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Writing with Modesty

I often think…how do some actresses get in front of the camera and take all their clothes off? I have trouble getting undressed in my closet, let alone for the free world to see. Albeit, if I looked like some of those women, I might…no, I still wouldn’t. I mean, don’t they have parents that is going to see that movie? Isn’t there a shaw-wearing grandma somewhere on their family tree that they will never be able to sit across the dinner table and not feel like she just saw me doing naughty things with a guy? Does this mean I won’t get her passed-down pasta recipe now?

Enter my thoughts on writing… My mother, God bless her soul, reads every one of my books. For that, I’m truly appreciative. After all, I feel I get my imagination from her. BUT it makes me feel weird when I write certain subject matter. I am in no way a steamy writer, so that’s not a biggie. I was the girl in gym class changing in the bathroom stall until the 10th grade. After that, I just wore two layers of clothes so I didn’t look like a freak going into the back corner. What makes us modest? I’m not sure. It can’t be genetic. My two sisters can walk out in the street naked, if needed. I’m the one shrouded in button-up sweaters and two tee shirts underneath that. My daughter, coincidentally is the same way as me. LOL That’s why I got a tickle out of someone promoting my books as steamy. What a scream! They obviously didn’t read it. 🙂 Still, this last release was my most edgy. I think I wrote the word breast at least a handful of times. he-he  But then there was the bad word. Nothing to do with physical modesty, but it was out of my comfort zone to write it. Sure, I’ve said it aloud a few times. That’s when whoever around me knows I mean serious business. And so I typed it with rapid strokes, mid-story. I was in the character’s head and it felt so right. So necessary. Is vulgarity ever necessary? I asked myself. I even pondered it with my son. I’ve watched so many movies where if only they’d left out a scene, my kids could’ve watched it. Or if the writer had refrained from the unnecessary language, all of us could’ve enjoyed it. So did my book require that word? My book didn’t, but my character did. And so I kept it. You have to be careful…too many of these and you lose readership of those you gained for not writing like that in the first place. Hopefully not too much thought was wasted on it, and it was brushed over quite quickly. Just as it was written.

Back to modesty, how modest are you? Does it play into what you read? What you write? I don’t mind reading racy. In fact, sometimes I like it. Depending on the book. Writing women’s fiction, racy doesn’t usually get a lot of play. Perhaps that’s why I like writing it!

Have a grand day, everyone!

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I know this about myself

I keep other people’s gifts. All the time. See this little table runner? Yep, that was the thing I stayed up late to finish for my mother’s mother’s day gift. (No, that’s not a typo.) Why is it in this picture? On my table, should you know this is my table. Well, because I ‘tried’ it on. You know, to see what it’d look like. And what do you know? I liked it. It fit amazingly perfect. And what would my mother do with it anyway? It’s not like she has a naked table needing a runner, is it? And just look at those colors…how they accent the paint in my dining room. Yep, it’s now our new table runner. Needless to say, I had to whip up some lavender sachets and go to the store for a flower and hand lotions. The sachets almost landed in my drawers, but alas I can whip up more if needed for my own. 🙂

Okay, on to other things. My son, the almost-graduate, is in Disney World. He left yesterday. Our first time apart for this length of time. That makes me sound like the Goldberg’s mom, right? Although we do NOT snuggle together. But it was sad seeing him leave. Better get used to it, college waits for no one, come August.

On the adoption front….my agency failed me again. Without properly telling me which papers to place with an application for immigration, I was declined. Yep, what do they care. They aren’t in China waiting for their parents to come get them. They aren’t the crazed people who’ve chased papers for a year, had nervous breakdowns, and stalked the mail courier every day. I’m counting the days until I’m in the bathroom throwing up, riddled with anxiety to cross the ocean in a plane, and not understanding properly how to make change in yen. Or yang. What is the currency?

Back to mother’s day. It was great. I didn’t cook a thing. I did eat well, though. French toast in the morning, forget what the lunch was, and then orange chicken for dinner. Homemade. As in Yum-oooooo.

Today I have a confession. As I wish I was writing this post in anonymity, I’ll just say that I had a ‘friend’ who went to the dentist, or should I say back to the dentist, to get a filling or two. And ‘they’ weren’t feeling it. You know, like what the heck did I do to voluntarily come back here? As in, drove my…’her’ car there, parked, and awaited ‘the chair’, ‘the drill’, the stupid way your mouth feels all doped up while you spend the next hour drooling and biting your gum by accident. Yeah, well my friend, after waiting 15 minutes in the waiting room, decided that was long enough. If they didn’t get her in the first five, she wasn’t waiting anymore. So this friend of mine went to the desk, told small white lie, and left. Can you believe it? She felt sort of like she did when she used to ditch classes in high school. Amazing. I believe the song she said she blasted while spinning wheels out of there was something retro. Like in the ‘skipping school’ days of hers.  Yep, that picture pretty much summed up how my friend looked when she pulled out!

Now for ‘don’t you hate it when’…. don’t you hate it when you’re late for work, fly to the iron to flatten out your blouse, and you accidentally don’t take in account it has embroidery all across the front? You end up smelling like a pencil eraser all day so you eat tons of mints to blow into the air so you don’t offend the people around you. Yep, I hate that too.

Now no more white lies. It’s just a piggy toe in length to the ‘real’ lies we might find ourselves telling. 🙂 Have a great weekend, everyone!!

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Two things to stew on…

First…healthcare. No, I promise this won’t get political or raise any awareness 🙂 , but seriously…I took my daughter to the “doctor” this evening because she has had a persistent stomach ache and it’s added a pretty hairy sore throat to the list of ailments. Know this, my daughter NEVER misses school, not even stupid half days. (Who ever thought of a half day? Pa-lease) So when she dropped her backpack by the door this morning and morphed into a ball beside me in bed, I knew that meant business. By dinner (of course) she’d become worse, so I drove her to the “doctor”. Only to be awakened to what’s, er I mean, who’s out there at these facilities now. They are referred to as “providers”. Yep, I was told I’d see a provider today. Hmm… Then I was called back by a “medical assistant”. Did the nurses and doctor’s get new names? Are these so called “providers” and “assistants” getting the same education as the others used to get? They even wore name badges; ‘medical assistant’. I’m a bit confused, and concerned. What was more eerie was they kept referring to one another by these cold titles. “The provider will be into see you shortly.” “You can ask the provider when she comes back in.” “The medical assistant will come do the strep test.”Are we running out of doctors and nurses? And will I be charged based on a provider and medical assistant rate?

But all that mess came before the drive pool lane at school. Today was extremely rushed for me. I left my house a total of 4 times today. And when you live on Little House on the Prairie that’s kind of a big thing. You usually plan to get groceries and call it a day where I’m from. No, seriously. There are no quick trips from my house. They all take about an hour one way. So before the doctor…provider debacle (which by the way, it’s a virus…yeah sure. I know strep when I see it) there was the car pool at school to pick up my son. Or as I like to call it, the 4k run of my patience. I mean seriously…mothers actually unbuckle themselves, stroll around to the sidewalk, kiss child on head, ask child how day was, undo their backpack to make sure nothing’s missing, place child in car, hum a little tune, buckle them, blow a kiss, shut the door, and saunter back to the driver’s seat. At which time they buckle, wave at the teacher who hasn’t quite exited the building, wait until they see them and return wave, then with turtle speed pull forward. Just once I’d like to blow my horn. I’ve thought about it. Long and hard. Who would scold me? Others might join in. You know who the culprit is by the third week of school. I look for that bumper sticker of the multi-colored bear and pray I’m not behind it. Or the red little hatch back. Oh, I’ve got the offenders down pat, all right.

Well, I’ve got to wake up early so I better get off my little soap box tonight. I somehow made a dentist appointment for all of my children in the morning. You know, when you make these appointments six months in advance, they should tell you where it hits. Lucky for me, it’s the day before Easter…the day I usually earmark for doing all the things I’ve procrastinated a month to do…Easter shop, menu prep for 14 guests…you know, the normal pre-holiday stuff. So this year instead of all that, I get to drive 2 hours to the dentist in holiday traffic.

So to leave on a spectacular note, because after I overcome my hurried day and watch some mindless television, I’ll be fine…I wish you a magnificent Easter. A time to feast with family and friends. To be oh-so-happy warm weather is settling in finally, and to eat all the coconut cake you want! 

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Hooked on a Book

I feel great! I feel driven! I have a new book set to release this summer! Yay! But here’s the thing….I’m hooked on it. Can’t put it down. Can’t stop re-reading it…editing it…thinking of different things to write in it. This is the way I become. It holds me captive. I’m in the zone. Weird, huh? If I’m not careful, the house will crumble around me. Which is how I realize some of us readers feel at times when we’re waist-deep inside a plot and not wanting to face the dreaded ‘what’s for dinner’, or ‘are you going to sleep tonight?’  Yeah, yeah, yeah. After one more chapter!! LOL

Second day of spring here! (As I’m sure it is everywhere). And it snows. All day. As in buries my freshly sprung daffodils, coats my cherry blossoms, and dashes my reality that it’s Wednesday. Because, well you can guess, all of my kids are home. And pulling and tugging me from working and writing on my new book!! Just got word school is closed tomorrow, too. Oh joy!

New book, you ask? What is it about, you ask? What name shall we refer to it? Hmm…well I am at a loss for the title. I’m sure it will come to me. There are so many variations. None of which any of my peeps like. I get the standard eye roll on all of them. Seriously, what do they know? They haven’t even read the thing. 🙂

So it’s about a guy and a girl. Interesting, yeah? Aren’t they all with guys and girls. Well this time said guy and said girl fall in love but never are supposed to. Sort of like Romeo and Juliet. Their houses are not meant to mingle. And so it moves swiftly along to other secrets that eventually see the light of day. It’s what I’m currently hooked on. I mean the laundry is piling up around here! I can’t find socks, washcloths, you name it. I did pull off dinner tonight, though. It pained me, but it got made and consumed. And I managed to bake a pound cake. It was my way of saying, ‘hey kids, I do exist.’

Well, happy weekday everyone! It sure feels like the weekend over here in my part of the world. We’ve got bored kids, the need for 3 meals a day, and lots of yelling for everyone to just get along. The roads will melt soon and all will be back to normal. I hope! Cheers. 🙂

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Feeling Thankful

I go to bed each night after checking how my books are doing. You know, just to feel connected in a small way to my readers. Anyway, each night for the past almost 2 weeks, my books have been read and bought several times that particular day. My rating stats have improved on goodreads and I am feeling blessed! It’s such a nice way to go to sleep, knowing people are sharing in my stories. Wow! It’s amazing.

Then I turn on the ol’boob-tube. Just for about 30 minutes. My husband hopes to be asleep by that time. You see, I have a new ritual of classic television. As I’ve been sewing for my fundraisers, I watch all the oldies. They’re like comfort food to my soul. Weird, I know. But they are so predictable, non-threatening, and I don’t have to lend but one ear.

 

And so on to news of the Indie Book Festival. Let’s see…where to begin? It was super hot. I got a burn on my right cheek, my right arm, and tops of both feet. There were almost no women’s fiction readers present. Although the guy next to my table was booming with his non-fiction account of the Vietnam war. Kudos to him! So all in all, it wasn’t a wonderful thing to behold. I did get tons of entries for a basket I was giving away of book booty!

Good news….a few books are swirling in my head. I enjoyed some Claire De Lune on my way to work this morning. It gave me a great backdrop for a plot I’m working on. And then of course came Dinah Washington. For some reason when I’m writing the Sarah Series, Dinah brings it out of me.

Well, I better go….time for some Hart to Hart!  Have a good day tomorrow, everyone.

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Time for a New Release!

NYE-1936It’s that time again! Book 2 of my Sarah series is hitting the internet waves. I couldn’t be more happy. All the readers who searched for the next page (at the end of the book 1) is finally vindicated. This one takes place five years later and Sarah is finally reaching some normalcy in her life. Time to take time for herself. After all her daughter is getting older, having more play dates than Sarah, and beginning to worry about her mother’s happiness. And just like that! Guys begin coming out of the woodwork…guys that make no sense, guys she shouldn’t have feelings for, and Sam!     I hope everyone who continues Sarah’s journey, likes it!

I’ve been doubling down on wearing my whites this week….it being Labor day very soon, and all. But isn’t that rule sort of changing? I’ve seen white being worn after September. What are they thinking?! 🙂

For those following my adoption journey, it’s going well. Slow and full of paperwork, but well. One thing for sure, everyone in my family has had a physical! I can’t tell you the last time I had a hearing test. Elementary school? And child proof locks? Yeah, after years of not worrying about that, we’ve got ’em. I’ve caught my hand on them a couple hundred times so far. I feel like Homer Simpson everyone time I pull on it and it catches. “Doh!”

My kids are back in school. I don’t love the early mornings, but I love the fact they’re being productive. How many hours can one play Minecraft and not get a paralyzed tush?

Well I’m off to piddle. I’ve got so much to do, but sometimes when you’ve got too much on your plate, all you can do is piddle in it all. If I piddle enough, maybe I’ll achieve something big!

Have a great one! And thanks for your support. 🙂

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It’s that time again!

Yes, that’s right! It’s Christmas in July. I can’t explain it…maybe it’s the Hallmark movie marathon withdrawal finally catching up to me, but this month I strangely watch Christmas movies. My kids think I’m crazy. We just watched Elf, and Hitched for the Holidays during dinner! LOL And the weather was a pleasant 97 degrees. Hehe.

I made baked cornflake chicken for dinner. It’s a fav around here. I let the chicken tenders soak in buttermilk, salt, pepper, and paprika for a few hours. Then I press crunched up cornflakes, onion powder, and garlic powder on them, bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, and viola! Happy campers. And they’re healthier than fried. Which is what we usually do. They don’t call my husband fry-daddy for nothing. Last night we ate fried green beans. They were yuuuummmmmy. He makes a beer batter and lathers them up in sesame seeds. Gracious, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

I somehow irritated my back last night while typing in bed. Today has been a challenge bending over for things. Am I that unable to sit crooked for an hour without downing Advil the next day and walking with a limp? Yikes. Call AARP for me, someone! No offense, Mom if you’re reading this. However, I feel about 18 years old in my head. Okay, maybe 30. I’ve had some kids escape these loins. That accounts for a couple years. Speaking of kids…I’m thinking of adopting. I’ve always wanted to. Why not now? If anyone has anything to weigh in on this, please let me know. I never shy away from hearing and learning from someone else’s experiences. My first reaction to really finding out more in depth what’s involved is the price. Holy schnikes! If those poor children only knew how many people couldn’t adopt based on that fact alone, it would depress the whole lot. Why should we make a profit for locating a forever home for children? I say yes, there has to be a home study, and yes, there has to be a fee for paperwork, but really? Thousands? These people need to consider how much money goes into raising a child.

Okay, slight turn in conversation. I wasn’t finished with my meal talk. I made a coconut cream cake for dessert tonight. Super duper easy. It was a poke cake. So I made a white cake, baked it for 30 minutes, got it out and poked it to death. Then I mixed coconut milk and sweet condensed milk and poured it on top. Oh, did I mention, I added coconut extract to white cake before baking–you know, to give it that taste. 🙂 Then I refrigerated said poked cake, with concoction soaking into it, and whipped some fresh cream. I only let the cake cool for a couple hours. You’re supposed to overnight…as if. Don’t they know I don’t read instructions until I get the cake batter poured in the pan, with this being the only thing for dessert…TONIGHT! Then I spread the whipped cream and sprinkled a little of the flakes on top. I must say, it was tasty. My youngest, handing me his empty plate, said “you know I don’t like coconut.” Funny boy. His empty plate. Okay.

I’m off now to continue writing my Sarah series. This is the last book, you know. Something pretty spectacular better come out of my brain tonight. After much deliberation, I’ve decided on my next male character….Drumroll please…

 

 

This guy shouldn’t be too difficult to write. It was either him or Richard Gere. I wanted a bit of flavor in the third book, so I chose Javier. He’s just moved to the small town of Calvert, where Sarah lives. Little does he know, life in a fish bowl is much more interesting than New York City!

Off to my imaginary world, folks! Have a great one. 🙂

 

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New Recipe Weekend

Half the battle is going to the store, buying the food, and carrying it inside once you get home. The other half…cleaning up. Baking and cooking, however, I have no problem with. As long as I’m in the mood. And I’m pretty sure I was in the mood this weekend. If I had planned to do a lot of cooking, I’d have dreaded it like a trip to the “lady” doctor, but I woke up wanting to experiment with something new. Not everything went as planned.

Saturday I did the deed and went to the store. Actually it gets hairy before the store. I actually have to have a plan, look for recipes, and commit. So I did all that, came home and began. I didn’t sit down until Sunday night, about now! At least that’s how it seemed. I digress…Saturday morning I made chocolate chip muffins. Nothing big, nothing new. It was there before I went to the store, so I popped them in the oven. For lunch I made tacos. But not like that. Not like the box kit. Nope, I was adventurous. I did up the spices, added some chili beans, and viola..it was a keeper. Of course my daughter does not eat these, so a hamburger is what she ate. Also the tacos had 1/2 beef, 1/2 turkey. I kept this to myself…my kids don’t do well with too many changes. The beans alone were enough to traumatize them.

For dinner came Penne pasta with creamy vodka sauce. Luckily I had a trial sized bottle of Absolute in my fridge. I used sweet Italian sausage for this, with sides of cheddar biscuits, salad, and fresh roasted asparagus. Beware of stinky pee! My youngest and I are the only one who will eat this. He stands at the oven and pulls them out by the handfuls and stuffs his face!

Sunday morning was pumpkin spice pancakes and oven-made bacon. Can I just stop the presses for a moment and proclaim that if you’ve never had bacon made in the oven, do it. Just do it. Trust me when I say, my eyes, along with my family’s eyes, rolled back in their heads. YUMMMMMMMY. And the pancakes were pretty spectacular, too. (I only take credit for following the recipe…meaning the recipe was a keeper). Very filling, and my 2nd son put a dollop of whipped cream on his. I didn’t see his eyes come back around after this trick was performed. 🙂 Lunch was Italian subs, stacked high with all the fixings.

For dinner…and this was the not-so-great moment of the weekend. Italian pot roast. It missed. Not that I did anything to destroy it. It baked for 9 hours, had fresh rosemary spread on top, and slits of fresh garlic wedged on both sides. It melted in your mouth, but the taste? Meh. Not a keeper. Luckily I served it with buttery mashed potatoes and the taste was masked if you mixed the both together. And of course, I forgot to mention, I made a fresh blueberry pound cake on Saturday. So this was a munched on treat for the weekend.

I’m stuffed just writing about this weekend’s plan of attack on our bellies. It’s over, and they’ll be doing good if they get frozen pizza and chicken nuggets for dinner this week. Just kidding, I’ll try my best. It’s not that easy to think of new things.

Peace out, and have a great week! 😉

 

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Cover Reveal for “Searching For Sarah”

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As many of you may know…or not…I’ve started writing a new series–The Sarah Series. Sarah is in the beginning years of her thirties, wants to settle down, and then figure out the rest. But it’s the settling down part that’s been giving her trouble. The guys she dates either she likes and they don’t want to settle, or she doesn’t and they do. Sort of like life, huh?

Sarah Keller is a career student. It goes hand-in-hand with her indecisiveness about her future. Her foundation growing up was based solely on a single dad who lamented almost daily for his deceased wife–Sarah’s mom. She never got to know her, Sarah’s mom passed away in childbirth.

Becoming a nanny was the last thing Sarah intended to be. But life sometimes throws you a curve ball. And sometimes it’s guised as Sam Turner, and his cutie pie daughter, Sophie.

Sam is about 15 years Sarah’s senior, and fresh out of a relationship. He’s the last thing Sarah is looking to get involved with…but you know what they say about last things??

And so here is the cover! Please let me know if you like it. After all, covers are what we judge a book by, you know! 🙂   Have a great week, everyone! (And if you had even an inkling of interest, it’s 2.99 pre-order price on Amazon) Release date is April 27, 2017. If you sign up for my newsletter, you have a chance in winning the paperback copy, a whole month before it releases!! Cheers. 🙂 🙂

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Valentine Awkwardness

heart-1450302_640-1I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Valentine’s Day and me don’t see eye to eye. Does anyone remember in high school, when those stupid candy grams would get sent to homerooms? It stunk not getting any. And the year I did get them, I felt bad for the people who didn’t. And how about the roses? Really? The office would be full of vases with dozens of roses…from high school guys to their “girlfriends”. Likely that relationship was going to last for more than that week. But, here, “take this dozen of roses it cost me fifty dollars to buy and send you, just so I’ll look good, and you’ll look better”.

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I found a paper on the counter the other day where you could send your child lollipops for Valentine’s day for a dollar or two. What about the kids who don’t get any? All because their parent, like me, forgot to send in the dumb paper that overcharged for a dum-dum pop. What about the party? And all those Valentines your child comes home with and you find for the next week under chairs and in cabinet drawers? Right, they don’t do them anymore. Valentines are even optional these days. Really?

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Then you have adulthood status: Do I, the girl, get him something? What? Like he’s really going to want a stuffed gorilla holding a dorky sign, saying it loves him. And candy? Is it me, or am I the only girl who has a boyfriend who would rather have a Payday candy bar, a bag of Cowtails, or Andy Cap’s Hot Fries? How special is that?

Don’t get me started on the restaurants. Booked. Every one of them. You have to either eat at four or nine o’clock, just to get a table. And for what? I don’t know…I’m a romantic writer, but this holiday doesn’t impress me. I guess if I were just falling in love, and wondering if the fella was going to buy me roses, it might be different. I’d get the buds, touch each one of them, swoon all over the place, smell the smell right out of them, and read the little card until it was memorized.    Now, though? It’s just another day. Isn’t that sad?

Gosh.

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