Monday, November 17, 2014

Latest Interview, New Kitten, Next Book and more!

I've been quite scarce in the blogosphere the past few months, popping in every so often at the Heartwarming blog...but that's been about it. I've missed you all, but sometimes things happen we can't control. Shortly after returning from Nationals, I became very ill, spending most of August with a fever, flu-like symptoms and foggy brain. It turns out, I had stage 2 Lyme Disease...a diagnosis that came the day I got my revisions for my second book.

Of course, the die-off reaction I had when I began Lyme treatment was severe and the arthritic and nerve pain (I had a lot of neurological manifestations) made typing nearly impossible. After a few weeks, I managed somewhat, but I had to reserve all my typing energy for revisions, and that meant no blogging (because it really hurt). I still  have some symptoms, but I'm doing so much better now and improving daily. Now, Murphy's Law, right when my hands were not functional, all my major appliances had to break down, including but not limited to my microwave and dishwasher. Sigh.

Also, last month, I had to nurse my eldest through a terrible, resistant strain of pneumonia. We're talking fevers of 103-104.5 while on medication, and an antibiotic that didn't work. He ended up on two different oral antibiotics, plus daily injections (in lieu of hospitalization). Luckily, he finally responded to treatment and is doing well...BUT...I ended up with two weeks of bronchitis that turned into laryngitis and was finally diagnosed with pneumonia myself. Not as bad a case as my kid's, but bad enough, given my asthma. I'm still recovering, but at last I have enough energy to rejoin the world.

A million other things were going on through all this and my stress levels were out the roof, but things are starting to look up now and I have some news to share (warning: cute kitten coming up)!

First of all, my latest interview at USA Today's Happy Ever After is up! It's with fellow animal lover and author Kate James and you can check it out HERE!

Secondly, my second book in my Harlequin Heartwarming series is due to release March 1st, 2015! Yay!! It's titled After the Silence and you can check out the blurb or pre-order HERE.

And finally...

I adopted another kitten from out local SPCA! Those of you who hung around here last November may recall that I adopted two brother kittens (Nimbus and Storm...or as my kid says, Stormageddon) who were taken in after their mother was killed by a car. THIS is the post I had up with their pics at the time. They're much bigger now and the best cats ever.

Well, they've just been joined by a little boy who looks like a Maine Coon mix. My teen named him Grimalkin (Grim for short) after the character in The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa (Harlequin Teen).

Now, cuddling with him makes the past few months worth it :). I hope you all have been well. See you around!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Giveaway & HEA Interview!

Happy September everyone! I hope those of you in the U.S. and Canada had a great Labor Day weekend. Today marks the first day of school in my area and fellow Harlequin Heartwarming author Catherine Lanigan and I are blogging together at the Heartwarming blog and giving away a gift bag designed for kicking back and relaxing with a book and a cup of tea (see pic ;).

The gift bag giveaway includes:

Autographed copies of Catherine Lanigan’s Love Shadows and Heart’s Desire
Autographed copy of Rula Sinara’s The Promise of Rain with matching bookmark

A canvas tote bag, approx 15x15in, (great for lunches, books, groceries & more) imprinted with the cover of The Promise of Rain

A 16 oz, BPA free, Stainless Steel Contigo Travel Tumbler

Teatulia Black Tea, Organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified

A custom ‘Sweet and Heartwarming’ bracelet from the Harlequin Heartwarming authors and…

A ‘Think Harlequin’ button pin

(Please note: The gift bag drawing is open only to entries from U.S. or Canadian residents. One winner will be chosen by random drawing. All other entries (international) will be placed in a drawing for an e-book copy each of Love Shadows, Heart’s Desire and The Promise of Rain.)

All you have to do to enter is hop on over to the Heartwarming blog and leave a comment. Pretty cool, huh?
Here's the link:

Oh, and one more link...

My latest USA Today HEA interview is up! It's with Harlequin Superromance author Claire McEwen and she shares her personal experience growing up with an alcoholic parent. Please check it out HERE!

Have a great day!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

RWA Nationals 2014

I usually get my photos from RWA Nationals posted within a day or two after the meeting, but better late than never! Every year at Nationals is a different, fabulous experience. This year in San Antonio was extra special because I went as a published author and got to sign at the Readers for Life Literacy Autographing. My first book signing! I was even asked to sign a few of the canvas totes with my book cover you can see too the far right in the photo :).

Thanks to Beth Andrews for sending her hubby over to take that photo, otherwise, I wouldn't have one. And thanks to Jeannie Watt and her daughter Jamie for helping get me set up.

Having a huge number of Harlequin Heartwarming authors attend this year was another reason the meeting was so great! Getting to meet face-to-face was wonderful and working together to promote the line was a blast. Everyone met early one morning to put together bags for the Librarian's Day luncheon/Book Fiesta. Cheryl Harper made the cutest labels for the water bottles we included!

We also joined forces in the Goody Room. I'm pretty sure the airport security guys who searched my luggage raised a brow or two at the fact that I had one entire suitcase stuffed with books and craft supplies...including a hot glue gun. A few hours in my hotel room and I had this box ready for action.

 Copies of Harlequin Heartwarming books flew out of our box so fast, we could barely keep up! Our 'Sweet & Heartwarming' bracelets were super popular too.

Heartwarming authors at the Book Fiesta: Pamela Tracy, me, Cheryl Harper and Melinda Curtis
The lovely and talented Anna J Stewart made all her fellow HW attendees these custom pins. Mine has an elephant because of my book...and she even made us mini book pins!

And now I'll just run through pics...

Jamie Steinman, Jeannie Watt & Kimberly Van Meter: best roomies ever!
Me, Jamie and Jeannie
And I was so happy to see Cathryn Parry and Karen Foley again and to meet Nina Nilay Singh.

Cathryn, Karen, me, Nina
The Harlequin Heartwarming authors had a fab time when we got together for dinner at Boudro's on the Riverwalk. I wish I had more photos (my phone cam is terrible in dim lighting) but I only have a few. For those of you who followed our #GoHeartwarming and 'Where is Tori' social media fun leading up to Nationals, you'll notice Tori (aka the HW Barbie mascot) joined us for dinner too. Here she is with fellow Heartwarmer Carol Ross.

Tori and Carol
And with namesake Senior Editor of Harlequin Heartwarming, Victoria Curran.

Victoria and Tori
Now, no RWA Nationals is complete without the Harlequin PJ party! In celebration of my debut, The Promise of Rain, I sported a custom made (aka iron on transfer) t-shirt with baby elephants on it, elephant earrings and giant fuzzy elephant slippers. I wasn't the only animal lover at the party! Check out Harlequin Forum moderator, Love Inspired author & fellow chicken lover Dream/Danica Favorite's chicken pj's.

Danica and me
Other buddies at the pj party...

Pamela Tracy and Karen Rock

BBA Finalist buddies Barbara Wallace and Cathryn Parry

Barbara Wallace and me
One of the big events at Nationals is the Harlequin Book Signing. Awesome ladies Karen Rock and Jennifer Snow represented Harlequin Heartwarming. 

Karen (in red) and Jennifer
Karen Rock
And awesome Harlequin Superromance authors Beth Andrews and Jeannie Watt...

Jeannie and Beth

I really admire what Brenda Novak has done for diabetes research through her Brenda Novak Auction for Diabetes Research. She raised well over a quarter of a million this year! Participating with my fellow Heartwarming authors this year was an honor, as was getting to meet Brenda in person. She's such a genuinely sweet person. Check out an interview fellow HW author Kate James did with Brenda HERE.

Brenda Novak

Walking out of the signing, I ran into a lovely person I'd interviewed and met online, but never in person...Nicole Flockton. She was even nicer in person :).

Nicole and me
Later on, I finally got to meet fellow organic gardening lover, Harlequin forum friend and super Supers author Holly Jacobs! She's truly uplifting and full of glee. #OMGHollyJacobs!

Me and Holly
And then came the famous Harlequin Party. This year we got red dancing socks. Last year's were pink and I wore them whenever I was writing during the winter. They're so comfy. Anway, the party was fantastic as usual and everyone burned off plenty of calories dancing. 

Jennifer Snow, me, Carol Ross & Amy Vastine taken w/Amy's camera
Karen Rock and Kate James
Sweet authors Roz Denny Fox and Marion Ekholm
Jennifer Snow's shoes. Her fancy heels are a tradition ;).
Jeannie Watt's fabulous dress...which she made herself!!! This woman can sew like nobody's business. Seriously. And her specialty is vintage dresses. You should check out pics of what she's made at her blog Retro Sewing Romance Writer.

And I leave you with our group Heartwarming photo. Pamela Tracy did join the fun but we'd already taken the pic :(.

Top left to right: Tara Randel, me, Roz Denny Fox, Kate James, Cheryl Harper, Anna J Stewart, Karen Rock, Amy Vastine
Bottom left to right: Victoria Curran, Jennifer Snow, Carol Ross, Marion Ekholm
We had an incredible Heartwarming Open House as well and Nationals came to a close with the RITA/GH awards ceremony. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners this year!

Amy Vastine, me, Pamela Tracy, Tara Randel and Carol Ross at the Awards ceremony
Whew! I know that was a lot of pics, but I hope you enjoyed them. I met so many more people who I haven't mentioned or don't have a photo of. Every one of them was amazing. No amount of pics can express the supportive spirit, friendship and unmatched energy that envelopes you at an RWA Nationals meeting. I always return recharged and ready to write. 

And btw, I'm also blogging at the Heartwarming Blog today, where I'm doing a drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card, so go leave a comment! Of course, I'd love for you to leave one here too :).

Have a great one! 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Coastlines and Crime with Carol Kilgore!

What better way to celebrate our last month of summer break than a visit to the Texas coastline with resident crime fighter writer and super friend, Carol Kilgore? As Queen of The Tiki Hut, Carol knows all about hosting a nice, relaxing time at the beach...but she can't relax for long, because she always finds herself in the middle of a thrilling, dangerous situation...and this time it involves SECRETS OF HONOR. 

Carol, hanging out with you is always so much fun! Now I'm dying to know what those secrets are! But you're forgiven for not giving away any secrets just yet, since you're giving away an Amazon Gift Card this month! (See details below)

Thanks so much for hosting me, Rula. I’ll be guest blogging someplace every week in August in the run-up to the release of my third novel – Secrets of Honor – on September 15. I’m thrilled to kick this off by blogging with you.

Like my first two books, this story is set in the Coastal Bend of Texas. These three books are standalones with different story worlds, but they’re each set in separate Coastal Bend locations.

For those of you not familiar with Texas geography, the Texas Coastal Bend is roughly the area between Port O’Connor and Baffin Bay, where the Texas coastline curves from running east-to-west to running north-to-south. Ocean currents meet here, the fishing is outstanding, the beaches are wide, and the weather becomes more tropical. It’s also a hotbed for passion and intrigue...especially if you’ve lived there and have a vivid imagination J

There’s nearly always an afternoon and evening breeze to help you cool off from the daytime heat. So if you’ve recently returned from RWA Nationals in San Antonio, you know how important a little air movement can be!

The largest city in the Coastal Bend is Corpus Christi – the setting for Secrets of Honor. Just a few weeks ago, Corpus was named one of the ten happiest cities in our country. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I like it. I hope you’ll like it, too!

While I’m out and about, I’d also like to share a few offerings with you.

First, I’ve recently begun a monthly contest on my website – Click on the Contest tab and play along – you can answer with one word or a little story – the choice is yours. This month I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner.

Second, this week only, the Kindle version of my debut novel, In Name Only, is on sale at Amazon for $0.99. Get your copy now!


By the end of a long evening working as a special set of eyes for the presidential security detail, all Kat Marengo wants is to kick off her shoes and stash two not-really-stolen rings in a secure spot. Plus, maybe sleep with Dave Krizak. No, make that definitely sleep with Dave Krizak. The next morning, she wishes her new top priorities were so simple.

As an operative for a covert agency buried in the depths of the Department of Homeland Security, Kat is asked to participate in a matter of life or death—locate a kidnapped girl believed to be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. Since the person doing the asking is the wife of the president and the girl is the daughter of her dearest friend, it’s hard to say no.

Kat and Dave quickly learn the real stakes are higher than they or the first lady believed and will require more than any of them bargained for.

The kicker? They have twenty-four hours to find the girl—or the matter of life or death will become more than a possibility.


Carol Kilgore sees mystery and subterfuge everywhere. And she’s a sucker for a good love story—especially ones with humor and mystery. Crime Fiction with a Kiss gives her the latitude to mix and match throughout the broad mystery and romance genres. Having flexibility makes her heart happy.

You can connect with Carol and her books here:

Carol, thanks for visiting with me today! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Secrets to Synopsis Writing, Upcoming Interviews and more!

I'm back from RWA Nationals in San Antonio and I have to say that I had a fabulous time. Stay tuned for a post on Nationals complete with pics in the next few days! In the meantime, I have two new writing related posts up:

Secrets to Synopsis Writing - over at Kelly Steel's Chasing Happy Ever After blog and...

Muse-Jogging Tips & Alternatives - over at Romance Book Paradise

Also, I'll be interviewing some fabulous authors over at USA Today's Happy Ever After blog in the next few months, starting with the incredible and lovely Catherine Lanigan, the real author behind the character, 'Joan Wilder', who wrote the famous Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile. Look for the interview on August 1st (I'll post the link here or check out the right column when it goes live). Check out my 'upcoming interviews' in the right column to see who'll be in the spotlight in September and October!


And if you can't wait to see at least a few of the upcoming pics, check out the one's I tweeted from Nationals @RulaSinara but I'll post even more here soon :).

I hope everyone is having a fab summer! I'll see you soon :).

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Giveaway: Show your 'Sweet and Heartwarming' spirit!

Happy July, everyone! This month is all about celebrating. My friends up North kicked it off with Canada Day and here in the U.S. we're getting ready for an 'Independence Day' Friday full of fun and fireworks. July is also an extra special month for the romance writing community because, on July 23rd, the Romance Writers of America annual National Convention kicks off. So many opportunities this month for friends and family to gather together...and what's more heartwarming than that? ;)

The Harlequin Heartwarming authors want to help spread the 'sweet and heartwarming' spirit, so we're doing a month long giveaway of 50 spirit bracelets like the one shown in the photo above. Details, rules, regulations and all that jazz can be found at the Heartwarming Authors blog HERE. But to give you an idea of how this giveaway will work, here's a copy of the main part of that post:

  1. Tell us via social media how much you love Sweet and Heartwarming Romance! Post a comment here. Post a comment on our Facebook page under our Sweet and Heartwarming Posts (and like us!). Share our post on Facebook with the#GoHeartwarming hashtag. Tweet about our giveaway: I love Sweet and Heartwarming Romance! #GoHeartwarming. Spread the word on Goodreads. Every comment/post/share/like/tweet/hashtag is an entry. We'll track entries each week!  We're giving away 50 bracelets to our social media supporters during the month of July!  
  2. To our sweet romance fans and our writing sisters who'll be attending either the RWA Literacy Booksigning July 23rd in San Antonio at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter OR attending the RWA conference July 23-26, if you come across a Harlequin Heartwarming Author wearing a pin like the one shown below (green beads and the distinctive "H"), all you have to do is say: I love Sweet and Heartwarming Romance! And you're an instant winner!

Sharing the love on blogs and forums counts too! All you have to do is leave a comment on the 'Sweet and Heartwarming' post on the Heartwarming Authors blog and/or here...and be sure to include a link back to where you mentioned your love of sweet and heartwarming romance. We just need to be able to keep track for the weekly drawings (again, check the link for details).

And for those of you who read the fine print and are bummed that winners have to live in the U.S., I'm going to add a separate (international) giveaway that includes anyone who leaves a comment and 'link back' here on this blog. If you spread the spirit through social media, as stated above, but aren't a U.S. resident, then leave your 'I love sweet and heartwarming' comment here on this blog with a link back to where you spread the, state your country (no specifics, just country)...that way we'll know which giveaway it's for (note: if you're a U.S. res. then you'll be entered for the bracelet too). On July 28th, I'll randomly draw one winner. The prize: An autographed copy of my Harlequin Heartwarming, The Promise of Rain, along with a matching bookmark. Be sure to check back here on July 31st so that I can get contact info from the winner!

Now, go spread the spirit of all things sweet and heartwarming! :)