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.

 

Jennifer St. Giles

USA Today Bestselling author, Jennifer St. Giles, aka Jennifer Saints, J.L. Saint is no ordinary Georgia Peach. She’s a Golden Heart, three-time Maggie, two-time National Reader’s Choice, Marlene, RT Reviewer’s Choice and Daphne du Maurier award-winning author. Jenni writes in multiple genres, including: romance, paranormal, contemporary, historical and military and time travel. She is a passionate patriot, event planner and the Vice-President of a charitable foundation which helps women and children’s causes. Jenni believes fervently in following your dreams and never giving up.
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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.

*******

Mimi Barbour

Mimi is a New York Times, USA Today & Award-winning Best-selling author who’s sold over 500,000 copies of her books world-wide. Her five romance series include: The Vicarage Bench/ time travel at it’s best, Angels with Attitudes / angels love romance, Vegas / fast-paced plotting, Elvis / make a song a book and her newest – Undercover FBI / with sizzling conflicts and lots of humor.

Mimi’s an author who’s been heard to say: “I’m a story-teller who loves to write uplifting stories about romance and adventure. Add in some time travel, maybe an angel, or even a little romantic suspense and it makes the story more fascinating because of the incredible possibilities.”

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Work Life Balance

First off, I can’t believe that this is August. What happened to July??? We have a vague memory of fireworks…

If you follow my posts you are aware that last fall Christopher and I made a concerted effort to achieve some semblance of balance. Because we are self-employed, work days can be long as things are often project-orientated rather than an hourly wage. We love what we do but after so long in the trenches we realized there was burn out because we weren’t prioritizing US in the mix. We chose Sunday as a day to walk away from the computer and just have fun. South Florida is full of outdoor things to do that are away from the beach(which I love!) and vary in cost. Groupon is amazing because you can usually find interesting places to eat at a discount, or new things to try.

We have traveled all over the United States and utilize Yelp for awesome food choices. We have never been let down, though the outside of the place might seem sketchy, Yelp offers honest reviews.

Which brings me to the point of the blog lol–since we have moved from Lauderdale by the Sea we are looking for local places to try. Christopher put in a Yelp search and Barn Bites came up–five miles away, we’ve never heard of it, but why not? Chicken and waffles, mimosas–let’s go. Siri did not mention that she was taking us to a Farmer’s Market.  But not just any market–this place is huge. As we search for a spot we decide to stick with our plan to go with the flow and see what happens but it looks like a fair ground that might be food trucks–we aren’t sure, and the area is fenced so you can’t see what is going on.

Sundays are the days of adventure so we find a space at the end of a long driveway because the parking lots are all full. I had forgotten my phone and decided to just leave it otherwise I would have pictures but here is the link:

http://www.ygfarmersmarket.com/

We walked inside and were blown away by all of the competing smells of BBQ meat, spicy Mexican food, egg dishes, organic foods, Thai, Salvadorian, and Venezuelan–which is where we were hooked for barbecue beef, arepas, tostones and roasted corn on the cob. After our amazing meal, we realized this was just the outside of the market and there was so much more to be discovered inside. We didn’t find Barn Bites, our original destination, until after our BBQ, a coconut smoothie, a craft beer from Biscayne Bay,  a local beer–a mango mimosa and pulled pork samples. Vats of olives, pickles and homemade mozzarella cheese…fresh fish, and so much produce. There was no way we had room for anything else though we found the Barn Bites booth and decided immediately that we will be coming back. The chicken and waffles were golden!

I highly recommend this place if you are in South Florida and looking for something unique and fun to do–five minutes away, but it felt like we were in a different country. We found out that Gordon Ramsey actually filmed a segment at the market!

I hope that you are enjoying your summer, wherever you are, and taking advantage of the beauty around you. If it is too hot for adventure, then maybe relax in the shade with a glass of whatever refreshes you, and dive into romance

<3

Traci

 

Traci Hall

With an impressive bibliography in an array of genres, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall has garnered a notable fan base. She pens stories guaranteed to touch the heart while transporting the reader to another time and place. Her belief in happily ever after shines through, whether it’s a romantic glimpse into history or a love affair for today.

Zoo Time

I love watching animals, which is why I’ve always been thrilled by a trip to the zoo. Because I grew up in Washington, DC, my first memories are of the National Zoo. But even back then, I wondered why the poor bears were in such small cages.

In recent years, there have been major improvements in zoo management. One recent trend is for zoos to have fewer species while providing better habitats for the ones they have. On a recent trip to the National Zoo, I found that—wait for it—the only animals in the elephant house are elephants. Previously there were also pigmy hippos and giraffes. Those have been sent to other zoos, and the building has been expanded so that the elephants have a much bigger indoor area and a fabulous outdoor playground complete with a pool.

The best example of zoo management I’ve seen recently is the Bronx Zoo, which we visited with friends after the Thrillerfest Conference last month. I wanted to see it because of “The Zoo” on Animal Planet which is filmed there.

It’s amazing to find this large space in the middle of New York City. If you’re planning to go, get tickets online beforehand, and be sure to include the package of special attractions so you don’t have to pay for them on an individual basis. And be prepared for a lot of walking. If you don’t want to hoof it, you can rent an electric cart as our friends did, but you will get to places where there are a lot of stairs, and you will have to backtrack and circle around. We loved the bears, seals, gorillas and baboons, especially the young baboons who were having a wonderful time playing.

There are many great animal enclosures, but some are obscured by shrubbery which limits your viewing opportunities. There are a number of things that we wished they’d handled better for the human visitors. For example, we decided to have lunch at the Asia area where there are plenty of outside tables (some with umbrellas) but no real roof. Unfortunately, it was raining off and on, and we got pretty wet while we ate. Luckily it was a very warm day, and we did dry out. Definitely take the monorail through Asia, where you will see an elephant and mostly hoofed animals. (Yes, there’s a tiger, but he was hiding.) We also walked to Tiger Mountain, where we saw only one tiger lying in the grass behind a tree. As my friend said, next time we’ll try to see the big cats early before they take their afternoon naps. The zoo is big, and you probably can’t see everything in one day, so use the map and make a plan. If I’d known there wasn’t much to see on Tiger Mountain, I would have skipped it and visited the petting zoo instead. Yeah, I’m a sucker for petting cuddly animals.

Do you like zoos? Why or why not?

Lions Relaxing

Rebecca York

NY Times & USA Today best-seller, Rebecca York, is the author of over 150 books. She has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her new romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future.
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