Thursday, September 20, 2018

When finally you discover your genre--or I'm a slow learner

This is going to be one of those posts that I write more for myself than the world. You see, I've been self-publishing for over a year and a half. My first book, The Bend, had a slow start but now sells more than any others I've written.

 I joined this group that pushed to write faster and find a selling genre. The theory sounded great so I released a women's fiction, and then another suspense and then a romance.

What I've learned?

I really can't write romance or women's fiction the way I want to write them. I love twists and turns and short sentences and lots of what ifs. I love weird, I love taking that extra step.

I wrote my books and sent them out there and honestly, I'm not sure whether or not they will ever do as well as The Bend. When I wrote The Bend, I had this crazy idea about a town and a girl. I knew I had to give her something special, so I did--her gift to see death before it happens. It seemed to work. Another story has been spinning around in my head for years but instead of writing it, I veered off and took the easy route, writing and releasing stories that would get out there faster.

Not smart.

I've actually stripped my joy of writing, and when that happens, writing for money means nothing. I would rather not write.

I think sometimes I'm a slow learner and get caught up in pushing myself not always in the right direction.

Pressing the pause button today.

I can actually breathe again.

So this post is a letter to myself to remind me never to lose sight at what you love to do. If you love something, no matter what happens with it, you are going to be okay.

I am a suspense writer. (I'll tell myself that over and over until I get it.)
That's what I'm going to write .
I hope you'll let me prove that in my next book.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

My first Romance

Back in 2012, a woman shared with me her story about a man she should have married, but everything went wrong. I fell in love with the romance of that story and felt compelled to write it. Finally, years later, the series Chances of the Heart Romances, was born.
Mandy is the first book in this series of clean, romance. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

Friday, August 10, 2018

My newest book!

ESCAPE, my newest thriller, is now available for pre-order on Amazon!

He loves her smile—too much.

Eliza Green has never ridden in an airplane. What could it hurt to take up Drake Carter’s offer of a short ride? He’s a great employee, friendly, but when he shows up at the grocery store, her sitter’s house, and buzzes her home—she’s in big trouble.
Unfortunately, stalker laws in Pennsylvania don’t exist in 1985. She has to wait for Drake to hurt her before the system can help.
Has she been too friendly? She wanted more excitement in her life, but now she must escape from Drake’s obsession.

Friday, July 27, 2018


It's been forever since I've posted here. My life has been crazy. We moved home in September and still are under construction. We hope and pray our bedroom suite will be finished in August, I can unpack and finally feel normal.
In the middle of all of this upheaval, I've prepared two more books for release this year and we got a DOG! Yes, a dog. I still can't believe I did it at my age. A puppy--Goldendoodle. We've had her two weeks and this house training adventure isn't that much fun but we are doing it.
And we are in love with her already despite the 5 am wake-up calls.
As to my books, I can't wait to share with you ESCAPE--the book I've written based on my own personal stalking experience. And after that book comes out--Chances of the Heart will follow. A romance based upon a woman's experience where love gets a second chance twenty years later.
Now back to dog walks, tiling, and painting. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Winterheart Release

My third novel releases on Valentine's Day! I'm excited about WINTERHEART because the story is close to my heart--I was a Penny years ago--struggling to survive and wondering how to make my life richer and more fulfilled. It's my first romance/women's fiction but still contains a little suspense. Can't get away from that. We all enjoy a little what ifs in a book. I hope you will enjoy this new release and leave me a short line or two on Amazon after you read it sharing your feelings.

Friday, January 19, 2018

How Many Books Did I Sell in a Year? Self-Pub Update

A little update on how The Bend is doing. I released it last Feb. 17th--totally ignorant on how the whole self-pub process worked. Totally scared but wanting to try it.

Pre Orders went okay but I've since learned I should lower the price for that time period. Then sales slowed.

I finally put it in the KENP program and exclusively on Amazon a few months later. That means Amazon pays authors for pages read besides books sold. (Prime accts) The pages took off as did more sales. I also tried several new ways to advertise--paying $15 a shot for email blasts. They were helpful and did increase the pages read.

It's been almost a year into the venture.

To date, it looks like I might sell about 1,000 copies by next month. (including pages read and soft-cover) Much more than I sold with my first book with a mid-sized publisher.

The number isn't huge but I feel compensated for my efforts. Instead of my manuscript languishing in a file on my computer, it's out there.

Writers are told the first 500 copies sold don't count cause they are only from friends and family. Well, I don't have that many friends and family so in my mind, quite a few of those count. Strangers took a chance on my writing. I feel so blessed that so many would.


Next month, I'm trying it again with another story close to my heart. Hopefully this year has taught me what to do better and right and Winterheart will enjoy similar success.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

2018 and still writing

It's been awhile! So much has happened in the past few months. We sold our Florida home, moved to PA and are now busy building and finishing our retirement home along the banks of the wonderful Susquehanna River. Just flew back from Seattle, after a bout of pneumonia and now I'm finally getting the opportunity to finish and prepare WInterheart for publication.

I'm excited about this book--it's the longest one I've ever written plus it goes back to my roots with its inspirational theme. I pray my readers will feel that same excitement as I do. Watch for a preorder sale!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Eight months post self-publishing--will I do it again? Should you?

If you are a writer like me, you wonder how another writer's books are really selling. Is self-publishing as good as some claim? Is it as bad?

My journey into self-publishing still makes me happy. Why is it important I'm happy? Because I wasn't last September when I almost gave up writing completely. I told myself last February when I took the plunge to self pub that I would stop when it was no longer fun. Today I can report that putting a book out there is still fun.

August was my best month so far. Overall, I've made almost as much money in the KENP program as I have selling e-books. So for now, that's where my books will remain.

How much have you made? you ask. Honestly, more than I did with my first book that was with a mid-sized publisher. I think that's because I have actively promoted and advertised The Bend more than I did The Mulligan. But since I'm doing it all my self online, I have more opportunities to set up the advertising, especially through Amazon.

Would I do it again? Of course. I hope to be much smarter about the next one--doing a low pre-promotional price, better book inside design, and being positive there is not one error in it as much as I can prevent. I will also choose better categories to set it up in, and start my Amazon advertising immediately rather than months later.

Already I am sharing the next cover and blurb and will heavily promote it as the time grows closer.
Honestly, selling is all about advertising. Who will find your book and buy it if you don't put it in front of them?

So my best advice to those who want to take a similar plunge? Write well, be brave, advertise and just do it. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Ten Years Later--alive and trusting

It's hard for me to think about what life will be life retired. After a combined total of 12 jobs, 1 college degree, 2 sold houses, and 4 moves all done in the last ten years, you can understand why I find it hard to believe my life might finally settle into a nice routine.

It was August 27, 2007 when the call came from my husband that would forever change our lives. "I'm getting it tomorrow," he said. A RIF, they called it. Reduction in Force. 60+ people in one day. It was called the Great Recession and we were living and working at ground zero--construction in Florida. Second only to tourism.

It was our thirtieth anniversary. I had just arrived in Seattle to meet our first grandchild. I remember wondering what life would look like after my husband lost his dream job. I found out quickly. Dark days followed as we cried out to God to help us understand why this had to happen to us. Getting out of bed to face endless hours of applying for non-existent jobs became harder and harder. I wanted to hide in my closet and come out when the sun shone again on our lives. We had just married our daughter off the year before. These days were supposed to be filled with empty-nester fun--travel, eating out, visiting with friends. None of that happened in the years to follow.

When life sends you a roadblock, you have two choices: give in or go forward. I'm thankful to be writing this post on the tenth anniversary of the change that grew our faith. Our view of what life should be like is so much different than reality. Because you work hard, and be kind to everyone and honest does not mean your life will be a bed of roses--excuse my cliché. No, life will give you trials no matter what you do. But how you deal with them makes all the difference.

After a lengthy phone call with a friend, I started to write our blessings on a piece of paper stuck to the refrigerator. Little things at first. No bills in the mail. I didn't cry today. We were able to find a discount grocery store that sold soup in dented cans. Looking at my blessings and being thankful for every little thing saved me. But it didn't change what we went through--selling our home we loved, moving across the country to a job my husband hated, moving again and again and again to find something that would support us and let us get through each day without fear of ending up on the street.

The fear was real. We were those people on the nightly news who couldn't find work to support themselves. We lived on unemployment, savings, retirement and finally sold our house before we lost it. Friends were empathetic but couldn't save us.

Only our faith in Jesus saved us. Only the trust that He would see us through like he had in the past only this time our situation was much more dire than not having enough money to send our kid to camp. This time we had to believe or give up. It took some time --some anger, some tears, some disbelief, more anger then finally we gave it to God. Let me say this, the surrender wasn't a pretty picture. It was a work in progress (still is) but God never turned his back on us like some people in our lives did.

He still hasn't.

So here we are. Ten years later. Packing. Selling our house. Preparing for a semi-retirement because one can never totally retire after the run we had but we will be doing life at our own pace again. Together. A tiny piece of me keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop. I doubt that feeling will ever go away but then I tell myself to breathe. Breath more. But mostly to pray. Pray and give thanks that I'm still here to tell our story.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Celebrating SIX Months for THE BEND

I'm excited that THE BEND has been out for six months now. To celebrate, I'm doing a sale where it will be only $0.99 for a limited time.

I can't thank my readers enough who have supported my efforts into self-publishing by buying my book, reading it and then leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads. That means everything to me.

I'm also excited to share about my next book, a departure from THE BEND, but intriguing in its own way. WINTERHEART is a mixture of women's fiction, romance, suspense and a little bit of magic thrown into the main character's path to make her and the reader wonder how the town of Winterheart can change hearts the way it does. Check my Facebook page for updates as we get closer to next year.

Also, I have big news for those who aren't following me on Facebook but I'm not going to share that until next month. I know, I know, but I think that news deserves a special post with photos and all.

In the meantime, please pass on this sale to your friends. It's a great time for a fun summer read before it's back to school.

Thank you!