Posts Tagged ‘grieving’

USA Today Spotlight!

Friday, December 7th, 2012

I owe the blog a Publishing Isn’t for Sissies/How We Write update, but it’s a USA Today Spotlight morning. Back soon with more from the “work” side of this beautiful ride we call publishing. But for now, share my unexpected USA Today Happy Ever After Blog spotlight from Kathy Altman and Joyce Lamb!

The book was even more stirring than I imagined. The perfect houses on Mimosa Lane harbor more than their share of heartrending imperfections — the once tightly knit neighborhood is slowly unraveling. The characters and their struggles are all so real and relatable that I’m still worried about them.

With Mallory and Polly, DeStefano presents a wrenching and effective juxtaposition — the child laboring to cope with her mother’s death seeks salvation from the woman who can’t come to terms with her own loss. But Mallory ends up helping Polly more than she can ever anticipate, and in doing so helps herself. She gives the little girl a “safe place” to store her mother’s memories until the child is ready to reflect on them — which is a lovely parallel for the safety Mallory doesn’t yet realize she’s found on Mimosa Lane.

But there’s so much more than angst within these pages! The sexual tension between Mallory and Pete burns hot enough to melt the snow off of every roof in the neighborhood, and the humor tucked here and there is entertaining and timely…

Still the #1 Family Saga on Kindle, holiday priced for $1.99 .

COML Front 240x360

Amazon’s 100 Books… COML a $1.99 Daily Deal!

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Shameless plug time.

Gratitude time. 

Christmas on Mimosa Lane has been picked up as a $1.99 Amazon Daily Deal, as part of their December 100 Books promotion, and it’s an amazing thing not just for the book, but for me personally.

COML Front 240x360

I’m reaching readers I never have before, because my publisher’s on the cutting edge of digital/international publishing and positioning my book to be discovered. That’s everything, sales numbers and royalties aside. I’m making less per book now, because of the special promotion, but I’m reaching hundreds/thousands more readers a day. Heaven!

This is a special series for me. My “Anti-Desperate Housewives/Anti-Real Housewives” novels are about what it can really be like to live in a suburb of a large city like Atlanta. My story-telling is a hybrid somewhere between women’s fiction and contemporary romance. It’s more my natural voice than anything else I’ve written, and it took me forever to find the right publisher with the vision and the sales platform to take on the challenge I presented and find the readers who’d love what I do.

Thanks to everyone who’s been so supportive and truly made this the happiest holiday of my career!


I dwell in possibility…

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

“All of me will want all of this forever.”

She looked up at the clear, nearly night sky already bright with icy stars. Her breath misted in the air, frosting everything with a hint of unbelievability. There was no window between her and the sky. She was part of it, drinking in its beauty. She felt herself opening up to the view, to the man sharing it with her, craving the normality of standing with him on a beautiful cul-de-sac after spending an afternoon with his child.

He cuddled her closer. His gaze dropped to her mouth. She lifted ontoher tiptoes, wanting his lips again, banishing the last of the space between them.

Their mouths touched, their breath mingled, misty and warm and feeding her need to believe that htis fairy tale was exactly where she should be…

COML Front 240x360


Yes, Christmas on Mimosa Lane, emotional and challenging as it sometimes might be, is a fairy tale holiday story for me, BECAUSE the characters are struggling. And, yet, as Emily Dickinson challenges us, they choose from this point forward in the novel to “dwell in possibillity.”

We should all be so vulnerable and brave, so honest and accepting and determined to overcome, so real with ourselves and our loved ones and so hopeful.

Dwell in what can be this holiday, my friends.

Make your fantasy reality!

Related holiday posts:

The Soul of the Matter: Forever is composed of nows…

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

I’m hearing from readers each day who’ve enjoyed the Emily Dickinson poetry quoted in my Christmas novel. Now that we’re officially moving into the holiday season, I’ll be chatting weekly about the words of hers that I chose to be this project’s emotional touchstones. So, join in in the comments if you like. Sit back and just listen. Throw your hand in the air because I’m going on and on and on. It’s all good to me. I love the sensations and images that flow from ED’s words so much, I’m equally as excited to talk to myself as I am an entire room of readers. So, this Tuesday thread’s for me…and you, if you’re as obsessed as I am ;o)

 forever is composed of nows

The beauty of Emily Dickinson, is that while an entire poem might not resonate with you, there are kernels of amazingness in practically everything she wrote–most of it never published in her lifetime, because she couldn’t bear to be around people, to know their thoughts about her work, or even to look herself too closely at what she saw as prose that were full of prose. She wrote and rewrote and hid away everything she penned, drilling deeper and deeper into an idea until she discovered a “now” that said exactly what she wanted it to.

Forever is composed of Nows
‘Tis not a different time

If forever (all the tomorrows there would ever be) were the same as now, and time lost its power over what we chose to do and what we put off or avoid forever, what would we be today? If yesterday and all the things we’re running from, or remembering fondly as if  the past were better than what we have now, were today, then what would our decision be about how to live this now.

I’m playing with time in Christmas on Mimosa Lane. We travel back and forth to the past and present and back again with each of the story’s central characters. What they’re learning, I hope, is what ED is saying in this poem. That we are what we are now, and we are the compilation of all that we were and will be–and how that affects who we choose to be now. There is no difference in time. There is no before or “to be.” There is now and what all the moments of our lives combine to be in us in the place we currently are.

dali melting clock

We chose our future. That’s what I discover in her words. (more…)

The Soul of the Matter: “To comprehend a nector requires sorest need…”

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Sometimes we need a kick in the pants to wake us up to everything we’re taking for granted. Too often, it’s what we “need” that we see most clearly, or what we think is being denied us or what we don’t think we’ll ever have. It’s the comprehending that we’re missing with the rest of our lives. The seeing most clearly what is ours or could be or wants to be, only we neglect the beauty of what is, in preference for the potential of what might be.

beauty flowers

It doesn’t have to be fancy, to catch our eye. What matters simply has to be our obsession, and once it becomes that we can’t look away. It’s true for what we covet, and it can be true for what we have as well.

I often times (read: always) write about characters that can’t see their “nows” because they’re too fixated on what’s missing from their past and what they think the need in their futures.My first novel’s working title was Forever Ago, and it was the very first time I put down on paper my personal philosophy that a person must reach back to before and deal with what’s been most avoided their entire lives, before what she’s meant to be can flourish as she lives forward. I think I’ve been writing about that same dynamic my entire career, in one way or another.

But with recent projects, particularly with Christmas on Mimosa Lane, it’s the impact of our inability to appreciate what we’ve made for ourselves in the now that fascinates me. We’re on a path now. We’re living now. We have so much NOW. Why is it so difficult most days to live here, in the present? Why is that path hardly ever something that we appreciate–until it’s threatened and becomes our obsessions only when we might lose it?

beauty stream path

I selected the above quote from Emily Dickinson to head one of my chapters, (more…)