Archive for August 2014 | Monthly archive page

August 30, 2014



LynnSexySaturday_buttonWelcome, welcome. This week’s My Sexy Saturday theme has forced me to dig deeply into my personal archives.

This week, we’re traveling the universe as we give our wonderful sci-fi romance, of any subgenre, a nod to entertaining us with their wonderful stories.

Y’all know by now that I write contemporary romantic comedy. What you probably don’t know is that one of the first stories I wrote (still unfinished, as a matter of fact) was a sci-fi/comedy/romance. It fills part of two spiral-bound wide-ruled notebooks, pencil on yellowing sheets.

A communications specialist named Marc—human, but from a distant utopian planet that’s nearly all water—scans the universe’s airwaves for beings open to alien contact. He sees an Earthling woman and—despite protests from his brother, who learned all he knows about Earth women from the movie “Earth Girls are Easy”—undertakes a mission to woo her, wed her and take her back to his planet.

Of course, mayhem ensues from the moment Marc sneaks aboard the space shuttle, which is docked at the International Space Station. (Brother Rik notes that Earthlings are the only species arrogant enough to assume no need for security in space.) He’s a fish out of water, so to speak, trying to fit into California culture, win over Kyree’s overprotective friends and convince her she’s meant to be his life mate.

This story will probably never see the light of day. I started it in the mid-90s, long before I joined RWA and started learning about the craft. That means it’s rife with head-hopping, telling instead of showing and other beginner mistakes.

But the premise is fun and I had a blast writing the parts I finished. (Just imagine Marc shopping for condoms for the first time, with assistance from the boyfriend of Ree’s best friend.) I’ll share a snippet here—head-hopping and all—in hopes of brightening your day.


Marc had decided it wouldn’t be right to make love to Kyree until he convinced her of his origins. Now was as good a time as any, he supposed.

“Ree,” he began cautiously as they stepped onto the beach. “Remember when I told you I’m from Quaaline?”

She rolled her eyes. “Yes.”

Marc sighed. He could sense she still wasn’t ready to believe him. “Never mind.”

Ree gave him an odd look. She hoped he didn’t actually believe he was an alien. She knew some real sci-fi nerds who tried to become someone dashing, like Captain Kirk, Han Solo or Lance Lincolnway, to overcome their awkwardness—but Marc was charming enough on his own. He didn’t have to pretend to be a hero.

Marc watched her face as the thoughts ran through her mind. He raised an eyebrow in amusement and murmured, “If I’m Han Solo, you have to be my Princess Leia.”

Kyree smiled at him. “That can be arranged.”

August 23, 2014

Stories, Van & Allyson

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So much for attempts to post here on a regular schedule. I have many excellent reasons for slacking—some of which I plan to blog about in the near future.

For now, know I’m neck-deep in edits for BREAKING ALL THE RULES, my spring 2015 Turquoise Morning Press release.

BATR edits

Yes, I prefer to make edits by hand. Maybe it makes me a dinosaur, but I see things differently on paper. Besides, it feels more real somehow. I love the heft of a pile of manuscript pages.

There’s only one problem with editing this way: Sometimes—OK, more often than I care to admit—I can’t read my hand-written scribbles.

Ahem. The trick, of course, is to finish edits and get them back in my typewritten manuscript quickly enough that I can still remember what I was trying to say.

That’s the goal, anyway.

I’ve slowly been whittling down the to-be-edited pile. As of Saturday afternoon, it’s officially a shorter stack than the already-edited pile.



It’s the small victories, right? I need a few of those in my life right now.

August 16, 2014



Because I write contemporary romantic comedy, my books have no carriage sex. There are a few sexy moments in cars — but the scene I’m featuring for this week’s My Sexy Saturday post isn’t one of those, either.

This scene is from SLIDING INTO HOME, Book 3 of my All Is Fair in Love & Baseball series, published by Turquoise Morning Press. I went the short route this time — only 7 sentences. The better to share it in a fun, pinnable quote card!

QuoteCard.inddSliding into Home is available now at Turquoise Morning PressAmazonBarnes & NobleAll Romance eBooksSmashwordsKobo and iTunes (Sliding Into Home – Arlene Hittle)

August 14, 2014


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Most conference attendees fly to the conference city. Me? I’m not big on airplanes—and even less tolerant of airport hassle. Schlepping a suitcase between terminals? Barefoot strolls through security? Interminable layovers?

Thanks, but no thanks. When it’s at all feasible, I’d rather travel by car.

A car trip from Flagstaff to San Antonio for Romance Writers of America’s 2014 National Conference seemed do-able. At least that was the conclusion my NARWA chapter mates Anne Marie Becker and Alison DeLaine and I came to.

I can hear you now: Two days and 14-plus hours in the car is do-able? Are you nuts?

Quite possibly. But when you regularly drive an hour and a half just to get to RWA meetings, 14 hours in the car doesn’t seem nearly as ludicrous. (Lengthy drive time is one of the—er—perks of a chapter that encompasses the northern third of Arizona.)

Believe it or not, there are advantages to taking a real road trip to and from conference.

9. Better scenery. Instead of staring at clouds and an endless expanse of blue sky (if you’re lucky enough to get a window seat), you get to see giant windmills dominating the plain and farmers in their fields. Texas farmland is is just as green as Indiana’s. Smells the same, too.

Near Sweetwater, Texas

Near Sweetwater, Texas

Tried to take a photo of the sunset reflected in the mirror.

Tried to take a photo of the sunset reflected in the mirror. It kinda works, right?

8. Time for side jaunts. As we drove through New Mexico on our way to Texas, we took a short detour to Billy the Kid’s gravesite. Just outside of Fort Sumner, the sign beckoned us … so Anne Marie turned down the side road and drove until we reached the historical marker at the cemetery.

Being a fan of "Young Guns," I didn't turn down the chance to stop.

Being a fan of “Young Guns,” I didn’t turn down the chance to stop.

Billy the Kid grave

7. Cargo room. Unlike the poor suckers who flew to San Antonio who had to pay to ship stuff home, we had plenty of room to bring back swag. That I didn’t come home with a ton of new reading material is because I still have unread books from Anaheim in 2012. And I only fit all my clothes in one smallish suitcase because I didn’t have that many clothes to pack. Four dresses, two pairs of pants and matching shirts, sleepwear and (too many) shoes.

Apparently, I pack light.

Apparently, I pack light.

Note to self: Next time, don’t bother with the sneakers. You won’t make it to the gym anyway.

6. Crazy timetable. If you decide to make the return trip all in one day (instead of splitting it in two) because one of you (*cough, cough* ME) is scheduled to work Monday afternoon, no one will stop you. The SUV put up a bit of a protest, dishing out hot air through the air conditioner vents in the midday Texas sun. But we drove with the windows cracked for  about an hour and then, when we turned the AC back on, it was fine.

5. Excellent conversation. Sitting in the car for so many hours, you have nothing but time to work out sticky plot points, brainstorm ideas for the chapter and sing along with Apple’s “Ladies of the 80s” station … at the top of your lungs, of course. Car singing is best done at full volume.

4. Plenty of diet Dr Pepper. Only in Texas, where you see billboards advertising my favorite diet soda every 30 minutes or so, can you get diet Dr. Pepper at most soda fountains. Look hard enough and you might just find an entire refrigerated case full of Dr Pepper. (This one was in Texico … N.M., I think. But it’s on the border.)

Only in Texas ...

Only in Texas …

3. Flexible arrival/departure times. On our way to San Antonio, we crossed two state lines—and lost an hour each time. It didn’t matter much on Monday, when we went from Arizona to New Mexico. But Alison and I had dinner get-togethers planned Tuesday night. We didn’t properly account for the lost hour from N.M. to Texas and had to book it through Texas to make it to dinner.

2. Ample rest stops. You never know what you’ll find in those convenience store/gas stations. I considered buying this mug — until I figured Starbucks didn’t sell a drink big enough to fill it.



1. It’s a grand adventure. From racing a monsoon storm to Interstate 40 to touring beautiful downtown Clovis, N.M., by moonlight on the way to our mid-point hotel, you make countless memories. I think I Instagrammed more photos in that one week than in the whole month prior.

Bonus: (Mind you, this has nothing to do with the car trip, but I couldn’t resist adding it anyway.)

Cowboys. ‘Nuff said.

At the Amazon reception

At the Amazon reception