Thursday, October 30, 2008

Publisher Closing

On a sad note, I need to announce that Moonlit Romance and By Grace Publishing -- both owned and operated by Unique Enterprises -- will be closing their cyber-doors after December 31, 2008.

We all know how difficult it is for the smaller e-presses to stay open. I appreciate the opportunities and encouragement offered to me over the last few years by both the owner, editors and other authors of UE. I'm not sure I would have ventured into e-publishing without them, and I consider them all to be my friends.

If you haven't had an opportunity to purchase my stories at Moonlit or By Grace, you still can before December 31st. For more info on the stories available, including excerpts, reviews and BUY links, please visit my website:

After Dark (anthology of three spooky romances)

Romancing Jenny (a Harris Grove story)
Learning to Live (a Pops' Girls story)
Pops' Diner anthology
Table for Two (a Harris Grove story)

Winter Wonders (anthology of wintry romances)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Checking the calendar

I thought the weatherman might have been exaggerating. I hoped he was. But no...we woke up this morning to a sight more reminiscent of Christmas than Halloween.

Is it just me, or did we warp right through Autumn? Maybe it's a fluke? Whatever the case, I suppose I can curl up under my fleece throw with a good book and some hot chocolate. Or maybe I can conjure up a magic romance that takes place in the wintry forest. Something with a roaring fire -- yes, that's the ticket.

What do you see outside your front door? Does it inspire or make you want to crawl back in bed?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Author Interview -- Jeff Rivera

Please welcome a new voice in the writing world, Jeff Rivera. I think you'll find his bio is reason enough to spark some interest in his work. :)

Mr. Rivera's first book, Forever My Lady, will be released tomorrow, Tuesday, October 28th, from Grand Central Publishing.


Once homeless and living in his car, award-winning novelist Jeff Rivera writes passionate stories of those often forgotten and neglected by society. He believes even in the eyes of a gang member, even beneath the soiled clothes of a bag lady or behind the tears of a lonely kid in the back of the class, there lies a common thread that links us all, the universal human story. He has made it his personal mission to help change the way the world thinks in a positive way through his stories. Mr. Rivera currently lives in New York City.

Q: Could you please tell us a little about your writing background
and how you made your first sale?

I've been writing since I was 6-years old when the kids would make fun of me about it. I kept going and used it as a way to write about what I was going through emotionally but I'd never seriously thought about writing a novel any more than the average person does until I received rejection after rejection by Hollywood on the Forever My Lady screenplay. It was because of that rejection that I became motivated to just tell my story and decided to write my novel. I went from self-published to published after Grand Central acquired it.

Q: Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

Well, when I'm not procrastinating I'm writing. I don't need a particular time of the day. I can write at any time and even though writing in the evenings or the middle of the night is best for me, you'll often find me on Facebook or Myspace chatting with my online friends.

Q: Please tell us about your latest novel and what we can expect from your characters.

My first novel is called, Forever My Lady, published by Grand Central publishing. The mass market edition is coming out on Tuesday, October 28th.

It's a coming of age love story about a boy whose only friend is his childhood sweetheart Jennifer. She sticks with him no matter what even as his path leads him into becoming a juvenile delinquent. He promises her he'll turn his life around that they'll get married and have children and she promises to never leave him. But he finds out from a friend that she's planning on marrying someone else. I think whether you are a lover of love like me, or you like in-depth characters you'll find what you're looking for in Forever My Lady.

Q: What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

I just sold another book, a Young Adult book and I'm working on a third. So many ideas I have and it's just a matter of time before I crank them all out.

Q: Would you like to close with a writing tip?

I would say take a genre that is wildly sellable then do another twist on it, take the genre you're most passionate about and turn it on its head.

For more information, please visit Mr. Rivera at his WEBSITE.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Celtic Thunder -- or how to inspire a muse

The surest way to start a story spinning in my brain is by playing some inspiring music.

My dh took me out on the town tonight to our first concert in ages. Being the sweet, thoughtful man that he is, he knows I enjoy Celtic music -- it's become my way of connecting with my Irish heritage. While writing ALAINA'S PROMISE, I would play those CDs over and over for hours on end.

So when he saw the newest sensation was coming to a nearby venue, he insisted we go. An early birthday present for me, and something he could enjoy, as well.

It was wonderful! Celtic Thunder, in case you haven't heard, is a group of five men, ages 16-40, with powerful, wonderful voices that bring almost any song to life. It was a fantastic evening all around. My only wish is that they would have done a bit more traditional Irish music, but still, I enjoyed it immensely.

And so did my muse, apparently. She wants to return to Ireland for another romp over the cliffs...only this time she's thinking of haunted castles, too. Ah, yes, inspiring. But she'll have to wait and log those notions on the "to be written" list. First come, first serve, after all.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Back to the grind

BROKEN is done and submitted. I'm really proud of myself, actually. This is the shortest length of time I've taken to write a full-length novel -- a little over 94k in around five-six months. I had hoped to finish more quickly, but it is a personal best, and one I hope to improve on for book three.

But after working non-stop on BROKEN, and dealing with personal issues, my brain was pretty well-done. Fried. I needed a respite.

Now my little break is over. I've done some reading, some goofing off in front of the idiot box (aka television), and have managed to get rather bored with it already. So my muse is telling me it's time to get back to work. Just as well since I have characters demanding their stories be written.

In the past I have found the best way to 'forget' about a submission is to jump right into the next project. At this time, there are two projects calling to me. One is a paranormal novella, working title: INTO THE RUSH. It's a bit different from my current series and para world, but I really like the characters and their situation.

Then there's that third Sentinels story, AT SECOND SIGHT. This one follows one of my DREAM WALK secondaries into a little danger and romance of her own. The poor girl needs both, believe me. She's been alone and bored for far too long. ;)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rainy days

There's an older song that goes something like this: "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down". Apparently the singer/songwriter suffers from SAD. ;)

Monday is not my favorite day, either. But rain I can usually handle. I love the rain...a good thunderstorm or gully washer most of all. I love the fresh scent of the air; the patter of raindrops on the roof. I even like to watch the dark clouds swirling overhead, sometimes resembling an odd set of brushstrokes on canvas.

What I don't like, however, are endless days of rain. No sun. No light. Just gray, dim skies and landscape for miles and hours on end.

This time of year the rainy gloom is more tolerable. Thanks to the lovely array and shades of red, orange, and gold dotting the landscape, everything seems more colorful, less dreary. Even the deep gray of the sky and the ever-deepening mud don't bother me.

I suppose that's one reason Fall is my favorite season. I've always loved the way the air becomes cooler. I relish in the occasional whiff of woodsmoke on the breeze. The colors; the holidays; the full silver moon so low on the horizon. Have you ever stopped to watch a sunset over the a patchwork of brightly colored trees? It's beautiful. Enchanting. It's a picture worth capturing -- an image worth savoring.

My dh said he once dreaded this season. It reminded him of how life was passing by -- of all the things he hadn't accomplished, yet. Luckily his outlook has changed, because I've never seen it that way. To me, Autumn is about resting...renewing our's about coming home.

But then there's that rain ... we need a little of that, too, don't we? Otherwise we'd get much too complacent in our lives. We become lazy or take what's important for granted.

So I'd change those song lyrics, if I could. Mondays still get me down. But rain? Bring it on.

Oh, wait. That's another song! ;)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day late, dollar short

I live with this constant notion that I'm always one step behind the other guy. A day late, a dollar short, as the saying goes.

It's true in many aspects of my life and has been for years. As a teenager, I was always the last to wear whatever fashion was hot. I was always the last to hear about the great new television show, movie or rock group. It was something I learned to live with, but it always bothered me. Always made me feel like the odd one out.

Now, I'm way past those insecure teenage years, and still I'm out of sync with the world.

I'm usually one step behind. Answering loop posts one day late after the discussion has moved on. (One bad part about being on Digest for your Yahool groups. ;)

Fashion is still a mystery to me. I wear what I like, what fits and is comfortable. Usually what's on clearance. ;) Style isn't something I worry about too much anymore, although lately I've realized I need to keep up my appearance just so I don't get too down on myself.

Professionally, I feel like I'm shuffling through quicksand at the moment. The slowness of my own output brings me down. The lack of feedback and the seeming indifference to my work by colleagues, etc, makes me wonder if I am, yet again, missing something?

Personal relationships are good, however. It's there that I seem to be on top of the world, at one with the time-keeper of my universe. And I suppose that is the most important aspect of life. Without family and friends, who would I have to dress up for? Who would I share my professional success, failures and complaints?

So I may still always feel a step behind... a day too late... a dollar lacking... But I'm blessed to know I'm loved, despite it all.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Something more lighthearted ...

Your Hair Should Be Brown

You are an intelligent, well respected person.

You are very confident. You take yourself seriously, and other people take you seriously too.

You are a good leader, and you can be trusted with someone's life.

You motivate people well, and you command respect easily.

You are competent, successful, and organized. You can't stand chaos.

Some people mistake you for being cold, calculating, or elitist.

Well, good thing I'm a brunette. ;)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Jumping the hurdles

We all have hurdles in life -- those nasty little surprises that seem to come from nowhere and knock you on your butt. I've had a big one recently and it's sucking the life right out of my muse. It's hard to be creative when you're in a state of shock.

My mom, my best friend and confidante, was diagnosed with breast cancer last week.

We have no history of the disease in our family -- at least not on her side, so it wasn't something I really considered possible. Luckily they caught it early during her yearly mammogram. She went in for a biopsy with the assurance that only one in ten turns out to be malignant. Her response: "Well, I'm a ten!"

Honestly, she's taking the news better than I am. I've been wallowing and fretting something awful. I mean, how terrible would my life be without my best friend? Sure, I have my kids and husband, and we're all very close. But that mother/daughter relationship just isn't something I'm ready to lose. Not sure I'll ever be ready.

So I'm in the midst of jumping this hurdle, trying to follow my mom's lead and just take it one step at a time. She's amazing. If nothing else, I know her faith and her attitude will pull her through whatever comes next.

In the meantime, I've decided to do what I can to make a difference. And there's something you can do, also. Go to the Breast Cancer Awareness site and click on the link there. The sponsors will donate one free mammogram to women who can't afford them. It only takes a minute of your time; there's nothing to join; nothing to buy. You could help save someone else's mother, sister or friend.