Self-care challenge week
Most of us don't spend enough time on ourselves. We're too busy with work and taking care of others. But making time for ourselves is so important. I realized this week that I'm guilty of putting everything else before me. So this week. I'm challenging myself to complete some self-care challenges. Real Simple calls them small "but mighty" challenges. It has a list of twenty. I already know I won't do all of them so I've chosen five to start off the week with.
Stretching for ten minutes in the morning
Scheduling time for creativity
Read ten pages of a book every day
Get ten minutes of sunshine in the morning
Spending five minutes a day tidying my home
If I can do these every day for the next seven days, then I'll add more...or maybe I'll just continue these for a while. :-)
coming soon: Letters to Laura
It's been a little over two years since my last book release, but this year, I've got several lined up. The first will be Letters to Laura, which will release on Tuesday, March 30th. If you like the 1950s, this is your type of novella! You can read the book description below, and afterwards, sign up for my newsletter so you can keep up with future releases and giveaways!
The Korean War is tearing apart more than just the soil on which it’s fought.
Laura has loved Mark for as long as she can remember. She can’t imagine her life without him. Mark’s feelings for Laura are just as strong, but he has a secret—one that is bound to come between them. He’s shipping out to Korea in a week.
Blindsided by the information, Laura is scared, angry, and confused, knowing she doesn’t have a choice but to let him go. Meanwhile, she’d just have to love him through letters. After all, he’s promised he’d return to her. She has to believe that, or she’ll go crazy.
After months of waiting to see him again, Laura learns a devastating secret. Mark is back, but he doesn't want to see her again. Now it's up to Laura to unravel the why.
I'm reading a whonderful book by Shana Abe, "The Second Mrs. Astor: A Heartbreaking Historial Novel of the Titanic." And when I say this one can tug at your heart strings, I am not kidding.
I won't post the full synopsis here as you can find it on the book's Amazon detail page. But I have to share this absolutely gorgeous cover.
Beautiful, right? And if you're a member of Amazon Prime, you can read this wonderful novel for free! It's full of glorious descriptions of faraway places and clothing, the joys and fears of a newlywed, and the Titantic. It tells a tale of love, hope, and loss in such a majestic way that I don't think any other book about John Astor and his second bride could ever compare to it. Read it for yourself because you won't be disappointed, especially if you love historical fiction/romance. And you can use the link above to buy your own copy or check it out if you have Prime.
When I started this year, I had intended to self-publish at least three of my books. That all changed when I realized needed things done in my house, and I had some other unexpected expenditures crop up as well. That caused me to shift my direction to writing more articles, short stories, and essays.
Getting payment from those avenues is generally quicker than payment from book royalties. There's no guarantee of book sales, but if you write iand sell an article, you should, unless something changes drastically, get paid with a decent amount of time. Of course, sometimes, you have to wait to hear back from the magazine so it can be a bit of a wait. That's why I submit a minimum of four articles, short stories, or essays a month. So I always have something in the pipeline.
If you're an author and you're feeling a little discouraged about your book sales at present, perhaps it's time to change course. Getting paid from any writing, even if it's $50, can be a boost to your self-confidence. So if you're struggling as an author write now, consider using the skills and talent you have elsewhere. Put it to good use writing articles, entering free writing contests, and writing short stories and flash fiction, and essays. Trust me. One sale can change your perspective.
Sharing my love of the orville
I love, love, love the sci-fi series, The Orville. Last year, when the third season was released, it was renamed as The Orville-New Horizons, and you can find it and the first two seasons on Hulu and Disney+.
Recently, hip-hop artist Sean Mic wrote a song "Living on the Orville" as a tribute to this wonderful series, and I wanted to share it with you so you will hopefully share it with your friends as we continue to try to get this show renewed for season four.
Looking forward to 2023
No matter what the previous year looked like, it's always important to have things to look forward to. That's why I always make a list of things I'm excited about for the new year. They're items that are planned and on my calendar as well as goals and dreams. This is a tentative look at what's coming up this year, and I'll update as the year goes on!
Release of Letters to Laura
Port Canaveral, FL to watch rocket launch as part of the press (tentative date)
Cover reveal for Romancing the 1920s (1920s anthology)
ARCs ready for Romancing the 1920s
My 55th birthday!
Pet-sitting my friends' adorable Shih Tzu, Lily, for a week again!
Release of Romancing the 19020s
4th of July trip (plans in flux at present)
Visit to Helen, Georgia
Thanksgiving with my family!
Christmas with my family
An excerpt from letters to laura
I'll be releasing my 1950s novella, Letters to Laura, in January (unless anything changes), and I recently shared the cover. Now, i want to share a brief excerpt, and I welcome your feedback!
Laura squeezed his hands. “Don’t make me come after you.”
He smiled crookedly. “I don’t think you could get across enemy lines.”
She shook her head almost violently. “I would do whatever it took to find you.”
His eyes glistened. “You know, I really do believe that, but for now,” he leaned in and kissed her once, twice, “all you have to do is think of me. That’ll be enough to make sure that bus brings me back in one piece.”
Laura sucked in a sharp breath. “Don’t talk like that, Mark.” She clung to him, desperation making her knees weak. “I’ve loved you for so long, I can’t imagine what my life would be like without you. I don’t want to imagine it.” She wrapped her arms around his neck just as a whistle sounded behind them.
“That’s my call,” he whispered in her ear.
She didn’t release him. “Remember that I love you.”
He caressed her back through the thin material of her white blouse. “That’s not something I could forget.” He pulled back, loosening her arms from around his neck. “Take care of yourself, sweetheart.”
He looked deeply into her eyes, and Laura knew he was memorizing her face. Hopefully, the memory would carry him through the dark days ahead. She doubted the mere recall of his touch would suffice for her.
Their lips met again, this time more intensely, and heart beat against heart.
With trembling fingers, she tucked a folded piece of paper into the front pocket of his shirt. He looked down as she patted the material. “What’s this?”
“Just something to read later.”
“Hey, buddy. You need to get on board, or this bus is leaving without you,” the driver shouted.
With a reluctance Laura parroted, Mark stepped back away from her, his hand still holding hers. “I’ll write.”
She didn’t trust her voice to speak so she nodded again, holding onto the last piece of him as he backed toward the bus. He stopped when only their fingertips touched.
“I love you, Laura Madison. Never doubt that.”
When his hand fell away, tears filled her eyes, clouding her vision. She didn’t see him climb onto the bus or make his way to his seat. But he lowered the window quickly and called her name again.
She raced toward the window and held up her hand. He touched her fingers again as the engine revved, and the bus began to chug forward. She stood in the same spot, hand raised, watching the dingy white bus roll away from the curb, kicking up dirt before it rumbled out of sight. And the sun had set low in the sky before she finally turned and walked home.
Did you see my new cover?
After the first of the year, I'm releasing a 1950s novella, Letters to Laura. This was originally entitled Promises to Laura, and I released it under a pen name back in 2014. By the time I'm finished with it, it will have been completely rewritten and expanded so I changed the title. If you read Promises to Laura, this is altogether a different book with only the same premise.
I decided Promises to Laura was too short and ended too abruptly. Plus, my writing has changed since 2014 so I wanted to improve upon this novella which I still love. I'll choose a release date soon, but the cover is all ready. Please let me know what you think!
giveaways for all readers
Are you following me on Instagram? On Twitter? If not, now is the time to do it as I'm starting some giveaways just in time for the holidays! What kind of giveaways? Glad you asked!
Yes, I could give away books, and that may be included, but I know the holidays can be a rough time for people financially. So I'm going to be giving away gift cards for online shopping, gas cards, and even straight up cash through Venmo.
You must be following me on at least one of the platforms above as that is where I'll be holding the giveaways! So what are you waiting for? Go follow me!!
My thoughts, experiences, challenges, and goals. Right here. At least once a week or so. Oh, and opinions, too. Those will definitely come in. Join me!