Tag Archives: #amwriting

If it’s Tuesday…it’s #MomentsFromMenopause

 

I pulled an oldie but a goodie out of the Blogger vault today for my Menopause blog. Hope you agree.

Laugh and the world laughs with you

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My favorite thing I’ve written…

Welcome to 2018 and the newest 52 week Blog Challenge. This year I’m getting on board from day 1 and the first prompt is a goodie.

Parents of multiple children will tell you that they love each of their children equally. I only have one child so I can say for me, that’s true. I love my daughter over all other children. But I tend to think that parents with more than onlies are giving themselves a line. I may be wrong, but I’ve seen it in families I know. One child is usually more favored by a parent whether they mean to show it to the world or not, than the others. **For you parents of multiple children, please don’t yell at me or send me angry tweets. This is simply my opinion, and I’ll explain why next.

This week’s prompt is the Favorite thing I’ve written and why. Now, authors are like parents. Each of their books are considered to be their babies and are treated as such. Most authors will tell you if you ask them which is their favorite book they’ve written, that they love them all equally ( just like parents of multiples will.) Each new book is like a new child, to be loved and cherished and adored.

I get that, I really do.

But….( you knew that was coming, didn’t you!)

After 10 books published ( and a total of 41 written) I do have one favorite that stands above all the others. The reason is simple: it was the first book where I had the HERO fully flushed out in my mind before I ever had a heroine for him.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS is the love story of Padric Cleary and Clarissa Rogers. Pat’s a veterinarian and Clarissa is a family doctor. Before I ever had a thought about Clarissa, Pat was a fully formed person in my head. He’s my favorite male character because he’s so misunderstood by everyone, including his twin sister, Moira. Everyone in Carvan thinks Pat’s a playa. It’s true that he does date a lot of girls, but its because he’s looking for the one.  He wants the same kind of love his parents have – everlasting, complete, and romantic. Every girl he dates thinks they can change his love ’em and leave ’em personality. But Clarissa Rogers isn’t interested in Pat and – of course- that makes her the perfect girl for him.

This was the third book in the MacQuire Women Series that Wild Rose Press published for me and I love it the best of all my books so far simply because I adore Pat Cleary!

Here’s the official blurb: Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers’ first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town. Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can’t pledge himself to her forever.

Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for “The One.” When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent’s marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way. 

Can Pat convince everyone – including Clarissa – she’s the only woman for him?

Now, since this is the first blog of the year in the MFRW blog challenge, stop by some of these other authors and see what they consider the favorite thing they’ve written is.

and if you’re looking for me, I can be found here :

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What to grab???

As part of the FLAMING CRIMES BLOGFEST, I’ve been asked to answer a specific question from author Chrys Fey. Stick around, beacuse after I answer it there’s a little gift from the Chrys waiting for you!

What is something ridiculous you would save if there was a fire?

 This is a question I’ve never even considered before, but it prompted a memory of when I was working as a nurse in Wisconsin. One of my nursing staff had their house burn down on Christmas day due to a faulty tree wire sparking and setting the place ablaze. The entire family got out with their lives intact but everything they owned was destroyed. They never even had a chance to grab anything but each other.

I’m going with the thought that I’ll have a split second to make a decision if this ever happens to me.

Now, I could say I’d take my laptop because that has all my vital info and my work on it, but I’ve got that all backed up, so if it were destroyed, I’d be okay.

I toyed with the idea of my cell phone for the same reasons, and the same excuses pulled me away from that.

I’m gonna assume my hubby and family get out okay. Scrap books? No. Favorite signed book by favorite author? Nope. My communion dress? No. My daughter’s childhood stuff animal. Nope.

It dawned on me that I do have one thing that isn’t replaceable and only means something to me and that’s my framed picture of Nora Roberts and me.

This is the only copy I have and it was taken at my very first RWA conference in 2014 in San Antonio, Tx. This picture is irreplaceable and worth its weight in gold to me, so I’m not leaving it if the house is burning down!

 

 

BUY LINKS:

Amazon / Barnes & Noble

The Wild Rose Press

 

BLURB: Beth and Donovan are now happily married, and what Beth wants more than anything is a baby. Her dream of starting a family is put on hold as fires burn dangerously close and Donovan becomes a victim of sabotage.

Donovan escapes what could’ve been a deadly wreck. Their past enemies have been eliminated, so who is cutting brake lines and leaving bloody messages? He vows to find out, for the sake of the woman he loves and the life they’re trying to build.

Amidst a criminal mind game, a fire ignites next to their home. They battle the flames and fight to keep their house safe from the blaze pressing in on all sides, but neither of them expects to confront a psychotic adversary in the middle of the inferno.

Their lives may just go up in flames…

About the Author:

Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. She’s partnered with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and runs their Goodreads book club. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.

 

Author Links:

Website / Blog / Goodreads

Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

 

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If it’s #Tuesday it’s #menopause

Here’s a quick link to my blog today over at Moments from Menopause. I’m talking about skin…issues!

Moments from Menopause

or you can copy and paste:

https://momentsfrommenopause.blogspot.com/2018/01/menopause-skin.html

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My 2018 #ReadingChallenge

It’s that time of year again…Goodreads is going to start their yearly reading challenge and I need to set my book goal for the next 365 days.

Last year I did really well. My goal was 150 books and I managed to read 168.  This year I don’t know that I’ll have as much time I can devote to reading. Since I’m a Netgalley reviewer I have a certain number of books that I review for the site, plus all the ones I read on my own – which are many, let me tell you!

Reading challenges have been dear and near to my heart ( and mind!) since I was a kid. I was that student who never balked when the teacher gave out summer reading lists and challenges, and then required proof you read anything in the form of book reports due day 1 of the new school year.

Yeah, I know. Book nerd was a term invented for me.

As an adult, I still love the thought of a reading challenge and the rush that blows through me whenever I can add another finished book to the tally.

So……200 seems like a few too many. Maybe halfway between 150 and 200, so I think I’m going to set my challenge at 175 books this year.

Check back in 2019 and see if I’m still alive and if my eyes haven’t fallen out of my head yet!

And do an author a favor: sign up for my newsletter.

There was a link when you first opened this blog piece, so pleasepleaseplease ( yes, I’m not too proud to beg) sign up. The first one goes out on 1.7.18 and there are some freebies and goodies attached to signing up this month. I promise!!!

While I’m readingin 2018 you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

 

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I don’t like to give advice, but……

Number 51! We’re almost done with an entire year of blog posts. Today’s topic is a goodie — but then I’ve thought they were all goodies!

So, like my title says, I don’t like to give advice. The reason is simply because I don’t like to get it! Especially unsolicited.

But…(You knew that was coming, didn’t you?! HeeHee)

What advice would I give to New Authors? Well, it’s simple really. DON’T GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM. EVAH!!!

I was 55 years old when my first book was published. A time when people are thinking towards retirement, and I started a whole new career. I had many naysayers when I first submitted to publishers and entered contests at the age of 54.

You’re too old to start, now.” 

“You’re not the right age or demographic or personality to write and be successful with romance writing.” 

“You’ll never make it. It’s a young person’s market.”

“You’re going to get your heart broken with all the rejections you’re going to get.”

I heard it all.

But I still dreamed I’d be published. I listened to those comments and then just as quickly forgot about them.

Yes, I’d had a few things published in my 20’s and 30s’ — mostly short stories in literary magazines that no one ever read, and professional nursing journals where a few people did see them. But nothing I could support myself with. The dream to be a published book author always stayed with me, though, despite that.

And yes, it took me until I was middle-aged, menopausal, and slightly neurotic before I ever saw a book of mine in print, but… and this is the key… I stuck to my dream and saw it fulfilled.

So, new writer who is hopefully reading this, if you want to write, write. If you want to be a published author, go for it. Don’t give up. Ever. EVAH!

I wonder what the other authors in this blog hop want to tell you? Stop by their sites and see:

 

3.

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How to really celebrate the Spirit of Christmas

 

Every year I make a list of the things that I want to do during the holiday season. Christmas isn’t just about getting presents for me — it never was. My childhood wasn’t filled with things like most American kids have nowadays. I was lucky if I got new underwear or pajamas from Santa some years. The Christmas season was more about experiences. Visiting the Rockefeller Tree. Attending the Natale festival in Little Italy.  Midnight Mass. These are my memories of Christmas. As an adult, I expanded my list of experiences and I want to share them today, because I think everyone should remember what the real spirit of Christmas means. It’s not about getting a new iPad or the latest must-have toy. It’s about experiencing the joy, hope, and love the season embodies and helping others feel the same way.

Here are a few things on my list to do this year:

  1. Volunteer. Those Salvation Army bell ringers don’t grow on trees! It takes a well-coordinated volunteer army to man those kettles you see around stores, in the mall, and on street corners. Give the gift of your time. Usually, shifts are 2 hours. Surely, you’ve got 2 hours you can donate to a worthy cause. 
  2. Attend a local holiday concert. Every year my town has a holiday concert put on by the local Pops Choir. They’re usually a fundraiser, so admission goes toward funding a local charity such as the food bank or a women’s shelter. Kicking back in an auditorium filled with like-minded people who want to enjoy some holiday music sung by people who should – in my opinion – be on American Idol(!) is a great way to spend a wintry, cold afternoon. Sit back, listen and enjoy, and know you are making a difference in someone’s life with the cost of your admission.
  3. Support Toys for Tots. I know I said Christmas isn’t about the presents, but kids, especially kids in foster care, those who have to spend Christmas in the hospital, those whose mothers or fathers are serving in the military thousands of miles away, THOSE kids deserve to get toys and presents. My daughter is an adult and I haven’t bought her a toy in quite some time. But I still toy shop during the holidays so I can hopefully make another child’s day a happy one.

         

         4. Volunteer at the local food kitchen or deliver food to shut-ins. This one is so self-explanatory I don’t need to define it, but I will, with this thought: Think of the meal you have with your family, friends, loved ones every Christmas. I’m sure your table is packed with more food than you all could possibly eat in one sitting. The house is decorated and warm. Everyone is relaxed, happy and glad to be alive. Now think about that family where the dad just lost his job, or the single mom who left an abusive relationship and took her kids with her. They live in a shelter. They worry if they’ll even get a meal a day, much less a holiday one.These are the people food kitchens were made for. Why don’t you take an hour out of your time and volunteer to serve these people.  Spend time with others who don’t have what you do, probably through no circumstances of their own making, and help them see that people really are kind and giving and the world isn’t a terrible, lonely place.

            5.Attend a holiday craft fair. I lovelovelove receiving home-made gifts. This is a great way to support local crafters AND do some holiday gift shopping

           6.Give blood. This may be the last thing you think of doing during the holidays, but believe me, it’s needed. This is the one selfless act that truly means giving because you’re literally giving the gift of life to another human being.

I’m sure you can think of many more worthwhile ways to make your Christmas a happier, more soul-fulfilling experience. I wish you all the most joyous of seasons, and my hope is that after reading this blog today, you’ll go out and make someone else’s life as happy as yours is.

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

 

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Throwback Tuesday

Okay, okay. I know it’s supposed to be Throwback THURSDAY, but bear with me….

So Facebook is unusual sometimes. Sometimes. Cue the sarcasm.

Anyway, the other day on my FB page, I got one of those Your Memories on Facebook reminders and it was for my  Moments from menopause blog, so I decided to occasionally resurrect it. Click on the previous link to see my newest entry and read some of the other ones. I was pretty funny ( read, Snarky) back when I was writing the blog because I was – literally –  stuck in menopause symptom Hell!.

Other places you can find me these days: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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Christmas and Music

I think I’ve mentioned before that I don’t listen to music when I write or make a playlist for my books because I have distraction syndrome. Now before you all start running and Googling that, it’s not a real thing. It’s just what happens to me when I hear music. I stop what I’m doing and get totally into the beat, the lyrics, and I channel my inner rock diva and forget what I’m  supposed to be concentrating on. I don’t listen to the radio when I drive anymore because that Carpool Karaoke thing? Yeah. It’s a  real thing. James Cordon can do it because he’s not really driving, he’s being hauled by a starter car. If I drive and carpool karaoke myself into a stupor, hands waving, eyes closed in music ecstasy,  accidents will abound, fenders will bend, and dashboards will be destroyed.

But… ( you knew that was coming, didn’t you!!)

The one time of the year I allow my self to be distracted is at Christmas. I love me a holiday song be it an old standard, a Holy Christmas carol or a modern pop favorite. I’ve weeded my top songs for Holiday listening down to five and thought I’d share them with you today.

In no particular order, here they are: (click on the titles to view and hear them)

The Little Drummer Boy – David Bowie and Bing Crosby

Have a Cool Yule – Bette Midler

All I want for Christmas — Mariah Carey

Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid

O Come, Emmanuel  – Pentatonix

So….listen and relax this holiday season. Music soothes the soul, warms the heart, and can inspire us all with its beauty and truth. Take a little time for yourself to unwind, kick back, and….listen.

 

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Celebrating Christmas with two crazy families…

This Holiday Season I’m channeling my inner Attic Elf and while I’m playing White Christmas on a continuous loop on my CD player, I want to  tell you the inspiration behind my favorite family, The San Valentino’s of Manhattan,

My parents split when I was an infant and both remarried. My parents are of Irish extraction, my stepmother the same. My stepfather, though, was first generation Italian/American. This made for some memorable Christmas get-togethers during my childhood.

Christmas Eve was usually spent with the Italian relatives, starting at around 4 p.m. with the first course of the Feast of the 7 fishes. Every hour on the hour for 7 full hours a different fish course was served by my Sicilian-speaking-only step-grandmother.And with every course, a new bottle of wine would be served, so that by the time my mother, stepfather and I left, most of the relatives were gluttonously full and three sheets to the wind drunk. It made for many an interesting evening, especially when they all started spewing in Italian just so my mother and I couldn’t understand what was being said. (P.S. most of it was about us!!!)

Christmas day was always spent with Irish relatives, starting with Midnight Mass Christmas eve,( and yes, we traveled to them as soon as the last fish course was finished on the Italo side.) and culminating in a day of drinking and eating. And when I say drinking I mean it in the purely alcoholic sense. Unlike with the stepfamily, my mother’s family consumed more booze than food. And they started drinking earlier, too. Like noon early. There would only be two courses for dinner, which was usually served at 5 without any food before that, because my Irish grandmother didn’t want any of us to spoil our dinners and eat too much before the meal was served. I never understood how she didn’t equate the falling asleep drunks at the dinner table with the lack of food to sop up the afternoon booze. By seven p.m. most of them would be passed out in various lounge chairs and couches, the Yule Log blasting Christmas music in the background to drown out the yelling coming from the kitchen where my mother, her mother, and my aunt would be fighting about….anything and everything.

From the time I realized my family was different from all the other families in my school I started asking Santa for a different family every year for Christmas. The number one item on my Santa wish list was : a family that didn’t fight, drink, or yell. I think I actually wrote that for eight years straight. When I never got the family I wished for, I stopped writing it down.

But I never stopped wishing for it.

It wasn’t until I was married and made my own family that my wish turned into my reality.

When I wrote my very first Christmas romance, A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, I invented the family I wished for as a child. The San Valentinos are loyal and loving and they do fight – but only in the best sense of the word because they fight for each other, not against one another. I got my wished-for family twice: One, I married; the other I created.

A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Gia San Valentino is the beloved baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family. Family dramas, passion, and food rule the San Valentino clan, and Gia takes it all in stride, her family the touchstone of her life. But with Christmas fast approaching she longs 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 are all wise guy wanna-bes, with old world views on women – the pregnant and barefoot kind – just the type of man she’s trying to avoid.

When Gia lends a helping hand at her neighborhood parish’s Christmas Festival she meets a guy who has all her requirements for perfect-man status. Tall, sweet, good looking, and from a big Italian family of his own, it seems she might finally have found a man she can give her heart to. When a miscommunication has her believing he’s the new parish priest, her happily-ever-after hopes evaporate because he’s the proverbial forbidden fruit.

Or is he?

Buy Links: Amazon // Wild Rose Press // Barnes and Noble // KOBO // Google Play

Question for Readers: Do you come from a Big family or a small one? I’ll be picking one reader who comments to receive an e-copy of A Kiss Under The Christmas Lights. Comment in the comments section and let me know!!

When I’m not writing about crazy families you can find me here : Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

And please visit these wonderful author blog sites for more Christmas in the Highway Cafe fun!

December 4
Holland Rae – https://hollandrae.com/
Susanne Matthews – https://mhsusannematthews.wordpress.com/
Sorchia DuBois – www.sorchiadubois.com
Mariah Lynne –
December 5
Tena Stetler – http://www.tenastetler.com/category/my-say-what-blog/
Maureen Bonatch – http://www.maureenbonatch.com/blog/
Peggy Jaeger – https://peggyjaeger.com/
Barbara Burke – https://barbaraburkeauthor.wordpress.com/
December 6
Kelly Kalmanson – http://kkweil.blogspot.com
M.S. Spencer – http://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com
Hywela Lyn – www.hywelalyn.blogspot.com
Reggi Allder – https://reggiallder.blogspot.com/
December 7
Denyse Bridger – http://www.fantasypages.ca
Clair de Lune – https://clairdelunebooks.co.uk/
Karen Blake-Hall – https://kaydenclaremont.wordpress.com/
Casi McLean – http://casimclean.com/a-christmas-to-remember/
December 8
Darlene Fredette – http://findingthewritewords.blogspot.com
Daryl Devore – http://daryldevore.blogspot.ca
Gini Rifkin – http://ginirifkin.blogspot.com
Linda Carroll-Bradd – http://blog.lindacarroll-bradd.com

 

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