RITA© Came Calling…

Last Friday, I received news that was akin to getting “The Call” (news of an author’s first publishing contract—yes, that actually comes as a phone call). I had entered both Hidden Identity and Mistletoe Justice in the RITA. The RITA is the Oscars of romance writing. For the past month, I counted off the days until March 25.cover-mj

Then I got up Friday morning and completely forgot that it was RITA announcement day. When my phone rang around 9:45 in the morning, I didn’t recognize the number and almost didn’t take the call. I changed my mind the last minute and picked it up. It was Adrienne Mishel telling me that I am being nominated for a RITA for Mistletoe Justice. After babbling incoherently for a few minutes, I thanked her then started calling family and friends.

Waterfall Press flowersI’m still basking in the afterglow. Saturday, after being out all morning, I came home to find a box from ProFlowers on my doorstep. Inside was a beautiful bouquet of tulips and irises and a box of fancy chocolates from my new editor,
Erin Calligan Mooney, and Waterfall Press.  They will be publishing my Murphy book. Then today, I got Spencerhill flowersanother surprise. The doorbell rang, and the florist delivered a lovely mixed bouquet from my agent, Nalini Akolekar, and Spencerhill Associates.


I’m walking on air and probably will be for awhile. The awards ceremony will be at the Romance Writers of America conference in San Diego in July. Now to pick out a gown. More on that later…

Review of A Fool & His Monet

I just finished reading A Fool & His Monet, by Sandra Orchard and loved it!

Special agent for the FBI, Serena Jones, is investigating the theft of a priceless painting. With multiple suspects, any of whom could be involved, along with lots of twists and turns in the plot, Sandra keeps you guessing all the way to the end.

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The book is full of great characters, too. Serena is fun and quirky and will have you laughing out loud. Her Aunt Martha is a hoot—a detective wannabe, bold and fearless, and Serena has her hands full trying to keep her out of trouble. Mr. Sutton, Serena’s neighbor, has made it his mission to help everyone in the neighborhood expand their vocabulary with his “word of the day.” Serena’s mom’s greatest desire is for Serena to give up her dangerous job, marry and have children, and she makes her wishes known at every opportunity, much to Serena’s embarrassment. Several men show interest in Serena, but the two most likely candidates are Nate, Serena’s building superintendent, and Tanner, her FBI trainer. We’ll find out in future books which one will win her heart, although readers are being given the opportunity to vote. Lastly, we have Serena’s cat Harold, who loves to lie around and refuses to kill the mouse that is terrorizing Serena.

A Fool & His Monet cover

A Fool & His Monet is the first in a series. Though Serena solves the mystery of the stolen Monet by the end of the book, another mystery remains unsolved—Who murdered Serena’s grandfather during the theft of a painting years ago? This event was Serena’s reason for going to work for the FBI and their Art Crime Team, and she has hopes that one of her cases will lead to her grandfather’s murderer.

This is a fun start to a great series. I can’t wait to read the rest!

A Fool & His Monet is available now. To check it out on Amazon, click here.


Writer Wednesday – My Favorite Places to Read/Write

After taking a few months off, I’m back for another edition of Writer Wednesday. This month, several of my writer friends and I are sharing our favorite places to read and write. I love to kick back in the recliner with a good book and my afghan (lovingly crocheted by my sweet mom). As soon as I sit down, I’ve got company.





Sometimes I write in the recliner, too, but as someone who loves nature, I feel most inspired when I can be outside. Since I live in Florida, that’s pretty much year around. So I usually take my laptop and head out to the screen room.









I love the view, looking out over the golf course. It’s so serene–the rolling landscape, the Spanish moss hanging from the trees, the breeze rustling the leaves. It’s the perfect setting to get those creative juices flowing.








Check out what my writer friends have to say at the links below.

Jean Willett – Kristen Ethridge – Priscilla Oliveras – Sharon Wray – Tamra Baumann – Shelly Alexander