The Long Ride Home

Surprise, surprise…look who’s back on the blog! I’d love to be here today to share tales of adventures across the sea, of long lazy trips around the world or trekking through the jungles looking for long lost treasures to add the little authentic touches to my romances, but alas, I cannot. My absence has more to do with a divorce, a physical move, an emotional exploration and finding love…ahhh, now there is something I can spin a tale about *wink*

A year ago I took a chance and met a man for a drink after work, and if you’ve ever heard the expression, “you could be my long ride home,” it was a feeling that hit me as he sat down next to me that night. Something simply clicked and that “quick” drink after work turned into a 6 hour date that went from bar stools, to a sunset walk along the shore, and ended at a coffee shop over caramel lattes and a fudge brownie.

On the way home, this song came on my favorite country station and matched the beat of my heart as it warmed to the idea that I just might have met someone special…my long ride home. I hadn’t planned or expected to meet anyone that soon into my separation, but sometimes the fates have other plans and put people in your path at times you don’t expect, at times that may even seem like the wrong time.

For the first time in a very long time, I didn’t think, I didn’t try to reason or rationalize…I simply let the moment happen and absorbed it.

I hope he knows what he means to me…Enjoy the song and I’d love to know if you have  a song that reminds you of the moment you knew you found that someone special.


About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading, or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

Self-Styled Writer Retreats

SELF-STYLEDTwo friends and I are meeting this week for a mini-writers retreat. It’s not at a B&B, scheduled by some entity with time built in for socializing, writing, and critiquing–all on someone else’s schedule. And it’s not a conference.

We have an agenda. I’m personally planning to finish plotting a full-length novel and discuss synopses for my now complete novellas set in 1958 Las Vegas (I mentioned those a couple of months ago).

We’re literally meeting at a hotel nearby to create writing synergy. Synergy is one of those business buzz-words overused so much it’s lost its meaning, but it does have a definition.

Synergy, according to, means:

the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions, etc.

What happens, when writers get together to brainstorm and share ideas and energy, is nothing short of amazing. Work gets finished in half the time and it’s of better quality than what one writer could produce alone.

I’m struggling to describe the phenomenon, so instead I promise to tell you next month what the three of us accomplished in our four days together.

See you next month!

If you’ve experienced something similar, please post about it in the comments. And, if not, consider getting together with few writing friends, even for one dedicated day, to see what you can accomplish.

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

The Truth About Deadlines and Life


I’m on deadline right now and for me that is awesome. Why? Because it’s been nearly 5 years since I’ve been on any kind of deadline as most of my writing was on hiatus due to me being in Europe. Now that doesn’t mean I didn’t write. No, it was quite the opposite. While there I finished 4 self-published works, got an agent and did proposals galore.

What happened was much more subtle in the fact that I’d never went to my epublisher and said, ‘Give me a deadline’ because I hadn’t sent in anything new, proposal or otherwise, for the whole time I lived abroad. I’ve often asked myself why and I realize there is no clear cut answer. I guess I just didn’t want to be boxed in or something in a country I was having a hard time adjusting to at the time.

So, when a group of friends of mine were planning to do an anthology this year, I asked to be a part of it since I wanted to get used to having deadlines again. Oh, lordy, what was I thinking? Our planning started in February when the packers came to box up my office and shut me down. I had a tablet that wasn’t good for writing and though I’d packed composition books and pens galore, there was never a good time to do anything with them.

Then we arrived on the east coast and the planning was still going on in early March. I put in my two cents, I agreed to all the deadlines and once all the relatives were visited, we arrived home with my new Surface computer. ‘This was it’ I told myself and waited for inspiration to hit me. Nothing. I went to a convention or two, met my agent and one of my BFF writing friends, Gini Koch, and felt a little of the inspiration I so desperately craved.

Then remember last month when I said that we weren’t sure where we were going to live? Well, we basically got our marching orders to move to New Mexico. I went for a visit and we saw approximately fifteen houses, yes – it was three long days of great houses, bad houses and some that we needed a plan for making it our own.  Then we found one we fell in love with and wanted it.

We lost it and went two houses down the street, to one with the exact same floor plan, less land but a lot of the fixes already done. It was $25k less than the first, so we immediately put in a bid even though it has a bunch of things that need to be done to it. Thank goodness we got that second one because I don’t think I can go through this whole thing again. Keep your fingers that it will all work out.

Fast forward to last week and my looming deadline. Notice I said looming. This story that I’ve been loving and plotting and planning to get done is in the final throes of getting a few beta reads and a final edit. The bad thing is that I need to have it all turned in by tomorrow night midnight and I’m not sure I’ll make it because life has got in my way over and over again.

Everyone has been so wonderful about the fact I decided to do an international move and this at the same time while planning yet another move. Since Monday, I’ve wondered if I’d lost my mind committing to something while life is so stressing. But a funny thing happened that I’d forgot all about.

Even though I am very stressed, my writing is thriving. It’s like I’m hyper focused on it when I’m writing and I see nothing but it. The words are flowing like never before, meaning I’m doing the 1800 words an hour thing again. I am getting a chapter done in an hour instead of a day. I’ve got the plot all in my mind and it’s getting laid down like bricks on a path. The pantser in me is coming out again and suddenly, all I want to do is write. What’s even better is that I’m doing it well.

Life has a way of making sure all we want happens exactly when we need it to happen. No sooner, no later. Yes, I’m more stressed than ever but look at what that stress is helping to produce.

More stories than I’ve seen in five years. And it’s a good thing for me to realize, a little of the right stress never hurts.

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at,, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at

Life in our Books

Do you ever wish you had done something differently? Wish that you’d had something extra inside of you to stand up when things didn’t seem right? That happened to me this week. And I ended my day, thinking…

This is why we write books. 

I went to drop my daughter off at school. I noticed a man, sitting on the bench outside. He was average good-looking and wore a Captain America shirt. And when we started for the door, so did he. Okay. No biggie. Lots of people come and go from the school. And I don’t know everyone. But because he caught my attention in that odd way, I locked my car, which I never do when I’m running into the school at noon to drop my daughter off.

I opened the front door, but didn’t wait for him, either, which is also something I would normally have done. Out of politeness, you know? And then I approached the inner door to the office and I rang the bell to get in. The guy waited behind me, but instead of waiting “in line,” he moved beyond me into the corner. Abnormal? Yes. Red flags [or yellow if you’re a football fan] were waving in my head. I was let into the office and he came in with me. Also a regular occurrence. Happens all the time. Other moms. Dads. Grandparents.

I went to the “visitor sign in” desk, and he went to the front desk and said, “I’m here to pick up my son.”

Front desk Lady: “What’s his teacher’s name?” [they ALWAYS ask that, even when you think they ought to know by now, they ask]

Mr. RedFlag: Mrs. Farfignewton [he said a name that didn’t exist]

The Front desk ladies look at each other, and I’m thinking, “What an asshole, deadbeat dad. Doesn’t even know what his kid’s teacher’s name is.” The front ladies asked him what his son’s name is, and he said, “Richard.”

WHAT THE FUCK? Richard? Really? I know this sounds crazy. But as parents and active members of a school community, you just get used to hearing names. And believe me, RICHARD is NOT one of them. So the Front desk ladies are wary by now and they ask him, “His last name?”

Mr. RedFlag: Uh…Smith.

By then, I’m actually getting nervous. I let some dipwad in the door, and he’s a very bad man. And i’m also thinking, well this guy isn’t getting anyone from this school. And then I wished I never let him in. Wished I’d listened to the voice inside me that knew something was off.

That’s when he identified himself as from the Sheriff’s department. And he had a partner who came in at that point as well, and I’m not going to mention how good-looking and romance hero worthy they both were. <3 hotguyAnd even knowing they are the good guys and were probably doing random checks on the safety of the schools [there was a kidnapping a couple of weeks ago where a woman picked up her daughter from school], I was also mad. One, at them for pulling the stunt [even though it really wasn’t a stunt] and two, at the world that this is what we’ve been reduced to. That we must be suspicious of everything, everyone. Sad.

But the writer in me will take that scene, and she’ll turn it into a romance. Because the principal will be a younger single woman who will take offense. And then when she and the Sheriff’s deputy happen to run into each other later that weekend, sparks will fly.

And…maybe, somewhere in that book, a mom will do the right thing and NOT let that Dipwad through the door. She’ll know that something is off, and she’ll close the door behind her without letting him in the front office. 🙁 That’s what we can do in our books. We can make the world hopeful and less scary.


About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

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