Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Christmas Favorites

Christmas is one of my favorite times of year! The magic of the season inevitably draws me in. It all begins with the pine smell wafting through our living room as we decorate the Christmas tree with twinkling lights and other ornaments. And tinsel. My husband cannot leave the tree alone until it is covered top to bottom with tinsel! This year, he actually went a little light on it. My Gone With the Wind ornaments are a complete must on our tree. And, we have a brand new Baby's 1st Christmas tree ornament this year due to the birth of my third child, a little girl.

And while we decorate, we have Christmas music playing in the background. Dean Martin is my all time favorite singer when it comes to Christmas songs. But, we also have Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and the Andrews Sisters. Oh, let's not forget Bing Crosby!

And that brings us to movies... It's hard to pick a favorite. I must see all of the following EVERY Christmas...White Christmas, A Christmas Carol (with Patrick Stewart), A Christmas Story, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Miracle of 34th Street, Scrooged, Elf, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (the original cartoon version) and It's a Wonderful Life. I don't know what it is, but ever since I have children I weep when I watch It's a Wonderful Life. And I don't mean just a tear or two. I mean hysteric sobbing. Okay, maybe not hysteric. There's something so precious as knowing that you're needed and loved, knowing that you're special to those who know you.

And, of course, the presents. Now, I love getting presents at Christmas, but then, I like receiving gifts at any time of year! What I really love is the giving at Christmas. There's so much I like to do for people to show them I appreciate their friendship, love and kindness. I love to watch their eyes light up when they open their gifts. Especially the children. Children truly inspire the magic of the season. I remember that magic when I was young and I hold onto it as tightly as I can all year long.

And in the spirit of the giving season, I'm offering a copy of my e-book, The Witch and the Wolf. Just comment to win. Tell me what is your favorite part about the Christmas season. Is it the snow? The presents? What's your favorite Christmas movie or song? What is it that makes Christmas special to you? I'll announce the winner on Sunday, December 26th.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Sequel!

I have a new book contract with The Wild Rose Press! Yay! I'm currently in the editing stages of my new e-book, The Witch and the Vampire. This is Melora Merriweather's story, sister to Lillian from The Witch and the Wolf. And last week, I opened my e-mail to see the brand new book cover designed by Tamra Westberry. I love it!

This is happy news for me and really brightens my day. And I certainly needed cheering up since nearly everyone in my household is sick. I've had a nasty cold for two weeks now and I've unwillingly shared it with my two sons and my husband. I'm hoping we get over this in time to celebrate a happy and healthy Christmas.

Christmas isn't even here and my thoughts have turned to the New Year. I'm making a list of new resolutions, most of them in the writing area of my life. When I decide what I want to work on, I'll post it, just to keep it as a reminder to myself during the year and hopefully as motivation, too.

As for now, I'm back to work on another story (a novel this time), in between sniffles and coughs. 'Tis the season! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Win a Free Book!

This week only there are 2 chances to win a free copy of my e-book, The Witch and the Wolf. It's very simple. All you need to do is drop by one or both of these websites and leave a comment. Don't be shy, just pop in to say 'hi', it'll count!
Happily Ever After Reviews Giveaway
Naughty Novelists Interview

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Chance to Win!

I'm being interviewed at the Naughty Novelists and I'll be checking in all week to chat. Leave a comment for a chance to win a free e-book copy of my novella, The Witch and the Wolf. Just in time for Halloween!! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

All about Halloween Memories

Today's my day at The Wild Rose Press's Black Rose blog! This month's topic is sharing your favorite Halloween memories. Please stop by and join the conversation, I love to hear stories about Halloween! See you there! :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Listening In

Here I am, back from the emergency room. My agonizing knee pain remains unresolved, something my non-existent family doctor needs to take care of by ordering MRI's and physical therapy. Some people might consider the 3 hours spent at the ER a waste of time, but I'm a writer. I'm a nosy writer. I'm the wallflower that sits or stands invisible on the sidelines while observing those surrounding me. And for a writer sitting silently, what an interesting collection of individuals can be found at your local ER.

Not only the patients and their motley complaints and ailments are fascinating, but also the nurses and doctors. They roam the stark white corridors talking freely while patients sit in exam rooms with the doors wide open with nothing to do but eavesdrop on the conversations taking place. That date the dark haired nurse had last night did not end well. It's the last time she's letting mom set her up with the neighbor's son. The doctor's son got an A on his chemistry quiz. He's a chip off the ol' block.

Okay, so not all the conversations overheard are extremely fascinating, but as a writer, you can use creative license to redo the scenario in your head. It makes me wonder what happened on the nurse's date. Where did he take her? What did they talk about? And how did the date 'not end well'? Did she find out he stilled lived with mom and dad or did she discover he was unemployed and expected her to pay for dinner? Maybe his ex-girlfriend arrived and in a fit of rage told the nurse exactly what she thought of him.

I admit, it's the patients that are the most intriguing. During the last ER visit we had with my 2 year-old son, who said he swallowed either a sharp and pointy screw or a piece of paper (turned out to be the paper), we were bunked with a charming individual who smelled like a broken ashtray shattered on the floor of a bar room who came in complaining of pain in his hand. He told the nurse he tripped and fell down the stairs at his home.
(In my mind I interpreted his slurred speech indicated instead that he swung and struck his neighbor on his way home from sleeping the night in his pick up truck. After waking up and not remembering how he got there, he found his way home only to see the neighbor talking to his wife. Now his hand hurt.)

He went on to graciously confess, as if he were doing the nurse a favor, that he had only one can of beer for breakfast. 

(Meaning one case.)

Half-way through the exam, he mentioned a slight pain on the side of his head  

(where his neighbor struck back)

and also mentioned he couldn't understand a word the nurse was saying  

(meaning he was still so drunk as to not know where he was, yet again.)

I don't know how closely my interpretations came to the mark, but it was obvious even to the poor misunderstood nurse that there was more to his story than what he was admitting. I probably wasn't too far off and even if I was, it doesn't matter because from this bit of overheard conversation, I now have a character for a story. A stinky inebriated one, but a character nonetheless.

Remember, you don't have to endure the emergency room to observe those around you. Take a walk through the mall, grab a bench and listen in. The local mall has just as many interesting people. Or keep your ears open while you're in line at the grocery store. Even sitting in your car at a red light can give you great snippets of conversation. Even if you don't hear them, imagine what they might be saying while they gesture with their hands. This might stir up story ideas you might not have otherwise imagined.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My New Arrival

It's been a little over two weeks since I came home from the hospital with my beautiful baby girl. She was born September 15 at 7:53am. 8lbs 5oz and 18 3/4 inches long. She's got my mother's cheeks and my grandmother's chin, and my blue eyes and blondish-reddish hair. Her hair was a matter of contention while I was pregnant and it remains so. My grandmother was so curious about the baby's hair color. We have every shade imaginable in my family, so she could have ended up with anything from midnight black to white blonde. As it is, she really looks like she has three different colors blending on her perfectly shaped head. White blonde around her temples (just like her older brother), a darker blonde at the top (just like her eldest brother as well as her father), and the reddish blonde in the back (from me). Probably by the time she's a year old, it'll look completely different yet again.

Sleeping with a newborn is an adjustment. I've gone through this twice before and with each child, its a whole new game. Each one behaved differently, so I have to adapt to her schedule and try to work the rest of my life around her. Feeding, sleeping and diapering consists of most of her day, where mine is full of taking care of her brothers, her father and our house. Not to mention struggling with my career as a published author.

With all three pregnancies, my mind takes a baby vacation. All I could focus on was the baby and preparing for her arrival. Forget plotting, or character development, editing or even imagining a new story in my head. My talent was completely stripped away. It must be some hormonal thing.

Now that she's here, my muse has returned from her exile and I've been creating new characters and new situations during the baby's nighttime/early early morning feedings during which I stare bleary-eyed at the closet door. The only problem now is trying to find the time to write it all down. Though I'm still not doing much around the house besides recovering from a c-section, I still have two toddlers to entertain in between trying to snatch a few minutes of sleep while they're engrossed in the newest Disney movie I've slapped into the DVD. I know, I know...TV is the devil, but for a mom who is awake every two hours at night and has no one to help watch the kids during the day, I count it as a temporary blessing. Weekends work well and I greatly look forward to them. My husband is home to take over while I catch up on some much needed sleep. He's also here so I can scratch that insufferable writing itch. Like now. Ahhh! I feel better already! Now, I think I'll take that nap.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wow!!! Here's some great book news I'm thrilled to share. My book, The Witch and the Wolf, won the August Book of the Month at Happily Ever After Reviews! Yay! I know there was some tough competition and alot of really great books to choose from so, thanks to everyone who took the time to vote.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Vote for Best Book of the Month

I just found out my e-book The Witch and the Wolf is up for another contest! Yay! Stop over at Happily Ever After Reviews to check out the Best Book of the Month contest for August. My book is up against some great competition, so I hope you'll take a minute or two to vote. Voting ends September 7th.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Where has the time gone? This month has really flown by with amazing speed. I really think my head is spinning! But, there's still time to stop by Elaine Cantrell's blog. I'm being interviewed and we'd both love if you'd drop in and say 'hello'!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Vote for Book of the Week

My book, The Witch and the Wolf, has been reviewed at the Long and Short of It. They gave it a wonderful review and now its up for Book of the Week! Please take a moment to stop by, read the reviews and vote. Voting is held Saturday and Sunday only. Thank you!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Two Blogs in One Day

Somedays it's just non-stop! Today, I'm super busy! Not only am I being interviewed by my good friend Ash Krafton on her Kraftmatic Adjustable Blog (my very first interview!!!), I'm also over at the Black Rose Blog talking about my favorite books (and believe me, it was not easy to narrow it down to one!). So, I hope you get a chance to stop by to check out these two great blogs!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Book News

I'm happy to report I have a release date for my e-book The Witch and the Wolf. Due July 21, 2010 from The Wild Rose Press!! I'm so excited and simply had to share the news. It's 73 pages long and it's labeled 'spicy'. Oh my!

Here's the blurb:

Lord Jeremy North's curse is to become a werewolf during every full moon, turning into a bloodthirsty monster that kills with no remorse. When he finds a woman nearly frozen upon his doorstep, his sense of honor compels him to help her, even at the risk he might kill her himself.

Lillian Merriweather hadn't planned to get caught in a blizzard while traveling the English countryside. Nor had she planned on finding refuge in a house full of secrets. But Lillian has secrets of her own. And what she's running from is not far behind...

And the excerpt:
There were several moments Jeremy North suspected he suffered hallucinations. Most of those times had been when he had first begun to change into the beast during the full moon. And now, as he answered the knocking he had at first imagined to be the pounding in his skull, he wondered if the brandy he had been drinking this evening was perhaps tainted. He could not quite believe his eyes.
A woman stood on his doorstep, covered in a layer of snow, her bright blue eyes silently pleading to him just before her eyelids fluttered closed, and she crumpled at his feet. He managed to set the candle down safely on a table in time to catch her before she cracked her head on the stone beneath her. He lifted her effortlessly into his arms, brought her into the house, slamming the door closed with his foot. He hurried into the library with his unexpected guest. North had returned earlier seeking the warm oblivion of yet another glass of brandy. He grimaced at the memory of countless other sleep-deprived nights spent in much the same way. Sans an unconscious woman, however.

He placed the bundled woman onto the sofa, ignoring the fact that the snow was bound to create a water stain on the fabric once it melted. He leaned over her, pushing the curly brown strands of wet hair off her face and checked to see if she still breathed. Satisfied when he felt her breath on his hand, he went back to the corridor.

“Amery!” He roared.

Turning back to the woman on his sofa, he again felt the necessity to blink his eyes, wondering if they played a trick with his senses. He lit more candles to brighten the room and added more wood to the fire. Then he walked back to the woman and knelt at her side. He found her hand dangling over the edge of the sofa and took it gently in his, the digits frozen stiff. He inhaled a gasp. He cupped both of his hands instinctively around hers, hoping to lend her his warmth.

He heard the shuffle from the hallway and Amery’s muttering, then a noisy yawn.

“Bloody hell! What is this?” Amery bellowed from the doorway.

North ignored the query. “We need blankets,” he said, instead. “She’s frozen through.”

Amery nodded and left.

A muffled groan from behind drew his attention, and he turned to see the woman’s eyelids flutter open. He inhaled sharply as her bright blue gaze fell upon him.

She studied him for a moment.

And then, she smiled.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Spending the day at the Holistic Fair

I participated in Schuylkill Haven's First Annual Holistic Fair yesterday hosted by Ocean's Away Spa. My friend and former co-worker Michele from Lady Dragonfly Gifts allowed me to share her table where I promoted my soon-to-be-released ebook The Witch and the Wolf.

Michele creates beautiful hand-crafted jewelry, scarves and pet throws. She's also a very talented photographer and specializes in graveyard photography. I fell back on another talent I've had since my teens and created some colorful dreamcatchers to sell, as well.

We had so much fun meeting people who shared our interests. It was a wonderful experience I was glad to share with friends who attended and I really can't wait for next year's event. The only drawback was the rising temperature. We managed to get a perfect spot that kept us out of the sun for most of the day, but somehow, even sitting in the shade I managed to get a sunburn! My skin is white as a ghost (or even a vampire!) and I suppose that just being near the sunlight was close enough to do a bit of damage. I'll take this as a warning and keep to my nocturnal activities for a while until I heal. Gardening in the moonlight can be fun, too. :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blogging at the Black Rose

It's my day at The Wild Rose Press's Black Rose blog to talk about crafting a short story. What are the similarities and differences between writing shorter versus longer length? Which do you prefer? I hope you'll stop on over for a visit and chat.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fascinated By Ghosts

I've always been fascinated by ghosts. Ever since I was very young and living at my grandmother's house. Our family often experienced strange goings on there. My Nana would never frighten us or tell us it was just our imagination when we came to her with our experiences. Instead, she kindly explained that the ghosts living in her house were our deceased relatives and they would never do anything to harm us because they loved us.

I don't know how true that was but it comforted us at the time. Although, it could very well have been true. My great-grandmother died in the living room right where the TV now stands. Perhaps that's why when my Nana was upstairs, she'd hear the sound of voices and think the television was on. Thinking my aunt had forgotten to turn it off before going to sleep, she'd go down, only to find it wasn't on at all.

There were many times I'd see shadows where none should be and I'd get that feeling of being watched when no one was around. Instead of finding the situations creepy, I thought it was an interesting experience. If I had known as a child that there were people who conducted investigations on houses such as my grandmother's, I might have asked her to give them a call. That would have been fun. Sadly, my grandmother had to sell her house shortly before she died. Maybe she's haunting the people who live there now.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Blogging at the Black Rose

I'm over at the Black Rose Blog today talking about book promoting. Yeah, I know. What do I know about book promoting? Well, maybe I'll surprise you.

If you get a chance, please stop by and read the posts of the other authors, as well. There are some terrific ideas out there that would interest many of you writers.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Brand New Beginnings

Well, I'm done working at the bookstore. My days of a bookseller are now over...well, unless I'm actively selling my own book, but in that case, I do prefer the title of author! The store I worked in has closed its doors, never to re-open. I'll have fond memories of my 12 years working at the local bookstore and I know at times I'm sure to miss it dearly. But, I am also relieved to become a stay-at-home mom and romance author...full-time.

My first order of business majorly clean my house. I love my husband, but he really does make a horrible house-husband. As a man, he just doesn't see the same mess that I see. He calls it "lived-in" or "orderly chaos". I call it "a tornado just wrecked havoc through my living room and kitchen". That tornado has 2 names, by the way, and they're of the ages 2 & 3. I'm hoping now that I'm home permanently, I'll reclaim my house from the clutter monster and motivate my husband into some of those house projects we've discussed recently.

It occurrs to me this is the first time since I was a teenager that I've been unemployed. It's going to take some adjustments. It feels like I've lost an identity, which I sorta have. I am no longer a bookseller.


But, it also gives me the push that I probably needed to really look at myself as an author. Now, when anyone asks what I do for a living, I can tell them truthfully that I write books for a living.

Wish me luck with my new life!