Greetings, From One Happy Author

happy-writerToday marks the publication of my fifth book!! Can you believe it? Five….let me think about that for a second. It wasn’t too long ago that I was trying to spit out book 2 in my Amy series. And now Mister Five is debuting. Hard to believe. And all in one year, I might add! I hope this doesn’t come across braggy or anything. That’s one thing I don’t do, but I’m amazed how my year has gone down. I’m happy to have been able to achieve this. I didn’t really set out to do it. I didn’t have a plan at all, really. The words kept coming, the fingers kept moving, and there you have it! Book five, “The Secret He Keeps”, is hitting the market today.

I must admit, I’m a bit nervous about this one. I’ve had some mixed reviews. Some don’t like the ending…or should I say, ‘who done it’. And as you know that all it takes is for one or two people not to like an outcome and poof, there’s that crazy self-doubt…strutting in like he owns the town. In this case, my mind. You see, it begins to wander and pace and think, ‘should I rewrite some things? make it pleasing to the ones that don’t like it?’ Or, should I stand confident that I do like the outcome. I wrote it for Pete’s sake. No, not everyone is going to like everything you write, but be proud of it. It’s your words. It’s your heart inside those pages.

The second reason I could be feeling antsy might be because it’s different from the other books I’ve published. Not so much “A Reason to Stay”, but from Amy. Amy is shy, naive, and borderline G-rated. Rachel, from “The Secret He Keeps’, not so innocent! There is more colorful language, and the storyline is way over on the other end of the spectrum from dear, sweet, innocent Amy. I’m hoping it doesn’t prove to dissapoint my Amy fans.

Aside from all the self-doubt a writer goes through before placing their work in the hands of readers, I’m hoping for great reviews. (fingers crossed) Writing about complicated love and messy people isn’t easy. It’s not predictable, and it gets sticky in situations. For all those who give Rachel a chance, to see what lies behind that locked memory of hers, thank you bunches. After all, she’s just an ordinary woman, suppressing some extraordinary feelings. It’s a technique that’s got her this far, but how will she handle life when all the memories come crashing down?

Here’s my giveaway for someone to take a liking to Amy! She’s still one of my favorites.🙂 Good luck on winning.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b9a55db3187/?

Checking it Twice

checklistNo, I’m not talking about Santa’s List. I’m referring to my checklist for the release of my 5th book, “The Secret He Keeps”. There are so many things, so many blog posts, and interview questions to answer. I hope I haven’t forgotten anything.

I keep three calendars. Think that’s enough? I write appointments and reminders in three separate places!! Then I’m at work one day, write the date, and yell out ‘oh, no!’ I’m surprised I remember how to drive there each day. Seriously…my mind is so stretched thin with things to remember. Field trip notes to sign, giveaways to send out, dogs to pick up from the groomers. Yes, I momentarily forgot to pick up the dog once. I wondered why the house was so quiet that day.

I celebrated my anniversary yesterday. It was riddled with work, transporting kids, a visit to the hospital, a nice dinner, and finally throwing up after all was settled. I had to go into work because as we know, I’m a landlord of sorts. And the first of the month is when rent is due. Transporting kids came from a gracious nanny willing to keep said kids so I could eat out and not have to cut everyone’s food while mine goes cold. Hospital visit is for my stepdad. He’s in for a third time of ‘let’s try and find out why he’s passing out’. Seriously…can we get it right this time? Dinner was great. Fireside…seafood…cake vodka. Let’s just sit there for a moment, shall we? Cake vodka? Why have I never heard of this? It tasted exactly like cake, and it had properties to make me feel warm and lovely inside. Yum. And then comes the illness. Yes, who can end a romantic evening and not include hugging a trashcan? I don’t know what it was…maybe the seafood? It certainly couldn’t have been the cake vodka… I won’t let that memory become shattered with believing that hogwash. Either way, it made the evening all the more memorable!

Cheers to a lovely weekend, everyone. I’m heading out to a housewarming party, a couple antique shops, and I’ll see about picking up those lovely children of mine. Maybe after nanny has fed them.🙂

Book Hop Giveaway

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Who doesn’t love giveaways? Now through November 29th, a group of lovely bloggers and myself will be joining together in a book hop. I don’t know about you ,but I’ve sort of stopped the whole not going to bed just to be first in line at the door buster sales. Yes, they are good door busters, but I’m at the age where I respect sleep a little bit more than a .99 blu ray disc. My goodness, what’s become of me?

I’m so delighted in being able to join this hop. Truth be known, it is my first. I’m giving away a $10.00 Amazon gift card and an advanced copy of my new book, The Secret He Keeps. It releases December 8, so you could enter for a chance to get it first…and free!

I wish everyone luck, and don’t forget to follow all the other hops in this great caravan of goodies and giveaways. Stay in your pajamas, sleep till noon, and click away for your chance to win books!
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The Secret He Keeps
Purchase: Amazon
Add to Goodreads
Published: December 8, 2016

Dr. Rachel Miller has no recollection of what happened that night she climbed in the car with her husband and he drove recklessly into a tree. She has no clue as to why she survived and he didn’t. Nor does she understand why strangers are coming up to her on the street and telling her things she can’t recall about a life that seems so long ago. But Dane Stone knows.

Dane Stone is Rachel’s business partner…and her deceased husband’s best friend. He knows about the notes, the hotel receipt, and the reason she got in the car that night. It’s for her protection that he keeps the secret, but inside he’s dying to tell her.

 

Giveaway

$10.00 Amazon gift card and an advanced copy of my new book, The Secret He Keeps
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9e0c56be205/?

Hop all the Stops

I’m such a magnet to…

traffic…the dumb lane. You know, the one that goes nowhere. As in grocery lanes that look as though the people have little to no groceries, so you stand behind them and lo and behold the lane next to you, with six families looking as though they’re stocking up for 12 feet of snow, ends up leaving before your things hit the conveyor belt. Yes, that is me in the grocery store and me yesterday, sitting in traffic. Six and a half hours…I repeat…six and a half hours to go to a place that is usually four hours drive time. And yes, I got in all the possible dumb lanes I could find. But enough ranting. What did I expect. After all, it is Thanksgiving week. Happily, all that traveling resulted in my college boy coming home. Yay!!

Before the ooey, gooey, go and stop of traffic, I went shopping. I stopped off in Williamsburg and hit the outlets for some Christmas buying. I did very well, but I was lonely. No one could go with me. Frankly, it was a first. It’s so much better going with a BFF or a mother. My mother specifically. She was, instead, shopping for hams and turkeys. This Thanksgiving she’s doing the hosting.

Then came lunch…..Best. Lunch. Ever. I stopped in at The New York Deli. The bomb!! I ordered a hot Delly sandwich. Ahhmazing. It had ham, turkey, lettuce, provolone, mustard, mayo, and the skinniest pickle slices I’ve ever had to caress my tastebuds. The bread was magic. It was like a rye sub roll, crunchy on the edges, and ohh so warm. I’m drooling just thinking about it. Lovely!!! And it was like a foot long. I had to carry one half around with me, just so it wouldn’t get hot in the car. I enjoyed it all over again, while I sat in traffic.

I got home late, tired, and blurry-eyed. All-in-all it was a most lovely day.🙂

A Bit of Holly

christmas-blogI know what I said a few weeks ago to Hallmark, and I still mean it…a little bit. It was too early to start Christmas movies, but now…while I decorate…it’s just in the nick of time. I mean who can decorate without background sappy holiday movies playing? Of course my teenage daughter came downstairs for all of two minutes and ran off holding her ears and hiding her eyes, exclaiming, “No, not the Hallmark channel”. Such a funny girl. I’m going to make a point to go see her during Christmas  when she gets older, just to make sure she isn’t watching those lovey, dovey movies.

So yes, I decorated today. Not the tree, though. That waits for the weekend, and my son. He would freak out if I put the tree up without him. I pick him up Tuesday from college. Just a short break, but a break nonetheless. And I’m not cooking this year! Hallelujah!! Instead, I will attend two dinners. Yep, two. And all that’s requested is I make homemade bread. Not a problem.

It’s been crazy windy here today. Temperature dropped to the 30’s. I’m a bit jealous of some of my friends who are experiencing snow. But it rarely snows before Christmas. It waits until I’m not in the mood anymore and then we get pelted with flakes in February. Now if you’d told me this morning it was 30 degrees outside, I would’ve argued. Because my heat was broken, and it was 90 degrees in my bedroom. Crazy. You’d think broken heat equals no heat. But this stuff was pouring out the vents. I think I lost 3 pounds while I slept. And then of course the characters in my new book woke me up to go over some changes. I tried to quiet them, telling them I needed sleep, but still they persisted. And no, I didn’t grab my computer to write. And now the changes are forever gone. That’s how fast things fly out of my head.

Oh well, tomorrow starts a new week. A short week. In the blink of an eye it will be over and one for the scrapbook. I’m soaking up every second, and slowing it down by dragging my feet. Isn’t that what kids do to slow down parents? Have a good one!🙂

Hmmm…

 

rockwell-thanksgiving-parody-13I got my oil changed today as planned. No site of the “scary” date guy to report. I took my daughter along because her entire class was raking leaves for charity, and she conveniently forgot to have me sign the permission slip to attend. Funny. So after the horrid hour wait at the mechanic’s, we did some shopping. The first year ever I’ve gotten early Christmas presents. It was amazing. Uncle Bob, check…Neighbor Sue, check…I was on a roll, and most importantly I had coupons!!

couponSerious coupons. I revel in the fact I have coupons. My daughter did a lot of eye rolling. (of course, she’s 13 years old. It’s an art at this point). But when the total came in, she was amazed. So amazed that she came home and reported my huge savings to everyone at dinner.  Mission accomplished.🙂 And I also made a decision that for some of the people on my list, they will receive a book and something else small. As I told my daughter who, again, didn’t buy into the whole “book” idea, that in fact, I was giving my sisters more than a gift…I was giving them a destination. A passport to transport to another place. That and a bottle of good lotion. Who doesn’t squee with a good bottle of lotion? I mean really.

Then I saw all the signs…the reason for the parody of Norman Rockwell’s famous Thanksgiving picture. Remember Thanksgivings long ago when your family congregated around the table…well the adults at one, and the tiny piggies at the other…and you ate. And ate, and ate. Because that’s what Thanksgiving was about. A bunch of eating…and sleeping…and yelling at the television for your football team to win. Or in my case, wishing the game would just end already. Theres’ something about the guy doing a play by play that really grates on my nerves. But anyway, I digress. If you were lucky, you stayed the night where the food was prepared. That way you could make a turkey sandwich when all the stuffing and cake made it out of the small intestine. Yay, room for more! If you weren’t so lucky, you went home and ate a bowl of cold cereal. Either way, this is what went down.

The signs I was referring to seeing today were advertising Black Friday deals. Beginning Thanksgiving day and going through to the following Friday. Hmmm… let me see. Black Friday…beginning Thursday, and ending in 7 days. What’s wrong with this picture? Now the times are such that after dinner everyone makes a beeline to the stores and shop until midnight. And then some, because evidently they reward the savvy shopper who can pull off staying all night with major door busters. And what about the people who have to work? You figure in retail that you’re going to get Thanksgiving and Christmas off. Even gas station attendants, for Pete’s sake. The world needs to shut down for at least one day a year, if not two.Not now! It’s sad indeed. What would Norman Rockwell have thought?

If I look hard enough….

4014171-yellow-small-sticky-note-on-an-office-cork-bulletin-board-weekend-happiness-stock-photo…I can see the weekend approaching. I don’t know about anyone else, but this week dragged on and on. Not that I don’t appreciate time and all that stuff, but it really lagged. It all started with last weekend when I was sick. I caught someone’s cold. I couldn’t properly breathe from Saturday until Tuesday evening. I took everything on the market to combat it. Vitamin C in boat loads, Zinc in quantities to feed small villages, Flonase up the wazoo, vitamin B, Mucinex, and Advil in massive amounts. Did it help? Sure. I’m on day six and I feel bunches better. I can now sleep without sitting straight up, and I can keep my mouth closed and let my nose do the job of exchanging oxygen to the lungs. Yay!

So I suppose that’s why the week was long. I suffered through it. And I wasn’t entirely all that busy at work. I was doing down-time things. Like look-at-the-clock things. Making sure the second hand wasn’t stuck or broken. And don’t even ask about dinners. It was a chore to think up something every night. I mean how many things can I possibly cook and make it seem new? Tacos…again, breakfast for dinner, some type of chicken….again, some type of beef…again.

i-hate-it-when-im-waiting-for-mom-to-cook-6293624So tomorrow is Friday!!! Yay. A do-over for the weekend I missed due to hacking, blowing, and sneezing. Jipped out of two days, and now it’s come back around. I can’t wait. I’m spending my Friday changing the oil in my car. I hope it’s an easy wait. Last time I was there I was asked out on a date. Me, can you believe it? I haven’t been asked out for…let me see…22 years? Nah, it couldn’t be that long. No wonder the guy looked at me like I was trying to guess the correct answer for the final Jeopardy round, after he asked me. I just didn’t know what to say. He was asking me out? Did I hear him right? I stammered and finally blurted out that I was busy. Hmm…that didn’t sound right. Busy doing what? Was I serious? Busy being married I quickly added. What a jerk I felt like. Busy being married? I guess my go-to answer in my single days was being busy, but when that didn’t jive with today’s current situation I added something. I apologized to him and let it go as he got called for his car. He shrugged and told me I had a lucky husband. What a nice guy. I’m just hoping he’s not due for an oil change tomorrow. I still feel as if I need to cover up with some dark glasses should our paths ever meet. Busy being married?? Oy.

No other plans scheduled for the following days. Actually I’m going to stop at some sales on the way home and try my best to remove the pumpkins that still loiter at my house. Enough is enough. Aren’t the stores stocking Valentines by now? No, really I’m going to begin decorating with a few wintery things. Not too many. I don’t want to freak out my children. I usually decorate for Christmas during Thanksgiving break. Nevermind that the temperature here tomorrow is going to be 70 degrees. HO-Ho-HO!

Anything else I do is a bonus. I’m trying to concentrate on writing my new book, which I’m avoiding hopelessly with everything else in the world to do. The word document scares me for some reason. It makes me feel I have to focus and that’s the last thing on my mind!! Anyway, have a great weekend my fellow readers!🙂

Hurtful, Nasty Reminders

reminderReminders are usually for our benefit, right? Like when your gas light comes on it means, get gas. For me, it signals I’ve got 100 more miles to go. I am famous for pushing it to the last fume to get me to the pumps. One day I will regret passing the ten stations to find the one with five cents cheaper per gallon. (I know, it isn’t that much, but still). Or the reminder that your car insurance is getting taken out automatically from your account tomorrow. Which signals me to go by the bank and put it in! But there are a few reminders that one does not need. i.e….

Yesterday I received a card in the mail from the veterinarian. It had a heartfelt note in it of condolences for my dog that passed away a couple weeks ago. Yes, I was finally getting to the point where I didn’t break down once a day. Like when I go and look for his bed, or check outside to see if he’s lying in the sun. It’s finally becoming bearable. Not forgettable, by any stretch, but doable. And then the card. Which I opened while driving the kids up the driveway. And there it was…they sent Walter’s paw print along with the written sentiment. OMG. Why? Why now? I shoved it back in the envelope and took a deep breath. I’m still thinking about it.

Here’s another example of a hurtful reminder: When the lovely people behind Facebook send you a memory of your cheating husband as he kisses you on the cheek. Ah yes, that was just six months ago…before my friend’s rat turd husband cheated on her. And there she gets a reminder of better times. Or when you get a snap shot of your family member who passed away, and you’re not quite over that one, either.

Reminders….not always a good thing.😦

On a happy note, because I need to always leave on one…I’m back to writing my new book. I’m feeling pretty good about it, too. Who wouldn’t like to imagine Kevin Costner all day? And be able to have him say the sweetest things to your heroine…which you imagine is yourself? LOL!! I’m down with it!🙂

Happy Thoughts in a Sad World

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This country was a very weird place to be this week. Without going into the weeds of personal thoughts, I felt the weight of the world was a bit heavier. There was grief, elation, disbelief, sighs of relief, and complete chaos. The emotional rate, if weighed on a scale, was off the charts. My 8 year old son told me his third grade class was even divided into people who wanted this candidate to win and those who wanted the other. Are you kidding me? What do they know about politics? And since when do you have a playground fight about being republican versus democrat? Crazy times. All I did on the playground at his age was giggle about who was going under the big oak tree to pretend ‘get married’. And then take off running to do flips on the monkey bars. I never remember spouting off about a presidential election. Thank goodness.

I digress. My post was intended to focus on mindfulness. Which I practice every day of my life. Ever find yourself thinking stupid things? As small as, ‘Crap, what do I have to make for dinner tonight? I have no groceries in the house. We had junk last night. And for the love of all that’s sacred…I don’t want to go over to so-in-so’s house tomorrow. Why can’t I just say I’m busy?’     Thoughts such as these dance like sugarplums in my little brain a lot! There’s no goodness to be found. I have to redirect them to positive things, such as going through a plan of what I’ll make and how easy it’ll be. ‘I’ve got this. It’s going to be fine. I love just eating with my kids. Who cares if it’s breakfast night. Everyone likes pancakes.’🙂

Or, ‘I hate these shoes. Why do I consistently put these ugly things on my feet?’   If I don’t watch it, this type of stinking’ thinkin’ roams freely in my head. I have to consciously think better things. It’s called mindfulness thinking. Steering my thought to good places. Being the driver of them, not the passenger. ‘These shoes may be ugly as sin, but they’re broken in and feel good. I’ll just stay behind my desk a little more today!’

All of my thoughts are not the truth. I have to remember that one, too. Has your child ever been late and instantly you think you’re going to receive a call from the police telling you they’re in a ditch? Yep, that’d be me again! My mind is full of these fun gems. And that’s why I have to take the wheel and steer them to better places. And it works! But boy is it tiring.

So in a world that is so divided right now, I have to pull my energy to find all the goodness. And when you look for good and think for good, it will find you! Just try it yourself!

Random Thoughts

motivationI feel as though someone has taken the cord from my motivational outlet and done away with it. And I don’t much care. Have you ever had a day such as this? Yeah, I got my work done at work. Money was counted, disbursed to the correct accounts, and emails were appropriately dealt with, but now that I’ve returned home…I’ve got nothing else to give. Nothing. Then you have this dark thing going on outside, happening early than usual. Like it’s dark at 5:30 now. I used to like this when I was younger, but now it’s as though the day has come to a close and I wait for sleep. But, no….I’ve still got 4 to 5 hours of time left to be productive. Yet I can’t. Because it’s dark!

I didn’t blog about it, but my beloved Walter died last week. Almost to the day. Walter was our family dog. A beautiful Weimaraner with gray eyes and grand stature. I picked him out of a litter of girls. He was about 5 months old…the same age as my daughter at the time. He was wearing purple nail polish on one of his nails, in order to tell him apart from the others. I was drawn to him the very moment I saw him and named him on the way home. Home…that’s when the fun began. Within a couple months, his head swelled twice the size it should be. After we got medication for this, he went lame. We stuck this out a few weeks, until he spontaneously walked again, and eventually fell into the river from the pier…in the dead of winter. What a fiasco it was with Walter. But slowly he got better, and drier, and the rest of his life was bliss. Until last summer when he was slow to walk, again. There was something going on with his legs and it only became worse. In the end, I had to walk him outside holding him up with a towel wrapped around his torso. His back legs didn’t work anymore. It was very sad. I watched as his beautiful ghost eyes told me he was too tired to move anymore. So my husband took him to the hospital and left him there. I watched as they took him on a stretcher from the back of his van. I watched from a safe distance in my car, far away, and bawled my eyes out. That morning I told him my good-byes and wept in front of him. He knew. And it was time. 13.5 years wasn’t long enough.😦

Who is sick of politics, raise their hand!! I will be so happy when it’s over. People will Facebook others, encouraging them to vote. But what they really mean is to vote for who they want to win. If not, keep your sorry butt from going to the polls. I mean, really. And I’m super sick of all the stupidity out there. Of course whoever isn’t voting for your person, you automatically think they’re ignorant. It’s the most bizarre presidential election I’ve ever been witness to. Crazy!

I almost bought another plant this weekend. Poor thing was on the distressed rack for cheap. And it wasn’t half bad. I put it in my buggy, picked out a pot, and rode that thing around for awhile. Then I drove it back to the distressed rack and put it back. I don’t need another house plant, I declared to myself. I can’t keep up with the ones I’ve got. They drive me crazy. When did I fertilize last? Why is that one looking yellow? I’ve got enough to deal with. Oh yeah…I did buy a little one. I selectively forgot about that one. My kids made fun of it when I put it in the drink holder. Poor little guy was a dollar. It doesn’t like light, but drinks a lot. Kind of like my daughter! (I always get after her for not putting open her window shades and refilling the water pitcher).

As I finish my post, I still don’t feel any motivation reaching out to me. I look around at all that I could get done….and nothing. Maybe tomorrow.🙂