The Best Compliment

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This past week, I have had shingles. I’m okay and it didn’t get bad, but it has lasted a little longer than I thought it would. As a matter of fact, I thought I’d be well by now. Nevertheless, I went back to the doctor today to make sure I am no longer contagious as we plan to have Thanksgiving dinner with my son’s in laws. My daughter in law is expecting next month and I wanted to make sure I would not expose her to anything.

Well, sir, a routine  doctor’s appointment turned into the best compliment I have ever gotten. Here’s what happened.

I walked out of the office and entered the reception area. I handed my paperwork to the receptionist when she started a conversation with me.

Receptionist : I saw your book at The Well (a coffee shop in town). It looked so cute, I bought it for my kids.

Me: Oh really?? That’s so nice. I hope they are enjoying it.

Receptionist: Oh they love it! They ask me to read it every night . It’s their favorite book; their bedtime story.

Me: Oh, that’s so great! Thank you! You’ve made my day!

As an author, I don’t think there could be any higher compliment than a child loving the book you poured your heart into,  and wanting it to be read at every bedtime. I actually got goose bumps from that interaction with the receptionist.

I hope there are more children who go to bed with Jack Learns to Grill. It’s a book written for each child who reads it.

Thank you to the receptionist who made my day by reaching out to me. I am truly thankful and grateful for all my readers . Happy Thanksgiving!

The Inevitable Death of the Dash

As many of you know, I enjoy using dashes in my writing. To me, it’s like my own personal signature. Doesn’t every writer have one? After all, e.e.cummings did not capitalize letters in an effort to keep the text the most important in his poetry. Other authors had odd quirks as well. Mine was, well, the dash. It helped me break my thoughts into two parts or helped clarify what I meant.

Today, however, I had a lunch with my good friend and author Jackie Smith, who just happens to be my beta reader as well. Suffice it to say my dashes drove her nuts and I’ve been told (nicely, mind you) to get over the dashes already!  Since Jackie has my best interests at heart, I’m willing to comply. Therefore, you will not see many, if any,dashes in my posts again. I will miss them, but I’m over it already. I’m going to think positively. I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.

Thank you Jackie, for your wonderful guidance and thank you, too, for reading my novella, adding suggestions and generally cheering me on! I appreciate all you do for me!

If you have not read Jackie’s blog or her books, Cemetery Tours, Between Worlds and Boy Band, there is still time!  You can find all of the above just here

And an unabashed advertisement for my children’s  book, “Jack Learns to Grill” can be found here. If you have not read it to your kids yet, please get a copy and do so now. The price has been lowered and is now available for $10.00. Thanks!

look for this book, "Jack Learns to Grill
look for this book, “Jack Learns to Grill

A Novel is Born

I am happy and excited to say that in between the Jack Learns Series of Books, I have completed my first novel!  The Jack Learns Series of Books is one book out and has two more yet to be published. I am pushing to get them out before school as one of the books is entitled “Jack Learns about Bullies” and the other is “Jack Learns about Learning.” The latter is a book in which Jack learns that everyone learns in different ways- that we don’t all learn by reading instructions or hearing instructions, but that different people have different ways of learning. I feel it’s important to teach that early as it is sometimes a misunderstood concept. Misunderstood concepts lead to bullying and so it is best taught in the early years.  “Jack Learns to Grill”, the first in the series is just a playful ditty to introduce Jack as the curious dingo who loves learning new things-grilling being one of those things.

But, my novel, “The Conservative Congregant,” talks of the blessings received when we go out of our comfort zone and do something for others that we would not normally do. It is a story about a fifty-something woman who does just that and the blessings she receives are numerous, life changing and bittersweet. I have fallen in love with it and hope you will too. For now, it’s off to the editor to get ready for the final draft and publishing. I hope you will walk this journey with me and read “The Conservative Congregant” in search of your own blessing.

First Book Signing

Today was my very first book signing. I thought I was going to be nervous, but I was filled with a strange calm-as if this is where I was always meant to be. Those who know me well, know my nerves constantly get the best of me. But, today, I was determined not to let that happened and it didn’t. I felt at home , at ease in the C.F. Goodwin Library in Royse City, Texas.

Many friends and relatives came out to cheer me on and get their books signed. I read part of  “Jack Learns to Grill” to my audience and left them to find out the ending for themselves. That was hugely fun for me- to read my own book to an audience for heaven’s sake. “Who’da thunk it?”

The book was well received , was oohed and awwed over and everyone loved the artwork in the book. I have to call the illustrations artwork because they are watercolor paintings by my friend, Tana Jacks. She is an amazing talent and I’m so glad she is my illustrator.

My best friend (since 9th grade) was there, cheering me on and fixing up my table with my books, cards , setting it up so professionally. Thank you Kathy!

My good friend and mentor, Jackie Smith took time out of her busy schedule to attend and it made all the difference for me. She has held my hand and guided me along and still is. She has written three books and working on another. She is an amazing author and if you haven’t read her books, they are Cemetery Tours, Between Worlds, and Boy Band (to be released this month!) Gosh, she is just so talented. I want to be just like her when I grow up! No kidding. She’s that good.

Anyway, thank you to all who came and made the signing such a success. Here are some photos to enjoy. Now, you’ll be at the signing too!

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Signing a book
Signing a book

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Up and Down in the List

I published my first book, Jack Learns to Grill , as you all know on Thursday, Martch 12. Friday, my friend Jackie Smith, told me it was in the top 100 children’s books on Amazon. Then, it went to the top 20!  No one was more surprised than me! Stephen, my husband and I watched as it climbed up the charts and then down and then up. To say it was an emotional couple of days has been an understatement. It has been truly humbling, fun and interesting to watch the charts .One could get quite obsessed over these numbers. But, I choose not to. It is fun to do so, but I never want my writing to be all about numbers and numbers alone.

My friends have been wonderful in spreading the word about my book and buying it . Thank you for the reblogs and liking my twitters… oh  wait! that’s tweets! (can you tell i’ve only just started tweeting?) I appreciate it more than you know!

If you haven’t read or bought my book, here is the link once more . I am working on the second in the series of Jack Learns books. Can’t wait to get it out! yay!!!!!

Book Released Today!

My first book, “Jack Learns to Grill” was released today – finally! And yet, just in time. I am so excited and can’t wait to see where the Jack Learns series takes me.

I wrote this little story about a year or two ago and have only recently , with the help of my good friend Jackie Smith, author of Cemetery Tours and my family  decided that publishing it was a real possibility. This is something I have dreamed of for so many years. Now, it is a reality and I’m so excited!!!! Thank you to Jackie and my family.

If you would like to see what Jack Learns to Grill is about, please click here. To buy your own copy, click here or here . Thanks for your support in my writing endeavors!

The Proof Arrived

The proof of the new children’s book, “Jack Learns to Grill,” arrived by UPS today!

"Jack Learns to Grill", my new children's book
“Jack Learns to Grill”, my new children’s book

“Jack Learns to Grill” is all about a feisty , curious and loving dingo, who loves to learn new things. Since his dad is in the grill business, he wants to learn to grill. This is the first in a series of “Jack Learns…” books in which Jack learns something- the next book is “Jack Learns about Bullies”

I am looking for “Jack Learns to Grill” to be available for sale next week. Look for coupons, discounts and perhaps even book giveaways to come. This book is at second and third grade level. Hope you will check it out!