Saturday, January 25, 2014

Round Robin Jan 2014 #rndrob1213

Hello, Everyone!
Time again for another version of the Round Robin Blog tour!!
This month's topic is: What type heroine(s), traits, personality, in particular always  draw you into the story? Has it changed with time? And do you write this type of heroine? (Next month we will cover heroes)

I hate wimpy heroines!!  If a book starts off with a woman who can't stand on her own two feet then manages to turn her entire life around and take control of things, I'm happy. If she gets smacked down by circumstance and other characters time and time again and never figures out how to duck, I stop reading.

My heroines always start off in a sticky situation of some sort, their lives dictated to them by the men they have chosen to have around them. I love to have them evolve and discover they can take care of themselves. They can be strong, happy, and loved. Best of all, they can follow their passions and succeed. I hope my heroines can inspire my reader to change something in their own lives that don't work - or at very least provide a good read.

In The Bookstore Lady, Katie is the kept woman of a mobster. She dresses, colors her hair and acts exactly the way he wants her to. Once he threatens to kill her and is interrupted, she escapes his clutches, she's a little lost at first then comes into her own and has to stand up against her past.

In The Mystery Lady (coming out this spring from Books We Love), Lucy has been dumped by her husband for other women (yes, that is plural!) and learns he is not the good provider or wonderful man she thought. Having been a mousy little housewife for so long, she has to learn how to release her strong, independent side and face her deepest fear - losing her kids and maybe her life.

My heroines, much like myself, are all on a journey to dig deep and be proud of who we are and what we accomplish in our lives. Much like the ladies joining me on this month's Round Robin Tour!! Let's take a peek at what Fiona McGier at has to say...

And be sure to stop by to visit our fine cast of Bloggers this month:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Keeping those New Year's Resolutions

Something magical happens when you tell people about your New Year's Resolutions. Some scoff and roll their eyes, some remind you of how you tried to accomplish the same goals last year and failed miserably, the there are the friends who pitch in an join you. This year I've set three goals to accomplish:
1) earn my blue belt in karate
2) publish 2 books
3) run a 5km race
Nearly a month into my resolutions, I can say I'm making progress!
a) I'm working hard at karate doing 3 classes per week.
b) I'm editing the second book in my Wild Blue Mysteries series and awaiting edits from my agent on the first book of my newest series. (two possible books!!)  I am also doing a read through of the proof of The Bookstore Lady and having copies printed this year. Finally, a book launch will be possible!!
c) I'm getting on the treadmill and power walk or run every second day. A friend and I are seeking a fun 5km to run and I have friends organizing a group 100km run in September!

Wow! What a kick start to 2014!
Stay tuned to see what else is in store!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mary Marks - Forget Me Knot Review

This charming first book in a new cozy mystery series from debut author Mary Marks is set in San Fernando Valley, California, where the heroine, Martha Rose, and her coterie of quilters are enjoying life on the good side of retirement-until a murder pulls a stitch out of their plans...
"Martha and her besties Lucy and Birdie are set to expand their Quilty Tuesdays by inviting newcomer Claire Terry into their group. Though at forty Claire's a tad younger than their average age, her crafty reputation could perk up their patchwork proceedings, especially as they prepare for the fancy quilt show coming to town. But when they arrive at Claire's home and find her dead inside the front door, and her exquisite, prize-winning quilts soon missing, Martha is not one to leave a mystery unraveled. Especially if she wants to stop a killer from establishing a deadly pattern."

          I was so excited to read a galley copy of Mary Marks' cozy mystery Forget Me Knot. While I'm not an avid quilter by any means, I have made a "cheat" one in the past and helped my mother-in-law Helen cut pieces for some of the amazing ones she made over the years. I was curious to see how Mary would work quilting into a mystery. When I cracked open the novel, I was sucked into a rollercoaster ride of fabric, secrecy and hot flashes.

            Martha, the protagonist, has an eye for a good mystery and certainly finds a good one when quilts go missing and a handsome detective appears. Following her through the highs and the lows was fun and well worth the read. In fact, Mary Marks makes her characters come to life and not only leaves her reader thinking, but also craving a sequel.

Here's a little taste of Chapter 1:

             Lucy reached out and ran the doorbell. No one answered. After a minute, she ran the bell again. Still no answer.

            "We're on time, aren't we?" Birdie whispered.

            Lucy raised her eyebrows and gave us a meaningful look. "My bad feeling's getting worse."

            I walked over to a front window, shoved my glasses back on my nose, and peered inside. The walls were painted a golden yellow. Wide hardwood planks covered the floor. A quilted masterpiece featured appliqued flowers and birds hung prominently on the wall behind the comfy-looking sofa.

            There was something on the hallway floor. I squeezed closer to the window and put my hands around my face to cut out the glare.

            A pair of red shoes...

            Feet inside the shoes, and legs...

            I couldn't see more because the wall was in the way.

            "I think there's someone lying on the floor."

Intrigued? Order Forget Me Knot on Amazon:
Available JAN 7 2014!!!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year!

Christmas is over, the New Year has begun and the decorations are on their way back to storage for another eleven months. It's nearly time to settle back into routine and take control of the things I want to accomplish this year.
I am looking forward to working on my newest novel and returning it to my agent over the next couple of weeks.
I plan to grade for my next belt in karate early this year. Green to Blue! My sensei (and boss!) even gave me a new uniform for Christmas! Talk about incentive.
I am doing research to get my current e-book into print.
I want to get my eating and exercise habits back on track.
Those are only the goals for the first few months. There are so many other things I want to do this year!

The other night, I watched Eat, Pray, Love. Wow. I love Julia Roberts! I also loved some of the messages the story offered: to relax and enjoy the food we eat and keep a sense of awe, to allow ourselves to become unnerved from time to time in order to live life to the fullest, to take a chance.

Wonderful couple of get-togethers with some great friends lately. One thing lacking in my life lately is spending time with girlfriends. Certainly have done that this past week. Last night in particular was a blast! Lots of wine spritzers, lots of food and lots of laughter. Sure, we hung out with our husbands too, but connecting with two wonderful ladies lifted my spirits more than anything! One of the families owns a cottage near a beach so we made plans to get together again and have even more laughs. Just us girls. I can't wait!

Slowing down over the holidays has allowed me to sit back and take stock of how crazy my life was becoming. How disconnected I was not only from others but from myself. 2013 was a busy, crazy, roller coaster year. While it's hard to slow life down and change the challenges life throws at me, I can change the way I deal with things.
Yes, it sounds like the same old resolutions: eat better, drink less, exercise more, etc.  So far, I'm Day 3 without coffee. I'm Day 2 into exercising. Day 4 into looking for the joy and happiness wherever I find them.

What expectations have you set for yourself for 2014?