bookstrand_logo

The Crazy Month of May.

This month has been a month filled with good news in a crazy sort of way. My house is finally getting the needed repairs from the tornado that hit us last February. It took this long for the insurance company to settle but now we’re well on our way to fixing the final issues.

IMG_0566I have been invited to be a featured artist at our local art gallery in town. So I am busy painting for the show.IMG_0569 My husband is graduating from Medical School after a long road of studying. He has taken on volunteering for Hospice and also has a medical missionary trip planned for early next year.

My Fragrance Irresistibly Delicious!
My Fragrance Irresistibly Delicious!

I made swag for a contest I am running for my book. SWAG is an author term for promotional materials for prizes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all the month has been hectic, but in a good way. I look forward to June as the weather in central Florida grows warmer, I can’t wait to be outside enjoying the sunshine and writing by the pool. Do you have any summer trips planned? I’d love to hear about them.

bookstrand_logo

If You Could Live Anywhere In The World, Where Would It Be?

I love scrolling through the pictures I have stored in my computer. Several years ago I was fortunate enough to go to Italy. It had always been a dream of mine and when I walked the streets of Florence I felt at home. I realized I could very easily pick up and move to Italy.006_06

My trip took me to Rome, Florence and Venice. Each city has it’s beauty, history and uniqueness I fell in love with, but something about Florence resinated with me. Maybe it was all the gold at the Ponte Vecchio in florence. Most of the shops that line the arched bridge carry beautiful jewelry and exquisite gold.

italy-ponte-vecchio

There was also an overwhelming abundance of art, especially religious art, which is an interest of mine.

I have a small collection of it scattered throughout my home, but to see the art in the museums, churches and architecture on the streets had me in heaven for the ten days I was there.

005_05

Oh course no trip would be complete without visiting the coliseum in Rome. At the time, my son had watched Gladiator more times than I could count in preparation for our trip. I have to admit standing in the center of the ring was an overwhelming and emotional experience. I took this picture standing at one end of it at the top. You can see some people on a level below overlooking the main ring. You can get a sense of the size.010_10

So if you could pick anywhere in the world to live, would you choose another country, where you are now, a mountain, island or city? I’d love to know! Leave a message on this post. One lucky person to leave a comment will go into a drawing for a copy of my book Irresistibly Delicious.

bookstrand_logo

Writing About A Tropical Paradise Takes the Winter Blues Away.

Well I’m back to the land of the living. I’ve had some sort of head and chest cold for the past week but thankfully it’s gone now.IMG_2484 The cooler damp weather here in Florida wasn’t helping me to feel any better, causing the lag in my recovery. Most of you probably think I’m a bit of a whiner, when you compare the temperatures and snow the rest of the country has been forced to endure this winter, but I’ve lived in Florida for twenty-four years and this winter for us was the coldest we’ve had in  long while.

Since I lost so much time last week, I have thrown myself into my writing to try to catch up. I’m so excited about book two in my Cozy Cove series. It takes place in tropical Florida but centers more around the ocean and beach. 13_11AFor inspiration during the colder climate, I turned to pictures from a trip taken a few years ago in Grand Cayman.

We snorkeled around the coral reef. The colors of the fish couldn’t really be captured with my disposable underwater camera. The highlight of my snorkeling adventure was seeing a baby sea turtle and snapping his picture on film.

I’m a beach or pool person. The best form of relaxation for me is to stretch out by the pool or surf side in the sun. These days I use an umbrella to defuse the harmful rays. My characters in this story, will enjoy the beach and fall in love, while discovering their life long dreams and achieving their goals, all the while as danger lurks to tear them apart.24_22A

Looking back at these pictures and the wonderful memories, makes me want to hop on a plane and take a flight to the islands right now. What’s your favorite way to relax? Do you like the beach, mountain climbing, snowboarding? I’d love to hear from you.

bookstrand_logo

Changes In The New Year!

Last night we welcomed in 2014. Some of us in the quiet of our own homes, some of us gathered with family and friends and some of us might have spent it out among strangers. After a turbulent 2013, my year ended on a positive note. We received many blessings towards the end of the year. My first book, Irresistibly Delicious was released on New Years Eve 2013.daf-cc-id-full

A new year with endless possibilities awaits us.IMG_2391 For our family this will be a year of change. I’m not one to embrace changes, I adapt to them out of necessity and my husband likes change even less. People say change is good. I imagine if you’re not happy with a situation, then change is a good thing. In my case I’m torn. The excitement of moving to a new location for my husbands work will better our future, but the sadness of leaving the area and people I love, a place I’ve called home for the past ten years is difficult.

In the meantime I will continue to work on my stories,make soaps for family and friends, paint my paintings and look forward to a bright new year with endless possibilities. What are your hopes for 2014? I’d love to hear from you.

bookstrand_logo

Meet Giuseppe The New Addition To Our Family!

Last Saturday morning, I asked my husband to take Arabella to the vet for eye drops.702407_613711472018588_836652397_n I had a painting class that I didn’t want to miss. I was painting a lion in oil colors.

1458807_618587794864289_1195518716_nWhile I was in class I received a text message. A picture of my husband holding a kitten. It said he found a new friend. “How cute.” I replied. Thinking it was someone else’s pet and went back to painting.

Imagine my surprise when I found out. My husband fell in love with a kitten up for adoption there.

Now mind you we already have four dogs. But my husband being the soft hearted man I love felt with defended himself by saying, he couldn’t say “no” to giving him a home.

I was shocked and annoyed. I didn’t need another pet to take care of. Suddenly it became my fault because I had a class and he had to take Arabella to the vet. If I didn’t want these things to happen I shouldn’t have sent him to the vet. I couldn’t blame him. I once almost came home with a homeless puppy from the vet a few months before but someone beat me to it. So meet Giuseppe! get-attachment.aspx1421609_619954498060952_876159398_nHe weighted only 15 ounces and was 5 weeks old but is growing everyday, and I love him.

bookstrand_logo

Switching Gears on Careers

Last year, towards the end of 2012, I came to the conclusion that I was tired of working in construction. I was tired of all the male testosterone, the constant attempts at intimidation, and the lies and manipulation on the job sites. I’d been dealing with this on a daily basis for the past twenty years– but even so I loved my job, did it well, and had an excellent reputation.

At five feet tall and weighing less than one hundred pounds, I’d held my own.  I could verbally backhand another contractor on the site if need be, but dealing with this each day began to wear me down. I managed crews on some of the largest renovation sites in Central Florida. The Gaylord Palm Resort for example, Walt Disney World – all parks, resorts, and every inch of their backstage area.

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
View of inside Gaylord Palms Resort, Orlando, FL.
View inside the Gaylord Palms Resort, Orlando, FL

Oddly enough it was at an event in 2010 at Disney’s Dolphin Resort that I had an epiphany. They were hosting the RWA Literacy Signing. For those of you who don’t know, and I didn’t at the time either, RWA stands for the Romance Writers of America. Romance authors from all over the country were signing books and all of the proceeds were going to literacy organizations. I had been reading romance novels for years, and now I was in a huge convention hall meeting some of my favorites. Nora Roberts, Cherry Adair, Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, to name a few. These woman were the warmest bunch of woman I had ever met.

While chatting with historical author, Victoria Alexander, I shared that I had made several attempts at writing a romance novel, but never followed through. She planted a seed of encouragement for me to follow my dream. So in 2012, when the opportunity presented itself, I shifted gears on careers.  I began writing and completed a 83,300 word small town romance story this year. I also began painting in oils and acrylics.

Painting I did yesterday.
Painting I did yesterday.

Taking the first step was scary. Am I on my way with a new career? Who knows, but I hope so. Have you ever made a major life change? If so lets talk about it.