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Where Has All the Happiness Gone?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter holiday. Mine was great. I cooked for everyone–as is the new tradition. I give my mother a much needed break from the muss and fuss. My turkey turned out like crap. And I even woke at the bloody crack of daylight to put it on–sautéing carrots, celery, and onion…gently thrusting some garlic and broth in for good measure. Thrusting? Really? All for it to taste like the rear end of something killed on the side of the road, after cooking for almost 7 hours. (not that I would know literally what that would taste like.) But there was a ham to fall back on. Thanks for bringing it, Barbie!

And then there was the panic of the dessert. The pound cake, upon reading the recipe the morning of, was discovered not to be the one I envisioned. Not really sure what the original vision was… So off to the store I went. And bought items for chocolate cream pies. Nope, never made one in my life. I’m just not a pie person. Luckily they turned out well. Made everyone forget about the lousy turkey!

Then there was the egg hunt. Ah, the traditional go-and-find-the-golden-egg hunt. Has anyone met my youngest son? The one who is certain the entire world is against him? Well needless to say, he wasn’t the one who found the golden egg. Instead it was the 13 year old cousin. In which he desperately hates now. And hates the inventor of said traditional egg hunt. And eggs…and easter baskets, and for all I know the air in which we breathe. My mother, of course, told him to come over to her, and she tucked a golden egg inside his hand. Just to inform anyone who isn’t at my home during the annual egg hunt–the golden egg has a $20 bill inside. And now my youngest is happy. Still not liking the cousin, because well, she cheated finding that egg, but he can go on and never spend that money now. That’s right…he finds a million things to want, but letting go of the dough is a whole other story.

So on to the title of my post. I was just visiting Facebook. Don’t do it, it’s a trap. You can get sucked in quite quickly. The next thing you know, it’s past your bedtime and now you know what everyone’s doing, done, or going to save as a recipe and never make in their life. But you know, they’re sharing it so it saves on their feed. Ok. Anyway, tonight I got so much more than that. I got a play-by-play of an elderly man getting gunned down on Easter day, a video of one of the innocent children dying from the chemical bomb Syria suffered a few weeks ago, and a baby girl left in a locked van while police knocked out a window to get to her. Ahhhhh……. where is all the happy? I’ll gladly take pictures of what Aunt Noreen’s dinner plate looked like tonight. No matter how disgusting that cabbage looked. And cousin Rita’s feet as she takes a crooked picture of her pool water. Enough with the reality. It’s too depressing. I had to scroll faster than ever tonight, just to get the images out of my mind.

Find your happy place, people! Stop polluting the airways with the horrors of reality. Show a shimmer of kindness. Show some little furry animal getting rescued, a baby trying peas for the first time, a flower growing from an abandoned old pot. Whatever. Just please stop posting the bad and ugly signs of our times. That was a bit unlike me, wasn’t it? So demanding. Maybe I’m just tired. Or my wrist is absolutely killing me. I think I have a pinched nerve. Yeah, blame my plea for happiness on the pinched nerve. What’s come over me with all my ranting?

Well, happy thoughts for now. I’m going to ice a wrist. 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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When Your Story Isn’t Over

01-falling-out-of-love-relationship-problemsValentine’s Day is over. I would post a picture of what I got, but it seems the internet highway is extremely polluted with cute little flowers and candies. And plus, for those who didn’t get anything, it sort of sucks, I would think. I came home with Valentine goodies for my adorable children, and wouldn’t you know it…one of them cried and hated what I picked for him. Yes! I have one of those hard-to-please, doesn’t-matter-what-you-get-them, kids. No matter what I get that boy, it translates to a bag of poop in his eyes. He tells me I get him bad things because I love the other children more. Pa-lease. He used to be so adorable, so loving, and so kind…when he was an infant through three years old. I have no idea what happened after that.

So onto my latest book. As previously written, for this one I really did some outlining for the plot. I mapped an ending and stayed the course….Then I got to the chapter before the last chapter, and something happened. My mind changed, my heart stopped loving the end, and I just couldn’t do it. Spoilers aside, I had simply fallen out of love with my happily ever after. There was no happily ever after. Not now. Too much had happened in the story. I’d fallen out of love with my hero. I needed like a hundred pages more to do it right. And who wants to read that long of a book? So I did something courageous…I made it into a series. Yes, another one. The Amy series being my first go at the series thing.

It’s fine. You know…this notion of writing this book as a series. I hope it’s fine. I mean, I really like Sarah. And I like writing her story. I just hope I have enough to stretch it. I think I do. Nah, I will. Something always creeps into my brain, giving me more words, with more characters to grow and love. Wish me luck…onto book 2.

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Just the Right Words

power-of-wordsNot only should you be careful of what you say, but be careful of what you write.

This could go so many ways. My mother taught me at a very young age to never write down what you don’t want someone to read…anyone to read. Did I heed her advice? The advice that usually only comes from getting burned in order to deal it out to the naive masses, in hopes they don’t make the same mistake? Yes, I listened, but only after someone read what I didn’t want them to. What can I say? We are creatures that cannot simply be told, we must experience for ourselves. Lesson learned.

I had a conversation in the car this week with my 8 and 10 year old boys. One was teasing the other about something. I interrupted and told them that words should be for building someone up, not tearing them down. They have great power, and once unleashed, they can never be swallowed, lassoed back, or drowned. They are out there to be pondered, over-thought, and for many, to be destroyed. So choose words wisely.

So I have the privilege to write words this weekend. Well, I sort of am ignoring other chores and burying myself in a hole with my laptop. I come out occasionally, but for the most part you can hear pecking coming from the first room on the right, at the top of the stairs. Sometimes I’ll be typing along and I stop and wonder how I got down this street. Where are my characters again? Where did I need them to go? How is it that I’m five miles off course? And how do I get back to the pacing it needs to be?

Words are crucial. They either insight a reader to read ‘just more chapter’ at two in the morning, or close the book, fifty pages in. A writer has to always be mindful of where the words are going. What words should be used. It’s so funny how I’ll keep traveling, stop, look around, and wonder how I’m going to transition from this dead end. Patiently I put the car in reverse, back out (delete) the last ten pages and mindfully try again. It’s a job I love the most. Formulating just the right words. 🙂

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Hurtful, Nasty Reminders

reminderReminders are usually for our benefit, right? Like when your gas light comes on it means, get gas. For me, it signals I’ve got 100 more miles to go. I am famous for pushing it to the last fume to get me to the pumps. One day I will regret passing the ten stations to find the one with five cents cheaper per gallon. (I know, it isn’t that much, but still). Or the reminder that your car insurance is getting taken out automatically from your account tomorrow. Which signals me to go by the bank and put it in! But there are a few reminders that one does not need. i.e….

Yesterday I received a card in the mail from the veterinarian. It had a heartfelt note in it of condolences for my dog that passed away a couple weeks ago. Yes, I was finally getting to the point where I didn’t break down once a day. Like when I go and look for his bed, or check outside to see if he’s lying in the sun. It’s finally becoming bearable. Not forgettable, by any stretch, but doable. And then the card. Which I opened while driving the kids up the driveway. And there it was…they sent Walter’s paw print along with the written sentiment. OMG. Why? Why now? I shoved it back in the envelope and took a deep breath. I’m still thinking about it.

Here’s another example of a hurtful reminder: When the lovely people behind Facebook send you a memory of your cheating husband as he kisses you on the cheek. Ah yes, that was just six months ago…before my friend’s rat turd husband cheated on her. And there she gets a reminder of better times. Or when you get a snap shot of your family member who passed away, and you’re not quite over that one, either.

Reminders….not always a good thing. 😦

On a happy note, because I need to always leave on one…I’m back to writing my new book. I’m feeling pretty good about it, too. Who wouldn’t like to imagine Kevin Costner all day? And be able to have him say the sweetest things to your heroine…which you imagine is yourself? LOL!! I’m down with it! 🙂

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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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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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Workshop Anyone?

WORKSHOPSeptember. The month the children go back to school, the month flowers seem as if they can’t go one day more smiling and blooming, and the month I thought I’d participate in a workshop. I’m usually the type that likes to saunter into a strange environment, find the seat at the front, and sharpen my pencil for some really good, mind-blowing note taking. Not this time. This time it was online. Online? How would I get anything out of it, I asked no one not listening. Still I signed up and introduced myself, as best I could, on the internet…wearing my pajamas! No one knew…right?

What can I say? It’s absolutely wonderful. I’m all about learning. You can think you know all there is to know about…say, bird watching. Then sign up for a class on it and learn at least ten new nuggets. Not that I, in any way, know all there is to writing. But for my one particular book I thought I had it figured out. Turns out it’s all wrong. Well maybe not every page, but the beginning sure enough is. This story stays stuck on the forefront of my brain. I loved writing it. It found me one day. Actually one night. I dreamed about the plot and then sat down at my computer for the next three months and bled away. But something is wrong with it. It staggers along, not getting enough oxygen, blabbering in my thoughts, reaching out for help. Lucky for me I believe my workshop is revealing the hiccups. Thank goodness:)

I had my best friend read the first two chapters, as always. She rarely finishes any of my books because I don’t send her more, but she never could get trapped in the pages of this one. Said my writing was different…aloof. Hmm…but it seemed right when I wrote it. So I stepped back for nine months, let it breathe, and am now taking a class for its malady, and I think I’ll have it licked!!! Happy dance for me. I’m so excited to be pushed and to be challenged with the way I thought it was right. Here’s a quick snapshot of my characters:

Meet Claire. She’s from Queens, New York. Raised by a loving mother (her only relative in the world), but never had more than hand-me-downs to wear and a lanky body that grew before she did. She’s just graduated from college, having lost her mother to multiple sclerosis in her last semester, and is now visiting (for the last time) the summer cottage of a family she spent time with growing up.

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Now meet Colin. He’s the son of a wealthy entrepreneur. He attended college in London and hasn’t been back to the beach house for five years. Hasn’t seen Claire or the beautiful woman she’s become. This is the last summer before his father burdens him with the responsibility of taking over the family business. It’s also the summer he falls for Claire, the wrong girl for him by all of his father’s accounts. The girl who will challenge his thinking about what he really wants to do with his life.

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