Blog Archives

New Beginning and a Cover Reveal

The new year is a time for new beginnings. But with every new beginning comes an ending, and sometimes endings are bittersweet. That’s where we find ourselves with the Women Unplugged blog. We’ve got exciting projects taking us in different directions, and we’re redirecting our efforts.

I’m leaving Women Unplugged to focus on my personal blog and my new career as an indie women’s fiction author. My debut novel, Coronado Beach, will be released this summer. Here’s a little peek.

Book cover showing a wedding bouquet lying on a beach.

High-spirited public defender Karina Fields has found her dream job helping the indigent. Next on her agenda: romance. Trouble is, her faith in love has been shaken by the breakup of her sister’s marriage. Now, Karina’s ex-brother-in-law, Alex Kent, is moving from the cold marble world of D.C. back to the sand and blue waters of San Diego. He takes a job alongside her at the public defender’s office. Her instinct is to protect her sister from the ex-husband who bailed instead of fighting for their marriage. But Karina soon sees that he’s overwhelmed with grief over the violent crime that took the life of his unborn daughter and ended his marriage.

When a desperate client assaults Karina, Alex tackles and disarms him. Vibrating with terror, she cries in Alex’s arms, and a stolen kiss surprises them both. She doesn’t even like Alex—how can she be attracted to him? Despite her lingering desire, an entanglement with him would destroy her relationship with her sister. Karina’s following an old pattern: she’s drawn to men who need fixing. She won’t find the right man if she keeps falling for the wrong ones, and she can’t heal her family until she heals herself.

To learn about my new releases, be sure to sign up for my fan list. And if you’d like to receive free read-for-review copies before they’re released, join my ARC club.

You can also follow my Write with Personality blog, which was recently featured on BookRiot and Jami Gold‘s blog. It focuses on topics related to writing and personality type.

I’ve enjoyed my time at Women Unplugged and treasure the friends I’ve made here. I’m on Facebook almost every day, so this isn’t good-bye. See you around the Web!

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Flexing my mama muscles

Back when my kids were little, my biggest worry was that they’d choke on a marble. Then they started walking to school, and every time I watched them disappear around the corner, a not-so-tiny part of me worried they wouldn’t come back. Then came bikes, then cars, then airplanes and who knows what else when I’m not looking. The worries only get bigger, all the bad things that could happen scarier.

This is not a post about how to handle those fears. In fact, if you know the answer, please tell me, because my best solution is to try not to think of all the ways things can take a turn for the worst. One thing I do know for sure is that, if you think about them too much, your fears will make you crazy.

But fears aren’t reality, and physical safety isn’t the only danger kids face. What about bullies? What about injustice and intolerance? What about heartbreak?

Without throwing my daughter’s business into the big, wide world, let me just say that someone in a position of authority disappointed her. Big time. And it broke my heart to see how much this person’s careless actions broke hers.

I can teach my kids to keep their fingers out of the sockets. I can teach them to not run into traffic and about stranger danger. But I can’t unbreak my daughter’s heart, and that kills me. The only thing I can do is help her deal with this disappointment, because here’s another thing I know for sure: this won’t be the first time.

Merry Christmas

There’s no place more beautiful at Christmastime than Amsterdam. None. Granted, this city is one of my favorite places on the planet so I might be biased, but take a look and decide for yourself.

Whatever you celebrate and wherever you are, I hope your days are filled with  love and laughter and joy.

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All You Need Is Love

Eiffel TowerI’ve written before about how feminine stories focus on relationships and connection, while masculine stories focus on identity and alienation. American culture in particular tends to be masculine, and to devalue feminine concerns—the kind of struggles we find in romance and women’s fiction.

Romance novels are about people who want opposite things, yet manage to come together and resolve their differences in a way that leaves them both satisfied, happy, and on the path to lasting love.

The world needs more stories like that.

The events in Paris last week are more proof that there isn’t enough love in the world. The masculine value of competition, where one person wins and another loses, has a place in business and sports. But when it comes to people, whether on an individual or international level, we need more understanding. We need to work harder to build relationships and resolve our differences amicably.

The best time to stop terrorism is before young people become radicalized, before they become so disaffected that they believe violence is the best answer. That means listening to ideas that differ from our own and incorporating them into our world view. It means tolerating things we disagree with. It means working together to find solutions that create a bigger pie, rather than trying to grab the biggest piece for ourselves.

Life isn’t a competition. We’re all in it together, and no one gets out alive. We’re happier when we celebrate and enjoy each other’s differences rather than letting them divide us.

I’ve quoted this saying before, but it bears repeating: “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.”

What are you doing to create more love in the world?

Photo Copyright: olgacov / 123RF Stock Photo

Do something that scares you

9780778317869_TS_prd_revI’ll admit, when I came up with the idea for The Ones We Trust—a story with a military bent—I was more than a little nervous about writing it. I didn’t grow up in a military family. I’ve never lived in a military town. The number of soldiers I have as friends can be counted on one hand. What did I know about war stories? And more importantly, could I do one any justice?

A military angle is one I knew would hit home with a lot of readers. Fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, cousins, friends or neighbors… pretty much every American family has been touched in some way by war. What if I got it wrong, and offended people along the way?

Because war doesn’t just take place on a battlefield, and our soldiers aren’t the only heroes. What about the parents who send off their sons and daughters, the spouses and siblings and children left waiting at home? They are just as heroic and courageous, their sacrifices different, maybe, but just as great as the men and women fighting on the front lines. Above all, I wanted to be respectful to everyone, not just the soldiers but also the people who love them.

But I wrote the story anyway, and it was scary as hell, but The Ones We Trust is about more than just war. Yes, the story hinges around what, exactly, happened to the soldier on the battlefield, but the real story is about the people left behind. About how they cope and carry on. About how they find hope for the future. That’s what I hope sticks with readers the most–that even after great tragedy, there can be a better tomorrow.

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