Welcome 2013!

New Year 2013

Welcome to a New Year!

It’s a fresh start to what I hope will be another productive writing year. I reviewed my 2012 goals and was pleased to see I accomplished almost all of them. Here’s a recap of the highlights:

– Finished editing 2nd MS and pitched at 2 conferences

– Began writing the 3rd story in my Taking Chances series during NJRW’s JeRoWriMo

– Finished replotting & revising (again) my 1st MS

– Finaled and won FIRST place in 2 writing contests (The Write Stuff and Indiana Golden Opportunity)

– Blogged monthly with the Violet Femmes, which included writing a short story for Valentine’s Day and two round robin stories

– Read new authors (read 68 books & 14 audio books)

– Continued to network with friends & other authors to improve my craft

Not a bad list. Here’s some new items I’d like to accomplish in 2013:

1. Continue my pursuit of an agent and/or editor.

2. Finish my third MS.

My wish for all of you is to have a happy and healthy New Year. May all your dreams (writing and otherwise) come true!

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Holiday wishes!

christmas present6

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and New Year!

Another year is almost over. It’s been a crazy but good year for me. I’ll spend the next couple days with family, including tonight’s Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes. I write about this Italian tradition in Love’s Second Chance. For fun, I’ve included an excerpt. Enjoy!

Also, I’m blogging this week with The Violet Femmes. We’re doing a holiday romantic suspense round-robin called Glitter Girl. Stop by and read my part (part 4) and catch up with the earlier segments.

Glitter Girl – A Romantic Suspense Holiday Romance

Excerpt from “Love’s Second Chance”

“Does your family have a huge dinner like this every Christmas Eve,” Edward asked, leaning to the side so he could be heard over the noise.

“Yes. It’s a family tradition, going back as far as I can remember,” Kate replied.

“What exactly is the significance of the seven fish?”

“There are different views on its origin, but my grandmother once told me that the number seven stood for the number of Sacraments in the church. There’s baptism, penance, Holy Communion, confirmation, marriage, holy orders, and anointing of the sick.”

“What about the type of fish? Is that important?”

“I don’t think so. We usually have the same fish, though my parents try and mix up how the food is prepared. Plus, there are the side dishes that are often different. You’ve never experienced an Italian Christmas Eve dinner before?”

“Not that I can recall,” Edward said.

“Believe me when I say you would know if you had. I hope you’ve brought your appetite with you.”

He grasped her hand and pressed his lips to it. “I most certainly have.”

The smoldering look in his eyes told Kate that his appetite was for more than just food.

The Pleasure of Giving

This week, I’m blogging on The Violet Femmes website. Stop by http://thevioletfemmes.com and click the link to enter our contest to win a Nook Simple Touch to help celebrate our One-Year Anniversary.

Last week, I had the pleasure of being a part of an effort to Adopt-A-School that’s been displaced for the rest of the school year as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Although they were fortunate to find another location to operate, they aren’t allowed back to their own school to get any of their supplies, equipment, etc. Along with a couple co-workers, I reached out and gathered school supplies, games, books, and sporting equipment. The volume of people wanting to help was so amazing. I want to thank the generosity of everyone who has contributed time and/or funds to support the families affected by this tragedy. Together, we stand united!

With Thanksgiving this week, I have so much to be thankful for. It’s easy to forget and allow yourself to get bogged down in the minutia of life. I do it more times than I’d like to admit. On Thanksgiving Day, take a moment to appreciate all that you have and have accomplished, and offer hope and prayer for all who have lost things and people precious to them.

May you have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Happy thoughts on a dreary Monday

Things have been a blur since I returned from the NJ Romance Writers conference a couple weeks ago, which was hands down, the best one to date! Of course, that may have to do with my getting involved with the conference and co-chairing the published authors contest. It’s also due to the many wonderful friends I’ve met. This year, not only did I get the pleasure of handing out several awards to fabulously talented published authors, but I also got to cheer on three of my blog partners who were finalists in the unpublished writers contest. These fabulous ladies, Michele Mannon, Joanna Shupe, and Jenna Blue are talented ladies. Remember their names, because I expect to see their names in print soon!

I returned from the conference to learn my second story, Love’s Second Chance, won first place in the Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest with a request to see the full manuscript by the judging editor! Needless to say I’m completely thrilled. This is LSC’s second win in a contest this year.

Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing some of my memories from the NJRW conference, but in the meantime, here are a few pictures.

The Violet Femmes: Jenna Blue, Maria K. Alexander, Joanna Shupe, Michele Mannon, Jaye Marie Rome

Michele Mannon & Maria K. Alexander

Maria K. Alexander & Joanna Shupe

Maria K. Alexander & Diana Quincy

For everyone on the east coast who’s dealing with Hurricane Sandy, please be safe!!!

Hugs,

Maria

Fall Into A New Season…And Love

Although there are still several days  left of summer, it’s starting to feel like fall. The air is brisk in the evening and early morning. I find myself reaching for that extra blanket when I wake up in the morning, after having left my windows open. I love the change in seasons and Fall is one of my favorites. There’s something about the changing color of the leaves that makes me feel good. I look forward to picking apples and pumpkins with my kids and going to fall festivals. How about you?

With Fall comes NJ Romance Writer’s annual Put Your Heart In A Book Conference. It’s two days of workshops, pitching, networking, and good times. For a second year, I’ve co-chaired NJRW’s Golden Leaf contest for published authors. I’ll get the pleasure of sharing the stage with my co-chairs and category coordinators and announcing the finalists and winners. You have until 9/30 to register for the conference if you haven’t done so.

In other news, I’m thrilled to announce that Love’s Second Chance finaled in the Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest. I won’t  find out my results until the end of October, but keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed.

As you hopefully know, I blog monthly with The Violet Femmes. Our blog stemmed from a wine tasting held in my room at last year’s NJRW conference. The idea of a blog started and within a few weeks, we were up and running. As we near our one-year anniversary, we’ll have some exciting announcements, including a new contest. Stay tuned for more.

In the meantime, I’m blogging this week with the Femmes on preparing for a conference. Stop by http://thevioletfemmes.com and comment.

Maria

Blogging with The Violet Femmes on my Series Obsession

Hi there. I hope you’re having a fabulous summer. I just spent a couple days at the Jersey shore and finally feel like summer’s here  despite there being only a couple weeks left before Labor Day.

I’m blogging about writing a series with The Femmes today at http://thevioletfemmes.wordpress.com. Stop by and comment and tell me your thoughts on a book series as a reader or a writer.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

What romance book changed your life?

Hi everyone.

I hope you summer has been going well. Mine has been filled with work (unfortunately not the writing kind) and softball. I do manage to squeeze reading in between innings and games, which is nice.

I don’t know about you, but I’m dying to get to the Jersey shore next month. I’m not taking a full week like I’ve done in the past, but hope to spend a few days down somewhere with sand and surf.

I’m blogging today with The Violet Femmes on my “the romance book that changed my life”. Join me and comment for a chance to enter our monthly contest.

Maria