Goals/Resolutions for 2018

I long ago stopped making traditional New Year’s resolutions, recognizing that when I did, I usually aimed too high, and got frustrated early, and gave up. So as I’ve aged, I instead use the coming of the new year as a time for personal reflection, and for setting areas of emphasis or longer-term goals for the coming year.

As I look toward 2018, I am setting the following goals for my writing:

  • More Than I Can Say (book 3) — to have it published by mid-July 2018.
  • Book 4 (still untitled):
    • First draft completed by July 1st, 2018.
    • Second draft completed by August 1st, 2018.
    • Professionally edited by October 1st, 2018.
    • Submitted for consideration for publication by November 1, 2018.
  • Of Grief, Gratitude and Garlic:
    • First draft completed by July 30, 2018.
    • Second draft completed by September 1, 2018.
    • Professionally edited by November 1, 2018.
    • Submitted for consideration for publication by December 1, 2018.

Now, here’s the thing, I recognize that all of those steps are time-consuming and involve a lot of hard work. I also recognize that I may not complete all of them in that very ambitious time period. But, in setting the goals, I am recognizing how important writing is to me, and the need for a schedule.

So we will see if I can meet those goals on time or not. I promise to keep the list up-to-date on my progress!

As the sun begins to set on the last day of 2017, I thank you all for your incredible support through this journey, and I wish you all joy, love and peace.

Happy 2018!

The start of new traditions…

For many, many years, we have awakened early on Christmas morning, “done” the stockings, then had the grandparents come over for presents, then had a huge family brunch. This year, due to the combination of my mom’s recent health issues and a snowstorm, this morning will just be the three of us, with dinner later with one set of the grandparents. While our youngest son slept in this morning, we enjoyed our coffee in front of the wood stove, had a bite to eat, then went out to take care of the animals, knowing that snow can be difficult for them, and brutally cold weather is on its way to VT. So we cleaned the coop and barn, and gave them their holiday treats. How happy they were! Maybe this is the start of some new traditions…

Snowy Day!

The snow is falling heavily in Vermont, piling up rather quickly. It’s been the perfect day to bake bread, make a nice dinner, and start wrapping gifts. The wood-stove is keeping us warm, and later tonight, I will be spinning some of the fiber from this year’s shearing of the alpacas.

Just in time for the holidays, both of my novels are on sale in the e-book from now until 1/2/18 — The Phone Call is on sale for 1.99 and That One Small Omission is .99.

both books sale

The can be found at: That One Small Omission and The Phone Call.

Enjoy the season!

Guest Blogger — Sandra Waine

Today, I am thrilled to welcome guest blogger Sandra Waine!

Down East Desires (The Anchor and Mermaid Series) (Volume 1)

By Sandra Waine

Down East Desires is set in one of the most remote, yet lovely areas of Down East Maine. The small fishing village of Lubec. Splash in a dash of the neighboring Canadian Island of Campobello, the FBI, swindling, a lively aunt, and handsome marine biologist and you have all the makings of a suspenseful, yet beautiful story.

At the ripe age of six, Amelia Rhodes spent more than a decade at her Aunt Irene’s cottage in Lubec. Hours upon hours in this craggy, cliffside town enjoying the delights of an oceanside village. It was here that a young girl’s imaginary delights focused on one lad in particular. Simon Bradford. Yet, encounters with Simon over the years were deeply ingrained in her heart. It truly was a growing young girl’s crush on an older boy that never dampened. Not even as the years passed.

After college, her trips to Maine stopped. But then a twisted turn of events involving her Aunt Irene’s retirement, property and business forced Amelia to return. To investigate who was making an offer and ensure it was all above board. Irene needed Mel’s help. Her CPA background. But more than that she just needed her to come back to Lubec. To a place, Mel loved above all others. Return to a village that needed her. Return to a man that needed her even more. Especially now.

Available from: solsticepublishing.com; amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and most book venues.

www.sandrawaine.com

Today’s Accomplishments

As I’ve mentioned, it’s been a really busy fall. Between the joy and excitement of my first two novels being published, and a health issue in the family, we’ve been out straight for months. At times, it’s felt like we were behind in some of the “normal” things we do in the fall, such as making jam, canning, or making many of our holiday gifts. With our children being older, and the craziness, we didn’t even carve any pumpkins for Halloween, and we were woefully behind in our December holiday decorating. Normally, by the end of the first week of December, we have our beams decorated, house decorations have been scattered throughout the house, and we have planned out when the tree will go up, etc. This year, it just didn’t seem to be happening…

Today, we put on holiday music, put up the tree and decorated it, put the holiday village around on the new mantles, and put the candles in the windows. As the sun set and the lights became more clearly visible, everything looks beautiful, and now it finally feels like the holiday season.

Guest blogger — B.L.Blair

Today I am thrilled to welcome B.L.Blair as a guest blogger:

The Lost Macaw 360x540 (Website)

The Lost Macaw by B. L. Blair

The Lost Macaw is the fourth novella in the Lost and Found Pets series. Alexandra Prescott is a licensed private investigator specializing in finding missing animals. Reuniting pet and owner is more than just a job.

A former client hires Alex to find her lost parrot. The bright colored bird has flown away before, but this time there is evidence that Molly was kidnapped. The demand is simple—the bird for the pictures.

When her client suffers a stroke, Alex is left with a ransom note, a missing bird, and some very incriminating photos. She is in a race against time to solve the mystery of the lost Macaw.

 

Excerpt:

“Your little old lady is quite interesting, Alex,” Halie said.

“What do you mean?”

“She didn’t exist until about thirty years ago.”

“What?!”

“I did a preliminary background search on her. In general, she is clean. No debt. The house is paid off as is her car. The one thing that jumped out at me was the fact that she had a safe deposit box at four different banks.”

Luke raised one eyebrow. I got a sinking feeling. I had noted the bank accounts but hadn’t really given them much thought.

“Yeah,” I said, “I saw those.”

“So why does an eighty-year-old woman need four safe deposit boxes?”

“Why does she need more than one?” Luke muttered.

“Exactly,” Halie said. “So I dug a little deeper.”

“What did you find?”

“About thirty years ago, Joseph and Trudy Kearns purchased the house on Carriage. Back then, it was a new neighborhood, and the prices were cheap. They paid cash. They also opened a bank account, and Joe got a job working for the city. Those are the first records I can find for either one of them.”

“Trudy would have been fifty at that time. Her husband probably a few years older. What about birth certificates? Social security cards?”

“They had them, but conveniently, they were issued from a small county in Virginia where a massive flood destroyed all their records. The county office was in the process of moving the old paper records to electronic when the flood hit.”

“Let me guess. The Kearns’s records did not survive the flood.”

“Nope.”

“So the only records for them are the ones they had in their possession.” I paused a moment. “Do they look real?”

“Yes,” Halie replied.

“So they could be authentic.”

“Or really good forgeries. In some ways, it was easier back then.”

“Anything else?” I asked.

“Not really. Lives on a fixed income of social security and a small pension from her husband’s job. It isn’t much because he only worked for the city for twelve years before he had to retire.”

“Okay, thanks Halie.”

After ending the call, I looked at Luke. He had a perplexed look on his face that I had a feeling mirrored mine.

“Who the hell is Trudy Kearns?”

 

Available on Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords.

The Phone Call and Sam

As you know, my second novel, The Phone Call, will be released by Solstice Publishing next Tuesday, December 12th. That brings me such joy and pride, it is hard to adequately describe my emotions.

But, as I have also said before, the whole tenacity-in-writing thing was largely pushed not by me, but by our middle son, Sam. Sam always believed, he just believed that if I kept trying, The Phone Call would eventually get published. When I would let my writing drop for a while, he’d be the first to do a, “Mom, get going. It’s going to happen, I know it.” And he always added that when it did, we would all go out to dinner, and order whatever we wanted… He could visualize it long before I could, and his belief was much of what kept me going.

Sam died unexpectedly in October of 2013, at a point in my life when I had let the writing go for a while. For a long time after his death, the grief was so strong and debilitating that I couldn’t fathom trying to write again. Eventually, with the support of my amazing husband, children and their friends, I printed out The Phone Call and That One Small Omission, put them in binders, and went at them with my colored (not red) pens. Eventually, I started submitting them again, and joy of joys, publishing contracts arrived.

The Phone Call was the first book I completed, although it isn’t the first published. As I celebrate its release this coming week, it will be with the knowledge that Sam always knew it would happen.