10 Gifts for Readers

Do you love reading?

Do you know people who love reading?

Do you need gifts for you or a reader? Here are some gifts that have caught my attention. (these are affiliate links, by law I must tell you that but never fear it does not add to your cost of these items.)

These teas are fun and the tea is good!

Use the library often? This could be handy.

I love socks and these are fun!

I’d wear this!

And how about something to keep that tea or coffee hot?

There are several different versions of these. I love this one.

How about something to read ebooks with? This is my favorite one because it is easy on my eyes and the battery lasts a long time. The downside is no color book covers or things like games to distract you.

For someone who likes to track how many books they’ve read.

These look like fun bookmarks. Great for doodling or using in a journal!

These are just a few of the gifts I think would be fun. And of course, always considered giving a book. Those are always good gifts for a reader and if you don’t know what to get them. How about a gift card?

And how about a quick read for yourself to get into the Christmas spirit?

She vowed to marry for love. He promised his daughters a mother for Christmas. Time is running out for both of them.

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Fall Reading

There is something about the shorter days and cooler air that has me grabbing research books, my kindle and my kindle fire. Yes, I am one of those reader/authors.

I love to read but I’ve discovered it’s hard to keep my books in one place. There’s the physical of course but what about ebooks. I use my kindle fire for my business/research books. My kindle gets my fiction love and sometimes my ipad and iphone kindle apps get called into action as well for research books.

This is my spot in the winter. As close as I can possibly get to the woodstove without igniting.

The book is Seeking St. Louis. It’s huge and I can only read a little at a time because it is so full of information. I haven’t used it yet in a book series but the time is coming. I want to be ready.

Are you out of books? Try finding some new reads here. One of mine, Hearts on the Road is on sale for 99¢.

http://valeriecomer.com/2020-thankful/

Where do you like to read in the colder months? And how many blankets do you need? If I don’t have a fire I need at least two!

What I’m reading Monday

I’m taking a small break from reading contemporary books and reading historicals again while my hands recover from too much typing. I’m also learning to dictate so any oddness in this post will be from that. It’s a difficult skill for me to learn to speak words instead of thinking and letting my fingers talk.

A Most Inconvenient Wedding by Regina Jennings

Abigail Stuart Thought She was Jeremiah Calhoun’s Widow.
But Jeremiah Calhoun Is Very Handsome, Very Alive, and Very Perplexed.
Most Inconvenient Indeed.

Doesn’t that make you want to read this book? I can tell you it does not disappoint. And if you are looking for a book that fits the rainbows and puppies desire in you, this is it.

Did I say rainbows and puppies? I did. That wasn’t a dictation error. My author friend Tanya E. Williams who likes to say that the world is not made up of rainbows and puppies but we both wish it were.

Back to An Inconvenient Marriage, it is such a hoot! It takes place in the Ozarks a place I love to visit but it’s right after the Civil War so Silver Dollar City has not yet opened. 😉

Can you imagine marrying a man who you buried only to find out he isn’t dead and he’s pretty mad about you living in his house? And to make matters worse his mother and sister love her.

I loved this book. It was a sweet relaxing read. Now I didn’t say boring because it wasn’t. There was action, mystery and some suspenseful moments to enjoy.

Lots of New Releases!

What are you looking to read? Since I’m in the middle–okay only 1/4 of the way through of writing Book 3 A Bride’s Choice in Central City and it’s a historical, I’ll be reading contemporary books?

Now what would I do that? Shouldn’t I be reading historical? Maybe, but I’m always in fear that some clever line or a bit of dialogue that I read will stick with me and I’ll use it! Not on purpose of course but I’m pretty sure I won’t be using one of Julie Carobini or Kirsten Billerbeck’s cute sayings in a historical. Can you imagine? A woman in 1872 picking up a cute designer purse? Or wearing wedges? Me either, and that’s why it’s safer to read contemporary while writing historical fiction.

Are you often looking for a new author to read? Me too!

Check out this page for new releases! I am. I’m excited to see what’s available.

What are you waiting for? Join me! Click the graphic and see what’s available this month!

Box Set-Read non-stop

What do you feel like when you grab book 1 of a series and have to wait for the next one?

I”m usually sad because I personally have no–let me see what does my husband call it? Oh yeah, lack of impulse control and patience. I don’t want to wait I want it now like a 2 year old.

I don’t throw tantrums I promise. I just want it and don’t want to wait.

Here’s some good news! All of these books are on sale and they are series! Yes! Books 1-3 or sometimes more are packaged together for those of you like me that really wants to know what happens in the next story!

These are all Christian Romance! I’m super excited to pick up some I haven’t read. My set A Time to Love is also in the $2.99 sale. Usually book one is $2.99. It’s a great deal! Go shop!

How big are satisfying rewards?

How big do rewards need to be to give you satisfaction?

Do you ever finish a project that takes forever and think, now what?

That’s me.

A Bride’s Journey to the Colorado Territory is done… at least the first round of edits are finished. There are many more times to go through it. I had a big plan for when the book was ready to purchase and that looks like it will be on July 30th. At this time, I’m not sure if my plan will be possible with traveling or finances.

I have been thinking it was hard to get to the end of that book. I was working part time at the preschool and then being at home has taken an emotional toll I didn’t expect. After all, I am an introvert and love being home. That took me by surprise, and I had to adjust. Then an extended family member came down with Covid-19 and was on a ventilator for a long time and didn’t make it.

Big rewards didn’t seem as fulfilling any more.  

So what’s a writer to do?

Do it anyway.

First, let me say that small celebrations when you complete a difficult task are important. The thing is they don’t have to be giant expensive rewards. One thing I have always known but have come to understand well these past few months is the importance of what I have.

Sure, I’d like a new laptop. That would be an amazing reward, or maybe a keyboard that doesn’t stick on the letter zzzzzzz—even though I haven’t pushed it. Or someone to clean my house—like deep clean it, outside and inside windows, and baseboards that I never seem to get to.

I took a step back and thought about the small things I could reward myself with that I could use and enjoy. A teacher appreciation gift I received contained an envelope of zinnia seeds. I love flowers! All I needed was a warm day to plant them and we had frost last week.

Today I planted them! I can’t wait to see them grow!

The other thing I’ve been wanting for quite some time but didn’t get was a set of measuring spoons with the ‘donk’ spoon. That’s 1/32! I’ve been using pure stevia instead of sugar for a long time. It came from Trim Healthy Mama with a tiny plastic spoon. The handle broke, and I’ve kept on using it. I decided it was time for a reward. I ordered the spoons. They were under $10.

But why would you care what I choose to reward myself with or that I did?

Because I want you to do the same.

You might be homeschooling like my daughter-in-law who is doing an amazing job even though it’s not what she loves. She is a numbers person and an engineer. Every Friday she should honor her work, even if it is with a book and a soak in her tub. I don’t know if she does that, but she should.

Maybe you started a garden and you have no idea what you are doing, but you did it anyway. Reward yourself! Get a glass of tea and sit outside and admire the beautiful work you did.

Or perhaps you great at sewing and now you’re making masks. Not something you love, but you are putting your skills to work. Reward yourself! Spend some time sewing something you love—if your shoulders and back can take it! I have a friend who has made over 85 masks in one week. I hope she does something to make her smile.

Not every reward has to cost a lot of money. Think about it. What can you do for yourself that would give you a feeling of satisfaction? An ice cream cone? That’s my husband’s favorite reward. A bike ride? A walk in the park? What about phoning a friend?

Tell me your ideas in the comments. We can all benefit from growing our reward list along with our to-do lists. Because life is difficult and no one else can pat us on the back right now for a job well done.

Possible new Christian book for you in all genres.

This one is great if you have Kindle Unlimited as the books listed are all available with the KU subscription.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/christianfictioninku/rne006n9jo

Let the Children Be Little

Can your appearance make someone’s day better?

I know! Don’t judge a person by the way they look has been my motto since my mother instilled it in me at a very young age. It was traumatic, please don’t ask me to share that horrifying memory…but to be fair I was  3 and curious about someone’s size.

Which brings me to the reason for the post. We are all wearing masks of some kind in public now. Some of you have been wearing them much longer than we have in the US so you’ve probably figured this stuff out.

We are new at this game. I’m seeing some fun possibilities here—saving money on lipstick and liner, who cares about those drooping jowls, or those marionette lines on the side of the face? And in the winter, how nice it will be not to have a frozen face before I get inside a store.it

While that is a positive there is a negative side.

I’ve seen some creative masks (mostly on Facebook because I don’t get out much) and many of them are scary—monster faces and skeletons. Right now, it’s not a big deal. Most parents are keeping their small children home.

Don’t do this please.

This week many of the states are relaxing some of the stay-at-home mandates. Parents will be taking their children out in public. Older children are used to video games and tv shows that have scary parts.

A small child will not know what to do with those feelings because none of us—parents, grandparents, teachers had the experience to teach them about the safety of masks. Consider the fact that in October in the US, we have fire safety week to teach the little ones not to be afraid of firefighters, fire alarms, and the sounds the fire trucks make.

Small children are always trying to make sense of what is happening around them. The 2’s, 3’s, and 4-year-olds have been in preschool or home where they have learned to read and understand facial cues and expressions. The first few times they go to a public place there will be no normal faces. Nothing will look the same to them as before.

In the preschool where I work, the children are asked to look at another child’s face after a toy is taken from them, someone knocks over a block tower or is hurt. This is how they learn what facial expressions mean. (We do make sure the child who is wronged is first asked if they are okay to validate their feelings of being hurt or wronged.)

Remember how you felt the first few times you went to the store with a mask and the shelves were empty of toilet paper? Unsettling, wasn’t it? For me, my anxiety rose to a level I have never experienced and I’m still fighting against it.

When they go into a family-friendly environment in the next few months what will they see on your face?

You have a choice to make them a little more comfortable or to increase their confusion and fear. I hope you choose to make them comfortable because there is going to be a lot of adults with issues when this is over. If we can let’s protect the children from having them too.

Too much winter

It’s the time of year when the lack of sunshine starts to bother me. I long for the days of heat and sun, the more the better.

I’m combating the blues with reading and looking back on photos from the summer. My daughter-in-law has made that easier. She is a talented photographer and has started a blog featuring photos of places in the Midwest. http://www.midwestnomads.com 

Now I can look back at the places we’ve been because they have been gracious enough to take us with them. We didn’t make it to Utah with them this time but I love traveling through the Arches National park through the photos on her blog. Here’s one of her photographs

Look at that view! And the sun and all the colors! It does my creative soul good.

When the weather is gloomy I read a lot. Then I discovered one of my books, A Time to Heal is on sale now through the end of February. Instead of $3.99 it’s $2.99. Too bad I know how it ends. But maybe you haven’t read it? 🙂

Planning for 2020

Planning is not my favorite word but I am learning to like it a lot. Turns out I didn’t have the right planner for the work that I do.

Looking back at 2019 I realized as many of us do that the year sailed by too fast. Many of the things I wanted to do didn’t happen, like writing book 2 a Bride’s Will.
Now by using this planner I have a solid plan on how to get it done and possibly a second book.

I took the photo of both planners with my postage scale to remind me that every activity I choose has weight. I have to decide if that ‘weight’ is right for me or will it pull me to the ground and keep me there?

Blocking out the times I know it will be impossible for me to work on my writing like working at the preschool allows me to see what white space is left. Once that’s done I can then fill them with what’s the next important thing on my list.

This planner doesn’t just give you pages to fill out there are quotes and instructions on how to make it work for you.

This year I’m using the coil-bound version. Last year I bought the bound version and decided before I even opened it I didn’t need to plan. So wrong. Bad choice or as my grandkids say RED CHOICE!

If you aren’t a writer, this is probably not the planner for you but find one that does work. Don’t let 2020 disappear without you accomplishing your dreams.

Scroll down for an inside video peek of my planner from The Write Services.

If you’d like to order the planner you can find it here.
Lulu

Amazon

Etsy (PDF) if you like to print and organize your way

Planning 2020 as an Author

Writing a book is a lot of fun for me and maybe for you too. But planning out how to write, market, keep track of finances and oh yes, just life has always been a huge problem for me.

For 2020 I’ve decided to change up how I do things. Instead of letting things happen to me I was going to show up prepared.

This planner may not be for you if you aren’t an author but you are alive so planning is still a good thing. 🙂

One of the features I love about this planner from Audrey Hughey is its size. The pages are big enough to write what I need to remember. If you are planning your year make sure the one you choose has writing space, not just pretty pictures.

I’ve tried bullet journals, calendars, online calenders–I do still put critical personal and business dates in my online calendar so I have it with me at all times.

This year I’m using The 2020 Author planner because there isn’t another one like it that has a place for everything I need to do in my business. It was put together by an author for an author.

Have you ever decided to make a social media calendar and then think I should do this every month but wait I have to recreate that table? No need with this planner there is one for every month.

Here are some of the features:

  • Track daily and weekly word counts– yes, please
  • Map out writing and publishing plans for an entire year–not as scary as it sounds
  • Manage and track monthly expenses–you know you need to do it
  • Develop an editing checklist –ugh did I use the word so that many times?
  • Plan social media marketing, book promotions, and advertising–when was the last time I applied for BookBub? Posted a photo of one of my books?
  • Sketch out ideas for author newsletter and track open and click-through rates– What should I write this month to my newsletter?
  • Have space and flexibility to plan your days and weeks according to your own unique lifestyle and schedule.–Self-care? Yes, you need to schedule it or you won’t do it.

Where can you get one of these? Glad you asked because it means you’re one step closer toward an amazing year as an author.

LuLu (coil-bound) – typewriter cover

LuLu (coil-bound) – pens and watch cover This one is my favorite!

Amazon (perfect-bound)

Etsy (PDF):

Look at all that space!