The Deer and The Darkness

People often ask where writers come up with ideas.  I usually can’t pinpoint what exactly will spur story ideas, but here’s an example.  The other evening, I was mowing the lawn.  I got started late, and it’s getting darker earlier every night.  My back yard butts up against a wooded area, and the sun had gone down.  It was getting darker with every pass, but I wanted to finish since it was cool.  I was walking along, eyeing the forest when I heard a noise.  Something was moving fast.  My head snapped to the right, just in time to see this deer go tearing by, between me and my house.  I mean, this thing was moving.  Deer are usually very graceful, even at high speed.  This one was not.  He was so close to the ground, he looked like a torpedo, and he was getting ahead of how fast his legs could go.  He stumbled, kind of bounced off a rise in the terrain, and shot across the neighbors yard back into the wooded area.  Holy crap, did he startle me.

That’s when the questions started.  Where did he come from?  The forest, for sure.  What would have happened if he’d run into me?  It would not have been a pretty sight.  Deer are not small animals.  I was mowing with a large, very noisy piece of equipment.  What compelled him to run across the open grass, instead of staying in the treeline?  Deer tend to stay in herds.  Where was his buddies? Were they out there, lurking, too?  What else was in there?  Had something scarier than a human with a lawnmower compelled him to run for his life?  WHAT was scarier to a deer than a lawnmower?  I’ve been writing a paranormal, so those thoughts tumbled in my head.  The dusk.  The crickets chirping nearly as loudly as the lawnmower.  The complete disappearance of the deer… Yeah, I didn’t make it for another pass.  I quickly ended my mowing task for the night.  Now, that’s kind of a dramatic idea starter, but that’s how a writer’s brain works.

I finished the rest of the yard the next day, much earlier in the evening.  Would you believe that deer came back?  Or maybe it wasn’t him, but this thing was as bold as can be.  He came out from the trees, looked at me with my monster mower, kind of shrugged, and started having dinner.  He was in my neighbor’s yard, nibbling on grass and leaves the entire time it took me to finish my mowing job.  Yes, the questions started again.  If he’s so calm around me tonight, was there some kind of predator out there the night before?  Why’s he so calm now?  Can deer have multiple personalities?  What if deer stopped being so timid?  What if the deer rose up?  Questions, questions, questions… That is how writers come up with ideas.

Switching Gears is Hard!

I’ve been working diligently lately on getting my new book ready for the marketplace.  The story is finished, but now it’s time to write blogs, get reviews (hopefully good ones), and promote the book so readers can find it.  It’s business work, and it needs to be done.  After spending so much time getting a story down on paper, it’s sometimes a relief to think about something totally different.  That’s where my mind has been.

So imagine my dismay/excitement when I saw a call for proposals yesterday.  One that intrigued me.  And started pulling my brain back to the creative side.

Agghh.  It’s like half of my brain wants to run off and play, while the other knows it should be responsible and work.

Do I have any actual ideas for a proposal for this new opportunity?  Not one.  But do I want to sit and daydream them up?  Yes, please!  Am I going to pull up a lounger, relax on my deck with a lemonade, and do just that?  I don’t really think I can stop that from happening!

Today’s writers need to do it all.  We have to be creative and a cold-blooded business woman/man, yet writing is what writers love to do.  We’re just happiest when our heads are in a story.

Coming for Halloween – Haunted Hearts (a ghost story)

HAUNTED HEARTS

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release:  October 3, 2018

Does a ghost from the past want the man of her future? 

Callie Thompson is thrilled when she inherits a house in the small town of Shadow Valley. The house is old and creaky, but she’s not afraid of hard work. Unfortunately, no matter how many repairs she makes, the strange noises won’t go away. Items disappear. Lights flicker. Footsteps echo down the hallway. Her nerves are soon so frayed that she resorts to calling the one person in town she hasn’t been able to get along with, bullheaded police chief Carter Landry.

Carter doesn’t have time to investigate things that go bump in the night—although, with Callie, the idea is tempting. He’s busy working with the governor’s task force on a major case and dealing with a rash of petty Halloween crimes. He knows that Callie’s house isn’t haunted… no matter what the town legend says. Still, when her distress call comes in, he hits the ground running. He may not believe in ghosts, but someone is intentionally scaring the sassy blond. And he doesn’t like it.

As the couple gives in to their mutual attraction, the strange occurrences in the house subside. But could Carter’s presence be the reason? Callie fears that her sexy cop may be the one the ghost has wanted all along.

Haunted Hearts excerpt

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LEXIE on #Sale – Just 99 cents

Need something to read for July 4?

For a short time only, LEXIE will be on sale for only 99 cents!

LEXIE
Triple X, Book 1

Genre:  Contemporary romance

Desire is a double-edged dance.

Lexie Underhill works her tail off in hopes of winning her adoptive father’s approval. It’s never enough. The stinging proof? He’s brought in a reorganization expert. As if the prospect of losing her job in the family business isn’t enough, Cameron Rowe’s sexy, intimidating presence makes her palms sweat.

When Lexie’s face appears on a scandalous freeway billboard, her protestations of innocence go unheard. With orders to save the family name—or else—she marches into the bar the billboard was advertising and comes face-to-face with an identical twin sister. Roxie is wild and free, everything Lexie isn’t. Before the night is out, she welcomes the chance to explore her own sensuality.

As she dances wantonly on the bar, suddenly Cam is there, kissing her as if he has the right. The sizzle between them breaks out in four-alarm desire, but Lexie has recalibrated her life plan. And the equation doesn’t factor in Cam—until she’s sure where his loyalties lie. With her…or her father’s company.

Lexie excerpt

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HACKING IT on #Sale at @Kobo! #romanticsuspense

Hacking IT is 40% off at Kobo from June 21-25.  Just use Promo code: 40JUNE.

Go grab your copy now!

Independent software developer Kylie Grant is on top of her game in the world of IT. She has loyal clients, a good reputation, and a prestigious membership in technology giant Afire Industries’ small business accelerator. Things are going well until she stumbles across an innocuous issue with the lighting in the building where she rents space. When she digs into the problem, she discovers something unexpected—a hack.

The incursion doesn’t affect her, but Kylie leaves enough clues to fix the problem. That earns her a visit from Luke McAllister, Afire’s chief security officer. Luke is handsome and rugged and everything that Kylie likes in a man, but she soon finds that he is blaming her for the security breach. Before long, the two are on a collision course, but also secretly looking at more than each other’s digital footprints.

When a fluke accident sends Kylie to the emergency room, Luke fears that the beautiful developer is in danger beyond the online world. Little does he know that she is also hiding a secret that threatens to jeopardize their now sizzling relationship. Can Kylie fix Afire’s problems without falling victim to the hacker? And can Luke learn to trust her and keep her safe before their enemy strikes again?

Excerpt from Hacking IT

Download ebook:  Kobo

Promo code: 40JUNE

What Happened to Keeping It Simple, Stupid? (KISS)

Am I the only one who hates the new style of websites?  All flash, lots of distraction, and endless scrolling?  A little vent here… I can read.  Not everything needs to be in pictures.  And continuous scrolling brings out the obsessive/compulsive side of me.  I want to get to the bottom of the page.  I NEED to get to the bottom.  What happened to nice, clean websites with sub-pages where everything is laid out logically? Enough with the fancy transitions and endless linking.  ENOUGH!!!

Can you tell I’m thinking of updating my website?  Can you tell I’m frustrated????

Give me a couple of weeks.  I’ll figure it out.  Sigh…  I JUST WANNA WRITE.

Okay, end of vent.  Back to your regular programming.