Saturday, July 29, 2017

So many Chrises...

So in my latest release Plus One my male lead is named Chris, which is not an uncommon name. It also happens to be a very popular name for some of my favorite leading male actors right now. As I was visualizing and creating this character, I tried to pull together some of my favorite features from some of the Chrises (is that even a word?) out there. Ladies, may I present to you the inspiration for one of my favorite male characters:

Chris Pine- Look at those eyes! Look at them!!!! How can you not get lost in them? Am I right ladies? You'll notice that in Plus One Chris's eyes are basically another character as I refer to them so frequently. Go ahead girls, stare at them for a few more minutes. 

Chris Evans-That smile...I mean, come on! What wouldn't you do for that smile? Like the eyes, the smile is just as important to the story. My character inherited his smile from his dad, and as his mom said "That damn smile got me into so much trouble!" Oh, I see why, Cindy. I see why...

Chris Hemsworth- I'm just going to leave that picture of his body right there and let you ladies enjoy it. You're welcome!

Chris Pratt- There is something about this guy's sense of humor that just does it for me. In the book, Chris has a way of making Mia feel comfortable and makes her laugh all the time. This guy is hilarious! He can be inappropriate, yet incredibly innocent and endearing, just like another Chris I know. Also, have you ever heard or seen him talk about his wife and son? Come on! Really? *swoon*

So there you have it, ladies. Those four men were my inspiration for the Chris that I created in Plus One. I can't get enough of him. I have to tell you, I keep going back and reading it over and over again because I find myself missing Mia and Chris. They were a lot of fun to write and I sincerely hope that you have fun reading about them.
Oh and Chris, if you're reading this...You are my favorite Chris! 😉

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Does self-publishing matter?

This week I released my eighth self-published title on and it's got me thinking. See, back in 2012 self-publishing was pretty spectacularly profitable for me. I made a whole year's teacher salary in one month and followed it up with a few more months of amazing royalty checks.
But in 2017 the market has changed. There are millions of self-published books out there. The secret is out. Thanks to Amazon and various other sites, anyone can write a book and publish it. That's amazing and I am so grateful that this is happening. But what does that mean for me now?
First, let me just say that I do not write to sell books and make money. I write because I like to tell stories. I have characters and stories running through my mind all the time and I enjoy writing them down. It's a huge thrill to watch the story unfold and see characters come to life as I write their stories down. That's why I do it.
Now that self-publishing is so readily accessible and frequently used, I'm sure there are people out there who are wondering if it matters. My answer to that is yes. Self-publishing matters just like garage bands, amateur DJs, and local artists all matter. We're human and some of us need a creative outlet to help us feel connected to the world around us. No, most of us do not actually think we're going to make it famous doing what we love, but we do it anyway! What if we only did what we loved if there was a guarantee attached to it? How many things in life would we miss out on? How many relationships would we have passed over? How many experiences would we have missed if all we did was go for what was guaranteed to be successful?
Besides who gets to say what success is? Maybe for me, today, success is just being able to write again. Perhaps tomorrow success will be defined differently. As long as I'm the one writing the definition then success will always mean more to me than whatever set goal someone else has in mind for me.
Self-publishing my books is probably not going to lead to a career in writing. I'm probably not going to get one of my books made into a movie on the Hallmark Movie Channel (but seriously, can someone make this happen?). But no matter what, I'm going to keep writing because I like it. I like being able to create characters that I can connect to and maybe you can too. Writing my silly, frivolous love stories makes me happy. If it doesn't make me money, so what? Money doesn't make you happy. Doing what you love makes you happy. Today, I'm feeling happy. 😁

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Why buy the milk?

So...I'm giving away my latest book from now until 6/8.
"Why are you giving away your hard work for free?"
Great question!
Free promotions aren't really the same as giving away your hard work for free.
Well, not really.
See, Kindle Direct Publishing does this amazing thing where if you agree to publish solely through them, then you can do promotions and giveaways with little to no effort on your part. 
Sounds like a great idea to me!
And...when you give your books away, what you hope happens is someone grabs the book while it's free, reads it, likes it *squee*, and then either a)writes a review to inspire other readers to buy and read the book OR b)buys one of your other books OR c)both a and b!
So when I give my books away, I'm really hoping to generate more business for me and Amazon. It's worked in the past, but back then I had a little more momentum going with my books and therefore there was more buzz about what was coming out. But, I'm hoping that this quick promotional offer will help to generate some new buzz and get things going again.
However, dear reader wherever you are and whoever you are, don't be disappointed in me. I don't write these silly stories just to make money. I write because I love to bring characters to life and share them with you. I know I make mistakes. I know I overuse phrases or character actions (rolling of the eyes), but I love being about to create something out of nothing. Creating characters are stories is so much fun, and I love being able to share it with you.
So I guess my other reason for giving my books away is because I just want you to read them and enjoy them.
Happy Reading!


Monday, May 29, 2017

I'm back!

Oh, it's good to be back! After five LONG years, and a whole lot of life, I'm back to share with you that I've finally finished another book!
Set Sail to Single will be released this week on  Just because I love you and because some of you seem to like me, here's a sneak peek at what Set Sail to Single has to offer:


“I can’t believe I let you talk me into this.” I looked around suspiciously. “I swear everyone is staring at me.”
            “Oh! Good grief! Would you relax? No one is staring at you,” Jess, my best friend, huffed angrily over the phone.
            I smiled nervously at the couple who walked past me as I lounged on a deck chair by the pool.
            “Lots of people go on cruises by themselves.”
            “You’re such a liar, Jess. No one goes on cruises by themselves. This is literally my worst nightmare.” I ducked down in my chair as another couple walked past me. The woman, clinging to her man’s arm was smiling and beaming with joy. I groaned. “I am trapped on this boat with a bunch of happy people.”
            Jess groaned back at me. “Give it a few days, and there will be more people miserable. Trust me. I’ve been on a cruise before.”
            “Yes, but their misery is remedied by a pill or one of those patches. My misery is permanent.”
            The sound of a bag crinkling filled my ears. It was so loud I had to move the phone away.
            “What are you eating?” I said when I knew it was safe to return the phone to my ear.
            There was a pause. “Whaf makes you fink I’m eating?” Jess said with a muffled voice.
            I shook my head and smiled slightly. Jess was eight and a half months pregnant with her first child. For the past few months she’d been doing nothing but eating.
            Jess sighed loudly, “Lizzie, I know that this isn’t what you thought it was going to be like. I’m sorry that Jake is such an ass. I’m sorry that I let my husband knock me up with this stupid baby. I wish I could be there beside you right now.”
            I felt my eyes welling up with tears. I choked them back. I’d done enough crying in the past two weeks.
            “I know that all you want to do is lock yourself in your room and listen to Adele, but maybe you could move the moping to the pool deck just for the next week.” Jess sounded genuinely concerned. “Please just try to relax and enjoy yourself, Lizzie.”
            I took a deep breath. I knew she was right. The last two weeks had been a flurry of tearful phone calls, sobbing sessions, and weak attempts at appearing normal. Yesterday had been the worst of it. My eyes were still aching from it. I promised Jess I would do my best to have a good time. I told her I loved her and wished she was with me. I also made her promise not to have her baby while I was cruising.

I set my phone down in my lap. I knew that it would be a few days before I heard a familiar voice again. A part of me felt relieved that I would get a break from the relentless questions that had been thrown at me since Jake decided to throw me away. I ran through the disaster that was my life as I sat with my head back and my eyes closed.

With just two weeks to go before our wedding, Jake had come home from work one day and announced that he couldn’t go through with it. He said that, after much thought and consideration, he just didn’t think he was ready to be married.

“It’s nothing personal, Lizzie. I don’t want to be married to anyone, it’s not just you.” He shrugged his shoulders as he spoke nonchalantly about calling off our wedding. I was so shocked it was at least ten minutes after he took his suitcase and left that I actually spoke. At first I thought it was just a heartless joke, but when I called his cell, he repeated the same statement he’d made the first time. It was over. The wedding was off.

The cruise, however, was already paid for. My aunt had given it to us as a wedding gift. We were going to honeymoon on the cruise that left the day after our wedding. My gut reaction was to skip the cruise. I had nothing to celebrate anyway. However, my aunt insisted that I take the trip and just drag a friend along with me.

“Better yet, go alone, Elizabeth. You’d be surprised how relaxing vacationing alone can be,” Aunt Faye had said over the phone. The consummate travel agent, I knew she was selling me a line of bullshit. Of course, the rest of my friends and family jumped on board with her. In all honesty, I was getting a little sick of all the sympathetic smiles and pats on the back. Work had been just awful. Nobody knew exactly what to say, but for some reason no one thought to just shut up.

So, I’d grabbed my bags, and what was left of my dignity, and boarded the cruise ship alone. I stood in the check-in line alone. I went through the port check alone.

Sitting alone in the deck chair beside the pool, I watched as people wandered around gawking at the grandeur of the cruise ship. I wanted to disappear. I wanted to be one in a sea of thousands of faces.

A group of middle school kids walked past me, pushing and shoving each other through giggles and screams.

“Let’s go see if we can get some drinks at the bar,” one of the boys announced to his group of followers.

“Stupid kids,” I mumbled under my breath. But as ridiculous as their plan was, it did get me thinking. A pretty, fruity drink might make the misery a little less miserable. I was sure that the deck chair would be there when I came back.

Despite the fact that we hadn’t even started moving, the bar on the pool deck was already packed with cruisers looking to get the fun started.

“Excuse me,” I said quietly as I pushed my way through the crowd. The bartenders were working double time to take orders, scan cards, and make the drinks. I waved, pointed, and gestured trying to get the attention of one of the bartenders, but to no avail.

“Beer me, bro!” a male voice boomed from behind me.

The bartender turned, smiled, and spoke in a heavy accent, “What would you like my man?”

“You’re the expert. What’s good?”

The man with the voice cozied up to the bar right next to me. He was tall, brunette, and grinning from ear to ear.

The bartender shook his head and laughed at him. “Everything I serve is good, but I can look at you and tell that you are a top shelf man. You come to me, my man, and I will keep you happy with your drinks.”

“You take care of me and I’ll take care of you,” the brunette grinned in response.

            The bartender, whose nametag identified him as Raj, laughed louder and poured a drink for his best customer.

            “What are you drinking?” the brunette asked me when his new bestie was busy making his drink.

            “Nothing yet,” I said with a shrug. “I can’t get anyone to take my order.”

            “Take care of my girl here,” he said as Raj handed him his drink and his card.

            “Are you with big spender?” Raj said with a wink and a point in the brunette’s direction.

            “No. I’ve been standing here waiting politely until I could get your attention.” It came out a lot sassier than I had intended it to.

            Raj’s eyes, and smile, lit up. “I better keep an eye on you! The feisty ones need special care!”

            I blushed and handed him my card. “I’d like a strawberry daiquiri?”

            “Seriously?” the brunette questioned my order with a raised eyebrow. “With that attitude I would have expected you to go for something a little harder than that!”

            I shrugged and smiled shyly.

            “For you, ma’am,” Raj handed me my card and my drink. “You remember now, come find me for special deals. I hook you up.”

            He spun around and started filling orders for the rest of the crowd at the bar. I watched him for a minute or two. He was clearly in his element. He kept the crowd entertained with his smile and personality.

            “How’s the girly drink?”

            I turned back to see the brunette grinning at me.

            “It’s delicious,” I answered quickly and walked away from the bar. I found my deck chair and got comfortable again. People were starting to fill the area. A few bold cruisers even jumped into the pool. I watched as crowds of people wandered past me. Most of them walked on, completely ignorant to my presence. It was the first time in two weeks that I didn’t feel like there was someone watching me. Just to be sure, I looked left then right. There was no one in either direction paying the least bit of attention to me.
           I was invisible and it felt amazing.

Well...what did you think? Want more? I hope so...

Thursday, April 7, 2016


It's me.
I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet.

Thanks Adele.

Well, it has a been a few years since I wrote anything on this blog. So, what happened? Life, that's what happened. Between the loss of my father and the collapse of my marriage, I basically lost my sense of happily ever after. As a reader, I don't always want to read a book that is too much like real life- boring or depressing. Chick lit is an escape. We want to curl up with a book and make believe that we are curling up with the hunk, the romantic, or the charming man between the pages of that book. So what do you do when you lose the idea of Prince Charming? Well, if you are a normal adult woman, you simply move on with your life and find a great guy to settle down with. But if you're a writer, you sit and stare in excruciating sadness because you just can't seem to get back what you've lost.
I have ideas and I have hope. What I am lacking is the words. Nothing I write seems to capture what's in my head. I am now full of doubt. I go back through each sentence and critique it. I over analyze every move I make for my characters. I worry about more negative reviews. (Yes, I read the reviews. Yes, I stress out about the negative reviews. Yes, I know I shouldn't do that.)
I wish that I could submit this blog entry to announce that I have a new book being published soon. I wish that I was writing to tell you that my new book is coming along well. Unfortunately, I am only writing to tell you that I want to write, I hope to write, and I will write...just not yet.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

That old familiar feeling

So, I started working on a book. It has been a long time since I wrote and lots of things in my life have changed since then. I've hit the wall more times than I've missed it, to be honest. I want to write. I have the story in my head. Unfortunately, there seems to be some kind of block between what's in my head and what magically appears on the screen when my fingers strike the keys!
Feeling frustrated, I talked it out with a few people. The best piece of advice I got was from my mom. It seemed so simple a solution that I hardly believed it would work. In the past, my pattern has been this; I read a book (often a Jill Mansell book) and then I write a book! Well, that pattern doesn't seem to be working for me.
My mom's solution to my block was your book again. See, I'm trying to write a sequel to one of my books. I know what I want my characters to experience. Taking my mom's advice, I sat down with my kindle and began to read my book. Guess what I found?
I may know where I want my characters to go, but I had forgotten where they came from! Can you believe it? I created those characters and their story, but I had forgotten a lot about them.
So, as I sit back this summer and read my book again, I am hoping that my characters will remind me who they are, how they fell in love, and what they went through in order to help me write their next adventure!

Oh yeah, and thanks mom!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

It's just that simple!

"You should write another book!"
That's all I've heard since I got even a tiny taste of success with my books.
"Sure," I say with a smile.
Like it's that simple!
It's not as if I haven't tried! I have ideas. I have even sat down at the computer with every intention of writing, but when my fingers hit the keys...nothing!
I have ideas. I have a bunch if them. On paper. On my iPad. On my phone. Everywhere there are ideas.
What isn't everywhere? The actual drive to write another book!
So, here's what it breaks down to. What happens when what used to be your escape from life's stresses becomes one of life's stresses?
The pressure associated with writing another book gets in my head and keeps me from writing. I have no idea how real authors manage to live to tell another tale. Seriously, how does James Patterson keep cranking them out? I swear he's got like a million books on the shelf. He even has time to make TV commercials telling us he's going to kill a character if we don't read his books! Where does he find the time and how does he deal with the pressure?
Perhaps the real authors like James Patterson don't feel pressure. Who knows? What I do know is that I really want to write another book for everyone (though no one as much as for my dad). I will keep trying, even if I have to sit down in front of the computer for hours just to get the inspiration!