Uninterrupted Writing Time!

My husband: Out of town.

My daughter: Spending a couple days with her cousins at her aunt and uncle’s house.

Me: Uninterrupted writing time! Yay!

 

But first…

 

I need to actually drop the daughter off at my brother’s house, and then sit and chat with my sister-in-law because I haven’t talked to her in, like, three days. And then I’d better stop at the grocery store on the way home; that way I don’t have to do it later in the week, when I surely won’t feel like it.

Tomorrow is garbage day, so instead of wait until I’m running late for work in the morning, I’ll get the garbage, recycling, and compost all out to the curb tonight. Which means I need to empty the trash bins in each bedroom and bathroom too. And walk around the yard picking up stray sticks and maybe pulling a few weeds. Guess I should clean up the dog poop too.

Oh, look how wilted the flowers are, since it’s so hot today. I’d better water them. Oh shoot, I keep forgetting to transplant that petunia into that hanging basket. I’d better do it now, while I’m thinking about it.

Okay, time to move the sprinkler to the other flowerbed.

Now I’m hungry. I’ll make a salad since no one else is here and it’s hot and that’s an easy dish to prepare. I’m going to slice up these strawberries to add to it. And that tomato and bell pepper too. What else is in the crisper that needs to be eaten? While I’m in the fridge I might as well clean out the leftovers from three weeks ago. And take another bag of trash to the curb, plus some more recycling. Need to dump this bowl of fruit and veggie remains in the compost pile, too.

Time to move the sprinkler over to the potted tomatoes and peppers. Wait, before I do that, I should check to see how they’re coming along. Not that anything will be ripe at this point, but you never know. Look! Tiny green tomatoes! And baby peppers! I can’t wait for them to ripen.

Now that I’ve taken the recycling bag out, I can see the dog hair and dust that has accumulated in the corner where it normally sits. I’d better sweep that up.

I forgot I tossed my daughter’s sheets into the washer. Better move them to the dryer. And while I’m in the laundry room, might as well run another load. Lord knows, there’s always laundry to be done. But first, I’d better collect the dirty clothes from the various baskets in the bedrooms.

Oh look, I’ve hit ten thousand steps already today, and I haven’t even yet walked the dog.

Speaking of, damn, I’m ready for a shower, but I should walk her first, considering how hot it is out there. Actually, I should take her down to the beach, so she can run around and I can wade in the cool water.

Okay, now I’m really sweaty and gross. Oops, I left the sprinkler running, and I still need to move it to another part of the yard. Let me set the timer for twenty minutes. That gives me enough time to shower before watering the last set of flowers.

But I need to transfer these clothes to the dryer first.

Wow, do I feel a million times better now that I’ve showered. Let me pour a glass of wine and curl up on the couch, because I am so readyto write!

Ahhh….. ZZZZZZZ

 

 

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In Praise of Fruits and Vegetables

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, a month set aside to remind us that fruits and vegetables are essential components of a healthy lifestyle.

As a cancer survivor with a family history of  Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, I am always on the lookout for any dietary changes that can help support a healthy heart, mind, and immune system. A few years ago, I took special note of the following research conducted by the American Institute for Cancer Research in 2004. If every American consumed 15 to 30 ounces of fruits and vegetables every day, the incidence of cancer could be reduced by at least 20 percent.

The Institute suggests we aim for nine servings or 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day.  This may sound daunting, but it is doable. With careful planning and a few doses of creativity, we can increase our daily intake of fruits and vegetables and stay within our budgets.

Consider the following tips:

  • Learn about serving size. In his book “Anticancer,” David Servan-Schreiber provides the following helpful guide: One serving equals ½  cup cooked or raw vegetables, 1 medium fruit, ½ cup cooked fruit, ¼  cup dried fruit, or 6 ounces of fruit juice.
  • Start small. At breakfast, top your oatmeal or cereal with sliced bananas, fresh berries, raisins or apricots. Add one cup of fresh or frozen berries to pancake batter. Mix eggs and vegetables for a healthy and hearty breakfast or lunch. Adding minced broccoli or finely grated cauliflower will not change the texture of the eggs. At lunch or dinner, add strawberries, mandarin orange sections and raisins to green salads.
  • Use a spiralizer to create zucchini, squash, asparagus or cucumber noodles. Top with your favorite sauce and enjoy! You won’t miss the carb-laden pasta dishes.
  • Hide the vegetables if your children ignore or push away anything green. Instead, try incorporating vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower or spinach into your favourite pasta sauce, chilli, lasagne, or stew recipes. As you stretch the recipe, you will obtain more servings and also cut back on the meat content.
  • Pinch pennies on produce. Buy whatever fruits and vegetables are in season. Apples, oranges, grapefruit, and bananas are always available and usually last for a week. The cheapest vegetables are broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, celery and onions.
  • Consider buying frozen fruits and vegetables. These foods are flash frozen at their peak and contain the same amount of nutrients as their fresh counterparts. Frozen vegetables can save dinner preparation time since washing and cutting are not required. Frozen fruit can be used in smoothies, low-fat muffins, yogurts and salads.
  • Sneak in extra fruit servings with the right juice. Stick with the top four—orange, grapefruit, prune, pineapple—and check the sugar content on each label. Whenever possible, buy in bulk. This will cut down your costs and help avoid the excessive packaging associated with single-serving bottles and juice boxes.
  • Create quick, no-cook meals using fruits and vegetables. Fill a cantaloupe or honeydew melon with low-fat cottage cheese. Combine fresh or frozen berries, a banana, whey or soy protein, water and ice to make a delicious smoothie. Mix a bowl of low-fat yogurt with fruit.
  • Create more fruit-based desserts and snacks. Cut up some plums into chunks and roast them in the oven. Serve warm over a small scoop of frozen yogurt. Mix blackberries or blueberries with a few chocolate chips to create a quick trail mix. Freeze individual grapes on a cookie sheet and serve later as cool, healthy treats.
  • Plan ahead and add convenience to your day. Stock your glove compartment and desk drawer with apples, pears and bananas. Cut up your favourite vegetables into snack-size pieces and store them in clear plastic containers at home and at work. This will cut down on visits to the vending machine and coffee shop.

Any other tips to share?

Where to find Joanne Guidoccio…

Website | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

 

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The Legacy

This year was a milestone for me. On April 8th, I celebrated my 70th birthday-an event which coincided with the release of my second book, STARS OVER TEXAS. Thank you, Debby Gilbert, for being so accommodating! The cake was amazing, created by good friend and trio singing pal, Roxy Hunsicker. I enjoyed giving hostess gifts of homemade goat milk lotion and soap to all our guests.

Birthday cake

.Like many people my age, this momentous occasion got me to thinking about my legacy. Last year at this time we traveled to Ireland, and one of the places we visited was the tiny town of Knock. In 1879, it was reported that villagers saw the Virgin Mary. They built a beautiful Catholic church on the property, and as I walked the lush, emerald grounds, I noticed a man praying over a grave, probably his wife’s.  He stood there alone, saying the rosary, praying for her soul. I doubt he even saw me, but the writer in me wondered what their love story was, and more importantly, how had her life impacted others?

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As a child I was obsessed with cemeteries, probably because my foster parents’ home (and mine, of course) was built right next to the family cemetery. I’d often go up the hill leading there to pay my respects (and sometimes converse with) the people buried there. At the time, it seemed perfectly normal, although I suspect some of you reading this might consider it a bit quirky.

And that’s probably what led me to create a series of books-the first which has the hero and heroine meet in a cemetery. In LAST CHANCE TEXAS, I created Aunt Mimi-a person who lived a very private life but took some deep dark secrets to her grave. Although readers never meet this elusive aunt, she has a profound impact in the storyline, because, in the end, the hero must choose between giving up a woman he deeply cares for, or reconciling the fact he’ll need to share Mimi’s secret-a secret which has the potential to destroy the woman he loves.

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.Writing is cathartic for many of us, and for me that cemetery scene brought back memories of my ancestors in our family cemetery who’d passed on. In the end, we all want to leave some type of lasting legacy. It’s my wish that all of us write the absolute book of our dreams-the ones that will explain to our readers who we really were.

 

 

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NERFA and PRISM

Over the past two weeks I have received news that my novel, Z-Bot, is a finalist for the NERFA and PRISM awards. Oh joy, rapture!!!

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Back in 2014 my first novel, Son of Thunder came in 2nd in the WisRWA Write Touch contest but since then I haven’t been entering writing contests. I’m not sure why. I think I just didn’t take the time or want to spend the money. Or maybe I didn’t have confidence in my writing.

Anyway this year I decided to enter a few. I felt it would give me an idea of how my writing stacked up to others in my field. Needless to say, the past two weeks have been a boost to my confidence. Winning one of these contests would mean I can put the coveted “Award Winning Author” in my bio.

Yeah I could live with that.

So, have you entered any contests? Let me know in the comments down below.

Write on,

Steve

***

A little bit about Z-Bot:

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Chris Johnson never really started living until he died. Orphaned, fostered, and drifting through life, the twenty-seven year old programmer had no family, little money, and few friends. But he also had no enemies. So, who the hell killed him? After an experimental process brings him back from the dead as a zombiebot, he gets the chance to find out.

Heather Logan’s latest process uses nanobots to reanimate a corpse. Half robot, half something raised from the dead, Chris is her first successful resuscitation. Questions abound. What is it? Is it truly alive, a machine, or some kind of zombie-hybrid?

But someone wants to steal Heather’s secret process and put her out of the picture permanently. Chris, with his new superpowers, is the only thing standing between Heather and an assassin’s bullet. Is he enough of a hero to save her?

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077F4NHDX

Print: https://www.amazon.com/Z-BOT-S-C-Mitchell/dp/1682916243/

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Making My Debut

A significant milestone in my writing career happens very soon (in exactly eight days, but whose counting?!) On June 20th my debut novel is available to the reading public.

I am thrilled!!

(and a little terrified, but mostly thrilled)

Taxing Courtship is finally ready to release to the world!

cover for Taxing Courtship by Jaycee Jarvis, depicting a woman in a red sari

In a sultry magical realm, an enchanting Lady ensnares a virtuous tax-collector into her dangerous double life.

 

Thomas Edison is famous for saying that “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” I don’t know that I would call my writing genius, but I do know it took a lot of hard work and perseverance to go from a glimmer of an idea to a fully fledged book.

I began developing the unique setting of Destin over a decade ago. Writing, editing and revising the manuscript took, well, years, frankly. Taxing Courtship won its first unpublished award in 2014, and finalled in the Golden Heart® in 2016. Yet, I don’t have a lot to say about the writing (and rewriting) process because, as a debut author, I’m still learning my own writing patterns.

But I do want to talk about the fun glimmer, the “aha!” idea that lead to my soon to be released novel.

For Taxing Courtship, I had a vision of a lawless lady. I liked the drama of her conflicting identities, and enjoyed exploring what would lead a woman of obvious privilege to risk it all and become a thief.

After I had a handle on Em and her stubborn independence, I needed to find her perfect contrasting love interest. I’m a huge fan of opposites attract, so it was natural to create an honor-bound, rules-following hero. Enter Quintin–he’s a little bit quiet, a little bit geeky and honest to a fault.

Once I imagined reckless Em paired with a virtuous tax-collector, a few exciting scenes naturally occurred to me—his discovery of her true identity, her unconventional skills saving them both, his reputation for honesty getting them out of a scrape.

And this fun scene, where they almost get caught on a heist….


Excerpt:

     Han-Auditor Quintin nearly choked on his own panic. They were doomed. “The Bursar’s coming!”

     “What?” the lovely thief whispered. “How do you know?”

     “We have to hide you,” he told her, though he had no idea where.

     She took a step back toward the room with the trunk.

     “Not there.” He dug his fingers into her elbow. “That’s his office.”

     The sparsely furnished warehouse offered no better options.

     Hurry! A thought belonging to another whistled through Quintin’s mind. Boss at door.

     The front door rattled ominously.

     He froze like a rabbit spooked by an owl. This was a disaster. The Bursar was about to find him skulking around the Tribute Office with a professional thief. He would be dismissed in disgrace, his honor and standing as a Hand called into question. His friends would be shamed to know him and his mother—

     The thief pushed him.

     He staggered into a pile of goods and sat with a thump on a barrel. His staff clattered to the floor.

     Before he could recover his balance, she straddled his lap. “Trust me.”

     He opened his mouth to speak.

    She sealed it shut with her own….


These anchor scenes gave me just enough structure to write the rest of the story and put in the 99% of effort to finish the novel.

I hope you will check out Taxing Courtship and enjoy the results of my inspiration followed by perspiration!

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Taxing Courtship is the first in a new fantasy romance series. The Hands of Destin series follows a misfit group of magically gifted Hands as they battle corruption in the tropical market town of Trimble and find love along the way.

Learn more on my website www.jayceejarvis.com or head over to Amazon.com to pre-order now.


JL_006Jaycee Jarvis is a Golden Heart® finalist who writes lush fantasy novels with plenty of heart and magic. Book one in the Hands of Destin series, Taxing Courtship, is set for a June 20th 2018 release.

When not lost in worlds of her own creation, she resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children and a menagerie of animals.

Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, BookBub or Goodreads.

Posted in Chatter-Time With Jaycee!, Fantasy Romance, Paranormal Romance, Soul Mate Publishing, Writing career | Tagged , | 5 Comments

One Week

 

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It feels like just yesterday that Bitter Retribution, book three in the Jordan James, PI series, was released but in reality, it’s been three years. A lot has happened in my life in three years. In Jordan’s world, it’s been only one week.

What is Jordan in store for in book four?

Simple Misconception, coming soon…

PRE-ORDER IT TODAY!

 

SIMPLE MISCONCEPTION BLURB

“A Trip to the Big Easy Turns into a Big Nightmare…”

When private investigator Jordan James returns home to New Orleans for Christmas, she never imagined her holiday could end with kidnapping and death. As she begins to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a childhood friend, she unwittingly stumbles upon a dangerous, international syndicate. With lives at risk and time running short, Jordan must find a connection between these seemingly unrelated events if she ever hopes to find her friend.

SIMPLE MISCONCEPTION, Coming Soon from Soul Mate Publishing!!!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Sharpe is the author of the Jordan James, PI series. Although born and raised in the South, “Yankee” relatives first led Rachel to historic New England, which she has come to consider her second home and is the setting for the series.

After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in English, Rachel began dedicating her free time to her childhood passion, writing, and in the fall of 2013, she signed with Soul Mate Publishing. An active member of Sisters In Crime, Rachel currently resides with her husband and their son in the Greater New Orleans area.

Check Out Rachel’s Sites to Keep Up with Jordan James!!!

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Why Romance?

Why Romance?

 

Many people have analyzed and studied why people—particularly women—love romance. Why do many of us read romance when so many marriages and relationships end in divorce or plain unhappiness? I’ve thought about this issue as well, and I guess it’s because not all marriages or relationships end in disaster.  Some people still have that “happily ever after.” Now, that’s not to say that they live in eternal bliss, never uttering an unpleasant word. That’s not to say they run around grinning like idiots their entire lives.  No, real commitment is deeper than that, and we read as well as write romance because we hope for that “happily ever after,” that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

 

I’m convinced that the romances that don’t last are those in which the couple had unrealistic expectations from the start.  (I’m not including relationships of abuse, etc.). Too many people think that the relationship will always be easy, the sex fun, and the sun shining in perpetual blessing on the union.  Life just isn’t that way, Sugarplum, and relationships are no different. My aunt and uncle were married sixty years before his passing at eighty; they had eight children.  I’m sure that struggling to raise a family wasn’t always a delight; they no doubt weren’t grinning like mad and having wild sex every night. However, they had that love and commitment; they didn’t leave when things were tough.  Now, their grandchildren are marrying and having babies. These young ones live in a generation where commitment is often broken as well as hearts, but they still are joining hands and chasing that sometime elusive happy ending. Love is compromise and work. In fiction, we present our characters as pursuing that dream in a furious fashion.  They have to lose each other before they find themselves and that love again. We hope that when the story ends the couple will find that happiness—as we hope Cinderella did.  Still, Cinderella’s story (had she been a real princess) wouldn’t have ended with that glass slipper and magical night at the ball.  She would have been surrounded by court intrigue and protocol.  Would she have survived the restrictions? Would she and Prince Charming have lived through the machinations of a royal court and kept their love as a priority? We hope so. That’s why we love the story.

 

My characters also search for that happy ending, and in keeping with my theory, they go through some rough times before finding it.  Sometimes, love is elusive, but love is always worth the search.

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