How to stretch your e-book dollars

free photo booksOkay, readers, gather around and listen. I’m going to tell you a secret you might not know about. I’m about to share some life-changing news.

You can get e-books legally – for free or under a dollar. No, I’m serious!

Below are a list of sites that send out daily, semi-weekly, or weekly emails that list e-books that are on sale. These are all legitimate sites and these emails don’t cost you a thing; authors have paid these marketing companies to be included in these lists to get the word out about their books.

You can select what genres you like to read – they aren’t just romance. So pick your reading pleasure and have notifications about free and cheap books sent directly to you. It doesn’t get any better than that.

BookBub

E-reader News Today

Shameless Book Club – Romance only

The Mid-List

Reading Deals

Read Cheaply

The Fussy Librarian

If you try a free book and like it, you can support the author by purchasing other books they’ve written at normal prices – that is what the freebie was intended to do. If you don’t like the book, you can delete it with no guilt.

Go forth and click. Just make sure you have room on your e-reader :)

 

Happy anniversary to me

© Photopassjonata | Dreamstime.com - Rollercoaster For Kids Photo

© Photopassjonata | Dreamstime.com – Rollercoaster For Kids Photo

A year ago this week, I quit my day job to write full-time. What do I have to show for it?

Two years ago (May 2013 to May 2014), I wrote two novels and two short stories, in addition to my regular administrative assistant position.

From May 2014 to May 2015, I finished one novel and one short story.

Yes, on paper it looks like I’ve been half as productive as when I was working, but numbers aren’t everything.

If I don’t have the numbers, what have I accomplished this year?

1. I went to my first reader event – Romancing the Capital – and learned enough that I was confident enough to sign up as a presenting author next year. (If you are going to be in Ottawa in early May next year, I promise you’ll have a great time.).

2. I got my first two Hollywood to Olympus books (Screen Idol and Drama Queen)  into print. That was huge. Leading Man will be in print soon.

3. I learned a ton about the business of publishing which is only going to help as I continue in this industry.

4. I have been writing. I have 100,000+ words sitting on my laptop. That is the equivalent of two more novels, which would definitely make me more productive than the year before. But since they aren’t published, it’s going to make next year look all the more impressive.

What does 2015/2016 hold?

1. One more Hollywood to Olympus novel. I hope to have book 4 (Sean and Caitlin’s story) out in the fall. I’m going to miss Hollywood to Olympus; it’s been a great experience but I think I am wrapping up the series in 2015. I can’t believe I wrote a series and had it published. Talk about a dream come true. I have ideas for a few more stories from the set but I’ll have to see if I have time to go back and tell them all.

2. I had to temporarily set aside H20 #4 because a great opportunity came up. I am currently neck-deep in a new contemporary series. I’m not releasing any details yet but it’s gonna be hot. And sexy. And funny.

3. Once I finish my new contemporary, and finish book 4 (so, in August), I hope to get to work on a new sci-fi shifter series which was based on my now out-of-print short story Bear With Me. I hope to have the first story out by Christmas.

4. Speaking of Christmas, I also need to get another holiday story out because that was too much fun to do only once. It is yet another project that is already started. (Dom and Olive are a crazy couple. Their relatives are no better.)

And that’s just in the next six months.

Stick with me, kids. It’s going to be a hell of a ride.

Hard – week 1

pickyourhardI’ve never been an athletic person. When I was a kid, my mother made me play outside for an hour before I could read. I didn’t join school sports teams (although I was president of the library club, and later worked on the yearbook.) Inside = good. Formal exercise = bad.

But what I’ve learned since leaving school is that Mother Nature is a horrible, horrible creature, and she controls something called metabolism. Which means after years of eating whatever I want, I can still can, but with new, bonus consequences, like weight gain.

I’m not in horrible shape. It’s not good, but it’s not horrible. But it’s gotten to the point where the fluff covering my muscles is affecting how I feel about myself, both physically and emotionally. Fortunately, I can do something about that.

It’s a financial press, but I bit the bullet and signed up for 12 sessions with a personal trainer. But let’s be honest – shelling out that kind of money is a huge motivator. I keep saying I want to get in shape; now it’s time to see if I mean it. I am giving it my full effort. I was limping after my assessment on Saturday, and yesterday was my first full session. So far, I can still move today, but we’ll have to see what happens between the 24-48 hour mark. I won’t be doing my full workout at home on my “off” days but I do intend to get on my treadmill. And yard work – while moving with a purpose – is effective exercise.

Squats, sprints, push ups and crunches are going to be part of my new life. Eggos for breakfast, McDonald’s when I’m in a hurry and a nice glass of wine are being phased out. Okay, let’s be honest, I’ll give up the McD’s but the eggos and wine are going to be phased back, not completely out.

My health is important to me. I’ve seen too many people who let theirs slide until it couldn’t be recovered. I can’t risk that. I’m important; there are too many things I still have on my bucket list that require a healthy body. So I guess I’m becoming a Nike person.

I’m gonna Just Do It.

JH Moncrieff and the Scare Bear

How would you feel if your new stepfather gave you this as a “Thank you for letting me into your family” gift? If you tried to run for the hills, that would be the right reaction because Edgar is up to no good.

My good friend and wonderfully talented writer JH Moncrieff‘s first horror is out today from Samhain books. “The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave” is part of the Childhood Fears collection and believe me, you’re going to be glad you didn’t read this as a kid.

Sometimes evil looks like a fuzzy teddy bear.

Still grieving the untimely death of his dad, ten-year-old Josh Leary is reluctant to accept a well-worn stuffed teddy bear from his new stepfather. He soon learns he was right to be wary. Edgar is no ordinary toy…and he doesn’t like being rejected. When Josh banishes him to the closet, terrible things begin to happen.

Desperate to be rid of the bear, Josh engages the help of a friend. As the boys’ efforts rebound on them with horrifying results, Josh is forced to accept the truth—Edgar will always get even.

It’s available at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and iTunes.

Warning: read during daylight hours only.

JH also has a free novel for newsletter followers. I happen to have an inside scoop of what she’s working on next, and believe me, you want to know about it.

Happy Star Wars Day

In all honesty, I’m a little disappointed the new Star Wars movie is coming out in December and not today.  In any case…

Shaddup! I wait all year for this!

 

Posted in fun

Roasted Veggies

IMG_1754But, Moooooom, I don’t like vegetables.

You’ll like these ones, kid.  These are not your diced and processed Jolly Green Giant frozen mixed veggies. This is the good stuff, with taste and texture. It’s not the typical microwaved mush you are used to.

Here we go.

ROASTED VEGETABLES (use any combination of the following)

8 Brussel sprouts, ends trimmed and cut in half lengthwise

4 carrots, peeled and cut into thumb-sized pieces (split in half if too wide)

1/2 onion, cut into wedges and roughly separated

1/2 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into thirds

1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

1/2 head of broccoli, cut into florets

8 baby potatoes, cut in half

1/2 sweet potato, cut into 1cm thick rings

Whole mushrooms

Peppers, chopped into thumb-sized pieces

Zucchini, cut into 1cm thick rings

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

***

Put all veggies in a bowl. Pour olive oil over everything and toss well to coat. Place flat on ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 400F for 45 minutes. Gently flip veggies at 20 minute mark.

You will never want to microwave vegetables again.