Month: July 2019


The first weekend of August my favorite book event of the year happens! The Florida Authors and Publishers Association Book Awards and Conference. I’ll be honest, I’ve attended some pretty amazing events this year…like the Seymour Agency Cruise, but FAPA is like home, and it’s where my heart is.

In 2017 a social media encounter with Mark Wayne Adams led me to FAPA, and I will be forever grateful to him. That year Lottie Loser, my debut novel and Book I of the AMI Series, won the Silver Medal in ChicLit and my life as an author began. I met my publisher, Terri Gerrell of Southern Yellow Pines Publishing, and signed with her, but most importantly I made friendships with other authors, and they took me under their wings.

This will be my third conference and I’m nervous and excited all in one. Last year Call Me Charlotte won three medals, including the Gold in Adult Fiction Romance, and this year Book III of the AMI Series, The Greysons is up for a medal in Adult Fiction Romance and Cover Design Adult. I won’t pretend that I don’t want to do well, but two dear friends are also up for Cover Design, and I’m so pleased for them.

I’ve met some very competitive people in the literary industry, but my friends from FAPA are people I trust, and know I can count on. What a blessing that is.

Now I want to introduce you to my special FAPA friends.

Hayley Rose, David Edmonds, me and Kip Koelsch all 2018 Award Winners
With my dear friend Kathryn Knight
Kathryn and Patti Brassard Jefferson, The incoming FAPA President
Author Talya Boerner
With Mark Wayne Adams in 2017
With Jane Wood, 2017 FAPA President and Mark
With Author Zelle Andrews
2017 Silver in ChicLit

I can’t wait to see what learning opportunities FAPA has in store for us this year, and I can’t wait to see these wonderful people.

Until we read again…📚


Dana L.❤️

A State of Mind…

10.3 million adults in the United States suffered some type of extreme depressive episode in the past year. 10.3 million! And 50% of them also suffered from anxiety. The numbers boggle my mind, and yet, I know that they’re true.

I’ve told you before that my journey into Social Media only started because I wrote Lottie Loser. But now I’m hooked, and every day I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Most of the people I follow, and who follow me, are involved in writing and an awful lot of them suffer from depression and anxiety. Is there a correlation? I hear over and over that most writer’s are introverts and for me that’s part of the puzzle. I am definitely an extrovert, and speaking engagements are one of my favorite things to do, so do people who are more reticent to be out among others also have more issues with depression and anxiety? I don’t know.

I am a strong woman, with a strong personality, so this is where I need to admit something that I’m not very proud of. I didn’t used to have a lot of compassion for people who said they were depressed. I thought they were whining, or looking for attention and that they just needed to get over it. I’m so ashamed of that now.

Let me take you back to 2017. I was retired, had won a National Award for Lottie Loser, and Call Me Charlotte was written. The world was looking pretty rosy. I signed with Southern Yellow Pines Publishing and was pretty sure I was on my way to being the next Nora Roberts. ( Okay, that part’s not true, but it’s fun to imagine!) That November I worked diligently on The Greysons during National Novel Writing Month, and was pleased with it; and then came 2018.

I started the new year off with a bad bout of vertigo, and for a week was flat on my back in bed. Any motion or noise sent me reeling, and it was one of the worst weeks of my life. Eventually I recovered but by now it was dead on winter, and I became like a bear. I just wanted to hibernate. I didn’t feel the need to write because I had one book heading into publication and one book ready to go, so I whiled away the months, waiting on spring.

In May we headed to Anna Maria Island for the release of Charlotte, but things didn’t go as planned. My mom was ill, the crowds that I had anticipated didn’t materialize, and I was distraught . From there the summer went downhill, and all of a sudden I was one of those 10.3 million people. Hurting, unhappy and yep, depressed. I couldn’t write, I cried all the time and kept looking for outlets to make my life whole again.

I am so thankful for the special people who helped me through my darkness, and even the meds that helped me regain the joy that I thought was gone forever. One day in the late fall of 2018 I realized that I’d forgotten to take a pill for several days in a row and called my doctor. She assured me that what I was taking did not need a gradual decrease, so I just quit. And that’s when I knew I was going to be okay. *If you are taking medication for depression or anxiety please talk with a medical professional before you stop taking them.*

Now everywhere I go people are admitting their depression, anxiety, and OCD issues to me, and I can be the caring, supportive friend that they need. Would this have happened two year’s ago? Probably not.

When I was in banking I liked to tell the people I worked with that you needed to walk a mile in someone’s shoes to truly understand them. I believe that today more that ever.

Anyone can suffer from depression; it’s what puts it in motion that’s different for everyone. But like with any mental incapacity, depression and anxiety are not issues that should be swept under the carpet, but need brought out into the light.

Today I have several friends who are dealing with depression in various stages, and I’m so thankful that they trust me enough to confide in me. A couple are Christians with a strong faith, and a couple aren’t sure of their religious beliefs, but for all of them their depression is real.

Once again I’m the strong woman that I was before 2018, but I know how easily that could change. I’m writing again, have started a local writer’s group, and am looking forward to my husband’s retirement in 2020. But never again will I discount someone’s feelings when they tell me they’re depressed. I’ve walked in their shoes and to be honest, I’m grateful that I did.

Until we read again…📚

Dana L.❤️

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Adventures at the Y!

If you’ve looked at my picture you can tell that I’m not an athlete. If you know me at all you know that I’m not giving in to getting old! There’s a common denominator here and as much as I hate it, it’s exercise. And thus begins my adventure at the YMCA.🏋️‍♂️

Last winter my youngest daughter asked me to start going to the Y with her. She’s a medical technician at our local hospital and the employees were given five year memberships. Nice! Until it involved me going, as well. Her plan was that I would meet her there every day when she got off work, but working in a rural hospital you don’t always have set hours, and that was the case with her.

So of course, I declined. It was still cold and snowy outside and I had no desire to go out if I didn’t have to. I’m retired, remember? Then spring came around and she asked again. My response? Same song, different verse. The Midwest was experiencing terribly cold, wet weather, and again, I didn’t want to go outside if it wasn’t necessary.

Finally she started going on her own but every weekend I’d receive a text with messages like “Can’t wait to work out with you”, or “We’re going to have so much fun together when you join the Y”, you know, positive reinforcement. But I held fast to my excuses. The best one was that I needed to be writing and couldn’t break my concentration. If you’re a writer, you can relate. But come the middle of June I had a wake-up call when I realized that she was losing weight, something I always struggled with. Finally I agreed to start on July 1st, but then found out our Y was closing that week for some updates.

On July 8th I finally stepped through the doorway of the Randolph County YMCA, and have gone 5 times since! And do you know what I discovered? Besides the fact that I’m way out of shape? People of all ages, but many of them my age or older, walking the track and working out in the weight room. I saw people I knew from my days in banking, friends I hadn’t seen in awhile, and a new found enjoyment in exercise. Who knew?

I’m still not great at some of the machines, but I try them, and do as many reps as I can. Three years ago my husband and I biked with friends through the Netherlands, so the fancy bike that can go up and down hills is a favorite. Never in my life have I been able to do a sit-up, so the machine that helps you do rolls, and works on your core is one I use faithfully. Sometimes I add extra weight and sometimes I don’t.

The best part of my Y adventure is the time I get to spend with Alison. As a wife, and busy mom of 3 who works a full time job, she doesn’t usually have time to spend with me, one on one. Not that I don’t love spending time with her family, but sometimes it’s nice to have my little girl all to myself.

I haven’t lost any weight yet, and I still don’t look like Rachel Hunter, but I do feel better and that’s really my goal. My hope is that by the time winter rolls around again I’ll be so into working out that I won’t want to resume my hermit lifestyle.

If you’re looking for adventure, and don’t want to go too far from home, try out your local YMCA. And go with someone you enjoy spending time with. I guarantee it will make you feel good inside as well as out.

Until we read again…📚


Dana L.❤️

My baby girl and work out partner!

Be sure to follow me on Amazon for alerts when my new books release. I’m working on Noah’s story now and I have to say, I really like it!

Book Review of All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

In May I attended the Midwest Writer’s Conference at Ball State University, where I went to college. It was one of the best conferences I’ve ever been to, and one of my favorite parts was having one-on-one sessions with literary agents.

In February I had the good fortune of meeting with an agent from The Seymour Agency who told me the novel I was writing, The Four Seasons of Summer was not a romance as I thought, but was classified as Women’s Fiction. Great, because two of the agents at the MWW Festival actually represented authors of Women’s Fiction.

Truthfully, I wasn’t really sure what the difference was between Romance and Women’s Fiction, but I was excited to talk with an agent who did. Which brings me to my book review. One of the people I spoke with said that All We Ever Wanted was her idea of the epitome of Women’s Fiction, so I knew I needed to read it.

As a mother and (gulp) grandmother, I could feel the devastation that Nina Browning felt when she found out her only child was involved in a scandal involving an inappropriate photograph. And I could feel her frustration when she realized her self serving husband thought he could make it all go away with money. Something he had too much of. But I couldn’t fall in love with her character, and that’s what has to happen for me to truly get excited about a book.

Nina and Kirk Browning are nouveau rich, but unfortunately the money has taken an already egocentric Kirk, and turned him into a jerk. When the Browning’s become aware that their son Finch; yes, named for Atticus Finch of To Kill A Mockingbird fame, has taken a provocative picture of himself with a girl from his elite high school, and that the picture is going viral, Nina and Kirk have different ideas on how to deal with it.

Finch’s future is all of a sudden in question. Will he be kicked out of the prestigious Windsor Academy, or worse yet, lose his acceptance into Princeton? Nina wants him to own up to his responsibility, but Kirk and Finch come up with their own plan to absolve Finch of any accountability.

And how about Lyla, the girl in picture being shared with the student body? Is she appalled, indifferent, or more concerned about her social standing than the implications in the photo? Her father of course is furious, and wants the truth to come out.

The back story in All We Ever Wanted, and the true crux of Nina’s feelings about what her son did, all revolve around an incident in her past. She kept quiet and allowed the person to go unpunished, and as an adult she knows how much she’d suffered because of it.

One thing I liked a lot in the book were the chapters being written from the perspectives of the different characters. I use “Now and Then” in my books to take the reader back to a earlier time, so the chapters being in different characters point of view was appealing to me.

Did I get as involved in this book as the literary agent I spoke with did? No. But it was written well and gave me some interesting perspective’s on writing that I didn’t have before. It ends with a Happily Ever After of sorts, but definitely is not a love story. And maybe that’s what I missed. No heart stopping passion, no tension between lovers, just a story about relationships gone bad. But it is a story about a mother’s never ending love and commitment to her child, and that’s something I can totally relate to.

If you like books about connections between people, and don’t have to have a romance involved, please give All We Ever Wanted a try. Emily Giffin is a number one best selling author and this book has over 1000 reviews on Amazon.

Until we read again…📚


Dana L.❤️

Be sure to follow my Amazon Author page to find out more about me and to receive alerts when my new books release!

Celebrating The Greysons🎉

JULY 4-7 the AMI Box Set is FREE on Kindle! Enjoy this Sweet and Spicy series at no cost to you! It’s like FREE FIREWORKS for the holiday weekend! 🎊💫💥

Are you a Nook user? Save 75% off each AMI Series book over the 4th of July weekend using Coupon we as Code BNPAMI13


Charlotte’s favorite Beachhuouse wine for toasting!
With my dear friend Shelly
We met when Whitney reached out to me with love for Lottie Loser. She’s now one of my best supporters and favorite people!
An amazing gift from an amazing member of my writers group, the Winchester Writers.

Celebrating The Greysons and the AMI Series was definitely one of the highlights of my life! Who would have ever believed that a banker from Indiana would write three Award Winning Romance novels! Talk about a fairytale come true.

I can’t thank you enough for your love and support.💜

Until we read again…📚


Dana L.❤️