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When you write for a living, a lot can get in the way of productivity. I know I’m supposed to write regardless of mood or mayhem, but when it comes to distractions I have *plenty* and *sometimes* they don’t do much for my mood. (I homeschool my six kids, if you missed that.) So while I have a decent allotment of reserved writing time thanks to my husband’s generous overseeing of the children after dinner, I spend more of that time than I care to admit staring at my file without exactly racking up the wordage. Talk about frustrating! But last week, something changed.

Something epic.

I started playing spider solitaire.

Okay, I know. First of all, solitaire is hardly the latest fad. There’s no real reason I should have just discovered it, and truth be told I didn’t *just* find it, but I did just find it as a writing aide. You see, when I was a kid my mom and I used to play double solitaire all the time. These days the high tech version is a bit more practical (one thing you can say about computers is it’s much harder for the kids to scatter the cards, lol). It also opened a few doors for me, because I don’t think I have the patience to play spider solitaire by hand. At any rate, last week during one of my mom’s visits, we started having competitions—her on one computer, me on another—of two suit spider solitaire to see who could finish more stacks of cards (not games, mind you, because we don’t win often enough for that, lol). It was at some point during these neck-and-neck card games I noticed the stats display. And that’s when the addiction started.

I’m a numbers person. I love math. I wanted my stats to increase. But let’s not forget the other side of my brain and this whole writing gig, right? Anyway, later as I stared at my stagnant screen, wishing I could just play spider solitaire for comparable royalty payments, I had a light bulb moment.

Yes, you can play solitaire. If you write 200 words first.

So now something cool happens. Instead of staring at the screen and pecking out maybe 100 words an hour, I’m blowing out 600 or more words in the same amount of time. AND playing 2-3 games of spider solitaire! Don’t ask me how it works. Don’t ask me WHY it works. But darn if it doesn’t WORK! I allow myself one game of spider solitaire every time I hit 200 words, and now I’m writing like crazy. It’s works. IT WORKS!

And finally, so do I!

Did you know my romantic thriller FAMILIAR LIGHT is only $1.50 for a limited time? It’s a best seller at All Romance eBooks, too! If you’re not familiar with the story, here’s the blurb and a short excerpt. If you enjoy it, you can read the whole first chapter for free at Noble Romance. ;c)


“Can I help you?” The gruff question trickled through the cavernous space like water leaking through pipes. He seemed to materialize from the shadows as he strode toward her, the rise of heat from the concrete floor keeping him just out of focus.

But her heart knew.

She swallowed a hard knob of regret. “Bridger?”

He couldn’t have heard her—not with the way she clung to his name, as if saying it out loud would be to lose another piece of him. But his step faltered, and the recognition in that interrupted cadence brought the burn of tears to her eyes.

No regrets.

She stood, trembling, as the fifty feet between them dwindled to ten. When he was close enough for her to make out the stubble lining his jaw, his legs stopped moving, but his gaze tore over her. The impassioned glare was without direction, a harsh reflection of the hard lines edging his face. The warm brown eyes she remembered were now a bitter shade of espresso.

“What are you doing here?” he asked.

The words, tense with fury, sent her backpedaling against the concrete wall. Too late, she realized she no longer knew this man. They were kids when they’d parted ways, too naïve to realize they’d never keep those breathless promises. At least she’d been that way. His tone suggested otherwise.
They were alone in the deeply shadowed belly of Barrier Shoals Light. And for the first time within those walls, Laney tasted fear.

“Was I supposed to wait for you?” he asked.

Seven years had passed since her weak-kneed promise to return to him. She didn’t have an answer for that.

He took another step, boxing her against the curvature of the rock. He stood close—so close, she had to tip her head to meet his eyes.

And she summoned courage to do it.

“Was I?” he asked, his voice softer now. He leaned closer. The stifling heat morphed into sexual innuendo, his skin slick with sweat, daring her to touch.

She was one careless thought away from taking him up on that unspoken suggestion. Her fingers itched to claw through his hair, to draw him closer until the distance between them evaporated. Memories of frantically grasping for purchase against the stone wall besieged her, curling fear into boundless adrenaline. “Did you?”

Her words coaxed a slow grin from his sensual mouth. “Was I supposed to?”


Seven years of longing comes down to just one night.

Laney Kent returns to Barrier Shoals hoping to reunite with her first love, Bridger. She anticipates his reception might be chilly, but what she doesn’t expect is to become the victim of a deadly obsession … or that this night with Bridger could be her last.

Bridger Jansen tangled a lot of sheets trying to forget about Laney, but his heart knew what the rest of him refused to admit: he could love no one else. He’s determined not to forgive her for leaving him without explanation, but when he fails to protect her from a viscous attack, the person he can’t forgive just might be himself.

Only $1.50 at Noble Romance!