I love the smell of books.  I like to flip the pages, close my eyes and take a big sniff.  To me, there’s something rather soothing about it.  I tell my husband that someone could make a ton of money off of me if they could put that scent on a scratch-n-sniff sticker…or on one of those little things you hang in your car.  He just rolls his eyes and says I’m weird, but I love him anyway.

I also love the smell of a bookstore.  The cool rush of air and scents that hit you right when you walk in the door.  The smell of those books begging to be bought mingled with the scent of fresh coffee. Mmmmm… it’s one of my favorite smells.  And I …

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AvatarIn his recent memoir, celebrated actor Sidney Poitier wrote, "The true measure of a man is how well he provides for his children." Similarly, as a reader and a writer, the true measure of a fiction story to me is how well it provides for its characters and its readers.Bookmeasurebooks

Not historical accuracy, not plot, not craft, nor language. A story’s characters should always form the first impression, be the focus, and create a lasting impression. Whether this is the dimpling sweetling in a Regency-set historical, a kick-ass brainiac of the twentieth century, the loathsome evil-doer, or the downtrodden and huddled masses, the story needs to deliver these characters in full technicolor glory, accolades and shortcomings, the salubrious, and the salacious.

Every detail, no matter how insignificant should inform the …

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I believe I was about twelve or thirteen when I discovered my first “romance.” As an avid reader I was always prowling through the fiction section in my school library, looking for something I hadn’t already read. I don’t remember the name of the book or author, but I still remember the vicarious thrill I felt when the hero swept the heroine up into his arms to give her a forceful kiss. There was no turning back. I had no more interest in Nancy Drew or the Bobbsie Twins, it was all romance all the time.

By the ninth grade I had discovered Harlequin Romances and Barbara Cartland. Through them I saw the world, visited exotic locations, and learned of foreign cultures, but most of all, I fell in love

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Doesn’t the saying go "it’s all about location"?  Well, of course it is!  When I read a novel, the people in the book are not the only characters in the book.  For me, the setting becomes a character also.  It is an integral part of the story, whether it’s a stark, cold fortress in the Highlands or the foggy, mystical moors of Scotland or even the sculptured gardens of London – the setting draws me into the story almost as much as the people themselves.  I absolutely love it when an author can bring the land to life.  And as much as I enjoy books set in England, Scotland and Ireland, I am overwhelmingly thrilled when I come across a book where some or most of it is set in …

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Okay – let’s talk turkey, let’s get real, and let’s speak the truth.  I was reading a magazine today and happened upon a headline that stated in big bold letters "Haircuts That Take 10 Years Off Your Life".  Well any headline, advertisement or product that claims to turn back the hands of time has got my attention.  So, being the gullible "wanting to look ever younger consumer" that I am, I flipped through the article – and in fact the before and after pictures were amazing.  You’ve seen it all before, in magazines and on television shows.  The after is always a ‘wow’ experience. 

Here’s my think on the whole before/after scenario.  The woman who participate in them don’t just get a haircut, no, they get an entire make-over.  Sorry, …

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It’s finally spring – time to open the windows and let the fresh air in.  The days are longer, the sun shines brighter, and everywhere I go I can smell fresh cut grass – yes the long winter is over.  It’s a time of re-birth and new beginnings. A time for resolutions. I know, most people make their resolutions in January with the start of a new year; not me.  It’s dark and cold and dreary in January – conducive to hibernating, but not new beginnings.  I always wait until spring time to make a fresh start and proclaim my resolutions.  I feel inspired by the tiny buds in the trees and the flocks of birds flying back home.  This year I’m feeling particularly inspired and so I resolve to: …

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