Saturday, June 30, 2007

Lifting Weights

Ah, you thought this would be a post on exercise, didn't you? :-)

Nope, it's all about the way a person feels a gazillion pounds lighter after something pressing, or heavy, has been hoisted off their shoulders. Or thrown off. Or shrugged off, even. Whatever. I'm just so beyond-words happy my edits for Snowdance are done. I woke at 2:35 this morning, realized I was finished, and smiled in the darkness. Then, I rolled over and went back to sleep, something I haven't been able to do for weeks. No, I've been getting up before dawn and working, but now that I've got this one in the bag, I've got a chance to breathe. And sleep. And do any of the other stuff that other people do. Ahh...

Happy Saturday. My wonderful husband and I are going on an adventure today, and I know we're going to have a blast. Oh, where are we going? Sorry, that's a secret. But I hope you and yours have a great day, and a wonderful weekend!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Ta Da!

Ta Da!!

Turned in my final edits on Snowdance! YAY!!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hello? Mother Nature?

I've just got to say it. I'm going to spit it out and you all can think I'm cracked if you'd like, but I can't hold it in.

I've waited for rain for two days. Count 'em. Two. Days.

Every day the blasted weather forecaster promises "showers by the end of the day." Yeah. Right. Well, I see how seriously she takes her promises. All I know, my grass is turning yellow. And it bugs me. Big time.

So...anyone got any rain dances hiding up their sleeves? Or do you think someone could convince Mother Nature to let loose over my yard, instead of trying to wash Texas into the Gulf? Hmm?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Home Stretch

I'm in the home stretch on my edits of Snowdance. I don't know if this happens to everyone, but I can tell you that once I've read something I've written over a dozen times, it all starts to look fine to me. My mind sort of fills in the blanks and I "see" the words I want to see, or the punctuation I think it should have, and I think I kind of lose the ability to effectively self-edit. I've put this manuscript aside for a few days, and have worked on other things. Now, I'm ready to hit the home stretch, to give it a close-to-last going over. Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Just Stuff

Last night I was speaking on the phone with my father and he asked what I'm working on now. It's great that he's so interested in my writing career; it makes me feel wonderful and it's fun to talk "shop" with him for a few minutes now and again. But as I answered his question, I realized that for a writer, the answer is never a simple one.

I mean, if I was writing one book, and there was nothing else in the works, the answer might be easy. Short. Simple. But that's not the case.

Bear with me...

Just got the full Snowdance manuscript back from my editor, reassembled and with all changes to date. Now I've got to reread the novel, make any additional changes and send it back to her so she can format and submit it. Then, a galley copy will come and need to be read. Then, the print test copy. So there's still heaps to do with that one. It's not in the bag yet!

And I got my proposed cover for Snowdance the other night. It was beautiful, but not exactly what I had in mind. Some parts just didn't quite fit, so the art director, being wonderfully gracious and accomodating, is reworking the original cover. I've been holding my breath, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new cover. I know it will be perfect.

Between all of this, I'm contemplating preliminary edits for the next novel scheduled for release, Vineyard Mambo. It doesn't come out until March 1st but the time when I'll be editing will be during the holidays, so I thought I might just get a jump on this one. That's the plan, anyway. We'll see if it happens!

Oh, and I'm writing a new novel, called Hope Mountain. I'm fortunate to have a co-writer on this one, my darling husband. We are having a blast talking about the scenes, characters, plot and dialogue. He's got great ideas and the writing is going really, really well. I'd like to have this finished by the time Snowdance releases, but that depends on how fast our grass grows!

Because really, writers are just ordinary people, who have to cut grass, cook dinner, shop for groceries and do all the other stuff that everyone else does. It's sometimes hard to squash everything in, but it's always rewarding to be able to do what I love, with the people I love all around me. So, if our grass grows really, really fast, Hope Mountain may not be done until September. Or, if we spend lots of time dancing beneath the stars, edits might have to wait--and you know, that's what I'm hoping for. Let the edits wait. The novels will keep. I'm all for dancing with my man. :)

So really, I guess my dad got a bigger, more convoluted answer than he expected to get. The behind-the-scenes aspect of writing, the stuff involved, is sometimes a mouthful.

But then, it's the stuff that life, and dreams, are made of...

Friday, June 22, 2007

It's a date!

I found out this morning that I have a release date for Finally, This Season, the English Tea Rose story being published by The Wild Rose Press. A fun little story, set in Regency England, Finally, This Season will be out on...drum roll, please...July 25th!!

I am thrilled!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


How many of you are thinking about Halloween on this bright, sunny almost-summer morning? Thanksgiving? Christmas? All right, how about New Year's? Hmm?

Well, if you're one of my writer friends, you may well be thinking of the holidays. I know I am. For a writer, holiday thought comes early. There are only a few publishers that are still accepting submissions for holiday releases for '07. So, if a writer is to have a holiday-themed release, it needs to be written by now.

Me? I'm still thinking about it. I have an idea, but may not have the time. Oh well, maybe next year. This year I'll just kick back and read the luscious holiday offerings written by others.

And today, I'm going to enjoy the cloudless blue sky and warm breezes. Maybe plant a flower or two. Or three. What about you? How will you spend this gorgeous June day? :)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Edits, yet again

Yep, I'm still blathering on about edits. But really, that's what I'm doing. Down to the last two chapters of Snowdance. Then I'll go through the manuscript a second time, and hopefully that'll be it. It's hard to believe the book releases on August 1st, but it does. Soon, I'll have an excerpt for you. But for now, the update on editing progress will have to do.

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 14, 2007



Oh. Right. Blog post.

Um...inspiration, anyone?

I hate to admit it, but all I can think about at this moment are the Snowdance edits (I've been working on them since 2 am, but you're tired of hearing about that, I'm sure) and the crew of men who will be at our house in the very, very near future -- like, within an hour or so. Eeek!
But you're tired of hearing about them, too, aren't you? Admit it, I won't get offended. Well, maybe not much... so really, what can I say? I've just told you the two topics on my sleep-deprived mind, and both are dull as dirt right now, so...I got nuthin'...sorry.

All I can think to say is Siento, pero mi cerebro debe almorzar.


Quite simply, I said, "I'm sorry, but my brain is out to lunch.", but hasn't anyone told it I haven't even had breakfast yet?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Outside the Box

If you know me, you know I very often begin my day in the early morning hours, say 3 or 4 am. I get up and take care of writing business, then settle down and write for a few hours. That way I have my days and nights free to do other things. It works pretty well for me. I get an awful lot accomplished, and although I "crash" and fall asleep around 9pm once or twice each week, I don't much mind the weird schedule. It suits my needs, and those of the people I love, so I think I'll stick with it.

But last night I tried something new. I went to bed at 11, but after a full day's worth of hammering, my ears were ringing and I couldn't get to sleep. The sound of silence was keeping me awake, too. I realized it was the perfect opportunity to work on my Snowdance edits. So I rose and worked for a few hours, finally turning in around 3 am. Still, I got up at 6, so I could shower and dress before the crew's arrival.

Yep, it's gonna be a long day here in my world. But at least I finished editing Chapter 9. Today, Chapters 10 and 11. Wish me luck! :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Crew & Edits

Oh, and just so you know...the crew is here, working on the house. They all seem to be a great bunch of guys, and they're doing a fantastic job but they really have some loud power tools!

Snowdance edits are just a little more trying than I'd anticipated, honestly.

Finally, This Season Cover!

Isn't this cover gorgeous? I'm in love with it, completely. It suits the story, it suits me...what more could I want in a cover? This will be my first story with the English Tea Rose line at The Wild Rose Press. My experience with Nicola, my editor, has been wonderful. She's made getting this short story ready for publication a real dream experience.
And I love this cover! Love it!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Out to sea

All right, I'll admit it. Edits on Snowdance got under my skin this afternoon. But, you've got to understand some things. First, I wrote this book three years ago, so really, it needs a lot of polishing. And, as I said yesterday, time is tight. So I rose at 3 am, tended to other writing-related tasks, and then settled down to work on edits just about 8 am.

About 8:02, the crew--the wonderful crew!--of men who are working on insulating and siding our home arrived. All of them. And their trucks. And the trailer filled with boxes of siding material. That, seeing the siding for the first time, was really, really exciting. And under normal circumstances, having six very nice men in our yard wouldn't be at all distressing. Under normal circumstances. But as I wrestled with Chapter 6, my mind started to slip. I admit it, I came close--very close--to a meltdown. Fortunately my darling husband saw my impending melt, and took the situation in hand.

He hustled me, my current reading-for-pleasure book (one that I haven't written!) and a bottle of iced tea out the back door. We have a small pond on our property, and a leaky rowboat that we use on the pond. Riding the backyard sea is one of my favorite activities and my husband knows it, so he put me in the boat and pushed me away from the dock.

It was the best thing anyone could have done for me. I floated, rowed, read and sipped for two glorious hours. Then, I came back to Chapter 6, and the editing went well. Tomorrow I'll begin with the next chapter, and hopefully that will go easily, too. If not? I can always head out to sea again.

That seems to do the trick for me!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Nerves of Steel?

Yesterday I began working on edits for Snowdance. Yes, you read that right. Edits. For Snowdance.

Yep, it releases in just about six weeks.

Ha! So you thought edits were always done waaaaay in advance? HA! Well, now you know. Six weeks on this one.

Thankfully, I have been waiting for this moment so I've pretty much cleared my schedule. Well, almost cleared it. I'll have a few sleepless nights before the end of the month but I'm confident I'll meet all my obligations. And I'm thankful, too, to have an excellent editor on this project. Chere is easy to work with and wonderful about keeping close contact with her authors. I know she's completely available to advise at any moment, and she's always got the right answer. What more could an author want in an editor?

So for the next few weeks I'll try and ignore the workmen in our yard and the scaffolding surrounding it, and get down to work on edits for Snowdance. I'm thrilled to be doing this. First novels may not always be an author's best work, but they are typically the fulfillment of a dream. And that, dear friends, is worth having to develop nerves of steel.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Welcome New Reader

Yes, that's right, I have a new reader. I won't let on who the very special reader is, but she knows I'm talking about her here. She's finally found her way to the world wide web, and my blog. Go figure.

Welcome, Mom. :)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Ah, it's not even "officially" summer, but the days are warm and sultry and I feel the lure of the great outdoors. So hard to write while I'm staring out the window at the silky teal sky, green grass and bobbing pink peonies. Writing during the warm months really requires much more discipline for me than writing when the snow flies. I am still managing a few thousand words each day, but it seems to pull more out of me than it usually does.

Also, we have a load of other distractions around our house right now. The gardens, hiking in the forest in search of wildflowers and summer reading--they all call to me. Oh, and the crew of men who are working in our yard? Yeah, they're a distraction, too. Big time. We're having our house resided, so there is a wealth of banging and sawing going on here all day long. I'm thrilled about the renovation, but this is really wreaking havoc on my writing schedule!

No complaints here, just observations about why summer distractions can sometimes be...distracting.

Until next time...

Sunday, June 03, 2007


I've been talking for so long about Snowdance, the first of my novels to be published. I realized this morning that many --most, actually-- of you don't know what the book is about. So, with that in mind, I'm posting the blurb for the book.

Here it is, the first peek at the story of Snowdance...

Can a nearly 100-year-old woman still have time for a final adventure? And if so, what kind of last hurrah could she possibly have?

A blizzard rages outside Elinor Montoya's window. Watching it from the comfort of the home that she has lived in for her entire life, she feels neither frightened nor lonely. She has her memories to keep her company.

As the snow falls, Elinor recalls the years that have passed so quickly. She considers the mother who died giving her life, the doting father who was called from her just when she expected they would have more time together, and the cousin who she's held closer than a sister for nearly a century.

Elinor revisits, through letters and in her mind, the chapters of her life that are as varied as the snow that drifts to the ground outside her window. She thinks of her husband, who went off to War and returned a changed man. She thinks of the truest joy in her life, her son Jamie.

She wonders if, on such a bleak, snowy day, there isn't still time for her to have one final adventure ... just one last little thrill before moving on to what surely can't be too far in her future.

Snowdance is the story of a life well lived, and the possibilities that are open to us every day of our lives, if we only open ourselves to seeing them. Elinor Montoya? She sees.

Snowdance will be available from Whiskey Creek Press on August 1st.

Recommended Read

Carly, from Fallen Angel Reviews, gave Freedom's Touch their highest rating! Five angels and a Recommended Read! I am so happy about this, I just had to share some of what she said with you!

"Freedom’s Touch by Sarita Leone is by far one of the best historical romances this reviewer has read in a long time. There is so much happening in this story that it is impossible not to become totally caught up from the very beginning. And even though there is a lot going on and a huge amount of historical information in this, it never feels cluttered or confusing. This is written in such a straightforward manner that even those who don’t particularly care for historical tales will enjoy this one. Because it is, through it all, an engrossing love story. The romance in Freedom’s Touch made me laugh and cry, and both were well worth it. I was completely hooked from the first page!...

The underlying themes of love, sacrifice and freedom are just a few of the things that make this story so great. It is not just an ordinary love story. It is a tale that brings forward the fact that even though times may be turbulent, there can be room for love and romance. Freedom’s Touch by Sarita Leone is a historical romance that will touch you not just once, but many times over. Then, it will stay in your heart forever. I loved it!"

Thank you Carly! The full review can be read here.

And you can buy it here.

I'm going to celebrate over this one!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Legal Tender Contract!

I've just signed a contract with Whiskey Creek Press to publish my novel, Legal Tender. I am so thrilled to have found a home for this book. I loved writing it and am very much looking forward to having it published.

This story is a romantic mystery, and the heroine must choose between three men--all while the ghost of her recently-deceased grandmother gives her hilarious tips and makes silly comments on dating, men, life, sex and the hereafter.

I had fun writing this book for a number of reasons, but one of the best was that every night while I was writing Legal Tender my mom would ask, "So what did the ghost grandmother do today?" I'd tell her whatever I'd written for the day and we shared the story, and laughed over it, while I wrote. It made writing this book even more fun.

Now, we'll get to laugh over it when it's published too! What more could anyone ask for?

First review for Whiskey Shots Volume 6

Fallen Angel ReviewerCarly reviewed my new release, and gave it five angels! I saw the new reviews this morning and was thrilled to see this is what she had to say:

"Whiskey Shots Volume 6: Press Pass Corfu & Mining Oatman by Sarita Leone is pure fun. A delightful, fast read, it makes me wonder what this author will come out with next. Whatever it is, I know I’m going to be reading it."

The full review can be seen here.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Whiskey Shots Release Day!

Today is the day of my first release with Whiskey Creek Press! I couldn't be more excited about this. My offering to the Whiskey Creek Press June line-up is a volume of two short stories, titled Whiskey Shots Volume Six: Press Pass Corfu & Mining Oatman.

The volume can be purchased in download ebook version here.

Blurbs for the two stories:

Press Pass Corfu is a tale of love set on an exotic Greek island. Lani Maxwell, star journalist, doesn’t want to interview Hollywood’s hottest movie director but he’s shooting a film on Corfu and her boss insists she do the interview. Setting off she’s doubtful she can get anything revealing from the man, but she’s determined to try. After all, isn’t that what journalists do? Get the story? But once she reaches the island, Lani finds that in a spot as magical as this one, one is likely to get more than they bargain for. And for her, the additional magic just might be something she’s never had before…love.

When Claire agrees to watch her sister Emily’s poodle, she has visions of taking long walks in the Arizona sunshine, Watson on his leash and her husband Charles by her side. She thinks she’ll get a chance to raid her sister’s wardrobe, visit Hoover Dam and relax while tumbleweeds drift in the distance. And that’s exactly what it looks like she’ll get—until Carole Lombards’ ghost pays her a tubside visit. Filled with love, intrigue and treasure in unexpected places, Mining Oatman is a story that is sure to entertain and amuse.

Now, off to celebrate!