Jenn Nixon can be WILD AND WICKED!

Getting a seriously late-in-the-day start friends, but happy Friday and upcoming weekend just the same. I am SO looking forward to the BNP Paribas Tennis Championships starting tomorrow. I need something to tide me over until the French Open late in May!

Just finished reading fellow Liberty States Fiction Writer Jenn Nixon’s WILD AND WICKED:  Quick, short read, a very fun ride and so NOT LACKING in heat and perfect for getting you through the weekend. (Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my thoughts on it.)

In a nutshell, Veronica Chance, goes undercover as a waitress at a “gentlemen’s club.” She is in search of her sister, who appears to have gone missing. On her first night at work, she winds up providing a mini lap dance to none other than the country’s most sought after detective, Mason Storm. Each immediately realizes the chemistry between them. Mason quickly picks up on Veronica being in such a place for more than cash. Veronica senses the ‘good guy’ in Mason. As the night winds down Mason has his first opportunity to play hero and rescues Veronica when he realizes she was drugged at an after-party where hedonism runs rampant, women are used and possibly being trafficked. Mason is also impressed with Veronica’s smarts; most especially how much she’s learned—in one night— about a case he’s been working on for two years. They agree to team up.

The rest you’ll have to read for yourself.

I have to say, author Jenn Nixon packed a whole lot of story into 48 short pages. She had me hooked on Mason by the end of his first scene. (I’m such a sucker for the hero who picks up on the damsel in distress.) Veronica is self-assured, smart, witty and just…happening. Well written, fast-paced; packed with chemistry, humor, vivid language and popping scenes on all levels, WILD AND WICKED did not disappoint. (I take that back. It did too disappoint. It ended. But: CHANCE OF A STORM, the sequel, is available. I’ll be reading–and most likely providing my take on it too!) Read more about all of Jenn’s books at her website!

About the author: Jenn Nixon was born, raised, and still resides in New Jersey . She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Liberty States Fiction Writers. An active blogger and social media participant, Jenn likes to stay on top of what’s hot and popular around the world whether it’s TV, books, movies, or politics.

Like what you read? Please take a second to click a share button or two. You’ll not only be doing me a service, you’ll be promoting Jenn’s work as well! We both thank you!

Have a great weekend and enjoy all your weekend reads!

Joanna

Thoughts on a Recent Read–As Promised!

Good day, everyone, and welcome to my second post of 2012. Yep, I’m looking to hit the 200 mark very soon! Hope all is well as we resume normalcy after Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s. (Can you tell I dislike the generic ‘holidays’?)

Here is my most recent unsolicited and unpaid for ‘review’–something I do if a book strikes my fancy enough. Louise Shaffer’s little gem, Looking for a Love Storyis perfect if you’re looking for some good reading during the upcoming winter doldrums.

Those of you who read my last post on Ms. Shaffer’s books know I was very much looking forward to this one. I’m very happy to report I enjoyed it every bit as much as I’d hoped to based on the title. (Did you expect else from a lover of all things romantic?) As I mentioned in that earlier post, I’d already read The Three Miss Margarets and The Ladies of Garrison Gardens; I enjoyed the former, preferred the latter but both times, had some trouble following all the twists and turns of mysteries as each unfolded.

Looking, on the other hand, was a simple, straight-up character journey and sweet love story set against a Vaudevillian backdrop. (This story also helped me realize why I seem to be having so much trouble getting together a suspense; I like straightforward love stories that much better.) I found it very easy to relate to the protagonist—a blocked published author working at getting her life together after her hottie husband leaves her unexpectedly. Her efforts to find writing work lead her to Chicky, an eighty-something year-old woman who wants her parents’ love story written as a memoir. No mysteries; no murders; an ending that didn’t feel cut short and just a tiny twist that fit the account well. The characters are fun, fresh and real; the story easy to follow and hard to put down. A great book and one that lives up to its title. (For more, you’re on your own ;).)

Have a great day and will most likely catch up with you later this week,

Joanna

Making Sure to Take a Minute to…

thank all of you who take the time to ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ my blog. Makes me feel so good to know people are being touched by what I put out there. You all rock and I am truly grateful. May all of you be blessed.

Special thanks too, for all of you who follow me in the Twitterverse (@JoannaAislinn)–y’all make it fun there!

Have a great weekend! Hope you get all your holiday preparations in order. The big days are around the corner, folks! Don’t worry, it will all fall into place–it always seems to!

With much affection,

Joanna

A Little Reading for your Weekend

Hope you’re all having a great Saturday 🙂 I’m a little under-the-weather and behind in paperwork so…

I finally rescued the links to a few pretty cool blogs I’d left sitting in a Word-doc for a while.

I’m sure you’ll find some really great stuff on these virtual pages. Happy reading!

For Moms Who Feel Guilty…-Confessions from Real Moms!

Amazon Reader Reviews: 12 Things Everybody and His Grandmother Needs to Know

Tips for New Indie Writers

Finish Those Works-in-Progress!

33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: BlogHer Writers, Self-Confidence, and Me

Here’s to an awesome rest-of-the-weekend (and a great match-up between the NY Giants and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday–so tough when I want both teams to win…)

Joanna


Faith and Angels–Part 1

Happy Tuesday everyone. I am a week behind when I originally planned on putting this one up. (Hope you found it worth the ‘wait.’ :)) The post is also a little longer than I would have liked, but the editing monster won’t let me cut it back any more so I broke it up into two parts. (Sorry, friends. God made me a chatty storyteller!)

Once upon a time I was a religious person. Not so sure about the dogma and discipline part, but I rarely lack for faith, primarily in a universal higher power I choose to call God. I try to practice many of the tenets taught by Jesus Christ. I also revel in the spirituality and peace-of-soul that comes to me via the philosophy and adoption (and adaptation to my unique needs) of the twelve steps.

Once upon a time, anxiety could get me up in the night, wreaking havoc with my mind while playing scary games with my heart. (During a particularly difficult period at my first hospital job, I’d go to sleep with music playing—crazy how I had to stop listening to Sting’s Nothing Like the Sun CD–after a few episodes of waking up in a stereotypical cold sweat and heart palpitations to  the cut Fragile. (Took me a long time to listen to that incredible song after that.)

This little recounting brings me back to my beliefs. I hold dearly to the idea that God gives me what I need exactly when I need it—not on my time, but on His—and yes, that may include an angel or two. (More on that in Thursday’s post.)

On one of those mornings when I was work-bound to that hospital where I felt I was losing my mind (I alluded to that time in this post), after one of those nights I’d awakened to Fragile, I remember tuning into a Christian radio station as I drove. I was immediately slammed with this Bible quote: “Do not be anxious about anything. But in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

I did a double-take at the radio. Coincidence? Maybe. But that was exactly what I needed and I’ve often fallen back on that moment or spontaneously called upon those words too many times since.

That’s one example and possibly a reflection of the way I choose to see how things happen in my life. Just the other day I was fretting about this month’s bills when hubby tells me we got an Escrow refund and our mortgage is going down. (When is the last time that happened–and exactly in time to help fund a fairly large but unexpected car repair?) Hubby also found a way to lower our auto insurance without losing coverage. We got an ALDI market in our neighborhood and now there is $$ left after food shopping. Need I go on?)

Uh…yes, but I’m saving that for the next post! Stop in Thursday for part two!

In the meantime, I’d love to read about your experiences with how you got what you needed exactly when you needed it. Take the floor folks. It now belongs to you!

Joanna

Gray Matter–Amazing!

Happy Tuesday, friends! Hope those of you ravaged by Saturday’s surprise of a snowstorm have gotten back power or will be back in the light real soon. Was very blessed here. My heart and prayers go out to those of you who are seriously inconvenienced by Mother Nature and the havoc she’s wreaked these past months.

So there is what my entire town looks like. Wow. (Photo courtesy of my son–thank you! :))

But…

Quiet time comes in unexpected ways, people. My mom was sick over the weekend, so I did a couple of overnighters at her home. Thoroughly enjoyed the peace while she slept. (Aren’t I a wonderful daughter, lol? And there were teens at my house. ‘Nough said.)

Okay, this post is kind of out of left field, or some remote place in my head that always gets flumgubbered (LOVE THAT WORD ) whenever I get an opportunity to note how awesomely the gray matter works. Stop for a second. Think about how incredible it is that these images and thoughts we have—abstract entities unto themselves—are rooted in a physical, biochemical process that has its own agenda. (Of course there is a case-in-point coming. Would I disappoint those who look forward to my illustration of every point?)

On a recent Sunday, hubby and I went to a nearby pumpkin farm, just to chill and spend some time out on a gorgeous fall day. While we walked I recognized a man I couldn’t place. I heard his voice in my head but couldn’t put words to it. He appeared to be with family and I felt as if I’d be intruding by going up to him only to ask: “How do I know you?” The entire time I was there, I kept looking for him but I gave up and let it go. My normal work week ensued.

Thursday of that same week, I took my mom to her cardiologist’s appointment. No sooner had I turned the car into the lot when my brain instantly visualized the man at the pumpkin farm. “That was Doctor ______!” my mind said.

Amazing the connections the psyche makes all on its own, right? How it stores information and retrieves it when the circumstances are just right and just so. (Back to being flumgubbered.) Can’t imagine only I’ve lived such experiences. Who will be first to share?

(Now why can’t I just spew out chapters the way some of these posts spill out of me? Just sayin…)

My fresh-fixins’ (almost) homemade pizza recipe–look for it Thursday or Friday of this week!

Inspiration to all of you writers taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge; may the words be with you!

TTFN,

Joanna

Diane Lang on Simplicity

Bringing Back Positive Energy Mondays (PEM): Friend, Author, Educator and Life Coach Diane Lang will start us off (again)!

BUT: I have to share this: 

  This is the sweet little Tropical Storm Irene survivor my son and his friend(s) rescued . She’s going by Chickpea now and is reportedly doing wonderfully well!

Back to Diane Lang and Simplicity!

How Simple It is To Have A Great Life!

by Diane Lang

We make life harder then it needs to be.

There are so many simple things we can do in our everyday life that would make our lives fuller and richer. We could live a positive lifestyle, it’s a realistic goal. Here are some simple ways to add happiness into your daily lifestyle. Make each of these simple things part of your daily lifestyle and see/feel the changes.

It’s easier then you think…

1.  See the glass half full.  Change your perspective/view and the world changes with you.

2.  Wake up each day with a “Gratitude check” – take the first few minutes of each day to appreciate all the good in your life. Each day remember you woke up, you could see the sun shinning, you have a roof over your head, food to eat, water to drink, air to breathe, friends to talk to and much more.. There is always something to be grateful for, it’s just reminding yourself of it.

3.  Flow – each day try to do an activity that you love that life just flows for that time. It could be ten minutes or a few hours but just make sure to add flow into your daily life.

4.  Make sure your basic needs are met.  Did you drink 8-10 glasses of water each day ( not tea, coffee or soda)? Did you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep?  Did you eat healthy?  Exercise? Etc.?  Our cognitive abilities and state of mind depends on our basic needs being met. Make your health a priority.

5. Show love today.  Did you give a hug? A kiss? Hold someone’s hand?  Pat them on the shoulder?  If not, then go give a hug ASAP!

6.  Always say thank you to anyone and everyone who deserves it. Also, remember to say Sorry if it’s needed as well. Keep open lines of communication.

7.  Be an active listener – no interruptions, be patient and let the person speak, really listen and pause before answering, summarize what they said and ask questions if needed.

8.  Be an empathetic listener – imagine how the other person is feeling. Put yourself in their shoes.

9.  Have a Career not a job – do what you love.

10. Smile, laugh – all are contagious – spread the joy.

11. Step outside your comfort zone today – take a small risk each and everyday.

12. Add variety to your day. Even small things like taking a new route to work, trying a new food or drink will bring bursts of happiness.

13. Learn – each and everyday did you learn something new? This can be informal learning through discussions, movies, newspapers, current events etc.

14. Stay in touch with your friends and family.

15. Visualize your dreams each and every day. If you can’t see it, you will have trouble reaching it.

16. Take a vacation – refuel and refresh, you will be more productive and creative in both your personal and professional life.

17. Be a great role model – your kids will follow in your shoes.

18. Pay it forward – random acts of kindness each and every day.

19. Perseverance – never give up.

20. Be self-aware – know yourself.

21. Less TV, Cell phones, Internet, Video Games.  Social media and more face to face time with loved ones.

22. Forgiveness – forgive for you so you can move forward with your life.

23. The past has some great teachable moments but don’t live in the past.

24. Live in the moment.

25. Plan for the future.

26. Work on what you CAN control in your life. If you can’t control it, let it go.

27. Always ask for help if you need it.

********

Therapist, Educator and Life Coach Diane Lang has dedicated her career to helping people turn their lives around and is now on a mission to help them develop a sustainable positive attitude that can actually turn one into an optimist, literally. A therapist and educator of Positive Psychology, she has seen that it can provide a strong foundation for finding great happiness and is gratified that it is becoming a mainstream method of treatment.

For More information please visit Diane’s website:www.dlcounseling.com or e-mail Diane at Lifeline36@aol.com

Thanks for taking the time to stop by! Writer Wednesday returns as well. I’ll be exploring your questions from last week’s Twitter-related posts. See you then!

Joanna