Thursday, April 28, 2016

Now $0.99 ~ KEY TO LOVE

                                                             KEY TO LOVE

A romantic suspense with lots of comedy!

                                   
When architect Elise Springer's father is injured, she immediately leaves San Francisco to care for him. The last person she expects to encounter in her Pennsylvania hometown is her childhood friend Lucas Fisher. Lucas is investigating his brother's mysterious death, and Elise can't resist lending a hand.

Lucas longs for the close family ties he never had. He's back in Scranton to set up a classic car restoration business and build a future. The torch he carries for Elise burns brighter than ever, but before he can declare his love, he must obtain the legal rights to adopt his nephew--and prove his brother's death was no accident.

As they unearth clues to find the murderer and a missing stash of money, Elise faces a dilemma. Is her career on the West Coast the key to her happiness, or is it an animal-cracker-eating four-year-old and his handsome uncle?

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spring is a Benchmark

Spring is a benchmark. It's a new beginning when the earth is fresh and clean and new. Outside, windflowers are in bloom and the grass is a blinding green for a warm Pennsylvania April. The trees are bursting with red buds. Tulips, daffodils, crocus, and grape hyacinths are profusely blooming in a palette of colors in the flowerbeds which have shed the last of their mushy snow.
Onion sets have been tucked into the soil in the garden.

Each morning, fussy wrens sit in the front maple chattering as they fight for the two birdhouses we hung in the front of our house while robins bob, bob, bob on the lawn below digging for insects and worms. Even the doves have returned and coo up on the rooftop.

Under our carport, a couple of chickadee squatters work diligently to build a nest in a birdhouse placed there. They scold anyone who tries to get close to their home, then arrogantly sit in a nearby buckthorn and reprimand us again when the nearby bird feeder is depleted of sunflower seeds.  

Inside, seed catalogs are piled high on the table. All the windows in the house have been thrown open, allowing the scent of loamy soil and new mowed grass to perfume the air. After weeks of winter chill, it’s not hard to welcome spring.



Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Productivity Is Not a Synonym for Happiness

Everyone has stress. Stress is a response to challenges in life. And let's face it, a life without challenges would be dreary and boring.

If you’re a writer, stress manifests itself when you write and when you don’t. If the writing flows, we say we’re in the zone. When it stops, we agonize over how to kick-start ourselves. When we end a piece, we fuss over the editing process. And when we’re finally finished with it, we ponder whether our creation is worthy enough, then lapse into the insecurity of “what will we write next”?

I’ve decided, after a half-dozen books, there is no happy medium to getting the right balance in life that will relieve a writer’s stress level. But there are small things to ease our anxieties.

We all know we have to eat healthy and exercise, but there are other things to consider. One is to stay as organized as possible, and simplify routines, commitments, and clutter. A messy desk doesn’t cause us stress. Not finding the papers we need which are buried in a chaotic heap on our desks causes us to stress.

We also need to let go of multi-tasking and slow down. We’re in a society that says we can do it all. We want to write, but not upset our family’s routine or our commitments to others, so we rush, rush, rush. Maybe it’s time to go back to the single task philosophy our parents used. Maybe it’s time to streamline our time and eliminate unnecessary commitments. Instead of the mental “to do” list which stretches for miles in our mind, it’s time to write down a realistic “to do” list and only put down five essential tasks we want to complete in a given time.

And lastly, here is my favorite de-stressor idea. I’m giving myself permission to have free time for myself—whether it’s to do a hobby, read, travel, or just take time off from writing without guilt. Life doesn’t have to be about always accomplishing things—always placing the next word on the page. After all, productivity has never been a synonym for happiness.