Thursday, April 28, 2016

Making time for silence - by Magdalena Scott

One morning last week I woke up early, fixed my daily mug of French Press coffee, and sat in the windowseat gazing east. I'm in town and don't have a clear view of sunrise, but as I sat there silently, I was able to watch a new day begin, as the sky grew more and more light.
And the birds were singing! Because my apartment faces a super busy street, it's easy to forget there are birds living in the few trees. The only ways to be reminded of that are to park under one of the trees (if you get my meaning), or to get up early enough that the daily traffic noise hasn't begun. By 7:00 a.m. or so, you can forget hearing birdsong.

I have a habit of turning on my radio first thing in the morning. My air conditioner and heater are both noisy. So most days any sounds of nature are lost to me until I go out to walk.

I'm so impressed by people who work long hours plus commutes, have major family and civic obligations, and still make time (I don't think "finding" time works) for silence. 

I recently visited with one such woman, who said sometimes she just sits in a lawn chair and does nothing. She intentionally sets time aside to let her mind relax a bit. Weather permitting, she's outdoors listening to the birds, watching the rabbits, letting nature heal her soul and spirit. I have no doubt that's one reason she gets so much accomplished and has such a good outlook. 

There are always plenty of things calling us to go here, do this. Busy-ness seems to be a badge of honor in our society. But constant going, doing, texting, emailing, working...doesn't give our bodies, minds and spirits time to rejuvenate.

I hope to get better at making time for silence. Is this something you find easy, or challenging? Do you have tips for the rest of us, on how to set quiet time aside on a regular basis? If so, please share in the comments.


Magdalena Scott is a USA Today Bestselling Author. Her new series is Serendipity, Indiana: small town sweet romance and women's fiction. Click here to visit Magdalena's website, sign up for her newsletter, and read about her two series.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hello from new member

So most people on the blog here have no idea who I am. So I'll start at the beginning.
I'm Victoria Pinder.
I'm so excited that I joined this group.
My life is changing so much and joining a sweet romance is the next step in the journey.
In 2014 I married my wonderful husband and published two books the week of the wedding. It was quite hectic.

2015 I flew to the other end of the world and visited Iran. I could spend all day talking about what a great time I had. (The picture is me in the ancient sacked city of Persepolis.)

And now in 2016, I'm having a baby. My life is becoming more settled. And with that I've been reading more sweet romances than I had before.
I never wrote or read much of the other end of things anyhow. So when I joined these amazing ladies, I was so excited. For writing I always tried to stay in the middle. I don't like going to either end, but if I can't be a centrist, then I'm much happier just talking about the process of falling in love.
For most of my life, I never believed I'd truly experience anything beyond romance novels. I was quite okay with being single. Then things changed. So I'm changing and in a different place.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

My Winnings in Vegas—BOOKS!

Last week, I attended my 12th RT BOOKLOVERS CONVENTION held this year in Vegas. I don’t gamble, so the casino atmosphere wasn’t appealing, but surrounded by free books, bags and swags, I couldn’t contain my giddiness. I mailed home three boxes of books that wouldn't fit into my suitcases. Oh, the joy of reading non-stop for hours, discovering new authors and intrigued by mesmerizing plot twists. Wait! I have writing deadlines, research to do and promotions to set up. Big sigh.

Things are about to get creative if I’m to finish my upcoming release while reading Unoma Nwankwor’s He Changed My Name, oh and then there is Lenora Worth’s story in the Spring Brides anthology. Okay, what about Fried Pickles and the Fuzz by Calico Daniels? I feel a surge of energy.

By the way, I give away a lot of my goodies: inspirational books to a community youth outreach ministry; a mixture of genres to a former coworker, family and friends, and if my boxes arrive within the next week, I would like to give away a bundle to a book-a-holic. Leave a comment and your name will go into my drawing. This offer ends Monday night at midnight CDT.

Are you a voracious reader? How many books do you read in a week? If you’re an author, how do you get in your reading?

Pat Simmons is an award-winning and national bestselling author with 30 Christian titles. Her newest release is EVERY WOMAN NEEDS A PRAYING MAN. Look for JET in this spring and LOVE LED BY THE SPIRIT in the fall. 

Learn more about her books at

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Mother's Day Riddle

Mommy and daddy were so happy with the news, they painted me in a pale Dogwood hue on the walls of the nursery, representing sweet innocence and comfort. Hand embroidered roseate bunnies adorn a plush soft Peruvian pearl canopy draped over the cradle. I feel really important at night when daddy smiles down over me and gives butterfly kisses, tucking me around his pride and joy.  With the toddling of a new era, I provide a cute design of Panglossian polka-dots and Fuschsia flowers, scattered on a dress that mommy made with tender loving care. I swirl about as the little girl plays spin around the room modeling for her daddy, punch colored ribbon’s from a barrette sweep across her porcelain face.

               At eleven, the little girl changed her walls to Resounding Rose with trim of Coral Island. At thirteen, she is sent to wash her face when daddy sees his little girl wearing a bolder version of me, a hot Hema on her lips and Bold Brick blush. At seventeen, I hear mom crying when she sees the handmade prom dress, in my Quaint Peche shade, tossed to the floor. A stomping demand for a store bought dress with my darker shade heating her cheeks. Victorious she spins around the room showing a dress with a plunging neck line, but daddy’s face turns a shade of Mellow Coral. The night she leaves for prom daddy finds mommy in her Resounding Rose room grasping the hand embroidered Peruvian pearl canopy, she hand stitched me into, for her baby all those years ago.

What am I?

Ciara Knight is a USA Today and Amazon Bestselling author who writes 'A Little Edge and A Lot of Heart' that span the heat scales. Her popular sweet romance series, Sweetwater County (rated PG), is a small town romance full of family trials, friendly competition, and community love.

I'm excited to share my new release, In All My Years, available now.

Kathleen Baker fled Riverbend, TN in the middle of the night to escape her mafia, drug running husband. She also left behind the man she loved. Now, Ten years later, Kathleen returns to Riverbend, the one place she’d ever felt at home. After a letter arrives, Kathleen realizes her husband is still alive. With her past now in the present, Kathleen’s future is in jeopardy. 

Colum Harrow kicked his nephew out of his home so that he’d move on with his life and stop moping around the house over a lost love. Unfortunately, he was unable to follow his own advice, and has lived in isolation for years with the guilt he had failed to protect the woman he loved from an abusive husband. Now, she returns to his hometown to see the birth of her granddaughter, and he must face his failures and the woman who owns his heart. 

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Animation by Julie Jarnagin

I have a seven-year-old and a two-year-old, so we watch a lot of movies made for kids. I've determined that animated movies have some of the best storylines out there. Studios like Pixar and Disney have storytelling down to a fine art. As an author, I love to study the structure to see what I can learn, which is easy since my kids like to watch the same movie over and over again. 

Pixar is said to use the below structure for their movies. It sounds simple, but there's a lot of wisdom packed into it!

My family is looking forward to Finding Dory coming out. Here are a few of our other favorites. 

Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, & Minions: Who doesn't love the minions?

Toy Story: The first Toy Story came out over 20 years ago. Can you believe it? But my two-year-old still loves Buzz and Woody. It goes to show that great stories and characters are timeless.

Inside Out: This is a more recent movie. It's smart and entertaining. Overall, great writing!

Wreck it Ralph: This is one of my favorites. I love that they used an anti-hero, and Vanellope is a wonderful character.

How about you? Do you enjoy animated movies? What are some of your favorites?

My latest release - The Wedding Barn Morgan’s career is in shambles. What kind of wedding planner gets left at the altar? So when a job planning parties on a ranch in rural Texas comes her way, she jumps at it. So what if the cowboy who runs the place isn’t happy she’s there?
Rancher Nick Reid risked his heart once… and lost. Who needs love? He’s got a great life on the family ranch—so long as Paige Morgan and her city ideas don’t ruin it all. If only his family didn’t need her help to save their livelihood. And if only he wasn’t so darned drawn to the woman. But no sooner does Nick start to believe in love again, than a socialite shows up looking for Paige. Asking her to plan an elaborate wedding. Back in the city.
Both Paige and Nick need a second chance at love. But what will it cost them to take it?

USA Today Best Selling author Julie Jarnagin writes sweet and inspirational romance. She grew up in a small Oklahoma town where her family farmed and ranched. These days she lives in a not-so-big city with her amazing husband and two young sons who tolerate all her nerdy quirks. Julie earned a B.A. in Journalism / Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. www.JulieJarnagin.comSign up for her newsletter to be the first to learn about new releases and free books:
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