Thursday, August 31, 2023

Two Contracts in One Month!

 I received a second book contract from Pelican Book Group for a new manuscript, LOVE'S GIFT. I am thrilled! This is a historical romance set in 1903. The heroine, Amaranth, is Chinese and the Chinese Exclusion Laws were in effect in the United States. You can read about those laws here:

Found as a newborn on the beach and raised in an orphanage, she was trained as a secretary, but nobody wants to hire her due to her ethnicity. At last, she gets a job working for a suffragist. However, Amaranth fears getting in trouble since she could be sent to China, where she doesn't know anyone and cannot speak the language. 

It will be a while until the book is released. There will be edits and all the other stuff that goes into putting a book together. But I am delighted!

Two contracts in one month is a record for me. 


Thursday, August 17, 2023

Don't Pick This Up

 I am deep into editing THE KEEPER'S PROMISE--or whatever the book will be eventually called. Yes, the name may change. But editing is always a good thing. It makes the book better. My editor has suggested adding a scene and that's fine with me. It should round things out a bit while tossing in another red herring. (I love those!)

Despite the editing, I make an effort to walk everyday. Sometimes, if it's hot or raining the walk is inside a large building. But this past week we enjoyed some lovely summer weather and I came across something I never saw before. It was this caterpillar.

I did not touch it. I learned a long time ago that touching a caterpillar can be a bad idea. Many will give you a rash at the least. This one, the American Dagger Moth Caterpillar, will sting you with those long, black bristles, which are poisonous. I let him go on his way.

They live on oaks, maples, walnut trees, and so on. We have lots of those trees around here. 

Of course, I'm not particularly fond of creepy, crawly things in general--except for ladybugs, lightning bugs, and other insects that don't bite. 

So, be careful when you take a walk and don't pick up the American Dagger Moth Caterpillar. They are cute but dangerous. 

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

A New Contract for THE KEEPER'S PROMISE!

     Once upon a time, I visited the west coast of New Jersey. There are marshes, sand dunes, fishing boats, and lighthouses just as there are on the eastern coast of New Jersey. A festival was going on at the time with plenty of activities. Festivals happen all over NJ in the summertime. 

     One unique part of the festival in the small town was a lovely spot for creating art. On one bridge, easels were set up with paints and water. I attempted to paint a picture of the marsh. 

     I also ate some very fresh seafood, visited a lighthouse, and went for a ride on a boat. I've eaten plenty of fresh seafood, visited most of the lighthouses in NJ, and gone for plenty of boat rides, too. But on this trip I got an idea for a story. 

    Sometimes, it doesn't take much for my mind to start churning with ideas. 

     But that's how THE KEEPER'S PROMISE started. Awe Struck Ebooks gave me a contract for the book in 2006. It was published in both a digital and print edition. I received some great reviews and was a finalist in the EPPIE contest. Then Awe Struck folded. 😢 

     Since the book is a Christian romance, I asked my publisher at Pelican Book Group whether she would be interested in the story. This week, I received a new contract for THE KEEPER'S PROMISE. I am thrilled. I am so happy the book will be available for other readers once more. 

     I don't know when it will be released yet. But I'm looking forward to it. In the meantime, I'm filling out questionnaires about the book, writing a tagline, a blurb, and all that sort of stuff. There will be editing--as there always is. Every book can be made better!


Thursday, August 03, 2023

Barbies in My Life


I haven’t seen the Barbie Movie yet, but I will at some point. I still have my Barbie and Ken dolls. They live in tattered boxes in my closet. Barbie’s ears once had earrings but they changed the color of her plastic skin. There are suggestions on the Internet with remedies for the green skin, but I haven’t tried anything yet.

My original Barbie was a very cheap imitation of the real thing. My parents didn’t have much money for brand names. But like most cheap imitations, my original Barbie’s hair fell out. I was visiting at my grandmother’s house at the time and decided to hold a funeral for the bald fake Barbie. My cousins and sisters attended. However, after I thought about it, I figured I could make a wig for the doll out of black thread. So, I exhumed fake Barbie and sewed a bunch of thread together and glued it to her head. 

Around that time, I started babysitting and was able to gather enough cash together to buy a real Barbie and later a Ken. 

Since my sisters were considerably younger, I continued playing with dolls for quite a while. I made clothes out of scraps of fabric and my sisters joined in. The clothes weren’t fancy. We didn’t have patterns. We didn’t hem anything and we often simply tied a thinner scrap of fabric around the waist to hold everything together, but he ball gowns were beautiful in our imaginations. However, when I could I purchased genuine Barbie clothing, but it was terribly expensive—so I didn’t buy much. It was more fun to cut up fabric and pretend.

As I have said before, writing is like playing with dolls--only there are no dolls. There are characters in my head and I manipulate them while writing down the scenes. And since I write romance, there will be a happy ending.