Posted in event, road trip, Thoughts

Confessions of a Nerd

I have a confession. I’m a nerd. I geek out over the strangest things. I love research and learning new things. With the past couple of years’ Covid restrictions I have done most of my research and learning online. As y’all know, I follow several authors online. I love YouTube especially for learning from other authors, but I recently discovered I can find research information like steamships from late 1800s and early 1900s, what life was like in the Victorian era, and assorted household items look like when they explode or catch fire.

I also enjoy taking classes both in person and online on everything from writing craft to research details and even marketing. Okay, maybe I don’t exactly enjoy marketing but as an indie author, marketing is a necessary part of the game. Last Saturday I attended the Heart of Carolina Spring Conference with Molly Maddox and Lucy Lennox. I followed that program with a webinar on Goodreads by Alessandra Torres of Inkers Con. I feel I have been inundated with information, good, much needed information but maybe more than I can process at the moment.  

One thing I learned while raising our sons is that we each absorb information in different ways and regurgitate that information through our own filters. As I review the recordings one more time, I know that I will have to choose one or two things to focus on and do my best to implement those lessons before I can attempt to use any of the other great knowledge. That’s why for me, I don’t mind listening to a lecture more than once, sometimes multiple times. I happily attend classes and programs I’ve attended before or are similar, because review helps renew or remind me of things I might have forgotten or become lax with.

Craftsmen, no matter if they are woodworkers or painters, seamstress or authors, we each continue to learn in order to stay current. When we stop growing and learning, we then begin to die. On that ominous note, I urge each of you and myself to learn something new and find the new nugget in the old.

Of course, I’m a nerd, I love to learn. I geek out over dress fashion changes from the 1800s and inventions of the Victorian era. I get all excited watching glass blowers design a vase or a blacksmith make a knife. I want to know how it’s done.

This week my gal-pals and I will be going to Carteret to listen to mystery author, Tom Kies and while we’re there, I’ll do a little research at the maritime museum. With two books in two different series in different genres and different time periods, this trip is more than just a fun adventure, it’s a necessity. But there will be laughs, good food, fun times and learning all combined. It’s so good to be able to go to in person events again.

I will be learning to Haiku with poet, author and bookstore owner, the Heart of the Pamlico Poet Laureate, Michelle Garner-Flye. Check out

Posted in Book Review

Asphalt Cowboy’s Girl

By Marie Savage

A Book Review

Luke is a love ‘em and leave ‘em kind of guy. He has a girl in every “port” or stop, they know the drill, have a little fun until it’s time to say good bye. He’s a truck driver, a wanderer, he has no time for relationships.

Aimee Jo has a dream of becoming a singer. She is on her way to California for an audition, well, she was, until someone stole her car and everything she owns. Stuck in a truck stop with no one to call, no money and no hope, she is determined not to give up.

Luke doesn’t know why he offers to help the beautiful young girl. It goes against his character, his motto. He realizes this girl isn’t his usually kind of girl, but something about her won’t allow him to leave her stranded at the truck stop.

This road trip adventure romance is a great foil for this couple to get to know each other and fall in love.

Two stubborn hearts won’t tell the other how they feel. What will it take for one of them to take a chance and risk their heart?

I loved this story and felt as if I could hear country music flowing through every page. The characters were strong and believable. Their relationship growth felt real and organic. The changes in the characters as they grew together felt natural. This is one of the best books I’ve read, part of it was because of my own childhood dream of being a truck driver, my love of country music. I related to Aimee Jo, she was a good girl who’d didn’t know her own worth.

If you’re looking for a different kind of hero and a heroine who is both fragile and strong, I think you’ll love Asphalt Cowboy’s Girl.

Posted in event, News, road trip

Fall Conference October 13th

The Heart of Carolina is preparing for our annual fall conference. This year, two of my favorite people will be giving presentations: Sabrina Jeffries and Sarra Cannon.
I’ve not met Sarra in person but she has been the instructor for several online classes I’ve taken. I follow her on social media, her excitement and experience as an indie author coupled with her husband’s computer technology are an award-winning combination. Sarra’s blog posts for indie authors is an amazing resource for new, as well as experienced, authors. Her presentation, “How to Thrive as an Indie Author” is a must if you are planning to self-publish. I am so excited that Sarra will be one of the presenters at HCRW conference.
Sabrina Jeffries is also a presenter this year. I was a fan of Sabrina’s work long before I met her but I have never forgotten her kindness to a new member of HCRW. I mean, oh my God, she’s Sabrina Jeffries and she talked to me! Her personality and genuine love of writing and people makes her a great presenter. She gave a skype program to our small-town library earning a few more fans among my friends. Sabrina’s presentation, “Writing and Researching a Salable Historical Romance,” may not seem like something a contemporary romantic suspense author would find useful but I have found that there is always something to learn. Besides, it’s Sabrina Jeffries, I’d listen to her recite the phone book.
I’m looking forward to reuniting with many dear friends from Heart of Carolina. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend many of the regular monthly meetings and often feel like a newbie. Kate Parker was great about allowing me to hitch hike with her to meetings whenever I could get time off work. Her friendship and her long-standing with HCRW gave me an added connection. She has moved across country but her friendship and kindness will be a continued legacy.
Attending with two, fairly-new friends, I’m excited to share this experience with them. It’s going to be a girls’ road trip. The three us of are new to publishing, Adrienne Dunning has had the most experience with two full novels and a novella to her name. She’s been a member of HCRW for several years but like me has been unable to attend due to work and distance. I recently published my second novel and I’m still learning. Tammy Cooper is days away from launching her first novel. She recently revealed the cover of her book, Drenched Sunflowers, and it is gorgeous. All three of us write contemporary romance but with different sub-genres and heat levels. It will be fun to talk books and publishing on the trip to Raleigh and discuss the presentations on the ride home. I’m really looking forward to this event and even the ride to and from, though I really hope one of them is willing to drive.
I hope to see you all at the Heart of Carolina Fall Conference, if you haven’t signed up, do so. You don’t have to be a member to attend but if you write romance, why not join? RWA is a great organization and HCRW is a fabulous group.

Posted in event, News, road trip

Tired but Still Standing

It’s been a busy couple of months. I’m tired but happy. I have a new grandson, three weeks old today and very handsome. He was born just before hurricane Florence made her appearance.
We had some worry during the storm. The news kept saying it was going to be a bad one, originally a category 4. My oldest son’s home and family were in the path of the storm, my youngest a member of our local fire and rescue willingly put himself in the path of danger, and my next youngest chose to evacuate having experienced flooding during Irene. With three little girls, my son who evacuated made the right choice. Though not as bad as Irene, Florence flooded many low lying areas, hitting Bay City Road, Royal, parts of Campbell’s Creek, South Creek, Isle View Beach and the older streets of the town of Aurora. While we didn’t have the damage New Bern, Pollocksville, Wilmington, Oriental and others experienced, a week with no electricity took its toll. Most of us lost a few shingles, some food and some tree limbs, the next youngest was displaced after water buckled the floors of his home. I’m thankful all of my children are all safe and their damage fixable.
Our local writers’ group just finished a huge event, the Carnival of Books. It was the first we’ve done―successful but chaotic. Due to damage left by hurricane Florence, the Hands On Arts Festival shared space with us creating good energy, more traffic and a bit of chaos. I didn’t sell any books but I enjoyed meeting the other authors. All in all, I believe it was a success.
To add to the craziness, I just finished the sequel to Chrome Pink, White Gold. I am now working on publicity, arranging book signings and online promotions. It’s also past time to work on the Pamlico Writers’ anthology and start the process for the annual conference.
I’m looking forward to the Heart of Carolina’s annual Fall Conference, Saturday, October 13th. Finally, an event I don’t have to plan, promote and work. The added bonus, two of my favorite people will be giving presentations: Sabrina Jeffries and Sarra Cannon, plus I’ll be attending with two of my writer friends. Writer Girls’ Road Trip!