It was written – #MFRWauthor

 

Welcome to week 5 of the 52 week blog challenge… and this is topic is AMAZING!!! How can books influence your daily life?

How can they not 🙂

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One way is by providing an escape for life. Nothing is more relaxing for after a stressful day than curling up with a book. I prefer fiction but that’s the great thing about books – there all kinds. Sort of like doughnuts 😉

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Another is they can be inspiring. Read about a Holocaust survivor. Or about someone who won the battle against mental illness. Again the choice is endless.

Are you looking to ‘improve’ the already amazing you? There’s a book. My current favorite ….

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Want to learn how to do something? Yup, there’s a book.

But what if you don’t read? GASP!!!!

There are audio books. So let some greatness into your daily life…read or listen to a book.

Do you have favorite book type? While I do enjoy cookbooks, self-help books, and true crime. My ‘go-to’ are fiction. Ones that whisk me away. That feed my soul and imagination.

Thanks for stopping by, see you next week. Make sure to check out the other challenges http://mfrw52week.blogspot.com/

 

Welcome back…

2018… I’m not a big new years resolution sort of person. Actually, I’m a non-resolution type of person regardless of the date. BUT…I wanted to make some serious changes to my life. And a New year that starts with a super moon and ends with a moon eclipse is my kind of year.
Sooooooo, I put most of my shiny objects into a drawer, rounded up my turtles, and sobered my squirrels up.

I’m ready to take 2018 on full throttle…. Some of the changes took behind the scenes planning before I could take the big splash.
Like I always pick a word/theme. For 2018 the word/theme is COMPLETE….Complete my goals, complete writing projects, just complete things in general. Now for most of you this will seems like a weird focus. But I’m queen of the half started projects. As I tell people, the two things I completed on a timely bases is having my kids become adults….

I also make a vision board….I made two goals for the 5 areas of my life…

I have also started a GoodReads account (click here for my profile) to track my reading. I’ll make a 2018 reading list page later this month. But, this year reading focus is series. I’m starting at A and B in January. I don’t plan on reading an entire series in one months so I’m not sure how far I’ll make it in the alphabet. More on this later.

I’m also going to start blogging again….mindset Monday….journaling Wednesday…tasty/thirsty Thursday…Read it/Reading it Friday.

A preview of Thirst Thursday

A happy Grinch

These things are what makes a Grinch happy

A melted snowman

Monday’s Listifylife

This week’s listifylife are things I do to relax….

Anything that involves the beach is relaxing for me… reading at beach…writing at the beach…sitting at the beach.

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Make Time to sail away from life

Reading anywhere is relaxing. I usually have at least two books going sometimes three. One book that stays in my bedroom for nighttime, early morning, or ‘asthma’ reading. (Our bedroom is the only room with AC so when the humidity rockets, I’m like a little kid and get sent to my bedroom until I can breathe). The other travels with me in my purse. During the ‘warm’ months of cold Michigan, I have one on the porch.

Crocheting and needle point/cross stitching. I try to do 1 and 1/2 baby blankets a month. One blanket a month is donated to Project Linus and a blanket every other month to our church’s baby ministry.

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Cooking – I include my drink ‘inventions’ that I feature on Thirsty Thursday under this.

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My black moon martini

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journaling- I use journals for many different things. It’s a place of reflection, a place for venting, and a place of dreaming. I follow the ‘no’ rules of journaling. I have read tons of books on journal trying to figure out the ‘key.’ How do I make journaling work for me? I have some really ugly journals…but about two years ago, I figured how to journal for ME and since then it has been very relaxing. A companion to journaling is my day planner. I ‘decorate’ the week every Sunday night. It’s a great way for me to shift from my ‘all writer’ mindset to my ‘crazy day job’ mindset.

 

#Listifylife Monday

Top 3 books in my to-be-read pile…

As some of you may know I’m reading my way through the alphabet this year. May is authors whose last name begins with I,J,or K.

I’ve ‘stumbled’ upon 2 great series….

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– A Black book 2.jpgLondon series by Caitlin Kittredge

– Fire of Heaven trilogy by Russell Kirkpatrick

 

 

 

 

 

 

So they are two of my top reads – Devil’s Business book 4 in Black London series and In the Earth Abides the Flame book 2 of the Five of Heaven trilogy.

I have 2 major ‘grow’ areas in my life… money/budgeting and exercise. Not a lot to read on exercise. Put the doughnut down and move. There done. However, there is an endless supply  on the money/budgeting side. Which is why my third book is 31 days of living well and spending zero by Ruth Soukup.

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So what are you reading???

 

Make Time Tuesday

I’m sure everyone has heard the saying, take time to smell the flowers. It’s good advice but the trick is deciding what ‘your’ flowers are. What might be a flower to you is a weed to me. Confused? Most people are by my logic 😛 For example, a flower for my sister-in-law is cleaning. It soothes and relaxes her to dust, vacuum, and mop floors. For me it rates up there with having bamboo shoots shoved under my fingernails. I’m also not a big fan of watching movies or television.

Make Time to sail away from life

Make Time to sail away from life

I enjoy reading but for it to be a full bloom flower, I need to at the beach or in my family room in front of the fire. One of my favorite flower activities is crocheting/needle work. I have a personal goal of making a baby blanket a month for Linus project and try to do a second one for the area community groups.
Another flower activity is card making. LOVE IT. I do all my holiday, birthday, and thinking of you cards. Here is a site I participate in their weekly challenge if any of you are fellow card makers.

The thing with my top three flower activities are they are ‘solo’ smelling activities. When I’m working the crazy day job, it’s okay, but when I’m off in the summer and writing all day that is a lot of alone time. Which I don’t mind BUT I tend to become very hermit like. If I don’t make a mindful effort, I’ll even go grocery shopping at 2:17 am just to avoid people ;-p This stresses my hubby and a few of my friends, they worry I’ll retreat to some North Michigan cave and when I’m found I’ll be surrounded by empty doughnut bags, mounds of crocheted baby blankets, and thousands of cards.
I know the key to life is balance. I think my seclusion during the three month summer break is my recouping time for the all the people interaction I have during the crazy day jobs months. I interact with people ALL day… parents, fellow staff, administration, and students (my favorite group by FAR).
What are some of the favorite flowers in your life? Do you try to balance them

Making time Tuesday

Best part --- they are calorie free ;-)

Best part — they are calorie free 😉

Snoopy has the right idea about books. Books nourish our souls. Books feed our thirst for knowledge. Books enrich our lives just like a fine meal does.

I’ve said, and many others have said, that all writers should be readers. I know of only one writer who doesn’t like to read. I mean of the writers I know personally. The fact that this one writer dislikes reading but loves writing is a bit shocking. Especially since she is such a fine writer. But she is in the minority.

I find that reading the work of other writers has helped me learn and grow as a writer. While I’m enjoying a suspense novel, I’m subconsciously taking in all I can about the way the author has written, the kind of phrasing he/she uses and word choice. I also note the things that I do not like. I do this when reading other things, too–short stories, essays, memoir, nonfiction articles, newspapers, and poetry.

I don’t want to copy the style of these other writers because I want my own voice to come through when I write. I do aim to study the different methods of other writers for some direction.

I have a feeling some of the writers reading this are going to say something like When do I have time to read? I hardly have time to write! I hear you loud and clear. I often read very early in the morning because I can’t seem to sleep past six anymore. Or I read while eating lunch or finishing the cup of tea I generally have with that meal. I read part of the evening because I find very little to draw me to watching TV. Oh, it’s on because my husband is addicted to TV, but I usually have a book in hand. I also spend part of my evening writing, so I’m not devoting an entire evening to one activity.

I have the benefit of being in a household that is just the two of us. I don’t have small children in need of my attention. I realize that reading time is a lot harder to find for busy parents of young children. But try to squeeze it in where you can. Set aside a family reading time when you all read. It might not be every day but even once a week would be helpful. Not only do you get to read but you are teaching your children the joy of reading.

What if you’re a student or working full time? It’s not easy to find reading time, but try to sneak in half an hour a day. It’s a wonderful way to unwind.

Yes, writers should also be readers. So squeeze some time out of your busy schedule. Write a little, read a little, write a little, read…..

Author Spotlight

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Today, I’m interviewing Jacon Bienora, aka Jacko B Goodnow, aka, Jacko Black, the pirate, aka Jacko Smith, the gypsy.

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Lyncee: Wow! That’s a lot of aliases. Jacon, how do you keep it all straight?
Jacko: I prefer to be called Jacko B. Goodnow, but will answer to my fancy name, Jacon Bienora as well. I’ll insist you have the wrong guy if you call me Captain Black.
Lyncee: Were you a bad captain?
Jacko: While I tried my hardest to be better than the captain before me, there’s really no such thing as a good pirate. Frankly, it’s a kill or be killed world. The moment I could, I returned to land. But I don’t want to talk about that part of my life. If you are really curious, then read Book 2.5, A Right to Love. Liza has published a private conversation between Alice and myself about my gypsy and pirate years. Frankly, I just want to forget them entirely.
Lyncee: Why is there a book 2.5? Why didn’t Liza just call it…I don’t know…3?
Jacko: *rolls eyes* Since Vic and Xavier are not the stars of the book, it was declared a romance, which isn’t fair. I save a lot of people in that book. I improve on Vic’s plan to steal an old woman from Bedlam and pull off a perfect removal. Then I was critical in finding Xavier.
Lyncee: I understand you fell in love with the old woman’s daughter?
Jacko: I did, and I took on my Spanish identity of Jacon Bienora, who is a very wealthy Spaniard, so society would accept my wife back into their fold.
Lyncee: Did that work?
Jacko: *huffs* No. My wife Alice loves running her estate by herself which the matrons of society don’t approve of.
Lyncee: Are you happy with your new life, because, honestly, you seem a bit grumpy…
Jacko: I adore my wife, my baby boy, and my second child Alice carries. She’s so happy running what might be the best farmland in England, but… In the country, I’m just a useless appendage, especially in winter. So when I received Xavier’s letter telling me someone murdered L’il Pete’s mom, I returned to London at once. When I told Alice why I had to leave, instead of asking me to stay, she suggested if Pete had no relatives, then we should adopt him. That’s the kind of woman she is. I love her with all my heart.
Lyncee: I have to ask, if you love your wife so much, then why did you kiss Vic in the middle of a lower dock road?”
Jacko: “That kiss was not my fault and meant nothing. If Vic hadn’t been…Nevermind. That’s not my secret to tell. Sorry, this interview is over.” *storms from room*
Lyncee: I can’t believe he just walked out. But seriously, I had to ask. He shouldn’t be kissing Vic. Vic and Xavier are perfect for one another. I’d be most upset if they were to break up. They’d probably become competitors in the business of solving crime.
Well, I’ll just have to read Well Kept Secrets to discover why Jacko kissed Vic. Hold on. Liza says the excerpt below will clarify the situation.
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blurb
The great Victorian sleuth Xavier Thorn and his partner Vic Hamilton take a case close to home. Their youngest staff member, L’il Pete, discovers his mother murdered in the alley. Jacko is called up from the country to assist in solving the crime. The good woman’s murder proves to be tangled up with a much larger and shocking list of crimes perpetrated by a powerful man who may truly be above the law. Making matters more complex: Vic discovers her recent weight gain may be the result of a condition that could destroy her life and everything she loves.
An Excerpt
Vic stormed towards him in fury. Jako held his ground, which meant she was soon inches away from his face, her feminine scent tantalizing his nose.
“Xavier told you to kiss me?”
He breathed in and he was once again overwhelmed with the desire to kiss her. She smelled just like Alice. Finally, he knew what caused the attraction. “You’re pregnant.”
She stepped back as if slapped. “What? No! And stop changing the topic.”
“I’m not. I just realized why the kiss was so…”
“So what?” she growled.
“More than it should have been.”
Her brow furrowed. “Why?”
“Because pregnant women give off a smell men find tantalizing.”
Vic stamped her foot. “I’m not having a baby!”
He eyed her ample breasts. Those had to be new. No way in hell she’d been hiding mountains under her young man’s clothes all these years.
“You’re definitely pregnant.”
Panic entered her eyes. “Why are you certain I’m pregnant and not just getting fat?”
“You smell like Alice does. That’s why I kissed you when you opened your mouth to me.”
“I did not—” She stopped and bit her bottom lip. After a deep breath in, she asked, “What other evidence do you have?”
He placed a hand softly on her belly, which she instantly pushed away. “Swollen belly, plump breasts. Bet they’re sore too.”
“That’s where people put on weight first,” she grumbled.
“When was the last time you had your curse?”
She looked away.
“Can’t remember?”
“It’s not a sure sign.”
He rolled his eyes. “How can a clever sleuth like you be so damn clueless about your own body?”

lINKS
Book 4
Well Kept Secrets
AMAZON
Free with Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Need to catch up?
Book 1
The Troublesome Apprentice

Book 2
The Missing Partner

Book 2.5
A Right to Love

Book 3
The Mesmerist
All Xavier books Free with Amazon Unlimited

About the authorLiza O’Connor was raised badly by feral cats, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast. There she worked for the meanest man on Wall Street, while her psychotic husband tried to kill her three times. (So much for finding nicer people.) Then one day she declared enough, got a better job, divorced her husband, and fell in love with her new life where people behaved normally. But all those bad behaviors have given her lots of fodder for her humorous romances. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.
You have been warned.
Mostly humorous books by Liza:
Ghost Lover—Two British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. And there’s a ghost cat that roams about the book as well. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)
Untamed & Unabashed—The youngest of the Bennet sisters, Lydia, tells her story. A faithful spinoff from Pride & Prejudice.
A Long Road to Love Series: (Humorous Contemporary odd Romance)
Worst Week Ever — Laugh out loud week of disasters of Epic proportions.
Oh Stupid Heart — The heart wants what it wants, even if it’s impossible.
Coming to Reason — There is a breaking point when even a saint comes to reason.
Climbing out of Hell — The reconstruction of a terrible man into a great one.
The Adventures of Xavier & Vic Sleuth series: (Late Victorian/Mystery/Romance)
The Troublesome Apprentice — The greatest sleuth in Victorian England hires a young man who turns out to be a young woman.
The Missing Partner — Opps! The greatest sleuth in Victorian England goes missing, leaving Vic to rescue him, a suffragette, and about 100 servants. Not to mention an eviscerating cat. Yes, let’s not mention the cat.
A Right to Love — A romantic detour for Jacko. Want to see how amply rewarded Jacko was when he & Vic save an old woman from Bedlam?
The Mesmerist — The Mesmerist can control people from afar and make them murder for her. Worse yet, Xavier Thorn has fallen under her spell.
Well Kept Secrets — L’il Pete’s mum is murdered, and discovering who & why reveals a great many secrets.

Social Networking FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
LIZA O’CONNOR
Investigate these sites:
Liza’s Blog and Website Facebook Twitter
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Read-it Tuesday

Last week on Read-it Tuesday, I finished a series on how to read like a writer. So does a writer read? Anything they want 😀

In 2013 I assigned each month a ‘theme’ – romance, sci-fi, steampuke, etc – so I would add variety into my reading. As much as I suffer from shiny object disorder, my reading is often the one area where I fall into a rut. The same authors, the same genre.

For this year, I have to try at least one new author (to me) in genre. So far this year the new authors I’ve read are:

January  ~ young adult fantasy ~

Trail By Fire by Josephine Angelini

Marking Time by April White

Lonely Souls by Karice Bolton

February ~ romance (of course) ~

Jack of Hearts by Kathryn Thomas

Lonestar Sanctuary by Colleen Coble.

March is going to be folklore, fairy tales.

If you would like to see all the books I’ve read for January and so far in February, check out my goodreads.

I always love suggestions so if

you have read an awesome book, please let me know.

Thanks for stopping by.

Read – It Tuesday

This is part three and the last in the series on why writers have to read. This week’s is similar to last weeks – to improve your craft.

When it looks outside, nothing is better than a glass of wine and good book

When it looks outside, nothing is better than a glass of wine and good book


When reading a book and you come across a sentence or two that ‘awe’ strike you, write them down. I have a spiral journal I keep handy for this purpose. If you don’t want to interrupt your reading have a pad of sticky notes handy to either jot the page number down or use as a place marker.

About every other week or so, I sit down with my ‘reading’ journal, a large cup of coffee, at least one doughnut and dissect the sentences I’ve accumulated.

Here is an example from Dark Haven by Gail Z. Martin

In the open ground between the camp and dark forest rim, a hazy green light glowed, like low-hanging smoke. From the within the shadows of the trees, the sound of groans carried on the night air.

The first thing I do is identify why I wrote this down something like – setting – description.
Then I write why I like them. Even though these sentences were in the middle of scene, reading just them draws you into the setting. You know you’re in a camp. There is an open space between the camp and forest. A weird haze is limiting your vision. And of course there are groans in the night air because everyone knows you can’t having low-hanging hazy green light without groans – : -)

Now I look at the structure. They are both on the long side.

Then I look at the adjectives and adverbs used. Are they ones I would have picked? If not, why?

Sometimes, I’ll include a sentence(s) that I think totally miss the mark. I then do the same thing only in reverse. But I rarely do this, I prefer to stretch my writing skills by studying really good writing.

I’d love to hear from anyone else who does this with their reading.

Thanks for stopping by.

Read – it Tuesday

Last week I started a series on Read it Tuesday about why a writer HAS to read…

Books are a uniquely portable magic ~ Stephen King

Books are a uniquely portable magic ~ Stephen King


The first reason was to be inspired. Few things can inspire me like a well written book or a poorly written book.

But if for no other reason, you should read to improve your craft. Nowhere else can you analyze character development, plot, and theme than in a book. You see the characters in movies but in a book the author has to create them.

If nothing else you should ask how does the author paint his/her characters?
As a writer, you should break down the books you read. I do this while I’m reading the book and then ‘ponder’ the entire book afterward doing something else (for me it’s while on the evil exercise trail).

While I’m reading I take ‘notes’ of unique ways did the author introduce traits and plants details that add layers the characters. When are the subplot introduced and do they always involve new characters?

Then afterwards I ‘mull’ over the entire book. Did the characters stay true? Were any plot strings left dangling? Did the characters, the plot, and theme all work together? Or were they in constant battle one have to bend or twist to fit?
I’d love to hear some of the things you’ve learned while reading.

Thanks for stopping by and happy writing