Monday, September 26, 2016

Fall, How do I Love Thee...Let me Count the Ways! And a giveaway!

Confession, I go into the fall season kicking and screaming, but once I get there I remember why I love this season so much. So let's commence with my counting the ways I love fall.

1. I married the love of my life in the early fall. As a matter of fact we just celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary.


2. I do so love all of the wonderful fall foliage we get to admire here in the northeastern part of the United States.

3. As a parent I would rejoice in the sound of the school bus engine chugging up our dirt road signaling the start of the new school year.

4. I find that my muse returns from it's own summer vacation gracing me with newfound story ideas and quirky characters. Right now I'm working on a brand new book, the second in my Pinkerton, historical romance series. I'm bringing the characters of Agent Lily Handland and Adirondack Great Camp owner Owen Murphy to life. My fingers are tingling in excitement!  I really do love writing during the fall months.

5. And did I mention it's apple season!!!! And pumpkin picking time!!!! Which means visits to our favorite farm stand to buy those freshly picked from the tree apples. Macs are the ones I go for. Another fall confession I only buy my apples from my childhood farm stand, which is now a two hour drive from where I live. But so worth the effort and I get to enjoy those fall colors while I'm driving!

So tell me what are some of the favorite things you love about fall? One of my lucky commenters will be chosen to win a giveaway of one book from my best selling Women of Surprise series.

Available now at Amazon.com.

 
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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Falling in Love - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Why do they call it falling in love? My thought is that it's because when it happens there's nothing to grab onto, no safety net, just your emotions taking the plunge - and then you either sink or swim.

I've fallen in love three times in my life. The first time, I sunk, like a rock. Oh, we definitely had some good times in the 4+ years we spent together, and we definitely loved each other. But when you spend more time crying than laughing, it's time to re-evaluate.

And then came object of my affection #2. He was a really, really good guy. He didn't make me cry to often, which was a very welcome change. In fact, we laughed; we laughed a lot. But I'd been damaged in my other relationship and had jumped way too soon. I was very concerned with being hurt again and I ended up hurting him.

The Good

The third person that I fell in love with is the yin to my yang, the peanut butter to my jelly, my other half, my soulmate, my husband. We've been together since the end of 1988 - the very, very end: December 31, 1988 at 11:59:56. We shared our first kiss seconds before the New Year rang in, because he "just couldn't wait four more seconds." I knew within just a few weeks that he was "the one" and it completely terrified me. I'd had two failed relationships (more on those to follow) and was determined not to fall in love with this one. But, he wore me down over time. He proposed multiple times before I accepted. I made him work so hard to earn my trust, but he did it smiling.

 We got married in 1992 and I'm happy to say that I fall in love with him again every day. I'm not afraid of it anymore. I welcome that feeling, because I know he'll always be there to catch me.

So, you might be thinking, whatever happened to #1 and #2.


The Bad

As I said previously, I hurt the second person that I fell in love with. I was afraid of my feelings for him and afraid that if I really let him in, that he would hurt me like I'd been hurt in the past. Afterward, we didn't speak or see each other for a long time. There was no social media back then to keep tabs and we just drifted away from each other. But, I always felt bad for my actions and one day, years later, we ran into each other on a street in Manhattan. Yes, right in Penn Plaza amidst hundreds of thousands of people we ran into each other. It ended up we worked right across the street from each other and we started having lunch once a week. We were each involved with other people and it was friendly. I got a chance to apologize and I'm glad I did. We lost touch for more than a decade after that. We each got married and had children and then there was Facebook. And one day, I had a message from him. We're still friends, liking each other's posts, sending birthday wishes, sharing the ups and downs of each other's lives.

The Ugly

First loves really do cut the deepest, don't they? Some things are just not meant to be...not even friendships. Our breakup was devastating to me. It came out of the blue (at least it did at the time, in hindsight, any one of our multiple breaks could have flashed like a warning sign). I even went to a counselor, just to break the habit of him. And I got over him. Then he came back (was there a doubt?) But I didn't fall for it. I didn't fall for the "I'll change", "things will be better", "this time is different." Probably the moment I knew broken up was better than together was when he said "fine, you want a damn ring, I'll get the ring." Yeah - that was the commitment every girl dreams of. 

Years (many, many years) went by and I decided to see if he was on Facebook. He was and quickly accepted my friend request. But we were never meant to be friends. It wasn't in the cards. Maybe we were too young when we fell in love. Maybe we fell too hard and hurt too much. But what began as likes and cute comments took a bad turn. Old, unhealed hurts were resurrected and I think we both learned that some things just aren't meant to last.

Fortunately, all of us are happily married and raising children. So I guess it can all be chocked up to a learning experience.





Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The meaning of the seasons to me

What the four seasons mean to me. 
 Each has its good points and bad.

Spring brings flowers & Butterflies. 

Summer provides us hot days and sunshine.
Not sure where the summer went this year. We ended ours with a vacation to Tybee Island, Georgia and spent some much needed time with my Dad.

Fall is pumpkin spice lattes, wine, apple picking and cool nights.
These two are trouble. Rake the leaves and they will jump in the pile every time.

Winter equals snuggle weather, fires in the fireplace, and snow.
First snow is always pretty.  By the third or fourth go round, not so much.

All the pictures I've posted are mine to share. I enjoy all four seasons. As I sit here with my first pumpkin spice coffee of the day, I'm doing my best to write this blog and come up with something worthy that someone else would want to read. As an author, I've found that it's difficult to write on occasion. Inspiration is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Sometimes its a struggle. So please forgive me if today, I'm not too interesting. My writing partner tries to help, but doesn't seem to understand the concept of personal space.

I'm sharing a snippet of a short story titled: Lake Chariot, which  has a TBR for (hopefully) November 2016. At the moment, I'm still waiting for the cover from the publisher. This story will be included in the "Fear the Tarot" anthology from 13Thirty Books. BTW, this was my first attempt at horror. It became more of a paranormal with a twisted ghost story.

Lake Chariot
(unedited version)

     Anora reread the first words she’d managed to write in over six months. With the stress of her divorce and the battle with him in court over the rights to her novels, it was refreshing to at least be in front of the computer. All that “he said, she said” scenario had torn her apart. His claim to have been instrumental in the creation of her Josie James mystery novels was ludicrous. The judge initially leaned in his favor. Thank God, her smart attorney requested proof of Tony’s knowledge of the storyline, without using any media devices to retrieve information while in court. When he couldn’t give basic particulars concerning the characters, titles, or plots of any of the thirty-six best sellers in that series, the judge was forced to reconsider.
     Since there was no prenup, the ass was awarded a decent chunk of her money as reimbursement of all the years he’d worked to support her writing “hobby”. If the judge had known the amount of verbal abuse, the lies, and the humiliation she’d suffered in silence… It didn’t matter. It was over. It wouldn’t have made a difference in the judge’s decision. He was a man and men stuck together. Tony hadn’t been a controlling, manipulative monster when they met, but he turned into one the instant she created a formidable name for herself in the publishing industry. Anora kicked herself daily over that mistake made while wearing the blinders of love and stupidity.
    Hobby! She snorted. The judge called her work a hobby. Her lawyer had soothed her anger by saying he was just jealous that one book alone made double the benchwarmer’s yearly salary. That still made the edge of her lips twitch into a small smile.
     She leaned back, staring at the blinking cursor. Here she sat working on book number thirty-seven. Words whirled around her brain, trying to form a blockbuster start to her latest creation, but what she’d written didn’t ignite her imagination or make her fingers itch to burn up the keyboard.
“Pure crap,” she muttered under her breath. Her finger hovered over the delete key, but never landed.
     She jumped as a bright flash of lightning filled the room, illuminating the shadows that had taken over. Thunder rumbled across the slate shingles of the old cabin on Lake Chariot at the same time a hand landed on her shoulder. 




Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fall in Love…with Paranormal Romance



Happy September, friends!! This has always been my absolute favorite time of year, and I’ve found even more reason to love it since moving to the Warwick Valley. Nothing beats the autumn colors, the farmers markets, and the fall festivals that abound in this neck of the woods. And there’s something else I’ve fallen in love with lately. Here’s how it happened…


About a year ago, a friend of mine approached me with an idea. She wanted to get together a group of authors to write a series together. We’d have a similar theme and setting to each book in the series, but we could write our own standalone books.


My first thought—interesting idea!

Then she explained it a little more. Turned out the series she was inviting me to take part in was a paranormal romance series. She wanted us all to write about bear shifters who lived and loved in remote areas of Alaska.

That’s where my enthusiasm dimmed.

Bear shifters? Paranormal romance? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a fan of paranormal romance for a long time. Karen Marie Moning and J.R. Ward are a couple of my favorite authors. And I’ve got my feet firmly in the #TeamEdward camp.



But…while I might read paranormal romance the way some people eat potato chips, I don’t write paranormal romance. Or at least I didn’t.

My friend managed to somehow convince me to give it a go. I sat at my laptop with lots of worries. How would I create a whole new world? What sorts of problems would werebears have that were different from the rest of us? And the biggest worry of all…would my readers even like paranormal romance? 


I wish I knew then what I know now. It would have saved me lots of anxiety. And what do I know now? Writing paranormal romance is so much fun! I have an entirely new world of conflict and problems to present my characters with. And the world they live in is limited only by my imagination.

Now my third paranormal romance is about to be released, and I have to admit, I’m hooked. I have a feeling my romance with PNR will be one that lasts a long time!


How about you guys? Are you lovers of paranormal romance? And if so, what kinds of paranormal heroes are your favorites? 

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READER APPRECIATION 


To say thank you to all the readers who make all the hard work worthwhile, I've teamed up with 40 authors to bring you the September FREE for All and Giveaway. 

Download 40 FREE romances and enter for a chance to win a Kindle and Amazon Gift Cards. 


Until next time, 
Happy Reading! 
Amy Lamont






Monday, September 5, 2016

September at WVRA = FALLing in love! #Romance

Each week, all month, we will be sharing stories of FALLing in love

***

September is here!
Time for school and sweat jackets.
Time for pumpkins and mums.


Time for jumping in a leaf pile and a warm bowl of soup.
Time for cozy fires and hot cocoa.
Time for football!

In my second book, One Good Catch, Kate falls for a football player named Rhys. He's one of my favorite characters.


I like stories where the main characters are friends before they realize they have feelings for each other.

Being friends is so important in relationships. It can't all be about instant attraction and mushy kissing!

Well, the mushy kissing is fun, too.


Do you like 'Friends to Lovers' stories? How do you feel about Fall? Or football?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Quick Getaways Make a Vacation-less Summer Exciting

I tend to be a homebody with wanderlust; a bit of a contradiction in terms, I admit, but as a woman, I reserve my right to be complicated. By my very nature, I enjoy being in my own home. I'm one of those once in the house, I stay in the house types of girls. While difficult with two children, I do my best to get things done while out the first time. It isn't uncommon for me to change into something relaxing (i.e. pajama pants and over-sized tee shirt) in the late afternoon. Of course, I can plant myself on the sofa with my laptop or spiral notebook and write for hours, so it's not laziness. It is the comfort of being in the home I've made, knowing where everything is and being perfectly content surrounded by my family.

At the same time, I love to travel and see new places. I am frequently searching the Internet for deals on last minute getaways, my favorite being beach destinations. I am happiest with my feet buried in soft sand and the sound of waves crashing filling my head. Last month, I discussed my treasured Beach Thursdays and the once-a-week mini vacation they provide.


Last year we took a big trip to Disney World, which meant there would be no big, extended vacation this summer. However, there is no way that the wanderlust inside me will sit still for an entire summer, so quick getaways were the answer.

And We're Off! 

Our first getaway was to Cleveland, OH over Memorial Day weekend. We'd never been there and living in upstate, it was a short distance away that we could drive for a weekend. We visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, toured the house from A Christmas Story (my husband's all-time favorite movie), went to the Cleveland Zoo and found some of the most amazing eateries a city could offer. Thanks to Groupon (which I swear by) the trip was very inexpensive and a lot of fun.

Our next journey was to Saco, in southern Maine for the weekend before the Fourth of July. My husband has family there, so we were able to stay with them. A very relaxing weekend included trips to Old Orchard Beach, 360-degree fireworks on a jetty on the Maine coast, and outlet shopping in Kittery.


Still to Come...

My final getaway of the summer is yet to come, next week actually. My daughter and I along with my very good friend, will be taking a trip to Atlantic City where we are staying at a beautiful hotel on the boardwalk and plan to enjoy the beach, great food and outlet shopping. My daughter and I went a few years back and this year she proposed the girls' getaway. Definitely looking forward to relaxing before getting back into the chaos of school, sports, clubs and this year...college applications.

How did you spend your summer?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Summer Vacations: On the Road Again

Happy August, everyone! I feel like we’re on the final countdown of the summer. I’m trying to enjoy every minute of it, even as I’m looking forward to the long, crisp autumn days. Traveling is definitely on our list of things to do this month!



We started the month off with a trip to Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This was a family reunion where my kiddos and their cousins got to ride roller coasters, splash down water slides and gorge themselves on chocolate. What more could they ask for?

Up next, a day trip to New York City. This is an all girls trip that we’ve been planning for the better part of the year. We’ll be heading into Manhattan early to window shop, have lunch, and catch the matinee of Wicked on Broadway.





And then, the trip I’ve been looking forward to all year long…the beach! Nothing but sea, sand, and surf. We’ll be staying right near the Long Island Sound, getting to visit with family and hopefully have our fill of seafood. I think a trip to the Mystic Aquarium in New London, CT is on the agenda, too. This week is all about relaxation and reconnecting. I can’t wait! 




How about you guys? Are you traveling this summer? Or maybe planning a weekend staycation? I’d love to hear about it!

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Traveling isn't all I have to look forward to this month. I also have a new release coming up! 

Bear to Love: Kodiak Den #3 will be out in late August! In the meantime, have you had a chance to read the second book in my Alaskan Den Men series? 

Bear to Need: Kodiak Den #2 is now available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited!



Grab it here: 


Happy Reading! 
Amy Lamont