My First Official Book Signing!

My first book signing, 04/05/2014

My first book signing at NTBF, 04/05/2014

Finally, it happened. I attended my very FIRST published author book signing. WooHoo! Here’s the scoop…

My good friend and multi-published author, Carla Rossi, and I drove up to Denton, Texas, to attend the North Texas Book Festival. We arrived the night before, so we had a chance to scope out the town.

Denton is picture-perfect, small town America, complete with the town square at the top of the hill. The old courthouse with its century-old charm dominates the shopping district. At Cartwright’s Ranch House, right on the city square, I enjoyed the best catfish dinner, ever.

Carla Rossi at NTBF, 04/08/2014

Carla Rossi at NTBF, 04/05/2014


We claimed our author table, and with a signing veteran at my side, the day couldn’t be lovelier. I learned so much with Carla at my side. We sold some books, traded with other authors, enjoyed pizza provided by the good folks at NTBF, and I won a door prize.

Best personal moment? Signing my paperback for a total stranger. Natch! True, I’ve signed bookmarks for people I’d never met before, and blogged about it. (See Sept. 24th, “Jaye’s Moment of Fame” for a quite unexpected and funny encounter in an airport.) But, signing the paperback novel is an experience akin to holding your newborn baby. The heart swells with joy at what you have accomplished, and pride with how well it turned out, thanks to a great publisher.

One of my clients, Angela Christina Archer, and me at the NTBF, 04/05/2014

One of my clients, Angela Christina Archer, and me at the NTBF, 04/05/2014

Best professional moment? I met fellow Soul Mate Publishing author, Angel Christina Archer and her author friend, Sabrina Fish.

Angel Christina Archer and Sabrina Fish at the NTBF, 04/05/2014

Angel Christina Archer and Sabrina Fish at the NTBF, 04/05/2014

They drove down from the Oklahoma City area.






I edited Angela’s debut novel, The Woman On The Painted Horse, which is an awesome story. Angela is a very talented author! (What, you didn’t know I’m also an editor? See the “News” tab on this website.)

Having learned a few new tricks—including what to bring and not to bring—I’m off to fine tune my travel kit for future book signings. Happy Dance!

It’s Camp Nano Time!

J Logo 75If you’re a procrastinator like me, then it’s the day before a month-long writing fest where the goal is to get approximately 50k new words down on paper…which will then be the rough draft of a brand new book. Yeah. It’s March 31st and the write-a-thon starts tomorrow, April 1st. This is me, scrambling for my Storyboard, 3×5 Note Cards, Scene and Sequel Worksheets, Conflict Worksheets…and where-oh-where did I file that Synopsis I’d drafted a while back?

It’s all good though. I’ve found all my cheat sheets that will get this story kick-started. I’ve made a date to spend the day with a writer friend, too. Together, we’ll brainstorm all the basics, drink a couple gallons of iced tea, and end the day with a couple fun new books. Then, it’s solitary confinement for the month of April as we hit those keyboards.

See y’all on the other side of a finished book. Wish us luck!


D-Day for Jaye, or “How to Rediscover Yourself While Walking”

J Logo 75A friend of mine started eating vegetarian and walking/running over a year ago. She’ lost some weight, feels a lot better, and has rediscovered herself. I’ve been supporting her from the sidelines all this time. Yes, it occurred to me that I should begin a good health routine, too. My immediate response was always the same, “I’m too busy. I’ll start as soon as [fill in the blank] project is done. Then I’ll have time for planning my meals and a good exercise routine.”

Quite recently, my niece signed up with a work out plan where she works. Apparently, they have a gym and coaches in the facility. How wonderful for her! I’d take advantage of that if we had those facilities at my day job. Yes, I’m sure I would. Really. (Says the person who’s frittered away more than one gym membership.) Did I mention that I hate going to the gym?

Okay, since that’s not an option, and there will always be [fill in the blank] project that needs my attention, just when did I honestly believe I’d make time for myself? Right, never.

Well, no magical fairy dust is going to descend upon my shoulders and ‘poof!’ I’m fixed. I knew it was time I got my rather large rear-end in gear, dusted off my expensive walking shoes, got out there and started walking. Yeah, like the Nike ad says, “Just do it.”

Today is Sunday, October 27, 2013. It’s just after 1 pm, and I’m sweating. I just finished a 45 minute trek around my neighborhood, and I feel fabulous. But, there’s a big difference today in me feeling fabulous about starting my good health routine than any other time I’ve made this same commitment. Today, the motivation to do this every day, if even for a few minutes, floated in front of my eyes like an apparition of things to come if I didn’t keep this up. You checked the date, right? It’s almost Halloween.



Yeah, most of the neighborhood has their Trick or Treat lawn decorations out, and it was fun seeing all the different displays. Some were cute, some were downright spooky. The one that got my attention like no other was this one. Go ahead. Click on the picture for a really good look. I dare you.

Hello? Are you talking to me?

Damn Skippy, he was. Gulp!

Okay, I got the message. If I don’t take care of myself, I’ll be a bag of bones and dust. Then where will all those awesome [fill in the blank] projects be if I’m not here to finish them?

That picture got me to thinking. Since I’ve always been a bit of an explorer, I should take a picture of something on every walk that inspires me. Each day would be a brand new discovery. It could be anything and I could create an Inspirational Walking Blog. Every day, I could upload another picture and share what I’d found. Not only would that help me stay motivated, but doing the blog would be my own little accountability partner. Commitment. Yeah.

The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. So, I’m starting with my new best friend. I’ve named her Daye. Kind of like D-Day for Jaye. Get it?

Okay, I’ve created a place where you’ll find my accountability page of pictures and comments. I promise, I’ll update it at least once a week. You’ll find it here on my website under the Back At The Ranch tab. It’s called Walking With Jaye.

Letting go, with love

J Logo 75Isn’t it odd, that when the time is right, the Universe sends you the one message you need to hear on any given day? I found that to be true, today. This is Saturday morning, late September, and I’d slept in. I’d just finished my coffee so thought I’d empty the dishwasher. That load had been waiting several days already. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’re busy people. Don’t judge, okay? Okay.

The bottom rack has the utensil basket and I always start with that, then move on to everything else. With all the hardware back in their slots and bins, I noticed a three inch long piece of masking tape, edges curled and crisp from age, in the bottom of the utility basket. The tape had finally come loose from a pie server that had belonged to my mother.

"Giddy-up, Grandma!" My sons and my mom. Great memories!

“Giddy-up, Grandma!”
My sons and my mom. Great memories!

Mom had been a second grade school teacher for 32 years, played the organ every Sunday at mass, and sang at many weddings in our little community. It was her habit to mark stuff when taking a pot luck dish to the numerous events, and over the years, I got used to having my last name on the back or bottom of most everything we owned.

Mom passed away eight years ago and, like everyone else who’s suffered a similar loss, I’ve missed her every day. I’ve since incorporated many of her kitchen items into my own, but that one pie server is the only item that refused to let loose of the pesky label. Who knew that masking tape was that strong? I’d dug my fingernail into the ends of the tape, run the thing through the dishwasher numerous times, and it’s never let go. Until today.

Tears filled my eyes as I saw that bit of tape—with my maiden name inscribed in my mom’s unique handwriting—at the bottom of that basket. It was like mom was hugging me from Heaven. Of all the days in the year, she picked this one day to let me know she’s never truly gone away. You see, today is my birthday. Thanks Mom, I love you, too!

Jaye’s ‘Moment of Fame’

J Logo 75I’m a newly published author, and an awesome thing happened yesterday which will be fodder for my writer’s soul to keep me grinning for the next few months.

Captain Bulldog (aka: Hubby) and I were at O’Hare Airport in Chicago about to catch our flight back home to Houston. We had just moved into the queue for the 2nd Group to pass through the last check point before boarding. A petite flight attendant got in line right behind us. Captain Bulldog, never being one to not notice a pretty lady, questioned her about having to stand in line. She laughed and guaranteed that she belonged in Group 2, just like us—no special privileges for flight attendants heading home.

That’s when the pretty flight attendant noticed the bouquet that I cradled in crook of my left arm as if the flowers were a precious sleeping baby. She said, “What beautiful roses. Is it your birthday or something?” I grinned and replied, “No, it’s not my birthday, but a very good friend and one of my critique partners, Pamala Knight, gave them to me Saturday evening in honor of publishing my first novel. Pamala lives in Chicago and I’m in Houston, but we both belong to The Lalalas, an online critique group, so we got to see each other while I was in town.”

Well, the pretty lady ‘ooh’ed’ and ‘aah’ed’ that I had written a book and she was so excited to meet a real author. At that point, C.B. reached into his travel bag, produced one of my bookmarks, and handed it to her. (I’m telling you, it was as if he’d been doing that his whole life. I was astounded at how quickly he reacted.) The flight attendant handed me a pen, right then, and asked if I’d sign the bookmark. (Picture me; experiencing my first autographing to someone I’d never before met. Oh my!)



I asked her name. It was the same as my sister’s so I knew I’d need to get the spelling correct. She grinned and said it was with just one “n”, Diane. (Sis uses two n’s.) I asked Captain Bulldog to turn around, handed the bouquet of roses to Diane, and then used Dear Hubby’s back as a hard surface on which to write, and signed the bookmark. At this point, I began to notice the crowd behind us was now paying attention to our conversation much like that old commercial “When EF Hutton talks, people listen.” I did my best not to lose my composure. Hubby’s grin said it well enough for the both of us. LOL!

So, on to check in. As I stepped onto the plane, I was waylaid by the crunch of people just inside the galley next to the captain’s cabin. The two flight attendants noticed my dozen roses, still cradled in my arm, but I now viewed them more like a trophy. “Is it your birthday?” I grinned. Big time, grinned. “No, a friend gave them to me.”Then, Diane’s voice from three people behind me yelled, “She published a book! The roses are for her book!”

That’s when the line went Full Stop. No forward movement. The two flight attendant’s eyes sparkled like tree lights at Christmas. They both asked several questions at once about my book. Not wanting to hold up the people behind me, and knowing the attendants were at work, I told them I’d give them bookmarks as soon as I found my seat.

The Roses from Pamala Knight, and they made it home in great shape. LOVE!

The Roses from Pamala Knight, and they made it home in great shape. LOVE!

The lady who had been listening to my original conversation with Diane back in the airport yelled, “May I have one, too?” Still grinning, I nodded “Yes!” to her and moved along. That lady turned out to be Michelle.

As I found my seat, I thought, OMG! Was this really happening? I felt light-headed, but somehow, I held it together. Danged if I’d let myself pass out and miss my ‘moment of fame’. Ha!Before the flight took off, I found Michelle in her seat and she was already searching Amazon on her cell phone for my book title. My seat mate, Elena, wanted a bookmark as well. Oh my! And, once all three flight attendants: Cindy, Janet, and Bosiana (pronounced, Bo-Shawna, and she’s from Poland!) had served refreshments and were taking a short break, they finally got their questions answered about how I came up with the story, the setting, and how long it took to write. And, they each got their signed bookmarks.I ask you. How much fun can a debut author have in one day? I mean, really? LOL!

So, if you ever need a bump in your publicity, just book a flight and get in line with a dozen roses. But, keep those bookmarks handy!

My Fabulous Book Cover Pendant – Thank you to Mary Behre!

My fabulous new Book Pendant, made by Mary Behre!

My fabulous new Book Pendant, made by Mary Behre!

Mary Behre presented me with a most endearing gift for publishing my first book. This is my debut novel’s book cover in a glass pendant. Gorgeous! My eyes welled with tears when I saw it. Thank you so much, dear-heart friend. Lalala!!!