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This new year has brought all kinds of changes. We have a new president (no, I don’t do political posts – just stating a fact), this will be my first full year married to my new husband, and this is the first year since I’ve been writing that I don’t have a publisher.
For those of you who are familiar with the publishing industry, I know you’re asking if I’m going to self-publish or find a new publisher. I don’t know yet. I do know I’m making some changes to my first two books. I’ve learned a lot about writing since I started and I know there are some things I’d do different, especially in Take 2. I’m working on those now.
My third book, Final Chance is finally finished. I think I’ve made all the edits I can at this point. I’d like to share a little of it with you here.
“You have got to write about someone more relevant!” Cassandra Tate repeated for the second time that week, her bun pulled so tight her face barely moved when she spoke.
“I am,” Mac defended herself.
“Pocahontas isn’t relevant. No one cares.” Cassandra flipped through her reports. “Your sales are down, way down. The only thing keeping you afloat is the Marilyn Monroe biography.”
“Einstein still sells!” Mac argued.
“Ten copies this month. That’s not called sales. Mac, please, if you’re sticking with biographies find someone interesting,” pleaded Cassandra as she waved Mac out of her office, dismissing her.
Cassandra Kapshaw had been a commissioning editor at Barnes and Clifton for twenty years. She’d run across few talented writers. Mac was one of those talents but her topics weren’t attracting readers or buyers anymore. Cassandra tried to be fair but, truth of the matter, it was all about the money. If Mac couldn’t bring in the sales, Cassandra would have to cut her loose.
Someone interesting, Mac repeated in her head as she grabbed her bag and headed out of the office. Who’s interesting? Mac tossed ideas around in her head as she drove up the Dallas North Tollway toward her apartment in Uptown. She came up blank. How could she have writer’s block if she wasn’t writing anything?
Blain ‘Mac’ McClain had been writing for ten years, every since she’d graduated from college. Her dissertation was impressive and began her writing career. A career that looked like it was heading for a plunge.
On her drive home she tossed her conversation with Cassandra around in her head over and over, getting no light bulb moments. She needed a distraction. Good thing she had a party to go to tonight. At first she wasn’t looking forward to going but after a day like today – the possibility of no career, no rent, and no food – a crowd of strangers and free drinks was what she needed.
“Emily, what time do I need to be ready?” Mac answered her phone seconds after it rang.
Mac met Emily in freshman biology. They were doing an experiment and needed to spit in a test tube. Mac’s mouth went dry and Emily volunteered to spit for her. They’d been friends every since.
“Gee, Mac, no hello? A bit anxious? I thought you didn’t want to go?” She laughed.
“I need a night out. It’s been a rough day.”
“I see! Ok, be ready at seven. I’ll pick you up. You sure you want to go to my office party?” Emily double checked. She didn’t think it was going to be that kind of distraction. Her work functions were usually pretty sedate.
“Oh yes, I’m sure,” Mac hung up and spent the rest of her drive to her uptown Dallas apartment mentally going through her closet.
Once home, Mac settled on wearing an emerald green sweater and black slacks. Emily picked her up and, seeing her reflection in the glass doors, she thought she looked dull compared to Emily in her zebra stripped wrap dress as they walked into the office building. Glass and marble shined throughout the foyer. Their four inch heels echoed as they stepped. Mac glanced at their reflection in elevator doors as they waited for them to open. Damn, they looked good. The outfit Mac wore hugged her curves and made her red locks glow. Emily’s animal print couldn’t be missed. It fit her personality to a T – bold, daring, audacious.
Emily had always been the shining star in their relationship. Mac had been shy and withdrawn in high school. Emily knew everyone, got invited to every party and was an average student, Mac stayed home, studied and made straight A’s. They were yin and yang. Their personalities complemented each other. Emily enticed Mac to be more open and daring, Mac encouraged Emily to have a good job and work hard.
“Wow, this is a really nice place,” Mac whispered to her as the elevator doors opened onto the fiftieth floor, Cameron Financial.
Mac clutched Em’s arm, her eyes wide as they walked into the fanciest office she’d ever been in. She giggled at Mac’s wonder. She led her through the crowd to a group on the far side of the room.
“Mac, Blaine McClain, this is my boss, Mitch Cameron. Mitch, this is Blaine McClain, my best friend,” Emily introduced.
“Nice to meet you, was that Mac?” Mitch replied, reaching out to shake Mac’s hand.
“Nice to meet you.” Mac’s breath caught as their hands touched and they looked into each others eyes. The silence was palpable.
His warm smile reached his dark chocolate eyes and melted her. The suit he wore was tapered to accentuate his very firm, six foot frame. His hair color matched his eyes and the front slightly covered a scar that ran down the side of his face, and begged for her fingers to touch it, running the length of it, from temple to just under his cheekbone. A question lingered at the edge of her tongue dying to ask where the scar came from, but she refrained.
“Uh, Mac, didn’t you want a drink?” Em asked, trying to break the third-wheel silence.
Mitch grinned from woman to woman, “I have to mingle. You two have fun. It was very good to have met you, Mac.”
Mac felt her cheeks flush. She watched Mitch walk away without saying anything. What was wrong with her? Had it been that long since a man breathed in her direction.
“Ugh,” she grunted as Emily took her arm and led her to the bar.
“I know. He has that effect on all the women in the office,” she chuckled.
Em showed Mac around her office, stopping at the doorway to Mitch’s office.
“This is it. End of the tour,” she waved her arm with a flourish as if getting ready to add “Ta-da”.
Mac was impressed with the elegance of her friend’s workplace. Everything about the it said class and style, from the plush carpeting to the solid oak doors to each office. Looking into Mitch’s office, she noticed the rich walnut desk and the brass accents. Something caught her eye that pulled her into the forbidden den.
“Mac, where are you going?” Emily whispered as loud as she dared, looking around wide-eyed to make sure no one saw them entering.
Mac stopped in front of what looked like a black and white photo on the wall. It appeared to be over four feet tall and over three feet wide, a huge representation of what had to be Mitch’s father. As Mac moved closer she realized it was a pencil sketch, an amazing sketch, so detailed. Her hand instinctively reached to touch it but stopped inches away, frozen in mid-air.
“Mac, we need to get out of here. Do you want to get me fired?” Emily begged, shifting from side to side, scanning the area continuously, fearing Mitch would catch them. This was his domain and no one entered unless invited.
“Em, this is amazing! Is this Mitch’s dad? Who drew this?” She asked to no one in particular as she leaned in to see the signature. E. Hawk. She made a mental note and took a deep breath.
“I’m sorry. I just had to see who drew this. We can go,” Mac replied, finally back in the moment.
As Emily grabbed Mac’s arm and turned to leave, Mitch stood at his doorway. A questioning look on his face.
Mac saw his wide eyes and narrowed brows and worried she had put her friend’s job in jeopardy.
“Mitch, I’m sorry. It’s my fault. I saw the sketch and had to get closer. Please don’t blame Emily. She asked me not to come in here,” she reasoned, hoping she sounded convincing.
Mitch thought about what she said a few seconds. Curious about her motives he asked, “Are you interested in art?”
“I write biographies about artists, famous people. I’m always looking for a new subject. Do you know if E. Hawk is alive?” Her mind raced with ideas for a new book.
“Ethan, yes, he’s alive. He’s gotta be in his late fifties. Lives in Sunset. My father and Ethan were great friends back in the day.” Mitch stated more matter-of-factly than he intended.
“Ethan Hawk, the actor?” Mac scanned her memory for things Ethan Hawk. She couldn’t remember a fact about him being a sketch artist.
“Oh no, different Ethan. My father mentioned he was a colorful character. I don’t know that he’d be book-worthy. Aren’t artist more interesting dead?” Mitch responded. His crooked grin made her believe he was entertained by her query.
“They’re usually famous after they’re dead, yes. My publisher is wanting me to find someone ‘interesting’ to write about,” Mac gestured with air quotes. “Maybe having a famous name will help. Did you say he lives in Sunset?”
“Last I heard, yes. Now, can you two leave my office?” Mitch demanded more than he requested.
“Ok, let’s go!” Emily snatched Mac’s arm and pulled her over the threshold. Mac glanced back and saw Mitch looking at the sketch on his wall as she was drug down the hall toward the bar.
“Ok, no more getting me in trouble tonight. Let’s drink.”
She handed Mac a glass of wine and both women headed toward the windows in the alcove to look at the view and hide from Mitch. Mac hoped she hadn’t got Emily fired. Em had been a contract manager for the last five years and really loved her job. Tonight was supposed to be a distraction, the last thing Mac thought she’d find at an office party was a writing lead. She was antsy to get home and see what she could dig up on E. Hawk.
Mitch stared at the sketch. He remembered when his father had it done. Ethan Hawk. He was a character, lived life to the fullest and them some, his dad would say. That was a lifetime ago. Mitch never thought he’d take over the business. After high school, he went as far away as he could. Ten years ago, after receiving his degree and a successful bout on Wall Street, he got the call from his dad’s lawyer. The old man finally met his maker. He should have taken this picture down but it reminded him how far he had come, despite his upbringing.
He looked toward the bar and saw the women walk out of view. What did Emily say her name was? Mac. Startling red hair, blue eyes, curves. He felt his body react as he thought of her, his pulse quickened and his palms were sticky. No woman had ever made his palms sweat, except for Melissa Tate in seventh grade. She had made all the boys sweat.
He shook his head to focus on the party. He didn’t need a distraction tonight. This party was for the employees and he was just the chaperon. His physical desires needed to be put on hold. Damn, but she was attractive.
Hope you enjoyed Chapter 1. If you’re interested in Take 2 or Incantation in a signed paperback, I have them for sale under the Books tab for $10, US only. Get the first editions before they’re gone.
I know, I know, it’s resolution time. But really, how many times have you followed through with them? I call them goals in the hope that I’ll stick to them.
A week, two weeks tick by, and life takes over and the goal goes out the window. I get caught up in the stress and old habits and within days the new year’s plan is forgotten.
So, what’s the plan this year? To be more focused on the important things. 2016 was full of surprises…good surprises but surprises none the less.
First, I got married. We had the funnest wedding, Halloween themed with costumes all around. We’re so appreciative of those that shared our day with us. It couldn’t have been any better.
Second, I finished my 3rd book. I’m working on the plot for the 4th and for some none romance books as well.
Third, I found a writing partner. She’s been super motivating and excited. She’s working on her first two books.
So, what does all this mean for 2017?
Well, I’ll be self-publishing this year or working with a new publisher. We’ll see what happens. In the meanwhile, you can get signed copies of Take 2 and Incantation for $10 each (US only), until their gone. If you’re interested, email me at email@example.com. Payment made through PayPal.
I’ll be attending RT Con this year!! Whoop! I’m really excited! My writing partner and I are going for the first time. It looks like an amazing event chalk full of great workshops and fun. We’re really looking forward to it.
Of course, there’s the never ending diet. Ok, ok, changing my food choices. I really need to get this extra weight off. Everyone I’m close to is losing weight through one means or another. I’m not going to be the odd man out. So…a grocery shopping for veggies I will go!
I’m, also, determined to learn how to set up a newsletter. So, if you want to support your friendly neighborhood author, please sign up on this website. I promise to be quippy and short, with minimal evasiveness to your email pool.
Help me ring in the new year and keep my goals. Share yours in the comment section (found at the top of the post) and we can help each other out.
It’s been a while since my last post. The year has been busy, but I’m back. My plan is to post fairly regularly about coffee, writing, and random ideas. If you enjoy my thoughts, let me know by leaving a comment below, and sharing with your friends. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Don’t be shy.
OK, I have to confess, I have a guilty pleasure I’ll share. I’m so excited about the Gilmore Girls revival on Netflix this Thanksgiving weekend. I mean, I’m really excited. So much so, I have started watching the old seasons of Gilmore Girls in prep. I forgot how much coffee they drank! Ah, a kindred spirit.
If you’re wondering what the big deal is, you’ve never seen an episode of the Girls! It’s funny, touching, sarcastic, with a cast of crazy fun actors. My favorite are Lorelai’s parents, Emily and Richard Gilmore. They both have that stern exterior but with a few soft spots when you least expect it. And, of course, there’s the men, teenagers to mature adults, all are good looking, bad boys, sweethearts, lost souls, riding motorcycles and owning businesses. It’s all there. I can’t wait for the Revivial! It’s going to be great!
Do you have a favorite guilty pleasure? If you aren’t too embarrassed, please share!
Let’s face it, being over forty is inevitable. Sixty sneaks up before you know it. Are you ready for what lies ahead?
I met two really awesome women recently who are letting me be part of a project very near and dear to their hearts. It’s a new YouTube show starting February 14th, Valentine’s Day. It’s called 60 with a Splash of Splendor. No I’m not 60 yet but the show isn’t just for sixty year olds and up, it’s for everyone.
Liz and Lexi’s goal is to inform in a casual fun way. Not to say every show will be a party but the information they are sharing is useful to all ages, women and men.
Why a show called 60 with a Splash of Splendor? Well, because there isn’t anything like it out there. Liz was googling and looking on YouTube for information geared toward the sixty year old and up. She couldn’t find anything. In her frustration she decided to do something about it. 60 with a Splash of Splendor was born.
I was lucky enough to get involved because Liz loves my books. She asked if I’d be the resident romance advice gal. I couldn’t say no! They are amazing women with a great message to share.
60 with a Splash of Splendor will cover topics such as:
These topics fit any age, event the Sex after 60 segment. I think you’ll really find this a great show. I’ll be posting links to the show here and on social media. The segments are only fifteen to twenty minutes. I know you’ll just love them!
Friend them on Facebook to get updates! www.facebook.com search Liz N Lexi
Can you believe it’s 2016 already? Last year flew by. What’s this year hold for you?
I don’t do actual resolutions, I call them goals. I have goals every year and usually life gets in the way pretty damn quick and blows them out of the water. I have a friend that chooses a word to represent her year instead. I like that idea. Maybe my outcome will be better when I looked back at 2016 next January.
I think my word for 2016 will be FOCUS. I need to stay focused on my health (the never ending twenty-five pounds I wrestle with), my writing (I plan to finish two novels this year), and on my family. I have so many things going on it’s easy to get out of FOCUS. I lose sight of what’s important to me and let the world take over.
I challenge you to pick a word for 2016. Share in the comments and let’s all have a better year!
If you love prizes and fun games, come join us Friday, Nov 27, – Monday, Nov 30, on Facebook. Don’t stand in long lines and get cranky! Play fun games, meet some authors and win super awesome prizes! All in the comfort of your home on your computer!
doTERRA essencial oils – Value $60.00
Wrap yourself in relaxation and luxury with this doTerra Citrus Bliss Bundle: Includes soothing hand lotion, and invigorating bath bar. A bonus gift of peppermint and wild orange lip balm round out this moment of bliss in your busy holiday season. $60.00 value.
Given by Joyce Kaiser
Professional Editing Job – Value $250.00
Win this editing job for a manuscript up to 12,000 words. Including grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. Vikki will also make notes on story flow & answer questions throughout the process of this edit.
Given by Vikki Zerbe Becker of #EnchantedEditing
Winter Wreath – Value $45.00
A darling holiday wreath to welcome your guests at the door.
Given by Terri Terri Renshaw Dryden of Terri’s Crafty Creations
Sage Hill Farms Organic Herbs, Teas, and condiments – Value $80.00
A collection of goodies from Sage Hill Farms packaged and designed for your personal enjoyment or as gift to pass on.
Contents consist of Sage Hill seasonings, teas, and condiments.
Given by Bea Kunz of Sage Hill Farms
Healthy Skin Care by Ava Anderson – Value $45.00
Get in the holiday spirit this year with a rejuvenating Candy Cane scent body scrub and candle gift set by Ava Anderson.
Given by Becky Becky Florence Copley
3rd place winner:
$20.00 Amazon Gift Card
Given by #MKSP and #EBBT
Greens on the Go and It Works! Body Wraps – Value $160.00
Treat yourself to a healthy new you with these superb products for good health and weight loss.
Given by Stephanie Grillett
eBook bundle – Titles by various authors – Value $50.00
Given by MKSP and Friends
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We’re going to have a great time! Drop by during the weekend and join us!
**Oh, my ebooks will be on sale for $0.99 each that weekend! Deals all around! ‘Tis the season!
The holidays are coming and you’re single. Are you looking for a date for those Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties. Comment below and let me know if you’re looking for that “Plus One”.
I know it’s October (close enough) but have you started stressing about who you’ll take to the company Christmas party, Aunt Mary’s Pre-New Year’s family gathering or to the Rockin’ New Year’s Eve party downtown? What’s the cause of your stress?
I know, you’re over forty and your sister found the love of her life at thirty. Mom and Dad are wondering when you’ll settle down. Aunt Mary gives you a hard time at every family event because you can’t seem to find Mr (or Miss) Right. Your friends are all going to have significant others with them for New Year’s Eve. Who will you kiss at midnight?
You’re probably expecting me to make suggestions where you can find a great date. Sorry to disappoint you but I’m going to give you the opposite advice – Be Brave and Be Single. That’s right, go without your “Plus One” this year.
You’re probably thinking, “Wha?” That’s right, No Date! Surprise! Why, you ask? Because, in my experience, this is the worst time to try to find that someone special. The holidays are stressful enough and then you add trying to figure out if Joe Blow’s (or Jane) bad habits are tolerable. Rather than beginning to date someone you really shouldn’t be, go to the parties alone and hold your head up high. Think about it, you need a date for Aunt Mary’s family hoopla. You take this guy that, under less stressful circumstances, you wouldn’t normally date more than once, but you don’t want to hear Aunt Mary complaining that “You’re still single?” How much more embarrassing it to have a very public argument in front of family or Aunt Mary calling a week later to invite you two for dinner and you have to tell her you’ve broke up? You don’t think she’ll let that die quietly, do you?
What do you think? Are you going to be brave and go to your parties single? Or do you want to risk a public breakup before midnight on December 31st? Tell me what you’ve decided.
‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t
You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
Here in the dark, in these final hours I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
But you won’t, no you won’t ’Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t
(Song by Bonnie Raitt)
I was skimming through Facebook when I ran across a post from a gal very dear to me. She was asking why someone you love doesn’t love you back. I commented that is happens at every age. And it always sucks.
How do we find ourselves falling for someone who isn’t falling for us? You would think in this age of computers, internet, knee replacements and organ transplants, we could find a way to only fall in love with the person who would love us back. Unfortunately, love and the laws of attraction don’t work that way.
Do you fall in love with people you’re attracted to? Sometimes. Appearance is the first thing we’re usually attracted to. Hair color, full head or lack there of, and style. Eyes. Smile. Teeth. Skin. Body type – thin, curvaceous, buff, meaty. We all have different tastes. This is where things sometimes go wrong. We may have in mind a look we’d like to be with, but we can be deceived. Always remember, don’t judge a book by it’s cover. It truly is what’s inside that matters. Once the inside is revealed, sometimes the outside isn’t quite as appealing.
My point here is, it’s inevitable. Our hearts are meant to get broken. It’s how we’re wired. I don’t like it but we can get a benefit from it. We can learn from our mistakes, figuring out what attracted us and what went wrong. The next time around we could be more cautious, be less shallow, before we jump in. Doesn’t mean our heart won’t get broken but doesn’t mean it will. And, unfortunately, only time heals. Sometimes it takes a lot of time.
Has your heart been broken? What did you do to heal?