Friday, May 6, 2022

April Showers Bring May Flowers And Good News




A lot has happened in my life since my post last month. My surgeon called and told me that the place they took out of my skull was not cancer. PRAISE GOD, THE UNIVERSE, ALLAH, and whoever may be in charge. I saw the surgeon a week later, and he said my incision was healing nicely. I guess as far as large scars go, it's not bad. It's right at my hairline, so you can't really see it. I saw my local nurse practitioner because I still have headaches and fatigue. She did a bunch of bloodwork, and everything came back okay. I guess it's just part of recovering from major surgery. 


The second bit of good news comes with a bit of melancholy, but it's a good thing overall. I've decided to retire from my job at the library where I have worked for 15 years. I hadn't planned on retiring this soon, but with my continued health issues and a lot of prompting from my life partner, Rosa, who is ready to start traveling, I decided it was time to take a new path. This will also allow me to write full-time. 


I'm currently working on three stories: Suddenly Continues/College Hill: Semester One, Chosen Family, and Take A Chance On Me. 


Suddenly Continues/College Hill: Semester One is the series about Jamie and P. J. from my book Suddenly, which is available on Kindle Vella. I'm going to officially change the title of this series to College Hill, and the seasons will have titles associated with Jamie and P. J.'s college years. 


Chosen Family is a murder mystery with lesbian characters and possibly a romance. As most of you know, I'm a pantser when I write, so I never really know how things will turn out in a story. I will post this as a series on Kindle Vella and Inkitt after I get a few more chapters written. I should have links available next month. 

 

Take A Chance On Me is the sequel to Learning to Love Again. Ava and Mel will be going back to Colorado and meeting new friends. I don't know if I'm going to post that as Kindle Vella or just wait and post it as a full book. I'm still deciding about that. 


I am also working on re-editing Suddenly and getting a new cover for it. I will re-release it in August to celebrate its 10th anniversary. There will be giveaways that will only be available for people who read my blog, so keep an eye out for those. 


I'm going to close today with a link to a Judds video. I've always loved their music and was very sad to hear about Naomi Judd's passing. I am sending love out to you all.

          Love Can Build A Bridge 

 


Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Time for New Growth




March was a month filled with cancer. A close friend died of cancer, a friend from high school's husband died from cancer, and I had brain surgery to remove a lesion that might be cancer. Ever since my dad died at the age of 52 of a heart attack, I've always worried that I would have the same fate. It never occurred to me that I might get cancer. Now that the risk looms large, I see that cancer runs in my family pretty prevalently. My father's mother died of stomach cancer at 64 years old. My sister had cervical cancer, but I plane crash killed her. My brother is recovering from lymphoma, and now I may be taking on cancer myself. 

As a result, I've decided to make some major changes in my life and focus on how I want to live for however much longer I have. Getting cancer is not usually an immediate death sentence, and I certainly pray that is not the case for me because I feel like I have a lot more left to give. But, ultimately, God decides how long we are allowed to stay in our human form before we return to pure energy. 

 Life is constantly changing, and sometimes you get a chance for new growth. For me, this means taking a new road. I can't go into this fully at this time, but my focus will become more on my writing and traveling with my beautiful partner, Rosa. 

In the past, my kids, grandkids, and other people have dictated how life was going to go, but it's time I fully take the reins of my life and follow the path of my heart. 

I'm still writing episodes for Suddenly Continued on Kindle Vella. That story's name will be changed to College Hill while the series covers Jamie and P. J.'s college years. I'm not sure what the title will be when the story moves on to Jamie and P. J.'s life after college, but we have a little while before I need to worry about that because I'm still in just the first semester of college for them. I've also decided that at the end of each semester, I'm going to put the story in full book form and release it on Kindle Unlimited for my fans who do not have access to the Kindle Vella. 

Something else that is going to change with Suddenly is the cover. This August will be the 10th anniversary since I originally published Suddenly with Itoh Press, which is now out of business. The cover with the two girls in bathing suits on a boat does not reflect any part of the story, so I'm working with my cover designer for a new cover that will be released in August when I re-release the newly edited version. 

The other thing I'm working on is a possible sequel to Learning to Love Again. I've had several people ask for it, so I'm seriously thinking about how to do that. That story might also start on Kindle Vella. 

A couple of other things that have changed is that I've decided not to try to maintain a newsletter. I don't have enough people interested in reading it, and I think it will be easier for me to post on this blog so anyone interested in what I'm doing can stop by and check it out. 

I just finished reworking my website. It's very basic, with links to my books on Amazon and a link to this blog. This is where I will post information about giveaways and how to register for them. I'm not doing a giveaway this month, but I am going to do one next month to celebrate Mother's Day. I only have two books in which the main characters are mothers from beginning to end, and those are Standing Her Ground and Learning to Love Again. These two books will be featured in the giveaway. I will upload a post on this blog with information about the giveaway and how to win. 
I'm going to wrap this up now with wishes for good health and joy for you all. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Falling Behind and Springing Forward


I keep reading all these posts about how important it is for a self-published author to grow their mailing lists. I'm sure the authors of these posts are probably right, but how does an author who is strapped for time keep up with writing a newsletter once a month when they do good to post on Facebook occasionally. 

I have a newsletter that I have been sending out periodically to the 30 people on my mailing list, but I also have this blog and a website that I try to keep up with. For those of you who have been following me for awhile, you know that my partner and I have been raising three of my grandchildren on top of working. My partner retired which helped a lot with the grandchildren, but the loss of her income put us in a tight spot financially.

On top of working a full-time job and writing when I can, I've taken up delivery for DoorDash part-time for extra money. Trying to spread myself into so many places has worn me pretty thin. Now, just because I didn't have enough going on, I'm going to have to have surgery in a few weeks. 

The surgery is to remove a lesion I have on my head. When this was first discovered on an ultrasound the word "metastatic" was added to lesion and it floored me. Metastatic lesions are usually something that come about when you've got cancer in other places in your body. The surgeon who is going to take out the lesion said he didn't think it was metastatic, so I'm praying he's right. 

The result of this new health issue has made me take a good look at what I'm doing with my life and what I want to be doing. Now, if I could have my choice, I'd be making enough money writing so that I wouldn't have to do anything else, but that hasn't happened. If I had a second choice, my partner, Rosa, and I would be travelling and getting by any way we could. That hasn't happened either. The result of this introspection is that I need to decide where I really want to spend my time, and where I have to spend my time. 

My day job as a librarian provides an okay income, but more importantly it provides insurance. My writing provides me with joy and some extra income, but not enough to quit my day. I've decided that if I want write for joy, I'm going to have to let go of something else. So, I've decided to give up trying to write a newsletter. Most of the information I put in the newsletter I put in this blog and on my Facebook page, so it's kind of redundant. Plus, the fact that I only have 30 newsletter readers is more than a bit depressing. On top of that, I spend the time I used to spend trying to think about something to write in my newsletter to write on my books. 

There's really not a lot of exciting things going on in my life to add to a newsletter, and I can always post giveaways of my books on this blog or Facebook. 

I do have a few exciting things going on though. My oldest grandson, Jacob, passed his ASVAB and will be going into the National Guard after he graduates from high school this May. Jacob is the first person in our family to graduate from high school in a very long time so we're all very excited about it. 

I am also working on having my very first published book, Suddenly, edited again and I'm considering a new cover for it. I'm also working on the continuing story of Jamie and P. J. from Suddenly on Kindle Vella. It's also available as College Hill on Inkitt. That's been going pretty slow. So many people have wanted me to write a sequel to that book, but it has not come easy. Hopefully, it will start to really flow soon and I'll get more episodes up. 

Learning to Love Again is still doing really well in sales on Amazon. It's getting a lot of Kindle Unlimited reads and a lot of good ratings. I'm working on more story ideas, but with the impending surgery coming up, I've been a little distracted. 

I hope that 2022 has started out well for all of you. The Spring Equinox will be upon us soon and I am looking forward to seeing more flowers and trees blooming. 

If you're a praying person, please say a prayer that my surgery goes well. If you don't pray, a few good thoughts will be appreciated too. This world is crazy so stay safe. 

Thursday, February 3, 2022

It's February! The Month of Love!


This year is already zipping along. It's February already. Every year I tell myself I'm going to write a book with a Valentine's Day theme that will come out in February, but I haven't done it yet. Maybe next year. But, my newest book Learning to Love Again is a charming, romantic, dramatic, over 50 story. So for us older women who still believe in romance, this is a great story about what could be. And for the younger women, it will give you hope that love can still be found later in life. 

Learning to Love Again has already received many  4 and 5 star ratings and reviews, which is very exciting. I've been asked if there will be a sequel, and I've already come up with some ideas for one. Of course, I have to find time to write which hasn't been easily lately. But, that's my fault, I took on a second job and I've become addicted to the money. The theory behind the second job is to get my debts paid off so I can write full time, but it's still at least a year away before I will be able to consider leaving either job.  

I've been working on the print version of Learning to Love Again, but Amazon and I are not getting along, again. They provide formatted templates, and in theory I should be able to just load the book into the template, but that's not the case. There's still a lot of formatting to be done in order to get it to print correctly. If the writing gods are willing, I will have that completed and available very soon. Once it becomes available I will have a giveaway, so keep an eye on my Facebook and Twitter feeds for news about that. 

As most of you know I'm a huge music fan. I love most music genres, although I'm not a big fan of rap. Music almost always creates a memory of a time and place for me. Not long after I met my partner, Rosa, I heard "Forever Love" by Reba McEntire on the radio at the factory where I was working. I wanted to so badly to call her and say, "Listen to this song! It says what I want to tell you." I didn't call her, but I told her about the song the next time I saw her. Being a huge Reba fan, she was already aware of the song and said she felt the same way about it. At the time, we were both still in relationships with other people, but we knew we were meant to be together. The lyrics to that song gave me hope that we would be together one day, and here we are 23 years later. 

Not everyone is lucky enough to find their soulmate and I'm thankful I found mine. But, even if you're by yourself this month, take some time out for some self-love. Pamper yourself and find your happy place. 

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Welcome to 2022!


 Learning to Love Again is live on Amazon! I'm so excited about finally getting this book out there for my fans. I'm waiting with bated breath for my first review. You can just never tell how people will respond to a book. I certainly hope everyone enjoys it. This is an After 50 lesbian romance. It's also about self-discovery and self-esteem. Many of us have suffered through a bad relationship that made us feel less than our true worth. But, in this story, my main character, Ava, overcomes her lack of self-esteem and creates a happy life for herself, with the help of a special friend. 

I've set up a Goodreads Giveaway, but they haven't sent my approval email yet, but hopefully that will be available soon. If you follow me on Goodreads keep an eye out for that. 

I hope that this new year has started out well for all of you. If you've watched the news at all, you know our small city, Bowling Green got hammered by tornadoes in mid-December. It was terrifying to start the year with another round of tornado warnings, but my family has been very grateful for the tornadoes to have missed our homes. It's been very hard to drive through familiar neighborhoods to see nothing but shreds of houses left behind. It's even harder to know people who have been affected or displaced and feel like there's not much you can do to help. 

I was able to help people in came into the library looking for assistance. My daughter and two of her children helped with some of the earlier clean up, but it's going to be a very long hard road for a lot of people in Bowling Green and other places hit in Kentucky. So, please say a prayer or two for our community. 

And, in the time it's taken me to finish the blog post we've had a snow storm that has dumped about 5 inches of snow. 2022 is definitely starting off with a bang. 

I'm going to start working on the next book/books. My goal is two publish two more this year. And I'm also writing chapters for Suddenly Continued on Kindle Vella. It's College Hill on Inkitt for my fans outside of the U. S. So if you're wondering what is happening with Jamie and P. J. from my very first book, Suddenly, you'll want to check out one of those links. 


Monday, December 6, 2021

What A Wild Ride

I don't know about you all, but this year has been a wild ride of ups and downs. Just the past two weeks have been like being on the Falcon's Fury at Busch Gardens ( which I have never ridden and wouldn't, but I've seen a video). Life was going pretty well. No one had gotten Covid, I went to two family Thanksgiving dinners, and everything was beautiful, just like the ride up on the Falcon's Fury. And then life took a nosedive, just like the ride. I have to admit that things have slowed down like the ride does right before you hit the pavement. Hopefully, the ride ends soon so we can all get off and throw up.

Before Thanksgiving, I still hoped to get Learning To Love Again published before the end of the year. At one of the Thanksgiving dinners, my oldest granddaughter hugged me and told me she loved me, something she doesn't often do, but I ate it up while enjoying a wonderful visit with in-laws (I should have known better).

Parents, please, please read everything on your kids' phones. I had to step away from the lead role raising my granddaughter last year because she was out of control. It's a long story of how I ended up with her and will make its way into a book, probably one about a pedophile that gets killed. She went to live with her Dad and then her Mom, both of who are recovering addicts who tried to do their best for her, but then, the weekend after Thanksgiving, she got in a car with a pedophile who had been visiting her for several months and went four states away. Just writing this, I can feel my blood pressure rising and am so thankful that I was not involved other than in a supporting role because I would probably be in jail right now. But, that said, the police found her. She is safe at home, has Covid, and has given several members of the family Covid that she got from the piece of roach poop that she took off with.

Sadly, it's going to be a little while before the ride is over, especially for everyone who ended up with Covid. I don't think I got mine from her because I have a foster teenager in the house who got it somewhere else, and I was around him more, but who knows. I'm just praying my 82-year-old father-in-law didn't get it. So that happened, and now I'm dealing with Covid. Thank God and all the powers that be that my case has been mild so far. I lost my sense of taste and smell, which really sucks. Everything tastes awful, even pizza.

It appears that it will be next year before Learning to Love Again is fully ready, although I have not ruled out posting it on Kindle Vella before the end of the year.

Neither of my last two books, Sheltered by Love and Through This Together, have been big sellers, and it's been very depressing. Of course, I published both of them amid this Covid mess. I have to admit, too, that I've been trudging through a rough bout of depression that has made it difficult to be creative.

It's not that I haven't been writing, I've actually written quite a bit, but nothing has set much of a fire under me until I started writing Learning to Love Again. I have high hopes for it. It's got some drama, but, at its core, it's about a woman learning to love herself for who she is and finding romance along the way. And, there might be a few hot sex scenes involved.

I think part of my problem is that my stories are all over the genre spectrum but lean more toward drama than romance. I've tried in vain to recreate the romance of my first book, Suddenly. Maybe I've found that in Learning to Love Again, but with two older women instead of teenagers.

That's another problem I'm running into. I'm finding it hard to write about young adults. Mostly because I don't understand these young people today, and I find that the young adults I write about are way more mature than their contemporaries. But, if another story idea comes along, I'll write it.

I've been leaning a little toward the dark side (well, more dark than normal), and I think I will write a thriller next. {Not the killing the pedophile one, not yet, if something happens, it will look suspicious. ;)} The story will probably have a romance in it, but I don't think that will be the core of the story.

I'm sure my fans don't know what to think or expect from me, and I'm sorry about that; I hope you stick with me.

Hopefully, 2022 will be the year my muse gets her shit together, and I have a lot of stories for you all to read—a little romance, a little drama, a little sex, but always a Happy Ever After. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Happy Fall!

 


Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. It runs neck and neck with Spring. I love the colors and the cooler air. I'm sure everyone who has dealt with the heat this last summer is ready for some cooler weather. Fall also makes me want to get outside more, so I've been doing a lot of yard work. I wish I could blame that on the reason for missing last month's blog post date, but it's not. I was torn about what to write last month, and before I knew it, it was October. 

Part of the problem was that I wanted to tell you all that I would have a new book coming out soon. Yes, I know I just released Through This Together, which I hope you will check out, especially if you're struggling with all the issues caused by Covid. Through This Together is a hopeful story about how a family can rally around each other during these challenging times. It is also available on Kindle Vella if you are interested in checking that out.  

The other part of the problem was that I'm not sure when it will be out, and I had hoped to have a date for you. It's looking like November at this point, but I will share the new book's cover and tell you about it.  


Learning to Love Again is my next lesbian romance. This story is about two women in their fifties whose paths cross in beautiful Ouray, Colorado. Ava White is recently divorced and trying to find herself after several years with an abusive partner. Melody "Mel" Graves is comfortable with her mostly solitary life as a ghostwriter for her father, former Western movie and TV actor Jeff Graves, but also trying to venture into her own writing. Their mutual friend, Emily Rios, talks Ava into going to Colorado to get away from Houston and her controlling ex-wife, but Emily knows Ava will need encouragement to get her out and about while in Colorado. She enlists the help of her friend, Mel, who lives next door to the house Emily and her husband own in Ouray. Emily doesn't set out to play matchmaker, but Ava and Mel find a kindred spirit in each other that could lead to a lifetime of love. 

I will keep you updated as the process of getting this published moves along. Right now, the story is back with my editor, who is giving it another thorough going over. Until then, I hope you will check out my other Colorado story, Avalanche of Love. If you haven't checked that story out yet, but love women-loving women and loving nature stories, this will be a fun read for you. 

I started writing this blog on the 5th of October, hoping that I would get it out to you all by the 15th, and I'm going to make it. Yay! During this past week, I've been working on getting my writing life back in order. My mind wasn't in the right frame for this past year, and I'm sorry I've not been on top of things. That has changed. My writing life has become my number one priority again (right after my partner, Rosa, of course), and I'm working on rebranding myself. I love writing my romances, but sometimes a story will come to me that I feel has to be written. That's how I got started in this business to start with. I didn't feel that there were enough YA lesbian romances with happy endings, so I wrote one. To this day, that book, Suddenly, is still my best seller, and next September will be the 10th anniversary of its original release. I plan to do a lot of celebrating as that anniversary approaches, so be watching for giveaways. 

I'm going to update my website again and restart my newsletter. And, if you've made it this far into this blog post, I have a special surprise. I'm going to release Learning to Love Again on November 15th to coincide with next month's newsletter. And, I'm thinking the next newsletter might have information about a free copy of Learning to Love Again, so be sure to check that out. 


April Showers Bring May Flowers And Good News

A lot has happened in my life since my post last month. My surgeon called and told me that the place they took out of my skull was not cance...