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Release Day!!

I’m so excited to send this latest baby into the reader realm! It would be absolutely amazing if everyone welcomed Colin and Claire into their imaginations and loved them as much as I do. 🙂 I know it’s a stretch…but a writer can hope!

Have you ever had a crush on someone and knew it couldn’t happen? Claire has finally fallen head over heels for the guy she grew up with every summer at the Cove. There’s just one problem…he comes from money, and she lives in a one bedroom apartment in Queens. Colin’s dad would never stand to see his son get involved in any girl who wasn’t born into privilege. And so the story begins…

I’m always a bit nervous to read reviews. As with most people, I question my ability with each one I read. Realizing everyone has different tastes for books like they do certain foods, I cannot focus on the good, bad, or ugly. LOL  I write from my heart…my very messy heart!

Happy Release day, everyone! I hope you enjoy it and please let me know either way in a review on Amazon or Goodreads. It really helps readers find me and lets me know what you think.

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Nice Guys…

It is true…they finish last, but they usually last longer than any other species! How many of you married a nice guy? If you did, then you’re probably still married to him. Jerks are typically divorced, possibly turned nice because they knew there was no other way, and maybe they’re re-married, or they are eating tv dinners alone with their dog who is licking the empty plastic container because, well they have a jerk for an owner. Now, how many of you dated the jerk before moving on to the nice guy? Yep, everyone, right? Well, a lot of you for sure. My apologies to the ones who married said jerks, thinking they would change them. I know I was one of those that dated the jerk. I had to. It’s the thing to do. That jerk is so tempting, so alluring, so needful to capture. Like a rare butterfly whose wings turn into cheap plastic decoys once they think they’ve got you.

I remember my jerk. He was a humongous flirt, dangerously cute, sweet talker, and a challenge. Nice guys are NO challenge. Their humility and kindness oozes from them like foam from a shaken coke can. They can’t hide it. It’s who they are–how they were raised. Or not. It’s just who they are. You can take your car and run over a nice guy. Apologize and all is forgiven. The jerk will drop you like a hot potato, no hesitation involved. And they will probably get in their car and leave a few tracks on your back, just for ‘Even Stevens’. Anyway, I digress. That jerk is cunning. You think he’s a mountain to climb, to place your flag, and let every girl know you’re out with Joe Cool. Shortly, after you’re sick to death of him checking himself out in the silverware at your table, you’re ready to move on. And that’s when Nice Guy comes into the picture. I have a few of those in my family. Of course, I do. 🙂 Their dad is nice, and I don’t raise jerks. 😉 And so I tell them, don’t worry boys, when the girls are tired of the jerks, suddenly you will come into focus for them. You will look like that hero on the white horse. The one that opens her car door, asks what she wants to do, where she wants to eat. Sadly, you will finish last. But it will be you that finished. Not the jerk. 

I’ve noticed all the trendy things going around now are ‘Be Kind’ geared. Really? We have to post this on social media? Be kind. What is this world coming to that this has to be a ‘thing’…a revival, a happening? There is honestly a movement where I live for this very sentiment. People painting it on rocks, features on the front page of the newspaper about people going around with signs… I guess this philosophy goes hand in hand with the jerk thing. Why are there jerks? Why does someone choose not to be nice and kind and giving and compassionate? Is the other way so much easier? I think it’s because kindness was never offered to them. Although this is a learned behavior, why should they? Obviously girls like it. For a short time. You date a jerk…if you’re lucky, you marry the nice guy.

And that’s just my little dessert plate of what the jerk and nice guy’s position in life are. Please feel free to comment if you feel differently! I love to hear from you. 🙂

Don’t forget, my new release comes out next week!!!! I’m too excited. No, really I am.

 Pre-order here! Oh, and of course, there is a jerk in the book. He has the tiniest of all parts. 🙂 Hey, it had to be true to life, didn’t it? Thank you kindly.

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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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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. 🙂

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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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Love Comes Quickly

Love-Pictures-2How quickly does love really come? How fast is too fast? I was asked this question not too long ago by someone who thinks they love someone only after a few weeks of talking. There have been two dates, telephone conversations, and endless texts between them. Hmmm…could it be love? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s infatuation. Is there a litmus test for love?

I read a review for my debut book, “Waking Amy” and they stated that the love between the hero and heroine happened too quickly. Don’t you kind of have to write it quickly? I mean, there’s only 250-300 pages to establish love. Less, if you want to add in a problem, some climax, and a conclusion, too! Certainly we don’t have the leisure to drag it out for three volumes. But doesn’t love happen that quickly in real life? My friend seems to ponder the question. And I would figure her to only be on about page 50 of her romance!

I was watching Dying Young tonight. You know…with Julia Roberts and Campbell Scott. Anyway, they were about 25% into the movie when it happened for them. Julia Robert’s character was about to leave when Campbell Scott seduced her and they slept together. BAM!! The next morning he declares his undying love and she returns the sentiment. Are you serious? Isn’t that a bit quick? Shouldn’t they date more than one time before sealing their fate with forever-talk? Couldn’t they’ve remarked how much they liked one another before diving into “here’s my heart, don’t break it”? It must be that I’m just so slow in coming to the conclusion about surrendering my soul to someone. But it works in fiction and movies. I get it. It has to. We only have but so long to convey the message. No heroine walks into a book halfway into a romance with the hero. How would the reader have empathy for anything they went through in the beginning of their romance? Where is the build? Oh yeah…it’s on pages 1-75. So, what makes it so unbelievable then to think my friend isn’t in love? I’m not sure, I just can’t wrap my head around it.

Point 2 that I can quickly recall. The movie, “The Longest Ride”, by Nicholas Sparks. The girl dates him only a one time before she rips off her clothes and magically they can’t live without each other. What? I found her to be a little loose quite frankly. I know, I know…that’s what sells. But is it real life? I guess so. For some. I don’t hang around people who have these types of things happen to them…but I wonder…is my friend going to fall to this “fictional” fate of love comes quickly? I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

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Cover Reveal-A Reason to Stay

A Reason to Stay Cover Web_2This is my new contemporary romance, “A Reason to Stay.” It releases June 1st. It’s quite a different tale than that of Amy. Elise is my heroine and she can handle herself a little better when it comes to men. What she can’t handle is commitment! That’s why when she feels the flutters for her boyfriend, still after 10 months of dating, she knows it’s time to leave. But why would she? This is something she’s working on. To pull out the ol’ “it’s me not you” seems so cliché. But wait…a trip home to Kentucky to help her mother after surgery could be just the ticket. Then again, Kentucky is also home to Ben, the first guy who Elise still feels flutters when she has thoughts of his swagger and delicious smile. What’s a girl to do? Especially if he tracks her down and wants to talk about old times.

I loved writing Elise. She’s a bit like me–a commitment phobic. It’s amazing I even settled down, myself! It’s also probably why I don’t take price tags off things. I need to feel I can return things should I need to. Not that I do a whole lot. 🙂 Well…maybe sometimes.

I’ll blog later about each of my characters in “A Reason to Stay”, and why I enjoyed writing them. Ben…Darren…Lyla…they’re all there! You can see if one stands out as a person you know. I’m sure there is!

And now for a tiny teaser…

Memories of their first time making love, while his parents were away, washed over her and strangled in her throat, forcing her to clear it. Ben looked up.

“Are you alright?”

“Fine.” One word. And for anyone who knew Elise, it was the worst word she could use. He knew it, too.

He fished through his drawers and pulled out a pair of boxer shorts and grabbed a shirt from his closet. She took them from him. Their fingers touched, making her attentive to his reaction. Were there any memories that were haunting him, as she stood inside his room? If there were, she wouldn’t keep her eyes on him long enough to find out. She couldn’t. They knew too much of her.

“You can change in here with me or the bathroom on the right.” A devil-painted-smile crossed his face and a rush of hormones swam through her stomach.

“I’ll take the bathroom.”

Why was he even messing with her? Just get changed and go home. There was no force that could be used against the Pandora box he was attempting to unlock. She peeled off her top and closed her eyes as she slid his shirt over her head, imaging the times before when she wore his clothes. It was like coming home after too long being gone. She smoothed her hair over to the side and pinched her cheeks for color. After taking a long draw of air, she knew that look of hers in the reflection of the mirror. The one that wanted to stay there, for old time’s sake. She pushed the thought away and dropped her wet shorts to the ground and shimmied on the boxer ones he lent her. There was a towel hanging on the back of the door that she used to dry her hair so it would stop dripping.

It was quiet when she opened the door. The kids and Ben had beat her downstairs. She held her wadded wet clothes as she stepped into the kitchen where Ben was pulling out some pots from the cabinets. He had changed into a baseball cotton tee with eye pleasing jeans. Age had perfected him well.

“I’m going to get going, I guess. I’ll make sure Melanie gets your clothes back to you.” Elise stood at the edge of the counter, watching his rendition of a chef on The Cooking Network.

He pretended not to hear her segue for leaving, and filled the large pot with water. “Sit down. I’m going to make dinner.”

“Ben, I have to go.”

“Sit down and relax. Oh, by the way, Darren’s been trying to call you.”

The words streamed in her mind like a foreign language she could not translate. What did he just say? Darren?

Ben read her thoughts. He pointed toward the area by the back door. “Your phone is on the counter and it’s been buzzing. I didn’t mean to look, but his picture kept coming up. Still have a fetish for dark haired men, I see.”

Elise remained quiet. Anything she said could be used against her. More importantly, she hated answering questions about her life. The one she hoped to leave safely back in California. Traps and snares never put her in a good mood. She walked around to the counter where her phone lay and took it, trying to put it in her pocket. When she realized the shorts she had on had none, she held it down by her side.

“You’re not going to call him back?” Ben said, turning on the stove.

“I’ll call later.” Answer given. Now move on. Please, move on.

“Who is Darren?”

Ever the non-committer. “A friend.”

“A friend?” A note of skepticism was in his tone. Did he know the real Elise Newton too well?

Purchase: Amazon
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Lost to a Generation

inside-blockbusterIs it just me, or did someone else out there remember doing this on the weekend? Going to the video store was as necessary as sleeping in on Saturday morning. And if you didn’t get there early enough, the selection for the new releases was picked dry. Don’t get me started on the late fee anxiety. By the time I took the thing back, the late fees could’ve bought it. But wasn’t it fun? Standing around, reading the backs of empty boxes, and picking out the popcorn in the buckets that popped up pretty in its own container. The video store is where I actually met my husband for our first real date. We were going to pick out a movie together and then take it to my house to watch. That way my mother could meet him, watch him for 2 hours, and size him up for not being a killer. He was actually 20 minutes late and I almost left.

Sadly I remember video stores when they carried VHS or Beta tapes. And if you brought it back without rewinding it, they charged an extra 25-50 cents!

More sadly is that my children will not have this ritual available to them. Instead, they watch as I get out of the car and wait to use the Red box. How impersonal. And annoying! Have you ever stood behind someone in 20 degree weather while they read the description to every movie on the screen? Yeah, okay…sometimes I’m that person. But who can help it. I need to know what they’re about. I certainly don’t make a habit of it, but how annoying the entire thing is. Someone standing behind me huffing somehow makes me rush. Not that this trick helps in all situations. Some people certainly don’t care when I huff behind them! And you’re lucky if you find a Red box. Give me a Blockbuster any day. Of course living out in the boonies, Netflix is not an option for me. If only. But still, I think if given the choice of dialing one up on my television or going to the video store, I might….take the television. But I still long for the store. Someone please tell me a Kindle will never take the bookstores away. I looove my Kindle, but I love the smell of books more. 🙂

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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