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!

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

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.

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?