Friday, December 30, 2011


PANDORA'S KEY is gaining new readers every day!  Thanks to all those who have read Evangeline's story and who are telling their friends and family about it:-)

Just so you know I'm working despite my ever-persistent cold, THE KEY TO TARTARUS just went via Fedex and email to my wonderful editor.  Who knows how much work I'm going to have to do to make it GREAT, but I'm up for the job!!!  And I'm excited to publish another story with enough twists and turns to keep even my most savvy fans guessing until the last moment.

Anyone worried about Evangeline and where she is right now?  You should be... she's in the midst of a very deadly journey.  And what about Olivia?  Has she woken up?  And Tim, has he held onto his sobriety or has he opened the bottle again?  Think Raphe is involved in this next story?  You're right if you said yes.  But Raphe's in even more trouble right now than Evangeline.  I'm worried about all of them...

If you're a Stephen King fan, celebrate!!!  He's just written a follow-up to his incredible Dark Tower series that will be released this spring.  I've already pre-ordered my copy:-)

Read on!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Grrrrr.  I have a cold:-(  But that's not stopping me from writing!

I'm almost through editing THE KEY TO TARTARUS, Book II of The Key Trilogy.  That doesn't mean I'm done, though.  After I edit, then KTT will go to my professional editor and hopefully she will both like it and tear it apart so I can make Book II even better than Book I!!!!

That's the process and I embrace it.  That doesn't mean the editing doesn't hurt a bit... it's hard to fall in love with a character or with something they said or did and then have to ruthlessly delete them or their words.  Writing is all about tough love.  And nothing I've ever written is so precious that it can't be made better.

New fans, please keep reading PANDORA'S KEY and following my blog:-)  And don't forget to sign up for my mailing list, contests to win signed books, and my fanpage, all found on:

Read on!
(sniffle, cough)

Friday, December 23, 2011


Thanks to everyone who has put PANDORA'S KEY on their stocking stuffer list for Christmas:-)  I hope that those of you who have already begun traveling with Evangeline and who are hooked on her story and journey are excited about Book II in The Key Trilogy, because I'm working hard to edit it for you!!

PANDORA'S KEY had many twists and turns that I'm told by my readers they didn't expect, and THE KEY TO TARTARUS will have even more!!!

In the meantime, I'd like to suggest a few books for the holidays.  If you're into young adult literature, and these days who isn't because it's so darn creative and fun, then check out FAT VAMPIRE by Adam Rex and THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Ascher.

And if you're looking for an "adult" book, then check out THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern.  It blew me away!!

Enjoy the last few days before Christmas, take time to smell the cookies, appreciate the scenery (even if it's raining), and enjoy your family and friends:-)

Merry, merry and here's to 2012 being an incredible year for everyone!!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I'm not usually one to make New Year's Resolutions, mainly because I don't want to be disappointed if I don't keep them!

What about you?  Do you usually make resolutions?  Do you keep them?

If I were to make a resolution, it wouldn't involve changing my eating habits (that never works for long), or becoming fluent in French (I'm trying but unless we live there it's pretty impossible), or selling a thousand copies of PANDORA'S KEY (though if someone out there wants to make that one come true, that'd be terrific... it's one book at a time so visit Amazon today:-).

Nope, if I were to make any resolution at all it wouldn't be about me as much as about other people.  My resolution would be to talk less and listen more.  To attempt NOT to fill the empty spaces unless there was something important to say.  And to hear what's really being said between the words...

That'd be a good resolution.  Maybe I'll try it out...

Happy week before Christmas:-)  For those of you who have bought PANDORA'S KEY thanks a huge bunch!!!


Sunday, December 18, 2011


Writing is rewriting.  And rewriting is rewriting.  As soon as you think you've nailed a story, you get an idea, like a finger scratching a hard to reach place in the back of your mind.  You try to ignore it because, well, you've spent a whole load of time writing and the story has been conceived, plotted, written, edited, and why would you want to tear it apart again because there's a life out there to live, right?

There are a few reasons.  First that little finger scratching eventually becomes a nail on a chalkboard - it can't be ignored.  Second, people are counting on you to write something really good.  Third, it would be embarrassing and kind of devastating to fall short of what you believe your story could be...

All of this means that THE KEY TO TARTARUS was done!  Ready to go to my fabulous editor to be critiqued and torn apart so I could labor to rework it into something even better (nothing personal, that's just the job).  And then that darn finger started scratching and I opened myself up to the possibilities...

Writing is rewriting.

Hope everyone's Christmas shopping is fun, not laborious.  Hope you've bought someone special PANDORA'S KEY as a stocking stuffer.  Hope you choose to eat only those desserts that are insanely great and not waste calories on crappy stuff because that just makes for a cliched New Year's resolution.

Write on...

Thursday, December 15, 2011


While I'd like to write about PANDORA'S KEY and how it makes a GREAT stocking stuffer, instead I'm going to write about my dog, Boone and how it's amazing Henry and I have kept him alive for three years.

At four months old Boone was hit by a sled... a kid's sled, but it was heavy, metal and ridden by a 140 pound woman who got scared, jumped off, and landed on our puppy.  Three months and two surgeries later, Boone's broken tibia and fibula were thankfully fixed first by a pin from his knee to his foot (which failed) and then by a steel, external fixator with 6 screws into the bone.  Try keeping a Vizsla puppy inactive for three months!!!  Ten minute walks every hour all day!!!!

Last summer Boone stepped on a baby rattlesnake - in early May, in the rain!  He was bitten in the foot.  The thing is, baby rattlesnakes are WORSE than adult rattlesnakes because they have no control over the amount of venom they inject.  They just inject it ALL!

Within two minutes Boone laid down and began to pant and drool.  Henry had to carry him off the hiking trail.  We rushed him to our vet (1/2 hour because we were stuck behind a super slow tracter-trailer) who made him comfortable enough (morphine) to travel to an animal ICU (YES there is such a thing!) where he was given a very slow dose of anti-venom (slow, because the cure can kill an animal).  He was very sick through the night and next morning and then turned the corner.  By the time we picked him up he was wiggling and happy, but his leg was ENORMOUS.

Boone recently celebrated his third birthday.  Whew!  A couple of days ago he had some tiny growths removed from his lower eyelid - very normal for a Vizsla but he had general anesthesia because it was his eyes.  He did great and we took him home (adorably woozy) and put him on a thick blanket on the couch.  He slept for six hours and then got up, suddenly realizing he hadn't eaten all day.

His entire side was wet...

"Wow, he was so warm and cosy that his side is sweaty," I told my husband.

"Huh..." Henry replied, thinking aloud, "I don't think dogs sweat..."

So the couple who has kept their dog alive through multiple surgeries and recoveries and a rattlesnake bite forgot that their super woozy dog might need to pee....  enough said.

The important thing is that we have kept Boone alive;-)  SO HAPPY THIRD BIRTHDAY TO ALL OF US!!!!

And what am I working on?  Book II of The Key Trilogy - THE KEY TO TARTARUS.  It won't be ready for a Christmas stocking stuffer in 2011 but I plan to have it to you in spring of 2012!!

Thanks for reading and give your dog a kiss and scratch for me:-)


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thanks Everyone:-)


My fanpage on Facebook is up and running!  Please visit:

Let me know what you think of the page, what content you'd like to see, and if you have any questions for me or Evangeline (sometimes she makes guest appearances on the site).

And if you're looking for a great stocking stuffer for friends and family who have an e-reader, I just dropped the price of the e-book version of PANDORA'S KEY to 99 cents!!!  And you can still buy the paperback version on Amazon for $7.50:

On another note, poor Boone had a bit of eye surgery today.  He was so woozy from the anesthesia when we picked him up at the vet, that he was swaying on his feet.  Henry carried him into the house and right now he's zonked on the couch behind me.  Strange to see a Vizsla not in perpetual motion, but the vet said Boone did great and he won't even have any scars.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Just a quickie...

Great day.  I went on a hike with my gal pals and their dogs, edited 75 pages of Book II and wrote to a bunch of YA blogs asking them to review PANDORA'S KEY.

Getting a review on a blog is trickier than I thought.  Even though I have 10 books published by traditional publishing houses (Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Little Brown, etc.) because PANDORA'S KEY is self-published lots of sites say they won't review it!    I don't think that's a great idea on their part for a couple of reasons.

1.  There are really good writers out there who have decided to self-publish because the e-book world is EXPLODING and authors finally have the opportunity to take control of their stories and their career!!!
2.  I really believe in PK and I want as many people to read it as possible:-) and those blog sites really REALLY help.

Sooooo, I wrote to 10 YA bloggers and explained why they might want to give PANDORA'S KEY a chance.  I'm just hoping at least one of them does:-)  Either way, tomorrow I'll write to ten more blog sites... law of averages, eventually I'll find a kindred spirit:-)


Thursday, December 8, 2011


A big THANKS to all the booksellers and librarians who have contacted me for copies of PANDORA'S KEY.  As a kid I loved my local bookshop and library.  Every Saturday my mom would take my sister and me to the library to check out our six books and to the local bookstore to buy one special book.  We LOVED to read and when a librarian or bookshop owner had a great suggestion for a book we couldn't put down that made my week.  So thanks for your support!!

On another note, Henry is almost done with THE KEY TO TARTARUS.  It's a good sign that he has been reading late and geting up early to read more:-)  I'm super excited about Book II and while I know that Evangeline is being pushed to her limit, I think she can take it and come out swinging.

Have a great day!!!
p.s. if you've already read PANDORA'S KEY, let me know what you think about the story!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lucky dog, lucky girl

So Boone is feeling better:-)  He's not 100 percent, but his butt is once again waggling and that makes me happy.  What makes me even happier, though, is that right now my husband is making me dinner!  Henry makes an incredible spinach and asiago cheese risotto.  So I'm a lucky girl, with a lucky dog, too.

And on top of everything, Henry has cleared his schedule so he can read my first draft of The Key to Tartarus.  He's a great reader and super honest.  It's always a bit nerve-wracking to let go of that first draft because I want it to be perfect.  But today, while I was writing, Evangeline reminded me that we're both works in progress.  That's what makes E's journey so compelling, and I guess that's what makes life compelling, too.  Neither of us is sure what's going to happen next...

On to Chapter Twenty Seven...

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Today is all about Book II of The Key Trilogy.  I'm still editing THE KEY TO TARTARUS because YOU, the reader, deserve a great second book:-)  This is going to be short because Evangeline is in a dire situation and if I don't keep writing then I leave her hanging and I like her too much to do that to her!

On another front my dog, Boone, is under the weather and that's always a huge bummer.  Took him for a hike, which he wasn't that psyched on (that's abnormal), and at the end he started shaking and his little Vizsla tail tucked beneath his legs.

Now Boone has been known to be a huge baby, but he has also been through a lot.  A horribly broken leg at four months that required three months of surgeries to fix (he was hit by a sled going 30mph).  He stepped on a rattlesnake last summer (a baby one, which is worse because it releases all its venom) and ended up in a doggy ICU.  So Boone has gone through some painful, serious stuff!

Boone's had a great and challenging life and sometimes he gets bent about something little, like a bee sting.  Not sure what's up today but I have a blanket warming in the dryer and will put it on him when it's nice and toasty.  Did I mention that Boone is spoiled.  He is, but why get a dog if you can't love (LOVE) him:-)  Anyway, I'll keep you posted as to his health...

Back to Evangeline!

Monday, November 28, 2011


Someone told me that launching a book is like creating a tiny snowball and starting it rolling...

The advertising and blog campaign, on sites like Perez Hilton, has begun.  I have my fingers crossed that the forecast is for snow, the temperatures remain stable, and that my little snowball gains momentum.  I don't just want people to buy PANDORA'S KEY and give it FIVE STARS and a GREAT REVIEW on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords (iPad), I want them to love (LOVE) the story and Evangeline!

In the meantime, I'm working on THE KEY TO TARTARUS, Book II in The Key Trilogy.  I'm editing my fourth draft, getting it ready for my editor, Emma Dryden, to read, critique and hopefully help me make it super compelling.

So far I like where the story is going!  Even though sometimes, no matter how loud I yell, Evangeline turns left instead of right and gets herself into some pretty twisted situations - deadly situations.  I guess she has to learn for herself, right?  But there's a lot at stake in the second book and I just hope E comes out alright.

Hard to believe I don't know if E is going to be okay?  I'm the writer, right?  Yes and no.  Evangeline, Malledy, Raphe, Olivia, Tim Sullivan - they're my characters, but they're also living in their own world and things happen in that world that I can't always control.  My characters surprise me, they influence my writing, and sometimes, even when I disagree, they get their way.  Right now, in fact, they're calling me...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My first blog....

This is my first blog (ever).  So hi, and thanks for reading!!  Please let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to blog about.  And feel free to contact me with questions and comments.

Sooo….  There’s not going to be any specific rhyme or reason to these blogs.  They’re going to be about what I’m thinking or what you’re asking (write me!).  I may share secrets from PANDORA’S KEY or peek in on Evangeline’s journey in Book II, THE KEY TO TARTARUS (not released yet but soon!).  Or I might blog about whether or not I agree with an Xfactor judge (does anyone else love Astro?), or if the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reminds anyone else of a group of junior high school bullies (they do, right?).

For today, I’m wondering what Evangeline would want me to write to the people who are going to read (or have already read) PANDORA'S KEY. 

I think E would want everyone to know that being a teenager is amazing and tough.  Amazing because everything is new and possible.  And tough because after her mom gave her the talisman she lost much of what she loved.  A lot of the time she feels like the Gods are playing a huge joke on her and she’s a punchline.  And deep down, despite who she’s become, she sometimes still feels like a giraffe with frizzy hair and a jack-o-lantern smile; like if people really knew who she was, they’d think she was a huge loser.

Evangeline and I live in two different worlds.  I can tell her story, but I can’t help her live her life.  If I could, I’d tell her about reconnecting with one of the girls in my high school years after I graduated.  That girl, who never had a zit, was prom queen, head cheerleader, and had an amazing (AMAZING) boyfriend, told me that she’d always felt like a fraud.  That she’d constantly worried that her friends would figure out that she wasn’t cool and knock her off her pedestal. 

Everyone, at some point, feels like if people really knew them, then no one would want to be their friend.  I wish I could tell Evangeline that this feeling totally goes away as you grow up.  It kind of does - especially if you choose a safe life where you never take risks or chances or put yourself in the position of being criticized.  But a safe life is pretty boring.  Better to take the leap, regardless of what people think, because there’s no going back once you know who you are, right E?

So here we go Evangeline – you and me.  Two different worlds tied together through a MacBook Pro.  Some people will laugh, some people will read, some people will understand that becoming the hero of your own journey is a universal quest and can will never be a joke to anyone who matters.

Question:  Have you ever put yourself on the line?  How’d you find the courage?  Were you glad you did it?