Banks Brothers' Brides Series, Behind the Scenes, Books, Gentlemen of Honor, Groom Series, Just for Fun, Officer Series, Scandalous Sisters Series

Reviving some old blog features–cast your vote!

I’m thinking to bring back some old blog days: Story Sample Sunday, Wicked Wednesday, Fun Fact Friday, Meme Monday, and maybe a few new ones. My question to all of you, what scenes would you like to see posted? It can be from any book I’ve written.

Please note, I don’t plan to feature ALL 19 of my books one week at a time again like I did last time, just kind of hit and miss on each of these features.

Also, if there are any other features I’ve done in the past you’d like to see come back, let me know!


Behind the Scenes, Bob, Characters, funny, I'm human too, Just for Fun, Liberty for Paul, Scandalous Sisters Series, things that make me laugh, Wicked Wednesday

Antique stores–not just for antiques anymore!

I live about 15-20 minutes away from a quaint older town that still has a historic downtown which consists of a main street with massive turn-of-the-century buildings that contain some items as old (or older) than the buildings.

The buildings are old. The floors creak and groan when you walk on them. Some (okay, almost all) of the stores have a…er…aroma when you walk in that seems to get stronger when you pass by specific areas.

I love it!

But what makes these stores interesting is that they’re not antiques all owned by the store owner, but rather the store is divided into sections or booths and it’s like an indoor, year-round flea market. And, what’s also neat is it’s not just limited to antiques. Sure, I’ve found some totally awesome antiques in some of these shops: vintage typewriter, candlestick phone, wall-mounted crank telephone (with guts), ice tongs, cotton scale, 50s style milk bottles–and the carrying crate; I’ve also found plenty of new items that are either made to look vintage or they’re just plain modern, but obviously people (including me…) are buying them or they wouldn’t be putting them in these booths any longer. Some of these include: bath salts, candles, salsa, custom made signs, CDs, tapes, records, DVDs, VHS tapes, greeting cards either handmade or a package of unwanted store-bought cards, soap, fancy mirrors, miscellaneous silver pieces, crayons, mis-matched plates, etc. You name it, it’s in there somewhere. I once half-jokingly told my husband Bob that it’s like some of these people are having a garage sale without the garage or the need to actually bother with running the drawer themselves. If/when it sells, it sells and if it doesn’t, they just go collect it all when they’re ready to stop renting space.

It’s truly a wonder (and I bet you all have at least one of these little treasure troves near you).

About once a month, I go troll through the row of stores. Yesterday was my January “run”. Some months I just go and look and try to keep my jaw hinged. Other times I buy something in each store. I don’t plan it that way, but it happens. I go in. Something calls my name and I have to take it home. I actually save up each month for these trips.

Yesterday only one thing called to me, and oh, did it scream! Now, it’s probably not what anyone else I know would have walked out with, but it had my name written all over it and shows you that I, too, can be just as scandalous as any of the Banks sisters…specifically Liberty. 😉


So of course, I had to hang it above the door to my laundry room although I doubt anyone will…



(Oh, hey, look as an added bonus, this falls on a Wicked Wednesday!)

I'm human too, I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, My own craziness, Randomness

New Year’s Confessional

Okay, I must come clean…

But before I go any further all I can say is, don’t judge me–you know you’ve either done it or at least contemplated it.

I have two boys, one is 10 and one is a sneeze away from nine. Neither are what anyone would consider night owls. Sure, they CAN stay up late,but it makes the next day totally miserable. (I’m sure those of you who’ve done this know exactly where this is going…)

Yesterday, prior to kickoff of the Oklahoma/Clemson Game I announced that from now until midnight it was family time and there were NO electronics and asked my kids to go bring me their Kindles.

And then it happened…

While engrossed in the Sooners vs Clemson game, I may have…uh…moved the clock ahead after the first quarter in the name of getting more snacks. At halftime my kids marveled at how long this game was to which I said, “Yep, it’s the big one!” Then hurried them on to make their New Years’ Hats.

This game was SO big in fact that after it got dark, I might have…well, I moved it ahead again!

And then, for good measure, just as it was wrapping up…I moved the clock ahead by an hour ONE MORE TIME.

Longest game ever. Started at 3pm ended at almost 10pm! (As a side note: for my husband it truly was a long game and not because of my maneuvering of the clock.)

At “10” (or to everyone else in my timezone 7) we rushed to finish our hats and so we could start a movie to watch until midnight.

To help assuage my guilt, I offered to make some milkshakes–and yawned a few times for good measure.

By 10:25 the movie was on and by 11:50 the movie was over and it was go time.

Rushing around like maniacs, we all donned our barely dry party hats and grabbed a cup of confetti. I set the timer on the stove and at midnight we tossed the confetti and cheered. When the cheering ceased, I heard the words, “Wow, it’s already midnight, I’m not even tired.” Followed by, “Yeah, I didn’t even yawn once!”

Tamping down my guilt, I promptly sent the children to bed and went to my room where I sat anxiously in my bed for who knows how long waiting for one of them to barge in and declare I’d tricked them!

Fortunately, nothing came of it and I must have fallen asleep because at the real midnight, I was awakened by some fireworks and crept to the kitchen to fix the clocks.

It’s sure a lot of work being devious, I should really give Lady Olivia more credit than I do…

Okay, now that I’ve come clean it’s y’all’s turn!

(By the way, as I’m typing this, my kids are running around and I’m typing this in a 2″ window so pardon any typos, I’m too scared to go back to the top and re-read…)


funny, I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, Randomness


In order to protect the guilty (and unbelievable), I will omit the name of the store where this happened…

For Christmas I decided to make a photo album for someone as a gift. I know, I know, printed pictures are outdated. But for this person, it’s the best way. So anyway, I spent several days filtering though all of the pictures on my phone and uploading them online to have them printed. My grand total was nearly 150 pictures spanning back about 18 months. I had no idea it’d be so many, but nonetheless, I thought they were all good choices and submitted them to have them printed.

Taking into account that they’d be ready on Christmas Eve, I took a deep breath and planned my day accordingly.

First step, call the store and ask what time they’ll close so I know when I need to be there.

*ring, ring*

“This is blah, blah, what do you need?”

Lovely greeting. “Yes, I’d like to know what time–”

“Doors close at 7 o’clock.”

“What about the photo lab?” I know this might sound like a stupid question, but what if it closes earlier? Some stores are 24/7 but their pharmacy and photo lab closes sooner so to me it seemed like a legit question.


“Lady, the whole store closes at 7 p.m. That means everything!”

Well, alrighty then.

After thanking her as nicely as I could, I hung up the phone and decided I’d swing by there before going to my father-in-law’s for lunch just in case the photo area did close sooner.

I go in with the expectation of collecting my pictures and I leave in a state of utter disbelief.

The lady in front of me pays for her order and the guy behind the counter decides as soon as she’s done checking out, that he’s done, too. He sees me, but he wanders off to go chew the fat with the two other lab techs about their Christmas plans.

So I do what any mature woman of my age would do: seethe.

Behind me, the lady in line says, “It must be nice to be paid to chat about Christmas plans while the line builds.”

Trying not to laugh, I jokingly parried with, “Think they’d notice if we jumped the counter and found our own prints?”

This seemed to grab the attention of one of the two ladies who were chatting with our wayward clerk. She lumbers on over and asks my name. I give it.

Humming, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, this woman who can’t be less than 50 years old starts digging through the drawer of photos–grunting every couple of bars.

“What’d you say your name is again?”

“Rose Gordon.”

“Can you spell that?”


“And Rose?”

Seriously?! Straining to keep a straight face, I spell it.

“Not seeing them…” She looks up and taps her lips with her finger. “Do you have any other names?”

“No…” Well sure, there’s my maiden name, but what reason would I have had to have used that at the photo lab?

“Hmmm…” She digs through the files a little more. “I don’t see it.  When was it supposed to be ready?”

I tell her and she can’t believe anything would be ready on Christmas Eve (yes, because they’re all closed up…). So I dig out my phone and bring up my confirmation email. After LICKING HER FINGER, she starts scrolling on my phone. “Hmmm. Well, they should be here, then.” She went back to the drawer and started looking again. “Aha, we have a Louisa Gordon. Could these be yours?”

“Um, no.”

“Well, do you want to look at them to make sure?”

“Not really.”

Slamming the packet of pictures on the counter, she says, “Well, lady, all I have is Louisa Gordon’s pictures. So you can either buy these and go home now or you’ll need to resubmit.”

Stupefied that this lady wanted me to BUY someone else’s pictures, I left the store.

People never cease to amaze me.

Contests, I'm human too, I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun

A Day in the Life: Mom Fail! (And giveaway)

As most of you know, I’m a mom.

As ALL of you know, sometimes I fail.

Today I failed. Big time.

When I was a kid, my mom used to make this stuff called Malt-O Meal.


hated it. It was nasty. Especially the chocolate flavored kind. I was so happy when she quit making it and heaved a sigh of relief when I moved out of the house and knew that ugly box would never grace the shelves of my pantry ever again.

But then it happened…

Yesterday morning while at breakfast my kids voiced complaints about the cereal I’d bought for them: Shredded Wheat. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know it doesn’t taste as great as Apple Jacks or Fruit Loops. But it’s good for you! That’s a good argument, isn’t it? At our grocery store, we have this point system that rates all foods on a scale from 1-100, 1 being totally unhealthy and no nutritional value and 100 being optimal nutrition. Shredded Wheat is like a 91 on that scale. No other cold cereal comes even close. Most hover in the 20-40 range. So if we have cereal, it might as well be a healthy one, right? But alas, my kids don’t love it and have complained (and yes, I’ve eaten it, too, and really it’s not that bad).

Well, yesterday was the final straw for me and I did the unthinkable, I bought Malt-O Meal.

If they want to complain, I’ll give ’em something to complain about!

So this morning, I crept out of bed and with a little chuckle to myself, I grabbed the box of Malt-O Meal I’d hid and whistled as I cooked it up…

Now, let me pause for a minute to add this disclaimer–I’m not a mean person. I know, Shredded Wheat and Malt-O Meal makes it sound like I’m evil, but really, I just want my kids to eat right so they don’t have so many health problems later. With so much junk out there, it seems that if you want to eat healthy that you’re being tortured! They do get treats, but they’re restricted to a 3-4 times a week, and I don’t think breakfast is the meal to ingest tons of sugar. Believe me, when you homeschool, you want a few hours where they’re not bouncing off the walls!

So back to the story–the Malt-O Meal is all cooked up now:


With a deep whiff of my childhood filling my nostrils, I poured some into three bowls (my husband positively refused to eat any of it) and brought them to the table. Yum, yum!

The kids sat down where they usually sit (of course my dear husband had to make a gross comment about what the contents of our bowls looked like) and the kids stared at it… I lowered my head to hide my grin. Gas to the grocery store: $2.99; One box of Malt-O Meal: $3.59; Never hearing your kids complain about eating Shredded Wheat again: Priceless.

I’ll admit I felt like a bad Christian as I smiled and bit my lip–hard enough to draw blood–to keep from giggling during prayer. The excitement was just too much!

Then it was time to eat…

Both of my kids poked the hardening, clumping mess of brown slop in their bowls with their spoons. “Do we have to eat this?” Eddie asked, blinking.

“Yep. Eat it up. It’s good for ya!” I replied as I mentally prepared myself for what I was about to eat. Then, before I could think about it and change my mind, I ate a bite. It wasn’t delicious by any stretch, but it certainly tasted better than I remembered. (I’m assuming the ingredients have changed because I highly doubt I’ve acquired a taste for such.)

After about my third bite, I hear the words I never expected: “Can you make this for us again?”

What the heck? “Wh-what?”

“I like it,” Eddie said between bites, “can you make it again tomorrow?”

Gripping my spoon with all my strength so it doesn’t fall and chip one of my dishes, I looked to Henry who was also eating the crap without complaint. Yet. (He later admitted that it didn’t taste so good because he didn’t eat it fast enough and it made clumps that were gross!)

Overall, if they liked it, I think I just had a mom fail. Sure, I just found a meal they’ll eat, but it didn’t serve the purpose I’d been after. Oh well. Live and learn.

So my question is, for a chance to win ANY eBook from my backlist, what has been your “fail”. It can be a mom/dad fail; co-worker fail, sibling fail, etc. Something where things didn’t go as planned–for you!

(Open Internationally. Winner will be selected at random Friday at noon CST.)

Just for Fun

Another hodgepodge post…with a story!

1. Today the third and final cover is being revealed in my Gentlemen of Honor Series. You can check it out at Buried Under Romance. (Right link this time!)


2. I completely forgot to post a picture of my Turkey Day Turkey! I’d mentioned that I was going to go prepare it and I did…

Veggie Turkey
See any other animals in this picture?

Strangely enough, I live in the middle of Cattle Country and I’m a vegetarian. So I made my own kind of turkey this year.

3. The theater story…

Yesterday, Bob and I made a trip to our nearest metropolitan city: Tulsa, to see a movie.

Why drive so far? Because there’s a really AWESOME theater in Tulsa that has two leather recliners pushed together with a moveable arm rest–so really it becomes like a little loveseat. There are only about eight couches of two seats on a row and about five rows in the entire theater, with about a three or four foot “walkway” between the seats and a little half wall of glass that divides you from the next row down. It is extremely comfortable (and snazzy) and matinees are only six dollars. Score!

The problem is, they do assigned seating so one person can’t have a whole set of two seats to themselves by sitting in one of the seats while their buddy goes off and does the same thing, thus taking up four of the 40 seats. I understand that. So when you go to pay, they show you this screen and have the rows and sets of seats taken and what’s available for you and your companion(s) to pick from. My husband doesn’t like sitting on the very last row, but on the fourth row. The theater was virtually empty when we selected our seats with five minutes to showtime so we selected the fourth row, and in the middle. Great. We run to the bathroom and go to the auditorium and get settled. Just as the previews begin to roll this older guy (mid-60s it looks like) comes waltzing in with his giant drink and popcorn. As I said, there are 40 seats in this place, and only two are occupied–which he already knew because he had to select his seats at the ticket counter just like we did. Where did he choose to sit? RIGHT NEXT TO ME! Of all places. He had to sit right there in the seat on my right?? He saw there were all these other seats available, and he had to pick that one. He didn’t even have the courtesy of sitting on the other side of the loveseat, he picked the chair right next to mine. Then he put his drink in the cup holder and begin crunching his popcorn in my ear.

Then it happened.

He stopped crunching and started clearing his throat in this deep, phlegmy way. He coughed and hacked a few times, making my skin crawl. Then he started making that disgusting noise again, except this time he was doing it through his nose. You know that feeling/sound when you have something in your nose and you’re breathing in really hard to try to clear it? He was doing that and whatever it was in his nasal passage got stuck in his throat and he coughed again–and the spittle went flying! Oh, and where does it land? No, not in a napkin he’s holding in front of his face, because he isn’t. Therefore, I got sprayed on my bare arm with his spittle.

Yes, I did.

I was SO mad, I got up and left the theater and the show hadn’t even started yet. My husband really wanted to see the movie and I wanted to spend the day with him, so after scrubbing my arm in the bathroom I had to go to the ticket counter and ask that they move us seats. Of course the guy wanted an explanation and I tried to give one without losing my lunch or making him laugh at me. I’m sure they’ll be telling this story in the break room over there for a while, but it was worth it to get a new seat.

There you have it, the final confirmation that I am indeed a magnet for the strange, odd and just downright disgusting! Have a great day!

Intentions of the Earl, Just for Fun, Scandalous Sisters Series

Wicked Wednesday! Intentions of the Earl Style

[A NOTE OF CAUTION: Please skip today’s post if either A. we know each other in person, or B. kissing or other intimacies make you uncomfortable.]

A huge thanks to Sharon for suggesting I have a “Wicked Wednesday!” feature, so here it goes…

I have two excerpts, today. The first is a favorite of my husband’s, for obvious reasons. In fact, from time to time I’ll ask what his favorite scene in all of my books is and he ALWAYS says this one. When Darah read this book looking for scenes to post, she specifically mentioned this one, but said it might be a bit risqué and might be unsuitable. Immediately, the challenge bells in my head went off along with the words: Wanna bet? 

So, here it is, the infamous orangery scene!

Would you like to see the orangery?”

Yes,” Brooke said uneasily. They had barely walked down one row in the conservatory and he was already rushing her off somewhere else. How was she supposed to work her magic?

At the end of the row was a door. When they walked through it, they entered the orangery. “I hadn’t realized we were so close to the orangery,” she murmured.

Yes, they are connected, quite unusual really. The orangery was not always here. About five years ago Alex decided he would like to raise orange and citrus trees, but there was no space. His father wouldn’t allow a new building to be erected. Alex talked him into a compromise. The conservatory was to be split in half. A wall was put in to divide it. That way Alex could use one of the sides to grow his citrus trees.”

A bench was positioned on the opposite side of the orangery, and without a word, Brooke started to walk over to it. Her hand was still on Andrew’s forearm, forcing him to walk toward the bench along with her. “I should like to sit a few minutes,” she said when they arrived at the bench.

Andrew waited while Brooke took a seat on the bench first. When she was seated and rearranged her skirts around her, he sat down and left only a few short inches between them.

Brooke pretended not to notice how close they were already and swung her right leg, even if it were considered unladylike to do so, slowly brushing his calf with her bright blue skirts with each swing.

Andrew didn’t move away. He just looked at her. Then slowly, ever so slowly, he moved his leg closer to hers. He kept moving closer until with one of her swings, she made direct contact with his leg. Well, as direct as one can get through a massive amount of fabric fashioned into a skirt.

Her leg stilled. Heat radiated from his leg all the way through her skirt, petticoats, and stocking. It felt as hot as the iron Mrs. McNaught had used to steam the wrinkles out of their gowns back in Bath. For a moment, they both just looked at each other.

Andrew’s eyes changed. They were growing darker and more intense. Desire made them become a new shade of blue. A shade she had only seen once before, in the museum when they were alone in the empty room.

He leaned closer, so close that his face was less than two inches from hers. His eyes seared into hers and his lips were so close she could almost feel them.

Brooke’s mind barely registered what was going to happen. The realization he was about to kiss her made her snap out of her lusty trance. This was her chance. She had to be strong. She had to resist. If she didn’t, her plan would come to naught and she would be even more heartbroken than before.

With shaky legs, Brooke abruptly stood and moved a few feet away to an orange tree that had several ripe oranges hanging on it. “Do you…umm…think that uh…Alex would mind terribly if we…er…I were to eat one of his oranges?” she stammered.

Andrew was by her side before she even finished her question. One of his bare hands plucked down an orange while the other dug into his pocket. A few seconds later he pulled out a penknife. Wordlessly, he peeled the orange with his knife. In a minute, the rind was gone from the orange and he was breaking it into sections.

Brooke peeked at his eyes. The look was not gone. He still had the deep look of desire in his eyes. Brooke smiled to herself. It was working. He was going to find her, and only her, irresistible by the end of the day. She would make sure of it, even if it drove her crazy in the process.

Once Andrew had the orange completely separated, Brooke reached for one of the pieces. Andrew was quicker though and pulled them back. “It would be a pity for you to ruin your gloves by touching the orange,” he said, looking down at her gloves. “I think the better solution is to let me help you eat this. Come, let’s sit back down.”

They walked back to the bench they had both vacated in haste just a few moments before and regained their seats, sitting just as close as before.

Are you ready?” Andrew asked hoarsely.

Yes,” Brooke whispered. Reason told her to put him off a little longer, but her body was screaming something else entirely.

Andrew took one of the orange slices and gently ran it over her lips—just enough to let the juice from the wedge moisten her lips.

Brooke’s lips parted a little further and her tongue came out to lick up the juice the orange had left in its trail. Andrew swallowed visibly then shifted on the bench.

After running the orange around her mouth a second time, he slowly slipped it into her mouth.

The slice was a bit too large for one bite, and a little stream of juice came out around the corner of her mouth and dripped to her chin. Embarrassed she was making such a mess on her face while eating the orange, her hands flew up to wipe the juice from her chin. But Andrew was quicker. He grabbed her hands, bent closer to her, and whispered, “Allow me.”

Brooke relaxed her hands in his hold. His left hand came up and wiped the bit off her chin, then he brought his fingers to his mouth and sucked the juice off.

Brooke’s eyes widened. That was not what she had expected. She wasn’t sure what she had expected, but it wasn’t that.

All thoughts of holding him off vanished when he leaned a little closer. “It seems I missed a spot.” Then, within a blink of an eye, his lips were on the corner of her mouth.

He nipped the corner playfully before moving over to be dead center on the middle of her lips.

Brooke’s arms went around Andrew’s neck and her fingers sank into his hair. She twirled her fingers into his black curls, holding his head close to hers. His tongue ran along the seam of her lips. This was new to her, yet it felt so natural. Other men had just tried to shove their tongues inside, but this, this was much better. It felt so good, she gasped.

Andrew took advantage of her gasp and pushed his tongue past her lips. He ran his tongue along her perfect row of teeth before doing a full exploration of her mouth.

Brooke had never been one to only observe. Boldly, she slipped her tongue into his mouth and mirrored all his actions. She explored his mouth just as fully as he was exploring hers. She had never been so bold before. She enjoyed this kind of kissing with Andrew.

Brooke tightened her grip of his hair, and groaned, “Andrew.” It was the first time she’d called him by his name, and she hoped she hadn’t overstepped by doing so. But at present, she couldn’t care enough not to do it again.

Andrew said her name while running his fingers up to her soft brown hair. He grabbed one of the curls that were overflowing from her coiffure and wrapped it loosely around his finger before giving it a gentle tug then letting it go. Then he moved his hands, reached right into the back of her massive knot of hair, and caressed her scalp with his fingers.

Brooke had been aware that it was bad form not to wear a bonnet outside, and had thought to grab hers when Lady Olivia had donned hers, but Andrew had been in too much of a hurry. Now she was glad she hadn’t bothered. His fingers tenderly dug into her hair and massaged her scalp.

Suddenly there was a distinct clink, clink, clink. Breathing raggedly, both of them drew back and looked around the room to see if they had a visitor. 


The second excerpt is more of a quote that I never really gave a lot of thought to until it was bandied about all over the Internet two years ago as one of the most unbelievable or strange or bizarre or worst (or something like that) quotes to ever be written in a romance. Apparently there is a website dedicated to this sort of thing and my book was fortunate enough to be featured! How wonderful! Anyway, at first, I was mortified as I imagine most people would be that someone had gone through enough trouble to try to publicly humiliate me this way and my knee-jerk reaction was initially to remove it ASAP, but the more I thought about it, the funnier it seemed to me for some reason! I cannot explain why, it just is and every now and then my husband ask me to recite it for him, after which we immediately dissolve into laugher!

Setting the scene: Brooke and Andrew have just gotten married and they’re about to consummate their marriage.

The quote: “Her eyes were fixed on that part of Andrew that had just been revealed like it was a novelty in a curiosity shop. “

There you have your first Wicked Wednesday. I’m sure you all probably think I’m a total nut now if you didn’t already think so before!