Graduations!

On Memorial Day, a part of my family and I drove two hours up to Lake Nacona, TX to celebrate the high school graduation of our great niece and cousin. She is the first of her generation to graduate from high school. There will be two more in her family, and we’ll have three more, but not for quite a few years. 🙂

accomplishment ceremony education graduation

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The experience made me nostalgic about this event. You know your high school graduation is like no other. In college some people decide not to walk, and even if they do, they can have several college graduations, so they lose some of their significance.

I’ve been fortunate to take part in and attend a lot of high school graduations—literally too numerous to count. I was a high school teacher in a former life, and a school board member for eight years in another former life where I spoke and made presentations at graduations. Not to mention my own high school graduation and those of our daughters. I was on the stage for my oldest daughter’s ceremony and my husband was on the board of regents for the state college form which she graduated. (He actually handed her the diploma.)

sunset beach people sunrise

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So high school graduations have significance to me. “Bittersweet” was the word I heard mentioned today. My great niece and her friends have been together since early elementary school, and now they will be going their separate ways. Oh, a couple are going to several different colleges together, but it will never be the same.

I love the opportunities stretching ahead for these young people. They have their whole lives ahead of them. To quote Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the places they will go.”

Not only have the girls been long time good buds, but their moms have too. In their 40s and 50s they’ve juggled jobs, spouses, kids, volunteer activities, and older parents. Such a lot on their plate. Several moms are done now and are empty-nesters.  Others still have one or two more to graduate. What lies ahead for them? Who knows?

The heroine in many of my stories are like these women. They have children, parents, jobs, sometimes spouses, and then I throw in a bit of suspense, a murder or two, and the possibility of a new love. Stir until they can have a happily ever after. Check out my stand-alones and The Second Chances Series.

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What about you? Anyone graduating this year? Children, Grands, Nieces or nephews? Maybe yourself?

I love graduations from any perspective. Such joy, excitement and “bittersweetness.” Love to hear from you.

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Book News!!

I’m excited to announce that ACT OF SURVIVAL, Book 4 The Second Chances Series releases April 16, and right now it’s available for Pre-Order at Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and KOBO. Unfortunately, you can’t get a Pre-Order at Amazon for this book.

Here are the links:

B & N https://bit.ly/2WiINmV

KOBO https://bit.ly/2TVasOi

iTunes https://apple.co/2HQFSxZ

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This is the first book I’ve done entirely through Draft 2 Digital. Aside from the Amazon Pre-Order glitch, I’ve been happy with them. They’ve been quick to respond to my questions. (And you know I’ve had some.) LOL

Previously, I put up ACT OF BETRAYAL, Book 3 The Second Chances Series and my first published book, VERMONT ESCAPE. I did those specifically to get my books up on iTunes. One of my very good friends reads books that way. Not sure why VERMONT ESCAPE wasn’t on iTunes, because I think I used a formatter who did that. At least that was the case for all the books after that.

Vermont Escape 300dpi (1)

Now, I use D 2 D for formatting, and as I said, they’ve put the book up everywhere. Please stop for a minute and imagine how much nicer this is for me. Yes, I did upload to all the venues individually for the books before BETRAYAL (except iTunes), but oh my goodness, it was sooooo stressful!!! So many moving parts and opportunities to mess up. LOL This is soooo much easier for me. Now I know some of you format your own books. Well, good for you. I’m impressed, but that’s not something I want to learn to do. This would not be a good use of  my time.

I’ve only had two problems with formatting with D 2 D, and they were both pilot errors. 😊 On ACT OF BETRAYAL, I’d apparently added extra spaces to the ends of lines and when I uploaded the document, the result was odd spacing and gaps between lines. This was one of those times when the staff was great and helped me fix it. Act of Betrayal

The second problem was with the center **** dividing markers being in odd places rather than the center. That I fixed myself when I used a different formatting option. (I would tell you exactly what that is, but I’m afraid if I go into that section to check the wording, I’ll somehow unpublish the book!) It is the last option under the basic heading. There is an option to pay something, but I don’t do that.

I learned about D 2 D from a fellow writer at an NTRWA meeting. Writers helping other writers is cool. 😊

This is book is over six months later than I originally planned, but life happens. For me, that has involved taking on some very time consuming (but needed) leadership roles at my church. I kept pushing off the book. When I took on the jobs, I knew that was going to happen and just accepted the consequences. We all make choices.

Needless to say, I’m thrilled to have reached this point. I hope many of you will Pre-Order and when the book releases, you’ll read and write a review. Thanks in advance for those.

If you’re a writer and you’re the publisher, how do you publish your works? How do you do that? Do you handle the formatting?

I hope Spring is close to arriving wherever you live. In Texas, we’re right on the cusp of seeing huge fields of bluebonnets. 🙂

You can contact me at marsha@marsharwest.com or through my web site http://www.marsharwest.com  where you can also sign up for my NEWSLETTER  or check out any of my social media sites.

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