Inspiration

Ireland

I’ve been looking for inspiration as I work through the early chapters of Capture Me. Lyse runs from her past and the man she loves to a remote Irish village. In looking for images to spark my imagination, I began with one of my favorite places during my visit to Ireland in 2017: Howth.

(That’s pronounced “hoat,” like ho-ho-ho but with a T at the end. ;) )

What do you think? Would a place like this make a good blueprint for Lyse’s hideaway?

https://www.nomadasaurus.com/things-to-do-in-howth-ireland/

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Irish Inspiration!

Blank Spaces

As I’ve followed my journey toward a more POSITIVE LIFE this year, I’ve noticed something: when I don’t have anything to do, it stresses me out. I don’t know what to do with the blank spaces in my life, the times when there’s no work to do, no TV to watch, no book to read. And yet, we are learning more and more about the negative impact of so much input into our lives through TV, social media, the doing and having and seeking more and more and more.

Creativity requires blank space. We look at the first page of a new book, all that fresh white space, and freak out. The blank page is so hard! But without a blank page, a new book doesn’t come into being. Our brains need that blank space too, to stretch and grow and create. To rest.

Have you found that quiet and “blank space” are positives in your life? How do you go about creating those opportunities?

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Writing Inspiration

What inspires the next book?

Usually, the inspiration is whatever is next on my publishing list. 😊 I try to switch between my different series so no one set gets neglected, although if you’ve been following me for very long, you know a hiatus last year has meant quite a gap in all of my series.

ASSASSIN’S PREY is almost complete. So what’s next? Fionn and Lise! That’s right—SOUTHERN NIGHTS will have a new release this fall! I’ve been champing at the bit to write their story since I visited Ireland this past summer. This book will be set there, and I can’t wait to return, if only in the pages of my book!

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Positive Life

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Thanks to the totally fantastic Maggie Coughlin Worth and her common sense guidance, I’ve learned that a POSITIVE LIFE needs REWARDS.

I work a lot. My day job, though it’s from home, is full-time. Writing is also a full-time job, though the actual words on the page are a tiny fraction of that. So getting to run away from all the work and actually just write is a reward for me. Twice a year I give myself a retreat—and it is oh so wonderful.

Last fall I found a little cabin in the woods (NOT like the movie!), and this month, in celebration of our birthday, I took my sis Dani Wade there for a writing retreat. You can see from the pics that we had a great time! Writing, reading, plotting (and not just books 😉 ), exploring, wading. So much fun!

What about you? Where do you go to get away? What do you love to reward yourself with?

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I had a truly unique inspiration for ASSASSIN’S PREY: a question. That’s right, a question.

How does a man who’s held himself apart all his life, even from family, who kills for a living, who has nothing resembling a normal life, actually make a relationship work?

That was the whole story in a nutshell. Most romances end once the couple is together, right? I wanted to go past the “I love yous” and find out how Levi, of all people, would react to falling in love. *Spoiler ALERT* We already saw a little bit of this in MARK—he stayed away for a year, but couldn’t stay away any longer. Now that he’s given in, what next?

I hope you’ll check out ASSASSIN’S PREY next TUESDAY and find out. I can’t wait for this tough, tormented alpha to finally, truly understand what love is all about. You can find the book on Radish Fiction starting May 29th!

More POSITIVE LIFE

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More POSITIVE LIFE for May! Are you ready?

A positive life must include SLEEP! That’s what I’m learning. I always knew I didn’t feel good when I went low on sleep, but the past couple of years? I get the walk-into-the-wall, too-fuzzy-to-think, can’t-deal-with-life blues if I don’t rest. I feel so much better, clearer headed and able to, yes, be positive, if I just get adequate sleep!

I’m also learning that the kind of sleep you get makes a difference. Apparently not dreaming is a big deal—you’re not getting REM sleep. I rarely dream anymore, although I used to when I was younger. I’ve always been envious of authors who literally dream their stories up.

What about you? Do you get enough sleep, or are you one of those people who doesn’t seem to need much. (That’s NEVER been me! 😝 )

 

Inspiration

Authors are asked all the time, “Where do you get your inspiration?” The truth is, I don’t always know. Or maybe it’s that I get it from everywhere. Narrowing down inspiration to one source is impossible for me. I simply try to be open and receptive whenever it passes my way.

 

Sometimes it’s a song that comes on the radio and inspires a character—this happened for me with Abby in ASSASSIN’S MARK. (The song was “Me and My Broken Heart” by Rixton.) Or a TV show. I’ve been watching Dark on Netflix, and it’s made me realize that villains might be terrible, but they can also be compelling. Places can be inspiration—I find many of my ideas while my mind rests out in nature, for walks especially. Oddly enough, the treadmill never gives me inspiration; now why is that? 😟

 

Where do you find inspiration? What sets your imagination soaring?

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Positive Life

 

I admit that there is one aspect of a POSITIVE LIFE that is giving me some negative moments:

 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY 😟

 

It seems like every time I make a push to get more active, an old injury rears its ugly head. Recently it’s been my knee—I have damage to one knee that is limiting both how vigorous I can be and even slow activities that require me to bend, like tai chi.

 

*whine* I just want to work out and get it over with! *whine*

 

So what obstacles get in the way of your physical fitness? How do you overcome them? I could use the encouragement, so share your story with me!

 

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Art

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Art can be found anywhere—on canvas, on the sides of buildings, through a camera lens. It can also be found on skin, and not just in the form of tattoos. When Isaac (Only for the Moment) waltzed into my brain while writing Only for the Night, I had no idea that his fascination with rope would lead me to art.

What do you think?

 

Images by Homo Inanis and NFGphoto. See license here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

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Inspiration

 

I admit, with all the concentration on ASSASSIN’S MARK, I’ve struggled to keep my head in Kennedy and Isaac’s world as well. I needed some fresh inspiration, so I went back through my world-building file for ONLY FOR THE MOMENT and did some digging. Turns out I had the perfect inspiration just waiting for me.

 

These two images. Mind. Blown.

 

MOMENT is a book about baring your soul more than baring your scars. Slowly unfurling the shadows that you hide behind to reveal that most secret part of you to someone else. Recognizing your desires and needs and accepting them—for you, most of all, not to please someone else. I can’t wait to share this journey with you later this spring. It’s a different pace of erotic romance, but I think you’ll love it as much as I do.

 

Head on over to my Facebook page for a peek at these images!

Positive Life

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Many people have talked this month about their “word for the year.” This is a concept I absolutely love, a way to narrow down your focus to one concept that you want to bring into your life. Too often we have 50 million goals and accomplish none of them. I like to focus in and actually get somewhere, LOL!

I have more than a word for this year, though. It’s a phrase: POSITIVE LIFE. I’m looking to inhale the positive and exhale the negative. Be happy with my life and my choices and my goals, and strip away the things that cause anxiety and stress and depression. What about you? Do you have a focus word or phrase for this year? Do you set New Year’s resolutions every year? I know I’m not the only one, and I’m hoping this year will be better and happier and more positive for us all!

Life After Christmas

Life after Christmas!

I don’t know about y’all, but I love Christmas — and I hate cleaning up after the holidays. Really hate it! Still, there’s something about getting everything put away, straightened up, and cleaned that speaks to a healthy start to the new year.

I’ve done the same with my goals and plan for 2018. Thanks to the fabulous Maggie Worth, I created a fresh plan for the year with goals that truly speak to me and support the life I want to live.

How about you? What’s your most important goal for the new year, or are you just winging it? (You pantser, you!)

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What's Your Favorite Christmas Story?

I’m running around finishing last minute details for Christmas and working on Assassin’s Mark and Only for the Moment at the same time, so there’s not a lot of time for reading this month. But at night, after all the evening chores are done and I can finally crawl into bed, I take at least a few minutes to read. The problem? I really want to read a sexy Christmas book, and there are none on my TBR.

Help me out, dear readers! Share your favorite Christmas story for bedtime reading—must include sexy times, please! I’ll choose one commenter for a surprise $5 Amazon gift card on Sunday at noon! Head over to my Facebook page for your chance to win!

 

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Friday Inspiration

Last month I subscribed to Passionflix, a new movie streaming app that is not only sharing the best in romance movies of the past, but making new movies out of our favorite romance novels of today. I love the idea of not only supporting romance in general, but also supporting romance authors and their fantastic books.

 

The first original film produced by Passionflix released last month, Hollywood Dirt, based on the book by Alessandre Torre. I’d never read the book, so I was completely unaware when I watched the movie of what a treat I was in for. Here’s the official trailer:

 

https://youtu.be/3ofNk7DvQuY

 

What do you think, do you want to see it? I highly recommend it! You can check out the Passionflix service at their website here: https://www.passionflix.com/

Gratitude

Gratitude.

The contest this month is about gratitude, but not only because this is the month of the US Thanksgiving celebration. I’ve been thinking about gratitude a lot. I have so much to be thankful for:

 

* Wonderful readers—I have no delusions! There are so many choices out there for fantastic books, and to know that so many readers have picked up one of my books, read it, and loved it (and often read more) is a tremendous blessing in my life.

 

* A supportive family—I’ve been blessed with a family, including my awesome sister and loving daughter, who understand the long hours of writing and marketing, the frustrating blocks, the endless loops of nerves and “I don’t think I know what I’m doing’s.” 😝

 

* Fantastic characters—They’re deep, emotional, difficult, and always riveting to me. I couldn’t create meaningful books with characters that were anything less. I’m thankful these characters choose to reveal themselves to me (or, in some cases, that they choose not to reveal themselves and I have to get angry on their asses, LOL!). They make work worth it every day.

 

So I know I’ve asked you to share the people you’re thankful for in this month’s contest, but today, I want you to share what you’re thankful for. What else has been a blessing in your life?

Come visit me on my Facebook page and tell me what you're thankful for!

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Friday Inspiration

Friday Inspiration

So I’m off traveling *AGAIN* this weekend! My daughter has a long-held crush on her favorite artist, Amy Lee from Evanescence, and we are on our way right now to see her in concert tonight. As my daughter has grown up, I’ve listened with her to so many of these songs, and admired Amy’s dedication and skill, a beauty and work ethic that has inspired my daughter to work equally hard toward her own goals. I’m excited to see tonight’s concert and definitely hope they play the newer song, “Speak To Me,” as it’s become one of my favorites!

https://youtu.be/lB8ZsjMhy5M

Recharging My Batteries

At the beginning of this month, I treated myself to some time away, all alone. At first it was weird, but I found that I got a lot out of the quiet and the ability to focus just on my creativity, even if I wasn’t writing 24-7.

 

I was at one of my favorite kinds of places: woods and water! The cabin I rented sat, literally, right on the edge of a creek, with a swing on the screened-in porch where I could sit and listen to the water flowing over the rocks and write. One morning, I opened the door and walked onto the porch—and startled a blue heron fishing in the creek! When he flew off, his wingspan had to be six feet minimum. He was a beautiful sight!

 

As you can see, I spent some time dipping my feet in the water, hiking nearby trails, and walking along a lake in the town next door. This is where I wrote the Halloween short for Southern Nights (if you haven’t gotten your copy yet, go here: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/xoh4op3939

), where I made connections and plotted and even wrote a little on Only for the Moment and my assassins project. And this is where I began to trust just a little more in my returning creativity and love for writing. 😊

 

What about you? Where do you go to recharge your batteries?

Balance

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How do I find that balance?

In all honesty, I think that’s a never-ending journey. Every time a rock shifts, we have to realign. Every time something settles, we have to readjust. In this new stage of life, I’m still finding my way. I know I’m doing something right, though, because I’m writing. And I’m finding joy. Those are the best indicators of balance for me.

How about you? How do you find balance? How do you know when you’ve succeeded?

Balance.

It’s an easy word to say. Not so hard to live.

A lot of the parts of my life are out of balance right now. Getting my oldest settled in college. My youngest getting his driver’s license—oy! Reorganizing my work so I have more time to focus on writing. Things falling by the wayside, and new things cropping up to stuff themselves in their place. If I’ve learned anything in over four decades of life, it’s that the chaos never stops, but my body and emotions need balance.