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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ready to fall-in

Ok, Labor Day has come and gone for this year and you know what that means, autumn is on its way! Fall is absolutely my favorite time of year. The leaves turning, the air cooling, pumpkin-flavored anything, evenings by the fire. Oooooh, I get that cozy feeling just thinking about it.

I also love autumn because it's the best time for me to write. Like I said, a nice fire, something warm to drink, I can really get lost in the lives I'm writing about! Right now I'm just getting settled back into Grizzly Falls and hanging out with my girls, Alvarez and Pescoli. READY TO DIE will be the next in the "TO DIE" series, and I'm really excited about it!

Uh-Oh, here comes Jackie reminding me to get back to work!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

If you can't stand the heat......

Ok, I'm convinced I could never live someplace like the southwest. Not that I was contemplating a move anytime soon! We've experienced some all-time high temperatures here in the northwest the last couple of weeks, and I'm so happy our "normal" weather has returned!

I suppose growing up and living my entire life in the northwest has conditioned my body to be less capable of handling those hot, hot temperatures. One plus though, I got TONS done on my next "TO DIE" book, I couldn't wait to visit Grizzly Falls and the snowfall!

I hope where ever you are, you're keeping cool and enjoying the tail end of summer!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

You DO Want to Know

Here’s a heads up!  YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW is available August 7th!!! (Is it a sign that August 7th was my mother’s birthday, and her mother’s as well?)  Check out an excerpt!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Jersey Boys Walk!

Wow.  I had a great time in New York City for Thrillerfest.  But, I didn’t work the whole time I was back East.  Aside from trying out some new restaurants, we went to a Broadway play, Jersey Boys and tripped down memory lane!  We did some other sight-seeing, dined in some new spots and tried to avoid the heat, to no avail!  It was a lot of fun as you can see from some of these shots!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Here Today, Where Tomorrow?

Whew, what a couple of weeks! My agent came out for a visit, and of course we discussed AFRAID TO DIE and what I'm currently working on, but also RWA (which I'll be attending) and numerous other appearances I've got scheduled for the tail end of summer. (Check out for updates and all the up-to-date details. I've been back and forth to the coast, managing a project there, a quick trip to California to visit my niece, oh, and I'm supposed to be writing in there somewhere too!

I guess I should mention I had some time in there to celebrate the incredible release of AFRAID TO DIE!! Thanks to you all, it's #2 on the NY Times and I just found out it's in the top spot on Publisher's Weekly bestseller list!! Who says Mondays are all bad?! Not me, not this week at least! Thanks to all of you who went out (or stayed in and got it on your e-reader) and picked up a copy. I hope you're all having as much fun reading it as I did writing it!

So now, I've got my diet Coke and Jackie at my feet, and I'm back in New Orleans with Bentz and Montoya. Cheers!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Jackie O No Saga

Poor Jackie O No.  She’s been diagnosed with a chronic condition in which her eyes don’t produce enough tears to keep them moist.  For the past two months she (and I) have been struggling with a different series of drops and the hated Cone of Shame. Well, there might be light at the end of the tunnel!

Recently the vet told me that she was getting better with treatment and that the cone will soon be relegated to the closet.  (My prayers have been answered!)  She’s been a real trooper during the convalescent period, even coming when called for the drops, though her little curl of a tail usually flattens and her head lowers.  I can’t help it; I give her a treat after each application and if I don’t watch out, she’ll not only be battling eye problems but obesity as well….man, that girl loves to eat.  Anyway, I was thrilled she’s on the  mend and  I’m hoping that soon she’ll be back to her bouncing, happy, naughty self!

Friday, June 8, 2012


Just in time for the hot summer sun, AFRAID TO DIE is about to hit book shelves (real and virtual) and it's sure to send a chill down your spine! It'll be out in less than a week, and is of course, available for pre-order now.

Detectives Pescoli and Alvarez are back and on the trail of a new serial killer. Interested? Read an excerpt here. These are two of my favorite characters, and I really had a blast writing this book. I also love to get back to Grizzly Falls, it feels a lot like home. I guess that's probably because I've (loosely) based it on the small town I grew up in.

AFRAID TO DIE is the fourth installment of the "To Die" Series and this one focuses on Selena Alvarez and the secrets of her past. The other books, in order are, LEFT TO DIE, CHOSEN TO DIE, BORN TO DIE and now AFRAID TO DIE. Next year (and already approved) will be READY TO DIE. I think these gals are here to stay!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


This month, BEACH SEASON is available, actually in just a few days.  This is an anthology of four stories from four different authors.  My story, THE BRASS RING, is a complete novel that was published a few years back.  The other stories are brand new and written by some talented authors, Cathy Lamb, Rosalind Noonan and Holly Chamberlin
BEACH SEASON is a light, fun read, and as the title implies, just right for a day relaxing in the sand, under an umbrella, cooling drink in hand, toes tickled by the waves! Each novel is a about love lost and love found. It's a great book to get you in "summer mode," you'll be feeling the heat!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lisa Jackson, Straight to the Heart of Your Town

If you’ve had a chance to check out the Lisa Jackson Facebook app, (and if you haven't you should!) you’ve seen the contest:  “BRING LISA TO YOUR TOWN.”  My publisher's idea, it’s a launch party for YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW, and I'll be celebrating with all of the fans from the winning city. Anyone in the U.S. is encourage to vote as many times as they'd like until the end of June. Oh, and make sure to share with friends in your area, so that on August 7th, when the book is officially on sale, we can all celebrate together! I'll be in your town, signing books and handing out prizes, and mingling with everyone who voted me to your town. It should be lots of fun and I’m looking forward to the trip.  

Another fun fact that makes this celebration all the more special, and this is just a coincidence, but August 7th was my mother’s birthday, as well as her mother’s  birthday.  In the book SHIVER, the heroine, Abby, was born on the same day as her mother, Faith Chastain, who is, to this day, one of my favorite characters.  That connection was inspired by my mom’s birthday with her mother.  So, I’m glad to celebrate their birthdays as well.  My mother would have been 88, this August 7th and my grandmother 114!  I think we should all celebrate!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Secrets and Lies

Good news, SECRETS AND LIES, my latest 2-books-in-1-volume novel from Harlequin, is now available!  The novels, HE’S A BAD BOY and HE’S JUST A COWBOY are the first two stories that surround the fictitious community of Whitefire Lake, California.  Another volume, CONFESSIONS will be on the stands at the end of the year and it will contain the last two books of the series, HE’S A RICH BOY and HE’S MY SOLDIER BOY.

The four original books were one of my first forays into writing a series, which I now love.  They are actually  the precursors to series like the Montoya/Bentz series set in New Orleans or the “To Die” series with Detectives Alvarez and Pescoli.

Recently, my son (who works for me) and I were trying to shorten a scene to add it to the “about the book” and “excerpt” section of   So as he’s reading from the book and we’re discussing what section will actually go up as the excerpt, he looks over the top of the novel and says, “Wait a minute, Mom!  This scene sounds a lot like something that happened when I was in grade school and these two boys who are riding bikes and wrestling and yelling at each other, they seem a lot like my brother and me.  And the mom who’s expecting a call from the principal cuz one of the kids got in a "scuffle" on the playground, that’s you . . . right?”  He looked at me in shock and, yeah, a little bit of horror.  “You mean to tell me what’s in these books actually happened?  You used parts of our lives?”
Uh oh!  Busted!
I had no option but to ‘fess up.
So, it looks like, after twenty-plus years, the jig is definitely up!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On the Domestic Side

I used to love to cook.  The trouble is, I also love to eat.  So, you
guessed it, over the years the pounds added up and I realized I had to figure something out.  So now, I've decided to give a new kind of cooking a whirl and I'm pulling out some of  my old fave recipes and making them leaner: lasagna, spaghetti, crepes, tuna casserole, meat loaf, apple pie, you name
it, I intend to make the old recipes, new again. I haven't worked out all the details yet, it might end up being more like a new take on apple pie rather than your traditional apple pie.

This weekend my family is coming over and I'm using them as guinea pigs as I try out a new twist on crepes for breakfast, and goulash for dinner!  I'll let you know how they turn out and if they were edible! (The back-up plan is ordering pizza!)  Yeah, I know.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Not Your Typical 9 to 5

People ask me how many hours a day I spend writing and I never can give them
a straight answer.  Some days I sit at the computer for hours on end, just
creating the story.  (Usually this is when a deadline is looming.)

However, the truth of the matter is, I really hate to sit still for long
periods of time and I can find just about any distraction for getting out of
my chair.  "Oh, I need to walk the dog." Or, "I should do this laundry."
Or, "I think I'm out of vanilla."  Whatever.  It's just an excuse.

In my defense, whenever I'm doing those odd chores, I'm usually working out
a knot in my plot.  Even while driving or showering.  (So watch out when you
see me heading your way in my car!)

Hmmm . . . maybe this is why some of my recipes have turned out so strangely

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stormy Seas

I’m so glad to be cozied up next to the fire enjoying some mindless TV after a crazy trip to the coast. I’m talking thunder, lightening, hail, high winds, and side-ways rain.

I have to say though, as far as writing goes, it doesn’t get any better! Especially since my sister, Nancy Bush, and I were in the middle of plotting out our next book in the WICKED series. We were near the fictitious Deception Bay and Siren Song! We got a lot accomplished but made some time for Bailey’s and coffee too.

This evening, I finished revisions for YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW. Now, onto the next project. But, I think I may wait until next week to start that. Take the end of the week and the weekend to catch up on a few things around the house, take Jackie O No on a few nice, long walks and maybe even catch a movie?? I don’t even know what’s in theaters right now, any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Giving myself the creeps!

Okay, so I do a lot of research on line and most of it is pretty straight forward, nothing all that creepy or scary.  I learn a lot about an area, the weather, a particular law, or social mores of an era--pretty dry stuff. Occasionally, though, I do come across something that weirds me out.

For example:

One time I(at night, of course!)  was researching serial killers and was clicking through links.  The sites really bothered me as some of them were dedicated to the promotion and love of serial killers--talk about sick.  But the worst of it was that I eventually landed in a space that asked me if I wanted to email a known and imprisoned serial killer who I recognized and remembered his crimes.  My blood ran cold and I hope that the suggestion was a sick joke.  I'll never know.

Another time I was contacted by a murderer who had killed two women in his family via a letter.  He thought we had something in common--I didn't!   But I checked him on the Internet and actually saw his face and footage of him.  It gave me a serious case of the creeps!

I've learned my lesson.  No more research at night, for starters!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The same, just different

I took a walk today and was struck with how much that simple activity has  changed since I was a kid.
Then, I threw on a pair of sneakers, flew out the door and took off.  The dog (a stray who claimed us) usually followed me as we ran across the fields, forded streams, and cut through the woods.  Often, shepherd at my heels, I walked along the country roads where I scared up pheasants, deer and grasshoppers. Cattle grazed, creeks babbled, and the smell of hay and scotch broom filled my nostrils.  I noticed hawks soaring overhead and far off, trains clattered on distant tracks.  I met no one.

Fast forward a few decades. (Ok, maybe more than a few)
Now, I throw on my rain jacket and hat, make sure I have my keys (a ring a janitor in a 50 story building would envy), a cell phone, my fitbit, some money (for coffee and a newspaper) and an iPod.  Then gear up the dog with her harness, leash and clean-up bags.  I walk on city streets between tall buildings and scare up squirrels in the park and rabbits in the hedgerows.  Obeying street signs and avoiding traffic, I notice the jets flying overhead.  Trains sound at nearby crossings.  I meet dozens of people, none of whom I know.

How different.  How the same.

Kinda weird.  The good news?  I still get to walk in the country when I want to and in the city when I can.  Not so bad, eh?

Monday, February 27, 2012


My good friend, Debbie Macomber, emailed me the other day to congratulate the both of us.  She said “Do you know it’s been thirty years since we both sold our first books?”

Seriously?  Thirty?  OMG—I thought about one of the first book signings I attended in the early 80’s when another young author, a man, upon learning I wrote romance novels, said, “Oh, you’re like the new Violet Winspear.”  I about died . . . I thought that Violet and the others of her generation, who had successfully written tons of romance novels, were ancient and moldy and totally unhip.

So—that was then.

Flash forward thirty years and, Oops.  Tuns out he was right.  Another generation of writers has appeared on the scene. (For quite a while now.)  Debbie and I along with the rest of our generation?  Yep, you guessed it:  We are the (not so new) Violet Winspears!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


This year, February was a big month for me.  Not one, but two new books came out---okay, okay, DARK EMERALD was previously published, but early in February it was re-released with a brand new, and gorgeous cover and is finally available as an e-book, to go along with the other DARK JEWELS novels, DARK RUBY and DARK SAPPHIRE, all medieval stories about thirteenth century Wales, witchcraft, adventure and, yes, romance, which is what February is all about right, with Valentine’s Day and all.

At the end of the month DEVIOUS, the seventh book in the Bentz/Montoya New Orleans series is available as a paperback.  (It was released as a hardback with a different cover in 2011.) Detectives Bentz and Montoya are two of my most popular characters, so it’s good to see them solving crimes in the Crescent City again.

As for me, personally?  How did I celebrate Valentine’s Day?  Well, with the traditional clam chowder dinner, flowers and . . . oh, yes, and an  hour in the lazy boy watching Survivor with my favorite guy.  (We celebrated the day after, or as my father would have said, on “The MOST UN-Valentines Day.”  Sorry, Dad, it seemed to work!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you all have a fabulous day filled with something sweet (it's actually hot tamales for me, not chocolate), a dozen of your favorite flowers and something sparkling! Diamonds, champagne, cider, whatever you'd prefer. For me, a cup of coffee with a touch of Bailey’s Irish Cream, my crossword puzzle and Jackie O-No at my feet is perfect. I'm deep into trying to finish my latest book, AFRAID TO DIE, so I might take a little break for my crossword, but that's about it for me today! 

Pugs and Kisses from Jackie O-No and me!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

All About the Books

I thought I would take some time to try and answer a few questions I get frequently: "What is the order of *insert series here*?" Or "Which books are in a series?" Or "How many books are in this series?"

First off, let me say that while there is an order to the books, they didn't start out as series. When I first got to know Bentz and Montoya, I never thought they would hang around this long! Seriously, I can't shake those guys! Really though, the New Orleans series, and Bentz and Montoya, specifically, is one of my favorites. All that rich history, the spice of the town, it just lends itself to excitement, suspense, and a steamy romance, or two.

But, let me get back to what I was saying before, there is an order, but it's not crucial that they been read in a specific order. Sure, you'll have a little more background on the detectives and the other characters that show up in consecutive books. But it's not like you'll be lost if you read SHIVER before you read HOT BLOODED.

For those of you who are interested though, you can head to and find all the answers. You can find out what books are in which series, how many books there are, and the order in which they were written. While you're there, get to know some of the characters a little better in the character galleries. Or take a walk through the streets of Grizzly Falls, MT.

And always stay connected on Facebook, I try to answer questions on there too!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

At The Office

I thought you all might want to see my work space.  This is where Jackie O-No and I work together to create the books I write.  It’s a cozy nook, away from my family and friends and the place I go when I really want to “submerge.”
As you can see, I write on a chaise lounge which is Oh-so-elegant.  Not!  My back gave out a few years back and sitting at a desk for hours on end is out.  So I use my laptop, pretty much exclusively.  Also the lounge is “lounge” enough for Jackie, too!
I can’t write unless the space is neat and tidy—or at least I can’t start a book while the office is messy.  However, as the pages are finished and the deadline looms, the area becomes a sty.  When I’m finished with the book, after a couple days of sleep, I walk into the office and think, “What happened here?  How did I not notice what a mess this is?”  Then there’s a flurry of cleaning before I settle into the next project.  Here's a pic of the place where it all starts:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness

 I have been fortunate in my writing career, I get to do something that I like and get paid for it! And for this, I am thankful! I do try my best to “pay it forward” whenever I can. Whether that’s offering my time at a reading/writing conference or making a financial donation to one of the many organizations I support.

One cause that is close to my heart is Breast Cancer Awareness. Several wonderful women I know (friends and family) have battled this awful disease and come out victors.

I was surprised that while visiting friends at the beach a while back, I picked up a bottle of Mike’s PINK lemonade that my friend had offered me.  It was pink in honor of the fight against breast cancer.  “Cool,” I thought and mentioned it as I took a sip.  Then my friend poured some Wheat Thins into a bowl, and I noticed that the back of the box was pink—again, all about Breast Cancer Awareness.

And I know Breast Cancer Awareness month is October, and this is January. It is getting close to February, which means Valentine’s Day and pink, and well, it just got me thinkin’.........

Friday, January 20, 2012

Here today, gone tomorrow

That's exactly what happened with the snow in our area. One minute it's snowing, schools are closed, kids are out building snowmen, I'm looking for Jackie O-No's PUGGS and peacoat (No, she doesn't really have either, I can't bring myself to actually purchase boots or a coat for a dog, but she does have a sweatshirt!)...... And then it's G.O.N.E.

Really, it happens that fast. But maybe that's why I love the winters here. We get the beauty and coziness the snow brings, but only a glimpse, because then it's gone and we're back to rain. rain. rain. I'd rather drive in the rain than the snow though.

On the other hand, now that the holidays are over and I'm really getting into AFRAID TO DIE, snow for a few days wouldn't be so bad. Like I said, here in the Pacific Northwest, we only see snow once a year and usually only one or two inches so it kinda freaks everyone out. It's like, "what is this stuff and how do we get around in it?" It gives me a good excuse to lock myself in the house, keep the coffee on all day and write, write, write. And with AFRAID TO DIE set in the often snowed-in little town of Grizzly Falls, it's all the more inspiring!