Where research took me:

I love research. It is one of my favorite aspects of being an author. Learning about foreign lands, historical events and various cultural traditions always excites me. Recently, my research has taken me to diverse places and some of it was exotic while others were a bit creepy. Today I want to share a few of these research jaunts with you so you can have a glimpse into some of the things I am working on currently. First up: If you haven’t heard our exciting news, Vivien Jackson and I have contracted another sweet Regency for Ellora Cave’s Cotillion Christmas series. This story was a challenge to write mainly because our hero was not your typical British aristocrat. No, indeed not. He hails from India. So, you can imagine my excitement at hunting down information to include in the story. Some of those aspects were extremely intriguing and sometimes I found myself lost in the early 1800′s far away in Bengal. One of the distracting research jaunts I took while gathering details for A Christmas Scheme took me to Regency era India. Fort William Kolkata: There are many interesting locations in Fort William. Also, the history of the British colonization … Continue reading

Christmas Traditions: Caroline

The second short story released in the Christmas Traditions Cotillion from Ellora’s Cave is my very own story, co-written with the stellar Vivien Jackson: A Christmas Caroline. Writing this story was an incredible adventure that took us on a research journey that often had us excited by new and unique discoveries from the Regency period during Christmas. Blush sensuality level: This is a sweet romance (kisses only, no sexual content). Lady Caroline Selwyn’s world centers on her father, so when she receives dire news of his health—two days before Christmas, no less—her first thought is to weep. Her second is to make this Christmastide the best he’s ever known. She rummages in memory for festive traditions, plans charades, purchases bean cakes…and acquires an affianced husband. Oh, not a real one—what she does is convince Papa’s physician to pretend an engagement, for just a few weeks. Doctor Samuel Avery can hardly credit his complicity in this madcap deception. Whatever was he thinking? But it does seem to improve the comfort of the earl, and his own sisters are in alt at the idea of his impending nuptials. And he has admired Caroline for so long, the role of her betrothed is … Continue reading

Glad Tidings of Comfort and Joy!

Does that sound a bit like a Christmas Carol? Can you imagine holly and ribbons decorating the halls? There is holiday excitement in the crisp fall air and it is only October. But, we have early Christmas treats to share with you. Starting now, each week Ellora’s Cave is releasing a Regency Christmas novella culminating in the release of two Christmas Traditions Anthologies which I am so privileged to be a part of. Next week I will feature my new release, co-written with the lovely Vivien Jackson, A Christmas Caroline. Today though, I bring you the very first of the Blush Cotillion Christmas Traditions novellas. Twelve Days of Christmas Barbara Miller A Blush® romance from Ellora’s Cave Tamara Gifford gets herself invited to Oakley Hall for Christmas to rescue her brother from the reportedly depraved Lord Oakley. When she arrives she discovers that Ashford Steel is a former soldier trying to adjust to governing an estate. He is happy to have his mother and Tamara for company since his brother is supposed to be spending the holiday at Tamara’s house in London. Though they are both angry at the deception of their brothers they enjoy banding together to find them … Continue reading

March Joy Challenge Day 3

The Joy-Dare for Day 3 is to find three blessings in things that you wear.   Luckily, wearing things happens all day long. And, I know that there are some special things that I wear that are blessings and that bring joy.     1. For my birthday my oldest gave me a necklace that touched my heart. She bought it with her own money and planned for the delivery date after I left for San Francisco. It is a pendant necklace that has the storybook from Once Upon a Time. That’s my favorite show. And every time I see the necklace it brings a smile of joy to my face. 2. It might seem like a typical response for this challenge but it is something that touches my heart and means so much to me, so number 2 is my anniversary band. It is the exact cut of the diamonds that I like and the gold band is shiny but simple. I got it for my tenth anniversary. We are nearing year 17 and the ring is still as beautiful as it was when hubby first put it on my finger. 3. After that sappy little joy bringing item, the third entry will probably seem ordinary. I’ve … Continue reading

March Joy Dare: Day 2

The challenge for Day 2 is to find three things that are joyful and the color green. I thought this would be a huge challenge. But, I was optimistic. Here’s what I found: 1. First thing in the morning of Day 2 I found a green thing to be joyful for–coffee, specifically Green Mountain. For my birthday I was given a big box of my favorite flavors: Spicy Eggnog, Gingerbread and my most favorite French Toast. I thought that number 1 “Green-Joy” was quite simple to find so the next one should be a piece of cake. However, the day began in a rush and there were many frustrating and stressful moments. For several hours, I forgot completely to look for the green challenge. Closer to the afternoon as we were leaving Los Angeles, I remembered that Carmageddon 2013 was tying up the freeways right where I was heading. My next driving choice ended up being the catalyst for my second “Green-Joy” challenge. 2. I was about to get on the freeway when my daughter said she was hungry. Figuring that I could find a place for a quick snack, I bypassed the freeway entrance and took a city street. Unbeknownst to me, that decision saved me hours of … Continue reading

Finding Joy in March

I have taken the joy dare for the month of March. It is part of a greater challenge that helps you find 1000 joyful things in your life throughout 2013. The first day of March, we’re asked to find 3 events/things at 3pm. These are the joyful moments that I was blessed by: 1. Right about 3pm we found out our dancer daughter had booked a great commercial that she was so excited to be chosen for. 2. My mother-in-law unexpectedly brought over a tulip bowl that is left inside the house and they bloom right there in the bowl. 3. My family told me that they would be taking me out for a special birthday dinner at the Pirates’ Adventure. Having a time that is designated for acknowledging a joyful moment in my life helps to ground me and shows me that there are many small things that happen that shape who I am. Day 2 is an interesting challenge. “Green” is the keyword.

Next Big Thing

Vivien Jackson tagged me for the Next Big Thing blog post. Thanks Vivien, it is always fun to play along with these fun activities. The deets: The Next Big Thing blog post is basically answering 10 questions about your wip. So, these are the questions I have to answer: 1. What is your working title of your book? Bound By Compassion 2. Where did the idea come from for the book? Continuation of the Kan Asma story arc from my last release, Bound By Obsession. 3. What genre does your book fall under? Paranormal romance featuring vampires. 4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? For Gunnar I would cast Trevor Donovan. For Nadia, I would select: Beren Saat a beautiful Turkish model and actress. 5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? By mating in secret, they defied the dictates of their people but now they must decide to accept the consequences or join forces against those they love. (This blurb is a work in progress.) 6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I intend to keep this series published through my publisher. 7. How long did it take you to write the first draft … Continue reading

Retro Halloween Post

Over the years I’ve had the honor of participating in many Halloween blogs and the following is the entry that I posted a while back. (For 2012, you can click on over and participate in the post that Vivien Jackson and I did together. It is all about 4 of our heroes and their choices for Halloween Costumes. You can check it out here: Spookapalooza 2012) Now, here is a vintage Halloween post that I thought would be fun to reblog for today. Sexy Trick or Treats for your Halloween Party Halloween is chock full of fun things; from candy to costumes, parties to haunted houses, and, of course, the sugar rush. One of the most inherent symbols of Halloween is the fun of Trick or Treats. Today, I thought it would be enjoyable to list a few Halloween items and show how they can be either a trick or a treat with a sexy spin.   First up: Sensual depictions pumpkin carving- For those adult-themed parties, break out the carving knife and a naughty stencil set. You can free-hand your carving or, if you don’t have the steady hand to sketch one out, there are a few kits for purchase. One very naughty … Continue reading

What I am working on: Veiled Heroine

There is something alluring yet mysterious about wearing a veil. In my first Blood-vine story, Bound By Deception, the heroine Anna has a veil on during the blood-rite ceremony. She hates the archaic practice and yanks the material from her head the first chance she gets. Fast forward a few books to the current story that I am writing. This time, the heroine Nathalia has no choice but to be veiled. She wears a traditional covering for a while in the story. The customs of her people demand that she conform to the dictates of their culture. It is also a contentious point for the hero, Sevastian, because the reason she is wearing it is a constant reminder of the circumstances that are keeping them apart. I thought I would share with you a few snippets from the story that pertain to the veil. So here we go: Vastian looked on as she stepped into the antechamber. Her eyes were heavily kholed, the eyelids dusted with a shimmering eye shadow. He grimaced at the sight of Thalia all covered up, completely hidden from his view. The garment cloaked her from head to toe with an embroidered cloth arranged like a heavy robe. One … Continue reading