Monday Mayhem – I’m baaaaack!

I’m back! Were you good to Voirey and Sandi while I was gone? I hope so. I love introducing friends to friends.

Sooo…Did you miss me?

I missed you too. It’s been a while since we caught up, so I thought I’d give you a few bullet points.

You ready? Let’s do it!

  1. Just got back from back to back training weeks for the day job. Each day was jammed packed with information, but the training was very informative. I’ll be helping to train my fellow employees in Texas over the next few months. If they’re all as great at the group of trainers I’ve worked with these last few weeks, it’ll be great!
  2. I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year. That means I am coming home and cranking out the words each night this month. I love NaNo. I love the challenge. I love being able to draw a deep breath in December and say, “Look. I did that.” But I’m not there yet! Everything is on track. I’m over the 30k mark so far and plan to go at it hard over the holiday weekend.
  3. The Diamond State Romance Authors hosted a public seminar on self-publishing this past Saturday. Tanya Smith from the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge came to speak to the group about the great work they’re doing in big cat rescue. After the seminars, we adjourned to Oceans at Arthur’s for a multi-author book signing. All proceeds from the sales of these collections go directly to TCWR. My story, Teens Gone Wild, is in Volume II– the Young Adult collection. Here are a few pics:
    Megan Mitcham, Lori Freeland, Brinda Berry and me!
    Lynda Frazier, Cynthia d’Alba and Elle James
    Wild At Heart Volumes I & II available in ebook and print at Amazon

    4. I got to meet one of my readers! Meet Joanna – she’s reading Spring Chickens. I’m the one grinning like a loon and trying not to tackle hug the poor woman.

    Joanna

    5. Tim bunny missed me. So did the man. Scored a free double Steakburger on my birthday. Got a stack of Amazon gift cards, so the Kindle is locked and loaded. Life is good.

How have you been? What have you been up to lately? Tell me every little thing in a comment below and I’ll give you a prize… How about your choice of either a digital copy of anything on my backlist or an advanced read copy of Maggie Wells’ smoking hot January release – Jumping Mr. January?

I’ll draw one winner on Sunday, November 25th.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!

Monday Mayhem – I’ve been memorabling you all day

Sorry, couldn’t resist a little Gilmore-ism with the title. What can I say, I can still quote that show in my sleep…

Just a short post today because it is a holiday, and I am trying to live up to my new mantra: I am allowed to relax. Unfortunately, just typing it reminds me of all the things I need to do and how little time I have at my disposal. No. Stop. I am allowed to relax, and relax I shall!

It’s a crazy-busy week for me this week. I’ll be traveling most of it—including a jaunt to Ohio for the Reader & Author Get Together 2012. I’ll recap all the fun and excitement for you when I get back, I promise.

In the meantime, I would just like to say a very heartfelt ‘thank you’ to all of the brave men and women who fight to protect and preserve our freedom. The sacrifices you and your families have made for our country are deeply and truly appreciated.

I hope we all take a little time away from the cook-outs and pool parties to remember those who gave their lives for their country, and all veterans, young and old. Their accomplishments were and are the epitome of a work in progress.

Wishing my fellow Americans a mindful and happy Memorial Day.

Monday Mayhem – Slo-Mo Dream Sequence Edition

It’s Martin Luther King Day here in the States. That means that most government offices, schools and banks are closed, but most of the rest of us are at work. The morning radio personalities were talking about how many people are using MLK Day as a service day—volunteering their day off from work or school at shelters, children’s programs, etc. I think that’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard.

Of course, they played parts of Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. It got me thinking about dreams, both large and small.

We all have them. Our dreams may be for the greater good, or they may focus on personal gratification. Some may be pie in the sky, and some are easily within our grasp. We all chase them. We work through the ins and outs until the impossible seems merely improbable, and the improbable simply a quest to be undertaken.

Need a truth that proves to be self-evident?  Dreams change. The ultimate goal may remain the same, but the path one takes to get there fraught with twists and turns. Our dreams are shaped by experience and circumstance, they’re subject to whim and whimsy, and they can be rooted deep or disappear in a puff of smoke. Don’t worry; another dream will form to take its place.

The good news? We have an unlimited supply of dreams, and each and every one of them is absolutely free. And dreams are forgiving. Like a pair of perfectly worn sweatpants, they are elastic, stretching to fit our needs at that moment and molding to the shape of our life experiences. They expand like that crazy foam stuff my hubby buys at the Home Depot, filling in the cracks in our lives and sealing in our hopes for the future.

Today is THE day to celebrate your dreams—big or small, serious or silly. Today and every day embrace those dreams and chase after them at a full-tilt-boogie.

No one else can catch them for you.

Do you have a dream? Care to share? Go ahead, we’re all friends here.

Monday Mayhem – Begin as you mean to go on…

Did you hear? It’s a new year. Yep, 2012 slipped in while I was sleeping. Sneaky little bugger. Oh well, I’m glad it’s here at last. Not that 2011 didn’t treat me right. I think we can all agree that it did. Even in the end, 2011 kept giving and giving. It was incredible!

Contentment was named Most Memorable Story of 2011 by Another Look Book Reviews, and Paramour made a couple of end of year polls, and was ranked #3 in Top 25 books or series of 2011 by Heather Brewer at Everybody Needs A Little Romance. I’m still a little flabbergasted. The past couple of years have been a whirlwind—of the very best kind.

And now, a fresh new year. It’s hard to believe 2012 is here already. So much to do, so many things to look forward to already! What’s my plan of attack? I will begin as I mean to go on—head-first, full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes, and watch out, here she comes!

There’s tons of good stuff coming our way this year, so here’s a quick rundown from my little corner of the world:

Week of January 23: Commitment from Turquoise Morning Press

 I got cover art – wanna see?

 

Isn’t it pretty? I cannot wait for you to spend a little time with Maggie and Tom. These two are fun, sexy, and oh-so-delicious together. And they’ll be available soon! Squee!

Week of April 23: Spring Chickens from the Wild Rose Press

Oh my goodness, Lynne and Bram. I hope you fall for them as hard as I did. I loved writing this book. I love that this hero and heroine aren’t exactly spring chickens. I love that they fell in love, despite the fact that they can’t see each other clearly when they get up close and personal. Who says presbyopia can’t be sexy?  Certainly not me.

Week of June 4: Inamorata from Turquoise Morning Press

He’s baaaaack! The sexiest ghost ever to be stuck in a 60s-era light fixture is back. I’m editing now and preparing to send this baby off to my editor, but I can tell you that a new family has moved into the Stafford house, and Frank DeLuca seems destined for a new love. That is, if he can let go of the past and learn to trust in the promise of eternity.

(Cover art to come)

Whew! Pretty cool, huh? Well, that’s not all. I’ve been huddling with my editor and publisher about the possibility of finishing out the Long Distance Love series. That’s right; there will be more Jack and Ellie to come! The plan is to combine all of the published stories with five or six new short stories to round the series out and bring them full circle. I’m working on them now, and I can’t help looking at this for inspiration:

I love that cover. It’s sooooo them. Anyhoo – stay tuned for details.

That’s what I have on the docket for now. I plan to start chasing the plot bunnies running around in my head, and hopefully will have a new novel or two completed in this brand-spanking-new year. Perhaps I’m being a little ambitious, but I don’t see the point in aiming low.

Whatever happens, I’m excited for 2012. How about you?

What are you looking forward to in the coming months? Any goals or plans you care to share?  Happy Monday, my friends. Thank you for making 2011 a banner year for me. I wish you and your loved ones a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2012.

Now go out there are kick some ass!