Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Obsessing Orlando nominated.

The reveiwers at Romantic Times have nominated Obsessing Orlando for one of the top books for 2005 in the Young Adult category. I am thrilled at the recognition and also excited for my dear friend Mari Mancusi who was also nominated in the same category with her YA book Sk8terBoy.

This is not a contest that writers can enter. It's a great honor to be chosen. The winners will be announced in June.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas

Hit the link for a Christmas Card.

We hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas

Cindy and family

Thursday, December 22, 2005

enjoying life

Even though I'm under a horrible deadline which involves knitting instead of writing I have been taking the time to enjoy the spirit of the season. I had a last minute run to the mall yesterday, hey I had to go, I had coupons and the traffic was horrible. But it also gave me more time to listen to my Amy Grant Christmas CD.

We're having our gift exchange with the family's we hang out with and I did all my prep work yesterday so today won't be so stressed. We know it's probably the last time we'll get to hang out with Gib, who will probably be a professional baseball player come June. We want to enjoy just being with him tonight since we've all been such a part of each others lives since he and Drew were in kindergarten.

It's amazing how many old and lost friends have shown up through the holidays. I guess as the kids grow up they realize who and what was important in their lives. It also makes us grownups realize how old we are getting.

Yet no matter how old we get on the outside(something I'm fighting tooth and nail) the feeling is always the same on the inside.

Now if I could just find a few spare hours to watch my favortie Christmas movie, White Christmas life would be perfect!

But I'll take it as it is. Merry Christmas everyone.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


We lost power from the ice storm last week. The first night it was nice. Watching the fire, knitting by candlelight, snuggling under two extra quilts on the bed.

Not so nice the next morning. I'm one of these people who can't function without a hot shower. I need to shampoo my hair! We managed to get cleaned up enough to go spend the day at the mall with all the other miserable stinky people. The power company said this was our worst outages since Hugo came through several years ago.

It's one thing to look outside to a winterwonderland and not have power. It's something else entrely to have 50 degree weather and not have power. It just doesn't make sense.

Anyway, we came back on the following evening. I was extremely grateful because my birthday was over the weekend and I did not want to spend it in the dark.

It's funny how you take things for granted until they're gone. And yes, I kept flipping on light switches out of habit everytime I walked into a room.

Wishful thinking I guess.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ice Ice Baby

We're having an ice storm in western NC. I woke up this morning at my usual time and was greeted by a half inch of ice covering every thing. The birds are making good use of my feeder this morning.

I'm amazed at how quiet it is. Nothing outside but the sound of the freezing rain hitting surfaces. There are no cars running up and down the street, no dogs barking, no kids out playing.

I've finished my Christmas cards, my wrapping is done, along with most of my shopping. I might do some baking today and will most likely do some writing, which is something I've ignored in the past few weeks since I've had all the holiday preparations going on.

I think it will be a good day for it.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Tis the season to be jolly

Sitting here with a horrible cold that I've had since Friday. However I did not let that ruin my weekend.

On Friday we went to see The Chronicles of Narnia. It was a visually beautiful and breathtaking movie with a wonderful message for eveyone. It had been so long since I read the book that I felt as if I was visiting it all for the first time. The acting was terrific. I especially loved James McAvoy as Mister Tumnus. He has a wonderfully expressive face, inspite of the fake nose he was wearing. The lion was unbelievable. It's hard to imagine that it was entirely animated. The expression on its face was remarkable. And Peter was awesome as the caretaker of his family, and the kingdom.

Saturday I went to two Christmas parties. I forced myself to drive two hours for my writing chapters get together and was so glad I did. Plus alone car time is great for book plotting. Saturday night was our Sunday School class party and laughing as hard as you can for two straight hours is good for the soul. Plus I won a really cool squishy pillow and candy cane antlers in our dirty santa game. I am now officially Cindy Lou Who who is no more than two.

Sinday was church and then I crashed in front of the TV with my knitting and a Harry Potter marathon. Someimtes quiet time is good two.

Back to work today. Shopping counts as work, doesn't it?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Legolas and me

Last night was the release party for Obsessing Orlando. And we had an ice storm! In spite of that we had a great showing and a wonderful time. It was one of my best signings ever at a Barnes&Noble.

Congratulations to Mary Newsome who won the Vera Bradley handbag.

And a big thank you to Brandon Shore who played Legolas.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Christmas Traditions

Since 97, on the first Sunday in December I hold an ornament swap with my girlfriends. It motivates me to get all my decorating done and believe me I need it. I'd be hanging lights on Christmas day without proper motivation. And I hope it gets all my friends into the Christmas spirit.

We eat first, always fun appetizers. This year I made the best sausage balls ever in the history of mankind. And I am famous for my fruit tarts. Then we draw numbers and play dirty Santa.

Some years it even gets violent. One of my friends, who I will refer to as Sportsmom even pushed me down in her haste to snatch an ornament from me. And one year she brought her mom with an ornamant so she could take home two since her mom doesn't put up a tree. She played nice this year. And it's all in fun. You know I love you Sportsmom.

Another friend, Volunteermom swore she was never coming again because she always gets the dud ornament. Some of us do have strange taste. This year she left very happy.

Then there's my friend, Travelagentmom who makes sure the rules are obeyed. Her daughter came this year, anxious to start her own ornament collection. I also think they were conspiring together. We all have been known to do that. We also have to tell where we got the ornament so if you don't get waht you want you can go buy it yourself.

One friend showed up late and ended up staying a couple of hours after eveyone left. We sat on the sofa and talked about our year. Christmas music was playing and the only lights came from the tree and the candles that were on their last bit of light.

This friend, Tennismom, has breast cancer. She had lost all her hair to chemo and it was growing back thick and curly. She found out about the cancer last year right after the party. so much can happen in a year. And as it turns out, she might not have that many more years with us.

Some of us only see each other at this event. Our lives have changed so much since it started. It originally was all the moms from baseball with a few more thrown in. One of the sons died in a tragic accident, one is divorced, one missed it last year because her daughter was in the hospital with a broken pelvis and almost missed it because her son was in the hospital with a collasped lung. A few have moved away.

Yet every year we pick up as if it hasn't been a year. We are always connected. We have the same values, the same joys, the same tragedys. Some bonds can't be broken.

i'm already looking forward to next year. I better get shopping for my ornament.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Rage against the machine

I had to change an airline reservation. So I call the handy little number provided for my convenience and of course get an automated operator.

We go through the press one for English options (don't get me started on that) and press two for reservations.

Then it was time for me to "say" my trip ID number. So I rattle off a ten digit or more number and then get to listen to R2D2 do his version of Manheim Steamrollers Christmas Album. At least I think it was R2D2. Whatever I was listening to was truly bizzare.

So after a few moments my nice little recorded automated operator lady comes back and says.

"I'm sorry. I did not understand you."

"I'm not surprised," I reply.

"im sorry, I did not understand you. Did you say five?"

Now I can get the connection between surprised and five but I am totally aggravated with the process and not in the mood to be nice to a machine.

"I did not say five," I said. "Can I talk to a real person?"

"I'm sorry. I did not understand you. Did you say agent?"

"No, but I do need to talk to my agent. Perhaps if you let me talk to a real person I could get on with my life."

"I'm sorry, I did not understand you. Did you say eight?"

"NO! I said let me talk to a real person."

"Please hang on while I connect you with an operator. There will be a moment of silence followed by a chime."

Yay! A real person. I think I have this figured out. To test my theroy I called the cable company. Instead of pressing in all the numbers I just started punching zero. TaDa! A real person appeared.

I think I'm on to something. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Pride and Prejudice

Just returned from seeing Pride and Prejudice. I really needed the break from the everyday and this fit the ticket perfectly.

I loved this movie. It was sweet, it was moving. Keira Knightly gave an awesome performance. And most importantly, it left me wanting more. I longed for some long desperate kisses between Libby and Mr. Darcy. Which would totally go against the grain of Jane Austen fans.

But it also served its purpose. Don't you love reading a book or seeing a movie and having it stay in your head. I think that's the true test of a good story. You want more when it's over.

I just ordered the soundtrack also. It was beautiful. From the first note I knew immediately that I would have to get it.

I hope it inspires me to write great stories.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The most wonderful time of the year

Went Christmas shopping yesterday. A five hour blitz which is a long time for me. But I kept at it because I knew the crowds would get worse. I also got most everything I was after.

Even found myself humming carols as I shopped.

Today I decided to do paper work and try to get back into the writing. I usually spend my swim time going over my story line. It's really easy to get into the story because swimming is a very solitary exersise. No distractions.

However...today I kept hearing something strange while my head was under the water. So right in the middle of the pool I popped my head up...

And found the entire water arobics class singing Christmas carols while they exersised. Winter Wonderland, Rudolph, Silver Bells, all acoompanied me while I did my laps.

It really put me in the mood.

Falalalala everyone!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Prison Break

The husband and I have gotten hooked on Prison Break. He likes the plot. I think Wentworth Miller is hot.

However, I am extremely frustrated with the writing on the show. Last night drove me crazy. The plot was so contrived that I was screaming at the TV.

So a word to the writers out there in Hollywood. We can only suspend belief for so long. We are not stupid but apparently your characters are.

And will you get those poor guys out of the joint so they can go after the real bad guys?

The husband is anxiously awaiting the return of 24. I think I'll just read a book instead.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Christmas rush

Decorating the house. This year I'm a bit more organized. I have realized lately that I have way too much stuff so my goal is to eliminate while pulling everything out.

Which should make life easier this year since I'm not getting any more stuff. The husband and I have decided not to buy each other anything this year because we spent so much money on the cruise. Plus my parents got us wood floors for Christmas which is kind of hard to wrap and put under a tree.

But I have realized a long time ago that I really don't care about the receiving It's the giving thats the best part of Christmas.

I always laugh when my aunt, who collects roosters protests that she has no place to put another rooster when we get her one.

Not my problem, I alway say. My problem was finding you the perfect gift. It's your problem where you put it.

As for me, I'm, looking forward to a problem free Christmas.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Yes I know I've been a blog slacker lately. Thanks everyone for reminding me.

So what's been going on? Cleaning windows, it's been way too long since I've done that. Getting the basement ready to paint since Josh's stuff is now gone. Getting wood floors tomorrow which means we'll be moving furniture around. Organizing Christmas stuff.

Went to see Goblet of Fire. I love HP and was not disappointed. I even have grown up roles in mind for Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson. I'm wrting the book now.

Listening to the new nikelback cd Photograph which goes right along with the wip, Pheonix; Dark Star Rising. It's about Shaun and Lilly's children.

I've also worked up four historical proposals and one paranormal one. Keep your fingers crossed because the historicals are a continuation of my Wind series. All about Chase, Jacey, Fox and Faith. As soon as I know something I'll be sure to let you know.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I'm looking forward to having my boys at home and seeing some of their friends home from college.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Obsessing Orlando

i am at the very moment holding a hot off the press copy of Obsessing Orlando in my hands. I am really excited about this book because Romantic Times has given it 41/2 stars and a Top Pick which is the best you can get. I also have a 5 star review from the master reviewer, Harriet Klausner.

So if you've ever had a crush on a Hollywood Hottie, you need to look for this book in December.

Also be sure to enter my Orlando trivia contest. First prize is a Vera Bradley bag and an autographed copy of Obsessing Orlando.

Off to obsess over my brand new book!

Friday, November 11, 2005

In honor of Veterans Day


The following is a dedication I made to Tyler, a young man from our church who recently was posted in Iraq.


When we first came to Rural Hall Moravian eight years ago I became Sunday School teacher for the senior highs. I had taught the same age group at our former church and since both of my sons were of the age I felt as if I could relate well to that group.

The funny thing is, various people kept rolling their eyes and saying, oh, you’ll have Tyler in your class.

Yes I knew Tyler. I had known Tyler for years. We had done Scouts with him, Little League Baseball and WCCC Basketball. I had known Tyler for years.

But I didn’t know Tyler. The first few Sundays I soon learned all about Tyler.

I recall after the first mission trip that my oldest son Josh went on to Florida with Tyler. He thought he was a big stud. Kyle Kiser too, since they were football players at North Forsyth.

Tyler got all the girls on the trip.

When Drew went on a mission trip with Tyler to Memphis, he told me the story about Tyler’s rebellion. You see they weren’t allowed to remove their shirts in the 100 plus degree heat. Tyler took care of that. He took off his shirt and used the paint for the house to paint one on. Blue and white striped as I recall.

On Sunday mornings Tyler told all of us stories about his Saturday nights in High Point with the car guys. He told us about Tai Kwan Do. He showed up the video of his Black Belt test. He gave us Korean lessons. He also gave me some creative alternative words to use when I get a case of road rage.

He told us how good the Football game was on Friday night by how many drum heads he broke playing in the band. It didn’t matter what the score board said. If I recall we usually lost. All that mattered was how hard we played.

Sometimes I would give the class impossible physical challenges as examples. Tyler always managed to do them.

He also managed to distract me with the Kevin Bacon game, six degrees of separation. He even tried to stump me by using the guy in the Lewis and Daggett commercials. Robert Vaughn. Mag 7 with Steve McQueen, with Paul Newman in Towering Inferno with Tom Cruise in Color or Money, with Kevin Bacon in a few good men.

But he was also prepared for the lesson. Since Lynora also taught, they would discuss it before hand and he knew what to expect.

When Josh, Travis, Kyle and Audrey were talking about what college they were going too, Tyler informed us that he was going into the National Guard. It was hard
to imagine such exuberance in the military. But he went. He came back after basic and told us the story of saving a young man’s life. That part did not surprise me.

And we all got a kick out of the look he gave a young lady in our class when she asked him if it was hard to do basic training in his uniform. He was wearing his dress uniform that day. I don’t think she realized that he had more than one.

Tyler has excelled in the military in the past four years. He also got a college degree. He’s become a leader of men. And he’s been trained for war.

And now, while my son is beating the bushes trying to find a job, Tyler is going to go fight in a war. Tyler is going to defend our freedom to attend this church, and be able to come here in safety. Tyler is going to make sure that we can go about our daily lives without fear.

And knowing what I know about Tyler. He will be the first one in line to do it.

We had some bracelets made up with Tyler’s name on them. They’re for anyone here who wants one. They are to remind you to pray for Tyler, and to pray for his unit. But they are also to remind you to pray for Lynora, Jerry, Holly, Tom and Ashley, Tyler’s finance. Because even though Tyler will be in the thick of the fighting, the rest will be here waiting. And as everyone knows, waiting is the hardest part.

Good Luck Tyler. Stay Safe. And remember, we're all praying for you.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Only true Orlando Bloom fans will know the answer to these questions. The winner will be picked randomly from all the correct answers. The prize? A Vera Bradley Handbag and signed copy of Obsessing Orlando. Winner will be picked in January 06.

What does Orlando have tatooed below his navel?

What is Orlando's favorite soft drink?

In what film did Orlando play a boxer?

Who was Orlando's first crush?

What did Orlando's friends call him when he was growing up?

Send enteries to kassytayler@aol.com with the headline contest.

Good luck!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Cold Blooded Chipmunk Killers

Abby the cat is a murderer. But then again she's only doing what comes naturally. Cody the dog,on the other hand, is a torturer. Perhaps its a team effort. I just wish they would do it in reverse order and not leave the mess to me.

I let Cody out last night for his good night pottie run and noticed that he kept poking his nose in a certain spot in the yard. It was dark, our yard is covered with leaves and I was in my pj's so I wasn't in the mood to fool around. He wouldn't come in. He just kept hopping around, sticking his nose under the leaves, wagging his tail like he was having a great time. So I go and investigate.

Yup, small wounded critter. I think it was a baby chipmunk. In pretty bad shape. Bad Cody. Get away. I look around and notice Abby the cat on the deck railing looking rather smug.

"So this is your work," I said to her.

She looked way to smug. I run inside and get a paper towel. I don't want to touch it. It's got blood on it. I pick it up and it's still alive. Ahhhhh. It''s moving in my hand. And Cody is still nosing around on the ground. There's another one.

"Abby you are so bad. Chipmunks everywhere are cursing your name."

So I have two mortally wounded chipmunks that are still alive. I should put them out of their misery but I can't do it. I have visions of beating their brains out with a shovel. I can't do it. I just can't.

So I stick them in a drawer of this cabinet I have on the deck. I even put sunflower seeds in it. I figure the least I can do it let them die in peace.

And they did. But one of them hung on for a while. Yes I checked several times during the night.

Poor things. I buried them next to Tess, my kitty that died a few years back. Maybe I shouldn't have done that. maybe her kitty angel will chase their chipmunk angels. But then again, they might all just be snuggling together.

I like that idea.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I loved this movie. I went just to see Orlando, or course, but wound up forgetting that it was him I was watching. Which in my opinion makes a very good movie.

Elizabethtown is a wonderful journey about a young man discovering just exactly what is important in life. We all fall flat on our face at one time or another but when you have a great family the failure doesn't seem so bad.

Elizabethtown celebrates family and it celebrates life. It shows us how we should appreciate both more.

I highly recommend it.

Monday, October 31, 2005


There is nothing more gratifying in a writer's life than writing the words...The End. I got to write those late Friday night on Shooting Star, book two in my Colby Hodge Star series.

And I promise there is a happily ever after for Ruben and the love of his life Tess. Also more evil plotting from the Circe's, lots of spectacular flying on Ruben's part and of course, Shaun and Lilly show up to save the day.

It was a fun journey. Now I get to catch up on some emails and web stuff, clean my office and start the next book.

Once upon a time...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

My week alone

Rob is out of town this week. So I've had the house to myself. Just me, Cody and Abby the cat and she's been banned from the house at night so I can get a full nights sleep. So what have I done this week?

Looked at million dollar homes with my girlfriend Debbie. It's parade of homes week and we always look at the most expensive ones. What was really cool about this $3 million dollar home(besides the fact it cost 3mil) is that I'll get to go back. It belongs to a friend of mine, Kelly. Her husband is an attorney so they can afford it. It's a gorgeous house. Wrote some.

After looking at million dollar homes I got depressed. Attention Hollywood. I want a new house so will someone make one of my books into a movie? Wrote some more. Hmmm, whats good for I want a new house funk?

Shopping! Got a really cool and long hairpiece for my warrior elf halloween costume (Legolass) I'll post some pics when I get them. Also got some dressy jeans and a nice top for a birthday party.

The rest of the week consisted of walking Cody, working out at the Y, ducking acorns in my backyard and lots and lots of writing. I've pulled a couple of all nighters this week. OH yeah, I also put on the new Black Eyed Pea's CD and danced like a wild woman throughout the house.

It's been a nice break. But Rob comes home tomorrow. I missed him. But I sure did get a lot of work done. Hmmmm. Think there's a connection there?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Since it's Wednesday and my schedule revolves around the TV I thought I'd blog about my favorite show, Lost. Rob and I quickly became addicted to it last year. I love the writing on the show and the fact that you can not figure out what is going to happen from week to week. The characters are strong and interesting and it's an edge of your seat drama every week.

So my question is, which Lost character would you like to be lost with? My choice is Sawyer. Of course Jack would be handy since he is a Doctor, Sayhid could probably figure a way off but Sawyer is just plain interesting.

So lets see your votes! Who would you like to be lost with? Just put it in the comment section.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I have not forgotten

I know most of my recent posts are about futuristics and my young adult books but I just wanted to let my historical fans that I have not forgotten about you. I am currently researching a colonial period historical. This would take place before the Revolutionary War and take place around a little know but historically important battle that happened in Point Pleasant WV.

Think Last Of The Mohichans, Follow The River, that type of story. The best part is the hero is Connor Duncan, who was the first Duncan to come to America. He becomes bondsman to a surveyor, meets a lovely young English lady named Carrie and the rest...well you pretty much know how it turns out.

I've got to get my ideas together and send them to my editor. I'm tentatively calling it Rising Wind.

Keep your fingers crossed. I'll let you know what happens.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Go see this movie. I loved it! Somehow I missed Firefly when it was on but I managed to see a few episodes on SCiFi channel and fell in love with the characters. Great dialogue, great action and a good story line. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Call me a proud almost mom. Kassy and Tayler both made homecoming court. I will post pictures soon and give you the dish on Tayler's possible escort, a Wake Forest Basketball star. That is if the coach lets him out of practice that night.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Big Brothers

I always wanted a big brother. Being an only child and moving a lot made me kind of lonely so I dreamed of having a big brother who would protect me and also have hunky friends that hung around the house a lot.

But now I see what a pain big brothers can be. My friend Kassy has two. Her oldest is in college but the next one is just one year older than her.

He's also threatened every one of this friends that if they even look at his sister he will kill them. Really.

Which makes it kind of hard for Kassy to find a date. It's not like she has any trouble attracting guys, it's just that they are all so terrified of Wes that they stay far far away from her. The guy that asked her to prom last year asked Wes's permission first. Of course he said no but Kassy went anyway. Wes didn't. However he did show up at the Prom party afterwards and tell her it was time to go home.

Brothers. Got to love them. It's nice to know that they'll be there if you need them. And sometimes they're even there when you don't.

I gave Jenna a brother in Obsessing Orlando. And yep, he's protective. Kind of like Wes. But if the feelings are there, they will find a way to triumph. Even if the brother is a giant pain.

And just so you know Wes, I love you just as much as I love Kassy! But will you lighten up a little? The guy she's dating now is great. I'd like to see him stick around for a while.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Kassy Tayler

My next release is Obsessing Orlando by Kassy Tayler. My pen name came from my friends daughter's names, Kassy and Tayler. Actually I consider them to be my friends too. They are giving me an inside look at what it's like to be a teenager today. And I get to experience the joys of having daughters, without any of the headaches.

Some of the experiences Jenna has in Obsessing Orlando come from things that happened to Kassy and Tayler. Kassy has two older brothers. Need I say more? Watch for blogs concerning Kassy's love life and her brother's reaction to it.

The quote in the book "I can't breathe" came directly from Kassy and Tayler critiqued the story while I was writing it so they both were a big part of bringing Obsessing Orlando to life.

At the present time I have two more KT proposals in front of editors. I really enjoy writing these stories so I hope I get the opportunity to write them.

And in the pic that's Kassy on the left and Tayler on the right.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Enjoying the scenery

I had a pleasant day yesterday. I attended a writers retreat at the Meadowood Bed and Breakfast in the Meadows of Dan, VA. www.blueridgebedandbreakfast.net. The drive was beautiful, although I wished the fall colors would have been out. The B&B is right off the Blue Ridge Parkway which is a drive everyone should experience. You can almost see the way it was hundreds of years ago.

Anyway, beautiful day, writers talk, fantastic view and a wonderful feeling of peace. I highly recommend it.

Monday, September 19, 2005


Goodbyes are hard. Yesterday was our pastors last day at our church. After nine and a half years he received a call that he needed to answer, which left his congregation heart broken.

We've watched his children grow up. I had particularly become attached to his daughter Mary who will be 16 in October. Mary and I had a lot in common. Mostly Orlando Bloom and Harry Potter. And since I live in a house full of men who think I'm slightly weird I could not wait to get to church on Sunday so Mary and I could talk about the latest HP or about what Orlando was up too lately. We even went to see the last HP movie together since no one in my family would go. Guess I'll have to go alone this time. Mary has a boyfriend now. One who looks remarkably like Daniel Radcliffe. Go Mary!

Anyway, I hugged her and I cried. I really am going to miss her. But I know I'll see her again. And when I do, we'll have a lot to talk about.

Friday, September 16, 2005


Some people have commented that I'm always talking about Josh and not about Drew. I guess it's just because so much has been happening in Josh's life lately and he's been hanging around, eating our food, using up all our hot water, monopolizing the TV and my puter. Oops, there I go.

So yes, I have another son. He's in college, plans to be a history teacher which is actually an end for him to coach high school baseball. I think Drew will be a great coach, he has natural leadership abilities and he's just one of those people that other people gravitate too.

I also joke about him being my 6'1" 230 lb baby boy. Yes, he's a big guy. He feels up a room with his size and his laughter. It's always fun when Drew's around. And I hate the beard!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Harry Potter

Last night I finished rereading all the Harry Potter books. You know you really need to read them threw a few times. I picked up so much more the second time in The Half Blood Prince.

And while I love the stories, I'm kind of depressed because I am so afraid that Harry is going to die. JK Rowling has really set us up for the inevitable. But I don't want Harry to die. I want him to live happily ever after with Ginny.

But I have a feeling that fate won't let him. He'll make the ultimate sacrifice. If you're a fan of Harry Potter, I have to recommend the book Finding God In Harry Potter by an author named Granger. It really opens your eyes to the impact Harry has had on our world.

So HP fans, what do you think? Will Harry survive the next book?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Help! I've been infected by a virus. I can't do anything now without being attacked by popups! It's all Josh's fault. They've been coming through the outlook express. We've bought stuff to stop them but they still sneak in. I even had computer lock down during a very important communication with my agent.

So I am officially telling the pop up people NO! I do not want marijuana legalized. I do not want a care bare screen saver. I do not want to buy, try or cry over anything that you suggest. I want you to leave me alone so I can write my books and read my emails.

And because you are so annonying I will make it a special point to avoid your products. Do you honestly think that this stuff works? Are you so desperate to get rid of your plasma TV that you have to annoy me while I'm trying to work?

Here's an idea. Just send me your plasma TV and I'll forgive you for pestering me. Yeah, I like that idea. Now if I could just figure out how to do a reverse popup so we could work out the details.

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Outsider

I watched a fantastic movie on Saturday night called The Outsider. It was on the Hallmark channel. I had heard someone mention it somewhere and made a point to watch it. I was totally captivated.

It starred Naomi Watts and Tim Daly as a plain woman and a gunfighter in the old west of Montana. It's based on the book of the same name.

If you love my books then you will love this movie. The love story is so sweet, along with the sacrifices that Rebekkah makes as she realizes that she truly loves Johnny.

Check out www.hallmarkchannel.com for show dates.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Obviously I have too much stuff. I've been cleaning out closets and drawers with the solemn promise to get rid of everything that I did not wear this past year. Which is a lot. I've filled up two boxes with stuff. Shoes with loose straps, shoes that don't match anything I own, shoes without the ergonomically correct heels,(thank you Shoe Diva Claudia Dain for showing me the proper heels for comfort) Flip flops with tiny little puppy teeth imprints, flip flops with the bead work coming off. When did I become such a pack rat?

Then it was on to my drawers. Do I really need two tank tops in differing shades of pink. Not to mention the fact that they have shrunk? I know showing part of your belly is in style but for some of us, that style just doesn't work.

I haven't even started on my hanging clothes yet. And then I look around and think I have nothing to wear. But the truth is I have too much stuff. And right now all I can think about is the people who have no stuff at all.

So I'm purging. I've got nice stuff that I'll never wear. Some of it has hung in my closet for two years and the tags are still on it. I blame that on my mom. She's a great bargain hunter. She's in it for the hunt. oops sorry, off topic.

I'm cleaning out my closet and I'm donating the nice clothes to the victims of Katrina. Of course my reasons are purely selfish. When I make room in my closet I can get some more stuff!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Catching up

The blogs below have been moved from my old blog post. See I've been busy. Writing and organizing.

And still working on some changes.

My next project is cleaning out my closet. Working on donations for Katrina victims.

and writing...

Cleaning House

My house is a mess. I'm not talking dirty laundry and stuff, I'm talking a major mess. I feel like I'm in the middle of a Dr. Seuss book.

The piles are high
The piles are deep
There are so many piles
I can not sweep
I dare not move
I dare not stare
The piles are growing

I cleaned a closet
I felt I must
I sneezed and sneezed
from so much dust
I found some things
I thought were lost
and other things
I didn't know I'd got.

I have red cups
an entire shelf full
I have some napkins
and that aint no bull
I moved some tools
and some brushes with paint
they're in the garage now
and Rob felt faint.
So I have a closet
with some shelves now free
Abby the Cat
is happy with me
That's where she eats
and she's made it quite clear
she no longer worries
about stuff falling on her ear.

Don't get me started on the basement....


Okay, I keep getting the same thing over and over again. Colby Hodge ripped off Riddick. Nope, didn't do it. Stargazer came to me back in 2000, which is the year that Pitch Black came out but for all I knew it was a horror movie. Shaun Phoenix was a well defined character in my manuscript before I ever saw the movie.

Stargazer was the second book I wrote. I started it after I completed Chase The Wind. I sent it to my editor who suggested we sit it on the back burner until I had established myself as a writer of historicals.The book was complete and on my editors desk before Chronicles of Riddick ever came out. When I watched the movie (I admit it, big Riddick fan) I had a sinking sensation. I knew this was exactly what was going to happen. Everyone would think I ripped off Riddick.

Also been compared to Dune and Starwars. Which isn't bad. I got a lot of inspiration from those stories. I was always addicted to Star Trek. BattleStar Gallactica (the original)and of course Starwars. I read all the Dune books and thought the Sci-Fi channel version was awesome. I loved James MacAvoy as LetoII and also the guy who played Duncan Idaho. And by the way, my original model for Shaun was Richard Hatch, http://battlestarfanclub.com/battlestar/bgphoto.htmwho played Apollo on BSG.

We get our inspiration from different places. I just knew what I liked and tried to compile what I liked about futuristics while building a realistic world. I've also been bashed by the reviews of historical romance for not following their set formula for what a story and characters should be like. Guess I'm in a no-win situation here.

Oh well, back to the writing....

Beach Reads

I had set some books aside, just saving them for the lazy days at the beach. Of course I was most excited about the New Harry Potter. The timing was perfect and since JK Rowling seems to be doing okay without my help I'll just say that it was great.

My second book was Pawley's Island by Dorthea Benton Frank. If you are familiar with the coast of South Carolina you need to give her a read. Her books are full of current references and alive with the history of the region. The night before I started it I had dinner at a restaurant, Franks, that she mentions and I have family that lives in Debordeiu pronounced debbydoo in gullah speak so it was a fun read for me and very entertaining. She's an auto buy for me.

Nice Girls Finish First by Alesia Holliday was the best for last. A story of a nice girl and a mean girl, who help each other even out their personalities both at work and in their personal lives. I really got into the story and loved seeing how these women matured and empowered themselves. I read it in a day.

Also for something just plain fun, try Dream Guy by Candy Halliday. Just when I thought she was going over the top with purple prose she pulled out the non stop laughs with a lot of sass and innuendo.

Back to the writing world and watching my TBR pile grow again.


Just back from a week at Ocean Isle NC. The family goes every year. My parents, my sons, my Aunt and Uncle, my cousins and their children. We rent a big ocean front house and sit on the beach. Everyone takes turns cooking every night. We work puzzles and play card games. The kids love to play spoons which is a rowdy card game. Lots of screaming and laughing involved.

I love spending the week with what I call my nieces and nephews, since I don't have any brothers and sisters. Beth Ann is the oldest. She's thirteen and so breathtakingly beautiful that it makes my heart hurt just to look at her. She's a fantastic athlete and has more poise and grace that I will ever posses. Next is her brother Tyler who is an absolute hoot. You can just see the mischief in his eyes. He is on the verge of a growth spurt. I predict he'll stand well over 6 feet by the time he's done. Then comes Austin. He's the quiet, sensitive one. Always worried about everyone's feelings. Then we have Rachel. She's six and a dancer. We watched her recitals on dvd. She's way better than everyone else her age, and that's not just because she's related to me. Next comes Patrick. We call him Patch. At six years old he can throw a baseball better than most little leaguers. Of course he likes to make up his own rules when we play ball on the beach. We never let him get away with that.

On the last day we built a replica of Helm's deep on the beach. Complete with mountains. I also read Harry Potter which I'd been saving. It was a nice week but now it's time to get back to work.

I hate deadlines!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Pedicures and other addictions

I admit it. I'm a pedi junkie. Every two weeks I take a break from my every day grind and sit in that marvelous chair while my feet are given the TLC that they deserve by Mandy, the sweet young miracle worker that I'd been going to for a few years(or ever since I realized that I was addicted)At my last pedi before the cruise Mandy shocked me by saying that she was leaving. She was quite upset and had put off telling me since I was one of her fav's(Did I mention I'm a great tipper?) She had found greener pastures, a great paying job as an executive assistant to one of her customers. Now why didn't I think of that? I buried my depression by having a pedi on the cruise. That way I knew I'd have an extra week to find a new place. My gf Debbie suggested I go to her favorite day spa and since I'd heard a lot of chatter about the place I went.Big mistake. I was in the hands of Pedzilla. While the chair was lovely to sit in the woman who had hold of my feet was determined to scrub every inch of skin off of them. What happened to the nice massage? Where's the soothing lotion? None of that here with Pedzilla. It's file city while she told me how much her back hurt from her urinary tract infection and whoever had done my feet in the past didn't have a clue as to what they were doing. Thank goodness the razors have been outlawed or she would have done that too! Excuse me Pedzilla. Those callouses on my big toes are there from my special Friday the 13th on sale shoes(see blog) It took me a long time to earn those. I walked out of there with raw spots, which developed into scabs and then my entire foot peeled skin. Yep, real attractive. It's better now. The only problem is...I need a pedicure. I wonder if Mandy is available?

Guest Blog

The following is a guest entry from my dear friend Alesia Hollidayhttp://www.alesiaholliday.com/nicegirlsfinishfirst.cfm - link to the book pageNICE GIRLS FINISH FIRST So one day I was thinking about today’s woman, as I often do, considering that I write funny books about the everyday (and not so everyday!) things we all go through, and I was wondering about that perpetual dilemma – the Myth of the Nice Girl.Somehow, through a peculiar evolution of the professional environment, women today are finally recognized (mostly) as equally competent, ambitious, and dedicated as men in the workforce. (We’ll leave the “we have to work smarter and harder” argument aside for now.) But yet, we have an added burden: we have to be NICE. Now, this isn’t really tough for most women, most of the time. We were raised to be nice. That’s what little girls do, right? “Play nice!” “Be nice!” Except, well, there are times when you can’t be all that nice . . . Boyfriend cheating? Kick him to the curb! Um, in a nice way? Opposing counsel trying underhanded tactics? Notify the judge and get him sanctioned! Er, nicely? The idea of a character who is very ambitious and a great person, but a little bit of a tough chick on the surface, really intrigued me. And I had the perfect character in Kirby Green, newly-hired exec at the Whips and Lace Co. She’d pretty much stolen every scene she was in in AMERICAN IDLE (Double RITA finalist, how cool is that??). Then I wanted to compare and contrast Kirby with a character who was so nice that she was in danger of becoming a doormat. Brianna sprang to life. My good friend who is an opera singer (no, really!) provided some great background for her. Then I set the two of them loose to play on the pages – each helping the other learn something about life, and about herself. That’s how NICE GIRLS FINISH FIRST was born.Can we be successful as women today and still retain some of that niceness that was so valued in earlier years? I think so. But nice doesn’t mean dumb, and today’s nice girls DO finish first. They might just have to kick a little ass along the way.Nicely.Thanks for helping me celebrate the release of my second novel!! – Alesia Holliday (p.s. This nice girl is frantically polishing some pages due to Hollywood interest – you can see the details at http://www.alesiaholliday.com/blog/)
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Monday, July 4th, 2005


We just got back from a mini vacation. 10 states, 2000 miles, five days. The fil turned ninety last Wednesday and we drove up to CT for his birthday and then spent Thursday on Cape Cod. We have a friend who is pitching in the Cape Cod league so we took him to lunch then explored until game time that night.I was ready for something picturesque, quaint and charming. I never realized it was so wooded up there. We drove down into Woodshole which was a nice waterfront village but there was on place to park. We moved on into Falmouth and wanted to stop but the traffic was horrible and once again, no place to park.Yep, that's what I remember from Cape Cod. Traffic, EXTREMELY AGGRESSIVE drivers, liquor stores and Dunkin Donuts. Maybe you need to be on a sugar high and drunk to handle the traffic. From Falmouth to Harwich on route 28 it was nothing but one big traffic jam without regard to stop signs or right aways. I guess living in the south has spoiled me.Then we hit Chatam. Wow. What a wonderful place to spend the afternoon. Unfortunately we only had an hour so we did a quick jog through the town and checked out some of the shops. I wish I had a week to spend there, exploring, riding bikes, walking the shore, and just breathing the air.Definitely going back. The ball game was wonderful too. Gib pitched great and had scouts looking at him. We were so proud of him and happy for him. Of course I had to give his mom an inning by inning update on the cell. I wonder if I could stow away with them when they go up to see him play. If only I didn't have this deadline...


I try to exercise. I actually enjoy it and love how it makes me feel during the day. I'm fairly muscular under all my...fluff. HOWEVER...I've been having motivational problems. Actually I think I need to have my motivator fixed because its not motivating me to do much of anything lately.Oops, guess I was rambling. Anyway, exercise. I love to swim. My idea of perfection would be a pool that I could fall into from my bed every morning and just start swimming those laps. See, that's the hard part, getting to the pool. Once I'm there it's not problem, its the getting there thats holding me up.So after the cruise and the tour I figured I'd better get back to the Y and do my swimming. I'd missed about three weeks. Boy had things changed. The pool, that I usually have to myself except for the water aerobics ladies was packed. Three lanes all full. Luckily someone was leaving just as I walked in so I claimed it in a hurry. Then a man asked if he could share.Now I am generally an unselfish person. BUT...I swim the back stroke. I freestyle down and back stroke back. That's my routine. It works out the entire body. I can't change it. And you can't share a lane when you backstroke. You just need all the room to move your arms. So I said, "um, sorry, I back stroke." And the man agreed that it would be difficult to share so he moved to the really wide lane to swim freestyle.So I'm in the pool and in my routine and thinking about the wip(work in progress) I really get great ideas while swimming because I'm in my own universe. No distractions, just me and the deep blue sea.Crash. Someone was in my lane. And I plowed into them while backstroking. You think they would have told me they were jumping in. I mean that's the only polite thing to do. So now I have this really sore arm from whacking some strange guy in the head while reaching back. And the guy never said a word, just kept right on swimming while I floundered around in the deep end wondering what the heck just happened. I'm really bummed out about it. I need my swimming time. I need to exercise. And I'm using this as an excuse...But tomorrow I'm going back. If I can just find that lever on my bed that dumps me into the pool

Brain Dead

Yes I am brain dead. But can you blame me? We do have Josh's graduation this weekend. And then the cruise to celebrate. I'm keeping track of all the little details, the packing, the washing, the ironing, the shopping. Do the boys have their spending money?(so I don't have to pay for their stuff). Will Cody be okay without me for a week. (I will miss him the most)

We have a house sitter. I have to get all the phone numbers together for her. I have to show her how to work the dvd player and which remote works for each thing (digital cable) What if the power goes out and I miss recording the finale for Lost and American Idol. Which show should I record, Everwood, which is my favorite, or 24 which is Rob's. They both come on at the same time.

Lots of nitpicky little details that are boggling my brain. My head hurts. I need chocolate.

But one week from today I will be in Jamaica. Hopefully I will have had a massage by then, and a facial. I won't have a care in the world. I will look at the happy faces of my family and realize that all the deadlines and the creative process has given us a fantastic reward.

I worked hard for this vacation. Josh worked hard for it too. We deserve it.

I hope my VCR works while I'm gone.

Friday the 13th

I should have known the way this day started that it was Friday the 13th. Not that I ever pay much attention to stuff like this but I over slept and then the disasters started.

First of all I felt terrible,I think I caught my husbands cold. Then an order I'd been waiting on to deliver to a meeting two hours away was late. I got a letter from the oral surgeon saying that our insurance wouldn't cover my son's bill. Before eleven a.m. my day had gone pretty much down hill.I had to run to the mall to pick something up. I prayed the entire way. Lord, don't let me get a ticket. Lord, don't let me have a wreck...I just knew the way my day was going that disaster awaited.

Then I walked into Belks. And as I walked by the shoe department, I noticed...That the shoes I wanted desperately to wear to Josh's graduation but wouldn't buy because they cost $85.00 were on sale. Not only that but I had a coupon for an extra percentage off. Would they have my size?..........................................

YES!Isn't if funny how a little thing like buying shoes...on sale...can really make your day? It sure made mine. Not only that but my youngest son reported in with his final grades from college and he wound up with a B in a class that he was flunking at the beginning of the year. I'm really grateful for that piece of great news.

But I really really love my new shoes!

Marc Blucas

Dear Marc,

I think you're hot. And it's not as if I've recently discovered you. You see I've been a member of the Marc Blucas fan club since you played basketball at Wake Forest. You know those individual pictures that Lynn Heflin had framed and hung in the basketball office? I did those. When I saw yours I said "hottie" and then followed your career. I even got your autograph. Of course if was on a newspaper with Randolph Childress on the front but hey, it was your autograph.

I even watched you play in the recent Wake Forest Alumni game. Took your picture. I waited for you to come out of the locker room so I could meet you in person but somehow I missed you. By the way, number 34 for Wake is a good friend of ours. He said he met you in study hall and you were really nice.

You're the one that made me a Buffy fan. I was flipping channels one day and said, "hey, that's Marc!" I had to watch. Then there were your movies. You did really well. Then came First Daughter. Big sigh. You were awesome. So heroic. So noble. I want a sequel.

The real reason I'm writing you is because I want you to play Ian. If Chase The Wind ever gets made into a movie, then you're my guy. I think you can to it. I believe in you. And after all, I've seen your death scenes so I know you can pull that off. So start working on your Scottish accent. Hallmark is looking at the book.

Your fan

Shopping with my son

My oldest son is graduating from college next Sat. cum laude I think. He has really good grades so its one of those honors. I guess I'll find out next Sat.

Anyway he's already pursuing job interviews and looking at real estate and trying to decide where he wants to live. He knows how to go after what he wants. Because we're so proud of him we're taking him on a cruise to the western caribbean.

And because my mother is so proud of him she took him shopping yesterday. Josh took us to South Point mall which is where the rich and beautiful shop. I'm so glad I wore a skirt instead of my jeans.

Have I mentioned that my son is gorgeous by the way? Model gorgeous. He really should be one and I'm tempted to enter him in the cover model contest at RT. So here he is in the dressing room of Banana Republic trying on linen pants and tropical T-shirts and showing us the combo's and looking extremely hot. So hot that the girls that were working the store kept making trips back to check him out. Evey time he came out he looked devastatingly handsome. One time he came out in a pair of jeans and a white shirt unbuttoned revealing his buff chest and I was wondering if I should include a bat on the cruise to beat the women off of him. it got kind of ridiculous after a while. I mean no one has the right to look that good in everything they try on. We finally said stop, no more. It was a good thing too, the bill was $800.00.

Can you tell I'm proud of my son? I have every right to be. I'm also scared for him. His entire life is before him with all the responsibilities and the fears that all of us faced when we take the first leap off the edge into the unknown of making a living.

On the other hand, I'm counting the days until I don't have to pay his car insurance, his gas, his cell phone, his xm radio, his health insurance...I guess you get the picture.

I have another son. He's a sophomore in college. He needs a shave and a haircut....

Shooting Star

I'm currently working on Shooting Star, which is the second Colby Hodge book. It's about Ruben, Shaun's smuggling friend. As you know he has his secrets, or at least he alluded to some in the end of Stargazer.

Ruben loves a good story and I hope that he enjoys his. Unfortunately he's going to crash land on a planet that shuns technology. Then he see's a great get rich scheme when he's recovering at the house of a wine maker. The wine has an exquisite taste and a real kick to it. Could it be because it's tainted by a strange new drug that's made an appearance in the universe?

And why did he crash? Was it sabatoge? Things will really heat up when the Circe make an appearance. Plus he's fallen in love with a housekeeper named Tess who has a son named Boone.

Guess you'll just have to read it to find out what happens. That is if I ever get finished writing it....

Romantic Times Convention

I am just back from St. Louis and the Romantic Times Convention. Romantic Times is a magazine that supports the romance writers industry by advertising books and posting reviews. Every year they have a conference that features, different publishers, workshops about the craft and a great cover model contest featuring lots of adorable hunks. There is also a huge signing with over 250 authors that goes on for four hours. I had a great time since everyone was talking about Stargazer.

The best part however was getting to meet my on line friends in person. It's funny how you can build a relationship with someone without ever seeing their face and when you get together it's great fun. Hanging out with other writers is a blast because they understand your world, your joys and your frustrations.So allow me to recommend some new authors to you.

If you like chick lit then check out Alesia Holiday,Marianne Mancusi and Liz Maverick.

If you like paranormal then try Marjorie Liu, Susan Squires and of course, Christine Feehan.

If you want to try something really sexy (r-rated) then try Jade Lee.

If you want to read something written by real life heroes then read Susan Grant and Cindy Dees. These women were military pilots before they became writers.

For a fantasy try Joy Nash.

I'm proud to say these women are all my friends and also fantastic writers.They have also inspired me to blog more. So check back again in a few days to see if I can.

Book Signings

Some of you I have met in person and signed copies of your books. Most of you I haven't so I thought I'd share something about my book signings. I sign each copy of my Wind series with a scripture. These scriptures have each had an influence in my life and in each story.

For Chase The Wind and Wind Of The Wolf (originally one book) I use I Chronicles, 9-10 which you may recognize as the Prayer of Jabez. I was using this devotional while waiting to hear about my submission of Chase The Wind to Dorchester Publishing. I also use this scripture at the end of Wind Of The Wolf when Chase realizes that he is blessed. I guess we're lucky that he didn't name Chance Jabez instead.

For Crosswinds, I use Phillipians 4-6. To sum up, let your prayers be known to God. This was the advice Jenny gave to Cat when she was beside herself with worry for Ty.

For Windfall I use II Corinthians 5-17. All things old are new again. Kind of a life lesson for Jake.I'm still searching for one for Forgive The Wind. I'll know it when I see it.The biggest problem I have now is when I'm signing lots of books I lose track and don't match the scriptures to the books. But hopefully it all comes out even in the end.


It's taken me a while to get around to this entry. It's about my dog, Dauber.I inherited Dauber from my cousin Steve. Steve graduated from college. Got a dog. Got engaged to a girl who was allergic to dogs. Got rid of his dog and kept the girl. They've been happily married for 16 years now.Dauber was an English Cocker Spaniel. Black and White, or parti the papers said. He was six months old when I got him. Already trained. That was the best part, or so I thought at the time. He was only the second dog I had owned in my life time. He was the first one that was entirely my responsibility.Our boys were young then, just starting elementary school. Boys need dogs. But Dauber, by the way he was named by Steve after the character on the tv show Coach, became my dog. Mostly because I was home full time then, raising my sons. We lived out in the country so Dauber could roam and we had a pet door installed so he could go in and out at will. He pretty much stayed by my side.We also had cats and it didn't take them long to let him know who was really in charge. He didn't mind though. He figured out his place in the family pretty quick. It was by my side.And that's where he stayed. For fourteen years. He slept on a cushion by my bed. When I started working outside the home, he slept next to the back door, waiting for me to come home. When I quit working several years later and began writing, he stayed right next to my chair.Dauber started getting gray around the face. A few years back the vet said he had Cushings disease and we'd have to make some life decisions for him in a year or so. But he kept going. He romped and he played. Then he got stiff. His legs started getting weak. Arthritis had set in. I had to help him up and down the stairs sometimes. But he was determined to stay with me. Sometimes when I just had to run up or down to get something I'd close the door on him to save wear and tear on his joints. He hated that. He wanted to be where I was.Last spring we decided it was time to get a puppy. We knew Dauber wouldn't be around much longer and my husband and I had both had doxies growing up so we got a miniature long haired dauschund named Cody. We spoiled him rotten. But we made sure Dauber wasn't left out. And he wasn't. He romped and played with the puppy. He lost weight. He regained strength in his legs. We were thrilled. Dauber was doing great.Then fall came. I had always kept Dauber shaved because of the heat and his coat was just unmanageable without it. I picked him up from the groomer in Oct and she met me crying at the door. She said she couldn't do him anymore because she was afraid she'd hurt him. I took a long look at Dauber that day. Without his curly hair he was nothing but a bag of bones. I took him home and weighed him. He was down from 36 lbs to 18lbs. Dauber was dying.My husband and I had some trips planned. We canceled them. It was time for Dauber to have all our love and attention. I started watching him closely. When would it be time? I knew he'd let me know. One morning I was giving him a good rub and he climbed into my lap, trying to get closer. It was if he wasy trying to climb inside of me. I told him it was okay. He was already there and would be there forever.During the years my dad had developed a relationship with Dauber. He adored him and spoiled him with table food. When we were out of town and had a friend pet sitting, Dad would come down and spend the night with Dauber and take him to McDonalds for a hamburger. They'd go through the dirve through and get a burger and eat in in the car in the parking lot. My dad was actually mad at me when we got Cody because he was afraid Dauber wouldn't get any attention.When I told Dad that Dauber wouldn't be around much longer he avoided our house. He couldn't stand it. October faded into November. It was warm here. Everyday I'd take Dauber out and he'd enjoy a good roll in the grass. Our cat Abby always sat with hiim while he rolled. They were great friends, those two. One day while I was watching him roll I broke down crying. It was so bad that a neighbor came out to check on me.I'm just saying goodbye I told her.We spent Thanksgiving at my parents house. My mom put sheets and newspapers down all over her floors because Dauber was having some problems. Dad fed him turkey and sausage. They had a last meal together.Monday night after Thanksgiving my husband commented that Dauber wasn't having fun anymore.Tuesday morning I let him out and when he came back in he acted as if he didn't know where he was when he came back in. I picked him up and put him on his bed while I showered. When I got out he hadn't moved. It was if he had forgotten what he was supposed to do. I took a long look at Dauber. I looked into his eyes. He was gone. He was letting me know it was time.I called my husband. He couldn't get home until later that afternoon. Dauber couldn't wait. I had already made all the arrangements with the vet. I called them and put Dauber in the car.They were so kind there. Understanding. They took Dauber out and put an IV in his leg. Then, with me holding him, they gave him a shot. And just like that he was gone.They had to give me some time alone with him. I tried not to cry but I couldn't help it. The vet said there's nothing more you can do for him. He died in the arms of someone who loved him. What more could any one ask for?That was November 30th. It's been two months. I thought I could write a tribute to him without crying but gues what, I was wrong.To own a pet is a great privelege. They love us unconditionally. In their eyes we are perfect. And as I write this a dog named Cody is lying at my feet, chewing on something, just waiting for me to get up so he can follow along beside me.I also have a cat walking across my keyboard....

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I've been watching the news pouring in from Katrina's path. It is just heart wrenching. We're grateful that my husbands sister, who lives in New Orleans, is okay, although it appears that she's lost everything that she owns. She's sheltered in Dallas now with her husband and her pets.

This is a great opportunity for all of us to rise up and help our fellow man. I urge each and everyone one of you to donate your time and your money to help the victims of Katrina. And please remember these people in your prayers.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

New Years Resolutions

Yes, I was planning on doing this every day. Or at least once a week. But here it is, halfway into the month and I am just now getting around to it. What can I say, Life gets in the way. There's the decorations to bring down, my sons, home from college who even though they are adults still need lots of tlc. The house is a mess, I have a deadline that I'm way over on and the end is still not in sight. But I am making progress. Most of the decorations are put away, although I am afraid to move in the Christmas closet for fear of boxes falling on my head and breaking some of the things that I was too lazy to wrap up safely. I'm sure I'll regret it next December when I pull them out again. I have my taxes organized and I'm just waiting for my w-2's although I'm dreading hearing what the accountant has to say. The house is clean for the most part, except for my closet because my clothes rack fell on New Year's eve and even though it's back up (thanks Rob) I still haven't stacked everything back on the shelf.Somehow I manage to let all these little nagging jobs get in the way of my real job, which is writing. Isn't if funny how we let life manage us like that? It's almost as if the writing is a reward for getting everything else done when it should be my number one priority.Of course this book has been a problem from the start. It's about Zane, which should be enough said, because as we all know, Zane is a bit of a trouble maker, or as I say, he just likes to stir the pot...But I've found out that Zane has layers. He uses his charm to hide his real self. He has insecurities and secrets and each layer reveals a bit more about him. It's been a real learning experience. After writing Caleb's book, Forgive The Wind, which is coming in June, I thought, hey, this is easy, I've got this thing down to a science. I wrote the book in ten weeks time. But then again, Caleb wears his heart on his sleeve so it was easy to write about him because he's easy to know. Not Zane. He's probably laughing at me right now because I'm doing this instead of learning more about him. What a trouble maker. Maybe I need Jenny to give him another swat with the mop. Of course I've got him hooked up with a rather impetuous School Teacher who has a thing or two to teach him about life and love. I hope I get him done soon. I have another book to write....


Do you judge a book by it's cover? As most of you now know, the cover for my newest book Windfall was changed at the last minute. The orginal cover is posted on my main page and hopefully both covers will be posted here for you to compare. Let me know which one you like better. I know I have my favorite.The process of creating a book cover involves a lot of work. First of all the author fills out a questionaire that tells what the hero looks like, the heroine, the type of clothing they wear, the period, the weather and the location. And what do we think the cover should look like? Usually on your first book you will get a recycled cover, one they have used before with some minor changes. Sometimes they get them right, sometimes they don't. If they don't you're stuck. The original cover for Chase The Wind featured a brown haired heroine. They changed it when I pointed out to my editor that there wasn't a single person in the book who looked like that.After the questionaire is filled out, models are scheduled to go to a photographers studio and pictures are taken in period clothing. The photos are then sent back to the art director and she arranges them over background shots and adds the print. The cover for Wind Of The Wolf turned out exactly as I envisioned it, even down to the wolf in the sky on the back.Crosswinds was also true to my vision, although there was more skin than I like on my covers. Don't get me wrong, its very nice skin and the man on the cover, Stefan, is a real nice guy. Please drop by his website at www.stefanas.com and see some of his other work. I've had several readers comment that because of the look of the cover they would not normally pick up Crosswinds, except that they knew it was a continuation of the series. The problem we have is that we're marketing a family saga in a market geared towards romance, hence the sight of skin.So the look was established for my books. The orginal Windfall cover fell into the same mode. The model is Teddy Sears who played Chad Bennet on All My Children. At the last minute the publisher decided to try something different and give my covers the Big Book look. Something that indicates saga instead of romance. I think they caught the mood of the story really well.Jake looks exactly as he did in my mind. I see Shannon has having straight heavy hair and she looks like she might be a bit cold in that dress but the overall feel is good. I hope it encourages you to pick it up and read it.

Monday, August 29, 2005

From my old blog site

My first blog. I guess this is exciting. I haven't decided yet. I think I'm more excited about having a public forum to spout my rhetoric. I'm also trying to learn how to update my website to keep it current so you, my fans can keep up with what's going on with my books and my life.So lets start at the beginning with Chase The Wind. The story of Jenny had been in my head since my early high school days. I would pull it out evey now and then (in my mind) and work on it, add things, take away things, but Jenny always remained the same. I never really thought about writing it down. I just didn't think I knew how. I didn't have the proper education to be a writer.Isn't it funny how life works? One day the furthest thing from my mind was being a writer, even though I had always dreamed of a journalistic life in some form. God has a way of putting angels in our paths. One of these angels was Elizabeth who started working part time in the art gallery I had been working in for eight years. When she wasn't working, she was getting her masters. She wanted to be a writer.Most of our conversations during the days were about writing. At about the same time, Jenny began haunting me again. It got to the point where she was all I thought about. You see, she needed someone to tell her story. She knew if her story got written down then her parents and brother would live forever.She really kept bugging me and it got to the point that it hurt my heart. I had to write. So with Elizabeth's encouragement I sat down and wrote her story and the rest, as they say, is history.So lets talk about Ian and Faith now. People get so shocked. You killed the hero in the first third of the book! (I'm assuming that if you're reading this blog, you've also read the book, if you haven't, sorry about giving it away) But it's not Ian and Faith's story, its Jennys! She had a wonderful family. And believe me it was hard to kill them off, especially Ian. He just appeared on the first page and took over the story. He taught me how to write by letting the characters tell the story instead of me. So instead of telling you that Jenny had a wonderful family and she lost them tragically, I let you experience it with her. And of all the people who've read Chase The Wind, I've only had three really complain about it. There might be more, but they haven't let me know about it so I'm going with the majority here.The original manuscript for Chase The Wind actually ended with the birth of Chance and Fox but the publisher asked if I would mind making it into two books. I said of course. Anything you want. You are, after all bringing Jenny's story to the public. I was also excited about this prospect because it really let me develop Chase's character, something that I felt I didn't do enough in the original manuscript. Getting into Chase's head was quite an experience for me.I never knew in the beginning the Jenny's story would grow so much, but as each of the characters were introduced I realized that they all had their own stories to tell so I've been going down the line, telling them. You've read about Ty and Cat in Crosswinds. Jake's story, (tricked ya) Windfall will be released on December 7. Caleb's story, Forgive The Wind, will be released next June(I think I channeled that one) and I am currently working On Zane's story, Whirlwind. Zane is giving me a headache, but that's just Zane.Okay, I'm done blogging for the day. I'll try to be regular about doing it. If there's anything you want to know about, email me at cindyholby@aol.com and I'll see what I can do.Cindy

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Time for a Change

I'm thinking of changing some things. It's time. I'm wearing my hair different. No more bangs. Of course now I might need Botox since my forehead shows. I'm shopping for new linens for Drew's room. I've moved my online journal to this site because I wanted to add pics. See, lots of change. Change is good. It keeps things fresh. Sometimes it comes whether we want it or not. Sometimes it forced upon us. And sometimes, we just decide that its time for a change. I'll let you know how things are going.

Friday, August 12, 2005