Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Exciting News!

I was very honored to learn yesterday that the book of my heart, TREADING WATER, was included the Joyfully Reviewed Best of 2011 listing. Of all the books I released in 2011, you all know THIS is the one I would've wanted to see on that list, so it was particularly thrilling to get this news. You can view the complete Best of 2011 list here.

Here is what Joyfully Reviewed had to say about TREADING WATER upon its release in October of 2011:

Jack Harrington’s life is pretty good.  He has a beautiful wife and three wonderful daughters.  Until one day when it all comes crashing down around him.  His wife is hit by a car and left in a coma.  With no chance of a recovery, Jack must pick up the pieces of his and his daughter’s lives.  So far he hasn’t been the most attentive dad.  He’s always worked hard to provide for his family but since the tragedy he’s learned what’s most important—and that’s his girls.  Life moves on and Jack struggles to manage work and family.   He never expected another opportunity at love to walk into his life but she does.
Andrea Walsh is an interior designer working for the hotel Jack’s company is building.  When she comes to Newport for design inspiration, she finds more than she bargained for.  The chemistry boils between her and Jack but the complications in both of their lives make it seem impossible for them to have a relationship.  Andi isn’t exactly itching to start something.  Her ex left her when they discovered their son was deaf.  She fears being abandoned by another man but their feelings cannot be contained.  They embark on a long distance relationship that soon becomes more than they ever imagined.  Is it possible for these two to get a second chance at love?
Wow wow wow…that is my constant thought after finishing Treading Water.  I find myself still gripped by the powerful emotions that Marie Force brought forth in Treading Water.  Life is full of endless possibilities and Treading Water shines a light on all that can be had if a person is willing to grab it.  Jack may be over forty but he proves it’s never too late to change.  After his wife’s accident and horrible prognosis he’s forced to change everything he’s ever known.  The reevaluation of his life spotlights the areas where he was lacking.  The relationships with his daughters become his number one.  I love the journey Ms. Force takes the reader on in Treading Water.  We get a front row seat to Jack’s personal tragedy and the years that follow.
Ms. Force asks the question, “Is it possible to be sad and happy at the same time?”  When Jack meets Andi he is forced to deal with not only his burgeoning feelings for her but the guilt he feels at saying goodbye to the relationship he had with his wife.  I adore Andi.  She is such a strong woman who walks into this difficult situation with her head held high and good intentions to pave her path.  I love that Ms. Force kept surprising me.  When I thought something cliché would happen she would throw me a curve ball.  Treading Water is a definite must read! Treading Water creates an emotional firestorm within the reader.  It shines the light on the good and the bad in life and proves that one moment can change everything and it’s never too late to find love.  Marie Force grabbed my heart and squeezed every ounce of emotion out of it but most importantly her monumental story left me blissful.  Treading Water may be fiction but it gives me hope; hope in everyday people and happily ever after.  I cannot wait for the next book in this trilogy, Marking Time.
I want to thank Miranda and Joy for all their lovely support of my books and for this incredible honor!
In other news, FATAL FLAW received a four-star review from RT Book Reviews last week. Here is what RT had to say about Book 4 in the Fatal Series:
Genre: Romantic SuspenseGeneral Romantic SuspenseE-book
Sensuality: HOT
RT Rating 

For those Fatal readers hoping to get in on the Sam and Nick honeymoon action, take a walk. This is a very different read than the other Fatal installments, mainly because we know that Sam and Nick are going to be okay. Sure, they may be the targets of a homicidal maniac, but their relationship is solid. That said, this novel does a good job of bringing readers into Sam and Nick’s new life to spend time with the people that populate it. Fatal diehards will appreciate the integration of all the couples, which is as flawless as the integration of Sam’s family into the series. Another one of Force’s main strengths with this series is she consistently addresses issues of deep concern to women such as stalking, immigration status, fertility issues and sexual assault. This novel’s real achievement is the smart, sensitive way it documents the struggle of DC cop Jeannie McBride to deal with the emotional challenges of life after being raped. Force shares how the trauma has changed Jeannie’s relationship with unyielding honesty and respect, which readers are sure to appreciate.
Lieutenant Sam Holland is acting unlike herself: she doesn’t want to go to work. But after having two weeks of honeymoon bliss can anyone blame her? Sam just wants stability and plenty of time with her new husband Senator Nick Cappuano. However, the settled married life she craves is not to be. First, she discovers their wedding cards have been laced with eerie death threats, and it’s not clear who is in the cross hairs. Then murders start happening and well-liked community members are picked off with no obvious motive or suspect in sight. To top it all off, Sam has hit a wall in her hunt for answers to a longstanding family mystery. As Sam puts the different puzzles together, she realizes they may be related. But who could want to harm her now and when will she and Nick be able to enjoy their fairy tale ending?
Thank you to Morgan and Maria! I appreciate RT's support of my books!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I Would Tell You About My Anxiety, But I'm Afraid To...

For many years now, it's been clear to me that I am more anxious than the average person. My close friends and family tell me all the time that my worries are not "normal" worries. My anxiety issues first became apparent with an increasingly debilitating fear of flying. This was a true problem when you consider that for 13 years, I worked full time at home for a company headquartered 300 miles away. Thus I was required to fly--often. It's my suspicion that juggling two full-time jobs and two kids for more than five years contributed to my anxiety disorder. I was living in constant fear of dropping one of the many balls I kept constantly in the air. People would say to me all the time, "I don't know how you do all that you do." I've decided my engine was fueled by worry. I used to have these images in my head of one of my kids sitting on a dark curb waiting for a ride that wasn't coming because Mom finally dropped one of the most important balls (this actually happened to one of my friends, so see, it CAN happen). I once BOLTED out of my house and literally FLEW George Jeston-style in the car to pick up my daughter, heart pounding, mouth dry, white knuckles, the whole nine yards. Only to realize, halfway through this crazy jaunt, that I would arrive more than an hour early--not 20 minutes late as I had feared. This was the result of a simple time-telling error that could happen to anyone, I said. Not true, my family assured me. This could only happen to you, they said. My kids have known for some time that Mom is a little crazy around the edges. This has never been more apparent since my daughter started driving, sending my anxiety into the red zone.

Coupled with my anxiety is an out-of-control superstitious streak. Trust me when I tell you, these two things make for a problematic combination. The superstition I can't help--I'm Irish, for crying out loud! I remember when I was a kid and my parents were leaving on a trip to London. My mom broke the mirror on their medicine cabinet, leading my father to rant for an hour, "If my father was alive, we'd be canceling this trip." So it's not my fault! I come by that part naturally. We are leaving on a rather ambitious vacation this week, and I went out of my way to avoid flying on Friday the 13th. I mean, come on, I have enough issues with flying without adding Friday the 13th to the mix. That's just unnecessary roughness! I woke with a start in the middle of the night recently, freaking out that instead we'd be flying over the North Atlantic on the anniversary of the Titanic disaster. My son disabused me of that notion (I was off by a few days), but not before I had a somewhat sleepless night imagining a second epic disaster occurring in April of '12. I can hear you all mumbling, "This chick is a mess." Trust me, I know!

I had a friend once who was as much of a mess as I am. We bonded over our disaster planning capabilities. I lived in Jacksonville, Florida at the time and a truck had recently driven off the Buckman Bridge. We spent countless hours dissecting that event and preparing for the possibility of it happening to us. How, we wondered, would we get two kids in car seats out of the car before it sank? Let me just say that had it happened to either of us, we were ready--readier than most people would ever be. For her birthday one year, I gave her the Worst Case Scenario Handbook, a gift that she said proved how well I knew her. She said it was one of the best gifts she'd ever gotten, until a week or so later when she called to blame me for a sleepless night because the book was full of horrors she'd never thought of. Needless to say, I didn't read much beyond "How to Survive an Alligator Attack," since that had real relevance when I was living in Florida.

It was my luck in life to give birth to two kids who aren't afraid of anything. They love to fly--the rougher the flight the happier they are (freaks). They love roller coasters and those carnival rides that look to be held together by duct tape. So while they are hurtling through the air on the tilt-a-whirl, I'm on the ground popping the Xanax, preparing for imminent disaster and praying for their safe delivery back to Earth. We were at the beach during a tropical storm two years ago and their father allowed them to BODY SURF in the crushing waves. I mean, SERIOUSLY? As they had some of the best fun of their young lives, I very nearly required electric-shock therapy to get past the trauma of watching my babies be pummeled by furious surf. Did I mention their father is also a fearless freak? Both my kids have expressed interest in skydiving, rock climbing, hang gliding, mountain climbing and other extreme sports that I am better off not knowing about. My response to those interests is always the same, "You'll have plenty of time to do all that when I'm gone." They ask if I have a time table for my departure so they can prepare for the "fun years." LOL! Brats!

It's been brought to my attention that I might benefit from anxiety medication. I have some. I'm too afraid to take it.

Am I alone in being an anxious freak show? Please tell me I'm not!

Friday, April 6, 2012

So Much for Good Intentions...

I've really fallen down on the blogging in the last couple of weeks. I can't believe how busy life is now that I am only working as an author. I say "only." The first quarter of self-employment have been three of the busiest months I can remember. In addition to working on three books at the same time, I've incorporated my business and done all the associated paperwork, started a new business to help other authors format their e-books, updated all of my e-books to include live links, conquered Kobo and its daunting metadata form and conquered Overdrive (which distributes to libraries and other retailers) and it's even MORE daunting metadata form. Life is busy, to say the least.

On the home side, I've now got a kid who drives, we got a second dog (who is a wild child) and we did a ton of work to our house. Phew! I'm tired. Good thing I'm going on vacation soon and leaving my laptop (also known as my Siamese twin) at home. That ought to be interesting. My family predicts I'll be twitching before the first day is out, but I'm determined to take a REAL vacation for the first time in years. When I was still working the day job, all my vacation time was devoted to book stuff. After seven years of that, I'm wondering if I remember what it truly means to be on vacation. We'll see!

One more thing to add to the list for the last three months was the devastating computer crash that gave me a serious slap upside the head to improve my backup system. Three weeks after I dropped my laptop and fried my hard drive, I'm STILL waiting on the data recovery. It was at 88.9 percent this morning, so I'm hoping to get it back next week. Fingers crossed because I've got big chunks of two books trapped in never-never land on that old hard drive. I'll let you know what happens!

Until then, have a great weekend!