The winter that I wrote The Do-Over, I fantasized about a woman who takes a vacation from her life. Now, let me say that I have a great life, but who couldn’t use a little break?
I’m heading to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina with a bunch of girlfriends & I’m very happy to say it looks like life is imitating art!
Hope you’re enjoying your own first month of SUMMER.
(Update on the first give-away… The lucky winner is Sammi P.! Check in for another spring present!)
think it’s about time for a give-away, a little swag to say thanks!
Through writing, I’ve met amazing readers on Facebook and Twitter and Amazon and Goodreads… whew! did I leave anything out? Oh, yeah, and in person in my classes and workshops! And now, I’ve got the inspiration for The Do-Over… the bath products that started it all, LUSH.
So… Relax, take a bath! I’ll be drawing for the gift basket in just 5 days. To enter to win, just look to the top of this page on the right and pop your email in the box. I promise to only send the rare but entertaining announcements for FREE books, NEW books, or if GEORGE CLOONEY passes me a note in class.
Good luck, and while we’re all winners (especially GEORGE CLOONEY) one of you will get an email from me on Sunday April 15th!
So a funny thing happened to me in February…
Because of all your great support and encouragement, The Do-Over made its way up the Amazon Kindle Bestseller list!
The Amazon Top 100 seemed an impossible dream for an indie author like me, but we did it! Thank you especially to everyone who posted a review on my Amazon page or clicked on the thumbs up button to encourage other readers to find a Montana writer who’s done it all from her tiny home office.
I’m always looking for that sentence or two of support that leads new readers to give my books a try!
This Sunday to celebrate (and because it’s almost Valentine’s Day!) I’m giving away FREE downloads of Plan On It.
I gave away over 20,000 copies of The Do-Over, so don’t hesitate to pass this on to friends. The more the merrier! (Plus, it may count as a gift from you even if it’s a Freebie!)
And finally the Newbie which is also a Freebie… If all the Amazon stars align, my newest novel, Back To U, will be available on Valentine’s Day and FREE!
As a writer and a teacher, I’ve had some really great years. But as an author, this is already the most amazing year ever, and it’s only February!
Thanks for coming along on the ride!
1965 was a great year for buying a car… average cost? $2,650. Rent? How about $118. It was also the year the Sound of Music was released; Wham-O Super-balls were everywhere (and if you ever had one you know how ”everywhere” they could go); the Beatles sang “I Feel Fine”;
TV added Get Smart, I Dream of Jeannie, and Green Acres to the evening line-up; the mini skirt appeared on the fashion scene; and I appeared in time to be the first girl born that year in the state of Montana.
Having a birthday on New Year’s Day has been a mixed blessing. There’s always a celebration the night before, for example. But on the actual day, it’s pretty hard to get anyone to rally for cake. My father’s birthday is Christmas Day and for 86 years he barely got a cake, so I try not to complain.
I’ve had a lot of great birthdays, ushering in the New Year, and feeling grateful for the one I’d had the privilege of living. This year is a distinct one for me, though. I started 2011 with one major life goal unreached. This is not to say that every single thing I ever put down on my January 1st list, I achieved. Some, over the years, I’ve had to let go.
I am not going to be in an MTV video playing guitar next to the sisters of Heart. I can live with that.
Nor will I ever have a shot at Tom Selleck. Again, I let that one go by the late 80′s. And it’s not looking good for me to spend spring break partying in Florida when I need to put my energy into preventing my teenagers from EVER doing that.
But some dreams don’t die. Some dreams no matter how much you’d like them to leave you, just keep whispering from somewhere deep in your soul. Mine was to be an author. Not a writer, mind you. I was a writer and have been a writer since 3rd grade. A writer writes, and I can’t help myself. I’ve scrawled bits of stories on napkins and bank deposit slips. When it comes to being a writer, I could check “Yes.” What I didn’t have was the chance to have readers.
That’s not entirely true. I’d had chances, but they relied on things beyond my control, like agents and editors, and the economic state of the publishing industry as it was swallowed up by large corporations. And then… I had a real chance that was in my hands. I put out an e-book, a romantic comedy novel, The Do-Over, and over the course of the summer and fall, I found readers.
This Christmas when my second novel, Plan On It, came out, I gave away free downloads of both novels in the Amazon Kindle store and readers found me. Thousands of readers found me. Thousands of readers that sent The Do-Over into the top 5 for Romantic Comedies, and Plan On It in the top 20 Funny Romance in less than a week.
I’ll tell you, it’s been such a crazy great week for me, I’m tearing up right now, and it’s not just because I make Jambalaya for New Year’s Eve and the onions are very powerful! I have had, at last, the chance to share what I write, and that is the best birthday present I’ve ever received. Thank you.
Happy New Year ahead!
As always it’s a crazy-busy time of year, but I’d like to share a pair of holiday inspired songs (only vaguely inappropriate) and offer you TWO PRESENTS! ( No, really, it’s okay if you didn’t get me anything)
The first song is for my writer friends out there… Sing to “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”
I’m dreaming of a write Christmas,
the one I hope’s right down the road.
Where the scenes I hammer and readers clamor
to rush my Kindle book download.
I’m dreaming of a write Christmas
with every novel that I plot.
May the book be funny and hot,
and may all the comma errs be caught.
I’m dreaming of a write Christmas.
I’ve worked the keyboard all year round,
where my neck would seize up, my fingers freeze up,
my head would spin around and pound.
I’m dreaming of a write Christmas
I made my list in case he might…
May St. Nick bring a manuscript tonight,
’cause I’ve heard those elves can really write.
This next number (I’m sounding like a lounge singer now, aren’t I?) is one I wrote for my beloved Bookgroup: all women, all amazing, and all wondering if… Here Comes Menopause.
You can hear this song performed (not by me) in front of my very own Christmas tree. I love the little dog in the background (also not mine but I wish he were).The yellow title below links directly to Youtube where you’ll enjoy lyrics like… “She’s got a bag that’s filled with rage, but she loves you just the same!”
And didn’t I say something about a PRESENT… about TWO PRESENTS? Yes, I did. To thank everyone for being so wonderfully supportive and encouraging in my first year as a real live author, The Do-Over and my newest novel, Plan On It will be available for FREE downloads on December 26!
Thankyouthankyouthankyou and happy e-reading!
It’s the countdown for back to school and as fun as summer has been… I’m finding myself in need of a break. In my novel, The Do-Over, Mara Jane Mulligan takes a 30 day vacation from her life, and what mom doesn’t deserve one of those?!
Here’s my top ten reasons why moms need a vacation from summer vacation!
- 1. After a road trip, you do laundry for the exact number of days you were “relaxing.”
- 2. You’ve had way too much mini-van time with extra children, damp towels, and if you made a truly questionable decision… a wet dog.
- 3. Because unlike the school year, eating and messing things up can and does occur between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
- 4. If you have young children, your lazy summer day begins around 6 a.m. If you have teenagers, their lazy summer day begins at noon. If you have both… someone is always asleep at your house, and it isn’t you.
- 5. No matter how many towels you have, they’re dirty. No matter how many bottles of sunscreen you own, they’re missing. And no matter how many children are near, the mosquitoes only bite you.
- 6. While school supplies can be costly, summer fun starts with an inexpensive pool pass but ends up with a doctor’s bill and antibiotics for an ear infection.
- 7. The refrigerator is always empty, but somehow the dishes are still covered with half-eaten food.
- 8. The bathtub sports a permanent black scum from flip-flop feet.
- 9. The hotdogs and s’mores are beginning to affect your cholesterol levels.
- 10. As much as you love summer and love your children… you deserve a chance to relax a little before you have to shop for enough supplies to start your own school!
This is for all the moms out there who made summer fun and now seriously deserve a nap!
Thanks to the Whine and Cheese Over Books club for having me as a guest last week! They gather to share book picks on Goodreads, which I’ve just joined. It’s a site full of lots of great book talk, and I’m going to pass the information along to my own book group.
My personal highlights of the evening besides being hosted at Corie’s beautiful house in the woods and enjoying a Montana evening gathered around a firepit on the patio… was discovering how unique and yet how similar women’s gatherings can be. The Whine and Cheese Over Books club is not all that different from the group of women I meet with.
We’re connected by the similar experiences of being women knee-deep in our lives and laughing and wrestling with it in equal measure.
As a writer, the best part of the evening was hearing women quoting lines I had written and laughing together about it. I work for months alone on a novel, and to get a moment to share some of my work with just the kind of women I want for readers was a real gift… thank you!
I have a refrigerator magnet my husband bought me because the crazed 1950′s woman on it looked like me. I don’t believe I look like I’m out of a 50′s advertisement, but she does resemble me with the slightly unhinged expression all mothers sometimes wear.
On the magnet it says, “I took the road less traveled. Now, where in the heck am I?”
I thought of the magnet recently because I’ve been trying to step back a bit and see the big picture. Since the book was launched on May 28th, my 18th wedding anniversary, it’s been non-stop busy for me.
E-marketing is O-verwhelming
Every day I try to do some marketing: contact reviewers, keep up with my author facebook page, explore new sites like Goodreads, pass the word in my community, and try to post as regularly as I can here. I’ve now forgotten what I’ve done, not done, thought about getting done etc…
Addicted to Office Supplies and Proud of It
The other morning I sat up in bed with a cup of tea, a new legal pad (blue because I’m a sucker for office supplies), a calender, and a couple dozen scraps of paper and sticky notes. I asked myself three questions: “Where have I been? Where am I? Where am I going?” In terms of the book, it helped me generate a master to-do list and see I’ve come a long way in just over six weeks.
It also reminded me that on a day to day basis, I tend to ask the last question, “where am I going?” or even more commonly “where do I want to be?” far more often than I appreciate where I’ve been and, more importantly, where I am.
Where Am I?
Right now in my home office, it’s 10:30 at night. I can hear my girls watching a movie and my husband getting ready for bed. Over a cup of Sleepytime tea, I’m enjoying the click of my keyboard, the cool air moving through the house, and the scent of a mock orange.
It’s a tree and a life I planted (where have I been?) I now enjoy the blossoms of it all (where am I?) And I look forward to gathering blooms and family and books in another bouquet in the morning (where am I going?)
I wonder if you, like me, have those same moments of focusing on the last question and not giving yourself enough time or credit or room to appreciate the first two. I wish right now for nothing but right now.
A To-Do List Because I Can’t Help Myself
Then in the manner of the best laid plans of mice and women… my cold, that has taken on a life of its own, dropped me against my will on the couch.