Category Archives: Update

2017, Day 341: This Happened

It started with a phone call Tuesday morning.

“I think my car is dead.”

And was confirmed later Tuesday with another phone call.

“Hey. This is Brent. (aka our mechanic) I’ve got news…”

Yep. Dead. 2004 Toyota Corolla with about 209,000 miles on it. It served its purpose for many years, but no longer.

So we needed something new. With four kids and running 87 different directions, we needed something new, fast.

Fortunately, this little beauty was waiting on us.

Matt went to a dealer about twenty miles away last night and worked out a deal on it. It’s fancy. In fact, it has heated seats, dual climate controls, multiple CD player, keyless start, backup camera in the rearview mirror, etc. WAY nicer than anything we’ve ever had before.

In fact, at just under 70,000 miles, we think it may be the lowest mileage vehicle we’ve ever owned.

That means my minivan (the one in the back) is now relegated to the driveway while the RAV4 goes in the garage. Because it’s far nicer and, let’s face it, most days it’s cold and gross enough to need to clean the windshield, I don’t go anywhere anyway. 😉

I did get some writing done last night after we got this all settled!

Recent Stats

Inadvertent Princess
12/1: 626
12/2: 403
12/3: 0
12/4: 1752
12/5: 125
12/6: 2079
Total: 31504

December 2017
Total: 4985


NaNoWriMo 2017: Day 1 or Plans Change

Sometimes plans change.

Mine did this summer when Grace to Stand just wasn’t working :(. I’m hoping to have it (or a different Grace book) out next summer still.

Cover for the eventual solo release. Maybe 😉

I’ve been working on Book 2 in CROWNS & COURTSHIPS, but had to put it on the backburner when a boxed set due date cropped up. That set, Out of the Blue Bouquet, releases November 7. I’m super excited about the story – A Kaerasti for Clari (I can’t make it do the ae as the same letter thing here…) – which will actually be labeled book 2 in the CROWNS & COURTSHIPS series, because it comes between Heart of a Prince and Prince Kensington and Anabelle’s story (and introduces Anabelle and gives a peek into a little bit of palace life in Eyjania).

So that makes Kensington/Anabelle book 3. And Princess Esther book 4.

And King Benjamin and Katrin (her name is supposed to have the little slanty line over the i) book 5.

Kensington & Anabelle


Some of you may remember when I talked about my cousins last year. They were displaced from Baton Rouge when the flooding hit. Allen has spent the last 14 months in and out of hospitals and other facilities. He’s spent less time at home than he has in one of them.

Because Allen has spina bifida. When the floods hit, he spent hours sitting in that nasty water and what was a manageable sore became infected.

And he’s been fighting that infection ever since.

During his most recent hospitalization, they were told his prognosis is very poor. But in the meantime, he’s living his life.

Me with Glenda & Allen in September

He’s visiting with friends. Going on helicopter rides. (Click the links for the two news stories done on him recently.)

And inspiring a character.

King Benjamin’s book will be dedicated to my cousin. One of the characters is inspired by the Wheelchair Preacher.

And because I want to get a copy of it to Allen as soon as I can, that’s the project I’m going to be working on right now. These characters have been after me to tell their story since at least spring and my trip to Toronto in May.

They’ll still be book 5, but I’m going to write as fast as my fingers can fly to get it finished and send Allen the first (likely unedited) copy.

Then it’s back to Kensington and Anabelle.

Sometimes, you know something is right even though it doesn’t make logical sense. WHY would I write book 5 before book 3 is finished?

King Benjamin & Katrin (but not their cover pic ;))

There’s no logical reason for it. My sales numbers, while not bad, could sure use a new release soon.

But I feel a complete peace about this. This is the right order to write these.

If you have a few extra dollars, Allen and Glenda could use your support. (For the record, Allen is my second cousin. Glenda is my first cousin once removed.)

Facebook keeps trying to get me to donate my birthday to a cause, but “Allen’s Life List” isn’t one of the options it gives me. If you’d like to contribute, please click here or in one of the links in the news stories.

Thank you for understand. And for being there when Kensington and Anabelle get their story. And Esther. And Benjamin and Katrin.

I appreciate you more than you know.

(It’s late and I’m tempted to wax poetic for a bit, but I think I’ll stop there ;). Tomorrow, it’s nose to the grindstone… :D)

2016: Day 219 or Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Changes 2

SO MUCH going on around here these days…If you “follow” my Facebook profile, you’ve seen at least some of this – but the biggest thing is NEWS! 😉

  • Top: my family with Aunt Dot Bottom: Four generations - Aunt Dot, her two daughters, me, my children

    Top: Four generations – Aunt Dot, her two daughters, me, my children
    Bottom: my family with Aunt Dot

    Jonathan’s story – Discovering Home – FINALLY releases September 15! It’s available for the preorder price of 2.99!

  • We went to Louisiana for a semi-impromptu family reunion (thrown together in less than a month). About 50 people showed up, including several of my cousins who are avid fans – which is SO COOL!
  • One cousin brought a family Bible (sadly, not OUR family) from the mid-1700s. Printed in England. BEFORE THE REVOLUTION. It was INCREDIBLE!
  • I got to spend about 2 hours with my great-aunt. Dot is 90, but we were able to have her identify a few older pictures – including one of her mother that looks JUST LIKE my oldest daughter.
  • One of my cousins was talking books with the receptionist and she said she’d read my books! HOW COOL IS THAT?! The ONE DAY she didn’t have her Kindle with her! But she made me sign a notebook instead ;).

But the biggest news…

I quit my job.

Me with the lovely Annette - receptionist where Aunt Dot is staying

Me with the lovely Annette – receptionist where Aunt Dot is staying

Well, kind of. Officially, I’m taking the fall off and letting my boss know if/when I want to teach again, but the reality is, once you give up a class, it’s hard to get it back because they have lots of people willing to teach them.


To write full time.

There’s more to it than that, but that’s a HUGE part of it. And the reason why I can consider it at all is that my books are bringing in enough income that I CAN take the fall off.

So yeah. That’s HUGE.

My great-grandmother

My great-grandmother

And I reworked my production schedule for the next six months. If I can stick to it, I’ll have the second two books in the Serenity Landing Second Chances series out by early January and have some novellas coming for you too – Christmas, plus some secret fun ones :D. If I can get into the groove, I hope to be able to release a book every 2.5-3 mos tops. Or four months with a novella in between. Or maybe even more often than that ;).

So those are the changes coming around here. It’ll be two weeks (at least) before it really sets in. My kids go back next Thursday, but the college doesn’t start for another week and a half. Hubs will still be teaching a couple of classes, but I won’t be. And that’ll be odd. I’m going to have to figure out how to find a schedule that works for me. I tend to write best late at night and into the wee hours of the next morning, but that doesn’t work when you have to be up by 630 or even 730 or 8 to get kids to school or assorted other things.

And there we go. The news around here. What’s going on in your life?

2016: Day 179 or Two Months Later

Two Months Post Op

Two full months after eye surgery… I”m ready for them to be back to normal. Honestly, at this point, I’m almost ready to go back to my glasses at my old script. At least that was predictable. If I didn’t have my glasses I couldn’t see. Period.

Now I’ve got this double vision thing. I’m still working on the TV set up in a corner of the living room for a monitor (though, I’m gonna be kinda bummed to give it up). I have a pressure check tomorrow and am hoping they’ll do a whole appointment to see what progress I’ve made if any.

I’m trying to remain optimistic… but it’s hard…

I am making serious progress on Jonathan’s story though so that’s good…

2016: Day 152 or My Happy Place and #CoverReveal

So…I’m procrastinating. I’m supposed to be writing a super fun summer thing that should release later this month. I’m loving it, but am stuck for the moment…so I’m blogging. I also did mock-ups for covers for the next four (yes, FOUR) novels as well as three novellas I hope to release this fall. I don’t have TITLES for all of them…but they have covers… :p

The purple pin is on my seat. Mine. And everyone knows it ;).

The purple pin is on my seat. Mine. And everyone knows it ;).

I also wanted to come back after my last blog. It seemed more melancholy and whiny than I meant for it to be. I can see so incredibly much better than I could before surgery, but it’s not was I was expecting yet. Yesterday, my eye doc did use the word “improvement” so, hopefully, we’re on the right track and we’ll continue to see improvement. I will still likely need to have a touch up done at least 90 days after the original surgery, but I haven’t been back to that doc, yet. The massive screen is helping – though it only helps so much when trying to do fine detail work for one of the covers…

Lifeguard Heiress FinalAnd speaking of covers…I shared my newest one last night! The Lifeguard, the Abandoned Heiress, & Frozen Custard releases later this month in the Whispers of Love collection! I’m so excited to go back to the Serenity Landing Aquatic Center. Alivia is back, of course, but this story features Gwendolyn Cranston-Schmidt, who runs the front desk, and Adam, a lifeguard we met last year. It also leads into Jonathan’s story which will release later this summer.

Whispers of Love is only .99 for over 2000 pages of new books from 12 authors! You can’t beat that with a stick! The collection itself will only be sold for a limited time, so if you haven’t preordered yet, you totally should! The .99 price will go up not long after release, too, so grab it while it’s still a spectacular deal!

The pool opened this weekend so we were there both Saturday and Monday. Swim team started yesterday. It’s so good to be back in my happy place :). Yes, the purple pin is actually in my seat. Just ask anyone :D. I keep asking for a “reserved after 430” sign, but they haven’t gone quite that far yet ;).

And in a further effort to procrastinate, I think I’m going to do some more website updating ;). And will also pray I have a flash of inspiration for what comes next… 😀

2016: Day 147 or Coping with my (temporary?) New Normal

2016 Day 147

So I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I’d had PRK surgery* in late April. Recovery had already been slower than I’d been led to believe and, well, it still is.

Unfortunately, it’s probably about as good as it’s going to get.

For now.

Normal set up (though font much bigger than usual)

Normal set up (though font much bigger than usual)

See, prior to surgery, my vision was somewhere in the 20/3000 range. As in super stinky. The laser had to do fairly extensive reconstruction (at least based on the size and thickness of a cornea ;)). Which means more recovery time.

But…even after a month of steroid drops (including two weeks of every two hours while awake), I’ve pretty much stopped getting better. The doc wanted to put me on name brand drops, but because it had only been just over a week since my last refill, insurance wouldn’t cover it. And it’s super duper expensive. So I had to go with the generic refill again until next week. Hopefully, he can write the script in such a way that I can get more than one of the tiny bottles, because that will still only last about 10-12 days tops.

We hope that it will help, but honestly, I’m not holding out a whole lot of hope. Most likely, I’ll need a touch up surgery. They won’t do that until at least 90 days afterward. There’s a date in late July that would work – but it’s EXACTLY three months so there’s a chance the doc will want to wait. The first date in August would work, EXCEPT I’m driving – by myself – to Nashville for the ACFW conference less than two weeks later, and I’d rather not cut it so close. After that, there’s a slim possibility we could get it to work in September, otherwise, it’ll be December. Sigh.

Have I mentioned how fantastic my husband and kids have been?! I don’t know what I’d do without them.

In the meantime…

New set up (though replaced the chair with the office chair)

New set up (though replaced the chair with the office chair)

I can see well enough to read a book or drive. But details any further out than a couple feet? Notsomuch. I don’t recognize people more than 5-6 feet away, unless I know them well and/or expect them to be somewhere. If I need to figure out which similar something I need to get at the store, I have to be embarrassingly close – and squint.

And I can’t see my computer screen with my normal set up. Even super huge font doesn’t work terribly well. So, i’m having to adjust to my new normal.

To that end, there is now a card table set up in my living room – right in front of the fireplace (thank goodness it’s summer!) with the 42″ television sitting on it and the laptop underneath and plugged in.


But even then, the letters are somewhat blurry. :/

Close(r) up of the new set up

Close(r) up of the new set up

But the cover I just finished for the Montevaro Monarchy compilation looks super cool on a huge monitor. I’m now officially excited for the day when I can have a dedicated office and multiple huge monitors! 😀

So…I can work on my super special, super secret novella project that should be out by the end of next month – AND I can work on Jonathan’s story, which should be out near the end of July.

Which means it time to get back to work :).

*Different procedure than LASIK, similar end result

2016: Day 135 or My Unintentional Hiatus

#3's art is down to her right

#3’s art is down to her right

So I’ve been mostly offline for the last couple weeks. I’m sure most of you didn’t really notice, but I was ;). (That doesn’t explain my lack of blog updating but my lack of presence on social media anyway… ;))

I had this…vision of writing a particular blog post after all of this and, well, this isn’t it :p.

On Thursday, April 28, I fulfilled a dream I’d had for far longer than seeing myself as a published author.

I got my eyes fixed.

#1 and #2 had a band concert...grades 6-8 - it was crowded. And hot.

#1 and #2 had a band concert…grades 6-8 – it was crowded. And hot.

Or so they tell me ;).

I’m sure I’ll be very happy with the results, but it’s taking far longer than I thought to get there. I was led to believe it would be 4-5 days, but…here I am two weeks later :D.

It’s so significantly better than it was, and it’s not surprising it’s taking on the longer end, because I was pretty blind. I just didn’t plan to take 2+ weeks off :/.

That’s not to say it’s been all bad. Not at all. Some of the good stuff…

*A writer friend (she writes Medieval romance for the general market) works with me and doesn’t live too far. She drove me to work three times and took me to my eye appointment – we went to lunch at the NY Pizza place owned by the parents of a friend of my daughter’s. Our end of day schedule was quite different so…

We dropped Steve off for a few minutes and Ginger drove us around

We dropped Steve off for a few minutes and Ginger drove us around

*I spent a lovely 25-30 minute drive with my step-father-in-law. He drove me home from work the Tuesday after the procedure. We went a back way he’d never driven before and got stuck behind a tractor. He didn’t mind because he could rubberneck some.

*Thursday, a week after procedure, a couple other friends of mine picked me up from work. In his brand new Ford Mustang convertible. With not just seat warmers but seat COOLERS! Ginger, very kindly, let me ride up front so my eyes wouldn’t get even more dried out. Steve gunned it a couple times and yep – pressed back against the seat J. If you follow my Facebook page, you see pics of me writing in their rec room from time to time. They also took me to get my laptop from a friend who was fixing it. Love them!

One Fine Night Jazz solo for #1 - I love listening to her play! MIL drove us to that too

One Fine Night Jazz solo for #1 – I love listening to her play! MIL drove us to that too

*This Tuesday, my work friend and I had finals at the same time so she took me home and we went to the local BBQ place for lunch.

*My fantastic mother-in-law drove us around quite a bit. The kids had several concerts and other school things. She’s not used to something as big as my mini-van, but she did fine ;).

*By the next Friday, I was able to drive short distances without feeling like my eyes would get too tired. #1 kiddo and I went to the swim team meeting. Can’t wait for our pool time to start! They’re supposed to fill the pool this week which also means… cover photo shoot coming up!

So I’m still seeing blurry and double, but that should be clearing up soon I hope!

#1 graduated from middle school two weeks after surgery

#1 graduated from middle school two weeks after surgery

What’s happening on the writing front while I can only half see? I’m trying to finish edits on the second Lifeguard book. It will release late next month. Look for more details in a newsletter coming soon! As soon as that’s done, I’m working on a Fourth of July project I’m super excited about! There will be more coming from that group, too! YAY!

After that… well, then it’s time to buckle down and finish Jonathan’s story! You’ll see him and a little bit about what he’s been up to in the Lifeguard book, but his story is due to release in late July – another newsletter will go out when it’s up for preorder!

Pretty sure it's gonna need more water...

Pretty sure it’s gonna need more water…

So that’s where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to. I’d appreciate prayers for continued healing. A newer friend mentioned on Facebook the other day that she was a year out and it’s fantastic. She was worse than I was but it took her a couple months. So there’s a light at the end of this particular proverbial tunnel – and not just the super bright one the eye doc uses… 😉

2016: Day 38 or Yeah, I’ve Been Keeping Up Really Well

WTQH ProofYeah so I haven’t kept up with this “almost daily” or “pretty often” blogging thing. (In fact, I have a blog for InspyRomance this week that I haven’t written yet :p.)

So what’s been going on?

Well…I formatted the insides of both Winning the Queen’s Heart and Protecting the Prince and did the full cover flats for them. I got my proof copies and the paperbacks are now available on Amazon! YAY! I also ordered a TON of books for my own stash downstairs. They’ll be here in a couple weeks.

PtP ProofPrince from her Past is ALMOST done! I’m reading it right now, mostly for continuity, but I’ll also look at word choices etc if something seems a bit off. Then I’ll have my Kindle read it to me and then send it off to my proofreader (who is FABULOUS!) – and it’ll be out to the world on March 1! Yay! It’s still on a special preorder price (2.99!) until then! Protecting the Prince will also be available to purchase on Amazon in the morning if you don’t have it yet – just .99 :).

I’ve been to two high school meetings in the last couple weeks. Yep. My oldest will be IN HIGH SCHOOL in May! (Well, August, but she’s taking PE over the summer.) It doesn’t seem possible!



I went to WICKED last weekend! That was incredible! YAY! Though I didn’t love being in the front row of the third balcony…because it was FAR down! 😉

Uh…I’ve also written about 10K words on Jonathan’s story, but it’s going to go on the back burner for now :/. I’ve been asked to be in a boxed set this summer and need to write a Lifeguard book ASAP! It’s going to be a great collection with a bunch of great authors. More details will be available in late March or early April. As soon as that’s done, I’ll be back to working on Jonathan and Kenzie’s story! Meantime, I’m excited to see what happens to Lifeguard Adam and…uh, well, I don’t know his heroine’s name yet ;).

All right. That’s it for today. I promise to try to do better! Promise :D.

2016, Day 8: or Yep. Crummy Day.

The first sentence

The first sentence

I knew it would be. It was. It could have been far worse (can’t it almost always be far worse?) but it was bad enough. So this will be very brief.

Things I’m thankful for: family

Writingly stuff accomplished:

*Ordered new toner for my printer
*Sort of organized the table in the living room where lots of my stuff is stashed
*Printed the super duper long manual for using these map making etc programs I have (more on that another time – which also led to that first thing ;))
*Six sentences in my notebook while waiting for peeps
*Brainstorming with first reader Emily (who, in turn, brainstormed with her sister)
*Texted friend Ginger L. to see if I can use their rec room to write for a while on Sunday (Yes!)
*Made a new page for my website after a street team member asked for the chronological order of books – it can be found under the books link on top or here 🙂

As for tomorrow…it’s supposed to be filled with family stuff, but that requires a medium-short road trip (about 45-60 min each way) so I may get a little bit accomplished…

Quote of the Day:

“Is it bedtime yet?” – Me 😉

2016, Day 7: or Done Reading PFHP!

Mr. Benny

Mr. Benny

ETA! AH!!!!! I completely forgot comments go to moderation the first time you comment! I just found a bunch and am headed back to them! AH!!!!!! (Yes, it’s been that long since I’ve had comments on my blog :p. I’ll pay better attention from now on! Promise!)

YAY! I finished the first full re-read of Prince from her Past and my other first reader (Ginger V.) was right – it’s not as bad as I thought ;). It does have some issues with story threads dropping or starting out of nowhere, but the overall story arc is pretty okay.

(Yes, I have two first readers. Emily N. gets everything as I write it. She then texts me her thoughts (usually – sometimes email). Ginger V. (one of three Gingers involved in my writing process ;)) generally gets the first draft as soon as it’s done and gives overall feedback having not seen any of it beforehand. The other two Gingers? Ginger L. and her hubs are good friends of ours and they let me write in their rec room pretty regularly. Ginger S. is my fantastic proofreader! I might, um, accidentally text the wrong one occasionally…)

Mr. Benny is my 5lb Shorkie. He’s also the template for the dog Jonathan finds on the opening pages of his story. This is him last night. Until he got sick last fall, he had no trouble eating from his bowl. Since he got sick, notsomuch :p. In fact, the top picture is his “Mom, the bowl is too scary – put the food on the floor” look. So I do. Then he got super brave and drank out of his water bowl without huddling next to me as I sit on the floor. A bit much? Probably. But this poor doggy was abused before he came to us (it took a year for him to be comfortable around my husband – even if no one else was around) and it’s not that hard to sit there. I read while I do it usually. We even bought new bowls! Because SNOOPY! 😀 Sometimes, he’ll eat or drink in their regular space. Maybe we’ll get back to it regularly soon…

So today…It’s been a tough week around here. I’m sure I’ll mention some of it sooner or later, but not all of it. Today was tough. Tomorrow will be tougher. Everyone’s fine, just life stuff. If we cross your mind, though, prayers would be appreciated. God knows.

Quote of the Day:

“You don’t have to shovel sunshine.” – my dad, circa 1980-2000 when we lived in Phoenix (but you don’t have to turn on the air conditioner to build a fire in your fireplace on Christmas Day)(This showed up in my memories feed on Facebook today because we’ve had snow on this date for several years.)

Today, I’m thankful for: my husband. He’s a rock star on so many levels. For real. And he takes such good care of me. I <3 him.

Today’s progress:

No writing done (though I may try to get a few words in before I actually go to bed)

Reading done:

Pages 70-161 of Prince from her Past and notes made (I print small with small margins and not double spaced – it’s probably 300-320 pages in reality at the moment).

Tomorrow’s goals:
*There’s gonna be a lot of life stuff tomorrow
*Maybe putting some of those edits into the computer
*Maybe a thousand or two words
*14yo’s first pep band experience so all of us at a high school basketball game or two

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