Oh my sweet Google, let’s make this all about me.

This is an ode to Google. It’s a powerful tool that shows me locations and even helps me answer weird grammar questions. I stumble across those grammar conundrums all the time, but with Google, my writing ideas become clear for my readers. It’s like having endless amounts of knowledge always on standby. How in the world did we ever get along without him or it’s female counterparts (Alexa, Siri) before? Seriously, I’ve forgotten. Mr. amazing (Google) even helped me figure out what was wrong with my dishwasher this week. Is there anything he can’t do? After I explained my dishwasher’s symptoms to him, he, like the magical know-it-all he is, gave me solutions in the order of most plausible culprits. I bought the first part he suggested replacing, and what do you know, it works again! Oh thank you Google, but if anyone asks, I’m taking all the credit. 😉 It’s nice to puff my chest out and feel super smart every once and awhile.

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Teenage girls!

What is it about junior high that takes once sweet kids and turns them into snarling monsters bent on picking each other apart? My eighth grade daughter is in the throes of this swirling insanity and comes home almost every day with complaints of things other girls don’t like about her.

“They don’t like my deodorant. They say it smells like baby power.”

Okay…when did baby powder become a bad smell? I, for one, like baby powder, it’s better than how our bodies smell with no deodorant at all. The girls keep making fun of my daughter, gagging while she’s getting dressed after P.E. class. I’m tired of hearing about it so I get her a different deodorant.

Now these same girls—bless their wretched souls—have decided the swimsuit lines on my daughter’s back are worthy of their ire. Ew…heaven forbid!

Uh…right about here I’m rubbing my temples because of the sheer stupidity of this complaint when my daughter says something I consider even worse.

She says, “Nothing I do makes these girls like me.”

“Whoa. Stop right there. First of all, you shouldn’t be living to please these girls. Why do you care what they think? Trust me, they’re just as lost and hormone-y as you are.  And Secondly, I’ve told you a thousand times, you can’t make anybody do anything. They have to choose to like you. Even if they never do, does it really matter? Your value comes from within—not from them. I know it’s hard, and mean people really do suck, but they can only affect you if you let them. Just as they make their choice you get to make your own. Don’t squander that on people who don’t lift you up.”

This parenting thing makes me feel like a broken record. Only time will tell if I’m getting through to her.

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Stuffed Souls update: Be still my heart a boy has joined the ranks

I’ve been writing for more than a decade now but my oldest, sixteen-year-old son has never shown any interest in what I write.

“They’re just too chickish for me,” he says.

Well…you can’t please everyone and my main focus group is girls, so it’s hard to be offended by the comment. My thirteen-year-old daughter on the other hand inhales my novels the moment she sees a copy in our home. She goes on and on, telling her brothers and everyone else how amazing they are. Her excitement is a major motivation to keep writing, but to my shock I caught my oldest son reading my latest novel, Stuffed Souls, last week. He made eye contact with me over the open book in his hands but said nothing, so I kept walking. You don’t want to jinx these things. On Friday my son stuck his head into my bathroom where I was getting ready for the day.

“You’re really twisted, Mom.”

“Oh really?” I kept right on applying my mascara. “And why’s that?”

“Your Stuffed Souls, I can’t believe you made that up. It was really good, but crazy. Are your other novels like this?”

“Hmm…They’re such different plots it’s hard to compare them, but I don’t write snooze-fests. I like fast moving stories with unpredictable plots so that’s how I try to always write. I guess you’ll finally have to pick up the first book of the Rory’s Choice series and find out for yourself.” Dare I hope he’ll become a fan too? I don’t know those “chickish” parts might be too much for him. 😉

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Stuffed Souls: a scene that almost didn’t happen

If you’ve gotten your copy of Stuffed Souls already and sucked it right down, I have a fun fact for you. The opening scene of Chapter twelve wasn’t in the original manuscript. I had glossed over the truck ride with Elam to get to the juicer, emotional, roller coaster ride of Jessica and Travis. If you don’t know what that means, you’re missing out. Get the book and read it. Oh looky…here’s a link.

Anyway…my editor, Mary Einfeldt, was like I don’t think so, I want to see what happens in that truck ride. It took me a couple of days of thinking to come up with a plan, but when I started fleshing out the scene I had to stop several times just to chuckle at the visual I could see in my head. What had I been thinking? Not only is the opening scene in chapter twelve hilarious, it gives the reader an even stronger insight into Elam’s character traits. I’m so glad I took up the challenge the editor placed before me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; the best editors are the ones who push more than applaud your work.

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Always learning. Always growing.

I’m over the moon about the launch of my latest novel, Stuffed Souls. It’s my best work yet. Click here to get your copy today. The eBook version will be available next month.

I think back over the last decade of writing and realize how important both failures and successes are to my writing. Just like everything in life we don’t have all the answers, so my initial writing style leaned heavily on what I did know—script writing. Road shows, one acts, I was the queen of writing short scenes in my younger years. While this helped the dialogue stay snappy, my narratives were weak. It took time and practice, and a realization that novels are not like live theater. A book’s stage is in the readers head, so I needed to build a better structure around my characters words. Even now I don’t have all the answers, and that’s okay. I have yet to create the perfect novel, and that’s okay too. I recently heard Justin Timberlake say, “Perfection is the death of greatness.” I couldn’t agree more. I’m not done creating yet. There are many, many more stories mulling around in my head.

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Stuffed Souls pocketbook pre-orders…

Only a few more days, March 1st 2018, until the official release of Stuffed Souls to the public. I wanted to answer a couple of questions I’ve been asked lately, since they seem to keep popping up.

  1. The cover makes me think this book might be a scary read, how scary is it?

Answer: This book is as clean and uplifting as my Rory’s Choice series. Yes, there are some intense moments in this novel, but think R.L. Stine not Stephen King. You’ll find no gore whatsoever.

2. How kid friendly is this novel compared to your last novels?

Answer: Again, I write for young adults, which means age twelve and up. I take into careful consideration my audience at all times. I have a thirteen-year-old daughter of my own. If I wouldn’t feel comfortable with her reading it, I won’t write it.

This young Adult novel is getting rave reviews by all who have read it. I can’t wait for you to read it too. You can even pre-order pocketbook-sized copies right now through Amazon. com. Click on the book cover below for your direct link.

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Stuffed Souls lands me a nomination!

I’m excited and nervous all at the same time. I’ve been nominated for Top Female Author presented by TheAuthorsShow.com for my upcoming paranormal novel Stuffed Souls. Winning would be a huge boost to my writing goals, but just being nominated is pretty amazing, especially since the nomination wasn’t submitted by anyone related to me. I’ve always felt Stuffed Souls was something special. I’ve got my fingers crossed the panel of judges will feel the same. To get your own copy of this powerful book it will be on sale to the general public in just a couple of weeks, March 1st 2018.

 

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