Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Journey to Publication

In April, 2011, I took my very first step toward a writing career when I sat down to write a romantic women’s fiction novel entitled “Unexpected Song.”  That story will likely remain under my bed forever, but the exercise ignited a spark that led to four additional completed manuscripts, and another in progress as I write this post.

Had I known, when I started, how difficult, competitive, frightening, and exhausting pursuing publication would be, I might not have tried.  “Ignorance is bliss” perfectly describes my first year of writing, and I couldn’t be happier.  Why?  Because had I been afraid to try, I’d have missed out on the ups and downs of entering writing contests, pursuing agents, submitting to publishers, and very soon, launching my debut novel, IN THE CARDSScreen Shot 2014-11-24 at 4.38.10 PM

I’m so grateful to all of my family, friends, the many wonderful writers, my agent, and my editor, all of whom have supported me with their encouragement, enthusiasm, and honest feedback.  I hope readers will enjoy this love story, which is rooted in themes of fate, self-discovery, and overcoming fear.

I’m donating a portion of the proceeds from the first two weeks’ sales to New Canaan CARES, so spread the word.  Also, if you’re in the area, I’m hosting a launch party (with a gift basket raffle) on Tuesday, December 9th, at Heather Gaudio Fine Art, 21 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT, from 7 – 8:30 pm.

Stop by and celebrate with me!

xo-Jamie

 

Holiday Love

With Halloween in the rearview mirror, some of the most beloved holidays of the year are staring us all in the face: Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukah, and New Year’s Eve.

Most would agree that Christmas and Valentine’s Day are more romantic than, say, Easter. Other holidays, like Halloween and New Year’s, are just plain fun. And then we have the family-oriented, cozy celebrations, like Thanksgiving. I’ve found my preference for particular holidays has changed with age (like so many other things in my life).

As a young kid, I preferred Easter to all others, mostly because of my insatiable sweet tooth. As a teen and young adult, Halloween became a favorite. Who didn’t love transforming into something or someone different for a night and going to a party?

My freehand attempt at The Grinch

My freehand attempt at The Grinch

Surprisingly, Christmas has never been at the top of my list.  First of all, it’s become so overly commercialized, it is disgusting.  Secondly, I’m not a shopper, so I don’t spend much time in stores or online retail outlets. Just thinking about it gives me a headache.  I guess I’ve turned into the Grinch.

All of this leads me to my “grown-up” favorite holiday: Thanksgiving. It’s always at my mom’s house. A giant gathering of extended family, and sometimes even some friends. It’s loud, there’s an endless supply of comfort food—mom’s home cookin’—and a lot of love. Clean-up? Well, that stinks, but you know the saying about no free lunch.  Even with ten tons of pots to scrub, I’ll still vote Thanksgiving as tops on my list.

The grown-up table at my mom's house.

The grown-up table at my mom’s house.

How about you? Which holiday do you love best, and why?

XO-Jamie

Rainy Day Romantic Dreams

My mother came to visit my family this past weekend to participate in the Halloween festivities and see a few soccer games. When Saturday turned into a soggy, frigid day, we hunkered down in the family room and got sucked into the HGTV show “Vacation House for Free.”   I’m not kidding when I say I think we watched five episodes back-to-back.screen-shot-2014-02-15-at-11-15-17-am

For those who’ve never seen it, the premise is that you can buy a “fixer upper” in your dream vacation location and, with the right upgrades, rent it out for twelve to sixteen weeks per year to cover the costs of owning the house. Some of the locations featured in the episodes we watched included Hilton Head Island, Lake Tahoe, Marin County, and Marco Island.

The original homes were horrible, musty, dated, and in one case, utterly dilapidated. But within a matter of months, these smallish homes underwent amazing transformations, becoming charming, cozy, idyllic retreats. There is something entrancing about watching a renovation and seeing the “before” and “after” images. Perhaps there’s a parallel with why we enjoy a good love story: the hero and heroine also go through major transformations on their way to an idyllic ending.

But I digress, because what the HGTV marathon really made me think about what where I’d like to retire one day. While that decision will somewhat depend on where my children end up living as adults, a big part of me has always been drawn to the west and the mountains.property_c_343

Of the locations I saw on Saturday, hands-down I’d go to Lake Tahoe for its drop-dead landscape, funky resort towns, and abundant outdoor activities in every season. In other words, it’s pretty much heaven on earth.

If you could retire anywhere, where would you choose?

XO-Jamie