Thursday, December 31, 2015

COVER REVEAL!!!!

I'm sending out 2015 with a cover reveal for my 6th full length novel, Live for This.

Here's the blurb:

Samirah Lundgren is living the party girl life. While she's trying to forget about her past and put off having a meaningful future, her lifestyle catches up with her, leaving her in a wake of personal destruction. Alone and homeless, she encounters Michael Salinger, a man carrying his own baggage in the form of a spinal cord injury, not to mention his former fiancé is marrying his former best friend.

Can a man with a broken body and a woman with a broken soul help each other find the redemption they need to become whole again? 

So, are you ready to see the cover, designed by the lovely and talented Karan Eleni?

Without further ado...


Releasing March 2016. Stay tuned for pre-order links.

And happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Dear Hasbro

Dear Hasbro,

It's with mixed emotion that I write this. Your games and toys have been the staple of not only my childhood but now my children's as well. Today, enjoying a rare day home together, we decided to play a game, one my son got for Christmas, Star Wars Monopoly. As a family, we've seen the new movie (not to mention the previous 6). Both my son and my daughter are anxiously awaiting the 8th installment. So, today, as we cut through the cellophane to reveal the game pieces, my daughter looked at the choices and said, "No thanks. I don't want to play."

Why?

Because the game pieces gave her the choice of: Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Finn, and Kylo Ren. She wanted to be Rey or Princess Leia. Considering that the MAIN CHARACTER and HERO of The Force Awakens is female (REY), you really dropped the ball on this one.

I never used to consider myself a super feminist or anything. But I want my daughter to know that there is more to life than makeup and pretty dresses. She, too, can dominate the universe. She can SAVE the universe.

Perhaps, as the Star Wars merchandising opportunities continue, you may want to consider including at least one female character. Afterall, we do make up over 50% of the world's population.

Sincerely, A Concerned Mother of an Excluded Daughter


Monday, December 21, 2015

A Cup More Than Half Full

Two blog posts in less than a week--you are lucky!

Today is one of those days when I reflect, for many reasons.

Twenty-six years ago today, my brother-in-law died. I never got to meet him. I wish every day that I had.

Fifteen years ago today, my husband asked me to marry him. I wonder how many days over the past fifteen years he regrets asking, but I know how tremendously grateful I am that he asked.

This day always seems to be a mixed bag.

Lots of people I know are struggling right now. 2015 has been a difficult year for many people I know. There's been death, strokes, cancer, surgeries, heart attacks ... and that's just the tip of the iceberg. I know so many people who are struggling right now. Depression and anxiety are at an all time high. Marriages are being pushed to the breaking point. Some beyond that. The stress of the season is certainly bearing down.

There's simply too much to do and not enough hours in which to do it.

That's how I've been feeling, especially this last week as I ran from one activity to another. Trying to finish up shopping, start wrapping, address Christmas cards (which took almost 2 weeks to arrive from when I ordered them), finish decorating.

Both the kids and myself are in school through Wednesday, which leaves little time for those last minute things. I tossed and turned much of last night worrying about how to get everything in.

Work today was not the best. There were times when I wanted to pull my hair out. But I made it through the day, hit the grocery store, and then was able to come home for the evening. Yes, my pajamas were on by 4:30 pm. Don't judge me.

This evening, I received a gift. The gift of time. Time to relax. Time to put on Christmas music and set up my village (the last thing to do to decorate). My cards are in the mail. My packages are on their way out of town. My kids were able to get their homework done without rushing, and even have time to play with their toys and with each other (sounds simple, but it's a true luxury on a school night).

As I put on the radio to provide a soundtrack while I put out my Dicken's Village, for the first time this year, I heard my favorite Christmas song. It's Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses. I love it so much that it was the inspiration for my holiday novella, Completions and Connections.





That alone was enough to put me in a good mood. Then I logged onto my computer. I had an email from a complete stranger telling me how much they enjoyed one of my books, as well as a message from a grade school classmate looking to buy some books to give as Christmas gifts. I received Christmas cards from my best friend and my best internet friend, who is really one of my best friends period.

I know that in the midst of all the bad, in the midst of death and illness and people behaving poorly, my cup is not half full. My cup runneth over. There may be some drops spilled here and there, but certainly nothing I can't handle. If someone wants to complain that my cards are late, let them. I may not bake a thousand cookies this year. It's fine. We're not going to starve. I can sit back, look at what I have around me, especially my wonderful family and friends, and toast to a wonderful life.

I hope that for those of you struggling, you find some solace and peace, and that soon, your cup runneth over as well.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

This Is My Last Post

This is my last post ... while I'm in my 30s. Tonight, while I sleep, before the cats and my bladder wake me up, I'll turn forty.

I'm not thrilled.

I'm trying to wrap my head around the fact that age is a number. However, as I battle wrinkles, acne, and gravity, not to mention stiff joints and terrible eyesight, sometimes I feel like age is a real thing. On the other hand, about five or six years ago, I was sick and the doctors didn't know what was wrong. I was tested for tons of things, including myeloma and lymphoma. One doctor thought I may have a form of vasculitis that only had an 80% 5 year survival rate. I remember thinking that there was a 20% chance I wouldn't see forty. Luckily for me, that's not what it was, and I'm alive and kicking.

So, rather than focus on the negative, I'm going to think about the great things that have happened over this last decade. I do have to give my mom props for starting off my 30th year with a surprise party on New Year's Day, 2006. She totally got me, and I had NO IDEA!

The past decade has had highs and lows. I've had to say good-bye to too many people, including my grandmother and two of my uncles. We've had other health scares too. But as long as I'm here, I'm going to appreciate the good things in my life.

Here are some of the best moments of the past decade:


2005: I miss this adorable little face.
2005: My dad loved watching Noggin. Maybe more than Jake.






2006: The day I became Dr. Biel. I couldn't have done it without tons of help from my parents.

2006: Remember that time we decided to put a second story on our house? Yeah, that was a scary day.

2007: For the most part, it worked out.


2007: Jake turns 3. And little did he know, he was getting a little sister for a present.

2007: Celebrating my parents' 40th wedding anniversary

2007: Our family was complete with the addition of Sophia Dorothy


2008: Four generations of (stubborn) females

2009: Whether we were ready or not, Jake was done with preschool and off to Kindergarten

2010: The best thing in my life. Always.

2010: At the age of 35 (literally on my 35th birthday), I got to dance the role of the Sugarplum Fairy.

2010: My technique was not the best, but it was a crowning moment of dance, 25 years in the making for me.

2010: Not to mention it was the first time I got to wear a tutu.

2012: Whether Kindergarten was ready or not, Sophia was on her way.

2011: The kids fell in love with Cape May, just like I did as a kid.
2012: Reconnecting with a high school acquaintance turned out to give me my best friend in life. 


2012: We're going to Disney World!
2012: Sophia celebrates her 5th birthday in Disney.
2012: We clean up pretty respectfully, don't ya think?
2013: I'm a published author!
2013: My first official head shot

2014: Another trip to Disney, this time for Jake's birthday. My dad and I tried (and failed) to drink our way around the world.
2014: New hair, new head shot. This is the book signing for my third book.


2015: Book signing for my fourth book, with my Kindergarten teacher.

2015: Sophia made her First Communion and the church didn't fall down. Also, I made her dress and veil, and it didn't fall apart!

2015: In Cape May, playing Skee Ball with the kids. Teaching them the important things in life.

2015: Taking time to enjoy sunrise walks with my dad. Time well spent.
So, as I get ready to go to bed (yes, it's early, but at my age, it's always wise to retire early), I can say I've accomplished a lot in this decade. A child, a doctorate, a massive home renovation, 3 jobs (this last one is my forever job--forever until retirement that is), and published five novels and a novella. All while being the best wife, mother, and daughter I could.

You know, all in all, the last ten years have been pretty good to me. Here's to the next ten!