Catching Up and Valentine’s Giveaways

new-years

I must be an unrepentant optimist. I embrace January as the dawn of a new me. It sort of works, but hey, if you don’t overreach a little, you won’t get anywhere. I’m skipping my usual plans to lose 10 pounds and save money so I can go to Europe. Still, my new year’s resolutions are numerous.

  1. I am going to I will write two books.
  2. I am going to I will finish edits on two other that I wrote last year.
  3. I am going to I will read at least four books on writing.
  4. I am going to I will sign up for an Iowa Writers Workshop course.
  5. I am going to I will write a blog/newsletter each month.

Oh, I almost forgot. I will publish the third book in my Murder in Texas series, “Stranger in My Bed.” There is plenty of mystery and murder, and the romance is a second chance at love story. The heroine is a hot-tempered sculptress and the hero is Special Forces who’s seen too much evil.

One of the books that I am writing this year will be a sweet romance called “Mr. Matchmaker.” This a friends to lovers story about a man who sets out to find a wife for his Ne’er-Do-Well brother (in order to straighten him out) and falls for the chosen bride himself.

My other book will be part of new series of Mainstream Mysteries I am working on. I wrote the first two last year. The books are named after the major arcana tarot cards. Each story takes its theme from one of the cards. My amateur sleuth is a tarot card reader with no mystical powers but is a good reader of people. The first two are “The Fool” and “The Magician.” I have started on “The High Priestess” and will finish this year. I am working with my agent to polish “The Fool” and hope we will find a publisher this year.

Valentine’s Day Giveaways

Book Signing

That’s me on the far left at a writers’ event. From left the other writers are Sonali Dev, Elizabeth Harmon, Susanne Lord and Erica O’Rourke (who also writes as Lucy Kerr).

I attend lots of writing workshops, and most of the time, I end up with piles of free book. So many that I don’t know what to do with all of them. Two great reads that I got at a recent conference were Courtney Milan’s “Trade Me” and Christina Lauren’s “Sweet Filthy Boy.” Courtney gave the keynote speech as well and talked about “Trade Me.” We were all in tears by the end of her speech. Christina and Lauren (they’re actually two separate people) gave an inspirational awards dinner speech that blew me away.

Anyway, I am giving away one copy of each of these books as Valentine’s Day gifts to two readers living in the U.S. If you are interested, send off an email to me at manningillinois@gmail.com. I will pick to winners on February 14. The books come with a little  surprise gift.

If you live in the Chicago area … I am also giving away a bouquet from Flowers for Dreams. Flowers for Dreams is a local florist that specializes in organic bouquets and gives a percentage of its sales to a different charity every month. In February, proceeds go to Alive Rescue, an animal rescue group in Chicago. Since they only deliver to Chicago and suburbs, you have to live in their delivery area. If you are interested in getting one of their adorable bouquets for Valentine’s Day, shoot me an email me at manningillinois@gmail.com.

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