Posted in better life, empowerment, goals, self-improvement, writing

The Best Way to Navigate the New Year

It’s a brand new year, and with a new year comes new goals, plans, and a new energy to take action. A lot can be accomplished with the forward momentum of a new year, but it can also be easy to veer off course and land in a rut with wheels spinning.

That was me. I was spinning my wheels earlier today. I knew it was time for action. I had spent the better part of November and December learning, thinking, planning, and growing into what I wanted to do for 2020 (and yes, there’s some awesome stuff coming).

So the first of January arrived, and I was ready to go. But instead of going, I became stuck in a fog of anxiousness, not sure what to do first. My mind stuck in a loop as I considered what I would be doing for the next month and over the next year.

I have learned from past experience that when I this happens, the best thing to do is to just stop everything. So I took a few hours to go outside and enjoy the gorgeous, warm day we happened to be blessed with on the first day of January.

After some relaxation and contemplation, I realized where I messed up. I was paying so much attention to tomorrow, the next day, next week, next month, ect. I wasn’t actually paying attention to the now. And the now was pretty freaking awesome as I basked in golden sunlight.

Why the heck was I so upset in the first place?

Continue reading “The Best Way to Navigate the New Year”
Posted in free classes, online class, online writing classes, writing

Free Online Classes For The Holidays

HO! HO! HO! Merry Christmas!

It’s that time of year when there’s a lot going on, and sales are everywhere! I wanted to join in and offer my own sale. So from now and until the end of December, I am offering my two online classes Journaling Your Way to Success and Busting Through Writer’s Block for free.

And if you are like me and are crunched for time during the Holidays, go ahead and claim your free class(es) now, and go through it later. Once you sign up, you will have access for as long as the class is online.

Happy Holidays!

Posted in author, author interview, book addict, book review, Indie Author

An Author Interview With Elina Vale

Last month I did a book review on The Charmed Locket by Elina Vale. It is the first book in The Treasure Hunter’s Heart series. Shortly after I did the review, I managed to get a hold of an ARC copy of the second book Hidden Truths.

Elina continues the story where the first book leaves off, and we follow Gina, Philip, Ramon, and Sera, who are in search the third wolf statue. This statue will lead them to where the coveted book of mechanical charms rests. And the Divided are hot on their trail.

A showdown between the Guild and the Divided leads to tragedy. Later, Gina finds herself back in her hometown burdened by what she knows. War is coming, and she’s not sure what to do about it. Who can she tell? Who should she trust? As she tries to find a way forward in ever darkening circumstances, Gina makes some discoveries that helps her realize she’s not quite alone as she thought she was.

The first two books have been a really fun read. I love how this series has captivated my attention. So I decided to contact the author to see what more I could learn about her books, and the author herself. Here is the interview with Elina Vale. Her responses are in bolded text.

Thank you so much, Elina, for taking the time to do this interview! First, I have some questions about your books.  

You are currently writing a series called The Treasure Hunter’s Heart. It is a series based off the idea of charmed mechanics that have what seems like magical powers. These mechanics were supposedly destroyed and many people in the books think them pure legend, except for a few like the main character Gina Mansfred, who is in a desperate search to find out more about them. I think this is an intriguing plot premises. Can you tell us more about these charmed mechanics, and maybe a little about where your original ideas for the mechanics came from? 

Charmed mechanics are different kinds of items, that seem to be just regular objects like necklaces, statues, pens, boxes and so on, but they all have been enchanted. Charms are first built like any object with mechanics (with locks, hatches, moving parts) are, but after that, magic will bring them alive: A box opens with a secret word, a jewel could turn you invisible by twisting a certain piece on it, a statue might come alive when you blow on it a certain number of times… So the charms are a combination of mechanics and magic. 

I guess the idea of regular items being enchanted kind of intrigued me.  

Gina is in a pretty desperate situation where she finds herself between two warring organizations who are searching for the mechanics, and to bring them back from myths of old to everyday usage. She also happens to be romantically stuck between two men that are heading these opposing expeditions. This in itself is creating a lot of tension, conflict, and darkness for Gina personally. Out of all her struggles, what do you perceive to be her biggest hurtle to overcome?  

She has a lot of growing up to do in these books for sure. Her biggest issues in this series will definitely be her trust issues and her fear of losing people.  These will make her do some hazardous things before she learns to trust in others and let go of this fear. She also struggles morally and wants to do the right thing. The problem is that she is not sure what the right thing to do actually is… 

Gina poses as a thief in book one called Lily, who boldly takes from the rich to give the more unfortunate. Will we see a return of “Lily” in future books? 

Continue reading “An Author Interview With Elina Vale”
Posted in book addict, book review, books, ebook

Book Review: Nefertiti's Heart By A.W. Exley

Nefertiti’s Heart Book One in The Artifact Hunters by A.W. Exley is available in paperback, kindle, and audio.

If you are looking for an incredible adventure of romance, steampunk, and a strong female lead this is a great read! I really enjoyed my time with this book, and was pleasantly surprised with some of the twist and turns. But the one thing I enjoyed the absolutely most about this book was the toughness and grit of the female lead Miss Cara Devon.

Set during the Victorian age in London, Miss Cara Devon is determined to settle her newly departed father’s estate so she can close that harrowing chapter of her life forever. But things don’t go quite as planned as she meets a villainous Viscount and becomes sucked into an investigation to uncover the killer that’s been murdering the daughters of the wealthiest families of England.

As she seeks out all the ancient artifacts her father accumulated in his lifetime and then secretly stashed all over London, she is also forced to face the ghosts of her past. The kind of ghosts that leaves a female member of high society shunned and in disgrace. She finds herself in uncomfortable waters as she attracts the attention of a dangerous Viscount, and comes under suspicion as the murdered daughters body count grows.

This is the first book of the Artifact Hunter series, which currently has five books and two novellas. You can find out more at A.W. Exley’s author site. I, for one, plan on reading them all. I am hooked!

Posted in beginning writer, getting published, how to write, learning about writing, the writing journey, writing, writing advice, writing better, writing mentorship

Offering Free Writing Mentorship

Image from Pixabay

I always make an effort to be thankful, but it’s this time of year that really reminds me of how grateful I am. Each year I find more and more blessings in my life to celebrate and be excited for. This year I have been contemplating my journey writing, and all it has done for me.

How many years has it been since that journey started? I honestly can’t say with any certainty. I started writing as a teenager. I still have some of those crazy stories in a notebook somewhere. I stopped for a good while, but picked it back up in young adulthood. I believe since then, it’s been about fourteen years.

In that time, I have written many, many short stories (a few of them published). I wrote several novels (one of them published). I dived into journaling pretty hardcore (and even published one of those too). I also started this blog that’s been going for about six or seven years.

Besides the physical production of writing, the act of writing has immensely transformed the landscape of my life from the inside out. It’s allowed me to dive deep into myself and the world around me. It’s allowed me to stretch myself and expand into possibilities I once thought impossible.

I would not be the person I am today without writing, and I am very thankful for that. I love who I am. I love the confidence I have built in myself and my writing ability. I love how much knowledge I have accumulated about writing and the writing life/community.

This has given me a new appreciation for myself, my journey, and how much experience I have in writing. And I can’t help but think that perhaps there are people out there who might benefit from some of what I know.

So I have decided to start a journey of becoming a writing mentor. I want to help others who might be beginning their writing journey, or who might be feeling a little lost in their writing journey and need some guidance, or who just needs a sounding board to bounce off story and character ideas.

Here are some writing, editing, design experiences that I have had…

  • I’ve submitting work to traditional publishers (several short stories published).
  • I also have two books I’ve self-published.
  • I’ve helped several fellow writers publish their works traditionally, and a few who self-published too, including my eleven year old son.
  • I ran a writing critique group for two years.
  • I am running a writing blog, and maintaining multiple writing social media accounts.
  • I edited and published articles for Psych Central for four years.
  • I was a slush reader for Apex Magazine for four years.
  • I have a graphic design degree, and have designed many book covers for myself and others.
  • I also have experience formatting books for ebook and print.

Here are some specific things I can do for you…

  • Help with story and character development
  • Help with starting, planning, and finishing a novel or novel series
  • Help with submitting to a traditional or indie publisher
  • Help with getting into self-publishing, which includes cover designing and manuscript formatting
  • Help with starting up a blog
  • Overall guidance for how to be a writer and how to setup a good writing routine
  • Be a sounding board for story and character ideas
  • Help with world building and fleshing out story settings
  • Offer helpful story critiques for finishing up a specific writing project
  • Offer support and advice for moving out a writer’s block or staying motivated to write

Right now I have three spots available. So if you are interested, or know someone who is interested in taking advantage of this limited time free mentorship, then please feel free to contact me.

When contacting me, just let me know what sort of help you are looking for. Once you contact me, we can then determine if we want to keep emailing or do a video chat, or a combination.

My wish is to help keep the writing spirit alive in those who wish to travel the path of the writer. Writing itself is a lonely task, but it doesn’t have to be a lonely journey. So if you think you are in need of a writing companion to help you cover some ground in your journey, please reach out and let’s see if I will be a good fit for your needs.