Life

Schedules

I’ve struggled for years to come up with a consistent routine. Working at home means there’s not a lot of rigid structure, and having two jobs means there’s a lot to juggle. Recently, though, I got some advice that has made a tremendous difference in my day:

First things first.

For me, a positive life means putting the most important things first in my day. When it comes to my work, the highest priority for me is writing, so after the family leaves in the morning, guess what I do?

Sit down and write.

When your schedule is hectic or chaotic, what’s your priority, the first thing you want to focus on in your day?

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Ireland

I’ve been looking for inspiration as I work through the early chapters of Capture Me. Lyse runs from her past and the man she loves to a remote Irish village. In looking for images to spark my imagination, I began with one of my favorite places during my visit to Ireland in 2017: Howth.

(That’s pronounced “hoat,” like ho-ho-ho but with a T at the end. ;) )

What do you think? Would a place like this make a good blueprint for Lyse’s hideaway?

https://www.nomadasaurus.com/things-to-do-in-howth-ireland/

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Blank Spaces

As I’ve followed my journey toward a more POSITIVE LIFE this year, I’ve noticed something: when I don’t have anything to do, it stresses me out. I don’t know what to do with the blank spaces in my life, the times when there’s no work to do, no TV to watch, no book to read. And yet, we are learning more and more about the negative impact of so much input into our lives through TV, social media, the doing and having and seeking more and more and more.

Creativity requires blank space. We look at the first page of a new book, all that fresh white space, and freak out. The blank page is so hard! But without a blank page, a new book doesn’t come into being. Our brains need that blank space too, to stretch and grow and create. To rest.

Have you found that quiet and “blank space” are positives in your life? How do you go about creating those opportunities?

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Positive Life

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Thanks to the totally fantastic Maggie Coughlin Worth and her common sense guidance, I’ve learned that a POSITIVE LIFE needs REWARDS.

I work a lot. My day job, though it’s from home, is full-time. Writing is also a full-time job, though the actual words on the page are a tiny fraction of that. So getting to run away from all the work and actually just write is a reward for me. Twice a year I give myself a retreat—and it is oh so wonderful.

Last fall I found a little cabin in the woods (NOT like the movie!), and this month, in celebration of our birthday, I took my sis Dani Wade there for a writing retreat. You can see from the pics that we had a great time! Writing, reading, plotting (and not just books 😉 ), exploring, wading. So much fun!

What about you? Where do you go to get away? What do you love to reward yourself with?

More POSITIVE LIFE

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More POSITIVE LIFE for May! Are you ready?

A positive life must include SLEEP! That’s what I’m learning. I always knew I didn’t feel good when I went low on sleep, but the past couple of years? I get the walk-into-the-wall, too-fuzzy-to-think, can’t-deal-with-life blues if I don’t rest. I feel so much better, clearer headed and able to, yes, be positive, if I just get adequate sleep!

I’m also learning that the kind of sleep you get makes a difference. Apparently not dreaming is a big deal—you’re not getting REM sleep. I rarely dream anymore, although I used to when I was younger. I’ve always been envious of authors who literally dream their stories up.

What about you? Do you get enough sleep, or are you one of those people who doesn’t seem to need much. (That’s NEVER been me! 😝 )

 

Inspiration

Authors are asked all the time, “Where do you get your inspiration?” The truth is, I don’t always know. Or maybe it’s that I get it from everywhere. Narrowing down inspiration to one source is impossible for me. I simply try to be open and receptive whenever it passes my way.

 

Sometimes it’s a song that comes on the radio and inspires a character—this happened for me with Abby in ASSASSIN’S MARK. (The song was “Me and My Broken Heart” by Rixton.) Or a TV show. I’ve been watching Dark on Netflix, and it’s made me realize that villains might be terrible, but they can also be compelling. Places can be inspiration—I find many of my ideas while my mind rests out in nature, for walks especially. Oddly enough, the treadmill never gives me inspiration; now why is that? 😟

 

Where do you find inspiration? What sets your imagination soaring?

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Positive Life

 

I admit that there is one aspect of a POSITIVE LIFE that is giving me some negative moments:

 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY 😟

 

It seems like every time I make a push to get more active, an old injury rears its ugly head. Recently it’s been my knee—I have damage to one knee that is limiting both how vigorous I can be and even slow activities that require me to bend, like tai chi.

 

*whine* I just want to work out and get it over with! *whine*

 

So what obstacles get in the way of your physical fitness? How do you overcome them? I could use the encouragement, so share your story with me!

 

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Art

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Art can be found anywhere—on canvas, on the sides of buildings, through a camera lens. It can also be found on skin, and not just in the form of tattoos. When Isaac (Only for the Moment) waltzed into my brain while writing Only for the Night, I had no idea that his fascination with rope would lead me to art.

What do you think?

 

Images by Homo Inanis and NFGphoto. See license here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

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Celebrate the Positive Stuff

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One of the things I’m trying to learn this year as I work toward a POSITIVE LIFE is learning to let go of the need to control everything.

Yeah, I had to laugh at that a little bit.

I am the queen of control. Nothing causes me more stress than a situation I can’t control. Actually, I think that’s true for most people. I’m slowly learning to sift what I can control and what I can’t, and breathing away the frustration of what I can’t. One example: I can’t control how many words flow from my fingers into my manuscript every day. What I can control are the hours I put in at the computer. It’s frustrating sometimes—I want to make faster progress, get farther, finish sooner. But I can’t.

On the other hand, sometimes I get a surprise: more words than I wanted. And that’s a day to celebrate! 😊

Book Clubs

I have an admission: I’ve never been part of a book club. 😳 I like the idea of them—I was, after all, a literature major in college and essentially assigned books to read all the time. But a romance book club sounds like a dream come true to me.

 

Have you ever been part of a book club? What was it like? What did you read? I’d love to live vicariously through your comments. 😉 

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Romance and Giveaways!

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* * * February Monthly Contest * * *

It’s February, the month of LUV! Let’s celebrate with this month’s contest. What is the most romantic line you’ve ever read in a romance novel? A poem? Heard in a film? Share it with us! Comment below and you could win a $10 Amazon gift card (or other retailer, if desired) and a signed paperback copy of DECEIVE  ME.

Head on over to my Facebook page for your chance to win!

 

*** Likes and shares with your booklover friends are appreciated but not required! Contest ends FEBRUARY 23rd! ***

 

Positive Life

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Many people have talked this month about their “word for the year.” This is a concept I absolutely love, a way to narrow down your focus to one concept that you want to bring into your life. Too often we have 50 million goals and accomplish none of them. I like to focus in and actually get somewhere, LOL!

I have more than a word for this year, though. It’s a phrase: POSITIVE LIFE. I’m looking to inhale the positive and exhale the negative. Be happy with my life and my choices and my goals, and strip away the things that cause anxiety and stress and depression. What about you? Do you have a focus word or phrase for this year? Do you set New Year’s resolutions every year? I know I’m not the only one, and I’m hoping this year will be better and happier and more positive for us all!

Too Many Books?

So many books, so little time. That’s what we say. And now more than ever, our favorite authors are releasing books at a tremendous rate. Always good, right?

 

I’m wondering about reader fatigue today. Y’all know that before ASSASSIN’S MARK started releasing, it had been a long eight months since my last release—March, 2017. I love that I can get regular installments of some of my favorite series, but I sometimes look at all the Tuesday release day compilation posts and get…overwhelmed. Where do I start? Which series is that book with? What if I want to try something new, how do I figure out which book from a new author to try, their current release or something older?

 

It’s a lot to take in sometimes!

 

What about you, readers? Do you get overwhelmed by all the releases? Do you love that some authors produce books fast, and some slower, so you have time to catch up, savor the anticipation? What’s your take on the quick-release reality of romance books in this new age? Inquiring minds want to know! 😉 

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What's In The Box?

* * * January Monthly Contest * * *

This month it’s all about surprises and anticipation! I have an assorted grab bag of paperback books, a MYSTERY BOX, that I’ll be mailing to this month’s winner, along with some great swag. (International entries are welcome!)

 

So tell me, what are you looking forward to this year? I have several things that I’m anticipating, personally and professionally, not the least of which is releasing another book this spring (MOMENT, anyone? 😉 ). My son starting his senior year of high school in the fall. The possibility of getting a new (to me, lol) car. What about you? What is going on in your life right now that you’re relishing? Let’s share some good things for 2018!

 

Head on over to my Facebook page for your chance to win!

 

*** Likes and shares with your booklover friends are appreciated but not required! Contest ends JANUARY 26th! ***

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Life After Christmas

Life after Christmas!

I don’t know about y’all, but I love Christmas — and I hate cleaning up after the holidays. Really hate it! Still, there’s something about getting everything put away, straightened up, and cleaned that speaks to a healthy start to the new year.

I’ve done the same with my goals and plan for 2018. Thanks to the fabulous Maggie Worth, I created a fresh plan for the year with goals that truly speak to me and support the life I want to live.

How about you? What’s your most important goal for the new year, or are you just winging it? (You pantser, you!)

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What's Your Favorite Christmas Story?

I’m running around finishing last minute details for Christmas and working on Assassin’s Mark and Only for the Moment at the same time, so there’s not a lot of time for reading this month. But at night, after all the evening chores are done and I can finally crawl into bed, I take at least a few minutes to read. The problem? I really want to read a sexy Christmas book, and there are none on my TBR.

Help me out, dear readers! Share your favorite Christmas story for bedtime reading—must include sexy times, please! I’ll choose one commenter for a surprise $5 Amazon gift card on Sunday at noon! Head over to my Facebook page for your chance to win!

 

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Friday Inspiration

Last month I subscribed to Passionflix, a new movie streaming app that is not only sharing the best in romance movies of the past, but making new movies out of our favorite romance novels of today. I love the idea of not only supporting romance in general, but also supporting romance authors and their fantastic books.

 

The first original film produced by Passionflix released last month, Hollywood Dirt, based on the book by Alessandre Torre. I’d never read the book, so I was completely unaware when I watched the movie of what a treat I was in for. Here’s the official trailer:

 

https://youtu.be/3ofNk7DvQuY

 

What do you think, do you want to see it? I highly recommend it! You can check out the Passionflix service at their website here: https://www.passionflix.com/