What do you Write?

The conundrum, the struggle, is real. The indecision can be paralyzing. There's the pressure to go in so many different directions...

1. follow the market   2. give in to the daughter's demands for that YA   3. track the temptations to write a thriller   4. finish the series   5. continue the series  

Ack! At the bottom of it all, is there a right answer? I don't think so. But there are better answers. 

For example, I can't move in the direction of the YA. As much as I love the story idea of time travel, my career has been adult romance, contemporary and suspense. Would it be smart to move in a new direction at such a newbie stage of my career? Doesn't matter that I've been writing for 14 years and have 8 books published. I'm practically a nobody. I'm not a best-selling author... so the big question would be, what if that happens on my one YA book? What would be the expectations for more? And what would happen to my romances and suspenses?On the other hand, if I end up writing a YA that rocks...would I want to go back? Is the risk worth it? Or do I stick it out in the vein a little while longer and see what's what?

Well, I wish I knew. 

I've had a slow start to the year, working on a novella in order to keep my fingers limber and my brain working. But I will have to move on eventually. And I'm still not sure which door to pick. 


Happy 2018



Do you ever feel like all you do is spend your time waiting? Waiting for the big break. Waiting for a loved one to come home. Waiting for the coffee to brew! 

Even my characters are waiting--for love, for happily-ever-after, for revenge, for justice. 

And it occurred to me, the story isn't about what happens at the end of the wait. 

No. It's what a person or character does while they are waiting. As an Army wife, I feel this strongly, especially as 2018 starts. We had two moves in two years in a row, and this will be the first year we don't move since 2015. And that's an awesome thing! But it's also means...I'm waiting.


This hasn't been my most favorite place to live so far and that means I'm subconsciously looking forward to what's to come. Where will we go next? When? It's human nature. It's survival. But, I think it's time for me to really embrace a new routine, here. I don't have to love it here to love the people I'm with, to enjoy the good days, and invest my time in the worthwhile causes around me. 

It's time to find a niche. And you know what??


That's being a mom. It's being a writer of my books. It's being a friend to the women I work with and share bible study with and laugh with...and even cry with. It means going above and beyond. It means writing a ton. It means going to the extra-curricular activities--the plays and sporting events and doctors appointments [without complaint]. It means learning something new and maybe visiting that one museum I still haven't made it to.

I'm not going anywhere for the next year...

So watch me fly!!

With Love,


So flexible...

When I was a kid, I was a gymnast. I could do the splits like nobody's business. Backbends and all sorts of fun, flexible maneuvers. 

I'm still flexible. I can touch my toes--from a standing position--and not fall over! But mostly, my flexibility these days is in adjusting to life's sudden changes.

Just a week ago, I was determined to get up early every morning and write from 0400 to 0600. These are the quiet hours in my house. Do you know what happened? My 19 month old decided waking up early was fun! My middle schooler couldn't get his homework done before 9pm. And there was so much going on...it was impossible to get to bed early enough for me to wake up at that hour. The household went into reject mode over my new idea of ideal. Subconsciously, it was like they all had it out for me. [not that I blame them...not really. Okay, a little]

The thing is, I have a goal. The goal is to reach the goal!! The goal is not to get there a certain way. So, I change things up. Last night, I spent the last hour of my day, working on my shit. It worked. I wrote over 500 words, and took care of a few business items on my list.

I'm going to tiptoe through this change and hope that no one, in God's name, notices that I have started something new! Because heaven help them all if I get to my deadline in May and not have a manuscript that is ready to go to the editor!!! >:( Grrr.

Take on the World

Today I started a new routine. I had one of those weekends  where I got absolutely nothing [that I wanted to] done. Specifically, writing. This came on the heels of a Spring Break, which was spent either taking care of sick kids or being sick. So my plans to get out that week a couple times while the kids weren't busy at school--yes, use them to babysit!--didn't happen. The ski trip that was supposed to be Wednesday was moved to Thursday, and that killed two mornings as well...

After all that, I knew I was in a place where I was going to have to make adjustments. If I want to publish 4 books between November and March, I need to work! One of those books isn't even started, three need revisions and edits. I can't really afford to putz around. 

This morning at 4am, I woke up and worked for an hour and a half. I edited/revised 13 pages and added 800 words. This is a great start to today!! And it makes the quality time I spend with my Littles throughout the day more precious because I won't be distracted and resenting it. 

Real life is busy. And even though I consider writing a part of my 'real life', I must be honest with myself and my calling. I'm a wife and a mother first. That means children, laundry, food, hugs, kisses, tears... all the things that bring heart to my busy world. 

Now, I just have to keep this up. Tomorrow is another day, another start. Discipline is NOT my middle name! But, I'm going to keep going, keep trying. Knowing that I have even an hour's worth of work done every morning should increase my production by 100%. 

What are you doing today to increase your potential for success?

CRW -- August Mini Conference

Looking forward to a fun day tomorrow. The MiniCon will be filled with some great workshops and feature guests/speakers. Not to mention it's great to get together with other writers and just chat--about the industry, about work, about...the weather. It's like, adult conversation after a long time of being with kids. So, we could talk about food, and I'd be keen on that.

Super exciting to have Angela James, editor at Carina Press, at the conference as well. I haven't submitted to them in quite some time. But...maybe it's time to do so again. The last time I subbed, I was working on Dark Summer...and holy moly that was ages ago. YEARS! 

Time really does fly, doesn't it? 

When we're stuck in the waiting game, there's this sense that time drags, but if we come up out of the work and look around, we see. Years have gone by!! :D

Have a great weekend.

With Love,


Friday Night

Not the show, of course...just a catchy title for a boring post.

Since growing up a bit, Friday nights have become boring. With six kids, I don't go out much on this last night of the week, eve of the weekend.  If anything, I'll go out on Saturday or Sunday night [the early bird special, ya know].

So, when I get to business and want to work on a Friday night, I find myself...stuck. No one is around. Apparently, there is a life outside of home and these virtual walls on a Friday night. I'm just not there!! hahaha. :D Forget writing sprints and challenges. Forget plotting fun or just plain old gossip.

It's a ghost town in here...

...I think maybe I'll use that as inspiration! 
And get to work.
With love, all, enjoy your weekend.

Just the thought of it

I closed my WIP last night with an idea of where to go next. I woke up this morning and went about my business, getting the littles to school, hurrying to the dentist for a 7:30am appointment for one of the olders, which was actually at 7am. So I rescheduled, hurried them to school, then came home to get the littlest to school so i could work.

When I finally sat down, I opened the document and went back a few pages to get reacquainted with where I was in the story. An hour later, Jack was fussy and lunch at the cafeteria was started...so we took a break--diaper change then lunch. Finally I sat again with the WIP and....

For the love of Pete, I couldn't remember what I was going to do next!!!

Didn't write it down. Couldn't remember the great idea.

Picked up the littlest and drove home. But the light shined down on me as I drove, and it all came rushing back. Now I'm home, getting ready for the weekend, and very excited about the next scene...
Copyrighted work, borrowed
from FOW.

...a little magic.
and questions on Maxim.

[you better believe I worked for that last one!! lmao]

It's going to be a great, long weekend with nothing on the schedule but Saturday afternoon basketball practice for the Oldest. Plus, warm weather, open doors, garage time... going to be awesome.

Have a great one.
With Love,

Why Romance?

I still think about this question every now and again. It's the self-reflection that comes up over time. Just recently, I've been seeing all the hype about the Fifty Shades of Grey movie releasing soon.

I never read the book. I won't see the movie, either. 

I don't even know that I'd call it romance. Erotic and Romance have distinct differences when you get to the nitty-gritty of story-telling. A happily-ever-after is not a given in erotic fiction. Like with women's Lit--for example, The Help. Truthfully, I don't pick up women's lit for the life of me. It's unsatisfying to read about women who may...or may not find a happily ever after.

But the hype of Fifty Shades brings about the controversy of romance, in general. Sex! In Books! Because for the first time in a long time, this erotic tale [notice I didn't say romance] is front and center of commercial fiction. This is a sexual journey... as people see, or like to see, or believe that sex has become--some kind of freedom, and that the freedom of sex will bring some kind of resolution. To me, that's the element that separates romance from erotic fiction. In romance, sex might bring change or create conflict or even bond two characters. As in real life--whether we believe sex is good before or after marriage--sex does these things. But it's not about the sex. It's the emotion behind making love that forces a person to look deeper into themselves and find a truth. What is love? How will it change a person? Is this a change the character can allow?

Recently, a facebook friend posted something. Sex before marriage is a lie. 

Now, I was raised conservatively enough to understand where this person is coming from. True love waits..and all that, yet at the same time, the statement feels wrong, it feels judgemental... a blanket statement that doesn't truly encompass everything good about humanity, including our faults. And without faults, we would have no need for this Love that we claim--forgiveness, mercy, and grace. 

So I commented.

Sex before marriage is human.

Is it part of your story? Does love exist in a vacuum of faultlessness? Or do we show our characters in real life? Is sex something to hide just because it's sacred or special or meant for that one person? Or is it time to have an open discussion about it? Do we not already talk about sex...woman to woman? Mother to daughter? Husband to wife?

Romance is inspiration and encouragement to maintain the vows we made [or want to make]. Reading romance is a small blip in a life full of DIY books, how-to manuals, conferences, retreats, workshops, and therapy sessions--all telling us how to live better, love more, and be happy.

So, why not read a romance? write a romance?....

Now, I have to get back to my latest book in which Mr. Perfection completely fails by falling for the most imperfect, flawed woman he's ever met...and bugger him, he wants her like he's never wanted anyone else, including the very nice, mother-approved woman he's been dating for a year and has every intention of marrying!! Will he be able to control his suddenly over-active libido and maintain his self-appointed heading to the perfect life, or will the road bring him to a point where conflict and discovery make him stronger and lead him to true love?

Gee, I know what I'm wishing for even if it does mean sex before marriage. <3 Way more satisfying to overcome the conflict, the idea that this perfect life is just going to land in our lap. To overcome the idea that we know what's right for ourselves!

Have a great weekend, friends.
With Love,

prompt fun

The title sounds like the fun I'm having is punctual... on time. Ha! Instead, I had a great time last night with several fellow writers in town. We were led through a few writing prompts inspired by words, phrases, and even a photo.

 I shared one bit on Facebook, and I thought I'd do the same on my blog with another selection.

Sometimes we get stuck in our writing... seriously. I haven't had such a freeing time writing in months. I've been neck deep in stories already started, characters I've been thinking about for ages. This was such a breath of fresh air. It really reminded me of why I like writing.

The possibilities are endless!!

This small bit was inspired by a photo of a house. Low-slung porch with doors and windows open, it had a warm homey feel to it. A swing off to the left and two chairs on the right had pillows. Made me want to step up and stay awhile...

...All the doors were open, inviting the young woman up the steps and over the front porch. She paused on the threshold and knocked on the dark wood. “Hello in the house,” she called out.
A breeze whispered by.
She entered, a flutter of nerves settling in her stomach. “Anyone home?”
The television was on in the corner of the great, open space. Two big sofas sat eskew to the right angles. An afghan hung over the back of one. Inviting, she thought, as she made her way toward the open doorway opposite her entry.
A breeze whispered by.
The rocker over to her left caught the moving hair and creaked. The old wood burning stove sat in the corner beyond, cold and dark. On the wall hung an old time photo, a family portrait. Women in skirts, men in their suits, gripping lapels. Not a grin on one face, except for the little one.
Just off to the right, a small child posed, knickers riding high on one leg, a ball in his hand....

I don't know about you, but I do believe there's a ghost story in that one somewhere. I'm filing it away for the next time I feel the need to break out of my rut!

Have a great week, friends!
With love,

Fools Rush In...

...and other movies men will watch.

Does your significant other have any secret girl movies he likes to watch?

Mine loves two, Fools Rush In and Overboard [you have to watch it. It's excellent]. Why is that excellent? ...Because I want to watch it.

I think this scene from Fools Rush in is one of the favorites... he often likes to say, "...the white people are melting out here!"

Although, this is definitely a favorite scene, too...

When I wrote my book Letters From Home and the newest, unpublished WIP from the same series, I had this movie in mind. I just love the melding of these two families. The surprises, the fun, and the wee-little-bit of heartache... It's a great way to show how love can happen to anyone.


It's another round of the The Just Romance Me Blog Hop. Wheeehooo! Thanks for being here. And I hope you enjoy the ride. :D I'm giving away a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card.

...but wait, there's more!

Just Romance Me is giving away a Kindle Paperwhite w/ Special Offers for the Grand Prize, so keep going. It's just a short skip, hop, and a jump away from the best summer of your life.

Just click the Just Romance Me BLOG HOP image on the right to get back to the hop. :D Then click Next!

Do you got it?

I just read an article theorizing that only smart people can write and that there is a connection between intellect and the ability to write. But the first thing that comes to my mind is that my husband struggles to write!! He has a hard time putting to paper the thoughts running through his head. He'll even obsess over a thank you note.

My husband is smart. I wouldn't say he's smarter than I am, just different smart. And I think that's the theory to be proved. There are types of smartness. I'm a writer/creative. My husband is analytical. We are both smart. We merely show it in different ways. Oh wait... I think this theory has already been studied and proven! Doh.

It's almost insulting to say, that because he can't write well, he lacks intellect. But, that's what the writer of this article suggested--I think. One, that people either "have it" or "don't have it" and, two, that not having it means there is some lack of intellect and all smart people can write.

What do you think?

Where is Success?

We've been talking about Success [yes, i'm going to capitalize that word in the blog post], and how to get it, in my critique group. We've been talking about Street Teams--these fan clubs put together by an author that spread the word when new books come out. We've talked about the writing. The promotion and marketing....

So many variables in reaching Success. How do we get it right? Where is Success? WHAT is Success?

The bottom line? Success is different for everyone.


That's it?! That's what you have for us? [the crowd groans in disappointment]

I know, but it's true. Success is personal and it is attained by each author differently.

For me, Success comes in writing a book. I don't care if I never sell it. When I have a completed manuscript in front of me, and I know it's the best I can do, I'm happy. I'm successful. This is a big deal. Do you want to know why? Most writers never finish that manuscript. NEVER. Even when it seems like everyone around me is writing, finishing, and selling manuscripts, in my head, I know that there are just as many and then a lot more people who aren't.

Maybe that makes me too laidback...maybe I should aim higher! But, my other belief maintains that Success is all about the long tail [as one of my crit partners so nicely put it]. Have you ever heard about that writer who worked for years and years and years on the same manuscript? Wrote, rewrote, edited-to-death, and then wrote again? That's just not going to work. We have to keep moving. Start new projects, finish projects, let go of the ones that will never ever sell no matter what we do to them. This isn't easy. I have a Romantic Suspense series. Three books of that series are written, but I have yet to be able to sell the first one. ACK! I love this story! About once a year, I pull this story out and I try to "fix" it. But more and more, I think...maybe it wasn't meant to be. :'(  So sad, but truth. And if I don't waste a month every year messing with it, think of all the other stuff I could do.

Authors have to be able to put more books on the market. Every year, another one or two or even three if we're lucky. Persistance. Secondary to that is the promotion and marketing.

Yes, I believe promotion and marketing is important and it works! I know it works. I've seen it work with my own books. But it's short term. You can't promo the hell out of one book for the next ten years. Eventually, you have to have another book to give the readers, or they will forget about you.

Think long-term. Think GREAT writing and stories that capture a heart. People love books. People buy books, and they'll continue doing so until the end of time--even if it does mean digitally. Romance, Horror, Sci-fi, Women's Lit. No matter what you write, writing is the key. Get it down, make it good, and put it out there.

Have a great weekend, friends, and happy writing!
With Love,