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.
I'm starting the new year with some good news that I can't share just yet. But soon! Meanwhile, I'm eagerly awaiting release day on my new series coming from Entangled Amara. The Love Unexpected Series starts with Adam and Meg who get to know completely different sides of each other.
I ended 2017 on such a high note with MORE THAN FRIENDS, my first Entangled release and now, I feel like I'm coming absolutely full circle. My lovely friend and amazing writer, Jennifer Shirk is also releasing this month and we are planning to celebrate together. Watch our Facebook pages and newsletters for more information on how you can get in on the fun and win books.
Kinsley just wanted to have some fun for a change. Then she wakes up in a stranger’s bed, with her bridesmaid dress on backward and a hazy memory of what happened at her friend’s wedding. With a quick escape, she can get back to her predictable life. But then she meets her new boss—the same guy she’d woken up next to—and seeing him with a clear head doesn’t make him any less attractive.
Mixing business with pleasure has never been Damon’s style, and easily avoided, but the hotel he just bought comes with an unexpected perk—its manager. “Sensible” Kinsley today is as alluring as “impulsive” Kinsley was the night before, and she talks him into a deal. If she can turn around the hotel by the end of summer, he won’t tear it down to put up a more profitable condominiums.
Their plan is simple…until falling for each other becomes more than they bargained for.
Welcome!!! Happy Holidays fellow readers! I'm so excited to be taking part in the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Hop. It's so fun to see what everyone else does and gives away. Hope you get some awesome prizes. Be sure to enter the draw for mine!
I am both a contemporary romance author and a cozy mystery (with a dash of romance) author. My books are on the sweet side and I especially love to write holiday stories.
To celebrate the hop, I'm going to share some of my Christmas traditions via my favorite Christmas poem! Enjoy and have a wonderful, happy holiday.
'Twas the week before Christmas,
And all through the house,
There's trimmings and trappings,
And a spirit you can't douse.
The presents are wrapped
Tucked under the tree
And every night we settle in
for A Hallmark movie.
Our children are wired
Like cats on caffeine
Watching every Christmas show
We have already seen
There's squares and cookies
Red and green krispee treats
It all tastes so good
Who needs to see their feet?
We hang with the in-laws,
The cousins, and good friends,
We stamp every envelope for
The cards we might send.
Late nights and good food,
Blissful moments in the cold
Traditions might be ancient
But, they never get old.
Christmas Eve at home
They all come right here
Then Christmas Day we go
To my parents, quite near.
I welcome it each year
This holiday season
I love it so much,
But then for some reason,
I feel a bit blue
As the days start to fade
I hang on fiercely
To the memories we've made.
Merry Christmas to all
Wishing you the best
May you be a lucky winner,
In this hop book-fest.
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