Midweek #ROW80 Progress Report

Progress Reports

:pokes head out of cave:

:looks confused:

What the heck day is it?  I’ve lost track.  I’m at the office and people are still here, so clearly it’s a workday before 5…

I am OFFICIALLY done done done with Know Me Well.  Copyright got registered today and my editors are making one last pass to make sure I didn’t miss any glaring errors or typos, then I’ll get the final files uploaded everywhere for the August 14th release!  Woo!  Don’t forget the price goes up on release, so nab yours at the pre-order price of $2.99!

This would be…4 months after I meant to have this book–which was supposed to be exactly HALF the length it came out–finished.  But who am I to deny Liam?  I mean seriously…dress blues…I have no defense.  Neither does Riley.

Tonight I’m taking a GLORIOUS BREAK with Candis Terry’s Truly Sweet, the final book in her Sweet Texas series :cries:  I know she’s out of Wilder brothers but there are plenty of other cowboy hunks in Sweet!

Once I finish that, I’ll be spending a bit of time digging out the house and the office, catching up on the things that I let slide while I was in the Revision Cave.  And then I’ll be diving into the next project in the pipeline–a novella for the upcoming Virtually Yours anthology.  It’ll follow Reed Campbell (that’d be Cam Crawford’s youngest cousin from To Get Me To Youwhich is free everywhere, so if you haven’t read it, YOU SHOULD TRY IT) and Cecily Dixon (Norah’s intern).  Hopefully that’ll be a quick turn around because the couple in the next novel are getting antsy (and the shero might’ve been making threats about what she’s going to do with my chocolate supply if I don’t hurry it on up).

:steps slowly back from the angry red-head:

Probably there’s some other update, but I’ve got Post Revision Book Brain (aka my brains have been replaced with mush), so I can’t think what they are.  Hope everybody’s having an AWESOME WEEK.

My Top 5 Matchmaking Mother Romances


We can thank Jill Shalvis for this post, as I just finished her latest, Second Chance Summer, which is what inspired this list.  I have a serious soft spot for romances in which mothers (or grandmothers, grandfathers, brothers, or other family members) manipulate and connive to help the hero and shero get out of their own way.  I totally have one in my soon-to-be-released Know Me Well–oh Molly, I do adore you.  So if you’re into that too, you might want to check it out.  /shameless plug.  So, without further ado, in no particular order, my top 5 matchmaking mother romances:

  1. Char Kincaid in Second Chance Romance.  You gotta love a woman who is willing to punk her son when he interferes in her love life.
  2. Jana Wilder in the entire Sweet, Texas series by Candis Terry.  She knows all her boys are in love before they do.  The last in the series, Truly Sweet, releases TOMORROW.  BUY IT.  Buy them all.  You won’t regret it.
  3. Tyler’s mom in Maybe This Christmas, the third in the O’Neil’s trilogy by Sarah Morgan.  Cannot remember her name just now, but she has perfected the shove them together under the same roof and look completely innocent while doing so.  <3
  4. BOTH moms of the hero and shero in Christa McHugh’s The Sweetest Seduction.  This is actually the first of a 7 book series that’s a sexy, modern retelling of 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, so I fully expect that Mama Kelly is going to be just as involved in the happily ever afters of her other 6 sons.  Bonus, this one’s FREE on Amazon (at least as of the time of writing).
  5. The entire Sugar Shack trilogy by Candis Terry is centered around a mom who comes back from the beyond to make sure that her trio of kids finds their perfect love.
  6. Honorable mention.  Okay, so Lucille in Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor series is a grandmother, not a mom–and she’s only the ACTUAL grandmother of Callie in One In A Million, but she delightfully interferes in the love lives of ALL the Lucky Harbor couples, and she’s a real delight.  Or a menace, depending on who you ask.

So tell me…what are YOUR favorite matchmaking relative romances?

Sunday Summary and #ROW80 Progress Report

Sunday Summary

  1. I am SO FLIPPING CLOSE to being done with revisions.  6,000+ words this week.  What I thought was the last new scene I needed to write was running long, so I opted to cut it in half and switch POVs for the second half.  So I still lack that second half and some tweaks to three more scenes.  Then a proofread.  I might have finished except that…
  2. I have been cooking ALL THE THINGS.  This weekend I have made:  vegetable stock, 4 pounds of chicken nuggets, 4 pounds of grilled chicken thighs for salads, 4 pounds of meatballs, 20 pounds of chicken quarters for dog food, southwestern vegetable soup, a blueberry peach crumble, sausage squash casserole, grilled sausage, polenta, 2 quiches, and a behemoth batch of green beans–all of which had to be prepped for the freezer. Well except the casserole, which was for dinner tonight, and the green beans, which I’ll be eating on all week.
  3. The high point of the weekend was waking up yesterday morning to find that To Get Me To You had hit 226 in the overall Free Kindle Store.  No idea what was driving it, but that was very exciting.  I got up to 25 and 29 on a couple of category lists at one point.  I’m over 1,000 downloads for the weekend.  I’m hoping that at least a small percentage of those will read, review, and sign up for my newsletter.  We shall see.  It’s a long haul game at this point.  My focus has to be on getting Know Me Well out the door, then diving into the anthology novella that’s due…um…end of August  :wince:  I’m the organizer, so I can probably convince everybody to push that back a couple of weeks.
  4. Our little cutie pie, Huck, has been growing like a weed.  We’ve had him for a month tomorrow.  That seems…insane.  It’s looking very much like he’s going to get his size from the pyr side.  I mean…LOOK AT THOSE FEET.

    First Day Home (12 Weeks)

    One month later (4 months)

  5. Hubs and I have a new gym membership starting in August.  Got a stellar deal through his job where it’s cheaper for both of us than it would be for one of us the usual route.  It’s been years since I’ve worked out formally in a gym.  Back in grad school, I think.  I’ve got a really nice home gym set up here, but I’ve gotten rather lax in the last seven or eight months.  So I’m really looking forward to the change of pace and access to a full set of machines and free weights.  Since there will be treadmills in AIR CONDITIONING I’m going to start Couch 2 5K again.  Running is good thinking time.  Can’t wait to start!

Midweek #ROW80 Progress Report

Progress Reports

I’m sitting here having just fought off an epic case of complicatitis.  I haven’t gotten a whole heck of a lot written the last week.  Last Thursday I headed down to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to visit my pal, horror writer, Lisa Kroger.  I think my laptop came out MAYBE once?  The tarot cards (I bought two new decks in New Orleans–Sun and Moon Tarot and Paulina Tarot) came out a bit more often, but mostly it was a lot of brainstorming and girl time.  It was fabulous and left me recharged and enthused–but I’m having a hard time getting back in the groove, as I always do when I’ve been away from writing for more than a day or so.

I’m still plowing ahead with the last of revisions on Know Me Well.  Went off on a tangent that had me–no lie–reading a dissertation on the architecture of Five and Dime stores at the turn of the last century.  That was my sign that I was going in the wrong direction.  I finally figured out what would work better instead, would still give me the thing I needed to present/seed at this stage in the book, and NOT require epic research.  So that’s progress…but again, no words today.  Bleh.  Three new scenes left to write, then minor updates and a last proofread.

I haven’t been feeling awesome the last few days.  After being out of town, off schedule, and then coming back to immediately leave town again for work travel (meaning more eating out and being off schedule), I just feel kinda ick.  But I’m staying put for the next week and a half, so that’s a good opportunity to reset (and finish final revisions).

Still trying to get To Get Me To You to go permafree at Amazon.  If you haven’t already (or don’t mind doing it again–I’ve been doing it daily), you can help by reporting the lower price (KoboApple iBooks,Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble). It’s right above the about the author stuff on the Amazon page.  And if you haven’t read it, maybe you should try it!

Bob the Bastard

I have gotten some reading done the last week.  On my trip I knocked out Let’s Misbehave by Kate Perry and The Sweetest Seduction by Christa McHugh in audio.  And yesterday I blew through the final installment in Cindy Spencer Pape’s Gaslight Chronicles, Ether and Elephants, which I’ve been waiting for for over a YEAR.

We’ve fallen into a pretty good routine with Huck.  I was only gone for four days and he GREW.  I swear, like, overnight.  His feet are ginormous.  So either his other half is malamute instead of husky or he’s getting his size from the Pyrenees half.  I just hope he stays snuggly as he gets bigger.  Right now he’s still totally a lapdog, which I adore.  Callie’s getting easier with him.  More tolerant.  But she’s still mastered that aggrieved big sister expression when he invades her personal space.  He’s just so stinking cute.  And he knows it.

I finally got into the salon today–eyebrows waxed, LOOOOONG overdue haircut, and got my roots touched up.  OMG, I look civilized again.  Never underestimate the power of properly groomed eyebrows, y’all.  Pretty well all my layers had grown out and my hair was just kinda hanging all limp and bleh.  I’ve been testing out a homemade coconut milk shampoo lately (as the heat this summer has been zapping every ounce of moisture from my hair).  Jury is still out, as my hair is still in that transition period you go through when switching from commercial shampoos with the detergents (and therefore your hair is extra oily until it adjusts to not having to make as much).  We shall see.  Meanwhile…SLEEEEEEEEP is calling my name.

Midweek #ROW80 Progress Report

Progress Reports

Well, it’s a weird week for me.  It was going to be short anyway, as I’m leaving Thursday morning to go down to the coast for a fabulous writer weekend with horror writer Lisa Kroger (SO PUMPED).  And I ended up off work today because they are doing epic work on the air conditioner at the office and it’s supposed to be 98, so they sent us home.  This means I have a WHOLE day to work on revisions for Know Me Well, which makes me very very happy since this pass ended up meaning 6 entirely new scenes on top of some other changes.  I’ve got 4 more new ones to go, and I hope to knock two of those out today.  I’ve been chugging along steadily with the revisions (8100 words in the last week), and hope to have them finished by end of next weekend.

I’ve been getting everything ready for the release of Know Me Well.  The pre-order has been set up (though I’m waiting on links to show up at places other than just Amazon).  I’ll be posting a more formal announcement once all the pre-order links are live, but it’s available for $2.99 during pre-order and will go up to it’s normal price of $4.99 after release, so if you want to nab it for cheaper, now’s the time.  I’m planning on an August 14th release.

Meanwhile, I am working on getting To Get Me To You set up as permafree at Amazon.  And I need your help.  Could y’all do me a favor and report the lower price? It’s right above the about the author stuff on the Amazon page.  Here it is free at Kobo,  Apple iBooks,  Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble.

And now, I need to get back to it.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Beef Stroganoff


Stroganoff is something I haven’t tried since making the switch to dairy free living.  I hadn’t ever found a gluten free egg noodle I liked anyway.  Until now.  I recently read a taste test in Cooks Country about gluten free noodles and the winner was Jovial, which I’d never heard of.  I filed that little tidbit away in the back of my brain, and when I saw a box of their tagliatelle, I picked it up and decided to give stroganoff a try again.  Oh boy am I glad I did.  This gluten free dairy free beef stroganoff came out really well.  I had to convince myself not to go back for seconds (because gluten free pasta expands, if you didn’t know).  Serves 4.


  • 1.73 lbs flank steak, sliced thin on the bias (if you pop it in the freezer for twenty minutes, it’ll make it easier to slice)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance buttery spread
  • 1 pound baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 tsps beef bouillon (be sure to check this for gluten)
  • 2 tsps gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream substitute (I used Tofutti)
  • 1 package Jovial gluten free egg noodles
  1. Heat the Earth Balance and coconut oil in a large skillet over high heat.
  2. In small batches, cook the steak one minute a side.  Be sure not to crowd the pan, and don’t worry about cooking all the way through. This will be going back in the sauce later.  Remove to a plate.  I didn’t get quite the sear on this that I wanted because I was too busy watching the new puppy.
  3. Add the onions and sauté until they start to go a little translucent.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a big pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions.
  5. Add the garlic and mushrooms.  Saute for another five minutes or so.
  6. Add the mustard, Worchestershire, bouillon, and flour and stir well.
  7. Add the wine and almond milk.  Stir well.
  8. Add the steak and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for 5-8 minutes.  You don’t want to overcook this or the meat will get tough.
  9. Finish off by adding a pinch of salt and pepper and the cream cheese substitute.  Stir until well incorporated.
  10. Serve over the egg noodles.

Sunday Summary and #ROW80 Progress Report

Sunday Summary

I haven’t been posting much lately.

  1. First wasn’t much feeling like it after Daisy, then busy acclimating Huck (and taking a bazillion pictures of him sleeping because–he’s ADORABLE), family has been in town,
  2. I’ve been finalizing the plot for the anthology novella that’s my next project,
  3. and the last week, I’ve been up to my eyeballs in revisions on Liam and Riley.  All the easy stuff is done and now I’m back to some new scenes to write that will better serve the plot.
  4. Went to see Inside Out on Friday before our niece left town.  It was adorable and VERY well done, I thought.
  5. Hubby and I went to see Minions today, which was precious.  Minions are awesome and I want some.  Like, real ones that would do my bidding.
  6. And now I need to crash…

Tequila Lime Chicken Tacos


When I started out making these, they weren’t going to be tacos.  I’d intended to pair them with some fresh corn and black beans.  And then we got busy and plans changed and…slapping stuff in some tortillas ended up being quick and easy and VERY delicious.  These would be delicious with queso fresco.
Ingredients (per 2 people):
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 limes
  • 1/2 “nip” of tequila (you know the wee tiny airplane bottles)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
For serving:
  • corn tortillas
  • cheese or cheese substitute
  • sour cream or sour cream substitute
  • guacamole or avocado slices
  • pico de gallo or salsa
  • whatever floats your boat

  1. Combine the chicken, limes, tequila, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cumin in a ziplock bag.  Allow to marinate at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. Remove from fridge and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes (to take the chill off).
  3. Preheat your grill to medium heat.
  4. Cook 8-10 minutes per side (depending on thickness).
  5. Allow meat to rest for 5 minutes for juices to redistribute.
  6. Meanwhile, warm your tortillas however you prefer.  I like to do mine stovetop in a cast iron skillet for about 30 seconds a side.
  7. Slice the chicken on the bias in thin strips.
  8. Build your tacos however your please.

#ROW80 Round 3 Goals


It is officially the start of Round 3 for A Round of Words in 80 Days.  So, time to state those goals.

  1. Write at least 20 out of every 30 days (oldie but goodie).
  2. Write, revise, and prepare for release my novella for the upcoming Virtually Yours anthology.  This one is a Wishful tie-in following Reed Campbell (youngest cousin of Cam from To Get Me To You) and Cecily Dixon (Norah’s intern, also from TGMTY).  I’ve got it all outlined and ready to go.
  3. Revise and release Know Me Well.  This is Liam and Riley’s story, the third installment in the Wishful series.  I should be getting revision notes back from my editor any day now.
  4. Decide whether or not I’m going to write the novella I’ve been kicking around following Dillon and Avery from Once Upon A Coffee.  If I decide to do it, outline and write it.
  5. If I don’t pick up with Dillon and Avery again, I’ll be outlining and starting on Something’s Gotta Give, the next Wishful novel, following Autumn Buchanan and Judd Hamilton (you’ll see more of them in Know Me Well).  This book has been beating at my brain–or more specifically Autumn has–since February.  It’ll be another meaty one, more along the lines of To Get Me To You, and I CAN’T WAIT.  I haven’t had a character be this LOUD since Elodie from Red.  If I don’t get to it this round, Round 4 for sure.
  6. Go through Couch 2 5K again.  Hubs and I have joined a local gym (he got a PHENOMENAL deal through work for both of us), meaning I’ll have access to treadmills in AC again.  I haven’t quite figured out what my schedule will be (as I definitely have to walk the dogs every day), but that’s something I’ve been itching to do.  It’s good thinking/plotting time.
  7. Finish putting together my Preparing To Launch class for writers.  This is an adaptation of a presentation I did for WANACon last year, going over everything people who are planning to self publish need to know before doing it.

That should do me.