Tag Archives: Smashwords

Heaven Lies East of the Mississippi

Much to my surprise, here’s a new (old) novel.  Written in 2012, updated over the years, I released Heaven Lies East of the Mississippi today on Smashwords.

I’ve classified it as a romance, although it easily falls under lit fic: When Kendall Schultz walks away from professional soccer and his longtime girlfriend, tragedy threatens to destroy the American superstar. In rural Tennessee, Kendall meets Sarah Dwyer, a widow whose son Heath reflects Kendall’s regrets. Can a sporting icon set aside catastrophe or will his chance at happiness be forever lost?

If you like to know more why this particular story took so long to reach publication, check out this page.  And if you’d like to read this tale, it’s available on Smashwords for free, like all my other novels.  And will be at other online retailers soon.

The Hawk, Part Thirteen

Usually when another piece of this saga has been published, an accompanying entry is brief; it’s up and you can find it here.  But while I plan to release this tale in a formal manner, more needs to be acknowledged.  Making the conclusion available closes a large circle that I couldn’t have dreamed when first starting this book over four years ago.

I wasn’t a grandmother then, my familial role that of supporting my parents while Dad battled cancer, occasionally helping out my offspring when the need arose.  This tale started humbly, but quickly I sensed a wider scope emerging.  At the same time, my father underwent chemotherapy while quilts knocked on my door.  Writing fell by the wayside; it was difficult concentrating and sewing required less brain power.  Then my youngest became pregnant, followed by her elder sister and….

Suddenly my existence as an author seemed to have vanished on a stiff wind.  Now I wonder if not for The Hawk, might I have eschewed writing altogether?  Yet there was a story to tell, at times bigger than I thought I could tackle.  In bits and chunks I wrote, then decided to simultaneously publish what had accumulated.  That too kept me writing, although the more I fashioned, the longer this tale grew.

In the interim, babies were born, my dad passed.  Eric, Lynne, and the rest became an extension of my own clan; when not writing, I wondered when I might return to their realm, and when I was working, I pondered how blessed was my life with The Burrito, Little Miss, and Miss Em.  My father would find their antics amusing, perhaps how he views my foray into fiction.  How I see my novelistic endeavors has altered, and this story stands like a demarcation; closing my eyes, I easily recall my previous life as an author, but in taking a good look, that woman appears half formed.

Maybe that is simply indicative of life’s changes, but how often do we get a guidebook or pamphlet in the middle of such transitions?  For me, that is what The Hawk has become, a Life Echo minus the sound.  Yet melodic memories waft right over my head, laying their healing beauty within my ears as I read Eric’s laments, Lynne’s dreams, Stanford’s hesitations, Laurie’s joy, Sam’s eagerness, Renee’s hopes, Marek’s wisdom, Seth’s fears, Klaudia’s wariness.  My goodness, that’s quite a collection, but The Hawk isn’t a small novel, lol.  It’s many love stories, a few tragedies.  It’s fact and fantasy set in the 1960s and thank the Lord it’s finally finished.  The entire collection is available on Smashwords, and will be released in full on various other online retailers soon.

The Hawk, Part Twelve

While my clan awaits a new arrival, I’ve released another section of The HawkPart Twelve is available on Smashwords in a variety of formats, and I’m very pleased to have published one more piece of this large literary puzzle.  If you are searching for plenty to read over the upcoming holiday, The Hawk certainly fits the bill.  Check out the latest installment on Smashwords!

Ten Years of Writing

I suppose I could have penned this last year, but I rarely consider my final months in Yorkshire in connection with noveling.  That decade-plus figures heavily into my becoming a writer, but the actual work truly blossomed after we returned to California.

It’s funny, pondering the last ten years of my life; authorial dreams had hovered forever, but motherhood left little time to do more than write grocery lists and scattered poems, although….  After my brother died in 1997, I used the written word to make some sense of what at the time seemed utterly baseless.  I suppose that effort is what caught my eldest daughter’s attention, then nearly a decade later she pestered me into participating in National Novel Writing Month.  But again, that initial foray into fiction was just dipping my toes in the water.  2007 is when this whole gig began….

Yesterday at Lil’ Miss’s house; Buttercup observed while I enjoyed another craft associated with this time of year.

When a long-held dream becomes reality, often the thrill isn’t contemplated until the dust settles, which in my case probably didn’t occur until I started publishing independently.  What else was I suppose to do with all these stories which had suddenly spilled as though my hands had been released from behind my back.  In retrospect, a few novels should have remained in my hard drive, ahem, but every book has a reason for being, and I don’t regret releasing them.  While I don’t want this post to focus on the publishing aspect, if not for the rise of indie ebooks, I don’t know where I’d be now.  Suffice to say, I’m extremely grateful to Smashwords in that aspect; thanks Mark Coker and your entire team.

But getting to that point takes an inordinate amount of time spent at one’s computer, also in mulling over plot lines, character qualities, various themes, then somehow coalescing all those elements into cohesive stories.  Which means practice, practice, practice….  Writing requires discipline, as well as an artistic flair, and I am fortunate that meshing those two was fairly uncomplicated.  As kids left for college, I had time to experiment; writing fiction was nothing like poetry or to do lists, but all my pent-up desires exploded and I could easily whip out a rough draft in thirty days.  Now I smile at all those efforts, knowing the harder side of noveling, but I can still remember how a few books ended, some like the Alvin’s Farm series turning from what I’d assumed to be a short story into a six-book saga (shades of The Hawk already in place), to how I wept in my husband’s arms after completing a draft I’ll never publish, reliving my own life in the guise of fictional characters.  That’s occurred more than once, and often I don’t see it until much later.  For me, writing has been a voyage of self-discovery, with love and melodrama on the side.

In 2013, my dad’s battle with cancer went into overdrive, but it coincided with short stories taking my attention.  Then came The Hawk; like I said, Alvin’s Farm prepped me for lengthy tales, but not even my brother’s suicide prepared me for the swing between life and death that followed in 2014 and 2015.  As Dad endured chemotherapy, both of my daughters became pregnant, and this author was either taking road trips to offer assistance or learning how to quilt.  I didn’t abandon the writing, but I certainly couldn’t start anything new, and The Hawk kept expanding, sort of like my family.  The Burrito arrived, Dad passed on, then Lil’ Miss eased that sorrow.  All the while I still found time at my computer, wondering if I was ever going to finish the WIP.  I’m still curious about that, ha ha, but in stepping away from that saga, I feel a new chapter of my writing life is also being inaugurated.  I won’t begin to ponder that, because if you’d told me ten years ago that I’d write over one hundred fifty thousand words for three different stories in thirty days, I’d have called you crazy.

In my first American National Novel Writing Month I went overboard, but within those four weeks, I reveled in what every would-be writer dreams, to finally be spinning yarns.  There was no sense of how those tales might evolve, only the blissful thrill that finally they were being told.  And now, even with books published, that joy still resonates; all day yesterday I was mentally plotting what I’ll start writing this week, from monikers to when Kendall learns the truth about Coach Schlatter….  This novel, Heaven Lies Where the Heart Is, isn’t merely a sequel, but an opportunity to again explore the giddy exuberance that drives this author, liberating my active imagination.  Why I have more plots than sense is a mystery, but no longer are all those lives trapped inside my head.

And that’s a big relief, let me just say.  I’m not one of those who writes every day, or I’m not like that anymore.  But when the mood strikes, I’m ready to get my butt into the chair and see where the prose takes me.  That is where it has to start; setting aside the fear and diving into the unknown.  And I need to remember this too, on the cusp of yet another novel.  It won’t be like what I’ve been struggling with, although it might not be simple.  Yet it is my calling, and I can’t ignore it, even if it feels slightly terrifying.  Ten years ago ignorance was on my side, but now wisdom, and some talent, ease me in front of the monitor, fingers placed upon the keyboard, lives itching to be freed.  I have many tasks up my sleeve, but writing remains, and I hope it always does.  As a new tale unfolds, I will appreciate this gift; while it requires hard work, it is also not of my own doing.  Call it the muse, or for me, more rightly the Spirit, but at the end of the day, these tales are blessings from above.  I’m just the lucky gal who gets to tell them.

The Hawk, Part Eleven

At times over the last few months, I wondered when I would release Part Eleven; I still haven’t managed any writing, but I have read through this part, and today it’s out for all to view.  I’m pretty pleased with it, also surprised at how long it is, compared to the rest of what has been published in this series.  It’s nearly novel-length, but what remains is going to be even more involved.

What I like about this particular slice of the pie, ha ha, is that finally someone is where he belongs.  That’s all I will say, don’t want to spoil too much of the tale.  The Hawk: Part Eleven is available on all formats at Smashwords, hope you enjoy it!

The Hawk, Part Ten

A quick break in the sabbatical to announce the latest segment within this series.  This installment is apt for the season, as it starts off right after Christmas.  But more appropriate is its theme, that of love, reconciliation, and forgiveness.  Part Ten is available in all formats exclusively on Smashwords.  Happy Christmas and Hanukkah to all!