Checking In With Your Boundaries

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

In a recent interview on Spirituality & Health magazine, therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab shared what she considers the four most important words in our increasingly chaotic world: Set Boundaries, Find Peace. Those words are also the title of her recent release.

Here’s a thought-provoking excerpt from that interview:

It is a spiritual practice to tune into yourself and consider the why of your feelings. What’s trying to come up that I may be trying to push down? What’s trying to be released that I need to let go of? Often, when we’re having uncomfortable feelings, there is a boundary that needs to be addressed.

Of course, we can’t live a life without uncomfortable feelings. But what are they trying to tell us? What things do we need to practice to deal with that feeling better, or even reconfigure the trigger for those feelings?

The real breakthrough is not, “Oh my gosh, I have an issue with anger.” The real breakthrough is realizing that when I put myself in situations where there are no boundaries, I have an issue with anger.

Source: Spirituality & Health, February 2021, p. 49

Book Blast: The Coach’s Wife

I’m happy tow welcome award-winning author Barbara Casey. Today, Barbara shares her new release, The Coach’s Wife.

Blurb

The Cinderella Coyotes of State University are in the Final Four, poised to win the NCAA National Championship in basketball—the culmination of March Madness. For Marla Conners, she’s proud of her husband Neal, and his achievement of coaching a collegiate team to the pinnacle of his career and the ultimate victory for his team. Yet, Marla’s idyllic life is about to be viciously attacked and torn apart by a different madness—her husband’s reputation ruined, a university disgraced, and she finds herself on trial accused of first-degree murder.

The Coach’s Wife is rife with spine-tingling suspense, conspiracy, deceit, and murder, sizzling and seductive passion, right down to the last second buzzer-beating heroics. This is also a candid and vivid behind-the-scenes portrait of Division One college basketball, university politics, money and corruption, and all the lives that are blessed and ruined by it all.

Excerpt

Another deafening roar exploded from the coliseum, and when it did Marla threw down her partially smoked cigarette and ground it into the polished tile floor with the toe of her shoe. Quickly she reached for another cigarette from the opened pack in her small red handbag. She lit it, sucked the smoke into her mouth, held her breath, coughed, and then slowly released it. Marla didn’t smoke, but when she paced up and down the hallways of basketball coliseums, puffing on cigarettes seemed appropriate. It gave her something to do with her hands, and it helped keep her sane.

“God, how I hate this.” Gale Simmons, the gray-haired woman pacing in the same direction as Marla, was married to one of the assistant coaches at Piedmont State. She, along with several other women—also wives of coaches, some of them wives of players—were known as the hall walkers. They were the women who met on a regular but unscheduled basis the last two minutes of every game, pacing the halls, smoking, or pretending to in Marla’s case, and trying to give each other encouragement. Unable to watch the most crucial time of the game—that last two minutes—they paced in heart-pounding agony, listening to the fans erupt in cheers or boos, and to the announcer scream out the play-by-play over the public address system.

It didn’t matter which team they supported. The bond they shared went beyond the game and winning or losing. It was after the game that most mattered. If their team won, it meant going through the torture one more time, but at least their husbands would be happy. If their team lost, it meant their husbands would go through weeks of depression and as their wives they would have to put up with an impenetrable wall of silence broken only by an occasional negative outburst—usually directed toward them. Each of the hall walkers had experienced it. And it was that experience more than any other that cemented the friendship between them.

With thirty seconds to go, the score is 76 all. This is a hot one, folks. Let’s see what the Seawolf pack is going to do. Sydney Rob makes an inbound pass into the back court to Jerry March—the clock is moving, folks. Jerry lobs the ball back over to Rob. Rob passes it over to Miller in the right court.

Interception by Darrell Washington! Holy cow, sports fans! The Seawolf’s Sydney Rob loses the ball to the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest has the ball. Washington bringing it down court. Fifteen seconds on the clock.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Author Bio and Links

Barbara Casey is the author of several award-winning novels for both adults and young adults, as well as book-length works of nonfiction true crime, and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Her nonfiction true crime book, Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly, has been optioned for a major film and television series. Her nonfiction book, Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave, is under contract for a major film. In addition to her own writing, she is an editorial consultant and president of the Barbara Casey Agency. Established in 1995, she represents authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. Barbara is also a partner in Strategic Media Books Publishing, an independent publishing house that specializes in cutting-edge adult nonfiction. Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with her three cats who adopted her: Homer, a southern bobtail; Reese, a black cat; and Earl Gray, a gray cat and Reese’s best friend.

http://www.barbaracaseyauthor.com | http://www.barbaracaseyagency.com

Giveaway

Barbara Casey will be awarding a $25 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn commenter. Find out more here.

Follow Barbara on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.

10 Interesting Facts about The Vampire with a Blanket of Stars


I’m happy to welcome multi-published author Susan Hanniford Crowley. Today, Susan shares ten interesting facts about The Vampire with a Blanket of Stars, Book 3 in the Arnhem Knights of New York Series and the cover reveal for Lady Fallon’s Dragons.

Here’s Susan!

I love writing paranormal adventure romance with a deep abiding passion. The Vampire with a Blanket of Stars is the 3rd in my series Arnhem Knights of New York, which is a spinoff from my first series Vampires in Manhattan. I will share with your ten fun-filled facts, then where to find me and my books, and a sneak peek at the cover of my upcoming novel.

Fact 1

I dreamt about Vampire Prince Răzvan and his story. It took about 6-8 months to have and write down all the dreams. Then it took a year and a half to research and verify the factual parts of the book.

Fact 2

The name of characters are very important to me. When I first had Răzvan’s name, I looked up the first and last name in Bucharest, Romania. There were several Răzvans, which didn’t bother me as it’s a popular name in Romanian history. However, I found a young man with the same first and last name as my character. Since my character lives in Bucharest for some of the time, I didn’t want a real person to be burdened with the name of a vampire mistakenly associated with him. I returned to the dreams and got a new clearer view of the name: Răzvan Forţă.

Răzvan means the bringer of good news. The name comes from the Geto-Dacians who inhabited the land that would become Romania.

His surname Forţă means force or power.

Fact 3

Half of the book happens during WWII in Romania. The few atrocities shown in the book actually happened.

Fact 4

Prince Răzvan is an older vampire than Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Both of these characters are fictional.

Prince Vlad III Dracula, also called Vlad Țepeș, who was a prince of Wallachia, part of Romania, was a real person who fought the Turks and frightened them from returning with a battlefield full of the enemies’ heads impaled on sharp poles. In Romania, he revered even today as a national hero.
Prince Răzvan is the 7th son of a King of Dacia, as Dacia was the land before it was Romania. Dacia existed between 168 BC and 106 AD.

Fact 5

It was common for royals that if you had an heir and sometimes a spare but if you had more sons, appropriate occupations for them would be to become a soldier or a monk. Daughters were married off to other royals to form alliances.

Răzvan became a soldier that fought for his country. When he became a vampire, he still fought for his modern day nation of Romania.

Fact 6

Vampires are called strigoi in Romania. What makes a strigoi different? In Romanian folklore, there is a living strigoi and dead strigoi. The living one blends in with everyone else. Day or night doesn’t make any difference. The dead one rises from the grave at night. What they both share is an intense love for whatever they loved in life. If a strigoi enjoyed great food, after death their love for great food would cause them to seek it and eat everything in a friend’s kitchen. Just an example.

Fact 7

The disintegration in sunlight is an invention of Hollywood.

My vampires can walk in the day but are cautious with overexertion in sunlight or spending too much time in their direct rays. The damage the sun does to human is sped up a little in my vampires. They wear protective clothing and sunblock. Spending two days uncovered in direct rays could kill most of my vampire characters.

Fact 8

Hoia Baciu is an actual place and one of the most famous haunted forests in the world. It is considered the Bermuda Triangle of Romania. It is famous for UFO and paranormal activities. Oh, it I mention it’s in the part of the country called Transylvania?

In my novel, I added to the paranormal activity there. (Laughs) I couldn’t help myself.

Fact 9

Readers have told me that they are astounded that many of my vampires of religious. Prince Răzvan has an old friend from the war who is a Romanian Orthodox (Christian) priest.

Fact 10

Other readers have said they were surprised that my vampires are just like ordinary people. Something bad happened to them (becoming a vampire) but they are able to use it for the good of others. They are heroes. When a vampire finds their true lifemate, that person is their beloved for all time.

Love helps all of us endure the hardships of life. Love is the strength of my vampires and other supernatural heroes and heroines.

Buy Links

To find all my books on Amazon both the Kindle and the Print, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Susan-Hanniford-Crowley/e/B004YXOGXG

To find them everywhere:
Nook | Kobo | Smashwords | Walmart Books

Where to find Susan

Website | Blog | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Instagram

Coming soon: Lady Fallon’s Dragons. This is a dragon adventure book with a sweet romance in it. Lady Fallon’s Dragons is a wondrous tale of contemporary dragons and a young woman fighting for her life. Here is the cover reveal!

Thank you for sharing my adventure with me today! If you have any questions, feel free to put them in the comment box.

In Praise of Crossword Puzzles

For many people, the crossword is a daily ritual. Some consider the puzzle an essential component of their mornings, treating it like a vitamin for the brain. Others think of the puzzle as a quick escape from the day’s demands. And a few, like late actress Olivia de Havilland, fantasize about the perfect evening spent completing a crossword.

Continue reading on the Soul Mate Authors blog.

Spotlight on Highland Hope – Free on Amazon!

Madelyn Hill is sharing Highland Hope, Book 1 of The Wild Thistle Trilogy…It’s available free on Amazon, today through Thursday.

Blurb

“Remember, lasses. Through Hope, Faith, and Honor, ye can rule,” were the last words Lady Hope MacAlister’s father spoke before dying. Those very words direct her every action and thought. Sword fighting and leading the men of her clan was second nature to Hope and she has little time for herself or any thoughts of love. Until Aidan MacKerry is captured spying on the clan.

She is beautiful, strong, and quick to pull a sword. But when he kisses her, all thoughts of the lairdship Aidan MacKerry seeks flee his mind. When the enemy continues to undermine Hope, Aidan is determined to aid her—only he didn’t think he’d lose his heart to the Laird of Wild Thistle Keep. When the enemy reveals Aidan’s secret, he must fight for his right to be laird and prove, despite their differences, he loves Hope.

The enemy refuses to back down and continues to threaten not only Hope, but the security of the entire clan. Only together will they be able to save the clan and save their love.

Amazon (US) | Amazon (Canada) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon Australia

Bio

Madelyn Hill is an historical author who loves the lure of Scotland, captivating Highlanders and the strong women they love.

Many of her novels were finalist for the National Rone Award, which honors literary excellence in romance writing. Highland Honor was awarded the coveted Crowned Heart by In’Dtale Magazine.

Madelyn’s first book, Wolf’s Castle has been #1 in the Historical and Scottish Romance category at Amazon.

Madelyn lives in Western New York with her husband, three children and a naughty puppy named Cannoli.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | BookBub | Amazon | Goodreads

Are You Ready to Suspend Disbelief?

On May 27, 2012, Discovery’s Animal Planet channel aired Mermaids: The Body Found. The documentary featured video of a mermaid sighting in the Greenland Sea and an exclusive interview with former NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) scientist Dr. Paul Robertson.

The show followed a scientific team’s investigative efforts to uncover the source behind mysterious underwater recordings. It opened with video footage of a mermaid perched on a rock. Later in the program, a webbed hand touches the observation window of a submersible craft manned by a team of deep-sea divers. As the creature swims away, the divers catch glimpses of an alien-like face.

This program attracted the network’s biggest audience in its history: 1.9 million viewers.

Continue reading on Chris the Story-Reading Ape’s blog.

The Pomodoro Technique

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Follow the instructions in this infographic and watch your productivity soar!