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As Fate Would Have It

KEVINLast week I had it all planned out–new book, new characters, and new city. That was last week. And although I rolled that plot around in my head for days, perfecting it, finding the holes, and sewing up others…it got thrown to the back burner! As in, slammed to the back burner. I woke up Friday to an entirely different story. A meatier one. I think I’m going to be two authors. One who writes romantic, light-hearted pieces and another one who writes deeper ones. A little less on the funny side, heavy on the introspect.

So, this one rolling around in my daydreams stars none other than Kevin Costner. Don’t you just love this guy? I think I fell in love with him in “The Bodyguard”, or was it “For Love of the Game”? Take your pick. He’s a total classic.

And then we have Jennifer Garner. She’s such a good girl–wholesome, nurturing, wants to see the best in people. This will be my heroine. Isn’t she pretty? Another classic. Well not really that old to be a classic yet, but give her another ten years.

Jennifer Garner wallpaper (66)I’ve got so much to do on this story, furthermore, so much to do in my real life. Although I am tickled pink to have such a rich story awaiting the pages of my processor, I only have a week to prepare for all the back to school madness. Everyone has received their schedules, most of the supplies have been purchased, and I’m preparing myself for the departure of college boy. Perhaps this sidetrack of a new story came at the perfect time, after all!

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Win a brand new Amazon Kindle Fire and 17 ebooks during the HotDamn! Summer Giveaway

HotDamnSummerReads_Dove

What’re you reading this summer? What would you do with a brand new Amazon Kindle Fire and 17 ebooks? You’d have a HotDamn! Summer, that’s what! Enter the HotDamn! Summer Reads Giveaway for the chance to win a copy of Waking Amy!

I am excited to be participating in this event and have joined with 17 authors to bring you a HotDamn! Summer.

Participating Authors:
• Jackson D’Lynne
• Gina Danna
• Juliette Cosway
• Magda Alexander
• Lyn Horner
• Chloe Flowers
• Sharon Hamilton
• Susan Grant
• Mary Karlik
• Allie Harrison
• Debra Jess
• Bonnie Vanak
• Kenzie Macallan
• Julieann Dove
• Suzie T. Roos
• DB Michaels
• Tess Rider

Contest runs from now through June 30th. Good luck!
Enter Here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Life Imitating Fiction

narciso_zWhen I first began writing “Waking Amy”, it was a long time ago. Things were different…life was different. More importantly, different for my best friend. She is also one of my beta readers. She tells me like it is. Tells me when to flush the manuscript, bury it out back, and when she stayed up till past 2 in the morning just to see who ended up with who.

She enjoyed Amy…she had a few bouts of “why is she so weak”, but overall, found her to be a likeable girl. Flash forward a year later…to “Leaving Amy.” My friend began reading it as usual, and then something happened. Her marriage began to take some tumbles. She stopped reading my book, saying she just couldn’t do it. It reflected her life too much. All that happened in “Waking Amy” was starting to take form in her own life. She was becoming Amy!

This past month has taken a turn for the worst. Her husband left her like Wesley left Amy…and for the same reasons. Out of left field. How does that happen? I’m not naïve to the fact that there are two sides to every situation, and there must’ve been some writing on the walls, but to leave? When there are children? And not to go back? Not to try? To just throw your arms up, say “it’s been real for the last 15 years, but I think I’m going to go and do something different now.” ?

Needless to say, it’s been extremely painful to watch her go through this. To wake up one morning and know she’s a single mom, and clueless to what the next year will bring with custody and support. I dedicated “Leaving Amy” to her. I had no idea I was writing her story in bits and pieces. On a side note, she put my book away and has yet to finish it.

My third Amy book is about resolution. Without spoiling the second book, which releases on May 1st, Amy seeks to find herself in the final edition. As I sit and watch all the struggles my friend is facing, it helps me write. I will find her voice and I will give her courage. Even if it takes until whenever that she is able to read it.

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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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Walking on Sunshine

walkingReviews! I’ve gotta say, “I love to read them.” I hear about authors who don’t read them, and I have to wonder why. Sure, there is one out there right now that I scratch my head and wonder what the deal was, but all in all, I’m very happy with all the reviews. I love reading how someone feels about the characters. Their thoughts about Wesley, Mark, and Tom. It’s like eavesdropping on something you said and hearing everyone’s reactions!

I’m happy about all the people who read and liked Amy. She and I have become very close over the past year. And yes! the common characterization of her is to rip those rose-colored glasses off her face, but haven’t you known someone who never gives up? Especially if they’re insecure and all they know is what they know. And they fight tooth and nail to keep it? Sure, you have. At least I know a few Amys!

Anyway, I wanted to share a giveaway that ends very soon. I actually have a few. Goodreads has one that’s running all month, and Fresh Fiction will have another one beginning April 1. This one though is with Amazon. It’s a giveaway for a free copy of “Waking Amy.” So if you haven’t met this girl, enter the contest for a chance to. Her story will continue in two additional books to follow. Don’t miss out on the first one!

I hope you try it out!

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

 

 

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77%

Couple_bored_2475394kI was listening to the radio the other day at work, and they were talking about a poll done on couples. They said that 77% of women think a guy knows exactly what’s wrong when they’re quiet and say that nothing’s wrong. Or something to that effect. I laughed out loud at the guy announcer. He was shocked. Really? I’m certainly one of those 77. I believe that when I’m quiet, my boyfriend knows very well what’s wrong. He’d have to. I’m not a mystery. He knows me well enough. There’s context clues out there in the big, bad world. Or, do they just want to feign like they don’t know, just to get out of talking about it? That’s fine with me; I don’t want to talk about it either…but know I’m not happy…and you know why!

Then I told this poll’s results to another guy. You know, that I know full well that my guy knows what my problem is when I’m quiet. And HE was shocked! Are you serious? Are guys really that unaware? Don’t you think that after you say you’re going out on Saturday with the guys and I get quiet, there’s a correlation? Seriously?

On a separate, but related subject…

I thought it was funny… my daughter got into the car today after school and said two of her friends returned from being suspended. Oh my gosh! “What were they suspended for?” I asked. She said one choked a guy and the other unrelated event, was another girl hitting a guy for saying something about her friend (his ex-girlfriend). I know, I know. I have 4 boys; I’d be pretty ticked if a girl choked or hit my son, but being a girl made me chuckle. Those girls were trying to get through to those guys. Wrong way to do it, of course. But, I don’t think that generation sounds too much like the quiet type. Those guys should have no problem with percentages of trying to figure out a girl. I don’t think they’ll give them the chance!

 

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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:

Share this link to let the world know.
https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/acb114c641d497ca

 

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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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The Day After

clean upThe anatomy of book writing:

1. You have an idea.

2. You write it down…adding with it, a plot, a problem, a climax, and a conclusion. All in a neat and tidy bow. Ha-ha.

3. You have it edited. And revise it. And revise it, and revise it. Then you write it one more time. Edit it again.

4. Pick out a cover for it. Write a blasted blurb that summarizes 260 pages, down into a lengthy paragraph.

5. Send it out to beta readers, so they can let you know what’s not working with it. You revise a little more. Send it to a proofreader.

6. Schedule blog tours. Send it to bloggers for reviews.

7. Release day! It goes live. Post on every venue you’ve got, and pray it does well. Then it hits you…people are going to be reading this. This. The thing I’ve worked on for a year. What if they don’t like it? What if I get bad reviews, telling me how it sucked? Fear….

8. Then it’s the day after…today, in fact! I just got off Twitter, where a lovely “twitter friend” tweeted me about reading my book. And how she can’t put it down. And then there’s the friends I went to high school with, and they’re posting how they’re glued and can’t wait to get home and finish it.

9. A smile gets stuck right on the front of my face. (where else could it get stuck, you ask?) Point is, I’m overjoyed by the comments I’m receiving about this book child of mine. The one I sent out into the world, via Amazon. Overjoyed that people are liking it. Now, I’m no dummy. I know there will be some that don’t. And that’s fine. I don’t like every book I read. It’s what we call individual taste. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the quality or word choice…it’s just not our cup of tea. So far, I’m loving that everyone who’s contacted me, is enjoying this cup of tea. Go Amy!

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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. 🙂