Monday, December 29, 2014

A Review

Ah Christmas. I'm both happy and sad that it's over. Happy because I was so stressed out that I caught a killer stomach flu. (I'm almost better?) Sad because I feel like I never really get to the heart of this particular holiday until it's over. I haven't even watched half of my required Christmas movies! Not even Little Women. *gasp* Anyway, the tree is still up. I'm sitting here watching the lights blink from my half lying down position and trying to forget about the past 3-4 days. 

This year has not been easy. It has been the opposite of easy. Not that I expect entire years to be incredible. Sadly, an entire year is probably not going to go by without something difficult happening. But I do hope that maybe fewer difficult things occur in 2015. So far, the new year is asking me to just trust it. I would much prefer to say to the year "hey year! This is what I'd like to happen and how I'd like it to happen. Great! Thanks!" Now, the Universe cares not about doing things my way. But in 2014, ole Universy threw me some curve balls. Cuuurvy ones. It was just a general year-long life-implosion. At times, I felt like my entire life was in shambles. However, these implosions are all leading somewhere if they haven't already. I may not know or understand the reason but I trust that there is one and that it has something to do with my personal growth.

My beloved grandmother died. She suffered a long illness and then end was very, very hard. Sometimes, when you say goodbye to someone for the last time, you know it's the last time. I'm not sure it makes a big difference. I was crying too hard to say any of the things I might have wanted to say but I knew for a fact that it was the last time. 

Friendships I thought were solid crumbled away leaving me devastated. Other more personal but really hard things happened and then 2014 was kind enough to send a horrible virus so that we'd be sure to remember her. (Don't worry dear, we will never forget). 

Fantastic and incredible things happened too. I met some new friends who mean the world to me (Hey Wenches) and I became an auntie! I got to be in the room while it happened too! I've witnessed a couple of births but I was pretty drugged up for both. And I had to do a lot of the work both of those times so it was totally different. 

Then there was the day when I sat down to check email expecting a really annoying email (it was there) but also sitting in my inbox was the email. "Dear Anna, We love your book....and we want to publish it." That wasn't a horrible day. :) Then there was the day when I got to see my name in print alongside the names of some of my favorite people ever. 

So bring it on 2015. I'm not panicking about all the change. Change is good most of the time. Let's just go bigger and better this year instead of sadder and harder. Let's just kick 2015's ass, mmmkay?

My boy <3

My girl <3

Gma B

Baby on her birthday

The BEST thing that's happened all year. By far.

Sleepy pirate.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Unwrapping Love Blog Hop!

Good morning! Christmas is right around the corner and Hanukkah is happening right now! Our menorah is patiently waiting to be lit (oops) and the tree was just decorated two days ago (although it’s been up for a month…oops again).
I suppose I should start shopping? Or maybe I’ll just give everyone a warm hug and a copy of Unwrapping Love: A Writing Wenches Anthology. I’m very proud to have been a part of this anthology. As I read and reread the twenty one holiday stories that make up this Anthology, I am constantly struck by the talent of these people I have the privilege of calling my friends. The Wenches are a source of daily inspiration, support, and lots of laughter.

My story, Miles and Mae, was so much fun to write. It was a challenge for me to write a short story. And a romance? Not something I’ve done a lot of. I like to turn tropes on their ear and was excited to try that with Miles and Mae. Instead of a good girl and a bad boy, I set out to write a story about a bad girl and a good boy. Mae is a drifter and something of a loner. Miles, a TA, brings papers and essays to grade to the bar where Mae works. He never actually expects to talk to her and they are both surprised when he does.
There is a little something for everyone in Unwrapping Love. There are sweet love stories, steamy stories, and a couple that might make you cry. 

What's that? A giveaway? Why yes! Leave a comment below to be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card. 

Christine Cacciatore wrote Noah Cane’s Candy. She blogs at .
NoahCane Christine Cacciatore

Patricia D. Eddy wrote On The Eve of Love. Her website is
Patricia D Eddy Headshot1_sq

C.S. Kendall is the author of Second Chance Girl. She would love it if you would visit her at
CK Profile pic      Second Chance Girl CK
 Tami Lund is the author of The Perfect Christmas. You can find her at .
tami    tamis cover
 Misti Murphy contributed Christmas Candy. Her site is .
Misti Murphy Bio pic

Quenby Olson wrote First Position. You can visit her at .
Keisha K. Page contributed Rhythm of Love. Her website is
Keisha pic

Grace Ravel wrote Shut Up and Kiss Me. Her site is
Grace Ravel Twitter Profile Pic    CoverShutUp&KissMe Grace Ravel
 Jennifer Ray wrote Declan’s Special. You can visit her .
Headshot J Ray     Declan's Special J Ray

Jennifer Senhaji is the author of Angels in Disguise. You can find her at .
Author Pic   Angels In Disguise
Sheri Williams wrote Numb, and is sharing the blog hop from the Writing Wenches main website at
Sheri Williams Headshot PicsArt_1411957395990     Numb Sheri Williams
S.K. Wills wrote Hanley’s Secret. Her website is .
samantha's pic
Allison Winfield is the author of Stay With Me. You can find her at .
Allison Winfield Head Shot     Allison Winfield Cover
Other stories in Unwrapping Love were contributed by:

Melody Barber
Sonja Frojendal
Melina Gillies
Michael Simko
Beth Stanley
K.R. Wilburn

Don't forget about the giveaway! Comment below for a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Being a Writer Has Little To Do With Writing

When I started this writing journey, I was six. I wrote a really bad story about Minnie Mouse and a very mean cat. My mother still has this story. Hopefully, it will never see the light of day. Fast forward several years (about 25 or so) and I’m back to writing as a way to cope with my child’s serious illness. My son got better and I eventually finished my book about two years later.

What did I expect after that? I think I expected for Simon and Schuster to come beating down the door. They’d surely beg me to agree to publish with them and probably offer me a $10 million advance. Not exactly.

The number 10 million did come up again. That was the number of agents and publishers I queried before I found a publisher. That’s only 999, 999 rejections! So it was almost exactly like my dream.
At some point, I realized that being in author is not all glitz, glamour, and Gatsby-style parties. It isn’t even all writing. To be successful in this day and age, you have to work. The old publishing model only works for a small fraction of people. Now you have to have a brand, a website, a logo, a blog, a healthy twitter following, a healthy facebook following, a healthy whatever the newest social media platform is following, and you have to write like a fiend. The more successful authors are pumping out six books a year. It only took me two years to write my first book and eight months to write my second (not including plotting and research) so I still have a ways to go on getting six books done every year.

Authors are now expected to do their own marketing. Some authors (me when I started) didn’t even know where to begin. I joined a couple of writing groups and met some bestselling authors and a marketing genius who taught me more than I ever knew. I’m really grateful for them! I can no longer write under the illusion that I can just sit back with my feet up while my books sell like hotcakes. Instead, every day, I take steps to build my platform.

The harsh reality is that a very small number of people can just write. I guess Stephen King can. Maybe Elizabeth Gilbert. Probably Gillian Flynn. The rest of us will continue to try and balance writing, marketing, and working day jobs.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Unwrapping Love Release Day!

Happy Cyber Monday! I'm very pleased to announce that my first short story was released today as part of a holiday anthology. All of the 21 stories were written by talented members of my writing group, the Writing Wenches. Whether you like to read naughty or nice stories, there is a little something for everyone in Unwrapping Love. You can find it on Amazon (read it for free with Kindle Unlimited)

Here's a teaser from my story, Miles and Mae: