Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reflections on 2016 & Goals for 2017

Reflections on 2016

2016 was an amazing and blessed year. Yes, there was a lot of struggles, such as illness (I suffer from a severe case of gastroparesis and full GI tract motility, as well as severe spinal disc degenerative disease and fibromyalgia.) So I’ve spent many days in the doctors or hospital/ER. However, 2016 was also filled with so many blessings despite my illnesses. I turned 40 this year, which is awesome, as I was born a premie (Three months premature) and wasn’t even expected to live more than two days, but here I am at age 40 and loving life!

I’m very grateful for my dad and my sister; I don’t get to see them much, due to living so far away, but they are still a huge part of my life. I’m also grateful for the wonderful doctors I have and have come to know in 2016. I have a new ortho doc that rocks and I just got a new GI doc, so hoping lots of good comes in 2017 in regards my motility conditions and that we can get me on the road to stabilization (there is no cure).

Another huge thing that I’m grateful for was my decision to finally write for publication. Yes, it’s a huge daunting task ahead of me, but it’s also so fulfilling and exciting! I’m looking forward to this journey and to publishing my first novel in 2017! I’ve been writing off and on for years; in school and on my own, and have had the idea of writing a novel and especially in the historical romance genre.  However, I was always too timid to go for it and also other life things took precedence. I thank you for joining me on this journey!

Goals for 2017

These are some of my personal as well as professional goals for the overall year. They will be broken down into smaller goals every two months.

  1. Every two months, write new goals and strive to achieve them.

  1. Keep track whether or not I’ve obtained my goals.

  1. Put 100+% effort into the writing courses; my own created writing course I’m undergoing during January & February, in addition to the online course I’m taking.

  1. Begin outlining the first book in my Wexford Sisters in mid-February; if not sooner.

  1. Begin writing first draft of my first book in my Wexford Sisters no later than beginning of March.

  1. Stick to a set writing schedule. Strive to write 3000 words per day.

  1. Keep to release schedule as best I can and have the first book in the Wexford Sisters published by end of May or no later than June 1st.

8.   Begin learning all I can about author platforming and creating my author brands. Look into companies to help start this.

9.   Set up a professional author website.

10.                Stick to my blog schedule (What’s Marie Reading Mondays, Write Your Heart Out Wednesday’s, Author Tag Thursday (once every two weeks for this one) and possibly add in another Sensational Historical Saturday’s (share lots of historical tidbits or this day in history, etc.)

11.                Learn Calligraphy with my new Quill Pen Set that I got for Christmas! I can’t wait to send out Christmas cards in 2017!

  1. Eat healthier or as best I can in regards to Gastroparesis.

  1. Return to Ballet.

  1. Get up earlier every day.

  1. Try to get better sleep (this is important for everyone, but especially writers in order to keep the creative juices alive and flowing.)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Author Tag - 4 ~ AuthorTube Newbie Tag

Author Tag – 4

AuthorTube Newbie Tag


1.How did you find out about AuthorTube?

I came across YouTube author and writing craft videos about a month ago and absolutely love it. I’m contemplating starting my own Vlog on YouTube this coming year. The videos are so very helpful and it’s a really neat way for authors to gather and help support one another.

2.What genres do you write in?

I write Historical Romance; primarily the Regency and some of the Georgian periods (as the Regency was part of the Georgian period). I also write contemporary romance, YA, NA and I might be dappling in Mystery & Suspense down the road too. For now, I’m focusing on publishing my Historical Romance books and later I might consider publishing the other genres. Historical Romance is by far, my absolute fave genre!

3. What is your preferred writing tense, point of view, and category of story? (Children’s, YA, NA, Adult, etc.)

          I prefer writing in Third person, present tense; however, I do have some flashbacks in my stories or foreshadowing. My favorite category is Historical romance, but another close runner up is New Adult. I love writing about characters in college dealing with all the things that college kids deal with and a lot of myself comes into these stories as well.

4. Are you a plotter, pantser, or plantser?

          I’m a huge plotter. Especially now that I’ve found Scrivener, my plotting will come to an even more organized and detailed manner. I create very lengthy outlines, character sketches, setting sketches and just about anything I can think of to outline and keep me on track when writing. There are some elements of my stories that just come off the top of my head and sometimes I keep those and sometimes I delete them. This past year I totally pantsered my NaNoWriMo book and it felt very strange to me; yes, some dialogue and elements were really cool, but I really got stumped in many parts because I hadn’t outlined and thought it all through.

5. Are you a self-published, published, or yet-to-be published?
I’m yet-to-be published. However, I am planning to self-publish. I’ve decided this based on situations in my life (dealing with chronic illness and in and out of hospitals.) However, there is a series I’m working on that I’m contemplating pitching to some publishers. But yes, self-published primarily. I love being able to control everything about my books and who I am as an author; rather than someone dictating or creating it for me.

6. What publishing company, literary agent, and/or printing company are you represented by or use? If you’re not yet published, what is your dream publishing house and/or literary agent?

If I were to get published, I’d love to have my books published by Avon Romance.

7. What AuthorTube related videos can we expect to find on your channel?

          I’ve not yet started this journey; however, this is in the works. I would like to start writing craft videos to help other authors learn how to write and also how to self-publish. I will also be sharing vlog’s about my own writing and books that are coming out soon.

8. When did you start writing?

          I’ve been writing ever since I was a child, I used to love creating stories and characters. I began seriously writing a few years ago; however, those stories never went anywhere as I hadn’t focused on becoming a writer. I saw it more as a hobby. This past year I’ve decided to pursue my career as a published author.

9. What was the first story you ever wrote?

          It was many years ago when I was a child. For English class we were asked to write a short story. I wrote a story about a girl who was preparing for a horse show in Kentucky. I don’t remember much more about it; however, I do know that she won first prize and prior to the show her horse had become injured so there was a lot of conflict and concern for her as time was running out and she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to show.

10. What authors have inspired your writing the most?

Oh so many! Lisa Kleyas, Sabrina Jeffries, Tessa Dare, Christy Caldwell, Lisa Jackson, a new writer who is not yet published whom I’ve come across via YouTube: Shaelin Bishop (Shaelinwrites on youtube), this young woman is very inspiring and I feel is going to be an award winning and bestselling author one day!

11. Do you schedule your writing sessions or simply get to writing whenever you can find the time?

I definitely schedule my writing time. I’m a morning person plus my household tends to get a tad busy which naturally brings about noise come later morning and I need complete silence in order to think and create, so I get up very early in the morning and start writing whilst others are sleeping or just going about their morning routine. I plot, plan, outline, etc., throughout the day and at any time of the day or night (yes there are times I’m awake at 3am and plotting), but writing is very scheduled.

12. Do you type on a computer, typewriter, write everything out by hand, or use a blend of those? And where do you write in general?

          I was writing my notes, outline and first draft by hand; however, since finding Scrivener, I will now be typing everything out as I can have it synced on my PC and Ipad. SO even if I’m sick in bed, I can still write, which is awesome!

13. What are you most looking forward to now that you’re a part of AuthorTube?

Looking forward to connecting with other authors, giving support and helping new writers out!

Monday, December 19, 2016

What's Marie Reading Monday ~ December 19, 2016

What’s Marie Reading Monday

December 19, 2016

I’ve got some wonderful reads coming up this week! The weather has been quite cold as of late and it definitely puts me in a Christmas spirit. I just love the holidays!

First I’m reading:  The Duke's Match Girl (Fiery Tales Book 3) by Lila DiPasqua.


*A hot historical.*

Heat up the holidays with a scorching historical holiday romance novella from the acclaimed Fiery Tales series. A romantic, steamy retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl.

As childhood friends, Leopold d'Ermart and Suzanne Matchet were inseparable. One unforgettable Christmas Eve, their relationship changed from the best of lovers. But the heir of the Duke of Mont-Marly isn't supposed to fall in love with the daughter of his family's physician. Or vice versa.

Is this a second chance at first love?

Years later, Suzanne is dreading her first Christmas without her father. The heartbreak Leo caused when he left seven years ago is a distant memory. And she prefers to keep it that way. The last thing Suzanne expects is for tall, dark, and sinfully seductive Leo d'Ermart to show up at her door and announce he wants her back in his life. And in his bed. Worse, the now celebrated libertine is even more devastating to a woman's senses than ever before...

Or are they playing with fire?

The only woman Leo, Duke of Mont-Marly, has ever yearned for is the adorably unconventional, intelligent beauty who got away. He discovers Suzanne creating and selling matchsticks, elixirs for the ill...and is still so damned alluring. Leo is determined to show her the depth of his desire, win back Suzanne's heart. And give her a Christmas beyond her wildest imagination...

One for the Rogue: The Bachelor Lords of London by Charis Michaels


Beauregard “Beau” Courtland has no use for the whims of society and even less for aristocratic titles. As a younger son, he travels the world in search of adventure with no plans to settle down. Even when the title of Viscount Rainsleigh is suddenly forced upon him, he will not bend to duty or decorum. Not until an alluring young woman appears on the deck of his houseboat, determined to teach him propriety in all things and tempting him with every forbidden touch…

Lady Emmaline Crumbley has had a wretched year. Her elderly husband dropped dead without naming her in his will and she’s been relegated to the life of a dowager duchess at the age of 23. She has no wish to instruct a renegade viscount in respectability, but desperate to escape her greedy stepson, Beau’s family makes her an offer she cannot refuse:  teach the new lord to behave like a gentleman, and they’ll help her earn the new, self-sufficient life of her dreams. Emmaline agrees, only to discover that instructing the viscount is one thing, but resisting him is quite another. How can she teach manners to the rakish nobleman if he is determined to show her the thrill of scandal instead?

Lady Claire Is All That: Keeping Up with the Cavendishes by Maya Rodale

(Not yet available, I’ve received an ARC from the publisher to review; however, you can pre-order your copy here)


In the third installment of Maya Rodale’s captivating, witty series, a marquess finds his fair lady—but must figure out how to keep her


Claire Cavendish is in search of a duke, but not for the usual reasons. The man she seeks is a mathematician; the man she unwittingly finds is Lord Fox: dynamic, athletic, and as bored by the equations Claire adores as she is by the social whirl upon which he thrives. As attractive as Fox is, he’s of no use to Claire . . . or is he?


Fox’s male pride has been bruised ever since his fiancée jilted him. One way to recover: win a bet that he can transform Lady Claire, Society’s roughest diamond, into its most prized jewel. But Claire has other ideas—shockingly steamy ones . . .


By Claire’s calculations, Fox is the perfect man to satisfy her sensual curiosity. In Fox’s estimation, Claire is the perfect woman to prove his mastery of the ton. But the one thing neither of them counted on is love . . .

SO that’s what’s on my reading list for this week! With this cold weather, I intend to curl up with plenty of hot tea, my super comfy, soft blanket and read away!

Happy Reading!


Friday, December 16, 2016

Author Tag - 3 ~ Writing Habits

Author Tag – 3

Writing Habits


  1. Typed or Handwritten?

My outlines and first drafts are all handwritten in FiveStar spiral bound notebooks. I’m contemplating looking into Scrivener, so this method may change in the next year, we’ll see.

  1. Cursive or Printed?

I write in all cursive, except headlines/topics are printed.

  1. Show us your favourite pen.

My favorite pen is a simple black ClipClick pen, I like this because the ink comes out smoothly and it’s a nice fine line; it’s also not too dark, faded or smudgy.

  1. Where do you like to write? (Location)

When outlining and/or writing my rough draft, I enjoy writing at my “Writing desk” or sitting in my reading nook.

For writing the 2nd and final drafts and editing, I like to sit at my office desk and I work in word on my laptop.

  1. Who are your five favourite authors in terms of authorial style?
I’d have to say:

Lisa Kleypas
Sabrina Jeffries
Christi Caldwell
Lisa Jackson
Vivienne Loret

  1. What are you your three favourite books on writing?

Oh tough one, I’d have to say:

Outlining your Novel by K. M. Weiland
Structuring your Novel by K. M Weiland
Plot Perfect by Paula Munier

  1. Have you ever competed in NaNoWriMo?

Yes, this year was my first time doing NaNo and although I didn’t win, It was a rewarding experience, taught me a lot about myself as a writer (am definitely not a pantser) and I’m looking forward to CampNano in April!

  1. Have you ever won NaNoWriMo?

Not yet, but plan to win it in 2017!

  1. Have you ever had anything published?

Not yet, but that’s in the works. Am hoping my Wexford Sisters Series will be published in 2017, at least the first two books in the series. However, another series is brewing in my head to, so that one might also make its start in 2017 as well.

  1. What projects are you working on now?

I’m currently working on my first book in my Wexford Sisters series. It’s a very detailed and lengthy series with a lot of conflict and back story, so this series requires a lot of work.

  1. What is your soundtrack to writing?

I do not listen to music when I’m actively writing; however, any songs that remind me of my book, I’ll gladly share down the road.

  1. Do you have a writing pump-up song?

No, I do not.

Now, it’s your turn. Any authors out there or aspiring authors, I invite you to take part in this tag! 

Monday, December 5, 2016

What's Marie Reading Monday ~ December 5, 2016

This week, I’m reading the following books:

  1. The Scottish Duke by Karen Ranney

About the Book:

New York Times bestselling author Karen Ranney returns with the first novel in a new series about dashing, charismatic dukes—and the women who tame them…

Though raised as a gentleman’s daughter, Lorna Gordon is obliged to take a position as an upstairs maid at Blackhall Castle when her father dies. Alex Russell, the Duke of Kinross, is the most tempting man she’s ever seen—and completely unattainable—until, at a fancy dress ball, Lorna disguises herself as Marie Antoinette and pursues an illicit tryst…with scandalous consequences.
Months after his mysterious seductress disappears, Alex encounters her again. Far from the schemer the distrustful duke assumed her to be, Lorna is fiercely independent and resourceful. She’s the one woman capable of piercing his defenses. But when danger threatens Lorna, Alex must prove himself not just the lover of her fantasies, but the man who will fight to protect her.

  1. Seducing the Bride (Brides of Mayfair Series Book 1) by Michelle McMaster

Currently FREE for a limited time!

About the Book:

After a night of gambling at London’s most famous gaming hell, Lord Beckett Thornby and his friend, Lord Alfred Weston, make a shocking discovery. They come across a beautiful young woman—clad only in a nightdress—laying unconscious in a rubbish heap. Worried for her safety and famous for his habit of taking in strays, Beckett takes the mysterious girl home and puts her to bed, intent on calling a doctor the next day. But his good intentions go awry when his mother and solicitor make an unplanned visit the next morning, and all hell breaks loose.

When the impoverished viscount learns he is now heir to a wealthy earldom, Beckett must quickly take a bride. Having been jilted by his former fiancée, he no longer believes in love… but Beckett does believe in the heated desire this “mysterious angel” stirs within him. He vows to make the voluptuous beauty his wife.

Isobel Hampton is on the run from a villainous nobleman who will stop at nothing until he possesses both her and her family estate. The strong-minded miss makes a break for freedom and disappears into the night, but Sir Harry Lennox vows to find her.

When she awakens in the bed of a handsome viscount, Isobel demands to know how she got there. But something in Lord Thornby’s eyes makes her want to trust the handsome lord. When he proposes a marriage of convenience, it could be the solution to all of Isobel’s problems… or just the beginning of them.

For though Beckett and Isobel have sworn to a marriage in name only, the flame of passion burns hot between them. As they engage in a dangerous dance of seduction, the last place they expect to find true love is in each other’s arms.

(Originally published under the title The Marriage Bargain in 2000 - Seducing The Bride is a newly revised and updated edition.)

"A fast-paced, sexy story!" -- Margaret Moore, USA Today Best Selling Author

Other books in this series:
Seducing the Bride - Book One
Taming the Bride - Book Two


So those are two books I’m reading this week. This past week was a very busy week and I didn’t get to finish Saved by a Rake from last week’s list. So I’ll be finishing that up before starting these books.

In regards the other two: The Duke of Deception by Darcy Burke. What else can I say except absolutely phenomenal read! I have loved this whole series from the first book! I’ll be posting my review under “Reviews” that I’ll be starting on this page soon. So be looking for it!

The other book I read, Chosen to Die by Lisa Jackson, is just chilling! I love this series. I had read the first book in the series back in ’08 when it was first out in paperback and I was hooked. I’ve wanted to read all of the books and that’s my goal this year as another one in this series is due out this year! Yay! I can’t wait! This book just kept me on the edge of my seat and what a joy to return to Grizzly Falls, Montana and learn more about detectives Pescoli and Alvarez! If you haven’t read these books yet and you’re a thriller/suspense fan, I highly recommend that you grab them up and be looking for: Expecting to Die coming soon!

So what’s on your reading list this week?



Saturday, December 3, 2016

Author Tag - 2

Author Tag – 2

1)  What is the working title of your book?

My Current WIP is titled “The Duke’s Fair Maiden – The Wexford Sisters: Book One”. I’m not sure if I’ll stick to this title or change it as the book progresses and/or a theme develops for the series as a whole. However, for now this is the title.

2)  Where did the idea come from for your book?

The idea quite honestly came out of my head back in January. I had envisioned these four sisters, who had lost their mother a couple years ago to TB and just lost their father (will not disclose how). They were left penniless and in order to get out of a life of poverty, they needed to marry. So we begin with the oldest sister; Isabelle, who must find a husband by the Season’s end.

3)  What genre does your book fall under?

Historical Romance, taken place in the Regency period.

4)  Which actors would you choose to play in your movie rendition?

For my heroine, no actresses come to mind but she reminds me a lot of Duchess Kate Middleton, from her personality to her soft looks (except my h has brown eyes). 

I can't totally see my h wearing her hair like this as she attends a grand ball!

For my hero, definitely Chris Pine comes to mind when I think of my H. I could just get lost in those sparkling blue eyes and that’s how my h soon finds herself feeling… totally lost!

Strong nose and those stunning blue eyes!

Oh, I could definitely see him wearing a cravat! Charming and so breathtaking, indeed!

 I can totally see him looking at my h like this, with such a cute smirk on his face!

5)  What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

When confronted with loss and teetering on the brink of nothing; will love prevail and drive the demons away or will despair capture their souls forever.

6)  Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

At this moment, I’m planning to self-publish this book and series. There is another series that I’m working on that I might be pitching to publishing houses. I’m leaning towards self-publishing due to the freedom of setting my own schedule and having control and the creative license to design my book, cover, etc. More on this topic later!

7)  How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’m currently still working on the first draft, so I’ll keep you updated. However, I’m hoping to release it this coming spring (sometime between the end of March and beginning of June.)

8)  What other books would you compare this story to?

Well it’s a regency romance, so I’d say it’s rather similar to Jane Austen books. However, it’s got its own story and voice to give, so it’s quite frankly its own unique tale. A tale of two people torn from life’s experiences, teetering on the brink of nothing or striving to find solutions to their trials and in the midst of everything; finding the solution is each other… the strength, love and passion that each brings to one another… a deep love that captures them by surprise!

9)  Who or what inspired you to write the book?

I’m a huge lover of historical romance books and a huge history buff. Especially anything about England and especially Regency England. I have been toying with the idea of writing a historical Regency book ever since I was in college and first read Mary Balogh’s An Unlikely Duchess.  In later years, I read Lisa Kleypas Devil in Winter, and so many other regency books. I was hooked on the genre and knew one day I wanted to write lots of Regency books!

10)              What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

My H has to overcome a very personal battle and something almost consumes him and causes him to lose it all. It has his basis on a very tragic event that occurred in his life. Later, after meeting and falling for my h, he soon learns that his personal battle is one that has affected her life; not just his particular battle but the truth about her father’s death comes out. This adds some great concerns for my h and through the deep love for my H that begins to grow within her, she wants to help him overcome his battle; however, she’s also struggling with her own inner demons and is not sure she can give her heart.

I’m so looking forward to bringing you my Wexford Sister’s to you. Each sister is very dear to my heart and I can’t wait to share their tales!



Thursday, December 1, 2016

~ Welcome December 2016 ~ + Holiday Reading Suggestions!

~ Welcome December ~
~ 2016 ~

Welcome December! The lovely month of Christmas shopping, decorating, baking, and listening to the most beautiful music ever!

What I love about December is everything about Christmas and the holidays. It's such a magical time of year! I also love the colder temps and looking forward to the first flurries of the year! Of course, nothing more beautiful than curling up with a warm cup of tea, hot cocoa or hot apple cider and enjoying a wonderful Holiday/Christmas themed book!

What do you love best about December? What are some of your favorite holiday/Christmas themed books?

I love the classic "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. I happen to own a beautiful first edition print hardbound copy!

Some books I'd love to recommend to you to read during this beautiful month of December are:

Christmas in the Scot's Arms (Highlander Vows: Entangled Hearts Book 3)


Julie Johnstone

A Match Made in Mistletoe: A Regency Novella


Anna Campbell

'Twas the Night Before Scandal


Christi Caldwell & Eva Devon

And last but certainly not least, this whole beautiful collection:

Connected By A Kiss

A Kiss At Christmastide: Regency Novella (Connected By A Kiss Book 1)


Christina McKnight

How To Kiss A Rogue (Connected by a Kiss Book 2)


Amanda Mariel

A Wallflower's Christmas Kiss (Connected by a Kiss Book 3)


Dawn Brower

I'll be reading and reviewing all of these and probably a whole lot more during the month of December! Happy Reading and I Hope all of you have an awesome and magical December!