Getting Dirty with Rosanna Leo

hrpredatorsrescueThanks so much to the ladies of Love, Lust and Laptops! I am thrilled to be here in my former stomping ground. KaLyn was kind enough to invite me to visit and share the latest on my new paranormal romance release:

          Predator’s Rescue

          Gemini Island Shifters 7

This book continues in the same vein as my other shape shifter books but in one way, it’s a little different. Things get dirty in this one.

Now keep your pants on, you naughty monkeys. Of course, we do get “dirty” between the sheets, but the characters are living a little closer to the edge in this one. We see grit and grime and even a little bit of fish slop. Seriously, at one point my heroine Fleur gets covered in fish slop. (You will have to read the book for more info on that part. There’s no way I’m giving that scene away.)

The characters get dirty in other ways, too. There are references to some serious drug use in this book. In fact, Fleur’s mother Barbi is an addict and she is addicted to a dangerous shape shifter drug called “Spider.” I give the reader a glimpse into Barbi’s world and it isn’t pretty.

In the interests of full disclosure, I will also admit my hero Jani may encounter some grimy moments of his own, but again, you’ll need to read the book. If I mentioned the situation here, you’d think I’d lost my mind.

Why dwell on such unpleasant details? Life isn’t always pretty and packaged in a bow. Sometimes it’s messy. Although I write paranormal romances, I think it’s important they feel real. Both my hero and heroine are dealing with some huge emotional issues. To me, dirt symbolizes the confusion in their hearts. They need to shed old hurts and stains so they can emerge fresh and clean. Their love allows them to do this.

I hope you’ll read Predator’s Rescue and get dirty with me.

geminiRight now my entire Gemini Island Shifters series is on sale at Amazon, Liquid Silver Books and Are, but only until March 7. Stock up while you can. 

Click on the image to BUY NOW!


Tiger shifter Jani Fodor should have washed his hands of Fleur Bissette long ago. However, when she disappears from the shape shifter sanctuary on Gemini Island, he can’t forget her, and launches a fraught two-week search to find her. He thinks she’ll be grateful but the petulant she-wolf resents his intrusion in her life.

Jani recently liberated Fleur from a vicious cult of shape shifters, where she was brainwashed by the sadistic August Crane. The wolf shifter terrorized their friends at the Ursa Fishing Lodge and Resort on Gemini Island. Labeled a “bad girl” all her life, Fleur knows she’ll never fit in with the good guys at the Ursa, no matter how much Jani tries to convince her of their regard. Besides, she can’t stay with Jani. Although he’s the closest thing she’s ever had to a friend, their chemistry is explosive in the worst way.

When a new menace arises, in the form of a vicious drug dealer with a grudge, Jani is adamant Fleur accept his help to rehabilitate her addict mother and remove her from the influence of her dealer. Fleur accepts Jani’s assistance but as they work together, friendship erupts into passion. Neither can deny their lust-struck spirit animals and before long, they realize their connection runs deeper than they ever expected.

Despite the threats posed by the drug dealer, the worst danger of all dwells inside Fleur. Haunted by the spirit of August Crane, Fleur is inundated by visions that torment her. She is consumed by guilt and plagued by old hostilities. Can this bad girl make good? And is Jani’s love enough to save her from her demons?


Once again, Jani’s temper flared but he swallowed his simmering rage. He stood and raised his voice so he could be heard over Loretta Lynn’s tinny warbling as it emanated from the jukebox. “Now I’m going to ask everyone in this shithole one more time. I’m looking for Fleur Bissette. Where is she?”

There was a crash and a feminine cry from behind one of the closed doors. Jani didn’t hesitate. He launched himself off his stool and toward the door, already on the verge of shifting. His tiger hairs danced in anticipation under his skin, ready to burst through his pores.

The two men who’d approached him grabbed him by the shoulders and hauled him back.

“Hey, asshole,” the grizzly man shouted. “You’re not allowed back there. Private parties only.”

Jani glanced at the hand on his shoulder and then at the man. “One warning. Take your hands off me.”

The idiot snorted and looked at his pal. “Why waste your time lookin’ for Fleur anyway? That girl’s nothing but trouble. Trouble loves her. In fact, she’s probably spreading her legs to trouble right now.”

Jani reached for the man’s arms and spun him around. “What did you say?”

“It’s all the bitch knows how to do. That’s all women like her are good for anyway.”

Jani reared back and let his fist fly, cracking it against the man’s face. The grizzly shifter flew across the room, hitting the back wall, collapsing to the floor. The grim satisfaction of seeing the man crumple overrode any pain in his knuckles. In fact, it felt so good to hit the jackass he had to hold his hand behind his back so he wouldn’t hit him again.

No one, no one, insulted Fleur. The man was lucky Jani didn’t kill him for the slight. Fleur had been called too many names in her time, and he’d made it his mission to see she was never belittled again.

Jani nodded toward the other men. “Don’t even think of stopping me.”

He tried the closed door, relieved to find it unlocked. He flung the door open and his tiger senses homed in on her immediately.

Fleur had clearly been serving drinks to the small group of shifter bikers inside, but one of them had gotten a little too close to the new waitress. Her tray of drinks lay on the floor, smashed, and one of the men had her over his lap. His large hand caressed her ass as she squirmed in his grip.

As time seemed to freeze for Jani, Fleur turned to glance at him. She mouthed his name.

The silent plea made his heart twist in his chest. Had she actually spoken aloud? He wasn’t sure. He couldn’t hear her voice. His ears were ringing too much as his tiger roared her name.

Her dark eyes seemed to grow darker, black with emotion, but he didn’t take time to analyze the sentiment flitting behind her irises.

With a noise that must have sounded more animal than man, Jani raced toward her and pulled her off the man’s lap. He moved her toward the door, so she wouldn’t be hurt in the melee. He then turned to the shithead who’d grabbed her, a growl emanating from his furious core.

The biker, startled and likely drunk, didn’t react quickly enough to shift. Jani hauled him off his chair and thrust him toward the wall.

“Jani,” Fleur called, her voice loud and clear now. “Don’t. You don’t know what you’re doing.”

“His hand was on your ass. I know enough.”

One of the other men was foolhardy enough to try to stop him. He tried to yank Jani away but Jani snapped his arm back, using his elbow to hammer the man in the face. Cradling his bloody nose, the man retreated.

Jani turned his attention back to the shifter who’d groped Fleur. “That was the last time you ever touch her.” Bracing himself, he head-butted him. A sickening crack sounded in the room. The man moaned, his eyes rolled back, and he dropped to the floor.

Ignoring the pain exploding through his forehead, Jani marched toward Fleur, picked her up, and hauled her over his shoulder.

“Hey. Put me down! You have no right.”

No right. He might have laughed if he wasn’t concerned about getting her out of there in one piece.

Holding out his free arm to warn off any others who might consider having a go at him, Jani carried the writhing Fleur out of the room and out of the bar. His heart thumped against his chest just from holding her. Granted, he hadn’t quite envisioned holding her like this, her ass high in the air near his face, but it pleased him more than he cared to admit out loud. Something about the scenario made his inner caveman very happy.

Buy links:

Liquid Silver Books:


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Goodreads link:

Coming soon to ARE and Barnes & Noble.

12957 (167x250)Author Bio:

Rosanna Leo is a multi-published, erotic romance author. Several of her books about Greek gods, selkies and shape shifters have been named Top Picks at Night Owl Romance and The Romance Reviews.

From Toronto, Canada, Rosanna occupies a house in the suburbs with her long-suffering husband, their two hungry sons and a tabby cat named Sweetie. When not writing, she can be found haunting dusty library stacks or planning her next star-crossed love affair.

A library employee by day, she is honored to be a member of the league of naughty librarians who also happen to write romance. Rosanna blogs at

Author Links:

Amazon Author Page:







Release News – Predator’s Trinity!

Gosh, it’s good to be back! It’s been a busy few weeks for me. Between family vacation time, extra work hours and getting the kids ready for school, it’s been a whirlwind.

Oh, and then I’ve had a bit on my plate with three releases scheduled for the fall! One of them released yesterday and I’m proud to share it with you.


Predator’s Trinity picks up where Predator’s Fire left off. Our friends on Gemini Island are battling a terrible foe, shape shifter cult leader August Crane. He has promised vengeance and slaughter. When we last saw the gang from the Ursa Fishing Lodge and Resort, they were safe, but knew it was only a matter of time before Crane struck again.

I’ve tried very hard to make Predator’s Trinity a book any romance fan can enjoy, but I think most of my readers would agree you will get the full benefit of the story if you read the previous books in the series first. It helps to better understand the conflict.

Along with these trials, I bring you a sexy new romance, this one a menage between twin jaguar shifter brothers Byron and Percy Moon and human librarian Suzan Marsh. This was so much fun to write and I really got to flex my writer muscles on this triad. Come to think of it, so did Percy, Byron and Suzan. Hee hee.

Please enjoy this new romance. 

Buy links:

Liquid Silver Books :





What makes a romance unique?

I was scrolling through Facebook recently and caught a comment written by my pal Nita from The Book Chick Blog. Please give her a like when you check her out and let her know Rosanna sent you. In her post, she made a point about the lack of unique romance books, and it made me wonder.

What makes a romance novel unique? It’s a tough question. After all, romances are, by their very nature, predictable. We need to know the couple will unite at the end. We see the same predictability in mysteries. By the end of the book, the murderer must be revealed and (hopefully) punished. So, in this sense, can a romance be unique at all?


We do see a lot of the same romance tropes in today’s fiction, but I think audiences demand them, too. My own shape shifter series is the most popular of my series, and God only knows there are hundreds of other shifter series out there. Romance readers still love those classic paranormal characters. But do these books lack individuality? Perhaps there are similar traits, but there is one thing that separates them.

In my opinion, it boils down to author voice. This is what gives a book flavor. This is what keeps readers coming back. A reader “clicks” with an author’s voice. It can often make or break a book and it is what helps a reader relate to the story and characters. If I like an author’s voice, I don’t even mind if the story is less than unique. I just want to keep reading.

Is it possible to be completely, undeniably, 100% unique anyway? I don’t know. We’ve been told no thought is original. And don’t readers also value a sense of familiarity as well? We read romance for the same reason we read cozy mysteries: we cherish the sense of nostalgia and know we are assured of a satisfying resolution.

There is, I think, a danger in “unique” translating into “quirky.” Too quirky. I’m wary of gimmicks, as a rule. For example, I write about shape shifters. I don’t want to be the author who writes about rodent shifters or pink lizard shifters. Give me my traditional wolves and bears and tigers. Think of some of the crazy books out there right now. Do I want to contribute to that level of crazy? No. I don’t want to be the author who pens a book about a vampire with a unicorn horn on his head, who has a career as a grocer and takes pottery classes, leading him to fall in love with one of his vases. Sure, this all sounds very silly, but hopefully I’m making a point.

I think we gravitate to a familiar trope because we want to have a sense how it will unfold, at least to some extent. It’s nice to throw in some twists and turns, but at the end of the day, certain aspects must hold. We want our romantic heroes to be fierce and protective. We want the heroines to have some level of spunk. And we want them to embark on a grand adventure, realistic or not, one that strengthens their bond.

At the same time, I understand what The Book Chick is saying. As an avid reader of romance, she must see the same stories play out over and over.

So what else can make a romance stand out?

I think character is a big one. We don’t want to see cookie-cutter characters, even if they are vampires or cowboys or millionaires or some other trope we’ve seen a thousand times. There should be something to differentiate them, and it’s up to the author to discover those quirks and habits and wounds.

Conflict is another point. There was a period where babies were all the rage, especially babies the heroine didn’t expect. Great source of conflict, but it’s been done many times. It’s up to us to find new sources of tension. In today’s modern world, with its modern challenges, we have a wealth of information upon which we can draw.

I’d love to know what you think. What makes a romance unique in your eyes?


You get what you pay for.

There was some conversation in one of my author loops recently, after a couple of authors noticed that prices on their ebooks had been raised by their publisher. That opened up a long thread of comments, firstly filled with worry.

“Readers won’t pay that.”

“No one wants to buy ebooks that are priced higher than $5.”

“Too expensive.”

I admit, at first, I wondered the same thing. But then I wondered some more.

Sure, the internet romance world is flooded by $0.99 specials and freebies. With the ladies of Love, Lust and Laptops, I have a couple of freebies myself. It’s a great idea and helps new readers connect with an author.

But does that mean all our books should sit a bargain-basement prices? No.

Sometimes I get discouraged because I see the bestsellers are the folks who often price themselves at a buck or two. Great deal, right? I admit I’ve snapped up a few of these cheap books myself. Often, once I read them, I’m disappointed. I don’t want to say all cheap books are worthless, but there are a lot of them out there with bad grammar, bad stories and bad cover art. And at that point, paying $0.99 isn’t such a deal anymore.

I don’t mind paying a little more, knowing I’m getting a good product. Remember the old adage, “You get what you pay for?” It’s often true. If you go too cheap, it can bite you in the bottom.

It’s sort of like umbrellas. I’ve bought a lot of cheap umbrellas in my life, the cheap and cheerful ones you can find at a dollar store. Invariably, they break or the wind snaps them. When I’m standing in the rain, getting soaked, holding a broken umbrella, I’m not so cheerful. However, when I’ve spent a few dollars on a well-crafted umbrella, it takes care of me. It keeps me dry and holds up in the worst storms.

Screen shot 2011-04-12 at 2.16.05 PM

I don’t want my books to be like dollar store umbrellas. I want to be the umbrella that lasts a long time, helping you feel good. I want to be worth every penny you spend on me. And I can guarantee, for those few dollars, you got a lot of hard work in return, from me and from the good folks at my publishers.

In the end, undervaluing ourselves isn’t the answer. When you provide a good product, people don’t mind paying. You’ll still find my books on sale here and there, but am I just giving it away?  No.

I’m worth more than that.



It’s time for summer reading!

As some of you may know, I work at my local library, as well as writing. It’s a great job for an author who needs a sideline and especially in the summer.

Summer means the kids are coming and it’s an exhilarating time for everyone associated with the library for that reason. Our local library runs a summer reading club for kids. As part of the club, kids set reading goals and receive prizes for accomplishing their goals. It’s a great way to keep children interested in books and feeling they’ve achieved new heights.


But it doesn’t have to be just for kids. Why not set goals for ourselves this summer? We all need a bit of down time and I’m never more at ease than when I’m curled up with a new book. When we read, it’s our time. Our preferences, our fantasies. Is there anything better than stretching out on a beach or by the pool and cracking the spine of a hot new romance? Or firing it up for the first time on our ereaders, watching it download? I love that anticipation.

What sorts of summer reads do you enjoy? Do you indulge in chick lit? Do you dabble in different genres? Do you refrain from darker, heavier reads and stick to lighter, fun fare?

Share some of your favorite summer books here!

Geek love is the sweetest love.

It’s official. I’ve fallen in love again. Well, a few times.

Hubs and I have been plowing our way through a couple of TV series lately and I have discovered a couple of new all-time favorite shows. I can’t get enough of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Silicon Valley. And it strikes me that although these are two very different programs, there is one huge similarity.

The main characters are total geeks.

Now I mean this with love and respect, having been one for my entire life. These shows feature men who are incredibly intelligent and so funny I pee myself more with every joke (not a good image, I admit, but you know what I mean.)


John Oliver keeps me in stitches. His tirades on politicians, corruption and the lunacy of the world are always on point and well-researched. You can tell this man not only does his homework, but feels passion for the subjects he presents. John Oliver can skewer a celebrity or corporation like no one can, but he does so with English humour and a healthy dose of irreverence. If I’d known him in high school, I would have begged him to be my best friend. We would have huddled in the corners at school dances and giggled at the popular kids.


And then there’s Silicon Valley. I laugh just thinking about it. The show is about a group of young IT geeks who are doing their very best to start their own computer company, and usually failing dismally because of their character flaws. These are guys with whom I could have gone to school. Smart as whips, they know everything there is to know about technology. As a result, the show is intelligent, never talking down to the audience. But they make mistakes, often huge ones, resulting in major laughs. Oh, and I have a big crush on actor T.J. Miller, who plays Erlich (the big, hairy blond guy on the right). His every line is delivered with deadly precision and the most incredible comedic timing.

So what am I really trying to say in this blog? Just this: gorgeous guys with hard abs and killer looks may be okay. But at the end of the day, if a man can’t make me think and laugh, he’ll get nowhere. Geek love is always the sweetest love.

A taste of Predator’s Trinity.

I’m so pleased to announce the upcoming release of my next book in the Gemini Island Shifters series, Predator’s Trinity. Slated for publication August 24 at Liquid Silver Books, book 6 brings us the romance between jaguar shifter twins Percy and Byron Moon and human librarian Suzan Marsh. Not only will they have to deal with the strong emotions of a menage relationship, they must find a way to vanquish wolf shifter August Crane.

You will remember August from book 5. He’s not a nice man and will do anything it takes to defeat our friends on Gemini Island.

I don’t yet have a cover but hope to be able to share one soon. However, if you’d like a sense for what Byron and Percy look like, I envision them a little bit like this.


Not bad, huh?

Please enjoy this snippet from Predator’s Trinity, but before you join my shifters, I’ll take a moment to let you know I’ve started a street team, Rosanna Leo’s Pride. If you’d like to join us on Facebook, it’s a great way to join some like-minded readers and be among the first to learn about my work and read my ARCs. Hope to see you there!

Blurb for Predator’s Trinity:

Librarian Suzan Marsh is an empath and has always felt assaulted by the feelings of others. She has had to distance herself from the people in her life, raising a mental barrier to ward off unwanted emotions. When wolf shifter August Crane abducts her, he breaks through the walls she constructed, forcing her to accept a frightening new truth.

Jaguar shifter twins Percy and Byron Moon are familiar with the evil ways of August Crane. Because of him, their childhood was destroyed. Because of him, their way of life at the peaceful Ursa Fishing Lodge and Resort is threatened. And they won’t rest until he is dead.

When Crane drags Suzan into his cult and decides to make her his “concubine,” Percy and Byron know they must save the human woman. Their connection to her is strong and they cannot deny the dream they always held close. That they could share a woman and make her their mate.

But even after rescuing Suzan, none of them are free from Crane’s clutches. The wolf shifter has plans, ones that involve the demise of every shape shifter at the Ursa Resort. Not only must Percy and Byron keep Suzan safe, they must convince her to accept them both. In order to stop Crane from hurting everyone they love, they must learn to fight together.


“I will kill those Moon boys if it’s the last thing I do.”

At the mention of the name Moon, Suzan cracked open her eyes, but not enough to elicit attention from Crane and his mongrel friends. Still bound to the chair, she remained still, breathing slowly so they’d think she was still unconscious.

The men were huddled in the opposite corner of the sitting room, gathered around an occasional table. She didn’t dare glance toward the clock, but from the shadows in the room, she could tell she’d been out for a while, maybe hours. The windows in the room were open and a light breeze made the curtains rustle. Should she chance a scream? No. Crane hadn’t bothered to shut the windows. He knew no one would listen to her screams here.

One of the men shifted his balance from one foot to the other. “Do you want us to take them out?”

She knew the voice. It was Tyler, Crane’s favorite henchman, the one who’d turned into a tiger.

“Don’t be stupid,” answered Crane. “We can’t do a thing while they’re surrounded by their shifter friends from Gemini Island. I need to recruit more people for our cause. But when the time is right, I’ll take pleasure in ripping out their throats.” He paused and then out of nowhere, growled and pounded the table. “I hate those Moons!”

A few documents fluttered to the floor, along with a couple of photos. Thanks to the breeze at the window, several of the photos slid toward her on the floor and came to rest in front of her feet. She dared a glance while Crane and his cronies talked in the other corner.

The photo closest to her pictured two men, twins, by the looks of it. Both blond and ruggedly handsome, their images captured her imagination in a way that had her sucking in shallow breaths. She knew who they were. Percy and Byron Moon. Crane had spent much of his time complaining about the residents of Gemini Island and the Moon brothers were tops on his hit list. Them, and their older brother Killian. It seemed they had a shared history, one Crane regarded with blistering resentment.

Dazzled by the photo, she gazed at it until the rambling of the men in the room faded into nothingness. With her abilities, she could glean knowledge, even from a photo. Staring at Percy and Byron, she felt things. Warm and wonderful things that had her shifting in her seat. She perceived emotions from these men, as clearly as she did from Crane. Only the sensations she derived looking at the Moon twins were quite different. They made her happy and hopeful, and sad to be locked in a room with August Crane.

And she knew, as well as she knew the stacks in her library, that the Moon brothers would be her salvation.

For as long as she could remember, she had just known things. It was a gift that startled, no, terrified her adoptive family. It had lost her friends and prevented her from having regular relationships.

Nevertheless, as much as she often tried to tamp down her ability, one look at the Moons had her convinced they were her future. One glance at the photo and it seemed the wheel of fortune spun her in their direction.

For the first time since being abducted, she wanted to smile.


When bad habits resurface.

I would never call myself a writing expert. For one thing, it sounds rude. More to the point, it’s the sort of activity one can always improve.

In fact, if I’ve learned anything since embarking on this career, it’s that each new manuscript teaches me so much about myself and my writing. Yes, I may be at the point where I can trust myself not to make obvious mistakes, but that doesn’t mean a seasoned writer can’t fall back into old patterns. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been the sort to break a habit and feel I’m cured, only to lapse back into it again. It’s sort of like nail biting. I can stop it here and there, but every so often, I find myself taking a nibble when no one’s watching.

In other words, it’s very easy to forget what we’ve learned.


Take my recent manuscript for Predator’s Trinity, Gemini Island Shifters 6. Our friend Monette Michaels recently shared her time and expertise and critiqued my finished story. And boy, am I glad she did! Like any good critique buddy, she pointed out my mistakes. I already knew many were there, but I was surprised to see how many old bad habits I’d fallen into. For instance, I made way too much use of the passive voice. This is easily fixed, thank goodness. A sharp pen and a sharper eye and off we go.

So why would I make so many mistakes that I thought I’d corrected? In this case, I was writing under a bit of duress due to my family situation. With my head in the clouds, I probably couldn’t identify my own bad habits. It was also very important to me that I get this story down and perhaps I rushed a bit. Rushing our writing is never wise but I found solace in writing over the past couple of months, and must not have been paying close enough attention to my technique. It was enough for me, just to get the story down on paper.

How do we correct these errors? The first step is to put the manuscript aside for a while. Let it breathe and take a breather as well. You’ll return fresher, more able to spot problems and inconsistencies. And make sure you have another trusted set of eyes. Monette spotted my problems and was able to communicate them in a clear, caring fashion. Tackle one issue at a time, so as not to get overwhelmed. Little by little, we all get there.

Most of all. Don’t sweat it too much. If you’re able to identify your problems, you can fix them.

Oh, and if you’re tempted to bite your nails like I am, sit on your hands.

A new month and a new cover!

As Jianne mentioned yesterday, certain months of the year tend to carry associations. So far, April hasn’t been wonderful for me, but I was pleased to get a little bit of good news in the shape of a new cover. That’s right, as revealed yesterday on my own blog, we now have a cover for Vice, my Samhain Publishing release for Sept. I couldn’t resist sharing it here as well.



I know this release is still a few months away, but I am excited to see it come together. I think, of all my books, Vice is the most personal and the most edgy. You won’t find as much fun banter in this one. I’ve definitely veered away from romantic comedy here. I wanted it to strike deep because the issues in it have certainly hit me. Dealing with the world of gambling, it was an important book for me to write. Not only do my characters have to battle a few demons, I may have had to vanquish one or two myself.

I’ll be sure to share more when we get closer to the release date, but I’m proud to share the blurb with you today.


Kate Callender is a Las Vegas singer who counsels the families of compulsive gamblers. Liam Doyle owns the hottest casino hotels in Sin City. They are natural enemies. However, when Kate embarks on a protest of Liam’s properties, they are confronted with a mutual attraction that disturbs and excites them.

Liam is determined to hate the meddling Kate, but when she offers him an unexpected moment of kindness, his feelings change. Their emotions intensify when they scratch the surface and learn there is more to both of them than meets the eye.

A vile attack makes Liam want to draw her close and they begin a sexual odyssey that overwhelms them. Kate fears they might drown in their addiction to each other. They succumb to vice and to their searing needs, but will they lose themselves in the process?

An uncluttered space. An uncluttered mind.

I suppose it’s fitting that this post should follow Jianne’s post about work spaces yesterday. I looked around my writing space today (our spare bedroom), lamenting that it had grown cluttered again, and I realized it needed a good spring cleaning.

Oh, it’s not dirty, but like so many spare bedrooms, it tends to accumulate the junk we haven’t yet put away. So there are piles of old kids’ clothes on the bed, waiting for the next charity pick-up truck. There are stacks of bills and papers that need to be filed. And don’t even get me started on my writing items. I have notebooks and papers on just about every surface.

It’s no wonder my recent manuscript has felt a bit stalled lately. I can’t think while surrounded by chaos.

I’ve always been of the opinion that an uncluttered space leads to an uncluttered mind. At heart, I do enjoy a good purge. I love throwing old things away. I’m like my mom that way. She hates trinkets and knick knacks and seeing things laying about, and so do I.

And I will admit, when I have allowed my environment to get messy, my life seems to follow suit. My writing definitely reacts similarly. If I’m surrounded by junk, so is my story. In order to see clearly, sometimes we need to remove the refuse from our path. Call it the feng shui of writing. Call it whatever you want. But in my case, a regular purge does appear to help. When my home is tidy, I feel better and I sleep better and I write with ease. When my home is messy, I feel a burden. I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to create when I can’t stop thinking of all the chores I haven’t done.

For anyone who is currently stalled in her writing process, I would urge you to look around. Does your writing space need a little spring cleaning? If so, take a few moments and dust off that dust rag. You might be surprised at how it affects your writing for the better.

When the words just don’t come.

Sometimes life overwhelms us.

When things get tough, writers can rally. After all, for an author, sad times can provide a wealth of inspiration for future stories. We can often use the emotions raging in our souls. In fact, I’d say we need to.

And then, at other times, life just makes us numb. It’s during those moments that the words just don’t come for me.


When families experience trials, something my family is dealing with right now, writing has to take a back seat. As much as it feeds and nourishes me, there are times when I stare at the blank page, wishing for paragraphs to miraculously appear. Hoping those night-time elves will scribble in my notebook when I’m asleep.

It doesn’t quite work that way.

I’ve learned there are moments when a writer must put the pen away, when she must bid her characters adieu, knowing she’ll see them soon. It isn’t easy but it’s important.

And like so many writers who are forced to take a break to deal with real life, I often beat myself up, wishing I could write through the struggle. That I could forge ahead, even if only to put the next chapter heading on the book.

We shouldn’t chastise ourselves for taking a breather. Stress is difficult in any profession, but deadly to a writer. You can’t create while filled with anxiety. And while I try to put a brave face on things, I need to remember that I’m only human and that tomorrow is another day. As my friend author Cameron Lincoln wisely reminded me, “Words can wait.” Very good advice.

And so, for now, I will put my words away and breathe. I will connect with family and support those who need it, while asking for support when I need it. Trusting, all the while, that my words will be there the next time I go looking for them.