New Release – Behind His Perfect Smile – Available Now

Hello Treasured Readers,
I am so happy and excited to announce I have a new book release today!  I sure hope you will consider giving it a read.
I don’t think I can name any one thing that inspired this one. Rather, it is a compilation of many different ideas coming together for a fast-paced romantic suspense with multiple mysterious and complex characters. I’m proud of the end result, and I truly hope you love it!
As always, please reach out and tell me what you think.



Ten years ago, Kenneth Landry killed twelve children in the Virginia Beach area. His wife was his last victim before he disappeared with his youngest daughter, leaving his older daughter, Michaela Landry, alone to face the horror and tragedy left behind.

But Michaela didn’t face it. She fled. She ran away from foster care and found shelter and a new life with a family on a horse ranch in Buena Vista, Virginia. An adult now, she’s left the nightmare in the past—until the morning she saves a little girl’s life and ends up on that evening’s news.

Everything will change in an instant. The past returns. A little girl goes missing.

Luke Ashtor is chasing the next big story. And Michaela is it. He’ll pursue her, her story, and her family’s legacy if he can keep her safe…

Because Kenneth Landry is killing again.


Olaf pounced on the broken doll’s head. He always wanted to play. Even at night when it was time to sleep.

His little tiny body rammed the door as he chewed the hair on the doll, and the door moved a little. Like it wasn’t locked. But it was always locked.

Nicole stood slowly, and made her way over one soft step at a time. She hoped the door was open. She was also scared it might be open.

Hands shaking, she gripped the knob and pulled. It didn’t stop due to a lock. The door creaked softly inward.

Why was this happening? Was it a trick like Ian would play? A test?

Holding her breath, she stepped out of the room. The kitten followed, attacking her heels with its sharp little claws and teeth. It hurt. Nicole didn’t make a sound.

She listened.

The house was quiet. Maybe Sky was asleep. Was she home? Was Nicole there by herself?

She didn’t know what to do.

On tippy toes, she made her way toward the kitchen. If Sky was awake, she would be there. Maybe this was a game?

There was no one in the kitchen. Nicole crept toward the front door. She tried the handle. Locked.

It had one of those high locks. She couldn’t reach.

She quietly snuck back to the kitchen and got a chair. It was heavy. She struggled carrying it.

It slipped from her hands several times. The scrape of the leg hitting the floor was loud. But she didn’t stop.

She needed to hurry.

As soon as she reached the front door, she climbed onto the chair and turned the lock.

Open. She could go. She could really leave.

She climbed back to the floor and slid the chair out of the way. Time to go. Where was Olaf?

Nine times out of ten, he was right at her feet. He wasn’t there now. Had the scrape of the chair scared him?

“Kitty, kitty, kitty,” she whispered.

She couldn’t leave her kitten.

She looked around. Where was he? Was he hiding? Playing?

She grew quiet and listened. Olaf was cute and playful. He could be mean. But he was never quiet.

No sounds came from the house.

She went back to the kitchen, looked under the table. Then she tiptoed back down the hallway toward the playroom. And that’s where she found the little furball. He was back to chewing the hair on the doll.

She reached down and picked him up. Time to go.

When she turned back around, Sky stood in the doorway. “Young lady, you are in trouble.”

Characters Can’t Be ALL That!

Beautiful, smart, kind, humble, strong, courageous, and on top of all that, funny too… Sounds like the most amazing heroine, doesn’t it?

Image result for perfection

Actually, it reminds me of one of my first heroines from a story never finished and never looked at by a publisher. That’s a blessing. I would not want that work representing me today. It was fun to write, but I still had a lot to learn. For instance, my heroine needed a few flaws.

Characters can’t be perfect. They need to feel authentic. They’re human, right? Well, they typically are in my genre anyway.

The issue wtih perfection is readers can’t relate to it. And that is a problem. If readers can’t connect with your characters, they’ll stop reading. I know I will. The more I relate to the characters, the more invested I become in the story.

It makes sense, right?

Image result for perfection

So, if your character is crazy smart, consider also making her a klutz. I can relate to that more than I would like to. 😉

Or, if your character is sexy and well spoken, consider giving her a junk food habit that keeps some unneeded weight around her hips. What woman can’t relate to that? Ha ha!

Another level of characterization is perception. What flaws do others see in your character verses the flaws she perceives in herself. Perception is a powerful tool. If the character believes it, the reader will too.

Who would have thought perfection could ever be a bad thing? So, when building your heroine, don’t forget the bad with the good. Flawed characters are some of the best!

Happy writing! 🙂


Published in: on March 26, 2018 at 1:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fighting the Hermit Complex

Hello, my name is Destiny. I’m often shy, introverted, private, quiet, and too sensitive at times. I have a very small network of people that I would consider close to me.

hermit crab

In Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers, the main character, Bobbi Anderson, is a writer suffering from the hermit complex. She’s isolated, living alone on a large piece of land, just her and her best friend, a beagle that stays by her side.

It sounds like heaven, doesn’t it? 😉

Of course, as most of you know, Bobbi ends up finding something strange buried on her land, a thing jutting out of the ground. We don’t know what it is, but we understand it is something not good. There’s a certainty that this thing is evil in nature. It compels her, drives her almost to madness in her obsession to discover what it is.

Maybe Bobbi needed more friends. Maybe she needed a girlfriend she could visit and say, “Hey, am I going crazy?”

Of course, Bobbi doesn’t go to a girlfriend. She’s a loner. She suffers from the hermit complex.

I fight against the hermit complex every day. It’s not just a physical thing. It’s a state of mind. I internalize almost everything. If I’m uncomfortable, I’m going to tuck in my shell and ignore you.

I’m a writer. It makes me happy. It’s my dream come true. But, it takes a thick skin at times.

How about you? Are you an author? If you get a rejection letter, do you let it bring you down? Do you want to go and hide in your shell? How about when you get a bad review?

Even worse, are you hiding in fear of only the possibility of a rejection or bad review? Putting your writing out there takes guts. You are exposing yourself. You must accept the feedback, and some of it will be bad. That’s a promise.

Here’s another promise. To truly find your purpose, you need to face those fears that are blocking you. Chase your dreams. Follow your heart. Do the things that make you forget to eat. Do the things that make you want to get up every morning. Do the things that bring you joy. If that’s writing, then put that pen to paper right now.

Fight the hermit complex! Network with others in your field. Prepare yourself for success. You have to see it coming to get there. No more hiding!

Published in: on September 19, 2017 at 7:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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Resurrect Romantic Suspense!

My favorite genre of romance is romantic suspense. I bet you could have guessed as much, because that’s what I write. But, I love, love, love to read a great romantic suspense story! I’ll tell you a little secret. I spend much more time reading than writing. 😉

I feel like I’m a minority in my chosen genre lately. What do you think? Do you still enjoy a good romantic suspense? If not, why? Have you grown tired of them? Please say you aren’t tired of them!

sad face

I did a poll on Twitter. Between Contemporary, Historical, Suspense, and Paranormal, suspense came in dead last, the percentage so low it was heartbreaking. Historical and paranormal tied for the lead. I’m so sad about this, fellow readers!

So, can we resurrect romantic suspense? Is there still hope for my favorite books, or should I try writing in another genre? What’s your opinion?

Published in: on July 18, 2017 at 6:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Readers are right to expect free books.

Please don’t read this blog title and shoot me! 🙂

Picture of the Week - Live Free!

More and more authors are getting frequent complaints their books are priced too high. Some have even said they are asked why their book isn’t free. In today’s market, people expect free books. That is a simple fact, and I can see why.

The book world is completely oversaturated with free books. As a reader, I could get by with never buying another ebook again if I didn’t want to. I have the BookBub app on my phone. If you haven’t downloaded the free app, I would highly recommend it. I get daily announcements to let me know which books are out there for free. Yay! I love free!

Free books are a great marketing strategy for writers. It’s a proven method for getting readers to try one of your books. Some of them will even come back and purchase a book from us starving writers. Thank goodness! Someone actually bought my book!!!

With that said, free books are also a strategy for struggling authors or new authors to get people to read their books. They aren’t giving the books away for a set time frame as a promotion. The books are simply free. The author does not want any reimbursement at all. What they want is readers to read them. They are desperate to get their name out there.

And guess what? These authors are still struggling even though they are giving the product away! That’s how oversaturated the market has become. Free books should be easy to give away, but sadly, that’s not the case.

Have you noticed all the constant contests out there? All readers have to do to win a free book is leave a comment, but many will not be bothered. That’s too much effort when they can click over on Amazon at any given time and pick from a whole list of free books. Why enter a contest they might not even win?

I’ve seen New York Times/USA Today bestselling authors announce on Facebook they are giving away 30 free copies of their new release. Why? They need reviews, and readers aren’t willing to take the time to leave a review without a little bribery. They are busy folks. I can understand. I bet those authors, though they are very popular and very successful, still have problems getting reviews even giving away their product for free.

So, where does this leave authors? Is it possible to make a living in a market where the value of our product has decreased to free? It seems very few authors make a living in this industry.

I love reading free books as a reader, but as an author, if I can’t sell my product, I can’t pay my bills. The book market is getting super tough, my friends. What are your thoughts? Are readers right to expect free books?

Published in: on September 23, 2016 at 12:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Another Five Minutes

I like to write an introductory poem for my books. I did it for my first published novel. A few readers said it was cool… Their praise made me feel pretty awesome. So, now I do it for every book, you know, because feeling awesome is cool. Here’s the new one for my current work-in-progress. What do you think?

I feel time slipping away.

Will you please, please stay?

Give me five more minutes, please.

I am begging on my knees.

I fear losing you so much.

Promise me at least one last touch.

You belong to me, of course, you know.

And yet, there you go.

The emptiness instantly imprisons me.

Please, my love, return and set me free.

The silence and anxiety echo inside these walls.

With you gone, I am nothing, nothing at all.

My ache churns, my passion fueling hate into flames.

It is torture and death to endure such pain.

Come home so I may breathe again, my love!

Let me show you what we are made of.

One more chance for you is all I give.

Return to me if you want to live.

No other may have you, it's true.

When I die, my darling, so will you.

Five more minutes I delay for your sake.

An eternity it shall be before we wake.

You and I are one soul bound together.

Our love is forever.

Destiny Booze

He said WHAT?


Writers, did you just cringe at that word? Lol. Most writers either feel they write strong dialogue or they feel like it is the hardest thing on the planet. Which one is it for you?

Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way that might help when writing dialogue for your story.

  1. Think about how people sound. Read it out loud. Does the dialogue sound like your character would sound? Does it sound too formal? Most people use contractions when they speak. Correct grammar tends to fly out the window during conversations, so don’t make it sound too formal.
  2. Do all the characters sound the same? Everyone talks differently. Make sure your dialogue is a good match for the person speaking. A child does not sound like an adult. A teenage girl should not sound the same as her mother. A doctor uses terminology people without medical experience wouldn’t know. Make sure the dialogue fits the person.
  3. Are you using the dialogue to move your story along? Reading a whole page of people saying good morning to each other may be very genuine to the way we interact with one another, but on paper, it is totally B-o-r-i-n-g, right? Make sure the conversation has meaning. Bring it to life. Make in interesting.
  4. Add emotion to your dialogue. What kind of scene are the characters in? Should they be happy, angry, sad, or excited? Make their voice match what is happening in the
  5. Use your dialogue to really show who your characters are. Some people have certain phrases they tend to use that is unique to them. That can make a character stand out. And don’t forget people lie. Is the character saying one thing, but thinking something else? If you are writing from that person’s point-of-view, you can really emphasize the differences in their thoughts verses their words.
  6. Don’t overuse tags. As long as the reader understands who is speaking, you don’t need to add that tag to every line. Use it when necessary for understanding. A character’s actions can serve the same purpose. People move when they talk. Add a few actions in. Make the scene come to life. Nonverbal cues and body language can tell a lot.

Have anything to add? I know I always welcome suggestions. Please feel free to comment below and add your own advice! 🙂

Where should I end my chapter?

Learning to find the flow to your writing is an ongoing process that is unique to each author. I know I’m still learning with each book. When I first started writing, one of the things I stressed the most about was where to end my chapters.

You wouldn’t think that would be so hard, but let me tell you, it was for me. I wanted, and still want, to do it the “right” way. I don’t want my readers to feel like I’m making those chapters too long or too short. I want it just right.

So, my approach to this issue at first was to simply count pages. After seven typed pages, I would find a good pausing point and begin a new chapter. There you go. Problem solved.

I’m very proud to say I did not stick with that strategy. I read an article by a fellow writer that made me stop and reevaluate what I was doing. I wish I could have found the article to link to it, but since I read it so many years ago, it’s lost in the big world wide web somewhere. But, oh boy, it was an eye opener for me.


In the article, the author stated his goal was to hook his readers so well at the end of each chapter that they had to keep reading until they read his whole novel in one sitting.

Good goal, huh? 🙂

He went on to say that each break in the story was a place the reader might choose to stop, and if they stopped, that reader might not pick that book back up. For an avid reader like myself who finishes any book I start, I was shocked by that. What? The reader might not finish it? No way!

Well, yes way. This is a busy world we live in. The day job, the second job, kids, sports, homework, cooking, cleaning, washing, working in a small bit of a social life…and on and on and on. After all that, is that reader going to pick that book back up at ten o’clock the next night when their eyes are so tired their vision is blurry, or will that reader just turn on the TV and conk out in the recliner?

Even as a die-hard reader, I’ve chosen the TV over the book. That’s life, right?

So, yes, I chose to reevaluate where to end my chapters. I want the same thing with my readers. I want to write so amazingly well that they simply cannot put the book down! Bam! And, THAT’s what it is all about!


So, where should we end the chapter? My suggestion is simple. Don’t force the ending. Make the chapters match the flow of your story. Don’t worry so much about long or short. Just make sure you choose to end the chapter at a weighty moment.

It doesn’t have to be something as monumental as a death. Unless you are writing a slasher story, I’m sure you won’t have that many people, if any, dying in your book. But, you should choose an important or pivotal moment.

You could choose the ending right as the geek got asked to the prom. Emotional turmoil and intensity can be very important to the reader. Maybe end the chapter right as the hero declares his love for the first time. End the chapter with a mystery, a surprise, a crazy turn of events, or anything that could hook your reader.

As long as the ending matches the natural flow of your story, it should work. And, if we’re lucky, that reader will keep reading all the way to the end before life can get in the way.

Published in: on January 29, 2016 at 11:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Be a real writer!

Are you a real writer? Let me give you a minute to think about it. Do you call yourself a writer? And I don’t mean “striving” writer.

Unsure of that answer? What does it take to be a real writer? Are we only actual writers if we get paid a good income?

Here’s what I think. Yes, you are a REAL writer. How do I know? Because you write. That makes it very real.

I am so tired of being afraid to tell people I’m a writer, and yes, that writing is my job. It’s a real one. I actually set an alarm every morning. I get up and get to work. I sit in front of the computer and I write all day. I work very hard at what I do. That is my job, and I take it very seriously.

Did you get all that? Let me say it again. I’m a writer, and I’m proud of it! 🙂

It continues to surprise me how people react when you tell them you are a writer. The responses are insulting. “Really? Like a real writer? As in you get paid? That’s neat, I guess.”

News flash, friends! Writers are needed everywhere. They write correspondence, advertisements, books, newspaper articles, movie scripts, website content, and the list goes on and on and on. Writing is a real job, and if you are one of us out there doing it on a daily basis, then you have that job. You are a writer!

Be proud of what you do. Don’t be afraid to say it with confidence. Be a real writer!


Published in: on April 29, 2015 at 9:01 am  Comments (2)  
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Are you forcing the words?

Writers, we should be writing what we want to read. It takes a lot of work to create a good read. If you’re forcing it, the readers will know. You will know, too.

I know when I’m making this mistake. The words just won’t come for me. I’ll force something out just to make a day of work, but sure enough, it reads like crap. If I don’t like what I’m writing, there’s no way the reader will.

I’ve tried over and over again to change my writing style to match certain publishers. Every single time, I end up in the scenario above. It just doesn’t work. I wish it did. I’m a professional writer. I have a background in journalism. I should be able to write whatever I need to. And yes, technically, I can write a grammatically correct piece of work in any format, but it won’t be good. In the world of fiction, I have to love what I’m writing. Have you found this to be true in your experience as well?

I’ve found that I have to write the story that needs to come out. You’ll know the one I mean. It will be the idea that comes out of nowhere and will not go away. You’ll start thinking about it as soon as you wake up. You’ll create the characters in the shower. It will cause distractions all during your day. Then, you won’t even be able to get a good night’s sleep because you’ll still be thinking about that story.

Yes, that’s the one you need to write! Worry about the rest later. That story isn’t the genre you usually write? So, maybe it’s time to make a change. Find a publisher to fit the story you need to write. That’s the way it should work.

If you’re just starting out writing and you need to know where to begin, the answer is simple. You start by writing. Write the story that won’t go away unless you get it on paper. The words will flow when you’re ready. The reader will love the story you loved writing.

Published in: on April 14, 2015 at 9:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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