Monthly Archives: June 2014

Cover Reveal!

I’m so excited to share the cover of my debut novel, In The Cards, with you!  I want to thank everyone who has been so encouraging, supportive, and helpful throughout this interesting, challenging, and sometimes frustrating journey into the world of publishing.

Here’s the story blurb:BeckJamie-InTheCards-CV-Final

Lindsey Hilliard flees her charmed life in New York searching for answers after her fiancé’s betrayal fills her with self-doubt. Unfortunately, her rented Malibu home is next door to Levi Hardy, the sexy but insufferable man who humiliated her years ago.

Hardened by a grim past he keeps concealed, Levi prefers maintaining a comfortable distance from folks, especially a nosy princess like Lindsey. But then a motorcycle collision brings him to his knees, forcing him to accept her assistance with his recovery. Sparks begin to fly when the woman who doesn’t believe in herself teaches the cynic how to have faith in others. Levi realizes his spine will recover, but his heart won’t if Lindsey returns to the ex who wants her back.

In the biggest gamble of his life, Levi teaches her to trust her own voice, and he hopes she’ll use it to say good-bye to her past and hello to a future with him.

Can’t wait for the book launch in December!

XO–Jamie

Cover:  By the Montlake Romance art department

Summer Sizzle

Today is the last day of school for my two kids.  I remember feeling the same eager anticipation I’ve watched them experience all week.  The countdown, the school parties and field days, the daydreams about the beach, the thrill of turning off the alarm clock for the next two months.  Ah, sweet, sweet summertime.images-5

Doesn’t work quite that way for most adults, though.  For those who work, vacation weeks are too few, and rarely consecutive.  For stay-at-home parents, the hours spent helping with school projects and carpooling to sports practices are simply replaced by ferrying kids to summer camps and hosting sleepovers.  Responsibility doesn’t disappear just because the temperature jumps.  If anything, having the kids around more often usually means more work for us parents, not less.

Still, summer still offers adults an opportunity to inject our lives with some sizzle, too.  Why should the kids have all the fun?  Here’s my shortlist of simple ways to add a little summer fun to your busy life:

1.  Sit on your patio, deck, or balcony with a favorite drink (be it wine, iced tea, or some other beverage) for no less than twenty minutes every evening.  Listening to the sounds of a summer evening can help you relax, and take you back to a time when you played kick-the-can until the street lights came on.

2.  Cook healthier.  Fire up the grill and take advantage of the seasonal fruits and veggies.  Eating lighter makes you feel lighter (take it from a girl who LOVES her pasta).

3.  Go out to dinner with friends on a weeknight.  Sure, you can do this any time of year, but many restaurants now have outdoor seating areas in the summer, and the later sunsets stretch out the evening.  Why the weeknight?  Because during the school year it is almost impossible to find a free weeknight.  Take advantage while you can…you’ll be happy come September.

4.  Soak up the sun.  Yes, I know.  Use sunscreen.  Lots of it.  But taking walks or reading outdoors are two wonderful, quiet activities that give you a “mini-break” from your regular activities and routines.  Those little breaks lift the spirit and renew your energy.

5.  Take a vacation.  No, not just the family vacation you’ve planned. Plan a special trip for you and your spouse/partner/best friend.  It doesn’t have to be a week-long event.  Just two nights within driving distance.  But explore a new area so you, too, can feel like a kid making a new discovery.

How about you?  What do you like to do in the summer that you rarely can do during the rest of the year?

XO–Jamie

On A Dime

I was having a terrific Saturday morning. Woke up to glorious sunshine. Enjoyed an al fresco breakfast consisting of a cup of tea, eggs, and fresh berries with my husband on our patio. Started my daughter on a weeding project while I threw in some laundry and worked on critiques for two other writers.   Capped it off with a vigorous three-mile walk.Work-LIfe-Balance-5

All in all, a great start to the weekend.

Then I read a bulletin about a local family who just lost their two-year-old son in a car accident in their driveway. BAM! Life as they knew it is over…forever. I hate learning of family tragedies, especially when they involve children. My heart and thoughts go out to this family, as I’m sure yours do, too.

But beyond our condolences, this incdent is a reminder that our lives can turn on a dime.

When this kind of event happens, it shakes me up—makes me ask a lot of questions. Am I doing everything I should be doing, for myself and my family? Am I living the life I want to live? What more can I do to invest in the people I love? Have I struck a healthy balance between work and family? Do I spend enough time with friends?   At the end of it all, what will my legacy be?

When I thought through this mental inventory just now, I’d estimate I’m batting about eighty percent. That’s not bad, but if something happens tomorrow to drastically alter my world, I will wish I had been closer to one hundred percent. Not much in life is certain, but I know this one thing for sure: only I can create the life I want to live. No one else can do it for me.

Guess I’ve got some work to do.

How about you? Are you running on all cylinders, or have you become complacent?

XO-Jamie

Photo Credit: http://www.stellatesori.com/time-recovery-breaks-key-life-balance/