Bring on the Romantic Suspense!


2016 Romantic Suspense Novels to check out

Today I wanted to share just a few books in my “To Be Read” wish list of romantic suspense books coming out this year.

All of the books below have romance tangled up with mystery and suspense. Some are christian novels, some are historical, some are down right dirty.

What can I say, I have eclectic tastes!

Check them out and see if any tickle your fancy.

#1 Vengeful Love by Laura Carter Release date: March 21 2016

I’ve always walked the straight and narrow—following the rules, never straying from my chosen path.Until Mr. Sexy Bazillionaire CEO Gregory Ryans walked into my life. It was only supposed to be business, but one brush of his wicked lips against my skin changed everything. I can’t deny what this man inspires in me. I’ll do anything he asks…even help destroy the enemies from his past. But he’s hiding more than he’s telling me. When our love leads to tragedy, there’s no going back. Gregory’s past is trying to kill our future. They say love can bring a person to their knees. I’ve just proven that vengeful love is the strongest force of all.

#2 Wild Man’s Curse by Susannah Sandlin Release date: April 05 2016

While on an early morning patrol in the swamps of Whiskey Bayou, Louisiana wildlife agent Gentry Broussard spots a man leaving the home of voodoo priestess Eva Savoie—a man who bears a startling resemblance to his brother, whom Gentry thought he had killed during a drug raid three years earlier. Shaken, the agent enters Eva’s cabin and makes a bloody discovery: the old woman has been brutally murdered. With no jurisdiction over the case, he’s forced to leave the investigation to the local sheriff, until Eva’s beautiful heir, Celestine, receives a series of gruesome threats. As Gentry’s involvement deepens and more victims turn up, can he untangle the secrets behind Eva’s murder and protect Celestine from the same fate? Or will an old family curse finally have its way?

#3 The Obsession by Nora Roberts Release date: April 12 2016

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.
Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.
Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.

#4 ‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick Release date: April 19 2016

Calista Langley operates an exclusive ‘introduction; agency in Victorian London, catering to respectable ladies and gentlemen who find themselves alone in the world. But now, a dangerously obsessed individual has begun sending her trinkets and gifts suitable only for those in deepest mourning – a black mirror, a funeral wreath, a ring set with black jet stone. Each is engraved with her initials. Desperate for help and fearing that the police will be of no assistance, Calista turns to Trent Hastings, a reclusive author of popular crime novels. Believing that Calista may be taking advantage of his lonely sister, who has become one of her clients, Trent doesn’t trust her. Scarred by his past, he’s learned to keep his emotions at bay, even as an instant attraction threatens his resolve. But as Trent and Calista comb through files of rejected clients in hopes of identifying her tormentor, it becomes clear that the danger may be coming from Calista’s own secret past – and that only her death will satisfy the stalker…

#5 Magic Clicks by Gabriella Bradley Release date: April 22 2016 

Molly Clayton is stunned when she receives the news that she’s inherited a large estate from some unknown uncle. However, the letter is vague and it demands utter secrecy. If she doesn’t accept the terms, she’ll still inherit a decent amount. What should she do? Take a chance and end up with an old mansion in bad state of repair? Or take the money, pay off her credit cards, and go on a Hawaiian holiday?
Taking a two-week vacation, Molly struggles with the decision. At the airport she finally makes up her mind and finds herself on the flight to New Orleans.
Little does she know that she’s flying headlong into the arms of mystery and danger, but along the way, she also meets her long wished for soul mate, Detective Gabriel LaRoche.

#6 Unknown Enemy by Michelle Karl Release date: May 01 2016

For professor Ginny Anderson, translating a set of ancient tablets could be the coup of her career—or more danger than she can handle. Someone doesn’t want the secrets of the artifacts to be revealed…and they’ll kill to bury her discoveries. But former Secret Service agent Colin Tapping refuses to let anybody hurt Ginny and appoints himself as her protector—whether she wants one or not. Colin has made mistakes in the past, and keeping Ginny safe could be just what he needs to prove he’s still a capable agent and win back his job. But is he willing to risk paying the ultimate price to reclaim his former life?

#7 Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson Release date: May 03 2016

When Evie arrives in Carin, Illinois, it’s to help launch a new task force dedicated to reexamining unsolved crimes across the state. Spearheading this trial run, Evie will work with the sheriff’s department on a couple of its most troubling missing-persons cases. As she reexamines old evidence to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths a surprising connection . . . possibly to a third cold case. Evie’s determined to solve the cases before she leaves Carin County, and Sheriff Thane, along with his family, will be key to those answers.

#8 Storm Surge by Celia Ashley Release date: May 10 2016

Torn from her hometown and her father as a child, Paige Waters’ last memory of both is fraught with mystery and confusion. Now, sixteen years later, with both her parents gone, Paige returns to Alcina Cove, certain there is more to the painful story than she’s been led to believe. The answers must lie within the community, buffered from the larger world by the sea; but when she finds the townspeople more reticent than ever, her only hope is the intriguing man who lives in her childhood home–if she can break down his reserve…
A fisherman turned writer, Liam Gray is haunted by secrets of his own, some of which are deeply entangled with the closure Paige seeks. But as he and Paige grow intimate, their attraction building, Liam finds himself torn between truth and betrayal. Whichever he chooses will risk his future with Paige and cause someone pain–until an even greater danger leaves him no choice…

#9 Suicide Lake by Ashley Fontainne Release date: May 20 2016

Renee Thornton is on the brink of despair, ready to take a final plunge and join the other tragic souls at the bottom of Bradford Lake—known to locals as Suicide Lake.
Her plans change when she’s startled back to reality after a body brushes up against her from the depths below. Terrified, Renee runs away and slams into her old flame Cliff Simpson, a deputy with Whitten County Sheriff’s Department.
Strange events unfurl after the discovery of the corpse. Renee and Cliff find themselves caught up in a web of lies, deceit, and mystery.
Now instead of being able to slip away silently and become another anonymous statistic, Renee finds herself entangled in a murder investigation. Is Cliff her ally or enemy? Who can she trust? What other secrets will rise to the surface?

#10 A Light in the Dark by Marla K. Benjamin Release date: May 24 2016

One couple begins a Monday much like any other, but an arbitrary moment quickly sends them on a course of turmoil and uncertainty. Dez Parker, a former professional football star, and his fiancé, Sabrina, a divorced tax lawyer, have spent two years carefully carving out their future together. But nothing is ever guaranteed. When Sabrina disappears from her office parking lot, a city-wide search is launched. The case goes cold from the beginning and the only way for Dez to cope is to retreat into memories, relying heavily on his best friend, Alex, while he waits for a miracle. Three days later, Sabrina is found and in the days the months that follow, she and Dez attempt to navigate through a new normal of sleepless nights, mood swings, and relationship missteps. A uniquely crafted love story, layered with doubt and determination, A Light in the Dark is a daring and willful account of one couple’s struggle to regain a future amid the fallout of three fateful days in October. This is a story about life after survival.

#11 Into The Whirlwind by Kat Martin Release date: May 31, 2016

Megan O’Brien is at her wit’s end. Her three-year-old son has been kidnapped. No police, says the ransom demand. Fearing for her son’s life, Meg has no choice but to turn to her former bodyguard, Dirk Reynolds.
Dirk’s never forgiven Meg for the way she left him after their brief affair. But with bounty hunter Luke Brodie on his side, Dirk knows he’s got to help Meg rescue her son.
The few clues they’ve gathered send them spiraling into a murky world of big banking and international crime. Meg may be way out of her depths, but she’s seeing a side of Dirk she never suspected—one no woman could possibly resist.

#12 Deception by Elizabeth Goddard Release Date: June 01 2016

Jewel Caraway thought she’d left her mistakes in the past—but then her past arrives at her door. Though she’s thrilled to reunite with her estranged sister, something about her sister’s new husband makes Jewel uneasy. Does he know her secret? Is he the one behind the growing list of attacks against her? And if he is involved…does that mean her sister is, too? With nowhere else to turn, Jewel must rely on police chief Colin Winters—the first man to make the widow question her resolve to never love again. But will he stay by her side when her guarded secrets are revealed?

#13 Native Born by Jenna Kernan Release date: June 01 2016

Apache tribal counsel member Clyne Cosen needs the FBI’s protection. But having Agent Cassidy Walker as his personal bodyguard presents its own dangers. His involvement in the custody battle for Cassidy’s adopted Apache daughter muddled the lines between personal and professional. Now he has feelings for a woman who was not native born.  Cassidy will do her job at any cost. But being so close to Clyne means the FBI agent sees him as more than just the man who could take her daughter—he might also steal her heart. Duty. Desire. Which path will Cassidy take…or will a bullet make that decision for her?

#14 Last Kiss by Laurelin Paige Release date: June 14 2016

When Emily Wayborn goes home to visit her mom while on hiatus from her hit TV show, she receives a voicemail from her former best friend, Amber. Though the two were once notorious party girls, they haven’t spoken in years. Although the message might sound benign to anyone else, Amber uses a safe word that Emily recognizes, a word they always used to get out of sticky situations during their wild days. And what’s more chilling than the voicemail: it turns out that Amber has gone missing. Now Emily is on the hunt to find out what happened to Amber, a hunt that leads her to sexy enigmatic billionaire Reeve Sallis, a hotelier known for his shady dealings and play boy reputation. Reeve might have had something to do with Amber’s disappearance, but Emily can’t help the way she reacts to him.
Time is running out and Emily must figure out who she can trust and if she can trust her feelings.

#15 Into The Light by Aleatha Romig Release date: June 14 2016

Sara Adams awakes blind, unable to remember the most basic details of her life, but her darkness seems a blessing when she discovers the terrors of The Light. Stella Montgomery investigates the news from the mean streets of Detroit, where she’s noticed a disturbing trend: young women are vanishing. When her best friend disappears, Stella digs for answers—despite warnings from her police detective boyfriend—following a twisted trail that leads her through the city’s most dangerous and forsaken precincts. There she uncovers something more sinister than she could have imagined: a shadowy organization known as The Light, led by the enigmatic Father Gabriel. As Sara struggles to understand her place in the strange world she’s awakened to—an oppressive cult demanding unquestioning obedience—and her feelings for Jacob, the husband she can’t recall and whose harsh and tender attentions confuse and beguile her, Stella risks all to discover the truth. But enlightenment always comes with a price…

#16 Cat With a Clue by Laurie Cass Release date: August 02 2016

Early one morning while shelving books in the library, Minnie stumbles upon a dead body. Authorities identify the woman as an out-of-towner visiting Chilson for her great-aunt’s funeral. What she was doing in the library after hours is anyone’s guess . . . but Minnie and Eddie are determined to save the library’s reputation and catch a killer.
As rumors about the victim circulate through Chilson, the police are in a bind over a streak of baffling break-ins. Luckily, Minnie and Eddie are traveling the county in their bookmobile, and they’ll stop at nothing to find the spineless killer before the final page is turned on someone else.

#17 Twilight at Blueberry Barrens by Colleen Coble Release Date: September 20 2016

Kate has devoted herself to keeping her family’s blueberry barrens thriving. But when blossom blight devastates her blueberry fields, she’s forced to come up with alternative ways to replace that income. Fixing up the small cottage on her property as a rental seems an obvious choice, but it won’t be enough. When Drake Carver drives by with his two nieces in tow, looking not only for a place to rent for the summer but also for a nanny for the girls, it’s almost too good to be true.

Stay Tuned

Friday9am “Upcoming Projects from the Plus Size Community”

Monday 9am “Authors I Look Up To”

  • What do you think about the books on this list? Does any catch your fancy?Let's Chat Graphic
  • Have you read anything else by the authors listed above? If so what was it and did you like it?
  • Do you know of any upcoming romantic suspense books that you think I should check out?
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What are Character Aesthetic Boards?


What Are Character Aesthetic Boards.jpg

Character aesthetic boards are the Pinterest version of character aesthetic posts on Tumblr. They can also be known as character inspiration boards. (Come check out my Destiny Be Damned Inspiration board to see what I mean.)

To put in basic terms, character aesthetic boards are made up of a group of pictures that speak to the aesthetic of a character, a story, a world, or a feeling. A Character Aesthetic post is when you select a certain number of pictures to put into a collage to represent the aesthetic you are trying to convey.

Questions #1: How do I find pictures to use? 

You can go about this in a couple of ways. You could:

  1. Find relevant pictures to use on Tumblr
  2. Find relevant pictures to use on Google
  3. Find relevant pictures to use on Pinterest
  4. Browse through other Character Aesthetic Boards on Pinterest to find pictures.

*Remember: If you are using an image that is not your own you need to, at the very least, find the original source of the photo and give credit. If you want to be 100% safe from legal action you should ask permission to share the photo before doing so.

If navigating the waters of rights to other peoples photos scares you, fear not. You can check out the following for free images to use:

Question #2: What kind of pictures do I look for?

When I was creating my Inspiration Boards on Pinterest I looked for visual representations of:  people (men, women, children), of animals, of states & cities, scenes,  quotes that sounded like a characters personality and also clothing and items that those characters might have.

Really it’s just up to your imagination and what sort of things you are visually looking for.

Question #3: How do I create Character Aesthetic Boards?

Step by step instructions on how to add boards to your Pinterest profile can be found here. Once you know how to add a board the next thing you need to think about is what theme you want the board to be (example: a certain character, a certain world, a certain mood, a certain color, etc…) and then come up with a name (example: the name of a certain character).

Questions #4: How do I save these photos to a board on Pinterest?

The easiest way to save images to your Pinterest boards on the internet is to install the Pinterest Browser Button. If you need to install the browser button for a mobile device or a different search engine click here.

Question #5: How do I create a Character Aesthetic Picture?

Step 1: Decide which character you want it to be about.

Step 2: Think about who that character really is and start searching for images that represent that in your mind.

Step 3: Look for a combination of images that are pictures, quotes, colors and textures.

Step 4: Save them to you computer.

Step 5: Combine at least 4 visually stunning pictures into a collage either using Photoshop (here is a premade template) or:

Step 6: Save your collage and then share it on whatever social media site you would like (or keep it private if you prefer).

Below is an example of my interpretation of a character aesthetic image for Kristen my heroine in Destiny Be Damned. I created it using the collage feature on Picmonkey.com. I went more for a vibe of what is in her mind and how she identifies with herself.

Kristen Character Aesthetic Collage

Shout out to Jenna Clare on YouTube for inspiring this post with her video “How To: Character Aesthetic Boards“. While you are there, subscribe to her channel. You will not regret it. Even if she doesn’t cover your preferred book genre she is so fun to watch.

If you’d like to learn more about what Pinterest can do for writers check out:

What Can Pinterest Do For Writers?

Stay Tuned

Wednesday 9am “Upcoming Romance Books I’m Excited About”

Friday 9am “Upcoming Projects from the Plus Size Community”

Let's Chat Graphic

 

  • Have heard about Character Aesthetic Boards? If so, have you created any of your own?
  • Do you prefer to call them character aesthetic boards or character inspiration boards?
  • Have you ever created a board for fan fiction?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2016 Plus Size & Body Positive Events


2016 Plus Size & Body Positive Events

It’s good to say “I’m me. I love myself whether I’m plus size, skinny or somewhere in between. ”

Body Love MantraIt’s good to know deep down that you are enough and that the best thing you could for yourself and your body is to love it unconditionally.

However, sometimes saying and believing it just aren’t enough.

In those times, it helps to surround yourself with people who are trying to learn and support the same message. That’s when local events, workshops and online classes come
into play.

Just like going to book fairs & reading events (check out Reader Be Obsessed with Body AcceptanceEvents 2016 ) for readers and writing conventions and retreats (check out Writer Events 2016 ) for writers; plus size and body positive events can be a great way to learn something new, make some great lifelong connections and have fun.

Below are events both online and off that I have found. I’ve listed the events that take place offline by state then by date while the online events are placed in order by date. This list will be added to as I learn of new events.

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

 

Online Events 

10 Tools to Radical Self Love Webinar  March 19 with an encore on March 23

#LoseHateNotWeight BabeCamp Spring Edition  April 4-30

No More Weighting e-course April 11

Fat Activism Conference October 9-11 30 Curvy Body Acceptance Websites That Will Help Build Confidence

Stay Tuned

Monday 9am “What are Character Aesthetic Boards?”

Wednesday 9am “Upcoming Romance Books I’m Excited About”

  • Do you know of any plus size & body positive events I should add to the list? If so leave the information down below in the comment section. Let's Chat Graphic
  • Have you attended a plus size or body positive event in the past? If so what was it and what did you think of it?
  • What kind of plus size or body positive event would you like to see in your area?
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Romance Reader Conventions, Book Fairs and Author Signing 2016


Romance Reader Events 2016

Remember, back when you were young and in elementary school, waiting for that wonderful time of the year to roll around? That time of the year where a mobile store filled with all your favorite things sets up shop at your school…

Book Fair Week!

The time of year where you saved all your extra lunch & chore money just so you could go hog wild and buy as many books as possible. Wait, maybe that was just me.

Book Fair week was as equal to Christmas in my mind and it’s no different now that I’m an adult. Except now I can go to as many book fairs as I want!

Here is a list of all the Romance book conventions, fairs and author signings I could find for 2016. Everything listed is located in the USA and organized by state then by date. There are a few events that are not only for romance readers (some are for readers, writers and authors and some events are not romance specific). Please click on the name of each event to find what’s in store.

∗ Some events that are for both writers and readers will only have specific activities set aside for readers on certain dates so please check on each event page to learn the details.

 Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

Washington D.C.

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

For a more detailed list with reader and writer events outside of the states and future dates check out:

Stay Tuned

Friday 9am “2016 Plus Size Body Positive Events”

Monday 9am “What are Character Aesthetic Boards?”

Let's Chat Graphic

  • Did you have book fairs at school? If so did they excite you as much as they did me?
  • Have you attended a book fair or reader event as an adult? If so which one and did you like it?
  • Do you know of any reader events happening in 2016 that I haven’t listed? If so, leave the information for it in the comments below. 
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Romance Contest, Conferences, Conventions & Workshops 2016


2016 Romance Contests Conferences Conventions & Workshops.jpg

As an unpublished writer one of the best things you could ever do for your manuscript is to run it through a few contests before pitching it to literary agents and publisher.

Why?

Because, depending on how far your MS goes it will have been seen by a professional’s eyes and hopefully given feedback if it wasn’t good enough.

It is better to know now, if that novel isn’t quite ready before you send it to your dream agent or publisher.

If by chance you win, well that’s even better!

Some contests have publication as part of the prize but even if it doesn’t your novel will be seen by someone who is looking for that exact story.

Some other pluses for doing writing contests are:

  • Getting over that hurdle of letting other people read your work
  • Practicing following guidelines and submitting
  • Prizes!
  • Your book reaching readers you might not have reached on your own
  • Learning how to handle the fear of waiting
  • Learning how to handle rejection
  • Bragging rights if you win

Ok, so what about conference, conventions and workshops?

Have you ever been in a room of like-minded individuals where you are all working toward a similar goal?

Imagine being surrounded by people who love to write just like you, who are working on their writing and want to take it serious.

There is nothing better to boost inspiration, to learn new techniques and to create lasting connections then by attending a writing conference, convention or workshop.

Listed below will be all the Romance related contests for unpublished works, conferences, conventions and workshops I could find for 2016. I’ve included the name of the event and the date. Click on each name to learn more about it.

Anything involving the RWA (Romance Writers of America) and their chapters are open to non-members. 

If you are interested in contests and conferences that are not for the Romance genre check out the following:

 

Contests

March

April

May

June

August

 

Conferences & Workshops

March

April

May

June

September

October

 

∗Bonus∗

Online Workshops

March

April

May

Stay Tuned

Wednesday @ 9am “2016 Romance Reader Events”

Friday9am “@2016 Plus Size Body Positive Events”

  • Do you know of a contest, conference, convention or workshop coming in 2016 that is not listed? If so leave the name, link and deadline date in the comment Let's Chat Graphicsection below.
  • Do you have experiences with contests, conferences, conventions and workshops? If so would you share it with us?
  • What is your opinion? Do you think contests, conferences, conventions and workshops are worth the time and money?

 

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Depression & The People That Love You


 

Depression & The People That Love You

Depression is real and it is not something to joke about.

You can’t turn it off just because you want to or because someone insists you have nothing to be depressed about.

Depression never goes away BUT with the help of therapy, friends and family it IS something you learn to live and deal with.

Many people suffer from depression but refuse to acknowledge it for multiple reasons.

  • They are scared of what people might think.
  • They are ashamed that they don’t have better control over their emotions.
  • They don’t trust someone enough to talk about their inner most feelings.
  • They don’t feel they have enough spare time in a day to really pay attention to their mental health.
  • They are in complete denial about what is happening to themselves.

Having the blahs and feeling down about yourself or your situation is not depression.

Depression is when feelings of sadness drown out everything else around you. You can barely work, sleep, or function anymore, if at all. You don’t just feel sad, you feel worthless, like life for everyone around you would be better if you just didn’t exist.

If you think you might be suffering from depression but aren’t sure check out Mental Health America’s Depression Screening questionnaire.

If you know you are suffering from depression and are not ready to seek help from a therapist or counselor here are some things you can try until you are ready (This helpful list can be found on PsychCentral.com).

  • Give yourself realistic goals that you can achieve every day and then reward/acknowledge yourself each time you reach one. Don’t underestimate the positive affect achieving a goal (of any size) will have on you.
  • If your daily life seems too much right now, break your daily responsibilities into smaller tasks and prioritize them from most important to least important. That way, if you can’t finish everything you needed to do that day you at least took care of the most important things.
  • Try to be social. I know it’s the last thing you’ll want to do but it goes a long way in keeping your depression from swallowing you hole. Just texting someone, chatting on a forum or even playing a video game that allows you to connect with other people online can be a form of socializing.
  • Think back to before you suffered with depression. What sort of activities did you enjoy doing? Try doing those now and see if it helps to lift the fog of depression even just a little bit.
  • Get some exercise. You don’t have to go to the gym or do a workout routine at home if you don’t want to. Exercise can consist of anything that keeps your body moving like walking, swimming, dancing or even cleaning.
  • Don’t expect miracles. If you are actively working on keeping your depression at bay, don’t expect to feel better right away. It will come little by little.
  •  DO NOT MAKE IMPORTANT LIFE ALTERING DECISIONS. While in the throws of a deep depression you aren’t thinking clearly. You might think you are, but you aren’t. If you need to make an important life altering decision, confide in someone first. Let them know what is going on with you and also what it is you need to decide. Tell them what you think you should do and ask their opinion.
  • On that note, if you still aren’t ready to talk to a therapist or counselor about your depression find a friend or loved to confide in. Talking about the things that are weighing you down will help ease the burden a bit.

If you don’t have friends and family who you think will be understanding and supportive you can connect with people online in support forums like:

PsychCentral.com Online Support Community

The Depression Forums

If you are ready for more one on one help but aren’t ready to see someone face to face or don’t have the free time to schedule and then attend a therapy appointment don’t worry. There are online options you can check out, like:

Crisis Text Line – Text their trained crisis counselors about anything that’s on your mind. Its free, 24/7 and confidential.

7 Cups of Tea – A free, anonymous and confidential online text chat with trained listeners, online therapists and counselors. Here is a link to their Free App for Android & iTunes

TalkSpace – A website that offers online therapy with access to over 300 licensed therapists. It isn’t free but the assessment used to match you to the right therapist is. If you choose to use them you have options on how to pay (I don’t know how much they cost or what those options are) and once that is figured out you will have access to your therapist whenever you need him or her. You can talk to them through the computer, cell phone or tablet. No appointments needed and no limit to how many times you need their help. Here is a link to their Free App for Android & iTunes

Even though you have options nothing beats being face to face with a trained and certified therapist or counselor. If you are ready to find one do the following:

  • If you have medical insurance, first call your insurance provider to see if they cover therapy. If they do, ask them for a list of therapists near you. Some insurances require a referral from your primary care doctor in order for them to cover some or all of the costs. Check to see if your insurance has that requirement before picking a therapist.
  • If you don’t have insurance or your insurance does not cover therapy you can look on PsychCentral’s Find Help page for facilities near you.
  • If you can’t afford traditional therapy but you still need one on one counseling contact your local churches or community center and ask them to point you in the right direction.

What do you do if you aren’t depressed but you know and love someone who is?

  • Help them get diagnosed and treated for depression.
    • If they need convincing help them see why they need to seek treatment.
    • Accompany them to their appointment for moral support.
    • Check to see if they are keeping up with their medicine.
    • Encourage them to stick with their treatment or seek a new kind of treatment if it isn’t working.
  • Be There. Offer emotional support.
    • Ask them how their day was or how they are feeling.
    • Really listen and try not to interrupt with advice or comments.
    • Let them know that no matter how bad they feel you will always be there for them and that you love them.
    • Help them see that depression is hard to live with but that you will always be there to help them through it no matter what.
  • Help the person be active.
    • When a person is depressed the idea of interacting with people and the world in general is hard. Come up with things your loved one likes to do and convince them to come with you.
      • Going out to eat
      • Checking out Museums/historical sites
      • Going to the movies
      • Doing an outdoor activity
    • If you are unable to convince them to go out or to do something active don’t berate them or make them feel bad. Just let them know you understand, you’re not mad and that you will try again another day.
  • Try small gestures like:
    • Sending them a card with a personal message
    • Sending them a text that is either funny or touching
    • Cooking them their favorite meal or have it delivered
    • Leaving a caring voicemail for them to play back when they need to hear words of encouragement
  • Don’t judge or criticize.
    • You are going to loose your patience. You are going to get mad, frustrated and hurt. Loving someone who is suffering from depression is not easy. Just try to remember that yelling at them, getting frustrated or criticizing how they are handling their depression will do nothing but harm you both emotionally and potentially derail the entire treatment. One really bad day for someone who is depressed could potentially be the last day of their lives. Please remember that your words (whether you meant it or not) have a powerful impact.
  • Avoid saying:
    • “Don’t be so negative. Look at things as half full, not half empty”
    • “It’s all just in your head”
    • “Just get up and do something. You’re wasting your life away.”
  • Don’t ever attempt the tough-love approach.
    • By going this route you are just going to add shame to a person who already feels isolated and worthless. People don’t choose to be depressed. You can’t guilt someone out of it.
  • Avoid giving advice. Instead, try these helpful phrases:
    • “What can I do to help you feel better?” and if they don’t have the answer don’t get frustrated. Just accept that there isn’t anything you can do but be there for them.
  • Avoid making comparisons.
    • Even if you, yourself have suffered from depression try not to compare your experience to theirs. Everyone suffers with depression in their own way. What worked for you might not work for someone else.
  • Learn as much as you can about depression.
    • Knowing as much as you can about depression will help you be more understanding about what your loved one is going through.
  • Be patient.
    • When you are patient you are letting them know that it doesn’t matter how long this is going to take, or how involved the treatments are going to be, or the difficulties that accompany the passage from symptom onset to recovery, because you will be there.
    • Know that even though your loved one might smile, laugh, or seem to have a good day that doesn’t mean they are cured.
    • Depression ebbs and flows but it will always be there in the background.

Just as people who suffer from depression benefit from counseling and support so do the people who love and live with them.

Depression doesn’t affect just one person. It also affects everyone that person loves. It’s hard seeing someone you care for suffer whether physically or emotionally and it’s even harder to not take their bad moods and negative thoughts personally.

There is help for us loved ones as well. Check out:

Looking for ways to manage your depression on the go? Try the following apps:

MoodTools – Depression Aid Free for Android & iTunes

Depression CBT Self-Help Guide Free for Android

The CBT App Free for iTunes

What’s Up? Free for Android

Pacifica Free for iTunes

Diary –  Mood Tracker Free for Android

Moodtrack Diary Free for iTunes

*Disclaimer* I am not a doctor or a licensed therapist or certified counselor. I am, however, the daughter of a mother and the wife of man who has suffered from depression for most of their lives. Every suggestion I have listed has come from the heart. My hope is that this article will help those not yet getting treatment to seek help and for their loved ones to never give up on them.

Whether you are a suffer of depression or love someone who is, you are not alone. There is help and support for you.

depression is an illness by Darla Denton

Stay Tuned

Monday @ 9am “2016 Competitions, Conferences & Conventions for Writers”

Wednesday @ 9am “2016 Romance Reader Events”

  • Do you suffer from depression? If so, do you have any advice or comments youLet's Chat Graphic would like to share?
  • Do you love someone who is suffering from depression? If so, do you have any advice or comments you would like to share?
  • Do you know of any other organizations, groups, forums, apps, etc… that exists for depression?

 

Posted in #curvyliving, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What is Booktrack?


Have You Heard About BookTrack

There are two types of readers.

  1. Those that need silence while reading.
  2. Those that need music to drown out distractions in order to read.

Which one are you?

I prefer silence while reading.

Listening to music and reading a book at the same time never even occurred to me. Sure, I use music while I write but I never thought to use it to help concentrate.

The idea of reading a book while listening to a tailor made soundtrack for said book sounds intriguing.

It’s almost like watching a movie without the disappointment of bad casting.

Booktrack is a platform for e-books that does just that. They embed multimedia such as music, sound effects and ambient sounds within the e-book so that it has it’s own soundtrack as you read along.

There are over 20 categories listed in the Bookstore:

  1. Adventure
  2. Biography/Memoir
  3. Crime
  4. Drama
  5. Fan Fiction/Pop Fiction
  6. Fantasy
  7. Historical/Period
  8. Holiday
  9. Horror
  10. Humor & Comedy
  11. Mystery/Thriller
  12. Non-Fiction
  13. Other
  14. Religious/Spiritual
  15. Romance
  16. Scary Stories
  17. Science Fiction
  18. Sports
  19. Young Adult/Teen
  20. Young Readers

The Romance section alone has 30 pages of e-books to choose from and you can read short stories or full length novels.

The prices range from Free to $13.00 and up.

E-books that cost money offer a free sample so that you can decide if you really are interested or not before buying it.

There aren’t just stories to read on BookTrack. You can choose from blog posts set to soundtracks, Education material, essays, plays/screenplays, poetry, and school paper/reports.

Once you’ve selected a Booktrack e-book you can read it on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Here is the link to download the free app on Google Play Store.

It’s recommended that you listen to the Booktrack e-book with your headphones for optimum sound quality and I agree. It sounds flat or cartoonish on my computer speakers.

So far the only downside I can see is that it will take a few pages to figure out your reading speed. On the internet you can manually speed up the soundtrack, slow it down or pause it so that it doesn’t speed ahead of you when something calls your attention away.

On the app you can do the same things, however, on the far right side there is a see- through arrow that shows you what line in the text the soundtrack is currently on which I find incredibly helpful.

On both the internet and app you can follow your favorite authors or BookTrack creators and will even be alerted when they publish a new BookTrack. You can also rate and comment on each book along with sharing what book you are reading by posting on social media sites.

To all my writer/author friends:

Did you know that BookTrack isn’t just for readers? 

You, as a writer/author, can create your own BookTrack for any piece of work you wrote as long as you own the rights to it by using BookTrack Studio.

If you want to learn more about creating a BookTrack check out:

All in all, it seems to be a fun way to read an e-book.

I’m definitely going to give it a shot.

How about you?

Stay Tuned

Friday @ 9am ” Depression and What It’s Like For Those Who Love You”

Monday9am “2016 Competitions, Conferences & Conventions for Writers”

  • What kind of reader are you? All silence or background noise for concentration?
    Let's Chat Graphic
  • Have you used BookTrack before? If so, what is your opinion of it?
  • What would be the ideal type of soundtrack for a book? One with only instrumental music in the background or one that also included the ambient sounds mentioned in the book (like a door slamming, walking, birds chirping, etc…)
Posted in #curvyreader, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The How and Why of Book Playlists


Isolated open book

Isolated open book

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to my favorite authors and the stories they have written, I am up for anything that tells me more about who the characters and stories are to the writer.

As a fan, I want to know more than what is written between the pages of the book.

One of the best ways to do this is by sharing the playlist of songs you used to inspire your writing.

Playlists for  books are not something new.

We as writers have been using this method for many years to help us write.

We as fans have been using this method to save songs that remind us of our favorite books and characters. That way we can immerse ourselves into the book even farther.

 

How does one even go about making a book playlist?

If you’re new to this form of inspiration you need to:

  1. Take time to decide if lyrical music or instrumental music is what inspires you. Maybe it will be a mixture of both. The best way to find out is by listening to both types while brainstorming for your book.
    • Start by checking out your own person music library.
    • If you cant find anything in your personal collection, turn to sites like iHeartRadio or Pandora and look for a station that plays more of what you are looking for with:
      • Certain Artists
      • Certain Tracks
      • Certain Genres
    • If you don’t have a specific type of artist or song in mind but are looking for ones that speak to a certain mood try YouTube. Type in a phrase that depicts what you are looking for and browse the different playlists various youtubers have created. You can try phrases like:
  2. Once you’ve decided what kind of music inspires you, write down, save, or by the songs that speak specifically to certain characters, settings, or scenes you are writing about and listen to them while you brainstorm and write.

How does one make a playlist worthy enough to share with fans?

Some authors just share a list of the specific songs they listened to while writing. If this is the method you choose to go with then all you have to do is list the songs that inspired you during the writing process on either your website, blog, or social media.

Other authors like to be more in depth by making a playlist of songs that speaks about the characters, the settings and the scenes in the book. Almost like a film score/soundtrack.

I can tell you from a fan’s standpoint, the more in depth the playlist the more the fan will enjoy it.

How does one make an in-depth book playlist?

Step 1: Make a list of all the important characters in the book and find a song that represents each one.

  • Example: The Heroine, The Hero,  The Antagonist, The Sidekick, etc…

Step 2: Make a list of all the places, settings and events in the book and find a song that represents each one.

  • Example: A song that represents the state the book takes place in, or the feeling of the book, or a specific event like a festival, etc…

Step 3: Make a list of all the important scenes in the book and find songs that speak to the feeling of each.

  • Example: Find a song that speaks to the End of the Beginning Scene, The Re-commitment Scene, the Crisis scene, the Climax scene and the Resolution scene.

Step 4: Find songs that match the vibe of all your other scenes.

  • Example: Sweet songs for sweet scenes, Scary songs for suspensful scenes, Sexy songs for sex scenes.

Step 5: If there are any songs mentioned in the book, write them down, make a note of what chapter they were mentioned in and find the song to add to the playlist.

Step 6: Add the songs on a musical sharing site like the ones listed below and then share it. Some musical sharing sites/apps are:

Ok. You can stop here and put all these songs haphazardly on a list and show it to your fans. They will love it.

OR

You can go a step further and put them in an order where its like you are going through a musical journey of the actual book. Where the fans could listen to it while reading the book or they can listen to it alone and experience the book all over again.

How can you accomplish this?

You can easily make a “soundtrack” of your book by:

  • Listing all the chapters of the books.
  • Taking the information you used to make a detailed playlist and insert the songs into the chapters they happen in.
  • Then listing the songs in the same order the chapters appear in your book.

Example of a Romance Book List:

♥ The 1st song on the list could be a song that speaks to the general feel of the book or demonstrate the feeling of the opening scene

♥The 2nd song could musically describe the main character (usually the heroine).

♥The 3rd song could represent the place where the story takes place.

♥The 4th song could represent the cute meet.

♥The 5th song could represent the hero.

and so on and so forth…

If book playlists are an entirely new concept to you, take the time to check out what other authors and fans have created to get a general idea.

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Books Playlists

List of Book Playlists on 8Tracks

#Book Playlist on Tumblr

“Book Playlist” or The Playlist Book Tag on YouTube

Stay Tuned

Wednesday @ 9am “What is BookTrack?”

Friday @ 9am “Depression and What It’s Like For Those Who Love You”

 

  • Do you use music to help you write? If so what kind?
  • Do you have a playlist ready to share with your fans?
  • Have you, as a fan, ever listened to a playlist an author has shared?
    Let's Chat Graphic
Posted in #curvywriter, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Join The Club: Facebook Groups for Plus Size & Body Confidence


41 Facebook Groups for Plus Size & Body Confidence

Deciding to no longer hate your body, to lift your self confidence and appreciate who and what you look like now is the best decision you could ever make.

However, making that decision and actually following through is one of the hardest things you will ever do.

It’s incredibly difficult to change the way you think about yourself and how other peoples perception of you affects your emotional state.

There will be days where it’s easy and you feel on top of the world.

There will be days where every other thought is something negative.

  • I hate myself
  • I look horrible. How can anyone be attracted to me.
  • I’m worthless
  • I’ll never accomplish anything in life

You get the picture.

It’s on days like these where a support system, no matter the size, is invaluable.

There are many places you can go to find support:

  • Your friends or family
  • Local support groups in your community
  • Internet community/forum groups.

You can also find support groups on social media.

For instance, there are a ton on Facebook. Listed below are 41 groups that I have found where you can go to safely talk about what being plus size means to you, your good and bad experiences, to hear the experience of others, to discuss topics related to your size, to learn about business that cater specifically to plus size people, etc…

Take your time checking out the groups listed to see if there is one just right for you. If you don’t find one, don’t give up. There is one out there for you.

  1. #PlusSizeScope with 238 members
  2. 30+, Fat & Fabulous with 221 members
  3. Anything + with 953 members
  4. Baddest Curvy Natives with 348 members
  5. Body Positive with 741 members
  6. Body Positive Athletes with 644 members
  7. Confessions of a Curvy Girl with 3,155 members
  8. Curvy Figures with 6,360 members
  9. Curvy Girl Guide: Curvy Girl The Community with 5,003 members
  10. Curvy Girls Social Fun and Chat with 762 members
  11. Fat & Weight Science with 281 members
  12. Fat Acceptance Cloud with 414 members
  13. Fat Babes Gettin It! with 73 members
  14. Fat Forward with 417 members
  15. Fat Lib with 368 members
  16. Fat-Positive Fitness & Wellness with 467 members
  17. Fat Studies with 1,504 members
  18. Fatlandia with 871 members
  19. FatSew with 315 members
  20. Flying While Fat with 2,303 members
  21. For Fats Sake with 5,562 members
  22. For the Love of Self, Joy and Success with 3,107 members
  23. Hello, Beautiful with 5,243 members
  24. Inked and Curvy Girls with 1,665 members
  25. Journey to Self Love Challenge with 11,039 members
  26. Learn to Love Yourself with 1,071 members
  27. Living Life Plus Size with 3,959 members
  28. My Self Image: a social experiment with 840 members
  29. Plus Confidence in You Group with 1,155 members
  30. Plus Size Acting Network with 225 members
  31. Plus Size and Proud with 19,101 members
  32. Plus Size- Bloggers and Youtubers with 101 members
  33. Plus Size Business to Business Network with 875 members
  34. Plus Size Net-Workers with 465 members
  35. Plus Size Pregnant Moms & After with 1,394 members
  36. Promoting Body Confidence for Women with 329 members
  37. Rad Fatties with 887 members
  38. Self Love Tribe with 202 members
  39. The Curvy Revolution with 12,609 members
  40. TooFat Uncensored with 308 members
  41. Women’s Self Love Project with 726 members

*The member counts are subject to change at any time due to new members arriving and old ones leaving.

Stay Tuned

Monday @9am “The How and Why of Book Playlists”

Wednesday @ 9am “What is Booktrack?”

  • Have you made the decision to love who you are today? How has it been going for you?
  • Do you belong to a Facebook Group or any other type of support group for this?
  • What has been your most positive or negative experience with Body Confidence, Body Positivity and/or Self Love?
    Let's Chat Graphic
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Join The Club: Facebook Groups for Romance Readers


53 Facebook Groups for Romance Readers

Have you ever wished you could find a group of people who loved the kind of romance books you do? Someone to talk with and share your favorite romance reads or learn about new ones?

For some, there are book clubs where you are obligated to read a specific book each month, sit in a room together and listen to people discuss what they got from said book.  But if you’re the type of person who doesn’t enjoy required reading or socializing in public then this is not an option for you.

Fear not, there is an alternative; Facebook Groups.

If you are on Facebook, finding a romance community that fits your reading tastes is as easy as using the search feature and clicking “join” on the group page. The hard part is knowing how to word your search so that Facebook brings up relevant group pages.

Guess what, I’ve done the work for you. (You’re Welcome)

Below are 53 Facebook Groups that are dedicated to Romance readers.

I tried to find a group for as many romance genres as possible. Still, this is not all of the romance groups on Facebook. Browse through the list to see if there is one just right for you and then take some time to do a search on your own to see if there are more that tickle your fancy.

For my romance writer’s out there Facebook groups can be an invaluable tool. NOT to showcase or promote your book but to get in touch with your reader base. To really listen and learn what they want out of a romance book. The groups are also a great place to ask readers questions like I did in “What Do Romance Readers Really Want? “.

Now, without further ado, here are just a few Romance Reader Facebook Groups offered on Facebook.

  1. Adult/Erotic Fiction Publicity and Book Club with 8,266 members
  2. African American Romance Book Club with 466 members
  3. All That Romance with 2,127 members
  4. Audio Books – Erotic & Romance with 941 members
  5. BBW Love: Big, Beautiful and Proud Romance with 128 members
  6. BBW Sweet Romance with 1,717 members
  7. BDSM and Romance Books with 2,282 members
  8. Book Bench for Romance Lovers with 1,961 members
  9. Christian Romance with 57 members
  10. Coastal Romance with 484 members
  11. Curvy Girl Romance with 5,338 members
  12. Dark Erotica/Romance Discussion with 697 members
  13. Erotic-Romance Book Group with 2,769 members
  14. Erotic Readers and Authors with 8,315 members
  15. Fans of All Male Romance Books with 4,355 members
  16. Fans of F/F Romance with 293 members
  17. Gay Romance Literature Lovers with 1,056 members
  18. Historical Romance Addicts with 3,006 members
  19. Horror and Gothic Romance Literature with 112 members
  20. Interracial Multicultural Romance Fanclub with 922 members
  21. Interracial Romance Readers with 1,700 members
  22. M/M Romance with 8,630 members
  23. Medieval Romance Novels with 442 members
  24. MilBrat Romance with 278 members
  25. Military and Suspense Romance Reads with 512 members
  26. New Adult Romance Books with 1,830 members
  27. Old School Romance Book Club with 3,205 members
  28. Outrageous Heroes of Romance with 468 members
  29. Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy Fanclub with 3,948 members
  30. Paranormal Romance Lovers with 832 members
  31. Pen and Kink with 4,546 members
  32. Pure Sexual Romance with 3,160 members
  33. Romance Novel Junkies with 11,470 members
  34. Romance Novels & Romantic Fiction Readers and Writers with 3,244 members
  35. Romance Novels Fan Club with 1,520 members
  36. Romance Novels ROCK with 4,357 members
  37. Romance Readers with 13,094 members
  38. Romance Readers and Writers with 1,227 members
  39. Romance Readers Retreat with 963 members
  40. Romance & Suspense with 111 members
  41. Romance & Thrillers Group with 13,239 members
  42. RomCon Contemporary Romance with 290 members
  43. Scottish Historical Romance with 1,628 members
  44. Sports Romance Readers with 24 members
  45. Sweet/Clean Romance Group with 330 members
  46. Sweet Hot Curves: For Romance Readers with 316 members
  47. The Kinkery Book Club with 1,600 members
  48. The SciFi Romance Group with 575 members
  49.  The Smut BookClub with 376 members
  50. Time Travel Romance and Fiction with 789 members
  51. Western Romance Cafe` with 1,266 members
  52. Women Who Love Romance Novels with 5,106 members
  53. Zombie Romance with 208 members

*The member counts are subject to change at any time due to new members arriving and old ones leaving.

Stay Tuned

Friday 9amJoin The Club: Facebook Groups for Plus Size & Body Confidence

Monday9am “The How and Why of Book Playlists”

 

Let's Chat Graphic

  • What do you think of Facebook Reader Groups?
  • Do you belong to any? If so was it mentioned on this list?
  • What kind of Facebook Reader Group would you like to see?
Posted in #curvyreader, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments