Tuesday, February 2, 2016

#AuthorLifeMonth

I had no clue this was a thing! But it sounds super fun! I'm a little late to the party, so here's days 1 and 2!!

Day 1 was my books. I don't need to post them all but I do have a new cover.....so COVER REVEAL! Here is my shiny new cover for ONE SIZE FITS ALL- due out July 4th!!



Isn't it pretty?????? It fits right on with the others in the series :)

Now on to Day 2! Today is author photo day! Here's one of mine from my author photo shoot!! She did such a great job! If you're in Buffalo or NYC and need a photographer, call Sarah Heidinger!!


Friday, January 15, 2016

Finding career happiness!

I'm pretty lucky. I've found a way to make money doing something I love. TWO somethings to be exact. They feed my soul in different ways, using different sides of my brain. For the first time in a long time I feel secure. I feel like I've really found my path....two paths that run along-side each other.

As you all know, I'm an author. I started writing years ago--like 10--on a whim and it just blossomed. I couldn't stop. I needed to do it. I took baby steps and eventually got to a good place. I love creating these wonderful worlds. I love creating these sassy characters and putting them into crazy situations. I love the love. I love when readers love my stories. I love that I create something that gives people an escape from whatever they need escaping from.



And I guess my other job is all about escape too!

I recently started a travel business. Some of you may know about my love for Disney, especially the parks. I took my first trip to Walt Disney World when I was 22. It was on my bucket list of things to do before we had kids. So we did it. It was a spur-of-the-moment budget trip but it was fun and I had a great time. Fast forward 5 years. We had a 2-year old and my mother-in-law had suggested we go to Disney World at Christmas time, and as our Christmas gift, she'd pay for our flights. Sounded like a good plan to me! That's when all the fun started!

I'm a planner by nature, so I jumped right in. I bought planning books, I got online. I learned everything I could about the Disney World property, for our first ever stay at one of their resorts. Our trip came and it was so much better than that first time. It was more magical. We were immersed in Disney, and that was it. I had caught the bug. We spend the next 10 years going back as often as we could, usually once a year, but twice a couple years. I learned all I could...I couldn't get enough! I became the go-to gal for everything Disney!

Then one day last fall it just hit me. I could help people plan their own magical trips and GET PAID for it! So I once again did my research, applied at a couple online travel agencies that specialized in Disney vacations, and before long, I was taking classes from the College of Disney Knowledge and on my way to becoming a certified Disney Travel Planner!



Never before in my life have a felt so happy and secure about my career/s. Many of you know writing was not my first career. I started in the floral industry and worked in it for about 14 years before giving it up to pursue my writing. I didn't have passion for it anymore. Writing had taken over. And now, even though I have taken on a second career, my passion for writing is still just as strong. Who knew you could have passion for two things???!!!

Check out my Disney Blog here and my Disney Facebook page here!

My two careers fulfill me in different ways. The writing nurtures my soul, my creativity. It's my outlet for my thoughts and feelings. But it is a roller coaster, as any artist knows. I often doubt myself, but then later that day, I feel like a million bucks! I have very few answers and I don't think I will ever feel like an authority. But that's okay. I love what I create. I love what I give to others. I love the journey. And I can't wait to see where it takes me.

The travel planning is very different. I know all the answers, or at least know where to find them. I feel very in control, which is a feeling I rarely have when it comes to writing. And actually I think that's good for me. It's good to have control, but also good to know when you have to give it up. I love helping people create memories for their families. Life is so full of must-dos and I think families often run out of time for togetherness. When I help families plan a Disney vacation, I'm giving them peace of mind. I'm helping them create opportunity for quality time with their family. I'm helping them create memories they will cherish forever.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Location, location, location.....



Setting is a HUGE deal in any book, especially romance. It's a character all it's own with strengths and weaknesses, quirks and personality. It helps your characters, and hinders them, too. It can cause tension or help lessen it. Setting can cause conflict. It can save a character. No book can survive without a vivid setting.

Recently I've become kind of obsessed with the small town setting. Small towns just have a vibe of their own. A slower pace, a simpler feel. And there's always a fun cast of quirky characters to go along. Gotta have a gossip mill! The best conflict comes from it! Small towns have problems that become your character's problems. I didn't grow up in a small town, so it kind of fascinates me. The workings of a small town are so different from that of a city setting.

Do you love a small town setting? Or do you prefer city? Or is there something else??

Friday, January 8, 2016

"I just don't like to read."



I've heard that many times. And I guess I understand. Not everyone enjoys getting lost in another person's world. Not everyone enjoys laughter, suspense, romance, edge-of-your-seat excitement or drama. Not everyone enjoys a good story.

Oh...wait a minute. Movies are stories. TV shows are stories.

How can people not enjoy reading a book, but spend many many hours watching Netflix, going to the theater, watching DVRed shows? Why does the format of story-telling matter?

I guess I don't understand after all. Is it the time? I mean, yes, it does take a lot longer to read a book than to watch a two-hour movie. Is today's society just too pressed for time? Do they need the quickest form of story-telling possible? Is it something else?

Or maybe they just haven't found the right book yet. :)

The right book will suck you in and close you off from the rest of the world. The right book will keep you up til wee hours of the night, vowing "just one more chapter." The right book will grab you by the heart and pull you along on it's wacky roller coaster ride. No matter what kind of story you like, there's a book out there for you. More than one, actually. You just need to look ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What's your favorite thing about romance novels?



I recently asked readers why they love romance novels. What keeps them coming back for more. 

Eris Field said, "I read them to be taken away." I think that's a popular answer. All of us want to go somewhere else when we read. That's the point. For most, reading is an escape. It enables us to leave our troubles behind and lose ourselves in someone else's world...someone else's love story. Whether you have your own love story in real life or not. As Sarah Carol said, "I love romances because I hope to find my happily ever after someday." And I think we like to lose ourselves in someone else's problems, too. Maybe it helps us cope with our own. If they can do it, so can we! 

"I want realism. I want stupid problems. I want humor and sarcasm. I want to not see everything always so back and white. I want flawed heroines and heros." This is what Karen McClive likes in a  romance novel. I agree. I don't want to read about a super model who never gains a pound and never has a pimple, whose life is perfect in every way. Or a hero who always says and does the right things. How boring is that??? I want real characters. I want characters who I would totally hang out with in real life. I want to care about them. I want to root for them. Linda Smolarek likes "quirky characters in interesting settings." Me too. :)

Pat Poreda wants "to fall in love with that hero- with his soul, his mind." She likes the nerds ;) Heros are so so important to a romance novel. He's gotta be the perfect match for our heroine, though definitely not a perfect person. He needs to be sexy, but not always in the obvious way with bulging muscles and washboard abs. Romance has evolved past Fabios. (Not gonna lie though, I like me a nice muscular hero, too!) But it's more about him inside...how he treats her. 

So tell me....what brings you back to romance? Do you agree with my readers??




Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hero love!



We can't have a romance novel without a hero! (Well, technically, we can....in F/F romance!) But today I'm talking about the guys!

I know many authors don't like to give too much description of their heros and don't often post celebrity inspiration photos because they like the reader to envision him for themselves. Not everyone has the same idea of sexy. And I agree. There have been times I've read a book and the hero wasn't exactly my idea of yumminess. Like a guy with long hair. It's just not my thing. So.....I kinda just nix that part as I read and fill it in with a picture of a guy I find more attractive ;) It works for me :)

But there is no denying that certain jobs or clothes make a hero unbelievably sexy. Can you resist a man in uniform? I don't think many women can! Cowboys are super hot, and right now, I hear the biker heros are way delicious.

And tattoos?? Oh yes!!!! The bad boy with a heart of gold......



And what about personality? I'm not a huge fan of alphas. Again, just not my thing. I don't write alphas, but I don't consider them betas either. Somewhere in the middle?? LOL Sensitive guys.



So, what's your idea hero??? Pictures welcome ;)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Tomorrow isn't a guarantee.....

Very often we hear- "Life is short...make the most of it." And I think we all plan to, but responsibilities get in the way. We resort to- "I'll have time later...." But nothing drives home the fact that there isn't always time later like a young person being robbed of their life.

I have always been a Live Life to the Fullest kind of gal. We are always doing fun things with our kids and just hubby and me, with our friends. I want to be 80 and say, "Man, I did a lot of cool stuff!" I don't want to be 80 and have regrets....wondering what I did with my time on earth.

If given the choice between doing housework or doing something fun with my family, fun and family always wins. Dishes can wait. The laundry can pile. If we run out of clean underwear, then we have a problem....but otherwise, we're good!

We're not rolling in dough, but our bills are always paid on time. We spend the rest of our money enjoying life. We just aren't huge savers and we never will be. When given the choice of putting $100 in the bank and saving it, or spending it doing something fun with my kids.....I'm sure you know what wins. We rarely buy our kids "stuff," but we sure spend money on experiences and fun. I know many people need the security of a hefty bank account and I can respect that. But that's not us. We'd rather have a small nest egg and spend the rest on us, doing things we love, with the people we love...making memories.

I have also hear people say, "I want to (fill in the blank) someday." Write a book, learn to play an instrument, travel to a certain place, run a marathon, take an art class..... Why is it always "someday?" Someday might not ever come. If there's something you want to do in your life, then do it. Make it happen!

Because there are so many people who were never given the chance to make things happen for themselves. Because their lives were cut short. Their tomorrow never came. And I guarantee you they are looking down from wherever they are, yelling at you to get off your ass and just do it.

Rest in Peace Emily. Your vibrant light will be missed.....