Norwescon 2015

This was my first time to attend Norwescon, and I admit, I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve been to FaerieCon and Mythic Worlds, and even the Romantic Times Convention where dressing up in costume was encouraged.

But, this was the biggest Con I’ve attended so far, with many more costumed folks and some very creative designs. Since George R.R. Martin was the author guest of honor, the Con had a very “Game of Thrones” vibe.

There was an actual Iron Throne provided for photo-ops by Amazon publishing. I happened to sit down across from it while waiting for the Masquerade to open on Saturday evening and discovered it was one of the best places to get photos of folks in costume.

Here are the cos-players I caught!






Heart of Ice

HeartofIce2I’ll have a new release in the coming months, and I’m excited because it takes me back to the Gothic romances that belonged to my Grandmother Harriet. She was an avid reader, and when I picked up one of those books when I was 11 years old, I loved the stories of young women thrust into dangerous situations with a handsome, enigmatic hero, who may have killed his wife or brother, or father, or someone…

I’m adding steampunk elements, like airships and a transport called a Traclac, to the mix, and I set the book in Iceland. When I visited that country a few years ago, the stark, barren landscape reminded me of the descriptions of the moors of England. Not that I exactly knew what a moor was when was in sixth grade. I imagined something like a swamp.

And of course I needed a large, spooky house to add to the atmosphere of the book. I think the cover artist captured the idea, with a significant change from the older covers. See if you can spot it in these book covers I used for inspiration.

Gothic Cover 2     index     Gothic cover 5

You’ll notice that all of the heroines are running away from something, but my heroine, Lucinda Stafford, is running toward the house. She’s an adventuress who doesn’t shirk away from danger. Or love.

Will their passion for each other be a blessing, or fulfill an ancient curse and destroy them?

Lucinda Stafford is uniquely unqualified to serve as governess for the children of a handsome inventor. Lucky for her, the man is desperate. She’s determined to prove to her family she’s not a fragile, pampered heiress who can’t take care of herself. She never expected to be attracted to the man who makes her furious one moment and whimper with desire the next. But a danger she never expected to face threatens the children she’s grown to love. Can she save them from this terror?

Grayson Thorne has only weeks to prove his geothermal plant can generate electricity, or he’ll lose much needed funding. When another governess storms out of the house, he’s desperate to hire anyone to replace her and get his project back on track. He never expects the first candidate to be a beautiful, educated female who awakens long dormant desires. She’s the perfect choice, if he can manage to keep his hunger for her kisses and fantasies of taking her to his bed under control.

An ancient Icelandic curse hides in the hills, haunting the residents of Thornehús. Grayson and Lucinda may be swept away by passion, but they must protect two innocent children and face an unspeakable horror that threatens them all.

Can love survive when darkness threatens everything they care about?

Steampunk Party at Romantic Times Convention

For many years I’ve attended the Romantic Times Booklover’s Convention. This year the convention was held in New Orleans, and if you can imagine a gathering that has a costume party every night, fan events, more parties, free books, authors and even more parties – having it in NOLA just doubles, (possibly triples) the fun.

My husband attended this convention for the first time, and his first response when we arrived at the hotel and he heard a lobby filled with women all talking at the same time, “What the hell did I get myself into?”

My critique partner Sheryl (Saralynn Hoyt) also attended, and we were delighted that our favorite cover model Shane Rice was there too. The four of us would get together often, and Shane ended up being a great spokesman for our books.

Deb, Shane and Saralynn at the dance party.

Deb, Shane and Saralynn at the dance party.

Every year some of the steampunk authors attending have a steampunk party, and this year we had a “Clockwork Carnivale Tea”. With snacks, drinks, a fashion show, free books and a lot of other giveaways, it’s one of the most popular events at the conference.

Our hotel was only a couple of blocks from Bourbon Street, so of course we had to wander out on Friday night and discover what the locals mean when they say, Laissez les bons temps rouler, (Let the Good Times Roll).

We met these friendly Drag Queens on Bourbon Street.

We met these friendly Drag Queens on Bourbon Street.

The food was some of the best I’ve ever eaten, (and I’ve been to France), the music amazing and the people friendly. We roved from one venue to another, (well, BAR), and like Las Vegas, you can carry your drink around with you.

The best pork chop I've ever had!

The best pork chop I’ve ever had!

We met some interesting folks, danced, rocked out and had a wonderful time. Truly an amazing conference in an incredible city. I now understand why so many people have fallen in love with NOLA.

One of the music venues we visited in New Orleans.

One of the music venues we visited in New Orleans.



Dinner With George (R.R. Martin)

In honor of the premiere of the 4th Season of “Game of Thrones” I bring you a blog I wrote a couple of years ago.

I get invited to many cool events, but when an invitation to the Clarion West dinner with George R.R. Martin arrived in my inbox a couple of months ago, there was nearly no pause to send my quick R.S.V.P.

This is the man who wrote the books behind the “Game of Thrones” on HBO. The series that brings my house to a stop, with chairs circled around the big screen as we wait to see what will happen next to the good, the bad and the really strange characters. (We will be gathering the family circle again tonight!)

And I love the books, with complex plotting, a nearly endless cast of characters, (over a thousand now, George tells us at the dinner). How does he keep track of them all? “Mostly in my head,” he says. As a writer, it took all my self-control not to jump up and scream, “How do you do that?”

George is pretty low key guy. He was interviewed by Connie Willis, who is a long-time friend. She knew George before he was famous, and apparently knows where a lot of the skeletons are buried. She teased him about his suspenders. “What’s with the suspenders”? Connie asked.

“They hold up my pants,” he responded deadpan. “I used to wear a belt, but when security started making me remove it at the airport, I switched to suspenders.” Recently he discovered with the new machines, he needs to remove his suspenders too. His solution, suspenders made with plastic grips.

It takes George a pretty long time to write a book. Well, have you seen these books? The paperbacks are over 1000 pages. So his publisher decided to create a book of maps for his created lands. It wasn’t supposed to involve any of George’s time. He’d just review the maps, approve them and get back to writing the next book in the series.

Then the editor asked “What’s beyond the border to the east?” George replied, “It doesn’t matter, no one goes there.”

His editor wasn’t satisfied with this answer, and George then had to create lands in the east. Lands that he still insists…”No one goes to. Ever.”

I discovered things about one of my favorite authors that evening. Not only is he funny, in a no nonsense, tell it like it is way. He’s also still fascinated with the process of writing and creating imaginary worlds. He writes because people interest him, and putting his characters in unique situations teaches him, and us as readers, about the complexity of human nature.

I think that’s what drives us as storytellers. We want to explore inner worlds just as much as the places where we set our books. Westeros, the surface of Mars or Victorian England, we put our characters there to test their wills and watch them survive.

And we cheer for them, cry for them and sometimes, our hearts even break for them. For me, that’s the true magic of telling their stories.

Prudence and the Professor

Finally, after all the writing and rewriting, submitting to the editors and then revising, the darned book is not only finished, it’s published.

You can purchase it at or Smashwords. The print edition should be out in about two weeks!

Since this is the first book in the series: Brides of Jubilee, I’m pretty excited. I hope you enjoy reading it.Prudence Advertising-Full size -300 dpi -trim removed -RBG (2)

It was featured on the USA Today HEA Blog

Christmas Gifts That Make Us Laugh!

This year I couldn’t really think of anything I wanted for Christmas. After many years of collecting antiques, hoarding jewelry (in a good way, like a dragon) and exploring a variety of crafts, I decided I have enough.

Really, how much “stuff” do we really need? And more importantly, how much stuff can we store, even when we have a barn which you can’t make a path through because of all the stuff that is stuffed in there. Well, you get the picture.

So, rather than have many folks give me things for the sake of giving, I simply told my loved ones that while I knew there were things on their Christmas lists that they needed and could use, to please not feel obligated to give ME gifts.

Several people kinda, sorta ignored that, including my daughter-in-law. She made all the gifts this year, and decided even if I didn’t really need anything I’d enjoy her creations.

IMG_0719 IMG_0720 IMG_0721She was right. She created art for all of our family, and this is the result of her project for me. She put my husband in all the cover images for my books. Everyone in our house laughed, and laughed and I laughed so hard I steamed up my glasses.

But, I can now honestly tell my husband that he’s the hero of my heart and show him the proof!

Thanks Snippy McGlue !

Romantic Times Convention 2013 – Anniversary Ball

Sibelle is a Steampunk Damsel and SaraLynn is a Disney Princess at the Romantic Times Anniversary Ball.

To celebrate 30 years of publishing, on Wednesday night there was an Anniversary Ball. This was an opportunity for everyone to dress up, wear their finest clothes and even don their tiaras. (There simply are not enough opportunities to wear your tiara. Or your Top Hat.)

Because SaraLynn and I arrived a bit late, (nothing new for us), we had to stand in the very back of the line to wait to enter the ballroom. We thought this was a perfect opportunity to play “paparazzi” and take some photos. Many people played along, as we pretended to be photographing famous folks on the red carpet.

Mermaid Dress in Black
A Magical Green Gown
Corset Girls at RT Anniversary Ball




Note to RT Party Organizers: Get a red carpet for one of the events. It would make everyone fell famous and even more fabulous!

Anyway, the gowns were gorgeous. Everyone looked amazing.It’s always fun to play “dress up” and that’s part of the appeal for so many of us who attend RT year after year.


Ladies in Black.
Her Majesty THE QUEEN at the RT Anniversary Ball

Tiaras Are Fun Group
Sexy Lady!
General and Mrs. Lee attended the RT Anniversary Ball.
Steampunk Formal Attire

Check Out Lady Liberty’s Boots~

Lady Di was at the Anniversary Ball

Queen Elizabeth Brought Some of Her Court


Do you love dressing up? What works for you, cos-play, going formal or something else? (Any Fifty Shades fans out there?)





Romantic Times Booklovers Convention 2013

The Ellora’s Cave party has been the first evening event for the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention for many years.

You never know what to expect and this year was no different. It started with a fabulous show, and the dancers were actually some of the Ellora’s Cave “Cavemen”. Cover models for the books.

But, these guys are not just good-looking, they can dance too! They performed to some of the “golden oldies” from the 70’s – and it was a blast.




Then it was time for me and SaraLynn and to get up on the dance floor and boogie. We had a great time at our first party with many more to come before the convention is over.

This is an authentic jumpsuit and feathered coat from the 70’s. Boogie nights!

Going To Kansas City

You Meet the Nicest Folks at RT Conventions

Tomorrow I head off to Kansas City for the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. This is the second time it’s been at the Sheraton Conference Center since I’ve been going to RT. And I remember the first time well. My book had been released just about a year before. My heroine (Sinclair Readford) was in the historical pageant. Well, a model dressed as Sinclair was in it. I made a speech to around five hundred people during one of the lunches.

So many wonderful memories. I’d sold that first book as a result of being a finalist in the “New Historical Voice” contest sponsored by Romantic Times and Dorchester Publishing. This was my first big book signing, my first time as an author at a sponsored party and I felt like a celebrity. Well, almost.

This year, I’m still excited even though many years have passed since that convention. With my Indie publishing career, I’m selling books every month. I get regular payments from my distributors and I have a new book coming out next month. This is the most amazing time to be a writer, because we have so many options.

I’ll be posting about the events, parties and fun! So stay tuned.

I didn’t know when I met Brooks that he was going to be on the cover of “Whistle Down the Wind”

Dancing With the Faeries

I was delighted to be a Featured Author at FaerieCon West in February. This is the second year the event was held in Seattle. It’s a lot of fun, with incredible music, amazing costumes, wonderful vendors and many interesting panels.

I made a feather trinket for my top hat, donned my wings and wig and went from steampunk to fairy.


Even the vendors join in the fun and don costumes.

This is a “family friendly” event, so children can join in the fun.Look at this little Darlin’

There was a costume contest with some amazing creations. These people are artists!

Some of the Fairies Were a Little Frightening!


The Fairy Crusher (Eric)  gets tired from chasing all the little fairies around. (And they sure love it)!

Steampunk Engineers Showed up for the Fun

Fantasy Author Charles de Lint Looked Regal in this Head Dress.

This is a great event to break up the rainy, chilly blahs of a Seattle winter. Planning is already underway for 2014. So, mark your calendars.

And I ended up with a new corset for my steampunk outfit. Steam dolls, fairies, magic and more are all great fun when you get to dress up.

You all KNOW how I feel about dressing up.