Friday, December 7, 2012

New Christmas Short Story!

With the great reception that MORE THAN SPARROWS has received--it's spent some time on both the Christian Historical and Christian Romance Historical bestseller lists, I'm so excited to announce!--I've decided to release this romantic short story for Christmas.

AND here's more news: THE CHRISTMAS WALTZ won't be a stand-alone story, but rather part of the new Larkspur Valley Series! This is the story of June Sheppard, the sister of Ruth Beverly from MORE THAN SPARROWS. Please note: THE CHRISTMAS WALTZ is a short story, but the next book in the series will be longer in length. I wanted to offer a shorter work for readers to enjoy during the holidays, since it's been a year since my last Christmas release, 'TWAS THE SPY BEFORE CHRISTMAS, came out.

As soon as I have a release date, I'll post it here. For now, here's the cover for a Christmas short story that I hope will touch your heart and bring you both joy and a tear to your eye.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

FREE Ebook!

Tired after all that mad dashing around from store to store yesterday? Or still recovering from all that cooking and cleaning on Thanksgiving? Wondering what to read tonight? Well, I have a little gift waiting for you at Amazon! Pick up your free copy--for today ONLY--of MORE THAN SPARROWS. And if you're so inclined, please feel free to leave a review. In any case, I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fall 2012 Release & Some Musings, Too

Here it is--MORE THAN SPARROWS! A few days ahead of schedule and ready for your Amazon Kindle. It's been over six months since CHAMPAGNE TASTE, my last release (which was in April of this year), so I'm very happy and excited to be seeing this newest book available for my readers.

That's part of what I love about being an indie author. If a book is ready to go, it's ready. No more waiting for a publisher to get their twenty books for the month out; YOU'RE the publisher. Speaking of being an indie, it's now been over a year since I released my first self-published book, GLIMMERS OF HEAVEN. Since then, I've been able to publish a paranormal, a lighthearted Christmas spy tale, a chick-lit/romance fusion, a previously published title (SEA SIREN, writing as Consuelo Vazquez) and now this Christian mainstream novel.

My next book, tentatively titled GREETINGS FROM MY SANDY DREAMS, is already in the works. This is a project I'd started some time ago (right after CHAMPAGNE TASTE, actually), but it has undergone some changes. For one thing, a male character proved to be much more interesting and important than I'd previously understood him to be, and both he and the story's heroine are in their 40s rather than in their 30s. As any writer can tell you, projects are started and stopped, then rejuvenated and reworked once authors have a better grasp of who their "people" really are.

That's something else I love about being in indie. First I have to give credit where credit is due: The truth is, most small presses are excellent to write for, much less unyielding and much more willing to be adventurous than the big guys in New York. For the past several years I've had the privilege of working with ebook publishers, all of whom have given free reign to their authors' imaginations.

As an indie, too, I've approached my work with a let's-go-somewhere-we-haven't-gone-before approach. Why would I want to write something some fresh-out-of-college marketing grad at Acme Publishing Company in Manhattan claims will sell like hotcakes? Why not write from my heart, trusting myself to do an inspirational mainstream--set in another era, no less--with not one, not two, but SIX different POVs? Or a story about a woman who picks up roots and...well, more on that later. :D

In short, this has been an exciting venture for me as an author. Am I rich? Can I leave my nine-to-five? Not right now, though GLIMMERS OF HEAVEN was a Christian bestseller, and my other books have also done well. Other indies, too, are producing things and having success with them, projects the Big Six would have totally overlooked.

So, personally, I look forward to the year ahead and books that will come from my heart, to be shared with my readers. And I promise not to take as long with the next one!

Sunday, November 4, 2012



It's been a while since my last post, and that's because I've been scribbling away at my upcoming book. More Than Sparrows, a Christian mainstream novel, is now slated for release on November 24. Just right after Thanksgiving, a plump, juicy and inspirational tale about some wonderful characters in   a small town named Larkspur Valley in Pennsylvania during the early 1960s. It's a tale to keep you company while you're stopping for a latte while doing your Christmas shopping or grabbing that much-needed island of time to yourself after a busy day!

So mark that date on your calendar--November 24!

Monday, September 3, 2012

My First Mainstream Novel

Tentatively scheduled for an October 2012 release, MORE THAN SPARROWS is my very first mainstream novel. A Christian inspirational, it is set in a fictional small town in rural Pennsylvania during the early 1960s. Here's the cover! Don't you just love that purple and gold? I'm very excited about this book because I've only done romance, YA and short stories since I began writing professionally. MORE THAN SPARROWS will be a full-length novel that *may* also see release in paperback.

As always, I'll have more information available here before the book comes out. So don't forget to add it to your TBR list!

Sunday, September 2, 2012


SEA SIREN is now available for Nook from Barnes & Noble!

How's that for short & sweet? ;D

Monday, August 20, 2012

Keeping Fit, Even With Foot Pain

Soooo I have something called "capsulitis." Here's a little information on what it is, exactly. Initially, that was upsetting to me because it's seriously curtailed the amount of walking I can do. My uncle, who I always called "Padrinito" ("little godfather," used affectionately), was an avid walker who instilled that same love of walking in me. I've walked both short and long distances since the age of 12 or so. For me, walking isn't just a form of exercise; it's something both spiritual and creative. I've chatted with God while walking, as well as worked out creative problems in stories while strolling briskly. Later on in life, I fell in love with walking's intense cousin, hiking. Hiking is now totally off limits (because of the inclines adding more pressure to your foot) and walking itself has to be seriously toned down until this heals.

Luckily, in the meantime, I saved up for this little cutie! The doctor said bike riding would put less pressure on my foot, so I took him right up on his advice. Here's my new Huffy cruiser, which is real old school, like me. :D The design is Panama Jack, and it's got a cup holder and a small leather basket and a rear rack. Yesterday it joined me out on the greenway, giving me just as good--or even better--of a workout as walking! I also got lots of compliments on it, too, both on the greenway and Facebook. Hey, what can I say? She's a beauty!

One thing: I need to learn to pace myself. It's hard because riding a bike, even for adults, is great fun, but I'm not 17 anymore. Regardless, it made for an excellent way to speed up my heartbeat!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Writing Words of Wisdom

Since my first short story was accepted for publication in 1995, I have been writing professionally now for 17 years. I believe that earns me the wonderful title of "Established Writer!" Also grateful I've made it this far.

When I saw the little graphic at the left--and you gotta love the typewriter face, for all of us old enough to have actually worked on one of those things you'll only find in an antique store--I thought about how many times over the course of those nearly two decades that I've written/typed out those words. As a writer, you also have to count the books that never made it past that first chapter, or even the ones that got to page 151 before you, as the author, realized it wasn't a book you loved enough to share with readers.

I consider it an accomplishment that I'm still here, all these years later, and I encourage other writers, especially those newer at this game, to hang in there. One of the best pieces of advice I received as a newly minted writer had to do with perseverance and success.

These are the things that I've learned over the years, the best advice and truths I've received, that have kept me going.

1. PROTECT THE WORK. During a particularly difficult time, a writer friend wrote these words to me in an email, just like that in all capitals, citing Jennie Crusie, who apparently had also received this bit of valuable advice. Here's the essay Ms. Crusie wrote, with a better explanation than I can give. It is one of the TOP words of wisdom that has helped me over the years.

2. WRITE EVERY DAY. This came from Stephen King's book, On Writing, which I think of as the best book on the subject that I've ever read. Since then, I give that advice to everyone. Too, I've learned that could mean as little as 500 words per day. This goes hand-in-hand with the next point...

3. SHOW UP AT THE PAGE. It doesn't matter if you feel inspired or not. The muse will come if you show up. Sometimes she's late. You be a faithful lover and show up for work. That's the way the writer's mind works, though I'm sure psychiatrists will never figure out what makes writers tick.

4. THE ONES WHO MAKE IT ARE THE ONES WHO STAY. This is not a word of advice; this is a truth. It is also incredibly, awesomely true. There are as many writers out there as there are stars in the sky. Here's a hint: The ones who want fame and fortune as their main goal aren't the ones who will be around in ten years. The ones who love to write, who do it because they can't imagine their lives without writing, who thrive on others reading and taking pleasure from their work, are the ones you can count on making it.

5. NEVER LET OTHERS TELL YOU WHAT SUCCESS MEANS. Success, I've learned, is subjective. To some, it's a seven-figure contract from one of the legacy publishers. To others, it's writing what you love and sharing it with others.

6. PUT YOUR DESK IN THE CORNER, AND EVERY TIME YOU SIT DOWN THERE TO WRITE, REMIND YOURSELF WHY IT ISN'T IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM. LIFE ISN'T A SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR ART. IT'S THE OTHER WAY AROUND." Self-explanatory and also credited to Mr. Stephen King. Go out and live. All of life is not writing. Life enhances and enriches your work. Go out for a walk on a gorgeous day, have a conversation with your beautiful and funny three-year-old granddaughter, have a romantic dinner with your husband. Your characters will be there when you get back. Guaranteed.

And, last but not least,

7. WRITE FOR YOUR OWN PLEASURE. This is last but not least, the top advice, which came from my Madrina, which means godmother in Spanish, my aunt Consuelo. (Yes, I was named after her!) I remember long before I was published, telling my aunt I was beginning to send out my work and feeling discouraged, how I was thinking about quitting. She said, "Yes, but you'll always write, because you write for the pleasure it gives you." Honestly, the worst thing has to be writing something you could care less about, but you're doing it for money's sake. Writing in someone else's voice, usually for the sake of money, is equally draining. Always write something that YOU love, that moves YOU, that makes YOU laugh or cry. That's the only way to know it will be a work that someone else will love, that moves them, and that will make them laugh or cry.

And there is a lot more advice that I've been blessed to receive over the year, by other Established (and Phenomenal) Writers, but these are my treasures! Keep them in your heart, too.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

20,000 Hit Giveaway--Free Books!

Get on over to Author Mysti Parker's website, which is giving away a boatload of great books! All you have to do is post a comment requesting your choice. There's a LOT to choose from, including anthologies, romance, sci-fi and mysteries. Oh, and YA and inspirational books, too!

And I almost forgot to mention there are SEVEN free copies of my chick lit/fun contemporary romance, CHAMPAGNE TASTE. Get yours before they're gone! Or choose from any of the wonderful authors participating in my friend and fellow author's giveaway.

Here's some info on one of Mysti's books, SERENA'S SONG from Melange Books.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Summer Promotion

Hey, FYI! Over at Smashwords, I'm having a promotion for both CHAMPAGNE TASTE and DIMENSION. Right now, solely for the month of July, get a copy of CHAMPAGNE TASTE for 50% off the price ($2.99) and get DIMENSION for FREE! So if you're looking for something to read while you're lazing around the pool, why not snatch up CHAMPAGNE TASTE, which is a lighthearted chick lit/contemporary romance and DIMENSION, a time travel/paranormal that is more of a love story than a romance?

Have a safe, happy & fun Fourth of July. Happy Birthday, America!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Amazon Purchases Avalon

How the publishing world continues to evolve! This week came the news that Amazon purchased 62-year-old publishing house Avalon Books. Avalon published hard cover sweet romances and mysteries, mostly to libraries. Here's a link to an article in Forbes regarding Amazon's purchase of over 3,000 Avalon titles. That's interesting news to those of us authors whose works are numbered among those 3,000-plus works!

My first book, RUMOR HAS IT, was published by Avalon Books back in 1997. Like other Avalon authors, I'm looking forward to hearing from Amazon and hoping the book gets released in ebook version. This was a sweet and humorous romance set around Christmas in Vermont. I'd love to see this baby get a whole new audience of readers!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Happy News

And now for the first time in ebook form, one of my earlier titles (written under my other pen name, Consuelo Vazquez) is now available! This baby was originally published by Kensington in 2000 for their Encanto line. So if you read it just about 12 years ago and would like to capture it for your Kindle, or if you've never read it and want to spice your life up with the still-red-hot Latin lover in this updated tale, then head on over to Amazon and make it yours today!

Tino Suarez never believed in mermaids—that is, until he found himself up close and personal with one of those temptingly sexy, fish-tailed ladies of the sea. Even more amazing is that this fateful meeting has taken place on dry land, right there in the little Long Island fishing village the brooding sea captain calls home.

But if she truly is a mermaid, then this beautiful and saucy Latin siren is posing as a flesh-and-blood woman. Kiki Figueroa, co-owner of the new Puerto Rican restaurant in town, still believes in love, though she’s gone through a painful marriage that ended in divorce. She also believes there’s a passionate fire inside that seagoing Spaniard and that he’s the catch of a lifetime for any woman, human or mythical. The problem? Captain Suarez has also been deeply disappointed by love. So it’s going to take a legend as old as the sea to make him believe once again.

Originally published in 2000 by Kensington Publishing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Currently working on...

1. Doing the final edits on SEA SIREN, which *may* be getting released in June versus July, but only if it's edited & polished by then, and

2. Working on the first of a 4-book Christian romance series set in the 1940s.

Also in the meantime, my first Christian inspirational romance, GLIMMERS OF HEAVEN, has held steady on THREE Amazon bestseller lists! I am both pleasantly surprised and honored, especially considering the book was my first indie title, published in October of 2011. Hope it blesses and brings pleasure to its readers, and I'm looking forward to bringing out the series, which is tentatively titled THE SONGBIRDS SERIES.

Not to be a tease, but more info to follow!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

More about SEA SIREN

I thought it would be cool to show you what the cover of SEA SIREN looked like when it was originally published (by Kensington) in 2000, so here is the cover of the paperback version! Now that the rights have reverted to me and I'll be publishing it--possibly sooner than July--as an ebook, I've designed a new cover for it, but this is what it looked like when it was one of the Encanto line's first titles.

What did reviewers have to say about the book? Well, Affaire de Coeur said: "What a delicious treat this 4 1/2 star story is! The characters, even incidental ones, are exquisitely drawn, making this a marvelous night's read."

Four stars also from The Romance Reader, which said: "SEA SIREN is a different sort of contemporary romance, one whose lure is nearly as irresistible as the mermaid in its title. This one is definitely worth a read."

Twelve years have passed since this book was first released. Many other books have come after it, but I'm pleased and excited to share it anew with readers, so it can find a home on many an ereader device!

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Never say never! :D

Recently I told an old friend and fellow author that I didn't know if I would ever really revive my old pen name of Consuelo Vazquez. That's all changed, because of course, you should never say never.

I'm happy to report that SEA SIREN, originally published twelve years ago in 2000 under the Encanto imprint, will be released for the very first time in ebook form. Tentatively scheduled for a July 2012 release, SEA SIREN is a sensuous romance with a hero who hails from Spain and a Puerto Rican heroine. In the coming weeks, be sure to drop by for more news, plus an enticing excerpt, of a haunting story that is sure to heat up your ereader!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Release!

Available now--and ahead of schedule--CHAMPAGNE TASTE!

You can find it for your Kindle on Amazon or get on Smashwords. This chick lit/contemporary romantic comedy fusion, set in Greenville, South Carolina is my latest indie title. So get 'em while they're hot!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Heartbeat Away

First, Happy St. Patrick's Day to everybody! Here in North Carolina, it's an absolutely stunning day, the picture of spring.

Secondly, I'm about a heartbeat away from finishing the first draft of CHAMPAGNE TASTE. Right now, the tentative date for my new book's release will be April 7. It will be available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. CHAMPAGNE TASTE, which began its life as a chick lit, is more of a chick lit-slash-contemporary-romance fusion. Whatever that is. You'll have to wait till April 7 to find out. LOL!

In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful time when the earth becomes young again!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Goodbye to Davy Jones

Yesterday, my best friend texted me with this heartbreaking message: My daydream believer will be singing in heaven now. Poor Davy Jones. I was doing fine until I was turning my car into home and I heard beloved radio DJ Cousin Brucie, who'd been talking to Davy's fans on Sirius, play "It's Nice To Be With You." That was when I broke down and cried.

They just don't make boy bands like they used to anymore. And they don't make teen idols like they used to, either. Someone on Cousin Brucie's show described Davy Jones as having that "boy-next-door" quality--and she's absolutely right. Even though my favorite Monkee was Mike Nesmith (the tall Texan with the wool hat), you had to love the funny, talented young guy with the impossibly gorgeous brown eyes and the English accent, who proved that good things really DID come in small packages. If you're too young to remember the Monkees, then make sure to catch them on YouTube or whenever the reruns of their show is on again.

My heart goes out to the family, friends and fans of this beautiful British gentleman who was to me, like to a lot of little girls in the 1960s, a sweet and gentle part of that era and my childhood. Thank you for memories, Davy!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pleasure for under $3

Here is my Friday Night Guilty Pleasure. After a whole week of working at my day job, I head over to the closest McDonald's for this heavenly treat. I'm sure it's got its calories and fat, but why else would it earn the title of "Guilty Pleasure?" If you've never had one, a small will cost you less than $3, and even people who don't like coffee have reported falling under its frosty, oooh-la-la! spell. Mocha or caramel, and my fave is the caramel. I've found it makes Fridays just a bit more delicious than they already are.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Coming in Spring 2012

This has been a mild winter, it seems, for the whole country. Ah, our home state of North Carolina is no exception. Still, it's been cool enough that it's kept us close to home, so I've been working on my newest WIP, CHAMPAGNE TASTE. More info to follow, but my release for spring of 2012 will be a sweet romance with a touch of fun chick lit. And I hope to have a short romantic story out to tide readers over before its release!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Next up at the Plate!

People in town always believed the place was haunted.

Goodson’s Furniture Store had been abandoned for years. It had stood there, dark and decaying, beside an old cemetery, for decades. The former owners left in a hurry, though no one’s ever been quite sure as to why. Callie Drennan, a local young woman, often went there to hide as a troubled young girl, to find solace from her painful life. One day, she follows her dog inside and makes an amazing, and yet terrifying, discovery: The freight elevator is a portal leading to another dimension. All it takes is one heart-pounding ride, and she’s instantly transported to a Galveston Beach in 1967. That’s where she meets rancher Dale Anderson, a man who makes her believe that love really does exist. But is she really ready for her life to change forever? And will it take all of her courage to travel back to that other dimension…or to sacrifice her own chance for happiness for the sake of the one she loves?

As you can probably tell from the description above, Dimension is a paranormal romance that is a lot different from my last two releases, Glimmers of Heaven and 'Twas the Spy Before Christmas.

Just as a little background, Dimension actually started out life as a Young Adult paranormal novel. As a matter of fact, it was written right after Suburban Vampires, but it was never completed. Written early in my career, it didn't make the rounds as much as some of my other work, and only found its way to about three editors' desks. It was rejected by all three, and after that I switched gears as well as genres. I began writing both short stories for women's magazines and romance novels. Dimension became one of those projects that a writer looks back wistfully on, always wondering if it would have found its way into the hands of readers.

My niece, Shannon, was a true advocate of this little story. Over the years she would always ask me, "Did you ever finish DIMENSION?" I'm grateful to her for keeping the memory of this little book alive. And now I can say that, yes, DIMENSION IS finished! However, I've completely rewritten it, and it's gone through a complete metamorphosis. The original heroine was a troubled 15-year-old with a learning disorder; the new heroine is a troubled 23-year-old young woman whose life, either as a child and as an adult, has not been easy. Interestingly, the finished product is about the length of a YA novel. Due to adult subject matters within the story, please note that DIMENSION is NOT a YA, but rather aimed at a mature audience.

I do want to add that the story doesn't follow the standard "rules" of romance. It is told in the first person from Callie's point of view, which also stayed true to the style of the original version.

So if you're in the mood for something a bit different, a suspenseful tale that is an excursion into speculative fiction and a love story to boot, then DIMENSION is coming your way this week!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Welcome to the New Year!

Goodbye, 2011--helllllllo, 2012! I'm not concerned about any doomsday calendar, although I'm all for living our lives like this will be our last year on Earth. Maybe we should approach every year with that thought in mind. As a Christian I've read the Book, so I know how the story ends: God wins! Do we really need to know the time or the date? I don't think so. We just need to live our lives to the fullest, to love to the fullest, to believe to the fullest, like this really could be our last year on Earth.

And before I get into this entry, I want to thank all my readers for their support. I appreciate you all and I wish you a happy, safe, prosperous and blessed New Year, one that brings adventure and lots of love.

Speaking of love (and of course, romance!), I'm considering writing a sequel to 'TWAS THE SPY BEFORE CHRISTMAS as a possible upcoming book for 2012. How does 'TWAS THE SPY BEFORE VALENTINE'S DAY sound? LOL! To be honest, I couldn't do the story justice in that limited amount of time. Especially since I've got a couple of other projects in the works, not the least of which is the soon-to-be-published DIMENSION. In the works is also another inspirational romance, tentatively titled TIME AFTER TIME, and I'd also like to offer a romantic short story, just a "little literary snack," as someone online called it.

Recently, GLIMMERS OF HEAVEN hit the Amazon Bestsellers List for Christian Romance. That came as a great surprise and a blessing to me. I felt very honored to see it among readers' other choices. I don't know if that will happen again, but it sure was fun! And I hope the book touched the hearts of those who read it and its future readers, too.

Check back later this week--hopefully--for more news on DIMENSION. Once again, I wish you a Happy New Year!