• Category Archives Writing
  • How A Skein Of Worsted Is Like Telling A Story

    And I don’t mean a writer has to pull the wool over a reader’s eyes or the yarn will unravel.

    I knit. I also crochet. A lot. Anyway, at an end-of-year sale, I bought 3 skeins of variegated wool yarn on-line without first reading the reviews or noting the labels. I was in a hurry, as usual, and let the pretty price tag lead me astray.

    To make a short story long…I didn’t like the stuff after it was delivered.

    photo 1

    I pushed through it. I often don’t like things right off the bat, then I change my mind and fall hard. Like my first visit to Portland, ME. That story will have to wait for some other time. Must stay on track. No side trips.

    Three days into crocheting a spring scarf, I discovered my new red, white and black yarn was actually red, white, and green yarn. Light from my magnifying lamp hit the WIP just right, hence my AHA moment.

    This should’ve been the tip-off. Alas, no. Not til Mr. Trent looked in on me crocheting madly away, my knuckles pumping, wrist rotating, and said, “Christmas?” in a quizzical tone that I looked at the name on the label.

    “YULE TIME.”

    No spring scarf for me.

    I pushed through it. Nearing the end of the second skein of yarn, my knuckles stopped pumping, my wrist stopped rotating. I stopped pushing through it.

    I hated my new scarf. Loathed it. The colors. The “linen” crochet stitch. The texture. The pattern was okay for a rustic table runner but not for something I wanted to wear around my neck, not even at Christmas.

    photo 2

    What if I changed things up? What if I knit the third skein of yarn, instead of crocheting it?

    You be the judge. Same yarn, new approach. Did I achieve a different result?

    photo 4

    Plotting a book often involves experimentation. This is what I did with SEX STINGS, on sale now for $.99 at Amazon.

    You be the judge. The reader always is. I wrote a psychic romance plot, but used a new approach. Did I achieve a different result?


  • Finding Inspiration for Writing

    My erotic romances run the gamut — contemporary, futuristic, paranormal, and historical. The latter genre is by far my favorite. I can bring an element of darkness, a tone of the forbidden, to an historical that far surpasses any other genre.

    During Victorian times, the turn of a lady’s ankle could scandalize. In such an outwardly (and often hypocritically) repressed time, imagine, if you will, the eroticism contained in wantonly displaying the quickening pulse at a lady’s throat, the graceful line of her collarbone, the hint of breast. In an historical, the possibilities for sexual excitement are as fertile as my writer’s wicked imagination. Add elements of BDSM to the mix, and the carnal seduction between a gentleman and a lady takes on a delightful taste of taboo.

    There’s a certain language to the historical, a formality, a cadence that walks a precarious line between stiffness and entertainment. Step over that line, and you have either a bored reader or one thrown out of the story by anachronism.

    I do lots of research for my historical romances — reading, museums, movies…travel. Walking tours, in particular, help me experience the atmosphere of a place. Visiting historical houses also helps enormously. I highly recommend the tours given by the National Park Service.

    To get a feel for the seaport town I wrote about in THE ACQUISITION, I spent an entire day in New Bedford, Massachusetts. At the TouristCenter, I soaked up tons of information and viewed a wonderful movie on whaling in 1844 New England.

    On  vacation on the Atlantic coast, I visited Cape May, NJ. I’m not a beach person, but the resort boasts a marvelous collection of Victorian houses. Before even setting out on the trip, I borrowed a CD from the public library on Cape May architecture, done to familiarize myself in advance with the various building styles. Upon my arrival, I toured various homes and purchased six research books, among them: THE HISTORY OF UNDERCLOTHES, authored by Willett and Cunnington; and FASHIONS OF THE 1880’s FROM THE 1885 BUTTERICK CATALOG.

    In writing TAINTED LOVE, I visited the Morse-Libby brownstone mansion (circa 1860) in Portland Maine. I asked the very patient tour guide multitudinous questions about Victorian plumbing. If she thought I had some weird WC fetish, she’d be spot-on! In writing historical romances, the small everyday details — like toileting — lend a story an air of authenticity.

    studio of her ownWhile writing TAINTED LOVE, I also visited the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to view the traveling exhibit of “A Studio Of Her Own”, a display of paintings which spotlighted 19th century women artists.

    Since my heroine, Lily, was just such an artist, I felt this trip was vitally important to characterization. And it was! The BIO’s the museum posted about these women provided much useful background material for my book. I learned about what these dedicated and ambitious forerunners had to give up to pursue their art—marriage and children, the good opinion of society. And creature comforts. I also learned how women supported one another emotionally to achieve their goals. I came across the term “Boston marriages”—love relationships between women that lasted for years and flew in the face of convention.

    I was so impressed with the exhibit that I purchased the poster you see to the left and hung it in my home as a reminder of these courageous women.

    The “nuts and bolts”of writing TAINTED LOVE.

    We’ll start with the TITLE:

    Lyrics to “Tainted Love” covered by Marilyn Manson

    Sometimes I feel I’ve got to
    Run away I’ve got to
    Get away
    From the pain that you drive into the heart of me
    The love we share
    Seems to go nowhere
    I’ve lost my lights
    I toss and turn I can’t sleep at night

    Once I ran to you (I ran)
    Now I’ll run from you
    This tainted love you’ve given
    I give you all a boy could give you
    Take my tears and that’s not nearly all
    Tainted love
    Tainted love

    Now I know I’ve got to
    Run away I’ve got to
    Get away
    You don’t really want any more from me
    To make things right
    You need someone to hold you tight
    You think love is to pray
    I’m sorry I don’t pray that way

    Once I ran to you (I ran)
    Now I’ll run from you
    This tainted love you’ve given
    I give you all a boy could give you
    Take my tears and that’s not nearly all
    Tainted love
    Tainted love

    Don’t touch me please
    I cannot stand the way you tease
    I love you though you hurt me so
    Now I’m going to pack my things and go
    Touch me baby, tainted love
    Touch me baby, tainted love
    Touch me baby, tainted love

    Once I ran to you (I ran)
    Now I’ll run from you
    This tainted love you’ve given
    I give you all a boy could give you
    Take my tears and that’s not nearly all
    Tainted love
    Tainted love
    Tainted love

    Manson’s single was getting plenty of airplay while I wrote the story. Since the contemporary lyrics so closely described my historical book, I lifted the title.

    Still with me?

    Okay, moving onto the next element. THE SYNOPSIS:

    TAINTED LOVE is an 82,000-word Gothic mystery of obsession and possession, featuring a terrified heroine in jeopardy, a morally ambiguous hero, an isolated setting, an eerie house, and layers of old family secrets.

    A decade earlier Lily Hill, a twenty-eight year old artist and teacher, was involved in a lurid sex scandal that led to a suspicious death in which Doyle Donovan, the architect she once loved, remains the prime suspect.

    On the surface, Lily’s homecoming is no more than an uncomplicated act of kindness and affection. But nothing is uncomplicated in Lily’s life. When she returns to the home she both loves and fears, she intentionally reopens a painful chapter from her past.

    Lily sees herself as a coward, little more than a pretty face. This is far from the truth. In returning home, she knowingly places her life in grave jeopardy. For years and unknown to anyone, she has been receiving anonymous threats, warning her to stay away.

    Now that she is home, will intimidation escalate to murder?

    • Here, I detailed the sexual elements.      I’m not listing those in this essay because, frankly, the sexual acts are smokin’.

    Next comes the BLURB:

    The year 1887. Bar Harbor, Maine.

    Lily Hill’s sexual odyssey begins when she returns home to untangle the lies and distortions of her past, a past involving a lurid sex scandal, a suspicious death, and the angry man she once loved and wronged, Doyle Donovan. Despite anonymous threats warning her to stay away, Lily is resolved to make reparations to the brooding Doyle … in any manner he so desires.

    And Doyle is a man of many dark desires.

    Okay, so what sort of story is TAINTED LOVE? In what CATEGORY does it belong?

    The following guidelines are from Dorchester Publishing’s Candleglow imprint:

    . . . With the popularity of the dark hero again on the upswing, Love Spell has brought back a beloved mainstay of romance: the Gothic. Set against dark backdrops such as Transylvanian castles and keeps on deserted moors, these romances are mainly told from the heroine’s point of view. The books most often revolve around a naive heroine who is placed in close proximity with-and often under the protection of-a hero of whom she knows little and whom she suspects or even fears. However, these enigmatic men are often those who claim our hearts and seduce our bodies, and the unveiling of their mysteries is part of the path to true love.

    The challenge in writing a Gothic for Candleglow, along with creating an evocative, ominous setting, is maintaining the powerful sexual attraction the heroine feels for the hero-despite any questions she might have regarding her safety and the trustworthiness of her lover. . . 

    Told entirely from the 3rd person POV of the heroine, TAINTED LOVE fits this Gothic Romance CATEGORY — except my book is an erotic romance, so there’s explicit sex.

    These guidelines are from St. Martin’s Press/MALICE DOMESTIC CONTEST
    for a Traditional Mystery Novel:

    . . . .Murder or another serious crime is at the heart of the story, and emphasis is on the solution rather than the details of the crime.
    Whatever violence is necessarily involved should be neither excessive nor gratuitously detailed, nor is there to be explicit sex.

    The crime is an extraordinary event in the lives of the characters.

    The principal characters are people whom the reader might not like, but would be interested in knowing.

    The suspects and the victims should know each other.

    There are a limited number of suspects, each of whom has a credible motive and reasonable opportunity to have committed the crime.

    The person who solves the crime is the central character.

    The “detective” is an amateur, or, if a professional (private investigator, police officer) is not hardboiled and is as fully developed as the other characters.

    The detective may find him or herself in serious peril . . .

    Remove the explicit sex, and TAINTED LOVE would fit this CATEGORY too. I use a small cast of characters, there’s a strong familial component, an isolated setting, very little gore is described — I even have a tea-drinking elderly lady, a cat, and a house that subs as a secondary character in the story.

    Basically, TAINTED LOVE is a cross-genre romance: A gothic, erotic, historical, mystery with BDSM elements.

    Okay. Here’s the irony: I didn’t use any of the above ingredients in the construction of TAINTED LOVE. I just sat at the PC and hammered out a story. TITLE, SYNOPSIS, BLURB, and CATEGORY all came later, pretty much after I had already written the book.

    An outline, with cogent and cohesive plot points in advance of writing a book?

    Not me. I couldn’t produce such an animal, not even if my writing life depended on it.

    Letting raw emotion guide me, I write by instinct using as close as I can to an entirely “deep penetration point of view.” This means a total immersion in the character’s head. If the character wouldn’t think it or feel it, I try not to include that thought or emotion in the book. There can be inconsistencies however, and the character should, hopefully, grow during the course of the story.

    In the final analysis, I have no idea where I get the ideas for my stories or how they’ll unfold (or, more aptly, evolve) until I type “THE END”.  Writing for me is an act of discovery, an organic puzzle that I piece together during a multi-layering process. When pressed, I always say my stories and my characterizations originate in my psyche.

    Fancy, huh?

    In reality, I press the DELETE key many times during the creation of a book, certainly more often than I care to admit, erasing passages…whole pages. And, yes, even chapters. I edit and edit and edit. I revise and revise and revise. Even after all that polishing, I still manage to give human heroes three arms during sex scenes.

    Historical romances take time to write. CAPTIVE, TAINTED LOVE, THE ACQUISITION, TOUCH ME, COURTESAN, and my most recent paranormal historical release, ON MOORSTEAD, took almost a year each to complete.

    When it comes right down to it, writing an historical is just plain hard work. If you don’t love the process, stand clear.

  • Mixed

    Finally, a new book! MIXED, a 19th century multi-cultural, erotic romance released this week. I’m thrilled to have self-published a third story.


    But I won’t lie — it was a difficult story to tell. In every book, I try to be sensitive to the reality of the era without writing revisionist history. After all, I don’t write straight historicals — I write historical romances. I want to entertain my readers. I want them to escape in these the books. So I wear rose colored glasses.

    But this one, man! This one nearly broke me. A PoC romance in an immediate American Post Civil War setting?

    The social commentary aspect was a tough haul.

    Anyway, I tried.

    Readers have asked me to write multi-cultural romances with a PoC heroine, not always a PoC hero. And I’ve done so. JOHARI GOES KINKY is a contemporary with a WM/BW and now MIXED is a WM/BW  historical.


  • Authorial Inspiration In My Own Backyard

    In answer to the question: Where do I come up with my story ideas?

    Pretty-boy model types don’t do it for me. Naughty nudies of males posing seductively for the camera lens leave me cold. Narcissistic and neurotic actors only make me wince. But real-live outdoorsy working guys? Yep, my fantasy life kicks into over-drive.

    I had a 90 foot crane in my yard today, a claw, and several related logging trucks. Oh, and six brawny guys there to take down 8 monster trees. Needless to say, my fingers never touched the keypad.
    This does not mean I wasn’t working. The fact is, I was working feverishly.

    Look for an erotic romance featuring hard-hat wearing, chain saw wielding, lumberjacks in the near future.



    Without going into specific details–

    So as not to misrepresent myself or my book, I feel the need to reiterate the disclaimer from my previous TOUCH ME blog.

    Please gentle readers . . . and gentle reviewers . . . do not read TOUCH ME. If BDSM elements offend or shock you, by all means, give this book wide berth. Gentle readers . . . and gentle reviewers . . . please beware that the book contains explicit language and highly charged sexual scenes. Since the hero suffers from PTSD, the mood contains a pervasive threat of violence. If this distresses you, please stay away.

    In TOUCH ME, I don’t give lip service to the term BDSM; I use certain hardcore BDSM elements to tell a love story.

    No apology–simply a warning.

    Please see the synopsis below from the Loose Id publication site. This product description more than amply warns off readers . . . and reviewers . . . with gentle sensibilities.

    Louisa Trent’s Touch Me
    Genre: Paranormal; BDSM
    Length: Novel

    Two present day lovers relive the parallel–and ambiguous–sexual conflict of two lovers from the past…

    When docent witch Catherine Covington uses her psychic powers to save the life of CIA operative John ‘Hawk’ Adams, she does so atgreat personal risk to herselfThrough her complete and total sexual submission to the dominant and disturbed John, Catherine finally reconciles what is to be a witch with what it means to be a woman. Only then does Catherine understand the visions that have plagued her concerning the captivity of her 17th century ancestor, Euphremia Prim, at the brutal hands of Hawk, a Wampanoag warrior . . . and John’s distant relative.

    A beautiful witch in sexual bondage. A beleaguered warrior carnally enthralled. Centuries of recriminations and lust explode when two lovers confront a past wrong…because even in the realm of darkness love will hold dominion. Publisher’s Note: This book is an edited and expanded version of the previously released book by the same name.

  • On Writing (for a change)

    Just received a lovely personalized rejection from a NYC editor, who wrote: “I was impressed by the variety of these stories. You handle different settings and styles with flair . . .” She closed with an invitation to send in other work.


    Except, I’m not all that certain I WANT to.

    Years ago, after my proposals went out to several of their readers, Harlequin sent me three books in the mail and told me if I wanted to publish with them, I would need to write like “these authors”.

    I didn’t even try.

    I write like me, not like anyone else. I don’t WANT to write like anyone else. My voice is idiosyncratic to me, as are my plots and characters. Dark historicals have fallen out of favor with NYC, and I continue to write them; I continue to write contemporaries that go beyond a high sexual concept; I continue writing paranormals that tell basic and fundamental normal human truths.

    I think I know what the NYC editor wants, but I’m not really sure I WANT to change my style of storytelling or the subjects about which I choose to write. I’m not really sure I WANT to push out more proposals to the exclusion of everything else.

    I have a sinking feeling I’m just way too contented with my life.

    It’s the whole ambition angle. Don’t get me wrong–there is a fire burning in my belly, but it’s always been about and for the writing, not about and for the writing deal.

    There is a difference.

  • Going Minimalistic

    In a feeble attempt to unclutter my writing life, I have decided to discontinue my newsletter. I had considered sending out a newsletter announcing my plan, but that seemed to defeat the whole purpose.

    I love to write, but detest promo, and frankly, heralding a book release in a newsletter, a blog, as well as on a web page, smacks vaguely of overkill to me. So, no more newsletters.

    You won’t miss much. Honestly, I’m not interesting enough to merit redundancy.

    As soon as I have the cover for TOUCH ME, which releases 4/4 at Loose Id (See? Really, what did you miss?) I will post here.

    This week, I’m editing SOME ROUGH EDGE SMOOTHIN’.

    In April, I’m off to Florida. Shopping for vacation clothes has been more irritating than pleasurable. All I want is a simple cotton sundress, but try finding one! Luckily, I’m making do with last year’s bathing suit or I’d be even more traumatized.

  • Ladies in beautiful dresses

    With the EPPIE Award banquet quickly approaching, the ladies on the EPIC board are discussing what they plan to wear to the event. I have read each fashion description with almost unseemly relish. Honestly, and as I commented on the board this morning, I loved hearing the accounts. The more cold and cruel the world becomes, the more I absolutely NEED to read about Cinderella dancing at the ball in her beautiful dress. As news reports grow increasingly horrific, I YEARN to discuss the length of Cindy’s hemline.

    Full circle.

    When I was a child, my mother would attend various weddings and other “grown-up” formal functions. Afterward, over tea . . . and pilfered buffet goods she snuck home . . . she would gleefully relate juicy party gossip to my sister and myself. I always asked for full descriptions of “what the ladies wore”.

    My fascination with fashion ground to a halt in college; in fact, in my naivety, I considered dressing stylishly superficial, certainly beneath my contempt. Back then, I had more important things to do, serious things to do. Off went the make-up and the bra, on went the Army and Navy store jeans. That I embroidered those uni-sex jeans in motifs of flowers and butterflies didn’t seem contradictory to my minimalist philosophy.

    Anyway, then life hit.

    I still wear jeans and no make-up, but you’ll be happy to know I did eventually strap on a bra again. And I’ve come to understand and appreciate the importance fashion serves as a buffer against the all-too seriousness of life.

    A year ago this month, my 92 year old aunt left this world for someplace better, and on her deathbed, she wore the prettiest fuchsia nail polish, a shade that exactly matched her afghan–color coordinated up to the end. This shouldn’t have surprised me, as all her long and contented life, she had dressed fashionably. She made me happy just looking at her.

    Though I can’t attend the EPPIE award ceremony this year, I hope the ladies dress to the nines. I hope they shimmer and gleam and sparkle. I hope they strut their stuff. I hope for one night they stomp all over seriousness.

    My best wishes go out to all the EPPIE finalists.

    Louisa Trent


    It occured to me that I never mentioned these finalists. Here’s the list:


    Black Flowers by E. F. Watkins—Publisher Amber Quill Press

    Gambling with the Enemy by Toni Leland—Publisher Equine Graphics Publishing Group/Parallel Press Imprint

    Pedestals by Jane Shoup—Publisher Echelon Press

    Anthology (all genres)

    Suits, Ties & Water Cooler AmberPax by Trixie Stilletto, Caitlyn Willows, Adrianna Dane, Isabella Jordan, Denyse Bridger—Publisher Amber Quill Press

    Tales from the Treasure Trove, Volume 1, A Jewels of the Quill Anthology by Alice Blue, Sherry Derr-Wille, Christine DeSmet, Debbie Fritter, Liz Hunter, Carrie S. Masek, Barbara Raffin, Jaye Roycraft, Julie Skerven, Jane Toombs, Cassie Walder, Karen Wiesner—Publisher Whiskey Creek Press

    A Faerie Tale by Paige Burns, Jodi Lynn Copeland, Rae Monet, Tiffany Aaron—Publisher Liquid Silver Books

    All I Want For Christmas by Kally Jo Surbeck, Brenna Lyons, Elaine Charton—Publisher Triskelion Publishing

    Children, Young Adult, and Tween

    Bully Brigade by Betty Jo Schuler—Publisher DiskUs

    Faith of the Unforgotten by Leathel Grody—Publisher Lethal Publishing Corporation

    My Little Blue Car by Carolyn R. Scheidies—Publisher lulu.com

    Oliver’s Castle by Diane Thompson—Publisher Mystic Toad Press, L.L.C.

    Erotic/Erotica with paranormal elements

    Animal Instincts by Jaci Burton—Publisher Ellora’s Cave

    Chains of Jericho by Vivien Dean—Publisher Linden Bay Romance

    Hot House: Dante & Hayley by Sheri Gilmore—Publisher Loose Id

    I, Nefertiti by Lacey Savage—Publisher Loose Id

    Lilith’s Legacy by Aubrey Ross—Publisher Changling Press

    Rites of Mating by Brenna Lyons—Publisher eXtasy Books

    Spin Drift by Jule Jones—Publisher Loose Id

    Tempest by Louisa Trent—Publisher Loose Id

    Erotic/Erotica without paranormal elements

    Honoring Sean by Maggie Casper—Publisher Ellora’s Cave

    Love’s Revenge by Monica Burns—Publisher New Concepts Publishing

    Maverick’s Black Cat by Maggie Casper and Lena Matthews—Publisher Ellora’s Cave

    Persuading Suzanne by Amy O’Connor—Publisher eXtasy Books

    The Gift by Honey Jans—Publisher Whiskey Creek Press

    Undercover Lover by Cailyn Willows—Publisher Amber Quill Press, LLC


    Bitter Sweet by Michelle Levigne—Publisher Mundania Press

    Dragon’s Son by Elaine Corvidae—Publisher Mundania Press

    Glass Souls by Michaela August—Publisher Awe-Struck eBooks


    Funeral in Babylon by Max Overton—Publisher Mundania Press

    Lainn’s Destiny by Toby Heathcotte—Publisher Triskelion Publishing

    The Sweet Shade of a Chinaberry Tree by Janice Ward Parrish—Publisher Hard Shell Word Factory


    The Last Dance of the Lochkray by Frian M.H. Goodwin—Publisher LTD Books

    The Rat Catcher’s King by John F.D.Taff—Publisher Double Dragon Publishing

    Inspirational (Christian, Metaphysical, New Age)

    Hattie’s Preacher by Sherry Derr-Wille—Publisher Awe-Struck eBooks

    Lorien by Michelle L. Levigne—Publisher Hard Shell Word Factory


    Death Row Defender by Ray Dix—Publisher Hard Shell Word Factory

    The Queen Anne Fox by Jerol Anderson—Publisher Whiskey Creek Press

    The Summer Bones by Katherine Smith—Publisher Whiskey Creek Press

    Vengeance to the Max by JB Skully—Publisher Liquid Silver Books


    31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park by Larry K. and Lorna Collins—Publisher iUniverse, Inc.

    Made a Difference for That one: A Surgeon’s Letters Home from Iraq by Meredith Coppola—Publisher iUniverse, Inc.


    Ghostly Embers: Visions of Toledo by Larry Rochelle—Publisher Booksurge

    The Oestara Anthology of Pagan Poetry by Cynthia Joyce Clay; Delight Clay; Raymond T. Anderson—Publisher Oestara Publishing LLC

    Romance (Contemporary)

    Harvey & Eck by Erin O’Brien—Publisher Zumay Publications

    Hired Hand by Caitlyn Willows—Publisher Amber Quill Press, LLC

    In the Mood by Ellen Fisher—Publisher New Concepts Publishing

    Just My Imagination by Karen Sandler—Publisher Hard Shell Word Factory

    One Small Spark by Muncy Chapman—Publisher Grace Publishing

    Precious Things by Gail R. Delaney—Publisher Wings ePress

    Romance (Fantasy/Paranormal)

    All Night Inn by Janet Miller—Publisher Cerridwen Press

    Falling Star Wish by Betty Hanawa—Publisher Triskelion Publishing

    The Case of the Virtuous Vampire by Monette Michaels—Publisher LTD Books

    Treading the Labyrinth by Rae Morgan—Publisher Liquid Silver Books

    Unicorn Quest by Angelica Hart, Ellen Fisher—Publisher New Concepts Publishing

    Romance (Historical)

    An Unacceptable Demise by Patricia Harrison—Publisher Amber Quill Press, LLC

    Bittersweet Surrender by Barbara Sheridan—Publisher Cerridwen Press

    My Secret Yankee by T.D. McKinney and Aimee Masion—Publisher Amber Quill Press, LLC

    Wayward Sun by Katherine Smith—Publisher Whiskey Creek Press

    Romance (Romantic Suspense)

    Letters from the Heart by Anita Whiting—Publisher New Age Dimensions

    Means to An End by Carol McPhee—Publisher Wings ePress

    Project Prometheus by Ester Mitchell—Publisher Triskelion Publishing

    The Chemistry of Evil by Lynne Connolly—Publisher Triskelion Publishing

    Wolf Island by Cher Gorman—Publisher Loose Id

    Romance (Science Fiction/Futuristic)

    A Window in Time by Carolyn Lampman—Publisher Whiskey Creek Press

    Farthest Space: The Wrath of Jan (part of the Tripping Through the Universe anthology) by Ellen Fisher—Publisher New Concepts Publishing

    Forced Mate by Rowena Beaumont Cherry—Publisher Rowena Cherry

    StarJumper’s Bride by J.A. Clarke—Publisher LionHearted Publishing, LLC

    Science Fiction

    An Audience for Einstein by Mark Wakely—Publisher Mundania Press

    Peacekeeper by Tabitha A. Bradley—Publisher eXtasy Books

    Shards: Book One by Peter Prellwitz—Publisher Double Dragon Publishing

    Shards: Book Two by Peter Prellwitz—Publisher Double Dragon Publishing

    Single Title/Mainstream

    RV by Angelo Spyropoulos—Publisher Zumaya Publications

    Jayna Incarnate by Jane Shoup—Publisher New Age Dimensions

    The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred—Publisher Cerridwen Press

    Til The End of Time by Sabra Brown Steinsiek—Publisher Whiskey Creek Press

  • Burning

    PERSONAL–What a glorious weekend here in New England! I spent most of Saturday outside, soaking up the sun, luxuriating in the balmy temps . . . working my ass off in the gardens in anticipation of spring.

    The kind of gardening we do requires a tremendous amount of stamina and writing is a sedentary occupation, so I try to stay in shape during the long, inert winter months through walking and pedaling the stationary bike and shoveling snow, but regardless, the first day outside is always brutal on dormant muscles. Can you hear me moan? I’m thinking clogs today, because no way can I get close enough to my toes to tie sneakers, my usual footwear.

    Yesterday, we only began the spring clean-up. We concentrated on the large projects; fine-tuning will need to wait. The willow trees on the property invariably lose branches. One huge limb fell in the stream, and the plan was to drag it out through the clutches of the cat o’nine tails. DH snuck out while I was hunting down my work boots and got the branch out by himself. His wiry strength never ceases to amaze me.

    After raking spent foliage, and cutting up rotted wood and other assorted garden debris, we started the fires. We had three going at one point, and narrowly avoided a 9-1-1 call when we decided to strike a match to one of the dried ornamental grasses. The Miscanthus strictus went up like a torch! While DH ran to turn on the outside water, I raced for the hose. We eventually smothered the fire, but the flames did leap over to the nearby clematis. Hopefully, the vine will survive and ashes are a good soil amendment–or so I tell myself.

    WRITING After submitting a very revised TAINTED LOVE for editorial consideration, I returned to LOST ANGEL. A hundred or so more pages, and I’ll call that re-edit a wrap. Two plot ideas have been nagging at me–one an historical, the other a futuristic–and I need to get my backlist done so I can start in on the new stories.