Behind the Scenes

My new book A REASON TO STAY released a few weeks ago. Since that time, I’ve been attending book events, book clubs and meeting with readers. It’s been so fun sharing some of the background of this story.

Faith Marin is a successful Houston news anchor. Our local NBC station allowed me to spend the day observing the internal operations so I could understand her job. They even let me “be” the anchor for a brief time!


Geary Marin is a bass fishing champ. My own men fish and compete in tournaments, but it was important for me to understand the big tournament environment. The organizers for the TEXAS BASS CLASSIC gave me a media pass and I learned the inside scoop!


An important aspect of any novel is the setting. This next photo is the marina at Lake Conroe, Texas. This is where the opening scene in the book is set . . . the place where Faith and Geary meet and Faith “falls” for him.  *wink wink*


Another key scene takes place at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The marketing director took me on a special tour.  So fun!


If you haven’t yet read A REASON TO STAY what are you waiting for?  CLICK HERE TO BUY:   Amazon

RTS Available Now

Something’s Fishy With This Story

TBasslogo One of the absolute most fun things about my job as a novelist is when I go out to research for a new book. When the idea came for A Reason to Stay, I knew I needed to have two very different people fall in love and struggle to stay married. So I coupled an ambitious news anchor in Houston with a tournament bass fisherman from Lake Conroe. My own men fish in a few tournaments, and I’m fascinated by the whole thing.

After realizing I knew so little about that world, I knew I’d have to attend the big TEXAS BASS CLASSIC. Fortunately, the championship tournament was held at Lake Fork, Texas where we lease a spot for our motorhome and often go.

When I placed the call, the organizers of the event were so very gracious and surprised me with a media pass. On the day of the tournament, I arrived and parked. As instructed, I called the number given and within minutes a black town car showed up and drove me to the big media tent.

Over the next hours, I enjoyed a free concert, ate some of the best BBQ anywhere, watched the boats come in and the weigh-ins, I got access to backstage and watched media interviews and had access to the contestants. I talked with bass pros Mike Iaconelli, Cody Meyer, Gary Yamamoto, and their wives. Oh . . . this whole experience was a novelist’s dream! Thank you Steve Patnode and the Toyota Bass Classic!

So much of what I discovered that day ended up in A REASON TO STAY which releases next Tuesday. In fact, the opening chapter is all set at the Texas Bass Classic where Faith meets Geary and the romantic sparks start flying.

Here are some fun photos, and a video that really show the magic of this big tournament. I hope you enjoy a sneak peek into my research . . . and I hope you’ll buy a copy of the novel. 


Inside the media tent


Free concert before the weigh-ins


This BBQ truck is featured in the novel


Coming in for the weigh-in


Media interviews behind the stage


The finalists all hoping their fish will give them the big win!


Party Time!

RT1 Next week I’ll be packing up and moving into the Hyatt Regency for a week of FUN!  The party of the year for readers, authors, publishing industry folks, librarians and book sellers is coming to town and I can’t wait!

On Tuesday, Deeanne Gist and I will join Kathryn Falk (the owner of RT) and together we’ll host a bus load of readers on a tour out to Southfork Ranch, the filming location for the popular television series DALLAS. I thought it’d be fun to give y’all a preview:

100_2155 This is the iconic entrance to the Southfork Ranch. Do you remember seeing J.R. Ewing drive through that gate?

100_2156 This is the ranch house. I thought it was so strange that all the Ewings lived in that single house, especially given that they all seemed to hate one another. Besides, they were rich and could afford to build multiple houses, couldn’t they?

100_2133 This is Jock and Ellie Ewing’s bedroom.

100_2132 And, this is Bobby Ewing’s bedroom. Remember when he was run over and killed, then appeared alive in the shower at the beginning of the next season?  (that dream sequence was highly criticized!)

100_2151 The most famous scene was when J.R. was shot. So fun to see the actual prop used.

RT Conference Shareable graphic_pdf_001 Excited to join fellow Baker Publishing Group authors for a hosted Chocolate Festival for our readers. Hope to see you there!

RT2 On Saturday, nearly 750 authors will be signing books!  The event is open to the public, whether or not you attend the entire convention, so I hope you’ll plan to spend the day with us!

During the RT Booklover’s Convention, I’ll be tweeting and posting photos on Instagram and Facebook, so be watching!  That way, even if you can’t travel to Dallas, you can still be part of the big party!

(P.S. – Take a peek over at my CONTEST tab for a chance to win a complimentary one year digital subscription to RT Book Review magazine!)



relax_massage I am writing to meet a deadline these days, which means I often spend ten to twelve hours parked in front of my computer with my fingers on the keyboard. I’m not complaining. I adore my writing career and nothing is more fun than watching a story form and take off.

That said, the physical act of all those hours can wreak havoc on my body. Often, I have to ice my wrists and hands. My feet swell. My back aches. And that’s on a good day.

I’ve learned a trick though. When I’m in the thick of the manuscript, when my entire being begins to feel like a sack of mashed spuds (can you tell I grew up in Idaho?) I head for a massage. While expensive, the money is well spent. After a massage, I just feel better. The tension in my muscles is gone and I no longer hurt.

So . . . yesterday was one of those days. I’d hit my limit and decided to drag my poor muscles and joints off to get worked on.  But never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined what would happen over the next hours.

My regular massage therapist was unexpectedly out, with no replacement available. Upon recommendation, I went to a little shop nearby–one that smelled like a lotus flower as you walked in, where the proprietors smiled widely and waved you inside without speaking much English.  They answered my questions by nodding a lot.

Well, I have to say . . . the little woman who sat me in a reclining chair and soaked my feet in a tub of warm, fragrant water knew her stuff. In next to no time, I felt stress leave my body.

Soon, she moved me into a tiny room curtained off for the table portion of the session. Now, I’m a very private person . . . never remove my clothes.  I just don’t feel comfortable. Thankfully, she seemed absolutely fine with that.

Once settled, face down, I again came to appreciate the woman’s talents. And then . . . 

Relaxing_Massage_at_caring_hands_massages Is she climbing up on the table?

What is she doing?

Oh, my goodness . . . she can’t be. She isn’t!

Yup . . . I had a tiny Asian woman standing on my back!

Couldn’t help it. I giggled. And try as I might, I couldn’t stop. She nearly slipped off.

She stopped taking tiny steps and said, “Aye, aye, aye–no laughing!”

And of course, I couldn’t stop.

So, there you have it folks!  If you find a similar scene in some upcoming book, you’ll know where the idea came from. I hope you RELAX and ENJOY it!


A Fresh Start

New-year-image I love new beginnings! And there’s no better time to turn the page and start new than at the first of the year.

In 2014, I primarily blogged with several fellow authors over at Southern Belle View. It was so fun to get to know some of the best authors in the business and to connect with the readers there. But frankly, I often found myself missing posting here. So  going forward, this is where you’ll find me.

With a busy publishing year ahead, I elected to focus on some NEW things. We’ll be releasing two books this year:  WHERE RIVERS PART in February and A REASON TO STAY in October. I’ll be appearing at PULPWOOD QUEENS on an author panel later this month and co-hosting a special tour out to Southfork Ranch (film site of the Dallas television show) in conjunction with the big RT BOOKLOVERS CONVENTION in May.



On top of that, we’ve started something new and really fun . . . MONTHLY CONTESTS!  We wanted to do something that would get the word out about these books in a way that would include my readers and provide an opportunity for you to win some really neat prizes. I hope you enjoy this . . . and I think you do, because in the first week of the January contest, nearly 300 of you entered!  You can find out all about the SPA PACKAGE GIVE-AWAY by going to the CONTEST tab on this website.

I’m also going to be blogging here every Monday, often featuring other popular authors or people who I find interesting. I hope you’ll check back often. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletters (to the left of this post) because there will be some big announcements coming soon!

Thank you to each one of you who have purchased and read my books. Each time you do so, you send the message to my publisher that you want them to sign me for another book. I appreciate that, and all the supportive emails and Facebook messages you send, more than I can possibly express.

Here’s to 2015 and beyond!