Gift Basket Season is Starting Up Again

With summer winding down, and fall just a few weeks away, gift basket season is starting up again. I am ready for it! I've had a number of people ask me to donate baskets for different silent auctions and I will be posting the finished products as I have them.

Today's basket is a cocktail one I recently did for a silent auction. It was a good way to use up a number of mini bottles of booze which came into my possession. I also included the DVD of Notes on  a Scandal, highball glasses with drink recipes printed on them, cocktail napkins, a glass pitcher for mixing and of course, a couple of my books. The basket is a chrome fruit basket I found at Ross.

As I receive request for baskets, my goal is to make them a little larger and more elaborate. We'll see what happens.

5 Simple Tips for Squeezing Writing Into Your Everyday Life

There are a thousand things that fill up a day. Some are wonderful, like time with family and friends. Some activities aren't so fun, like paying bills or doing the laundry. In the midst of so much to do, how do you find time to write? Below, I offer 5 simple tips for squeezing writing into your everyday life. Give them a try. In time, you will find yourself with a completed manuscript or a pile of blog posts and a little closer to whatever writing goal you want to achieve.

1. Write something everyday. It may not seem like much, but over time a little turns into a lot and one day you will have a finished first draft.

2. Don't wait for inspiration to strike. It's too unpredictable. When it does strike use it, but for all the times it doesn't, write anyway. Writing is the best way to create inspiration.

3. Make writing a priority. If you don't, no one else will.

4. In order to make writing a priority, you may have to sacrifice other things to the writing gods, like a spotless house or perfectly prepared dinners. Save the housework for when you are really stuck on a plot point and need to step away from the story and let it percolate in your subconscious.

5. Speaking of perfectly prepared, don't strive for perfection, strive for words on the paper. First drafts are rarely pretty, don't expect yours to be any different, just expect it to be done. You can always edit later, but that is another post for another time.

The Captain's Frozen Dream is Now Available!

Just in time to help cool you off during the hot summer, my novel 
The Captain's Frozen Dream is now available. Please check it out!

Free on Amazon 7/30 - 8/3/2015

Sweet Chances, two novellas of sweet meetings and second chances is free on Amazon from 
July, 30 - August 3, 2015. Snag your copy now!

Two sweet romance short stories. 

A Little Legal Luck - On St. Patrick’s Day, the last thing paralegal Lisa Brennan needs is another lawyer in her life, but when handsome attorney Daniel Wilson shows he’s a sweetheart in an industry of sharks, she’s intrigued. Daniel is impressed by the pretty paralegal and her desire to succeed despite a bad job, but with the pressure of running his own firm, does he have time for a relationship? Thrown together in the jury pool, Lisa must overcome her prejudices about attorneys to trust Daniel and get lucky in love. 

Rock 'n' Roll Reunion - What happens when your high school crush suddenly reappears, conjuring up a pack of bad memories more embarrassing than your old perm? If you’re Cindy, you put the past behind you, prop up your courage and take a chance on love. 

Both stories were previously published separately in 2011.

Regency Era Humor

The countdown continues to my August 1, 2015 release of The Captain's Frozen Dream. For fun, I've pulled together some funny Regency era images to amuse you. Enjoy!


Wordless Wednesday - Writer Humor

This is so true. Now, it is time for me to get back to work.

Tips for Surviving A Conference

Next week is the 2015 Romance Writers of America conference. I won't be going this year, but last year I attended in San Antonio. After an exciting week of meeting people, attending workshops and partying with publishers, I came home happy and exhausted. I also returned with a few tips to share with you about surviving a conference week.

1)      Pace yourself. You can’t do everything, so don’t try. Do what interests you the most and if you have to miss something, like a workshop, try and find someone you know who is attending it who can share their notes. You’ll get the highlights without stressing out about being everywhere at once.

2)  Sleep. You will have a long day at conference and then stay up late talking with your roommate and going to parties. Then you will get up early again the next day and do it all over again. Try and get as much sleep as you can, and don’t be afraid to go back to your room between events for down time.   

3)      Eat. Don’t let your energy wane by getting hungry. Caffeine can only carry you so far and it is hard to have fun when your stomach is growling. Pack healthy snacks and carry them in your purse to keep you going between meals.

4)      Network. Conference is all about meeting people so don’t be afraid to speak with someone in the elevator, or sit next to a stranger at lunch. You are all there because you have something in common. Talk about it, have fun and make some new friends.

5)      Business cards. Take any offered and pass yours out. No one can remember everyone they meet, but a business card with or without something written on the back can help.

6)      Learn. Everyone there has a slightly different experience than you, or perhaps experience you don’t have. Talk to them and learn from them then share what you know.

7)      Don’t overindulge. Depending on the conference, there may be events with alcohol. Remember, this is a professional event so you don’t want to be the sloppy drunk.

8)      Dress the part. This year I packed only dresses. It made getting dressed in the morning easy because I didn’t have to coordinate anything. They also helped me to look professional and well put together. I also packed flat but stylish shoes. You are on your feet a lot at conference so you have to be comfortable.

9)      Have fun! If you are in a new city do some sightseeing. Get together with friends, both old and new, and go to dinner. Smile and enjoy yourself. You will make a lot of great memories and be fired up to use what you’ve learned once you get home.

I hope these tips help you get through a conference week. I would love to hear about some of your suggestions. Leave them in the comments below!
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