A Number’s Game #mgtab @NatalieAnn1212

I’m a bit OCD when it comes to numbers. Maybe because I’ve spent the last 25 years of my life working in finance.

When I do something and a number is attached, it almost always has to end with a 0 or a 5. If not my eyes start to twitch and my fingers want to grab a red pen like a teacher and start adding or subtracting until I get the desired total.

With that thought in mind, I’m going to focus on the number 5.

Today, on August 15th, it’s my 45th birthday. Last week, I published my 25th book which happened to belong to my Fierce Five Series. Did you notice how I made five comments with the number 5 in it in this post?

All those 5’s and I’m just one happy girl.

Here’s a peak at Fierce-Mason. By the way, Mason is a bit of a geek too, and though he doesn’t talk about numbers like his sister Ella does, I bet he has a fascination with them just like me.

 

The New Day Challenge by Jennifer St. Giles

 

New Day Challenge

So, here I sit amid the dog days of August feeling grateful for so many things in life. Loved ones are recovering from serious injury, others were spared from harm in bad accidents. I’ve had unexpected career changes, and though difficult and extremely time-consuming now, it will be so much better for me in the future. So why am I in the dog days then?

My entire creative life feels suspended in mid-air. It is either hanging inert above my head or moving so slow any progress seems negligible. Books I excitedly started a year ago still have just a few chapters written. Books I desperately want to write, sit untouched on my computer. I did manage to write two more short stories in my Exposed Paranormal Crime Series, so I now have the Kaylee’s Justice novel and four case files (Card of Justice, The Dead Rise, Dying to See, and Zena Knows). I am working on a film script for the series, too. The title at this point is Murder by State. But it too is unfinished. Did I take on too much? As I age, am I losing my ability to juggle so many balls in the air? Am I allowing life to drown my passion for writing in a sea of mundane responsibilities? I don’t know.

I heard someone say the other day, the key to success is realizing you are responsible for everything in your life at this moment. Choices you made or didn’t make have placed you exactly where you are. It’s not someone else who put you there. It isn’t fate or circumstances that have you there. You are where you are, because, you either had the passion to find a way to make things happen. Or you found and accepted an excuse, which led you to disillusioned frustration, and where you are today.

But none of that matters now. What counts is today and each day going forward! Every dawning day gives us a new chance to change our lives. Our past decisions determined today, but today’s decisions shape tomorrow.

So, what is the New Day Challenge?

Decide what you want your tomorrow to be. Decide on what steps (no matter how small) you need to take to get there and take a step every day.

This blog is my first step. I have let work and exhaustion overrun my life. I have lost contact with readers, with friends in the writing community, with friends who share my passion and my heart. I need to reconnect and stay connected. Next month I will blog about my next step in reshaping my life. Does anyone out there feel the need to reshape their own life?

What is your first step in the New Day Challenge?

Love,  Jennifer St. Giles

(Remember every day to dream, believe, create, inspire, love, heal, succeed, and grow and share wealth…one matters)

PS

Contrary to popular thought, Dog Days don’t necessarily refer to the doldrums produced by extreme heat. Instead, they refer to Greek and Roman thoughts about Sirius, a star in the Canis Major (dog) constellation and its position in the heavens, which may be associated to heat but more likely to sickness, war, and catastrophe It’s  NEW day. No more Dog Days.

 

My latest “bestest” secondary character in the new release – Special Agent Charli – meet Poppa John! #mgtab @mimisgang1

Amazon / Select 

I’ve just released my latest book called Special Agent Charli and I have to share with you that it’s my favorite story so far in my popular, 6-book series called Undercover FBI. The reason is simple. After losing my father earlier in the year, it was a sweet mission to remember him in the best way I could – by introducing him to my world of readers as the lovable character he truly was. He stars in the book and adds so much humor and entertainment to the story, that I know he’ll connect with everyone who reads Special Agent Charli..

**Please leave comments for me in the review section on Amazon after you read this book – I will read every one, I promise. I’m just anxious to see if you find him as wonderful as I always have.***

Dedication:

My father, the man we all called Poppa John, was my hero. Plain and simple! I adored the man as a child, a young girl, a married woman and most of all as a senior who truly understood the battles against age he overcame to stay sweet and kind until the day he passed.

He loved to make people laugh, said their smiles gave him joy… and hope.

One time, my son asked him the secret of being a good person, and his answer still rings true – be human.

We all miss him terribly, and the only way I could bear losing him was to write him into this book as my favorite character of all time. (And just so you know, most of the anecdotes told in this book were based on the truth.)

He’ll be remembered every time we see a yellow begonia, hear the song “Big, Bad John, and see the wonderful stain glass memories he left behind.

He was… and will always be… my special hero.

Meet my Poppa John 

Book Description:

The only man she wants in her life is her old Gramps, and all he wants is a great – grandchild.

Special Agent Charli Madison can’t get a break. After the stress of her last horrific assignment, all she wants is to spend time vacationing with her Gramps in Ft. Lauderdale, a city they both love. Plans go awry, and she’s forced into witness protection, guarding a teenage girl who’s the only person able to identify a notorious killer.

To make matters worse, she has to accept the womanizing local FLPD Major as her fictitious fiancé and her backup on the dangerous mission.

Heaven knows, she doesn’t deserve this mess…

Blake Sebastian is tired of his role as lover for the women who hang around him in droves. Problem is – he doesn’t trust any of them with his heart, never mind with his future.

When pushed, he admits to the curly-headed, disapproving FBI agent under his jurisdiction, a man can get sick of so much sugar. Every so often, he needs a little sour to offset that much sweetness.

Charli was not impressed.

*******

The Sweet Dregs of Summer #mgtab

The last mouthful of a glass of iced tea is sweeter than the rest because the sugar settles to the bottom. Summer is like that too. The first weeks stretch, long and leisurely, full of lingering golden light. At the beginning of the season, eons of time seem to lie ahead.

Then August hits. Then the end of August. The light is still glorious, but it fades earlier and earlier each night. The air is still warm, even hot, in the afternoons, but a crispness beneath the heat whispers rumours of fall. The days are sweeter, more poignant because they’re the last sips of summer.

And just like I tend to slow down midway through a drink, not wanting to finish it before I absolutely have to, I find myself trying to fend off September, spending as much time as I can outside, and allowing myself more breaks to soak things in, knowing—hating—that the bright months will be over soon.

This year I had the treat of houseguests to help me squeeze extra juicy goodness from the month. They stayed a few weeks and while I worked every morning because hey, we gotta eat and pay the bills and all that, I took off big chunks of time, too. We went on more than one day trip and stopped to look at things that I’ve always meant to, but hadn’t got around to yet. (That’s why you should always invite summer guests. It forces you to stop taking the place you live for granted and to get out and play in your home terrain with new eyes.)

As ever, I marvelled at the things to see here. We drove the crazy-bumpy, jungle road down into the Kitimat River where an expanse of round white stones stretches along the brilliant blue-green river as far as the eye can see. I posed by a fallen tree whose roots alone made me look miniscule.

We went to the fish hatchery and saw a mind-boggling amount of chum—so many, so close together, that the aqua river looked black where they huddled and churned, fighting to get up a pipe so they could spawn.

I finally explored an ancient looking set of moss covered stone steps out near Alcan. Apparently they once led to some now-no-more Hudson Bay Company building. I prefer to think they mark the entrance to a long forgotten castle.

Me, the wood nymph! Photo credit: Vello Sork

We camped at Furlong Bay and if there’s a more beautiful campground anywhere, I don’t know where it is. The light playing through the dense, mossy trees was amber and magical. I saw a massive Great Horned owl. The beach was practically empty. Best of all, however, were the huge, rotted out tree stumps we discovered. They were like doorways into other worlds.

We meandered along the highway to Prince Rupert and got lost in the varying shades of blue, blue, blue—blue water, blue sky, blue mountain vistas. Then we were dizzied by all the greens. We daydreamed about the tiny islands. We oohed and ahhed over fresh halibut and salmon being cleaned on the dock and savoured the fishy-salt scent of the ocean.

And one evening, I came across this quote from Henry David Thoreau: I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least, and it is commonly more than that, sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.

I don’t usually get four hours outdoors per day—I wish—but I so relate to his sentiments. Even as I type, the sun’s dipping lower. And as you read this, the days are growing shorter once more. Quick! Pour one more iced tea and head outside. Drink up every last sweet dreg of our gorgeous summer.

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“The Sweet Dregs of Summer” by me, Ev Bishop, was originally published in the Terrace Standard, June 25, 2014 as my monthly column “Just a Thought.”