Thursday, March 20, 2008


Judith Rochelle is a lovely lady whom I've had the pleasure of meeting at a conference last year. She is one of those genuinely nice authors who cares about people and always makes them feel so special. I am often amazed (and a little envious) at her ability to write and produce good stories so often. And the careers she's had in her life! What a fascinating life she's led! She agreed to answer some of my questions and is my spotlight author of the month. And isn't that cover HOT!?! I love the dark and the blues...

Tell me about yourself.

My husband an I are both retired and live in the Texas Hill Country which we love. He’s a sixth generation Texan. We have a blended family of children and grandchildren, and of all the careers I’ve had, this is the most exciting. Even tops managing rock and roll bands! The entire family is a huge support system for me, and our kids are my best press agents. I feel truly blessed. When I’m not writing I read, read, read. Watch football six months out of the year. And play golf on a semi-regular basis. We also visit wineries and collect Texas wines. With all our kids out on their own, and with their own families, we are busy raising three kittens.

I read on your website that you’ve been writing for two years. You have a lot of novels available now. Were they works you had previously completed?

A lot of them are from ideas I had jotted down over the years, snippets that came to me. Sometimes I have one line stuck in my head and build a story around it. Sometimes I start a story and a series falls out of my head. I write about eight hours a day when I’m working. I still have a lot of partially completed manuscripts that I started and then got distracted. I finish one and pull out another. And then I have a whole list of what you might call “long blurbs” of other ideas for the future.

How long does it take you to complete a novel?

It takes me about four weeks to do the first draft, then another two months to polish it and run it back and forth to my critique partners. But I’m usually working on two or three at a time.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Everyplace. One plot came from a line on an episode of CSI. Another was based on a person I know. I’m an obsessed newspaper clipper-anything that catches my eye I stuff in a folder. I’m working on one that came from a letter to the editor in our local paper! LOL. I love to watch and listen to people and play what if. My head is always busy!

Do you have a writing routine?

Sort of. I spend two hours every morning answering email and doing promotion work. Then I break for breakfast and time with my husband. Then I write until 6:00 or so (but I always break for Jeopardy!) When I have a deadline I write constantly. I’m an obsessed football nut but this fall I sat in front of the television with my laptop every Saturday and Sunday trying to finish three manuscripts. I try not to write at night or on the weekends – that’s special time with my husband.

What are the biggest challenges you face as a writer?

Getting my name out and getting known by readers. The market gets bigger all the time so we’re all fighting for the mass of readers. Also, not getting discouraged when I get a rejection.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

Everything-creating the plot, building my characters, finishing the book. And hearing from my readers.

What do you dislike about writing?

That’s easy---editing! I’d rather swallow tacks!

What do you enjoy in your spare time? Do you have any collections? Hobbies?

I read, read, read. I love books. Also we collect Texas wines and I collect statues of cats. All sizes.

What’s your favorite color?

Blue. It’s everywhere in my life.

If you could drive any vehicle, with money as no object, what would it be?

Easy. A Ferrari Testarossa.

What’s your favorite genre to read?

Romantic suspense. When I first started to write I thought I’d write straight mystery with a little romance. Burt after looking at the same threee chapters for three months I happened to read CRY NO MORE by Linda Howard both my reading and writing habits changed. I was off to the races. Now I read every r/s I can get my hands on.

What’s one piece of advice you’d like to share with other writers?

Don’t ever give up. Success is out there waiting for you. And…find a good critique group.

What is your biggest writing annoyance, i.e. too much noise, not enough light, or can you write just about anywhere?

I can write just about anywhere. I’m used to blocking things out.

Who is your biggest supporter? My husband, hands down. How does he/she support you? He encourages me to write, gives me the freedom to be myself, brags about me to anyone who will listen and gives me advice only when I ask for it.

What’s your favorite food? It’s a tossup between pizza and Chinese.

What's the one book you'd love to write but could never publish?

Oh, wow. The story of my life, I guess!

How do you plan your characters (charts, off the flow, etc.?) How do you organize your books?

Oh, lordy. Disorganization is my middle name. I don’t plan anything. I carry a book around with me and make notes in it all the time, write things down as they come to me. I visualize my characters and make notes on them, usually the hero first. Then I visualize their situation and write a one page synopsis (oh, that dreaded word). But that’s as organized as I get. I am much better at doing my research, though. I spend a lot of time getting information on places and organizations.

Do you have any pet peeves?

You’ll laugh-people who crunch ice!

How about when it comes to novels?

Authors who kill off the hero or heroine. Or splits them up. I think it’s a disservice to the reader.

If you had to pick a vegetable most resembling your personality, what veggie would you pick and why?

Rutabaga. Because it’s just there!

What’s your dream vacation?

A week in Hawaii and a week in Greece with an unlimited budget.

What are you working on now?

The sequel to REDEMPTION, called LAST RIDE ON THE MERRY GO ROUND and the third book in my Phoenix Agency series. And another one that’s coming together slowly.

What are your future plans?

To keep on writing, writing, writing. I love what I’m doing. Creating a story for people to read and enjoy gives me enormous pleasure.

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?

I love them all. They are the ones I write for.

Would you like to share an excerpt of your work?

Absolutely. Following is the blurb of ONE HOT TEXAS NIGHT, and then an excerpt.

Tate Donovan was sure The Yellow Rose ranch would be his when his father died. After all, he’d grown up there and it was his legacy. But Abby Culhane was King’s stepdaughter for many years and held a place in the old man’s heart right up to the end. When King leaves her one fourth of the ranch and Tate’s grandparents’ home, Tate is shocked. Then he sees the grown-up Abby and can’t decide whether he wants to fight her over the will or take her to bed. The entire town of White Tail, Texas rolls up its sleeves and sits back to watch the fireworks.


“This is crazy. Nuts!”

Tate Donovan was pacing the carpet in Ryan Cutter’s law office, thumbs hooked in the pants pockets of his expensive western-cut suit. His feet in custom-tooled boots wore a path from the large window to the wall and back again. “I can’t believe the old man would do this.”

“He did it,” Ryan assured him in a calm voice. “And it’s all legal. Abby gets one quarter interest in the Yellow Rose and all of Sycamore Grove.”

“That’s my goddamn ranch,” Tate shouted, stopping in front of the attorney’s desk, jaw grim, eyes flashing fire.

“And now I believe also mine.”

Abby Culhane sat in one of the comfortable leather chairs in front of Ryan’s desk, outwardly projecting a picture of serenity in her emerald silk dress, diamond earrings winking in the light slanting in through the windows. But she was far from peaceful. Inwardly seething, she twisted the antique ruby ring on her finger round and round in endless circles.

The day had been very long. She was tired and irritable, and the last place she wanted to be was tiny White Tail, Texas, a place she’d literally run from ten years earlier. Her flight from New York had left early that morning, then there was the three hour drive from San Antonio because she’d missed the last commuter plane to Mesquite, the closest town to White Tail. She was still wondering where in the hell she was going to sleep tonight. As far as she could remember, there was no motel in White Tail.

The ten years she had lived at the great Donovan ranch were one long, unpleasant memory, mostly due to Tate making her life miserable every waking moment. Her only respite had been the four years he’d been away at college. When her mother and Tate’s father divorced, Janet Culhane had dragged Abby off to New York and that had been that.

Now she just wanted to get this done and get out of here. But Tate Donovan got her back up, just like he always had. Like the night of her senior prom, a moment in her life that still made her want to jump under the covers and pull them over her head.

“I think you can consider me a part owner,” she went on. It gave her great pleasure to see how angry he was. Payback, she thought smugly.

“Not for long, sister.” Tate whirled on her, his fists clenched. “That ranch belongs to me—along with Sycamore Grove— and there’s no way I’m letting you get one greedy finger on either of them. Your mother walked out on my father. You don’t deserve one inch of land or one damn penny.”

“Tate, why don’t you sit down for a minute.” She could tell Ryan made his voice as reasonable as he could. “We have a lot of details to iron out here, and maybe we can all come to some kind of understanding.”

Abby recalled that Ryan was only a few years older than Tate, but they obviously had grown to know each other well, since Ryan had become the Donovan attorney.

She looked carefully at Tate. Was he still the arrogant muscle head she’d known ten years ago? His body was still lean but even more muscular, more defined. His black hair still had the same, silky look to it, and thick lashes still framed electric blue eyes. His face had more lines grooved in it, and the dimple in his left cheek was more pronounced. Today his body radiated a fine tension.

What she wasn’t prepared for was his commanding presence that dominated the room, and the waves of sexuality that rolled off him like ocean breakers. Little pinpoints of electricity stabbed at her body, which she squashed with great effort. She was in the middle of a war here. She didn’t need to be entertaining erotic fantasies about the enemy.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I'm back from Florida!

I've been back for several days now, but I've been so tired and busy that I haven't had time to update my blog. (I hope no one has noticed my blog schedule was ignored this month, LOL.)

The wedding was beautiful, truly one of the most memorable I've ever been to (and not because it was my aunt's wedding because honestly I hated that she and my uncle divorced and that she was even remarrying). Her new husband truly loves her, I could tell by the look in his eyes. You should have seen was just amazing the way he looked at her.

Her wedding planner made everything flow smoothly. The catered food was to die for and she had a punch fountain with coffee set up in the corner and an open bar. My grandmother (her mother) turned 80 in December and we celebrated with a party, which she couldn't attend, so during the reception she got her mom to sit in the middle of the dance floor and sang "Wind Beneath My Wings" to her.

She was married to a very long time to my uncle, but some things don't work out as we know. She was married by the justice of the peace the first time, so this was the wedding of her dreams and it was awesome.

As far as my trip...well, that's a story almost worth publishing, but I'm not sure what to call it. How to Survive a Bad Vacation maybe? The plane ride was harrowing, we got lost on the way to my aunt's house once we finally got our rental car, we get to my aunt's house to find out our hotel rooms were given away and they were busily finding us more at the last minute, I lost my blood sugar machine and other medication (which I'm sure someone stole from the beach bathroom) and the IHop next to the hotel we were staying at, which made everything worthwhile, closed down for repairs the 2nd day we were there because they had a kitchen fire.

Whew. But it was fun and I got to see a different part of the world, which is always cool!

Now...can you believe this woman is 80 years old?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I'm planning a wedding!

No, it’s not mine. It’s my characters. I haven’t planned a wedding in fourteen years, and my wedding dress was second-hand. Beautiful but yes, second-hand. I was young and had no money or credit (and neither did my parents.) But wow…planning my character’s wedding had me drooling over wedding dresses and I’m thinking…how about a renewal of vows?

Okay, okay, I guess I should wait a few more years. Maybe. But hey, next year will be our fifteenth anniversary! When is the best time to renew your vows? Twenty years? Twenty five? Never? My husband says we’ve already been married and what’s the point of renewing our vows? He hates a crowd and doesn’t like the attention that a renewal of vows would bring. I do too, really, but our wedding was simple and small, which I’ve always believed is best because why spend a fortune on a wedding. I’d rather spend a fortune on a honeymoon.

But still…the deep part of my girliness craves that awesome wedding with that breathtaking wedding gown with the smell of roses and sunflowers and lilacs and…well, whatever type of flowers we use embracing me. The giddiness of finding the perfect invitations, the luxury of clothing yourself in extravagant lace and taffeta.

And speaking of weddings…my aunt is getting married this weekend! So I’m off to see her wedding in Florida (my first time in Florida) and I’m loaded with my cameras, film and SD cards. After all, pictures for the memories are the most important item to bring, right? What can you not leave home without?

With planning a character’s wedding and the anticipation of my aunt’s, no wonder I’m thinking about it!

“Cause… I said”

I want to welcome my guest blogger and the winner of my contest, Nina Pierce. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Nina! It's all yours! *hands floor over to Nina*.

What a nice surprise to win one of your contests, Emma. Thanks for the invite, I’d be happy to take over your blog for a couple of days. *elbows way through crowd to front of line* Ah, much better. I’m always happy to talk about myself and my books.

I’m Nina Pierce, new to the publishing world. My debut novel “The Healer’s Garden” (direct link: was a December molten erotic release from Liquid Silver Books. It’s a suspense story that takes place in an alternative future.

A world left after the devastating plague of the twenty-first century nearly wiped out the male population and significantly decreased the female population. A place where woman have evolved and developed the talents of prophesying, telepathy, telekinesis, and the greatest gift of all—healing.

In this female dominated society, continuing the human population is of utmost importance. The virus that decimated humans has also rendered male sperm incapable of surviving artificial insemination and cloning has yet to be perfected. The government has enslaved acceptable males and decreed that woman must mate with them and birth two infants before the age of thirty.

It’s at the government breeding facility known as the Garden of Serenity that gifted healer Jahara Hriznek meets the mating instructor Brenimyn and so begins their tumultuous relationship.

Brenimyn believes the time is now to rise up and restore social equality for all. He is searching for the one woman prophesied to be his mate and partner in the battle against the government and believes Jahara is that woman. But can Brenimyn convince Jahara to trust her heart and follow him? And will that love be enough to unite them in a coup against the government and bring about a new world order?

I love this couple... love that Brenimyn is willing to risk his life to stand up for something he believes in and fight for the woman he loves.

I was born in the 60’s, but I am not a child of the 60’s. That was an era when men and women laid down in front of bulldozers or carried picket signs or stood up against the government on court hall steps. I’ve never stepped up in public and fought for a cause I believed in. I’m opinionated and not too shy to express myself, but have never gone to jail to prove a point. I greatly admire people who have stepped out of their comfort zone and stood up for a cause.

I love to hear stories of people with that much bravery. Have you taken a stand? Or would you like to? Tell me about it. I’ll be here all day!



(The Healer’s Book Trailer on YouTube)