Golden Quill 2015 – Best Fantasy Romance!

I’m honored and thrilled to announce that This Crumbling Pageant was awarded this year’s Golden Quill for Best Fantasy Romance.

golden quill 4

Please excuse the quality of the photograph. It was taken with an iPhone and inadequate lighting in my new ‘office shed.’ But nothing can take away from the beauty of green marble and gilt writing, my favorite colors!

The Golden Quill is sponsored by Desert Rose RWA in the greater Phoenix area of Arizona. They are a fabulous group of writers who sponsor a bi-annual writing conference that is worth every penny, if you’re able to attend. In alternating years, they sponsor highly-regarded competitions, one for published authors and one for unpublished.

I don’t have the details of the unpublished judging process, but according to Sandy Wright, this year’s Golden Quill chairman, “Golden Quill is judged entirely by readers and librarians. You should be proud! ”

Am I ever! Thank you to all those who worked hard to make the competition happen. I know how much work goes into these kinds of things. Thank you especially to those of you who read and enjoyed my book enough to result in it winning this award.

It now hangs on my wall!


Crossposted to

About those puppies.

My new get out of jail free card: Research reveals that in order to get help from this particular Greek god I’m writing about? People sacrificed puppies.

did you say puppies

Did you say puppies?


So, moving forward, whenever anybody gets upset because I kill a character they like?


Do you really want me to go there?

I thought not.

My work here is done.

Back to the book…

NOTE: Yes, the puppy in the picture is wearing a Dallas Cowboys jersey. NO THAT DOES NOT MEAN YOU CAN KILL HER.  [Sheeesh. Philly fans.]


Golden Quill Finalist – 2015

Well, I guess there was a reason I couldn’t sleep tonight. Two in the am and here I was, awake. So when the following email popped up, I was awake to read it immediately:

Congratulations! This Crumbling Pageant has been voted a finalist in the Golden Quill contest, in the Fantasy/SciFi category. The judges in our contest are readers who love romance, and they loved your book.

Winners announced in July. In the meantime, look at the shiny!

GQ Finalist logo

Color me thrilled, proud and grateful.

Thank you, readers and judges!

A Gorgeous New Cover for La Desperada

New cover madness! It all began with me sending Toni a few stock art images from asking which one she liked best for my sexy western romance, La Desperada.

“Um. Don’t take this the wrong way, but if you don’t choose that first one, I think I may hurt you.

“because DAYEM!! :::fans self::::”


She then asked if she could play with the cover, which is not as kinky as it sounds. She’s a fabulous artist and has turned that toward photography over the past few years. And suddenly, I have this fabulous cover.


Have I mentioned how much I love my dear friend, multi-talented author Toni McGee Causey?

The original, that another multi-talented author produced, Kim Killion from HotDamnStock.


I loved the cover Liz Beaty Smith created for me. Both versions.

Historical Romance

And finally, the first book cover I ever had, a flashback to the late 80s when everything was fuchsia and blue…

What Wild Ecstasy

Funny bit of irony. When I first got this cover in my hands, I was horrified. HORRIFIED. My western was…


Then a friend bought the book and called me and said, erm, pooks, about that pink cover, have you even read your own book?

From the first chapter:

Within minutes the peaks of the rugged mountains to the west appeared, bathed in pink and orange and magenta, honored by the sun’s first rays. With agonizing slowness, the colors washed down the slopes, creeping into the valley…

Oh hush.

So, as for the covers, I’ve loved them all. But I’m totally, totally thrilled with the newest version!

WWW Wednesday – April 29, 2015

Snagged this meme from shouldbereading but the blog meme no longer exists.

It is Christmas Eve* April 29 and I am gifting you, my darlings. Gifting you. Flinging gifts at you with gay abandon.

You see, I’m reading wonderful tales right now. I have recently read fabulous tales. I am posting only wonderful, fabulous reads and if any sound your cuppa, go to the nearest library or bookstore and get them.

You won’t be sorry.

*The last time I posted a WWW Wednesday was Christmas Eve. And the reason I am finally taking time to do one today? The very same reason. I’m bubbling over with the love for a few books and simply have to share.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?


What are you currently reading?

What a Lady DemandsFirst, I will tell you how I found this historical romance. This is part disclaimer but mostly a chance to get to point you to an awesome review. Ashlyn Macnamara left a mildly positive review on Goodreads for This Crumbling Pageant. Mildly positive. Ha. I kid. She liked it bunches. References to Harry Potter only he’s a girl, and Severus Snape, and JK Rowling, and well, you know me well enough to know what high praise that is in my world!

I’d never heard of her. But, she was a Goodreads author, too. So I immediately decided I needed to read her books, too. <– This would have been the political thing to write there, but I didn’t do that at all. I went and tweeted her review on Twitter because AWESOME and went back to writing. She favorited the tweet and retweeted it and somehow we ended up tweeting back and forth and I asked her privately about something she said in her review and one thing led to another and we are now new BFFs! We’re going to see each other at RT in Dallas [will I see you there, too?] and she agreed to blurb my series and and and…

And I went back to writing.

And then she hit the USA Today Best Seller list with her new book. Yay!  Yay-yay-yay! And I shared and retweeted her good news. And later that day I saw that her book was only .99 so I bought it. And that should have been the end of it, because remember?


Except I made the mistake of reading the first sentence of What a Lady Demands. And then the paragraph. The first page. And well, if you can read that opening and not keep reading you are not a red-blooded, hot-blooded romance reader, that’s all I’m saying.

ashlynSo that is what I’m reading right now. And yes, the author is my new BFF but that has nothing to do with why I’m reading it!

• What did you recently finish reading?

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi ThomasI can’t remember how I found this book. But I listened to the first book in the series, and then the next, and then the next, and I no longer remember how many there are so far but I chain-listened to just one damned book after another AND I LOVE THESE BOOKS.  You will get a whiff of the fabulous Connie Willis’s Oxford time travel historians as the inspiration for this series, but the resemblance ends there. These historians are snarky, bawdy, accident prone, hilarious and–yes–occasionally heart-breaking. Bonus points for the sometimes famous and sometimes obscure moments in time they will take you to as you travel with them. And yes, there is romance.

And it all begins with Just One Damned Thing After Another.  Jodi Thomas will never let you quit reading.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

For once, I know. Oh yes I do know.

Once More, Miranda by Jennifer Wilde is one of the first romance novels I ever read, and I loved it. LOVED IT. The hero is a dark and surly writer. It’s a wonderful, wonderful old school romance and I most remember how much I loved it, and how much I loved the cover, and how much I loved Jennifer Wilde but this was my favorite of his books. Yes, his. Tom E. Huff was Jennifer Wilde.  And I have never read a romance novel written by a man that did such an amazing job of convincing me it was written by a woman.

Once More Miranda

Published April 12th 1983 by Ballantine

And for years I’ve mourned that these books aren’t available on Kindle and that the estate of Mr Huff apparently didn’t know to change that. Well, somebody must have found them/convinced them/done something, because they’re back. All of them. Including my very favorite of all. They changed the cover. It’s a great cover. But I will always love the first one best.

Once More, Miranda

Published by Open Road Media Romance (January 20, 2015)

Which do you like best?

Go read the book. Come back and tell me what you think. Sometimes books we loved back in the day don’t hold up to new scrutiny. I will be shocked if this one doesn’t. And devastated. Because in my memory, this one was so wonderful.

And that’s it. My overflowing blather about books I love, past, present and future.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own WWW Wednesdays post, or share your answers in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!



Of Research and Acquisitions



Found this wonderful image of a trickster who is the very essence of my Bardán Fury. Should I buy some of these cards for giveaways?

Bardán Fury (of The Fury Triad) was a valued member of Henry VIII’s court, along with those of his offspring, and had the foresight to understand the need for the Magi–the magical people–to withdraw from the Ordinary world and create their own places between the seams of reality as we know it.

He saw what happened when Christians went on religious wars against other Christians. He knew it was only a matter of time until they turned their full force of rage and prejudice against those who were different in other ways, namely the ‘witches.’

museum of witchcraftIn researching these times I stumbled across a few references to a very old book that, oddly, I couldn’t find online anywhere. But I found that one of the niche publishers I’ve gone to in the past–Troy Books— was bringing out a reproduction of the original book, published in 1680, that is in the collection of the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall.

To my utter delight, it landed in my post office box yesterday and it is beautiful.


A Discovery of the Impostures of Witchcraft and Astrologers

Written by John Brinley, published in 1680.

Charles II

Charles II of England

While the monarch at the time, Charles II, was a Stuart king, after the Tudors and Bardán Fury’s time, the information is much the same as it would have been a few decades or a century earlier. To modern eyes it’s fascinating. To contemporary eyes, terrifying. Terrifying if you were fearing for your soul if a witch worked his or her magic on you. Terrifying if you were accused of being said witch–whether you were or weren’t.

concerning astrologyAs I’ve mentioned before, when it comes to most books, I prefer to buy ebooks. But when it comes to research, I need the book in my hand, ready for highlighting, post-it-ing, scribbling in the margins.

This lovely little hardcover book will not get highlighted or scribbled.

It might get a few post-its.

And it will definitely end up in my personal library of books I love, because it is beautiful, and even moreso, because it is a rare book that survived the ravages of time to come back again.

Three hundred years from now, how many ebooks will have survived?

Have you ever bought a book as an ebook and then bought it again because you want to have it on your shelf?

Cross-posted at The Fury Triad.


Book I Love On Sale!

If I could give this book 5 stars with a cherry on top, I would. Wait, this is my blog. I can do it if I want to, so I just did.

bollywoodA Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev


I love this book. Characterization that pulled me right into a culture that is so different from my own, and dialogue and emotions that are real and true. Watching these characters find a bridge between old India and new India was heart-tugging and the payoff was wonderful.

It’s interesting that even though the characters, their history and their current problems are all from India, the four weeks of this story actually take place primarily in Michigan.

The premise is one that we don’t usually see in a contemporary story–the heroine was 4 years old when she was married to a 12 year old boy by their grandparents, an act that was illegal but could still be binding. She has spent her life being groomed for that marriage and waiting for him to come back and finally get her. She’s in Michigan going to grad school when his brother shows up to get her to sign annulment papers. That does no justice to the story at all. But it’s a premise that caught my attention and the book played it out to its fullest dramatic potential in true Bollywood style.


Let me know what you think!