I do not read every book/author I spotlight or book tour I host!
Readers, Please research and use wisdom before buying

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Stacey Weeks!

Good Morning Friends!

Today's guest is no stranger to our blog but it has been a while since Stacey visited so please give her a great big W-E-L-C-O-M-E Baaaccckk!

Evident Gentleness

The words burst from the depths. Like early rumbling foreshocks, they warn of the coming quake. “Because I said so!”

I struggle to speak with consistent gentleness. The day begins well, but by 9 pm, when my kids are still roaring with energy and mine is depleted, my tone sharpens. I justify my attitude by pointing out their disobedience. However, someone else’s sin never justifies mine.

Have you been there? Have you stood in the right shouting all the wrong words? Have you wielded your battle sword only to lose the larger war?

We know Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” We understand that people respond best to kindness, yet harshness pours easily from the overflow of an exhausted heart. It’s too easy to yield to the temptation to satisfy our flesh by releasing frustration. We fail to heed Galatians 6:1-3 because we think we are right.

At war with that prideful position of being right is the believer’s desire to walk worthy of our calling with all humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with others in love (Eph 4:1-3). We are to “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith …” (1 Timothy 6:10-12), and not be quarrelsome, able to teach, patiently enduring, correcting with gentleness in the hope God may grant him repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 2:24-26).

As I meditate on the verses that describe the woman the Lord is shaping me to become, I can’t help but notice they are packed with verbs. Action words require an active response from me. That means I stop passively waiting for God to supernaturally drop gentleness onto my tongue. I decide to believe that He has given me all I need in His Spirit to speak with gentleness at all times. And when I fail—because I will—I repent and humbly seek forgiveness from whoever I’ve wronged and God. Being right doesn’t permit me to treat a person made in the image of God harshly.

I don’t know where you are in your spiritual journey or how your relationships with others are growing and changing, but I expect some of you are like me, and you need to hear this correction. You need to hear the encouragement that God will meet us in exhausting moments, and He delights in giving us what we need to walk in obedience to Him; we only need to ask.


If you long for the kind of joy rooted in complete dependence on God, if you long for peace, trust, and contentment amidst alarming circumstances, check out the Second Edition of Glorious Surrender

Winner of the Women’s Journey of Faith Award, Stacey Weeks invites you to travel with her through the thirteen chapters in Glorious Surrender and address the deeply rooted fears we have as mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends. Reflection questions designed to prompt deeper thinking and personal application can be done alone or in a group. 

Glorious Surrender concludes with five passages of Scripture along with study questions designed to walk you through the text and apply everything you have learned about suffering, surrender, and God’s sovereignty. Some of God’s greatest blessings are hiding behind those parts of our lives that are most difficult to surrender.

Get Glorious Surrender at Amazon in Ebook and Print!

Stacey is a mother of three, a sipper of hot tea with honey, and loves to share the hope of Christ with women. She has a graduate certificate for Women in Ministry, is a multi-award-winning author and novelist and is a frequent conference speaker. Find more information at StaceyWeeks.com

Follow Stacey online:

Check out Stacey's previous visits HERE.

Thank you for the lovely reminder, Stacey that we should strive for gentleness in all things and with everyone!

And, Thanks friends, for dropping by and honoring Stacey with your presence and comments. Come back each week for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight!

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Bonita Clifton & Time of the Rose!

Good Morning from Lovely Indian Creek Campground!

We came up Wednesday for a short camping trip. If the wind hadn't been so bad it would have been much lovelier. Heading home this morning but please welcome new-to-me-our-blog author, Bonita Clifton with a peek at her novel, Time of the Rose!

An antiques buff who longs to experience the olden days. A cowboy who’s fallen into the wrong era. Can they change history with their passion?

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, 2014. Madison Calloway has become too well acquainted with despair. Still reeling from a nasty divorce, the heartbroken travel agent is nevertheless determined to embrace an intriguing work trip to a Wild West tourist town. And when a magnetically masculine gunslinger shows up at the shooting exhibition, he captures her imagination with his skillful display…and outlandish claims of being from 1878.

Colton Chase is too busy pursuing a murderer to pause for love. Yet after a mysterious flower hurtles him over one hundred years into the future, he’s willing to explore his unexpected connection with a beautiful and feisty stranger. So when she accidentally accompanies him back to his own time, he gallantly protects her from danger by pretending she’s his wife.

Unprepared for the hardships of the rancher’s rough-and-tumble life, Madison wavers between her yearning for the familiar and the joy of their growing relationship. And with the man who slaughtered his family still on the loose, Colton knows he may have to sacrifice his own happiness to see her safely returned home.

Can the lovestruck pair turn an impossible meeting into happily ever after?

Excerpt: Madison rode the cinnamon-color mare toward the foothills, daggers of blowing rain stinging her face and hands. She’d strapped her leather shoulder bag behind the saddle like she had seen Colt do. Soggy hair clung to her cheeks, her expression one of concentration as she sat astride the trotting horse, not daring to encourage the mare to go any faster; the soreness in her pelvis almost more than she could stand now. 

“Colt, now why couldn’t you have stayed at Ernie’s until this storm passed?” she muttered to herself, certain the wine had given her the courage if not the coordination for this mission. 

Initially, she’d flipped up the hood on her rain jacket and jogged toward the Jackson Hole Rodeo Arena, hoping to borrow Cinnabar from Ernie Hawkins, or better yet, find Colt safe, chatting it up with friends and having dinner. Ernie must’ve thought she’d lost her marbles, wanting to ride out in this weather. But by that time, she hadn’t cared. Colt wasn’t there and Ernie hadn’t seen him since he’d dropped off Cinnabar earlier. 

First, she’d inquired about borrowing a horse, and when he apologetically refused, she asked to rent one for a few hours. He couldn’t do that, either. Increasingly desperate as the storm closed in, she’d finally begged, explaining she feared for Colt’s safety. They arrived at a mutual agreement. Madison purchased Cinnabar and all the mare’s tack. It was a good thing Ernie took credit cards. Geez, she must be nuts. Disbelieving the hoops she had jumped through, and for a virtual stranger’s benefit, she rationalized that she had become quite attached to Cinnabar. And she’d always wanted a horse. She had no idea what she would do with the mare once this little mission of mercy was complete. She mused that she could always ride her to work—wouldn’t that be a sight? Maybe if she were lucky, ole Ernie would buy Cinnabar back when she returned. Oh well, she really had always wanted a horse. 

Colt damn well better appreciate her efforts. She could’ve turned her back and flown home, never giving him another thought. But somehow, in a short time, he’d become a close friend, and she sincerely desired to help him overcome his problems, whatever they may be. 

And she couldn’t get that amazing kiss out of her head. 

The damp air turned more frigid, skies a slate gray as she steered Cinnabar along the same path they’d ridden that morning. She half expected it to start snowing. The rain came as a weeping drizzle, and Cinnabar’s hooves sank into the spongy soil with every step. At least the crisp tang of moist sagebrush and cedar mixed with the sweet scent of buttercups was pleasant enough. 

Daylight evaporated within thick, swirling clouds, and it occurred to her that she hadn’t left a message for Mark as to her whereabouts. She pulled the cell phone from her jacket pocket and discovered no signal and a low battery. Dammit. If she were to encounter trouble, nobody would know where to find her—only Ernie, and all he knew was that she’d barged into his office insisting she had to have a horse. 
Where was that elusive meadow? She thought sure she knew, though began to doubt herself. Jumpy, Madison scrutinized every shadowy movement, recalling Colt’s account of Old Bones, which instigated a creepy chill to zigzag up her spine. Hastily, she pushed the memory away and tried thinking about something a little less frightening, like cute, happy deer with spotted fawns that looked like Bambi. 
Thunder clapped around her with earth-jarring force, and Cinnabar shied. Her fists tightened in the reins. “It’s all right, girl,” she crooned as there came an illuminating flash of lightning.
On the crest of the next ridge stood a horse, with a man astride, brilliantly silhouetted against the eeriness of impending dusk. Her heart thumped wildly. He looked so majestic, ethereal, reminding her of a painting she once saw of a single cowboy riding watch over his herd beneath the ghostly light of a full moon. 

 Bonita is an award-winning American author of historical and contemporary romance.  Her first published novel, Time of the Rose (1994 Leisure Books/LoveSpell Timeswept imprint), was a finalist for the HOLT Medallion (Virginia Romance Writers). The 2nd Edition of Time of the Rose is scheduled for release on December 12, 2020.

 Bonita has a background in the travel industry, law enforcement, healthcare, and, most notably, as a stay-at-home mom of four incredible humans. She lives near the sugary white sands of Panama City Beach in Florida. When she isn’t playing in the sand or splashing in the ocean, (even though she can’t swim and water scares her to death), she’s with her own macho hero, traveling, riding horses, or planted in her office chair hard at work creating captivating characters to throw into exciting and nearly impossible adventures. One of her very favorite things is sharing snuggles with a willing pooch. Needless to say, there are always plenty of dogs and other critters in her books—especially horses and bears. She asks you, what’s a good story without a few lovable (and often scary) critters?

Along with her real-life hero, the amazing idea man, Bonita writes steamy historical romance as a duo under the pen name Sindee Harlow (The Honeyrose Collection).

Find out more about Bonita by visiting her Website.

Get your copy of Time of the Rose at Amazon.

~  ~  ~

Wow, Bonita what an exciting blurb and excerpt and a beautiful cover. Thank you for sharing!

Hope you enjoyed today's spotlight friends and that you'll check back weekly for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Lynne Podrat!

Good Morning Friends!

We're heading out to camp for a few days so I'm not going to take up too much of your time. Instead, I'll introduce new-to-me-and-our-blog author, Lynne Podrat whose memoir, Listen to Me is on tour with Premier Virtual Author Book Tours! Take it away Lynne....

If I were a Vegetable.

One of the most interesting questions I have been asked during an interview was, “If you were a vegetable, what would you be?” Hm… really good question, I thought. Not having hours to work this through, I went with my first instinct, my favorite vegetable, potatoes. I love potatoes, mashed especially, baked, fried, crisped, really makes no difference. Of course, this is in direct conflict with my healthy life style and eating habits. Meaning, no carbohydrates from pasta, breads or potatoes. My carbohydrate intake comes from eggplant, zucchini, the many different squashes, the occasional sweet potato, and weekend cocktail.
So, how do I reconcile that a vegetable I love, but only eat on very rare occasion possibly represent my core being? Elementary, my dears, elementary. I do not have to eat myself to be perfectly represented in spirit. The Potato offers a variety of shape and color, my skin tone changes with the seasons, versatile in texture and flexibility, I power walk and run, dragon boat or paddleboard, and have softer skin with lotion, great in so many food recipes and drink recipes as it is used to make vodka, but never loses its own identity or flavor

Of course, I stole that question to use as an ice-breaker for a zoom chat I was hosting.

Lynne Podrat graduated from the Pennsylvania State University and then spent fifteen years in the Fashion Industry as an Assistant Buyer and Department Manager with Bloomingdales Department Store before returning to school to receive her educational degrees from Arcadia University and Gynedd Mercy.

A retired educator and Administrator from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania School District, she taught English, literature, composition and history in elementary and secondary schools.

She has secretly been a writer and poet her whole life, but has only recently chosen to share those talents with the world. Lynne now lives with her husband in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, spending winters dragon boating where her heart races and summers hiking the Rockies in Vail, Colorado where her heart sings. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Lynne's book, Listen To Me: How My Down Syndrome Brother Saved My Life is a memoir written to honor her youngest brother’s influence over her life, the good, the bad, and the ugly of living with a Down Syndrome sibling. It tells the story of the children in her family, despite their parents’ frailties, remaining committed to each other through life’s many changes and separations. "Who I am today is directly related to the who I needed to become," Lynne says.

Listen To MeReview by Gracie

A powerful read about the love of family and finding yourself through helping others. 

When Lynne Podrat was 13 years old, her mother gave birth to a baby brother. Already having one younger brother, Lynne was familiar with the process but found herself very surprised to meet her new brother, Bruce and discover that he had down syndrome. 

Lynne immediately found herself loving her little brother, and took it upon herself to stop her parents from giving his care over to the state so that he could be placed in a group home. For the rest of his life, Bruce and Lynne shared a special bond that changed and enriched both of them and gave them a sense of family. 

Over the course of college, marriages, divorces, children and retirement, Lynne continued to care for Bruce, constantly finding herself learning new things from him even as she struggled to continue to teach him things that many of us would consider basic, like reading and writing. 

In her book, 'Listen To Me: How My Down Syndrome Brother Saved My Life,' Lynne creates what is sort of a tribute to the life of her younger brother, who unfortunately died from cancer in 2020. Writing about the life of Bruce, Lynne makes the reader feel as if we knew him ourselves, as so many people in his community seemed to. 

Bruce seemed like he was a really great person, and, after reading this book, you feel glad to have gotten to know him. 

This is a short read, but well worth picking up, as it contains a special wisdom that only someone who has been through the things that the author has can offer. A memoir that is touching, funny and irreverent, 'Listen To Me,' is a one-of-a-kind read that will leave you feeling uplifted. 

Buy Listen To Me by Lynne Podrat at AmazonBarnes&Noble, or IndieBound

Follow the tour and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win 1 of 3 print copies! (US only).

Tour Schedule:

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Mar 14 Kickoff & Interview

Dee Amazon Mar 17 Review

Andy K. Amazon Mar 21 Review

Becky Life as Rog Mar 22 Review

Gracie-Pamela S Thibodeaux Blog Mar 23 Guest Review & Guest Post

Gud Reader Storeybook Reviews Mar 24 Guest Review & Excerpt

Vicki I’d Rather Be At The Beach Mar 25 Review & Excerpt

Am Goodreads Mar 29 Review

Laura Lee Celticlady’s Reviews Mar 30 Guest Review & Guest Post

Jas International Book Promotion Mar 31 Review

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews April 1 Review & Guest Post

Lynelle Inspire to Read April 4 Review & Excerpt

Linda Lu Goodreads April 6 Review

Bee Book Pleasures April 8 Review & Interview

Katy Goodreads April 11 Review

Betty Toots Book Reviews April 12 Review

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus April 13 Review

Suzie My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews April 14 Review

Hope you enjoyed today's post and that you'll drop by weekly for more Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlights!

Until next time take care and God bless.


Saturday, March 19, 2022

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Lisa Becker & Starfish: A Rockstar Romance Series!

Good Morning!

Heading to Lafayette, LA a little later this morning for a French music festival so I'm not going to take up too much of your time. Please welcome new-to-me-our blog author Lisa Becker who writes contemporary romance with steamy, open door scenes. Take it away Lisa....

Starfish: A Rockstar Romance Series

Rating: R (for sexual content and adult language)

Genre: Contemporary romance

Audiobook collection narrators: Sebastian York, Erin Mallon, Tim Paige, Kelsey Navarro, Stella Hunter and Connor Crais

Three sexy rock stars. Three headstrong heroines. A sizzling romance series that hits you with all the happy ever after feels.
Boxed Set: 500+ award-winning pages of sexy and swoon worthy heroes, strong female leads, witty banter, practical jokes and combustible chemistry.

Bright and ambitious Marin Collins needs to stick to her “no workplace romance” policy and resist the sexy and nerdy rock star who is her new client. Brad Osterhauser, the reluctant guitarist who would rather be coding computer games than penning Grammy-nominated songs, finds his outlook on band life improve immensely when he’s smitten by the smart and stunning PR executive who joins the tour. Traveling by bus, city to city with a group of practical joking bandmates and a greedy manager, will music save or sink their forbidden romance?

Lead singer Jase, burned-out from the pressures of life on the road, is called to his small hometown for a funeral. Sparks fly when he’s reunited with the childhood best friend he left behind. These friends to enemies soon become lovers. But with someone trying to tear them apart, can their new love survive? Meanwhile, practical joking keyboardist Oliver hooks up with a cash-strapped jewelry designer seeking distraction from workplace harassment. Can the prankster prove himself serious enough to turn a one-night stand into lasting love?

Starfish: A Rock Star Romance Boxed Set, Books 1-3 includes three stand-alone romances filled with small town and big city settings, new loves and second chances, forced proximity and chance encounters.

If you love sexy rock stars, smart and sassy female leads, sizzling chemistry, witty banter, and happily ever afters, Lisa Becker’s Starfish rock star box set is for you. Find it at Amazon or read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

Trigger warning: Workplace sexual harassment

Lisa Becker is an award-winning romance writer who spends her time like she spends her money - on books and margaritas.  As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a tush.” Lisa is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach, California with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone! 

Connect with Lisa

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lisa-becker

I might enjoy a steamy romance from time to time but not everyone in my audience does so there is no excerpt today. I hope you understand and if this is your cup of tea, be sure to pick up a copy of  Starfish: A Rockstar Romance Series at Amazon. The audiobook is available directly from Lisa's website.

Until next time, take care and God Bless.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

#WednesdayWordswithFriends I'm Catching up with You today!

Good Morning Friends and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Occasionally I host a contest or do something special for my newsletter subscribers. Last month I offered a special gift to one who responded to my "Motivational Moment" so before I get on to the rest of my post, I'd like to congratulate LINDA HAWKINS! 

My newsletter goes out on the 3rd Thursday of the month (tomorrow). I've devised a Scavenger Hunt for subscribers only this month I sometimes recap here what I share in my newsletter (like today) except for those contests, so if you're not one, you still have time to sign up using THIS LINK or clicking on the image in my sidebar.

Now, on to my news....

On the Home Front: My Angel Girl turns eighteen this month and y'all, I still can't believe she's so grown up! I'm creating a very special gift for her birthday. I'd share it with you now, but don't want her to get wind of it, so I'll do so next month. She's definitely going to college at Stephen F Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX and she's already received a few scholarships. Please pray for us (especially her mom and dad) as we navigate her transition into adulthood. I am SO happy she'll be living with my son/her uncle. That's less for us to worry about.

My honey and I got in our first camping trip this month. Since it was our maiden voyage after repairs to the camper and with his new truck we stayed close to home but it was a lovely time away from everything. Next trip, I'll get a few pics to share with you. A very dear friend lost her mom, another lost her husband so that's been tough. Please pray for them and their families (I'm not mentioning names for privacy sake but God knows who they are) TIA!

Other than this, not much else going on. I lead a pretty simple (some might say boring) life. 😊

As for my writing....For those of you who live in SWLA, I've been contributing to Lagniappe pretty regularly these last few months so pick up a copy when you get a chance. I'd love to know what you think of my articles. Between the camping trip and funerals, writing and editing have slowed somewhat but I've resumed both this week and hope to have a release date and pre-order info on Kyleigh's story by next month.

For my Writing Friends, check out Mark Dawson's Self Publishing Formula and listen to his podcasts on YouTube. There's tons of information to help you with your career! 

LR Trovillion is my NL's featured guest this month and she graciously hosted me  on her blog today. I hope you'll drop by and see what I write, why and my favorite character and animal memory. She was in the Spotlight back in Jan. Check out her post!

Hope you enjoyed today's post and if you are already on my NL list, I hope you'll share the link with your family and friends and encourage them to sign up too!

Until next time, take care, God Bless and I'll leave you with this Motivational Moment....

Led by the Spirit or controlled by the Clock?

One of my standard prayers is for a closer walk with Jesus and that's never more uppermost in my mind than during Lent. The other day while seeking HIM, the Lord asked me this question and since, I've tried to be more led than controlled. HE knows the things I'm committed to do and if I allow HIS leading not only do I get everything done, I accomplish so much more and feel wonderful as a result. 

Something to think about...


PS: A couple of years ago I wrote an article for my column in TWJ Magazine titled Lent Free. I know we're in the middle of that season right now but you may still be inspired by the information. Check it out HERE.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

#SaturdaySpotlight is on David Russell & Self's Blossom!

Good Morning Friends,

If you read Wednesday Words with Friends this week you'll know it was a rough one and I'm glad it's over. Today's guest is brand new to me and our blog so please welcome David Russell with his book, Self's Blossom. 

PLEASE NOTE: Although this blurb & excerpt are mild, Self's Blossom is EROTIC romance.

A romantic, erotic tale of a vivid portrayal of the quest for the inner truth, empowerment and sexual liberation of Selene, a woman searching for primeval abandon and reckless adventure.
Intelligent, a university graduate and a successful careerist, Selene became emotionally scarred by unhappy relationships. Riled and taunted through the years by her former college roommate Janice,
Selene gave in to the long-term desire to "get one back" at Janice by having a passionate holiday encounter.

Immediately drawn to the sea and enthralled by its brutal yet sensual waves, Selene seduces a young boy on a deserted beach. Once she comes to meet the mature and powerful Hudson, Selene finally begins to claim her sensual destiny.

Through a slow process, accentuated by Selene's shyness, introspection and circumspection, she embarks on a long and elaborate interplay of leading on and rejection. The volcanic passion builds until there is a blazing row. A possible drowning, the final ritual undressing at long last, leads to the ultimate flowering of the woman Selene was meant to be.

Excerpt: Here, she was on a beach, pure and simple. Now the sea breathed heavily, whispering and murmuring to her. It was returning her stare, speaking to her. It was the spirit of love, beckoning her with a pulsing, sinewy body. In all its lines, shades, and fleeting forms, Selene saw the essence of pure beauty, all grace of form, flesh, limb and feature. It was in one, all the lovers of whom she could possibly dream, conflated into one elemental ideal. He, pure love in soul, bade her to enter his domain and make it hers. His arms moved her hands to unclasp, unbutton, and unzip . . . the blossom emerged. The sun became the eye of all that was not earth, and Selene loved fully, though the pallor of her skin left her momentarily abashed.

At first she lay in the tide's path, the top of her head at its most extreme mark. The sand bank made a soft bed. The sea lover smoothly caressed her calves, thighs, hips, breasts, shoulders, and cheeks before retreating to pause in his mossy pinnacles. Three times this action was repeated, and then Selene stood up, wading in with arms outstretched. Her arms were linked, as she stood up to her neck in the saline flow. The balls and heels of her feet wobbled, slithering on the moss. With the next wave, she lost her balance – her breath prepared in unison with the hissing around her. She threw her head back, once again horizontal, and launched into a backstroke, sweeping and circling. She parted her legs wide with each thrust of motion, each sweep of self-propulsion pushing out to answer the cavernous currents of his passion. Seven circles gave her a delicious, warm bliss – then the sea lover, well pleased, carried her back to a near-dry bed. Aching and contented, Selene dozed a while.

Born 1940. Resident in UK. Writer of poetry, criticism, speculative fiction and romance. Poetry Collection Prickling Counterpoints (1998). Several poems published in Forward Press anthologies, and in International Times. Editor of Poetry Express Newsletter. Speculative fiction works High Wired On and Rock Bottom. Romance publications Self's Blossom, Explorations, Further Explorations, Therapy Rapture and Darlene. I am also a guitarist/singer-songwriter. My main CD albums are Bacteria Shrapnel and Kaleidoscope Concentrate; I have several tracks on YouTube.

Find out more about David and his other books by visiting his GoodReads page and get your copy of Self's Blossom at Amazon.UK.

Hope you enjoyed today's spotlight friends and that you'll check back each week for another edition of Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Kelly Morgan, PHD!

Good Morning Friends,

Got home from camping Sunday afternoon to find out about 2 deaths (1 dear friend's mom and another dear friend's husband) therefore I have a funeral and a wake to attend today so I'm not going to take up a lot of time catching you up on what's going on with me. Instead, I'm going to let Dr. Kelly Morgan, who was in our Spotlight Feb 5th, take it away...

The Ultimate Guide to Reaching Your Goals

We all have a vision of how we want to look, feel, and act. Your vision for your healthy self is as individual as you are. 

Apart from those goals that are physically unachievable by humans, smart goal setting, detailed planning, and a system of support and motivation can take you from thinking about getting healthy to living that vision of a healthy you that’s floating around in your brain.

Setting Your Vision
Ask yourself these questions...and take the time to write down your answers:
What do you want to achieve? Be specific.
Why do you want to achieve this goal? 
What does this success mean for you?
How might your daily life change? 
Where do you struggle the most in trying to reach this version of you?
What needs to change about your attitude, environment, support system, lifestyle, finances to get you where you want to be?
Most importantly, why haven’t you changed or succeeded in long term change in the past?

Setting Your Goals
When you begin to piece together your goals and plan, be both kind to yourself and realistic.

What are the most important outcome of making this change for you? How can you get there in the most painless way possible? The secret to habit-changing success is to - get this - make it easy. You’re going to be actively negotiating with yourself while formulating your goals and plan. Negotiate a deal you can live with and still reach your goals.

As you list your most important outcomes of this process, think of them as your goals. Break each of the outcomes down into separate goals that you are invested in achieving. Each one should be distinct and have only one outcome. The clearer you can get the goals, the simpler it will be to assign the tactics you need to achieve them.

Getting Tactical
For each goal, write a one to two sentence strategy. After writing a strategy for each goal, list out specific things you’ll do to achieve that goal. These are your tactics. Think of everything you can do to execute your strategy. How can you remove obstacles and barriers from your life to make way for goal attainment?

Think of tactics that can easily fit into your life and that can help you toward your goals. Anything you can think of that would help is fair game for this list. Be creative!

Making Your Plan
Once you have your goals, strategies, and tactics, it’s time to plan. Unfortunately, you can’t live in a bubble where you only have to focus on reaching your goals. Sorry. To be successful and efficient in achieving your goals, you need to figure out how your new tactics will fit in with your daily routine. What needs to change for you to do these tactics? Are there things you need to buy? Space you need to make? Schedule shuffling to do? How can you most easily and seamlessly incorporate these tactics into your current life?

A Final Word
This may take you a while to complete. Take your time and be thorough and detailed. Planning out your path to success now, while you’re motivated, will save you from difficult and tempting situations, setbacks, and, let’s be honest, a little laziness, in the future.

Best of luck to you in achieving your goals! 

Kelly Vandersluis Morgan, Ph.D. owns Tsirona, where she is a health coach for busy, high-achieving women who have put their health on the backburner while kicking butt in the rest of their lives. She helps women gain control of their health and use it as a tool for continuing to lead their crazy lives and achieve their big dreams. She has recovered from anorexia, gained too much weight in a time of stress, and finally discovered how to make her health much easier.

Dr. Morgan’s online coaching and courses help her clients set their goals and reach success. She has been featured in media outlets such as Self, Yoga Journal, Elite Daily, and HealthyWay.

Dr. Morgan has a unique mix of formal education in writing, health communication, and business that is supplemented by her experience as a certified personal trainer, health coach, fitness nutrition specialist, and RYT 200 yoga teacher. She is also an adjunct professor in the Health and Sport Management departments at the largest university in Virginia, where she has had a near-100% success rate with guiding her hundreds of students through health behavior change projects to reach their goals.

Visit Kelly’s website to learn more about how she can help you: www.tsirona.com   

Kelly's book, YOU but Better: Stop Making Your Health So Hard! can be found at Amazon.

Great information, Kelly, since we are still in the 1st Qtr. of this year. THANKS for sharing! 

Thanks for dropping by Friends. Hope to see you again soon for another edition of Saturday Spotlight and Wednesday Words with Friends.

Until next time take care and remember to call, text or hug your loved ones. We're not promised tomorrow.


PS: It's Read an Ebook Week and my titles are on sale for 50% off at Smashwords Only - Tell someone you know or get them a copy today!

Saturday, March 5, 2022

#SaturdaySpotlight is on Uschi Nagel & From Loss to Love!

Good Morning!

We're taking advantage of the warmer temps here and brought the camper out for the weekend. Although windy, lots of sunshine is wonderful and makes sitting outside not thinking about anything important a welcomed reprieve from daily tasks.

My guest today is an Australian Counselor and Author and her book is one we can all benefit from, so please welcome Uschi Nagel and From Loss to Love!

"A beautiful gift book for someone grieving a beloved pet. Loving, gentle and kind.

All too many of us experience the tragic passing of a furry companion and commonly find ourselves unable to cope with what has happened.

What if you turned inward to the grief about losing your beloved pet? Instead of pushing feelings of loss aside to move on, what would happen if you honored this tragic loss with reverence and self-compassion?

What if grieving was honoring the life your pet lived?

Allow yourself to feel these emotions, because they are neither good nor bad, they just are.

This book provides comfort and practical coping strategies to navigate the grief process. It has been created to gently support and assist you on your journey from Loss to Love."

Excerpt: "We all feel it.

The bond with our pet is unique and strong.

Some say it is because the Love from an animal is unconditional.

You treasure the precious life experiences you've shared with friends and family.

Adventures with your beloved pet are no different.

After all, they often experience the ordinary and extraordinary moments of life with us before other people do.

They're there in times of tragedy,

and in times of joy.

For birthdays.

For promotions.

For life milestones.

For loss. And birth.

And rain storms. And days with the flu.

They are by our side for the moments that make up life."

Uschi Nagel, a qualified Counselor and undercover crazy cat lady with a passion for all four-legged fur friends and their humans.

Many people experience the tragic passing of an animal companion and commonly find themselves struggling to cope with what has happened. Uschi understands the complexity of dealing with this challenge and focuses on supporting people after losing a beloved pet.

After the sudden death of her dog Sunny, Uschi wrote her first book “From Loss to Love”, which gives comfort and practical support to assist on the painful journey after pet loss.

Uschi lives in Australia with her family and one pompous black cat, she loves the beach and adores Batman.  You can find her on the web at www.uschinagel.com

Get your copy of From Loss to Love at Amazon, B&N and Indibound.org!

Sounds like a lovely work, Uschi. Thank you for sharing with us today! We certainly wish you the best of luck and God's blessings in your endeavors.

That's it for today, Friends. See you next week for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight!


Wednesday, March 2, 2022

#WednesdayWordswithFriends Welcomes Kyle Bernier & Lazy Creativity Audiobook Tour!

Good Morning Friends,

I hope your Mardi Gras celebrations were fun and safe and now, those of you who practice Lenten observation, are ready to settle in for the next six weeks. Years ago I wrote an article for TWJ Magazine titled, Lent Free that suggests maybe we shouldn't be so quick to toss out our Lenten practices. Check it out!

But enough about me. Please welcome today's guest, a brand-new-to-me-and-our-blog author, Kyle Bernier with his audiobook, Lazy Creativity which is on tour with Audio Bookworm Promotions!

I must say, the title intrigued me so I'm anxious to hear more about this book. Here's what Kyle has to say about it.....

How did you select your narrator?  

I was in the unique position of being approached by my narrator, Joel. Joel had found my book and mentioned how he immediately connected with it as a creator himself. Joel narrated the first ten minutes or so of the book to give me a preview of what it might sound and feel like. I immediately knew Joel was the right fit for the book. There was no way in hell I was going to narrate my own book, but after listening to that preview, I knew I’d found someone who would capture my voice closely. I’m not talking about the actual voice, (although we’re not too dissimilar) but instead the inflection and feel for the text. Joel did a great job of capturing my inner voice.

How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters? 

Joel was amazing throughout this whole process. We met a couple times before he started doing the recording in full. He’d record a section and then send over any questions. We didn’t have to change much as he nailed my personality and ‘voice’ right away. There were a couple instances where the translation from book to audiobook got a bit messy. Those instances allowed us to get creative in our edits. There is even an opportunity where Joel gets to break the fourth wall a bit which he mentioned was a new experience for him in his narration career!

Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing? 

There were many inspirations for my writing. Too many to name here. I drew from my work with clients in the art therapy realm, as well as from family and friends. This book was highly personal so it was important for me to be able to draw from personal experiences and stories. I talk a lot about my own creative journey and the mistakes I’ve made over the years. 

How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?

This is a great question for me to answer as it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. Burnout is so pervasive and after two years of a pandemic, many of us are feeling it. For me, my creative work has been an outlet and is a form of self-care for me. That doesn’t mean my work hasn’t been impacted. My writing has slowed down a bit as feelings of burnout have increased. To push past this I think of how my work impacts my readers. Like Lazy Creativity, I write a lot about how we can use creativity as a tool for living better and fuller lives. That kind of writing feels good to write and it keeps me motivated. The stories I hear back from my readers about how they are using their creativity certainly adds fuel to the fire as well. 

Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?

I’m not much of an audiobook listener. I’ve done it a few times, but I like the feel of a physical book. I don’t have a Kindle or e-reader either because I don’t feel as attached to the material. I’ve recently started getting into audiobooks in the self-help genre, however, and found it’s been nice listening to them while I’m on the bike, cleaning, or doing yard work. 

What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?

I don’t do a lot of listening to audiobooks – it’s a personal preference. I absorb information and ideas in a different format. Everyone is different. I’d say find what works best for you. If you’re an auditory learner, audiobooks are great! There is no shame. I think some corners of the reading community look down at audiobook listeners, but that’s an antiquated way of thinking. From an accessibility perspective, do what works best for you and don’t feel bad about it!

What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump? 

I write about this a little bit in Lazy Creativity – I write about the different stages within the creative process. One of the stages is the “rest” stage. This involves taking time away from your work to, well, rest. This could be a complete pause of creative work, or can be a shift in what you’re working on. If you’re finding you’re in a writing slump, my advice is to allow the period of rest to happen without fighting it – embrace it. You’ll come back recharged and you may be surprised by ideas coming back to you after taking a step back. The other option is to work on a different project in a different medium. For me this means printmaking, web design, or painting. Exercising different parts of your creative brain can help spark some inspiration for your writing. If you don’t have the luxury of completely taking time off to rest, then play around with what it feels like to do something else in addition to your writing. If you’re in a reading slump, try a new genre or a different format. I recently went to a comic store and bought a graphic novel. That helped get me out of my reading slump. It might be worth a try. 

What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Look at the big picture, but don’t let it intimidate you. It was helpful for me to look at each page by itself. Also, if you really want to write a book, you need to adequately budget your resources. I’m not going to tell you you need to only take cold showers, get up at 4:30am each day, and work a 12 hour day. You don’t. I certainly didn’t. I wrote a book on laziness because, well, I can be very lazy. That’s okay if you are too. But, you do need to keep at it. Show up consistently and write even on days you don’t feel like it.

Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?

The best advice I can give to authors looking to turn their books into an audiobook is to find a narrator you mesh with. That’s key. They are the voice to your words and ideas. It is important for the two of you to be on the same page. Listen to their work and get a feel for it. I lucked out and found someone who was personally interested in the message. If you have the luxury of doing that, I’d recommend it. It adds a certain level of excitement to the project. 

What’s next for you?

I’m currently working on my second formal book, which is also about the creative process. It will be called Ugly Creativity. Additionally, I’m writing a blog about my own writing process, keeping up with my other mediums, such as printmaking, and playing around with some other potentially smaller-scale projects.

My Top 10 Literary Inspirations

Jenny Lawson

Elizabeth Gilbert

Jonah Lehrer

Carl Rogers

Todd Henry

Kazuo Ishiguro

Catherine Moon

Matt Haig

Manoush Zomorodi

Stephen King

Reasons to listen to this book

Lazy Creativity meets you where you’re at

For inspiration

Perhaps a little more than inspiration, this book can be a creative kick in the butt if you need one

It’s pretty damn funny (I’m very modest)

There is no judgement involved 

The narrator, Joel, has a very soothing voice

I walk you through steps for getting started or for continuing your work

It’s for everyone – established creators or for those looking to get started

There are some quick exercises to get your creative process started

I include a list of creative ideas to spark your creativity

Lazy Creativity is the complete guide to owning your creativity in a way that works with you because it’s your creativity. Art Therapist, Author, Artist, and self-proclaimed lazy person Kyle Bernier provides a detailed handbook of the creative process, starting with building a creative mindset, to making the first (literal or figurative) mark, all the way to the creation of a finished project. In his work as an art therapist and researcher, Bernier noticed a strong desire in most people to become more creative, coupled with a strong fear of getting started. The learning curve appears too steep for many people - this book serves as a detailed roadmap for tackling our own creativity from the moment an idea pops into our heads – the proverbial lightbulb moment, to putting finishing touches on a project and transitioning to the next great idea. For established creatives, creative novices, or people looking to pivot to something new, this user-friendly creativity manual addresses roadblocks everyone working to better their creative selves will inevitably encounter and provides empathy, instruction, and motivation for pushing through these obstacles to reach your creative potential.

With a limited amount of resources, time, and energy available, and an increase of stressors, creativity has never been more important to living a bold life, full of beauty. By combining practical optimism with self-aware humor, Bernier encourages us to find and unlock our own creative selves to build a creative life worth living. Recognizing and addressing real barriers to creativity, including anxiety, fear, limited resources, a lack of motivation, and doubt, Bernier outlines his struggles and triumphs with finding his own creativity. He then shows how we can overpower these barriers using what we all already have inside all of us – creativity.

Listen to an Excerpt HERE.

Kyle Bernier is an art therapist, artist, researcher, and author who has spent years living and making creatively. Kyle holds a Master's degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Kyle is currently based in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he works, creates, and writes, when he isn't feeling lazy.

Meet Kyle's Narrator, Joel Simler!

Who would’ve thought that the kid sent to remedial reading classes would end up reading books for a living? It’s true, his elementary school teacher sent him to a remedial reading program – but he soon became that kid in class constantly getting in trouble for reading, instead of listening to his teachers.

A lifelong performer by any means possible, be it theatre, music, dance, radio, or pogo stick, Joel finally found a home in audiobooks after getting his degree in Audio Production. Since then, he has sought extensive coaching from industry pros, and records fervidly out of his audio hovel in the Pacific Northwest.

He’s a family man (soon to be dad of two, what?!), a professionally certified ballroom dance instructor, has traveled the US in his 1978 VW bus, and has a propensity for picking up hobbies like no other. Rock climbing/bouldering? ✓ Bonsai tree cultivation? ✓ Playing drums and ukulele? ✓✓ Reading? Huh heh heh, yeah ✓ Skateboarding? Definitely ✓ Baking sourdough bread? Heck. Yes. ✓ Dungeons and Dragons? You know it ✓ Someday he will bake the most perfect homemade pizza.

Lazy Creativity sounds like a wonderful resource to have on hand for instant inspiration. Thank you Kyle and Joel for sharing it with us! Get your copy at one of the following locations....

View the full tour schedule HERE at 

Hope you enjoyed today's post friends and that you'll stop by weekly for more Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.

Until next time, take care and God bless!