Holiday Gifts

Santa readingEvery year I make a list of those folks (family & friends) who I’d like to give gifts to and what that item might be. If I have no ideas, then I reach out and ask. If that doesn’t bring any helpful hints then I ask their closest family member. If that doesn’t help, then I ask them to go to lunch and look for hints or just take them shopping. This can be a whole lot of fun.

Not very scientific, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of any foolproof method. If you have one, I do hope you’ll share it. The budget is generally about the same each year, depending on age and the cost of their holiday dream gifts, which most people can’t afford. No Lexus from this century is affordable, no matter how much I want one.

Getting older means I have most things I need and holiday gifts are more for things that are “wanted.” No one likes a gift with a cord unless specifically requested. No vacuums or irons, please. However, today’s tech gadgets are an exception, we just need to know there is a teen around to help us program or set up said tech gadgets. Am I right or am I right?

I love going to arts & craft fairs and book festivals this time of year. You can get the coolest stuff that someone has put their heart and soul into. And I am so unable to create many of the wonderful things that others have made. For example, I can’t for the life of me make a circular scrubby. Now you know.

There’s ALWAYS a book out there that will appeal to others, depending on their genre preferences and situation. Even the occasional reader will enjoy a book that you have picked out just for them. I like to pair up stories or characters (feisty people love the feisty family series) that I think my giftee can relate to, and it usually works. The other nice thing about books as gifts, you can pass them on to other eager readers when you’re done reading them. Share the joy!

Christmas TreeI hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season.

Are you ready for the 3rd book in the feisty family series?

FEISTY FAMILY & FRIENDS will be available in ebook for Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Apple books on July 13, 2019. Print will be available through Amazon as well.

At the age of twenty-one, Peggy Malone is the owner of a successful family business, employing her sister, Megan, her father, Tom, and her neighbor, Tillie. Peggy’s Pantry is the hot spot café in Riverside, serving the best pastries, sandwiches, soups and coffee.

Baking in the wee hours for Peggy’s Pantry are taking their toll on Tillie Linden, so her husband, Joe, decides to help. The dynamic duo makes a great pair in the kitchen, creating new and delicious treats for the café patrons, but will this partnership last?

Now a junior at North High School, Megan is drawn to a handsome boy in her history class with bright blue eyes and blond hair. Relationships are hard for the shy brunette, but she feels love stirring. Will he break her heart?  

Peggy is worried about her little sister—she seems to be thinking with her heart, and not her brain, and Peggy doesn’t want to see her sister wind up wasting her life because she chose to not go to college.

It feels like all the strings are being pulled on everyone in this little family, and when Kansas weather wreaks havoc in Riverside, their lives are changed in seconds. Will this family be ripped apart as well, or will Mother Nature’s winds only tighten the binds between this patched together family?

 

Where have you been?

Researching the Oklahoma land rush of 1893 has been interesting and time-consuming. I didn’t realize how long it’s been since I blogged. My apologies, dear readers.

Life tends to interfere in many writer’s plans. Illness. Death. Work. Laundry. Home Repair. Vacation. Truly, life goes on. But creativity cannot be denied. It slips into our days in small ways. The key is to be grateful for every moment.

Make a note. Make a sketch. Leave a voice mail, just don’t forget. Capture the dream. Make note of the smells, sounds, sights and feelings you experience. They are the things that make stories real.

I love to write and learn new things. Please be patient. It takes a long time to write that first draft and edit and make it come to life. Thank you so much for reading my books, sharing your precious time with them, and letting everyone know if you enjoyed them. You inspire me. You make all the hours of work worth while.

Bless you, dear readers and Enjoy the Ride.

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“Your Every Move” is coming soon.

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Nothing is working out like she planned. 
Amanda Cook doesn’t know who is following her or why. She is just a simple college student planning out her future, working at the neighborhood taco shop and living with her great aunt. 
When her best friend’s cousin, Mitch, arrives in town he immediately steals her heart, but someone else wants it more. Her paranoia grows when she spots the same car at odd places around town and starts getting strange letters in the mail. 
One night after class, a man tackles Amanda and wrestles her to the ground. As she fights for her life, she has the heartbreaking realization that her stalker could possibly be someone she knows.

2017 – What will you bring?

Last year was challenging for many, but there were lots of good parts, too. Family. Friends. Good Memories. Good conversations. Good books. Good food. See, it’s not all been bad.

We have a new year upon us. How is it going so far?

With ignited enthusiasm, I’m writing and editing like crazy. Hopefully, that will translate to a new book out soon. I tried the agent search method the past six months with nibbles but no bites. So, again I will adjust my path back to the smaller, independent publishers out there. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m going through “Every Move You Make” and doing what I hope are final edits, after sharing it with my critique group and other writing buddies, whose opinions I respect.

For those of you readers who are looking for another book in the feisty family series, I will resume working on it next. I have a good start beginning five years after “Patchwork Family” ends. The kids are growing up, Peggy has her own cafe business with Tom in the kitchen and Tillie supplying the desserts. Tad is in college and Megan is in high school and thinking college might not be what she wants. But we all know she is the most book-smart of the kids and Peggy is concerned her little sister is going on the wrong track. Oh, and did I mention Megan may be in the midst of her first crush?

That is all for later.

Let me tell you a little about “Every Move You Make, I’ll Be Watching.” Just like the song Sting sang in the 80’s, someone is watching Amanda Cook – at work, at home, at school, everywhere she goes. At eighteen she’s a bit oblivious since she has her own inner struggles with the departure of her parents, the relationships with her best friends Sarah and Andrew, as well as her first love, Mitch Roman. Even though Amanda has the adorable Great Aunt Faye to live with she feels lonely and afraid of the future. I’d better stop before I spoil the surprises in store for readers and Amanda in this New/Young Adult novel.

Sorry, I haven’t blogged much the past year. (I’ve been really busy editing and looking for an agent.) You can find writers advice from me and other talented authors on Author Expressions blog. I post there once a month. It’s a good place for writers to hang out and find support.

Readers, I hope you enjoyed the two feisty family novels I’ve published so far and will be patient while I make my next stories even better.

Good luck to us all in 2017.

Writers are Readers, too.

You’ve no doubt heard this one before, good writers – READ.  It’s true!  I write mainly women’s fiction, so I do a lot of reading in that genre.  I also read chick lit, mainstream fiction, mysteries, thrillers, romance and much more.  Check out my Goodreads.com books and you’ll see that I am a diverse reader. If there’s a book review in the paper or a magazine I have to read it and if the story sounds good, then it goes on my list of things to read.

 

man_looking_thru_binocularsWhen I find a particular author I enjoy I tend to read everything they’ve ever written, but reading debut novels is enjoyable.  Sharing any new found book treasures is a must.  Many of my friends and family like to book swap, and if we’ve gotten the book from the library we make sure and email the title and author around the group.

Occasionally films will come out about the lives of authors or based on one of my favorite books.  It’s fun to get a group of writers together to see a matinee and then get coffee and hold a discussion.  We writers have such an interesting way of viewing things.

There are lots of book clubs out there that get together and discuss their favorite stories. reading books(But, you have to read them first.)  Kansas has a statewide reading event each year that is fun to participate in.  You will overhear book conversations in the grocery store and all around town.  It is like being a part of a really BIG book club.

Many of us have a library of unread books that we have collected from friends, book sales at the library, yard sales, and those bought with coupons from the local bookstores.    When I’m finished reading and sharing a book, I donate it to the library so others can partake of its pages.  The bottom line is – you can never read too many books.  And reading good books will help you become a better writer – I PROMISE!

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HE KNOWS HOW IT FEELS TO WRITE

“You first dreamed of becoming a writer to create a deep connection. You wanted another person to know how you felt. You wanted to change someone’s life.” excerpt from Joe Bunting article on Writing Practice, Medium Daily

He writing wineis so RIGHT. Good books move me on so many levels. I want to write those kinds of books. It is my wish for readers and a dream for me. Thank you, Joe, for putting it so succinctly.

 

BOOK REVIEWS ROCK

The best gift for an Author is a Book Review. Did you just finish a good book? Then do not pass go, do not collect $200, get on Goodreads or Amazon and write a review!

Don’t forget that Readers also benefit from book reviews. That’s why I have shelves full of books to read – someone wrote a great review. bookshelves

It doesn’t have to be detailed or long. “I love this book.” or “I liked this book a lot.” or “These characters are so real!” give just enough information to others to tantalize them into checking out the book.

I’m writing my first mystery. I’ve never written mystery, but I’ve read hundreds of them. I’ve written two full length novels. And I had this cool idea for a story. Reader reviews are so important, to new writers and experienced writers alike, so I’m anxious to read the reviews once my mystery is published. (Date is yet to be determined.)

Authors learn from reviews. Personally, I get a kick out of the reviews that are very detailed and tell me just what the reader liked and didn’t like. Everyone is different and certain things appeal to some and not others, but I understand that not every reader is comfortable expounding on their impressions of a book. Sometimes we just don’t know why we liked a story, it just worked, that’s all. That’s part of the reason why I read lots of different genre’s. I never know what will strike a cord and pull me in.

I love to read new authors, as well as authors that I’ve read for years. Bottom line – we all enjoy a good story. So share the experience and write a review. We authors will appreciate you even more than we already do. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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