Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Christmas Giveaway

I know. You're a busy bee, especially with the holidays right around the corner. Maybe you haven't had time to snatch up a copy of The Captive Heart for yourself yet. Or perhaps you were going to snag one to give as a gift to the book lover in your life, but doggone it, who has time to shop? Never fear, little buddy, because I've got you covered.

Just enter this handy dandy giveaway to win a signed copy! Don't forget to share the love and spread the news. Offer ends on the 16th and I'll announce on Monday, Dec. 19th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 5, 2016

Self-Care for the Holidays

It's that crazy time of year, but you didn't really need me to tell you that, eh? Between shopping and parties and wrapping and deadlines, you've probably figured that out all on your own. But have you given any thought at all as to how you can manage this season with less stress?

Yeah. I thought so. I hadn't either . . . until now. This list is as much for me as it is for you.

5 Ways to Lower the Stress Level this Holiday Season

1. Unplug
You don't owe anyone your attention 24/7. It's not only advisable but mandatory that you shut off the screaming squawkboxes in your life: your laptop, cellphone, tablet, your mother. Okay, well, you can't actually shut up your mom, but all electronic devices need to have a time out daily between now and Christmas. You choose the hour, but make sure you choose one. And stick to it. Unplug an hour a day, Hoss, and let yourself recharge.

2. Take a Break from Writing
How can you write about life if you don't experience life? Pull your head out of your story world for a day or week or even the rest of December. Unless you're under a Dec. 31st deadline (and seriously, what publisher gives that for a deadline?) step away from the keyboard and live in the moment. Your manuscript will be there waiting for you when you get back in January -- and your writing will be the better for it.

3. Exercise
Stop whining. This is my least favorite one on the list too, but it's here for a reason. You know you're going to give in to that plate of cookies or half gallon of eggnog or whatever holiday delectable is number one on your temptation list. Logging more time at the gym will ward off those extra calories and lower your stress level at the same time.

4. Quit Comparing
Newsflash: you are not Martha Stewart. Thankfully. The world can handle only one of that robot humanoid. But that's not my point. Here's the dealio . . . you do you. Do Christmas like you, not anyone else. If that means you have no greenery or Christmas cards or whatever, that's okay. Sometimes a smile is all it takes to make someone's day.

5. Dig into the Word
It's easy to lose your focus when you're tired and cranky and the world is nutty nuts. Spend time every day reading God's word. After all, Christmas is all about Him coming down to earth, not some fat man in a red suit. Devote as much time to Bible reading as you do to Christmas movies.

There you have it. Sounds easy enough, but the hard part is putting these things into action every day. It will be worth it in the long run, though.

Feel free to share in the comment section any de-stressors that are your favorites.

Friday, December 2, 2016

What if Santa Brings You a Magic Wand?

What's on your Christmas list?
Your very own pony?
A cherry red Ferrari?
A lifetime supply of Ghiradelli dark chocolate?

Not that I wouldn't mind receiving any of those things, but what if Santa brought us all something ever better . . . like a magic wand that could fix any of your problems with your manuscript? What would you fix first? Think about it. One wave and shazam! You could:
- fix a plot hole
- prop up a sagging middle
- develop characters a reader will never forget
- finish the story in the blink of an eye

Indeed, if old Saint Nick gifted you a magic wand you'd never have to suffer through the anguish of fixing these annoying glitches. Pretty sweet, eh?

Nope. Not really.

The flip side of that fantasy is if that really happened, you'd never learn the skills for how to fix those flaws yourself.

Here's the deal, little writers . . . don't wish away all your writerly problems. Those glitches are there for a reason. Sweating through the process of creating a viable manuscript is a valuable experience. It's how you learn and grow as a writer.

So cross off that magic wand on your Christmas list. You don't need it. You just need to park your rear in a chair and push through the hard bits.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

From Meh to Marvelous ~ An Infographic

As always, it's yours. Share wherever and whenever.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How to Fangirl an Author

Fangirling author Julie Klassen
fangirl
\ˈfan-ˌgər(-ə)l\
A girl or woman who is an overly enthusiastic fan of someone or something.

If you could fangirl any author, who would it be? Go ahead and make a list. I'll wait.

Now that you know who you want to fangirl, let's go over the basics of how to do it . . .

5 Steps to Fangirl an Author

1. Join a fandom.
A fandom is a group of people who are as passionate about a particular author as you are. You can find these people on Goodreads or Facebook or pretty much any social media. And if you can't find any, then start your own fandom realm. Just be sure to go public with it so you're not alone. Also, if you create your own fandom, make sure to give yourself and other members a name. Example: Whovians are those who love Dr. Who.

2. Be a follower.
It's a given that your favorite author is somewhere on social media, and usually on more than one platform. Follow them all. Most importantly, check in on their website frequently for special events in your area.

3. Get off the couch.
If your author is having an event within a hundred mile radius of where you live then go. You don't want to miss out on a prime selfie with the author photo op, do you?

4. Be creative -- not creepy.
I once had a reader send me some pretty sweet handmade bookmarks. That's the kind of reader I adore -- not the ones who email me and tell me they love me so much they want to watch me while I sleep.

5. Share the love.
If you're a passionate fan of an author, the best way to spread that passion is to write reviews for their books. Post on Goodreads, Facebook, Amazon, wherever.

If you happen to be of the male persuasion, don't despair. Fanboys are every bit as important as fangirls.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Be on the Lookout

Two of my writerly buddies have books coming out in the very near future that are both fanfreakingtastic and you won't want to miss them. Here's what to put on your Christmas list.

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill
(book I in the Tales From Ivy Hill series)
by Julie Klassen
Release Date: December 6

The lifeblood of the Wiltshire village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. But when the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant owner. Jane has no notion of how to run a business. However, with the town's livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must find a way to bring new life to the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to find her place in the world. As she and Jane work together, they form a measure of trust, and Thora's wounded heart begins to heal. When she encounters two men from her past, she sees them--and her future--in a different light.

With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane employs innovative methods to turn the inn around, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place. Will her efforts be enough to save The Bell? And will Thora embrace the possibility of a second chance at love?

A Moonbow Night
by Laura Frantz
Release Date: January 3

**Bonus** the paperback version of this is currently on sale for $8.56

On the vast, uncharted Kentucky frontier of the 1770s, Temperance Tucker has learned to be fleet of foot, accurate with her rifle, and silent about the past. But her family secrets complicate her growing attraction to a handsome Virginia land surveyor with a harsh history of his own. Will the hurts and hardships of the past prevent them from a fulfilling future?

Laura and Julie really are spectacular authors. I hope to be like them when I grow up. If there's any chance your name is on the naughty list and you don't think Santa will put these in your stocking, run (don't walk) over to Amazon and snatch up a pre-order for yourself.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cyber Monday Deals for Writers and Readers

If your credit card isn't still smoking from Black Friday, whip it out because here are some sweet deals for Cyber Monday . . .

Whether you're looking for a writing craft book or just a nice piece of fiction to curl up with, both Amazon and Barnes & Noble have discounts galore. Fill your shopping cart at either one, and when you're ready to check out, here are the codes to save 30% at Amazon or 25% at Barnes & Noble:
For Amazon: HOLIDAY 30
For Barnes & Noble: 25CMONDAY

And while you're at it, THE CAPTIVE HEART is on sale before the discounts for $8.00.

Kindle Paperwhites are on sale for $99.99 HERE. And the cheapest Kindle is only $33.33!

Writers Digest has 50% off their craft books and other items, plus if you enter the code CYBER10, you get an additional 10% off.

Groupon has up to 80% off on some of their deals. Okay, so that's neither reading nor writing related, but 80% is a dang good dealio.

The Writer's Store has some great specials HERE.

Who can't use some office supplies? Ink. Paper. Yada, yada. Pop over to Staples for their Cyber Monday offerings.

And for the really hard person to buy for in your life, check out Uncommon Gifts. They're not offering any super sales, but they've got unique items you won't find anywhere else.

 
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