To be honest, it has
been quite the adventuresome and busy year. I spent much of the summer and fall
at art and craft fairs with my books, to introduce myself better to local
readers. I've been here over four years already. It was time. While exhausting,
it was nice to talk to so many people and especially nice when excited readers
came over and said how they were so glad to meet a real author! Of course,
getting sweet, glowing reviews after they took a book or two home was also
nice. My newest, Moondrops & Thistles
was the biggest hit. It seemed to be partly the military story line and partly
the cover, which I have to say I like a lot, also.
In between and
around book signings, we did a fair amount of travel. The four of us did a
circle around the inner part of the U.S. starting here in PA, then to IL, OK,
TX, then down around to TN and back up. It was a bit of a whirlwind but we
visited with family, had a big meal at the Big Texan in Amarillo, saw
Graceland, stopped in at the Tulsa Hard Rock Café featuring Toby Keith's I Love
This Bar & Grill, ambled around Nashville and visited Coyote Ugly and
About a month later, hubby and I got on the Harley and took the
slow route to Bennington, Vermont to visit Ryan's stomping grounds (Ryan
Reynauld from Off The Moon, who will
also feature in another book to come). Vermont is incredible. We decided if we
hit the big lottery, we'll grab a summer house there. Summer only. The snow
here is quite bad enough. On the way home, we cruised through the Adirondacks.
(Note: if you plan to stay anywhere within the Adirondacks in the summer, make
reservations!) I have a ton of photos from our summer journeys, along with
plenty of writing inspiration.
Some of my
Bennington photos are on my blog with a brief travelogue, in 2 parts:
Bennington part 1, Bennington part 2
I'll eventually add
more travelogues of the rest of the summer.
I did manage to get
some writing done in the middle of it all.
Moondrops & Thistles was released in July.
I have a few readers who say it's their favorite now, &/or they couldn't
put it down, and it made a couple of them cry now and then. (Don't worry, my
endings are always upbeat!) Daws, my Army Sgt., is grabbing lots of attention!
In November, I put out the shorter and spicier version of the same story,
geared toward romance readers who like a bit more warmth in their books and a
bit less societal stuff. If you go to the Facebook page,
you'll find info for both versions. The original version is in both print and
ebook. The shorter version is ebook only. You can get the personally
autographed trade paperback of Moondrops &
Thistles along with a bookmark at Elucidate Publishing.
Otherwise, it's also at BN.com, BAMM.com, Indiebound.org (to order from your
local independent store), and most major retailers.
I've been working
hard on the third Rehearsal book, as
well. I'll get it out in 2012, hopefully in the first half of the year! There
will be more news to come about Rehearsal,
so stay tuned. I'm not only working on #3, however. I'm also jumping to #4 and
#5, adding scenes to fill them out, plus the sequel. It's looking like the 5
books of the series plus the sequel will add up to roughly 1.5 million words
(appr. 3,900 pages)! Glad there are still some readers who love big, thick
In November, I
participated in my 8th Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month). For it, I
started an idea I've worked with off and on, taking notes and such, for a
strictly literary venture: a biker on a quest as he travels the US mixed with a
man who gets stuck somewhere he never intended to be. I did make the 50K word
goal but it's a long way from a final first draft. I've had to set it on the
shelf for the moment to wait its turn.
"An art whose medium is language will always show a high degree of
critical creativeness, for speech is itself a critique of life: it names, it
characterizes, it passes judgment, in that it creates."
Also in November, I
had some great guest bloggers come play and share their travel experiences,
complete with photos.
Author Shawn Kirsten
Maravel took us to 4 of her favorite places in Italy
Writer Sarah Todd
took us to Cappodoccia, Turkey
Author Mona Risk
took us to the Seychelle Islands
Reifsnyder introduced us to her visitor paradise state of Maine
Writer Libby Serkies
took us to Idaho and Montana
Cantrell took us to Sugar Mountain, North Carolina
Burkhart gave us a look at her own military romance in Denmark
And I added a few of my
own travel posts:
all of which have to
do with the novel I was writing during November.
Also last month, I
restarted my indie arts site, in an
easier to upkeep format, and added a couple of great people to help me with it.
Not much there yet, but it will grow! http://www.elucidations.us
This month, I'm on a
short blog tour in support of Moondrops
& Thistles! I'm hitting 7 blogs in 10 days and most are up and posted. If
you read a blog and email the question I have posted, you'll be entered for a
chance to win a signed print copy of the book, plus a transforming mug with
cover art, and a support our troops bracelet. I'll have it run through the 18th
If you're on Facebook, you can follow the novel's page: http://www.facebook.com/MoondropsAndThistles
I've just started a Moondrops Twelve Days of Christmas there,
featuring Deanna and the gifts Daws brings her. Just for fun!
I put a page up for
Stanley, my children's book, also:
Oh.. Big news: I'm on iTunes! Well anyway, my last three books are there,
ready to buy and download for viewing on your iPod Touch, iPad, or iPhone! Each
book is less than the cost of a fast food meal and will stay with you much
longer. ;-) My other books will be there
in time. At the moment they have the short edition of Moondrops and not the
full edition. I'll check into that. Be aware the cover with the couple on front
is the shorter spicier edition. The full edition has a Canna lily on the front.
At the local book
signings, I held a raffle for a copy of Protect
The Heart for anyone donating to my fundraiser for Operation Paperback [http://www.operationpaperback.org].
Congrats to Kathy S. and a huge thank you to all who donated. As to date, I've
shipped close to 100 paperbacks, including a few of my own, to our troops
serving overseas to help fill their down time. I also need to thank the
librarians and patrons of the Community Library of the Shenango Valley in
Hermitage PA for not only allowing me to put a donation box out during their
book sale, but also for donating some books to help fill the box! I ended up
with a huge box full of books to send over! If you'd like to take part in
Operation Paperback, go to their website and register as a volunteer. You can
send one box or as many as you can handle.
If you want to keep
up with me in between the randomly sent newsletters, sign up at my blog to
receive updates via email or follow me on Facebook. I do try to answer emails
but they sometimes slip behind a bunch already waiting.
As my little
Christmas gift to myself, after my blog tour, I'm taking time off from work and
indulging in other authors' work! I have a ton of books stacked up waiting on
me. My daughter says I won't do it; I won't stop working for that long. Well,
maybe I'll cut down on writing/editing and completely skip the marketing for a
couple of weeks. I might be able to do that much. ;-) Right now I'm in the middle of Evergreen by Belva Plain, at a friend's
recommendation. Then I'll have to choose from the pile: Roma, The Rebels of
Ireland, Vanity Fair, The March, Ellis Island, Madrid, Lord Jim … a few of the
many sitting here waiting. So many great books out there, so little time to get
to them all!
How about you? Do
you tend to read over holiday breaks? What kinds of things do you read for
Wishing you all a
beautiful Christmas season and an incredible 2012!