Looking forward to 2017!

Good evening my friends! I'm sitting here in my office, all warm and cozy, and enjoying the nice weather we've been having. While some are hating the freezing temperatures and shoveling snow, it was a nice 71 degrees here where I live in sunny Arizona. I spent more time than usual outdoors today taking advantage of the blessing while it lasts.
Other than enjoying the warm weather, I've accomplished a bit of writing in the past week. The final Mis-Adventures of Chance book, Little Man's Big Dream, will be well on its way to my illustrator any day now. One more loose end tied up before the end of the year.
Like so many, I'm looking forward to the new year and all the possibilities it holds. If all turns out as expected, the second book in my Flitter, Flutter, Crawly series, Bluebird! Bluebird! should be published along with, Little Man's Big Dream. So much to look forward to!
Have a blessed week! :)
~ Charlotte

Mr. Winter!

Hello peeps!

I've not done this before, but I seem to be in the winter spirit this morning and would like to share with you a fun little poem I wrote a few winters ago. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

~~~ MR. WINTER ~~~

Dancing and floating and swirling outside
I peer through my window, watching them glide
Fluffy white snowflakes playing their games
Each of them different, not one is the same

Each year Mr. Winter blesses us so
Anxious little faces awaiting the snow
Clapping their hands when first it arrives
Donning their mittens and running outside

Snowballs and snowmen, sleigh rides and games
Warm figgy puddings and sweet candy canes
What a wonderful season, so full of good cheer
A season of fun that comes once a year

I want to say how very thankful I am for all of my followers, and I hope you all had a lovely and blessed day with your family and friends.

God bless!

~ Charlotte 

Been absent for a while now. Hoping all my followers are doing well and staying warm in this colder weather. It's looking like rain here, but I don't mind. As most of you know, I love rainy days and nights, cozying up to a good book and a hot cuppa tea or coffee.

My daughter has come to stay for a while, and with her help, we've managed to get some much needed cleaning and rearranging done. I'm so thankful for her help, and for her company. We've done a lot of catching up, and suddenly I'm feeling my age. lol!

With the cleaning getting done rather quickly, I'm finding a bit more time for my writing. There's a lot of projects I would love to finish up before the end of this year. And speaking of this year, it has really been a good one for me. I feel so blessed, and can't wait to see what the new year will hold in store.

Hoping everyone will have a great week with your family and friends! God bless!

~ Charlotte

Happy Saturday!

Yes, it's been a happy Saturday for me so far. I'm still enjoying the cooler weather and the wee bit of rain we've had here the past few days. I do so love the rain! It brings back so many wonderful childhood memories of growing up in the south surrounded by nature. Trees, grass, ponds, and all the little creatures were my best friends in those days. It just might be a part of what inspired me to begin my Flitter, Flutter, Crawly series for children.
I've also been enjoying all the wonderful reviews Ladybug! Ladybug! has been receiving. I can't wait to share the next four books with you. Look for Bluebird! Bluebird! in 2017! :)
And while I'm speaking of reviews, I was just chatting with someone about that very subject. She was telling me how much she had enjoyed a certain book she had read recently, and I asked if she had posted a review. She hadn't as yet, but promised to do so. I can't begin to stress how much a nice review means to an author. So, if you've read and enjoyed a book recently, please take a few moments and let that author know. I promise it will make their day. It did mine!!
Have a wonderful week-end, my friends!
~ Charlotte

Writing can be so much fun!

I've been having so much fun with my writing lately, I almost feel guilty! I don't know if it's due to the publishing of my last book, Ladybug! Ladybug! or the nice Fall weather, but whatever it might be, I'm thankful and very much enjoying the change.
My co-authored series of picture books for the very young, The Mis-Adventures of Chance, will be coming to an end soon. The last book of that series is nearly finished and will be making its way to the illustrator. It will be packed with fun for all the little ones who fell in love with the book's character, Chance.
My Flitter, Flutter, Crawly series is also coming along nicely. Ladybug! Ladybug! has already put a smile on a few little faces, and each new book promises to be a big hit with all the little nature lovers out there.
Whether I'm writing, thinking about what I'm going to write next, or just taking a break from my everyday life, I find myself feeling blessed beyond measure. Life is good, and I'm so grateful to be able to share, if only through my writing, a small part of it with you, my friends.
I hope you will keep coming back for future updates on all of my upcoming books. And please, feel free to post any comments or questions. :)
~ Charlotte

A Great Surprise!

Hello my lovely friends! I just wanted to share my happy surprise with you. When I walked to my mailbox earlier today, guess what I found awaiting me? Yes! It was my Ladybug! Ladybug! books! And they look just lovely. Yay! I wasn't expecting them to arrive until the 28th. I wish you could have seen the smile on my face! :) I do love surprises!

I've kept myself busy most of the day playing catch up on my "Mis-Adventures of Chance" series. I've fallen pretty far behind on that one, but it's finally coming along. It's the final book of that series, so we're wanting it to be very special. It's been such a joy working with my dear friend and fellow writer, Mila DelaRosa. I'm hoping we can collaborate on another project in the near future.

Wishing you all a wonderful evening.

~ Charlotte ~

It's here! Ladybug! Ladybug!

Hello my friends! I know, I've been MIA for quite a while now. I even got a tiny scolding from a certain friend whose name I won't mention. lol! But I'm back this morning and bearing some good news. My long awaited children's picture book, Ladybug! Ladybug!, finally made its way to the Amazon and Barnes & Noble website. Yay! I'm so delighted! I hope you'll pop over and take a look.

I've been quite busy with family needs, but I have managed to find some free time for writing. As matter of fact, I've even managed to finish the manuscript for the second book in this series, which I've decided to name, The Flitter Flutter Crawly series. I'm so lucky to have my wonderful illustrator, Alexandra MacVean, to agree to work with me again!

Have a great day!

~ Charlotte

Keeping busy

I'm beginning to see a lot of pretty posts about Fall lately and it makes me feel all warm and cozy. I so welcome the change from hot and humid to warm and cozy, don't you? I look forward to the lovely Fall colors and cooler weather with open arms!
And speaking of cooler weather, my illustrator and her husband are now well on their way to jolly old England on family business, but she assured me she will be hard at work on my newest children's book while she's there. Stay tuned in for a release date. August is just around the corner!
I have many new projects keeping me busy, ( that's why I've been absent from my blog ) one of which includes a new book of poetry. This will include a short selection of my story poems as well as a miscellaneous selection of my personal favorites, some new and some previously published. Other new projects I am not ready to reveal as yet, but I can tell you I am wearing a big smile as I type!

Different books, different genres.

Over the years I've dabbled in several different genres of writing and been fortunate enough to have some of my works published in each. It's been a dream come true for me. I feel so very blessed, not only to have my work published, but to have met so many wonderful writers and illustrators that I now call my friends.

Lately I've found myself quite busy on several new projects in various genres, and I'm loving every minute of it. Working on more than one at a time for some writers can be a good thing or a bad thing. Fortunately for me, (at least this time) it's been a good thing as it seems to be keeping my creative juices flowing.

Sometimes it takes a while for a writer to discover their niche/genre. But when they do, most know it right away. And in some cases it may not be one, but several they're good at. But I've found there's always a favorite that we seem to enjoy and work in the most.

What is your favorite genre to read/write, and why? I'd love to hear from you! :)

Getting started

Sometimes the hardest part of writing can be just getting started. That ominous blank computer screen, or that blank sheet of paper staring back at you in the early morning or late night hours can feel quite threatening at times. "Fill me up or I'll haunt your dreams!" Yes, it can be terrifying!

I've been dealing with that 'blank computer screen syndrome' lately. So what I decided to do was go back into my desk and pull out a few of the unfinished stories I've chucked away over the years. Believe me, that can be a frustrating task all by itself. When I said few, I should have said dozens! Who knew! This is just one of the many tasks we writers deal with in our oh so glamorous lives. Sheesh!

But today, Voila! I defeated the blank screen! A certain little character popped back into my head while I was searching, and I began to type. It's only one hurdle, but I managed to leap over it and send some words flying onto that ominous blank screen. Who knows what tomorrow might bring! Or even late tonight for that matter!

How do you manage to overcome those 'blank' days of writing?

Going out with a BANG!

Co-writing "The Mis-Adventures of Chance" series has been so much fun! And my dear friend, Mila DelaRosa, who is also "Chance's" owner, has been an angel to work with. (For those who don't know, Chance is a doll. But he's not just any doll, he is a very special therapy doll.)

Tonight we were discussing the final book of this series, and we both decided we want to go out with a BANG!! This little guy definitely deserves it. He works very hard at turning frowns upside down at several nursing facilities.

I can't disclose much for now, but I can tell you that Chance will be having some great adventures in, "Little Man's Big Dream." I'm sure it will put happy smiles on many little faces.

The links for all of the "Mis-Adventures of Chance" books are listed right here under "My books," as well as my email address if you have any questions about any of my books or future projects.

Have a great week end my friends!

It's all about Ladybugs!

Thought I would share with my little family of followers the lovely cover for my newest and soon to be released children's picture book, "Ladybug! Ladybug!" Alexandra MacVean delivered up more than I could have ever hoped for with this fabulous cover. I am so fortunate to have her working along side me on this project!

I've co-authored three children's books and published three poetry books for adults so far, but this will be my very first book of poetry for children. I never imagined it would be so much fun!

As you can see by the title, this book is all about those cute little creatures that adults and children alike seem to adore. Ladybugs! I'm hoping that through my poetry and Alexandra's beautiful illustrations, every child will have as much fun reading my book as we had writing and illustrating it.

Hope your day is filled with joy. Don't forget to pause and give thanks for all your blessings!

Writer's woes.

It's almost noon here in southern Arizona and I can look forward to another very warm sunshiny day. I hope you're enjoying a bit cooler weather where you live.

I've been kept busy with life's little day to day obstacles we all have to face and it's really cut down on the ability to focus on my writing. I have so many unfinished projects, I don't know where to begin once I do find a spare moment just for myself..

I suppose all writers face common problems. One of mine is finding a quiet place where I can think and not be disturbed. (My dream is a little cabin in the woods, but I can't see that happening any time soon.) My favorite place to read and to write is my bedroom, but it was too small, so my desk and computer is in another room. I've often thought about hanging a "DO NOT DISTURB. WRITER AT WORK" sign, but I've noticed my other half becomes suddenly blind when he gets hungry or wants to talk. Should I try it anyway? Hmm...

Oh well, life goes on and we do what must be done. I'm grateful for each and every day I'm given. We're not promised tomorrow, so let's appreciate whatever blessing comes our way, however big or small it might be.

Have a wonderful and safe week end my friends!

Me a children's book author!

Several years ago, if anyone would have told me I would be the author of several children's books I would have thought them mad! It has been a long journey with many ups and downs, but I wouldn't trade it for anything else.

Getting messages and photos from parents who have purchased my previous books for their children, hearing how delighted they were at receiving them is beyond anything I could ever have imagined.
Just this morning I received the final proof for the book cover of my soon to be released picture book, "Ladybug! Ladybug!" and my heart leaped for joy! I could just see tiny hands turning pages and little eyes filling up with wonder and delight at seeing the beautiful illustrations. What greater reward could one ever feel than this!

Many of my family and friends have been asking when my next books will be released. Well, the third book of the "Mis-Adventures of Chance" series, "A Day At The Park" is now available for online purchase. Hop over to my author page for more info!  https://www.facebook.com/charlotterainsauthor/?fref=nf  And hopefully "Ladybug! Ladybug!" will be available in July! (Keeping my fingers crossed!)

Wishing my friends and fans a wonderful and safe week end!

New books coming soon!

I know it's been a long time since I posted last; so sorry dear followers! I hope to be back posting on a regular basis again very soon.

In between all the family business, I have been keeping in touch with my illustrator approving several wonderful sketches for my upcoming children's picture book, Ladybug! Ladybug! The book cover is nearly finished and I will be revealing it very soon on my author page.

Besides, Ladybug! Ladybug! which will be released this summer, my other co-authored book, which is the third in a series of four, will be released in a matter of days now. So please keep an eye out for, The mis-Adventures of Chance, "A Day At The Park" on my author page also.

Have a wonderful evening my friends, and please feel free to comment or message me and I'll get back to you ASAP.

Love inspires poetry!

Love inspires poetry. It's as simple as that. Whether it's a lost love, a lasting love, or even an unrequited love, that love is poetry waiting to be written.

"Roses and Thorns" is simply a culmination of many types of love. A rollercoaster ride, if you will, through many love affairs. Some are warm and cozy, others heart wrenching, and some fiery and passionate. All little stories within themselves that many will read and relate to.

I must confess that, as most poets do, I used bits and pieces of my own life experiences in several of the poems within this book. None are immune to the glories or heartbreaks that falling in love might bring. As I said in this book's introduction," Beauty oftentimes comes with a price. When we pick a rose, we must be careful of the thorns."

I pray your week is going well, my friends. Blessings to you all!

Writing for children is a joy!

I've been down with the flu for several days now, but today I've begun to feel a little better. I do hope all of my friends are well and enjoying much nicer weather wherever you might live.

I've found it such a joy to write for children since publishing a series of children's picture books with my friend, Mila DelaRosa. The third book in the, "Mis-Adventures of Chance" series is soon to be published in only a few weeks now, and the cover for my latest book, "Ladybug! Ladybug!" is nearly finished.

I love seeing the excitement in a child's eyes as they turn the pages of a beloved book. It brings back such fond memories of when I first began to appreciate books and learn from them. Just knowing that I might also bring joy to a child by one of my books is such a rewarding feeling. And well worth the time and effort put into the project.

If you have children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews, please surround them with books and read to them often. There's no greater learning tool for a child than a book.

Have wonderful and very blessed week end my friends!

Count your blessings!

This past week has been a busy one for me. Each day has been blessed with family and I've enjoyed every moment, but as they say, all good things must come to an end. So when this new week begins, I will get back to work on a few of my projects before my muse decides to go on an unexpected trip. He tends to do that occasionally without a single word of warning! lol!

Enjoy your week end, my friends, and don't forget to count your blessings along the way.

A productive day

It's been a somewhat productive day for me, though I didn't get a whole lot of writing done. Sometimes what I call productive, is just a few really good ideas for what I might write later on.

In one of my writing groups we sometimes have writing challenges. This is where we will choose a topic or a picture as a writing prompt and everyone who wants to join in will write a poem or a very short story on that subject matter. I find it a lot of fun, and a good way to keep creative juices flowing. My productive thought today will be a great help in this area.

I was hoping to have an update to post on one of my projects today, but I've been told it won't happen until tomorrow. I was assured it will be well worth the wait, so keep checking in on my author page.

Back to work!

I hope my friends are enjoying my blog. I will try my best to post something new at least twice a week. I've been rather busy with family and have been neglecting much of my work lately.

My newest children's book, Ladybug! Ladybug! seems to be coming along nicely and I am very anxious to share updates with you! A little bird whispered in my ear there just might be something to share by the end of the week. I'm all smiles!

I'm also beginning a new chapter in my novella tonight and it seems new characters are jumping out of the woodwork! I never know which direction they are going to lead me, so I am as much in the dark as you are right now. If you want to read a snippet from this work in progress, just hop on over to my author page.

Hope you all have a great day!

Rooting out the old

It has been so nice and warm here, I have removed the electric blanket and used a fan in my room for a few days now. No, don't be jealous if there is still some snow on the ground where you live! It will cool down by Monday, so I am told, and (my enemy), summer, is not far off. We are prone to having triple digit summers where I live, so thus is why I term the word, "enemy."

Everywhere I look now I see signs of Spring. Pretty little flowers are popping up here and there, trees are budding, and birds are singing. There's a carnival in town this week end, and children are running around with faces all aglow, eager for good things to eat and thrilling rides!

Spring is coming, no matter where we live. The old is rooted out to make way for the new. This is life. This is another opportunity for all of us to root out the old things that have made us unhappy, and bring forth something new that will give us a fresh start on a new and productive life.

I hope your week end is filled with family and friends and much happiness!

~ C.J. ~

Accepting criticism

Being a writer and a poet, you must grow thick skin; be able to accept criticism. Either you will fall to pieces at the first rejection and give up, or you will take that experience and move forward, learning as you go. 
I've been pretty fortunate with my poetic endeavors. Yes, I've had more than my fair share of disappointments, but the good has far outweighed the bad. It is such a joy to read a comment on a piece of your work stating how beautiful it is, or how it touched someone so deeply, but to read that someone just couldn't grasp the meaning, or, "I could tell it wasn't a good day for you," well, that's a hard pill to swallow.
If we do gain some recognition from our work, it is now our responsibility to share what we have learned with our up and coming writers and poets. Suddenly we have a few little "proteges!" They now come to us for answers to their many questions. Now we are the ones giving critiques to their most precious work, work they have labored over for hours, and some for days on end. It's frightening when suddenly thrust into that most sensitive position!
Each and every day is a learning experience in the life of a writer. We must take the good and the bad we receive, put it all together and make it something worthy of the eyes and heart of the reader. Not a small challenge, but one we take on all for the love of the art that lives inside us.

A nice review.

I haven't posted her in a couple of days, but yesterday I was surprised with a most wonderful review of my second published poetry book, MY HOME, YOUR HOME and wanted to share a little of it with you. It starts out like this:

Charlotte Rains has written a comfortable book. By that I mean she has given us a work that provides great comfort and enjoyment. There is a picture of an overstuffed chair on the cover. Reading her book is like getting into your sweat pants and your favorite pullover and then getting cozy in that great big chair. You can not help but feel good during and after reading, MY HOME, YOUR HOME.
In her poem, "GOING HOME AGAIN," she points to some of the physical triggers that can help us make the journey back - a touch, a sound, the scent of rain. Her offering, "THE SMELL OF HOME," brings alive the reality of the smells of bacon, bread, fresh coffee and the rattle of pots and pans. She writes of everyday simple things and weaves them into a complexity of inter-woven memories of the past and the things that brought us comfort. Her family becomes our family and we can easily put the faces of our own loved ones onto the pictures that she describes.

In "COME STAY WITH ME," we find the real purpose behind the book:

" I bid you come and stay with me,
if you feel the need to be set free
from the busy city so full of strife,
to a quiet home and a peaceful life."

There it is! MY HOME, YOUR HOME is a chance for us to escape the pressures of the day, to flee the things that weigh us down, to break the chains that hold us back. C.J. Rains is much more than a poet, she is indeed a therapist! Come to her couch and be healed. It's as simple as that! But she does not call it her couch, she calls it "MY HAVEN." It is her private place, out of sight, a place that others do not know about, where she can go to ponder and relax. She tells us how to find our own haven:

"you've only to look deep inside
it's right there within,
That's where it begins.
You need not search far and wide."

Charlotte Rains is a talented and powerful writer. She has the ability to touch souls and she has done so admirably in, MY HOME, YOUR HOME - selected poems of home and family.

You can find the link to purchase this book right here on my blog under, My Books.

It's all about love!

What a beautiful day it is here in southern Arizona!

As I sit looking at all the lovely posts today, I can't help thinking how very blessed my life has been throughout my sixty two years. No, I haven't had all my "wants" in life, but my daily "needs" have always managed to be met, and for that I am most grateful.

While others go about in celebration of Valentine's Day; a day all about "love," I will spend most of my day at home getting some much needed cleaning done, and hopefully squeeze in a bit of writing here and there to boot. Yes, I am called "boring" by most of my family, especially my grandchildren. But at sixty two, I think I have earned the right to be "boring" if I choose to be!

Wishing all of my friends a very Happy Valentine's Day!

"Ladybug! Ladybug!"

This is one of the loveliest pictures I've seen of a sweet little Ladybug in a very long while. When I saw it, I immediately thought of my book, "Ladybug! Ladybug!" that is now in the hands of my friend and illustrator, the most talented, Alexandra MacVean.

Like most children, I had a fascination with these cute little creatures. Their bright colors and small size made them less of a treat to my tiny hands when I was growing up. I could sit and watch them for hours. And believe me, they were the only little crawly creatures that had the honor of sitting on my hand or leg! I was a "girly girl" when it came to other bugs or toads!

Hoping you all have a wonderful week end, and your Valentine's Day is jam packed with love!

The Beauty of Books

I seem to find beauty in each and every book I read. It may not be in the book as a whole, for I'm sure each of us have been left disappointed at the end of a book we were so anxious to read. Maybe the plot wasn't well thought out, the writer may have over used a certain word, or we simply got bored because it carried on too long and the climax didn't live up to our expectations. But with each book I have read so far, I've found at least one line, a paragraph, a scene, or a single descriptive word that made that book and that author memorable.

I am a huge fan of the Bronte' sisters. Their books have a special place in my home and everyone knows better than to ask to borrow! They will only enter into new hands at my demise. "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights" made me fall in love with the written word in such a way that I mourn their untimely deaths that took away any opportunity of delivering another piece of their beautiful work to this world. I own several copies of these two books along with all their other beautiful works.

I would be hard pressed to decide if asked which of these books is my very favorite, but I can honestly say that Cathy and Heathcliff hold a very special place in my heart.

Write that review!

We, as writers, not only want our work to be read, but we also like to know that our labors of love are being enjoyed, and yes, appreciated. I try to write a nice review for the authors of every book I read. Yes, we will be disappointed in a few, but for the most part, the books I have selected have brought me many hours of pleasure.

Right now I am nearly finished with a psychological thriller, "The Attic Room," by Linda Huber. It is her third novel. It has kept me thoroughly engrossed, and I can say now, even before I have finished the book that I will go back and read her other books as well.

If you have enjoyed reading a book, do that author a favor by writing a nice review. Let them know how much you enjoyed their labor of love!

Another Beautiful Day!

It's another beautiful day here in southern Arizona. The sun is shining brightly through my window, and I can hear the birds chirping away. My husband also saw a few little ground squirrels scampering about yesterday, which normally whispers an early Spring. I don't know about you, I am definitely ready!

For those who might not know, I have also co-authored a children's picture book series with a dear friend, Mila DelaRosa, entitled, "The Mis-Adventures of Chance. The third book, "A Day at the Park," should be available in June, meaning I will have yet another project underway soon with the last book of that series.

Yes, I have my hands full right now, but I am loving every minute of it!

Enjoying Life!

(photo from pinterest.com)

These past few days have kept me quite busy. As some may already know, I am expecting my very first great-grandchild in March. (It's a girl!) Planning and shopping with my daughter and granddaughter has been fun, but I found I am no longer the "Energizer Bunny" I used to be.. It was hard to keep up with those two!

My evenings have found me either trying to catch up on my reading, editing my next children's picture book, or working on my very first novella. I have ventured into a whole new genre with one, and find it quite exciting. I posted a small excerpt on my Author Page if you'd like to pop over there for a peek.

The Joys of Retirement

I have so enjoyed being retired, even with it being forced due to a back injury. I suddenly realized how very much I missed reading and writing. Since my retirement and all the free time a person could hope for, I've written and published three books of poetry, and discovered the joy of writing for children. Hoping to publish my very first illustrated picture book in the upcoming months of this new year!

But that's not all I am enjoying! I spend a lot of that free time taking care of my hubby and trying out all the new recipes I find on him! lol! I love to cook and decorate. My mother was an excellent cook and an immaculate housekeeper.If my budget was a little bigger, I would truly have a blast!

New Project Coming Soon

I'm so excited about my new project that is currently underway with my illustrator, Alexandra H. MacVean over at Blue Chair Diary Illustrations. I'm sure she will make it something very special for all lovers of Ladybugs, both young and old. I hope you will follow along on this fun journey!

New Adventures

I'm pretty excited about all that has been transpiring this weekend! Between my new author Facebook page, a few new upcoming book projects and now a website, I couldn't be more thrilled! I'm looking forward in sharing my writing journey with friends and family, and I do hope you'll choose to follow along. I'll do my best to keep you updated here over the coming weeks and months. Happy New Year!

~ C.J.