Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Moms of Toddlers, Can We Talk?


I get it. I really do. I had three children in five years, and the fourth one came along three years after that. I've done the sleepless nights, the endless potty training, the poop painting phase - yeah. I know.

I also know what it's like taking those children into public. You hope you can dart in and out of the store before someone throws a tantrum or needs a diaper change. Sometimes you're successful, and sometimes you're not.

I know what it's like to have a child who absolutely will not get in their car seat or who will not ride in the cart. I've been the mom in the parking lot performing WWF moves to get a seat belt around a child who does not want to be belted. And I well know the temptation not to make little Johnny ride in the cart when he's screaming his lungs out and arching his back and refusing to cooperate. Believe me. I know.

But three days ago, I saw something that froze me cold, and I haven't been able to get it out of my head.

I was at the grocery store and had pulled through the parking stall so I wouldn't have to back out when I was done. I paused before getting out, checking to make sure I had my debit card and stuff, and I glanced up. There were two cars right across the aisle from me. The one on the left was a black SUV, and the one on the right was a white sedan about the size of a Cadillac. The driver of the black SUV was a young mom with a toddler son. He was standing next to her while she put her groceries in the back of the SUV. The white sedan began to back up to pull out, and just then, the toddler decided he didn't want to stand by his mom anymore and stepped right behind the white car.

Two things happened simultaneously. The mother caught the child's hand, and the driver hit her brakes. If either woman had not reacted instantly, that child would have been hit and most likely killed - he was within inches of it, literally. I could hear the mother lecturing the child on staying away from cars. I'm sure she was absolutely terrified, and I'm sure the driver was too.

Moms, I know that you're exhausted and you probably can't handle one more tantrum today. But please, please, please keep your child in the cart or put them in the car before you load up the groceries. I will never forget what I saw. It was so close, so terrifying, so life or death. And sadly, it has the potential to happen any time to any child.

Sometimes we're worried that other shoppers will get angry with us when our kids throw fits at the store, so we make concessions to keep the peace. Know what - the other shoppers probably have kids too, and they've been there, and they understand. And for that one grumpy old man or crotchety old woman who will stare at you? Just stare back. You're raising a human - you're not there to please the public.

Please wrestle Johnny into the seat belt. Let him scream. It won't hurt him. And it doesn't make you any less of a good mother if he throws a tantrum - in fact, it makes you an awesome mom because you're making a hard choice to do the right thing. He will grow out of it, I promise. I didn't think mine ever would, and yet, here we are and we survived it. Someday your kids will understand and they will start to obey you when you warn them of danger. For now, they'll scream. And that's okay because they'll be safe.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Looking for Sponsors

Calling all authors, artisans, and persons who make/create/cause stuff to happen of all kinds ...

I'm looking for sponsors for online book launches.

What is an online book launch?

An online book launch is typically an event held on Facebook where people come on the event page for that launch and learn about the book being promoted. They are invited to win prizes donated by sponsors by doing things such as "liking" the sponsor's Facebook page, etc. These launches are gaining in popularity, as online seems to be the way everything's going. I or my assistant coordinate launches for my publishing company, Trifecta Books, and sometimes for friends as well.

Why would you want to sponsor?

When I hold an online book launch, I make sure to point the participants to the sponsors' websites or Facebook pages or to promote them in other ways. This gives you the opportunity to get your name out there in circles you might not have reached yet. Depending on the cost-to-you of what you donate, it's very inexpensive advertising. It's tax deductible as a business expense for marketing. It's fun, and plus, you get the added benefit of people thinking you're cool and awesome.

What does a sponsor do?

First, decide what you'd like to donate. It could be anything, really, that a person might want to win. E-books are hugely popular, as are print books and cute little trinkets - book bags, jewelry, etc. You can also donate a service - if you're an editor, you could donate a three-page review (or what have you). Be certain that whatever you donate is something that you don't mind shipping. Larger items will automatically be labeled as "U.S. participants only" - I won't ask you to pay overseas shipping.

Then fill out the form below. That's really all there is to it. I or my assistant will contact you when we have need of a prize, and then after the event, we will contact you with the name of the winner.

If you have any questions, pop me a note at, and thanks for your time!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Announcing ... the Main Street Merchants Series!

I'm really excited to announce a new book series that will launch this October. I've never tried my hand writing just romances - I've done romantic suspense and other combinations, but romance as the main genre is new to me. But you know what, I'm having a ton of fun! I hereby bring you the Main Street Merchants series, coming out through Trifecta Books as part of the Sweet and Clean Romance Collection.

Here's what's on the docket:

October: And Something Blue  Bridal consultant Laurie Fletcher spends her days helping others prepare for the most special day of their lives. Will true love ever come her way, or is she doomed to watch others get their happily ever after?

NovemberFor Love or Money  Cynical Sydney has just about decided that no one could possibly fall in love with her - all the good guys want perfect girls, and she's anything but perfect. But then along comes the guy who falls head-over-heels in love with her just as she is and helps her find the bright side of life again.

DecemberFive Golden Rings   Even though Cara has lost her childhood weight and is now composing her own music, she can't see her own beauty and she has no confidence in her talent. Only the right guy can help her see inside herself to the amazing person who has always been there.

January:  Just Desserts  Quinn has been working at D'Angelo's Bakery for a long time - so long, in fact, that she practically has no other life. But then along comes a new friend who shows her that life can be oh, so sweet.

February:  Between the Lines  Regan spends her days working in a bookstore and her nights reading. She goes on grand adventures in her head . . . but not in real life. That all changes when someone sweeps her off her feet and carries her up a mountain.

And much, much more ... this is just a taste.  :)  Stay tuned for future announcements!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Book Review: How to Embrace Your Inner Hotness by Leta Greene

Raise your hand if you feel insecure about any part of your physical appearance! We all do - every one of us. Whether we're supermodels or soccer moms or weigh 120 pounds or 350 pounds, every person alive on earth dislikes something about themselves. I'm right there with you - I'm downright awesome in so many ways, and yet when it comes to my weight, I can't seem to cut myself any slack. The way I feel about myself emotionally gets piled on top of the unhealthy way I feel physically, and it becomes a vicious cycle of self-criticism that's difficult to break.

Makeup artist and motivational speaker Leta Greene addresses these issues and more in her new release, How to Embrace Your Inner Hotness: An Inside-out Approach to a Lasting Makeover. This book was a fun read for me on several levels.

First, Leta is a real woman. She's not a stick-thin, airbrushed, media-hyped personality - she has scars (literally) and she's really down-to-earth. Second, the book starts out by affirming something we should all be telling ourselves everyday - that we are of value, regardless of our appearance, and that God only creates beautiful things. She then gives practical tips for working with the very best of our features by choosing colors and styles and shapes to make ourselves amazing instead of longing for the body we may never have. If we honor what we have and dress for who we are now, we can feel good about ourselves every day instead of waiting to lost that ten, fifty, or hundred pounds before we'll give ourselves some credit.

In my experience, most books that give tips for makeovers concentrate on hair, makeup, and fashion. Leta gives advice for how to change the way we perceive ourselves before she gets into choosing the right moisturizer. She really gets at the heart of beauty, which is that it doesn't matter what you look like on the outside if you don't love yourself on the inside. She shared an experience of doing a makeover on a perfectly lovely model who talked about how ugly she was and how flawed she felt - loving yourself must be a function of your inner self, not the products you put on your face or how much you weigh.

Leta gives a to-do list for finding those qualities and traits in ourselves that we can admire and encourages us to remind ourselves daily that we are truly beautiful, shifting the focus to the positive. Then, after a time, we'll find that the things we don't like about ourselves are somehow less offensive in our eyes.

Because we all struggle with self-esteem, I think we should all read this book. Once again, here is the purchase link.

In addition, here is a link to Leta's beauty consulting business, and another to the TED talk she gave on this topic.
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