Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hi Everyone: Well, the year is winding down and I, for one, can't wait for 2010. 2009 (shudder) is not a year I will remember fondly. Am making progress on FORTUNE COMES CALLING. Steady progress, but nothing to brag about -- my usual pace. Sigh.
Finally checked out some reviews of previous books on Amazon.com. Wow! Glad I was wearing my big girl panties! Most of the posts were positive, but some... There are some people out there who REALLY don't like my books. Which begs the question -- why do they read them? And then go online and tear the book down? I'm all for freedom of speech, but if I was going to post a negative comment, I'd probably just write, "Not my cup of tea", or "I didn't like it" or "I didn't care for the subject matter". Just my opinion and thanks to our forefathers, I'm allowed to express it.
I have my own private list of authors I just don't like -- some very well known and, as a rule, that make the N.Y. Times Bestseller List. Not that they're not good or even excellent writers, but for whatever reason, they just don't float my boat.
I don't expect everyone to like every book I write and, as an avid reader myself, I know that even favorite authors have an 'off' book (which I know wasn't the plan). I'll generally forgive a so-so book, once or even twice, but if it happens thrice, then I just don't read that author anymore. What's your rule of thumb?
Since New Year's is bearing down on us, I'll close with, HAPPY NEW YEAR -- 2010 IS GONNA BE WONDERFUL! Ta, Shirlee

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Great news with which to end the year! Just signed a new two book contract with Kensington Publishing Corp for two more historical romances. Sent off the signed contracts yesterday so it looks like I'll be employed for a couple more years :-).
Progress continues to be slow with FORTUNE COMES CALLING. I'm telling myself it's because of the holidays. Hope so. All my best to all of you.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mo's Book Buzz

Hi Everyone: Experienced my first online chat on December 2, 2009. Was the guest author at Mo's Book Buzz. Lotta fun. Kept me on my toes, I can tell you! Mo hosts a chat with a guest author every Wednesday evening at 9:00 PM EST. If you want to get in on the fun, go to www.romrevtoday.com. Click on RRT Chat over on the left side of screen. Once the login screen loads just type your name and choose Mo's Book Buzz from the chat room menu. No password needed. Click on login and you will enter the room. It's so easy even I could do it :-).
Pecking away with FORTUNE COMES CALLING. Progress, but slow. This time of year it's hard to concentrate, but I keep at it. My best to all of you, Shirlee

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hi Everyone: Just rec'd some cover flats for the June 2010 mass market release of SEDUCTION BECOMES HER. It was orignally published in the trade format in 2008, so if you missed it then, here's your chance! Also just learned that the book I titled TEMPTATION COMES CALLING has been re-titled by the publisher, it is now titled PASSION BECOMES HER and will be published in July 2010 in the trade format.
Until next time, here's wishing all of you a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Ta, Shirlee

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hi All: Disregard my last post about Mo's Book Buzz. We've had a death in the family and I won't be hosting the chat on Wed. November 18th, after all. Hopefully, I'll do it some time in the not too distant future. Shirlee

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hi All: Exciting news...well, at least I think it's exciting. On Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 9:00 PM Easter Time, I'll be a guest on Mo's Book Buzz chat room. I'll be giving away a free, signed copy of SURRENDER BECOMES HER and I'll be taking questions and uh, chatting. Go to www.reomrevtoday.com and click on RRt Chat. Type in Mo's Book Buzz and you're good to go. Ta, Shirlee

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hi All: Progress is going slow on Barnaby and Emily's book. Sigh. Seems like this happens to me all the time. I start out full of fire (and vim, vigor and vitality) and then my brain goes blank. Right now, it's plunk, plink, plunk. With the holidays looming on the horizon I really want to get a good run at the book so that I can continue to move forward despite all the madness that happens around this time of year. I'm probably just suffering through the let down after the pressure of coming up with ideas for the JOSLYN FAMILY Series. Since it's supposed to be a rainy week, I have no excuses for not getting my act together and whipping out another chapter...or more. Wish me luck. Ta, Shirlee

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hi All: Well, keeping my promise, I'm being more timely on my blog. It's been a bad week. Howard's mother died October 23rd. Charlotte, the best mom-in-law, in the world would have been 93 on December 22. It wasn't unexpected: she fell and broke her hip and didn't recover from the operation to fix the hip. H. is doing okay. He'd dreading the service on Monday, but it is simply something one has to endure. A painful part of life and we're dealing with it as best we can. Time is the only healer.
On the book front: I will be signing a new two book contract with Kensington and I spent most of last week working out some of the details for what we plan to be the Joslyn Family Series. It was a stretch for me, because I rarely know what is going to happen in the book I'm writing, let alone 3 or 4 down the road! Anyway, I was busy on that and so didn't make a lot of progress on Barnaby and Emily's book -- the first in the Joslyn Family Series. Hope to do better next week. Ta, Shirlee

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hi All: I really have been bad about posting a blog this summer. Hasn't been the happiest summer of my life either. My beloved little Ike, Miniature Schnauzer, died in late July and I was devastated. Still have Mamzelle, Hugo and Boomer, all Miniature Schnauzers, but Ike was my guy. Then we got the ruling on the lawsuit. The judge split the judgement, saying the we had a right to go to one property, but the other people didn't -- properties adjoin and have always and only used the right-of-way in question. So the judgement landlocks 320 Acres of land and if you can't get to it, essentially strips all the value away. Probably will appeal.
On the book front things are a little better. Finished TEMPTATION COMES CALLING in early August and got it sent off to my publisher. Have started, FORTUNE COMES CALLING, and am really excited about it. Hero is Barnaby Joslyn, an American, who inherits a title in England. Heroine is Emily Townsend -- the daughter of the local squire (deceased). Emily's cousin became the squire after her father died and he's, well, a jerk. Takes place in 1793 in Sussex with smugglers and secret passageways galore. Haven't made a lot of progress lately, but I sure am enjoying the characters.
Will try to do better with the blog. My best to everyone. Ta, Shirlee

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hi Everyone: Sorry that I have been remiss about posting to the blog. Been a busy time since I last posted. Still haven't received the judgement on the right of way dispute. Have our fingers crossed that justice (our side) will prevail. All our American Shetland Pony foals had been born. Thrilled with them. 3 fillies and 1 colt. Because the market is so bad, didn't breed anyone back for next year. The stallions are sulking :-). If you want to see what our American Shetland Ponies look like, go to http://www.stepnstone.com/. Like all my sites, it needs to be updated, but that doesn't surprise any of you now does it?

Have been working like a demon on TEMPTATION COMES CALLING. Am on the next to the last chapter. Thought I only had one more chapter to go, but turns out I'm a lot more long-winded than I want to admit. Anyway, if all goes well, I should finish the rough draft within the week. The final will be done a week or two after that....one hopes -- I know my editor does!

SURRENDER BECOMES HER, detailing Marcus and Isabel's love story is out now. It's a trade paperbook, published by Zebra. For those of you that missed the first book for Zebra -- SCANDAL BECOMES HER was re-released in a mass market edition in June. Ta, for now, Shirlee

Monday, April 27, 2009

Gypsy Lady . . . writing the first novel

Originally published in December 1977, by Avon Books, GYPSY LADY was my first book. Not only the first book I'd written that was published, but the first book I'd ever written. Fate is a funny thing and fate very definitely played a role in my becoming an author. 

I'd always been a voracious reader and my husband, Howard, once said, "Gee, if we could turn the time you spend reading, into writing, our fortunes would be made." He was kidding, but the thought stuck. I even, at his insistence, signed up for that Famous Writer's Course you used to see advertised all over the place. It was a three year course, 36 lessons (I think). I played at it and after four years (they gave me a year's extension) had only completed 6 lessons. After awhile, I realized I wasn't going to finish the course and so put it away. A writing career obviously wasn't for me. 

Probably a decade later, while I working as a draftsman for the Solano County Assessor's office, the Solano County Parks Department moved into offices down the hall from the drafting department. Dean Kastens was the Parks Director and his secretary was, Rosemary Rogers. Yeah, that Rosemary Rogers. Rosie had noticed me in the ladies lounge reading on my breaks, noticed what I was reading and we began to talk and a friendship sprang up. 

Friend or not, no one was more surprised than I was the day she burst into the ladies lounge with the news that she'd sold her first book! Like many beginning authors, Rosie had never breathed a word that she was writing a book, much less had submitted for publication. Wow. Pretty exciting stuff, I can tell you. 

Naturally, I was curious (read fascinated). Here was this friend, someone I knew personally, that had had a book published. Over the course of time, the notion that I might write a book took hold -- especially, after I got to read SWEET SAVAGE LOVE. Talk about knock your socks off! It was incredible and at that time, like nothing I'd ever read. 

While Rosie worked on her second book, THE WILDEST HEART, as I watched her fingers fly across the typewriter (yes, it was that long ago), the idea of writing a book, a historical romance, sort of came to the forefront of my mind. 

One day I was taking my coffee break at her desk and she was grabbing a few minutes to work on THE WILDEST HEART and she said something like, "I've got them up on this damn mountain and I don't know how to get them down." I stared at her in amazement. "What do you mean, you don't know how to get them down -- you're the author! You know everything," I said. She said, "I don't know everything. I know how the book begins. I know certain things will happen. I know how it will end -- but I don't know how to get them off the mountain." 

Don't ask me why, but that was an "ah ha!" moment for me. I looked at her a long moment and finally said, "You know I think I could do that." She looked back and said simply, "Do it!" So I did. GYPSY LADY was the result of following Rosie's orders. 

Now having decided that I was going to write a book didn't make it happen any time soon. For eighteen long months all I had to show for my efforts were four handwritten pages in a yellow, lined, legal tablet. Yep. That was it. Eighteen months worth of work -- four pages. I dreaded going to work on Monday because the first words out of Rosie's mouth were, "How much did you get done on the book?" 

Eventually, it dawned on me that if I was going to write a book, that I was going to have to concentrate, put in the hours, spend the time and write the bloody thing. It was hard, I was working full time, but with Howard's encouragement and understanding, the pages began to add up. We rented a typewriter and the legal table scrawl finally began to look like a manuscript. 

When I had about 250 pages, Rosie ripped it out of my hands and sent it off to her editor, Nancy Coffey at Avon Books. To my stunned delight, in due course (months later) I got the letter: Avon wanted to publish GYPSY LADY. And that dear reader, is how GYPSY LADY came into being and I became a writer.


Coming - the characters from Gypsy Lady - stay tuned!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Good Morning: Well, the heat spell that CA has been suffering through has finally broken. Thank God! 90 degree heat in April is just not fair. Rain would be nice. We've actually begun to irrigate our one, lone pasture. If we don't get more rain, it's really is gonna be a long, hot summer.

I'm continuing to make progress on TEMPTATION COMES CALLING. Not a lot of progress, but the pages are adding up. Peck. Peck. Peck.

It's been a disruptive week for us. Monday we had to be in court dealing with a right-of-way dispute (someone trying to take away a right-of-way we have used for years). Not fun. And, unfortunately, no middle ground. To add to our already full plate, we're dealing with an American Shetland Pony mare who is giving us fertility problems. Our nearest vet is an hour and a half away so the mare is down boarding at a nearby farm. We were lucky enough to have a friend deliver "Doll" to the farm on Sunday, but we'll have to pick her up today or tomorrow. Now that might not sound like a big deal, but it'll be a 3 hour (or more) round trip -- and that's just the driving. Sometimes living back-of-beyond has its drawbacks, but generally we love it...except when we have to make several trips away from home in one week.

Plan on working on TEMPTATION COMES CALLING this morning. Think I'll attempt a murder.... Wish me a good day. Ta, Shirlee ToTo No

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My First Blog

Hi Everyone: This is my first blog and since I've never even read a blog, I'm really not certain what I'm doing. My webperson says I'm just to pretend I'm sending an email...to everyone! Gulp! And since this blog site is connected to my author site, I assume that those of you that read my blog want to know about books.

Currently, I'm working on TEMPTATION COMES CALLING -- that's the working title, the publisher may change it. I hope to have it done by mid-summer and if all goes well, it will be out July 2010. 

SCANDAL BECOMES HER will be published as a mass market in June 2009 and SURRENDER BECOMES HER, featuring Marcus Sherbrook (Julian and Charles's cousin) will come out in trade format in July 2009. No ghosts or serial killers in this one. More of a traditional historical romance. 

TEMPTATION COMES CALLING, will pick up a character from SURRENDER BECOMES HER, but I can't tell you who it is until after you've read TEMPTATION COMES CALLING. Not trying to be mysterious, just not wanting to reveal too much before you've read the book.

I hope that you all will help me with this blog. What do you want to see? If you want me just to muse off the top of my head, that's okay -- just remember that you asked for it :-). 

If there's something you want me to discuss, tell me. Just give me some guidelines so I don't bore you to death and humiliate myself. 

Ta, Shirlee