Inspiration and affirmation in Palm Springs!

roneSo here we are facing down October, and I still can’t get my head around September! It’s been such a flash! A new release, a book fair appearance, a writer’s conference and awards gala, and a trip to see the college kid!

It’s all been fun, but I want to pause just a minute and revisit the InD’Scribe Conference and RONE Awards ceremony in Palm Springs.
I didn’t meet as many readers as I had hoped for, but the rest of the conference was outstanding. I met so many awesome authors and industry professionals! It was great to meet in real life several people I’ve only had a Facebook relationship with, and put names with faces. The keynote speakers, Catherine Bybee and Anne Perry, were fabulous and inspiring. I found myself wishing I could just get away and write! Ah, but that real life thing . . .

I still haven’t had time to thoroughly go back through all of my notes, and implement everything I learned, but it’s on my list of things to do! One of the most valuable things about a conference and sitting down and chatting with other authors, is hearing about their success and failure. What they’ve tried in terms of marketing, what was effective, and what wasn’t. Tips and tricks. It’s always encouraging to find other authors who are living the dream and willing to help others. And it’s energizing to feel like I’m part of something bigger. Sometimes writing can be isolating and I feel like a gerbil spinning in circles on one of those little wheels all alone in a cage. It’s really good to get out and about! 🙂

And then there were the RONE Awards. “Something Good,” my finalist in the Sweet Contemporary Romance category, got the first-runner-up spot! Of course it was disappointing not to take home the big prize, but still, simply being there was so affirming! I was among very talented company, and the book was read by four to seven judges who gave it a strong thumbs-up, and that in itself is a wonderful thing!

I extended my stay in Palm Springs a day after the conference to settle down and enjoy another day of summer. Great decision! I got to have dinner with a long-time friend from high school who was one of my bridesmaids from thirty-some years ago!! 🙂 Ah, what a three-hour dinner with a good friend can do!

I also spent some time at the pool and had fun giving a few leftover books to readers lounging in the sunshine. I gave one gal the choice between my new release Her Greatest Risk or Something Good. She read both covers, and chose Something Good, saying it sounded like a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. So many people have said that!! I’m wondering if my next visit to southern California should include a stop in Hollywood!? Well, a girl can dream!

Happy reading, everyone! Wishing you a lovely Autumn!

Click HERE to find Something Good on Amazon!

Release Day! Read All About It!

5x8TemplateWoo-hoo! It’s finally here — release day for my new contemporary romance, Her Greatest Risk! That means there’s a lot going on today! First, the book is now available in digital and paperback versions at Amazon.

Second, to celebrate, I’ve put all my other romance novels on sale this weekend only for 99 cents. Makes it a great time to stock up! 🙂
Over on my Facebook Author Page I’ll be discussing the book throughout the day and giving away a few digital copies of Her Greatest Risk. Follow the page, share or comment on the post there, and you’re entered for a chance to win!
You can also visit Goodreads and register for my paperback giveaway there. Good luck, and happy reading to all!

What it’s all about . . .

Clashing over the fate of a historic building, Jennifer Aukland and Michael Reynolds are on course to become adversaries. She’s an architect devoted to green building and restoration. He’s a developer hell-bent on ripping down the old hotel she’s racing to save to make way for a new casino.

Chemistry leads to compromise, and for a time, they’re on the same team. Jennifer adds Michael – and marriage – to her safe and steady plan for the future. But when Michael throws caution aside and lands in a life-threatening situation, Jennifer’s world comes crashing down. In her family, she’s learned that recklessness leads to tragedy. She must decide if she can commit her life to someone who takes unnecessary risks with his. Will she take control of her own destiny, even if it means leaving Michael behind? Or will she risk everything for love?

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A Mouse in the House . . .


Sometimes you just need a mouse in the house. Well, we got one – or five! Ugh. I do not like having a mouse in the house, in my kitchen cabinets and drawers. It’s rather disgusting, really. We put up with it for several days, with half the drawers strewn about the house. But after multiple trips to the hardware store for traps, foam sealant and shelf-liner, we think we got ’em!
And now, I’m happy to report, every inch of every cabinet, drawer, surface, corner, etc. is spotlessly scrubbed and sanitized! Every dish, cup, pot, vase, basket and utensil also is disinfected and clean. Yeah, I’d say this is the cleanest our kitchen has been in, oh, a decade or so! And it’s so neat and tidy – everything in its place.
The good thing is it forced us to deal with a long over-due project. The bad thing is it required a week of dealing with the critters and stepping around drawers. And it consumed a full day of our three-day weekend – truly a “labor” day! The clearing and cleaning was time consuming enough, but then there was the decision making, the long game of Trash or Treasure. What’s this? Is there a lid to this? Have we used this in the last ten years? Will the kids miss this? Will we ever use this again? Do we need ten of these plastic cups from every walk/run/party/event?
We had to decide if we could part with the last remaining baby bottle tucked in the deepest corner of the cabinet. Well, let’s see, the youngest kid is 19. We just took him to college. Memorabilia? Hmm, perhaps. Would keeping it be gross at this point? Maybe. Oh, but what about the Hello Kitty plastic sandwich holder? Hey, now that might actually be cool again. That one went into the box to be delivered, someday, to our daughter . . . along with the Shamu visitor’s cups. I believe we also did retain the Anakin Skywalker cup with bulbous podracer lid.
When all was done, we ended up with an exciting amount of additional shelf space! And three boxes. One we’ve dubbed “apartment living” that’s full of various useful and appropriate items for kids living in that awkward apartment stage. One is full of giveaway goodies including sets of matching mugs along with a variety of still functional items that we envision some child happily giving his or her mother this Christmas. The last box does, indeed, hold items of memorabilia . . . little forks and spoons, mugs lovingly painted by small kindergarten hands, water bottles, cups and glassware from vacations and events that the kids will most likely pitch one day when they go through the box and ask, What’s this? Who made this? Will I ever use this again? 🙂

Next up . . . the attic? Basement? Oh, wait, I have books to write. So I’ll ignore those nooks and crannies a while longer, or at least until there’s another mouse in the house!

Survive and Thrive . . . novels for women

Hello, friends!
As I mentioned last week, I’ve met so many interesting people in the world of writing and publishing. To me, it’s always fun to meet new authors, and learn about their journey. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Charmaine Gordon, author of women’s fiction and romance, and her newest work, When Double Becomes Single Again. Welcome, Charmaine!

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Thanks for inviting me to your blog today. As strangers we are starting from scratch and that’s often a good thing. If we were in a bar, we might say “Come here often?” but no we’re in outer space, both authors who write about women who survive and thrive. If you don’t survive, you’re in big trouble and yet many women are too weak to stand up and make a life for themselves after a drastic situation has happened. I’ve been there and it’s a scramble to put on make-up, dress well, go to work and keep your head up. I recall when my first husband died suddenly, the psychologists on the radio talked about men liking younger women. I looked in the rear view mirror to see an attractive woman-ME-and decided I was okay and not to worry. A year later, I married a sweet guy and we’re happy together. At 84 that’s a stretch.

I often wonder where a story comes from. For me. I sleep write and stories blossom but in the case of When Double becomes Single, this story is part of my real life-at least the beginning. I cried a lot and eased up as the heroine learned to become single after being married about thirty five years. She talks to him at night the way many widows do, her dogs keep her company and she works the business they started when they were young. Eventually she blossoms. That’s where my heart sings. And not to worry, there is an HEA.

Excerpt: When Double Becomes Single Again

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The touch of her husband’s lips on hers warmed Sharon Michaels all the way home from the hospital. Remembering his whispered I love you before she left released a cascade of tears. She groped in her bag for a tissue, found none and used the sleeve of her good winter coat as a blotter. Mac would fix Barry. Their favorite doctor always knew the magical potion to apply. Even when Fred, their difficult teenager now in his thirties, started using marijuana and refused to stop, Mac knew what to do. Tough Love was the prescription. No driver’s license and other privileges allowed until he straightened out. So Barry’s bad cough should be easy like the croup. Hmm. Fred still held a grudge against us. Get home and go to sleep.

Exhausted after hours visiting with her husband at Community Hospital in Suffern, New York, Sharon stripped and pulled on flannel pajamas. Too tired to shower, she brushed her teeth, washed her face and slipped under the comforter on this chilly night. The phone rang. She picked it up. Mac Bloom, the family doctor said something she couldn’t quite hear.

“Crisis? Is that what you said? What do you mean crisis? I left him at the hospital about an hour ago. We kissed and said I love you the way we’ve always done for thirty six years.”

Their doctor for many a long time sighed. She heard urgency and sadness in his voice. “Sharon, is anyone at home with you?”

About Charmaine . . .
Charmaine Gordon writes books about women who Survive and Thrive. Her motto is take one step and then another to leave your past behind and begin again. Six books and several short stories in three years, she’s always at work on the next story. The books include To Be Continued, Starting Over, Now What?, Reconstructing Charlie, Sin of Omission and The Catch, and her series of Mature Romances, The Beginning…Not the End, including the stand alone novellas, She Didn’t Say No and Farewell, Hello and her most recent series, River’s Edge Stories where the town motto is Kindness to Strangers.

“I didn’t realize at the time while working as an actor in NYC, I’d become a sponge soaking up dialogue, setting, and stage directions. I learned many tools of writing during the years watching directors like Mike Nichols and actors including Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, and Billy Crystal. And would you believe, I was Geraldine Ferraro’s stand-in leg model, my first job giving me entrée into all the Unions needed to work. When the sweet time ended, I began another career and creative juices flowed.”

Where to find Charmaine…

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Drum roll, please . . .

Today’s the day! Here’s the first glimpse of my soon-to-be-released contemporary romance Her Greatest Risk! I love the colors and the large, striking image. Creating the cover for a novel comes with soooo many decisions . . . . colors, mood, font, images, title, etc. I can’t even tell you how many different titles I considered or how many images I looked at before settling on these. Many thanks to Marisa Shor of Cover Me Darling design studio for pulling my concept together!

I know many romance books feature couples on the cover — images that convey the author’s idea of what the characters look like. For some reason, I prefer other images. For one thing, it’s really difficult to find stock images or models that exactly fit. Also, as a reader, I like to create the image of the characters in my mind. Every reader may see something a little differently, and I think that’s part of the fun of stepping into a work of fiction.

Anyway, here it is! The book will be available in print and digital formats at Amazon beginning Friday, Sept. 11. Stay tuned for more on release deals and giveaways. Happy reading to all!