Paying it forward, a special blessing

2018 has not been a good year for me. Through the actions of others, I’ve lost a lot and had to make some drastic life changes. As the year end approaches, I’m coming to terms with those changes and learning to adapt.

The other day something happened that put everything in perspective for me. On my way home, I got a flat tire. Twenty years ago, I would have changed it without thinking. Not these days. After several calls, my nephew was on his way to help. Before he got there, a beat-up pickup truck pulled up behind me. Two men got out, offering help.

The younger of the two grinned when he spotted my feeble excuse of a jack sitting on the ground by my spare. I shrugged—it came with the car. He went back to his truck, returning with a hydraulic jack. In five minutes, the tire was changed.

As I thanked them for stopping and helping, the man told me, “I have aunts, a mother, and sisters. I hope someone would stop and help them if they were stranded. Besides . . . “ He nodded to the other man. “I was raised right.” His father introduced himself, adding, “I taught my children at an early age to “pay it forward”. As they prepared to leave, each man hugged me, offered me a blessed day and Happy Thanksgiving.

This small act of kindness restored my faith in a lot of ways. Compassion still exists, and helping others is not a forgotten act. I will keep these two good Samaritans in my thoughts and prayers. And, I will “pay it forward” the first chance I get.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Until next week,

~Madison

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Going down the list . . .

I find myself switching gears once again. I’m only a couple or three chapters from finishing Blindsided but have to put it aside. Got my edits back on Heart of Stone. I need to focus on that project. I completed the corrections and finished listening to the oral read last night. Now it’s time to gather all the front and back matter and format it for publishing. Yeah, not my favorite part, either. Not fun, but necessary. It’s not going to be released without it.

To add to the mix, I’m a part of Kelli Smith’s Reviewer Roundup. Today is the last day, with the meet and greet this evening. While the reader turnout wasn’t as plentiful as usual, (life tends to get in the way) I still managed to get several four- and five-star reviews posted on quite a few platforms. I can’t complain. At least I know To Kill A Demon is the fast-paced, fun read I hoped for. Haven’t read it yet? Get it here.

Book1Demon2Small

Guess I better get back to work. I want to get Heart of Stone out next month. I’m looking into a few other outlets as well as Amazon to release this one. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s done.

Until next week,

~Madison

Doing my own thing . . .

Two things hit me recently. One, I’m preparing to release my sixth book next month. Two, I’m a couple of chapters and an epilogue from completing my seventh. I know compared to some authors, this is nothing in the span of three years. I am not one of those writers. I’m content releasing two a year; one for my Kindred series, the other a standalone. It’s a pace that works for me. With a full-time job, it’s all I can manage.

Maybe it’s due to my age, but I don’t have that drive to write a half-dozen books or more a year. Sure, I wouldn’t mind having the recognition of penning double digit books. And I still would like to be able to have that Best Seller title on my cover. Maybe it will even happen one day. But, it’s not a do-or-die thing. I write for my pleasure. If others enjoy my books, too . . . bonus.

For now, I’m going to continue with my writing and posting on social media. My reader numbers are slowly growing, and I’m happy with that. I’ll do my own promoting and marketing and hope for the best. If it’s meant to be, it will happen.

Until next week,

~Madison

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New Year – winding down

It’s October. Can you believe it? I surely cannot.

TO add to the confusion, I’m one trip away from finding myself at the door and wondering which direction I’m supposed to be headed. Sadly, that one trip will happen before Samhain. If there was ever a doubt about what I can, and cannot, handle…the lingering sick that I’ve had all month is testifying that this many outings in 30 days are over my limit.

I’m once again behind on deadlines and seriously wondering what I can wrap yet this year to keep from rolling over. 2019 was already full. I have no window to move 2018 incompletes to the party. I’ve had to cut my appearances for 2019 as well…and while I cannot share the details of why just yet…it’s going to impact my writing agenda as well…which really means I have no window. I may not make the 2019 agenda as it is. 😦

This all in mind, I’ll apologize now for the crazy. I can’t quite make heads nor tails of it yet, so I’m certain it’s confounding for everyone else. Just have faith, as soon as there’s rhyme or reason to share, I will.

Until then…read something amazing. ((I highly recommend Havenwood Falls…any of them. They’re a fab distraction when up and down don’t fit your world and you need to escape!))

 

Words on the page to book signings . . .

I’m finally unpacked, and life has settled back into what passes as normal in my world. Booking in Baton Rouge wasn’t exactly the event I’d hoped for, but I caught up with old friends and made a few new ones.

Genevieve Williams    Me

Danielle Dauphinet

I did manage to get some networking in, and learned a lot from author, Kris Michaels.

Kris Michaels

My table partner was Larynn Ford, a lovely lady who I found out, is a lot like me in many ways. We got along famously, and I hope to see her again soon.

Larynn Ford

I met new readers and bloggers, so I can honestly say I had fun.

Sandy Ebel  Cindy Schmidt Montgomery

Marie Saunders

I’m trying to get back into my world of The Kindred. Blindsided is coming along, though the characters are throwing me a few unforeseen twists. Since I can’t fight it, I’m letting them have their say. Once it’s all done, I’ll go back over it to make sure the story holds together.

The good news is that the twins are peeking in, giving me glimpses of the final installment, Deuces Wild. Not enough to figure out a storyline, just a tease here and there. That will have to hold me, for now.

Until next week,

~Madison

Nervous energy . . .

By the time you read this, I’ll already be at Booking in Baton Rouge. Hopefully, I’ll be settled in, seeing a couple of familiar faces, and meeting new ones.

For now, the day before departure, I’m at loose ends. I’m packed except for last minute essentials that’ll get thrown in my suitcase on the way out. My car is clean, gassed up, and packed. I could take advantage of the time and write. Yeah well, that’s not going to happen. I’m too nervous to settle down, much less focus.

I know once I get there, I’ll be fine. Once I’m set up, no worries. It’s the waiting that drives me nuts. One, it’s been over two years since I’ve been to a book con. Two, I’m going it alone. For any introvert, that’s some scary stuff. I’ll have to force myself to get out there. I can do it. I know I can, I’ve done it before. It doesn’t make it easier.

So, if you’re planning on going to Booking in Baton Rouge, please stop by my table and say hello. Would love to meet you.

Until next week,

~Madison

Booking in BR 2018

Managing time and life . . . sort of

Do you ever plan to do something then have everything get in the way of accomplishing that one thing? Welcome to my world. For the last three days I’ve been trying to put words to the page without much success. It seems every time I sit at my desk and settle in, something either distracts me or calls me away. Can we say ‘squirrel’?

Added to the mix is the fact that Booking in Baton Rouge is next week. Now, it doesn’t matter that I have all my books packed in boxes, or that my swag is done and bagged. I splurged, buying new outfits for the weekend and my room has been reserved. Everything is ready and close at hand. I still want to start packing. That’s the OCD in me. Even though I’m off from work Wednesday and Thursday, having all the time in the world to pack, I want to do it now. I tend to complicate things. That’s just me.

I would love a simple life, but I don’t think that’s in my cards. There’s always going to be someone or something that’s going to need attention, taking me away from what I was planning on. Such is my life. For now, I’ll write when I can and hope for the best.

Until next week,

~Madison

 

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Writing and planning . . .

I managed to get a little writing in this past week, just not near as much as I would have liked. It’s hard to find quiet time when you only have two days off, and a ton of things to get done. I try to remember how I managed to get any writing in when I had a regular Monday through Friday job. Oh, yeah, I would write for a couple of hours at night. Of course, I was only working eight-hour days. Working twelve-hour days now leaves me exhausted. The last thing I want to do is sit at a computer and write. All I manage to do is scarf something down, shower, head to bed. Such is my life. Not the least bit glorious. It is what it is.

What writing I did get in revolved around one character. Every time I got to a stopping point, figuring I would insert a scene break and write about someone else, I would get blocked. Absolutely nothing came to me. That was a first. Especially with my Kindred. So, I continued with the one character, and the story flowed. Guess he wanted to have his say. I’m not finished, but I know where it’s going. I’ll be getting in more writing on my next five days off.

The weekend after that will be Booking in Baton Rouge. I’m prepared for the trip. Not sure if I’m ready, though. Don’t get me wrong. I’m going. But it’s been over two years since I’ve done a large book signing, and I’m more than a little nervous about the whole deal. Throw in the fact that I’ll be going alone, and I don’t know anyone. It’s hard for any introvert. But I’ll get through it, and I’ll have fun. Because that’s how it works when you’re surrounded by a bunch of people who love books as much as you.

Until next week,

~Madison

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The thrill isn’t gone . . .

I remember when my first book was published. It wasn’t that long ago, only three years. I remember the thrill and the excitement that I had actually written a book. I remember the elation when I opened the box containing twenty copies of Phoenix Rising. I swore I’d never forget those feelings. and I haven’t. I still feel the rush of excitement every time I order copies of my latest release. Naturally, the degree of excitement has leveled down a bit.

This past week, I relived those feelings all over again. Not for me, but for my best friend. Even though we hadn’t met yet, FJ Roberts and I started writing at the same time. He churned out book after book, only to have them fill up several jump drives. Not sure how to go about getting them published, they sat there, read only by a few close friends.

We met at a writer’s conference almost two years ago, and I shared my experiences with him. I told him about ups and downs with editors, my trials with formatting, learning to make teasers and videos, then promoting. I told him what I knew of publishing. He listened, and he asked questions. I helped as much as I could. I went as far as to go over his book one last time after three editors (that’s another story) had already made their passes.

He finally took the plunge and self-published his first novel. We talked for hours. Okay, I listened for hours 😉 as the onslaught of emotions hit him. Comments from his friends overwhelmed him, then the sales hit. He was stunned. I was excited. For no promotion yet, he’s done extraordinarily well. I’m proud of him. I wish him the best and can’t wait to see all his books published.

To me, this is the best part of indie publishing. We support each other, helping to build up, not tear down.

Until next week,

~Madison

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Penned Con Re-Cap and Book Releases

Oh goodness…a week ago today, I arrived in St. Louis for Penned Con. I have no words to describe what this event means to me or how the charity the proceeds go to  touch my heart.

I had a looooong six hour drive to get to St. Louis. I know what you’re thinking…six hours isn’t that bad and you would be right. I’m one of those, however, where the motion of the car is soothing. My parents used to say that when going on trips, I would be asleep before we got out of the driveway.
Anywhoooo…the arch coming into view makes the solitary car ride worth it.

 

 

The first official day of Penned Con was a learning day for authors and assistants. There were panels and discussions, but there was also a chance to meet and mingle with fellow authors who you might not get to see because, yeah…Penned is busy busy busy.
Table set up began early in the evening.
That was followed by a Murder Mystery game with authors and VIP’s. I liked to think of it at, Live Action Clue. What do you get when you put a bunch of authors and readers together to solve a murder? Over-active imaginations that come up with plot twists that don’t come close to solving a “murder”. lol

Friday and Saturday were filled with books, Readers, authors, more books, and parties. I got to see author friends I only get to see at signings, readers who never fail to ask when the next book is out and those who are as new to me as I am to them, but we all come together to share our love of books and reading.

Did I mention that Book 3 of the Veil Series, Veiled Hearts Revealed released on Friday and Breathe Me to Life released on Tues. Both books made their print debut at Penned Con.

Both books are still available for $0.99.
Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~