Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Traditions




Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m Lisa Orchard the bestselling author of “The Super Spies Series” and “The Starlight Chronicles.” I’m here today to talk about Christmas at our house.

It’s a special one this year because I was undergoing chemo last year and needless to say that put a damper on our celebration. So this year, Christmas means a little more to us.

Just the other day, my hubby whispered to me as we sat on the couch watching a movie. “Are you going to have the Santa talk with the boys this year?”

I gave him a horrified expression, “No. I like it that they still believe in Santa.”

“Maybe you need the Santa talk.”

I just laughed. There’s no way I’m telling my kids who Santa is. I don’t care if they’re in their thirties and still believe. Santa is part of the magic of Christmas and I want to prolong this time of innocence as long as possible.


photo courtesy of : http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2009/12/23/the-physics-of-santa-claus/



I appreciate the holidays more than I used to, because of my experience with chemo last year. This year I’m starting a new tradition. The weekend when Christmas break starts we’re going to gather as a family and watch “The Polar Express.” We’ll make popcorn and hot cocoa and for a while my family will be immersed in the land of make believe.

These little holiday traditions are what my kids will remember when they have kids of their own. They’re important. They give families something to look forward to.
We have other traditions as well, like decorating the tree and putting Christmas lights around the house. We get a new family ornament every year. So decorating the tree every Christmas becomes a walk down memory lane.
Lily our cat likes to help with decorating the tree too!


 We put Christmas lights inside our house, not outside. J We’re quirky that way. We also take drives to see how people have decorated their yards and the outside of their homes.

I keep suggesting that we need to put lights up on the outside of our house, but each year seems to be more hectic than the last and we never seem to find time for that task. Sigh. Oh well, the inside of our house is nice and bright.

Another tradition we have is each year my in-laws come over on Christmas Eve. We usually go out to dinner and then exchange gifts. It’s a special time. We get to visit and the boys get to hear stories of their youth. A little bit of history is good for everyone, don’t you think?

Then on Christmas day, we travel to my mother’s house. I love getting together and talking with my siblings about our childhood antics. The boys love the chance to play with their cousins. I guess you could say Christmas is my favorite holiday and I love all the little traditions that we have as a family.

How about you?  Do you have any traditions you’d like to share?


Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. I hope you have a safe and happy holiday season.





On Sale for $,99!
All three books in the Series included!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The things I'm Thankful For



Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m Lisa Orchard the bestselling author of “The Super Spies” series and “The Starlight Chronicles.” I’m participating in a blog tour for my Starlight series and the dates and stops are listed below. There’s also a giveaway, so stop on by and enter! You could win!



 October 27: Independent Authors
November 3: Welcome to My World of Dreams
November 10: The Reading Addict
November 17: Rogues Angels
November 24: BooksChatter
December 1: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
December 8: Archaeolibrarian - I dig good books!
December 15: Cover2Cover 



Lark Singer is seventeen years old and already on the way to a brilliant music career. But as she and her band, Starlight, gear up for a competition, life seems to be throwing her a few curve balls. The mysteries of her past seem to be unraveling, and she’s no longer certain she wants to know those answers or how knowing about her past will affect her difficult relationship with her mother. And when her best friend, Bean, changes things between them, all her plans for a musical future are placed in jeopardy. How can she balance her complicated personal life to keep her musical goals on track?

BOX SET CONTAINS ALL THREE BOOKS IN THE STARLIGHT SERIES:
Gideon Lee
Lark Singer
Starlight

And it's on sale for $.99!

Here's the Link:




However, that’s not what I want to talk about today. Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I thought I’d write a post about being thankful. At this time last year, I was in the midst of doing chemo. I finished the treatment and I feel that I’ve fully recovered from the ordeal. So I’m especially thankful this year. Here’s my list:


My health
After my bout with chemo and my recovery, I’ve come to realize if you have your health, you have everything. You can’t enjoy your wealth without your health and no amount of money can truly buy good health. So I’m thankful that I’ve recovered and I’m taking better care of myself.

Image result for images of fruits and vegetables





My Family

I’m thankful for my family. I have two wonderful boys and a wonderful husband. We’re all quite close and I enjoy all the little things, like my children’s conversations when they don’t think I’m listening and their excitement when they learn something new. I love giving them new experiences and seeing that spark of interest in their eyes when they see something for the first time.




My Mom

What can I say? I still run to Mom when my feelings get hurt or there’s some unjust situation I’m dealing with. It’s funny the patterns you developed in childhood are still alive and well today. I called her every day when I was going through chemo. I developed a lot of anxiety and it was my mom who I turned to. I’m thankful she’s alive and well and has been there for me whenever I’ve needed her.


My brothers and sister

I’m thankful for my brothers and sister. I’m glad that they’re all healthy and doing well in their lives. We’ve all had our struggles, but I can see that strong independent streak in all of us. We’ve all become stronger through our struggles and I’m thankful I have such an awesome extended family that I share so many memories with.



My Friends

All throughout my life, I’ve had good friends. I’ve got great memories and I feel very fortunate that I’m still friends with them today. It’s always nice to go down memory lane when we get together. I hope my kids develop the same kind of lasting friendships that I have.



My Writing

I love to write and I’m thankful that I can follow my passion. It’s a great stress reliever and I’m excited about my growth as a writer too. It’s an awesome feeling to see how I’ve improved. J



















This is just a small list of all the things I’m thankful for. How about you? What are you thankful for? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Monday, November 16, 2015

When Things Take a Left Turn

November brings lots of events with it, family members with birthdays, the increased ramp up of crafting Christmas presents due this year, Thanksgiving and NaNoWriMo. This year also brought an unexpected sad humanity-made detour with the destruction in Paris. I ended up with another detour of a different sort absorbing my time for a few days as well.

I'm used to my characters changing the a story's direction from time to time as the project progresses. NaNoWriMo tends to be the worst for that as I'm a pants-er. This year is no different. I was happily going along and then out of the blue comes a left turn in the story line which affects the ENTIRE story.

That has only happened once before to me. I took the annual GRRWG WinterNaNo challenge and was was supposed to be a cozy mystery turned into an erotic romance with multiple partners. That one was a real surprise. I don't have the vocabulary to write such a book as I tend more towards cozies, thrillers and SciFi when I'm not reading technical manuals.

This particular turn is impacting the entire story and has made it so that I have to change the entire ending. The protagonist has changed mid-stream and I thought I had it straightened out until I sat down to write tonight. Another left turn, followed quickly by a right turn. A brand-new twist that once again changes the outcome and thus the ending of the book. I'm scrambling to get my characters to tell me how the end needs to change and they're refusing to tell me.

I've whine at them, cajoled them, and outright raged at them as I'm trying to make up lost time to get my word count where it “should” be for NaNoWriMo. They're not giving it up. I guess this is my own fault. I'm a proud “pants-er”, I've always been terrible about outlining, even back in grade school. I much preferred math and science over English. So it's no surprise my characters are wishing to torture me.

My question is, do “planners” ever have this happen to them? Do your stories ever take a left turn on you and change the entire plot? Full disclosure: I don't plot either.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Christmas Stories by Patricia Kiyono


If you like holiday stories, here's a collection of four, available for a limited time, for only 99 cents! Here's what's included:

TWO CONTEMPORARY HOLIDAY NOVELS:

Christmas Wishes 
Photographer Mitch Carson is tired of big city life. He just wants to settle down in a quiet town with his daughter, Angie. Even that doesn’t quell his fear of losing his daughter to his scheming mother-in-law. Sophie Gardner wants to be a screenwriter. She's ready to leave small-town Zutphen, Michigan, and go to Hollywood. With a theater degree under her belt, she's busy writing scripts while helping out her sister Joanie, who's bedridden with a difficult pregnancy. Unfortunately, Joanie has somehow coerced Sophie into directing the Christmas pageant at Zutphen Community Church. When Sophie and Mitch meet, the attraction is instant and mutual. But each wants what the other is trying to get away from. Can they deny their feelings and pursue their dreams? Or will the holiday prove to them that their true wishes might not be what they'd thought? 

Christmas Journey 
Helen DeGroot is a widow, a mother, and grandmother. Her quiet life in Zutphen includes her children, grandchildren, and church committee work. She can’t shake the feeling that life has something else in store for her. But finances are tight, and her grown sons always seem to need her help. 
Mike Sikkema has a high-powered job at a travel magazine. He’s never had time for settling down with a family. But when his brother tells him about their mother’s health problems, he drops everything and heads to Zutphen, Michigan to help out. Apartments are scarce in the small town, so he rents a room from an attractive widow in his brother’s congregation. 
The road to self-discovery and happiness can be long and painful. Can these two help each other navigate the journey? 

TWO REGENCY HOLIDAY NOVELLAS:


The Partridge and the Peartree 
Phillip Peartree, Duke of Bartlett, dreamed of a peaceful life with a suitable mate until a hunting accident left him scarred and nearly deaf. Resigned to spending the rest of his days alone, Phillip has devoted himself to rebuilding his family estate. But a chance encounter with a lovely young woman in a dusty bookstore rekindles his almost-forgotten hopes and dreams. 
Lady Amelia Partridge has no time for the frivolity of the London social scene. In addition to her work with the Ladies Literary Society, she has a mission – educating poor children in the city. She also has a secret life, one she fears might drive away the young duke who has become increasingly important to her. 

Two Tutor Doves 
Robert Townley prides himself as an efficient and indispensible valet to Phillip, Duke of Bartlett. But when Robert is coerced into teaching the poor children at the duchess' chapel school, he’s out of his element. Thankfully, he has assistance from some of the other servants, including the prickly Miss Brown. 
Jeanne Brown is lady’s maid to the Duchess of Bartlett. She loves working with the children but can’t abide Robert’s lofty attitude toward them. She’d love to put him in his place — but she needs her job. 
When the duchess decides to hold the school’s Christmas party in her home, Robert and Jeanne must put aside their differences and work together to ensure that the holiday celebration goes off without a hitch. Will they be able to endure the partnership, or will their sparks ignite something more?


The Patricia Kiyono Christmas Collection is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Itunes, Smashwords, and Kobo.



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Download Unrequited for #FREE

Free eBook through Oct 31st.

Member Elle Clouse is offering a free kindle copy of her romantic steampunk short story Unrequited from Oct. 27 through Oct. 31.  


Kaliope James had heard the tales of Axel the Black and his nefarious crew.  His name struck fear in the hearts of men, both good and evil.  She never dreamed that she’d meet him face to face as he traded his own airship to save her life…

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Starlight Chronicles is now available in a Boxed Set!


Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I'm back today to give you a heads up on a new YA series, "The Starlight Chronicles." All three books are now available as a boxed set and...wait for it....the price is only $.99 for all three books!

A great Christmas gift for your teens! The cover, bliurb, and buylink are below!



Lark Singer is seventeen years old and already on the way to a brilliant music career. But as she and her band, Starlight, gear up for a competition, life seems to be throwing her a few curve balls. The mysteries of her past seem to be unraveling, and she’s no longer certain she wants to know those answers or how knowing about her past will affect her difficult relationship with her mother. And when her best friend, Bean, changes things between them, all her plans for a musical future are placed in jeopardy. How can she balance her complicated personal life to keep her musical goals on track? 

BOX SET CONTAINS ALL THREE BOOKS IN THE STARLIGHT SERIES: 
Gideon Lee 
Lark Singer 
Starlight



Thanks for stopping by! Leave a comment, I'd love to hear what you think about the series!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Cover Reveal!

Patricia Kiyono

I'm a day late posting, so I hope I'm not treading on anyone's toes. I recently got the cover for my new Christmas regeny, Two Tutor Doves, and I wanted to share! The book will be out in a few days, so I'll share more about the story itself next month, but for now I wanted to show you the awesome talent of cover artist Elaina Lee. She designed this cover to coordinate with The Partridge and the Peartree, my featured book from last month!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Re-release


I am so happy to announce the re-release of my very first regency romance, The Partridge and the Peartree. This novella was written in response to a callout from Clean Reads, formerly Astraea Press, in the fall of 2012. The instructions for the callout were to write a Christmas story including a duke, and there had to be a scene involving a Christmas Eve ball at the home of Lord and Lady Kringle. The series would be called The Twelve Dukes of Christmas.
Unfortunately, only eleven authors responded to the callout. But the participating authors planned a huge release event and for the first time I had the pleasure having a on the Amazon best-seller list!
This year I decided to re-release the book, this time with Eskape Press. I had the chance to do some revising, as several reviews had pointed out historical inaccuracies. And I got a beautiful new cover designed by the talented Elaina Lee of For the Muse Designs.

This past weekend I submitted a sequel, entitled Two Tutor Doves, and I’m hoping that will also be released in time for Christmas!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A New YA Series: "The Starlight Chronicles!"




Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! I've been on a blogging hiatus for a while because of my health. I had to do some chemo. Yuck! But I'm done and while I was doing that my wonderful publisher Eskape Press published the three books in "The Starlight Chronicles." I thought I'd share them with you!














Lark Singer’s relationship with her mother is prickly to say the least. As she enters a musical competition that could launch her career, Lark also searches for answers her mother would rather keep hidden. Throw into the mix the fact her best friend Bean has been acting strangely, and Lark finds herself launched into uncharted territory. Will her quest for answers sabotage her musical aspirations?













Lark Singer is seventeen years old and already on the way to a brilliant music career. As she and her band, Starlight, gear-up for an upcoming, life-changing band competition, though, life seems to be throwing her a few curve balls. The mysteries of her past seem to be unraveling, and she’s no longer certain she wants to know those answers, or how knowing about her past will affect her difficult relationship with her mother. And when her best friend, Bean, changes things between them, all her plans for a musical future are placed in jeopardy. How can she balance her unraveling personal life to keep her musical goals on track?









Seventeen-year-old Lark Singer and her band Starlight have entered a competition that could launch their musical career if they win. However, Lark soon discovers that her nemesis, Duane McIntyre has also entered making her desire to win stronger than ever. How far will Lark go to win and what will it cost her in the end?





Thanks for stopping by and checking out my new series! I appreciate it! And if you like paperbacks you can get all three books in one paperback! Here's the link!




Lark Singer is seventeen years old and already on the way to a brilliant music career. But as she and her band, Starlight, gear up for a competition, life seems to be throwing her a few curve balls. The mysteries of her past seem to be unraveling, and she’s no longer certain she wants to know those answers or how knowing about her past will affect her difficult relationship with her mother. And when her best friend, Bean, changes things between them, all her plans for a musical future are placed in jeopardy. How can she balance her complicated personal life to keep her musical goals on track?






Thursday, August 13, 2015

5 Posts Authors need to Stop Making

Social media is tricky and there is so much advice floating around it can make an author's head spin.  Here are 5 Posts Authors need to Stop Making.


  1. Facebook is hiding my page posts!  Facebook isn’t ‘hiding’ your posts, they are still there.  Facebook is limiting how often your posts appear in your liker’s newsfeeds.  Is this annoying?  Yes.  Should you whine about it?  No.  Not in public.  Facebook is a social media system that has a specific method of function, figure out how to engage your audience without whining or asking for likes and comments.  Ask questions, share valuable content, be social.  No one likes a whiner.
  2. I liked your page so you should like mine!  Uh, no, it doesn’t work that way.  If you want to know what I have to say, then by all means follow me through whatever social media channels you prefer.  If you are just trying to build your own fan base through guilt reciprocation, you are doing it wrong.  Focus on connecting with people as a person and you’ll build a long lasting relationship, one that is mutually beneficial.  Guilt tripping people into following your social media only boosts your numbers momentarily until that person unfollows you in a few days.
  3. If you love me, you’ll leave a review!  There is no harm in saying you appreciate your reviews and sharing a glowing write up but your readers DO NOT OWE YOU A REVIEW.  There is no contract, real or implied, that states a reader has to leave a review.  If a reader leaves review, feel blessed.  If not, get over it.
  4. Buy my book!  Buy my book!  Buy my book!  We get it, you are selling a book.  Most authors are.  If a person wants to buy your book, they will.  Beating them over the head with demands to purchase your book will drive people away.  Social media is meant to be social; do you hang out with people that try to sell you things all day long?  No.  So why are you spamming your followers?  Share writing bloopers, images* that inspired your work, and character interviews.  If someone likes your posts, they can hunt down your book with relative ease.  The only (sorta) exception to this is a new release, but please don’t overdo it.
  5. Rants.  We all have bad days and want to vent but your social media is not the place.  Speak to a friend, post in a closed author group, but venting to fans about an industry they may not understand does no one any favors.  The only thing it might do is tick people off and inspire them to leave or worse, retaliate on your behalf.  Who wants to listen to someone who complains all the time?  Not me!  Show some class and zip it. 

 *Make sure you have the rights to be sharing the images.

 About Elle Clouse:
Elle has been writing fantasy and science fiction romance for years and an avid participant in the NaNoWriMo.

Elle is happily married to a martial arts instructor, a mother of two small boys, and constantly talking her husband out of adopting a new pet. She knits and stamps in her spare time as well as feeds a latte addiction.

Read more at:  http://elleclouse.com

Saturday, August 1, 2015

GRRWG is On the Move Again!


GRRWG is moving again! The face-to-face meetings, anyway. Starting in September, our meetings will take place at Peppino’s Sports grille in Kentwood. The address is 1515 Eastport Drive, and it’s just north of M-6, on the west side of Kalamazoo Avenue. We hope our new home will work out.

As for this month, we'll meet at Tommy Brann's on August 8 to hear what Chad Allen has to teach us on Marketing. Hope you'll be able to join us!