Blog

The Struggle is Real

on November 9, 2019

Last year at this time, I was crying. A lot. I was trying to get my first self-published full-length novel finished and out, and I ended up having to push the release date back a month. I then spent all of the Christmas holiday holed up in a hotel room writing like a crazy woman. If you read Wishing On A Star, I apologize that it is not the quality of work you deserve from me. The only thing I can say is that book almost broke me. In return, I may have broken it.

Up until this year, my books were released through a publisher. For a relatively short career, mine has been a successful one. At least in my eyes. I didn’t know a year ago that my publisher would end our connection. (Meaning this burnout is not they’re doing. I was simply so far in the weeds that I couldn’t think about anything beyond the mess I was in.

No, this brain fog has been coming on for some time. Maybe even a couple of years. I’ve spent a good deal of time ruminating on the situation (since I’m doing absolutely nothing else—including writing) and have determined a collection of factors that all boil down to me. Yes, I brought this on myself.

I got cocky. Over confident. I took things for granted, and started coasting. In my own defense, I also got smacked with menopause. I don’t mean love tapped or gently eased into it. I mean freaking menopause swung around a blind curve and ran me the hell over. I’m pretty sure that around the summer of 2017, my brain left on an extended vacation without telling me. She saw the writing on the wall (impending hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings) and said, “See ya on the other side.”

At least I hope she’s coming back.

All this to say… well… I have no idea what I’m trying to say. I’m not complaining. Shit happens. Aging happens. Hormones—or the lack thereof—happen. It sucks, but this isn’t the suckiest thing to happen to me BY FAR. I have a nice house, a nice car, my college-student daughter still at home, and enough four-legged freeloaders to keep me busy. And, at least for now, I still make a living as an author. (I’m as shocked by this as you are, believe me.)

There are pros and cons to living in your head, and I realize that maybe I’ve lived in mine a little too much in the last few years. I rarely leave the house, and when I do I can’t wait to get back home. I also have this blog I’ve been neglecting for far too long so why not turn this into my own personal journal that just happens to be out there for the world to read?

I’m not making a plan or promising regular updates, but getting the crap out of my head might not be a bad idea. So, here I go. Airing out my brain. Excuse the mess as renovations continue.

WISHING ON A STAR Cover Reveal!

on October 18, 2018

I’ve been planning to revive this blog for a while, and what better time to do that than today? This year has been a crazy one for me, and the chaos is carrying all the way through to the end. That’s because WISHING ON A STAR releases on December 11, and today I’m ridiculously excited to share the cover with you! Isn’t she pretty??!!!???

 

 

Wishing On A Star carries on the Shooting Stars Series, featuring the artists and dreamers who pass through the doors of Shooting Stars Records, the newest label in Music City. Here’s the current back cover copy for Wishing On A Star! (Subject to change.)

This is the story of Jesse Gold—the first female artist signed to Shooting Stars Records, and one of the most talented unknowns in Music City. After getting a glimpse of success as one half of the Honkytonk Daisies, Jesse wants stardom more than ever, but she can’t get there without an album and for that she needs a producer.

Enter Ash Shepherd—a successful songwriter coming off a career-topping collaboration with the now-redeemed bad boy of country music, Chance Colburn. Stepping into the producer’s chair can take Ash’s career to the next level, but he won’t make just any album. The music has to be real and genuine and straight from the performer’s heart.

Thus comes problem number one. Jesse is determined to make the catchiest, most radio-friendly album she can to insure her debut record is a success. Ash is more interested in great songs than spoon-feeding listeners candy-coated country pop, and that means pushing Jesse beyond what he calls musical fluff.

But a disagreement on songs isn’t the only issue between them.

Which brings in problem number two. Jesse and Ash share a past that includes her brother’s death in a car accident while Ash was behind the wheel. That tragic night left Jesse scarred and alone, and after twelve years apart, these two wounded artists struggle to not only find common ground, but to deal with the powerful and unexpected sparks igniting between them.

Can Ash and Jesse let go of the past and take a shot at a future that neither imagined? Or will they cling to old wounds and lose out on a love they might never find again?

I’m crazy excited and nervous and all-around petrified to be putting this one out there on my own, but Jesse and Ash’s story had to be told, even if neither of them was willing to making the writing easy for me. I hope you’re excited, too, and if you are, feel free to hop over to Amazon and hit the preorder button today!

PS: There will be at least one more book in this series and it’s the one I hope everyone is waiting for. I know I am.

It Isn’t Them. It’s Me.

on March 15, 2017

This is my way of saying “Move on, folks, nothing to see here.” I know I sort of dropped the online dating topic as quickly as I picked it up, but I’ve been meaning to write this post for WEEKS. I’d like to say I have a good reason for not getting it done, but I don’t. So, here we go.

I really did try this time. I went through my apps almost daily. I checked every time I got a message that so and so wanted to meet me or such and such wanted to chat. But 99% of the time, I’d click over, flinch (or actually draw back,) click the big red X and move on. I’m sure that some of these men are perfectly nice and have even turned a head or two in the real world. Which is why I’ve come to the conclusion that *I* am the problem.

I met one man during this process. And that’s how I know I’m not cut out for this dating thing. Within a (ridiculously) short period of time, he seemed to be smitten. Minutes later, he wanted to hold my hand and kiss me. That is no exaggeration. MINUTES. LATER.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. That’s flattering! Why wouldn’t you want a guy to fall for you like that? And I’m not sure I have a good answer. Either I’m not ready to date (which would be an asinine excuse since I’ve been single longer than I’m willing to admit on this blog), or I’ve been alone so long that I’m unable to tolerate other people. My money is on the latter.

I don’t want to say that I’m broken, but I’m broken. Only in the sense that I write love stories for a living but have NO patience for embarking on my own. None. Zilch. Nada. I’m too selfish now. My time is mine. I don’t have to work my life around anyone else. I don’t have to discuss major life choices or purchases. I don’t have to explain why I’m up at three in the morning playing Toy Blast on my phone when I should be sleeping.

Do you have any idea how lovely that is? Or maybe that’s only lovely to me. I’m cool with that. Either way, my subscriptions run out in early April and I’m counting down the days. Because then I can go back to not thinking about dating and rejection and go on with my life the way I like it. With me, myself, and I.

PS: Here’s one example of the pond in which I’m fishing – the app suggested that I had found me the perfect date last night. In his profile, the man said he was looking for a yoga instructor who voted for Tru… I refused to type that name. Anyway, I think you get the gist. Wrong pond.

Profile Pictures or For the Love of…

on January 24, 2017

I’m going to address this blog to the men of online dating sites. But, to preface, I opening admit that I am certainly not a looker. I mean, I don’t have pictures of my hot body all sweaty from the gym. Mostly because I don’t have a hot body. Nor do I go to the gym (despite paying my membership monthly.) I’m not skinny or perky or model-like. I am well aware of all of this, so there is no need for rebuttals that begin with the words “Yeah, but you…” I know. I truly do.

So here we go.

First off, please stop using images of you holding up dead fish. Really. I’m sure the size of that fish impresses your friends, and somehow conveys your ability to provide for your mate, but just stop.

I get that selfies are a thing right now. One of the pics on my profile is, indeed, a selfie. But by all that is holy, please do not use a selfie taken so close and at such an angle as to make your nose hair the focal point of the image.

Sticking with the selfies, please stop taking your picture with your phone in your bathroom mirror. For one, I don’t want to see your bathroom. That just isn’t a sexy room. And for two, it looks ridiculous. Have someone else take your picture. Your neighbor, perhaps. Your barber or barista. Anyone else.

Onto the expression. I’m sure that you think you look tough when you make that gruff face, but in truth, you look scary. I have no doubt this is what some women want. And if girls who like big scary guys is your thing, you go on with your grimacing self. But perhaps something a little less threatening would be better. Show us that pretty smile. Or sexy grin. Now there’s an idea!

Put clothes on. Enough said.

And because some guys get it right, I send out special profile pic kudos to the men who pose with their pooches. Brava, my good men. Brava.

PS: While posting this blog I got a message from a 31 year old. Not going to lie, that was a nice ego boost. (No, I did not take him up on the offer.)

Blurbing Yourself

on January 18, 2017

For those who don’t know, a blurb is the attention-grabbing summary on the back of a novel(la). If the blurb does its job, you’ll buy the book (or one-click in today’s terms) and start reading. Most authors will tell you that writing the book blurb is hell. You’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into 300 (+ or -) pages, spinning a complicated, layered story with unique characters and gripping conflict. Now you have to simmer all of that down to a couple of paragraphs that express the tone and plot of the book.

Now try doing this to summarize who you are. That’s what is required when creating an online dating profile. Where do you start? What do you include? Do you go light or serious? Stay vague or give some details? 

I’m on two different sites and on both I’ve learned a valuable bit of information. Information I will share with you today. What do we hear men say all the time? That they want a strong, confident woman. Dude, that’s totally me.

 

But, in fact, this is a lie, and I have totally minor, non-empirical evidence to prove it. More on that in a minute.

In the past, I’ve always assumed that no one on these sites showed an interest in me because of my appearance. I include the best pictures I can find for a non-photogenic person, but there’s only so much the right angles and lighting can do.

But this time around, I’ve changed my way of thinking. My looks are fine, but my blurb is the problem. Which brings us back to tone. I wish I’d kept my original profiles, but sadly, I didn’t. Still, here’s an idea of what I wrote.

I’m a single mother of a fabulous high school senior and I’m looking to make a real connection. Financially stable, own my own home, and probably too independent for my own good. Sarcastic and love to laugh. I write romance novels. (No, I’m not looking for “research” help, and yes, you can make a living at that.) I travel a lot and would love to have someone to travel with in the coming years.

That isn’t verbatim, but it’s close. The response was…

 

So, on the advice of a friend, I softened it up a bit.

I’m looking for a nice guy who can make me laugh. My daughter will go to college this fall and she’s by far my greatest achievement. I’m a writer so spend a lot of time in my head. Having someone to help me look around would be nice. I like music and books, and would love to find the right person to show me around town.

Both of these profiles are true. Both describe me. But I’m sure you can see the difference. I did something similar on the second dating site with the same results. First profile a bit bolder—little to no response. Softened the tone—interest almost daily.

Unfortunately, most of the interest isn’t what I’m looking for, and the rare ones I’d be up for talking to disappear after one message. But I’m sticking with it for now. However, I will no longer be complaining about writing book blurbs. They’re much easier than this real world stuff.

What do you think? I’ll take any and all strategy tips for this crazy dating game.

Non-Adventures in Online Dating

on January 11, 2017

For me, as I’m sure it did for many of you, 2016 sucked ass. Not 100% of the time. I bought my new house. Moved back to a great town. And won my first writing awards. Add in a lovely Christmas with family and it wasn’t all bad.

But a lot of it was stressful and kicked my butt and as a result, I dropped a lot of balls. A big one being this blog. So it’s time to get back on the horse, in more ways than one, and I figured why not do something crazy? Not jump out of a plane crazy, because I don’t have a death wish, but something out of my comfort zone.

I’m sure you’ve guessed my meaning from the title of this blog. That’s right. I’m going in. Online dating. The singles bar of the 21st century. This isn’t my first foray into this arena. For some reason, I give it a try every five years dating back to when I was 30. That’s back when Yahoo Personals was the only game in town, so that tells you how long ago it was.

Other than the first venture, the experiences haven’t been positive, which is probably why it takes five years to try again. I need time to forget the last dismal affair. So I’m back in the game and I’ll be sharing the journey.

What I won’t be sharing:

Names (of the innocent or guilty still remains to be seen)

Which sites I’m on

Personal details (think vague but clear enough to be understood)

I actually waded my way in at the end of the year and I have to tell you, there are a lot of folks on these sites. And the pics they choose to be a first impression are, um, interesting. Since I’m paying, I send messages when I find a guy who sounds nice. They never respond. Ever. Not even a no thanks. I get a message now and then, and one guy even called me beautiful. That didn’t suck.

Not sure how often I’ll have anything to share, but maybe I’ll slide in funny stories of my past experiences. As much as I’d like to forget some of them, they’re seared in my brain so I might as well use them for entertainment purposes. And if you have any online dating stories you want to share, or if you’re out here with me in the wild west of singlehood, let’s commiserate together.

Book Giveaway on Goodreads

on October 18, 2016

To celebrate the release of HER HOPES AND DREAMS, the fourth in the Ardent Springs series, coming up in four weeks, I’m giving away five print copies of the book that kicked off the small town Tennessee adventures – HIS FIRST AND LAST. There are five copies up for grabs and with a couple clicks of your mouse, you could be the lucky winner of your own signed copy.

Hop over to Goodreads and enter today.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

His First and Last by Terri Osburn

His First and Last

by Terri Osburn

Giveaway ends October 31, 2016.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

 

Enter Giveaway

While you’re there, don’t forget to add HER HOPES AND DREAMS to your want to read shelf. Coming Nov 15, 2016.

osburn-herhopesanddreams-21757-cv-ft-v07

And The Winner Is…..

on November 11, 2015

TINA HAIRSTON HAS WON THE KINDLE FIRE!!!!

Kindle Fire Winner

Congratulations, Tina! You’ll be getting an email today about what happens next. Thank you to everyone who joined the fun and took the time to enter the contest. And, of course, thanks to everyone who bought OUR NOW AND FOREVER. The book had broken into the Top 100 overall on Amazon before 6 in the evening, which is a huge accomplishment for me.

I cannot thank you readers enough. You are by far the best!

Win A Kindle Fire!

on November 1, 2015

To celebrate the launch of the second book in the Ardent Springs Series, available Nov 10th, I’m giving away an 8GB Kindle Fire tablet to one lucky winner. 

Here’s the blurb for OUR NOW AND FOREVER:

When Caleb McGraw sweeps Snow Cameron off her feet, she never expects their whirlwind romance to lead to a Vegas wedding chapel. Before she can catch her breath, Caleb starts talking kids and college funds while his wealthy parents make their disapproval painfully clear. Convinced she was blinded by lust, not love, Snow takes off for Ardent Springs, Tennessee, two months into the marriage.

Heir to a media conglomerate, Caleb never experienced struggle or rejection, until Snow sends him on a wild hunt for his runaway bride. When he finally finds her—managing a curiosity shop beloved by the quirky locals—she agrees to give the marriage another chance, but on one condition: no sex for a month. Can their love stand the test, or will they give in to their attraction?

In this humorous and heartwarming Ardent Springs romance, two lost hearts start over in a town where everyone deserves a second chance and love always wins in the end.

I loved the idea of starting a romance novel after the couple is already married. No meet cute. No drawn out courtship. For this book, I had to basically save a marriage, at the same time toying with the idea of love at first sight and if it can really turn into a happily ever after.

So what I want to know is…. do you believe in love at first sight? And can it really last forever?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get Your Advanced Copy Now

on September 28, 2015

COk6KoRWwAAVMImI am excited to report that OUR NOW AND FOREVER, my Nov 10th release in the Ardent Springs Series, is now available on NetGalley. If any reviewers and/or bloggers out there would like to get in on the action early, feel free to click the link and get your copy.

This installment centers around Snow Cameron and Caleb McGraw, and is a little different for a romance. Instead of the couple meeting and working toward a wedding, these two are already married and trying to figure out if and why they should stay that way. It was a blast to write, and I can’t wait to hear what the readers think. 

To wet your reading whistle, here’s the blurb…

When Caleb McGraw sweeps Snow Cameron off her feet, she never expects their whirlwind romance to lead to a Vegas wedding chapel. Before she can catch her breath, Caleb starts talking kids and college funds while his wealthy parents make their disapproval painfully clear. Convinced she was blinded by lust, not love, Snow takes off for Ardent Springs, Tennessee, two months into the marriage.

Heir to a media conglomerate, Caleb never experienced struggle or rejection, until Snow sends him on a wild hunt for his runaway bride. When he finally finds her—managing a curiosity shop beloved by the quirky locals—she agrees to give the marriage another chance, but on one condition: no sex for a month. Can their love stand the test, or will they give in to their attraction?

In this humorous and heartwarming Ardent Springs romance, two lost hearts start over in a town where everyone deserves a second chance and love always wins in the end.

The review community has been so wonderful to me. I’m thankful to each and every person who takes the time to read my books. When they leave a review, it’s like a nice little cherry on top. I hope you’ll give Snow and Caleb a try, and let me know what you think.