Make a life…not just a living

Another school year already? Seriously? Summer flew by. Maybe that’s because my daughter took summer classes to get ahead this year. She didn’t really have much of a summer, but she was okay with that. (I’m very proud of her by the way…:)

Temps are slightly – I use that word GENEROUSLY- cooler alluding to the approaching fall. That I cannot wait for. Football cheers are in the air and promise of all thinks pumpkin spice inches closer.

Our youngest child just got her driver’s license. Lord, I thought her daddy was going to cry. Watching his baby duck pull out of the driveway the first time by herself nearly gave him a heart attack.

Meetings, schedules, assignments and deadlines. The hustle is back on. I, myself, have three books and a short story coming out before the end of the year. Crazy!

I was reviewing one of my drafts this morning and my daughter asked if we could go do something today, my immediate response was “No, I’m too busy.” As I turned to respond to her, “I saw the hopeful expectation on her face. I don’t know why, but the thought occurred to me that my sixteen-year-old still wants to spend time with us. It won’t last forever. Enjoy it while you can.

So, with deadlines looming and my to-do list long, I am setting that aside this afternoon to spend some wonderful quality time with her and my better half.

It’s all about priorities, isn’t it? Might seem like a little thing, but for me, putting the work aside is a BIG deal. For years, I didn’t. I learned a tough lesson a few years ago.

I looked around and three of my four children were grown and gone. Blink of an eye. I can’t get that time back. I vowed to stop doing that moving forward.

Take a breath. Relax. Sleep in on Saturday and stay in your pjs. Set the work aside and have some fun.

While I had worked soooo very hard to make a living, I forgot to live. Understand that I’m not saying slouch of work. I’m saying prioritize. I said mine were God, Family and work, but I didn’t live that way.

Time flies the older I get. I don’t want to take a minute for granted. We aren’t promised tomorrow, and while I’m not living like I was dying, I am living.


Small Town Comfort Zone

Do you prefer small town living or big city lights? Me? I’ve experienced both, from growing up in a population of 500 in Farmville, U.S.A. to the hustle and bustle of Phoenix.

Both have their allure, don’t they? I have found the older I get the more I enjoy what being part of a small community brings to the table. I love the sense of community. My kids hated it. We knew where they had been, who they had been with and what they were doing. Maybe not at the exact moment (although sometimes we got that phone call too), but we found out eventually. I loved it as a parent of four.

Cultures and economics have broken the small town molds somewhat with decaying infrastructures and lost jobs. The small town quality has diminished somewhat, but the charm is still there.

Want to know what’s going on? Hit the local diner. Probably the best coffee in town and the most up-to-date gossip. Wednesday bible study helps reenergize hump day and gives an extra nudge to finish out the week with support from great friends. Nights and weekends spent at the ball field for years to come.

Falling in love isn’t the easiest in either situation. In a small town you know everyone and everyone knows your business. It’s difficult to meet new people in a big city. There are more strangers than friends. The bar scene? Forget about it.

There are certainly a lot more high school sweetheart stories where I’m from. I love those. I think they are difficult relationships to maintain. Why? Because when you are so young, you change so much as you grow into adulthood. The falling in love is the easy part. Remaining in love takes work. Not only embracing the person you have become, but embracing the changes your partner grows into as well requires true commitment.

I know in a contemporary romance you really only get to experience the act of falling in love with a peak into the after effects through the brief epilogue. It’s fun to imagine what happened afterwards. Some of my favorite series have been ones that actually write about the children of characters that have fallen in love and married.

I think there may be future books in store for Garrett’s Point down the line with that in mind.


I Like Happy Endings

Not all of my friends support my endeavour to write romance. Some feel it to be an empty, pointless and even inappropriate genre to read.

Gasp! How could they, you ask? Well, everyone has a right to their opinion and the freedom to voice it (hopefully without malice…hint-hint), which includes myself.

I don’t write seeking the approval of my friends or anyone for that matter. I chose to write romance because I love it. We have soooo many negative forces at work around us. Reality in itself can be such a downer. Sometimes my plate runneth over with reality, and life can be very difficult at times.

Romance is not all fluff. For me, the characters represent imaginary people who come to life and have something to say…something to share. I just become the vessel. For that moment in time, its like I’m witnessing their lives and recording the events.

It’s not all roses. How boring would that be? Completely realistic? Maybe not. One of my daughters actually feels that romance is too predictable. “They all have happy endings. You know what’s going to happen before it ends. Why read it?” she always says.

I have read romance novels since I was 13. Why? I loved the act of falling in love. All of it! The butterflies. The excitement. The newness of getting to know one another. The attraction. The fear. The uncertainty. The courting. Yes. I said courting. It’s beautiful when two hearts become one. It always led me to wonder what happened next. I made up my own stories even then.

It’s pretty simple. I like happy endings. The giddy, warm feeling a good romance leaves me with is priceless. It makes me feel good. If I can do the same for a little while when someone reads one of my books, that makes me feel good too.

With that being said, there are still a few hours left to this holiday weekend. I think I’ll go curl up with my Ipad and get lost for a little while.


It’s Live!

Stirring UpTrouble, Book 3 in the Garrett’s Point series is live. 

 Rusty Shannon is one tall, badass, retired Navy Seal that owns and operates the Bottom’s Up Bar with a no-nonsense attitude. He runs a tight ship and intimidates most people he comes into contact with. While his demeanor comes in handy running a bar, it also hasn’t hurt his social life. Women are attracted to his large build, sexy beard and taunting tattoos. Many women have taken a ride on his Harley, but none have captured his heart until he tastes Melanie’s Sweet Potato Pie.

Hometown Girl

Melanie Davis, known as Mel the Mediator, is the logical, peace-keeping one amongst her friends. So when trouble presents itself at the diner, and Rusty rushes to her rescue, she is both unprepared for the attraction she feels toward him and the fear that is resurrected from a long-past experience when holds her in his arms.

Feeling like he’s been sucker-punched, Rusty grumbles around for several days not wanting to admit the effect Melanie has over him. That is until he realizes he isn’t the only one under her spell. When competition presents itself for her heart, Rusty is determined to stir things up. He’s never lost a mission and doesn’t intend to start now. Too much is at stake.

Hope you love them as much as I do. 💋

Stirring Up Trouble Links