Cats!

In my bio, I mention that I live with my dh and three very ordinary house cats. Actually, they are not that ordinary. They just look ordinary.

I won’t use their names, in case I ever need them for passwords or something.

IMG_0430Here’s the cat-who-lives-on-the-kitchen-table. She’s 18 years old and was sick once so the other cats ostracized her and blocked her from going to the litter box. She got back at them, though. She peed in their food dish! She’s expanded her horizons recently and now spends most of her time on the TV room couch, but she still occasionally needs to be escorted to the litter box.

IMG_0438This is our tuxedo cat. He looks like Sylvester, with fur that comes to a point on his cheeks. He also has fuzzy feet. At ll years old, he’s full of personality. He does have an annoying habit of walking around the house meowing at night with a cat toy in his mouth. And of throwing up hairballs.

IMG_0436And here is Devil Cat. He’s 8 and a real fraidy cat. He’s the classic bully, picking fights because he’s scared. He’s also the cat who, when spooked, bit me and sent me to the hospital overnight. When he’s not scared, he’s a real sweetie, though.

I’ve had cats for most of my life and can’t imagine life without them. There’s nothing like a purring kitty cat to sooth all hurts.

Do you have cats?

(Happy Easter, Everyone!)

 

Retreat Recap

My Retreat weekend was terrific!

photo 2First off, Sally MacKenzie and I stayed in the Penthouse of Inn Boonsboro  the night before participating in the 16 author booksigning at Turn The Page. It was Sally’s first time at the Inn so it was fun introducing her to this unique place. The Penthouse was the only room not named after fictional lovers (like Elizabeth and Darcy, Wesley and Buttercup, Nick and Nora) but, like those rooms, it had “the toilet.” The toilet opens at your approach, has a heated seat, flushes automatically, and closes again. You can choose special settings, like “front cleansing” or “rear cleansing,” “pulsating” or “streaming.”

IMG_0425We thought the Inn would be full of other authors attending the booksigning, but we were the only ones. The rest of the guests were readers coming for the signing. It was a delight to share wine and cheese (and later, Jameson) with them and see their enthusiasm for Nora Roberts’ books and Romance. Then during the signing, it was like greeting old friends when they went though the line.

I was liaison for for sociologists Joanna Gregson and Jennifer Lois, who are studying the culture of romance writing and were speaking at the Washington Romance Writers Retreat.  I was able to arrange for them to observe the booksigning. I figured they would never see anything like it again! There were over 200 people who attended the signing!

10154965_10200831554831511_535632196572472739_nAfter the signing we were off to the Retreat in Westminster, Maryland, and I cannot describe what a great pleasure it was. To be In The Company of Writers (the name of the Retreat) is a blessing in itself, but we had terrific speakers and workshop leaders. I attended the always fabulous Kathleen Gilles Seidel workshop, which was hands on and focused on putting love back in romance novels. You know, making the romance believable and satisfying to the reader. There was speaker Liliana Hart, who also gave what was described as an amazing workshop for indy writers. Robin Perini was the other speaker and workshop leader, giving her workshop on Story Magic.  Other great workshops as well. And, of course, Romance Jeopardy! The theme was “Steampunk” and that’s me and my pals Julie and Helen getting photo bombed by Alethea Kontis.

But my favorite part of the Retreat was simply sitting and talking with other writers, old friends and new friends. That’s the part I treasure the most.

Now I’m rejuvenated and eager to begin my new series, as yet unnamed! More on that later. What are you up to today?

 

On The Road Again – To Retreat

450px-MyAutomobileGirlFromNewOrleansCoverToday I am off to Boonsboro, Maryland, for a night’s stay in Inn Boonsboro, better known as Nora Roberts’ inn. I’ll be staying there with pal Sally MacKenzie, because on Friday April 4, we will be among the 16 authors signing at Turn The Page Bookstore, aka Nora Roberts’ husband’s bookstore. It is advertised as a Mega-booksigning and with 16 of us, it certainly will be that! I’m eager to see how they fit us all in.

Sally and I will be staying in the Penthouse in the Inn, a room I’ve not stayed in before. I will take photos to share!

After the signing we’re all off to Washington Romance Writers Spring Retreat in Westminster, MD, for a weekend of learning, networking, frolicking, and, most of all, being In The Company of Writers.

The WRW Retreat is not a conference; it is too intimate to be a conference, limited to only about 150 attendees. It is my very favorite writing event of the year, because I’m with my closest writing friends, my home RWA chapter, and we have the opportunity to talk writing all weekend long.

Workshops are always good and I’m particularly looking forward to Kathy Gilles Seidel‘s workshop, called What’s Love Got To Do With It, about creating characters whose love is satisfying and believable. I always learn something from Kathy!

I’m going to be the liaison for sociologists Joanna Gregson and Jennifer Lois, who are studying the culture of romance writing and who will be speaking about Romance Writers & the Stigma of Sexual Shamelessness. I’ve met these ladies before and heard them speak and I’m thrilled to get to know them better.

We’ll be playing Romance Jeopardy again. In costume. The theme this year is Steampunk and my friend Helen Hester Ossa has made our critique group a great set of Steampunk hats. Again, photos will be shared!

Most of all I’m looking forward to those moments of connection with old friends and new.

What are you doing this weekend?

A Lady Of Notoriety Cover

A Lady of Notoriety coverIt is always exciting to discover what Harlequin Historical comes up with for bookcovers. I happen to think that the Harlequin Historical bookcovers are among the best–always romantic and beautiful. It is difficult, though, for an author to see her vision of the book through other eyes. The cover might be beautiful, but different than imagined.

A Lady of Notoriety, though, comes very close to my vision of the story. This book is really about the heroine (even though I’m hoping readers will fall in love with the hero like she and I did) and the image on my bookcover portrays my vision of Daphne very well.

Time is going so fast, I’m sure the book will be out before I know it. I’m very eager to see if readers enjoy this story as much as I did writing it.

Do you like stories of redemption?

Would you like to see a sneak peek of the story? Sign up for my newsletter. A sneak peek is coming soon.

photo(P.S. I know I said I was done talking about the weather but look what’s out on my deck today. It snowed on Tuesday–not just the dusting, they forecasted–and we’re still looking at it!! Where is Spring?????)

Spring!

A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.
~Emily Dickinson

What a difference a few days make.

This was Monday
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And this is today
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There is truly hope that spring has finally arrived and snow has finally gone.
I also hope this is my last weather-related blog until the next snow storm–Although I may be tempted to show some of the beauty of a Washington, DC, spring, when the cherry blossoms and dogwoods are in bloom! Stay tuned…

Happy Spring, Everyone!!

A Day in DC

Sometimes I really love living near Washington DC. This past Sunday, the dh, our visiting daughter and I took advantage of the first warm day in ages and we drove into Washington, DC. We parked along the Potomac River and walked across a field from which the first Air Mail service took off.
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We could see the Jefferson Memorial in the distance.
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And the Washington Monument
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We wound up at the Martin Luther King memorial. My first time visiting.
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I loved all the quotations that surrounded the statue.
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We ended the day at the Stray Cat Cafe in Arlington for a late lunch. It was one of those near perfect days in Washington, DC.

What did you do on your last perfect day?