Monthly Archives: September 2011

Friday Fun Facts

Hi and welcome to Friday Fun Facts!  Come play along and learn something new about me, and I’ll learn something new about you.

Each Friday I will post a question (something fun, maybe a bit quirky, it’s Friday after all) and follow it with my answer.  You can join the fun and post your own answer by clicking the comment button below!

…..Drum roll, please….Today’s Friday Fun Fact question is…

If you could have the best day ever…do anything you wanted today…travel anywhere, buy anything that is yours for today only, see anyone…dead or alive, ANYTHING…what would you do and why?  I do have a stipulation…this has to be something totally centered on you…greedy or not!  You can’t give it away, trade or sell it.  You have to be selfish 🙂  And it’s only for today…come tomorrow your life is the same as before you made your choice.

WOW…this leaves a lot of choices, too many options. And by now you might know how much I suck at making decisions…lol.  Usually 🙂

Do I want to travel to a destination that I’ve always wanted to visit, and plan to someday, but who knows if I’ll ever really be able to?  Or should I buy something extravagant, something I know I’d never be able to afford (except now that I have this awesome chance I should go for it and enjoy it for today….a car that costs gazillions, a gorgeous home on a private island with maids and butlers and cabana boys—men *wink*, diamonds?), or should I visit someone that I haven’t seen in forever, or someone that is no longer on this earth.  Or pick a profession and be that person for a day…doctor, lawyer, lottery winner, famous author (((evil laugh))).   

You know what? I really didn’t have to think about this too much…I was just hoping by stalling that I’d give you some ideas and choices if you were stumbling with a decision.

If I could do anything today, anything at all…I’d spend one more day with my parents and siblings.  The whole day, right through until well after dinner.  My parents both passed away about five years ago, within a few months of each other and I admit that I never really considered life without them before it was too late.  I took them for granted, figured they’d always be there.  Just because I was used to having them there whenever I picked up the phone or dropped in. 

Not trying to be a downer here, just stating facts.  I’d love to spend the day with them and my brother and sister.  We’d get crazy and laugh until we cried, our sides aching, snorting when we tried to suck in a breath of air.  We’d share funny stories that nobody else could or would understand because they weren’t there.  All of us had a history and a bond that only we fully understood and treasured and I’d love to relive that one more time. 

That would be the best day ever.

How about you?  What would it take to give you the best day ever?


Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Day to Day Life, Friday Fun Facts


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Choosing a book

So yesterday I was looking around for a book to read.  Thought I’d whip out my Nook and shop around online since the ‘real’ books I have in the stack beside my bed are books I’d either already read or ones I wasn’t in the mood for.  Do you know what I mean?  I had a craving for a love story, but because of something one of my critique partners mentioined a week or so ago, I wanted to read something centered around WWII. (any recommendations, send them along because I’m still looking…lol). 

Anyway, as I was sorting through all of the books online at various sites I got to thinking how I generally go about picking out a book to add to my collection.  I found that I generally go about it the same way, no matter if I’m in a brick and mortar or surfing the net. 

First let’s talk brick and mortar.  As my eyes skim the shelf it’s the cover then within seconds the title that will make me grab the book off the shelf.  After that I read the back cover blurb, then flip open the page and read the inside blurb if I’m still intrigued I do what I call a sampling.  I read the first page, flip it to somewhere in the middle and read that page, then fan through it and see how the book is filled in…is there lots of dialogue, description…how was it written?  If it passes ‘my test’ I buy it. 

Now it’s a bit different when I’m searching online.  You can’t just walk down aisles and browse the shelves.  You pretty much have to know what you’re after.  Type in romance or the title and/or author (if you’re lucky enough to have a set book in mind).  I like to have friend recommendations if possible before my search so I’m armed with at least a starting point.  But sometimes I’m just not so lucky.(like yesterday)  But if I don’t have a starting point, I pretty much have the same routine, scroll through the covers and titles and again if something grabs me and draws me in, I read the blurb and the sample (if they have one).  The nice thing about the internet is that some of the sites have reader reviews, so you can get an opinion on the story from other readers, which has at times steered me away from a book that I was teetering on. 

I have to admit that I don’t have a favorite way to buy a book, be it either in a store or on the internet.  As long as I find something to fill the craving. 

How about you?  How do you choose a book?  Do you prefer shopping online…going right for what you want…go in and get out?  Or do you like the experience of being in a book store to walk the lengths of the aisles, mingle with other readers, hold the book in your hand and sit back to sift through a few ‘sample’ pages?









Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Day to Day Life


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Six Sentence Sunday

Hi and welcome to my Six Sentence Sunday!  This is my second week participating and I’m so excited!  Thanks for taking the time to visit me.  I do appreciate comments, so please, let me know what you think of my six.  Each week I will post another six from a work in progress or a finished manuscript.  All you have to do is enjoy and read it.  That’s it!

This is from a scene in my book Some Like it in Handcuffs which is being released by The Wild Rose Press both in print and ebook format.  Release date pending 🙂  This is from the first chapter and features Sunny (my heroine, who is a PI) first meeting with Judson (the hero, a detective).  She is being forced to accept his help on a cold case and isn’t very happy about it.

Their eyes held for several long seconds. She looked away first. The shock of awareness she experienced earlier returned as his fingers tightened around her palm. One word came to mind …DANGER! A tremor ran up her arm. From the way his eyes darkened he felt it too, and the knowledge gave her the power to let her fingers glide from his grasp with feather-like pressure. 

I hope you enjoyed these six.  For more great previews from other authors please  click on SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY.  Or join in the fun next week with six of your own.




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Friday Fun Facts

Hi and welcome to Friday Fun Facts!  Thank you for stopping by if you’ve visited before and if this is your first time, I’m glad you found us!  Settle in and play along…it’s easy.  Here’s how it works:  Each Friday I will post a question (something interesting, silly, fun, maybe a bit quirky, it’s Friday after all) and follow it with my answer.  You can join in and post your own answer by clicking the comment button below! 

So, come play along and learn something new about me, and I’ll learn something new about you. 

This week started the new television season and I’ve noticed a lot of shows that are based in the past.  The Playboy Club, Pan Am and then there are the shows that they have brought back from decades ago like Charlie’s Angels, Hawaii Five-O.  So, it got me thinking about those time spans from long ago.  How exciting to have been a bunny at the Playboy Club when it first opened, or one of the first flight attendants on the Pam Am Airlines.  Or to work on the set of Charlies Angels when it aired in the 70’s or to be living on the Hawaiian Islands in the fifties or sixties.  

Okay, I admit I have three decades that I would love to live in—or at least visit—and not that I think they would be easy, but just interesting…exciting.  And remember as you read my choices, I’m thinking of this from more of a romantic angle, not a practical one.  Who wants to be practical when you can let your mind wander to romance and your knees turn to jelly?  Lol 

The 1920’s—Flapper dresses, bobbed hair, bright red lipstick, sneaking into speak-easy’s, prohibition…if you were a wild, single lady in this era, think of the possibilities.  The 1940’s—I know, WWII was going on and it was rough, scary, but also think of how everyone pulled together to help each other out.  People worked together to get things done and there was a feeling of pride and solidarity—and men in uniform…need I say more?  And finally the 1950’s—and this is probably because I’ve watched too many movies from this era…lol.  But I can’t help but fall in love with this innocent time.  Imagine being a teenager in this decade, rock and roll, sock hops, poodle skirts, cool cars, drag races, cute boys—the bad boy loner and the good guy—with slicked back hair and rolled up jeans.  There seemed to be a real sense of family and togetherness, but at the same time a slight edge. 

But then I can’t help but wonder if I were actually living in the midst of one or each of those time periods if I would just take them for granted, not realizing how amazing and historical they each were.     

Anyway, I digress (yet again).  It also gave me a great idea (at least I think it’s great…lol) 

…..Drum roll, please….Today’s Friday Fun Fact question is… 

If you could live in any time period—past, present or future—which one would it be and why?


Posted by on September 24, 2011 in Day to Day Life, Friday Fun Facts


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Book Review and Guest Blogger Loralee Lillibridge

I’m so excited today!  You are in for a big treat.  So grab your coffee, tea, or whatever you want to sip, sit down and enjoy today’s blog.   

I recently had the honor of reading ALL THAT MATTERS by author Loralee Lillibridge.  This is her debut novel with Tell-Tale Publishing, which released on September 9th.  I’d like to take a few moments and share my thoughts on this wonderful story before I introduce you to Loralee.  She has graciously agreed to guest blog here on my site today and share with us the importance of having a support group of critique partners. 

I love reading romance, but have always had a soft spot for contemporary romance since that is what I started out reading.  I admit that my time lately has been limited (and I know I’m not the only one!), so when I pick up a book to read for pleasure, I’m expecting a lot. 

Well, let me tell you when I finished the first few sentences of ALL THAT MATTERS, it became all that mattered.  I couldn’t put this story down.  From the first page Buddy Lee and Faith’s story captured my heart.  By the end of chapter one, I admit I had more than a slight crush on Buddy Lee.  This charming man was pure in heart and the more I learned about him the more I rooted for him to get what he wanted.  Faith’s love.  

Without giving away too much, because I want you to enjoy the story the way I did, feel the emotions and the triumphs and the frustration, I will share a little bit.  

Buddy Lee showed his courage in overcoming a shame-filled past brought on him by his father.  He worked hard and lived by a moral code of ethics, though not everybody realized this.  As for Faith, I was instantly drawn to her for all that she’d gone through.  Her plight in dealing with an overbearing father and how she was made to feel she needed to act a certain way because she belonged to the upper class of their small town…it broke my heart.  Together this pair formed an unlikely friendship…good girl meets town bad boy.  But Buddy Lee proves he isn’t a bad boy when he rescues Faith time and time again from the situations she finds herself in.  He takes the blame with no thought to how it makes him appear to others, his only concern is his friend.  Faith. 

Loralee is an amazing author and wove her words in a manner that made me feel like I was there with Buddy Lee and Faith, in every room listening to their conversations, but with one added bonus, I knew what they were thinking and feeling.  I curled up into the soft cushions of my couch with no plans to put this story down.  Loralee’s turn of phrase, her characterization, her subtle humor, made this book smooth and flowing and before I knew it—before I was ready for it—I was reading the last chapter.  When I finished the last sentence I was torn.  Saddened that my mini vacation in a small Texastown with two new friends—Buddy Lee and Faith—had ended, but I also had that little niggle in the pit of my stomach—you know the one—the one you get when you’ve finished a truly good read! 

Now without further ado…and no I won’t be giving away anymore hints about the story…I’d like to introduce you to Loralee Lillibridge.  

Hi Loralee and welcome to my blog.  

Hi, everyone, and thanks, Christine, for inviting my blog tour to stop here and chat. Since we’ve never met, I’ll start by telling you a little about myself. 

I was born inTexas and lived there until I married and moved toWest Michigan. I love all things country, including the music and cowboys, rodeos and Wrangler jeans, plus authentic Mexican tamales and enchiladas. And my red Ariat boots. I have a large family that began with our four children and expanded to twenty-three at last count, with the birth of our first great-grandson. We really fill up the dining room table when everyone shows up at Christmas.

I live about thirty miles from Lake Michigan and love the beautiful lakeshore part of the state. Someday I hope to use that area as the locale for a mysteries series. 

I’ve been writing romance since 1984, when I joined RWA and the Mid-Michigan chapter. My first published book was a December 2005 release for Silhouette Special Edition. I thought the world was my oyster, but the publishing industry is a very competitive market. I submitted and received rejections so many times, I would’ve given up, if not for my terrific critique partners. They were a constant source of encouragement when I wanted to quit. I attended conferences and kept writing. Went to critique sessions and kept writing. 

I’ve learned so much in the years since four of us first started out getting together at a local college library. As time passed, we added another member, then another. One moved away from town, followed by another, but we kept in touch through online critiques. Another writer joined us, then two more, and we now stand at eight. None of us live in the same town any more. Two are out-of-state. But we stay connected by our writing. We’ve evolved into more than a critique group now and have become strong supporters of each other in many ways. 

Throughout my journey to be published, my partners have sliced and diced my works-in-progress, pointed out the flaws and timeline screw-ups, and in general, made me sweat blood in order to make my work shine. Yes, that’s exactly what they did, and it wasn’t easy for them or me. Thank goodness, they didn’t give up. They tempered their advice with love and made me believe in myself and my work. They pushed and prodded and wouldn’t take NO for an answer when I wanted to stop submitting. Following their advice was the best thing I could’ve done for my writing career. 

In the spring of 2011, I was thrilled to receive a contract offer from Tell-Tale Publishing Group for ALL THAT MATTERS, a story I loved writing right from the beginning. The contemporary romance was released on September 9, and life as I knew it changed to a whirlwind of promotional excitement. I have another romance completed and ready to submit, if I ever find time to send it. I know my partners will keep after me until I do. 

To add even more to this summer’s excitement, I also signed a two-book contract with Bell Bridge Books for a cozy mystery series, JOYFUL NOISE. The first book will be out in 2012. 

None of this would’ve happened without the help of my writing group. I’ve been fortunate to have wise women who shared their experience, their knowledge and, once in awhile, their fun side. Along with their non-stop support, my critique partners have given me an unexpected bonus – a sisterhood of friendship that will always be the wind beneath my wings. 

I’d love to hear from other writers about their experiences with critique groups. 

Thank you Loralee, and congratulations on your success!  Your journey is an inspiration.  

And thank you everyone for joining us.  And as Loralee mentioned, we’d both love to hear your comments about your own experiences with critique partners or groups.  You can purchase Loralee’s amazing book ALL THAT MATTERS by clicking here and check out her blog here.


Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Book Excerpts, On Writing


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Behind the Scenes

Thought I’d share a bit of the behind the scenes of a newbie writer’s life. 🙂

When I first started writing and submitting stories for consideration with agents and publishers I had no clue how the process worked.  I was just excited to type THE END on my manuscript and send it out on its merry way.  My words were polished and my manuscript shined like a newly minted penny 🙂  I’d read it over so many times (like a gazillion) that I could recite scenes from my book word for word…lol

I think most newbies (like me) believe that once they are contracted they are on easy street.  Their hard work paid off.  The endless hours of reading and tweaking and reading and rewording and reading—you get the picture—are over.  WRONG!  The work is just beginning.

After I was contracted with The Wild Rose for my first novel, Some Like it in Handcuffs, I was over the moon.  First I received my book cover (YAY), then I got my first round of edits.  My editor told me that she really didn’t find much to change, that my manuscript was pretty clean (which made those endless hours of tweaking worthwhile…right?), so that made me feel good and it also made for a quick turn around.  Not long afterward she sent back my manuscript for the second round of edits, which was basically the second half of the story.  Again, not much to change.  Add a few comma’s here, delete a word there, clarify a passage. 

I admit I was anxious, looking forward to hearing my release date, but I didn’t just sit in front of my laptop with my email turned on.  I kept writing and working and learning my craft. 

Anyway, after the edits my book made its way to production.  Another YAY! 

Well, yesterday I was home being lazy, nursing a cold that started over the weekend.  My heart skipped a beat when I opened my email and saw something from my editor…it seemed to jump right out at me as if she’d sent it in bold print so that all the other emails faded into the background.

She sent me the Galley file and said as soon as I look it over and send it back; she’ll be able to tell me my release date.  What is a galley file you ask?  It’s basically the book as it’ll appear in print…it features the author bio, the dedication, the excerpt and back cover blurb…EVERYTHING!  I’m going over it one final time, hoping to catch anything that might have been missed before and then when I send it back I’ll have my release date. So folks, it’s getting closer.


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Six Sentence Sunday

Hi and welcome to my Six Sentence Sunday!  This is my first week participating and I’m so excited!  Thanks for taking the time to visit me.  I do appreciate comments, so please, let me know what you think of my six.  Each week I will post another six from a work in progress or a finished manuscript.  All you have to do is enjoy and read it.  That’s it!

This is from a scene in my book Some Like it in Handcuffs which is being released by The Wild Rose Press both in print and ebook format.  Release date pending 🙂

Judson soaked in her appearance, but controlled his grin. A pair of baggy sweatpants and a stretched out blue sweatshirt which matched the color of her eyes looked sexy as hell on Sunny. She’d pulled her hair into a pony tail and her small feet were hidden in a pair of girlish, fluffy, pink slippers.

With her tomboyish ways, he never considered she’d own anything girly, fluffy, and especially pink. The black framed glasses perched on the tip of her nose almost caused him to come undone. He didn’t usually go for the brainy look, but the whole effect had him rethink his prejudice, nerdy looked great from this view.

I hope you enjoyed these six.  For more great previews from other authors please go to SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY.  Or join in the fun next week with six of your own.





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