The Simple Things in Life

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When we’re young, most of us want to be rich and famous. We stand in the middle of our bedrooms belting out songs, whether we have the voice for it or not. We dream we are on that movie screen playing the part of the femme fatale or the hero.

As time goes on, we learn that only a small percent of the population achieves those goals. We have to join the real world. Now a new race begins. A new home. The best technology. An awesome car. Things that all seem to cost money.

Life has taken on a new meaning for me, a new way of thinking. Yes, I am thankful for friends and family, good health and my home. But I’m also grateful for the simple things in life. I can look up at the morning sky, feel the warmth of the sun on my face, see the bright blue sky and be thankful. I try to gaze up every day, no matter the weather, and find something beautiful.  Dark gray snow clouds create a wondrous background to the bare trees of winter. The sun peeking through the morning mist hints of the day to come. My favorite is those white puffy clouds that look like cotton candy.

I won’t bore you with too many more of the simple things I’m thankful for. Maybe you can add to the list.

Sun sparkling off a new fallen snow

The golden leaves of autumn

A baby’s smile

The first buds of spring

Birds chirping

Yellow forsythias

The sound of water lapping on the shore

Sharing a bottle of wine with friends and family

Snuggling with a good book by the fireplace

Holding hands with my husband

Watching my son grow into an awesome young man

The simple things. Give it a try.

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Frozen: A Winter Romance Anthology – Meet the Authors

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Today I am part of a blog tour for the recently released Women’s Fiction anthology Frozen. I’m a little bias because one of the stories is mine. The anthology gave me an opportunity to write about Drew’s proposal to Kate from my Waiting for Dusk series. I had fun writing it.

It also gives me the chance to introduce you to some of my author friends and other authors I’m getting to know. I wanted to put a face to the names of my co-authors so you could get to know them better.  Tara Fox Hall and I have met in person. See us below! We were at the Finger Lakes in New York, known for its wineries as you can see by the glasses in hand.

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My other author friend lives a little farther away so it’d make quite the trip! Charmaine Pauls resides in Chile with her husband and two children.

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Someone I’m getting to know better is Val Clarizio. She’s great at promotion and a hard working author.

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Rhoda Brutt  Rhoda  and Elena Kane are Facebook friends. I’ve meet so many interesting people in this profession!

Nicole Angeleen   Nicole, Marilyn Gardiner  marilyn, Bess Kingsley Bess, Christina Kirby, and April Marcom  April make up the rest of the cast.

When the winter winds hit, curl up with a good book. You might enjoy a quick read from Frozen on a cold night. Pick a story, make some hot chocolate or grab a glass of wine. Our stories range from sweet romance to spicy so there’s a little something for everyone.

You can check it out here:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

 

 

Who Do You Look Like?

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I remember standing in my paternal grandmother’s living room being asked that question. Her neighbor came over to visit, took one look at my older sister and saw the family resemblance. She gazed over at me, studied me up and down and asked the question, “Who do you look like?”

I was quite young at the time, maybe five or six, and refused to answer. My mother always referred to that reaction as being a stubborn Swede. Stubborn Swede or not, I didn’t like the question. What did she care who I looked like? My sister was my sister and so what if we didn’t look alike? If I had the nerve I do now, I might have answered, “the mailman.”

Maybe that’s why, to this day, I have such trouble describing people in my novels. I’m always stumped when it comes to descriptions. I’m aware people want to know the color of the romantic lead’s eyes or the hero’s hair color. Is the character tall or short? Lean or has muscles? Then it’s on to the lead female character. Full lips? Flowing hair or cropped short? I could go on and on.

Descriptions are important in a novel so I started a folder of character traits. Whenever I come across one I like, I add it to the list. I found a website that describes eye color, not just the green, blue, brown but all the shades in between. Definitely a keeper!

All authors have their own personal stumbling blocks. Mine happens to be descriptions. It carries over to scenery and clothes, too. To help the process, I study pictures, close my eyes to envision my character, and write and keep rewriting until it flows. It’s a type of writer’s block and can halt the whole writing process.

I guess you’re wondering if I ever gave that neighbor an answer. I’m sure my dad wasn’t too happy with my silence and prodded me to speak. I remember that day as clear as if it was yesterday. I finally did answer the question, “Who do you look like?” I looked her straight in the eye and uttered just one word, “Me.”

Walk a Mile in My Shoes

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I just finished reading a young adult book that will remain nameless. It was released by one of the big publishers, has lots of reviews and is very popular. I wanted to read it because that’s what authors do. Read their genre. Get familiar with the competition.

Let’s just say, it was an okay book. The writing was surprisingly basic. Descriptions were sparse. No real suspenseful moments. I went to Goodreads to log the novel into my “Books I Have Read”. While there, I couldn’t resist reading some reviews.

According to the ratings (stars), the book had good reviews, but also quite a few low scores. There were thousands upon thousands of them… something I can only dream of. I scrolled down the first review page and was surprised how many one and two stars write-ups appeared. I started to skim through and had to stop and read a few. They summed up exactly how I felt about the book. The reviewers’ comments were well thought out and factual. After reading the book, I agreed with them.

As an author I could never give a one star review. I think I wouldn’t write one at all. Just leave it be. You know the old saying–If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. I know how hard it is to write and complete a book, let alone get it published. I also know how it feels when you get your first one star review. It’s a little like a knife through the heart. I know reviewers would say to toughen up and take the hit. It’s their right to review. I totally agree.

As I stated before, I’d give anything for all those reviews, good and bad. People are arguing over the character, plot and descriptions. They are talking about the book. They are reading the book…regardless, to see if everyone’s right. That author should be thrilled. I hope she is.

One thing for sure, she doesn’t have to worry about a one star review from me. I’ll leave that to the tougher critics. As a reader, I am on their side. As a writer, I’d say walk a mile in my shoes.