Don’t Give Up by @PatriceWilton

Don't Give UpSorry folks, but we must admit that 2021 was a bust! After the previous year, we all had hoped 2021 would be amazing. We kept telling ourselves, “Don’t give up!” Yet, the deadly virus was not a thing of the past, our favorite enjoyments were limited with theaters and restaurants shut down. Schools were closing and our children had to learn virtually, without seeing their friends. The hardest part for many was not seeing their loved ones, even on special occasions. Safety was a priority, with our liberties in lockdown, and new variants spreading like wild fire.

LET’S FORGET THAT DOOM AND GLOOM!

It’s history and now 2022 is here to bring us the joy and happiness we all deserve. I for one believe this with all my heart. Belief is a wonderful thing. You wake up in the morning with a feeling that maybe something good is going to happen, and if you look around and open your eyes and your heart, it might appear out of nowhere.  You might stumble and find old coins or a package filled with money that will feed your family for a week. Sure, that’s unlikely to happen, but that joy and happiness could come in the form of a beautiful butterfly that catches your eye. A rainbow in the sky. A Cardinal when you’re thinking of a loved one. Maybe it’s more direct and material—like a juicy contract in the mail, a raise or praise, and the opportunities for a bigger and better job.

Rainbow

CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOR THE BETTER

With more openings than fillings this is certainly the time to strike out and find that job you’ve always wanted. You’re in the bargaining chair and have the power. Let your dreams and ambitions free, search for the highest star. Each day take a moment and close your eyes. Visualize what you want your life to be like. How to make it happen. Remember that each day is precious, so look for the silver lining, something to be happy for. Make it a habit, and you might find you’re smiling more!

Start out with small changes. Read a good book instead of watching TV. Take up a new sport or a hobby that you once enjoyed. Think deeply about it. This just might be the time to change Your World!

DON’T GIVE UP

Wishing every one of you joy and happiness and an exciting new beginning in the year 2022!

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Death in Sandpiper Bay is available as an eBook and in Paperback.

Death In Sandpiper Bay

Danger at Sandpiper Bay is available as an eBook and in Paperback

Danger at Sandpiper Bay

 

Teaching an Old Gal New Tricks #RachelleAyala @Mimisgang1 #mgtab

Today (January 13) is my 62nd birthday and strangely enough, I feel younger than I did 20 years ago. My face might be more lined and I have a few more gray hairs, but I’m learning new tricks and trying new things and happy that I’m still around.

It’s never too late to try something new. Here are a few things I learned this past year.

  • Improving my Photoshop skills by using a pen tablet. I don’t know why I didn’t try this earlier, but drawing with a mouse or on a touchpad while holding it down with another finger is so antiquidated. But it was all we had twenty years ago, and that’s what I learned on. Who remembers mouses with those balls underneath on spongey mousepads? I remember using AmigaDraw with my Commodore Amiga computer to make simple graphics. How time consuming was that? So last year, in 2021, after a prolonged session of Photoshopping using the infamous Lenovo red button resulting in painful index finger and wrist pain, I bought a Wacom One Drawing Tablet. It’s about the size of a small laptop. It has an electronic pen and it fits on my lap while plugged into my computer. Night and day! Now, I can draw shapes and select objects with no problem. I can connect dots, do those Bezier curve handles, and ink in sketches as easily as using pen and paper. As for signing my name? Piece of cake. Why did I wait so long?
  • I finally converted to using Scrivener writing software. For years, I was a Microsoft Word gal. After all, before Word came out, I used LaTex, a non WYSIWYG word processing solution and “vi” to create the files. After my Amiga died, I got an MSDOS machine and have been with Word forever and never took the time to learn any of its advanced features. When Scrivener first came out, I bought a license but it was too complicated so I put it away. Early last year, Scrivener sent me a survey and while filling out the survey, I wondered if I could get more organized by using it. After all, I was constantly revising my writing AND saving off copies of my drafts. Up to 20 drafts with dates appended to the filename. Scrivener made it easier to organize my deletes. I can now simply create a folder for each chapter’s deletes and copy over deleted text with a note on why I deleted something. This way, if I ever want to resurrect that text or storyline, I only have to drag it back to the manuscript and insert. I’m sure there are a hundred more reasons why Scrivener is useful, but for me, keeping track of all my “deletes” makes it worth using.
  • Intermittent Fasting. This is an “old” thing that is becoming “new.” Back in the day, before microwaves and trail bars and snack-sized treats, we ate three square meals with no snacks and nibbling in between. If we were hungry between meals, we went outside to play instead of sneaking into the cookie jar. Snacks were not a thing. They would spoil your appetite. Parents thought nothing of sending misbehaving children to bed without their dinner. No one would starve by skipping a meal, at least back in the days before microwaves and juice boxes. In the late eighties when the price of microwaves dropped enough to be commonplace, people started eating all the time. Snacking became a thing, and families stopped eating together at the dinner table. Along with all the eating came the massive increase in weight gain. I, too, joined this eating pandemic as my weight crept up steadily during my thirties, forties, and fifties. We just believed it was part of getting older. Little did I know that snacking constantly, especially on so-called healthy snacks like trail-mix bars, smoothies, and flavored yogurt, that I was putting myself on a constant elevated insulin state. My body was always in “grow” mode, where sugar enters the blood. Insulin comes in and mops up the sugar, stuffing it into cells, and the cells store the extra energy as fat. Because I was snacking and eating continuously, I didn’t allow my body to have a chance to burn off any energy since it was always available. It turns out that fasting, or not eating for a long stretch allows your body to go into “burn” mode where insulin is no longer in control. You don’t enter this state until 4-6 hours after your last meal. Once you are in “burn” mode, glycogen is depleted first. After about 20-36 hours, your body switches to fatburning mode. If, however, you feed yourself at anytime before entering fatburning mode, you are instantly back in “grow” mode, where food is mopped up and stored for future use. The problem with eating all the time is that the majority of time, your body is in “grow” mode and eventually, if you fill your body with too much sugar [even excess protein gets turned into sugar], you will become insulin resistant. It isn’t the fact that you don’t make enough insulin [assuming you’re not a type 1 diabetic], but the fact that your cells are FULL of sugar and they are barring the gates to more sugar entering them. This excess sugar ends up in the blood, floating around looking for a home and the end result isn’t pretty. [Note: I’m following Dr. Jason Fung who wrote several books, among them, The Obesity Code, The Diabetes Code and The Complete Guide to Fasting. He’s also on YouTube with many videos explaining intermittent fasting and the science behind it.] What I learned to do this year is to stop snacking and eat only at set times. I started intermittent fasting with a 18/6 schedule where I would eat only between 10 am and 4 pm. After I got used to it, I would go on a 24 hr fast two days a week. Go from 10 am to 4 pm as usual, and the next day, not eat until 4 pm. Resume the following day from 10 am to 4 pm. Eventually, I want to get to 42 hours where I can go from 4 pm, skip an entire day, and resume at 10 am. But I would only do this once or twice a month. I’ve already dropped all the weight I gained over the holidays, and I only wish I’d known about this technique earlier. Of course, I’m not sabotaging myself by overeating during my eating windows, and I’m not eating sugar or junk food because I don’t want to stimulate insulin. But I’m glad I’m going back to my roots. No snacking and no nibbling. I want my body to swing between “grow” and “burn” mode evenly, the way God designed us to be.

Well, these are the new things I tried out last year that worked for me. I hope I didn’t bore you, but I will continue to live and learn as long as the good Lord allows me to.

Please check out my Birthday Email chock full of giveaways, freebies, and discounted paperbacks by clicking/tapping on this link or the banner below, and I wish you all the best in living and learning in 2022.

https://www.rachelleayala.net/so/70NvFNBsN?languageTag=en

4 Tips to Get Organized in the New Year by @Donna_Fasano

Get OrganizedA brand new year always gives me a hopeful feeling. A chance to get on the right track. To get organized. And to declutter, clear out, rethink, and reorganize—my home, my work space, my mind, my life. It’s good to re-evaluate how and why we do the things we do or keep the things we keep. Whether it’s a full remodel job (I’m planning a DIY storage system for my walk-in closet) or just a small sprucing up of a room, a desk, or an exercise and diet routine, it’s great to start the New Year with a sense of accomplishment. Here are 4 tips to help you get organized in 2022.

Reassess your daily routine

What’s the best time to rise and shine? Which hours of the day are you most productive in your work? Do normal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) eating times work best for you? Or do you tend to eat off-schedule? Are you giving yourself enough down time? How’s your exercise routine going? Are you getting enough sleep? The answers to these questions will help you reassess and reorganize your daily routine.

Keep everything in its place

Stand in the middle of any room in your home and take a look around. If your gaze lands on objects you haven’t used in a while, seriously consider getting rid of them. (You don’t have to throw them away. Donate usable items to thrift stores.) While inspecting the room, do you see items out of place? Decluttering and keeping my things where they belong always, always makes me more productive.

Make lists

I love making a daily list of things I want to get done. Checking off those “things to do” always has me feeling that I’ve spent my time wisely.

Focus on one task at a time

Let’s face it, sometimes we all have to multi-task. But I find that I do a better job if I take a deep, cleansing breath and focus on one task at a time. Focusing my energy means I will get a job done in less time. Plus, when I do one thing at a time, I find the task is completed at a higher standard than it would be if I’m trying to do several things at once.

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The first three books in my Ocean City Boardwalk Series feature 3 women who live and work in the seaside town of Ocean City, Maryland. Young widow Sara Carson, serious-minded Heather Phillips, and wild-child Cathy Whitley have been friends since grade school. Follow these enterprising woman as they face hardship, life trials, and tense relationships. Life by the ocean isn’t just fun in the sun—love is waiting on those sandy shores!

These books are available:  Amazon  *  Barnes and Noble  *  Kobo  *  iTunes

The eBook version of Book one is reasonably priced at $1.99 at all stores. All 3 books are available in paperback:  Amazon  *  Barnes and Noble.


Ocean City Boardwalk

New Year, New Book Boyfriends by Stephanie Queen

That’s right—a fresh new batch of book boyfriends for you this New Year!

What are your top five traits for the best book boyfriend?

Are you looking for hot guys with rippling muscles or sweet guys who bring you flowers? Guys who make you laugh til you cry or quiet guys who will protect you til the end?
The list could go on, but here are my faves–

SQ’s Top 5 Traits for the Best Book Boyfriends:

  1. Hot & Sexy and knows how to make a lady feel that way
  2. Brings new meaning to the old rule: Lady’s First
  3. Master of self-control—except when his lady drives him crazy
  4. Would sacrifice the world for the woman he loves—and proves it
  5. Tough enough to show how much he loves his mom—and kittens too

What are your top five traits for the best book boyfriend?

Take advantage of this promotion and help keep your winter warmed up with these fab romances.

What’s your favorite? Do you like it steamy? Do you love bad boys? Are you into angsty, swoony guys and gals who frustrate you in the best way possible–aka, the slow burn?

We have rock stars, viscounts, football players and billionaires to keep your heart warm and your nights far from dull. Check out this video aesthetic to get you excited with anticipation for a Happy New Year!

This promo has it all and you owe it to yourself to check it out here!