Saturday, October 22, 2016

What in the world do seahorses, frogs, and chickens have in common?


I've always been fascinated with animals, romance, and make-believe--of any kind. I've had and/or raised almost every imaginable living creature, including goldfish, guppies, seahorses, and various tropical fish, frogs, crabs, mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, cats, dogs, a duck, a chicken, parakeets, cockatiels and, last but not least, horses. And did I mention that I lived in town?

Barbie camped inside my huge doll house, but she always came out to ride my Breyer horses, all at the command of my girlish imagination. Sometimes she even galloped all over my brother's GI Joes. Didn't make him too happy.

My guinea pigs came when I called, my favorite cat tolerated being dressed in doll clothes and pushed around the neighborhood in my doll buggy, and my chicken sat in my lap while I did homework on the patio.

But what does a girl do when she grows up in a neighborhood with very few girls her age? Or even boys that will play nice. It was tough. Thankfully, I found books! Trips to the library during the summer were my life's blood, especially if I could get my hands on books about horses (especially horses), fairy princesses, knights in shining armor, magic, fire-breathing dragons, time-travel, and science fiction.

Then, I found boys. And romance. And I fell in love with love.

Late night TV had scads of old, silly romance movies that were funnier than they were swoon-worthy, but this took me from teen books that only "hinted" at what romance was about and led me into sneaking mom's books from her bookshelves. I still have one of them. It was a tender, sweet historical romance with just enough spice in it that it was supposedly NOT for me. But, well .... I love it and will own it until the day I die.

Parents aren't always fair. I'll admit it, even as a parent. One year, for Christmas, to encourage him to read, my brother got the entire collection of Dr. Seuss books. I got a WorldBook Encyclopedia set. Yeah. Go figure. I have to admit, I never had trouble learning how to do research for school, but I enjoyed Dr. Suess more.

Our boring neighborhood turned me into a bit of a recluse, especially during the summer, the perfect medium for growing a writer. Golf or bowling on TV on Saturday morning (my dad's choice) was not my idea of fun, and with temperatures around 110 degrees, it was the fantasy world of reading that made life exciting.

I'm so grateful my mom read to me. Because of her, my love for reading came young. I was reading Black Beauty in first grade, and I was as fascinated by Isaac Asimov as I was by Nancy Drew. I picked up whatever mom and dad left laying around, everything from adventure or spy novels to A Tale of Two Cities. I hated Moby Dick.

I remember watching my mom with fascination, at her typewriter, struggling through a creative writing class at the local community college. It was then I realized that books weren't rabbits that magically reproduced. Somebody had to write them. And if mom could write, then so could I.

I wrote my first "book" in 4th grade, although it took me most of that year and into my 5th grade to get it done and be brave enough to share it with my teacher. It was huge, and she praised my efforts and said I had talent. It whetted my appetite. I wanted to become a writer. Of course, my parents thought I was foolish and wouldn't support that idea.

And life took some twists and turns that kept me from the typewriter and then from the computer far longer than I would have liked.

So, here I am, more than half a lifetime and a completely different profession later, and I'm loving the opportunity to write. I've written in various capacities and currently have one book published and two more in the wings. Take a look at the following pages and learn more about both my fantasy and my romance novels.

When you read Dragon Unchained, you'll see my life's experience all tangled up into it. It's sort of Pandora mixed with Eragon. Now I'm biting my fingernails, wondering what the author's going to do with the sequel! Saving Lord Whitton's Daughter is a tribute to The Scarlet Pimpernel with a tiny twist of Jane Eyre thrown in.

I hope you'll read them, because if you do, you'll like them. And if you like them, please leave a review with your favorite book retailer.

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