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My schedule for Romantic Times Convention in NOLA 2014

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It’s almost time! I hope to meet some of you in New Orleans.

For those of you registered for the full convention, it will be easiest to find me:

Thursday at 11:15 at Club RT.
I will have swag and you can have anything signed at that event.

For those of you registered only for the Saturday Fan-Tastic day, I will be there:

7:15 in the big signing room
This might be a little crazy.

Other convention things I know I’m doing:

  • The NA Pajama Party Tuesday night
  • Saints and Sinners Thursday night
  • Mardi Gras Party Friday night

I probably won’t be too hard to spot with all the butterflies on me as I walk around — particularly Thursday as I’ll be there all day. Make sure to ask for one, especially baby loss moms who get a special blue butterfly like baby Finn’s!

If you aren’t doing the convention at all, or have too busy a schedule for the above stuff, I’ll be around town Wednesday and Friday. Follow me on Twitter and see what I’m up to! Don’t be afraid to say hello!

Why it’s hard to have a “happy” Mother’s Day

Mothers-Day-Butterfly

I generally don’t wake up on Mother’s Day to breakfast in bed or hand-colored cards.

I have five children, but they are not with me as this day begins. Here are all the reasons why:

  • My first-born, Casey Shay, died five months into my pregnancy.
  • My second and fourth, Emily and Elizabeth, are with their dad this morning, since we are divorced.
  • My third and fifth died early in the pregnancies.

I am lucky that I still have my mom. I know many of you no longer do.

And there are a lot of empty nesters who will make do with a phone call.

Some moms will visit their children’s graves today.

So I’m thinking of all of you whose Mother’s Day is not, never was, or no longer is that perfectly imagined day with little ones bringing you burnt toast and jumping on your pillows.

We still have something to celebrate. The moms and grandmothers who once held us tight.

The babies we carried, if only for a little while. Or the children we loved and raised as long as could.

It’s still an important day.

And I’m holding out my hand to you with love and understanding.

On those days that change your life for good

The first notable April 28 came in 1998, the day I learned my first baby had died.

I was teaching high school and the students were terribly excited to find out if I was having a boy or a girl. I was firmly instructed to call them on the journalism room phone the moment I knew. I only had a few more weeks to be with them, as I had resigned from my position to be a mom. School was almost out, and I wasn’t sure I would get back to teaching again (I never did.)

I didn’t call them. The sonogram showed a still baby, floating in his fluid. Lost to us.

We also had no answers. We just had to find the courage to do it again.

By April 28 of the next year, we had a baby girl, whose entrance to the world was stressful and constantly in question. But she arrived all the same, and just turned 15 a week ago. Her presence has made all the Aprils easier to bear.

By a strange collision of scheduling and timing, the next April 28 I was scheduled for surgery to correct my insides so that we could try to have a normal pregnancy in the future, without the risk of these late term losses, undersized babies, and such hardship. I remember distinctly the moment the nurses forced me to take off baby Casey’s memory bracelet, which I had worn daily for two years, and even during his sister’s birth by c-section. I cried all the way until the anesthesia knocked me out.

In April 2002, I was crazy pregnant with another girl. This pregnancy had not gone any more smoothly, a set of twins with one miscarrying at ten weeks. The other, Elizabeth, seemed fine. We would not learn until she was six that she would face challenges based on her time in the womb. They tried to schedule her c-section for April 28 and got a little miffed when I refused to agree. They sent the doctor in to convince me, but when he realized the date, he said, “Let’s neither of us show up.” He opted to work a different day, for me. So Elizabeth was born May 1.

Sometimes I think that after all these years, April 28 will have no power over me. That I can look back and think — it’s just a date.

But it’s not. It never will be. And for those of you who have traveled this road, you know what I mean. Some moments on our life’s calendar are never forgotten, can never be simplified or erased or overwritten by other events. And we wouldn’t want them that way.

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It’s going to be a bit messy for a bit

during-web.jpgTrying to build a new site when it’s live is CRAZEEEE!

You might try coming back in a few hours days weeks when I get this under control!

But it’s going to be lots of fun. I love all the new options out there for creating web sites. Getting creative on things like this is one of the best parts of my job!

Emerging from the writing cave for this important announcement! 🙂

I’m super duper busy finishing out my Magic Mayhem series. This last book for this trilogy is the hardest, because it’s about a ten-year-old with epilepsy, same as my daughter Elizabeth. We’ve worked together on this book. But it’s difficult to have your child describe to you what it’s like to have these dark spaces she can’t remember, black periods before and after her seizures.

But while I’m doing all this (plus preparing to dive into Forever Sheltered in about a month), a book I sort of abandoned got picked up in a 10-book boxed set of paranormal romances!

love-charms-smaller-graphicAuthors put together these sets to increase visibility and share fans. Unlike my super-emotional and sad books, my novel in the bundle is light and funny. It’s a voice I set aside when my Forever series took off. My readers want to cry, not laugh!

But I let this book go into the bundle. There’s so many great authors in it. And at 99 cents, you can’t beat it for having some choices for your next sleepless night or long trip or need for escape.

I hope some of you will try it out. My novel in it is called The Passion Cure, about an enchantress who discovers not only does her family’s pet ferret talk, but it delights to inform her that she’s an outcast in her world, a Nix with no powers of her own.

It’s a romp, and an experiment. I had a good time writing it. I have outlined more books in that story world, but I’m not sure I will actually write them since everyone wants the Forever books!

So if you want to read my book The Passion Cure, pick up this bundle as that may be the only way you’ll ever get it!

Love Charms: 10 scorching paranormal romances for ONLY 99 cents! LIMITED TIME ONLY! (REGULAR PRICE: $9.99)
Escape into the world of paranormal romance, a magical journey featuring delicious demons, wanton witches, zealous zombies and more! Featuring spell-binding novels from popular New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble bestselling authors, including Ava Catori, Selena Kitt, Cerys du Lys, Deanna Roy and more, these enchanting books will be sure to charm, beguile and bewitch you!

 

 

Romance novel blog hop for prizes

BlogHop3

UPDATE: Congrats to Christy/Kikka for winning the ebooks!

It’s time to do some blog hoppin’ to win some prizes! Every blog on the hop has prizes, including MINE! HERE! YES!

You can enter the grand prize for a $100 Amazon gift card via the Rafflecopter below, plus you can comment on this post for a chance to win an e-book two-pack: Both ebooks in the Forever Series will go to the winner!

If you aren’t sure what to say in the comment, tell me your favorite Book Boyfriend name because I have to give poor Jenny a boyfriend soon — it’s time that girl settled DOWN!

There are lots of amazing books in this hop. Click one of the blog images at the bottom to keep hopping. You’ll find some great romance reading and enter to win more awesome stuff!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


A bonanza of give aways and contests in honor of Forever Loved

web-Forever-Loved-3DThere is no way to list all the bloggers, fans, and groups who have been instrumental in this amazing release week for the Forever Series. But I’m going to put as many of the giveaways in here as I can. If you are a Facebook fan of mine, or follow me on Twitter, or are on my mailing list, you can easily check that off and be entered. You can also share the love of some of these amazing sites and authors who are helping me!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Over 100 blogs are giving away a copy of my book. I’m picking a few at random (see the whole list here):

http://wantedreaders.blogspot.com/2014/01/excerpt-interview-forever-loved-by.html

http://www.thecovercontessa.com/2014/01/book-blast-and-giveaway-forever-loved.html

http://beckymmoe.com/an-interview-and-giveaway-with-a-sexy-hot-tempered-book-boyfriend-gavin-from-deanna-roys-forever-loved/

http://www.faebooks.co.uk/2014/01/ForeverLoved.html

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/55c3e556/

http://literarywinner.com/2014/01/forever-loved-deanna-roy/

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7888b047/

If you spot another one — add it as a comment so people can enter!

A little NaNoWriMo organizational help: The Nine Box Method of structuring your novel

Oh, it’s that panic time! National Novel Writing Month, the challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days, is only four days away!

I know lots of writers are pantsters, and just write as they go. I find if I try it, I fail.

So I’m sharing my favorite quick-and-dirty way of getting some structure in place before I start writing a novel.

It’s called the Nine Box Method. It was first referenced on Verla Kay’s Blue Boards (which are now owned by SCBWI) and has been posted about by Query Tracker and other writer-centric blogs.

I have PDFs for you!

The first one is the nine box with the explanation of what to put in each box. The idea is that you make boxes that touch connect their content in order to write a cohesive story that has tension, pacing, and flow in place.

Download the explanation box PDF

The second one contains three sample Nine Box Grids for three popular movies: The Help, Despicable Me, and Monsters, Inc. They might help you see how the nine box plays out in real stories. (I made these myself, so any bad conclusions are my own.)

Download the sample box PDF

The third one is blank so you can fill it in for YOUR project.

Download the blank box PDF

When I do my novels now, I used the Nine Box, Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet, and Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey to work out my story in multiple ways. By the time I’ve filled out all these structures, I have a solid sense of where my story begins, where it’s going, and where it’s going to end, which helps me avoid giving up, slowing down, or writing myself into a hole.

Happy Nano-ing!