Friday, December 30, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #Making Magic

Author: Nancee Cain

Title: Tempting Jo

Released: September 9, 2016

Blurb:

Forbidden love is hell...

Confident and quirky, Jo Sanford thinks her boss is God's gift to women--and she couldn't be further from the truth.  Devilishly handsome, Luc DeVille will stop at nothing to lure his administrative assistant right into his arms--and bed.

Over Rafe Goodman's dead body...

Rafe, Jo's best friend, refuses to sit by and watch as Luc tries to win the heart of the woman he's always protected.  After all, Rafe is her guardian angel. Suddenly, Jo's caught in the middle of a battle between good and evil. But the closer she gets to the fire, the hotter it burns. Now, Jo's going to learn that when love battles lust, Heaven and Hell collide.

Connect with Nancee online at   Website   Facebook   Twitter

Monday, December 26, 2016

So What Are You Reading?

I've been reading since before I started kindergarten. I even remember the first book I ever read. It was Dr. Seuss's "One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish."

I recall the exact moment when I sounded out each word and realized that I knew the meaning of every one, that I could follow the narrative. It was the beginning of my love affair with books.

People read for a variety of reasons:

  • Mental stimulation is one. Reading has been shown to slow the onset of certain types of dementia and even Alzheimer's.
  • Reading is a great place to pick up knowledge and learning. There's a good reason we all had "school books".
  • Reading is also good for stress reduction, an easy escape from your life and into one where the problems are the protagonist's and not yours.
  • Some researchers even think reading can aide in focus and concentration. After all, it takes time and deliberation to finish a book. A reader needs to immerse themselves in the world of the story, blocking out mundane distractions.
  • And most of all, reading engenders empathy. That's something sorely lacking in the world today. Bombarded with rhetoric that fosters an "us versus them" mentality, it's almost a relief to be able to turn the page of a book and actually be one of "them", step into their shoes for a time and ultimately realize that we're not all that dissimilar. Reading allows us to experience a world outside our own selfish sphere. It stops the mad rush of life and makes us ponder questions and status quo. Reading lets us experience a story from another side, intimately, internally, with hope and fears interwoven with tough decisions and seemingly insurmountable situations. 

Because books are magic. 

And reading will save the world. 



Friday, December 23, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #MakingMagic

Author: Bambi Lynn

Title: Solid as a Rock

Released: September 1, 2016

Blurb:

With nowhere left to run, she must turn to her first love to deal with a powerful evil.  Except he's not the boy she remembers, and he's not exactly happy to see her.

Ellie King's life has never been easy--raised by a mother who went from one abusive relationship to the next.  Her only love and stability came from her grandmother.  But now Ellie's mother is dead and her gran's in a coma, both from causes doctors can't explain ... and Ellie may be next.  Her only hope of staying alive? The boy she once left without a word of goodbye, now a man--a devastatingly attractive man with a stony composure she can't read.

Michael Munro turned his back on the past to make a new life.  He's not happy at being pulled again into Ellie's sphere.  She's still impossible to resist, but now she's in deep trouble, and the cause may be a fragment of rock she found in her mother's effects.  An artifact that saps his powers of precognition, and even those of other paranormals like his uncle and mentor, Lucan. Can Michael stand strong against her pull and that of the ancient stone?

A powerful evil is on the trail of their find--in the demon Cael. Can Michael and Ellie resist the attraction burning between them long enough to find the missing piece of the artifact and get it to safety? If they don't, all hell will break loose ... literally.

She's in trouble beyond human understanding.  Good thing he's more than human ...

Connect with Bambi online at   Website   Facebook   Twitter

Monday, December 19, 2016

SHOP TALK: How and Why Book Series End


On a book review blog last week, the talk turned to the way series end. The blogger had been disappointed in the last book of a series (I honestly can’t remember if she said which series it was) because the author had left some things open-ended and questions unanswered. She felt cheated to have invested so much time reading a series only to have it just…end. The question was: Does the author owe it to the reader to give a series a satisfactory conclusion?

It was clear from the responses to the post that a lot of people do feel cheated by the end of series, and that the blame gets placed on the author. A few years ago, because I was a reader long before I was an author, I would have agreed with them.

As a reader, I understand the frustration. I mean, a lot of people obviously didn’t like the way Charlaine Harris ended the Southern Vampires series, aka Sookie, but at least she ended it. Kim Harrison was very forthcoming about when the Hollows series will end, and she managed to tie everything up very neatly.

But you know what? Charlaine Harris and Kim Harrison are best-selling authors, who can dictate the length of their series. They can wrap everything up in a pretty bow and resolve all the questions.

The rest of us schleps? Not so much. Let’s look at my Sentinels series as an example of how a series works in the real world. I turned in the manuscript for book five, BELLE CHASSE, on January 4, 2015. It came out on Nov. 8, 2016. There is one more book planned in my mind for the series, but the publisher hasn’t decided whether or not it wants to continue.

If my publisher decided that no, sales have sucked and they don’t want to publish any more, in their mind the series is over. They make that decision, not me.

EXCEPT these days, authors of orphaned series have options they didn’t have even five or six years ago. They can self-publish and continue the series. If the Sentinels series is orphaned, I can and will put out at least one final book to wrap things up. A publisher doesn’t feel loyalty to readers, but to bottom lines, and that’s the way business goes. Authors, however, owe their series readers a conclusion.  

I have no answers here—every author is different in how he or she chooses to handle the ending of a series. And I think it’s inevitable that some readers will be disappointed. I just thought it important to point out that a suddenly abandoned series usually doesn’t happen because of anything the author does or doesn’t do.

So, what say you? Have you been disappointed when favorite series ended without a satisfactory resolution of story? Do you think authors—or their publishers—have an obligation to readers to put out a final series book that wraps up the storyline?



Friday, December 16, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #MakingMagic

Author: Brina Cary

Title: All Her Men: The Queen's Men

Genre: Contemporary/Alternate

Released: August 27, 2016

Blurb:

2015 was a turbulent time...

As the world anxiously watched, Scotland voted for political freedom from England.

With the vote, frumpy Amelia MacRory became Scotland's only hope. As the last direct descendant of Mary Queen of Scots, fire ran in Amelia's blood. Only she could defend the rights of the people. After being kidnapped from her American home in the dead of night--and almost killed in the process--she was forced to become Queen of Scotland. And as a killer closes in, the Royal Scottish Guards must step in and protect her -- whether she likes it or not. 

Can she survived a world of intrigue, subterfuge, and assassins that have been designed to bring down the newly independent country? Or will she lose it all--including the man she loves... ?

Connect with Brina at  Website     Facebook     Twitter

Friday, December 09, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #MakingMagic

Author: Aidee Ladnier

Title: The Moonlight Market

Genre:  New Adult Magical Realism

Released: August 15, 2016

Blurb:

College senior Cory Long tracked his missing sister to the magical Moonlight Market to bring her home. Instead, he wound a disorienting world of performers and hawkers, bizarre sights and sounds, and one very familiar showman, Sanderson Beets.  Like a drowning man, he latched onto Sanderson, trusting him to navigate the twists and turns of the Market as unerringly as he had steered Cory to passion in their furtive trysts on campus.

But Sanderson was tired of being the quickie in the alley.

Sanderson Beets had escaped the Moonlight Market to attend college, hoping to settle into a normal life, maybe meet someone and fall in love. To obtain that new life he made a dangerous bargain. And when the sinister woman known as the Weaver of Dreams is involved, second chances always com with strings attached...and sacrifices. Sanderson's debt has come due, and the only payment he has to offer is Cory, and their chance at a relationship.

Connect with Aidee online at   Website     Facebook     Twitter

Friday, December 02, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #MakingMagic

Author: Ingrid Seymour

Title: Eclipse the Flame

Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal

Released: August 11, 2016

Blurb:

The sequel to the epic IGNITE THE SHADOWS
In the new world of The Takeover nothing and no one is safe. Marci must choose love or vengeance. 
One night she secretly follows her lover to a club. To her horror, she discovers those closest to her, mingling freely with parasitic creatures which have secretly possessed human minds. A bloody ambush follows, leaving Marci a shadow of her former self. 
Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious attacks. Ignite, the only resistance group, is disintegrating. As the world catches fire, Marci struggles to control the buzzing spectres in her own head. 
Her hardest battle is the forces of good and evil within herself. For Marci must fight. She was meant to burn. 

Connect with Ingrid online at   Website     Facebook     Twitter

Friday, November 25, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #MakingMagic

Author: Jillian Chantal

Title: The Orphan and the Duke

Genre: Historical, Regency

Released: August 3, 2016

Blurb:

Basil Staunton, Duke of Darnley, a younger son and reformed reprobate, had his title forced on him by the death of his parents and brother. Now he has a dilemma. His twin sisters are old enough for their presentation to Queen Charlott, a requirement before they can enter their first season. He has no idea how to prepare them for what lies ahead. 

Amelia Mandeville, orphaned and brought from France to live with her aunt, uncle, and cousin, has always been told she's illegitimate.  Treated as no more than an unpaid companion to her odious cousin, she knows as soon as the cousin marries, she will have no more usefulness to th family and worries she'll be asked to leave.

Meeting the duke at the dressmaker's shop is serendipitous for Amelia and, with her uncle's permission, she's allowed to assist the duke's sisters. Hoping she can turn this opportunity into a way to support herself Amelia undertakes the task with enthusiasm. 

What she doesn't count on is becoming attached to the family and her cousin's designs on becoming Amelia's employer's duchess.

Connect with Jillian online at  Website     Facebook     Twitter

Friday, November 18, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #MakingMagic

Author: Carla Swafford

Title: Full Heat: A Brothers of Mayhem Novel

Genre: Contemporary/Action-Adventure

Released: July 19, 2016

Blurb:

Forget shining armor. Motorcycle shop owner Mary Jane Parker could use a knight in black leather right about now. A local gang has been extorting her for protection money, and standing her ground would be a lot easier with the Brothers of Mayhem at her back. She just needs to convince the club's new president to take the job. The powerful, brooding biker claims he's not interested--but if his version of tough love is supposed to be punishment, Mary Jane would gladly misbehave for the rest of her life. 

Storm Ryder has no interest in rescuing anyone but himself. He spent three agonizing years in prison, and there's no way in hell he's going back, not over a spoiled rich girl who's flirting with trouble. So why does he find himself craving Mary Jane's lips--and holding her close when he should be pushing her away? Deep down in his tortured soul, Storm knows she'll be there for him. And when Mary Jane needs him most, he'll find the courage to give her everything he's got.

Connect with Carla online at  Website     Facebook     Twitterhttps://twitter.com/carlaswafford

Monday, November 14, 2016

Tech to Manage Your "To Be Read" Pile

There are so many books in my TBR pile that finishing a book presents the paralyzing problem of what to read next. I have limited free time, and I don't want to lose reading time waffling over my next book. How to choose?

I'm an organizer by nature.  I love lists. Spreadsheets make me smile.  The joys of color coding defy words.  And thus began the quest for the perfect way to organize my TBR pile.

Just like every journey, there were ups and downs. Things I liked, and things I didn't.  This is what I tried:

Goodreads - Goodreads provides a FREE and easy way to manage the books you have read as well as the books you want to read.  It allows you to make a TBR list easily.  One click, and the book goes on your list.  My favorite aspect of using Goodreads to maintain my TBR list is that I have access to my friends' reviews as well as what they are reading.  This allows me to discover new books.  The biggest problem I found using Goodreads is that it didn't really do anything to make the TBR list less unwieldy.  I have a HUGE TBR list taunting me.  If you want to make sure you don't forget about a book you want to read, this is a good way to go.

iReaditNow - This is a FREE app for the ios system (sorry Android peeps).  This app provides a catalog system that lets you keep track of what you have read, how you read, and how you felt about what your read.  Unlike Goodreads where your reviews and feelings about what you read can be public, this lets you personalize your experience.  Features of this app include the ability archive books you've read, didn't finish or want to read.  It has a barcode scanner which makes inputting books easy.  You can make notes and attach snapshots.  My favorite part is that it creates graphs and timelines of your reading life.  

Spreadsheets- I normally love charts and spreadsheets, but this method didn't work well for me.  I didn't want to take the time to create the spreadsheet and update it.  I tried.  I really did.  Wasn't going to happen.

Evernote - I don't have enough fingers to count the people who have told me Evernote can revolutionize my life.  I'm still waiting on the revolution, but, as an early skirmish, I tried out Evernote to organize my TBR pile.  I've started a note for each book that has caught my eye that I want to read but do not yet own.  I've noted the name of the book, author, how I found out about it and why I think I may want to read it.  This isn't really reducing or organizing my TBR pile, but it helping with book shopping.

Pinterest - This is where y'all will think I'm a three-headed alien. I don't get Pinterest. Making a board of book covers that I want to read sounds like it may work, in theory.  The last thing I need is to be on the internet.  I will fall down a social media hole while pinning things, and instead of reading and reducing my TBR pile, I'll be all up in celebrity gossip and cat videos.  Pinterest is likely a better solution with someone who has more self-discipline that I do.

What tech do you use to organize your TBR pile?  I still haven't found my organizational peace, but I'm looking.  Help!

Friday, November 11, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #MakingMagic

Author: Sherry Fowler Chancellor

Title: Rex, the Ex, and the Hex

Genre: Mystery/Romance

Released: July 7, 2016

Blurb:

Rex Davis has a very big problem. On the day they broke up, his former girlfriend hexed him to never find true love. Desperate times, and all that jazz about measures to be taken, speed Rex on his way to finding a way to end the jinx that's taken hold of his life. 

Along for the ride whether she want to go or not is his best friend, Agatha Marsden and her pet dog, Tex. Aggie, as Rex calls her, has her won battles to fight as she is convinced she can win a Pulitzer Prize for journalism. The case she's reporting on now is a national attention grabber. Now if Rex would only leave her alone long enough to work it. 

Connect with Sherry online at Website     Facebook     Twitter

Monday, November 07, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #MakingMagic

Author: Suzanne Johnson

Title: Belle Chasse (Sentinels of New Orleans, Book 5)

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Released: November 8, 2016

Blurb:

With the wizard-elven treaty on the verge of collapse, the preternatural world stands on the brink of war. Unless former wizard sentinel DJ Jaco manages to keep the elven leader, Quince Randolph, focused on peace and not personal matters.

With no one on the throne, Faerie is in chaos, with rival princes battling for power. The still-undead pirate, Jean Lafitte, is building his own army of misfits, and DJ―stripped of her job and hiding in the Beyond to avoid the death sentence handed down by the wizard Council of Elders―can’t get anywhere near her beloved New Orleans or her significant something-or-other, Alex.

It's time to choose sides. Friends will become enemies, enemies will become allies, and not everyone will survive. DJ and her friends will learn a hard lesson: sometimes, even the ultimate sacrifice isn’t enough.

Connect with Suzanne at   Website     Facebook     Twitter

Friday, November 04, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #MakingMagic

Author: Pam Mantovani

Title: Shared Secrets

Genre: Contemporary

Released: June 17, 2016

Blurb:

Master carpenter Lucas Black will do whatever it takes to prove his son's innocence against a charge of date rape, even hire the woman he lost years ago. But the woman who opens the door to his plea is far removed from the wildly passionate woman he once loved.  

Frantic about her grieving daughter's latest rebellion, defense attorney Taylor Adams is determined to turn Lucas away. But Lucas won't take no for an answer, and finally Taylor agrees to help. While Taylor works the case and tries to keep her daughter from becoming involved with his son, she and Lucas regain their previous closeness. 

Soon an accident turns the tables, and Taylor has to reveal her most protected secret when she's the one begging Lucas to save her daughter's life.

Connect with Pam online at Website     Facebook     Twitter

Monday, October 31, 2016

Scary Fun

True Fact - my birthday is less than four days away from Halloween. That means all my childhood birthday parties were horror-themed with magic, gruesomely fake food (cooked spaghetti=worms), and jaunts to the local haunted house to get scared out of my wits by actors dressed up in zombie makeup.

But as fun as those birthdays were, I wondered why being scared is so appealing this time of year. And when I researched it, I found to my surprise that it might have something in common with falling in love.

Physical changes.
When you're scared, your heart beats a little faster, you breathe more intensely (got to get ready to run, don't you?), you begin sweating, and even get a few butterflies in your stomach. Take this out of context of a haunted house and I'd think you were in love.  ;)

Hormonal changes. 
When discussing scary things, people cite the "adrenaline rush" that washes over their body making them feel stronger, faster, able to get away from a threat or fight it. But if you've ever been in love, you'll also recognize that ebullient feeling that you can take on the world or alternately, the need to run and hide from exposing your inner self to someone. And dopamine is what keeps us coming back for more. As part of our reward system, our brains will grab onto dopamine if we're newly in love or if we've been scared. Which is why people go back to those haunted houses again and again--they're getting the same hormonal reward that they would if they were falling in love.

Psychological changes.
Many people love being scared because it evokes the feeling of doing something adventurous, outside the norm, and even taboo. Hmmm. Sounds a little like an illicit affair you're keeping secret.

Sensory changes.
If you've ever visited a commercial haunted house, you know that your senses become acute. You're bombarded with sights, smells, sounds, and occasionally a fake monster that lurches out and playfully makes an attempt to touch you. Psychologists note that the only other activity that is as sensory--is physical intimacy. When you're with someone you love, you listen for their every cry, touch their body, and breathe deeply of their scent. Both circumstances trigger the body into cataloging everything from each separate sense in order to remember it. One so you can protect yourself from a threat and the other to facilitate romantic bonding.

So maybe the reason we like scary stories is the same reason we like love stories. They elicit strong emotions without exposing us to actual danger. You're not really in the clutches of a bizarre serial killer. Or you're not physically in the uncertain position of falling in love with someone that seems to be the opposite of your perfect romantic partner. It's safe to read these stories because they give us the same rush without all the peril.

And if you're looking for a story that's a little bit scary and a little bit romance, try out my new book THE MOONLIGHT MARKET. In it, a college senior finds both danger and love at a magical moonlight market. Come join Cory as he and Sanderson wind through the twisting, shadowed alleys of the market in search of love and understanding,

===========================================

AIDEE LADNIER is a writer who loves quirky characters. You can visit her website at http://www.aideeladnier.com or meet her at some of her favorite social media sites:
Twitter  |  Tumblr  |  Pinterest  |  Facebook

Friday, October 28, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #MakingMagic

Author: Laura Hayden

Title: A Margin of Error

Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal

Released: June 10, 2016

Blurb:

ONE WOMAN'S PAST . . . 

Fearing her father has been lost in time, Darys Kirk follows his trail from the 22nd century back to the past. Unfortunately, she ends up at the right place but the wrong time--Margin, Colorado in 1912. When she attempts to correct her mistake to travel to 2017, she inadvertently picks up an early twentieth-century hitchhiker, a wannabe inventor named Ford Nolan. 

IS ANOTHER MAN'S FUTURE

Landing on the slopes of Margin Mountain Ski Resort, Darys and Ford find themselves in an uncomfortable partnership. Thanks to the malfunctioning time door, they must stay within a few feet of each other at all times or risk being ripped apart, molecule by molecule, and returned to their respective centuries. Luckily, their growing attraction makes staying close less of a hardship than expected. They must learn to rely on each other as they search for Darys's missing father and deal with a world that is foreign to both of them. The only problem is, if they don't find her father soon, they'll cease to exist altogether.

Sequel to A Margin in Time

Connect with Laura online at Website     Facebook     Twitter

Monday, October 24, 2016

Planning for NaNoWriMo


My first weekly planner spread (yes, I know it is upside down)
This sticker kit came from Malrina Collections on Etsy.
Hello, my name is Heather and I have a planner addiction.  Colorful pens. Stickers. Covers.  Yes, please.  I blame Hildie McQueen (the welcome speaker for Southern Magic's Readers' Luncheon this weekend) for my recent obsession.  Her Instagram feed tempted me with beautiful weekly planner layouts, so I started following her YouTube channel. Lord knows I needed to get organized when it came to my writing, and she made it look fun.

Writing is hard work. Organizing writing time and goals often left me feeling overwhelmed and discouraged.  As a result, I avoided writing. Binging on Netflix, using the excuse I was "refilling the well," impeded my productivity.  I needed to find a way to organize my time so that I enjoyed writing again.

Enter the world of planning.  If you aren't a planner, this is a great time to try it out.  National Write a Novel Month, and planning are custom made for each other.  You don't have to buy a fancy planner or stickers to try this out.  A notebook or monthly calendar you can print using any number of free templates is a great place to start.

Step one:  Make a plan.  Write down (yes, I said write - put literal pen to paper) your goal for NaNoWriMo:  complete a first draft of approximately 50,000 words.  I know this is obvious, but there is something about the physical act of articulating your goal and memorializing in writing that makes you own it.  This simple act will plant the nagging seeds of obligation that will propel you toward completion.

Step two:  Set your daily goals.  Examine your writing time.  Be realistic.  Mark off Thanksgiving.  I don't care how good your intentions are.  A turkey coma will take you down.  Don't include that day.  Are you a Cubs or Indians fan?  Mark off the World Series game days.  You won't write those days. Same for the Iron Bowl and Black Friday.  You will only feel guilty and discouraged if you plan on writing on days you know there will be a conflict.  Now divide your goal (50,000 words) by your available writing days.  This is your daily word count goal.  For me, my daily goal is 2,000 words.  That is a lot, but not insurmountable.

Some of my favorite writing stickers. 
Step three:  Put those daily goals in writing, and make them look attractive.  Remember the nagging seeds of obligation?  Spread them across your calendar so that words can grow through the month.  (This is the time that I discourage the inevitable comments below about how I am fertilizing those words).  Write down your daily word goal on each writing day on your calendar.  This is where my "planner" addiction takes over.  Use colorful ink. Draw smiley faces. Dig out the foil stars teachers used to put on papers. There are a ton of great stickers you can get for word count goals if you want to make your calendar looks fancy.  My favorites are the writing kit add-on's (but you can buy just the writing kits) by Malrina Collections on Etsy.  These writing kits have awesome motivational stickers (like "Finish the Book!"), daily word count stickers, weekly word count stickers, and other cool writing event stickers.  Decorating your plan is like a mini-reward for the dedication you've already shown by making a commitment to your writing time. You certainly won't want to waste the time you've invested in this plan by not writing.

Step four:  WRITE.  Butt in chair. Hands on keys. Go forth and create.  Everyone always says to try out different times each day to see what works best for you.  However, my advice is to start NaNoWriMo off by writing first thing in the morning.  Set your alarm for at least an hour and a half before your normal waking time.  Try writing at that time.  Yes, you will be tired. Yes, you will need coffee.  Yes, your brain may not yet be stringing together coherent thoughts.  Nonetheless, try morning writing.  This way you knock out your goal (or part of it) first thing.  No looming "I need to write" dragging you into a funk.  Instead, you have the peppy "I've gotten words in" song adding bounce to your step throughout the day.  If you don't get your word count in during the morning, you have the rest of the day to finish the goal (or even get ahead).  If after a week of morning writing you can't take it anymore, try other times.  However, much like exercise, I've found that if I don't take care of writing first thing, life gets in the way, and by the evening, I am mentally spent and totally unmotivated. And thus begins the downward spiral with no words on paper and me having watched four seasons of some British sitcom recently added to Amazon Prime.

Step five:  Chart your progress.  As your write, document your word count on your planner/calendar. Do this every time you write. The sense of accomplishment will give you confidence in your writing.  As you watch your progress, you won't want to waste or lose the time you've invested, so you'll keep writing.  (This also works with me with respect to dieting - if I've eaten well for a week or more, I don't want to undo all my hard work with a junk food binge).  Documenting the investment of your time where you can see it every day will be one your best writing tools.

Step six:  Celebrate with a reward.  Of course a finished first draft is its own reward.  But who are we kidding? To quote Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle, "Treat yourself!" You've put together a plan and followed it. Have a special treat as your reward. Ice cream. A massage. Shopping. Binging on Netflix (you may be sensing a pattern in what I like to do).  Find something decadent that is just for you and enjoy.        

At the end of the month, if you enjoy planning, think about expanding your plan into the upcoming months.  There are tons of ways to plan.  Personal planners. Monthly planners.  Bullet journals. Calendars on your refrigerator.  Play with them all to find what works for you.

While I am still in search of planner peace, I'm using two planners to manage my life.  I am using an Erin Condren planner (to get yours, use this link for $10 off your order) for writing and "personal" matters (exercise, social events, etc.).  I'm using an Emily Ley Simplified Planner for my daily appointments and "to-do's."  This system is working well for me.  The Erin Condren is a "desk planner" I leave on my home desk (or as I call it, my writing laboratory - I do that so I can laugh maniacally when it is time to write).  I check this planner daily and update my writing progress.  Each week, I manage my goals.  The stickers and aesthetics of this system make planning my writing fun and a "treat" each day.  The other planner goes with me everywhere so that I can keep up with where I need to be and what I have to do.  Yes, I know I could do this on my phone, but my lack of grace (and inability to type on my phone - if you've ever received a text from me, you understand) makes me less likely to keep up with my calendar and lists electronically.

The other thing I've done, is to own and publish my goals.  After attending the Digging Out of Distraction workshop at Georgia Romance Writers' 2016 Moonlight and Magnolias Conference, I realized I need to see my goals daily so that I did not avoid them.  I've framed my goals for this last quarter of the year and placed them next to my computer.  I face my goals each day.  This way, I can't run from them.  I embrace them.  This has been a HUGE help.  Not only do I see them, but so does my husband.  The embarrassment of not meeting goals he knows I have set for myself is my fail-safe.   Never underestimate the power of public accountability.  That is why I am posting those goals here as well.

So here is my challenge to you. I challenge you to plan for NaNoWriMo. I challenge you to publish your goal publicly in the comments below.  Let's all check back December 1 and see how we've done.  Throughout the journey, post your tips, suggestions and requests for help. Let's plan together to have a finished first draft by the end of November.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #MakingMagic

Author:  Susan Carlisle

Title: Married For The Boss's Baby

Genre: Contemporary

Released: May 1, 2016

Blurb:

An unexpected baby...
When successful surgeon Grant Smythe's baby half sister is orphaned, Grant is determined to be there for little Lily--unlike his own father.
A convenient proposal...
But a challenge for custody means Grant needs a wife, too! New nanny Sara Marcum is the ideal candidate...
A wife forever?
It might be temporary, but soon warmhearted Sara completes more than just Grant's family. Can he convince his bride-for-now to become his forever wife?

Connect with Susan online at Website     Facebook     Twitter