Monday, February 27, 2017

Creating an Editorial Map

As you know I'm working on the revisions of my current manuscript. I came across an article from Janice Hardy's Fiction University on how to create an editorial map to help in the revision process. Here is the link: How to Create an Editorial Map

Ms. Hardy is also holding an At-Home Revision workshop in March. Details are on the Fiction University blog.

Friday, February 24, 2017

This I know for sure...

This year is the first time in quite a while that I started off a new year feeling really positive and optimistic about the upcoming days and months ahead. I find myself throughout each day whispering to myself, "2017 is going to be a great year."

Today I received some news that I was afraid was going to be bad news, but just the opposite happened. Everything turned out the way I hoped it would, but was afraid it wouldn't. More proof that this year is going to be amazing.

I'm told if you put something out in the universe, it'll happen so I will keep telling myself that this year is going to be a great year. And I'll keep my fingers crossed that the whole, "put it out into the universe and it'll happen" thing is true.

I would love some examples of this happening for you or someone you know if you'd like to share.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): Revised 47 pages of material last week even though I ended up having to work extra hours on Thursday and Friday.

Quote of the Week: "Just focus on the 24 hours in front of you and do what you can to get closer to where you want to be." ~ Unknown

What I'm reading: I'm reading Into the Fury by Kat Martin. This is the first book in the BOSS, Inc. series.

Random Thoughts: We're having amazing weather this week ranging from high 50's to low 60's. It's supposed to be back in the mid-thirties by the end of the weekend, but it's been a really nice taste of spring. 

Random Photo of the Week:

Somebody sitting in the corner. He must have done something I don't know about.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Samhain Publishing Closure

In case you haven't heard, Samhain Publishing is closing their doors on February 28, 2017. You have up to 2/27/17 to download any titles you've purchased. Their site will go dark on the 28th. Here's a link with more details - Samhain Publishing Closing

Friday, February 17, 2017

This I know for sure...

Have you ever heard the adage that goes something like, if it's important, you'll find the time to do it? I hate that saying.

While I will admit I can be a procrastinator at times, most of the time I have a list of To Do's each day that get done each day. These are things I do after I get home from the day job or sometimes before I leave in the morning, not things that I have to get done while I'm there.

Despite working from a To Do list each day (I write the next day's list the night before), I have a hard time fitting in other things I'd like to do. These things are important to me, but having the time to do them is another thing.

Coming home from work and making dinner/cleaning up from dinner, doing laundry or other household chores, writing for at least an hour and a half, but no more than an hour and forty-five minutes, getting things ready for the next day such as setting up the coffee maker, packing lunches, laying out clothes, etc and still managing to get to bed in time to try and get seven hours of sleep doesn't leave a lot of time for extra things no matter how important they may be.

I would love an extra two hours in my day, but other than winning the lottery so I could work full-time as a writer and not need to work outside the home, finding extra time is extremely hard. (Please don't suggest getting up earlier. I already get up at 5:00am and some days that's difficult enough.) So while things may be important, sometimes finding the time to do them is easier said than done.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): I wrote fifteen pages of new material to close a plot hole. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it took some time to figure out how to correct the problem.

Quote of the Week: “Accept that not everyone is going to believe in what you do. All that matters is that you do.” ~ Unknown

What I'm reading: Because I'm Watching by Christina Dodd. This is the third book in the Virtue Falls series. You don't have to read each book in the series. I haven't read the second book and I don't feel as though I'm missing anything in the story.

Random Thoughts: Yesterday was Valentine's Day. I don't celebrate the holiday. I would rather get flowers or a gift because my loved one wants to surprise me, not because of a sense of obligation due to a date on the calendar.

Random Photo of the Week:

                                 Somebody's hanging out on the stairs with his toys.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Please Welcome My Guest

Please welcome my guest Donna Simonetta. After years working in the business world, her love of reading led her to get her MLS, and she currently work part-time in a school library, a job that allows her lots of time to explore her other love - writing romance! She lives in Maryland, with her husband, who is her real-life romance hero. They enjoy traveling to visit far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

Tell us something about yourself both writing and not writing related.
I always wanted to be an author, but my career took another path after college, and I entered the business world. I wasn’t happy in my work, and went to school at night to become a librarian, which played into my love of books. I work part-time in a school library now, but a health scare several years ago made me take a long look at my life and choices, and I started writing! It is a decision I have never once regretted–I love the whole process.

I have to say I'm a bit jealous of your job. I'd love to work in a library. Introducing others to the love of reading sounds very rewarding. Do you have a writing routine?  Where do you usually do your writing?
During the school year I write in the afternoon when I get home from work, but I prefer to write early in the day. During the summer, when school is on break, I love to get up and get writing! Now that I’m a published author, which is more exciting than I could ever tell you, a certain amount of time has to be spent on promotion of my books too, and it’s more of a balancing act with my free time–trying to still get time to work on my current work-in-progress, but also actively promoting my books.

I write in my living room, in an area my husband jokingly calls my “Command Center”. Laptop, notebooks, pens…are all within reach.

I write in my living room too. Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre that you do?  Any plans in the future to write in a different one?
I like to write (and read!) romance because I like a happy ending. Real life has so many ups and downs that I enjoy knowing that the story I’m reading or writing will end well. I’ve written both fantasy, and contemporary romance with no fantasy elements. I’ve had ideas for historical romance novels, possibly mixed with fantasy elements. I also love reading mysteries, and may venture into writing a cozy mystery one day.

How do you stay motivated when writer’s block hits or your muse won’t cooperate?
I find that when I’m first waking up, I’ll think about my writing, and knotty problems frequently become unraveled for me then. But if I get well and truly stuck, it helps me to just write. I don’t allow myself to fret about whether or not it’s any good, just let it flow, and it can always be edited later.

That sounds like good advice. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
Since I’m also a librarian, research is something I really enjoy. I know good resources to use, and love to research! I am such a hopeless geek! But I don’t think I’ve ever done anything too strange in the name of research.

What’s the best writing advice you were ever given? 
Hmm…I’m not sure. When I began writing, my husband was the only person who knew I was doing it. I wasn’t sure if I’d be any good, and wanted to minimize humiliation if it turned out I stunk as an author! So, I was very much self-taught; I didn’t reach out to anyone for advice. I did read some stuff from my favorite authors online about writing. Jim Butcher, who writes the Dresden files series, had a post about drawing an actual arc when he starts writing. I thought it was a good idea to help with pacing a story. Butcher plots out EVERY point on the arc. I do not. <laughs>

What do you like to do in your leisure time?
I like to read. Preferably on a beach somewhere warm with a tropical cocktail! That seems especially appealing in the middle of winter, but won’t be happening for me for a while. I’m kind of a homebody, so I love hanging out at home with my husband. I wish I had a more exciting answer–like, ‘I enjoy parachuting to an remote locale where I can zipline to a party’, but the truth is I’m happiest when I’m chilling at home.

I'm happiest hanging out at home too. I've never been one for socializing unless I have to. :o)  Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences.
A Sweeter Spot is a small-town, contemporary romance. It’s set in the fictional town of Rivers Bend, Virginia, and is the first book in a projected trilogy about the Braden family. It has a heart, humor, and sizzle!

Can you tell us a little about your next project?
I’m working on a couple of projects right now. The third book in the Rivers Bend trilogy, which is Jason Braden’s story–his wild ways are about to be tamed! And also a ghost story/contemporary romance that I’m really excited to finish and share with y’all!

Anything else you’d like to share?
Thank you so much for letting me visit today!
You're welcome. I'm glad you came to visit. 

Check out blurb and excerpt of A Sweeter Spot below.


Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.

Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff's world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.

Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?

“Being cheated on is no fun. It happened to me once. Up here,” he tapped his forehead. “You know it’s not your fault. But here,” he tapped his chest over his heart. “You feel like it has to be your fault – like you could’ve done something to prevent it. But you couldn’t have. It’s all on him, Maggie. Not you.”
She picked a dandelion, whose flower had turned into a puffball, and blew on it, scattering the fluff to the wind. “Maybe. Maybe not. But thanks for the support.”
She pushed to her feet and took a couple of steps toward the river. Jeff rose and followed.  
How could he be so angry at a man he didn’t even know? How could this Pierce jerk have slept around on a woman like Maggie? And the prick had even made her doubt herself in the process. It was written all over her anguished face.
He stood behind her and gently kneaded her shoulders. He turned her to face him and cupped her face in his big hands.
“This Pierce guy is the biggest fool on earth to go to someone else when he had you at home, Maggie.
She blinked away tears, and he felt his heart constrict. Before he could think it through and decide it was a really bad idea, Jeff dipped his head and captured Magda’s lips in a gentle kiss.

 Buy Links:


Barnes & Noble:

Amazon UK:

You can follow Donna at the links below:


Friday, February 10, 2017

This I know for sure...

It may be February but I'll be getting a Christmas gift today after work. I was given a gift card at Christmas for a local craft store. I've been patiently (okay, impatiently) waiting for the store to get a shipment of Sissix Big Kicks in so I can purchase one.

Finally unable to wait any longer I inquired if I could order one as a special order. I was told yes, but it would take about 3 weeks for it to come in. Only a week later, I got the call yesterday that my special order had arrived so I'll be going to pick it up today.

The best part is I have a coupon from the store's sales circular this week for 55% off any purchase. Guess what I'll be using the coupon on.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): I didn't get much done last week due to appointments and the like. I did manage to write 6 1/2 pages of new material and revised about 20 manuscript pages.

Quote of the Week: "Stay positive, work hard, make it happen." ~ Unknown

What I'm reading: I'm reading Run To You by Rachel Lacey. This is the first book I've read by this author. I'm liking it and will look for her backlist.

Random Things:  I'm one of the people who watch the Super Bowl for the ads. I don't really pay attention to the game, but try not to miss the ads. This year, I liked a number of the ads but thought an equal number of them were...well, less likeable.

Random Photo of the Week:

     Somebody's new favorite spot - hanging out in the dark at the top of the stairs.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Breakfast Muffins

I like to bake so I'm always on the lookout for new recipes to try. I'm also trying to eat better (healthier) this year. I came across a recipe for apple muffins in an old cookbook (it was published in 1973) of my mom's. I love apples, apple butter, and will eat applesauce, and apple pie if it's warm and has vanilla ice cream on top, apple muffins just didn't sound all that appetizing. I spent a couple of weekends playing around with the recipe substituting different fruits while keeping the basic batter ingredients pretty much the same. Here's what I came up with. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Orange Cranberry Muffins

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 well beaten egg
1/2 cup chopped craisins
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1/2 cup chopped nuts - Optional

In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the first 4 ingredients (flour through salt) and stir until combined. Make a well in the center. In a separate bowl, mix the orange juice, oil, and egg together. Pour into the well you made in the dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened. Gently fold in the orange peel, craisins and nuts.

Place cupcake papers in a muffin tin or you can grease the individual muffin cup areas. I prefer the cupcake papers/liners for an easier clean up. Fill the papers 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each muffin comes out clean. Serve warm with butter or margarine. These are also great at room temperature for a grab and go breakfast or treat.

Makes 12 muffins.

Friday, February 3, 2017

This I know for sure...

I have an addiction to journals. I have at least ten journals (actually this number is probably a lot higher) that I haven't used yet every time I'm in Barnes and Noble or any other retail store that sells journals of any type, I have to look at them, and usually buy one...or two.

I love the thought of writing in them, yet at the same time I don't want to write in them because I want to keep them. One of the things I'm working on doing this year is using at least one journal and curtailing my purchases of additional journals.

I've started using one as an idea journal. I jot down ideas for future books, scenes that pop into my head, research material I stumble on that I think may be useful in the future, motivational quotes, bits of dialogue that pop into my head even if it's not related to the current book I'm working on, and the like. I like having a central location for these types of things instead of various bits and pieces of paper shoved into a folder.

And I haven't purchased a new journal yet this year...but it is only the beginning of February.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): I wrote 15 pages of new material making a few transitional scenes a bit smoother. I had hoped to get more done, but had a couple of things crop up that took up my writing time two days last week.

Quote of the Week: "Know your intention, put in the focused time, and you will receive your due." ~ Unknown

What I'm reading: I just finished a book last night so tonight I'll be starting Sting by Sandra Brown.

Random Things: I have a friend who fosters kittens, cats, puppies, and dogs for a local animal shelter until the animals can find a forever home. I would love to do that but unfortunately, or fortunately, I don't have the space or backyard that would be needed. I say fortunately because I'm sure I would get attached to each animal and not want to let them go.

Random Photo of the Week:

                     Keeping to the same theme as my Random Thing this week.