Feeling Overwhelmed

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I’m using you guys to decompress…

Working under deadline, which is my job and I love it, and that is manageable. It’s the other stuff that’s taking me under. I will make the deadline to get A Different Time out in June!!

Received word yesterday that my uncle, someone so alive and still busy, died while snorkeling during a Disney cruise. He was 83 and obviously not finished. No word on arrangements because of the autopsy, so his body is still out of the country. Disney made arrangements for my aunt to come home. We’re a close family and all are shaken. Have talked and emailed cousins all over the country.

I’m also in charge of programming for my local RWA chapter. That already takes me outside of my comfort zone – remember, writer, introvert. We’re working on our all day conference in October and finally found a venue (who knew so many people got married in October!) and have the speakers-incredible ones that I love-but working with budgets and logistics are not my thing.

A dear friend just moved here, only a couple of minutes away and I’ve been helping her move in and unpack. Reinforces that I ain’t never gonna move again!! I’m too old for this s**t. I’d love to be more help, but see above.

Also, sadly Rebel Ink Press is closing its doors the end of June, so all of my titles are reverting to me. That means I have to re-edit them and in some cases get new covers, etc. to get them back on-line and available. They were so classy about the closing, notifying us six months in advance, but that time has flown. They were the ones who took a chance on a new author and got me going in this strange new career. I’ll miss them.

 

Thanks guys, I needed this…

 

Re-Release of The Infection, Book One of The Melting Series

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I’m so proud to announce that The Infection is back on-line! Beginning today, it’s on sale for $.99 for the month of May. I plan to have Book Two – The Progression up in August. If you liked Nora Roberts’ Year One, (I certainly did!) this may be one you’ll enjoy. 

With Rebel Ink Press closing their doors, all fifteen of my books they published are being returned to me for renovation, expansion and new covers! Dance Partner and Wraith’s Heart are already back up. Thank you again, Rebel!!

Amazon. B&N, iBooks, Kobo

Check out an excerpt for The Infection

Prologue

Festival Cruise Ship Gloriana, off the coast of Alaska

Linda Carson pulled her scarf closer around her head. The breeze from the glacier had picked up and she lifted her face to enjoy it, breathing deeply of the crisp, fresh air. She blinked as the flash went off and grinned at Gary, her brand new husband. He smiled back as he checked on the picture he’d taken. It was a good one and he shared it with her. She shook her head but laughed, happy to see him having so much fun.  Who but Gary would have thought of a luxury cruise to Alaska for a honeymoon? He would make her life interesting. They moved on to another part of the railing to make room for other passengers coming up on deck to enjoy the sun and the glaciers.

She took a position on the port side of the ship, next to an older African-American woman. The woman turned to her. “I visited here on my twenty-fifth birthday. Look at the difference.” She held up a picture of the glacier they faced from her trip so many years in the past. Linda looked at it and compared it to the current coastline. The ice had retreated so terribly far. She knew about the melting phenomena; she’d read about it, but seeing the picture was incredible.

As Linda and her fellow passenger chatted, she took note of the sheer size of these coastal glaciers. They certainly looked like they would last forever. The only way to appreciate the magnitude was to use the other three cruise ships in the bay as contrast. Her eye simply couldn’t take in that the glacier loomed hundreds of feet high and the ships could draw no closer because of the constant calving of the ice. Even as they stood watching, another huge chunk of ice separated from the main glacier and the impact sent a water geyser into the air.

Linda knew how big those ships were. Their ship had been docked with the others a couple of times already on this trip. Thousands of people, twenty-five hundred passengers on their ship alone, were standing here and on those other ships, looking at the wild grandeur of the coastline and the glaciers that had helped to form it.

What an incredible honeymoon.

She and the woman visited for few minutes more. Linda looked up as Gary joined them.

“Gary, this is Mildred Ferguson.” Linda held out Mildred’s photos. “Look at these pictures of the glaciers.”

He looked at them, then nodded to the older woman and led Linda away. “Come here, I like this angle.”

“Okay, but you get in the picture with me.”

“Sure.” Gary turned to another passenger standing nearby and handed him the camera.

****

Antonia and Marco Moretti had certainly come up in the world. The cruise had been wonderful. All five children with their spouses and families were together, and with them for their fiftieth wedding anniversary. The grandchildren had loved it, playing together in the pool on the ship. And in Alaska, no less! Antonia shook her head in amazement.

When Antonia’s children had been so young there had been no money for such an extravagant vacation. She complained, a little, about the cost of a cruise even now, but having the children—she could still call them that, though Giovanni was nearing forty-nine years old—together was worth it. The cousins had gotten to know one another better. Her youngest daughter’s two little girls had been spoiled and had gotten over their shyness quickly when they’d met and played with their older cousins.

Antonia already dreaded saying goodbye to everyone once they got back to Rome, but she was glad for the two days here in New York City to break the trip. She and Marco would keep the little ones in the hotel tonight while the others—the older cousins and their parents went out to “experience” Times Square. Such a lot of people in one place! No, she was happy to stay in with the bambinos. At sixty-seven years old, and Marco at sixty-nine, they had no business out in such a crowd. Besides, the boat to the Statue of Liberty this morning had been crowded, and the Empire State Building line long and full of people. She had no desire to be in another crowd tonight.

The next morning as they all herded to the airport, she felt her age and even had a slight headache. The little ones were cranky and tired. It was time to go home.

****

Miko Yamada entered the huge Tokyo airport after her flight and stopped to get her breath. She needed to make her way to the luggage pickup, but she had a little time and the airport teemed with people. She was glad she had made the trip back to see the glaciers once again before they were gone. It had been difficult making the trip without Tetsu, but she had promised him that after he was gone, she would return for the both of them.

Seeing the young couple on the deck of the ship as they had looked at what remained of the huge glaciers had brought back memories of her and Tetsu’s own honeymoon. The ship hadn’t been as grand, but with Tetsu beside her, it hadn’t mattered. She had made her pilgrimage and honored her promise.

Still a little breathless and with a slight headache, probably due to fatigue, Miko moved on through the crowds to pick up her luggage. The bullet train would also be crowded. She was anxious to get home.

****

Bejo Darmadi felt lucky today. The cruise was over, his tips had been outstanding, and he was packed to go home for the first time in two years. He would fly into Jakarta, then take a bus on to Malang. It would take most of a day, but he would see his family again. He had gifts packed for everyone and he knew a party had been planned in his honor. He’d be with his family and friends and spend his vacation relaxing and eating his mother’s and grandmother’s home cooking. His name meant Lucky in Indonesian and he felt it today, despite the slight headache. What could be better?

****

And the contamination continued.

They had no clue that in less than a month they would all be dead.

 

P.S. On a different topic, Another Time is up for the RONE award – I’m so excited.  If you’d like, you can vote for it at RONE. Thanks!!

I love April

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It’s my birthday month (and my anniversary month) so I’m gonna celebrate the whole time. It’s one of those landmark years for the birthday (you don’t want to know) so I can do what I want.

What I want is to give you presents. My latest book – Cancun Memories – will be on sale for 99¢ all month.

It’s my 22nd book – who knew! I remember when I wondered if I could finish a book (turns out I can), so I’m celebrating that too.

As part of the celebration I’m also hosting a Rafflecopter with a several prizes, including a $10 Amazon card, so please check that out below! Like I said, it’s my birthday and I can enjoy it all. You can enter daily, so come celebrate with me.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I Want a Do-Over

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Let’s rewind to the first of the year and do this sucker over. January was a horrible month and I want a mulligan.

First, I still had the kidney stone. Finally after the second surgery, that was over, except for the stent, which last several more days. Not to get into TMI, it’s not much better than the stone for day-to-day living. Been living with the stone since December 8, but since it wasn’t moving, I wasn’t complaining too much. Not much different than living with a time bomb strapped to you.

Then when I thought it was over, and had plans to return to the gym, the flu jumped me. Fever got up to 101.8. Thank goodness I’d taken the flu shot (have every year for 20+ years) because my immunity had taken a major hit. Due to the shot, I had a much milder case than I could have.  

Had to miss the official 3rd birthday party for the Grandson, but we’ll do our own celebratin’ in the near future.

But all this has taken an axe to my creativity. I’ve done a lot of editing, which is good, since I’m getting the rights back to the books previously published by Rebel Ink Press, but not good for new stuff I want/need to get down on paper. Have done a lot of mental writing while resting, but that’s not good enough.

Got Dance Partner back up and okayed the new cover of The Infection – The Melting Book One yesterday.

Going to my monthly RWA meeting – Heart of the Carolina Romance Writers – on Saturday and I know that always gives me a jolt of creativity. Being around those women is always incredible. And next week beginning Monday, I’m going incommunicado to catch up. Wish me luck! 

 

 

 

P.S. Got back to the gym! Felt so much better after water aerobics

 

Dallas Revisited

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Had a great weekend in Dallas, visiting La Daughter and Le Partner. Since they couldn’t come in for Christmas we went to them. Can’t wait that long to see them again.

The best part of the trip (besides seeing the kids) was our dinner at Medieval Times. There’s one at Myrtle Beach, but I’d never been. Le Partner performed as the Chancellor for our performance and will take over as the Narrator in a couple of weeks.

Our knight in the red/gold section won. The horses were so beautiful. All Andalusian stallions except the narrator’s horse which is a truly majestic Friesian (like the horse Jamie won in the Outlander series) – did not get a good picture, sorry!

Didn’t realize the fighting was “real”. It is. They broke so many lances in the jousting – and they splintered. The sword fighting was real as well—sparks flew all over. Just before the fighting started a net comes down to protect the audience. La Daughter says you know that’s when the sh*t gets real. These guys are in great shape and put on an incredible show. Too bad I don’t write historicals…

There was a woman that came in late for the show, surrounded by large men, and sat on the front row of our section. La Daughter noticed the clothes and jewelry, though I didn’t. When our knight won and received the token from the queen, he’s to give it to a woman in his section. He chose this woman, who just happened to be Katy Perry – yep, that Katy Perry. The show got short notice she was coming and the cast got a picture with her afterwards. Just added a little glitz to an already super show.  

Since we’d gotten up at 4 a.m. to get to the plane, we headed back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep after that. Took it easy and just visited on Sunday. Did see Darkest Hour with La Daughter that afternoon – well done, and Gary Oldman does an outstanding job.

Due to me having surgery next week we came home today and already miss everyone. Got to observe some great characters in the airport I’ll be using sometime.

 

A final note – the eggs in a carton have more room than we did on this plane and of course since we sat toward the back we were the last to board – can no one get that it would be more efficient to load a plane from the back forward? After the vips of course, but think about it someone! Bueller?

 

Welcome 2018!

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Okay, a new year, a new slate. I already feel more optimist. What’s your plan?

Me? I want to finish the edits on A Different Time for SoulMate Publishing and get the third one ready for edits. I want to finish up my shifter series (which you haven’t seen yet) and write every single day. 

I have a new book coming out in April – Cancun Memories, so I hope you’ll be watching for that.

On the non-professional side, I started Weight Watchers. I’m a life-time member, but reached that goal a long time and a lot of weight ago, so I’m back. I already go to the gym twice a week, now it will be at least three times a week. The best trainer in the world, Ana, keeps me going, and I can do water zumba and be weightless for a little while.

Plan to see the grandson (and his parents) every 6-8 weeks because, damn, is he growing fast. Will be three this year, I only blinked . . . Planning trips to see La Daughter too, since she’s moved even farther away, it’s not as easy.

Want to finish decorating the condo. Still pictures to hang, but it’s mostly done. When the bathroom renovation is paid off, we’ll do the kitchen. I’d like to think that’ll happen this year. (I’d like to)

My goal last year at Goodreads was to read 100 books. Got to 95, so I need to pick up the pace for 2018, and at least make a dent in my TBR pile. (Yeah, I’d like to) 

What about you? Are you going to finish that book you’ve been working on? Get an agent? A publisher? Start a series? Go to a conference? Downsize? Upsize? Go for a different job? Make the New York Times Bestseller List? What’s your secret desire?

I’d love to hear about it – maybe you’ll inspire me. Maybe I’ll inspire you. Either way we both win. Thank you so much for your support this year and Happy New Year!  

Christmas Decorating ’17

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We’re overdoing it this year. Since we didn’t get to do any decorating last year, not even a tree, I pulled out all the stops this time.  

We don’t have a mantle any more, but we made it work. We’re using my antique dresser now – it came out of the barn after the house fire when Momma was 5, so we’re taking 1924 and it was old then. It was constructed with no nails, only pegs, and works perfectly.

We have two trees – one green and filled with my ornaments, and one metal with strictly round ornaments. Believe me, we have enough ornaments to fill both. And I love being able to display my fairies again.

      

It’s fun finding new locations for our Santas and the tree, and making new memories. But I do have pics of the old locations. Great memories. No wonder I love writing those Christmas novellas every year! What are your traditions – must have decorations out each year?