Monday, December 21, 2009

Blogging at TRS

Howdy, Readers!

Just a quick note, I'll be blogging tomorrow, Dec. 22nd, at the Romance Studio Blog! Please join me as we talk about snow, books, snow, and more books! Post a comment, and I'll put your name in for a prize! Hope to see you there.

Happy Holidays!

Sherry James

Friday, December 11, 2009

Black Velvet Seductions Holiday Party!

Hey, all! I wanted to let you know that on December 12, 13, and 14th, my one publisher, Black Velvet Seductions, will be hosting a 3 day holiday party potluck and pitch in on the Black Velvet Seductions Blog.

All readers who post during this three day holiday party will be entered in the drawing for the BVS Pick Your Own Prize Contest...where you can choose from a wide array of prizes, including Kindles, Nooks, Sony Readers, and gift cards...for a total prize package of $260. BVS will announce the winners on Valentines Day! There are two ways to get your name in the hat for the big prize! One--Subscribe to the BVS readers newsletter. And two--Post a comment on the blog. Simple!

So be sure to stop by this weekend and visit with us BVS authors. There will be all kinds of good stuff going on to celebrate the season!

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cowboy Research Winner!

Okay, I have a winner! Sorry for the delay in making the announcement. We had major snow here on Tuesday and Wednesday, school called off and kids under feet, so needless to say I'm running behind a little. ;-)

My thanks to all of you who stopped by to chat! My winner for this quickie contest is Shelley Monro! Congratulations, Shelley!! Please email me at and tell me your preferred e-book format and I'll get it off to you!

Oh, and be sure to tune into CMT this Saturdady. You can see Skeeter Kingsolver in the Posse and get a glimpse of life behind the bucking chutes. And cool, I get to say I know him! ;-)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cowboy Research

I love to do research, especially when that research involves talking to real live, in the flesh, sexy cowboys. I know a lot about rodeo, bull riding, and the western way of life, but it’s always nice to talk to other folks who also live and breathe the life to get a fresh perspective. I also love to write about cowboys and I always strive to make darn sure I’m depicting the life as accurately as possible for you, the reader.

That’s why when my local radio station was giving away tickets to a dinner/meet & greet with PBR (Professional Bull Riders) bull fighters, stock contractors, and bull riders, I put three phones to work. My insane efforts paid off and I was the correct caller and got my name put in for the drawing. And by golly, luck was really on my side last week. My name was drawn out for the big package, including tickets to the bull riding. Yee-Haw! Thank you, KRGI FM! So, I called up my critique partner and good buddy, Julie Miller, and asked if she’d like to go. All in the name of research, of course! ;-) Even though Julie writes about cops in Kansas City for Harlequin Intrigue, she jumped at the chance to experience something new. I mean, what better way to talk bull riding, rodeo, and goin’ down the road then over a nice dinner and a few drinks with handsome men! Handsome men are always good inspiration for us romance writers!

Bull fighter, Cody Hollums of Midland, TX, was gracious and answered my slew of questions. He even asked me if I was going to write a book featuring a bull fighter as the hero. You betcha, Cody! And I can guarantee he’s going to look a lot like you. Keep an eye out.

Stock contractor, Chad (Bubba) Berger of Mandan, ND was a lot of fun, too, and I wish I would have had more one-on-one time to talk with him. Thanks for the beer, Chad!

Then I sat down with bull riders, Markus Mariluch of Elko, NV, and Skeeter Kingsolver of Mclouth, KS. These two were so down-to-earth, just good ‘ol boys, and were more than happy to answer all my questions. We talked about the lifestyle, the travel, and if fear ever enters their minds before they climb onto the back of those 2,000 pound bulls. Markus knows all too well what it’s like to be stomped on by a bull. In 2008 he rode a bull who tried to make hamburger out of his face. Amazingly, Markus was back in the chute a week later and ready to take another bull out for a spin. Now that’s tough. Cowboy tough!

As for Skeeter. Well, what can I say? Skeeter is just as cute as a bug’s ear. I mean this guy is young enough to be my son, but he’s as sweet, polite, and common as they come. I just wanted to squeeze him! And keep your eye out for Skeeter. He’s a rising star in the PBR and you can even catch him in the reality TV show, The Posse, airing on CMT this coming Saturday night Dec. 12th. The film crew followed Skeeter and other pro bull riders around this past summer to give fans a glimpse into the world behind the bucking chutes. Skeeter said it was fun doing the show, although at times he did get a little weary of the cameras being right there all the time.

The bull riding Saturday night was awesome. The bulls were rank, too. Big time. One bull was so rank that after he dumped his rider, he decided to take on the outrider and his horse. That cowboy suddenly found himself on a date with the fence, and his horse took an unwanted ride on the bull! Fortunately, neither the horse or cowboy, were hurt, but it sure looked ugly. On a positive note, one young cowboy who’d brought his girl to the bull riding had worked it out to bring her into the arena. Much to her surprise, he got down on one knee in the dirt and proposed! Now that’s romance the cowboy way. And you can bet that’s going to show up in a book someday. To me, that epitomizes the cowboy. He’s a gentleman, shows respect to women, all the guys we met stood when we stood, offered their hands in a friendly shake, and tipped their hats, and he’s down to earth. To me, they symbolize the honesty and integrity of the American way of life, and showcase the roots of our great country! Long live Cowboys!

So, do you like to read about cowboys? For you, what’s the allure? And do you prefer contemporary cowboys over historical cowboys? Or do you love them both? All of you who comment today will get their name into the drawing for an electronic download of the Flavors of Ecstasy Anthology Vol. III where you can read my latest cowboy story, Eight Seconds! Happy Holidays.

Pix: Bull fighter Cody Hollums of Midland, TX & little 'ol me!
And me with Markus Mariluch of Elko, NV, Bart Miller of Oshkosh, NE, and Skeeter Kingsolver of Mclouth, KS.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Music to Write By!

Every book I write has a theme song or theme album that I listen to repeatedly throughout the creative process of putting those coveted words on the page. I love music, and it's a great tool for us writers to create a mood, or help us conjure up the emotions we need our characters to feel and pour out onto the pages.

The last two cowboy books I've written, one historical & one contemporary, found me spinning the soundtrack from the movie Wyatt Earp over and over. Even though the books were set more than 140 years apart, the music just seemed to fit both. Some great emotional tracks on that album! And since I write romance, emotion is a key element to writing a compelling book.

Now, I'm at the start of revisions on another contemporary cowboy romance, Lassoed Heart, which I wrote a while back. Okay, quite a while back. ;-) Needless to say, I've been in search of a new theme song for this book. And I found it!

Once I find "that" song, it's forever connected to the book in my mind. I can't listen to that song ever again without thinking of that particular book. The characters, and all the emotions they and I experienced while writing that story come rushing back. That might seem strange to people who aren't writers, but trust me, it's a good feeling. It's kind of like visiting old friends by a warm cozy fire!

Although I'm sure I'll listen to many Country songs while working on Lassoed Heart, Forever by John Micheal Montgomery will be my main theme song. This is an awesome song and can be found on his Time Flies album! This song was released a few months ago, but for some reason it just hasn't received much air play. Why, I have no idea. It deserves it!!!

So, there's a little sneak peek into my creative process!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Working Hard!


I apologize for being absent from this blog for so long again. What can I say? My life is hectic. But I am hard at work finishing up several manuscripts. Right now I have three projects that need to be completed and out before the end of the year. Hopefully, I'll have some great news to share with you all in the coming months! So, if my appearances here are slim, please forgive me. I promise to do better soon. In the meantime you can find me on Facebook and drop a hello there. I try to check in at least once a day, got to check my crops quick on Farmville, you know!

I hope you are having a nice Autumn, and are getting ready for a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Release Day!

It's release day for Flavors of Ecstasy! Woo-Hoo! You can now read Eight Seconds plus all of the other fantastic stories included in the anthology.

Eight Seconds is a story that has a special spot in my heart. I'd started the book last summer with the intention of submitting it to Ellora's Cave. It was my hope I'd make the cut for one of their four Cavemen anthologies they release each year. Due to my mom's very serious illness though, I was kind of slow getting it going. Unfortunately, my sweet mom passed away on Sept. 3, 2008. The deadline to have the story submitted was Sept. 30, but I knew I still wanted try and make it. And I knew my mom would have wanted me to. So, after a few days of doing nothing but snuggling up on the couch, I was mentally and physically exhausted, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and got busy. Thank goodness I have a lap top because I still didn't really like to leave my cozy spot on the couch too much. And that's where the majority of Eight Seconds was written. I felt driven and energized to get the book done. I'm sure the looming deadline helped, but it was almost as if my mom was standing beside me cheering me on, telling me not give up. Much to my surprise and joy, I did make the cut! I'm convinced mom was there helping get the story done, and it seems fitting that the book is released now, one year later, in September. For me it's kind of a full circle thing.

Anyway, I hope you like Eight Seconds. It was written during a very tough time in my life, but the story certainly isn't a downer. Eight Seconds is about taking chances, and about digging down and finding your inner strengths to take those chances. Devlin and Taylor's story was a blessing for me because it made me dig down and find my inner strength. It was a light in a very dark tunnel and guided me out into the brightness once again.

I hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Eight Seconds

Wow! Just got the cover for the anthology! I love it. What's so cool about it is, this Ellora's Cave model, and I'm sorry I can't think of his name right, got to go look it up, is the guy who walked me across the stage at the Romantic Times convention in Orlando this past April! He was very sweet and seemed kind of shy.

I also like the way they did this cover because the model's look has kind of a cowboy feel to it. And since Eight Seconds is a cowboy story, woo-hoo! And, Fall is one of my favorite times of the year so I love the pumpkin touch, too.

So, let me know what you like/dislike about the cover? Do you think this guy is hot? Gotta love that torso! ;-) I'm always thrilled to get the cover of my new book because it makes the whole thing feel more real. I finally have something visual to validate that I actually have a book coming out. It's an amazing feeling and one I will never get tired of.

Anyway, enjoy the cover. And don't forget, today is the start of week 3 of my contest. Stop by my web site to get entered by Sept. 30th. You could win a print copy of the anthology and a Sherry James cowboy T-shirt!

Enjoy! And Good Luck!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cowboys are Hot!

It’s no secret. I love cowboys. All cowboys—historic, working cowboys, and rodeo cowboys. Cowboys are hot! For me, they are one of the ultimate heroes because they are one of the earliest heroes our country has ever seen. There is a huge romance factor that surrounds the American Cowboy and it has encompassed this breed of man for generations. And, I think, it always will. I have to admit, there is just something about a man in a nice fittin’ pair of Wranglers, a pair of boots and a cowboy hat that conjures up a whole other form of romance in my mind! But aside from the eye candy they provide, I love the history surrounding the cowboy, and the fact most historic cowboys tried to follow the code of the West, with a few liberties now and then which they believed to be justified, of course.

Yes, a lot of cowboys prefer solitude, but that’s one of the things I find intriguing about them. They can be a bit of a mystery and I can’t help wondering what makes them tick. What scars are they carrying? And I’m not talking just physical here. That is one reason I love to write cowboys. They can have a lot of angst and conflict floating around in their backgrounds and that makes for great story fodder.

Most cowboys I’ve known, although tough and hard workers, have a gentle side. They can break an ornery colt to ride, but show him compassion and caring, too. They are respectful of children and women, and when they give their hearts they don’t give lightly, but give for the duration. The cowboy is usually pretty darn patriotic, and he is a man with a ton of pride. Yes, sometimes that pride gets in the way of doing what he really wants, or giving his heart, but that’s another reason I love to write cowboys. Again, they are loaded with conflict. And if you’re an avid romance reader like me, you know conflict, aside from characters we can relate to and root for, is at the heart of any good novel.

If you like/love cowboys, I want to hear why. What is it about cowboys that make you sigh, drool, and dream? And don’t forget to enter my contest in progress. Go to to enter.

Happy trails1

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Three Contests This Month!


Eight Seconds will be released later this month in the Ellora's Cave Cavemen Flavors of Ecstasy Anthology Vol. III! Yee-Haw! To celebrate I'm hosting 3 contests. The first one is running now through September 10th. Visit my web site,, and read an excerpt, answer a question, and enter. It's that simple. I'll draw a winner from all correct answers.

Also, this month I'll be blogging about COWBOYS! So if you love cowboys as much as I do, join in the discussion. We'll chat about contemporary cowboys, historical cowboys, rodeo cowboys, cowboys in romance novels, why cowboys are so hot, and whatever else I can think of that is cowboy. Do you love cowboys? If so, leave a comment here and tell me what cowboy related topic you'd like to jaw over in the coming days. I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chatting Today

Howdy! Sorry for being absent from this blog for so long. Again! I won't bore you now with the details as to why. Anyway, I'm chatting over at the

It's Cowboys and Western Day! Come read some great excerpts! You can get a sneak peek of my new book, Eight Seconds, coming in September from Ellora's Cave!

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Vacation Blog Contest Winner!

It's time to announce the winner of my Vacation Blog Contest! But first, my thanks to all of you who stopped in and followed me on my travels. I'm, for the most, recovered, although I feel way behind on everything now. But it was so worth it! I hope you enjoyed traveling with me as much as I enjoyed having you along! It was fun to share my adventures.

Now for the winner!

Congratulations to Estella! Estella had posted nine times giving her nine chances to win. And it paid off. My son picked one of your numbers from the hat. Woo-Hoo!

Estella, please e-mail me privately at with your name and address and I'll get your T-shirt out to you.

Again, my thanks to all of you who visited, and posted comments. Keep on stopping by my blog, you never know what I'll be doing next!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Match the Silks with the Horse! Earn extra Chance!

Here's a little trivia for you. Match the following silks with the correct horse and I'll put your name in for an extra chance for the Sherry James T-Shirt! And even if you don't get all the answers right, I'll still put your name in an extra time just for trying.

All three of these horses not only won the Kentucky Derby, but went on to win the coveted Triple Crown, a feat that hasn't been accomplished for 31 years. They also helped to make the 1970's a Decade of Champions in the horseracing world. So, test your horseracing I.Q., and you could come out a winner! I'll announce the winner of my Vacation Blog Contest on Monday! Good Luck, and thanks for taking the time to follow my vacation and to post!

A. Secretariat B. Affirmed C. Seattle Slew




Vacation Blog Contest Day 7--Churchill Downs Cont.

Friday found us back at Churchill Downs to finish the tour of the museum that we didn’t get to the day before. There is so much to see and read there that it takes a while to get through it all. If you are a horse lover a visit to the Kentucky Derby museum is a must. You’ll be in heaven! I was. The museum is two levels of exhibits, many of which are interactive where you can watch the actual Kentucky Derby from about every year, test your Kentucky Derby/horseracing knowledge, and see what it’s like to ride a race as a jockey. There are genuine racing silks worn by the jockeys of such greats as Affirmed, Seattle Slew, and Secretariat! I again watched the film “The Greatest Race”, this time from the second floor where you can look down into the theatre. It’s shaped in an oval like a race track! Again, the film moved me to tears. It is an awesome piece of work. I wish they’d put it on DVD so I could watch again and again.

We then enjoyed an awesome lunch at the Kentucky Derby Café, and visited at length with the handler of the resident museum Thoroughbred, Prefect Drift. I shopped the Museum store where I could have made a huge dent in their inventory! But I refrained from going nuts. I purchased only one T-shirt, much to the appreciation of my credit card! We then simply hung around enjoying the atmosphere while we waited for the races to start at 6:00 PM.

And wow! What a crush. Since this was a historic night for Churchill, racing under the lights for the first time in the track’s history, they were going all out. The red carpet was rolled out and they were interviewing people, gave away a chance to win a $1,000 wager, and had live music all over the place. There were a ton of people there and it gave me a good taste of what attending the Kentucky Derby would be like. All I have to say is buy your drinks early, and keep your fingers crossed you never need to go to the restroom! The betting lines even got so long that after about three races I gave up betting and just sat and watched all of the excitement. The races themselves were very exciting. It was cool to watch them run on the turf as well as the dirt. I've seen live racing on the dirt practically all my life, but this was the first time I've seen them run live on the turf. It was fun to watch the track maintenance guys work the turf track after a race fixing all the divots left by those thundering hooves. What a job!

And that was my dream vacation! It was awesome and wonderful! I know I’d love to go back to Nashville and Churchill Downs again. I loved Graceland, wouldn’t mind going there again, too. What about you? What would be your dream vacation?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

More Churchill Downs Pix

So Awesome!

Vacation Blog Contest Day 6--Churchill Downs

It’s Thursday--day six of our trip. We woke to major thunderstorms. And I mean major! It rained so hard here at the hotel that we couldn’t even see the parking lot from our seventh floor window for a short time. Needless to say that delayed us leaving the hotel and making our way to Churchill Downs. Once we did get to the racetrack we quickly discovered they were without power due to the severe storms. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve been waiting most of my life for this chance! I mean, I’ve been dying to come to Kentucky and see Churchill Downs since . . . well, I’m not going to give you an exact year for risk of dating myself. ;-) But I’ll give you a hint. If you know anything about horseracing you’ll know what year Affirmed won not only the Kentucky Derby, but also the Triple Crown. If you know what year that was, you’ll know how long I’ve been waiting for this chance. You know the old saying, Good Things Come to Those Who Wait? Well, that was certainly true in this case. And for me, it was worth the wait---power outage and all! I was in absolute Heaven!

While waiting for the power to be restored, we meandered around outside the Kentucky Derby museum for a little bit. We then took a trackside tour and got to see Calvin Borel, two-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey, mount up for the first race. We then took a tour of the backside. Awesome! Our guide for the backside portion of the tour was Terri, a spunky, fun gal who made the tour worth every penny. We not only got to stand within a few feet of the starting gate and see the horses break from the gate, but we got to see 2009 Kentucky Derby Winner, Mine That Bird, munching on his morning allotment of hay in his stall! Talk about a thrill. Bird’s bodyguard was on duty keeping watch with a smile on his face as Terri took pictures for all of us on the tour.

After a great lunch, we were on our way back to the museum when I saw Chip Woolley, Mine That Bird’s trainer, sitting on a bench just relaxing with a beer. I shoved aside my shyness, went up and said hello, got his autograph and a picture. He was super nice, very humble, and truly amazed at all that has transpired for him during the last few months. A true cowboy!

We then continued on with our tour of the Derby Museum. There they have a 360 degree film that you can watch of the Derby and its history, how it all starts with the birth of a foal, and the insurmountable odds of not only making it to the Derby, but winning it. It was fantastic and put me on the verge of tears. The afternoon went way too fast and due to the late start we didn’t get through everything. There are tons of exhibits to view and enjoy. Good news, we’re going back tomorrow to finish what we started! And Friday is a historic day for Churchill. It will be the first time in the track’s history that they are going to race at night and under the lights. I can’t wait to be a part of it. I’m afraid my credit card is going to be groaning by the time I get done in the museum gift shop!

Have you ever watched the Kentucky Derby on TV or live at the track? A racing fan or not, you can’t deny it’s the most exciting two minutes in sports history! Let me hear from you and get your name in the hat for that amazing Sherry James T-shirt!!!

More Ryman Pix to Enjoy

Vacation Blog Contest Day 5--More Nashville

Well, we made it to Louisville, KY! We got here late afternoon on Wednesday. My apologies for not posting this sooner. I was feeling pretty wiped out and then we had to go through yet another thunderstorm here so that has delayed my getting online. Seems like everywhere we go the storms go with us. Wednesday afternoon, while traveling on I-65, we got caught in a downpour and a little bit of hail. Needless to say, we got off at the nearest exit.

But before all that we had a great time touring the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. If you’re a Country Music fan you’ll know that the Ryman is called the Mother Church of Country Music and was home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 – 1974. The Ryman is truly an amazing place steeped in history. The acoustics are out of this world, but just knowing who all has performed on that stage is truly mind blowing. The list of names is endless---Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Sr., Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Steve Wariner, Chet Atkins, Sheryl Crow, James Brown, Keith Urban and on, and on. Even Rudolf Valentino and Mae West performed on that historic stage.

Because they were getting ready for a performance we weren’t able to walk on stage, so I did the next best thing. I placed my hand on those well-worn boards and snapped a picture! Ain’t I silly?!

They had some really cool exhibits and it was fun to see Minnie Pearl’s hat with her trademark $1.98 price tag dangling off the brim. I also saw a pair of Johnny Cash’s tall black boots. Johnny was one big man!

Have you been to the Ryman? Do you have a favorite Country star?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Vacation Blog Contest Day 4 Cont.--Nashville

Okay, I can't resist putting up one more post tonight. As some of you might know, I'm a huge Country music fan, so a trip to Nashville wouldn't be complete without checking out the music this town is so famous for. Our hotel is on Broadway, where a lot of music action happens in Nashville, so we walked four blocks down the street to where the CMT Music Video Awards were being held. We decided to check things out and found a crowd of people standing and waiting to catch a glimpse of the stars. We got there in time to catch two! Naomi Judd was beautiful---as usual---in her blue dress. Then, we got a real treat when Keith Urban came strolling along. Keith stopped and greated fans and signed autographs! Although I didn't get an autograph, I got some great pix! How cool.

After the awards show, it was neat to see all the long, black limos lined up along the street ready to whisk their famous passengers off into the night! I love Nashville!

How about you? Ever been to Nashville? Or do you have a favorite Country star? I was hoping to see my buddy Dierks Bentley, but no such luck. Maybe next time!

Belle Meade Plantation Photos

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vaction Blog Contest Day 4--Plantations

Day four found us down the road and headed toward Nashville. But, we decided to take in some more history and visit a couple of plantations along the way. Our first stop was the historic Carnton Plantation, home of the New York bestseller, The Widow of the South, which is in my TBR pile! That was one of several reasons I wanted to visit Carnton. Again, like Shiloh, this place is steeped in history, and the magnitude of what happened here is unbelievable. In the intense heat and Tennessee humidity we learned that Carnton was used as a field hospital during the Battle of Franklin in late November 1864. Here, five hours of one of the bloodiest battles of the war was fought in complete darkness. Blood still stains the wooden floor boards on the second floor of the mansion from the 300 wounded and dying soldiers who occupied the house during and after the battle. We visited with a guy who used to live in the Franklin area and he said, one time he’d made a late night visit to the Confederate cemetery located on the property. He swore he saw the ghosts of many Confederates there! Oh, so many stories to write, so little time!

We then found our way to Belle Meade plantation just a few miles from the excitement of Nashville. This house is huge, and oh, so beautiful! And so is the carriage house. This plantation was known for its race horses and about 80% of all Thoroughbreds today are descended from the famous sires who once stood there---including two horses I own. Fortunately, Nashville and Belle Meade didn’t come under fire during the years of the Civil War, so they were spared the devastation.

A few years ago I visited Oak Alley plantation in Louisiana. All three of these historic sites are immaculately preserved and if you love history, a must-see! They are so beautiful that it is easy to imagine the ladies of the era strolling the large porches in their hoop skirts and flowing gowns.

Have you read The Widow of the South by chance? When I get home, it’s moving up in my TBR pile!

Vaction Blog Contest--Extra Pix from Shiloh

Vaction Blog Contest Day 3--Memphis & Shiloh

It was a full day today! After checking out of the Heartbreak Hotel, we headed for downtown Memphis to see Mud Island and Beale St. Unfortunately, Mud Island is closed on Mondays so we took a quick look at the riverboats before we headed down to Beale St. Beale was neat, and of course, full of history. It’s kind of amazing to think of all the famous people who have walked those sidewalks! Including Casey and Alex from Studs for Hire: Woman in Charge! Alex and Casey might not be famous, but they were there and experienced the night life of Memphis. We discovered that on Monday mornings Beale is rather quiet. If you’d like the chance to really explore the street and take your time, go on a hot, sultry Monday morning in June! After a great lunch at B.B. King’s, where we had fried dill pickles—which were awesome btw—we took off for Shiloh Battlefield.

We arrived at Shiloh at about 5 PM. Although we were too late to take in the bookstore and visitor’s center, going late in the day was an awesome experience. The temperatures had cooled, making walking the grounds much more pleasant. In spite of the tragedy of the Civil War unfolding here, this place is absolutely beautiful. The grounds are meticulously kept, and the abundance of trees make you feel very isolated. Again, there were very few people there, and at times we found ourselves totally alone walking the hallowed grounds where over 22,000 men fought 147 years ago.

It wasn’t long after we were there that thunder clouds started to build and darkened the area. The distant rumble of thunder created an eeriness and I imagined that rumble as cannon fire echoing through the dense trees of April 6 & 7th of 1862. It’s incredible they were able to fight a battle here and accomplish a thing because of the massive denseness of the trees. As we drove the van and toured the long trail around the battlefield, we at times, felt very disoriented due to no sun and the thickness of the trees. There are stone and metal markers all over the place marking the locations of all the regiments, headquarters, and events of the battle. Cannons lined up and ready for battle can be seen throughout the grounds—some pointing directly into the trees.

Soon we were driving through a downpour. At times I almost felt a sense of panic, wondering if we were going to be able to find our way out of the park. We were getting close to the end of trail when a critter ran out in front of us! And by golly that critter was a live Armadillo! Finally, after years of traveling through Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas and only seeing Armadillos as road kill on the roadsides, I finally got to see a live one. It seems kind of ironic that I see a live one at a place that saw so much death.

Shiloh was truly an amazing place. I didn’t see any ghosts, but I certainly did imagine the thousands of soldiers filling this place. Although those soldiers might not physically be there, you can feel a strong presence, and the magnitude of what transpired here blows you away. So much so that right now I’m at a loss for words to describe my feelings.

Have you ever visited a Civil War battlefield? If so, what feelings did you walk away with?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vacation Blog Contest Day 2--Graceland

Wow! What a great day we had. We arrived at Graceland at about 9:30 this AM with rainy skies hanging over us, but it turned out to be a beautiful, although a bit sultry, day, and a great day to take pix outside. I splurged on the VIP Entourage tour and I’m so glad I did. It was sooo worth it. It gave us access to almost everything and it was nice to tour the mansion a second time. The first time through felt kind of rushed and crowded, so going back later in the afternoon gave us a chance to see the things we missed the first round, plus do it at a leisurely pace.

I have to admit when I wrote Studs for Hire: Woman in Charge, I hadn’t ever toured Graceland. I wanted to come, but my dad’s illness, and a super tight deadline, didn’t allow me the pleasure. So, to get all the details right for Alex and Casey’s trip here, I had to do a lot of research. Thank goodness for the internet, books, and DVD’s! And thanks to my good friends Kathy and Noelle who shared with me their personal photos and experiences.

Well, after touring today, I’m happy to say I got it right. And it was fun to think of Alex and Casey and the various scenes where they see the lions at the front of the house for the first time, or when Casey looks up at Elvis’ bedroom window with a feeling that maybe Elvis is watching. I feel I did a good job of nailing their reactions and thoughts about Elvis and Graceland while they took the VIP tour. The mansion is really cool, the grounds are beautiful, and the meditation garden very peaceful and soulful. And the staff was super nice and very personable.

One of my big highlights of the day was meeting Elvis impersonator Mark Eskew. We just happened to run into him in the car museum. He was very nice, but it took me a while to work up the courage to ask for a photo. He graciously obliged and I just love it! Thanks, Mark! Then later we even ran into Mark at Walgreens and said howdy again!

I loved the famous musical gates, although they seem much smaller than I expected, and I even signed the wall! I took a total of 183 pix and went through three sets of batteries. I wasn’t leaving anything to chance! We felt like we walked 10 miles by the time we headed back to our hotel. And guess which hotel? If you read Woman in Charge you’ll remember that Alex and Casey stayed at the Heartbreak Hotel. Yep, that’s where we are! Once again I splurged by getting a suite for us. Not one of the themed suites mind you, but a nice suite where I’m lounging on the couch as I write this. I did have an Elvis movie on the TV, but hubby switched the channel after Double Trouble was over, apparently he needed a break from Elvis after being emerged in the King for eight hours. What’s up with that?

Okay, I’ve rambled on long enough. I could easily go on, and on, and on, but I won’t bore you. So, have you ever been to Graceland? What was your favorite part? And if you read Woman in Charge, do you have a favorite scene? Remember, every time you post this week, your name goes into the drawing for a Sherry James T-Shirt!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vacation Blog Contest Day 1--On The Road!

Okay, this is going to be a short post to kick off my blog contest. I'm exhausted! I got to bed way too late last night, was up way too early this AM, and during the 4 1/2 hours I was in bed, I slept maybe two. Figures. It seems it never fails that just before a trip I can't get to bed at a decent hour. Guess the house was just too quiet with the kids and dogs shipped off to the grandparents and my brother's! Well, and then I had to finish picking up around the house and vacuuming! Sorry, I can't help it. I don't like leaving a dirty house when I go out of town. It’s kind of like the wearing clean underwear thing.

But it was a great day for traveling. We left Nebraska and headed down the road for Memphis just shortly after 7 AM. We slipped through the SW corner of Iowa and then spent the majority of the day driving through scenic and beautiful Missouri and Arkansas. We made it to West Memphis at nine something this evening. Yea! My backside fell asleep numerous times, and I was stiff, but it was nothing that making a periodic pit stop didn’t cure. ;-)

I really enjoyed driving through MO & AK. Both are just gorgeous this time of year with all the trees fully leafed out and an abundance of wildflowers blooming along the roadsides. Flowers, however, weren't the only things in abundance along the Interstates and Highways! Roadkill was everywhere. We saw more deer, coyotes, armadillos, coons, skunks and opossums littering the scenic byways than I could begin to count. I told my hubby that instead of noting licenses plates along the way, we should have been counting the number of roadkill! I think the deer won for the most who’d met their demise while the armadillo was coming in a close second.

Do you play travel games when you’re taking a long road trip? If so, what? Hopefully not roadkill! :-)

Remember, each time you post, your name gets put into the hat for a T-shirt!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Vacation Blog Contest Coming!

I'm taking a vacation! Woo-hoo! My hubby and I are taking a trip!!! Yes, just the two of us. We're celebrating our anniversary a little early this year due to the fact it's in October and the kids' school schedules make it tough to sneak away then.

For years we've been wanting to travel down to Tennessee and Kentucky. After all these years we're taking the plunge and just going. Can't wait! If you follow my blog or web site at all you know I'm a big Country Music fan, a horse lover, and love to explore and do research.

So, travel along with me as we visit Memphis--Graceland, Shiloh Battlefield, Nashville, Louisville--Churchill Downs, and any horse farm that will let me set foot on its coveted grounds! I'm sure we'll find some other fun and interesting sites along the way, too.

Each day, starting Sunday, June 14th and running through Friday, June 19th, I'll be posting about our adventures for the day. If you post a comment on my blog I'll put your name in the hat for a Sherry James T-Shirt. That's right, an authentic, rare, first-run Sherry James T-shirt! Heck! I'll even autograph it! Post all six days and you'll get your name in the drawing six times. The more you post, the more you increase your chances of winning!

So, join me on vaction! I hope to see you down the road!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Finishing a book!

Hey, just a quick note as the the next couple of days will be super busy. I'm getting close to finishing my latest book. It's another novella with the working title of The Cowboy and the Hellcat! This time I ventured back to my first love, historical romance. It's a western set in the Nebraska territory during the winter of 1860. Keep your fingers crossed it gets accepted. I'll keep you posted.

BTW, next weekend the hubby and I are leaving on vaction for Memphis, Nashville, and Lousiville, KY. I can't wait. It's a solo trip for us two. The kids are staying with grandparents! I'm sooo looking forward to having some down time and seeing new places. I hope to blog along the way and post some pix for your enjoyment.

Time to get the kiddies to bed.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chatting Tonight!

Hey, Readers!
I just wanted to let you all know that I and my fellow Black Velvet Seductions authors will be chatting tonight at the Author Island Yahoo group. You will need to subscribe to the list to participate. The link is

But everyone, and I mean EVERYONE who stops by for the chat will receive a free e-book of their choice from my publisher, Black Velvet Seductions! How awesome is that?! It's a great way to add to your summer reading list.

So, stop on by for some fun. We'll be posting excerpts and answering all your burning questions, plus you'll get a FREE book of your choice! I hope to see you there.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Recovered from RT?

Well, I've been home from the RT BOOKreviewers convention for two weeks now, although it seems like months--gee, what's that say about my life?! But I guess I can say I'm pretty much recovered from the trip to Orlando. RT is always a good time with all the happenings going on like meeting readers and booksellers, wild parties, swimming at midnight, and of course, all the hunky cover models running around providing for some great eye candy! And just in case you're wondering, no, I didn't go swimming with any of those hunky models at midnight. Darn.

For me, one of the highlights of this year's convention was just being in the company of my fellow EC authors and enjoying all the great stuff EC did for us. It really was a thrill to walk across stage with a hunky guy and be recognized at the Ellora's Cave Jungle Fantasy party. And I didn't even make a fool of myself by tripping and smacking my face on the floor! Give me a pat on the back!

But it was also fun to see my name in bold letters lining the entrance way into the ballroom. I couldn't resist a picture by my paw for the fun of it. Hey, it's as close as I'll ever get to a Hollywood Walk of Fame! My good friend, Julie Miller, said the picture reminded her of one of the pin-up girls from the 40's, you know, like Betty Grable. Wow! What a nice compliment.

I was more involved in this RT convention then ever before. Besides the EC party, I also presented a workshop, signed at the E-book signing, was a sponsor for the SOS Military Mixer, and made an appearence at Club RT. I gave away T-shirts, a gift basket, and quite a few little goodie bags. It was a great convention, a great trip, and I'm so glad I went. I was in need of a little R & R from the demands of two kids, seven horses, and three dogs. And my hubby was a real sweetheart for picking up the slack in my absence.

One of my favorite workshops this year was the cover model shoot. Wow. You talk about hot! But I'll save that for a post later this week. I'll even post a picture so you have an idea what I'm talking about.

Have you ever been to an RT Convention? If so, what was your favorite thing about it? If not, would you like to go, and why? Free books? Meet your favorite authors? Dance until midnight each night?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Love Cowboys??

Me bad. It's been months since I last posted. Sorry about that. But I have been busy writing, having a new brand created, and attending the RT BOOKreviewers convention in Orlando! I also have a new book coming out later this year. Woo-Hoo! If you love cowboys, get ready to saddle up for a sizzlin' ride with Devlin McCord in Eight Seconds. You'll find this hot, sexy cowboy and his story in the Ellora's Caveman Flavors of Ecstasy Anthology, Vol. III in September.

To celebrate my new brand and new book, I've decided to freshen up my blog a bit. I'll also be redoing my web site in the coming months. So keep an eye out for that. To celebrate I'll be hosting some contests this summer. I'll be giving away Sherry James T-Shirts, Ellora's Cave card decks, and who knows what else! In the mean time, I promise to be a better blogger!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it. 2009 is already here. Wow. In another year we'll almost be through the first decade of the 21st Century. Seems like just yesterday we were all worried about the Y2K stuff.

Since it's a new year, as usual, I have many goals I hope to accomplish in the coming months. Hopefully this year will be less stressful and I can get my writing career back on track---that not only includes seeing a couple of books published this year, but getting my personal writing schedule on a consistent schedule. I've learned over the years that in this business consistency is one the big keys to success. As a writer you have to write consistently, submit consistently, and have books published consistently to develop that coveted readership.

I also just bought a new horse! Yes, I'm so excited. So, I hope to spend a lot more time in the saddle this year. One of these days I'll post some pix of my horse family for you to see.

In the meantime, what are some of your plans/goals for 2009? Have you been writing a book, but have yet to submit? Maybe this is the year to take that plunge. After all, you can't sell a book if you don't submit it to a publisher. Speaking of publishers. I'd better get busy. I have revisions to finish on Eight Seconds!