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Friday, April 19, 2019

Spread Smiles And Sparkles

Happy Friday All,

As those of us who are Christians remember Jesus's death on the cross today, and then on Sunday celebrate His resurrection, a thought occurred to me.

I'm a self-described eccentric. At least, some people have thought of me as that way, and to be honest, I like being quirky. Sometimes you gotta have a bit of quirkiness to keep your spirits up. To that end, I believe in trying to spread smiles and sparkles wherever one goes. What do I mean? Well, it's rather simple, really.

Either you know someone who is this way, or you're this way yourself, but they can't seem to find anything positive, like, hardly ever. They tell you all the things wrong or they're having a horrible day. You try to point out something positive, even something small, and they find a way to make it negative. I've met people who are this cynical. I don't know if they're aware of it. For me, their cynicism and negativity drags me down. I'm not the sort of person who LIKES to be miserable. I struggle with anxiety nearly every day. I've suffered depression.  And even though somethings are hard and sometimes I have trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I don't care to wallow. Oh sure, I'll give myself a pity party here and there. You gotta let those emotions out or else they eat you up. But don't stay there.

When I'm with other people, I try to keep upbeat. If I can make someone laugh or smile, then in my mind I've done something right and if it's the only right thing I do all day, well, it's better than nothing. Although, I wouldn't want to settle for the bare minimum, of course, but you get the idea.

I've got a friend who has a truckload of health issues. Like, every time I talk to her something has flared up. But no matter what flares or goes wrong she always says she's blessed. I'm of the opinion that she could have a limb hanging off of her and she'd still be sitting there counting her blessings. I admire that so much. I'm not always that way, but I want to be. 

A friend of my grandmother's once told me that when my grandmother was alive she never had an unkind word to say about anyone. I was impressed. I know I haven't followed that example; yet, it's something to keep in mind and try to follow, even if I fall short.

My point is, negativity is easy. Except the negativity doesn't do anything to make your life or anyone else's better. It doesn't make the world a brighter or better place and it just makes living hard. I'm not saying it's easy to be positive and I'm not saying I don't have bad days. I do, honest. However, you can't let the bad days win and ruin ANY good days. And trust me, I understand how hard it can be to find something positive sometimes. But if all you can find is ONE good thing, hold on to it and spread that good to someone.

I challenge you, my darling readers, find one positive thing a day. Just one. Even if all it is you woke up without a headache (if you normally have one) or that your arm didn't fall off or something like that. Find one thing. Just one. And then find ONE thing to laugh about. If you have to, turn on YouTube and look up funny stuff. Laughter releases tension and it's good for you. Think you can do it? Try it for one week. Just one week and see what happens.

If you need a funny read, I highly recommend Christie Craig's The Cop Who Stole Christmas. It doesn't matter that Christmas has passed and we're going into Easter. Shake things up! Read something out of the ordinary. And trust me, Christie's books are anything but ordinary! Or if that's too much of a stretch to read a Christmas story in April, then go for Shanna Swendson's Enchanted Inc. She's got some humor and it's light and fun.

Have A Fantastically Fabulous Friday!

Also, blessed Good Friday and Happy & Blessed Easter, too. :-)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

She DOES Exist!

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

I've been working out some administrative things and also on this blog, so I haven't posted much lately. I've also been working on the novel I was writing under the Jeannie Averie name, so I've been fairly busy.

We are now in April, and already the weather in Texas is in the 80s! I wonder if it's going to get into triple digits this year like it did some other years. You never know.

This summer, one of my nephews is getting married. I'm looking forward to that and seeing family. On top of that, I'm working on the newsletter especially for those who signed up at BrazCon. Don't worry, if you didn't make BrazCon there will be a way to sign up. We're going to have some fun items for newsletter subscribers that we won't have anywhere else.

Books 5 and 6 in the Immortal Dreams series has been on hold while I work on the Jeannie Averie novel, but that doesn't mean I'll never get back to the series, it just means it's going to take me a little longer than I initially thought.

As to what I'm reading? Several things, and some things more so than others. I've been reading a Non-fiction book for Lent, and I have two novels left to finish, plus a stack of awaiting my attention.

Meanwhile, my offspring seem to be doing okay and life keeps moving along.

How are things on your end?

Hope everyone has a Totally Terrific Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Fabulously Fun Five Fictions...

Happy Wednesday All,

I'm trying to figure out a blogging schedule. It's not something I've had for a while, yet, but I'm thinking about it. Maybe once a week would work best for me. So, I'll try that and let you know if that changes.

Under my other pen name I did a 5 Fun Facts about myself that you may and or may not know, I think I'll do something similar here with a YA twist.

5 Favorite YA Reads (aside from my work) I'll Always Recommend (In NO particular order):

Ashes On The Waves by Mary Lindsey. I'm not an Edgar Allen Poe fan. I think he's depressing. But, Mary's novel is beautiful, poignant, and well written. It's just a gorgeous book (as far as I'm concerned, and like I said, I'm no EAP fan, even though I recognize he was a talented writer). So, definitely has to be on this list.

Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry. I've had the privilege of watching this author's banner fly and her popularity rise. The first 25 pages of this novel was entered in the Northwest Houston RWA Lone Star Writing Contest the year that I was a member and the category coordinator. I was really intrigued. Later, I went on to read it and Katie writes with a realness, a grittiness and honesty that people can immerse themselves in and really learn to care about the characters. She's fantastic with coming up with excellent contemporary YA romances.

Born At Midnight by C.C. Hunter. The first in her Shadow Falls series, C.C. has an interesting and fresh take on high schoolers and young adults with paranormal/supernatural abilities. Imaginative, well written, fun, and engrossing, I'm a fan.

Don't Die, My Love by Lurlene McDaniel. I love Lurlene's work because it's emotional, it's real, it's intense and beautiful. I've loved so many of her books, but this is one that really sticks out in my mind. I think I've read it three times or more.

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Well, technically you could read Shadows before this one, but it's the first in the Lux series. I'm not usually huge on aliens. In fact, I don't really read Sci-Fi, but her imaginative take, and the suspense, adventure, and romance--the emotion--it pulls you in and before you know it, you're hooked. At least, that was the case for me.

There are several other authors and books I'd recommend, but these ones were what I really found myself super into when I read them. Most of these on the list I didn't expect to like so much when I first picked them up, and then I found I loved them.

So, what about you? What are some favorite YA (Young Adult) novels you've enjoyed?

Have a Wonderfully Witty Wednesday!


Friday, March 1, 2019

What's-Her-Face...?

Happy Friday Everybody!

Recently I finished writing a Romance that features shape-shifters. This is not a YA (Young Adult) novel. Considering that my aim is not YA with this novel, and I'd been thinking about it for a long time, I decided to develop another pen-name strictly for those types of novels. Bethany Averie will remain associated with the Immortal Dreams series and any other YA novels I write. Jeannie Averie will be for the NON-YA Romance novels (Paranormal and Fantasy) that I write. The Jeannie Averie novels will be for ages 18/21 and up. Bethany Averie novels are high school and up.

There isn't a drastic difference, except that the Jeannie Averie novels are a bit different in style and tone. Slightly "hotter".  So they need a different pen-name.

Now, why do I use pen names?

I like to keep my personal life separate from my professional life. Yes, tiny details of my personal life seep into my professional life, but the two are not exactly the same. My husband and offspring names and ages are not included in my professional life. In fact, I've only posted one or two pictures of my husband and none of my offspring. This is on purpose. As far as my husband and I are concerned, their lives are private. My husband and I discussed it a while back and that was the decision we BOTH agreed on. (In fact, I had come to that decision before he even suggested it to me LOL. It's nice to be on the same wavelength).

Why am I making a big announcement about the pen-name? Well, it's not really a secret. But they are going to be different types of books and I don't want the two to be mixed up. Bethany Averie is YA and is the Immortal Dreams series. Jeannie Averie is not. It's Romance geared more towards older audiences. This way my readers will know what type of novel they're getting.

As of March 1, 2019, there aren't any published Jeannie Averie novels out there. I'm hoping that will change with the one I'm currently editing and getting ready to shop around. We'll see how that goes.

Under Bethany Averie, I'm working on Book 5 of the Immortal Dreams series. My plan is to finish this one and finish Book 6. So those will be under Bethany Averie.

Have A Fabulously Fantastic Friday!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

No NYC But Other Great Stuff For Me...

Happy Thursday Everyone,

Wow! BrazCon was amazing! For those of you who made it out, thank you so much. It was fun and there were incredible costumes (check out my author Facebook page for pictures).

Important update: I will NOT be going to Romance Writers of America's National Conference in July (New York City). I was going to, but then some stuff came up and it turned out I couldn't. I'm looking at next year, which that one (2020) will be in San Francisco, so maybe I'll make it there. I've never been to San Francisco and I'd like to go.

I finished writing my adult shifter novel and it never changes. It always feels surreal and like "Wow!" when I write "The end." The next thing is edits and critique partner crits, and then I'll be shopping it around. But, it's exciting to have another book written. I do plan a sequel, so what happens at the end isn't the end of that story altogether. I already have the next book started and I've got books 5 and 6 in the Immortal Dreams series to write, so I'm still going forward with more writing.

The other thing coming up is that I'm planning on having an author email list (newsletter). I'm working with my consultant on that and I'll let you all know when it's ready. If you want to sign up, I'll let you know how to do that when I can. For those of you who signed up at BrazCon, you don't need to worry about re-signing up when it's up and running. We have your emails and names and you'll be subscribed right away. I'm working on some ideas for fun things for that. So that'll be fun when it's all set up.

As always, I've got a bazillion (okay, not quite that many, but several) books to read, but I have started in on my TBR (To Be Read) pile so hopefully I'll be able to make some headway on that.

Recently my husband and I rented Bohemian Rhapsody. We liked it. The acting and costumes were well done. I was really happy for Rami Malek getting the Oscar for it. He did a fantastic job. Have any of you seen it? What movies are you looking forward to seeing?

Have A Thrillingly Terrific Thursday!

Monday, February 18, 2019

February Update...

Happy Monday Everybody!

2019 has been rather busy for me so far. I've been working on finishing up a novel that I'm hoping will be done writing by early March and then I'll go through and do my personal edits, send it off to my assistant who has been clamoring to read this one (I send her snippets and she's chomping at the bit for the rest). I'm working with a consultant to brush up on some things that I needed help with and gearing up for BrazCon, which is this weekend.

BrazCon will be in Manvel, Texas this year. I've never been there, but it's not extremely far off, so my assistant is picking me up bright and early and off we'll go. I've got some fun swag ready and I'll have a door prize that I'll turn into to the people running that side of things. I'll also be selling LIMITED number of paperback copies of ALL my published books (yep, even All's Fair In Love & Lion is coming along this time). I'm also going to be on a panel around 11:30 a.m. (I think that's the time) about writing. I don't know what the questions are, yet, so this should be interesting.

Because of several things going on--getting a new phone, a family wedding, and such, I won't be at RWA Nationals in New York City in July. I'm looking at going next year, which will be in San Francisco. So stay tuned for more info on that later in the year.

I'm also planning a sequel to the WIP (Work In Progress) I've been writing lately, and I have 2 more books to write in the Immortal Dreams series, which have been started and have titles, I just have to finish writing and editing them.

Allergies have been driving the whole Averie Household crazy. Youngest is on meds, and I've been popping throat lozenges, but I think we're doing better.

This Fall is a milestone birthday for me, but I won't say which milestone. I need to keep a little mystery about myself going. *Laughs*

I've also been checking out some Book Tubers on YouTube. It's like reviews except on YouTube. They seem like a lot of fun and really are into reading and talking about books, which is right up my alley! I've been enjoying Hailey In Bookland.

Author Avery Flynn's Tomboy just came out, which is book 3 in her new series. I've read the other two and enjoyed them, so I had to pick up my e-book copy of this one, too! (It's also available in paperback, I believe).

I need to finish up Alyssa Cole's A Princess In Theory, which has been fun (I love fairy-tale-ish stuff!) and then I have a whole stack of other books in my TBR section of my bookshelf to get to reading. Including, but not limited to, C.C. Hunter's upcoming release--I have an arc copy of Another Life!

Movies:  I missed Bohemian Rhapsody in the theaters, so I'm hoping to stream that soon. I also want to see The Nutcracker And The Four Realms (I've seen mixed reviews of that, but we'll see, I might just love it). There are a ton of movies coming that I'm looking forward to, including the new Avengers movie.

What movies are you looking forward to releasing? What books are you reading/looking forward to? Comment in the comment section to let me know what's on your list of looking forward to/reading!

Have A Momentously Merry Monday!

Friday, February 1, 2019

2019, Events, Writing, & More, Oh Wow...

Happy Friday Everyone!

Well, we've made it to February 2019! January was super busy with researching some stuff and working away on a new novel. The novel is about 20,000-30,000 away from my target word count. My assistant, Roxanne, is eagerly awaiting the day I finish this novel because the snippets I've sent her aren't enough--she wants to know everything about this story. This story has been fun to write, although, like every story it's had its ups and downs and days where I just wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it.

News of imprints of publishers closing down has caused some difficulties for some friends/colleagues of mine, which makes me sad for them because that's a tough thing to go through. I wish them all the best and pray for them.

Talk of Romance Writers of America Nationals in New York City (July) is going on and I'm waiting to see if me and my narrator, the supremely talented, Christopher Hudson (who you can find on Twitter, now) will join the ranks of speakers for this year's conference. I don't know when we'll know, but I've been told it'll be before RWA opens up for registration this month.

Roxanne and I have been gearing up for BrazCon 2019. I was invited to make a return appearance for this year. I'll be another panel and I have limited copies of my all my books in paperback to sell. I also have brand-new swag and should be getting my newly-designed bookmarks soon, too.

Now that I've gotten my news out of the way, let me tell you what's really on my mind for this blog post and it's Mary Lindsey's YA novel, Haven.

It took me a while to get through this one not because of any flaws with the story, but because I was very distracted and have had a lot going on. But I finally finished it yesterday and I really enjoyed it.

Haven is a story that Mary Lindsey describes at author events as a book her editor really wanted her to write and one she wasn't sure whether or not would work. Let me tell you, it not only works, it's another example of her skill as a wordsmith.

We follow Rain (Aaron Ryland) on his journey from the streets of Houston, Texas to some itty bitty town full of secrets. Those secrets pertain to Weavers (witches/magic) and Watchers (werewolves).

Rain becomes enamored with the feisty alpha female, Freddie, and it sends him down a path of danger, suspense, conspiracies, and murder.

Mary has successfully taken the paranormal world of magic and werewolves and woven a tale that fans of Teen Wolf and YA Paranormal stories will likely enjoy.

From what I understand, there is talk of a sequel and I definitely will want to read that one!

To get your hands on Haven, check out Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

I'm not sure what I'll be reading next. My TBR (To Be Read) stack currently has several 1-2 chapter preview stories, and about 18 novels and 1 non-fiction. So, yeah, it's a lot and this doesn't even include what I have on my E-reader waiting for me!

What are you reading these days? How has your 2019 been so far?