Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Madness-Helping Others

I was just sitting here thinking, what can I do to help myself to be a better writer, and you know what? I figured it out. By helping someone else. Seriously. There’s this boy I know, he just turned thirteen, and he wants to be a writer. So I’m helping him, and by helping him, I’m helping myself. Seeing the newness of a budding writers words brings to mind where my writing is and where I can improve.

So here’s my question, or should I say challenge, for the week. Are you helping someone be all they can be? If so, how are you helping? If not, find someone who is asking for help and take them under your wing and watch those karma points add up.
For those interested in my boy, I'll be posting about him more as his book takes shape, so stay tuned!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Madness—A Must Read with C. A. Szarek

What Can I tell you about C.A. Szarek? So many things but I don’t think she would want me to mention them here. So Why am I blogging about her today? Because she’s an amazing author and I just had to brag about her new book, Collision Force!

Also, Because I want this to be all about C.A., and the first in her Crossing Forces series, I’m giving you the basics and letting you see what I already know. This is a MUST READ!

Crossing Forces:
Small Town Texas doesn’t always mean small time crime.

Welcome to Antioch, population fifty thousand.

With a police department full of detectives and officers who are good at what they do, throw in the occasional FBI agent, and the bad guy doesn’t have a shot, no matter how big the crime.

They work together and fight together. Relationships will be forged and changed along the twists and turns.

When fate intervenes, love and happiness can be found in unlikely places.

Book One in the Crossing Forces series.

If you loved The Heist: A Novel by Janet Evanovich and Fatal Error by Colleen Thompson, then you will not be able to put down this absolute treat!

Bad boy FBI agent and feisty widowed police detective collide pursuing a human trafficker in small town Texas on their way to true love.

Bad boy, married to his job FBI agent Cole Lucas always gets his man. So when the unthinkable happens and one gets away, Cole grits his teeth and hunts human trafficker Carlo Maldonado all the way to Antioch, Texas, where he collides with Detective Andi MacLaren.

Cole doesn’t do small towns and doesn’t get involved with women he works with, but Andi tempts him in ways he doesn’t want to acknowledge.

Two murders, her partner shot and leading the investigation on her own, the last thing Andi needs is a cocky FBI agent who sees her as no more than a tagalong.

Widow and single mother Andi is used to being on her own. When Cole gets stuck without a place to stay, crashing on her couch puts them in dangerous territory.

Attraction and passion bring Andi to a place she’d left behind when her husband died. Her three-year-old son quickly wiggles his way into Cole’s heart, and he starts contemplating things—family, love—that he’d never planned for himself.

Can being forced to work together make them stronger or will their differences jeopardize their case and their hearts?


C.A. is originally from Ohio, but got to Texas as soon as she could. She is married and has a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice.

She works with kids when she’s not writing.

She’s always wanted to be a writer and is overjoyed to share her stories with the world.

C.A. Is giving away a free download of her brand new book, Collision Force, so don’t forget to leave a comment. I’ll be drawing a name tomorrow morning so you have time to tell you friends to stop by as well.


More about C.A. go to


Other Books By C.A. Szarek

Sword’s Call

Deep In The Hearts of Texas

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Madness—Now What?

This is an old picture, but the weight is the same.

I’m sitting here, wondering what I should write about, and the only thing that comes to mind is—food. I’m hungry, but what I want—bacon, eggs, hash browns, ect.—isn’t on my list of what I can eat. You see, I’ve put myself on a diet—again.

Yes, I was a skater girl
I’m over weight—there, I’ve said it.  I stepped on the scale yesterday and started to cry. Never again will I be that athletic girl who could eat anything she wanted and not gain an ounce.

SOOOOO, here’s my madness. As a writer, I sit on my butt for hours at a time, shoving whatever is easiest to make for a meal into my mouth. I need advice. I need easy, quick meals that travel well and won’t give me that just-gave-birth look that I’m currently experiencing.

Any suggestions?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Madness—Taking Care of You!

I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but this is some crazy weather we’re having here in Texas. Freezing one day, pool worthy weather the next, then it’s back to freezing. What does this have to do with writing? Where do I start?
As I move forward in my life as a published author, and no matter what the day may bring, there’s one constant. If I’m not healthy, I can’t function. This is true in any profession. So forgive me if I climb up on my soapbox and preach the word according to Jeanne.

If you’ve been reading my posts, you’ll know I’ve had a lot going on in my life lately; most important is the birth of my 10th grandbaby, Isabelle. What you may not know is that she’s living in my house so I get to see her every day. Here’s where my health comes into issue. I wasn’t current on all my shots. So, like a good Mimi (You should already know I’m too young to be called grandma) I went and got a booster. If you haven’t guessed, it made me sick. I’ve gone 4 days without holding my little Peanut and I’m in withdrawal.
Call it boredom from being in bed most of the weekend, but I had a lot of time to think about my body and what I’ve been doing to it throughout my 38 years. (again, if you know me, you know that I’ve been 38 for years now)
So, I’ve challenged myself, and I’m challenging you as well, to take care of you.


I’ve covered my mind-set by re-vamping my office. (It’s done by the way and lacking distractions once again. Or at least I hope so. Wish me luck.)


Next is taking care of my health. I already have a chiropractor that I see once a month. The Doc has kept me together for going on 7 years and I can’t thank him enough. Whatever your profession demands of you, I recommend getting an adjustment.
You’ll thank me for it in the end.

I also recommend getting a yearly physical. Don’t be afraid of what the test results say. It’s better to know in advance what ails you and what you need to do to correct it. Eat right. Snack healthy. Exercise regularly. Most important, take care of YOU!
Okay, I’m climbing down again. I’m off to get a little writing done before heading out to get my Mammies Grammed. What are you going to do today?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Madness—Creating Your Space—part one

Do you have a special place where you can go? A place where you can dream without the world invading? A place where no one else is allowed except for the imaginary people that come to you in dreams or through the pages of a book?


Well, I have that place, or at least I thought I did until I took everyone’s advice and just sat down to write. You see, I had too many distractions in MY SPACE. My cat, the household bills sitting on my desk, the clutter tossed into my office when someone didn’t know where to put it. Just look at these before pictures and you’ll understand what I mean when I say there were too many distractions.
My desk

Another shot of my desk

Research (Can you see the books?)

My Reading Area
Now, I’ve been listening to Jeanne Adams workshop “Creating your Write Environment” and what she has to say helped me tremendously. I’m not done, far from it, but I’ve gotten a good start as you can see by my new reading area. (Yes, the cat is still there, but this is her room too)
But stay tuned, I’ll be bringing you along as I transform MY SPACE into a place where my imagination can run wild and free. Who knows. My idea to keep me focused may not work and I'll have to try something different.

So, where is your special place? Do you have one?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday Madness—Did you miss me?

Did you even notice I wasn’t here last week? Well, let me share the madness. On April 11th, my 10th (that’s right. I said 10th) grandbaby was born. Isabelle Elena Montoya graced my world and I can’t seem to get enough of her. She’s beautiful, but don’t take my word for it, just look at that face.

I spent the evening with her and when mommy and daddy had enough of visitors, I took my granddaughter Blakelynn home and tucked her into bed. The next day was filled with dropping Blake off at school, work, back to the hospital to hold my adorable peanut, then my husband and I took off for a well deserved weekend away.

That’s right, we jumped into our home away from home and headed to the Texas Motor Speedway. Dale Jr. and Brian Vickers, you are both loved!

Sunday brought me home as well as my beautiful daughter and my precious Peanut and my week has been filled with trying to take care of them both, my house, work, my husband, the dogs, and get a little writing done. I’ve gotten to everything but the writing. I can’t seem to get back into the mood.

How do you do it? Get into the mood? Telling myself to sit down and write hasn’t worked. So, when there’s something you have to do, how do you make yourself take that first step?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Monday Madness—My Kind Of Camping

Monday Madness—My Kind Of Camping

Let me set the scene. The wind is blowing through the new leaves of the small forest of trees.

The tinkling of a small brook can be heard as its water slowly makes its way toward the lake.

There’s a crispness to the air that demands the crackling of an outdoor fire.

Let me add a little more.

  Earlier in the afternoon, my husband and I stopped by Eagle Boat/RV storage (shameless plug for my storage company, 
We picked up our 43 foot American Eagle Motor Coach and headed to Loyd Park in Grand Prairie Texas. I know some of you are saying, that’s not much of a weekend getaway, or, that’s not camping.
Camping is tents, sleeping bags, and peeing behind a tree. I DON'T THINK SO! let me tell you—my kind of camping includes running water, a king sized bed, shower, two bathrooms, dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator/freezer, and 3 TV’s (one outside) Trust me, there’s no better way to relax than in your own home-away-from-home.

I still have the beauty of Spring in Texas without natures critters crawling into my bed,

the opportunity to make new friends,

and sitting outside by the fire, drinking an ice cold margarita with my husband is the perfect getaway for me.

How about you? What is your favorite getaway?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Monday Madness—What do you expect? Or, MY-OH-MY, Photo Op!

Okay people, here’s where my madness runs away with me. I spent an entire weekend at the Dreamin’ in Dallas conference trying to get some words of wisdom from the multitude of authors in attendance and what do I end up doing? Exactly that. So much so that my head is swimming with so many ideas and new directions that I don’t know where to start. The only picture that keeps running through my head is—how awesome did Jimmy Thomas really smell, and how good it felt being in his arms with his head resting on mine.

Yes, I know I’m married, but it’s Jimmy Thomas, Male Model Extraordinaire. Who wouldn’t have him on the brain after meeting him in person?Just look at that smile.

Has this ever happen to you? You were so set on learning and what you came away with was a crush? Who was it? And how long before that warm and fuzzy feeling left you alone long enough to function again?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Madness-A Bout with ADD

Has this ever happened with you? You make a plan to do something then get sidetracked and start to do something else, then get sidetracked with something else? And I've got this CD about creating your "Write" environment here I need to listen to. I've had it over a week and...
What was I saying? Oh, that’s right. I was talking about getting sidetracked. I went into my closet this weekend to organize it, thinking it’s time to put my winter clothes to the back and while I was in there, I thought, Hey, I’m going to have room in here for my file boxes that are in my office, so I went into my office to get my boxes and thought, man, my office is a mess. I really need to clean this up, make room for me to work without all the clutter, so I started cleaning my office and came across a coffee mug (I collect them) and thought, I need to get the cabinets in my kitchen cleaned out so I can fit this coffee cup in there, so I went into the kitchen to start removing the clutter there and saw my iPad sitting on the counter and remembered that I had to check one of my games before time had run out. Seeing the cup in my hand, I made myself a cup of tea and sat down to play my game.

Long story short, my closet is even more disorganized than before, my office is twice as cluttered as it had been, I have too many cups in my cabinet, does anyone else want a cup of tea?
Tea cup, or some would call it a coffee mug. I’ve got one here with my Dragon Hunter logo on it. Share your ADD moment and it’s yours!

By the way, the winner for the T-shirt is Dawn Colclasure!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Madness-Man My Feet Hurt!

WOW, what a weekend. I had a book signing at Once Upon A Time in Cedar Hill, (Thank you Danielle and Gail Wedgeworth for hosting me) and thinking I needed to look cute for the signing, I got all dressed up, including these adorable fake fur lined boots that I just love. My Awsome Brother-in-law stopped by and brought me something to drink (Thanks Gene) My good friends from Ralphs Design and Deli, Andi Reis and Renee Groskreutz made sure I was well fed. (We need to do that again soon) and I shared the spotlight with a great group of authors. (Shout out to Sandy Lawrence, Joyce Faulkner, Frank

Here's the madness, they have a 3 inch heal. I'm not used to wearing heals and I spent half the night walking around in my socks. What bonehead dressed me that morning? Oh, that's right, ME.

So, here's my Monday Madness Question of the day, and I'm going to make this one fun. I'm going to pick one lucky comment to win a special prize. My adorable boots. LOL. Just kidding about the boots, but one lucky person will win a Dragon Hunter T-shirt.

What bonehead idea have you had that you regret? And remember, we're making this one fun.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Monday Madness-A day Early--AKA Happy Birthday Kelly and Serenity!

 Happy Birthday Kelly and Serenity

Kelly and baby Serenity

Sweet little Kelly at Easter

Wow, and I thought I was feeling old last week when my baby girl turned 22. This week, not only has my ELDEST turned 32, but HER baby jumped into the teens.  

Baby Serenity

That's right, my oldest GRANDDAUGHTER is 13.

She is a princess

Now look at her! That's my corset she's wearing!

That's me on the right, my eldest on the left


How did this happen? I'm only 38!That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

This just makes you wonder, what else has slipped by throughout the years? Can I get a there--there from anyone?

So, what's going on with you? What has this week brought to your mind?


Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday's Mess.

Monday's Mess! Happy Birthday Baby!

I can't believe my baby girl will be 22 tomorrow. Where has the time gone? It seems like only yeaterday that she was climbing into my bed to read her daddy a bedtime story, now she's getting ready to read to her own baby girl (Izabell Elaina is due to arrive April 30th) I miss those days when I could hold my baby girl in my lap and she'd fall asleep in my arms. I miss how she would come to me whenever she needed help, now she just goes to her husband. There's so much I miss, but I look forward to all that's yet to come.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

What do you miss? Or what are you looking forward to?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Interview with Minnie Lahongrais-AKA The Original Nerd

Minnie Lahongrais--The Original Nerd

Thank you, Minnie, for being a guest here at Romance In Flight, and congratulations on your new release.
I try to introduce my guest bloggers as everyday people with incredible imaginations, giving my readers a hint into the lives and minds of those who have the patience to sit down and write. There aren’t many questions I can come up with to point out how “normal” you are, because, let’s face it, “normal is overrated and you are far from “normal.”  Going through your website and your blog, the following statements and questions dominated my brain.
First off, in your bio you says, and I quote, “I'm probably the original nerd!” I had to laugh, because you just don’t seem like a nerd to me or maybe I’m one as well and I’m in denial. So, for me, and all my readers out there, what makes you the original nerd and how do we sign up?
Second, in your blog you have an article about how you came up with the idea for Divergent Lives and that original quote jumped from the page and slapped me in the face.
"The baby died in utero; choked by its umbilical cord when its twin, in a hurry to be born, climbed over it and killed it."
That’s a powerful memory to have, and that thought had me wondering just how much real life events and memories influence your writing.
Finally, I hear you’re having a Birthday party for Adina, the main character in Divergent Lives. How did you come up with that idea, and can I steal it from you?

Thank you for having me visit with you today, Jeanne.
You speak of being in denial of nerdiness and that, my friend, made me laugh! The truth of the matter is that nerds rule, right? Anybody remember a little nerdy guy named Steve Jobs?? Enough said!
But seriously, I am a nerd. There’s no denying it. The truth of the matter is that I’m happiest when I’m immersed in the written word. I’m good around people and I am happy during exchanges with other human beings, but words excite me. Words supply me with information and I crave information. I also love taking things apart and putting them back together even if I end up with extra pieces.
Most people enjoy the outdoors and are active on beaches, trails and the like. I enjoy trail tours and walking along the shore. I enjoy people watching – seeing how people interact with one another. In the past, I would do those things and then go through my day in bed right before I go to sleep and I always ask “Why?”
And I would dream up reasons for strangers’ actions. Or, I’d be riding along a road and see an interesting rock formation and wonder, “How did that happen?” After my parents retired, they moved back to Puerto Rico. Whenever I visited, we would take these long drives around the island. We’d ride along the coast or mountainside and I would pester my Dad for information about the island’s history. There is a tree in Puerto Rico he called “El Flamboyan” that has these really bright orange-red flowers. He would always say that you can only find that tree in Puerto Rico and I’d respond by asking how it got there and he always said he didn’t know. I would ask that question every single time and always got the same answer. Sometimes the joy is in the asking, in the journey.
So, is that normal? Is normal overrated? Yes, and normal is definitely overrated!
I have always been curious. That is the reason why I overheard that conversation that later in life became the impetus for my writing Divergent Lives.
I must have been about seven or eight. My older brother, his then-live-in girlfriend – I’ll call her Eve – and my mom were in the living room talking. I loved that woman! I wanted to sit in her lap. I’m telling you, I loved her!
I should have been asleep but I was eavesdropping. Eve asked my mother about something that my brother had told her. She wanted to know if it was true and my mother uttered the words, in all her drama: “The baby died in utero; choked by its umbilical cord when its twin, in a hurry to be born, climbed over it and killed it.”
For 45 years, that sentence echoed in my head. I knew who they were talking about; I knew who the surviving twin was. I’m won’t say who it is, but I know who it was. I can’t say what prompted me to incorporate that memory into this story, but I did and once I decided to do that, my inner, dark curiosities got the better of me. I also knew that I would be pushing the envelope with this story and I had to be careful telling it. This story is DARK!
When I sat down to write Divergent Lives, I had in my head a much different story. The story always had a serial killer in it. The story was always going to be about the female child of immigrant parents growing up during the sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s, and she was always going to die. The devil was in the details.
Once the story was written, I had to decide on a release date, which I didn’t have when I initially wrote the second chapter and indicated the date of birth of the twins, but I wanted to make the launch interesting.
The number 12 is all over this story. We are in the year 2012. December is the twelfth month. I was born on the twelfth day of February in a year whose last two numbers add up to 12.
I didn’t celebrate my 50th birthday with a big party because I was scheduled for surgery. So I decided that I would have a 50th birthday party for my characters to celebrate the launch because I didn’t have one. In addition, if the world was going to end on 12/21/12, then I just HAD to get my story out!
I don’t think the world is going to end. In fact, I know the world won’t end … the nerd in me did her research!

Divergent Lives is the story of fraternal twins - one male; one female -- born to immigrant parents in New York City on December 12, 1962. They are separated at birth by the attending physician. One is sold on the black market to a couple living in rural Pennsylvania. The other remains with the biological parents.  Neither twin knows the other exists. Each shows signs of sociopathic tendencies as young teenagers. One becomes a serial killer and we learn of an unexpected secret. Each murder that is committed by this twin is more gruesome than the last.
For more about Minnie Lahongrais, follow one or more of the links below.
Twitter: @Lahongrais
Divergent Lives is available now on Amazon in the US and in the UK.  Worldwide purchase links can be found either on my website or on the Divergent Lives blog.