Another Dedication Page

Wednesday I posted about the dedication page for Intentions of the Earl and today I’ll dish the details behind the dedication page in Liberty for Paul.

For my oldest son who spent most of his fourth year referring to himself in the third person.

And to my husband, who reminds me every day that chivalry is still alive by coming home from work, offering me his arm and escorting me to the mailbox; then opening it and saying, “Your mail, Mrs. Gordon.”

The first line about  my son talking about himself in the third person is absolutely true (and slightly infuriating)! Not long after he turned four, he started calling himself by his name. He wouldn’t say I or me, but would use his name. If you’ve ever watched Sesame Street, you’ll know there’s a character named Elmo on the show who always refers to himself as Elmo. I’m not positive, but I think this is where my son picked this up. At first I thought it was just a passing phase and didn’t worry about it. However, after a few weeks I realized he wasn’t going to stop on his own and so began the nine month battle of getting my son to use pronouns. But for as much trouble as it was to get him to stop, it gave me an idea for the book (if you’ve read it you know what I’m talking about) so I had to give credit where credit was due.

Now for the part about my husband escorting me on his arm down to the mailbox and calling me “Mrs. Gordon”. That is true, too. I often wonder if we’ve caught the attention of a few of the neighbors by acting so strange, but if we have, I don’t know it. Yet. Perhaps there is a reason we don’t get the monthly HOA newsletter…

Have a good weekend all!


Inspiring Accomplishments

When I started writing my first book it wasn’t about seeing my name on a book cover or making a ton of money. It was because I wanted to tell a different kind of story. Something unusual that I didn’t think had been written before and I thought others might like to find read that kind of story as well.

A lot of uncertainty and worry goes through an author while writing their books, and that uncertainty and worry doesn’t magically go away after it get’s published, either. In fact, I honestly believe those feelings increase. However, I must say that earlier this morning, I had some of that unease slowly slide away when I saw this:

After only 31 days, I spent more than an hour ranked number 21 on Amazon’s Regency Romances Bestsellers list! I’ve since slipped back to number 23 (as of now), but still to be in the thick of authors such as Sabrina Jeffries, Eloisa James and Julia Quinn is something I never dreamed would happen and to me it’s really neat to see my name with theirs! Talk about inspiring! 

A large thank you to all of those of you who have bought (and enjoyed) the book, this would have never happened without you!


Dedication Page

One of the most fun things authors get to do before publishing their book is write out a dedication page. Some don’t see it as fun and just put a simple: “For my husband.” or “Dedicated to So-and-So for all the support.”  Others like to have fun with them and will put something unusual that either tells the reader more about the author personally or is just there for humor.

Mine fall into the latter category: humor and person. They also let on to a little about what you might find in the book.

For my first book, Intentions of the Earl, the dedication page read:

Dedicated to my maternal grandmother who possessed the worst decorating skills I’ve ever witnessed.

And, to my loving husband who has always supported me, even if it meant reading a copy of my first manuscript by the fire on our annual camping trip. I love you!

 Putting aside the fact that my maternal grandmother would spin in her grave if she knew I’d ever written a romance (especially one with sex in it), I chose to dedicate it to her based solely on her horrific decorating skills. In the book, the Banks’ family lives in an atrociously decorated townhouse. One room specifically is talked about having lime green carpet, purple drapes, gold wallpaper, a pink settee, a red settee and an orange wingbacked chair. My grandmother’s living room had pink carpet, gold drapes, white walls, a green vinyl chair, an orange leather wingbacked chair, and a long white vinyl couch with orange flowers all over it. The living room connected with the dining room which had forest green drapes, orange and black bar stools, a wooden table with a long white tablecloth that nearly touched the orange tile floor. To top it all off, she had brass animals–ducks, eagles, fish etc–she either had resting on the flat surfaces or hanging on the wall. And while these decorating themes may have been very popular in the 1970’s, she still had (and loved) all that furniture and decorations past the year 2000.

As for the part about my husband, I must tell you he has been the biggest supporter of me. He even read my first book twice even though he hates to read a book more than once. The first time he read the book was last summer when we went out our yearly camping trip. While camping he read the entire book. What I didn’t put in there, but I still tease him about was a missing page. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know one of the most exciting parts is when John, Brooke’s father, rushes into the library after he’s been informed… Well, for some reason when I was printing off the MS that page got misplaced–and no, I did not do it intentionally–and while my husband was reading through, he flipped the page and yelled, “The page is missing! It goes from 127 to 129, where’s 128?” At first I laughed at his expression, then I dug frantically through the car to see if I could find a copy of the missing page.

Dedication pages can be a lot of fun to write and read sometimes, so next time you pick up a book, read the dedication page.


Answer to an “Urgent” Reader Question

With the permission of the sender, of course, I’m going to repost part of an e-mail from a reader and answer it in case anyone else was curious.

Subject: URGENT! URGENT!!!! I need to know!!! Is this your husband???

(Intrigued, and slightly uncomfortable, I cautiously click on the message)

So…if your husband isn’t the earl, is he Paul Grimes?

(After blinking a few times at the screen, giggles–yes, giggles–overtook me)

The answer once again is no. However, as much as my parents want to argue with me that Andrew’s character was written after my husband, my husband argues that with the exclusion of Paul’s looks, Paul is him. But he’s not.

I get the impression that authors really do write their characters about people in their lives–sometimes as the hero/heroine, but usually as the villan or scapegrace. I, however, have not done this. Yet. There’s really only a few people I’ve encountered in my life I disliked enough to want them to suffer…

Same goes for “good” people. As much as I love my husband, and I really do, I promise it, there are other personalities I like and I see no need to model my heroes after my husband for now. But you never know, one of my future heroes just might be my husband–if I could get over the jealousy of writing him falling in love with another woman, that is.

Thanks to this reader for reading my books and taking the time to write me. Thanks to all the others who have done the same.

*It should be noted, I don’t post all questions from my readers, and only with their prior permission. I do write a personal response to each, but typically do not post them. You’re welcome to write me with your own questions at or by leaving a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.


Character Dialogue and the Introvert

I’m an introvert. Plain and simple. I don’t talk a lot, and only when I’m either spoken to first, or I have something very important/pressing that I must ask or say. Otherwise, I usually fade into the background and observe. Put me in front of a typing program and that all changes. In books, I love dialogue.

I personally think dialogue and action (such as she said, smiling ruefully at his dumbfounded expression or he commented, swinging up on his stallion) is a much more effective way to tell a story than long paragraphs full of description and back story. Don’t get me wrong, we need back story and we need description. But oftentimes those things are easier to absorb and picture when slipped in rather than just rambled on about for three pages.

Dialogue also follows that old, “show not tell” idea that gets hammered into a writer’s brain. The character’s deeds and words are a much better way to get a feel for a character’s personality and for the reader to understand and bond with them.

Because I put so much stock in the value of dialogue I use a lot. I’d wager a good 75-80% of my first book and 80%+ of the other books I’ve written are filled dialogue and action. Sure  from time to time I have several paragraphs full of back story or description, but for the most part, I rely on dialogue to tell the story.  You might think this is hard for a person who doesn’t usually talk, but it’s not. That’s where being an introvert is actually helpful.

Just because I’m quiet doesn’t mean I’m not thinking of the conversation and what I might say if that sentence had been directed at me. Writing dialogue is the same way. It’s basically a conversation in your head taking place between two or more characters you’ve created. I sometimes write things in character dialogue I’d never dream of saying in person, but I can get away with it because it fits that specific character’s personality. That’s the fun of writing a book with unusual or spunky characters, they allow someone like me, an introvert, to finally put voice to what goes on in the privacy of the writer’s head. It’s almost freeing in a way!

On the topic of who really knows what’s going on in the writer’s head, I’ll end with this. After I finally got up the nerve to blurt to my parents that I write historical romance novels and they read some, my dad made a comment along the lines of, “I had no idea so much went on in that head of hers.”

Have a good weekend everyone, Liberty for Paul comes out Monday, and remember never underestimate the introvert!


Choosing a Title

For me, choosing a title for my first book was harder than writing it. Most authors have the opposite problem, they come up with a catchy title and write the book to follow. I did not.

It took me more than a month to think up a title for Intentions of the Earl. And actually, if I remember correctly, my husband is the one who suggested something similar to that and it immediately clicked. It gave enough away about the book to be intriguing, yet original. Just to make sure there weren’t any other books with the same title, I went to the internet and searched at Amazon and the Copyright registry, and viola, nobody had named titled their book that.

Liberty for Paul, was much easier to think up a title to; and as an added bonus, it has a double meaning!

When I first wrote Paul into Intentions of the Earl I didn’t give much thought to the name I typed out. All I knew was I wanted something short, simple and “vicarish”. As soon as I typed out Paul, the title for the next book popped into my head thanks to the week spent in Kindergarten memorizing the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. The last few words say, “with liberty and justice for all.”

My husband also liked (and thankfully understood) the play on words with the double meaning of liberty. Not only is she a character, but the word is a definition. It means freedom, or freedom from external rule. When my husband first picked up the book to read it, he commented that he didn’t know how it would turn out. Either the character Liberty would end up falling for him, or Paul would gain liberty (or freedom) from the woman who hassled him so during the first book.

Books, Characters, Happenings, Liberty for Paul, Scandalous Sisters Series, Updates

Liberty for Paul, Less Than a Week Away

Next Monday, the second installment in my Scandalous Sisters series comes out, Liberty for Paul.  This book is most definitely different from the last and falls firmly into the category of a romantic comedy, of the historical variety, of course.

Not only does this story focus on the love growing between the two characters, but one of the characters has a lot to learn about living and truly loving another. I personally thought the book would be difficult to write as I finished up the first one, but it wasn’t. Actually, this book was easier to write because I knew a certain character needed to grow as a person in order to fully embrace love, and all the little stops along the way became a lot of fun to write after I figured out that out.

Whether you read the first one or not you can guess who the hero/heroine are, but as I said, the story isn’t just about falling in love, it’s about the many bumps in the road along the way that shape a person and allow them to let go enough to fall.