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Time moves on

Long time no blog, huh? I’ve been a bit busy. I got back from China! That was huge. I gained a wonderful little being. That was humongous. Now my nest is getting ready to be scattered, again. Drats, that college!

China was busy. And scary. I’d say 1% spoke broken English. That is if you could find her/him. We were on our own most of the time (2 weeks). Which made eating almost impossible. Menus were mostly in Chinese, and we are not the gambling type, seeing that chicken feet were a favorite by many and squid flavored potato chips were at every convenience store. My husband lost 10 pounds and I lost about 6. I lived on Coke and the doughnut and fried egg they gave me each morning. Oh, and Coke at lunch and dinner. Hence only the 6 pounds lost. You are told NOT to drink the water. Brush your teeth with bottled water and not to eat the vegetables. Hmmm….that left watermelon and rice with noodles. I don’t want to see another speck of rice for quite some time.

Our newest family member is amazing. Upon our first meeting, she clung to me and hasn’t changed her mind that I’ll do as her new momma. What a brave little girl. She left all she knows, a language she understood, all-you-can eat rice and noodles, and came to America with a strange woman and her husband to try her tastebuds on mashed potatoes and applesauce. Both of which she despises. Sigh. So I make her rice and noodles anytime she wants. She truly inspires me with how quickly she is adapting. 🙂

My two…yes, two boys leave for college next week. *sniff, sniff* I know they need to go, need to spread their wings. However, I’ll be left to look at their empty rooms and remember all the nonsense and shenanigans they pulled during our time together. Stop me now!! I don’t think I can go and make the exit scene at the dorm rooms, again. I might be busy that day they have to go. LOL

On a more exciting topic…I am about to release my next book. I. AM. So. Excited!! I just read the latest review for it. I get such a high off of reading what someone thinks of my books. Provided they are justifiable. I can’t say too much for the trolls out there. Everybody has a pooper, right? Anyway, so my next book comes out August 23rd! Eep. It’s a summer fling-type one. I got it in right under the ‘summer’ wire. I do hope everyone who reads it likes it. As with all my books, I fall in love with each of the characters. It’s so difficult to choose which I like best.

Well, I’m off to get that last minute school shopping done. Everyone has that one kid, right? The one that constantly reminds me they have nothing on their supply list and school starts Monday. Yeah, yeah. I have three days, don’t I? Oh, how I hate the supply aisles at Wal-Mart and Target. It’s worse than a BOGO at the shoe store. People grabbing glue sticks like Elmer’s is going on strike. And binders that cost a fraction of my car payment lining the shelves. Come on! It’s a binder, people. Three rings. Why is it like ten bucks? And why does every teacher in the free world need two for their class? Don’t get me started on backpacks. Yes, my oldest son has reminded me that he’s had the same one for the past five years. What can I say? That thing has kept its shape and still zips. Well, kind of. I’ll get him a new one. But have you seen the prices? Forty dollars? And that’s a cheap one. Seriously? Times that by like six. It takes a bite out of the old wallet.

Enough of my school supply rant. I mean, is my kid really going to blow their nose through three boxes of tissues? And use 200 Clorox wipes? I think not. Anyway, happy back to school! Let the good times roll for all the moms who can drop their kids and go back home and take it easy. Your summer of ‘Mom, I’m bored’ has officially come to another close.

Cheers!

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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/?

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Cover Reveal for Finding Amy!!

Finding Amy Cover 7-19-16
Finding Amy
Amy #3
Release date: September 30th
Add to Goodreads
Preorder: Amazon

I’m so excited to introduce “Finding Amy”! Doesn’t she look happy? I do believe she just might’ve found her happily ever after!! And for the readers who’ve been with her since the beginning, I’m sure you’re asking the question…who is her happily ever after with? You will have to stay tuned. Specifically, until September 30th. That’s when the questions will be answered in the final release.

In the last book of the Amy series, this naïve girl gets a few of her own questions about life and love answered. And some are not entirely what she ever dreamed. A few characters from the past will pop back in to check on her, and some new ones will be introduced. As the time for the release draws near, I’ll be posting these character inspirations on my Pinterest board, as well as Facebook. So stay tuned to meet the new lineup!

This is what’s coming:

Amy Whitfield travels across the country, either in search of something or to run away from someone. She hasn’t quite figured it out. Living on the little island of Classique just might help her decide. Here she discovers a lot of unanswered questions about the past. Not to mention, she meets someone in particular that challenges her thinking about the present.

I’m counting the days…are you?

Giveaway Time!

One luck winner will receive eBook copies of Waking Amy and Leaving Amy. Ends August 31

Enter Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Cover Reveal for “Leaving Amy”

Leaving Amy digitalI am sooo pleased to share with you, my cover for “Leaving Amy.” It is the second volume in the Amy series. I had so much fun writing this book. I was asked by a reader if I plot things out…do I know the ending before I even begin to write? I’m pretty amazed that my answer was no. That’s only because I’m a really organized person. Planning things is a small hobby of mine. I have 3 calendars dedicated to planning for things. With books, though I have only a general idea where I’m beginning, a so-so idea where it will go, but the ending is ALWAYS a surprise! The ending to this one will not disappoint. I hope.

Amy, as you know from reading the first book, is a bit naïve to the world without her husband. She’s unsure of herself living without an identity outside of marriage. And without spoiling the second book…she grows even more as the pages flip. You’re going to be proud how she handles herself. You’re also going to want to call her up and give her advice on doing some things differently in places. But, have no fear…she gets there! She really does.

I read all the reviews about what a rose-colored wearing glasses girl she is. How some would like to smack her. How others could identify with her. Trust me…Amy exists! I’ve known some Amys personally. But give her time, she unravels the cocoon that has had her trapped. She finds her legs and begins to stand on them. It takes time for people! It will take the third book for her to finally come full circle…but book 2, “Leaving Amy” will not disappoint! I hope everyone who enjoyed the first book will agree.

I left the guy off the cover intentionally. After all, it is “Leaving” Amy. But, I’ll leave this question with all who are following Amy’s journey…”Who’s leaving?”

“Leaving Amy” releases May 1 everywhere! Pre-order at Amazon today. 🙂

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Launch Day!!

ballI can’t believe this day has finally arrived! I’m releasing Amy. My heart couldn’t be happier. I actually saw a new review on Goodreads last night, and a smile spread wide across my face. Someone read Amy!! And liked it! Well, she did say Amy drove her a little crazy with her naiveté. But she is naïve. Haven’t you known someone who was…to the point  you wanted to palm their face and say ‘wake up!’

Anyway, she does wake up and that’s the point of the story. I hope so many of you enjoy the book. I was so pleased to have continued her story into the second book, “Leaving Amy.”  I have decided to release this in April, so no one has to wait long to see where it goes with Amy.

But first…”Waking Amy.” Enjoy this excerpt and remember today is the release! I thank you in advance to the moon and back!!

“I’ll have a whisky sour, please.” He told the bartender.

I looked at him, amazed that fate had such a sense of humor. I laughed.

“What’s funny?” He sipped the drink the prompt bartender had sat down in front of him.

“It’s just that we’ve already danced together, had a heated discussion in a bathroom hallway, and here we are again. I didn’t think I’d ever see you again.”

He moved closer to me, situating his entire body to mirror mine. He couldn’t seem to get close enough. My eyes fell on the stitching of the inside seam on his pants. “Fate is funny like that.”

“My thoughts exactly.” I tried on a look that would best soften the blow of what I was about to say. “I don’t mean to be a buzz kill, Tom, but have you missed the fact that I’m wearing a diamond on my left ring finger? I don’t want to give you the wrong impression of me.”

“I did see it. I see it now. But when it didn’t bother you, I thought, why should it bother me? When I didn’t see one on your friend’s finger, I figured there was a story behind you, and a ring wasn’t the main component.”

I laughed as though I had just seen the wolf’s tail hanging out from my grandma’s nightgown. “It’s not that it bothers me or not. I’m married and I’m not out looking for anything. The guy I was with last night is just a friend.”

He tilted the glass back and finished off his drink. Was he playing a dial tone in his head during my speech about not being interested in bed sheets and notches?

“So, you’re here to just have a drink?” His tone questioned my honesty.

“Sadly, yes. I lack alcoholic beverages at my house.”

“And last night? Were you there because your home doesn’t have a dance floor and a bride and groom? Who was the guy? By his tone and sense of ownership toward you, he was obviously someone who also didn’t care about your ring finger.”

My story suddenly had more holes than a hooker’s stockings. Or so I imagined. “He is a friend. And we were just out.”

“I see.” He signaled for the bartender to refill his glass.

“I know it looks and sounds like I’m some type of confused, married call-girl, but I assure you, last week I didn’t even know that guy or own this dress.”

“Have you eaten dinner?” Again, am I invisible here? Are you missing a hearing aid?

            “I haven’t. I’ll probably eat later. Did you hear me?” I leaned over to him, waiting for recognition. I could smell his aftershave and it trapped me momentarily.

“Would you like to grab a table and we get something to eat?”

Suddenly, I remembered where I was, or rather who was likely to be dining there. Talking to Tom and inhaling his manly smell had taken my eye off the door. For all I knew, Mark and Ashley could be here already. I tried to see through the fuzzy partition to the other side. The smell of food from the kitchen taunted my appetite. I was starving, but to have dinner with this guy would give him the impression I didn’t mean that gibberish I had just said. And it would jeopardize my plan of not seeing my sister in the main dining room. “I think I’m going to pay my tab and go.”

“Please don’t.” He put his hand on top of mine. Sincerity somehow found its home on his face.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to have dinner.”

“Because you don’t eat, or you don’t think it’s a good idea to eat with me? I’m harmless, I assure you. Just ask that table full of people over there. They’re my friends, and they can vouch for my reputation. I’m nothing but a gentleman. Now, what do you say? Sit across the table from me and eat. I promise not to cross the center line.”

He was too charming for his own good…or mine. I found myself basking in the attention of this fascinating, older gentleman. Enjoying his infectious smile and wondering why he seemed to be enamored with my company. It wasn’t as though I wasn’t supposed to be out. So what if I picked the same restaurant as my whore sister and her choice in hand-me-down men. Served both of them right to see me having a little fun.

“Well, if you put it like that, I’d be ridiculous if I didn’t. I guess I could share a table.”

 

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

Waking Amy Digital

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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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One day down!

DAYIf I were writing a diary, it would go something like this:

Day one of “Waking Amy”–I’ve waited a long time for the progress I’ve made today. I wrote this book as a fun exercise — keeping company with a couple of people whose story got caught in my head. It’s probably the most light-hearted of all the ones I’ve written thus far. Which is probably why I would have to categorize it as chick-lit.

Anyway, today I listed it on Amazon for pre-order. Not that I think I will get any, but I had to in order to link an author page. Plus the fact, I need to have it to submit to book reviewers. Who wants to advertise a book without a link to where it can be purchased?

And so I hit submit and watched as the book appeared like magic, among the millions of other books listed for sale. It was a milestone. Something I finished. (Unlike a few things I have lingering around the house without completion dates).

I looked at the picture I uploaded of myself. I HATE having my picture taken. It’s like, “that’s really how I look? Yuk. Who can take looking at that?” If I could’ve used a generic one, I would have. Like one of those cartoon characters with the sophisticated cheekbones and scarf flying in the wind.

Then came the biography. That was tougher to write than the story itself! If I thought the picture was bad — describing my life in 200 characters was insane. Hmm…five kids, me a writer, vacations because they sound fun, and where I live. Yep, that about does it. Oh, and the dream to visit Italy one day. I hope it didn’t sound boring. Although hum-drum at times, my life is pretty fast-paced.

So that part is finished. Now, I’m going to get the book into some hands of readers for reviews; advertise on various sites, and hope for the best . Did you know that self-doubt can really kill you if you let it.

Tip for the day: I own hope, and I won’t let any of my one million negative thoughts get to it!

marye

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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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Guest YA Book Blogger, Tula

The-Chaos-of-Stars-Kiersten-WhiteToday I have with me my daughter, Tula. She is an avid reader, sometimes finishing an entire book in one day. She recently checked this one out at the library and read it twice! in two days. I couldn’t even get her to  come to dinner, for Pete’s sake:) So, I’ve asked her to join me to give her opinion on this “awesome” book! Let’s begin.

Tula, tell us a little bit about this “awesome” book.  “It is about an Egyptian girl named Isadora who is the daughter of the goddess of child birth and the god of the underworld. Isadora’s mother, Isis, sends Isadora to San Diego because she’s been having dreams that her daughter is in trouble if she stays. Isadora is happy with this decision due to the fact she feels she’s being replaced by the new baby her mother is having. But, when Isadora is away she finds out that her mother is going to be poisoned by a snake. So, she returns home to save her mother and finds out just who is the bad guy!”

So Tula, tell me why you enjoyed this book so much?  “Well, I left out the part of all the romance that happened while she was in San Diego.”

Ahh, now that’s my girl:) A true romantic at heart. I knew there had to be something that made you read that book twice!

So, Tula what would you give this book on a five star rating system? “Five stars, of course! I loved the storyline and I want this book for my private collection.”

Sounds like the library is going to be getting cash for that book!! No, really we’ll return it. I’ll just be making a trip to our local bookstore so she can have it on her own bookshelf. Way to go, Kiersten White for making a new fan out of my daughter!!