Romance Writers Unite!


Chocolate versions of the Rita Award

I think most writers would agree that the process of writing a book is not only personal, it’s solitary. While my baby is bubbling in my head, it’s hard to share it, especially with a non-writer who doesn’t understand the technical balance between character, plot, and the need for conflict. It’s a whirlwind of puzzle pieces that have the potential of being assembled in a thousand different ways.  The process of choosing which configuration best maximizes the tension and brings out the most emotion in a story is delicate and has to be done one tiny step at a time.  For me, it’s time consuming, exhausting, and something I take very seriously.

So, imagine my pleasure at attending the Romance Writers of America Convention in New York City last week.  Literally thousands of romance writers came together to talk about all those puzzle pieces, to make connections with other writers that last long after the conference is over, and to learn more about the craft of writing.  It was wonderful to indulge in those conversations that make non-writers think you’re nuts.


My daughter and I at the Awards Ceremony

For me, it was especially fun because I shared it with my daughter. She joined me for the last couple days of the conference and got a glimpse of what writers are like in an environment where we can let our hair down and talk about all those things others just don’t get.


Me with Jill Shalvis

But the conference isn’t only about writing. It’s a time to be a reader, too. So many of the legends in our field attended the conference, it was hard not to go a little fan-girl. Nora Roberts, Lisa Kleypas, Robyn Carr, Jill Shalvis, Julia Quinn, Roni Loren, Kristan Higgins, and so many others attended this year. It’s surreal to see them walking the halls of the convention center, willing to share their time and experience with anyone who approaches. To me, that’s the most amazing thing about the


Me and Robyn Carr

convention–the complete and utter willingness romance writers have to help and encourage their fellow writers.  Frankly, without the RWA and the first convention I attended, I don’t think I would have ever finished my first book.

So, I’m back home now, completely energized and eager to get back to work.  I’m still hoping to get the next book out this Fall, but there’s so much to do!  I guess I better get to it.  : )

New Toy

file0001167812349I was one of those kids who loved to take notes in class.  They were color-coded and indexed.  I was always organized, at least when it came to my written work.  I taught those skills to my daughter and she made good money in high school selling her notes at the end of the year to the kids taking the class the next year.  Her notes for AP US History were a thing of beauty.

I’ve noticed some of this anal behavior creeping into my life as a writer. I crave organization, beautiful notes, color coding.  That’s hard to do on a computer.  So I’ve had to find other ways to get organized.

IMG_2762I found this desktop calendar at Target for a dollar.  It may be hard to tell (I purposely fuzzed it out), but that’s Fool Me Once, fully plotted, and with each subplot color-coded.  I recently discovered Frixion erasable pens and highlighters and that made this job an absolute joy.  It was like a spa day for my nerdy side. Total indulgence.  : )

But now, I’ve found something even better.  No more erasing entire squares on the calendar to move them somewhere else.  I don’t even need to stock up on more erasable pens because this new system is computer-based.

Here’s a screen shot.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 10.17.16 AMThis is the beginning of Reading the Signs outlined in Aeon Timeline.  Not only does it keep the work organized, but I can color code the various subplots.  At the bottom is a list of all the characters and it gives their ages when each event took place.  This was incredibly helpful in getting the back story straight.  You have no idea what a headache it is to keep all the events, ages, and characters straight over a period of time.  With this program, so much of the math is taken care of.

So, that’s my new toy.  It’s been incredibly helpful in getting my thoughts organized on Fool Me Once.  I’m editing like crazy and its starting to shape up, but there’s still oodles to do.  In fact, I need to quit fooling around and get back to work. 🙂

Book Under Construction

IMG_2624My goal is to get the next installment of the Legal Affairs series out in August. It’s called Fool Me Once.

My original inspiration for the story is Monica Lewinsky and the compete trashing of her reputation at the hands of the media.  I’ve often thought of her over the years and wondered how she overcame such a devastating (and if you ask me, grossly unfair) portrayal in the media.  It got me thinking of ways to give her a happy ending.  That’s how Fool Me Once was born.

I’ve been writing madly and the first draft is nearly finished.  I was interrupted in May because we were traveling.  It was a fast trip — nearly 8000 miles in three weeks!  My husband and I agreed that was way too fast.  We like to take at least five days to drive from Las Vegas to Boston.  Doing it in four nearly killed us.  Thank goodness for Nora Robert’s Concannon Sisters. Those audio books kept us company the whole way. The picture above was taken on Long Beach Island in New Jersey.  We had the whole beach to ourselves.

But I digress.  I’m back at work on Fool Me Once and I’m still hoping for the (late!) August release, but it’s going to be tight.  I’ll do my best and let you know how it goes.  🙂

Reading the Signs is almost here!

001 Angela 72I’m very excited to announce that Reading the Signs will be released April 1, 2015.  Yes, I know it’s April Fool’s Day, but that’s seems appropriate, somehow.

For now, I hope you enjoy the cover and the back cover blurb. You can read deleted scenes, peruse the photo gallery, and watch a video related to Reading the Signs if you follow the links in the drop down menu under Books, above. Now, here’s the blurb:

What happens when strangers marry then discover they’re connected  in ways neither could have ever imagined—or wanted?

Kate Jensen is a widow who vowed to never be vulnerable to love again. When she longs for a family of her own, her solution is an arranged marriage to Jack Cardwell, a computer genius with problems of his own. The marriage is supposed to be based on friendship and it allows them to have the family they both want.

But when they meet, Jack is the nerdy jock in the funny t-shirts Kate’s been ogling from a distance. And Kate is the stranger who’s been starring in all of Jack’s steamiest fantasies. When sparks fly, sexy and hilarious antics ensue.

Unfortunately, the honeymoon can’t last. Jack failed to mention the spies trying to steal his computer program, as well as the federal agents that have invaded his life like malware. If that’s not bad enough, Kate has holes in her past she can’t explain, even to herself.

Their secrets ultimately collide to reveal alarming connections between them, ones that change everything they thought they knew about themselves and each other. They’ll have to face their deepest fears if there’s any chance for love to save the day.