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Ever Feel Existential?

I thought I was the only one that got these roaming thoughts. That was until my daughter came to me and said some of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. She’s just like me!! Things have her weirded out. Like her name, for example. She thought, ‘why do I come when someone says these 2 syllables?’ I rolled, laughing. She was dead serious when she asked me. At least I’m not the only ninny in the room. LOL  I think sometimes how this brain…this thing folded up piece of matter, like some type of science project I’ve left too long in the fridge, can remember numbers, how to drive with both my foot and hand respectively, think back to when I was five and how my mom’s house smelled when she cooked salmon cakes. Weird stuff like this. I believe Jim Carrey is going through this phase full time now.

Yes, it’s November. Again. And it will fly just like all the rest of the months of this year have flown by. It’s like I go to bed, rotate twice, and the alarm clock goes off again. Then Fridays whiz by, and Sundays keep me whining for more of a weekend to enjoy. And before I know it, all those Christmas projects I have in bags, waiting for me to sew or make for gifts, will get tossed back in the closet or thrown together in one weekend. Although, I must pat myself on the back for this one deed I’ve just done. I’ve bought like 3 presents already. This is truly amazing. Not sure why, but I did. Now not to hide it from myself and discover it at Easter when I’m searching for the candy I’ve hidden from my children. LOL

Drum roll please….my new book is near completion! That’s right, you read that correctly. I’m super thrilled. I get thrilled over all of them. It’s a lovely thing when you can pet, admire, and get jazzed about your own creativity. This one, I do hope, will not upset anyone. Ha, ha, ha. It’s messy, don’t get me wrong. It has to be messy. That’s what I do. If it’s not messy, it’s not true to life. But I don’t dangle anyone from a cliff, I don’t make you question the integrity of someone you love from page 5 thru 185, and I don’t…well, let’s see, I do a little. Oh, just trust me. I’m getting better at pleasing the masses. Want to know what it’s about? Okay, just a little hint.   Second chances. Everyone loves those, right? I do. But this is more than one second chance, it’s about three! Long story. (haha) So what if you’re getting over someone, or thought you were, and they try to reel you back in? What if while you were getting over them, you met someone who you thought might be the right someone? Just a theory.     Now to come up with a title for all that mumbo-jumbo. I used to love giving a work a title. Now it’s challenging.

Who could eat cereal for dinner? Me, too. Not easy when you have kids hounding you for something that fits more on a plate than a bowl. My husband wasn’t home for dinner tonight and I was like, ‘cereal, anyone?’ Yeah, it didn’t happen. I threw something sloppy together. I hope no one’s stomach is growling like mine. Maybe I’ll go and get those Lucky Charms now!

Here’s to everyone enjoying their week, not questioning the radicalness of answering to an audible sound made just for you (your name), and to me for choosing just the right title for this new book baby I will release in the winter. 🙂

 

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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. 🙂

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I’ve Done it Again!!!

AgnesThat’s right, I’ve done it again! I’ve released another Amy book. I just love that girl. And I love writing! And I love publishing! And I love readers! It’s a dream come true.

For those who’ve been misplaced out of my reach for the past month, this is the day that “Leaving Amy” reveals herself to the world. You remember “Waking Amy” right? The book where the girl gets left by her husband…she goes in search to find herself and finds…

Well, if you haven’t met Amy, then you won’t understand what, who, or why she’s “Leaving Amy”. So please, walk, run, click, or read over someone’s shoulder, the beginning of the whole ordeal. Then after that…walk, run, or click to find out the second half. I’m on pins and needles waiting to hear some reaction to all of it. Will they want to shake her, squeeze her, jump in the car and give her a quick talking to? I don’t know. And it’s driving me crazy!!

But most of all, I’m just so happy to be here on the other side of the computer, looking at this accomplishment. For someone who didn’t have a clue what they would be doing now, I’ve come a long  way in a short time. I’m beyond measurable thrilled. I’m over the sun, the moon, and the stars- happy. I can’t believe Amy has a second book and it’s for sale. Thank you to all the people who’ve begun her journey with me and who’s sticking around to see what happens next. And just for the record, so am I! I haven’t quite finished her story, so I’m looking for some suggestions. Got any?

Leaving Amy digital

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Writer’s Block Denial

writers-blockSo for about a month, I haven’t really written. Okay…maybe a few pages. But even those felt forced. And don’t they, whoever ‘they’ are, say that you should write every day, whether you want to or not?

Perhaps the reason I couldn’t write was because of all my release things going on. Perhaps it was because my chair felt uncomfortable, I had too many clothes to wash, the moon wasn’t out…I don’t know. Whatever it was, it wasn’t happening when I lit up the ‘Word’ function of my keyboard.

Let’s face it, you can’t force inspiration. It’s either there or it isn’t. Specifically, I’m writing the third and final installment of my Amy series. I marvel that I finished the second one. It’s such a relief to know it’s finished. It even passed the beta reader tests. Two thumbs up, they said.

I know what it is! It’s the pressure to get it right again. Look at “Fifty Shades of Grey.” That girl has got to feel the pressure. Incidentally, I’ve heard not so rave things about the second book. I mean, once you did it amazingly right the first time…    And “Harry Potter”? Didn’t she write the next book unaffiliated with it, under a different pen name? Did she feel the pressure, too?

Not saying that “Waking Amy” is all that. But, I felt strained to do the second one. Albeit, it’s over with and I like it more than the first…but then I have a third one to contrive. I need this one to be the best of all three. End with a bang. Shrimps on the Barbie!, if you know what I mean. Maybe it’s a series thing. I don’t feel this pressure for writing standalones.

Whatever the reason, I identify myself with being a supreme procrastinator. (see previous blog post on this problem) I have to have someone breathing down my neck, a gun pointed to my piggy toe…just to get it moving.

But good news! I wrote an outstanding 7,000 words today. And it wasn’t that difficult. Once I get all the imaginary people in one room, they tend to start talking. Then the buzzer rings, and I have to put the dinner on the table! Oh well, I’ll start again tomorrow. Hopefully, Amy will remember where we left off, and the lines she’s supposed to be saying. 🙂

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Meet Tom McTavish

thZO9ADQYGI don’t know if you watch the show or not, but last night there was a Jesse Stone marathon playing on television. It was rather late before I realized it was on, but I stayed awake as long as I could, watching that man solve crimes. There is just something about Tom Selleck that lights a spark for me.Which is why I had to include him in one of my very own books, “Waking Amy” no less! I know, I know…he’s old. Well, not that old. But, he’s older than Amy. That’s okay. Anyone read Steve Martin’s “Shopgirl”? It works. Younger girls like older guys, and obviously the opposite is true. It doesn’t take too many examples to prove the theory. There is something to be said of an older gentleman.

There’s also something to be said about Tom. Something very relaxing….confident…alluring…mysterious. That’s why he’s the perfect Tom McTavish. I sometimes write using the person’s name just to remind me of the character I’m envisioning.

So a little bit about Tom, in “Waking Amy”. He’s a bachelor, and hasn’t really dated since divorcing his wife seven years ago. Work consumes him, which is probably why he’s divorced, and he’s fine with that. Or so he thought, until he met Amy…

He meets this younger girl (Amy) at a wedding. She has flowing red hair, freckles dotting the bridge of her nose, and a beauty that radiates from the inside out. He’s never seen her before—doesn’t seem to know her relation to the bride or groom. Incidentally, he’s the bride’s uncle. He approaches this free spirit, who seems to be there without a date, and asks her to dance. He can’t believe it after he asks—he hasn’t danced in years! There’s been no occasion or reason to. But, she says yes.

He takes her out to the dancefloor and suddenly a joy overcomes him. Starting as a dizzy spell in his head and moving its way down to his light-as-air feet.  He’s drunk with happiness. Suddenly nothing else existed around him. There were no other dancers, no toddlers hanging on the skirts of their mothers. Even the music was less blaring. All of the clutter that had loitered his mind about work and going home later to eat that stale muffin on the counter had disappeared. All he could think about was Amy. This girl with fair-colored skin, and blue eyes that twinkled in the candlelit canopies.

He watched as her shy smile peeked out when he raised his eyebrows and swung her around. How her hair bounced on her shoulders, and her dress had become something to be jealous of. Because it was able to touch her as he wanted. Small whiffs of her perfume drifted by every time she turned her head—making his eyes close and remember what it was like to smell the neck of a woman. How he wanted to get lost in her smell.

Alas, the song came to an end. He earnestly asked for just one more. Out of breath, she shook her head meekly, ‘no’. His lips pinched as he smiled and thanked her for at least that one. And then she disappeared into the crowd. It didn’t take long for him to go in search of this beautiful creature. He needed to make sure what had just happened, the new skip in his heart, was not a mirage. Not some slight of hand that only happened at weddings, when love was so thick in the air that it could be cut.

Excerpt from “Waking Amy”: (written in first person)

After I finished, I examined myself in the full-length mirror, pinching my cheeks for added color. They even had cloth napkins for drying your hands, displayed on a center basket on the shiny, black vanity. I think I’d have passed out if they had a sofa for lounging, equipped with a man holding a fan, ready to serve me at my beck and call. They didn’t, but the size of the room could have accommodated such a fantasy come true.

A lady held the door as I stepped out to the two-story, vaulted recreation room. I hesitated when I saw Tom waiting outside the bathroom door. “Hello.”

“Are you coming back to the party?”

He looked different in this light. More sophisticated, more grown up, older. Only by fifteen years, I thought. But still as good looking as he looked in the moonlight. He had a little Alec Baldwin to his look. Stylish and devilishly handsome.

“I’m actually on my way out. My friend is waiting for me.” I bit the corner of my lip. Had someone flipped a switch inside me and managed to turn on a light that had been off for the past ten years of my life? I never got this much attention before now. So, is this what Ashley felt like all the time?

“That’s a shame. I was hoping to have another dance with you.” He flashed me his best puppy-dog eyes. “What if I gave you a ride home?”

Before I could answer Mark came around the corner. He must have heard the last part of Tom’s question to me. “Amy, are you ready?”

I looked at the two guys, one and then the other. “I appreciate it, but I have to go. I don’t live close by.”

“That’s okay. If your friend is all right with it, I can manage to get you home safely.” He looked away from Mark and back toward me. “I think we could have a good time. They haven’t cut the cake yet. You can’t leave before trying the cake.”

“I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be all right with it. I can take her home just fine,” Mark said, interrupting him.

The match was struck. I felt a hot wind blow across me. This was what it felt to be the prom queen. It’s better than a roller coaster ride.

“Thank you though.” I interceded before any further male lingo was slung. The testosterone levels were reaching knee-deep. I had to find a way to clear the drain and walk out of there without any problems. Mark was stamping his ownership and I didn’t seem to mind.

Tom hesitated before saying anything else. My eyes told him to please let it go. “Let me give you my card. Call me when you don’t already have a chauffeur. I’d like to take you out sometime.”

            I took the card and pleasantly smiled at him. I knew I’d never see him again, but still, he was a good dancer and frightfully refined. Mark held out his arm and waited to escort me out. I suddenly felt like I was five-years-old and being punished for bad behavior. His silence led me to a million conclusions.

end of excerpt

Incidentally, Amy does bump into Tom again. He’s in all three books, and I’ve loved every minute of it!

https://www.amazon.com/author/julieanndove

 

 

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Day Ten of My Book Dream

Woman-reading-bookDay Ten: I received the paperback version of my book in the mail. Otherwise known as the “proof”. I have to inspect it of any errors before offering it for print to customers. All in all it was in pretty good shape. I am changing the color in the title, but nothing major.

Many authors describe their books as their babies. In a way, they are. You go through some type of birthing process during the writing phase. An idea germinates, a plot thickens, there is a climatic moment, and then it completes itself….it resolves into a finished story. And for a while now, it’s been over for me. The editing was finished, the pre-order was live, but the actual baby still sat somewhere out in space. In digital form….until yesterday.

I received a texted picture, from my boyfriend, of the package that had arrived while I was at work. Could it be? It wasn’t due for another day. But alas, when I got home we all stood around, watching the opening of the box. Well, actually only a few children showed. The others were napping off the day of school.

Slowly, I pulled out the crumpled paper that was stuffed on top…and there is was. My baby. The one, for the past 2 years, I only recognized by a data file trapped on my computer screen. Now it was in tangible form. I could fan the pages, smell the print, run my finger across the cover. It was day 10! Actually seven hundred something from the beginning, but nonetheless, it was my moment. Something completed. I was happy. A smile found its way to my face and I held it with complete and utter satisfaction. I know that as years go by, it will more than likely not be the best thing I’ve ever written. (I’m banking on the whole ‘as we grow, we get better’ kind of thing to take place). But, it was my first. A sweet memory, indeed.

“Welcome, Amy. You are finally here!”

Waking Amy Digital

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Onward, to Number Three!

female-writer-typewriterI haven’t written an organic word in what seems forever. Editing and revising doesn’t count. Today I’m beginning the third and final book in the “Amy Series.” I’ve just got word from my loyal Beta readers that they enjoyed the second one. Which made me screech in my tracks. “Oh yeah, I better get started on the next one.”

And so I shall. Of course I have to re-read the last few chapters of the second one in order to put me back in the story, but I took care of that this morning at six. Yes, six. A.M. I knew time was precious today, so I started early. It’s a good sign that I’ll be super exhausted when I get off from work tonight at nine. Whatever. I’m young, right? I can take the exhaustion. Certainly knowing that tomorrow is Saturday will help.

I wanted to post an excerpt from the first one that is releasing February 23. Some type of sample so you can decide if it’s your cup of tea. Seeing as not everyone enjoys the same kind of beverage. “Waking Amy” is a chick read. It deals with the ups and downs of a thirty year old girl who’s dealing with trying to salvage her declining marriage. The guy who’s coaching and helping in the mission is sort of a distraction. Taking her mind a little off the goal. Still, she tries to remain focused. Here is a sample:

My routine was off-kilter the next day. Not only wasn’t I going to work as usual, and Wesley wasn’t home like every day, but my core felt different. I barely slept the night before, replaying the moment that stood out from any other in my life. As if someone had finally found the cord and plugged me in.

Today I felt like a ripped sheet, fluttering in the wind. It was only yesterday that I had a plan. Heck, last week I thought I had a husband and a future. Nothing was a sure thing anymore. Nothing but this feeling of chronic jitters I had adopted that came from kissing Dr. Mark Reilly. Comparable to a dope addict who no longer had a fix or a way to find a fix. I was now ten steps from the direction I had started out. Turned around and still spinning. The roller coaster ride was compliments of Mark, too. I grabbed my journal next to the bed and opened it to a blank sheet. Visual evidence of why I couldn’t think of him and that kiss would have to be realized and written down.

  1. Mark Reilly has probably slept with half of the female population in the greater part of Portland, never having gone on a second date with any of them.
  2. I’m married.
  3. He’s a player. I’m his quest. I’m tomorrow’s trash in his female recycle bin.
  4. I’m married.
  5. I’m married and Wesley will be a different man when I become a different woman. We will be happy.
  6. Forget Mark Reilly. It’s only business.

Waking Amy Cover (1)

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Feeling Sorry for the Underdog

tumblr_l9yc75zSID1qc2cblo1_500As I watched the presidential “thing” in Iowa last night, it was sad to hear the news of some of the candidates dropping out. Of course they would be silly not to with numbers in the single digits, but still….

Isn’t it sad to see someone lose? You consider all the hopes that went into whatever they were trying to achieve, only to be staring down the barrel of rejection. It’s impossible not to take it personal, if you’re in that position, but it’s the way of the world. Regardless of who I want to win, someone has to lose and it’s just sad.

When I’m watching a football game (trust me, it doesn’t happen often), I feel bad for the losers. They had just as much hope as the winners, and now they have to go home having lost.

When a new store opens and fails, I drive by with a frown, shaking my head. Not that I ever needed dried herbs or monkey beads, (that’s why I personally never paid patronage), but it’s someone’s hopes and dreams dashed.

I was raised with the philosophy that emotions were a sign of weakness. That’s probably why, for the most of my life, I was emotionless. Whatever. I didn’t care. I grew a callus over my true thoughts and went on about life. And I guess it shields you from disappointment, but doesn’t that chip away at humanity? If no one cared, what would be the gain?

So, for those that lost last night, I feel for your loss. A hope circled the drain and finally disappeared. For all the failed businesses, at least you tried. Not many can say they did even that.

With my debut book releasing this month, I sure hope I can take the bad reviews. Because let’s face it, they will happen. Books are so subjective. Someone isn’t going to like that I hooked someone up with that guy, or why did I write this way or that? But at least I finished the book and put it out there to take whatever comes. At least I’m that brave! (Wish me luck 🙂

Is it really this month that the book releases? Oh. My. Gosh. Am I really sure about this?

fear

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Calm Before the Storm

th1TY66I4NIn was at the end of 2012, that I began to write. Not actually began, but revisited writing. I’d gotten this notion that being an author was my intended path. For the past 20 years I’d been a property manager. Not a complete happy one. You know, just doing the job and paying the bills. Who aspires to collecting rents and receiving calls about a leaky toilet?

I took off two months or so, and for that time, all I did was write. I was consumed. Where were these stories coming from? In the shower, in my sleep–all I did was write in my mind. After I collected a few books on paper, I researched what to do next. So I began querying my books to agents. I got a few requests, some advice, and mostly after that, rejections. It was disheartening. But also a gift of knowledge. What I was writing wasn’t ready for publication. I needed to attend some workshops, join some writing groups, and read! And that I did. All of it. I entered contest after contest, some even put me as a finalist, but most importantly, I received valuable advice from the judges. What I needed to tweak, work on, and get better at. And so I did. Then came more rejection. I was almost at the end of my ‘what if I’m just no good.’ So…I took a break from it.

In that time I took a hard look at what I wanted to do in life. And what I found out is that I wanted…no, what I needed, was to write. I would not give up. I would not accept rejection. Shortly after this I received word from a publisher that she wanted to contract me for a book. I was over the moon. Me? Are you sure? LOL

So for that year until publication I continued to write, I started my blog, and I got a Twitter and Author Facebook. I was on my way! Then came another contract for my second book. Yay! I was doing it now:)

Most recently my first publisher and I parted ways. I always try to see the lesson learned and move past it. Next month I will release my debut book, “Waking Amy.” I’m slightly freaking out. This is not the way it was to be, but I’m so much better for it. Still, I’m very nervous. Talk about opening your soul for the whole world to see! I’m releasing my words, my imagination, my feelings, out to the universe. Certainly the entire universe won’t witness this, but they could should they go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble and click “Buy Now.”

I’m going to try and stay away from the reviews. I can only imagine I’ll be like the groundhog…slipping back into my hole if there’s a bad one. But I’ve been told that a bad one is better than a blank one. Okay, I think. I’ll try and remember that when I’m sobbing in my wine glass, blabbering incoherent things.

I’m crossing off everything as I go. Joined this club, check! Talked to this reviewer, check! This is my first time out, and I’m alone…I’m sure there will be a million things I don’t do that I should. But the most important thing I keep telling my self, is that I’m doing it! I’m really releasing my book! May everyone who takes a chance on this girl and reads it, be blessed for it:) I’m counting on it!