She is an enigma wrapped in a little, blonde riddle.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Vegas Girl

Ever get a lightbulb moment at an inopportune time? Whenever the temperature is above freezing and nothing is coming down from the sky, I get my butt to the park to walk 3 miles. To make this pleasant, I listen to music. I do this for my health and because I like to bounce to pop music for an hour, but occasionally, it also helps generate ideas. That's what happened today.

I had just loaded a new song onto my iPod, so I put it on first. I've heard this song before several times. In fact, I picked it because it's called Vegas Girl, and my book series is set in Las Vegas. It's upbeat and fun. For some reason, when I heard it today, everything clicked in my brain. It's the perfect song to be playing when my fictional "dance team" puts on a show between hockey periods.

In On the Fly, the first book in the series, I had a pretty good time poking fun and rolling my eyes at the idea of cheerleaders in hockey. I made them kind of a joke. Well, listening to Vegas Girl and being able to see the routine in my head, I wanted to bust some moves right there in the park. I refrained, but the giant, Ah-ha! smile on my face probably confused some people.

Being able to see the routine fired off a what-if domino trail in my mind. How could I incorporate that into my current book, Full Strength? My heroine is the team's sports psychologist. What if a dancer stopped by her office and asked if she could have a session? What if when the dancer walked in, my heroine, Allie, happened to be dancing around her office because she wasn't expecting anyone? What if, after a helpful talk, the dancer asked Allie to join the team for practice one night? What if Allie went, had a blast, and my hero happened to see?

All this flew by in my head in less than a minute. I was so excited about it, I wrote myself a text message and saved the draft so I wouldn't forget by the end of my walk. So through my second heroine, Allie, I've decided to embrace the team--my Lady Sinners. And all because of this song :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentines Day from Jacey and Carter!

This scene isn't in On the Fly. It's just my idea of how my hero and heroine would spend V-Day :)

            Hunched over her desk, the end of a pen between her teeth and Michael Buble crooning over her stereo, Jacey stared at long list of press requests and PR opportunities. The abbreviated season didn’t just mean a game every other day. It meant squeezing in all of the usual public team events into a tighter schedule too. Despite the soothing music, her nerves were shot, so when Madden opened the door and strode in, she nearly jumped out of her skin. The pen clattered to the floor, and she pressed a hand over her heart.

             “I knocked, but you couldn't hear me," her brother and assistant yelled over the music before turning it down. There's something you need to see.”

             Those words were never good. Reflex fear coursed through her on the tails of the adrenaline shot from the sudden interruption. What now? “I can't; there's too much to get done before the game tomorrow.”

             “Trust're gonna wanna see this.”

             Jacey frowned at the cryptic tone, but curiosity got the best of her. With a sigh, she pushed back out of her seat and followed Madden out of the office and down the hall. They took the stairs down a floor and stopped at the door to the press box. “What's going on?”

             Madden flashed that irritating, I-know-something-you-don’t-know smile. “Take a deep breath.”


             “Just do it.”

             Warily, she inhaled, and before she could exhale, her brother swung the door open. Jacey's breath rushed out with the impact of what she saw. Numb with awe, she shuffled up to the glass overlooking the ice. Down below, hockey pucks were arranged into the shape of a giant heart. Carter Phlynn stood in the middle, hands in his jean pockets and a pleased smile on his face.

“Oh my God.”


            “What's he thinking?”

            “That you're sappy enough to fall for this.”

            Jacey turned on her heel and strode out of the room to the elevator. On her way down to the concourse level, all she could do was shake her head. She was still shaking her head as she descended the arena steps and stepped inside the players' box.

            Carter's proud grin widened and he spread his arms, presenting his gift. “What do you think?”

            “I think that check you took last night rattled something loose.”

            “Then why are you smiling?”

            Jacey opened her mouth, but her reply stuck in her throat. Was she smiling? Yep. Damn.

            Carter's expression turned satisfied. “Come here.”


            “Come. Here.” His tone was playful, teasing. His hazel eyes danced with mischief. “This was only the first half of your present.”

            Jacey narrowed her eyes suspiciously. “What's the second half?”

            “I show you how to sink a slap shot.”

            “I...I'm wearing heels.”

            “I'll help.” He jogged over, picked up a stick that'd been leaning against the glass and held his hand out to her. She blinked, trying to think of a reason why not, but came up empty. Even as his calloused fingers curled into her palm, an excuse was bubbling in her throat, but just wouldn't come out. She stepped out onto the ice, gripping Carter's hand tight enough to break bones. On skates she could maneuver the rink just fine, but in four-inch pumps, not so much.

Baby steps. Baby steps. Baby—Whoa!

She flailed as her tractionless shoes slipped, and she was on her way down when a strong arm snaked around her waist and tugged her upright.

            “Careful, I got ya.”

            Jacey was torn between anger for him dragging her out there and the supremely divine sensation of the hard, warm muscle under his thermal shirt. His arm stayed around her as they stepped inside the heart and up to the blue line. He snagged one of the pucks with the blade of the stick and pulled her around in front of him, her back pressed to his solid chest. She closed her eyes and released a slow breath. The arm around her waist tugged her to fit closer against him, and a hot flash shot through her like a firecracker. Her eyes darted up to the press box, which was—thankfully—empty.

            “I don't think—”

            “No thinking required, Boss. That's the beauty of the slap shot.” He positioned her hands on the stick and covered them with his own. “Okay, we're going to draw it back...” His hips cocked to the right and took hers along with them as he lifted their arms out to the side. “Then focus all of your aggression, all of your energy on hitting the puck, and swing through.” Quick enough to pull a muscle, he brought their arms down in a sweeping arc, and fired the puck into the net. It was so fast that she didn't even see it happen, only heard the thwack! of contact.

            His rough cheek lightly scraped against hers, and she felt him smile, his lips nearly brushing her jaw as he spoke in a low, soft voice. “See? You're hooked.”

            Oh, yes she was.

            Carter got another puck and repeated the process. Jacey was out of breath by the time that they'd shot half of the heart into the net. Smiling, she said, “Why do I think this present was more for you than for me?”

            “I'd say it's a win-win situation. You get a little more appreciation for the game, and I get an excuse to haul you up against me like this.”

            He didn’t need an excuse. He also didn’t need to know that. She turned her head sharply and found that playful smile centimeters from her own. They were nose to nose, and her heart knocked against her ribs.

            “Happy Valentines Day, Jace.”


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sneak Peek Sunday!

This week I'm participating in Sneak Peek Sunday hosted by

Here's a sneak peek of On the Fly, available in eBook March 18th!

Without honestly knowing why, he walked around the desk and brushed a curl behind her ear then slid his fingers along her jaw. So soft. She leaned into his touch, and it paralyzed him. He had expected her to pull away. That was the dance—he moved forward; she moved back. It was a good dance. He knew the steps.
What now?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Liebster Blog Award

On February 4th, I was honored to receive the Liebster Blog Award. Thanks go out to my good friend, MJ Schiller, for the award. 

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Wow! That's a lot of work for one little word! 

Here are the rules for receiving the award:

1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, 
    plus create 11 questions for the people you've tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post. 
    MJ did 9, I’m doing 8.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. Remember, no tag backs!

Eleven things about me:
1. I change my nail polish to reflect my mood.
2. I still watch cartoons.
3. Mulder and Scully from The X-Files define love for me.
4. I’m recently addicted to Supernatural.
5. My favorite book is Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
6. My perfume is Pink Sugar by Aqualina.
7. The Pittsburgh Penguins are my real-world team
8. I’m twenty-nine, but Disney World is still my favorite place.
9. I love decorating for holidays…every holiday J
10. I collect buddhas.
11. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was twelve.

Eleven questions about me and my answers:

1. Beach or mountain holiday? Beach! I’m a sun and sand kinda girl.
2. Where in the family do you come? First born, only girl, two younger brothers.

3. Dog or cat person? I love all animals, so both, but I have an extra fondness for puppies.

4. What's your favorite season and why? Summer. Warm weather, flip-flops, in-line skating in the park, more daylight. There’s really no downside.

5. What's the last book you read? Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich. I’m still in the middle of it. No time to read between work-work, schoolwork and author work. Not that I’m complaining J

6. What's the last movie you watched? RED on DVD.

7. What's your favorite weather and why? This relates to the seasons question, but for me it’d be sunny and 78 degrees. It’s the perfect temperature for skating in the park or just being outside in general.

8. What would you like to be written on your tombstone? 

No regrets

9. How would you like to be remembered? As someone who made life better for everyone around her.

10. When and why was the last time you giggled uncontrollably? Watching Supernatural! For a spooky show, it can be really funny.

11. What's your favorite photo on display? A special picture from this past Christmas.

Here are the bloggers that I am awarding the Liebster Award to. Visit them at their blogs and congratulate them!

Cover reveal day for On the Fly!

Monday, February 4, 2013

What Would Carter Phlynn Do?

A quick interview with my hero from On the Fly

1.     Go skydiving
Sure. Why not?

2.     Sing Karaoke
Only if I'm drunk.

3.     Make the first move on the opposite sex
When I get the chance. The women I tend to meet usually aren't shy.

4.     Try an exotic food
I'm open to new things, but I have my limits. But on a dare...I'd probably do anything once.

5.     See a movie with subtitles
I'm more of a Die Hard kind of guy.

6.     Try online dating
Not necessary.

7.     Spend a Saturday night reading at home
My only free Saturday nights are in the off-season, and I've always got something better to do.

8.     Believe in the supernatural
I don't know about supernatural. But every hockey player has superstitions.

9.     Change your own tire or oil
Don't have time to change my own oil, but I could. And if I got a flat, I could take care of it.

10.     Cook dinner well
I make very good frozen pizzas.

11.     Ask for help
When I need it.

12.     Admit to not knowing something
Sure. Pretending takes too much effort and isn't worth it.

13.     Do your own taxes
I can figure out the geometry of a game plan. Beyond that, math and I don't mix.

14.     Have Lasik eye surgery
I'm lucky enough to already have perfect vision.

15.     Smoke
Never wanted to. It diminishes lung capacity and stamina. Oh, and there's cancer.

16.     Watch reality TV
When I have time to watch TV, I usually watch a game.

17.     Regularly clean your bedroom
Again...not a whole lot of free time. I do laundry once a week and pick up if someone's coming over.

18.     Get a tattoo
I would, but it’d have to really mean something to me. None of that tribal, flaming skull shit.

19.     Consider a different religion
Hockey's been my religion since I was five.

20.     Have children
Some day.

21.     Go skinny dipping
I believe that falls into my try-anything nature.

22.     Get self defense training
You learn all the fighting you need in hockey.

23.     Play hooky
Can't really do that. As captain, I pretty much have to show up.

24.     Have a facebook page
I have one to keep up with family and friends, but I almost never use it.

25.     Go to an art museum
If persuaded by the right person.

26.     Go to a doctor
Yearly physical is mandatory. And with my injury list, I'm used to doctors.

27.     Hike
I'm all around athletic. Hiking sounds good to me.

28.     Speak a different language
You learn a good deal of French in this sport.

29.     Change hair color
If it was a team morale thing.

30.     Go over the speed limit
Everybody has a vice, right?