FREE BOOKS!

I don’t usually post twice in a couple of days but wanted to share that through February 1st, at Amazon.com, you can get 12 of my novelettes, novellas, and novels FREE, as well as 3 books that will start at .99 cents during their Kindle Countdown Deal days! Check the schedule below to see the dates each book will be available.

***If the schedule isn’t showing up for you, because it isn’t showing up for me in a regular Chrome window, you can find it on my Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/kristykjames

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Happy 2020!

How is the new year treating you? Fantastic, I hope!

We’re a full week into this brand-new decade and I have to say, things haven’t really changed. Not the run of the mill, everyday kinds of things anyway. But I find my attitude and expectations are much different than they were this time last January.

2020. 

When I see those numbers, specific things come to mind. Clear vision. Hindsight. Focus. 

I don’t really want to focus on hindsight though because, while I can learn from the past, what I’ve done, my mistakes … and the even the good choices I made, it’s all in the past.

Today is here now—and the future lies before me like the blank pages of a new book. The question is, what will my pages hold?

It’s going to depend on the choices I make when I get out of bed each morning. And I find I’m giving life, dreams, and possibilities a lot more thought than I’ve ever done before.

A few days ago, I was sorting through a huge stack of index cards (I use them to make notes for everything) and found something I copied down a while ago…

“What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; and in its place will be something you’ve left behind. Let it be something good.”

This quote has been credited to several people, including ‘author unknown,’ but it doesn’t matter who originally said it. What matters is that it’s true.

Do I want the rest of my life to be a collection of dull and unproductive days? Minutes and hours that pass far too fast, with nothing to differentiate one from another?

Or do I want to exchange each day of my life for something meaningful? Something that says, “I did something worthwhile today.” Something that makes a Thursday in June stand out from a Saturday in September.

2020

Clear vision and focus. That’s what I want. No more days blending together so each one feels the same as the one that came before it. Nope. No more of that. The future lies before me … and I’m going to embrace it.

Hello, 2020! You’re going to be my best year yet!

Falling back on one of my favorite songs again. I can’t help it. It ‘speaks’ to my heart.

Photo credit: Pixabay

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Live or Exist?

Sometimes, when I think I know what’s best for me, I’m 100% correct. Other times, I’m 100% wrong. This time, I’m sorry to have to admit I was 100% wrong. About what? Thinking I could treat my hypothyroidism without prescription medication. While supplements do help me to feel better, I haven’t felt good for about four years.

I thought the change to a ‘normal’ schedule last month would be enough to put me over the top but, while it did help some, it still wasn’t enough. Even a little stress, over and above the garden variety, everyday kinds of stress, is enough to wipe me out for days. Sometimes even longer.

So no more pretending it’s working. I’ve got an appointment in a little over two weeks, and then another three days later. Why two? Because it’s a new doctor, and she won’t order the blood test without first meeting me. And she won’t prescribe the medicine unless I come in again. Sucks, but at least I was able to schedule both appointments in the same week.

Part of me feels like the word photo above. Like I failed. It’s a very small part though. Most of me is so excited at the thought of feeling good again, of thinking clearly again, and of having energy again, I just want to celebrate.

Having to laugh here. Aria watched the video with me and when the guy jumped in front of the truck, then rolled under it, she grinned up at me, gave me a thumbs up, and said, “Wow. He did a great job!” I responded immediately with, “No! He did something really stupid. He could have been crushed by that truck.” Pretty sure she still thinks he did a great job. Now she’s walking around singing, “It’s my life,” the only lyrics she can remember. 😀

Those lyrics are part of why I love the song though. It is my life, I’m not going to live forever, and it’s past time I start living while I’m alive. Because I’m tired of being tired all the time and not having the energy to do the things I enjoy.

Writing is one of those things. I honestly thought I’d have a new book out for Christmas but my energy ran out before I got to ‘the end.’

So, as 2019 comes to a close, I know it’s time. Time to get the medicine, to take it, and to start living my life again. Life is way too short to merely exist.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

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The Difference Between Night & Day

During the past eleven or so years, living a vampiresque sort of life, I’ve missed seeing the sunrise. I’ve missed the limited winter daylight hours. And, if I’m being completely honest, I’ve missed living like a normal person.

I’d convinced myself – and truly believed it – that I was more productive as a writer if I didn’t start before ten at night. That part might be true though. I don’t ever remember writing as much during the day.

But we’re going to find out if I can.

Why? Because of a huge schedule change, I’m in bed (most nights) by ten – and up by six. Yup. The babysitting grandma is back at work. But that’s all right. Y’all know I like Aria just a teensy, tiny little bit. 😀

Aria and her mama watching a helicopter a month or so ago.

Four years after I first started, things have changed a lot. Now, she can entertain herself for short periods of time. Periods of time when I can write and edit. And I’m finding it I get started right away, I can get a good hour in before she even wakes up. Kind of feeling my way around the rest of the day, working in as many writing sprints as I can. 

I can see this succeeding though. As easily as I’ve adapted to the normal schedule again, I can totally see writing productivity increasing too. And that’s good. I’ve really missed telling stories. I’ve also missed being a morning person and, as each day passes, I’m loving it a little more.

Can’t think of a better song to express my feelings about my new schedule!

Photo credit: Pixabay

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Finding My Place

Wow. In looking through fifty –  fifty! – unpublished blog drafts, this one was at the top of the list. And, apparently, I wrote it a year ago yesterday. What really jumped out at me is that it’s as applicable to my life today as it was then. And has been for a while.

So, while I’ll update it a bit to reflect the past 366 days, I won’t be changing much. 🙂

Between life in general and the constant changes in the writing world, I’ve been pretty burned out when it comes to blogging. For nearly seven and a half years, I’ve tried to find my ‘niche,’ the perfect subjects to write about here … and nothing has held my interest for any length of time.

This is as true today as it was then.

A couple of days ago, I had an epiphany of sorts. One subject has consistently held my interest and that’s in the better health area. That I can totally get excited about. And since I plan to dedicate the next year or so to getting healthier, I’ve decided I’m going to share that journey here.

Yeah, I know I’ve tried before, and failed. But after being nearly incapacitated for a couple of months because of the pinched nerve, I realize I need to make my health – and getting in great shape – a priority. For real this time. 

Yes, folks, I’ve come to another fork in the road…

My birthday is five months from today. I’m going to make that my ‘transformation goal.’ Not sure how transformed I’ll actually be but I’m determined to make some positive changes.

What might those changes be?

  1. Stop hopping on and off Trim Healthy Mama like it’s a trampoline. I already know that sugar and high glycemic carbs make me feel bad. I know that the residual pain from my car accident (eleven years ago!) pretty much goes away when I eat right – and exercise regularly.
  2. And that leads me to this change. The treadmill is my friend, and we’re going to start spending more quality time together. I also intend to start incorporating the fifteen minute T-Tapps routine into my life. At least a few days a week. And by spring, I think I’ll get another pool membership because I love working out in water. Especially the warm pool.
  3. Share progress here so I can both use it as motivation for me – and maybe help to motivate others who have similar goals.

That’s not all I’ll blog about. You know me. I can’t stick exclusively with one subject. Ever. So I’ll still be sharing progress reports on my writing, stuff about my family, and anything else that strikes my fancy. But my health has to be one of my main focuses right now because it affects every other area of my life. Including energy levels and the ability to think clearly – both of which are needed in order for me to write more books.

I’m actually very excited about the changes I’m planning to make – and I look forward to feeling better. Much better.

When I was thinking about a song that would fit my change in attitude, this seemed perfect (other than the fact that I’m not a guy!). I’m not sure why because I’ve never even seen the movie, but here it is…

Okay. That’s it for now. ‘See’ you soon. 🙂

Photo credit: Pixabay

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New Writing Prompt & NaNoWriMo Update

I had to chuckle when I chose the photo I’d use for today’s post. “My Plan.”

I make a lot of plans. From day-to-day and from year-to-year. Sometimes, those plans go off smooth as butter. Other time, I can almost picture Life ROTF (rolling on the floor laughing) at me. This NaNoWriMo has gone similarly to most years past, but I’m determined to finish at least one book. And maybe get a good start on another.

For now, I’m happy to be through half of the editing process – even though I’ve realized I may have to add a few thousand more words to the story. That’s okay too. It’ll still be within the word count I chose at the beginning. Of course, I could be wrong. It might be a tad longer. Time will tell.

Now for the writing prompt…

I guess I expected the book I bought to be a little different than it is. Kind of more fiction related than ‘real life.’ So, I may change that one of these days. 

Lately, after I read Aria’s bedtime story and lights are out, she begs for another one. And so… I’ve been making up short stories on the spot. Usually, they are about Princess Aria, Princess Mama, and Queen Grandma. Last night, because the windchills have been too cold to enjoy our snow, Princess Aria dumped a bunch of flour on the kitchen floor and she, Princess Mama, and Queen Grandma had fun playing in the pretend snow.

When we reached ‘the end,’ Queen Grandma issued a warning that Princess Aria was NOT allowed to REALLY dump flour on the floor in the kitchen – except in the story. 🙂

I’m thinking something like that – with no planning or plotting – could be a fun blog thing. But only after NaNoWriMo is over. Does it sound like something you would enjoy reading? Let me know in the comments below.

For now though, I’ll go with the book’s suggestions. This week, it says to list three realistic goals I’d like to achieve in my lifetime.

  1. Through nutrition and exercise, find the energy I had as a teenager. I’ve got too much I want to do and enjoy to let hypothyroidism keep me from it anymore.
  2. Write at least 100 books (not counting the ones I’ve already done), some under a pen name or two because romance isn’t my only favorite genre.
  3.  Earn enough from my writing that I can have a small indoor exercise pool AND a greenhouse. I love the idea of working out in warm water and growing all (or at least most) of the produce for my household – year round.

I’ve used this song on my blog before, most likely when thinking about goals. I just think it’s a great reminder that life is short and getting shorter all the time.

What about you? In addition to opinions on the spur of the moment stories, what are some of your goals in life?

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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Updates and Some News

So…

I mentioned, a post or two ago, that I’d have some news some might love – but others would not. And I’ll get to that in a minute. First, the updates.

The 2019 National Novel Writing Month kicks off at midnight tomorrow night – and I plan on joining in. Again. While the pain issue is getting better, it’s not entirely gone. Mostly because I have a hard time staying away from the computer. But, for the most part, I’m keeping my hands off the keyboard and mouse. Which means most, if not all, of this year’s projects will be dictated.

Those projects include finishing several stories – and maybe writing two new novellas. If I do what I’d like, I’ll have the first drafts for seven or eight stories finished by December first. That will be a lot of editing once the pinched nerve is healed, but I don’t mind. 🙂

Second, I’ve decided that enough readers don’t care for my paranormal/fantasy stories, so I’ve put them back under the pen name JJ Belding. Most have new covers and titles. Taking some advice from someone who knows more than me, some have been split up. One story just went live again today. The original title, The Ripple, was a poor choice for a paranormal romance. Now, it’s Wyatt’s Second Chance. Click on the cover to check it out (it’s an affiliate link – click here to learn what those are, if you don’t already know).

And I’m still plugging away at the Trim Healthy Mama – and having fun with chaffles. This was one of my best experiments – recreating a favorite dessert.

 

This one is called the Wonder Bread chaffle.  Thank you to Sui Generis for coming up with this! Mine didn’t look as pretty as hers but it made three chaffles. I saved one to use in place of the pasta in lasagna for supper (yum – worked perfectly), but topped these two with a serving (10 carbs) of sugar free cherry pie filling, and some heavy cream whipped with a tablespoon of Pyure and a couple of twists of pink sea salt. This was my lunch, totally in line with the Trim Health Mama plan, and oh so good!

And now, the news I’ve been putting off…

I gave it eighteen months, but have pulled my books from all stores but Amazon. Well, except for six from the Coach’s Boys series back into Kindle Unlimited – and those will go in as soon as the final library service takes them down. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it had to be made. 

So to everyone who isn’t an Amazon customer, I apologize. But I will remind you that there are free Kindle reading apps (click here) for most devices. And I hope you enjoy my stories enough to check them out. 🙂

I almost forgot! Over the next three days, you can pick up three of my books for free. Just click on Kristy K. James to take you to my Amazon author pages. 

The Secret Admirer (ends tonight at midnight)
Erin’s Christmas Wish (November 6-7, 2019)
A Prince on the Run (November 7-8, 2019)

Okay. I’m about typed out. It’s time to spend some quality time with my heating pad again – and then see how much dictation I can get done before I get on with the rest of my day. 🙂

Cartoon photo credit: Pixabay

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A Bird in the Hand…

…is a much better saying than ‘A Bird in the Van.’ But that’s exactly what happened tonight. When I realized how much ibuprofen I’ve taken in the past month or so, I decided it was time to find a different way to deal with the pain. So, after lots of research, and finding that CBD isolate won’t cause any sort of high, I decided to get some. And lo and behold, it does work. Even my daughter has taken it for a headache and shoulder pain (from doing too much wall washing).

So anyway…

I realized I was all but out a few hours ago so it was time for a trip to town to get more. No way would I be able to sleep without it. Opening the door, I wound up kind of screaming and jumping back into the grass when something darted across the floor – and it was bigger than a mouse. First, I considered just walking to town (not seriously), then told my daughter I was going back into the house to change from my open-toed shoes to sneakers. I also start to say we’re getting traps – but tell her I’m afraid to say what kind. She asks, “Rat?” I say, “Shut up. I didn’t want to even say the word.”

And then Aria shouts, “It’s a bird! It’s a bird! I LOVE it!” (and she kind of wanted to keep it – not!)

Apparently, the little sucker was hiding under the dash and when I opened the door, it scared it so it zoomed between the seats. I was almost weak with relief – until I realized there was white stuff on the seats, steering wheel, and dash.

Long story short, the bird is out. Most of the white has been scrubbed out. And tomorrow, we’re getting a bottle of Lysol because cleaning it with alcohol doesn’t feel like enough. Oh. And we have a new rule. When carrying groceries in, the doors are to be closed between trips!

Quick update … I believe I’m about three scenes from being finished with the rough draft of the first book in the new series. And if you read the latest Sweetheart Sunday post, you can imagine that it’s pretty rough.

Since this song mentions birds right off the bat, and it’s also a love song, it seems like a very appropriate choice for tonight. Besides, I love The Carpenters. 🙂

Photo credit: Pixabay

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Sweetheart Sunday 10/20/19

Keeping it super short today. I’ve actually found something that may be helping – as long as I avoid typing. So first, I’m going to share a song that kind of reminds me of Riley and Margo – the couple in the first book of my new series. Fortunately, I also happen to love the song so it’s found a spot near the top of the book’s playlist.

I also wanted to share a few examples of why I can’t wait for this pinched nerve to go away! Dictating will probably be something I turn to more and more though because it allows me to ‘write’ faster. The problem is, I need to find a program a tad more accurate than Google Docs and Word. 

Still, I hope you’ll all be as amused as I am when I read through each day’s dictation and find things like these. There would be more, but I’ve been trying to do the one finger typing thing to fix the worst of each mess – after getting it all into a writing program.

Sam paragraph and it hurt, shemale, as she sat parked at The Falls. she couldn’t stay alone, she Nails (I can’t even begin to guess what I said that resulted in this mess)

But I do Carrie Ann is Liam’s father. (Presumably, Carrie Ann is a female father – though there is no character named Carrie Ann in the story)

If I get to come home in 2 days, Riley said hurdley unable to contain his Joy. (hurdley??? And who is Joy? I’m thinking Margo might be a little jealous. 🙂 🙂 🙂 )

See you next time – with some news that may make some of you happy. And others … not so much.

 

 

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Will Patton … and a Would You Rather

A few years ago, I couldn’t imagine enjoying audible books. It took a while for me to get used to the digital versions, which I almost always prefer now. I say ‘almost’ because I still miss turning pages. I also miss being able to underline and make notes in the margins of work-related books, yes, I know I could do at least some of that in Kindle books – but I can’t leaf through the pages to find the notes as easily as I could in a paperback novel. But I quickly realized Kindles are handier, offer more choices (if you have a well-stocked library), and are lighter.

Now though, I’ve come to love audible books. Of course, it depends on the narrator. Daniela Acitelli, narrator for the Coach’s Boys series, my very favorite is Alas, Babylon – a book I’ve read countless times since receiving an old copy when I was a teenager. Thank God for print-on-demand because I’ve worn out two copies. By the way, that was an affiliate link – and there will be a few more in this post. Click here to discover what affiliate links are. 

Anyway, I didn’t know what I was missing until I got the audible version – narrated by Will Patton. I loved him in Armageddon, Gone in Sixty Seconds, and Remember the Titans. His voice is great, rating right up there with James Earl Jones and Sam Elliot. I could listen to all three of them read just about anything.

While I’ve never read anything by Mr. Burke, there is an excerpt from a book, narrated by – you guessed it – Will Patton. 🙂

But why did I decide audible books were great?

Because of Hotel Transylvania, Chipwrecked, and Shark Tale. Weird, right? But I listened to those cartoons so many times on the video player in the van that it hit me one day, I was actually enjoying the story lines. 

I’m very grateful for that new addiction now. I’m spending so much time with ice packs and the heating pad, listening to stories helps alleviate the boredom. I also love to listen to audible books when I’m cleaning or cooking. So yeah, I’m sold. 

Speaking of, did you know I’ve got ten audible books available? If you like the digital copies, you might just love those. 

Anyway, since typing requires some quality time with the heating pad (pinched nerve, pinched nerve, go away – and don’t ever come back another day!), I’ll get to the other part of this post…. 

Would You Rather… Write and have a best-selling book published – or star in a blockbuster movie?

After two years in drama in junior high school, it was very clear that acting is not one of my abilities. Writing, however, is. So the answer to that question is easy. Of course, I wouldn’t mind writing a blockbuster movie either. 

What about you? Write or act? Let me know in the comments below.

Photo credit: Pixabay

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