Because refreshing all day is self-destructive

Even though it’s hard to avoid in times like these.

Even though I do it for the same reason I try to watch scary movies to the end — because I want to find out that everything turns out okay.

Even though I know that last sentiment is impossible. Because this isn’t a movie. Because the bad guys don’t always stumble when we want them to. Because we aren’t actors who get up at the end of a death scene, walk away, and go home to the people we love.

I’m not going to pontificate about all the world’s evil. It’s nothing you haven’t already heard or aren’t already thinking. And you’ve probably already poisoned yourself enough.

So instead, here are a list of “happy” news websites. I’ve written about them before, but some things are worth repeating. And if you’re going to get lost in something, get lost in something that comes with a side of hope.

1. The Good News Network

2. The Daily Good

3. Sunny Skyz

4. Positive News

5. HuffPost Good News

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Sage burning, fear releasing, and a different kind of Halloween magic

8776823_sA few nights ago, I sat in a circle with six other women, a clump of burning sage, two lit candles, and all of the positive energy we could muster. We chanted. We meditated. We visualized our deepest selves and tried to hear — in a world full of so much anxiety and so many distractions — what our souls wanted to tell us. We turned our greatest fears into confetti, and willed our strongest desires to be.

And even though it’s almost Halloween, this had nothing to do with witchcraft. There was no blood, just paper. Instead of daggers, we used pens. And rather than kneeling in a clearing in the middle of the woods, we sat on mats and blankets in a yoga studio. (Yes, I realize all of these images are of stereotypical “Hollywood” witches, but at least I didn’t mention pointed hats!)

I’m writing about this because a few years ago, it’s the sort of event that I might have given a bemused smile but passed over. A few years ago, I never would have opened myself up to a group of complete strangers the way I did the other night. Perhaps this change is due to motherhood. Perhaps it’s because two letters have rocked aspects of my life that always seemed like a given. Perhaps it’s because the world is a very scary place right now — or because I’ve reached the age when people realize just how scary it’s always been. Most likely, it’s because no matter how positive I think I’m being, or how often I try to deflect the bad when it rears its ugly head, stress and worry still find a way to seep in. If that doesn’t happen to you, I’d love to hear your secret. Continue reading


October 30, 2015 · 11:46 AM

One little way we can help

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A very good friend of mine stumbled upon this campaign, through Facebook, to donate baby carriers to Syrian refugees landing in Greece.

We’ve all seen the horrible pictures, and many of us (myself included) have lost sleep wondering what in the world we can do to help. I can only imagine how terrified and alone these parents must feel trekking across Europe, clutching the ONLY things that matter in their arms, desperate for a miracle. If not for themselves, then for their children.

As the mother of a fiercely independent toddler, I see these people as super heroes — both from a physical standpoint (the last time I had a limber back was in 2013) and an emotional one. (Just try explaining to a cranky toddler why she can’t get down … or cuddle in her bed … or eat …) Continue reading


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Introducing the Desperately Ever After soundtrack! And a special treat…


The Desperately Ever After series is supposed to be witty, passionate, sarcastic, thought-provoking, and above all else: FUN! So when it came to creating a playlist, the songs I chose had to reflect that.

Some (especially Katy Perry’s Not Like the Movies) just screamed DESPERATELY EVER AFTER the moment I heard them. Others (Demons, Bloodstream, Holding on and Letting Go, Ocean Wide) reminded me of specific storylines or characters (no spoilers!) and even helped set the mood while I was writing Damsels in Distress.

Wires, All I Need, and Save Me just seemed to fit all the romantic dilemmas the characters face throughout the series. But when it came time to hit the town or party on top of Rapunzel’s penthouse, I couldn’t help but picture the ladies of Marestam dancing to Jessica Simpson’s A Public Affair—with lots of wine and sparkle!

In all honesty, this playlist could have been twice as long (and it still is on my laptop).

I hesitated to include a song as “played out” as Walk Away, but it and Dare You to Move fit Belle’s story so well. And while I initially chose Shaggy’s It Wasn’t Me to introduce her beast of a husband, I figured The First Five Times and Let’s Get Highwere jokey enough. And I had to draw the line somewhere!

The best and easiest way to listen is through Spotify, which is totally free and can be accessed through this link:


Option #2, which is way less high tech, is a list of the songs. When possible, I’ve linked the to YouTube videos, but your imagination will work better without them, and I couldn’t shake some of the advertisements.  Continue reading


Filed under Blog Hops, Contests, Desperately Ever After

Sneak a peek at page 45 — plus a SWEET giveaway!


What’s on page 45 of Damsels in Distress, the second book in the series that’s 1 part Sex and the City, 2 parts Desperate Housewives, and 3 parts Brothers Grimm? Read on to find out!

Sleeping Beauty bedWhen Dawn Tirion awoke from three centuries years of slumber, she was buried beneath an inch of dust, her childhood kingdom was an overgrown mess, and a strange man’s tongue was forcing its way into her mouth. The former crown princess was confused, scared, and unbelievably groggy. Not a great time for making life decisions.

Fast forward eleven years and the “sleeping beauty queen” has an updated wardrobe, two children, and a royal husband (Hunter) she barely knows. Sleeping Beauty forestWhat’s more, having expended enough shuteye for three lifetimes, she’s physically incapable of sleeping and spends every night wandering the woods around her castle and imagining things were different. Dawn knows she’s supposed to be grateful to this modern world and her so-called “rescuer.” But secretly, she wishes she was back in the 18th century, racing around the castle with her friends, and imagining her future with a boy named Davin.

By this point in the book, we know Dawn believes Davin was her first love. We also believe he died during her kingdom’s 300-year-coma—a historical period now known as the Great Sleep. But he’s still the one she fantasizes about when free to be alone with her thoughts. Mystical forest - purpleThat is, until a perilous misstep during her nocturnal wanderings lands her in the arms of someone new. Someone handsome, mysterious, inexplicably familiar, and dangerously REAL.

On page 45, she hasn’t actually met this stranger yet, but she’s watched him. She’s watched him many times in the moonlight, making up stories about who he is (hence the three names) and where he came from. That’s where she’s headed when her foot snags a rock and she tumbles to the edge of a cliff—forcing her to shout for help. Here’s a brief peek: Continue reading


Filed under Blog Hops, Contests, Desperately Ever After

Vote for Miss Chick Lit 2015 — and win a free makeover!



Welcome to the 2015 Miss Chick Lit pageant, where literary ladies from around the globe compete for the coveted title!

Up next is Rapunzel Delmonico from the illustrious United Kingdoms of Marestam. So grab your cocktails, strap a seatbelt on your men, and prepare to be enchanted!

After her segment, don’t miss your own chance to become a beauty queen with a $100 makeover ;)



Greetings all. My name’s Rapunzel and I’m here thanks to too many martinis and an ill-conceived bet with some of my girlfriends. (I’m looking at you, Cinderella.) Not that I mind strutting around in a swimsuit in front of a few dozen cameras or anything … I just don’t need the validation. But let’s make the best of it, shall we?

Yes, I’m that chick from the tower. No, my hair is not thirty feet long, but it does change color and style roughly three times a week. As an infant, my parents sold me to a witch for drugs, so I  don’t know where I actually came from. But now I live in a fabulous bachelorette pad on the Upper West Side of Carpale. And if you didn’t already know any of those things, you don’t pay much attention to the gossip pages.


Rapunzel 2Swimsuit:

I chose this little number because it’s a kinda funky, kinda flirty, and it was the first one to catch my eye.

See, this might come as a shock, but I care almost as little about making someone’s best-dressed list as I do about marrying into royalty—or marrying in general, for that matter. Nothing more than a waste of time and freedom. And in my experience, all you actually need to make that list is confidence. (Again, Cin, I’m looking at you. Belle too.)



Funny story. I was all ready to drop some drawer—haha, I mean, some jaws—with a gravity-defying acrobatic spectacular. But somebody spotted my prop box just now and made a ruckus with the censor board. So instead, you lucky kids get to see the swimsuits I picked for my five closest gal pals. Please keep in mind I went by their tastes, not my own. Continue reading


Filed under Blog Hops, Contests, Desperately Ever After

Happy Chick Lit May!

It might not come with chocolate bunnies or a fat man in a red velvet suit (unless you’re into that sort of thing…) but did you know that May is International Chick Lit Month?

If so, welcome back. If not, it just so happens that I’m a CLM virgin too. And I’m thrilled to take part in its fifth year, beside so many writers I both enjoy and admire.

Stop by next week for five days of fabulous events, including playlists, discounts, novel excerpts, a $100 Sephora gift card giveaway, and the 2015 “Miss Chick Lit” pageant (featuring Desperately Ever Afters own Rapunzel). And don’t forget to check out the official International Chick Lit Month website in the meantime. Happy May!

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Two Books for (less than) Two Bucks!

Biggest sale yet — tomorrow through Thursday

Ahh, spring. Bright yellow tulips shooting through the soil. “Shrunken” bathing suits getting to know the trash bin. Wrought iron tables popping up all over the sidewalks. And your most ambitious list of “summer reading” titles yet — more than half of which somehow stowed away from last year … and the year before that. (I won’t tell if you won’t.)

Well, there’s no better time to get an early start on that reading! Starting in just a few hours (midnight Pacific Time, to be exact), the entire Desperately Ever After series*  is on sale — in BOTH the US and the UK! Here are the details:

In the US, the ebook price of Desperately Ever After (Book 1) will drop to 99 cents on Friday, April 17, and steadily climb back up until the sale ends Thursday night. At the same time, Damsels in Distress (Book 2) will be marked down to 99 cents and remain at this price THE ENTIRE TIME … until the clocks strikes midnight (or, for the east-coasters, 3 a.m. April 24) and the joint sale disappears.

In the UK, the ebook price of Damsels in Distress (Book 2) will drop to £0.99 at 8 a.m. (GMT) Friday, April 17, and steadily climb back up until the sale ends Thursday night. At the same time, Desperately Ever After (Book 1) will be marked down to £0.99 and remain at this price THE ENTIRE TIME … until the clocks strikes midnight (GMT) Thursday and the joint sale disappears. Continue reading

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Kindle Countdown time

Damsels in Distress has been discounted … but not for long!

With all of the hubbub surrounding my health, I realized a few days ago that it’s been AGES since either of the Desperately Ever After books went on sale. Well, let’s rectify that!

From now through Sunday, Book 2 will be part of a Kindle Countdown Sale, dropping down to $1.99 initially and then steadily climbing back up.

It’s time to get back on the horse and find out what “happily ever after” really means …

Click here for details


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How Quickly the World Can Change

News on book 3 and a diary entry

I’ve never been the queen of social media. Not as a teenager. Not as a mother. Not even as an author, though I understand its importance and make an adequate effort to do my part. But even for me, my online presence over the past few months has been horrible. I only wish I had a happier reason why.

I WISH I could say that I was busy celebrating my 32nd birthday. Or getting lost in my third book. Or enjoying my first Christmas with my beautiful baby girl. But the truth is that I spent the holidays half blind (literally) and terrified.

It started with what seemed to be a tiny smudge on my contact lens — only when the contact lens came out, the smudge didn’t leave along with it. I didn’t think much of it at first. I was just tired … or had run into a very persistent speck of dust. Surely, it would disappear in a day or two, just as mysteriously as it had come.

Over those next few days, however, the smudge ballooned into a thick gray curtain that blocked out half my world. Through the afflicted eye, I couldn’t see my husband’s hand one centimeter in front of my face. I couldn’t see the bright red numbers on my bedside clock, even with my nosed pressed up against the glass. I clung to my daughter every second, terrified that the loss of sight would become permanent … or spread to my other eye as well … ending my life just when it was truly beginning. Continue reading


Filed under Desperately Ever After, Home & Family, Misc, Writing Process