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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.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas stories...warm & fuzzy - right??



Christmas stories should be warm and fuzzy – right? At least I think so cause I’m a big fan of the season…

For me, it’s all about families. I’m a sucker for romance, and old folks and an even bigger sucker for kids. When you join those features into one story and add in a heroine you can’t help but love, then the book is my idea of perfect entertainment.


Some of my friends tell me I’m a softie and tend to write naive tales about people who just aren’t that way anymore… kind and thoughtful, loving and giving. I beg to differ!! There is a world full of ‘nice’ people out there. Folks who live every day being helpful to others and generous with their families.


There’s one story in particular I’d like to share. My mother-in-law, a tiny, cranky, eighty-eight-year-old woman who has insisted on staying in her little house because she ….well she can. And the reason this is possible is because of her neighbour. A young man, maybe in his forties, has taken her under his wing (no pun intended) and goes there every day, looks after all her yard work, takes her grocery shopping and even to church. When she forces money on him, he’s terribly uncomfortable and has tried to tell her he doesn’t expect payment. See what I mean by angels in our midst???


My angel in this Christmas story is an old man called Pi. I created him as close to a real person as possible because I truly believe that we are surrounded by angels in our everyday lives. Ordinary people who behave in extraordinary and loving ways. In many cases, both men and women who come to ones aid without needing to be asked. I have friends like that and I’m sure most of you do also. In fact, you’ve probably acted like that yourself at one time or another. We all have stories to tell of the time that we…!

So this Christmas tale is my present to those of you who are suckers for romance and prickly little boys and loveable seniors. For your holiday pleasure, I’ve wrapped up all these elements up in an entertaining parcel called “Lovable Christmas Angel”.



 Hint: This would make a perfect gift for someone special on your list who you know is sweet on those special uplifting stories that make the season just that little bit brighter.


Loveable is part of a FREE PARTAY promotion today and is





Friday, November 23, 2012

Leftovers Make Me Hiccup

It's bound to happen. The turkey weighs 21 pounds and you're feeding 15 people. You've collected 4 pies, made a tub of mashed potatoes, cooked a kettle of corn, and you've got green bean casserole left over for days. And let's not forget the stuffing. There's Grandma's "classic" stuffing and this year we're baking up Aaron Sanchez's stuffing with chorizo. Of course I had to make my famous New England Clam Chowder. Everyone raves about it.

After everyone has stuffed themselves as full as the turkey, you've got…Leftovers!

What to do with them?

I've heard it all:

Turkey sandwiches
Turkey soup
Turkey quesadillas
Avocado Turkey salad

I'm eating mashed potatoes for a week. My 6-year-old is eating corn for a week. My husband's eating the chorizo stuffing. Sadly, the dogs still get dog food. For some reason the dogs turn up their noses on Grandma's classic stuffing.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a thankful kinda' girl. I'm thankful I've been married for 21 years to a great guy. I'm thankful for my ten-year-old who is a pretty smart guy, my high-maintenance six-year-old. (Yes, he's high-maintenance. I'm 44. He's 6. And he's got sensory issues. I'm burnt out.)

Me and 6-year-old

I'm thankful I have the gift of writing. I'm thankful for my church. I'm thankful I have a great sister, Christine, and 3 great friends, Idgy, Alyssa, and Karen that I've known since high school. I'm thankful for all the online friends I've made on my writing journey.

I just don't know what to do with my leftovers.

What do you do with yours?

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. Her 99 cent story, "Christmas in Bayeux" is set in Bayeux, France. Visit the beaches of World War II with Aiden. Can he rekindle the love he felt for Noel when she was an exchange student in the US?


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

One line teaser: Noel giggled. "William conquered him."

"Christmas in Bayeux" is the perfect short romance to enjoy during the holiday season or any time during the year, and I highly recommend it." – Diane Craver, Author, A Joyful Heart, Amazon Review

Buy Link:




Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ghosts and Reincarnation Free on Amazon

What makes us begin our stories? I began many of my stories to enter in contests or use at workshops. An idea would marinate in my brain until it or the characters compelled me to write the stories. After the  death of my parents I decided to finish some of my beginnings and turn them into novels and novellas. Ten of those became novels.

My novella Forever Love tells the story of a woman who discovers the love story of her ancestor in a journal. I wrote this one years ago and unearthed it when I decided to Indie publish.  That is still 99 cents.


Haunting Refrain grew into a novel about reincarnation and ghost. It is FREE on Amazon until November 21.  I started that story as a workshop entry.


How do ideas become novels or novellas for you? 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Time for Giving Thanks

The turkey is thawing, the Parkerhouse rolls and pumpkin pies are baked, the candied red cabbage is on the stove, the potatoes are peeled and it’s almost time for the yearly Thanksgiving gorge!

What do you remember most about Thanksgiving?  I grew up in a family where Dad got up at 6:00 a.m. in the morning, stuffed the turkey and got it in the oven.  I know because I would get up with him and help, mostly because it was a special time to visit with Dad and enjoy his company by myself.  In a house with four children all close to the same age, that wasn’t always possible. 

My mother always made Parkerhouse rolls for dinner.  Her rolls were always perfect, stayed together and absolutely wonderful.  Mine, on the other hand, have a tendency to end up looking like a fat open book and they never taste quite as good.  Mom always compliments me, though, and assures me they are every bit as good as hers ever were.  But I know better.

Dad still wants to contribute so he bakes the pies and he does really well.  More often than not, though, he bakes enough pies for a small army so we all end up with way more than we need.

Now that my folks are older, I’ve taken over the joy of preparing the Thanksgiving feast.  Maybe my stuffing is a little too moist on occasion and my gravy lumpy, but who really cares?  It’s the togetherness that counts.

Here’s wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

P.L. Parker is the author of two 99 cent e-books, 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=1353183360&sr=1-1&keywords=riley%27s+journey+by+p.+l.+parker


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Frights, bargains, and good lil witches

Hi everyone. I’m Juli, and I’m new here. My thanks to the ladies here at .99 cent Ebooks for inviting me to join them. My goodness, I see lots of interesting reads here, romance, fantasy, intrigue, ooh, it all looks good. And who doesn’t love a bargain, right? Me, I’ll read just about anything. I love fantasy, adventure, scifi, romance, maybe even some horror. :) 'Tis the season for scary reads, right (Oh, wait. What do you mean that was last month)? So, who’s your favorite writer of spooky tales?

Maybe you like the newer authors like Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter? Yes, she’s cool, isn’t she?

Or someone like Kim Harrison’s witch Rachel Morgan? :) She’s one of my favorites. Rachel’s pal Ivy is just about one of the coolest vampires around.

Or do you prefer the old school tales of ghosts, ghouls, and devil’s bargains—speaking of bargains—like those written by the classic authors? The stories of Mary Shelley, of H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, and Bram Stoker? Those are my particular favorites. I think my favorite “Devil’s bargain” story (and there were a lot of those in classic literature, aren’t there?) would be Sir Dominick’s Bargain by J. Sheridan LeFanu. In it, the gambling, philandering son of a wealthy man gambles away his inheritance and makes a deal with the devil for more money.

Of course, you might already guess what he does with that extra shot in the arm. Yep. He gambles it away, and tries everything he can to trick the devil when it’s time to pay up. I won’t spoil the ending for you.

I’ve always written leaning toward the fantastic side of life. In the last couple years, I noticed my work getting darker and darker, along with the stuff I’d read (The Rachel Morgan, and Anita Blake stories, among others, the dark classics, etc.) and the wizards and faeries turned darker and more vicious. No longer were they playfully little helpmates.

So as you can guess it was the aforementioned authors I had in mind when I set out to write my latest release, House of Cards. What if, I thought, the main character is given a chance to defeat the devil? What if he wasn’t the one to make the bargain? Could he win and will he ever find out who set him up?

Well, while I settle in here to my new home for the holiday season, you’ll have to read my House of Cards for yourself to find out. If you’d like to give it a try, it’s available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble for the Nook, and Smashwords, all for (you guessed it) $.99. Oh and if you're interested, my novel's also currently on sale at Amazon for $.99.

Trouble only a witch can solve...

Settling into a new home, Caitlin notices changes coming over her husband. When nightmares deepen and ghosts begin lurking—Caitlin knows something’s not right, and not just her newfound precognitive abilities. It’s the damned chair her husband's carving, she’s sure. Could it be just what it seems: a mundane piece of furniture? If so, why is it attracting dark forces—the forces she suspects drove Trevor’s siblings to insanity and suicide?

Armed with a handful of allies--a coven of helpful witches--she must proceed with caution against the hellish forces besieging her family. If she fails, she may lose forever the one thing she cares about most: her beloved Trevor.

 Get it while it's hot! 

Thanks Ladies, for having me here!
Best witches—I mean, wishes, ;)
Juli D. Revezzo

About Juli D. Revezzo

Juli D. Revezzo has long been in love with writing, a love built by devouring everything from the Arthurian legends, to the works of Michael Moorcock, and the classics and has a soft spot for classic the "Goths" of the 19th century. Her short fiction has been published in Dark Things II: Cat Crimes, The Scribing Ibis, Eternal Haunted Summer, Twisted Dreams Magazine and Luna Station Quarterly and Crossed Genres' "Posted stories for Haiti relief" project, while her non-fiction has been included in The Scarlet Letter. She has also, on occasion, edited the popular e-zine Nolan's Pop Culture Review... But her heart lies in the storytelling. She is a member of the Indie Author Network. To learn more about this and future releases, visit her at:

Twitter: @julidrevezzo

Monday, November 12, 2012

HOLIDAY TREAT 99cts - by Vijaya Schartz

Who doesn't want a little action, adventure romance with a Christmas theme for the holidays? Mainly if the price is 99cts. So, do not hesitate and get this novella, available from all major eBook retailers in all formats, no matter what your eReader is, and for just 99cts.

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.

  "...sensitivity over the issues facing people in Mexico  who take the chance of becoming  illegal immigrants and legalities involved. The tale is well crafted filled with romance and suspense. It's a great read." The Romance Studio.  Five-hearts

 "Ms. Schartz also does a fantastic job of setting you right in the scene with her characters.  She builds the suspense and follows through with vigor, sweeping her readers up in the action."  Coffee Time Romance Reviews - Five cups

"Vijaya Schartz always manages to produce stories that are a spectacular blend  of romance and action and this one is no exception" Debbie - CK2S Kwips & Kritiques -  4 clovers

 "...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

Find this and many other books by Vijaya Schartz at:

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Guns, Romance with a Kick