Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Writing Prompt Wednesday

Today seems like a good day for a little writing motivation so let's do a writing prompt.

Your goal should you choose to accept it is to write. Write as much or as little as you like, but write something that finishes this sentence.

Writing Prompt: She picked up her glass. . .

Enjoy! Have fun and just write whatever pops into your head.

Here is what I came up with:

Jane picked her glass up and swallowed liquid courage. Then gulped some more. Whew! Her head felt a little light. She shook it off then stiffened her spine.

“I had sex with Cooper,” she blurted out.

David was mid-drink when he set his glass with great care onto his desk then leaned back in his leather chair, clasped his fingers together across his stomach and stared at her.

Was it hot in his office? She was hot. She started fanning herself and tugging at the collar on her blouse.

“I see.”

He sees? What does he see? She had sex with Cooper. A cop. Not just any cop, the mother of all cops. The gosh-darn-frickin’ Chief of Police.

“More than once,” she divulged and downed the rest of her champagne. She hiccupped as she set the glass on the desk in front of David.

She hiccupped again and slapped her fingers across her lips.

Second Night added to next Mystery Event!

What happens on January 21st AND January 22nd at Zorvino Vineyards? Another MURDER, of course……

The demand for this event was so great that Zorvino Vineyards asked the authors to host a second night of Loud and Lethal Murder Mystery Event.

If you haven't bought your tickets so today!!! You now have two nights available, but HURRY.
Visit to get your tickets!

Join us for a very special evening in January as we present LOUD & LETHAL - A Rock & Roll Murder Mystery. Once again, we bring together a group of 4 talented Mystery authors to help create the perfect crime…one that actually happens while you’re here at Zorvino Vineyards !!!

Our theme this time....? ROCK & ROLL !!! Enter the sordid world of the music industry as our favorite band, LOUD & LETHAL has mechanical trouble with the tour bus and has to spend the evening in our winery. But wait...there's already a huge wine bash going on ! What happens when a vortex of vipers, vagabonds, vixens, varmints & vino vault into our vineyard venue ! Viola !

This is a general admission event…Doors will open at 6:30 pm and we ask our guests to be present in the great room at 7 pm for the evening’s kick-off. The murder will be solved at 9:30 pm sharp as we share the details of the mystery with everyone. The one person who comes closest to figuring out what happened will receive a prize. The authors will be on hand at the end of the evening to personalize books and chat with their fans.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

Loud and Lethal - Our next Murder Mystery Event

What happens on January 21st at Zorvino Vineyards? Another MURDER, of course……

If you haven't bought your tickets so today!!! There's only 40 left.
Visit to get your tickets!

Join us for a very special evening in January as we present LOUD & LETHAL - A Rock & Roll Murder Mystery. Once again, we bring together a group of 4 talented Mystery authors to help create the perfect crime…one that actually happens while you’re here at Zorvino Vineyards !!!

Our theme this time....? ROCK & ROLL !!! Enter the sordid world of the music industry as our favorite band, LOUD & LETHAL has mechanical trouble with the tour bus and has to spend the evening in our winery. But wait...there's already a huge wine bash going on ! What happens when a vortex of vipers, vagabonds, vixens, varmints & vino vault into our vineyard venue ! Viola !

This is a general admission event…Doors will open at 6:30 pm and we ask our guests to be present in the great room at 7 pm for the evening’s kick-off. The murder will be solved at 9:30 pm sharp as we share the details of the mystery with everyone. The one person who comes closest to figuring out what happened will receive a prize. The authors will be on hand at the end of the evening to personalize books and chat with their fans.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sharing a lesson from my mom

Sometimes it really does pay to listen to your mom. And I mean that in the literal sense of the word, "pay".

A long time ago my mom taught me to throw change in a jar. She said, "If you want to save up for something fun to do on a rainy day, throsing it into a jar is the way to do it."

When I got a little older and was living on my own or when I was first with my ex-husband and was dirt poor, I remembered those words of wisdom.

At the end of every day we would toss our change into a jar. In a month's worth of time we could take our coins to the bank and could afford to go scuba diving. For the first few years of our marriage that was how we saved for fun, whether a dinner out, a movie, or a one-day dive trip we scrambled through that jar for our fun funds.

After a while we started adding whatever dollar bills we had at the end of the week into the fun funds. Wow! What a hugs difference. Then we could afford to order a pizza in once every two weeks or do a weekend dive trip.

To this day, thanks to my mom, I still do the "fun fund jar". And let me tell you it does add up. The best part is you don't even realize you are saving because you're not having to go to the bank every week to ensure that you are putting money aside. You are just doing it.

A few months back I took a trip to see my sister and her family and just so happened that I had packaged my fun fund up to take to the bank but never made it there. Instead, I had the money with me when I went to see my niece and nephews. Long story short, I tossed the plastic baggies with all the coins and dollar bills to my nephews and told then that if they counted it they could have it...with one caveat. They had to take their mom, dad, and sister out to dinner with part of it and then they could spend it on whatever else.

First, you have to imagine the chins dropped to their chests and their mouths catching flies. Too funny and a great precious moment. You would have thought they hit gold after they finished counting. Too funny!

This is the best part. After they realized how much cash they had in their hands they wanted to know how I saved all that. I shared with them the same wisdom my mom shared with me. . .

Find a jar, a bucket, a basket. Then sit it in the corner of a room and start emptying your pockets every evening and tossing your change inside. Put it out of your mind other than making it a routine habit.

Then when you really decide you want or need something you don't have to break your wallet open, you can turn to the jar and if the money is there, "Go for it."

I spoke with my nephews this evening and since then they have both been saving their money and it appears to be working for them.

Moms are brilliant people and it really does pay to listen. And I am so very glad that I got to pass my mom's words of wisdom on to my nephews. Maybe this little family treasure will help you in the new year to come.

Thanks Mom!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Visiting Inspired Quill

Today I had the opportunity to stop by Inspired Quill and have a quick chat with Sara about NEVER TEMPT DANGER.

Please drop on by Inspired Quill, say hi, and leave a comment.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What says holiday cheer more than a free book

'Tis the season for family, friends, fun, and free so let's have a little fun and give a free book to family or friend.

How to win is easy. Tell me who you want to give one of my books to and why then leave your email address with something like (drobbin AT so the stupid scammers don't get your mail. ;-)

If you want to give a specific book of mine to a person then mention that book in your post. Who knows, I may pull more than one name and/or book out of the random hat.

In case you haven't seen my four novels they are:

If you have a cook that is always on the look out for new recipes to try then perhaps a recipe book put together by a group of authors donating recipes might be a fun and unique idea.

Friday, December 10, 2010

An authors loves to hear

I love weeks like this!

The other day when I was at breakfast a woman who is reading NEVER TEMPT DANGER told me, "The book is getting really good. I was still reading at 2 in the morning."

HA! That's my idea of being hooked.

A couple who have read all my books (yes, both of them) introduced me to their kids as "their favorite local author."

Love the warm and fuzzy feeling that gave me.

A blogger contacted me and said she is just waiting to see my name on the list of attending authors for the Authors After Dark.

Then another reader emailed me to let me know she is loving my books (She's read NEVER TEMPT DANGER, CONNECT THE DOTS, and has KILLER BUNNY HILL) and is going to give one of them to the local library and convince them to carry the others.

I love hearing these things. I am feeling the author love.

OH! Wait! One more. A friend of mine called me from Minnesota and the first thing out of his mouth was "My family wants to know when the next book is coming out?"

Is he kidding me? NEVER TEMPT DANGER came out less than two months ago.

What do I have to say about that. Double arm pump and "Yippee! I'm one of those authors who can't write fast enough for her readers."

I have authors I love that can't write enough for me so that is an amazing feeling.

What does all this do for me? Makes me want to write and write and write some more. I've written 2500 words this week just by writing a little each morning.

For those of you that read my books and send me messages, "Thank you. You are great inspiration."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Writing Prompt Thursday

After being out and about the last two days touring the blog scene I thought today would be a good day for a writing prompt.

We'll keep it short and sweet. You ready?

Writing prompt: OMG!

Write as much or as little as you want but that little bit should leave it wide open for you to go in any direction. Play with it, have fun, and most importantly write.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'm off to another blog stop

Today on our our book blog tour we are stopping over at Babbling about Books, and More.

Katie and I chatted the other day and she shared with me that she had a few or more writer friends interested in getting published. I am stopping by Babbling about Books, and More.
to share with Katie and her friends my journey to getting published and hope you will find it inspiring. *Look for a few tips at the end of this journey.*

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

JoJos Book Corner

Join me today at another stop on my blog tour. I'll be over at Jo Jo's Book Corner along with Gilly and Lucas from my latest novel, NEVER TEMPT DANGER.

Join in the fun at Jo Jo's Book Corner as Jodie asks my characters some very interesting and fun questions.

Stick around and ask your own question to possibly win a copy of NEVER TEMPT DANGER for yourself or a loved one. It'll make a great holiday gift!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Daddy’s little girl…

Today is my father’s birthday and today I wanted to take the time to share with you how much I love, admire, and respect him. I want to share with you why I am daddy’s little girl.

Daddy’s little girl…

I’m daddy’s little girl, of this I know is true.

I’m daddy’s little girl because he loves me too.

He tucked me in, held my hand, and soothed my broken heart.

He clapped with joy, bought me ice cream, and shared a little part.

I’m daddy’s little girl, as no man will ever do.

I’m daddy’s little girl, he is the man I compare every man to.

He’s caught me when I’ve fallen and dusted me off to take a new flight.

He’s helped me soar and fly to my destiny.

I’m daddy’s little girl and that is how it should be.

I love my daddy and he loves me.

I’m daddy’s little girl.

~by Denise Robbins for her father

Many of you know that my father, Keith Goodman, is my first round editor of all my books. He has endured every word, every scene (don’t forget I write romantic-suspense), both good and bad at least twice. He does it because I ask.

This is the same man I shared with you months ago who wrote a poem about me when I was about two years old and kept it. I think I get my writing ability from him.

I admire my father for his common sense, for his ability to take on anything and do it right, for his undying love even when I probably get on his nerves. I respect him for holding his own against an establishment and taking care of the folks who worked for him.

Ten years ago we had this tremendous surprise birthday party for dad and the number of people who came out to hug, kiss, and surprise him was overwhelming. Even a high school friend of mine flew in from overseas to see my father’s face when everyone showed up. This is a guy who for whatever reason became my father’s adopted son and has been since I was about 15 years old. At the party, I heard story after story of how great my father was. I’m here to tell you that I know this first hand.

My father is the person I turn to when I need to talk something through. He’s the first person I called when I got my first book published. Heck, I still call him whenever a book is bought or I get the book cover. He was here when I bought my house and helped me clear out all the Forsythia that had taken over the yard.

When I was a kid, dad was the one who helped me learn to ride my purple banana-seat bike. He was the one who introduced me to different books to read. Dad was the one who endured algebra with me. Let me tell you…that was not pretty. While both my parents went to all of my sporting events it was my dada who was on the field with me as coach and friend, and the person who would play with me in the yard when I couldn’t get the throw or the kick quire right.

Both my parents support me in everything I do and for this I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Happy birthday, Dad! Hugs and kisses and birthday wishes.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'm visiting A Buckeye Girl Reads today

My blog tour continues at A Buckeye Girl Reads!

Today I was invited to stop by Colette's for a quick interview and a giveaway of NEVER TEMPT DANGER.

Stop on over, say "Hi," learn a little more about the heroine of NEVER TEMPT DANGER.

Leave a comment so we know you were there and to possibly win the giveaway.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Writing Prompt Wednesday

I'm trying to reach another two thousand words in my WIP today and thought a writing prompt might help me get there. How about you? Could you use a little creativity boost?

Today's writing prompt: He found Jack. . .

Write whatever pops into your head. Don't think, just write. Write as much or as little as you want and share it back here when you finish.

Hook that reader and make us want to read more.

Happy writing!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Do you love your yard?

I do!

Then you need Finer Cut Lawn Maintenance.

David Resnick, a longtime friend of mine owns and operates Finer Cut. He is the best yardman you could possibly find.

Why? Because he cares.

Yesterday I came home from work to find David blowing and raking leaves in my yard and then sucking them up with the riding machine. I can now see my beautiful rock wall again. Last spring he did the same thing and saved me days of work. My whole neighborhood was jealous.

Look! No leaves!

This summer when I had an old tree removed from my front yard I needed some dirt to fill it in. I picked up the phone, called the friendly owner or Finer Cut Lawn Maintenance, and that day I had dirt delivered. Unlike a lot of people, David didn’t just drop off the dirt. He hefted it from truck to hole and raked it so it looked nice and I could put plants in it.

Of course, Finer Cut Lawn Maintenance does more than blowing leaves and filling in dirt holes. Finer Cut does mowing, landscaping, pruning, mulching, even snow removal. You name it Finer Cut does it. And they do it well. Actually, Finer Cut Lawn Maintenance does it better than any.

Don’t just take my word for it. Ask my jealous neighbors.

In the meantime, call David Resnick at 603-645-1711 and tell him you are ready to have a Finer Cut Lawn today.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Procrastinating Sunday

With the way people's lives are nowadays it seems that Sunday is the only day we can relax. If even that day. I don't know about you all, but because I work over 40 hours per week and have a 90 minute commute each way every day I cannot get some of the things I want or need to do during the week. Most evenings by the time I arrive home I am too exhausted to get back in the car and run more errands. If I don't stop on the way home the chances of me going back out are slim to none.

When Saturday rolls around instead of chilling out on your deck or in front of a cozy fire with friends, what do we do? We run those errands or do those chores we were too tired or too busy to do during the week. When the work week was invented (who knows when) I don't believe this was the idea of the weekend. Sure we do yard work because, hey, that's what weekends are for. But we do yard work Saturday mornings so we can BBQ with neighbors in the afternoon or evening. And we do yeard work because it gives us an opportunity to commune with nature. For me, I like to just play in my garden.

The problem is that it's no longer just yard work on Saturdays. It's running errands to the grocery store, picking up and dropping off dry cleaning, making trips to the post office, and doing all those other pesky chores that should have been/could have been done if our work week wasn't consumed by 50 to 60 hours of work and commute that we don't even get paid for.

Then we have Sundays. Now Sundays for many are spent getting up and getting ready for church and then having a family breakfast after that. But then what? Do you get to sit on your hiney and enjoy a day of rest? Isn't that what Sundays were meant to be?

Or do you procrastinate on Sunday because you really do have chores that need to be done, but your heart is saying, "Please, please can we just chill out?!" At least that is what my heart is saying.

So how do you procrastinate? Maybe you have a really LARGE cup of coffee. You know, a cup that's three times your normal kickstart in the morning.

Perhaps you listen to icky Sunday radio? I mean I swear this is the one day of the week that the radio stations forget that radio producers forget that people are listening and want to be entertained. I don't want to hear about how to raise my child in a green world, how to tune my car, or hear for the umpteenth time about some idiot politician screwed up. On Sunday the last thing I want is boring stuff. I want something that's going to make me laugh and forget that tomorrow is Monday and that the week starts all over again.

Maybe you watch the Sunday shows where some pompous opinionated person gives you his or her take on the world, economy, foreign politics, or whatever other topic there is that will blow your mind away on a Sunday. Instead, your heart is now pounding out of your chest because for 60 minutes you have listened to people who tell you they are smarter than you tell you how we can make everything better. But have they done anything about it? Nope. They just argued on national television about how it could or should be done.

How do you procrastinate?

Me, I should be writing on my latest novel. This is the one day a week I try to put aside for just my writing. So how do I procrastinate?

I get up, go for a cinnamon roll and Mountain Dew. Yes, I need caffeine, just not the coffee variety. I write a blog post like this one just because it popped into my head. I will then do a small amount of writing before the place I'm sitting in gets too busy and loud. And, of course, that's usually when I get on a roll in the story.

Then I get in the car and run more of those errands that I should have, would have run during the week if I hadn't worked so much. Or I decide I need silk flowers in my living room and I go to the little shop in Bedford because it's the only time I can make it to the place since it closes at 5 PM during the week. Occasionally, I get in my car and go for a drive. It doesn't matter where, just drive and stop wherever I want. Sometimes I head to Kittery to walk around the outlets and get some fresh air. I might even drive up to Gilmanton to get those terrific apple cider donuts I may have mentioned before. And yes, I will make that 45 minute drive just for those donuts.

After doing those things, I go home and look around and realize I need to vacuum or I need to put that floral arrangement together that I bought the flowers for. By the time I sit down to finish the chapter I started in the morning I am exhausted and my mind is already on work for the next day. Dang! Is that sad or what?

What do you put Sunday aside for and how do you procrastinate?

PS - I'm off to start writing. :-)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Holiday Craft Open House

If you missed or skipped Black Friday (not that I blame you), but still want to get some holiday shopping done then I have a fun venue for you.

Holiday Craft Open House!

This Saturday, November 27, is the 3rd annual Holiday Craft Open House.

Join us from 10 AM to 3 PM at 5 McGrath Street in Salem, NH for Refreshments and Handmade crafts.

Handmade items available:

Soy candles
Fresh Holiday Arrangements for decorating
Doll clothes
Painted glass and gifts

Oh, yeah, and I'll be there with my books! So if you haven't gotten your copy of your favorite local author's latest, here's your chance to get a great stocking stuffer.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's to another holiday giving us the opportunity to be thankful for family and friends. Here's to a wonderful meal filled with loud conversations and laughing, fabulous home-cooked food, and your favorite pie for dessert.

Whether the dinner is at your place or someone else's, cheers to you and yours and I hope you have much to be grateful for.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How to kill more than time on your holiday

This holiday I thought I would start the celebration by offering a unique writing prompt with party gifts as incentives.

As you entertain your family and friends this holiday season and sit down to a wonderful meal filled with love and laughter, I want you to think like a fiction writer. What am I saying? You ARE fiction writers. . . even if only in your mind. In this instance though you have to actually write something down and share it on the blog in order to be eligible for a party prize.

What are the party prizes?

• A copy of any ONE of my novels – reading for those holiday travels or an escape from the family frenzy!

• A copy of KILLER RECIPES – just in time for those holiday meals!

• A box of my homemade chocolates made by my very own Sweets by Denise hands.

How to win one or more of these fabulous participation gifts?

Pretend you are having a little get together at your home or office and you’ve invited everyone you want to celebrate with and maybe a few you don’t in the hopes of fun, food, and family and friends. Who wouldn’t want that? Or perhaps you really are having a gathering so all you have to do is observe, plot, and share.

However, we all have those relatives, friends (maybe not such good friends), and work associates that when you put them in a social venue just should be locked in a closet, chained to a chair, and gagged for the duration. In this case, you get to describe the holiday offense and tell us who should pay the price.

Share with us a family member, friend, or foe who when you gather for food and fun and hear the song “Grandma got run over by a reindeer”, somewhere in the back of your mind you are thinking that they got the wrong person.

Need some silly ideas to get you started? Gee! I might have a few. . . (none of whom are my family or friends)

You have an uncle who refuses to join the family at the dinner table because he cannot miss one minute of football. Heck, if you gave him one of those hospital bottle urinals he’d probably never leave his chair to pee. Grandma is at the dinner table stewing and upset about her ungrateful, ungracious son. What should we do with said uncle for making your wonderfully sweet grandma cry over her minced-meat pie?

Your favorite aunt makes the most disgusting “green salad” for every holiday meal. It’s not green because there is lettuce in the salad. Nope. This salad is called “green salad” because thanks to lime jell-o mix it practically glows in the dark. Add to it some chunk pineapple, cottage cheese, and cool whip, and you have the makings for a death trap. You don’t want your favorite aunt to die, but somehow you have to come up with a way to stop her from making this toxic sludge. Who must die?

Everyone has a cousin who is loud, obnoxious and a boil on the butt of your lovely family. Supposedly he hob-knobs with the so-called elite and basically believes his doo-doo doesn’t stink. Truth is, when he’s away from his claw-for-nails, overdressed wife who wears makeup as if she were a clown in the rodeo he is actually a pretty nice guy who enjoys a cold beer out of the bottle and a football game. I’m thinking save him, shoot the wife!

Oh! Wait! One more.

The monster child! You know the one. The boy or girl terrorizes all the other children, tries to strangle the family cat, and inevitably dumps food on your ancient aunt who sits quietly in the corner. All while the parents coo, “Isn’t he a joy? We just love his energy.” I’m not advocating killing off the child, cuz hello, that’s just mean, but the parents. . . now that’s a different story.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This week's Writing Prompt

This week's writing prompt idea came from a chapter I'm working on in my current WIP. I hope you have fun with it and share what you come up with.

Here's the prompt: She slipped out of . . .

Here's how I started the writing prompt.

She slipped out of bed early the next morning. Using the light from the hall to guide her, Jane located a pair of boxers and a tank top and silently dragged them on before tiptoeing out of the bedroom and down the stairs.

In the kitchen, she made coffee then sat at her little bistro table, staring sightlessly at the mug she held in one hand while the other propped up her head.

"What the hell have I done?"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thought provoking Tuesday

Today's thought provoking question:

What one moment do you wish you could have caught on film but didn't?

Whether because you didn't have a camera or because you were so awed in the moment you forgot to click the picture, tell us what moment struck you that you didn't get recorded except in your memory.

There are probably several in my life but the one that stands out always in my mind is the first time I saw a Moray eel while scuba diving. The sucker was this big [she holds her hands apart as wide as they can go]. Actually, he was much bigger. And his head was ginormous!

He stopped right in front of me in this S-shaped pattern and stared at me. If I hadn't been 30 feet underwater and a regulator in between my lips, my mouth would have dropped open. He blinked twice and took off.

It was at that point when my heart was beating out of my chest that I realized I FORGOT to click the dang picture. Can you believe that?! I was flabbergasted.

To this day whenevr I go diving in Key Largo I always ask the Dive Master to find me a Moray. :-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Denise Robbins and her latest novel NEVER TEMPT DANGER on blog tour

Some of you may not be aware that I am doing a book blog tour to announce the release of my latest novel NEVER TEMPT DANGER.

New to the blogosphere? No clue what a book blog tour is?

A book blog tour is where an author visits a book blogger's website where they discuss the latest novel, post an interview with the author, or just chit-chat about whatever topic is of interest for the day. You as the readers and visitors of the various stops of the book blog tour have a chance to get to know the author, the blogger, and almost always have an opportunity to win a free book!

My tour is under way right now. Below are the places we've been, and the dates and blogs I will be visiting. Mark your calendars - because you never know what surprise will come up as a giveaway.

10/22/10 Intense Whisper
10/29/10 Geeky Bookworm
11/05/10 Book Lovers Inc. - Giveaway ends Nov. 20th.
11/12/10 Sagi's Randomness
11/17/10 TBD - TV Ted
11/21/10 Foozago Blog
12/02/10 A Buckeye Girl Reads
12/04/10 Jo Jo's Book Corner
12/08/10 Babbling About Books and More
12/17/10 Inspired Quill
12/22/10 Cafe of Dreams
01/10/11 My words and pages

To see any changes to this schedule and more information about me, the books, and upcoming events, visit my Facebook Fan Page at

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tea time with Sagi's Randomness...and book giveaway

Today I am having tea with a new friend of mine over at Sagi's Randomness.

Sagi invited me for tea and somehow we got on the subject of trips and writing. Gee, like writing would be a new topic for me to discuss. Oh, hush! You know us women, we ramble from one thing to another and [SNAP!] just like that we're taking trips.

Grab a cup of tea, maybe a couple of sugar cookies, and stop on over to chat with Sagi and me.

Since we're having tea I thought it would be fun to giveaway a copy of KILLER RECIPES, a compilation of recipes written by authors, all to support the American Cancer Society.

If you leave a question on Sagi's blog Sagi's Randomness or tell us where you would like to travel to you could wind a free copy of KILLER RECIPES.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank you Veterans

For those of you who don't know, today, November 11, is Veterans Day. A day to remember and honor our military veterans. In other parts of the world Veterans Day is celebrated as Armistic Day or Remembrance Day. It's the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I and was signed on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month.

No matter what you call it or where you are, today is a perfect day to say, "Thank you" to a veteran you know. Maybe you don't know him or her. Introduce yourself and thank him/her for protecting you and us. Thank them for standing the wall and making it safe for you and us to go about our lives.

While you are thanking those that you know or are still alive, remember those that gave their life. Remember those that went into battle for our freedom and didn't come back. Remember them as the hero they were and are.

To all the Veterans I know, have yet to meet, or will never have the privilege of meeting:

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping keep me, my family and friends, and our freedoms safe from harm. You are my heroes.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thought provoking question...that will make you write

If you could put a thought or sentiment in a fortune cookie, what would you write?

Now if that doesn't make you think or write an idea down, I don't know what will. Come up with an idea and share it.

Here is my fortune cookie sentiment:

Happiness comes from the heart, not the mind. Follow your heart.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Next blog stop on NEVER TEMPT DANGER tour

If you were looking for me today, stop by, my 3rd blog stop on my book tour for NEVER TEMPT DANGER.

Check out the interview where I discuss how books and authors influenced me and my writing. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of NEVER TEMPT DANGER.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Writing Prompt Wednesday...

I just love when a writing prompt is inspired by my own writing. This one came from a scene I started while at Margaritas indulging myself in a margarita and doing some writing. Honestly, there is no better place to write than a noisy restaurant.

This week's Writing Prompt Wednesday prompt is: "She put her hands against his chest..."

Now if that does not leave it open to all kinds of ideas I just don't know what would.

Have fun and don't forget to share what you came up with!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Response to last week's writing prompt

Last week's writing prompt was: "Is everything - "

What did you come up with? Share! Share!

Here is my attempt at the writing prompt:

“Is everything –”

She halted mid-shake and spun around. Her assistant stood stock still and wide-eyed in the doorway staring.

Cheeks flushed, Jane straightened and cleared her throat, shoving down the skirt that had crawled up her thighs during her little jig.

“Yes, Tony?”

When her assistant didn’t respond but stood there gaping with his chin to his chest, Jane spoke again. “Are you trying to catch flies?”

Tony’s lips clamped shut and he blinked several times before he stood up straight and put words to thoughts. “Uh. No. Sorry,” he stammered then ran a hand down his face as if to clear his vision. “Are you okay? I heard yelling.”

Monday, November 1, 2010

Never Tempt Danger and interview in ITW Big Thrill Webzine

There are days where waking up and logging on are so worth it. Today is one of those days!

In my email I received the latest edition of the The Big Thrill, International Thriller Writers webzine. In it is an interview I gave with Clea Simon about my latest novel, Never Tempt Danger.

It's very thrilling for me to see my name, my book, and my interview listed with authors I read and admire like Heather Graham, Carla Neggers, and David Baldacci.

So yes, you can imagine me seeing this article for the first time and hooting with joy, spinning around with enthusiasm, and doing a little jig in glee. Then, of course, forwarding it to everyone I know!

I will top off this fizzy excitement with two other little ditties that happened. A woman I know who refuses to buy my books from me because she wants to support me (Isn't that sweet.), bought two copies of Never Tempt Danger, one for her and one for a friend. Then she asked me to sign them. Attached to the front of the book she asked me to sign for her friend was a note. Here's where I get a little red-faced with embarrassment, but at the same time my heart jumps and does little pirouettes in my chest.

The note read: "If you like Janet Evanovich, you will love Denise even better."

Wha?! My eyes bugged out. Someone actually compared me to Janet. Way cool!

A neighbor to my parents in Florida read a copy of Never Tempt Danger then went over to their house and praised my writing and my creativity, asking, "Where does she come up with such stories?" Followed by, "Where can I get her other books because the library doesn't have them?"

I, being the cheeky chick that I am, have volunteered to send Peggy a copy of another book and one for her to donate to the library. Maybe that will make them sit up and take notice.

Hope you have a wonderful and cheeky day like me!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween, Festival of Samhain, and ancestors

As I research my family lineage, for no other purpose than for my own knowledge, I decided that it would be interesting to research the origin of Halloween.

Where did it come from? How did it get its name? Why do we celebrate it?

In the way things do, I learned that Halloween or what was originally known as Festival of Samhain comes from Ireland, much like part of my family history. Festival of Samhain, pronounced "sow-an", meaning "summer's end".

The Celtic Festival of Samhain was a celebration of the end of the lighter half of the year and the beginning of the darker half. [Ooo! I get chills just thinking about the "darker half".]

The ancient Celtics believed that the veil between this world and the "otherworld" became thin on this night of the Celtic New Year, and thus perfect for allowing the spirits to pass through. The question is: Were they good spirits or bad?

Answer: BOTH

Yes, it was and perhaps still is believed that both the harmless and harmful spirits could pass through on this night. This idea is where the inspiration of wearing costumes originated.

On this evening family's honored their dead and invited them home, while warding off harmful spirits. Ancestors wore costumes to aid in the warding off of those bad, unwanted ghosts. The idea was that if they dressed as an evil spirit they would avoid harm.

In the traditional Celtic festival, hollowed out turnips were carved with faces and placed in windows to ward off evil spirits. Today we carve pumpkins.

Traditional costumes consisted of ghosts, skeletons, witches, devils, pretty much anything that was a monster. Remember, the idea was to play evid to ward off evil. Today, the costumes are pretty much anything, from a cartoon character, to a popular rock start, to the soft and squishy stuffed animal that you curl up with in bed at night.

Trick-or-treating, where did that come from? Actually, it came from those same Irish and British ancestors back in the middle ages. Trick-or-treating was originally known as "souling". Souling is where a poor person of the time would go begging from door-to-door on Hallowmas (November 1st), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2nd).

Hope you enjoyed this brief history of an Irish tradition and one of my favorite holidays.

Happy Halloween! Now go out and have fun celebrating the dead and undead!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Writing Prompt Wednesday

Hmm...seems too long since we had a writing prompt. I don't know about you all but I sure could use a little creativity boost.

Let's see what you create with this writing prompt: "Is everything -"

That little dash means the speaker was cut off or perhaps he/she trailed off, whichever you prefer. Have fun and think of the possibilities!

Let it flow and the words will come.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ladies' Night out at Good Feet in Bedford, NH

Good Feet in Bedford, NH is hosting a Ladies' Night Out!

The store has special happenings this evening from 5 to 9 PM.

There will be various vendors for you to check out and some goodies to munch. So if you are looking for something to do this evening, stop on by Good Feet at 7 Colby Court and see what is what and who is who.

If you go, stop by to see me, yes me, I'll be there with my latest novel, NEVER TEMPT DANGER and chocolate chip cookies.

I'll sign the book, you eat the cookies!

Monday, October 25, 2010

To my friend Lisa Olech

I'm a believer in if you say it, it will happen. Sheesh! For me that happens all the time. Like never tell someone who is going to go home and paint to not fall off a ladder. Sure enough it will happen...and in my case last winter I did. But it doesn't have to be all bad.

I want to tell you a little story. HA! That's a funny line coming from a writer.

I want to tell you the story of how I came to buy my house and about the glass art that came to hang in my window. A few years ago I had sold the house I owned and had thirty days to get another place. Thirty days seemed like a long time, so cool, no problem.

That was sooo NOT the case.

Who would have guessed it would be so difficult to find something that I liked and suited me. What exactly was I looking for? I wanted a house that was new or newer, had an open floor plan, wood floors, and a kitchen with granite countertops. No big deal, right?

So I visited about a eight homes, including ones that were older houses and had a lot of charm. Charm from a distance that is.

Anyway, I was almost at the end of my ropes when I had to go on a business trip. While I was in Kentucky, my real estate agent visited a few places that I had asked to look at and she would let me know if they were worth me seeing them. By this time she had gotten a feel for my taste and that worked for me. Well, she did not see a dang thing worth my time.

At the end of my week in Kentucky, my team is all packed up and at the airport and we are chatting away about plans for the weekend. Someone asks, "What are you doing this weekend, Denise?"

"I'm going to buy a house."

A couple of chuckles, a scoff or two, and someone says, "Yeah right. Just like that." He snaps his fingers. "Your going to buy a house."

I responded, "Yes, just like that, I will buy a house this weekend."

I arrive home Friday evening, get onto my computer and start looking at some listings that my real estate agent sent me. I picked out three and sent them to her. She replied back and asked, "If you could have everything in a house you wanted, what would it be?"

That was easy. "New, open floor plan, wood floors, granite countertops in the kitchen." Then out of the blue I added, "A rock wall and an apple tree."

Yeah, okay, funny, ha ha. Real estate agent thinks I am a hoot and we make plans for visiting three homes Saturday morning.

Here is where I tell you, "If you don't ask for it you won't get it."

The first house we saw was a new house in an older development. As we walk up to the front stairs I am immediately impressed by the nickel-finished oustide lamps and how they match the finish on the door know. Hey! It's the little things that make us happy. We walk in and holy cow we are greeted by wood floors and an open floor plan. And unbelievably, every fixture in the house is actually nickel-finished. What can I say these are the details that make a good builder.

Anyway, the wood floors go everywhere including the stairs except the bedrooms. In my mind I am high-fiving my real estate agent. We get to the kitchen and see granite counters. Oh my goodness I have died and gone to heaven. Yeah, no.

I check out the library. HA! Yes, my house has a small library, which I love. What writer wouldn't like that?

Next we travel outside to see the deck and the back yard. We're standing there and I hear this clanking noise followed by screams. "What is that, I ask the builder?"

"That's the old roller coaster at the amusement park."

Wicked cool! Then I glance down and see a rock wall that runs along the side of the property. Heart does a quick jump in chest. I love rock walls and am completely enthralled by them and how they came to be and who built it for what reason.

When I turn around to look at the grounds I see a bunch of Forsythias and this big tree. I pointed at it and asked, "What kind of tree is that?"

"Oh, that's an old apple tree. The whole place used to be an apple orchard."

Tell me you would not be having a heart attack, hyperventilating, and doing the happy dance all at once. Because remember, I just got what I asked for.

And yes, I bought my house that day! As I said I would. To top it off, my oldest friend had just returned from overseas some place and he called. I told him I just bought a house and he had to fly up to see it. Duh! Of course, he did. To me that was a sign.

Now, how does any of thise relate to the image of the glass art at the beginning of the story?

I have this wonderful friend and fellow writer slash glass artist named Lisa Olech. I asked her one day if she would make me a piece of art. She said yes.

As Lisa called me on the phone to dicuss what I wanted, which, I had no clue at the time, I relayed this story to her. I told her how my apple tree and rock wall became my symbols for my future. They became my symbols for throwing it out there and getting what I wanted.

One of those things was a yard/garden that I had always wanted, the house that I had dreamed of, and lastly, but maybe more importantly to me, is I got my first book published. That apple tree became my symbol of me and my dreams.

This blog post is dedicated to Lisa Olech, a friend, artist, and writer. Thank you for capturing my dreams and symbols and allowing me to see their beauty every day. You are a talented lady and I am happy that you are in my world of friends.

Hugs and kisses! And I'm ready for a new piece of art.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Intense Whisper hosts Never Tempt Danger character interview

On Friday, October 22nd, stop by Robin's blog at Intense Whisper and checkout an interview between two of my characters.

Charley, a human intelligence specialist from CONNECT THE DOTS puts Gilly, a robotics genius with a special gift from NEVER TEMPT DANGER on the hot seat.

Stop by, leave a comment, and get a chance to win a copy of NEVER TEMPT DANGER.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Summertime Wrap Up

Remember when you were younger and on the first day of school each fall some teacher would ask you to share what you did over the summer?

I thought it would be interesting to do something similar but share something new that you did or experienced for the first time. Kinda like a first kiss, but not. HA!

Since it's my blog I guess I will start. "Hm..." she says with her finger pressed to her chin.

I stained my new deck and porch. Nope, never done that before and not exactly sure I would do it again, but hey! I can say, "I did that."

I was introduced to some new music groups. "Okay, new music groups for me. What can I say? I live a sheltered life." hehehe "Oh, you want to know what music groups?"

Lady Antebellum
Keith Urban

The fun part of the music experience for me is that I also sing. (Shhh. This is a little known secret.) So as part of my voice lessons each week I am learning the music and singing the words to the new songs that I was introduced to. AND this is so great for me because I am finally conquering those pesky two midrange notes that drive me cringe. "Yea me!"

OH! I ran my first 5K ever. Wow! What an experience. All I can say is, "Don't drink water before you do the race." Actually, I very much enjoyed finding the Windham rail trail and training for the run. I enjoyed doing it and reaching my goal of under 12 minutes per mile. "Hey! Nobody said I was a speed demon." Next year my goal is three races. Wish me luck.

Lastly, I started taking shooting lessons. "Don't mess with this blonde." As of last week, I learned to control the .380 to the point of being able to shoot 7 holes into a life-size target's head. "You don't want to know what parts of the man's body I hit with the .45." Suffice it to say, I had a HUGE grin on my face and retired Gunnery Sergeant Mike Stevens AKA Gunny told me, "Don't even talk about it." hehe You think he felt empathy for the paper target?

So what did you do this summer?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dewey Read-A-Thon Day

Twice a year Dewey's Read-a-thon hosts a real live read-a-thon. Bloggers read and post about what they read and encourage other participants. They arrange for cheerleaders to boost your reading and encourage you to not give up in those last 5 hours. There are mini-challenges throught the 24 hours and even prizes.

If you don't blog, don't worry about it. Visit here and share what you have read, what is keeping you going (like Cheetos, Mountain Dew, delivered pizza), what's your goal, and what's next on your list. Go sign-up at Dewey's Read-a-thon and let me know and we will keep each other awake and motivated for the next 24 hours.

Think of it - reading, reading, and reading!

It starts today at 8AM east coast time. So, if you've got a few books that have been on your reading list, or in your to-be-read pile then pull them out, grab a comfy chair, a good lamp, and a whole lot of snack food and start reading.

Now, you don't have to stop doing everything so if you have to go out to eat with your hubby or do some laundry then do it. Just take a book with you. While your date is boring you to death you can sneak off to the ladies' room and read a page or two. OH! E-books would be a great way to deal with that pesky date. Just set it on your seat while he chatters on about his work or his manliness.

Last time I think I finished 4 books, which isn't a lot, but like I said you can still do other things in between books.

My goal this time is to do 5 books. Hey! It's an improvement.

I'm starting my marathon with Carolina Moon and Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts.

Now I have to go to my Saturday morning lesson, but while I'm driving there I will be listening to an audiobook.


We've reached hour 9 and I've finished my first 2 books. WOOT! Not bad for someone who had to go shooting before she got to get cozy in her chair and a couple of good books.

Thanks to the cheerleaders for stopping by and leaving me notes of encouragement.

My next two books are a couple more by Nora Roberts. Hm...there must be a theme to this reading. I'm going to finish the Three Sister's Island Trilogy for my next two books. Next up:

A little over 8 hours left.
Whew! How goes the reading?

What has helped you stay awake, keep you reading? Did you prop your eyelids open with toothpicks? Splash your face with cold water?

Do you have a pile of junk food wrappers on the table sitting next to you?

Me - I took a break and made some spicy chili. I've switched chairs to give my hiney a rest. I haven't reached for the ceffeine yet, but that may be soon.

Right now I'm sucking on little jelly-filled raspberry candies. Ahh! SUGAR!

But the good news is. . . I've finished my first 4 books. YIPPEE! Now I'm going to get up and stretch, and yes, get some caffeine, and go find my next 2 books.

Keep up the good work. Keep reading!

Two hours left and we're almost there!

Can you believe you've been up for almost 24 hours? Can you believe you've been reading for almost 24 hours? Time flies when you're having fun!

Yea me! I have surpassed my goal.

How about you? How'd you do?

Finished Janet Evanovich's latest novel. Currently reading Tess Gerristen's latest release.

Last Read-a-thon Post:

I did it! This is my second Dewey Read-a-thon and the second time I managed to stay awake and read. Of course, my hiney is now flat, and I probably stink but can't tell from the morning breath related to all the junk food I ate to stay bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. What exactly is bushy-tailed?

Oh! I'm also a little loopy and wired since I have now surpassed the hours of awakeness into the 27 hour mark. AND oh-my-gosh! I need food, real food.

Thanks Dewey's Read-a-thon for hosting a real live read-a-thon. I look forward to participating in the next one.

Thanks to all the cheerleaders! Your words and poems of encouragement were terrific motivation. You all deserve to have your pom-poms bronzed.

I have one favor though. Can you email us past participants to let us know ahead of time when the event will be? That way, little blonde flakes like me don't notice the event at the last minute. :-)

I will even donate a couple of books as prizes for the next Dewey Read-a-thon!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rainy Day Writing Prompt Wednesday

I had a whole other prompt set for today, but then I walked out into the rain and "whoosh" changed my mind. It's a girl thing.

So. . . today's writing prompt is: She stepped out into the rain. . .

Finish that sentence, write a paragraph, or a page. Have fun and let the words flow.

Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wednesday is for booklovers

Booklovers who live in New England! If you are looking for reading material to get you through the cold weather ahead, authors Denise Robbins and Nora LeDuc have the right read for you.

Robbins and LeDuc will be discussing and signing their latest novels this Wednesday, October 6 from 5:30PM to 9:00PM at Borders Bookstore in Concord, NH.

Robbins will sign copies of her new release, Never Tempt Danger, which takes readers on a roller coaster ride of suspense, intrigue and romance in the clandestine world of government research and cutting edge technology.

LeDuc will sign copies of her latest novel, Pick Up Lines for Murder. Pick Up Lines for Murder is a tale to suit any romantic or mystery fan.

If you are in need of a good book to cozy up with in front of the fire on a New England winter night you won't want to miss this event. Mark your calendar!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Oh, deer! Authors Pauline Jones and Denise Robbins have two new fans

But in this case, that's not necessarily a good thing...

How ominous is that?!

This is the message that greeted me Friday morning from my publisher when I checked my email before leaving for work.

Apparently Linda had ordered a bunch of books and all had arrived in two big boxes Monday night. All except for two books. They were put into a small separate box, which did not arrive until the next day, after Linda publisher had to leave for Houston Tuesday night.

Linda said, “I didn't worry, since no rain was expected. I figured the box would be sitting near the mailboxes, waiting for me to pick it up on my way in tonight (late Thursday.)”

However, her "ever so helpful" neighbor decided to bring the box up to her inside big gate, and since it was small, they must have slipped it underneath. Or put it very very close, at least partway under the gate.

Because. . .

According to Linda, “When I came through the gate tonight after midnight, I discovered that my two Fallow bucks had opened the UPS box, and were happily devouring one copy of Out of Time and a copy of Never Tempt Danger.”

GASP! See photo.

Linda ended her note by saying, “Well, these two have already "tempted danger" with me way too many times. I won't elaborate now, it's late (after 2:30 AM) and I'm tired...

So, these four legged boys are officially "out of time" and if they try this again, they are going to get some BB's in their big hairy butts!”

As for the neighbors, she says, “I'm not sure what I'm going to do to the neighbors. I'm pretty sure it was the little boy (who rides down on his ATV to pick up the mail) - I think his Dad is a paramedic. Perhaps I'll ask him if he can resuscitate the books.”

LOL! That would be a miracle.

“On that note, I'll sign off and try to get some rest.

Pauline chimed in later on Friday with, “LOL! Instead of the dog ate my homework, the deer ate the books. LOL! My sister says the deer in her yard try to eat everything! They start with her flowers, but finish anything and everything! Time to bring on the hunters. [GRIN] Oh the trials of a publisher. I think you’ve got a blog in there somewhere. Hugs!”

Pauline was correct. These two new fans would make a great blog post. BUT. . . being the mystery, suspense, steampunk and whatever else writers Pauline and I are we need to know more about these so-called ‘fans’ or as I have given them the nickname of ‘book bandits’.

Ergo we investigate and get a little more information on our culprits. What we learn from Linda is this:

This is a mugshot of one of the ‘book bandits’. He’s a white Fallow buck Linda named ‘Mergatroid’.”

Okay, wait! She names the deer Mergatroid? Didn’t the Hanna-Barbera cartoon ‘Snagglepuss’ use “Heavens to Mergatroid (Murgatroyd)!” as one of his catchphrases? The meaning one of surprise and shock. . .and trouble.

Hm. Me thinks the deer is aptly named. As a matter of fact, she calls his son, his partner in crime (a dark brown Fallow) “Junior”.

Linda’s eyewitness testimony states, “The two of them are always "up to something" - including eating the car seat covers on my Jeep in the carport. I swear this deer breed (a variety of European Moose, imported into the USA) is part goat!”

Yup! Having seen goats try to nibble at my mother’s shoes while her feet were still in them, I get a clear visual as to they will eat anything.

Linda continues, “The does are sweeties, though, and even though they act silly, they aren't as destructive as the bucks. Must be a "guy thing" that crosses all species. Search and and destroy...”

Now if you know Linda you would be laughing at that statement. Not because it’s not true. But because this is a woman who goes out at the wee hours of the morning with her shotgun in hand and ‘searches and destroys’ the raccoons that wreak havoc on her lodge in the woods.

Anyway, long story to get to the point of saying, “If even the deer want to devour our books, you should too!”

In case you missed the titles that Mergatroid and Junior preferred they were “Out of Time” by Pauline Baird Jones and “Never Tempt Danger” by Denise Robbins. Both are available at L&L Dreamspell.

Just be sure to send a note to Linda and tell her you prefer a copy without the deer teeth marks, hoof prints, or any other deer markings.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday's Writing Prompt Response

So, how'd you do? Did you try Wednesday's writing prompt? Did it give you a little creative boost?

If you did, share it with us. We want to read!

Here is my brief take. Actually, for me this turned into an entire chapter, but I'll only share with you a short paragraph.

This week's writing prompt was: He eased the door...

He eased the door open and slid into the sterile room. On silent feet he moved into the room and stopped at the foot of the hospital bed when the woman’s beaten and battered face came into view under the dim light.

Damn! He hated this part of his job. He hated questioning the innocent victim.

Hope you had some fun. Watch for the next writing prompt next Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Writing Prompt Wednesday...

There are days when words just flow and last Sunday was one of them. This week's writing prompt popped into my head as I sat down last Sunday morning and wrote 1600 words on my latest novel in-progress.

Prompt: He eased the door. . .

Remember, the purpose of these writing prompts is to boost your creativity and to have a little fun.

Write as much or as little as you can and have fun!

Share whatever you come up with back here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mum crazy

Fall is my favorite season! All that wonderful crisp air, the bonfires, snuggling up in a cozy sweater and the vibrant colors of fall just give you the warm fuzzies.

Probably one of the best parts of fall are the mums. Their sweet smell and their bright colors and varying shapes are amazing. Just what we need to add some life while the trees go to sleep and drop their leaves.

This weekend I went mum crazy. I planted yellow, pink, and red mums along with two baby lilac trees, and lily bulbs that will bloom next summer in my retaining wall in the front yard. To protect and entertain the flowers I put my big bunny sitting in their with them.
In addition to adding a little whimsy to my yard, I put some new mums in the flower boxes on the railings of my porch and deck then planted others into the various front and back yard gardens. It looks as if a painter came by with a paint brush and added a splash of color to my outdoor area. Oh yeah, that's Mayhem in the door window looking out at me.
Yesterday I even picked up a couple of bails of hay and placed them inside this old bucket that my neighbor gave me an I repainted. On top of those bails of hay I added two mums, two pumpkins, and another little bunny. Now every time I drive up to my house I am greeted by smiles of mums.
I took one of the bright pink mums, the kind that look like they have daisy petals, planted it into a hand-painted terra cotta pot that a friend gave me, set it next to an old tree on the side of the yard where people drive by, and set another set of bunnies who like to read next to it. Now when people drive by they are greeted by fall.

If we could just hold back winter and keep fall for six months I would be a very happy camper.

Friday, September 24, 2010

She aimed the loaded weapon. . .

How creative did you get with this Wednesday's writing prompt?

Wednesday's writing prompt was: She aimed the loaded weapon. . .

What did you come up with? Here's mine.

She aimed the loaded weapon toward her face then moved it so it pointed at her mouth and stared at it expectantly as if it would explode in her hands at any moment.

You can do this.

Her hands shook and she tightened her grip. Eyeing the cocked and loaded weapon held in her shaky grip, her mouth suddenly went dry. She swallowed, trying to gain her courage.

The rush of blood echoed in her ears and pulsed against her fingers as her heart tried to hammer its way out of her chest.

Come on. You can do it.

Just get it over with.

Wetting her lips with the tip of her tongue, she ordered herself to close her eyes and pretend it was a lollipop.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Writing Prompt Wednesday...

Writing prompt Wednesday is an exercise in creativity without thinking. Well, that's how I describe it. [GRIN]

I give you a partial sentence and all you have to do is finish it. Or you can write more! Write a paragraph, a page, a chapter. Whatever your creative mind comes up with and your fingers can type.

It's a terrific way to break writer's block or get your creative juices flowing.

When you do this exercise don't think, just write what pops into your head and have fun. And don't forget to share what you come up with.

Today's prompt is: She aimed the loaded weapon. . .

Monday, September 20, 2010

Firing up your Fiction

Have you ever read a book where it is obvious that the writer did not do his or her research? Did it turn you off from reading further or did you get past it?

There are many editors that will do the research to verify something mentioned in a novel is fact or fiction. Even if the novel is a work of fiction publishers and readers prefer to see some string of fact in the writing. This is why we, the authors, do our research.

My latest research has engaged me in the "right to bear and keep arms" as afforded us in the Second Amendment of the Constitution. (okay...I had to look that up)

On Saturday mornings for about 8-weeks now I have been getting up and packing what can only be termed a small suitcase, and driving to Weare, NH for pistol shooting lessons with Gunnery Sergeant Mike Stevens, USMC Force Recon Retired otherwise known as 'Gunny'.

Seriously, could you ask for a better instructor?

Mike is is the owner of Classic Armorer and a no holds bar, tell you like it is instructor who is very serious about what he teaches and who he teaches.

My very first class Gunny taught me how to handle a pistol, how to tear it down, how to clean it, and how to put it back together.

It wasn't until after those first lessons of the day that we walked down to his outdoor shooting range. There, Mike coached me on 'range etiquette'.

I have to wear protective eyewear, a shirt that covers my upper body so a hot bullet doesn't hit and burn my skin, and protective 'ears' that muffle the gunshot sound but allow me to hear his instructions, and always keep the weapon aimed down range.

With the weapon unloaded, the magazine loaded with target ammo, and all safety gear in place, I walk to the 21-foot line in front of a paper target.

Why a 21-foot line?

According to Gunny and the FBI, the average distance in a gun fight is 21-feet.

With my unloaded .380 Bersa held at my side and the clip in my opposite hand, I wait for Gunny's command.

The first command is "Ready on the line." This phrase tells me to load my weapon and stand in the shooting position he taught me with the gun aimed at the target.

"What is the shooting position?"

Your feet are about shoulder-width apart, your upper body is tilted slightly forward in what Gunny describes as "arrhhhhh", and your shooting hand is up at eye-level. Then you take your free hand and place it under and wrapped around your shooting hand so it acts as a pedestal to help control the weapon. This is known as the pedestal hand. The arm attached to your pedestal hand is slightly bent at the elbow for cushioning the recoil. Your head is tilted enough to site down your shooting arm and eye the site at the end of your pistol to the target. At this point, your finger is NOT on the trigger.

Now I wait for the next command.

The second command is "Fire on the range." This phrase is the command to fire when ready and for me is usally followed by Gunny saying, "Squeeze and breathe." Apparently I hold my breath. Not a good thing as it makes my muscles bunch up and therefore my aim will be off and the recoil will not be cushioned.

How am I doing?

Shooting takes practice to be able to hit the target in a skilled and consistent manner and an instructor with integrity to teach you how to not only shoot the pistol, but to teach you how to care for and handle the weapon in a safe and responsible way. This is why a friend of mine recommended Gunnery Sergeant Mike Stevens, USMC Force Recon Retired.

Stay tuned as I continue my lessons and research with Classic Armorer.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Never Tempt Danger has a cover

This morning I broke my usual mode of staying away from my computer and decided to check my email. When I did, I received a wonderful surprise. The cover art for my next novel was at the top of the list. Woot!

Not only did my publisher send me the art work she designed, but she also sent me a wicked nice compliment. I hope Linda forgives me for sharing it with you all, but I can't resist so read the next line.

"PS - I wanted to tell you that I enjoyed this story the most of all your books!"

Isn't that a terrific warm and fuzzy to wake up to?!

Short blurb for NEVER TEMPT DANGER:

She never thought of her “gift” as special, more like a curse.

As the one man who accepted her “gift” slid the diamond ring onto her shaky finger, Maureen saw his death flash in her mind an instant before the bullet struck. With his blood on her hands and a government research project in the balance, Maureen (Gilly) Gillman does the only smart thing she can. She disappears. If there was one thing Maureen had learned, it was Never Tempt Danger.

Special Agent Lucas Danger knows Maureen Gillman better than any other man. Assigned to find Gilly and her military robot prototype, Lucas discovers that his past has caught up with him. When the woman he loves collides with his secretive past, Lucas has to open his mind as well as his heart to save Maureen.

Who will get to her first?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Researching the family history. . .is it fact or fiction fodder?

As a writer if you want to write a realistic story (even if it is fiction) you do your research. You research clothing of the 18th century. You investigate military black sites when writing about the CIA and human intelligence. Writing a story on baseball? Then you’ll probably find yourself at a baseball game, maybe even trying to sneak into the dugout to sit on the bench with one of the hotties hugging wood.

I recently began doing research on my own family’s history. Let me tell you…there are a whole lot of story ideas that can come from your own family closets. Heck, the freaky names alone will give you a good laugh. I have an Antipas Gilman in my family tree. Antipas? Is that short for antipasta? What about Minnie Moon Markusen? Seriously! Does that not sound like a woman who would sit across the room and spit into a spitoon?

My great-grandparents on my father’s side helped build the town of Anthon, Iowa and even had a run-in with Frank and Jesse James. How cool is that?

OH! Anthon, Iowa is also the town where the tallest man is buried at 9 feet 2 inches. What a great tidbit you could throw into a story or tell your children one day.

So how do you do this family research?

In the case of family history, and that is the focus of this little blog post, it is a lot of talking with family members and internet research.

Whatever you do, don’t believe everything your family states unless they have it in writing. That sounds so terrible, but it is true. For the longest time, I understood my great-grandfather on my mother’s side to be Tom Gillman. Well, when my grandmother did a little digging into paperwork, we discovered that his full name is Joseph John Thomas Gillman.

Back to family history exploration. First, let’s start with where can you create your family tree as you go along?

There is a website called that is absolutely free. Yes, you can pay for the professional version but it is not necessary if all you want to do is input names, dates, relationships, images of the relative. One nice feature of this site is that you can share it with your relatives so they can add other relatives and information to help your project along. You can, of course, purchase family tree software like Family Tree Maker.

Now for the actual research. Many people have asked me which sites I joined or subscribed to, which equates to fees. Are you kidding me? No, you can do this without a cost.

There are websites such as that allow you to put in a name and possible dates of marriage or birth, the location of where they may have lived, who their spouse or parents were and then hit search and check the results. If other people have been doing research on the same line you will sometimes find that the family and/or pedigree information is available.

Note: Be cautious of giving too much detail because you could be absolutely wrong. For example, my great-grandfather’s last name has always been spelled Gillman, but in fact the name has been modified or misinterpreted down the line from what it was when the family came from England. In the states it started as Gilman. In England it was spelled Gylman or something like that. Use soundex when possible.

Remember I said don’t believe it until you see it in black and white? Well, perfect example is a birth date or place. Be open to the fact that the year could be plus or minus a couple of years.

Other sites you can use for researching family history. Search the surnames, the trees, the archive lists, the forums, message boards. None of those require you to pay a fee to do your investigation.

What you will find is a string of other people asking the same questions as you about the same people and who may have actually found the answers. If you’re real lucky, as I was, you may actually find someone who has half of a family branch already documented. If that happens, be sure to send them off an email and thank them for their effort. I sent Fred Cohoon an email thanking him for identifying so many of my relatives on that branch and offered to send him more information from my family that he did not have documented at the time. What a great way to meet long lost and/or unknown relatives. is great for searching names and getting an idea of when someone may have been born or died, and where if you are unsure, and even possibly tell you the name of a parent or spouse. To go any further will cost you a fee. I have not gotten that desperate yet.

A truly wonderful site that will lead to other sites is The USGenWeb Project is a group of volunteers working together to provide Internet websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States. Part of my family is from Iowa so I went to USGenWeb is non-commercial and fully committed to free access for everyone. There is even a WorldGen project so you can search across the globe.

USGenWeb is a where I found some very good information about relatives because I could search by state. I could search obituaries, state census data, old newspapers like Talk about great fodder for fantastic fiction!

Don’t forget that these long since deceased family relations have to have been buried somewhere. Yeah, a tad morbid I know, but. . .it’s a starting point to find names and dates and another point for searches. Try to search for a grave. Most states have a grave site for you to search such as and is another site that you can do name searches on and has some great forums where you can once again follow other people’s efforts in tracking families. Link for forum searches is

I will tell you now that this kind of research is addictive. You will find yourself in front of your computer with 5 minutes to spare before you have to pick up the kids from school doing any number of search combinations to find that one name that has eluded you. Watch out! You may just forget the kid at the bus stop.

Ultimately, when you find out that your family branch came from Barbadoes and helped build a town in Iowa, or that a bunch of them sailed over on a ship from England to be early settlers and the family behind Gilmanton, NH then all sorts of ideas will start to run through your head. If nothing else, you will learn way too much about your family along with reading some very interesting stories of not so well known relatives.

Have fun and happy hunting!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A sense of accomplishment

There is nothing like stepping back from a project, taking a deep breath, and letting the air whoosh out of your lungs as a sense of accomplishment slides into your heart and a wide grin tugs at the corners of your mouth in satisfaction.

Late last night I stood back from my front porch after three days of physical labor and felt this rush of pride swell in my chest as my eyes focused on what I had accomplished. I transformed my porch from this plain wood thing to a place I want to sit after work with a cool drink and watch the world go by.

What do you think?

I stained every piece with this beautiful mahogany flame color and all the spindles and kick plates are a white primer followed by a white stain. Gorgeous if I do say so myself. Now my deck and porch have similar looks and I feel a symmetry going on.

Next up is to finish sanding and staining the driveway retaining wall.

What gives you a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Catch me TODAY!. . .if you can

Catch me and 49 other local authors, poets, illustrators at a BOOK SALE!

TODAY (August 26) from 4 PM until 8:30 PM

The Johnson Auditorium

99 Main Street
Haverhill, MA 01830

Can you imagine so many local area artists in one spot? You won't want to miss it!

See you there.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wishing my nephew a happy birthday

My youngest nephew, Brandon, turned 21...oops! I mean he turned 12 yesterday. Don't want him to grow up too soon.

With red hair, blue eyes that glitter with mischief, and a grin that makes you forget your words, Brandon is a nephew any Aunt would wish for and love dearly.

This Aunt has loved Brandon since the moment my sister told me she was pregnant with him. I remember sitting around with my sister and brother-in-law and other friends and family tossing out baby names. When we hit on Brandon it was as if he reached out from his mother's tummy and snapped up the name because we all knew that he was Brandon.

Isn't Brandon a great name for an Irish bartender who I cast him as in my fourth novel? :-) Wait until you meet him in print!

Brandon loves to read a good book, but can't sit still for very long either. Hmm...that must be a family trait. He's an active guy who right now is into baseball.

Brandon is the next writer in the family. How cool is that?!

I am so proud that he wants to draw pictures with words and put them on paper for others to read and enjoy.

Please give a big birthday shout out to Brandon!

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