Approaching Mid Year, How Is 2017 Treating You?

How’s the year been treating you? In my corner of the world, we’re heading into winter. I’m braced for cold winds and, hopefully, a lot of rain. We’re desperately behind in our rainfall. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, you’ll have summer plans. If any rain sneaks into them, just send it south to me, please!

Book-wise, 2017 has been treating me really well. My writing and publishing schedule is on track (Fire Fall will be out May 26) and I’ve read some great books. Plus, on May 30, I finally get to read the sequel to Ilona Andrews’ Burn For Me. I’ve been waiting for White Hot for over a year!

In the wider world (there’s a world outside of books, who’d a thought? 😉 ) there’s been some desperately sad world news and the politicians are frustrating, but the everyday kindness of the people I encounter is a positive, life-affirming balance.

I haven’t done anything radical – like colour my hair in unicorn rainbow fashion, which is a real thing and I’m hugely tempted to try. It would finally make my grey hair an asset. I bet it would show off the dye beautifully. Still, I’m a bit too shy. But even without doing anything radical, I’m happy and healthy, and I hope you are too.

Happy Mid Year!

Kindle Unlimited Discoveries

Read It FREE in Kindle Unlimited, May 8-21

So many great books in this promotion – and the best thing with my Kindle Unlimited subscription is that I can read them ALL without breaking my book budget.

amanda m lee, kindle unlimitedI recently picked up The Bigfoot Blunder by Amanda M. Lee. It’s the first book in her new Charlie Rhodes series, which is a spin-off from her hugely successful Wicked Witches of the MidWest series.

I enjoy the escapism of Ms Lee’s novels. There’s a mystery in each, but it’s mild. The real charm is in the cast of characters, their banter and the easy-read entertainment. It’s like a favourite TV sitcom: I just have to sit down and enjoy.

As an author, I’m impressed by how Ms Lee has handled moving on from her incredibly successful series. The number of adventures one character can have without getting stale (unless they’re Nancy Drew) is often limited, especially if there’s not a powerful growth arc (quest) driving the series. By starting a new heroine with a new focus (not a witch), but linking her to an established town and characters, I think Ms Lee has found the best of all worlds: new and fresh, within an established fictional town, with plenty of cameos from beloved characters.

Free for Everyone on Amazon

Demelza Carlton’s writing some fabulous fairytale retellings. Awaken, a tale of Sleeping Beauty with an intriguing twist, is free till May 12.

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Brief Detour Into Art

I recently, randomly, started following a Twitter account for Alfred Sisley, the long-dead Impressionist painter, which has reminded me how much I love that style. Do you have a favourite artist or style? Any art sites that you look at? I subscribe to the newsletter ArtDaily, but lately, haven’t been reading it daily. Sometimes I think we need two lifetimes to fit in everything – or maybe three lifetimes! So I guess, if I was to make any new mid-year resolutions, it would be to squeeze in a little more time just to sit and look at beautiful things.

Friday is the Final Day to Grab STORM ROAD for 99c. Plus Other Stuff!

Just in case you’ve missed me being noisy and annoying (or that’s how promoting a book feels to me) then this is a final reminder to pick up my new release, Storm Road, while it’s 99c during its release week, which ends on Friday April 14 (I was a bit generous in my definition of a week 😉 ).

Storm Road  – a Gothic thriller, mystery and suspense as a woman with secrets allies with a former marine to defeat a Civil War ghoul.

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y2M2MR9/

It remains FREE to read in Kindle Unlimited.

If You Swear, Here Are Some Options

In real life, I … um … swear. Quite a bit. Sometimes about politics *wry smile* But in my books, I often want a word that isn’t too harsh, yet still expresses a character’s feelings. Here are some “polite” swearwords.

Have You Ever Made Beer Bread?

I’ve never even tasted beer bread, but I’m curious. I’ve found a recipe for it, Honey Beer Bread, and I might try it once the weather cools. Any tips? Do you have a tried and tested recipe for beer bread?

Happy Easter!

Since I won’t have another newsletter going out before Sunday, I want to wish you an early Happy Easter! May you have a peaceful weekend filled with sunshine and chocolate.

I think most countries celebrate Easter with chocolate bunny rabbits and eggs. Well, here in Australia we just have to do things differently. We still have the bunnies, but we also have bilbies.

My big plan for this weekend is to eat chocolate while reading. Doesn’t that sound good?

Her Robot Wolf

Next week I’m diving into Her Robot Wolf. Jaya (the heroine) is proving interesting. I’ve invented her profession – starship shaman – and now I have to work out what she does! Or rather, how she does it. Twisting science and magic together is tricky. You never know if everything will explode! Not that Jaya wants to make things explode … although, with Vulf kidnapping her, it would serve him right if she exploded something on his ship, Orion.

Oh, and wait till you meet his ship’s A.I. (artificial intelligence). Ahab is a hoot! Imagine Jeeves (the butler PG Wodehouse wrote), but as a disembodied, interfering starship command.

You might be able to guess that I’m really excited to be writing Her Robot Wolf.

Remember! Pick up your copy of Storm Road today for 99c. It goes full price at the end of Friday April 14.

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Romance Promotions for March & Other News

Can there ever be too much news? Please read on till the end – I’m saving the best for last 🙂

I have books in two romance promotions this week.

The first promotion runs throughout March and is for romance novels with a science fiction or fantasy flavour (including urban fantasy) all of which are in Kindle Unlimited. Check out the titles at Romance in March.

The second are 100 romance titles between 99c and $2.99. It’s the March Book Fair! It’s on till March 10.

 

Eating Habits

Actually, this can apply to more than eating, but it’s a thought that has been lingering since I watched the Tour de France back in July (I watch it for the scenery – dreaming I’m in France in summer while its winter here). The commentators were talking about the riders and they said something about how the competitors eat for tomorrow’s exertions.

It was a lightbulb moment for me. I’ve always tended to think of food as something earned. So I can have chocolate cake because I’ve just scrubbed the bathroom, for example. But when I think about what I want to do tomorrow, then that is far more likely to encourage me to forgo the cake and eat something healthy so that I’m feeling fit to tackle my ever-expanding To-Do List.

I’m still trying to change my thinking and eat for tomorrow. I’d actually be really happy to simply eat well right now. Do you eat with the past or the future in mind?

Kindle Unlimited Discoveries

Sacrifice is a book I met when it was still in its egg, so to speak (and punning off the cover). Gwendolyn Beynon is a friend, and an immensely talented author. She did extensive research for the Welsh setting.  For fantasy readers, and especially, dragon lovers.

 

Contest Winner

Kate S won the $100 gift card from the Dreaming of Unicorns contest.

Thank you to everyone who entered. It was fascinating to learn which mythological creatures people most want to meet: dragons and unicorns, and rarer beasts like kitsune.

… and I’ve saved the best for last!

Secrets of Mindful Beauty is out today!

Secrets of Mindful Beauty by Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd and Jessica Moncrieff-Boyd is my critique partner’s brilliant new book, written with her daughter.

If you think the answer to anti-aging and looking good comes from a jar, a salon, or a surgical procedure: think again. The best beauty treatment is in your own mind.

Did you know

Depression can give you wrinkles
Insomnia can cause sagging skin
Anxiety can increase reddening and skin rashes
Stress can result in acne and hair loss
and much more?

Discover the secrets of mindful beauty. Lose your permanent frown. Smooth your worried brow without Botox. Turn your sag lines into smile lines. These age-defying techniques have been specially created for a happier, more beautiful you.

Mindful beauty is a way of applying the practices of mindfulness to our physical health and well-being. Many of our routines around beauty lend themselves to mindfulness, and this will not only enhance the experience, but also have ongoing positive beautifying effects by reducing the stress and anxiety that can affect how we look and feel.

For me, The Secrets of Mindful Beauty is summed up in one line toward the end of the book: “Practicing mindfulness is a way of cultivating grace.”  This is a book about the art of being at peace in the present moment, moving positively through the world, quieting your negative thoughts and treasuring all the good that is in you. It suggests strategies for achieving mindfulness in the simple practices of our daily beauty routines: self-care, physically and mentally.

I read the book on my old kindle, so I’m not sure I got the full benefit of photographer Steve Fraser’s beautiful images.

The Secrets of Mindful Beauty is a delight. It provides a non-scary way of bringing mindfulness into our daily lives.

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Mindful-Beauty-Revolutionary-Techniques-ebook/dp/B01MPW8KO8/ 

Summer of Magic Blog Hop

Contest Closed: Congrats to our grand prize winner, Missy Geni.

Happy 4th of July! To those in the northern hemisphere, have a gorgeous summer! To those of us freezing in the south, here’s a way to warm up!

A $75 gift card and other fabulous prizes are part of the fun of the Summer of Magic Blog Hop. Enter today for your chance to win! Contest closes July 10.

dh8Hold everything, don’t click away yet! I’m offering a free copy of my first Collegium paranormal romance, Demon Hunter, to the first ten people to comment on this post. Just tell me which e-format you’d prefer to read it in and Steve is all yours!

Teaser

Also, now’s your chance to pick up my latest Collegium release, Plague Cult, for only 99c (till July 10). A lonely hearts club plague threatens a small Texas town. This story has it all – family drama, new lovers, and a ghost!

And finally, don’t feel to sorry for me living in winter. This is winter in Perth!

Down by the river.

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And at the beach. It’s a tough life!

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