Sunday, December 12, 2010

Is Twitter the New Crack?

This morning I noticed a very disturbing practice in my behavior. Even before I put on coffee, I turned on my computer, got online and zoomed over to Twitter.

Why? Because it's the first place I get news that interests me. Oh sure, I could turn on CNN but then I'd hear things that are interesting and important, but would I hear what everybody had for supper last night? What everybody's reading? Who's moving? Who's done Christmas shopping? Whose cat did something funny?

There's something about those 140 character missives that intrigues me...or hits me where I live. I think every time I read the list of accumulated posts, I discover that I'm pretty much like everybody else who's tweeting. Which makes me feel sane.

And this world, seriously, how many opportunities do we get to feel sane?

So I'm happy to hear about Stinky Boy, the kidlets of the writers in Australia, the groans of women forcing themselves onto the treadmill, the shudders of those who have to brave the mall...

Makes me feel sane!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Happy December

This has been a big week for me. I was offered a new contract from Harlequin Romance. With its completion I will reach 50 books! So there will be lots of fun in store on the website as I apporach that milestone!

Speaking of milestones, if you're an author who hasn't quite had luck writing an entire manuscript, or someone just starting out who would like to learn the tricks of the trade, or someone just looking for some 2011 encouragement, I'm giving the THIS IS THE YEAR YOU WRITE THAT BOOK workshop for the Dunes and Dreams RWA chapter in January.

Here's the link!

I hope to see you there!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1 + new recipe

I'm actually excited about December 1 this year. My workload has finally been balanced out enough that I can work on next year's Christmas story and still have time to shop, bake and all around enjoy the holiday. I love working on Christmas stories, so I feel really blessed, but I also need some time to sink into Christmas carols, gifts, wrapping, cookies...friends.

So, yay! This December I'm going to have it all! LOL

Last night, we went out for dinner for my daughter's birthday. Guests were her friends and family...all of whom were young and enthusiastic and loved the Japanese steakhouse Sarah chose. I adore that food. Seriously, if we went there more than once a year I'd look like a tall keg of beer.

Today, I continue to work on the Happily Ever After story for the website. It's Brody's story and takes place six years into the future. Baby Claire from book 1 is six-years-old. Drew and Gwen's first child is now in her terrible twos and Gwen is pregnant again. But the real star is Brody and the woman who ends up being the love of his life. I won't spoil the fun, but I think it's a great ending to a cute group of stories about a fun family and a wonderful Christmas Tree farm. Look for that next week!

Until then, enjoy the snow if you're getting it! We are. Pretty white flakes that look like icing on sugar cookies.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Free? Really?

Yep. Free.

I spent a lot of years working fulltime. I've been a secretary, an office manager, a legal secretary, an executive assistant and even an advertising sales person. This doesn't count my fun jobs as a teenager.

If there's one thing I know jobs have in's boredom. We all experience it at one point or another. Even worse, is boredom at breaktime. You sit in a little room, sometimes, if you're lucky, on a comfy sofa, but lots of times on a plastic chair. With nothing to do.

So when I was considering updates for my website, for some reason or another all that work boredom came wooshing back to me as a very bad memory =) and I wondered what I could do to help that.

I actually came up with three things. One is workshops. Because I know not every visitor to my site writes I put up 2 workshops that will interest regular people. One is on time management and the other on goal setting.

The second is short stories. These are found under the Happily Ever After tab, What Came Before tab and the Shorts tab. Lots of these will tie into books I have out or have coming out, but I'm writing them (especially the Happily Ever After) in such a way that they stand alone. You won't need to read the books.

The third update that might interest you poor bored workers (LOL) is a few updates in the Home Cooking section. Those will be updated monthly.

So, enjoy. Life's much too short not to have at least a little fun in your day. There will be a new story monthly (time permitting!) and it should take you a while to get through all the workshops! So check back.

Things should be hopping at!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Review for Baby Beneath the Christmas Tree

by Susan Meier, Barbara Wallace

Genre: Current Series Imprints, Harlequin Romance, Series

RT Rating
A FAIRY TALE CHRISTMAS (4) By Susan Meier and Barbara Wallace: Opposites do more than attract in Meier's cute romance with sizzling undertones, while the true meaning of Christmas, love and faith are captured touchingly under Wallace's capable hand.

Single mom Gwen McKenzie is desperate to finish her degree so she can support her baby and taking a temporary job with CEO Andrew Teaberry will give her enough money to tide her over. Drew is an absentee parent who suddenly finds himself saddled with his belligerent 16-year-old son for his working holiday. Their age, class and outlook differences aside, both find a raging attraction as they work side by side on the dilapidated Christmas Tree farm in "Baby Beneath the Christmas Tree."

Workaholic Gill McKenzie is she's determined to qualify for a promotion at her PR company by turning the McNabb Community Center into a winter wonderland and hosting a successful Christmas party, even if she has to battle the center's head of operations. For Oliver Harrington the center is more than a job - it has also become his home, especially after then defection of his fiancée. Now, as if by "Magic Under the Mistletoe," he begins falling for Gill, even though he's sure he'll never measure up to her idea of successful - but he doesn't know Gill's heart has already been capture by Oliver and his charges.

Reviewed By: Pat Cooper

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sometimes Life Isn't What You Expect

A few months ago, one of my favorite cousins died. He was one of the world's genuinely nice guys. Not only was he fun to talk with an family reunions, etc., but also he was a volunteer.

He spent time at an inner-city youth center. He didn't just coach kids; he life-coached kids. At his funeral, grown men walked to the podium and, weeping, told the story of how he'd changed their lives.

He was, quite literally, an inspiration.

The problem was...he lived hundreds of miles away. So we never got to see a lot of his good deeds. Not that we wanted to look over his shoulder -- that would have embarrassed him. What we'd really wanted was to be available for him while he struggled with his illness in the last years of his life.

Because he was so far away and everyone's life is so busy, we didn't even really do much in the way of visiting. He didn't die alone. He had another whole side to his family, not just ours. But we acutely felt the loss of not being there for him. Our loss at not being able to comfort him. Our loss at not really saying goodbye.

The Monday after his funeral, our local hospice announced they were holding volunteer training sessions. Moved by my cousin's death, and how good it was for us to know he'd had someone caring for him, I signed up for the classes.

Two months later, the classes are over and I'm an officially trained hospice volunteer.

All because my cousin showed us just how much of a difference a volunteer can make.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Big changes are coming!

I've always believed a website is a work in progress and as of today mine definitely is!

I'm restructing the front page a bit, but who cares, right? It's conent we all want to see.

So I'm creating a few new pages.

Happily Ever After, where I will post epilogues or scenes that take you into the hero and heroine's futures. So you get a taste of who they will be a few years down the road.

What Came Before, where I'll post prologues about the hero and/or heroine of a particular story to show you how they got to page one of the novel.

Shorts, which will be short stories that I'll write about secondary characters.

Workshops, where I will post appropriate workshops like my Goal Setting Workshop which I hope to have up soon.

And Looking for a Job. This blog will be a bit different. Because I probably won't be posting. Think of this as a public service blog where my niece Stephanie and my sister Tammy will share their joys and frustrations as Steph enters the workforce after college graduation and Tammy looks to re-enter the workforce now that three of her four kids are in school!

Should be fun. All of it should be. I've always hated giving up my characters too soon after a book is completed and starting their stories too late because most romances begin where the hero and heroine meet, yet a lot of potentially important information happens long before each book begins.

So check back. It's all coming within the next few weeks!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Puzzle Anyone?

I found the neatest thing on the Internet today. A puzzle maker at Discovery kids. Of course I had to try it out with some words from a book I have coming out in April.

Here's the link.

Here's the puzzle.

The Baby Project



16 of 16 words were placed into the puzzle.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What's up for next year?

I'm in the homestretch for my third book of the four books I'll have out in 2011. The first three are a miniseries about brothers who all have the same dad but different moms. It's lots of fun watching them grow together and become a family, as each finds his one true love. The first book in the series, out in April, is particularly wonderful...though book 2 is wonderful, too (LOL) and if I get myself in gear book 3 should be every bit as wonderful. ;)

But before I write book four (a Christmas book!) I've asked for a few weeks "off" so I can revamp my website and also write new content. I have a time management workshop and another writing workshop I'd like to post. But I also have some other things I'd like to add. Secret stuff that I think readers will love!

Authors don't get a lot of time to do fun stuff like that, though -- which is why I asked for the eight weeks respite. Writing is my fulltime, day job, so I'm luckier than most, but I still have housecleaning and family things, volunteer work and extended family. This week, it was Thursday before I realized I hadn't picked up a book to read and Saturday before I actually got time to read!

And that's not right! =;)

So if I get all my ducks in a row in the next few weeks I'll not only have a nice, organized holiday season for a change; I'll also have some great new content for the site.

And I'll be ready to write the Christmas book with memories of a great holiday swimming around in my head!

Stay tuned...


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Um...Where has October gone?

I know. I know. It's only October 13. But, seriously, October 13? It seems like yesterday when I was dressing for a New Years Eve party! My mother tells me that the older you get the quicker years fly by. So I guess this means I've crossed over. Whining about how fast the year is going puts me squarely in the old person category...

Or not.

I might just be feeling tired because I've had a heck of a year. For those of you not in the publishing industry, the pressure to be part of a social network, to promote your name, to create a BECOME a enormous.

Frankly, and bluntly, until this month, I hadn't caved. I refused to try to become a brand. Then around October 1 I went a little nuts. I even emailed my editor with a thousand questions about what Harlequin did for its authors and I think I might have insulted her! LOL (And probably my poor publisher.)

But the truth is we have to blog. I'll probably have to be more creative for this little ditty I now do here only when I feel like it. I'll probably have to be punctual. Have themes. Tell you stories. Expose bigger pieces of my life.

But guess what? My life is kind of boring! LOL So who's really going to benefit from that?

Then, again, maybe my life isn't boring. I've been married a long time to the love of my life. Smartest move I ever did was marrying him. He's a wonder. He's sweet and kind, but still a guy's guy. We're raising a disabled child...who is now an adult. His problems are definitely unique. If I shared all of his traumas, you'd probably cry. You'd certainly count YOUR blessings. And you might even come away feeling lucky.

I also have a daughter. A massage therapist. She's fun and funny. Sort of quirky. Definitely her own girl. But she has her moments too. Were I to share her stories with you, she wouldn't be that's probaby not going to happen.

Then I have a son who lives with his girlfriend. They are normal late-twenty-somethings who are rather ... well, average...except for their pets. Their dog is nuts and huge. And she loves to sit on laps. If she chooses you for the evening your thighs will go numb and she will provide you with a complimentary face wash.

Lilly, cat 1, is an attack cat. Do not let your guard down around her. Lucy is sweet, with big green eyes and an adorable face...but don't sleep on her bed or she will bite you.

I suppose the fact that I'm in training to volunteer for Hospice is interesting. Everything we do is confidential so you'll hear no stories, but Hospice itself is a wonderful concept. Volunteers literally give up their time and treasure to make sure terminally ill patients are comfortable ... and their families, as well.

Then there's my 63-person immediate family. I'd have to put up a flow chart if I wanted to talk about them and have readers know who I was talking about! LOL

So I'm in a quandry. I wish I was cooler. I wish I was more interesting. But I guess over the next months or weeks as I force myself onto the internet and hopefully into everyone's life, we'll see.

Things would be a lot easier if I came with cranberies or almonds or had a sugar coating. As it is, you're only going to be getting me. No frills. No mystery prize inside the box. No 20% off if you use your credit card.

Still, ready or not, I'm about to become a brand. (Or so I hope.)


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Book progress

I had a heck of a week last week! I got myself to the midpoint of the draft of my next book. I already had 2 chapters written, but still...halfway...In one week. I impressed myself. =:)

I think the key to this has been having a thorough synopsis and a friend (Hi, Denise) who calls me every morning and simply says, "Stick to the synopsis."

Writers have a tendency to always believe a book can be better than the synopsis. Even when the editor gushes with praise over said synopsis. And if that isn't bad enough characters frequently want to take over the story.

It takes a strong consitution to sit down and say, Today I will stick to my synopsis, when you're not only arguing with your instincts; you're also arguing with the darned characters!

And, of course, the PERFECT idea for a new series popped into my head this morning. I jotted only a few quick notes because I seriously do not have time to figure out the story arch for the first book, let alone come up with stories for the second two books and a story arch for the series itself.

So it was a day today. Wrestling myself into submission on the book and dragging myself away from playing with the new idea which would have been tons more fun (I just know it.)

And all this happened while I made Chinese food for my son (frozen, from a neat little bag), washed dishes, did laundry, scrubbed the floors, fed the cats and did 35minutes on the treadmill.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Can I do it?

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to write a 3-book mini series for Harlequin Romance next year. The books are incredibly emotional, but also sort of funny.

Books 1 and 2 are in, but book 3 needs to be in by October 31. Six weeks. That's actually my normal turnaround time.

But I decided to challenge myself and see if I can get it done in a month. I wrote a great synopsis, revised it according to my editor's comments and broke it down into chapters.

So can I do it? Can I do a book in a month.

I guess we'll see!

In other good news my friend Barbara Wallace and I will be the guests of the Border's blog on Thanksgiving! That's easy enough to remember.

Barb talks a bit about being a first time author, but we're looking for great Christmas Miracle stories to get us all in the mood to enjoy the holiday season.

I don't know about you all, but my family bakes and paints sugar cookies for my mom's Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. There's shopping to be done. A cookie exchange and this year my son has suggested we sponsor a family.

So Christmas starts on Thanksgiving for me. If you're free or even find yourself with a few minutes on your hands on Thanksgiving, join Barbara and me. the way...we're giving away four books!

I'll post a reminder about a week before!

Until then, wish me luck on my book-in-a-month adventure!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Slow week

We had a great trip to Vegas, managing to get some fun in between the work. I only lost $80. And I had some fantastic food in some great buffets. The Golden Nugget is a great hotel. 2 Starbucks! All the slot machines you can play. And a hop, skip and a jump away from Freemont Street Experience which is unbelievable!

But this has been an odd week. Not only did I write a blog promoting the Christmas 2-for-1 I have coming out in November with the delightful Barbara Wallace, but also it's cold.

Waiting for a response from my editor so I can get rolling on my new book, I decided to go grocery shopping. I drove to my favorite store and began loading up the cart, but before I knew it I was gathering Thanksgiving foods! I bought my cranberry sause and sweet potatoes! Extra Miracle Whip for macaroni salad. And frozen bread for pizza roll appetizers. Not to mention cherry pie filling! OY!

As I was checking out I asked myself what the heck am I doing? What month is it anyway? LOL!!! Imagine my chagrin when I realized it was only September. :P

All this breezy, wet weather also makes me wish I was about to start a Christmas book.

But, though it's not a Christmas book that I'm about to write, it is a fun book. The last book in a series of books about three brothers. I love to do series because I feel like I really get to know the characters, but the last book is always sad, like saying goodbye to friends.

So here's hoping I hear from my editor tomorrow, stay out of grocery stores, and get on with my work!

Till next week

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Heading for Vegas!

My friends, Deb Mullins and Jenna Kernan and I are headed for Vegas tomorrow. I'll set out today so I can spend the night at my son's because my flight is early. But this time tomorrow I'll be over a southwestern state, headed for paradise.

Unfortunately, this isn't just a pleasure trip. Though we do intend to hit a slot machine and laze around the pool, we're actually going for "plot group".

I've never belonged to a plot group before. Usually I run my ideas by my friend Denise and my editor only. This is a system that worked for many books, so why mess with perfection?

Well, I'm going to dip my toe in single titles. I got a fantastic idea for a series and every time I get it to a certain point my knees start to knock. It's uncharted territory for me.

So I'm joining forces with my friends to brainstorm ideas, probably solidify the characters and plot, and hopefully add single title writer to my resume!

Wish us luck.

And hope we have some fun too. I've got $40 just burning a hole in my pocket, begging for a slot machine!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Happy Labor Day

I am sitting here in a state of shock realizing that technically we are at the end of summer. Oh, sure. We'll still have hot weather. But the kids are in school. The leaves are changing colors. And nobody's going to be swimming anymore.

I'm a big fan of fall, but this year just went by too quickly. My mother tells me that having years fly by is one of the first signs of old age. Here I thought it was forgetting where I put my purse.

I think having years race by is God's way of reminding us that time is precious. Especially time with our friends and family.

We're having a swim party at my sister Tammy's. And you better believe I won't waste a minute. This time next year Lainie and Owen won't be toddlers anymore. They'll be little kids. Maddie won't be toothless. Older kids will graduate. Even older nieces and nephews will have 21st birthday parties. Some will get married. Others will have kids.

It all seems to whiz by in the blink of an tomorrow I won't worry how fat my thighs are. I'll want to live in the moment. Take some pix. Maybe write a journal entry.

Because it really does all go by too fast.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Favorite First Lines!

Just for fun today, we're talking about favorite first lines in books. Come join us!

Losin with Susan

In January, I started a diet and lost 17 pounds! :)

Then I fell off the wagon and put 5 back on. :(

Then we went on vacation and I put on another 5. :(

So now I'm scrambling to lose another 17 or so ... so that I'll be ahead of the game.

I figured I'd announce it here to give myself a little accountability.

What am I going to do?

The same thing as last winter. I eat six times a day, but each snack or meal only has around 200 calories. 100 some times.

I also walk on the treadmill every other day. I'm up to 45 minutes.

I got some great recipes for salmon and pasta from some friends. But I also bought HUNGRY GIRL. 200 UNDER 200. (200 recipes under 200 calories.) I also got EATING RIGHT and SHAPE magazines.

I'll be testing out some of those recipes.

So stay tuned. I know I don't sound very enthusiastic today. But -- thumbs up -- I had a sandwich thin with a thin spread of peanut butter this I've started. Yay, me!

It's also hair dye day today so I'll be too busy to worry about food.

Now the hard part is getting my family to eat what I make or ask me to cook things I don't want to eat! LOL!!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Christmas Book for 2011

Just agreed to do a Christmas book for 2011!

It's always so much fun to write a Christmas story that I couldn't resist!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Real Love Scenes

With the recent surge in popularity of erotica, there’s a lot of discussion these days about love scenes in books. How much is too much? What words can be used? Which words go too far?

I haven’t really been paying attention. My books don’t have sex scenes in them. Though I like to think I do have a good many love scenes.

I suppose it’s a difference in definition, but when my hero realizes in MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE that his ex-wife volunteers her precious little free time to a charitable organization that helps abused women find a safe place to live, and his heart turns over in his chest…Well, I sort of think that’s a love scene.

A real love scene. Sex scenes can absolutely involve love. But I don’t they are the only love scenes in town.

There are several great ones in MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE as the hero tries to deny his love for his ex-wife. She’s back in his life, working as his once-a-week housekeeper. Technically, they shouldn’t even see each other. But he loves her. He always has. He can’t admit it because she left him and he’s one of those alpha males who doesn’t like people leaving him. But having her in his house tempts him beyond belief. He simply can’t stay away.

Not because he wants to sleep with her, though they do have amazing chemistry. But because they have an unresolved past. And part of what needs to be resolved is the love that he just can’t seem to get rid of.

Liz, the heroine, has some real love scenes too. When Cain pitches in and helps out with the charity as a way to get close to her, Liz sees his kindness to kids who’ve been forced to leave their abusive dads. She sees him take them under his wing, provide a male role model, show them how men are supposed to behave.

They’re strangers, people Cain doesn’t have to help or love or even like. Yet he can’t resist that either. And as Liz watches, her heart expands, the way a heart should expand to accommodate real love.

MAID FOR THE SINGLE DAD, the August release in The Housekeepers Says I Do duet for Harlequin romance, is a tad different. Mac Carmichael is divorced with two kids and needs a nanny. The first thing Ellie Swanson notices is that his kids are love starved. Not that Mac has tried to fill the void of the missing mom, but it’s hard for a dad to be a mom. Ellie, a former foster child who had run away when she was in her teens and has been without family since, is as in need of someone to love as the kids are in need of someone to love them.

When Mac arrives home unexpectedly and finds Ellie playing tea party with his daughter, Lacy, under a tree, dressed in bed linens knotted into a party gown, his heart turns over. As Ellie tells Lacy the story of Cinderella, Mac realizes his little girl’s own mother never told her fairytales, but this virtual stranger is so good she’s willing wrap a sheet around her and fill in the blanks.

Real love scenes frequently sneak up on readers. They happen in those normal moments that somehow turn extraordinary when a hero forgets himself and steps out of his comfort zone to make someone else feel special. They happen when a heroine forgets her own troubles and steps up to be a mother of sorts for a little girl starved for affection.

They happen when a heroine sees her hero really acting like a hero and her heart unlocks a bit.

I have no problem with sex in books. In fact, I sometimes read erotica, but to me there’s nothing that takes the place of a real love scene. A scene where real love blossoms. Sometimes from sacrifice. Sometimes from someone simply going the extra mile.

To me that’s where real heroes and heroines are made.

Monday, August 2, 2010

My First Love!

My first love

I'm not going to tell you the year. I won't even tell you how old I was. But the summer I fell in love for the first time, it wasn't with a boy, but with a book. A Harlequin Romance.

My family wasn't poor, but we weren't wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. I have ten brothers and sisters. We grew up on a small farm too far out in the country to get cable or the Internet. Winters were cold, but summers were long and boring. Tuesdays I'd walk to the bookmobile and usually pick up a biography. One day, I casually grabbed a paperback on my way to the checkout desk. After my chores were done the next morning, I took the Harlequin to a shade tree and that began an adventure that continues to this day.

Except today Harlequin Romance authors don’t write about downtrodden heroines. Our heroines are women of the twenty-first century. Educated. Talented. Their troubles aren't financial. They're deeper, richer. The ordeals my heroines face are the same trials faced by modern women. Broken marriages, miscarriages, widowhood, abuse, betrayal. My heroines have already gone through the ringer. They aren't searching for someone to take care of them. They can take care of themselves. They're searching for someone to share their journey.

Our heroes aren't overbearing wealthy guys willing to step in and save the day if only our heroine will submit to them. Nope. They might be rich. Some might even be Alpha males. But they quickly recognize our heroine doesn't want to be saved. She wants to be considered an equal. Which usually throws the hero for a loop. It's easy for a rich guy to provide a bit of cash. But give his heart? For real? Forever? That's usually a deal breaker.

And that's also what makes the journey to real love in Harlequin Romances so interesting and so diversified. Contrary to popular opinion, there is no formula for getting a hero and heroine together. Just as in real life there is no one way men and women fall in love, there is no way to predict or formulize how our strong-willed, sometimes broken, always determined, big-hearted heroine will fall in love. No way to predict or formulize how our equally strong-willed, sometimes broken, always determined hero will allow himself to be vulnerable enough to find real love.

But when they do, ah, when they do, it's magic. Your heart lifts. You realize that happy endings can be found. You'll smile. There might even be a spring in your step. The world won't change, but you might see it through a happier perspective.

So take a Harlequin Romance to the beach this summer. Hey, take one of MY Harlequin Romances to the beach this summer -- MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE or MAID FOR THE SINGLE DAD. Lift your heart. Inspire your soul. Make yourself happy on vacation this year. Come home rested, happy you took a journey with two people on their way to destiny.

susan meier

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Some fun this week

Today's blog is next in line...scroll down for the blog. Here's soee info for writers. But scroll down for today's blog!

I'm doing a Q&A session on on Friday. I'll be answering questions all day on How To Write A Category Romance!

In August I'll be doing Story, Theme and Vehicle...Here's the info. is proud to present one of its two online classes
in August: Story, Theme and Vehicle with instructor Susan Meier:

Instructor: multi-published author Susan Meier
CLASS: Story, Theme and Vehicle
4-week class $30 August 1-31 COST $30
Registration ends July 31, 2010

CLASS: Story, Theme and Vehicle

Have you ever written a book that was good, but simply didn't seem good
enough? Or one that wasn't cohesive? Or one that should have been wonderful
but seemed to fall flat? In Story, Theme and Vehicle, Susan Meier explains
how knowing your book's story type, story question, and the difference
between its theme and its "vehicle" will keep your book focused. Learn the
five easy steps to a synopsis and the four steps to a one-paragraph pitch.

INSTRUCTOR BIO: Susan Meier is the author of over 40 books for Harlequin and
Silhouette and one of Guideposts' Grace Chapel Inn series books, The
Kindness of Strangers. Her books have been finalists for New Jersey's Golden
Leaf, Reviewers Choice Awards, National Reader's Choice Awards and and Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer's Choice Awards. HER
BABY'S FIRST CHRISTMAS won the 2009 More Than Magic Contest, Sweet
Contemporary Category. Her Pregnancy Surprise an October 2007 release was
both a Walden Books bestseller and a bookscan bestseller! Her 2010 releases
CHRISTMAS in the Enchanted Christmas anthology for Harlequin Romance with
Barbara Wallace.

Susan loves to teach as much as she loves to write and is a popular speaker
at RWA chapter conferences. Her article "How to Write a Category Romance"
appeared in 2003 Writer's Digest Novel and Short Story Markets. Susan also
gives online workshops for various groups and her articles regularly appear
in RWA chapter newsletters.

For more information or to register, go to OR email

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Great Time in Florida Over the Weekend

That's me and my friend, Sharon at a booksigning last weekend. I love to travel, but there are certain places I love visiting more than others. The STAR chapter in Melbourne, Florida is one of them.

We had a great dinner out on Friday night, then a wonderful meeting where I gave the CAN THIS MANUSCRIPT BE SAVED workshop. Everybody at the meeting was intersted and attentive. After the meeting, we walked across the street to the Books A Million where I signed copies of MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE for everyone.

I returned home on Sunday refreshed and ready to write! Good thing since I have a book due next Friday!

MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE is now on the stands! Pick up a copy today!


Monday, July 12, 2010


This is from Elizabeth at Bellaonline. If you like romance novels and you're looking for some ontarget reviews, here is a link to her reviews.

This time out, I have the latest from Susan Meier, Maid for the
Millionaire (Harlequin Romance, received from author), first in a pair of 'Housekeepers Say I Do!' In the series starter, Liz Harper and her partner Ellie have a cleaning business called Happy Maids. Except that Liz is not very happy when the first job of her day presents her with her remote ex-husband standing nearly naked in the kitchen. Cain Nestor isn't all that happy about the situation either. He knows he screwed up their marriage and being reminded of it now doesn't make him feel any better about the past. Only maybe now he can make up for hurting her the way he did back when they were married. Liz knows better than to get involved with Cain again, no matter what her heart says. Their marriage started off perfectly, and then went straight downhill, and only a masochist would put herself through that again. Plus Liz has kept a secret all these years from Cain, and sharing it with him now can only make things worse. Except their paths keep crossing, and no matter what their best intentions, their emotions are bound to get tangled up again. Liz is a terrific heroine, smart and determined, and her pet project aside from work is fantastic. Cain thinks he can make the past right and move on, until he finds out about Liz's secret, and by then he's fallen in love with her all over again. Which makes him believe they can't have a happy ending. Make sure you have some tissues handy when you sit down with this one, as Ms. Meier is a master at getting her readers' emotions just as tangled up as her characters'. I'm borrowing four of Cupid's five arrows for this one. It's absolutely great!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Authors Helping Writers

I've always been one of those people who believes in paying it forward...and giving back in gratitude for the gifts I've received. In particular, I believe in helping new writers.

If you go to my Coming Attractions page, you'll see that. I'm flying to Melbourne, Florida this weekend to give a workshop for their RWA chapter. (Hi, guys! Waving!) In September I will once again give my CAN THIS MANUSCRIPT BE SAVED workshop for NEORWA. Online workshop slots for 2011 are already filling up.

Flying to RWA chapter meetings and conferences and posting 2 lessons a week (and checking the homework and answering the email questions) takes a huge bite out of my time. I've actually seriously considered quitting twice.

But the urge doesn't last for more than a week. Why? Because I love teaching because it really is a way to touch the future. To help somebody who might otherwise get lost in the shuffle.

I remember how I longed to be a published author. I remember studying, scrimping and saving for conferences, driving places I'd never been, getting lost, longing for a moment of a published author's time in the hope that she could tell me what I'd been missing...

And lots of authors took the time to help me.

It's weird for someone in the public eye to put herself in the vulnerable position of admitting she didn't know very much so she had to study and she studied so hard that she now has ten workshops full of material! But if I don't admit the will the author who's just holding on by a thread hold on just the one more year or month or week or day that she needs to before her manuscript is noticed?

If writers who are successful, who make a living doing what they love, don't admit it wasn't always easy...How will others see the struggle is worth it?

And if writers who are now bestsellers for their publisher (or category line) don't say...Hey, I had to search out my style and voice so that I could find a place where I would entertain the wonderful readers who like what I write...then how will the writers desperately looking for their place in this business know that there is a place for them?

So I teach. I teach a lot. I don't teach to sell books...though I would hope that those who benefit from my workshops would do me the favor of supporting me the way I'm supporting them! LOL I don't teach for money. Though expenses are paid, I typically don't get a speaker fee from the chapters I visit. And, well, you've seen online workshop fees. My cut of the money is minimal.

But I like it that way. I like knowing that I do this with a pure motive. That I'm not doing this to shake down poor writers who are already struggling. I like knowing that I setting something in motion ...

A wave of writers allowing themselves to be vulnerable and admit they had their hard times...

A wave of writers helping other writers...

A wave of writers building the future.

I want to know that in twenty years or so when I retire to a beach, there'll be an abundance of books by wonderful authors that I can read!

So, if I'm coming to your chapter or your confernce or if I'm the online speaker for the next online workshop you attend, settle in and get ready for a ride. If you listen, really listen objectively, you won't just get a lesson on how to plot or edit or create a character to die'll also see that the journey might be a bit difficult, but it's certainly worth it.

And you can do it.


MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE is out at the local Walmart! THAT'S the thrill you're working for.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Rite of Passage

My friend just told me a cute story about her granddaughter cutting her own hair. That reminded me of my daughter, Sarah, cutting her hair two days before her older brother Mikie's first communion.

She was about five and she had the most luxurious thick brown hair. Apparently, she wanted bangs because she cut a swatch out in the front. But, not really understanding hair cutting techniques, she snipped close to the scalp.

The only thing my sister, Laura, the family beautician, could do was give her a "spike" hairdo, which at the time was wildly popular.

So Sunday for Mikie's first communion, we walked into the church with a little girl who could have been a little boy. I tried dressing her in pink, but the hairdo didn't go well with a dress, so we were stuck with a pink "peanut suit" and even in pink she looked like a boy.

The funny part of it was she was proud of herself. She liked her new short hair and believed that her liking the new do made everything she'd done to get it okay. For years we couldn't risk letting her alone with scissors!

My friend's story ended a little differently. Her granddaughter Payton ended up in the very same beautician's chair that her mother Amy had sat in when she cut her own hair. The beautician was the daughter of the beautician who had straightened out the mess Amy had made of her hair.

They laughed remembering Amy's self-inflicted buzz cut. But we were struck by the sense of continuity and tradition in one silly act. All little girls must cut their own hair, but only in a small town can you end up in the same beautician's chair to get it straightened out!


Don't forget MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE should be in stores next week.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

First Breakfast of The Year

Those of you who follow this blog know my family has a tradition of have breakfast together every Wednesday morning in the summer. A few of my sisters work for schools (as teachers and aides), so they have the summer off. Two of us work from home and one is a stay-at-home mom, so we have plenty of people!

Today was my sister Diana's day. She made the most delicious French Toast casserole. Lots of us attended. And, of course, there were kids! Crazy, funny, peeing in the yard, chasing the squirrels kids.

After the breakfast, a few of us went to my sister Tammy's to swim. We're renting a beach house in August and we have to get our skin accustomed to the sun or we'll be spending most of our time in the house...even with #50 sunblock!

So there we were, kids in the pool, sunbathers trying to get a bit of sun (without getting too much) and I noticed my niece Maddie (age 7) laying on a towel beside her cousin Lea (a much older woman in her twenties) doing girl talk.

They chatted about nail polish colors and music, shopping trips and bathing suits. Nothing serious. Nothing obvious. Just cute chatter.

One of the benefits of having a big family is that there really is something/someone for everyone. My daughter bemoaned having no sister so she claimed another sister-less cousin as her sister and now they each have a sister. There's no shortage of volunteers for a pick-up game of softball. If you want to go into the pool, so does someone else.

So we start the summer with breakfasts and a shopping trip, a little swimming, a lot of interacting.

And that makes me realize why we hate winter so much!


Oh, PS, next month MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE will be released. I'm very excited for this book because it's the first in a duet. In August, the story of the heroine's best friend, Ellie, will be realease. MAID FOR THE SINGLE DAD. Both books are fun and romantic. Great beach reads!

Monday, June 14, 2010

More on Stress

Continuing with our theme of stress, I glanced around my office and realized the mess around me is definitely contributing to my stress.

So, again, I went online. I typed in "organizing my office" and got a lot of great hits. But this one was the winner hands down:

They really do have 8 great steps to organizing a desk. I don't want to give away all the tips in the article. I want you to visit the website, so they get the "hit". But I have to say I was impressed.

Not only do they have great suggestions for getting your desk cleaned up; but also they suggest that you take the last ten minutes of every day to reorganize so that every morning you come to a clean desk.

Wow. That sounds like heaven.

A few years ago I realized that I couldn't always do "everything" I wanted to do, but if I could spend ten minutes working toward certain goals everyday eventually everything would get done. The system worked so well I actually work a workshop called THE TEN MINUTE SOLUTION. (And by the way, when I say a few years ago, I mean over ten...The "other" ten-minute solution people were after me! LOL)

I'm probably going to begin posting those lessons here. I'm not exactly sure when, but if you're eager to get your life organized I think they'll help you.

Until then, go read the article 8 steps to organizing your desk! You won't be sorry.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Win a Copy of the Duet!

Per my facebook and twitter tweets this morning, reply to my blog on stress and be entered in a contest to win both MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE AND MAID FOR THE SINGLE DAD!

Scroll down!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


My office is knee deep in research materials, various stages of various projects, books I want to read, books other people want me to read, and junk I need to do.

As I've said before, I don't think I'm the Lone Ranger. I'm guessing lots of you looked around your office and said, "Amen sister," when I mentioned that my office is knee-deep in stuff. Most of you probably said, "Uh, huh," when I also mentioned that half the stuff in here isn't my doing. It's other people's stuff.

I'm not annoyed by having to do other people's stuff, as much as I dislike the fact that I have no control over what other people give me to do.

And THAT'S where I think the stress comes in. It's the lack of control.

So, okay. I'm thinking that's not going to change. Which means I have to change. Sure, I've made that promise before, but this time I mean it.



Okay, stop laughing.

Knowing I would need some help with this effort I googled stress relief. I actually found a really cool site.

They don't say ridiculous things like organize your life. I've finally realized I can't organize my life when so many people seem to have a say in it. Instead, suggests I try deep breathing and muscle relaxation techniques. In a world where file folders and books are positioned to eat my feet, a little deep breathing actually goes a long way.

But more than that, I know the benefits of deep breaths. Good for oxygen. (Obviously) Which is good for your body. And it costs me nothing. And I don't look silly doing it. Even in the checkout at the Walmart, I can breathe deeply when the person behind me runs over my foot with her cart.

But I digress.

Continuing on my quest to conquer stress, I went here:

Nothing like a good quote to calm you right down. Or make you laugh. Some of these made me laugh.

The man who doesn't relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on. ~Elbert Hubbard

That's certainly food for thought!

There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them. ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

True enough!

I really like this one...

Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness. ~Richard Carlson

Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live. ~Margaret Fuller

Ah. That one will make you stop and think!

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. ~Ovid

I actually prove this one out every day. Things I write when I'm tired are not what anyone would consider bountiful!

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down. ~Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin! One of the greats of our time.

But here's my favorite...

No one can get inner peace by pouncing on it. ~Harry Emerson Fosdick

Go to the site with the deep breathing techniques and muscle relaxing techniques. Draw a bath. Make Thursday night stress relief night!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010


To say I have been busy would be a real understatement. But there's more to it than that. I've had some un-fun things happen in the past few weeks and I've never really figured out how to blog about bad things.

I'd much rather talk about good things. Like the drive-in. We are blessed in our small city to still have a drive-in. Sunday night we packed up the corn chips and headed out to watch Shrek 4 (I didn't see either Shrek 2 or 3 but found it didn't matter) and Ironman.

I like Ironman. I have yet to figure out why. But who cares? We were in the car with our corn chips and supersize sodas for which we paid a small fortune at the refreshment stand. The night was warm. Happy kids played catch and tag, while they waited for the movie to start. It was a good night. A good break.

On Saturday night, my husband and I went to the 25th wedding anniversary of one of my cousins and I saw cousins I hadn't seen in a decade. That was fun too. Odd to remember people one way and suddenly see them as a 10-year-older version of themselves. (I'm sure they said they same thing about me! LOL)

Friday night was Miss Madeline's ballet recital. That was interesting. Not only did we have to sit through 42 (I kid you not) dances to see her one little dance (though she was adorable. A more beautiful child does not exist on this planet, unless it's her little sister Lainie.) Anyway, not only did we have to sit through 42 dances to see one dance, but also there was no air conditioning. Sweat poured off us. Yet we eagerly waited to see our gorgeous Maddie in her pink and yellow tights. I get misty just thinking about it. In what will feel like 2 days she'll be graduating from high school, then college, then getting married.

Those things more than offset the crappy things that happened. And I'm not sure if you noticed or not but the common denominator in my three good times this weekend was family. First a husband who's nice enough, kind enough and maybe smart enough to see my ego had been stomped on and my spirit broken. So he took me to a drive in. A place where you have to be a real grumpy pants not to enjoy yourself. Then my cousins. Seeing people I hadn't seen in a decade really helped me to remember what was important in life.

Then Miss Maddie. Just starting out. Cute as a bug and graceful like no one else in our sort of klutzie family. She reminded me that life is short. Maybe a little too short to be stressed out and upset. So I came home and had some ice cream. LOL...Don't tell my doctor who is currently monitoring my cholesterol!


PS...MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE is now available on Amazon! Woo-Hoo! This is a great story. I can't wait for you all to read it.

Also, my newsletter will be up and available July 1. It is a book release month, so look forward to that!

Monday, May 17, 2010


On Friday I boarded a plane with my friend Ann and headed for New Jersey. I'm a member of New Jersey Romance Writers of America, so when they asked me to speak at their monthly meeting I was thrilled. I flew over, had a great dinner with Jamie, Mo and Marlo, slept like a rock in the hotel, and dressed to give my one-hour workshop.

It went well. Mostly because the audience was eager for the information. I have a great system for revising/polishing/rewriting a book after you've been rejected by editors or agents or asked by an editor or agent to revise, or just plain after you've finished drafting. So the information was timely and well received!

After the meeting we had an informal, roundtable discussion of revisions and it was a great opportunity for me to hear from some of the members.

Then I got back on a plane, flew to Pittsburgh, and drove for two hours to get to my house!

The next thing I knew it was Monday morning and I was at my desk, with a page goal to meet.

At first I was shocked. I felt like I hadn't had a weekend. But I had. I'd even spent it with friends. Talking about writing which is tons of fun. So I had a more relaxing weekend than my friends who are moms who work 40-hours a week, then spend Saturday and Sunday shuttling kids to T-ball and ballet, doing laundry, and cleaning house.

Like writing, parenting is tons of fun but exhausting. Of course, when I finish a book, I get a hundred print copies, do some PR, watch as it sells (or doesn't--shudder) and then move on to the next book. Parenting lasts forever.

I'll never forget the day at the Annual Petrunak Reunion, when my Aunt Helen explained to me that your kids may grow up but you're always their mother and you will spend the rest of your life worrying about them, cheering for them, giving them money. (The last one made my eyes pop!)

Over the years I've discovered my aunt was right. A mother is always a mother. But in some ways that's good because kids don't outgrow the need for a shoulder to cry on or an inexhaustable source of cash. LOL

But being a shoulder to cry on is sometimes a reward in and of itself. If your kids like and trust you enough with their secrets, then you've done your job. And hopefully they'll be such a great parent to their kids they'll also become a shoulder to cry on (and in fairness) an inexhaustable source of cash.


Don't forget MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE is now available on AMAZON for preorder!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A moment of truth!

Last week, I had to clean out my closets and drawers. I didn't want to. I love all my clothes. Even the old things. But I couldn't get some drawers closed and my closet is small, so...I trudged on.

You know the questions you must ask when cleaning out drawers. Will I really ever wear this again? Sure, it looks like it could stand one more wearing, but, seriously, will I ever pull this out on the drawer and wear it? And what about...Really? Do you think you'll actually be this size some day? Ouch. That one hurts. And then there's the ever popular ... Do you seriously think THIS will ever come back into style? I clung to platform shoes for a decade, positive they'd come back. And they have. But they're different and my ankles don't like them anymore.

When it comes to clothes and drawers and closing drawers, we all have to face reality sometimes. Good Will needs what we no longer fit into. And even if we're forced to put some old T-shirts in the trash, our world will be a better, more organized place for it.

I survived moment-of-truth-for-clothes-day, but today when I stepped into my office and my gaze lit on the two boxes of notebooks with old ideas in them and the two file drawers of folders full of new ideas...I had moment-of-truth de ja vous.

Shouldn't I give the same respect to my file drawers that I gave to my dresser drawers? Do I really need those two boxes of notebooks? Will I ever actually look at those ideas again?

I sometimes wonder if clutter doesn't prevent us from going forward. Knowing I had two dressers (not just drawers entire dressers) filled with shorts and T-shirts, I kept myself from new things for a year. And dressed out of style. Which is hideous for a woman over forty because you might as well wear a sign that says, Hey, I bought this in the eighties and I'm clinging to my youth.

Is the same true for story ideas? Does having 80 old ideas in folders and scribbled on notebooks keep some of us from moving forward? Is our old vampire idea now hopelessly out of date because vampires have evolved? Is the time-travel we thought so quirkly and fresh now kind of silly?


I also think clutter weighs us down. We look around at our disorganized office, knowing we can only write one book at a time, or maybe (if we're lucky and speedy) five or six books a year, and overwhelm trips our procrastination switch. Why bother? Why try? I can't write books for all the ideas I why not go swimming?

So as I sit here in my cluttered office, with a desk littered with papers, not having written a word today (LOL) I wonder...maybe it's time. Maybe I should admit some ideas are outdated, just plain wrong, or something I'm no longer interested in and toss them.

Wow. I just shivered. Tossing an idea is something I've never before done.

I guess I'll have to ponder this awhile!


By the way, I'll be in New Jersey over the weekend, giving CAN THIS MANUSCRIPT be saved to the eager chapter members for their monthly meeting. This is an updated version so even if you've seen it before, it will be new!

I can't wait to see everyone!


Monday, May 3, 2010


One of the newbees on a published-author loop recently asked us what we do in our downtime. She’d been “bought” the year before and in that time had written another book and an anthology. Now she had a proposal in and she wondered what she should do. She wanted to know what we did in our downtime.

The answers from the authors on the loop were great! Two authors traveled. Seriously traveled. LOL One had planned a trip to Thailand! Now that sounds like fun.

One author wrote books and articles for other companies. Still another wrote things she didn’t think would ever get published. They were works she used to stretch her creativity and her imagination.

But most of us did promo work.

While waiting to hear from my editor one DAY, I wrote my ezine (which comes out during the months in which I have a book being released), I updated my website, wrote blogs, wrote ads for two books to be released this summer. I posted excerpts of my books and recipes on two other blogs I run in conjunction with my website, and posted replies to other peoples’ blogs! I practiced a workshop I’m giving live next weekend. Wrote a workshop. And put up 2 lessons of a workshop I’m teaching online.

I did all this while calling my doctor, finalizing my taxes, picking out new siding for my house, programming my GPS unit for a trip on Sunday to my son’s new house, paying the monthly bills, taking the online health survey for my insurance company, doing laundry and dishes, cooking, and cleaning up after the holiday.

I don’t get a lot of downtime between books. So when I get a day, even if I think that day might stretch into two or three, I have to get done absolutely everything that I can.

Lots of people gasp when they see my to-do list. Others shake their heads in awe. But the truth is most working women do this much work in a day, if not more! Especially if they have kids.

This is why I’m proud to be a romance novelist. The books we write typically end up in the hands of frazzled females, desperate for a few minutes of piece and quiet. Maybe some excitement. Maybe a little romance. I’m happy to provide it.

I understand what it’s like to be that frazzled mom. Even though my kids are grown, it wasn’t so long ago I was shuttling little ones to Little League or gymnastics.

And I’m not alone. Most authors understand what it’s like to be at the end of a very short rope.

That’s probably why so many readers love romance novels. Readers click with the books because they were written by women very much like them.

Susan Meier

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Great Covers

I'm one of those lucky people who always seems to get a great cover. I'm not sure why. Sometimes I think my books sort of lend themselves to good covers. Other times I think the editorial staff just plain likes me ... thanks, ladies! And still other times I think it's the luck of the draw.

I just answered a survey today about online media. Basically, the questionnaire wanted to know what kind of online activities I engaged in. I know everybody is always trying to figure out why one author becomes more successful than another. And lots of involved entities (writers, agents, editors, publishers ... internet providers) would love to discover that tweeting or facebooking or blogging or even having a website put one author over another in sales. But, seriously, though I love to blog and tweet and meet my peeps on facebook, I think it's all about the covers.

If I'm in the mood for a book about a family, a cover that shows a hero and heroine with a child will snag my attention. If I'm feeling Cinderella-ish, a cover like the one for MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE, with the heroine dressed like a princess, dancing with a prince, will always catch my eye. If I'm in the mood for supsense, show me an eerie-looking cover, give me smog and shadows and I'll lap up the book the way Miss Sophie drinks her morning milk.

I have a TBR pile about a mile high. But I have to confess most of the books are freebies I've gotten at conferences. When I actually pick up a book at a bookstore or online, I read it! There is nothing wrong with the books I've gotten for free, I simply wouldn't have chosen them. I guess I like to choose my own books.

Wow. I never realized how independent I was until I wrote that last line!

Could that be true with all of us? Do we like to be swept away by a cover? Do titles capture our interest? Is that really why we choose one book over another because a cover or title promises us a great adventure, a great love or simply just a great experience?

I think so. Reading is all about putting yourself into another town, another life. No other medium is so intimate. Covers and titles play an important part in enticing us to that other world.

Which is why I'm so glad I've been lucky with covers. I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of my cover for my August book MAID FOR THE SINGLE DAD because I know the editors will do the story proud.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Washington Romance Writers Retreat Booksigning

To kick off the Washington Romance Writers Retreat, a booksigning was held at Turn the page Bookstore CafĂ©. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the store, it’s owned and operated by Bruce Wilder who is the husband of New York Times Bestselling author Nora Roberts.

Not only does Turn The Page offer personalized service, good coffee and over 2000 different titles in most genres, many of which are autographed, but also it is the most hospitable bookstore I’ve ever had the pleasure of signing books in!

The story of my day began at 5:45 a. m. in Johnstown’s airport with a delayed flight! I didn’t arrive at Turn The Page until over an hour after the official start time of 11:30, but Bruce and his staff made me feel incredibly welcome and part of the wonderful booksigning, which included Nora Roberts, J. D. Robb, Charlaine Harris, Ruth Langan/R.C. Ryan, Gail Barrett, Roxanne St. Clair, Leigh Duncan (signing her first book!), Ellen Dugan, Susan Donovan, Lavinia Kent, Michelle Monkou, Christine Trent, Jean Marie Ward, Karen Anders, Heidi Betts and, of course, me…Susan Meier.

The interesting thing about this event is that readers eagerly await its arrival every year. Hundreds of fabulous romance readers arrive, get a ticket (so they don’t have to stand in line for hours) and then enjoy scenic Boonsboro, Maryland until their time arrives to meet the authors.

I was lucky enough to be sitting at the first table with the lovely and talented Susan Donovan. Susan is an NYT bestselling author of sexy, funny romances and she loves the fans. The fans also love her! She’s generous and spontaneous and she entertained everyone who came through the door.

We met some of the most incredible people. Readers with stories of their own to share, who talked to us about everything from new babies (or grandbabies) to their hobbies and jobs. It was a fantastic opportunity for writers to listen to those stories and understand how much readers enjoy a book that allows them to slip away for a few hours.

So thanks to Bruce Wilder and company for making the day special not just for fifteen authors who signed, but also for those wonderful readers!
I’ll definitely return to Turn The Page someday when I get to be one of the happy readers browsing through the stacks!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Meier Magic

All writers lose confidence sometimes. Not just the peons like me. The big guns too. I've read their blogs. Anyway, a few weeks ago, my confidence wobbled and to bring me back from the seventh layer of hell, my editor told me how much she and the senior editor loved my books. She said they always contained a certain sparkle. It wasn't something they could explain or quanitfy. So they called it the Meier Magic. Somehow, some way, in every book I serve up a scene or two that hits everyone right in the heart. Something that resonates with readers because it's achingly familiar.

Needless to say, that lifted my flagging confidence. But it also made me curious. I never set out to make anyone cry. Well, maybe a little. But I never say something like "In this chapter I'm going to make people see what it feels like to be alone, wish they were more, wish they were stronger or better or different." Those themes just come out.

Truth be told, the themes I write about sometimes puzzle me. I lead a rather ordinary life.

But maybe that's the key. Today, for instance, I put on blue jeans and my "I-heart-hot-sex" t-shirt (a sort of gag gift from my husband from many years ago) and drove to Pittsburgh with my husband to help our son move into the new house he bought with his girlfriend, Alexis.

Alexis is lovely. Funny. Sweet. Easy to be around. So it was fun to grab some glass cleaner and antibacterial cleaner, my trusty swiffer and a roll of paper towels and go to work. We spritzed and dusted while we chit chatted, imagining great things for their first house. Then we packed up to leave again because my husband has to work tonight.

We walked to our SUV, telling Spunky how much we liked the house and saying goodbye, but when I slid onto the passenger seat and looked up at my son, standing in front of the open doorway of his new house, my heart did something that even a writer can't describe. It didn't turn over. It didn't squeeze. It didn't sink or expand or anything normal. It sort of stopped and froze and time stood still.

Spunky left home at nineteen for basic training for the Army Reserves. He finished basic, then college, and got a job in Washington, D. C. with Congressman Murtha. Shortly thereafter he was deployed to Iraq. He came home after 18 months and the Congressman transferred him to Johnstown where he lived and worked for a few years before getting a job in Pittsburgh. He rented a townhouse there and he's lived 'away' from us for almost a year.

He hasn't really lived with us for at least five years, but, today, seeing him on that front door stoop, with my heart bleeding out in my tight, tight chest, I knew he wasn't my little boy anymore. Everything he'd done until this time -- all the moves, all the traveling -- was temporary. This was permanent.

I suppose this is what mothers feel when they see their kids get married, or when they move somewhere far, far away. Or maybe it's what they feel the day they realize their little boy or girl isn't a child anymore.

Whatever it was, it still hurts. Little tears are splashing on my keyboard right now. Kids are so eager to grow up that they sometimes forget their moms always want them to remain children.

And that, I guess, is the Meier Magic. It's that I'm as human as everybody else. My life is pretty much the same as everybody else's. And I write about things that you recognize because we all go through the same things. Good and bad. Sad or inevitable.

Do I wish I had a magic lamp that could make my son six again? Yes. But no. (He was a real handful in junior high. Thought he was Bart Simpson.) Every stage and step of life is important. Some are just a little harder to transition through than others.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cholesterol and the Meaning of Life

On January 4, 2010, I began a low cholesterol diet. My cholesterol was fairly high, but in some ways that was good news (depending upon how masochistic you are) because I desperately wanted to lose weight and couldn't seem to motivate myself.

When you are presented with the opportunity to have a piece of cake, which might come with a heart attack somewhere down the road, it's much easier to say no to the cake. And pretty soon I was on a fairly nice roll with the diet.

I discovered some great things about myself. Like: I had forgotten how to tell myself no. Or maybe I'd forgotten how to listen when I told myself no! LOL In general I ate too much. I ate for entertainment. I ate when I was bored. I ate when I was happy. I ate when I was sad. There wasn't an event or reason I could add a slab of baloney to.

Plus I had forgotten what it felt like to be genuinely hungry, to eat because my body needed fuel. Worse, I rarely got off my butt. I work in a chair, played cards and Yahtzee with my son in the afternoons also in a chair, and watched TV at night laying on the couch. The invention of the remote, I've decided, was not such a good thing. I'll bet if we studied this out, we'd learn America's sudden explosion of weight is as much the fault of the television remote as it is the fault of fast food. But I digress...

Realizing I had some really, really bad habits, rather than look at this adventure as a diet, I began to realize I needed to look at it as an opportunity to fix those bad habits. To change the way I looked at food. To get myself back to eating because I was hungry. (What a concept!)

After months or arguing with myself, battling the desire to scarf down a ho-ho when my writing didn't go well or the absolute whiny need for a beer on Friday nights, I managed to make some significant changes. I lost nearly 20 pounds and could once again fit into most of my clothes. When it came time to check my invisible cholestrol progress, I went to the doctor wearing my favorite capris and a cute little top. There was a spring in my step and a lilt in my laugh! I was absolutely positive I'd aced this thing!

But I didn't do as well with the cholesterol lowering as I had hoped. Still, the good news is this will keep me watching what I eat for another several months and maybe I'll drop another ten or fifteen pounds? And really ingrain my new eating habits.

Sometimes it's all a matter of perspective.

And that takes me the meaning of life portion of this blog. Really, a lot of life is a matter of perspective. So if you have a choice, it's always wise to look on the sunny side. It rarely does any good to rant and rail. But it does a lot of good to find the silver lining in your clouds!

So the next time life hands you lemons, think of me and my cholesterol. In finding the silver lining I'll eventually succeed. And, really, what else am I going to do for the next six months! LOL

Have a good week...Oh and skip on over to Amazon and take a look at the cover for MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE. I just love it! It won't be out until July, but you can drool over the cover! LOL


Monday, April 5, 2010

Grubby Kids

I was wrong about not being able to post today. My husband is still sleeping. We won't be on the road to Gettysburg for another hour or here I am. Ready to talk about my Easter.

There is only one word to describe kids sometimes. Grubby. When they get to that place where they are beyond dirty, but you knew they had a good time getting smeared with mud and covered in grime, a kids is grubby.

Especially if they're smiling. LOL And our kids were smiling yesterday.

The weather has been warm here in Western, PA, so my brothers and older nephews played softball with the kids. Picture it. We have kids who are two and kids who are in their thirties who love to play softball. So you can have someone under three feet tall who comes up to bat, or someone who could knock the living room window out of my sister Helen's house.

There's a baseball sized lot between my mom and my sister's house. In the fall, they use it for football. But I digress. Yesterday, little boys in their good pants and little girls who'd only minutes before changed out of frilly pastel dresses, grabbed a bat and mit and headed for the field.

What's fun about watching these games is seeing the lengths my brothers and older nephews will go to to make the younger kids feel included. They'll pretend to bobble balls so that a pint-sized hitter will make it to first. Or they'll catch a ball and quickly toss it to the kid beside them so the kid can make the big play.

I remember my uncles doing that for me when I was knee-high to a grasshopper (as they used to say). I remember how good it felt to be a part of things. I smile now thinking about it.

There's nothing like the attention of an uncle or an older cousin at a family function. The aunts and moms and female cousins always fuss over kids, making sure you have dinner etc. But the uncles only really get a chance to get to know you over a good game of softball.

So our kids were ball-game grubby yesterday. They came into the house caked in dirt with faces wreathed in smiles. Next Easter when we're under four foot of snow, they'll think back on today and laugh.

And that's what family is all about. Praise for the brownies that are burned around the edges, but really basically tasted good. Noticing weight losses and new hair dos and listening to stories of high school and college. And softball. A time to simply go outside and enjoy a day.

Hope your Easter was happy!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Gap between posts

The huge gap between posts was not my fault...Well, maybe a little. I had to migrate my blog to another something or another. I have enough trouble just getting myself to the proper place to blog. So migrating...was a say the least.

What have you missed in my life in the lost two weeks? Not much. Except the cholesterol-lowering diet has been successful in the weight loss department. At the doctor's I discovered I'd lost 20 pounds! I had blood drawn, so we can see if the cholesterol actually went down. (Please God!) My doctor reminded me that I'll probably have to stick to a low fat diet for the rest of my life, but I heard my swimsuit cheering in my bottom drawer, so that might be a good thing.

I finished the Christmas anthology for my release this November with the lovely and talented, Barbara Wallace. A BABY BENEATH HIS CHRISTMAS TREE. It's a very cute story. I think it might be one of my best. And we have the editors to thank for that. Specifically, my editor, Sally Williamson who worked tirelessly on this with me. She's a doll. And smart! (A great combo!)

I got the cover for my July release. When you're done reading this, scroll down. I posted it. I love the cover because it looks so Cinderella-ish, and this heroine truly is a Cinderella of sorts. She lost her prince when she miscarried their first child, then pulled herself up by her bootstraps and started a company to support herself after their marriage failed. She also works tirelessly for a charity that provides homes for abused women.

This heroine definitely deserves a happy ending. She also deserved that very nice book cover. I can hardly wait for readers' response to this book. It easily turned into one of my favorites when I wrote it, so I'm hoping it will also become one of yours!

Let's daughter got a job at a Starbucks, which the whole family loves! My youngest is about to have a birthday. And Miss Sophia has been able to go outside every day this week because Western Pennsylvania is actually having a spring this year.

You're caught up now. And my regular blog entries should be popping up again. So we're back in business. Monday ... or probably Wednesday...I should have great holiday stories to tell. I say Wednesday because Monday we're going to my husband's sister's for a little break.

Anyway, on Sunday I'll get to see all my brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews and all the people who congregate at my mother's for a holiday. We'll overeat, play poker and in general have a good time. So stay tuned. I'm sure Miss Lanie will do something cute. Jake will be adorable. Gavin and Owen will make us laugh. And maybe I'll win at Texas Hold 'em...or not. The whole concept of betting seems to escape me.

Happy Easter, everyone!


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

July Cover!

I'm excited to preview the cover of my July book which is the first of a duet I have out this summer with Harlequin!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

This blog has moved

This blog is now located at
You will be automatically redirected in 30 seconds, or you may click here.

For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to

What day is it?

This morning, I got up early. My cat, Sophia Maria Lolita Conchita Chequita Banana, is in a mood. Last week we had lovely weather and she was allowed outside everyday. Yesterday, we had rain mixed with hail and she had to stay indoors. She takes this personally, as if I somehow control the weather so that I can control her, and she fancies herself a free spirit. No amount of lecturing sways her opinion...

But I digress...

Writing is sort of a solitary profession but the Internet has really spiced things up. Still, I have days when I just want to get out of the house. Deadlines typically preclude that, so I find myself agreeing to do things all over the place. For instance, I'm blogging seven times in July. Yes, seven. I'm giving three online workshops in the next few months. And I'm going to more than a few conferences.

None of that seems ridiculously difficult, unless I get a deadline. Or my son gets sick. Or my daughter has a crisis. Or my youngest son moves (he bought the house he's moving into next cross fingers!). Or my husband makes a plan that includes me.

The funny thing about working from home is that sometimes, somehow, your personal life and your work life knit together. Right now I have someone who wants me to make my airline reservations for an upcoming speaking engagement so she can make hers...and my response is I can't. After I get my work done today I need to go grocery shopping and houseclean the living room for the holiday.

I winced when I sent the email. I know she's going to think I'm nuts. How can I give grocery shopping the same level of importance as meeting a deadline or making travel arrangements? It's easy. I like to eat. (Maybe a bit too much!) And the cupboards are bare.

I've done dishes and put in a load of laundry while talking with my editor about my next project. And, of course, I've been known to scribble notes about my next book while eating dinner or attending church.

Creating is such an odd business that you (seriously) can't control it. You cannot say I will write from eight until noon and then houseclean for company tonight. If the words are flowing and you WILL find a way to both write and cook dinner. In fact, I suspect most writers have done it. I also bet some of us have run to the ladies room when out to dinner with friends, taken a notebook from our purse and written a scene.

One of my favorite places to write seems to be in church. I'm not particularly proud of this, except that I think that if you get your best scene ideas while sitting in church it could be argued that those scenes have been divinely inspired...Not buying it? Neither does my husband! :)

Anyway, the point I'm making, in my roundabout way, is that despite my best efforts, it took my Google calendar to remind me that I was supposed to blog today.

At first I gasped in horror that I'd be so late in posting, then I realized...Hey, I actually did remember.

And that's my second point. Somehow in this crazy existence where housekeeping and public speaking get the same level of importance (but different clothes) it all works. Because of my career, I do have time to take my son to doctor's appointments and help houseclean my mom's house. I can tell my dentist, "Put me in whatever time YOU have available." Dentists love that. And so do hairdressers. My sister can schedule me at a time that suits her, making it possible for her to please cliets who aren't so lucky.

So writers are a bit crazy. Our lives are definitely weird. But it's a fun, interesting kind of crazy!

susan meier

susan meier
A duet from Harlequin Romance July and August 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

NOLA's conference is wonderful!

My family thinks I'm a bit crazy. (Who's family doesn't think they're a bit crazy?) Friday, I boarded a plane in Johnstown, stopped in Altoona, flew to Washington, DC, then on to Dallas where I caught a plane for Shreveport, Louisianna...for one day at a conference.

Only a writer, someone who works at home, in her pajamas, with a cat as a best friend and confidante, can understand why someone would spend 12 hours in the air and in airports for a mere thirty-six hours with other writers!

Our lives really aren't boas and bon bons. Boas are itchy and my butt would be huge if I ate candy every day. But more than that the chance to actually interact with other creative people makes anybody who writes absolutely giddy.

Plus, industry professionals attend conferences. I spoke with Melissa Jeglinski, a former editor at Silhouette who is now an agent at the Knight Agency, Beth Miller also an agent from Writer's House, Laura Bradford from Bradford Literary Agency and Jessica Sebor from Bantam Dell.

Now, Jessica Sebor is looking for a project like one of my current projects, but all the agents I chatted with don't necessarily represent what I write. Still...The thing about conferences is you can bet your last dime that everybody you meet loves books. I can bring up just about any title or author and find myself in a stimulating conversation.

What a glorious opportunity!

So I'm back at my desk today, about to dive into the project that might just fit in Jessica's list. I'm happy, rejuvinated, filled with glorious, wonderful energy. In spite of the five feet of snow that's still in my front yard!

I also chatted with Sara Reyes of the web site Fresh Fiction! I'd heard of the site but, busy girl that I am, I hadn't had the chance to check it out until this morning. Imagine my delight when I skipped over and found a picture of myself with Peaches! What a great site!

But the real bottom line for the success of this conference was the wonderful people! I never felt alone. I immediately felt I was among friends. I talked about books and kids and writing so much that I've sort of lost my voice this morning.

The workshop I gave was well received. I very much appreciated all the thank yous!

So thank you NOLA Stars! In my book, you truly are all stars!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Hair Dye Day!

Every month (or six weeks) Hair Dye Day is a holiday at our house. Not only do I actually leave the house for several hours, but I take a book to read. We usually order out or I bring home dinner. And we play some Wii golf.

As I was humming to myself this morning -- enjoying Hair Dye Day -- I thought about the weird things that fold into our lives and become odd little traditions. Like getting pizza on Friday nights. Or going to the movies on Tuesday afternoons. (This week we'll go on Thursday afternoon since Hair Dye Day interrupts our regularly scheduled movie.)

My son plays darts once a week. I drive him and then have a glorious half hour all to myself in the car. That's a blessing that only people with kids truly understand.

Lots of the members of my family gather at my mother's house every Sunday afternoon. It's mostly grandkids, cousins, who spend two or three hours every week, catching up, keeping in touch.

The little traditions or rituals we have actually make up the framework of our lives, the things we look forward to, the nice things we do for ourselves, the ways we can turn an otherwise ordinary day (Hair Dye Day!) into a holiday.

I'm giving a workshop this weekend at the NOLA conference. My topic is conflicts. I base my theories of conflict on incorrect core beliefs. But thinking about the odd traditions and rituals all around me, I'm beginning to see that those can tell you as much about a character!

So Happy Hair Dye Day. I hope you have a few fun, comforting, or just-for-ease traditions of your own!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Every Sunday...

Every Sunday I sit down at my computer and think about what's happened in my past week...mining my memory for something interesting to blog about.

This was a weird week. In addition to having six books to read (and judge) for the Rita, a niece and a friend both asked me to critique their work. I've started the second book in a series for Harlequin. I did some revisions on next year's Christmas story. And, of course, as always I'm working on the single title I started last fall.

While others are whining about the several feet of snow under which we are currently buried, I've hardly noticed it. Oh, I know it's there. I don't like to drive in snow; so when I step outside, car keys in hand, if there's snow I pretty much turn around and go back inside.

This is the biggest reason I think I should live in a warmer climate! I become a virtual hermit in the winter. Plus, people look at me weird for wearing sunglasses. But I love sunglasses! And have you ever seen the glare that comes off snow? It's blinding.

I miss my capris. I miss wearing cute sandals. I would like to play real golf instead of Wii golf.

Hey, wait! I'm whining about the snow! See I'm normal after all.

Have a great week!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines Day

I've always fought the battle of the bulge. I either spent my entire life dieting or chubby. Some years chubby was preferrable! Anyway, the first year my husband and I were married, he arranged for a dozen red roses to be delivered to wish me Happy Valentine's Day. When he came home, I was sobbing on the couch.

Horrified, and probably thinking someone had died, he said, "What's wrong?"

I said, "You think I'm fat!"

Knowing that was a crime punishable by death in Susan Meier World, he gasped. "I don't think you're fat!"

I said, "If you really didn't think I was fat you would have bought me candy for Valentine's Day."

Thus began the tradition of me getting candy every year for Valentine's Day.

Until this year. January 4 I began a low cholesterol diet. I have been doing remarkably well. So well, in fact, that I knew the very thought of having chocolates in the house would kill me.

So rather than chocolates and a steak dinner, I got Happy Valentine's Day oatmeal and a really cute necklace with a cat pendant.

One would think a romance novelist would have a more spectacular Valentine's Day than that, but it actually gets worse.

My husband's wedding ring suddenly no longer fits him. He doesn't look like he's gained weight, but his fingers are now really ... well, fat. LOL So a few weeks ago I found a gorgeous (subdued and very manly) diamond ring on sale at a jewelry store in the mall. So I bought it for him. When he opened it, his face fell.

I didn't have to be a mind reader to know he hated it. Choking back tears, because I thought buying him a new wedding ring was incredibly romantic (certainly better than Valentine's Day oatmeal) I said, "Don't you like it?"

He said, ""

I said, "But it's a wedding ring. Yours no longer fits. I thought...I thought..." I thought about telling him he must think I'm fat to get the conversational guilt trip back to him, but in the end I said, "I thought you wanted a new ring."

He said, "No. I want my old ring. The one we bought when we couldn't afford rings. The one that matches yours. The one I married you with."

I stopped stuttering.

"Why don't we get that one sized so I can wear it again?"

And with one simple thought my husband changed the course of our Valentine's Day.

People wonder where romance writers get the ideas for our books. Worse, lots of critics claim real men don't act (or speak) like our heros sometimes do. Well, guess again. In my travels around the country and on the internet I've discovered that romance writers are married to some of the most romantic men around.

My husband certainly is a romantic. Not of the icky, sticky, mushy kind. But the grab your heart and squeeze it kind. What woman wouldn't be touched hearing that the man she loves doesn't want the fancy ring she bought him, but the plain silver band that reminds him of the day they got married?

He's a peach. And I'm keeping him.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Because it was there...

This morning I wrote the first several pages of a book I probably won't even consider writing until April. Why would I do such a thing when I have deadlines and taxes and lots of online work to do like write an ezine and post blogs...and teach online classes and write online classes...sheesh, I forgot how much I actually do!...LOL

Anyway, I took precious time to do that because "It was there." The whole scene in living color, complete with heart-stopping emotion.

That's the thing about writing that lots of people don't get and few writers can really explain. Yes, on a good day I can write as many as forty pages. But everything has to be aligned. The story has to be popping. The characters have to be alive and vibrant. I have to understand what they are feeling and why. I have to know that the steps I having them take on the page really do fit the story...and also really will interest readers.

So most days I don't get forty pages. Most days I don't get twenty pages. Realistically on good days I get ten. Bad days I get two! LOL

When I hear someone give an exact timeline for writing a book, I admire them. I can't say exactly how long it will take me to write a book. I can come close, but not exact. Not even in terms of weeks because I don't know how quickly I'll get a good grasp of the characters and situations. I certainly don't rely on a muse, but I do rely (heavily) on the juxtaposition of character and story. That sweet moment when you know that what your characters want to do on the page is exactly what should be happening!

How do I get to that point? Sometimes it's by writing a thing or two that doesn't work! LOL Some days I get twenty pages but ten of them won't show up in the book. What they do "show" is what does't work, or maybe some background I needed to know but which I will condense into a sentence or paragraph of transition...After she spent an hour in the tub thinking about things ...

Or...After breakfast...

Or ... She took her horse Rainbow on a tour of their new home, and by the time she returned to the Silver Saddle Ranch she was better able to deal with Brock.

Lots of things happened on those little "thinking it through" jaunts. I saw them. Then I cut and pasted them into a "maybe we'll use this later" document and reduced the episode to only what was relevant for the readers.

A lot goes into the books you know and love. Lots of thought, lots of effort, lots of experimenting and lots of time!

That's why it's so great to wake up (as I did today) not just with a full-blown scene in my head but also to a lovely email from a fan who loved my November Christmas story!

Thank you, Christine!


Friday, January 29, 2010

Wow...Where the Heck Did January Go?

I'm sitting here looking at my calendar in shock because January is gone. I know why I missed it. I was writing a book that took all my concentration.

I can admit now that the book was one of the most difficult I've ever written. Not because it was a bad idea or I'm a bad writer, but because it was a great idea and I'm an author who wanted to do it justice.

I love it when a book falls together easily. Who doesn't? LOL But the challenge of having such a great idea, with two spectacular characters, is even more appealing. I can see readers picking up this book and not being able to put it down. There's nothing ordinary about it.

Which was why it tortured me...and I tortured back! A book like this is the highlight of my year...maybe even my career.

Or maybe it's a turning point? That would be interesting!

But whatever happened with that book, it was a joyful experience. I think the book is coming out next January. I will keep you posted on the release date.

Now, I'm off to Walmart. I've barely shopped in the past four weeks. Our cupboards are bare and we were down to eating Honey Nut Cheerios and macaroni...and hot dogs! As long as I stayed away from the hot dogs, I also stuck to my diet. I'm into it over three weeks now ... very close to four...and just about ten pounds down.

Let's hope my cholesterol is also plummeting!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Still Low Fat After All These Days...

Most people wouldn't be celebrating after only 17 days on a successful no fat program. But after five years of steadily increasing weight and absolutely no will power (or want power) to finally be sticking to a program is liberating. Fun. I feel like bragging. But I won't because I know that as soon as I brag I will fall off the wagon! LOL

I'm not a weak person. Typically, I'm very disciplined. You should see my work schedule. I work nearly every day. I give myself Sundays off, but some Sundays I can't think for all the ideas bouncing around in my head and it's self-preservation to actually write those days. Better than rest.

I teach an online class nearly every month. I try to get them posted in the Coming Attractions pages for the website, so that writers who want the benefit of my experience can sign up for the classes, but I'm not always diligent about that.

I also go to at least three live conferences a year. Most of them I teach a class.

I read blogs, guest blog, do the job of membership chair for PASIC.

Right now, I'm researching beach houses for summer vacation with 3 of my sisters and a niece (and their husbands and kids!).

So why couldn't I be disciplined about eating? It was crazy!

But I finally think I figured out the magic. As I told my sister on Cake for Jake Day (his 5th birthday), the decision becomes simple when your cholesterol is high. (Thanks to God-awful eating habits for five years!) On the one hand you continue eating cake and potentially have a heart attack. (Yes, I know it's a tad dramatic but some days I need a true kick in the pants) On the other hand, you don't eat cake and you get your cholesterol down and you don't have a heart attack.

I guess you can see from that that drama motivates me. LOL

But I also have a lovely, smaller-size suit hanging outside my closet door. I want to wear that to the NOLA conference the first week in March...and it just about fits. So I've got lots of motivation like wind at my back!

I've also gotten some great recipes for things like chicken. Once I get permissions from the writers who gave them to me, I'll be posting them in the Homecooking Blog just a few clicks away on

So stay tuned!


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Interesting Week

This has been an interesting week. Not only did I finally hit the point where I liked the first 100 pages of my new book enough that I could move on, but also I stuck to my low cal diet.

I feel as if there should be a billboard somewhere congratulating me!

Lots of people think that writing books gets easier as you go along. I'm now well past 40 books (I should really count them someday) and yet this book has been difficult. Not because I've forgotten what to do but because I really, really, really want to get it right.

The characters are amazing. The storyline is wonderful. I'd hate to screw it up with poor execution! LOL

That's the kind of thing writers agonize over. We don't really care about reviews...we love the good and forget the bad! LOL We care about sales. We certainly want our books to get out to the public. But a lot of that is out of our control so we let it go to the universe.

But...execution of story? Finding a really great story with wonderful characters and making sure it's executed in such a way that it makes you laugh and cry and root for the hero and heroine...That's poetry to us. Nirvana.

So if it takes a little longer to get something in...we're okay with that as long as our publisher is too.