Monday, October 29, 2012

Writing, Deeply Dapper and Frankenstorm!

I'm used to busy holiday seasons but this year is something else.

For those of you who haven't heard I'm wrapping up the last few edits for my fourth book that will be released right around Thanksgiving.  I've had quite a bit of feedback lately on the first two books in the Mrs. Brentley's Girls series and nearly every one has shown excitement for my Christmas novel and the wonderful main character Winnie Brentley.  You can imagine how wonderful that is and yet how nervous that makes me.  I've never had to deal with expectations before.  I feel like I have to preform perfectly and have an amazing book for my growing base of readers.

Then there is something quite exciting going on in my house.  The entire small building is being over-run with bubble wrap, stickers, resin skulls, boxes, light-switch plates, spray paint and great big wooden plaques.  What's going on?  My husband's etsy shop, Deeply Dapper is in hyper drive!  Wonderful new items that he has added to his shop over the past few months are now selling like crazy, at least for us.  With around 24 orders coming in a week I have offered to help take over some of the running of the shop especially now that Christmas is coming and we expect pretty decent holiday sales.  If you haven't checked out the shop yet please swing by here!  He has some great new items, many for under $10!

Finally I'm guessing that all of you know that Frankenstorm is coming to New England this week.  It kinda sounds like it will visit Maine right around Halloween and they are warning us that our area will likely loose power.  Living out in the boonies means that we have our own water well...thus no power means no pump so we would have no heat, no power, no water, you get the point.  I doubt that we will loose power for more than a day or two and despite our best excuses we will both have to continue to drive into work.  Still we have to be prepared in case it is a worst case scenario.

It isn't even November yet and this holiday season is already kicking my butt!  Luckily, except for the storm, all of the things keeping me busy are great signs for the future.  Happy early holidays!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

New Month, New Promotion!

Zombie Chef-The Joys of October!
It is finally October.  The month when fall will not be denied and spooky movies are always playing in the background at my house.  This year my husband even has a special lego haunted house that he will be putting together and setting out for display.

I am also happy to report that due to the success of my last promotion and to celebrate my brand new release, A Scent of Scandal, I have decided to do a promotion for the first book in the series, A Taste of Honey.  This book is something of a soft spot for me.  Not only because it was my first finished novel.  I just love the characters!

If you don't own it yet please visit to get your free copy but hurry, the promotion ends Saturday night.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

History for the Small Screen

 Over the past month I've had a bit of time at home to catch up on two television shows that my husband has been urging me to watch for years.  He knows how much I love history, when it is done well.  Although I had a hard time getting through the first episode of Mad Men I ended up watching the entire series up to date.  I'm not about to rave about it but I do feel that they have created a unique show with interesting characters and I will continue to watch it.  It is really the interesting mix of history that I enjoy.  Well that and watching Don, even when he's bad....

The second show is the one that my husband instinctively knew that I would love, even though I didn't think that I would.  I don't like shows that have gore just for the sake of being gory and for quite some time I thought that I would be very disappointed in the show. Game of Throne fans will easily see how anyone interested in history would fall in love with this series.  Manipulative lords, brother killing brother, loyalty, deception, honor, and just enough fantasy thrown in to make someone like me squeal with joy!

I like to think that it is better to become a late fan than not a fan at all.  For anyone who hasn't tried the HBO series yet I highly recommend it, but be warned sex, gore, and one fantastic irreverent 'Imp' awaits you!  For loyal fans who haven't kept up with the news, Cieran Hinds will join the cast for the new season. That's reason enough to watch in my opinion!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Release Day!

My newest historical romance novel, A Scent of Scandal, is now available!  You can purchase it at Amazon and Smashwords for $2.99!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Scent of Scandal

If you haven't been to visit my website recently then you might not know that I have a new book coming out later this month.  A Scent of Scandal is the second novel in the Mrs. Brentley's Girls Series.  Here's a bit more about it:

Robin Wellings loves being the center of gossip. Even she couldn't have planned what would happen when a handsome stranger enters into her room on the night of her engagement. She has marked him for her next conquest and is willing to take risks to get what she wants.

Rehl has succeeded by doing almost anything to prevent Victor Sullivan's fiancées from marrying him. However the newest young woman is proving to be a challenge. When Rehl makes an impulsive decision it throws them down a path and neither is certain of the outcome.

They will become great enemies or great lovers, either way they are certain to offend the best of society.

 A Scent of Scandal will be released at the end of this month.  Please check back for more information or visit my website.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Just for Me-Fall!

Through the trees you can see a little of the University I went to.
I have this abnormal obsession with fall.  For some reason it didn't start until I was a freshman in college.  When I was stressed out with school I would open up the curtains of my 7th story dorm room and I would stare out at the beautiful trees that line the streets of Missoula Montana.  Bits of stress would just melt away.
The view from "M" hill in Missoula

I've lived in Maine for two fall seasons but each time I have been told by the locals that it was one of their worst fall seasons ever.  I'm not certain if they are remembering old glory days of the 60s or if the fall season really hasn't been all that it should be.  Either way I keep hoping that before Kris and I move back out west we will get to live through one of those mythical perfect fall seasons where every tree changes one leaf at a time and no freak storms sweep in to destroy it.

Downtown Missoula-I really miss their farmer's market
Some people hate fall because they see it as the death of summer when it gets cold and the trees start to hibernate.  I love every bit of fall and celebrate it by eating fresh orchard apples, various squashes, hiking through the woods, burning fall scented candles, and drinking more hot cider and cocoa than is good for me!

As the first leaves start to change here in Maine I hope that everyone gets to enjoy a wonderful Fall season this year!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Final Opinion on KDP Free Promotion Days

Before joining the KDP Select for 90 days for my first novel, Reluctantly in Love I did a little bit of looking into fellow romance writer's opinions of it.  For some reason many that I ran across were negative.  They didn't like the restrictions of only selling their books through Amazon for so long.  Others seemed to object to the way that 'free' books are done on Amazon.  Some didn't like that you could only use 5 days every 90 day period for a free promotion while others wanted to keep their books free at all times.  Then there were those who LOVED the program and credited it with important boosts in their sales and a raised name recognition in general.

I went into my promotional days with rather low expectations.  My books sales have been almost non-existant this month so getting my name out through a few free book sales and then a few paid sales after the promotion ended was all that I was really expecting.

I am happy to say that I now fit into the category of people who love this program.  Although my sales were never something to brag about I have now sold more copies of my books since the promotion ended on Sunday morning than I had in the past three months.  I don't expect this trend to continue for very long and I'm curious to see where my sales land when the new 'normal' kicks in.  If I try to program again in the future I will try not to expect this great of an outcome again, it could have been a fluke or just the right timing.  Still I think that at some point I would love to give it a go and find out, maybe around Christmas.

Perhaps the best thing about this promotion was how many people went out of their way to help me spread the news.  Special thanks to the ever-wonderful Penny Watson!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Reluctantly in Love-Select and Free!

I've heard some great things about Amazon's KDP Select and this week I am giving it a go!  For those of you who aren't writers, or who haven't looked into it yet, the idea is that for 90 days you agree to only sell e-copies of your book through Amazon.  In exchange they let you join their 'Select' group.  People can borrow your book for free, if they are part of the Select program with Amazon, and Amazon will pay you each time someone borrow it.  Also you can choose 5 days within that 90 day period when your book will be free to download.

I know this kinda sounds like paying someone to steal your lunch money.  But how all of these giveaways help is that Amazon kinda pushes your book to the front of the pack and you reach more potential readers, they can become potentials fans of your writing, then they will then buy your other books.  If your goal isn't the just sell books but to make fans who will buy new books too this is a great way to start, or at least that's what I've heard.

Today August 14th through Saturday August 18th Reluctantly in Love will be free to download on!  Please tell family, friends, and even those that you don't like to visit my website for more information or head directly to for your free copy!  It will then be an exclusive for the remained 85 days.  If you were planning to buy it through Barnes and Noble or Smashwords it will be available in time for Christmas!

Thanks for the support everyone and wish me luck!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Just for Me-Camping!

Our Destination-Peaks Kenny State Park
We've been preparing for a little camping trip at my house and it is finally almost here!  For three nights this coming weekend Kris and I will escape up north to enjoy the great outdoors with our two dogs.  Although we are looking forward to awhile without internet or e-mail, I'll admit that we are both charging up our e-readers and ipods.  But I assure you that a few classic soft-back books will join the packing along with some hiking shoes and a pair of flip-flops for the lake.

We did the math and except for time off to move (twice in the past two years) and time off to visit or entertain family (four times in the past two years) Kris and I have not had time off for a vacation for the two of us in almost three years.  We've had a day trip here or there and I went to a very busy writer's conference last spring with him but otherwise nothing.  No wonder we need this little three day weekend for some recovery and recharging!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Really, August?

I can't believe how this summer has just disappeared.  I guess part of my surprise comes from the lack of summer fun this year.  Usually when summer hits Kris and I go to farmer's markets, yard sales, and spend nearly every day eating some kind of bar-b-que that he thinks up.  Except for a quick one day trip up to Monson, Maine for a fantastic BBQ fest Kris and I have been holed up inside out house out in Corinth Maine.

When we first moved out to the area about a year ago, I was really excited.  I loved the idea of living in the middle of no-where and about a half hour away from a decent sized town.  In a lot of ways I think that I would still love the set up if a few things were changed.  But the set up makes it a bit hard o celebrate summer the way we used to.

We've tried a couple of farmer's markets in this area and so far, none of them are worth driving 15 minutes to a half hour to get to.  The same could be said for yard sales, nearly everything is too spread out to make an afternoon of it.  And BBQ?  Well unless you travel over an hour north of us to Monson, there isn't good BBQ nearby.  At home we'd been living off of a reved up propane thing designed for camping.  After one year the top had rusted off and so we were stuck, buy another cheap $30 thing or wait for the end of summer sales to get a nicer one.  We are still planning to move back out west in two years and have to weigh our purchases with the thought of will we want to haul it out to Idaho and is it worth it for just a couple of years if we don't want to bring it.

But that hasn't been the only thing holding us inside.  Kris and I have been busy outside of our normal 'day' jobs.  His etsy shop has been doing great especially with some of the newest items.  But it takes hours out of his schedule that would have been spent on the house or having fun.  As for me, books books and more books!  As soon as I think I'm done with something and have it perfect it seems that there is something else that pops up.  I've been getting ready for the release of my third romance book in September, a fourth in November and trying to write a dark children's fantasy book that I wanted to get out to some agents this fall.  I finally had to set aside the fantasy book, I have too much to do already!

So now that it is August I hope to slow down, at least a little.  Kris and I plan to go camping for a weekend with the dogs this month.  A bit of fresh air will do us both a bit of good.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Just For Me-Common People

Although I have some fun ideas for a Victorian Romance that would follow a few of the servants and lower staff members, for the most part writing historical romance means writing tales about the upper classes in society.  I will admit that I get jealous thinking about the grand estates, beautiful clothes, and lavish dinners that my fictitious characters get to enjoy.

Maybe that's why I love this song.  It is a very British pop song about a spoiled young rich girl who thinks it would be cool to act like the 'common people'.  While this is my favorite version I must give a shout out to William Shatner's version too!

Enjoy and welcome back from your weekend!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Just for Me-Must be Santa

Bob Dylan and Santa
This might not make sense unless you've seen my last post, Christmas in July.  It is a relatively new Christmas song that I'm betting most of you haven't heard.  Bob Dylan partying it up Christmas style, I swear that everyone in this video has hit the punch beforehand.  I hope that you enjoy and Merry Christmas-in-July to you all!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Christmas in July

I remember hearing about this when I was little and thinking that people who celebrated Christmas in the middle of summer were crazy.  They still are but this year, I'm one of them!

Not entirely out of choice though.  I'm working on the third book in the Mrs. Brentley's Girls series, which will be out in late November 2012.  It is a Christmas story that I've put off writing for awhile because I wanted to be in the holiday mood.  The problem is that Christmas is a very busy time and I never get any writing done.  I've decided that the book has to get done this year, no more procrastination!

Thus I have decorated my writing area with a few Christmas bits, I've been listening to some Christmas songs in the car, and I'm reading up on a few Christmas themed romance novels!  It is a great chance to read my friend Penny Watson's latest hot son of Santa book, Sweet Magik.  Also I'm rereading Lisa Kleypas' Christmas novels.  My favorite by Kleypas is her recent modern one, Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor.

I'm still irked that the local ACMoore has an aisle filled with last year's Christmas stuff so that they can celebrate Christmas in July, even though last week the same items could be found in the clearance aisle for half the price!  And I'm not about to give gifts or sing carols with the family.  Still it is interesting to attempt a second Christmas in the middle of the year.  It makes me wonder if I will now be more excited for the real Christmas this year or less excited.

Have any of you celebrated Christmas in July or some other off schedule holiday?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Just For Me-Tents

This week I got to enjoy-silence.

My husband and I are planning a camping trip soon and decided to make sure that we still knew how to put up our tent.  Honestly it went up very easily, considering that we found the instructions inside of the tent and only after we'd been fooling around with it for an  hour.

So what's relaxing about a tent in the middle of the yard?  Everything.  I spent almost two days this weekend hiding out in a lovely shaded area (it is a rather large tent with a little screened in porch area) reading some books and getting a bit of writing done.  It was wonderfully quiet!  Made me wish that every weekend I could escape to a tent in the middle of my yard!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Key to Success and Happiness in Writing

When I started my first romance novel, I was already counting the advance checks that I'd be getting.  I first queried to Dorchester about a year before that company completely changed.  Back then if they said yes to a book it was $3000 per book unless it sold really well and you started making beyond the advance.  I was a fast writer and I figured that I could put out three novels a year which would mean $9,000 at least until I could sign up with a better company like Avon Romance and start making even more.

If you've followed my blog then you know that it didn't happen.  I hit that brick wall that most new writers find, reality.  I spent almost a full year after that first rejection letter trying to find an agent, a publisher, anyone who would give it a chance.  I was writing my second book at the same time and despite the horrible series of punches to the gut that was the querying process I decided to put my second book through the same thing.  I had a little better luck but in the end nothing came of it.

I didn't exactly give up.  I was still writing down ideas.  I finished a third novel, started a forth.  I had some hopes and dreams but at that point I finally understood why so many writers just throw in the towel.  My new goal wasn't really to make money, it was to not quit trying.

When e-publishing came along I shook my head.  I wanted those gate keepers at the big industries to love my book and after seeing a few really bad e-books I didn't want to find myself lumped together with them.  It wasn't until some of the experienced authors began turning away from their publishers and turning to e-books that I gave it another look.  Just because the big-time guys weren't interested wasn't to say that others wouldn't like my books.

My first book didn't make much waves and I didn't do anything to promote it or myself.  Still the dozen sales that trickled in over the past two months felt good and they kept me going.  Then I released my second book just last week and much to my surprise I sold eighteen books in a week.  That isn't a lot of books and it doesn't make me a lot of money, maybe about $40 once everything is said and done.  I can't go quit my full-time job or anything.

But those sudden eighteen sales made me ecstatic.  After three years of rejection letters and disappointments I had started to feel like no one wanted to read what I wrote.  Then eighteen separate people decided to pay three dollars to give it a try.

So I finally do have some advice for all of those writers just starting to create their first book or those who've just opened their first rejection letter.  Ahem..."The key to being a successful and happy writer, is setting your expectations very low and working twice as hard to get there.  It can make $40 suddenly seem like a life-long dream realized."

That said I'm now trying to figure out what I did right so that next time I can do it even better.  I'd still love to make enough money off of writing that I could quit my day job.  Come on, I still have to dream big, don't I?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Up in Flames

You may have heard about the fires burning in Colorado but unless you live in the area you may not have heard about all of the other fires that are consuming the western states.  There was a brief one across the way from my sister's house in Utah, my mother's home town of Roundup Montana has had two nearby and those are just the few that have effected my family.

Then my hometown of Pocatello, Idaho was hit this weekend.  It started at 2:30 in the afternoon and by the next morning 66 houses were destroyed.  My facebook account is filled with personal stories of houses that burned or barely survived.  One family that we are close to lost their home last year in a huge fire.  I was horrified when I heard that their new house was near this fire as well and for much of the time they were evacuated.  Luckily the winds turned just in time and they are now back home.

If you live in a wonderfully damp environment like the coast please keep the westerners in mind. If you are a westerner please be careful this weekend and maybe skip the fireworks.  The whole area appears to be a tinderbox this year that is ready to flame out of control!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Just for Me-A Bit of 80's Fun

I understand that this song has to be used sparingly but trust me after the doozy of a week I just had, I need it.  Here's to working yourself to the bone to reach a deadline and then pushing it just a bit farther!  I encourage everyone to put their hair into a side ponytail, put on their most garish makeup, maybe some old leg warmers and enjoy a piece of the 80s!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Reluctantly in Love-Out Now!

I am very pleased to announce that my second novel, Reluctantly in Love, is now available!  If you would like to learn more about my latest historical romance novel and where you can purchase it for only $2.99, please click here!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Just for Me-Dear Deer

We've had a lot of deer tromping around our yard lately.  This adorable baby fawn was only about 10 minutes from our house.  Now when I see a deer I get one single song stuck in my head.  Luckily it is the adorable and genius Kate Macucci so I don't mind!  Check out her video!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Flu

I thought that horrible flu seasons were supposed to be when the weather outside was snowy or at least rainy.  Well despite the wonderful new sunshine that Summer has brought us my house is filled with flu.  First it hit me and now my husband is starting to get it too.  Tonight we sat at the table munching on Saltines and salads.

"I'm so tired and sore," I told him.

"Dizzy and headachy," he replied.

We clearly aren't very entertaining or interesting when we're sick!

I hope that everyone else is enjoying a much brighter start to summer and that Kris and I will be 100% soon so that we can celebrate the release of my newest book, Reluctantly in Love, later this month.  Take your vitamin C and check back soon!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Just for Me-Thank you Hater

Cleverpie has figured out the perfect way to deal with the inevitable haters that troll the internet.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Update on Reluctantly in Love

My newest novel, Reluctantly in Love, will be coming out late this month.
Here is a little more about it.

Beatrice Clark has run out of options...

She must escape her dangerous fiancé by ruining her reputation before the wedding can occur. Armed with a sultry red dress and a list of London's disreputable men Beatrice has one night to find the right man.

William Bradley enjoyed his nights of debauchery and found himself at home amongst London's depraved citizens. He never wanted to be the hero to any damsel in distress. But his past is working against him. Forced by his own conscience into helping Beatrice escape her future husband he is now tied into the unwanted role of a woman's savior.
The unlikely pair could fall in love, if they don't destroy each other first.

And a little excerpt for you to enjoy!

“Why do you need a list of men to sleep with? Are you in some kind of trouble?” William asked.
Biting her lip to keep quiet, Beatrice seemed to know that she had already exposed too many details of her plan.

“And if I refuse to go along with this tonight? What will you do next? Will you go to one of the other men?”

At last she looked up at him from where he stood guarding the door. Her face was shadowed slightly by the flickering candlelight in the room. Still the bleak smile on her face pulled at what remained of his heart as she admitted, “Yes, I have to.”

He had not expected such a blunt answer from her. His own response to the statement was equally unsettling. William could not take her for himself but he instinctively knew that he would not let any other man touch her either. He was not used to talking women out of wanting sex, but for her he tried. “You don't want this kind of scandal. No matter what danger you are in there must be another solution. Something like this would end your life as you have known it. Your friends, even your family might turn you away.”

“I know,” she admitted sadly. “But this is the only way that I can think of. I have to do this tonight.”

“Why tonight? Is something about to happen?”

“Please I'm running out of time. If you won't help me then I need to find someone who will.”

William evaluated the situation quickly. The woman knew that she had failed with him. That after discovering her plan he would not go through with it and be a willing pawn in her plot. If he let her leave the room then she might search out one of the other men on her list until she had found one drunk enough or depraved enough to take her to their bed and complete her ruination.

William sighed heavily as he accepted what he must do. “If this is what you want then I will help you.”

Monday, June 11, 2012

Just for Me-The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I was quite surprised when I saw this trailer and how excited I was to watch the movie.  As an official former, and sometimes present, wallflower I enjoy when a movie can catch the feel of the first time that a person no longer feels alone.  I hope the film is even half as good as the trailer!  Happy to see Emma Watson's career grow beyond the Potter Mania.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Birthday and Bites

Ludo unstuffing one of his birthday gifts-Wizard Winnie the Pooh
My husband and I try to celebrate our pets' birthdays.  Mostly it is a good excuse to throw out their ratty collars, buy them a new one, and perhaps a new toy for fun.  All four of our pets, two dogs and two cats, act like puppies and kittens so it was quite a shock to realize that last week our eldest pet, a Newfoundland mix named Ludo, was turning 6.
Hard to imagine the little beasties laying in wait for me!
Part of his birthday treat was a long hike down an old logging road near our house.  Unfortunately that's where the bugs were laying in wait for me.  I came home with only five bug bites but to the new discovery that I am highly allergic to something in their saliva in the Corinth area.  By the next day the bite on my forehead and the one on my arm had puffed out to be the size and shape of golf-balls.  Every day since I've been taking allergy medicines and using creams to keep the swelling and itching to a minimum.  Even three days after our hike the bites are still clearly visible and my forearm has a circular bruise the size of my fist!

Next time I'll remember to put on my bug-repellent spray and stick closer to my husband who had more skin showing than I did but ended up with no bug bites.  I suppose I must taste delicious!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Just For Me-Cumming

I'm going to try something new this week.  Somehow my free time continues to shrink.  I get so busy that even when I try to relax I can't seem to slow down enough to enjoy whatever I'm doing.  Thus my new attempt at a weekly blog post will be...just for me.  A little piece to share with you that helped me relax, laugh, or just take it easy enough to enjoy my day.

This week it is just an excuse to show you why I love Alan Cumming....

Naughty! Naught!  Man I love his giggle at the end!
Hope you enjoyed this week's Just For Me!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Updates and a New Cover

My debut novel, A Taste of Honey has been selling better than I had expected and now I am pleased to announce that my second novel, Reluctantly in Love will be out at the end of this month!  I will be releasing more about it in the weeks to come so please stay tuned.  For now you can enjoy this wonderful updated cover art by the talented people at Deeply Dapper!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Me My Mom and Harry Potter Part 2

I loved this poster!
It is time for part 2 of the story that I started almost a year ago.  If you haven't read part 1, or need a reminder click here.

When I first heard about the Harry Potter books I was a bit snobbish.  It wasn't until a woman that I highly admire told me how excited she was for the next book to come out that I finally decided to give it a try.  To say that I was hooked instantly would be an understatement.  I wasn't only interested in the story but also in the idea of it all.  I've always loved fantasy and mythical ideas.

As I mentioned last time my mom and I didn't share many interests while I was growing up.  Back then she wasn't much of a reader, mostly because I think that she was wound a bit tight worrying about all of her kids that she was raising.  The idea of recommending her a book then would have been downright bizarre.  She also wasn't a big fan of strange movies where something abnormal happened.  But somehow she ended up watching one of the Harry Potter movies, much to my surprise.  I can't remember when she saw it for the first time or why she even tried it.  It really wasn't her kind of thing to get into.  She loved watching them and talking about the movies with me.  She knew that she'd missed a lot of the story by not reading the books but at that time she wasn't very interest in the large tomes that sat on my shelves.

By the time that the fifth movie was coming out my mom had seen every one, making a point of going to the new Harry Potter movies in theater and dragging my dad along with her when I lived too far away to go with her.

Of course fans of the series will know that by the sixth movie you hadn't read the books then it was pretty easy to end up lost.  There was just too much to then try and fit into the movies.  I finally called my mom and told her that she shouldn't go see the new movie, she wouldn't understand most of it.  Always the trusting woman she took my advice, I'd had to explain so much of the last one to her that she agreed with me and didn't go, even though it seemed a bit sad to be missing out. 

By this time I was urging her to read the books.  Her life had calmed down a bit with all of the kids moved out and hearing that she'd finished a book in less than a month was no longer a shock to me.  She'd never read anything with fantasy, mythology, or magical undertones but her interest in the movies led me to believe that she'd like the books if she just gave them a chance.  My urgings never worked and the books that I left at her house remained untouched for a couple of years.

Fall of 2010 I decided to re-read the entire series, getting ready for the final movie to be released in two parts.  I'm not really sure how I did it but I convinced my mom to read them with me.  I tried to keep my pace slow so that during our weekly phone conversations I'd remember what she had just read and explain to her things that she might not have understood the first time that she read it.  Before I quite knew what was happening she was calling me up and asking me questions or telling me her newest theories about how the story would end.  Somehow despite all of the hype over the books and movies my mom didn't hear almost any of the big spoilers at the end and she got to read and find out about them for herself even though it was years after the rest of the world knew.

It took months for her to get through the books but by the time that the final half of the last movie was coming out she had finished them all.  There was even a month or two between when she finished the books and when the final movie came out.  My mom was extremely impatient for the movie and wondered at how all of us fans had such patience to wait so long for the films.  I told her that we didn't really have a choice.  She considered taking a plane trip to Maine just to watch the movie with me but finally hauled my dad to the movie with her in Idaho and proudly let him know that he should now read the books.

I was an odd child for my rather practical parents who to this day still don't know what I mean when I debate how Gandolf would fair against Merlin in a battle to the death.  So for me and my mom Harry Potter was something of a middle ground that we could share and find a new connection that we never thought we had.

Since then I've recommended a few other books and have been surprised at how much she reads with her new ipad.  She has read her first light romance novel and loved it.  This summer I'm having her dive back into the world of fantasy, this time with Tolkien's The Hobbit.  This time my dad, who read the story once a long time ago, is willing to join the two of us in our over the phone book club.

Happy Reading to all!  I hope you enjoyed a great Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Home Again, Home Again

Downtown Pocatello
It was odd how the timing ended up but a little over a week since we got back from our trip to Salem my husband and I are off again.  This time we take to the air and fly from northern Maine into the heart of Utah where a quick drive brings us back to Idaho.  For the first time since moving out east we are going back to visit Pocatello.

Except for a few years in college and a recent move two years ago to Maine, the small city of Pocatello Idaho has been my home.  The hospital where I was born, the house that I grew up in, my parent's small business where I toiled for most of my youth and even my favorite date spot where my husband and I used to go when we first started dating is all within a ten block area.

Our visit will only be a week long.  Enough time to visit our old haunts, see some friends, spend time with all of our family that live nearby, and go through the things that we've been storing out west since our hasty move out east.  I try not to get superficial about my belongings that had to stay.  It is just 'stuff', right?  Still I can't wait to see some of the treasures filled with memories that have spent the last two years sealed in bubble wrap.  Unfortunately they will then be packed up again although the pile will be much smaller.

The main thing that I'm looking forward to is Mexican food!  My friends and family know how much we've missed having dozens of authentic Mexican restaurants in town.  Maine is known for their lobster, not their Mexican food.  There is a very good reason for this.

Then it will be back to Maine and back to normal or at least as normal as my life gets!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Romance Writers Conference

This past weekend, thanks in huge part to my dear friend Penny Watson, I was able to attend the New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America's annual writer's conference.  Now can you see why people like to use anagrams for these things!  You can see the event's motto and logo above.

I'm actually not a member of RWA.  At this point in my life I don't really have the money to join nor can I take the time off from work to enjoy the benefits, mostly monthly meetings at least a few hours away from where I live.  All of that meant that I walked into the event without a core group of people that I met with on a regular basis.  In fact I went in knowing only one attendee, one very busy attendee!  Luckily I'm pretty good at branching out and finding new people.

Highlights included a lecture by Penny Watson on how to promote with 'peeving' everyone off, Marie Force's inspiring e-publishing story and advice, and my first face to face pitch with an agent. I've been a big fan of Emmanuelle Morgen for a few years and it was nice to finally see her.  She gave me some great ideas on how to improve my book and also seemed very interested in a new project that I've been working on.

This was my first real experience with an RWA event and I was impressed with how helpful much of the information was.  Also swaying my opinion was the desserts that they had hiding around every corner of the hotel!  I met lots of wonderful women in various levels of success and hopefully sometime soon I'll be able to go back and get even more out of the event now that I know the ropes a bit better.  Very inspiring!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Release-A Taste of Honey

My first romance novel, A Taste of Honey, is now available on Smashwords and can be found by clicking here.  Other formats will be available soon.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Times They are a Changing....

I love that cliche question, Where will you be in five years?  I have always been very optimistic about my future and so I've never been the one to answer with a shrug.  Something big and wonderful is always just about to happen in my life.
"I'll be a writer."
"I'll own a small bed and breakfast."
"I'll live on the ocean."
"I'll travel the world."
These are the answers that I've given all of my life and they are the ones that I still would give out today except that the question should be Where do you wish you could be in five years?  Things don't always happen the way that you wanted them to.  I'm a bit more of a realist than I used to be but I still will always see faint rainbows on any horizon.

I'm back again from another long absence.  I've been busy over the last couple of months.  Some of what has kept me busy was fun, most of it has been very difficult adjustments.  The thing that keeps me positive is my dreams about tomorrow and what great things are still to come.  I promise that you'll be hearing from me a bit more again.  I have many things to tell you about.  Next month I'm going to a writer's conference (Thanks Penny!) and I'm finally starting to format my first e-book release.  I'm done fretting over if the comas are in the right place or not.  A Taste of Honey is a fun read and it is about time that all of you get to enjoy it!

I hope that these tiny rays of spring have come to your home!  I can't wait for some bold flowers to spring out of the earth!

Friday, January 27, 2012

To Jasmine Graves

Mostly blind and deaf in her later years, she could still find my mom in a crowd of people.
I've had a rough week.  One of my family members, an 18 year old Cockapoo-dachshund named Jasmine was put to rest.  I liked to joke that she had already lived longer than she deserved, as a cat fanatic she and I didn't always see eye to eye, but in her later years she was nothing but sweet to me.

I love pet names and finding out how they were chosen.  Her name was a bit oddly done.  My mom picked it and if you do the math and know your Disney history well then you might remember that she was named not long after the movie Aladdin came out.  My sister and I thought that was how mom had thought of it.  But my family is quite unique.  My parents own a music shop and they have always sold extra items like incense and tiny bottles of oil in many different scents.  That is where my mom got the name.  She liked the scent of the perfume and thought that the name sounded pretty.

As a pup I think you'd have to call Jasmine a fire cracker.  She was tiny, fiesty, and filled with the need to run all over our house.  She had her quiet moments too and was a huge comfort to sick people.  In my family you knew if you were really ill because Jasmine would cuddle up next to you and loyally stay put through coughs, sneezes and everything else.  You also knew when you were getting better because she would jump ship and become my mom's shadow again.

We took her on trips with us whenever we left the house.  She was great to my extended family and when we all got together at the cabins she would adopt them all and happily greet those who came to our door.  It was only outsiders who got the occasional growl.

The only time that she didn't live with us was for about a week or two 11 years ago when she dug her way out of the yard hoping to follow us one day.  She was picked up and taken away when she was found on the street.  Our family went nearly mad with worry, I think my mom did go crazy for a little while.  The only reason we got her back is that someone mentioned that our lost dog posters should show a reward in case she was being held for money.  That afternoon we finally got the call and that person certainly was in it for the $50.  I still think of those people as dog-nappers and as evil as Cruella DeVille.

It is hard to imagine my parents house without her.  She will be missed but she will also be remembered.  Goodbye Jazzy!