Monday Mayhem – The Gift of Giving Up

This time of year, I’m always focused on what I want to accomplish next year. The list is always fairly lengthy. I won’t get to everything, but I will complete some things. As I get older, I find that accomplishing some things is more than enough. The things I don’t get done will shift to the following year’s list, and life will go on.

Opened personal organizer with a to do list.

Patience is one of life’s great lessons. I haven’t mastered it, but I am learning to embrace it. I’m also learning how to let things go. This year, I plan to carry over my list of anti-resolutions. Remember these?

Stop showing and telling everything to everyone.

Stop comparing yourself to others.

Stop worrying about what others think of you.

Stop waiting.

Stop doubting.

Stop being a stranger.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

Stop standing in your own way.

Stop feeling guilty.

Stop thinking money creates value.

Stop feeling obligated.

Stop saying yes all the time

Stop thinking everything is a competition.

Stop trying to be like everyone else.

Stop thinking you have to get it right on the first try.

I’ve discovered that the list of things I plan to stop doing is the very definition of a work in progress. Some days I’m better at them than others.

In 2018, I’m giving myself a different kind of gift: permission to give up.

Not writing, or my day job, or anything important. But the time has come for me to put some conscious effort into quitting things that do not make me feel good.

Almost seven years ago, I quit smoking. Now, just because I list that here, don’t think for one minute I didn’t love smoking. I did. I just didn’t like the way smoking made me feel. So, I screwed up my determination and quit.

This year, I plan to give up some other things that don’t make me feel good. The first I plan to attack will be my social media habit.

No, I won’t be disappearing entirely, but I will be limiting the time I spend absorbing other people’s thoughts and opinions.

I will be around to post pictures and chat about life in general, but I’m going to start sticking to topics of polite conversation: the weather, health, and…books.

How about you? Do you plan to be a quitter in 2018? What baggage will you be ditching?

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Monday Mayhem – Kari Lemor New Release

It’s the season of giving. I hope to dedicate my blog posts this month to sharing some treats with you!

My fellow Lyrical Press author, Kari Lemor, has a new release this week. Check it out:

Fatal Evidence

Kari Lemor

What you don’t know can get you killed . . .

Construction company owner Scott Holland doesn’t go looking for trouble, but he’s just stumbled on plenty. The rundown mill he’s bought is plagued with mysterious incidents, and his investment partner, heiress Heather Silva, is as stubborn as she is intriguing. Dumped by his ex because of his blue-collar job, Scott is wary of Heather’s privileged background. Yet he’s drawn to her independence and strength, especially as the “accidents” grow more terrifying.

Determined to succeed without anyone’s help—especially her wealthy parents—Heather clashes with Scott again and again. But a grisly discovery makes them both targets. Someone wants Heather and Scott silenced for good. And as a killer closes in, the only option is to trust each other—or become the next victims…

Early Praise for Fatal Evidence:

“Fatal Evidence is fun and flirtatious, the characters are nicely developed and the story is engaging. Lemor has brought happily-ever-afters and laughter into the hearts of readers.” ~ RT Book Reviews

Fatal Evidence has the right amount of everything I love in a book: mystery, suspense, intrigue, sexual chemistry, family drama and great friendships. Throw in an heiress turned real estate agent trying to get out from under her rich family and her entitled role and add a blue-collared construction worker with a chip on his shoulder and it’s perfect. …Enjoyed all the books in this series so far and loved the hint at the next to follow.” ~ Carolyn’s Book Reviews

“Lemor once again incorporates humor, romance and suspense to make this novel another must read!” ~ Goodreads

Excerpt:

“Hold still,” he scolded and pulled her tighter to his chest. “Now listen up while I give you the run down on the condos up here.”

He walked around the space as if he wasn’t carrying a full-grown woman in his arms. Damn impressive. The pectoral muscles beneath her hand weren’t too shabby either. Continuing on with his description, he seemed to not even realize she was there. At the windows, he set her down and stood behind her looking out, pointing to certain landmarks in the small mill town that you could see from here.

He had been affected by carrying her. The erection digging into her back was evidence enough. Good to know. Not that she wanted anything to happen. They were business partners now. They had to be professional.

“Ready to go?” His gravelly voice sent goose pimples crawling across her arms, and she rubbed them.

“Cold? You should have worn a warmer coat. You’ve lived in New England all your life. You should know April can be chilly. Plus the heat hasn’t been on in this building for years.”

“I’m fine,” she lied. The cold wasn’t getting to her. It was him and his annoyingly sexy presence. She wouldn’t tell him though.

“I’ll make sure to let you know when the permit comes through. If I don’t have it by next week, I’ll call and check on it.”

“Perfect, but remember I’m in on this too. If you need me to do anything, you only need to ask.”

“I will.” His sexy smile was back as he glanced up and down her body. “Ready for your ride down.”

“You don’t have to carry me. I’m fine walking.”

“And killing yourself by falling down three flights of stairs. Then where does my funding for this project go?”

“You already have access. You don’t need me.”

“Stealing from a dead woman, though. That just seems…wrong.”

The chuckle escaped before she could stop it. He seriously had a warped sense of humor at times. Moving closer, he placed his hand on her hip.

At her indignant look, he said, “You could always ride piggyback if you don’t like me carrying you.”

Scanning her slim skirt, she scoffed. “A piggyback ride? In this?”

“You could hike up the skirt then jump on.”

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”

His eyebrows went up and down. “Very much.”

Closing her eyes, she sighed then held out her arms. “Fine, come get me, my prince. Rescue me from the dangerous crumbling castle.”

Scott sidled closer then ran his hands down her hips. One hand continued down her leg until it slipped under. His other hand caressed her back then he scooped her up in his arms. She wrapped her arms around his neck and held on as he trotted back down three flights of stairs. At the bottom he didn’t release her right away. And for some reason she didn’t tell him to.

His eyes roamed over her from head to toe and lingered on those heels. Slowly, he allowed her feet to slide to the floor, her body rubbing against his hardness, sending fluttering sensations through her blood stream. As her shoes touched the ground, he leaned in close, his manly smell assaulting her nostrils. Inhaling the scent, she waited for his next words.

His breath drifted across her cheek. “Next time, you should think about wearing a sensible pair of shoes.”

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

Apple

Google

Kobo

B&N

Check out the other books in the Love on the Line series:

Wild Card Undercover:  http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/34406

Running Target:  http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/34984

Follow Kari on social media:

https://www.karilemor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Karilemorauthor

https://twitter.com/karilemor

https://www.pinterest.com/karilemor/

https://karilemor.tumblr.com/

 

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Monday Mayhem – Attitude of Gratitude

An attitude of gratitude. I hope you all know how very grateful I am for your support and encouragement. Lord knows, I probably don’t say it often enough, but I am. Writers write the stories they want to tell, but when we connect with at least one other person…that’s golden.

So, in case I haven’t said it lately, THANK YOU.

I appreciate you more than words can say. And I have a lot of words at my disposal. 🙂

This holiday season, I am taking part in the Attitude of Gratitude giveaway sponsored by my beloved Brinda Berry.

Brinda has gathered nearly fifty authors and we are GIVING AWAY books as a way of showing our gratitude for our readers. This is a great way to discover new-to-you authors, so don’t miss out!

<3 Mags

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Monday Mayhem – Snow White vs Cinderslut

There’s a phrase that gets tossed around Romancelandia that really raises my hackles. No, it’s not ‘bodice ripper’. I can laugh that idiocy off because it’s only used by people who don’t know (or want to know) any better.

No, this is a term that people use to differentiate those books who leave the bedroom door open during sex scenes from those who close the door and fade to black when things start to get intimate.

The label that makes me cringe is: Clean romance.

*shudders*

Just typing it makes my fingers curl. Why? Not because I want to see every detail of all the action on the page, but because it implies that sex between two competent, consenting adults is somehow dirty.

Sex is not dirty.

People who enjoy sex are not morally corrupt.

Women are not required to be ‘in love’ to enjoy sex.

Now, I have no issue with not having the sexytimes spelled out for me on the page (though I admit, I am usually a bit disappointed, particularly if I am way into the couple). But don’t dress one kind of book up as Snow White, and the other as Cinderslut.

I read a lot of romance. I know the high heat level in many of our books is shocking to those who don’t regularly read the genre.

But for the love of Happily Ever After, we do not need to start labels that imply that one depiction of love is good and wholesome, and the other depraved or shameful.

Sex is not dirty.

People who enjoy sex are not morally corrupt.

Women are not required to be ‘in love’ to enjoy sex.

All that is required for a story to be considered romance is a central love story and a happy ending.

Let’s keep it that way.

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A special birthday edition COVER REVEAL!

It’s my birthday, and I have something very special to share with you!

No, it’s not cake. But, if I had cake, I’d share it with you. I think this is even better than cake. No, wait, strike that. I can’t say that. But I can say it’s every bit as delicious as cake.

You want a taste?

Are you ready?

Are you sure?

Gah! I can’t wait anymore! Look! Look at the prettiness!

I am so in love with this cover and CANNOT WAIT to share Millie and Ty’s story with you all! Here’s the scoop on PLAY FOR KEEPS:

Mixing business and pleasure is a dangerous game…

Tyrell Ransom, the new men’s basketball coach, is ready to whip his team into shape and start winning some games. But when compromising photos of his soon-to-be-ex-wife with one of his players go viral, everything comes crashing down. With reporters thick on the ground, Ty and his team need some serious damage control―now.

When public relations guru Millie Jenkins arrives in her leopard-print cape to save the day, things reallyheat up… Soon they’re going to have to work double time to keep their white-hot chemistry out of the headlines.

Available April 3, 2018 from Sourcebooks Casablanca

Pre-order your mass market paperback now!
Amazon ~ B&N
Or, ask your local bookseller to order a copy for you!
ISBN #978-1492651529

 

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Monday Mayhem – If this writing thing doesn’t work out

It’s my birthday week! Yay!

Okay, it doesn’t really mean much other than I get to use it as an excuse to eat stuff and say, “Hey, it’s my birthday week!” but I plan to use it.

In case you were looking for an update on our trip to New York City, Julie Evelyn Joyce covered it here. It’s pretty comprehensive and I really don’t have much to add, since she ganked most of my pictures for it. So much fun.

Fodder got me a special present for my birthday. Apparently, I’m hard to shop for when it comes to anything beyond and Amazon gift card (and I really don’t understand why he feels compelled to go beyond them, but anyhoo…), but he came across something on eBay and knew I had to have it.

He was right.

Meet my 1976 Smith Corona Super G, Ghia

She’s a super sporty portable manual brought to life by Karmann Ghia designers Alejandro do Tomaso and Tom Tjaarda. Not only is she in great working condition, but she is still sleek and beautiful. Even the carrying case is racy!

So, yeah, if this novelist bit doesn’t pan out, I can always fall back on writing poetry in parks, like we saw last weekend.

I just need to brush up on my poetry skills…and stop rhyming things with Nantucket…

Have a great week, everyone. Eat cake and blame it on me!

Oh! And I’m participating in a multi-author contest this week! Join me, Brinda Berry, Juno Rushdan, and Aliza Mann for a chance to win prizes from each author and be entered to win a $50 amazon gift card!

 

 

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Monday Mayhem – Procrastination at its best

This past week, I did the 7 days of black and white photos challenge on Facebook. The last picture I posted was of my desk. I realized that I keep a lot of crap on my desk. And by crap I mean very necessary stuff.

I thought it might be fun to give you a guided tour, so I converted the picture back to color and added a few guideposts. This is my writing view most every day:

Allow me to show you around:

A) Hand lotion. The rarified air of authordom is dry. Very, very dry.

B) Cup of rarely used writing utensils. Apparently, before the QWERTY keyboard became all the rage, people used things called pens and pencils. I keep some here for nostalgic purposes, but find I have mostly forgotten how to use them. For the record, I never run with those scissors. Heck, I never run at all, so no worries there. I love the mug, though. Fodder bought it for me. It says, “True Love and Romance – In this issue: Being A Bad Cook Is the Smartest Move A Girl Could Ever Make” True. So True.

C) Bunny stickers and index cards. Both very necessary to the the plotting process.

D) Sassy pants sticky notes. Because I wear sassy pants most every day. Used only for special occasions.

E) The sparkly rainbow alligator and flamingo paper clip guard the last of my pretty postage stamps. These are particularly valuable, because they are Forever Stamps, so their street value keeps increasing.

F) Fu*king reading glasses because I am old. But it you look behind the glasses, you see I have an ENTIRE PACK OF ROLOS. So, I may be old, but I am an old broad with Rolos.

G) Mechanical caterpillar. Because.

H) All electronics are propped to ergonomically correct heights courtesy of World Book Encyclopedia (M, (j)K, and 1968 here).

I) More sticky notes. And flags. Because I lurrrrve them.

J) Library card. Kept on hand for at-home book emergencies. I also keep one on my keychain.

K) 28″ television used as monitor because I am old (see F). Also allows me to switch from author to chair potato at the press of a button.

L) Stack of boxed note cards used for book mailings. Includes Jane Austen quote cards, classic Harlequin cover postcards, cute typewriter cards, and an assortment of foil embossed cards with things like, “First of all, you’re really pretty” and “You’re so cool, and I’m not even mad about it.”

M) Dongle. *giggles*

N) Macbook: the brains of the operation. Also supported by World Book Encyclopedias spelling W(xyz), (q)R, I, T, E.

O) I am told the out of doors lies beyond these dusty blinds. I’m going there shortly. Wish me luck.

And there you have it. Welcome to my world.

How have things been in your world this week?

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Monday Mayhem – Life in the Stereozoic Era

As many of you know, Fodder has been collecting and refinishing some 70s-80s-era stereo compenents. Last week, this sweet Sansui setup moved into my office.

We aren’t complete troglodytes. We hooked up a bluetooth hub, which means I can stream my iTunes playlists through my awesome receiver. Say what you want about the new compact speakers, but there’s nothing as resonant as good, old-fashioned woofers and tweeters.

I have to have music on to write. Probably because I grew up in a house that was never quiet. I have a playlist I put on as I write. Some of these songs provide inspiration for certain characters/story lines, others I simply like. Of course, being a romance writer, I named it Sexytimes. He’s a sampling on the songs on the list and some of the books they helped me write:

 

All I Want Is You                   U2 (Play Dates)

All of the Stars                        Ed Sheeran (Love & Rockets)

The Blower’s Daughter         Damien Rice (Flip This Love)

Chasing Cars                           Snow Patrol (Long Distance Love)

Falling Slowly                         Kris Allen (Double Play – WIP)

Just Breathe                            Pearl Jam (Easy Bake Lovin’ – 2018)

More Than This                      Roxy Music (A Bolt From the Blue)

Songbird                                   Eva Cassidy (A Will and A Way)

Turn Me On                             Norah Jones (Going Deep)

Secret Garden                          Bruce Springsteen (Love Game – 2018)

Long Long Time                      Linda Ronstadt (A Ring for Rosie – 2018)

Lilac Wine                                Miley Cyrus (Feel My Love-WIP)

How about you? Can music trigger memories or spark creativity in you?

 

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Monday Mayhem – The definition of…Sanity

The old saying about the definition of insanity really resonates with me. You know the one I mean – it’s usually attributed to Einstein, but no one really knows who said it first. Doesn’t really matter, it’s about as true as a sentiment can be.

I’ve been all over the place this week, trying new things. Some have worked, others are still works in progress, but I’m throwing things out there, hoping something sticks.

 

PLAY DATES has been released into the wild. Thank you all for a) buying it and b) the awesome reviews. They really do help, and I appreciate them all – good and the bad (I admit I tend to skim over the ugly).

There was a big special on SEDUCING STEVE this week. Thank you so much for helping me spread the word about it. It was fun to trot the yummy red-head out again.

I’m knee deep in my next project and loving it so far. I’m dictating most of it, and having a good time simply trying to be a storyteller. I’ll put my writer cap on later, and make it all spiffy. Right now, I’m just going with the flow in hopes of ramping it up in time to hit NaNoWriMo in full stride.

In the meantime, we can all look forward to seeing LOVE GAMES on the shelves in February 2018. Have you pre-ordered your copy(ies)?

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