It’s Never Too Late To Be Thankful

Last week I lost track of days. Maybe it had to do with only having to work three days  before Thanksgiving. But Monday came and went last week and I didn’t think about posting my Monday blog. And when I woke up Thursday morning and turned on the Macy’s day parade for some reason that jogged my memory that I hadn’t posted anything!

I had planned on writing about being thankful – very appropriate for the holiday. And I realized that it is NEVER too late to talk about being thankful. I think it is something we should think about every day of the year, not just on Thanksgiving.

I am so thankful for my family – my dad, especially. And my friends who have been with me for years and those I have met recently as a writer.

And I am thankful for my writing. It has opened up a world for me. I have met amazing people and readers! I am so thankful for my readers – you jump into my world and understand my characters and keep reading! How blessed and thankful can one writer be?

Very, very thankful!

Come Along on my “Framily” Vacation

People often talk about taking family vacations. Well, I’m going to talk instead about a FRIEND vacation. I just got back from a long holiday weekend at a lake house with dear friends that I made back in college. Eleven women, getting together to celebrate, well, us.

When we get together each year, we are transported back to our college years, but we also recognize the women we have now become. Pretty powerful stuff. We share our experiences over the and laugh until our stomachs hurt.

In reality, I guess you could say we are a family of our own making – so maybe this is a family vacation as well!

There is a power in creating a family. Much like the characters in my books, who often find that family isn’t necessarily what we’re born into. For Misha, he has the wonder of both. His BSR teammates Kyle, Jean Luc, Jason, Talia, and even Sabrina are as important as his actual Shamat family and clan.

So spending time with my friends/family –  or what I’m going to call my “framily” is important and rejuvenating. You’ll be able to celebrate with Misha and his framily in two short weeks! Stay tuned…

Writing is NOT Solitary

You might have noticed that last week I missed posting my blog. I had just returned from RWA’s national conference and by the time I realized I missed my blog last Monday, I decided it was Fate’s way of telling me to take a blog vacation for a week. So I did.

But I didn’t want to forget to share my conference experience with you. For me, the national conference gives me the ability to regroup, both mentally and emotionally as a writer. I attend sessions and find out what is happening in the world of publishing. But even more importantly, I catch up with my writer friends. Many of whom I only see at conference. Sure, I may email or talk to them since they are located all over, but there is something special about spending actual time together.

When I am with a group of writers, my sense or rightness (or “writeness”) returns. I gather with people who understand my language and have stories that won’t stay silent in their brains. Powerful friends to have.

So I got to spend time with my peeps to gear up for another year of writing and publishing. Batteries have officially been recharged.

When Attitude is a Good Thing

Three weeks ago my blog talked about inspiration. Inspiration that I received from family and friends in the form of two bracelets with sayings on them.

This week, another dear friend gave me a necklace – you’ve seen the type – a pretty bar necklace that hangs horizontally on a chain. Many of them have a word or saying. I’ve seen words like, Live, Love, Peace, Joy. So when I pulled out the pretty, delicate necklace from the box imagine my surprise when the word stamped on the bar was ‘Badass’.

I actually tilted my head back and laughed out loud. Because my friend gets it. It’s all about attitude. There are so many things in this world that can hold us back, not the least of which is our own fears and insecurities.

She reminded me that when I started this writing journey, my motto was Be Fearless. And it still is! So I wear this necklace proudly. It’s my own personal attitude boost.

Here’s to you finding your own attitude booster and using it often!

 

Rejuvenating Your Heart

This weekend I spent time visiting family. Something I don’t get to do that much with my crazy schedule. But I think that it is so very important to make the time. It rejuvenates the soul, the heart, and the mind.

And in doing that, it makes me a better person and in turn a better writer. Look at it this way, if I don’t experience family and love, how do I expect to write about it? Even though the characters and stories are from my imagination, the feelings and reactions to love and family translate in real form to my written words.

And that can be said for any part of our lives.  Reach out to your family and friends and embrace what really matters. After the heartbreak of what happened in Vegas last night, we need to hold on tight to those we love.

 

 

Protect Me Release Day!

Yay! Release day is here for PROTECT ME! These prequels have been a labor of love. It has been so fun to write these stories and that is due to the secret I’m going to share with you…

Our characters become our friends.

It’s true. If they are good characters, they become three-dimensional. And my Mind Sweeper characters are very real to me. I can almost touch them at times.

So spending time with them is a pleasure. That’s what these flashback stories let me do. I got to go back and see how this unconventional group of people became a family. How can that not be a joy to write?

And no worries…I have attached my release day tiara picture below. You were wondering if I’d forgotten, but I have your back!

PROTECT ME AVAILABLE NOW:   Amazon     iTunes     Kobo    B&N

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Time to Reconnect

I’ve returned home from another amazing RWA conference. And since my brain is not fully functioning today, I will be providing you more pictures than words in this week’s blog.

20160717_083522To begin this discussion, I have to first say that San Diego was incredible as was the hotel. The first picture is a view from my balcony. It set the stage for the whole week. Any time I was able to, I spent it outdoors. Dinner each night was eaten outside as close to the water as possible.

I also went sightseeing at the beginning of the week and got a small sampling of what the San Diego area had to offer: Balboa Park, Old Town, Seaport Village, Little Italy, Gaslamp District and Coronado. Sadly, I did not find a Navy SEAL to bring home with me 😦

 

And now it was time for the conference and it didn’t disappoint. 2000+ writers and industry professionals coming together to discuss the craft and the business of writing. The energy at these conferences is intense. Think Alvin and the Chipmunks on speed. Yep, you’re getting the feel for it now!

But when you bring creativity together, I think you are going to have this explosion of energy. For me, I use it to recharge my batteries.

And Sentinel Lost won the Bookseller’s Best Award for Paranormal Romance at the conference this year as well! It also came in second in the PRISM awards and was a finalist in the Daphne Awards. I am so honored that the fifth book in my series was recognized this year!

One of my favorite events is the indie bookselling event and I was lucky to be a part of that this year as well. It is so wonderful to share your work with your fellow writers and see that indies are moving forward in this ever-changing business.

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And of course, there are the writing friends along the way who keep us sane and we share our writing joys and disappointments with. THAT is what makes me come back each year. The ability to meet with my writing friends to learn and recharge, to commiserate and celebrate, to talk the language of writing.

And so I am back home today in the ‘real world’ trying to get my feet back under me as my brain has already started to think about new stories and new business strategies.

On and on we go…

On An Adventure I Go!

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As you read this, I am heading off to attend Romance Writers of America’s National Conference! This year’s destination? San Diego! Yahoo!

There is something so amazing about RWA’s annual conference. As an author, I am surrounded by other authors who just get ME. They understand about the voices and the ideas that never quite go away. It’s like we speak our own language – a writer’s version of pig latin, if you will.

Being surrounded by 2000+ people in the business of writing helps me recharge, regroup and learn about craft and publishing. And of course, I get to meet up with my fellow writing friends live versus through social media. It’s wonderful to spend real time with them and catch up on their successes and challenges.

So during the week, I will try to post out on Twitter and Facebook as interesting things occur. Keep an eye out for that, my friends. And of course, I’ll let you know how things went in next week’s blog as well!

Off I go!!

Taking a Leap

20160104_185811This year for Christmas I received many nice gifts, but the one that resonated with me and I have shared in the picture attached, is this figure hanging onto an umbrella and seemingly floating through the air. My friend gave it to me because she said she was so proud of me for ‘taking a leap’ in my life. And that is what my writing and publishing of my books is all about, taking that step off the cliff and waiting for my stomach to catch up with me as I drop toward the earth, until the wind picks me up and I float around on its currents.

Another mantra for me to live by. If you have been following me for awhile you know that I already live by a mantra where my writing is concerned – BE FEARLESS. Kind of works with that whole taking a leap thing, doesn’t it?

Interestingly enough, when I first launched this website on April 10, 2011, I posted my first blog with the picture of a person jumping up in the air. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was already taking a leap! If you would like to take a trip down nostalgia lane with me, click HERE.

And I plan to continue taking that leap as I head full tilt into the new year. There are so many opportunities out there that I wish I had more hours in the day to explore them all! But for now, I’ll move forward with my characters and stories and hope that you take the leap with me.

Come on…I’ll hold your hand. It’s not that scary. Honest.

Reflecting on Nationals

Last week my blog was about my conference hangover and how I was trying to reconnect with the real world. Now that my brain appears to be functioning again, I have had time this past week to reflect on my experience at RWA Nationals this year. And for me, I think that the 2015 Nationals was all about CONNECTIONS.

When I arrived at the airport, I met up with several authors who were traveling on the same flight to New York. And boy did we have a blast at the terminal waiting for our flight. Not sure if people moved away from us or not, but when a group of romance writers get together…the conversations can get a little interesting.

And the fun didn’t stop there. We were stuck on the tarmac for two hours when we landed in LaGuardia, but we took it all in stride. When we finally got off the plane, a woman stopped us and thanked us for entertaining her while we waited!

The entire trip was about connections for me. Meeting new writers and reconnecting with old friends. But the highpoint of the conference was meeting my fellow First Book nominees. We had spent months blogging, tweeting and facebooking about being finalists. And finally meeting them face-to-face was so wonderful. Because here’s the thing…you can be up for an award and that is pretty cool, but the friends you make along the way? That’s what really matters.

At the reception, we “Firsties” spent time together and snapped this awesome picture!

Left to Right: Alyssa Alexander, Natalie Meg Evans, Sonali Dev, AE Jones, Patience Griffin, Clara Kensie, Elia Wnters
Right to Left: Alyssa Alexander, Natalie Meg Evans, Sonali Dev, AE Jones, Patience Griffin, Clara Kensie, Elia Wnters