Thursday, December 8, 2016

10 Christmas Gifts for a Reader's Soul by Julie Jarnagin

Merry Christmas, Readers!

I love this time of year - the decorations, the Christmas movies, and the excitement on my kids' faces. But I don't love the mall or the crowds. I'd rather spend my time at home with a book.

So I've done most of my shopping this year online. In my searching, I've found some fun, unique gifts for any book lover!

1. Tea or Coffee - Who doesn't love to curl up with a good book and a warm drink! This tea comes complete with literary quotes.

2. Personal Library Kit - Have you ever been excited to loan out a book you loved, never to have it returned? This personal library kit will be a favorite of any avid hardback or paperback reader.

3. Cozy Socks - Socks are perfect for a evening reading by the fireplace. These fun socks even have a Pride and Prejudice quote and a Jane Austen inspired design.

4. A Bag for Carrying (what else?!) Books - Readers need something for lugging around all those books. Why not make it a bag with a fun saying!

5. A Warm Blanket - A soft throw is perfect for keeping your favorite reader warm while curled up with a book.

6. A Reading Journal - Perfect for keeping track of all the books they've read.

7. Bookends - There are so many to choose from - beautiful, quirky, fun...

8. A Kindle Cover - What better way for a reader to show off his or her personality than with a unique ereader cover!

9. A Kindle or ereader - Even for those who love a paperback book in their hand, an ereader is handy to keep in the car or bag.

10. Books...of course - A book lover never has enough. Or consider giving them a gift card to spend on their wishlist.

My New Release!

Engaged by Friday by USA Today bestselling author Julie Jarnagin

Can a fake engagement lead to lasting love?
After her boyfriend dumps her instead of proposing, Mary Beth wants nothing to do with her ten-year high school reunion. Especially because if she shows up without a date, she’ll lose a bet with her high school nemesis. Christian is too busy with his camping equipment startup to date—until his sister sets him up online. The chance connection could help his business—if he agrees to Mary Beth’s dramatic request that he pretend to be her fiancĂ©. But when make-believe becomes something more, they must decide if this new love can last… 


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sweet Christmas Kisses 3

SCK3 Blog Tour 2 

Ring in the holiday season with 17 all-new, stand-alone stories from New York Times, USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors. Sweet Christmas Kisses 3 takes you around the globe from small-town USA, to London, England, and even to Africa with a foreword written by USA Today Bestselling Author Donna Fasano. Don’t miss out on this sweet romance boxed set that’s sure to touch your heart, make you smile, and put you in the mood for Christmas.
Mona Risk 
On Christmas Eve by Mona Risk
She yanked him out of her heart years ago. But fate throws him in her path again and his tender gaze erases her loneliness. Can they forgive each other and create a new future?

Christine Bush 
Christmas Holly by Christine Bush
 Can a lonely single father of five-year-old triplets find love on a South Carolina beach? It might just take a Christmas miracle!

Lyn Cote 
Mistletoe and Sage by Lyn Cote
 New deputy in town, a single mom, two wounded hearts with a puzzle to solve together—will love spark under the mistletoe?

Denise Devine 
A Merry Little Christmas by Denise Devine
Merry Connor and Anthony Lewis search for treasure and find true love.

Raine English 
The Christmas Gift by Raine English
When Riley Wayne receives a dog for Christmas, it’s not just the pup that makes her heart flutter, the rescue group’s handsome owner does too.

Untangling Christmas 
Untangling Christmas by Shanna Hatfield
Tricked into helping with Silverton’s Festival of Trees, electrician Mike Clarke battles faulty outlets, tangled lights, and a woman determined to share the spirit of the season.

Ciara Knight 
A Christmas on Miracle Mountain by Ciara Knight
When it takes a miracle to heal a heart.

Milou Koenings 
The Kampala Peppermint Twist by Milou Koenings
A twist of fate. An overbooked flight. Christmas in Africa will flip her life upside down.

Magdalena Scott 
The Road Not Taken by Magdalena Scott
Francie Standish Carrington has some tough decisions to make and a lot of questions about a past she thought she understood.

Roxanne Rustand 
A London Christmas by Roxanne Rustand
When Catriona heads to London for Christmas to meet a guy she met online, he steals her purse and disappears, but will a handsome photographer in the pub end up being the man of her dreams?

Alicia Street 
Her Christmas Secret by Alicia Street
 Desperate to help her sister’s family, Lila courts a cold-hearted investor for her handmade toys, but learns Christmas has a way of bringing surprises where they’re least expected.

Kristin WallaceFalling For You at Christmas by Kristin Wallace
 One expectant mother. One gorgeous innkeeper. Three days that will change her life forever.

Merrillee Whren 
Second Chance Christmas by Merrillee Whren
A young boy helps his estranged parents find love again at Christmas.

Christmas Eve Wedding by Cindy Flores Martinez
 A maid of honor is swept up in the chaos of planning her best friend’s spur-of-the-moment Christmas Eve wedding.

Victoria Pinder 
Secret Wish by Victoria Pinder
Luke Morgan doesn’t believe in miracles, but this season Christmas brought him Caro Soliz, the family maid.

Josie Riviera 
Candleglow and Mistletoe by Josie Riviera
 A rising pianist and a pro stuntman winding down his career find love amid the glow of Christmas candles.

Couple by Christmas by Pat Simmons
Divorcee Derek Washington wants to reconcile with his ex-wife by Christmas. Although he’s got a plan, with the help of his six-year-old son, Derek only has two weeks.

Background With Snowflakes 
 Join the authors for the Release Party, Tuesday, Sept. 27 on Facebook! All 17 authors in this boxed set write sweet romances and are members of Sweet Romance Reads, a group of authors whose books contain no sex, violence, or strong language. While the emotional stakes are high as the characters’ relationships grow, these stories are wholesome. Think movies rated G or PG. Therefore, Sweet Christmas Kisses 3 can be enjoyed by romance readers of any age.

Snuggle into a chair by a cozy fire with a cup of hot chocolate and allow these bestselling and award-winning authors to bring the holiday season alive as they warm your heart.

Purchase the book at your favorite online retailer:  
Google Play:
And don’t forget to connect with the Authors at Sweet Romance Reads:

Or connect with each of the Sweet Romance Reads Authors individually:

A tireless traveler, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Mona Risk, writes contemporary romance, medical romance, and romantic suspense novels, all simmering with emotion, sprinkled with a good dose of humor and set in the fascinating places she visited— or in Florida, her paradise on Earth. Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter
Christine Bush is an award winning author of many sweet romances, mysteries, and novellas. When she’s not writing, she can be found teaching Psychology at a local college, working as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice, or (mostly) spending time with her twelve grandchildren. Website | Facebook | Twitter
Award-winning author of over 40 romances, Lyn Cote writes inspirational historicals and contemporary romantic suspense in her distinctive brand, "Strong Women, Brave Stories." Lyn lives in a cottage on a lake in the northwoods with her real-life hero husband and (for comic relief and furry cuddling) her two cats. Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter
Denise Devine is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic comedy and she also writes inspirational fiction. She wrote her first book, a mystery, at thirteen and has been writing ever since. She writes about true love, happy endings and stories that touch your heart. Website | Facebook | Twitter
USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Raine English writes sweet small-town contemporary romance, paranormal, and romantic suspense. She's a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist and a Daphne du Maurier Award winner. Raine lives in New England with her family and two French bulldogs, Bailey and Dolly.
Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, hopeless romantic, USA Today bestselling author Shanna Hatfield is out to make it happen one story at a time. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances combine humor and heart-pumping moments and relatable characters. Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter
Ciara Knight is a USA Today and Amazon Bestselling author who writes 'A Little Edge and A Lot of Heart' that spans the heat scales. Her popular sweet romance series, Sweetwater County (rated PG), takes readers into small town romance full of family trials, friendly competition, and community love. Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter
Milou Koenings writes heartwarming romance novels because she believes sweet stories with happy endings are like chocolate – they bring joy to the world and so make it a better place. She’s lived all over the world, working as an editor and newspaper columnist, but loves staying home with her family most of all. Website | Facebook | Twitter
USA Today bestselling author Roxanne Rustand is the author of thirty-five traditionally published novels, plus four indie novels. She was a Golden Heart finalist twice, and a Golden Heart winner in 1995. She has won two RT Magazine Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and was nominated for an RT Magazine Career Achievement Award. Her earlier books were secular, but she now writes sweet indie romance, and inspirational romance for Love Inspired. Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter
USA Today bestselling author Magdalena Scott writes sweet romance and women’s fiction with small town settings. She invites readers into her world to find out what’s hidden just below the surface of those tiny dots you can barely see on the map—mystery, romance, and the occasional unexplained occurrence. Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter
Award-winning and USA Today bestselling author Alicia Street writes both sweet and steamy romances and sometimes collaborates with her husband, Roy. She spent many years as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher and is a compulsive reader of every genre. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Kristin Wallace is a USA Today bestselling author of inspirational, contemporary and women’s fiction filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith.” Her popular series include the Covington Falls Chronicles and Shellwater Key Tales. Website | Facebook | Twitter
Merrillee Whren is an award-winning author who writes inspirational and sweet romance—stories that stir your emotions. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of forty plus years, and has two grown daughters. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
Cindy Flores Martinez is an Amazon bestselling Spanish romance author. She writes sweet romantic comedy and Christian romance. Her debut novel, Mail-Order Groom, started out as a screenplay and movie project, which she shopped around Hollywood, New York, and other parts of the world. Website | Facebook | Twitter
Victoria Pinder is a bestselling author of science fiction/fantasy and contemporary romance where her stories all include “Bold Women and the Brainy Men who love them.” Her popular series include the House of Morgan and the Collins Brothers. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Free Novella
Author Josie Riviera writes Historical, Inspirational, and Sweet Romances. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their empty nest with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations. Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter
Pat Simmons is a three-time Emma award-winning author for Best Inspirational Romance. With more thirty Christian romance titles, Pat is the bestselling author of the Carmen Sisters series.
Website | Newsletter


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Frustration IS the Process

I recently read two very different books that both emphasized one very similar point -

Stress, frustration, feeling stuck or lost...this is the creative process.

It's something you have to go through to get to the good stuff. We all want to find an easy, step-by-step process for creativity and art. But it doesn't exist.

A solid process is great for the act of research, scheduling your writing time, and goal setting, but when it's just you and the work, it's pushing through the questions and uncertainty that lead to creativity.

 So don't give up. None of us have this figured out. We're all in it together. Keep working.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

How to Focus

It seems so easy, doesn't it? You need to write that term paper, edit the chapter of the novel you're working on, or finish your taxes. It has been on your to-do list all week. But things keep getting in the way. You get busy, someone interrupts you, or you sit down to work on it and you just get stuck. What do you do?

1. Use the timer on your phone. Tell yourself you're going to work on it with complete focus for 5 minutes. Don't allow yourself any distractions for the full five minutes. If the doorbell rings, ignore it. Turn your phone off. You can do anything for five minutes, right?

2. When the timer goes off, congratulate yourself. Getting started is by far the hardest part. You did it!

3. Do you have another five minutes in you? Yes? Reset your timer and do another five minutes.

4. You hit a point where you feel that tug that tells you to stop. You want to check your Facebook, refresh your email, get a snack. You have an unexplainable urge to google the song lyrics you've been wondering about. Take a deep breath and identify what triggered that feeling. Did you just run into a question you couldn't answer? Are you experiencing self-doubt? Once you recognize what's causing you to want to quit, it has less power over you. If you have a pen and paper nearby, write it down.

5. Keep going. Can you press through the rest of the five minutes despite the resistance you feel? Yes! And every time you overcome this resistance, you're making it a little easier to overcome the next time.

6. Do you think you can do more? Reset your timer for 10 minutes or 15 minutes, but try to keep the intervals short enough that they seem easily attainable. We want your brain to think - Pshaw! That's easy. I can do that. Not - Whoa! Let's go watch those cat videos on youtube again.

7. Keep going. You've got this.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Making a To-Do List

To-do lists are great. Writing down our plans for the day is useful, but is it enough?

Have you ever made a to-do list and then only accomplished the easy stuff, leaving the two or three big, important tasks untouched.

Here's one tip for a good to-do list:

Make your list the night before. Make sure you put some kind of limit on each item. If it's small, like paying your electric bill, you can complete the whole thing. If it's editing your novel, you'll need to put a limit on it such as, spend 30 minutes editing or edit one chapter. Make it small enough that you can do it in one sitting. If you need to, sprinkle several of these smaller tasks throughout the day.

Then number your list in the order you plan to do it. Do this the night before. We tend to be more optimistic about how we'll feel the next day and will put the more important tasks up front. If you wait until the next day, they easily get pushed further down on the list. Make sure to mix some easier tasks in with the bigger, more difficult tasks to give yourself a break.

The next day, you don't have to come up with the willpower to convince yourself to work on the important stuff. Just start working on your list in order.