Saturday, September 10, 2016

An Open Letter to the Passengers on my Lufthansa Flight



Let me start by saying that you were all wonderful. No really, fantastic. All of you. 
Yes, even the two teenage boys in the row right in front of me. It was okay that you kept your seats all the way back, even through the meals, and that you were restless. I understand. It was a very, very long flight. But taking off your shoes and sticking your feet up over the headrest, that was not okay. Your socks positively reeked. It took me a while to figure out that the obnoxious stench wafting through the plane was actually the ripe odor of your apparently dirty teenage feet and socks. 
I didn’t complain because you were kids, but I do think your parents across the aisle should have.



I also won’t complain about the young couple with the baby two rows in front of me. Actually, I liked your dreadlocks, casual attitude to baby-rearing, and your personal clothing style. All was good. 
But–guys, seriously. If you travel long distances with an infant, I have a suggestion: 
Pack all your baby stuff in one bag. Really, it’s not difficult. That way, you’ll have everything in one bloody place, and you won’t have to climb on other passengers’ seats or armrests to dig through your three bags in the overhead bin while dear dads trousers slipped and showed off your pubic hair to your hapless fellow travelers. We really didn’t want to see that, and certainly not every thirty minutes. Those diapers, crackers, bottles, baby food, and pacifiers would have been so much happier together in one bag stowed under the seat in front of you. 




And to the sweet elderly Italian lady next to me: You would have felt much better if you’d accepted and drunk the water and juice they kept offering us. Yes, I know you felt dizzy; trust me, it’s called dehydration. 
And that medical emergency: “Is there a doctor or nurse aboard?” came over the PA while we were flying over Greenland with nothing below us but rocks, ice, and snow,
I was picturing a rough emergency landing in Goose Bay or some other God-forsaken glacier-surrounded village, but thankfully the emergency passed, and we flew on.





So, dear passengers, thank you for such an exciting flight. 
I could have done without the smelly socks, the exposed lower belly, and the dizzy old lady, but the food was great, the service was friendly, and we were on time. 


What more can one expect? 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Hello, Again, Hello!








Once again I’m packed… 
Tomorrow I leave on another trip across the ocean to visit friends in Canada and America. 
This is my fourth big trips on my own, and I thought I’d be cooler about it by now, but no; last night was pretty sleepless, and I’m sure tonight will be as well. 
This morning, as I was packing, I thought of fellow writer Ellie Dias and her upcoming book, Big Red, her affectionate name for the huge suitcase she lugged—stuffed to the gills—through airports around the globe. 
My husband, walking past me as I was packing, pointed at my rubber boots and rain jacket, and said, “Since you’re packing those I expect the weather in Tofino to be very nice and sunny and warm. You do know Murphy’s Law, right?”
He has a point; and I have a heavy suitcase.
Yes, it’s heavy, but I’m traveling for five weeks. And now that I’m sixty I figure that I’m entitled to an extra change of shirts, jeans, or shoes.
Ah, shoes. I remember traveling with the pair I was wearing, and one pair of sandals. That was all I needed. But now? Won’t work. My feet are old, too. They need respite. Oh well. They’ve carried me through sixty years on this planet of ours, I suppose I should be kind to them.

Where am I going this time?
Back to Vancouver and Vancouver Island.
Sue had to bribe me into visiting her in 2011. She came all the way to London to pick me up and then worked the flight back to Vancouver (she was a flight attendant for Air Canada) because I was so afraid of making that long flight.






Now, I can’t wait to get on that plane so I can go hang out with her. She’s such a great friend, funny, patient, incredibly talented—especially with her camera—and her family is a riot of kids, and high spirits. Being with them is like being immersed in a big Irish family–which they in fact are. 
And Tofino! Don’t get me started. 


I remember how Sue and I stepped out on Chesterman Beach for the first time, and we both caught our breaths. I never wanted to leave. I could easily have turned into one of those driftwood tree boles and sat there just watching the ocean for eternity. I hadn’t expected the Pacific to be so different from the Atlantic, but it is.  



Then, for the first time ever, I’ll visit Texas!
My dear friend Sharon is waiting there for me, and I can’t wait to finally meet her in person. She had read my books and posted to my Facebook author page about how much she loved my writing, and we took it from there. 
Now I’m going to visit her and I hope she won’t be disappointed. I’m just a fat, old granny in real life. 




Patsy is in Orlando, and she’s my third stop this year.
I’ll be honest, I never expected to visit Florida, let alone have someone invite me there! 
But Patsy and I and my other homies in our little twitter group, we chat daily, and have been twitter friends for so long, that I have to admit I’m crazy excited about meeting her in person. 
Patsy, to me, is a cross between the Angela girl from Bones on TV and Joan Baez: Quirky, very musical, a bit eccentric, funny, a girl who loves life. I think we will have an amazing time together.

As always, my last stop will be glorious New Jersey.
I know, I can hear you moan, and you have every reason to. It’s really an incredibly boring place. And the highways? OMG ROAD RAGE!
But my dear friend and publisher resides there, and so, to me, it’s a fabulous place. How can I travel to America and not visit Buddhapuss Ink? Right?
And have lunch with her and my author buddy Sam Hilliard in Princeton?






So–here we are. One more night, and I’ll be on my way to the sky. 

“Hello again, America, hello, again, hello.”




.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Dear Publisher…









Dear Publisher, 

As I sort and iron my clothes before I pack my suitcase to travel across the ocean to visit you yet again there are a few words that I’d like to say to you.

Working with you over the past five years wasn’t always easy.
You made me write blog posts for blog hops, you made me write blurbs for book covers and Amazon pages, you wanted me to write my own bio, and hold still while my picture was taken. Me, the one who usually hides behind the camera!
You made me think before I wrote, you even tried to wheedle me into plotting my novels—which hasn’t worked until now, but  will change in the future.
You made me challenge my ideas and push limits, always patient, always giving me the time to work through my resistance and figure out why you wanted me to do something differently. 

When you followed me  on twitter I was a nobody. 
I’d never written a novel before, let alone thought of publishing it. That was in the distant future, if at all. 
I remember so well that day when we chatted on twitter and you offered me a mug of virtual coffee, and I replied, “Would you like the first three chapters of my novel in return?” and you said, “Sure!”
I broke out in a sweat, panicked, I had no idea what to do. My younger son came home from school, asking for lunch, and I yelled, “Just grab anything, I can’t talk to you, I’m submitting my novel!”
“Uh huh,” he mumbled, and finished off all the tomatoes and mozzarella he could find in the fridge. 
I sent the file eventually, with no  query letter,  a synopsis not worth mentioning, and my marketing plan was, “Anything you want me to do, except dance naked on tables!”
You offered, I signed. 

Suddenly I had a publisher.
We’ve released five books together so far; there were some tears, there were some altercations, which felt like I was a bolting horse, and you were my patient,  understanding trainer. 
You never lost your sense of humor, and you never let go of that gently guiding rein.

To this day I believe you made a huge mistake. 

I don’t know what happened when you decided to sign me as your author, but I’m sure of one thing: you were utterly deluded. Maybe someone had brought you a huge mug of  fresh coffee and you were dazed by the scent. Maybe someone had sent you a package of Droste chocolate and you were in a sugar coma.
I’m still waiting for you to wake up, look at my writing and say, “Hey, wait a minute, missy! I’m sorry, but you don’t belong here!”
Honestly, I do. 
Five released books later, three Independent Publisher Book Awards, a brilliant new project waiting to be tackled, and I still wonder: Did she really mean me?

The label “author” sits uncomfortably on my shoulders. It feels like an honor I haven’t earned, but as long as you, dear publisher, believe I’m worth your time and money I’ll pretend that yes, I can write well enough to merit it.

My suitcase is almost packed. There’s Droste chocolate for you, and coffee, tucked in  with my clothes.
I’ll once again sit at the desk you point out to me and sign that tower of books, the bookmarks, the postcards. I’ll stare at those books, so pretty, so well designed, and I’ll open one and read a few lines. Once again the wonder will pour over me; I wrote this.  Wow.

My amazement will never end. I’m an author, and you, dear publisher, believed in me, and made me into one.






Friday, June 10, 2016

"If it doesn’t exist, then go ahead and write it"– Interviewing Sue Barnard




Today I'm  very honored and thrilled to interview  Sue Barnard, the author of The Ghostly Father, Nice Girls Don't, and The Unkindest Cut of All. 
Sue and I met on twitter many years ago. We started our writing career almost at the same time, and it's been fun to watch our books being picked up and published!






Hi Sue, before we get down to the real author questions, tell us a bit about yourself. 

  • Where are you from? 
Originally from North Wales, but apart from three years at Durham University I’ve lived most of my life in and around Manchester, UK.

  • Cat or dog?
I’m fond of both, but don’t own either.

  • What’s your favorite dish? 
That varies according to the seasons.  At the moment, it’s fresh asparagus.

  • Your favorite subject at school?
I enjoyed most of them, apart from sport, which I was (and still am) rubbish at.   I didn’t like art very much either, but that could have been because we had a rubbish teacher – one who wasn’t interested in anyone who wasn’t already a budding artisic genius.  So out of a class of 29, at least 28 of us were doomed to mediocrity before we’d even picked up a pencil.   Even now, more than 40 years later, that particular sense of failure has never really left me.

I particularly enjoyed languages, and went on to read French at university.  When I try to speak French I’m often asked if I’m from Belgium, and I’m never sure whether to be flattered or offended.

  • Tea or coffee? 
Tea on waking (we have a teasmade by the bed!), tea with breakfast, coffee mid-morning, coffee after lunch, tea mid-afternoon, coffee after dinner (provided it isn’t too late – otherwise it would keep me awake at night).  

  • If you watch TV - What’s your favorite crime show?
Jonathan Creek, written by David Renwick.  It’s a perfect blend of quirkiness, ingenuity and humour.

  • The last movie you saw?
Florence Foster Jenkins, about the life of the great(?) singer.  Funny and moving by turns.  Highly recommended.

  • Last book you read? 
Kindred Spirits: Tower of London, by fellow-Crooked Cat author Jennifer C Wilson.  It’s a refreshing new take on the story of King Richard III and the Princes in the Tower.

Okay, now that we know more about you let’s talk about the author part.




  1. When did you write your first story, and what was it about? 

If you exclude all those compulsory Composition exercises at school, my first attempt was a short story in the whodunit style.  That was more than 30 years ago.  I found it recently, re-read it, and cringed.  Enough said.

    2. Your first published novel was The Ghostly Father. In it you give the Romeo and Juliet story a totally new twist. How did you come up with that idea? 

I’ve always loved the story of Romeo & Juliet but hated the ending.  But a few years ago I came across one of those lists of Things You Should Do Before You Die, and the one which leapt off the page and grabbed me by the throat was Write The Book You Want To Read.  The book I’ve always wanted to read is the version of R&J in which they don’t fall victim to a maddeningly-preventable double-suicide.  

Why, I asked myself, should there not be such a book?  And the answer came straight back: Why not indeed?  And if it doesn’t exist, then go ahead and write it.

   3.What has changed for you since you’ve become a published author?

In terms of my day-to-day life, not very much.  But it has meant that I can now describe myself as a writer, and can give a positive answer to the inevitable question Have you had anything published?

   4.Has it lived up to your expectations?

If by that you mean “Have I Earned Millions?”, then the answer has to be No – but unless you’re one of the very lucky few, it’s very hard to make a fortune (or even a living) from writing.  Having said that, the rewards in other respects have been overwhelming.  It’s really satisfying when someone – especially a total stranger – tells me how much he or she has enjoyed what I’ve written! 





5.What advice would you give your younger self? Would you encourage a young Sue to become a writer?

Yes, I would – and I’d tell her not to leave it until she’s the wrong side of 50!


   6.Which authors influenced you most? 

Shakespeare (obviously), but also John Wyndham, Joanne Harris, and my dear friend and mentor Sally Quilford, who taught me everything I know about writing romance.


   7.How do you feel about giving away books (Kindle) for free as a marketing technique? Have you done it yet, and were you pleased with the outcome?

I haven’t given away any of my books for free; my publisher doesn’t do that.  But we have had promotions in which the Kindle versions of the books have been reduced in price for an introductory or limited period, and those have been reasonably successful in terms of increasing sales and raising the books‘ profiles.

I must confess I’m a bit wary of totally free promotions; I can’t help wondering if their overall effect is to undervalue the work of the author.  One writer once told me that someone had said to her, “I really want to read your books, but I’m waiting for them to become free before I download them!”  Shocking, I know – but apparently there are people out there who always want something for nothing, and there is a strong risk that free promotions will simply fuel that kind of greed.







   8. What are you working on right now?

I’ve just blown the dust off a long-running poetry project.  Don’t stay in specially waiting for it to be finished, though.




     9.Where can we buy your books?

The paperbacks are all available from Amazon.  The e-books are available from Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, Nook and Apple iBooks.  The links are here:

The Ghostly FatherAmazonSmashwordsKoboNookApple iBooks
Nice Girls Don’tAmazonSmashwordsKoboNookApple iBooks
The Unkindest Cut of AllAmazonSmashwordsKoboNookApple iBooks


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.




Friday, May 27, 2016

Flamingos, Fireflies, and GREAT NEWS!


My new novel, For the Fireflies, is being released via my NEWSLETTER! We're eleven chapters in, but it's not too late to catch up!

Also, there's a MAJOR announcement in this weeks newsletter. 
The subscription form is right here, in the right-hand column of the blog! 






Welcome to Key West!
At last, the family is reunited.
While Josh can’t believe his parents bought an RV and drove all the way from Brooklyn, Allie can’t wait to be on the beach and feel the surf on her feet. Standing there, she wonders about Earth, Saturn, and the universe in general…
Meanwhile, Claude is surprised to learn who Joshua’s father is. Will it change their friendship, and how will Annabelle react when she hears the news?
Enjoy the sunset,

~ Mariam

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Memories of 9/11, Flamingos, and New Hope.




Most people in and around Manhattan couldn’t walk away from the city after 9/11, they had to stay and deal with what happened on that day. 
For those who remained, the sorrow may never pass, the memories may never dim, yet life goes on the same way Spring follows Winter. Everywhere, tiny buds of new life blossom into renewed hope for the future. Buildings are rebuilt, babies are born, and the music of the city flows through the canyons between the skyscrapers.

In the same way, Jon and Naomi get to see New York through their daughter’s young eyes, and they finally find the courage to return to the house and the city where they were so happy.
What does all this have to do with flamingos? You'll have to read Chapter 10 of For the Fireflies to find out!




Here's a short excerpt:

Raising his head, he seemed to shake off a heavy cloak. “Then something happened, and I never wanted to come back here, ever again. Your mom and I had to, though, because of the musical. But we never stayed any longer than we had to. Now, though…” 
Smiling at her, he let his hand glide over her braids. “With you here, it’s like I can look at it with fresh eyes, with your eyes.” 
Allie tried to imagine it: Was he somehow sitting inside her head, a mini version of Dad crouching somewhere behind her eyes, and using them like glasses? 
“A bad thing happened in this city not long after you were born, Allie.” He put down his coffee cup on the table by his elbow. “It drove out the memories of the good times, and left only black and dreary days in their place.” 


(psst… the signup form for the newsletter is right here, at the top of the right-hand column! Sign up, read the novel!)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Flowers and Blue Skies

Let me share this lovely day with you.

My walk today took me past the magnolia tree again. Sadly, all its wonderful blooms have gone, and it looks tired and limp like it was to a wild party and now is suffering from a murderous hangover.

There are other blooms out now though, like this beautiful azaleas (maybe they're rhododendrons, don't ask me!):



And this dandelion, totally ignoring the park fence and growing where it wants:



A bit farther down the road, and there are more azaleas (or rhododendrons):



And lilac. Have I mentioned how I love lilac? I could smell the sweet scent of this tree from far away.






There were some violets, too, but they were too deep in shadow to get a good photo of them.
Did you notice the blue sky? The beautiful sunshine?
It's definitely spring here!

Friday, May 6, 2016

A Starry Night

Last night I was trying to explain description to a friend. You know what I’m talking about, right? Description is when your characters see something and describe it to the reader. Or when you, the author, want to describe something to the reader. It’s what you do to get whatever you want to describe getting across? Is it enough to say the ocean was blue and rough or the trees were tall, and the mountains were high? The reader will know what you mean, but will they enjoy reading it? Will it transport them to that place you’re trying to create in their minds?



   Ah, give me a second. I think what we have here is the difference between showing and telling! I know that this has been discussed in many, many, many blog posts before but perhaps I should add my own version. 

   Don’t tell me what you saw. Show me what you felt seeing it. Do you know Monet? Or any other impressionist painter? Gauguin, van Gogh, Turner.  
   When you think of their paintings, do you see a thing first, or the mood the artist was in?
Think of van Gogh’s Starry Night. Stars don’t really look like that.They’re not visible to us as great wheels of light in the night sky; and we rarely get to see the Milky Way. What van Gogh shows us is his impression of stars in the sky, reality filtered through his mind. He shows us the light of the stars that he imagines

   What those impressionist artists did with their paintings, we authors strive to do with our writing. We want to take our readers with us on a journey through our fantasies, we want to show you the world as we see it. That ocean? It’s not just blue and rough. It breathes, and throws tantrums, it talks back to the sky, it dances with the beach. I throws its salty spray onto our faces to lure us into its waves, it tells stories from other continents, from its long trek around the globe. Writers must look beyond the obvious. We reach for the soul of things, and try to bring it out into the light.

   A forest is a forest, and its trees are tall, but it’s also a living thing. It has its own scent, its own air, its sounds and mysteries.



We writers look through the veil of reality, we seek the deeper meaning, we prod and wheedle and tap until it’s revealed to us. We peel away layers of fabric, of the mind, of feelings, until we get to the root of things, and then, when we’ve looked at it for long enough, we bring it forth and present it to the world. 

The trees stretched all the way into the sky, their highest branches reaching for the passing clouds. Rain dripped through the foliage, moving from leaf to leaf ever downward until it came to rest on the mossy ground. The air was rich with scent, a heavy perfume of earth, dampness, cedar resin.


   Or you could say, of course, the trees were tall. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

For the Fireflies – a sequel to the Stone Trilogy!

Did you know that I'm writing a novel exclusively for my newsletter subscribers? 

It's a sequel to the Stone Trilogy, and it tells the stories of Joshua and Allie, Jon and Naomi's children.

If you want to read along, sign up for my newsletter! At this point we're releasing a new chapter every Friday.
I promise that you'll NEVER be spammed! You can find the subscription field right here >>>> at the top of the right-hand column of this blog! 

I'm sharing the opening of the novel with you to whet your appetite. Enjoy!



It was early morning when he left.
Dawn had barely crept over the tops of the trees, and the world was silent save for the lonely cry of a loon, piercing the mist over the water.
His backpack in hand, guitar case over his shoulder, he followed the driveway through the property until he reached the road. At the gate, he stopped to look back. 
Pausing, Joshua drew a deep breath. One more step, and he’d be outside. He’d be free of his past; now just another stranger lost in the world.
Once they realized he wasn’t going to show up for breakfast, his mother would go to his room, and find the note he’d left on his pillow. It wasn’t a long letter, but she’d understand right away. She always did. She always knew.
Hoisting his backpack, Joshua moved forward, the sun at his back, the empty road ahead.
It didn’t take long for a driver to stop. He thought it was hilarious that something as mundane as a milk truck would aid him in his flight. 
“Where to?” the driver asked, his shoulders shaking in rhythm with Gloria Estefan’s “Conga.” 
“The airport. I have an early flight and didn’t want to make anyone drive me. I was pretty sure I could catch a ride.”
“You got lucky then.” He was wearing a muddy-blue baseball cap ringed with sweat stains that resembled waves as they crashed on the beach. “Where are you headed?”
“New York.” Would his family find his friendly chauffeur? How much information was it safe to give away? A grin tugged at Joshua’s lips. As if it mattered. “I have a new job waiting for me.”
The man shot him a dubious glance. “I’m only going into Kleinburg. How are you going to get to the airport? You’re not going to hitchhike all the way, are you?”

“I’ll take the bus.” Another lie. Yes, he was going to try to hitch a ride, but not toward the airport. He wanted to cross the border on foot, or as a passenger in the car of a friendly stranger. He has certain no one would expect that of him. His parents would check the airports, heliports, car rentals, maybe even the train station, but they’d never imagine that he’d set out on foot. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Magnolias!

Remember when I promised you photos of the magnolia tree across the street?
Well, here they are! The tree is in full bloom.
The owners were sitting outside on their front steps, enjoying the lovely spring day, when I stopped to take the pictures. I asked if it was okay and they replied, "Of course! Go right ahead!"
I think they're quite proud of that tree.




And if you ask me, with good reason.



When that magnolia tree bursts into bloom the entire neighborhood knows that it's finally spring.




I also found some bluebells (and yes, this time they're really bluebells!)




And the forsythias are out in full force!


And I found some pansies.



Hope you enjoy spring as much as I do!

Oh–and here's a recording of the nightingale that lives in our backyard! Don't worry, the video is black (because it was made during the night, duh) and the quality isn't the best. I made it with my iPhone. But you can still hear the nightingale!


Friday, April 1, 2016

A Walk into Spring




It's April 1st. and spring has finally showed its pretty face!
My hubby and I took a walk around the neighborhood today, and this is what we found:

An amazing blue sky!


And that blue sky and the birch tree look like a painting, but they're real!



The magnolia tree isn't in full bloom yet, but it will be soon! And I'll make sure to visit it again and take a photo when the blossoms are open.




We went a different route today and found this blooming beauty:



I have no idea what it is, but the dainty pink buds look so pretty against that wonderful blue sky.

Here are some bluebells in a front yard, raising their little faces to the warm light of the sun:



Actually, they aren't really bluebells, are they? They look more like tiny blue stars. Don't ask me what they're called. I'm botanically illiterate. No, seriously.




We came by an Easter tree that hadn't been cleared yet. I like how the people who live here stuck to the bright yellow. Doesn't it look like a little sunshine tree?

And finally, before we walked back home, these planes flew by overhead. My Vancouver friend  Sue calls these crossing vapor trails "kisses in the sky".



Sue, this kiss is for you! Can't wait to see you again in September! xo

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Hardest Job in the World





Being an author is the hardest job in the world. Yes, it is.
Not the writing part, mind you. Writing is easy; it’s like breathing, like sipping hot chocolate, with whipped cream or the 100% Arabica coffee that I love. Writing is like sailing along on a morning breeze over a silvery ocean in the opaque light of a sun bleached by a night of storm and rain. It’s the sweet, scent of roses in a balmy sunset or that slice of pizza you really, really wanted. It’s an escape, a dream fulfilled, an alternate reality, a thing of beauty.

See, here’s the thing: When you start writing your first novel you don’t think about publishing. Or I didn’t. I didn’t think of going out there and submitting my story to a publisher. I had a couple of friends who read it, friends I’d met on twitter, and that was far as I was going to go. Not even my family was allowed to take a peek; I was way too embarrassed for that. It was my story, my fantasy, and that’s how I wanted to keep it. 
Of course you know by now that fate had other things planned for me. Enter Buddhapuss Ink, the publisher who found and followed me on twitter, and who eventually published all the books I’ve written so far. 



But that’s not what I want to talk about today. When I signed my first book deal I imagined myself living like Castle in a few years. You know—Manhattan penthouse loft, Ferrari, nice restaurants, the works. That was before I realized that writing a book was just the tip of the iceberg, and that a lot of work was waiting for me that I’d never expected to do. Blogging, for instance. I’ve covered that ground in another blog post so I won’t go to go there again. 

But who knew how hard it is to sell books? I had no idea. Naive little me, I’d always assumed that if you write a book that’s good enough to be picked up by a publisher, a book that wins an important award, that it would fly off the shelves. I mean, if a publisher likes it well enough to sink their money into it, and an award jury likes it well enough to give it a medal, shouldn’t that mean that other people, aka readers, will love it to? 
See, that’s exactly the point. They do love it. Once they’ve noticed it.

I remember telling my publisher, when we first talked, before the first book contract was signed, that I was ready to do anything to market my books except dance naked on tables. 
Back then I thought that I was being hysterically funny. Actually, I wasn’t. Because with the internet going crazy and Amazon offering a new release every five minutes, one single book, award-winning or not, is no more than a single ant in an anthill as large as Manhattan.
That’s me; that single ant. And it’s every other author I know, too. 

So basically what I’m trying to say here is, if you’re in this for money, forget it. Unless you’re E.L.James or James Patterson or George R.R. Martin you won’t be able to pay your bills with your royalty money. You might use it to help pay for part of an amazing research trip. Or you can treat your family to a fancy sushi dinner. Or buy yourself that Michael Kors purse you’ve been coveting for so long,but sorry, not enough for a Herm├Ęs Birkin bag.




As for the rest, enjoy what you’re doing. Write for fun! Write for your friends, your family, yourself, the publisher who believes in you, for awards, and most importantly, for your readers. 

It’s a journey, enjoy the ride, but forget the money. And if you get very, very lucky, and you do make it big, and you want to share, I'll let you know where to find me. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Thank You for the Love




There is nothing harder for me than promoting my books and myself.
It’s like walking on the edge of a knife: How much is enough, and how much is too much? When do you reach the point where asking nicely turns into spamming, and consequently disgusting my friends?
I try very hard to entertain you, but I never want to get on your nerves, ever.
I hope you enjoyed my Mad about March with Mariam #MMM promo.
Soon, the Stone Series will conclude with the novella, For the Fireflies, told by Joshua and Allie, Jon’s and Naomi’s son and daughter. The Stones have been part of my life for seven years now, and it’s time to bid them farewell. We’ll wave them off while they sail into a lovely Key West sunset, happy with each other and the lives they’ve found.
My new co-author and I have already written the first book in a new series, The Sunset Bay Mysteries. It will be released later this year, so stay tuned! We’re taking you to Vancouver Island, and the rough and beautiful shores of the Pacific Northwest.
I want to thank you all for your unwavering support and love, and for the many encouraging messages you sent me during this promo.
You downloaded thousands of copies of The Distant Shore. There were over 600 entries in our Goodreads giveaway, and almost 400 entries in the Rafflecopter event!
I’m always grateful for every new review you leave for my books… authors need reviews. Reviews on Amazon make books more visible.
And I want to thank my publisher, Buddhapuss Ink, for their love and support. Guys, you are nothing but amazing. I love every minute working with you.
Thank you, thank you, so much everyone!
Now, it's time to move forward. Sunset Bay, here we come, but first, For The Fireflies, Joshua & Allie's Stories.

We'll be releasing a new chapter of For The Fireflies exclusively to all newsletter subscribers, so if you want to read it, please sign up now!