Posts Tagged ‘holiday memories’

Publishing Isn’t for Sissies…When the work and creative and “other” sides collide

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Samantha Perry was all dressed up with someplace to go. Yet it was closer to midnight than dawn in her winter world. Amidst what wouldn’t be a flowering garden for several months, as if a July morning’s warmth surrounded her, she paced another lap around her community’s park.

The sun was due. It would soon be another January day like any other day in their northern suburb of Atlanta. Another harmless moment to get through. Nothing yawned more threatening than getting her sleepy family ready for their Mimosa Lane Monday. But on a scale from nervous to freaked out, Sam had been silently racing toward a meltdown the entire weekend.

Somewhere around three o’clock last night she’d risen from beside her still-sleeping husband, showered and dressed for the day and bundled into the heavy coat Georgia demanded from only a few months each year. Heading downstairs and through her cozy kitchen’s French doors, she’d escaped into the peace that being outside and alone brought her. She’d been night walking for hours.

Opening Draft
Sweet Summer Sunrise
Seasons of the Heart
Book Two


It’s a crazy work and personal weekend.

crazy work day

I won’t go into the details, except to say that opportunities are taking off all over the place, and so is the stress, and so is the upheaval in my “away from work” life. It’s usually like that. You never see the good or the bad stuff coming, and you never appreciate the calm until the storm’s upon you.

So, of course, I owe my publisher the second book in the series that’s taking off like no one expected, with it’s Christmas novel launch.And on top of my life being overwhelmed with back-to-back holidays AND promoting a book release that keeps (YAY!) going strong, I’m facing the rewriting of a 380 page rough draft that means so much to me–but isn’t at the point where I think it’ll mean anything to anyone else unless I recraft it over and over and over again, until it’s talking on it’s own.

Publishing isn’t for sissies, my friends.And it’s always about the next book. And the next. And these days, success in digital publishing about having an ongoing series with lots of backlist titles. The only way to do that is to keep writing forward and building into what readers are buying–and somehow maintaining the integrity of your work and stories and characters, so you keep pleasing the fans who are loving what you’ve already done. (more…)

A Top Pick Sunday. Color me grateful…

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Tomorrow, look for three blog posts (and a newsletter, if you’ve signed up for that list):

  • A second much asked for reader’s guide discussion
  • Contest winners announced for both October and November’s blog giveaways
  • A fabulous NEW December contest!

Today is for reveling.

It’s been a glorious release month, and a not-so-bad last week of November, thank you very much, with a 5 Blue Ribbon review of Christmas and Mimosa Lane  (now priced at $1.99 as part of Amazon’s 100 Books December Promo) on Romance Junkies and a 5 Star Top Pick rave for Her Forgotten Betrayal on The Romance Reviews… Have a wonderful rest of your weekend, everyone ;o)


From Billie Jo at  Romance Junkies for Christmas on Mimosa Lane ($1.99):


Christmas on Mimosa Lane is one of the most emotionally powerful tales I have read in a long time… I adored all the characters set in this charming tale.  Their stories are heart wrenching and you cannot help but to hope that they will find their happily ever after…  I highly recommend the magical tale of Christmas on Mimosa Lane to all readers who love an emotional read set in the holiday of Christmas.”

COML Front 240x360

From CozyReader at The Romance Reviews for Her Forgotten Betrayal ($2.99):

TRR Top Pick

Her Forgotten Betrayal is a  “…page-turner that left you wondering who was playing with the heroine’s mind. Even though the book was about 300 pages, it went by too quickly. The mystery of who was trying to make Shaw crazy was captivating. I could see it truly happening as I was reading. I highly recommend picking up Her Forgotten Betrayal if you are looking for a story that will touch your heart.”


Holiday Hangover…And it’s not even December yet!

Friday, November 30th, 2012

We can drive ourselves crazy, chasing the “perfect” holiday, until all we feel is the chase and the need for a big ol’ nap to rest up for the next surge of family and friends and celebrating. I know I am. But I’m also getting all kinds of reader mail about the subtext of my Christmas novel–what it really means to be “happy” at the holidays and how hard that can be for some of us, unless we work for it. Overwhelmingly (with a few notable exceptions on Amazon, readers who find my premise depressing), the response has been hopeful and excited and folks walking away with a life-affirming new take on what this time of year can mean to them and others. We might have to work hard to find the “happy” sometimes, and holidays are rarely perfect the way we see them in movies and ads and so forth. But the mere fact that we have something to fight for and families or friends to share the struggles of the season with makes this…wait for it…A Wonderful Life.

its a wonderful life

For me, watching with gratitude how wonderfully Christmas on Mimosa Lane is being received, I’m seeing the hard work of the last six months (and the effort I’m pouring into writing the sequel that will be out next Summer, OVER the holiday season) pay off in a way that’s better than any tangible present I will get this year.

Readers are reading, and they’re responding, and they’re loving COML enough to want to talk about what it’s meant to them. That’s this authors idea of a dream come true. Which reminds me of a favorite quote…


Notice the “action” in Walt’s words of wisdom. (more…)

Happy Ever After Holidays…

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Are the holidays a happy ever after time for you, or is there something making it difficult to feel what everyone around you seems to? In between Thanksgiving and Christmas is some of my favorite time of the year. But there’s frequently a feeling that something’s a bit off, when I look closely at these special moments that mean so much. There’s the past. And there have been moments I haven’t felt as blessed as I do today. There are challenging memories to deal with over the holidays that make my Christmas ever after not quite as automatically happy.

happy holidays

Yes, my family had a great Thanksgiving this year. We’re thankful, if a bit too overfed. We’re back to work and maybe not minding it as much as before. We’ve shared special time with loved ones and friends. We’re optimistic about December being just as lovely or better. But…

Is there sometimes a but in your celebration sometimes over the holiday? If there is, you’re not alone. While commercials and songs and endless parties and celebrations remind us of everything we should cherish, there are some of us feeling a loss of something others take for granted. There are some of us still remembering a not-so-enchanted time that happened recently or maybe long ago. But…

Even if this isn’t the picture that always comes to mind when we think of a happy family holiday– (more…)

Holiday Memories: What makes yours last?

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

December 1st, my son opens his first Christmas present. Is he spoiled??? You bet. Am I? Ditto. While our family doesn’t make the entire holiday about gifts and “stuff,” we also don’t make it about a single day. It’s a season, including Thanksgiving, about family and being thankful and seeing the world for what it is–a place we share and celebrate together, no matter what else is going on. It’s about home. And December 1st is a great day to kick off that kind of awareness in our world.

happy holidays

What do happy holidays mean to you? How do you make sure those true meanings of things stay first in your mind, as the stress and craziness of what is always a crazy month try to take over?For us, it’s sticking closer to home than going away and working on things as a family and having those few special mementoes around that we’ve shared in the past, like anchors in our memories to what’s been most important and will be again. A lot of these turn out to be my son’s December 1st gifts. I pick each one with that in mind and hope they make a lifelong impression.

Anchoring memories like this don’t have to cost much. In my Christmas on Mimosa Lane, little Polly remembers her mother by playing with her mother’s favorite vintage pins, many of which were purchased at tag sales and flea markets. They were special to Polly’s mother, because they were special to her grandmother before her. They were about time spent collecting and enjoying them, not what each pin was worth.

I have a similar tie to my grandmother, and now to my son, who’s kept each of his December 1st gifts in special places, and even as a teenager keeps most of them out year around even though they’re Christmas themed. (more…)