Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happy Holidays

Me & the BFF goofing off.
Happy holidays, everyone. I hope your holiday season is full of happiness, love, and extreme joy. Please, love the people around you. You never know when they won't be there.

This is the first Christmas without my mom and I've already been reflecting deeply on her passing. I miss her every day, but it's times like this I miss her even more. I saw a craft the other day on Pinterest and for a single split second I wondered if Mom still had Dad's wood burning kit. It only took a moment to realize what I'd done, but for that single flitting moment I'd forgotten she was gone. It isn't the first time either. One day I saw something and thought, I need to call Mom & tell her about that. Boy, that would have been one interesting roaming charge!

I've been through this so much in the past years that I know it gets easier. These moments will pass and I'll be left with happy memories. The pain will get easier, but I think it may take longer when it's your mom.

Last Saturday, I hosted a Friend-mas party with my BFF, her hubby & kids, my sister & her hubby, plus my hubby & our three, and two of their friends. My small house was filled to the brim, and it was soooo much fun.

We made a lasagna meal with salad and garlic bread, as well as three different desserts, but the main attraction was our big punch bowl full of ADULT PUNCH! Oh, my goodness it was sooooo good. My sister and I downed an entire bowl between us just while cooking before everyone arrived. It's a wonder the lasagna tasted as good as it did. LOL.

My sister & me. LOL!
Then I was "tipsy" texting my BFF telling her she was missing out and to hurry up and get over ASAP. LOL! We made two more bowls once the BFF arrived and the three of us downed those two together (the men were all DDs).
BFF playing with her Snapchat.

Overall, we had a great party. We laughed a lot and just enjoyed spending time together. My mom would have loved it. And in just a few days I'll have a peaceful Christmas Eve and Day with just the hubby and our girls. We'll open gifts, eat too much, and laugh together. It will be a nice ending to a difficult year.

Happy Holidays to you all! I hope you find happiness in the days that follow. I am grateful for each and every one of you reading this.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

New & Updated Website

Have you had a chance to stop by the new and improved It took a lot of work, a new web host, new newsletter host, and several hours of headaches to get it looking just the way I wanted. It's now cleaner and more streamlined than the previous website. I like the colors, transitions, and how uniform everything turned out.

If you haven't checked it out, stop by.

Also, just a head's up for my longtime newsletter subscribers...

If you were previously subscribed you do NOT have to subscribe again. I imported my subscriber list from the old host to the new host. Only new subscribers need to sign up at the new website. My loyal readers are already good to go. Thank you!

For you newbies out there, if you like freebies it's probably a good time to subscribe to my newsletter. Subscribers receive news first, before the blog, and even before Facebook. *GASP!* Newsletter subscribers are also entered to win Amazon gift cards every time a newsletter is sent out. You never know when your name will be picked!

So stop by and scroll down to where it says, "Subscribe." You'll be glad you did.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Showing Your Favorite Author(s) Some Love

It's that time of year again... Time to shop 'til you drop! LOL. Well, you know what I mean. There will be lots of gift-giving over the next few weeks and some of the big gifts will be new tablets, iPads, Kindles, Nooks, and many more electronics that can be used to read books. Soon those eReaders will need to be filled with many, many new reads, so why not show your favorite authors some love this holiday season?

It's really easy to give your favorite author a little holiday joy. A simple review is a big one. Reviews help us gain new readers. They help us sell more books, pull in potential fans, and even give us a better standing in the book selling marketplaces. There are even deals and discounts newsletters that require a certain amount of reviews before we can list our books with them.

So please, during this holiday season, take a moment to leave a few words on a book you enjoyed. It can be as simple or as detailed as you like. Even a short, "I liked it," is enough to make a beloved author happy.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Crossover Stories

Jean Scheijen
Do you like crossovers? Television does it quite often, and now movies do it (think Marvel). Taking characters from one favorite show and throwing them into the world, live, and problems of another favorite show is something I truly enjoy.

I like to see these independent characters, who always deal with their own stuff, interacting with characters from another location who are now asked to deal with the first characters' stuff, too. So what about books? I've seen it happen a few times between a single author's multiple book series, as well as two or more authors bring their characters into a joint venture. I like it, especially when I've read the previous books that are mentioned. It's like an ah-ha moment when you recognize a character you already know in a place you didn't expect to see them.

With all that being said, I'm considering a crossover with characters from my Liz Baker series in my new Penny Montague series. As I'm writing this first book I feel a natural progression toward making mentions of the vampires and werewolves currently residing in the north Georgia mountains (i.e. Liz and Monty).  Penny resides in the Atlanta area, but you'll find her on a mission that leads her farther north. Soooo.... maybe?

What do you think about crossovers in books?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


As I was writing yesterday's post I realized I never shared my tattoos with the blog readers. I'm sure most of you saw them on Facebook, but I'll post them here too for anyone who isn't on Facebook.

Last year my husband and I got these.....

Our anniversary tats.

Then after Mom passed away I got this one......

My "Mom" tattoo.

The hubby has a few more than I do (I think he's addicted, LOL), but other than our anniversary tats this one is my favorite....

It's my actual signature that the tattoo artist thickened. My husband is now branded. LOL! All his idea, too.

I have plans for another tattoo, but haven't worked out all the details just yet. Maybe by the end of the year.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Love, Loss, and Letters

Happy September, everyone! I'm so glad we've finally reached this day. Today's the day my younger kids went back to school. Woohoo! We had a great summer, but I'm definitely ready for them to get out of my hair and on schedule again.

I want to touch base on a few topics today to sort of jump start my new writing season.

First, as many of you know, my mother was battling lung cancer this time last year. For 9 months, I drove my mother to doctor appointments, chemo treatments, blood transfusions, radiation treatments, and test after test, after test. Unfortunately after all of this, on May 24th this year, Mom lost her battle with cancer.

Even though all of her treatments took me away from you, my readers, I will never regret spending that time with her in those last months. There were struggles, frustrations, and her demands weighed heavy on me, but some of those days we laughed, had long conversations, and smiled our way along the path we'd been put on. Even now, writing this, it brings tears to my eyes, but I'll never regret a moment of those 9 months.

After Mom's passing and her memorial, I took the summer to just be: Be with my kids, be with my husband, and be by myself. I needed that time to recuperate my sense of ME. The hubby and I took several weekend trips away and then we took the younger girls to St. Augustine, Florida for a week. We all had a great time and it was much needed. My middle daughter got her driver's license & a job. Tim & I both ended up with some new tattoos. Oh, and I found out my youngest will be in braces soon. Eek! Two in braces at once. Boo!

I'm going to round this off with the "Letters" portion of the title. WRITING! I'm jumping back into my writing immediately. I'm going to jump off with the book I was working on before all this began. It's the first book in a new series that I've been looking forward to finishing. After that I have several book ideas waiting in the wings. Of course there will be another Liz Baker book, but I also have two other unrelated books in the planning stages. Depending on how long the next two books take me to complete, we may have several releases to look forward to in the next year. Yay!

As part of the writing side of my life, I'm getting my newsletter revamped and ready to get back into rotation. As an incentive for my beloved subscribers, there will now be a giveaway at the bottom of every newsletter that goes out. Every time one goes out, someone will win an Amazon gift card. The only rule to winning is you have to be a subscriber. Winners will be picked at random & I'll keep track of who wins so everyone gets a chance. The dollar amount of the gift cards will vary from $5 to $25.

If you aren't already signed up, head on over and get busy:  Newsletter Sign Up

More later, but right now hop on over and hit up that newsletter link. A new one will be going out soon.  :)

Monday, March 28, 2016

To my Turkish readers....

Many years ago I was approached by a publisher in Turkey who wanted to translate and publish my Alex & Fiona series for their Turkish audience. I questioned other authors who had been approached by this company, and closely read over the contract before agreeing. They quickly worked through the first book, sending me cover samples and sharing the translation progress with me.  All the while, I'm being assured that my advance was coming soon, soon, soon.

Book 1 went out quickly and soon they were sending me book 2's cover. At this point I was pissed. I hadn't seen on cent of my advance, yet I already knew book 1 was selling simply by the amount of readers from Turkey contacting me to let me know how much they enjoyed the book & wanting to know when book 2 would come out (of course I had no idea).

I continued to question when my money was set to arrive & the woman I'd been dealing with all those months assured me they were simply running behind, but my payment would be coming. Oh, and I was supposed to receive 1 copy of each book in their new Turkish format...those never arrived.

Eventually, contact was scarce, until I was told the woman I'd been dealing with no longer worked there. After that I never heard a single word from the company again. That was in 2011.

Here I am, many years later, and I'm still receiving messages, follows, tags, and comments from my Turkish readers. I'm soooo happy you're all enjoying the story of Alex & Fiona, but I want you all know that I've never received a single dollar from the publishing or selling of this series in Turkey.

This publisher took not only my 3 books, but numerous books from numerous other authors, without paying us for our work. This is theft, plain and simple. And because of the fact that this company is outside the U.S., we are pretty much left without any way to get our money. The contracts aren't worth the ink and paper used to print them.

Again, thank you so much for reading my books! Unfortunately, I won't be allowing any translations of newer books by ARVO.

Here are a few (of many) "Author Beware" articles about this company:

Too bad these weren't around back when ARVO first contacted me.  :(

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Good News vs. Bad News

Me & my youngest on her 11th b-day.
Ignore the no make-up. I was doing
school pickup. :)
Happy New Year!

Yeah, I know, I'm a little late on the uptake here. This is the first week in a long time where I can actually sit at my laptop, take a deep breath, and write. My mind clears and the ideas run rampant. My fingers fly across the keyboard and before I know it there's a new chapter in front of me. I love it! Giddiness takes over after a good day of writing.

So let's get to a little Good News vs. Bad News here.  I'll just bullet point it all for you.


  • Some piece of trash hacked my bank account last week. They stole $380 from Charlotte, NC. I haven't been to Charlotte in nearly 10 years!! 
  • My winter blues have kicked in and I feel extremely dreary all the freaking time (except when I've had a good writing day).
  • My mom is still going through chemo. I'm in charge of her calendar & taking her to 98% of her appointments... some of which were sprung on me the day before.
  • BOTH of my younger daughters are going into braces! The 15 yr old will get hers the end of February/beginning of March. And my 11 yr old will go into hers this time next year. 8 months of double braces payments. UGH!
  • I will not be attending Book 'Em NC this year. With everything going on around here I just don't feel comfortable being that far away from home.
  • I turned 39 on the 17th.  ACK!!!  Nooooo!!


  • My bank reversed all the $380 that piece of trash stole from my bank account. Get a job, douchebag!
  • Exercise, vitamins, & writing help me with the winter blues. And spring will be here soon!
  • My mom's cancer has shown great results from the chemo!! We found out last week that all the small cancer spots are gone & the big stuff has shrunk dramatically. The doctor is hoping the next 4 rounds of chemo will get it all. And then maybe we can say the R-word!!
  • Braces... Upside of braces... Hmmm...  Oh, I guess it's good I'll only have double payments for 8 months.  ???  Maybe?
  • There's really no good news for not attending Book 'Em.  :(
  • I turned 39, but I don't feel 39. Physically, I feel great!

Overall, that's about it right now. I'm anticipating more writing this year since my mom is moving into my rental house right down the hill from my house. I'll be able to keep an eye on her easier and still get my work done.  Hell, I drive by my rental, at the very least, 4 times a day just taking kids to and from school.  I'll be glad to have her close by AND be able to work, again. 

I hope 2016 turns out to be a great year for all of you.