Long Hiatus, But So Busy!

It feels like it has been forever since I’ve written on the site…oh wait, it’s because it has been forever!

I’ve been busy writing my next novel, and working on some non-writing projects in an effort to close those things out and focus solely on finishing The Hurricane Effect.

Some of you may have noticed all the updates and my new partner, Jordan Parker over at Clayton Family Kitchen. Things are going well over there, with our recent launch of recipe videos. If you love reading recipes as much as books, you need to check out what we’re up to over there!

I’ve also been concentrating on a project with my husband that we are busy trying to finish. It’s been a couple years in the making, but we’re getting to the finish line on some of the bigger aspects of that project and we’re are thrilled. We can’t wait to share this new venture with everyone!

And last, but of course not least, I’ve been working on The Hurricane Effect. I’m at the midway point and I feel like I’m pushing over one of the biggest hurdles. Knowing I have 50% of the novel done is always a welcomed thing!

In the next couple of weeks, I’ll have more to share about The Hurricane Effect and just some interesting stories from my life as of late!

Thanks for hanging in there with me!

A Special Day

I don’t usually post much about my personal life, but I’m making an exception today.

October 9th is a special day because it marks the day I said “I do” to my best friend. Normally, people list the amount of years they are married, but that doesn’t do justice to a relationship that started well before that date in history.

My husband and I have been together for 8 years. For me, our relationship started the minute I met him, because I knew in my heart one day I would marry him. I will never forget seeing him leaning against his red car in the parking lot of a gas station in my hometown, waiting to meet me. The moment I walked up to him and looked into his eyes I was changed inexplicably.

I am so thankful to have a partner in life who believes in my dreams as deeply as I do. If I had said to most people that I’m going to write a book, they would have dismissed it or told me I was crazy. He didn’t. In fact, he took on this dream with as much enthusiasm as I did and he helped make it come true (he was a very important editor and marketer for all 3 books). He also is a major contributor to the food blog and helps me from recipe development to photographs. He is always pushing me to stretch and never to give up.

We’ve accomplished so much already…and it’s only been 8 years! (Married for 4… you didn’t think I would leave you hanging did you?) And its just the beginning, we’ve got a whole lot going on.

Because of his encouragement and advocacy, The Kings of Charleston series is currently in the beginning stages of acquiring a film agent. I am currently working on a new novel based on our story, and he’s right there encouraging me once again. We also have one more joint project that we’re not ready to reveal quite yet.

Instead of pushing aside my sometimes far-fetched dreams, he embraces them. Oh how I hope he knows just how much that means to me…just how precious a gift he’s given me simply by advocating for me. How lucky I am to say that I have a husband who wholeheartedly believes in me.me-498x350

I also hope he knows I believe in him too. To me, he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to without blinking an eye. He’s intelligent and compassionate. He has no idea just how easily he relates with people around him. He doesn’t fit into one specific category, but seamlessly glides from one sphere of influence to another. He’s tough, manly and handsome.

God brought me someone who’s not only full of laughter and energy, but someone who loves me for me…even when I’m not at my best.

I thank God for always having a better plan than I could ever fathom.

The Hurricane Effect

I have two projects I’m working on simultaneously. The first book, follows in the footsteps of The Kings of Charleston series. It’s a suspense/mystery novel which is the genre I love.

But I have another project/novel that is of much more a personal matter. Some of you may know the story of how I met my husband and some of you may not. It’s a story that I feel compelled to tell. It scares me though, because it is so very personal and although it will be fiction it will be based on my very true story.

I’m a Christian and I believe the only way a person can be saved and have eternal life in Heaven is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And although I do not believe any other person can save us, I believe God uses many circumstances and people to show us the way and reveal His will.

So now that I have clarified that I must tell you that my husband has always said that I “saved” him…but what he doesn’t know is that he “saved” me.This is my story…

Here is an excerpt (rough draft, of course):

What are hurricanes? They are swirling winds with great power sweeping over the oceans and engulfing any land they touch. They are torrents of destruction, hell bent on destroying whatever lies in their path. When you hear that a hurricane is coming, for most the first reaction is to run for their lives. For others, they see themselves as a steadfast Calvary charging to meet the enemy head on whether that means life or death. It’s a reckless choice, because unlike so many man made armies, the fury of a hurricane is more than any man could ever possess.

For me, the word hurricane always brought up images of death and destruction. Thoughts of lands stripped bare and naked of all they had once held, but that was before I saw the calm eye of the storm. As in anything in life, theirs a flip side to the raging wind around us, it’s core opening up to the beautiful heavens above…revealing that no matter how ferocious the storm, that no power or might can take away the sun.

And when the storm is gone and we begin to pick up the pieces, we realize that although we will never be the same, we will be stronger and allow the storm to reshape our lives with hope and faith.

So how can I see such hope from something so terrible? Because a hurricane is what changed my life forever…and I can never imagine my life without it. It’s as if the swirling winds had picked up the pieces of my broken heart and rearranged it into a perfectly cracked whole.

To The Finish Line

So I’ve been pretty absent this past month. Sorry! I do have good news though…The Kingdom’s Revolt with be out very soon. I will give updates on the release date as I get them, but it will be this month! The King’s of Charleston series is almost to the finish line!

I also have a few other projects in the works that I will be revealing soon as well, with lots of new posts!

What’s Up Next…Retirement?

Now that I’ve hit the home stretch with the King’s series, I’m looking forward to the future and what’s up next for my writing related life and things that are not.

I have several book ideas floating around in my head, including The Hurricane Effect, but I don’t expect another book to be completed for awhile. As I was writing The Kingdom’s Revolt, my mind started spinning around the idea of The Hurricane Effect and completing it right after I finished my current series. That’s the funny thing about life…we can plan all we want, but life has it’s own agenda.

And honestly, things always turn out better than I could ever have planned.

Some opportunities have come up for my husband and I that we will be working on together, including a business opportunity that will occupy a lot of my free time. In this opportunity I will still be able to write, but it will definitely be in a different way.

So is this like a retirement speech or something?

No, I still plan to continue to write novels. It’s a love of mine and the characters running around in my head won’t let me stop (seriously, I already have a new gal trying to get me to write her story).

But I have other loves and dreams, and when a door opens for them to walk in I want to greet them with open arms.

This won’t be the last you hear of me, because all my opportunities require me to stay connected in the social media world. I will continue to post updates about The Kingdom’s Revolt, but the tone of my website might change as it evolves right along with my life.

Books are Like Snowflakes

Things have been hectic around here, and well to be very blunt…The Kingdom’s Revolt has been delayed.

It’s partially due to some issues with the actual publishing of the book and partially due to the fact that I tried to accomplish one too many things in a short period of time.

I’m going to go ahead and say 25% is publishing and 75% is my own fault for missing the deadline. I tried to juggle too many things and ended up dropping the ball.

The first book in the series was written and rewritten over a year or more span from conception to final product ready for publishing. All the King’s Men was done in a much shorter period of time and because of that I thought I could deliver the same on this book. For the lack of a better analogy, books are like snowflakes, no two are the same. All the Kings Men was a breeze to write. Before I wrote the opening lines I had a clear picture of the story and where it was going. This book had virtually no rewrites from the original first draft. That’s how sure I was of this story.

But trying to end a series and make sure it comes to a satisfying conclusion, at least for me, hasn’t been easy. From the get go, this one was more difficult because the story didn’t already play out neatly in my head. There were a lot of unaccounted for factors that have popped up through out the writing process. The only definite has been the ending. Since about midway through All the King’s Men, I’ve known exactly what would happen to Casper and Cal in the end. But how they got there hasn’t always been so clear.

So after that rambling explanation, I want to assure you that The Kingdom’s Revolt is on it’s way to being published and it’s looking to be slated for May 2014. I’m choosing to look at the bright side of this delay. One, I know for certain that the book I will be presenting will be worthy of finishing Casper and Cal’s story and two, it will come out just in time for summer reading!

Thank you for your patience and for all your support. It really brings joy to my heart to know how many have enjoyed The King’s series. It’s been one of the greatest experiences of my life!

Lifting the Holiday Fog

This past November and December was so weird to me. Things seemed to go by slow, but at the same time they were a blur. It felt like Christmas was a long way off, then suddenly it was here and gone. I’m going to blame it on Thanksgiving be later than usual.

Either way it was a whirlwind of activity and I’m just now recovering from it. I’m trying to get back into the normal pace of things slowly, but surely.

In the next few weeks, you’ll definitely see a lot more posts about The Kingdom’s Revolt and some of the interesting adventures I had over the past couple of months.

The fog is finally lifting and I’m ready to get back to work on a ton of projects in the works!

Busy Christmas Season Ahead!

So I’ve been really absent this past MONTH on the blog, but I promise I’ve got plenty to share in personal stories and news on The Kings series.

After Christmas I will be updating the blog fairly regularly as before. I am going to continue the hiatus to focus on time with friends and family as well as finish up The Kingdom’s Revolt.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Cats and Laundry Don’t Mix

Our pets are always doing something interesting and crazy. Their antics usually provide great antidotes, but sometimes they also create headaches.

Case in point, our indoor cat, Frank, gave us a serious headache a few nights ago. We had went grocery shopping because our pantry was pretty bare (noodles and canned pineapple anyone?) and we put Frank in the laundry room before we left.

Now before you get all huffy that we keep our cat in the laundry room while we’re gone, listen to my reasoning.

One, the laundry room is very large.

Two, it’s where we feed him and his litter box is in there.

Three, it’s where his bed and toys are and he likes the warmth from the dryer.

Four (and this is the most important reason), because he goes crazy when we’re gone. One weekend we were out of town and we came home to a nice piece of furniture scratched up and bite marks (not just scratches) in our sofa. From that point on his home has been relegated to the laundry room when we aren’t there.

Now that you understand why the cat was in the laundry room, I can explain our little mishap.

As I was saying, we went grocery shopping and when we got home we started unloading our groceries. I put everything on the island, let the cat out of the laundry room.

I got a whiff of strong fragrance while putting up the groceries. I l sniffed the grocery bags, but we hadn’t bought anything with fragrance or detergent of any kind. I shrugged my shoulders and continued putting groceries up. Afterwards we walked into the living room and I got a whiff again. It’s not a bad smell obviously, but something told me there was something wrong with this whole scenario. Plus, Frank was nowhere to be found…hmm.

I walk back into the kitchen and stare in the direction of the laundry room. I let out a gasp. To my horror, a whole bottle of laundry detergent is spilled across the floor and making its way under the dryer.

Fragrant blue detergent was covering the whole area in front of the washer and dryer. I went in search of Frank who was hiding in a corner, one side of his body wet and covered in detergent.

He looks so sweet and innocent! Ha! Don’t let him fool you!

He likes to sit on top of the dryer, and he must have knocked the bottle off by accident. The bottle hit the tile (which murders anything that touches it…why is tile so great again??) and cracked the lid wide open.

My husband immediately got the mop and the bucket and I took the cat to give him a bath (his favorite thing). Of course Frank fussed the entire time and didn’t make it an easy task. Once I finally finished I wrangled him out of the tub and into a towel (which didn’t last long) and then he jumped out of my arms and to the floor where he went to find a corner to lick himself dry.

I went back to check on my husband who was still trying to mop up the mess. Do you know how hard it is to mop up tons of soap? One swipe with the mop and dunk in the water produced tons of suds. He would mop and I would constantly change the water. We used a wet/dry vacuum and that sped  things up but it still took about an hour and half to clean up.

There’s still detergent under the dryer and we decided to let it harden and scrape it up later (which translates to we were tired of trying to clean soap off the floor).