edward is increasingly torn between duty and his growing love for her. But Charity seems determined to keep him at arm's length, stubbornly maintaining her distrust of him.

As the mysteries of the mansion threaten to tear Edward and Charity apart, they must learn to listen to their hearts and discover that the real treasure may be love.

Excerpt - Edward and Charity's first meeting

Using his cane, Edward knocked again, listening as the loud noise echoed and finally faded in the depths of the house. It sounded empty, completely deserted. While finding the house empty did mean he wouldn’t have to evict anyone, it did mean that he’d have to find the lawyer, Mr. Tarte, in order to obtain the key and enter.

With a sigh, he half-turned. A flicker of yellow light caught his attention. The wide fanlight above the door glowed with the faint, wavering illumination of a candle. After a minute, the doorknob rattled as someone struggled to unfasten the heavy lock.

The door creaked open a few inches, spilling light through the gap.

“Finally! Where have you been?” a woman’s breathless voice asked.

She peered around the edge of the door, holding a candle above her head. The golden gleam of red hair curled over the woman’s pale face. Below the tangle of hair, eyes blinked, lost in shadowed hollows beneath her arching brows. A sprinkling of freckles leapt over the bridge of her straight nose and high cheekbones.

“We would like to speak with Mr. Stonewright,” Edward said, hoping his cousin was incorrect when she said the woman lived here alone. “If he is available.”

“Mr. Stonewright? My—” She broke off before asking sharply, “Who are you?” Then, as if she suffered sudden doubts about the wisdom of opening the door to strangers, she started to slam it shut.

He shoved his booted foot into the gap and thrust the door open, forcing her to retreat into the dim hallway.

Clearly nervous, she glanced around the near-empty hallway, her mouth set in a grim line.

Edward held up his hands, although the cane gripped in his right hand marred his attempt to appear harmless. “I am Edward Archer.” He reached through the door and dragged Hildegard over the threshold. “This is my sister, Lady Hildegard Archer. I believe we are expected. Is there a Mr. Stonewright? Is he available?”

“Archer? I don’t know anyone named Archer,” the woman said, gliding back another yard, her feet invisible under the long hem of her pale gray gown. Her gaze flicked to the candle in her hand, as if she contemplated blowing it out and escaping in the resulting darkness.

“No, but I am sure if you speak to your master, he will recognize our names. Or your mistress,” he amended. “We sent him notice of our pending arrival weeks ago.”
“Master?” A harsh laugh broke from her mouth. “He—he is not here.” She lifted her round chin, daring him to argue otherwise.

Switching the cane to his left hand, he held up his right in a gesture of surrender. “Please—we mean you no harm. We simply wish to speak with Mr. or Mrs. Stonewright. He is expecting us. We are cousins to the Duchess of Peckham—”

“We don’t know any duchesses,” she threw back, her chin set at a stubborn angle.

He studied her. Her straight back and air of defiance suggested she was not a servant. “You—and your husband? Father?—may have known her as Miss Charlotte Haywood.”

“I didn’t know her at all, and I would appreciate it if you would leave immediately. This is my house—you have no business here.”

“Mr. Stonewright—”

“I own this property, and I am the head of this household. If you wish to speak to someone, then you must make do with me.”

Behind him came the soggy squelching of their servants’ footsteps as Atwood and Nettle sought the relative dryness of the stoop. Another volley of damp sneezes echoed through the door. Nettle blew her nose noisily and heaved a heavy sigh.

Mr. Stonewright or no Mr. Stonewright, they were not going back out into the foul weather to look for an inn if Edward had anything to say about it.

“As we informed Mr. or Mrs. Stonewright, the ownership of this property has yet to be determined,” Edward replied calmly.

The red-haired woman leaned forward, body rigid with tension as she held the candle out slightly above shoulder-level. “It has been determined—it is mine.”

Don't forget, Love Across the Pond is available for a limited time at a discount, so grab your copy now before the price goes up! And speaking of limited time offers...

Free Book

To celebrate the release of Love Across the Pond, the Archer Family Regency, A Stolen Rose, is available for FREE! But it's only free for today and tomorrow, so be sure to grab your copy before the price goes back up.

When the Earl of Wraysbury rescues a young woman from a carriage accident, he can't resist her laughing eyes and wry sense of humor, even though their families have been locked in a feud for generations.

Anemone may be achingly lonely but she's loyal to her family. When she wakes up after an accident in the strong arms of a handsome stranger, she's immediately drawn to him, and appalled  when  she discovers he's her family's sworn enemy, the Earl of Wraysbury.

Neither Anemone nor the earl is prepared for the flaring attraction they feel, or for the escalation of the war between their families when a 40-year-old mystery triggers accusations of murder. Loyalty and the threat of a dangerous duel are destined to tear the lonely lovers apart unless they are willing to defy their families and take a chance on love. 

If you are interested, grab your copy on today. The sale ends on August 24, 2016.
A Stolen Rose on

Hope you enjoy some light summer reading!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Love Across the Pond is Coming Soon!

Love Across the Pond

Archer Family Series

The next, and last, book in the Archer family series of Regency romances is in the hands of my editor and will be released in July! This book closes the circle on the Archer family, although there may be spin-offs since I've had readers request John Archer and Lady Victoria's story.

The series started with The Unwanted Heiress about Charlotte Haywood, an outspoken American Heiress who is orphaned and sent to live with relative in England with disastrous results. Her difficulties only increase when she catches the attention of a duke and together, the two of them must outwit a murderer.

The circle has now come around to Edward Archer, the brother of an earl. In Love Across the Pond, Charlotte sends Edward back to her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, to resolve a legal problem with one of her properties. It seems someone has taken up residence in Charlotte's old home and claims the house is hers! Edward steps right into the den of a lioness when he arrives and is soon at odds with Charity Stonewright.

Not only does Edward have a legal tangle to unravel, but he is soon enmeshed in several mysteries including a decades-old murder and a hunt for a lost treasure. It doesn't help when he finds himself falling in love with the woman he's supposed to evict!

So the original heroine came from Charleston and went to England to find her duke, and the cousin of that duke now travels back to Charleston to discover the love of his life, Charity Stonewright--assuming she doesn't just bar the door against him.

And cat lovers note, I couldn't resist a tribute to one of our cats who recently passed away: Psycho. He was a marmalade cat who insisted everyone love him, including our Jack Russell, Daisy. He was an absolutely crazy animal who just showed up one day and insisted on being adopted. Our dogs initially went nuts, but he just completely ignored them except when he wanted a nap on something warm (much to their horror). He was toothless, cross-eyed, and frankly not very handsome, but if you sat down, he was in your lap whether you liked it or not.
I can't tell you how many times he'd drape himself over the edge of the stairs, head and front paws dangling, until he overbalanced and fell to the floor, usually landing on his head. Never seemed to bother him. His sense of balance was definitely missing, but the vet said he was okay and he lived with us for fifteen years before he passed away. We miss him dreadfully--he was such a playful and loving animal.

As a tribute, he appears in Love Across the Pond, as Nodcock, the orange cat.

I hope you will enjoy the newest, and last, book in the Archer series!

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

New Release: Fencing for Ladies

En Garde, My Love (or Fencing for Ladies)

Book 5 in the Archer Family Regency Romances series is in pre-release (with a discounted price) and set to be released on April 8, 2016! 

En Garde, My Love (or Fencing with Ladies) was so much fun to write, and I hope you will find it just as enjoyable to read. Here is a little secret: I actually took fencing in college but was so bad at it that I didn't get past the first few lessons. You see, I wasn't aggressive enough in going after openings presented to me by my opponents. Sigh. Anyway, it was an interesting sport, and I wanted to include it in one of my books and therefore, Fencing for Ladies was born. The book was recently renamed, En Garde, My Love, so I hope that doesn't get confusing! The paperback retains the original title while the Kindle version has the new cover and title, En Garde, My Love.

If you read book 4, A Stolen Rose, you met Lady Olivia when she "stuck her nose" in her brother's
(the Earl of Wraysbury) business. Lady Olivia is not exactly bossy, but she does know her own mind and despite Society's horror at the notion of a lady fencing, she decides to start her own school for ladies. It is good exercise, after all, isn't it? And ladies in the Regency were just as interested in healthful exercise as we are today. But of course nothing goes as expected, particularly when she uncovers a dead body hidden in her office at her brand new school.

Murder is definitely not the sort of thing in which a young lady should involve herself!

And when a forbidden love strolls into the scene, nothing goes smoothly for Lady Olivia or her secret hopes for the future.

The paperback cover, Fencing for Ladies, is on the right.

For more information, check out the book on Amazon. It's at a discounted price now, but that won't last much longer.