Monday, December 30, 2013

New me?

I had a lovely Christmas season, frantic as it was part of the time. I wouldn't change a thing, except to be more organized for the meal I served at noon(ish) on Christmas Day. Because I wasn't ready ahead of time, I had to skip a champagne brunch. Drat. Next year, I'll try to be more prepared. I had to talk myself through this, because when I was running around trying to get food ready and furniture moved for my eight guests, the thought occurred to me that next Christmas we could just meet at the Chinese place instead.

But I loved having everyone in my little apartment! It was cozy and fun--so much better than meeting at a restaurant. I loved making lasagna, which takes a while, but is infinitely worth it. They overall key was preparation, and I was just a smidge behind on that, which made me nervous.

I try to prepare myself for each day, too. Before getting out of bed, I make a list of five things I'm grateful for. Sometimes my list is silent, and sometimes I say it out loud to share it with Spot and Attila. So far they don't share theirs with me, though. I've decided that I need to make a list at night too. Kind of a wrap-up of the day, so I am certain not to hit the pillow with negative thoughts on my mind. That is part of my New Year's resolution.

Today I bought a book that I hope will help in my path to be the best person I can be. I still read Simple Abundance by Sarah ban Breathnach almost every day, and beginning January 1, I'll be adding A Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals

Besides starting and ending each day with gratitude, my resolution is to spend each day doing the best I can with what I have. That was my mantra when my husband was ill, and I'm reclaiming it.

Hoping the best for all of us in 2014...

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013

I'm a quiet person. At a party, at work, and even in a small group you can usually pick me out easily--I'm the one who isn't talking. Maybe that's part of why I feel so jangled right now. So many things are going on with my day job, my author self; there are so many Christmas gatherings, trips back and forth into busy, noisy shopping and eating venues. I'm out of my element.

I also feel pulled apart by the merriment of the season as it intersects with both my occasional widow moments and happiness to be with people I care about.

Please understand that I'm thankful for each person, each invitation, each opportunity to be here and do that.

But because of my introversion and things weighing on my mind this season, I may not seem "merry and bright." I've talked with a lot of people who are having difficulty with this ho-ho-ho season. For the most part we keep smiling, inviting, taking food here and there, eating more than we need to eat, because it's the holidays and it's expected.

Give me a couple feet of snow outside, some quiet music, a cup of tea and a book to read (or write), and I'm a very happy girl. I was surprised to realize I have some free time for exactly that kind of evening tonight (minus the snow), the night before Christmas Eve. I think it will help get me centered again, and make "merry and bright" more likely.

I found this in a search for "silence" on
"Not merely an absence of noise, Real Silence begins when a reasonable being withdraws from the noise in order to find peace and order in his inner sanctuary. " ~Peter Minard

That's me this evening. With a cat sleeping on my leg, a dog curled in the corner guarding the door, and Vince Guaraldi's "A Charlie Brown Christmas" playing softly. I feel better already.

Happy Christmas!


Monday, December 16, 2013

It's all good

A friend recently asked me how it works for sweet romance authors to work together to promote each other. Isn't competition a problem?

My take on it is that an author cannot write as quickly as most people can read, which means that her readers will be looking for another sweet romance novel, while waiting for her favorite author's next story. And voila - Sweet Romance Reads authors are available to fill that void.

So many exciting things are happening at the Sweet Romance Reads website! You can follow the links to discover new authors. Check out the New Releases page to see what you might miss if you hadn't stopped in. Watch the Amazon widget to find a book cover that looks interesting. You can also fill out a survey to join the Sweet Team - the read and review group that's just getting started.

If you haven't already liked the Sweet Romance Reads facebook page, please hop over and do that. We had a tremendous time at our Christmas bash, and there is hushed discussion about another event... If you Like that page, and then hover over the Like button and click Get Notifications, you'll get all of our news as soon as it is released.

Twitter much?  Just follow @SweetRomanceRds.

That was a long way of saying, no, competition doesn't seem to be a problem. I have loaded up my Kindle with a bunch of their Christmas stories. It's a treat to be included in this fabulous group of authors. Lucky, lucky me!


Saturday, December 14, 2013

That warm, satisfying glow

Read about "the making of" A Legendary Christmas Past on the 111 Publishing website. It was fun for Jan Scarbrough, Janet Eaves and me to do this interview, and it gives potential readers some real insight into these six Ladies of Legend Christmas novellas, which are set in the 1940s, 1960s and 1970s.

To quote a reviewer of this boxed set, "These novels won't set the literary world on fire, but they do just what they were written to do; put that warm, satisfying glow in your core."

I'm very okay with that. :)


Monday, December 2, 2013

Road block, revisited

It's highly unlikely that anyone remembers this, but eons ago I wrote a post about the giant road block I placed squarely in my path to success as an author. It's so interesting to me that I wrote the post in October 2008, and the flasher on the road block sign is still flashing.

Seriously. Click on this link and take a look. It is so daggone cute.

Anyway, approximately five years after I wrote that post, I did something positive about the road block. I joined up with a bunch of other authors of sweet (G/PG) romance. A website/blog exists now, where readers can learn about new releases and the various authors. There's even a book cover carousel with one cover for each of us. Go here to check out the Sweet Romance Reads website. If you sit there long enough (like I've done, um, a few times) you'll see my cover for Under the Mistletoe. Whee!

This Thursday, December 5, twelve of us are hosting an all-day Facebook party. We'll share Christmas book covers and excerpts, have Christmas-theme games, and give away lots of prizes. Books are among the prizes, but other things too. The grand prize is a $100 Amazon gift certificate. So if you're on Facebook and like sweet romance, check it out. Click here to check out the party.

I hope you can be there and meet some of my new friends.