Lovelovelove this challenge this week!!!
We all have (or should have) dreams, wishes, desires that we want to accomplish/do someday. Just like the movie it was named for, these dreams are called our Bucket list.
I will admit, mine was an empty list until 2 years ago. Up until then the only thing I wanted to do was make it through the day, upright, healthy, and fairly unscathed.
Then I got a book contract….and retired from the work force.
And then I allowed myself to dream about what I wanted for my future. I’ve narrowed it down to five because that’s all the blog post allowed for, hence the title!
In no real order, the top 5 things I have on my bucket list are:
Visit Hawaii – and not just visit – take a helicopter flight over the islands, swim under a waterfall, climb the Road to Hana
Skydive with my daughter. She’s already done it so I figure, go with an expert!
Make the USA bestseller list – this one is a little farfetched, especially since I’ll need a runaway bestseller in a category that’s glutted ( contemporary romance) but hey! It’s a wish list, so why not?
Open a charitable foundation – the concept of to whom much is given, much is expected rings sosososos true to me. I have been blessed. Spiritually. Career-wise. Financially. I want, one day, to empower others the way I have been. By paying forward my blessings, I can accomplish this.
I can’t wait to see what some of the bucket list items for my fellow blog challengers are. Click on their links to find out:
And so we come to the end of another November. Thanksgiving has come and gone, leaving behind 5-7 pounds on our hips; Black Friday has exited the building with only a few minor scrapes and bumps to our persons; Cyber Monday has crashed and burned, leaving our checking accounts a little lower in the cash flow department.
And, NaNoWriMo has seen another year, end. Another attempt at that 50,000-word minimum tome has come and gone, leaving many writers joyful, others struggling, and the rest of us exhausted and elated simultaneously.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could keep the writing momentum of this month up for all 12 months? Imagine being able to actually write 2-3 books a year. The big names in publishing do it, like Nora Roberts/JD Robb, Jill Shalvis, Sarah Morgan. These writers know the benefit or writing EVERY SINGLE DAY no matter what. If there isn’t blood shedding, the zombie apocalypse approaching, or the world ending in a vortex of wind and rain, these writers write every single day, bar none. No excuses. No whining. No dilly-dallying.
The fire has been stoaked – you’ve already spent the past 30 days writing something every day. Even if you didn’t make the 50,000 mark, you still have more on the page now than you did on November 1, right? So keep going.
I know I am…and will. Pages to write, books to publish. No Excuses.
See this picture? What do you notice first? The keyboard? The notebook? Or is your eye drawn to that Bridal Cake Christmas ornament?
Yeah, mine too.
I found the ornament in Michael’s Craft store the other day and bought it on the spot. Why you ask? Well, I’m gonna tell you.
I think I’ve mentioned in a few previous blogs that I’m the kind of person that puts action and intention behind wishes and dreams.
I made those wooden book holders for my books because I have a dream to someday be published in hardback, not only in digital and paperback. By making those boxes and placing my paperback books inside of them, it gave the illusion of a hardbound copy. So, see? Dream…intention…action….hopefully it’ll come true.
I’m using the ornament the same way, as:
- a reminder
- a talisman
- visual prompt
The reminder is for me to think good and positive thoughts about the new Bridal Series I just sent to an editor ( who asked for it!)
The talisman is for the ornament to–hopefully– bring me luck with getting these books published.
The visual prompt is so I stay focused because sometimes I start to lag a little when I’m waiting for things to happen.
Cute, isn’t it?
The next time you see that ornament on any of my social media will mean I have good news to share….
Yesterday I told you why I love to give –and get — a book for a holiday gift. Today I want to talk about the kinds of books you give to others.
The type of reader is as diverse and sundry as the genres of books available. From autobiographies to YA, from biographies to Military history. From Cookbooks to Craft books; True Crime and Murder to Cozy mysteries. And of course, my favorite, Romance. Within each of those genres are several subgenres and to find the perfect book for the book reader on your list, you need to wade through all the varieties, skip over some of the styles, and comb through all the different classifications of each genre and subgenre.
Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it, just to find a book. Well, it may be a little tedious, but it’s sosososo worth it when you find the perfect one.
This is a very abbreviated list of the types of books I would give to my book reading peeps and family. Very abbreviated!!!
Babies: ( for Mommy and Daddy to read aloud) Goodnight, Moon
In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon.” And to all the familiar things in the softly lit room—to the picture of the three little bears sitting on chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to the mittens and the kittens, to everything one by one—the little bunny says goodnight.
Toddlers: If Animals Kissed Goodnight
If animals kissed
like we kiss good night,
Giraffe and his calf
would stretch their necks high
and kiss just beneath
the top of the sky.
In a cozy bedtime chat with her mom, a young girl wonders how animal families might say good night. Would Wolf and his pup “kiss and then HOWL”? Would Bear and her cub “kiss and then GROWL”? But what about Sloth and her baby? They move soooo slooowwwww . . . they’re sure to be kissing from early evening until long after everyone else is fast asleep!
Young readers: Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys ( dated, I know, but they all teach good concepts such as critical thinking, sharing, and trust)
Tweens: The Fault in Our Stars
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Teens/YA: The Beginning of Everything
Varsity tennis captain Ezra Faulkner was supposed to be homecoming king, but that was before—before his girlfriend cheated on him, before a car accident shattered his leg, and before he fell in love with unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe.
Adults from 20-100: I like true crime/history/biographies. Two of my absolute favorites, and which I’ve read more than once each are Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt’s sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.
This extraordinary work of investigative journalism takes readers inside America’s isolated Mormon Fundamentalist communities, where some 40,000 people still practice polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these Taliban-like theocracies are zealots who answer only to God.
As I’ve said, this is a very abbreviated list. I could go on for pages about the best books to invest in, but time is short and money is fleeting, so….
Of course, you can always gift one on my books to the romance reader you’re buying for( shameless plug, I know!) if the Christmas Spirit moves you. Here’s a complete list to peruse. Peggy’s books
So. There are probably going to be hundreds of blogs written in the next month by romance writers much more talented than I am about why we all love a holiday romance.
Be it a Hallmark movie, or a new theatrical wide-release Holiday RomCom, or even the plethora of new Christmas love stories that invade our Netgalley listings and Amazon review sites every year.
But, just why do we love a Holiday Romance story sosososo much? Valentine’s Day is the day devoted to Cupid and love. And yes, there have been a few movies and books devoted to that amorous day.
I’m sure there are any number of reasons, but I’ve got a few of my own that I’d like to share.
First, the holidays tend to bring out the best in most of us. Oh, I know there are crabby, grumpy Scrooges out there – some I even know personally! And I’m not negating the people who suffer from depression, which can be heightened at this time of year. But overall, we collectively are happier during the holidays. And because we’re happier I think that tends to open our hearts up to the possibility of finding love. A Happy heart is an open heart, as a famous jewelry company keeps telling us!
Second is the Christmas Wish/Gift list. Most adults don’t physically write this list down on paper like they did as children. They tend to construct and keep it in their heads. And I just bet on every single man and woman’s mental wish list is a dream to meet the person of their, well, dreams. The guy or gal who will become their life partner. Their soulmate. And books and movies postulate that wishes and dreams DO come TRUE, so….
Third, Christmas Romance stories and movies all end HAPPILY. Like any good romance writer or romantic scriptwriter will tell you, you’ve got to make your characters go through hell and high water to achieve that everlasting love. As a romance reader myself – and not just a writer – I know that the more angst, turmoil, and tragedy the characters are put through, the more I root for them to wind up together in the end. I know what the ending will wind up being when I go it. It’s the journey I’m there to watch and read. And who doesn’t love a Happily Ever After ending?? Especially during the holidays!
Lastly, I always view the holidays as a time of rebirth. Sure, it’s Jesus’ birthday, and we should celebrate it like one, but for me, spiritually, it’s a time of rebirth, reorganization, and recognizing all the gifts I have. And those gifts – the most precious ones – are the loves of my life! So, a holiday love story – whether it’s a finding a new love , or a retelling of an everlasting love, warms our hearts and make us just feel good.
I encourage everyone to see a new holiday love story this year and to read a new Christmas Romance novel. And as another shameless plug, I’ll offer mine up, here:
With Christmas just a few weeks away, Gia San Valentino, the baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family, yearns for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her, and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to aren’t exactly the happily-ever-after kind.
Tim Santini believes he’s finally found the woman for him, but Gia will take some convincing she’s that girl. A misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not.
Can a kiss stolen under the Christmas lights persuade her to spend the rest of her life with him?
Click here for a preview: A Kiss
So, in my NEVER ENDING attempt to learn new things and make it easier for people to review, preview, and actually BUY my books ( heehee) I have once again updated my website. You can now Read PREVIEWS of my books before you decide you want to buy them, and you can also Read REVIEWS of the books without having to go look for them.
Let me ‘esplain.
This is the MENU for my website, located on the landing page, in the header.
Click on MY BOOKS.
Once there you will see a listing of all my current, in publication, and available books for purchase with the current one first.
Just scroll down to the bottom of each picture and you will see this:
Click on the link you want. The previews are generated from Amazon and most offer the first chapter, some up to the end of chapter 2, which I think is pretty cool. I know myself before I buy a book by an author I’m not familiar with, I want to read the first few pages before I commit to purchasing. I’ll bet most people want to do that as well since money is a little tighter these days.
So. Once again, the learning curve steepens.
I have this recurring dream/wish/desire/want(!) that I will hit a national bestseller list and actually be able to HIRE an assistant to do all this stuff. One who actually KNOWS how. Yeah, I know what they say about wishes…..
When I decided to write full time after having my first book published, I knew I needed a spot of my very own. A space just for me to escape to and write away. I’m lucky enough to live in a huge house with a finished attic. It has 2 rooms and one was used as a playroom for my daughter when she was a child. The other is basically a storage room chockablock with Christmas decorations, suitcases, furniture no longer is use. You get the idea.
Since my daughter moved out of the house I decided to use her former playroom as my “office.” And that term in a loose one. I had an old desk that I situated near the window in the room which overlooked part of our woodland property. Since I live in the woods, this seemed like the perfect place to write.
Not so much. After a few weeks of writing full time -and sticking to a fairly inflexible writing schedule of 8-10 hours a day, this position proved not so wonderful after all. You see, even though my nearest neighbor is 1/4 mile away geographically, our backyards abut. The neighbor has two very large, very NOISY dogs who spend most of their days outside, fenced in, in the backyard. The fenced in portion is a mere 200 feet from my property line so I could hear the dogs barking LOUDLY ALL DAY LONG.
Can I just say: I lovelovelove dogs. But these two? Not so much.
I needed a new space to write in peace and quiet.
“What about the other room?” hubby asked when I told him my dilemma?
I hadn’t considered it before because the room was, as I’ve said, a storage room. A hovel. A hoarder’s paradise. To use it, the room would not only need to be culled, it would need to be redone because the walls were plain sheetrock and the floor, well, there wasn’t much of a floor.
“No prob,” said hubby. Can you see why I adore this man?
First, I cleaned everything EVERYTHING! out of it. Did I say hoarder? What’s worse than a hoarder?
Then, hubby got to work. He plastered the walls then painted them in two colors I’d requested – muted sage and buttercup, and then laid a new floor. The entire project took three weeks because he could only work on it during the evenings when he got home from work.
This office was a real office, not just a desk. Now I had a desk, a few bookcases, and plenty of room to store all my book swag, books and all the accouterment that go with marketing and publishing.
Oh, and there’s a window in this office too that I put my desk in front of. I get to watch the seasons change daily since it overlooks our forest. When I’m daydreaming I get to observe the deer, squirrels, chipmunks and birds frolic and play in front of me.
It’s the perfect place for me to just drift away and ….write.
The best part? Since it’s on the opposite side of the house I never hear those damn dogs barking anymore.
Le sigh. Perfection.
I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to read about the writing rooms of the other authors in this blog.
Thanksgiving means different things to different people. To me, it means being thankful and grateful I live in a country where I can try and make someone else’s life better. I wrote about this recently on Angela Haye’s THANKFUL AUTHORS blog. Pay it forward, in life and in Gratitude.
So, because I don’t already have enough to do– writing, marketing, promotion — I’m adding something new in the New Year: A monthly author newsletter.
Yeah, I know….
I’ve been avoiding doing a newsletter for 2 years for a number of reasons, but the main one has been I really don’t know what I’m doing !!!!! Setting up this blog was HARD enough and the only reason I didn’t jump off a ledge doing it was because my uber talented cyber bestie Jill helped me. And you all know most of the other techy stuff my daughter assists me with.
But this one I’m all on my own with.
If you want to receive my newsletter in your email box once a month–yay for supporting me!–but I’ll need your email addresses. You can either private message me on my facebook author page, or leave your email in the comments section below. If you leave it here, I will immediately delete it after I copy it so no one else will have it and bother you.
One advantage of being a newsletter subscriber? 2 actually. Monthly contests to win books and it’s a way for me to share deleted scenes from my books that didn’t make the digital cut despite being GREAT SCENES in my humble opinion.
Thanks for being so supportive, peeps. It will make this process easier.
While I’m setting up my newsletter, you can find me here: