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Irony At Its Finest—How I Finally Went Viral

I live north of Atlanta, Georgia, and in case you don’t know, we don’t handle snow events very well. If there is even a hint that it might snow, schools close, and everything shuts down after the stores have been cleaned out of milk and bread. (I can’t explain that one, maybe snow gives southerners a craving for French toast?)

I even got caught a few years ago when the freeway shut down due to snow and ice. It was not fun- what was supposed to be a 45-minute drive home turned into an overnight stay in hotel lobby, because six hours later I wasn’t even three quarters of the way home! I wrote a blog post about the experience, which seems funny now. It sure as hell wasn’t at the time.

Surprise-THE FORECASTER FAILED!

Anyway, the “dusting of snow” we were supposed to get turned into a blizzard, dumping up to 8 inches of snow in some places! What is even stranger, is if we get snow at all, it’s in January or February, not December. This unexpected dumping of white stuff meant I had to cancel my book signing with fellow author Linda Joyce at our favorite wine tasting/gift shop, The Gifted Ferret in Woodstock, Georgia. I was disappointed, because we both had holiday books we were signing, so it wasn’t easy to reschedule. But safety first, so we cancelled the event.

The irony of it was, my holiday novella, Running In Snow, is about people getting stuck in the snow. One of the short stories takes place in a “rare Atlanta snowstorm”. I couldn’t have planned that if had I tried! So I went on Twitter to joke about it. I tweeted that my book signing for my “book about snow has been cancelled because of…snow.” I used the hash tags #irony and #whatarethechances along with a few others, and the tweet sort of went viral. Over 3,600 views and eleven retweets within a few hours.

It also caught the attention of someone who posted it to the webpage of Atlanta’s only major newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She wrote a nice article, giving me, Linda and the Gifted Ferret some publicity.

Silvery Lining

So the moral of the story is disappointment can sometimes lead to something better. I had some sales and people contacting me about the book, so it turned out to be in my favor.

Speaking of Linda Joyce– she’s an award-winning, Amazon Bestselling author. She writes Contemporary Romance and Women’s fiction, often with southern settings. Her Fleur-de-Lis series has received acclaim, and her holiday book, Christmas Bells, is available on Amazon now for just 1.99. The cover photo is below.

This ironic event goes along with how the year 2017 has gone for me. It’s been a strange one, and I’ll cover that in my next post.

Until then, Happy Holidays to all!

Cover Reveal of Running In Snow-A Holiday Novella

I know, autumn has just begun and in many places, it still feels like summer. At least it has here in Atlanta with ninety degree temperatures. But the Holiday Season is right around the corner and this year, I have a Holiday Novella release!

It’s called Running In Snow, and that is the cover in the featured photo. Elle at EJRDigital Art did a fantastic job at capturing the mood of these two heartwarming yet emotional holiday tales. Release date is November 7, 2017, and it will be available for preorder in October, date TBD.

Full disclosure here—I never had the desire to write a holiday story, or even short stories for that matter. But this is proof that writers can get inspiration from anywhere. The idea for the first story, Noelle’s Promise, hit me out of the blue. I read a blog post (sorry, I cannot recall the author) about writing holiday stories, and the idea came to me—what would happen if someone who didn’t celebrate the holidays was in a situation where they had to? Why would they not want to celebrate? How would that play out?

I guess it may be an unusual twist, but that seems to be what I do. If you’ve read my Higher Elevation Series, then you know I come at subjects from a different angle sometimes. These holiday stories are deeply emotional, and my characters go through some real soul searching. But they end up on a happy note.

Here’s the cover copy for Running In Snow:

Two heartwarming tales of love and redemption. And snow.

Noelle’s Promise

Does your past define the future?

Noelle has one cardinal rule─never, ever celebrate the holidays. But now she’s promised to spend them with her boyfriend, Logan, and his extended family. As the festivities begin, bad memories surface. She manages to suppress her anxiety and join in the celebrations, until an unexpected incident sends her fleeing into the night. Can she overcome her past before it ruins her future?

Eve’s Hope

Can a holiday be unlucky every year?

When her heater goes out in the middle of a rare Atlanta snowstorm, reclusive Eve accepts the invitation to her handsome neighbor’s party. Expecting to be bored to tears, she encounters a few surprises before the countdown to midnight begins. Can she survive just one New Year’s Eve without her bad luck kicking in?

 

I’ll be posting soon when more information becomes available. Until then, you can follow my Amazon Author Page for updates:
https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01M4IHA1A

Or follow my Goodreads Page:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15611048.Renee_Regent

Or subscribe to my newsletter. They got to see the cover a few days ago, and enjoy exclusive content, and giveaways. You also get your choice of up to FIVE FREE mini-ebooks just for signing up:

http://www.reneeregent.com/newsletter-sign-up

And you can also get excusive news and giveaways for being in my Reader’s Group on Facebook, Renee Regent’s Readers. Message me and ask to join:

https://www.facebook.com/Renee-Regent-Author-1625365841109181/

 

I’ll be sharing this cover reveal on social media and would greatly appreciate any likes, shares, retweets, etc. I am so excited to share these stories with you! Thanks again as always, for your support.

May I be the first to say, Happy Holidays!

 

 

What Really Happens At Writer’s Retreats

Writer's escape

Writer’s escape

Why would anyone want to spend the weekend in a beautiful location, such as a cabin in the woods, or a cottage on the beach, only to stay holed up inside clutching a book or working on their computer?

What kind of people stay up all night, staring at screens or discussing plot revisions until their jaws tire and eyes close?

Writers, of course.

At least, that’s what my critique group has done for the past five years, and we love it.

Because it is our time. No families, no day jobs (well, maybe there were a few phone calls, texts, and emails; we do tend to be responsible folk). Nothing to do but focus on various aspects of writing and socializing with like-minded friends; you know, the ones who totally get you.

It’s not all word counts and red pens, though. We have fun, too. We eat very well, all sharing in the meals and snacks, laying out a veritable cornucopia of delectable edibles. And yes, we drink, primarily in the evening when it’s time to loosen up.

We play games, like Cards Against Humanity, which was a hoot and half with our group. We also do a naughty/gag gift white elephant gift exchange, which never fails to make us laugh. Creative types often come up with some wild gift ideas!

We get to know one another better, and that is invaluable. When we have our monthly work meetings, there is so much to do, and little time for much more than catching up socially. And even our social lunches and other get-togethers are short on time or in a public place. Not conducive to getting down to the real stuff.

But in a relaxing, safe environment, loosened up by food and alcohol, we can dig deep into subjects we might not have approached at any other time. Though we do not expect all of us to agree on a particular subject, we usually come to an understanding by the end of the retreat. It is a blessing to be able to do this with your support group because miscommunications and misperceptions will happen from time to time. To be able to work together and really support each other means pressing through the difficult or uncomfortable stuff to get to what’s real.

By the time we leave our temporary cocoon, we are all exhausted but content. We hug goodbye and head back to our lives. And looking forward to doing it all again next year.

Do you ever get away with writer friends or associates for a retreat? What has been your experience?

 

 

 

 

A BIG THANK YOU- Two Year Blogiversary!

Thank You!

Thank You!

 

I can’t believe two years have gone by since I gathered up my courage and published my first blog post. What is even more amazing is the fact that I have not yet run out of ideas! Maybe it is similar to writing novels in that respect- once you get going, the ideas keep coming. Or so I have heard, and so far it has been true for me. No dreaded “writer’s block” yet!

It was an interesting year, to say the least. I published 27 posts, on such diverse topics as Archie Comics, The Law of Attraction, corsets, A strip club for Nerd Girls to enjoy, and why tattoos are so hot on Heroes. I interviewed three up-and-coming authors – Linda Joyce, Elissa Stark, and Renee Lovins. Many of my other posts were about writing, but not what you might see on other blogs. Instead of sharing tips or giving instruction, I like to focus on the emotional aspects, and how to keep growing and improving, both personally and professionally.

So for what it is worth, here are some statistics from last year:

As of January 1, 2015, this blog has 1,104 followers, up from 638 at this time last year.

This blog had a total of 7,200 views in 2014. (I am stunned. Thank you).

The five most viewed posts were (some were written in 2013):

  1. What is the Sexiest Piece of Clothing A Man Can Wear? (this is by far my most popular post ever, with over 1,200 views to date)
  2. TATTOOS- As Important As Abs On Heroes?
  3. What Is It About Jamie Fraser?
  4. Outlander TV Series- Was It Worth The Wait?
  5. Update On Outlander Series- Sam Hueghan A Good Choice?

Hmmm…I am sensing a pattern here, besides the fact that all titles are in the form of a question. There is no doubt Outlander, the TV series now on Starz, helped with the popularity of some of my posts. But as I stated in the first post on Jamie Fraser, I have been a longtime fan of the series written by Diana Gabaldon, and was thrilled to see it come to life onscreen. If you want to know more about it, click through to the posts. I am sure we will be taking about it again in the future!

So far, 2015 is off to a roaring start, and I hope to continue the momentum. In addition to writing this blog, I am working on several novels, most in the Romance genre, and my goal is to have at least one ready for publication this year. I’ll be posting snippets later, so stay tuned. I promise to touch on more of the subjects that affect many of us, to interview some authors, and of course, talk about hot guys. So sign up to follow this blog if you haven’t yet, or catch me on Twitter, Facebook, G-Plus, or TSU, under the name Renee Regent.

Thanks for reading and for your support!

The Four F’s Of Thanksgiving

Got Turkey?

Got Turkey?

It is easy to talk about giving thanks and being grateful at this time of year, with Thanksgiving fast approaching. I believe that gratitude is one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal for navigating through the chaos and negativity that can often pervade our daily lives, and should become a habit, rather than something we pull out only on holidays.

That said, I feel the holiday represents four main aspects, making it one of my favorite holidays to celebrate. I am thankful when it comes around each year, and here’s why:

Family and Friends-   Yes, the meal is the centerpiece (I’ll get to that in a moment), but eating it alone would not be much fun. Seeing friends and relatives you may have not seen in a while (even if you don’t always get along), is a major part of enjoying the day. I personally treasure those times, because there were years when I was growing up when it wasn’t possible to have Thanksgiving at home, due to space and/or money issues. But I do recall the times in my life when I was unable to have it at home, there was always a relative, friend, or even an acquaintance who said, “Come eat with us; you don’t have to be alone.” Today, I want to thank those who took me in and shared their home and bounty. My husband and I have done the same for anyone we knew that didn’t have a place to go for Thanksgiving, and will continue to do so.  Sharing is just as important as being thankful.

Feet Warming Near The Fireplace

Food- I can’t remember ever having a bad Thanksgiving meal; though some were less memorable than others. Do you have a set list in your mind of what dishes “should” be on the table, and feel somehow cheated if they aren’t? I suppose that comes from our parents making the same dishes every year and becoming accustomed to certain tastes. When I eat at someone else’s house or in a restaurant, even if the food is fantastic, I still want “my” certain dishes, the way I make them. This is a benefit to hosting (besides the leftovers)! So yeah, the food on Thanksgiving is a big deal, more so than the food on any other holiday.

I would also like to thank all of those who work in restaurants on Thanksgiving, serving up the meals they are foregoing in order to be there. Sometimes that is the only way the patrons can have the meal and get together; sometimes it is simply more convenient. But it is appreciated! (While there may not be leftovers, there’s no mess to clean up, either).

Had to sneak in a hot guy photo!

Had to sneak in a hot guy photo!

 

Fun– Preparations for the meal can be stressful, especially if there are mishaps. Relationships with others may be strained; sometimes holidays add to the discomfort. But somehow, we manage to fit fun into the day most of the time. Watching the big game, the parade, or a favorite movie are great ways to pass the time when you are so stuffed you can’t get off the couch. Taking a walk or having a game of football on the lawn help get the blood moving once the food coma wears off. Later on, board or card games, or just hanging out and talking….whatever you do, have some fun.

So the holiday is all about giving thanks for the bounty we have, and sharing that bounty.   I will be celebrating with Family, Friends, lots of good Food, and having Fun!

How about you? I hope you and yours enjoy the Four F’s of Thanksgiving and then some.

Horn Of Plenty

 

Introducing Elissa Stark, author of Seven Souls

Elissa Stark

Elissa Stark

 

It is really exciting when you witness something great in the making. Like the recent launch of a debut novel that is one of the most intriguing and interesting stories to come along in quite a while. A novel with suspense, mystery, romance and a Southern-Style helping of the Paranormal.

Seven Souls, (Harrow #1), is the debut novel of author Elissa Stark. I had the pleasure of finding out all about her new series, set in the fictional town of Harrow, on Georgia’s coast. (Think Savannah, but more ‘small town’ with unique, engaging characters).   If you love a good crime story, but with a Gothic/psychic twist, you need to read this series! Here’s how it went down when Elissa and I got together recently:

  • Congratulations on the release of your debut novel, Seven Souls (Harrow Series)! From what I have heard, this story is just the beginning of an Urban Fantasy Series that promises intrigue, romance, suspense and some other-worldly action. What else can you tell us about this introduction to the world of Harrow?

 

I’ve always been drawn to cities like New Orleans, Savannah, and Charleston. I wanted to write about a smaller town that had a haunted Southern atmosphere while exploring themes in mythology and religion. Harrow, a fictional town on the Georgia coast, has regional tourism in sea creatures, ghosts, and hauntings, but there’s so much more to its reputation than that.

Phoebe Harris, as my protagonist, has special abilities (psychometry) but is new to the unseen side of Harrow. Readers follow her as she works alongside Jack Gregory, solving supernatural mysteries. We’ll also see how Phoebe herself is a mystery and how the supernatural world deals with her.

  • Your background makes you uniquely qualified to write about the Paranormal Elements in your novels, such as Angels, Demons, etc. Can you tell us a bit about how you came up with the premise of this series?

 

My degree is in Religious Studies and Classical Civilization. I’ve always been interested in the texts, legends, and mythology surrounding the Mediterranean. When I fleshed out the cosmology surrounding Harrow, I wanted to create something that could appear as a different interpretation, a world derived from the same stories but with a unique feel.

I also like exploring fate versus free will and the idea of the ancient hero versus the modern hero. I look at each character’s story arc through the lens – those who were born with free will have destinies to fulfill while those who adhere to the idea of fate leverage their will.

As for coming up with Harrow, I developed Jack first. His history with Harrow practically jumped out of my head fully formed. His connection to angels and demons drive many of the cases Phoebe and he explore, as well as his relationship with Phoebe and her past. I built up the city and cosmology around him. He’s the foundation of Harrow.

Phoebe, on the other hand, is a mix of reckless and vulnerable, lost and found. She’ll be our guide in exploring the world of angels and demons but I also wanted her to be a mystery. She’s still figuring out a lot of things – her place in society, her family past, the origin of her abilities, but she’s not afraid to discover more.

  • How much is the setting for this series a part of the story?

 

What starts as a small, haunted town will become central to a clash between the realms. What comes to pass in Harrow will have wide-reaching consequences.

We’ll see Harrow grow and change, not only through Phoebe’s eyes but also with the population of the otherworldly that flock there. In the first book, readers are introduced to the major players but will get to see more of Harrow in short stories, novellas, and future books as the series progresses.

  • Do you have any other projects in the works?

 

I’m working on Six Wives, book two of Harrow, which I hope to have ready later this year. I hope to have book three out early next year. I am also working on a couple short stories that have been kicking around in my head.

Whenever I need a break from Harrow, I research and dream up stories for a sexy contemporary romance series surrounding politicians and royalty.

  • Where can readers find you and buy your books?

 

I can be found all over the place:

Seven Souls, book one of Harrow, is available at Amazon.

Thanks, Elissa! I for one cannot wait to read the next novel. Looking forward to spending more time in Harrow, as well as finding out about your upcoming projects!

 

Seven Souls

Seven Souls

What Is The Secret to the Law of Attraction?

 

Control Emotions.

You may have heard the phrase “Law of Attraction” before. But what does it really mean? Simply put, “Like Attracts Like” and “You are what you think about” are two phrases that sum it up pretty well. It is a philosophy that has been around for thousands of years, but has become a social movement within the past ten years.

I first heard of it in 2007, when a friend asked if I had heard about the movie “The Secret”, based on the book by Rhonda Byrne. It could be found online at that time, and so I ordered the DVD. It chronicles Ms. Byrne’s discovery of the Law of Attraction, the principle that states that human thoughts and desires actually influence the outcome of what happens in their lives.

In other words, we can control what happens to us. We can shape our own reality.

I was pleased to hear this, but I already knew that it was true. I had been focusing, daydreaming, journaling about, and envisioning what I wanted in life, well, my whole life. And I can honestly say to this day, there is not anything that I truly wanted that did not come to pass eventually. (Except for my current desire to become a published author. Working on that right now).

This form of manifesting human desires has been around as long as humans. Prayer, chanting, spell casting, visualization….people have used their minds for millennia to bring about what they want. The trick is to be able to consciously utilize the techniques that work on a consistent basis. It is easy to become overwhelmed by life and to get in the habit of living by default, reacting to random events as though we have no control. It does take effort, but like anything else, it can be learned, practiced, and improved upon.

This is not to say that once you employ the Law of Attraction, you will never have anything bad happen in your life. Contrast (negative events or situations) is an integral part of life. It is how we learn what we do want, by experiencing what we do not want. It all hinges on our focus- are we talking about, obsessing about what is wrong, what we do not want? Or are we hopefully positive and expecting the things we want to arrive?

If you are interested in finding out more about how to use your very thoughts to improve your life, you may find the list below helpful. There is so much more to this subject than I can discuss here, but I would love to know if you have any links to websites, books, movies, etc. related to the Law of Attraction.

The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne

Ask and It Is Given, by Abraham (Esther and Jerry Hicks)

Maggie Shayne’s Bliss Blog

Until then, remember- “Thought Become Things”!

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