Wednesday, May 30, 2012


It's that time of year when new beginnings and fond farewells are in the air. Being a grandmother, I found myself right in the middle of that this year. My granddaughter (the one on the left-top picture) graduated from vet school a couple of weeks ago. The last time I looked, she was just a little girl. Now she's a doctor ready to live the dream she's worked so hard to achieve.

     When my grandson (bottom picture) performed at his school choir's Pops Concert, I had to blink back a few more tears. It seems just yesterday I was singing A Bear Went Over the Mountain with him. Now he's on stage performing and visiting colleges in anticipation for his graduation from high school next year. Time passes all too quickly. A blink and they're grown.

And yet, I'm all too proud of them.  And though they don't realize it, they are the inspiration for all the wonderful children who fill my stories. Hope you're enjoying the Big D Dad series. SON OF A GUN is available now. LIVE AMMO will be out in July.

Would love to hear your end-of-school-year and graduations stories. Please share.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hi, I'm Paula, and I'm a Binge Reader.

It's not just that I read multiple books in a row as fast as I can when I have the chance to read.  It's that I tend to find a single author whose work I like and proceed to read my way voraciously through the entire book list.

I've recently read all but one of the Dick Francis mysteries available for purchase.  Well, I say recently.  It's actually taken me about three years to get to them all.  And I've gone back and re-read a few that I particularly liked. There's one book I have at home somewhere that I know I haven't read yet, but I think it may be boxed up somewhere. I'll have to go hunting for it the next time I have some writing down time.

Before Dick Francis, it was the Harry Potter series, all of the Jane Austen books, the entire Dean Koontz Odd Thomas book collection and every old Lilian Peake Harlequin Romance book I could get my hands on. I also got sucked into a Luis Mendoza mystery by Dell Shannon and ended up reading every single one of those books I could find at either the library, the thrift stores or the used book stores. As a child, I made it through all of the original Trixie Belden mysteries one after the other, and collected as many Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books as I could find.

I also binge read nonfiction sometimes, such as all of the John Douglas profiling books, or the whole Lewis Grizzard humor book collection. (See the image above!)

I've been fortunate, in some ways, that I came to many of the book series I loved after they were essentially complete.  It made binge reading easier and I didn't have the agonizing wait, for instance, for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  My niece already owned all seven Harry Potter books before I read the first one, so I didn't have to wait for any of them. (Which might explain my Thanksgiving weekend reading binge wherein I read all seven books back to back, barely stopping to eat or sleep).

Are you a binge reader? Do you have a series or the works of a particular author that you couldn't read fast enough or often enough? 


Saturday, May 26, 2012


The 2012 Daphne du Maurier Contest sponsored by the RWA Mystery & Suspense Writers chapter (commonly known as Kiss Of Death) announced it finalists for the Series Romantic Suspense category. All five places went to Harlequin Intrigues.
In case you missed them in 2011, you might want to put these keepers on your shelf or electronic reader.

September 2011

When he saw his mark being kidnapped, Recovery Project agent Zach Bachman had no option but to rescue her. Even if it endangered his assignment. After weeks of watching Sela Andrews from afar, he was now trapped with the blonde beauty as her bodyguard.

Her brave protector relished the heat of gun battle but retreated from his own emotions. Sela learned that when, in the dead of night in a darkened safe house, the loner became her lover. Still, as her would-be killers closed in on them again, she had no choice but to put her life—and her heart—in the hands of her reluctant guardian.

October 2011


Agent Harlan McClain has his target in sight. But he’s not pulling the trigger. Instead his assignment is providing Stacy Giordano—the governor’s aide—with security. An easy job for a former marine sniper. And yet, the guarded single mother’s beauty and devotion to her exceptional child soon have Harlan reshuffling his priorities. In the dead of night, in her bed, he promises to keep her and her son from harm. But when an unexpected crisis arises, Harlan is suddenly torn between keeping his word, and taking out a killer.…

December 2011

The Precinct: SWAT--an elite team who'll put everything on the line.


SWAT team member Miranda Murdock can’t bake, or get a three-year-old to eat. But she can shoot the wings off a fly. Which is why she’s protecting millionaire Quinn Gallagher’s daughter. But the little girl is soon tugging at Miranda’s heartstrings. And Quinn is doing other things to her—exciting, forbidden, bedroom things—making her job riskier each day.…

Quinn is determined to find the killer threatening his daughter’s life. Despite the danger, he wants Miranda with shocking intensity. The elite cop is a puzzle he can’t figure out, and desire between them builds with each heartbeat. Yet with New Year’s Eve and the killer’s deadline approaching, even a single kiss could spell disaster…

February 2011


Undercover DEA agent Erren Rhodes was used to working alone. So the very idea of teaming up with Officer Darby O’Malley to ferret out a killer wasn’t exactly how he thought this critical mission would go. But thanks to information only the beautiful cop possessed, finding whoever was responsible for shooting Erren’s friend made Darby a valuable—and irresistible—partner.

Digging into the case reveals a far-reaching conspiracy…and angers all the wrong people. Trying to bring a killer to justice while keeping Darby safe is making Erren remember why he is better off on his own. Especially when Darby makes him long to stay together in the safe house and never let her out of his sight.

August 2011 

Jake Underwood has recovered from the terrible injuries he suffered in Iraq—except for the haunting flashbacks of the attack that decimated his unit. Then suddenly, in the middle of one of those, he sees not the familiar desert landscape of his nightmares, but a terrified and missing little girl.

Chief of Police Eden Reddick knows that with each passing hour, her chances of finding kidnap victim Raine Nolan alive decrease. That terrifying countdown resonates more strongly with Eden because her own sister was taken under similar circumstances and never seen again. 

Despite being willing to pursue every lead, Eden can’t explain how or why Raine could appear in Major Underwood’s flashback. She is, however, impressed with the ex-soldier’s determination to find the child and bring her home. As they work desperately to rescue Raine, Eden begins to feel more than admiration for Jake, but can she keep her town’s anger and suspicions of him from compounding the tragedy they already face? 

~ ~ ~

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pregnant heroine on the cover.. taboo or okay?

SPY HARD is coming next week! I'm so excited about this book. (available for pre-order now on amazon). I've written pregnant heroines before, but I think it's the first time I got one on the cover. What do you think? I hope it won't offend readers. Which wouldn't even have ever occurred to me, but apparently there's this taboo about pregnant women in public that is still alive and well in certain parts of the country? We had a neighbor once who was a QVC shopping channel model. When she got pregnant, they just stopped asking her to come in. Not even to model rings on her hands etc. Apparently, they got a ton of phone calls from people who were offended by the fact that she was modeling while pregnant. Mind you she was modeling shoes and jewelry and holding up kitchen items, etc. It wasn't like she was modeling negligee.

Personally, I think being pregnant is fantastic. :-) I don't even mind moms breastfeeding in public if it's done discreetly. I can certainly turn my head. Although, I think the Time magazine cover last week was waaaay strange.

What do you think? Honestly, if I had to pick one thing I'd rather not see in public, it would be guys with their pants hanging down and their underwear showing. :-) Hopefully, I'll never get one of those for my cover!

Anyway... back to books. Do you ever do online reviews? I'm giving out review copies on my personal blog today. Pop in if you're interested.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend! --Dana

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I was having trouble working through a latest synopsis for Intrigue. Tim found the latest puzzle featuring Harlequin old covers and I decided to put it together.  Synopsis half hour, puzzle forty-five minutes. Synopsis half hour, puzzle over an hour. It went that way while I was by myself for several days. Unfortunately, I never noticed that the new puppies--Dallas & Tex-- decided to stick their noses into the pieces.  If you look closely above there are three pieces missing. And let me tell you, they are totally gone. Never hit the floor gone. LOL

This is the puzzle we put together on the Easter camping trip. Even out college visitors worked on it. Just can't help trying to find a piece of a puzzle.

I love suspense, smart heroes & heroines who work the problem, finding the pieces that fit for the solution. Maybe that's why I'm enjoying jigsaw puzzles.  I'm ready to start the next puzzle...and my next writing project: PROTECTING THEIR CHILD. (I'll be taking a road trip soon and will post pictures I'll be taking for research.)

It's been a busy month with the two new four-legged friends and the baby's graduation from Baylor University. So busy that I forgot to draw a winner from the picture blog. Didn't mean to avoid drawing...just got sidetracked by life. SO... the winners of a recently published Intrigue are:


Send me an email and we'll find you a book. And because of my forgetfulness, I'd like to give away the SIDNEY puzzle to someone leaving a comment today.

DO YOU LIKE PUZZLES of any type? Words, Pictures, Games, Jigsaw, Reading Intrigues?
Let me know which is your favorite for a chance to win the drawing.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Travels With Maggie

Just got back from a whirlwind weekend of travel to Kansas City to see one of my nephews graduate.  Lots of ideas to blog about.  Lots of story ideas and research details hit me every time I'm back home in the Kansas City area.  Saw lots of people I love (Hi, Aunt Margaret!  Thanks for letting me use your grandson's name as a future hero ;))  Even though it was my nephew's day (he got a scholarship to play baseball for a Missouri university!), everyone was so kind to also celebrate my good news... I made the USA TODAY Bestseller List with my current release, THE MARINE NEXT DOOR!!!  (Thank you to all the readers who put me there!)

But, since it was a long, fast trip, and we're picking up furniture and helping my son move it into his apartment (he's been sleeping on a cot there for a week) today, I'll keep the blog simple and share some pictures.

Our sweet dog Maggie traveled with us this time.  She was a hit everywhere she went.  Even had to doublecheck Grandma's bag to make sure she hadn't packed Maggie inside to take her home with her. ;)

 Here she is lounging on the king-size bed she was forced to share with hubby and me.
 Of course, if she could find a lap, that's what she preferred.
 She staked out territory and secured the perimeter at various locations in the K.C. area.  Also made a new friend with her cousin Cleo--a basset hound living in K.C.  Unfortunately, neither of them could attend the graduation.  But they both enjoyed running in the back yard with my son after the festivities.
Maggie even joined us at a fun diner in Marysville, Kansas on the way home to Nebraska.  Okay, so she didn't go inside with us, but she did get a couple of sample bites of their Swiss cheese burger, and she gave it a four paws up.
 I suppose I should share some pix from the big event.  Here I am with my brothers.  Little brother the Major (and proud papa of the graduate!) on the left.  Big brother (who thankfully, took far better pix than I did!) on the right.  Our next big trip will be to his daughter's wedding in St. Louis.  Lots of family doin's this summer.  (And hmm... lots of tall genes in my family, but they obviously skipped yours truly)
 And here's my nephew with his proud parents.  It was a lovely commencement.  Congrats to the Class of 2012!

So what are you celebrating?  I share a signed copy of one of my backlist title--or THE MARINE NEXT DOOR if you haven't had a chance to get a hold of my current release yet--with one lucky poster today.

Off to do some heavy lifting,
Julie Miller

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spotlight on May Intrigues: When She Wasn't Looking

HelenKay Dimon introduces readers to a sexy lawman in When She Wasn't Looking:


No woman could deny the appeal of the sexy deputy sheriff Jonas Porter. But to Courtney Allen, Jonas has one major flaw-his badge. Years ago, Courtney's father was wrongfully convicted of a crime and she vowed to never trust a cop again. But when Jonas becomes the only man to believe in her father's innocence, Courtney begins seeing the brooding lawman in a whole new way.

Jonas knows in his gut that the real killer is still out there and determined to finish what he started long ago. To protect Courtney and bring the criminal to justice will require all the skills he can muster. And that means focusing on the job. Not the woman who makes him forget his troublesome past and arouses in him a passion that is anything but professional.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Spotlight on May Intrigues: Private Security

Mallory Kane's The Delancey Dynasty continues with another exciting read in Private Security:


Security specialist John Dawson thought his latest investigation into a building's collapse would be an open-and-shut case...until he met Juliana Caprese. Juliana's suspicions about what really happened that fateful day forced John to take a closer look at all the suspects. Starting with his notorious family. But before he could dig too deep, John found himself dodging bullets to protect the incredibly determined-and strikingly beautiful-Juliana. Obviously they were on the right path, but the idea of losing his rookie "partner" proved their relationship was becoming more personal than professional. Now, this unknown enemy didn't scare him half as much as how Juliana would react when she found out who he really was....

Friday, May 18, 2012

Conspiracy Theory

When I was little, I used to live across the street from an emtpy wooded lot. It wasn't that large a piece of land, but when you're a child, everything seems bigger. The woods, as we called them, were a vast, mysterious place, made even more intriguing by an empty house that lay at the edge of the woods on the far end, where civilization began again.

The legend of the empty house was deliciously lurid. A crazy man had lived there, the story went, and whenever anyone ventured into his home, he killed them with an ax. I have no idea where this story came from, but the older kids in the neighborhood swore it was true, so we younger kids believed it without question. One time, a couple of the older kids even took some of us into the old house and showed us the wall, where a series of marks denoted his record of kills. Ooo, that was a chilling moment.

Of course, there had been no ax murderer living in that empty house, but why mess up a chilling story with the truth?

I think part of being a storyteller is enjoying a good conspiracy theory. Nothing ever happens by chance in a storyteller's world. There's always a reason for everything, hidden machinations that impart reason to otherwise senseless acts. And because human beings are hardwired to enjoy stories, we are often willing participants in our own deception. Because who doesn't want to make sense of a senseless world?

So instead of believing a single, unstable man shot the president from the window of a book depository in Dallas, some are utterly convinced that there were multiple gunmen, and any number of perpetrators—Castro, the mob, the CIA—were really behind the assassination. Or that a moon landing broadcast on film was clearly a Hollywood trick to convince us that something as fantastical as man walking on the moon could actually happen.

And you know what? Those conspiracy theories are usually a lot more interesting than the more banal truth.

My working title for my May book from Harlequin Intrigue, Secret Agenda, was "Cooper Conspiracy," because the hero and heroine, Evan Pike and Megan Cooper Randall, methodically unravel the truth about the death of Megan's Army sergeant husband, who was killed four years earlier on the other side of the world. And the more they learn about his death, the more they realize that the people who killed him aren't finished with their deadly plot. To cover up the truth, they'll remove any obstacle to their plans—including Megan and Evan.

Do you have a favorite conspiracy theory? And do you really believe them, or do you see yourself as I see myself, as a willing, even eager participant in your own deception? 'Fess up!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Some of us actually like change. Others, not so much. I have to admit that I’m excited about the publishing industry and how we buy our books and as an author, where we sell our books. We have so many choices available these days, it’s hard not to get excited.

I took a trip to Memphis last month and listened to a book on CD and didn't get bored on the drive at all. When I’m working out on the elliptical, I can read a book on my iPhone or on my Kindle, turning pages with a flick of my finger. A good book will keep me on that elliptical longer than no book at all. Before ebooks, I chip-clipped the pages of my paperback novels to keep them open while I read and worked out. It was a pain and annoying to turn the page. I love reading from both my iPhone and my Kindle and the application knows to sync the pages so that if I’ve read farther on my iPhone than my Kindle on the same book, it will catch me up.

Heaven, I tell you. And if I want the old-fashioned comfort of holding a paperback in my hand, I can still get one from the bookstore or a department store.

My very first Harlequin Nocturne Cravings is out this month and it's only available by e-book. I'm okay with that. It's a great read and would be good incentive to me to climb onto my elliptical and read, read, read. It's fast-paced and exciting. The kind of book you don't want to put down. Perfect!

How do you like your books? 


Rookie cop Katya Danske didn't ask to become a member of Manhattan's Paranormal Investigative Team or to be partnered with a sexy-as-hell demon. Then a zombie literally drops into her lap and she's recruited to help Blaise Michaels battle an impending zombie outbreak.

Blaise is as exasperating as he is arousing, but while Katya's head tells her she should keep her distance, her body wants something else entirely. Forced to work closely together, their investigation takes them into the darkest shadows of the Manhattan underworld and makes their attraction impossible to deny. But with the zombie threat rising, their hot nights together may be their last...

Elle James aka Myla Jackson spent twenty years livin' and lovin' in South Texas, ranching horses, cattle, goats, ostriches and emus. A former IT professional, Elle is proud to be writing full-time, penning intrigues, historical and contemporary westerns and paranormal adventures that keep her readers on the edge of their seats. She has 29 novels or novellas with Harlequin, one self-published novel under pen name Elle James, 36 books or novellas with other publishers including Samhain, Elloras' Cave.
Visit ELLE JAMES at   

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

TEAM MONSTER by Patricia Rosemoor

Now for something completely different...

Whispers from the Void is the comic book series I'm co-writing with three other romance authors. We are Team Monster. Whispers is a look at the dark side of life from the female point of view. But it's not all doom and gloom. We balance the horror with humor. The stories are driven by character but filled with action. And a little romance will enter each monster's life as the series continues.

Team Monster plots each story together, scene by scene, then we go away and each write a quarter of the story, and finally get back together to revise. We each are responsible for developing one major character and making sure she stays true to her character no matter who is writing that section (meaning we revise actions/dialogue accordingly). 

Our characters are:

Callie, Vampire
written by Patricia Rosemoor (moi)

Wanting to revenge her slaughtered family, Callie used magic to become a savage vampire. Now, centuries later, she's cynical and snarky, seemingly uncaring about the world around her. But when trouble finds Blythe or Ruth or Idonia, it's Callie to the rescue. Though she’d never admit it, Team Monster has become her new family.


Blythe/Blight, Ghost
written by Sherrill Bodine

Blythe has been an 18 year old virgin for 200 years. Betrayed by her husband on her wedding night, she was cursed by his witch lover to sleep for 50 years and to awaken not as a friendly ghost but as a creature who destroys anything living within 4 feet of her. She tries to hide so she doesn’t hurt anyone. She’s been desperate and lonely, but now Fate has brought her Team Monster...and hope.

Idonia, Scientist
written by Rosemary Paulas

Idonia, a scientific genius who has unraveled the mysteries of life and death, will never age. Taking parts from different bodies, she created her masterpiece, a daughter named Ruth. Protective of Team Monster, she orchestrates her new 'family' to fight the evil that shadows them.


Ruth, Flesh Construct
written by Laurie DeMarino

Ruth is thrilled to be part of Team Monster. Her gentle heart teeming with love for her mother, who made her, and her Best Friends Forever, Blythe, and Callie, Ruth is determined to protect her new ‘family’ from the surrounding evil. She’ll use her ballet talent, brute strength and the psychic ability she inherited from her mother, regardless of risk to her own life.
We're waiting with baited breath for the artwork to be completed for the first comic. So far, it's gorgeous. Rob Moran, the artist, is in Scotland. The colorist (sorry, don't know her name) is in Portugal. The publisher, Charles D. Moissant, Silver Phoenix Entertainment, Inc., is in the US. As is Team Monster, of course. So this is truly an International project.

To bring the project to publication, we're running a Kickstarter program. Lots of neat "prizes" (including signed Intrigues by moi) for pledges. Take a look and share with any comic book fans you know!

So what comic books did you read when you were a kid? 

What did you always wish you could read?

Thrilling reading...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Spotlight on May Intrigues: The Marine Next Door

Julie Miller's back with another strong military hero and compelling tale of The Precinct in The Marine Next Door


Maggie Wheeler never stopped looking over her shoulder. It was a habit she'd learned from being a cop...and from a devastating event in her past. So when John Murdock moved in next door, Maggie didn't know what to make of the sexy marine. But once her son formed a bond with the mysterious stranger, Maggie knew that past might not remain hidden much longer....


With his unwavering sense of duty, John would never let a call for help go unanswered. Especially from the beautiful wounded warrior who refused to give up her secrets. Although she likely knew more about who was after her than she'd ever let on, John vowed to protect those in need. Only then could he find peace, maybe even a door away....

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Spotlight on May Intrigues: Obsession

Carol Ericson's mysterious new series Guardians of Coral Cove begins with Obsession:


Michelle Girard never expected three of her former classmates to wind up dead just before their high school reunion. But thanks to the sharp eye of her former crush, FBI Agent Colin Roarke, the scattered rose petals found at the scenes prove the "Reunion Killer" has struck again.

Colin, an uneasy war hero, feels a need to protect Michelle, especially when she becomes the killer's latest obsession. Staying one step ahead has always been Colin's specialty, but as his frustration intensifies, so do the very real complications of long-buried feelings. Then Michelle is kidnapped, and clues lead Colin to the foreboding Columbella House, an abandoned Victorian mansion where shrouds of fog conceal dark secrets-and dangerous, hidden desires.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I’ve been thinking about heroes lately, and I realized that every single hero I have ever written was a warrior in one way or the other. Probably 90% of my Intrigue heroes are commando soldiers. In my fantasy novel, THE THIRD SCROLL (, the hero is a warlord, actually. My husband was in the Army, but that was long before I even met him, so I don’t think that’s influencing me. And it’s not like my Intrigue heroines are simpering weaklings who need a strong man to save them. I go out of my way to write strong heroines who are perfectly capable of saving themselves, and even save the hero on occasion. What is it about a warrior that draws us so much? The reason I’m thinking about this is because I’ll be featured on Heidi Ruby Miller’s blog in a few weeks where authors post pictures of the cast for their latest book, and I was casting my warlord yesterday. That was fun! Here are the pictures I picked. What do you think? Do you have a favorite hero type?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Shirt On? Shirt Off?

Angi Morgan

An on-going debate by writers involves cover art.

When I was growing up, I never understood romance cover art. It just didn't make sense to me. The majority of romance readers are women, so why didn't they put half-clothed men on covers instead of what became known as "bodice rippers?"

Give me a guy with a great chest any day.

At Intrigue, we give lots of information and suggestions for our covers, but they're approved by management and we see them

I think covers have gotten much better over the years. Personally, I've only bought two books because of the cover. It lead me to two great authors. One is Dara Joy's MINE TO TAKE. I normally read the first couple of pages of a new author to see if I like their voice. But a great "shirtless" cover definitely catches my attention.

So what's your preference?
You're the reader...what catches your eye?
What if there's a child on the cover?

Come debate with us (just leave a comment--don't forget your email) and I'll give away a book --something in my cupboard.

A Picture A Day

Monday, May 7, 2012

Since I’m in the midst of a deadline this week, have a new release I’m promoting (THE MARINE NEXT DOOR) and the AC broke in the 90+ heat this weekend (ugh!) and I'm waiting for the repairman, I'm going to just blog a list today.  But I hope you'll add to it or share other questions or comments.

One thing that the deadline pressure does to me is that it makes me particularly vulnerable to being distracted by what I call “shiny objects”.  When my brain is really focusing on accomplishing a certain task, I can get a lot done in a short amount of time.  However, my brain cells and body do have their limits, and when I start pushing too hard for too long, my subconscious mind tries to divert my attention.  Usually, it just means I need to take a break.  But sometimes, it’s because writing a book is hard work—a lot of worthwhile things in life are hard work—and, well, when things are that challenging, I don’t always want to do them.

So, in no particular order, here are 20 shiny objects that have distracted me recently.

1.  The next story on my agenda to write.  It’s not due until July, but I’ve already got a good start, and those characters are really talking to me. (The grass is always greener on the next project, eh?)

2.  Sampling new flavors of tea.  Mom introduced me to acai berry/blueberry green tea. I’m loving it. 

3.  Going to the window to see what the dog is barking at.  Spring brings lots of squirrels, rabbits, and meter readers into the yard, and Maggie keeps track of all of them.

4.  Brushing the dog.  Apparently, Maggie got into some stickers and dead leaves while on morning patrol, and her curly hair is like Velcro.

5.  Ordering those slats you put under the cushions of a sagging piece of furniture so that a sumo wrestler can sit on them.  Been wanting to do that for a while.

6.  Looking at the shiny silver charm my writers’ group (Prairieland Romance Writers) gave me for selling my 50th book.  Think about how fortunate I am to have such good friends.

7.  Flipping through a jewelry catalog to find a new charm bracelet.

8.  Deciding whether to have baby Swiss cheese or mozzarella cheese sticks with my lunch.   Maybe I’ll eat the leftover pasta, instead.

9.  Rearranging the photographs on the piano now that I’ve added a new one of my son from his trip to Rome.  (I’m looking at the piano as I’m eating my lunch)

10. Doing the laundry.  This is a chore where I can see big results without nearly as much time and effort as, say, dusting and vacuuming require, so I feel good about accomplishing a task (but I probably don’t need to wash everything in one day).

11. Watching the birds go after the dandelion seeds in my back yard.

12. Let Maggie out back to see her flush 20 or so robins and starlings and mourning doves and chicadees and one plover.

13. Pull up a few dandelions while the ground is soft from recent rains.

14. Move my son home from college.  Spend time deciding where to put all his stuff!

15. Go look at my brand new (awesome!) cover for my August Intrigue on Amazon.

16. Check the sales rank and scout out reviews for my current release, THE MARINE NEXT DOOR, since I’m already on Amazon.

17. Decide I need more Pepsi to complete my major writing job today, so take Maggie for ride to nearby convenience story to get a fountain refill.

18. Re-read through the scene I wrote yesterday and finetune it. Too much narrative—needs more dialogue.

19. Touch my late dad’s glasses case that I keep on my writing desk, and think about how much I miss him and how lucky I was to have had him in my life.

20.  Give myself a stern talk about how I’ve just wasted an entire hour when I need to be writing.  Decide to get Chinese take-out for dinner so I can use that prep time to write longer this evening.

So… What distracts you when you’re under pressure to get a project done?

I’ll give away a signed copy of my brand new release, THE MARINE NEXT DOOR, to one lucky poster.

Here’s to staying focused,
Julie Miller

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Spotlight of May Intrigues: Secret Agenda

Paula Graves delivers another riveting Cooper Security read in Secret Agenda:


He'd faced down danger multiple times, but now Pentagon liaison Evan Pike had to deal with the ultimate confrontation. Telling Megan Randall that her late husband had been murdered by his own government was difficult. Keeping their association strictly about business, however, was proving impossible. Especially once Megan's life was put in jeopardy. 

On the run with a stranger, Megan wondered how her quiet life had changed so drastically. Having Evan as her protector was comforting and she knew he'd do anything to keep her alive. But he was also a man who had her questioning her belief that she'd never love again. And that was even more dangerous....

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Spotlight on May Intrigues: Colby Law

Debra Webb begins a new miniseries that takes the Colby Agency to Texas in Colby Law:

To solve the most heinous murder in Texas history, Colby investigator Lyle McCaleb has an unusual mission: find and protect the killer's long-lost daughter. The complication: she's tough, gorgeous rancher Sadie Gilmore—Lyle's first and only love. And now the mysterious past she barely remembers is threatening her very existence.

Lyle regrets leaving Sadie broken-hearted seven years ago. And as he investigates and gets deeper into danger, he finds it almost impossible to maintain his professionalism around her. But another dilemma threatens their newly rekindled relationship. Can Lyle regain Sadie's trust while concealing the secret that may devastate her?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Suspense Rocks!

Last year at the Romance Writers of American Conference, I was asked to submit an idea for the Harlequin Nocturne Cravings line and I think, “Yeah, okay. I can do this.” Make it hot. Check. I can write hot. I do a lot of that under my alter-ego pen name Myla Jackson. No problem. Give us paranormal creatures. Check. Again, I’ve written paranormal. My first Intrigue had a werewolf villain and I’ve written more paranormals under my Myla pseudonym. I've got this.

And the rest is up to me. So what do I do? I add a mystery and suspense. After all these years of writing Harlequin Intrigues, I find it difficult NOT to write without a little mystery and suspense in it. Maybe it’s the adrenaline junky in me. I like it when my fingers fly across the keyboard when I’m writing. I’m hoping my readers’ eyes are flying through the pages as the suspense carries them along like a runaway freight train.

Given all that, this month my first Nocturne Cravings 
is available. I got a kick-ass heroine and a sexy demon teaming up to bring down the source of the latest string of zombies.  

Come out and play in these HOT DEMON NIGHTS.

Rookie cop Katya Danske didn't ask to become a member of Manhattan's Paranormal Investigative Team or to be partnered with a sexy-as-hell demon. Then a zombie literally drops into her lap and she's recruited to help Blaise Michaels battle an impending zombie outbreak.

Blaise is as exasperating as he is arousing, but while Katya's head tells her she should keep her distance, her body wants something else entirely. Forced to work closely together, their investigation takes them into the darkest shadows of the Manhattan underworld and makes their attraction impossible to deny. But with the zombie threat rising, their hot nights together may be their last...

Elle James aka Myla Jackson spent twenty years livin' and lovin' in South Texas, ranching horses, cattle, goats, ostriches and emus. A former IT professional, Elle is proud to be writing full-time, penning intrigues, historical and contemporary westerns and paranormal adventures that keep her readers on the edge of their seats. She has 29 novels or novellas with Harlequin, one self-published novel under pen name Elle James, 36 books or novellas with other publishers including Samhain, Elloras' Cave.
Visit Elle James at  and Myla Jackson at