Crazy for Feeling So… Busy

A soft, spring sunrise this morning.

The birds are full of springtime, too – swooping about and singing. They’re terribly busy.

One of my writing friends made a comment not long ago that she feels like she’s losing to time. She’s revising and is afraid it’s taking too long. I can understand this. You spend months writing a novel, then months revising the novel, then months waiting for people to respond to said novel. Sometimes those responses send you back to revising for more months and you wait even more months for responses, which are usually “no, thank you.”

And it can feel like wasted time.

It’s like you’re forever working at a job, hoping to be paid one day. There’s a crushing sense of urgency, that if you just worked a little harder, a little faster, that maybe you could cut out, oh, a decade or so of the waiting.

Yesterday I posted a chapter from the family memoir I started writing, oh, a decade or so ago. Several people who’d been fans of my nonfiction work from way back jumped on it and asked when I planned to finish that book. This book, in fact, was the project I won my Ucross fellowship for, and spent my time there outlining. (If you get a chance to do a writer’s residency like this, it’s OMG wonderful. They make you feel like you’re curing cancer.)

See, my plan had been to break into genre fiction, have a nice income from that, and get to spend time on these harder-to-sell nonfiction projects.

Hey – the plan is totally working! It’s just, um, taking a decade or so longer than I planned.

So, a couple of people have suggested I work on more than one project at a time. Even contemplating this makes me feel a little crazy. It’s tempting. When I take a few deeps breaths, I can see the fantasy of it unfolding. How I would move forward the new new novel, The Middle Princess, finish one I’d set aside, expand a short story into a novella, write the family memoir, and and and…

Then I start to feel crazy again.

I think about how I could work it in. I could take my two hours of writing time in the mornings and split them – one hour each on two different things. I’ve thought about sitting down again at night and spending an hour on a different project than the morning one. Then I also start thinking about how I wanted to set aside more time to read every day, so if I’m going to restructure, I should do that, too. The only two things I don’t think deserve more time are the day job and online socializing.


At least I’m smart enough now not to consider sleeping less. Which is absolutely how I created more time when I was in college.

My day job boss argues that there’s no such thing as multi-tasking. He says it’s just pretending to pay attention to something when you’re actually doing something else. But I suppose I’m talking more here about serial tasking. Like, some writers work on one project on alternate days, doing another in between. Or rotating three or four. Or just working until they get stuck on one, then switching.

I’m a monogamous kind of gal, really, but I can be convinced. How do you all do it?

The Luck of the Who?

If you’ve been around any length of time, you know that the phrase “the luck of the Irish” is meant ironically.

Oh sure, the Irish have a certain gift for dragging the best out of a bad situation. A happy, go-lucky spirit that leads to dancing, singing and imbibing, but let’s face it: the Irish tend to get themselves into bad situations in the first place.

Yes, I’m from an Irish family. I’m a Kennedy now, though that’s adoptive. Before that I come from the McGees, the Lamberts and the McCoys. And St. Patrick’s day always makes me think of my grandfather, Pat McGee.

It’s ironic, because at the memorial I went to this week, I ended up in the kitchen with my cousin, Jane, and the newest addition to our family by marriage, Louise. We were screened from other conversations by an enormous spray of a Sympathy Arrangement. We filled Louise in on the family gossip, which is somewhat involved, goes back over 100 years now and includes complicated explanations of who is really whose half- or full-sibling. Jane declared that we were “behind the plant,” so all restrictions were off.

Most of those stories center around Pat McGee. And his father, Ray McGee. For starters, I’ll mention Ray had five wives. The McGees pretty much invented serial monogamy – and also weren’t so good at the “serial” part. Oops. My grandmother’s family wasn’t much better.

Yes, I’ve outlined the book to tell this story, but I haven’t written it yet.

But, just for fun, to honor my ancestors on this day, here’s the first chapter.

Papa: Elegy for a Rapscallion

The story begins, as many American ones do, with the Irish coming over the sea. One by one, the players assembled in America. And though this is a story about a family in the Rocky Mountain West, their roots were in the South and Midwest. The last to arrive, John McCoy, came from County Cork in 1855 and found a bride in Elkhart, Indiana. It’s rumored Tom McGee came from County Wexford and certain he married an Irish bride in Texas. Where, coincidentally, also lived the ancestors of the woman his grandson would marry almost sixty years later in Oklahoma City. We can reach back further, catalog the arrivals of the Jones, the Hendricks, the Sanders, the Fergusons, Andersons and Richardsons. But one image stands out in the family history that seems as good a place as any to begin a story.

A confederate soldier is walking down the road.

His uniform is worn through. His name is John Anderson Ratliff and it’s the spring of 1865. Besides that, I know little about his life before this moment, returning home from the war. The Anderson is for his mother’s family. She in turn bears Hull as a middle name, for her grandmother’s family. His father is half Scot from his Ferguson mother, but otherwise, they’ve become a firmly English Methodist family, living in the northwest corner of Georgia. The farm is near Subligna. In Chattooga County. Not far from Chattanooga, almost Tennessee, almost Alabama.

But he fought for Georgia and now makes his way home along the road, his uniform so thin and worn as to being ready to drop off of him, his thoughts full of a girl. Martha Catherine Sanders. Born seven years after him on the neighboring farm, she is now nineteen. She may well have felt like his birthright. After all, two of his brothers have married Sanders girls. He could have been twenty-one when he left home, if he joined up when the war broke out and Martha only fourteen. But he knew she was for him. We know this because as he arrives home, his mother begins spinning and weaving to make him a new suit. A non-fighting suit. A courting suit.

He’s able to see Martha here and there, in glancing moments. John’s friendly with her brothers and they talk about the war while they play with the dogs. Naturally Martha’s family visits with their married daughters. And the crops can always be discussed with Mr. Sanders. But he can’t make his formal call, announce his intentions, until his suit is done. His mother hurried. Making enough cloth for a man’s suit takes time. She finally finished and boiled walnuts and herbs for the dye.
“Butternut yellow,” John called it all his life.

But he donned the ugly suit straight away — there was no waiting to correct the error — and headed for the Sanders farm to Call. He walked down the lane to the house, a path he’d walked nearly as often as the one to his own house. As he approached, the Sanders dogs sent up full cry. The pack charged. John was on his back, dogs standing on him and growling. Until Martha’s brother saved him. After that, Martha tied up the dogs so John could call on her in his Butternut Yellow Suit.

But my grandmother, as a small child, knew the joke. One of the aunties or uncles — Martha and John produced eleven children — would say “better tie the dogs!” And she would look out the window to see someone brightly overdressed, coming to call.
All eleven Ratliff children were born in Georgia, though the first boy died of the summer complaint — diptheria — just before his second birthday, while John was stranded away from home by floods in Arkansas. The last child was born in 1890. By 1894, John and Martha had relocated the entire family to Rogers, Texas, not far from Waco.

John, not content with farming his fields, also loved flowers. The flowers rampant in my Grandmother’s garden and mine might come from him. Their porch swam under honeysuckle, hid behind Bouncing Betty. He even — an extravagance — “sent off” for tuberose bulbs, which he planted on the south side of the house. They grew, bountiful and fragrant, perfuming the whole yard on summer evenings the first year. The next year, a dear friend died. With no florist for the community, John cut his tuberoses for the funeral. They regrew the following summer, but another funeral demanded they be cut. After a few years of tuberose funerals, one morning John shouldered his shovel and headed out to the garden. Martha, the young twin boys and Baby Jessie Mae came out to watch. John glanced up.

“They are sad flowers,” he said.

And no one questioned him.

Nettie, the eighth child, always Nanette to me when I knew her as my great-grandmother, was already a teenager by then. Her siblings gradually married off and farmed neighboring property.

Like her mother before her, she married at nineteen. Luther Hendrick, only a year older, also a farmer would not create with her the large, intimate family the Ratliffs enjoyed. And perhaps Nettie didn’t pick him for that. She was by all accounts ribald. In her wedding picture, she stands swathed in lace, her lips carefully smoothed over the buck teeth she passed down to all her generations of daughters, though we had orthodontia to save us. Or perhaps she’s sealing her lips upon some smart remark — she seems about to speak, her eyes slightly contemptuous. Maybe it’s the fur rug at her feet. Or Luther’s stiff pose, where he sits beside her. His hand dangles, a massive gold pinky ring catching the light. He is handsome, sharp, clean-lined features, dark hair, fine eyebrows. Nettie has our face, oval and soft, a mouth that tends to look sad in repose, cheekbones high but pillowed, eyes bright with passion.

Georgia is born a year later and Marie three years after that. They played with their many cousins, who all gathered at the Ratliff house where they climbed the chinaberry tree and, once, scaled to the widow’s walk on the roof. The sisters returned from their shopping tour in town to see even the smallest cousin, Veleria, no more than a baby atop the atop the house. Marie became known as the “the pretty cousin,” having inherited her father’s dark good looks, her mother’s eyes and complexion — and someone else’s teeth. Georgia was the “sweet one.”

Luther then introduced divorce into that branch of the family. He split with Nettie in 1913, taking custody of the girls and leaving the Ratliff bosom for Ralls, Texas, up in the panhandle, up the road from Lubbock. The family lore is that Nettie didn’t fight it. She said goodbye to her daughters and lit out for Oklahoma City, where some of her sisters had moved “to become millionaires,” in the words of a cousin left behind. Another cousin only notes about the divorce that “around that time, Aunt Nettie experienced a great tragedy in her life.”

Georgia and Marie were sent alone on the train to live with their father and meet their new stepmother, Clara — the second in a chain of five wives for Luther. I love the string of Texas farmgirl names: Nettie, Clara, Jewel, Siders and Flossie.
“He kept the children and ran the wives out of town,” my mother and aunts agree, though they barely knew their grandfather Luther.

“It was those bloodhounds,” my Aunt Carole said when I asked her how one runs a woman out of town. “He had all those great big, slobbery bloodhounds.”

On that last day at home, Nettie long gone, Luther awaiting them in Ralls to start a new life, a new farm, the aunties carefully bathed Georgia and Marie and set them in bed in their slips, their traveling dresses kept by, them and the dresses kept clean for the journey. As they lay under the sheet, all of their cousins, aunties, uncles, other relatives streamed past, saying their goodbyes. An image I grew up with — at nine and five, they were slight, all eyes and dark hair. White slips, white sheets, Texas dust creeping in around the edges. And then they step onto the train, hand in hand.

They came back to visit, of course. The farm in Ralls was grim, barren. None of Grandfather Ratliff’s Bouncing Betty graced that yard. Family who visited Luther in later years reported the yard around the house was hard-packed dirt, relieved only by the quantities of broken glass scattered about. In contrast, the farmhouse in Rogers took on an even sweeter memory. It became the place where Grandmother climbed Chinaberry trees, spent endless summer evenings on the porch with Georgia and her many cousins. A picture of it hangs on my office wall, as Grandmother had it on her office wall.

Off-center in the photo, the house is small with clapboard and gingerbreading. We can see the white picket fence, the Chinaberry trees, and the backs of two people in the doorway. They both face inside, as if talking to a room overflowing with people. The woman’s light skirt covered with a white apron blows in the breeze, pinned on one side by the baby on her hip. The man wears a white shirt and crossed suspenders hold up his black pants. The small railing of the widow’s walk stands outlined against the blank Texas sky.

By the time Marie was eleven — and Clara, run out of town in favor of Jewel — she and Georgia began to also visit Nettie in glamorous Oklahoma City.

It had long been the source of silk stockings, jewelry and other pretty, city things. Nettie had made a business woman of herself; later she become the Deputy Court Clerk. A 1925 photo of the sisters at the Leono River, just before they moved from Texas forever, shows Georgia and Marie posing in calf deep water. They’re wearing the latest thing, gifts from Oklahoma City. The matching bathing costumes stretch from shoulder to knee. Arms are flirtatiously bare. The silk clings to their slender bodies, Marie’s hands tucked in the front pockets, her bright smile tilted with her head. They both wear floppy-brimmed hats with fluttering scarves. It’s clear they feel frisky and fashionable, even not-the-pretty-one Georgia coyly flutters her hand towards the brim, carefully closing her lips over her teeth.
Georgia raised Marie. Grandmother talked of her all my life. How Georgia took her by the hand on that train and never let it go. How she was her real mother. A high school photo shows them, leaning back to back, gleaming heads pressed together. But Georgia married a farmer and stayed in Texas with Luther and with the Ratliffs.

When Marie graduated from high school, she decided to leave Georgia and Texas behind. She moved to the city, to the center of the universe, the source of all pretty things.

And where she would meet Pat McGee.

March TBR Challenge

Okay, I’m back from the memorial for my uncle. The celebration of life was well done and I enjoyed seeing the family. I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow.

And thank you for all the wonderful thoughts on the car wreck and those artifacts I picked up. I really appreciated the suggestion from several people that I contact the local police. I’ll do that today and let you all know if I found out anything.

For today though, I really want to get something up for the TBR Challenge 2011.

I totally signed up to participate in the challenge and here it is March already, with me having missed the first two months of the year, somehow. Has anyone seen January or February? They were here a minute ago…

At any rate, Wendy the Super Librarian, who is, not incidentally, also RWA’s Librarian of the Year, is hosting this year’s TBR Challenge. The idea is to pluck something out of your massive To-Be-Read (TBR) pile – yes, we know you have one. Don’t lie – that loosely fits the theme, read it and blog about it on the third Wednesday of the month.

This month’s theme? A new-to-you author.

So, Kate Elliott has been in my TBR pile for a long time. Spirit Gate and King’s Dragon have both languished in the paper pile since before we moved. That’s right – piled up with Eat, Pray, Love, which you all told me to go read to wash the movie from my head. I’ll get to it, okay?

That’s part of the point of this: to get to those books you’ve been meaning to read. KAK and I were just discussing yesterday how much less we read these days. I really want to devote more time to it. Getting on the TBR Challenge track is a great way to do it.

I also have about five pages of books waiting to be read in my Kindle. One of them is Kate’s Cold Magic. Yes – a third unread book of this particular author who everyone and their parrot tells me to read and I keep not getting to.

So, there I was, struggling through the newest book in a series by an author who shall remain unnamed. Suffice to say I used to love love love this series. The last one was meh and this one was so unrewarding that I felt depressed reading it. Halfway through the book, I deleted it from the Kindle.

This is the modern, though less dramatic, version of throwing the book across the room.

I fumed for a bit, thinking it’s me. I’ve lost my attention span. As one book blogger puts it, I lost my reading mojo. Maybe I just hate everything?

And, recalling the TBR challenge and that Kate Elliott is technically new to me, I opened Cold Magic.

Angels sang. Unicorns – yes, they were still dancing from before – capered madly.

You guys: This Is A Really Good Book.

I confess I’m only about 25% in. But immediately I felt in the hands of a master storyteller. I’m sinking into this world with the gratitude of a starving cat falling into a vat of tuna. It feels like forever since I couldn’t wait to get back to a book. It’s like discovering love all over again.

I would say more, but I have to finish my work so I can go read!


Saturday night, we heard a sound.

Both deeply asleep, David and I jumped upright at the sound out our window. Though we live in a rural area, there’s a paved two-lane road not far away. Given the way the houses are laid out, the road curves past, not really all that far from our bedroom window. We can’t see it, because it drops below a rise, and usually we can’t hear it.

But Saturday night, we heard the screech of tires, then a crash. A huge crash, like an enormous bubble popping. Suddenly and fully awake, I knew someone had rolled their car. I dashed for my cell phone to call 911. David grabbed the binoculars, to try to see. We have no streetlights either, so it wasn’t easy. I looked at my clock – 12:37, because I’d set it ahead for daylight savings time when we went to sleep. We’d been asleep maybe an hour.

I feel like I was fuzzy, telling the 911 operator. By the sound I knew it was bad. She said they’d send someone to check it out. David could see a car dome light and people walking around. With my glasses, the binoculars wouldn’t focus right, so I stopped trying to see. We debated putting on our clothes and walking the half-mile to see. But what could we do?

In the morning, I suggested that we walk over, to see what we could put together. We found the tire tracks going off the asphalt onto the soft dirt, right where the road curves from the straightaway. Dirt and weeds sprayed across the nearby walking path. Pieces of car were strewn about. Strips of shatter-proof glass, bits of bumper and so forth. We found another set of deep-dug tracks, where the tow-truck had pulled the car out.

And I found her things. It looked like stuff from her purse. The Lancome eye pencils, the eye-shadow brush and compact. A pair of dirt-encrusted sunglasses and Prada reading glasses, still in their case. A receipt for jewelry – from last April – and a lens-cleaning kit from Santa Fe Optical. Thirty cents in change. I picked it all up, while David waited on the walking trail with Zip, keeping him away from the broken glass. Then I started to pile it up, thinking she might come looking for what she’d missed, in shock and in the dark of night. But she might be in the hospital. Or dead. And kids would pick it up, keep it and not care.

So, now I have these things of hers. Along with a name on the nearly year-old receipt. She’s not listed in the phone book. I’d like to find her, if I could. I’ve worried about her all day. Was she hurt? Maybe she’s okay, just rattled by her near-miss. Pissed that the car was totaled.

David said he dreamed all night about cars crashing. He thinks someone died.

I just remember that sound. The screech and pop.

I put her things in a bag, just in case.

Dreading the Banal Finale

The first blossoms of spring!

So, never mind about devastating earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan, let me tell you about my fingernail. Fair warning, this is frivolous and silly.

From the Department of Banal Details About My Life, here is Exhibit A:

Okay, it’s the only exhibit. But see how my social finger has that big white mark? It’s harder to see the bruise around it. Hey – it’s really hard to take a photograph of your own right hand when you’re right-handed. Anyhoo, that white stuff is my fingernail splintering apart due to the damaged nail bed around it.

Back around Christmas I injured that finger. I thought about making up a story here, about how I was snatching an orphan, or perhaps a kitten, from the path of an oncoming train. But I couldn’t tweak the plot enough where I ended up with only a pinched finger instead of a severed limb.

So, okay, maybe I was luxuriating on my mom and Dave’s fab patio in Tucson and reached back to adjust my lounge chair and caught my finger in the mechanism. I didn’t spill my drink, but it *really* hurt.

Look – I told you this wasn’t on the scale of 88,000 people missing in Japan.

The blood blister and bruising at the base of the nail healed in a few days, but I’ve watched this fault in my nail move bit by bit towards the tip of my finger over the last two months. I know when it reaches near where the nail bed ends, my nail will break, probably well below the quick.

I’ve been keeping nail polish on it, to fortify the strength of the nail. Now, I am not the kind of gal who keeps her nails polished. Special occasions, sure. In college, I used to go around saying “Show me a woman with a perfect manicure and I’ll show you a woman with a lot of time on her hands.”

Yeah, I didn’t have a lot of friends.

I put polish on again last night, after I took this pic – which is why I didn’t retake it for better focus. All you’d see is pink. But I can feel the instability on that side of the nail.

It’s like this slow-motion mini-disaster. The tension builds over two months, reaching back to the moment of that initial injury, foreshadowing the ultimate breakdown. Now, finally, after following this story for weeks, I’m reaching the end and I’m dreading the finale. The blood, the shredded nail. How I’ll have to walk around with my social finger sticking out so that it won’t catch on things.

Maybe that part will be kind of fun.

Boy on Boy

I’m just about out of Tucson photos. I need to get busy around here again.

I’d hoped to be taking a lot of nifty pics in Boston this weekend, but alas we’ve canceled our trip. Ironically, I also finished my revision of The Body Gift, which had been consuming my thoughts and energy. So I don’t even relish my suddenly free weekend to work on it.

I am, however, going back to the novel I started before Christmas, which I think I’ll call The Middle Princess for the time being. No, I don’t always do three-word titles. Sometimes I do one-word titles or, in a salient example, an eight-word title.

At any rate, I’ve been thinking about male/male romance.

What – you didn’t follow that transition? Keep up!

For those of you living under a rock, m/m romance is a huge trend these days. These are essentially traditional romance novels, except that the hero and heroine are a hero and hero. The novels are largely written by women and read by women. There’s all kinds of debate about whether or not the stories are accurate depictions of male homosexuality, and if they should be. Every once in a while someone will produce an article where gay men make scathing comments about the romance/sex/level of realism. And they speculate about why women want to write and read this stuff.

The astute women ask why hetero men like to watch girl on girl so much and leave it at that.

It would be kind of amusing to see an article about girl on girl porn scenes, asking lesbians about the level of realism and whether these scenes accurately portray a lesbian love-affair.

So, I read one of these books a bit ago, partly to broaden my horizons and partly because the book received such a good review. I enjoyed it, too. One of the characters was more dominant, a business-man who wasn’t openly out of the closet. The other, flamboyantly gay, “never topped.” The dynamic felt familiar. One man was more ambitious, busy and closed off, the other more emotional, who loved to cook and read.

Some conflict revolved around being out together in public, with the one being so flamboyant, dealing with family and similar issues that this less-acceptable sexuality brings. But the main conflict came from the balance of power in the relationship, vulnerability and intimacy. As the more flamboyant man sulked, threw fits and struggled emotionally, I realized that a lot of that behavior would have annoyed me in a female character. It was as if, by being male, he had license to behave as outrageously as he wished. In some ways, his emotions were more valid to me, than they would have been in a female character.

So, this is one book and I’m not a sociologist. Still, I’ve grown up in a culture where women’s emotionality is considered boggy ground. As professionals, we’re expected to behave more like men emotionally. In relationships, being too emotional is considered cheating. I wonder if the m/m romance gives more room to explore the love relationship without bringing up those damming triggers.

When I brought this up with a group of writer friends, though, the ever-saucy Darynda Jones blinked at me and said, “I just think they’re hot.”

There you are then.

Mosaics and Misting

This morning at the gym, the guy lifting weights nearby had his music up loud enough that some leaked from his ear buds. He was listening to the Superman theme music. Somehow this both made me laugh and endeared me to him. Go Superman guy! Build those tasty muscles!

I totally want to build a character around that now.

Today is a very special Happy Birthday to my mom. Many of you already passed along good wishes last week during my surprise visit.

My mom’s new project is making mosaics.She took a class to learn how and now she’s creating this table top. It’s really perfect for her, because she shines at combining shapes and color. Pressed into service – and because my avowed task for the visit was to do whatever she wanted to do – I helped her put it together. It’s fun and different, like a puzzle where you don’t know what the picture will be when you’re done.

Oh, wait, that’s how I write.

It’s a good analogy, really. You choose the general shape of your story, the outline, the themes, the color scheme. You might have several really wonderful pieces that you know have to be in there, that you build around. But the final picture only emerges when you’ve finished.

This was actually the second time my mom put this together. The first time she had only the vertical border around the outside edge, which looked all wrong to her, once she finished. So, she took it apart and added the second, horizontal border. She kind of minded having to do that, but she’s retired and has this lovely leisurely life, so she has the time.

One of my friends wants to “reform” and learn to be a plotter. She’s said that she wants to save the time it takes by “pantsing” her books and plot first. It put me in mind of another comment I saw by a person who says that she’s a pantser and that’s why her blogs are so unfocused.

I think this last is like seeing the mosaic needs one more border and adding it in. The unfocused isn’t from not planning every detail ahead of time, it’s being unwilling to take the time to fix it. As for wanting to save that time in the first place, well, I understand. I totally do.

But I think it’s the wrong reason.

The press of time is artificial, I think. It’s emotionally driven. We want to write more books, faster, to make more money, to quite our day jobs and be rich RIGHT NOW.

It’s a kind of hysteria, really.

Another friend of mine, Bria Quinlan, wrote a terrific post on this, called I Am Not Broken. She gets down to the point that writing is about doing the work. Let me add, it’s about the journey, the creation, the spinning of the story. You might hasten this process with extensive pre-plotting, but you still have to write the story. You might plan out exactly how the mosaic should look when you’re done, but you still have to put the pieces all together.

And be willing to take them apart again, if it doesn’t look right.

I can understand wanting to get the product out there, but art, any art, is about engaging ourselves in the creative process. My mom isn’t making mosaics to sell. She’s making it for the sheer joy of it.

She’ll have something beautiful when she’s done, too.

My Big News

Happy Fat Tuesday, everyone!

If you’re bored today, or simply need a little Mardis Gras fix, without the smells and lack of restroom facilities, runs the parade cams and Bourbon Street Cams. They can be pretty entertaining, but also a time-suck.

Fair warning.

So, a week ago today, I received a phone call, which I alluded to here. It seems appropriate to have excessive partying going on today while I tell you all:

I am signing a contract with Carina Press!!!

~cue happy dancing and jazz band~

The sun comes up over the mountains, shedding light on the happy valley below. Angels swoop through the sky and unicorns perform intricate jigs.

Yes, my new editor, Deb Nemeth, is acquiring Sapphire and Angela James is the one who called me last week. They want to see my other work, too, so I’ll be sending that along. I’m very much excited to be part of the Carina Press family. If you don’t know, Carina is Harlequin’s digital imprint. I truly believe they’re at the forefront of digital publishing. They have all the sterling foundation of the Harlequin empire, along with greater flexibility to step out of the mold. All those funny stories that are kind of fantasy, kind of sci fi, kind of sexy? They want to publish them!

So thank you all, for the love, support and excitement while I was being cagey.

And now…

Laissez les bon temps et romans rouler!