Friday, August 12, 2011


My guest is award winning thriller-suspense-romance writer, Jo Robertson  She’s also a member of one my favorite groups, The Romance Bandits. 

Jo’s debut novel, THE WATCHER, won Romance Writers of America's 2006 Golden Heart Award for romantic suspense.

Jo is here to talk about wild turkeys…

Did your mind go straight to Wild Turkey Bourbon at the title of today's blog? Well, I'm not talking about that kind of wild turkey today. I'm talking about the feathered friend kind.

Sort of.

On the way to the dentist recently I nearly hit two wild turkeys with my car as they dashed across the street. The environmentalists in our town have done a good job of preserving creek and wooded areas, so I wasn't surprised to see the birds skitter across the four-lane road.

But seeing them me think about how writers are a bit like wild turkeys – they often stand out in crowds, mainly because their minds always seem to be somewhere else.

Writers think a lot. They think about thinking. It's called metacognition, and a writer metacognates all the time. If she did it in grade school, educators called her "easily distracted." In high school or college, she was "flighty," and in the work place, "unfocused."

In reality, writers are anything but distracted, flighty or unfocused. We wouldn't survive long in this industry if we were.

But we are free thinkers, letting our minds – conscious and subconscious alike – roam freely, snagging here and there on an idea, a phrase, a character, a scene, moving on , trolling deep waters or shallow pools. Hence, we may seem out of step with the people around us.

Our ideas and inspiration come from everywhere, skittering through our creative minds like those wild turkeys.

Photo Credit: Henry Zeman
Not only are we wild turkeys in our disparate ideas and stories, but we're like them in the venues we choose to publish through. We're all struggling to find a place in the publishing industry.

The truth is that the way we look at books, purchase them, and collect them is in the throes of significant change, and publishers of all kinds – the NY Big Six, small presses, e-publishers and digital first – are all scrambling to see what's going to happen to the book publishing industry.

It's not so much that digital publishing has increased significantly.  Electronic books still account for only about 15-20-% of the market, which leaves a good 80% to the print business. It's more how quickly digital publishing has increased – exponentially. And it's got everyone wondering what the future holds.

The one point all seem to agree on is we need writers! Writers of all kinds. Writers who think inside and outside the box, those who march in step with their fellow writers and those who march out of step to some weird meter in their heads.                                           

My journey into publishing began with the purchase of my Kindle in December. The moment I held that baby in my hands, I felt like I'd birthed another child. And I knew I'd never give it up. I also knew I'd never purchase another print book again unless it was a gift for someone without an e-reader or was unavailable electronically.

When I realized that the New York publishers weren't excited about my Golden Heart winning manuscript or my Daphne-winning story – too much romance, too little romance, not enough suspense, too much suspense, all of which I translated into "Where can we place your book on the shelf in the brick and mortar bookstore?" – I realized I needed to find a much bigger store.

A virtual bookstore. Digital publishing provides shelf upon shelf for the reader to pick among, and tons of tags, descriptors, and categories for them.

Deciding to take my career into my own hands, to move at my own pace, was a seminal moment for me. I like the control I have, choosing my own genres, setting my own pace.

Once I made the leap to indie publishing, I felt like one of those wild turkeys tripping across the road – free, but a wee bit scared I might get mowed down by a speeding car!

Now that The Watcher is in print and available soon electronically, I feel my wild turkey has come home to roost.

How about you, readers? What large or small decision have you made that felt wonderfully liberating or frighteningly scary? Share the deets.

Inquiring minds want to know!

The Watcher--Available now.

THE WATCHER Forensic psychiatrist Kate Myers believes the killer of two teenage girls in Bigler County, California, is the same man who savagely murdered her twin sister over fifteen years ago. Working on sheer tenacity, she sets out to prove it. Deputy Sheriff Ben Slater hides his personal pain behind the job, but Kate's arrival knocks his world on its axis. He wants to believe her wild theory, but the idea of a serial killer with this pathology is bizarre. Together they work to find a killer whose roots began in a small town in Bigler County, but whose violence spread across the nation. A Janus-like killer, more monster than man, fixates on Kate and wants nothing more than to kill her again. Excerpt

BUY: Available in print on Amazon  Available as e-book, August 19th. 

Like many writers, I penned my first story at a young age.  However, a family and a teaching career put my writing dreams on hold until my Advanced Placement seniors conned me into writing my first complete manuscript.  That story, which subsequently won RWA's Golden Heart Award in 2006, was THE WATCHER.

From the moment I put my fingers to the keyboard, the
barrier between my brain and the paper lifted, the story flew from my mind, and I fell in love with everything about the process of writing.

Raised as an Army brat, I lived in Germany as a child, Northern Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Idaho, and Utah before finally settling in Northern California.  Whenever I visit my sister in Virginia or my brothers in North Carolina and Florida, upon returning home I remember again why I love Northern California, home of the ancient redwoods, the fecund forests and the rugged Pacific Coastline.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Patricia Sargeant introducing Regina Hart

How often do you listen to your subconscious mind when writing? It pushes through with references and ideas but perhaps you rein it in too tightly perhaps out of fear or thinking readers wouldn't find it interesting.

My guest, Patricia Sergeant talks about finally listening to her subconscious mind and the roller-coaster ride it's taken her on.  

Sia, thank you so very much for allowing me back to chat with your community at Thoughts Over Coffee. It’s an honor and a pleasure to be here. There are few things I enjoy more than chatting about the business and the craft of writing.

This visit with old friends also gives me the opportunity to introduce my new alter ego, Regina Hart. Regina Hart’s debut coincides with the release of the first book in my contemporary romance trilogy featuring the Brooklyn Monarchs, a fictitious National Basketball Association team based in Brooklyn, New York, where I grew up. Fast Break introduces the Monarchs’ franchise owner, Jaclyn Jones, and the team’s rookie head coach DeMarcus Guinn. 

This trilogy is a good example of writing about what you know. I'm not by any stretch of the imagination and expert on basketball, but I do love the sport. I love the excitement, emotion, and suspense of a good competition. The roller-coaster ride of the game. Doesn't that also describe a good read? Excitement, emotion, suspense--a roller-coaster ride.

The birth of the Brooklyn Monarchs stories also is an example of my subconscious talking to me and of me finally listening. You see, I love basketball but I’m more of a football fan. If my New York Jets were on television at the same time as my New York Knicks, I’d watch the Jets game – and record the Knicks. But I’d noticed that I’d managed to put a basketball reference in all of my books. In You Belong to Me, my heroine, a Knicks fan, resents my hero because he’s a Lakers fan. In On Fire, my heroine watches basketball games with her mother. There’s a passing reference to a basketball jersey in Sweet Deception. Finally, my subconscious hit me over the head by making my Heated Rivalry a former NBA superstar. 

That’s when I developed the Monarchs trilogy.

As an author or aspiring author, have you managed to work any of your hobbies into your stories? As a reader, do you look for stories that include hobbies that interest you, whether sports, cooking, needlepoint or other hobbies?

Before I step away for a coffee refill, I’d like to thank everyone for stopping by to chat with me. If you have a moment, check out my Fast Break book video on my Regina Hart website,

FAST BREAK –Available now at your favorite bookstore.

It’s 24/7 money, fame, and game on-and off-the court. But the real action is behind the scenes in Regina Hart’s sizzling new pro b-ball series, where the stakes are everything and winning means playing for keeps…

He’s a two-time MVP and three-time championship winner. He lives to be the best. And now that he’s a first-time coach, DeMarcus Guinn will lead the NBA’s worst team to the top his way-or no way at all. But the team’s fiery franchise owner, Jaclyn Jones, is fighting him at every turn. And their unexpectedly seductive one-on-one is the kind of game time he can’t resist…

Turning her family’s team into winners is Jaclyn’s only hope of saving them and her community. She’s used to being in control, but DeMarcus’ determination-and the way he makes her feel-are like no moves she’s ever seen. And with everything they care about on the line, they’ll have to play to win … or lose their hearts. Excerpt

BUY: Amazon, Barnes and Noble Books-A-Million, Indiebound, Powells 

Patricia Sargeant writes romantic suspense under her own name and contemporary romance as Regina Hart. Patricia’s suspense puts ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Regina’s contemporary romances feature the franchise members and friends of the Brooklyn Monarchs, a fictitious National Basketball Association team set in Brooklyn, New York. You can learn more about Patricia’s books at Visit Regina and her Monarchs at Patricia and Regina love chatting with readers. You can contact both at


Monday, August 8, 2011


It’s one of those weeks I don’t have a lot to say. I know, imagine that?

I’m sitting here enjoying my beautiful rainy morning, cats lying beside the keyboard snoozing, a cool fresh drifting in the open windows, the sound of rain falling, the distant roll of thunder, and enjoying a cup of coffee. I’m actually feeling pretty good for a change and god knows I’ve been fighting hard to get better. Some days I win or at least I see progress so I count that as a win. :-)

I have some book winners—YAY! It’s always fun to win books, isn’t it? Gives you a chance to read new to you authors.

Drum roll and piper piping…

The Vampire Next Door, Ashlyn Chase. Laurie Creasy and Tonya Kappes

In The Heat of The Bite, Lydia Dare. Erin Knightley and Olivia Kelly

Redeeming The Rogue, Donna MacMeans. Libby

Touch If You Dare, Stephanie Rowe. Crystal Trent and VR Foster.

Ladies, if you will contact me with your mailing addresses, I’ll pass them on to the publisher to send out your copies. If you’ve already purchased the book or whatever, let me know and I can pull another name out of the hat.

Upcoming guests this week:

Patricia Sargeant, introducing a new series, and Jo Robertson.

  • What’s on your agenda today or this week?

Read any good books  you’d like to recommend?