Of Mothers & Books

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” Abraham Lincoln

Like many grateful children, I owe a lot to my mother especially my love of reading.  Although reading to a child often conjures up blissful images of calm contentment, the reality looks a little different.  At the end of a long day, all Mom wants to do is sit quietly and relax and Little One still full of wiggles wants a story. Chances are it is the same story she read to Little One, last night and the night before that and so on…  While there are many wonderful children’s stories out there, most of them wear a little thin by the 20th time.  I swear my mom must have read “One Hundred & One Dalmatians” to me about a million times—not the thin flimsy paperback based on the Disney movie, but the original novel by Dodie Smith.

While the Dalmatians will always have a special place in my heart, my love of books extends beyond that one–much to my mom’s relief.  Since she is such a voracious reader (and happens to be retired), it can be a challenge for me to find a book for my mom that she hasn’t already read. Just in time for Mother’s Day weekend, fellow author, P.D. Workman’s post Give Yourself a Book for Mother’s Day features a list of links for women’s fiction and cozy mysteries, including Mixed Blessings (which happens to be from yours truly).  Check it out to find the next read for that special mom in your life or for yourself.


Weathering the Storm

blessings_sm“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” Willa Cather

An indie writer colleague recently shared that her family was struggling with severe chronic health issues on several fronts just as her writing career was starting to come together.  I don’t know why when life hands you lemons it also kicks you in the shins too.  I do know that for whatever reasons some of my best writing opportunities have come along at the worst possible times in my personal life.

I remember thinking that I’d like to enjoy the project without having to face the crisis. Then I realized if I didn’t have my writing, I’d only have the crisis. At least whatever project I was working on gave me a brief reprieve from the storm.

Following the creative path is challenging even if your biggest worries are the routine chores of daily life.  While you might have to scale back on a project due to a major front looming in your personal life, never completely abandon your creative pursuits. Your soul needs them and the world longs for more pictures, songs and stories.

Lessons from a Party

author signingEarlier this spring one of my fellow romance writers, Lynda Bailey, hosted a group book signing party at her lovely home.   All participating writers had to contribute a gift basket to raffle.  I put together a seaside-themed gift basket and printed postcards with my e-book covers & blurbs.  I also packed cash to make change and extra pens and business cards.

Seeing too many lone authors sitting ignored at card tables in bookstores has convinced me that the party route is the best way to go. Besides great company and delicious food here’s what made her party a success:

  • Lynda’s husband bar tended and one of her good friends did gift basket 002the catering—leaving Lynda and the other authors free to mingle.
  • Food was kept simple and elegant, bruschetta, a fruit and cheese tray—no fussing with silverware.
  • Having several authors and their friends provided a diverse, but intimate crowd.
  • Be ready to tell potential readers what distinguishes your books from each other, either by setting, genre   or heat level (for romance writers).

Fast-forward to a jewelry party during the summer.  The jewelry rep who also worked at a local boutique brought several blouses to display the jewelry.  By doing this she was able to show off the versatility of the various pieces as well as promoting the wares of boutique.

When you are considering content for your blog, what are the natural go-withs?






Mixed Blessings-In Print!

Mixed_Blessings_Cover_for_KindleI’m excited to announce Mixed Blessings is now available as a print book from Amazon.   It is the same as the e-book version (just different cover).  My author’s copies arrived on my doorstep today and they look great.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Mom mentioned it was your birthday and I completely forgot.” Embarrassed Allison stared at her plate. Then Lynne remembered her birthday truffles. Wasn’t chocolate a universal cure-all? She peeked around the corner to make sure the kids were absorbed in their cartoons before she retrieved a box down from the top cabinet.

“These will be perfect with our coffee.” Lynne slid the gold box toward Allison who drew back from the box of truffles as if it would bite her.

“No thank you,” she replied her eyes downcast.  Lynne frowned. What had she done to upset Allison?

“I thought you liked chocolate.”

“I do. Keith bought truffles for me after a fight. He’d nag me about my weight and later he would bring me truffles as a peace offering. I thought if I was careful and did everything exactly right, he wouldn’t get angry at me, but I could never get it all right, something always happened.” She smoothed and straightened her paper napkin then gazed at Lynne.

“You must think I’m pretty stupid to love someone like that.”

“You’re not stupid for loving someone. But what he did to you was wrong,” Lynne replied

Case Closed

Recently, a certain NY Best-Selling Author made a few pointed comments regarding indie-published writers.  Thanks to the reach of the Internet, a short interview in a local paper  spread like wildfire creating a furor in the indie world.  She hinted that indie authors had taken the easy route, comparing them to novice musicians who set their sights on Carnegie Hall.

Despite all the uproar, her comments add nothing new to the trad vs. indie debate, I am disappointed that one of my former favorite authors would take such a narrow-minded perspective. While I’m proud of my roots in small press and indie publishing, I am not anti-NY. There are many routes to publication, which one is right for you depends on your needs, desires and resources.  In my current journey, I’ve had the opportunity to chart my own course and I’ve met some wonderful people. A recent email from a fan said she stayed up all night reading Mixed Blessings and she couldn’t wait for the next book-a comment I never would have received if I waited for NY to call.

Whatever path you choose, the time to start on your journey is now.


Mixed Blessings-Release Day!

I’m thrilled to announce my novella, Mixed Blessings, is now available from Amazon!

Blurb:  When Nora Montgomery discovers her daughter, Allison, is trapped in an abusive relationship, she sends her to stay with a distant cousin in California.  Allison is unaware that her “cousin” Lynne Cooper is the child her mother gave up for adoption 30 years ago.  Anxious to know her birth family on any terms, Lynne agrees to keep their relationship a secret.  Can Nora choose between her new relationship with Lynne or keeping the past safely hidden?