Life, Real Life, Writing

My Life on Mars

In January 2020, I announced my plan to have two more romance novels published by the end of the year. Well, it’s almost December and that plan is so far out the window it’s just a speck in the sky. I was sick for most of February—the flu, I think—and by the time I recovered from that, Covid-19 had changed the world. My husband and I, both having risk factors, were advised to shelter at home. We remain so today. While others, to varying degrees, interact with the world in person, we interact with contactless home delivery services. We see our family members through digital screens. It’s as though we live on Mars.

You might assume that such isolation would give me more than enough—definitely more than usual—time to write, and you’d be right. But enough time is not all it takes to create fiction. The pandemic coupled with the social and political issues of 2020 have taken their toll on my mind and body. So now, in addition to my usual bouts of fibro fog, I have the drowsiness side effect of an anti-depressant. I feel like I never fully wake on some days. Too many days.

We’ve all heard of famous authors who’ve written best-selling books under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but I’m perplexed by that. I require a clear head to write. So I’ve struggled to work. I try to write as much as I can on the days when my brain is fully alert, but it’s slow going. Now my goal is to have only one manuscript ready—for beta readers—by the end of the year … or soon after. Sigh. Life is weird on Mars.

My Books, Real Life, Writing

Escape Into This

How are you all managing in this strange and scary time we’re living through? It’s been fifteen weeks since I last went out in public, and, introvert that I am, I’m fine with staying put a while longer. I’ve done a lot of shopping online and my wonderful husband has masked up to do the rest. Luckily, I’m happiest at home and this is where I work. But it’s hard to be separated from loved ones. We still haven’t seen our granddaughter’s new home. Though we’ve had some patio visits with family members, including our new great-grandson, who we’re hoping to get to hold soon.

So that’s the real world at present, but if you’re a reader, you know there are no limits to where you can travel, or who you can meet, or what you can do. Today, I’m letting you know that my Kindlebook Building Love is on sale for only 99¢ until May 29th. If you haven’t escaped into this endearing “hard to put down” romance yet, now is the time. And after you read it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon and Goodreads. I’ll appreciate that whole bunches. 🙂

Sometimes perfect is what you least expect.

Brigid Marino lives and works in Edgewater, a neighborhood that’s seen better days. But now that things are looking up, she’s not happy about it. It was bad enough when newcomers started renovating homes, but now a developer is buying up the business properties. Fearing urban renewal will ruin Edgewater and threaten her family’s business, Brigid’s determined to stop him. But handsome newcomer Alex Connor is a major distraction from her crusade.

Though Alex’s sapphire eyes and smoky laugh are doing things to Brigid she can’t ignore, he not only symbolizes the Edgewater changes she wants to stop, he’s urging her to risk some major changes to her life—a life she feels is perfect. Now Brigid must decide whether to trust the charming, but evasive, Alex who’s challenging her to rethink her idea of perfection and open her eyes to new possibilities.

Building Love cover

Stay safe and thank you for reading!

Family, My Books, Real Life, Writing

Three books and a baby!

Lemon blossomsI hope wherever you are in the world, you are safe and well. This year will be hard for most of us and devastating for far too many. But I’m glad that here it’s Spring, reminding us that after the darkness, light will return. Outside my roses are beginning to open and the air is redolent of the wonderful scent of our lemon tree blooms. I hope that if you can’t take a walk or drive or look out your window to enjoy some of nature’s beauty, you’ll find some gorgeous photos to ease your troubled mind. And please remember to appreciate and be kind to those who are working to heal and serve us through this horrible time.

Life is both strange and yet the same for me. My husband is retired, and I work from home, and being the introvert that I am, I don’t go out any more than necessary. But starting in mid-February, we got sick with the worst, and longest lasting, colds we’d had in years—at least we think it was only colds, so we were sheltering in place even before our governor commanded it. Then on February 28th, my first great-grandchild was born. Corey is now over a month old and we still haven’t seen him in person. Thankfully, this is the digital age, so we’ve seen a wealth of photos and videos.

My first great-grandbaby!

Writing and having written …

Unfortunately, with all that’s been going on, progress has been slower than I’d hoped on my next novel, book 2 in the Edgewater series. But I have news of sales on three of my other Kindle books. Today only, April 2nd, High Tea & Flip-Flops is a Kindle Daily Deal for only 99-cents! And then, April 3–8, my first novel, The Brevity of Roses, will be on sale for only 99-cents! Finally, my supernatural thriller, Forever, will also be priced at 99-cents April 7–13.

 

High Tea & Flip-Flops book coverWhat could mellow SoCal and high-society London possibly have in common?

Chelsea Cole is only one paycheck away from—OMG—moving back to her mother’s house, which would really suck because she’s trying to catch the eye of the gorgeous Brit who moved into the apartment above hers. Jeremy Pearce is definitely not Chelsea’s usual blond and bronzed surfer type. He’s all sexy long hair, poet shirts, suede boots, and secrets. Lots of secrets. But how will she get close enough to solve the Jeremy puzzle if she keeps humiliating herself every time he’s around?

When drawn together by fate and a pizza, they make a pair that’s hilarious, sexy, and worth cheering for.

 

The Brevity of Roses book coverSpanning ten years, The Brevity of Roses explores the interwoven lives of three damaged people who are each offered a chance to heal–if they can banish the ghosts of their pasts.

Meredith Dahlberg-Lang hides behind a façade. In public, she’s a wealthy socialite. In private, she’s a lonely woman with a heart imprisoned by guilt after her husband’s death. But she can’t deny the longing she feels when a younger man seeks her attention.

Jalal Vaziri, after years of trying in vain to win his father’s approval, defies him by pursuing a new career. When he meets the woman of his dreams, his satisfaction is complete, but fate challenges his plan for a blissful future.

Renee Marshall, matured beyond her years by a hard life, heads for a fresh start in Los Angeles. But when car trouble detours her to a village on the central coast, she enters the life of a man whose fierce denial of the need to be loved matches her own.

 

Some think our lives are controlled by free will, others by fate. Forever is a haunting story exploring a third–and horrifying–force.
Forever book cover
It’s not by chance that Tom Cogan notices Annie Garrett in a movie theater one night. Neither is it an accident when their hands touch and they share a dark psychic vision. She believes they’re seeing flashes of a shared past life. He fears he’s losing control of his mind. Both are right. Their lives have been hijacked by a malevolent spirit who’s waited nearly two centuries to get revenge. Trapped as a pawn in the demon’s demented game, Tom discovers he and Annie are not the only ones targeted for death.

Thank you for reading!

Memory, Musings, Real Life

Super Bowl? Not me.

Me, 1966, French lab.

When the topic of the Super Bowl came up in conversation a week or so ago, someone asked me if I follow the NFL. I don’t. Not at all. But as your brain does, it threw up a football memory a few days later.

I went to high school in Indianapolis, Indiana during the 60s. This memory probably came from 1965 because I saw myself with a blonde “flip” hairstyle. I was dressed in wool Bermuda shorts with matching knee socks and cardigan, worn over a pastel (blue, pink, yellow) Bobbie Brooks blouse with a Peter Pan collar. This must have been at the start of the high school football season because, as the season progressed, I would have been wearing my burgundy corduroy car coat.

Anyway, the most vivid part of this memory is that I’m wearing a Max Factor lipstick called Strawberry Meringue. Actually, the company called it a “lip frosting” and advertised it as having a “glimmering, shimmering, iridescent finish.” And it certainly did. Two of my friends that night wore the same lipstick, so as we stood talking in front of the bleachers, I could see that it glowed in the stadium lighting, making our lips the focus of our faces.

Going to the games on Friday nights was the thing to do. Yes, we supported our teams, but the real reason we “unattached” girls were there was to be seen, to—hopefully—secure a Saturday night date. Did glowing lips help our chances? Well, I doubt it hurt.

Can you relate?

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?