Writer Wednesday: Let’s Talk About Wellness #amwriting #wellness #writerwednesday

desktopLet’s get right down to it: I have a lot going on this year. With five novels releasing, and all the associated marketing and appearances that I have scheduled (who knew that most of the work happens AFTER you finish the book?) I have my work cut out for me. So, what can I do to give myself an edge, and make sure all of this gets done?

Simple: focus on wellness.

Like many others, when my scheduled gets packed the first thing I cut is self-care, and that is quite possibly the worst tactic for a creative individual. Not only do we creatives need to focus on wellness so we can continue creating, if I ignore my health and get sick or exhausted, I’ll start missing publishing deadlines and other commitments. Therefore, keeping my health in tip-top shape is my number one priority.

Over the past months, I’ve made a few small changes that have improved my overall health. Now, I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, so please don’t take any of this as professional advice. But I did do a crap ton of research, and what I’ve listed below has helped me. If you think you also may benefit, I recommend talking to a trusted health professional, and researching the holy heck out of these topics.

  1. I increased the probiotics in my diet – This is something that I came across during my wellness research. The link between gut health and mental and physical well being is profound, and one of the best ways to maintain that health is probiotics. I started with daily servings of kombucha (a fermented tea); now I brew my own kombucha, and I eat other fermented foods, such as kim chi and Greek yogurt, on a daily basis. The effect on my mental state has been amazing.
  2. I became religious about rest – Not just sleep, but rest in general. In the past, I would plug away at my day job for nine or ten hours, shut of my work computer, and immediately fire up my laptop and work on my next release. Since I work at home, I didn’t even have a commute separating my work times; I literally worked for twelve to sixteen hours every day, with minimal breaks. Now I get up at least once an hour and do something besides work, even if it’s just to walk to a different room and look out the window. I also take a few hours for myself after my day job ends. After doing this for a few weeks, I realized that I was getting more quality work done in less time.
  3. I started eating vegetables for breakfast –  Gotta eat your veggies, right? As much as I love vegetables, I could never manage more than two or three servings per day…until I started having kale and eggs for breakfast. Lately, my weekday has been sauteed kale, tomatoes, and onions, and scrambled eggs for breakfast; a grapefruit as my mid-morning snack; and quinoa and whatever leftover vegetables I have on hand for lunch. (Dinner is pretty much dictated by my kids, and that’s just fine.) How’s that for a healthy menu?
  4. I ended a toxic friendship – And let me tell you, I never saw that one coming. This individual and I had been friends for a few years, and after a series of events I realized just how one-sided our friendship was. For instance, we each subscribed to a paid newsletter, and would share each issue with one another. We did that to save money; writers are poor, you know. Well, the one I subscribed to was $60/year, whereas the one she paid for was $15/year–and the rest of our friendship was similarly uneven, and emotionally draining. Closing the door on that friendship was tough, but I just couldn’t keep doing that to myself. That individual and I had very different ideas of what friendship is, and I do wish her well.

And there you have it, four simple steps to wellness! I began these changes two months ago, and I have to say I feel better than I have in years. As these changes become habits, I’ll be adding even more “wellness hacks” to my routine.

Do you have any wellness habits? Tell us in the comments!

Rise of the Deva’shi (Parthalan #3) will release February 28! Preorder here: http://amzn.to/2ku5kO4

rotd_final_frontcover2A stolen girl. A legendary champion. A plan that might destroy Parthalan once and for all…

Aeolmar, First Hunter of Parthalan, leads a solitary life. Having long since abandoned his quest to kill Mersgoth—the demon that murdered his family—Aeolmar moves through his days with cold efficiency. Everything changes when he leads a training mission in Brennus, where he’s attacked by Mersgoth himself, and saved by an unlikely heroine.

Latera, first born and heir to Gannera’s throne, is kidnapped and left for dead in Parthalan’s vast forests. A lone human amongst Parthalan’s fae, she makes a home in Brennus, and lives a quiet life—until she finds herself defending a wounded First Hunter from a clutch of demons.

Back in Parthalan, Harek warns Asherah of something called the deva’shi—a warrior loyal only to the demon lord, Asgeloth. Both Aeolmar and Latera suspect that there is more to this deva’shi than what Harek has told them, but before they can learn the truth, Parthalan’s borders are attacked. Will Aeolmar and Latera be able to stop the deva’shi in time, or is it a distraction to hide Harek’s true plans?

RISE OF THE DEVA’SHI – book three of the Chronicles of Parthalan

 

Dark Faerie Giveaway! @EJStevensAuthor #giveaway #Paranormal #UrbanFantasy

Let’s celebrate the holidays and ring in the new year with fabulous prizes.  Today we are giving away a HUGE dark faerie themed prize pack.

Dark Faerie Prize Pack

We are giving away a Dark Faerie Prize Pack, including a coloring book, faerie necklace, book, earbuds, and more!

  • Gothic Dark Fantasy Coloring Book
  • Faerie Necklace
  • Amy Brown Faerie Greeting Card
  • Ivy Granger LED Keychain Flashlight
  • Ivy Granger Button
  • Shadow Sight (Ivy Granger #1) Ebook
  • Signed Ivy Granger Postcard
  • Custom Purple Earbuds

 

Dark Faerie Prize Pack EJ Stevens Ivy Granger Fantasy Purple

To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway is open to the US, UK, and Canada.  Giveaway begins December 15, 2016 and ends December 31, 2016.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is your favorite creature from folklore? Tell us in the comments!
(Faeries, Banshees, Unicorns, Trolls, Pixies, Goblins, Kelpies…)

Bellatrix Press Halloween Blog Hop @Bellatrix_Press #Halloween #witches #amwriting

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 Magic comes in all shapes and sizes, and so do the people who use it. To celebrate Halloween, four authors got together to interview their magic-using characters and share the responses. And, as always happens when the four of us get together, to make some fun trouble.
That being said, the four of us have decided to break the interview pieces up so you can read them across our blogs. My Interview is with Marling Ellis from The Unlove Spell by Kendra L. Saunders.
Q: Do you remember the first time you used magic? If so, please tell us about it.
Please don’t tell anyone this, especially not my magic tutor Kyran, or anyone at the New York Witch School, but I have never used magic in the traditional sense. Or, well… I don’t think I have. However, I have always had this crazy ability to know if something is going to go on sale soon. The first time it happened to me, I was about 8 years old, and I told my mom not to buy a pair of sparkly pink boots, because they would be on sale the next day. Sure enough? They were. I can also guess a man’s income just by looking at his watch. That has to be a sign of magic too, right?
Q: What is something you wish you could do with magic but haven’t been able to yet?
Make Chris Hemsworth fall in love with me.
Q: What is something you wish you had never done with magic?
I wish I had never accidentally put the unlove spell on myself. It’s a complete bummer to miss out on chances with hot guys, especially ones you meet while on a work trip to Cancun.
Q: Do real witches have broomsticks and/or black cats?
I can’t really have cats, thanks to being crazy allergic to cats. I also don’t really like broomsticks, thanks to being crazy allergic to housecleaning. However, if an actual flying broomstick ever comes onto the market, you’d better bet I’ll own one. It would cut out so much traffic.
Q: If you lost your magical abilities tomorrow, what would you pursue instead?
That would mean the unlove spell was broken, so I’d probably go back to Cancun. And make sure I used those apps that keep you from paying too much for online shopping.
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Synopsis:
Magic has certain rules. You can’t really make someone fall in love with you, but you can make damn sure they don’t fall in love with anyone else. That is, if you’re any good with magic in the first place.

Marling Ellis is a young witch who accidentally places a spell on herself to prevent her heart from ever belonging to anyone but Viktor Arson, the sexy, aristocratic Russian writer she shared a passionate, but brief, fling with. Marling’s spent the five years since their fling alone, occupying her personal time with the internet and hot chocolate. Viktor, a fae prince, has gone on to become a world-famous writer. Most importantly, he can also still make a killer good cup of coffee, and wear the hell out of leather pants. Vital skills in any relationship.
Now, Marling finds herself caught up in a plot by Kyran, one of her former magic teachers. She ends up in Russia, hunting Viktor down and trying to figure out if she really loves him… or if her feelings are just a product of the unlove spell.
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Bio:
Kendra L. Saunders is a time-and-space traveling fashionista author who writes books about magical, dark-haired men, interviews famous people, and suggests way too many bands to you via whatever social media platform she can get her hands on. She writes with good humor because humor is the best weapon for a girl who can’t learn karate (or ballroom dancing). She’s the author of the Alien Pop Star series, magic realism novel Inanimate Objects, the dark comedy Death and Mr. Right, and the poetry collection Geminis and Past Lives.
Below are all the blogs participating in the hop. Go check ’em out and tell me what you think about the witchy women of of Bellatrix Press.
Jennifer Allis Provost (wait, you’re already here!) https://authorjenniferallisprovost.com/
virgin_queen_final-draft_text2The Virgin Queen is on sale for 99 cents: http://amzn.to/2fh2tWM
 

Writer Wednesday: Finding Time To Write In Three Easy Steps #WriterWednesday #amwriting #goals #inspiration #findingtime

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

And that’s exactly what you’re doing when you write, whether it’s a grocery list or participating in NaNoWriMo, planting seeds. Unless you’re going for instant gratification via social media or blogging, when you write something it takes time for it to pay off. But no matter what or why you’re writing, you need to get the writing done first.

Which leads me to the following list, my release schedule for next year:

Rise of the Deva’shi (Parthalan #3) – February 2017

Changing Fates (Changes #3) – April 2017

Gallowglass – June 2017

Golem (Parthalan #4) – September 2017

Bride of the Gallowglass (Gallowglass #2) – November 2017

Well, that’s certainly ambitious.

There are lots of reasons why 2017 will go down in history as Release Madness, the main one being that three of the above titles are extremely close to completion (they don’t need more than a final edit/proofread and finalized covers), and the other two are very close to final draft status. Still, that’s a helluva schedule, and I’m not even mentioning my DDJ (Dreaded Day Job), wrangling the Wonder Twins and Wonder Dog (the parrot is above our shenanigans), or grad school. So how the heck will I find time to write?

Simple: I will make time.

Honestly, that’s really all it comes down to. Whenever we have something we’re passionate about, be it writing or woodworking or running marathons, we find the time to do it. We all get the same 24 hours each day; some of us choose to use them wisely, others binge on Netflix (says the girl who watched 2 seasons of Daredevil in four days. What? It was, um, research.)

Here’s how I find time to write:

  1. I write at the same time every day. For me, that means after the Wonder Twins get on the bus, and my husband goes back to bed. This gives me about an hour of peace and quiet per weekday. Of course, I can write at other times, but having a set schedule is very helpful.
  2. I strive to meet my word count. usually my word count is 2000 per day. I don’t hold myself to that if I’m in deep edit mode, since I’m often deleting while writing, and keeping track of all that is maddening.
  3. I take days off. Forcing yourself to write is not the way to create compelling stories. I get much more quality work done when I take breaks from writing, and 500 good words beats 2000 filler words (that will likely get deleted) any day.

That’s how I do it! How do you find time to write? Tell us in the comments!

htts-1Enter to win an ecopy of Heir to the Sun! https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/1ad36b898ed7a91e

virgin_queen_final-draft_text2The Virgin Queen is on sale for 99 cents: http://amzn.to/2fh2tWM

 

What Kind Of Pencils do You Use? #WriterWednesday #amwriting #inspiration

In my never-ending quest for blog post topics, I asked my husband what I should write about today… and I got the title you see above you. And while I initially dismissed his idea, the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. Artist need tools to create, right?

But I don’t want to talk about traditional writing tools, like pencils and notebooks and word processing programs. I want to talk about the tools that make writing possible, tools that you can use to smash through writers block or jump start your inspiration. one of the tools I use for this–and I have many–are newsletters.

Newsletters?

I subscribe to a wide variety of newsletter, some because they’re writing related, some for inspiration, and some just for fun. Below are a few of my favorites.

Travel + Leisure: This is a list based newsletter, which features things like “25 Waterfalls To See Before You Die” and “Top Ten Towns For Foodies”. It’s a great way to get inspiration for a scene, or research a location without leaving home.

Tasting Table: Features a wide variety of world cuisine, and has restaurant and chef profiles. It’s fun learning what’s eaten for breakfast in Sweden, and how chefs create those amazing meals.

Atlas Obscura: As the name implies, this newsletter features some of the strangest and most out of the way stuff on earth. I’ve read articles on Spring Heeled Jack , a church decorated with dragon bones, and a unicorn skeleton. Now that’s some inspiration.

What tools do you use for inspiration? Tell us in the comments!

 

htts-1Heir to the Sun is available here: http://amzn.to/2cSkNSx

My next appearance will be at Bing Comic Con in Springfield, MA on October 22: http://www.bingcomiccon.org/

StrangeAuthorsSign up for my mailing list here and get a free ebook anthology, Strange Authors!

 

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