It’s been one year and I still love writing

October 24, 2015 marked one year since my first book, Nightfall, was published.  I was lucky enough to win the faith of a traditional publisher, Luminosity Publishing, who took a chance on me.  Thank you!

Since publishing my first book, I have published one more, the first in a 5-book series:  Jasper, The Guardian League, Book One and I am awaiting publication of my third book:  Centurion:  The Guardian League, Book Two.  And, I am writing my fourth book:  Apollo, The Guardian League, Book Three.

It’s slow going for me, compared to other authors who seem to whip 5 or more books out a year, but for me, working a full-time job and writing on the side as much as my energy and body are willing to do, I have to say I’m doing pretty well and the good part, the most important part is I still love writing.  I won’t say there aren’t hard times.  As a new author, you encounter barriers and challenges everywhere, ending in days where you’ll question why you keep hitting your head on a wall (because that’s what it feels like in the struggle to market yourself).  It matters that your book is good but what seems to matter even more is getting the word out about fantastic you and sales of your book.

In the past year I have learned how and where to advertise, how to search for reviewers, contacting countless of them for reviews of my books, hosted three contests for free books, and have experienced a virtual book tour.  I have also connected with several fans (I love speaking to fans and interacting with them) and some amazing fellow authors.  I am trying, I am learning and I am still in the running- yes!

What matters is to:  keep writing, keep interacting, and keep marketing yourself wherever and whenever.  Whatever you do and no matter how few fans you have, keep the faith and write, write, write because the fans will come.  That was what one writer told me and she was correct.  The more you write, the more you have to market and the more readers you will gain.  And if all else fails, self-publish.  I have a short story book that I will most likely have to take this route as not many publishers want to publish short story books.

Whatever you do, don’t stop!  If writing is your dream, keep doing it.  Live your dream.  Do what makes you happy and have faith in yourself that you can achieve all you want to be.  In fact, take a break right now, sit down in your comfortable recliner and relax and visualize the amazing success you want with your books.  This is good advice for me too for life gets crazy and complicated and we forget to take care of ourselves but do it because you are worth it.  Just a few minutes is all you need to re-energize and re-motivate.

So, a year has gone by but I’m still going, still loving it and still writing.  You should be too!

Take care, friends and be safe.

Paranormal Romance Authors and Halloween

Paranormal Romance Authors unite.  This is our time of year!

No, it’s not sweet Spring or even Sultry Summer which gets us excited, it’s Alluring Autumn and Halloween- the magic, the freakiness, the “anything can happen” crazy stuff we write about in our novels that our readers eat up and relish by volumes.

This time of year, when things go “bump in the night”- that’s our thing and that’s what we love.  That’s what we write about.  It is the spirit of who we truly are.  Open to anything, sharp and aware, creating stories from what we see, feel, hear.

If you follow, NaNoWriMo, that’s what you need to write about next month:  the wonderful, exciting stuff that gets our mind going and makes us think…what if?  So stretch your arms overhead into shoulder circles, crack your knuckles and get yourself ready because this is your time to shine!

For when someone harms you with their words-

Tonight I suffered a set back.  My dad made a comment that ended up being more hurtful than he likely intended.  You see, I’ve lost two wonderful souls in my life recently and one was my mom.  So when my dad said he would probably only live three more years because he couldn’t see living any longer, I broke down into tears after we ended our conversation.  Telling me he was going to pass away when my mom only passed away a little over 2 months ago and I lost my precious companion dog a month ago was pretty insensitive.

I’m sure he didn’t mean it to come out the way he said it but regardless the pain from his stinging comment remains.

It helped that I had three friends to bounce the situation off of.  So when you are in a situation like this where someone tells you something devastating, first thing, don’t blame yourself.  That’s what I was trying to do- trying to find out what else I could’ve done differently where he wouldn’t say such callous words to me.  But there’s nothing I could’ve done differently.  I try to do the best that I can and be as supportive as possible.  Unfortunately, there’s no way to expect the same from others, even from your relatives.  Each person makes their own choices as to how to behave and just because you give doesn’t mean you will receive.  Just give with a loving, open heart and don’t expect anything in return.  One day you will receive back the kindness you sent forth and it will come to you in the way you need at the right time.

Vent out to a close friend or two or three.  When my dad said he was grieving, I thought I am too!  Maybe he forgot because he can’t see past his own grief or maybe he doesn’t see it because I try to be strong and positive when I’m around him.  Either way words can hurt and you may not even see or know the effect of your own words, as my dad will never know the pain he caused me.

Try to see the situation from different angles.  Because I’m worried about my dad’s health, I’ve been trying to help him with finding a single story home to rent but from his words today, stating that he’s comfortable with where he’s at, I can see that what I think is best for him is not what he considers best.  This is a good reminder that sometimes our meddling for someone’s own good, according to my friend Michael, is not always for their own good.  Let the other person make their own decisions- advise but don’t push, no matter how bad a situation gets.

Of course his telling me he would have to consider moving when he can’t walk up the stairs anymore or he falls down the stairs didn’t help either.  The idea of him falling down the stairs is what I wanted to prevent but again, like my advice in the last paragraph states- I shouldn’t impose my ideas of what’s good on someone else because they may not be good for them.  So, lastly, forgive the person whose words cut you like a knife for it is not worth your pain or even your energy to hold in you anything negative that may affect you later on in undesirable ways (health, mood, etc).  Don’t dwell on it any longer, let it go and if there’s a lesson to it, take that with you so that next time you are prepared in case the situation repeats itself.

Take care, my friends and be well.

Housewarming party- 10/10/2015 and Advice for hosting a future party

Thanks to all who attended my Housewarming party this past Saturday.  It was really fun!

Planning for a party can get crazy!  That’s why it’s good to stay as organized as possible if you are the only one tasked with doing the planning and preparation.

To help you out with planning your next party, I will give you some examples of what I did to make our party a success.  I planned the party two weeks out, first making a list of attendees and sent the invites in the best format for them to receive it, depending on their preferences.  I sent the invites by: text, handed it in person or mailed it.

Next, I searched online for platters to order through a local supermarket, intending to buy the platters until I found out how much each one was.  Printing out pictures of particular platters I wanted at my party, I made a list of all the meats, fruits, cheeses, types of cheeses (block cheese, cubed, slices) I needed in order to copy and make the platters myself to save some $$.  (Always take into account food preferences for guests; for instance if you have friends who are vegetarian, so that they may also have food to enjoy).

Thirdly, I made a list of drinks to have at the party and other items to have on hand like: ice, flatware, napkins, plates, disposable coasters.  I saved $$ and bought these extra but needed items at a local dollar store.  Saving $ any way you can will help you with stretching your budget in other areas that you may want to splurge on.

Fourth, I ordered a specialty cake specifically with a Housewarming party theme and I ordered one platter of sandwiches.  For me, the investment in purchasing the sandwiches instead of painstakingly making each one was worth the extra time and energy I saved.

Lastly, I searched online for Housewarming party ideas and I decided to include favors for the guests.  As each guest left, they took a gift bag filled with a few goodies to thank them for helping us celebrate.

On the day of the party, we vacuumed the house, cleaned mirrors, staged the bedroom, went room to room checking to see how each would look for our guests, swept out the front veranda to the home, tidied up the yard, put fresh water in the birdbaths for attendees who wanted to venture outside, and brought in extra seating for guests so all would have a place to sit in either of the rooms they ventured into.  (Having background music playing can also create a warm, comfortable feeling for your guests- this is especially wonderful during the holidays.  Try to pick easy listening, instrumental music.  It’s soothing and likely won’t interfere with conversation and merriment).

A yard sign out by our mailbox to help guests find our home was the very last item- this can be added to balloons tied to a mailbox to make your home stand out even more.

This is all hard work but it’s worth it in the end so that you and your guests have an enjoyable time.  Good luck with yours!

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2 Days left to claim your chance to win a free e-book!

Paranormal Romance e-book:  Jasper, The Guardian League, Book One.

There are 2 days left to claim your chance at winning one of 5 e-books.

Up for grabs is Jasper, the first in the Amazing 5 book series for the Guardian League.  To claim your chance, Like my Facebook Fan Page at: 

for this fabulous opportunity!  Follow the men of the Guardian League***

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