New Year’s Resolutions You *Might* Have Kept



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow that we’re well into the year, how are you doing with those New Year’s Resolutions? I’ll share some I was sure I would keep…m
aybe. 

Possibly.

Okay, well, they might work for you, if not this year, then next year.

 

Easy:

  1. Don’t make any resolutions. You never keep them anyway, so why are we still talking about this?
  2. Pick one you can finish today. Put a check in the resolutions box. You did it! You kept one!
  3. Pick one you know won’t come up until December, such as finding a holiday gift for weird uncle Al. Then you’ll have 11 months to do it or forget about it, which is nearly as good.

Moderate:

  1. Give up something you like—but not too much—that’s bad for you. Love brownies? Not a good candidate. Only so-so about snickerdoodles? Perfect!401px-Red_wine_and_chocolate_pairing
  2. Give up something for a limited amount of time. I’m not sure I could give up chocolate or caramel for a week, but one day? Maybe. Five minutes? Sure.
  3. Be a better/nicer/more generous/etc., person. Depending on your personality and inclinations, this could be easy or hard or both, so I’m putting it in the middle.

Hard:

  1. Finish that book! You know the one. You’ve been rewriting the first three chapters for the last six years.Computer_keyboard
  2. Fill a 2016 Blessings jar. This one takes a bit of dedication, but the reward at the end of the year is worth it. Every time something wonderful, significant, happy, positive…you get the idea…happens, write it down on a slip of paper and put it in the jar. At the end of the year, read and recall each bright, shining moment—if you remembered to fill the jar throughout the year.
  3. Get organized! Yes, this should be in a category labeled “Impossible” but I refuse to go there, so it goes here. Every year. My best advice? Start small and work up.

I hope your year is going splendidly!

Cheers!

champagne-glasses

 

 

Celebrate ELIZA KNIGHT’S 50th Book!

Congratulations to my friend and fellow author, Eliza Knight, on her 50th book release!

Read on for the back cover copy, an excerpt and where to buy Eliza’s exciting new Scottish Historical Romance, Claimed by the Warrior.

Claimed by the Warrior
The Conquered Bride Series
Book 3
Releasing 3/31/16
He came to conquer…
 
A widower, Laird Torsten Mackenzie, has worked long and hard to regain the respect his clan deserved after his older brother turned traitorous. Even in death, Cathal’s  crimes remain a mar on Torsten’s conscience. Setting aside his grief, Torsten devotes his life to his people, and to his young, motherless daughter. When a rival clan attacks his lands unprovoked, he’s determined to put them in their place once and for all. Marching on their gates, he’s taken by surprise when Lady MacDonell steps through the opening instead of her wayward husband. Reacting impulsively, Torsten exacts his revenge by whisking her away.
 
But she laid claim to his heart…
 
Headstrong and fierce, Éabha MacDonell’s true nature has been buried for six long years in a marriage that fills her with shame, and has kept her tucked in the shadows. But the death of her husband, and being forced from the only home she’s ever known, brings freedom in a way she’d never imagined. Free to rediscover parts of herself she’d thought never to behold again—her love of art, her desire for children. But most of all, the tug at her heart, the warmth of a secret glance and the heat of a passionate embrace.
 
In the arms of her captor, Éabha’s more liberated than she’s ever been before and Torsten might just have found the one person who can make him whole again.
 
BUY LINKS:
 
EXCERPT:

Damned MacDonells.

Why the hell did those bloody fools have to keep raiding? Had they not yet learned their lesson?

Laird Torsten Mackenzie crouched just out of arrow’s reach from the high, thick walls of the MacDonell’s castle. The fortress loomed up in the moonlight, but despite its fortifications, he planned to breach it this very night. A promise he’d made the last time the bastards had dared to cross onto his land.

Torsten was certain he’d been clear that any further raids on his lands would not be tolerated. Another raid from the MacDonells was a declaration of war, he’d even put it in writing so the imbeciles would not be confused. Yet, despite his warnings, the arseholes had done so again, trampling crops, burning crofter’s homes, beating tenants and violating women.

Rage lanced hot through Torsten’s veins. He gripped the reins tighter, his body stiffened, and his mount, Lucifer, tossed his head in irritation. When he got ahold of Donald MacDonell, that sorry excuse for a laird, he was going to beat him to a bloody pulp, until the last of his breath escaped and his face was unrecognizable.

His warhorse snorted and Torsten loosened his grip, concentrating his fury on the castle just beyond.

“My laird?”

Torsten glanced at Little Rob, his second-in-command, a man not so little in personality or size. He, too, had steel-studded leather armor covering his leine shirt, his green and blue plaid muted in the darkness.

“Wait.” Torsten glowered at the wall and keep, imagining the men inside celebrating their latest raid, and reliving every horrifying moment. Well, Torsten, wasn’t celebrating, and his people surely weren’t. They were trying to pick up the pieces of their lives, while desperately trying not to relive it. Donald MacDonell had better start praying now, for Torsten would show no mercy.

 

About the Author:
Eliza Knight is a USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author of sizzling historical romance and time-travel erotic romance. Under the name E. Knight, she pens riveting historical fiction. She runs the award-winning blog, History Undressed. When not reading, writing and researching, she likes to cuddle up in front of a warm fire with her own knight in shining armor. Visit Eliza at www.elizaknight.com or www.historyundressed.com

HIGHLANDER Giveaway Hop Winner!

Highlander Giveaway Hop_2013_smCongratulations, Susan Poll! You’re my winner! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd thanks to everyone who commented. I hope you had a great time participating in the blog hop.

If you haven’t joined my mailing list, you’re missing out on contests I run just for my subscribers, plus exclusive news and excerpts from my books.  

Do you see that little blue box with the Newsletter envelope at the top right of the page? Click there to join the fun!

 

V is for Virtual Assistant

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cThis month, as I did last year, I’m participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge. The first post is A, the next is B and so on every day this month, except Sundays. Last year, my theme was Scotland. This year, my theme is The Writing Life. Check back here every day this month to follow along and find out what I’ve learned in the last year. For instance:

V is for Virtual Assistant.  As your writing career progresses, you’re going to get busy.  You think you’re busy now?  Ha! Just wait.  You can’t write fast enough for the slowest of your readers.  And even if you could, you couldn’t do that and do all the promoting and social networking required in our profession nowadays.  

adminThe answer?  Hire a virtual assistant.  There’s nothing virtual about them, of course.  They’re a real person.  They just happen to live in another town, or state, or country.  Or they might live across the street.  But they take care of things you don’t enjoy doing or just don’t have the time to do.  They might start out as a college student majoring in writing who can do an internship for credit.  They might be someone who works part-time for several writers, and that can include you.  Some authors have worked with the same virtual assistant for so long that they are now the VA’s only client.  

Whatever you need — a few hours a month or full-time support — you can find help.  Believe me, a good virtual assistant is worth every penny.

T is for Tools

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cThis month, as I did last year, I’m participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge. The first post is A, the next is B and so on every day this month, except Sundays. Last year, my theme was Scotland. This year, my theme is The Writing Life. Check back here every day this month to follow along and find out what I’ve learned in the last year. For instance:

T is for Tools.  Whether your tools are real or virtual, they will make your writing life easier and more productive.  Here are some you will want to add if you don’t have them by now:

Red BooksReference books such as dictionaries, a thesaurus, baby name books, grammar and punctuation texts

Craft books on writing, world building,

Useful websites (check my Links page), including your favorite search engines

Excellent word processing or manuscript composition software such as Word, Pages, Scrivener

Social media force multipliers such as Hootsuite for Twitter and Facebook

Foreign language dictionaries

550px-NZL_orthographic_NaturalEarth.svgMaps, atlases, or Google Earth and map software such as Mapquest, Google maps, or even Apple maps

Pictures of the locations in your book, or that look like the fictional places you’ve made up

If you write historical novels, histories, biographies, books for children on how things were back then (trust me – the explanations are usually clearer and provide more of the kind of information you need than wading scholarly tomes — unless you just enjoy wading through scholarly tomes)

Broadband internet (how can you do online research without it?)

ID-100131568Post-it notes, multicolored post-it flags, paperclips, a good supply of red pens – or bright blue pens – ink that will show up on the page so you can find your edits

To-do list notepads

And last, but not least, chocolate!Chocolate-Bar

 

 

 

O is for Opportunity

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cThis month, as I did last year, I’m participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge. The first post is A, the next is B and so on every day this month, except Sundays. Last year, my theme was Scotland. This year, my theme is The Writing Life. Check back here every day this month to follow along and find out what I’ve learned in the last year. For instance:

O is for Opportunity. As with any other profession, those who work hard prepare to take advantage of opportunities that come their way.  For authors, that means writing, writing, writing.  But it takes a lot more than writing to be a successful author these days.  For example:

Build a brand by having a website and being active on social media.

Practice your 20-second elevator speech (your bio, book description, whatever you need) until you can recite it in your sleep.

Rehearse your agent and editor pitch until you’re sure they’ll be so impressed, they’ll just have to buy your book.

Attend conferences and network with other authors.

Make sure your book is as close to perfectly edited and formatted as you can make it before it’s published.

Then, when the chance to pitch your book, meet an author you love to read, or collaborate with other authors on a promotion project comes along, you’ll be ready. 

Check out the other authors doing the A to Z Challenge this month!

N is for Newsletter

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cThis month, as I did last year, I’m participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge. The first post is A, the next is B and so on every day this month, except Sundays. Last year, my theme was Scotland. This year, my theme is The Writing Life. Check back here every day this month to follow along and find out what I’ve learned in the last year. For instance:

newsletterN is for Newsletter.  Yes, I have one.  I’d love for you to join my newsletter mailing list.  You’ll get first crack at contests, exclusive content, and cool developments I haven’t shared anywhere else.  I only publish once a month, so your inbox won’t be inundated – at least not by me.  But you will be in the know, which is a great place to be.  If you haven’t already clicked one of the links above, click here!

Why do authors write newsletters?  For a variety of reasons, but here are a few:

A newsletter lets us share exclusive content with readers who really want to know about us and our books.

A newsletter lets us reward readers who really want to know about us and our books with exclusive contests, book excerpts, previews, and news before anyone else gets access to them.

A newsletter mailing list tells us who our most devoted fans are – the people who love our books and who help us get the word out when we have a new release or an exciting development to share.

If that sounds like fun to you, join my newsletter mailing list!

To see who else is Blogging from A to Z this month, click here.