Monday, March 30, 2020

A New Release Date + Virtual #Author Event for GHOST MOON! #books #newrelease #amreading #amwriting #giveaways

More than ever, we need things we can enjoy from home that will entertain us and provide relaxation.  I love reading--it's my favorite hobby even when the world isn't mostly shut down.  Getting lost in a great book does wonders for my mind and lowers my stress.  Since my seventh novel, Ghost Moon, was in the final stages of galley proofing a few weeks ago, I decided to try to move the release date forward to make it available sooner.  The title will go live on Kindle now this Friday, April 3rd...a whole 12 days earlier than anticipated!  I'm thrilled but scrambling to move book launch plans into place, and also figure out how to do more interactive things online.

I LOVE this cover!

If you like steamy romance mixed with haunting mysteries, you can pre-order Ghost Moon here to automatically be delivered to your Kindle on Friday!  I also have six titles available now, many #1 Amazon and B&N Bestsellers, which can be found here or along the tabs at the top of this blog page.

On Wednesday, April 1st, I'll be doing my first live FB interview and Q&A as a guest on Linda's Book Obsession Page.  Anyone attending can type questions and I'll answer them, plus I'll chat a little bit about my writing journey and the new book.  And of course...giveaways will be up for grabs!  Find the page here and join us on Wed. at 7 pm EST!  

Join the virtual party with fellow book lovers!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Guaranteed Happily Ever Afters! Lucky in Love #Romance #Book Fair! #amreading

Right now I think we could all use some Happily Ever After stories, and when writing Romance, that's a requirement of the genre.  I actually think this presents quite a challenge, especially to authors of Romantic Suspense like myself.  I have to work really hard to make readers fear for my characters when on some level, readers of romance know that at least the main characters will survive and be happy...if not "ever after", then at least "for now" (unless it's a series with a sequel to continue the story, but I write standalone novels). 

So in addition to vengeful ghosts, murderous villains, and other external dangers, I also throw all sorts of internal conflicts at my characters (for example, emotional obstacles or dark secrets) that they are forced to overcome.  But despite the struggle, the hero and the heroine will get their happy ending!

The Haunting of Hillwood Farm is free with a Kindle Unlimited
subscription! Also available as an audiobook

My latest ghost mystery/romantic suspense has won multiple awards, so I'm thrilled it is resonating with readers and reviewers.  If you like spooky suspense and romance, check out The Haunting of Hillwood Farm.  It's also part of the Lucky in Love Book Fair, and the link to that landing page will showcase some additional Romance novels, from sweet to steamy, in a variety of subgenres (historical, paranormal, contemporary, fantasy, etc.), and many are on sale.  Check out the fair and settle in for some HEAs!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Trying to Keep My Sanity during #SocialDistancing #writerslife #amwriting #amblogging #fitness

As an author, I'm somewhat used to isolating's impossible to get a novel written, edited, and proofed otherwise.  But there's a very different feeling about it when the choice to go out is no longer available.  Especially since my other job--teaching classes at a gym--is often the thing that gets me away from the keyboard for a while every day.  Teaching group exercise doesn't just help keep me helps keep my mind healthy.  I teach a lot of different classes, and most involve my full concentration throughout the hour, which means I am forced to tune everything else out.  I literally cannot think about to-do lists, plot issues, or even big--sometimes devastating--problems that may be going on in my life.  If I let my mind wander, I forget to cue the intricate moves of step aerobics or lose the next part of a dance.  It's almost like therapy for me, and I always come out feeling better.  Before and after classes, I get to socialize with the members, many of whom are now good friends.  I've been teaching now for almost 30 years, and at the same gym the last 20 (!!!!), so my routine is firmly ingrained.  The longest I have taken off is a few weeks after having my kids.

Yoga by the bay last summer...
if only the sun would come out!
And now things have changed drastically, for me and our members.  I'm working hard to adjust and to do what I can to keep our fitness community active and connected.  So far what that includes is teaching classes in an empty room in front of a computer, using the Zoom app to allow members to join in remotely.  It's not ideal, but it's something.  

I do wish I was in the middle of writing a novel right now, but for me, writing a novel takes about a year, and I just finished Ghost Moon recently.  I've been kept busy proofing and line-editing, but now that I've signed off on the galley copy, it's just a waiting period until the book releases on April 15th (if you like steamy romance mixed with ghost mysteries, you can pre-order a Kindle copy now...and I have six other titles that are currently available to help keep readers Amazon author page is here).  Usually I give myself a few months before diving back in, and I don't have an idea right now at least I can write here on my blog, and do promotional work from home.

Speaking of promotion, I did organize an event that's coming up soon, and it might end up helping people pass time during this quarantine period.  On April 1st, I'll be sharing links to an audiobook "listen to review" event, where people can choose from over 30 titles in the Romance, Suspense, Paranormal, and Thriller categories and request a code to listen for FREE!  If you haven't tried audiobooks, now might be a good time.  I listen while I garden, fold laundry, clean, take walks, etc. - all things most of us may be doing a lot of in the next month.  This is an event through Story Origin, a free site that just requires an (also free) account to get started...find it here.  If you want to get my newsletter on April 1st with the audio promo details and link, you can sign up here or check back on my blog! 

Beyond trying to keep a fragile tether to my old schedule, I'm also trying to navigate having everyone home all day, when usually that's my time to write in solitude.  My high school son is home with no actual graded work assigned, and my college son is home for the remainder of the semester, due to begin online classes.  It's a lot of together time, but we've been taking turns selecting movies or shows to watch together.  I ordered a bunch of puzzles today, and most importantly, a puzzle board, so that our two cats can't flip the pieces from the table, which would result in the dog probably eating them.

Three adorable troublemakers...

Group texts with friends and family are a blessing...we're all trying to lighten each other's spirits daily with funny posts.  Social media is a double-edged sword--I enjoy the connection, but it's easy to get overwhelmed with the gravity of the situation and feel scared, sad, and helpless.

So, I'll gear up to release this next book, and spend time posting here.  Living on Cape Cod, there are many places to explore, and I hope to take advantage of that if the weather would just clear.  Our seasons pretty much skip spring. 

For anyone who needs some exercise inspiration, I've linked a list of my past Friday Fitness posts in the event they might help people.  In particular, Posts 1 - 3 offer suggestions on different exercises and training methods.

Links to a round-up of my fitness posts

Last but in no way least...I'm getting in more reading!  That's my favorite pastime and the reason I became a writer.  Of course, I hope readers will check out my novels, but since I'm an avid reader myself, I make an annual *completely unbiased* list of my favorite reads of the year.  Here's my list of Favorite Reads of 2019, which also links back to other years.  I read a variety of genres, so you'll find everything from nonfiction to legal thrillers to psychological suspense to horror to YA get the idea.

Thanks to all who stopped by...I hope you're well.  Stay safe.  Be kind to yourself.  These are unprecedented times.  We'll get through it.

You know what else helps????  Wine!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The History of St. Patrick's Day #amblogging #StPatricksDay Happy #StPatricksDay2020

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Obviously this St. Paddy's Day is going to be a lot different than prior years for most of us.  But...reading isn't cancelled, and I'm trying to come up with things to learn while trapped inside.  So today I'm dedicating this blog post to some facts about St. Patrick and his holiday.

As a teenager, Patrick was captured by Irish pirates and taken from his home country of Great Britain to Ireland as a slave.  A rough start, for sure, but although he escaped after six years and returned home, eventually he went back to Ireland as a cleric.  The exact dates of his life are uncertain, but it is generally agreed that Patrick was an active missionary in Ireland during the second half of the 5th century.  He was also an ordained Bishop and eventually became the primary patron saint of Ireland.  St. Patrick's Day became an official Christian Feast Day in the early 17th century, observed on March 17th, the date of Patrick's death.

The day not only commemorates St. Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, it also celebrates Irish culture and heritage. There are (usually!) parades and festivals to mark the occasion, as well as religious services.  Because the church lifts Lenten restrictions for the day, drinking alcohol has become a custom associated with St. Patrick's Day.

The shamrock as a symbol comes from legends involving St. Patrick using the three-leafed plant to describe the Holy Trinity--the concept of three persons in one God. Obviously, shamrocks are green, but the phrase "The Wearing of the Green" comes from an Irish ballad of the same name.  The song refers to the persecution of those who supported the 1798 rebellion against British rule. The lyrics state, "They are hanging men and women for the wearing of the green" - the color adopted by the revolutionary United Irishmen.

Some stories credit St. Patrick with driving all the snakes from Ireland; however, all scientific evidence suggests no snakes ever existed on the Emerald Isle to begin with.  Another legend related to a serpent involves St. Patrick killing a large serpent in a lake, thus turning the water red with blood and creating the name "Red Lake" or Lough Derg.  It is said that God showed St. Patrick a cave or pit on an island in the lake, revealing the spot as an entrance to Purgatory.  St. Patrick's Purgatory is now an ancient pilgrimage site which still draws pilgrims annually.

Upon his death, the struggle over possession of the saintly corpse gave rise to the Battle for the Body of St. Patrick (according to the Annals of the Four Masters - chronicles of medieval Irish history).  He is said to be buried along with St. Brigid and St. Columbia at Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, County Down, but this has never been proven.

Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day, and thanks for stopping by.  If you are looking for more things to stay entertained and reading is your passion, I hope you'll check out my books!  I write romantic suspense mixed with ghost mysteries, #1 Amazon and B&N Bestsellers and USA Today Bestsellers.  My seventh novel, Ghost Moon, is now up for pre-order, but there are six others ready to Amazon author page can be found here.  Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

GHOST MOON Cover Reveal! #CoverReveal #amreading #books #paranormal #romance #ghosts #Gothic

I honestly do love ALL my covers, but this one is giving me all sorts of (good) goosebumps!  Check out the cover of GHOST MOON, my seventh novel, below!  As the title suggests, there is a haunting, and the characters experience quite a few episodes of goosebumps themselves.  But it's also a romance with some steamy scenes to balance out the spooky chills!  

This book is set to release on April 15, and I'm thrilled to announce that Pre-orders for Kindle are already live!  You can order your copy below to have it hit your Kindle on release day...then put your feet up and get ready for a haunting mystery...What happened at Holloway House?

When Lark Cavanaugh’s life in New York City falls apart, she’s left reeling from a staggering betrayal. She escapes to Cape Cod, where a distant relative has left her an old house with a tragic past. Rumors of a haunting presence plague the abandoned home, but Lark doesn’t believe in ghosts…until she has no choice.

After completing his military duty, veterinarian Jesse Holt returns to his small hometown to take over his father’s practice. He soon finds himself drawn to the alluring redhead now living next door, but she has made her intentions clear—she’s moving back to the city as soon as possible. When frightening events threaten her safety, though, he can’t deny his protective instincts.

Unable to fight their feelings, they give in to desire…but another battle looms. Lark’s arrival has awakened a decades-old mystery, and the truth of what happened at Holloway House will only be revealed when it claims yet another life.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Top #Book of 2019 ~ My 2nd Award arrived! #amreading #paranormal #romance #writerslife #amwriting

A few months ago, I received my first physical writing trophy in the mail...a beautiful solid glass book for winning first place in InD'Tale Magazine's RONE Awards, engraved with my name and The Haunting of Hillwood Farm, my latest ghost mystery/romantic suspense.  Last week, I was thrilled to open an envelope with my second physical award for this award and medal for placing as a Top Read of 2019 at Read  The Haunting of Hillwood Farm actually came in at #2 out of 50 titles...which is an amazing feeling and also the exact same spot that Haunted Souls claimed in the 2016 awards!

And now the #2 Top Read of 2019 at Read Freely!  Woot!

I'm over the moon that The Haunting of Hillwood Farm has resonated with readers and reviewers!  I truly hope my upcoming 2020 release Ghost Moon will also be well-received...stay tuned for the *gorgeous* cover reveal and ARC and pre-order info!  

When I started this journey in 2008, I barely dreamed I could get my first novel, Silver Lake, published, much less create six more novels and hit the Bestseller lists at USA TODAY, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble!  It's been a wild ride filled with both joy and tears.  But in the end, my true goal is to provide entertainment.  Reading is not only my favorite pastime, it has gotten me through some of the worst times of my life.  I find I simply can't think about other things if I'm truly absorbed in a page-turning story, and it's a welcome escape from the stresses--and worse--of life.  If I provide readers with a story that pulls them in and gives them hours of relaxation and enjoyment, I've done my job!

Thanks for coming by for my celebration, and please check back for news on Ghost Moon...or subscribe to my newsletter over on the right side of this page.  I send out news about twice a month, and I love to meet new readers!