I'm going to keep it kind of brief this week. My get up and go, got up and went. It's only 11 p.m. as I write this, so that doesn't bode well for my Friday.
It's cold here today, and I'm grateful. First, we got fireplace doors and I want to use my fireplace since it was too late earlier this year. Plus, smores are calling my name.
Point of celebration though. I finished Bandit's story this week. It's already been sent to my editor. WHOOP! I'm trying to decide what I want to do next.
I had an idea for short stories. One that could be read in about an hour. I'm torn between setting them in the winter/Christmas and summer/beach. These would be about 40-60 pages, but they'd be complete stand-alone stories. Sort of like a bite-sized cookie. It's in the idea stage at this point. We'll see. My lightbulb moments are sometimes ten watts instead of sixty watts.
It's been a long week. The kind when your emotions are up one minute and down the next. A rollercoaster, as they say.
For the most part, I don't talk about how I'm feeling on social media. Most of the time, I don't even talk about them within my small circle of friends. Not because they don't care. Why blab about my issues? Aren't their issues equal with mine? Why add mine to theirs?
Also, it feels weird saying anything. Sometimes, I just want to say I feel icky in my heart without any comments returned. I'm not looking for advice or consoling or anything. I just need to say it so that it's out.
Feelings aren't facts. I know this to be true. I know they can be misleading. I know they can be flat out wrong. I know they can sway rationality into irrantionality. Feelings are strong. They push and pull and grab and claw.
They make things worse than what they really are.
They make it hard to be still and know.
They cloud truth. Create doubt. Feed insecurities.
All that to say, yeah, it's been a long week. I wish I had answers. More often than not, I'm left with more questions.
Psalm 118:5. And in my anguish, I cried out to the Lord and He rescued me by setting me free.
I'm crying out, but what does freedom look like? Another answer I don't have at the moment.
For now, I'm a forty-six year old housewife with a husband, two kids, four cats who still loves carbs way more than she should.
Maybe the take away is you do your best with what you have and hope with all the hope that is in you that it's enough. Not for anyone else, but yourself. One can hope, right?
Okay, that's enough of my rambling melancholy heart poured out.
Hi teachers (both public and homeschoolers),
If you're thinking this looks familiar, I did offer this last Halloween. If you're seeing it for the first time, then yay! I hope you can use it.
This is a short story about two little girls taking on Snow White's Seven Dwarves. I purposefully left it open-ended to foster speculation and creativity. If you think it might be fun for your class to read, you are welcome to it.
It's not super scary, and I did that on purpose as well. Some children want to participate in Halloween but ghosts and goblins are too much for them.
Anyway, I'm sending this out now so that if you were needing something fun for your class, you can prepare. Otherwise, it's just a fun little story that I hope you and your children will enjoy.
Thanks, teachers. You bear a lot of responsibility and this just my way of showing appreciation.
This is my formal permission to use this book in a classroom setting. You are allowed to print as many copies as you need. All I ask is for attribution. Should you take this to a printer such as Office Max or other print companies and they have any questions, they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This book is not to be printed for profit. I maintain the copyright and all rights contained therein.
And hello October. This year has both crept along so slowly it's almost painful and moved so quickly that it feels like I was doing a quarter-mile in a muscle car.
I've already seen Christmas stuff getting put out, and pumpkin spice everything is in my local grocery store. I'm not dissing it, but that particular flavor seems to grow from one year to the next.
Personally, I'm waiting on the egg nog. Oh, man, I love that stuff! I'm glad it's only available a few months of the year. I'd be the gal they'd be taking a wall down to carry out if it was an all-year thing. Maybe. It may be one of those things that you'd get tired of. Still, I'm glad it has a limited time so there's no temptation to test the theory.
When we bought our house in April, it was a little too late to use the fireplace. We needed a cap as that was in the inspector's report. So, this past couple of weeks, my husband got it ready for the season. To our delight, it works perfectly. We need doors on it, but other than that, it's fantastic.
It's been a long time since we've had a fireplace and our girls love it. They like roasting things: marshmallows, hot dogs, Vienna Sausages (sorry, nope, don't like them), and s'mores. We had a few of those extra-large marshmallows and those were fun! I had to be patient to get the inside hot, though, but it was totally worth it.
Other than that, life has been rather uneventful since returning from vacation. I'm expecting the young adult romance back from my proofreader any time now and I'm working on Bandit's story every day. I hope to have it to my editor in the next couple of weeks.
Well, I think we've established that I'm weird about book covers. You're probably thinking, wasn't this titled something else?
Yes, yes it was.
I wasn't happy with the title or the cover so I scrapped the whole thing and started from scratch. I'm finally happy with what I put together.
This will be my first YA. (Well, YA romance focused novel. I do have one that is a Christian Urban Fantasy, but it hasn't been edited.)
I have a sixteen (almost seventeen year old), and I tried hard to think about how I'd feel if she was reading this book geared to her age. I try to make all my books something I don't have to hide from her, but this one especially.
I care about your children too. I don't like the idea of teenagers put in situations they aren't...mentally ready for. Just because teenagers have hormones, doesn't mean they have to act on them. I'm a firm believer in letting children be children.
Which brings me back to this YA. Not saying you shouldn't read it. I'm also a firm believer that we all have our comfort zones when it comes to our kids. We have to do what we think is best. Just know, that I did try to balance reality while also honoring the trust I've been given.
I do hope you'll love it. I sure tried hard to make it awesome.
Okay, that's it for me. It's been a while since I've published a new book, and I'm still just as nervous as I was the first time I hit publish back in March of 2018. I'm not sure that'll ever stop.
Whew. Who knew nine days could fly that fast?
We left on September 5th and got back around ten this past Monday night. It was one humdinger of a trip too. Honestly, I could have stayed longer. It was so nice to get away.
The route we took basically had us going in a U-shape. Our first stop was Mount Rushmore, the Custer Battlefield was next, and we did a detour to Devil's Tower before reaching Yellowstone National Park.
On the way to Yellowstone, we were told about a little road called Beartooth Pass. Oh. My. Word.
A madman must have designed that thing. We were going around curves that were more close to u-turns than actual curves. And the things we had to look out for?
Rocks on road, falling rocks, rock slides, avalanches, bears, deers, cows, pedestrians, horses, 11% grades, and a host of other things. Good grief. And if you did happen to stray off the road, there was not a thing to stop you. You were Thelma and Louise-style-going out with a bang. It was the squiggliest road ever.
Yellowstone was beautiful though. Minus the sulfur stuff. Wow, did that stuff stink! We were at the Dragon's Mouth (I think that's what it's called.) and the wind shifted directions. That stuff was in my mouth, up my nose, and gagging me. It was then I realized that whoever came up with the bog of eternal stench had visited that area. Cause stench it was. Wowza.
We didn't see any bears, but we saw a bison on the road--and then a whole herd. Seriously, those things are huge! My husband was driving and I kept telling him to slow down. That thing gave us the side-eye. It had horns too! I kept thinking, my car is going to get horned by a bison because my husband won't stop. It didn't attack so I was grateful for that.
We saw plenty of deer. They seemed to be everywhere. Oh, and we saw Antelope too. That was super neat.
Old Faithful. What a sight. They said it'd go off at 7:42 pm plus or minus ten minutes. It went off at 7:32. What a thing to behold. That it can be counted on like that.
Kind of like Christ. We don't know when He'll come to the rescue sometimes, but we know He's there. I think knowing He's there gives peace.
I can't begin to describe how incredible the scenery was. Hills and mountains and waterfalls. Skys painted with oranges and golds and reds. I just can't see how those things could come to be if not by the hand of a Creator deliberately shaping those things.
How's everyone doing? It's September. Pumpkin Spice has roared onto the scene. I have to admit, the number of products sporting that flavor has increased dramatically from year to year. I'm half expecting toilet paper any minute.
I'm not picking on anyone. I love my share of Pumpkin Spice too, but it does seem to be everywhere and in everything. It has lost some of its appeal now that anything and everything smells like it.
I do love the cinnamon pine cones now greeting me as I enter the local grocery store. Those things smell divine.
There are several things to talk about this week. One, I'm still working on Bandit's story. A little slower this week as I prepare my family for a vacation involving a thirteen+ hour roadtrip. I think total roundtrip, we're looking at over thirty hours. That's a lot of hours!
The next thing is I've changed the Fake Marriage series...again. I know, I know. I have cover issues. I've just never been completely happy with them. I'll be showing off the covers down below. Hopefully, they're easier to read and prettier than the last ones.
I've been working on Bandit's story this week. I've officially hit the 10k mark. All those words feel good too. Hopefully, I have more when his story is done. I'd really like to do Britney Wolf's story. I know many have been asking for hers, and she needs one.
What do you all want to see for her? I see her loving Sage Valley, and finding her place there. All her brothers are married, and it's her turn. I can see her loving a simple life with a simple guy. What about you? Let me know what you think.
Like I did with Bandit, I'm giving you all a sneak peek of Skye Alvarez, a raven haired, sacasticly sweet lady. She'll be Bandit's balance. Just remember, it's not edited. Things can and do change during editing. I've gotten better, but my editor is still polishing this writer's stone.
I'll keep it short this week. I've got a word count goal I'm trying to meet. :)
Just click here if you'd like to read about Skye.
So, it's been a unique week for me. As many of you know, I haven't been writing much. A little here and there. Certainly, not like I was a year ago. My candle was burned to the bottom of the wick and I didn't know how to fix it.
But, something happened this week. I don't really know what, but I'm going to call it an answer to prayer because I have been praying.
A lot. Or what felt like a lot.
I go through periods where sometimes I wonder if God is really listening. LIke, maybe He needs a hearing aid or something. I mean, I'm talking. I'm trying to hear Him, but the conversation feels completely one sided.
I know that's not true. I do. Feelings aren't facts and all that jazz. Still, sometimes the heart and the head are in a battle of wills and they're so loud, everything else is drowned out.
But back to this week. I've written about nine thousand words this week. Two of those on a book I know many of you have been asking about and waiting for.
That man has been begging for a story since last year. I've struggled figuring out his happily ever after because...I don't want to disappoint anyone. When you've waited for something, you want it to be good.
So do I.
I don't know that I can express my appreciation for you fine folks for reading my books, sending me emails filled with encouragement, and everything in between. You've given my family a new life. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to properly say thanks. You, my readers, have blessed me beyond measure and you continue do to so.
I want Bandit's story to be every bit the great book that you want it to be and I'm going to do my best to deliver that.
With that in mind though, I thought I'd give you all a first chapter sneak peek. I normally don't do that until my editor has gone through it, but I'm happy with this chapter. I think you will be too.
Once I finish this current YA I'm working on, Bandit is next. I didn't want to pile a ton of text into this email. I know that can be a real pain. So, I've attached a link where you can go on my website and read it. I hope you enjoy it.
The Jilted Bride's Billionaire Husband
Well, this week flew by. I almost feel side swiped. Did it feel that way to you? It's like Ms. Doubtfire...it was a fly by fruiting. Only it was days instead of actual fruit.
The hubby and I did decide it's time for a vacation. It's been more than a year, and we're definitely feeling it. We've decided to see Mt. Rushmore, the Custer Battlefield, and then Yellowstone. I've never been to any of them and neither have my girls. So, a bucket list item is getting crossed off.
I'm pretty excited. I think it'll be fun just getting away and regrouping. Plus, it's educational. It's one thing to read about something, it's another to actually see it.