Saturday, June 18, 2016

Me and Dad


I like stories that come full circle, stories I read and stories I write. I particularly like it when life and love intersect in a satisfying way.This blog is about the two men in my life I'll always love. My biological father and the father of my children.

I wasted too many years being angry at my father. That’s what we did back then. Blamed our parents for everything that went wrong with our lives. My rant went like this: Would it have killed him to show some affection? An occasional hug would have been nice. And, did he have to be so judgmental? Yeah, I was stubborn (a chip off the old block) and a bit rebellious, but isn't every kid?

Then, older and wiser, I realized, without him, I’d have never become a happily married woman with three sons and a published author. Happily, he lived to see the first two events. The last occurred after his death but Dad definitely sowed the seeds that resulted in my writing career. 

My earliest memory is not of “I love you” endlessly repeated each time we hung up the phone or parted company. No, I remember being four year’s old, sitting on my father’s lap as he read to me. Alice In Wonderland was his favorite and mine as well. Actually, anything he chose to read to me was my favorite because I had his undivided attention. Books were the glue that held our family together. 

Next comes the happily married part. My childhood longing to be loved by my father led me to seek out a man who shared his qualities. At age eighteen (yes, I know eighteen’s much too young) I met my future husband who not only embodied the best characteristics of my father, but gave and continues to bless me with the unconditional love I’d been seeking all my life. And, trust me, I‘m not that easy to love.

Though my father wasn’t warm and fuzzy, he gave me gifts I’ll always cherish. An inquiring mind. A thirst for knowledge. The love of books. My only regret is that I never thanked him for those gifts. So, Dad, are you listening? Without you, I'd have travelled a far different path. Your grateful daughter thanks you from the bottom of her heart. May you rest in peace.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

My Writing Space


Do you have a favorite spot to read or write? Here’s a picture of my writing space.
















And my somewhat negligent muse, Auggie Doggie. 



I spend so much time in this room, thought I would share. The plaque says, “Don’t piss off the fairies” and it’s one of my treasures. When I was writing the Unbidden Magic young adult series, I began delving into the history and lore of fairies and found the perfect match for my protagonist, Allie Emerson. Allie lives in travel trailer surrounded by apple orchards. In my research, I discovered the magic island of Avalon is another name for the Isle of Apples. This gave me a connection to Allie’s mortal and fairy world, so I was off and running. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent describing Allie’s adventures in both worlds.

My other treasure, MARILEE, carved in wood, was a gift from a high school volleyball team I coached. It has been on my desk for years and reminds me of a very special time in my life.

Do you have special mementos in your work space or a favorite place to read or write?


Monday, March 28, 2016

Plots Are Us

Writers are often asked, “Where do you come up with ideas for your books?” I’ve been known to jokingly answer, “I buy them at Plots Are Us.” Wouldn’t it wonderful if such a store existed?

When I started to write my latest book, Affliction, I had a kernel of an idea, but not a complete plot. Just for fun, I visited an online plot generator and typed in "twenty-two year old woman," "stolen babies," "city in the mountains," and "Harley-Davidson riding boyfriend." Here's the result: A young woman is hiking in the mountains. She finds a baby hidden under a bush. She calls her motorcycle-riding boyfriend. He picks her up and they zip down the highway with the baby tucked between them. The End. A bestseller, for sure.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
According to Webster the word plot means (1) a secret plan, usually evil or unlawful, (2) the main story of a literary or dramatic work, (3) a small piece of ground and (4) to mark on a map, the course of a ship. Now, we’re talking! Combine those elements and you’ve got a story to tell.

Plots are currently weighing heavily on my mind. I’m writing Allegiance, the second book in the Soul Seeker Series and kicking myself as I do so. Why? Because, in a weak moment, I decided the book needed three separate plot lines. Insane? Yes, I know. So now, all three plots need to be resolved in a realistic fashion. Adding to my dilemma is the fact that the story is in first person, which means the resolutions can only be revealed as my main character uncovers them. Trust me when I say I will never do this again. The good news is, I’m 2/3 done with the book. One of the plotlines has been resolved. Two to go. Providing I don’t go crazy first.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Save an Author, Write a Review


My new book, Affliction, was recently published and now appears on all the usual retail sites. Amazon, of course, is the biggie with millions of titles available for readers to order. So, the burning question in my mind as well as my fellow authors is: how do I make my book stand out? Other than spending a great deal of money on promotions, money with no guaranteed return, what’s an author to do?

Reviews. We all want reviews. Reviews are a writer’s lifeblood. If you type How To Get Book Reviews into a search engine, a dizzying number of articles pop up. I’ve read most of them and actually followed through on some of them. Join Goodreads and do a giveaway. Run a contest. Look for book reviewers on Twitter and Facebook.


Most writers, myself included, would much rather spend time writing rather than marketing our books. But, with the glut of books on the market, we have to be proactive, whether we like it or not.

So, my reader friends, you probably have no idea how important you are to all of us who spend endless hours writing our books. We need you desperately. If you have an opinion about a book you’ve just read—and I’m sure you do—take a few minutes, write a review and post it where it will do the most good. It doesn’t have to be perfectly worded or a prolonged re-hashing of the plot. A single paragraph will do. What will you get in return? The undying gratitude of the author!
If you’re a writer, do you have any tips for the rest of us? If you’re a reader, do you write reviews for the books you do (or don’t) enjoy?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Finally, A New Book!


I’m delighted to announce the publication date for my ninth book, Affliction, Book One in the Soul Seeker series. Affliction will be released on Leap Day, February 29th and available for pre-order on Amazon here: http://amzn.com/B01AR677F2
Check out the video book trailer for Affliction here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giM2Zq1XVdI&feature=youtu.be
Please join me on my Facebook author page for a month-long contest starting on the first day of February. I’ll be awarding weekly prizes ($10 iTunes gift cards) and a grand prize ($50 Amazon gift card) on February 29th. Entering is easy. Just go to: www.facebook.com/marilee.author and like the page. Each week, I’ll post special February holidays and ask you to post a picture or short response. Example: February 6thEat Ice Cream for Breakfast day. Post a selfie of yourself eating ice cream or . . . tell me your favorite ice cream flavor. Totally easy to enter, so please participate. Your chances of winning are good.

That’s all for now. Hope to see you on Facebook.

Monday, December 28, 2015



Here's Wishing a Happy and Prosperous New Year to Book Lovers Everywhere





Thursday, December 3, 2015



                                                                           



Fabulous Book Giveaway Inside the Bell Tower 

Please join us for the 12 Days of Wishes from December 9-24. Each day, a different author will pick a winner to receive a book. Check it out here:
 https://www.facebook.com/groups/InsidetheBellTower/

Best Book Blather Wishes To You All!

Keep Turning Pages