Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: A Look Back

What a year it has been!  Hard to believe we're about to ring in a new one!

Jan:  Started the 2014 off to a bang, when Endless Love was nominated and won 1st Runner Up in the LRC Annual Reader's Poll:)  It was a huge honor to be nominated (my 1st!), and I was even more touched by the people who voted for me.  Thank you all, so much!

This was also a transition month for us, as the spouse and I became full time caregivers to our 18 month old granddaughter, since our daughter began working the overnight shift at McDonalds.

Feb:  After spending a few weeks cleaning up 'Star Crossed Lovers' and sending it off to a few beta readers, I sent it off for submission.  Then sent off my laptop for repairs before the warranty ran out.  Bronchitis claimed me again, plus I watched to Sochi Olympics and watched as Seattle Seahawks destroyed the Denver Bronchos in the Super Bowl.  Peyton Manning showed up, but the rest of his team didn't....

I also broke down and got my 1st pedicure, painting my toenails a lovely shade of red:)

March:  My youngling was complaining of being bullied, and when I asked the teacher about it, she hadn't noticed anything.  I was getting increasingly irritated by the daily fight every morning to get W out of bed and to school, and seriously began looking into home schooling him.  I met with two teachers from K12 and received encouraging results.  I decided to apply and leave it in God's Hands.

I also spent a wonderful weekend in Madison, In, and doubled my sales from last year:)  In 2015, the event is going to be held INDOORS, so definitely looking forward to a return trip!  Spend the first half of Spring Break with my parents, then the honorary grandkids spent a week with us.

April:  Our router died, and suddenly my laptop would NOT recognize it!  The only way I could access the internet was to use the desk top.  My publisher rejected SCL....said plot was 'flat' and 1st sex scene 'unimaginable'.  Plus, this is when my publisher was being ripped to shreds by a disgruntled person on another forum, so I think I got caught in the 'see-we-don't-accept-just-any-wip'.  I sent it off to Publisher #1.  My Uncle Mac passed away, so spent the day before Easter in Mooresville, and catching up with cousins I'd not seen in over 15 years.

May:  Had 2nd pedicure, this time spring green:)  K and I went to the Indy 500, and was informed A and J were coming to spend 'a few weeks' with us.  I knew that really meant the entire summer, and when friend M asked if I could watch her child, I hesitated, but agreed when she said it would only be a few hours each day.  Still, I braced myself for a stressful summer.

Then K12 approved us for the following year, and I had mixed feelings over that.  How was I going to write, school W, and take care of little A?  D assured me he'd help out.

June:  I grew increasingly irritated with the neighborhood kids, and jokingly complained I was now running Aunt Molly's Home for Wayward Kids or Whose Parents Worked or Didn't Work, But Didn't Provide Entertainment.  Friend M and I went to see the Women of Duck Dynasty, and I spent a wonderful weekend at my JHS 30th Reunion.  We'd also driven up for the day for Miss A's 2nd birthday lunch at O' Charley's.  I also began to watch Star Trek: DS9 on NetFlix.

July:  After not hearing anything from Publisher #1 about the status of my submission, and having a conversation with #3 about improving my manuscript, I decided to pull it from #1 and resubmit it to #3.  It was accepted first by #3, then four hours later an acceptance arrived from #1!  I emailed #1 and respectfully declined the offer.

After realizing having the honorary granddaughter around was a plus (she entertained the now 2 year old granddaughter), she and her brother moved back home and into their new apartment.  MDQ had discovered a love of baking, and also kept us in cheesecake and pies.  Unfortunately, our food bill had nearly doubled.  My publisher also agreed to put AU #7, Love Weighs In, in print, so I might be eligible for an Author's Fair in Dec.  My copies arrived, and I sent one off for submission.

Aug:  My sister arrived for a week (her kids had been here for two, but due to the extra people in my house, we weren't able to come see them) and we met at my aunt's house first for a pool party, then celebrated Mom's birthday a week later at Red Lobster.  Youngling's school supplies arrived, and we spent a week in orientation, then going through the lessons.  Our morning struggles were over!

Edits arrived, along with a change of title.  Star-Crossed Lovers became Heart's Last Chance:)  I also attended the Watermelon Festival and discovered a 'plus' for being a regular at karaoke:  Ernie not only gave me paper clips when I ran out, but supplied me with free sweet tea all day long, and cooked me lunch:)  At the end of the month, I attended the Wine and Art Fair in Washington, and sold out of the print copies:)

I attended the MHS 30th Reunion, with mixed results.  Some people were happy to see me, while others remained cool.

Sept:  I spent a week with my mom, who'd been in the hospital with back pain, and decluttered the storage room and the top of her desk.  Heart's Last Chance released, and I spent two weeks on a blog tour.  We went roller skating with the K12 group in Evansville, and had a blast, though I was very disheartened to learn I'd lost my ability to skate.  I also had my eyes checked and discovered the pressure was up in my left eye.  I loved my new glasses:)

Oct:  I was invited to be a part of the Indy Christmas Toy and Hobby show in November, so I decided not to do any more craft shows, in order to build up my inventory.  I spent another five days with Mom, and this time W, A, and S came with me, which stressed me out more.   We went to the pumpkin patch with the K12 group and everyone had a great time, including A!  She went through the maze, played some of the games, and had a wonderful time.  For Halloween, W was a Ninja, and A Sophia the 1st.  Cold weather set in, so there was really no trick or treating.  Recheck of my eyes revealed pressure was still up.

Nov:  Spent yet another wonderful week with my mom, and reorganized her filing cabinet.  Finished writing the 4th book in The Chosen, then got back to work on #2.  I finished NaNoWriMo just barely over the word count minimum!  Recheck of left eye revealed a slight increase, so was referred for a full glacouma work up.

Dec:  G workup traumatized me, and I'm still too emotional to talk about it.  Celebrated K's 23rd birthday with steaks, and I chose to have mine celebrated at Gilbert's.  After T-day, I'd taken MDQ for a shopping spree at Maurice's, and the weekend of Dec 14th, the daughter and I went.  Both girls got clothing, and I found new shirts, jeggings, and a pair of riding boots.  Celebrated Christmas at home, then came back to my mom's to help out after her back surgery.

Come back tomorrow as I recap last year's goals and post my new ones!  Also, take a look back as to the reading and karaoke lists:)

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!!! 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Stuff Your Kindle Blog Hop

Merry Christmas and welcome to the 1st annual Stuff-Your-Kindle Blog Hop:)

What is it, you ask?

It's  where you 'hop' from blog to blog, leaving comments, and at the end of the week, you might be the lucky recipient of a book or two:)  Sound good?

Where do you start?  You're here, aren't you?  Oh, you mean where do you go from here?  A good place to go is over to the SCP Blog, where you're sure to find the rest of the links.

If you're not familiar with my books, my Arbor University series is caught in its own little sub-genre.  It takes place in the 1980 (historical); deals with college-age women as they deal with Life, Love, and each other (Women's Fiction/Mainstream); while it's too descriptive for Young Adult, there are themes which fit it, as well as New Adult, but not explicit enough for Erotic.

Confused yet?

Why not take a chance and see if you like it?

For a chance at my favorite, Forbidden Love, tell me your favorite Christmas Carol.  I'll pick a winner on Monday.

Meet Keri Patterson, a sophomore at Arbor University, pursuing an Auto Technology career in the middle 1980s.  The college is located in the fictional town of Arbordale, Indiana, and Keri’s dream is to one day be a part of an Indy car racing team.  Along the way, she meets and falls for an older man, Kyle Sampson, who happens to be going through a divorce.  With the innocence of her first love, Keri tries to balance her ambition to be the first female member of a racing pit crew and her awakening femininity.  Will Keri and Kyle’s romance survive the hairpin twists and turns, or is disaster looming?

Kyle is not without problems of his own.  He wasn’t expecting to meet the girl of his dreams so quickly, before the ink is even dry on the divorce petition.  Trying to keep the two facets of his life separate, he discovers there is a fine line between love and hate, as well as deception and protection.  But life doesn’t always get wrapped up in neat packages.  Sometimes it blows up in your face.

"Your body is a special gift that you can only give once," she said. "A lot of guys think it's fun to teach the joys of sex, others don't care. It sounds like Kyle's the caring type, isn't he?"

"Yes," Keri perched on the end of Gretchen’s bed.

"You're lucky. My first one was a rotten experience. But also," she cautioned. "There may be someone out there who's your soul mate, one who'll be happy you waited for him."

"Yeah, but Kyle feels right."

"So do a lot of other things that are bad for you," Gretchen pointed out. "Go with your gut feelings. Don't compromise yourself in any way, and don't do anything until you feel ready."

"I hadn’t thought of that. So it’s sort of like the advice we heard in Health class, if you have to ask if you’re ready, you’re really not? Thanks!"

"Any time."

Remember, let me know your favorite Christmas Carol and leave me your contact info in the comments.  I'll pick a winner on Monday!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Flashback Friday: Green Christmas:)

Dec 1994:
Grandma G wasn't expected to live much longer, so we packed up Christmas and took it to Florida.  My parents put us up in the resort around the corner from Grandma's complex, and I'll admit, it was stressful for me.  I had a spouse who griped about everything, even when I tried to show him some of my favorite places.

"Why do you like this place?  You don't eat seafood!"

"God, would you LOOK at these prices!"

"Will your sister please shut UP for one second and quit harping at everyone?"

We took one day and drove to Bradenton to see my Great Uncle Mac and his wife, Carol.  We enjoyed the drive and the visit, though I was still on edge about the SU's attitude, but he and Uncle M got along fine.

Another issue I had was getting my presents back into suitcases.  Mom had to let me use one of Grandma's.

We'd celebrated my 29th birthday somewhere; I don't really remember.

Next Month:  Emergency Trip Back To Florida

Present Day:
Happy birthday to me:)

I have a treat for you:  For the past two weeks, I've been posting small excerpts on Facebook, both on Molly and Kenzie's pages.  Leave me a comment with the answer to this question:

Wild At Heart is set in two states.  Which two?

BONUS:  Name the university where Gretchen, Amy, Stephanie, Lynn, Susan, Caitlyn,and Keri graduate from.

BONUS #2:  What's the name of Tricia's cafe?

Yes, I'm in the mood to award some gifts.  For your choice of a free pdf, answer the question(s) and leave me your contact info, so I can award the winner in the morning.

Have a great day!

Karaoke Songs:
Where The Streets Have No Name (U2)
I Will Be (Leona Lewis)
Pride (U2) OR Sweet Child Of Mine (Guns-n-Roses)
All About the Bass (Meaghan Trainor) OR Separate Ways (Journey)
If I Close My Eyes Forever (Ozzy/Lita Ford)
Broken (Amy Lee/Seether)
You and I-Lady Gaga
Don't Deserve You (Plumb) OR Let It Go (Frozen)

I'm hoping Mark will let me sing more than once per hour!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Flashback Friday: I'm the SHORT one?

Dec 1984:
Took my first final exams,one at 6am-bleh.  Did well, then caught a ride home.

Discovered my younger sister was now taller than me, which presented an issue at church.  People would come up to us and ask her about college; I'd politely remind them SHE was still in high school, and 'Shorty' was the one away at college!  I have positive proof that back in Easter, I was still taller than she was, lol!

Had three glorious weeks off for vacation, and T came up for my birthday celebration at Mt. Jacks. Afterward, he and I took a drive, but he couldn't stay long, since he lived in Carmel, In, on the north side of Indy.  Forgot to mention; I saw him after Thanksgiving, and he drove me past his house.  Before we left, he cautioned me his house was 'small'...he didn't know I was well acquainted with the house sizes in Carmel, so when I saw it, it DID meet my expectations!

We celebrated Christmas with my father's family, as usual, and on Christmas Eve, ended up sitting next to my 9th grade crush, with an 'OMG....what was I THINKING' moment, after realizing who he was!

Christmas Day, after opening presents and eating breakfast, we headed to Indianapolis to my great-grandmother's house.  W and I had received our Polaroid One Step cameras, and were experimenting.  W was also getting ready to leave for Disneyworld with her friend K, so Dad soon took her to the airport.

I think she was back in time for New Year's Eve; we watched the ball drop and went to bed after ushering in 1985.

Present Day:
I've been told I can Christmas shop on Wednesday, payday!

This week, I've made M&M cookies, and will probably write out the cards this weekend.

Karaoke Songs:
Head Over Heels (Go-Gos)
Heartbeat (DeFranco family)
Hot Child in the City (Nick Gilder)
Hey Jude (Beatles)
Angel of the Morning (Juice Newton)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Flashback Friday: OUCH! She Did WHAT?

Dec 1974:
This month started off with a bang when one of my classmates, TA,didn't show up for school one day.  Mrs. M told us that she was in the hospital, having eye surgery.  While wrapping a present, and using scissors to curl ribbon, something had happened and the scissors went through her eye.  

This affected me the most, since I have a huge eye phobia, and was determined never to curl another ribbon!

My sister's preschool program put on a Christmas show, and during it, she held up her dress the entire time.  Friend KB went with me, and we had a good time.

My 9th birthday was celebrated at both grandparent's houses, as was Christmas.

I do remember happily sledding down friend KE's driveway during our Break:)

Next Month:  1st Slumber Party!!
Present Day:

A huge shout-out to two friends of mine who married today!!!  Congratulations  Kelly and Michelle Ash!!!!

Karaoke Songs For Tomorrow:
Hard To Say I'm Sorry (Chicago)
Hopelessly Devoted To You (Olivia Newton-John)
Summer Nights (clean version!) (ONJ and John Travolta)
Hot Blooded (Foreigner)
Hot Child In The City (Nick Gilder)

Monday, December 1, 2014

December's Here!!! Wait-It's DECEMBER???

In case you've not heard the news, NaNo went well for me:)  The Women's Retreat was successful, and I received good feedback on my talk.  Plus, I not only finished Kira's story (52K) but I also wrote Ch 4-7 on Niko's story!  I did 'win', by squeaking over the 50K mark at 50,005 (whew!), and now it's time to finish Niko and send him off to a beta reader.  I think it's slightly crappy, but that's for my beta to decide.  My job is to get the damn thing written first.

Looking Ahead To This Month:
1)  Christmas Shopping:  I've bought exactly ONE (1) present.

2)  Christmas Cards:  I DID remember to send out the rent in one!  So that's one name off my list of maybe 40...

3) Birthdays:  K's falls on a Monday, and mine's on a Friday.  K only wants to be taken out to dinner, since he'll have to work that day.  I'll most likely spend mine either baking or wrapping.  I did buy my birthday outfit, and hope to wear it both Friday AND Saturday nights:)

4)  Baking:  Haven't quite figured out how I'm going to write AND bake this month.  Write in the morning?  At night?  I know I typically bake in the afternoon.

Reading Schedule:
The Emperor's Children Interesting....
Christopher's Diary- VC Andrews  Boring.  Kristin's character was interesting, but just another rehash of FITA.  You don't learn anything new.
The Closers-Michael Connelly

I Want to Sext You Up-Amber Skyze Loved this!!!
Chick Magnet-Mary Martinez  LOVED THIS!!  DRR
The Troubles-Tricia Anderson
Cowboy Up-Various Had issues with the 3rd one, but the others were fantastic!
The Gentleman's Harlot-Natalie Dae
Slave-Sherri Hayes
Sticky Magic-Raine Delight
Lust On Tap-Liz Crowe
Blind Faith-Sandra Tilley
Laura Meets Jeffrey-Jeffrey Michaelson
Breathing His Air-Debra Kayn
Lawman-Regina Carlysle
Winning His Wife-Sandra Sookoo
Baby Stetson-Nikki Lynn Barrett, et al

Karaoke Songs:
Hard To Say I'm Sorry-Chicago DNH
Head Over Heels-Tears For Fears Did okay
Head over Heels-Go-Gos Not bad:)
Hey Jude-Beattles Bleh...voice broke and sounded BAD!
Hot Blooded-Foreigner Not bad
Hot Child in the City-Nick Gilder Pretty good!
(Birthday week):
Where The Streets Have No Name-U2  Nailed it:)
I Will Be-Leona Lewis  Received applause:)
Hotel California-Eagles Nailed it:)
How Am I Supposed To Live w/o You-Michael Bolton Ick!