Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer 2009: There was one?*

If you write it, will they come?

This picture was taken the day after my son's wedding, on our way to the folks' cottage to recoup. It was one of the rare sunny days this summer. It was also relatively warm.

But I hafta ask - what the heck happened to summer this year? It was wet, chilly, windy...

I have a theory.

Mother Nature has discovered that after many, many hot, humid summers, we finally got central air conditioning. Thus she has decided to render such things useless. That's why the last two summers have been among the coldest, wettest and least sunny in about fifty years.

* Virtual high five to anybody who gets the reference here.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Craft Corner: Book Cover

Before I started writing, my sister and I used to have a craft show in my house in November, selling items we'd made over the course of the year. Our first year, which was back in the 80's, we made $600, which was pretty darn good. I also used to make a lot of my kids' clothes, as well as my own.

Those projects pretty much ground to a halt after I sold my first book. However, now that I'm officially an "empty nester," I have more time on my hands. So I'm starting to get back into crafts again.

My son recently had a birthday, and as those of you with older kids can probably attest, it gets more difficult to think of good gift ideas as they age. This year, my son's looking for a new car and mentioned getting a notebook for, well, notes and information.

So I decided to get him a notebook and do something crafty for the cover.

This is the finished product.

Here are the supplies I used, only one of which I had to purchase, namely the notebook. I found one with pockets inside (for brochures) for $1.99 at the discount store. The other items are glue, scissors, the newspaper section about cars (which, my contacts in the newspaper racket tell me, pretty much keeps the newspaper afloat these days), a couple of car ads from magazines (not nearly as easy to find as in the past, I note) and a transparency for overhead projectors left over from a workshop, to protect the cover and keep the loose edges from fraying. Not pictured: wide transparent tape usually used for preparing packages to mail, to hold on the transparency in place.

You'll also notice my cup of tea. I firmly believe crafting goes better with tea.

It took me about half an hour. I could have taken more time and fussed more over the placement of pictures and "wheels," but the cover was intended mainly to amuse my son, not be a work of art.

He was suitably amused and is using it his quest for a new set of wheels.

Next up in the craft corner: as soon as it's finished (nearly done), making a baby quilt without quilting.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge: Oh dear

I'm thinking this wasn't the best week to see if I could lose weight while taking a day or two off exercising. Two birthdays, ice cream, homemade peach crisp candies and coke and...

Oh dear. 135 on the scale this morning.

Mind you, I missed three days of exercising out of seven, not one or even two. But still...

I have got to practise what I preach and be consistent! Unfortunately, next week promises to also throw a few wrenches in the works, but at least I shouldn't be having any birthday cake. And I will try to avoid the full size cans of cola. We also got the mini, 100 calorie cans, so maybe I can slowly wean myself off it.

If that doesn't work, I may have to go cold turkey. That should be easier in the fall, when it's cooler outside.

So, this weeks step/exercise tally:

Friday, Aug. 21 - nothing
Saturday, Aug. 22 - 1 hr. on treadmill
Sunday, Aug. 23 - nothing (and oh, I really fell off the ol' eat-healthy wagon this day!)
Monday, Aug. 24 - 1 hr. on treadmill
Tueday, Aug. 25 - 1 hr. on treadmill
Wed. August 26 - nothing
Thursday, August 27 - 12,506 steps (How I've missed walking outside because it was too hot and humid, and not just for the exercise.)

Here's hoping next week, I'm at least back to 134!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Excerpt Posted!

I've just uploaded an excerpt from my Undone, "The Welsh Lord's Mistress," that will be out in October. Read it here!

Undones are short novellas, about 10,000 - 15,000 words long and are available only in electronic format. I know that might upset some people, but if you've got a couple in mind for a story, but don't think you'll be able to write an entire novel about them, this is a great way to give them their own happy ending. At least that's what I thought when I decided to give an Undone a try by writing about Trefor and Bron from THE WARLORD'S BRIDE.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And then you get an email...

I was not having the best day yesterday. It was one of those "one thing after another after another" kind of days that leaves you wondering what exactly the universe has against you.

And then I got an email from a reader, about a novella I wrote years ago and how it had affected her. She also spoke of a tragic event in her life that, well, let's just say, it made me cry.

It was rather overwhelming to think that my little story, written long ago, could have such an impact so many years later and after such a thing had happened.

I am humbled, saddened, encouraged and very grateful that my story could help someone in such a situation, and that she took the time to tell me.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Game of Life, our way

We're having a small family birthday party this week, featuring an event from the cottage we're doing here instead. There's no television, DVR, PVR, VCR, DVD player or computer at the cottage, so we read, do jigsaw puzzles and play board games, in addition to going to the beach, walking and eating too much.

I'm aware that in some families, playing a board game can be an invitation to squabbles and hard feelings, so herein I present our way of playing the Game of Life. It won't end all the squabbling, but here goes anyway.

Those "Share the Wealth" cards seemed too complicated when the kids were little, so we don't bother with them. Sometimes, as in writing, there are rules that can be ignored.

When we get to the square where you get married, we have to choose a celebrity or fictional spouse. For instance, I could marry Mr. Darcy or Colin Firth, at different times. In fact, I think I have.

When we land on the squares where you get kids, we name the kids and the more creative, the better. We just about died laughing when our young son came up with "L'Roi" several years ago.

Divorce is allowed, after the game where our daughter, then married to Mr. Kennedy from Horatio Hornblower, kicked him out of the car because she kept landing on squares requiring her to give money to his deadbeat relatives.

Winner cleans up. We have this rule for all games, because why add insult to injury by rubbing the loser's nose in it?

So tomorrow, hopped up on chocolate cake, let the Game of Life begin!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Text hoarding

It's getting to be crunch time with the work-in-progress, which means work first, blog and twitter later. Otherwise, it's easy to get side-tracked.

Speaking of which, anybody else catch that new show about hoarders? I know I'm not alone in the zeal to clean/toss out stuff after watching, as the boards at Television Without Pity prove (under Candid Reality). There's both a hoarder and a person who works with hoarders posting there, making for some really interesting discussion and insights.

Last week, I got a call from a charity looking for old clothes, etc., and after watching the show and reading the posts at TWoP, I decided to get rid of some old drapes.

In the case of the drapes, that wasn't as easy as it sounds. Although I have new ones, the old ones weren't cheap, and they weren't in bad shape. However, I realized neither of my kids would want them, and the living room ones were too large for most places anyway. Out they went, although not without a sigh.

I feel that sense of reluctance when I'm writing, too, and I've decided I have to cut a scene or a part of scene or bit of dialogue I like because it just doesn't belong. In fact, I set up a "dump" file and move those bits of text in there, in case I might need them later. Sometimes I do go and retrieve bits, but most of the time, what's in the dump stays dumped. And I never delete those files.

I think I'm a text hoarder.

Like a classic hoarder, I'm afraid that if I get rid of something completely, I'll discover I really needed it and shouldn't have tossed it. Even when the book is long gone and no changes can be made, I still have those files taking up space on my computer. And then there are the many, many diskettes of the many incarnations of various books and drafts and ideas.

Yep, I'm a text hoarder. Any others out there?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

If you're going to give me advice....

Like a lot of writers I know, I read books about writing and/or promotion. Yes, I've been at this a long time, but there's often something new and interesting to consider.

Today, I opened a book that was about digital promotion. However, right away my alarm bells started ringing.

Here's the sentence that made me sit up and go, "Oh oh."

"Seasoned authors usually crank out books faster."

Why does this trouble me? Because I find that both condescending and disrespectful.

I sigh and try to ignore it when non-writers say this sort of thing, but in this case, when this author is presuming to give me, Seasoned Author, advice? I'm thinking, if you think I just "crank out" a book, why should I listen to you?

So here's a tip for anybody who's writing a how-to book for genre authors: please pay attention to the words you're using and ackowledge that we write books.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge II: The Sequel

So I did as I said I would, and ate many treats on holiday. Like cherry pie (a whole one all by myself, over three days). A bag of chips. Coke. Ice cream cone (can I just say, the kind I had? Bolero? Seriously yummy!). Mini-tootsie rolls. More coke.

And yes, I put on a couple of pounds, despite the two long walks.

So I decided it was time for Weight Loss Challenge Two, the Sequel. Actually, it's going to be a trilogy, because I have two events for which I want to lose the weight and keep it off:

A Major Annual Social Event on September 19

and I just confirmed with a friend that we're going south during the winter, probably in February. A coupla crazy chicks on the loose! I want to be a skinny chick on the loose.

So here are the new goals, based on my starting weight of 134.4:

130 pounds by Sept. 19
125 by February (and that's the lowest I intend to go).

This week, I've been on the treadmill three times, an hour each time. I've also been out to lunch, we're out to dinner tonight and visiting family on Sunday, so no exercise that day.

I was thinking I wouldn't have to exercise every day anymore, but I think I'll have to try until the 19th, anyway. Maybe after that, I can cut back a bit, because it is time-consuming.

But hey! I'm up for the challenge, because really, everything looks better on you when you're thinner, I've had a lot less trouble sleeping and I know it's good for my overall health, too.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Miscellaneous Musings

Today, a hodgepodge of what's been on my mind lately:

Why is the saying "It never rains but it pours" such a surprisingly accurate reflection of my life at the moment? Just one thing after another after another. Today, the car died and had to be towed. (Thank heavens we joined the CAA - smartest car thing we ever did!)

Why do they put sugar on the raisins in Raisin Bran? Raisins are sweet enough already.

Why are there earwigs? I can remember a time, in the halcyon days of my youth, when they hadn't yet invaded North America. I hate those little (insert epithet of your choice here).

How is it that you can be a professional writer for twenty years and have a conversation one day that completely opens your eyes to something that you've been missing? And in hindsight, seems perfectly obvious?

Why is it that while my birth certificate says I'm a certain age, I don't feel a day over 20 most of the time?

What are the judges looking for in So You Think You Can Dance Canada? I didn't get some of their decisions at all - like the meditating guy. What do they see when he dances that I'm not getting? And how come they didn't let that guy of large stature through? Man could move! I would have loved to see him do other stuff.

Why are there days when blogging seems so much more fun/important/necessary than working on your book? Could it be that you're revising your book, while the blog is new material?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ah, do I hafta?

Yesterday I had one of those moments of writing realization that don't exactly give me a thrill.

I need to write a whole new scene for the fourth draft of the work-in-progress.

To be honest, my first reaction to this type of realization is a childish whine: "Ah, do I hafta?"

However, the answer is yes, I do.

As it stands now, I have a particular event happen off stage. Then I have a reaction scene.

It's not a huge catastrophe of an event, and when I originally wrote this part, I wanted to get to the hero's POV ASAP, and he's not around when this event occurs.

This story, though, could really use some more activity in the middle, because there's already a lot of dialogue. The event would make for lots of activity. And showing rather telling (via flashback and memories) is usually better, because it involves the reader more.

So even though it means writing a new scene, I think the book will be the stronger for that new scene. I've been cutting in other places (nothing unusual there), so I should have room in terms of length to add a scene.

So I've made notes, and in the next draft, the activity scene will be there. Because, yes, I hafta.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Intervention and me

Recently I mentioned that I like to watch Intervention to someone. She recoiled with horror and said, "Why would you want to watch that?"

I think in her mind, it was like watching a fatal accident for enjoyment.

I can't say that I enjoy Intervention. I don't feel entertained when I watch it, as I do when I watch something like The Amazing Race.

So why do I watch it?

Because I'm interested in the reasons the addict became an addict, their backstory, if you will. What drove them to that self-destructive behavior? In that good old writerly parlance, what's their motivation?

I'm also fascinated by the family dynamics and the family's relationship to the addict. For instance, last night, two brothers were addicted to heroine. The older brother was not, and he kept trying to point out to his parents - especially his father - the extent of the problem. The father basically claimed he loved his sons and you wouldn't kick out somebody with cancer, would you?

Regardless of what the father said or his rationale, what became more and more obvious was that he loved the two younger sons more than the eldest, and always had. It was never really clear why he felt this way, except that the middle son was a good-looking, popular star soccer player and the oldest one was not.

At one point, the interventionist pointed out that the oldest son was doing everything right, but it was the younger ones who got all the attention (and, I think it was implied, the love). I think, from the look on his face, that the older son had been waiting for years for somebody to say that to his father's face.

It was this son, his role in the family, his struggle to get through to his father and the pain he felt as his father's treatment of him compared to his brothers, that will stay with me and perhaps one day become the basis of a hero.

That's why I watch Intervention.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Now back to real life....

Here I am at my son's wedding. I'd love to post more pictures, including the bride and groom, but since they aren't here to give me permission, I'll refrain.

The ceremony was lovely, although it had to be inside the tent because it rained. Apparently my nephew won $5 from his mother because he bet her I wouldn't cry, and she thought I would. I didn't even get teary-eyed because (a) my son and the bride were just so danged happy, (b) my son started off his vows with his pet name for the bride, which made for a lighter tone and (c) there were too many people around. I got teary eyed before the wedding, when I was home alone, or at night thinking about the wedding, but not on the day itself.

Then we went for a week's relaxation at the cottage. Where the powers-that-be decided to pour new sidewalks the day before we were to leave, so we had to park the car on another street, then walk around the cement forms to load it. Ay yi yi!

We saw West Side Story at Stratford - great show, but I couldn't help thinking that it was a little dated. I mean, the Sharks and Jets are about as menacing as five-year-olds. And I couldn't help wondering - having watched many episodes of So You Think You Can Dance - how a choreographer might update it with hip-hop or crumping. But the leads were fantastic, and I was totally shocked at the end, even though I knew it was coming, so that's some fine theater.

I ate whatever the heck I wanted, so starting this Friday, look for Weight Loss Challenge II: Electric Boogaloo.

And while I did do some work, it's back to reality this week, which means back to the manuscript, me hearties!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Look, Ma, I'm dancin'!

At the start of THE VISCOUNT'S KISS, the hero, aka Buggy, has already been on one expedition to the South Seas. There he learned much about the culture of the islands, including their dances. Imagine a well-brought-up Regency miss coming upon a British nobleman who, believing himself alone, is half naked and dancing like this or this (they start slow, so give them time).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Location, Location, Location

My latest book, THE VISCOUNT'S KISS is set in Regency England and as part of the process of creating a sense of time and place, I mention some real places, such as Almack's Assembly Rooms, White's Gentlemen's Club (pictured here) and the Old Bailey. Buggy's family estate is near Bath and one scene takes place in the famous Pump Room.

Because Buggy's been on an expedition to the South Seas, another real place I mention in the novel besides Tahiti is Kealakekua Bay in Hawaii, where Captain Cook was killed.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Yesterday, I talked a bit some of the research I did for THE VISCOUNT'S KISS, specifically about the tarantula. However, I learned about other kinds of spiders, too, in the course of researching my book about a hero who thinks spiders are just the coolest things ever.

For instance, there's the Tegenaria parietina, also known as the cardinal spider. Apparently they were quite common at Hampton Court Palace, and as our hero mentions, rumor has it that Cardinal Wolsey was particularly frightened of them. This type of spider appears in the first scene of THE VISCOUNT'S KISS, with interesting results for our hero and heroine, whose reaction is considerably less enthused.

I had to know about dangerous spiders. It turns out the worst, in terms of danger to humans, is the Brazilian Wandering Spider (Phoneutria nigriventer). And in one of those coincidences research can sometimes yield, it turns out that one of the effects of the spider's venom, should it not kill you, is priapism (note the origin of the name - there's a Greek myth you don't hear about very often!), which could lead to impotence, a particularly suitable punishment for the villain.

Some of the other spiders mentioned in THE VISCOUNT'S KISS are the Meta menardi (cave spider), Argiope bruennichi (wasp spider) and Araneus diadematus (garden spider).

If you'd like to know more about British spiders, here's a link to the British Arachnological Society. If it had been around in the Regency, the hero of THE VISCOUNT'S KISS would have been a charter member!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Healing Power of Partying

I've said it before, I'll say it again: You never know what sort of odd and interesting things you discover when you're doing research for a book.

For instance, I discovered that in certain regions of Italy, it was believed that the way for someone to be cured after being bitten by a tarantula was...

to dance.

Wildly. With abandon.

In fact, they gave a name to the dance, one you may have heard of - the tarantella.

However, in these same regions in Italy, rites of the god Bacchus were held, which involved...

dancing and some serious partying, also known as a "bacchanalia."


Monday, August 10, 2009

The Countess and Me

I'm sure readers wonder sometimes how much of an author's real life influences his or her work.

In my case, there's a reason I tend to gravitate to the "stranger rides into town" type of character and plot. We moved a few times when I was growing up, so I'm familiar with that "stranger in town" feeling. But because I'm also aware of the disruption that sort of thing can make in one's life, I can also relate to the people who are in the place into which the stranger rides.

However, in the case of THE VISCOUNT'S KISS, there was one character I could really relate to. It wasn't the heroine, or the hero. It was the hero's mother.

Buggy wants to go on another expedition and his mother is very upset about it. While I was writing this book, my son was considering a job in a foreign country far away. It was a good opportunity and of course now there is email and phone, etc. etc.

But still...

That particular situation made it much easier for me to imagine how a woman in Regency England would worry about her son sailing off to the far ends of the earth, and what she might be prepared to do to keep him safe at home.

Friday, August 07, 2009

It does seem like only yesterday....

When my kids were little, and especially when they weren't sleeping through the night or napping much (seriously, I had the "nap? Who, me?" kids), I was told, "The time goes so fast. Next thing you know, they'll be grown up."

Inside, I scoffed. Because believe you me, there were days that seemed weeks long.

But lo and behold, one day, I looked up from the computer and there they were, adults.

And now my son, the little boy pictured here, is getting married. Tomorrow.

I can hardly believe it. And while I really like his bride, part of me wishes he could have stayed about eight years old. Once we made it through that first sleep-deprived year, he was very little trouble and often a delight.

Once, when we were driving through Scotland, we saw a sign for the town of Peebles, and from the back of the world's smallest rental car, where the kids were squished with our various bags and suitcases, came my son's voice warbling that tune made famous by Barbra Streisand, "Peebles! Peebles who need Peebles..."

I would read articles about the hell teenagers were supposed to put us through and...nope. Never happened.

I would read about the laziness of the younger generation. Never saw it. For instance, he would just announce he was going to mow the lawn, and do it.

My son did play a lot of computer games. Now he's gainfully employed in software development.

And did I mention he's getting married???

They grow up so fast.....

Thursday, August 06, 2009

And so next week....

Whew, that Twitter chat was a trip! It was like trying to listen to several conversations at once. But I eventually kinda got the hang of it, so here's hoping they set up another one sometime in the future - although hopefully not three days before I have a Major Social Event planned. Because trying to finish revisions, get ready for a wedding out of town followed by a week at the cottage, and twitter chat plus company for dinner made for a rather hectic day.

I may be relaxing next week, but there will be blog posts while I inhabit the Land O' Pie and Sloth from Pardo's, pictured here, and once again, I notice what a difference losing twenty pounds makes. I wasn't planning to exercise much, but I will certainly be going on walks, because this picture of me taken three years ago reminds me why I started the Weight Loss Challenge in the first place.

Then it'll be back home to both work and exercise. Until then, check out what I've pre-blogged and have a good week!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I am author, hear me gab...

Not only am I participating in the "ask romance writer" chat at Twitter (#askromancewriter or #arw hashtags), there's an interview of me at Facebook and MySpace. You don't have to register to read the interviews.

And if you have questions, ask away. I'll be checking in frequently today.

Got questions?

There's a twitter chat today, asking romance writer questions and getting answers. The hashtag is #askromancewriter or #arw. I also have wedding prep and I'm trying to get some revising done. Gonna be a day! But please, ask away!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


This is my Big Hair Day. Not that I'm having one of those Big Hair styles. The longest hair on my head is less than 4 inches long, so that'd never happen. This is the day that I'm having the cut and color in preparation for my son's wedding on Saturday.

It's the number one item on my List o' Things To Do. I made a large calendar yesterday for the week, with master lists of things to do. This is one way I organize my time and days.

You might then assume that I do something similar when it comes to my writing - that I have outlines and character sketches and other organized means of going about it.

Nope. I write my synopsis (a present-tense telling of the story) and that's about it. Sometimes I'll outline, but usually that happens when I'm stumped about how to get from the present point in the story to the next point, and then to the end.

I've written this way for twenty years because I haven't had the patience to do long outlines, and while I trust my instincts (developed, I think, by getting an English Literature degree), I'm wondering if my plots might be stronger if I outlined more.

I probably won't change my mode of operation for the next book; the synopsis is already written and I have a strong handle on where it's going and how it's going to get there. But after that, it might be time to try working on a longer outline first - although I know I won't stick to it completely. If a good idea comes up while I'm writing, that will always take precedence over anything I may have planned.

I usually attempt something new or different with every book, although not necessarily as major as the initial approach, because if you just sit back on your laurels, all you get is squished leaves.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Line by line

I did an experiment over the weekend. Using the color font option on my computer, I "colorized" my first chapter. I used one color for dialogue, one for introspection/reactions/state of mind, one for description and one for backstory.

By my calculations, Chapter One (which is, I admit, short) has 366 lines in total. Here's the breakdown of how many lines in the four categories I have, bearing in mind that there's some overlap (for instance, if there was both dialogue and reaction on the same line, it got counted twice). Also, even if there was only one word on the line, I counted it as a complete line.

Out of 366 lines, there were

13 lines of backstory
21 lines of description
119 lines of interior monologue/reaction
224 lines of dialogue

That's a lot of dialogue, I'll admit, but it's a Regency, so...banter away, you folks!

I try not to have a lot of backstory in the first chapter, obviously!

There's not a lot of description, is there? If there's anything to furrow my brow here, this is it, because I'm trying to establish a sense of time and place in the first chapter.

I won't be doing this to every chapter, but it might be fun (and interesting) to do one in the middle and another at the end and compare.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

A Learned Hero

I've been blogging about the hero of my latest book, THE VISCOUNT'S KISS and his appearances in my previous books KISS ME QUICK, KISS ME AGAIN and A LOVER'S KISS.

There's another character who also appears in those books, Sir Douglas Drury, Buggy's best friend and the hero of A LOVER'S KISS. When Drury is in trouble at the start of his story, he sends the heroine, Juliette, to fetch Buggy.

This is Juliette's first impression of Buggy:
"He was younger than she expected, good-looking in an average sort of way, and well- dressed as she would expect a nobleman to be, although more plainly than most."

In other words, he's a nice, average sort of guy. In fact, the previous heroines and other female characters in this series would concur with that description, with the addition that he's very intelligent and an excellent writer. None of them see him as the heroine of THE VISCOUNT'S KISS does, as a sexy, attractive man. To Nell, Lord Bromwell is "the most handsome young man she'd ever seen."

Yet he begins his wooing as only Buggy would, by catching a spider and putting it in his hat, prompting the heroine to think: "However handsome he was, however gentlemanly, he was definitely eccentric and possibly deranged."

He also makes his attraction known a few minutes later as only Buggy would.

Buggy: I wonder...?
Nell (the heroine): Yes?
Buggy: If I should attempt an experiment."
Nell: Experiment?

And then, "...with no further warning, without even knowing her name let alone being properly introduced, the young man raised his head.

And kissed her."

Buggy's reaction to that first kiss isn't the norm for a romance hero, either, although it's perfectly appropriate for him: "...with a gasp like a drowning man, he broke the kiss and scrambled back as far as he could go."

As he thinks later, "...what the devil had possessed him to act like a degenerate cad?"

But it's not just shame he's feeling:

"Whoever she was, he should be thoroughly ashamed of himself for kissing her - and he would have been, had that kiss not been the most amazing, exciting kiss he'd ever experienced."

You see, while Buggy may be "good old shy, studious Buggy Bromwell," he's no babe in the woods when it comes to women, "as certain very willing young women in the South Seas could attest."

Yep, Buggy knows a thing or two about making love.

So while other women see Buggy as just a nice guy and he's content that they should, all that changes when he meets Nell. As for Nell, while she's immediately attracted to the handsome stranger, she also gets to see him demonstrate not just his intellect, but his ability to command and remain calm under pressure. She sees Buggy acting like a hero - and that's enough to make her want to know him better, even though she really hates spiders.

"Buggy" Bromwell makes his first appearance in KISS ME QUICK, which is still available in ebook format. Otherwise, you have to find it used.

KISS ME AGAIN is still available new in both paperback and ebook format.

A LOVER'S KISS is still available from Harlequin in ebook format and at Amazon, in both paperback and Kindle formats.