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Monday, January 25, 2016

Surprises & Discoveries

I found out some wonderful things over the past few weeks.

Discovery #1: when it comes to grandchildren, I am such a softie. (Not exactly a big surprise.) In interviews, I’ve repeatedly mentioned that not much can tear me away from my writing except my grandchildren. Too true. I love playing with the kiddies ages 6 and 8½. We write stories (they talk, I type); we play cards and board games. When they play dress-up in old clothes and stage “plays” Hubs and I are their captive audience. I read bedtime stories (the same I read to their mother and uncle), we watch movies together, and sometimes we just talk.

What I’d (sort of) forgotten was their younger years—when they couldn’t talk but could still
communicate. Was that ever brought home while we visited with our son and his family. Baby Girl is now nine months old and can she communicate. LOL She chatters and I wonder what she’s saying/thinking. I’m not sure which is the best—her contagious smiles or the way she lifts up her arms to be picked up with a grin that melts my heart. Or maybe it’s the way she snuggles in, so trustingly. Or the way . . . Well, I’m sure you can tell I’m smitten.

Let me tell you how this came about. We went to Arizona to celebrate Christmas with our son’s family.

Discovery #2: we have a very smart son. Smart enough to give us THE most wonderful daughter-in-law. All right, I already knew she was terrific, even before he married her. But who would insist that her in-laws stay with them . . . for SIX weeks? Granted, she and Son work outside the home, and Baby Girl goes to daycare. However, Son works at a restaurant with godawful hours. Like leaving home at 6:30 am and returning around 9 pm. So even though DIL goes to work, she’s home evenings—with her in-laws! Every evening and on the weekends!!! What a sweetheart she is to make us feel comfortable—not like company.

Side note: prior to leaving for Arizona, Hubs and I tried to find a place to rent. Son & DIL wanted us to stay with them. Repeatedly, we said we didn’t want to impose. Repeatedly, they said they wanted us to stay with them. We caved. Before we left home, though, we decided we’d take 2- or 3-day trips to give all of us space. DIL and I agreed we’d make a schedule for cooking dinner. Hubs and I figured we’d find other ways to help out, too.

What happened was surprising. During our brief trip to San Diego, I really missed them. And they missed us, too. A lot. No meal-planning schedule was necessary. We fell into a natural rhythm.

Discovery #3: DIL and I are not only so much alike, we are good friends. How rare is that? She made things so easy for us. We’ve stayed with her and Son in the past—once, before they even became engaged and back in April after Baby Girl arrived. Each time, DIL made us feel welcome. No, it felt like we were at home. How great is that?

I tried to keep to my old routine of writing in the mornings, or at least reading/answering email. But when DIL came into the family room, saying “Who wants her?” I had to trample over Hubs to take Baby Girl. Not all the time. Okay, most of the time. I think I set a world record for how fast I could make my computer disappear.

We got to see several of Baby Girl’s “firsts” while we were there. She crawled for the first time. What a whiz! Her first tooth came in (along with a second). She’s feeding herself. Granted, it’s so messy Hubs wanted to take her outside to hose her off, especially after yogurt and fruit. Like he did for our kids, he taught her the old camp song “I’m bringing home a baby bumble bee” and she repeated the motions, often. I played “Pat-A-Cake” to big smiles and giggles.

I’m not enamored with her, mind you.

My best discovery was that I didn’t miss writing. I did have posts to write—for this blog as well as guest posts and my regular contributions to The Roses of Prose and Paranormal Romantics, which are way different from writing a novel.

Now that I’m home again, it’s back to work. The third book in the Alex O’Hara PI series has percolated in my mind long enough. Time to get those ideas into the computer.

Monday, January 18, 2016


When Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech back in 1963, he was talking about a big picture. Equality and justice. A worthy dream. One we're still striving for. We all have dreams. Some big—world peace—and others small.

“A dream is a wish your heart makes.” Think about how true that song from the Disney movie Cinderella is.

Realists scoff and tell us to stick to reality. That dreams can lead to disappointment. But if we don’t have dreams how sad our lives would be. At the beginning of each year when we write out our goals, aren’t we talking about our dreams?

When I was a kid, I daydreamed . . . a lot. My imagination knew no bounds. I dreamed about having a glamorous job (a translator at the United Nations) a husband and children. Personal dreams. I did find a husband (or he found me) and not only do I have children but grandchildren, too. I never dreamed that I would be an author.

Some dreams don't come to fruition (I never made it to the UN). I dreamed of international travel. While technically going to Mexico and Canada could be defined as international travel, I dreamed of traveling farther afield. That doesn’t mean dreams have no value. Without dreams, our lives would be so mundane, even depressing. We would have nothing to reach for. 

We can dream of world peace, equality, justice. Will those dreams come true? You never know.

What dreams did you have? Did they come true?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Veronica Lynch and FOR KEEPS

     I'm very happy to have Veronica Lynch here today. Welcome, Veronica. Tell us about your current release.  

            “For Keeps” is part of the Candy Hearts series published by the Wild Rose Press, and due for digital release on February 10, 2016. 

     Set in the late 1980's in Western New York state, it is about Keenan Rossi, a sheriff's investigator and Meghan Muldoon, a victim advocate. Keenan is ready and anxious to settle down and make their romance permanent while Meg isn't so sure. She likes her independence and loves her vocation—which is often at odds with what she must do to assist her clients' recovery.     
     Why did you choose this setting for “For Keeps”? 

     I have lived in the area for the last forty years and know it fairly well. I always wanted to live in a home on the shores of Lake Ontario; “For Keeps” has given me the opportunity to live vicariously. 

Did you do special research for “For Keeps”? 

     Nope, I lived it. Except for the ongoing relationship with a cop. All I had to do was think about a typical day around a human services agency and went to town. 

What made you write this particular story?
     For many years all I wrote was full length romantic suspense and had the urge to try something different. I saw an article in the RT magazine for a new ePress which was looking for novella length subs for their new Late Escape line [over 40 heroes and heroines]. I decided to give it a shot and they contracted the story. Back then For Keeps [which had a different title then] was much shorter. I liked the story and the characters and was pleased I met my goal. Eventually I retained the rights to the story and when the opportunity to write something for the Candy Hearts series, Meg and Keenan's story came to mind, especially since it ends on Valentine's Day. I probably tripled the length by adding new scenes, especially the one about the day they met and Keenan knew immediately Meg was 'the woman his mama always warned him about'. 

How old were you when you read your first romance book? 

It was 1983 so I would have been in my middle 30's. I worked the Surgical Intensive Care Unit in those days, because I needed the experience in order to work in the ER. I knew from day one the ICU was not for me but I made myself stick it out for six months. Working the night shift in the Unit put me at two ends of an emotional spectrum: I was either scared spitless a patient might crash or fighting tooth and nail to stay awake. One night I discovered a grocery bag filled with used Harlequin-Silhouettes bearing a sign “free for the taking”. The first one I picked was written by by Billie Douglas. I never forgot it. In fact, I still have it on a shelf in my office. 

Have you ever experienced something unusual that influenced a story? 

Part of my job as director of a victim advocacy agency included supervising interns who were criminal justice majors. One of the perks was free tuition for one course each semester. Over the years the interns raved about a course titled Terrorism and Hostage Taking. Part of the course involved being taken hostage by officers from the county sheriff's hostage negotiation team. It changed my life. In more ways than one.
     I love to hear from readers who can reach me at: WildWomenAuthors@yahoo.com.

To purchase For Keeps, or any book by my alter ego Kat Henry Doran, go to www.WildRosePress.com and click on the author search button for Veronica Lynch or Kat Henry Doran. That will bring up all of my books available in the store.

Thanks, Diane! Great questions. They made me think.

Veronica Lynch

PS I will be giving away a Valentine's theme zippered cosmetics case to one visitor.