Month: March 2014

Mothering – Wise Teeth

ImageMy darling youngest is in the surgery as I write this entry getting her bottom two wisdom teeth ripped out of her jaw. Two, not four, because her she only has three and her third one is somewhere up around her eyeball. Fortunately they don’t want to mess with that. Her regular orthodontist explained this anomaly to us after veering off into a diatribe about how there are tooth-like projections in women’s uteruses – uteri? – imagine us blinking like Bambi on an airstrip – penis-biting uteri anyone?

The dental surgeon is one of the best. He’s kind and very competent, but the ordeal is stressing nonetheless. Strong, independent and brilliant as she is, if anyone is going to get sick or suffer more than the others in our family, it is darling Jen. So I am quashing nerves in the anticipation of being strong, comforting Mom as soon as she’s done. Her sister cried after her wisdom teeth were pulled and the surgeon just told me to expect the same for Jen.

ImageIs it reckless of me to want really good drugs for my daughter post-surgery? It’s invasive and painful enough, at least she could have a good time for a little while, right? I mean, you saw that YouTube video of the girl on Ellen who sang about unicorns and blueberries and demanded “who’s in the house (J.C.)?” while floating after her surgery.

Wouldn’t you want that for your daughter or son? Of course you would…

Oh, it’s over.

Got to go run and coddle.





Romance Weekly #LoveChatWrite

Welcome to my corner of the weekly romance writers round robin. This week’s questions come from Nina Mason, who just released her smexy paranormal The Queen of Swords, available on Amazon. Here’s her site.

How does your writing impact you inner life?

images-2I first noticed my reading impacting my inner life when I was 19, cutting grass for the City Parks Department under the broiling sun in the midst of the Dune trilogy. Water, its celebration and conservation became my obsession that summer.  I think whatever I’m writing kind of takes over like that. My WIP takes place in the Caribbean. Great setting for mind-retreats during the quasi-eternal Montreal winter. My characters and their problems take up a lot of my free time. The fam-jam has gotten used to knowing where I am when I get that far away look in my eye. The hard part is switching back and forth between reality and inner world.


How do you hope your books affect your readers?


NYC-subway_book_readers_07When a character, like the unstoppable Scarlett O’Hara, or a setting, like the desert planet Arrakis in the Dune series, stays with you and impacts your world view I think that’s the highest achievement a writer or any artist can have. Ultimately, that’s what I wish to impart in my stories. But my more realistic goals are to provide diversion and joy in some of the moments we steal to read…sitting in the mommy-line up at school waiting to pick up the kids, on the bus on the way to work or sitting in the hospital with a sick loved-one. All these times when we seek to be enlightened, entertained or inspired by the lives and problems of someone’s imagination.


Has anyone ever told you your book changed their life? If so, how?

images-5I’m unpublished, so far, so no, not yet. But the underlying theme of all my writing seems to be the ability to love others without sacrificing your own power. This was a lesson in give-and-take that personally brought me to my knees and cut up my heart when I was younger. I’m hyper aware of maintaining that balance now in my 20 year marriage and in observing the lives of others. If a story of mine ever helps someone struggling with that, wonderful. Otherwise, I write to bring an authentic emotional experience to my readers with diversion and joy. Because, as Susan Elizabeth Phillips says on her website wall, “Life’s too short to read depressing books.”

Thanks for stopping by. Meggan Connors, coiner of the phrase “There’s a bee in my bodice” is next on today’s blog tour. Check out how she responded to these questions by hopping over to

Romance Weekly #LoveChatWrite


Welcome to the wonderful tag team of talented writers in Romance Weekly’s round-robin interview. Each week a bunch of authors answer the same three questions We invite you to blog hop to see how we all answered and learn a little more about us. Ronnie Allen asked us:

1.Who us your favorite author other than yourself in your genre and why?

Such a tough question. It’s so hard to whittle it down to just one. But if pressed, I guess I’d have to i.d. Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I always feel for her heroines, cheer them on in their journeys of growth, and grow they do, fall in love with her heroes and get caught up in the lives of all the other cast members in her books. Also her situations can be downright hilarious. SEP is good for several genuine laugh-out-loud’s per book, and a good cry every now and again too.


2.What is your favorite book by them and why?

Ouch. This question actually hurts. I’m such a fan and it’s so hard to narrow it down. I mean who can resist the moment in Fancy Pants when spoiled rich Francesca Day throws her last 25 cents into a cornfield to start her life anew, or brave Sugar Beth Carey who comes back to the town she destroyed to face her demons. But I guess, Natural Born Charmer wins out for me. SEP had me at the first line, when Dean Robillard stops to rescue damsel Blue Bailey in distress (she’s actually tromping down a dusty road in a headless beaver costume). Blue, whose mother has stolen from her to rescue South American women at risk, is really down and out and up against a wall, but do she shrink and swoon? No. Like so many of SEP’s heroines, Blue uses what tools she has and emerges strong and smart and triumphant. SEP’s heroes are pulled into the vortex of change the heroines storm through and like Dean in Natural Born Charmer sees who his ladylove really is and does what it takes to win her over.


3.What about their style inspires your writing?

Whew. This one’s easy peasy. Her warmth, her humor, her penchant for finding novel authentic meets, plot points and twists. Then there’s her ability to bring strong characters together in love, and to address tough issues with a sincere but soft touch. Mostly, it’s how she paces the growth arc of her heroines. They become Protagonist 2.0, where the biggest thing that has changed about them is a shift in their own perception which encompasses their ability to love.

Have you read how Sarah Hegger answered these questions? Link to her here:

Mother-Daughter Love

Congratulations…it’s a girl

The mother-daughter relationship is at its best, one of the most precious, at its worst, fraught with haunting pain.

I don’t have sons. I have two daughters. Being a Leo, pride is one of the strongest emotions I feel when describing my girls. When they were young, the innate closeness we felt came from being able to avoid that psychological phenomenon little boys go through around the age of three – the “not-mother phase”. Girls glide right over that early on, with the “yeah, I’m separate from Mom, but we’re both girls after all.”Image

But doesn’t it hit them hard during the teen years? They get so durned defiant. Part of me is proud of them (Leo default) and part just wants to growl and pounce. The struggle to redefine the adult mother-daughter relationship is a theme in my own work and in the work I’m attracted to.

Competition is an issue that haunts me to this day with my own Mom. And of course, as owner of my pov, I see it all coming from her. I was an emotional late bloomer, and despite escaping home at 19 for school, it took me an inordinately long time to defy my own mother. Although, she would probably disagree.

Which leads me to my question for you:

From Cinderella’s absent-by-death mom to Sleeping Beauty’s mom whose invitation screw-up led to her daughter’s demise; mothers are grist for the mill in romance novel heroines, are they not?


In Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s Glitter Baby, the heroine’s mother Belinda Britton is an atrocious mother, but heroine Fleur Savage is able to separate herself from Mom, while initiating probably the healthiest relationship one could hope to achieve with a near sociopath. More innocuous, but still irritating is Min Dobb’s mom in Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me, who keeps trying to put her curvy daughter on a diet. And did you not literally bristle on behalf of Eva whenever her controlling mom in Sylvia Day’s Entwined With You took over a scene?

I’m trying to think of strong, nurturing mothers in romance novels I’ve read, but only seem to be coming up with either problematic ones or window-dressing Moms, like Daisy in Kristan Higgin’s The Next Best Thing.

What about you? Any mother-daughter issues you care to share? Or have been inspired or helped by in books?

Romance Weekly #LoveWriteChat


Fanfare and special effects!

So happy to part of the wonderful tag team of talented writers in Romance Weekly’s round-robin interview. If this is your first time, each week a bunch of authors answer the same three questions and you can hop from blog to blog seeing how we all answered and learn a little more about us. This week’s questions come from J.J. Devine.

The answer to the first question, “How do you handle when someone says, “I have a story you should write,’” I guess it depends on whether I’m operating in Guilty Good Girl mode or feeling self-preserving (more polite than ‘like a tyrannical beotch, right?). My husband’s Great Uncle Harry used to bug me to write his life story. That it was so extremely fascinating. The man was 90, blind and had a thick Romanian accent. His story was really not that interesting. But he was family. So I nodded politely, if uncomfortably, stating biographies weren’t my forte. I think if anyone were going to feed me that line now, I would respond, “Oh really? How much are you willing to pay me to write it?” I mean, I have no problem investing my time and creative energy in my own projects, but it would have to come with a hefty price tag for someone else.

“Do I write what I read”…If you mean the romance genre, yes, voraciously, among other genres. I love story and I particularly love stories of relationship. What can I say? I’m a girl. Relationships fascinate me. I like fictionalized history, and nonfiction.

“People often mistake the lifestyle of a writer as glamorous, give us the scoop, what about your lifestyle would shock your readers?”

Are we talking staying in jammies until 20 minutes before hubby comes home and stretching out the dirty-hair days? Ignoring the fridge, which is desperately growing moldy bits in the back? Finding small dog pee puddles when the scratching and whining didn’t penetrate my world building? What about the self-doubt? Sobbing into pillows and indulging in ice cream fests when daunted by the seemingly insurmountable task of getting published, re-published, or even just finishing my freaking word count for the day. Yeah. That’s why I write. For the glamour. Image

Hit this link to see how author of ‘Guarding His Heart’, Carolyn Spear answered these questions.

Puppy Love

Kiwi, my almost 10 year old Dashchund is the inspiration for this first post. She sits tonight recovering from surgery, hooked up to an IV and hopefully totally conked out on the best doggie drugs. Teach her to swallow a dog toy whole.


It never ceases to amaze me how much we pet owners love our fur pals. I got so many Facebook “likes” and words of encouragement today. Is it any wonder we want animals in our movies and books, too? Dog-centric favourites range from Lassie to Snoopy, and from  John Grogan’s Marley and Me to Farley Mowatt’s Mutt, in The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be.

But canines fulfill a particular role in romance novels. They show us alpha heros just might be good parent material and act as foils or comic relief for heroines. Elaine Fox and Jennifer Crusie weave dogs into their plots. But I think the dog tale that enchanted me most fervently was Molly in the Middle by Stobie Piel, the (’97) story of a Scottish border collie who, disgusted with sheep, herds her mistress toward a handsome American wandering the moors. Like Fox’s later publications, parts of Piel’s book were told from the canine point of view.

Who is your favourite dog tale?