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Monday, January 21

TRUTH AND SOLACE up for an Award! @JanaRichards_

Voting starts today for the finalists in the 2018 Paranormal Romance Guild's Reviewer's Choice Awards. My books have been nominated in two categories: Truth and Solace in the Y/A & N/A category and my Love at Solace Lake series in the Y/A & N/A series category. Yay! I'd love some votes so if you could slide on over to the PRG website, I'd be eternally grateful! You'll need to register with PRG before you can vote, but it's fast and easy. Voting ends January 29. Thank you in advance! 

Saturday, January 19

Friday, January 18

Looking Back, Looking Forward by @JanaRichards_

It’s 2019! The past year has flown by in a whirlwind of activity.

Writing-wise, 2018 was good to me. In 2018 I stretched as a writer and self-published four new books, three of them in a new series, and one a sequel to a formerly published book. It felt really good to be in total control of my writing from conception to sale (I’m a bit of a control freak that way).

Of course, total control means total responsibility. Preparing the book(s) (editing, cover design, formatting) and promotion is all on me. That’s why I’m taking a breather from self-publishing by publishing my next series with The Wild Rose Press. Just before Christmas I finished the final editing on CHILD OF MINE, the first book in my new Masonville series. As of this writing, I don’t yet have a release date, but I’ll keep you posted. I’m planning four books in this series and I’m hard at work on book 2 at the moment.

But now that I’ve had a taste of self-publishing, I won’t go back. I have ideas for other projects that I can’t wait to get started on.

Last January, I made a promise to myself that if I didn’t lose some weight I’d finally clean my closet of clothes that no longer fit but I’ve been holding on to in the hopes that someday I could wear them again. Unfortunately, I haven’t made any progress on losing weight, so I’m going to be losing some clothes instead. Sigh. But I won’t give up the battle of the bulge.

Over the past year I read 46 books, up from 27 in 2017. Yay! I didn’t quite meet my goal of 50, but I’m happy to have surpassed the previous total. The majority of the books I read, or listened to as audiobooks, were romance novels. While I love romance novels, my goal for 2019 is to expand my horizons a little and read in other genres as well. And I want to finally break the 50 book mark in 2019!

Speaking of goals for the new year, January is always the time when I look forward and plan. This year I’m hoping to try something a little different. I’ve always made goals and resolutions, but I didn’t always make a plan as to how I was going to bring these goals to fruition. So this year I’m planning for success.

I’m making goals in several areas of my life that I feel need improvement. For instance, I’m putting my ever-present goal of losing weight under Physical Goals. One of my goals in this category is to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, which experts say is the minimum an adult should get. Since I'm not doing that much now, I'll have to work up to 150 minutes. I'll write "Gym" in my handy-dandy desk calendar so that I have a tangible reminder staring me in the face every day, reminding me of the commitment I made to myself.

Many of my goals will need to be broken down into manageable bits that don’t feel overwhelming and un-doable. And like I said, a big component to meeting goals is scheduling time to get things done. I will write everything on my calendar – appointments, work at the day job, time for writing, time for the gym. When I go to the gym, for a walk or take in some other form of exercise, I’ll give myself a gold star. Since I'm not five, it feels a little ridiculous to give myself a gold star, but I’ve read it’s effective, and I know from experience that crossing items off a to-do list is very satisfying. I’ll let you know how things go.

I'm just beginning to put stuff on my calendar.

And I got my first sticker! I couldn't find gold stars so I got a gold heart.
On the writing front, I want to give myself a goal that is doable but still stretches me. For sure, I want to finish book 2 of my new series, and at the very least, I want to plot out the other two books in the series. I would like to finish writing the four books in this series by the end of 2020. I haven’t fully formed all my writing goals for 2019, but high on my list is writing a novella to go with the Love at Solace Lake series that I published this year. I have a couple of secondary characters who’ve been asking me to write their stories. And I really want to work on the time travel/fantasy/contemporary romance series that I started several years ago but haven’t moved forward with. So many ideas, so little time.

This post is getting a little long, so I’ll end by asking about your goals and hopes for 2019. What would you like to see happen in your life in 2019? Now I’m off to the Dollar Store to buy more stickers!

Wednesday, January 16

A Change of Heart

By Ava Cuvay
Ack! I'm posting this as I eat my dinner, kicking myself for nearly forgetting my blog day. It only happens once very few weeks, and Kristi even reminded me... and yet I still forgot.
Ugh. It's kinda representative of my life these past few weeks. Getting back into the swing of anything has been a real struggle for me. I haven't written a word in months. And neither am I making any progress on my second children's book. I'm also struggling with my role as a substitute teacher, and attempting a job search again to find something better fitting my skill set. But that venture has landed me nothing but rejection so far.
Basically, my heart just isn't into 2019 yet.
But, I'm not going to let it get me down for too long. Firstly, I am ever the optimist. Or at least a fatalistic it-can-only-get-better kind of person ;-) Also, I know my own mood swings. What is an unsurmountable obstacle one week is just a little speed bump the next. Whatever the reason I'm down now, I'll pout, feel sorry for myself, cry into my pillow, and then move on. Besides, I have waaay to many items on my To Do list to allow much time for a pity party.
Basically, my heart will change and 2019 will be awesome.
Speaking of a change of heart, my writer pal Melanie Jayne has a new book on pre-order, titled "A Change of Heart," (See what I did there? With the thematic tie in? Wow, I'm good. :-)
However, Melanie's "A Change of Heart" is less tortured than my own maudlin attitude. It's a slow burn, sweet adult romance that can be read as a stand alone, or as the latest installment of her Change Series. On pre-order with all e-retailers now until it's release date January 29th, "A Change of Heart" asks the question "Can a Crush Ever Die?" 
"Rick Khaled was the most beautiful man that I had ever seen and twenty-one years later, nothing had changed except I’m no longer fourteen and hiding in the shadows. Now, I’m a boss running my own construction crew, building his dream house. I barely have enough time to sleep let alone rekindle my teenage crush, but he is always around, asking things of me, making me want…him.

Lyricka Seaver is smart, talented, driven, and sexy as hell but the timing sucks. My life has been totally rearranged and I don’t know who I am. Gone are the days where I did as I please and answered to no one. When I look at this amazing woman, I forget about my responsibilities and I only want…her.

Surrendering has never been as sweet as when you have A Change of Heart."
Check out Melanie's "A Change of Heart" and I'll chat with you in a few weeks when my own will be turned around and I'll be back on top of the world. Until then, stay warm and safe!

Friday, January 11

Year End Analysis

Image result for make it happen2018 is a whisper in the wind and I have to say, I'm glad. For me, it wasn't the best year. Maybe not my worst year, but certainly, not in the top ten.

My word last year was actually a phrase, "Make it Happen". 

I have to admit that I didn't make a lot happen. Like a new year resolution, I find that picking a word ends within a few weeks. Sometimes, I remember randomly through the year, but not enough to "make it happen". That doesn't mean I won't be picking a word this year, though. I hear practice makes perfect.

Image result for one day in decemberLast year, I set a goal to read 50 books. I'm pleased to say that I surpassed that goal and read 65. The last book I read was one of my favorites for the year. It was Reese Witherspoon's book pick for December, and I have to say, she has good taste.

 On Christmas Eve, my brother-in-law passed out scratch tickets and I won $50. And then a week later I received a Christmas card from author Sophie Kinsella. Each year, Sophie holds a drawing in which she sends 100 cards out to her fans. I've entered the last couple of years, so when that green envelope showed up, I was thrilled. 
I have hope for 2019.

My word for the year is Proactivate. 

Image result for wonder twins activateI realize it's not really a word. But, I wanted to infuse "proactive" with a little wonder twin power. I think the word could become a mantra of sorts. At least for the rest of this week.

Seeing as I'm a master procrastinator, maybe I can take all that energy I spend avoiding things and turn it around.  2019 will tell.

As for my reading goal, I'm going with 60. And I'm doing Roni Loren's Read Wide challenge. 

I like the idea of getting to color a grid, although I think I'll add the title of the books in my grid as well. And I modified my chart to match my reading tastes and goals.

So, with this, I say goodbye to 2018 and welcome 2019 in which I've already read my first book of the year, The Au Pair by Emma Rous.  

Happy New Year! May 2019 bring us all serenity, joy, and moments of perfection.

Tuesday, January 8

Word for 2019 ~ AuthorKristina Knight

Hiya, WordWrangler Readers! We're back from our holiday break and we're so glad to have a fresh year filled with new plans and projects and things to chat with you about. I don't know about you, but 2018 wasn't not a year filled with perfect for me. 2018 was...a struggle. As most of you know, the line I wrote for at Harlequin closed in 2018, and that was very bittersweet. I've been reading Superromances since I was a teenager.

The depth and breadth of the books swept me away every time, and writing them? Was a dream come true. That was the first hit. The second hit happened when a magazine (digital) that I've written for for several years shuttered its doors. Now, the freelance gig wasn't the writing of my dreams but it paid a lot of bills. Between the two, I felt like this writing dream of mine was winking out. Taking a nap. Maybe a nap that I'd never wake from. It was...hard is the best word I can come up with. I had to reimagine what I wanted to do, non-fiction wise. I had to think about the books I really wanted to write for fiction. And I needed money to be coming in to pay those bills!

Freelance writing is a very shallow pool anymore. Although websites need content more than ever, there are so many people willing to write for less than a penny per word that finding those jobs that actually pay well is hard. And then there are the places that say they'll pay and then don't. It's a scary place. So my solution to the immediate money issue was the take a job outside the home. It's a part-time thing that replaces the monthly income that came from my freelance writing, and yet that still leaves me time to A) write and B) work on some freelance work and C) still do some graphics/formatting work that I've been doing for clients.

Once I was on more financially stable ground, it was time to start thinking about the writing. I love writing romance, but one things I particularly loved about writing for Superromance was the added depth of the stories - there was room for subplots, more personal growth arcs, more family/friend arcs. I adored that kind of writing and I wanted to do more of it. It was time to start making plans.

Those plans blossomed during a writing retreat I took with some friends in the fall, and since then, I've been making plans. Plans for querying, plans for writing, plans for more "big books", plans for romance books, and plans for women's fiction books because I feel like that is the next step I want to take. It's scary taking on new challenges...and that brings me to my word for 2019: it's Rise.

Rise because I got knocked down pretty hard in late 2017/2018. Rise because I'm not done writing. I have more stories to tell, but I need to find the venue in which to tell them. Rise because there is still more to be done.

Do you have a word for 2019?