Celebrate This Blog!

Monday, December 31, 2012

What does the New Year mean to you?




Is it a new beginning? A chance to excel? Maybe a time to meets goals that you didn’t quite reach last year. Or an opportunity to make more powerful goals in order to push yourself further—to challenge yourself to bigger and better dreams.


How about… that you might recreate yourself anew in the next grandest version of the greatest vision you ever had about Who You Really Are. (Neale Donald Walsch – Conversations with God) This is one of my favorite quotations from his books because it gives us the power to choose to become who weknow we can be.


Thinking about what I did accomplish in the past year makes me happy. The steps I took for my writing career to become more successful, the books I wrote and published. The many new friends I made along the way. And probably even more important, the confidence I’ve gained by accomplishing those objectives.


In fact, I now have the belief that I can reach my dream of becoming an author who is listed on Amazon’s best-selling author list and stay there. Since I had a small taste of the incredible feeling when Lovable hit #302 ranking and stayed there long enough to give me palpitations and visions of greatnessJ, I admit to being rather hungry enough to get back there. (My vision for 2013)


So this year I challenge you all to set out on a path, whether it be in your personal life or your business world. Create a vision in your mind and see yourself there at the end jumping up and down with the high fives and the YESSS!!! Accept your success as a reality and then do everything you can think of to make sure it happens.

Good Luck!!

May this fresh New Year approaching be your BEST ever!!

Hugs Mimi


  
Amazon Author of the: Vicarage Bench Series, Angels with Attitudes Series and the Vegas Series

 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Resolutions? Blame The Romans by Joan Reeves

Some people write resolutions. Some don’t. Some like the idea of setting down goals for the New Year, and others feel doomed to failure before they start. Comediennes joke that a list of resolutions is a list of things you’ll never do.

Who started this tradition of New Year’s Resolutions? Actually, there’s little history to explain an almost universal ritual. We do know that New Year’s is the oldest celebrated holiday. It dates back 4,000 years to the ancient Babylonians who feasted and otherwise celebrated for 11 straight days.

When In Rome

Just about anything you read about the history of New Year Resolutions attributes the practice to the Romans. Supposedly, in 153 BC, they placed an image of Janus, the god of beginnings and the guard of doorways or entrances, at the head of the calendar. Yep. That’s why the first month of the Julian calendar is called January.

Janus was a two-faced god -- seriously -- who could look back on the past and forward to the future all at the same time. He became the symbol for the new year. Romans celebrated Janus and looked for forgiveness from their enemies of the past and looked forward to the future by exchanging gifts before the beginning of each new year, and, one supposes, made resolutions for those hoped for new beginnings.

When Does New Year Begin

Of course, two thousand years ago, the New Year didn’t begin on January 1. Even in our modern world, not every country marks January 1 as the first day of the new year. In 46 BC, January 1 became the beginning of the New Year because of the calendar developed by Julius Caesar. The Julian calendar more accurately reflected the seasons than previous calendars had.

About Those Resolutions

The most popular resolutions always revolve around those bad habits everyone wants to abandon. As you probably can guess, the most popular resolutions in the western world are: stop smoking, stop excessive drinking of alcohol, lose weight, save more money, and get physically fit. In a study on resolutions, more than 50% of the participants were confident they could achieve their goals. However, only 12% actually achieved success.

Interestingly enough, men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, a system of small measurable goals i.e. lose a pound a week, rather than just writing a resolution to lose weight. This didn’t work for women, but women succeeded 10% more often when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.

Whether you’re for or against the practice of writing resolutions at the beginning of the year, I encourage you to set goals. I always think of goals as a road map. Without a map, you’ll travel a road, but who knows where it may go.

Post Script

I wish you all a Happy New Year. Take this blank slate and use it well.

(Joan Reeves writes funny, sexy Contemporary Romance. Her books are available at all major ebook sellers with audio editions available at Amazon, Audible.com, and iTunes. Joan publishes Writing Hacks, a free subscription newsletter for writers, and Wordplay, a free subscription newsletter for readers. This post appeared several years ago on Joan's Blog, SlingWords.)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ends and Beginnings and a Secret

My turn to blog about ending one year and beginning a new one.  I am working on a short story for an anthology and looking for style sheets for a new e-publishing company.  I'd love to tell you more about the name and such, but then I'd have to kill you. (Snort, I have always wanted to say that.)  

This year I have unmet goals, no big surprise. For years I unearthed my list of goals for the previous year and copied them onto my list of goals for the new year. I think I'll start new this year.  Though I didn't indie publish as many novels and novellas I had planned to, I did a lot more professional editing than I expected, a good thing.

I also "got the call" in the form of a text message.  Yep, on Sunday last week an editor I met at DragonCon, of all places, sent me a message that I could expect a contract on one of my novels that have been gathering dust for years. He has been reminding me for the last 2 years that I owed him a book. Well, I sent a manuscript, figuring it wouldn't be hot enough for him. My critique partners say I write erotica, but I don't really. This editor does and his publisher publishes a lot of it, sooo... (If you're wondering why I'm not giving names, it's because I haven't seen the contract yet and I don't want to jinx things.) So this year is ending well! And I can blog about it after I sign the contract and mention names!

About the publishing gig I mentioned...  I will be a partner, an acquiring editor, AND the final copy editor. HOW COOL IS THAT? So I should be working on our house style sheets and I will after I publish this blog. If you have a good one, feel free to share, since I will incorporate my preferences with those of the company president. We will meet tomorrow to work on that. And I will blog about what we publish, AND our anthology, AND the company website, AND our launch! Loved using all those ANDs!

So, 2012 is ending with a bang, and 2013 will launch with a much bigger BANG, a huge BANG!!!!!!

Crap, I need to update my website, too!
 MaryMarvella.com
My author page on amazon.com
 http://amzn.to/NexlRR

So, what do you think of my news? Would you be screaming and dancing 6 days later? I am!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tis the Season


“Tis the season to be jolly.”  We’ve had some ups and downs in 2012 but we did survive the Mayan Calendar doomsayers. 
 
 
I love Christmas, every jingle bell and every fattening treat.  My collection of Santas grows every year.  This addition this year is a ceramic Santa with blinking lights inside.  

My stockings are handmade, they hang by the tree. Husband is happy, he got a 60” big screen TV.  

Dinner this year will be prime rib.  A restaurant nearby (Rae Dean’s) prepares it for me, all I have to do is shove it in the oven and pay attention to the time.  Dad bakes the pies and he gets better each year.  Momma is wheelchair bound and feels useless, but I feel blessed she is still here with us. 

My granddaughter adds the childish wonder that makes Christmas such a delight.  This year, instead of the Festival of Lights, we took her to Bethlehem, a marketplace put on by a local church which was a truly clever and fun way to portray the birth of Christ.  She got to spend her (fake) gold coins and made sure we had our papers at all times so the Roman soldiers didn’t take us away. 

I haven’t lost the wonder of Christmas.  No “bah, humbugs” for me!  From my house to yours, Merry Christmas and may next year be the best one ever.

P.L. Parker is the author of two 99 cent ebooks, Riley's Journey and Fiona.

Buy Links:  http://www.amazon.com/Rileys-Journey-ebook/dp/B005SV26KS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1356209012&sr=1-1&keywords=riley%27s+journey+by+p.+l.+parker
http://www.amazon.com/Fiona-ebook/dp/B005SV2838/ref=pd_sim_kstore_2




Friday, December 21, 2012

The Scents of Christmas are in the Air by: Stephanie Burkhart

Yankee Candle Flagship Store So. Deerfield, MA 



Growing up as a young girl in New England, I remember the scents of nature. The sweet smell of Lilacs remind me of spring and my grandmother. Crisp, salty scents remind me of Hampton Beach in the summer. Apple pie brings back the scents of Autumn. And Pine. Pine and bayberry remind me of Christmas.

Sometimes I think we overlook scent, especially in real life, but coming from New England, I gained a healthy appreciation for scents.

I live in California now and it's very different here than it is in New England for Christmas. For one? No snow. The temperatures range from 50-80's and there's plenty of sun as opposed to plenty of gray skies.

Thank goodness for Yankee Candle! I love Yankee Candle because their Christmas scents make me believe Christmas is right around the corner in Castaic, CA. My favorites include:

Holiday Garland
Home for the Holidays
Christmas Cookie
Bayberry

The flagship store for Yankee Candle is So. Deerfield, Massachusetts. I've been there a couple of times and I love it. I remember there's a place to make your own tapered candles, and it's Christmas all year round. There's a Bavarian Christmas Village complete with an automated Oompah Band and Coffee Haus. My favorite is the Black Forest room with the model train displays.

I guess the heart of my blog today is about "ambience." Yankee Candles capture the ambience of Christmas in my heart. Christmas is a time for hope, joy, love, and faith and my 99 cent stories strive to capture the ambience and emotions of the seasons.

Christmas in Bayeux: 99 cent contemporary romance. 

Blurb: Aiden travels to Bayeux, France to meet an old friend, Noel. Can she help heal his wounded heart?

Opening Line: A light dusting of snow covered the Renault's window.

4, 5 Star Amazon Reviews:
This was just a wonderful and heart warming read. - Markee Anderson


FEAST OF CANDLES:

99 cent spicy contemporary romance.
BLURB: Drake takes the biggest chance of his life all because of a bottle of wine. Can he breakthrough the battlements surrounding Lily's lonely heart?

Small Excerpt:

He stared into her eyes, keeping his hand on her waist. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing." She hesitated. "Everything. You..." her voice trailed off. Silence grew between them. God, what had she been thinking? Was it possible to have a future 5 with him?
5 Stars, Loves Romance Reviews:
The ending with the feast of candles is so romantic, you'll want your own.

BUY LINK:



QUESTION: What's your favorite Christmas/Holiday scent.

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. She lives in Castaic, CA and loves chocolate along with a good, hearty French Roast from Starbucks. Every Christmas Eve she tracks Santa's sleigh ride on Norad with her boys.

FIND ME ON THE WEB AT:

WEBSITE:

TWITTER:

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/StephanieBurkhartAuthor

GOOD READS:

YOU TUBE CHANNEL:
http://www.youtube.com/user/botrina?feature=mhee

PINTEREST:
http://pinterest.com/sgburkhart/

Flagship Photo: Attribution: Slovakjoe at Wikipedia. They do not endorse this blog or this blog post. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My First Kiss by Morgan Mandel


I remember something, but not all about my first kiss. It took place on the sidewalk outside of all places, my church. I know I was grammar school age, but have no idea what grade I was in, or exactly how old I was. The boy’s name was Ricky. He asked to kiss me me and, as an experiment, I agreed. It wasn’t much, just a quick peck. It had barely registered, before he’d dashed way.

I have no further recollection of where he fit into my life, also no idea where he’s wandered off to since then. He played his role and vanished into oblivion, except for what lingers in my mind: the memory of my first kiss.

Her Handyman
by Morgan Mandel
In Her Handyman, the heroine fantasizes about being kissed by Jake, her handyman, when she wonders, “How would it feel to be held in his arms, close to his heart? How would his kiss taste? Dare she imagine further?” 

Further into the book they do kiss, and that kiss is reflected on the book's cover.

What about you? Do you remember your first kiss? If so, please share. Or, if you’d like, share a line or two describing a first kiss in your book or someone else’s.

FIRST CHAPTER EXCERPT:
“Handyman, please, you’ve got to help me. The water, it’s everywhere.”
“Calm down. Tell me more.”
A toy in the toilet, a messed up chain and flapper -- flood time!
 “I’ll be right there.”
Like a fireman, Jake knew the drill. He grabbed his jeans and shirt off the bathroom hook, and slipped into his rubber boots by the back door to the alley.
The Hawk, Chicago’s nickname for its malevolent wind, blew a dark strand of hair over his eyes. He pushed it away and continued down the stairs of his Northwest side two-flat. His pickup truck, loaded with sundry supplies, awaited him in the detached garage.
A round of February snowflakes began as he pulled off Wrightwood Avenue and turned toward the River North area.
As Jake of All Trades, he willingly performed tasks others couldn’t or wouldn’t do. Like an old-fashioned doctor, he stayed on call all hours. A certified plumber, electrician, and overall handyman, he loved facing and conquering challenges.
Merging onto Trendale, he evaded a Camaro weaving into his lane. At two a.m. on a Saturday morning, drunks were a common sight on the almost empty road.
Twenty minutes later, he pulled up to a brownstone high-rise on a prime site.
Another rich chick.
From their conversation, a mental picture of Sandra O’Toole flashed in his mind: blonde, helpless, about five years younger than his thirty. Far from the level-headed Angelina Fortunata, Jake’s intended bride and future bearer of their children. He smiled, remembering Angelina’s pleased smile when he’d gotten down on his knees, and said, “I love you. Will you marry me.”
They’d been a couple since grammar school, knew each other inside and out, and were partners in every sense of the word. Still, that moment last Sunday, at her family owned Fortunata’s Restaurant had been special, as they took their longstanding relationship to the next level. Magically, word spread. It wasn’t long before all her relatives descended upon them, hugging, kissing and cheering, as smiling patrons watched.
Weddings weren’t cheap, so he’d agreed to pitch in to make their wedding day special.
No daydreaming. His client awaited him. Jake grabbed the toolkit and wet-dry vac from the back of the truck, and loped onto the walkway.  

Her Handyman is now on Kindle for 99 cents at http://amzn.com/B0097EVXBK

Morgan Mandel

Thanks for letting me share.

Morgan Mandel
http://www.morganmandel.com
http://amazon.com/author/morganmandel

Twitter: @MorganMandel

Friday, December 14, 2012

Holidays in the Civil War



That time of year is upon us again, and would you believe where I'm at, it's nice enough out to be planting flowers? It's true! For others, though, while we face the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, some  sit down to the Christmas table without those we loved, missing those who might be stationed elsewhere, or worse. The idea of holidays fresh in mind and soldiers for a certain little book I’m working on, I began to wonder what kind of revelries might the soldiers of old have arranged. What, for instance did a man fighting far away from his fathers do to mark the occasion?

So, I went poking around for some answers to this question. First off, to cover a holiday we just passed, Thanksgiving. Indeed, if you look into the history, the first official celebration of Thanksgiving occurred in November 1864 when President Abraham Lincoln signed a document that year making a national day of celebration on the final Thursday of each November. Word went out and the boys in blue, how did they mark it?

According to the civilwarhistory.com did you know donations were taken on behalf of the soldiers? The donations were used to send turkey and the other staples of the early thanksgiving dinner (what did it say? Cranberry?) and this sent to the Union’s soldiers stationed as far away as Miami, Florida.

Christmas was treated with some of the same trappings with which we are familiar today, some soldiers (from what I’ve read) set up their own Christmas trees, and had special goodies (brandy!) set aside to celebrate the day. Others, those towns directly affected by the war (say, Savannah in 1864) saw Christmas greeted with battle and destruction, halting the usual reveries and balls. If Santa couldn’t come that year, Southern parents blamed it on the Union blockades.

But even in the midst of war, the people tried to remain cheerful. Here’s hoping your holidays will be, as well.

Looking a good read to complete your Christmas lists? There are many fine writers here. If you like something with a little paranormal, my novel, The Artist’s Inheritance (featuring a helpful Civil War ghost) is on sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble for $.99 for the holiday. 

Settling into their new home in Gulf Breeze, Florida, Caitlin senses changes come over her husband Trevor. He's obsessed with a beautiful chair he's carving, a passion that smacks of his familial curse dating back to the Civil War.

Armed with newfound precognitive abilities, and little experience of the supernatural, Caitlin must proceed with caution. If she fails to break this cycle of damnation, she'll lose forever the one thing she loves most: Trevor. 

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.
Juli D. Revezzo


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

eBook stuffers for the Holidays - by Vijaya Schartz

For 99 cents, you cannot go wrong. So, go ahead and stuff your eReader with stories from your favorite authors, or try authors you've never read before. below this post are my two 99 cents offerings this holiday season. They are available everywhere in all formats for all eBook readers at the same low price. Here are the links to my titles on various sites (I have many more titles):

AMAZON  -  NOOK  -  A.R.E.SMASHWORDS 99CTS - SMASHWORDS OTHERS - KOBO - SONY -   APPLE STORE

Specially priced and only for a limited time during the holidays, this SPECIAL EDITION CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE medieval romantic fantasy series, three full novels in one download, exclusively from Amazon kindle, for the friendly price of $5.99. (That's $1.99 per novel).

THE CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE:
Book One - PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE
Book Two - PAGAN QUEEN
Book Three - SEDUCING SIGEFROI

The series' theme:

From history shrouded in myths, emerges a family of immortal Celtic Ladies, who roam the medieval world in search of salvation from a curse. For centuries, imbued with hereditary gifts, they hide their deadly secret... but if the Church ever suspects what they really are, they will be hunted, tortured, and burned at the stake.

"As always, Schartz spins a great story. It’s a bit bloody and bloodthirsty in places... But that's part of the drama, and Schartz certainly knows drama." Manic Readers 4.5 stars

Books One and Two are set in Scotland during the Viking invasions - Book Three is set in Luxembourg in the tenth century, and Book Four, Lady of Luxembourg, is scheduled for release around the holidays.


COYOTE GORGEOUS:

Arizona Game Ranger Madison Huntley, investigating a wild animal attack on a ranch in Cave Creek, discovers disturbing details. If she didn't know better, she'd say the legends frightening the ranch hand might be true. But Madison isn't just a wilderness cop. As a biologist and a wild life expert, she believes in facts and science, not scary tales.

Kaletaka, a Hopi Native, enjoys fame among the white man, forging haunting sculptures of half gods, half humans. When he awakens bloody, with no recollection of what he did the night before, he remembers the legends of his tribe, and the meaning of his name. But as hard as he tries, can he escape his destiny?
"Phenomenal world building, characters the readers cares about, and an intriguing mystery…COYOTE GORGEOUS has all the elements one expects from a Vijaya Schartz story! Easily recommended!" - 4.5 Shamrocks - Debbie, CK2sKwipsandKritique
"So many times my theory of who done it was thwarted and yet I was thrilled to stay on the edge of my seat until the very last word just to find out" - Five stars - Book Junkie Reviews

"excellent characters... well written. Fascinated about the subject matter and the legends..." - Five hearts - Romance Book Scene

A DESPERADO FOR CHRISTMAS:

Rookie Border Patrol Agent Kaitlin Harrington hates Christmas and all men, since her lover jilted her and she lost her unborn child on Christmas Eve. This year, as she guards the Mexican border in southern Arizona, she encounters more than she can handle. No amount of training prepared Kaitlin to arrest the gorgeous desperado who challenges her. His name is Miguel, a human smuggler fascinated by the green eyes of the feisty auburn-haired beauty bent on impeding his important work. But Miguel is a man of many secrets. On this dangerous adventure through the Arizona desert, anything can and will happen.

"...a romantic adventure from beginning to end. Brimming with twists, secret identities and danger on every page, this is a page turner that will entertain any reader. I will be interested in checking out additional titles by this author."
Katherine - Joyfully Reviewed


"...But you dear reader, will have to get this intriguing little story and find it out for yourself. Vijaya Schartz is a talented author with a number of good books under her belt. You should get her back list, sit back and enjoy her work. I’m looking forward to more." Four hearts from Val - Love Romances and More

Here are the links to my titles on various sites (I have many more titles):

AMAZON  -  NOOK  -  A.R.E.SMASHWORDS 99CTS - SMASHWORDS OTHERS - KOBO - SONY -   APPLE STORE

Vijaya Schartz
Romance with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday Humor by Joan Reeves

I like to laugh. That's certainly no secret. I love to see the funny side of life plus I know that laughter can help you survive some of the tragedies life holds for all of us. That's one of the reasons I write romantic comedy like my Christmas Romance Nobody's Cinderella.

So let's laugh a little during this holiday season, and we can start with funny Christmas songs.

Lyricists are writers too. I want to honor a few who have made our holidays memorable. Here is my list of:

The Top 5 Best Humorous Christmas Songs

1.Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer written by Elmo and Patsy  Shropshire.

Their real names are Dr. Elmo Shropshire and Patsy Trigg Shropshire. They were married when they wrote the song, but they’ve since divorced. The song is available in just about every language, and, of course, you can get it as a ring tone. No matter how many times I've heard this dumb song, it still makes me smile.

2.The Chipmunk Song actually entitled Christmas Don’t Be Late written by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., who was better known as David Seville.

Mr. Bagdasarian wrote this little ditty in 1958. Who would ever have guessed this song would still be around 55 years later? Bagdasarian sang the song using a chipmunk voice so the singing credits were listed as The Chipmunks: Alvin, Simon, and Theodore. Alvin? Alvin! ALVIN!?!

3.There’s Something Stuck Up In The Chimney was written by Bob Rivers, D. Amero, and B. Silva according to ASCAP, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

Released in 1987 by the Bob Rivers Comedy Corp., the hilarious song, one of my youngest daughter's favorites, tells of poor Santa's demise when he gets stuck one Christmas Eve. Probably all those cookies and milk.

4. The 12 Pains of Christmas is a cut on the Twisted Christmas album. Our whole family screams the "stringing up the lights" line. Yes, I confess, we're all a little twisted I guess.

5. A Message from the King -- Elvis That Is is another cut from the Twisted Christmas album.

Both #4 and #5 were written by the Rivers, Amero, and Silva trio who gave us the #3 selection too.

Post Script

Laughter makes the holidays memorable. Go caroling and sing only funny songs. That’ll leave a smile on everyone’s face. Happy Holidays!

(Joan Reeves writes funny, sexy Contemporary Romance. Her books are available at all major ebook sellers with audio editions available at Amazon, Audible.com, and iTunes. Joan publishes Writing Hacks, a free subscription newsletter for writers, and Wordplay, a free subscription newsletter for readers. Info? Visit Joan's Blog, SlingWords.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas in Florida


 
 
For many Christmas is synonym of snow, cold, a fire in the chimney; indoors decorated Christmas trees; evergreen wreaths and garlands; red ribbons to accent the Christmas look; twinkling lights decorating the doors and front yards; and a spicy hot punch; or hot chocolate to warm you up.

Yes that’s the Christmas I remember having when my children were growing, in school and in college.
 
 
It was so cold outside, and so warm and cozy inside.
 
My present Christmas is so different. How do you celebrate Christmas in Florida? In church, nothing is changed, but all the rest is different. Our Christmas trees are often smaller. We decorate palm trees and take advantage of our clement weather. You can find us at the beach if the temperature is in the seventies.

Available at Amazon
My latest book, CHRISTMAS BABIES, is a heartwarming holiday story, set in South Florida.

Dedicated to her patients, the serious Dr. Madelyn Ramsay never had time for fun. An unexpected health problem jolts her into the realization that there’s more to life than just work. She longs to surrender to the magic of Christmas.


 But can she handle the charming and secretive Dr. Nick Preston who carries his own package of disillusions?

Can she allow two newborn twins to worm their way into her heart?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Special Moments…



 
 
 
This is the time of the year when we all become so busy that we sometimes forget what this season is about. Recently, I received an e-mail that clutched at me, and made me take notice. It was about a violinist playing his instrument in the Washington, DC Metro Station. During the time he played, approximately 2,000 people went through the area, most of them on their way to work. One or two stopped to listen for a short while, an older man the longest. A few people threw money, but the ones who acknowledged him the most were the little ones with busy parents who forced them along so they couldn’t stay and listen.
     After 1 hour he finished playing and silence took over, no applause, no recognition and a very few dollars for his trouble. No one knew that this man called Joshua Bell was one of the greatest violinists in the world, who played some of the most intricate pieces ever written for a violin, and this day he played on an instrument worth $3.5 million dollars. 
     The Washington Post had organized this experiment to answer this question. In a commonplace environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty and stop to appreciate it? It raised the uncertainty - if we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the world’s best musicians, playing some of the finest music ever written, on one of the most beautiful instruments ever made - how many other things are we missing?
     The thought scares me a little. I get so caught up in my writing, editing, promoting, and blogging - in fact - all the many time consuming tasks most authors have, that I must admit, it’s easy to let the world float on by.
But should we? And at this time of the year especially? So my request to all you wonderful readers is to stop for a while, enjoy the special moments the season of Yuletide brings us and spoil yourself with pleasures and joy….and lots of chocolate!
Mimi
 
p.s. This is also the time of year to spoil yourself or someone you love with a great Christmas romance. In three days Loveable Christmas Angel received 39 wonderful reviews from readers who got the book during a Free Promotion. So if you have family or friends who love warm, Christmas family tales this is the one!! If you don't want to take my word, check out the fabulous reviews yourself…please!! J
 
 





As a special treat, The Vicarage Bench Anthology,

a boxed set of three of the first stories to the spirit-travelling Vicarage Bench series,

are now FREE during the KICK ASS PROMOTIONS


 
****

Sunday, December 2, 2012

KINDLE FIRE GIVEAWAY!




Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Solstice, Kwanza Greetings.

I’m a bit early, but the wishes are genuine. Since I’m a Christian, I expressed my choice in the graphic above. Whatever your faith, I wish the best to you. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were all this friendly and grateful for our blessings all year?

I’m so grateful to be a writer and to have actual readers. I want to show my appreciation in a tangible way. Today, instead of promoting a 99-cent book, I’m talking about a FREE Kindle Fire Giveaway on December 14, 2012 to one lucky subscriber of Caroline’s Occasional Newsletter!  I chose the word Occasional deliberately. I won’t bombard you with emails, won’t sell your email address, and no salesman will call. Trust me. Really, you can.

You say you already have an e-reader? Surely there’s someone on your gift list who would enjoy receiving a Kindle Fire if you’re the lucky winner of my giveaway. I’ll include a few of my books with the prize. What a deal, right?

Here’s how to enter. Go to the sidebar and about halfway down on my blog at http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com. See the large white square displaying a circle formed by some of my titles? Click on it. Simply fill in your name and email and you’re entered. Then, when a confirmation comes, click the link. That’s all you have to do. Easy. Alternately, you can go to my website at www.carolineclemmons.com and find the same square to click and ditto.

Even if you are not the winner for December 14th’s Kindle Fire giveaway, there will be frequent giveaways/contests in the future, as well as notice of my new releases.  And you can easily unsubscribe, even though doing so will probably make me cry. (Okay, I probably won’t really cry, but I would genuinely miss you as a subscriber.)

Thanks for stopping by!

Caroline Clemmons is the author of 11 books and 3 novellas. Find her books in print and all her works online in e-books. She writes contemporary and historical romance and mystery, all but one of which are set in Texas. Caroline and her Hero/husband live on a small acreage in rural North Central Texas with a menagerie of rescued pets.

Friday, November 30, 2012

When The Going Gets Tough: Avoid Burnout by Joan Reeves

In my Christmas romance, Nobody's Cinderella, the heroine knows how to keep going in the face of adversity.

When adversity rears its ugly head, what do you do?

Remember the old Billy Ocean song When The Going Gets Tough? If you're not old enough to remember the song, look it up on iTunes. What do you do when the going gets tough? The way you answer that question may determine your longevity as a writer.

You've heard the old cliché and seen the inspirational posters: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Right?

Well, usually. Sometimes when the going gets tough, if you've been fighting the good fight for a long time, maybe you should just relax a bit. Take a load off, Fanny, to quote another old song. Take a vacation even if it's just a day off to goof around.

How To Goof Off Productively

Set a time schedule for relaxing, or you may end up relaxing away the rest of the year instead of a couple of days. After a few days of catching up on your TV viewing or a day at the golf course or shopping or just reading some of the books from your towering to-be-read stack, you'll be surprised how much better you feel. You'll be ready to dive into the writing again with renewed energy rather than fall victim to burnout.

Take A Dis Vacation

Take a vacation from disrespecting yourself or anyone else. All that negativity and whining takes an enormous amount of energy. Resolve that if you can't say anything good about someone that you'll just keep your mouth shut. That goes for your self-talk too. Especially for your self talk!

Some people trash talk themselves so much you'd think they were getting paid to do it. Start saying good things about yourself. You're not a loser because you didn't get that promotion or paint the dining room before Thanksgiving or write 100 pages last week. Get some perspective on your goals and your life and never personalize the downside of anything.

Figure Out Where You're Going

Do you have goals? If so, are they realistic? Most people set goals so high that they set themselves up for failure. Figure out exactly what you want. You. Not your spouse or your best buddy. What would make you happy? Set your goals realistically—high enough that you have to work to achieve them but low enough to be in the realm of real possibility.

Wrong-thinking Goal: I want to hit the NYT best seller list with this book. Or, I want to win Yard of the Month from the Garden Club. (Totally out of your control.)

Right-thinking Goal: I want to finish the manuscript. Or, I want to have a weed-free yard. (Totally within your control.)

Figure out what you want and why, and then set up a viable action plan to achieve the goal.

Dance To The Music

Celebrate! "Dance to the music." So says another song. With everything you do, set up a system of milestones and rewards. When you achieve a stated milestone like completing the first draft of a manuscript or getting an interview for a new job, celebrate.

When you get a good book review or you get an "attaboy" at work, celebrate. If you get your first rejection as a writer, celebrate. I don't mean pop a hundred dollar bottle of bubbly each time, but do celebrate and bask in the glory of achievement. Have a little chocolate or whatever is your special treat. Let the reward fit the achievement.

Be Present

Live today. Don't get caught in the trap of regretting what you didn't get done yesterday. Pat yourself on the back for what you did today. Avoid thinking: when I get this done, I'll be happy. That's just a way of postponing happiness because the lengthier time is the time spent working on the project.

The shortest time is the space between projects. Being happy shouldn't be reserved for that tiny span of time. Be happy when you're working toward your goals or just hanging in there and enduring the present in hopes of a brighter future. Live each day and be happy each day.

Don't postpone your satisfaction for some future time or happiness will always be just out of reach. Enjoy the journey because time spent on the road to success is longer than time spent at the destination.

Post Script

I hate to use Hollywood buzz words, but be present in your life. Live in the now. Be happy now. That's the real secret to avoiding burnout as a writer or as a human being.

(Joan Reeves is a bestselling ebook author of romantic comedy. Her books are available at all major ebook sellers and in audio from Audible.com and iTunes. Joan publishes Writing Hacks, a free newsletter for writers. For articles about the art, craft, and business of writing and the world of books, visit Joan's website and SlingWords, her blog.