Category Archives: Life challenges

#SundaySnippet 11.11.18

You had to know today’s little snippet was going to be from DEARLY BELOVED. After all, it drops tomorrow!!! Yippie.

This is the explanation of the strange nick-names Nanny Fee has for her granddaughters. It’s a scene that gives the reader some insight into Colleen’s feelings of inadequacy.

Can I ask you something? Something personal?” Slade said.

“Sure.”

“Why does your grandmother call you Number Two?”

Heat flew up my cheeks, and I bit down on the inside of my lip.

“I heard her say it to you on the phone when we were out at the lake, and I even remember the first time we met, she called while we were in the parking lot of your office.”

When I didn’t say anything, he turned in his seat so he was facing me. “Colleen?”

“It’s embarrassing,” I said. “And stupid.”

“Most nicknames are.” He had a smile in his voice and when I glanced over at him the kindness in his expression had me wanting to tell him. Harry had only asked me once, and when I didn’t tell him the reason, he’d never asked again.

I dragged in a deep breath and checked both ways before moving through the roundabout.

“My mother and grandmother never got along well. Still don’t. I don’t know exactly why, but I’ve always thought it was because they’re like two alpha dogs and neither ever wanted to give up control of the pack to the other. Anyway. You might have noticed my sisters and I all have pretty similar sounding names.”

“Yes, I have. Cathleen, Colleen, and Maureen. And your sister who died was Eileen, right?”

I nodded.

“Cute.”

“That’s one word for it. Nanny Fee would give you a different one.”

“She’s not a fan of your names?”

“I don’t think she would have been a fan of any names my mom picked out, but the alliterative ones she definitely hated. She called Cathleen Number One because she’s the oldest. Eileen and Maureen she always referred to as Three and Four.” I glanced over at him again in time to see the grin he was trying to hide. “I came along second in line, so…”

“Did you get teased a lot in school?”

“Mercilessly. Nanny forgot how cruel kids could be, which is hysterical since she taught communion prep class for years. And she taught in our church school, so whenever she would see one of us in the hallways, she called us by the number name. When kids, especially the boys in my class, heard her say it, well, let’s say things would have been easier for me if I’d been homeschooled.”

“Kids are brutal. At any age.”

“Truth.” I pulled into the inn driveway. “Even though we’re adults, she still refers to us as numbers. When my parents moved away after my sister died I’d hoped she’d stop, since I figured she’d only done it all those years to annoy my mother. But she didn’t, so that tells me it’s ingrained and not going to change. To keep the peace, the three of us ignore it for the most part. Calling Cathy and Mo One and Four isn’t so bad. I still get a little resentful every time she Number Twos me, though.”

I stopped, abruptly. I had just divulged more to this man about this subject than I had to Harry in our ten years together.

“Why did you parents move after your sister died?” Slade asked, oblivious to my thoughts.

I parked the car but left it running. “They couldn’t emotionally handle living in the place one of their daughters had died. They kind of, well, ran away, leaving the house and Nanny to us to look after and care for.”

His gaze studied me for a moment.

“What?”

“I can’t decide if you’re mad at them for leaving or not.”

“I’m not mad. I was a little pissed off in the beginning, especially since they had three living daughters who needed them for emotional support and balance. But with distance, I’ve learned to understand their reasons. There are times, though, like today, I wished they’d taken Nanny with them. Life would have been a little less harried if they had.”

Slade smiled. “But not as exciting, I’ll bet.”

“Excitement is overrated. Look, I don’t want to seem rude, but I really need to get back.”

BUY LINKS: Amazon // Wild Rose Press // B&N // Kobo 

The books drops tomorrow, peeps and can I just say – again!- how excited I am to introduce you the the O’Dowd family! I love them all and hope you do, too.

Look for me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

 

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Family Saga, Life challenges, Romance, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A new day…a busy week…a hectic life

My life has been a bit…on the constant go…of late. A new book release, a new audio book release, edits for my Christmas release, an author appearance, and two virtual book tours. All in the past 2 weeks. Plus, all the social media promotion involved in each and every one of those things so I can get the word out my work and, you know….make a living! HeeHee. Add in the book reviews I need to get done for Netgalley and then the 3 personal friend reviews I’ve been asked to do for soon-to-be-released books AND the judging I need to get done for a romance writing contest I’m involved in, and…Yikes!!

When I set out to write full time three years ago after the publication of my first book, I thought I’d spend my days happily inventing new characters and situations that would bring them together, pull them apart, and then reconnect them for their HEA. And I have done that, don’t get me wrong. I’ve loved every millisecond of being able to devote myself to writing.

But….

It’s all the OTHER stuff that goes along with wanting to be a published author that’s starting to make my life a little harried. Strained. Busy. Swamped. You get the idea.

 

The social media stuff alone is mind boggling at times. I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I’m actually grateful for my menopause insomnia because I’m typically awake and out of bed by 3:30 every morning. From the moment after I get myself situated with a cup of tea, I’m at my desk, posting my SM stuff for the day through the scheduling app HOOTSUITE. There’s even a group of other insomniac writers like me on Twitter  with the Hashtag (#) 5amwritersclub. It’s so nice to know I’m not alone when the rest of the nation is still slumbering!

If I was a million-seller author by now, I’d have a publicist and a media consultant do all this for me. Can you imagine how much writing work I could done in those 3 hours in the middle of the night every day? I can tell you how much: my first book was written between the hours of 1 am and 3 am for 3 solid months when I first hit menopause and was afflicted with this sleeping disturbance. Now that I’m a seasoned writer and edit as I go, I could turn out another book every 45 days just by writing during the hours I am usually doing the media stuff! Mind boggling!

There’s an old saying that, if you want to get something done in a hurry, give it to a busy person. While that may be true more times than not, it also makes the busy person feel overwhelmed, stressed, and – in my case – sleep deprived.

And I just realized how this sounds like I’m a whining 3 year old. I’m not ( well, maybe just a titch!) Before the advent of social media ruling the world, I really wonder how authors did it. How did they get the word out effectively about their work? How did they get new readers? Who helped them?

All questions that will, for now, remain unanswered, as I need to go and schedule today’s posts.

And if you’re looking for me, here’s where I am ( see? I told you I was busy!! Heehee)

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

 

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#goddessfishtour Day 14. #Readeropolis and me…

Have you been keeping up with the tour? Got your rafflecopter chance? Left a comment on any of the stops? YOu still have some chances for that and to “see” me. I’ve got another 7 days of stops and today I am over on Readeropolis with an excerpt from the book. Stop by. Leave me some love.

And if you missed any stops along the way, click on them here: ( you might have to scroll thru 1 02 of them to find my post because it’s been a minute, you know!

March 19: Romance Novel Giveaways
March 20: BooksChatter 
March 20: Sharing Links and Wisdom
March 21: Edgar’s Books
March 21: Christine Young
March 22: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
March 22: Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters
March 23: Unabridged Andra
March 23: BooksChatter – review
March 26: Welcome to My World of Dreams
March 27: Sorchia’s Universe
March 27: Rachel Brimble Romance
March 28: Nana Prah’s Blog
March 29: Fabulous and Brunette
March 29: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin’
March 30: It’s Raining Books
April 2: Book Magic – Under a spell with every page – review only
April 2: K.T. Castle
April 3: Read Your Writes Book Reviews
April 4: The Avid Reader
April 4: The Pen and Muse Book Reviews

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Food lover, Foodie, Friends, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

It’s my #BOOKBIRTHDAY YAY!!

 

You’re all probably sick to death about hearing about this release because I’ve been talking about it 4EVAH!! But today’s the day, at long long long last. CAN’T STAND THE HEAT is released into the book reading world. And along with its release, I’m still plugging away on my Goddess Fish tour. Today I’m over at Read Your Writes Book Review.

I’m giving some writing advice that I stick to. Stop by and leave some love then take a chance at the $50.00 Amazon GC!

 

 

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#GoddessFishBlogTour Week 3 begins #CantStandTheHeat

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter or Passover. It’s back to the “grind” for me today. Week 3 of the blog tour starts with a visit to K.T.Castle, talking about  how I write my dialogue between characters. She also reviewed the book and can I just say, Le sigh!   My heart is just singing!    Stop two is a  review over at one of my favorite bloggers Book Magic. And I’m having a total Sally Field moment this morning because they both like it ( the book) they really really liked it!! hahaha,Stop by. Leave love! take a chance t that $50 Amazon GC card. ( Wish I was eligible for a try!! haha).

If you’ve missed any of the other stops, here’s a recap:

March 19: Romance Novel Giveaways
March 20: BooksChatter 
March 20: Sharing Links and Wisdom
March 21: Edgar’s Books
March 21: Christine Young
March 22: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
March 22: Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters
March 23: Unabridged Andra
March 23: BooksChatter – review
March 26: Welcome to My World of Dreams
March 27: Sorchia’s Universe
March 27: Rachel Brimble Romance
March 28: Nana Prah’s Blog
March 29: Fabulous and Brunette
March 29: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin’
March 30: It’s Raining Books

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, female friends, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

#Research…a necessary evil or funfunfun to do?

I love trivia. The more arcane or weird an item of info is, the better for me. When TRIVIAL PURSUIT first burst onto the world stage in the 1980’s no one wanted to play against me. Le sigh…..

Because I like knowing weird trivia facts, I lovelovelove research. My characters are all over the map with regards to their careers and knowledge bases. I’ve had doctors, veterinarians, tv producers, writers, lawyers, and artists, just to name a few. And for every book and different career choice, I’ve had to do a little research to ensure I was staying true to not only the character, but how their career fit in with the plot line.

Some of my favorite pieces of info that I learned from researching my books are:

  1. a cow has 4 stomachs
  2. the gestation period for a horse is 11-12 months
  3. a Coroner doesn’t have to be a medical doctor.
  4. the first digital camera was invented and used in 1975
  5. milk chocolate tempers between 87 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit
  6. White chocolate is really a chocolate derivative made from cocoa butter, sugar and milk solids
  7. the basic cake recipe for almost every baker is simple to easy.

Writers need to get things right in their work. In the past, publishers had fact checkers to make sure when an author added a piece of info into their story it was correct. Not so much anymore. But now, with the information needed at our fingertips, anyone can and should be a fact checker simply by using Google.

There are two reasons I am so anal about research. One is from a writing viewpoint, the other as a reader. A few years ago I read a book by a very well known and well paid romance writer who said that the hero was wearing Bausch and Lomb Blue colored contact lenses. At the time, I was a contact lens technician and KNEW B&L made no such lens. As a reader I was disappointed in the writer and the publisher for not fact checking that. (FYI, B&L now does make a blue colored lens in their disposable brand of lenses. Back when this book was written, they did not and would not for several years.)

The personal reason I am such a devout researcher has to do with my first book. It was about an ice skater who’d won  2 Olympic gold medals. When I was describing her winning routine, I spelled the move she made as A-X-L-E. Now, I skated for decades myself, but never knew the word when used in this skating context was spelled A-X-E-L. An agent I’d sent the manuscript to also happened to be an ice skater on the side. When she saw how I’d misspelled the word, she wrote me back that she never read the rest of the book because that mistake questioned my credibility as a writer of the subject to her. Lesson learned. The hard way.

So, research. Fun or tiresome? You already know my answer.

Since this is a blog hop, lets see what the other authors have learned from their book research:

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Literary characters, love, Lyrical Author, MFRWauthor, Newsletter, research, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

#GoddessFishBlogtour Day 10. #CantStandtheHeat

 

I had to put up a different banner this morning because I figured everyone was getting sick of the old one! Still managed to get the book cover up on it though, so YAY me!

Anyhoo…Day 10 of the tour. Today I’m visiting It’s Raining books ( love that blog title!). The interview is a goodie. Had me thinking, really thinking when I did it! Stop by and see why.

If you missed any of the previous stops, here’s a recap:

March 19: Romance Novel Giveaways
March 20: BooksChatter 
March 20: Sharing Links and Wisdom
March 21: Edgar’s Books
March 21: Christine Young
March 22: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
March 22: Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters
March 23: Unabridged Andra
March 23: BooksChatter – review
March 26: Welcome to My World of Dreams
March 27: Sorchia’s Universe
March 27: Rachel Brimble Romance
March 28: Nana Prah’s Blog
March 29: Fabulous and Brunette
March 29: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin’
March 30: It’s Raining Books

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#GoddessFishBlogTour Day 8 #CantStandTheHeat


7 down – about 67,000 to go! hahaha. Just kidding ( kinda). Today I’m over at Nana Prah’s Blog  with a quick book excerpt. Stop by and take a chance at a $50 Amazon GC to be awarded at the end of the tour.

And if you’ve missed any of the stops so far, here’s a recap:

March 19: Romance Novel Giveaways
March 20: BooksChatter 
March 20: Sharing Links and Wisdom
March 21: Edgar’s Books
March 21: Christine Young
March 22: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
March 22: Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters
March 23: Unabridged Andra
March 23: BooksChatter – review
March 26: Welcome to My World of Dreams
March 27: Sorchia’s Universe
March 27: Rachel Brimble Romance
And I’ve still got 2.5 more weeks to go!!!

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

It all begins with #MorningMotivation

SO, about 6 weeks ago I started using my Instagram account to post daily pictures and quotes about 3 concepts I strive for on a daily basis: self-motivation, believing in myself, and personal growth. Since I started that, my account has doubled in people who follow me. I didn’t start doing this, though, to garner new followers–although that’s a wonderful side benefit–but to keep me focused on those three concepts. Posting my daily motivational quote is the first thing I do in the morning, social media-wise, and it sets the tone for my day.

First, I find motivational quote. Pinterest is great for this.

I swear Pinterest was invented by a writer! Self-motivation has never been one of my strong points. Since I’ve been such a people pleaser throughout my life, I’ve tended to put myself second, or even third, when it came to encouraging myself and pushing myself toward a goal. I’m a great cheerleader – ask any of my friends – and I will push anyone towards the finish line of their choice. Myself? Not so much. Recognizing that, I started the daily motivations to help me focus on myself and what I want, for once. Some may see this as selfish, perhaps, but it really isn’t.

What did we ever do before the thought to use a hashtag for promotional reasons became a thing? After the motivational quote is uploaded to my account, I then promote it in an attempt to help others. The hashtag #PersonalGrowth is a great one for this.

I truly try to grow every single day: as a writer, as a wife and mother, as a human being trying to navigate through the quagmire our society has become. Uplifting my thoughts is a good way for me to start my day and do this.

You can’t expect to accomplish anything if you don’t accept and aspire to my third daily tenant, #BelieveInYourSelf.

No one is going to magically make you a success in life. You have to work for it and you have to believe that you can succeed. And you really need to believe it. Just saying the words mean nothing. Deep down in your very soul, you must feel as if you can do anything you set your mind to. Anything. Believing you can do something is the most important tool you have for achieving personal success.

Having a positive outlook in and on life can go a great way in making your days better. There’s a mindset that believes what you speak out into the universe is what you’ll get sent back to you. Negative thoughts, morose mindsets, and critical thinking, if put out there, will become a major factor in what is given back to you from other people and the world in general. Having a positive outlook, not believing everything you do is going to wind up bad or not to your liking, goes a great way in making your days happy and productive ones.

Everyone knows my favorite book of all time is The Little Engine who Could. I truly believe this is the best book about self-motivation and self-actualization ever written, and it’s a children’s book! But, adults can get the takeaway message — he thought he could, so he did — as a mantra for their lives. That little engine let nothing stand in his way to prevent him from getting up and over that hill. Again, this book was written for children to help them accept, see, and know that they can do anything they set their minds to. Why, as adults, do we forget that?

SO, that’s how I start my day. Every morning of every day. Thinking positively, believing in myself, and recognizing I must grow to survive. It all beings with #MorningMotivation

Other places you can find me being positive are: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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#2018 word of the year….

In 2016, my word for the year was YES. Instead of the usual knee-jerk NO I gave to everything, I decided to say yes to everything. It was a good year. In 2017 my word was COMPROMISE. Since I have a my way or the highway personality, I thought this word and the thought behind it would help me in my interpersonal relationships. And it did. Big time.

For 2018 I needed a word that would propel me into writing more and, thereby, produce more so I could get published more. Since I’m the type of person who gets easily distracted – the main reason I don’t listen to music when I write – I needed something that would help me remember to stay the course and not let little things pull me away from writing. Little things like the desire to watch The View, or read a book, or watch a Housewives episode.

That word is FOCUS.

My steps toward being more focused on my writing aren’t many, and that’s a good thing because there are less to remember and get frustrated by.

  1. Utilize a Daily Planner.   You would think because I am such a plotter for my writing I would already do this. You would be wrong. This year I purchased a three-ring binder that holds 3 separate notebooks. One is my TO DO list for each day. One is MY FITNESS list so I remember to track what I eat, drink, and to remind myself to exercise. The third is a PROJECT MANAGER that lists all the works in progress I’ve got going on and their end dates, and ideas for new books.
  2. Set break time. If you work at a job in an office, or a school, or anywhere, you have built-in breaktimes. I’ve never done that. I simply sit at my laptop and write until I get bored ( or distracted) and then do things that waste time.
  3. Turning the alarms on my cell phone off.   Every time my phone dings with a new email or Fb post or Twitter notification, I stop what I’m doing and grab my phone. This pulls me out of creativity mode and at this stage in my life it’s wicked hard to get those lost writing thoughts back! Alarms are shut off whenever I’m writing now.
  4. Clean up the workspace and keep it tidy. Another no-brainer, but I have a tendency to not put things back where they belong in my office, so my desk is littered with reference books, sticky notes, pens and loads of other accouterment that can be very distracting. Keeping my desk tidy is a good way to avoid having my eyes drift to all the mess and then get distracted with putting it all away. 

So, four little steps that I think ( Hope. WISH!!) will help me be more productive in 2018.

While I’m focusing on what I need to do, you can be distracted by finding me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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