Monday, February 25, 2013

Welcome to my New (Old) Blog!!!

I've been blogging off and on since 2009, but I always struggled with a comfortable direction (hence, the off and on). I tried posting recipes, pictures of hunks (which always netted the most views!), inspirational quotes, and the list goes on. I finally decided to abandon my blog and focus on FB... I never seem to have a problem finding something to say on FB!

Over the past several months, I'd been thinking about knocking the dust off and firing the old blog up again when I came across Kristen Lamb's blog. After reading her blog and book, I decided it was time to expend a few extra brain cells, figure out a platform, and get my butt in gear. As is so often the case, the universe supplied me with an answer.

An Italian friend was reading an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of CROSSING LINES, double-checking my Italian spelling and usage. Part-way through the book, she sent me the following message:

I don't normally read contemporary romance but I think you may have converted me. Your storytelling is REAL-meaning that you don't hold anything back. Like is messy, life is complicated, people make bad choices, life goes on, hope springs eternal, and that's exactly what I see in this story. And then there is an occasional misunderstanding that makes life hilarious-lol! Good on ya girl!

Her words really touched me and reminded me of similar comments I’ve had from other friends and readers. It also made me think about a song I used to hate, but have recently adopted as the theme song for my life.

In the fall of 2007, I heard Gary Allen's "Life Ain't Always Beautiful" for the first time. I knew the song had been recorded after his wife’s death, and the pain coming through was too close to home for me. It struck a nerve and I instantly hated the song. See, in 2007, my life sort of fell apart.

In June, my youngest had to have 6 baby teeth surgically removed because they weren't coming out on their own. Two weeks later, my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor (a deeply embedded mass in the brain that could only be partially removed). Two weeks later, he had surgery at Duke to remove what they could. While he was in surgery (literally, the same time), my oldest was back in our hometown, having an ultrasound of his kidneys, trying to figure out why they weren't functioning properly. Turns out, he had an undiagnosed strep infection (it went undetected for six months and to this day, he has lingering effects from that infection.) Seven weeks after my husband's surgery, my oldest had a tonsillectomy, and two weeks after that, my youngest had an emergency appendectomy.

Two weeks later, I was at my breaking point, so I rode with my husband to Beaufort, SC for a mini-vacation. He was on a family fishing trip, I was holed up in a hotel trying to piece together my sanity. That’s the first time I heard these lyrics: “Life ain’t always beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride.”

At that point in my life, I was having a really hard time finding the beauty. I could find things to be thankful for; all of my guys were alive and recovering, but I still couldn’t find the beauty. All I saw was darkness and fear about the future.

Five and a half years later, aside from a recent wisdom tooth surgery, my youngest is a healthy high school senior. My oldest is still dealing with the fallout of being prescribed pain meds for six months, but he’s currently winning the battle and doing well. And my husband is doing GREAT! Over the years, he’s endured chemotherapy, radiation, and on-going Avastin infusions. The good news is they’re all doing their job, and each MRI (every two months), shows the tumor is continuing to shrink.

I’m also in a different place emotionally than I was back then. I can appreciate that song now, and while life isn’t always beautiful, it IS a beautiful ride!

Our highway is filled with potholes, speed bumps, landslides, and the occasional detour. But we make the most of it, deal with the challenges as best we can, and keep on rolling. I hope you’ll join me each week (I’ll post new updates every Monday), and ride life’s highway with me!! Don’t worry, there won’t be tears, at least not many, but there will be lots of laughter and good times!

There will also be on-going giveaways each month with lots of chances to enter to win digital and signed print books! You can only get points for commenting, following on Twitter, and "Liking" my author page once. But you can come back to Tweet and share on Facebook each day for extra entries! :-)

Please share a little bit about your beautiful life with me, and have a wonderful week!!

Oh!! I also wanted to let you know I'm hanging out at Plotmonkeys today, and on Wednesday evening (9:00 PM EST), I'll be at Mo's Book Buzz for a live chat!! Please drop by and visit with me at both of those places if you can!

Peace and love,

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Crossing Lines Excerpt Tour Recap

I hope everyone's weekend is off to a great start!!!

The drawings for the Crossing Lines Excerpt Tour are going to remain open through Sunday!! I'm listing the links below, so if you missed any of the stops along the way, you can comment now and be entered into the drawings: An ebook of your choice; A complete signed set of the Heat Wave Series!!

Stop #1 - Harlie's Books
Stop #2 - Romance Book Craze
Stop #3 - Guilty Pleasures Book Review
Stop #4 - My Reading Obsession
Stop #5 - Salacious Reads

And don't forget to stop back by here on Monday for the re-launch of my blog, see the direction the blog will be going, and get in on the on-going giveaways!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!
Peace and Love,

Friday, February 22, 2013

Stop #5 - Salacious Reads

Hey everyone!!

There were some technical difficulties this morning and the excerpt didn't get posted. But it's up and ready to go now!! Stop by Salacious Reads for Stop #5 in the Crossing Lines Excerpt Tour. I'm going to talk with the "Power That Be" and see if we can keep the drawings open until Sunday to give everyone a chance to read and comment.

In case you're just getting here, I'll list the first 4 stops below. Be sure and comment at each for a chance to win a ditigal copy of the Heat Wave Novel of your choice, and to increase your chances at winning the entire signed print set!!

Stop #1 - Harlie's Books
Stop #2 - Romance Book Craze
Stop #3 - Guilty Pleasures Book Review
Stop #4 - My Reading Obsession

I also have an author interview posted at UP Authors - it's in conjunction with LAST CALL winning the Best Erotic Romance Cover!!

On Monday, I'll be visiting with the Plotmonkeys in the jungle!! I always love to visit there and meet so many fun new people.

Also on Monday, I'll be relaunching this blog!! It'll be a completely new direction for me, ongoing giveaways, new blog posts every Monday.

On Wednesday, 2/27, I'll be doing a live chat with Mo at Mo's Book Buzz. I'll post the link for the chat room starting on Monday.

Have a great weekend!!
Peace and Love,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Reading Obsession - Stop #4

Good morning!!

It's day #4 of the CROSSING LINES Excerpt Tour, and today, I'm at My Reading Obsession!

Stop by and find out how Kevin reacts after learning that Sam's best friend is a.....


You'll just have to read it and find out for yourself. I'm cruel like that!!

Have a wonderful Thursday!!

Peace and love,

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stop #3 - Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews!!

Yesterday, Sam found herself in an awkward situation. Can she recover today, or do things just get worse?

Find out at Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews - stop #3 on the "Crossing Lines" Book Tour!!

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Romance Book Craze Today - Day 2 Excerpt Tour

I'm at Romance Book Craze today with the 2nd excerpt of the Crossing Lines Excerpt Tour!!

Drop by and comment for a chance to win either a digital copy of "Crossing Lines" or "Last Call" (winner's choice), and to be entered into the grand prize drawing - a set of signed Heat Wave books!!

I hope to see you there!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Harlie's Books Link!

The Excerpt is up on Harlie's Books now. Leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of "Crossing Lines." All entries from the week will go into the grand prize drawing - a set of signed "Heat Wave" books!!

I'm at Harlie's Books Today!!

Happy Monday morning!!

Today kicks of a week-long excerpt tour for "Crossing Lines." Each day, the excerpt will be a continuation of the previous day's scene. There will be a giveaway at each stop, as well as a grand prize drawing at the end of the week (everyone who comments will be entered for the grand prize drawing - a complete set of signed Heat Wave books - so be sure to comment at each stop for multiple chances to win)!!

Today's stop is Harlie's Books!!

I'll be by later this afternoon to respond to comments. This morning, I'm off in search of a dress - I have a formal on Saturday night and when I say I have nothing to wear, I mean I have NOTHING! to wear! :-D Wish me luck, shopping isn't my thang!

Have a great start to a fabulous week!!

Peace and love,

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Best of 2012

Hi everyone!!

I have some great news to share!! I'm hanging my head in shame that I haven't been here shouting about this before now.

Since Guilty Pleasures Book Reviewers read 1000+ books in 2012, they're having a hard time picking the best (I can only imagine)! They've compiled a list of their favorites for their readers to vote on, and I'm thrilled and honored to say that "Last Call" has been included in the Erotic Romance category!!

Voting ends today - 2/17/13 - so jump on over there and vote for you favorite in each category! Even if it's not me, show your favorite author some love by giving her your vote.

Also, I'll be doing a "Crossing Lines" excerpt tour this week (2/18-2/22). Each day will be a continuation of the previous day's excerpt, so by the time you get to Friday, you will have read an entire scene. There will be a giveaway each day, and all commenters from each day will be entered into the grand prize drawing at the end of the week - a set of signed books!!

I'll post the link here each day so you'll know where to find me, Kevin, and Sam that day.

I hope to see you guys at each stop along the way!

Have a wonderful Sunday!