Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bringing McKenna's Honor to the Big Screen

Amazon and Warner Brothers recently partnered to create "Amazon Studios". With their new collaboration comes the opportunity for me to 'pitch' my books - more specifically McKenna's Honor -- turned into a full, feature length film!!!

We are asking readers to put together one or two minute videos that tell why you like my books, more specifically McKenna's Honor and why you'd like to see it on the Big Screen!

I have a page set up at Facebook for you to follow, stay up to date, and post your videos.You may post your quick one or two minute video expressing why you enjoy my books and why you think this is a great idea! :D I only ask that you speak from the heart. :D And state your first name and where you are from.

When I'm ready to make the pitch to Warner Brothers, I'd like to borrow some snippets from some of the videos and use them in the pitch. I will, of course, get your permission first!

You can see the video that explains it a bit better at YouTube.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank each and every one of you for your support, encouragement and love. I'm glad you can be part of this epic journey!


Official Announcement Made

Hello my beautiful readers!

I made the official announcement this evening. You can watch the video here:

For more information, please visit the official "Bring McKenna's Honor To the Big Screen" page at Facebook.

From the bottom of my heart...thank you!

Monday, December 30, 2013

McKenna's Honor - LIVE at Audible!

Such an exciting day! Just found out that McKenna's Honor is LIVE at audible! I really believe you will love what Brad Wills has done with this book. LOVE his deep, smooth voice!



Sunday, December 29, 2013

Special Announcement

Hello everyone!

I have so many exciting things going on right now and I can't wait to share them with you. Some are far more top secret than others. :D

I hope you can join us Tuesday night for a special event at Facebook where I will be make a formal announcement. I think my readers are going to be very excited to learn what we've been working on for the past two weeks!

Yes, I realize it is New Year's Eve, but I do believe it is appropriate considering what we've got going on! :D

Love you all!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Morning Tradition

I am enjoying a very quiet Christmas morning. Yes. Quiet. Everyone else is still in bed.

I can remember when my girls were very young. There were many, many Christmases where they would wake us up as early as 3:30 in the morning because they were so excited! They would come skipping into my bedroom and squeal with delight to inform us that "Santa was here! Santa was here!"

I remember one Christmas when they were a bit older, before their baby brother was born (there is a ten year gap between youngest daughter and first son, and yes, he was a surprise!), I politely told them that they could not wake me up until 6:00 a.m. because we were not going to have a repeat of the previous year when they woke us up at 2:30 in the morning! I'm sorry, but 2:30 a.m. is just way too early.

That morning, my oldest daughter came into my bedroom, gave me a kiss, and said, "Mommy, its five, dot-dot-fifty-seven. Is that too early? We've been waiting since four, dot-dot oh five." (Gotta love how a kid reads a digital clock!)

I wasn't sure if I wanted to laugh at how sweet and innocent she sounded or cry for feeling like the world's worst mother! I didn't think they'd take me so literally!

Fast forward several years to when their baby brother is old enough to understand the whole Santa thing. While my daughters were always excited about Christmas (to the point of waking their mother up at 2:30 in the morning), their brother was not so inclined. The boy will be 16 next month. He has never come crashing into my bedroom at ungodly hours to inform me that Santa has been here. Not once.

Every year its the same thing: we have to wake him up.

I can remember one year in particular when my daughters were beyond excited to watch their little brother open his presents. The girls were much older and I think Michael was eight or nine years old. The girls were up before the crack of dawn while their little brother slumbered. They were stunned that a little kid could still be asleep when it was Christmas morning! (It was, after all, way past five, dot-dot, fifty-seven!)

The girls, Kevin and I enjoyed coffee while Mike slept away as if it were not the most special and magical day of the year. I made the girls leave him to sleep -- much to their aggravation and dismay.  Finally, I couldn't take their leg bouncing and repeated and stunned comments of "OhmygodIcan'tbelieveheisstillsleeping!" any longer. It was 8:30 in the morning. They dragged him out of bed.

Now, don't get me wrong, the boy does love Christmas and yes he was always excited about the arrival of Santa. He's just an odd duck that doesn't feel the need to wake his mom up, not for any reason. This boy, even when he was little, would not wake me up, even in the middle of the night if he was sick.

I can't tell you the number of times I've awakened on a regular, every-day morning, to find my son sick, only to learn he'd thrown up three times in the middle of the night, or had a fever. "Why didn't you wake me up???" His response is always the same. "I didn't want to bother you and its not a big deal." Yes, that is the kind of kid he is.

So here it is, Christmas morning again. I've been up since 5:45. My husband woke up about 20 minutes ago and we waiting for our stoic son to rise. (My husband is worse than any little kid. If he'd had his way, he would have given us our presents last week but that's another story.)

As I write this, I can hear my husband's leg bouncing -- he's in the living room. And I know what he's thinking:  OhmygodIcan'tbelieveheisstillsleeping!

I'll sign off for now. I have a kid to wake up. Its tradition now.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Where has this past year gone? It seems to have flown by!

These past few months have been so busy! I haven't had time to do my newsletter let alone blog. I apologize for that.

The remodel is coming along nicely (that may be a wee generous, but considering everything we've gone through I reckon it fits!) We have subfloors!! Who knew something as simple as subfloors could be so exciting?

The grandkids are growing like weeds and getting smarter and smarter by the day. They're perfect, as always, and I'm looking forward to spending time with them today and tomorrow.

I started making chili at 8:30 this morning. Yes, chili. That is our Christmas Eve tradition: Chili, potato soup, home made bread, and LOTS of cookies, fudge and deserts! What are some of your traditions? I still have fudge and pies to make but I should have those whipped up in no time.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you, from the bottom of my heart, for helping to make 2013 one of the most amazing years of my life! I couldn't have done it without you! Below is a link to a little video I put together to express more fully just what you all mean to me!

Over the next few weeks I'm going to have some AMAZING announcements! When I heard about one of these things, I was so excited I nearly peed my pants! ;o) Yes...it is B.I.G. news!!!

Again, I thank you all so much! You're simply wonderful and I appreciate, as always, your continued support and love!

So have a very Merry Christmas and a beautiful and joyous new year!!

Gra`dh agus Beannachd
(Love & blessings)


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My First Pumpkin Pie From Scratch

As many of you are aware, my mother is in the hospital with pneumonia. She is doing much better! I just got off the phone with her and I know she is better because she had a long list of orders -- she calls them suggestions but I know better. This will be the first Thanksgiving she hasn't been able to cook the entire meal herself. She's a bit miffed with that and wants to make certain we're 'doing it right'. She sent reinforcements in -- her sister -- to help my daughter with the meal. Yes, I have to laugh at that too!

So as I talked to my mom and made the list, she said, "Make sure you buy the cheap frozen pumpkin pies, not the expensive ones. And for heaven's sake, don't you try to make one!"

No, I was not offended by her request/demand/suggestion. After my first attempt at making a pumpkin pie from scratch a few years ago, my family made me swear never to try to make one again. Yes, it was that bad! 

Picture it...Illinois...2009...Thanksgiving. A woman on the cusp of menopause. A family gathered for the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner......A woman (me) makes two of the most beautiful pumpkin pies she'd ever seen. She was happy, elated, over-the-moon proud of her accomplishment. She'd never made a pumpkin pie before. They were beautiful.

We had finished stuffing ourselves with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, bread, green bean casserole and all the other things we make for this meal. There is always room for pie. I'm not sure, but I think that is on our family crest. As we all sat around my mother's living room, men with belts undone and everyone awash in the afterglow of a fine meal, it was time for pie.

My husband's favorite pie is pumpkin. I had made the most beautiful pies, quite proud of myself as this was my first attempt and quite frankly, they could have graced the cover of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. I was almost giddy with pride and could not wait to give a big slice to my husband.

So we cut the pies, plated them, some with whipped cream some without. My husband prefers his without. My daughters helped me serve the family. I was too full for pie (I'd rather have mashed potatoes for my dessert.)

I sat with unconcealed excitement, next to my husband, waiting to hear how wonderful the pie tasted. Everyone took a bite as I smiled and waited.

It was like watching synchronized swimming. All forks went down on plates at same time. My husband, God bless him, didn't even flinch, but the rest of the family did.

"How does it taste, honey? Is it good?" I asked with a big smile.

He cleared his throat. "I think I'm just too full."

Now, I've seen my husband consume an entire pumpkin pie in one sitting and that was after a big meal. I knew something was up. I looked around the room. No one was eating the pie, save for my son, who had a half a tub of cool whip on his slice. My daughters were glancing at each other, my mother had gone seven shades of gray. I caught a glimpse of "should I flee now?" in my son-in-law's eyes.

I looked at my husband. "What is wrong?" I whispered in his ear. "Are you ill?"

Kevin leaned in and whispered, "Honey, um, how much sugar did you put in the pie?"

"Sugar? What sugar?"

He blinked. I blinked.

"I used pumpkin pie filling. All I had to add was some milk and eggs. Everything else was already in it."

That is when the room erupted into a fit of laughter. My mother, who normally has my back in all situations, was laughing so hard that tears were rolling down her face.

"Did you read the recipe on the back of the can?" My daughter asked.

"Yes, I did miss smarty pants!"

"Did you have your readers on?" My other daughter asked.

Insulted, I stomped to mom's kitchen, found a can of pumpkin pie filling and began to read the recipe on the back. Damned print was so tiny! I grabbed my glasses from my purse while the traitors I used to call family continued to laugh. I began to read the recipe aloud and stopped, dead in my tracks. "Evaporated milk, cinnamon, salt....damn."

Sugar? How on earth did I miss it? I didn't even think to add sugar, thinking it was already sweetened. "But apple pie filling and blueberry pie filling, they all have the sugar already in it! Why in the heck doesn't pumpkin pie filling???" I went nine shades of red. My daughters fell to the floor, rolling, holding their sides, unable to breathe because they were laughing so hard.

"Now I know why alligators eat their young!" I told them.

My son piped up. "Its okay if you put enough cool whip on it." He was sincere, God love him.

My husband smiled, patted me on the head and told me not to worry, he still loved me. My daughters were not so kind. They made me swear never, and I do mean never to bake another pumpkin pie again, at least not without my reading glasses and adult supervision.

My youngest daughter bought pumpkin pies last night. The expensive ones - but don't tell mom.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Home For The Holidays Hop!

Its that time of year when we all begin to give thanks. I'm thankful for so many things, some of them being great author friends! 

Click the link above to find links to some awesome authors and their websites and the chance to win some great prizes! 

Of Blizzards and Beans

We had our first snowfall the night before last. It didn't amount to much, but for a few hours, the grass and trees were blanketed in soft white and for a moment, a brief moment, I was giddy. While I don’t relish driving in the winter, I do appreciate the majesty that winter brings.

Can you imagine what life was like before cars, gas furnaces, electric coffee makers, and gas ovens, when the first snowfall arrived?

I doubt there was a mad dash anywhere, to scoop up toilet paper, milk and the last can of tomato juice on the shelf. Here in the Midwest where I live, it seems that whenever there is a call for snow, everyone races to the grocery store to pick up the fixings for chili. I don’t know when or why chili became the food of choice during bad winter storms, but it seems everyone and his brother has to make it during blizzards.

I remember a few winters ago when the weatherman forecasted a blizzard of biblical proportions. Like everyone else in our area, I made a mad dash to the grocery store after work to pick up the requisite TP, milk, chili beans and tomato juice.  I knew that if I didn’t hurry the shelves would be empty of the typical Midwest blizzard survival gear: toilet paper and chili.

The snow had just begun to fall when I slid into a parking spot, grabbed my purse, and hurried into the grocery store. Typically, I have a certain route I take for grocery shopping. We were at DEFCON 3 levels, quickly heading toward DEFCON 1, so I bypassed my usual route and headed straight to the juice aisle. I was a woman on a mission. I had a husband and son at home, waiting for me to get home so that we could survive snow-mageddon together. And the only way to do that is with chili. I had to hurry or all the tomato juice would be gone.

I headed straight for the juice aisle.

I was right.

The shelves were empty. Completely. You couldn’t even find a can of V8 to use as a substitute. I stood in numbed silence for several long moments. How in the heck do you get through a blizzard without chili?

Crestfallen, I mumbled a curse word or two, left the juice aisle in a daze and headed for the TP.  Seriously? This is the Midwest for crying out loud! I could only surmise that the store manager was from the moon, because anyone with half a brain would know to double up on the tomato juice this time of year. I mean, really, it is the Midwest! We get blizzards here and the only way to survive is with chili.

I would have given someone $20 for a can of tomato juice. I would have offered to exchange one of my mother’s banana cream pies for just one can. I would have made my son shovel driveways in exchange for the can of red gold stuff. (Red Gold happens to be my juice of choice in making chili, so pardon the pun!)

I grabbed the TP and milk, and a bag of Oreo Double Stuffs to help heal my injured heart and headed for the long check out lanes. As I paid the cashier I made certain she would pass my message of dissatisfaction to her manager. (I did it with a smile of course. It isn’t her fault she works for a nincompoop who doesn’t know to stock pile tomato juice this time of year.)

I decided to hit another grocery store before giving up. Their juice shelves were just as empty, as was the DG not far from our house. I imagined it would be easier to find crack or weapons grade plutonium than one simple can of tomato juice!

Heartbroken and defeated, I made my way home trying to figure out a way to explain the lack of tomato juice to my husband. Maybe I could blame it on an alien invasion. Maybe I could say I was mugged in the grocery store parking lot and the only thing they took was the juice. He would believe it. He grew up here. He knew how valuable tomato juice was this time of year.

As I made my way down our street my cell phone rang. It was my husband. “Hey honey!” I love how he says that by the way. “Don’t worry about the tomato juice. You had two cans on the Lazy Susan.”

Glory be to God!!! Hallelujah!! Angels sang while the snow fell. I was saved from having to lie to my husband. My heart pounded with relief. We would survive this blizzard! We have tomato juice!

I pulled into the drive, grabbed my grocery bag and 24-roll pack of toilet paper and raced into the house. I kicked off my boots, hung up my coat, and began to prepare the only food that will help you survive a blizzard.

Green peppers and tomatoes sizzled in the skillet, added the hamburger, grabbed the big stockpot and opened the cans of tomato juice and tossed in the Mexine chili powder. I sang a lively tune while I started the chili. My heart was light, I had a little skip in my step. I loved the world, my husband, my family. I was a blessed woman.

I couldn’t remember being happier as I stood in front of my stove and looked out at the beautiful white stuff that fell from the sky. It was coming down in big white flakes, I could see them in the street light. It was beautiful.

As the beef, onions and peppers simmered in the skillet, I started a pot of coffee before changing into my pajamas. I hugged my husband and my son and bravely told them we would survive this blizzard. We had plenty of milk, toilet paper, and praise Jesus, we’d soon have chili. Most important, we had each other.

My son rolled his eyes. My husband told me not to be so over dramatic, it was only a blizzard. They just didn’t get it.

I went back to the kitchen, stirred the hamburger and checked on the tomato juice. All was right with the world until I went to add the beans to the juice.

Where are the beans?

In less than two minutes, I had nearly disassembled my kitchen in search of chili beans.

Precisely ten seconds after realizing I didn’t have any darned beans, I had my first breakdown of winter. I. Don’t. Have. Any. Beans.

How in the heck do you make chili without beans??? You have to have beans.

It was then that my husband turned into an encyclopedia of information on real chili. Real chili doesn’t have beans, he informed me with a smile.  The man was nuts. I shut out his voice for the next few minutes, while he droned on about real chili versus what we make here in the Midwest.

He shut up when I told him people have been known to file for divorce for such fallacies and misguided arguments.

I knew he wasn’t going to trudge out in this weather in search of beans. So I did the only thing that made any sense at the moment. I got dressed, put on my boots and winter wear, and headed out in search of beans.

Two grocery stores later, I found a small can of beans, bought a king sized Hershey dark chocolate bar that I would later refuse to share with my husband or my son after their lack of sympathy for my chili bean plight.

I went home, opened the can of beans, plopped them in the juice and finished making my chili -- which my son politely reminded me he didn’t even like and could he please have a hamburger instead. I gave him a choice. Eat the damned chili or pack for military school.

We didn’t eat until after 8:00 that night. I hid the Oreos and the chocolate bar. We ate in silence and waited for the blizzard of the century.

We ended up getting only an inch of snow.

I ended up forgiving my husband and son for being insensitive. (After eating the Oreos and chocolate bar of course.)

I also wrote a letter to the store manager that my husband took out of the mailbox before the mailman arrived. I think he worried the man would give my picture to the check out girls with a note that says, “Do not sell tomato juice to this woman.”

I now have the bottom shelf of my lazy Susan dedicated to tomato juice and chili beans. I now stockpile them like Russians stockpile nuclear weapons.  The same with toilet paper.  Because you just can’t get through a Midwest blizzard without those two things.

Suzan's Chili Recipe
(I'm a 'dump' cook. I usually toss things in until they look and taste right.)

1 Large can tomato juice
1 Medium can Brooks Chili Beans - mild or hot, your choice
1 pound ground beef - I use 90% lean
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2/3 cup chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pepper flakes
2 to 3 tablespoons of Mexine chili seasoning

In skillet, saute onions and peppers in extra virgin olive oil. Add ground beef and brown until completely cooked. 

While beef is cooking, put the tomato juice and beans in large stock pot or crock pot and begin to heat. Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoons of the mexine, a dash of salt and pepper, and a dash of pepper flakes.

After the ground beef is browned, drain thoroughly and put back in skillet. Take a ladle or two of the tomato juice and add it to the beef. Add dash of salt, pepper, a few pepper flakes and a tablespoon of Mexine. Stir until well blended, cover, and simmer on very low heat for about 15 to 30 minutes, then add that mixture to your crock pot. Simmer on low heat for an hour or two, or until it looks and smells like chili! :o) If you're using a crock pot, simmer for a few hours. You can always add more Mexine if you like your chili on the hotter side of things. 

I like to serve fresh baked bread or cornbread with my chili.

Have a great November!!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My Sincerest Apologies

Earlier this evening, I was contacted by a reader, who graciously let me know there were several spelling errors with Rowan’s Lady. To say the least, I was confused as well as stunned. In addition to my editor and my 8 beta readers, I could not believe there were typos that we didn’t catch.

So I went into my copy of Rowan’s Lady to double check. Low and behold, there they were: errors that had, I can assure you, been fixed previously.

 I believe I have figured out what happened. I had major technical issues when it came time to convert Rowan’s Lady from a word doc to the epub version. For some strange reason, I could not get the ‘comments’ sections (comments left by my beautiful editor) to go away. I ended up having to strip all of the formatting from the document then copy and paste it into a new document. I then had to reformat every single paragraph. Why it did not save the changes to begin with, I do not know. But something happened where it did not save the changes. Technology can sometimes be an unruly and ugly beast and taming it is sometimes next to impossible.

I have contacted my KDP liaison via email (it is Sunday night) and I have uploaded the corrected version. I have also made the decision to hire a professional formatter for all future books so that I don’t have a problem with conversion ever again. (It can take hours to convert the document, and sometimes I end up cussing like a drunken sailor!)

These errors are not the result of bad editing. I have a beautiful, talented editor and she does a phenomenal job.

I take full responsibility for not checking the document one final time before uploading. As I said before, I had made all the final changes and edits, but for whatever reason, the file got corrupted.

From the bottom of my heart, I apologize for the inconvenience. I never want to publish anything that has glaring errors. I want my readers to be able to read my stories without being distracted by typos or errors.

Hopefully, Amazon will be able to send you updated/error-free versions very soon.

Again, from the bottom of my heart, I am most humbly sorry!

PS: My KDP liaison just responded to my email! He said they will take care of everything tomorrow! :D

I thank you all, in advance, for being understanding. I'm told that I'm not the first author this has happened to. I won't make this mistake again, I promise.

I think you're all just beautiful and I appreciate each and every one of you.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Clan Graham Ceilidh!

Hello my beautiful readers!!! I hope you're all enjoying this beautiful October weather.

Well, release day for Rowan's Lady is less than two days away! You can pre-order it at Amazon. It will be released on Monday, October 21. :D

We're going to have a little Ceilidh (party) over at Facebook to celebrate! I'll be giving away lots of neat prizes and books, among other things. The party starts Sunday, October 20, 2013 at noon. I have several people assisting. We'll go through to about 9:00 tomorrow night, then back at it on Monday.

I know I've said it before, but it just begs to be said again. I love you all! I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for all of you!

So come on by, bring your friends! I have several special author friends who will be popping in and out throughout the ceilidh too! I look forward to seeing you there! :D


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Chapter One of Rowan's Lady

Good evening! I've had so many people asking me to please share a bit of Rowan's Lady. So I decided to be nice and post Chapter One. Please keep in mind that this has yet to be edited. I think it gives you a nice little peek at what is in store. :D


“Do ye love me?”
Lady Arline felt weak in the knees. Her stomach fluttered with unease when she looked into the dangerously dark blue eyes that belonged to her husband, Laird Garrick Blackthorn of Ayrshire. She wasn’t at all certain if it was the question that gnawed, or the cold, stony glare his face held when he asked it. She swallowed hard, willed her legs and stomach to settle, and decided honesty was at all times the best policy.
 “I am sure I could learn to love ye, m’laird.” She prayed she didn’t sound as foolish as she felt.
Laird Blackthorn of Ayrshire was a very handsome man. Tall, lean, and well muscled, he stood a head taller than Lady Arline. Short cropped blonde hair framed a more than handsome face. Lady Arline imagined most women would swoon if he chose to grace them with a glance from those dark blue eyes of his. And if the eyes didn’t lead to swooning, then perhaps the muscles that rippled under his snug tunic would do the trick.
Truth be told, Lady Arline nearly swooned herself when she met him for the first time three days ago. They had been introduced just moments before exchanging their wedding vows. It had been all she could do not to jump with glee that this husband was not only closer in age to her own, but he was handsome as well. He exuded power, virility. Mayhap, finally, there would be children in her future. 
After the death of her last husband, Lady Arline had sworn she’d never be duped into another arranged marriage. But her father, bless him, had been quite insistent that she give marriage another chance. She had resisted her father right up until the moment she saw Garrick Blackthorn for the very first time. 
There was something, something she could not quite yet put a name to, something in those blue eyes…they held something. But what? A secret perhaps? She was as yet uncertain and that made her all the more nervous. Whatever it was, she found it difficult to keep her legs and fingers from trembling. She clasped her hands tightly in front of her and tried to at least appear as if she were not completely terrified.
Perhaps it was the anticipation of what lay ahead, on this their first night in her new home as his wife. Her husband had yet to lay a hand on her, save for the chaste kiss at the alter three days past. He had barely spoken to her during the journey from Lochbraene to Ayrshire.
She wondered, if by chance, he too, was just as nervous as she.
It was doubtful. A man as handsome as Garrick Blackthorn must certainly have a significant amount of experience with women and loving. Nay, it could not be nervousness she saw in the depths of those dark eyes. It was something else.
Lady Arline reckoned that perhaps it was her own widespread nervousness that made her mouth go dry and her legs weak. Undoubtedly he would want to consummate their marriage and perhaps before doing so, he wanted to know what her feelings toward him might be.
The thought of consummation brought back the quivering sensation in her legs. She cursed at her own silliness. Her thoughts suddenly turned to Minnie, her auld maid who had died two years ago. Just close yer eyes and do yer duty on yer weddin’ night. It will hurt like bloody hell, but it does not take long.
It was early evening and they stood in Lady Arline’s appointed chamber. She wore a heavy silk robe over her thick linen nightdress. Her wavy and oft unruly red hair tumbled down her back and stopped just above her knees. She hoped that he had a fondness for redheaded women. Nay, she simply hoped he had a fondness for women. Her last husband hadn’t been thusly inclined. She shivered, cursed inwardly for what must have been the hundredth time that day. 
It was those cursed eyes of his that left her with such a sense of discomfit.  
She studied him more closely as he paced in front of the tall window. He did not look pleased with her honest answer. He raised an eyebrow ever so slightly when she had given it.
After several long moments, Laird Blackthorn stopped pacing and turned back to her.
“Ya see, lass, therein lay the problem.”
There was no mistaking his disdain. It was quite evident in the tightening of his jaw and the hard, icy glower he sent her way. She was no longer worried over pleasing her husband this night. Instead, she worried over surviving it. The room suddenly felt cold, mayhap from those cold, dark eyes and the freezing tone in his voice.
“I do no’ want ye to get any notions of fallin’ in love with me. Fer tis a certainty that I will never love ye.”
There was no mistaking his intent. It stung like an arrow to her very core.
Controlled anger, contempt, and derision dripped from his mouth. Arline knew instinctively that this was a man who said what he meant and meant what he said.
Any hope that she may have had at someday forging a bond with her new husband, one made of mutual admiration and respect, fell as rapidly as a rock from a cliff. It plummeted to her toes with a thud. Why am I so cursed when it comes to husbands?
“This marriage,” he told her as he turned away to look out the window. “’Tis but a farce.”
She forced herself to remain steady. Fear wrapped itself around her like a cold, wet blanket, sending shivers down her spine.
 “Are ye aware of what was in the marriage agreement?” he asked. “Of what all it entails?”
Words were lodged in her throat. She cleared it once, then again, and managed to utter a choked ‘aye’. She had not been given the opportunity to read it with her own eyes. Her father had given her a brief summation of its contents. But, knowing her father as she did, he had probably left out some very important details.
“Tell me, what ye ken.” His voice was low, steady, commanding.
“I am to be your wife, in exchange for the troth of three wagons of food and ten horses, as well as land.” Her mouth had suddenly turned quite dry, her tongue sticking to the roof of her mouth. What she would not for a tipple of whiskey at this moment.
“And?” he asked.
That was all she knew. Dread thrummed in her heart. Silently she damned her father to the devil. What on earth had the man done to her now? “That is all that I ken of it, my laird.”
Lord Blackthorn came to stand before her, just a step away.
“After one year, one month and one day, if there be no heir born or conceived, the marriage will be annulled.” He crossed his arms over his broad chest and stood, glaring.  “There will be no heir.”
The only way she could have hid her surprise was if she had hidden under a blanket.
There was no mistaking his ire and no way to misinterpret his words. There were no ‘ifs’ in his explanation of the marriage agreement. No wiggle room, no hope. Plain and simple. She’d gone from thinking him quite a handsome fellow to knowing that behind those good looks lay a cold, hard man.
He continued to glare with one eyebrow arched as if he was waiting for her to say something. He shook his head and snorted at her continued dumbfounded silence.
“There will be no heir,” he repeated.
It was a statement of fact. A point that would not be argued further or open for any discussion at a future time. 
“I’ll not bed ye,” he said bluntly, looking at her as if her found the mere thought of sharing a bed with her repulsive.
 “I do not love ye Arline. And I never, ever will.” He turned away from her again. “Do ye understand?”
Aye, she thought to herself. I understand far more than ye ken. She took a deep breath and muttered her affirmation at his back.
“I think ye need to understand more fully what be at stake here.” He took a deep breath. “Ya see, I am capable of lovin’ a woman. Unlike yer last husband.”
Lady Arline’s stomach fell to her toes again. Apparently, her current husband was well aware of her last.
“I simply will not, under any circumstance love ye. Me heart, ye see, belongs to another,” he tossed his remark over his shoulder.
Her surprise was quickly replace with a sense of numbness. “If yer heart belongs to another, then why did ye agree to marry me?”
He turned around slowly, the derision he felt toward her plainly written in the hard lines of his face. “Have ye met me father yet?”
Lady Arline shook her head. “Nay, I haven’t.”
“Ye be no’ missin’ much. He’s a whoreson if ever there was one. He does no’ like the woman who does own me heart. I had to marry ye in order to get the fool off me back.” Crossing his arms over his broad chest, the lines of his face hardened further, deeper. “In a years time, this marriage will be annulled. Make no mistake of that.”
Arline lifted her chin showing him that she did not care. ’Twas in fact, the opposite of what she truly felt. She did care.
Not for him precisely, but for all that could have been.
“So we will pretend then, m’laird, to be married for the next year, only to satisfy the marriage agreement?” she asked him through gritted teeth.
For the first time she saw him smile. The curve of his lips did nothing to make her feel better.
“Yer not nearly as daft as I’ve been told,” he said. “I’m glad ya see it then, lass. One year, one month and one day and this marriage will be annulled.”
Arline wondered what her father would think of this and immediately decided that she did not care. In a year’s time she would be of an age where she would no longer be forced to marry any man. Ever.
If Laird Blackthorn did not want her, then so be it. She would play along with this farce in order to gain the freedom she had been denied her entire life. She could travel the world, come and go as she pleased and she’d never be forced to answer to anyone but her own heart.
Although the thought of freedom brought a tingling sensation clear to her toes, her heart felt empty. Void. And she felt severely lacking.
It was enough to break a weaker woman’s heart. But Lady Arline refused to be weak. There wasn’t a man in all this world worthy of her heart, let alone one worthy of breaking it. 
He turned to face her again. “I’ll no hear any complainin’ from ye. Ye’ll do as I say, when I say it. Ye’ll stay in yer room unless I give ye permission to leave,” he began listing his rules, ticking them off one by one. “Do no’ ever question me or any decision I make fer ye’ll suffer fer it, that I promise.”
He came to stand before her again. This time, he lowered his face only inches from hers. It took every ounce of courage she had to look him in the eye.
“Lady Arline, ye will heed me warnin’. Ye do as I say, and ye may just get out of this marriage alive.”
He quit her chamber then, without so much as a by your leave. His warning hung the air, long after he left, like damp, heavy fog. Though a fire burned in the fireplace, the air still felt chilled, cold, filled with his inescapable warning.
Now she knew the secret that lay hidden behind his dark eyes: sheer unadulterated hatred. And all of it reserved for her.
With her arms and hands still trembling, she walked to her closet, found the trunk that held her writing materials, her embroidery, and art supplies. On shaking knees, she rummaged through until she found a piece of charcoal she used for sketching.
Quietly, she closed the lid and scooted across the wood floor to the back of the closet. She drew a short line on the wall. One day down.  With a heavy sense of dread, she slid the trunk across the floor to hide the mark that had begun her countdown to freedom.
Taking in steady breaths she hoped would calm her nerves, she left the closet and climbed into her bed, drawing the covers up to her chin. A hundred blankets would not be able to quell the chill.
Earlier, before speaking with her husband, she had been worried over things that now seemed mundane by comparison. Less than an hour ago, she had been nervously pacing her room, hopeful that she would be able to please her husband and build a future with him.
She cursed under her breath; angry with her heart for allowing even a glimmer of hope at the life she so desperately wanted. A husband who would care about her feelings, a husband she could admire and respect. She wanted children. Lots of children. Arline longed for a home filled with love, laugher, bairns…peace.
She would survive the next year. She would not let Laird Blackthorn of Ayrshire win. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Rowan's Lady Pre-Order Link is Now LIVE!!

Good morning lovely readers!

The pre-order link for Rowan's Lady is now live! :D It went officially live at around 5:00 this morning. By 6:30 it was already at number 69 in Historical Scottish Romance!!! WOW! Thank you all so very much. You're just the best!

Click on the picture to go to Amazon

Again, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you all! :D


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cover Reveal for Rowan's Lady...

I decided to share the cover tonight! Pre-order link will be available in the morning! :D

I can't wait to hear what you all think of it!


Pre-Order Link for Rowan's Lady-Coming soon!

Hello my lovely readers! I'm sorry that I have not posted much lately. With the remodel, the conference in Vegas, the plague-like flu that hit our house for three weeks straight...well, things have been a bit crazy here!

Rowan's Lady is coming along quite nicely! We should have the pre-order link ready within the next 48 hours. Yes!! There will be pre-order links for both the ebook and the paperback. We also have a release day set for October 21, 2013. Just in time for fall!

As soon as I have the pre-order link(s) I will post them here and via Facebook and Twitter. :D You will then get to see the cover.

The cover is beautiful!! I LOVE what my cover artist has done. We have another beautiful lass and no, this one is not related to me. :D This lass is a professional cover model.

I can't express to you enough just what each of you means to me! You've helped make some pretty awesome dreams come true over the past 21 months! I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I would not be where I am today were it not for all of you wonderful, dedicated and kind readers. You're all simply the best!

I will keep you posted!


Monday, September 9, 2013

600 FaceBook Likes Book Giveaway

This, my dear friends, is going to be a blast!

Victoria's Gossip is a great site and I just love Vikki to pieces!

Stop by for your chance to win some awesome books by some amazing authors! 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sweet Surprise!

Tonight, I received a very special surprise from my dear street team member, Lassie Candace Cathey. The dialogue is from my first book, Laiden's Daughter. This is one of my favorite parts of the book, when Duncan finally admits to Aishlinn (and to himself) that he has feelings -- very strong feelings -- for her.

I think it is so beautiful...I'm a very blessed woman to have such sweet people in my life.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Clan MacDougall Series, Bundled!

Hello my lovely readers! It has been a very busy couple of weeks here. I'm finally on the mend after catching some ugly bug. With that out of the way, it is time for me to get back to work. :D

I'm happy to announce that I have bundled the first three books in The Clan MacDougall Series! Readers can now get all three books for their Kindle for $5.99. Its like getting Laiden's Daughter for a penny! (Feel free to spread the word!)

Now available at Amazon

How cool is that? ;o)

Rowan's Lady is still set for release at some time in October. As soon as I have a pre-order link, I'll get that to you. You can always stay up to date on news by following me on my fan page at Facebook.

Now...back to working on Rowan's Lady!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Author Spotlight at Create Space!

Good morning my beautiful readers! It has been such an exciting month here! Lots of wonderful things are happening and its getting to the point that I can barely keep up with it all. I think that is a good thing!

I left for Las Vegas on the 5th. It was a phenomenal experience! I'll post more on that later. We arrived home late Sunday night. Exhausted, excited, but glad to be home.
My husband and I at the costume party. Yes, he is wearing his kilt!

Yesterday was spent recuperating!
You can see the pictures at my Facebook page. 

As most of you already know, I am an independent author. Create Space is where I have my paperback books made. Currently, I am their featured author! This is a tremendous honor. You can learn a little more about me and my journey at their site. This was a fun interview! :D

I can't thank each of you enough for all of your support and kindness! If there was ever a contest on who had the best readers, I'd win. Hands down. Every time. :D


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Congratulations Author Krystal Shannon!!!

My fellow author and friend, Krystal Shannon, has a new book out! Its titled Saving Margaret, Vegas Mates 2. 

I don't know about you, but this cover is Hot!! Nice muscles! 

Vegas Mates, Book 2
Krystal Shannan
Successful, but lonely, Margaret Taylor finds her mate in the body of a man she least expects it in. A bear! Her human half tries to reason her way out of the match, but her wolf is through with her excuses. Crossing the species line isn’t unheard of, but it’s not often done.
Try as she might to avoid him, fate makes sure the big grizzly bear is nearby at all times. But, will his presence be enough to protect her from the evil stalking her?
The power of the magick between them can’t be avoided. But, Scott O’Hearn thinks the beautiful Taylor wolf is doing a fine job of just that —avoiding him. He can’t help he’s a bear shifter and he’s determined to convince her it doesn’t matter. She is his mate and he’s waited over a century to find her.
Will he convince Margaret she’s his true match before it’s too late?
When Chase Michaels, Henry’s nephew, had shown up, claiming Samantha as his mate, her wolf had broken through the walls she’d built.
“This place isn’t enough to hold her. She’s going to hurt you. She’s going to hurt everyone. You have to stop me,” she cried, the salty taste of tears coated her lips.
“I won’t let the Council put you down. We can beat her.”
She shook her head, sobbing. “No, not this time.”
“I will find a way,” he replied, determination set in stone across his face.
She shivered. Slivers of cold and darkness curled around her heart. Control was slipping away like hot Vegas desert sand through her fingers. Magic rippled across her body. She was shifting. Her silk dress shredded and fell to the white carpet.
Peter released her and stepped back into the doorway.
An angry snarl tore from her lips. She lunged at her husband, helpless to stop the bloodlust in her wolf. A sharp pain coursed over her shoulder and she yelped when he knocked her roughly to the floor. She was just relieved she’d not injured him.
“I’m sorry, Renata. I’m so sorry.”
Renata whined, meeting her husband’s sorrowful gaze. She knew and she forgave him, but the wolf, now in charge of her body again, snarled through the whine and snapped at his hand.
The prick of a needle pinched the scruff of her neck. Then darkness came. Her wolf’s control receded as they both lost consciousness, but the fight was far from over.
To be continued…
Available Now @ Amazon | Smashwords | ARe
Novel – 40K word count – Paranormal / Witches/ Shifter Romance
Vegas Mates in series order…
CHASING SAM (novella)