Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Profound Thinking About Orgasm

If talking about female orgasm bothers you dear reader, please skip this post. Come back to it whenever you are ready to hear this because this presentation contains some profound truths.

I may have to create another label for posts like this one called "Regina Recommends" named after my sex therapist character in Dating Dr. Notorious. Creating that character changed me. I wish I had time to go back to school and get a degree in it. My family would be appalled and that's just one of the perks.

I actually first heard about this TED Talks presenter on a Men's Health Daily podcast which was recommended to me by a good male friend who listens to it. Daedone was a guest author being interviewed about the subject matter of her book and just touched on it in the podcast. She was fun and entertaining to listen to, but when they mentioned her book Slow Sex, I remembered I had added that book to my Amazon wishlist. Since I didn't recall why I specially put it there, I decided to go listen the TED Talk to hear what she has to say.

Immediately after, the book went into my shopping cart. I'm looking forward to its arrival.

I also plan to write a sex scene in a romance incorporating this technique one day. My instinct says it holds a lot of value to those women lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a learned man's finger or thumb.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


The Demon of Synar is now available for sale at the following sites: Smashwords, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, All Romance ebooks (coming soon), and Apple (approx. March 11). Since it is very different kind of book for me, I thought I would use this post to talk about it.

I am primarily categorizing this book as a paranormal romance. There is a married (mated) alien couple whose relationship is shattered after he abandons her. When the book opens, the hero is trying to make up for the past. Problem is, they have a bit more to work out than the average couple since the hero put his family's hereditary demon into his wife (mate) without her knowing about it. Someone in his family maybe should have counseled him about talking to her before making big decisions like that one, right? Personally I thought he had a good reason, but his wife? Not so much.

The biggest surprise to me is that I think this book is also the first book of a space opera. I didn't know this was what I was writing until I published the book and had to choose categories for it from the science fiction group. The whole series takes place on Captain Liam Synar's spaceship whose crew does rescue missions when they're not rescuing each other. I am telling a different couple's romance in each book (Liam's and Ania's spans two books), but at the same time new people are always joining the ship and there's lots of other things going on. The sexual heat level in the first book would rate 1 or 2 chili peppers, but the second book will earn 3 or 4.

Book One (THE DEMON OF SYNAR) is a 44k word novella with most of the setup and back story included so you can meet the characters. I needed to get the world building out of the way and readers caught up to speed for the next three books which are action/adventure/romances.

Book Two (THE DEMON MASTER'S WIFE) is 93k words and action packed from the first paragraph of Chapter 1 until the end. I included a short excerpt in Book One and it picks up from the events at the very end of the first book. I loved this second book in the series because I got to write several fight scenes which were great fun. I also got to create a complex plot and let's just say Ania might not be the only one affected by the demon she hosts. Malachi and I are old friends now. Let's hope the editor survives because the second book passed into his hands this week. Hopefully, Book Two will release sometime after mid-March contingent upon edits working out well. I'm in the nail biting phase of waiting to see.

It's also looking like Book Three (THE SIREN'S CALL) is going to be just as fast paced since it's going to have to start with a rescue. Dorian and Gwen are two of my favorite characters ever. They are always being surprised by each other and always surprising me, too. It's my favorite kind of threesome. As for sexual heat rating in this book? I may have to include a warning. Dorian is a Siren after all.

I hope you enjoy reading this series as much as I am enjoying writing it. ~ Donna McDonald

Friday, February 24, 2012

Downloads of Dating A Cougar (Feb 2012)

My one year publishing anniversary is coming up in March. I'm no longer able to track downloads of the free book even by estimate because I have it on sites that don't track free books. When I stopped counting, DAC downloads exceeded 300,000 in numbers I could see. 

Over 300,000 people have downloaded my book. That's still so incredible to my mind that I can barely write the number in this post. Sure I know other authors have had more downloads. Some number into the millions. But of their first book ever? When they were an absolute unknown? If that was the case, then they probably know how fuzzy minded this makes me.

I'm content to be a mostly quiet phenomena. It's a pace that suits me. I've found that being an artist requires a balanced perspective on the ebb and flow of sales.

A writer friend in my local group is selling around 4000-5000 books every month. I am currently selling around half of her number. Another writer friend shared her concerns when her book sales dropped below 200 a day for her one tremendous book that hit numbers in 18-20,000 right after she launched it. Yet another complains of selling only 35 books a month.

The winds of fortune blow across every Indie author's sailboat. My little craft is holding steady even when I get seasick. I look at the sky, check the wind, and keep going most days.

Want to know what my #1 comment still is in feedback on DAC?  "Thanks for writing books with older characters. Good to know somebody realized there is sex after 50." 

To those readers looking for more, just wait for this year's releases. I'm tackling sex in the 60's in Book 5 of the Never Too Late series later this spring and Book 6 is going to be another "cougar" story this fall.

For now, I plan to leave DAC free for as long as the distribution gurus and sales channels allow it. Thanks to all of you that read the book and passed it along to others. Word of mouth referrals are the best compliment in the world and I remain grateful for your support.

Friday, February 17, 2012


This is an excerpt from The Demon of Synar (Book One of the Forced To Serve Series). I'm hoping to release the book in a few weeks. Let me know what you think.


Two years ago….

“I was nervous the first time I bound myself to a female as well,” Dorian said, watching his best friend and current captain pace the room. 

“Even though you and Ania still seem like a odd pairing to my logical mind, I have read you both often enough to know you are energetically committed to each other. What still shocks me is that Ania Looren passed up dignitaries, presidents, other ambassadors, and more warriors than I can count to tumble into your bed like a love stricken Earthling. I’m in awe of you turning out to be the one male in her entire life that she couldn’t refuse.”

“If you think I’m going to be indiscreet and brag about my bonding time with Ania, you are mistaken my friend,” Synar said, grinning at Dorian’s guilty look.

“Being a Siren, my vows are especially hard to endure Liam. Today the most celibate planet in the Alliance is tuned into your mating vibrations as am I. As your best friend, the least you can do is let me live vicariously through you once in a while,” Dorian teased. “I know you were her first breach.”

“Yes I was, but I’m still not telling you details. That won’t be happening. The first time is a private matter and a special sharing. Find your own female and start living again,” Synar ordered.

“I want peace, not another mate. It hasn’t even been a century yet since I lost the last one. I know not all creatures live as long as Sirens, but a century doesn’t feel all that long when you are grieving,” Dorian said, narrowing his eyes as his friend picked up speed. “Liam—you’re going to wear out your footwear if you keep that up.”

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me—can’t seem to stand still. I’m truly not nervous taking Ania as a formal mate, just impatient to get the public ceremony over,” Synar said. “My intuition is sending out massive warning signals, but I can’t tell if they are real or just a reaction to the events of this day. I don’t want to be an embarrassment to her in front of her family so I haven’t said anything. I have a couple crew members observing the ceremony and looking for problems. They haven’t found anything yet.”

“Why are we even doing this ceremony anyway? I distinctly remember Ania saying it wasn’t necessary for her sake. She said you to anxious to wait until after and that you had filed the legal mating forms before ever leaving the ship,” Dorian teased. “You and she belong to each other now in all the important ways. What will this ceremony accomplish?”

“Ania is a high-level Peace Alliance ambassador. You don’t just throw one of those over your shoulder and run off to your quarters with her like she was an ordinary female,” Synar answered. “This ceremony is for her family. They’ve waited a long time for their only child to take a mate. My mother declined to come which was just as well. She hasn’t spoken to me since my father died. I think my mother has more trouble believing Conor killed him than I do.”

Dorian could hear the pain in Liam’s voice without even looking at his energy. “Is your brother still exiled?” he asked quietly.

“Yes,” Synar said flatly. “And it will stay that way for at least the next century of his life. Mother will just have to deal with it and be glad that at least Conor isn’t dead.”

“Have you told Ania about your family and your inheritance?” Dorian asked.

“No,” Synar answered, adjusting the cuffs on his uniform jacket. “I asked Malachi to block her from knowing for now. Once Jonas is gone, the demon is going into the amulet until I can figure out the proper person to rule him.”

Skipping over the advice he wanted to offer Liam about the dangers of keeping such a large secret from the person closest to his spirit, Dorian instead focused on the main issue he saw as a problem. “How can you be so sure that you are not the proper person, Liam?”

Synar looked and held Dorian’s gaze until he was sure his friend saw the truth in him. “No one in my family is worthy to rule the demon any longer—certainly not Conor or me.”

“I can tell you sincerely believe that, but I think you are more suitable than you realize,” Dorian said quietly.

He glanced at the time keeper on the wall of the room they were in and saw it was time for them to go.

“Enough of this morbid conversation,” Dorian said briskly. “This is a day to celebrate. There will plenty of time for you to mourn your errors later when you realize how much what you are about to do is going to complicate your life.”

Synar snorted, refusing to laugh at Dorian’s teasing. “Your words offer me no comfort. Tell me why we are friends again?”

“Because I haven’t had children and having a much younger friend is the closest I intend to get for a while,” Dorian said. “I like your blind spots about your life and find them mostly entertaining. Plus I know you have no idea who you are mating today. You see only a very small part of the female who waits for you at the altar. It’s going to be interesting to witness your shocked reaction when you find out the rest.”

“Enlighten me then,” Synar demanded on a laugh. “That’s what friends are supposed to do about each other’s females.”

“I consider that Ania’s task, not mine,” Dorian said with a knowing smile. “I have told both of you that I refuse to get involved in your contract. You’re not the only one not revealing everything. It is amazing to watch two of the most intuitive beings I’ve ever met completely ignore their intuition about each other.”

“Maybe we know all we need to know about each other,” Synar said firmly, smiling as he looked across the room at the female standing near the altar who turned and smiled at him.

He was attracted to Ania’s beauty, but also to something indefinable in her spirit that he sensed. All the challenges of their mating faded when he acknowledged that pull to be near her. He’d never felt it with any other female.

With Dorian following, Synar walked to stand at Ania’s side, feeling the respectful silence of the congregation descend around the two of them like a cloak.

Defying convention on her planet, Synar held out a hand to her, smiling as Ania placed hers in his without even glancing at anyone else. On a planet where touching was considered something to do behind closed doors, her easy acceptance of his touch was more significant to him than any ceremony could be.

Synar glanced at Dorian standing taller than anyone else in the assembly and his first mate, Jonas, standing by Dorian’s side. He nodded his head to both of them that he was ready.

Then Synar formally inclined his head to the assembly, to the officiate, and—finally to the female facing him and smiling as she held his gaze.

“Ania Looren, before this congregation of friends and family I openly declare my sincere desire to be your mate for the rest of my life. All that I am and will ever be, I give into your power this day. Do you accept my offer and pledge?” Synar asked.

“Aye, Liam Synar. I accept your offer and pledge. All that I am and ever will be, I give into your power this day as well. Let us be declared as mates,” Ania said, pleased that her voice was as confident and sure as Liam’s.

“Let it be declared that this couple is mated,” the officiate said loudly.

“Joined by the will of the creators,” the congregation said, the sound of their common support rolling up the walls of the room and filling every fraction of space with its energy.

Then the celebratory music began, the vibration of it swelling.

Synar watched Jonas fall to the floor with stunned disbelief, a large hole blasted through him and his life force leaving rapidly.

“Malachi, come forth and stop those that seek to do harm,” Synar called urgently, watching the mist hover over Jonas as Dorian and two other crew members scrambled to find those responsible.

Hearing Synar call out, Ania instinctively turned to the crowd and saw a weapon flash. Without stopping to think, she stepped in front of her new mate and felt a searing fire in her back.

“Liam,” Ania said, his name hoarse as she tried to talk over the pain.

“No,” Synar called out, clutching her falling form in his arms. “Malachi—kill them all but one, just those with weapons in this assembly.”

It will be done as you command, Malachi sent.

Synar sank to the floor clutching Ania’s weakening body to him. “What have you done? Why did you step in front of me? That blast was not meant for you.”

“Take care for your life,” Ania said. “I believe I am returning to the creators. Do not mourn me long, Liam. I have long planned for this day.”

“No—this will not be, must not be,” Synar denied, looking around the room that was mostly vacant now except for the variety of dead and dying bodies lying scattered across the floor.

When the mist appeared above him, hovering and waiting, Synar looked up in numbed surprise.

The attackers are all dead except the one being restrained by your Lieutenant Zade, though even that one is starting to wish he were dead. Let Zade finish him for you Liam. You and I have a bigger problem to attend to because Jonas is no more, Malachi sent.

Synar looked at the male cowering by Dorian and at the carnage on the floor.

Are any of the Pleiadians who tried to stop them still alive, he asked?

One or two linger, but not for long, Malachi reported.

Go into the largest one for now, but do nothing else until I command you, Synar said. Do not reanimate him.

As you wish, Malachi said heading for the best body he saw, glad that Liam was letting him choose his host this time. Jonas had been Synar’s choice and not his, though Malachi admitted to himself that he had grown quite fond of the easy going male host. Being in Jonas had been like taking a holiday because the Greggor male loved nothing better than bonding with females and making music.

Before Jonas, Liam’s father, Bogdan, had put him into an uneducated, giant stump of a male who was forever stumbling over things and getting so drunk he was unable to perform even the most menial tasks. Malachi didn’t even want to think about that host body and what it had done.

Synar lay Ania’s mostly unconscious form down on the floor and stood to walk over to the cowering male. His uniform was covered in Ania’s life force. The killer glared defiantly at him, but Synar also saw fear in his eyes. If there hadn’t been any, Synar would have made sure to put some there.

“Did my brother Conor Synar send you to kill me?” Synar demanded. “I warn you your death means nothing to me now, so you might as well try to redeem yourself before the creators receive you.”

“Yes—Conor sent us. He wants you and the demon. He said to capture you alive, but kill everyone else that got in our way. The stun was meant only to wound, not to kill you,” he said.

“If my mate dies, you will die. If she lives, you will live to take a message back to my brother that killing Malachi’s host bodies won’t gain him anything. Your inept group left plenty more bodies for him to inhabit,” Synar looked at Dorian. “Will you take this coward away and send medical help to look after Ania? Tell them it is safe to come in now.”

“Indeed,” Dorian said, grabbing the male by his arm and dragging him out of the room.

Synar went back to Ania. “Ania, can you hear me?”

“I feel the cold of dying, Liam. I don’t know why I did not intuitively see this coming. I guess all I could think about today was you,” Ania said, trying to reassure him with a smile, but her eyes closed and the blackness she drifted in claimed her once more.

“Malachi, come out and do no harm,” Synar called, his voice heavy, the pressure inside him to scream at fate barely restrained. He couldn’t let Ania die when he had the power to stop it from happening. He just couldn’t.

“Damn me if you must—I don’t care,” Synar said, sending the words to the creators of all.

He looked then at the demon mist floating in front of him. “Malachi, Demon of Synar—enter this female’s body and lend her your life. She is your new host.”

“You can’t mean to put me in a female Liam,” Malachi raspy voice vibrations protested, speaking the gender with disdain.

“You will go into the host body I have chosen and do all I ask. You will repair her body and take no more from her than what is necessary for your survival. She is never to know you inhabit her. She is to remain just as she is,” Synar said, making himself put intent behind the words. “As I command, you will obey.”

“This is a mistake,” Malachi chastised. “I am to be put into warriors, used to fell armies, used to vanquish legions of evil. Why do you dishonor the sacred contract? There is no redemption for me in this peaceful female.”

“It’s either go into Ania or into the amulet, demon. If Ania dies, I will lock you away and drop the amulet into the volcanoes on Terris so that you will never be found again by any creature,” Synar said sincerely. “You can truly spend eternity in a fiery pit like many spiritual beings fear doing. Your spirit will not die, but you will never live in a host again either.”

Malachi hovered, flexed, and finally acquiesced. His sacred connections to the Synar family exceeded his power to deny his current master. Cursing the creators of all once more, he resigned himself to a dreary existence in a female for a while. Malachi pulled his mist form together more tightly.

“I hear and will do all that you command,” he vowed, disappearing quickly into the body of the female while Synar turned his head away until it was done.

Moments later, Ania’s eyes fluttered open and Synar let out a ragged breath of relief that he hadn’t been too late to save what was left of her spirit. “Ania—are you still with me? Help is on the way.
“What happened?” she asked.

“We were attacked by an enemy. The weapon was fortunately not set to kill instantly,” Synar said. “You are severely wounded, but I believe you will survive.”

“Is everyone safe now?” Ania asked.

“Yes—but I fear this is not the end of it. I must leave you and go seek those that did this to make sure they will not do so again,” Synar said sadly. “You will be safe with your family. I will come back for you when I am done.”

“We just mated, Liam. Take me with you. I’ll heal on the ship,” Ania demanded.

“I can’t put a high-level Peace Alliance ambassador at so much risk,” Synar said, stroking her cheek, wanting nothing more than to do just as she demanded. “Heal while I am gone. Let your family care for you. Serve your planet until I return.”

Synar bent to brush her lips with his. “I know you don’t like kissing, but I need to reassure myself that you live.”

“I must be getting used to it,” Ania said, struggling to return the pressure of his mouth. “I didn’t mind that kiss at all.”

“Help is coming shortly. Let them repair your body. You will be weak for a while, but soon this will be nothing more than a bad memory,” Synar said.

When she didn’t answer, Synar realized that she had fallen into the healing sleep of the demon. Malachi was already working on her.

But Synar had other things to do to make Malachi’s efforts count.

Dorian came back shortly and found Synar and Ania still on the floor. “Help is on its way. They were afraid to come back inside. How is she?”

Ignoring Dorian’s concerned question, Synar raised his gaze to his friend’s face.

“We are taking the bodies of Jonas and the Pleiadian male Malachi went into earlier with us. Put both on the shuttle and take them to the ship before you come back for me. I will explain later. I will register the body we are stealing as host to my demon now. Then we are going to release the killer we captured and send him back to warn Conor that I’m going to be actively searching for him. If we check, I bet we discover Conor is no longer confined to the planet he was exiled to,” Synar said stiffly.

“Is the Pleiadian male joining our crew once the demon reanimates him?” Dorian said, the words distasteful, but the truth often was.

“No—the Pleiadian male will not be reanimated,” Synar said quietly. “The body is a ruse to fool Conor. I have given Malachi a more noble assignment.”

Dorian looked at Ania’s body then, seeing the energy signature but not wanting to believe it. “She was dying, Liam. Ania was prepared for that. Why did you stop her death? Do you know how much she would disapprove of what you have done?

“Ania might have been ready for her death, but I wasn’t,” Synar said tightly. “It is done and I will not be changing it. I chose to tell you only because I need your help.”

Dorian saw Ania’s lashes flutter open at the same moment he heard help finally running in to their aid.

“Dorian—I forget sometimes how tall you are. It’s like looking at a mountain to see you from my position on the floor. This sure hasn’t happened in a very long time,” Ania teased.

Despite his beliefs and his sense of foreboding about what Liam had done, Dorian smiled at his teacher and friend with great relief. She remained herself so far. He hoped that would always be true.

“I have never forgotten a single moment of my training at your hands,” Dorian said, smiling down at her.

Ania laughed, but it hurt to do so. Then she felt her eyes closing again. With a tired sigh, she entered the blackness again.

Several healers rushed to her and Synar slipped out of their way. He stood and looked up at Dorian. “Well?”

“I will help you,” Dorian said at last, thinking that he didn’t want Ania to die either. It didn’t feel destined in that moment. “May the creators forgive us both.”

“Pray all you want for forgiveness, but I don’t need any,” Synar said firmly. “I have no regrets.”

“Let’s hope that remains true,” Dorian said. “You go with Ania and see to her. I will take care of the rest.”

Synar nodded and followed the medical transport bed out of the building.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Writing from the heart (Adele)

The Wall Street Journal published an article on Adele and her music before she won the Grammy awards. It was very flattering to her work, but also very scientific about why her music has such a profound effect on listeners. Very interesting theory, but I doubt Adele is thinking of science when she sings this. Anyone that has ever loved and lost understands this song instantly and completely. That's the part of us she reaches. We believe the emotion in her words, in her voice, and in her music. You can see it on her face as well.

Romance authors practice "writing from the heart", but the phrase is applicable to any artist/writer/singer who puts this kind of sharing of self and emotion into their work.

Since the WSJ links have a habit of disappearing, I am including another because you don't need the article to get the value of her song--you just need to hear it. Also, there is the bonus of her telling a little back story for the song at the beginning of the second link.

I included "Rolling in the deep" because it is poetry turned to song and one of the most powerful I have heard. I'm happy to share this with the world.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Interview 1/31 on EdinRoad | Blog Talk Radio

For those who missed this, here is a link to my Edin Road interview on January 31. Jesse Coffey and I just chatted about my books for a half hour. Lots about the paranormal series. Some about the new book in the Never Too Late series. We ran out of time for the Art of Love series, but Jesse has asked me back for Thursday, April 19.

Check out Edin Road radio for more author interviews. Jesse does two every week and books up months in advance. She's also a writer for She wrote a review for me there and has featured my book. I just recently got smart and subscribed to her articles. Woohoo for brain cells finally working!

Warning: Southern Accent. (I add this to my voice interviews for my fellow writer friends from strange places like Ruth from Rhode Island and Dave from Wisconsin. We all can't sound as nice Dave Thome on the radio <sigh>. I never aspired to public speaking and Jesse makes me giggle. What can I say?)

Listen to internet radio with EdinRoad on Blog Talk Radio

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Upcoming books in 2012 (updated Feb 9)

Instead of a post about resolutions that I probably won't keep, I thought I would talk about books I intend to write, even if I don't get to all of them either (she says laughing). This is a short preview and NOT in the order the books will occur. Also, I have no dates for any of them. When my new website is finished, I will be updating ongoing information about all upcoming books there.

And before I get bombarded with this question after you see what I am working on, let me answer it in advance of the emails. Yes, I intend to keep writing romances containing older characters. It is very rewarding and I adore my readers. I do get tired of the same flavor of ice cream and have to change up occasionally, but Bruce will attest to the fact that it doesn't take me long to start longing for that standard carton of Breyer's All Natural Vanilla. So don't hate me for having weird cravings now and again. Okay?

Books that will definitely happen
  • In the Never Too Late series, I will be writing Dating A Shrew (Book Five) which will be Lydia Carmichael's story. For those of you who might not have read Dating A Saint (Book Three) yet, Lydia is Lauren's mother. She's 67 in this book.
  • In the Art Of Love series, I will be writing Covered In Paint (Book Five) which will be Brooke and Drake's story. I will also be writing Carved In Wood (Book Six) which will be Jillian and Joseph's story. There is a separate blog post on this series.
  • I am also currently working on a book whose working title is Weighing All The Options. It is Book One of the next series which I am thinking about calling the Divorced And Dating series. The third series is set in California and starts with three 40 yr old college friends who are all divorced. There are lots of characters, light fun story lines, and loads of humor.  It is turning out to be more like the Never Too Late series in "tone".
  • UPDATE: Paranormal series coming for sure and I have moved it into this section of the post. I have dubbed it the Forced To Serve series which you will see is apt after you read the first one. So far there are four books The Demon of Synar (in edit/rewrite), The Demon Master's Wife (95% finished), The Siren's Call (planned), and The Healer's Kiss (planned). The first two will launch in late February and early March. The others will be summer probably. 

Books that will probably happen/might happen
I have to preface this list with an explanation. Back in the mid-1990's when I aspired to be a romance author, I was writing paranormal romances more than contemporaries. I am a long-time science fiction fan and it was very natural for me to bring those interests into my romance writing. I was never into vampires and werewolves much, though of those two, I do still read "Were" books. I'm not opposed to biting, but the whole blood-draining thing just doesn't do it for me. (I will give a nod to vampire romance author Tina Folsom for Samson's Lovely Mortal.)

Instead, give me a dragon, an elf, a witch, a wizard, or an alien and I will have a great time getting lost in the story. Just don't be skimpy on the details of the situation. You have to at least attempt to explain your mythical world to me. My editor turned me on to Firefly recently which I am watching on my Kindle Fire as a Amazon Prime Member. Honestly, it would have been impossible not to have been influenced by 45+ years of Star Trek, Twilight Zone, Dark Shadows, Green Lantern, Batman, X-Files, and anything else like those shows that contained the strange and unusual. Science Fiction is what sent me into Philosophy in college, but that discussion is for another post. 
  •  Shaman's Mate, a paranormal themed book, is the first book of my heart that I ever completed. It is about all kinds of things, but mostly an investigation of death and dying and spiritual ascension. At its core, the book is a romance between a partially ascended Shaman of another dimension and the still non-ascended human she has been told is her mate. It contains an exploration of "sacred sex" that will earn this book a high heat rating, but it is also about missing Native American tribes (which I knew a little about and loved researching more). My family is primarily Scots-Irish-German, but there are also some Cherokee natives in my background. Where I live, it is common to have native ancestry and almost everyone born in my area of Kentucky can make a similar claim.
  • Healing the Healer is another paranormal themed book, but contemporary in its setting. Sadly, I lost the last five chapters of the ending in a hard drive crash in Nov 2010, so it needs some rewriting. It is about a reknown brain surgeon in her mid-forties whose only child dies in surgery while she watches unable to prevent it. A few months after the child's death, her husband of many years commits suicide. Alone with her grief, she has a personal meltdown and leaves her job intending never to return to her medical practice. She has a repetitive dream about a Native American man saying he could help her. Not knowing what else to do, she travels to Taos, New Mexico trying to find healing. It is a romance between two unlikely characters, a woman coming to terms with herself, a traditional healer finding her natural healing power, and an investigation of what "healing" entails. The setting is contemporary, but the book is mystical--as most true healing is when you think about it.
  • Defective is a multi-genre book that could fit well in Romantic Suspense/Intrigue, Paranormal, or Contemporary depending on who classifies it. As an Indie author, I get to classify my books in most places, so I will be listing it as all three. Of all the books in my creative wishlist, I am voting this one as "the most likely to happen" because it is a fun book to work on. I stopped working on it to do other things in 2011, but now and again the storyline pulls me back. The heroine is a genetic scientist (in her 40's) and the hero is a former military man (in his 40's) who along with five other military men sign up for a genetic experiment that goes awry. He's being hunted when the book opens because he's considered "defective".

    I plan for Defective to be the first in a series of similar books. My current plan is for each book to be another botched experiment. The second book is about a 55 yr old female retired CIA agent who ingests a drug that makes her younger, but the effects don't last. They are testing the viability of someone of her advanced training and wisdom being under 30 physically. They pair her with a younger agent and send her out on a job to see how it goes. He thinks she's a young woman, but can't figure out how she knows so much. This book is going to need lots more research. LOL. (Did you see the movie "RED" with Helen Mirren? Rough movie for violence, but I loved the premise of older retired agents with problems adapting to normal life.)
If you are inclined to comment on blogs, I would love to hear how many of you read paranormal or suspense. Not every reader is eclectic in their tastes. I read absolutely everything. Many of the men who buy my work write to tell me they normally read mysteries, thrillers, or other suspense. They found me because Dating A Cougar was free and frequently inform me I am the only romance author they have ever read.

One thing I have learned this year is that a "stereotypical" romance reader is an urban myth, or at least it seems to be in the age of ebooks and free books. I couldn't be happier. I loved a mixed audience, but romance and love will always be at the core of my stories.

Art of Love Series (updated Feb 9)

CARVED IN STONE (Book One of Art of Love Series)
Available now at your favorite retailers Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo, Diesel ebooks, and Apple--via ibooks

Even though his sons had teased him about not dating, and his ex-wife thought he was still hung on her, 53 yr old Will Larson was glad he had waited until he’d found 47 yr old high school art teacher Jessica Anderson. Jessica had ruthlessly used her art to recover from a brutal sexual assault when she was younger. As far as Will could tell, the only part of her that remained damaged years later was her heart. Jessica assures Will she is incapable of lasting love, but Will refuses to believe it, even though baggage from her past makes her see dating as merely recreational and men as interchangeable. When Jessica promises him temporary fidelity, Will settles for it until he can find a way to convince her she is still capable of love.

CREATED IN FIRE (Book Two of Art of Love Series)
Available now at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple--via ibooks, Kobo, Sony, and Diesel ebooks.

All Michael Larson wants is to marry Carrie Larson, the mother of his future child, and love them both forever. He doesn’t care how or why Carrie is now in his life and his bed. His sole focus is how to keep her there no matter what it takes. He definitely doesn’t have any intention of honoring the prenuptial agreement with the divorce clause she’d insisted on. He can’t let her go.  He’ll never survive if he loses the only real chance with Carrie that she’s ever given him. Carrie Addison on the other hand wonders how many more times she is going to let Michael  wreck sexual havoc in her life. There is no doubt in Carrie's mind that being with Michael again is a mistake. But even if she is stupid enough to love him, that doesn’t mean she has to live in a bad situation forever. She will give him the child they created, but she is never giving Michael Larson her heart to break again.

CAPTURED IN INK (Book Three of Art of Love Series) 
Available now at Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, Apple via ibooks, Sony, Kobo, and Diesel.
Click here to read Chapter 1 Sample posted in FB Notes.
Click here to listen me read Chapter 2 on Edin Road Radio.

At 27 yrs old, graphic novelist Shane Larson believes in trusting the greater plan of the universe and doing good to the best of his ability. To him this is a matter of practicality as much as a spiritual belief about how to live right which is why the road Shane chooses to follow in his life is leading him to use his doctorate in clinical psychology to help people. When a one-night stand turns out to be the woman of his dreams, 27 yr old Shane Larson ends up taking a giant detour as the universe sends him to 34 yr old Reesa Callahan’s front door. There he finds not just the woman he wants, but a whole family that seems to need him. Being in love with Reesa is just as rewarding as his father predicted, but does he have what it takes to love them all?

COMMISSIONED IN WHITE (Book Four of the Art of Love Series)
Available now at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple via ibooks, Sony, Kobo, and Diesel.

A funny thing happened while I was writing Captured In Ink (Book Three of the Art of Love Series). It ended up being very, very long. After the hero Shane manages to find his missing heroine in Chapter One, a lot of new characters enter the story and have to have their say in how things happen. I let them of course because Shane is good listener and wanted to hear, but the end result is that I didn't get around to writing Jessica's and Will's wedding. The book ended before that had time to happen.

Since I am leaving this series until late Spring of next year, I want to find a better pause point. As you read this, I am putting together Commissioned In White which will be a short novella length book that will cover the major wedding, the gallery opening, and a couple other things which I am keeping for a surprise. I'm calling the novella "Book Four".

MORE COMING IN 2012. . .
I wish I could say I would get to the next books in this series sooner than Fall, but I won't be able to do so. I have so much planned for this year and plenty for you to read if you hang in there with me. I just had to take a bit of break from the first two series to get the rest launched. I'm making up for 15 years of not publishing and the creative water is still overflowing the writing dam. Thanks for caring and hitting this post frequently trying to find out!  Here's a breakdown of the next two books in this series. In early summer, I'll update this with covers and blurbs.

COVERED IN PAINT (working title for Book Five of Art of Love Series)
Coming 2012--Late summer/Early Fall (0% done, only a glimmer in my brain at the moment)

This will be Brooke and Drake's story. Things started heating up between them in Commissioned in White and it looks like Drake is finally ready to take a chance on her.

Being quite a bit older the Brooke, the age difference is a bit of a problem for him--and for her, but I don't see this keeping them apart. Drake has loved and lost before and I think this might prove to be the bigger obstacle. We'll see.

CARVED IN WOOD (working title for Book Six of Art of Love Series)
Coming 2012--Later in Fall than Covered in Paint. (0% done, only a glimmer in my brain at the moment)

Joseph and Jillian were a surprise to me. But that's how it happens in real life, too. You see someone that makes you roll your eyes one minute while you want to jump them the next. Their obstacles are built-in and Joseph isn't a guy with the greatest sense of self-worth. Jillian has lots of self-confidence, but she'd going to have to give up her "ideals" and her plans to really see the diamond in the rough Joe is.

On the plus side, this relationship is smoking hot and that makes a nice bridge over troubled waters. Let's hope it works out for them. I'm just kidding about that, but sometimes it does feel like I'm playing matchmaker and relationship counselor instead of writer to my characters. Maybe I am. . .hmmmm. . .back to the shrink for me.


Author's note about series: This series has funny moments, but hits on some very serious topics as the heroines in each book have some serious flaws and challenges. The Art of Love series focuses on the role art plays in the characters' lives and their family relationships. Specifically, the first three  books are about a family of artists consisting of the father, William Everett Larson (53), and his two adult sons, Michael Larson (34) and Shane Larson (27). I genuinely like all three of these men as heroes and think my readers will also. Each has his own appeal and the women they connect to romantically are very interesting. These books are a bit rougher emotional ride as a read, but as always, I can guarantee you a happy ending. I will update this blog post as I continue to work on the series.