Archive Page 2


Hello and Welcome!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted to this blog. I’ve actually been debating its fate. I’m trying to do better with my blog as a primary; however, I’m reluctant to let this one go. It’s full of good information and I thought I’d use it as THE place for all things Relic Defender.

My question to you is, what might you like to see from this blog? More deleted scenes? More back story/research tidbits? Status updates on Book 2 (which is nearing its 100 page mark this weekend!)

Please leave me a comment and like those who found me via the wonderful folks at Coffee Time Romance (of which I’m proud to be a Junior Editor-in-training), you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $10.00 gift certificate Samhain Publishing. And I’m thinking of an additional prize as well so two posters have a chance to win.

And while you are here, check the blog postings from launch week and the excerpts. Thanks for stopping by!


Interviewed on Behind the Book

I was interviewed by the wonderful Maggie Jaimeson on her interesting blog, Behind the Book. If you want to learn a little more about how Relic Defender came to life, check out the interview at

And while you are there, be sure to check her links and visit Maggie on her site at She’s been contracted by Wild Rose Press and I’m so thrilled for her.


Last Two Winners Announced!

Remember that garage cleaning (and no Jessa, not a euphemism but I can certainly see how finishing a book and doing massive physical work could relate) did on Saturday? Well, turns out my body wasn’t very appreciative of the strain I put on it and left me sore these last two days so I’ve been offline a bit. I apologize for the delay in announcing the last two winners. Here they are:


10 books from RCRW authors such as Jessa Slade, Delilah Marvelle, Kristina McMorris, Christine Rimmer, Melissa McClone and more. The winner is:  Vonnie Alto

Congrats Vonnie! We are chapter-mates so let me know if you want me to mail the books to you or bring to the next chapter meeting. Your call.


A pretty angel wings necklace, copy of Relic Defender: Key of Solomon and $10.00 gift certificate to Samhain Publishing. The winner is:  Terri Patrick

Congrats Terri!  If you already have Key, let me know and I can increase the gift certificate. If you don’t, please email me at and let me know what format you’d like Key.

Thank you all again very much for being a part of my virtual book launch. Stay tuned – I do have some more questions to answer and want to talk to you about the fate of this blog.


Responding to Comments

I was online getting ready to answer questions and comment on all the comments recently and then thought, hey, why not answer these in a blog posting? Which worked out great because I ran out of steam today. Could have something to do with the massive cleanup of the garage that was way overdue. So, here we go.

Mom asked: What’s next on the horizon?  I’m going to Disneyland! Um, sorry, I couldn’t resist. That seems to be the most common response to something along the lines of what are you going to do next. J Actually, I’m currently working on book 2 of Relic Defender, The Skull of Doom. This one is Jackson and Marisol’s story with a bit more thrown in about Asher and Kat. It draws on the tales of these crystal skulls, you know, like the one in the most recent Indiana Jones’ movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. No, my skull isn’t part of an alien. It’s very loosely based on a “real” skull, the most famous crystal skull in the world today is the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull, named after a real-life “Indiana Jones” of the 20th Century, British explorer and adventurer F. A. Mitchell-Hedges. You can read the first chapter by clicking on one of the page above.

I’m also trying to decide what I should do with the futuristic romance that I got the rights back for. Expand and try to market  to New York (Samhain’s policy is to have two books before looking at previously released) or update, get a new cover and publish straight to Kindle. I think I’m leaning more toward going to Kindle. Any thoughts?

Sue said, I was just chatting with XY the other day about his favorite movies and why they are his favorites (Shawshank Redemption, Lord of the Rings, The Unforgiven) and mine (Casablanca, Godfather, Taxi Driver) – and I realize mine all include an element of a love story. Well…this is interesting. I’m looking at XY’s and with not having seem some of these (even though I’m familiar with the stories) I’m trying to see how they connect. Does XY know what he likes about these? I’m just curious because I see a connection between Lord of the Rings and Unforgiven but am at a loss on Shawshank. For yours, yeah, I get the romance. But your story is a romantic suspense, right? Do you plan to make that more romance heavy versus suspense heavy? Readers – Sue is a chapter member and she’s working, or at least was working (unless she changed her mind and is writing something new) on a romantic suspense that got some interest at Emerald City (writer’s conference in Seattle). That’s pretty exciting.

Vonnie commented – For me, plotting excites me but characterization is challenging. I really prefer a roller coaster ride of a plot because it keeps the reader interested and turning the pages. Oh yeah, I completely agree. I struggle with characterization as well and while others are hard at work on a character’s emotional arc, I’m more concerned about blowing things up. Well, not quite that much, but I’m certainly more focused on keeping the plot moving and shaking. I gotta have things going on and you’ll not see my characters, as a rule, spending a lot of time chatting while they are cooking dinner or eating. In fact, as I recently discovered, I have to actually go back in and put them doing some regular tasks. After all, even fictional characters have to eat.

Jessa Slade said, in her own unique way, I’ve always been amazed how twisty we humans are. For every darkness, we have a light. And a thousand shades of gray in between. Our restlessness knows no bounds. It got us kicked out of heaven, out of the garden, out of the Commonwealth. It’s taken us overseas and off planet. Even in our “leisure” time, we prefer stories with conflict. What is WRONG with us?!  LOL! Seriously, though, I liked this view. I think conflict reminds us we are alive. Now, I don’t think that works for everyone. I’m sure there are more sane people who don’t feed on conflict, but overall, I really think that is human nature. Without getting into any theological debate, I really believe this is why Adam and Eve made their choices. Even when everything is perfect, there seems to be a certain restlessness that craves conflict. Now, there are levels of conflict and sometimes people find more severe conflict than they anticipated, but conflict seems to breed a sense of comfort. And I can speak on that since there are times when life seems a bit to blah and I go looking for conflict. Thank goodness, it’s usually just hearing the latest scuttlebutt at work and there’s always plenty of that. But sometimes, it’s even about getting rejection on my latest query. Now, THAT is wrong.

Thanks for all the visits and all the support and great comments. Now, I’d like to ask you. Is there anything you’d like to know that I haven’t told you about? Ask away and I’ll either reply or who knows, answer in another post.


And the Winner is…March 4

My apologies! I’m a bit late in announcing yesterday’s winner. Spent a bit too long on cleaning out the garage today. Had to be done. I would have rather been writing. 🙂

Without further ado, the winner of the four book set of Cathryn Cade’s romances is

Debby Miller

Congrats Debby! Send me an email at and let me know what format you’d like them to be sent to you.

Remember that tomorrow, Sunday, is the last day of the virtual book launch celebration. I’ve had a blast and I thank you for coming. The final award is a lovely angel wing necklace and earring set, a free download of Key of Solomon and a $10.00 gift certificate at Samhain.


Why I Write what I write

The other day, I was listening to a recording from the 2008 RWA Nationals about evoking emotions. The speaker said something that resonated with me. Not because I agreed with it but because I thought it really spoke to why I write. She said, basically, that people go to movies and read books not for special effects but for an emotional experience.

When I say I disagree, it’s more of the context of how she said it and not so much my interpretation. You see, when I craft a story, sure, I want it to be emotional but I want the special effects too. Same thing when I go to a movie. I want to feel awed, thrilled and amazed. Like watching Avatar. There was a message there. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. But what I loved about Avatar, what caused an emotional reaction in me, was the special effects – the world-building.

Of course, I care about characters. I care what happens to them especially when I’m watching them deal with attacking monsters, transforming machines, demons and other assorted menaces. The more action the better. I’ll take some emotion, but that’s not why I read books and watch movies. If you look at my movie collection, you’ll find 80% more action/adventure, alien and horror movies then you’ll find romance.

Not because I don’t like romance. Oh, I do. I love to watch two people find each other even as they battle whatever the writer throws at them. However, I’m happiest when the writers spend more time throwing things for the couple to fight versus slowing down to explore their emotions or find a deeper meaning in life.

I think that’s why Relic Defender: Key of Solomon was rejected as often as it was. Not because it wasn’t a good story or that I was a terrible writer (hey, I have proof I’ve grown as a writer hiding with the dust bunnies under my bed), but because it was more plot intensive than character-driven and romance, if anything, tends to be more character-driven. And that’s okay. It’s just not me.

A close friend of mine, author Susan Lute, writes more emotionally and character-driven romance and I admire her ability to craft stories that tug at the heart strings. She’s great at it; it seems to suit her even as she’s spreading her writer wings and wrote a paranormal romance about dragons. I haven’t read it but I suspect, even being paranormal, it’s still much more of an emotionally driven story than I write. Again, that’s great but it’s not me.

In fact, book 2 of the Relic Defender series, The Skull of Doom (you can read the first chapter by clicking above), is already starting out to be more action oriented than the first one. Sure, the characters have their issues and emotions which they’ll have to deal with – while they are fighting dictators, evil demons and a soul-sucking succubus.

This is why I write, read and watch movies. For the thrills, chills and explosions. Might make it harder for me to find a place shelved strictly under romance.

I’m okay with that. And I’ll bet I find readers who are okay with that too.


And the winner is…March 3

Congrats to

Sue Liwanag

March 3rd winner! She wins a free copy of Relic Defender: Key of Solomon and Starbucks Cocoa Trio gift set (to keep warm on cold nights).

Sue, please go online here and via available formats and email me at and let me know which one you want.

Don’t forget – today’s winner gets a complete, 4-book set of fellow Samhain author, Cathryn Cade’s hot science fiction romances. You can read about them here.

Key of Solomon

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