Monday, May 21, 2018

You Mean It Isn't That...?

Happy Monday All,

We're getting closer to Romance Writers of America's National Conference (aka "Nationals" or "RWA18"). It's interesting to me how the longer I'm in the genre, the more of the stereotypes and comments that come my way.

For instance, last year, I was in the elevator going up to get something from my hotel room, and this person who was attending another event said to me, "Oh, you're with that book thing."

Now, I played it off. I mean, technically it is a "book thing", but this illustrates some of what we romance novelists encounter. Nationals are so much more than just a "book thing". We have a ton of writers there, sure, but we also have people in other capacities. There are agents, editors, bloggers, sometimes cover artists/models, and well, it wouldn't shock me if someone from film showed up...oh wait, they already did...PassionFlix.

Darling readers, any of you who have followed me (or any other romance novelist) for any amount of time are also aware of the vastness of the genre. There are so many sub-genres (no, I haven't tallied them up, but I imagine they keep expanding). Romances sometimes even contain some kind of mystery--even murder (example, Christie Craig's The Cop Who Stole Christmas). I'd venture to say that if one looks hard enough there's bound to be something for everyone. In my novels, I've got adventure, romance, suspense, humor--you name it.

The point is, Romance writers don't encompass just one thing. They're NOT all like whatever is popular (for example, I've gotten "Oh you write Romance...like Fifty Shades Of Grey?" and I've also gotten, "Oh, like Twilight?") No, it's a vast, expansive--whatever adjective you want to use to say the word "big"--genre and industry.

And we love our readers. Romance writers are incredibly big on being good to their readers. Case in point: author Elizabeth Hunter often does "Five Friday"--a live Facebook video where she answers reader questions/comments and talks about her upcoming work. She also does giveaways. I've done several giveaways. I also carry around swag (bookmarks) for people that include information on how to find me so if they want to know more they can find that information.

I honestly think that no matter your gender or background, you probably can find a romance that suits your tastes (I've even seen little bits of romance in mid-grade...like Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine or Betsy & Joe and Betsy's Wedding both by Maud Hart Lovelace). (P.S. If you have a kid 10 years or older who is interested in writing and you live near Brewster, NY, Gail Carson Levine is doing a 6-week workshop!)

In any case, the Romance genre is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) genres out there. And the comments I've mentioned don't really bother me; however, they do remind me that there are a lot of stereotypes and at one point, yes, there probably was something to them (when there weren't a lot of options) but the genre has come a LONG way since then.

So, go ahead, and enjoy the genre. I know I do!

Have A Magically Marvelous Monday!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Excitement Building...

Happy Monday All,

Like I've said before, my posting on here is inconsistent. Blog topics are hard to come up with and my life is full of being mom, wife, and writer. But enough of excuses!

I'm gearing up for RWA Nationals 2018. I think I've been gearing up for it since Nationals ended last year. I can't help it. I had such a blast in Florida, I'm looking forward to what Colorado will bring.

I'm also excited to see some friends I haven't seen in a long time. Particularly one who was a year behind me in high school. We hung out in the same social group and had one class together my Junior year. She's a sweetheart and I've missed her. We're going to get manicures and hang out. I think it's going to be a ton of fun!

Nationals is a great way for authors (particularly Romance authors) to get together, find out what's new in the publishing world, and network. Publishers, agents, and other industry professionals come from all over as well. It's a HUGE event (I've heard numbers upwards of 2,000 people in attendance). 

Also, I've never been to Colorado. I've been a lot of places in the mainland of USA, but not there. So that will be interesting, too.

Unfortunately all this doesn't happen until July, so I've got to wait a little longer. But, it's nice to have something to look forward to doing. It's fun to feel the anticipation building as we get closer and closer. I can hardly wait!

What do you have to look forward to doing?

Have A Marvelously Magical Monday!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Life Unsorted...

Happy Wednesday Everyone,

Right now, my schedule for posting on here is inconsistent. I haven't figured out a good schedule, yet, so, please, bear with me.

I'm also considering what topics to cover, so it might be awhile before I have another post up here.

I hope everyone is having a good Spring so far. It was pretty muggy on Tuesday, but that's Texas for you. Humidity can be thick and oppressive. I prefer cooler weather--although not snow or ice. I like 40-65 degree Fahrenheit with sunshine. I like snuggling under warm blankets with a hot drink and a good book (or movie or show!) 

Two weeks ago I was suffering horrible allergies, and also dealing with migraines. I'm doing a little better now, but I'm not a big fan of spring for that reason--although I do like some of the spring styles.

Summer will be hotter. It's barely April and I'm all ready for Fall and Winter again. I know that the places that have gotten a lot of snow are ready for the warmer weather. You can have some of our heat and humidity, we don't mind sharing!

Have A Wonderfully Winsome Wednesday!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Achieving Perfection...

Happy Friday All,

It's been a long time since I've updated and a lot of it has to do with feeling like I had no idea what to say. Yeah, that's brutally honest and definitely the truth. Also, when it's just you doing everything yourself, it's easy for things to slip through the cracks. But, yeah, I wasn't sure what to put on here, but lately, some stuff has been occurring to me, so I finally have something blog-worthy to post.

So, let's start with a question: What do you try to be perfect at? What is something that you try to do absolutely your best at and sometimes you manage it sometimes you don't?

I'm that way with just about everything in my life, but specifically motherhood and writing. Motherhood for the obvious reasons--I want to raise my kids right, and I want to do what's best for them. Writing because I want to put out good stories for people to enjoy and I want people in the industry to pick me.

I think that's how most writers feel about their work. Before we submit any manuscripts, we're supposed to make them the best we can. The writing and edits as shiny and perfect as we can. (And you wonder why writers are sitting there gnashing their teeth over the "you're" posts when people mean "your" or using apostrophes to show plurals). True, not every writer is hung up on social media posts having proper spelling and grammar, but many of them are hung up on it and part of it is that we have to be hung up on it with our work.

And, it's not easy catching all the big and little mistakes. Even with lots of critique partners, editors--you name it--it's still possible for something to slide past. It happens and when a writer discovers those mistakes, oh boy...it's tough.

So, how do you cope? You learn, you write, you keep looking for the people who will and can best help you. People who know their stuff and will have your success at heart.

Perfection may not be achievable, but the harder you work at it, the closer you get. The key is it's work and you got to be willing to improve. Which is true about anything. As writers, we don't get better unless we learn from our mistakes and work on them.

So, while you're slogging through those endless edits (if you're a writer) or whatever you have to work on, try to remember you're striving to improve, not that you can't do it. I wish you the best in your endeavors. :-)

Here's wishing you an awesome weekend! Have a Fabulously Fantastic Friday!

Friday, September 1, 2017

How About A Soothing Cup Of...

Happy Friday All,

I'll get back to RWA Nationals and I'll give you all info on how I weathered Hurricane Harvey (we're fine and the Averie house didn't get flooded), but for now, I've been meaning to get this review up for a while and now I finally am able to do that.

Theodosia, Haley, Drayton, and co, are back in the Tea Shop brewing up cozy cups and sweet treats, as well as murder.

Well, not them specifically however...

During an event that Theo and Drayton attend one of their hosts drops dead in a rather dramatic fashion. But who could've killed Doreen Briggs' husband?

As the mystery evolves, and Theo gets sucked into yet another investigation (this time at Drayton and Doreen's behest) it's clear there's more to the business and family than what meets the eye.

But who could've been the rat? Was it one of the servers of the Tea Theo and Drayton were at, or was it Doreen? Perhaps an employee?

Unraveling this will take Theo's quick wits and thorough investigating or else she or someone she cares about could be next to imbibe a cup of poison.

You can pick up your copy of author Laura Childs' newest Tea Shop Mystery, Pekoe Most Poison at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Have A Fabulously Fun Friday!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Back & So Much To Tell...

Happy Monday Everyone!

Sorry I've been MIA for so long. A ton of things have been going on:

For one thing, I attended my first Romance Writers of America National Conference (RWA Nationals) in Orlando, Florida in July. While there, I got to go to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom (my very first time going to Disney World and my first time going to Nationals since I joined RWA in 2009).

Nationals was an amazing experience. Normally I'm nervous when going to conferences, but for the first time, I wasn't. I'm not sure why. Maybe I had a lot of people praying for me, and sending me positive thoughts. Maybe I went in with the right attitude. Either way, or both, I am not sorry one bit that I went!

We--that is, the whole Averie clan--arrived in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday, July 25th. Everything went smoothly with getting our luggage, and despite a little issue at the rental car place, that even went smoothly.

Then came trying to find the hotel. Our GPS kept sending us in a circle, and we didn't quite understand the directions people gave us. It took circling the same
area FOUR TIMES before we managed to figure out what to do. And then, came finding the hotel itself. We got lost and had to call the hotel twice. So needless to say, either know your way around, have a reliable map or really good GPS. We finally managed to get to the hotel.

Raspberry Sorbet
Lemonade Smoothie
I had with dinner (yum!)
We got to our room without a hitch (and the hotel staff were super-nice). Soon after, we found a place to get dinner and felt much better afterwards. The Disney Boardwalk was just a short walk away, so we decided to go explore it. 

Juggler we saw while on the Disney Boardwalk

Disney Boardwalk was all lit up at night. It was so pretty!

I had my nails done before I left for Nationals. On my left thumb 
Right thumb with purple/pink
butterfly wings
Left thumb with blue
butterfly wings
was half a blue butterfly, and on my right half a purplish-pink one. The blue one represents my deceased friend, Sarah. Blue was her favorite color and butterflies were special to her. The other one represents my writing. On my business cards I have a purplish-pink butterfly. When I put the two thumbs together it made a whole butterfly. I don't have that on my nails anymore, but it was nice for Nationals...until I fell and broke the purple one! But oh well. I was okay. Mostly just embarrassed, but I can laugh about it, now.
Together the thumbs made a pretty butterfly

I have a ton of other pictures, so I'll have to do a whole series of blog posts because there is so much to tell and show you.

August isn't as busy despite Offspring being back and school and some of the other activities we have going on. They're doing well, and enjoyed going to Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom. They also went to Legoland, which also looked like fun, but Real Life Hero (my husband) said Legoland was even hotter than Disney World. But our Offspring enjoyed it, so I call it a win.

I'm working on Book 5 in the Immortal Dreams series and some other thing that's been playing in my head for a long time now. I hope everyone who is reading Book 4, Perfect Love, is enjoying it. I've already had some readers say that they thought it was my best work so far, which made my day.

I'll do more posts talking about Nationals and my visit to the Magic Kingdom, but for now, let me assure you, I had a fantastic time. :-)

What's been going on with you? What are you reading? Have you had a good summer?

Have A Marvelously Magical Monday!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Pop A Cork! It's Release Day...

Happy Wednesday Everyone,

Wow! Can you believe it? It's release day for Perfect Love!

Perfect Love follows after the events in the first 3 books of the Immortal Dreams series (Divine Love, Astral Love, Immortal Love) and picks up several years after Immortal Love.

Perfect Love is Hailey, Laney's best friend's story. When I wrote the first 3 books I didn't think about Hailey's story until Immortal Love. It was then I thought, "Hmm. I don't know. I might write Hailey's story. Some time. I better give myself a jumping off point." That's where her letter to Laney near the end of the novel comes in. I needed a place for Hailey's story to start. I thought some people might pick up on it, but I didn't think it would be a big deal.

Imagine my surprise when nearly every reader asked me:  "Is Hailey an Immortal? Are you going to write her story, too?"

I had toyed with the idea of writing Hailey's story, but I wasn't sure. I didn't want to say much because I knew that it was possible the story wouldn't come to me. So I said "I would like to, but I don't know if it will happen."

And then, it did. The idea for Hailey's story came a lot sooner than I thought. And I discovered I had a leading man already built into the series. (You first meet Arion in Astral Love).

So I wrote Perfect Love. I already knew I wanted it to be about Hailey and Arion having to be perfect at everything. At one point, I thought it would be the first in a new series, but then I scratched that idea and decided it fit in with the rest of the Immortal Dreams books.

Perfect Love is a combination of a thank you to my readers for asking about Hailey (which was another form of motivation to write her story) and a gift to myself--showing myself I still had Immortal Dreams stories to write.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Hailey is sassy, straight-forward, and driven. Arion is a reformed partier-turned-gentleman trying to escape his past. Together, they're trying to figure out whether perfect sucks or if it's just perfect.

Currently Perfect Love is only available in Amazon Kindle. I'll let you know when and if that changes.

Have A Wonderfully Wishful-filled Wednesday!