Cover reveal and new author website

Happy Fall!

I’m thrilled to announce the cover for my debut novel, Untangle My Heart, which will soon be published by The Wild Rose Press. I’ve also created a new website that will be my primary site for all news concerning my publications. Please stop by and check it out at:

http://mariakalexander.com

I hope you’ll continue to follow me at http://mariakalexander.com, where you can sign up for my newsletter. I’ll keep you updated on my release dates, share recipes and other fun facts.

I’ll be continuing to blog with The Violet Femmes at http://thevioletfemmes.com.

Thanks for sharing in my journey and I hope to keep connected with you at my new site!

Maria

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First Sale Certificate

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of getting my “First Sale” certificate from NJ Romance Writers.

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Talk about both an honor and a thrill! And to make it even better, I was among 5 fabulous women who also received their First Sale certificate.

NJRW Fab Five First Sales! Maria K. Alexander, Joanna Shupe, Lita Harris, Emma Kaye, Maria Imbalzano

NJRW Fab Five First Sales!
Maria K. Alexander, Joanna Shupe, Lita Harris, Emma Kaye, Maria Imbalzano

Thanks to my family who bears with me when I focus on writing, my critique partners, The Violet Femmes, and NJRW for all your support during my journey!

Qualities of a Mom

DSCN2217A heartfelt Happy Mother’s Day to all my mom writers, friends and family who follow my blog!

I didn’t think I’d get a chance to blog today, but thanks to a weekend of rain, the softball fields are flooded and the weekend Mother’s Day tournament is canceled! Clearly, Mother Nature realizes this day is meant to be doing things other than hanging on the softball fields.

Today, I’d like to celebrate both being a mom and having a wonderful mom. My oldest is twelve years old and as I watch her becoming a young lady, I feel proud that she’s a sweet girl and pray (a lot) that she stays that way. And if there was any way I could home school her and keep her in a protective bubble where she could never get hurt, I would…well, maybe. Yeah, yeah, not realistic, right? But the thought has crossed my mind when I hear stories about kids her age. Since I can’t keep either of my kids under my protection forever, I’ll arm them with the best tools I can: love, knowledge, awareness, values, and hope they make mostly wise decisions and when they don’t, hope they come to me for advice.

Here are a few qualities I found I need as a mom:

Must always be available to clean up scrapes, wipe a runny nose, and fix all boo-boos

Often survives with only a few hours sleep

Teacher of values

Has an abundance of love and the ability to forgive

Emotional counselor extraordinaire!

Remembers what it’s like to be a kid/pre-teen/teen and make mistakes

Family is an important theme in the stories I write. The heroes of my first two stories didn’t come from a loving family. They had money but not love and nurturing. The heroines I matched them had completely opposite family experiences, and help the men learn to open their hearts to love.

I’d like to share a special moment from Love’s Second Chance between my heroine, Kate, and the orphan she befriends (and later will try and adopt). To me, it captures a special moment as a mom.

Kate stood at the small island in her parents’ kitchen guiding Lucas’s small hands as she instructed him on how to roll dough for butter cookies. It was a hard skill to acquire for a small child, and one part of the dough would be thick and the other super thin. But he was having fun and that was all that mattered to her.

“Can I put the sprinkles on?” Lucas asked.

“Of course. We have to let the cookies cool, then I’ll add the icing and you can add the sprinkles. How’s that sound?” Kate said.

“Good. Can I eat another piece of dough?”

How could she refuse him when he gazed at her with those sparkling eyes and animated expression? She laughed and brushed her hand at a sprinkling of flour on his cheek, only making it worse.

“Another small piece. You don’t want to eat too much or you’ll get a tummy ache. Besides, you want to leave room to sample the cookies when we’re all done, right?”

He licked his lips and gave her a dreamy expression when he popped another piece of dough in his mouth. “Mmm.”

They worked as a team for the next two hours, rolling, cutting, icing, and sprinkling cookies until all the counters and kitchen table were covered with cookies. When the last cookie was done, Kate poured them both a glass of milk and let him choose one to eat. He studied them carefully before picking up a large star. He took his time biting and chewing, as though he were savoring every bite.

“How are they?” she asked.

“Great,” he said with his mouth full. He finished chewing and swallowed. “They remind me of the cookies my mom used to make.”

Kate’s heart lurched. She hadn’t expected that. He’d never shared anything about his family with her and she wasn’t sure of the best way to handle it.

“Did you used to make cookies with your mother?”

“Yes. She used to let me help make the cut outs, too.” He lowered his head and hunched forward. “I miss her,” he whispered in a croaked voice.

Kate tried to hold off the tears that threatened to spill from her eyes. She put her arm around him. “I’m sure you do, baby, and I’m sure she misses you, too. You should always hold onto the memory of making cookies with your mother. I’m sure it was as special for her as it was for you.”

He nodded and sniffled. “Did you ever make cookies with your son, with Tony?”

“No, I never did get to make cookies with Tony.” She pushed his bangs back from his eyes. “But I think if I ever had, it would have been a lot like making cookies here with you.”

He seemed to think about that a moment and then nodded. “Do you know what I want from Santa for Christmas?”

“Hmmm…let me think…A Nintendo DS or maybe a Wii?” she teased, thinking of the bright orange DS she’d already bought for him.

He shook his head. “Those would be nice, but what I want Santa to bring me more than anything is a mom.”

What special moments do you have as a mom or of your mom?

Have a wonderful day!

Maria

A Fresh Look For Spring

purple tulipsI’m welcoming in Spring by doing some spring cleaning-digital spring cleaning, that is. I’ve freshened up my site by picking a new theme. I wanted something more modern and sophisticated. Like the heroines in my first three books, I have a full-time job. I work hard, come home, and work harder. Between family stuff, writing, and the dreaded exercising, there’s never enough hours in the day. Losing an hour due to Daylight Savings is more to me than one less hour of sleep; it’s one less hour to write. But like I try to convince myself, sleep is over-rated, right? Tell that to the shadows under my eyes. Thank God for concealer!

February and March were exceptionally busy months. I completed NJRW’s Jersey Romance Writing Month (JeRoWriMo) challenge in February with almost 32,000 words. Some of us continued our challenge into March, where I wrote another 10,000 words plus edits. A few days into March I finished the rough draft of my third book. I have a lot of editing to do, but it felt great to write the words “The End”.

The days are longer and the extra daylight gives me more energy. I started a Yoga class once a week after my Jazzercise class and hope to find my calm and happy place. What projects do you have lined up for the Spring? For me, I’m committing to increase my exercise level and to finish editing A Chance Worth Taking. How about you?

Happy early Valentine’s Day

valentine cupcake

Happy February! I’m not sure about you, but the month of January is a blur. We haven’t yet gotten a huge snowfall this year but we’ll see what happens despite Punxsutawney Phil not seeing his shadow.

I’ve been busy working on my third book, The One That Got Away, for the Jersey Romance Writing Month (JeRoWriMo) challenge. The goal is to write 30,000 words during the month of February. I started this book the same time last year. I’m hoping I’ll come close to finishing it this month.

I’d like to say “Hi” to all my family and friends who follow my blog. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to click  the “Books” tab for a summary and excerpt from my books.

I’m blogging this week with The Violet Femmes about your favorite romantic moment in a book. Please stop by and comment!

Maria