The family and I took a trip last week to our happy place: Kauai. We had a wonderful time, despite the fact that vacationing with kids is pretty much life in a different place. 😉 But life on a tropical island happens to be 100% more beautiful, fun, and soothing than life in the “real world”. Here are some photos to prove it …
It was so amazing in Kauai that I actually disconnected from social media most of the time while we were there. Who wants to look down at a tiny screen when you can be looking all around at the amazing sights?! And breathing in the fresh ocean air. And smelling the sweet tropical smells. And tasting all the yummy fruit? Happy sigh! 🙂
But back to reality … and speaking of traveling … today’s release day for my newest book baby (and the last book in my Seasons of Love series), On Waves of Wanderlust!
This story was inspired in part by a cruise we took to Mexico years ago with my in-laws when we only had one munchkin and one on the way. The one thing I’ve learned about cruises is that you’ve gotta be prepared to EAT. The food is amazing, not only in quality but in quantity as well. We’re talking a dessert buffet at midnight. Yup, craziness! The other thing about cruises is that you get to meet new people and go on new adventures … and maybe even fall in love, just like Macy and Jake did in this story. 🙂
If you’ve never been on a cruise ship before, here’s your chance to take a virtual one. It’s the perfect length for when you need a pick-me-up during the day or need to escape real life for a little while. And best of all? It’s calorie-free and you won’t get seasick!
Check out the playlist for On Waves of Wanderlust here!
When I started writing a few years ago, I had no plan in mind for how many books I wanted to write each year. I basically cranked a story out as quickly (or slowly) as I could manage with two small munchkins at home. Now that the kids are older and out of the house for half the day, I’ve been able to dedicate more time to my career (yup, I’m actually calling it a career now! LOL). This is the first time I started the year out with some goals in mind, which includes publishing four books in 2017. (Insert overwhelmed face here. 😨) The good news is that I’ve finished one of them and am excited to be sharing the cover reveal with you today! So without further ado … here’s the third story in my Seasons of Love series, Of Buds And Blossoms!
Here’s the blurb:
Librarian Chloe McAlister finds solace in her books—and hats—but doesn’t know where to turn when her longtime crush gets engaged. On a whim, she signs up for a speed-dating mixer and convinces her best friend, Dill Thomas, to attend. All goes as planned until she realizes Dill means more to her than she thought … and he goes and falls for someone else.
This 10,000-word short story is perfect for your lunch break, workout, or while you wait in line at the mall. Read it today to experience a hint of spring any time of the year!
Here’s an excerpt:
“Is the beard a deal breaker? Serious question here.”
Chloe raised her brows. “Hm?”
“Do you like me rugged or clean? Be honest, I can take it.”
Dill had never cared about his appearance before, much less asked her about it. He was a no-frills kind of guy who couldn’t be bothered with designer clothes or the latest fashions. That’s why he lived in jeans and T-shirts at work and at home. For some reason, he was concerned about a beard? “You want my opinion?”
“Sure. You understand women better than I do. Would they be cool with this?”
Tilting her head to one side, then to the other, Chloe took a long, hard look at him. She pretended to give his question some thought, pursing her lips as she studied his face. His eyes still had the same self-assured, friendly sparkle in them as the freshman boy who always asked to borrow her lecture notes. A grin tugged at the corners of his mouth, revealing his playful, easygoing nature that hadn’t changed over the years. However, that’s where the déjà vu ended.
Now that she was staring at him so intently, she almost didn’t recognize the man sitting next to her. Because he was most definitely more of a man today than he had been when they met or graduated from college or … even last week. What had happened? This Dill had the angled features and square jawline, not to mention—her eyes traveled down—the broad shoulders and defined upper body of a hot guy. An attractive, rugged-looking hot guy. She swallowed, her mouth suddenly as dry as a desert. Was it hot in here or what? “Yes, the beard,” she managed to squeak out, “you should keep.”
“Seriously?” Dill threw his head back and laughed until he was wiping tears from his eyes. “I can’t believe you went full Yoda on me. The beard you should keep.”
“You know what I mean.”
“I thought you fell asleep during our Star Wars marathon. Maybe I’ll convert you into a fan after all.”
“Finish the profile, please,” Chloe urged, eager to move on from the awkward moment.
“Okay, okay,” he agreed, before joking, “the questions I will answer.”
Hot guy or not, he was still a goofball.
Because I couldn’t wait, the book is now available for pre-order (click HERE). So if you’d like it delivered right to your Kindle on February 27, 2017, you can order it today! 🙂
And of course there’s a playlist for the book, which you can listen to here:
I’ve shared about my secret life as an IT wife before (here) and now I’m going to share some confessions of an IT wife. 🙂 In case you don’t speak tech, IT stands for Information Technology (not the crazy clown from a movie that a friend told me about, haha). Ever since I met hubby, he’s worked with computers. This explains why we have a surplus of monitors, laptops, and tablets lying around the house, plus wireless routers and cables and other electronic doodads. E mentioned once that his friend had to wait for his dad to come home from work in order to use his laptop to play games, to which I rolled my eyes and thought, You don’t know how good you have it, buddy.
But along with all the perks of a tech job comes the stress. I’m talking about STRESS with a capital S. I like to think of the IT department as a company’s first responders to a technical problem. And in this day and age, especially when you live in the Silicon Valley, a technical problem is more like a technical emergency. Cue the sirens and flashing lights … or emails and texts and phone calls at all hours of the day and night! He used to be the one fixing the issues, but now as the Fire Chief, he’s the one overseeing three dozen different issues at the same time. Hubby’s job is so all-encompassing and critical, that he carries a lot of his stress from the job back home. As a (trying to be) supportive wife, I do my best to listen and share in his load as much as I can. After 18 years of listening to him speak tech, I actually understand most of what he tells me now. 😉 I didn’t realize though just how much I’ve been sucked into his world until I got inspired to write about it.
That’s right. I wrote a story about an IT guy. 😀 And since I write romance, I had to include an IT girl … and I bet you can guess what happens next.
I must confess though that I have had more than enough of the IT world, both the real and fictional ones. I’m sure I’m not the first IT wife/girlfriend who wishes her hubby/boyfriend spent as much time looking at her as he does his phone. 😉 Or that he could spend one weekend—or even a day—without worrying about something going down at work. But I’m thankful he has a good job and our family has the best tech support available 24/7/365 (although sometimes we have to share him)! Most of all, I’m grateful I get to walk side by side with my IT guy through all the crazy ups and downs of his IT career.
Now for the fun stuff … here’s the cover reveal for A Spoonful of Spice, the second short story in my Seasons of Love series!
*Updated Sept. 3, 2016: This cover is no longer the cover for my story! Go HERE to find out why. 😉
Josh Pepper has one goal: to become the next manager in his IT department. But his career plans are sidelined when the first woman, Cin Thomas, joins the team. He now needs to keep everyone from being distracted by her presence, a task that appears easy to accomplish … until she starts invading his dreams with her piercing green eyes.
And here’s the playlist to give you a taste of the story. 🙂
Happy Tuesday and welcome to my book release party! Sorry for not sending out invitations in advance, but it was hard to round up any snails on such short notice. 😉 I was hoping to do this in two parts (cover reveal and then book release), but it all came together at once this week. So without further ado …
Cue the fireworks!
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net
I’m thrilled to share my first short story with you, a sweet romance titled The More the Merrier! Here’s the book cover (designed by the amazing Deborah Bradseth of Tugboat Designs)!
Now, people say never judge a book by its cover, but I think there’s a lot of information you can gather from this one. Fuzzy white sweaters? Red sparkly font? Asian faces? Hmm… If you guessed this is a story about an Asian couple at Christmastime, you’re right. 🙂
Here’s the gist of the book (aka. back cover blurb):
Fed up with a string of bad blind dates, health blogger Alyssa Wu just wants to drown her sorrows in ice cream. But there’s one more evening she must endure – a fake date with her best friend Barry Chang. They must convince her family they are in love, an act which may (or may not) be easy to pull off, thanks to the magic of some mistletoe.
This 10,000 word short story is perfect for your lunch break, workout or while you wait in line on Black Friday. Read it today to get in the Christmas spirit any time of the year!
This story was so much fun to write, especially given the fact that I had to think about wintery things in the middle of an August heat wave. That’s where Alyssa’s love of ice cream came in. 😉 The male character’s name comes from two people whom I adore; one fictional and one real. Barry is of course for Barry Allen of The Flash, someone who is sweet, genuine and courageous. Chang is my dear maternal grandfather’s surname. This book is dedicated in loving memory to him, a man so rich in love and compassion.
After I wrote my last book, True To You, with a Chinese main character and her family, I decided to tackle writing about my culture again in this book. I find a lot of humor in stereotypes and boy, are there a lot of funny things that Chinese parents do. LOL. 🙂
I hope you enjoy The More the Merrier! You can read an excerpt on my blog under the “Seasons of Love Series” tab (click here). And yup, this is book #1 in a new series. There will be three more short stories coming next year for the seasons of spring, summer and fall (along with book #3 in my “Taking Chances Series“)!
You can purchase The More the Merrier at Amazon.com: Kindle format. It’s available for $0.99 or free on Kindle Unlimited.
And take a listen to the song featured in the book, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You”. It’ll get you in the Christmas spirit for sure!