Mile Marker Ahead


I must have started and stopped writing a post at least a dozen times. Based on my draft file, that number is more like fifteen. Why the false starts?

I have a milestone rapidly approaching – my 500th post! This isn’t that post,  but when I saw that little bit of information, my brain went into overdrive thinking about what can I do for a special post? What can I blog about that anyone would care to read? If I can post 500 posts, then why can’t I get my crap together to  finish revising my books?

Then I went and reviewed past posts, to see which ones were the most read.

Quotidiandose: 30 Days of Sass  started from my top posts, then were expanded.

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This compilation is in part a celebration of that 500th post,  but I wanted to do something on here, with you, my readers to celebrate.

Well, it’s difficult to have virtual cake. It’s difficult to share virtual cocktails.

I will still be thinking about it, but for now . . .  I thought I’d take the opportunity to  let  everyone know of a shake up.

Beginning at the first of the year, my plan is to get back on track with my blogging. I know, I know,  I’ve said that before.  I stick to it for a while then  when life seems to pull the rug out from under me it takes a while to regroup.

I’m going to go back to a format – of sorts – for my blog. My Monday mojo posts will still go up because I need a Monday pep talk and everyone seems to  enjoy them. I’m undecided on the other days of the week at this point, so I’m not  going to share with you the new revised schedule, because It’s a very rough draft. When I get things  narrowed down a bit,  then I’ll share. In the meantime,  I can use you guys’ input. What do you want to see? Which posts have you enjoyed? What do you want more of?

Here are a few things I’ve shared in the past:

  • recipes
  • photography ( not a professional by any means but fun)
  • bullet journal
  • writerly stuff
  • writing snippets
  • diet, exercise, fitness ( or my version of it anyway)
  • guest posts
  • guest interviews
  •  fun posts
  •  family
  •  flash fiction
  •  random madness and all that life brings with it
  • Penned Con
  • live interviews

If you like any of these in particular, please leave a comment. Want more recipes? Leave me a comment! Trust me, I have  loads of recipes,  between my own concoctions and the myriad of cookbooks I have, I could write a recipe every day for the next five years. But then again I’d be bored and quit so if that is something you like,  I can designate a certain day of the week to share recipes, photos, and even fails.

I happened to think  yesterday,  that I haven’t shared a snippet in a while. I’ve been so busy with doing NaNoWriMo – I won by the way with a grand total of 101,330 words in the first draft of Murder by Moonlight.

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In the middle of that, I was doing revisions to Red Wine & Roses for it to be rereleased. Even though I didn’t blog much, I was busy busy busy writing my little fingers away.  At least my fingers got a good workout during November!

My writing focus is  on revisions to Roxy Sings the Blues. I have my editor lined up, fielding some ideas for cover art, and  fine tuning so that I can send it off to my beta readers very soon.

Anyone care for a snippet of that?  Maybe a few teasers  over the next few weeks as I move closer to the finished product?

My current daily todo lists are crazy busy, and if I don’t write it down I forget. My bujo goes everywhere with me.  It’s my downloadable brain in print.  I am wondering about next year’s  journal though,  I wonder if Leuchterm makes a thicker one. Hmm, I may need to investigate.

Let me know what you like about the blog and let’s see if  I can’t make next year better than ever.

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!


Make sure to spend time with your family and friends. Express your thankfulness to them, for them, and celebrate a feast!  So why are you here?  Go, get back in the conversation that’s going on around you and put down your tablet or smart phone!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Tomorrow begins the Holiday season and I will be spending the day transforming our home into  North Pole, the Midwest edition.

OK, well I’m off to  eat some turkey.

 

Red Wine Makeover!


Greta Garbo, and Monroe
Deitrich and DiMaggio
Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean
On the cover of a magazine

Grace Kelly; Harlow, Jean
Picture of a beauty queen
Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire
Ginger Rodgers, dance on air

They had style, they had grace
Rita Hayworth gave good face
Lauren, Katherine, Lana too
Bette Davis, we love you

Ladies with an attitude
Fellows that were in the mood
Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it
Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it

Vogue, vogue

Ah, those flashback moments. When I received my finished  cover last night,  I was singing this song to myself. Weird maybe, but there it is. Particularly this  section of Madonna’s song Vogue, They had style, they had grace . . . . ladies with an attitude.

Have you ever seen pictures of some of Hollywood’s darlings without their makeup? It gives hope for the rest of us! Seriously, some of the stars in the raw have you scratching your head and asking How?

There have been tons of makeover shows on TV. Biggest Loser’s most viewed episodes are makeover week when they transform the former fatties into Haute Couture Hotties.

My book, Red Wine & Roses was originally published from Eclectic Bard Books last year, September 19, 2015.

11924560_1472539119715060_6584436532208606751_n (3)While I loved the elegant and understated cover, readers found it confusing. Some thought that it was perhaps like a Steeple Hill Christian romance, like this reviewer:  red-wine-roses-1

on December 8, 2015
First things first, I am not a prude. With that out of the way, it would have been good knowing that this book included graphic sex. The story overall did not need such scenes, I felt they were added to embellish and titillate. The main story was good on its own, but the end felt rushed, as if the Author was limited to a certain amount of pages. Or, perhaps after running thru a 2 -3 hour movie, they rolled up the last three chapters after the final commercial break. This was most definitely not my cup of tea, but it could be yours. The characters are well defined and fleshed out with certain aspects of them coming to light only late in the game. It is also about a young woman looking for love. If you come into this book knowing there will be hot and heavy scenes, you may enjoy it more than I did. Well written and described.
I appreciate his honesty! I was surprised, to be honest that someone would read a contemporary romance and be surprised that there is sex. I thought I had tamed it down and that it wasn’t as graphic as I have been on Storytime.  Then there was the comment about it being rushed, . . .  which I think had more to do with my edits than anything else.  I tried years ago to write a Christian romance, and I couldn’t do it.  With the CBA restrictions on words that I couldn’t use I had to eliminate a character named Angel, along with cut out so much of my story because of the prohibited words, I threw my hands up in defeat and realized I can’t tell the story I want to tell within those restrictions. Life is gritty  and that’s when we learn and grow.
So, . . .my contract with Eclectic Bard Books ended November 18, 2016. This book is now retired.  I do have a few print copies left in stock.
However, I am rereleasing a 2nd edition, retaining full rights of my work (thank you for that Eclectic Bard Books). the word count went from 82K to 91K, so some of those rushed chapters are now  more fully fleshed out. Part of this was a matter of adding back in some cut sections and adding additional lines in others.
Today, I get to unveil the  revised version! Are you ready?
Thanks to my fabulous cover artist Gabrielle Pendergast atwww.coveryourdreams.net. 

Drumroll . . . . 

redwine-ebookTADA!!!

And, 15175619_10154822248251177_1133214610_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t it gorgeous?  I absolutely love it!

I will share the release date just as soon as I have it, but until then . . . enjoy the eye candy!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, and  happy by proxy Turkey day to all of my  no ‘Murican friends. Enjoy the  family, friends and celebrations. No Black Friday shopping for me, I’m not into that. Instead, that will be the day we transform our modest home into a Christmas time capsule akin to some of the old department store displays.

This is my favorite time of year! What better Christmas gift to myself than a makeover of my debut novel? OH I know, starting on revisions for my next one, Roxy Sings the Blues, which is planned for release in early 2017!

Now go eat some pie! Tell ’em Ellie said so!

Write on my friends, write on!

 

Issues of Life


The past few days have been an emotional rollercoaster for me. It’s times like this that I question Cassidy’s sanity. I mean, who would choose this?

We had such a good day on Saturday, I suppose it was inevitable that the wheels should fall off on Sunday.  While tackling one project, I was being pulled by someone else’s project, continually asked questions until I reached a point where I had to stop what I was working on.

First off, this project was one that I had procrastinated on to the point that I couldn’t put it off any longer.  I needed to get it done. So I was already aggravated.

The project that my husband was asking questions about, was valid for him to ask me questions as it was pertaining to our finances. Then everything degenerated down from there. *hangs head*

How many of us know, I mean really know that you can’t compartment your life like a waffle into little squares? If you can manage that then message me  and share how you do it.

In my world, things are all interconnected like a woven cloth. The white strand touches twenty others. Or you can look at it like the plate of spaghetti. Well, I got my spaghetti all over his waffles.

If we are being  honest,  it’s more like spaghetti. How we view our finances are affected by a) our upbringing, b) past problems c) expectations d) fears e)our relationship with the financial partner. All of those factors come into play at some point and are often expressed through what we communicate.

I’m not going to  tell you all about our finances,  that’s not what this is about. We have some differences between us about them that we will work out. My problem is the underlying problems that come out in  moments like this.

I have been so guilty of this in the past,  that I am acutely aware  of carefully choosing my words and not blasting my first thoughts without a filter. The filter needs to be applied to similar problems in the past, past words that were spoken, past situations that you’ve been through,   past fights over the subject. . . it all plays a part to the emotions that come up with the current topic.

In a microsecond, our brain goes to our retrieval file and pulls up the entire folder on how we feel about finance anything. Last time we got into a fight – shields up. We’ve been married for a few years,  there has been more than one fight over finances. In most marriages, there is one that spends and one that saves. I’m the spender and I know you aren’t surprised.

My issue with this whole thing is not the finances.  It’s not about how much I spent because I know that I spent too much. It’s  the comments that cut me to the core that are outside of the topic that are affecting the statements made.

The current plan isn’t working, so I need to rethink, reevaluate, and make a new plan. How ironic that  I got a notification this morning that  two readers liked my post, Unceasing. Wow, thank you for that reminder. I needed to hear that.  I needed to be reminded that it’s not the negative words of someone else. It’s not getting validation from anyone else. The reason I write, and that I will NOT stop pursuing my dream even if it is at a snail’s pace, is because it is part of who I am.

I had some amazing  friends encourage me in this  matter, some were kind loving words, others were  straight and to the point, and yet others were tactlessly pointed out,  but valid all the same.

On one hand, it is devastating to hear that  a loved one doesn’t believe in your vision.  That’s ok. It’s not his vision after all but mine.  It’s not his place to validate me or give me approval. I need to do this for myself. On the other hand, it’s good to know where they stand so that I can adjust my course, my expectations accordingly.

Giving up on my dream isn’t going to make him think any differently but it will certainly make me think differently.  It would be quitting on myself and I can’t do that.

I’m not angry anymore. I’m not hurt either. I know that I am taking the road less traveled.  This is my path and it needs to coincide with our path as much as his career path does also. Neither of us is wrong, just different.

Sometimes we embrace the differences, other times we accept them.

Soon I will have important news to share and to think, I almost  quit just before the finish line – tsk tsk.

It’s all good! Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

 

She Shoots, She Scores!


I’m excited to share my freind Vicki’s latest release.  I shared the cover reveal just a short time ago now here it is: 

Roster Addition

V.L. Locey

M/F Erotic Hockey Romance Novella

 

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Buy Links:

Amazon-http://tinyurl.com/zwwxrug

B&N-http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/roster-addition-v-l-locey/1124779670?ean=2940153767611

Smashwords-https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/670272

Blurb: Veikko Aho, Wildcats star goalie, and his wife Liz are about to add a new player to their family roster. The open adoption of Maggie and Derrick’s granddaughter will help to heal the gaping hole infertility has left in the Aho’s life. Finally, that huge mansion on the Main Line will hear the sweet laughter of a child.

But the birth that the Aho’s are so looking forward too seems to be stirring up some anxiety and unspoken fears for the grandparents. As the seemingly endless night of labor drags on, power struggles that threaten to break up a long-standing friendship rise to the surface. Can both families put aside their petty differences or will this precious new Wildcat tear them apart?

 I got the chance to preview an ARC copy for Vicki,  and wow has she outdone herself with this one.  Here’s just a little tease of what you can expect:

Excerpt:

A Little from Derrick

 The phone died just as I knew it would. “Love you too, Mags,” I said anyway then shoved my deceased phone into the front pocket of my trousers. A stiff wind whistled through the parking lot, making me move a little faster. Stepping inside the Doughnut Den, warm, moist air and the smell of freshly made doughnuts embraced me. My belly rumbled as I stepped up to the counter to order coffee for four adults and a box of a dozen assorted doughnuts. The cashier was a tiny little gal who seemed a little intimidated by the ugly old bear buying glazed and chocolate-covered. Even when I give her a smile and a tip, she hung back, never looking me in the eye. I was used to it. Ashley, the girl having my grandbaby, she was real quiet and backward around me for months until she got to know me better. Guess I was one scary type. Must be the beard and scars. You don’t play hockey for twenty years and not get battle scars.

I took my purchases to a table by the window so I could see Aho’s spiffy white Jaguar XJL Ultimate when he pulled up. Imagine my surprise when I saw the goalie climbing out of a metallic blue BMW coupe about ten minutes later. Aho took a moment to button up his long black coat then tuck a white scarf dangling around his neck into the front of his coat. He hurried across the parking lot, looking like some sort of high paid fashion model instead of a hockey player. I reached up to rub the knob on the bridge of my nose, a reminder of ten stitches needed after taking a high stick from some chucklehead from Boston. Hell, that musta been ten years ago now. Veikko, he didn’t have no scars. Not a one, and that was good. If you’ve never seen pictures of the old goalies back before they started wearing masks, you’d be terrified of what you were seeing.

“I was wondering if you’d be having a snack while you waited,” the Finn said after he entered the shop. I held up a half-eaten peanut-butter crème filled. Aho smiled then walked up the counter. That little girl didn’t seem to have any troubles chatting and blushing all over Veikko as he ordered drinks.

“I already got you some,” I informed him when he walked over to the table by the window.

“Ah, well, we’ll have refills.” His eyes dropped to the open box of doughnuts.

“Dig in,” I said then pushed the last bite of my peanut-butter crème filled into my trap.

“Thank you, but I’ll have to pass,” he said in that precise, refined way he spoke.

“I ain’t playing no more so I can grab a sweet now and again,” I informed him.

“It looks like you have grabbed five sweets,” he countered then gave me a wink. I closed the lid then pushed to my feet. The man was just rubbing me wrong for some reason. Probably, I was still pissed off about the train ride and was taking that out on him. “I envy you,” Veikko added as I gathered up my dirty napkins. My gaze jumped from the trash in my hands to the Finn. There wasn’t one damn thing I could think of that Aho would envy me, or anyone else, about. “You’re free now to enjoy the delights of life and not be so concerned about a few extra pounds and how they slow you down on the ice.”

“Oh, yah, being retired is about the best thing ever,” I lied like a rug then whipped my garbage into a can by the front door. Out into the cold we went, both of us carrying containers with coffee, and me with a box of doughnut under my arm. “So where are we, you know, in terms of the baby coming?”

“Not far yet,” he replied, turning his face from a gust of wind that sent papers flying up over our heads. “Elizabeth tells me that first time births can take many hours.”

“Yah, so I hear.” We stopped by the blue BMW. “Where’s the Jag? I didn’t think you ever left home without her.”

Aho grinned at me from across the roof of the Beemer. “That was before we were to be parents. As much as I love my Jaguar, it is not exactly the kind of car one carries a child in, is it?”

“Guess not,” I replied then slowly lowered myself into the car. I looked into the backseat, hoping to find a place to put the doughnut box, and saw a brand new car seat all strapped in and ready for use. I kid you not, seeing that car seat hit me puck between the eyes.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and two Jersey steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

 

Author Links:

Website: http://vlloceyauthor.com/

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/pages/VL-Locey/124405447678452

Twitter- https://twitter.com/vllocey

Pinterest-http://www.pinterest.com/vllocey/

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5807700.V_L_Locey

My blog- http://thoughtsfromayodelinggoatherder.blogspot.com/

If you  like hockey, if you like romance – Vicki’s got something for you! 

Gone Writing Publishing Backlist Books and Upcoming Releases

Pink Pucks & Power Plays (Book One of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

A Most Unlikely Countess (Book Two of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

O Captain! My Captain! (Book Three of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

Reality Check (Book Four of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

Language of Love (Book Five of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

Final Shifts (Book Six of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

Clean Sweep (Book One of the Venom Series)

Twirly Girl (Book Two of the Venom Series)

Tape to Tape (Book Three of the Venom Series)

Roster Addition (A To Love a Wildcat Novella)

 

Torquere Press Backlist and Upcoming Releases

Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse (Part of the He Loves Me For My Brainssss anthology)

Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 2: It Came From Birmingham

Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 3: He’s a Lumberjack and He`s Undead

Love of the Hunter

All I Want for Christmas – A Toms & Tabbies Tale

Early to Rise – A Toms & Tabbies Tale

 Every Sunday at One (Part of the 2013 Charity Sip Anthology)

An Erie Halloween

An Erie Operetta

An Erie Garden Party

Back to the Garden (Also part of the Mythologically Torqued Anthology)

 

M/M Independent Releases

Coming October 12, 2016…On Broadway (part of the Changing on the Fly M/M hockey romance charity novella)

Coming Dec. 5, 2016…Holly & Hockey Boots (M/M erotic holiday hockey romance)

Coming in 2017 …

The Brighton Wood Blades (an LGBTQ erotic hockey romance series)

Two Man Advantage

Game Misconduct

Full Strength

Shutdown Pair

Long Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Day to Celebrate


Sorry folks I know it’s been a while. I haven’t been lollygagging around or chilling on the beach. Sadly, no. I’ve been juggling hot irons anxious to remove a couple of them from the fire. My goal is to reduce the number of irons, simplify and streamline to become an efficient writing machine!

As most of you know, November is NANOWRIMO Month. It’s a guilty pleasure that I along with numerous others giddily or insanely commit  to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  * insert cackles of laughter here* We’re all mad here!

I am behind.  My word count is lagging. The fear monster is threatening  to overtake my rational mind, but I’m determined to keep the hound at bay.

Why is my word count lagging?

  1. My contract with Eclectic Bard Books ends today! WOOHOO!  Red Wine & Roses is no longer available through Amazon or Walmart. However, I still have an even dozen print copies left over from Penned Con. that I will ship to you! Don’t you deserve a romantic interlude for the holidays? For $8.00 US, plus shipping (2.00 US, outside US varies) These are limited! Get yours now!  What about that special woman in your life that loves romance? Get one for her!  Contact me on Facebook through pm or email me: l.e.mcatee@gmail.com 
  2. I have been working on revisions on this so that I can republish it! You’re going to like the improvements!  I was pushing real hard to get this ready to go up today, but then reason number three grabbed me by the throat and body slammed me.
  3. Sickness –  yes it’s that time of year. The creeping crud, the phlegmy phantasmagorical nasty, – I’ve had a bout of pneumonia and laryngitis that has literally kicked my arse.
  4. My deadline on the last edit job was this week also,  paid jobs get first priority!

While the decision to set aside my NANO novel was a difficult one,  It had to be done. I think in the long run it will pan out but that means that for the next two weeks I have to be an insane writing machine to the tune of about 5000 words per day in order to hit my mark.

Also, be looking for announcements in the next few days for the 2nd edition release, with a brand spanking new cover and extended scenes for Red Wine & Roses. I’m still working on the revisions. One of the complaints from a reviewer was that it seemed rushed. Well, yes. In the initial edits,  several scenes were cut that lead up to  a crucial scene and a couple afterwards.  I am rewriting those now. I think it flows a lot smoother and tells a complete story instead of having small vignettes with pieces missing.  But that’s just me.

Today I will wrap up the revisions  and be ready to share my brand new cover-  I’m stoked! It’s gorgeous!

Be looking for the cover reveal soon, and a couple of guests coming up! After I get this off of my desk, I have a new master plan to share! Be patient young padawans, all good things will come in time. Like a release schedule! How cool is that?

Have a great Friday! Get out there and spread some happiness to your fellow man, woman or child! Share some love! Buy someone a coffee  or open a door.

My Holiday  giving plan starts now –  at least one act of kindness every day!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

 

NANO Prep or Panic?


November is National Novel Writing Month.  The goal is to write a 50,000 word book in 30 days.

30 days and nights of literary abandon. 

The date is rapidly approaching. Are you preparing or are you panicking?

I have been planning. A story idea that I have been mulling over in my mind for some time now is the project that I’m going to tackle.  I’ve been itching to get started on this one.  While the muse is jumping up and down over in the corner to get my attention with this story,  I have been trying  to discipline myself to focus on ONE thing while working out some things towards this story.

Does anyone fully grasp the  difficulty of that? ME? focus on just one thing? I’m like the queen of ADHD, iron in the fire juggling, and new shinies!

The list of projects keeps growing. There are times that I feel like throwing my hands up and conceding defeat but  I keep going. I’ve been really trying to focus my efforts on one project at a time. Of course,  the fates have decided that  practical jokes in my life are to be the thing right now. Irony and Chaos have teamed up to make my plans seem unimportant.

Each of us has to manage our time  and prioritize what we spend our 24 hours on. Then fate comes along and decides – nope!   It’s a good thing that I have been working from home and that I’m not on the clock for anyone else because my schedule is currently thrown out of the window. Yes, the one that I toiled over for three day to make sure I fit in my workout time,  meals that I often are prone to skip and then overeat later, writing time, editing time, our home business,  all disrupted because  a good portion of my time is now spent as a taxi driver.  NO,  not for checkered cab company but for my children.

We are currently down to one car between three adults. Instead of  being stuck her without a car,  I have opted to drive my kids to their school/jobs so that I can have a car when I need it.  Call it the privilege of ownership. OF course,  doing that means that a good chunk of my day is then spent driving. *SIGH*

Back to NANO prep. In order to maximize my time that is available for writing,  I am preparing.  I make outlines, but this time I am trying a new method that learned. I’ve spent the last week and a half in developing my characters and laying out the plot and subplots. I have never spent this much time on my characters before, so I really hope that it pays off.

When the stroke of midnight hits,  I will be sound asleep. I hope. Anyway, when I can write I will.  One of the things I really like about NANO  is the challenge of hitting the daily word count goal. There are days when that is easy peasy,  then there are days when 100 words seems  unattainable. It’s an exciting, stressful, demanding, insane time –  but I love it!

Of course I want to win. I don’t enter  things like this planning to fail.  That competitive part of me  is cued and  ready to go.  The practical part of me is saying what are you thinking? Yeah, it’s crazy in there. I accept it and move on. What else am I going to do? Live, laugh, have some wine!

NANO  is an opportunity to push yourself. NANO is a time to embrace the creative ideas that flood my brain. The goal is to WRITE! No editing, no revising,  no research – just WRITE! It’s kind of freeing but it’s kind of scary as well.

I have a plan. I have broken my scenes/chapters into 30 day segments. This is  a modified version of Lazette’s when she shared on my blog before. When you see a method that someone shares that is different from your own, examine it, scrutinize it,  dissect it. Take the parts that work for you and disregard the rest. Eventually you come up with a  method that is uniquely yours that fits you.  I think I’ve found that method for myself and I’m excited to  give it  a test run. That’s also part of what NANO is for me.

Do you NANO? Which side are you on,  prep or panic?

I’m prepped and ready to go. Just a case of pre-race jitters at the moment!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

 

The Trickster Release


Today I have a real treat for you guys,  the youngest author I have ever hosted on my blog.

*¨*.¸¸.*¨`*NEW RELEASE*.*¨*.¸¸.*¨`*

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The Trickster by @AuthorLGMiles

Genre: Children’s Adventure/Mystery

BUY THE BOOK

iBooks: http://apple.co/2f3MOdu

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ei5gwB

ABOUT THE BOOK

A curse passed down through the ages.

A soul trapped in limbo.

A mystery to be solved.

When three young friends decide to sneak out and spend the night in an abandoned house rumored to be the haunting place of the Trickster ghost, they will soon get more excitement than they bargained for…

***The Trickster is a children’s adventure/mystery chapter book perfect for ages 7-11. All ideas for the story were inspired by 4th grader, L.G. Miles and novelized by author Amy Miles***

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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FACEBOOK

L.G. Miles is a lover of all things Minecraft, Angry Birds, and Teen Titans Go. When he’s not at school he can be found on the golf course, drawing, or building legos. The Trickster is his debut novel.

Get your copy today and support this young man!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

Unceasing


It’s been a while since I’ve made one of my Monday Mojo posts. I’ve thought about it,  debated over it, let the time pass me by, but it’s come down to a case of necessity.

Maybe it’s just me,  maybe it’s  a common thing, I really don’t know. What I do know is this: vacation time is a necessity. I’ve said before that I thought vacation time was essential and I’ve even made my case for it. However, coming off of the backside of vacation the necessity is crystalline.

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This was my morning view for a week. Coffee,  my bullet journal, notebooks, and  ocean waves. The stress and strain slowly melted away. It didn’t happen the first day.  I was up at 5 am, not by choice.  Hotel mattresses aren’t the best and my back was hurting, so . . . up at 5 am  it was.  YES, on vacation. It sucks. Sort of.

So, up at 5 against my will, I started the coffee pot and donned the sweat jacket. Most mornings I was out on the balcony before sunrise. I never thought I’d ever say that. Sitting in a hard plastic chair, with a hot cup of joe, staring out at the ocean under  moonlight and listening to the waves caress the beach in its rhythmic cycle worked its magic in chipping off the stress that had built up over the past year.

The pressure builds slowly,  so slowly that it doesn’t register with us until it’s relieved. That’s how I was.  That’s how most of us are.  Maybe if you are an adrenaline junkie and you go do wild and crazy things on the weekends like base jumping,  then you don’t have that built up pressure. For the less adventurous of us, we work on a regular schedule,  knuckling through the day/week/month over and over not even realizing that it’s building.

Life has stress. Family gives us stress. Relationships give us stress. Our jobs give us stress.

I had been looking forward to a vacation, because it’s always nice to get away. I couldn’t even think about anything before Penned Con was over. My husband couldn’t take off before now because of production deadlines at his work. As adults, we don’t always get to do what we want when we want to do them. Sometimes we have to do unpleasant things because they are the responsible things to do and we have people depending on us.  Then, we get the chance to get away and somewhere between the first day and the trip back home,  you realize just how wound up and stressed out you’ve been.

Clarity –  it’s one of the side effects of being refreshed. 

During those early morning sessions on the balcony, yes it happened every morning except one, I breathed in deeply and exhaled the stale air of daily living. I shook off the tension that had built up over time and had been weighing me down. I have pages and pages  in both my bullet journal and story notebook that I logged in those early morning hours.

Time. Time to think, examine, search, ask questions. I realize that I am probably the last one in the boat on this but bear with me. In the words of Ferris Beuller, life moves pretty fast. Sometimes you get carried along life’s highway and find yourself at a spot where you aren’t really clear how exactly you got there, if you want to get back to point A or move onto point C, D, or Xeta.

I know for a fact that I don’t want to continue with how things have been in my life prior to this time away. My fitness level is at an all time low,  my self-esteem falling rapidly back to a low spot, my confidence withering, and the  home environment has not been a place of peace.

When you reach those types of crossroads,  you can either accept  life status quo or make changes towards the direction of your dreams.

I was at a point of feeling like why am I bothering trying to make a career of writing. I had someone close to me say just before penned con that it was a ‘glorified ego trip’, an expensive hobby. They quickly apologized for expressing it so bluntly but  things like that don’t come out of your mouth unless that is what they are thinking.  It always starts with a thought.

Are they right? Am I chasing a dream that I don’t have the talent to achieve? That was something else they said a few years ago.

Sitting on that balcony alone before the world began to stir, I asked myself questions. What if they are right? What if I never try? What if they are wrong? What do I WANT to do? 

I have to admit, and this is no secret to anyone that knows me or tunes in here very often.  I struggle with time management,  I struggle to stay on task with a project.  I have multiple books in my files that haven’t been published. One canceled contract,  another withdrawn contract, and very soon a contract ending. Maybe they are right. But my best work isn’t out there.

I feel good about some of the things I’ve written.  The Faere Warrior,  does anyone remember that one? It is actually book 2 of a Fae series, set aside to work on book 1.  I got discouraged and set it aside.  Kiss of the Dragon, remember that one?  I worked my butt off writing that and even had part of the second one, Embrace the Dragon written, then some critical comments and a withdrawn contract and I shelved it. Valkyrie’s Curse, started as a serial on Storytime Trysts.  I expanded it, revised it, and it became a series, planned for six books. Then there were differences with the publisher, it was put off,  pushed back and I shelved it.

Do I just give up too easy?  Do I not have the right stuff?  

The waves continued against the shore. Some crashed against the sand, others rolled in gently, some curled back outward to meet the next one.

Why do I push myself to write, then give up on myself?

I have this self-sabotaging cycle that I seem to be caught in.

On the third day of vacation, we were sitting on the deck of the hotel, overlooking the ocean. The waves were gentle, the water became crystal clear. Just like that,  you could see the shells and fish in the water from 100 yards away. In that moment, clarity also came to my mind. The waves have not ceased, they still came in, but they were gentle. Unceasing, never ending, relentless.

What did I want out of this life?

For me. What goals do I have for just me, not my marriage, not my kids,  not my parents or friends,  but for myself?  It’s not wrong to have aspirations.  It’s not wrong to have ambitions.

Why did I want to write?

Because I feel that it is something I can do and do well.  I want to inspire someone else the way that Tolkien inspired me.  I want someone to connect the way Twain did for me.  I want someone to be entertained and laugh the way that Louise Rennison made me laugh.  I want to inspire, encourage, entertain others.  I am an encourager.  Inspiring or entertaining others is part of being an encourager. I’m your biggest cheerleader and my own worst enemy.

Then why would I consider giving up my dream?

Words that someone else says to me? NO

Their fear or lack of confidence in me? NO

Because it’s too hard? NO

I had no good reason to give up but I had every reason in the world to keep at it,  to relentlessly, unendingly, unceasingly pursue my dreams.

I may fail but I’d rather try and fail than to never try at all. At least I will know that I gave it my best effort.

My best effort –  well that was a different matter. My best was far from what I’ve been doing lately.  There needs to be several changes occur in order for me to do my best.

That’s where I start. Get my house in order,  clear out the clutter of our house and my mind.

I don’t expect everyone to get aboard my dream train. In fact,  I rather expect some resistance and maybe even some sabotage.

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The plan is simple. That’s part of the clarity.  I need simple in my life.

Step 1 – WRITE! Step 2- See step 1.

Write on my friends, write on. I know I will.

Ellie

 

 

 

 

Interview with Nikki Jefford


While I was at Penned Con 2016,  I got the opportunity to talk with and  interview a few authors live, one on one..  OK,  so I fangirled a lot as well. What can I say?

Nikki Jefford is one of those authors. I took a big breath, exhaled loudly,  then quickly approached her to do an interview.  She was such an amazing sport, and I know I cut into her set up time.

Sorry Nikki! I had only read the first  of her books but was already in love with this character and series. I was so nervous however,  that I forgot to get her to autograph a print copy for me. Next time Nikki, don’t let me forget!

You can tell I was nervous,  I was tongue tied, which is rare for me.

I first saw a post on Facebook in the Penned Con group from Nikki back in April I think. She posted a release for her latest book, True North (Aurora Sky, Vampire Hunter book 6) and I had never heard of it before that time. It piqued  my curiosity so I went over to Amazon and immediately got book 1,  because I can’t jump into a series on book 6 that’s just crazy. I’m currently on book 3.

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I talk way too much when I am nervous and Nikki was great about it. *facepalm*

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nikki Jefford is the author of the Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter series and Spellbound Trilogy. She is a third-generation Alaskan now living in the Pacific Northwest with her French husband and their Westie, Cosmo. When she’s not reading or writing she enjoys taking long walks and motorcycling. Lifelong nature and animal lover with a fondness for hot chocolate, tea, wine, and baked goods.

Find out more at Nikki’s website at: http://www.nikkijefford.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authornikkijefford/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NikkiJefford

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nikkijefford/

Go check  out her latest book. Better yet,  get the series!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie