Stop the Presses!

I’ve always yearned to say that and hear the wheels of a newspaper machine grind to a halt. But today, I ask you to stop the presses so I can announce the release ofmy first contemporary romance with Crimson.

Eight Seconds to Glory is the story of Travis Hargrove’s journey to regain his confidence and rejoin the rodeo as a bull rider, after nearly losing his l ife in the arena. The rodeo management is unsure he can regain his  place in the competition so, Travis must prove himself. Luckily, he meets up with his old mentor, Mickey who is now the foreman at a ranch named the Glory B.

If Travis thought riding b ulls was dangerous, keeping his hands to himself or his lips off Glory’s proves a daunting task. But, Glorys heart has already been broken by another bull rider who used to her to climb up the ladder to the big time. She wants nothing more to do with those men chasing the golden buckle on the next big event. Yet, Travis gets under her skin and into her heart. Will she take another chance on love or will she deny the chemistry that heats up the night when she and Travis are together. Can she love him enough to give up her dream of raising bulls for the rodoe in order to support his dream at a chance for that championship buckle.  Eight seconds can make or break a cowboy. Eight seconds may be all Travis or Glory has to find the love of a lifetime.

I hope you’ll enjoy the romance between Travis Hargrove and Glory Beebe.

Eight Seconds to Glory releases on August 27th.




Behind the scenes: What it takes to get your novel out

Okay, so you’ve written the great American romance novel. You’ve dotted all the i’s and crossed those t’s. Now, you sit back and expect the accolades to begin pouring in. Your are done. Right?

Wrong, ever so wrong. Your hard work in a sense has just begun. Yes, I know you’ve tweaked, you’ve replaced often used words, created multiple drafts of your manuscript, you gut tells you that this work is as perfect as you can make it. The hint is you. The next hands that receive your brain child are the professionals. Editors will search your manuscript for punctuation, content errors, and timeline gaffs.

There isn’t a writer alive that doesn’t both fear and loath the coming of edits. Your first time around seeing those bloody red marks and comments hurt. But you adjust those rose colored glasses and slip on your big girl panties and begin. Some times you wonder, oh my word, how could I have missed this. Or, crap, they must think I’m stupid. But remember, the writer is so close to his or her material we gloss over the words because our minds eye knows what should be there. On average, this process repeats at least three times. This is tedious hard work and the editors earn every penny of their salary if not more. 

Remember too, that your work is in line with all the other accepted submissions. Your editor is not yours exclusively. It takes time on average, depending on your editors back load,six to upward to twelve weeks. What do you do as a writer during this down time? Fill out the barrage of paper work that goes with the novel, your art cover sheets, your blurb and one line tag. If those get done, begin that second novel. And for me this is the hardest, to let go before the final copy is done and begin that second project while the guru’s of print work their magic. 

After those content edits, you’ll go through the process of line edits where another editor checks for mistakes, then when the manuscript is transferred to the formatting for e-book or print, you’ll undergo another round of edits to makes sure its copied correctly, nothing left out. You’ll get your cover art back and a galley so you can see how the finished project appears and one last glance over before release. 

So how long does this all take? From your acceptance to publication, depending on the publisher, it can last from 3 months to a year. Yes, when you hear authors describe it as giving birth, its quite true. So when people think you can just whip those stories out, smile and nod. All the while you’ll know that its a process and the words over night success means it happens in a blur of time.  So to the editors, the art department, the agents that put up with my whine, this blog thanks you. To the reader, when you pick up that book know that its a team effort, its the best of our ability, and we are crossing our fingers that you like it. 

Next month, I’ll present my baby to the world, Eight Seconds To Glory. So, here’s a quick tease until we meet again.

Two souls in need of a dream. Two hearts that need mending.

Glory Beebe’s dream is at hand when she meets undeniably attractive world champion bull rider, Travis Hargrove. Once bitten and twice shy, Glory can’t afford to give her heart to a rodeo man that will leave her for the thrill of the ride like Jax Martin did. When her foreman offers her ranch as a refuse for Hargrove to regain his strength and work as a stock contractor, she must ignore the pull of her heart and do her best to complete her father’s dream.

Haunted by being trampled by a bull in competition, Travis Hargrove will do anything to earn another swipe at the gold buckle. There are younger cowboys, ones without physical limitations, eager to take his place. When the rodeo manager offers him a chance to prove himself, Travis has to put his fear behind him.  Riding on the back of two thousand pounds of dynamite is hard enough when you’re healthy. Will a pair of blue eyes and a woman with spunk change his mind?

Can Travis not only regain his courage and win Glory’s heart in the process or will the roar of the crowd to much to give up when there are only Eight Seconds to Glory?


See you next month, 


Meet Lady in Red – Tessa Berkley

Good Morning, 

Hi, I’m a new Lady in Red and my name is Tessa Berkley. 

I suppose a good place to start would be to give just a bit about myself. I live in Tidewater, Virginia in a small town about 30 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. I’m far enough inland to enjoy snow in the winter and watch the bands of rain from hurricanes in the summer. My home is situated on five acres, which allows me to raise 3 children, 2 cats, and my beloved cows. I write contemporary and historical western romance.

I’m one of those people who believe in true love. I’ve been lucky to have been married for going on 36 years and yes while there is snow on the roof, the fire still burns. If you asked me what physical trait would stand out the most, it would be striking blue eyes passed down to each generation from my mother’s side of the family.  

My mother was a  unique guiding force in my life. Like her mother before her, she passed on the passion for reading. My mother never learned to drive until she was 50 years old. “Ladies, didn’t do that sort of thing.” But once she did, we’d hope in the 1956 Plymouth Deluxe and indulge our secret passion – the library.  The one thing, I am eternally grateful for is my mother fostering the love of a good story to me. Oh, I am a late life baby. An only child. My parents were 41 and 45, respectfully when I was born in the late 50’s. Poor thing, she didn’t know she was expecting until 6 weeks before my birth, but that’s another story in itself.

I love where I live, but if I could choose an area of a city other than my birthplace, I’d find myself hard pressed to decide between Texas and the mountains of Washington state. The wide open and varied horizons of Texas have long been a place of mystery calling out for me to visit. I’d love to see a herd of Longhorns or see a wild horse run across a field of sage. Likewise, the Majesty of the Olympic Mountains sing with their siren song and draw me to the waters of the Puget Sound. One day, I plan to visit both of those areas.

In the coming months, I will be releasing my first book with Crimson. I hope that readers will join me on the journey and meet Glory Beebe and her hero, Travis Hargrove as they journey toward their happily ever after. When I see you again, I’ll be telling a bit more about my novel and how I came to put their story to paper. For now, if readers would like to keep up with me, please check my website, for the latest updates, hang out with me on Facebook or twitter. I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you, Crimson Romance and the other fine Ladies in Red for sharing your column with me. I hope it will be a long and glorious partnership.