Tag Archives: Life issues

Sometimes, I get it right…..

You never know if what you are writing is going to be received well. It’s like a comic performing in front of an audience for the first time. He knows he’s funny. He likes his jokes, his routine, but he’s just not sure the audience is going to “get it.”

That’s typically the way I feel when I write. Is anyone going to “get it?” Are they going to understand what I mean? The intention behind the innuendo? My weird sense of humor?

Well, today I know someone got it – and a big someone at that. I received my first professional review for a story that is as near and dear to me as my own family – A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS.  I’ve included a link to the review here because I sososososo want to brag about, er… share it! The review is from LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS and I’ve been hoping they would review something of mine since my first book was released. It took two years and 7 books, but they finally did and I just have to pull a Sally Field and say “she liked it! She really liked it!!!”

Here’s the link to the review LASR

Here’s a little about the book:

A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

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?

Excerpt:

After an hour of helping people move supplies from cars, I passed by mama who was carrying a humongous plastic swaddled baby Jesus statue for the crèche when she called out, “The new guy is here.”

“Where?” I put down the ladder I’d been carting and looked in the general direction of where she’d pointed her chin since her arms were full of the Lord.

I found him in an instant. It wasn’t difficult to do because he was the only guy in the parking lot I didn’t recognize who was under sixty. Plus, he was dressed head to toe in basic clergy black. Black long sleeved shirt under a black vest over black trousers and standard issue shiny black boring priest shoes.

His back was to me and he was carrying a table, but after he put it down and turned around I got a good look at the front of him.

And Holy Mary, Mother of God, what a front he had.

Close cropped military style hair the color of wind blown wheat topped a head which stood – truly – head and shoulders above everyone else around. The guy had to be six-three at least. Sharp, etched cheekbones God cut with a knife, sat under oval eyes which looked deep and dark from where I stood. His face was a composite of planes and angles, the carved cheeks meeting up with a chiseled-from-stone chin. Hardened concrete looked softer than this guy’s jawline. His nose was perfectly fixed in the center of his face, the slight aquiline bend at the tip bringing to mind Michelangelo’s David, the cupid’s bow under it deep and pronounced. Clean shaven, his mouth was full and thick and – God help me – looked utterly kissable.

I could tell even with the chunky vest covering his torso, he was closer to thin than stocky, but if I could guess from the way his biceps pulled against his sleeves, he had some muscle to him.

And some pair of legs. They went on forever, from heaven to earth in a full, hard line.

I don’t know how long I stood there, just gawking with my mouth open looking like a cannoli waiting to be filled, but I’m being truthful when I say I couldn’t move. My feet were frozen to the ground, my knees had locked, and my hips weren’t taking me anywhere soon.

This was one beautiful man.

The old masters would have used him as a springboard for their work, and I could actually picture him in a Botticelli fresco, garbed in Roman robes, lounging with naked, buxom-breasted plump women surrounding him, feeding him grapes and sweetmeats.

In the time it took for a hummingbird to flap its wings once, I pictured myself as one of those women.

Buy Links: Amazon //Wild Rose Press //  kobo   // Nook // 

When I’m not basking in the fabulousness of this review, you can find me here:

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The Happiness challenge…

 

I was conducting research the other day — okay, full disclosure: I was scrolling through Facebook– when I came across a shared message called the HAPPINESS CHALLENGE.

 

It’s a little difficult to read here, but some of the things to do on any given day are: Go for a drive with no destination; watch a funny movie; take a nap;  start a new book( my favorite one!)

Has it really come to this? do we need to challenge ourselves to be happy? To schedule something to do to try to smile? To find our joy again? To experience bliss?

Unfortunately, I think we do.

So many people trudge through their days just existing. Work issues and stress, getting the kids to school on time – or any of their overscheduled events, trying to live a healthy lifestyle in a fast-paced world, family issues, the destruction of our economy…our environment…our way of life.

It’s enough to cause any happiness we can garner to take a seat in the wayback of the car. Remember the wayback? Not the second seat, or the third seat in minivans, but the one in the station wagon that faced the opposite way from where you were going? The one that, as a kid, you loved to ride in?

The very first item on this list is a NO SOCIAL MEDIA DAY. I’m all for that one. My question, though, is can it be done? ( remember – I found this challenge on face book!) Psychiatrists are actually espousing now that there is such a thing as social media and device addiction. If this is true, it’s a pandemic in teens and kids, for sure.

Item number two is CALL A FRIEND ( not a text). Does anyone remember that our phones are – first and foremost- PHONES? What do you do with a phone, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you: YOU CALL PEOPLE. You actually speak to them. It’s a sad commentary on our humanity that we can’t devote any time to looking at one another and engaging with each other face to face instead of device to device.

A really sad commentary!

 

Down the list is another of my favorites ( in addition to START A NEW BOOK!): NO COMPLAINING ALL DAY. Think about that one….yeah. I know. Can you do it? What would happen if you suddenly let every little piddly – and all the big puddly – things that stress you out and piss you off – just ….go? Not engage in the negativity of complaining about them? Keep your cool? I think you’d find inner happiness pretty fast because your soul would appreciate the quiet!

If you think you need to be challenged to get your happy back, click on the link above and read the article about the happiness challenge. If this resonates with you, then, a. I feel bad for you, but b. here’s a way to fix it.

This is the way I think we should all be going about life every day. Every. Day. Every friggin’ day!:

I’m usually pretty happy in  any of these places:

 

 

 

 

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What I need to work on Everyday; #Mfrwauthors #blogChallenge

Last week we were charged with writing about our greatest strength. This week, the opposite, our greatest weakness.

I could post about my almost insane obsession for chocolate.

Or my insatiable need to watch reality television shows like “housewives” and Kardashians, just so I don’t miss a moment of their fabulous lives.

Maybe I could write a blog piece about the diet I’ve been struggling with for 40 years.

But when it comes right down to it, my greatest weakness is none of those things. It’s my judgemental attitude toward people and events.

The Bible says In Matthew 7:1-29: “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Apparently, I never got that message in religion class.

When I hear something I disagree with I immediately judge it wrong, simply because I don’t agree with it.

When I hear someone has done something criminal, or stupid, or negligent, I immediately judge them guilty with no questions asked as to why they did what they did. Or even if they did. In this country you are legally innocent until you are proven legally guilty. Not in my mind. If I hear you are to alleged to have done something, the word alleged is thrown away and you actually did it.

I’m not always right. I know.  Shocker, right? And most of the things I have been wrong about were proven wrong to me after a quick judgment call on my behalf. So that old adage “think before you speak” fits in well with this knee-jerk judging reacting I have.

I struggle daily with being judge-y. I truly do. It has gotten better. Now, instead of immediately SAYING and giving voice to a judgment, I tend to keep it inside, quiet, and not share it. Okay, so I still have work to do on not being so judge-y.

 

But I AM working on it. I promise.

Please don’t judge me!

Since this is part of the #MFRWauthors 52 week blog challenge hop, you can click on the amazing authors and writer below to read all about their greatest weakness as well.

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

On #Dancing, #DancingWithTheStars and feelings of inadequacy

 

 

I’m pretty confident I mentioned in a previous blog that I’m participating in the 2017 Project Graduation event DANCING WITH THE KEENE STARS again. This is my third year. Year one, I was the STAR. Last year I was a judge. This year, I am the partner to a Star.

Three years; three different roles.

Year one was fraught with anxiety, anger, and a little angst. Anxiety because I thought I knew how to dance but when I was shown how to really do it, I didn’t. Not even close. Anger because my partner was, well, let’s just say we weren’t perfectly matched, and leave it at that. And angst, because I  truly was mentally tortured about falling down on stage or being a laughingstock.

I survived. No falls.

Year two I was a judge. This key role filled me with nervous tension so tight I thought I was gonna snap in two at a moment’s notice. Since I remembered how terrified I was standing center stage and being critiqued, I was determined to give nothing but positive and kind feedback.  I didn’t say anything negative.  I hurt no feelings and offered no critical analysis. Everyone did fabulously, to hear me tell it.

I survived. No hurt feelings. No snapping.

This year, year three, I am a partner and I was initially filled with dread. I have to make the Star look good. I am, after all, the professional ( for lack of a better word) and I’m expected to know the dance, the moves, and to radiate calmness for my Star.

If you know me you know I NEVER radiate calmness. But I have nothing to worry about. My STAR is, well, a STAR!! He is patient, committed to winning, and loves to rehearse. He came into the dance studio filled with ideas and they’re good ones!! He will win this competition. I am merely his prop, and very happy to be one!

I will survive without feeling dread, for sure!

Keene Dancing with the Stars is scheduled for April 21 and 22 and you can order tickets here: tickets

Hope to see you all there. It’s guaranteed to be a great night of dancing, fun, and a few laughs.

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Filed under Author, community advocacy, Contemporary Romance, Dancing with the Stars, Life challenges, New Hampshire, Project Graduation, Strong Women

My Greatest strength #MFRWauthors; #blogChallenge

This is one of the easiest blogs I’ve ever written. I didn’t even have to think because I really only have 1 strength – my perseverance, or to put it in terms I like to use, The TAO Of NGU NGI.

Perseverance is defined as: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Yeah, that about says it perfectly.

I’ve done several blog pieces on the TAO of NGU NGI and written of it often in interviews. It’s what keeps me motivated and inspired when sometimes the daily grind of life gets to me.

Basically, The TAO OF NGU NGI means “Never give up; never give in.”

I’m Irish, so the part about never giving up is genetic. Seriously! My Irish ancestors were sturdy, stalwart souls who faced famine, pestilence, religious persecution, and poverty of the most egregious sort. And they never gave up on the hope of a future at the end of a rainbow. Love that!

I’m the product of divorced parents, so the never give in part is the nurture part of my nature vs nurture upbringing! I never give an inch. In a childhood filled with bullies, substance abuse, and mental anguish, I never gave in to the negativity I was surrounded by. I never allowed myself to be engulfed in to its destructive storm. I simply never gave into any fight or disturbance, no matter how inconsequential it may have seemed. It’s been said of me by people who know me that I have a backbone forged in steel. Truth.

So, my greatest strength? Perseverance.

When I’m not persevering, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

Please visit the other #MFRW authors who are participating in this week’s 52 week blog challenge:


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The Thrilling #Life of a #RomanceWriter…

Yesterday I did a blog piece concerning two cookie recipes from my new holiday release A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. Then, because I inspired myself ( heehee), after I posted that blog I went and made some Christmas cookies to bring to a holiday party.

baking

Here’s where my life got thrilling.

While I was mixing cookie dough, my Kitchenaide mixer broke. Like, completely! While it was spinning dough, two of the metal pins that keep the parts together rotated themselves from the force of the spinning, fell out and off the mixer, subsequently putting the kibosh on further dough making. Although I was royally pi**ed, I needed to get the dough done so I went in search of my hand mixer. Only I forgot I got rid of it when I got — you guessed it– the Kitchenaide. I had to stop everything I was doing, turn the oven off, wrap the cookies that were cooling so they wouldn’t harden, put the dough I’d made already into the fridge, and get washed up because I now had to leave the house ( something I hadn’t planned on doing today) so I could get to Bed Bath and Beyond ( or as we call it in my house, Mecca)  and get a new friggin’ hand mixer. I wasn’t going to purchase a new Kitchenaide since I figured tool man hubby would have had a conniption at spending another 300 bucks when he could probably ( hopefully) fix it, and a hand mixer was only, like, 15 dollars.

So…

An hour later, back from the unplanned shopping trip, mixer in hand ( literally!) I started up again only to stop right after  I put the dough in the oven because….and this is the really thrilling part – only not the way you’re thinking – my oven was on fire.

I’m not kidding.

There was a fire in the bottom of my oven. As soon as I saw the flames I realized what I had been forgetting I needed to do these past two busy weeks: clean the oven. Luckily, I was able to snuff it without (a) the smoke detector going off and giving me a heart attack, (b) the fire department being called, and (c) sacrificing any yet to be made cookies.

So…

I now had to clean the oven. It’s a self cleaner so there went another 3 hours of my cookie baking time.

baking2

Around 4-ish I finally got everything done that needed to be done, baked that needed to be baked, and I sat down and made a cup of tea. Only, once the water was ready I realized I had no tea bags. #FML

From now on when I get the urge to bake I’m running to our local bakery and buying stuff. It’s easier, cheaper, and doesn’t involve using the fire extinguisher.

baking3

When I’m not having a nervous breakdown over baking, you can usually find me here:

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

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Candy Hearts, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Life challenges, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor