#L&SR Saturday Seven. My “auto buy” authors

Saturday Seven

There are some authors I will put on my Amazon buy list without ever reading the blurb of the newest book they are releasing. It doesn’t matter what the book is about, I just know that it will be an enjoyable read no matter what the plotline. Truly. These women could re-write the phone book and I’d buy it.

So, this is the list of my “auto buy” authors, and why.

1.Jill Shalvis – because she always makes me laugh, and we need more laughter and love in the world.

2.Jayne Ann Krentz – (Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle, too!) I read all her books in whatever name she writes in because she is simply a wonderful writer and I’ve never read one of her books that didn’t give me a reading rush of pleasure.

3.Kristan Higgins – because her heroines are people I’d like to be BFFs with.

4.Lauren Layne – her writing style is so comfortable and easy to read and her characters are always spot-on.

5.Catherine Bybee – she’s a (former) nurse and so am I! But really, it’s because she writes such believable, relatable characters and weaves them into really good stories.

6.Nora Roberts – read any of her books and you’ll know why she’s considered The Queen of romantic fiction. ‘Nuff said.

7. JD Robb ( Okay, a little bit of a cheat here!) because Roarke. That says it all.

When I’m not reading the above authors, you can usually find me hanging out here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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Am I getting too personal?

Week 3 of the 2018 #MFRWauthorBlogChallenge, and it’s another good topic: How much of myself is in my writing. In all honesty? A shitload!

Let me ‘esplain, Lucy.

That old adage write what you know only gets you so far in fiction. I could write tomes about Nursing, Parenting, the psychological ramifications of divorce on children. Truly. Tomes. But’s that’s non-fiction. In fiction, I’d only get about 2 books out of all that first-hand knowledge and personal angst. So writing what I know for fiction isn’t going to cut it.

But….

I’ve written characters who were lawyers, doctors, artists, Olympic athletes, chefs, and government agents. I’m not now, nor have I ever been, any of those things. Research into their professions, plus knowing a few people who are those things have helped. When to gets down to the meat and potatoes of the characters, especially my heroines though, well a lot of me, my habits and quirks, and beliefs are woven into their psychological makeup.

For instance. People who know me know I lovelovelove Diet Mountain Dew. Unhealthily so. It’s my drug of choice ( heehee). In A SHOT AT LOVE, I made my heroine Gemma Laine a DMD addict as the way in which she gets her caffeine hit. Just like me.

In THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, my heroine Moira Cleary is known as the quiet, calm twin. When she gets really, really angry, though, her voice and manner become deathly quiet. She doesn’t rant and rave like her mother and twin brother. Her verbal missiles obliterate and all the while her voice is as quiet as an empty church. I’m the same way. When my voice lowers, look out.

Another way there’s a great deal of ME in my writing is in the moral makeup of my heroines. They are all strong-willed women. Loyal, smart, and spiritual. They will fight to the death if someone they love is being hurt and when they take a stand on a topic, it takes a bulldozer to ever get them to change their minds.

Yeah. Kinda sounds like me.

I will never write a doormat heroine.

Or one who sees herself as a victim.

Being a victim is quite different than seeing yourself as one.

I will never write a heroine who does something morally repugnant and unforgivable. I wouldn’t know how to make her sympathetic with those qualities.

My tagline for my books is that I write about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. You will always know the makeup of my heroines based on that line. Always.

And because of that, you will always know a little about me, too.

Let’s hop on over to some of the other authors in this challenge and see how much of themselves they put in their writing.

 

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I’m a #Badass…who knew?

A few weeks ago I started reading this book: You are a Badass ( How to Stop Doubting your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life). I’ll admit this freely: the reason I bought the book when I saw it in Target is because I liked the cover. Something about the color and the graphics screamed  “Buy me!” at me.

Anyway…

The book is good. Really good. There are so many personal takeaways from each chapter that I could–literally–write a book about them! One of them I want to focus on today that spoke recently to me is the reason for this blog post.

Chapter 6 is titled Love the One You Is, and it centers around loving who and what you are and not comparing yourself to others. As a writer, I struggle with this concept daily. I am always obsessing that I am less than every single other writer. Less of a writer than Nora Roberts. Or Jill Shalvis. Or Sandra Brown. I will never write as well as, or as poignantly, or as humorously, as they do. I just won’t. One of Sincero’s tenants in Chapter 6 is, “Comparison is the fastest way to take all the fun out of life.”

Stop the presses! Forget about spoke to me, that line screamed from a mountaintop and echoed all the way to the moon and back.

I’ve always encouraged other writers to write the book of their heart. To write the best book, tell the story they want to tell,  their way and not be worried about what editors or beta readers will think. Be true to yourself as a writer and someone will want to read your work because it will resonate with them. Why, then, have I never believed my own advice? Why, then, have I gotten bogged down in the notion that what I write is never as good as what other writers write? Why, then, have I allowed my insecurities to mount, all the while pushing others to do their best work?

After reading this chapter in Badass and this quote in particular, it was like the heavens opened up after a torrential downpour and I finally saw the sun in all its glory.

A little cliche, yes, I’ll admit that. But it’s the truth. From the moment I read those words and allowed them to sink in deep to my soul, I stopped comparing myself to other writers. I am the best writer I can be at this moment in time. Me. I may not be as funny as Jill Shalvis, or be able to weave an intricate plot like Sandra Brown. And I certainly don’t have Nora Roberts’ unending supply of plots and characters. But I am the best me, the writer,  I can be right now.

And you know what? It’s a freeing notion. By not comparing my work to those I admire best, I have freed myself – some would say my muse – to write the way I want, what I want, and not worry about whether or not it will be liked. I like it! That’s what really matters. All the rest is cupcake frosting. And delicious though that may be ( I mean, come on! It’s frosting!!!) it’s not the reason I write. I write, first, last and always, for me.

yeah…I’m a Badass!

When I’m not being a Badass, you can find me here, still trying to be a Badass! Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

 

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If it’s Tuesday…it’s #MomentsFromMenopause

 

I pulled an oldie but a goodie out of the Blogger vault today for my Menopause blog. Hope you agree.

Laugh and the world laughs with you

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It all begins with #MorningMotivation

SO, about 6 weeks ago I started using my Instagram account to post daily pictures and quotes about 3 concepts I strive for on a daily basis: self-motivation, believing in myself, and personal growth. Since I started that, my account has doubled in people who follow me. I didn’t start doing this, though, to garner new followers–although that’s a wonderful side benefit–but to keep me focused on those three concepts. Posting my daily motivational quote is the first thing I do in the morning, social media-wise, and it sets the tone for my day.

First, I find motivational quote. Pinterest is great for this.

I swear Pinterest was invented by a writer! Self-motivation has never been one of my strong points. Since I’ve been such a people pleaser throughout my life, I’ve tended to put myself second, or even third, when it came to encouraging myself and pushing myself toward a goal. I’m a great cheerleader – ask any of my friends – and I will push anyone towards the finish line of their choice. Myself? Not so much. Recognizing that, I started the daily motivations to help me focus on myself and what I want, for once. Some may see this as selfish, perhaps, but it really isn’t.

What did we ever do before the thought to use a hashtag for promotional reasons became a thing? After the motivational quote is uploaded to my account, I then promote it in an attempt to help others. The hashtag #PersonalGrowth is a great one for this.

I truly try to grow every single day: as a writer, as a wife and mother, as a human being trying to navigate through the quagmire our society has become. Uplifting my thoughts is a good way for me to start my day and do this.

You can’t expect to accomplish anything if you don’t accept and aspire to my third daily tenant, #BelieveInYourSelf.

No one is going to magically make you a success in life. You have to work for it and you have to believe that you can succeed. And you really need to believe it. Just saying the words mean nothing. Deep down in your very soul, you must feel as if you can do anything you set your mind to. Anything. Believing you can do something is the most important tool you have for achieving personal success.

Having a positive outlook in and on life can go a great way in making your days better. There’s a mindset that believes what you speak out into the universe is what you’ll get sent back to you. Negative thoughts, morose mindsets, and critical thinking, if put out there, will become a major factor in what is given back to you from other people and the world in general. Having a positive outlook, not believing everything you do is going to wind up bad or not to your liking, goes a great way in making your days happy and productive ones.

Everyone knows my favorite book of all time is The Little Engine who Could. I truly believe this is the best book about self-motivation and self-actualization ever written, and it’s a children’s book! But, adults can get the takeaway message — he thought he could, so he did — as a mantra for their lives. That little engine let nothing stand in his way to prevent him from getting up and over that hill. Again, this book was written for children to help them accept, see, and know that they can do anything they set their minds to. Why, as adults, do we forget that?

SO, that’s how I start my day. Every morning of every day. Thinking positively, believing in myself, and recognizing I must grow to survive. It all beings with #MorningMotivation

Other places you can find me being positive are: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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We’re going waaaaaaaay back, here!

Welcome to week #2 of the 2018 MFRWauthor Blog Challenge. Today, we’re supposed to tell you about our earliest memory.

Okay, this one’s a toughie because I’m… not young, and my memory isn’t what it was even a month ago!!!

When I really think about it the very first memory I can conjure is from when I’m about 5 and I went to the library with my babysitter for the first time. I remember walking into the building and being surrounded by the stacks and racks of books. There’s a certain smell libraries have – knowledge and fine paper – that I can still recognize today. It’s like comfort food for my senses. I loved books even back then and I distinctly remember getting my library card when I was with my babysitter. So cool. We took out a bunch of kid books and she read them all to me and then encouraged me to try and read them too. Love that! What a great memory that is.

I still love libraries and whenever I’m in a new city I make a point to visit one. I don’t take any books out, I just troll around the stacks and admire the architecture. And, of course, the books!
Let’s see what some of the other authors in the blog hop have for their first memories:

4.

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Goals, Actions, and Plans….Oh my!

So the New Year is 10 days old and I’m already hearing people have broken their NY resolutions. I’ve even seen it with my own eyes at the gym. Last week I had to wait for a few machines because all those people who vowed to lose weight and get in shape for 2018 were all gung-ho about hitting the gym every day and sweating the fat off. Fast forward to week 2 and most of those people are back to sleeping in and saying, “I’ll exercise later/tomorrow/never again.”

This is the reason I don’t make resolutions. It’s too easy to break ignore them.

Instead, as I’ve said before, I make a list of goals every year that I want to accomplish during that year and then make an action plan for those goals. Just saying, “I’m gonna hit the gym more this year,” doesn’t put any action behind the process. How often? When? What body areas are you going to center on? Those questions need to be asked and answered with a PLAN.

Remember the A-Team  (the television show, not the horrible and lousy movie remake) and the line George Peppard always said when they finished a case? “I love when a plan comes together.”

Yeah. And, duh! What’s the significant word in that line? PLAN PLAN PLAN PLAN PLAN.

In order to have an effective plan, you need to define the actions to bring that plan to fruition. Once you do, you’ve formed your GOAL.

Seems common-sense-y, doesn’t it?

So, one of my goals this year was to get my life more organized. You might think since I have the luxury of being a full-time writer that there wouldn’t necessarily be a need to get organized. I mean, don’t I just write every day?

Yeah, but….

This year I wanted to set a goal for the number of books I’m going to write and for the number of blogs I want to do each week, so I bought a planner with one section devoted to PROJECTS. Here’s how my process goes:

  • 5 days a week write a minimum of 2500 words daily in your current WIP. No less.
  • On Sundays, writer your 2-3 blog posts for the week.
  • Schedule your Social Media posts days ahead of time using Hootsuite. Book those posts on Sundays.
  • Shut off the phone alerts and all SM alerts while performing #1

Now, if I write 2500 words minimum 5 days per week I’ll have 12,500 words written a week. My books usually range 75000-90000 words, and using this formula I can write a book in 7.2 weeks ( 90,000 words) That’s less than 2 months!!! Yowza. And I’m a good record keeper. This is the daily word count for a Christmas book I just sent to my editor for review:

REGINA daily word count

November 27, 2017                           0                      1064                           1064

November 28, 2017                         1064               1379                           2443

November 29, 2017                         2443               441                           2884

December 4, 2017                            2884               2517                           5401

December 5, 2017                            5401               1622                           7023

December 6, 2017                            7023               2468                           9491

December 7, 2017                            9491               2174                         11665

December 10, 2017                         11665              4307                          15972

December 11, 2017                         15972                2876                          18848

December 12, 2017                         18848                  597                          19445

December 13, 2017                         19445                 2301                          21746

December 14, 2017                         21746                 1438                          23184

December 18, 2017                         23184                  2448                          25632

December 19, 2017                         25632                   2000                          27632

December 20, 2017                         27632                   3138                          30770

December 21, 2017                         30770                    1961                          32731

January 1, 2018                               32731                        5482                          38213

January 2, 2018                               38213                        2578                          40791

January 3, 2018                               40791                        1275                          42066

January 4, 2018                               42066                        3222                          45288

January 5, 2018                               45288                        3812                          49100

January 6, 2018                               49100                        3106                          52206

January 7, 2018                               52206                        696                           52890

Finished!    1.7.18             23 days and a total of 52,890 words.   For me, this isn’t bad!

So, plan+action=goal.

Easy peasy.

When I’m not putting action behind my plans you can find me here, but only after I’ve written my daily 2500 word minimum!

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

 

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#Menopause Tuesday

If it’s Tuesday, then I’m taking about Menopause. Click here to read today’s post: Crepey Skin or Creepy skin.

And if you’re looking for me, I can usually be found here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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An oldie but a goodie…

Author and Wild Rose Press sistah, Brenda Whiteside had been reposting some of her favorite blogs from the past. I was lucky enough to be included in that list and here’s what she shared today:

I Can’t Dance.

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My favorite thing I’ve written…

Welcome to 2018 and the newest 52 week Blog Challenge. This year I’m getting on board from day 1 and the first prompt is a goodie.

Parents of multiple children will tell you that they love each of their children equally. I only have one child so I can say for me, that’s true. I love my daughter over all other children. But I tend to think that parents with more than onlies are giving themselves a line. I may be wrong, but I’ve seen it in families I know. One child is usually more favored by a parent whether they mean to show it to the world or not, than the others. **For you parents of multiple children, please don’t yell at me or send me angry tweets. This is simply my opinion, and I’ll explain why next.

This week’s prompt is the Favorite thing I’ve written and why. Now, authors are like parents. Each of their books are considered to be their babies and are treated as such. Most authors will tell you if you ask them which is their favorite book they’ve written, that they love them all equally ( just like parents of multiples will.) Each new book is like a new child, to be loved and cherished and adored.

I get that, I really do.

But….( you knew that was coming, didn’t you!)

After 10 books published ( and a total of 41 written) I do have one favorite that stands above all the others. The reason is simple: it was the first book where I had the HERO fully flushed out in my mind before I ever had a heroine for him.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS is the love story of Padric Cleary and Clarissa Rogers. Pat’s a veterinarian and Clarissa is a family doctor. Before I ever had a thought about Clarissa, Pat was a fully formed person in my head. He’s my favorite male character because he’s so misunderstood by everyone, including his twin sister, Moira. Everyone in Carvan thinks Pat’s a playa. It’s true that he does date a lot of girls, but its because he’s looking for the one.  He wants the same kind of love his parents have – everlasting, complete, and romantic. Every girl he dates thinks they can change his love ’em and leave ’em personality. But Clarissa Rogers isn’t interested in Pat and – of course- that makes her the perfect girl for him.

This was the third book in the MacQuire Women Series that Wild Rose Press published for me and I love it the best of all my books so far simply because I adore Pat Cleary!

Here’s the official blurb: Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers’ first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town. Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can’t pledge himself to her forever.

Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for “The One.” When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent’s marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way. 

Can Pat convince everyone – including Clarissa – she’s the only woman for him?

Now, since this is the first blog of the year in the MFRW blog challenge, stop by some of these other authors and see what they consider the favorite thing they’ve written is.

and if you’re looking for me, I can be found here :

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