Monday, September 24, 2012

An Early Christmas Present

“Your Christmas book.” 

For months, that’s how my editor and I referred to my fourth book for Harlequin American Romance.  See, I’d told her the story took place around Christmas time, and she said something along the lines of, “It’d be good for you to have a Christmas book.”  So, even though the most of the story takes place after Christmas, it went on the December schedule.  And, until we decided on a title, we referred to it as “your Christmas book.” 

Is it any wonder that when we started talking about cover art, I imagined a Christmas tree and gaily wrapped packages? 

Months passed.  The story progressed from a one paragraph summary to a ten-page synopsis to a full manuscript.  For weeks, I rode along with Ty and Sarah on a cattle drive through Florida’s version of the Old West while their ties to the little boy abandoned on Sarah’s doorstep Christmas Eve deepened. 

Though we still occasionally referred to it as “your Christmas book,” the story found a great title:  Rancher’s Son. 

And then came the day when the cover art for Rancher’s Son arrived in my inbox.  I clicked on it...and instantly fell in love with Harlequin’s Art Department...again.  Because of all my covers, this is my favorite. 

Her job with the Department of Children and Family Services has exposed Sarah Magarity to the worst side of parenting, so much so that the altruistic red-head has vowed never to have children of her own.  Fourth-generation cattleman Ty Parker looks into his childless future and wonders what will become of the ranch he’s worked so hard to preserve.  His answer might be a five-year-old boy abandoned on DCF’s doorstep, but only if the cowboy convinces the jaded social worker that he’s good father material on a two-week cattle drive through Florida’s version of the Old West.

Rancher’s Son goes on sale November 27th, just in time for...Christmas!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Catching Up On Book Reviews

In between writing, writing, writing, I've been reading, reading, reading.  And now it's time to share some of my recent favorites with you.   

What I'm looking forward to:

Kristen Painter's Out for Blood, October 30th from Orbit Publishing

What I enjoyed:

Barefoot in the Rain by Roxanne St. Claire
Grand Central Publishing
Available October 30

I love reunion stories, and Barefoot in the Rain is one of the best ever.  Gripping emotion and sizzling attraction in an incredibly beautiful setting—these are hallmarks of Roxanne St. Claire’s books.  And in Barefoot in the Rain, she brings them all together to tell Jocelyn and Will’s story.  This second book in the Barefoot Bay Series starts out with a brief, but so important, glimpse into Jocelyn and Will’s past.  The event that shattered their love made me ache for them to get back together.  It also gave this reader an incredible insight into why Jocelyn has such strong, protective walls around her heart.  Will might be a gorgeous hunk of a baseball player, but reuniting these two will take much more than good looks.   Other things that set this story above the norm were the unfolding of secondary characters and the touching way in which Roxanne handled the challenges of dealing with Alzheimer’s.  I laughed.  I cried.  I couldn’t put this book down.
The Five Kisses
By Karla Darcy
Glades Publishing, August 2012

Short and sweet, these are the words that best describe Karla Darcy’s latest Regency Romance, The Five Kisses.  I found this story highly entertaining, a great way to spend an afternoon.  Regency Romance is not one of my fav sub-genres, but Ms. Darcy snagged my interest with her opening lines and kept me captivated straight through to the very end.  I look forward to the next book from this wonderful author.

Silent Witness by Diane Burke

Love Inspired Suspense

Available August 1st


Another reunion story and, as I said, I love ‘em.   
A double-murder in a small town brings Sheriff Elizabeth Bradford face-to-face with the man who broke her heart, the one she can never forget.  But Adam isn’t the same boy who left town—left her—so many years ago.  For one thing, he’s discovered faith, and puts that faith into action.  Some things haven’t changed, and Adam’s insistence on calling her Lizzie stirs up all the feelings Sheriff Bradford thought she’d buried.  As the two work together to protect an orphaned, autistic child, Lizzie and Adam face enough challenges to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. 

A beautiful story, beautifully written.  Diane Burke has another winner in Silent Witness. 

Don’t You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire
Delacorte Press
July 2012


I picked up a copy of Don’t You Wish this week expecting a light and frothy, fun, summer read.  And it is.  But it’s so, so much more.  Engaging, interesting, wonderful—I could go on and on.  The story hooked me from the opening scene where Annie Nutter, the heroine, sits in the front row of her school bus  watching--okay, getting smacked by—the popular kids as they pass her by.  Immediately, I could relate.  I am Annie Nutter.  Aren’t we all?   
I could not put this book down!  It’ll take more than one caramel macchiato to get me through the day ‘cause I stayed up all night reading it.  Annie/Ayla’s story is surprisingly deep, with more emotional twists than I thought a story like this would have.  I loved, loved, loved this book and will be on the lookout for more great YA reads from Roxanne St. Claire.

Can I Get An Amen by Sarah Healy
NAL Trade
Available June 2012        

I’m not usually a fan of first person narrative, but Sarah Healy’s debut book, Can I Get An Amen, hooked me from the opening lines and refused to let go through the closing paragraph.  Bravo, Ms. Healy, for creating a thoroughly engaging, while thought-provoking, read.  I look forward to reading more of your work in the future. 

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
Thomas Nelson Publishers
April 2012

No doubt about it, Rachel Hauck is an amazing writer. Her Inspirational Romance stirs the heart, the soul and the spirit. The books she co-writes with CW star Sarah Evans are superb. But in The Wedding Dress, Rachel shows her true gift for combining tears, laughter and a heartwarming story into one terrific book that leaves the reader with a fabulous takeaway.