…and thanks for stopping by.

Book Stuff…My WIP—Every Little Lie—is similar in style to Kisses Don’t Lie and Kiss Me Twice. Those two books were so much fun to write that I couldn’t wait to get up each morning and get busy. I hope to have Every Little Lie finished by mid-summer, and then I’ll begin work on my second holiday book. So happy to have recently completed my first. A Grown-up Christmas Wish was also a fun project, and even though it’s not that time of year, I thought I’d share a few things I learned along the way. For instance, did you know that…

  • female reindeer grow antlers too, shedding theirs much later than males (typically a few days after they give birth), which means that Santa’s sleigh could likely be powered by she-deer;
  • a reindeer’s coat is hollow, which means it can trap air to provide insulation in frigid weather;
  • reindeer are the only mammals that can see ultraviolet light, which helps them to see in the blaring Arctic light;
  • within just a few short hours, baby reindeer are able to run several miles; and
  • reindeer are not referred to as bucks, does, and fawns, but instead they are called bulls, cows, and calves, the same as domestic cattle.

On my mind…As we’ve all had our time being stuck indoors, or at least unable to go about our regular routines, my hope is that you’ve been able to find things to do to keep yourself busy, that you haven’t lost anyone dear to you, and that this trying time brings you closer to those you love. And at the end of this, may we all have found a new sense of community togetherness.

About Brees…Brees is still adorable and continues to bring a smile to my face when life goes off the rails. One thing I’ve recently learned is that it’s not always good to spoil your fur baby with treats…no matter how adorable they may be. I had gotten into the habit of giving Brees treats during his training sessions, and just about every time he did something cute. Which means I was filling him so full of “junk” food that it was making him sick and, consequently, he developed a hole in the back of each paw that had all three vets I took him to see (at a cost of $2,000) scratching their heads. Then, finally, I took him to an allergist, where I discovered all the “junk” food I’d been giving Brees caused him to develop fistulas. This was hard to hear because fistulas are almost always a life-long problem that means a dog needs to be on medication forever. However—and this is HUGE, so pay attention!—once I stopped giving Brees junky treats, his fistulas closed and he has been able to stop all medication! Now I know most of you out there are probably not interested in this information, but if you have a dog with a similar problem, I’m thinking right about now, you’re thankful I included this little piece. So what treats do I give Brees now? Carrots, apples, lettuce (I know, weird, right?), broccoli, and anything else that is healthy and safe for him to eat. He does occasionally love to hold a paper towel in his mouth, which is also weird as he does not care to eat it…simply enjoys having it in his mouth.

And remember…If you ever feel you can no longer care for your aging dog, or if you have a dog that needs medical care you can’t afford, please know that there is a place that may be able to help. Old Dog Haven. Check them out…they do such great things for our furry citizens!

Great reads for aspiring writers…Understanding Show, Don’t Tell, by Janice Hardy, and The Emotion Thesaurus, by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglish. These two books will literally change your writing.

Tips on writing…

1)  When you’ve finished writing your book (or think you have), print out a hard copy and read it (out loud). You’ll be surprised at how much different a sentence might sound when you hear it, rather than just see it. Unless, of course, you’re a super talent like Stephen King. Then you might only need to pop the cork on a bottle of champagne to celebrate.

2)  When garnering advice, be cautious about listening to most people (who don’t write). They can’t relate to, or really know, what you’re going through as a writer. So, instead of listening to others (who don’t write), read. A lot. And when you come across a sentence or paragraph, etc., you absolutely love and are so envious that it makes you almost hate the author, write that sentence out long-hand…and then study it to see if you can discover what it is about that piece of writing that makes it so magical.

3)  When you think you’ve come up with the perfect plot…but then you discover a similar story has just come out, don’t let that stop you! Your voice and your story will be completely different and maybe even better.

4)  Last of all, and perhaps the most important tip I can give any aspiring writer is that when you land an agent, treat them like the gem they are, for they will weather your storms and be your champion when your story needs to find a home.

Many Thanks…to Stephanie Queen, USA Today Bestselling Author (and queen of Quirky Quips Blog), for making my day with a nice review of Kiss Me Twice. See it here.

Please join me…

Remember…posting a review on Amazon or Goodreads is a wonderful way to say you enjoyed a book.

Thanks again for the visit…

Romantically ever after…

Alexa Darin

A random thoughtGood food and exercise may keep you healthy, but a good man and laughter will keep you alive.

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