Category Archives: about me

Don’t tell me I can’t!

I’m home from California; the Love and Fifty signing ranks as my second best ever, the first being the one that Maya Banks attended, as far as sales goes. As far as fun, this one was far and away the best ever. I stayed with a very good friend while I was there, had another friend who joined us, and we were in a group of seven authors that made for a fantastic little niche. I feel like I attended a revival.

That being said, I realized that things have been difficult for me for a while. I don’t usually talk much about my life’s history. I put some of it in The Writer’s Block short stories, but it’s pretty watered down and veiled. I’m private like that, and won’t give away too much today, either. If you want to hear my horror stories, read between the lines of my books.

What I will say, is that no one will ever tell me that I can’t do it. I spent half my life listening to people tell me what I wasn’t. Not smart enough, not talented enough, not good enough, from the time I was born until here recently, in fact. I hate that; hate that I listened for so long. I am good enough, and I won’t believe anything else.

Today, I make my own way, so don’t tell me I can’t. I can do what I put my mind to because I am diligent and won’t give up. I will keep working on me, both as a writer and as a person, because you don’t actually fail until you give up trying.

I never said I was perfect, and I’m bound to make some mistakes along the way, but that’s how it goes. People who don’t make mistakes never do anything; that’s the only way to avoid them all together. I can’t let those things get me down, because life is too short to spend time worrying about regrets and what I wish I had done.

So where do I go from here? To Pittsburgh, of course! In three weeks, in fact. Between now and then I have much to do. I have continued doing the editing for Lavish, even after we finished my books, and I like how that feels to contribute to success on so many levels. Plus, I have several new books that I am working on, so those will be coming out starting this summer and into the fall. My plate is full, and I have so much to do! And life is good.

I’m a Planner!!

Are you one of those people who has a five-year plan? This morning, I had to admit that I am. I know many people like to plan things; a day, a week, maybe even a vacation at some point later in the year; but how far away is too far to think ahead?

I always like to know how I want things to look down the road. It’s ok if things change, and the plan gets altered; just knowing that it is there helps me to be more relaxed and focused. And I’m talking WAY down the road. I have my two year goal or list, the five year ‘where I want to be’ and even a ten year set of activities that I want to take place, and having this ‘decided’ makes me feel better!

Case in point; this morning I was able to finally settle a matter that had been weighing on me as far as my schedule in Nov. of 2016. Yeah – that far away, but it bothered me that I could not get this nailed down. Fortunately, I received some vital input from another party; information that normally might have been heartbreaking. However, since the event that I have been worrying over is still going to take place, in 2017, I can let go of that worry and be at peace with it.

I have been teaching (long term subbing) at a school for one of my friends who had a baby this summer. This was NOT in my plan for this year, but now that I only have one more week, I am happy that I was able to be here for these kids when their regular teacher could not be. The extra income will be nice, even though being here has been a disruption. I had thought that this was the root of the ‘writer’s block’ that I had been experiencing with a particular story that I am working on.

Nope. As soon as I had my plans squared away, the floodgates opened, and I have written ten pages of new text in my journal for the story. Amazing! Gosh I love being a writer, and pouring all of my imagined adventures out for others to share. I can’t wait for you guys to read this one – oh, and you will probably need some tissues.

Reflecting on NOLA – Oh My God… I’m a Hippy!!!

Actually, I say that jokingly, as I already knew that I fall into the ‘tree-hugger’ category, and have for many years. What makes it so evident to me is that while visiting the Big Easy, the place I chose to visit FIRST under my limited amount of time to sight-see, was in fact… the Swamp. I have to say that it was about three or four hours well spent, and I loved almost everything about it. So, let me tell you a bit about this incredible nature walk far different from my home in the desert of west Texas.

First, we rode on a bus, and our very knowledgeable driver shared with us a bit about the local history and recent events. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and I recall vividly when that devastating event took place. The mix between the newly rebuilt portions and the gutted structures that have yet to be restored is astounding. The destructive forces of nature are beyond words, but in the end, it was our (man’s) failed attempt at controlling it that led to the flooding there. If the levee had held, Katrina would have been just another storm; and oh, how things have changed because of it.

I found the bus ride to be particularly exciting, and in a way comforting, in light of my recent releases in the Irrevocable Series. I included many references and aspects in that story that were driven home for me on the tour, seeing it all first hand. On that note, I will say that I stand behind everything I said in my ‘fictitious’ story, which is as real as it gets without ever actually happening (yet), and the tour felt very reaffirming in that respect.

On we go – and the second thing that happened on the tour was our arrival at the small tour center, where literally hundreds of people are bused in and dropped off each day to take part in the tour. I had experienced this type of setup last year while vising Las Vegas and taking a bus tour to the Grande Canyon. Here I want to insert some praise, because this is a fabulous way to enable MANY people to go and experience what could be a once in a lifetime activity. The outhouses / bathrooms were hot and muggy, and the store small and quaint for such a large number of customers, but they were well organized and I applaud them at the over all ease and convenience of the entire experience – loved it!

Now for the exciting part – Johnny took us out in a large flat-bottomed boat and the first thing we saw was a HUGE grasshopper that had landed on our canopy. No, it was really called something else, but like I’m going to remember what. He caught it for us and passed it around. Then, a few minutes later, we were farther back into the marsh, and ALLIGATORS started coming right up to the boat. Our guide had joked earlier about having marshmallows and hotdogs in the back, and at this point he pulled them out and began spearing pieces with a long stick.  I was flabbergasted, and in my best My Cousin Vinny voice, I could hear myself say, “You were serious about that?”

Oh, he was very serious, and used his treats to lure numerous animals up for us to see (pics posted at the bottom), including raccoons and wild pigs. The snake we picked up from another boat, and also passed it around. Believe me, these animals are well trained, and react to the sound of the boat, and many even come when called (yup, they even have names). It was an amazing experience, as he slowed down and stopped often to share and show, including a few awesome giant spiders that use their legs to fish for minnows (holy crap!). Over all, I loved the tour and would not trade the chance to see those huge old trees and all the wildlife for anything.

But, there is a catch. I really hated to see them using Marshmallows for this, and felt a little sad at the whole circus feel of how things went. Sugar isn’t good for us, and it’s certainly not good for animals, and they have introduced it into their diet. I found it amusing to see that some of the gators liked the hot dogs, while others preferred the white sugary goodness, but again, it really shouldn’t be done, and I would have felt better if all their offerings had been more ‘natural’. I can see why they did it, and appreciate that we were able to enjoy the experience, even with this one dark blot upon it.

Overall, a fantastic adventure. I learned so many things and was thrilled to be there. I love the world, love seeing new and wondrous places, and can’t wait to visit my next destination that will be new and exciting – I am taking my son to Washington, DC, before we hit the signing in Pittsburgh, PA next March, and I cannot wait to get there!

giant bugaligator temtingaligator treatpigsraccoonspidertiny snake


Have you ever wanted to start over and get fit? Wished that you had eaten better or been more active when you were younger? Well, we can’t fix the past, but we can always work to make the future better in that regard. This is a little of my journey to be a healthier individual…

My first changes came after I had pneumonia eight years ago, and was chronically ill afterwards with sinus and chest infections. No matter what I did, as soon as the weather got colder, or the dirt blew, or spring came; I got sick. I couldn’t climb a flight of stairs without rest. I was miserable.

After two years of struggling with those illnesses, I quit smoking, which was six years ago. Immediately after that, I started drinking water, and my tastes changed. Today, I drink a cup of coffee in the morning and water the rest of the time, and other drinks just don’t taste right anymore. Ten years ago, I drank a six pack of cokes a day; every day. Man, I never would have guessed that change would have come for me. But it did, and now I encourage my son to drink water and NOT struggle with that battle.

Once I got on the water kick, other things began to change. As many of you know, I have been a member of crossfit for several years. I joined for the exact reasons most people do – to feel better, be stronger, and have a longer healthier life. However, being a teacher meant that I wasn’t able to go on a regular basis, so my attendance and results had been pretty haphazard until this summer. However, I have never given up, and stuck to the diet the best I could, even though I wasn’t able to get in there and do the work out.

When this last year ended, I made a promise to myself that I would do a better job of going and putting my best effort into improving my overall health and abilities in the gym. So far, I have stuck to it, and am a little sad that school is starting back in two weeks. No, I’m not teaching this next year, but I have agreed to cover 2 of my friend’s classes this next semester while they have their babies (one first six weeks and one third six weeks) so I will still have a few time constraints thrown in.

I’m going to make my best effort to not let that stop me – and one of the things I want to do towards that goal is to SHARE my results from our fitness test YAY!!! Now, for those of you who are already in top shape, my results are not going to be impressive. In fact, they’re pretty sad. But when I think back to my foundations class, and that I could not hang from the bar because it hurt my belly too much… or that I could not lift myself for a push-up on my knees… what I scored today is damn good.

8-17-15 Fitness Test Results (no modifications, 3 mins for each AMRAP, 1 min break between in order…all this AFTER the warm up exercises)

Push-ups – 11

Pull-ups – 0

Air Squats – 55

Burpees – 10

Run 400 meters – 3:38 timed (when I started, I never ran; period)

So – what does all this mean? It means that my progress is coming, and I should see some better scores when we test again on Nov. 15th. We are also starting a 90 day challenge on Sept. 1st, and that’s another thing that I am going to do to help me stay motivated, because having support helps. Until the next Fitness Test, I’ll keep you post on how things are going now and then.


Can’t say it enough

I NEED A MOMENT… I am nearly in tears this morning…
Things are so hectic right now, with everything I am working on… so many GOOD THINGS going on around me, and it is hard for us sometimes to accept those things at face value.
What I would really like to do is to say thank you.
THANK YOU to every person who has left a review for one of my books – whether they are short, and direct, or they are long and drawn out.. even the typos and the inaccuracies from the story (even a few character names are wrong, and I seriously lmao at that!!!)
I love them all and I appreciate every single one, because you read my stories and you took the time to post a word about them…
5 stars – 94 <<< holy sh*t!!!!
4 stars – 38
132 total 4&5 stars out of 141 total reviews!!!
THAT IS 94%!!!!
I am completely blown away… so happy right now, you cannot imagine… happy because I have shared something of myself with you… and you love it as much as I do…. thank you so much… I am so glad that you understand.
❤ Sam


Wow, my summer is half over, and still so much to do!!!


I have finished ‘writing’ on the series, and am making my final edits to book 6 right now, and should have that over to my publisher as the final copy in a day or two. I REALLY LOVE this story guys – and I totally understand your wanting to get your hands on it. I promise, it is only going to get more amazing 😀


We have some exciting things coming up – so many options in the works, and I want to keep you all in the loop as much as I can. I know many of us can go out and buy what ever we want, but there are those who have to watch for the bargains and the giveaways.



If you haven’t followed me on facebook, you should if you use it, as I run events there on a regular basis. is my author page and is the series page, so like it up if you are able.


For those of you who are pinterest users, I try to keep that board for sales and giveaways updated as well, so follow me there if that helps >>


As of right now, we have one rafflecopter going >> ENTER HERE >>


and the 99 cent sale on CAPTIVE is still going for a while longer >>


Other than that, it’s good times right now, with lots of work to do!!! OH and keep an eye out – I will be tossing up the rest of the series covers here in a few weeks – so excited about that… can’t wait for you to see… and to read what’s going to happen next…

Facebook Blues

I’m not sure how many of you use Facebook, but I have been on it daily ever since I set up my author page. Previous to that, I never used it, and didn’t see what the big deal was, or why people would want to put so much of their personal lives out there for the whole world to see.


After I published my first book, I started looking for ways to market it, and that’s when I got hooked. That’s right, I’m an addict. I have spent countless hours clicking around, sharing posts and checking out other peoples pages. And since I have only been a user for 7 or 8 months, I don’t really know what it was like before that. I do know that the changes that they have recently made… suck.


And I say suck in the nicest way possible. I mean, lets face it, I totally understand why they did it. Most people don’t use a conventional computer any more. Most people use a tablet or some other device, so the streamlined feeds for every page makes sense. I still hate them.


Used to, when you came to my page it was amazing. I mean it, I loved my page. I put stuff on it that was informative about my books, some advertisements, reviews, and upcoming events, but I also put stuff that was fun. I love puzzles and interesting food for thought items, and my page was plastered with them.


I also kept my page clean. Everything had a visual appeal, down to the way the little boxes fit together on my screen. I loved pinning a post and providing an experience when you visited my page, would make sure it was all current, and would remove or hide things if they didn’t fit in with what I had in mind. It was perfect. And… it’s gone. Sigh.


So today, I have realized that I don’t spend near as much time on good old Facebook as I once did. I guess it’s because I’m depressed that my page doesn’t look as appealing to me. Or maybe it’s the resentment I still feel that even though I have almost 6000 likes and followers, my posts don’t make it to more than a few 100 people… unless they are of a cat or I pay to ‘sponsor’ them. I have noticed that one guy sponsors his daily pic, with his cup of coffee and a cute little saying to think about. That’s ok, I’ll pass. I have better things to do with my money.


I will just go, suffer through my withdrawals… and continue to look for another social media place that I can mess around with and call home. Any suggestions?




As I am sure many of you are aware, the allergy season is upon us. In light of that, I have been on a roller coaster these last few days. Two days ago, my right eye felt like it was going to pop out of my head from all the pressure behind it, and I spent the entire day (pretty much) at my desk with the lights off and nursing my face.

Yesterday, I felt great, and started packing up my classroom for the end of the year (only 2 more weeks for me). Then this morning… yup. The left side of my head felt like a vice was clamped down. Fortunately, it’s Saturday, and I was able to stay home and nurse myself again, and get it to drain. And now I feel like writing – WHOOP.

This is actually very fortunate for me, because I had promised you guys a tiny tidbit of news about me a few days ago, and I have not yet delivered, and I think it is time. When this year started, I had promised myself that I was going to make this my last, and would devote myself to writing full time. Alas, things do not always go as we plan.

As the end of the year approaches, it looks like my school will be down 4 science teachers next fall, baring some miracle (however unlikely), and after a great deal of soul searching, I have decided… I’m going back for one more year. My kids need me there, and I can wait one more year before I completely run off to follow my dream. But, there is a silver lining as well.

Actually, several in fact. Firstly, we are going to pay off every bill we owe, which is not many besides our cars, and yes we are going to pay those off too, during the next school year, so that all we owe is our house. If I teach one more year, my school loans will also be gone, and that is a blessing in itself. And finally, it is highly likely that I will be teaching seniors, which I have never done, in a subject that I always wanted and was never given because I was ‘too valuable where I was.’ Can’t beat that.

Oh, and did I mention I am almost finished with book 6? Yeah, pretty amazing. I have 7 roughed out as well, and will have both of them handed over to the publisher before the fall. That means I will have completed 7 books… in a years time. I don’t know if that’s fast. It sounds fast to me, and I’m pretty excited about that fact, as the release schedule is already set for the rest of the series, and all should fall into place pretty easily.

Ok, one more bit of news, because I am dying to talk about what comes after A New Life. See, I have another girl in my head, pretty normal girl really, only life gives her an unexpected curve ball. After the sudden death of her parents, she goes to live with her uncle, and he’s that family member that no one talks about except in whispers… I will start roughing this story out as soon as I close the cover on Tori for the last time, and I am so excited. I wonder if I can write another series in a year’s time…

I have been left speechless…

I have been working very hard to promote the New Life series, and it has been quite an exciting and time consuming endeavor. Tiring would be another way of putting it. I work 40+ hours per week at my job, plus every waking moment that I possibly can on my books. Even when I am not ‘working’ on them, I am thinking about them, and I am consumed by the story that will not let me go until I have spilled it all onto the pages. I have thought of this story every day for years, and once I started putting it down, I found that it does in fact have a life of its own. I have 2 books left to write of the 7, and I have often wondered if working this hard is really worth it, or if I am really just wasting my time.

Today, I had two reviews posted for CAPTIVE that have answered that question for me. In essence, these two ladies had left me speechless, and I have been thinking of little else all day. I knew I was going to make a post for this. I have not had time to make posts regularly in ages, but for this, I will make an exception.

The first review I found as I was leaving for the school, and was accompanied by an email apologizing for how long it has taken for her to read and review my book. No apologies are needed. Every review that is given, I appreciate from the bottom of my heart, but I would never want anyone to feel obligated to provide a review. The second I found when I arrived at work and was finally able to log into my computer and peek at Amazon to check my rank and facebook before the the mad rush of my day. That is my routine; I center down and see where I stand, then set it all aside and spend 8 hours straight being a teacher, with a 24 minute lunch. After that, I get to go home, and work on this until I go to bed, and am very pleased to do so.

Today, I realized that so many people love my story. I already knew that many people liked it. I have gotten good reviews before, and have fans that have become like friends because of facebook and the way it lets us get to know each other, even though we live across the country and around the world. Today was different. Today, one of those ladies called my work ‘a masterpiece.’ That my friends, took my breath away.

I am not going to post the reviews here. Instead I am going to give you a link at the bottom, and you can go and see all of the reviews that my books have been given. All of the heartfelt comments that my followers have left upon my wall at Amazon. That is after all what I want you to do when you read my stories; feel something. Feel angry, feel scared, feel happy. If you don’t, then I am not doing something right, and that is the hardest part for me, accepting that I am doing it right.

The two reviews that were posted today are moving, as are many others, and I am finally able to say, I did a good job. Maybe now, I can stop worrying about what I should have done to make it better, and just let the rest of the story be what it is.

In the end, I hope that you enjoy all of my story, but I already know that you won’t. I chopped it up into 7 parts. Some parts are graphic; some are painful. A small amount is sweet, and there is even some sad. There will be tension filled pieces to the tale, and there will be times of peace, growth and introspect. The eye of the hurricane is what I call book 3, and I know it is the best so far for some, and too slow and calm for others. I smile to myself when you tell me these things, because I know things I cannot share, as far as what is in the past and what lies ahead for our growing cast.

It wouldn’t be fair for me to spoil this journey that you are now on, this path that my books will lead you down. So instead, I will leave you with a word of thanks. Thank you for reading and sharing my world with me. Thank you for your reviews and for your messages. I appreciate every single one, and every one of you.

And remember, you aren’t going to like everything that happens to our girl Tori, or everything that she has or will do, by the time we reach the end. But, I can pretty much guarantee that one thing is safe to say – there will be parts that you love, and you won’t be sorry that you read it, either.


Amazon review links…

Captive –

A New Life: Life of Recovery (original title and cover) –


Bound –

Life of Doubt (original title and cover) –


Entwined –

Book Bash – Katy, Texas on Saturday!!!

Ok – so I am 3 days out from my trip to Houston for the book signing event and I am so freaking excited I can’t sit still. I have been working like mad on edits for weeks now, getting book 1 and book 2 ready to republish, and book 3 is now done… so I feel really good about that. I have had book 4 written for a while now as well and have been messing around with it, but nothing serious.

I am just too overwhelmed right now to focus… I woke up at 4 am this morning and worked on it for 2 hours, but then I had to go to work and now I am just… AHHHH.

And I had this great idea… I got that rafflecopter thing the other day and have run 2 giveaways so far – it is so easy to use!!! I am thinking I would like to run a bigger one while I am gone, say for ebooks from all of my author friends…

I think I will make a post about it and see who all would like to donate… so stay tuned for that because I have a feeling it will be a big one YAY….



OH and we are running a big party on facebook to celebrate the event – so if you are interested in winning some cools stuff – head over there and join in… lots of cool prizes and many of them you  do not have to attend the event in Katy to win WHOOP!!!


OK – for the book bash – it will take place Sat Feb 22 in Katy, Texas – 9 am to 6 pm…. I am going to post my flyers for the event as well, and if you are in the area or know someone who is, I would love to see you there!!!



Houston Author Bash 2014FB party for book bashhouston bash banner

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