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Thursday, May 29, 2008

How Not to Get Published

Wow!! I ran across this the other day on Emily Bryan's blog. I don't know her (and while I haven't read her previously, after reading an excerpt from Pleasuring a Pirate--I will be reading her soon, LOL.)

If you're not published yet, or beginning to despair that you never will be, check it out. It's a real eye opener!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It's in print!!!

The Model Man comes out in print today!

Nearly a month ago I ordered copies from the TWRP author store, so I've had plenty of time to hold this book in my hands and get used to the idea that it's finally real.

The Model Man can be purchased either at the TWRP website www.thewildrosepress.com or from Amazon.com, where you can read a lovely review left by a fellow TWRP author who read the book and was kind enough to leave me a review. (Thanks, Leanne!)

It's definitely a day for celebrating!

BTW please bear with me as I adjust to this new blog template from Pyzam. I love it, but a lot of my settings are messed up. Comments don't always show and in the "Friends I Visit" section only one name appears--though if you scroll through the box, the others mysteriously pop up. I'm working on it!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

When Things Don't Go As Planned....


Well the radio interview with Regan didn't go as planned. In fact, it really didn't go at all. Computer, are fussy beasts, after all, and we just couldn't get it to work. Regan was lovely about it, apologizing all over the place. It was frustrating as can be, but not her fault at all. These things happen. The only real drawback for me was I had myself psyched up for it to happen, and when it didn't, I had no release from all that nervous energy.

But I'm a firm believer in things happening when they're supposed to happen, so I have to believe that this was just not the right time, not the right day.

The interview is being rescheduled and hopefully next time we'll have better luck.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Some Gave All




I wanted to take a moment today to stop and remember what this day is really all about--not just cookouts and the beginning of summer. I wanted to take the time to remember those whose sacrifices made it possible for us to be free, to celebrate any way we choose, to worship any way we choose.

Certainly it's about more than the events of 9/11 but this prayer, found in my inbox this morning, brought a lot of things back to me and got me thinking about the men and women fighting for us even as we read these words. I thought I'd share it here. I hope you'll take a moment today to remember them in your prayers.



'MEET ME IN THE STAIRWELL'

You say you will never forget where you were when

you heard the news on September 11, 2001.

Neither will I.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room

with a man who called his wife to say 'Good-Bye.'

held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the

peace to say, 'Honey, I am not going to make it, but it

is OK..I am ready to go.'

I was with his wife when he called as she fed

breakfast to their children. I held her up as she

tried to understand his words and as she realized

he wasn't coming home that night.

I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a

woman cried out to Me for help. 'I have been

knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!' I said.

'Of course I will show you the way home - only

believe in Me now.'

I was at the base of the building with the Priest

ministering to the injured and devastated souls.

I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He

heard my voice and answered.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat,

with every prayer. I was with the crew as they

were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the

believers there, comforting and assuring them that their

faith has saved them.

I was in Texas, Virginia, California, Michigan, Afghanistan.

I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news.

Did you sense Me?

I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew

every name - though not all know Me. Some met Me

for the first time on the 86th floor.

Some sought Me with their last breath.

Some couldn't hear Me calling to them through the

smoke and flames; 'Come to Me... this way... take

my hand.' Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me.

But, I was there.

I did not place you in the Tower that day. You

may not know why, but I do. However, if you were

there in that explosive moment in time, would you have

reached for Me?

Sept. 11, 2001, was not the end of the journey

for you. But someday your journey will end. And I

will be there for you as well. Seek Me now while I may

be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are

'ready to go.'

I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.

God

During the next 60 seconds, stop whatever you are

doing, and take this opportunity. (Literally it

is only 1 minute.) All you have to do is the

following:

Stop and think and appreciate God's power

in your life, for doing what you know is pleasing to

Him. If you are not ashamed to do this, follow the

instructions. Jesus said, 'If you are ashamed of Me, I will be

ashamed of you before My Father'

If you are not ashamed, copy and send this message...only

if you believe 'Yes, I love my God. He is my

fountain of Life and My Savior. He Keeps me going day and

night. Without Him, I am no one. But with Him, I can do

everything. Christ is my strength.'

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A surprise review


It's funny how you can "forget" the little things. In recent weeks, I've been busy promoting The Model Man and basking in some wonderful reviews, plus feverishly working on other works in progress.

I'd nearly forgotten that Small Town Christmas had been sent out for reviews when it was released in print format last fall!

So it was a pleasant surprise to find this review from Joyfully Reviewed in my inbox this morning.

Holland McCall moved to Syracuse and got a job as a newscaster, but she’s back in her hometown for Thanksgiving. Holly prefers being in the city; she doesn’t like small town life anymore. Tucker Callahan is recently divorced and living in Castleford with his two little girls. Holly had a crush on Tucker when they were young but Tucker broke her heart. After all these years, Holly is still attracted to Tucker and now that she’s changed, it seems Tucker is finally noticing Holly too.

Small Town Christmas is syrupy sweet and classically romantic. Tucker is a good guy and his girls are darling. Holly and Tucker’s romantic movie ending is heartwarming and fun.


What I really loved about this review was that it brought back a lot of nice memories for me about this story--and I'm tickled pink that the reviewer "got" my Hollywood style ending. If you've read STC, you've seen my take on Holly as George Bailey running down Main Street. And if you haven't read STC--what are you waiting for? It's now available from Amazon!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Guest Blogging

I know I've been away for a bit, and somewhere in my head I have a "what happens when mom gets sick" blog brewing, LOL. But today I'm blogging w/the Scandalous Victorians. Hope you'll stop by and visit.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Come Chat With Me

Just a reminder that tonight I'll be chatting live at Romance Book Junction at 9 pm EST. I'll be talking about The Model Man and giving away an autographed copy!

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Not for the Faint of Heart



If you're even going to love me, love me now, while I can know.
All the sweet and tender feelings which from real affection flow.
Love me now, while I am living; do not wait till I am gone.
And then chisel it in marble - warm love words on ice-cold stone.
If you've dear sweet thoughts about me, why not whisper them to me ?
Don't you know t’would make me happy and as glad as I could be ?
If you wait till I am sleeping, ne'er to waken here again,
There'll be walls of earth between us and I couldn't hear you then.
If you knew someone was thirsting for a drop of water sweet
Would you be slow to bring it ? Would you step with laggard feet ?
There are tender hearts all around us who are thirsting for our love;
Why withhold from them what nature makes them crave all else above ?
I won't need your kind caresses when the mass grows o'er my face;
I won't crave your love or kisses in my last low resting place.
So, then, if you love me any, if it's but a little bit,
Let me know it now while living; I can own and treasure it.

- anonymous

Sigh. Isn't that lovely? I guess it's not unusual that the words put me in mind of old cemeteries and headstones, but they did.

Too maudlin? LOL. Well one thing led to another, as they tend to do, and it got me thinking. One thing I always enjoyed doing as a little girl was going to tend the graves with my mom and Grandma. We usually went a couple of times a year, but I remember how cool and quiet it was on hot summer days. It's an old cemetery, full of history and old trees. From my uncle's gravestone, my mother would point to my great grandparents--the McCaffreys--near the road. Then farther back, the Hogans. She would always point out how Father O'Rorke, who was known to be a heavy drinker, had buried Aunt Minnie in the wrong plot, thus the reason she was so far away from the rest of the McCaffreys and Hogans. It's possible my love for history began on those summer afternoons; if not then it was certainly nurtured, surrounded by family history as I was. I know it sounds strange to anyone who gets the willies near a graveyard, (and certainly you won't catch me in one after dark!) but I felt safe, serene and peaceful as I walked the stone paths leading to elaborate monuments, and my favorite, a praying angel with a rosary dangling from her fingers.

The point is I've never been creeped out by cemeteries (at least not the old, historic ones. I'm not too crazy about the newer kind, with row after row of markers that look the same. Now that's creepy!). I loved to browse through them, reading headstones. (Now that the weather is nicer I may head off to take some pictures and do a blog on my family history.) Some of my best ideas, character names, (and obviously, my pen name) came from those visits.

Last year, while placing flowers at my grandmother's grave, my sons and I noticed another grave nearby, half sunken into the ground and overgrown with weeds and grass. When we cleaned up around it, we were able to see it was the resting place of a WWI soldier. A quick glance around the area proved the last of those nearby who shared his last name had died in 1979, so we "adopted" the grave and put a flag on his stone for Memorial Day (the veterans usually take care of their own--even the Civil War heroes buried there get flags, I suspect they just couldn't see this gentleman's marker.)

Anyway, my apologies if this is all too gloomy for you, LOL, but with Memorial Day coming soon and grey, gloomy skies outside--then that poem that I found on another website this morning--it just got me thinking.

BTW that's the cemetery -- Paddy Hill as it was once called, Mother of Sorrows as it's known today-- where my mother's family is buried. This shot is from the 1930s but it hasn't changed much. The church you see there is no longer the church-- a newer one was built some years ago and is located around back. For years the old church was used as a library. I believe it's now a community eduction center of some sort. But it's rumored to be haunted.

I'll end this with a question. Are you, as a writer, inspired by walking through cemeteries? Or do you avoid them altogether?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Big Day



The Big Day has come and gone. The guests have all gone home and so far, I’m still walking into my living room, stopping in surprise and wondering “whose clean house is this, anyway?” (That's Wyatt, btw, with Deacon Tom.)

Thank you btw for all the helpful tips –and notes of concern—from all of my blog friends. I didn’t mean to worry anyone with my ranting, LOL, safe to say I stress about the little things way more than I should.

The Big Day went pretty much without a hitch. I dressed my son in his white shirt and white tie only fifteen minutes or so before he had to be to church to meet and wait with his class. Those of you with boys know why I didn’t dress him sooner—keeping the white shirt and tie clean and those black pants pet-hair and smear free even for that length of time was tricky! The one and only glitch was when I realized he didn’t own a pair of black socks, something I hadn’t given much thought to. Oh sure the world wouldn’t have ended if I’d sent my son to the altar in black pants, white socks and black shoes, but instead he went wearing a pair of mom’s black trouser socks, LOL. I don’t know whether his foot is big or if mine is small, but it was a pretty good fit and he didn’t mind wearing “girl socks” for a day. (I have never been one of those mom’s who regrets not having a girl to dress up—I love dressing my little gentlemen, and with his hair combed and spritzed and just a touch of Daddy’s cologne, he was a handsome little guy if I do say so myself. )

The ceremony was lovely. I was proud of the way my son conducted himself. Nice to know that they can get it right once in a while, isn’t it? (Here he is licking his fingers instead of steepling them beneath his chin, LOL.) Not as quiet as some of the kids, but not as wriggly and squirmy as some of the others, LOL. More than once when he was up on the altar, I saw him look toward our family’s row and his face light up. A look that can only mean he spied his favorite cousins, my 18 and 20 year old nephews—aka The Gods. So his entire day was made right then and there. Not just one of The Gods—but both.

The celebration afterward was kind of a bittersweet occasion. This is the first time my dad hasn’t been present for such an event. Oh, sure my mom could have brought him, but knowing the proud, private man my dad was before the senile dementia, I was more interested in protecting him from embarrassment and prying eyes. Besides, navigating the steps into my house is not easy for him with his walker, and he would have been very confused and disoriented by all the people around. I planned to take my son to show him off to Grandpa, but my mom mentioned dad was having an “off” day where things were a bit fuzzy for him and it was probably better not to confuse him too much, so we didn’t. But in times past, whether its baptisms or my nephews’ first communions, my dad has stayed behind to Man the Kitchen. It was a little sad for me that he wasn’t there this time around. The relatives began to arrive, including my husband’s 80 year old uncle (and my youngest son’s godfather). I was stunned at how gaunt and frail he looked. Like my dad used to be, this is a man who defies the odds of what you’d except a man his age to be like, and to see him like that really startled me. I hugged him and even through his shirt and sweater could feel the bones in his back. Naturally, he refuses to see a doctor (much like my father a couple of years back!). So that was a sad sight to behold.

One unexpected thing that happened during the party was my book getting passed around. Oy vey! I left a copy on my desk to show my (oldest) nephew since he and I have always both had an interest in writing and he has helped me with different web site questions and so on, I wanted him to see it. His wife took an interest in the book and the reviews—and then somehow the book got passed around the guests in the living room. Mind you, I’ve never told my IL’st that I’m published, she doesn’t approve of “those trashy books” and he’s way too uptight. So to see them reading the back cover blurb and flipping through pages definitely left me a bit red faced. All in all, there were lots of congratulations, LOL, but I hid out in the kitchen while the book was thumbed through, LOL. My niece (by marriage. I have a 31 YO nephew and a great-niece. All at the ripe ol’ age of 41!) began to read The Model Man and asked if she could borrow a copy. I gladly handed her one to keep and autographed it for her when she asked. . That was a great feeling. They stayed and visited long after everyone left and I have to say it was just a great, relaxing evening that I was sad to see come to an end.

Speaking of the end… the night ended in a way I’m sure all moms out there are familiar with. I had just gotten into my jammies when my son, still in his white dress shirt and black slacks came up the stairs and said “mom, I feel like I’m going to—“ and made a mad dash for the bathroom. Thus began a half hour of non-stop vomiting (oh that shirt! As if the strawberries, chocolate cake, frosting and hotdog relish stains weren’t bad enough, now there’s vomit dribble all down the front!) He had a fever and chills, so some Tylenol and an electric blanket made him comfortable and Daddy stayed until he fell asleep (I was dealing with a very jealous younger son who wants to know when HE gets a party, LOL). I’m not sure if it was just too much excitement, too many different foods or a little bug, but I remember finishing out my First Holy Communion party the exact same way.

Now the only remaining question I have is... where on earth am I going to put that nice white tie where it will stay clean and where I'll actually be able to find it three years from now when I need it again?


Hope you had a great weekend, too!

Monday Morning Musing: A Shot of Adrenaline

I found the review below on Facebook last week when someone posted it about Northern Temptress, and it lifted my spirits considerably. Last ...