Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Friendship

I read a pretty interesting article the other day about female friendships. It was basically a checklist of dos. They all made sense to me but one really stood out. I can't remember exactly what it said, but I'll summarize it you all.

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If you get a text from a friend freaking out about whatever, respond as soon as you can, even if it's only to say, "I hear you, and I'm here for you." And if that same friend, or another, blows up your inbox with twenty messages in a day, be there for her, because someday it will be you who has the drama.

~~~~~

This really resonated with me. This is the kind of friend I try to be and what I want/need in return. I may not have all the answers, but I'll be there to listen and help where I can. And I need someone who will do the same.

Life is damn hard and it's even harder when we don't have shoulders to cry on, people to vent to, friends to commiserate with, but also share in all the amazing things.

Monday, October 30, 2017

2017 goals???

Only two months left of 2017...how are you doing on your goals???



I wish I were doing better on mine, but I'm okay with where I am. 2017 was a rebuilding year for me, in a way. I worked on myself and worked on being the person I want to be.

Here are my goals and the progress I've made thus far:

#1: Make Simon and Schuster regret dropping me.

Well...they're a huge company with thousands of authors. They surely don't miss little ol' me. And probably never will. Dumb goal to make for myself. LOL

#2: Publish Lemonade in Hell, either traditionally or indie.

I've made some progress here...sort of. I had lot of requests for it that I'm still waiting to hear back on. I had some great critiques and was able to work on it and make it a better book. So fingers crossed. But once I hear back from the handful of agents and editors who have it, and if it doesn't go well, I plan to start the process for publishing it myself. It's scary as hell, but I can't put this book on the shelf and aways wonder, "What if?"

#3: Write book 2 in the beverage series.

I haven't started book 2 because I didn't know what was going to happen with book 1, so this goal is on the back burner...but it's gonna happen :)

#4: Reach $100,000 in Disney sales for the year.

Sadly, I will not reach this goal :( BUT I did increase sales this year by over 30%, so I'm happy with that. My business is growing and I'm starting to get more and more referrals, so I feel optimistic about reaching this goal in 2018.

#5: Blog 4 times on month on my Disney blog and 2 times a month on my author blog.

I've been really inconsistent this year with blogging and I did make attempts to be better at it. I ultimately did not post as much as I wanted. BUT I'm working on it and plan to get into a better habit these last two months of the year.

#6: Lose 20 pounds. Preferably by July.

I gave it my best effort, but due to underlying health conditions, it just was not possible for me to lose weight. But I think the underlying conditions are managed...somewhat...so going forward, I hope to be in a better place to start losing the weight.

So that's me. What goals did you make for 2017? Where are you in achieving them???

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Romantic Comedy Spotlight!!

I'm a HUGE fan of romantic comedies. It's what I write and what I love to read and watch. One of my favorites is Something Borrowed!! Love love love the book and the movie!!

***Spoilers ahead! So if you haven't read the book or seen the movie...skip this post!!***

Something Borrowed was the first Emily Giffin book I read and I fell in love with her style immediately. I identified with Rachel right away. I was always a shy girl growing up...still am today. I can see myself letting a bold and outgoing friend steal a guy from me because I was too timid...too self-conscious...to go for it myself. How could such a hot guy ever want to be with me? So I very much relate to what she's going through. The pain of seeing the guy she likes/loves with someone else. And having to pretend like everything's fine. Ignore the feelings. 
I loved the secret they shared and their intimate meet ups. I loved watching Rachel finally get the guy of her dreams. And I loved seeing Dex get so jealous! So much funny stuff, too.

Darcy is a complicated person. She obviously loves the spotlight and is the complete opposite of Rachel. She's a selfish person and uses and abuses Rachel in many ways and even though they share a few moments of sincere friendship, in the end, Rachel is just her crutch. The end of the book/movie gives us a glimpse of a more mature Darcy.

Now....I know what most people think when they read this book or watch the movie.....Dex is a cheater. Yeah...he is. And I definitely do not applaud it...but the story is written in such a way that we do understand why he does what he does. Is it wrong? Hell yes! But can we understand why he's doing it?? Again...yes. At least I can. He's a good guy in a tough situation. Sometimes, that's life. Darcy cheats too...and two wrongs don't make a right, but it shows us that these two people are obviously not meant to be together.

Now let's talk about the movie and the casting! I adore Colin Egglesfield! So so hot! I've been a fan since his All My Children days. (Any AMC fans in the house????) I love John Krasinski, too. He's hot in a very different way. I never really watched The Office, so this movie was my first introduction to him. I loved him so much and my heart broke when Rachel didn't return his affections! (But if you've read Something Blue...you know he finds his HEA!) Ginnifer Goodwin is a great Rachel. She's the girl next door, everyone's BFF. I'm a fan of Kate Hudson and love most of her movies. This was a different role for her...playing a bitch. But she did it well and I hated her just as much in the movie as I did in the book.

And did you guys notice the Emily Giffin cameo in the movie?? So cool!!! If any of my books ever get made into a movie, I am so going to be in it!
So, what do you think about Something Borrowed? Love it or hate it?? Does it make your list of fav rom coms??

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Enjoying Your Job

I absolute adore my jobs--both of them. One lets me be creative and fulfills that part of me. The other is like second nature, effortless. I truly love both of them and never thought I'd find one career to love.....but I'm lucky enough to have two.

But there seems to be this thing that surrounds me.....I feel it from society, from my family..... That because I actually LIKE my jobs, and it often doesn't feel like "work" to me, that I'm not really working. That I don't have the right to be exhausted, mentally or physically. They think I have fun all day, so it's not really "work". They think they have more right to be exhausted, because they leave the house and go to a job they dislike, and therefore, more right to relaxation when they come home.

I run two businesses from home, neither of which I can punch a clock for. If I'm on deadline, you better believe I'm working all day, making dinner, then going back to it. If I get client phone calls or emails at 9 am or 9 pm, I'm there for them. I LOVE my jobs, but I work my butt off. I work my butt off  BECAUSE I love my jobs.

And let's just talk a minute about the fact that I work from home. I know many people would kill for that luxury, and I truly know how lucky I am. I am SOOOOOO thankful! Me being home makes my life--and my family's life--much easier. I love the flexibility. But that does not mean I sit home every day and watch TV or fool around. If you see me on social media during the day, it does not mean I'm not working my butt off. Social media is actually a HUGE part of both of my businesses. I can't thrive without it. But sometimes I need a minute to relax and take a break. That's when I go online and watch stupid videos, or read articles about celebrities, or comment on my friend's posts and photos.

Anyone else out there feel the same way I do?? Do you have people in your life that do not respect your job? That don't understand what it means to actually love what you do?

Monday, October 2, 2017

What romance means to me...

The romance genre means so much to so many people. It's so much more than some books about love 'n' stuff.



I attended the Romance Writers of America conference this past July and in one of the workshops, author Damon Suede said, "Romance is the genre of hope." He didn't say hope for what exactly, but I think it can mean many things. It's hope that love is out there waiting for us. Hope that everyone will find their happily ever after. Hope that the world will find peace. Hope that we can all find strength. Hope the we can all find what we need most out of life. That we can fight for what we need, want, and believe in.

Romance novels empower us. They show us that the impossible is possible if we work hard and believe it will happen.

The romance industry is primarily made up of women and I love that. We are out there supporting one another, celebrating each other, doing it, succeeding, living our dreams. There's no on telling us we can't.

In times of tragedy and hopelessness, people need something to keep them going. They turn to books and fiction. For many it's an escape into something that they know will end happily. Many will minimize the genre for this reason, insisting that this is fiction, fake, never-gonna-happen. But I don't believe them. If we can't believe that love exists, that happily-ever-afters can happen, how else are we supposed to get out of bed each day?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Energized and Excited!



I think all creatives find themselves in very un-creative places from time to time. It's part of the process, part of the journey. We each have different ways of rejuvenating that creativity. For me, the best way is to surround myself with other creatives. People who are like me and get me and support me. For me, the best place to find those people is at the Romance Writers of America annual national conference.

2016 was a sucky year for me. I lost all drive. I lost all creativity. I was falling apart and lost and I had no clue where my career was going. Many times I thought my career was done. I was unable to attend RWA's conference last year. It just wasn't in the finances.

I had been planning on going this year, for a long time. It was being held at Disney World. I mean...come on! My two loves and careers combined!! It was a no brainer. But finances were tight and I had nothing new to promote or pitch. I was still unsure if I was even going to pursue writing anymore.

But then the RWA organization contacted me and asked me to lead a tour of one of the parks. I couldn't say no!! We sat down and crunched the numbers and indeed, we could make it work.

A few weeks before the conference, RWA asked members on its FB group page what the RWA community meant to them. I replied and forgot about it. Until I arrived at the conference hotel in Orlando and found my quote on a giant poster on the wall!!!

This conference revived me. After the first two workshops, I texted my husband, tears in my eyes, and thanked him for making it possible for me to go. That just being there had rejuvenated me and my passion for writing. It gave me back a part of myself that I thought might have been long gone.

So here's to 2017 and new beginnings!! I've got some awesome things in the works and I hope you guys will join me for where this journey takes me in the future!!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Kindle Worlds!

Are you a fan of Carly Phillips, Melody Anne, and Ruth Cardello?? Then I have some great books for you!

All of these authors have created their own Kindle World. What is a Kindle World, you ask? Basically these authors have taken their own book series and invited other authors to write stories set in their fictional world. Some of their characters make appearances. They're the same town. Same setting and tone. It gives readers the chance to keep enjoying the series and meet new characters.

I wrote two for Melody Anne's Billionaire Universe, two for Ruth Cardello's Lone Star Burn world, and one for Carly Phillips' Dare to Love world. Check them out!!! (Click the title and read the blurb!)

Refuse to Settle



Refuse to Give Up

Broncos & Bouquets