Blog Archives

Group Effort

Yesterday all five members of Chattanooga Romance 100_0736Authors (CARA) meet to talk writing, socialize, and put together their annual CARA basket for the Moonlight & Magnolias conference in Atlanta.

The first thing we did was have a meal honoring the women we’ve lost over the past two years.  During this time period, three of the five have lost our mothers, and one her mother-in-law. The odds against that happening must be astronomical, and yet it’s true. It was an odd meal, made up as it was of dishes chosen not to coordinate, but because they were dishes our loved ones preferred. The food went oddly well together, and we all came away satisfied.

Then came the main section of the day, the basket building. Our theme this year is “Southern Hospitality” and we had a ball putting our diverse items together. It’s odd, how, like the meal, our uncoordinated effort resulted in an amazing basket. If you come to the conference this year, be sure to take a look—and maybe put some tickets in our basket Winking smile. Actually, whether you put tickets in ours or someone else’s, do give it a shot. There are always great baskets, and the money goes to support literacy.

After the basket making, we had wonderful deserts and discussed writing and movies and how sexual attraction takes different forms for men than for women.

I’m excited about the M&M conference. It’s always great, but being with my CARA sisters, Laurie White, Nita Wick, Leigh Riker and our hostesses Kelle Z. Riley, makes it even better.


Have you ever made or put together something for a charitable cause?

Have you ever been to a writers, or whatever your industry is, conference?

Have you recently lost someone close to you? Tell me about him or her.


Have a great week!



If she can’t believe what she sees, can she believe what she feels?

When photojournalist Stephie Stephanova visits Ugly Creek, Tennessee to help her best friend, Madison, she expects a boring visit. Then she snaps a photo of something she shouldn’t have seen—and falls for a man she definitely shouldn’t have.

The Ugly Creek, light paranormal from The Wild Rose Press, available now!

The Real Women of CARA

CARA shoes at Moonlight & Magnolias

I’ve written about CARA before, and I’d like to introduce you to my fellow authors.

CARA is short for Chattanooga Area Romance Authors, a group of five romance writers—all published— who found each other and quickly became friends. Between the five of us, we represent most of the romance spectrum. There should be something here for just about everybody.

In reverse alphabetical order (because I have to be different), here are the women of CARA:

Nita Wick—published in historical and paranormal, Nita turned to contemporary romance in her latest novel, Designs on Haley now available.

Laurie White—Ardent animal lover and very sweet person, her novel Desert Heat will be out from Secret Cravings Publishing later this year.

Kelle Z. Riley—scientist during the day, romance writer at night. The multi-talented woman has more energy than one person should be allowed. Look for some news from her soon.

Leigh Riker—celebrates women with a long list of novels. The most prolific, and published, of our group, Leigh sets the standard for the rest of us.

Cheryel Hutton—Me! I just signed a new contract with The Wild Rose Press, and my new novel should be out early next year.

Have a great hump day!


It’s almost Halloween. Celebrate with a great haunted house read. Shadows of Evil available in both electronic and print format. Boo!

Blood, Fingerprints, and DNA

The forensics workshop at Moonlight and Magnolias conference.

For me, at least, the most fascinating workshop at Moonlight & Magnolias was Junkyard Forensics given by Sheryl McCollum . Fellow CARA members Laurie White, Kelle Z. Riley, and I had a great time learning.

Sheryl showed us how to take everyday materials and use them for forensic tools. Who knew cinnamon would show if there were fingerprints on a plate? Or that you could put food coloring in milk and use rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip, or even your finger, to make it spread out into a rainbow design? I didn’t, but I do now.
Other things I learned: fingerprint powder is really messy. Superglue really can uncover fingerprints. I got to see footprint casting powder. Found that 24 hours in a trunk and anyone can tell there was a dead body there. Flies tell the story of a dead body. That 24 hours is the life cycle of a maggot/fly. You can test ink and know if a pen wrote a certain document. That DNA can be processed in one day, but usually takes about 6 weeks.
We got to see touch and use those special flashlights (can’t remember the name) that show blood and stuff. Actually, they show blood, urine, bleach, and scorpions. Honest. And a few other things we won’t talk about. We  got to play a bit and discovered that the public bathrooms at our hotel were cleaned very well.

Food coloring and milk.

Sheryl is a wonderful speaker, and I learned a lot and had a great time. If I ever get another chance to hear her speak, I’ll be there.


Have a great week!


I’m The Baby

Baby Dinosaur

Today’s Friday Fun is in honor of Nita Wick, the “baby” of CARA–Chattanooga Area Romance Authors. OK, and because I LOVED this show. Enjoy!