Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Holidays

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and received lots of books from Santa. And, for those who got a Kindle or Nook instead, save a little on your account until January 13 when Marked in Mexico is released. In the meantime, you can read an excerpt at www.inspiredromancenovels.com

Have a happy and safe New Years.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Date is Set

Marked in Mexico is scheduled to be released January 13, 2012. Check back often for updates or visit www.inspiredromancenovels.com

Friday, December 2, 2011

Editorial Process

Just finished the first round of edits. Despite being a little surprised by the number of things my editor found, I enjoyed the process and I'd forgotten how much I truly love this story. Like I do everytime I read it, I even got misty-eyed in a few spots.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Marked in Mexico Cover

Marked in Mexico is slated to be released in January 2012 by Inspired Romance Novels. I'm very excited about the progress and I love the cover. Hope you do too. Much, Much more to come.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Marked in Mexico

Finally, some exciting book news. My latest romantic adventure, Marked in Mexico, has been accepted for publication. I don’t know a release date yet, but I’ve seen the cover and it’s awesome. More details coming soon, so check back often

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Haunted Houses

I finally went to my first haunted house. It was awesome. I’m not saying I was overly scared, but I couldn’t help but be impressed by the staging. The sets were authentic, the sound and special effects were excellent, and the actors did a believable job. Hopefully my writer’s critical eye even learned something about how the tiniest detail can make any scene feel more realistic.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Successful Settings

St. Peter's Square
Part of a well-crafted, believable story is the author’s ability to create a sense of place so strong the reader feels they are there or is left with an overwhelming desire to explore even if the setting is fictional. No one does this more successfully than Dan Brown. On a recent visit to Rome I timed reading Angels and Demons to correspond with my sight-seeing. The book made my visit more exciting and gazing directly at the monuments described in the novel added a tangible dimension to the story. I always strive to create settings in my stories that take the reader on a journey of discovery and I gauge the success of a story by how deeply I can immerse the reader in an interesting culture or place. I hope Deadly Ruins has encouraged readers to explore Cobá on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. And, while there I hope they follow the heroine’s path through the ruins to find the spot where she venture’s further into the unknown and take a moment to ponder what lay beyond.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why Not?

Sometimes I get discouraged. I know my work is as good, if not better, than much of what’s out there, but each small success is so hard won. I’ve read some early work from a handful of today’s top writers and it’s not great, yet someone took a chance on these once unknown writers and helped to mold them into great writers. How do you find someone willing to see the potential and take a chance? It’s a common ailment across all artistic genres. Every time I see a group or artist that’s really good and I think about those superstars who can’t carry a tune, I know I’m not alone in my frustration. I may have mentioned before that every time I see the Randy Rogers Band I wonder why they aren’t a household name. And, recently I listened to Fork in the Road at a nearby casino and thought, why not? They’re excellent musicians, song writers and all the covers they played sounded as good the original. While I continue to ponder the mystery, I’ll continue to write and encourage all those out there who are honing their crafts.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Grand Inspiration

Nothing provides inspiration quite like a few weeks in the Tetons.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Update on Retail Outlets Stocking My Books

Bookstore, 109 N Bent St, Powell, WY
The Bookworm, 8702 Pacific, Omaha, NE
Hotel Terra, Teton Village, WY
Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa, Teton Village, WY
The Wild Burro Bookstore, Hot Springs, SD
Probst Western Store, Greybull, WY
Cooke City Store, Cooke City, MT

For all book titles, ISBN numbers or publishers’ websites see post on May 27, 2011. Books can also be purchased at Amazon and Barnes and Nobel and Deadly Ruins is now available in Kindle and Nook formats.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Small-Plot Gardening and Freedom

I love my tiny garden. Most people would find it laughably small, but by the end of June I had enjoyed lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, a host of herbs from lemon grass to basil, rosemary, mint and chives, and enough zucchini that I was able to share with friends. I recently watched a show on Cuba. It appears things are slowly changing for the better, but during the strict days of Communism subsistence farming was prohibited. Wow – why wouldn’t a government want its people to try and feed themselves? I’ll leave that perplexing question to those who understand politics. I tend to look at things through a more logical lens, and as we all know, politics no matter what the system and logic seldom belong in the same discussion. So, for now I’ll continue to appreciate the bounty of my small garden and the freedom to grow it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Best Things in Life are Free

A free outdoor concert on a beautiful evening at a great venue featuring Incendio, a Latin guitar world fusion group, had the crowd dancing. The combination made for a night to remember, and made me itch to get on the road and explore.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Independence Day

I hope everyone had a happy and safe Fourth of July. The highlight this year for me was seeing a living history event at Fort Atkinson State Park which included a reading of the Declaration of Independence. It was a great reminder of why we celebrate the holiday.

Friday, July 1, 2011

2011 Flooding

For the last month I’ve watched the waters of the Missouri rise and the destruction has been devastating for so many. I usually love summer, but it’s difficult to feel joy in the presence of such heartbreak. Hope will rise as river levels fall, and our thoughts and prayers will remain with those affected.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Step Back in Time


Technology is not my friend as I was reminded last night during a losing battle with the DVD player and twice last week when my computer froze up after having numerous “upgrades” installed. But no worries, I dusted off a trusted friend and I once again feel in a comfortable era and ready to write.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Upcoming News

Wow, what happened to April? I just noticed this morning that if I didn't post today I'd miss an entire month. My excuse is that I was waiting on confirmation on upcoming writing news. Deadly Ruins is in the process of conversion to Kindle and Nook e-book formats and it looks like most of my books will have new outlets in Wyoming and Montana stores this summer. Check back soon for release dates and new locations. Thanks!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mayan Ruins


I met a woman last week who did her master’s thesis on the Mayan culture. She had studied a number of the Mayan sites I’ve explored in Mexico. It was exciting to talk to someone who had visited the same places I had and who was even more enthusiastic and obviously much more knowledgeable than I about a subject which is very dear to my heart. Though Deadly Ruins is pure fiction, a frightening figment of my imagination, she still seemed anxious to read my novel. I’m confident our paths will cross again someday and I'll be interested to hear her take on my fictional portrayal of an archeological project which turned into a terrifying fight for survival.

Deadly Ruins is available on-line through Amazon, Publish America and a scattering of stores (see older post on where my books are currently stocked).
The above photo was taken from atop a pyramid at Coba in Mexico.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Solitude


It’s essential for me to have a place to write that not only provides all the basic tools of an effective work environment, but which also inspires creativity. I’ve been fortunate to have had that place nearly everywhere I’ve lived. I’ve found the solitude I need beneath snow-capped mountains, nestled among hāpuʻu ferns, within reach of wild turkeys passing through and, with the onset of spring, I’m now able to watch wild ducks and geese glide by on still waters just outside my window.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spring Fever?

I went to my first college baseball game of the season. This great American pastime would have induced full-fledged spring fever if it weren't for the ice and snow stubbornly hanging on in the shaded areas of the field. At least my team won so the excitement cancelled out the cold. I can't wait until the next game.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mother Nature

Yesterday I watched massive chunks of dirty ice and debris churn rapidly down the Missouri River. The raw power was mesmerizing and a humbling reminder of how small and helpless we truly are against the forces of Mother Nature.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Writing Outlook for 2011 - Part Three

At one time many writers were considered eccentric solitary creatures, hidden way from society pecking away at a keyboard, pouring his or her heart and soul onto blank pages. It’s this somewhat romantic image I envisioned when I decided to take my passion for creating stories to the next level. My first novel, The Lodge, came to life while living in a small cabin with no telephone or television, surrounded by some of the most stunning scenery on earth. With no distractions it was easy to let my mind wander and the creativity flow. I’ve learned a lot since that initial book and have grown as a writer, but the most important thing I’ve learned over the years is that writing a great book isn’t everything--it’s only the first step. There can be no hiding out in remote mountain cabins and letting the work sell itself. The author is no longer just an artist, joyfully expressing one’s creativity. In order to succeed the writer must become a publicist, marketing guru, social media expert, sales person and business professional. A lucky few will have someone to help guide them through the ever-changing process, the rest must quickly educate themselves in the many facets of being an author in the twenty-first century.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Writing Outlook for 2011 - Part Two, The Virtual Author


It appears 2011 will be the year of the virtual author, making virtual appearances and doing virtual book tours for their digital following. I’m still learning what all of this means and I’m enjoying certain aspects of the process. I started this blog to share my stories, adventures and book news with family and friends, and have found the feedback from official and casual followers to be helpful and uplifting. So, feel free to spread the word and encourage others to browse my blog and hopefully together we can forge a digital following.

My latest novels, The Watch and Deadly Ruins, came out in 2009. In 2010 I’ve put the finishing touches on two other books, The Senator’s Daughter and Big Horn Storm. Hopefully at least one will be published in 2011 and I can put my new virtual marketing knowledge to the test.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Writing outlook for 2011 - Part One

A new year always brings a plethora of articles discussing the outlook for writers and booksellers for the coming year. There’s seldom much agreement on what the hottest new trend will be as far a genre, but the one area of consensus is in the power and growing popularity of e-books. For those of us who love nothing more than curling up with a good paperback, it’s a tough pill to swallow. I spend my days working on a computer and when I have free time to read I still want a good old fashioned book to hold in my hands. I’m apparently in a shrinking minority, but I’m slowly warming to the idea and no doubt will conceded defeat and jump onto the speeding train of technology soon. And, speaking of technology…

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow




It snowed again last night, not much, but on top of the foot still lingering in the backyard it seems like a lot. I know why the sight of snow makes me grumble. I’ve gone soft over the years and I’m not necessarily proud of it. I grew up in northern Wyoming, downhill skiing every Saturday and Sunday from the day the runs opened until they closed, so snow was a good thing and cold temperatures were part of life. What’s a little frostbite on the toes as long as you’re having fun? Being out on horseback in frigid temperatures and icy slopes wasn’t my favorite pastime, but I guess back then that was normal.

I spent several years in the high plains of Wyoming where summers were short and it snowed horizontally. The wind kept the roads around town fairly clear, so the snow never really piled up. The highways leading north toward home were always bad in the winter, so I never expected anything different and never felt let down.

Then there was Jackson Hole. If you love white Christmases, Thanksgivings, Easters, and the occasional white Fourth of the July, this is the place. The snow started in October and hung around until May. We never took the car out of the garage or the truck out of four-wheel drive during the long winter months. Snow from plowing or drifting often blocked much of the sun from coming in the windows and my shortest escape route out of the valley would close down.

Then it happened. I found out that a person doesn’t have to be cold or drive on icy roads. Living in the South Pacific, Hawaii and the American Southwest showed me another side of life. I enjoyed my time in those places, but sometimes I wonder if it would have been best not to know. Kind of like flying first class on an airplane – coach was fine until a fluke upgrade to first class on a flight from Bangkok to Taiwan showed me what I was missing. Now, I look up at the front of the plane with longing and at the blanket of white outside with a yearning for spring. If I can’t wait for spring, those temperatures are sure to be found somewhere. Thankfully we live in a country where the climes are as diverse as the people and there is truly something for everyone.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Year

It’s good to be home after having traveled over 3,000 miles in December to attend a memorial service in one state and Christmas with family in another. I’m still in disbelief that we managed such a road trip over six driving days in December through Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota with only about an hour of slick roads. The two occasions brought a roller coaster of emotions, but provided an opportunity to see friends we haven’t seen in years and be with family who we miss dearly.

Now, it’s a time to reflect back on the past year and look ahead to the new. I can only hope that 2011 brings peace and closure to those who have lost loved ones or suffered other tragedies, and faith that the coming days will be brighter. Best wishes to all for a happy, successful and compassionate New Year.