The Next Adventure

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I’ve been counting down the days and it’s finally here.  I am no longer employed by the School District of Palm Beach County.  I finished up my duties, cleaned out my room, brought WAY too much stuff home, and said goodbye to folks who’ve been my colleagues for the last thirteen years.  Okay, maybe not ‘goodbye’, we’ll be getting together over adult beverages on a regular basis for the foreseeable future.  But we won’t be working together.

Lots of people have asked the question, “What are you going to do now?”  Having left the District, I’m finally free to answer.

Two years ago, June 7, I (accidentally) published my first novel.  How I did that accidentally is a long story.  Suffice it to say, there has been a steep learning curve. And had I understood the depth of my ignorance about marketing, promotion, SEO, graphic design, formatting, etc., I would never have had the courage to try.  Ignorance can be a huge asset, it turns out.

Let me put in a plug for self publishing.  Indie publishing is a growing industry.  In the past, the large publishing houses have been the “gatekeepers,” determining what literature the reading public has access to.  That meant little variety–they’re only interested in a return on their investment.  But like iTunes and YouTube did for Indie music, and Sundance did for Indie films, Kindle Direct Publishing and Draft2Digital are allowing authors to get their work out in front of the reading public.  Buying an Indie book is the literary equivalent of ‘buying local.’

A few years ago, under the pen name Pandora Spocks, I started writing literary steamy romance just as a hobby, really, a creative outlet.  After a while, I began publishing chapters online, and I discovered that people liked what they read.  Eventually, I published the entire book, chapter by chapter, on a blog.  Along the way, I met other writers who independently publish their work and I began to wonder about doing it myself.

My books are spicy, y’all.  I promote them as ‘Smart, Sexy Romance’.  They’re heartfelt, deeply character-driven stories punctuated by the occasional steamy love scene.  Think of them as the thinking-girl’s romance.  Like Fifty Shades, but more literary.

Today, I have seven books available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, and several other outlets you probably never heard of.  My goal by the end of August is to publish my next steamy novel, and to write a nonfiction book about classroom management, to be published under my own name.

I mentioned marketing.  I’m active on social media every day as Pandora.  You can find me in these places:

Website: PandoraSpocksAuthor.com
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2rwR5Lv
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PandoraSpocksAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PandoraSpocksWP
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+PandoraSpocksAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14080322.Pandora_Spocks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pandora.spocks.author/

Steamy romance isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  But if you enjoy a nice hot love story, I hope you’ll check it out.

Saturday Night Serenade–Saturday Night and We In the Spot…

It’s done.  I’m officially retired from education.  My last day was Wednesday, but I volunteered the final two days to maintain the continuity for my students.  My feelings about the whole situation are more complex than I’d anticipated.

The job is difficult, with rough kids and an Administration who bullies and abuses teachers.  Leaving to write full-time is a dream come true.  But having identified as a teacher for so long, it’s a little weird.  I’m sure I’ll find my way.

Mixed emotions aside, I’m still in celebration mode.  Which brings us to tonight’s serenade, Uptown Funk.  I love this performance from Saturday Night Live.

Hope you’re enjoying this summer weekend.  I know, it’s not officially summer yet, but the pace is slower, the days are longer, we’re cooking more outside and less inside, and vacation beckons.  Hug those you love and have a happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Have A Nice Day

It’s Saturday again!  Finally.  There were moments this week when I didn’t think it would ever end.  I’m back at work after a way too brief summer break.  And I’m not just whining about having to go back after having nine weeks off, not really.

There have been massive changes in my workplace.  The management has been completely replaced.  And over half of my co-workers are gone.  Many who stayed have been shifted around to other positions.

Mind you, I hated my job before.  Now?  Now, it’s all, “I know you’ve done it one way in the past, we do it MY way from now on.”  And the ‘get while the getting is good’ ship has unfortunately sailed.

So I’m left thinking, how is it that I (and most of us, if I’m not mistaken) spend such a huge percentage of our lives doing something that makes us miserable?  I supposed it comes down to necessity and the choices we’ve made.  But sometimes I just want to stand on a table and scream out profanities.  Which, of course, I can’t do because we have a mortgage and bills and…

So instead, I believe I’ll just calmly say, “Have a nice day.”  Only y’all will know what I really mean.

I believe I’ll pour myself an adult beverage and flesh out my five-year plan for making my escape from hell.  Mr. R. is with me all the way.  Let’s raise a glass for Tommy and Gina, who never backed down.  And may we be more like them.

In other news, Green Day has a brand new song out, which accounts for the bonus track. It’s not really a quiet little date night song.  But it’s pretty awesome, nevertheless.

Happy Saturday night!

Where Did The Time Go?

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I had no idea that I started Adventures in Date Night two years ago today! It’s been a blast to share our adventures, slices of south Florida life,  some of our favorite music, and funny little moments along the way. I hope you’ve enjoyed it, too.

I’ve been so busy writing and promoting, with a new book coming out next week (fingers crossed), I feel like I’ve neglected this little blog. In a few days I’ll be on vacation and have more time to devote to sharing our further adventures.

Thanks for hanging in there with us for these last two years! I’ll look forward to visiting more often.

Launch Day!

It's Launch Day! rannigan 2

My new book Rannigan’s Redemption Part 2: Running Rogue is out today on Amazon, iTunes, B&N, Kobo, & Smashwords.  It’s the continuation of the story of the complicated relationship between highpowered Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and Maggie Flynn, the smart, spunky redhead he hired straight out of law school.

Michael Rannigan is running rogue. Since Maggie’s abrupt departure from the law firm of Murphy, Rannigan, & Metheny, he’s been in a tailspin. As he limps along in the new normal, he misses her more than he ever imagined.

Maggie misses Michael as well. But she makes the best of her new job at the District Attorney’s office. Occasionally they cross paths in court, each assessing the other. Like Michael, she finds herself making questionable personal choices.

When opportunity knocks for Michael he leaps at it, maybe as much to avoid Maggie’s absence as anything else. The fact that his decision impacts everyone else at the firm doesn’t slow him down at all.

Then comes news that shakes him to his core. Now that he’s burned all his bridges, who will be there to help him pick up the pieces?

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This is what I came home to today.  My sweet wanted to surprise me for Launch Day.  It’s reason #497 I’m the luckiest girl on the planet.