Monday, December 30, 2013

Release Day.

I don't care if you've written two or two hundred books, release day is special.

Today, Carina Press releases Journey of Wisdom, the third book in the Triune Stones series.

This book is special to me for many reasons. It's the first one of the series that I had to write from scratch. With the first two, I had bits and pieces done. With this one... nothing. It reaffirmed to me that I can write, not just rewrite and at the time that was really important. This book also contains some of my favorite characters. Ever.

And the cover... I think this is the most beautiful of all my covers. I really do. Carina did an awesome job.

So if you've been along with me on the Journey, this book will not disappoint. Not only does Ilythra come into her own, so do several other characters... and those elusive Siobani? Well, lets just say they come into play.

And if this is your first venture into the world of Anatar? I honestly don't think you will be disappointed either.

Starting today until January 30th, I'm hosting a giveaway for Ealois, the stone of Wisdom. Follow this link for details.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Journey of Wisdom is available for order at:

Carina Press


Barnes and Noble


Or any other ebook retailer!

Friday, December 20, 2013

It's almost time!

Journey of Wisdom releases December 30th! That's only 10 days away! It is now available for preorder! 

One of my favorite characters of all time, Mohan, makes an appearance in this book. Here's a short excerpt:

"Can you climb?”

“I am a man of many talents. Most of which are sadly going unused.” He raised an eyebrow. “After you, my lady.”

Flipping on her stomach, Ilythra lowered herself down the rock wall. She found a toehold and, trusting her sense of touch, slowly made her way down until she could jump onto solid ground.

Mohan casually leaned against the wall on the road below, watching her. His lithe body relaxed as though he were standing surrounded by his troupe.

How had he beaten her down? “What are you doing?” Ilythra brushed the dust off her leggings.

“I was enjoying the view.” He winked.

Check out the first two novels. Journey of Awakening and Journey of Dominion available now on Amazon and at Carina Press

Monday, December 16, 2013

Funny sayings to brighten your Monday

I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap. - Bob Hope

I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.. - W. C. Fields

We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress. - Will Rogers

Don't worry about avoiding temptation.  As you grow older, it will avoid you. - Winston Churchill

Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty.. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.. - Phyllis Diller

By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere.   - Billy Crystal

 And the cardiologist's diet: -  If it tastes good spit it out. 

Three toys that should not exist.

I am not a Scrooge. I love the Holidays. I love buying games kids will love, but I think the toy makers have gone too far. Yes, I know I sound like an old fuddy duddy, but withhold judgement just a minute, would you?

You see, my youngest now watches cartoons and being the good mom, I watch along with her. Because of this, I've been exposed to more commercials of late. And because of the season, tons of toy commercials. I don't doubt that kids might want to play these games--in particular 6 to 12 year old boys--but what would possess a parent to actually buy them?

Doggie Doo Game 
Yes, a game about a defecating dog. Oh fun! But wait! It farts too!

Gooey Louie  When I see one of my children with a finger up his/her nose, it's an occasion for reprimand... I can't imagine a toy that encourages it.

Pop the Pig Yes, feed the pig until it explodes... There is so much wrong with that I don't know where to start.

So what do you think? Would you buy any of these for a child in your life?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Journey of Wisdom

This is my favorite cover yet! 

Available for preorder now. Releases Dec 30, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

Funny sayings to brighten your Monday


  •  By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher. – Socrates

  • I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury. - Groucho Marx

  •    My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe.   - Jimmy Durante  

  •   I have never  hated a man enough to give his diamonds back. - Zsa Zsa Gabor

  • Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat. - Alex Levine

  • My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying.   - Rodney Dangerfield

  •    Money can't buy you happiness .... But it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.   - Spike Milligan

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Today I'm over at Here Be Magic talking about cookies! Please join me.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Journey of Dominion

Today is the day! Sarah  is now Ilythra, the wanderer of legend. Isn't the cover awesome? I am so excited for you all to read this second book in the Triune Stones series. Journey of Dominion is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and of course at Carina Press.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Epic Fantasy: Why is it so long?

This week is fantasy week at Here Be Magic. Today I'm discussing the length of epic fantasy. What do you think? Should epic fantasy keep in word counts in check or do you like the longer works of authors such as Tolkien, Martin and Lewis?

Stop by and say hi... and don't miss the other great offerings from our group of talented writers!

Friday, May 3, 2013


It’s May!

And yes, I wanted to write this blog post three days ago, but well... best laid plans and all of that.
May holds some very important days for me. Today is my oldest daughter’s birthday. May 31st is my youngest daughter’s birthday; she’ll be one! She took her first step yesterday.

She’s my slowest walker but I think that’s because she’s smart. She knows what independent mobility means.  

And near the middle of the month, my husband and I celebrate our anniversary. 

This year, I also get to celebrate the release of book two of the Triune Stones series. Journey of Dominion comes out May 20th.

If book one was the birth of a legend, book two is the definitely the fall of a legend. One of the things that excites me the most about this book is that you’ll all finally get to meet Mohan. Mohan is probably one of my favorite secondary characters ever. He was intended for one short scene but ended up sticking with Ilythra until the end. Well, because that’s the kind of guy he is.

In the garden the sweat peas are in late full bloom. The azaleas are fading as well as the other early spring flowers. The irises have started blooming, all except the Japanese. My roses have exploded and there are tomatoes on the vine. The sudden heat killed even my heat resistant peas so it’s just the tomatoes and watermelon. Hoping a small garden will be easier to tend.

So what’s going on this month with all of you? 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


It seems to me that holidays come faster and faster every year. They just seem to sneak up on me each time. After Christmas, Valentines and St. Patrick just jumped up at me before I’d begun to feel prepared, I swore I’d be ready for Easter.

And you know what? I think maybe I am.

Every Easter I have a big brunch at my house. Most of you know I love to bake and cook. So I put out a spread! This is from 2010. Let me tell you, it 's grown since then! I spend most of the day before doing all the prep work so I don’t have to get up early the day of the brunch. Being lazy is easy when you plan. ; )

The kids open their Easter baskets before the brunch then set up the tables. People trickle in and out, stay and leave. We eat, the kids have an Easter egg hunt, we eat, so more, drink mimosas, eat, play baseball and have a lot of fun. It’s actually turning into one of the most laid back, relaxing holidays of the year.  I’m not saying it’s the Mimosas, but I’m not saying it’s not either.

To top it all off, my flowers usually look pretty darn good too.The "big" kids always team up with the littler kids to find Easter's only fair (and gives us a good excuse to participate.)

I’m not sure it will ever top Christmas for my favorite holiday, but it’s getting close.  

We invite friends, family. It’s pretty much come as you are.  We’re celebrating on Saturday this year so if you’re in the neighborhood, stop on by!

Do you have a favorite holiday?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fantasy, Facts, Fun: Five Sayings.

These made me laugh, I hope they do you too!

1. I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: - 'No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.'   - Eleanor Roosevelt

 2. Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement.. - Mark Twain

3. Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.   - Victor Borge

4. Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain

5. I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.. - W. C. Fields

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fantasy, Facts, Fun: Table Time

As most of you know, I have seven children. Because I'm outnumbered, I often have to police more than play, but we get our play in there too.

Eating together is very important to me. It's a time to chat (No TV or cellphones) and be together as a family. Occasionally, my children are wildly funny--whether they mean to be or not.

One of the things we love to do at the table during dinner is tell jokes. So recently my 7 year-olds and I decided to come up with some jokes to tell daddy at dinner time.

I decided they were so awesome, I'd share them with you.

These are inspired by 7 year olds and fine-tuned by me.

What did the master chef say to the wood?
You're chopped!


What did the brick say to the other brick?
Lego me!


What did the fries say to the hamburger?
Pleasure to meat you!
(This was originally, what did the farmer say to the cow, but it seemed kinda brutal to me)


What did the lollipop say to the lollipop?
Stick by me.


What did the wall clock say to the digital clock?
Will you give me a hand?

Yes, I know. They're geniuses. Feel free to share. : )

Have you heard any good jokes lately? (They don't have to be kid friendly. None of my kids actually read my blog. : ) )

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Winner of my Valentines Give Away!

Sarah graciously consented to post this picture. She won the Valentines give away with her comment on the Carina Press blog. And as fate would have it, she was actually wearing something that matched the day she received the pendant. Yup, some things were meant to be...

Thank you to everyone who participated! I love hearing from all of you! : ) 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Facts, Fantasy, Fun

In a perfect world, my house would always be clean. I suppose either I’d have a live-in maid or have trained my kids much better than I apparently did to not only leave a room cleaner than when they entered it but do so with smiles on their little faces.

I’d have at least two hours to prep and cook dinner every day. It’s crazy how little time I have to cook. And I love to cook. Baking? Well, I’d have one day a week to just bake. Cakes, cookies, pies, pastries, you name it. The more elaborate the better. Hmmm with all that I’d better have at least 30 minutes a day to exercise.

I’d be able to spend quality time with each of my kids, individually and together. I’d have  time to play with them, laugh with them.

I’d have four solid hours to write every day. Oh, that may not sound like much, but when you consider I get about a quarter of that each day now, it sounds like an extravagant amount of time.

Promo would come easy. I hate talking about myself. And although I really think you’d love my book, it is such a part of me, it feels like talking about myself. Come to think of it. I think you’d really like me too if you got to know me so there you go.

I’d have a fresh bouquet of flowers for my kitchen table every week—preferably from my large cut flower garden. Yup, gardening is a close second to baking. It would only take me two hours a week or so to maintain a garden... It seems crazy that I just can’t seem to carve that out.

I would always be dressed and have my hair and makeup done every day before 9 am. ROFL... yup. It’s a good thing I can work in my pjs most days.

I’d have time to sit and listen to my husband every day. I’ve discovered that listening to him is more important than talking to him.

Well, my life is not perfect, but then if I switch things around and look at everything from another angle, I can see my life is full to overflowing of wonder, love and joy...even if the laundry sits on the couch and the dishes are still in the sink, and the flowers stay on the rose bush among the weeds, and even if I can’t get it all done in one day.

It is a perfect world, because it's mine.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

And the winner is

This is how I did it. I looked at every comment on every blog that I visited, including mine, since Feb 4th. I listed each person except the owner of the blog. For instance, if I was at Ruth. A. Casie's blog, I did not list Ruth's comments as entries.

Then I tallied up the comments. And I have to say thank you. Some of you commented 10 or more times. That of course gave you 10 entries.

I went to random list generator. Entered everyone's name and the blog in which they commented. Some people had ten, five or one entry.

As you can imagine, this was time consuming and I don't think I'll ever do it this way again. : ) But that's not important. You want to know who won!

Drum roll please.

And the winner of the Ilydearta pendant is.....

Ella Quinn from Ruth A. Casie's blog! 

Congratulations, Ella! 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Enslaved by R.C. Murphy

One of my favorite perks of being a writer is discovering new talent or hearing about such talent from other talented friends.

Today, from Just Ink Publishing, let me introduce you to Enslaved by R.C. Murphy. To be honest I haven't finished this book yet, but it's on my Kindle and I'm looking forward to it!

The gods are flawed . . . and they make awful parents.
Deryck knows first-hand the cruelty of the gods. Three thousand years after his birth, he is still trapped, forced to service humans as an Incubus—unable to choose whom he sleeps with, and living a life completely devoid of love. There is no out for him. No hope. Or so he thought.
Shayla McIntire spent five years getting her life back on track after the accident claiming her husband’s life. She is content to a nice, boring, subdued life free of the abuse she suffered before. Her friends are worried. They want her to find the man of her dreams and move on.
Little do they know, the Powers That Be have decided the man of Shayla’s dreams. There’s just one hitch, he’s enslaved to the gods and it will take power she doesn’t know she has to free him. Deryck isn’t the only one hoping Shayla will free him, though.

R.C. Murphy spends her nights writing urban fantasy novels and a slew of short stories for her blog, The Path of a Struggling Writer. By day she is a not so mild-mannered housewife, wrangling vampires, demons, and various other nasty creatures. R.C. has joined forces with fellow writers, artists, and actors to form the Zombie Survival Crew where she reviews movies, TV shows, as well as penning articles on important survival skills.

You can learn more about RC and her crew at any or all of these places:

A Day in the Life

 In Journey of Awakening, Sara wears a wire-wrapped blue stone called Ilydearta, or Waymaker. Today is the last day to comment on any of my blogs for a chance to win this fabulous pendant. It comes with a 16" silver chain (not pictured).

At noon on the west coast, I will tally up all the names and run them through a random number generator. The winner will be revealed tomorrow. March 5th!

I'd like to thank you all for sharing this release month with me. Your support and comments me more than I can say. : )

Wednesday, February 27, 2013



Today I am over at the talented Veronica Scott's blog where we're talking about flowers and new projects.
Stop by and say hi! Remember, any comment on any of my blog posts until March 4th puts you in the running to win this:

Good luck!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Maniac Monday

Today I have some awesome posts to share with you! I've been cattified over at Writer and Cat!

And I'm confessing my love of Spock on Contact-Infinite Futures  

You really should check them out! Why? Because every comment gives you one entry for a chance to win Ilydearta. Not the real stone of course, that would create havoc on the entire world of Anatar. And you don't  want to be responsible for that do you?

Monday, February 18, 2013

For Alison

 When I started editing Journey of Awakening for production, I found out my usual Carina editor, Rhonda Helms, was not available. I won't lie, I was sad. I love Rhonda, we work well together. She'd kick my butt for that comma splice. I think she might even like me. She certainly has supported my writing efforts. It was with much trepidation and hesitancy that I turned to Alison Dasho. My fears were all misplaced. I still love Rhonda, but let me tell you, Alison is a genius. She is kind, smart and boy can she edit a manuscript! I have always said a good editor is worth his or her weight in gold. Alison is worth twice hers. So when I heard she was recovering from surgery and one of my fellow Carina authors, who is lucky enough to have Alison as her editor, suggested we do a little something to cheer her up, I jumped on it. So Alison, this is for you. I hope you like it.


The form under the blankets didn’t move. Sara hesitated. She didn’t want to frighten the woman but time was of the essence. She moved further into the room, disturbing a small feline. The cat gave her a look of disdain but padded out into the hallway.

She sat on the chair the cat had abandoned. Who was she kidding? She had nothing but time. Time to think, to wander, to... she shook her head. There was no point in going down that road. Zeynel had warned her that her time in this place was constrained. That's what was important. She stared at the unmoving form on the bed. She was here for one purpose: to pay back a favor.

Sara cleared her throat. The form mumbled something but didn’t move. Shaking her head, she stood. She couldn’t understand it. How had this woman survived so long? Sara would have woken up at the first footfall in the hall outside the bed. Of course Sara had been trained for such things her entire life, and she wasn’t wounded. This woman was.

A glance outside a large window also confirmed this wasn’t the world she was used to so maybe the woman had defenses she didn’t know about. She certainly had powers Sara didn’t understand. That this woman used those powers to free Sara was something she wouldn’t soon forget.

“Excuse me.”

The woman shot up in bed. The gasp echoed through the room.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you.” Sara stood still, letting the woman get accustomed to her presence.

The woman leaned over toward a table and turned on a devise. Light filled the room. Sara blinked. So she was a magician with more than words.

“Who are you?” The  voice was scratchy but not panicked.

Sara relaxed a fraction. “Sara, from Anatar.”

“Sara?” The woman blinked.

“You are Alison Dasho, are you not?”

“Yes.” Alison nodded her head slowly. “Sara, from Anatar?”

“Yes. That is what I said.” Had she hit her head too?

Alison muttered something under her breath. Sara caught the words strangest and therapy.

“I’m here because word got to us that you were wounded.”  Sara sat on the edge of the bed. “I owe you my very life. Without you, my writer would never have had the confidence to write my story. Not to mention we’d all be talking and admiring the scenery without much action. I really do prefer action. I’d also be glancing, turning, gazing and especially smiling every other paragraph. If you knew me, you’d know I don’t smile often.” Sara shook her head.  “You are responsible for all of that.”

Alison scooted up against the plush fluffy objects at the head of her bed. “Yeah, you know, I’ve been thinking. You should lighten up a little.”

“Lighten up? I don’t understand.”

“Relax. Have a little fun.” Alison’s hands wove patterns in the air as she spoke. 

“I have task to perform. The weight of Anatar’s future is on my shoulders...and I don’t...I don’t know how to do it.”

“Yes. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Don’t worry. Things will get better.  There’s nothing wrong with showing a little emotion now and then.”

Sara sighed. “Yes, that is something I’m working on.” She opened her leather pouch. “You know I’m not a true healer, but I’m skilled with herbs.” She removed a vial. “Here, drink this. It will help your body recover from your trauma.”

“Thank you, but how are you here?” Alison took the vial and looked at it with suspicion.

Sara pulled out Ilydearta from beneath her tunic. “This is also called Waymaker, as you know. Zeynel discovered at one time, it could cross great distances and even travel between worlds.”

“I don’t remember reading that.”

“That is because my writer altered the story several times since then but the remnants remain, and...” She picked up the blue stone. “Ilydearta found a way.” Sara winked.  “The tincture is not magic, it doesn’t taste bad and it’s completely safe. It will make you feel better. You can trust me.”

Alison looked at the bottle. “Well, it doesn’t say Drink Me, but then my name is not Alice.”

Sara’s brows knit together in confusion then she glanced at the window. Pink tinged the horizon. “I must go. Be well, Alison. And thank you!”  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blog Tour: Journey of Awakening

Not sure why I always capitalize the W when writing Journey of Awakening, but I always do.  Yeah.

Anyway, this afternoon I'm at the Carina blog talking about love. I'm taking Valentines Day off to spend with my dear husband and children (and book four) but on the 15th, I'm visiting Angela Campbell! Please stop by and say hi. On the 17th, I'm answering some tough questions on Ruth A Casie's blog. And on the 18th, I'm talking about Music, Manuscripts and Magic on RL Naquin's blog.

I would love to hear from you!

 Don't forget, comment on any blog and you'll be in the running to win an awesome blue agate pendant that is reminiscent of Ilydearta. I couldn't give away the real one. Sara won't give it up. : )

On the Carina blog, I'm giving away another necklace in honor of Valentines Day. What can I say? I love jewelry. Comment before February 19th for a chance to win this glass heart pendant.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Come visit me.

Today, and the first and fourth Tuesday of almost every month, I'm over at Everybody Needs a Little Romance. where I'm talking about my new release, Journey of Awakening, and at Here Be Magic talking about dreams.

Remember, a comment on any of my blog posts from February 4th to March 4th enters you in a drawing to win this fabulous wire-wrapped blue onyx pendant with silver chain.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Journey of Awakening

Journey of Awakening is available for purchase today!

Today is the day I've dreamed about  for about ten years. That's how long it's been since I first penned the beginnings of this story. The finished product only bears a faint echo of those first tentative pen strokes but trust me, that's a good thing.

I sincerely hope you all enjoy this story and that you fall in love with Sara as I did. I hope you grow to love Tobar, Maeyls, Nolwen, Pierric and all the characters found between these pages.

Yes, I'm waxing sentimental.

Please remember, any comment on any of my blog posts between February 4th and March 4th enters you for a chance to win this blue onyx pendant with silver chain:

It comes with an 18" sterling silver necklace (not pictured) The more you comment, the great chance of winning!

Tomorrow I will be here and at Here Be Magic and Everybody Needs a Little Romance. On Feb 13th, I will be at the Carina blog giving away this fantastic glass heart pendant. For a  complete list of my upcoming blog stops, please visit my website. 

Today I am also visiting the fabulous Cynthia Justlin. Please stop by and say hi.

Journey of Awakening is available at these fine vendors!

Carina Press

Here's a preview:

Closing her eyes, she took the salty air deep into her lungs; her breathing evened as she focused on absorbing and channeling the energy of earth, sky, fire and water. Here, water ruled, followed by sky, but the other elements were present in lesser degrees. Her senses expanded. The sounds around her became distinct. Waves teased the wooden skimmer as the wind carried it through the waters. She opened her mind further. The ocean swarmed with life. Schools of fish followed the currents of the ocean in the skimmer’s wake while slow ponderous creatures—for which Sara had no name—crawled across the ocean floor or swam in its depths. She sensed beyond the visible to the unknown creatures hidden in every drop of water contained within the ocean.
Far away, birds sailed the currents of the air and for a brief moment, Sara caught a glimpse of a greater cycle of which she was only part. Here was balance, beauty. They had always practiced meditation as a part of Shi’ia, the ancient art of warfare her grandfather taught her, but after he gave her the necklace, he explained she rode the winds of Teann. He called Teann the life-breath of the universe. It was as apt name as any to explain the experience. He admitted he didn’t understand any more than his Shi’ia instructor had taught him, but he knew there was more, much more. She agreed with him. The first time Sara had tried to meditate wearing the necklace, she’d gone so far so fast, she felt she would lose herself, but she adjusted, reveling in the abundance around her.
With her eyes closed and life swirling around her, she pictured the stone in the necklace. Dark blue and swathed in silver filigree, the jewel was beautiful and as hard as it was to explain, she understood that it was now part of her, or who she was becoming. Who am I becoming? A chill of fear shot up her spine

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Countdown to Awakening: Tomorrow is the day!


Yup, I was tempted to leave it at that. That one word pretty much says it all.

There is nothing like the anticipation and anxiety you experience when the manuscript you poured a little bit of yourself into goes public.

Journey of Awakening, book one in the Triune Stones series, is still available for preorder at Amazon,  Carina, and Barnes and Noble but will be available for purchase tomorrow.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday: Fact, Fun, Fiction. Countdown to Awakening (four days)

Writers never stop learning. Whether it's grammar, refining style, hooks, formatting, promotion, you name it, we're learning with every stroke of the keyboard.

For today's countdown, I'll list five things I learned writing Journey of Awakening (and the series).

Let go: One of the problems I'd come up against in writing this book is that I was rewriting it--for the tenth to twentieth time. Yup, I honestly can't remember how many reincarnations this particular story has. At one point, out of sheer frustration, I sent the manuscript to my editor, the talented and awesome Rhonda Helms, and just told her to tell me which story line to write. You see, I kept second-guessing myself, looking at the pros and cons of each direction I'd taken the story in over the last eight years or so. So I let go, took direction and took off. Now I have to do another kind of letting go.

Less is more. Boy did I tend to write flowery, pretty sentences that essentially went no where. I remember spending an hour trying to phrase the descriptions of sun shining through the trees just right, picking the right words in the right combination... Don't misunderstand. The key to a good writing is knowing the right word or combination of words at the right time, but too many of those descriptions and you're writing poetry, not fiction, at least not fast-paced fiction.

Action action action. I guess this is really part B of  "Less is More". Because I described everything, my characters weren't doing anything. I think at one time I thought that readers would just like to come in and visit my world--and it is a very nice place--but if nothing is happening... Well, after awhile, even I got bored. I am so thankful to Rhonda and Alison for shaking up my characters, and their writer.

Trust your gut: Because I didn't have enough confidence, I'd made a lot of changes I didn't particularly agree with based on advice from people who didn't read the genre. At all. These changes required a lot of unnecessary explanation that slowed the story down. I don't ever advocate being your own proof reader and critique partners are vital in this business, but trust your instincts.

Time management: Did I mention I rewrote book one with a newborn that did not sleep more than fifteen minutes at a time? Most of book two was the dreamy, descriptive writing that ended up on the cutting room floor and I had to write it while taking care of the baby who still did not sleep (more than fifteen minutes at a time.) and my husband back at school and unable to help. Then came book three. Changes in book one and two negated almost all of what I had for book three. No rewriting there. At one time, I used to need to get in the mood, play some music from the soundtrack, daydream and then leisurely write for a few hours. Kinda of like writing foreplay.

Yeah, those days are gone.  I learned to write whenever for however long I could. Five minutes? I can rough draft that dialog. Fifteen? No problem, I can tighten that POV. An hour? Woo Hoo! Watch me finish that chapter.

The cool thing about all of these is I can take them from the world of fiction into my day-to-day life. Let go. There are things I can't control. Less is more. When you concentrate on the things that are really important, you'll find you don't need as much. Simple is really better. Action? LOL I'm a dreamer. But even I know you have to get up and go after what you want, even if you have to take a risk to get it.  Trust your gut. LOL Enough said. Time management. With seven kids and a husband, this is my constant  goal.

So have you learned anything you'd like to share?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Love Stories

I thought as Valentine's Day is a week away, I'd take a break from the countdown to do something a little different.

I suppose it's no surprise that I love a good love story. There's something about that initial boy meets girl, the spark of attraction that leads to some undefined bigger than you and me thing that has us captivated. It's what has us happy-sighing at a happily-ever-after ending.

But, for me, the best, most fantastic love stories are the real ones. So I'd like to know about your love story. 

 How did you meet him or her? Was it love at first sight? How long before you knew he/she was the "one".  Please share. To be fair, I'll start with mine 

It started on the soccer field. Yes, really. My youngest daughter wanted to play soccer, so I signed her up through the school, bought the uniform and took her to the first practice. The coach was this nice looking, soft spoken man who seemed good with the kids.

As the weeks went by, I grew to really admire the coach. Not only was he one of those people who love kids, they loved him. I found myself going to soccer practice early. I told myself just to take advantage of the quiet…. But you know the coach also came a little early.

We didn’t talk much. He set up cones or played with my daughter until the other kids arrived, but I always felt more relaxed around him. I started looking forward to seeing him because of the peace that came with it.
Then one day, as I was walking past the parking lot on the way home, he turned on his car and classical music filled the air. I whipped my head around and stared at him as though really seeing him for the first time. I thought that there was a man I really could have fallen for, but I wasn't looking for a relationship. I’d decided some time prior that I was quite happy with my kids and my characters.

But I still rushed the field twice a week. Eventually I admitted I had a crush. I figured it was a harmless crush because he couldn’t possibly be interested in me. I was pretty sure he was younger by at least 5 years.
Then we ended up at a birthday party together. You know when you write or read about chemistry… when two people feel like there is a magnet drawing them together…? Yeah that.  Big time. Proof positive any place can be romantic, even Chuck E Cheese.

So, to make a long story short and not bore you. There came a reason, a soccer related reason of course, why he should call. Okay, yes, it was an excuse. We started talking on the phone daily and that magnet thing only intensified. Guess what? He’d had a crush on me the entire season, but figured I was out of his league…LOL Honestly, I don’t even have a league.

Then he asked if I’d maybe want to get coffee with him (I’ve since learned, he doesn’t drink coffee, but y’all know I do… and so did he.)

This is the part where I say yes, right? Nope.

I decided to be honest. I explained to him the reasons I don’t date. I have five kids who are my life. We agreed we couldn’t approach this casually, like adults without children, because our children had been hurt by past relationships that didn’t work. Butterflies, chemistry and a genuine admiration wouldn’t be enough if we weren’t compatible. Hence: The not date.

You know all the ugly things about yourself that your partner doesn’t find out until at least the 6th date…6 months… maybe 6 years in? Yup, we sat down on a park bench and laid them all out on the table. That’s the night I really met him. You know what? I think that’s the night I fell in love with him too. 

We got married six months after our not date. Our families and friends were a little...shocked. I don't do impulsive. They wondered what I saw in him or if I'd gone mad. Most of them have come to love him too. The important thing: We were both sure. We still are.

Okay, that's my love story. Now tell me yours. Funny, unbelievable, or sappy, let me have them!

The one I like the most will win a Starbucks gift card so you can take your honey out to coffee. ; ) Contest ends February 9th!

And don't forget, anyone who comments on any of my blog posts will be entered for a chance to win a gorgeous pendant. Details here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Countdown to Awakening: Five days left!

 I don't know if its her sharp tongue or sharper wit but Maeyls has always been one of my favorite secondary characters. She's about as no nonsense as they come. She'll tell it to you like it is without worrying about your feelings because it's the truth and she wouldn't understand why you would rather live with an illusion. If you ever get a compliment from her, you know it's genuine. There is nothing outwardly soft about her at all. In that way, she's about as different from her cousin, Nolwen, as possible.

Yet, Maeyls is a healer, offering up her own strength to those in need. She is under the crust, a self-sacrificing woman and without her, Sara wouldn't become the person she needs to be.

Here's a scene with Maelys, and still one of my favorite explanations for Teann. 

“That much I’ve learned but little more. I know I’m supposed to give the stone back to the Siobani.”
“Just like that? Your words are naive, child.” Maelys’s voice fell to a tired whisper. “You asked of Teann, I’ll tell you everything I know. Teann is sacred to the Siobani. It’s a force guiding all things. But a living force, understand, not a blind one. It sees, it knows. It’s the lifebreath of creation, the tint of death, holding every cycle in its sway.”
 “But you said people could twist Teann.”
“Aye. If you drop a stone, it’ll fall. Right?”
Sara nodded.
“That’s the way of things,” Maelys said. “If you drop a stone on your brother’s head, it’ll hurt him, could
very well kill him. The force hasn’t changed, only the motives of the one using the force.” Maelys shrugged. “Teann doesn’t change the natural order but works to create order from chaos.”

Journey of Awakening is now available for preorder at the limited-time-only sale price on Amazon and Barnes and Noble! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Countdown to Awakening 6 days left!

When I think of Nolwen I picture softness  She is the kind of woman that would take you in, make you something hot to drink and love on you no matter what others might say. And once you are hers, she'll defend you with her last breath.

Nolwen is one of the few characters that are based on someone I know. The waveriders's wife has many of the characteristics of my grandmother, who was the most welcoming, generous person I've ever met.

Nolwen takes Sara into her home and into her heart with ease. She also has one of my favorite lines in the whole book.

“Aye, lass.” Nolwen gazed at her with a soft expression. “It comes in waves, like the breeze, like the ocean, like life.” She moved forward and patted Sara’s hand. “The grief may never pass, but the waves diminish in strength over time.”

Journey of Awakening is now available for preorder at the limited-time-only sale price on Amazon

Dont forget, a comment enters you in a drawing for a chance to win the grand prize! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Countdown to Awakening: Seven days and counting...

I was wondering what to do to celebrate the release of Journey of Awakening. I mean this is a big deal, any book release is a big deal, but this one is special. This is the book of my heart--the one that hurled me into the world of publishing.

I am so excited to introduce you to the world of Anatar, it's customs, people and history. There are many interesting characters in the book but some of the most important are actually not quite sentient. (emphasis on the not quite.) The three stones, Ilydearta, Crioch, and Ealois, play an important part in not only the progression of the story but it Sara's growth from a naive girl into a legend.

So I decided a give-away was in order. I've read a lot of advice on give-aways. Some say to make them interesting. You know, send in a picture of you with... Some say a point system works with a given amount for reposting contest on a social media site, following the blog, etc. Some say simple is best. Although I'd love if you all send traffic my way, at heart, I'm a simple girl so... Anyone who comments on this blog, or any of the other blogs I visit while I'm on my Blog tour from February 4th to March 4th, will be eligible to win this awesome pendant with an 18" sterling silver chain.

Wouldn't you like Ilydearta for yourself? I know I would. Each comment enters your name once. So if you comment on four blogs you'll be entered four times to win the pendant and so on. There will also be other prizes along the way.

I will have a list of blogs on my website or just check in here from time to time. I'm visiting with some pretty spectacular authors along the way.

So how about a short preview?

With her eyes closed and life swirling around her, she pictured the stone in the necklace. Dark blue and swathed in silver filigree, the jewel was beautiful and as hard as it was to explain, she understood that it was now part of her, or who she was becoming. Who am I becoming? A chill of fear shot up her spine.

Journey of Awakening is available for preorder now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble at a special promotional price.

And come visit me today at Word Wranglers where I'm answering some tough questions.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Facts, Fun, Fantasy

Today, I'm sharing the top five sayings I've picked up from Facebook. As you can see, most of them involve coffee.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Day in the Life

Weekend are never as relaxing as I think they should be. This one no exception. Despite the business, some of it fun, I got the chance to make home made tortillas and chicken tortilla soup. Seriously good, folks. 

But best of all, my husband made deep-fried ice cream for dessert. Oh my gosh. So good. We bought the deep fryer for each other as a Valentine present. Nothing says life like hot oil, right? ; )

I'd love to post pictures but my phone is still being stupid (Hate it when a smart phone isn't)I'm off to the Apple store today. 

It was kinda nice to have my husband in charge of dessert while I handled dinner. Usually on the weekends it's the other way around. 

Mixing things up every once in awhile is nice. 

Did you do anything unusual this weekend?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Facts, Fantasy, Fun

If you've followed me on Twitter for any length of time, you'll be familiar with my obsession, interest, in shoes. At one time, I used my current favorite pair for my avatar. Well, even though the shoes have been replaced by my book covers, my interest hasn't waned. On Facebook, I follow a few fashion sites such as these, just to see pictures of their awesome shoes. Here are my top pick for shoes. On the practical side, the first two and the last two are the ones I'd most likely wear and the second pair is my favorite!

If you want to follow my erratic but frequent postings, follow me on Facebook. Seriously, I repost at least a picture a day! (My facebook account is under my real name, Shawna Guzman!)

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Day in the Life:

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! This is a man whom I admire. One of the things my mom did right was to raise her children as color blind as possible. I remember as a child thinking to judge someone by skin color made as much sense as judging them by eye color. My sister is mixed race and only 18 mos older than my oldest daughter. They grew up together and she spent a lot of time at my house  Growing up, I taught her and my children that we are all shades of brown. Ironically, it wasn't until my kids started school and were taught not to be prejudiced that they realized that people could be segregated by skin color.  I distinctly remember my now 12 yo coming home and telling me that her aunt couldn't drink out of the same water fountain. Thinking the teacher didn't mean that to be the lesson.

The sad thing about prejudice is it knows no prejudice. Anyone can be biased and judge by appearance only. I've experienced it. I know what an ugly thing it is and I am all too aware that Mr. King's speech is as needed today as it was back then.

Martin Luther King 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Fun

Yup, sometimes it feels like this. Have a wonderful Friday everyone! 
Got any plans for the weekend?

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Day in the Life: Cooking

The other day, I'd promised my husband stew and homemade bread for dinner. Not such a hard thing. Stew is easy, bread time consuming but also easy.

I had a doctor's appointment in the morning but I figured I'd have the afternoon to cook. Yeah, you know what they say about the  best laid plans. So here is three-o'clock and no bread is started. Still determined, I decided to search online for a better recipe than I have now.

I found a recipe for beer bread. A light goes off. We have a lot of beer left over from the holidays. My husband and I aren't big drinkers and it seemed like everyone brought some beer to the festivities we hosted here. I have raspberry, orange, regular beer and even some pumpkin variety. You get the idea.

But better yet, this loaf does not have to rise and bakes in an hour. The entire prep took less than fifteen minutes. I had plenty of time.

Oh. My. Gosh.

This bread was good! I mean really good. Why don't I have a picture to show you? Because it was gone before I could get my camera out. But my husband and I were calculating how many loaves we could make with the remaining left-over beer so chances are, I will be able to post one later.

It gets 5 out of 5 stars from me!

If you want the recipe, just let me know in a comment.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Day in the Life: Chocolate, peanut butter cookies

My husband has a sweet tooth. That suites me just fine because I love to bake. It's one of those reasons we were made for each other. But not only does he have a sweet tooth, he appreciates my taking a recipe, deconstructing it and putting it back together in a completely different form.

The look of enjoyment on my husband's face is really all the inspiration I need. That he calls me a Sweet Genius doesn't hurt. Of course it is in his best interests that I continue baking but let's not go there. ; )

Take these cookies for instance (And note the awesome silicone baking sheets my husband bought me for Christmas. I'm honestly not sure how I baked without them...okay that's stretching it a little, but they make clean up so easy!)

Sorry, got sidetracked.

These cookies are from a lemon cookie recipe. Yup. I looked at the recipe and thought it would work with chocolate and then, as I was craving peanut butter, I poured in some Reeces Pieces and there you go. Divine. Oh, did I mention easy? As in it takes longer to bake then to whip together?


Leave a comment if you want the recipe, I'll  gladly share.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Facts, Fantasy, Fun

You know you write, worry, polish, submit, cringe, rewrite, worry, polish until your rough-hewn gem turns into a sparkling jewel. (or so you hope) And then one day, you release it to the eyes of the public where you know some might love it as much as you, but chances are, others won't.

It's tough, I tell you.

But it's also exciting and addictive.

So here we go. Book One of the Triune Stones series is now available for preorder. Journey of Awakening releases on February 11th, smack dab in between my son's birthday and Valentines day.

Here it is on Amazon 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I was thinking about priorities when I saw Beth’s post on Everybody Needs a little Romance 

I don’t make resolutions. I don't think there is anything wrong with them, but they do tend to be hard to keep. I think if you’re gonna do something, don’t resolve to do it. Just do it.  Yeah, I know the new year is a new start but so is each and every day.

Last year, after the birth of the baby who does not sleep, my husband and I had to reassess our priorities. Obviously, the baby took up a lot of my time. There were things I just wasn’t getting done that I wanted to get done.  This required a hard look at obligations.

First we had to separate the things I wanted to do from the things I had to do. I have to get the kids to school each day on time, fed and dressed. I want to get them to school after I’m dressed and made up, having worked for a least an hour and gotten them a hot, nutritious breakfast.  Yeah, so not happening. Not when I only get 5 or 6 hours of sleep.

My husband took over the finances. Yeah, that was hard but do you know what? I could almost feel the pressure ease off my shoulders. I don’t even look over his shoulder.
I stopped volunteering at the school. That was hard because I enjoyed it but it just didn’t make the top ten list this school year.

I also had to put me higher on the priority list. I am my own worst enemy. I have this idea that I can do everything.  I can’t. But trying has negatively effected my health and as my husband tells me, without my health I can’t do anything so taking a few moments for me isn’t selfish. I’m still getting used to that one.

Writing. Yeah, this is my stress relief and an added stress. Writing takes time. Time for me is more precious than money, but making more money doing something I love sure would take some of the financial stress away. So writing has stayed high on the priority fluctuates between four and five. 

This year, if I had to make a resolution, it would be to resolve to remember that I don’t have time for everything I want to do, and what I get done that day, is what I needed to get done.  No beating myself up for not getting the best dinner on the table or for not finding time to clean out the pantry... again, or prune the roses.

My resolve, not for the new year but for always, is to live the day. Really live it. Enjoy what I’m doing, while I’m doing it instead of thinking of all those things I am not doing. To love with my entire heart and not hold back whether out of fear or for any other reason.

Have you made any recent changes or resolutions?