Monday, November 6, 2017

Shhh! Sneak Preview!

If Santa is good to me this year, my brand new children's book,
'The Snow Lord and the Spring Fairy' 
will be out in time for Christmas!
It will be sold on Amazon.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to various groups dedicated to saving our precious rainforests.
If your school library would like to have a free copy or you know a child between the ages of 5 and 12 who would enjoy this book
but can't afford it, write to me.
I'll see what I can do.
I always wanted to be one of Santa's elves!

Here's a sneak preview:

After the Paradise Prince lost his princess
in a tragic accident,
he couldn’t bear to live on their beautiful, 
tropical island anymore.
Grief-stricken, he moved to the most desolate place on earth
– the Antarctic.
Now known as the Snow Lord, he lives in an ice castle
 with his only friend,
an albatross named Riley.
Evolet, the Spring Fairy, knew her flowers couldn’t survive
in the Snow Lord’s icy domain, 
but she planted them anyway.
Now she’s his captive – confined to a cage.
She must find a way to escape 
or there won’t be any flowers this spring. How?
She’ll have to rely on the same plucky optimism 
that got her into this mess.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

And sometimes you're the bug...

When I first started writing this blog years ago my mission statement was that someday I wanted to find my place in the world. Where I wasn't just 'The Occupant' of my domain. I wanted to be the owner. Where 'all the mail was addressed to me'. I came close so many times. I could taste it. Feel it. Now I wonder... how many times does a person have to fall off a bike before they realize that they just can't ride? Apparently many times.

I've been writing and dreaming of becoming a successful author since I was a little girl. My first taste of success was writing a daily blog on AOL back in 2003. I was named 'AOL's Editor's Choice' TWICE! For a few hours on those two days if you signed onto AOL you'd see my picture and a description of my blog (and a link to it) on the opening page! I was actually contacted by a literary agency in New York City who wanted me to re-write the blog and have it published in book form. I was on my way (or so I thought).

Well, AOL decided to stop offering blogs so I moved to Blogger. But without a forwarding address I lost most of my Readers. After talking to the NY agents for a few hours I knew I wouldn't be able to write all about my adventures as a newly divorced, middle aged woman from NJ including all the details they wanted without dredging up quite a few bad memories that were anything but funny and embarrassing my children, so I had to decline their offer.

As a very unusual but exciting Christmas gift my kids purchased a comedy workshop course for me at a local community college. "You're a natural!" they assured me. I did take the course and actually appeared in ten shows in the months following graduation. Although my kids probably thought I was on my way, unfortunately, I discovered that I suffered with an extreme case of stage fright that never got any better so I decided to give up performing in public.

I returned to writing and after numerous rejections I got my first book published with Devine Destinies in 2010.  Signing that contract was every bit as exciting as giving birth to a beautiful child. This time I was sure I was on my way. Alas, 'Passing Whispers' was only available as an Ebook and for some reason it didn't sell. Even my friends preferred a printed version. I put out a book trailer which I hoped would get the attention of the people who produce movies for Hallmark. It would make a wonderful Hallmark Christmas movie! Until it didn't. But I'm still hoping! I didn't renew my contract in 2012 and haven't found another publisher as yet.

In 2015 I found Tate Publishing who agreed to publish my first children's book 'There's a Monster In My Closet!' Much more successful than 'Passing Whispers' I thought I had found my niche as well as my way. Tate also agreed to publish my second children's book 'The Snow Lord and the Spring Fairy'. That book was supposed to be released in March 2017. Once again, fate intervened and Tate Publishing closed its doors before the book ever hit the shelves of Amazon.

Now I know all the stories about other authors like Stephen King, whose wife retrieved his last novel out of the trash where he had thrown it, only to see it discovered by a different publisher who put it out and made King a household name. Or the story about J.K. Rowling who considered suicide after years of depression and failure before introducing the world to Harry Potter, one of the most successful book series of all time.

My problem is I'm already 62 years old and I don't have an entire lifetime ahead of me to find success. Of course if you view that in the 'glass half full' sense, I am closer to the potential 'fame after death' phenomenon like Emily Dickinson, Johann Bach and Vincent van Gogh. Just kidding.
The very thought of leaving behind a legacy of greatness someday makes shopping for a tombstone a lot easier. Dare I say... exciting?

Of course that all depends on whether I'm luckier after death than I was in life. Hmmm. That thought gives new meaning to the phrase "I'm on my way!"

Turn the lights off, will you?

PS: I have a few hundred copies of 'There's A Monster In My Closet!' left that just happen to be available to you at cost. Email me and I'd be happy to sign them for a beloved child of your choice. Not a bad investment especially if I do become famous someday. Your book would be worth a fortune! Just think van Gogh! 
$6.99 includes free shipping for soft covers.
$11.99 includes free shipping for hard cover
Email me at: And no, I won't sell your information. I can't even sell mine!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Shhh! Sneak preview!

Anticipation is running high as my new children's book 'The Snow Lord and the Spring Fairy' is almost ready to go to print! With a little luck, it will be released before Christmas.

When the Paradise Prince loses his Princess in a tragic accident, he can't bear to live on their beautiful tropical island any longer. Grief stricken, he moves to the most desolate place on earth - the Antarctic. Now known as the Snow Lord, he lives alone in an ice castle with his new and only friend, an albatross named Reilly.
     Evolet, the Spring Fairy, is responsible for planting seeds and bulbs all over the world. Although she knows her flowers can't grow in the Antarctic, she can't resist planting just a few crocus bulbs on the very edge of the snow.
     Furious at her attempt to bring color to his land, the Snow Lord captures Evolet and locks her in a large dog cage.
     Can fairy the Snow Lord to set her free? Can she manage to melt the hearts of these two characters and teach them the meaning of happiness?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Nation of Survivors

As Americans and people all over the world
 remember and reflect on our nation's greatest tragedy,
 may I present a poem written by my oldest daughter, Lisa Vance?
 I believe it's one of the best poems written on the heart-breaking events
 that unfolded on September 11, 2001.

Nation of Survivors
Written by Lisa Vance
All Rights Reserved 2016

In the bright September morning, without warning to us all,
A few thousand lives were shattered as we watched two buildings fall.
A billion souls felt empty and the flags at half-mast fly,
In the memory of the innocent which didn’t have to die.
We’ve lost brothers, sisters, cousins. We’ve lost family and friends,
But we’ve made the choice not to forget their lives and tragic ends.
Though we’ve had our share of troubles, we put them all aside,
As a nation grieves, we find ourselves defending them with pride.
We’re a Nation of Survivors; with one heart we share a tear.
But we live to serve the memory, not giving into fear.
Though they tried to take security with the things they’ve done and said
Their acts of inhumanity bring unity instead.
So we stand here as a family. One heart. One soul. One voice.
We are challenged by this moment and united here by choice.

September 11, 2001
We will never forget.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Are You a Children's Writer?

If you're a children's writer for Middle Grade kids

why not enter the 23rd FREE "Dear Lucky Agent" Contest on The Guide to Literary Agents Blog?

The contest ends on September 29th, 2016

but all you need to enter is the first page of your completed novel.

See the link below for more details!

Good luck!

Maybe YOU can be the next J.K. Rowling!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

My Mother's Dream

     When I was a little girl my mother aspired to be a writer. Today, that might not seem unusual but it was back then. We didn't even know anyone who knew a writer. Let alone a poor, stay-at-home housewife with seven kids.
     But my mother yearned to be more than what she was. Not that she wasn't happy with her life. However that life didn't satisfy the artistic, creative spark that burned deep down in her soul.
     She wasn't after fame or fortune. She just wanted to entertain, delight and share her wonderful stories with the world. Unfortunately, the mysteries she wrote and sent out to numerous publishers were always returned with a polite rejection letter. Ever optimistic, she told me several times that "You're not really a writer until you've gotten a hundred rejections!"
     She fiercely believed that dreams always came true. Yet somewhere along the line she let her dream fall by the wayside. She stopped writing well before her "hundreth" rejection and never really spoke of it again.
     But she instilled in me a desire to reach for more than I could realistically attain. Like she did. To try and keep trying despite the odds.
     Luckily, I didn't have to wait until I got a hundred rejections, although there were quite a few. Too many to count.
     In 2010 I got my first contract for 'Passing Whispers'. Stunned disbelief was quickly replaced by exhilarating joy. I had to tell my kids! My co-workers! My mother!
     But it was too late for that. I couldn't call and tell her my news. She was gone. My mom died in 2005.    She didn't get to see that finally...I was a writer.
With good reviews by real critics. I had an actual Book Signing Party (given to me by my oldest daughter, Lisa). All my kids, friends and co-workers came. People I hadn't seen in years! Someone asked me for an autograph! I even made a Book Trailer which was one of the best days of my life. Oh, how I wish my mom was there to see it!

     Then again in 2015 Tate Publishing put out my first children's book, 'There's a Monster In My Closet!'. It was such fun to write! I used my grandchildren as the characters in the story, much to their delight. They were asked for their autographs too whenever they attended book signings with me.
     My husband and kids were there every step of the way, cheering me on. But there was one voice I desperately wanted to hear. My mother's. There was no one more responsible for my success than her. The dream she passed on to me was finally coming true. My mom would have been so excited. So proud. I know seeing my name on the cover of a book would be just as exciting to her as seeing her own name there.
     I'm not rich. Or famous. I still get rejection letters. But... I am a writer.

Just like my mother.


Thanks, Mom! Happy Mother'
s Day!

If you still have your mom... give her an extra hug and kiss today. Life is short. Share yours with her while you can.

Happy Father's Day!

I was going to write a post about my dad.
How wonderful and loving he was.
How he constantly played the same old
practical jokes on us.
How he always insisted that my sister and I
act like ladies.
How old fashioned he was
(he wouldn't let us wear 'fancy' underwear).
 How he insisted that every strand of tinsel was strategically placed on each branch of our Christmas Tree.
About how he'd treat himself to a can of Campbell's Oyster Stew every once in a while (each can had two whole oysters in it and he always gave me one).
How handsome he was
whenever he wore his Fedora hat.
How he insisted on holding my hand when I crossed the street with him even after I was married. How he patiently walked the floors with my babies when they were colicky or teething.
How he died in the hospital when I wasn't there.
All alone.
I guess he thought I'd never be
strong enough 
to let him go.
He was right.
As usual.
I miss you so much, daddy. I always will.
Happy Father's Day!
I hope the beautiful families in these videos don't mind me using them in my blog but they just seemed so appropriate for Father's Day!

Father Surprises Son

If you still have your dad, don't let any opportunity pass by to tell him how much he means to you!