A Decade of Writing


Happy New Year! And happy new decade. Wasn’t it just yesterday we were freaking out about Y2K??!

Ten years ago, on December 31, 2009, I was still working as a fraud investigator. My work environment wasn’t good, but it would grow worse throughout 2010 until I finally had enough.

We lost our little pug, Jessie, in May of 2009.

While we were dog-less, we took a trip to Lugano, Switzerland, in September that year.

Then by October, my husband indicated he was ready for another dog, and our little Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Bonnie, arrived in early November.

After I finally quit the job that was making me physically sick, I began writing my first novel in 2011. And here, on the final day of 2019, I’ve published nine novels and one non-fiction journal. And I can’t wait to begin my new book!

Thank you, all of you, for reading these blog posts, for taking a chance on an unknown author, for being a loyal reader, for buying my books as gifts for yourself and for others, for posting reviews, for letting me know that I write books you like to read! I am grateful, so grateful.

Rhode Island Authors Showcase


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It starts this Monday, November 18 and runs all week, through Sunday, November 24. I hope you’ll join me online at Facebook (yes, this is a Facebook event) here

The Rhode Island Authors Showcase will feature 30 authors of varying genres (something for everyone!) – each author is giving away a prize at his or her Facebook page. I have a sweet chocolate sampler up for grabs. The chocolate is local (of course), from The Chocolate Delicacy in Warwick, Rhode Island. Dark, milk, white – it’s all there!

Each day you can visit the pages of the featured authors (four or five per day). Once you’ve visited and answered their questions, come back to the main page and answer the question of the day. Participate all seven days and you could win our Grand Prize, a $250 Amazon gift card, just in time for some serious holiday shopping. We’ve got a Bonus Prize as well for the runner-up, a Rhode Island-themed gift basket valued at $50.

I hope you’ll join in the fun! And don’t forget, locals – the Rhode Island Authors Expo is coming up on Saturday, December 7, 2019 at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. Over 125 local authors will have signed books available! There will also be informative panels, author spotlights, the best raffles around, and Santa! Free parking, free admission.

 

Celebrate It All


What would a birthday be without a blog post? After all, I wrote my first eight years ago, on my 53rd birthday.

When I turned 30, an old college friend convinced me to do it up big, stating, “No one cares when you turn 31.” True. So for most of us, these ‘milestone’ birthdays tend to be momentous.

Last year, when I told my soon-to-be-retired ophthalmologist that I was nearly 60, he chuckled and remarked that once you hit 60, those ‘milestones’ are every five years instead of every ten years. Yikes, I thought.

But he was (partially) right. There are fewer decades left. I’ve seen too many friends die too soon, dammit.

My pal Christine DePetrillo asks every Friday online, “What are you celebrating?” Some Fridays I don’t have an answer, but it’s not because I’m a pessimist. Yesterday I thought, well, I’m celebrating my birthday this weekend. Sixty-one is as much a celebration as sixty, maybe even more so.

So, I jumped waves at the beach today with my husband, sang along to songs on the radio, accepted lots of well wishes (thank you!) and will indulge in something sweet after dinner tonight. It’s all worth celebrating.

Everybody’s Irish!


My husband’s Austrian mother believed that everyone could claim to be Irish for St. Patrick’s Day. And sure, why not?!

If you’re local, please come to Stillwater Books in downtown Pawtucket, Rhode Island, on Saturday, March 16 to celebrate Stillwater’s first year of business! I’ll be there at 2:00pm to sign copies of my latest novel, April in Galway.

And if you’re not local, but want to read the book in its digital format, you can win a Kindle copy! Just leave a comment below telling me one of your favorite Irish traditions (real or imagined) and I’ll draw a few, because I’m feeling especially generous!

Then, next month, I’ll be in Warren, RI, at Ink Fish Books on Saturday, April 13 at 1:00. Introvert that I am, it’s unusual for me to do these two events, but I am excited about both events – and as much as you can support your local bookstores, please do.

Sláinte!

November #Book-a-Day Giveaway Preview


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Once again this year, I’m hosting Rhode Island authors on my blog during the month of November. Representing a variety of genres, I’ll showcase a different author each day, and every day you have a chance to win either an ebook, a print book, or a gift card. What better way to spend November?!

Here’s the lineup for the month of November:

  1. Barbara Ann Whitman
  2. Tabitha Lord
  3. Denise Flagg
  4. Dana Gambardella
  5. Dana Vacca
  6. Tara Williams
  7. RK Bentley
  8. Mai Donohue
  9. Christine DePetrillo
  10. Jan Cornell
  11. Donna McCarthy
  12. Hilary Salk
  13. Hershey Rosen
  14. Michael Hartigan
  15. Vanessa Paniccia
  16. Dr. Michael Battey
  17. Matt Espeut
  18. Corey Calligano
  19. D.R. Perry
  20. BJ Knapp
  21. Lena Lane
  22. Karen Petit
  23. Paul Caranci
  24. Julien Ayotte
  25. Pat Hinkley
  26. Mark Perry
  27. Karen Gasperini
  28. Alison O’Donnell
  29. Martha Reynolds
  30. Leigh Brown & Victoria Corliss

That’s quite a lineup! Each day you’ll have a chance to win something (the blog post will tell you what’s up for grabs) simply by commenting on that post. Make sure you comment, because there’s a big prize at the end, and everyone who comments throughout the month will be eligible. You have up to 30 chances to win! More importantly, here’s a chance to discover a new author or revisit one of your favorites.

The 30 days of giveaways in November culminates with the Sixth Annual Rhode Island Authors Expo on Saturday, December 1, 2018. Hope to see you there!

It is the heat. And it is the humidity.


Nearly September. 95 degrees today. Heat index 104. Just like yesterday.

So who else is cranky? I know (at least) three people who live without air conditioning. I don’t know how they live, though. Our thermostat is set at 74 and I’m hot. But I’m grateful for A/C, especially at night.

I’ve never liked summer best. Fall is my favorite. How about you? Depending on where you live, you might not experience four distinct seasons. But by September, the sun rises later and it’s dark by 8:00 now, so I want that cool air to follow.

Meanwhile, I’ve finished the second round of edits for my new novel, so now it’s off to my trusted readers, who give me honest feedback. I sometimes can’t see a plot hole or a character who uses repetitive language, but they can! I’m still on track to have this book ready by December 1 – the day I’ll be at the Rhode Island Authors Expo!

Until then, I’m reading a lot (what are you reading?). I loved How to Walk Away by Katherine Center and Crossing the Bamboo Bridge by Mai Donohue (her memoir of growing up in Vietnam – you won’t be the same after reading it). I’m almost done with How Hard Can It Be? by the hilarious Allison Pearson, just started Alternate Side by the wonderful Anna Quindlen, and The Pendulum’s Truth by the very talented writing team of Leigh Brown and Vikki Corliss. Vacation next week means lots of reading!

Autumn will get here, eventually. You won’t hear me complain about the cold. Not me.

The Year of Living Minimally – Week Twenty-nine


We have an appointment with a tax accountant next week, which means I’m gathering paper. As if I’m not already frustrated with the excess of paper we have in this house. And I try! I really do. I’m scanning photographs to save on an external hard drive. I do not keep tax paperwork after seven years (it is seven years, right?!)

We need to file a final return for Jim’s dad, who died last September, and we need to file our own return. Normally, I can handle it (even though I hate doing taxes), because our lives are not very complicated. This year, I need a professional, so I need to be sure I have everything together. And yes, it’s stressing me out a little. So much paper.

Paper can really clutter our lives (sure, pun intended). I work one day a week. But I need to fill out a time sheet for that one day. I send it off to the boss, but I keep a copy…just in case. (I do shred it and send it to the recycle bin as soon as I get paid). I have direct deposit, but still receive a paper receipt for my pay (in an envelope). More paper. Most all of our bills are e-bills now, and I pay them online, but there’s still too much paper everywhere. So my little project is to find ways I can cut down on the paper.

Your thoughts and tips will be appreciated!