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Meet Amy Whitfield

depositphotos_82452768-Portrait-of-beautiful-woman-with-red-hairAmy Whitfield is the wife of Wesley Whitfield. It’s how she introduces herself….how since she was in high school, she dreamed of being introduced. That’s how long she’s had a crush on that guy. But she wasn’t the first one to date him. No, her twin sister Ashley was his high school sweetheart. Unlike Amy, Ashley had no desire to stay around and get married. And after tragedy struck and both Wesley and Amy’s parents lost their lives, it was just the two of them left behind. Nature took over and after a brief courtship, they married.

Lately though, something’s been missing in her marriage. That’s why Amy is in a lingerie shop buying things she doesn’t even know how they work. It’s no surprise, Amy’s always been a good girl to a fault. That’s how her high society mother raised her. Amy knows nothing about what her friends are talking about at work when they talk trash about their men. She chokes on pudding when they ask how many times a week she has sex. A week? She’s only interested in when the next Hallmark feature presentation comes on. And she smiles, knowing that Wesley will be downstairs viewing boxing while she watches it. Their marriage has been working like this since pretty much the beginning. Until lately…

Wesley has been coming home late in the evenings. And when he finally gets there, he’s already eaten dinner. He’s got another out-to-town seminar to attend in two weeks. And he’s been less attentive to her stories about work.

Amy takes all of that in account as she straps on the nighty that she hopes will begin to capture Wesley’s attention again. But she’s too late…  As she stumbles downstairs, wearing fishnet stockings and three-inch heels, she sees the note on the fridge. He’s left her. Now what?

Read what happens to Amy, as she tries to change herself to be the woman Wesley can’t possibly leave. It’s a change that will forever alter her life, unlike she ever thought.

Enter to win a copy of “Waking Amy” on Amazon. Follow this link:

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https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/acb114c641d497ca

 

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Technology Today

divorce-kid-phoneI was driving down the road today and saw the funniest and sad thing. Weird, right? It was a little girl standing at the end of her driveway, waiting for the school bus. She had a little pink coat with a fur trimmed hat, and her backpack looked like it weighed more than she did. But what was funny…and sad, was that she was holding a cellphone and talking on it. I mean, really? She looked all of ten years old. Elsa, from “Frozen” was probably printed on her coat. A cellphone?

I suppose it’s no different than all the toddlers I see in the grocery store carts holding on to a IPAD, watching movies. Is this the new binky? I’ve actually seen some of them cry when their mom took it to change the app!

I know, I know…this is today. Of course I didn’t have this when I had my babies, but would I have used them to babysit my children? It sure would’ve been convenient, but how beneficial is it for the child’s future? I always took mine out to acclimate them to the public, and teach them how to act when there. Don’t shout for things wanted, don’t run around, and don’t touch everything in sight. Now, I’m not even sure if children even know where they’re at! The tiny screen is all they see.

I have an issue with my seven and nine year old, always wanting to play their 3DS. They’ve become so good at walking and playing, they could jump through fire hoops and not miss a level on their game! My soon-to-be 13 year old daughter keeps shouting how happy she’s going to be next month when she gets her phone. I do a side glance, wondering where it’s written that this is going to happen? Who does she have to call? And why isn’t the house phone acceptable for this type of communication? She has an IPOD that takes care of music and Facebook. A phone? Although, I suppose the ten year old I saw today, chatting it up while waiting for the bus to her elementary school might have something different to tell me! 🙂

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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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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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Antiquing

IMG_0525When I was younger, I never liked to go into antique stores. I felt the things were spooky and they stunk. I mean, who wants something someone else had, especially if it didn’t work anymore or had no use. Of course I’m speaking about butter churns and tractor parts.

Then I became older and began appreciating the stores. I’d have to say, in my area alone, four new ones have popped up within the last six months. The smell is still there. Something reminiscent of my grandmother’s basement, along with an extra layer of mildew. But I see the items in a new light.

It’s pretty bad when you can go into an antique store and recognize half the toys, having once played with them yourself. That’s what drew me in the first time, when I wasn’t with parents forcing me to go. The second time, I went because of my Etsy store. I figured I’d re-purpose something and try to sell it. But now with Etsy, if it meets a timeline, you can sell it as-is. But my first purchase didn’t. I bought a lamp. I think I paid under ten dollars for it. I took it home, cleaned it up, and took strawberry fabric and decorated a new lampshade for it. Actually it was the same lampshade, I just spun a new look to it. I listed it on my site, and a week later I had it sold. I was hooked.

So I became a regular at the antique shops. Looking, pricing, and imagining new purpose to many of the items. Alas, I bought the items…I just never sold them, again. As in, never listed them to sell. I became a quick antique hoarder. All of my good intentions now sit around my house. I love them all. Who could part with such savvy finds? I got a bit out of control, so I had to stop for awhile. That, and I don’t do too much with my Etsy site. I still have it, have items listed, but I’ve stalled at adding new things. Who can add when everything looks so wonderful on my own shelves?

This picture shown in the post is one of the things I found last spring. I walked around the store three times, eyeing it in different ways…sizing it up for rooms in my house….wondering how I could sneak it in without being seen. Finally, I snatched it from the ground where it lay. “French Lady in Blue Hat” was handwritten on the tag. The frame is even half-decent. It has a few chips, but nothing my OCD can’t handle. I just couldn’t leave her behind. They say if you see an art work that keeps tugging at you, buy it. You probably will never see it again. I passed on something once in my life, and regretted it. I couldn’t leave French Lady.

So it hangs beside my bed. It was a bit freaky in the beginning. At least she’s not looking at me sleep. And her eyes don’t follow you around the room. I certainly don’t regret it. It’s an original; you can see the brush strokes and dirty canvas from the back. I’m quite fond of it, now. I only wish it had a matching gentleman to hang on the other side of the bed. It doesn’t symmetrically match with a flower print. Oh well, I’m content with just her I suppose. 🙂

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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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Hair Cut Time!

hairTomorrow I get my hair cut. Am I the only one who takes a different picture with them each time they go? As if I’m going to actually look like it when they’re done, right? Half the time they tell me my hair isn’t the right texture, not the right color, or that I just don’t have the right shape of face for it.

I like to dream, anyway. I was thinking about going bold. Maybe a different color all together. Or length! One summer I was on vacation and someone in my group went to the salon for a hair cut. First of all, who goes for a hair cut while they’re on vacation? Do you know they won’t scalp you? Who are these people in this strange city? Where are their references? Someone you know that went to them and they turned out all right? Mind you, I had no intention of getting one; I was just there to wait while my family member was being serviced. And then I saw the receptionist….Her hair was ultra cool. Short and spikey, cool and modern. I had to have it! A the time my hair was shoulder length, mouse brown, and molded my head like a shaggy dog. “Button up, Buttercup. And give me what she’s having!” I shouted.

An hour later, I exited the salon with a total transformation. Completely different than I walked in. Boy versus girl. My hair was pixie short. Like I’d never-need-a-brush, short. I went back to the hotel and walked to the pool area, where my family was congregated. No one knew me!! It was wild. I loved it. Talk about easy; wash and go, baby! Talk about cool in the summer; no need for pony tails!

I people watch when I’m out, and I see a lot of hip hair styles. Some that I’d like to just walk up to them and ask who did it. As tomorrow morning approaches, I’m getting the itch. Unfortunately, it’s still cold outside, so I can’t go too short. And then I hear some of my friends in my head saying, “Oh, you look so much younger with longer hair.” Yeah, they don’t have to deal with it. My hair is very fine in texture and therefore falls limp at the first gust of a breeze. As though I didn’t spend a half hour that morning curling it and puffing life into it.

Maybe I’ll change the color. I could go for something to make me feel like I’ve done something different. I’ll pull out my camera roll on my phone and just see what I haven’t attempted. 🙂 It’s hair…it will grow back!

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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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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