I love strolling around our local used and new bookstores. As much as I'm there for the books, I enjoy finding bookish treasures as well.
With conference season coming (here?) a lot of authors are talking about swag. These are the little tokens of appreciation that are handed out, like bookmarks, pens, cups, that sort of thing. As authors, we wonder what to give away and as readers, we love to get our hands on anything that relates to our favorite books or story tellers.
Even if I wasn’t an author, I’d be obsessed with bookish items. Below is the top of my laptop. You can see I’m a fan of Rainbow Rowell and Alice in Wonderland.
The cool bookish pillows I've collected.
Our house is littered with bookish items, including my Alice in Wonderland writing gloves, my oldest’s multiple Shannon Messenger prints, my youngest’s Peter Pan and Star Wars quote pillows. We love words. Seeing them decorate the space around us is a joy so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite sites for finding our treasures.
The first is Redbubble. I LOVE REDBUBBLE. Mostly because you can find ANYTHING on there (or at least, anything I’ve been looking for). I’ve gotten several posters, pillow covers, pillows, and computer decals there.
For art prints, we generally shop Society 6. This site has so many things to offer and every piece feels unique. My heart tree by Shannon Messenger is one of my favorite purchases from there.
Another is Hot Topic. The one closest to us is actually a little annoying because (cue the I’m old newsflash) they play their music SO loud. It’s crazy. And usually some sort of thrash metal mixed with squealing squirrels or something. It’s not pleasant. However, if I can tolerate it long enough to dig through their sticker bin, I’ve found some awesome pins and decals that are connected to our favorite stories. They also have a ton of clothing, Pop Funkos (are we just not calling these bobble heads anymore?), and great accessories like Harry Potter socks!
I’m a big fan of Storyarts but I do find, at the moment, it’s limited. My Alice in Wonderland writing gloves were a gift from my bestie and I adore them (and her). It sounds funny (my mom thought I was a weirdo for wanting them) but my fingers and wrists get really cold while I write so I wear them and magic happens (just kidding, I wear them and I’m not as cold). They have items more geared toward the classics. Their stuff is elegant and timeless.
If I’m making something, I prefer sites like Zazzle or Shutterfly. There’s also a used bookstore in our town that is a trove of bookish treasure. My daughters bought a big portion of their Harry Potter trinkets there. I love discovering little stores and shops that carry unique gifts or items I can enjoy and share.
Do you have any bookish collections (other than books)?
After reading a wonderful book last year, Write Naked by Jennifer Probst, I started thinking about my own writing journey, the words I put down on the page, and how I perceive my own accomplishments. Anyway, I wrote an article about it and was super thrilled that it got published on the Manhattan Book Review Site. You can check it out with the link below.
I've been on spring break for the last two weeks. I actually just typed years...because that's what happens when you're on a break. Your brain stops working. It's been awesome and in fourteen weeks, I'm going to do it again. For ten weeks.
It's hard for me to transition from break back to work. Not just because I'm a little lazy, but I really like staying home with my family, staying up too late reading, spending the days alternating between writing and watching Friends on Netflix. I'm, unfortunately, one of those people who think that obsessing over time can actually allow me to control it.
Alas, I am not a wizard. I am also not rich, so back to work I go. We're working on "changing our mindset" in my house. A house full of girls/women who all have anxiety makes for some interesting fun for my husband (don't worry, he has craft beer), but we're going into the last part of the school year with the goal of being more positive, seeing things differently, and focusing on what's actually happening rather than what might happen. What does this mean? It means we're going to try to be more grateful. I am grateful. Let me just say that up front. I'm incredibly grateful for everything I have. The top of that list includes a family and friends, a roof over my head, and a good job, along with a pretty decent writing hobby. But I'm not actively grateful, if that makes sense.
For me, and hopefully my daughters, it means we're going to devote more active time each day thinking about the things that make us happy and lucky. Changing conversations to realize, in Old Dominion's words, "It's what I have, not what I had", or in our case, what we wish we had or worry we might have. I'm not going to list all the things that make me grateful on a personal level, but I thought it would be nice to share some of the things that have made my spring break great, outside of my family and Netflix. So, channeling my inner Jimmy Fallon, here's my own version of "Thank You Notes".
Thomas Rhett, for being adorably in love with your wife and having great lyrics. Very helpful while I'm writing books with mushy, romantic moments.
Cadbury mini eggs for making me feel like I'm only eating a little bit-- it says MINI right in the name. And for being this amazingly delicious burst of chocolate in a candy coated shell.
Facebook for giving me somewhere to turn when I'm easily distracted and need to write all the words.
Book contracts for getting me out of having to help clean out the garage with my family this break. Seriously. Thank you.
Diet Pepsi for keeping me awake and tasting good.
That's all for now. Lots more to be thankful for, but you get the idea. Have a wonderful April everyone.
Lindsey Duga is one of my agency AND publishing house mates. A while back, I had the pleasure of reading one of her stories. I have no doubt that this debut is the first of many excellent books you're all going to enjoy! Congratulations Lindsey!
Let us know what you think of the cover for Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga, which releases July 3, 2018!
This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled Teen.
About Kiss of the Royal:
In the war against the Forces of Darkness, the Royals are losing. Princess Ivy is determined to end this centuries-long conflict once and for all, so her new battle partner must succeed where the others failed. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword, enhanced by Ivy’s magic Kiss, should make them an unstoppable pair—but try convincing Zach of that. Prince Zach has spent his life preparing for battle, but he would rather be branded a heretic than use his lips as nothing more than a way to transfer magic. A kiss is a symbol of love, and love is the most powerful weapon they have—but try convincing Ivy of that. With the fate of their world on the line, the battlefield has become a testing ground, and only one of them can be right. Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan—but try convincing their hearts of that.
Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga today!
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled Publishing
About Lindsey Duga:
Lindsey Duga is a middle grade and young adult writer with a passion for fantasy, science fiction, and basically any genre that takes you away from the real world. She wrote her first novel in college while she was getting her bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University. Other than writing and cuddling with her morkie puppy, Delphi, Lindsey loves catching up on the latest superhero TV show and practicing yoga.
It's taken a while for me to figure out what my perfect Sunday is. It used to be making sure we were busy and on the go-- friends to see, things to do. But as this weekend comes to a close, I've realized it's much simpler to make me happy now than years ago. I have less desire to see everyone and do everything. I still don't like to be stuck doing absolutely nothing, but I'm finding an inner sort of peace in taking a break from pushing myself so hard.
This morning I wrote one chapter. One. Of one book. Four years ago, I would have written a minimum of two or three on three or four different books. Because I needed to make something happen. I'm not sure what made me realize I'm missing all of the things that are happening by waiting for them to, but I'm glad I clued in.
So what's happened this Sunday? Not a whole lot and it has been lovely. My daughters and I listened to Old Dominion (on repeat), did some chores and ventured out to Walmart. For the rest of the day we're going to just hang and wait for my husband to come home and BBQ some chicken (for me) and steak (for the rest of them). We'll probably watch an episode of Friends while working on one of the Disney puzzles we bought.
I thought, for a long time, that I was waiting for more-- something exciting or "bigger". I have no idea what, but I used to feel like if I wasn't busy, I was somehow letting myself down. Not being productive enough. But learning to balance the busy with the breaks is making a positive impact. There's this amazing happiness that sort of washes over you when you stop waiting for the next thing and focus on be grateful for right now.
Tomorrow I'll probably find a dozen ways to make myself busier than I need to be, but for tonight, I'm curling up and taking a break.
It feels strange, after the hustle and bustle of Christmas and my latest release, LET IT BE ME, for it to already be the end of February. I've barely gotten used to writing 2018. I'm really happy with the books I released last year and am so happy that people enjoyed them.
So what will 2018 bring? Well, next month (or next week if you're keeping track of the calendar) I'll be giving away the second Cooper & Ellie story via my newsletter. I released their first story, SOME KIND OF CHRISTMAS, in November. This new story, SOME KIND OF LOVE, is about both of them being ready to take their relationship to the next level.
Those of you who read my books know that I'm a closed door sort of writer. Which made writing a book where the character's main goal was to sleep with her boyfriend a little difficult. But I think I pulled it off and stayed true to my style. You can sign up for my newsletter here and you'll get your instafreebie link on March 1st. I'm eagerly waiting to see my cover for it, which is being designed by the lovely Tanya Baikie.
What then? I'm in the middle of edits (a.k.a rewrites) for book 2 in the LOVE UNEXPECTED series: NEVER EXPECTED YOU. This is Stella and Zach's story and I'm really hopeful people will enjoy it. Hard not to enjoy a hot, former army sergeant veterinarian who comes home and falls in love with the lovely and jaded small town woman who is just trying to keep her head above water. This one releases on September 24th, 2018. I'm doubly excited about this date because my good friend, Christina Hovland, is also releasing her book that day with Entangled. You guys are going to LOVE her book.
After that, I'll be sharing a release date with another author (and friend) that I absolutely adore; Sarah Fox. We are both releasing cozy mysteries. It'll be my first, but not hers. If you haven't read any of her stories, you really should. Sarah and I are trying to hang out on our Facebook page: Cozily Ever After. Come check it out.
In between edits and writing, I've been working on proposals for new books and developing ideas that I hope, one day, come to life. It'll be a big chunk of time between sharing my Cooper and Ellie story and my next official release, so in the words of Glass Tiger, "Don't forget me when I'm gone", because I will definitely be back.
The celebration for LET IT BE ME continues with a Facebook takeover on Wit & Wonder Crazy House tomorrow evening at 8:00 EST. I'll be doing games and prizes and offering sneak peeks. Please come join in the fun. Speaking of prizes...I'm running a giveaway (yes, again) for the next couple of weeks. Easy rafflecopter sign up below.
Join me again on Thursday, back at Wit & Wonder, to celebrate Addison Cole's newest release. There are great authors and more prizes. The only thing better than books is prizes...and more books. Or books as prizes!!!
And since parties are so fun...I'll be part of the Bliss author takeover on Facebook next week. Check out my events page for other places I'll be hanging out online.
Today is the day. LET IT BE ME is the first book in a new series about LOVE UNEXPECTED. All of these characters are not expecting to find their other half in quite the way they do. I hope you'll enjoy the town of Brockton Point, Maine and the people you'll meet there. Come visit me on USA TODAY'S Happily Ever After blog today!!
LOVE UNEXPECTED SERIES from Entangled Publishing
Jennifer Shirk and I are still running our rafflecoppter giveaway to celebrate the release of both of our books. Easy to enter, just click on the link below. Watch for more news about MORE giveaways next week when LET IT BE ME hits stores.
Stop by Jennifer Shirk's and my own Facebook page tomorrow for a chance to win a signed paperback copy of EACH of our new releases!
To celebrate both of our releases this month (both of us are starting a new series so it's very exciting) we'll be doing a rafflecopter draw for a $25.00 amazon gift card! Feel free to share.