Tag Archive | family

FORGET ME NOT


I’m thrilled to announce the release of my newest romance novel, Book Three of the Happily Ever After Series: FORGET ME NOT.

~~ In Moonlight Cove, a tiny hamlet in the North Georgia Mountains, Nina Marcus has had a love/hate relationship with change since she lost her husband in an enemy ambush in Afghanistan eight months before their child was born. Since then, she’s worked hard to build a good life in Moonlight Cove, surrounded by her five-year-old daughter, her mother, her life-long friends, and her florist shop. The last thing she’s interested in is change.

Jesse Oldfield’s entire life has been nothing but change, and rarely for the better. He thought he was doing a good thing for his country when he created a high tech security program to keep track of all service personnel, but now, as he’s was forced to face the two women whose lives he ruined–the widows of his two partners and best friends–he’s not so sure. As his life is about to shift again, can he hope that the winds change in his favor?~~

Available at DesertBreezePublishing.com and Amazon.com

Remember Me? LOL


My last post was over a year ago. I should be ashamed, and if I weren’t so tired, I might be. It has been a very long and hard year–illness and the endless medical stress that goes with it…but at the same time, it’s been a very rewarding one. I’m such a proud and happy woman right now.

My little girl graduated with Honors and Distinction with three degrees last May. She is now working on fast tracking her Masters and will graduate again in September. After nine years, we finally found a doctor that would listen to her and did an Xray of her hip–by this time, her hip had popped out and was facing whomever was walking beside her. Five minutes later, he diagnosed her with Avascular Necrosis from a “very old hip fracture.” We won’t go into how mad Mama is that she wouldn’t have had to go through all this had someone just Xrayed her all those years ago. Now, she has a new hip and starts PT Monday. And for those of you who know her…wait for it…she’s learned to crochet!!! I’m so happy.

My son just discovered his car is nearly paid off and he’s so close to having the entire thing redesigned and rebuilt. I’m simply amazed at what he’s doing. It’s truly a trial and error endeavor–the mixing of what he already knows and what he’s discovering works. He comes in and reports on his progress or his irritation–it’s so rewarding when he comes in all thunder and spitting fire and Mama still has the ability to remind him, it’s all a learning experience…all of which will serve him well when he flips more cars. As an antique needlework restorationist, I find such joy and satisfaction taking what most people would throw out and being able to make it like new again. To see him doing the same thing with metal and fiberglass and paint that I do with thread and natural dyes and stitches completely fills my heart.

My husband has lost 85 lbs in the last year and is feeling much better. He’s still trying to deal with the toddlers who are taking over his work, but he’s coping. I do see the words “don’t leave me with the babies,” in his eyes everytime one of his friends retire. Nice to know I can still calm him as well. We just celebrated our thirty-fourth wedding anniversary

In the last year I’ve had five books published and by Christmas, I should have two more out. Things are settling a little…I say and then run around the house knocking on everything that remotely looks like it may be made of wood–so I’m hoping to get more needlework projects and writing projects done. Life is looking up.

As for today, I have just closed two windows and turned off one fan. It’s the 5th of May. We have drizzle, wind and it’s 57* and dropping. The drizzle is gentle and smells wonderful. It’s full on spring and the wind is singing through the lush green trees. It’s cool so Mama’s making soup and everyone is happy! Especially Mama.

I promise not to wait another year to post. Until then, have a wounderful Spring!

“Cove Soup”


It’s a new year. Spring is on its way…though the weather here in Georgia has been…erratic. My daughter and I have been sick with upper respiratory since Thanksgiving. I was even pretty close to deaf for a month and a half.

But now we’re well-er.

It’s time to get back to work. It’s so hard to put your all into your work when you feel like you just want to stay in bed. Add that to this being Courtney’s last semester of college and all that goes with that, and her last magazine and all that goes with that, I’ve been in the car a LOT.

So, again, it’s time to get back to work.

As writers, we get to play creator. We build our characters, their lives, their worlds, and of course, something of ourselves–or someone we know–seeps into their personalities. But their worlds are a little more difficult.

We can sit still and look out our window and create from that, or travel a bit and set it somewhere we find interesting. But what happens if what we see isn’t what’s in our imagination. Unless we’re writing Fantasy or SciFy, or we’ve “seen” our character’s world in some tv show, movie, etc. making up the world can be a bit less than realistic.

This is what I’ve run into while trying to build Moonlight Cove, the mountain village where I’ve set my new contemporary series, Happily Ever After. I could see the village. I kind of knew where it would need to be–I knew I’d even seen bits of pieces of it before, but I had no idea where it was.

So, I began making soup.

Have you ever made soup on a cold, wet and blustery day? I’m not talking about opening a can of Campbell’s or adding meat to Soup Starter, but real soup–the kind where you start grabbing things out of the fridge and pantry and putting together a hearty, rich, bubbly pot of soup. The kind you eat with crusty bread and homemade parmesan crisps and drink Southern iced tea so sweet it makes your hair curl.

Well, that’s how Moonlight Cove was born. I took photos and film snippets that I’d taken on day trips around North Georgia and spliced them all together to create my “Cove Soup.”

Moonlight Cove is a make believe village nestled in North Georgia. The town limits run along a five mile stretch of divided highway, split by a white water stretch of river. A couple bridges cross the river to connect the two halves of the town built at the bases and up the sides of two mountains, Us Mountain and Them Mountain.

The people of the Cove live together as family, and like most families, they have squabbles, and friendships, and secrets, love each other and will fight fiercely for each other. Moonlight Cove is a strong and protective member of this family.

SOMETHING BORROWED,  book one of the HEA series comes out from Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. and Amazon.com on March 12, 2016. I hope you find yourselves deliciously lost in the Cove like I’ve been while writing.

Join us and be part of the soup…

 

Cover Wars at AuthorShout.com


Thank you all for your many votes for my cover for Kate’s House in Author Shouts’ Cover Wars. I’m thrilled you love it as much as I do, and Carol Fiorillo deserves so much praise for her talent. (She’s a sweetheart, too.) Please go to authorshout.com and click the Cover Wars tab at the top and keep voting. Four more days. One vote per day. Thank you again and sending big hugs.

KatesHouseCoverArt72dpi

Author Interview sixth question


Next question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: What is the hardest part of writing for you?

TIME!!!! Before my children, I worked a sixty hour job as the manager of a needlework shop, as well as often taught classes on Saturday. After my daughter was born, I worked that same job and those same hours, and took her along with me. Six months later, my husband gave me the Stay-at-Home-Mom status. I did custom work and antique needlework restoration for various historical societies, even through my daughter’s illness and recovery, until she started college. She’s about to graduate with her third degree, despite not being confident enough to drive–just call me James. LOL So, through all that, I’ve managed to sneak in a little writing at a time. Most times I’m working on several stories at a time. It works.

Everyone should have a family reunion…


I’m a homebody. I don’t really travel. I like to go on day trips. Of course with my husband being on call with his job 24/365, day trips are about all we get…so, I like them. LOL

But staying home has a not-so-great-side. Stay at home and you’re not going to see anyone. You get so complacent that you don’t even realize you’re missing the people you don’t see. You know they’re missing from your life. They do cross your mind and you have nostalgic pangs of I-wonder-what-they’re-doing- right-about-now, and you miss them.

These days, we get so busy we don’t realize that with each day time is being eaten away by…well, passing time. Our jobs, daily chores and errands, stuffed full schedules get in our way, take up every minute in our days from dawn to night and we fail to notice another day has passed. Gone. Never to get back. Even when driving distance between close family members and friends is not so far away as to cost massive time and money, it’s hard to find time to do more than make do with the weekly phone call, or getting together on holidays when we can manage it. Then we realize how many of our loved ones we lose in a year. Five. Ten years. We think, how the hell did that much time pass? You find yourself remembering childhood memories of them because that’s all you’ve given yourself.

That’s just not right.

Last weekend, my mother’s family had a small family reunion. In the last few short years, she’s lost her brother and 2 sister-in-laws and a granddaughter. Her two remaining brothers, her niece and all their kids and grandkids are all the family she has left that she didn’t create herself…and she’s done a very good job of creating a massive family, six kids, sixteen grandkids, more than thirteen great grand children and I think 2 great great grandchildren. She and one of her brothers decided enough was enough and it was time for all of us to get together. Did we ALL make it to the reunion? Of course not. My sister’s daughter lives outside Seattle, one of my brothers lives in Virginia and his children and grandchildren live in North Carolina, and there were other grandchildren who couldn’t make it. Logistics of trying to get everyone off work and across state lines had to have been a nightmare, and yet, her brother managed to get two of his three daughters, and his one son to get time off and travel from Pensicola, Florida to Winder, Georgia. Seriously? We can bearly manage to get my husband, my kids and me all off and ready to go for out little day trips.

While it’s been years, and sorrowfully decades for some, since I’ve seen most of them, while I was looking at my “little” cousins’ children and thinking…why aren’t your mama’s still that size?…time fell away and everything was perfect. One of my cousins smiled and said, “Do you know who I am?” and I smiled back and said, “Do you know who *I* am?” Of course, we did, but that’s still pitiful, isn’t it?

And yet, seeing my mother’s smile as she slipped her arms around her “little” brothers’ waists, seeing this family that’s grown so large over the years, I drove home with a sense of reconnection and happiness, swearing that I wouldn’t get so swallowed up in the everyday goings on that I’d not talk to my sisters, my mother, my brothers only once a week. And yet, the week is over and we’ve all been exactly that, swallowed up in the everyday. My book, ILLUSIONS, was released on June first, and I’ve spent the week doing promotion, cleaning the house that was sorely ignored while I was writing and editing, and getting my daughter back and forth to her college classes, throwing away old copies of manuscripts now done and out into the world. I don’t see any light ahead and classes start back around the first of August. While we can call each other on the phone, trying to find little holes in our schedules to connect is sometimes impossible. Luckily, there is FB and email.

Sad.

Fourth of July cometh…

Thank God.

 

 

The Top Five Things I Discovered In 2014


We’re about to say goodbye to 2014. Each new year comes around and we measure the last with several different yardsticks. Did we accomplish the goals we set this time the year previous? Are we in better health than we were last year—physical and financial? How did our children fare? Our spouses? The rest of our families? Is our house clean? Does our car run, need work?

Are we happy? And if we are, more so or less so than the end of the year before?

Did we learn anything? About the world? About ourselves? Did we pick up any knowledge intensely valuable to no one but ourselves?*

We’re about to enter 2015, so how was my last year?

My family is doing well. Mark could be happier in his job, but he’s extremely good at what he does so even on days he thinks he’s not appreciated, deep down, he knows they’d be sorry if he up and left. There’s extreme satisfaction underneath the general frustration. So that’s good.

Courtney is happy. She has great friends who value her and whom she values. She’s good at what she does, and enjoys it—stress and all. This was the year she learned how to suffer fools—something I had hoped she wouldn’t have to learn for years off. She doesn’t enjoy it and she doesn’t suffer them well or because she wants to, but I won’t allow her to use my food processor to deal with them, so she doesn’t have much choice. I’m considering researching Voodoo doll construction for her.

Dusty has gone back to school, and is happier than he’s been in a long time. Thank you, Jesus. He’s happier and learned more in the first week of his first semester than he did the entire two and a half years at the other college in the other program. Does that mean he’s given up his music? Not at all, and my heart still sings when he plays me his newest composition.

Between my two babies, my home will forever be filled with art and music.

And me? Well, I learned a lot this year, about myself, my kids, and some things that are completely useless to everyone else but me.

Here are my top five:

 

  1. It’s the end of the year and while my house does not look like a murder scene it is by far not spotless. However, my kitchen is clean and my dishes are done, and soup is on. My bathrooms are clean. My laundry is done, mostly thanks to my sweet baby girl. My front room is presentable enough not to horrify people who come to my door. My floors need doing, but I’m not worried about that right now. If someone comes in and says, “Oh my hell, your floors are horrible!” I will hand them the cleaner and a mop, and we’ll have a lovely conversation while they are correcting the problem.
  2. I can rewrite and entire novel, creating an almost completely new storyline and edit it in 5 ½ weeks! But not without my right hand woman and professional ledge-talker-offerer…LOL Thank you, Pam. In addition, I have my very own—I don’t want to say bulldozer…LOL so we’ll just say…earth mover. She will not let me stand still or give up. She will not let me waste time grousing, and will not let me simply take what’s handed me. No, she goes out there and pushes me through the next door in my path, and if there isn’t one, she FINDS one. Thank you, Charly! And one can simply not survive without a cheerleader and I have one of the best. Thank you, Neva! I love you guys more than I can tell you. You are all three invaluable to me.
  3. Few people keep their promises and though we don’t like that they’re not honoring contracts or aren’t paying us like they should be, we can’t let it destroy our health. I’m learning to believe that Sister Karma bites everyone in the ass eventually. Their time is coming. Of course, the Voodoo doll research might come in handy here as well.
  4. I can still do my beloved needlework. I’ve not even tried to do any in almost  three years since I had a mild stroke. I figured if I, lover of words and trivia, have problems remembering names, dates and events, and can’t find certain words when I need them,  how on earth can I expect to remember how to take string and thread and yarn and create anything beautiful…or even not overly homely? In July, I finished a counted cross-stitch Paula Vaughn piece of a front porch swing. It was not only easy, it turned out very well. In October, I started a sweater for my niece–an intricate, heavily cabled, highly stylized jacket and matching hat. It was completely finished by the first of December, turned out just the way I intended, and not only fit her, but she loved it. And by the week before Christmas, I’d crocheted four purses with basinets and baby dolls inside for my great nieces. So, I consider that a major win.

 

*Side note that only knitters will understand or care about:  I started doing needlework when I was nine years old and after—we’ll just say –many decades of learning and teaching and doing, I would have thought I’d pretty much have learned it all, until Brittney’s sweater. I seldom work with knitting grid patterns, but this time necessity called for it. The intricate cable design worked with decreases from bottom to top, but the pattern grid remained the same size, and equal stitch graph from top to bottom. I discovered “ignore stitch” means exactly that when looking at legended stitches beside little blank squares. It’s all based on lace technique of making wrap stitches, or increases and decreases in the row previous. While it completely freaked out my holey, word-obsessed brain, once I “read” what the grid was saying, I was able to see it and had no problem. The key? TRUST the pattern’s author, because what you’re seeing in the grid, ISN’T what’s actually happening. Now that I’ve completely confused all you non-knitters, I’ll just say this was a monumental moment in my re-establishing my needlework capabilities…and we’ll return to subject at hand.

  1. I am a terrible, horrible, ridiculously BAD blogger. I SAY I’m going to blog every week. I promise my daughter that I’ll blog every week. She even goes so far as to write out little strips of paper with topics so all I have to do on weeks my brain’s not working or I can’t think of a topic, or am just to tired of lazy to come up with, I’ll have a topic at my fingertips. And still I am a horrible blogger. We’ve established I don’t particularly like blogging. And you can look at the few I’ve done and know, I am less than sporadic. Courtney just looks at me and shakes her head. She definitely has a better work ethic than I do. Now that said, her class schedule this next semester leaves me with a LOT less sit-in-the-car-and-wait time and a lot more potential writing time. And since I do have all those lovely colored topic papers, I will have less reason not to blog. Will I be able to push myself to blog more? Well, let’s just say, though I didn’t blog a lot last year, I did blog more than the year before.  So, there’s hope. There is hope.

 

Goodbye 2014. Thank you for the ups and downs, the good things and the bad things and the strength we gained from both. Thank you for the balance. God knows you’ve got to be tired and deserve your rest. 2015, I ask that you help us deal with the bad things some of us are carrying over in to the New Year, and the attention to enjoy all the good that comes our way.

I wish all of you readers love, strength, peace, enough happiness to overshadow whatever trials and sorrows you might face, and as always, enough of everything to make your life a fulfilling and satisfying one.

 

Time to get on with the soup…