Saturday, March 5, 2016

Living Life Out Loud #SurpriseMeSaturday

Over the last several months, I've encountered a great many sources of stress in my personal life. I can say, unequivocally, most ended quite happily. However, as anyone who reads romance knows, the happy ending doesn't detract from the obstacles and challenges faced along the way.

For me, it began last year with the passing of my uncle. I've always understood the grieving process is different for everyone, but knowing and experiencing it are two different things. Attending the funeral and memorial service offered me a mixed bag of emotions--I loved seeing my family and reconnecting, but a great gaping hole stood there with us. The tear in the fabric my uncle once occupied.

He always had a laugh. He always used to tease me and adored to be teased in return. He had this larger than life laugh. One that invited you to join in the fun. It was infectious and delightful. There were moments during his service where a wholly inappropriate thought cropped up, a snatch of laughter and I imagined it was he whispering in my ear.

Returning to Normalcy

Coming home, we returned to our lives. Yet I couldn't shake the sense of loss in everything, it seemed to make the sky a little less brighter, the days a smidgen less joyful. I miss ed my uncle and yet intellectually I couldn't reconcile the emotion with the fact that my uncle and I didn't see each other that often. But I'd always taken such comfort in knowing he was out there, and of thinking bout the next time I would see him.

Mini went into her freshman year at high school and got crazy busy, and the holidays came and though I don't share deeply personal stuff that often, my husband and I reconciled last year and it remains a work in progress as we repair and rebuild our relationship. Fortunately, we remain the best of friends and we care so we have a good foundation. We took a family vacation, had a blast and I was writing like the wind--or as fast as I could.

Still, through all of this, I am missing my uncle. Mini auditioned for a role in Shrek the Musical and earned it, thus began a several month odyssey of rehearsals and crazy schedules. Leap forward to January, I'm on a number of deadlines and trying to say ahead while juggling the kiddo's schedule and more. My mother-in-law turned up at my home, somewhat delirious and running a 104 temperature. Long story short, she was gravely ill and out of it. She came to us for help. It took a couple of days to convince her she had to go to the hospital, they admitted her with pneumonia and sepsis.

Scary times. They had trouble getting her pulse ox up as well as getting her temp under control. While we coped with MIL's hospitalization and related worries. I got a call from my mother--she told me she had cancer.

Omega Team Kindle Worlds
I think the whole world just sorta stopped, my head ached and it pivoted hard. I had almost nothing I could say to that, my stress registered too high to process, so I simply asked her what she needed, what could I do and made plans to be there with her. Over the next two weeks, we brought my MIL home to stay with us while she continued to recover, Mini's show went off and it was a smashing success, everyone in the family came to see her and it was awesome. Then I took my mom to her appointment to remove the cancer mass--it turned out to be a carcinoma on her skin, it hadn't spread anywhere else and they were able to remove it all, clean margins.

Southern Shifters Kindle Worlds

My mother-in-law continued to improve and I put out a couple of novellas while preparing for the Wild Wicked Weekend, the awesome party in San Antonio hosted by the Belle Femme authors. I was also all geared up for a release I am so over the moon about doing. Royals & Rogues is a project I got to work on with my beloved Carole Mortimer, an author I grew up reading and whom I totally adore.

It's available now, by the way (*wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*)

Kindle | Nook |  Kobo |  iBooks | ARe

As I drove to pick up my friend Kim and make our trek to San Antonio, I felt the months of stress melting away from me and a soft voice whispered in my ear--"Don't forget to laugh, luv. Don't forget to laugh."

Love my Kim!

My uncle had been with me the whole time, so I laughed all week. I played. I relaxed and I embraced my joy. Living life out loud can be a colorful, wild and sometimes tempestuous experience, but inevitably it's worth it. So from me to life out loud! Don't forget to laugh! Laugh loud! Laugh long!

Kiss Kiss!


  1. Sometimes life throws so much at you it's overwhelming. Been there, done that. I'm glad we got to visit at WWW16. I admire you and your drive and dedication. You are an amazing author and an even more amazing person! Continue to laugh loud and long... I'm at your back!

    1. Loved hanging with you, too! You're definitely among my favorite parts of the weekend!

  2. I had a blast and enjoyed laughing with you. We don't get out of this alive I am going down giggling

    1. Ditto Donna! I was so glad you could make it. It was wonderful fun to be there with you