Thursday, January 31, 2013


This post is a follow-up to yesterday's post about reviews.

It just so happened that on the very day my post about reviews went up, I received ONE LITTLE STAR,  from one little blogger for one little book, Lancaster House.

I believe this further proves my point that not everyone will like every book!

Here's the funny thing:

Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle were included on a Top Ten of 2012 list at House of A La Mode.

Here's Shelly's review of Lancaster House:

This book sucked me in from the very first chapter. Once I got started I literally put it down one time to make dinner for my family. As soon as dinner was over I was back reading! I probably read it in 3 hours, maybe a little more.

I have never read a book quite like this one. I can't begin to describe to you how good it was. When Taylor contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing it here on my blog, the thing that intrigued me the most was the old house. I remember reading a Nora Roberts book a long time ago about a woman (I think) who bought an old house and was restoring it and I really loved that book. So, I was pretty sure that I was going to like this one. This one took me quite by surprise. I wasn't at all prepared for the depth of the paranormal aspect of this story. Just when I thought I had it figured out something else would happen to take the story that much deeper.

One thing is certain, Lancaster House is a main character in this story. There is a little bit in the book about The Winchester House, I remember reading about it or seeing about it on a TV show. I love how the builder of Lancaster House incorporated some of the things he learned on that construction site into the construction of his own home. It gives Lancaster House some very distinctive characteristics.

I don't want to give anything away since this story is so unique. This story is told from two points in time. Zoe is in the present, in a place she doesn't want to be, telling her story to someone else. The story flows really well from one to the other and when she was telling her story I felt like I was right there with her. I was having a hard time not being really angry about what was going on in the present. I was frustrated for her and I just wanted everything to work out.

Zoe is young and energetic and takes this huge house on without a single thought. She walks right in to a house that the Realtor doesn't even want to go into and she sees it in all it's former glory and just knows that it's meant to be hers. She moves in and gets to work without any hesitation. Then odd things start happening, but at first she just chalks it up to exhaustion and things maybe she is just imagining it. One night something happens that she just can't deny and her life changes. She meets a mysterious man who seems to have been watching over her since the moment she walked into Lancaster House.

Zoe spends all her time working on the house and getting to know her mystery man to the point that she isn't even leaving the house at all. She discovers things about him that leave her with more questions than answers and he isn't even telling her everything. She searches out answers by researching the house and it's history, but even this isn't enough.

As the story goes back and forth from past to present, as a reader I was left wondering if she really is crazy! I know one thing is certain, I loved Andre and their love story is so romantic and original. The whole thing is a little reminiscent of random episodes of some of my very favorite paranormal shows. It's a theme that has been played on a handful of them, but I have never read a story with this theme. It's really something else, I know that I keep saying it, but I just can't get it out of my head!

I was NOT happy when it ended, but there is a second book coming out this winter that will hopefully tie it all up nicely. I can't wait to see how Andre and Zoe's story ends. I wholeheartedly recommend this for anyone who likes paranormal books, you will not be disappointed at all. It's not just a good story, it's really well written and just overall a great read.

There are really no content concerns, I don't think there was any profanity. There are some kissing scenes and talk of being intimate, but no detailed love scenes in this one.

I am going to tell you one more on one of those links up there and BUY this book. You will not be disappointed and if you are then I don't think we can be friends anymore! (Just kidding...kind of!!)

Conversely, the ONE LITTLE STAR book reviewer included Lancaster House on her DNF (did not finish) list of 2012!

I said I'd never received an UGLY review, but I do find this review UGLY:

I thought it was a ghost story, but it’s not at all scary. And the ghost isn’t a ghost…or is he? Half of the story was told in Zoe’s POV to the therapist and half was told in Zoe’s POV when she arrives in the house. I was completely bored by the scenes written with the therapist and bummed out that there wasn’t anything scary about the scenes in the house. I think the author tried too hard to make this novel work and it felt more like a spoof novel than the real thing. Since I knew around 50% that I wasn’t suppose to give it a 1 star review for the tour, I stopped reading. I wasn’t going to waste my time finishing it and not review it. - DNF

How's that for different opinions! It's hard to believe they're talking about the same book!

Clearly, she didn't like the book and that's okay. It really is. It's part of being an author and something I have to accept. Everyone is allowed to express their opinion.

Here's what I object to:

This book reviewer was given a free copy of Lancaster House as part of a blog tour. Since I'm paying for positive promotion of my novel, book reviewers agree to  NOT post a review if they can't give the book three stars or more. (this is the policy for this particular book tour company) This policy keeps reviews honest. If you don't like the book, then don't review it. It's as simple as that. I feel this book reviewer broke her agreement by posting this review on her blog and on Goodreads. Just because it's several months later does NOT make it okay.

Okay now I'm done. No more talking about bad reviews. I needed to get that off my chest and now I feel better!

Love to hear from readers! Tell me your opinion on this matter!

Image courtesy of [Rawich] /

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY!

I'm talking about reviews! One thing every writer needs to know is that not EVERYONE will LOVE every book. It's a hard lesson.

I learned it after writing my second novel. Everyone who read Sierra, my first novel, LOVED it. I was pleasantly surprised. It was such a GOOD feeling, an all time high. I moved on and wrote my next novel, Joshua's Folly. (it will be released next, in March of 2013)

My friends and family eagerly read Joshua's Folly. But this time, the feedback was BAD. 'Not my favorite,' a few people commented. However, there were a select few who LOVED it! To this day, Joshua's Folly is the all time favorite of my mother and my daughter.

Go figure.

I was perplexed. I cried. I may have even sobbed a little.

Then I went back to work, editing and streamlining my novel.

However, I had learned an extremely valuable lesson.


I'm so glad I learned this early on. Sometimes reviews are amazing and they make me happy, floating on cloud nine for days on end. Then a 'not-so-good' review comes my way and I tend to sulk and brood about it for far too long. If I let it get to me, really get to me, it WILL affect my writing because I will lose my confidence.

A bad review does not necessarily mean that I've written a bad book. My books often receive wonderful five-star reviews. Yeah! Happiness!

This sends me a very important message. I've written a good back! People like my writing! WOW!

(Note: If I had never once received a five star review from anyone and no one ever liked any of my books, then the following would be a moot point!)

But then it happens. I get the two or three-star review from someone who did not like my novel at all. (Thank goodness I've never received a downright UGLY review.)

How does this happen? How can one person LOVE it and one person HATE it?

Good question. Thank you for asking.


It's as simple as that. Everyone has different tastes, likes, and dislikes.(Logically, we all know this. Seldom do we apply it to our everyday lives.)

And you know what, that's okay. It really is. It's a healthy perspective and one that keeps me sane as I experience the highs and lows of publishing.

As an example, I will share with you two entirely different reviews about Sierra. I love to post my reviews, but I don't post my bad reviews. Of course not! And I only post this one as an example to prove my point. I don't believe in being ungracious toward reviewers. They have the right to express their opinions. Without book reviewers, I'd be lost! Book reviewers provide a great service to authors. They provide advertisement and promotion.

That being said, here are two reviews of Sierra, one good and one bad. Sierra appealed to one person and it didn't appeal to another. (Out of courtesy to the book reviewer, I won't name who wrote the bad one.)

Three stars:

This was not what I expected with this read. With a rather light touch of the dramatic, most of the story covered a slow and meticulous story that I found less than believable. I actually grew to dislike Alyssa. I found the romance, though sweet, to be unrealistic due to the timing. Alex is a good character, both strong and sweet. Their story is heart-wrenching and sweet and sad all at the same time. Though fairly well written, I couldn't get past the disregard for the recent tragedy that Alyssa seemed to adopt. The plot took on a very raw emotional atmosphere that you don't often come across. An interesting read, but not one I prefer when it comes to sinking into a good romance.

Five stars: From Ruth Hill of My Devotional Thoughts

Let me begin by saying that any review I leave here will never do this book justice. Not since "Hunger Games" has a book so captivated me and taken me on such an emotional roller coaster! I thought I had read romances before, and books like "Jane Eyre" and "A Tale of Two Cities," I had always considered the peaks of romantic literature. Let me say this. This is the most romantic book I have ever read in my 38 years on this planet! In case you have not guessed by now, I loved this book!

When I began this book, I had no idea what I was getting into. I was horrified right off the bat, but I was so intensely drawn into the story that I savored every word on every page. Alyssa and Alex are fantastic characters, and Taylor Dean has made them truly three-dimensional. I connected with both in ways I never dreamed possible that I could connect with fictional characters. Alex gets my award for the most romantic character in a book--right alongside the Dumb as a Box of Rocks Award. No spoilers--read the book yourself.

I found myself tingling in unexpected ways and moaning (even when there were students in the room with me). More than once, I found myself crying over this story, and once I even threw the kindle down on the desk, determined to not finish it. It was too painful to read. Why? Well, let's just say that while I have not experienced anything like Alyssa did, I long for so much of what she and Alex expressed. And the book was so real to me that I found myself longing for what I don't have. Very rarely does a book ever affect me like this. I am a romantic at heart (which the majority of people would never guess), but so far, I can't find anyone who wants to share that romance with me. At least I was able to have some vicarious pleasure with this story.

Let me end by saying there is basically no profanity. No misuse of God's name--always makes me happy. And no sex before marriage. What? Really? What an amazing idea in this day and age! And I am glad the author had the decency to give the characters privacy in the bedroom. In fact, that makes it even more romantic, in my opinion. This book brought out the true romantic in me that often gets neglected.

See what I mean? Two very different reviews. The story in Sierra appealed to one, but not the other. 

This is a concept I think all writers need to learn and remember. There will be TWO star days. But, the FIVE star days come too. 

And they're the BEST!

Image courtesy of [Master isolated images] /

Monday, January 28, 2013


My next book, JOSHUA'S FOLLY will be coming your way in March of 2013!
My mother, who LOVED this book, calls this novel a TRU-BLUE romance. 
No paranormal, no ghosts, no kidnapping, no amnesia, no abuse. 
It's just a contemporary love story, but there's something about this novel that I LOVE. 
Oh, and the drama . . . well, it's not lacking in that department!
Here's a little something to whet your appetite: the 'folly' is not just a mistake made on Josh's part, it's a PLACE!
(I know, how cool is that?)

Here's the blurb:

Can you fall in love with a picture?

After Marisa survives a traumatic experience in her youth, she finds comfort in the form of a photograph of Joshua, her foster mother’s nephew. She falls in love with him, creating and refining an image of the man of her dreams. When Marisa has the opportunity to visit Joshua’s cattle ranch outside of Amarillo, Texas, she meets Joshua in person for the first time. She quickly realizes he is someone she could really fall in love with, not just a silly childhood crush.

Life is seemingly perfect for Josh and Marisa, with endless possibilities before them. That is, until Josh’s reservations take a toll on their relationship and their summertime romance ends rather unexpectedly.

Will Marisa be able to forgive Josh for his folly?

This particular novel has been through the ringer, so to speak. At one time, it was a 165,000 word monstrosity. After editing and streamlining the plot-line, it is now a modest 75,000 word novel. This is SHORT for me! I'm currently working on final edits and I'm horribly tempted to make the novel longer. The problem is that it's perfect just the way it is. It doesn't need more. More will ruin it. More drama, more action, more angst, more issues, MORE of anything will be too much. Believe me, I've conjured up hundreds of new plot-lines for this book, I've ran the ideas by family and friends, and they just feel wrong. Sometimes you have to know when to stop! I feel this novel is best left untouched. The story is perfect as it stands right now.

Making an appearance in your life in March 2013!

Friday, January 25, 2013


Sierra was recently featured on the OrangeBerry Big Bang book promotion tour. Below are the reviews I received.

This first one is from Mommy Adventures:

Sierra by Taylor Dean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How much can the human spirit stand before it is broken and shred to pieces? That is the ultimate question of this book. Alyssa finds herself stripped emotionally and mentally. Your heart breaks when you think of all that she is going through. And then out of the blue, things start to change.

She embarks on a different journey which helps her recognise love once again. But is this love genuine or is there another disaster looming ahead for Alyssa? The romantic elements have a very strong Nora Roberts feel to it and of course there are all the twists and turns that are worthy of Stephen King's earlier books.

Really good read and I can't wait to read the author's other books.

Would I recommend this read? Oh yes, definitely.

Overall assessment:
Content: 4.5/5
Editing: 4.5/5
Formatting: 4.5/5
Pacing: 4.5/5
Offensive content?: PG13 to PG15 for theme and content.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author through Orangeberry Book Tours. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obliged to write a positive one.

The next review is from Quality Reads UK:

Sierra by Taylor Dean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cover - Plain and simple but it does make sense when you read the story.

Formatting / Appearance - There were no issues at all.

Content - There is something sad and lonely about this story. And yet, there is a surge of strength that comes from the idea that love might exist after all.

What I liked - The author's writing style. She keeps you glued through the ups and downs of the story. You start to feel connected to the characters and by the end of it you really appreciate the execution of the story.

What I didn't like - Some parts of the story were less developed than I would have liked.

The last review is from the Next Big Book Thing:

Sierra by Taylor Dean
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Describe 2 different settings or locations. One - "Sam, there’s one thing I’ve learned from all of this and that is, life is short, life is tender. It can be taken away in the blink of an eye." The background of this conversation was simple but really tug at you.

Two - "As their laughter faded and they sobered, Alex told her, “It’s not over." This signifies the beginning of something new for Alyssa, and you want to feel happy for her but as the story hasn't ended you keep turning the pages to see if you have guessed the ending correctly.

Were you able to connect with the main character and why? Definitely. Alyssa comes across as someone who depicts strength under all circumstances.

Which did you find more appealing, the introduction or the conclusion? Definitely the ending. The build up to the ending was just splendid.

Why would you recommend or not recommend this book? Yes, I would recommend this book. It's a riveting story that will capture your heart.

Disclosure - I received a free book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks to all for the great reviews!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


It's no secret that I'm utterly addicted to American Idol! At least, I've mentioned it many times before on this blog! (Without American Idol, Lancaster House wouldn't have been written! Click here to read about it!)

At any rate, the new season of American Idol has begun. One contestant loves singing so much that he sings on trains while holding out his hat to collect money. Keith Urban, one of the new judges, mentioned that he did the same thing--anything to be able to sing. If he'd never made money singing, he'd still do it, because he loves it that much!

This is how I feel about writing. If I never become successful, if I never make a cent at my writing, I'll always be at my computer writing the next story in my head that's itching to be placed on paper. That's how much I love it! It's an added bonus that others love my writing as well. I'll always do it anyway, in spite of everything.

Sometimes when I'm feeling down, I listen to the song by Martina McBride, entitled, "Do it Anyway." It inspires me. Here are the words:

You can spend your whole life buildin'
Something from nothin
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway

You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

God is great but sometimes life aint good
And when I pray
It doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway

This worlds gone crazy
And it's hard to believe
That tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway

You can love someone with all YOUR heart
For all the right reasons
And in a moment they can choose to walk away
love em anyway

God is great but sometimes life aint good
And when I pray
It doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
Yeah I do it anyway, yeah,

You can pour your soul out singin'
A song you believe in
That tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway
Yeah sing it anyway, yeah, yeah

I sing
I dream
I love anyway, yeah.


p>Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] /

Monday, January 21, 2013


Every once in awhile, I get a review that says the believability factor was a little thin. (Mostly this comment applies to Sierra, my personal favorite of all of my books).

Not sure how I feel about this. After all, I AM writing FICTION!

Personally, I love to engross myself in a book that is an escape from everyday life. I want to be entertained. I want to relax and forget everything else around me. I want to experience life in a way that I will never experience it. That's how I feel about what I read, hence it's how I feel about what I write also.

I like to write books that technically COULD happen. But, would they really happen? (BTW, I'm not talking paranormal here.) Maybe, maybe not. I like for books to be just that little bit over the top. To me, this factor makes the book entertaining. Humdrum, everyday life is . . . well, boring, in most cases. Of course, this is a personal preference. Everyone in the world will have a different opinion on the matter. It's one of the first lessons I learned while writing--not everyone will like every book. What appeals to some, may not appeal to others. And you know what . . . that's okay! As long as there are some people who it DID appeal to!! If EVERYONE hated it, then, well . . . yeah, I'd re-think the plot!

Everyone says Contemporary is 'what's in' right now. Without an amazing plot line, I find Contemporary a little dry! Throw in a few twists and curves--and I'll probably love it. Would all of those twists and curves happen to one person in one lifetime? I hope not! Poor them! But it sure does make a great, entertaining book. Personally, I love to see how a certain character handles the trials in their life. Often it makes me handle situations in my own life with greater ease.

People love to read horror because they can be 'safely-scared,' tucked away in their own bed or their own living room--feeling scared out of their wits--yet knowing they're safe in the end.

I think the same concept applies to many romantic angst books. Some of the twists and turns can be just as crazy as reading a 'not-ever-going-to happen' horror novel. But, we enjoy the journey. We enjoy seeing how the heroine handles her life--without having to actually experience it ourselves. Why should romance have to abide by 'everything-could-happen' rules?

I do, however, believe that we need to see the characters in a book making logical decisions. Too many dumb decisions will leave the reader throwing the book across the room.

Odds are they won't pick it up again either.

How about you? Do you like a book that is realistic in every sense? Or do you like a book that is just a little bit fantastic? I'd LOVE to hear from you!

Image courtesy of [maple] /

Friday, January 18, 2013

Old and New Cover Comparisons

One of my favorite things to do is show my readers my old and new covers. My next book that I'm going to release is entitled, Joshua's Folly, a contemporary romance.

I agonize over my cover choices. The popular book covers of today mostly have pictures of real people. While some of those covers are absolutely amazing and I LOVE them, there are many that I don't care for at all. I don't like to see a picture of a real person on a cover because it sets an image in my mind of how they look and I like to picture the characters in a book in my own imagination, the way I think they look.

I chose to go with animated covers. I fear this makes my books look juvenile sometimes. I get comments about my covers all the time. In particular, for Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle. Some people LOVE them and some people HATE them! You can't please everyone, all you can do is please yourself!

In the end, that's what I decided to do. Every single person I asked for advice about my covers gave me a different opinion. I realized that I needed to make the decision. I wanted eye catching covers and I felt the animated images were definitely eye catching! Also, I write clean romance and if my covers look different, then I felt that they spoke to the content inside. They are different from your average romance novel.

That being said, I'm still on the fence with my cover for Joshua's Folly. To be honest, I LOVE the old cover. I LOVE the new cover too, but I LOVE the old cover a little more. The problem is that now that I've gone with animated covers, I feel like all of my covers should match and be animated. Keep with the theme!

Tell me what you think!

The old cover:

The new cover:

Now that I look at them side by side, I realize the new cover matches with my new Taylor Dean Books theme and it's the right choice. But, I'd still love to hear your opinion.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My PERFECT Empty Nest

A few years ago, I had an empty nest for about eight months. Then two of my children came home. One graduated from college and it took her awhile to find a job. The other went to college locally until he realized what he wanted to major in. We just dropped him off at his new college a week ago.

One of my other daughters was very morning sick with her second baby. So, she and her one year old son (my grandson) spent two and a half months here recently while I took care of them both.

The house was busy, full of laughter and life.

Now I can hear a pin drop. 

My pregnant daughter is feeling better and has returned home, making her lonely hubby very happy. I miss my little grandson very much. My other daughter is firmly ensconced in her job and my son is settling into college. 

So here I am, back to an empty nest. 

The kid's rooms are perfectly clean and there's no one here to mess them up.

I remember reading a paragraph written by Erma Bombeck. In it she talked about mothers and the way we always tell our children, "Clean up your room, get rid of all that clutter, put all that STUFF away!" Sometimes it feels like it's all we say! We give in and we clean the room for them and we declare, "NOW, I want it to stay that way!"

But then she said, the day will come when you clean their rooms and  you say, "NOW, I want it to stay that way!" 

And it will.

And it will be sad.

I'm there. 

The bedrooms are clean. The beds are made. And they are staying that way. My PERFECT empty nest. 

The first time we had an empty nest, it felt like my hubby and I were on one long, amazing date! And I know it will be like that again and I look forward to it, I really do.

But, right now, the house is too quiet, too clean, and too lonely.

Okay, enough feeling sorry for myself. Those darn kids keep on calling me and I can't get anything done! 

Time to get back to my writing.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Thanks so much for the follow and good luck on the Kindle Fire Giveaway! YOU are the best!

If you'd like to know what kind of books I write, here they are at a glance:
(I write clean romance)

Contemporary Romance

Missing any memories? 

Holly Sinclair is happily married to the love of her life, Gabriel. Young and in love, Holly hopes to have their first child soon. Of course, Gabriel wants to wait till Holly’s health is restored, much to Holly’s dismay. She feels perfectly fine. So what if she just woke up from an eight-month coma? So what if some of her memories are missing? She remembers Gabe and that’s all that matters, right?

That is, until HE enters her life again . . . she forgot about HIM.

I HAVE PEOPLE is rated 4.64 on Goodreads. Check out the reviews!

Romantic Suspense

Have you ever been lost in the woods?

Alyssa Fontaine’s life, loved ones—everything familiar and dear—are brutally taken from her.

Taken captive by two men, she endures a horrific nightmare. A new life is forced upon her and even a new name.

Just when it appears that no hope is in sight, she is saved by an unlikely twist of fate. Trapped in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, life will open its arms to her again and she will embrace it. She will find love such as she never knew existed.  

Sierra is a heart-wrenching story of the power of the human spirit to survive amidst impossible circumstances and severe losses. It is a story of survival . . . and hope. 

SIERRA is my personal favorite of all of my books! To see one of my favorite reviews, click here.

Both SIERRA and I HAVE PEOPLE made the top ten of 2012 list by Book Worm Brandy.

Paranormal Romance

Are you ever really alone?

Zoe Grayson needs a change. So, she moves to another state, purchases an old, dilapidated 1920s Victorian Mansion, and sets out to restore it to its former glory. As she begins the restoration, she finds herself falling in love with the old house . . . not to mention its illustrious builder, Mr. Lancaster. Zoe becomes obsessed with the house as she discovers its secrets; hidden rooms, secret passageways . . . and a mysterious man who seems to think the house is his. Who is he? More importantly, how does he live in her home unseen and unheard?

The unexpected answers leave her reeling—and questioning everything she’s ever known. To her dismay, Zoe’s actions land her in the local psychiatric hospital, scheming for ways to return to Lancaster House . . . and the love of her life.

Zoe Grayson is back in Lancaster House, ordered to bed rest for the duration of her unexpected pregnancy. Doctor Wade Channing, her overzealous psychiatrist, is living in Lancaster House, taking care of her, waiting on her, and tending to her every need. It seems to be the perfect arrangement.

There’s just one catch.

 She has to tell him her story—everything that has happened in her life since the moment she escaped from Serenity Hills. It’s been quite an adventure to include renovating another home and a walk down the middle aisle.

But, that’s all over now. Nothing is real. It never was.

How did she end up in this miserable situation?

Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle were named in a top ten of 2012 list by Shelly of House of A La Mode.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Orangeberry Big Bang Limerick Challenge

Orangeberry is a Book Tour company that is currently doing a book promotion called, "Orangeberry Big Bang." It is promotion of 32 wonderful books, to include my book, Sierra.

One of my fellow authors, Kimberly Dalferes, author of "I Was in Love With A Short Man Once," hosted a challenge. She asked all of the participating authors on the Orangeberry Big Bang to write a Limerick about their book. She posted the limericks on her blog. To read all of the limericks, go to her blog: Kim Dalferes Blog.

Thanks, Kim! What a fun idea!

So, what's a limerick? A limerick is a funny little poem containing five lines. The last words of the first, second, and fifth lines all rhyme with each other.

At first I was a little leery about writing a limerick about Sierra. Limericks are usually light and funny. Sierra deals with a serious subject. While it is a happily-ever-after romance, it's not a light and funny read. But then, I thought, what the heck? Why not participate? It's not a lighthearted limerick, but here it is:

Alyssa found herself feeling all was lost.

Stumbling through the Sierra's determined to survive at any cost.

A cabin she found,

A second chance at life came round.

Will her new love become star-crossed?

That's it. Not funny! But, it does depict the story pretty well.

My thoughts on Sierra: 

I've said this before and I'll say it again: Sierra is my personal favorite of my books. So far, I Have People has the highest ratings on Goodreads, which surprised me. I guess you never know which one of your books is going to be the most liked by readers! Of course, I LOVE all of my books. I wouldn't have written them if I didn't. But, Sierra was my first book--it was the first time I poured my heart and soul into a novel. I love the emotion, I love the angst. I love the message that you can find happiness after facing great tragedy in your life. I have found that readers either love or hate this book. They don't really hate the book, I think, perhaps, they just can't handle the subject matter, which is rather intense--and it's not an easy read in parts. (but I can't really speak for them!) There are those that felt I didn't spend enough time on Alyssa's loss. While writing it, I felt that I spent too much time on her loss and I didn't want to weary the reader. I felt it was necessary though. I didn't want to gloss over her loss either. Not an easy subject to address. Some readers can't get over the fact that she does move on. But that was the whole point of the book--the ability to move on and find love again. But, I do understand the concern. Definitely a delicate subject.

As for me, I love a book that brings out my emotions and makes me cry, that really makes me think about life and what's really important. My daughters and I will watch a touching movie and bawl like babies. When it's over we will declare what a good movie it was while the men in our lives roll their eyes and announce that they are now depressed!

Ah, the difference between men and women.

Do you have a favorite book that made you cry, but you LOVED it? Tell me about it!

BTW, to vote for Sierra on the Orangeberry Big Bang Goodreads Listopia vote, click here! Thanks!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle Book Tour!

I'm super excited about this tour for Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle. It will include an amazing giveaway with SWAG: bookmarks and pencils and even a totebag. More information to follow!

UPDATE: Since I posted this, the tour dates have been changed to Feb. 11-March 1. I'll update the banner soon! Be on the lookout for more information. My tour host has some really COOL ideas to make this a fun tour. Even I'm looking forward to see how it all turns out!

Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Lancaster House--along with 19 other amazing books--is currently being featured in a Kindle Fire Giveaway promotion hosted by I'm a Reader, Not a Writer. (and appearing on many other wonderful blogs, as well!)
Enter to WIN!

I have always been a paperback fan. My hubby surprised me with a Kindle Fire for our anniversary and, to my surprise, I LOVE it. I love being able to have all of my books in one 'easy to carry' place. I was taken off guard by my love of my kindle. It's amazing. When my grandson traveled with us, we downloaded movies for him to watch in the car. This is beginning to sound like promotion of a Kindle--and that's not what I'm doing! Just letting all of you paperback fans know that I've made the change--and I am in awe of my Kindle. Not sure how I lived without it! Technology has come a long way. I still remember what it was like to actually 'get up' and turn the channel or have a corded, dial-up phone. (No caller ID, no cell phones, and long distance was expensive!) I also remember when the only way to heat something was in a saucepan or in the oven. (no microwave!) Yep, life was tough back then. 

Just kidding. I'm not THAT old, but when I think about how far technology has come in my lifetime, it certainly SEEMS as though I'm old!!

At any rate, if you'd like to enter the Kindle Fire Giveaway--and find out about some fantastic books while you're at it, click on the above 'I'm a Reader, Not a Writer' link!

Good luck!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


IF you loved SIERRA, would you please vote for my book on the Orangeberry Big Bang Listopia vote on Goodreads?

Here's the link:
Orangeberry Big Bang Listopia vote on Goodreads


My Orangeberry Big Bang Tour dates:

14th January - Author Interview at Peace from Pieces

15th January - Book Feature at Bunny’s Review

16th January - Book Review at Mommy Adventures

17th January - Book Review at Quality Reads UK

18th January - Book Review at The Next Big Book Thing

19th January - Twitter View with OB Book Tours

20th January - Twitter Blast with OB Book Tours

21st January - Orangeberry Blast Off

Top Ten Lists of 2012!

I made TWO top ten lists for 2012, at least that I know of! I can't even begin to tell you how much this means to me. Last January I was pretty sure my writing career was OVER. My agent announced that there was nothing more he could do for me--and that was that. I was on my own. I cried and felt like a failure. Then, I picked myself up and made the decision to self-publish--and the results have been amazing. It's been a busy and challenging year. Getting my books out to the reading public has been no easy feat--and I've still spent much more than I've earned on the endeavor. However, it's posts like these, below, that encourage me to keep on moving forward and NEVER give up! Although I'd like to earn money writing . . . honestly, the most rewarding thing has been comments from people who loved one of my books. Seriously! They make my heart soar!


Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle made it on the top ten list by Shelly at A la Mode!

Two of my books--TWO--made it on the top ten list by Brandy of Book Worm Brandy! Both Sierra and I Have People!

Thank you Shelly and Brandy!

And to think, last year I was crying and moaning, thinking no one will ever like my books, and this year I made TWO top ten lists! No matter what happens in the future, I've succeeded! I truly believe that not trying--not reaching for our dreams--is where we fail. If we fail while trying, well, at least we tried and did our best! Be proud! What if I'd given up, lost all hope? I never would've known that there really are people out there who enjoy my writing!

And that is the most wonderful feeling of all!

If you're reading this, THANK YOU! I hope this message encourages you to reach for your dreams in 2013!


Image courtesy of [Vlado] /