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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Theme....Absolutely... Life will Change #RB4U #blogpost #melissa_keir


Absolutely.... Life has a Way of Changing.....

Hello and welcome to Romance Books 4 Us. Normally Nicole stops by to kick off the month and have you all smiling. Today, you get me, Melissa Keir, talking about life changing. It was a perfect time to speak about change with the beginning of a new month- September which seems to kick off fall in my area of the world. 

I love this ring, if anyone is looking for a gift for me! 


This month our theme is Absolutely.... The birthstone, Sapphire (promoter of chaste love, health, peace of mind and psychic vision) and flower, Aster (talisman of love, patience). 






This is me when faced with change!
As I said... Life has a way of changing. If you were here expecting Nicole, you've had to adapt to that change. I'm here. And while change is often not without its own stress, sometimes we must make a change. 





Usually at this time of year, I'm back in my classroom
trying to set it up for any number of students, sitting in on professional development meant to energize me, and worrying about how the year is going to go. But not this year!




This year, I'm worried about insurance and spending too much money. A much different set of stress brought on because of a life change I made. I quit teaching at the school I had taught at for the last 15 years. It was time. I had asked to work part time but they couldn't accommodate me. I've looked for other jobs as a teacher. However, I have two strikes against me-- 20 years teaching experience and a Master's Degree. (The Union says that they have to pay me more and other teachers are cheaper.)

My father, my son and me at Thanksgiving
This year though, I'm ABSOLUTELY...happy that I have time with my family. I was working way too many hours on my writing, publishing, formatting, grading, planning, documenting, testing, reporting...which gave me very little time for the most important things in my life....my family. <3

So.. Absolutely... life changes...(and it will probably always cause me some stress, okay a lot of stress)...
But I'm taking a bold move. Substitute teaching so I can get my teaching fix, working on upcoming novellas, and still have the time to see the faces who I would terribly miss if they weren't here. 

What is your ABSOLUTE? What about life has changed for you?? And how are you handling it? I'd love to hear! 

And Nicole will be by on the 9th to visit with you. However, if you want to read about some musings on life, poetry and recipes from me about the people I love, please check out my new short book titled: Musings of a Madcap Mind.

Available in print and ebook....

Blurb:
One woman’s musings become another woman’s courage… 

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you worry about the person you’ve become? Sitting down at the computer, Melissa spent many hours reflecting on her life, family, and relationships. These musings, recipes, and poems tell the tale of one woman's changing thoughts and feelings about life. 

Come along with her as she explores her reflections, using her words which mirror her changes.

Amazon

Monday, August 31, 2015

Something is coming... Watch for it beginning tomorrow!


Did you ever wonder what might happen if some of the Romance Books 4 Us Authors got together and brainstormed a little bit? Well, you might just get your answer to that question very soon.

Tune into Romance Books 4 Us tomorrow and all month long as we tempt and tease you with pieces of a project that we put together for all of you! 

With love,
The Romance Books 4 Us Authors 



P.S.) Don't forget that our monthly contest kicks off tomorrow as well. Check it out here: 


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Diary of a Workaholic - Post by Suzanne Rock #RB4U

The theme for this month is diaries. I used to keep a diary when I was a kid. In it I wrote about all of the important stuff in a fourth grader's world: who was talking to whom, which boys were the cutest, and which teacher liked to give homework over the weekend. (What a meanie! *shakes fist*)

As an adult, I don't keep a diary, but a schedule. Those who know me laugh at my computer full of spreadsheets and office full of Post-It notes. What they don't realize is that without them, I'm lost. 


I'll let you in on a little secret: I get easily overwhelmed. It doesn't take too many tasks to pile up before I'm crawling under the covers and sobbing into my pillow. To-Do lists, schedules and deadlines do more than help me get organized. They help me break down my responsibilities into bite-sized pieces so I don't get overloaded.

Task lists are especially handy this time of year. In the fall, my two girls are heading back to school, and all of their after-school activities are beginning. Forms need to be signed, summer projects need to be completed, and signups for extra-curricular activities occur. (Limited space, better hurry!) My youngest daughter also has her birthday on September first, so yeah, you can see how I tend to get overwhelmed. 

I have been creating To-Do lists for years and over time I've come up with a few key things that make them work for me. 

1) Keep the list managable. Don't write down twenty tasks because you won't have time to finish them all. When there are items left on your "to-do" list at the end of the day, it can really put a damper on your motivation.

2) Keep it simple and specific. A goal like "clean the house" can be overwhelming. Try breaking it down into bite-sized chunks like "clean the kitchen" or "do one load of laundry." A good rule of thumb is to make sure you can finish each task in an hour timeframe.

3) Schedule time for youself. It is unrealistic to think that you can work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Suffering from mental and emotional burnout isn'tpretty, and the best way to stop it is to work on your overall health. On your schedule, make sure you do one thing for yourself each day. It could be as simple as "take a 30 minute walk," or "read a short story." By taking time for yourself, you ensure you are mentally and physically ready to deal with the tasks on your list tomorrow.

4) Schedule time with loved ones. This is just as important. Time goes by so fast. You don't know how long you are going to live on this earth, so make sure you spend some time each day with those people who are important to you.

5) Be rigid, yet flexible. When you create a schedule or a task list, try not to get distracted. Focus on one item at a time and work your way down the list until you have accomplished everything you want to do. At the same time, know that life happens. Emergencies come up, plans change, and people show up unexpectedly. Be easy on yourself. If something happens and you can't finish your task list, don't beat yourself up over it. There is always tomorrow.

How about you? Do you live and die by task lists and schedules like me, or are you more spontaneous? Tell me about it in the comments section. I'd love to hear from you!

And check out my FREE and NEW RELEASE books below!


~ ~ ~

Free on iBooks through August 29!  
Book 1 in the Ecstasy Spa series
Dumped by her boyfriend and down on her luck, Annabelle accepts her best friend's gift and goes to the Ecstasy Spa for an afternoon of escape. She expects the service to be mechanical and the staff to have more brawn than brains, but she couldn't be more mistaken. 

Instead of cold and clinical, Seth is everything she has ever wanted in a man. Smart and sexy, it's easy to see why he is the most requested staff member at the spa. Together they embark on a mind-blowing journey of self-discovery that takes them both to heights that neither thought possible. As physical attraction turns into something deeper, Annabelle wonders if she should risk going against spa policy to see if the "quick fix" she ordered can be changed into something more permanent.

New Release - Ecstasy Spa Volume III - available NOW!
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This contemporary erotic romance anthology features books 6 and 7 of the Ecstasy Spa series.
Mind and Body – Celeste gets a lot of satisfaction seeing others have their sexual fantasies fulfilled at her spa. Unfortunately, her own sex life has been non-existent. Theo, her boyfriend and co-owner, has been ignoring her for the temporary contractor building a new addition to the spa. As Celeste watches the two men interact, she wonders if there’s something deeper between them than friendship, and decides to arrange an erotic interlude for all three of them to find out.
Hydrotherapy – When Jenna Sanders leaves her dead end job and accepts a management position at exclusive spa on the island of Eden, she hopes to put the past behind her and move on with her life. Unfortunately, the past refuses to be buried, and when she discovers that her sexy boss is her former lover, old wounds reopen and shake the walls she has so carefully built around her heart. Caine is offering her everything she’s ever wanted, but can she trust him? As they rekindle their passion in the bedroom, secrets rise up from Eden’s waters and threaten to tear them apart. Only by diving deeper can they move forward, and Jenna must decide if she is willing to risk her heart for a second chance at love.

* * *
ALSO: I just learned that all of my books published through Electric Ink Press are 50% off at KOBO through Monday. Use coupon code SALE50 to get the discount! 
* * *
A lifetime New Englander, Suzanne married her college sweetheart and has been with him for over twenty years. Every summer she drags her husband and two daughters to Maine on a quest for the perfect lobster dinner. Every fall she can be found down in Foxboro, Massachusetts cheering on her favorite football team. In between those trips, she’s a chauffeur, a maid, a chef, an event planner, a hairdresser, a wardrobe stylist, a tutor and a sometimes masseuse. To keep her sanity, she often drinks copious amounts of coffee and stares at the blank screen of her laptop, dreaming of great adventures. Sometimes she even writes them down for others to enjoy.
Suzanne is represented by Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency and writes mainstream romances under the pen name Ava Conway.

 Connect with Suzanne online:

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Romance on a Budget Blog


Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Diary of Dreams... #RB4U #MFRWauthor #RomFantasy


Our August theme is Dear Diary – and when I was younger, I tried several times to keep a diary. I discovered rather quickly that I had a terribly boring life, and not much worth recording for future perusal. So, my diary quickly became something else entirely, which perhaps should have given me a clue about things to come. I started writing down my dreams when I remembered them, because some of them were pretty cool. In the end, this grew into detailed notes for stories that I didn’t realize were stories I would one day write into books.

Recently, I found several old-fashioned diaries I’d forgotten about. The ones young girls seem to all have been given as a gift at one time or another, the one with the cute picture and the little lock to keep all those secrets we think are so scared they need to be protected. When I started reading some of the things I’d recorded, I began to remember the many intriguing dreams and ideas that shaped so many of the entries. Things from the television shows I used to love watching that evolved and expanded the scripts I’d been seeing come to life. Movies that I continued to write after the end credits rolled… it’s no real wonder I started writing those stories and became involved in fan fiction for many years, it was so much fun to write these things!

Amid all the schoolgirl tales there were also original worlds I’d imagined and detailed, some of which have been used in my publishing books over the past ten years. So, long before there was a conscious decision to write books professionally, the groundwork was being done. Who knew? Not me for sure!

I’ve always loved the idea of diaries and journals, and on more than one occasion they have played key plot roles in several stories I’ve had published. No doubt they will come into the plot again at some time, especially in the historical works where this type of journal truly is a glimpse of the past, or the insight into a heart and soul. And, while I don’t keep my journals locked, or call them diaries now, believe me, there are still plenty of records and notes, handwritten and carefully organized. Books in the making, maybe…

The storyteller who narrates my newest release might have a journal, too – it would certainly be interesting to consider. If you like fairytales, feel free to check out Favola, which is Italian for fairytale, by the way.



In the town of Favola, a prince and a lovely girl imprisoned by her mother's jealousy find passion and love... but will it be enough to outsmart the machinations and fury that their devotion inspires in the beautiful Bella Venezia? An Italian fairytale is re-told for an adult audience....

Short Excerpt:

“Her name is Capricia,” someone informed him, and he turned to see an old man working next to him, arranging steaming pies and fresh fruit into appealing displays. He was smiling with affection and appreciation. Francesco turned away just in time to see the girl vanish into the throng of people.

“Where can I find her?” He was craning his neck, trying to catch sight of her again. Francesco grabbed the man’s arm and shook him. “Where?”

The old man laughed. “La Locanda di Pericoli Nascosti,” he replied with a knowing wink at the baker, who was watching the exchange. “She is the daughter of the woman who owns the place.”

“And where might I find this Inn of Hidden Dangers, old one?” Francesco’s question was curt, he was eager now to seek out the girl and see if she could be charmed into being his companion for the night. The old man’s gaze was shrewd, the heat of embarrassment warmed Francesco’s face, the other man had all but read his intentions.

“Be careful of her mother, boy,” was all the old man said. “End of the road there,” he added, crooked finger aimed in the general direction where the girl had disappeared. “It’s easily found.”

Puzzling over the old man’s vague warning, Francesco turned in the direction he’d been shown and continued. It took only minutes to discover the busy inn. He tied his horse to a rail, and went inside.

The common room was filled with travelers and local people. As he approached the counter, he saw the lovely woman who ran the place and stopped to listen as she spoke with a newly arrived patron.

“Tell me, signore,” she all but purred, leaning forward so the stranger could see the lush swells of her breasts, “have you seen a more beautiful woman than me?”

The man shook his head and swore he had never set eyes on anyone more beautiful than her, Bella Venezia. Satisfied, she told him he could have his room that night for half the usual price.

Francesco stepped forward, and once again she turned on her charm.

“Are you here for a room, signore, or merely to enjoy my company?”

Francesco smiled. She was a fine-looking woman, and it would have been very easy to be swept away by her ample charms, but another face haunted his heart now, and stirred his desires as no other woman had. Francesco had escaped his family for a time, tired of the endless parade of potential brides being brought before him. None had appealed to him, yet this stranger had captured his heart, and his imagination. He’d return home with the bride of his choosing, once he found her again.

“Your charm and beauty is undeniable, signora,” he replied smoothly. “But my heart has been stolen by one so fair I cannot live without her. Your own daughter, Capricia.”

When Bella’s eyes narrowed and she glared at him, Francesco knew he had made a grave error in allowing his heart to speak before he could think. He had been foolish enough to believe a mother would be pleased to have her daughter admired.

“Then you may pay twice the price for the privilege of admiring her, signore,” she informed him.

“Then I have still been granted a bargain, signora,” he assured her, resisting laughter at the anger seething in the woman’s eyes. Her striking face set into hard lines of resentment, and her eyes were glacial. He paid her and she told him what room was his for the night.

Francesco went to settle in and wait for nightfall. He did not plan on spending his time alone, not when the girl of his heart’s dreams was only a short distance away.

Available now at:

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Writing a report in Matrix Crystal Hunters by Janice Seagraves





I don't keep journals or diaries. I had one when I was eight, I wrote in it only for a little bit then stopped.  

Here's a scene where my heroine is writing a report she's to present to her commander.

Matrix Crystal Hunters:

After breakfast, she got out her computer and set it up at the dining table, while Vach did the dishes, and Momma Roosa went out to putter about in her garden.

Typing a few sentences, she stopped to stare at Vach’s muscular physique. How does a rich boy get a tight butt? They don’t have gyms here that I know of. Several erotic scenarios flickered through her mind. Then she realized she had completely lost her train of thought. Maybe I should have set up my computer in my room?

Vach brought her a cup of tea. “How far have you gotten?”

“Dear sir, How are you?”

Vach frowned. “That’s not far.”

“Nope.” She stirred the sweetener into her tea and then took a sip. “I’m trying to think of how to word the part about the Mother’s womb.” Clearing her throat, she continued, “I need to word it just right, so my commander won’t try to send out a search party to find it.” She coughed, cleared her throat some more and stared at her cup. Feeling her glands, she noticed they were swollen.

“What tea is this?”

“Zena’s Special Choice. Why?”

“Oh, God. I can’t drink that.” She hurried to a cabinet.

Vach followed her. “I thought it was only seasonings you couldn’t have?”

“It’s more than that.” Maya found the epinephrine she was looking for. A dizzy spell hit her. “There are teas and food I can’t have either. They cause an allergic reaction.” Taking the syringe out of the package, she hit it on her thigh. The sharp bite of the needle broke her skin as it instantly injected the medicine into her bloodstream.

“What are you doing to yourself?” He stared at her thigh.

“I gave myself an emergency injection.” She dropped the syringe onto the countertop. As another wave of dizziness swept over her, she braced herself against the wall.

He moved to her side. “Why? Was it that serious?”

“Yes, you almost killed me.” She slumped to the floor. 

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Matrix Crystal Hunters is available:
US Kindle

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