Thursday, December 17, 2015

I actually have good news!

I'm excited to announce Until Us has a release date of December 22nd. Finally!  As usual, publishing a book is terrifying but I'm relieved to finally send it out into the world.  I went through so much personally during the writing of Katie's story that it feels like I'm not only releasing her story but everything I went through during the writing of it.



Synopsis:
     In the last year, Katie Larson's life changed dramatically. She left home for college, met the father she had never known and fell in love with Mr. Wonderful. It's the changes she never saw coming that will make this year the hardest of her life.
     She will be forced to discover the inner strength she didn't know she had and will find out Mr. Wonderful isn't Mr. Right.
     Tyler Marshall has always been the "nice guy"; always the friend never the boyfriend. He's close to his loving family, has good friends and loves his job. He was content with his life until she needed him. Now he would love nothing more than to be an Us.


For those of you who haven't read Until Now... yet, here's your chance to read for free. From December 18th to December 22nd Until Now will be free on Amazon.



Synopsis:
     Then:
     Sixteen‑year-old Bridget Larson was no stranger to heartbreak. When she found herself pregnant and alone with barely enough money for a hotel room for one night, the flashing neon sign of a neighborhood diner changed her fate. Hungry and cold, with just enough money for a cup of soup, Bridget discovered the love and belonging she craved in a family strangers at the fifties‑style cafe.

     Twenty-four-year-old Billy Hall struggled with his own grief. Months ago, he was wandering Europe, in search of his purpose in life, when he received a call that would leave him saddled with his family’s diner. It was a noose around his neck until a pregnant teenager stumbled in hungry and alone. Inexplicably drawn to the girl, he had no idea the purpose he travelled the world to find was simply waiting for him to come home.

     Now:
     After repressing their feelings for each other over the past eighteen years, Bridget and Billy's life is about to change again. The baby who brought them together is leaving for college today. Is she taking their last reason to stay in each other’s lives, or is she giving them a reason to stay together?




Monday, November 30, 2015

Deleted Preston scene from Until Now

Life happens. That has been November's motto because if it could happen, it did.  I've been sporadic on all social media because of illness and dealing with...life.  Unfortunately, life has happened to my editor too. Good news, I should have Until Us back from her at the end of the week which means that I SHOULD have it out hopefully before the end of next week. It all depends on how much editing has/needs to be done.  ::crossing fingers that it's not bad::



I think I might have mentioned or at least posted something about putting out an Until Novella in December. Well...it's not happening. At this point, it would take a Christmas miracle to get it done and edited before the end of the month. I'm not saying it won't happen, but it's not likely. I'm super sad about this because it's Preston's story. His happily ever after. If you have read Until Now, he was the guy that proposed to Bridget. If you haven't read Until Now, you can safely read the deleted scene. It doesn't give anything away.

While I was writing Until Now, I fell in deep like with him even though I knew he was all wrong for Bridget. In fact, I loved him so much that I didn't want to stop writing him so when I ended up having to delete a big portion of his and Bridget's story, I was crushed. But there were a few reasons why a big section had to go. 1) Even though I intended to have their meeting to be cute, it sort of turned stalker-ish. 2) As much as I enjoyed writing their backstory, the novel didn't need the details since they didn't end up together. 3) In my mind, it made Bridget look worse when things ended between them.

 This deleted scene was originally part of Chapter Twenty-Five. It would have been written as a flashback from Bridget's perspective.


Disclaimer: This is totally unedited. You read at your own risk especially if you hate grammatical errors.  

Twenty-six months ago:

            The bell over the door chimed when three men in suits entered. Bridget gave them a casual glance and told them to sit anywhere as she refilled a coffee cup of one of their regulars. It was mid-afternoon, the lunch rush was ending, and several booths had opened up.
            After handing out menus, placing new silverware and glasses of ice water in front of each of the gentleman, she took her pad out and with a friendly smiled asked, “What can I get you to drink?”     
            She’d barely glanced at them until she looked at each one as they gave her their order. When her eyes met the youngest of the group, her stomach did a summersault. His light brown eyes followed her every move as his hand ran through his wavy blond hair, loosening it from its gel hold. He had a young face, but his suit and clean cut appearance gave the impression of being older. She guessed he was mid-twenties.  
            “Hi,” he said as he stood. She moved out of his way as he pulled off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves. “I'll have a coke.” He sat back down, but his eyes never left hers.
            "Three Cokes," she repeated.
            Bridget turned to leave, but out of curiosity peeked over her shoulder, catching him still watching her. He smiled just as one of his companions, slapped him on the back causing him to blush. She never thought much of guys in suits. Not just because her never ending crush never wore a suit. She looked over her shoulder at Billy and held back a sigh. 
            She refocused her attention to the suits who she knew were out of her league. She was a waitress with only a high school diploma. In her head, she reminded herself that she did finish one term of college before she dropped out and intended to go back one day, but it didn't change how inadequate she felt around the "suit types."
            The moment she brought their order of burgers and fries to the table, he had a napkin tucked in his collar and a boyish grin. She held back a giggle and decided she should rethink her opinion of guys in suits.
            One of the men picked up the files that were scattered on the surface of the table allowing her to place their plates in front of each of them. The other older gentleman mentioned something about finishing up after they eat.
            A couple of hours, several cups of coffee later and a lot of flirting on his part, the men got up to leave. When he brought their ticket to the register, his hand shook as he handed it over along with cash. “Keep the change.” He flashed his boyish grin, and she returned it with a smile.
            “Thanks.” Her smile slowly slipped away when he didn’t retreat. He stood staring at her.
            She noticed him glance at her name tag for the second time. “Bridget, I was hoping to get your number. I’d like to call and ask you out.” He blushed and nervously tapped his fingers on the counter.
            This wasn't the first time a guy had asked her out since she had Katie, but it was the first time she wanted to say yes. Instead of handing over her number like she wanted, she said, "I'm almost twenty with a three-year-old daughter." If he didn't run away screaming, then she would consider it, but most guys her age disappeared at the words “I have a child.”
            He smiled. “If she looks anything like you then you’re in big trouble.” With a wink he said, “So about that number…”
            She bit her lower lip to keep from smiling and shook her head. “I don’t know you. I don’t even know your name.”
            “Right. I'm Preston Reed.” He wiped his hand on his slacks before offering his hand. “I hoped we'd get to know each other on our date.”
            “Still... I’m sorry, no.” As badly as she wanted to say yes, she didn't trust herself. She thought Phillip was a great guy and look what happened. Her opinion couldn’t be trusted.
            “No problem Bridget. I’ll see you tomorrow.” He gave one last smile before leaving.
            Late afternoon the next day, he came back, this time wearing jeans and t-shirt. His hair was a sexy wavy mess. It looked good on him and made him appear younger than the first time she saw him.
            Once again, he flirted and chatted with her every time she stopped at his table. On her break, she checked on Katie, who was in Billy’s office “helping” him with his orders before taking a seat across from Preston. He was sweet, and everything in her was telling her that he was a good guy, but she was still hesitant to go out with him. Phillip had been her whole dating history, and she couldn't imagine why anyone would want to go out with her. Plus, she wasn’t sure if she were ready to try again even if the guy sitting across from her made it impossible not to smile.
            Just as she stood to go back to work, he reached for her hand and held it. “Bridget, I'm not ready to give up yet. Would you consider going out with me?”
            She shook her head no right as her daughter wearing her favorite princess costume including a tiara, came running up to her. "Mama. Billy said to help you."
            When Bridget looked over her shoulder at Billy, she noticed him watching them with an intense stare. She thought it strange that he would send Katie over, but just as she was about to ask her to help fill up a pitcher with water, Preston scooted out of his seat and knelt down to talk to Katie. "Hi. I'm Preston, and you are?"
            “I'm Katie.” She gave him one of her best smiles and shook his hand.
            "It's a pleasure to meet you, Princess Katie." She giggled as her smile grew.
            He earned kudos points for that.
            After a few minutes, he was able to attain valuable information like Katie's favorite movie, Princess, color, and animal. Considering how shy her daughter was, it took her back to see her so open with this guy. Still. She wasn't ready to say yes.
            Once Katie ran off to help Diane, he sat back in his seat. “So, it’s still a no?”
            She reluctantly nodded and mumbled a “Yeah.”
            He nodded and tapped his fingers on the table. "I'm going to be out of town for work for at least a month, but don't think I've given up. I like you, Bridget."
            She was beginning to like him too.
           
***
            It was just a week after her twentieth birthday when he showed up. Her stomach did somersaults. Once again, he came alone but brought a wrapped present and an envelope filled with documents. "Do you have a minute?" He asked. He caught her at a good time; the other waitress had just showed up giving her the first break of the day.
 Bridget sat across from Preston, her hands folded in her lap as she tried to ignore the nervous energy he seemed to cause.
            He slid over the present and said, “That’s for Katie.” Before she asked why, he pulled items out of the envelope and handed them to her. “What’s this?” She asked as she spread the papers out.
            “This is my resume. It has all my pertinent information, like where I went to school, my skills, and work history. This is a referral from my boss informing you that I’m a hard worker and have worked at the same job since I got out of college. This is...”
            “We’re not hiring,” she teased. Still not sure why he would show her this, she apologized for interrupting and told him to go on.
            With a gleam in his eye, he went on. “This is the title to my car and the title to my house. I would have brought my credit report, but that seemed a little excessive.”
            She covered her face while holding back a laugh. “You thought that would be excessive?”
 He didn't let her question deter him. "I want you to get to know me. I'm a hard worker, employed, and I don't have debt. My grandfather died leaving me the house and my car is paid off."
            Shaking her head, she closed her eyes and tried to breathe through her laughter. "Preston. I don't even know what to say."
            “Say you’ll go out with me.”
            She drew in a deep breath with the word “yes” on the tip of her tongue, but her fear of getting hurt from agreeing. “I’m still not sure.”
            “What do I need to do?” he asked sincerely. A part of her was relieved that he wasn’t giving up. If Preston had shown any other signs of being a creeper she would've had Billy deal with him, but he was sweet, and it was good for her ego to have someone interested.
            “I haven’t dated in a really long time, since...”
            “You need more time? I can do that. I’m heading out of town again, but this time for a few weeks.”

***
             Two weeks later at 9 AM he stepped inside with bloodshot eyes, a wrinkled suit and tie that hung undone around his neck. A man around the same age, but casually dressed sat next to him at the counter. 
            She smiled shyly at him while she soaked in his appearance. “You look tired for so early in the morning.”
            He gave her a tired grin. “I went from work, straight to the airport and only arrived in Phoenix a few hours ago then drove straight here after picking up my friend. He pointed the man next to him and smiled. “Bridget, I’d like you to meet my best friend since Kindergarten, Lane, this is Bridget, the girl I was telling you about.”
            Lane chuckled and shook her hand. “It's nice to meet you. You have no idea what this guy has done to get me here today so I can vouch for him.”
            Her jaw dropped as she looked back and forth between them. “You’re kidding.”
            They both shook their heads. “Bridget, you underestimate my desire to take you out on a date.”
            “Wow. No pressure. I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed for all the work you've gone through for one date with me. It won't be worth it. I guarantee.”
            “So you’re agreeing to go out with me?”
            “No.”
            “No? Oh man.” He dragged his hands down his tired face.
            A big part of her felt guilty for saying no, but she wasn't joking when she mentioned the pressure.  He was building her up, and she would never be able to live up to what he thought she was. 
            Lane slapped him on the back. “Sorry man.” But he didn’t look sorry. He hid a smile under his hand that covered his mouth.
            “I guess I’ll have to pull out the big guns. If that doesn’t work, then I’ll take the hint.”
            Big guns? He’d done so much already, what else could he do?

***
            A week later, he walked in during the breakfast rush with an older woman on his arm. They took the only open table and waited patiently for her to get to them.
            “I'm sorry about the wait. Can I get you coffee or juice to start?”
            Neither answered right away. The woman smiled as she looked back and forth between her and Preston. “Coffee for both of us and Bridget, I’d like you to meet my mother, Mary.” Preston waved his hand to the woman sitting across from him.
            He brought his mom...
            They shook hands and smiled at each other. “I wish I could stay and talk, but …”
            “No worries honey. We have all day. Literally,” she said as she winked at her son.
            An hour later she was sitting at their table laughing and talking about Preston as if he weren’t there. He sat back with a grin only adding comments when necessary.
            “I'm sorry to do this, but my break is over. I hope to see you again,” she said sincerely to his mother.
            “I hope so too.” Mary excused herself and stepped outside to wait for Preston.
            “Before I go, will you please go on a date with me?” She chewed on her lip while she wrote her phone number on her order pad. She tore it off and handed it to him with a grin. “I’ll see you later.”



Friday, October 30, 2015

Five

1. Sending my book to the editor. Seriously, best feeling ever.

2. The first shower after sending a manuscript to an editor. I hope I'm not the only one, but when I get near the end of finishing a book showers, cleaning, and feeding myself anything healthy goes out the window.

3. The week long break I take after I send a manuscript to an editor.  (seeing a theme here?)

4. Getting caught up on my book reading.

5. 3000pc. puzzle. It's big.  It's also a good thing we never use our kitchen table.

Until Us is with the editor. I'm still not positive when it'll be released but my goal is for late November. YAY!  Now to start the next book....

Friday, October 16, 2015

Five Favorites

1. This cover. A few weeks ago I had posted pictures from the cover photo shoot. This is what happens when a skilled photographer takes pictures and works her magic.

This is the cover for Kimmie's book from Love You, Always. I love it almost as much I love the character.

2.  This cover.
We had taken several photos for this cover, but none of them worked so we went back the next day to take more.  I love it, but I've been waffling on it a bit. But I think that might be more to do with my issues with finishing the book than the cover itself.

3. ew!.  Jimmy Fallon cracks me up, but this...this makes me laugh out loud every single time. Maybe it's because I have teens or maybe it's because my oldest daughter's name is Sara...no H because H's are ew! lol



4. Pens. On Facebook, I had posted a picture of the crap in my purse including all my pens. My favorite is the PILOT G-2 07. They fit in my hand perfectly, and the colors make me happy. I have one for every mood.
Most of my story ideas begin with me physically writing them down.  For some reason writing makes the ideas flow easier than typing. For me anyway. I can easily go through a notebook a month.

5. My red Kitchen Aid mixer. I hate cooking. In fact hate probably isn't a strong enough word for how much I dislike it, but I love baking.  Unlike my cooking, nobody complains when I bake.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

When frustration turns to self hate and other fun things that go on in my head.

I've posted on Facebook and on here about finishing Until Us, the second book in the Until Series.  It's so close I can see the finish line. In fact, I thought I would already be past it and working on an Until novella that I want to put out in December but noooooo.

It's written, but something isn't right. I've spent this week re-reading each chapter doing some minor rewrites and some bigger rewrites but something isn't working, and I can't put my finger on it. Each night I've gotten so frustrated that I've had to step away from my computer before I start crying and the self-hate takes over. I have to put it down for a few days and hope that the answer comes to me.

I desparately want this book to be done. Not only because I want to move onto something else, but because I love the characters so much that I can't wait to share them with the world. I fell in love with Katie before I knew Billy and Bridget from Until Now. Though no other character can kick them off my favorite character pedestal, Katie and Tyler come very close.

So I guess this is an update of sorts. I'm not sure when the book will be done. My hope is to have it out in the world mid November but I'm not making any promises because the past few months have taught me or retaught me some tough lessons.

1) I can't muscle my way through the process no matter how much I try.
2) Writing is hard for me. I'm not a natural writer. I'm a natural daydreamer.
3) If I compare myself to another author, I'm only going to make myself depressed which makes writing more difficult.
4) Breathe. Just freaking breathe for freaks sake.

Today I read this on an author's Facebook page. I can not say yes enough to this because I've done the opposite and it worked perfectly on making me miserable.







Friday, October 9, 2015

Do you ever...

Today is Favorite Five Friday, but I'm having one of those weeks where I hate everything and everyone. I have to dig deep today. 

1. Soft t-shirts and yoga pants. Because that is what I'll be wearing for the next three days while I'm locked in my bedroom finishing Until Us. 

2. Diet Coke. Because that is what I'll be living on for the next three days. It used to be Diet Pepsi, but it tastes funny now. Boo hiss. 

3. My laptop. I love it so much. When I was writing Love you, Always and Love, Ryan it was on an old laptop that overheated. It also had a low battery life and a plug that didn't always work, so I was constantly messing with it to keep it on.

4. Mike's hard lemonade.  
 

In fact, I wish I had one now.

  5. This song even when I'm in a pissy mood and hate everything.

When I was writing LYA, Love, Ryan and started on Until Now I was working as a Nanny. I loved it. LOVED!  I loved going to work and spending my days with adorable twin girls, but almost overnight I began to feel a quiet dissatisfaction. Nothing changed with my job; it was still great, but I no longer felt like I was in the right place doing what I should be doing.  My thoughts were constantly on what I was writing, and I found myself wanting to be in front of my computer instead of playing at the park. I discussed with my husband my growing frustration, and he said I should quit and concentrate on writing. I fought it. The idea of giving up a great job and regular income to become a starving artist was insane. It still is, but when I gave my notice it felt like everything in my life was righting itself.  I don't regret it even though I barely make enough money to cover my internet bill. Even if I'm never considered a "success" to the world, I am because every day I get up and write.  I have a lot of regrets in my life, but writing full-time hasn't been one of them.   

Friday, October 2, 2015

Favorite things.

1. Yesterday, a friend of mine thanked me for a favor by giving me a box of See's candy. I now know for sure that I love being paid in chocolate.  It shouldn't have been a surprise.


2.  When I have a chance to spend the day with my great niece.

3. The commute to see my great niece is 45 minutes of beautiful scenery and an opportunity to listen to good music without hearing complaints.  I almost hate it when the drive ends.




4. Pizza. But not just any pizza but 3rd Street Pizza. They make an awesome veggie-myte pizza and also the best Greek salad I've ever had.  If I could, I would eat there every week.

5. My e-reader. I have a bit more appreciation for it since my Nook is on its death bed. It's been my  sanity saver.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Another deleted scene.

I added another deleted chapter from Until Now onto my Wattpad account. 

This one was a tough one to delete. I loved the interaction between Billy and Katie (his Sweets) and I attempted to add it in other places but it just didn't work. I also wanted to show the beginning of Preston and Bridget's relationship, but since the book had to span eighteen years, this one became a victim. It just didn't move the story along.

You can click here to be taken directly to the chapter, or you can go to the Deleted Scenes tab above to find the list of scenes or chapters that didn't make it into the books.  So far I only have two for Until Now, but will be adding more as I have time to go through my deleted scenes file. 


Friday, September 25, 2015

Instead of Friday Five...



My brother Curt passed away almost two months ago from suicide. The loss has been heartbreaking.  As teenagers, we teased each other relentlessly, and more than once I yelled "I hate you" which only made him laugh.  He was annoying and everything a younger brother was supposed to be.  It wasn't until I left for college that we finally became friends, and I could finally admit that I loved him.

After I married and started my family, he would occasionally drunk call me, always around 2 AM, to tell me he loved me. I grumbled and told him I loved him too but to stop calling so early...or late.  Eventually, he did stop calling.  What I wouldn't give for him to drunk call me now. I would tell him that I loved his guts and that every time I had said I hate you, I meant I love you.

On October 3rd, my sister and I will be doing the  Out of the Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention.
It is my goal to raise $150. If you would like to support my goal, you can click on this link.  You will have my heartfelt thanks for any support even if it's a few kind words.


 This month our family received a letter from Donor Network West letting us know what happened with my brother's organs that he donated.  A six-year-old little boy received one of his kidney's a fifty-year-old man received a kidney and liver and a fifty-two-year-old husband, and father of four received his heart.  My heart is full of love for these people. As much as I would love to have my brother back, it gives me so much peace and comfort to know something good came from our loss.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Behind the scenes.

Today my bestie took the photos for two upcoming books, Until Us and Love Me.  Making covers is probably the hardest, most stressful part of self-publishing for me and why I'm incredibly grateful that my best friend has awesome photo taking skills and knows how to use photo software, so I don't have to learn.

The steps for making a cover.

1. Get a vague idea of what I would like to do.
2. Tell bestie about the vague idea so she can expand on it.
3. Plan a day for photos.
4. Wait until the last minute to buy props for said photos.
 It took a while to decide which shoes my character Katie would wear.

 5. Try on sunglasses with soon to be 12-year-old while waiting to check out.



6. Let my 10-year-old son come with me to buy props even though it means a couple of hours of shopping and then be surprised when he doesn't complain once.




7. Meet bestie at the park with my two kids I bribed into doing photo shoot along with bestie's dog Bubba, who is the inspiration for the dog Bubba in Until Us.



8. Laugh at Bubba antics.

9. Laugh some more at Bubba.


10. Take kids home after the photo shoot and get items for the next one.
11. Laugh at myself while wearing/almost breaking neck wearing prop.

12. Have bestie take the first set of pictures.
13. Eat peach blackberry cobbler at Mcmenamins while waiting for it to get a little darker for the next photos.
14. Have bestie take gorgeous photos with a very Oregon background.


15. Feel like you're being watched while on the deck taking photos.

16. Squeal with happiness looking through photos and trying to decide on covers.

17. Hug bestie.







Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Five!!!

My favorites this week.

1. When I FINALLY decide on a book cover idea and my bestie agrees that it's a good idea so we make plans for the photo shoot.  EEEK!

2. When someone else makes dinner. This will always be true.

3. The time between when the kids leave for school and when they come home.

4. Listening to music while driving by myself. There's nobody to complain about the radio station or my singing voice.

5. Scheduling editing with my editor.  It's exciting to know that I'll be that much closer to being finished while at the same time it becomes sort of a kick in the pants I need to stay on task.


Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Five



1.  The 100 times a day my ten-year-old tells me he loves me and gives me hugs.

2. When a book keeps me up half the night because I can't put it down. So worth the extra caffeine I have to drink in the morning.

3. Rain after a dry spell. Not rain after thirty days of straight rain. Just want to make that clear.

4. When I'm writing and the words come easily.

5. Pedicures. Do I even have to explain why?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Random things I think about when I have a bad writing day.

Am I a writer yet?

Even though I have three books under my belt and almost finished with a fourth ::Knock on wood:: I still question if I’m REALLY a writer.  I pretty sure at any minute someone is going to stand up and yell “fraud!” 

Sometimes I wonder how many books I need to write before I FEEL like an author.  There has to be a number but so far, I’m pretty sure it’s not three. 

I’m not one of those authors that talk about my books…to anyone. (Except for my besties who beta read my stories for me.) If someone asks me about them, I find a way to change the subject.  I’m awkward like that.  

Talking about my books on social media gives me an ulcer.

I wonder if there are more authors like me but unlike me they can hide their insecurities better.

Someday I want to be confident enough to say, “Yes, I am a writer” and not cringe and want to take it back. 


Friday, September 4, 2015

Favorite Five

Years ago I kept a family blog and every Friday I would post my favorite five things from that week or just life in general. Reading through my old entries I realized how much I missed it.

So here it is, the all new  Friday Favorite Five:


1.  Writing in the park.  The combination of sunshine, fresh air and getting exercise during my breaks makes it the perfect place.  Sadly, I live in rainy Oregon so I won't be able to do this much longer, but until then...

2. Making Faces by Amy Harmon. I recently fell in love with it.  The writing is beautiful, the story is touching. It made me laugh and cry. So pretty much my favorite kind of book.  If you like a good clean book then I recommend it.

3. Colored dry markers for my white board.  My calendar looks so cute.


4. Adorable composition notebooks. As much as I hate shopping for school supplies, I love getting new notebooks. I carry one with me everywhere.


5.  Meeting my brother's biological brother and sister. Out of shared grief came love, comfort and family.






Saturday, August 15, 2015

My brother Curt

For the past few weeks, I’ve wanted to write a blog post about a recent life event.  I started several times, but didn’t get very far.  I’m still dealing with a huge range of emotions and how life alerting it was. But here it is.

On Tuesday July 28th I found myself sitting on the couch with my laptop on my knees growing increasingly frustrated with my kids.  I had five days to finish writing my book and have it to my editor and my kids were doing everything in their power to keep me from finishing it.  Not intentionally of course, but it didn’t feel that way. 

For the previous two weeks, my stress level had risen and my patience had fallen. I was nearing my limit with my family and even got irritated with my husband when he wanted to go out on a date. Didn’t he realize it would take away from my precious writing time?

But then I received a phone call. I rarely answer my phone. For one, I hate talking on the phone and two, I didn’t want to be interrupted but it was my sister so I answered. I thought it would give me a chance to vent.

I didn’t vent. Instead my sister cried over the phone to tell me our brother Curt was in the hospital in California on life support after making an attempt on his life.

From that moment through the next five days, my life changed, especially my perspective on...everything.

I wish I could tell you everything that happened, but it’s too personal. It was painfully tragic with moments of beauty. Someday I'd like to share, but not any time soon.





My parents, sister, niece and I sat at his side and cried…a lot, we held his hand, told him what he meant to us, and listened to his favorite music. Friday July 31st his fight with mental illness and alcoholism ended.  Saturday, August 1st, we said our final goodbyes before his body was taken to donate his organs. I feel an overwhelming sense of peace knowing that someone will have his heart, liver and kidneys. We as a family needed to find some comfort in this heartbreaking event. 

After coming home, I spent a few days writing about those five days and listening to music. This song kept coming up for me and it breaks my heart every time but it describes him perfectly.




For friends and family that have sent messages of love and support, thank you. It’s truly appreciated.

It took some time, but this past week I started working on my book again. I’m taking my time and enjoying the process while staying in the moment. I spent too much time looking forward instead of being in the present and appreciating my life right now.












Sunday, July 5, 2015

My balance stinks.

I'm currently trying to balance family, work and writing.  I'm failing. Hard.

It could be a case of summer brain. It's taken a vacation without me or it could be my summer job. I forgot what it was like to work long days and it's kicking my butt.

I wrote Love You, Always and Love, Ryan while working 30-40 hours a week. I just wrote wherever and whenever I could including the living room surrounded by my noisy family. But after spending the past 9 month just writing while the kids were at school, I've been ruined.  I'm not used to working long hours (besides writing) and not used to writing surrounded by family noise. I've gone soft.

Maybe I just need to find my rhythm again.

On a positive note, I'm constantly, I mean CONSTANTLY, thinking about my current work in progress and I'm a fourth of the way done with Until Us the second book in the Until series. I've also been working on timelines and heavily outlining the next several books that are in my queue so once I sit down and write, it SHOULD come fairly quickly like it did with Until Now when I finally sat and wrote.  ::crosses fingers::

About a month ago I mentioned I wrote 25 pages of notes for a book I wasn't working on. This is what it looks like outlined.




It'll be several books and I won't be releasing any of them until the whole series is finished. There is a reason for it and once it's finished I'll explain more, but I'm really excited for it.

So many book ideas, so little time.





Friday, June 5, 2015

Love, Ryan

Love, Ryan is now available on Amazon and FREE until Monday.  It's 49k word novella and part of the Love You, Always series.  It's a light easy read with no point what so ever. Just a simple teenage love story.

I seriously debated releasing this book.  If you read Love You, Always first, it may make you sad. If you read it after Love, Ryan, you may hate me. So no matter what it may give you the feels. But the book itself is a light read. No heavy stuff like in Love You, Always.

Love, Ryan started out as notes I kept about the main character, Anna in Love You, Always. Once I started writing, Ryan's voice took over. He was loud and wanted to tell his story about how he fell in love with Anna. The next thing I knew, I had written a book.



Amazon

Monday, May 25, 2015

Difficult Scenes

In every book I’ve written and every story I've started there is always that one scene or one chapter that just kills me. It hits me directly in the feels and those are the chapters that I love and hate. Or love to hate.

Even though there are a few tough scenes in Love You, Always, the hardest was the courtroom scene. Since then, all difficult scenes are called “courtroom scenes”. 

In Until Now, there were a few, but the hardest for me was Chapter Thirty-Eight. I left it for last because I obviously hate myself.

The scene in Love You, Always is 1,030 words and took me thirteen straight hours to finish.

I wrote rough draft.
Sent it to Carrie, who reads everything I write.
Carrie sent it back with, “You can do better.”
I rewrote.
Sent it to Carrie.
Carrie sent it back with, “go deeper.”
I cried.
I rewrote.
Sent it to Carrie.
She sent it back with “closer.”
I swore.
I cried.
I ate chocolate.
I rewrote.
Sent it to Carrie.
Carrie sent it back with, “You did it!”
Cried some more. It was that overly tired cry.
Drank alcohol.
Went to bed with a crying headache.


This is pretty much how every tough scene goes. Today I'm working on a "courtroom scene" for Until Us (Katie's story from Until Now). Thankfully, I planned ahead and have a case of Mike's Hard Lemonade waiting for me to celebrate finishing it. 

P.S. No Mom, I will not be drinking the whole case and I'm not an alcoholic. :-)