Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Wow, I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve written on this blog! And believe me, it’s not because I lost interest, or gave up my desire to write.  In fact, I’ve been as busy as a honey bee with several different projects, so busy, that even keeping my Facebook Page active has been a challenge.

Speaking of challenges, I don’t often turn one down, so when friend and writer, Lori Johnstone, invited me to participate in a Blog Tour, I jumped at the chance to post something new on Expressions of Late. After all, it’s a great opportunity to let you all know what I’ve been up to.

Before I get started, however, I’d like to send a shout out and thank you to Lori for thinking of me and invite you all to check out her blog at

Not only is Lori a busy wife and mother, but also a blogger and aspiring author, who contributes to the Greeley Moms column in the Greeley Tribune as well.  Talk about busy bees, huh?_________________________________________________

As for my Blog Tour interview, I’ve been asked four questions:

What Are You Working on Now?

Where should I start? First, there’s Sleepless, book one of my Cold Case Series, which is in final draft stage, with plans to submit the manuscript to agents and publishers for consideration.
Fans who have read a completed draft have encouraged me to self-publish and not wait for a publisher, but, to date, I’m holding out on that.  Meanwhile, I’ve been working hard on book two of the series, (working title: Visual Contact) and the first draft is nearly complete!  I’ve also started another project, with hopes of showing my fans a softer side.  This story is a labor of love for my daughter, Michelle, who loves Christmas stories more than anything and has been asking me to write her one for some time now.  Unfortunately, I just came up with the idea for the story a few weeks ago, so, sorry, darling, but it won’t be done in time for this holiday season.

How Does My Work Differ from Others of its Genre?

My genre of choice is thriller/suspense/mystery, however, I never forget the romance that ties it all together.  And along with those steamy romance scenes, I like to break up the tension with as much humor as the story and characters can withstand while in the midst of danger.  After all, what’s a good murder without a few laughs.  And, as if that wasn’t enough, my demented mind always finds a way to throw a little paranormal into the mix as well.

Why Do I Write What I do?

Because I love it! It’s what I read, what I devour, what I enjoy most of all. I have my favorites, of course, (don’t we all) and I collect them in hardback to read over and over again.

How Does My Writing Process Work?

Working full time as a paralegal prohibits me from spending as much time writing as I’d like, and life keeps me from setting a specific schedule. So, I make time whenever I can squeeze in an hour or more, like weekends, lunch breaks, evenings, and long into the nights.

I’m a very visual writer, so I have to be able to see the characters in my mind’s eye as I write.  That means I get on the Internet and find someone that matches my idea of what my characters look like, download the pictures, and then post them where I can look at them whenever the need strikes.  The scenes play out in my head and then are transferred to paper.

I never do a full outline because the story unfolds as I write.  In fact, I’ll let you in on a little secret: Even I didn’t know who the killer was in Sleepless until nearly the end!

The biggest problem with my writing style is that the best dialogue always strikes either when I’ve already shut down and gotten into bed, or I’m in the shower.  You’d think I would have learned to keep a recorder handy by now!

Well, that’s it folks.  I hope you’ll take an extra minute to check out my Completed Manuscripts page where you’ll find a brief blurb about each story I’ve written thus far, along with those still in the works. (I guess they aren’t really completed, then, huh?)  And I’d really appreciate your comments to let me know if the blurb has you interested in reading some of my work.

Thanks for tuning in.


Oh, and watch for next week’s Blog Tour contribution from my friend, blogger and aspiring author, Dannie Woodard at

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Getting into the head of a character can be real a blast. And sometimes, a real challenge.

In my first novel, I went easy on myself by sticking closer to home. My main characters–a paralegal and an architect–weren’t much of a stretch as far as that went. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a ‘no sweat’ moment by any means, just not as much of a chore as I had thought at the time. And the children, ranging in ages from four to nine, were a kick to bring to life, but again, not very difficult. After all, I was a kid once myself.

Now, the abusive ex turned murdering scum? That was a different matter altogether. Knowing the character as I do made writing him almost painful, and getting into his head hadn’t been simple. At least, not at first. I must admit, though, after just a few pages, I surprised myself. Actually being in the head of a murderer–as he commits the dirty deed no less–had a certain kind of thrill to it.

Today, I had my first encounter with an all new character–this one purported to be more twisted and sick then all of my prior antagonists put together. And as I stared at the blank screen I had to wonder if I would be able to pull it off. If I have what it takes to really dig inside that brain of his.

After writing the first scene, I knew I could do it. It’s not going to be easy, I know. In fact, I can already see the need to push myself here. I will not be satisfied with simply breaking the surface. I want to know him intimately. I want to wear his skin, wrap myself inside his psyche, and not just bring him to life, but shove him into your nightmares.

(insert evil laughter here)

Sunday, February 24, 2013


muse >noun 1 (Muse) (in Greek and Roman mythology) each of nine goddesses who preside over the arts and sciences. 2 a woman who is the inspiration for a creative artist.
-ORIGIN Greek mousa.

I stumbled upon this question while cruising the forums this morning, and seeing the responses, decided it warranted some thought.  My feelings are this:

In creative writing particularly, your muse, or inspiration if you will, can be so many things. In fact, the more I think about it, the more this question leads to others.

What sparks an idea?  It can be something as simple as a person’s name or something in the personality of someone you know or meet.  It could be something you see or experience.  People watching, for example.  How about a movie you’ve seen, or a television show you recently watched?  Heck, a thirty-second commercial even.  Absolutely anything!

The best ideas come to me either when I’m lying in bed trying to fall asleep or when in the shower.  That’s when my mind wanders.  Sometimes it happens while I’m driving (again my mind is wandering) or while reading a book.  So the answer to what was my inspiration would have to be . . . what?

Let’s take that last one - a book.  As a writer, when you read someone else’s work do you ever (come on be honest) stop and think, now I might have done this differently?  I’ll admit it’s seldom, if ever that happens to me, but many times something I read does spark an idea.  You’ll see me putting the book down and tearing off to start up my laptop to get it down before I forget.  I’m not copying a line or a scene or anything particular from the book, just an idea that popped into my head while reading.  So again, my muse was what exactly?

Someone asked if anyone writes from their dreams.  Maybe not from anything I’ve dreamed while sleeping, but most definitely from daydreams.  My first book for example was based partially on an old fantasy of mine.

That’s that creative part of our brain at work.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


A good friend and paranormal-romance writer, Lori Sjoberg, has tagged me for this week’s blog hop interview. You’ll want to check out her debut book, Grave Intentions, which is set to be released January 1, 2013. You can read all about her at

Following the blog hop rules, you’ll find my answers to a few questions about my current work in progress below.  I’ve then tagged a few other writer/blogger friends (their links included), so you can hop over and meet them as well.

What is the working title of your book?

It is titled simply: Sleepless.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The concept of the story is a rather strange one, and I’ll confess that the idea just popped into my odd little brain while I was working on a prior manuscript.  How the idea formed, I honestly have no clue.

What genre does your book fall under?

Sleepless is a mystery/suspense, however, it could easily be labeled under the genre of romantic-suspense, which is how I originally saw it. Some readers, who have had a sneak preview, believe it could also be promoted under the genre of paranormal-romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

The main characters are:

Alaina Reynolds: a concert violinist, born with a rare disease and suffering from a lifetime of chronic insomnia, who must also deal with an unwanted ability to hear the voices of long-dead souls with secrets to tell.


Caden O’Connor: an ill-natured FBI agent, recently transferred to the Cold Case Squad while recuperating from a near fatal gun-shot wound, finds himself obsessed with an anonymous informant.

I actually have two visions for this story.  If we’re doing a romantic-comedy I see the lovely RACHEL McADAMS and sexy GERARD BUTLER as an excellent pair for this duo of hard-headed individuals.  But, if we’re talking more mystery with romantic elements, I believe the gorgeous EMILY BROWNING and steamy hot SAM WORTHINGTON would do a very nice job.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

One measly sentence is definitely tough, but I’ll go with this: Through the tortured mind of an insomniac, murdered souls reveal the secrets that have kept their killers from exposure.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I have not yet submitted a sample of this manuscript to any agents or publishers, but plan to as soon as it’s complete. I have no current plans to self-publish.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Well, the reason for my vague answer to the prior question is that I have not yet completed the first draft. Although, I have a goal to do just that by Christmas.  With fingers crossed, I’m pretty confident I’ll make that goal, and when I do, the approximate time will have been eight months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I can’t say the storyline of Sleepless resembles any particular book I have ever read. However, I have tried to instill the passion and intrigue similar to what you’ll experience when reading a Sandra Brown thriller like “Play Dirty” and “Ricochet” (two of my absolute favorites).  I’ve also included a good bit of the humor of two people finding true love while dealing with the mysteries of the paranormal, such as what you’ll discover while reading any one of the “Arcane Series” novels written by Jayne Ann Krentz.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

The “who” would have to be Bestselling Author Sandra Brown.  I absolutely adore her thrillers and strive to write something as wonderful.
The “what” would be the plot itself. When the idea came to me, I couldn’t wait to see the story unfold.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

I don’t know anyone who can resist a good who-done-it, and in this book the reader gets even more when the question is not only who did it, but also, just exactly what did they do?  Sleepless also offers the reader a healthy dose of humor along with the mystery and suspense, as well as the paranormal that compasses the life of Sleepless.

Thanks for checking out my blog and taking the time to hear about my latest project.

Tagged for next week (Week 27) are some of my very talented writer friends. Check out their blogs next Wednesday, December 5th, when it's their turn to post answers to these same questions about their own works-in-progress!

Dannie Woodard at

Kate Reid at

Jennie Shaw at

Jayne Denker at

Sunday, October 21, 2012

                                  A NAME IS A NAME, IS A NAME.
                               (A How to Guide for Naming Your Baby)

As I begin to write this, it is exactly three in the morning, the day following the birth of my first grand-children. Yes, I wrote that correctly. Not grandchild, but children. You see my daughter gave birth to twins less than twelve hours ago. Thank you. We’re all exceedingly happy. (Oh, one of each sex, by the way.)

Now, why am I up at three in the morning you ask? Well . . . Let me explain.

I have two major reasons for writing this. First, for the past several months I’ve watched my daughter and son-in-law agonize over names for their expected bundles of joy. They carried books (plural) full of baby names with them wherever they went. They discussed the matter between themselves, daily. They flipped through the books, searched the web, and took advantage of other avenues available to them, constantly. They did everything everyone has done and more. And yet, as of this very moment, my new grandson has no name. (And my granddaughter’s name is still iffy.) No, that’s not her actual name, silly. I mean, it isn’t set in stone. Or, I guess I should say, it hasn’t yet been put to ink, so it could always change.

I feel bad for them and how they have agonized over this issue. But at the same time, I respect them greatly for knowing just how important an issue it is. After all, it is a decision that will live on forever and ever.

The task had not been quite so difficult for me. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I ever once purchased a baby naming book. No, I did not simply look online. There was no such thing back in my day. Which brings to the second major reason for writing this post.

You see, my first time around, I made the mistake of listening to the baby’s father. The name that I really, really wanted, he didn’t like, so I ended up choosing a family name (his side), and therefore, he had no objection. Wrong! (What can I say, I was very young at the time.) Here is where I shake my head, because I’ve always regretted that decision.

The second time around, I made the mistake of listening to the baby’s father. Oh wait, I just said that didn’t I? Well, some people never learn from their mistakes, and I happen to be one of them. You know the saying: once a fool, always a fool? This time, I was so sure it was a boy, that I told my husband, “If it’s a girl, you can name her.” Here is where you hear buzzer number two. Wrong! (I’ve always regretted that one, too.)

Now, the third time around, I knew this would be the very last one, (believe me, there was no way I was doing this a fourth time), and so I knew that this time, it was a boy and I was going with my gut and my heart. And I did. And I’ve never regretted it. His name is perfect. The other two? Not so much. Let’s just say that if they chose to have their names legally changed, it would not hurt my feelings.


There are many ways to go about choosing a name for your new baby. Many of those ways are not the best way. My advise is: First and foremost, listen to your heart. And please, for God’s sake, go with your gut.

There are dos and don’ts for choosing that perfect name for your new baby.

DON’T pick a name just because it’s different and unique. If no one else has chosen that name for their child, there’s probably a good reason. For example: Apple. Really people? Now, I’m not pointing any fingers, but I ask you: Is that honestly the best you could do for your child? 

DON’T go for the matching thing. You know, like: Edward Edwards. Or John Johnson. I think you could be a little more creative than that and your child will thank you later.

DON’T spell it differently in order to make it unique. You’ll only cause your child to hate you every time they have to correct someone. Which will be every day for the rest of their lives! For example, how would you like this: I know a woman whose first name is KymBerlie. I swear. You may look at that think it’s cute. Personally, I think not.

DON’T go for the cutesy thing, like: Wally Washington, or Monte Carlo. Again, I warn you. Your child may hate you later.

And, please. Whatever you do,

DON’T go for the connecting thing, like: If your last name is “Light” you name your daughter, “Bright” as in: Bright Light. Cute and funny. You’re a riot, Mommy. Or, how about: Your last name is “Bright” so you name your child, “Rainbow” as in: Rainbow Bright. (That’s a popular doll from the eighties, just in case you didn’t know). Now, watch me roll my eyes. How would you like to be her growing up?

DO think about how the name sounds for a baby, a child, and an adult. For instance, imagine calling a baby or small child, Ulysses. Or Bertha. I suppose there is a good nick name in there somewhere, but at the moment, I don’t know what that is. Or imagine calling an adult something like: Baby.

DO think about how the first and last name sound together. For example: Shanda Lear. Alone, fine. Together? Not so much. And not so funny, mom and dad.

DO think about what your child’s initials would be. For example: You may wish to avoid choices like A.S.S. or D.U.I.  Just a thought.

DO ask yourself: Will someone find an obvious reason to make fun of my child because of the name I’ve chosen? You know, like: Peter Moss. Richard Head. I’m sure I don’t have to spell this out for you.

Which brings me to,

DO ask yourself, what your child’s nick name would be. Which takes us back to the above. Pete Moss. Dick Head. You get what I’m saying.


Like the name you chose. It may be impossible to love it, so I won’t put that pressure on you, but at the very least, you should like it.

Be happy with your choice. And whatever you do, please, think of your child! Ask yourself : Would I want to grow up with that name? If the answer is yes, then it’s likely you’ve made the perfect choice.

You may wish to choose a name that is biblical, which was a criteria for my daughter and her husband. You may wish to choose a family name, which is always a nice thing to do.  You may want something old fashioned, or out of fashion, meaning not so popular at this time, which can also be very nice. You may want a name that comes from your ancestors’ nationality. Another nice way to go.  There are many good ways and good reasons for choosing a name, and only you know what is right for you and your baby.

So, in closing, happy hunting, Mom and/or Dad, and congratulations on your new baby(ies). May they be happy, health and wise, and never give you a day’s trouble or a restless night. (Yeah, as if). And may you choose the best and most perfect name for your new boy or girl, and, God help you, may you choose wisely.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lessons Learned

Dear Friends:

I had a major scare today.

As my community service effort for the week I thought sharing would be a nice thing to do.

Last night my hubby was out for the evening attending a men's night event at church (at least that is where he said he was going - just kidding, honey). Taking advantage of the alone time, I decided to catch up on some writing obligations by finishing up all the reading I needed to do for the week and answering e-mails. To accomplish those tasks I grabbed my brand spanking new laptop that I'd received as a Christmas present, albeit late, (that's okay, honey, you're forgiven) and headed upstairs.

By 7:00 p.m. I'd changed into some warm and comfy PJs (nothing sexy - why bother when you're alone) and crawled into our king size bed, with the aforementioned laptop. I'd brought along a huge mug of International House coffee to help me relax, lit a scented candle (yes, I lit it, not lighted it) for atmosphere, propped myself into a comfortable position with no less than four pillows, and placed said laptop upon my lap (as I suppose it was intended, hence the name).

By 8:30 p.m. all my e-mails were answered, all reading assignments were completed (something I would never have done while still in school) and my laptop was shut down for the night. Too lazy to get up and take my laptop back downstairs, I placed it on the floor under the window (so I wouldn't step on it when getting up in the middle of the night), tossed aside several of the pillows and decided to read for a while.  

By 9:30 p.m. the candle was blown out, the lights were off, and I was sound asleep.

Here's where it gets scary.

After sleeping in late (7:45 a.m. - which is late for me) I awoke, once again alone, as hubby had already left the house to put in a few hours at work. Something he rarely does on the weekend, but hey, no big deal, it gave me another few hours of alone time. I knew I should hop in the shower and wash my hair, as we had plans for the day, but I thought, what the heck, I've got a couple of hours before hubby gets home, so first I'll check to see if there are any replies to my e-mails and maybe even get in a little writing time. (That was a very long sentence, I know, but it works).

So, I grab the tossed aside extra pillows to once again prop myself into a comfortable position, retrieve my wonderful new laptop from the floor, place it upon my lap, open the lid, and push the button.

And... nothing happens.

No lights go on, I hear no clicking, no buzzing, no whirring. Nothing. It's dead.

Okay, I say to myself, maybe I didn't actually turn it off as I thought I had and the battery is dead. No problem. I'll just go downstairs (I need to make myself some coffee anyway) and come back up with the AC adapter. Five minutes later I'm back upstairs, back in the above-described cozy position in bed, laptop is now plugged into the wall, I push the button, and presto. Nothing. No lights, no sounds, no nothing. Dead as a flattened possum in the middle of the road.

Ah-ha, I say (again, to myself), the electricity must be off. No, not possible. I just made coffee, noted the time of day on the clock on the stove, and the ceiling fan is currently whirring softly above my head. But maybe, just maybe, the outlet in which I've plugged in my laptop has been tripped. I get up, go back downstairs, out to the garage, and check the fuse box.  Nope. Nothing's been tripped, everything looks fine. I go back upstairs. I try again. Still nothing. "WTF."

I take said laptop and AC adapter plug and go into the bathroom (it's a big bathroom) and use another outlet. Still nothing. Now I'm panicking. I go downstairs and try yet another outlet. Still nothing. 

This was about the time I asked myself, "Have you bothered to take the time to back-up all those wonderful chapters you've worked on since switching to your new laptop?  Of course not, I answer. Now, I'm freaking out.

As I mentioned earlier, I had plans for a very nice Saturday. By this time hubby was due home soon and I was already an hour behind schedule. So I put the laptop aside and try to put the whole issue in the back of my mind. I go about my business, get dressed, head out the door, and we do all the things we have planned for the day.

Still, it was there, lurking in the back of my mind. I'll never be able to recreate those chapters, I tell myself. All that work down the drain, or at the very least, lost to me for who knows how long while my new laptop is shipped back to China or where ever the hell it has to be shipped to before it can be fixed and returned. Hubby tells me not to worry, it's under warranty, we'll just call tech support and have it fixed in no time. Okay, so I imagine calling tech support and telling them the problem. And in said imagination, the voice at the other end says to me, "How the hell am I supposed to help you if you can't even turn the thing on?"

By 6:00 p.m. we're back at home and my wonderful, caring hubby immediately gets on the phone to call tech support. (Love you, honey). Granted it took forty minutes on the phone with James (or should we call him Peggy - might as well since we know his name isn't really James) in India, but he was a really nice man and very helpful. Hubby handled the whole thing as I was still a little too freaked out - something I tend to do when it comes to computer problems (as my oldest son will attest to).

Now, at almost 8:00 p.m., approximately twelve hours since the whole thing started, here I am, writing this little story to you upon that same wonderful new laptop. (Thank you, God!)

The moral of this story is: never, never leave your laptop on the carpeted floor, next the heater vent. Apparently, static electricity is not a mother board's friend.

Oh, and don't forget to back-up your work!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Have you even had your manuscript hijacked? Do you know what I’m talking about?
I had my outline. The story was in my head and just begging to be written down. The main character was fully developed in my mind. And then, he came into the story.

Of course, with a romance, I knew I was going to have my hero. The lover, side kick, second focus main character. But I never expected him to take over! After all, she was supposed to be who the story was all about. He was meant to play a supporting role.

However, as I delved into his character, his inner feelings, and his background, and discovered what made him tick; he became so compelling and interesting to me, I had to give those things voice. I had to let my readers see just why she was falling for him so quickly. And why I did as well.

Before I knew what was happening, the story was written. Complete, finito. That is, so I thought.

It took another’s eye to see what I had done. To notice that my main character was not who I thought it was. In the end, rewrites and edits have brought her back to the fore and strengthened the manuscript all around.

My hero wasn’t left out in the cold. He has stayed just as strong as he started out, but my heroine now matches him chapter for chapter. At least that is what I hope to have accomplished.

I had heard some of my most loved authors mention this happening to them, but I hadn’t understood. I hadn’t believed it was possible. Now I know.

In the end it was a great learning experience and a wonderful challenge to overcome.

Have you ever had this happen to you?