Cover Reveal for “Searching For Sarah”

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As many of you may know…or not…I’ve started writing a new series–The Sarah Series. Sarah is in the beginning years of her thirties, wants to settle down, and then figure out the rest. But it’s the settling down part that’s been giving her trouble. The guys she dates either she likes and they don’t want to settle, or she doesn’t and they do. Sort of like life, huh?

Sarah Keller is a career student. It goes hand-in-hand with her indecisiveness about her future. Her foundation growing up was based solely on a single dad who lamented almost daily for his deceased wife–Sarah’s mom. She never got to know her, Sarah’s mom passed away in childbirth.

Becoming a nanny was the last thing Sarah intended to be. But life sometimes throws you a curve ball. And sometimes it’s guised as Sam Turner, and his cutie pie daughter, Sophie.

Sam is about 15 years Sarah’s senior, and fresh out of a relationship. He’s the last thing Sarah is looking to get involved with…but you know what they say about last things??

And so here is the cover! Please let me know if you like it. After all, covers are what we judge a book by, you know! 🙂   Have a great week, everyone! (And if you had even an inkling of interest, it’s 2.99 pre-order price on Amazon) Release date is April 27, 2017. If you sign up for my newsletter, you have a chance in winning the paperback copy, a whole month before it releases!! Cheers. 🙂 🙂

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Friday Night Movie

atonement_ver6I received this little baby in my Valentine stash, so we decided to give it a whirl this Friday night. Umm, let’s see…where to begin? Maybe at the snore-ometer. You know, that’s the point in the movie my boyfriend seems to begin snoring. It was about 40 minutes into it, to be perfectly accurate. Had he been awake, I’m sure he might not have given it high marks. You figure, 7 award nominations? Wow, it must be great. Not entirely true. However, maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for their shenanigans tonight.

Writing a book…(small tangent, I promise)…writing a book, you learn that there has to be a reason of “care” in the first couple of pages. I have to write a character that someone is going to give two hoots as to what happens to them. Therefore, carrying your reader through the chapter, thus moving forward to the problem, the climax, and the happily ever after. Not so much care found here. I looked over (before he fell asleep) and remarked, “I don’t really care”. I was very detached from all the characters from the onset. It wasn’t until the last quarter of the movie that I began to care. It sort of came at the point they played a piece of music by Debussy. Que the swoon. Clair de lune is my all-time favorite. And the scene the music came from made entirely no sense at all. None. Period. It was thrown in there just to muster up some care, I felt.

And then there was the war scenes. Are you kidding me? I hate war scenes. Double hate, in fact. It’s depressing, makes me feel bad, and I know someone is not going to make it out alive. Hate, hate, hate the war scenes. I get exhausted and worked up just lying in my bed watching them!

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Perhaps I should’ve began my post with quick synopsis: (which by the way, is like the movie–the scenes are done in reverse) A girl sees her sister in a precarious position with a fellow she likes, and does something to change the fate of all their lives. And to make up for it, she writes a book in which she alters the ending in a way to atone for her behavior. A auto-biography, to be exact.

Maybe I just wasn’t feelin’ it. Maybe I needed some skittles. Seems we’re all out, and popcorn just isn’t the same without those fruity pieces in the bowl to counteract the salt. Or perhaps I’m older, and I don’t see the fun and entertainment in putting forth effort to make a tragedy. Did I like Romeo and Juliet? I thought I did. I found the romanticism in it all. Of course that was many years ago, but I could empathize. This movie I watched, although it claimed wildly romantic on the cover, fell completely short of the advertisement. There was no point. No point at all. It, in my opinion, was a whole bunch of hoopla to try and evoke a feeling of passion and despair, and it could have done so much more, had it had a happy ending. We really didn’t have to go there with the tragedy, now did we? The real world is packed with tragedy as it is.

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I had high hopes for this one. I really like Keira Knightley. I liked her in Begin Again, and I certainly loved her in Pride and Prejudice. Now that was a tidy romance. It made you bleed a bit for the injustice of love in the dark, but in the end, there was light!!! Where was my light in Atonement? Huh? Where was the light?

Cheated on a Friday night. Either way, I own it. Maybe I’ll let the dust settle of my first impression, plop it in a year from now, make sure I have a bag of skittles, and try it again. I might’ve missed something. 🙂 Yeah, I doubt it.

 

Plans for the Weekend…

1422499085254So this week was almost a complete bust for me going to work. My son came down with strep throat…the nasty kind. Usually when he gets it, it shocks us all…like the nurse comes in after pulling a splinter out of his finger and says, “oh by the way, he’s got strep.” Half the time I think they’re lying. He never has symptoms. Not so this time. He spent the day outside in crazy 80 degree weather, then comes in and falls over sick–his tonsils almost touching in the back of his throat, and his stomach hurting so bad that he’s doubled over. “What the heck?” And so I was home for days with him, stomach crap and all. Then on the day I thought I’d go to work, my daughter comes and says she’s not so well. I take that back, she rides all the way to school, (30 miles, one way), grabs a bag from the floor of the car, and says she’s not going to make it. So back home I go. Tomorrow I’ll return to work. Fingers crossed, that is.

So this weekend…I wish I could report I had date-like plans. Like when I was single and the weekend was my oyster. Day of shopping, anyone? No? How about brunch after sleeping in, and a movie before dinner? Not a chance. Now, I look to Saturday as Costco day. I don’t even feed my kids lunch–they love sampling everything that store has to offer. My youngest stands in the same line a few times, for the things he loves. Hey, it’s the best part of their day to go sampling. Whatever. I end up with a gazillion rolls of paper towels and toilet paper, six hundred trash bags, and a couple bottles of syrup that it takes me the year to consume. But it’s the way to go for the price. And eventually they do eat all the packs of quaker bars. To their dismay. 1d48438388dd3f4356f304e7e0443cc5

To all the singles out there, “have a great one!” Sleep in and think of me. And to the ones with a clown car full of kids, “see ya at the grocery store!”

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When Your Story Isn’t Over

01-falling-out-of-love-relationship-problemsValentine’s Day is over. I would post a picture of what I got, but it seems the internet highway is extremely polluted with cute little flowers and candies. And plus, for those who didn’t get anything, it sort of sucks, I would think. I came home with Valentine goodies for my adorable children, and wouldn’t you know it…one of them cried and hated what I picked for him. Yes! I have one of those hard-to-please, doesn’t-matter-what-you-get-them, kids. No matter what I get that boy, it translates to a bag of poop in his eyes. He tells me I get him bad things because I love the other children more. Pa-lease. He used to be so adorable, so loving, and so kind…when he was an infant through three years old. I have no idea what happened after that.

So onto my latest book. As previously written, for this one I really did some outlining for the plot. I mapped an ending and stayed the course….Then I got to the chapter before the last chapter, and something happened. My mind changed, my heart stopped loving the end, and I just couldn’t do it. Spoilers aside, I had simply fallen out of love with my happily ever after. There was no happily ever after. Not now. Too much had happened in the story. I’d fallen out of love with my hero. I needed like a hundred pages more to do it right. And who wants to read that long of a book? So I did something courageous…I made it into a series. Yes, another one. The Amy series being my first go at the series thing.

It’s fine. You know…this notion of writing this book as a series. I hope it’s fine. I mean, I really like Sarah. And I like writing her story. I just hope I have enough to stretch it. I think I do. Nah, I will. Something always creeps into my brain, giving me more words, with more characters to grow and love. Wish me luck…onto book 2.

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Valentine Awkwardness

heart-1450302_640-1I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Valentine’s Day and me don’t see eye to eye. Does anyone remember in high school, when those stupid candy grams would get sent to homerooms? It stunk not getting any. And the year I did get them, I felt bad for the people who didn’t. And how about the roses? Really? The office would be full of vases with dozens of roses…from high school guys to their “girlfriends”. Likely that relationship was going to last for more than that week. But, here, “take this dozen of roses it cost me fifty dollars to buy and send you, just so I’ll look good, and you’ll look better”.

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I found a paper on the counter the other day where you could send your child lollipops for Valentine’s day for a dollar or two. What about the kids who don’t get any? All because their parent, like me, forgot to send in the dumb paper that overcharged for a dum-dum pop. What about the party? And all those Valentines your child comes home with and you find for the next week under chairs and in cabinet drawers? Right, they don’t do them anymore. Valentines are even optional these days. Really?

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Then you have adulthood status: Do I, the girl, get him something? What? Like he’s really going to want a stuffed gorilla holding a dorky sign, saying it loves him. And candy? Is it me, or am I the only girl who has a boyfriend who would rather have a Payday candy bar, a bag of Cowtails, or Andy Cap’s Hot Fries? How special is that?

Don’t get me started on the restaurants. Booked. Every one of them. You have to either eat at four or nine o’clock, just to get a table. And for what? I don’t know…I’m a romantic writer, but this holiday doesn’t impress me. I guess if I were just falling in love, and wondering if the fella was going to buy me roses, it might be different. I’d get the buds, touch each one of them, swoon all over the place, smell the smell right out of them, and read the little card until it was memorized.    Now, though? It’s just another day. Isn’t that sad?

Gosh.

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Fingers Crossed…

e5abb3877ae2aba9fd72d0d298370b10…I can write this weekend. I’m editing/creating my new story, “Searching For Sarah”. Have you ever, well I don’t guess you have if you’re not a writer, but have you ever gotten to a point where the train you’re riding (book you’re writing ) seems to be riding parallel to the tracks that have been laid…over there, about four feet from where you’re soaring 70 miles per hour? That could be true in life, I guess. You could have very well envisioned your life moving in a different direction and over time, it’s veered. Ever so slightly so maybe you didn’t notice…..Until you felt the bumps, noticed it wasn’t as smooth, or the tree line is coming a little bit closer than a month ago.

Well that’s how my story felt like it was going. A bit off track. I was busy writing along, and all of a sudden, I look around and go, “say what? what am I doing here? what happened? what am I talking about?” Yep, it was that bad. So I had to retrace my steps, figure out what I was trying to say, actually draw a map on a white board. “You are here, and you want to be there.” (page 1 and page 300 respectively). Tangents are the death of anything. Books, people talking, books, people talking…. You, as the reader or listener, tend to doze off, meander in your head of a million things you could be doing while said tangent is taking place.

As much as I hate to admit, I’ve had to map this particular book. It’s taken more time, but hopefully I’ll hold the interest of the reader. I’m beginning to feel the tracks, and I’m seeing a glimpse of the train station. Nothing feels better in the creative process.

For all non-writers, and blog readers…I appreciate the opportunity to write this off my chest! Have a great weekend. 🙂

Goals and more

sundayIt’s Sunday…I finally made it. I went to work all week completely not well. A few times I lost my voice. Which made my children sing with happiness, but no one who asked me a question quite liked the fact they had to push out an ear to hear me better. Go figure.

So I’m a huge “goal driven” girl. Or possibly just an OCD list writer. Whichever you prefer. I have lists everywhere–napkins, day planner, phone, computer… This year I only purchased one planner..I’m a work in progress. 🙂 On the weekends I post said list on white board next to fridge. At times I include other people’s list. (I like to provide the wandering and lost some goals to aspire to!) Long story short…today has only one goal: Write a Novel. Will do. I’ve given myself the guilty leisure of performing only one task–to write. I’m feeling a bit tingly about it. Well, tingly and a bit crappy. Back to not feeling well.

I’m forced to do a little rough diagnosis. Like rough justice, you know? I’ve assessed the situation, realized I’m getting no better, and so I will begin a round of antibiotics. I hoard medicine like no one’s business. “Didn’t need that whole bottle of vertigo medicine? I’ll take it!” “So it wasn’t gout you had? Give me the meds, I’ll keep ’em in case the situation ever arises with me.” Thankfully doctors tried to overdose a few of my children a couple times, so I have an extra bottle or two on hand. I mean no one takes 4 amoxicillins, 500 mg a day. For Pete’s sake. 1000 mg every 24 hours is more than enough. My problem is that I didn’t take the immunity power like I should. I wavered on the third day, not feeling like I needed it anymore. Note to future self…

Changing topic: This week I’ve done something completely different. Forgive me if I posted already. But instead of listening to my music each morning on my commute, I listened to lectures. Yes, I made my car my university. I learned some amazing things. It’s such a high when you have that ‘aha’ moment about something that could drive your story to amazing places. It was difficult staying in my chair at work and not being able to implement my newfound knowledge into my manuscript. ah-ha-moments

Yes, work. I was knee-deep in tax forms. Drunk on numbers. Dancing in the streets with calculations. It played havoc with my OCD dealing with double and triple checking things. I mean once that form goes to the IRS, then to the client, it’s over. Any changes made would have to go through another set of forms. I will be dancing a glorified jig when it’s all over on Monday. Provided I start my medicine and feel something more than a withered piece of whatever…barely able to breathe…sufficiently blowing off my little red nose. Yeah, I better get to medicating. Have a great day, everyone! 🙂 *sniff, sniff*

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And that just happened

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Don’t let the picture fool ya!

So I’m sitting outside my daughter’s school, waiting for play practice to get out, and my car begins freaking out. The locks begin clicking…the lights come on and go out, dim, and become brighter. I’m like ‘what’s going on?’ Within seconds, all goes black. “Are you freaking kidding me?”

Before the parking lot is abandoned, I go to a nearby car and kindly ask the woman if she has jumper cables. I know what you’re thinking…that girl has mad jumper cable skills. Ooh quite the contrary. Girl has no clue when it comes to the transfer of battery power via red and black cables.  So surprisingly she has this nifty emergency bag (she’s not once had a need for probably) and inside is a set of tiny little cables. Bingo. “Now I’ll just call a boy”, I said. “Better yet”, she replied…”I’ll try to go and find a boy”.

Short version of lesson is…why don’t they have a class, given in school, before anyone is allowed to graduate and demonstrate the fine art of “emergency situations and how to adapt”. Changing a tire knowledge would be nice…building a porch would stand out as a great category. Or, how about repairing a leaking faucet. I don’t know about you, but it would be a great change to not have to depend on someone else for things I could know myself, given the proper education. I mean once I’m out in the big bad world, finding a person with a set of unusable cables is about the best I can do. 😦

On to the hair situation. I left you last time with the cliffhanger of my short hair…will it grow, is it growing, am I wearing wigs? Well, I’ve been shampooing with biotin enhanced stuff, eating biotin gummies, massaging my scalp every chance I get, and yanking on the ends at least five time a day. Results…nada, nothing, not an inch. I will say though, it is a bit liberating. Sort of like a boy. Never does it fall into my eyes, blow in the wind, or get tangled after washing. I’m going to miss this little hot mess one day…oh, let it be tomorrow!

In other news of my oldest child…he’s the one in college. Fresh from the feathered nest of home. Where I cooked for, cleaned for, and washed for. Not to mention, sometimes thought for. Not all the time. He is eighteen, after all. But I was shocked to hear news today of him taking on a job without even the slightest text, tweet, or message to me to ask my opinion. I mean it was only last week he wanted me to look at a screen shot of his throat to give advice on seeing a doctor. His FIRST job? Say what? Who cares…he took it. Still no call..*crickets*

Moving on to a health note: My throat is extremely sore. Maybe I got whatever he sent me over in the picture. 🙂 No, seriously…it’s been hurting since the weekend. I powered up and took gads of vitamins. Which I think only trapped the junk in pockets of the throat lining. I’m not unable to breathe, but something just ain’t right. I couldn’t even sing to my power hour of happy songs playlist, on the way to work today. bummer.

One last thing to mention…smallest child came home without a coat. Okay, so it’s in the 40’s here–32 degrees in the mornings. He’s been out sick with a fever for the past 3 days. 3 days! And all because he went out to recess last week and stepped in the saturated playground, thus getting his socks, shoes, and pants drenched in muddy water. Yes! He was able to squish all the day long in water, thus not grabbing the attention of his award winning teacher. How does this happen? So today, after 3 days out for a virus/asthma induced sickness (by way of soaked shoes), his coat came up M.I.A. When asked if he wore it for recess, of course the answer was no. He couldn’t find it. So where is it? And why didn’t someone…oh, I don’t know…like a teacher ask this important question and not let anyone leave the class until it was found. Inquiring minds will never know. I’m off to find a makeshift coat for tomorrow.

Until next time. 🙂

“Manchester by the Sea”

This guy does the best reviews!

Juicy Reviews

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FRIDAY NIGHT/MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: Last night, I saw “Manchester by the Sea,” which stars Casey Affleck (Good Will Hunting, Gone Baby Gone), Lucas Hedges (Moonrise Kingdom, The Zero Theorem), Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights [TV series], The Wolf of Wall Street), C.J. Wilson (The Intern, Demolition), and Michelle Williams (Dawson’s Creek [TV series], Shutter Island). It is written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan (Analyze This, Gangs of New York). When his brother passes away, Lee Chandler (Affleck) returns to his hometown of Manchester to take care of his nephew, Patrick (Hedges), until they can figure out what to do about the current situation. In the meantime, Chandler must deal with his past, which is constantly being dug up the moment he walks into town.

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“Manchester by the Sea,” has a lot of terrific aspects. The acting is superb, the cinematography is great, the setting is stunning, and the dialogue is…

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Just the Right Words

power-of-wordsNot only should you be careful of what you say, but be careful of what you write.

This could go so many ways. My mother taught me at a very young age to never write down what you don’t want someone to read…anyone to read. Did I heed her advice? The advice that usually only comes from getting burned in order to deal it out to the naive masses, in hopes they don’t make the same mistake? Yes, I listened, but only after someone read what I didn’t want them to. What can I say? We are creatures that cannot simply be told, we must experience for ourselves. Lesson learned.

I had a conversation in the car this week with my 8 and 10 year old boys. One was teasing the other about something. I interrupted and told them that words should be for building someone up, not tearing them down. They have great power, and once unleashed, they can never be swallowed, lassoed back, or drowned. They are out there to be pondered, over-thought, and for many, to be destroyed. So choose words wisely.

So I have the privilege to write words this weekend. Well, I sort of am ignoring other chores and burying myself in a hole with my laptop. I come out occasionally, but for the most part you can hear pecking coming from the first room on the right, at the top of the stairs. Sometimes I’ll be typing along and I stop and wonder how I got down this street. Where are my characters again? Where did I need them to go? How is it that I’m five miles off course? And how do I get back to the pacing it needs to be?

Words are crucial. They either insight a reader to read ‘just more chapter’ at two in the morning, or close the book, fifty pages in. A writer has to always be mindful of where the words are going. What words should be used. It’s so funny how I’ll keep traveling, stop, look around, and wonder how I’m going to transition from this dead end. Patiently I put the car in reverse, back out (delete) the last ten pages and mindfully try again. It’s a job I love the most. Formulating just the right words. 🙂