Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Missed Friend

Several years ago, like 10, I didn't know anybody with cancer. I had friends who had friends or family, but no one I directly knew. Until a few years back and BAM, death from the C-word surrounded me. It felt like every year, someone was sick.

And this is more true now. And again, someone I know has lost their hard fought battle. Today, I'd like to share a few words about my friend Holly Gilliatt.

A few years back, TMP signed a new Women's Fiction author from St. Louis. Of course, when I learned where she was from, I introduced myself. I mean, their wasn't another author from our company anywhere near me. Now, we didn't have sleepovers and braid each other's hair. No, we set out and did authory stuff.

Like book signings.

Holly invited me to do a TV taping for a local information channel to promote 2 signings we agreed to do together. The interview was the first time we'd met and I we hit it off, easily falling into discussions about books, writing and what we thought worked. And let's not forget the joys of motherhood and how we loved our oops kid!

Our first signing, at a local independent bookstore was successful. And I was so thrilled that she asked me. Gosh, I look back at this photo and at the time, Holly only had the one book. Now, she has 3 to her name.

The next signing was at a B&N, as a charity even for my childrens' school. We didn't sell as much, but we had a great time and we included three additional authors. Holly and I learned that we had a knack for planning multi-author events.

In April of 2014, Holly and I worked together again, creating another multi-author event in coordination with World Book Night. There we were, hobnobbing with local celebs and we had the best time.

Little did I know that would be the last time I'd see Holly.

She lost her fight with pancreatic cancer. A hard fight and I couldn't be more humbled or in aww of her. I'm thankful she was my friend. I'm proud I could call her a fellow author.

But I'm equally, if not more, saddened that the world lost a great woman. A loving mom. A woman who was crazy about her husband.

A friend.

Thank you, Holly, for allowing me into your world and I take peace knowing that you are not in pain any longer. You don't have to be strong. You are free to watch over us, make fun of us, and keep us safe. And enjoy all the chocolate you want!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Submissions: The slush trudging continues

Several months ago, I mentioned entering the slush pile with a New Adult series. Well, I'm still waist deep, sloshing along. Kids, holidays and a part-time gig can get in the way of your forward motion, but just remember, do a little as you go and you should be fine.

This is where I found myself today. Submitting to a few more places and keeping track on an excel sheet. Organization is always helpful. You don't want to sub to the same place twice.

Well, today I shared a link with a friend who is also looking towards new possibilities. You'd think that once we became published, all our writing would get accepted by everyone. Well, no. And unagented writers may have more hills to climb. But if you are in good with a press, your chances are better.

I'd like to help you achieve your dream with additional information.

Ever wonder if there is a list of agents. Like some magical entity, like the Holy Grail, that you have to climb and dig and cheat to find. Okay, it's not that dramatic, but there is a list. Well, there are probably several, but I like Writer's Digest. I simply save a link to my bookmarks and each time I click on it, the information has been updated.

Okay, you can oooh and aaaaah!

Good luck and please, share with us any tips. We aren't competitors unless we've written the exact same story. Writers need to help each other out, because one thing might work with one and not the other.

Happy Writing!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Need a Recipe????

Food choices are hard when you have to watch carbs and fried foods. Sweets are almost out of the question so when I found a pin for a carb friendly dessert, I jumped on it. (I'll share later.)

But the recipe originally came a blog that I am now a follower of. The woman was pre-diabetic and she was on a mission to find yummy, healthy, foods. I think we can all relate.

I recommend you take a look as well. Who knows, you might find a mouth watering dish.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sweet Fix

Being diabetic limits, drastically, my sweet intake. I mean, I didn't gorge myself before, but I liked a little something, something and my all time weakness was ice cream.

I can't tell you home many numb fingers I've endured searching ice cream cartons for something low in carbs. And I've come close (15grams) but I hate to use so many on one small item.

But the sweet goodness gods must have been watching because last week I found one! And it is GOOD!

Drum roll please....

Artic Zero!!!!

Sorry if the pics are not that clear, but I'm so excited about this. Not only is it only 7 grams of carbs per serving (1/2 cup) but it is gluten free, lactose friendly and fat free! They had me at 7 grams of carbs!

Is it good? Oh, yes. This is Vanilla Maple and it is yummy! I've also had strawberry and it was tasty good. They had chocolate and cookies and cream.

Don't you just love their tag line: Do ever have the urge to eat the entire pint?
Um, yes! But I wouldn't recommend because then you'd be all out of this wonderful sweet treat.

So, good luck my diabetic, gluten challenged, lactose unfriendly friends. Because I give Artic Zero 2 thumbs up!

Monday, January 12, 2015

New Author Alert: Engy Albasel Neville

You may not know this,but when I graduated college, I worked for an event marketing firm and it was like a dream job. Not because of the pay but because of the people and the work. There, I worked for this rough guy from New York who not only taught me how to work an event but many other colorful things about life. Fast forward about 10 years and I get a "Like this page" request from this guy. His wife is an author and he wanted me to like her page. We connected and I'm pleased to introduce her to my blog.

*drum roll*

Welcome Engy Albasel Neville, author of A Leap in Time.

The morning after hanging an antique painting,
Lexi Carter notices strange noises in her living
room. Scared beyond words, she confronts the
sounds only to discover that the landscape itself
has come alive. Did Roman soldiers on horseback
just gallop across the thing? She impulsively
touches the painting and is sucked into the world
of ancient Pompeii. Lexi meets Marcus, a Roman
Adonis, who occupies her every thought, and
sends her senses into a tailspin.
The year is 59AD and Pompeii is at its peak
of glory and prosperity. Lexi is faced with the
decision of choosing between two worlds, her
modern day Los Angeles or ancient Pompeii…
with the man who captured her heart and soul.

Intrigued? I am! You can grab your copy of A Leap in Time at these retailers:
Wild Rose Press        Amazon      Barnes&Noble      iBooks

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Year, New Me

First off, Happy New Year!
Second, no, I'm not going to blather on about my resolution. I can't. Before the holidays, I was officially diagnosed with diabetes, high cholesterol and kidney issues (due to diabetes). So as much as I'd like to be a new person and make a new me because of the new year and I decided to, I'm forced to.

So, I'd decided to share with others our there who suffer from the same issues. And let me tell you, it ain't easy!

I will still discuss books (because I love them), authors (they love me!), and my quest for further publication 9 (I want them all to love me). But I'll sprinkle in new material. Recipes that work, exercise that fits the bill and more importantly, ways to beat this.

Please, offer your own tips. We are all ears and dealing with this is not easy. Help is welcomed.

Change can be good. Change can obviously be bad. If you are in the same boat as me, good luck.

And to those working the publishing industry, I'm still here and I welcome your comments.

*raises glass* Here's to 2015!