What does a Min-Pin and the Bean Pot have in common?


I’m happy to have Judi Phillips down from her Maine Mountain home with me on the Ranch for an interview!

Thanks, Calisa, for this chance to visit with you.  Loved the questions and had lots of fun answering them.  I couldn’t resist sharing a couple of photos.

What are your absolute necessities in order to write at your best?  If it’s summer, I grab my netbook, iPod, something cool to drink and head out to my back deck.  I live in the country, so all I can see are woods, birds at the feeder and my dogs roaming around the back yard.  Here’s a pic.

Now that fall is here, I’m hunkered down inside with a cluttered desk, a hot beverage and dogs who are more often than not trying to take over my chair. 

Still, my office looks out on my back yard so I can have the illusion that I’m outside–until there’s three feet of snow.  I almost always have music playing.  I have a huge collection of songs without words so I don’t get distracted.  When the hard drive on my poor little Mac Mini was nearly full, I bought a new iMac.  I use the Mini for e-mail and internet stuff so I have to physically move to go on-line.  Helps keep down surfing during writing time.

Love your back deck! I have a covered one that looks out to my horse and trees. Now to get a lounger back there so I can write. I listen to music too- but with words. Without and I’d end up singing to fill in the space! LOL

Which comes first for you—plot or characters?  It changes with every book, but lots of time it’s setting.  Hear about or visit an interesting place and the wheels start turning.  What kind of heroine would go there?  What hero would she meet up with?  What trouble would they get into?  So I guess I’d say it’s characters and including setting as one of the characters.

I do that. And I agree setting IS a character.

What aspect of writing comes easy to you?  What is difficult?  I love writing description.  Just ask my critique partners, who have me axe some of it.  I was particularly into writing food descriptions for a heroine who didn’t cook.  My Critters brought me down to earth.  Dialogue is most difficult.  I still tend to write what the exposition of happens in the scene and then turn it into dialogue.

Descriptions are easy to get carried away in, aren’t they? 🙂

Who has helped you along the way?  My critique partners, hands down.  They catch all kinds of things.  Too much description.  No motivation for a character.  Missing conflict.  All the stuff I know most of the time but forget to put in the story in the hurry to get the words on the page.

*raises a glass of wine* Crit partners are worth their weight in gold, platinum, or whatever the most expensive mineral is today!

What was your first writing piece and where is it now?  A Case for Love is my very first manuscript.  The poor thing is my House Beautiful/Vogue book about lawyers.  Endless description of rooms, clothing, scenery.  It now resides on my hard drive with other virtual dust bunnies.  But I learned how to tell a story, so I have a soft spot in my heart for it.

Yep. *nods* I’ve got a folder full of those!

Some optional fun questions:

Boxers or briefs on your man and why?  Gotta love those boxer briefs.  Too hawt for words.

Dog, cat, both or neither? Dogs.  I currently have three of them.  If I weren’t so soft-hearted, I’d only have two, but a year ago my hairdresser called saying one of her customers had a Min Pin puppy and needed to find a home for him.  She knew I’d lost my first Min Pin–also given to me–a couple of years ago.  What can I say?  I couldn’t resist and Gizmo is now mine.  And, yes, he lives up to his name every day.

I love dogs too. That is an adorable group in the picture, Judi. We have a rescued Chihuahua and I’ve always wanted a Yorkie (despite the bark. Lol).

Favorite television shows?  This year, during a free HBO offer, I got hooked on Network.  The first season is over but the characters and concept were great.  Also enjoying Revolution, Xfactor (gotta love Simon), and CSI.  If the characters don’t grab me, I don’t bother.


Judi has had stories in her head as far back as she can remember. However, being lazy (her friends like to point out that she’s efficient), and being a legal assistant, she knew she could never complete a manuscript if she had to write it on a typewriter. Then, along came word processors, and those magic cut and paste and delete icons. There was no stopping her after that. Within a few weeks of her first job with a computer, she started her first story, a house-beautiful, vogue thing about lawyers. Needless to say, it will never be published — but she honed her description skills on that project, so nothing is ever wasted.

Judi lives in Maine in the foothills of the White Mountains with her two Yorkies, Sassie and Mishka and a MinPin, Gizmo.  Despite their small size, they rule the house.

One accomplishment she’s most proud of is winning first place in the 2010 Bean Pot contest in the Paranormal category.

Judi can be found on the web at www.judiphillips.com

or you can find her spicy side at www.peppergoodrich.com

Two Moons Rising- Available from Whispers Publishing:  http://whispershome.com/


A female Secret Service Agent travels through space and time to fulfill an ancient legend.  An exiled prince, while overcoming mistakes of the past, is fighting to free his people.  Together, can they save his world?


Now no more than an arm’s length away, he got a clear look at her eyes.  They were violet.  He recalled the words of the old teaching poem, and the hairs on his neck prickled.  Every Larian child knew The Ice Maiden by rote.  In all the times he’d heard it, he had never imagined it could refer to anyone like the attractive, desirable woman standing before him.

For a moment he wondered what it would be like to spend a night with her.  When he realized the direction of his thoughts, he immediately stopped.  He was thinking in the ways of his father when he should be figuring out her purpose for coming here.  And how she had penetrated the force field.

“Who do you work for?” he demanded.

She crossed her arms.  “That’s classified.”

He could not believe her insolent behavior.  Although he didn’t stand on a lot of ceremony, the way his father had, he customarily received respect.  He was the Prince, after all.  No one ever acted in such an audacious manner, at least not to his face.

Suspicion came back full force.  He straightened, his spine ramrod stiff.  “Not from me.  I am Prince Tarique cel Sahar yon Kebali, and I have access to all information concerning my subjects.  You will come with me to Zafir.  There, we will resolve this matter.”

Wow- sounds like a great book, Judi! Thanks for visiting my in the Round Pen today.


About Calisa Rhose

I'm a mother of three daughters and wife to a wonderful man of 35+ years. I'm also an avid seamstress, polymer clay artisan and die-hard crafter, always coming up with things to make with, and for, my six granddaughters and two grandsons. Check out my craft site https://lisasfancifulallure.wordpress.com/ when you have a moment. I'm also a small online business owner of Okie fLips on Etsy and Poshmark (eBay/Merkari coming soon), https://www.etsy.com/people/cmselfridge and https://poshmark.com/closet/okieflips I'm a published author of sensual romance. I write about stubborn men and women who don't take no for an answer, and there's always that golden HEA. Cowboys and first responders are my favorite contemporary heroes to write about. My light paranormal heroes are strong men ready to protect their women--not that they need protecting, since they are capable of caring for themselves.

Posted on 10/23/2012, in Blog Tour, guest blogging, Pen of the Dreamer, Welcome and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Oy! I’ve been in editing cave all day and forgot Judy was here! Looks like she forgot too.

    I like her cover too. 😀 Isn’t her deck awesome? Thanks Christine and Mae, for visiting her!


  2. What a beautiful book cover! I enjoyed the excerpt too. It definitely sounds like there is certain to be sparks between them. 🙂

    And I can so relate to being a descriptive writer. I often have to reel myself in so I don’t get carried away. Loved your deck. What an awesome place to write!


  3. Terrific interview ladies…loved the added bonus of pics Judi…especially your deck! Looks very relaxing.

    Congrats on your book…enjoyed the excerpt!


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