Sunday, October 11, 2015

Bad Behavior at the Supermarket

Last night, the Hubster and I spent the day running errands and at around 5 pm, decided to pick up a few things from our local grocery store for dinner. The lines at the cash registers weren't crazy, just a bit busy, with about three customers waiting at each line and eight out of ten registers working. Hubster and I got in line behind another couple and waited, chatting without paying much attention. Until...

The couple in front of us started grumbling. It began with minor nonsense about the wait, but became more and more obnoxious. Apparently, the customer in front of them was having trouble with her payment and was forced to take some items off her bill.

These two graduated from grumbling to insulting and finally became loud. The woman shouted, "Aren't you going to open any more registers? I have an emergency at home and can't wait for people to get their act together." To which the husband replied (not as loud so only heard by those around them), "Yeah. We have an emergency. We gotta go home to eat dinner." And then they started laughing.

I could tell the woman at the front of the line was humiliated, and my heart went out to her. If I'd noticed the issue sooner, I might have offered to pay the difference (I found out from the cashier, it was only $13.00). 

My first reaction to the rudeness of that couple was to wish them the misfortune of being in that very same situation while someone publicly drew attention to them. Then, I reconsidered. I don't wish that scenario on anyone, no matter how much they need to learn to walk in someone else's shoes. 

Maybe what most people need is empathy.You don't have to have lived an unfortunate incident to connect with the people involved. What you need is a dose of humanity. To that couple in the supermarket yesterday, I hope you find it. Fast.


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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

OMG! It's National Coffee Day!

All hail the magic bean juice. We honor thee for all you do to keep us sane, motivated, and energized. And best of all, there are places giving away your magnificence for free today. The only thing better would be a national holiday with the day off from work. But alas! Small steps, dear ones. Small steps.

So go, my friends! Head to your nearest pusher...umm, coffee, retail store...and partake of some caffeinated goodness. Do it for your heart, do it for your brain, do it for all the junkies out there like me. Join us. Come to the dark side. Literally.

Here are some links to help you get started:

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Little Slice of Heaven, Now Available Through Amazon Encore

Yes, today's the day. My Cinderella-in-a-pizzeria story is now part of Amazon's Encore program, geared to reintroduce readers to hidden gems they may have missed when they were first released.

A LITTLE SLICE OF HEAVEN was the second book I released, this time with The Wild Rose Press, and it's still one of my favorites. Gianna Randazzo is a kindergarten teacher, who goes back to work in the family's Italian restaurant after a humiliating breakup with her boyfriend. Accustomed to feeding the stray animals in the parking lot, she's unprepared for the homeless man who makes an appearance one blustery autumn evening. But Kyle Hayden isn't the typical homeless man. And when she has to face her past, he just might be the perfect Prince Charming at her side to make all her dreams come true.

You can find the digital version of A LITTLE SLICE OF HEAVEN at its new home at Amazon, currently on sale for $1.99. I hope you'll give it a try. It's as satisfying as a slice of pizza with the works!

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Labor Day Weekend Movie Binge

Here in the States, it's Labor Day weekend, a time to celebrate the working man and woman, to thank those who fought for five-day work weeks, vacation and sick pay, and safety standards. Got some downtime? Why not watch (or rewatch) a great movie that celebrates the workplace and workers who made a difference (fictional or non)? Here's a list of some of my favorites (in no particular order--just how they popped into my head). Feel free to add your own.

1. North Country
2. Silkwood
3. Norma Rae
4. 9 to 5
5. Office Space
6. Baby Boom
7. Glengarry Glen Ross
8. Network
9. The Devil Wears Prada
10. Horrible Bosses
11. Broadcast News
12. Up in the Air
13. The China Syndrome
14. Mad Money
15. Roger & Me
16. Thank You for Smoking
17. Tucker: The Man and his Dream
18. Monsters, Inc.
19. His Girl Friday
20. Clerks

That should keep you on the couch for a day or two.

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Sunday, September 6, 2015

"October" is a Finalist!

I'm so thrilled that REUNION IN OCTOBER, Book II of the Calendar Girls Series, is a finalist in the NJRW's Golden Leaf Contest for 2015. It is a great honor, especially when I see the list of other authors in my category. I admire them all so I don't envy the judges having to choose between them (though I envy they get to read all those books!)

To celebrate the good news, I'm going to give away several copies (one a week) in digital or paperback to readers who reply to my blog or Facebook posts until the big night, Friday, October 16, 2015 at the Put Your Heart in a Book Conference. *Fine print* Each week, beginning today, I'll use the generator to pull a winner. Winners will be notified and have 72 hours to claim their prize. If they do not get back to me within the specified time period, another winner will be chosen.

Meanwhile, here's a teaser from the book to whet your appetite:

On my second day in the hospital, I toyed with a lump of beige meat—chicken? Salisbury steak?—swimming in shiny-topped brown gravy. Dr. Stewart had ordered a low-fat, low-sodium, no-taste, and apparently, no-recognition diet for my stay here. For all I knew, this wasn’t meat at all, but some kind of tofu patty.
I’d pretty much given up identifying today’s lunch without a CSI team when a hesitant voice said, “Emily?”
Dropping my fork, I glanced up into the worried expression of Ambrose Chase peering from the foot of my snoring roommate’s bed. “Mr. Chase.” I waved him closer and rolled my bed tray with the unappetizing lunch out of the way. I had no intention of eating that slop anyway. “Come in. Please.”
“I won’t stay long,” he said, inching toward the visitor’s chair, but never making any move to sit. “I just wanted to be sure you were all right.” He stared at the floor. Either a stain on the linoleum fascinated him, or he couldn’t bring himself to make eye contact with me—a complete one-eighty from the guy I met yesterday who hammered me with research questions. “You…umm…had us all pretty worried.”
His obvious discomfort embarrassed me, and I wondered what I’d done at the library to make him so ill-at-ease now. Had I vomited on him? Wet my pants? Said something totally inappropriate before I hit the ground? Whatever had occurred, I’d have to try to smooth over the bumps with casual conversation. After all, Dr. Stewart said I owed this man my life. “Thanks for knowing what to do,” I said. “With the CPR, I mean.”
“Well, to be honest, I’ve…umm…I’ve never done CPR before. You got lucky. I’d just done the research for my book. I mean, like, an hour before you and I met in the library. I was doing all the compressions and stuff from memory. Once Miss Lydia got through to the 911 dispatcher, though, they talked me through the step-by-step. So, you see, you shouldn’t really thank me. Without the directions, I would’ve screwed up and made things worse for you, trust me.”
As I watched him shuffling his feet, staring at the walls, never making eye contact, I couldn’t tell if he had an inflated case of low self-esteem or false modesty. “Who was manning the calls over there?” I asked. “At the precinct, I mean. Rowena or Jake?”
“Jake, I guess. It was a man, so I’d say it was Jake, though I didn’t get a name.”
“Good.” I let out a relieved sigh and settled back against my pillow. “Rowena still needs to read the book to give the step-by-step.”
“And that’s a bad thing?”
“It can be. If you don’t know what to do off-script, you aren’t fully prepared for any possible eventuality. People in an emergency situation don’t have a book to go by, you know?”
He shrugged. “I guess.”
“Lemme put it this way.” I sat up again. “Suppose you’re in a case like what happened with you and me. I go down, you start CPR, based on what you remember, and by the time dispatch gets involved you’ve already screwed up one or two of the steps. Should Jake go back to Step One and make you start all over or should he know how to improvise?”
At last, my visitor sank into the chair beside my bed, his wide eyes and slack jaw showing how engaged he’d grown regarding our discussion. I probably awakened the writer in him. “Improvise, I suppose.”
I wagged an index finger. “Not necessarily. It all depends on what steps you’ve screwed up and how I’m responding to what you’ve done so far. Jake’s good at figuring things out on the fly. Rowena…” I shook my head. “…not so much.”
“And you? Are you a by-the-book-girl, or can you work off-script?”
“I’m somewhere in the middle,” I admitted with a rueful curl to my lip. “It all depends on the scenario. Of the three of us, Jake’s got the most experience. He was an Army corpsman. Did a lot of triage in the first Gulf War and has the nerves of steel to prove it. I, on the other hand, got my training here at home.”
“You were a soldier?”
I laughed. “God, no! I’m just a mom.”
“And a wife,” a woman’s voice said, followed by the click of heels on the floor and the entrance of my greatest nightmare.
My mother-in-law had arrived in her usual indomitable way--like an army tank in designer clothes and a fur-trimmed coat. 

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Contests Underway!

The birthday celebration continues. I've already mentioned my Goodreads giveaway (which ends on my birthday). If you haven't already entered, use the widget in the sidebar to get your name in there! ---------->

And, if you're friends with me on Facebook, you must have already entered my Name My Heroine's Cat Contest for a free book from my backlist. Or my Nobody's Darling cover kvetch contest. No? 

Well, here's your next chance. Today, let's give away an Amazon gift card to my faithful reviewers. Have you read any of my books and left a review? Post the link to the review either here or on Facebook. Reviews must be on Amazon, Goodreads, or B&N, and you'll be in the running for a $10 gift card. I'll give away two on Saturday.

Who's in? 

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Saturday, August 8, 2015

It's My Birthday Month!

From the time I first started dating him, my husband would celebrate his "birthday week" every year in April. 

My birthday is in August (the 20th for those of you considering shopping for me) and this year, I'm planning to celebrate all month long. How? By sharing with my friends and readers.

First up, I've got a Goodreads giveaway going on right now for the last book in the Afterlife Series, WAITING IN THE WINGS. I'm giving away five copies so be sure to jump in on this! You can enter the giveaway through my widget on the right sidebar. ---------->

As the month goes on, I'll be giving away all kinds of goodies, including books from RWA's National Conference, special gifts that make Long Island special, and gift cards to your favorite retailers.

What do you have to do? Comment here, add a review of any of my books you've read to Amazon (and let me know!), sign up to follow my blog on one of the two options available in the sidebar, or tag me on Facebook and/or Twitter in posts about my books, the giveaways, or my birthday. Help me get the word out. You could win big.

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