Beauty in Brokenness

Nature in its Perfectness

I spent a lot of time in nature this past weekend and marveled, as usual, in all of its splendor. The perfect creations as well as the stunning beauty in the broken.

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And I started thinking…wouldn’t it be wonderful if we appreciated people as we do nature, in all of their brokenness and all of their flaws? If we truly accepted people exactly as they are, broken and bruised, and simply admired them for what they have to offer the world?  After all, we’re all a little broken, but each of us is so unique, so beautifully and wonderfully made.

Next time you see glass that’s broken or cracked, hold it up to the light. It’s those cracks in the glass that lets the light shine through. It’s not the perfectness, but the cracks, that create a brilliant light show you otherwise wouldn’t see.

“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” –Leonard Cohen

Broken and Beautiful

This week may we look for the broken and choose to love them exactly as they are. Don’t judge or try to fix, just accept. Acceptance is the key to greatness and that greatness unlocks the door to bountiful love. And love, pure love, is what the world desperately needs.

“Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find.”                   –Terry Tempest Williams

And now it’s off to the final week of Camp NaNo with its virtual cabins, campfires, and s’mores, and 30,000 words into Shear Murder, book 3 in the Melanie Hogan cozy mysteries.

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Book Launch Partytime

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This past Saturday was my book launch for not one, but two books. Finding Abby was released in November. Life got in the way and I didn’t advertise, promote, nothing. With my recent release, Shear Malice, book three in the Melanie Hogan cozy mystery series, I decided to have a double release. And better yet, sharing it with a fellow author, Donna Schlachter and her alter ego, Leeann Betts. What a better way to celebrate literary success than with a fellow author!

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In each Melanie Hogan mystery I include a recipe from Nana’s kitchen. The recipe for Shear Malice is Nana’s Scrumptious Chocolate Zucchini Brownies. To stick with the theme, I made some for the launch party. While baking a recipe from scratch takes longer than opening a box, the results were amazing and well worth the time!

Next up? An author event in October with some cozy mystery authors. The planned theme is Cozy With Tea–a variety of hot teas, scones, a fire in the fireplace, and books, books, books.

And now it’s back to Camp. Camp NaNo, that is. A time for relaxation and fun, with virtual bonfires, smores, and campfire chatter with other campers. I’m sharing a virtual cabin with several fellow writers from the Longmont and Boulder area, and creating book four in the Melanie Hogan cozy mystery series, Shear Murder.

More to follow…

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See you next week. Until then…

 

Carpe diem

Book Launch Party

The book launch party for my cozy mystery, Shear Deception, was a success! Between drawings for free books, reading from my book as well as readings by other local authors, a drawing using the cards and weapons from the board game, Clue (the heroine’s favorite game), swag, and sparking grape juice, I think it’s safe to say everyone had a good time. 🙂

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Listening to local author Karen Whalen read from her cozy mystery.

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My two biggest fans, granddaughters Olivia and Zoey.

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“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”  —Virginia Woolf

Shear Deception Now Available!

Book two in the Melanie Hogan Mysteries, Shear Deception, is now available. Book three, Shear Malice, is in progress.

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Amazon, Welcome to the Bookstore

When a body is discovered in the woods by Melanie’s Minnesota lake house, it nearly gets both her and her estranged mother, Violet, killed. Melanie retreats to the familiar and comfortable surroundings of the beauty salon she owns with her best friend Claire, but when the details surrounding the death begin to unravel, Melanie is thrust into the middle of the investigation.

When her grandmother, Rose Donnelly, is the next target, Melanie will stop at nothing to catch the killer. Melanie begins unraveling a tangled web of lies and deceit that finally reveals the painful truth of the question that has haunted her since youth. The truth that ultimately cuts her loose from the burden of her past that has held her captive for far too long and sets her on a path to freedom.

** Reviews are greatly appreciated. 🙂 **

 

Cover Reveal

Shear Deception Cover Reveal…

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When a body is discovered in the woods by Melanie’s Minnesota lake house, it nearly gets both her and her estranged mother, Violet, killed. Melanie retreats to the familiar and comfortable surroundings of the beauty salon she owns with her best friend Claire, but when the details surrounding the death begin to unravel, Melanie is thrust into the middle of the investigation.

When her grandmother, Rose Donnelly, is the next target, Melanie will stop at nothing to catch the killer. Melanie begins unraveling a tangled web of lies and deceit that finally reveals the painful truth of the question that has haunted her since youth. The truth that ultimately cuts her loose from the burden of her past that has held her captive for far too long and sets her on a path to freedom.

 

 

 

 

RMFW Conference

This past weekend I attended the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s (RMFW) Conference in Westminster, Colorado. This was my first–but definitely not my last–with this group. I was impressed and blessed from the moment I arrived to the moment I left. The sessions offered were exactly what every writer needs to know in order to grow, not to mention entertaining, the presenters were knowledgeable and relatable, and the camaraderie amazing. I’ve yet to meet a group of people who are more invested in helping one another grow, who so selflessly share their experiences to any and all things writing, and who are successful, whether published or not,  in what we all love to do. Write. I left a rich woman. Rich with knowledge, new friendships, and opportunities.

The scenery from the hotel was an added bonus.

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The only negative? Trying to decide which sessions to attend when there were so many I wanted to be at. As far as I’m aware, cloning isn’t available yet. 🙂

The sessions I did decide on were:

Homicide for Writers, Not Criminals, by Tracy Brisendine; The Joys, Pitfalls & Techniques of Revision, by Carol Berg; The Juggling Act: Writing for More Than One Publisher, Even Especially if One of Those Publishers is Yourself, by Cindi Myers; Birds of a Feather: Mystery, by Linda Berry; Resistance: What’s Keeping You From Writing, by Mario Acevedo & Aaron Michael Ritchey; All About BookBub, by Cindi Myers; Readers, Reviewers, and Trolls: Rules for Author Engagement in the Age of Social Media, by Colleen Oakes; Elements of the Modern Crime Novel, by Christine Goff; The Business of Writing Fiction Today, by Jeffery Deaver. (Yes, the Jeffery Deaver. For someone as popular as he is, he was kind and approachable.) And when author Desiree Holt spoke, I think she inspired everyone in the room. And there were a lot of people to inspire!

Also, I attended my first ever author reading. Why I waited so long is the million dollar question. If you ever have an opportunity to listen, grab it. You’ll be in for a huge treat! I also pitched to an editor for the first time ever, and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to pitch to for my first time. At a time when anxiety is through the roof, she made the experience not only comfortable, but enjoyable. AND…she’s asked me to submit my full manuscript. 🙂

And now, after a weekend that fed and filled me as an author, I’m looking forward to taking the time to chew on, digest, and process all I was given, and to use the energy produced by the writer nutrients on both of my WIP’s.

Readers are paramount. I live to write books for them. -Jeffery Deaver

Cover Reveal – Shear Madness

Today’s post is the cover reveal for my upcoming novel, Shear Madness. I had so much fun with this cover, and working with the designer was an amazing process! The book is expected to be available in July. 🙂

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Melanie Hogan is anything but your average beauty salon owner. She’s created a life for herself that’s an exact contradiction to that of her wanderlust, absentee mother who bailed on her when Melanie was four years old. She has gone above and beyond to make sure her life is stable, predictable, and…boring. While deciding to add some spontaneity to her life, she learns an important lesson: Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. And she does.

 Velma Johnson, the town busy body, keels over in Melanie’s stylist chair just as she’s about to reveal a secret to Melanie. As details emerge around Velma’s death, Melanie enlists the help of her best friends and business partners, Claire Davis and Jack Dancy, to find the killer. Could it be one of the three girls who work side by side with Melanie at the salon, all of whom were present when Velma died? Or one of their clients that were present as well? Or what about Buford Woods, the client who threatened to have the last laugh when Melanie refused to date him and who suspiciously shows up outside the salon right after Velma died?

 It’s a race against time as Melanie finds herself prey to a stalker intent on ruining her life, and one who’s behavior is escalating. As Melanie sets out to solve the puzzle that has become her life, someone is dead set against letting her discover the truth, much less live to tell about it. And as she discovers the truth, she finds a missing piece to an unfinished puzzle from her past.