Friday, November 29, 2013

Close to home

I found out the other day that my fellow NKOTB Blockhead friend Angela has colon cancer. It's been diagnosed as stage 3 and has metastasized to her lymph nodes. She's my age and has two young children. To say this is unfair is a vast understatement.

While I'm not in a position to donate as much as I'd like to, I am in a position, as an author, to give a portion of my book's proceeds to her. From now through December 31st, I am giving 25% of my profits to Angela to help with expenses.

If you've already bought my book but would still like to donate, you may do so here:
Donations for Angela

To purchase my book and have 25% of the proceeds go to Angela, you may do so at the following sites:

Amazon: Distance and Time
Barnes & Noble: Distance and Time
iTunes: Distance and Time
Smashwords: Distance and Time
Kobo: Distance and Time

Thank you for anything you're able to do. Your generosity is appreciated!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Updated Confessions

Since I last did this list of confessions in 2008, a lot of things have changed. I thought I'd update the list a little.
1. I am scared of anything in big numbers (swarms of bugs, groups of people, geese...omg, geese! I HATE geese!)
2. I love the 80's nostalgia and can remember almost everything about them.
3. I've outlived all my parents and step-parents.
4. I would love to own a designer purse or shoes just once...but I'll never buy it for myself. The cost of designer bags and shoes is unnecessarily exorbitant.
5. I have six tattoos, but I HATE needles!
6. I have been in love several times in my life. I love the feeling of being in love.
7. I enjoy the dark and the quiet.
8. I would love to live in a big city for a year...just to see what it's like.
9. I love to lay outside in winter and listen to the click of snowflakes hitting the ground...but I haven't done it in years.
10. Clowns scare the hell out of me. Like for real. They creeeeep. meeeee. ouuuuut.
11. I have bitten my nails to the quick since I was a kid and can't stop.
12. Some people have a happy place they retreat to when they're stressed. Or wear a certain sweater. Or cover up with a special blanket. I have my cat, Shadow. She's my therapy animal and I'm actually in the process of having her declared a service animal.
13. Aside from the 488 books I have on my Kindle, I also have six bookshelves full of books, most of all I've read.
14. I have been cooking since I was six. The first thing I ever made was chili. My favorite thing to cook now is homemade tomato soup.
15. I miss my mother more than any other person in the world.
16. I once performed at the Iowa State Fair in a kids' singing/dancing troupe.
17. I would LOVE to play Rizzo from Grease! at some point in my life, but I'm too old.
18. I had a theater scholarship in college.
19. I *hate* spending money on myself...I always feel guilty.
20. I believe in angels and ghosts.
21. I have seen every episode of Law and Order (SVU and CI) at least once and watch the reruns nightly.
22. I care what people think of me, but lie and say I don't.
23. I don't like kids. There are a few exceptions, but mostly, I find them to be noisy, messy and demanding. I'm enough of those things all by myself.
24. I am a born flirt. My husband is too, so he knows it's harmless. :)
25. I love jewelry but own very little.
26. I nearly died in later pregnancy and child birth with my son. He nearly died as well.
27. I slept in my mother's bed with her until I was 11 - I was afraid of the dark.
28. I never know when to say no to people and end up overextending myself as a result.
29. I'm more content sleeping all day and being up all night.
30. I detest socks...but even more so if they're the least little bit dirty, worn-through or wet.
31. My favorite way to spend time is roadtripping with my bestie.
32. When I'm mad, I clean, reorganize or rearrange my house.
33. I still believe I'm invinceable and make poor health choices as a result.
34. I hate talking on the phone, but I love texting and IM'ing (I can type faster than I can talk)
35. I come from a very closely-knit family, but since my mother's death, I don't have much to do with many of them.
36. I never knew my biological father.
37. I know how to shoot a gun better than most men.
38. I can't watch a child wiggle a loose tooth. It makes me nauseous.
39. So does the sound of someone vomiting.
40. I am wicked smart when it comes to grammar, spelling and punctuation.
41. I still have my childhood diaries and read them frequently.
42. I am star-struck whenever I get near a certain friend of mine.
43. I was writing checks and buying cigarettes at the grocery store when I was 14. (My mother had cancer and we lived in a small town...the clerks knew it was with her approval and by her request.)
44. I have never cheated in school.
45. I feel that jealousy is the most wasteful emotion ever. If you want what I've got, get it. If you can't, that's a choice you've made.
46. I hate wearing watches.
47. I once was a huge part of my church's praise team, but never sung a solo in church. I did, however, play Khaleel the Worm from Veggie Tales in a Vacation Bible School production.
48. I am nicer than people think.
49. I honestly don't follow world or national news - it has never interested me.
50. I also don't usually watch local news. It's too depressing.
51. I want to have my photographs published someday.
52. I didn't learn to swim until I was 13 and then taught preschoolers how to swim the following year when I worked at the pool.
53. I once dated a bartender for the free drinks and backstage passes he was able to get me to concerts at his bar.
54. I was a cheerleader in high school but gave it up so I could help counsel other teens who had lost parents through death or divorce. Not once have I regretted that decision.
55. I rarely wear my wedding ring, though it's my favorite piece of jewelry.
56. If I won the lottery, I would probably be broke again shortly thereafter because I love spending money on other people.
57. I feel embarrassed when someone gives me compliments or asks my advice because they think I know more than they do.
58. Every cell phone that's "died" has been from drowning of some sort (the cat dripped water on the first two and I dropped the third one in the pond at a cemetery).
59. I was never in Girl Scouts and never went to summer camp, though I wanted to badly!
60. I have bought meals for homeless people...and once even their dog.
61. I have also given my two cents to a person pretending to be homeless.
62. I love music, though I usually sing off-key and can't play a single instrument.
63. I still see my "First" from time to time around town.
64. I am a strong-willed person to hide my insecurities.
65. I once slept for 24 hrs straight.
66. I haven't had my hair grown past my shoulders since I was 5.
67. I prefer baths to showers.
68. I have an American flag that was carried by my father in Vietnam.
69. I always wanted to write a book but always felt I didn't know enough about anything to write it well. Until my friend convinced me to do it scared. So I did. :)
70. I have over 11 gigs of pictures on my hard-drive, over 6,000 physical pictures and at least a thousand negatives in my possession.
71. I've never seen Star Wars.
72. I can't watch Saturday Night Fever because of the bridge scene.
73. My favorite food in the entire world is soup. I have dozens of recipes, but my favorite, by far, is my mom's homemade tomato.
74. I don't like plain chocolate.
75. I hate riddles.
76. I love to peel sunburns and pick at zits. Gross, I know.
77. I can pick up on almost any accent within five minutes of talking to someone (British, Southern, Minnesotan, Middle-Eastern, Chicagoan, East Coast, etc)
78. I have great relationships with both my kids and am proud of how they've turned out.
79. I can't sleep with a light on if I'm in bed for the night.
80. I have never won first place for anything in my life, but have come in second many times: an art contest in 3rd grade, a spelling bee in 7th grade, a lip sync contest in 9th grade, a national fashion design competition for doll clothes when I was 8.
81. I wasn't able to wear flipflops until I was 33. Now, you can't keep me out of them.
82. I have a bottle of perfume that belonged to my mother...from 1985.
83. I hate barking dogs, screaming kids and loud cars - noise bothers me greatly.
84. I've never passed out, but I was given a roofie once on vacation in Philadelphia.
85. I once burnt so badly on a tanning bed that I had stripes like toast and smelled like burnt flesh for a week.
86. I was once given a pig for Christmas by my parents. I couldn't eat pork products for years because of it.
87. I've been wearing high heels since I was in 5th grade.
88. I wear fake toenails on my big toes because I lost most of mine to ingrown nails in high school.
89. I would love to be pregnant one more time, but only if I was a surrogate.
90. I cured myself of arachnophobia by holding a tarantula at a petting zoo.
91. I dropped out of high school in 10th grade at the encouragement of my high school guidance counselors despite the fact that I've always been a good student. (Don't worry...I went back a month later.)
92. I have kept every video tape I ever had with New Kids on the Block on them...and still watch them from time to time.
93. I refuse to share my apple pie schnapps recipe with anyone.
94. I've had glasses since I was 2 yrs old and would *LOVE* to get Lasix done.
95. I never snuck out of the house when I was a teenager.
96. I got drunk when I was 2½ at my brother's graduation party.
97. I feel like I've stepped into my mother's role in our family - organizing family events, being a memory keeper (pictures, family stories, etc.)...and while most of the time I'm glad to have that role, it is sometimes a burden to me.
98. I still remember the first nightmare I ever had.
99. I've never lived anywhere but Iowa...but may be moving soon!
100. I am handier around the house than my husband is. (But he's better with the laundry!)
Here's the link to the original list if you want to see what I changed. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Better in Time

As I enter the second week of NaNoWriMo, I'm finding my groove and while my word count isn't as high as I'd like it to be at this point, I am writing and even my measly 2,500 words are better than none at all, especially after a three month writer's block. I'll take them!

I was hoping to have my second book published in February, but as it sometimes does, life interfered and I've been trying to carefully choreograph the chaos. Unfortunately, I'm a slower learner than I used to be, so life is winning -- for now.

BUT...there is good news.

I've settled on a name for the sequel to Distance and Time. As tradition seems to be holding strong, I went with a song title again and this one speaks to me so strongly I got chills when it came to me. It's so perfect!

Better in Time, the second book in the Time After Time series, is written from Josh's perspective. As you may recall, Josh McCarthy is the male lead in Distance and Time and many readers have asked to know more about him. As a result, I've decided to let him tell his story. While you'll get to see his reaction to a couple of key scenes from the first book, you'll also get to know what he's doing now and how he's dealt with the blows handed to him in book one.We'll catch up with some of the other guys from South Station Boyz, as well as getting to meet some new characters, too. It's exciting to see it all unfold and I can't wait to get it into your hands next spring!

Now, who wants an excerpt?