Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I went back and forth about putting Nirvana stuff in the blurb for Come As You Are. I decided against it after reading the article going around about the twenty-something girl who'd recently written a letter to Nirvana asking if they could play at…something. Homecoming, maybe? And so I thought better not mention Nirvana. But reviewers ARE mentioning the band, and that's good! Yes, there's definitely a strong Nirvana…center.

The weird thing is that I had no idea In Utero was being reissued this year until the book was almost done. That was just serendipity. Molly, the heroine, even writes a story for one of her University of Minnesota classes about the recording of In Utero. (Trivia: In Utero was recorded at Pachyderm Recording Studio in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. My son worked there for a few years before starting his own studio in Minneapolis called Old Blackberry Way.)

There are other musical nods in the book, some obscure and some not so obscure. There's one line in particular that I've wondered if people will get, and it's in reference to Big Star. If you pick up on it let me know.

When my kids were little I used to love to create scavenger hunts, and the clues became more elaborate the older the kids got. I think burying stuff in a story, or even hiding it in plain sight, has a bit of that fun to me. Like, will anybody get this? And if they do, will they think it's fun?

The reissue of In Utero is September 24. Release date for Come As You Are is October 1, but we're hoping to get it out earlier. (Waiting on paperback.) Really hoping we can hit September 24. And not just because of the reissue. If you read the book you'll understand why that date has added significance.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Come As You Are 

This book was an accident. Kind of.  Because it's also one of those accidents that makes perfect sense in retrospect. Back in the late spring I started a Facebook writers' group with the idea that members would post their goals for the month and we'd see if we could meet those goals. But it wasn't just a place for goals, it became a place to discuss trends and writing in general.

One of the members, friend and fellow writer L.K. Rigel, was talking about the New Adult book she was working on.  I asked her a lot of questions, and I read some samples of NA. What struck me is that these books were kind of similar to what I was doing when I wrote romance. And the good news for me? Back then one of the complaints I got was that my books were too dark and too full of angst.  Wounded characters. That kind of thing, so in some ways NA seemed right in my wheelhouse. The other thing is that about seven or eight years ago I asked my then editor what she thought about my writing a book, not about high school kids (she'd mentioned a YA to me), but about COLLEGE KIDS. Because I could definitely see myself doing that.  She said there was no market for books featuring people in their twenties, and those people didn't have time to read anyway.

I never went to college and I have a particular fascination with that period of a person's life. I suppose a romanticized fascination.  And I love that age.  Plus, I'd tested the romance waters with The Girl with the Cat Tattoo. And in thinking about that book… It almost felt a bit NA even though it didn't really contain all the elements and the main characters were a little bit too old. But Melody could have easily been an NA character. And the followup book, The Geek with the Cat Tattoo, features people in their twenties. So I was kind of dancing on the fringes of NA but just didn't know it.

So… back to the writing camp. I decided to see what I could get written on an NA in our July writing camp. Thought I'd maybe just work on it for a few days. That turned into a week. Then another week. Then the whole month because I found I loved writing the story. By the end of July I had the first draft finished.  By the middle of August I had the edit complete. Crazy.

Come As You Are release date: October 1

Come As You Are will be available as an ebook through Amazon, iTunes, B&N, and Kobo. Print will be available through Amazon.  I think with expanded distribution the print edition will be available elsewhere after a few weeks.

If you're curious about the book, check out this review on Goodreads, complete with GIFs and images.  And maybe add the book to your library while you're there. :)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

New Adult Romance Cover Reveal

Coming October 2013

 New Adult Romance

Molly Young has a secret. To keep it she holds the world at a distance. Behind her lies a trail of dumped boyfriends who came too close to discovering what no one can know. When her estranged father dies of an unexpected heart attack he leaves an even deeper secret, one tied to Molly's.

At the funeral repast Molly is unable to tolerate the shoulder-to-shoulder mourners and runs out the door and down the street to the nearest bar. Come dawn, with no memory of the past ten hours, she finds herself in bed with a beautiful stranger. She slips away before he wakes up, unaware of the role he's about to play in her life. Is he the one guy who can convince Molly to face her disturbing and painful secret and become the person she's meant to be?

I've set up a separate NA FACEBOOK PAGE where you'll be able to get the most current information on new NA releases. I also have a newsletter for release announcements of both Frasier and Weir titles.

And since I'm doing cover reveals...  Here's the cover for The Geek with the Cat Tattoo, which will be out in 2014.

Monday, September 2, 2013


Got a hankerin' to read part one? Go here: 


Debbie and I continued our lunchtime smoke breaks under the carport. I was surprised to find that a junior high school that beat the crap out of you with a special paddle if you were caught chewing gum didn't seem to care if you left campus at noon. We weren't the only ones wandering away, and the exodus was no secret.  Nobody seemed to care what we did as long as we didn't do it on school property. High school guys would pull up in front and wait for their younger girlfriends to run down the sidewalk and jump in the car. And speaking of cars. Debbie sometimes drove herself to school even though she was way too young to have a license. On those days we didn't smoke under the carport. Instead, we cruised the strip, cruised the high school, and cruised the other junior high across town while we smoked our Marlboros and drank whiskey from the fifth Debbie kept under the seat. I was thirteen.
Debbie must have finally thought it was time to take our friendship to the next level because she asked me to stay the night.
"We can ride horses on Saturday. "
 Horses? Her aunt and uncle must have been rich, and they must have let her run wild because she wasn't their kid and they were just giving her a place to sleep until her mother came home from Paris. I was almost jealous.
After school Debbie drove me to her house.  Down dusty New Mexico roads that never seemed to stop. Over flat land that stretched out forever.  After twenty miles I finally spotted a mailbox that marked another dusty lane, this one with a house at the end.
 I immediately understood that her aunt and uncle were poor. Really, really poor. The house was this sad bunch of squares sitting on top of dirt. There was the main square made of plywood and stuff that had probably come from other houses. Nothing fit, but the building did have windows and a roof and some paint here and there.  The biggest square must have been the start of the home, and then as time went on other rooms were added, all with salvaged wood and mismatched windows. Inside it was clean, with nothing but a kitchen table and chairs, and off in one corner a couch and television.  Debbie said hi to a woman standing at the stove frying chicken in a cast-iron skillet.
The woman turned and gave me a smile. She had very few teeth, her skin was like leather, and her hair was a wild tangle around her head. Debbie's grandmother? Great grandmother?
One of the additions to the house turned out to be Debbie's room, and we headed straight for it, shut the door, and settled on the bed with a scrapbook.
 "There's my mom." She pointed to an elegant woman standing next to a fancy car.  She was so pretty. Like a movie star. Did she pay the aunt and uncle to take care of Debbie? I'll bet she did.
"Is that your grandmother out there?" I whispered.
Debbie laughed. "It's my aunt.  Isn't she something?"
"She looks so old."
"She's in her forties."
A door slammed and the aunt shouted that it was time to eat.
We sat down. Four of us now, because Debbie's uncle had arrived from the oil refinery.  He didn't look nearly as old at the woman, and he had all his teeth.
 Green Formica table. Aunt and uncle at opposite ends. Debbie and I across from each other. Fried chicken. Baked beans. Potato salad.
I got the feeling this wasn't their normal meal, that they'd prepared it because of company. I felt honored.  We passed bowls of food in silence. Ate in silence.  Struggling to come up with a topic of conversation, I finally looked across the Formica to my friend and asked, "When's your mom coming back from Paris?"
Debbie froze.
The aunt and uncle froze.
What had I done? What had I said?  Maybe the mom wasn't coming back. Maybe she'd left Debbie here forever.
The uncle finally spoke. "Your mother?" he asked Debbie.
She said nothing.
"Your mother in Paris?"
Debbie still wasn't talking, so I tried to smooth things over. "Debbie told me about how her mother is living in Paris, and how she's staying here with you two for a while."
The aunt and uncle looked at each other, then burst out laughing. The guy tossed back his head and roared. The woman joined in with her toothlessness.
Debbie threw her chicken leg on her plate and ran to her room, slamming the door.
Which left the three of us. The aunt finally stopped laughing. When the uncle could finally talk, he said, "That's what she told you?  That we're her aunt and uncle?" He burst out laughing again.
I finally got it. They were Debbie's parents.  I felt so stupid. None of her story had made any sense. None of it.
Later Debbie unlocked the door and I joined her in the bedroom. She'd been crying. "I'll bet they told you they're my parents, didn't they?" she said. "Well, they aren't. They're a couple of liars."
This was the new story she'd concocted while I sat at the table.  I actually liked her parents. Liked the way they hadn't gotten mad. "You are the liar," I said.
If I'd been older I might have been more sympathetic. I would have tried to figure out why she'd done what she'd done. Invented a mother because she was ashamed of her own. Invented a life because she was ashamed of the one she had.
Instead, I never talked to Debbie again. I never forgave her. Occasionally I'd spot her in the hall, but she always looked away. And I'd wonder if she was waiting for a new kid to come along so she could tell her about the mother who lived in Paris.

* * *
 Author note: I'm fuzzy on how we got from school to her house.  We might have taken the school bus, or she might have driven. In the sixties in New Mexico it wasn't unusual for kids to drive even if they didn't have a license. Especially farm kids who came to town from as far as eighty miles away.