Archive | March, 2012

Where did March go?

31 Mar

I can’t believe it is the end of March already. This year is just flying so far! The weather is gorgeous. The grass is just starting to green, the fruit trees are blooming, the aspens are budding leaves and showing their seed tails, the daffodils are cheerily bobbing in the brees, and the air is warm and scented with blossoms and soil.

I really want to dig in the yard today, but the first priority is spring cleaning on the house! I’ve convinced the teenagers that if we clean this weekend, they won’t have to do it next weekend, during spring break.

The happiest of all in my crazy household about the warm weather are the bunnies. They are house rabbits, but the big yard at the side of the house is fenced off specifically as a play area for them. The dogs are friendly with the rabbits, but they play rough, so the bunnies are better off in a secure yard. They went out yesterday  to enjoy the sunshine.

Meet the boys! Smokey Jr. is the gray mixed breed on the right. He is a rescue, found abandoned in a parking lot, covered with grease from hiding under a truck. Who knows where the paint on his ears came from.

On the left is Oyster, a black satin. Also a rescue, he came to us with cigarette burns on his neck.

Next is Chelsea. She is a chinchilla rabbit. Though she came from a pet store, she is truly a rescue as well. She’d spent her first year at the store, living in a plastic tub with a wire top that was too small for her to stand vertically in or even stretch out all the way. The store owner said the only people who wanted her were those looking for snake food, and she just couldn’t sell her for that. I’ll never forget putting Chelsea on the grass for the first time. It took her several days to learn how to be a free bunny, to run and jump and stand straight up, but the other bunns taught her well. Especially patient Oyster, who adored her until she gave in and bonded with him.

Finally, we have Brownie. She is nine, our oldest bunny. The rabbit life span is usually seven to ten years, so we’re grateful for every day she’s with us. She’s outlived two mates before her current love, Smokey Jr. Not that Smokey had it easy with her. Brownie made him beg for her love for a couple of months before she gave in and decided he was a good choice for a mate. Brownie has bad teeth that don’t align properly. Most rabbits will wear down their constantly growing teeth as they eat and chew on wood treats. Brownie’s teeth don’t wear down, so once a month she visits the vet to have her teeth trimmed.  Oh, in case you’re wondering, all of these rabbits have been spayed/neutered. There are enough homeless, abandoned bunnies in the world. We rescue, we don’t breed.

Time to take the bunnies out for more fun in the yard. How is your weather? Do you have fun plans for the weekend?

It’s FREE! Two Days Only

29 Mar

I’m running a promotion on Amazon. Mending Fences is FREE on Thursday, March 29, and Friday, March 30! Here are links:  Amazon    Amazon UK

A quick recipe for Mending Fences, a sensual contemporary romance…

Take one reformed hotshot CEO playing rancher. Add one strong woman, an abuse survivor with a lot of secrets. Toss together for one searing kiss on Halloween, then separate. Fold in a slightly deformed pet bison who creates accidental serendipity. Stir together. Add discoveries, revelations, angst, heartbreak, suspense, and generous helpings of both healing and sexual tension. Layer with family relationships and a secondary love story and simmer to a Happy Ever After.

Don’t miss it! Download a copy before Friday at Midnight, PDT.

Playing Catch Up

27 Mar

Wow, almost a week since my last post. Granted, leaving the tribute to my dad up for a while was part of the plan, but then the weekend got away from me, and, well, here we are at Tuesday.

So, here’s a quick peek at Lucy’s Life at this moment:

  • I’m prepping for my first big Amazon promotion for Mending Fences.
  • I’m working on Finding Refuge, the second in this loosely tied series begun with MF. Tentative release is May ’12.
  • I sketched out a novella yesterday (at least I think it will be that short). It’s a time travel romance with a twist. Tentative release is June-July ’12.
  • I’m also spending time on the first in a sort of SF-ish paranormal romance series. I’ve had the individual books partly written for ages. Now I’m working on the overall series structure to make sure everything works together as well as separate. Some serious alpha males in this series, very bad boys. The first of these should release this fall.

Outside of writing, this week’s list includes spring cleaning the house, including the mess that is the storage room. It also includes finding the top of my desk, which should be declared at least a local-level disaster. The dogs need grooming, the roses need pruning, and the tree guy is coming to advise us on proper shaping of fruit trees on Friday.

Doesn’t sound like a whole lot. Trust me, it’s enough to keep me out of trouble for the week.

Please come back and visit on Thursday for the start of the Mending Fences promo!

Happy Birthday, Dad!

21 Mar

Today, my dad turns 79. No one would know, just looking at him, that he’s 79. He looks at least 15 years younger, and he acts it, too. The man still puts in full days at work, and he’s in construction, so it’s not a cushy desk job. My dad is an amazing man, a worthy hero. He’s not my birth father. He came into my life when I was a young teen. What makes him so remarkable is that he not only accepted stepchildren, but he never treated us like anything less than his own kids. He didn’t merely put up with raising us, he embraced it.

My dad taught me that men are supposed to work hard to support the ones they love, and play with them just as hard. That a man’s word should be inextricably tied to his honor. He’s a real man, a man’s man, a spiritual man, a man with true compassion who is moved by the plight of others. He’s a Korean war veteran who knows the meaning of service, both in the military and out. He’s strong enough to be firm when needed and yet a gentle and kind soul. He’s old school, yet always willing to try new things. He’s seen and done and experienced so very many things in nearly four score years of life, yet he’s an unassuming man who just goes about his business. He enjoys people and always has a ready handshake and a smile for friends old and new…because there are no strangers, just friends he hasn’t met yet. He loves his dog, his BYU sports teams, and tinkering in his yard.

I don’t call him dad because he expected it, or demanded it, or because he was a figurehead. He earned it. He put in the time, the work, the patience, the tears. He deserves it. My father died when I was four years old, so I claim the privilege of choosing my dad. I chose Frank. I will forever be grateful for his presence in my life. I am so incredibly blessed. Happy birthday, Dad! You really are the greatest!

Going Exclusive with Amazon

18 Mar

Since the launch of Mending Fences, I’ve been very methodical about promotion and learning where I could create movement. Some techniques work for generating sales, some don’t. While I’ve sold across all venues, the majority of my sales happen at Amazon.

Amazon offers tools to an author that have serious potential to increase visibility and drive sales. There is a price to be paid, though. An ebook must be sold exclusively through Amazon to use those tools.

So, I’m planning to move Mending Fences exclusively to Amazon for a 90-day period, not only to help it along, but also with an eye toward better visibility for Finding Refuge when it is released in May. The paperback book will not be exclusive, just the ebook version.

If you want Mending Fences in an ebook format other than for the Kindle, you might want to pick up a copy today. Otherwise, my books are DRM-free, so if you buy the book from Amazon, you can convert it to your desired format using software such as Calibre (which is awesome, I might add).

Any questions?

And the Winners are…

17 Mar

We had an amazing blog hop yesterday! Over 7,800 comments were posted over the course of the hop.

My blog’s winning comment (as selected by random.org) is: Books4me! She won a $10 Amazon Gift Card, and a paperback copy of my book, Mending Fences. Congratulations!

FYI, the Grand Prize winners for the entire hop were:

Choice of Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet: Comment #136, Melissa L, posting on Carrie Ann Ryan’s blog

Choice of $90 Amazon or B&N Gift Card: Comment #4186 from Wendy Smith’s blog

I’ll be participating in another Blog Hop in April, so I hope to see you all back again for a visit and a shot at more prizes!

St. Patrick’s Day Blog Hop: Siamsa Time!

16 Mar

Welcome to my stop on your St. Patrick’s Day Blog Hop! I’m thrilled to have you here!

My grandfather was Irish (my maiden name is Maher), and I’ve always been proud to have a bit of Irish in me.

I’d always wanted to try Irish step dancing, partly due to heritage, and partly because it just looks and sounds so very cool! A year ago on March 15 (oooooh, Beware the Ides of March), I blew out my knee during a taekwondo class. After surgery to replace the ACL and six months of rehab, I decided it was time for a new activity. After years of suggesting Irish dance as a mother/daughter activity to the Princess, she finally gave in, and we joined a school.

I’m not fantastic at it yet…still have a bit of trouble translating the steps from brain to feet! But it’s enormously fun and I only wish I’d started years ago. To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, I’ll be dancing in my first Siamsa (pronounced SHAMsuh, it’s basically a big Irish party), with hundreds of other dancers, musicians, and assorted folk turning out to celebrate the day when everyone can be Irish! How will you celebrate?

Leave a comment for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card from me, and to have a shot at one of the hop’s Grand Prizes: Your choice of a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet, or your choice of a $90 Amazon or B&N Gift Card!

Oh, before you go, here’s the recipe for my current contemporary romance, Mending Fences…

Take one reformed hotshot CEO playing rancher. Add one strong woman, an abuse survivor with a lot of secrets. Toss together for one searing kiss on Halloween, then separate. Fold in a slightly deformed pet bison who creates serendipity by accident.  Stir together. Add discoveries, revelations, angst, heartbreak, suspense, and generous helpings of both healing and sexual tension. Layer with family relationships and a secondary love story and simmer to a Happy Ever After.

Opening taste: Curran Shaw treasured his anonymity, but maintaining it required solitude. And the damned solitude was killing him.

Available in paperback and ebook.

Kindle:  http://amzn.to/yJy1Af     Nook: http://bit.ly/xgLD9O     Smashwords: http://bit.ly/wHtLGm     ARe: http://bit.ly/ybSwtV

Enjoy the rest of the blog hop!

Carrie Ann Ryan www.carrieannryan.blogspot.com
Lia Davis www.authorliadavis.com/blog/
Jesse Kimmel – Freeman http://bellanottethebook.weebly.com/blog.html
Heather Thurmeier heatherthurmeier.com
Gem Savid www.gemsivad.com/blog/
Emily Cale www.emilycale.blogspot.com
Kharisma Rhayne www.kharismarhayne.com
Megan Slayer http://theauthormeganslayer.blogspot.com/
Wendi Zwaduk wendizwaduk.blogspot.com/
Marie Dees mariedees.com
Cassandra Carr http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com/wordpress
Cynthia Woolf www.cynthiawoolf.com/blog
Sandra Bunio Sandrabunino.com
Vannessa Kelly/VK Sykes vanessakellyauthor.com/vanessa-blog/
Tracy Sumner tracysumner.com/blog
Lousia Bacio louisabacio.blogspot.com
Kacey Hammell http://kaceyhammellkreations.blogspot.com/p/st-patricks-day-blog-hop.html
Casia Major caseamajor.wordpress.com/
Eliza Gayle www.elizagayle.net/blog
Natasha Blackthorne http://natashablackthorneblog.blogspot.com/
Allison Merritt havenovelwilledit.blogspot.com
Sandra Sookoo sandrasookoo.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/st-pattys-day-blog-hop-its-not-easy-being-green/
Tara Lain taralain.blogspot.com
Lila Shaw http://lilashaw.com/2012/03/16/st-patricks-day-blog-hop/
Dianne Hartsock diannehartsock.wordpress.com/my-blog/
Ella Jade http://www.ellajadeauthor.blogspot.com/
Bella Street http://www.bellastreetwrites.blogspot.com/
In a Dream Beyond inadreambeyond.blogspot.com
Jessica E. Subject markofthestars.com
H.D. Tomson www.hdthomson.com
A Girl with a Computer http://www.agirlwithacomputer.blogspot.com/
Dakota Trace alittlebitofnaughty.blogspot.com/
Stephanie Draven www.stephaniedraven.com
Welcome to the Island (DX lux) welcome-to-the-island-of-dxluc.blogspot.com/
Chrisinte Quintessence  christineleovlealand-author.blogspot.com/
Tommy Bull Qutntessence http://bullprotettoremurdermysteries.blogspot.com/
Stephanie Queen www.StephanieQueen.com
Leigth Ellwod leighwantsfood.blogspot.com
Linda Andrews http://lindaandrews.wordpress.com/
Lizze Star – Starry words starrwords.blogspot.com
K.E. Saxon www.kesaxon.blogspot.com
Skye Warren skyewarren.com/blog
Veronica Scott veronicascott.wordpress.com/
Lissa Matthews lissamatthews.com/blog
Life is a First Draft (Rebecca Clark) rebeccajclark.blogspot.com
Keta Diablo ketaskeep.blogspot.com
Victoria Adams victoriaadams.blogspot.com/
Daryl Devore myeroticnotions.blogspot.com/
Adriana Kraft adrianakraft.com/blog
Kaye Manro kayemanro.blogspot.com
Amber Kallyn amberkallyn.wordpress.com
Romance Book Club (Joyce) blog.romance-book-club.com/2012/01/st-patrick-day-bloghop-gift-card.html
A Writers (Kathryn Blake) kathrynrblake.blogspot.com/
Pippa Jay pippajay.blogspot.com/
Erica Pike eripike.blogspot.com
Diane Alberts dianealberts.com
Michael Mandrake tabooindeed.blogspot.com
Nikki Brandyberry nikkibrandyberry.wordpress.com/
Gabrielle Bissett gbisset.blogspot.com/
Tamaria Soana tamariasoana.blogspot.com/
Katey Hawthorn www.kateyhawthorne.com/
She Likes it Verbal (Sarah Bella) http://shelikesitverbal.com/blog/
Ranea Rose www.ranaerose.blogspot.com
Selah Janel www.selahjanel.wordpress.com
Zilah Anderson http://zillahanderson.wordpress.com/
Cari Quinn cariquinn.blogspot.com
Briana Courtney brinacourtney.blogspot.com
Jorja Lovett jorja-lovett.blogspot.com/
Get Intimate with History (Anna Markland) http://annamarklandromanceauthor.blogspot.com/
Jennifer Lynne jenniferlynne.com.au/blog
Breathless Press www.breathlessblog.com/
Stephanie Haefner http://www.stephaniehaefnerthewriter.com/
Lisa Kumar lisakumar.blogspot.com/
Close Encounters (Nikki) http://closeencounterswiththenightkind.blogspot.com/
Liana Brooks www.lianabrooks.com
Tory Michaels www.torymichaels.com
Best Erotica (Jemma) best-erotica-books.blogspot.com
Wendy Smith  http://www.wendysmithbooks.blogspot.com/
SL Carpenter slcarpenter.blogspot.com/
Day Dreaming daydrmzzz.blogspot.com/
The Ebook Reviewers (Viari Rose) http://theebookreviewers.blogspot.com/
Dark Haven Book Reviews http://www.darkhavenbookreviews.com/
BooksAreCool www.booksarecool.com
DC Juris dcjuris.blogspot.com/
Roz Lee www.authorrozlee.blogspot.com
Le Ann Sontheimer Murphy http://leeannsontheimermurphywriterauthor.blogspot.com/
Realmantic Moments http://realmanticmoments.blogspot.com/
Angela Stone http://www.angelastone.ca/blog-3
Brea Essex breaessex.wordpress.com
Writing Utopia  
Beth-Ann Mason http://www.bethannmason.com/st-patricks-day-its-all-about-the-tradition/
Jennifer Lowery http://jenniferloweryauthor.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/st-patricks-day-blog-hop/
Harlies Books harliebooks.blogspot.com
Modern Mythic Romance http://www.sherifredricks.com/apps/blog/
JM Madden jmmadden.blogspot.com/
Lucy Francis www.lucyfrancis.net
Jennfier Probst www.jenniferprobst.com
Aine Massie apmassie.com
Vickie Taylor www.VickieTaylor.com
The Regeny Inkwell http://theregencyinkwell.wordpress.com/
A Diamond in the Dark www.akmarshall.com
Michele Hart http://michelehart.blogspot.com/
Vicki Batman vickibatman.blogspot.com
Kristine Cayne http://kristinecayne.blogspot.com/
Norah Wilson http://norahwilsonwrites.com/wordpress/
Angelique Armae http://angeliquearmae.blogspot.com/
Lisa Mondello www.lisamondello.blogspot.com
JL Oiler www.joiler.weebly.com
Linda Frazier lyndafrazier.blogspot.com
Stacy Juba stacyjuba.com/blog/blog/
Liz Crowe www.brewingpassion.com
Heaven Oshey http://theworldofheavenoshey.blogspot.com/
Patricia Green www.patriciagreenbooks.com
Cat Kalen www.catkalen.com/blog/
Madeline Sloane www.madelinesloane.com/
Jenna Jaxon jennajaxon.wordpress.com
Dianne Ventta www.diannevenetta.com
The Jeep Diva www.thejeepdiva.com/
Margay Leah Justice margayleahjustice.blogspot.com
Leia Shaw www.leiashaw.blogspot.com
JoAnne Kenrick www.joannekenrick.com
Rose Gordon http://rosesromanceramblings.wordpress.com/

Remembering to Rejuvenate

14 Mar

Today was my day off. Doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, does it? In my world, it’s huge, because I don’t get days off unless I schedule them.

It’s not just the full-time mom thing that makes work a 24/7/365 aspect of my life, though my Mommy duties are a big part of it. The primary problem is that I work at home, in an office right across the hall from my bedroom. Work is always there, when I go to bed, when I go into the kitchen, or the bathroom, or to get the door. Yes, I can come and go as needed, in order to get all my mom/chauffeur/chef/errand girl/gardener/pet caretaker/laundry specialist/whatever-I-need-to-be-today stuff done. But I find myself in my office chair staring at the computer every spare moment when I’m not checking off something on my To Do list.

When you’re a writer, dealing with words and plots and troublesome characters and fact-checking and editing, etc., can become exhausting. I love what I do, truly. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl, and I’ve been blessed to grow up and make money doing exactly that. I’m lucky! But sometimes, I have to remind myself to shut it off and take a break. Most folks with a full-time job get weekends off, or at least a couple of days somewhere throughout the week. Their reminder to take a breather is built into the job. The change in schedule, in activity, in duties, is good for the soul. It lets you rejuvenate, refill your energy source, and prepare to face work again when the break is over.

The book I’m working on now, Finding Refuge, is a difficult book. It’s angsty, it’s emotional, it deals with some heavy, difficult life issues. I can’t immerse myself in that day in and day out without paying the price of my brain turning to mush and refusing to spit out words and flesh out plots. I hit that point last night. That was my reminder to take a break.

So, I spent the day hanging out with my Helvetican. We lazed around the house for a while after the kids went to school then took a long drive. We hiked around in the West Deserts, where the early spring warmth, the gentle breeze, and the rich scent of junipers overloaded my senses and washed away work for a while. It was glorious. Add in a nap in the car, and I’m right as rain.

Tomorrow, it’s back to work. I’ll be ready for it. But before I open the WIP, I’m going to schedule my next day off in red pen on my desk calendar. What do you do to rejuvenate on your days off?

Blog Hop and Prizes You Don’t Want to Miss

12 Mar

Happy Monday! The sun is shining, the skies are blue and clear, and holy cow, it’s the middle of March already?

Okay, time to mark your calendar. Take a look at the green ad to the right there….This Friday, March 16th, we’re having a Blog Hop to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and the wearin’ o’ the green! Over 120 authors are going to be talking on their blogs about being Irish, celebrating the day, wearing green, drinking green beer… pretty much anything related to St. Patrick’s Day!

Each author will be giving away a prize, like a swag pack, gift cards, ebooks, print books, and so much more. (I’ll announce my prize on Friday in my blog post.)

PLUS we have TWO Grand Prizes for TWO different winners! *gasp*

Grand Prize 1: Winner’s Choice of a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet

Grand Prize 2: Winner’s Choice of a $90 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card

Here’s how you, the reader, can qualify for the Grand Prizes: Come on over to the Blog Hop websites on Friday, March 16th, and comment on as many blogs as you want. The grand prize winners will be chosen at random from the commenters. That means you can comment on EACH blog and give yourself 120 entries for the grand prize!

Sounds great right? Come on over and wear your green and win some prizes!

Update: What am I working on?

8 Mar

It’s been a few days since I last posted…sorry about that. I’ve been consumed by work on new books. We’ll call that Good News!

I’m working on a second contemporary romance, Finding Refuge, that is due to come out in May. I might end up pushing that to June, depending on how the rest of this month goes. It’s a deep, emotional, angsty story and I really want to get it right. Travis and Andri deserve it! I think you’ll love these two characters as much as I do when you get to know them.

To balance out all that angst and heartbreak, I’m also working on a romantic suspense novella. However, I’m thinking that one will likely come out under a different pseudonym, because it is way, WAY hotter than I usually write. Not that the Helvetican objects, LOL.

Finally, a steampunk romance I’ve been toying with for some time has resolved most of its issues whilst sitting ignored in the back corner of my mind. It’s starting to beg for attention. I’ll try to pacify the story with jotting down occasional scenes here and there until after Finding Refuge is up. Because writing three books at once is insane…right?

All of that, plus the usual hectic routine around here, keeps me hopping. What are you working on, with writing, reading, or life right now?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 188 other followers