Wednesday, December 24, 2014


I'm an introvert.

I know. People who have known me for a long time might not agree, but I ask you, think about when we first met. Was I standoffish? Shy? Would you characterize me as bitchy?

I've heard them all and even from close friends. And I don't mind. This is something I struggle with everyday. Because as an author, I need to put myself out there and....*gasps*...socialize. I tend to avoid events because of fear of being left out or standing against the wall drinking all alone, which is just sad.

What makes this really hard is my husband, is not. He's Mr. Social. Mr. Knows-Everybody. Mr. Hey I-Won't-Forget-Your-Name. Always with a handshake and a smile.

And he is constantly asking me if I said hello to someone when I mention seeing them at a store. Usually, I say no. I can't help it. My fear of being rejected is enough to force me to look away and pretend I don't see them. I don't mean to be rude and have on many occasions overcame my fear and put myself out there and will always get a friendly hello.

So this morning, Christmas Eve, I went to my least favorite store to grab a few last minute food items for the next morning. And like usual I see someone I know. I've actually spoken to this person and I know he recognizes me because he does that double look thing. I build up courage and think I can at least offer a smile and hello and step out of my shell. For the holidays.

As our carts get closer to each other, we share a few more glances in each others' way and I'm going to do it. I am strong. I am brave. And just as our carts are close enough to tough each other, I say, "Hello" and smile.

And he looks down, obviously avoiding me!

Well, I came home and gave my husband an earful. The one time, I put myself out there and WHAM the door is slammed in my face.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Giveaway!

Yesterday, a local radio station asked their listeners to share their most cherished holiday gift. For me, I have two. One, my husband proposed on Christmas Eve, ultimately leading to the best family ever! And two, 3 years ago he had made for me and my oldest daughter (my only at the time) a three stone necklace. Each stone represented the birthstones of my daughter, mine and my grandmother, who I lost earlier that year. On both occasions, I cried because not only did he give me jewelry, but he gave me something I can have and wear forever. I can keep the women of my life close to my heart! (Luckily my newest daughter has the same birthstone as my oldest daughter!!)

So, now for the giveaway. I will pick two winners. One on my blog and one on Facebook. Share with me your most cherished gift by Monday, 12 noon CST, and I'll draw one name, randomly, from each and you can either have an e-book or print copy of My Brother's Wedding. 
Okay, now open those hears, grab some tissue and start sharing! 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Time to Get Deep

Call it the holiday spirit or call it the crazy ramblings of a sleep deprived mom. But lately, I can't help but be extra thankful for my family...especially what my youngest has brought to my life in the past 2 years.

My husband and I dated a bit in high school and reconnected before I went off to college...where he attended. And our lives became one instantly. It was like we balanced each other' 'quirks and we shared something deeper than a relationship...we were friends.

So like most stories, we married a year after graduating college and started our family that same year. Sure, we were young, but it all was a natural progression. Three years later, kid number two came and life was complete. My husband provided for us, allowing me to work part-time and be a mom to our kids.

Kids grow and our family was doing okay but I have to admit, something I haven't to anyone, I always wondered what our life would be like with a third kid. I joked that if I wanted to stay home full time I should get pregnant. Ha! Ha! You have to understand, that I never even planned on one kid before we were married. I had a bad childhood and didn't think I could provide for another based on my own experience. And even after kid one, who I love more than anything, I was done. Then two and my son is my precious baby boy who will always hold his mother's heart.

At 34, I wondered what else I needed in my life. My kids were older and we fell into a routine of not having to monitor them but provide and love them. Except, I felt I needed more.

I didn't plan it. Hell, I didn't even think it was medically possible to have another kid but shortly after the first of the year in 2012, I was in fact pregnant.

It was a long, tough pregnancy but this sweet baby girl is my world. I think she saved me from feeling incomplete. I don't want you to think that I was bored and needed a playmate. That couldn't be farther from the truth. My writing career was just getting off the ground, I worked part-time for my publisher learning the biz and I was still dealing with the grief of losing the most important woman in my life, my grandmother. And my full-time job was causing me grief.

And still, my life is a runaway train barreling through each day only to fall into bed and catch a few winks before the morning. There are days when I want to hide from my little girl because she's driving me insane.

But her unconditional love for me burns the back of my eyes and sticks in my throat.

Maybe one day, when she's a temperamental teenager who thinks everybody hates her, she'll read this and know just how much mommy loves her.

Grab someone you love today and give them a little extra love. It is the season!

Monday, December 8, 2014

My Fav Reads of 2014

Can you believe the year is almost over? Tim flew but I made sure to have fun and hunker down with several good books. With e-readers, I burn right through books. Instant gratification!

I didn't read very many new releases because those reads are saved for my fave authors in various genres but I will sum up my year:

I love the entire Ruin series by Rachel Van Dyken. Her writing is great and not like many NA, there is sexy but not so descriptive that I need a shower after reading. And the first book hooks you!

Who doesn't love rock stars? This series was great and I'm eagerly awaiting the next book.

I could gush all day about my love of this author and this book! I need more from her!

Clever, funny and super cute!

Love this author and would read her grocery list if she'd let me! This series is wonderful. Engaging, beautiful and so full of love. Must read!

These are just a few of my favorites from 2014. What were yours? Any recommendations?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Gifts 2014: Ideas and Suggestions

I love this time of year. Sure, I probably gain like 10 pounds from all the cookies and ridge the edge of credit card debt (I kid!) but I love presents and the closeness this time of year can bring.

But the love can get hidden behind the stress of finding the perfect gifts. And I strive to be a gift perfectionist. So I'm always on the look-out for some great ideas and my friend Beth Merrell shared a great group of products with me that will delight that make-up loving lady (or man) in your life.

I present you with Younique:

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. How about these:

Now, I haven't had the pleasure of trying these wonderful items, but as a woman, who is getting older and finding her lashes are not as full as they once were (I don't seem to have that problem with my stomach), I like these results.

If you're a user, I'd love to hear what you think. But if you're in need of more information, check out Beth's website.

Have a gift idea to share? Do it! I'll have more as the weeks progress.