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Saturday, May 25th, 2013
Saturday Snippet

Today is an “author choice” day, so I thought I’d give you a peek at FEARLESS, the first book in a new Harlequin Intrigue miniseries. The hero, Davis Weeks, made an appearance in COPY THAT last year. Now he gets his own story. He hasn’t seen ex-fiancée Lara in months. In the span of ten minutes she shows up on his doorstep, an attacker follows her, Davis takes the guy down and now Davis and Lara are figuring out what to do next.

fearless

Less than ten minutes later they slipped through the kitchen and out the back door. Lara watched as Davis caught the screen before it could slam shut. Always thinking and rarely unprepared. That’s how she thought about him, and her mind wandered there often.

They hurried across the porch, the boards creaking under her sensible pumps. His sneakers didn’t make a noise. It was as if he placed each step with precision, including his run down the four steps to the muddy square of a backyard.

Her gaze focused on his butt. Not a bad focal point and certainly less scary than looking up into the eyes of another attacker. Two were enough for one day. Davis also made the staring easy. He had put on jeans and a T-shirt and carried a bag Lara wanted to believe was loaded down with clothes and essentials like shampoo but probably only contained weapons. He did love his big-boy toys, but at least he had clothes on now.
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Thursday, May 16th, 2013
What I’m Reading

The title of this blog post is a tad misleading. I’m about to read this. Like, when I turn in my book on May 31st, I’m digging into this:

amelia

When Kate, single mother and law firm partner, gets an urgent phone call summoning her to her daughter’s exclusive private school, she’s shocked. Amelia has been suspended for cheating, something that would be completely out of character for her over-achieving, well-behaved daughter.

Kate rushes to Grace Hall, but what she finds when she finally arrives is beyond comprehension.

Her daughter Amelia is dead.

Despondent over having been caught cheating, Amelia has jumped from the school’s roof in an act of impulsive suicide. At least that’s the story Grace Hall and the police tell Kate. In a state of shock and overcome by grief, Kate tries to come to grips with this life-shattering news. Then she gets an anonymous text:

Amelia didn’t jump.

The moment she sees that message, Kate knows in her heart it’s true. Clearly Amelia had secrets, and a life Kate knew nothing about. Wracked by guilt, Kate is determined to find out what those secrets were and who could have hated her daughter enough to kill. She searches through Amelia’s e-mails, texts, and Facebook updates, piecing together the last troubled days of her daughter’s life.

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013
Saturday Snippet

Today’s topic is: holding out for a heroine. I pretty much have one of those in every book. Always, actually. Thought this might be a good time to give you a sneak peek of Sophie, the heroine in my second Hanover Brothers book, A SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE. This one comes out in July but Sophie is in my March release, NO TURNING BACK. Take a loook…


With one hand she pushed the hall bathroom door open, ignoring the creak as she spun and jumped inside. Her back hit the door and her eyes closed in relief. It took her a second to realize her sneakers slid across the black and white checkered tile beneath her and a wall of heated steam smacked her face.

When she opened her eyes again, she came face to shoulders with bare skin. Her gaze trailed over the broad chest and light sprinkling of hair that ran the deep groove to his flat stomach then down to…yowsa.

There was not as much as a washcloth covering him. Nope. She got an open shot of skin, balls and, yeah, totally naked hottie dude. Looked like Beck Hanover excelled at something other than arguing.

Fingers snapped, breaking her woman-versus-penis staring contest. A deep male voice floated through the tiny room a second later. “Uh, hello?”
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Thursday, February 28th, 2013
What I’m Reading

I tend to read in cycles. I’ll have one nonfiction book going for some sort of research or “maybe this will work in the future” purposes and then something that’s more for fun. Right now the two I’m reading don’t have much in common other than the nonfiction sounded interesting and I thought it would be good background for my romantic suspense writing.

The nonfiction, ENEMIES: A History of the FBI


We think of the FBI as America’s police force. But secret intelligence is the Bureau’s first and foremost mission. Enemies is the story of how presidents have used the FBI as the most formidable intelligence force in American history.

Here is the hidden history of America’s hundred-year war on terror. The FBI has fought against terrorists, spies, anyone it deemed subversive—and sometimes American presidents. The FBI’s secret intelligence and surveillance techniques have created a tug-of-war between protecting national security and infringing upon civil liberties. It is a tension that strains the very fabric of a free republic.

When it comes to the fiction I should say, “What I’m About To Read” since I haven’t started yet. The next up is FOOL FOR LOVE by Beth Ciotta. Beth is someone I know from the online community. I started visiting her site way back when and found her funny and charming. Then I met her in person and realized my impression of her was correct. I lost track of her books a year or so ago, but I found her again and picked this up.


Call her a fool, but chef-in-training Chloe Madison wants to have her cake and eat it too. So when her boyfriend dumps her for some French tart, she decides to start over from scratch—with a new life and job in Sugar Creek, Vermont. What could be sweeter than cooking for an eccentric lady who’s crazy for desserts? What could be more tempting than joining a club called the Cupcake Lovers? Just one thing: local business-hunk Devlin Monroe…

AND HE’S THE ICING ON THE CUPCAKE

Although he’s the grandson of Chloe’s fun-loving boss, Devlin Monroe is all work and no play. Micro-managing the family business, he doesn’t have time to indulge in life’s sweetest pleasures—until he meets Chloe. How can he resist such a vibrant, beautiful woman who brings so much passion to the table? But when old grudges and secrets threaten to destroy the Cupcake Lovers, Devlin must decide if his feelings for Chloe are a recipe for disaster—or a sinfully delicious ever-after…

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
What I’m Writing

I just finished writing a novella and am letting it sit for two days before doing a final read and emailing it in. While that one sits, I’m writing a chapter for book #3 of the Corcoran Team, my Intrigue miniseries that starts in July with FEARLESS.

The book I’m working on is tentatively titled RELENTLESS and will be out in June 2014. I’m writing only one chapter now because that’s how the contract process works. I sold books 3-5 in this miniseries based on a synopsis. I now write a chapter of book #3 and turn that in with a cleaned-up synopsis to my editor so she has a better idea what the book is going to look like. The idea is she can be all “I hate it!” if she does, but hopefully she won’t. Then I know I’m good with this idea and as soon as I hit the right time in my schedule I can write the rest of it.

Wanna see my visual inspirations for the characters? Here’s the heroine, Jocelyn Raine (real life Bryce Dallas Howard):

Here’s the hero, Ben Tanner (real life Sam Worthington):

Friday, November 2nd, 2012
Guest Blog: Why I Write

I am thrilled to have fellow Intrigue author Aimee Thurlo visit here today talking about their – yes, Aimee is a “they” – upcoming release, SECRETS OF THE LYNX. The book comes out at the end of the month but you can pre-order it or grab an early copy at the Harlequin website. I love the cover and the blurb. Check it out:


For P.I. Paul Grayhorse, there were no secrets—thanks to his special Navajo gift. He knew why U.S. Deputy Marshal Kendra Armstrong found him in the canyons of New Mexico. Reopening the case that ended his marshal career and killed his partner did more than haunt Paul; it put him in the crosshairs.

Using Paul to flush out her fugitive was risky, but teaming with him was downright dangerous. In his arms, Kendra felt like a woman, with a woman’s desires. But with his powers, could she hide her biggest secret—that she’d fallen for him? And that for the first time in her career, she was afraid…afraid to live without him if she couldn’t get her man?

First, thanks to our buddy HelenKay Dimon for inviting us to guest blog! If you haven’t picked up her latest, SWITCHED, do so immediately. It’s one heckuva story!!!

Now on to why I write. Someone asked me this question recently. I had mentioned that it’s a hard job that demands discipline, and family sometimes has to take a back seat to it. Just like it is with a “regular” job, you do that first, then fit whatever else is necessary into the schedule. This sometimes means shopping for groceries late at night or, as is often the case at the Casa Thurlo, putting it off till you’re out of essentials – I’m talking about toilet paper.

So why do I do this for a living? I can’t imagine doing anything else and the fact that David and I can work together is icing on the cake. He makes sure my heroes sound like real guys, and he can do really exciting action scenes. It’s nice to have him around too. Writing can be lonely, but not if your partner’s nearby.

Our collaboration really comes together, too, in a book like SECRETS OF THE LYNX. I love the mysticism of the Indian fetishes. It’s said that each fetish posses the qualities of the animal it represents and shares those with its owner. Lynx knows what others try to keep secret, and sees what’s not readily apparent.

But the real magic of the story comes from two damaged people who realize that they’re stronger together than they are apart – like it is with David and me. It’s about destiny and reaching for a dream. And it delivers one heckuva high action adventure.

I have to admit that I especially like Paul Grayhorse, too. He doesn’t judge others, though they often judge him. When he sees a streetwalker, he understands that somewhere in there is a woman who dreamed of bigger and better things, but took a detour. That a “Pretty Woman” (movie with Julia Roberts) is there, just beyond what the eye can readily see.

Romantic Times said it best, “Thurlo understands the mindset of the People and uses the beautiful legends and myths that define them to add depth to his action packed tale.”

I hope you’ll have a chance to pick it up!

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
Recent Purchase

Was at Costco today…and boy was that a mistake. Don’t go to Costco right before a holiday. While I was there I bought this book:


Phoebe Hall’s Manhattan life has unexpectedly begun to unravel. Right after her long-term boyfriend breaks off their relationship she’s accused of plagiarizing her latest bestselling celebrity biography. Looking for a quiet place to put her life back together, Phoebe jumps at the offer to teach in a rustic Pennsylvania town at a small private college.

But when the body of a female student washes up from the nearby river, disturbing secrets begin to surface among the students: accusations of abuses wrought by a secret society of girls on campus known as The Sixes. Determined to find answers, Phoebe embarks on a search for clues—a quest that soon raises dark memories of her own boarding school days years ago. But with truth comes a deeply terrifying revelation: your deepest secrets can still be uncovered . . . and starting over can be a crime punishable by death.

I have no idea if these secret societies actually exist. I really don’t care because I love them in fiction. Once I make a little more progress in writing this book that’s due August 1st, I’m digging into this.

Thursday, June 14th, 2012
Genreality Day

I’m at Genreality today, talking about the books I know I’m going to read this summer. There will be others, but I listed a few. Stop by and say hello.

Friday, April 13th, 2012
Grumbly

I just read a book that had a few issues for me as a reader. I thought I’d share.

1. I hated the heroine. No, really, hated her. I’m not one of those who needs a romance heroine to be perfect. I actually want them imperfect. In fact, I get grumbly when romance reviews forgive the nasty hero anything he does but take issue with a heroine for being human. I tend to think the term TSTL (too stupid to live) is thrown around far too often in relation to heroines when it really doesn’t apply [pet peeve alert]. I think the main issue in this book was her lack of a believable character arc. She started out unlikable, which was fine, but I didn’t really get a sense of any redemption or growth. That made the HEA hard to buy.

2. The secondary storyline, which happened to be between two males, was pretty awesome. It actually overwhelmed the main romance for me. I did that thing where I flipped pages looking for the secondary romance and wondering when it would be on the page again. That’s never a good sign for the main romance.

3. In that secondary romance, there is a scene where all is lost. It’s basically a deathbed scene. Much to my annoyance, this huge emotional plot point resolved off the page. The reader finds out because the main characters are told the secondary romance people are fine. I had the “What the hell?!?!” reaction followed by flipping the final pages to see if the book returned to the seconday romance before it ended, but no…

This is clearly one of those cases where I wanted to rewrite the ending of a book so that it fit my vision. Yeah, I know that’s wrong. It’s not my book. But still.

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
Fictional Tragedy

While I don’t have a burning need to see the movie Titanic again, I do continue to be fascinated by the true-life stories of the ship. Apparently the fictional stories about tragedies also still resonate with me. I know that because I saw a review for Charlotte Rogan’s new book, THE LIFEBBOAT, and wanted to try it. Check it out:

Grace Winter, 22, is both a newlywed and a widow. She is also on trial for her life.

In the summer of 1914, the elegant ocean liner carrying her and her husband Henry across the Atlantic suffers a mysterious explosion. Setting aside his own safety, Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat, which the survivors quickly realize is over capacity. For any to live, some must die.

As the castaways battle the elements, and each other, Grace recollects the unorthodox way she and Henry met, and the new life of privilege she thought she’d found. Will she pay any price to keep it?

And I like the cover. It gives me the willies, which is perfect for the book’s subject matter.