Live Well ~ Be Well ~ All’s Well

sunflower book

It’s not about doing more, proving things or making money. Success is measured differently for everyone. Living well begins as an inward journey. So many of us focus on what we need to achieve without examining the motive and inspiration.

Find balance. Play fair. Respect. Achieve peace and acceptance. I strive for all these goals.

I practice.

Often.

Goals that begin in the heart, not with a focus on a bank account or material gain, improve one’s quality of life. Better living leads to success in outward endeavors. Take responsibility. The only person who prevents me from realizing my dreams is the person I see in the mirror each morning.

Accept failure and learn from the experience. It does not define you but makes you stronger. Embrace change and interpret it as learning.

Keep an open mind and an open heart.

Breathe into the moment.

Let go of what you cannot change. Embrace what brings you happiness.

All you get when you look back is a kink in your neck. Keep going. Don’t quit.

I’m always thinking, reviewing, rewriting my life. To be well, you must appreciate the now and share your gratitude. Living well is a decision that has nothing to do with power or influence or wealth.

But there is undeniable power in discovering the life you were meant to lead.

One day at a time.

Be well.

flower spring trail

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In Love With Happily Ever After ~ The End

Vintage typewriter with white paper and red rose flower. Sample text My Love Story. Vintage style toned grungy picture

For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed stories that ended on a happy note. It didn’t matter which type of delivery: written word, movie, or television program, I only felt satisfied if the story ended with the idyllic solution; couples together, problem solved, a bright future promised.

As I grew up I realized life doesn’t work that way. As the old saying goes, sh*t happens. A decision one thinks is beneficial can turn out to be disastrous. Health issues, money problems, the daily grind, all have a way of wearing the shine off the most optimistic person, no matter how strong a positive attitude.

Lucky for me, there will always be books. I read for escape. I read for pleasure. I read to remind myself that no matter what life offers, there is always a place I can go to feel comfortable again. A place to lose my worries, find satisfaction and restore hope. A place I choose to belong.

For years, romance novels have been burdened with a poor reputation. For numerous inane reasons, critics complain romance is not credible literature. That this genre depicts unrealistic situations and promotes unhealthy expectations… and after I stop laughing, I agree, because those same characteristics are among the reasons I choose romance.

I don’t read to educate myself. I’ve all but completed my doctorate degree and don’t need my escape to be my vocation. As an adult, I have a clear assessment of what life holds. I don’t mistake Regency romance for what I might find at a local restaurant. Critics insult my intelligence with that kind of accusation.

It’s much simpler, really. I’m in love with happy endings. In a world where terror threats and senseless crime fill the daily news, I yearn for the respite found in romance, whether I read or write it. I know romance novels aren’t real life, but neither is a galaxy far far away or a journey through middle earth or an alternate world where people play games with thrones, yet these literature adaptations get lauded with acclaim.

So next time you see me, don’t be surprised if I have my nose buried in Jane Austen or another timeless classic. Perhaps I’ve just begun the new Lisa Kleypas or Sherry Thomas book. I’ll never change and I don’t want to. It’s fun being in love with happily ever after. You should try it sometime.

 

 

Links In A Chain ~ Facets of Personality

my charm bracelet

Charms on a bracelet, links in a chain, people are made of so many diverse components. I think my favorite part of character development is not inventing their appearance, but rather the quirks and personality traits that make them human, even when some of those same qualities may be unlikeable.

Book 2 in my new Regency Charms series releases in less than a month. The hero, Jasper St. David and the heroine, Emily Shaw, are not titled aristocrats, but people just like you and me. I wanted to step back and create two characters who could be a friend right now, never mind Regency England 1817.

Jasper doesn’t disappoint. He’s easygoing, handsome (of course) and eager to succeed beyond the expectations and shadow of being labeled younger brother to an earl.

Closeup portrait of a beautiful male model

Emily is burdened with a troubling past and difficult present. She dreams of a future she dictates, instead of bearing the circumstances which compose her life. In the novel, she reaches beyond the limitations imposed on females of that time…and instead discovers true love.

Portrait of young beautiful girl. Fashion photo

As each novel releases, I’m putting another charm on my silver bracelet so when the series is complete, I’ll have a representation of each novel, but the symbolism extends beyond having a lovely piece of jewelry to wear. I hope each charm serves as a reminder to embody the same traits I wish for my characters to possess, each charm another link to strengthen my character as well.

Don’t miss UNDONE BY HIS KISS (my most romantic novel yet) on August 6th.       Preorder today! http://amzn.to/1KpZt25