Inspiration and Motivation From My Bookshelves

In 1977, I purchased my first self-help book, Your Erroneous Zones by Dr. Wayne Dyer. Since that time, I have devoured hundreds (possibly thousands) of self-help books. Some I’ve purchased…others I’ve borrowed…some I’ve reviewed…many I’ve given away.

Continue reading on the Soul Mate Authors blog.


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Looking for Guest Bloggers

guestbloggers

Attention: Authors, artists, coaches, entrepreneurs, and New Age Practitioners. I’m scheduling guest posts for October through December. You can write your own post or contribute to one of the following series: Second Acts, Power of Ten, Author/Book Spotlights.

These are my guidelines. You can obtain a PDF here.

Second Acts Series

The theme of my novels and website is one of reinvention. In the Second Acts series, I have featured the reinvention stories of over 90 women.

You can provide your own post or structure it around the following questions:

1. Briefly describe your first act.
2. What triggered the need for change?
3. Where are you now?
4. Do you have advice for anyone planning to pursue a second act?
5. Any affirmations or quotations you wish to share?

Examples – Second Acts Series

Power of 10 Series

The posts in this series can pertain to your book or any aspect of your life. Some ideas include…

10 Interesting Facts About My Protagonist (Villain, Back Story…)
10 Tips About a Hobby or Special Interest (Parenting, Gardening, Yoga…)
10 Favorite Books (Movies, Actors, Foods, Quotes…)
10 Best Moments
10 Most Embarrassing Moments
10 Life Lessons from… (Mentors, Role Models, Heroes…)

Examples – Power of 10

Author Spotlights

Provide a short post about your writing journey.

Examples – Author Spotlights

General Details

In addition to the post, I will need your picture, book cover(s), social media links, other publications (and anything else you wish to share) at least three days prior to publication.

DO NOT EMBED PICTURES – SEND AS SEPARATE JPEGS.

Contact me here.


Spotlight on A Reason to Stay

I’m happy to welcome author Linda Charles. Today, Linda shares her latest release, A Reason to Stay.

Blurb

Rachael, a successful lawyer in Sydney, returns to her foster family and the only place that ever felt like home: Mindalby, to help with the failing family business, the town’s bakery. With the cotton gin’s closure, all businesses are struggling, and it looks like the only option is to close up the bakery and hope to sell. But when Rachael returns, she realises that her skills give her other options: refreshing and revitalising the bakery and a chance to rekindle her love of baking.

Irishman, Mike O’Malley is a staying kind of man, looking to settle down in Mindalby with a woman who loves the wild country and wants to get involved in the community. Rachael is not that girl, but the attraction is hard to deny. Determined to show Rachael that Mindalby can be a home, he draws her out into the community and deeper into his life. But when it comes time to make a decision, can he trust Rachael to risk her heart?

Excerpt

‘Sorry,’ she said. ‘I don’t play ball.’

He hugged the ball close to his chest. He understood that. None of his sisters were into sport either. But, he loved his sports; it was a major part of his life.

‘What do you play then? I’m up for anything.’

She rubbed her hands against the afternoon chill, as her clear blue eyes met his. His heart hammered. They were the prettiest eyes he’d ever seen, and if he wasn’t careful his concentration would take a serious hit, and he’d sound like some daft prick.

‘I’m not very sporty. How did they go?’

Mike shook his head. ‘Another loss,’ he all but whispered.

She gave him a soft smile. ‘Oh, that happens. Are you having a reconnoitre with them?’

His lips quivered, but he couldn’t hold back. He let out a belly laugh.

She’s gorgeous. A one-off.

Buy Links

Amazon (Australia) | Amazon (US) | Barnes & Noble

Author Bio and Links

Linda Charles is a contemporary romance writer who lives in Newcastle in the Hunter Valley, NSW. She was born and raised in Sydney where she studied and taught drama for many years. She loves to read, travel and enjoys a good conversation. Following a move to the Hunter Valley she started to write her own stories. Linda is a member of the Hunter Romance Writers, Romance Writers of Australia, and Romance Writers of America.

You can visit Linda at her Webpage; or follow her on Twitter; Facebook, or Pinterest

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Giveaway

Linda Charles will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Enter here.

Follow Linda on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour. You can find out more here.


Interview with Bentley Wells

I’m happy to welcome Black Opal author Bentley Wells. Today, Bentley chats about his writing process and shares his latest release, The Question and Other Stories.

Describe your process for naming your characters.

I do not necessarily have a process for naming my characters. Generally, names come to me. Sometimes, I will change the first or last name of a character because I do not like it or because I have another character with the same first or last name.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I would say that I am a plotter, although I will change something―especially if I do not like it or if what I have written interferes with something else.

Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?

I do not listen to music when I write; it distracts me.

What is your most productive time of the day?

My most productive time of the day is morning, between 8 a.m. and noon.

What motivates you to write?

I enjoy researching and writing, especially nonfiction. However, “The Question and Other Stories” is my second book of fiction that has been published. In fact, a few of the stories in the collection were published in literary magazines years ago, before these and the others were revised for the collection.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

My favorite authors include Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John O’Hara, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, and Erskine Caldwell. Among modern writers, I read Linwood Barclay, John Grisham, and others who write mysteries or suspense. I also read a lot of nonfiction.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I do not have any writing rituals, except researching occupations of my characters and locations.

Where is your favorite place to write?

My favorite place to write is in my office, which is in my house.

Blurb

The Question and Other Stories contain several tales that concern young people who have to deal with hard-nosed teachers, fickle girlfriends, and death of family members, among other topics. Other tales concern adults who have to confront loneliness, rejection, and mental illness.

Excerpt

Andrew Martin entered the Rogers Public Library like he had for the past five years, always courteous to those who were exiting or entering. Indeed, he would open the door for them and nod his head in greeting.

As he passed the front counter, he spoke to the employees who were behind it. He always smiled and spoke to these people. “Good evening,” he would say, and the employees always replied.

He was very well liked in the community. He gave to the Christian Church every Sunday. In addition, he gave large amounts of money to various charitable organizations. How he had become the president of the Rogers State and Federal Bank was simply through hard work on his part. The idea of him becoming president because of his marriage to the bank’s biggest stockholder never entered his mind―not for one minute―because he had worked continuously every working day, including Wednesday afternoons when it was customary for the bank to close early. He would say his “Good days” to his fellow employees as they left and remain to learn the business.

Buy Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | KOBO | Black Opal Books | iTunes | Scribd

Social Media Links

Amazon | Goodreads


Spotlight on Another Five Minutes

I’m happy to welcome author Destiny Booze. Today, Destiny shares her new release, Another Five Minutes.

Blurb

Loving him is easy.

Fearing him is necessary.

Trusting him could be a deadly mistake.

Born deaf and living with an anxiety disorder, Brooke Hartley manages life in five-minute intervals. It’s all she can do to get out of bed each morning. She’s hidden inside her sister’s apartment for over a year.

Everything changes when Brooke’s sister goes missing. Her fragile world crashes. She is desperate to find her, and she’ll need help.

Haunted by a past he needs to forget, Scott Derrico keeps to himself until his gallery manager, Autumn Hartley, suddenly disappears. He is forced out of his isolation to help a woman that needs him with a terrifying intensity.

Scott tries to deny his attraction to Brooke. He doesn’t want to get emotionally involved but he craves her like nothing else. And, for her, he is a dark and sexy diversion to overcome her fear.

With a genuinely flawed and relatable heroine and a mysterious and protective hero, you won’t want this love story to end. You’ll beg…for another five minutes…

Excerpt

Brooke turned back to Scott, making a clawing motion and scrunching up her face in the most adorable look ever. He wasn’t sure what she was saying to him, but he thought he understood the gist of it. “Everyone says my paintings are too dark.”

She shook her head and reached for his hand. She wrote, A.N.G.R.Y.

“True,” he offered.

She turned the tables on him, staring hard. It was only fair since he’d been staring at her all day. She gestured out of the room with a shrug.

“No, the one in the living room isn’t angry,” he said, but he wasn’t going to talk about that. Trying to distract her, he moved forward, closer than what was comfortable between acquaintances. He wanted to get her mind on something other than asking about that painting.

“I guess I paint what I feel at the time. Do you want to know what I would paint right now?”

Looking nervous, she didn’t answer. He could see her chest rise and fall as her breathing came quicker, and he liked it.

He should have left her alone. He’d brought her here to protect her, to make her feel comfortable. But, he couldn’t make himself do the right thing. Instead, he moved in even closer, reached for her hair, and pulled out the band holding it back in a ponytail. It fell to her waist, and he fanned it out, loving the feel of the silky texture sliding through his fingers.

Her eyes went wide open, and he heard her next breath come out in a rush.

“I would paint you.”

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Author Bio and Links

Destiny Booze is an interesting name, true? Destiny’s mom found her first name in a romance book. Her last name was a gift from the man she loves.

She writes novels with intense conflicts, ongoing suspense, romance, and happy endings. She grew up at a campground where she spent her summers working long hours mowing, cleaning bathrooms, lifeguarding, and leading activities.

Destiny resides in Botetourt County, Virginia where she strives to be the best wife, mother, and writer that she can be. Her family is always priority number one. Other things of great importance to her are friends and her readers!

Follow Destiny on Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, or her website. Go to her website and sign up for her mailing list for updates on book releases and book giveaways.

Website | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

Destiny Booze will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Enter here.

Follow Destiny on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour. You can find out more here.


10 Trail Riding Tips

I’m happy to welcome award-winning Soul Mate author Sally Brandle to the Power of 10 series. Today, Sally shares essential trail riding tips and her latest release, The Hitman’s Mistake.

Here’s Sally!

You’ve always dreamed of meandering on a woodsy trail on a calm, trusty steed? Well, me too. I’m living my childhood dream of every pony girl—four decades later. It all started with a Living Social coupon to a local equestrian center. For the last six years my gelding, Lance, and I have shared a treasured trust in one another while trotting trails. A shout out to Vanessa Kuhlman, owner of Highpoint, who teamed me with a wonderful four-legged teacher and friend.

Lance and I assisted or ponied riders on frequent trail rides, and here’s what I’ve learned. I’m far from an expert, but I pride myself in paying attention. I’ve ridden stable horses in Spain, Ireland, Mexico, and most Western states. Horses are kind, intelligent creatures allowing us to ride them. Enjoy the blessing!


















1. Do your homework on area stables offering rides. View online comments about the owners/guides, horses, and terrain you’ll be riding on. Honor the weight limits and find the right fit for your comfort level. Please consider a lesson first. At a minimum, watch a couple of You Tube videos on basic riding cues and horsemanship or go to a site like Hay-net.co.uk for tips.

2. Be honest with your ability—to the point of underselling your accomplishments.

3. Go prepared if the stable doesn’t list requirements on their site. Long pants, long sleeves, sunglasses, sunscreen, boots with a low heel, and a pocketful of mini carrots are my standard equipment. Yes, I carried boots and breeches to Hawaii for my birthday trail ride on Ziggy.

4. Arrive about fifteen minutes early and absorb the barn vibe. It should be calming. If you have kids with you, remind them that quiet voices and slow movements are mandatory around horses. When you’re given the okay, you greet a horse by walking in from the side and letting them smell you first. Horses are prey animals. If approached from behind their natural instinct is to kick or flee. Stable horses should be calm, but don’t assume.

5. Ask first about giving treats and where your horse prefers to be petted. The guide will show you how to flatten your hand to offer a carrot. If the mounts aren’t fully tacked, offer to help groom. The quicker you form a bond, the better your ride will be.

6. You’re in the saddle. Don’t be shy voicing a concern if the stirrup length doesn’t feel comfortable. If you can’t do a one-handed stop, ask, and then do a couple circles utilizing the technique. If something unusual happens on the ride, you need to know how to implement your emergency brake. Scratch your horse’s withers and complement him throughout the ride.

7. Sit up straight and relax. Keep your reins to where they’re not pulling on the horse’s mouth. Been to a dentist recently? Well, your horse has much worse than a rubber dam in his mouth. Most horses are trained for leg cues. If you want to move to the left, you push him with your right calf. Need to stop, lean slightly back, and say whoa. I’m non-violent, but there were a number of customers at the stable I truly wanted to whack for reaming on their horse’s mouth.

8. Enjoy the sights, smells, sounds, and energy of riding in the woods. Take deep breaths of fresh air. I prefer early morning or dusk. It’s magical in the fall when you pass through a field glistening in sunlight with spider webs adorning tall, dry grass.

9. No ride’s guaranteed to be without incident. 99.9 percent of the time they will be, but, if you do slip off, relax (as much as possible ), tuck, and roll to the side or back end. You don’t want to fall forward and under hooves. I try to remember basic moves of head down and hands in. Hopefully you’ll be unhurt and can get up and mount again.

10. Have the guide take photos enroute or after you’ve returned and the big grin plastered on your face won’t leave. Give your horse plenty of scratches, praise, and carrots-if it’s okay. Ride again!

Blurb

After Miranda Whitley stops crooked cops from assassinating a prominent Seattle judge, she’s next on the hit list, and her survival depends on the buff FBI Agent she’s had one awkward encounter with. But can she find him in time?

The last person Grant Morley expects to discover on his annual supply run to a Montana mountain hermit is alluring Miranda Whitley, nearly dead from a bullet wound in her side. An accidental witness or the cold-blooded accomplice to would-be assassins?

Miranda must convince Grant of her innocence, evade the killers intent on preventing her testimony, and fight her unwanted attraction for the agent…an attraction which seems to be mutual. Fortunately, love thrives in Emma Springs. If you love sizzling chemistry, Montana’s mountain landscape, and fast-paced action, then you’ll love Sally Brandle’s galloping thriller, The Hitman’s Mistake.

Excerpt

Setting: Our heroine’s pruning indoor plants in the lobby of Seattle’s Justice Building after hours.

***

Squeaks from her mom’s old pruning shears echoed in the large, vacant room. She pulled another uneven limb of the Chinese Elm closer to her face and squinted. While she clipped, a peppery fragrance released from the wood.

A twig grazed her cheek, making her flinch. She brushed the neckline of her purple T-shirt with the back of her hand.

The place threw off the vibes of an abandoned morgue. Chill. She released the limb, let out a long breath, and grabbed a lop-sided branch from overhead. Tonight, even a rude prosecutor’s voice rupturing the tranquility would be welcome.

Not happening this late, but Ike would be descending in the elevator any minute. Hopefully in a better mood than when she’d watered the jade plant in his judge’s chambers earlier. He’d been tense, without the fatherly banter he doled out when she visited him and his wife, Shirley.

Soft taps came from a few feet behind her. She tilted her head.

Footsteps? From the stairwell? Miranda released her grip, and the tree limb sprang free. She swung her head and watched the branch skim the fly of the trousers on the man now towering over her right shoulder.

Not Ike. She froze.

“What in the hell? Oh, didn’t see you there—” he sidestepped, and her cup scrunched in protest under his big boot. The lid popped off and the double shot of Kona glugged into a mocha-scented pool.

He jumped to avoid the puddle. “Damn energy conservation put you in the shadows. Sorry, I nailed your coffee.” His swinging backpack missed her nose by inches.

She twisted her body and scooted her butt until her shoulder jammed against a carved pot.

“I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

“It’s okay,” she mumbled, keeping her head lowered to avoid further contact with the bag-wielding klutz wearing black trousers. Must’ve been him she’d glimpsed a few minutes ago, while the elevator doors had closed on the floor below Ike’s.

“I’ve never been attacked by a branch. Must say, you deployed it well,” the deep voice announced. He stopped directly in front of her.

His hiking boots made her size-nine high-tops appear dainty.

Not the shoes of a snobby lawyer or a lost, post-trial pimp trying to find his way out of the building. Still, the flailing branch served him right for sneaking up on her. “I didn’t hear you.”

“And I shouldn’t text and walk,” he said in a lighter, almost sexy tone. “I’m Grant.” He dropped his pack and stuck out his hand.

An FBI tag printed ‘GRANT MORLEY’ hung from the bag.

She peered from under her cap’s brim and gulped.

Him.

Agent of Interest. Her heart took off at a gallop.

Buy Links

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

Reviews & Interview

Tome Tender | USA Today Interview | Haynet Review

Bio

Multi-award winning author Sally Brandle weaves slow-burning romance into edgy suspense stories. Sally left a career as an industrial baking instructor to bring to life stories of women who learn to trust their inner gifts. Her rescue Aussie is her companion during long spells of writing, bouts of tormenting weeds in her garden, or afternoons spent riding on the wind with her twenty-eight year old Quarter Horse. Sign up for her newsletter at http://www.sallybrandle.com for a free segment of her latest book, The Hitman’s Mistake.

Where to find Sally…

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads


Spotlight on TK Lawyer

I’m happy to welcome award-winning author TK Lawyer. Today, TK shares her writing journey and novels, Nightfall and Jasper.

Here’s TK!

First of all, thank you to Joanne for hosting me on her blog today. I appreciate the opportunity to share my story.

You could say that my writing career started in an unconventional way. I never considered writing as a career and advised the students I worked with to pursue something else, instead, that gained them a steady income so it’s ironic that I find myself writing books. However, because I love the creativity behind each character I form, I am still writing books to this day and loving it.

So, how did I get started? Well, it was due to the endless doldrum routine of my day job that I had to find something else to bide my time. I have always had a love for writing and I was one of the very few students who didn’t mind writing essay assignments. So, after years of working a mindless routine Monday through Friday job, I started getting ideas for books. Then I took out a notepad and wrote these scenes out, sometimes spending hours creating and detailing everything at all hours of the night and then suddenly these scenes blossomed into books.

I wrote Jasper first but I actually finished Nightfall before I completed Jasper’s book. Nightfall came as a result of watching my German Shepherd/Golden Retriever mix dog one day. Her quirky behavior while sitting outside my bedroom door made me question what it would be like if someone found out she wasn’t a dog, after all. That just led into a story- a second story while I was in the middle of attempting to finish my first one- Jasper. The words for Nightfall, originally titled Eclipse, just flowed through me like rapid fire, until I finished the book in record time. Nightfall was published in October 2014 and then picked up years later by my current publisher, Foundations, LLC.

Jasper, the first book in the five book Guardian League series came from my love of Angels. I took the idea further, exploring the possibility of a Guardian Angel having a human mate and created the series. The last in the series, Orion, is under contract and is expected to be published in January 2019. The Guardian League series is unique in that it explores subjects not touched upon by other writers of PNR. Each book is as individual as the angel hero and all are standalone, able to be read in any order the reader chooses. I purposely did this with all my books so my readers have a choice.

I am a member of the Florida Writer’s Association and live in the Orlando area with my husband and one adorable, rescued American foxhound who keeps me laughing and entertained. I absolutely love my fans and readers and have made friends with many of them. I invite you to check out my books and to contact me, if you love them.

TK’s Novels

Tamara’s spicy scent thrills, seduces and weakens him like no other. She is his and he wants her. Unfortunately, she is done with men. Tamara’s been burned too many times in the past and she’s not looking for a relationship…..ever. But when she finds a stray dog on her doorstep she decides she wants a relationship with a male, after all- that of pet and pet owner.

Josh is not a dog and he has no interest in staying her pet. He has one burning desire- Tamara- in his bed, nightly and permanently. He will stop at nothing to convince Tamara they are better together and that he needs her, forever.

Their paths are intertwined and their future is inevitable but will Tamara allow Josh to love, cherish and protect her? Or will she say good-bye to the amazing, dedicated man whose loyalty and sweet promises could shatter her walls completely and consume her with desire?

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Tatiana seeks rare, coveted treasure: a strong, loving, committed male she can respect, be proud of and become her full-fledged, partner. She has sought this elusive prince among men, her own personal champion but instead found many, many frogs and quite a few toads. Does her hero exist on Earth or did she miss her opportunity?

Jasper isn’t seeking a mate. His only intention is to rescue Tatiana from a fatal car accident, but he finds himself drawn to her in ways he can’t explain. She’s a rare, precious gem and there’s no turning back for him. He must know her and introduce himself in some sort of “human” fashion, at some sort of “human” event, for he is not of Earth.

Once Tatiana finds out Jasper’s true identity, will she accept and trust him? Will Tatiana allow herself to enter into a permanent, loving relationship with an unearthly but powerful being who only wants to adore and protect her?

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Where to find TK Lawyer…

Website | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+