Follow Me…And Other Exciting News!!

You might have noticed that I changed the picture at the top of my website. If not, just take a look. The picture on the cover of All I Want has always been one of my favorites.

That’s not really what this post is about though. Nope, instead I’m going to let you know all the places you can follow me! You’re super excited, aren’t you? I know I am!

Drum roll please…I’ve got a Facebook page!! I know, shocking, but I did. I’ll explain more in a bit. And not only that, but I’ve got a Pinterest one too!

Now if I could only figure out how to get those little widget things at the top of my blog to make it easier for you to follow me.

Anyhoo…I’ll just make it easy.

My Facebook Page is here : Facebook

My Pinterest Page is here: Pinterest

If you don’t already follow me on Twitter, please do!!: Twitter

How about my newsletter? You can subscribe and find out what I’m working on and specials.  Newsletter

You can see me on Bookbub.

And Goodreads.

Now for the really exciting news…and the main reason I signed up for FB and Pinterest.  I’m going to be working with a bunch of wonderful and talented authors at The Author’s Billboard. You can follow them and me at their blog here : The Author’s Billboard

As you can see they’ve got a contest going for the month of September. Enter and win a chance for a $25 Amazon Gift Card. (my memes are at the bottom since I just joined the group last week, but they were kind enough to let me enter)

Not only are there wonderful contests, but they put out several boxed sets a year where you get a chance to read multiple stories from different authors (and hopefully find some new favorites!) for a low price! Check some of them out here. I’ll be included in one of the boxed sets for this Christmas!!!! (If I wasn’t so shy I’d insert a gif of me dancing around my office right now!)

Did you notice that the bulk of the ladies in this group are USA/NY Times Best Selling Authors??!!! I’m so excited to be working with them and learning everything I can from their experience and expertise! Fingers crossed, I’ll be following suit.

If you want to get to know them some more, follow them here on Facebook

And now that I’ve overloaded you with data (Your finger is sore from clicking on the links and following, right?) I’ll end this with a few short words… Follow Me!!!

Give Me A Chance…Prologue

It’s that time again. Time to start teasing you with a little bit of Give Me A Chance. You can buy the book here.

Here’s the Prologue to Max and Quinn’s story.

Quinn pulled the front of her zippered sweatshirt tighter together and tried to ignore the tiny hole her thumb just slipped through.

Stopping on the street corner, she looked around and saw the normal everyday traffic, people moving fast with their heads down. In her neighborhood, pedestrians didn’t make eye contact and it was better that way.

She reached down, pretending not to notice the frayed edges of the sweatshirt that was two sizes too big and decades old. As she placed the ends of the plastic zipper together and tugged, she hoped it didn’t break, just like she did every time she tried to close it. When it got caught up on some loose material, she yanked fast, the zipper closing all the way up to her neck.

Pulling the zipper down a bit, she readied herself and lifted her hood over her head. It’d keep the wind off her neck, not that it offered much warmth in the late fall of her Chicago neighborhood.

Neighborhood. That was a joke. It was the slums and anyone who said differently was only fooling themselves.

She took a steadying breath, dreading what she was about to do, but what she’d had to more times than she cared to admit. It wasn’t like she enjoyed it, but she had no choice. The kids were depending on her.

Lowering her eyes and straightening her shoulders, she marched into the convenience store like she did every few days. She knew how much she could spend, but she’d have to take a bit more.

Unfortunately, the balance on the EBT card her mother left on the table just wasn’t going to stretch enough for the four hungry mouths in the house.

Not knowing when her mother might return, Quinn figured she’d have to get enough to last a few days. Since it was Friday, she was pretty sure her mother wouldn’t show up again until late Sunday night, maybe even Monday morning…after Quinn had gotten her brothers and sister up and walked her brothers to school before heading there herself. The baby would be left with a neighbor, if she could find one who’d open their door.

Doing as little as possible, that was her mother.

Time to get this over with. Quinn opened the door, heard the bell chime, and walked over toward the pasta shelf. It was cheap, filling, and she could make it last, while spicing it up so the kids didn’t think they were always eating the same thing all the time. She learned to be creative in the kitchen thanks to a neighbor giving her herbs to grow on the windowsill in their tiny two-bedroom apartment.

With her head down, she moved quickly, grabbing what she needed, what she knew she had enough money for, then moving toward the other aisle. There was no soap or toothpaste left in the house. She’d used the last bit herself. They might be poor, but they could still be clean.

Shuffling the food items in her hands, she quickly and efficiently slid the toothpaste inside her sweatshirt on one side, then looked around, made sure no one saw her, and did the same with a bar of soap.

Her head was racing, her hands were sweating, and she was silently praying to a God that never seemed to answer her prayers. No matter how many times she’d done this, it didn’t make her feel any better. She was just glad she needed smaller items this time, not bigger boxes of feminine products. Those was harder to hide in her clothing.

She walked a few more aisles over, browsing for anything that might be marked down that she could rearrange and manage to squeeze in with the limited amount of funds she had.

After a few minutes, she decided to just buy what she had and save any remaining balance for another day. There was still one more week in the month anyway.

“What do you think you’re doing, you little punk?” she heard right before a strong hand gripped her shoulder tight.

She felt the tears well up in her eyes, but pushed them back, squared her shoulders, and tried to shrug off the hand…only it wasn’t moving. Time to be strong, time to talk herself out of this.

But when she turned to see who the hand belonged to, it wasn’t an employee or the store owner, it was a police officer.

Year of Change

2017 is going to bring on a year of change like I’ve never seen before. I’m ready to hold on tight and try to get through the ride.

Many are saying it’s going to be a fun year for me, but I doubt it. It always looks fun to others, but not the person going through it.

My entire life I’ve lived in the same small upstate rural county. For over 35 years I’ve lived in the same city. Heck, I’ve only lived in 4 houses my whole life! Only 2 houses with my husband of almost 23 years. But in the next 6-8 months I’ll be moving.

Not far, not really. Just an hour from where I am now. It’s going to be a great change in the scheme of things. I know that, I believe it, and I’m super excited. But I’m also scared, worried and anxious.

Change is good, but it’s also hard.Especially for someone like me who likes things to stay status quo.

When I look at all that is changing in my life next year though, none of it is bad! It’s all good. New house, new city, my son is graduating from high school and going to college. That’s part of the reason for the move.

He’s been a Type 1 Diabetic since he was 8 and doesn’t feel comfortable at this point in his life going away to college, but he’s a smart kid and got an amazing scholarship to a great private college. So we are moving closer to his college so he has less than a 10 mile commute rather than a 50+ mile one on a major highway. Even my husband’s commute will now be a fraction of what it currently is.

So that leaves me. I’ve currently got a 2 minute commute to my job (seriously, I do!) and it would be an hour after the move.  So, after a lot of thought, I told my employers I would be done working once we moved, giving them 6-8 months to find a replacement for me.

Imagine my surprise when a few weeks ago they offered for me to stay on full time and primarily work from home. I was shocked and humbled at the same time. For now, I’m going to give that a try.

So have patience with me. My books are still going to come out every 3 months. I hope that I won’t be disrupting my routine too much, but the truth of the matter is, the next 6 months of my life are going to be a tad bit crazy.

The goal is my writing will keep me grounded. And with any luck, I’ll have a ton of new inspirations to write about!

Here’s to 2017! Bring it on!

Give Me A Chance

give-me-a-chance

Cultivated by the wealthy and elite in New York City, plastic surgeon Dr. Max Hamilton seemed to have it all. A beautiful wife and two well-behaved children, along with a successful practice. But an ugly nasty divorce forced him to pick up his children and move north to Lake Placid away from everything that destroyed him. Now with things starting to normalize, he finds himself in desperate need of a nanny and housekeeper. That’s all. Nothing more, nothing less.

 

Quinn Baker spent her childhood in poverty, foster care and even detention centers. As an adult working two—sometimes three jobs—her fingertips still couldn’t grasp the edge of the vicious poverty circle to pull herself out. When she overhears of Max’s need for a nanny, she takes a risk and prays her past doesn’t come back to haunt her.

Two Years Ago

Two years ago this month my first book Road to Recovery was published. You can read about my excitement (and nervousness) here.

Rather than bore you with all the comings and goings of the last two years, I’m going to summarize how I did.

I’ve published 11 books within 3 different series!

The Road Series is 4 books.

The All Series is 6 books.

The Lake Placid Series had it first book published today! Second Chance.

I’ve sold over 12,000 copies, had over 137,000 free downloads and 37,000 books borrowed through Kindle Unlimited.

That’s not Best Seller numbers, but it’s pretty great in my eyes.

The bulk of my income has come from Kindle Unlimited. Now many authors are experiencing issues with the way book pages are being counting by Amazon and in November and December we are seeing significantly lower numbers. Fingers crossed their algorithm gets adjusted or corrected soon, but in the meantime, I’m thrilled with how the last two years have gone.

Here’s to the next two years, and with any luck, maybe I’ll hit the Best Seller list with one of my books!!

End Of The Year…

I’m thrilled 2015 is coming to an end!!! For me this year was a barrage of emotional upheaval.

First off, joy! Lots of joy on my writing end. I published five books in 2015. That’s right, five books! Granted, the last two from the Road Series were actually written in 2014, but just got pushed back on their publication dates. Still, five books is a lot. I’d like to say I could do that every year, but I would be kidding myself. Three-four books a year is my goal.

Aside from being such a wonderful year with my writing, on a personal level, 2015 was one of my hardest years. I’d had some major health issues, which I’ll blog about in another post soon. But as bad as those health issues were, I’m still very thankful and very grateful that things turned out well. That things weren’t as bad as they could have been, even though they were bad enough. And that I have a wonderful support group with my family, friends and doctors that helped me through.

So let’s move on to 2016 with a smile and a warm welcome. I’ve got four books lined up to publish. The last three from the All Series and the start of a brand new series too. I’m super excited and hope you are as well.

On that note, I’ll end with I hope everyone has a Happy New Year full of wonderful, joyous moments that may override any sad or unhappy ones.

Not the End…

The fourth book in the Road Series, Road to Reason, will be published early to mid April.  Ryan finally gets his chance. All those little teasers of him through the first three books have built up. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

Let me back track a little. When I was writing Road to Reality, Mac’s story, I decided to introduce another family into the mix, the Harpers—old childhood friends of Lucas and Ryan.  It only made sense that their younger sister would be the one to bring Ryan to his knees.

In doing so, a new series started to play around in my head.  The All Series.  You can read more about my up and coming books here.

The first of the new series, All or Nothing, is about Ben.  I’m in the editing stage of that book and it’s my hope to have it out by early June. I’m going out on a limb and saying this is my favorite story of all the books I’ve written so far.  There is something about Ben and his struggle.  I know, I know, I shouldn’t have favorites, but right now, his story touches me deeply.

Just this week I finished the draft of All of Me, which is about Phil.  What I love about this story is it secretly starts in Road to Reason, and then comes crashing together towards the end of All or Nothing.

With any luck, in the next few weeks I might start Alec’s story, All the Way.

As I continue along with the Harper’s, all your favorite characters from the Road Series return. Their lives continue on and you get to see where they are, and how they relate to each other.  In my eyes, it’s all part of the circle of life. You meet and get to know these characters and then see their Happy Ever After, even after their story has ended.

So as you can see, it’s really not the end. But rather the beginning of life long friends, their struggles, their love and their own growth.

If you are interested in receiving a free advanced copy of my new books, check out my post here

Images

In order for me to effectively describe a person or a scene, even the clothing they are wearing, I need to get an image in my mind. I often do a quick search Online, find something that catches my eye, and go from there.

I’m sorry to admit this, but it’s more important for me to get an actual visual of the males (Heroes) in my stories, than the females. Chalk it up to being a chick, I guess.

The main reason I don’t put faces on my covers is because I want people to form a picture in their own minds of what the characters look like. And in saying that, I’m going to ruin any images you’ve formed right now because I’m going to share with you the characters in my mind. Sorry if it clouds your images. Or maybe it will help.

The funny part of this is, two of my characters are celebrities, so when I see their pictures I always want to shout out Lucas or Ryan. But I keep my lips sealed so those around me don’t think I’m nuts.

So here we go. For Lucas, Paul Walker. Not in stature, but in his looks. Look at that boyish grin…is that Lucas or what?

lucas

Jack. Jack was a tough one for me. I don’t know who this model is, but boy do I think of him when I think of Jack. Not overly muscular, but big, solid, built just like Jack. With that serious broody look to him. Hmm yum, as Cori would say.

jack

Mac. Okay, Mac to me is just hot, sexy and sweet, all wrapped up into one. Not so much rough around the edges at all, not like Jack is. So whoever this model is, he hit Mac’s facial features perfectly.

mac3

Ryan. Ladies, you’ve been given glimpses of Ryan as a playboy over the first three books of this series. And yes he is a playboy. Big, athletic, sexy, charming and very aware of himself and how he looks. Ryan is none other than Chris Hemsworth in my eyes.

ryan2

Please enjoy! And as always, if you’ve read any of my books, I would love for you to leave a review, or let me know your thoughts. Also, if you would like to receive a free copy of one of my books, check out how with the blog post Free Books.

Excerpt From…Road to Reality

I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it, Road to Reality is my favorite in the Road Series. Not just because Zoe has a special place in  my heart. You can read about it more on A Piece of My Heart.  But also because Mac, the hero of the story, is pretty much perfect.  I know, I know, there is no such thing as a perfect guy, but hey, it’s my story, so in my mind is he darn close to it.

And Beth, well as a heroine, she is pretty expectational herself.  Shy, awkward and basically clueless. All she ever wanted was to make a better life for herself and Zoe.

Here is an excerpt from the chapter Major Hotness.

She could do this. Or so she tried to convince herself. It was her job. She did it all day long.   Just because she had a crush on him didn’t mean she couldn’t be professional. Even if it meant running her fingers though his hair. Oh man, she needed to get her mind back on track. It was a haircut, nothing more, nothing sensual there. Only she couldn’t seem to convince herself of that.

Once Mac was seated in her chair, a black smock on, this one with a teal embroidered Mitchell’s on the front, she asked, “What can I do for you?”

Ignoring the muffled cough by Mitchell hovering a few feet away in the guise of product inventory, Beth continued to look at Mac’s reflection in the mirror in front of her. She saw his eyebrow rise and fought not to blush at the loaded question she asked. “With your hair. What do you want done?” she said, clarifying her question.

“A trim I guess,” he replied easy enough.

“OK,” she said, pulling a blue comb from the glass jar on her counter. Running her fingers through his hair first, testing the weight and feel of it, she tried to convince herself once again it was just a haircut, for God’s sake. “Feels damp.”

Mitchell’s snort caused her to turn her head sharply and glare at him while he arranged products without skipping a beat.

“I took a quick shower at the end of my shift.”

Trying not to imagine him in the shower was an effort, but she could do it. She hoped. “That makes it easier then. I’ll just spritz it down a bit more.”

Running her hands and the comb through his hair, turning, and angling her head, she tried to decide where she wanted to start on the wavy locks. “You’ve got quite a bit here.”

Mitchell suddenly had a coughing fit behind her and had to excuse himself, Charlotte seemingly joining in.

“Sorry about them. They’re both getting over a cold,” she said, hoping it didn’t sound as stupid to him as it did to her.

“No problem,” he said with a knowing grin.

“So what are we doing here?” she asked again. Flustered, she completely forgot he already had addressed the question.

“Oh, I think you know what we are doing here,” he answered with a wicked gleam in his eye.

Oh boy, she thought, way out of her comfort zone. Pull it together, she scolded herself, pull it together. Choosing to ignore his loaded answer, she picked up her scissors and went to work. “Ever think of trying something new?” she asked, and then regretted it almost immediately as she felt the heat creep back up her neck.

Mac continued to grin at her obvious discomfort. “What did you have in mind?” he asked, seeming to enjoy the banter.

I’m a professional, she reminded herself. “Nothing major, tighten up the sides and back, go a bit shorter on top, maybe. It would be easier, too. You could probably run a towel through it and go. You’ve got enough waves, so it looks like it will fall in place on its own. Want to give it a go?” Crap, she shouldn’t have phrased it that way.

He sent her a look that had her holding her breath, his eyes challenging hers, a sensual smile spreading across his handsome face. “I’m willing to risk it, are you?”

Placing her scissors down, she grabbed the clippers and tentatively smiled back at him. She could play it cool. “Sure.”

A Piece Of My Heart…

Book 3 in the Road Series, Road to Reality, holds a big piece of my  heart.

If you’ve read my blog post Inspirations and My Dog, then you know Roxy is a combination of the two boxers that I’ve owned.

Well in Road to Reality, there is one character that is part of my life in a very special way.  Zoe, the three-year old daughter of Beth.

You see, Zoe is actually largely based on my best friend, Lori’s, daughter, Hailey.  Not all of her, but a good part of her personality is portrayed in the book. Especially the part about playing dress up, and always cuddling into my shoulder/neck when I pick her up.  That is one of my favorite traits! They are so similar in my mind at times, that sometimes I catch myself calling her Zoe rather than Hailey.

My connection to Hailey runs deep. How could it not when I was at the ultrasound appointment when we found out Lori was having girl? Or when I gazed at her big—she was over 10 lbs—wrinkly form in the hospital bassinet right after delivery.

I often refer to Hailey as ‘my baby girl’ when talking about her.  I’ve even gone so far as to joke that Lori and I are Hailey’s parents and her husband really didn’t have much to do with it.  Of course, we know he had a large part in it, so I guess I better say, “Thanks Shane.” But just the same, she will always be my little girl.

Do you want to see a picture of my baby girl? I know you do. So here are two of my favorite pictures, and tell me if you don’t recognize the traits.

DSC_0727        DSC_0142

Hailey is one hundred percent a little girl. She loves to dress up, loves to put clips in her hair, but most of all loves it when I paint her nails for her.

Even this weekend when I was visiting she brought out the nail polish and asked me to redo her nails.

So, Hailey, when you get older, I hope you read this and realize how much your ‘auntie’ loves you!