A Time to Say Thanks

Thanksgiving in the USA is just around the corner.  We think of it as a time to gather with friends or family and say thanks for our blessings.  Some folks only think of it as a day to pig out. Others fret over having to face certain family members they’d rather not.


Making one day THE day to say thanks often winds up putting a lot of pressure on people!  Especially those in charge of cooking the meal.

The attitude of gratitude is something I prefer to carry with me every day, because I have much to be thankful for.

My daily bread is always there, and because I understand others go hungry, I give monthly to Feed the Children.  My health is relatively good for a lady of my age, and in gratitude of this I contribute monthly to St. Jude’s Hospital, where no child or family is turned away.

I am blessed with a roof over my head and a comfortable bed to sleep in, and because of this I have sponsored a young girl in Haiti through World Vision for nearly a decade now.

It doesn’t all have to be about giving money, though.

There are so many ways to help our neighbors that don’t involve the pocket book.  For instance, we can regularly go through the closets to find gently worn clothes, shoes and “still working” household items to give to the local thrift store.  This helps employ other people and allows families to stretch their shrinking dollars for basic needs. There are soup kitchens (usually run by local churches) open all year long, not just the holidays, to volunteer with.  Many towns often schedule community clean up days where all volunteers are welcome.

Simple acts of kindness for our fellow citizens don’t cost a penny and pay goodwill forward.  We can all do that, no matter how rich or poor we are. And who among us doesn’t have an extra smile or two to spare for a stranger. It might be the only one they get that day!

We have so many opportunities to show our thanks throughout the year, why wait for one day every year to do it?

This Thanksgiving, while we enjoy the fruits of our bounty, may we all be refreshed and strengthened, and ready to find a way to help others. Most importantly, may we greet each day with a grateful heart.

Until next time, make it a great one!


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img_3924-jpg-mtNeither had I. Sure I’d heard of Fargo (had seen the movie) and knew the weather was extreme in the winters, but beyond that…it never occurred to go. Until hubby was on a quest to visit every one of the fifty states and he was down to the last three. (Look out Arkansas, you’re last on Bill’s list!)

To our delight, North Dakota was as beautiful as Montana and though we only stepped foot inside for two days we saw plenty.



Our main goal was to visit the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora. Such a beautiful place in the badlands, and the place President Roosevelt went to heal and mourn the death of his wife and mother (who died on the same day!) when he was only a young man of twenty-five or six. His time of solace in ND changed his life and rooted in him the need to preserve the natural beauty of our country. He is the president who pushed for National Parks and, in my opinion, deserves his bust on Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, along with Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson.



Our card playing friends recommended, while we were in ND, that we go to the “famous” Medora Musical. Oh, and don’t forget to get your pitchfork fondue steak first, they said.


What? Now we were intrigued. And we weren’t disappointed on either count. img_3885-jpg-nd


The Medora Musical gives a tourist a first class taste of Americana. The weather was perfect the night we visited the outdoor theater, and all of the young performers had good voices (a couple of them had great voices!). If you’re ever in that part of the country, and are looking for some good old fashioned entertainment, stop in!




We also stayed in the city of Dickinson, ND, a town of approximately 20,000 population, but with a lot of construction going on. An interesting thing at the local Applebee’s was almost the entire wait staff was from Serbia! How do I know that? Our waitress had a great personality and by her accent I suspected she was from Russia, so I asked. Turns out they’d been in the US on work visas for four years and Serbia isn’t nearly as cold as North Dakota, so she, her brother and a few friends and cousins had some adjusting to do. Another interesting comment she made was how the people in Dickinson seemed so upbeat and content, something she no longer saw back home. She said people in Serbia were concentrating on surviving so being friendly wasn’t a high priority. Count our blessings folks!

Though I was glad to get back home, I thoroughly enjoyed our ten-day road trip through Montana (see October 1st blog) and North Dakota. Every one of the fifty states have their share of beauty, and thanks to Teddy Roosevelt, there are National Parks all over our country to visit. Put ND on your calendar!

My current book is only available on Amazon in print and e-book format. To find out more about A Soldier’s Second Chance, go here.

final e-book version




She owes him the truth. He wants to get even. But that old chemistry keeps messing up their plans.




Until next time, make it a great one!


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img_3973-jpg-ndLast August we visited a state we’d never been to before, Montana. I’ve always wanted to go there but had yet to make it. So when my husband suggested we take a trip to Montana and North Dakota, I was quick to sign on.

We’d visited Wyoming and South Dakota a few years back, so it only made sense to head north. We arrived in Missoula. The next day we headed for Whitefish, Mt, a cute and trendy kind of town, then on to Glacier National Park where we spent two of the most wonderful days of our lives sightseeing and hiking. We spent one very long driving day through the grassland and prairies of Montana, stayed the night in Glasgow, MT (I bet you didn’t know Glasgow existed in MT) then on to North Dakota. I’ll share pictures from our brief adventures there in the October 15th blog. After two days we came back to Billings, Montana for two days.

I hope you enjoy this little taste of Montana. I’m smiling remembering the gorgeous views.

They call Montana the Big Sky state for a good reason.img_3706-jpg-montana










Glacier National Park is a true gem.img_3750-jpg-montana



img_3752-jpg-montana    img_3804-jpg-montana


























Can you say buffalo? (and more)img_3729-jpg-montana




Wild, wild horses…img_3918-jpg-nd


University of Montana in Missoula is a great place to study – we had to watch out for the wild bicyclists around this lovely lake.fullsizerender-jpg-mt-2img_3673-jpg-mtimg_3674-jpg-mtimg_3678-jpg-mt

I would go back to Montana in a heartbeat because there is so much more to see. I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

In two weeks I’ll share some pictures from North Dakota and more from Montana.

OH! Today is the official release day for my newest book: final e-book version

For a review of the book go here.

Until next time, make it a great one!



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Her Baby's Secret FatherIt’s hard to believe that ten years have passed since my very first Harlequin Medical Romance, HER BABY’S SECRET FATHER, was published. I’ll be honest and say I cringed when I heard the title, though my working title wasn’t much better – Code Pink, Surprise! But isn’t that baby adorable?

It has taken many years to get used to Harlequin titles, but I’m thrilled to say I’m currently finishing up book #25 for them. Once you understand the “trope in the title” approach—meant for the readers who follow such things—the book titles make perfect sense.

Back in September 2006, when this book came out, the UK Medical Romance line published six books a month in Great Britain, but only four of those made it to the US Harlequin website for purchase. As the new girl, mine didn’t. I remember ordering 25 books from the UK website, only to have something go wrong and the books never made it to my door. I remember trying to explain that my books hadn’t arrived to a person on the UK side of things who clearly thought I was lying in an attempt to get more books. Talk about getting off to a bad start!

It wasn’t until February 2014 when Harlequin published the e-book version (Much better cover, Her Baby's Secret Fatherdon’t you think?) that the US audience had a chance to read it, and so far, over 4,200 US readers have!

So ten years later my little first book has been translated into French, Swedish and Finnish and has sold 57,000 copies worldwide. Not bad for a first book, eh?





This is my most current Medical Romance, WEDDING DATE WITH THE ARMY DOC, released in July. Where two imperfect people discover how perfect they are for each other.  Learn about the GoodReads Giveaway here.


Watch for my October release, also featuring a military trained hero, and which is an indie book. Thank you Harlequin for giving me back the North American rights on this book—another book that never made it to North America for purchase—A SOLDIER’S SECOND CHANCE. It is set to release October 1st but is available for Pre-Order NOW! at a special discounted price!

final e-book version

Here’s the blurb:

She owes him the truth. He wants to get even. But that old chemistry keeps messing up their plans.

Thirteen years back Beck Braxton enlisted in the Army and left town, but not before asking his girl to wait for him. She didn’t. Now he’s part of the elite L.A.P.D. SWAT team and he needs a skills refresher course before he deploys next month as a National Guard Medic. Because of his crazy SWAT schedule, arrangements are made with the head ER doctor from St. Stephen’s Hospital to accommodate him. But there’s something suspiciously familiar about the drab nurse he’s assigned to.

January Stewart gave up being that bubbly, carefree girl who’d fallen in love with her high school bad boy when she was forced to make a painful decision all by herself. Thirteen years later, drastically changed by life both inside and out, she goes by the name Jan Ashworth and is harboring a huge secret. She has also been assigned to work with Officer Braxton. He may soon realize she’s the girl who broke his heart while he was deployed, but he doesn’t know the half of it.

Now forced to work together, the ER nurse with every last bit of twinkle and glimmer erased, and Beck, the former wild child turned police officer, must face their past and remember that special feeling that once sizzled between them.

In honor of my ten-year publishing anniversary, I’d like to give away a copy of HER BABY’S SECRET FATHER. I have a print copy (with yellow pages to prove how old it is) or if the winner prefers, an e-book version from Amazon.com. All you have to do is leave a comment about Medical Romance. Have you ever read one? Did you know it existed? If you’ve read one, are you a fan?

Until next time, make it a great one!




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Anyone who knows me from Facebook knows about my sweet little pooch, Milo. In case you don’t, here is a brief history of my precious rescue doggie. Check out this cute little flyer they made for him, long before I met him. Image (11)

Wasn’t he adorable? They’d named him Snoop, but we didn’t like it so we chose one of the top fifty dog names – Milo!

So here’s the story. I had a birthday coming up in 2012 and my husband made the mistake of asking what I’d like. I’d planned the whole thing out. Of course my husband would ask me what I wanted, because he always did. This time I was prepared. “I want a dog of my choice.” As predicted my husband wasn’t happy about my request, but he asked!!!


On the day of my birthday, we had breakfast with some friends, and out of the blue the wife of the other couple suggested we go a few stores down to the doggie store, which had become our local small animal rescue facility. We walked in to loud yipping and barking, so loud, my husband turned around and walked right back out. I took a quick spin around the room and noticed this little white guy resting quietly in a cage with two other dogs, while every other dog barked their butts off! Boy was it noisy in there. I stepped closer to get a better look and he put his paw through the bars so I could shake his hand.

And as the saying goes…the rest is history.

He doesn’t’ like to have his picture taken, but he tolerates my attempts.13680745_1270479306298479_7342207564870615831_n


He loves to wear his reindeer ears at Christmas. (ha ha, right)






Because he is white and has pink skin, he has issues with a dermatitis problem. He was diagnosed with Discoid lupus erythematosus of the nose. He has lost the pigment on his nose and we have to protect him from the sun with this awful looking nose guard, but it will keep him from getting cancer. He doesn’t mind it, and he can open his mouth and pant as well as breathe perfectly well when wearing the device. It was made by another loving pet owner for his own dog. Evidently many dogs with pink noses have this problem. If your dog has similar issues, check out this website.  IMG_1196

He also had to get some treatments that weren’t very fun, but here he is looking like a superhero waiting for his laser treatments for his nose.







Milo certainly outdid the pet rescue predictions for size and weight, currently at 22 pounds. I love his long legs and Whippet-like body. He enjoys taking walks with me, as long as we don’t overdo it. He is a very loving dog who likes to sit on my lap, though realistically, he’s too big for it. He still insists, so I let him. That’s our ritual every morning. I have my cup of coffee in the living room, he sits on my lap and watches out the front window for anyone trespassing on “his yard”. And yes, because he is part terrier, he is a barker. I tell him to use his indoor voice and he muffles his bark, which is cute and funny.

IMG_3637He recently turned four. Here he is looking regal and proud, while (you guessed it) sitting on my lap.

Can you tell I love my dog?



Until next time, make it a great one!


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Annual RWA Conference Fun

Every July the Romance Writers of America, the only writers’ organization I belong to, hold their annual conference. This year it was in San Diego.


It always starts off with a bang on Wednesday night with a huge author signing (over 400 authors took part) to raise money for literacy.  IMG_2329I visited loads of people, but here I am with the lovely Sarah Morgan!


As a person doing a solitary job, it is always great to come together with a couple thousand other people who understand what it takes to write day in and day out, to the tune of three books a year for me. Some authors at the conference are prolific writing machines and produce six to eight books a year. Yes, my jaw always drops with that bit of information, too.

IMG_2339Here I am on Thursday meeting with friends at the bar for drinks and appetizers.  L-R: Dee J. Adams, Roz Lee, Me, Trish Cerrone and Roben Grant. I’d been running non-stop all day up until this time. Believe it or not, we found time to discuss works in progress and give each other tips for when we get stuck.  Somehow I managed to say something that cut loose Roz Lee, the short cut red-haired lady sitting next to me, from her block.  It had something to do with starting at the wrong place. See, that’s the beauty of talking the talk with folks who understand.

The point of the conference is to present workshops on craft, career, and self-publishing, plus author panels and chats, as well as publisher spotlights.IMG_2349Here are a bunch of pictures that took place on Friday morning starting at the Harlequin author spotlight and ending with a great lunch hosted by the Medical Romance editors. Left to right – Medical Romance pals Amalie Berlin, double Rita finalist for short contemporary Scarlet Wilson, Amy Ruttan and me! On the right my Harlequin Intrigue pal, Carol Ericson.IMG_2357



Here I am with my July book buddy, Susan Carlisle.  We wrote Summer Brides stories and decided to set the books in Savannah, GeorgiaIMG_2356

IMG_2363Last year’s double RITA finalist, and winner, Caro Carson surprised me and we had a good giggle.

IMG_2358The highlight of my day on Friday was catching up with my favorite Romance author, Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  Can’t wait to read her next book – FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT – due out August 23rd, and available for preorder now!

Then there were the lunches hosted by the editors from both sides of the pond.  Friday was Medical Romance and here is my gorgeous salad. IMG_2360Then, of course Friday night was the Harlequin party. Fun, fun, fun!  Here are the medical romance ladies striking a pose: RWA Harlequin 2016 Med Gals


On Saturday I got to have lunch with the Harlequin Special Edition crew, hosted by Gail Chasan, the Senior Editor for the line. IMG_2365L-R: Caro Carson, Terri Wilson, Gail Chasan, Shirley Jump, Michelle Major, Stacey Connelly, Me, Rachel Johns and Judy Duarte.

Can you say B U S Y?

Eighty percent of this conference involved my publisher, Harlequin. Everything from focus groups to the powers that be giving a general state of the state of Harlequin business in publishing, to fabulous editor/author lunches. Of course the highlight of the weekend is the Harlequin party on Friday night (see above masquerade picture) and the RITA awards on Saturday night.

First I had dinner on Saturday night. IMG_2361Then my roommate for the conference, Dee J. Adams and I enjoyed the fabulous RITA awards. IMG_2364

I don’t go every year, but when I do I have a ball, and it takes a full week to recover once I get home.

But I’m not complaining. In fact, I’m sitting here looking at these fun pictures and smiling all over again.

Do you ever go to work or hobby related conferences? What’s your favorite or least favorite part?

Until next time, make it a great one!                                                                                              Lynne

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It’s true, I am fascinated with zombies.the-walking-dead-poster

I’m a fan of The Walking Dead, absolutely loved Warm Bodies, thoroughly enjoy Zombieland, laughed my butt off in Shaun of the Dead, got a real kick out of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and had the beans scared out of me in World War Z and 28 Hours Later. So it has been a stealthy plan of mine for a long time, to put them in a book at some point.

R and the girl


Zombies in a Medical Romance, you say? How did that get through?

“Vee have vays” (to be said with a bad German accent)

No Seriously

How does a writer get zombies in a Harlequin Medical Romance?

Huge build up including DRUM ROLL!

I included a Zombie Run. Sorry to let you down a bit, but I had to be somewhat practical.

Business Man Running With Zombie

So, what are Zombie Runs? They’re the big craze, thanks to all of the above mentioned (but mostly The Walking Dead) shows. People want to have the wits scared out of them while being chased by zombies. As always, business savvy and inventive people came up with a way to accommodate them. And I came up with a way to put it in a book.

Zombie Runs! http://www.zombiebites.net/zombie-runs-and-events-2015.html

Yes, these will probably imitate a comet and burn bright for a while then fizzle out, but for now, people are loving them!

How Did I do It?

Fairly close to the beginning of my book, I have my lovely heroine, Charlotte—who happens to be a pathologist, so she was perfect for the zombie aspect—take part in a fundraiser 5 and 10K run for the hospital where she works. Employees could pay extra to get made up as zombies and chase the real runners as they participated in the foot race.


I was overjoyed when my editor let that stay in the book, but I wisely made that part a turning point scene. Other writers will know what I mean about “turning point” but to explain a bit for romance readers: It is a scene where something happens between the two main characters that changes the course of their relationship. The Zombie Run scene in WEDDING DATE WITH THE ARMY DOC, certainly did that. I hope you’ll read the book to find out how.

But Wait There’s More!

To make the book even more influenced by Zombie shows, I chose Andrew Lincoln as the prototype for my hero – Jackson Hilstead III, M.D. Oh, yeah, I had fun where I could in this otherwise tragic and dramatic story. A writer’s got to keep her sanity some way, right?

See a resemblance here? I do!330px-Andrew_Lincoln_2012









Here’s a bit about my book: WEDDING DATE WITH THE ARMY DOC (part of the Summer Brides duet with Susan Carlisle in the UK – see above left in book banner)

It started at a wedding…

Since her recent lifesaving—and life-changing—operation, Charlotte Johnson has steered clear of romance…but brooding Jackson Hilstead is too delicious to resist! Surely some harmless flirting with the sexy army doc can’t hurt?

Charlotte knows Jackson has his own emotional battles to fight, but she believes they can be stronger together. So when she accepts his invitation to a family wedding, Charlotte hopes it’s a sign that one day she’ll be walking down the aisle…with Jackson by her side!

Here’s another place it’s on sale in both print and e-book format

Thanks for reading!


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I’ve just returned from a visit to one of my favorite places, Maine! Well, Portland, Maine that is.

I was lucky to attend the Maine Romance Writers annual retreat, and to get to give a workshop titled REDEEMING DESPICABLE CHARACTERS. The workshop was well received and the weekend retreat was really fun and informative. IMG_3321


I especially liked the workshops on self-editing and writing the male point of view. I met lots of great ladies and got to talk with a few I already know. Had some good laughs with fellow Harlequin author Terri Brisbin (Historical line) and Luanna Stewart from Entangled.

This is the picture everyone liked the most from my presentation. Sexiest of allI wonder why?

The coordinator, Marianne Rice, bent over backwards to make everyone happy, and she did a phenomenal job! IMG_3324


What more can a lady ask from an author retreat, you may ask?


Well how about this?



Or this  IMG_3333






And what about this? IMG_3365IMG_3369IMG_3353







New York isn’t the only place with a flat iron building!

IMG_3385I had great weather, great food, and made new friends.

Portland, Maine at its best.



I’m also super excited that today is release day for my contribution to the Hollywood Hills Clinic series – HIS PREGNANT SLEEPING BEAUTY is book #6.  I hope you’ll consider reading it.


Until next time, make it a great one!



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Getting Used to Being Me

After catchin10710741_10153227531464062_175066825557071363_ng myself say this while watching Jeopardy the other night: “I was going to say George Carlin, but I couldn’t think of his name.” I’ve decided it’s time to re-evaluate the “me” I’ve become.



It’s not all bad.  Turns out I’m good at being a Grandma.  When told my two year old granddaughter, Thea, woke up one morning saying this:  “Trucks wake me up. Beep beep beep.” I’m proud as punch to know at twenty-six months of age, she is speaking in sentences, and though giving the credit to her parents, I also pat myself on the back for singing The Wheels on the Bus with her all the times she asks me to.  The horn on the bus goes beep beep beep.


Talking and reading and singing to our grandkids is soooo important!

So, on those many times where I have to consult my favorite thesaurus in order to come up with the exact word for what I’m writing, and by the time I find it, I forget that perfect sentence I’d planned to use it in…







I will choose to go easy on myself instead of withdrawing from the human race

11987115_1294635350641395_2391152954603421360_nRather than becoming a recluse, I’m gonna keep chugging along embarrassing myself with delays in conversations while I remember what I started out to say, inadvertently repeating the same story to the same person again and again, and insisting I need ten seconds longer to fish the answers out of the deep recesses of my brain while playing along on TV Jeopardy.

White Wine And Grapes

I also intend to take time to smell those flowers and taste the wine along the rest of the journey of my life.



Until next time, make it a great one,


Watch for my new book HIS PREGNANT SLEEPING BEAUTY June 1st, available for pre-order now:

LM_FB_header_5 (3)

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Ran a Contest and Discovered a Survey

Hands At WorkFor those who may not know, I make it a habit to run a contest of some kind with every newsletter I sendIf this interests you, feel free to sign up in the sidebar next to this blog to receive occasional e-mails from me.  I promise not to send out more than six in a year, and as I already stated, I always run a contest when I do.


On April 1st, I mailed a newsletter with a different kind of contest – multiple books (5) and multiple story tropes to choose from.  Normally, I use Rafflecopter for my contests, since I get so many entries, but this time I took a different route.  I was very specific about how to enter – here’s what I wrote:

Send me an e-mail. Include in your e-mail whether you would prefer a print or e-book and include your address if you want a print copy. Then tell me which one of the following you are interested in reading: 1.) Western setting, 2.) Adoption theme, 3.) Road trip, 4.) Reunion story, 5.) Not the hero’s baby.  I will randomly choose one winner for each of the five choices and contact the winners before April 10th.  The winner’s names will be listed in the June newsletter. 

As the entries came in, I realized I had the perfect opportunity to turn my findings into a survey.  Of course, this, by any means, isn’t a scientific survey, just anecdotal findings. Nevertheless, I think the results are interesting, and they will make me think twice before I plan my next books!

Here are the results:Story SurveyNot Hero’s baby 7%; Road trip 14%; Reunion Story 19%; Adoption theme 19%; Western Setting 28%; Happy with any 13%

It seems that the western set romances are a big hit with the most readers.  I was sorry to see that “not the hero’s baby” isn’t as popular because I have written 2 or 3 such stories and find them both satisfying and challenging.

What do you think?  Do you agree or disagree with these findings?  Let me know what your favorite trope is in the comments section.

Until next time, make it a great one!




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