Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lessons Learned

I might have mentioned that I've got a ton of deadlines this year and next. Between the books I'm writing for Kristen Painter's Nocturne Falls Universe, the ones I've turned in to my publisher and am doing edits on now, I can hardly see straight.

What all that has meant for me is that I had to come up with a schedule and hard weekly writing count goals that I couldn't miss.

So I just missed one :-(  With having to re-write a couple of scenes in book 3 in a series for my publisher, I ended up spending several days longer on those revisions than I'd anticipated. Now that I'm 4,000 words behind goal, I have to really shift into high gear.

What's a writer to do?
1. I've learned that caffeine is my friend. As someone with a touch of ADD, I need the added sharpness coffee gives me.
2. Write with a friend. One of my BFFs, Jax Cassidy, comes over for periodic write-ins. Those days used to be mostly chatting, cooking, catching up, etc. But now we both have urgent deadlines and there's no time for long gabfests.
3. Eliminate distraction. As much as I enjoy socializing, I've had to all but cut out most lunches with my girlfriends, shopping excursions, and the like.
4. Cut days off. When you're self-employed, it's easy to justify taking a whole day off with your hubby or a friend. No more of those for me. I now work 6 or 7 days a week.

Hopefully all of this hard work will pay off. Time will tell. One bright spot so far has been some really nice reviews pre-release for my first Nocturne Falls book, THE FORTUNETELLER'S FOLLY. Release day is May 23.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

In a Nutshell

I've been rather absent here, but I've got a good reason. Well, many of them, actually. With four books to write this year, and edits coming soon on two others, my dance card is pretty full. I've been living in the writing cave nearly every day. The good news is that I'll have three stories out between May and January with Kristen Painter's Nocturne Falls Universe, one hot shapeshifter story for a yet-to-be-announced Amazon World, and one novella in the next Jewel Box Authors' anthology, CHARMED BY A SAPPHIRE. In addition, my next two books from Entangled Publishing should be released sometime this year. Does all of this tell you just how hard I've been working?

Today, the cave is a cold, cold place. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I don't much care for chilly temps. Hence, the reason I live in Florida! But even here the mercury occasionally dips fairly low.

So what's a warmth-loving lady to do? Make a pot of soup, of course. Today's selection is Creamy Dreamy Cauliflower Soup. Since cauliflower is my very favorite veggie, this one's a winner for me. Check out the recipe HERE.

And stay tuned for the cover reveal of my first Nocturne Falls Universe book, THE FORTUNETELLER'S FOLLY. I'm super excited to be jumping into such a fun world. The entire series is light, humorous and lots of fun to read! In the meantime, try to stay warm. Happy reading.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

My Mom's Visit and Other Chaos

For my family, January and February mean my mother's annual snowbird ascension to our humble abode. Of course, I love my mother, but she is a seriously high-maintenance guest who requires extraordinary amounts of my time and energy.

First of all, she has mobility issues since she uses a walker. Plus there's the fact that she's my mom and like any mother-daughter pair, we have a lifetime of guilt and other choice nuggets in our mutual toy chest that we regularly take out to enjoy!

Along with all that, I feel the need to keep her entertained. She really enjoys the arts, so I fill up her dance card with plays, concerts, art festivals and the like. Needless to say, I don;t get much work done at the beginning of the year!

This year, though I happen to have two books in the works that are in the editing stage with my publisher, another that I'm trying to finish for a March 15 deadline, and yet another to plot by April 1.

Along with writing stuff, my son just finished his training and got his certification to be a Pharmacy Tech, so we're having a congratulatory party for him while my mom's in town. I've got to schedule some time to breathe lately!

But seriously, it's all good stuff. In fact, the lovely ladies of Lorelei's Lit Lair and Orange County Library are hosting the Jewel Box Authors for an evening of fun at the Alafaya Library on February 28th! So chaos can sometimes be fun. What's new and exciting in your life?

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Rituals

The end of the year and beginning of the next is always a bit cathartic for me. Some years were good, some were bad, but I often have a sense of ridding myself of the baggage I acquired during the year. 2016 hasn't been so good for me or my family, or a lot of people I hold dear, so I'll be celebrating its demise!

As I leave one phase behind, like many people, I try to rid myself of any negative energy from the previous year, so one of the things I always do before the clock strikes twelve on December 31st is to make sure that all of my laundry is washed. Symbolically, I don't want to leave carry any 'dirt' with me into the new year.

It's nice to make a fresh start with all things clean and fresh. In fact, I also run my dishwasher, whether or not it's full. All trash is taken outside. If I had my way, I'd order a garbage pickup for every December 31st. But alas, I don't make those rules!

I even do a virtual clean-out of my computer files, deleting anything I'm sure I won't need, and eliminating any saved links I haven't used for a while. Basically, if it is clutter, it goes.

Several friends eat black-eyed peas on New Years Day, although that isn't something I do. Where I live in the south, the tradition is thought to bring prosperity in the year ahead.

There are many other rituals and traditions that are more widespread -- kissing your sweetheart at midnight is said to bring good luck; popping the cork on a bottle of champagne has its roots in the Christian ritual of consuming wine during the Eucharist. Singing Auld Lang Syne began as a British and Scottish funeral mainstay, but came to the US when the Guy Lombardo Orchestra played it on New Year's Eve at a bash in a New York hotel.

It wouldn't be New Year's Eve without the iconic ball dropping in Times Square. That tradition comes from sailors who, in the old days used 'time balls' placed in various harbors at certain times to set their own time pieces while at sea.

And fireworks? Well those were first created in seventh-century China with the express purpose of warding off evil spirits.

However and wherever you celebrate, I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Emerging from the Cave

2016 has been a crazy year for me. Along with the usual family stuff, social obligations and the like, I've been writing my tail off! With the holidays approaching, I am just emerging from my writing cave having typed those last two wonderful words on a book that is due to my publisher this week -- The End!

The best thing about being productive is having the perspective to look back and see all that I've done. Another wonderful part is that in the coming months I'll have some brand new books out there that some readers have been clamoring for!

Next up is the follow-up book to The Surrogate Husband, which is the story of Lucy's younger sister, Niki. That will be released in February from Entangled Publishing. Then in May I have my story out in a new-to-me series as a guest author. More about that as soon as I am able to discuss it. (Yes, it's still a bit hush-hush). Late May or early June will bring the third in my Entangled series, which stars Lucy and Niki's friend, Amy. Then in November The Jewel Box Authors will put out the third book in our series, Charmed by a Sapphire.

I still have to write a couple of these books, so as soon as I get through Thanksgiving it's back into the cave for me.

If you happen to be searching for holiday gifts soon and want to impress those on your list, I hope you'll think about giving them ebooks. Not only do books enhance the reader's life, but electronic ones are better for the planet than the paper ones.

Warmest wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Teaser from Spirited Seduction!

Here's a snipet from my contribution to Once Upon A Midnight...

Ryan peeled back the sweat-damp sheet, set his feet on the wood floor then switched on the bedside lamp. Eerie moon shadows danced beyond the window but it wasn’t anything outside that concerned him. This wasn’t the first time he’d felt a haunting presence in the room, hovering near him. The air grew thick, rank and damp. He got up to open the window but stopped dead.
What the hell?
A woman all in white stood at the edge of the woods just twenty yards or so away. His body went rigid with terror. There was something ethereal about her but his mind refused to accept the familiarity of her features.
Couldn’t be. He quietly eased open the window to get a better look. She stared right at him and his knees went weak.
He fisted his hands and dug his fingernails painfully into his skin to confirm he was truly awake.
The spirit seemed to float next to the black oak tree. “Heed your vision.” Her lips hadn’t moved yet he’d heard her voice all the same.
“Becky!” He stumbled backward until he crashed into the bed.
The apparition was gone as suddenly as it had appeared. Gulping for air, he grasped the footboard, sure he must still be dreaming.
“Becky…wait!” He lunged toward the window but she was gone before he could ask who’d killed her. Scrubbing a hand over his face, he wondered if he’d lost his mind.
Could someone be playing a cruel joke on him? Who would do such a thing? And how would anyone know about the visions he’d been having? He hadn’t told a soul for fear he’d be committed.
He yanked on jeans then shoved his .45 into his waistband and headed downstairs. Armed with flashlight, he searched his property, calling her name, but he found nothing.
I didn’t imagine her.
This might have been the first time he’d actually seen her since she’d passed away, but deep inside, he’d sensed her presence for weeks now. He’d shrugged it off as part of his frustration over not knowing who’d murdered her. He wasn’t ready to admit he’d seen a ghost but he was positive some unknown force was at work.
Had his mental images of Emily been a dire prediction for her? Maybe she was really in danger. Desperate as he was to learn the identity of Becky’s killer, the more urgent issue was to warn Emily she might not be safe.
He’d read an article in the paper that she’d helped the police over in Raleigh with a murder investigation last year. His rational mind told him nothing paranormal was real but he couldn’t deny what he’d just witnessed with his own eyes. Like it or not, he had to look into it.

His sister deserved justice and her friend needed to know she could be in trouble.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Collaborating for a Cause

I'm so thrilled to be a part of a multi-author paranormal anthology, which is now available for pre-order. Even more exciting to me is the fact that ONCE UPON A MIDNIGHT is a collection of stories that will benefit a charity. And not just a portion. That's right -- a hundred percent of the proceeds go to the Epilepsy Foundation.

What makes that even more personal is that the organizer of the anthology chose that charity because her daughter suffered from frequent seizures before she had brain surgery in 2015.

Who has a story in this awesome collection? How about Dakota Cassidy, Renee George, Claudy Conn, Kelly Cozzone, A D Justice, Gena D. Lutz, Aubree Lane, PM Briede, Amanda Washington, Nicole Garcia, Stephanie Rowe, Melanie James, Toni Aleo, Tracey Jane Jackson, Julia Mills, Diane Rinella, A K Michaels, Jami Brumfield, moi - Wynter Daniels, and Michele E. Gwynn.

So if you're in the mood for a really awesome deal, think about pre-ordering ONCE UPON A MIDNIGHT today. You'll get a taste of 20 terrific authors in one book. This collection is only available for a limited time. For only $.99, you can't go wrong!