What I Did Over the Weekend

In 2013, at the Boston Book Festival, I met this fantastic woman, Jackie Hennessey, of Venting Sessions.  She was delightful, and sweet, and funny, and smart so we made friends.  She introduced me to Listen To Your Mother, having been a cast member in Rhode Island.  I told Robyn about it, and we both sent essays to the Austin show in 2014.

Robyn was an Austin cast member last year, and her remarkable essay will be part of the Listen To Your Mother book, which you can pre-order here.

This year, I sent in another essay.  This year, I was invited to audition.

Normally, I’m pretty public with things like that.  If I’m going to audition for something, I’m usually gabbling about it to anyone who will listen.  I get excited, and I get talkie.  I mean, I even post when I’m submitting manuscripts and collecting rejections by the pound.  I don’t know why this was different, but I only let a few people in on it.

As of this writing, I have no idea whether, or not I’ll be cast.  I think I made a fair showing.  I read well.  I didn’t disgrace myself, or faint, or freeze up.  I also was not stellar.  I walked out feeling very -enh- about my performance.

That I had nightmares leading up to it says all I need to say about how important it was to me, but my excitement at just having been asked to audition my piece says a lot more.  It was one of those rare events where it really is an honor just to be nominated.  It felt really good to present my work aloud, and to have an audience for the words I wanted to say.

I would say the piece worked because the laughs came in the right places, and the smiles softened when they were supposed to, and I gave it my all.

I would say that I need work because I have a terrible time claiming any kind of victory for my own creation.  I had to dork it up as soon as I was finished because I am so uncomfortable taking myself seriously in front of people.

Paraphrasing a line from my own essay, I know that failure isn’t losing, but failure is in refusing to play because you’re afraid to lose.  I never sit one out because I’m afraid to lose, but I blow a lot of raspberries at myself because I’m afraid to get caught enjoying a win.  It’s a lot easier for me to clown around and pretend to be a goof-up, than it is for me to admit I think I’m kind of awesome.

I am kind of awesome, whether I get cast, or not.

Last year, I sent an essay to 3 cities and go no calls.  This year, I sent an essay to two cities, and I was invited to two auditions.  I have my second audition this coming Saturday.  However it shakes out, I’ve already improved on my own record.  And however it shakes out, I’m proud of myself for trying again.

That’s what I want to model for my kid.  Enjoy the trying as much as you enjoy the winning, and you’ll never have to worry too much about failing.

Meanwhile, go pre-order the LYTM book because Robyn’s essay is so good!

Checking In

It’s been quiet here, huh?

Quiet on the blog anyway. Since the last time I posted, Robyn Lane Books has released our first, full length novel (the fantastically well-received SECOND DEATH, by Emily Reese), brought together a baker’s dozen voices for a soon-to-be-released compilation of essays on motherhood (MOMMIE DIARIST), signed two new authors, and I’ve started art for our second picture book. I also completed another manuscript and am waiting to hear back from an editorial review board about the potential for its publication.  AND I still have that day job, the husband, and the child.  The last two are my favorite things.

I gave myself a couple of months off from major social media because I was tired.  I’m still tired, but social media is important.

Bear with me while I try to get a regular blogging pattern going again!

If you are in the DFW area, mark your calendars for Saturday, April 11.  Robyn and I will be in Denton at the North Texas Book Festival with the Robyn Lane Books catalog and Emily Reese, who will be signing copies of SECOND DEATH.  I will also have my own books available.  It’s our first festival, so I’m very excited to see how it goes.

Meanwhile, get your copy of SECOND DEATH.  It’s a really good book.





















Holiday Guide: We Wish You a Healthy Christmas

I tell people that the most interesting thing about me is my group of friends. I am extremely fortunate to know so many hugely talented people. One of my hugely talented friends is June Graham, of June Bijou.

If you are part of the oil diffusing trend, you are going to love these handmade necklace diffusers June is making. Each one comes with its own scent pad, so you can diffuse your favorites, taking them with you wherever you go.  June also has the oils available if you are just getting started, or are wanting to add to your collection.

Even if you aren’t using them to diffuse, these are beautiful little locket style pendants.

To order, leave June a message on her June Bijou FB page.  Again, this is an artisan for whose work I can fully vouch.  The quality is always top notch, and everything she does is so beautiful.





Holiday Guide: Tis the Season

For shameless self promotion

While you are out there buying Christmas Nookies for Melissa Lenhardt’s short story, planning parties with Pure Romance, traveling with Allison Walker, decking yourself with shinies from the JewelryMaven, reading Milked, and ordering copies of A Fairytale For Mothers for everyone you know, remember that I have a couple of books to pop on your shelf.

Dominic Phillips is an enjoyable distraction from fashion designer Eve D’Amico’s loneliness, but there’s never been anything more between them than hot sex. Since he desires no commitment from her either, it’s pretty much the perfect arrangement…except for the fact that he’s dating her sister Isabelle.Eve’s grown used to being the promiscuous black sheep of her family ever since an unplanned pregnancy at age fourteen, and Isabelle is the only one in the D’Amico clan who doesn’t treat her like a second class citizen. Eve doesn’t exactly revel in the idea of hurting her sister if the truth ever comes out.Just when she starts hitting it off with the sexy new neighbor next door, her world is turned upside-down when Dominic reveals his plans to marry Isabelle. As if things weren’t complicated enough, life decides to throw another surprise her way, and Eve is suddenly trapped with another secret to add to a much more shocking one from her past, both of which threaten to destroy every relationship she’s ever hoped to have. She must soon decide whether to reveal the truth and save her sister from a man who’s incapable of commitment, or to keep her lips sealed and secure her own place in the family. For now, though, she will dance around that decision for as long as she can, keeping everyone in check by Playing All the Angles.


What happens when Dynasty meets Honey BooBoo, they have a baby, and that baby is raised by Charlie’s Angels? You get TIARA TROUBLE, a bedazzled cozy mystery full of gritty glitz.

One foreign policy question five years ago sent Destinee Faith Miller’s dreams of being Miss American Universe up in flames and landed her back in her hometown of Phenix City, Alabama, with her tail between her legs. But like the mythological bird that her hometown is misspelled after, she rose from the ashes to create Destinee’s Dolls, a thriving pageant consulting business knee-deep in pink, prints and tulle.
A death at the local level of a national event lands her the job of pageant emcee, and Destinee dares to dream of bigger things—maybe even a reality TV show! But when judges start dropping like flies, she has her hands full keeping herself alive long enough to see those dreams come true. Contending with catfights, car bombs, and the camouflage-colored funeral of a redneck’s dream, Destinee gets a little help from her friends, family, and a pit bull named Clarabelle.

You can also find my hilarious *cough* designs on CafePress.
Things like this delightful tote bag, and some other stuff.

   For your favorite yarn lover. 


Holiday Guide: Lumps of Coal? Not hardly!

Samantha Foxx said it best.

In honor of her late-1980s greatness, I give you today’s entry.

You don’t have to be naughty to enjoy a good short story.  My friend, Melissa Lenhardt, contributed to a delightful little assortment of no-calorie goodies called Christmas Nookies (Hot Holiday Reads Book 2).  I love short story collections because they are like a Whitman’s Sampler of authors.  You can find the one you like best, then go buy a box of that.

You’ll be happy to know (and even happier after you’ve read Melissa’s story, though the genres are different) that Melissa has a full length novel coming in 2015.  Stillwater will be published by Skyhorse Publishing next October.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted on that.

Melissa Lenhardt’s story, Fake it Til You Make it, is in there!

While you’re hovering your mouse over Christmas Nookies at Amazon, wondering how many copies to buy for your girlfriends, think about how much fun it would be to get those girls together for a one hour Pure Romance Santa Shuffle.  If you want a quick, fun holiday meet up with your favorite friends, this is the way to go.

Here’s how it works:
Everyone pays $20 for a gift (gifts are valued over $40-$90), and we do a gift exchange. The first person picks a gift and opens it. The next person can open a gift or steal from the first person. Some gifts are bath/beauty, some are bedroom accessories.
Regular shopping is available after the party!


Of course, I know all the best people, so if you are in DFW, contact my friend Sonia Torres-Cortes to be your Pure Romance Elf.

See?  Being naughty doesn’t mean lumps of coal for Christmas.


Surprise someone with a vacation planned by my friend Allison Walker

Or bring them baubles from JewelryMaven, Lori-Anne Cohen

Or give the gift of laughter with Milked

And be sure you have a copy of A Fairytale For Mothers for all your favorite moms, aunts, sisters, and friends