Busy Bee

This year is flying by. Seems the older I get, the faster time flies when you aren’t even looking. Yeah, I know you younger people don’t really believe that, but it’s true.

My critique partners and I have finally gotten back together after a long hiatus. I’ve had them going over my latest story, Tangled Promises. I had thought it was in fairly good shape, even though I couldn’t let it go for some reason. Now I know why I didn’t submit it. There are a TON of things that needed to be fixed! I just couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

In the meantime, I submitted that story to a couple of different contests. The first was Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc, a regional contest and conference. With a score of 100, I won 3rd Place. Un-huh. There were a lot of good entries. Luck of the draw as to where you placed, I guess.

The second contest was the Lone Star Contest, sponsored by the Northwest Houston Romance Writers of America ® chapter. I was thrilled to find out that I had finaled, then ECSTATIC to learn I’d won 1st Place!!! This is a really big contest so I’m humbled and honored to have won.

ls-w-sealtransparent-1winner

The icing on the cake? Two of the three final round judges (both editors), asked to see the full manuscript! Double Woot!! Of course, I need to finish making all those revisions my critique partners suggested and get that baby polished. {Do you hear the gnashing of teeth and see the sweat running in my eyes from working so hard?}

So, when I’m not working on those revisions, I’m preparing a workshop for Tulsa NightWriters Club The Craft of Writing Mini-Conference on November 5th. I haven’t spoken in front of a group in years, and certainly nothing like this workshop. I’m excited and scared spitless at the same time. Hopefully, I won’t stick my foot in it too bad. Come see me and find out. Here’s the link to register. There are a total of 15 different workshops that day on various issues regarding writing so I know there is something you could benefit from. Oh, the deadline to register is October 20th, so don’t dawdle too long. You’ll miss out. Walk-ins are not allowed. Btw, did I mention it’s F R E E !!!! Yeah, thought that might grab your attention. 😀

Do you think I have enough on my plate right now? At least I’m not getting bored. 🙂

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New Beginings

As 2015 rolls to an end, I can only be grateful. This has been a rough year. Not just for me but for several members of my family and friends as well.

It’s strange, actually, that at the beginning of the year I had high hopes. Yet at the same time, felt a bit of dread. How quickly those sickening feelings took root and bloomed. On January 25th, my mom’s last living 1st cousin died. She was exactly 2 months older than my dad. On February 23rd my dad had a stroke. One that he would not recover from. Five weeks and five days later, he died. Now both of my parents were gone and the house I had grown up in sat empty.

It’s said that deaths come in three’s. It sure did with our family. On July 15th, my cousin’s birthday, my sweet sister-in-law died from breast cancer. I felt like I had been kicked in the teeth and even now, months later, tears have sprung in my eyes. Perhaps because she was close to my age, that her death hit me especially hard. I know all of them are in Heaven, but the empty spots they left behind seems like huge voids.

So now, with the announcement of fireworks all around, the old year is ‘in the books’ and 2016 has arrived with boundless possibilities.

This is a new beginning. I don’t know what this year holds, but I know I’ll embrace it for all it’s worth. New opportunities await.

New dreams to be fulfilled.

New books to be written.

New friendships to be made.

New life to be brought into this world with God smiling down upon the innocent babes.

I can take a sigh of relief, relax and everything will fall into place, just as it’s supposed to. I sincerely wish a wonderful year for each and every one of you.

Goodbye 2015.

WELCOME 2016!!!!

 

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Freebies Galore!

During the month of October I’m participating in a give-away at All Romance eBooks. They’ll be giving away over 3,000 prizes! They have hundreds of ebooks, thousands of dollars in gift certificates, signed print books, lavish gift baskets, eReaders, tablets, and more! All you have to do is shop. However, no purchase is necessary. In lieu of purchase, you can go Here to enter.

This is an awesome opportunity to get free books, swag and more. They will randomly have a program give a prize to every X reader upon checkout or to a random non-purchase reader. Don’t worry. They’ll adjust the program throughout the contest to ensure they won’t run out of prizes before the end of the month so you can still get in on the fun (and freebies). 😉

To get started, just click on the picture below and it’ll take you directly to the site. Browse their books. Yes, Last Hope Alaska is there under Contemporary Romance and will be included in the give-a-ways. (Just in case you wanted to know. HeHe)

Happy shopping my friends!

Linda

FacebookMax

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THE COUNTDOWN IS ON

4…3…2…

The countdown is on for the rerelease of GRAVE SECRETS via Amazon’s Encore Imprint line.
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It’s only a matter of hours now and I’m so excited I could bust! This is my debut novel and I’m super proud of it. There are twists and turns and surprises galore. You have no idea who the villain is until the very last. At least I hope you don’t know. 😉 The book was a double finalist for the National Reader’s Choice Award. Cool, huh?

To help celebrate the books re-launch, I’m participating in an all day Facebook Party along with several other authors whose books are also rereleasing on the 25th. I write Romantic Suspense, but you’ll also find authors who write Historical, Contemporary and Urban Fantasy/Paranormal. Quite the eclectic bunch.

The times for the party will be from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm CST. My time slot during the party is between 1:00 – 2:00 CST. I’ll be sharing this slot with Urban Fantasy author Linda Kelley so stop by and see what we’re up to. Trust me, you won’t be bored. 😀

Here’s the link. Hope to see you there, my friends. ❤
Linda

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EXCITING NEWS

I have some exciting news: I’m pleased to announce the sale of GRAVE SECRETS to Amazon’s traditional publishing house!

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Amazon Publishing’s Encore imprint focuses on acquiring successful small press books with decent sales and reviews and improving their exposure and sales potential. Books within the Encore imprint will benefit from Amazon’s phenomenal marketing and promotion efforts, as well as be included in programs such as Kindle Unlimited.

A few months ago, Amazon contacted my publisher with an interest in purchasing the rights to my debut novel. To have such a big name willing to back my book was thrilling! While the print version of this title won’t change, the electronic version will be re-released exclusively to Amazon on August 25th. The Pre-Order Button is already up. Yay! However, it will no longer be available in e-format from other online vendors.

To celebrate the re-release of Sarah and Morgan’s desperate search for her missing baby, I’m joining several other romance authors whose books were also chosen by Amazon for an all-day Facebook Party! Times for the party will be 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CST.

There’ll be tons of prizes including swag, ebooks, and gift cards. Who knows what else? You’ll have to drop by throughout the day to find out. 😉 A different author will be hosting every hour (some, every half hour). You can find me between 1:00 and 2:00.

So come join us and discover some great new reads! To receive a reminder, just click the link below and “Join” the event; then visit the page when you have a chance on the 25th and enter any raffles you’d like to win.  Hope to see you there!

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FB Encore Romances Release Party

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FAREWELL

It has been a while since I posted, but it has been an emotional time and it took me a little longer than I anticipated to gather my thoughts and be able to write this.

Dad and Salena’s time together ended March 28th at 9:55 a.m. He quietly slipped away at the age of 91 years, 6 months, and 13 days. They had been married 13 years as of March 16th.

Dad & Salena

Budo G. & Salena Perry

(Photo taken for the church directory)

I was there by his side when he passed and it took almost a minute before I realized he wasn’t breathing. For a couple days he’d only been taking about 8 breaths a minute so I thought it was simply sleep apnea. But when I placed my hand on his chest, there was no beat. It was then that I realized that his pain was over. That he’d done all that he’d been placed on this earth to do. It was time for him to go Home.

Flowers next to Dad's casket

Family spray of flowers, standing next to his casket.

He had been in the Palliative Care Ward of the VA Hospital for 5 weeks and 5 days.

We’d all been able to tell him goodbye as there had been a steady stream of family and friends in and out of his room the entire time he was there.

Still giving instructionsCousin Roy clipping Daddy’s nails while Daddy is telling his namesake (Budo D.) how things are done. Notice he couldn’t talk without using his hands. I come by it honest. LOL

He didn’t like being alone and he didn’t like the dark so for the last 4 days, my sister, Sue, and I stayed with him around the clock.

Home away from homeThe chair/beds really weren’t all that uncomfortable. Besides, we didn’t do a lot of sleeping.

During all this time, we made sure there was a good battery in his hearing aid and we’d go to that side of the bed to talk to him. When he became unresponsive that last week, we continued talking to him as if he could hear us, because we knew he could. In fact, I had just been leaning next to his good ear, humming to him right before he passed. Knowing it was an easy transition has helped ease my sorrow.

I shall always miss him, as I do Mom. And I know Salena has lost the love of her life. We’re strong in our faith, though and one day will be reunited. In the meantime, Daddy, help St. Peter keep the gates to Heaven in good working order, just like you kept everything here running smoothly. ♥

Perry Family Pic Jan 16, 2010

Celebrating Salena, Cheryl, Don and my birthday’s.

Love you, Daddy.

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TRUE LOVE NEVER DIES

You’re young and fall in love, knowing your love will last through the ages. But will it? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

What about when you’re older? Do you think it’s possible to find a forever kind of love? Or would you stop looking and give up, resigned to a life alone?

Suppose for a moment you could find love again. That fresh “I can’t wait to see him/her.” Your heart flutters when they walk in the room. All you want to do is touch them…hold their hand…gaze into their eyes.

I’m here to tell you, it can happen.

It doesn’t matter if you have gray hair, your skin is wrinkled, your eyesight not so good anymore. It doesn’t matter if you need a cane or walker and it takes you longer to take your meds in the morning than to eat your breakfast. All that matters is if your heart skips a beat…not because you need a pacemaker, but because of the way they look at you. As if you’re the only other person on the face of the planet.

This type of love is out there. I know because it happened to my father. After 55 years of marriage my mom passed away. Daddy was so lonely he almost grieved himself to death. Then he found love again. A member of the same church, she was a woman he’d barely noticed before. They have now been married almost 13 years. He was lucky that he found 2 wonderful women to love and cherish him. And he them.

Daddy is now in the hospital and his days are numbered.

Budo and Salena PerryThis picture was taken the day after he was admitted. She’s in a wheelchair and before she left that day she scooted up close to hold his hand. They just sat there like that for a long while, holding hands, gazing into each others’ eyes. No words needed.

It doesn’t matter how much time they have left on this earth together.

True love never dies. ❤

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Linda Trout’s Closet

I’m the first honoree of Susan Shay’s new blog series on getting to know writers and where they write. How cool is that?! 🙂

Susan Spess Shay

Let me explain–

There’s this thing about me. I think people are fascinating . (ie: Everybody has A Story!)

I might have mentioned, I’m not only a writer, I’m also a reading knitter (or a knitting reader.) Naturally, I like to read about other people’s lives. I’ve suffered mightily because most knitting magazines only have patterns, nothing about the knitters who created them.

There is one TV show I watch about knitting. This past season, they advertised they’d changed their format to include a segment that was about studio to studio, I was so excited! I thought we’d get knitting area tours of their homes. I hoped they’d show us the whys and how-I’s of their lives.

Again, disappointment! Turns out, it’s just a segment done with the host in one place, the guest in another, but nothing about the guest’s home or knitting area or how they make life work while knitting.

Now that’s…

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Fighting Back – Overcoming Obstacles

Today, I’d like to welcome Ashlynn Pearce to my blog. Ashlynn has been struggling with some major health issues and I wanted to give her the opportunity to tell you about her journey and to also introduce you to her book, FUEL, which releases tomorrow.

I hope this provides some encouragement to others facing major obstacles to keep fighting, to know that it IS possible to overcome despite the roadblocks in your path. One of my favorite sayings is, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Ashlynn’s journey proves that to be true. So now I’m going to turn the blog over to Ash.
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Were it not for Hope, the Heart would Break…

April 28, 2010 my first book was published…and I had a stroke.

Yes, on the same day.

They never figured out why I had the stroke, nor can they explain all the multitude of symptoms I have and fight every day. As far as the medical community goes, nothing is wrong with me.

That’s a freakin’ lie.

When I got home, I fought extremely blurry vision for months before that cleared up. I had/have seizure like muscle spasms throughout my entire body, including my face. My eyelids will force themselves closed and will not open until they are ready to. I had to re-teach myself to type. I have to concentrate when I hand-write or I misspell everything. There are times I can’t talk at all, and a lot of times when I do, it’s slow and hard to understand. I don’t process things like I did before and can’t handle loud noises or flashes of light. I don’t handle stress well and I developed anxiety and severe depression.

I’m not allowed to drive, go to the store alone, or even go in my front yard alone. Because I lose my eyes at the snap of my fingers and I get confused and disoriented quickly. I often have to use a walker or wheelchair because I can’t walk. My husband often has to help me undress for bed, because I can’t. I can go from okay, to not being able to speak within seconds, with no warning.

I still deal with all of this on a daily basis and lose approximately 3+ days a week.

Trust me when I say, this post is not about poor me.

This is about fighting back.

This is about figuring out a way to do what you love. No matter what.

To say I was lost without being able to write is an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, I tried SO many times to write. I totally gave up as many times as I tried. I even threw away all my writing notes, the character notebooks I had and a lot of books on writing. I just tossed them in the trash. (I kick myself for doing that now)

When I say gave up, I mean, I curled up in a ball in the recliner, turned on the tv and did…nothing. (And FYI that is NOT me. I hate tv and hate doing nothing even more.)

In the midst of depression, I voiced to my friend, Linda (yes, the one who owns this blog) maybe I can try one more time. Write a really short story. You know, like 5K words. Just something I maybe can finish.

She told me to go for it, poked and prodded me until I gave it a shot.

I had nothing.

I couldn’t think of a single story or character idea…and I cried. The ugly cry.

I thought, well, that confirms it. I’ve lost the ability. It’s just gone.

I was heartbroken.

But Linda started tossing out ideas. Nothing she said stuck…BUT it did get my wheels turning.

In May of 2014 I had an inkling of an idea so went with it. Then it grew. And grew. I wrote 5K…it wasn’t done so I kept going. I hit 20K, still wasn’t done. When I hit 30K, I thought, no way, but by this time, I had an entire cast of characters all babbling away. All wanting their story and the DirtSlap series was born.

FUEL was done at 40K words and will be available Jan. 29, 2015.
WRECK immediately followed at 50K+ words, is in editing phase and will be out in May 2015.
FIXT and WIRED are plotted and KRUSH, a short story, is in writing stages now and will be out this summer in an anthology I was invited to participate in.

I DID IT!

In spite of it all the setbacks, I did it—but not alone. Along with Linda, there have been a whole slew of peeps cheering me on. I couldn’t have done it without their encouragement.

Every one of us fights a battle no one else knows about. But I do know if you want it bad enough, you can make it happen. You WILL find a way. It might not be pretty and you may fail many, many times before you make it, but if you want it. Do it. Go for it.

Life waits for no one. LIVE your life now. Pour every bit of passion you have into it and try. You will never know for sure until you do.

Because were it not for Hope, the Heart would break.

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BIO:
Once upon a time…You ain’t gonna believe this sh**!
(I always wanted to start a bio like that!) But seriously—scrap that, I’m not serious, but I do love to write. Create characters. Give them hope that there is something better around the corner. It’s my passion. I live and breathe stories. When I’m not arguing with the characters in my head (yes, I do that, you can ask my hubby who thinks I’m nuts btw), I’m taking care of said hubby, my two kids and a melee of furbabies. I’m Okie born and bred and, yes, we get a lot of twisters and, no, there aren’t any teepees around that I’ve seen. Follow me around to see what other mischief I’m up to!

http://AshlynnPearce.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/ashlynnpearcewriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ashlynn_Pearce
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3512149.Ashlynn_Pearce
Amazon Author page: http://amazon.com/author/ashlynnpearce

FUEL… DirtSlap series

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fuel-ashlynn-pearce/1120913527?ean=2940151682206

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/FUEL-DirtSlap-Book-Ashlynn-Pearce-ebook/dp/B00QYAPUDC/ref=asap_B008F9J94G?ie=UTF8

KOBO: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/fuel-6

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id951159485

WRECK – out May 2015 (no links as of yet)

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Final Farewell

Saying the Final Goodbye

It has been a while since I posted anything here. The last two months have been busy, busy. We got my elderly cousin all settled in her new home (see last post before this one for details) and everything was rocking along just fine. She joined the family for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, always having a great time and still driving herself.

The lady on the right is my cousin, Allee.
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Then she began falling quite a bit at the retirement center. They finally checked her into the hospital close to two weeks ago. Her medical issues started compounding and Sunday, with her niece and my sister by her side, she went home to be with her Lord. Before she died, they talked about some of the old times ~ the good times. It was a peaceful transition.

It is so hard to believe she’s gone. As I said before, she was an inspiration to every woman out there as she always stood on her own two feet and lived life on her terms. She died that way, too.

Someone posted on Facebook that she lived ‘till she died. So true.

Now comes the task of moving her things once again, this time for the last time. Last time it was a transition. What she couldn’t take with her physically, she took with her mentally.

Now the majority of her memories are forever lost to us. Some of them she shared, but of course, not all. She still has them tucked around her, I’m sure. And I’m also sure she’s looking down thinking, “Don’t make such a big deal out of it. It was a great ride, but my life’s over so go on and live yours.”

The women in my family have always been pragmatic about things. Allee Riddle was no different. Still, I’ll miss her.

May God embrace you with His loving arms, Allee. Love you and one day we’ll meet again.
Linda

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