How to Cope With Holiday Frazzle

I’m so stressed. On top of the holidays, I’m preparing for a sale next month of my first book, Infamous, and the release of the first book in my Viva Las Vegas trilogy in February. Compounding that, all three books will be released within four months.

I’m stressed.

But, then I realized we’re all stressed right now. The holidays are enough to push anyone over the edge. Presents to budget for (and then wrap–who has the time?), holiday dinners to make or attend, family members who maybe aren’t people you’d really rather deal with. The list is as long as Santa’s naughty list.

So, instead of just complaining about it (which I totally just did–sorry!), I thought I’d compile a list of things to instead of obsessing about what to buy your Uncle Mike.

  1. Color–Everyone seems to be doing it now. Adult coloring books are all the rage. If I had to recommend one, it would be Jenny Lawson’s You Are Here. She’s fabulous, her books are enlightening (though she drops the f-bomb more than a couple of times), and her drawings are enough to draw you in and make you forget for a moment that you. are. so. stressed. Plus, the American Art Therapy Association says that while it doesn’t replace therapy, it can reduce stress effectively.
  2. Practice gratitude–It’s so easy for us to succumb to the mountain of worry that the holidays bring. But, there are good things, too. We know that, of course, but knowing it and getting it are two different things. Say thank you or start a gratitude journal wherein you write down two or three things you’re grateful for each day. It really can make a difference.
  3. Live in the moment–At the end of the day, this is a time for family and memories. Don’t be so busy recording or taking pictures that you forget to just take a deep breath and enjoy the moment. Just bask in the warmth of the fire, or your kids not arguing, or baking with a family member. Just… let it wash over you.

I’m no expert, but for me, these are ways to let go of some of the anxiety I experience about the myriad of things I need to do. I hope they help you out, too.

P.S. If you’d like to know about sales or release dates, sign up for my newsletter here.

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

The End is Near…

Sounds so ominous right? But honestly, I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by. As soon as Thanksgiving hits, I immediately find myself in panic mode because it signals the end of the year is just around the corner. And every year it seems to come faster and faster. As I reflect back on the year I’ve had, I’m pleased with what it has brought me. I packed up and moved my boys and I to a small town in Utah and it has made a positive impact on all our lives. I mean, just look at that scenery…gorgeous!

I released a new book that I am in love with that is set around the holidays and introduces readers to my new fictional town of Serendipity, Texas. The characters in this series really speak to me and I can’t wait for the second book to come out.

I adopted two little fur babies and gave them a forever home. Kona was my first and she brought so much joy that when the opportunity to take in a another, I brought home Maui. They are a handful but so much fun!

All in all, it has been quite a successful year and I am thrilled to be where I am. It’s taken a long time for me to get to a point where I could say that. So tell me, how was your year? Share your proud moments…your accomplishments…your little thrills.

About Kinsey Corwin

Kinsey Corwin, a contemporary romance author who really is drawn to small town stories, beaches, and cowboys (I know, that is quite a mix). She is a single mom of amazing boys, a fan of kitchen experiments, a lover of country music, and a dreamer.

My Grown-Up Christmas TBR List

Hi, all! Jennifer here.

I don’t know about you, but I love READING Christmas books almost as much as I love WATCHING Christmas movies on TV this time of year! It just gets me in the spirit for the holidays.

There have been so many great choices of Christmas books I’ve seen on Goodreads and Instagram it’s hard to choose. But choose I did. Some of these books I bought in paperback and some are on my Kindle now waiting to be read.

So just in case you want to know what’s on my Christmas To-Be-Read List, I’ll share it with you now!

  1. Coming Home for Christmas by Jenny Hale — this is actually a Hallmark movie now. I haven’t watched it yet. I waiting to read the book first!
  2. Holiday Wishes by Jill Shalvis— this was recommended to me by one of our fellow authors here, so I downloaded it. Can’t wait!
  3. A Bramble House Christmas by CJ Carmichael— Ok, so this is a Hallmark movie too. But one I already watched and loved so I HAD to go and buy the book. 🙂
  4. An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne— love a good friends to lovers romance so I bought.

And if you happen to be looking for yet another holiday read, don’t forget to check out my book:

Wrong Brother, Right Match

Matchmaking guru Kennedy Pepperdine’s life is perfect. Perfect job. Perfect friends. Perfect boyfriend. Except…when she gets trapped in an elevator with a handsome stranger, she accidentally confesses a secret: maybe her perfect boyfriend, Justin, isn’t so perfect for her after all. But a matchmaker should be able to successfully match herself, right? Thankfully, she’ll never see the handsome stranger again. Until she heads home with Justin for the holidays and learns that the sexy stranger is none other than Justin’s older brother, Matt.
Matt Ellis is trying to be on his best behavior for his mother—it is Christmas, after all. But when he recognizes the beautiful woman from the elevator—the one he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about for months—his best behavior is being held by a thread. Matt’s always sacrificed for his family, and nothing is more important than their happiness, but the more time he spends around Kennedy, the more he wonders if her supposed “right match” might just be the wrong brother.

What Holiday books are on your To-Be-Read list?

 

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. 🙂

Tis the season… for thanks

The start of the holiday season as arrived, Heart Shaped Glasses Readers! It’s the peak time for shopping, stuffing oneself with delicious food, and gathering with loved ones. I’m already in the full swing and have consumed at least four different turkey dinners, pie (Pumpkin and Apple), and a variety of holiday themed side-dishes. I was told multiple times by my children that this is their favorite time of year and they begged and pleaded with me to hold off on unleashing the Christmas music until the day after Christmas.

If you’ve read my earlier posts through the year, you know that 2017 hasn’t been a fantastic year of celebration for me. It’s been a bit challenging, from the daily life and writing life perspectives. I’ve fought depression blues and learning a family member has dementia. That’s why I want to use this post to mention a few things I’m thankful for. There’s an plus in the small things:

  • My health
  • The ability to read
  • Friends, like my fellow authors on this blog and members of the Passionate Critters Critique Group.
  • Netflix – Stranger Things is something I’ve enjoyed immensely. Now, after binge watching both seasons in the course of a weekend I can finally check out the rest of it.
  • Afterglows Publishing – For giving my first full-length contemporary romance series a shot.
  • Red Robin – I’m a huge fan of their Tavern Tuesday special.

What are you thankful for?

Tell me in the comments and be automatically entered to win a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Anything counts, from being able to always find matching socks or celebrating 2 days. It’s the season of thanks and giving!

*Note: Contest only available to residents of the USA. Contest ends November 30th at 11:59pm PST and winner will be contacted via email to claim their prize.

About Landra Graf

Landra Graf consumes at least one book a day and has always been a sucker for stories where true love conquers all. She believes in the power of the written word, and the joy such words can bring. In between spending time with her family and having book adventures, she writes romance with the goal of giving everyone, fictional or not, their own happily ever after.

Hunky-or-Average-Joe-Hero AUTHOR INTERVIEW with Barbara White Daille

Welcome, Barbara, to Through Heart-Shaped Glasses!!

And thank you for coming and sharing your new release with us. All of us at THSG and our readers are always looking for something to read!

DON’T MISS THE RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!!!

But first, we have pressing questions that must be answered. So, give it to us straight:

1. Did you always know that you wanted to be an author or did you have another dream?
From the time I was about five years old, I wanted to be a writer. At that age, I didn’t know what an author was. It took me a while to catch on that real people actually wrote the books I loved. 🙂

2. What were you doing the last time you really had a good laugh?
Watching a rerun of an I Love Lucy episode.

3. How long did you write until you were finally published?
OMGosh. Decades! (See #1 above.) Seriously. With short stories, the wait wasn’t as long. I think it was nearly a year to the day that I first submitted a short story that one sold—for $75. And a month to the day after that, I sold the second short story – for $1,000! Of course, there was that lo-o-o-o-ng apprenticeship to get there. But I thought my writing career was made. 😉
After selling more than a dozen short stories, I turned to trying to sell a book. That took twenty years or more to get to the magic place: the right book on the right editor’s desk at the right time.

4. What song always makes you happy when you hear it?
Appropriate for the upcoming season and my new release: White Christmas.

5. When you sit down to write, is there a ritual you have to do before you start?
Yes. Sadly, it’s called Too Much E-Mail. But seriously, taking care of the business end of writing frees my brain to focus on the fun stuff.

6. What is the wallpaper on your cell phone?
No wallpaper, just my most frequently used apps.

7. Did you learn anything from writing your book and, if so, what was it?
I learned many things. For example this one, thanks to my hero, Michael DeFranco: give a bitter, emotionally scarred hero enough motivation and you can watch him turn into a man any woman could love.

8. Do you have any advice for other writers?
As always, my number-one advice is: believe in yourself, and never give up. (And bookmark this blog post. When you get discouraged, read number 3 above.)

9. What favorite food puts you in a great mood?
Chocolate.

And of course, Just For Fun:

Leather or lace?
Lace.
Black or red?
Red.
Satin sheets or Egyptian cotton?
Cotton.
Ocean or mountains?
Mountains.
City life or country life?
Small-town. 🙂
Party life or quiet dinner for two?
The quiet dinner.
Dogs or cats?
Dogs—woman’s best friend.
Hunky heroes or average Joe?
Argh! Please, can’t I have both?? If not, then average Joe, always—because to his perfect mate, he’s the hunkiest hero ever.

Don’t miss Barbara White Daille this Holiday Season!!

Christmas is in the air early this year and so are all the BOOKS. Get this one for a steal.

Single mom Amber Barnett loves family, kids, Christmas…and unfortunately, her boss, confirmed bachelor Michael DeFranco. It’s a crush she really needs to get over. Except, when she’s temporarily forced from her apartment, her only option is to stay at Michael’s private ski lodge, where she’s the housekeeper. No problem. Her handsome boss rarely visits Snowflake Valley unexpectedly, plus he’s spending the holidays with his family. Or so she thinks…

A stormy Christmas Eve reunion leaves Michael seeking the solitude of his lodge, where he finds Amber in residence—and in trouble. Attempting to save her from her matchmaking family, he announces they’re a couple. His good deed backfires when they’re instantly included in each and every holiday event in town. So much for solitude.

Only the more time he spends with the beautiful, cheery brunette, the more he yearns to make things real between them. But he and Amber want different things, and Michael could never be the family man she’s looking for.

~*~*~*~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. Come to think of it, she enjoys writing about those subjects, too!

Barbara wrote her first short story at the age of nine, then typed “The End” to her first novel many years later…in the eighth grade. Now she’s writing contemporary romance on a daily basis. Sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest in her writing life: https://barbarawhitedaille.com/newsletter.

Find out more about Barbara in these wonderful places!!

Website https://www.barbarawhitedaille.com
Blog https://www.barbarawhitedaille.com/blog
Newsletter https://www.barbarawhitedaille.com/newsletter
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/barbarawhitedaille
Twitter https://twitter.com/BarbaraWDaille
Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/Barbara-White-Daille/e/B002J6B0QQ
Harlequin author page https://www.harlequin.com/shop/authors/23759_barbara-white-daille.html
Entangled author page http://entangledpublishing.com/category/barbara-white-daille/
Bookbub author page https://www.bookbub.com/authors/barbara-white-daille
Goodreads author page http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/529361.Barbara_White_Daille

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

Wishing you a Bittersweet Christmas…

I’ve never been a huge fan of holiday stories. But this year, for some reason, I had the urge to write a Christmas story. This was around September, and I asked my publisher, Entangled, if I wrote a Christmas novella, could they get it out in time for Christmas?

They said yes. Yay!!! It was pretty short notice. So a huge thank you to everyone at Entangled, particularly my fabulous editor, Brenda Chin, for working so hard and so fast.

Bittersweet Christmas is based in the world of my Order series (paranormal romance, vampires, werewolves, fae – you name it, the Order has it) and it’s a little lighter than my usual stories (only one person dies, and honestly, they really, really deserved it) though I have to admit that my version of Father Christmas isn’t your usual cuddly Santa Claus.

Bittersweet Christmas releases on 27th November and it’s available for pre-order right now at only 99 cents.

BITTERSWEET CHRISTMAS

Orphan Liam Ryan isn’t asking for much this Christmas–just his Uncle John. And he’s counting on Father Christmas to find a way to make that happen.

But when Father Christmas tosses Liam’s letter, claiming that the kid is asking the impossible, his daughter, Winter, takes over. Half-pixie, Winter, longs to do something important with her life, starting with getting a job at the Order of the Shadow Accords, the organization that polices the supernatural world. When she discovers Liam’s uncle works for the Order, it seems like fate.

Savaged by werewolves and bitten by a vampire, no one knows what to expect of John Ryan, but it won’t be anything good. So there’s no way he’s getting involved with his nephew…or anyone else. Worse, he’s getting a babysitter over the holidays. But when he meets irrepressible Winter, all that matters is whether she likes her guys to be naughty or nice….

Do you enjoy holiday stories? What are your favorites. Let me know for a chance to win an ARC of Bittersweet Christmas.

About Nina Croft

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

  • Our LATEST Buzz!

    Cyn D. Blackburn's Wrapped Up in You releases on November 13. *** The first two books in the Cupid's Cafe series were released in June by Lori Sizemore and Landra Graf *** Lori Sizemore's Infamous was released on December 14. *** Julie Jarnagin's Cowgirl in the Kitchen is available now. *** Bethanne Strasser LETTERS FROM HOME from Entangled Publishing is available now! *** Nina Croft's latest books, Her Fantasy Husband, a hot contemporary romance from Entangled's Brazen line, and The Order Boxed Set, a compilation of the three full length novels, plus a new novella, exclusive to the boxed set, both released in April 2016 *** Debora Dennis's holiday novella, A PROPOSAL & PUMPKIN PIE is on sale for .99 through Thanksgiving.