Dreaming of Fall, Y'all

It’s still 100 degrees and I would probably sell my soul for weeks of sustained sweater weather.


We had a lovely little week in August where it was rainy and in the 70s/80s, but I knew (I knew!) that it was just a cruel, cruel tease. We’ll have another month—at least—of me scheming to find places to work that have parking garages so I don’t have to face the wrath of a hot seatbelt buckle. Another month of “dewy” complexions and sweaty ponytails and topknots. And with the State Fair of Texas, there’s usually another sunburn coming my way, even though I’m obsessive about SPF.

Honestly, I don’t remember wearing anything more than a light jacket or sweater all last winter. I’m not saying I want a repeat of the snowpocalypse like we had when Dallas hosted the Super Bowl that year, but I really would like to have a nice, crisp autumn in North Texas. Is that too much to ask?


The good news is, I won a week in the mountains last year’s Buns and Roses silent auction, so in September, I’m packing up the Jeep with tons of sweaters and hot tea options, Max the 16 ½ year old poodle, and my mom, and we are going to be gloriously chilly for seven whole days and nights. (More if you count going to Denver for a few days before so we can acclimate to the altitude before climbing up to 10,000 feet!)

I’m planning to do nothing but read on the porch and/or by the fire—okay, I’ll be working too, but that’s not a hardship—and totally unplug from the world. Doesn’t that sound like an absolute dream? (Although, you know me, I'll probably post to Insta.)

But even that will be fleeting as I’ll be spending the last week in September in Houston (aka the armpit of the world…sorry, H-town peeps) where it will probably still be 90 degrees and 80 percent humidity. But I’ll be at the Romance Mastermind with a bunch of brilliant romance writers chilling out at the Four Seasons (wahoo!), so don’t feel too sorry for me.

I cannot wait for the crop of 2018 holiday romances to come out, but until then, these are a few new releases I have on my radar for Fall 2018. Click on the cover to add them to your pre-orders...

Let’s compare notes. What’s on your list?

Psssst…don’t forget that Lindsay Emory and I host #ReadWritePlan in September for romance readers and writers…or readers and writers in general. It’s always a lot of fun to peek inside someone else’s planner and get new ideas. I’d love for you to join us.



Romance Goes Viral: A Post-RWA Wrap Up

I’m just waiting for the mirror to crack from side to side. (Yes, that’s a super nerdy reference to “The Lady of Shalott.”)  But I feel the first stirrings of the dreaded Con Crud. Extreme lethargy, that weird inability to focus my eyes, and worst of all, the slight soreness at the top of my throat. Ah, the curse is come upon me! 

I realize this is where all of my friends who couldn’t make it to Orlando this year are cackling in barely-disguised glee. I’d do the same.

And I was so good: took my supplements and vitamins, probiotic-ed the heck out of my gut, plus I diffused magic essential oil blends in our hotel room. But Con Crud is a powerful force.

You know what else is a powerful force? Community. Romancelandia. Love. Hope. And do you know what #RWA17 was all about? Yep. All of those. 

I feel like singing and dancing—even though I don’t feel like singing and dancing at all because of the stirrings of Con Crud. I missed half of the sessions I wanted to go to (thank you, conference recordings for filling in the gaps!), I didn’t broker any multi-million dollar deals, and I certainly didn’t win any awards (except possibly: best sparkly caftan), but my time at con was just what I needed. 

Time with my people, serendipitous meetings with friends who used to only live in my phone screen, and connecting with total strangers (I know), is only part of what makes a conference a wonderful experience. (And I shouldn’t write “a” conference, because we all know that the RWA Conference is something special and unlike any other professional conference I’ve ever attended.) 

It's Romance New Year today.

And I love Romance New Year... A fresh start with that glowing ember of hope in my heart—and possibly a low-grade fever—and a renewed sense of purpose. Whether you attended RWA or not, you can celebrate today. 

What we do is so important. And in a world (and profession) that is often so hopeless, it’s beautiful to be reminded of all the Very Excellent People in our community and the incredible virality of our community.  (No, I’m not talking about Con Crud.) 

There’s nothing more powerful than the hope of an HEA. 

Be you a reader or a writer, that hope burns in us all. Hold fast to it. 

If you feel like your spark is fading, I encourage you to watch Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Beverly Jenkins’ acceptance speech. (FFD about 57 minutes in. And have tissues on hand.)  

Drowning in Swag

...but what a way to go!

I have so very many pretty things to give away at conference. (I had to make a mind-mapping chart to keep track!) Between my author stuff, HBIC Nation, Romanced by the Cover, and the return of #ReadWritePlan, I'm up to my ears in swag. 

(P.S. Check out my home page for the link to a sweet giveaway. It'll be an RWA SWAG-travaganza!)

But it's not just all pretty, shiny things to give away, though. Conferences are serious business. Like an elephant. Sitting on my chest. 

I know. I know. I made a very vocal, I executive decision to avoid #RWA17 in Orlando for a few reasons--chief amongst them: Orlando in July. But, December rolled around and then FOMO got the best of me.... 


This will be my fifth conference. (Atlanta, Houston, New York, San Diego were the previous stops.) Wait a minute, let's go back to that. <record scratch> Fifth. Conference.

It just doesn't seem real. 

TL:DR; super real talk coming up...

And I'm back to that elephant sitting on my chest. Five years. When I decided to start writing, seriously, I knew it would be a long haul. (And I still know that.) But five years seems like this mythic milestone. And I'm zooooooming up on it with nothing but rocks in my pockets. 

It's like I'm in a move montage. Lana del Ray sings ("well, shit, girl, you tried" or something like that) and people are putting up their ponpoms and filing out of the stadium shaking their heads. "It's been a good run, but it's time to make a change."

Not so fast, imaginary-movie-montage people. Keep those ponpoms out. I'm not going anywhere (except on a jet plane to Orlando).

There's been this meme going around Twitter lately. About the age Oprah was when she got fired from her first reporting gig. And the age Julia Child was when she published her first cookbook. How Morgan Freeman was 52 before he landed his first major role. (This might be the original source, but I'm not sure.) And I'm so glad it decided to pop back into the rounds of social media, because it's just what I needed to be reminded of. Right this minute. 

Y'all. I'm living my dream. Living it every single day. And I define my own success--not numbers, not publishing contracts, not multi-bajillion dollar book deals. (Though, if you wanna give me a multi-bajillion dollar contract, I'm ready to receive.) 

If you're reading this and you're an author who will be at RWA, come see me (and 5 of my closest allies in this business). I wanna talk about success and so-called failure--and all the beautiful ugliness that goes along with being a creative professional. (And I also want to give you a sticker and maybe a button.) :)

If you're a beloved reader who's still with me here on this post, thank you for sticking with me through this truth spilling. And wherever you are, and whatever you do, know that your dream is still within your reach. <3 


You might also be interested in the HBIC Nation Conference Survival Guide