February Newsletter

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February 2013
Volume XX

Dear friends: 

Happy New Year! I hope your winter is going well. We haven’t had more than a lick of snow in Nashville, which is quite upsetting. We have another month of cold weather ahead though, so there’s a chance we’ll see some white stuff. I do hope so! 


I’ve been hunkered down working hard on my collaboration with the divine Catherine Coulter. We have a new title for the first book in the Brit in the FBI series. It’s going to be called THE FINAL CUT, and we anticipate the book will be on sale in September. I’m always loath to discuss works in progress, but I will tell you it’s nearing completion, it is the most international book I’ve ever worked on, and there’s a prophesy at play. I can’t wait for you to read it! 


Now, I’ve been receiving oodles of mail asking about a new Taylor Jackson novel. I know, I miss her too. For the time being, I’m focused on expanding the Samantha Owens series, and writing the Brit in the FBI books with Catherine. I will get back to a full length Taylor and Baldwin book, I promise. 

Since I can’t let her go completely, I’m writing Taylor novellas that carry on her story, acting as bridges to the next T.J. series title. 

What’s a novella, you ask? It’s a very long short story, and I’ve just released Taylor’s latest adventure, WHITEOUT, in the ebook original STORM SEASON, written with fellow suspense novelists Erica Spindler and Alex Kava. It’s a vital part of Taylor’s story, so I encourage you to buy the book and get your T.J. fix! Plus, you’ll get awesome novellas from Alex and Erica. Three big fat stories in one book — the perfect read for a cold winter’s eve. 


2013 is going to be slow in terms of appearances — I have so many writing projects underway I need to stay home and get them finished. Here’s my sparse little schedule. I hope to see you at one of these events!

February 17 8p - 11p Eastern 
Writerspace Valentine Soiree
Writerspace authors are giving away Kindles & 100+ books & prizes at their Valentine Party 2/17. I'll be there chatting from 8:30-9pm EST. Come hang out with me! And don't forget sign up to win prizes! 
March 24—27
Left Coast Crime
Colorado Springs, Colorado
April 21
Southern Kentucky Bookfest
Bowling Green, Kentucky
June 8
Heart of Dixie Luncheon(Keynote Address)
Huntsville, Alabama
July 10-13
Craftfest and Thrillerfest
New York, New York

Books I Recommend

If I’m not reading, I’m not writing, which is all the more true when I’m on deadline. I need lush escapes, rewards during breaks, books I can’t drag myself away from. So I’ve been rereading Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER series. If you’re not familiar with Diana’s work, she’s a genius, and her stories are bawdy and funny, full of historical detail, swashbuckling and loads of sexy love. The perfect treat after a long day’s work.

I’m also reading Jennifer Kloester’s biography of Georgette Heyer. From the age of nineteen until she passed, she published a book a year, and in the course of her career, gave a single interview. 55 books, and one interview. I’m fascinated by the idea. In our current social media environment, would she have been able to stick to her guns, refusing to talk about herself, letting her work speak for her? You all know I feel writing is more important than networking. I’m looking forward to learning more about her, and have also bought The Talisman Ring to enjoy when I finish THE FINAL CUT

I’ve just finished INDIGO AWAKENING by Jordan Dane. Jordan is a fascinating writer who does both adult thrillers and YA paranormal. She was a guest on my blog last month too. Definitely check her out. 

And one of my favorite writers has a new book out this month. Lisa Gardner’s TOUCH AND GO looks phenomenal. I can’t wait to read it. 

I’ve made a commitment to track all my reading this year, so if you’re on Goodreads, friend me, and follow along. I’m always interested in what you’re reading, too! 


Every month there’s a new contest on my site. The February contest is live now — enter to win a $25 gift certificate to your choice of bookstore. And hey, tell your friends, too! 

February Recipe

Meatballs are an Italian staple, and I’m always questing to find good ones in restaurants. Easier said than done, sadly. This recipe is my favorite — quick, easy and delicious. It’s adapted from Marcella Hazan’s ESSENTIALS OF ITALIAN COOKING — my Italian cooking bible.


  • 1 slice good—quality white bread
  • ⅓ cup skim milk
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano—reggiano cheese (asiago works well, too)
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fine, dry, Italian bread crumbs on a plate (if you’re gluten-free, Kellogg’s Corn Flake
  • Breadcrumbs work wonderfully too, and you can adjust the earlier bread slice to gluten—free as well)
  • EVOO
  • Mezzetta Napa Valley Bistro Tomato Basil — or your own sauce. (Mezzetta’s is the closest to my homemade sauces I’ve ever found)
  • Spaghetti or your choice of pasta, cooked al dente


Trim away bread crust, put milk and bread in small pan over low heat. When bread has soaked up the milk, remove from heat and set aside. 
Mix meat, onion, parsley, the egg, a tablespoon of olive oil and a tiny grating of nutmeg. Add the bread and milk mush, and liberal amounts of salt and pepper. (It’s easier to mix the ingredients, then add the meat and gently knead them together.) 
Roll into balls — choose your size, natch — then roll in breadcrumbs. Add the meatballs to a sauté pan of hot EVOO and brown on all sides. 
Drain off the fat and add the tomato sauce to the pan. Cover and simmer on low for 25 minutes. 
Serve over pasta of your choice, and enjoy!

Man, now I’m hungry... 

Have a wonderful month, and I’ll see you in March! Keep reading! 



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