Blogger

Reemerging from the Shadows

shadow-womanI’ve been absent from here, from all social media, for awhile. Life changed, as it does.  Here’s what happened. And why I can start to emerge from the shadows, and rejoin the virtual world. With differences.

What Changed?

My daughter started middle school and was diagnosed with ADHD. My life morphed into doctor’s appointments, school appointments, research,  tapping friends, colleagues and strangers with similar situations, long hours of homework oversight and working through a spectrum of emotions that exploded through the house without a moment’s notice.

There was no time and little left of me at the end of the day.

My writing screeched to a halt, so did the daily yoga I use to manage a back condition. I missed deadlines and obligations–something I’ve never done. And given my overblown sense of responsibility, it all felt terrible.  My stomach turned to acid, my pants tightened, I couldn’t get out of bed,papers piled up in all corners of my house, I ran out of dishes because I didn’t wash them and I noticed more wine bottles in the recycle bin.

So I scaled back. I dropped social media, resigned from all volunteer activities, took out everything from my life that took time from my family.  I didn’t have it to give. My attention centered on my daughter and work. Nothing else. Needless to say, I got lost somewhere in there.

Healing: It started with a table and chairs

Sometimes an unexpected gift gets dropped on your doorstep. Its not necessarily anything important, just changes something. Like fixing a slanted picture, and the room looks somehow right again. In this case, neighbors I didn’t know very well, moved and left me their dining room table. I needed a new one and this did the trick. One small change compelled me to make another. I added a new sofa, since the puppy tore through the old one, and the cat usurped it as his hiding place.

IMG_1109

Two changes and my home no longer felt like a burden, another set of lines on my never ending to-do list. It became a place to nest and to heal. A place of refuge and renewal.

My daughter continues to adjust to middle school and we’ve come up with tricks and strategies to get the homework done by a decent hour and manage some of the ADHD. Life advances one day at a time, no matter how much it feels like its racing past us.  Things are still not easy nor reliably routine.  Perhaps they never were–that’s just an illusion we create to keep ourselves sane. But I’ve come home to myself.

 

I’ve started writing again, doing yoga, and journaling. Not at the same level of productivity and not every day. My schedule has changed. I’m not taking on new responsibilities for the moment but have started adding the basics back. I’ll aim to blog more often–aiming for weekly–and show up on twitter and FB at that same level. I miss you all.

Coming Next

I’ve slowed down and may have back tracked by I’m still writing.  Hope Restored, Book 3 of Divine Temptation is with critique partners and beta readers. If anyone wants to beta read it, there’s still time and I’d love to get feedback from a few others. But that should be out later this year, if everything goes well.

After that, I may reinvent myself. Watch this space. As my life changes, my writing and writing life will change too.

 

 

Whose Pride Goeth With A Child’s Fall?

I’m proud of my child. No surprises there.  For several years she did competitive gymnastics. I did gymnastics too, was on the high school team but never really prospered with it.  H. made it to the national championships, has a drawer full of medals and ribbons by the age I had mastered a cartwheel.  Of course, this is something I never, no never bragged about. 🙂  And I have no photos and videos. Hmm, now how did get that there?

H flying

When she decided to quit, I was devastated. I made her stick it out for another month just to be sure.  She was. I wasn’t.

I still miss her gymnastics, while she never really looked back. That’s when I had to admit, I was living out my unrealized childhood dreams through her. While I was right to not allow her to quit on a whim, it was me, not her, that went through withdrawal. It was me, not her, that wanted to go the distance.  Its like I lost a boost to my own ego when I all did was sit in those damn uncomfortable bleachers (ugh), pay for the lessons (ouch), and cheer my heart out (pass me a throat lozenge please).

So be careful out there. Even if you don’t think you’re living through your kids, there may be the odd place where you are–where it integrates into your life in subtle and hidden ways.   Its hard not too, they are pieces of us, inherit some our our strengths as well as our weaknesses.

So, my next book is coming out next week.   As promised, its about single mom finding romance. Cause moms are sexy too.

Sabrina Garie is on a journey to create the most kick-ass heroine in romance fiction. Her new book Next Move releases on July 5 from Ellora’s Cave.

Meet me where I am, and I’m not on a street corner

street cornerIn a past post I questioned why I seemed to be giving less to the homeless who wait with hands out on the street corners–both walking and driving.  Something happened today, juxtaposed to some conversations I’d been having at work, and I had one of those blinding flashes of insight. I realized that  I’m not on a street corner–I’m never really on a street corner. Clear as mud, right.
 

Let’s start with the trigger event. Heading toward a meeting out of the office, I had to navigate through several street corners of those super enthusiastic youth with matching shirts and clipboards pushing their priority causes?  If you live in a city, you know what I mean.  They usually want you to sign a petition, give money, or just be informed about [Fill in Cause Here].  I respect their enthusiasm and envy their energy.  And many of their causes are worthy. And here’s the insight. It’s not the message or even the extent of the need, but its simply when you want me to give (money or time), you need to ask me where I am. And I am never on a street corner.

 

What does that mean? Good question. Let me explain.

 

Now that I’m older, with many more responsibilities, my life is tightly orchestrated–very tightly orchestrated. I don’t stop during my work week. If I’m on the street or in the car, I am in motion–moving from one place to the other.  My conscious mind centers first on navigating the path, then secondarily on where I am going and what I will be doing when I get there. This is not the time to sell me something–and yes, all that stuff on the street corner is a form of selling.

 

To convince me to do something, you have got to meet me where I am, and my mind is never on that street corner. I have no internal proclivity to be convinced or even to stop at listen at that time. You may be able to stick something in my hand– a holiday safety card, a free box of cheerios, but it needs to be doable while I am in motion.

 

So I’m not getting less giving. In fact, if I look at my acts of charity over the past few years, I’m giving more.  It’s just really hard to get my attention when I am heading somewhere else.  That is another tragedy of the cashless, cashfree society. Those who need most, have to ask where those are least likely to be heard.  😦

Lucky in Love Blog Hop: How do you make your own luck?

Lucky in LoveWelcome Hoppers to Carrie  Ann’s Luck in Love Blog Hop.   Join almost 300 bloggers celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and the ephemeral concept of luck.

As usual, I’m going to do this blog hop my own way.  I don’t really believe in luck–not completely. Luck seems to show up most often when people are working hard to achieve a goal, making new friends, doing new things–finding ways implicit and explicit–to trip over that door that just had not yet been in their vision.  Luck often seems to be an unseen opportunity or barrier revealed when someone marches forward with steel determination, kindness in their heart, a sense of purpose and a little Karma thrown in for good measure.

Yes, things like lotteries work on luck, but you have to be a ticket to have access to it. So even that requires an action first, before the luck comes.   Still not convinced?  Let’s see if I can prove it with the prize I’m giving away.

I have a fabulous group of writer buddies. We help each other grow as writers.  All have published or about to publish wonderful books and stories. Like me, on the newer end, most of us having our first books within the last year.  One person who comments on the question “How do you make your own luck,” chosen by random.org will win one book written by one of these authors, that I will buy.  Which author will be chosen by random.org.  Here’s the amazing group in alphabetical order by last name:

Tonya Cannariato

Sarah Cass

Fiona Druce

Ellie Heller

Jennifer James

Milly Taiden

Mary Terrani

Luck, through random number generation will decide which new author you get to read. But they are all out there working hard to write great stories and spreading the word about them. I’m just a door that opened to help them out and you get a free book.  Pretty good deal–Good Luck.

ENJOY.

SABRINA

There are  over 300 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger during the hop so visit them by clicking this here.

And that’s still not all….

We have TWO grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?
 1st Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

2nd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

 

If you are in the market for a new shifter story, consider my recent release Fires of Justice from Ellora’s Cave.

Fires of Justice Book Blurb

Always read the fine print when swearing an eternal oath to gods and guardians…

Beholden by the sacred vows of her coven, fire witch Calista Reid agrees to temporarily mate with shifter Cullen McMahan to fulfill a mission assigned by the guardians. When tall, dark and damaged arrives on her doorstep, generating enough heat to scorch a fire witch, Calista finds herself drawn to his battle-hardened body and broken soul. His pain speaks to her own deep-rooted isolation and the intensity of his hunger slakes her passion like no other.

Cullen, scarred by a past that left him an indentured soldier to the guardians, resents yet another hump-on-command assignment…until he encounters the compassionate, fearless, incendiary redhead who detonates his body and reawakens the emotions sacrifice and loss had suppressed. But Cullen harbors a terrible secret—one that reaches back into Calista’s troubled childhood and threatens the foundation of their growing bond.

Buy Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Ellora’s Cave

Wearing Your Plastic Smile: Sucking it up to cheerlead for your child

trumpet

I love being a mom. I adore my child.  But something my parents never told me–parenthood can be agonizing to the ears, the eyes, theback, name a body part–to support your child through all his or her dreams and aspirations. Hours on bleachers to watch my daughter compete in a gymnastics for a total of five minutes or sneaking in earplugs as she practices Hot Cross Buns on the trumpet for the zillionth time to name a couple.

Of course, it gets harder.back straddle

It’s one thing to listen to my daughter practice her trumpet, off-key and all, but sitting through the orchestral winter concert with all the other kids’ trumpets, violins, flutes etc..   is whole other definition of hell. That is when you pull out your plastic smile, polish it, slap it on your face and hide behind it all night. Because, sometimes, for your child, you just have to suck it up. No matter how much you hate orchestral music, how hot the overcrowded gymnasium is and how many songs you sit through that you know you  know but cannot recognize, even if a million bucks were on the line for you to name that tune.

That plastic smile gets worn at the talent show, dance recitals, sporting events–any of those endless functions in which my child performs for 3 minutes–when the smile reaches my eyes and pride flushes my cheeks pink–and then I have to sit through the other 2+ hours of everyone else’s children.

When do you pull yours out?

Heartbreakers of the Furry Kind: The #Hearthop (#Shifters are included)

Heartbreaker Blog HopWelcome Hoppers to Carrie  Ann’s Holiday Heartbreaker Blog Hop.   Join over 300 bloggers celebrating Valentine’s day and the joy of love.

I am going to do this a little differently and focus on heart breakers of the furry kind–animals and you got it, shifters (people who become animals).

I want to share my two favorites.  The first is my furry baby, who is beyond adorable, and a world champion nuisance. Aww. Look at him wrapped up like a pink package (my daughter’s handiwork).

Cat in the Bag

The second heart breaker is Cullen McMahan, fire shifter, hero of my paranormal novella Fires of Justice and all around heart breaker.  I thought I’d share an excerpt of him with his own heart in a twist.  I find pain in a sexy dude downright irresistible.  In the snippet below, Cullen and Calista, who are not exactly on speaking terms at the moment, are required to work together to complete a mission and find themselves sharing a room at an inn.

They made fast work of dinner. Both taking refuge in the window view, they scarfed the food down, polished off the white wine and exchanged very few words.

After surviving the meal, Calista planted herself in the shower, leaving when she started to shiver from water that had long since turned cold. Dressed in a plain red t-shirt, she dried her hair, and exhausted, headed to bed.

Cullen had cleaned up the dinner dishes and sat in the brocade chair, a glass of amber liquid in his hand, and stared out the window. Dark circles ringed those pain-filled, too-old eyes, his body rigidly alert. Pain sliced through her heart, stabbing it into shreds. Before she could think better of it, she found herself kneading his shoulders to release the grief tensing his muscles into iron-hard knots.

He glanced up, questioning, but his body leaned into the massage like a flower to the sun. Watching those chocolate-brown eyes and hard planes of his face soften under her ministrations melted her like butter.

Got a furry critter or sexy shifter who’s broken your heart?  Or in the case of my big boy, the stove, drinking glasses, plates, bowls and I could go on.  Let me know and leave your email addy. For one commenter, I will adopt an endangered species in your name from the World Wildlife Fund. You get to pick which one and receive the $25.00 adoption packet.

There are over 300 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger during the hop so visit them by clicking this here.

And that’s still not all….

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?
 
1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more! Just look at it.
swag heartbreaker blog hop

SGarie photoGood Luck. Have a love-filled Valentine’s Day.

Sabrina

If you are in the market for a new shifter story, consider my recent release Fires of Justice from Ellora’s Cave.

Fires of Justice Book Blurb

Always read the fine print when swearing an eternal oath to gods and guardians…

Beholden by the sacred vows of her coven, fire witch Calista Reid agrees to temporarily mate with shifter Cullen McMahan to fulfill a mission assigned by the guardians. When tall, dark and damaged arrives on her doorstep, generating enough heat to scorch a fire witch, Calista finds herself drawn to his battle-hardened body and broken soul. His pain speaks to her own deep-rooted isolation and the intensity of his hunger slakes her passion like no other.

Cullen, scarred by a past that left him an indentured soldier to the guardians, resents yet another hump-on-command assignment…until he encounters the compassionate, fearless, incendiary redhead who detonates his body and reawakens the emotions sacrifice and loss had suppressed. But Cullen harbors a terrible secret—one that reaches back into Calista’s troubled childhood and threatens the foundation of their growing bond.

Buy Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Ellora’s Cave

Romance in Washington, D.C.

Capitol at NightIn my last post, I looked at romantic dates that one of my character’s could use to sweep a warrior woman off her feet. In this one, I’m going to get more specific. The story takes place in Washington, D.C., home of the White House, the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Smithsonian museums and all those monuments.  A powerful place, an educational place but is it romantic one?  It can be.

For those in the District, here are some well known options with a few of my own kicked in for good measure:

The Tabard Inn on N Street, especially the lounge replete with antique furniture and wood-burning fireplaces.

The Rooftop Bar of the W Hotel, promises spectacular views overlooking the White House and other breathtaking sections of the city with elegant seating arrangements that look perfect for cuddling.

Brunch at Tryst Coffee House, Bar and Lounge  in Adams Morgan whose tag line is no corporate coffee, no matching silver ware. My kind of place.

Cherry Blossom Season, although the dates are variable and it only lasts a week, it sure is elegant and a unique and DC and the Potomacpoignant sight to behold.  There is a planned festival every year, but the dates sometimes coincide with the actual blooms. When they are out, there is nothing quite like a walk around the tidal basin near the Jefferson memorial under the delicate pink blossoms.

Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, strategically placed on the National Mall, the sculptures are intellectually and aesthetically engaging if talking about art gets your mind and body aflutter.

The National Mall at night. It runs from the Lincoln Mhemorial past the Reflecting Pond, the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian buildings, past the Tidal Basin to the Capitol. At night, lit up, it is as unique and powerful place as exists in the world. Romance at its best is when two people enhance each others’ stars so that they outshine even the brightest external lights.

If you are from D.C., have been to D.C. or just have a great fantasy involving some aspect of D.C., tell me where you would go in D.C. to win over the man or woman of your dreams?

Happy New Year Blog Hop, Shining in #2013

Floral Background in Black and Gold ColorsWelcome Hoppers to Carrie  Ann’s Happy New Years Blog Hop.   Join over 200 bloggers celebrating and sharing what we want for the new year. My goal is to live life to its fullest without fear, to keep being the best I can be, learning to shine and helping others to do the same.  For the new year, I am sharing my all time favorite quote from Marianne Williamson.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

What do you want to do next year that will help you shine and become the person you dream to be or do the thing you dream to do?

Answer the above question and I will give one commenter a $25.00 Kiva loan to invest in an entrepreneur of your choice any world in the world. As you help someone else better their life in the new year, you better your own as well.  The loan will return to you, once the entrepreneur is off the ground, which you can then reinvest in a new entrepreneur or use the money to do something for yourself and your family.  And don’t forget to leave your email. And then please visit the other hop sites.

Life

Life

There are over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger during the hop so visit them by clicking this here.

And that’s still not all….

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?
 

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet

2nd Grand Prize: A $300 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

SGarie photoGood Luck. May you shine in the New Year in your own light and those of others.

Sabrina

Over the holidays, if you are shopping for an ebook, consider my recent release Fires of Justice from Ellora’s Cave. Just the right amount of hot for a cold, wintry night.

Fires of Justice Book Blurb

Always read the fine print when swearing an eternal oath to gods and guardians…

Beholden by the sacred vows of her coven, fire witch Calista Reid agrees to temporarily mate with shifter Cullen McMahan to fulfill a mission assigned by the guardians. When tall, dark and damaged arrives on her doorstep, generating enough heat to scorch a fire witch, Calista finds herself drawn to his battle-hardened body and broken soul. His pain speaks to her own deep-rooted isolation and the intensity of his hunger slakes her passion like no other.

Cullen, scarred by a past that left him an indentured soldier to the guardians, resents yet another hump-on-command assignment…until he encounters the compassionate, fearless, incendiary redhead who detonates his body and reawakens the emotions sacrifice and loss had suppressed. But Cullen harbors a terrible secret—one that reaches back into Calista’s troubled childhood and threatens the foundation of their growing bond.

AmazonBarnes and Nobles

Blog of the Year 2012 Award

Happy New Year.  May it be filled with love, peace and wisdom.  Thanks to Wine and Roses from Outer Space  and Naomi Baltuck aboty-2star-1-1-1t Writing Between the Lines, two of my favorite bloggers, for the Blog of the Year 2012 award.  Wine and Roses is a wonderful vision, dedicated to making the best that life has to offer, no matter the obstacles that stand in our way.  Worth a visit if you need a moment of inspiration, which we all do now and then. Writing Between the Lines is a beautiful cornucopia of sights, sounds, creativity, humor and heart that never ceases to light my curiosity and wonder, a true blessing in the ups and downs of living a life.

The “Blog of the Year” award is a little different from some other awards, because you accumulate stars.

Here are the ‘rules’ for this award:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/ and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.

5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.

6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs, and even if they have already been given the award by someone else, then you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

For more information check the FAQ on The Thought Palette.

Here are my nominees, because the are my most favorite people and they add so much value to my life I just have to share them:

Wine and Roses from Outer Space

A Writers Block: Kasia James

Writing Between the Lines

Redefining Perfect: Sarah Cass

Fiona Druce

Ellie Blogs, Hops and Writes 2: Ellie Heller

A Book A Day: Tonya Cannariato

Author Jennifer James

Eden Summers

Mary Terrani

Milly Taidan

And now to welcome 2013.

A Love of Nature at the Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop # Holiday Love

Holiday Blog Hop

Welcome Hoppers to Carrie  Ann’s Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop.   Join over 200 bloggers celebrating the holiday season and the joy of love.

I am going to do this a little differently and focus on the love of nature.  We all have one  to some extent although it  expresses itself so differently–a love of animals, water, hiking, starlight skies, organic foods, hanging out at the beach, or making snow angels.

Life

Life

For me, I have been trying to build a love for nature into my life in an every day way–through pets, remembering to look at the stars, eating as close to nature as possible, talking walks to feel the sun on my face.  I think the need to do this more consciously is getting more important. Jacques Cousteau may have captured this feeling best, when he said. “For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it.”

How is a love for nature expressed in your life?  For one commenter, I will adopt an endangered species in your name from the World Wildlife Fund. You get to pick which one and receive the $25.00 adoption packet.

There are over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger during the hop so visit them by clicking this here.

And that’s still not all….rainbo_again

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?
 
1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $200 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

SGarie photoGood Luck. Have the happiest of holidays.

Sabrina

Over the holidays, if you are shopping for an ebook, consider my recent release Fires of Justice from Ellora’s Cave. Just the right amount of hot for a cold, wintry night.

Fires of Justice Book Blurb

Always read the fine print when swearing an eternal oath to gods and guardians…

Beholden by the sacred vows of her coven, fire witch Calista Reid agrees to temporarily mate with shifter Cullen McMahan to fulfill a mission assigned by the guardians. When tall, dark and damaged arrives on her doorstep, generating enough heat to scorch a fire witch, Calista finds herself drawn to his battle-hardened body and broken soul. His pain speaks to her own deep-rooted isolation and the intensity of his hunger slakes her passion like no other.

Cullen, scarred by a past that left him an indentured soldier to the guardians, resents yet another hump-on-command assignment…until he encounters the compassionate, fearless, incendiary redhead who detonates his body and reawakens the emotions sacrifice and loss had suppressed. But Cullen harbors a terrible secret—one that reaches back into Calista’s troubled childhood and threatens the foundation of their growing bond.

AmazonBarnes and Nobles