Still Here

Okay, yeah, I’ve been gone for a few months. I have been in “survival mode”: doing what it takes to get through the day and nothing else. This including writing, posting, and reminding people that yes, I am an author, and yes, I have books for sale. (I still do, by the way. See the “Buy It Now” link. And order)

A turning point happened this past Saturday, March 22nd. I was part of the inaugural Authors Under the Lights, a signing event for authors (mostly independent) to meet and greet fans. I was signing autographs (Cool!), posing for pictures (Cool!), and learning about what other people do to market their books.

First, some pictures:


The participating authors. I’m in the back; you can see my little blonde head.



Did I mention we had male models? Yeah. This guy is a sweetheart named Eddie Finlay. I may have to write about young men and cougars….Is it warm in here?


My table. Nowhere near as much stuff as other people, but still…


And as a “Howdy” and ice breaker, Catherine Bybee shared mimosa


drink up

Me, Julie Prestsater, Catherine Bybee (bartender), Sandy Esparza (my assistant) and Debra Holland. Sandy, I think you’re having a little TOO much fun.

This was Authors Under the Lights 2014, a signing event featuring authors, their assistants, male models, swag, and chaos. Well, controlled chaos.

What I learned: write more books and have them ready to go. Promotion, promotion, promotion (I will finally use my iPad to create a promotional video). Swag: I saw everything from corkscrews with the author’s name on it to bookmarks with the cover art (Tom Roskelly’s designs will look amazing in miniature) to condom packets with stickers naming the hero of the stories (I think I’ll pass on that one).

I need a banner, too.

I had people coming to me for my autograph. I posed for pictures. One girl had read and reviewed my books and sought me out to get the autograph, the “pose with author” picture and tell me she enjoyed my books. Now that was an ego stroke I needed.


From Monique Costello’s Facebook. The lower picture is Monique with Renee Carlino.

So, my assistant, Sandy, and I have to figure out how the hows, whens, and wheres of the next signing event.

(Need an excuse to bump into Eddie again…)

And on a side note, I sent copies to Mrs. Obama a few months ago. This week, in the mail:

white house thanks


Life is still a challenge right now. But I’m rising to meet it.

On Living the Next Story

Don’t look for clever memes, bells, whistles or other embellishments on this post. No links, nothing flashy. Just words. I joke with others about having to stomp out so many fires, we need to wear asbestos boots.

That’s been my life lately. Surrounded by a bunch of big fires and not sure if my boots were up to the task of putting them out. Or if I even wanted to fight them anymore.

There is no snark here today. No defiance hurled at the year gone by for being a bad one. No verbal swings at anyone. No taunting of the circumstances that had me on the ropes but didn’t finish the job.

I’m still here. Weary as hell in spirit, but I’m still here.

I had a day job that paid well enough for me to live pretty comfortably (Yes, I have books for sale on the Internet. Please go buy them). It vanished pretty early on in the year. I was drawing unemployment, but when the extensions weren’t authorized, my income vanished in January. This led to a very tense living situation as I begged and borrowed money for rent. The landowner told me to get out on February 3. The eviction completely violates the law, but I’m gone. There was no point remaining in a situation where I couldn’t predict the actions of the other person. When you find yourself in a minefield, you don’t tap dance.

This is not the first time I’ve been in this kind of situation; broke, homeless, at the mercy of someone else. And it seems to get a little worse each time.

I’m over 50 and I’m sick of this shit, quite frankly. And for a period of weeks, I was honestly asking myself if I even wanted to continue. I could not see a light at the end of the tunnel, nor could I even find a match to strike (metaphoric one) to see a way out. What’s the point?

I got a job. it’s nowhere near the pay I was getting, but it’s a start. This is not  a career. This is temporary.

I have a temporary safe shelter. I am removed from the bad situation. The landowner is stuck alone in the home. No more whipping boy.

I have friends. I have glorious friends. They told me the law and my rights in the housing situation (And the landowner is and was completely wrong), they talked to me, they came, they moved me out, and most importantly, they made me feel like I still have value (even the friends who weren’t there in person, but there in spirit). Hugs have never felt better.

So the big fire is out, but he has plenty of cousins that need to be extinguished. However, I’m feeling more optimistic about it. I don’t need to fear my life being tossed onto a curb or stolen (there was a lot of petty theft in the previous house) by someone claiming it’s to offset what I owe (which, because of the actions taken, was $0).

I can breathe now. I can regroup. I have space to think without my heart pounding in fear.

I can take that one small step away from being in Survival Mode.










You know you want it.

HOWEVER, times are tough. We recognize that over here at (I like to pretend I’m not alone)

Want it for free?

You know you do.

I will still hunt you down and leave flaming bags of poop on your doorstep for the read and return.

2013-07-21 08.57.03

My source. He is small, but productive.


But, LEGITIMATE free Kindle copies of At Last.

From January 23 to January 27 (aka tomorrow until Monday), At Last will be available as a free download on Kindle.

Here’s your link:  At Last Kindle Link

 I had to wait until today to set it up, so it is free, At Last.  (Oh, Dear God, Dr. King is going to haunt me).

I’ve had success with offering free downloads of These Foolish Things and I’d like to get its sequel into wider circulation. Thus, free Kindle download. What could be better. Oh, and if you want it signed, it’s possible. Use this link:

Susan Thatcher on Authorgraph.

So, free e-book, personalized by the author. Go for it, Dude!