Sunday, December 21, 2008

Walkin' In A Winter Wonderland

Hello Everyone! I'm sorry for not updating as often as I should and I have no excuse for why I haven't. I'm posting some pictures that I took around my house just this morning. We had 4 inches of snow on the ground yesterday and during the night...we got another 5-6 inches. Needless to say the kids are having a blast.

Here's the hill my children sled down all day long. It starts in our front yard and goes beside the house, down into the trees in the backyard. They'd stay out there all day long if I'd let them but they have to come in and warm up occasionally.

They were supposed to go to school last week but they made it to Tuesday and the schools were closed because of the weather. We've never had this much snow here and temps down in the single digets...that's unheard of here. I woke up in the early morning a couple of days ago and it was 1 degree.

Here's our house from the road. As much as I hate the snow- which those of you who know me well know that I really hate the snow- I can admit that it's pretty. I especially like the way the trees look.

And speaking of trees, I love how the snow looks on this bush. It just does neat things with the branches.

For those of you who want to know how the writing is's going very slowly right now. My muse doesn't appear to like the cold and the word factory has shut down. I sit and stare at the last sentence I wrote and at the end of an hour it's still the last sentence I wrote. Sheesh! I think maybe my crit partners need to sic the rhino on me...or maybe Chauncy the chainsaw...

Okay, okay! I'm writing!

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's that time again!!!

Okay everyone, it's time again for every writer to get him/herself a comfy chair, stock up on your favorite writerly snacks, tell the family you're unaccessable for the entire month of November because NaNoWriMo is right around the corner!!

That's right, you heard me right. Many authors feel adreneline surge into their blood at the mere mention of NaNo. 50,000 words in a month. Their brains start sifting through long ignored plots and story ideas for THE ONE! The one that will finally get their undevided attention for a whole writing intensive month.

So, get your supplies, inform the family so they can make preparations for your absence and don't look back.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this right of passage, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Here's the website: Join in the fun!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's contest time....finally!

Okay folks, I know I promised a contest many months ago with the prize being an autographed copy of Jane Porter's latest 5Spot book, Mrs. Perfect. I promised this contest just a few days shy of my husband being involved in a serious motorcycle accident and this week he has gone back to work! Exciting news! So, to celebrate this milestone and follow up on my promise, it's contest time!!

The contest is this: The first person to tell me how many books Jane Porter has had published wins. Post your answer as a comment.

Good luck!


Monday, September 29, 2008

I apologize in advance...

Okay, as most of my readers know, I'm not one to bring politics to my blog. I think there are enough politics out there already but this whole situation with the Wall Street bail out gone awry I felt like I really needed to put my $.02 in.

This whole situation was caused by greedy banks not willing to work with homeowners to help them save their homes. Now the banks are left with no revenue coming in and a crap load of empty houses on their hands. Why are these houses still empty? Because the banks still refuse to try to work things out so that people can get the loans they need to get their homes back or get into a new home.

If the banks would have just worked a bit harder to refinance people, dropped their interest rates as the Feds did, then they wouldn't be in this situation in the first place. In my honest opinion, the House of Reps did the right thing today by putting a kibosh on the 700Billion dollar rescue plan. I think that if the government rescues anyone, it should be the American homeowners that are in trouble because of money grubbing banks.

Okay, I'm done and getting off my soap box. If you don't agree with my way of thinking, post a comment and tell me why I'm wrong. If you agree...feel free to post a comment and back me up :)

Monday, September 08, 2008

I Am Woman...Hear Me Roar!

As I struggled to make it through this summer with even the tiniest bit of my sanity in tact, I used my spare time to read...a lot. Reading was my escape when I wasn't taking care of my injured husband and my out of school children. There were times when I thought for sure I was going to go insane but, alas, school has returned to session and my husband is walking again and things are returning to some semblance of normalcy in my world.

In the midst of doctors appointments and play dates I learned a few things about myself this summer. I learned that I am stronger than I ever thought I could be. I learned that when I think I can't go any further, I always find another bit of strength to get me through. The main character, Taylor, in Jane Porter's book Mrs. Perfect taught me that no matter how vulnerable and alone we feel in times of strife and hardship, women are so much stronger than we are often times given credit for.

Right now I'm trying to finish a book that I'm writing in hopes of pitching to an editor or agent at an upcoming conference I'm attending. The thought of it fills me with abject terror because I've never done anything like this before. My writing has always been such a personal part of me and to lay it all out face to face before a total stranger, gives me hives. But, that bit of truth being shared, I'm going to do it because I am strong and I've worked too hard to let this wonderful opportunity pass me by.

When you're feeling down, when you're at the end of your rope with a yawning canyon stretching endlessly below you, tie a knot and hang on with all your might because you CAN do it. You can get through whatever difficult situation you're in the midst of and you can come out on the other side stronger than you ever imagined.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

One Step At A Time

It has been 14 weeks since my husband's accident and as of this past Wednesday he is able to walk again. It's amazing how wonderful that simple accomplishment is. It's been three and a half months since I've seen him verticle under his own power and it's such sweet victory to see it now. It'll still be awhile before he's back to work full time but like the title of this post says, we're taking things one step at a time.

And for another bit of good news, no I didn't get 'the call', it's even better than that.....School starts back up in less than two weeks!!! LOL. This summer- what little bit of summer we've actually had- has been one of the longest of my life and I'm very ready for a little six hour mini vacation each day while the kids are in school.

Writing hasn't happened much lately simply because of the drain on my time and creativity. I have to get back to it though because I'll be attending the Emerald City Writer's Conference in October and I need to have something ready by then. So here I sit at my nice clean desk...blogging. Hehehe, my priorities are so skewed.

And that being said, I'm going to publish this and get to work. I just wanted to update all my writing buddies on what's been happening here. Thanks again to all of you who've sent such wonderful encouraging messages during this difficult time. Things are looking up and we'll be back up and RUNNING soon.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cleanliness is next to...creativity!

I couldn't quite figure out why my muse has been so absent lately but I figured it out yesterday. As I sat amongst the disaster I call my writing center, I got so frusterated by the mess that I went to the thrift store and purchased a nice little book shelf and got to work cleaning up the mess. The pictures on the left show the before and the pictures on the right show the after. Once it was tidied up and organized, my muse popped back into the picture with a relieved sigh and said, "Let's get to work." And work we did. I was able to pound out a good 2000 words last night before my brain shut down from exhaustion.
So, if your muse has suddenly vanished, maybe she's tired of working in a mess...clean up your work space and see how productive you become :)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Surgery two is complete

Well, James went for an appointment Wednesday with the foot doctor and Dr. Binerschke admitted him to the hospital for surgery. The surgery took place on Friday and took nearly eight hours to complete. My poor husband was so groggy and in so much pain when he came back from recovery that it broke my heart. I wanted so badly to be strong for him but I broke down and sobbed. It crushed me to see him like that with all the tubes and wires and bandages...and he hurt so bad. They gave him a nerve block in his upper thigh to keep his leg numb for a couple of days but it started wearing off way sooner than that and the first night was miserable for him.

So after five days in the hospital we are home as of this afternoon. The surgery went well and everything should be on the mend now. The heel bone was so crushed that the doctor had to use donor bone from a cadaver to rebuild the heel. It sounded kind of creepy when he first said it was a possibility but now that the surgery has gone so well, I don't care where the bone came from, just so long as it works.

Anyway, I just wanted to give everyone an update and let you know how things are going. Hopefully we'll be able to get back on a regular schedule and life will fall into something of a normal pattern for the next few months. 'Normal' being relative of course :)

Thank you to everyone who has prayed and sent good wishes our way. Your support and kindness means the world to me.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I know I haven't been around much lately....

But I have a really good reason for it. My husband was riding his motorcycle home from work when a driver ran a red light and broadsided him, sending him 30 feet through the air where he landed on his back. His left foot was crushed between his motorcycle and the car's bumper and when he landed on his back his T12 vertebrae suffered a serious fracture. He's home now but he's pretty banged up and has a number of surgeries ahead of him in the near future. It's been an exhausting few days for all of us here. For my readers who are inclinded to pray, please do, and I thank you so much for it :)

We'll be okay, we always bounce back thanks to God, but it's going to be a trial. It's going to be rough not having any real income for the next 6-12 months. I'd get a job but he needs so much care right now that I really can't. I know eventually that we'll get some sort of financial settlement from all of this to help pay all these medical bills but for now, it's going to be really difficult.

The hardest part for me, I think, has been the loss of my strongest support system at a time when I really need it. My husband is everything to me and at the end of a long day, his big bear hugs keep me going. Now that he's flat on his back all the time, his hugs are no longer possible. We take a shower together every single night and that simple action is something I look forward to all day, it's not sexual at all, just a few minutes for us to connect and be alone, to shut the world out and let us reconnect...and now that's gone. I feel kind of alone even surrounded by so many people who love and care for us because the one person I draw so much strength from is hurt and I can't do anything to make it better. It breaks my heart when I have to kiss him goodnight in the hospital bed we have set up at home and go to bed myself in our big bed. I cry every night because it's just not right. My heart tells me that something is so very wrong with that and I hate that it has to be that way. I hate not being able to reach over and touch him if I wake up in the night, I hate that I can't snuggle up beside him and feel his arms around me. This is the saddest I've been in so very long and my heart just hurts so bad.

Needless to say, my writing has come to a screeching halt. My brain is so tired from all the stress of the last few days that I couldn't conjure up a creative thought if someone handed me one. That said, I'm going to publish this post and go to bed because three hours from now comes very quickly :)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

See Jane Party!

Yesterday, all day, I anticipated an event, a wonderful event, the likes of which I had never had the opportunity to attend before. A couple of weeks ago I was invited by Jane Porter- author extrordinaire- to attend the release party for her latest 5 Spot book called Mrs. Perfect. I've read the book already and it is amazing. It it a story of the strength of women and at the same time, the softness and vulnerability of the same women. The book touched my heart and made me realize that I, too, am stronger than I realize.

So, here are some pictures I took of the event, not all of them are wonderful quality but I was so excited to be included that I was shaking a bit. I met some really great people besides Jane, including author Susanna Carr, Sound Relations CEO Leena Hyat, Kari Andersen- founder of Jennifer Stewart, a member of Jane's website and aspiring author herself was also among those I had dinner and much fun with.

Jane was gracious and beyond sweet. She spoke of her desire to see all kids having great opportunities for their futures. She supports an organization called Page Ahead; they supply books for low income children and instill in them a love of reading and books. Jane is very passionate about this program and her heart was clearly on her sleeve as she spoke about it. If anyone is interested in helping support this very worth cause, the web address is You can find more information there.

After listening to Jane speak about her books and writing, among other things, she signed books, chatted with people and then we all headed over to Ooba Tooba's for drinks and more fun. The evening was a blast and, in spite of getting home in the wee hours of morning, I am so glad I was able to attend. I knew Jane was cool after having spoken with her many times online, but after meeting her in person and getting to chat with her over dinner, she is even more cool than I imagined. She is very sweet and her writing talent is amazing. If you get the chance to pick up one- or more- of her books, please do. You will not be disappointed. You can find the titles of her books on her website:

And as an added bonus for those of you who read my blog regularly, I'll be giving away an autographed copy of Jane's latest 5Spot release, Mrs. Perfect, sometime in the very near future. So keep watching and don't miss out!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Jane Porter has a new book coming out!!!

Hey Everyone, Jane Porter's new book, Mrs. Perfect, hits shelves on May 5th. It's the follow up to Odd Mom Out and both books- I can tell you from already having read them- are amazing! Jane is so creative and has such a great gift with words. I would recommend these books to anyone who loves to read. Make sure you read them in order. You have enough time to get Odd Mom Out and get it read before Mrs. Perfect hits the book stores. So hurry up and go get it :)

You can also visit Jane's Website at for more information.

Friday, March 28, 2008

So much for spring

This is an image of my backyard...right now! Apparently Mother Nature doesn't care that it'll be April in three days. It's cold and snowing- has been snowing all day long- and it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

What does this have to do with writing? Not a thing. I just wanted to share a little of my winter wonderland- not that it's wonderful because it's not. I'd much rather be soaking up some rays on a Hawaiian beach or anywhere warm. But it's not to be, I'm stuck here in the Puget Sound, surrounded by ice and snow. I just made the desktop image on my laptop a sunny tropical island with a palm tree so I can have an easier time of dreaming that I was anywhere but here LOL!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Over the river and through the woods....

Okay, so I'm not going through the woods but I'm sure I'll fly over many rivers before I land. I had a new experience on Tuesday. I purchased my very first airline ticket and in June I'm going on my very first trip all by myself. I've flown before but never had the pleasure of actually buying the ticket so I shopped around online and found the best deal on

After the purchase was complete I sat staring at my printed itenerary, unable to believe that I was really actually going. The ticket is bought and paid for...there's no turning back. You wouldn't believe the insanely strong feeling I had to go pack my suitcase even though the trip is still 11 weeks away. 11 weeks, 77 days...that feels like forever.

Where am I going, you ask?

My very dearest friend lives in Western Kentucky. I haven't seen her in almost 6 years. She's had a baby since then and that baby is going to be 5 next month. How sad that I missed out on all of that. So, I will be flying out of SeaTac airport at the crack of dawn, landing in Atlanta Georgia several hours later, catching my connecting flight and landing in Nashville, TN where my dear friend will be picking me up so I can spend a week with her and her family.

I'm so keyed up about this trip that I'm finding it difficult to write because I want so badly to do something that will bring June about more quickly. I can't focus on much and while on one hand that's frustrating, on the other hand...there are 5 more fingers! Seriously though, how do you handle extreme anticipation? What do you do to get through the days until "THE DAY" is actually here?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

13 Little Blue Envelopes

I started, and finished, this book today and I have to say that it was one of the most engaging and genuinely fun books I've had the pleasure of reading in a long time. I truely enjoyed it and plan on putting it on my 'To Be Read Again' shelf because there is so much culture in this book that I could read it again and probably find things I missed the first time around.
Maureen Johnson is a master wordsmith.
Here's the blurb from the back:
Would you follow the directions?
Would you travel around the world?
Would you open the envelopes one by one?
Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1000 and instructions to buy a plan ticket.
In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.
The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny to find a starving artist.
Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwrite/thief/bloke-about-town called Keith go to Scotland together with somewhat disasterous- thought utterly romantic- results. But will she ever see him again?
Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of 13 little blue envelopes.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun adventurous read.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Okay, I'm not a football fan, it's just not a game that interests me, but I watched the Superbowl today and enjoyed it. I was rooting for the Giants and cheered as they battled their way up and kept the Patriots at bay. They played a wonderful game and deserve the victory they scored. Go Giants!! You guys rock.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Liar's Diary- A novel by Patry Francis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Laurie Connors
A Plume Paperback Plume Publicity

A Novel
By Patry Francis

“The new questions and revelations just keep coming…Readers will be heartily rewarded.”—Ladies’ Home Journal

When new music teacher Ali Mather enters Jeanne Cross’s quiet suburban life, she brings a jolt of energy that Jeanne never expected. Ali has a magnetic personality and looks to match, drawing attention from all quarters. Nonetheless, Jeanne and Ali develop a friendship based on their mutual vulnerabilities THE LIAR’S DIARY (Plume / February 2008 / ISBN 978-0-452-28915-4 / $14.00) is the story of Ali and Jeanne’s friendship, and the secrets they both keep.

Jeanne’s secrets are kept to herself; like her son’s poor report card and husband’s lack of interest in their marriage. Ali’s secrets are kept in her diary, which holds the key to something dark: her fear that someone has been entering her house when she is not at home. While their secrets bring Jeanne and Ali together, it is this secret that will drive them apart. Jeanne finds herself torn between her family and her dear friend in order to protect the people she loves.

A chilling tour of troubled minds, THE LIAR’S DIARY questions just how far you’ll go for your family and what dark truths you’d be willing to admit—even to yourself.

Patry Francis is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize whose work has appeared in the Tampa Review, Colorado Review, Ontario Review, and the American Poetry Review. She is also the author of the popular blogs, and This is her first novel. Please visit her website at

Praise for THE LIAR’S DIARY:

“Twists and turns but never lets go.”—Jacquelyn Mitchard, bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean

“A quirky, well-written and well-constructed mystery with an edge.”—Publishers Weekly

“Outright chilling.”—New York Daily News

“Genuinely creepy…The unlikely friendship between a small-town school secretary and a flamboyant teacher proves deadly in this psychological murder mystery.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A twisting ride full of dangerous curves and jaw-dropping surprises. This is one of my favorite reads of the year!”—Tess Gerristen, bestselling author of The Mephisto Club

“Francis draws and tense and moody picture of the perfect home and family being peeled back secret by secret…Four Stars.”—Romantic Times

By Patry Francis
Plume Paperbacks / February 2008 / $14.00
ISBN: 978-0-452-28915-4
Readers Guide available at

For more information or to schedule an interview with Patry Francis, please contact Laurie Connors, Plume Publicity
212-366-2222 /
There was also a great little audio clip that went with this promotion but blogger is having issues uploading it so I can't put it up. I do hope, though, that you'll get this book!

Friday, January 25, 2008

The world's loss

Heath Ledger- an amazing young actor with so much left to give- has left us, the whole world, grieving and shell shocked. No one could have expected such a tragedy and Heath's family will be a long time in finding a way to move on without him. I loved 10 Things I Hate About You and A Knight's Tale; Heath was a wonderful actor and brought amazing life to the screen. My heart breaks for his little girl who will have to grow up without her Daddy, for his sister who has lost her soul mate, for his parents who have lost their beloved son. This loss is monumental and will be felt the world over forever.
You will be missed, Heath, and may you rest in peace.
Heath Ledger
April 4, 1979-January 22, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

Lovin' It Indeed

Hello my faithful readers...I know you're out there :) and I appreciate each and every one of you. My muse, my inspiration, has returned full force and I wrote about 9000 words in three days. A story that I'd set on the back burner is now almost finished- the first draft anyway- and I'm so happy. I've made it my goal to send the completed first draft to my crit partners by February first and polish it up to send it to Harlequin by March first. A month ago I had nothing even remotely ready to go but now things are really looking up. It's such a wonderful feeling.

So, okay, I know I'm rambling. I guess the whole point of my sharing is to encourage those of you out there who might be struggling with writer's block. You can break through it! Keep writing!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Two In One

I've read a couple of books lately that left me wanting more when I turned the last page. The first being The Tycoon's Bride by Michelle Reid. The storyline was wonderful and it was packed with emotional and sexual tension. The characters were believable and had you cheering for them from the very beginning, even the hard as nails Andreas. Good job, Michelle!

The Greek's Royal Mistress was the second book I enjoyed this week and holy smoke. This is a steamy, passionate read that is loaded with sexual tension as well as a wonderful battle of wills that keeps hero and heroine dancing around each other like sparring partners. Chantal and Demetrius are two powerful magnets doing everything they can to stay apart but it simply isn't to be. :) I'd have to say, Jane, that of all of your Presents books I've read, this one is my favorite.
Both of these books are older so you probably won't find them in bookstores unless they have a used section but I found both of them on if you're interested. The Tycoon's Bride was released in May 2000 and The Greek's Royal Mistress was released in October 2004. I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I did.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

What if...

What if a playboy pilot and a stuffy stewardess crashland on a deserted island while transporting several children to the U.S. from Cuba?


What if a woman, running from an abusive relationship, poses as the expected nanny for a famous country singer?

I attended a writers retreat in November and the gracious host, Bob Mayer, taught that when writing, there needed to be a core question that more or less outlined the entire book in one sentence. What is the point of this, you ask? Well, when you're writing the story and you get stuck or need a boost of inspiration, look at your core question and remember what your original idea for the story was.

The two examples above are core sentences for two of the stories I'm working on right now. If I changed those sentences at all, they would no longer line up with the stories I've written because each part of the sentence is an important part of the story.

So, fellow writers, what is the core sentence, original idea for the story you're writing now? If you changed the sentence, would your story have to change too?