How to Say NO MORE... #nomore



Are you a change maker? Tell us why you say NO MORE with your own NO MORE Week Sign. Take a picture with your sign and inspire others to join the movement to end domestic violence and sexual assault! 
NO MORE, the global coalition dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault by increasing awareness, inspiring action, and fueling culture change, launched in 2013. As a leading partner, Joyful Heart created and produced the groundbreaking NO MORE PSA campaign.
Here you can download and create your own NO MORE sign.
"Society continues to misplace shame and blame on survivors. That has to end. What we saw during the filming, brave and strong and authentic person after person, was people standing up for each other, for the people they love, for their partners, wives, husbands, children, friends, mothers and fathers, for people they’ve never met, for themselves. I was just moved beyond words. NO MORE fills me with confidence and renewed determination."
— Mariska Hargitay 



Let's Hang Out... Join Me at the Writer's Retreat!

What can I say, I love to write. And, honestly, so do just about all writers out there! Sure, we HATE writing from time to time. But we'd never let that get in the way of putting our words on paper at a later point in time when we're in the groove, feeling the flow. Blank page beware... we will write!

So, where does this writer write? At home mostly, you might think, right? Well, there's some truth to that, for sure. I'm an introvert after all :)

But I do love - and I mean, love - meeting up with other fellow writers to get down and dirty into our writing. I'm talking hours spent in complete silence sans the typing of our keys. Or the occasional brainstorming question and ah ha! moment.

My co-host of the Genuine Writer's Retreat and I have a standing monthly write-in at the Panera Bread that's located between us as, regrettably, we live 2 hours away from each other. Otherwise we'd meet up more often! And yes, to write and talk about writing. What can we do. We love it.

Hence we host a yearly Writer's Retreat, 2020 being our third year in a row! This coming April we're getting together in Annapolis with writers from all over for 4-days, 3-nights, all dedicated to writing! Great accommodations and meals included. And the schedule of events are up. Check it out for yourself!

We even have 1-day tickets available for those who can't make it to all 4-days!

NOW AVAILABLE: One Day Attendee tickets!
This option allows you to attend our Writing Retreat for one day (Friday or Saturday) without accommodations. Dinner and Workshop of the day included in price!

And if that's not enough writing OUTSIDE of the house (hehehe), The Genuine Writer's Retreat also hosts monthly FREE write-ins! I personally attend each and every one of these unless something catastrophic occurs as it's great fun to get together with local writers at a coffee shop to write and talk writing. What could be more cliche than that? ;)

So what am I working on during all these writing times you may ask? I'm excited to say that I'm more than halfway through final edits of my sequel PAINT BY NUMBERS. And if you're excited to learn more about the new novel (coming holiday season 2021!), sign up here for all the updates!

I hope you can join me for one or all of my upcoming writing events. That is, if you are a writer. And just to be clear, a WRITER = SOMEONE WHO WRITES. That's all you need to do to be a writer. Period. 

And a Genuine Writer, if you're curious, is someone who genuinely wants to take their writing to the next level, whether that's finishing your first manuscript, publication (self or traditional) or marketing your writing to the world. 

So those are my ramblings for today. Until next time!


Bad Language Ahead... Fair-warning! A teaser from my forthcoming novel...

Danger Zone! Take heart, my dear readers. I'm about to post a teaser - the first paragraph, actually, of my forthcoming novel, PAINT BY NUMBERS

And yes! You guessed it. PAINT BY NUMBERS is the sequel to WAITING FOR PAINT TO DRY

Pretty cool, right?!

And I had no idea what kind of story it was going to turn into, hence I was beyond surprised when I realized mid-way through that I was writing an anti-hero novel.

What's an Anti-Hero?

Basically the main character of the story is the OPPOSITE of every other hero out there. They are mean. They might even be a narcissist. Ultimately, they are toxic. 

But don't dismay! 

Anti-hero's can still save the day. And, more importantly (and essential to my ongoing mental health) they can grow. 

They can become LESS toxic. Good even.

How will my main character grow? Will she end up good? Only the story will tell ;)

But, without further adieu, here's a sneak peak, the first paragraph, of PAINT BY NUMBERS:

     “Why am I not fucking surprised,” I mutter to myself as I pace the foyer in my gold Jimmy Choos, pausing in front of the full length mirror to recenter my diamond necklace and adjust my spanx. It’s been an hour since I was supposed to be at my sister’s engagement party. The party I personally paid for and planned myself. It’s one of my matron of honor duties that I insisted upon doing for little sister, Matty. Or am I her maid of honor now, since Mark and I are divorced? A thirty-five-year-old, single mother, maid of honor. Wonderful.

Well, that's all she wrote!

So far ;)

~ Lia

Why I’m Donating $10,000 to #forwardmotiononly

I will raise $10,000 to help survivors of sexual assault by donating all my personal proceeds from the sales of my book WAITING FOR PAINT TO DRY to - the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.

A national crisis hotline based out of D.C., every ten dollars donated to RAINN helps one survivor of sexual assault. I know how helpful RAINN can be. Years ago, I called them myself.

$10,000 seems like a huge number to aim for being a debut author, until you look at the statistics (from
By the time they are 18 years of age, 1 in 4 women will become a victim of sexual assault. There is an average of 293,000 instances (victims age 12 or older) of sexual assault each year.
Raising $10,000 will make a small drop in the bucket compared to the number of people hurting out there. But it’s a start. I’m one person, with one book. Yet this is something that I’m going to do.
And anyone who knows me knows I will do it. Tell me it’s impossible and I’ll prove you wrong.
$10,000. It’s a challenge and a goal.
And a promise.
Helping survivors heal has been my mission from the moment I started writing WAITING FOR PAINT TO DRY. Taking my desire to become a published author and combining it with my goal to help empower and inspire survivors of sexual assault, I’ve written a damn good book. It’s inspirational as much as it’s honest. There are moments that will break your heart. And there are moments that will have you laughing out loud, as my main character uses humor – sometimes on purpose, sometimes on accident – to deal with the PTSD she suffers from since being raped.
Yes. The r word is just as hard to type as it is to read. Hence I used humor to help my readers move from point A to point B as they follow along with a mess of a person as she strives to find light at the end of the trauma tunnel.

Sword of Trauma

Years ago, while looking for my own ways to heal myself from the trauma of rape, I found a unique healing course online by Angela Shelton. Angela Shelton, an award-winning writer/director, is a huge advocate and proponent of helping survivors “live happily ever after, no matter what you’ve been through!”
When I started writing WAITING FOR PAINT TO DRY, I used my own sword of trauma to kick start the quest of my main character to reclaim inner peace, take back her life and stumble into love… What can I say. I’m a ceaseless cheerleader of the underdog and a hopeless romantic…
Angela developed a 30-day healing course that not only helps you “remove your sword of trauma”, it also shows you ways in which you can “use your sword of trauma for good.” So I did. I wrote a contemporary women’s fiction novel with a dose of self-help in the beginning, an experimental edge with multiple climaxes, and empowerment at its heart.
Not Alone…
By the time they are 18 years of age, 1 in 4 women will become a victim of sexual assault.
Many remain silent and suffer alone. But they are not alone. And they do not deserve to suffer in silence.
RAINN is an organization I know and trust. Years ago, I used the RAINN hotline myself as a stepping stone in my own healing journey from sexual assault. Because of this, and RAINN’s fearful mission and continued service to victims of sexual assault, I will be donating a portion of the proceeds of my novel WAITING FOR PAINT TO DRY.
As the nation’s leader in the fight against sexual assault, they’ve helped over 1.6 million survivors through the National Sexual Assault Hotlines. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.With your help, we will make a tremendous impact. Just think: ten dollars – the price of one lunch – will help one survivor to take the first step toward reclaiming their life.
Let’s be a part of their healing.
To purchase WAITING FOR PAINT TO DRY and help support RAINN, purchase the book anywhere books are sold. If you’d like to donate more to RAINN, you can do so here. Thanks!!
It’s a challenge and a goal.
And a promise.

Running in the Cold... What to Wear when Running in Winiter

new running shoes (sadly/gladly) replacing my 10 year old ones!
A few people would look at your crazy if you asked them to go running. Some others would stare at you like you'd lost your mind if you asked them to go running - outside - during the winter. And most would probably have to hold themselves back from committing you if you were to ask them to do so at 5am.

So, yeah. There are only a few of us who'd actually get excited at the possibility of doing all three.

Thankfully I gained a running partner. 4:50am arrives with the sound of the alarm, I throw on my running gear and within minutes she's texting that she's waiting out front while I tie my laces.

She's awesome. (she's also attempting 40 races before she hits 40!)

Being winter, it's pretty dark out at 5am. Scratch that. It's mega dark out. And on a cold, brisk winter's morning, the stars twinkle bright as we run along deserted roads.

Well, mostly deserted. There are a few other brave souls out there with us, trundling along. Although probably not with smiles on their faces, chatting while running and forgetting that you're running while chatting. They can see us as we both wear reflective cold running gear. And I carry a big ol'flash light.

1000 lumens, anyone?

Aside from my Christmas socks (ha ha, can't see them in the pic above) I had to go out and get all new running gear in order to be able to run in the cold winter. 

Shopping. Not something I enjoy... especially at full price?! The horror...

But I digress. Target actually had some good gear at good prices. And you wouldn't think it, but you don't actually need tons of extra gear/clothing to run in 20 degree F weather. Oh, sure, you're cold at first... but you warm up fast!

Cold Gear Leggings

Cold gear running leggings - they are actually fleece lined (wind resistant), thin, wicking fabric and feel so soft, I can sleep in them if I want (so I'm ready to go at -o'dark hundred.)

Reflective Cold Gear Jacket 

If you're running in the dark, make sure you wear reflective gear as well!

Basically, that's it! 

Honestly, stay warm. 

Stay safe. 

And have fun! :)

~ Lia