Family, My Books, Writing

Looking Backward and Forward

I haven’t written a New Year’s post in years, so bear with me. Looking back at 2019, I accomplished a few things and bailed on others. One biggie was getting another book published. That makes four years in a row I’ve put out a new book, but I’m aiming for two this year. Wish me luck.

Speaking of books, my romantic comedy High Tea & Flip-Flops is on sale for the month of January. It has a 4.4 star rating on Amazon, so obviously readers like you think reading it would brighten your wintry day with a little love and laughter. I confess, I’ve been missing Jeremy lately. I might have to read it again myself.

Buy High Tea & Flip-Flops today!

I also crafted a lot of jewelry and designed a website to sell it—The Lady In the Moon. I’ll be doing more beading this year too, providing the tendons in my hands cooperate.

I’m not a fan of this time of year, this dreary lull before spring. Granted I don’t live in one of the coldest parts of the country, but it’s generally too chilly to open the windows, which makes me feel a little claustrophobic. You’ll never see me opting for “tiny house” living.

Speaking of windows, the angle of the winter sun reveals how badly my windows need cleaning, but the temperatures make that something I’ll have to wait to do. And maybe 2020 will be the year I clean and organize every closet in my house, which I certainly did not accomplish in 2019.

Another thing I didn’t accomplish is getting my body in shape. I realize how many of us have eating healthier and exercising more on our lists of resolutions, but I’m getting too old to put it off any longer.

As you can tell from this photo, I’m a very proud grandmother, and that beautiful young lady will make me a great-grandmother next month. It doesn’t seem so long ago that I had her and her sisters sitting here in my “office” drawing and painting and playing computer games. (Their artwork still adorns the walls.) Heck, it doesn’t seem real that decades have passed since I was a young mother myself.

What have you set your sights on for this coming year?

 

My Books, Novel, Writing

Announcing a new romance novel!

I’m excited to announce the release of Building Love, the first book in a new series, Edgewater Novels. Set in a fictitious neighborhood in my birth city—Indianapolis, Indiana—this one introduces Brigid Carlotta Maria Siobhán Marino. If you can’t tell by her name, she’s half Irish and half Italian. She tends bar in a centuries-old tavern, which is where she meets the charming, confident, and sexy Alex Conner. Brigid has a strong sense of loyalty, which means she’s seriously reluctant to make changes. But Alex is a man determined to challenge that. It’s available in print and ebook.
Building Love cover

No one questions Brigid Marino’s loyalty. She’s lived her entire life in Edgewater, kept the same best friend since childhood, dated the same guy for years, and her beloved father’s tavern is the only place she’s ever worked. Brigid likes her life exactly as it is—perfect.

But an urban developer’s sudden arrival threatens to change everything about Edgewater—and disrupt Brigid’s perfect life. Her family’s business is at risk, and—after handsome and confident Alex Conner walks into her bar—so is her comfortable, long-term relationship. Falling for Alex’s charm, Brigid’s loyalties are put to the test as he tempts her to rethink her idea of perfection.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading Building Love. And I’d be ever so grateful if you leave your thoughts on the book in a review on Amazon and Goodreads and anywhere else readers might see it. If you have friends who would enjoy the read, please spread the word. Post a selfie of you reading the book to Facebook or Instagram if that’s your thing.

 

Speaking of …

If I’m on social media at all, it’s Facebook. So if you use Facebook too, please like my Author Page.

 

Writing

Books and Baubles

Can you believe that summer is half over already? Here in the San Joaquin Valley, we’ve been lucky not to have the whole month sizzling at 100 degree plus temps, but in a couple of days it’s supposed to hit 108° … fun fun! What’s worse, we just returned from visiting family in Tacoma, Washington, where we had to wear a light jacket in the mornings and evenings. It was our first visit to that beautiful green state, but I hope to return many times.

Pictured is the Snoqualmie Falls, which was one of the destinations on our Twin Peaks loving son’s birthday trip.

I’ve been in the land of the lost …

For seven months, I’ve been in hiding. I didn’t plan to drop out. I had planned that after all the business of publishing Open & Honest (Sometimes) was finished, I would get right back to work on my serious women’s fiction novel that I’d started writing five years earlier, but every time I opened the Scrivener file, I would reread passages, look at my scene notes, stare out the window, and finally close the file, not having added any new words.

I was not writing. It was frustrating, and I didn’t know what to do about it. My connections with other writers have dwindled over the years. In fact, I have only one regular writing “buddy” left, and she has so little time for her own writing that I refuse to take up too much of her time with my writing woes. We talked about my block a few times, but what could she do? I simply could not settle my mind to write.

So, I returned to a previous creative outlet. I started beading. Bead weaving was a new venture, where I learned to stitch thousands of tiny beads into various designs. I stitched for four months straight. I amassed a passel of pretty bracelets, gifted some, and then stitched some earrings too.

Still, my heart ached to write. As time passed, I began to fear that I would never write again. And then, scariest of all, I started to feel that I might be all right with that.

I read a lot of books during those months. Most of them were good. Some of them were very good. And that made me envious. And that envy made me angry that I couldn’t write. As I stitched and read, I listened for The Muse. I begged The Muse to speak. I ordered The Muse to give me a story idea.

Considering that my best-selling books are my romantic comedies, I decided I should try writing a romance. I had two completed romance short stories, so I looked at those first to see if they were candidates to be expanded. Neither seemed likely. I went back to beading.

Finally, I remembered an opening scene I’d written in 2015 for another planned women’s fiction novel. I reread that scene. It sparked my imagination. And suddenly, I was writing again.

However, I soon realized that I wanted to write this story as a contemporary romance. But the more dialogue I wrote, the more I realized that my heroine has a sarcastic mouth. And her thoughts are often amusing. And sometimes her actions are impulsive and … well … comedic. So, it looks like this is going to be another romantic comedy, or at least a romance with humor. Brigid is not the screwball that Chelsea is, but I’m betting you’ll laugh a time or two when you read my next novel.


So what about those beads?

Ta-da! I have another identity. I’m The Lady in the Moon, and if you like handcrafted jewelry, you might want to check out my new site. My photography skills are questionable, but I stand by my crafting skills. All my bracelets, necklaces, and earrings are made with my two little arthritic hands. Most of the designs are originals and won’t be duplicated. Don’t you deserve something pretty that’s as unique as you are?

 

My Books, Writing

My two extreme sides on sale this week!

High Tea & Flip-Flops cover

My publisher has put novels from my two extreme sides on sale this week. Written by my light side, you can get the first ebook in my romantic comedy series, High Tea & Flip-Flops, on sale for only $.99 at Amazon.com though July 13th.

And written from my dark side, which loves Stephen King’s work, my first horror/thriller ebook, Forever, is on sale for only $.99 at Amazon.com through July 12th.

Enjoy!

Linda
Writing

Open and Honest … Sometimes

Peaches vs. Squirrels

Girl and DogFirst, because I love a good pun, I’d like to share an anecdote courtesy of my granddaughter Adrienne, a budding poet, involving my dog, Maggie, a dedicated fruit lover.

Outside my kitchen window grows a dwarf peach tree, which used to produce some fat, juicy peaches due to the diligence of my former dog, Lizzie, who apparently terrified the squirrels in the vicinity.

Alas, the squirrels are not intimidated by Maggie and dare to eat my peaches, sometimes boldly sitting on our back steps while they do it. The other day, I lamented that said dog wasn’t doing her job guarding the peach tree, and Adrienne commented that Maggie leaves the squirrels alone because they leave the half-eaten peaches in the yard for her. She said, … wait for it … “They have a peach treaty.”

Love that girl!

Where I’ve been …

I apologize for my disappearing act. Unfortunately, it wasn’t due to my traveling the world or anything equally glamorous. I can’t believe we’re already in the last quarter of the year. Obviously, time has a dark sense of humor and speeds up when you’re desperate to finish your work-in-progress. I’d hoped to have the third book in the High Tea & Flip-Flops series out there months ago, but … just when you think you’ve got it all under control, life happens. Gee, that sounds familiar. Oh right, it’s the tag line for Open & Honest (Sometimes) … yes, that’s the title of my latest book. And … drum roll …

I’m thrilled to announce that after a long and difficult labor a new romantic comedy has been born! If you’ve read High Tea & Flip-Flops and Love & Liability, you won’t want to miss this continuation of Chelsea and Jeremy’s story. (And if you haven’t read the first two in the series–you’ve missed out on a lot of love and laughter. so get caught up! 🙂 ) You can get your copy of Open & Honest (Sometimes) in print and digital at Amazon worldwide. If you’d like to read a preview first, go here.

I hope you’ll enjoy my new story–and if you do, I hope you’ll leave a few words saying so on Amazon, Goodreads, and anywhere else you talk about books. Tell your friends. Give the book a shout-out on social media if you’re so inclined.

Just when you think you’ve got it all under control, life happens.

Chelsea Cole Pearce has a Perfect Life Plan: get married, buy a house, and have a baby. Two down, one to go—and she and Jeremy are eagerly working on that third one. (And loving it.) While he’s writing his literary novel, she’s writing romance and designing her dream nursery. Life in the Pearce household is totally awesome—until it’s not. The road to happily ever after is bumpier than Chelsea anticipated, and she’s trying not to freak out. But her talent for jumping to wild conclusions coupled with their difficulty being open and honest with each other complicates matters. Now Chelsea must devise a new plan to get their life back on track … or else.

Open & Honest (Sometimes) cover

Loved it!

Good Luck with That coverWhile I was in hiding, I managed to read a few books—some I loved and some I liked. I’d like to tell you about one I loved.

One of my favorite authors is Kristan Higgins, romance and women’s fiction writer—or “mainstream fiction with a central romance” according to the prestigious RITA award her novel Now That You Mention It, recently won. Her latest book, Good Luck With That, is one that addresses an issue that most of us struggle with continuously … or at least at one point in our lives. That issue is body image. Kristan drew upon her personal struggle to write a beautiful story of three women, friends who as teens met at “fat camp”. The death of one of the women spurs the others to honor her by finally taking charge of their lives and dealing with their issues. If you read this book, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll probably become a Kristan Higgins fan for life.

That’s all for now! Take care and smile as often as you can.

Linda