Wednesday, December 31, 2014


I recently posed the question on Facebook: Resolutions--yay or nay? Do you resolve to improve some aspect of your life in the coming year?

As one poster says, if we don't, we aren't growing. Good answer. But I've abandoned those typical "lose weight and get fit" generic resolutions. I've learned the more specific the resolution, the better.

For instance, last year I resolved to write 1000 words every day, five days a week, and stuck to it as much as possible. This past year, 2014, turned out to be my most productive writing year in a decade. I also resolved to walk an hour every day possible. I have and will continue both resolutions.

My new resolution for 2015 is to clear out my sewing room (it has become a Christmas gift-wrap, catch-all mess) and get back to sewing. I love sewing and miss it. I intend to take a quilting class this year at our local fabric store.

When you make resolutions, follow the guidelines for any goal setting. Make your goals specific and realistic. Don't set yourself up for failure with overly ambitious resolutions.

Good luck and happy 2015!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Release day for A Dose of Romance (Drake Springs Book 3)

Authors love release day. Months of hard work--writing, editing, proofing, revising, copy editing--culminates in a finished product ready for readers. You! I'm no different. I'm thrilled to have readers download A DOSE OF ROMANCE and read Tiffany and Woody's story. It's set around the holidays but isn't strictly a holiday read. 

This is book 3, you say, and you haven't yet read books 1 and/or 2? Don't let that stop you. While it's fun to read a series in order, you don't have to. My number one rule in writing a series romance is to make the story stand alone. Threads from other stories need to be reintroduced. I don't want my readers lost or scrambling to re-read a previous story. So even if you've yet to try the Drake Springs series, dive in and read A DOSE OF ROMANCE. If you like it, then you may want to buy previous titles. Or not. Your decision.

Happy reading!  And don't forget to enter the raffle for a $10 iTunes card.

Tiffany rushed in to Fox’s Apothecary right before closing and headed directly to the pharmacy. 
The pharmacist turned to greet her. “Help you?” 
It was him. Woody Fox. Mister light-brew-with-half-and-half. Her heart stuttered and her breath caught. “Um, yes, I’m here to pick up a refill for my dad. Er, Drew Blair.” 
His smile widened. “Drew Blair is your dad? I guess I didn’t realize. . .that is, I didn’t know your name was Blair.” 
“You know my dad?” 
“Yes, I do. Not sure where I’d be without him. He keeps my old Bronco running.” 
“Don’t know where I’d be without him, either.” 
He turned to search through the white bags of filled prescription orders. “His is the best auto repair shop- in town.” 
She did an eye roll at his back. “Right. He’s the only shop in town.” 
He turned his dazzling smile on her. “Here you go.” 
She took the bag and thanked him. “Well, I guess I’ll see you Monday.” 
He frowned. “You don’t work Saturdays?” 
“I do.” She pointed to her temple. “Duh. I’m brain dead from too much studying.” 
“What are you studying?” 
“Business. I’ll have my associate’s degree in May.” 
His hazel eyes flashed with interest. “I didn’t realize you were a college student.” 
“I’m not going to wait tables all my life, not that there’s anything wrong with it.” 
“I know what you mean. What will you do with your degree?” 
“I have a few ideas. Dad says I can run his shop, but that’s risking everything on one business. It’s better to diversify.” 
“Right. Spread the risk.” He leaned against the counter. “I didn’t know they taught business classes at Drake College.” 
“They don’t. I have to commute to Florida Gateway College.” 
“Is that in Lake City?” 
“Right.” She’d stalled long enough. He might think she was flirting. She turned toward the front checkout counter. “See you later.” 
“Sure. I’d like to talk more about your business ideas.” 
“Uh, yeah. But not at the diner, okay? I don’t want to discuss it on the job.” 
Boyd and Lorraine didn’t know her plan. No one did yet. So why had she mentioned it to Mister light-brew-with-half-and-half? Mister engaged-to-be-married light-brew-with-half-and-half?

Friday, December 12, 2014

iBooks-the emerging giant in eBooks?

I don't know about you, but I do just about everything on my smartphone. I carry an iPhone 5S and love it, which surprises me because I resisted all things Apple for so many years. Live and learn.

I now have an app called Map My Walk that tells me how far I walk, what route I take, my splits (how long each mile takes), calories burned, etc. It emails me reports with summaries of my workouts. It even tracks how many miles are on my pair of shoes so I know when they should be replaced. 

I have an app that holds all my store loyalty cards. No more plastic tabs clogging up my key ring. Love that! I use the calendar app to track my family's appointments and activities, the email app to check for messages when I'm away from my PC, the MapQuest app when I need directions, the various social networking apps to check my friends' statuses, and the weather app to check the forecast. I can take photos and post them from my iPhone. I keep to-do lists and grocery lists stored, too.

Occasionally, I use the iPhone to place a call, although I now prefer texting. Who knew I'd be such a slave to one device?

While waiting in a doctor's or dentist's office, I read. I didn't realize how handy reading on my iPhone would be. Now I love it (and my iPad knows right where I leave off). 

So I'm late to the iBooks game, which I've learned is the fastest growing platform. News to me, but I see why. I can buy iBooks via the iTunes store using the iTunes account I already established for music, ringtones, and premium version of apps.

Most of my books are available via iBooks, too:

If you are ready to jump into iBooks, you'll need an iTunes account. This month I'm offering a $10 iTunes gift card to a random entry. I hope you'll participate. If you win, you can download some iBooks and start reading wherever you go.

Happy Holidays.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Holiday Stories

I've posted before about my love of holiday themed stories. I re-read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens every December. I watch all the corny holiday movies on the Hallmark channel. I have my own copy of A Christmas Story. I admit it. I'm a sucker for Christmas stories, especially romances.

The first Christmas romance I wrote was for Wings ePress. My contemporary romance Last Resort, which was inspired by and loosely based on the old Alec Guinness movie Last Holiday (this was before Queen Latifah's updated version---and yes, I have that DVD, too), earned me the 2003 EPPIE (now EPIC) award for best contemporary romance.

2003 Eppie Winner

Last year, I wrote my first inspirational romance story, The Christmas Prayer,  part of The Heart of Christmas anthology from Highland Press. The feedback I received from readers overwhelmed me. I didn't expect to find many readers for my foray into the subgenre of inspirational romance. Evidently, there's a market.

 Click to Purchase

The reception for that story motivated me to write another, a sequel of sorts, titled Hometown Blessings, which is included in the Christmas Blessings anthology from Highland Press. (Note: All four stories connect to the four stories in the previous anthology, and there's talk of doing a third in the series for 2015). The "hometown" is fictional Harper, Georgia, a small community in the North Georgia mountains. The subject matter may be controversial, but I was moved to write the story. It's a timely issue--sexual predators within the church--and tough subject matter. Yet it's a happy holiday romance, too. I hope you'll give it a read.

 Click to Purchase

Since it's gift giving season, consider copies of these anthologies as presents to the romance readers on your list. The anthology is offered in both print and e-book, or you can download the individual stories for .99 each.   

And don't forget to enter the drawing for the iTunes gift card.