The Balancing Act

In the past year, I have gone through so many life changes — good life changes— that sometimes learning to balance a new career, my writing and enjoying actual time off is a real balancing act.

I have never had more than a week off at a time. This year, I have the whole month of May off, and pretty much June and July off except for teaching one night a week. This leaves me with a lot of free time. I spent the first two weeks of my time off visiting New Hampshire and my 8-month-old grandson. Those two weeks flew by. As I return home to Tennessee, I find myself wandering around my house aimlessly, starting a few projects only to be distracted by something else. I am usually a well organized person with my time, but I have always had little free time so it was required to keep my time well managed.

There are plenty of projects to keep me busy, but staying focused in the problem. I need to unpack my office (home office), and yes, I have been living in Tennessee for about three and half years nows and it still isn’t unpacked. That should be high on the proriority list. I also have 2 books that need finishing — Book #2 in The Rules Series, Making the Rules, and LIzzie, Book #1 in The Copycat Chronicles. Both books are half done and need to be finished. And then there is preparing for my mythology class that I’m teaching this summer, as well as looking into developing a mythology class for eCampus.

So how does one balance their life when they find more free time on their hands then they are used to? My middle daughter suggested leaving my house and working at a coffee shop or my school office so I’m not distracted as much. That is a good idea and one I am going to be trying next week. In the meantime, a little extra sunshine can’t hurt to help start my summer tan.

Behind the Screen

There have been many changes in my life over the past few years. As most of you know, I had taken a three-year hiatus from writing. Between selling my home in New Hampshire and moving to Tennessee, starting a new job and grad school, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Last November I released a new book for the first time in three years. It felt great to be back to writing. So, with my coming back into the writing world, my website has been given a new look and I’m going to be doing more blogging and getting out a regular newsletter.

You will get a glimpse into the life changes that have brought me to where I am today and all the wonderful changes that have gone on in the past year or two. Stay tune for the first installment of my journey back to writing.

Bras Are The Work of The Devil!



Bras are the work of the devil!! Are you with me on this?

It’s Hump Day, so I thought it was appropriate to talk about over the shoulder boulder holders.

I love being a writer because writing is an activity that doesn’t require a flopper stopper. And believe me, if I’m up and about, I need to keep the girls leashed!

When I absolutely have to wear a double barreled sling shot, I prefer a front clasp racerback. This isn’t because it makes me sound like I belong in Nascar … it’s not even because there is something sexy and enticing about a front-clasp … it’s all about easy off and no slippage.

The most annoying thing aside from having to wear a medieval torture device, is when the straps slip down your arms. This never happens with a racerback. I also don’t have to pull a muscle trying to reach the back clasps. It’s a win-win!

When you start reading the Summer Lovin’ box set, the best advice I can give is lose the booby holder! Find a comfy spot, give the girls a little freedom, and settle in for the long haul! Even though these aren’t erotic stories, they are still pretty hot and you don’t want to have to deal with boob sweat in the cups!! 

If you haven’t heard of the Summer Lovin’ set, it is a collection of 14 novels and novellas all with a summer theme, many from USA Today and National Bestselling authors. The best part, it’s only $.99. Get it while it’s hot because it’s available only for a limited time!

My debut novel from 2011, RelayFor Love, is one of the novels in Summer Lovin’

In Relay For Love, widow Hannah Locke has a life plan, which does NOT include falling in love again. She lost her husband five years ago and still aches from that loss. That ache seems to dull as it is replaced with a new longing for a man she hardly knows but can’t seem to get out of her head. Aaron Hawkins was only supposed to write a story about Hannah’s Relay For Life fundraising event, but their immediate attraction has him looking for more than just a headline and has Hannah forgetting all about her perfect life plan.

Writing this story was an emotional journey for me. It’s an emotional journey for readers, too, who claim they are laughing on one page and crying on the next. Even my editor, who NEVER cries, shed a few tears (and cussed me out) while editing this story.

I hope someday very soon, this disease is a thing of the past!! That’s why a percentage of my royalties from this book and A Flame Burns Inside is donated to the American Cancer Society to help raise awareness about prevention and treatment and help find a cure!

Pick up Summer Lovin’ today and check out my Facebook page for some great giveaways! 
Summer Lovin’ buy links:
Big dreamer and certifiable overachiever Susan Ann Wall embraces life at full speed and volume. She’s a beer and tea snob, can be bribed with dark chocolate, and the #1 thing on her bucket list is to be the center of a Bon Jovi flash mob.

Susan is a multi-genre author of racy, rule-breaking romance, women’s fiction, and erotic fiction (her erotic titles are published as Ann Victor).  Her bragging rights include nine books in three different series,  three perfect children, adopting an amazing rescue dog, and a happily ever after that started while serving in the U.S. Army and has spanned nearly two decades (which is crazy since she’s not a day over 29).
In her next life, Susan plans to be a 5 foot 10, size 8 rock star married to a chiropractor and will not be terrified of large bridges, spiders, or quiet people (shiver).



Ideas…I’ve got a million of ‘em



Today I'm allowing Peggy Jaeger to take over my blog.  So give her a warm welcome and let's hear about her ideas.


 
At a recent book signing (and don’t I just love saying that!!) for my newest release, I had a “fan” ask me the proverbial writer’s question. As she gazed adoringly down at her newly autographed copy of my book, her moist eyes drifted to mine and she asked, “Where do you come up with all your ideas for stories?”

In truth, I never know quite how to answer this.

I could say something quippy and conceited like, “Oh, I’m just blessed with a very vivid imagination,” or snotty like, “Well, writing’s what I do for a living, you know.”
Sometimes I just want to smile and say nothing, leaving it up to the asker to come up with his or her own answer. There are times I want to say to especially obnoxious people, “I’m writing a new book and need some odd characters. Tell me about yourself.”

Like I said, WANT to say that. I never actually have. Yet.

For the sake of true disclosure here, I’m an avid people watcher. Ideas about stories pop into my head in the strangest places, like when I’m sitting I church, or waiting at the airport. I wrote an entire book in my head after seeing a late night commercial for a cleaning service. My mind is frequently trying to unravel plot holes and dialogue snafus. It never rests.

It stands to reason then, that ideas are always swirling inside of my mind.

Here’s a perfect example for how I came up with the idea for Will Cook for Love, book 2 in my Laine Sisters Series. I lovelovelove Top Chef. I have never missed an episode or a season, and I’ve even recreated some of the dishes featured on the competitive show. My idea for Will Cook for Love came from watching an episode of Top Chef. I won’t name the season, but a small plotline involved a little romance unraveling among two of the cheflebrities. In my mind, I could see how something like that could really play out on the show – both positively or negatively. The idea that sprang into my mind was the basis for my story. What would happen if you took a cooking competition show and added an overbearing director no producers wanted to work with? The network doesn’t want to lose all it’s invested in the show, so they send one of their top notch producers to smooth out the kinks, keep the director happy, and the contestants on their game.  The producer doesn’t want to go and is bribed with the prospect of producing her very own show if she fulfills this one commitment. Since that is her dream, she agrees. When she finds herself falling for the director, and he for her, the tangled mess of secret back stage wheeling and dealing starts to unravel, jeopardizing the show, and the heroine’s heart.

So, from watching one episode of a show I love, I was able to plot out an entire novel.

I’m currently working on a romance novel that centers around caring for an elderly parent and the problems rife within our health care system. The idea for this story came from knowing and trying to help several different families try and find ways to pay for their badly needed medications – meds their insurance companies refuse to pay for – as part of my day job.

I’ve got another romance concerning a coming home story to face the past I plotted after reading in the paper about a man who had just discovered he had a grown daughter he never knew about.

So, the next time I’m asked that question about where I get my ideas from, how do YOU think I should answer it? Should I simply smile and let the question answer itself? Or should I say, “Well, as far as ideas go…I’ve got a million of ‘em?!”


Let's help Peggy celebrate her latest release:
 


Symphony pianist Moira Cleary comes home after four years of touring, exhausted, sick, and spiritually broken. Emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of someone she trusted has left her gaunt, anxious, and at a crossroads both professionally and personally.

Moira’s best friend, veterinarian Quentin Stapleton, wants nothing more than to help Moira get well. Can his natural healing skills make it possible for her to open her heart again? And can he convince her she’s meant to stay home now with the family that loves her - and with him - forever?

Buy it here: 
The Wild Rose Press:  http://bit.ly/1GmM1Je
Barnes and Noble Nook :  http://bit.ly/1JjMUG7


About Peggy: 
Peggy Jaeger’s love of writing began in the third grade when she won her first writing contest with a short story titled THE CLOWN. After that, there was no stopping her. Throughout college and after she became a Registered Nurse, she had several Nursing Journal articles published, in addition to many mystery short stories in Literary Magazines. When her daughter was born, Peggy had an article titled THE VOICES OF ANGELS published and reprinted in several parenting magazines, detailing the birth and the accident that almost turned this wonderful event into a tragedy. She had two children’s books published in 1995 titled THE KINDNESS TALES and EMILY AND THE EASTER EGGS, which were illustrated by her artist mother-in-law. While her daughter grew, Peggy would write age appropriate stories for her to read along with, and finally, to read on her own. Her YA stories are mysteries involving smart and funny 12-13 year old girls and an unusual collection of friends and relatives. They all take place in the 1980’s.

She has a Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration and had several articles published on Alzheimer’s Disease when she ran an Alzheimer’s In Patient care unit during the 1990’s

In 2005 she was thrilled to have an article on motherhood placed in the CHICKEN SOUP FOR EVERY MOTHER’S SOUL edition. She has won several awards in various Writer’s Digest short story and personal article categories over the years. Recently, she has placed first in the Dixie Kane 2013 Memorial Contest in the Short/Long Contemporary romance Category, and in the Single Title Contemporary Category, and third place in the ICO Romance Contest for 2013, and in 2014 she was a finalist in the Put Your heart in a Book contest.

A life-long and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Peggy has embraced the techno age and writes for three blogs, all detailing events in her life. One titled, 50 pounds for 50 years is a personal blog about weight loss, one about her life as an EMPTY NESTER and her most recent one MOMENTS FROM MENOPAUSE, a humorous and informative guide through this time in a woman’s life.
She also has her own website http://peggyjaeger.com where she writes about everyday life and how it relates to writing. Twitter is her current obsession, but she is never far from her Facebook pages.

In 2015 she will have her first three contemporary romance novels published by The Wild Rose Press: Skater’s Waltz, book 1 in the MaQuire Women Series, and There’s No Place Like Home, book 2. Book 3 is titled First Impression. Three more are in the works for this series, in addition to her Cooking with Kandy series.

Find her on social media:




Second Chances

SECOND CHANCES is now available. This story is near and dear to my heart as I have had the struggles of raising an autistic child, much like Kira's son in this book.   This book is available for the month of April at the .99 digital price to celebrate Autism Awareness Month.  It is also available in print via Amazon or an autographed copy directly through myself.

I am also teamed up with a local artist, Todd Aubertin, who is carving two wooden spoons to be given away to a random new newsletter subscriber.  To enter, simply sign up for my newsletter between now and the end of the month. The drawing will be held May 1st.  Sign up here.

Below is an excerpt of Second Chances:



Kira Nichols pushed back her shoulder length light brown hair as the crisp salt air blew it across her face. As she walked up the path to the cul-de-sac, her sneakers left small impressions in the soft sand.
She sprang into a run when she heard the rumble of a sports car that was going too fast for a street where small children liked to play. She arrived at the cul-de-sac just as the vehicle skidded to a stop in front of the empty lot across from her house. Then she caught her breath as a lean man with rugged features got out of the car. He flashed her a smile that probably caused most women to melt at his feet.
As the man moved across the lot toward the foundation, which had been capped over and abandoned for about a year now, Kira squared her shoulders and approached him. He was at least six feet tall, and she felt minute beside him. She willed herself to appear calm, but she could feel her cheeks begin to flush.
“Grant Rutledge.” He paused and extended his hand to her. His deep voice, like a shot of brandy, was warm and soothing. She swallowed hard, her anger at his reckless driving temporarily forgotten. Then it flared back, and she ignored his hand.
“Do you know there are children in this area?” she demanded, planting her hands on her hips.
“My apologies if you felt I was going too fast.” He gave an exaggerated glance around. “There aren’t any children about now.”
He offered that smile again, and in spite of her anger, her heart softened for a moment. His hand was still extended, so she shook his calloused fingers. Tingles shot up her arm, and she struggled to keep herself from yanking her hand away. Heat flooded her face. She prayed he couldn’t tell.
“Again, I apologize. I hope you won’t think I have no regard for children.”
Kira turned to go. She gestured absently at his car and said, “I just know the type.”
As she forced herself to walk slowly toward her house, she could feel his eyes on her back. She felt both foolish and thankful that she had stayed in shape.
The solitude of the cul-de-sac was one of the reasons she had always loved this spot as a child whenever she had visited her grandfather. Her house, which she had inherited from him, had been the only one in this two-lot area for years, but it looked like they were going to pick up the pace across the street again. She hoped the new construction company would limit their work to business hours, particularly the hours when Jared would be in preschool.
She thought back to the long hours the last group of workers had kept when they put in the foundation. Jared had been unable to sleep due to the noise and disruption of his routine. Hopefully this time around the noise wouldn’t disturb him. He was just beginning to sleep through the night.
If only she could. 

Second Chances can be found at Amazon, Smashwords, or a signed print copy.

A Hidden Treasure




It’s always a treat to find a hidden treasure, whether it be through hunting for antiques, digging through boxes packed away for years or not looking for anything in particular and suddenly that hidden treasure appears.  This is what happened to me when I reconnected with a friend, Todd Aubertin, from many years ago.  


Finding out this friend is an artist was a very cool thing, but then to see his handiwork, I was blown away by his talent for woodworking and carvings.  Todd has an incredible intuitiveness and you can imagine the experience he has after doing this for twenty years. Every piece he makes, he puts his heart and soul into. The finish product is not only filled with his creativity, but they are pieces of art that will spark inspiration and motivation for others.  He does carvings in antlers, which was something I had never seen before and they are amazing.

The first thing I really found in talking with Todd was his love for making flutes. He has made many flutes that have made their way all over the world.  
   
As I spent some time in Todd’s studio, I was amazed by the creations that had left this shop. Wooden spoons, jewelry, furniture to include a bed, tables, bookshelves, meditation stool as well as custom window sills and fireplace mantels only to mention a few have made their way out to satisfied customers.





Todd’s custom work shows his love for Mother Nature and the gift that he has been given. I had the pleasure of receiving a lap table from Todd. My only specifications that I gave him were I wanted it out of a wood that would show its beauty and I told him of my love of roses.  The end result was spectacular. The lap table was made out of cedar (a fact that he did not know was cedar was one of my two favorite woods) and he did a wood burning into it of native wild pasture roses.


If have not heard of Todd’s work, I urge you to check out his facebook page and pictures of his work. I would highly recommend talking with Todd regarding any requests you may have. Todd can be reached via email or at (603) 724-9631.  The following is a sample of his work.




Outdoor Bench


Bookcase
Meditation Bench
Sectional Bookcase


Table

Who wants some HOMETOWN LOVE?


Today is a special day as I welcome Christina Tetreault and I allow her to take over for the day.  I have the pleasure of being a chapter mate of Christina's at NHRWA.  She is having a sale this month of HOMETOWN LOVE.


Christina started writing at the age of 10 on her grandmother's manual typewriter and never stopped. When she is not driving her 3 daughters (ages 7, 5, and 5) around to their various activities or chasing around their three dogs, she is working on a story or reading a romance novel. Currently, she has two series out, The Sherbrookes of Newport and Love on The North Shore. You can visit her website www.christinatetreault.com or follow her on Facebook to learn more about her characters and to track her progress on her current writing projects.


Welcome, Christina!!



Don’t give away any secrets but what’s your book about?
Hometown Love which I have on sale this month to celebrate my 3 year anniversary as a published author is about how love can help a person heal.

Back cover blurb: 

Everyone in North Salem thinks they know Jessie Quinn.  She is the town’s quintessential girl next door. The woman you can always turn to when you need a helping hand. Nobody knows that she’s spent years overcoming the emotional scars left by her last boyfriend.

As a single dad and task force officer with the FBI, Mack Ellsbury moves back to North Salem to be closer to his family, not to find love. Then Jessie Quinn returns to his life. Soon Mack no longer sees Jessie as the quiet girl he once tutored in high school but rather the woman he is falling in love with.

Mack’s love helps Jessie erase the scars she’s carried around for so long, but when his ex-wife decides she wants reconciliation, their relationship is put in jeopardy.

What inspired you to write Hometown Love
Jessica Quinn the heroine in this story was originally a minor character in my second book The Billionaire Playboy as well as The Courage To Love. She continued to bug me until I finally gave her a book of her own.

How did you come up with the title?
Both main characters grew up in North Salem, Massachusetts, the fictitious setting for this both as well as the entire series Love On The North Shore. While Jessica remained in town, Mack moved away and lived in Boston for a period of time. At the start of the book he has just moved back town. Since he falls in love with a hometown girl, the title just made sense.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your book?
The only thing I might change is to drop more clues toward what is in store for a Tony Bates a secondary character that appears in this book as well as two of my other books. 

Do you have plans for a new book?   Is your book part of a series?
Currently, I am working on the sixth book in my series The Sherbrookes of Newport. I am hoping for an early summer release.  Once that book is done I will start on book three in my series Love On The North Shore.

How long does it take you to write your novel?
It varies.  My first book published The Teacher’s Billionaire took me about 5 years to finish. I started it and then life got in the way. Hometown Love I finished in the shortest amount of time ever. I was able to get the rough draft down in about two and half months. Then I spent about a month on revisions and edits.

What do you think makes a good story?
I think characters are key to a good story. If I do not at least like the characters in novel, I will not even finish it. The plot also needs to stay consistent. Even if it takes place in a fantasy setting, must stay consistent throughout the book.

What do you do when you are not writing?
When I am not writing I do like to go to the gym. Of course I also spend a lot of time driving my daughters to and from their activities. They are all busy girls. I am also a girl scout leader.

Do you have a day job as well?
In addition to writing, I am CEO,CFO and chauffeur for Tetreault Enterprises (AKA my family).

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
For the most part, I write 5 days a week starting around the time my three daughters leave for school. Once they get off the bus, however, that is it for the day. The weekends are usually filled with family time and the girls’ activities.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I find the beginnings of a story the most difficult to write. Once I get the first few chapters down, I am more comfortable and the story starts to flow.

What does your family think of your writing?
My husband has always been supportive and is in fact my critique partner. My children are not old enough to read what I write, but they love to tell people that mommy is a writer.

What book are you reading now?
I just finished a Lynn Kurland time travel romance this morning.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I do a character sketch for the two main characters, however, I do not do a detailed outline. I tried once, and it just didn’t work for me.
 
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
Over the past three years I have tried a little of everything when it comes to marketing. I have done paid ads with companies such as Bookbub. I have done Facebook parties, blog tours and contest. I have also do ads on such sites as The Romance Studio. I think they all help. I also think regular interaction with my readers has helped.

Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks or hardcover?
I tend to buy more e-books only because it means they don’t take up a lot of space in my house. I still favor paperbacks. There is just something about feeling the paper between your fingers. I will buy paperbacks if I have the opportunity to get them signed by the author. I have never been a big fan of hardcover books.
 
Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
The only movie that I can say I enjoyed more than the book was The Bourne Identity. I do not watch many movies that are made from books because I feel they don’t usually do the book justice.

Coffee or tea? 
Coffee. I must drink at least 4 cups of coffee each day.


I personally can't wait to read this book and it has been added to my TBR pile.  Where can you find HOMETOWN LOVE?


Thank you, Christina for joining us today.

What's New?

Oh where do I start?  Things have been happening so fast around me lately that I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed with it all.  I will have a new cover reveal next week for my upcoming release in April of SECOND CHANCES.  I'm so excited about this book.  As the title suggest this is symbolic of so much in my life right now and second chances going on.

SECOND CHANCES will be released in April and should be up for pre-order soon (just waiting on the cover).  I also am involved in a box set, which TRUSTING LOVE will be included along with nine other authors and their books.  Keep an eye out for information on that, which will be up for pre-order in April.

Beyond that, A TIME TO HEAL is looking like it will be released in late September.  I am wrapping up writing A FINE LINE (look for it in early 2016) and am anxious to start writing FINALLY HOME, which will be a little different from the rest of my books.  No details yet, but I think you will love it!

So on top of all the writing news above, I am in the process of preparing my house to go on the market.  Once my son graduates in June, I will be looking at moving to Tennessee and getting settled down there in my role as full time author.  I'm so excited for this move, yet it is scary at the same time.  There are a lot of changes going on and thankfully I can focus on all the positive.

Keep tune for more updates and if you haven't subscribed to my newsletter, now is the time to do it as my subscribers will have first glance at my new book cover and a chance to win a free copy.  Subscribe here.  Please feel free to follow me on Facebook and Twitter also.

And the good news just continues.....

As my writing partner and I sat talking yesterday, going over good things happening to her, good things and yet overwhelming things happening to me, I ended up with more good news via email.

Let me just say that when things fall into place -- THEY FALL INTO PLACE!  As I'm looking forward to 2015 and all the exciting things happening, and I know you are looking for what those things are.  So just a glimpse as to what is going on:

First, you will see a release from me in April.  I'm excited about this release as it is titled SECOND CHANCES and I feel that this book is just that for me.  There will be upcoming news in my newsletter regarding this release.

Also in my newsletter will be upcoming news about an exciting project I am involved in that will be fully revealed in the next month!  There will be new contest coming forth strictly for newsletter subscribers.  So if you haven't subscribed yet to my newsletter, do so here so you don't miss out on these exciting opportunities.

I'm also in the process of putting together the preliminary stages of starting a street team.  Anyone who may be interested in being a part of this, please contact me.

Oh, The Excitement!

As writers we all have days that knock us down. Days where we are filled with self-doubt about our writing, our ability to walk this career path and how will we find the time to do everything that needs to be done.  I was having one of those days today.  I was overwhelmed by the amount of writer things I needed to accomplish today.

When this happens, it sets me upon procrastination mode.  So instead of digging in and just writing, I started looking over release schedules and what had to be done for marketing.  And, yes, this is all writing stuff, but it's finishing A FINE LINE.  In the meantime, I received an email giving me some fabulous news on my writing, which has turned my "my writing sucks" day around into "good things are coming from me in 2015".

It's amazing to me how quickly things can turn for a writer and their mindset.  So now I have good news and anticipate very good things coming just this spring.  So look forward to the details that will follow shortly and if you haven't signed up for my newsletter, please do so here.

Writing Schedules

How important is it for a writer to have a schedule?  In my opinion, extremely.  If you plan to make writing your career and want to write full time, you need to treat it as a full time job.  You need to work set hours and put in the effort and time into what you plan for your career.  I don't know how many times I heard my grandmother say "You get what you put into it".  How true that is especially with writing.

If you follow my blog, you will know that I have a very set career path of writing full time within the next year or so.  In that vein, I need to set my writing work hours and treat my writing as if it was a job that I had to answer to someone else for.  I set how much time I spend a day writing, and although I love the flexibility of changing the hours if I need to day to day depending on what is going on in my life, I have to remain rigid in the fact that I need to have at least three to four hours set aside each day for writing.

As I progress further into my writing career, I need to also set time for marketing and updating social media.  And let's face it -- social media is a necessary evil for writers.  It helps us connect with our readers, other writers and gives us the opportunity for networking, however it can be a huge time sucker from your day if you get caught up in it.  I have found that I need to allow myself so much time in the day for social media and I use it in small chunks.  Morning with my coffee -- check social media.  After a writing chunk and I need a break -- I allow myself another social media check in and then again in the evening when my day is winding down.

What kind of writing schedule do you have and do you struggle with sticking to it?

Looking Forward

I sit here this morning watching more snow fall down.  Winters in New England are long and tedious, and each winter I sit here and wonder why do I live in this area of the country when I hate winter so much.

This is the year for that to change for me. Plans are in motion for downsizing and moving to a warmer climate as my kids leave the nest.  Two out of three are already gone and one more remains. He will be graduating in June and then on to bigger and better things for him.  It's bittersweet for me to look at my children who have been my life for the past 24 years and see them as adults.  I am so enjoying having adult children, but when my youngest turned 18 last week, it struck me that they are all grown up. Two things hit me with that realization.  One, I really do love having adult children even if I do miss the age of snuggling and wanting to spend time with me and two, I'm at a phase in my life where I can be a little selfish and do what I want, go where I want and for the first time in my adult life, not be responsible for anyone but myself.  It's a strange feeling.

I can spend more time holed away writing and with that course, schedule at least two releases a year for my books. So I plan out my writing schedules and my release dates and with that comes another realization that I am about to make my dreams come true and be a full time writer.  Wow--honestly I wasn't sure that day would ever come, but here it is basically and within the next year I will be able to write full time.

So what's new for Emma Leigh Reed, author?  SECOND CHANCES is scheduled to be released in April 2015 and A TIME TO HEAL scheduled for late summer/early fall.  In 2016, you can look for A FINE LINE and COMING HOME.  There will also be some new projects started that I can't talk about yet, but be sure to look for news regarding those.  As always, you can find me on Facebook or sign up for my newsletter to stay better informed and for some special surprises that come to only my newsletter subscribers.

Here is to a bright and busy 2015!

Another Step Towards the Future

Two Fridays ago I went to a writers conference hosted by one of my writing groups, MCRW in Nashville, Tennessee. It was on plotting and Cherry Adair was there leading away with her color coding in her writing and plots.  It was very good, however the one thing it reiterated for me -- I am NOT a plotter and will never be one. Plotting a book for me is a huge source of stress. I much prefer to sit down, open a blank document and just start typing. When I sit down, I do have character sketches and a general idea of what needs to happen with my book, but I allow the characters drive the story. To me this is much more enjoyable.

Although I don't plot the story, I have new ideas (with character sketches) planned out for another three books to write.

However, one thing that did become very clear to me. The plan I have set in motion for my future is a good one, financially and career wise. So I look forward to changes coming, excited about a career in which I will be able to write full time, and anticipate an exciting move to a new city, new state and be surrounded with writers that get the craziness of this business. Once I made the decision and put together a plan, the stress I had been feeling just lifted.  Sometimes half the battle is just making a decision.

Adventure Time



As I write this blog on Thursday night, I’m so excited to head out tomorrow for Nashville, TN for a writers conference. This conference will be a bit different than others I have been to. The fabulous Cherry Adair will be there presenting on plotting and I have acquired one of the spots that was available for a one-on-one plot session with her for my next book.  This next book that I will be plotting out is near and dear to my heart. I can’t give out any details of it just yet as it will probably be a book that will be slated for release in early 2016.

Not only am I excited for this conference, but I will be able to catch up with some dear writer friends from the Nashville area.  I look forward to brainstorming new book ideas, marketing ideas and just catching up on life.  These women have become very dear friends of mine since I joined the MCRW group in Fall of 2011. I took my first journey down to their writer’s retreat in February of 2012 and quickly felt like I had found my home among like minds.  Well, that’s kind of a scary thought…

So I am packing, and double checking that everything is done while I am gone on any deadline fronts.  I am always excited to start a new book (even if I have 2 to finish before being able to start this one) and am excited for this leg of this journey I am on.  I will give updates next week on how the conference was.

Where Do I Go?





What a week it has been.  I have spent the past week recovering from a fall.  Not sure what happened, but I just fell last week landing hard on my elbow and hip.  I do have to say out of the experience, my son’s face when he saw me go down was absolutely priceless.  But the bruising on my elbow and open wound made it difficult to type therefore not much writing really got done.  Being a writer, as with anything else, if you take a few days off it can be difficult to get back into the groove of doing it daily again.

Though a week after the fall, with some slight discoloration still, the wound is healed and my arm is finally pain free. Now it’s time to get back into the writing and finish up this book I’m in the process of. I did get out a newsletter this week, which I’m sorry to say it was way overdue. If you would like to be a part of my newsletter, sign up here.

Further my journey, while I wasn’t typing much this week, I was researching different areas in which I am looking to possibly move to next summer. I want to be somewhere warmer with no snowstorms every other day as New England receives.  I’m getting more and more excited at the prospect of moving and starting a new journey in a new place. 



I love the Tennessee area, Nashville especially, but I’m also torn because I absolutely love to be near the ocean.  So I will continue to research along with my busy, busy writing schedule the next few months.


 



 
Where are your favorite places to live?  Why?

Old Cemeteries



What a week it has been!  Last weekend I took a drive to Pennsylvania with a friend.  I had the opportunity while I was down there to peruse an old cemetery.  I just love old cemeteries!  I love looking at the old headstones, seeing names that haven’t been used in years and just letting my imagination go wild with thoughts of what their lives were like.  This cemetery had a lot of headstones from the late 1800s.  While I was there, of course, letting my imagination work, I have come up with another plot for another book, not to mention some really cool character names.

After we return from the weekend trip, I sat down to start planning out my writing schedule for the next few months, or what I thought would be the next few months.  Well, as it turns out I have enough writing projects planned to keep me writing until early 2016!  On top of that, I will be shooting for three releases in 2015. This will mean 2015 is going to be incredibly busy as I not only keep my writing on track, but my son will also graduate from high school, I will be putting my house on the market and planning a move. Deep breath…..I can only think about this in small increments or it is extremely overloading.

But for now, I am racing on deadline to finish A Fine Line, hopefully by the end of October.  I have a special conference I’m going to in October where I will have the chance to meet Cherry Adair and have a one-on-one plot session with her for another book.  More details on all my coming projects in an upcoming newsletter.  If you don’t receive my newsletter and would like to, feel free to check my webpage for the opportunity to sign up for it.

Continuing the Journey



This week I have been battling a head cold. I love the fall in New England, but getting a head cold is just plain miserable.  However as I have rested on the couch, I have spent time reevaluating where my writing is going and where I want it to go.

As I wrote last week, I have started on this new journey of self-discovery. I have found that I have missed me, missed having the confidence that I used to have and the insane ability to think I could do anything I wanted. Well, maybe not anything….but my life goal now is to be a full time writer.

I have three books out now. As I finished my fourth book in June and am about a third away through my fifth, I have come to realize that my writing has changed as I weave myself on this journey of self discovery. My writing has become strong, much like myself. I find my female characters becoming stronger women, and although they want love and romance, they are independent and strong. They have a quiet inner strength that only comes from learning in life.  Please feel free to check out my books here.

My writing goals have expanded into having projects planned for well into next year. There will be new releases coming from me regularly, whether I continue to indie publish or continue on a path of hybrid where I will continue to work with traditional publishers as well as indie publish.

So where does this new journey take me in my personal life? Well, I continue to look for a day job that will supplement paying the bills as I am once again out of work for the third time in two years. With businesses closing, my employment has been a challenge with my last two jobs ending due to a business closing and one selling. Although I am in need of a job, my heart longs to just write full time and fill my day with filling pages with my stories that spin around in my mind.

So with another job interview tomorrow and then a road trip for some book research this weekend, I am taking notes furiously for the next few books, one of which I am dying to get started on. As soon as I finish the current one, the next one will start flowing which already I know will be a story that will be near and dear to my heart. Stay tune for more updates on the journey of my life and finding myself.

A New Journey



I have been remiss in keeping up with my blog in the past couple of years.  So today I start on a new journey, a journey that I hope you will take with me. What goes into a writer’s life? How does a writer keep up with their writing when their life is falling apart around them?

Well, I’m going to open up a bit of my life to you, my readers, to share how the passion of writing stays with me even through the curveballs that life throws at me. Two years ago I went through a divorce. It was not an easy thing to go through, as anyone who has gone through one will know. Not only did my life seem to be crumbling around me, but my future and the plans that we had made for down the road were suddenly ripped out from under me. So in the aftermath of that divorce, I found myself in a place of questioning many aspects in my life.

It was about that time that I also lost my job. So with all the curveballs being thrown my way, I took a sabbatical from writing for about a year. I just couldn’t focus on the stories within me beyond the overwhelming stress that seemed to be hitting me on every side.

As I slowly took stock of my life around me and the fact that I had a couple more years until all my kids were graduated from high school leaving me with an empty nest, I realized I had lost sight of who the real me was. For the past year I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my past and how much I have lost the joy I had in living. Don’t get me wrong. My children are an amazing source of joy to my life on a daily basis. But I had allowed myself to lose sight of ME, of what made me happy and being able to see my own strengths and abilities. I had lost myself in two bad marriages where I walked on eggshells to keep the peace. I spent so much time trying to keep an even keel in my house for the sake of my kids that I lost who I was.

In the process of coming to the realization that I need to find myself again, I have started on a journey in the past year that brings me to a place of wonder and fear. I am amazed at how much I forgot about myself and yet I am fearful for what the future holds for me as I move forward. 

So join me on this journey as I blog through finding my way back to my true self and the trials I will face over the coming year as I prepare myself to sell my house and find something smaller, as I move forward with my writing career and I find my path in this newly forming life of mine. My hope is that maybe one of you, my readers, will relate to things that I am going through and know that you’re not alone.

TRUSTING LOVE now available to preorder

I am so excited for the release of my newest book, TRUSTING LOVE due out on December 10, 2013.  This is my third book, second romantic suspense, which centers around domestic violence.  People, in my opinion, have no idea what women go through when they are abused.  It's not easy to ask for help and get out of the situation.  Women in abusive situations are run by fear and intimidation. So here is what Trusting Love is about.

CHLOE WILDER is newly pregnant and running from her abusive boyfriend.  She needs a home more than ever before.  Chloe takes refuge in Arden, Maine - a sleepy, coastal town where she finally thinks she can be safe.
JAYDEN PETERSON abandoned his career as a city cop after accidentally shooting a child. Jayden quickly agrees to fill his father’s shoes as Arden’s police chief. Determined to protect his loved ones and unsure if he can ever pull his gun again, Jayden is relieved to stay where the worst crime that will ever happen is jaywalking - or so he thinks.

You can at this time pre-order a print copy here and it will be shipped just as soon as it is available.  They make great Christmas gifts for those readers in your life.

New Release

I am so excited about my upcoming release -- TRUSTING LOVE.  It has been sent off to the editor, a release date has been set (December 10, 2013) and I am working with my cover artist to get an awesome cover, and for this book I have started working with a new marketing team.  Good things are happening!

What a process it is to get a book to the point where it is ready for release.  Writing alone is a huge process.  The steps it takes to produce a book that you hope your readers will enjoy and want to share with others. For me my writing process may be a bit different than other authors.  My first draft consists of a skeleton draft really.  I get the basic plot out and don't edit at all as I write.

The second pass through is spent putting in details, description and missing elements needed for those never ending plot twists required in suspense.  The third and fourth pass is then spent diving into the edits, changing point of views, fixing gaps in timelines or plot structure before making a final read through.  As I hit send and it goes off to my editor, I cross my fingers and hope she likes it.

Once it is off, the excitement of it all begins.  Setting the release date, working with marketing and the process of selecting picture ideas to send to the cover artists.  There is nothing like the feeling of first seeing your cover, and then the excitement all over again when the book is in your hand, a finished project.

So what is TRUSTING LOVE about?  Good question.  Here is just a little hint of what you can expect.

CHLOE WILDER is newly pregnant and running from her abusive boyfriend.  She needs a home more than ever before.  Chloe takes refuge in Arden, Maine - a sleepy, coastal town where she finally thinks she can be safe.

JAYDEN PETERSON abandoned his career as a city cop after accidentally shooting a child. Jayden quickly agrees to fill his father’s shoes as Arden’s police chief. Determined to protect his loved ones and unsure if he can ever pull his gun again, Jayden is relieved to stay where the worst crime that will ever happen is jaywalking - or so he thinks.