My Take on Love and Hallmark Movies

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I'm the person who used to roll my eyes at the mention of Hallmark movies. I thought they were cheesy, predictable, and made for people who lived boring lives and had nothing better to do with their time. Boy was I wrong! Or maybe I’m becoming a boring person with nothing better to do with my time, lol! Either way, follow me here on how I became a Hallmark convert. It happened like this.

It was Christmastime and I was home alone about to fold a MOUND of laundry. I grabbed the clicker and turned on the TV as I got busy on my task. As I started folding away, I found myself mesmerized by the story of a beautiful young woman trying to establish herself in the real estate business as a home stager. She ended up pretending to be engaged to a gorgeous guy with a new home who needed his house, you guessed it, staged for a holiday home tour that was being judged by the biggest realtor in town. Cue the sexual tension! Delve into past relationship mistakes! Bring on the Christmas decorations! Salivate at the endless supply of cookies and hot chocolate! I was floating in a bubble of Christmas love, joy, and wishful thinking the entire movie. Was she ever going to be a December bride?! Gah! And then, all the pieces of their romantic puzzle fell into place like Kris Kringle magic. I was grinning ear to ear at the happily-ever-after ending. Wondering what I had been watching, I pressed the info button on the remote and discovered I was watching the Hallmark channel!

*GASP*

Clutching the remote in disbelief, a million things raced through my mind with two thoughts overriding all the others. First, how could I have been so wrong about Hallmark movies? Second, who the heck was I? I didn’t know, and I didn’t care. I was hooked. Over time, my DVR became filled with equal parts alien movies, supernatural thrillers, sci-fi adventures, horror, and good ‘ole Hallmark love stories. Still is. Talk about an interesting mix of entertainment!

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Looking back on this newfound affinity for gooey romance that has lasted well past Christmas thanks to Hallmark’s Winterfest and Countdown to Valentine’s Day, I had to wonder...why was this genre appealing to me now? I didn’t need to ponder too long because deep down I knew the reason. I write sci-fi/paranormal fiction that’s gut-wrenching, twisted, and horror-filled. I’m living in a dark world that’s brimming with hate, intolerance, and turmoil. It’s no wonder I was drawn to the sunshine of Hallmark. You see, in Hallmark movies everyone is positive and loving and sympathetic and caring. I could go on and on, but you get the gist. Clearly, my heart was craving the stuff. And frankly, who doesn’t need a hefty dose of love every once in a while. Amiright?

Love can be found in all shapes and sizes. It can be found in a mate, in family, in friends, in pets, or even in yourself in the form of taking care of you and doing something fulfilling. And yes, it can be found in what we read and watch, including the Hallmark Channel. So I say this loud and clear, embrace whatever speaks to your heart and let the love in!

*pics from dreamstime.com

Yep, It's a New Year!

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We are days into the new year and for some reason, I'm not really feeling what I'm supposed to be feeling. Like Daisy Ginger in the picture above, I’m kinda over it. I should be proudly reciting my New Year’s goals and resolutions and taking deliberate steps forward with my plan. (I don't have a plan.) I should be joyfully taking down my Christmas decorations and wrapping everything neatly away for next year. (I haven’t even started.) Instead, I'm watching an alien movie and staring at the lit Christmas tree that still needs to be dismantled. So...much...work.

Looking back on the holidays, I can say that the days were way too crammed. My daughter got home late from college and from the moment she stepped into the house we were on the go! Good stuff and fun and lots of merriment, but we were CRAZY busy. As a result, everything went by too fast. Can anyone relate? Hence, the funk. I really want to enjoy my holidays next time and be in the moment. For real. So here’s my plan—start early. Yep, I hereby resolve to have ALL my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving! And my tree up and decorated and my house looking Hallmark festive also before Thanksgiving! I’m serious! (Someone please remind me in September, lol!)

With that so declared and out of the way, the next order of business, after I put away all my Christmas decorations, is to work on my publishing goals. I’ve got LOTS of writing to do this year!! Finding Infiniti, the companion novella to Saving Infiniti is slated for an early summer release. Plus, I’ve got my new YA fantasy to start!

Oh, and if you haven’t heard, the first 3 books of The Final Life Series are available in a digital box set for only $6.99! Click HERE to get it now! And tell your friends! Lastly, let me leave you with two links to some FREE YA and Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Paranormal reads. Click HERE and HERE to check out all the titles!

That’s it from me. Until next time!!

Rose

Happy Happy Thanksgiving!

Can you believe Thanksgiving is only a day away? I can't! I'm hosting my family this year for the big meal and there'll be 14 of us. I'm super excited to have everyone over and I want everything to be amazing! I've made my list, I've checked it twice, and yet I'm freakin' a little about the preparations because that's just the way I am, lol. So, as I sit here and stress about the food, the decorations, and the drinks, I'm forcing myself to STOP and focus on my blessings. With so many struggling to put food on the table, I'm able to provide; and with so many in the Houston area still out of their homes due to Hurricane Harvey, including my brother and sister-in-law, I can open my doors and welcome my family. So thankful for my blessings! I wish many blessings to you and yours this Thanksgiving and beyond!

And speaking of Thanksgiving, what would the season be without some great e-book deals! Below I’ve got some news about my books, and some YA freebies just in time for Black Friday! Check it out, and let me know if you have any questions!

With love and gratitude!
Rose


News about my books!

The e-book for Final Life, book one in the Final Life Series, is free right now! Click HERE to get it from your favorite e-retailer!


In case you haven't heard, Saving Infiniti is available for pre-order now! A Havenwood Falls High Novella that features Infiniti and Fleet from The Final Life Series, this is a story you don't want to miss! Click here to pre-order


Free YA reads!

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Check out these FREE YA e-books from some great authors, including yours truly! Click HERE and HERE to see the full listings! 

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When Your Kid Goes to College

Starting the college life

Starting the college life

It’s mid-August. Kids are either preparing for back-to-school or have already started, and that includes college. As a mom of a daughter who’ll be a sophomore at her university, I’ve been there done that with the first-year-of-college blues. And actually, it’s not that bad, I promise! Here are some survival tips for the moms out there who’ll be joining my ranks.

If you haven’t dropped off your kid yet, my biggest tip is for you to smile, be positive, keep your cool, and don’t break down. Our kids need us to be strong during an exciting yet daunting transition. We are the calm in a storm. We are the hand that wipes their tears. We are the strength when they want to crumble. They will take their cues from us. So be tough, and break down later if you must.

New home, not home-y yet... :(

New home, not home-y yet... :(

When you’re back home, don’t hound your newly independent college kid with text messages or facetime calls. Let them reach out when they want. If you have a kid who isn’t a good communicator, then set up a protocol for checking in. Maybe a quick chat every Sunday afternoon. Whatever works for you and your kid, just agree on something.

When you’re back home, and you have a kid still there, don’t smother the remaining kid. lol I tried really hard not to do that with my son, and I was mostly successful. This applies to your significant other, too!

Beware the freshman mom 15! Yep, the freshman 15 is not just for kids. Keep good eating habits, exercise, and drink lots of water! With a change in family dynamic, it’s easy to slip into bad eating habits or eat poorly because you’re a little down. And, if you’re really feeling down, get help! Transitions can be super tough! It’s okay to not be okay. (This applies to your kid. If the college transition is hard on them, get them help ASAP! Most colleges have great resources for this.)

Last big goodbye..

Last big goodbye..

If you will be an empty nester, find a purpose! If you’ve been a stay-at-home mom, then get busy with something! Volunteer, take on a job either in the home or out of the home. Your happiness is vital to your relationship with your kids and with your significant other.

Expanding on the theme of happiness, my last big tip is to embrace your tribe! Girlfriend time is good for the soul. Your significant other and your kids will be so happy that you’ve got a sisterhood supporting you. After all, as the song goes, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”  Now let’s conquer this!

(This blog post can also be found at www.letsgrowgirl.com, where I'm a regular contributor.)

When Vertigo Strikes!

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I blogged last week about my trip to Disneyland where I mentioned my struggle with vertigo. Since then, I’ve had several people ask me about my vertigo. Well, sit back, relax, and I’ll tell you all about it.

Let’s go back in time to March of 2016 when the the family and I went to Disney World/Universal. While usually moderate with rides, I went all out and rode everything. I even did some rides back-to-back, like Mission Space. (Talk about dumb!) I practically stumbled out of that ride like a bride-to-be in Vegas on her bachelorette party. I was dizzy and nauseous, but I did not have vertigo.

Fast forward to the weekend after that trip. I went to visit my parents and got a facial while there. The esthetician worked on my face, but then started massaging my neck and ears. I thought it strange to include an intense upper neck massage, but I went with it. And then, everything went to hell. I started feeling woozy. The room tilted. I got up to sit on a chair when BAM, I went full vertigo. I was spinning like an astronaut in zero gravity, spiraling at warp speed. It was AWFUL! After a few minutes, the room steadied yet the nausea and the feeling of being “off” remained.

Back in Houston, I saw my ENT right away and he diagnosed me with BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.) Basically, this is vertigo brought on when the “crystals” in your ears get dislodged, sending your equilibrium into a tailspin. BPPV is triggered by trauma and/or head positioning. My ENT surmised that the rides combined with the massage prompted my episode. He told me to avoid rides, steer clear of cruises, and he cautioned me about going to the dentist and hairdresser. Just great, right? How the heck am I going to get my hair done!

My ENT put the crystals back in place with a head exercise called the Epley Maneuver. However, the darn things kept coming out! Yep, more vertigo. I went to a neurologist and had a brain MRI. Went to a balance center and had a VNG. (Look it up, it’s no fun.) All tests came back normal! Woohoo! Yet I continued and still continue to feel “off”. Talk about a bum deal.

Having been dealt this hand, I’ve decided to deal with it until it passes altogether. I’m careful with head movements, and I’m a master at performing the Epley Maneuver on myself. I even carry Bonine in my purse at all times, just in case. (Bonine is for dizziness). My hairdresser knows my situation, so I see him with wet hair. No shampoo for me. (Shoutout to Vinnie at Damsels and Blokes!) My dentist is accommodating as well. He recently did some work on me while standing so I could sit upright. And I just had my teeth cleaned a few days ago and the dental hygienist was on her feet. (Shoutout to Dr. Lankford and Cindy at Memorial Family Dental!)

At the dentist office with Dr. Lankford and Cindy! Love them!

At the dentist office with Dr. Lankford and Cindy! Love them!

I’ve improved a ton, and I hold on to the belief that I’ll eventually get back to my norm. This blip is not going to control me! I should probably put this in my next book, too. lol I’ll let you know if I do!

(This blog post can also be found at www.letsgrowgirl.com, where I'm a regular contributor.)