Apr 23, 2014

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Book 3 Title: The winner is…

Shimmer

So I’ve had this word on my Book 3 title list for a while because it’s a pretty word and I use it a couple of times in the story. When I was going through my whole list of words and looking them up in the dictionary, trying to decide, one definition jumped out at me:

a wavering, sometimes distorted visual image.

The main character, Chandler, has been pretending to be someone else, actually many someone elses for the last four years. And giving off a distorted view of herself. I like it. And I think it’ll make a pretty cover. So here you go, 

 

         Shimmer

                                        

 

P.S. Kind of relieved I don’t have to call it “Book 3″ anymore. Whew.

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Apr 16, 2014

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Boring the Muse

 

Calmness... Sometimes people ask me where I get my inspiration for my books. I’m sure other authors get asked this same question all the time and I know most times they say they get them from real life. And that is true for me as well but mostly my muse is easily bored. This is a good thing because it means I can get her to tell me a story.

I ask her what if questions, she creates characters and decides what kind of trouble to get them into. Recently I brainstormed a story I had with a friend and came up with a plan  for my next series. I hadn’t totally figured out who this character was yet though. What his motivation was or why he was the way he was.

You see he’s kind of, what’s a nice word for it? Unapproachable. Like really unapproachable. He doesn’t talk to anyone. If they try to talk to him he gives them a verbal smackdown. If they continue he’s not above starting a brawl.  This is odd because he’s in high school and usually teenagers are all about fitting in. Huh.

So I like him. No surprise what with my bad boy problem and all but still I wanted to know more. The muse was uncooperative. She would not spill. How annoying. I poked and prodded at her, trying to get her to give up the goods. No way. Not interested. Sometimes she likes to keep things to herself for awhile.

So I had written part of the first scene and I was stuck. I went to the gym and was running on the treadmill, music blaring in my ears when, BAM. She told me who he was and why. Yes! I love when that happens. I’m a few thousand words in and I can’t wait to see what kind of mess he’s going to get himself into. I know it’s going to be epic.

I share excerpts of all my books to my newsletter list first so if you’re interested, sign up below!

 

P.S. Giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one of my newsletter subscribers this Friday so sign up!

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photo by: VinothChandar

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Apr 14, 2014

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Stage Fright

 theatre curtain

I have horrible stage fright. I’ve had it my whole life. You know the kind I’m talking about. The shaking, turning white, and instantly sweating through my shirt kind of stage fright. I hate public speaking and being the center of attention. Last year when Breathe won the RONE award and I had to walk up on stage to accept? Terrified. I tried to convince my husband to go up there for me.

Thankfully they had a cover model to walk me across the stage. Why do they make you do these things all dressed up? I would have done better in my sweats and Free Runs. My knees were knocking. I didn’t even know that was a real thing.

By the time I said my brief thank you in front of three hundred people and made it to the back of the room, I was crying and shaking. I must have looked like a complete disaster because one of the volunteers back there gave me a hug and let me stand with her until I could make it back to my seat safely in my high heels.

So fast forward to last month when Beth Yarnall, a friend and fabulous author, asked me to do a reading of Breathe. In front of people. Uhhh. Now here’s the thing, I hate being scared of anything. As a child I was afraid of everything and it held me back from doing so many things.

Since becoming an adult I have done a lot of things that scared me. On purpose. I don’t ever want fear to hold me back or keep me from doing something important. So I said yes. I think the fact that the date was a month away probably helped. I just didn’t think about it.

Guess what? Today’s the day. I’m going to be reading an excerpt of Breathe at Lady Jane’s Salon in Orange County along with some other really fabulous authors: Brenna Aubrey, Jewel Quinlan and GVR Corcillo.  I am happy to be in such good company but still terrified.

I know this will be a good thing for me and in some ways I’m excited about it. Fear is only useful to keep you from walking down dark alleys at night. Not for keeping you from moving forward towards a goal.  So off I go to Orange County to hopefully not completely embarrass myself or Beth. I’ll report back and let you know how I did!

P. S. Friday I’m going to be giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one of my newsletter subscribers so be sure to sign up so you can be entered!

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Mar 31, 2014

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Book Signing Fun

AUTL14 signing pic

I was traveling all last week and didn’t get a chance to blog but I wanted to share how much fun the Authors Under the Lights book signing was.  I met some really fabulous readers and writers. I gave away a ton of books, made some great connections and helped raise some money for Hazel and her family. So awesome.

I also had a great time with my group of family and friends who came out to support me and the cause.  They were so sweet to show up and hang out all day. What a fabulous support system I have. I’m so blessed.

I’m super excited about what’s coming up in the next few months. I’m going to be teaching  a class on Social Media for the Confused and Terrified for OCCRWA in April.  It starts April 14 and will be taught online. You can sign up here. It’s $20 for OCCRWA members and $30 for nonmembers. We are going to have a great time and work really hard at improving our Social Media skills. I have a ton of resources and it will be very interactive. No sitting back and reading here. I’m going to put you to work!

The next book is about 6-8 weeks from publication! Woot! Finally. The good news is the next book after that is done as well. I will be sending out an excerpt of the next book in the Breathe series to my email list at the end of the week so be sure to sign up for my email list below! I still don’t have a title for it (I’m so bad at coming up with titles) So after you read it, please feel free to email me with any ideas! I will give away a $50 gift card to Amazon to the person who comes up with the title I use!

I’m also going to be giving the people on my email list an opportunity to read and review the book first so be sure to sign up!

Have a blessed day!

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Mar 21, 2014

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The Goings On Around Here

Books to be returned...

Just some quick updates on the goings on around here. I’m guest blogging today on the lovely Nancy Lee Badger’s blog.  I’m talking about my London trip and my muse and I”ve posted a little blurb about the new book!  Nancy Lee is a fabulous romance writer who writes Scottish Highland Romance novels. She’s incredibly knowlegable about Scottish history. Pretty fascinating stuff. Check out her blog here.

Tomorrow I’ll be at the Universal Hilton in Universal City for the Authors Under the Lights booksigning charity event. The proceeds benefit “Hope for Hazel” a foundation set up to help Hazel, a toddler with Neuroblastoma. Here is a link to the blog about the adorable Hazel. It’s going to be a fabulous event so if you’re looking for something to do in Southern California tomorrow come see us. It’s free between 12-3 if you get your tickets today. There aren’t too many events in So Cal that can say that! You need to have a ticket to get in so be sure to go to the site and get your tickets before you go!

Doing a Breathe Giveaway this week so go check that out on Nancy Lee’s blog or on my FB Page!

 

Have a fabulous weekend!

 

 

photo by: Hash Milhan

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Mar 19, 2014

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Heroes: No Greater Love – Rudy

 

Rudy and me This is a post I wrote last year and I am reblogging it today in honor of Rudy. He left us three years ago today and is in Glory with his Lord and Savior.  I was blessed to know him. 

I used to think of heroes as older than me. In the last year or so I realized this is not always the case. My daughter went to a very small Christian school. She had a graduating class of 35. So everyone knew everyone really well.

I first met Rudy when he and my daughter were in the eighth grade. I decided to go on the eighth grade Washington, D.C trip. It really was kind of selfish on my part. I love history and I had never been there. There were a lot of boys on that trip. I had not had a ton of experience with thirteen year old boys at the time but I did notice they were loud and had a lot of energy. They got in trouble the first night we arrived when we went to the National Archives. I did notice almost right away that Rudy was quiet and pretty well behaved compared to most of them and never had to be spoken to.

One morning we were making sure all of the teenagers were accounted for. Rudy and his two roommates were alone in their room because we didn’t have enough male chaperones. So parents had been knocking on their door for 45 minutes and no answer. Calls to their room resulted in the same. Was something wrong? Had they run off? Had they been kidnapped by some crazy person? We found them dressed ready to go downstairs. They had eaten breakfast and were waiting for us in the dining room. Rudy looked at us like we were crazy. Of course he was up. Weren’t we leaving in a few minutes? This I found interesting. My children didn’t get up on their own. Ever. At 21 and almost 17 they still don’t.

In the next couple of years I watched Rudy. He was a sweet kid and he did everything with his whole heart. During Spirit Week he painted his whole body red and shaved his head except for the letters of the school which he left in the back. He put his all into the games and winning for his class.

In their junior and senior years I got to work with Rudy in the plays the Drama Department put on. I did props, costumes and whatever else. I was surprised to find that Rudy had gotten a pretty large part. He had always seemed kind of quiet to me. Shows what I knew. He was quite the ham. When he got out there it was like someone flipped a switch. Funny thing though getting him there was a bit of a thing. He didn’t care much for memorizing lines. Their drama teacher, his dad and I all gave him grief over it. “Rudy you have to know your lines! You are the only one that doesn’t!” The other kids in the play would roll their eyes. He would look at us all and just smile. “No worries Mrs. Dillon.” We, of course, would all worry. He knew he would get it. He didn’t get why we all didn’t have a little faith. Come opening night we would be sitting on pins and needles. “Does he know them? Has he got it? You bet he did. And everybody loved him.

In his senior year he told me he was thinking about going into the military. My first response was “Are you kidding?” He wanted to help people. He wanted to be a medic. Maybe be a paramedic or even a doctor when he got out. I told him I had not signed off on that. He just laughed and said “It’ll be good, Mrs. Dillon.”

After graduation he went to boot camp and training to be a medic. He wrote me letters and I sent him pictures. I worried about him and prayed for him and his family. When he went to Afghanistan the real worry began. He came home on leave after about six months and when I saw him I thought, he’s not a kid anymore, he’s a man. He looked and acted different. He must have seen a lot while he was there. He still gave me a big hug. While he was home his pastor asked how they could pray for him. He didn’t ask for prayer for himself. He wanted them to pray for the people of Afghanistan. I was so proud of him. He had grown into an amazing young man.

March 19, 2011 I was at a baseball game for the school. Someone, I can’t even remember who it was now, came up to me at the snack bar where I was working. “Did you hear?” Hear what? What was going on? “Rudy was killed in action.” No. It couldn’t be. This was not real. It was unthinkable.

Unfortunately it was true. Rudy Acosta was killed in Afghanistan. Shot by an Afghan national who had been hired to protect him. Him and the people around him weren’t even armed. They were on their base loading a vehicle with supplies.

Rudy saved at least two peoples lives that day and gave his. When I think back on what I knew about Rudy I realized he always seemed confident and at peace with what he was doing. He loved his family, his country and his Lord Jesus. He knew his destiny was in the Lord’s hands and he was good with that. He laid down his life for his friends and I know he was good with that too. We all miss him here but I am happy to say I will see him again. Can’t wait for that big hug in Heaven. I’m pretty sure there will be a long line but that’s okay. For a hug from one of my heroes? I’ll wait.

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13

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Mar 17, 2014

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Bulldog Neurosis

Brutus Neurosis My bulldog is neurotic as well as lazy. I suppose this shouldn’t shock me after six years of this kind of behavior but I’m still surprised at how undoglike he really is.

We were woken up to a small, by California standards anyway, but rocking earthquake this morning.  Brutus, my English Bulldog, slept right through it. The picture you see here is the same position he was in before, during and after the earthquake. Except his eyes never opened.  I know this because I could hear him snoring. Seriously? I thought dogs were supposed to be more sensitive to these things?  More and more proof that he isn’t a real dog but more of a stunted toddler.

He was his difficult self  this weekend so the earthquake thing just tops it off. We went camping over Saturday night. At this particular spot there was no designated dog run.  Uh-oh.  To add to Brutus’ list of neurosis he will not pee (or anything else) if he does not have a designated “area”.  My husband and I and other people we were with, walked this dog no less than twenty times in the time span of about 5 hours and still no luck. He just refused.

Finally around 5:30 in the morning he was ready.  He was doing the dance. Up and back. Get up, Mom! Out I trek into the cold, darkness. Where does he choose? Directly behind the motorhome where we’d been leading him the night before, over and over. Sigh. Fifteen hours later, he finally peed. There is something wrong with this dog. Most boy dogs are happy to pee all over everything in sight. Not this one.

And don’t get me started on the drool he left all over my window on the drive up and back in my car.  Good thing he’s cute. And how can you not love that face? I’m a sucker I know. What else is new?

Want updates on what Brutus is up to? Follow me on Twitter!

 

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