Friday, December 28, 2007

Marching toward 2008

If you celebrate Christmas, I hope yours was a great one! Mine was...interesting. We had a series of small disasters around our house that kept us all on our toes. However, with 2008 just around the corner, I can't help but feel this is going to be a fabulous year! I'm determined to be optimistic, even if it kills me LOL.

I just found out that Remains of the Dead was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice award for best mystery *yay* It's a great way to wind up 2007.

I'm off on a short vacation and will return end of next week. Hope you ring in the New Year surrounded by those you love. Can't wait to compare New Year's resolutions!

Friday, December 21, 2007

From My House to Yours!

Meet our Hamster, Hammy.

Once I was under deadline and had dragged my Alphasmart to a Cub Scout meeting. I sat in a corner of the room away from the crowd and was busily writing. Somebody's little brother, a boy about four, kept running over to visit me and to get my attention he'd touch a key on my keyboard and run off. After a couple of these interruptions I told him quite sternly that he couldn't do that since I was working.

"What job do you do?" asked the four year old.
"I'm a writer. I write books," I replied.
"I know who you are!" he exclaimed, his eyes growing wide.
"You do?" I smiled thinking perhaps his parents were fans.
"Yes. You're Dr. Seuss!" he announced solemnly.

Kids keep me humble.

So I'm shutting down the ol' blog for a few days to wrap up my wrapping and bake up some baking. I'll leave you with this from the master himself:

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more? Dr. Seuss

May the joy of the holidays fill your home and your heart enough to last you the entire year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas to Me

I bought myself a present. A shiny new computer. I put it on a shiny new corner computer desk. Because I am a techno-dummy I had someone else come and get it all set up. I ooohed and ahhhed as its beautiful screen glowed and all the little icons popped up.

Now, only a few days later, I'm no longer ooohing or ahhhing. The sounds I am making are loud colorful curses. My computer announced it needed to reboot because of an update. After it rebooted it wouldn't let me open emails and wouldn't communicate with my printer. Then the keyboard shelf under the desk fell off in protest. I think the entire thing is cursed. I'm now sitting at my old computer. I stroke the keyboard and its smaller screen and call it nice things, telling it how sorry I am that I ever thought it was slow.

Computer guy will, hopefully, make it over to fix new computer before Christmas. Or maybe not.

How's your week going?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Why do you love what you love?

I love Licorice Allsorts. An entire bag isn't safe in my presence. Nobody else in my house finds them appealing. That's a bonus. Yesterday when I bought a bag it was mine, all mine! Sometimes I need to be in touch with my inner selfish non-sharing child :)

My youngest child just shook his head. "Why do you like them?"

"They taste good," I said, popping one of the round pink ones in my mouth.

That's only partially true. I love them because my dad loves them. I can't see them on the shelf without thinking of my dad. I can't smell or taste them without thinking of my dad. They're sweet but not in a sickening sugary way. Like my dad.

Is there a particular treat that brings back memories for you?

Sunday, December 16, 2007


What a great weekend! Signing at the Seattle Mystery Bookshop was an absolute thrill! The staff there are the best.
I was greeted by this poster of my book right at the front door. It's a little blurry 'cause I was trying to hold still in a gale like wind at the same time.

I got to hear all about their resident bowler hat ghost, however, he never made an appearance while I was there. Darn!

While I was there I couldn't resist shopping for my own stack of books. I picked up six books, two new-to-me authors recommended by the wise and knowledgeable Fran.

I visited Pioneer Square around the corner and they had an ice sculpture contest. This is just one of the fab displays. The ice was melting as I looked at it and that was a surprise because it was COLD brrrr.

Thanks to all who came to visit and buy books! That was the last of my signings until next month. Now I have to put pedal to the metal and get ready for the holidays. Are you ready?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Winners & Signings

ANISSA!!! You won my Spot the book contest. Check your email for your $50 Amazon gift card and CONGRATULATIONS!!

Today I'm blogging over at Love is an Exploding Cigar about living and writing in the cracks.

Tomorrow I'll be signing books at The Seattle Mystery Bookshop starting at noon. I'd love to see your smiling face so come on dooowwwnn!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I'm blogging today over at MURDER SHE WRITES!

Come and join in the fun :)

Oh and don't forget to comment or email me about where you've seen Remains of the Dead for my Spot the Book contest. I'll be drawing a name in the morning for that $50 Amazon gift certificate!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Online Shopping Anyone?

This year I was determined to go to the mall as little as possible. I hate the crowds. So I've done an awful lot of shopping online. My feelings have been mixed. About half the time the product I want has been delivered on time and I've been happy. But the other half of the time I'm getting messages saying the item is now back-ordered or unavailable or it'll now be shipped well after Christmas. These messages make me want to punch someone (stand back!) lol.

Are the rest of you doing the online shopping thing or are you braving the malls? If you're online shopping, do you have any favorite stores you'd like to share?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Launch Signing

Saturday was my launch signing at the Chapters store in my home town. The picture is me with my good friend Tracey who helped to keep me organized at the event.

I'm pleased to report that the signing was a rip roaring success! Many books were bought and the manager kept saying over and over that I was doing very well. I did warn her that my friends would come and they'd buy books :) We didn't totally sell out but it was a very close call. She said next year she'd be sure to place a much bigger order of book two.

So what did you do this weekend? Christmas shopping? Book buying ;-)

P.S. Don't forget to tell me where you've spotted Remains of the Dead and you'll be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I've spent the last couple days stalking book stores and I'm happy to report that Remains of the Dead has made a showing in all the ones I've poked my head into *yay* Based on the emails and posts I'm getting in the Spot the Book contest, many of you have found the book too so *double yay* and thanks a lot! :)

An update on my life being stinking ... yes, that contest is closed but, hey, that doesn't mean the skunk problem was resolved LOL. After the first skunk was captured in a cage and brought to a land where she can romp freely in tall grasses faaaar away from my home, the exterminator set another trap. Apparently these lil ol' critters don't like to den alone at this time of year. They often have a snuggle buddy. So exterminator set the trap and we caught a ... opossum.

Sorry I was too stunned to get a picture of the guy but you know the look, pointy snout, big beady eyes and long, thick rat tail *shudder* Now my skunk didn't look the type to hunker down with someone out of her species so the exterminator took opossum and delivered him to an area faaaar away from my home. Then set another trap. Sensing a theme here?

Saturday morning I peered out at trap and lo and behold another skunk. This one was huge. Barely fit in the cage and he looked ticked off. One problem. It was snowing. Hard. Where I live things kind of grind to a halt when it snows. People don't drive and we don't shovel either. We just kind of pretend it isn't happening and wait for it to melt. It's denial at a huge level. Anyway it snowed really, really hard and my family was concerned that Mr. Skunky would be buried in snow and die of exposure because exterminator couldn't come for a couple days. Soooo my hubby took a large tarp and tried to sneak up on Mr. Skunky. Not a good idea. Mr. Skunky let him have it. My kids, being compassionate and caring, locked my hubby out of the house 'cause they didn't want him stinking up the place.

Eventually we let hubby inside and he actually didn't get skunked because he was holding the tarp up over his head at the time and Mr. Skunky was well covered and protected until the exterminator could come to get him Monday morning. So on Monday I'm working away at my computer, on the other side of the house from the location of the skunk cage. I knew the exact moment the exterminator arrived to get Mr. Skunky because I could smell it. That skunk sprayed sooo much that the smell permeated both my house and my car. Now, days later, the smell has dissipated a lot thanks to the pineapple express (huge rain showers that arrived from Hawaii--thanks Hawaii!).

So if you come to visit me at my launch signing on Saturday at the Chapters Store out my way and I smell a little ... off. Please try and understand LOL.

P.S. Don't forget to comment or email me the places you've seen Remains to enter to win your chance at a $50 Amazon gift card!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Today is the BIG day!

The Remains of the Dead, hits shelves today! Yay!!

To celebrate, I'm having a Spot the Book contest. Let me know the store & city where you see Remains and I'll enter your name to win a $50 Amazon gift card! You can either comment here on the blog, email me, or contact me through my website. Deadline is December 13th.

Happy hunting!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Contest Winner

Winner of my Life's Messy contest is:


Congratulations Donica! Please email me your mailing address so I can send you your copy of Remains.

Everyone else, another contest starts up on Tuesday :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Today I am guest blogging over at Susan Wiggs' site.

to come and visit!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Get Elfed

I Elfed myself this morning :)

Check it out by clicking here. You can elf yourself too.

By the way, I'm loving all the private emails and comments about your messes! Keep telling me in the comments or via email about the big messes in your life and I'll be adding your name to the Dec. 1st draw for a copy of Remains.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

RT Review

I finally got around to picking up this month's Romantic Times magazine. Here is the review for The Remains of the Dead:

"Roberts has a unique gift: She makes talking to the dead as natural as talking to your neighbor over a cup of coffee. Sadie Novak, who cleans up crime scenes for a living, is a charming new heroine with a great deal of heart who helps stranded spirits and solves crimes. Sadie and hunky ex-cop Zack make a delightful odd couple. Here's hoping she comes back soon."

They gave the book 4 1/2 stars out of 5. Great way to start off the week :)

Reminder: All posts to my blog as well as all who join my mailing list will be entered to win a copy of Remains in my Life's Messy contest. Draw is on December 1st. Oh and in answer to a couple email questions, yes, if you want you can email me to tell me about your big messes privately instead of posting them to the blog!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Something Stinks

As you can see, we had an unwelcome visitor take up residency under our front step. After much discussion I convinced the children that a skunk would NOT make an ideal pet and also could not be trained to fire stink at their friends or enemies on command.

I called an exterminator and he set a trap using an egg as bait. Apparently using anything else would catch us a neighbourhood cat. It took a few days but finally Mr. Skunk got hungry enough and wandered into the cage to grab the egg. I took the above picture of him from the safety of my living room window. Hey, I'm not stupid.

The exterminator came and picked up the cage and took the little guy off to a forested area far enough away that he won't find his way back. I hope he's very happy there. I thought he would spray once he was trapped but he just curled up into a ball and went to sleep. If he had sprayed I'm not sure what I would've done to remove the smell.

In light of my Life's Messy contest, I thought it only fitting I deal with the smelliness of our messy life. When there's a particularly nasty smell around, I rely on Vicks Vaporub. A tiny dab of that under your nose and it's hard to smell anything else. I was told that a lot of crime scene investigators use that trick when they're dealing with the smell of decomp. I haven't verified that tidbit but it seems like if it works on other pungent smells, it could have some usefulness there.

If you celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, I hope all the smells were pleasant. But how about other times? Do you have any tricks for dealing with bad smells?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Life's Messy Contest

In The Remains of the Dead my heroine, Sadie Novak, spends a lot of time cleaning messes. She cleans up after the CSI team is done and the coroner removes the body. We're talking some grotesque mopping here.

As a mom I can tell you there are times I wish I wore a hazmat suit. There's all those diapers and let's not get started on the projectile stomach viruses. However, even before I had children there were messes. Natural disasters involving plumbing problems. The messes that accompany having friends who over indulge. Oh and pet messes.

I'll never forget the time a couple decades ago when I came home from work to find streaks of blood all over my walls. I freaked! My dog wasn't looking well so I rushed him into an after hour emergency vet because all that blood meant something was terribly wrong. Except it wasn't. My dumb dog had sniffed a bug up his nose and had given himself a nose bleed trying to get it out. He'd rubbed his darn nose all over my house. The blood still had to be cleaned up and I didn't get a your-dog-is-stupid discount from the vet either.

I'm having a Life's Messy contest. You can enter by posting your comment to my blog or adding yourself to my mailing list here. Winner will get a signed copy of Remains.

So tell me about your big messes :)

Thanks to Rachel for pointing out I'd forgotten to mention a deadline for the contest. Get your comments and/or emails to me by December 1st.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I've been a fan of Allison Brennan's books since The Prey. When she gave me a fab blurb for Remains I just about fainted with gratitude. Now she's posted the full review here on

My favourite part of the review:
"And Wendy Roberts makes us not only care about Sadie and the dead people she helps, but takes what could have been a gruesome story and made it fun and light. The breezy voice and self-deprecating humor keep the story moving, the mystery is compelling, and the ending provides a twist that I didn't see coming. This is a fast, comfortable, solid read from a gifted storyteller."

Honest, I did not pay her.

I just can't say how wonderful it is to have a big hitter like Allison take the time to give me a review. Makes me all verklempt.

By the way, Allison's got a new book out next month - What You Can't See

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mother Nature can be a real ...

Mother Nature had a temper tantrum this weekend. She huffed and puffed and created 100 km winds to knock down trees in my area and *bam* no power for days.

Last night when the power was finally restored the children were thrilled and I hugged my computer. It's interesting trying to live a modern life without the benefits of electricity. We all read a lot which is a good thing but everyday things still needed to be done. Laundry had to go to the laundromat. Meals were brought in, eaten out or eaten cold. One day I made grilled cheese sandwiches on the barbeque.

The tree in our front yard was a mass of red a few days ago but the wind stripped it bear, except for three leaves. I laughed at the tenacity of those leaves. They hung on for dear life refusing to go on someone else's schedule. They wanted to do it in their own time and would not be bullied.

Mother Nature blew the cobwebs out of my head. Today I'm ready to get down to work. How is the weather where you are?

Friday, November 09, 2007

It's time for the BIG girl panties

Some Friday silliness...

It started a couple months ago when I picked up the book, Put Your Big Girl Panties On and Deal with It. I've adopted the title as my personal slogan. My dear writing friends have come to laugh along and tolerate me when I shout it out at conferences.

I'm sure you can guess what it means. Suck it up. Sometimes I need to remind myself to pull myself up by my bra straps and just get the job done ... whatever the job may be.

There are days when you have to do things you don't want to do. Big Girls just do it and get it over with. They stop the whining.

Also, Big Girls know that life is tough but the only way to make it easy is to be tougher on yourself. Nobody promised you a rose garden or a pretty thong. You gotta make your own lacy lingerie. And no I don't know what that means either LOL except our life is what we make it.

Got something you've been putting off? It's time to put on your Big Girl panties. Oh and boys? Jockeys come in extra large too LOL.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Counting down!

I'm counting the days until REMAINS hits shelves in a month. I can't believe how fast the year has flown by!

I've done a lot to prepare but soon it will be out of my hands and into yours :)

Right now I'm busy fine-tuning book two in the series. Yes, it has a name but since it will change I'm trying not to become too attached. Oh okay, you wanna know the temporary title? The Heat of the Dead. There. I told you. Now don't get too attached to it, okay? :)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Feeling Lucky?

Looking for a great book? My friend Jana DeLeon has a book out this month called Unlucky. Here's the description:

Everyone in Royal Flush, Louisiana, knows Mallory Devereaux is a walking disaster. At least now she's found a way to take advantage of her chronic bad luck: by "cooling" cards on her uncle's casino boat. As long as the crooks invited to his special poker tournament don't win their money back, she'll get a cut of the profit. But Mal isn't the only one working some major mojo. There's a dark-eyed dealer sending her looks steamier than the bayou in August. Turns out he's an undercover agent named Jake Randoll, and for a Yank, he's pretty darn smart. Smart enough to enlist her help to catch a money launderer. As they race to untangle a web of decades-old lies and secrets amid a gathering of criminals, Mallory can't help hoping her luck's about to change.

Even the description makes me giggle! Jana's previous book Rumble on the Bayou was an absolute riot and Unlucky is laugh out loud funny mingled with witty characters and a fascinating plot. I promise you won't be able to put it down!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Coincidence or fate?

As you're probably aware by now, my book The Remains of the Dead is about a woman who does trauma cleanup. It is a fascinating, although not exactly common, occupation.

Today I pulled up to a store and parked right next to a vehicle with a company logo advertising trauma cleaning. Strange. Then I walked inside the store and I see a man paying for his purchases at the register. Somehow I just know that this tall, good looking man (who looks just like hero, Zack Bowman, does in my imagination)must own that vehicle. Of course I ask and, of course, he does. But his name is not Zack. Nope. It's Brian. In my book, Brian is the heroine's brother. Her dead brother. It gave me chills.

Not only does this guy operate a trauma cleaning company just blocks from my house but he also happens to know Theresa Borst quite well. Theresa is the president of Bio Clean Inc and the person who has answered my millions of questions on trauma cleaning in Seattle. As a matter of fact, Theresa trained Brian.

All of this coincidence on Halloween. Which, by the way, is the anniversary of the date I sold my three-book trauma clean series to Penguin Books.

Do strange coincidences ever happen to you?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Allhallows Eve

My house is looking particularly ghoulish. We've got a number of skeletons lurking right near the door. Under the crime scene tape. Beside the gauzy mummy. Next to the blood soaked scarecrow.

There is also enough candy in the house to sink a large ship.

How do you celebrate Halloween?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The winner of an advance reader copy of THE REMAINS OF THE DEAD is:

Christy Hawkes

Congratulations Christy! Hope you enjoy the book

Friday, October 26, 2007

And the winner is ...

I made the draw for the advance reader copy of Remains so check your inboxes. As soon as I hear from the winner, I'll post the name :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Idea Bag

Everyone should have an idea bag. A place where the good ideas are kept until we can put them into good use.

Today's the last day I'll be answering questions emailed as a result of the Surrey Writers' Conference. I've answered a number via private email but, hey, it's time to move on :)

QUESTION: Where do you get your ideas?

ANSWER: This is definitely the number one question I get asked. I think Stephen King has been known to reply, "I ask the boys in the basement just to send one up." and I believe Jenny Crusie adapted that by calling her idea creators the Girls in the Basement. My ideas erupt all around me. There are days when every situation is the premise for a new book.

For example, I went to Safeway the other day because,well, the kids were hungry and tired of pizza. I parked beside a large older model vehicle. The windows of the car were rolled down and in the passenger seat sat an elderly man. His head was bent, his chin against his chest and a breeze lifted his sparse hair while his chest rose and fell. He was asleep obviously waiting for whoever was inside Safeway to get what they needed and take him home. It was a warm fall day but he had his jacket over him like a blanket.

My writer's mind thought about him the entire time I shopped. I told myself that under his jacket/blanket his ankles and wrists may be bound. He may have been drugged and not sleeping at all. Maybe there was a bomb in his lap. Maybe the cops would discover the bomb when I called 9-1-1 ... I'm not making this up. This was exactly what I was thinking. I got back to the parking lot with my groceries disappointed to find the car next to mine was gone. The scenario is still playing inside my head like a song you can't shake. If it keeps up I'll find a way to write it out, even if it never makes it to a store shelf.

Where do you get your ideas?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You Can't Handle the Truth

The most interesting part of a workshop for me is often the Q&A at the end. I had one lady ask me how I to physically finish a book with so many distractions. I told her there was only one way; butt in chair and hands on keyboard.

I get asked this all the time. An email last night was a variation of that question.

QUESTION: What do you do to make sure you make a deadline or finish a book even if your life is going crazy? Or what if you get an idea for another book? Do you stop and work on that one?

ANSWER: I feel a little like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men. I feel like I should shout, YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH! The truth is, I couldn't handle the truth in the beginning either :) The ugly truth is that there is no shortcut. There is no quickie solution. Life gets crazy. My kids get sick. I get sick. There are days when the last thing I feel like doing is facing a blank page. Sometimes another book calls to me. I'll write down the details in a separate file but I don't let it distract from the book I'm trying to finish. Or I won't finish it.

The ONLY way to make finishing a book easier is to be tougher on yourself. Butt in chair. Hands on keyboard. That's all I've got.

The Weight of the Dead

Dead people put on weight, it seems to me; both in their flesh and in our minds, they put on weight.
-- From Stephen King's novel Bag of Bones

At the end of my Laughing all the Way to the Morgue workshop at the Surrey conference I encouraged participants to email me with any questions they might have and I've decided to answer them on my blog this week.

TODAY'S QUESTION: If you crack jokes when you're writing about the dead, won't you get letters? Won't some people think it's in bad taste?

ANSWER: Is it in bad taste to crack jokes about the dead? At someone's funeral, yes! In fiction? Not so much. But my point during the workshop was that we should consider writing moments to lift the reader up and offer a glimmer of light after a particularly dark scene. I don't think a pie in the face or other slapstick humour is necessary but, in my opinion, sometimes morbidity mirth is necessary to move the plot forward and bring emotional depth to a story.

I used Stephen King's above quote in the workshop to illustrate how even the master of horror can offer a sad, poignant thought in one moment while discussing the death of his protagonist's wife and then offer relief and/or levity to the reader by contrasting that line further in the scene where he seems to wiggle his ears at the reader by writing, "...elementary, my dear Watson. My wife died getting a sunburn."

So write the dark stuff. Make 'em afraid and make 'em cry. But it's okay to give them a reprieve too.

Keep those questions coming :)

Reminder: At the end of the week I'll be having another draw to win an Advance Copy of Remains. You enter by signing up for my mailing list here. I won't spam you but you will receive occasional news about my book releases :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Good Times

Where else but at a writers' conference can you get a group of people you've just met to wear nose glasses? I brought the glasses as a tool for my Laughing All The Way To The Morgue workshop. When I saw I was the presenter at the humour table for the genre lunch, I couldn't resist sharing them there as well and these great sports quickly showed me their silly side.

The conference was a whirlwind of activity. There were some serious moments too as I critiqued work during the Blue Pencil appointments. I was on the other side of the table getting my own work critiqued at this very same conference a few years ago.

I was on a Genre Bending panel with Diana Gabaldon who is a delightful lady and an eloquent speaker. She was very patient after the panel when I went on and on about how much I admire her talents.

My workshop on laughter was a giggling hit. Although I did make the attendees do real work in the way of writing exercises, they stepped up to the plate and wowed me with their talents.

Truly one of the best parts of the conference is spending time with old friends and new. This picture shows author Mary J. Forbes (left), Harlequin editor Johanna Raisanen, myself and author Nancy Warren as we left the Saturday night banquet.

Good times.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Off and running but not far

First thing bright and early I'll be off to the Surrey International Writers' Conference for three days. I love this conference and not just because I don't have to hop on a plane to get there. It is one of the best conferences in North America and it caters to all types of writing and all levels.

This year instead of always sitting in the workshop audience I'll be presenting. I'll be on two panels, Genre Bending and Love is in the Air: The state of Romance Writing Today. And I'll be presenting my own workshop, Laughing all the Way to the Morgue.

On Saturday from 5:30 - 7:00 I'll be signing books so if you're in the neighbourhood, pop by and say Hi!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Reminder: In a couple weeks I'll be having another draw to win an Advance Copy of Remains. You enter by signing up for my mailing list here. I won't spam you but you will receive occasional news about my book releases :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Public Speaking ... Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

Your heart begins to race.
Your breathing becomes faster.
You start to wonder if the strongest antiperspirant on the market will be good enough or if you should've lined your blouse with disposable diapers. Yup. It's time to get up in front of a crowd and speak.

Speaking in public is part of the author package. You're expected to not only climb out of your writing cave and put yourself out there to interact with the public, but to come off sounding like a reasonably intelligent person. Ack!

I'm not particularly afraid of the actually speaking part. What concerns me is whether or not I'll make a good impression. After a workshop will the attendees come away thinking they enjoyed the session, felt it was worthwhile, or whether they thought, "She's an idiot! What a complete waste of time!"

Writing is hard work but teaching writing is even more difficult. As I fine tune my session for the Surrey Writer's Conference this weekend, I find myself constantly battling the self-doubt demons.

Do you ever do public speaking? Are you afraid or confident?

Friday, October 12, 2007

And the winner is...

To be announced :)

This morning my kids helped me draw the name of the winner of an Advance Reader Copy of Remains. I've emailed the winner to tell her. If she tells me it's okay, I'll post her name on my blog.

In the meantime if you didn't receive an email from me saying you've won don't give up. You can still add your name to my mailing list by clicking here. I'll be making another draw in two weeks :)

Happy Weekend All!
UPDATE: The winner is Julia L. Rule!
Congratulations Julia!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Rose By Any Other Name ...

When I'm at conferences or signings I get asked all the time if I chose the name Roberts so my books would be shelved next to Nora's. Come to think of it, that would've been awfully clever. I could've hoped to suck off some of Nora's millions of readers and steal them for my own! A problem with that theory is that my books aren't shelved in romance. :)

Actually, I chose the last name Roberts because it came with the man I married many moons ago.

Tess Gerritsen's discussion about pseudonyms and secret identities made me curious. If I had to come up with a pen name to write under, what would I choose? Something that was close to my real name ... Wanda Robot? Something in line with what I write ... Eidolon Macabre?

You can see I'm not very good at this LOL!

What pen name would you choose if you could? If you're a pre-published writer, do you already have a pseudonym picked out or do you plan to write under your real name?

Reminder: You can still enter to win an Advance Copy of Remains by signing up for my mailing list here.

Friday, October 05, 2007


Last night before I went to sleep I was debating the death of a character. I wasn't wondering whether or not to kill him off in a bloody manner but whether to eliminate him totally from the book. He's a secondary character, of course, but he had his strengths. Or maybe I was just making excuses because I was a little in love with his actions and simple walk-on lines.

When I went to sleep I dreamt about this character. I don't often remember my dreams but this one was clear. Well, as clear as a dream could be with a secondary character mixed with a jumble of other dreams including one involving a hippo in my garden ... Anyway, I woke up with the clear realization I had to cut this character loose. He might find his way back in another book but in the cut and slash that are revisisions for Book Two, he has to be bid adieu.

Do you ever solve problems in your dreams?

By the way, thanks to all those who signed up in the last couple days! Yes, you can still enter to win an Advance Copy of Remains by signing up for my mailing list here.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Only two more months until the release of my next book THE REMAINS OF THE DEAD!

To celebrate the countdown, I'm having a contest to win an Advance Copy of Remains.

To enter the contest join my mailing list by clicking here.

If you're already on my mailing list you're automatically entered :)

I'll be making the draw at the end of next week

Monday, October 01, 2007

Where Did Summer Go?

I lifted my head up from my computer long enough to look around this weekend and I noticed:

- The trees are covered in brilliant yellow and red leaves.
- Pears are starting to fall from my trees and I've picked the last of the zucchini.
- The air is suddenly cooler and our brisk rains have started.
- The black squirrels are frantically gathering what they need and are playing chicken with every passing car.

I don't know when Fall officially hit the Pacific Northwest but I noticed it this weekend.

How about you? What does Autumn look like where you are?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fruit Fly Invasion

I know. Anyone who studies the timeline for body decomposition shouldn't break into a sweat at the site of pesky tiny flies but I can't help it. These things drive me absolutely NUTS!

I like to have fruit in the house. Who doesn't? It's a quick healthy snack. When the kids want to reach for chips or chocolate I'm quick to point out healthier choices like the bowl of apples on the counter. Except a couple weeks ago I had to ban practically all fruit from the house until I got rid of the damn fruit flies.

I talked about it to my good friend and author Mary Forbes who, by the way, has a great new book out (Red Wolf's Return). Mary recommended I spray my house plants because apparently these little dudes will lay eggs in there. *shudder* Thanks Mary. For days I was convinced my African Violets had turned against me! However I took the time to spray all my household plants and investigate them all carefully. No bugs.

After declaring our house fruit fly free (say that 10 times fast) I took a risk and loaded up on apples, bananas and, yes, even berries at the market. And now THEY'RE BACK.

I'm open to suggestions.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Do you feel lucky?

Gotta love Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry. The exact movie line is:

"You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk?"

Yesterday I was talking to a friend who said, "Man, are you lucky!" She was referring to the fact that I get to do what I love and get paid for it. She's told me this many times and every time I just smile and say, "I really feel blessed." She's a good friend and I know she means well but I always feel a slight twinge of annoyance when someone says I'm lucky to be published. To me, luck is for lotteries and slot machines. I don't feel that it took much luck for me to get published. It did take me five years and five manuscripts to sell that first book though.

During those five years I wrote with four little children nipping at my ankles. I wrote while nursing, burping and rocking babies. I wrote during midnight feedings and through temper tantrums (sometimes my own). I also wrote on little scraps of paper during soccer games.

I'm not special. Lots of writers I know were just as lucky to work their asses off too LOL!

So do you believe in luck or do you think we make our own?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Book Cover!

I've got a new book cover for THE REMAINS OF THE DEAD. Yes, the skinny chick is dead. It's a good thing. Really.

You see, booksellers thought the old cover skewed young. Take away the girl and add a ghostly handprint and they LOVE it. And I LOVE it. So do you love it? I'll leave the old one up on the right for a few days so you can compare the two.

Those of you who already received bookmarks with my old cover, yes, I'll be doing up new ones. Anyone wanting a bookmark just needs to email me their address through my site by clicking here.

Change. It's a good thing :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Day You Were Born

There's a site that will tell you the #1 song on the day you were born. How cool is that? Author Susan Wiggs blogged about this the other day and I've had a lot of fun with it so I'm passing it along to you. Mine was “Our Day Will Come” by Ruby & the Romantics.

Click here then come back and share!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Who Moved My Cheese?

There are days and, yes, even weeks when I feel like a mouse running through a maze looking for that little piece of cheese. A lot of my life revolves around the reward system. My kids get their allowance if they do their chores. I allow myself junk food on Friday nights if I've been good all week.

Lately, since the kids went back to school, I've been finding it hard to glue my butt to the chair and write. Mostly because I'm doing those sucky second draft edits I blogged about the other day. I find I'm getting more and more creative in how to reward myself for my editing progress.

I set the kitchen timer for 15 minutes and sit down to edit. When the timer goes off after 15 minutes I reward myself with an equal 15 minutes of:

* Oprah. I watch 15 minutes of the show at a time. I never get a chance to watch it at its usual time slot 'cause that's when I'm beating my kids, er, I mean helping them with homework. I record the show and view it in intervals.

* Soaking in a hot bubble bath in the middle of the day. This is totally self-indulgent in my world of 3 minute quickie showers. Because I can't manage to get myself out of the tub in 15 minutes, I usually do a 30 minute editing trade off for this one.

* Chatting. I phone a friend of my choice just to chat. Even as I type this blog my phone rang 3 times. I didn't answer. Usually I really don't like talking on the phone but if it's the right person (a friend) and the right topic (juicy gossip) 15 minutes is a treat.

* Mani-Pedi. I paint my nails. This gets tricky 'cause it's hard to paint your nails and get them dry in 15 minutes so I can type. Once I only painted one finger on each hand at a time and then tried not to type with those fingers. It's almost impossible to type any sentence without using your pointer because invevitably you will need n, j, u, y, t r, f, or v ... trust me on this. I've begun just doing a pedicure instead.

* Playing Poppit on I don't know why I enjoy the inane mind-numbing idiosy of popping cyber balloons but I do. Don't knock it until you've tried it people.

Do you reward yourself with treats for getting the job done? Any suggestions for additional 15 minute rewards I can use?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Second Draft Suckiness

For me, there are many ways writing a second draft is painful:

* I know how it ends. This is huge because one of the reasons I push toward writing The End in the first draft is so I can figure out who did it and why. Now I know and I've got that contented cat feeling. I don't want to look at the story anymore, I just want to stretch out in a sunbeam.

* I'm reading it in the wrong room. As I read the first draft I become convinced it all needs to be recycled into toilet paper. It's awful. I thought I was making magic but it all reads like doodoo.

* What was I thinking? I need to get more details in order to finish writing a scene about either blood/tissue/decomp/police procedure etc and now need to do hours of research.

* Scene transitions. Yes, I realize it's not fun to read a book where the characters drop from one scene to the other without any transitioning but blech, blech, blech!

* That next book. Every time I'm in second draft there's a voice whispering in my head saying, "C'mon ... you know you really want to drop this sucky story and move on to the one about the two-headed dragon that takes over the planet." Just about any story sounds better at this point.

If you're a writer, do you get the second draft blues? If you're a reader, have you read any books lately that could've used at least one more draft?

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Name Game

It's that time.

Time to
pick a name
for a character.

I've read through my book of 1001 Baby Names (my 1st choice for 1st names).

I've perused the credits of a couple of movies (my 2nd choice for 1st names).

Usually a name comes to me but this time I'm drawing a blank so I'm coming to you, my dear blogging pals, for help.

Here's what I know:

Forty years old
Last name is Booth.

What are your suggestions?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Laughter Through Tears

This morning the kids went back to school.
While I am elated to have my uninterrupted writing time back, I still swallowed tears as my little ones bravely stepped into their new classrooms.

That mix of emotions. The smiles that cover the turmoil beneath. That is what I struggle to bring to the page. I just LOVE a story that brings me on an emotional roller coaster ride. I also feel gypped if I don't feel a range of emotions in my own scenes. I want, no, NEED that high and those lows as I journey with my characters.

Have you read a book lately that brought you to tears? That made you burst out laughing or gasp in fear? Give me a title 'cause there's always room for one more on my bedside table :)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Where everybody knows your name...

Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came ...

Okay, did you hear the ol' Cheers theme song make you think of a local pub? Not me. I heard it today and thought about my local bookstore.

I'm lucky. A lot of people at my local Chapters store (Canuk equivalent to, say, Borders) know who I am and not just 'cause I write books. I buy a lot of books. I buy books for myself, for my kids and as gifts for just about anyone. Every time a friend writes a book (and I've got a LOT of friends who write books), I run out and I buy a copy (even if they give me one). As a matter of fact, I usually buy more than one copy because I always know at least one other person who NEEDS the same book I'm buying for myself :)

I've noticed a lot of the people who work at my Chapters store feel the same way about books that I do. Man, oh man, can we get into some great discussions about what we've read lately. I love it! If my kids are with me they start rolling their eyes and groaning the second someone strikes up a book conversation.

Still, I have to admit that if I had a really great independent mystery book store nearby I'd do a LOT of shopping there. I have a real soft spot for the independents. How can you not with names like Poisoned Pen, Murder on the Beach, The Cloak and Dagger and Grave Matters? The names alone beg you to drop everything and buy a mystery book!

So do you buy books online these days? Or are you, like me, well known at your local bookstore?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Too Bad ... So Sad ... Someone's Gotta Die

I've been listening to the Dixie Chicks sing Goodbye Earl. Not because I'm a country fan (I'm not) but it's a fun tune that puts me in the mood for murder.

You see, I finished the first draft of book two. Yay! But even as I typed The End I knew it was only *ding ding* the end of round one.

So heading into round two I realized early on I needed another dead body. Someone has to die. I don't know who. Sorry Dixie Chicks it won't be Earl.

It really doesn't matter who, what matters is HOW. I'm open to your ideas.

In the meantime ... La la la ...
"And they don't lose any sleep at night 'cause Earl had to die"

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Trailer & Updated Site!

My web gal, Rita, has been working hard on updating my site and creating my new trailer.

Click here to go to my site then let me know what you think!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Knock it off already!

Like most voracious readers I particularly enjoy my summer beach reads. I picked up Rhonda Pollero's Knock Off at Thrillerfest but it would've found its way onto my bookshelf even if I hadn't gone to the conference. I've been a Pollero fan since Kelsey Roberts :) Back in the days when I was targeting Intrigue, I read and re-read those Landry Brother books trying to discover Rhonda's secret. Well, the secret was no secret. Intrigue rejected me time and time again LOL! Anyway, onward to Knock Off.

I really enjoyed this chicklit style mystery. Heroine Finley Tanner is a paralegal with a penchant for designer clothes. She also finds herself put-off and then curious about a widow's insistence that her husband's death was no accident. Before long Finley uncovers a trail of "accidents" that are no accident and she digs deeper finding herself in the midst of a mystery. Along the way, she also gets cozy with sexy investigator, Liam McGarrity. I don't want to give too much away but I will say you'll love this story's sassy tone and quick pace! Oh and there's another in the series coming down the pike and I caught a glimpse of the fab cover in NYC. Too bad I can't remember the title but maybe Rhonda will pop in and give me a hint.

I also picked up (and devoured) Janet Evanovich's latest, Lean Mean Thirteen. Now I've heard the critiques grumbling that the series has lost its edge. The love triangle has grown stale and the humor just isn't fresh. To all of that I say :-P~~~ (that's me blowing a raspberry by the way). I enjoyed Thirteen just as much as I have the other twelve. I love Stephanie Plum and all her zany antics. I'll keep reading the series as long as Evanovich is willing to bless me with books to read.

Now, what are YOU reading this summer?

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I got friends in wet places.

Vacations with four kids are not exactly relaxing but lounging on a cruise is as close as you can get. Of course a few days running the pavement in Disneyland in hot, hot weather afterward pretty much eliminated any relaxation factor given by Carnival.

After a couple weeks away from my home computer my fingers feel strange on the keyboard. I did balance my Dana on my knees poolside a couple times but I've gotta admit that what I write with a Margarita in one hand is never as good as I think it'll be :)

Have any of you ever swam with the dolphins?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Planes, Trains and Automobiles ... Oh and Ships

This weekend I'm off on THE BIG FAMILY VACATION. I won't be around for a couple of weeks.

I'm bringing my Alphasmart so that I can write on the plane. Usually I love to read when I travel but my vertigo is acting up. For some reason I can type without problem when I'm in the air but if I crack open a book the world starts to spin. Go figure.

Anyway, I hope all of you are having an enjoyable summer. If you get a chance, please post a comment about your favorite vacation spots. I'd love to read them when I get back :)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Summer Means Polysporin

I've written my last couple of scenes at a local skateboard park. No, I haven't taken up writing while attempting to perfect my ollie. I have a 9 year old who decided this would be the summer he'd learn to skateboard. So every couple of days we pack up to go to the skateboard park. He packs his board and a helmet. I pack water bottles, my Alphasmart, Band-Aids and polysporin.

While I sit at the picnic table on the sidelines my fingers tapping at my keyboard, I steal sidelong glances his way. Is he going to make that nollie lipslide? Will he lose his balance and smash to the pavement? When skin meets concrete it's never pretty.

Oh! He's down.
And I'm up.

My hand instantly reaches for the ziploc bag of first aid supplies at my elbow. He shoots me an "I'm okay" look. Or maybe it's an "If you come over and embarrass me I'm not letting you watch me anymore" look. Regardless, there's no blood so I sit back down. He wants to master it on his own.

I return my fingers to my keyboard, where there is blood. At least there will be once I'm done this next scene. Or maybe not. When skin meets the keys the result isn't always pretty. I'm trying to master this writing thing on my own too.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My Newly Revised Site!

I'm excited to announce that my newly revised website is up and running *YAY*!

Please click HERE to take a look.

More changes are on the way but in the meantime please give me your feedback. I really want to know what you think. If you had my old site bookmarked, remember to refresh and save the new look.

I think Rita at OwwwLS Solutions has really outdone herself this time.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Summer Sloooowww Down

It's always difficult for me to remain on task in the summer. First of all, my kids are home from school. Secondly, there's the-going-away-vacation-thing and the-company-staying-with-me-for-their-vacation-thing. Thirdly, my kids are home from school.

Because I can't possibly go the entire summer without writing, I've devised little sneaky writing escapes.

1) I wake up before everyone else and write for an hour. This one is not fun and since we all tend to stay up extra late in the summer, it also makes me grumpy so I limit the early writing to a max of three times a week.

2) I bring the kids to the playground and bring my laptop with me. Great plan except for this week when it's raining every day *ugh*

3) I leave the oldest one in charge while I sneak off to Starbucks for a couple hours.

4) On those days when I can't manage any of the above but my muse is screaming for attention, desperate times call for desperate measures. I leave my laptop in the bathroom and write a few lines at every visit.

How do you manage to squeeze in time to support your passion when the rest of the world is trying to fill up your day?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I'm Very Fortunate

Came home from Thrillerfest to find this book had arrived in the mail :) Even though I now have a rather large collection of new books from my hunting and gathering in NYC, I couldn't resist diving into this story.

The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes is a collaborative book written by three fabulous authors, Jennifer Crusie, Anne Stuart and Eileen Dreyer. I've enjoyed the work of all three on their own so I knew I was in for a treat. Besides, with two sisters and a brother of my own, I'm always a sucker for a story involving siblings.

Mix three sisters with magic and you've got an irresistible premise. Each of these sisters has a unique trait and I loved reading about their various talents. Dee is the oldest sister and she can shape shift. Lizzie is the middle child who creates bunnies but would rather turn straw into gold. Mare (isn't that a great name?) can move objects but hasn't quite figured out how to focus her skill.

The trio have been hiding from their Aunt Xan who is a witch. The evil Xan supposedly killed their mom and dad in order to steal their powers. Xan has also concocted a scheme to send the sisters each the man of their dreams in order to trick them into allowing her to take their powers as well.

Overall, I found the Miss Fortunes a delightful book. Each of the sisters were strong enough characters I believe they could have pulled off their own novel and I found myself wondering if it would've worked as a trilogy. Regardless, Miss Fortunes is filled with witty banter inside a fast paced plot and is a fun read.

Have you read it? If so, tell me what you think. If not, tell me what you're reading now.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Is there any place better than NYC to get the blood pumping? Stayed at the conference hotel, The Grand Hyatt. As you can see in the pic above, it was smack dab between Grand Central and the Chrysler Building. Perfect location!

I had a great tour of the Penguin offices courtesy of my wonderful editor, Kristen Weber. She gave me some cover flats of Remains and I hugged them so tight I was worried I'd creased them. Later, Kristen and I hooked up with my agent, Miriam Kriss for lunch. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of that fabulous day because I dropped my camera on the Hyatt's marble floor as I was leaving and it wouldn't work after that :( However, on my return the very nice bell captain fiddled with it and got my camera working again *yay*

On Wednesday I had most of the day free so I roamed the city in the 90 degree heat. I walked to central park and enjoyed the fabulous sites on the way, even if I was sweating like a pig LOL.

Later on, I walked the couple blocks to the library and even got myself a library card! The NYC library is spectacular.

At Thrillerfest, I enjoyed many entertaining and informative workshops. I chatted briefly with Tess Gerritsen and managed not to get too tongue tied :)

Of course, there was much entertainment to be found in the lounges as well. Rhonda Pollero is just about the funniest and friendliest lady on the planet. I picked up her new book, Knock Off, and will blog about it at a later date. Also fun bar pals were Cherry Adair and Amy Fetzer.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Start spreading the news...

I want to be a part of it,
New York, New York!

I leave Monday for NYC and I'm insanely busy coordinating everything required to leave 4 kids in the care of someone else for a number of days.

While in NYC I'll get to hook up with my fabulous editor and agent and also get crafty at Thrillerfest's Craftfest.

Also on my to do list is to take a long walk. Preferably through Strand Bookstore's famous eighteen miles of books. Any suggestions for other must sees?

Hope to have pics to post on my return.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Lip Tattoo

Would you?

In researching a character for Ghost Dusters book two, I began checking into lip tattoos. I was completely surprised to find how common they are.

Of course the idea of lip tattoos has been around for a while. A tattoo can be a way of finding the bloodline pedigree of a horse.

But in this day and age people are choosing to decorate themselves in many styles and arts of tattooing. I'm sure to choose a word for your own lip would take a lot of thought.

Or maybe not.

If I had to choose a word, it wouldn't be beer. Maybe the word joy. Then again I may only choose that one because it's short and the thought of having a needle pierce the inside of my lip for a longer word is a tad nauseating.

If you could choose a single world to mark yourself with, what would you choose?

Happy Independence Day

Planning a 4th of July barbeque or taking it easy? Either way may all your celebrations be safe and joyful!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy Canada Day!

Did you know .....

* Canada is the second largest country in the world, with 9,971,000 square kilometers of land.

* With only three people per square kilometer, Canada has the fourth lowest population density in the world.

* According to the United Nations Human Development Index, Canada has the highest quality of life in the world.

* Canada has the world’s highest post-secondary education enrollment

* Canada is the home of many great inventions, including:
basketball, the electric light bulb, the electric range, the electron microscope, the television, the telephone and the zipper.

The most important creation was my daughter. Fourteen years ago today she came into the world so I'm spending my Canada Day with a gang of teen girls at the water slide park.

If you're Canadian, how are you spending your long weekend? If you're one of my many friends south of the border, have you already begun celebrating the Fourth of July?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Schoooool's out for summer

School's out for summer
School's out forever
School's been blown to pieces

Last day of school. The only day of the year my children truly appreciate Alice Cooper's contribution to rock'n roll.

Yes. It's true. The kids are officially home for 68 days straight. I admit it. I'm afraid. Very afraid. Very, very, very afraid.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it's called MOMMY'S GOING TO NYC IN 11 MORE SLEEPS :)

Before that though, I have to survive my daughter's 14th birthday party sleepover and I have to finish going over the page proofs for The Remains of the Dead and all the while I have to keep the four kidlets from killing each other.

After that, I'm solving the problem of world peace.
How about you? What's your challenge this week?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The hardest thing ...

Paris Hilton described her brief imprisoment as "the hardest thing I have ever done".

Wow. Now I hate to jump on the Hilton bandwagon with the rest of the media but when I read this line, I gave my head a shake. Then I felt like shaking her but, hey, I'm not (except on paper) a violent person he he.

I guess the reason I found myself a tad annoyed was that we aren't talking ten years of hard time here. It appears like more of a time-out. "You've been a naughty little rich girl and now you must sit in a small room and think about what you've done".

Paris is young and rich so I will cut her a little slack. After all, she hasn't experienced a lot of what would qualify as "hard" things in her life, right?

For example, she hasn't given birth. Without pain killers. Four times.

If she had, she might change her mind and say that prison was the 5th hardest thing she's ever done.

Probably what she needed in jail was something positive to focus on. I know that a lot of writers if locked away for weeks and allowed a computer or simply a pen and paper would write the days away.

But what if that wasn't possible. Let's just say they plopped me in a cell for a few weeks. Provided me meals that I didn't even have to shop for or wash dishes after. Gave me clothes I didn't have to buy, iron or wash. And they let me sleep without someone waking me in the middle of the night because of nightmares or at the crack of dawn to say they had a sore tummy and then vomiting next to me. Sheesh, it already sounds better than home but I digress. Let's say I couldn't write but the jailers were willing to provide me the simple tools to learn a new skill, what would I choose? Hmmm...

1) I'd listen to language tapes and learn Italian
2) I'd learn to crochet or knit. (Mom tried to teach me but I was too distracted.)
3) I'd re-read all the classics.

Come to think of it, a few weeks might not even be enough.

So how about you? Given a few weeks to yourself, what would you do if you couldn't write?

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Writer's gotta do, what a writer's gotta do...

On Saturday night I was on a mission. The kids were in bed. The husband was out of town. It was late but I couldn't sleep. It was just me and my computer. There was no avoiding the scene from Hell I'd been avoiding for days.

But when I sat down to write it, nothing came. When I did find words I wrote then deleted, then wrote and deleted. Ugh! My ugly side, Inner Editor, was telling me all the reasons the scene wouldn't work. And every word I wrote seemed to prove Inner Editor right.

Now I know it's easier to fix a badly worded scene then it is to deal with a blank page. Still, I couldn't seem to write a darn thing without re-writing it seconds later. Back and forth. It was driving me crazy so I did what any self-respecting writer would do to drown out the voice of her inner editor.

I popped my cork.

Of Lindman's Shiraz that is lol. I know what you're thinking and, no, I do not usually sit around drinking myself into a stupor before I write. However, Saturday night it was either me or Inner Editor. I decided IE was going down! It took 2 1/5 glasses of wine (truthfully, I was probably good to go after 1 but I didn't want to take any chances). I sat down at my keyboard and flung out the 7 page scene in 90 minutes.

Now there are many days when I can't get 7 pages out of me all day long so I was pretty pleased with getting that scene done. Of course the draw back of writing a scene while you've had some wine is that you can pretty much guarantee there's going to be more then the usual amount of editing involved in the second draft. Oh well. Inner Editor can have her fun with the scene when the first draft is complete.

That was my excitement for the weekend. How about you?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Where's the McService?

I'm not a huge fan of fast food. That said, it's true that with my busy schedule and four children to drag to various events we've been known to visit the golden arches.

This morning I was early for an appointment and hadn't had breakfast so I went through the local McDonald's drive thru for a coffee and muffin. I left with an orange juice and hashbrowns. Let's not get into the fact that I drove away, turning out of the lot onto a busy road with no chance to turn around, before I actually noticed I held juice in my hand instead of coffee. Did I mention it was really early?

The real point is service. The young lady taking my order didn't repeat it back but gladly took my money while talking over her shoulder the entire time to another employee. At the pick up window my order was thrust into my hands without a word of acknowledgment for my business let alone a thank you.

Now had this been the first time I'd received both rude service and the wrong order at McDonald's I would've been surprised. Shocked even. Nope. I barely blinked. As a matter of fact, I'll go so far as to say I'm more shocked and surprised when I encounter good service at McDonald's. I believe founder, Dick McDonald, is rolling over in his grave at the state of his company.

On the other hand, I took my daughter to lunch at a Red Robin restaurant the other day. The service was superb. I've eaten in some mighty fine high class establishments in my time and many of them could learn a lesson from Red Robin.

So what's my point? I think it's time to lower the price of fast food and start allowing the servers to accept tips. If their own pockets were directly affected by the actions of the service I bet we'd see a marked improvement. What do you think?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Love Cats & Dogs?

Come visit me over at Muse, News blog where I'm talking about two very unique animals.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Clean House = A Disorderly Mind

My house is clean. Even the ironing is done. You're probably thinking, well good for you. Nope. Not good for me.

Sure, it was nice to have the place tidy to entertain a half dozen relatives for Father's Day but it wasn't my usual Quick! Company's coming so dash around and pick things up kind of clean. I'd actually even cleaned out the closets the week before. I know. The truth is hideous.

When my house is clean and doing the dishes is more appealing than parking my butt at my desk it's sad. It means I'm avoiding writing a difficult scene or the hamsters in the basement just aren't sending up the stuff I want.

However, this morning I woke up with no urge whatsoever to sweep the floor or wash dishes. In fact, as soon as the lil ol' rug rats are off to their institution of learning, I'm snagging my Dana and the two of us are going off to Starbucks to write a very nasty lil ol' scene. Someone will die. It won't be pretty. And I'm just about gushing with enthusiasm LOL.

I'm quite looking forward to leaving the breakfast dishes in the sink until later in the day.

How about you? What are your plans for the day?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Hamsters in the Basement

Today I received an email from someone who'd read my first book, Dating Can Be Deadly. She loved the book (thanks Tara!) and said I could talk about her question here on my blog :)

It was THE question. You writers know the one. It's the most common asked question most authors are asked:

Where do you get your ideas?

Well, I've heard Jenny Crusie say the girls in the basement just send those ideas up when she needs them. Stephen King said his boys in the basement send 'em up. For me, well, it's prolly more likely hamsters in my basement. I visualize a dozen or so little hamsters running on their little wheels whenever I want a new idea.

Silly? Yeah. My ideas come from all around and inside of me. My new Ghost Dusters series came to me while researching another book. I asked a retired crime scene analyst who cleaned up crime scenes and I was surprised to hear that cleaning crime scenes was an entire industry onto itself. My hamsters got pretty excited about that LOL.

As I busily write book two in the series, my mind is flirting with another idea. No, I won't tell you about it. Not yet. Maybe not for a long while. It needs to percolate in my mind. The hamsters have to do a few more miles on the wheels and then the thoughts have to kick around in the grey matter for a while.

So for those of you who are writers, tell me where you get your ideas? For those who are readers, what's kicking around in your grey matter this week?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Werecats, Romance, and Vampires ... OH MY!

I've spent my weekend enjoying myself with three great friends. They've been with me on the sidelines at baseball, in bed and relaxing in the hottub.

Unfortunately, none of these friends were here in person but (almost as good) were their words bound between gorgeous covers.

I've been wanting to read Rachel Vincent's, Stray, ever since I first heard of this sale. Stray's heroine is Faythe Sanders, a grad student who is also a shape-shifting werecat. So far, I'm loving Faythe's kick-ass attitude. Lots of action is fueling me to quickly turn the pages. I know I'll be looking forward to the next in this series! Oh and I've heard Stray is # 107 on the USA Today list so WOO HOO!!

I've already read Mary J. Forbes' novel His Brother's Gift. A wonderful romance about rugged Alaskan bush pilot, Will Rubens, who inherits his special needs nephew (who's also his biological son). The compassionate social worker, Savanna Stowe, is another of Mary's rich and vibrant characters. I loved the Alaska setting too! You probably won't find this one on shelves until July 1st but you can pre-order it now ;)

Rises the Night is the second in Colleen Gleason's Gardella Vampire Chronicles. I absolutely loved the first book, The Rest Falls Away, but don't worry if you haven't read it yet (although you should.) This next book definitely can stand on its own. I haven't finished reading it yet but, so far, I'm fully engaged in the tale of Lady Victoria Garella Grantworth and her delicious role as Venator, vampire slayer.

Have you read any of these books? If yes, tell me what you thought. If not, what are you waiting for? :)