Martinis & Motherhood Has Been Released!

Today is launch day for “Martinis & Motherhood – Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?!”


Martinis & Motherhood – Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?! is a diverse collection of stories that offer the humorous, heart-felt, and poignant life experiences of motherhood through all of its evolving chapters as our children grow up. It’s broken up into three sections: tales of Wonder (where my story, Best Laid Un-Plans, can be found), tales of Woe, and tales of What-The-Fuck. One thing that I especially love about Martinis & Motherhood is how, no matter what your personal experiences with parenting are, there are plenty of moments you’ll be able to identify with, scattered throughout the book. Reading such varied stories is like sitting around with your closest friends, sharing and commiserating with each other through entertaining tales over drinks.

Speaking of drinks, each story is accompanied by a personalized martini recipe and toast. I don’t mind saying that mine, The Fearless, is a freaking delicious blend of orange, cranberry, and pineapple. There is another that caught my eye, in particular – a martini recipe titled The Perfect Christmas, and oh my gods, you guys – it sounds flipping amazing.

If you would like to buy a copy of Martinis & Motherhood – Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?!, and I highly suggest that you do, you can purchase a copy at Amazon today!

I would also like to take a moment to introduce everyone who contributed to the book. Beside each name, you’ll find their personal blogs (or Facebook pages) listed and linked so you can check everyone out!

Team Wonder
Lynn Morrison
Angila Peters
Magnolia Ripkin
Louise Gleeson
Jocelyn Pihlaja
Alison Huff
Leigh-Mary Barone Hoffmann
Shannon Drury
Patricia Mirchandani
Lauren Stevens
Cordelia Newlin de Rojas
Sarah Deveau

Team Woe
Shannon Day
Tara Wilson
Vicki Lesage
Abby the Writer
Brooke Takhar
Kate Parlin
Christina Antus
Jennifer Baird-Dean
Sara Park
Tamara Schroeder
Kristen Hansen Brakeman
Lori Lu Green LeRoy
Carolyn Mackenzie – Carolyn Mackenzie, News Personality

Team WTF
Susanne Kerns
Sarah Halsall del Rio
Lisa Webb
Jessica D’Andrea Kapp
Kim McDonald
Lisa Carmody Doiron
Olga Mecking
Holly Rust
Kathryn Leehane
Jill Hudkins Robbins
Kristine Laco
Andrea Mulder-Slater

Martinis & Motherhood – Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?! is a wonderful summer read to share with a book club or with the moms in your playgroup because it’s perfect for veteran mothers and expecting mothers, alike. Plus, martinis! (And for those expecting mothers, a few of the martini recipes have virgin mocktini instructions provided.)


The Trollops Have Been Released!

It’s here! It’s here!

And yeah. I’m late. It’s a day that ends in “y,” did you really expect anything less from me?

Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee is available on Amazon! Get it today! Or tomorrow! Or next week after your paycheck gets deposited! No pressure!

35 reader reviews are in so far and they all say what we already knew to be true: the book is awesome.

From the press release:

Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee blends more than forty heart-warming, funny, and authentically told stories about the craziness of being reared and raised with the hard-hitting anecdotes that keep mothers sane. Whether it’s a traditional lesson about the value of money or a hilarious outtake about the proper way to shave, any person who cherishes their mother will relate to the stories in the book.

“When you were growing up, your mother’s advice might have made your eyes roll in exasperation, squeeze shut in frustration, or tear up with emotion—all in one conversation. Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee brings you back to those days, in a very good way,” says J.D. Bailey, humorist and creator of Honest Mom®.

Mike Cruse, blogger at Papa Does Preach, shares Bailey’s sentiments. “We spend our youth thinking our parents are crazy, lame, and have no idea what they’re talking about; and then we become parents ourselves and find out that we, in fact, were the idiots. This book shares some of the best advice received from moms as told by some of the most hilarious authors writing today.”

See? You won’t be disappointed!



For The Love Of Writing

So… a lot has been happening. It’s as though the universe decided to pave a section of my rural paradise and put up a parking lot filled with good things. While there are no Dodge Vipers or Porsches sitting out there, if my writing career proceeds onward the way I’m working my ass off to make sure that it does, there just might be. Some day.

(Or maybe, at least, like a newer Jeep or something.)

While my novel is still in the works (and will be for some time), I recently had two essays accepted into anthologies! I’ll be sharing more information about them as they get closer to their release dates:


Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee
Edited by Crystal Ponti; Published by Blue Lobster Press
(ETA: Spring, 2015)

trollopsFrom the editor: “Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee is filled with the crazy, brilliant, and unforgettable lessons we’ve learned from our mothers—stories shared by more than forty word-crafty writers. Some of the tales will make you laugh; some will make you cry; and a few will leave you questioning how we ever survived our childhoods. Although they may seem a little faulty, trust me, our mothers (and motherly figures) could drive like Andretti, cook like Julia Child, and shake someone up like an Italian mobster. We’ve survived and thrived, and never forgotten their enlightening words.”



Martinis & Motherhood – Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?!
Presented by Shannon Day & Tara Wilson; Published by Tipsy Squirrel Press
(ETA: June, 2015)

martinisFrom the publisher: “There will be heartfelt stories (with not even a hint of cheese) that’ll fog up your glasses and make you feel even luckier to be a mom. There will be scenarios, and hilarious turns of phrase, that’ll make you spit out your coffee and run off to the loo. There will be relatable, and sometimes unbelievable, mom-sufferings, told with humour- sure to make you feel a bit less alone and maybe even proud of your own tales of survival.

Martinis & Motherhood – Tales of Wonder Woe & WTF?! will make you feel like you’ve just shared some drinks, some stories, and some laughs with a group of fun moms, who remind you of your own pals.
The book is currently in production mode but will be here just in time for the Summer (cocktail) season.”


The essays I wrote are both true stories, unlike the fiction I’ve been weaving in my (as-of-yet-unnamed) novel. I’m so proud to be included among such brilliant and supportive writers and I cannot wait to read these books when they come out! An anthology is especially nice because you can read a story or two, stop to do laundry or cook dinner, and then come back to it later when you have the time to read one or two more. Anthologies also expose the reader to a wide variety of voices and styles – writers whom they might not have discovered otherwise. They’re just terrific avenues for everyone, writers and readers alike.

(And if you are an aspiring writer, yourself, I highly suggest writing for anthologies if shorter stories and essays are your thing. Contact me via email or in the comments – I’m happy to share all of my bookmarked resources for anthologies/publications!)

I hope you’ll consider purchasing copies of “Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee” and “Martinis & Motherhood – Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?!” when they are released in the near future, and I’ll definitely keep you posted about any book signings that are organized for each, even if they’re not in the OH/PA/WV areas where I would likely travel.

And I know right? Holy shit – that means I’ll be participating in book signings. As in, to autograph books and meet readers face-to-face. Talk about surreal. When the time comes, I hope I don’t disappoint people. I’ve been told on more than one occasion, “Wow. You are not what I expected.”

I never know if that’s a good thing, or not.



Knee-Deep In The Bowels Of Research

So yeah, I swore up and down that I was going to keep all my NaNoWriMo-ing to myself because I didn’t think anyone really gave two shits about my progress or the process. Also, I was probably a little hormonal when I wrote that.

I am not a novelist. Yet. I’m not much of a writer, either, but I am trying my hardest to remedy that. I write every day. Every. Damn. Day. Some most of that stuff never sees the light of said Day, but it still got written and that’s the point. Crap or not, at least I wrote something.

I went into this year’s NaNoWriMo pretty much exactly the same way I did last year – with no idea what in the hell I was going to write. I had the vaguest idea for a couple of story arcs. I had two characters whose names have changed a few times and who (as of this writing) have no last names. These things combined really don’t amount to 50,000 words.

And so, while I had gotten off to a start, I’ve had to spend quite a few hours just thinking. Brainstorming on digital paper the What-Do-These-Characters-Want, the Whos, the Hows, and the What-Fors. Followed by writing out the answers to all of those Questions with a capital “Q.” I’m happy to report that I’ve got the story deeply outlined, I know my story arcs, my characters and their motivations, their back-stories and personalities… I’ve made some real progress, finally.

What I have learned from my experience so far is this: research, while a royal pain in the ass sometimes, is one of the most important things you will do. “They” say that, to be a good writer, one should write what they know. Well, when the story you want to tell goes beyond that which you know, what then?

Hours of research, that’s what.

I wrote a description for a forest glade. Sounds pretty simple. Trees. Grass. It’s a fucking forest, right? How hard can that be to describe?

When it came down to writing the minutia of the setting, I realized something. I don’t know shit about plants. Or gardening in general. I know green leafy stuff grows out of the dirt when the weather is warm, and for the most part, it goes away when the weather gets cold. Beyond that, I got nothing.

Based on the month I had to write the description for and the image that I saw in my head for the scene itself, I had to hunt down plants that fell into the following categories:

• propagate and spread on their own in the wild
• bloom white flowers in April
• can live in full to partial shade
• can tolerate wet soil, you know, because it’s a shady forest
• can grow in a nondescript area that falls somewhere between zones 4-8

I also needed one plant type that worked as a hearty ground cover that would fill the glade and eventually flower (although not necessarily in April). And, I kind of wanted to have this setting glow in the moonlight later on, so I would also need things that flowered at night during the summer months. Preferably white or pale-colored flowers.

And so I researched the shit out of plants. Came up with alyssum and sweet woodruff, creeping jenny, woodland phlox, lily of the valley and four o’clocks.

Why? Why go to all that trouble for what ended up being four sentences of content (so far)?

Because all it takes is for one reader with a background in gardening to punch holes into the continuity of my story. And while the flowers, in the grand scheme of things, don’t mean jack shit to the story itself, getting them wrong holds the potential for pulling *that* reader out of the story. Because they would know it was bullshit.

Because I didn’t do enough research to make the description of the scene believable.

Now, this certainly won’t be true for those writers who are building complete worlds from the ground up, where artistic license fully takes over and they’re creating every single thing from scratch, brand new and never seen before. They get to decide what kind of flowers grow, and when, and how, and what they look like.

But for those of us whose stories operate, at least somewhat, within the confines of the real world, that research is absolutely necessary.

Think of it like this: how many times have you heard about people pointing out obvious mistakes in movie scenes? “Watch, she’s got the gun in her right hand, but when the camera flips back over to her, it’s in her holster! And then when it pans away and comes back to her two seconds later, it’s back in her hand! HAHAHAHAHAAAA! I can’t believe they didn’t catch that, it was sooooooo obvious!!”

There is even a website dedicated to those mistakes.

And books, they are not immune to that sort of scrutiny.

I’m not making excuses for falling behind in my word count. Honestly, I’m pretty damned proud about reaching the 13,000 word mark. But, I’ve come to the decision that I want those words to be right. I’m all for writing off the cuff – I have done that on and off this month and I do plan to catch up (hopefully) – but I find it very difficult, and at times impossible, to write a scene when it includes writing about something I don’t know well enough to describe.

Did you know that a merlon is the solid upright section of a battlement? You know, those dookies that go across the top of a castle or fortress? And did you know that the space between merlons is called a crenel? A series of merlons and crenels is called a crenellation, did you know that?


Neither did I, until I did some lengthy research on medieval architecture this afternoon.

Killing Time (With Purpose)

Taking a break from cleaning the house and writing for a short bit today, I found myself surfing the interwebz for… well, anything that looked remotely interesting to read while I sat on my ass, drinking tea. I’m an insatiable link junkie, always clicking link after link after link in search of my next fix. Maybe I have ADLD (Attention Deficit Laziness Disorder). Anyway, it eventually set me off on a quest for writing-related articles and advice, because why not?

Since it’s NaNoWriMo and those of us who are participating are all in a tizzy this month, whipping our words to and fro, hither and thither, up and down and all around, here are a few quick reads for a little inspiration and advice that might help things along, or at least give you something to do during those times when you’re not actively writing. Like right now.

And look! They’re all numbered so you know exactly what you’re getting into before you even click the links. Yay!

The 22 Rules of Storytelling (According to Pixar)

10 Secrets To Write Better Stories

25 Things You Should Know About Writing A Novel

42 Fiction Writing Tips for Novelists

Neil Gaiman’s 8 Good Writing Practices

How To Write A Novel: 25 Rules


Best of luck to everyone! You can do it!


You can do it all night long!