Lessons Learned.

It’s been two months since my last post, and I have decided, if I’m going to maintain this blog/site, I have to do much better.

My last post, “An Unplanned Post…” was the result of possible good news about a dear friend who was very ill. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way…she passed away the following week, and I went into deep mourning. Never again will I find her sometimes funny and always thoughtful emails in my inbox. Never again will we enjoy laughter and conversation on the phone. She’s gone. Period. I know others have felt her loss, but that doesn’t, in any way, diminish my loss.  My parents always taught me to live my life with gratitude, but it was difficult to be “thankful” when mourning the loss of someone I loved.

I have learned many lessons this year, especially as I look back on the adventure of publishing my first book. They ranged from “Oh yeah!  So that’s how you do it!” to “I truly cannot believe this…” As far as publishing the book is concerned, I know the second volume of the series will be easier because of what I’ve learned.  If I don’t use those lessons to do better in the future, then shame on me.

I imagined taking a well-deserved and much-needed break at the end of March. That never happened. You know, the old “Best laid plans….” thing.

During February and early March, I knew I was experiencing some health issues, but I was so focused on the release of my book, I ignored them. Shame on me. Shortly after publication, I went to my doctor for a physical, and everything was diagnosed. Thankfully, (there’s that “gratitude” thing…) some turned out not to be as serious as I imagined, and the issues that were indeed, serious, are being successfully treated.

During that time, as I spent every week at a different doctor’s office having tests, or at imaging centers for scans and xrays, there was also an extremely serious issue going on with my mother’s health. Between my own health issues, taking care of my family, work, and as always, trying to “be there” for friends who were experiencing their own difficult times,  I was unconsciously depleting my energy, both physical and mental.

And then one day, the Wicked Dark Depression came knocking at my door.

depression

However, I am thankful (there’s that “gratitude” thing…again) that I had responsibilities, both personal and professional, that made me keep going, when all I really wanted to do each and every morning was crawl back into bed, pull the covers over my head, and shut out the world. Instead, I defiantly held my head up, taunting that dark shadow. “You won’t get me this time!” Many things gave me the strength I didn’t realize I possessed, including a small group of friends whose supportive, cheerful words made me smile at least once a day.

Even with my own health issues, I’m thankful they’re treatable. Unfortunately my friend was not so lucky. I am very aware, that no matter how bad my “problems” seem to be, I never have to look too far to see someone whose issues are much more serious than my own.

I am also aware that my success as a writer, AND as a person, depends on ME. One of the more painful lessons I’ve learned is that I can’t always depend on others to do as they say they will.  Conversely, one of the most wonderful lessons I’ve learned is that help and support sometimes comes from the most unexpected sources. And sometimes, there will be that one person who appears at that precise moment I need help and encouragement the most.

We live, we learn.

I am grateful to have my life, to have friends and family who care about me, and to have the ability to realize that sometimes, I really don’t “know it all.”

I’ll take those lessons and use them all to be a better version of ME.

Thank you for reading, for sharing, and most of all, for your support and encouragement.

And now, I shall return to what I love the most… writing.

Stay tuned…

Scarlett

writing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An Unplanned Post on #ThankfulThursday…

Today is #ThankfulThursday. I usually try to post a few #ThankfulThursday tweets on Twitter, but this morning, my heart is full…and Twitter is only 140 characters.

I am thankful for so much in my life, and try to live each and every day with gratitude in my heart. I can always think of “more” that I want, but never let what I “want” overshadow all the things I “have.”

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This morning, I am #Thankful for friends who always respond when I need help in the middle of the night.

This morning, I am #Thankful to learn that a dear friend who is very ill is still with us, and hopefully, doing better.

This morning, I am #Thankful for the #unconditionallove given to me by my family.

What if you woke up this morning.png

We have so many blessings in our lives, some so small we may not even think of them as blessings.

I can flip a switch on my wall, and suddenly my house is warm on cold nights.

I can go to my pantry for a snack, and always find something to eat.

I can turn a lever and have fresh water.

I can pick up the device of my choice and be in touch with anyone, anytime, anywhere.

I can learn something new every single day, broadening my world and expanding my horizons.

I can write and publish a book.

Be-thankful 2

There is always something to be #thankful for.

Yes, I want a new computer, and yes, I’d love a new car. But my computer is working, and my car is comfortable and dependable. I’m #thankful that I have a computer, and a car.

Mostly, I’m #thankful for my #family and my #friends. And #thankful that my Dad, even though he’s been gone five years now, still touches my life every now and then.

Life gets busy and chaotic. Most of the time, actually. But I know I’m a better person when I live my life with #gratitude in my #attitude, and take the time to “smell the roses.”

Try it.

what-if-today-we-were-just-grateful-for-everything

Update on “At That Moment” availability

As of today, March 23, 2016, At That Moment can be found on:

Amazon ~  http://amzn.to/1RmaPo6 – in paperback and Kindle format,

and on Smashwords ~ https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/624867 in ebook (epub and others…) format.

In the near future, the ebook will be available on http://nook.barnesandnoble.com/u/nook/379003208 for your Nook, and

on http://www.apple.com/itunes/  in a format for your iPad and iPhone.

 

 

Launch Day!!!

Today, St. Patrick’s Day – 2016, is the scheduled launch for my novel,

At That Moment !!!!

For the past week, my life has been a living testament to Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong!” from power outages due to weather, internet outages, illness, injury…you name it.

My Amazon and Kindle links aren’t live yet, and it’s very disappointing, but it’s out of my control, so I’ll just apologize profusely, and hope that anyone that wants to read the book will keep checking. At some point “soon” (they said), the purchase links will be “live” ~ *fingers crossed*

The ebook will also be available on Smashwords, but not for another week…a trickle-down effect from the issues above.  Again, my deepest apologies. I will post the links here, on Twitter, and on Facebook as soon as I have them.

In the meantime, please enjoy the Excerpt and enter the Giveaway !
And please check back for links.
I’m so excited to introduce you to Dylan and Cara!

 ~ Scarlett

Title: At That Moment

Series: The Eyes of March #1
Author: Scarlett Hartgrove
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 2016
Cara Mears has a good life…simple, satisfying, and safe. 
She owns a successful company, has loyal friends, and a decent relationship, and has convinced herself that this is enough. 

This is a life she knows how to navigate. 

Enter Dylan Madigan, her long-time movie-star crush, devastatingly handsome, arrogant, and famous. 

At that moment, everything changes. 

Their seductive and romantic journey begins, exposing their vulnerabilities, testing their resolve, and leaving them emotionally naked.

The bigger-than-life movie star turns Cara’s life inside out and upside down, but is it for the better?

What happens when dreams actually become reality?

“I really hope all you fellow readers that enjoy a great romance novel will be swept away in the book as I have.” – Goodreads Reviewer

Dylan leaned back in his first-class seat with his long legs stretched out in front of him, his headphones in his ears. His eyes were closed, and he slowly became aware of the flight attendant hovering over him, asking if he would like something to drink. Removing one of the ear buds, he gave her a dazzling smile. “No, I’m fine, thank you.” 

She returned his smile and moved on down the aisle of the plane. Dylan leaned back and looked out the window, putting the bud back in his ear.

He was tired. He had encountered a mob of paparazzi at the airport in New York this morning, and totally lost it with a rude, relentless photographer who kept shoving a camera in his face. Christ, how he hated that shit! He found it ironic that he so loved a career that nurtured that insanity. 

Thinking about his purchase of Bradford House, he smiled. He’d fallen in love with North Carolina when visiting a friend on a movie set a few years ago. While he wasn’t crazy about the altitude in the mountains, he found the Piedmont area very beautiful with its rolling foothills. It reminded him of his home in Ireland. He was anxious to see how the renovations were coming along, and even more anxious to know when he would actually be able to move in. It would be a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate between projects. 

 As he glanced at his watch, Cara flashed through his mind. He wondered what she was doing right now.

Cara. What was it about her he couldn’t get out of his mind? Everything. She intrigued him. She was beautiful and charming. And real. 

 But there was something fragile about her, something he couldn’t quite put his finger on, and he didn’t want to scare her away. He wanted to know everything about her. On the phone earlier this week, he had been able to coax her to share a bit about herself. He loved her soft, Southern accent, and wanted to listen to her talk for hours on end. 

He would move very slowly and cautiously. Somehow, he knew she was not one to be toyed with, and he didn’t want to make any mistakes. There was something between them, a connection. He had experienced the coup de foudre the moment he had turned around from the bar and took her hand, and hoped that he wouldn’t do anything impulsive or stupid to fuck it up. 

 Even though he sensed a vulnerability in her, he also sensed a hidden sensuality underneath her polished and proper surface. The thought made him shift in his seat, and he realized he had to steer his mind in another direction, now.

His thoughts were interrupted by the Captain’s announcement that they were beginning their descent, and the flight attendant was beside him, asking him to raise his seat back and fasten his seat belt. 

 He checked the time. Was Cara waiting for him to call? Was she as nervous as he was? It had been a very long time since he’d felt this way about any woman. He actually had butterflies in his stomach, and smiled at the feeling. 

This was good, right? He nodded to himself. This was very good.

* * * * *
I am a southern woman, born and bred.
 
I love the beach, cooking, gardening, sweet tea, cats, good books, music, and warm, sunny weather.
 
Growing up as a child of blind parents gave me a unique perspective of life. Watching my parents struggle to overcome adversity in order to provide a normal life for me and my brother, I learned the meaning of tenacity, self-reliance, independence, grace, and the true importance of family. 
 
I am a glass-half-full-girl to my very core.
 

 

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Seventeen Days…and counting….

At That Moment will be released on Thursday, March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day!

EOM teaser DM and CM 03 01 16

At That Moment is Book 1 of the series, Eyes of March.

It is the story of Cara Mears, a 35-year-old successful business owner with a past, who meets her movie-star boyfriend face to face. Dylan Madigan, internationally famous Irish film and stage actor, is 44 years old and is everything Cara could ever imagine she wanted.

They meet by chance (or design?) at a St. Patrick’s Day Ball, and their journey begins At That Moment.

Worlds collide, cultures clash, and hearts reach out to each other.

Won’t you join them for the ride?

For now, I’m back to my edits and last-minute tweaks ~

-Scarlett

At That Moment by Scarlett Hartgrove

It’s my Cover Reveal day!
 Title: At That Moment
Series: The Eyes of March #1
Author: Scarlett Hartgrove
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 2016

 

Cara Mears has a good life…simple, satisfying, and safe. 

She owns a successful company, has loyal friends and a decent relationship, and has convinced herself that this is enough.

This is a life she knows how to navigate.
Enter Dylan Madigan, her long-time movie-star crush, devastatingly handsome, arrogant, and famous.
At that moment, everything changes.
Their seductive and romantic journey begins, exposing their vulnerabilities, testing their resolve, and leaving them emotionally naked.
The bigger-than-life movie star turns Cara’s life inside out and upside down, but is it for the better?
What happens when dreams actually become reality?
Dylan was waiting for the perfect song with just the right tempo so he wouldn’t embarrass himself in front of this stunning woman he wanted to hold in his arms. He recognized it right away when the first few notes of “A Song For You” began to play.

He held up his hand with an apologetic look at Peter, took a sip from his water goblet, then sat it down on a nearby table. He stepped toward Cara, extending his right hand, and asked “Cara, will you dance with me?”

Cara’s heart exploded in her chest as she managed to nod in response. She met his eyes with a smile as she laid her hand in his and followed him to the dance floor, her knees trembling, her heart pounding.

When they reached the dance floor, Dylan turned to face her. As she stepped toward him, he slipped his right arm around her and took her hand in his. He navigated the crowded floor until he found a spot for them and met her eyes, flashing his deadly smile. He began to move in time with the music, leading her firmly with his hand on the small of her back, leaving a respectable distance between them.

Cara’s eyes were locked on his beautiful face as he looked down at her. She was surprised to find that he was, in fact, a good dancer, very much in control, leading strongly. She let herself move with him, the nervousness inside her calming a bit as she concentrated on their movements. She felt like Cinderella dancing with her prince!

She was aware that Dylan was making an effort to maintain the space between them. “Screw the respectable distance,” she thought. She wanted him to hold her close…so close she could feel his heart beat. She heard Melanie’s and Suzanne’s voices in her head saying, “Just do it! Make your move!”

Dizzying thoughts swirled through her brain as she dared herself to make the move. When the soulful, sensual saxophone solo began, Cara drew in a breath, squeezed Dylan’s hand slightly, and stepped forward, closing the distance between them. She held her breath for a second, waiting for his reaction, then let it out slowly when he took her right hand and laid it on his chest, covering it with his. At the same time, he tightened his arm around her back, pulling her closer to him. Her left hand made its way from his shoulder to the back of his neck, and she threw caution to the wind, settling her face into the crook of his neck and inhaling his delicious scent, making a conscious effort to commit this moment…this exact moment…to her memory forever.

Dylan had wanted to dance with her so they could have a few minutes to talk. But when she’d stepped forward, closing the distance between them, he found himself unable to speak. She felt so good in his arms. The light, exotic scent of her perfume, the warmth of her body against his, and the softness of her skin rendered him speechless. He pulled her closer, losing himself in the pleasure of the moment.

Cara closed her eyes, feeling absolutely drunk with the moment. She was being held tightly in his arms, moving slowly to the music, cheek to cheek. She felt the slight stubble of his beard, and had to will herself to breathe. Was this heaven? It had to be! She could hear the music, but once again, she and Dylan were the only two people in the room. Then before she knew it, the song was over.

She wanted to cry!

Reluctantly stepping back from him, Cara had a difficult time focusing her eyes when she looked up at his handsome face. The orchestra rolled into the next song, “It Had to Be You.” Dylan raised an eyebrow at her with the unspoken question, and she stepped back into his arms. His arms embraced her, and she settled into the spot where she now wanted to spend the rest of her life.

She leaned back slightly to look at him, face to face. She wanted to touch his beautiful face, wrap her arms around his neck…but instead, as he pulled her close, she let her cheek once again rest against his. As he leaned into her, Cara let out an involuntary sigh. Suddenly, she felt his warm lips touch her bare shoulder at the base of neck with a soft kiss, sending a lightning bolt all the way down her body to the floor. He moved his face close to hers, and she could feel his soft breath on her ear as they slowly moved to the music, bodies touching. She closed her eyes and lost herself in her fantasy coming true. She was dancing with the mad handsome Dylan Madigan! 

And then it was over.

As the orchestra began the next song, Dylan led Cara from the dance floor with a firm, warm grip on her hand. It took all of her concentration not to stumble into his back as they walked around the tables and finally reached their group at the back of the room.

I am a southern woman, born and bred.
I love the beach, cooking, gardening, sweet tea, cats, good books, music, and warm, sunny weather.
Growing up as a child of blind parents gave me a unique perspective of life. Watching my parents struggle to overcome adversity in order to provide a normal life for me and my brother, I learned the meaning of tenacity, self-reliance, independence, grace, and the true importance of family. 
I am a glass-half-full-girl to my very core.
As a young girl, I kept a diary, which led to the habit of keeping a journal and writing short stories. I have spent my life writing in my head.
I’ve always had an open book nearby, soaking up the adventures that transport me from my daily life to exotic, exciting locations around the world.
Someday, if someone remembers me as a kind, compassionate, and strong person, I will have lived the life I always wanted.
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