Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Wenches of Words Wednesday: Marci Boudreaux

I’m excited to feature fellow Wench of Words, Marci Boudreaux, a fabulous romance author, on my blog today! Like the title of her book suggests, this author cranks out words that are unforgettable. Take it away, Marci…

ROMANCE AS IT’S MEANT TO BE Is the buzz about Marci Boudreaux's new release Unforgettable You. Here's a little for your reading pleasure.
When life throws a widowed innkeeper and a world-famous movie star together they share an unexpected romance. But is their love strong enough to survive their real lives?


Desperate to keep her ailing mother-in-law, Doreen, in the woman’s home, Carrie Gable agrees to board a handful of Hollywood’s most elite actors at the manor. Despite her resentment of the demands being placed upon her, she can’t help but be taken in by actor Will Walker.

Will, in a last-ditch effort to save his career, has agreed to a project he has no interest in. The more time he spends with his egotistical co-stars, the more drawn he is to Carrie. Long nights spent talking about the paths their lives have taken make him realize he’d rather have a simpler life, but his ties to L.A. aren’t as willing to let him go.

With the temptation of stardom pulling Will in one direction and the need to care for Doreen tugging Carrie in another, the couple struggle to hold onto the happiness they were missing until finding each other.


“It must be heart-wrenching to see Doreen fading away like that,” Will said.

Carrie’s face sagged. “It isn’t easy.”

“It’s a lot of work trying to keep up with her.”

“Sometimes,” she said dismissively as she looked at the menu. She glanced at the clock again. “Well, I won’t be slow roasting chicken tonight, will I?”

“I’m worried about you.”

“About me?” she asked lightly. “Why?”

“This is a lot for one person to handle.”

“I’m fine.”

“You keep saying that.”

“Because I am.”

“Carrie.” He coaxed gently. Turning from the menu, she seemed to plea with her eyes.

“What do you want me to say, Will?”

“You can start by telling me how you are doing.”

“How the hell do you think I’m doing?” He took in the deep creases on her forehead and the puffiness of her eyes.

“Not nearly as well as you’d like everyone to believe.”

“Falling apart is not an option right now.”

“Well, burying it isn’t either.”

Carrie opened her mouth as if to argue with him but, after a moment, she stepped back, putting space between them. He watched her pull out a Dutch oven and carry it to the sink to fill with water.

Moving to her side, he looked down at her. “Can you just talk to me? Tell me what you’re thinking.”

“What I’m thinking?” she asked. “I’ve spent the last two years pretending that my dead husband is at the grocery store,” she sat the pot on a burner, “returning insane purchases, picking her up from all over the county after she’s driven off to some place that no longer exists, if it ever did exist, but somehow it didn’t seem real until today.”

“The disease—”

“I know,” she said turning to look at him. “I know what it does. But I never really felt it. Pretending Mike is running errands, taking away her access to money, hiding the car keys, it all seemed so ordinary. Laundry? Check. Dishes? Check. Lie to Mama? Check.”

He saw fresh tears shimmering in her eyes before she turned toward the drawer where she’d hidden the knobs for the stove to prevent Mama from turning on the heat.

She tried several times to get the knob in place but it resisted her push, refused to fit. Cursing under her breath, Carrie slammed it down and turned to face him. “I’ve read the books, I’ve done the research, I’ve talked to support groups and doctors, but nothing they said could have possibly prepared me for that,” she said as the tears that had made her eyes shine fell down her cheeks.

“Nothing could have prepared me for her not knowing who I am.”

“I’m sorry,” he whispered as he reached out to her. When he wrapped her in his arms, she leaned into him and buried her face in his chest. A sob escaped her causing her shoulders to shake and he soothed her by whispering softly and running his hand over her back.


Check out the trailer for Unforgettable You HERE.

Learn more about Marci Boudreaux on her website.

Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Developing a Positive Mental Attitude: Part Three

I must admit, there’s a lot to keeping up a positive mental attitude (PMA) these days. So much of a writer’s time and attention seems to be pulled in every direction, and I’ve found that negative thoughts can creep in on you when you least expect it. But if you keep up the good fight and learn to tame your mind by subjecting it to positive thoughts, then I believe the sky’s the limit.

 If you’ve missed Part Two of Developing a Positive Mental Attitude, please click HERE to read over the post. Now, as promised, here are the final PMA building blocks to help you create a solid foundation for a better life…

27. Return every benefit you receive with one of equal or greater value.

28. Avoid the fear of old age by remembering that nothing is ever taken from you without being replaced by something of equal or greater value. Youth, for instance, is replaced by wisdom.

29. Trust that adequate solutions can be found for all your problems, but accept the fact that the solutions may not always be the ones you want.

30. Rely on the examples of others to remind you that any disadvantage can be overcome. Think Thomas Edison or Helen Keller.

31. Embrace any opportunity to learn how others see you, and use it to take inventory of yourself and look for things which need improvement. Do not fear criticism; encourage it.

32. Create a mastermind alliance with others to work actively together toward a common goal and purpose. Discuss your progress and insights and gain the benefit of a much wider range of experience.

33. Grasp the differences between wishing, hoping, desiring, and having a burning desire to achieve your goal. Only a burning desire gives you a driving motivation, and it can be fueled only by a positive mental attitude.

34. Abstain from negative conversations, especially gossip, or tearing apart other people’s reputations.

35. Discipline your mind to shape your destiny toward whatever purpose in life you have chosen.

36. Be yourself at all times.

37. Say nothing that does not reflect your positive mental attitude!

38. Believe in the existence of Infinite Intelligence, which makes it possible for you to draw on all the power you need to take possession of your own mind and direct it toward whatever you choose.

39. Believe in your ability to become free and self-determining, and put that belief to work by acting upon it. Do it now!

If you read over these building blocks at least once a week for six months, you will so thoroughly indoctrinate yourself with these habits and mind conditioners that your mental attitude will become and remain positive at all times. Good luck and best wishes for creating your new improved life!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Wenches of Words Wednesday: Eleni Konstantine

Today, I’m excited to feature fellow Wench of Words, Eleni Konstantine, who just loves scaring the bejeebers out of readers. This Wench loves to channel her talents into writing fantasy and paranormal fiction. Take it away, Eleni…

 Reading Feeds the Soul by Eleni Konstantine

For the last year, I had been part of conference committee and I also began studying. So much of my spare time was tied up with those activities that I noticed that my reading had gone downhill. My current reads are at 25 for 2012 whereas in 2011 I had read 74 books. That’s quite a difference. Please check out my reading list at Eleni’s Library.

The other thing I noticed was I felt down that I couldn’t get more reading done. Gone were the days when I used to read all night. With chronic fatigue syndrome, if I’m tired, I can’t read past a few pages.

That is very sad. Don’t you think?

I’m of the belief that reading feeds the soul, especially the writer’s soul. Nothing is like escaping into a book, reading about events and characters as if it were happening right in front of you. And when that isn’t happening - it’s like losing a piece of yourself.

I was finding that my own writing and creativity suffered because of this. I couldn’t really get settled into my work. Editing was fine (thank goodness because I had releases to work on), but writing something new felt stifled. No new idea grabbed hold or felt right.

However for the first time in months, I wrote something new the other day. It’s different, and still forming, but I like the basic idea.

Why the change?

Conference is over for 2012, I dropped a couple of subjects at school and I’ve started reading more again. In the last month, I have read six stories. Not all of them were novel length, but it’s still more reading than I’ve done for ages. I feel so much better for it.

My muse is rubbing her hands together and saying, “Yes, we can work on this and this, and that. Oh, and this one as well.”

It’s a good feeling to have choices for writing after a year where it really didn’t seem to.

How about you - does reading feed your soul?

Zeta will protect the one she loves, even if it means living in Hell. 

Mastering a unique power was much safer for Zeta Kosmos with a mentor to help her along. Now that he’s disappeared, Zeta must continue alone with her calling—closing Gateways to Hell.

 Daniel Richards is in the family business—Warding supernatural evil from causing havoc on humans. As such, he’s only interested in the safety of one-night stands. Until Zeta. This bad boy now wants a long, lasting relationship.

But Zeta can’t let go of her past, nor can she ignore the secret demonic threats against Daniel’s life. She’d rather fight demonic spawn and be dragged into Hell than allow anything happen to him. Can Daniel convince her to stay? Will she have to pay the ultimate price?

To read an excerpt from Gateway to Hell, please click HERE.

Eleni Konstantine is Fantasy and Paranormal fiction writer, with a number of shorts published. Her stories range from flash fiction to novels. She blames her mother for her writing bug because as a child she was given many books, including illustrated fairytales. That and a love of Greek mythology, and Eleni was destined to become a writer.

Eleni lives in Adelaide, Australia, with her family and feisty American Staffy.

Learn more about Eleni Konstantine on her website and blog.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Developing a Positive Mental Attitude: Part Two

Last week I gave you the first thirteen building blocks on how you develop a positive mental attitude (PMA). If you’ve missed Part One of Developing a Positive Mental Attitude, please click HERE to read over the post. If you haven’t, then let’s continue on…

14. Comprehend that no one can hurt your feelings, make you angry, or frighten you without your full cooperation and consent.

15. Perceive that self-pity is an insidious destroyer of self-reliance. Believe that you are the one person on whom you can and should depend on at all times.

16. Relate to every circumstance in your life as something that has happened for the best, for it may be that your saddest experience will bring you your greatest assets if you give time a chance to mellow your distress.

17. Divert an urge for control over others. Channel that energy into better control over yourself.

18. Occupy your mind with doing what you want to do so that no time will be left for it to stray to the things you do not want to do.

19. Attune your mind to attract the things and situations you desire by expressing in a daily prayer your gratitude for what you already have.

20. Demand a reasonable amount of dividends from life every day, instead of waiting to receive them.

21. Live in the style that suits your physical and spiritual requirements. Don’t waste time keeping up with the Joneses!

22. Refuse to heed anyone’s advice – unless that person is willing to give you satisfactory evidence of the soundness of his or her counsel.

23. Discern that personal power does not come from the possession of material things alone.

24. Exert yourself so that you keep your body in shape – your body like your mind – must be kept active to remain positive.

25. Reinforce the habit of tolerance, and keep an open mind on all subjects and toward all people no matter what their race or creed.

26. Admit that love is the best medication for your body and your soul. Love changes the entire chemistry of your body and conditions it for the expression of a positive mental attitude. By far, the best way to receive love is to give it!

Remember, you can achieve success in anything you do! Next week’s post will conclude with the final building blocks on how to develop a positive mental attitude. Cheers!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Wenches of Words Wednesday: Dusty Crabtree

I’m excited to feature fellow Wench of Words, Dusty Crabtree on my blog today. Dusty is a young adult author who dabbles in urban fantasy. I personally think Ms. Crabtree likes to hang out in that shadowy genre so she can shine her own light into the world. If you’d like to read an earlier interview with Dusty, please click HERE. Take it away, Dusty…

A Tasty Treat is Berry Dark Chocolate Pie by Dusty Crabtree

I've been an overly creative person, my mind constantly swimming with artistic things and creative ideas. Before I started writing, that creativity often found an outlet in cooking. I started with intricate recipes, then added my own spin on them, and turned some of them into my own.

This is one of my favorite creations, mainly because I absolutely love berries and chocolate together! It's tart and fruity with the intense dark sweetness of chocolate.

Also, seeing as how Iris, the main character in my YA urban fantasy Shadow Eyes, has violet eyes and her favorite color is naturally purple, I thought this strikingly dark purple pie would definitely be fitting. I hope it wins you over like it would Iris.

Berry Dark Chocolate Pie

2 chocolate piecrusts
16 oz. package frozen blackberries, thawed and drained or 2 cups fresh
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
½ cup blackberry jam
3-4 tbsp. or ½ package of Jell-O sugar-free chocolate fudge pudding mix
1/3 cup lemon juice
½ tsp. almond extract or vanilla extract if preferred
1 container 8 or 9 oz whipped topping
1-2 oz. dark chocolate squares, grated or shaved or use chips

Combine blackberries, sweetened condensed milk, blackberry jam, pudding mix, lemon juice, and almond extract. Beat on medium high speed until well blended and thick, about 2 minutes.

Spoon blackberry cream mixture over 2 chocolate crusts evenly. Refrigerate for a total of 4 hours.

After about 1 hour, top with whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings. Continue to refrigerate for another 3 hours or until set.

Serves 16

While the pie is chilling, pour yourself a lovely glass of wine and curl up with Shadow Eyes.

Iris thought she could ignore the shadows...until they went after everyone she loved.

Iris Kohl lives in a world populated by murky shadows that surround, harass, and entice unsuspecting individuals toward evil. But she is the only one who can see them. She’s had this ability to see the shadows, as well as brilliantly glowing light figures, ever since an obscure, tragic incident on her fourteenth birthday three years earlier.

Although she’s learned to cope, the view of her world begins to shift upon the arrival of three mysterious characters. First, a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows; second, a new friend with an awe-inspiring aura; and third, a mysterious and alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend.

As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, she must ultimately revisit the most horrific event of her life in order to learn her true identity and become the hero she was meant to be.

I meandered slowly to my locker. Even though I didn’t need anything, I rummaged through it as if I were searching for a tool on a job that paid by the hour. The longer I waited, the less people and, therefore, shadows would be waiting for me when I stepped into the parking lot.

I hated crowds and tried to avoid them as much as possible. Three years of dealing with the visions had taught me how to cope in various ways, but I’d never gotten used to walking among herds of people that were ignorant of the truth I was forced to see. It was like being the only one wearing ultraviolet glasses that unveiled every germ and bacteria around me and having to constantly witness unsuspecting people touching things and getting into things that are disgusting and potentially dangerous. Some people would feel lucky to have such insight. Me? I felt trapped, helpless, and exposed.

Luckily, since it was Friday, everyone wanted to get away from school as quickly as possible. By the time I stepped outside, the parking lot was basically empty. Only a few cars belonging to football players remained.

I began to trek the long distance to my car, which was at the end of the lot due to my near tardiness every day for the same reason I always left late. However, even though the lot was void of people, a couple of dark figures loomed over and around a yellow Camaro to my right. I recognized it as Marcus Beaman’s new car. He was a well-known football player and had been bragging about the birthday present for three months since he got it in June.

Why were these shadows out in the parking lot without any humans around? The bizarreness of it made me pause, and my mind began fabricating all possible explanations—none of which I could do anything about. Lost in my thoughts, I must have peered at them with critical eyes just a tad longer than was safe. One of them stopped, inclined its head to glare at me, and flashed an evil grin. I shuddered, closing my eyes tightly in an attempt to erase the image and pretend the scene away as I cowered toward my car like a timid little girl.

I threw open the driver’s side door, jumped in, tossing my backpack on the passenger seat, buckled my seatbelt, and locked the doors. As if that would help.

Watch Shadow Eyes book trailer on YouTube.


Learn more about Dusty Crabtree on her blog.

Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Developing a Positive Mental Attitude: Part One

To survive as a full-time author, I believe it’s necessary to develop a positive mental attitude (PMA) to get you through the humps and hurdles that every writer meets in today’s new publishing paradigm. Say what you will, but nothing great has ever been achieved without PMA. One of my personal pacesetters and all-time mentors is Napoleon Hill, who once said, “Whatever your mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.” Amazing insight from a man born in the rugged mountains of Southwest Virginia in 1883 in a one room cabin!

So how do you develop a PMA to make life pay off on your own terms? The following thirty-nine building blocks were taken from Napoleon Hill’s book, Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement. Read on…

1. Recognize that your mental attitude is the only thing over which you – and only you – have complete control, and exercise that control.
2. Realize that every adversity, sorrow, setback, or defeat, whether or not you caused to happen, contains the seed of an equivalent benefit which you can nurture into a blessing that soars above the disaster that brought it.
3. Clear your mind of any influence which does not support a positive mental attitude.
4. Find out what you want most in life and go after it.
5. Select the person, who in your opinion, is the finest person in all the world, past or present. Make him or her your pacesetter for the rest of your life, emulating him or her in every way possible.
6. Determine what kind of resources you need, and set up a plan for acquiring them based on the idea of not too much, not too little.
7. Form a habit of saying or doing something every day  which will make someone else feel better. (Also known as doing a random act of kindness). Remember, one good deed will keep old man gloom away!
8. Make yourself understand that what whips you isn’t defeat, but your mental attitude toward it. Train yourself to look for the seed of equivalent benefit in every disappointment you face.
9. Ascertain what you like best to do, and do it as a labor of love with your heart and soul. Don’t let boredom or brooding get you down!
10. Understand that often when you have searched in vain for a solution to a problem, you can find it by helping someone else solve his or her problem.
11. Take a complete inventory of every asset you possess. You’ll discover that your greatest asset is a sound mind with which you can shape your destiny.
12. Acknowledge that the space you occupy in this world is in exact ratio to the quantity and quality of the service you render for the benefit of others, plus the mental attitude in which you render it.
13. Break bad habits. Do this one at a time. Show yourself who is boss. If you need help, get it. Don’t let your pride master you!

I’ve broken these building blocks to developing a positive mental attitude into three parts. Please join me next week when we continue our journey to success!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Wenches of Words Wednesday: Liz DeJesus

I’m excited to feature fellow Wench of Words, Liz DeJesus on my blog today. Not only is Liz a young adult author, but she’s obsessed with fairy tales and has a knack for twisting the happily ever after endings. Take it away, Liz, and try not to end this post on a Grimm note…

Obsession Can Be a Good Thing

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love fairy tales. Actually I take that back...I'm obsessed with fairy tales. One of the first books that I ever bought with my allowance was English Fairy Tales. It was hard cover, with yellow cloth and it has a picture of a giant holding a tiny ax. I was eleven years old at the time. I was lonely, nerdy, didn't fit in with anyone at school and the only escape that I had was in books.

Anyway it's safe to say that I quickly became obsessed with fairy tales. I devoured books like Grimm's Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales, Alice in Wonderland, among others that I'll list some other time. :) Here is a list of my favorite fairy tales and why:

1. Snow White ~ First story I ever read that featured a brunette. But I like Snow White because she is complicated; she lost her mother, and then her father. She was left with a hateful stepmother that envied her, tried to kill her and she overcame all of these different obstacles: being poisoned with a comb, strangled with ribbons and then ultimately killed with a poisoned apple. I think it was Snow White's vanity that killed her (because the seven dwarves warned her not to let anyone in and she disobeyed). She had a lot of harsh lessons to learn. This is why she's my favorite princess.

2. Alice in Wonderland ~ This story is just plain fun. White rabbit, mad hatters, talking caterpillars (that smokes a hookah, thankyouverymuch), a crazy-head-chopping queen of hearts and a very confused little girl named Alice.

3. Toads and Diamonds ~ This was one of the first fairy tales I read and was absolutely fascinated by the story of these two sisters.

This fairy tale is a little obscure so if you've never heard of it, here's a little info I got from Wikipedia. I first read about it in Michael Hague's Tales of Charles Perrault.

A bad-tempered old widow had two daughters, her older daughter was disagreeable and proud but looked and behaved like her mother, and therefore was her favorite child. She and her eldest daughter badly mistreated the woman's younger daughter, who was sweet, courteous, and beautiful, but resembled her late father.

One day while drawing water from the well, the younger daughter was asked for a drink by an old woman. The girl politely consented and after giving it, she found that the woman was a fairy, who had taken the guise of a crone to test the character of mortals. As the girl was so kind and compassionate toward her, the fairy blessed her with having either a jewel, a diamond or a pretty flower fall from her mouth whenever she spoke.

Upon arriving home and explaining why she took so long to her mother, the widow was delighted at the sight of diamonds, pearls and roses falling from the girl's lips, and desired that her favored eldest daughter, Fanny, should have the gift as well. Fanny protested, but the widow forcibly sent her to the well with instruction to act kindly toward an old beggar woman. Fanny set off but the fairy appeared as a fine princess, and requested that the girl draw her a drink from the well. The elder daughter spoke rudely to the fairy and insulted her. The fairy decreed that, as punishment for her despicable attitude, either a toad or a snake would fall from Fanny's mouth whenever she spoke.

When Fanny arrived home, she told her story to her mother and disgusting toads and vipers fell from her mouth with each word. The widow, in a fury, drove her younger daughter out of the house. In the woods, she met a king's son, who fell in love with her and married her. In time, even the widow was sickened by her older daughter, and drove her out, and she died alone and miserable in the woods.

I'm using these characters in the sequel to First Frost. Safe to say...I'm having tons of fun.

4. The Three Heads of the Well ~ I like this story because the main character sets out to seek her fortune.

This is another slightly obscure fairy tale:

In the days before King Arthur, a king held his court in Colchester. He had a beautiful daughter by his beautiful wife, but when his wife died, he married a hideous widow with a daughter of her own, for her riches, and his new wife set him against his daughter. His daughter begged leave to go and seek her fortune, and he permitted it, and his wife gave her brown bread, hard cheese, and a bottle of beer.

She goes on her way and sees an old man sitting on a stone. When he asks what she has, she tells him and offers him some. After they eat, he tells her how to get through a hedge, and that she will find three golden heads in a well there, and should do whatever they tell her.

The heads ask her to comb them and wash them, and after she does so, one says she shall be beautiful, the next that she will have a sweet voice, and the third that she shall be fortunate and queen to the greatest prince that reigns.

She goes on, and a king sees her and falls in love with her. They marry and go back to visit her father. Her stepmother is enraged that her stepdaughter and not her daughter gained all this, and sent her daughter on the same journey. The daughter was rude to the old man, and slighted the three heads, and they curse her with leprosy, a harsh voice, and marriage to a cobbler.

She goes on. A cobbler offers to cure her leprosy and voice if she will marry him, and she agrees.

Her mother, finding she had married a cobbler, hangs herself, and the king gives his stepdaughter's husband a hundred pounds to quit the court and live elsewhere.
5. Beauty and the Beast ~ I love this fairy tale because the moral of the story is to search for inner beauty. And of course my favorite is the Disney version...seriously...I would totally marry the Beast just for the library. I remember the first time I saw the movie and my jaw dropped when I saw the library scene. I wanted to live there. :)

6. Snow White and Rose Red ~ Sometimes they refer to Snow White as Rose White. I like this story because they seem to get into mischief with the dwarf. Some of my favorite stories have bears in them. LOL. I wonder what that says about me? Hmmm...I wonder.

7. Cinderella ~ Classic fairy tale. It has everything, wicked stepmother, wicked stepsisters, glass slippers, fairy godmothers, a ball, and a prince. What's not to love?

Hint, hint, Cinderella's glass slipper will be a major item of interest in the sequel to First Frost. :)

Anyway, those are just some of my favorites, I had to stop myself from adding more because otherwise this would’ve been a ridiculously long post. I guess some people would find my fascination with fairy tales strange, but I think we all need a little magic and whimsy in our lives. This is why books are crucial to our existence. It's a safe way to escape. You might wonder why so many writers use fairy tales in their writing. My response? WHY NOT! All of these stories are just an endless fountain of inspiration.

I can only hope that you all enjoy my book First Frost, all I ever wanted to do was have a bit of fun and entertain people with my work.
Fairy tales aren’t real…yeah…that’s exactly what Bianca thought. She was wrong.

For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.”

Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn’t really exist.

She’s about to find out how wrong she is.

To read an excerpt from First Frost, please click HERE.

To purchase First Frost, please click one of the vendors below:

Musa Publishing Amazon Barnes and Noble

Learn more about Liz DeJesus on her website and visit First Frost on Facebook.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Patience is a…Skill!

Yes, yes, we all know the old saying, Patience is a Virtue. But it’s also a skill too. Master patience and anything is possible, especially finding peace in your life. To be impatient is literally like trying to squirm out of the present and into the future. Good luck with that. All you’ll accomplish is shredded nerves, a racing heart, and stress hormones streaking through your body. Writhe and holler as much as you want. You are here, and frankly that’s where you’re supposed to be!

The Tarot has card dedicated to patience and adaptation aptly called Temperance. It stands for self-control, and suggests the need to adapt and cooperate with surrounding conditions. When this card appears in a reading, its lesson is to have patience with others; work with them and not against them. Temperance tells you to go with the flow, rather than be drowned by uncertainty. Let’s be honest, it’s great advice to be told to stop and smell the roses for a change!

To learn patience gives you the freedom to have a pleasant time even when the traffic gods are playing with you. And the more you can integrate impersonal and compassionate feelings into a situation, the better the outcome. Here are some techniques to help you convert the helpless rage of impatience into a delightful sense of spaciousness:

Just stop. Catch the mind ranting that you shouldn’t be in this situation – because you are. Give up the fight. It’s not worth it. You’ve lost the battle, but not the war.

Settle into the moment. You might feel your body ease down, yielding to gravity (a good thing). Your shoulders and tummy relax, your jaw too.

Go into your body with your mind’s eye. Listen to your body’s language. Are you tight, tense, breathing shallowly, clenching, jiggling? Where? Focus on those sensations as closely as you can. Touch them with your mind.

See if you can open any tightness. Breathe into any clenching (a yoga technique). And if there’s a really stubborn knot, see if you can welcome it, make room for it.

Once your brain cools down, your powers of reason return. Then it’s go time. You’ve taken it easy and embraced moderation, so go with the flow!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Wenches of Words Wednesday: Rita Monette

Today, I’m excited to feature fellow YA author and Wench of Words, Rita Monette, who – FYI – is no stranger to this blog. If you’d like to read an earlier interview with Rita, please click HERE. Take it away, Rita…

The Truth Behind the Legend by Rita Monette

I read somewhere that almost every author’s first attempt at writing is personal. Perhaps it is a story from their past that has haunted them and needs to be released. But it also said that most of those stories don’t make it into the world. Once written, they sit on a shelf, while their creator moves on to more adventurous and exciting projects. I read this after completing my middle grade novel, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, and thought perhaps this was my cathartic tale that would go unpublished.

The Legend of Ghost Dog Island is indeed a personal story. I wanted to tell the story of the Louisiana Cajuns. Ask a child today about Cajuns and they may tell you that it is about hot food, or about shooting alligators (Incidentally, I started my book long before Swamp People over took the History Channel.) I figured there was no better way to tell the story than to start with my own childhood.

I was raised in the Louisiana bayous. My father trapped and fished crabs for a living, and moved our family three times a year in search of better fishing spots. Being new in school was common place for me. My father was also fond of telling legends about what might be living in nearby swamps. Perfect for a children’s story, right? My historical fiction novel, set in the 1950s, is told through the eyes of my ten-year-old protagonist, Nikki Landry. But it would be rather boring if she’d stuck strictly to my routine, so Nikki (braver than me) sets out to discover the truth behind one of the legends she feels poses a threat to her dog, Snooper. She gets herself into trouble more than once, and has many spooky mishaps and adventures, but in the end, Nikki discovers the truth and solves the mystery behind the decade old legend.

However, being true to my mission, I made sure to inject some of my father’s stories about the lifestyle and treatment of the Cajun (Acadian) people of his day, and about learning a new language… something today’s immigrant children might relate to. Heads up librarians! I’ve included an author’s page, which encourages more reading about the history of the Acadian people and their exile from their homeland in Canada.

I wish to thank Musa Publishing for believing in me and my debut novel The Legend of Ghost Dog Island.

Papa says every legend starts with a truth. But what is the truth behind the legend of Ghost Dog Island?


Moving is nothing new for ten-year-old Nikki Landry. Her fisherman father relocates their raggedy old houseboat several times a year in search of better crab fishing spots. However, their latest move has brought her to a mysterious bayou where she feels like something is watching her and her beloved dog Snooper from a nearby island. But when Papa tells her about a local legend that something sinister might be living nearby and stealing the souls of dogs, she fears for her constant companion’s life. Join Nikki as she seeks to discover the truth behind the legend…before it’s too late.


Mama closed the door behind her. She knew once Papa got going on one of his tales, there was no stopping him.

The last traces of daylight seemed to disappear in a hurry, as if Papa had ordered it away. The glass globe of the kerosene lamp clinked. He touched a match to the wick and adjusted the flame until it filled the room with pale light and gray shadows. He motioned me to sit next to him on the worn sofa.

I hurried to his side, not knowing what spooky legend he was going to tell this time. But as scared as I’d get, I always enjoyed hearing ’em.

“Mais, there’s a legend told around these parts.” That was how they always started out. He leaned down so the light from the lamp made eerie shadows across his face. I rolled my eyes, determined not to get spooked this time.

“Folks say there’s something living out yonder,” he went on. “Legend has it the monster lures dogs to the island using evil spells. Then at the peak of the full moon, they’re turned into hollow spirits with glowing eyes.” Papa put on his eeriest sneer. “That there’s Ghost Dog Island.”

“Ghost dogs?” I pulled my knees up against my chest and wrapped my arms around ’em tight. My mind conjured up images of a huge monster with drippy fangs and dogs with bright yellow eyes. I thought about the feeling I had of something watching us. Was there really a creature out there? Did it have its eye on my best buddy? I shuddered.

IEEEOWWWOOOO-oooooooo! The howling sound echoed again across the bayou.


Rita Monette was born and raised in Southwest Louisiana. After retiring from her “real” job as an administrative assistant, Rita began doing what she always wanted to do…write and paint. Five long years later, Musa Publishing offered her a contract for her debut middle grade novel, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, which also includes her artwork. Her stories are set in the beautiful, yet mysterious, bayous and swamps of her home state. Rita now resides with her husband, four lap dogs, and one lap cat, in the mountains of Tennessee.

Learn more about Rita Monette on her website and blog.

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