Archive for 'Guest Blogger'
Thursday, January 12th, 2017
Hello Delilah readers,
I’m so excited to be joining you here today. I’m Megan Westfield and I know Delilah through a group of female military veterans who write romantic fiction. (Thanks for the opportunity, Delilah!). My very first book, Lessons in Gravity, came out in October and is a new-adult rock-climbing romance set in Yosemite National Park.
Since we’re just a week past the new year, resolutions are still strong on my brain. For me, it seems like the meeting of resolutions always comes down to time: the fact that there is never enough of it. As an author who has a day job and two young children to care for, there’s no way I’d be able to get everything done if not for multitasking, and one of most effective ways I multitask is by doubling up my workouts with other things.
So whether you’re a person has resolved to be more active in 2017, or a person who is amply active wants to eek out more time in the day to focus on other resolutions, here are a few ideas for multitasking your workouts.
- Listen to an audio book.
All of us Delilah blog subscribers all have this in common: we love to read. My suggestion is to play an audio book on your phone, grab a pair of earphones, and head out the door for a walk. Or go ride a stationary bike. Or hit the bouldering wall at the climbing gym. This concept can be combined with many of the suggestions below for triple-tasking credit. J
- Workout on your lunch break.
This has been a habit of mine since my military days when I’d combine my allotted workout time with my lunch break so I could do a long road bike ride or go swimming at the base pool. Some private companies offer a fitness perk similar to this, but if your company isn’t one of these, an hour lunch break is plenty of time for a 30-40 minute cardio workout with a shower afterward. Alternately, if you have a shorter lunch break or don’t have access to a shower, you could do a low-impact workout: one where you don’t get drenched in sweat and therefore don’t need to change clothes beforehand or shower afterward (ex., going for a walk, or doing high-repetition, low-weight strength training).
- Walk your errands
I do not live in what is considered a “walkable” neighborhood, but there is a strip mall about a mile from our house with good sidewalks the whole way. I save time by making the day’s workout be a walk down to the grocery store to grab a few things for the evening’s dinner, or to run a different errand at one of the other stores.
- Take your kids on your workouts
For me, this means using a double jogging stroller, or carrying one kid on my back and pushing the other in a single jogging stroller. Kids love to be outside and joining in on parents’ activities, so not only are you doubling up on the tasks of taking care of children and getting some exercise, the kids are getting a “win” as well. My daughter is just old enough to start riding her strider bike alongside me, so this has been a fun variation for us. And don’t forget that many gyms offer free child care!
- Make your workouts a group activity
This is the same principle as #4, but instead of taking your kids, you arrange to meet up with a friend for a workout rather than of doing something sedentary. The multitasking element is that you’re having fun and maintaining connections while also being active. My best conversations with friends happen during long jogs and walks! Triple up by meeting with a friend for a weekday lunch-walk.
- Walk or jog your errands with kids in tow
This combination of #3 and #4 is a triple-tasking method that I do almost daily. Since my kids are small enough to ride in a stroller, the basket in the bottom comes in handy for holding groceries or other goods, but a backpack works just as well. If you live somewhere that’s truly un-walkable, you can always drive to an area that is, like a nice park that adjoins shopping area.
Let’s get a conversation going so we can share even more ways to gain more time by doubling up daily tasks with workouts. See below!
All eyes are on Josh Knox…
Fearless. Guarded. Cut-to-perfection. Daredevil rock climber. The best in the world.
This time he’s poised to scale Yosemite’s notoriously treacherous Sorcerer Spire, with Walkabout Media & Productions filming every move.
April Stephens’s dream to be a documentary filmmaker rests on her acing her internship with Walkabout, and that means getting the abrasive Josh to give her more than one-word answers in his interviews.
The problem is, with every step forward professionally, she and Josh are also taking a step forward personally, and after watching her stunt pilot father die in a fiery crash, a guy who risks his life for a living is the last person she should be falling for. Especially because in one month her internship will have them dangling three thousand feet in the air from the side of the Sorcerer. She’ll be filming. He’ll be climbing without a rope.
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About the Author
Megan Westfield has dabbled in many hobbies and pastimes over the years, ranging from playing the cello to cake decorating (i.e., icing-eating) to a dozen different outdoor adventure sports. Eventually, she discovered the only way to do it all was though writing—her first and strongest passion. She grew up in Washington state, attended college in Oregon, and lived in Virginia, California, and Rhode Island during her five years as a navy officer. Megan is now a permanent resident of San Diego where she and her husband count family beach time with their two young kids as an adventure sport.
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Post a comment below about how you double up daily tasks with workouts (or write about a fitness barrier you find especially challenging) and I’ll enter you in a drawing for an e-copy of Lessons in Gravity at the end of the week. Triple-tasking suggestions welcomed, too!
Thursday, January 5th, 2017
Wind River Rancher: Shattered, but still fighting to be whole once more…
Wind River Rancher, Book 2, Wind River Valley series, s an emotional story that will suck every reader in. I’m known for gritty, visceral and emotional writing, and this book is no exception. It just happened to catch the eye of Publisher’s Weekly and it received a ‘starred’ review (like winning an Oscar) on 12.3.16.
This series I’m writing is about military vets returning home from combat from all over the world, mostly focused on the Middle East. Having been in the US Navy during the Vietnam War era (I served stateside as a weather forecaster at USNAS Moffett Field (now known as Silicon Valley) near San Francisco, California.
Book 1, Wind River Wrangler, the hero is an ex-Army Special Forces operator, Roan Taggart. He has left the Army with PTSD, no longer able to function at that high level any longer in black ops duties. He gets a job as a wrangler at the Wind River Ranch, where it’s quieter, it’s out in Nature and he is slowly healing from his internal PTSD wounds. Only, as life usually slaps us in the face, one way or another, he’s thrown back into a threat/life-and-death situation with Shiloh Gallagher, a writer from New York City. She’s escaped to the ranch to hide from a stalker who has torn her life apart. Figuring if she lives in Wyoming to write, her stalker won’t find her and she can breath once more, not look over her shoulder 24/7/365. Roan’s peaceful, back water life explodes when the stalker locates Shiloh. Once again, he’s thrust back into a combat situation. And for Shiloh, the nightmare begins anew when she thought she’d found safety at the ranch.
Book 2, Wind River Rancher, the hero is an ex-Marine Corps captain who commanded a company of Marines over in Afghanistan for years. The deployments, the combat, eventually took a toll on him, too. Reese Lockhart was a twenty-year man, his only dream was to become a Marine officer and protect his people, guide them and support them. Only the Afghanistan war gradually wore him down and sucked the life out of him, as it did so many others. He was given an honorable medical discharge, against his wishes. His whole life-dream has been shattered. He’s fractured internally by the PTSD, and you will meet him two years later as his story unfolds. He’s degraded to being like so many other vets we see on the streets of every city in the USA: shamed, hopeless, depressed and he cannot hold a job. In this book, I took “the gloves off,” as we say, and delved into the hero’s state of mind, his distorted emotions, his thinking he was a failure in every possible way.
EXCERPT from the opening to Chapter 1 of Wind River Rancher
Reese Lockhart’s stomach was tight with hunger as he stood at the outskirts of a small Wyoming town called Wind River. The sign indicated a population of two thousand. He’d gone a month without decent food. Six inches of snow stood on the sides of the road where he’d walked the last ten miles on 89A north. It headed toward Jackson Hole, where he was hoping to find work.
The town, for a Monday afternoon, was pretty slow. A couple of pickup trucks came and went, a few people walked along the sidewalks on either side of the highway that ran through the center of town. He halted outside Becker’s Hay and Feed Store, an aged redbrick building standing two stories high. The red tin roof was steep and sunlight reflected off it, making Reese squint. Bright lights now hurt his eyes.
Taking a deep breath, feeling the fear of rejection once again, he pushed open the door to the store. Would he get yelled at by the owner? Told to get out? It was early May and snow had fallen the night before. The sleepy town of Wind River still had slush on its streets midday.
The place was quiet, smelled of leather, and he saw a man in his sixties, tall, lean, and with silver hair, behind the counter. He was sitting on a wooden stool that
was probably the same age as he was, an ancient-looking calculator in his work-worn hands as he methodically punched the buttons.
Girding himself, ignoring the fact he hadn’t eaten in two days, Reese’s gaze automatically swung around the huge establishment. A hay and feed store was something he was familiar with. Maybe the owner wanted some part-time help. He needed to make enough money to buy a decent meal.
Shoving away the shame he felt over his situation, he saw the man lift his head, wire-rim spectacles halfway down his large nose, his blue eyes squinting at Reese as he approached the long wooden counter.
“Howdy, stranger. Can I help you?” the man asked.
“Maybe,” Reese said. “I’m looking for work. I saw you have several big barns out back, and a granary. Do you have any openings?” Automatically, Reese tensed. He knew he looked rough with a month’s worth of beard on his face, and his clothes were dirty and shabby. At one time, he’d been a Marine Corps captain commanding a company of 120 Marines. And he’d been damn good at it until—
“I’m Charlie Becker, the owner,” the man said, shifting and thrusting his hand across the desk toward him. “Welcome to Wind River. Who might you be?”
“Reese Lockhart,” he said, and he gripped the man’s strong hand. He liked Charlie’s large, watery eyes because he saw kindness in them. Reese was very good at assessing people. He’d kept his Marines safe and helped them through their professional and personal ups and downs over the years he commanded Mike Company in Afghanistan. Charlie was close to six feet tall, lean like a rail, and wore a white cowboy shirt and blue jeans. Reese sensed this older gentleman wouldn’t throw him out of here with a curse— or even worse, call law enforcement and accuse him of trespassing.
The last place where he’d tried to find some work, they’d called him a druggie and told him to get the hell out; he smelled. While walking the last ten miles to Wind River, Reese had stopped when he discovered a stream on the flat, snow-covered land, and tried to clean up the best he could. The temperature was near freezing as he’d gone into the bushes, away from the busy highway, and stripped to his waist. He’d taken handfuls of snow and scrubbed his body, shivering, but hell, that was a small price to pay to try to not smell so bad. He hadn’t had a real shower in a month, either.
“You a vet, by any chance?” Charlie asked, his eyes narrowing speculatively upon Reese.
“Yes, sir. Marine Corps.” He said it with pride.
Wednesday, January 4th, 2017
Known at his law firm as “King of Torts,” JD Ackerman’s not even in the game when it comes to love. Since losing his wife, he’s buried himself in his career—until he runs into fledgling attorney, Lanie Winstead, who’s temporarily caught up in an inconvenient marriage that can’t be dissolved until after her estranged husband wins his re-election bid.
The attraction’s electric and irresistible, but when Lanie’s senator-husband is murdered, she’s charged with the crime. JD’s out of his element, so he enlists help from his law partners who specialize in criminal defense…
Great premise, I thought—but FRAMED was an entirely new direction for me, incorporating major elements of suspense—even a bit of the legal thriller—into what wanted to be a romance between a grieving widower and a young and vulnerable woman.
This book was two years in the making, and a result of many stops and starts as I felt my way through the conflicts and complications of a complex external plot having nothing to do with the inner feelings of Lanie and JD. I must have written 200,000 words to arrive at the final, 72,000-word novel!
My thanks to Julie Naughton for the expert editing that has made FRAMED a project I’m very proud of. I hope readers will enjoy it as much a I’ve loved stretching my wings and creating a story that’s as much suspense as romance, yet one that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, love over hate as these two story people find their way to happily ever after!
Website: http://annjacobs.net Email: email@example.com Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/authrannjacobs
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/framed-ann-jacobs/1125304684?ean=2940153553177
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/framed/id1184696357?mt=11 Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/framed-38
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017
Another year has come and gone. As we look back over the wonderful memories and the challenges we faced, our thoughts eventually turn to the year ahead. What will the New Year bring? What goals should we set for ourselves, not only as writers and readers, but as mothers, fathers, siblings, and even neighbors? Leading up to the New Year, we contemplate setting resolutions with the best intentions. Some are doable, some necessary and some simply unattainable (despite our best intentions). Some are even laughable or silly. And that’s okay too. Laughter is good for the soul.
Here are some of the silliest New Year’s resolutions I’ve run across over the years. They made me laugh, reminded me not to take this thing we call life so seriously. I hope you enjoy them too.
I will always replace the gas nozzle before driving away from the pump.
I will cut down on exercise. Too much is bad for your health, it can even kill you.
I will drive more carefully; people are starting to notice the dozens of dents in my car.
I will not hang out with girls – they think you love them and that sucks.
I will never again take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
I will stop saying,” Ooh, that feels good” when the security guy frisks me at the airport.
I resolve to stop poisoning my family with my cooking.
I will work less. Take it easy. All work and no play makes for a very dull woman.
I will take up a worthwhile new habit, like smoking – it helps keep tobacco workers in jobs.
I will eat only white snow!
I resolve to find out what the hell ‘resolution’ means anyway.
And finally…I promise this year to stick to these resolutions for more than a week.
What about you? Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you find it hard to stick to them? We’d love to hear about your resolutions for 2017. Or about a silly New Year’s resolution that made you laugh. Share with us by leaving a comment below.
Thank you so much, Delilah, for hosting me on your blog. Wishing you all a very blessed and prosperous New Year!
Check out Keta’s New Adult Romantic Suspense, Season, Unforgettable
*Finalist* Independent Author Network 2015 Book Awards, Romance Category
Season Scrimshaw isn’t selling the land her parents left her when they died, not even to the gorgeous Rann Brogan who saves her life in the forest. Especially not after she finds out he was in the woods to survey her property.
The company Rann works for—his mother’s company—wants the land for a luxury condo development and they want it bad. He never dreamed they’d go to such extreme lengths to get it.
Lives spiral out of control, lies and betrayal play center stage. Caught in the middle between his rich and powerful mother and the woman he loves, Rann discovers love is complicated…and sometimes lethal.
(A stand-alone contemporary romance with elements of suspense.)
Keta Diablo lives in the Midwest part of the United States on six acres of woodland. When she isn’t writing or gardening she loves to commune with nature. A lifelong animal lover, she also devotes her time and support to the local animal shelters.
Keta is a bestselling Amazon author who writes in several genres, including western romance, historical romance, paranormal romance and the occasional contemporary romance. Her books have received numerous Top Pick, Book of the Month and Recommended Read reviews.
You can find her on the net at the following places:
Author home: http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Keta-Diablo/e/B002BODURI/
Monday, January 2nd, 2017
I have an exciting year planned. I can’t wait to share everything going on.
First, my last book in the Devil’s Shroud series with Harlequin Romantic Suspense released yesterday. I think you’ll love Andrew Stratford, his daughter Leigha and their protector Dix Reeves. Prepare yourself for an exciting conclusion to the series and to fall in love with the characters.
At the end of January, my sister, Delilah Devlin and I have a co-authored book coming out SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT. It’s book #2 in the Texas Billionaires Club series. It’s a light-hearted romantic comedy you’ll enjoy.
And watch for more exciting things coming from the BROTHERHOOD PROTECTORS Series. I have 3 books planned and Amazon has given me a Kindle World for this series! That’s right. There will be many authors writing stories in this world. I can’t wait to see these stories. I know you will love them and the authors contributing to them, to include my lovely sister, Delilah Devlin!
In a Gothic mansion on a windy coast, former soldier Dixie Reeves and her client, billionaire Andrew Stratford, are in grave danger. The single dad has hired her to help him protect his daughter from a mysterious threat. As their enemy closes in, even tough-as-nails Dixie has to hold her nerve…and keep her guard up to stop herself from falling for Andrew and his adorable little girl. The long nights pass, and Dixie and her handsome boss can’t deny they’re barreling toward the kind of love that changes lives. That is, if they can somehow keep their instant family safe from the danger at the door!
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SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT
What happens when a young Martha Stewart teams up with the Oscar Madison of radio talk shows? Sparks fly, romance blooms and their audience goes wild
Diane Denton is a cool, sophisticated home and garden talk show host on K-YAK 102.5 radio station. All she thinks she wants is to talk about fertilizer and place settings, while fending off her well-meaning country club parents’ attempts to push her into marriage with the “right man.”
To Diane, fellow talk show host, Rip O’Rourke, is nothing more than a rebellious, overgrown teenager flaunting his baseball-capped, Hawaiian-shirted, ex-football player physique to “score” with anything with breasts. Proof of his perversity is the crude, but popular, hour of programming he hosts that discusses such manly topics as wet T-shirt contests and sports statistics. Diane wouldn’t spit on Rip if he were on fire, while Rip on the other hand, wants to do more than spend time with Diane. She is a challenge to mankind as a whole and his goal in life is to see Diane’s crisp shirts and tailored slacks properly rumpled, just once.
Rip gets his opportunity when the radio station is sold to a large corporation and the station manager is challenged to come up with a prime-time show that will set the city on its ear. From one of Rip and Diane’s public arguments springs the idea of a show about the differences between men and women giving their audience, “Something to Talk About.”
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Friday, December 30th, 2016
Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be visiting the fabulous Delilah today. Thank you for having me over, Delilah!
Since we are moments away from the end of the year, I couldn’t help but think about endings. It’s that time when so many people are taking stock of what they’ve accomplished to begin mapping out their goals and plans for the next few years (or at least the next one). Hell, it was at this time a few years back that I’d finally scribbled down some writing goals myself, and one of them was to write my first erotica novel. I happened to have a little time off to work on The Assignment, which helped the process along—but there were some real “ends” pushing me forward, too. The first was that there was something magical about writing the book at the end of the year to usher in a new one; the second was that the urge to dive in had been sparked by the end of a relationship. At the time, I had a lot of hurt, a ton of unfocused energy, and a bounty of passion all tangled up in my limbs…so, naturally, it formed the perfect motivation to do exactly what I’d planned: write that first erotica novel.
And I did.
Fortunately, I had so much steam, I poured that baby out in a matter of seven weeks. I had in my head that it could be the start of a series…but ultimately, I didn’t know where The Assignment would lead or even end, for that matter. I just knew I was writing this sexy erotic romance thing and at some point, I had to wrap it up. (For that installment, anyway.)
As I worked, I kept wondering—how do you know when it’s done? How do you know as a writer, but also, is there a special signal when you’re reading, too, to let you know the end is near?
On the writer side, I know that when I drafted The Assignment all those years ago, I accidentally wrote the ending before I was officially done writing the book. That is, I wrote about the last page or two, and then yanked my fingers off the keyboard freaked out because I recognized that the scene I’d written had to be the end. Those special words were supposed to be the final words, but somehow my linear writing self had jumped ship and left me there to figure out how to backtrack and fill in some story to get to where the end needed to be.
I’m still not sure how I knew it was the end, but I felt it. I had the same feeling for the two subsequent books, and, while I’d outlined, one sentence describing the goal doesn’t at all explain how the feeling comes out from who knows where to alert you that the end is actually happening.
I definitely have the same sense when I’m reading—and it has nothing to do with the fact that I can thumb over the pages and see that there are only a few more to go. It’s a vibe, I guess. Loose ends are getting tied up and tightened. Characters are starting to elevate and reflect having gone on some awesome journeys. If it’s a romance, things have probably gotten bad for a second but there’s a sparkle of hope on the horizon. The pacing might even shift, gaining speed toward that final moment when all is right and good (or not, if the book doesn’t have a happily ever after—which is certainly a post in itself). Nonetheless, something is ringing a bell in my head, alerting me that the end is Right.There. Perhaps that’s why we have such strong reactions to the ends of books when we read. We are expecting one thing, or at least have a sense of where it could go—and if a story or series doesn’t satisfy that forward moving, the end-is-so-close feeling, than we might not love the book as much as we originally did or thought we would.
Looking at the entire Lessons in Control series, I had a sense of when the arc would be done. Still, the end of the series completely surprised me. I had a plan—oh dang, did I have a plan—but my little lovelies Maya and Dean went their own way, as characters are apt to do once they’re fleshed out with lots of solid traits and rich back story. And, after I wrote it, I got that “The End” feeling, but I remember rubbing my eyes and raising an eyebrow, because it’d come out of left field and did something I hadn’t expected. I attempted to rewrite it as planned (yes, I really did this—twice), but those two kept doing what they wanted to do, no matter how many times I tried to force them another way.
That, to me, signaled the true end. One that I couldn’t even control—Maya and Dean’s fate was in their hands, not mine. As an author, I don’t think you can really ask for more. My characters took on the ride and closed it off exactly where it needed to be finalized.
It was a good ending feeling!
So, now that I’ve finished drafting the Lessons in Control series with only a couple rounds of edits on book three to go, and it’s this close to the end of the year, I’m ready for some new writing goals, with new stories to tackle and craft before they, too, call the end (with or without me steering). I will also need to get my hands on some fantastic new reads, because I like seeing where every author goes with his or her endings.
What about you? Do you find yourself ready for the end of the books you read once they arrive, or often feeling not enough closure and wishing there was more—even if just for the sake of more?
An Excerpt of The Assignment, by Jade A. Waters:
I lost track of time once we left the table. There was an abrupt wave at the hostess, a quiet walk across the wooden slats of the pier and an awkward wait for the elevator. Dean didn’t take his eyes off mine as three other people boarded with us. His chest kept lifting, widening like a promise of what would happen the moment he had me alone. When the elevator doors parted on our floor, he looped his arm in mine and tugged me close.
The earlier tease had me ready and curious. The alcohol in my body didn’t hurt either, and as Dean led me down the hall, I pinched his side playfully.
“You’re so serious. Are you always like this?”
He backed me against our suite door, twisting his mouth while he fumbled in his pocket for the key. “Honestly?” he said.
“I’m incredibly turned on and trying not to fuck you right here in this hallway.”
He had the key out in the next second and swiped it over the sensor. The lock process lagged, but Dean moved ahead anyway, blocking me between him and the door. His cock was firm on my belly, his hips urging me.
“I want you,” he said.
The door fell open as he lowered his lips to mine, and he had to catch me when I tumbled backward. Then it was a race—Dean slamming the door and yanking me against him, his hands cupping my ass, his mouth taking mine in a more masterful kiss than he’d bestowed me with before dinner.
I sucked in a breath, lost in the movements, the force of his lips. His body overpowered me, a mass of muscle that smothered and caressed. I rocked up my hips and he groaned, one hand sliding between my cheeks and the other gripping my waist, my back and my shoulder. When he twined his fingers in my hair, he jerked back my head.
“Wait,” he said. I froze, my lips parted.
What the fuck? “I—”
“Shh.” Dean tightened his hold on my hair, and my heart pounded loudly. He pulled my head farther back, exposing more of my neck. “Fuck, you’re irresistible. I just want to slow down and take you all in.”
I’d never had a man look at me as entranced as Dean did now, and it made my knees wobble.
The Assignment by Jade A. Waters
What would you do if someone offered to fulfill your wildest fantasies?
Dean Sova is everything Maya Clery craves. From the first touch, their connection is intense. After leaving her troubled past behind, Maya thought she was happy—she is happy—but meeting Dean forces her to acknowledge dark needs she longs to explore yet has never had the courage to face.
Her perfect match, Dean encourages Maya to set loose the submissive urges inside her in a series of assignments intended to open her mind and test the limits of pleasure…but Maya isn’t sure she can fully let go of her inhibitions.
What would you do if someone offered to fulfill your wildest fantasies?
The answer seems obvious. You take the offer and hope the price isn’t too high.
Book one of Lessons in Control
This book is approximately 81,000 words
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise! Find out more at CarinaPress.com/RomancePromise.
Pick up your copy of The Assignment at:
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About the Author
Jade A. Waters is an erotica author and poetess in sunny California. A lover of candy, coffee, dancing, and endless karaoke, she is happiest when surrounded by words—be they on the page or shared in good conversation. Her short fiction and poetry is featured in over a dozen anthologies from Cleis Press and Stupid Fish Productions, and currently, Jade is hard at work finalizing the last book in the Lessons in Control series from Carina Press. Visit her at http://jadeawaters.com, or follow her at http://twitter.com/jadeawaters.
Wednesday, December 28th, 2016
As an author, the holidays should be a plethora of ideas and writing and geez…sometimes the blues…horror of all horrors for a romance writers. So, over the years, I’ve decided to work out those scenarios to make sure I have it all under control. Here are some things writers can get down about after the holidays and some ready solutions.
1) Problem ~ Having two books out at the holidays. Discussion and Solution ~ I’ve always thanked my lucky stars to have two books out at the same time. Not that I don’t write fast, I do but the chances of two new releases overlapping is a rarity for me. Except for this year. At first, I didn’t know what to do but decided to do the best I could. One book released on the 1st of December and the second on the 23rd of the month. That gave me plenty of time to do promo for all. Part of the solution is to schedule your slots well before your actual release date. On both of them, I had my link two weeks early and scheduled accordingly. And with HootSuite, you can schedule tweets and Facebook posts ahead as well.
Once you have done all you can as far as outside promo, just talk to friends, family and anyone who will listen without being pushy or overbearing. People want to know what value your book will bring to their lives even if it’s only for the entertainment value. If you do it in a casual way without being annoying, people are more likely to remember your name and possibly even your book. If they remember your name, chances are they will look you up.
2) Problem ~ Not getting one thing you wanted. Discussion and Solution ~ Over the past few years, I’ve been pretty specific about what I need or want for the holidays. I’ve tried to make sure nothing is out of someone’s price range and that it is something I will use or need. As I’ve gotten older, I know I don’t need or want as much to make me happy. Besides, it’s just more to worry about, clean up or just never use and that isn’t good. Once, I did ask people to donate because I felt I had too much but that didn’t work out for me too well. This year though, when presents were opened not one request had been honored. At first, it hit me hard that no one had paid attention to me or taken what I said seriously because I was meticulous this year. Then I smacked myself up the side of the head and brought myself to my senses. At least I have a family to enjoy and love, who cares if they don’t get me exactly what I want…it is truly the thought that counts. And this situation can happen at birthdays or any holiday where you give or get something.
This year I also heard a story that I immediately thought of after all the presents had been opened. I read on Facebook about someone who didn’t have money to give all the people in her life gifts, so she did what she could and knitted them all hats. This included an office giveaway. When she gave out her gifts, one person literally threw it down and said they didn’t like it and would never wear it. This woman’s feelings were very hurt so she suggested that the other person donate the hat if she didn’t like it. That person laid more hurt on by saying she didn’t have time for such nonsense.
Because of my ugly thoughts and that story, I realized I hadn’t been counting my blessing daily like I should. I am blessed with good writing, good author friends and a great supportive family. I really couldn’t ask for more. What’s a few gifts I don’t really want? Not much in the scheme of things.
When this happens to you, for whatever reasons, just think about the good things in your life. Don’t dwell on the negative as it isn’t at all productive for you or a healthy writing career. Crap happens and how you deal with it in life and on paper can make or break you as a person and a writer. The choice is yours.
3) Problem ~ Not having enough time to do it all. Discussion and Solution ~ First, time is a misnomer in my opinion. Everyone has exactly the same amount of time but it always seems as if some of us don’t have enough, some have just the right amount and others plan so effectively that they always have plenty. I have personally been on every bit of that spectrum and this year I was definitely on the not enough end. I know I am better when I plan things out but recently I’ve had a tendency to over-plan my time and therefore, I still don’t seem to have enough to finish all the projects I want to finish.
And to be honest, the solution is very easy. All one needs to do is to take a yearly planner and write down your daily goals, weekly goals, your monthly goals and your yearly goals. But the real key to making this all work is to make each and every goal realistic for you. Sure, you can have a page of what you’d really want to do for the year but if you can’t make the daily word count to make that happen, why torture yourself and make yourself feel bad for something you can’t accomplish? If you can only write 1000 words a day, make all your goals revolve around that number. Always make your goals for what you know you can do instead of what you want to do.
Yes, your goals can change and you can adjust your calendar accordingly. Sometimes, you discover you can add more words to your daily count. Sometimes you realize you can do a novella a month or submit two ideas to your agent or publisher. Just remember, whatever you decide, you need to fit it into your range of ability.
No, that doesn’t mean you can’t do your wish list for the year. You can but you should choose the stories you’re passionate about to complete first. Once those are done, dive back into that list and see what more you can do…always realizing that you’ve at least achieved your original goals first…and now your pushing yourself for a little more.
These are the few things I’ve had to deal with not once, not twice but many times in my forty – yes, count them – 40 plus years of writing. It’s something I’ve had to deal with a few times but this year was the only year I’ve all of them happen at once. 2016 was a hard year for many people but I’ve learned so much from things like having to deal with all these problems in the same year while doing an international move plus a move from one state to another.
Perspective is an important thing and tool for a writer. We have to see life from the perspective of our characters. Sometimes it’s important to put things into perspective for our own lives lest we get lost in things that don’t really matter.
Here’s hoping all your holiday wishes came true…
Santa’s Miraculous Christmas
After receiving a heartfelt letter from a little girl, Santa realizes he is no longer relevant in the world of humans. Apparently, they have too many problems for a good dose of Christmas joy to cure. Santa believes the world no longer needs him or Christmas and decides to go on vacation in the Caribbean instead.
Enter the Locklin clan, intent on keeping with tradition and showing Santa the error of his ways. Join all of Santa’s Elves as they come to the rescue of our most sacred holiday.
He gave a big sigh, then snuggled her neck. “I think he’s tired, Angie. He’s tried hard not to take on any of the world’s burdens but now those problems are affecting the kids of the world. You heard about the one letter from a kid in a war zone. How awful their life must be?”
“I can see being tired. I can see not wanting to take on any other responsibilities but I’m afraid that’s the world we live in. Everyone is going to have to tackle these distressing subjects.”
“The only thing I want to tackle is my wife.” He leaned over and kissed her. “Can we talk about this later?”
“Ardan…Santa has always been there for us…for all of us. We need to try and help him out of his funk or whatever you want to call it.”
His hand caressed her breast under the soft cloth of her sweater. “We’ll talk right after I have sex with you.”
Her warm breath fanned along his cheek from her low laugh. “Are you telling me you have it bad buster?”
“More than bad.” He moved her hand to his crotch. “Feel how hard I am for you?”
“You better be,” she murmured, slipping her hand under his scrubs. They had come directly from the clinic when Janice had called them.
eXtasy Books ~ http://www.extasybooks.com/santas-miraculous-christmas/
Amazon US ~ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NAMG27E
The World Romance Writers wish you joy and love this holiday season with a collection of heartwarming romances filled with Holiday Magic. This anthology features stories, from far and wide, included contemporary and historical romance, futuristic time travel romance, and romance touched with magic by Award-Winning and Multi-Published Authors: Rose Anderson, Lynn Crain, Gemma Juliana, Cara Marsi and Jenny Twist.
Come enjoy the many flavors and flavours of our English language.
The Angel of the West Side
By Madeline Archer*
During the Great Depression, newspaper reporter, Jack Kennelly, went to the streets of Chicago hoping to find proof that good still existed in the world. What he discovered was the West Side had its own angel, and her name was Ruthie.
Her Magical Vienna Christmas
By Lynn Crain
Cryptographer Elizabeth “Lizzie” Camden is more in turn with numbers, cyphers and puzzles than she is with the real world. When her job takes her back in time to 1874 Vienna, she’s more than surprised to find Michael Sondervan there as well. She hadn’t seen him since college when he broke her heart.
Michael has always regretted the way things turned out between him and Lizzie. When he needs someone to figure out the cryptic warning, he knows he needs the best. And Lizzie is the best. Giving her a magical Vienna Christmas in the bargain, he hopes will bring them together and prove his love for the only woman for him.
To Kiss a Prince
By Gemma Juliana
Princess Isabelle de Lily knows no life beyond the seclusion of Chateau de Lily. The family castle was frozen in time, frosted over with ice and snow before her birth. The witch who placed the 99 year curse on her family only left one loophole. The curse will fizzle and ‘melt’ if one from the royal enemy clan miraculously finds his way to her castle and professes his true love for her on Christmas Day. Citizens of Chateau de Lily hold little hop of that happening since everyone who tries to cross the ice floes dies. Only the resident, ever-loyal, royal wizard Zoltar, who has been in service to Isabelle’s family since long before the curse was cast, believes miracles of this magnitude are possible. Twenty-five years have passed but as Zoltar continues experimenting in his dungeon laboratory, he believes this will be their final Christmas spent in icy isolation.
A Very Vegas Christmas
By Cara Marsi
Can things get any worse for Las Vegas event planner Amanda Moreau? Her boyfriend dumped her for a stripper; she’s arranging a Christmas wedding for a Bridezilla; and her mother is playing matchmaker from 2000 miles away. When she meets hunky and ever-so-sweet Erik, who’s in town for a conference, she begins to hope her luck is changing. But Erik has a secret that threatens to split them apart.
By Jenny Twist
Jim Durrant, university don at Oxford is trapped in the memory of his lost, beloved wife. When his family comes to stay with him for Christmas, he and his grandson write their letters to Santa Claus and Jim asks for the impossible – the return of his dead love.
Amazon Universal Link ~ http://mybook.to/Hol
Amazon US ~ https://www.amazon.com/Holiday-Magic-Rose-Anderson-ebook/dp/B01MXQQQJM
Barnes and Noble ~ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/holiday-magic-rose-anderson/1125245793
Books2Read Universal Link ~ https://www.books2read.com/u/b5OW5G
iTunes ~ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/holiday-magic/id1185242112
Kobo ~ https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/holiday-magic-2
Smashwords ~ Pulled from here for various reasons.
About Lynn Crain
Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her on the web at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com. She loves hearing from her readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.