Friday, August 31, 2012

Flashback Friday: Perils Of Raising A Football Player

Aug 2002:
My oldest was back in full swing on the football field and having the time of his life.  Only one thing bothered me; we'd bought him protective arm pads, but he refused to wear them.  Instead, he was proud of his 'battle scars', angry purple bruises which marched down his biceps and forearms.

School began, so I insisted he not change out of his football gear when we went to Meet The Teacher Night.

"Why, Mom?  I'm all sweaty!

"I want your teacher to understand I don't beat you on a regular basis; you've done this to yourself!"

(Huge sigh and eye roll):  "Oh Mooo-oom!"

Fortunately, his new 5th grade teacher understood, so no problems there:)  But when he tried out for band, I had to roll MY eyes!

"We have access to a perfectly good slide trombone and snare drum, and you choose the Baritone?"

"I like it!  And Mr (can't remember band teacher's name) needs tuba and baritone players!"

So we shelled out the money and my kid was soon wowing us with the theme from Chili's:  "Chili's Baby Back Ribs....BBQ Sauce.." all from ear.  I was secretly pleased; maybe one of my kids was showing an aptitude for music?

Present Day:
I think Tropical Depression (formerly Hurricane) Isaac is going to wreck my weekend plans.  I'm supposed to set up at the Daviess' Co Wine and Art Festival tonight in Washington, only rain is due between 5 and 6pm.  And rain all weekend, so probably will not set up at the Palestine Street Fair tomorrow either.  There's $45 in booth fees down the drain.  The spouse is not pleased.

And I still need transportation (meaning, spouse get new tire on car and fix brakes!) and a place to stay (spouse give me $$ for motel room or I need to call friend J in M'ville) for next week's three day fest in Monrovia.  I can't stay with R this year, like I did in '08; it wouldn't be appropriate, plus it's too far away.

Rain, rain, go away
Come again another day...
Or at least hold off until AFTER my events are finished????

Have a great day, stay dry, and enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shakeup in the BB House!

SPOILER ALERT!!!  If you're a fan of Big Brother and did NOT see last night's episode, DO NOT READ!

Okay....everybody clear I'm about to reveal what went down last night?  This is your last chance to bail if you don't want to know.....

Frank put up Dan and Danielle.  No surprise there; Frank's been wanting Dan out of the house since week #3 or so.

POV Challenge:
Frank had it sewn up, or so it seemed, until the final question.  Brittany buzzed in, but wasn't sure.  While she was trying to figure it out, Frank apparently whispered, 'Summer'.  BONK!  Clearly against the rules to say the answer out loud, Frank was ousted from the game.  That left Dan in the lead.  Brittany missed on her next chance, and  Jen answered it correctly, putting HER in the lead and winning the Power Of Veto.  She resolved to do everything in her power to keep the nominations the same, and it would be bye-bye Dan tomorrow.

An Evil Scheme Is Hatched.
During the POV challenge, Dan received a 24 hour solitary confinement penalty.  He used the time to come up with a daring plan to save himself.

Upon being released, he dressed in black and called a house meeting.  He then welcomed everyone to 'Dan's BB Funeral', and did something rather cruel:  He complimented everyone, but all of a sudden turned on Danielle and blasted her for something apparently seen off-camera, and finished with 'You're dead to me.'  WTH???  He was her COACH at the beginning of this season, and her loyal CHAMPION!  He left the room, and everyone gathered around Danielle, who was open-mouthed in shock.

He and Frank went upstairs 'so he could apologize in private', but then revealed the 'master plan':  He spilled the beans on Ian's alliances and the 'power alliance' of Brit, Dani, Ian, Shane, and himself, then offered to align himself with Frank, Jen, and Joe, to turn the tables on the house.  And said he could even bring Dani over.  Frank agreed, and then Dan went downstairs to console Dani.

When he revealed his reasons, Dani hit him with a pillow, then listened in amazement to his plan.

And at the Veto Ceremony, Ian, having no knowledge of what was going down, refused to use his Veto.  And stood by in amazement as Jen took Dan off the block.  Frank promptly nominated Brittany.

So tonight, the votes look like this:
Dan:  Brit
Jen:  Brit
Joe:  Brit
Ian:  ??
Shane:  Most likely Brit, since he and Dani have been flirting

No Critique of BWSNBN:
I was too tired last night and only read the first three pages of Ch. 4.  And finally, a 'murmur' used correctly!!!  Honest emotions expressed.  But that's only the beginning of Ch 4, so I'd say she reconsiders.  Bleh.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New Schedule and Ch 3 Issues

We are three weeks into the new school year and have settled into a new routine:
6:30am- I attempt to get up.  Depending on if the dog is standing beside my bed with her legs crossed, I'll either hit the snooze or get up.  Since Roxie has fallen into the habit of nearly giving me a concussion with her head and front legs, it's in my best interests to get out of bed asap!

I'll put the dogs out; start the coffee; check FB and emails.

7am:  Coffee's done; I'm usually still on FB.

7:30:  Time to get the youngling up, dressed, and breakfast made.

8am:  He and the spouse leave for school.  I eat breakfast, drink coffee, and post blog.  Then it's get dressed, make bed, and do QT.  I'll also fire up the wip and work on it.  Figure out what I'm fixing for dinner and get anything I need from the freezer.

Noon:  Daughter leaves for school; time to take care of the granddaughter.  If she's taking her nap, I work.  If she's in 'Mommy Mode', I feed her, hold her, rock her, and watch 'Criminal Minds' or something on the DVR.

3pm:  Kids home from school; time to check in with emails and FB again.  Then get the youngling started on his educational computer games and check the contents of his back pack.

4pm:  Time to read or relax with one of my DVR'd shows.  Or nap....

6pm:  Start dinner.

10pm:  Check emails and FB one more time, then bed.

New abbreviation:  Book Which Shall Not Be Named (BWSNBN).  I'll be using this frequently for the next several weeks.  Thank you for yesterday's comments and feel free to check back:)

BWSNBN Update:
I've reached Ch 4, so here's everything which drove me crazy in #3:

Pg 33:  I've already discussed the 'bitterness' in the K's voice.  I think she would be jealous, not bitter.

Pg 34:  'Capiche'?  Has she never thought to look up the correct spelling?  I used this word in Book #4; it is spelled 'capisce'.  And I just verified it with the translator part of  I typed it in both ways; it recognized the correct way, not how it is in the BWSNBN.  Do some research when using language other than English!

And in the next paragraph, there is 'sorted'.  Sorted what?  I think 'There, that's taken care of' would fit better.

Pg 35:  Now K is 'muttering'.  Okay; I can sort of see this.  But I think a sigh or an eye roll would be better.

Three issues with pg 36:
      a)  There's an unnecessary line.
      b)  'Terribly young'?  How can someone be this?  I think she means awfully young, or really young.
      c)  When your BFF is in charge, why think her instructions are 'domineering'?  YOU don't know how to set up the photo shoot, so let the EXPERT do it!  GEEZ!  Get over yourself!

Pg 37:  She's muttering again.  Why?  You don't mutter when you make introductions!

Pg 38:  She goes out into the hallway; waits while he instructs one of his 'people'; he turns to her with 'burning eyes', and she wonders if she's done something wrong?  First of all, I'd have grabbed a fire extringuisher....oh, you mean his eyes are burning with passion?  Or anger?  Desire?  Secondly, he's the one who asked you to step out.  So unless he's going to blast you for your unprofessional 'muttering', you have NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT!

And when he asked you out, why are you apologetic about the transportation issue?  Again, are you twelve?

Pgs 39-40:  I'm taking issue with all the 'flushing'.  First she flushes.  I'm assuming she means she feels her cheeks heat up.  Then she turns beet red (I'm assuming, of course, she can see herself in the mirror?)  Then she feels her cheeks turn pink.  Hello.....unless you have some sort of 'quick cooling system', you cannot go from beet red to normal to pink in the span of a few seconds.  Or at least I don't.

Pg 41:  Now HE'S picked up the 'muttering'.  What IS it with these people they can't speak normally to each other?

Pgs 42-43:  Again, she's going 'crimson' and 'scarlet'.  Where the hell is the mirror?  And why does she 'whisper' when she mentions the other males are just good friends?  This makes no sense.

Pg 44:  More 'blush' and 'murmur'.  Plus, she acknowledges he's a control freak, yay!  So does she come to her senses?  Obviously not.....

Pg 46:  Why sigh about your step-father's choice of occupation?  Makes no sense.

End of chapter.  I put down the book, my highlighter, and pen, and finished Holiday Hearts.  Then picked up my Kindle and finished Jean Joachim's The Date List.  Now I'm on Hello Kitty Must Die by Angela S. Choi.

Currently Reading:  As stated above, I LOVED Holiday Hearts!  I also loved The Date List, though I question whether anyone would really stand up to their future MIL that way....but hey, it suited the story.  And Hello Kitty is hilarious!  I had to force myself to put it down so I could get some sleep, and was literally rolling around in laughter by the end of page 3!  So all three of these books are Recommended Reads!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Taking Issue With Two Words

I began reading a Certain Book on Sunday, just to form my own opinion.  And if you're a regular reader of this blog, you know it's rare I find a book I don't like.  A good friend couldn't believe I didn't whip out my red pen for the Twilight series; I simply enjoyed the stories and didn't notice how many times B 'sighed' her way through.  My issue with that series has been the movies; they're hard to hear, because everyone mumbles, or speaks too softly.

I've read others' reviews of this Certain Book, so I know what to look for by way of characterization and inconsistencies.  And the first chapter didn't bother me, although I would have phrased things a little better.   And then I moved on the Ch. 2.

And on pg 18, had to stop and get out my highlighter and pen.  She's driving cautiously, because she's thinking of HIM.  Yes, I get it.  But in the next paragraph, she puts him out of her mind and suddenly realizes, "Hey, I can drive as fast as I want!", you can't.  You're on the interstate, and there's a speed limit, idiot!  Yes, 5-10 mph over is acceptable, but pass the wrong cop and you WILL get pulled over.

Four pages later, I'm again pulled out of the story.  She's thinking about her mom, and how bad she is with money.  Mom lives in Georgia; she lives in Washington.  And since Mom is married to #3, 'maybe he'll keep an eye on her since I'm not there...'  Hello....if you're so worried about your mom's spending habits, what the hell are you doing clear across the country?  Why didn't you attend a State University?  Cause if Mom loses the house, you're stuck.  Or did you pack up everything you owned and took it to college with you?  I didn't take everything with me; Home was my base; the place I went on school vacations, and the place where some of my stuff is still there thirty years later.  So yeah, I sooooo don't get this paragraph.

Three pages later, and my yellow highlighter is back in my hand.  He has come all the way to the hardware store where she works (for even more humorous commentary on hardware stores, check out this post by Janice Seagraves!).  And for the next three pages, she 'mutters' and he 'murmurs'.  I was first pulled out of the story by her 'muttering'.  Why?  Let's check the definition:

Mutter:  to utter words indistinctly or in a low tone, often as if talkingto oneself; murmur.

Murmur:  to speak in a low tone or indistinctly.

Okay; I get the fact they're in a store, so yes, voices would be subdued.  But would she really mutter her first name when he asks?  Or when being business-like and helping him find the items he needs?

And on pg 31, after he apparently is doing a bad job of trying to hide his jealousy, I happen to agree with him when she wonders what his problem is.  Yay...for once, an honest emotion!

But then he says her name and she goes all goey inside.  Okay; what are you, fourteen?  This girl was either very sheltered and not harbored any crushes in school, or is experiencing a very latent onset of hormones.

And since I just skipped ahead and read the first two pages of Ch 3, I've decided I'm not that fond of her BFF.  Why?

-She's thrilled that the 'richest, most eligible bachelor on the planet gave you his cell number', but then sounds bitter because her BFF 'met him'.  You're the one who got sick and had to send your BFF...too late for sour grapes.

-And if the BFF told you everything, then where is the caution?  He blows hot and cold; don't you 'get' that?  And advise caution?  Oh but if she listened to you, why would I have 500 more pages to read?  Or even two more books?  And there's the whole 'I-don't-have-to-listen-to-you-you're-not-my-mom' thing.

And in case you were wondering, I had to put the book down after each chapter and picked up Cindy Spencer Pape's Holiday Hearts.  For a comparison, I'm already on the last story of Cindy's book.  It was MUCH easier on the eyes/brain!  I predict I'll have to 'clear' my brain after every single chapter of this Certain Book, and there are twenty-three more.

Thank god I have nine or more print books and who knows how many e-books waiting in the wings!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fingers Crossed!!!

I'm one word away from sending in my cover sheet for Endless Love:)  I've agonized over this blurb for whatever reason.  Add Peter to it or leave him out?  I decided to add him in.  So I'll be sending it off by the end of the day and will hopefully have some cover art loveliness to show off in a week or so:)

I still need to to completely spell-check Searching For Love before I send it on its way.

And while I was gone for two weeks, the spouse and daughter scrubbed down the kitchen walls, leaving one tiny corner for me to do.  It's been a week; I guess I'd better pull out the shelves which hold the pans and get to cleaning.  Don't you love it when family members leave a section for you 'just to see how long it takes you to do it'?  NOT!  Don't know why the spouse can't take it upon himself to do some household chores; all he does is sit around and watch TV or gripe at me when I work....

I've heard from a few people who had the same issues I had with Yahoo; seems they are able to post to the loop again.  So maybe I should try?  Wish me luck!

Currently Reading:
Finished Tails Of Love and When Darkness Falls (sample chapter book also picked up at RT).  I began reading 50 SOG, but then switched to Holiday Hearts by Cindy Spencer Pape.  I'm already on the 2nd story and LOVE this!  Of course by now you realize anything I read by Cindy is a Definite Recommended Read, correct?  LOL:)

E-book wise, I'm still reading Jean Joachim's The Dating List.  So far, very enjoyable!

Now for a tiny rant toward Big Brother:
Ian should have gone with his gut and back-doored Frank!  Hopefully Dan will leave this week and the QP can get Frank out of there!  I applaud Brittany for standing up for Ian when Frank blasted him for putting him up.  "Don't yell at him; yell at me for pressuring him into doing it."  She was able to calm him down and get the target off of Ian:)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Flashback Friday: 1st Family Vacation!

Aug 1992:
We spent the night of July 31st moving into our new two bedroom apartment.  We set up the beds, unpacked the necessities, and went to bed.

The next morning, we got up, threw a suitcase together, and traveled to Nashville, IN.  (Did I mention my sister had graduated from Ball State the previous month, and one of my good friends had given birth to her son?  Shame on me for that oversight....)  We checked into the Holiday Inn at Columbus and greeted my parents and my sister.  Nephew D was captivated by my sis, who stands 6 ft tall in her stocking feet (I'm the 'short' one in my family).  We then headed for Nashville and ate lunch at the Nashville House, then spent an hour or so wandering the town.

We headed to Brown County State Park; W, Nephew D, and I took a horseback trail ride and toured.  After dinner, we went back to the motel and went swimming.

Sunday morning, my sis wanted to go back into town, so she, Nephew D, and I went back.  Sophie B. Hawkins 'Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover' was popular, and we belted it out during the ten-minute ride back to Nashville.  I forget what it was we went back for; I just remember enjoying some time away from my baby boy, who looked really cute in his Mickey Mouse swim suit (Swimmies hadn't been invented yet).

We checked out at noon, and returned home.  I began turning our apartment into a home.

The following week, I took Nephew D home.  D was working on the North side of Indianapolis, redoing the ramps on the Meridian St/465 interchange.  His car broke down; I'd tuck K into his car seat and we'd take Daddy to work, then later that night would go pick him up.  It was a peaceful time; K was 'cruising' the furniture and discovering his 'six foot arm span', lol!  He also discovered his window didn't have a screen, so one day he pulled himself out the window.  Not hearing any noises from his room, I checked on him and discovered him happily crawling down the sidewalk!  Needless to say, I called Maintenance and told them I needed that screen ASAP! (I'd already called about it, but no one had shown up with the new one yet.)

Present Day:
Good time at karaoke!  Darrell was taking some time off, so Brown filled in.  With only five of us in the bar, it became the Billie and Molly Show!  I sang the following:
-Wanted Dead Or Alive (Bon Jovi)
-I Remember You (Skid Row)
-Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone (Glass Tiger)
-Call Me When You're Sober (Evanescence)
-Just Like Jesse James (Cher)
-I'm The Only One (Melissa Etheridge)
-Fast Car (Tracy Chapman) ( I took over when Billie realized she didn't know it, lol!)
-Carry On Wayward Son (Kansas)
-Total Eclipse Of The Heart (Bonnie Tyler)
-New Divide (Linkin Park)

My left shoulder has been killing me every morning now for the past week.  I've been taking three Advil every morning and getting tired of it.  So I scheduled an appointment with a massage therapist friend, who keeps telling me to come see her.  And of course, this morning the pain is minimal!  But I'm keeping the appointment; I've not had a massage in nearly 8 years.  It's time to pamper myself a little, lol!

Publisher emailed, asking if I wanted Balancing Act to go to print, even though the others aren't long enough. I said  yes, since the Author Fair will only deal with a print book.  And I'm still hoping to be selected for it; I sent them the galley back on July 30th.  Keeping my fingers crossed!

Have a good weekend:)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Attitude Check

I know I've blogged about attitudes before, but my QT yesterday gave me a yearly reminder.  And this time, I think I passed the test.

Eleven months ago, I began to suspect something was up with my daughter.  I prayed fervently I was wrong, but finally the time came and I couldn't ignore it any longer.  I confronted her, then dragged her to the crisis pregnancy center.  It was inconclusive; she would have to take another test in the morning.

I'm human; I burst into tears.  And my sense of humor helped, blaming the re-release of Love On The Rocks.  I first published it in 2002, and six months later I was pregnant with the youngling.  That book is cursed, lol....

The next day, it was a proven fact.  My baby was going to be a single mom.  I just put my arms around her and held her close.

"Let me get through the emotion, and then we'll deal with it," was what I told her.

Needless to say, the stress level in our home shot to epic proportions.  My spouse's emotions ran the gamut of 'I'll kill (fill in the blank:  me, the daughter, the boyfriend)' to 'I oughta throw both of you out of this house' to 'I'm NOT taking care of it!'.  I seriously began to think I needed to file for divorce.

I found her a doctor, got her started on the prenatal vitamins.  And then sent out a request for another one, since neither she nor I were thrilled with the first one.  Luckily, a friend came through and recommended an wonderful OB-GYN.  Her monthly visits were pleasant, and her dad even accommodated a few of her cravings.

But in March, I was so tired of taking his verbal abuse and feeling the strain of the financial situation, I consulted a lawyer.  And didn't get the answer I wanted.  Fortunately, I was spending a three-day 'vacation' away from him, and was rejuvenated.  And on the way home, received the news our financial situation was about to take a turn for the better.  And boy, did it.

His attitude changed.  The stress level in the house went down.  We came to some compromises about my weekly karaoke, one of the things we were fighting over.  He agreed to let me continue, and I agreed to be home by midnight.

June arrived, and so did Miss Alexandria Nicole.  Four days later, the spouse, who'd refused to come to the hospital, held her little form in his arms and visibly melted.

This past month, the boyfriend was thrown out of his house by his pot-smoking, meth-addicted mother, and the spouse actually let him hang out at our house, even letting me feed him dinner.  He drew the line at letting him spend the night, but consented to letting him sleep in our car.  That was two weeks ago.  He's since made peace with his family, and even the daughter got a little tired of him being around her all the time.

My point to all this?  I never got angry at the circumstances, or even God.  I prayed for guidance; I prayed for strength, knowing that if I fell apart, my daughter would suffer more.  If I hadn't decided to deal with this event, my daughter would probably be a HS drop out and living on the streets with her boyfriend.  Or I'd be divorced/separated and living on government assistance.

Yes, I've made sacrifices.  I've put my daughter's needs, and those of my youngest child's above my own.  And that's something else; for in turn with dealing with the daughter's issues, I was also dealing with an 8 y/o who'd been diagnosed ADD and having to get his medication dose figured out (that's why he's repeating the 2nd grade!), plus my CK dealt with the loss of a close friend by self-medicating himself with an illegal substance.  He was caught with it in March and is facing either six months in jail, probation, or a fine.  Or all 3.  I've also got him in a drug/alcohol program, which he'll complete this month.  And yes, he's home for the semester and attending classes at the junior college in our town.

And through it all, I've only blown up at CK once, and that was when I was made aware of his serious issue.  We've cried; we've hugged; we've talked.  But not once did I threaten to 'cut him off' of throw him out of the house.  We've dealt with the issue, and I seriously hope it doesn't return.  He's a smart kid; lesson learned.

Attitude affects outcome.  And there is an alternate reality out there I'm glad I didn't choose.  (Of course, there's the OTHER alternate reality where none of this happened, lol!  Yeah, I'd like that one....)

So what about you?  Is there an 'alternate reality' you'd wish you'd chosen, or have you made some wise choices?

PS:  Just found out my daughter's BFF, whose parents threw her out of the house earlier this month, and who moved in with her new boyfriend, is now pregnant.  This soon-to-be 19 y/o, who admits she gets bored with her PETS when they reach a certain age (case in point:  She left behind a cat and 2 y/o dog, because she wanted a puppy; now she has two puppies with the b/f), is NO WHERE responsible enough for this.  Hoping to talk some sense into her either today or tomorrow.  What the hell is going on with her parents???

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back To Work!

School's back in session, and I'm missing the way it used to be.

Then:  Pack the spouse off to work (6am), then get kids up around 7.  Drive them to school; come hone; watch news while drinking 2nd cup of coffee (while warming up computer-this part I DON'T miss!); then turn on radio and settle in for three hours of writing time.  Break for lunch; do any housework; then pick up kids at 3; help with homework; back to the writing until time to get dinner on table.

Now:  Wake up youngling and get him to school by 8; wake up CK (depending on the day-some days it's by 9, others by 9:30); check emails; Face Book; blog; promo any links.  Take a break for housework, lunch, taking care of the granddaughter, or errands; write for an hour or two; help with homework; make the round of emails and FB again; start dinner prep.

The days I'm most productive are the days when the spouse is occupied.  If he's bored, then he gripes about my time on the computer.  And when he does pitch in around the house, he expects me to help him, instead of 'goofing off' on the computer.

I'm wondering if it wouldn't be in my best interests to leave the house around 8:30 every morning for my favorite coffee shop and work there until 11am.  THEN come home and spend the afternoon on other projects.  Why?  I have a character begging for attention.  I wrote out part of his story on Saturday, but now he's begging for more.  I'm going to try to get to it in the next hour!

Still haven't uploaded my weekend pics; I'll do that this afternoon.  Have a great day!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mixed Weekend

I was reminded of something this weekend:  Jesus wasn't accepted in his home town.

Why was this of any importance?

When I left Morgan County six years ago, I had only one pubbed book.  And when I promoted it, strangers were the only ones who were thrilled and bought it.  My friends congratulated me, but since they 'didn't have time to read', and the kids who wanted to read it weren't old enough...yeah, you get the picture.

Two years ago, I made a brief appearance at the funeral home when one of K's former classmates died in a car accident.  I was greeted enthusiastically by one of my closer friends, and surprise, surprise, very enthusiastically by someone I didn't like very well.  But 'since I was published', she felt the need to throw her arms around me and tell me how much she missed me.  Whatever; I was gracious and went on my way.

This past weekend, we showed up on Friday.  We stepped through the doors of the Fire Barn and daughter was immediately grabbed by former classmate.  I was greeted with 'Hi, Molly; good to see you again.'  And a few other people's eyes widened when they saw us and asked how we'd been.

It was sort of like my 10-yr class reunion; I saw people I recognized, but had no desire to speak to them.  This time, I figured I'd see them the next day.  We left around 8:30 and went back to the hotel to swim.

Saturday, I got a shock.  Normally Saturday was full of activities:  games, tractor pulls, BINGO, and the Miss Blaze/Firecracker pageant, and Car Show.  This time, nada.  I set up around 11am and passed the time redoing my shelves (the old plastic tablecloths were tearing in places) and writing the new wip ('Randy' has been bugging me for two weeks, telling me the back story and giving me ideas for what he's doing now). I also fielded questions about when events began and where to buy the game tickets.

Around 4, the daughter and I walked over to a friend's house and surprised them.  She hadn't checked her FB page in four days (note to self:  Broadcast travel plans every day the week before trip) and therefore had no idea I would be in town (I'd have thought the message asking about a close motel would have been a strong hint!).  We stayed about forty-five minutes, then left her to finish her 'Operation Clean Closets'.  She said she'd be over when finished.

I did get one person who asked about my books:  But when I mentioned romance, she said, "I don't read that trash.  I like history or biographies.  My sister likes it, though.  Stuffs them under the bed and under the couch so no one knows what she's reading.  Buys two or three each week."

"Well, send your sister over to me then.  Have a nice day!"  I kept a smile on my face as she wandered off.

Around seven pm, I had a small crowd at my the back.  I'd picked a spot next to the fence so I wouldn't have people cutting through my tent, but my friends chose to talk to me OVER the fence.  I did generate some interest when I mentioned who inspired Kenzie's Teacher's Pet, and handed out two of the cover flats.  But otherwise, the weekend was unproductive, except for the seven pages I now have to type.

Sunday, we went to church, then wandered through the old neighborhood.  Discovered one of the better houses had been abandoned; we're seriously considering looking into seeing if we could afford to buy it.

Went to lunch at the Hilltop Restaurant, a place we'd always talked about trying, but never had.  And now we're talking about returning in three weeks for their breakfast!  I'm setting up in Monrovia Sept 7th, so Saturday morning we can get a delicious breakfast before heading back to Monrovia, lol...

We'll see what happens.  In the meantime, I'll be sending in my cover art form for Endless Love, plus proofing Searching For Love and submitting it.  And yes, typing up 'Randy's' story!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Flashback Friday: Why I Need To Go Back And Slap Myself Silly....

Aug 1982:
Story thus far:  K and I had broken up for the 3rd time in six months, and I spent nearly my entire summer trying to win him back.  After the World's Fair trip, I was flying high; K and I had been enjoying each other's company, and I was pretty sure we would be back together soon.  I went off to Florida with my family for a 3 week vacation where I spent the majority of my time writing in my journal recounting every blissful moment of that four day trip.  And examining every aspect of what 'could' happen.  But one thing I hadn't counted on....

Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind...
The Monday after returning from Florida, I arrived at our early morning Band Practice and found my friends J and RR chatting with K.  I joined them, and listened to K's account of how he acquired his new car.  I made a joke about being driven home; he then stated I wouldn't get to ride in it, since his new girlfriend wouldn't like it.

I froze; put a smile on my face, turned to J.

"Remember me telling you about Randy at the pool?  Grandma called yesterday and said he misses me."  I then stood up, went inside, and locked myself in a bathroom stall.

J followed me.  "I'm so sorry; I didn't get a chance to tell you about Cherie.  He told me before you arrived he was head over heels for her."

I cried, then composed myself.  "At least I still have D, and RJ and I are still on good terms."  By this time, more band members had arrived.  I agreed to catch up with J and RR for the lunch break.

By the evening practice, the news I'd been jilted again had spread.  RJ told me K had shown him Cherie's picture, and that "You're way prettier than she is; I don't know what his problem is."

The next day, RJ informed me, "She's putting out for him.  That's what the attraction is."

Ah yes....I fully intended to only sleep with the man who married me, so there you have it.  My chances of getting K back looked bleak.

Wednesday, RJ reported, "There's trouble in paradise; they had a fight.  Talk to him tonight."

So I turned on the charm every time I saw him, and he asked me if I'd go for a walk with him after practice.  And of course I said yes.

He told me he'd broken up with Cherie.  And then complained I wouldn't go to 2nd base with him.  I stuck to my guns.  "I'm not doing that until my wedding night."

So he shook his head and threw down the gauntlet.  "I'll only get back together with you if you'll go to 2nd or  All The Way."

"Absolutely not."

"Tell ya what; this will be our signal:  If you want to be with me, wear shorts tomorrow.  If the answer's no, wear sweat pants."  And he walked away.

What followed is a cross between a comedy of errors and playing with fire.  Thursday was one of those hot, sticky, muggy, 100+ degree days.  And my mother (not having any knowledge of said signal) insisted I take off my sweatpants.  "You are not leaving this house until you put on some shorts.  You're going to be practicing down in The Pit (what we called the little grotto where we held full band practice), and there's little air flow down there.  I'm taking two coolers full of ice and water, and don't want to have to run you to the hospital for heat stroke.  Now do as I say."

Can't argue with my mom, and I'll admit, I did start fanning myself the minute I stepped outside.  So I stripped off my yellow sweats and prayed I'd make into the bathroom before running into K.

No such luck.  He was exiting the building as I was going in.

His eyes grew wide.  "Shorts!"

"Yes, but-"  Too late; he'd already taken off down the sidewalk.

I grabbed J.  "Tell K Mom made me take the sweats off and I'm putting them back on."

"What for?"

"I'll explain later.  Just tell him, please?"

I was a bundle of nervous energy all through practice.  Would J give him the message?  Would he abide by it?  And what the hell was going to happen after practice?

I got my answer.  K and I went to the park, where he tried every dirty trick in the book to get my clothes off.  He'd succeeded in unfastening my bra when a woman stopped her car and yelled at us for being there after dark.  I used that diversion to get away, and found out Mom was indeed looking for me.  I climbed into the car, ready to put the whole nasty episode behind me.

And then Mom proceeded to yell at me for being in the park after dark.  "You could get raped!"

I was too afraid to tell her it almost happened; I didn't want to get K or even myself into more trouble.  So I just put on my 'Good Girl' attitude and waited until I got home to absorb what had nearly happened.

And then, of course, on Friday, wondered if we were still going together, or if what had transpired constituted a break up?  But I was careful to only see K when we were in a group; I did not want to be alone with him.

Next month:  Strange Turn of Events

Present Day:
We are getting ready to head to the old neighborhood's Fish Fry:)  When I left six years ago, I only had one self-pubbed book out.  Now I have 2 publishers and 8 books out, plus two more pending.  We also want to show off the granddaughter:)  I'll let you know how the promo efforts are going.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

5 Stars!!!

I happened to be checking my sales sites when I stumbled across this reader review:

 "Love the Author she writes some awesome stuff. makes ya feel like it is real." 

Thank you Heartbreaker2013:)

Back To School Time!
Where did the summer go?  

Admittedly, I spent the first three weeks of June still riding the tidal wave of promotion, plus the arrival of granddaughter Alexandria, then underwent a tooth extraction which laid me low for ten days.

July brought my SIL's wedding, plus the arrival of Miss Drama Queen and her brother Mr. Energy, and taking them to the pool and mini-golf.  Then I spent two weeks with my mother, first in the hospital, then at home.

August is half over, and already my kids are back in school.  This is a bittersweet year for us, and full of change.  The College Kid is spending this semester at home, taking Gen Studies at the local junior college, then hoping to transfer back to Purdue in January.  Daughter is a senior, and will probably be finished with her online classes in a few weeks.  Then I'm not sure what her plans are.  Youngling is repeating the 2nd grade, and working on his reading, social, and Math skills.

Looking Ahead
I signed and sent in the contract for book #5, Endless Love, which tells Caitlyn and Bryan's story.  As of now, projected release is February 2012, but I'm hoping it will be bumped up to October or November, which is when Caty picks up the next chapter.  She's spent the past four books on the sidelines, secure in her relationship with Bryan and watching her friends deal with various issues.  Now it's her turn to have everything she believed in turned upside down.  What's your reaction when the foundation of your world is shaken?  Cling to the faith everything will work out, or dare to change your dream?

I'll be filling out my cover request form soon:)

I'm also nearly finished with the self-edits on book #6, Searching For Love.

And still patiently waiting for final edits on Kenzie's Class Reunion!

And yes, I need to actually write again....

Hitting The Promotion Trail
This weekend, I'm returning to the community where we spent nine years.  When I left, I had one self-pubbed book; now I have 8, plus two pending:)

At the end of the month, I'm setting up at a Wine and Art Festival, in a community where they don't know me.  Likewise, the following day, I'll be venturing into Illinois, to a town I've never been.  I'm hoping my new marketing tool, the book 50 Shades of Gray, will encourage people to at least check out my display and ask questions.

And then it will be off to one of my personal favorite festivals, where I've done well in the past.  Hoping for good weather all around!

I'll report back next week:)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Terrific Tuesday With Liz Crowe:)

I'm both honored and thrilled to have the one and only Beer Wench aka Liz Crowe with me today!  I 'met' Liz through the RB4U loop and she soon had me drooling over her book excerpts.  To date, I've only read two of them, but believe me, I plan to get them all eventually!

Welcome!  Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
Hi Molly thanks for having me. I’m Liz Crowe. I own a craft microbrewery and write books.   Lust on Tap is one of my “brewery based” sexy romance for real life books that released from Ellora’s Cave August 10. 
It’s a bit of a Cinderella story, but if Cinderella refused to marry the prince…

Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
Um, can’t say that I have. I write “contemporary” and borderline mainstream, not paranormal so my characters and plots are not necessarily frightening. However, I will admit being intimated by some story lines, until I can figure out why they intimidate me and get over it.

Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
TONS of it actually. Lust on Tap is about beer sales, ostensibly as the heroine Helena is a sales person for a beer distribution company. Hero #1 is a brewery owner and Hero #2 is a famous German brewer.  I also have a successful series about real estate agents—I was one of those.

How much research do you do?  Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
A little of both. I’m pondering a larger project right now about Detroit during Prohibition, for which I’m doing a fair bit of pre-writing research. And I have already begun a new series about an expansion professional soccer team that is forcing me to research the business of soccer.

Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
I write my books in pretty unique settings—breweries, beer festivals, real estate offices and in the case of another series, Istanbul, Turkey. I like to think that my style, voice and characters are just as unique and to that end I’ve coined (and copyrighted) a phrase: Romance for Real Life. My books are unpredictable in many cases, and the characters act so real at times readers get frustrated with them as you would a friend or family member who does something you consider crazy, or stupid. But I like it that way—and while not all readers connect with me, in the last 3 months alone I have sold a TON of books based on this concept. The books contain smoking hot sexy scenes of course, but as part of the story, and do not always end the way many more traditional romance readers like.

However, my “real life” genre is catching on I think so I would hope that readers keep this in mind when picking up any of my books.  Hmmm...Romance For Real Life....sounds similar to my own writing; maybe that's why I 'get' your stories.  I like the realism to them:)

Are you a plotter or a pantser?  And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
Head-writing plotter, for the over arching story, then a total pantser once I solidify the key plot points.

How long did it take for you to be published?
I began my Stewart Realty series four years ago, a little at a time as  I was still selling real estate. It got plenty of rejections and learned a lot about what I was doing wrong with it. I had a brewery side story attached to it that I sold first. The Brewing Passion series has been released from its original publisher and I am thrilled to be able to put it back alongside the realty series where it belongs.

It took about 3 years total to see my name on the cover of an ebook (September 2009), but during those years I was only writing about 15% of my time and didn’t start submitting until probably a year and a half into it.  I'm looking forward to the rest of your Stewart Realty series; I LOVED Floor time!

If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
For God’s sake don’t write in first person (I don’t and I won’t ever).
Don’t let professional jealousy get the best of you.
Do not sacrifice your voice, or your characters to trends.

Laptop or pen and ink?  What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
In the morning: coffee and music
In the evening: craft beer and music

Who are your favorite authors?  Who would you say influenced you the most?
I am a mainstream reader for the most part. My favorites include:
Anne Tyler
Margaret Atwood
Stephen King’s mainstream stuff (not the hard core horror)
John Irving
David Sedaris
Michael Lewis
For erotic stuff my go to authors are:
Joey W. Hill
Shayla Black (non paranormal)
Lauren Dane
Roni Loren (a new one—she’s awesome!)
Laura Kaye (same)
I LOVE John Irving!!
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
I was a PK (preacher’s kid)?
I have an embarrassingly high tolerance for alcohol?
I’m addicted to Bikram (sweaty) yoga?
I’m a certified “Cicerone” which is like a wine sommelier only for beer?

Now for the fun questions:
Mountains or Beach?
Without hesitation: Beach. With a cabana boy to ply me with…stuff.

Favorite amusement park ride?
 The Bar

Any Summer Festivals you like to attend?
 Um, I already attend so many of them for beer I’d have to say no.

If you’re writing a Christmas-themed story, how do you get ‘in the mood’?
I have only written one Christmas themed story and it revolved around a special beer one of the owners of a brewery made just for the employee holiday party—I sampled a bunch of “holiday brews” to get an idea of what I wanted it to taste like. So I think you can safely say that alcohol is a theme for me….LOL!  I think that would be a safe bet;)

LUST ON TAP! Available now from Ellora’s Cave.

When wealthy brewery owner Dustin Prufrock meets sexy saleswoman Helena Turner, sparks fly—angry sparks. They seem destined to do nothing but clash, until a hot hook-up in a cold beer cooler changes everything.

For Dustin, it’s a life-changing moment and one that sets him on a path away from his birthright. Helena is forced to face her fears about committing to a man considered the playboy of the micro brewing world. The power of pre-conceived notions nearly tears them apart, until they meet up with Erik, Dustin’s old friend from the brewing institute in Munich, who provides them with an erotic and emotional connection that completes them all.

But fate has different plans, and Dustin is forced to take responsibility for his old life as heir to a large business. While he slips back into his expected role, Helena and Erik are thrown together in an attempt to run Dustin’s brewery without him. But the strength and trust of their once-balanced threesome has been shattered, and mutual lust might not be enough to keep them all together.

For info on my back list visit:

Follow me on Twitter:
Join the Romance for Real Life conversation on Facebook!

Bio: Microbrewery owner, best-selling author, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great middle west, in a Major College Town.  Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat trailing spouse plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry) has prepped her for life as erotic romance author.  When she isn't sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, she can be found writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications.

Otherwise, look for her doing pounds of laundry for her athletic children, watching La Liga on the Fox Soccer Channel, or trying to figure out what to order in for dinner. Liz loves her Foo Fighters Pandora station, and watching reruns of Deadwood, when there isn't any decent sports on (like during “golf season”).  Her beer blog is nationally recognized for its insider yet outsider views on the craft beer industry. Her books are set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch and in high powered real estate offices.  Don’t ask her for anything “like” a Budweiser or risk painful injury.

Thanks for being with me today Liz!  I'll be picking up your back list in the coming months.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Flashback Friday

Aug 1972:
Back to school!  I was relieved when Mom took me in to register for school; I would be going on to 1st grade.  I didn't want the dreaded Mrs. Shelby; the older kids had warned us about her, saying she was mean.  I ended up with Mrs. Beers, and forgive me; I only remember bits and pieces of that year.  Thanks to Mom's photo album, I've taken a few notes of certain holidays, so hopefully I'll be able to fill in some blanks!

We did get a new bus driver that year, and new 'bus stops' were established.  I was fortunate to live next door to mine, so I knew when the bus went up our street, I had about five minutes to gather my things and get to my friend T's driveway.

Present Day:
I'm doing well on book #6's self-edits, and am gearing up for next week's Fish Fry.  I've not been back in this particular town since 2008; I hope people are happy to see us.

Currently Reading:
Finished re-reading Through Shattered Light, and enjoyed it as much as I did the first time!  It's a Recommended Read, if you didn't see the recommendation the first time around.  Now, on to Sisters In Time by Ginger Simpson:)

Not sure if I'm going home this weekend, or if Mom wants to keep me around until next Thursday.  Guess you'll find out Monday:)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Brilliant Promo Idea and Update:)

Here is my booth at our Watermelon Festival last Sat.  Do you see the display right under my left hip?  Here's a close up of the book:

I bought a copy of this book, just to form my own opinion (I've read enough excerpts to know how badly it's written, so please, no comments about it!).  And when I woke up Saturday morning, I had the thought to use it as a promo tool.  So I took it along and made a sign:  "If you've read this and liked it, you'll enjoy Kenzie's work!"

I also had a copy of Brynn Paulin's Brotherly Bonds with me, and the majority of the people who stopped by my booth told me they've either read 50 Shades, or have at least heard of it.  I wrote Brynn's info down on a lot of my cards, so I hope she sees a spike in sales, lol!

I gave away my entire stack of business cards, except for three.  Some had BC's info; Brynn's; or Jamie Carie's on them.  Others only wanted mine.  So I'll find out in three months if my efforts paid off!  I'll do this at my next five events, since I'm branching out and doing three festivals I've not done before, and two others I've not been to in several years.  I'll keep you updated on my progress:)

Here's the large watermelon used to promote the festival:)

I love this St. Bernard in the Large Pet contest!  He came by my booth and let me love on him; he didn't win, but I loved the watermelon in place of the whiskey barrel!

And this little guy was precious!  Again, he didn't win, but he should have!

It was very hot that day; here is BC Brown, trying to stay cool.

Update On Mom:
She's home now, but the doctors were unable to schedule a cardio-conversion until next week.  And now my dad's having blood pressure issues.  So at this time, I'm not sure if I'm going home for the weekend, or staying with my parents until after the procedure.

On the Writing Front...
I've reached the halfway point in the self-edits on book #6.  Today I'm not doing as much; I needed to do some laundry and upload my pictures.  I filled out my contract for book #5, but my parents' printer isn't working.  I'll have to download it to my flash and print it out at Staples while I'm in town.

Currently Reading:
I never did hear from Tielle St. Clair, concerning her book Through Shattered Light (if you'll remember several months back, it disappeared from my e-library, and I emailed her to see if she'd mind sending me another copy.  I'd even provided enough details about the plot, so she'd know I wasn't just trying to get a free book, lol!), so I bought another copy.  I haven't had a great deal of time to read, but I have made it well into chapter one.  Maybe that's what I'll do today; take a 'personal day' and just read! 

I'm also reading the Tails of Love antho by Lori Foster, Marcia James, et al.  So far my favorite has been Norah's Ark, which involves a pygmy goat named (aptly) Houdini:)  Definite Recommended Read!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Nurse Molly

Wow; it's been a strange three days.  First we thought Mom would be discharged on Tuesday, then Wednesday.  This morning, things looked well.  Mom actually felt like eating something other than Jell-O, and enjoyed her breakfast.  And then the nurse came in to take her vitals and discovered her heart out of rhythm.  Then it was order meds; get an echocardiogram; call in the cardiologist.

And at 3pm, things took another turn:  Mom's blood pressure dropped to 71/51.  They put her back in bed, and hooked up her IV.   Checked her BP again an hour later; 83/51.  They've X-rayed her chest, and I'm guessing the echo is coming tomorrow morning.

I've been sleeping in the room with Mom, so I can assist her to the restroom, get her water, and we've been watching the Olympic coverage.

Contract Update:
I received a contract for book #5, Endless Love:)  Caty has been impatient, wanting me to constantly check my email for news.  And now she's settled down, aside from nagging at me to at least begin filling out the cover art request.  I've been a little distracted, Cait....

Currently Reading:
Pretend With Me by Amber Skyze.  It took some time to figure out where I'd left off, but think I've got it.  I'm not that cracked up about the way my Kindle reads the pdf documents; I have to enlarge every page.  I'm thisclose to buying the book so I don't have to fight it! (I'd won it from Amber several months back).  Makes me want to check the other documents I've loaded onto it...

I LOVED Jean Joachim's The Marriage List! Definite Recommended Read:)  And discovered The Dating ListThe  was available, so bought it.

Also bought:
-Why Johnny Died (free until Aug 6th) by Marlis Day
-Through Shattered Light by Tielle St. Clare (she never emailed me back, so bought it again)
-Sisters In Time by Ginger Simpson (I've been wanting this for a while!)
-The Anniversary Gift by Sommer Marsden (another one I've wanted for a while!)

Hopefully, that should keep me in reading material for a while:)