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Friday, March 27, 2015


Sure it's not easy to say and it doesn't flow.  It's kind of long.  But hey, today that is my mantra.


Thank God it's Friday with no construction.

For now.

Yesterday was a seriously depressing day.  The builder came in and took one look at the ceilings and after EIGHT DAYS of people in my home trying to make them right, they are now in worse condition than they were before. 

FOR REAL????  How is that even possible??  I didn't think it WAS possible, but there it is.  After so many days of living in rooms that look like this, you would think that everything would be better.  But it's not.  And what have I got to show for it?  Dust, everywhere.  Furniture, all over the place but not IN it's place.  I had to go to the doctor to get medication because I can't breathe.  So now I'm on a steroid, OTC allergy pills and a cough suppressant.  I thought the worst was over.  I thought there was light at the end of the tunnel, but there's not.  The issue isn't resolved and on top of it, every wall in my house has to be re-painted!  And not by the builder, but by us!  Why?  Because we had custom painted the house when we moved in and the builder will only paint with standard colors.

Can I seriously not get a break here???

Okay, I'm done complaining.  Let's talk about something more pleasant. 

Books.  Writing.  Ahhh...that makes me happy.  I'm totally in the zone with all of that right now.  In less than two weeks, "Meant for You" will be out!  Although I did have a friend in Alabama who found it on the shelves at her local bookstore already!  Now I want to go out and see for myself if that's happening here! 

I'm more than 2/3 of the way done with Shaughnessy book two, but book three is already playing out in my mind so I took the day yesterday to write what was screaming at me and ended up with 10,000 words!  I was feeling pretty good about myself and did a victory lap around my office and ended up tripping on construction debris.

Just more reason to have rage.

No.  No.  No.  Good thoughts.  Happy thoughts. 

I'm learning to get a little more creative with photoshop - except, NOT photoshop.  I'm using some online
photo editing software (PicMonkey) to create some new promos for the books.  I'm not great with it by any means.  Actually, it scares the bejeezus out of me but I'm making attempts and they don't suck so...winning! I was lucky enough to have some talented friends and family help me out with some of it but I'm making progress and maybe a year from now I'll be able to do it all by myself!  It's good to learn a new skill - even if it's only really useful to me!  Lol!

So this is me.  Reveling in having the house - somewhat - to myself today.  Hubby just came home after only being gone for 2 hours.  No work today.  Bummer.  So he'll work on other projects NOT related to the ceiling debacle.  Someday I'll have this house in order and time to myself to sit at my desk with nothing but my writing and maybe some Andy Gibb playing on my iPod.

A girl can dream...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Memories from Myrtle Beach

I had a GREAT time this year at Authors in the City.  Last year, the event was held in New York City.  That in itself was amazing.  I had the chance to do some major sightseeing and got to spend some time with my agent.  It was my first-ever signing and I was majorly overwhelmed.

This year I was a little more prepared and a lot more relaxed.  We were in Myrtle Beach - a place I had never been to before.  It was one of those places that I was always like "Um...yeah.  I'd really like to go there" but then never did.  Overall, I wasn't overly impressed with the area.  It was all fine and well but it's a tourist town.  Lots of shopping, restaurants, hotels and traffic. 


But our hotel was beautiful and when I checked in, I asked for an upgrade and got a room on the top floor facing the ocean.  We were two blocks in but the view was really great.  The weather wasn't good for three of the four days - rainy, cloudy, heavy winds.  Definitely not beach weather.  But that was all right because I wasn't there to go to the beach.

I was there to runaway from home for four days!  LOL!

It was a great girls weekend - we went out for nice dinners, had a spa day and were completely rested and ready to meet some amazing fans and authors for the actual AITC event.  I have to say that this was one of the nicest crowds I've ever experienced at an event.  Everyone was so friendly and happy and just plain awesome! 

We were exhausted by the end of the day and treated ourselves to a gourmet steak dinner.  Then reality hit.  We had to go home.  We packed up and loaded the car and on Sunday - the only nice day we had - we hit the beach before getting on the road.  Well, actually, we hit a TON of stores on our way out of town and did a little retail therapy before really getting on the road.  It was total bliss! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Slowly slipping into insanity...

I'm still pretty much in construction hell.

I know I should be thankful that the work is getting done at no cost to us - gotta love a two-year home guarantee - and I am, BUT...I am so out of sorts that I'm walking around here like Mr. Magoo.  My
entire schedule is out of whack.  I have to get up earlier than usual to make sure that I am showered, dressed and everything is put away before the crew arrives at 8 a.m.  I have to take the dog to doggy daycare - and when did THAT become a thing??  And then during the day I am pretty much secluded in my office with a cloud of dust swirling around throughout the house.

I'm coughing.
I'm tired.
And I am not having fun.

I will say this, the crew has been very accommodating.  If you don't count the time they just taped and plastic-ed me into the office and kind of forgot about me. Or that half the time the crew pretends that they don't understand English when I try to pinpoint when exactly this work is going to come to an end.  I want to shake my fist and yell "I'M ON TO YOU!!" but they probably wont' acknowledge that I've said anything.

And then tape me into my office again and turn up the radio.   I just want to be done!!!  When is it going to be done???  Why did I let my husband convince me that wavy ceilings were a bad thing???

No, seriously, they clean up after themselves and my writing time has not been hindered at all.  I have gotten a LOT of work done.  I've made great progress on the second Shaughnessy book and got done with all of the first-read edits on Zach Montgomery's book.

Yeah me!

I guess my main issue is that I don't like to sit still.  I write every day.  I just get up and move around the house in between creative moments.  Now that I'm limited to this 4x4 bit of space, I have a lot of time to just...sit.  I'll admit it's starting to mess with me.  So what do I do with all that time?  Glad you asked.  Here are the top five useless things I've done in the last week:

1. Tried to learn all the words to Maroon 5's "Payphone".
I'm getting pretty good with it and even came up with some dance moves you can do whether you are standing OR sitting.  I know, I're jealous.  Not only do I have the time to do this nonsense, but I had the time to choose a song that is not even current!  That's right, with the eight jillion songs that Maroon 5 currently has, I had to find an old one.  THAT, my friends, take real talent, skill and yes, a lot of time to figure out which song would be the easiest to learn.

2.  I read.  And no, not just my own stuff that I'm writing, but I actually picked up my Kindle and
downloaded a NEW book and read it.  And you know what else?  It wasn't even the typical contemporary romance that I usually gravitate toward.  It was a young adult/new adult novel and I LOVED it!  Not that I'm switching over.  It was just a great book that had gotten some buzz and I wanted to check it out.  "The Deal" by Elle Kennedy.  Check it out.

Then go back to reading my books. 

3.  I discovered a new word game.  Actually, a friend of mine told me about it and now I am seriously addicted and I can play it on my Kindle.  Hi-words.  It's addictive.  Seriously addictive.  You have categories and ten levels in each category and it's like a word search - the words are forward, backwards and vertical.  Sounds easy right?  Wrong.  I consider myself to be really good at word games - I rock at Scrabble, I love word searches and crossword puzzles and go crazy for Bananagrams.  But this game?  It makes me feel like a complete idiot.  So I'm determined to prove it wrong. 

No matter how many times it tells me that I'm wrong and don't know how to spell. 

4.  I'm unsubscribing from all of the things that I don't remember subscribing to.  This is actually a very good thing.  Not useless...just monotonous.  Oh. My. God.  Today alone I unsubscribed to fifteen different sites.  Most of which I had never subscribed to.  Some of them wouldn't let me unsubscribe because they said I wasn't a subscriber!  How is that even possible??  And the problem?  Because I'm forced to sit here in front of the computer day in and day out until the construction work is done?  I'll probably subscribe to even more sites!  Seriously, somebody stop me! 

5.  Sat here and seriously contemplated the importance of getting back on my Weight Watchers plan.  I did really great with it right up until I left for Myrtle Beach and then?  Well, let's just say there was a lot of food eaten and pretty sure that NONE of it was on the Weight Watchers plan.  And if it was, I pretty much blew my points for the day at one meal.  How is that possible?  Chocolate cake in bed.  There.  I've said it.  So now it's like I'll be starting over and that just makes me sad.  And it means I have to pack a cooler at seven in the morning with all healthy, low-point value foods and keep it in my office since my kitchen is covered in plastic.

Or I can eat some of the Hershey kisses in the candy bowl on my desk.


No, no, no.  It's time.  I need to do it.  Spring is here, summer will be here before I know it and really, it's time.  No more excuses.  Maybe I should lock myself up in my room with the treadmill. 

Bwa-ha-hahahahaha...I know.  I almost couldn't even type that with a straight face!  There's also a TV, my Kindle, a fan and a laptop up in my room.  That treadmill wouldn't stand a chance no matter how long I was taped in there!
 Yeah, I do.

Friday, March 20, 2015

I'm Coming Back...Honestly

I know, I know, I know...I disappeared again.

With good reason. 

Number one:  Construction in my house.  They are having to re-do all of the ceilings in my home.  We knew this day would come - had actually argued with the builder before we closed on the house a year ago, but they wouldn't budge.  Luckily, the new supervisor who came to do our one-year walk-through noticed how wavy and unfinished they all were and said that he'd get it taken care of for us. 

That was all fine and well and my hubby was thrilled but the truth is, it's a big job.  A big messy job.  There are easily four contractors in my house from eight in the morning until about five in the afternoon and it's loud and dusty and so not what I like!!  I miss my peace and quiet.  I miss having the place to myself.  I miss having a door on my office!!

The other day, I got taped and plastic-walled into a room.  I felt like those people who get stranded on broken down cruise ships.  I was ready to ask someone to airlift me some food - and a potty! 

TMI.  Sorry. 

Number two:  I was away in Myrtle Beach for Authors in the City.  Great event.  Lots of fun.  Super cool fans.  But it was four days away and one day of packing and prepping and one day to recover.  I'm finally getting back into the swing of things.  Kind of.  Sort of.  There's still stuff everywhere. 

Number three:  The writing cave.  I am more than halfway done with the next book in the Shaughnessy series that will debut in August 2015.  I can't say any more than that but I think you're really going to love it!!

So all that being said, I'm back.  Again.  I swear.  Have you gotten your copy of "Return to You" yet?  Or have you started the series all the way back at the beginning with the "Wait for Me/Trust in Me" duo???  You should totally be doing that! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Heart Full of Thanks...

So I'm sitting here teetering between hyperventilating and crying like a baby.

Either way, it's not pretty.

I self-published my first novel back in 2011.  Jordan's Return.  I received sixteen rejections from agents and publishers on this story but I was bound and determined to see it in print.  I had no idea how to format a book for print or for e-publishing but I researched and had the help of some amazing people - some of whom I have never met face to face!  It is because of them that I was able to sit at my desk and hit that "publish" button.

When I did it, I thought that I was so brave and was so excited at all the possibilities.  But never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be where I am right now - getting ready to get in my car to see a novel of mine out in the world.  On bookstore shelves.  The excitement that I feel right now is almost overwhelming.

Wonderfully so.

I walked a different path than a lot of indie authors and I kind of accidentally found my way.  I know a lot of great authors who study charts and sales patterns, figured out all kinds of algorithms while doing tons of blog tours and that was completely overwhelming to me.  I really just wanted to write stories that readers would enjoy and maybe I would have gone further if I had paid more attention to the algorithms, but I have been blessed with some amazing fans who responded to my stories and helped spread the word about them.  If I could, I would seriously hug each and every one of you - and send you some swag!

I had no idea when I wrote the first Montgomery book that fans were going to fall so hard for this family.  And to be honest with you, neither did I.  I mean, I love all my heroes but the Montgomery men?  They just make me sigh.  Do I have a favorite?  It's kind of a tie right now between Lucas and Mac (books one and three) but the trio that you're about to be introduced to?  They're giving them a serious run for their money!

As today starts an entirely new journey as an author for me, I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you.  For the love.  The support.  The reviews.  But the greatest thing that I want to say thank you for?  Is the friendships I have made.  So many of you take the time to message me and I answer each and every one of those messages myself.  I love hearing your stories, your thoughts and what you hope to read about in the future.

I hope that you love "Return to You" as much as I do and I look forward to meeting so many of you at upcoming events and online and wherever else it is that we can.  You've all made this dream possible and there aren't enough words or thank you's to possibly convey what that means.

Monday, March 2, 2015

While I Was Gone...

Yes, yes, I know.  I've been MIA for a few weeks.  I apologize.  I wish I could say that it was for something super cool like a vacation or because I had won the lottery but alas, no such luck.  I had to have some minor out-patient surgery and while I was recovering, North Carolina seemed to go crazy with ice and snow.  Seriously, I've lived here for 20 years and never saw so much winter weather happen so close together.

The good news is that the snow is just about gone - YIPPEE!! - and I am feeling better.  It's like a win/win right now.  All is right with the world and everything is returning to normal.  Insert the hallelujah chorus here.

That's not to say that I wasn't productive.  Sort of.  Yes, yes, I did spend a little too much time sprawled out on the couch watching HGTV and playing computer solitaire but I've also been hard at work on the next book while preparing for the release of my very first Sourcebooks Casablanca title, "Return to You".  Which comes out tomorrow.  Did I mention that?

So I promise to get back to work here on the blog and back to my regularly scheduled writing schedule. 

After tomorrow.

Tomorrow if you are in the RTP area of North Carolina, chances are you are going to be seeing me in various Barnes and Noble locations, screaming like a woo-girl and taking selfies with the books on the shelves and probably enjoying some Starbucks hot chocolate while doing it!  If you're out shopping and see "Return to You", please snap a picture and post it on my Facebook fan club page!

Also, don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter and get exclusive sneak peaks at upcoming books and giveaways!  Subscribe here!

And...I'm back!