How Far Can I Go Without Khloe Kardasian?

Khloe KardashianRecently, I read on AOL news that Khloe Kardasian has the most instagram followers ever–over 11 million hits!

Wouldn’t it be lovely if you had that kind of support in your community for your creative endeavors?

On that note, I’m asking for your support by doing one or more of the following:

NEW COVER1.)  Like me on Facebook Follow / Retweet me on Twitter, Recommend Eve’s Amulet on GoodReads, and/or Repin me on Pinterest.
2.)  Follow my blog and ask at least one of your contacts to do the same. (If preferred, my new blog is Healing Through Awareness and Self-Expression.)
3.) 
Vote in the poll below.

What is your opinion — does social media really make a difference to any small business trying to market or promote their product?

Facebook Logo     Twitter Logo     GoodReads Logo     Pinterest Logo

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

 

 

Why Do We Hurt Those We Love?

In Book 1 of Eve’s Amulet, Carmena falls head over heels in love with Captain Sanders, yet she is guilty of hurting him:

Rocks [2]“I care about you, Charles.”
Then he eyed me as if he had emotional X-ray vision. “You smashed my skull with a rock.”
I shrugged. “Only out of necessity.”

Okay, so not all of us are guilty of physically hurting someone, but I’m mainly referring to emotional hurts. With skewered boundaries stemming from childhood dysfunction, we usually have a tendency to find similar relationships as adults. Many of us come to the realization that our adult relationships aren’t based on integrity––that is communicating honestly and staying true to our words. Then, our feelings of frustrations mount and hostile feelings turn into harsh words and actions.

We also take our unhappiness out on loved ones when we’re dissatisfied with our own lives instead of finding a way to create the change we want.

Why do our loved ones suffer our own frustrations? Here are some reasons why we subject them to poor treatment:

  1. They’re generally the ones who love us more unconditionally than others, and we know they won’t walk away. They’ll forgive us or at least put up with our outbursts.
  2. They’re the true object of our frustration.
  3. We take advantage of the fact that the low-self esteem of our loved ones permits them to be emotional punching bags.

None of these reasons makes it right to take our frustrations out on others. Resolve your feelings by being proactive and doing something that makes a positive difference.

  • Get through your fear and do what you’re afraid of and have the most resistance to. You’ll find more joy than you can imagine. Your happiness should positively affect your loved ones. And if not, you’re not responsible for their insecurities.
  • Decide if you want to work on the relationship or situation by temporarily walkingWalk Away away. (If you have a toxic relationship with people or a situation, walking away is about the only way to get clear headed outside of therapy.)
  • Be willing to honestly share your feelings, saying what hurts and why you were angry. Listen as others share the same with you. Be honest and forgiving, even if the other person doesn’t honor our feelings after we share. People who love you can eventually learn to have integrity by way of your example.
  • Never feel guilty for having to do what’s right for you, although it may not be right for others. As long as you’re not bringing physical harm to yourself or anyone else, you have a right to your own choices, even mistakes, whether others agree or not.

If you feel like sharing: how do you catch yourself when you inadvertently take your frustration out on your loved one? What could be done to end that pattern?

Elongated Sunset

Photo by Alexis Bracamontes

 

6 Steps to Help Overcome the Need to be “Taken Care Of”

Girl looking down

Adults with traumatic childhoods sometimes might expect people, like their spouses and parents, to provide an income, home, or some type of service so they don’t have to work or do things for themselves. Coming from an abuse background, I also felt entitled, feeling that my parents and siblings owed me for neglecting me or treating me poorly during an abusive childhood.

My main character, Mandy, in Eve’s Amulet~Book 1 had a hard time accepting responsibility. When she finally did something productive that served others as well as herself, the feeling was practically foreign to her, but she loved it and started making powerful and good decisions.

Happy face on sunWhen the book was published, everything changed. For once I was getting control of my life. Responsibility wasn’t a burden as it felt in the past, and a new feeling arose as I headed toward self-reliance.

I learned a few significant things along the journey:

    • Always trust your gut instinct. Our gut instinct is always right. It’s only wrong when we misinterpret that inner voice or allow people to talk us out of what we intuitively know is right. Knowing is not what we hope or wish for, but what we actually know even if it can’t be justified or reasoned away.
    • Say Yes or No to what does or doesn’t feel right. Don’t be afraid to make choices that serve you. You’ll be back in control and can chart a new direction for your life.
    • Stop procrastinating. Procrastination is generally the fear of failure or avoiding problems or confrontation by keeping busy with other less important things or things that don’t directly serve you. Get the worst task out of the way, and everything else is easy in comparison. Be proactive by trusting your gut instinct and acting on it.
    • Stop blaming. You may have suffered when others did you wrong during your childhood, or even now in the work place or home, but blame is like worry and guilt, serving no one, and they’re all a waste of time and energy. You’re an adult now. Stand up to bullies, ignore parental guilt, and don’t worry about things out of your control.
    • Being proactive is healthier than making excuses. Do at least one thing a day related to achieving personal goals in career or in other productive Square Horizonareas that you would normally put off. You’ll achieve more if you take even one tiny step each day towards completing a goal.
    • Embrace the opportunity to make good decisions that are in your best interest, as well as for the greater good. Wield your personal power in a positive light!

A mature person accepts responsibility for what they did that was good, as well as for what resulted based on incorrect action or wrong thinking. The true delineation that determines adulthood is when a person elects to hold themselves accountable for their own actions and is willing to make corrections when necessary.
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Vote on a New Cover for Eve’s Amulet!

Banner for WordPressI had a not too popular cover on my debut novel, Eve’s Amulet–Book 1, but I didn’t rush to change it. Now it’s time!

Eve’s Amulet is an exciting time-travel historical adventure series with a lot of interaction between the characters, including those of a romantic nature. I needed a cover to suggest that, as well as to keep the old west theme of Book 1, as Mandy is sent back in time to Texas, 1845. Which cover do you prefer? Please cast your vote below and answer this question:  If you could time travel, what time period would you want to get stuck in?

CURRENT COVER

NEW COVER

PROPOSED NEW COVER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cast your vote and let us know what era you’d like to time travel to and be eligible to win a copy of Eve’s Amulet–Book 1!

Thank you for your input!

S. B. Redstone & His Secret Behind A Sinister Obsession

Bob's PictureA Sinister Obsession may be S. B. Redstone’s debut novel published by Black Opal Books, but it is certainly not his only grand achievement. His life has been a rich example of what it means to be proactive and to create change, be it in his personal life or in helping others.

Steve, why should anyone bother to read this interview about you? (In other words, what makes you an interesting person or what can you offer to your readers?) Some people might find it interesting that a shrink likes to write murderous stories. As a therapist, my novels are rich in accurate psychology with realistic personalities. If you let your inner bully run your life, and it discourages you from attaining your dreams, then that is a great sadness. That’s been a battle I finally fought against successfully, a theme in all my stories. For me as a writer, it’s all about the creativity and bringing a great story to the public.

Did you ever have a desire to write when you were a child?
No I didn’t. Writing didn’t become an interest until I was in high school. In college I wroteWriter poetry. However, my desire to write had to take a back seat to my developing careers in school psychology and clinical social work, which could support my family. Fortunately, my imagination and desire to write never waned, they intensified. I think it is amusing, that the activity I had no interest in–writing–became my life’s accomplishment.

Why did you choose to work as a school psychologist and a clinical social worker?
When I was younger other kids with personal problems would come to me and share Psychologisttheir struggles and upsets. I would just listen because I didn’t know what to say to them. I didn’t give anyone advice and I kept a confidence. In college, I guess that was one motivation to choose psychology as a major. I was a caseworker for the New York City Department of Social Services, Protective Services, helping families and abused and neglected children. It was the first time I met professional social workers and I wanted to become one as well. Eventually, I made a career switch and loved school psychology as well. I had the best of both worlds.

What is your personal goal as a writer?Screenplay
I want millions to read my stories. Having readers enter an alternate reality and enjoy my stories makes me happy and that is my satisfaction. If I ever achieved fame, I would love to write screenplays and make the kind of movies I loved as a kid.

What are your tips for successfully completing a novel?
First, you have to have the time to write. When I switched from social work to school psychology, I had more time, including summers off to be at my typewriter, and later Readingcomputer. I wrote short stories, which could be completed more quickly. With a singular theme, I was better able to stay focused. When I attempted to write my first novel, it was not progressing. So, I added up all my free hours for a month, and was startled by how little free time I actually had. It was then that I made a conscious decision to cut back on my private practice. It was only then that I could write a novel with consistency.

If you could make one change in the world, no matter how great or small, what would it be?
I would design an educational world where children are inspired, cared about, imagination flourishes, and the learning and knowledge are age appropriate.Learning Administrators disregard human nature and what kids are really about. Most high school courses have absolutely no relevance to the majority of students. Failing kids often thrive at sports because they learn from the older kids without criticism. Kids thrive when not fearing criticism by an adult or parent.

How do you pick your names for your characters?
I have a good list of names in my head, knowing so many people in life, but I love to use Peoplethe Internet lists of first and last names. There are so many cool names under different nationalities to choose from. Like Dickens, I like to choose a name that fits the character’s personality.

Did any part of you go into Detective Joshua Diamond or even Detective Aubrey McKenzie?
All writers are bits and pieces of every character they create. I am Josh in many ways. He is sensitive, caring, empathic, who finally realized that there is more to life than capturing criminals. I am Aubrey who is impelled to help others, even at the expense of achieving a happier life for herself.

This may be the toughest question of all: If you could recommend only one book to read other than your own, which would it be?
I could name a hundred fiction books I’ve read and loved. One book I read was differentCosmos than all its predecessors. Cosmos by Carl Sagan connected our world with the universe. He offered a history of human development and our reach for the stars completely ignored by narrow-minded and arrogant educators in power. I was amazed by the knowledge in the book, the scientists I never heard about, and also by the television series. From his work, I fell in love with astronomy.

As an expert in the field of human psychology, Redstone has been able to develop realistic characters from the dark side of human nature where his villains don’t aspire for happiness through personal achievement, but rather from their demented narcissistic schemes. Many of his characters have been taken from his clinical work.  A Sinister Obsession Cover

Check out Steve’s thrilling new novel, A Sinister Obsession!

A psychopathic killer on a quest leaves behind a string of brutal murders, and to find the Who, the police must first discover the Why…

Detective Aubrey McKenzie has been assigned to investigate the murders. A lovely, fabulously wealthy, dark-haired Scot, whose iron will was forged in the inferno of human tragedy, Aubrey is stymied by the lack of solid clues. Now she must rely on her paranormal ability to apprehend the killer-an ability that has been invaluable in her police work but has made a disaster of her social life. Fate teams Aubrey with Detective Joshua Diamond, a handsome, talented, and compassionate man who is more than happy eating a greasy bacon-cheeseburger and wearing clothes that should have been thrown out with the trash. In a race against time, Aubrey and Joshua must overcome their vast differences-and their attraction for each other-and discover the identity of this elusive killer, and the quest this fiend is on, before more lives are destroyed.

S. B. Redstone has used his education and expertise as a school psychologist and Taming Bullies Book Coverlicensed clinical social worker to write his self-improvement book, Taming Your Inner & Outer Bullies: Confronting Life’s Stressors and Winning, published by New Horizon Press Books. It’s a serious work on how to avoid being victimized by others and yourself.

Redstone currently has a novel seeking a publisher, Stardust Dreams, which is a love story that takes place on Earth, an alien planet thousands of light years away, and returns to Earth two hundred thousand years to a sad future of mankind.

Visit Steve’s website at http://sbredstoneauthor.com or click here to follow Steve on his facebook page at Steven Rosenstein, Author. Click on the title to order A Sinister Obsession at Amazon.com.

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Soothing Serendipity

Yesterday I attended a funeral for my friend’s ex-husband, Steve, who died of cancer. He had a military service at the Riverside National Cemetery right across the street from March Airbase. When I experienced some family drama last year, Steve paid for a few of my phone cards when I was nearly homeless and felt as if my family turned their backs on me. It took almost 3 ½ hours to get to the cemetery from my home, but making the drive was the least I could do to honor Steve for generously helping me out.

Cloud-Steve's FuneralOn the way to the service, I thanked Steve for his help.That’s when I looked up and saw an amazing airplane shaped cloud! At one point we heard a giant roar of jets during the service, but there were none in sight. It sounded like a “fly-by” right as the minister said Steve’s name. Both were great serendipitous events.

Kathy L Wheeler Shares Her Secret to Enjoying Book Sales Success!

IMG_8486Are you an author wanting to increase your book sales? Find out more about Kathy L Wheeler in this interview and how she experienced successful sales. Let’s get right to it!

Kathy, you are very busy and talented–a BA in Management Information systems, vocally gifted, you love of football, basketball, and exercise. Where does your passion of writing fit on your scale of things to do?
I didn’t begin writing until late 2006. But it became quickly apparent to me (and my disgruntled husband) that this was something important. I completed approximately 5 manuscripts within two years. Not that I knew what I was doing at the time. However, time is your friend when you are learning. I now have nine books out and five open projects. Three of which I hope to complete in the next six months. Uh. . .I guess that does make me a teeny bit of an over-achiever. Of course, I have six months to go before I see if that comes to pass or not.

Wow! That’s quite an accomplishment. In addition to a great imagination, what do you think attributes the most to your love of writing (and reading) romance novels?
I’ve always loved reading. I spent my senior year of high school hiding out in my room reading. I never dreamed I’d be among the writers! Mostly, however, I demand a happy ending. So. . .I write my own.

What do your future long term goals include, whether related to writing or not?
Long-term goals include writing for a living. I already get to travel thanks to having a decent job and manageable bills. But to be able to earn my way through writing would be the ultimate!

I agree that being a full-time writer sounds like an appealing goal. What advice would you give to first time authors who have yet to become published?
My advice is to sit your ass in the chair and just do it. I can’t tell you how many people say “I’ve always thought of writing a book.” My response is “Then why don’t you?” Or they say, “I have a great story for you to write.” My response is “Why don’t you write it? I have plenty of my own.” Of course, I hope I sound nicer in person when I say it. You know. Laughing as I say it.

Now, for writers who feel ready to be published, what has been your most successful marketing/promotion tool(s)?
I just wrote a post on this very thing over at http://thewritersvineyard.com/2014/01/marketing-should-be-its-own-curse-word.htmlappropriately titled, I might add. In essence, Bookbub was by far the most successful. Though my ad came out in late October, I am still seeing the benefits. It was quite shocking, breathtaking and overall unbelievable. This is what happened:

wrongedprincessi Cover-334x499I have a Cinderella Series. The basic premise is that Cinderella’s glass slipper fits one of her evil stepsisters’ foot. This is book i, The Wronged Princess.

This book had been available on both Amazon and Smashwords for years. I did a “permanently free” through Smashwords in which Amazon price-matched. It did okay. The downloads were fairly steady over time.

I should add that there are two other books in the series. They were not on sale. The Unlikely Heroine – book ii and The Surprising Enchantress ­– book iii.

One Friday in late October I somehow got accepted at bookbub.com. (I will tell you—they are expensive.) Every morning I checked my downloads on Amazon. On that particular Friday (9:30a), there were approximately 1800. Not too bad. Sales on the other two books equaled around 30. Bad. However, right before lunch, the bookbub email hit. And for some reason, I happened to look the downloads again. 3574!

My stomach hit the floor. I thought something was wrong. I came back from lunch (1:20p) and the downloads had risen to 7500. Now I’m nauseous. I have a group of friends we call the Martini Club. We meet every Friday night, schedules permitting.
I got there at 4:30 and checked the downloads again from my Kindle Fire—15,000. Now I know I have actually died and gone to book download heaven. By the time I went to bed that night, because I can’t keep from checking, it’s up to 21,000 downloads. All through the next day, I can barely speak from the shock, it reach over 27,000! And for me, that’s saying something.

In any event, by the 31st (Halloween) there were over 35,000 downloads of The Wronged Princess – book i. The side effect was the sales of the other two books in the series. Sales jumped from around 30 to 270. That was October. In November, the first book was still free for a week or so. I eventually raised the price but the sales reached over 700 that month.

The kicker here is that BookBub decides if they will accept your book or not. I’ve submitted three others since then that have been rejected. So I’m unsure of the criteria involved. I would say BookBub has been by far the best of my marketing efforts.

Thank you, Kathy, for the excellent interview and great sales tip! Here are a few of Kathy’s wonderful books available for sale:

Quotable Cover-biggerQUOTABLE

Genna Lyndsey is not a people person, but a wild haired waif with sturdy nerdy glasses who lives through books. Obscure quotes spew forth when people get too close like Rick Johnson, Fraud Insurance Claims Investigator, assigned to look into an unusual number of claims filed by Genna. He suspects her of sabotaging her property for the money, but his investigation uncovers an adorable introvert determined to keep everyone at bay, while someone else resolves to put her out of business—no matter how great the risk.

maybe its you Cover-334x499
MAYBE IT’S YOU

How can a girl who’s been rejected by Once Upon A Time ever believe that happily-ever-after even exists? Abandonment issues surface when she finds herself falling in love, totally pissing her off.

Ashton Turner III was nobody’s Knight In Shining Armor. He’d jumped off that horse a long time ago.  And when Lorianne’s grandmother delivers Ash life-altering news, his past explodes into the present.

 

Lies that BindLIES THAT BIND

Would a modern day woman marry for convenience to protect the identity of her child?  Hell yes! Kelly Mancer doesn’t want a man.  Any man.  But danger has a way of changing a woman’s mind.

Alex Gentry needs Kelly, but convincing her to help in his pursuit of a dangerous enemy who’s enamored his younger sister would not be easy.  The tables turn and Kelly becomes the prey. Alex may save his sister, but at what cost?

About Kathy L Wheeler:

Kathy has a BA degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in Management Information Systems that includes over forty credit hours of vocal music. As a computer programmer the past fifteen years, she utilizes karaoke for her vocal music talents. Other passions include travel, fantasy football, NBA and musical theatre. She is a long time member of several RWA Chapters, including OKRWA, DARA, and The Beau Monde. As an avid reader of romance and patron of the theatre, her main sources of inspiration come mostly from an over-active imagination. She currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma with her musically talented attorney husband, Al, and their bossy cat, Carly.

Contact Kathy L Wheeler:
kathy@klwheeler.com
http://facebook.com/kathylwheeler
http://twitter.com/kathylwheeler