Wednesday Randomness: 3 Truths & A Lie

Happy Wednesday, lovelies. I’m taking a break from blowing my nose – it’s a full time job right now, people – and getting this post done. This week, we’re telling three truths and a lie about ourselves.crossed-fingers

To make things a bit more interesting – anyone who¬†correctly identifies which of the following statements is the lie will get their choice of ebook from my backlist. I’ll be posting the answer on Friday (3/15) Good luck. ūüôā¬†

I spent more than one summer traveling hundreds of miles in the back of a VW minibus/van that makes Bron green with envy (See what I did there…)

I’ve only lived in two states – Michigan and Minnesota. Midwestern girl, I am.

I don’t care for chocolate. I could take it or leave it.

One of my guilty pleasures is watching Lip Sync Battle.


See what the other ladies have come up with and see if you can spot their lies.
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa | Kellie St. James | Kris Norris

 

Wednesday Randomness: A Few of My Favorite Things: Beauty Products

This is going to be a fairly short post this week. Why? Because I have very few beauty products that are favorites. I have really, really sensitive skin – that has gotten even more sensitive in the past, oh, two years or so. I have yet to find a facial cleanser that does not make me feel like my face is on fire and in danger of falling off my skull¬†– even the so called “for sensitve skin” products. Same goes for moisturizers. Which really sucks because my skin is dry too – I can play pictionary on it with my fingernail. It’s just sad.

BUT there are some things I have found that work for me, though, and have a permanent place in my life.

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Coconut oil – Seriously, I love the stuff. So many uses and I definitely use it because it doesn’t make me hurt or make my skin break out. I use it as a eye makeup remover, hair treatment (sometimes with other things but it’s fabulous on its own), on dry, cracked skin in the winter, as lip balm in a pinch. And there are other uses, too, but those are hte big ones.
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Aloe Vera Gel– Not the kind with any alcohol or coloring or all the things you can’t pronounce. The best is straight from the plant but if you use a good amount, hit Amazon and find some. It’s worth it. ¬†Aside from the wonderful healing properties of aloe vera, there’s a lot you can do with this stuff. Seriously, Google it. The big thing I use it for is “aloe packing”. Since my skin is so sensitive and try this has been a life saver (and you would never use the icky green gel that is full of chemicals and alcohol for this!) and I just started doing it. Basically, you put the gel on your face, and you wait for your skin to soak it all in, then you put on an other layer. You do this until your skin just won’t absorb anymore. It’s lovely and soothing.

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 9.50.39 PMSay Yes to Coconut Lip Balm – This is the lip balm I carry with me everywhere. I love it. And my lips thank me for it.¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 9.49.50 PMSlow It Body Wash and Lotion – I discovered this whilst getting the hair ripped from my legs. A truely joyous experience. I don’t use this on my face, mind, but I love it for everything else. The first ingredient listed? Aloe. LOVE. It keeps my dry-ass skin hydrated and feeling smooth. And it really does seem to slow hair growth down. So win. These are products sold through European Wax Centers, and I’m not sure you can order online or anything. I just get mine when I endure the torture in the summers. (But I buy enough and still use even when I’m not waxing. It works and I’m not straying from it).

And that is it from me. I don’t really have any fave makeup – mostly because I suck at makeup so I rarely wear it.


Dont’ forget to check out the other gals’ posts. I know I will be…hoping to find some new favorites!
Brownwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jenny Trout | Jessica De La Rosa
Kellie St. James | Kris Norris | Paige Prince

 

Wednesday Randomness: Write What You Know?

Happy Wednesday! Today’s topic is whether we agree or disagree with the old adage “Write what you know” and why.

I didn’t realize how tough a question this was until I settled in to write this post. I actually don’t have a definitive answer to this.

As a writer, I write plenty I don’t know – I don’t know what it is to be a vampire or a faery or a witch or a reincarnated king, and I’ve written every single one of those. Aside from the fantasty aspect,¬†I don’t know what it is to be a man, yet I write from my heroes’ POVs in every book.

But (you knew that was coming, right? The big “but”), when it comes to writing, say the fantasy stuff, I do¬†know¬†it, because I make it up. It’s my creation, my worlds. I write notes (lots and lots of notes), I make sure everything is consistent and don’t change willy nilly. The rules of those worlds are concrete and remain so through the book and/or series.

As for writing from a male POV… Well, conversations in this house do get interesting. I’ve been known to ask the hubs and any other male foolish enough to hang around how they would react to a situation, etc. Not saying I write how a typical man would react, think or feel, but again, I build the character and him consistent thoughout.

See how it’s complicated? Yes, write what you know, but if you don’t know it…

1) Research the crap out of it – a profession, a specific event, a locale, a time period, etc.

2) Make it up, create something, but make sure it’s consistent.

And here comes another BUT… When it comes to making it up? That works when it comes to fantasy and paranormal. Even when it comes to building an individual character, but¬†I’ll be flat out honest here, there are things I won’t write because I don’t feel I have the perspective or knowledge, even with research, to do it well. There are some things, I believe, that without firsthand experience, I can’t write effectively. And I’m okay with that. I’ve enough to work with, and plenty of fantasy/paranormal stuff to keep me busy. LOL

So yes, write what you know. Research. And feel free to make stuff up, but FFS, be consistent. There, that’s my answer. LOL

And that’s all I’ve got this week. It’s been a rough one, a tad stressful so far. So this is me tonight….

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Okay, that MAY have been averted by channeling Olivia Pope (from Scandal)

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Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa
Kellie St. James | Kris Norris | Paige Prince

Until next week!
Hugs,
~J

Wednesday Randomness: I Spend Too Much Time…

I have many things I spend way too much time doing – I can procrastinate with the best of them, believe you me. But I don’t think my list of things I waste my time on is going to be much different than anyone else’s.

Reading – A constant my whole life.¬†Best form of escaping, then, and it’s no different, now. Whether it’s a good novel, and interesting non-fiction read or¬†a filthy fanfic, reading is a big part of my life. You won’t hear me say often that anyone can spend TOO much time reading, but for me… Yeah, sometimes, I’m reading when I should be doing something else – like finishing a book. *hangs head in shame*

TV/Movies¬†– More TV than movies, really, but I’ve been known to marathon some good films. But I definitely watch too many TV shows. I very rarely watch episodes when they air on TV. No, I wait until later when I can watch and watch and watch…

netflix-marathonYeah, Merlin, Dr. Who, Broadchurch, The Fall,¬†The Walking Dead, Arrow, The Flash, Friends, Psych, Supernatural…. Honestly, the list goes on and on. I have to be super strict with myself not to start watching a show when I should be working, because, despite my best intentions…

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Social Media – Twitter and Facebook? I look at the clock and realize waaay more time has passed than I thought. And anyone who knows me knows I spend more time on Tumblr than I ever should. it speaks to me. In so many ways. But mostly in this way

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or this way…

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I could keep going but… Well, you see what I mean about spending too much time? I’m trying to finish a book! I’m on a tight deadline and pretties (aka the life ruiners) keep distracting me! ūüôā

And that’s where I’ll end it. Those are my top three time sucks – reading, watching TV/movies, and social media…


Go and see what the other ladies spend too much time doing!
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa | Kayleigh Jones  |
Kellie St. James | Kris Norris | Paige Prince

Until next week!
Hugs,
~J

Wednesday Randomness: 5 Words or Less – My Blog, My Fiction, My Creative Process

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My Blog – Challenging, fun, growing

My Fiction – Sexy, fun, entertaining, I hope.

My Creative Process РMaddening, Exciting, Always Evolving


Check out how the other ladies described these things!
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa
Kayleigh Jones | Kellie St. James | Kris Norris

Until next week!

Hugs,
~J

Wednesday Randomness: A Thank You Note

bannerfans_15386690Despite the enormous distraction you are in my life, you are truly my happy place. What I turn to when I need some time away. I’ve so much to thank you for…

You make me laugh and make me think. You show me that I’m not alone in my thoughts, beliefs, and not even in my (apparently) strangely specific fetishes. ūüėČ

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tumblr_mjpm7n2kHr1r7lfr2o1_250
tumblr_mmyzhn4OgC1qma7m9o5_r1_250And you don’t judge that Colin Morgan seems to embody all of these.

You are so much more than a distraction, though. You are an infinite source of inspiration when I’m writing and trying to picture a character – an expression or way of moving.

hannibalstrokeswilltumblr_nbxfubKvrD1tjjvnuo2_500tumblr_m7ntc77NCn1rshbdvRM lip bitetumblr_ml1991SvYE1s71i6qo1_500

You never bring up the fact I look up more pretty men than anything else. You just get me.

And do I even need to bring up the enormous amounts of filthy fanfic you bring to me?

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Yeah, I didn’t think so…

So, thank you, Tumblr. For brightening my days and being so awesome.

Loves & Smooches
Jess


Wonder what the others are saying thanks to…
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa
Kellie St. James | Kris Norris | Paige Prince

 

Wednesday Randomness: A Few of My Favorite Things – Season

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Today, we’re doing another Favorite Things post, talking about our favorite season.

Anyone who knows me KNOWS it isn’t winter. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the tail end of that season! The other seasons I don’t mind, but if hard-pressed to choose one, I’d pick summer. For several reasons.

One – I don’t like being cold. And living in Minnesota… *sigh* …it gets cold.

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Two¬†– Less running around. Oh, we’re still busy in the summer with camps and trips etc, but the day-to-day running is sooooo much less than in the school months. So there’s less of this….

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…and more of this…

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Okay, I may not be doing it up like drunk Ron Swanson, but in the summer, I definitely sleep better and have more energy.

Three¬†– Believe it or not, I’m going to say camping trips. I know, it’s a shocker, but I do enjoy myself when camping. Time with my family – immediate and extended – is awesome, and I always fine some alone time to do what I love to do…

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And to be honest, it’s the camping prep and set up (and then inevitible take down) is what I really hate about camping. The actual camping? I can get on board with that, and I can admit that it’s part of what makes summer my favorite season.

Four РWRITING RETREAT! A week on beautiful Lake Superior10455851_10152487918983851_4990982005759886705_n

Lots of writing happens, good food is eaten, lots of wine is consumed (by me anyway), I laugh so hard my face and belly hurt, and I get to be with some of the greatest ladies I know.


¬†Head over and see what seasons the other ladies chose as their faves. ūüôā
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa | Kris Norris | Paige Prince

Until next week!
Hugs,
~J

Wednesday Randomness: How Writing Affects My Life & Vice Versa

Well, I’m hoping this posts… I have been having blog issues lately – my blog has been down more than it’s been up. People are on it. People who actually know what they are doing (Meaning, not me) and hopefully will figure out what the issue is. *fingers crossed*

Anyhoo, the topic for this week is How Writing Affects My Life & Vice Versa. Fun, yeah? LOL

Being a writer…that’s not something I can turn off. I’m constantly thinking about the book I’m currently working on (Or another one. *snort*). So, sometimes, I…zone out. I admit it. The hubs is talking about something or one of the kids and tra-la-la, my mind wanders to a scene or something. I apologize a lot for not listening, and it’s not intentional. They’re all pretty used to it right now.

My family also¬†get to hear my plot stuff out. My oldest son worked as a counselor at a camp over the weekend in the winter. It was an hour or so away, and I think I plotted out the enitre first Albion’s Circle book while driving him out there. Poor kid had to hear so much. BUT he’s pretty awesome and helped me figure shit out. So yay!

Writing affects my life in a somewhat negative way is when I’m on deadline, I pull late nights and am very crabby – especially in pre-caffeinated state. I don’t like being tired, and sometimes that seems like that’s all I am. LOL

merlin frustrated

Okay, now –¬†how my life¬†affects writing… Well the biggest way? It means I don’t get to write as often as I’d like. My husband and I have four children. Over the past 18 years, that has affected my writing. A LOT. It’s easier now that the kids are older; my youngest is 12. But still, school functions, concerts, programs, etc still hit the schedule and make fitting writing time more difficult.

That being said, I do childcare and most days of the work week, I three young kids here. You can imagine how writing what I write is difficult to do. So I focus on the children and the *other* day job. Yeah, another one. Why you ask? Well, the kids like to eat and the college years are upon us. o.O So I do what I can to help bring in some income. Not so different than most families out there, yeah? So after chasing kids, working, doing family stuff…some nights, it’s all I can do to stay awake, let alone get words in. But I’m working on a balance there, and some day, I may just find it.

And that’s where I’m going to wrap this.


Head on over and see how everyone else tackled this week’s topic.
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa
Kellie St. James | Kris Norris | Paige Prince

Until next week
Hugs
~J

Wednesday Randomness: Wordless Wednesday – My Past

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(Okay, I’m horrible at the wordless… I don’t really have pics from my childhood so I’m going with posting pics of things that come to mind when I think of my childhood… Some of them should embarrassment but I feel no shame. NO SHAME.)

imgres new_kids320 now-and-later pop_rocks Scoubidou_6_strands

braided-friendship-bracelet-600-7 header the_brat_pack___poster_by_punkylemon-d3er429


 

That’s it from me – time to get back to work. I’m certain the other ladies will have much more entertaining posts this week. Make sure to go check them out.

Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa | Kayleigh Jones
 Kellie St. James | Kris Norris | Paige Prince

Wednesday Randomness: Inspiration A-Z

Happy Wednesday!

Before we get to today’s topic, I want to give a shout out and huge welcome to Paige Prince who is joining for the Wednesday Random fun times! Paige, my lovely, lovely Paige, so happy you’re here, darling. MWAH

Now, this week, we’re talking inspiration…and presenting it to you A-Z. My list – some of it is what inspires me writing-wise (most of it probably) but some is just what I find inspiring in life. I feel I should apologize for the complete and utter…well, silliness of it. But…

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And, really, no one who knows me will be surprised by this list.

All Things Arthurian – King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, Merlin, magic, swords, epic battles, good vs. evil… How can I not be inspired? All of the legends I love pushed me¬†to write my own Arthurian-inspired series, Albion’s Circle.

Bradley James –

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Need I say more?

Colin freaking Morgan – Admit it, you knew this one was coming, didn’t you?

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No words…just, Guh.

Dreams – This one is probably weird, but I’m going with it. This definitely falls in¬†the writing inspiration column. I’ve had a few books start out of a dream I’ve had. Not that I dreamt the whole book or anything. It could be just a moment, an event that just triggers something and it all comes from that.

Encouragement – Complete honesty, my friends’ encouragement is crucial for me in writing. Knowing that they will read through something and tell me the truth, no matter what? That’s pretty much the greatest thing ever. And whether I crank out something good or not so good, the encouragement is always, always there – to keep going or to fix that shit! ūüôā

Family & Friends – Wasn’t even going to attempt to list people individual for something like this. o.O I’ve been so blessed – with the family I was born into, the ¬†and the friends I’ve had the good fortune to have come into my life. And I’m inspired by them every day.

GIFs – I will admit I love GIFs (this doesn’t surprise anyone, probably). I have huge files of them and many many of them are quite inspiring. If you message with me on the regular, you’ll get GIFs (and reg pics) too thrown at you often. Behold…

Submission

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This one will make more sense after you read “J”

Husband – And not just in the bow-chica-bow-wow way either. He’s the¬†strongest, kindest, most loyal and dedicated person I know. And he inspires me to be better. And, he’s pretty easy on the eyes, I’ll admit. Rowr. ūüôā

Inspiring Things – Cut me some slack… Pretty please? ¬†This is one of the last letters and I can’t brain anymore. So inspiring things inspire me. Let that little truth bomb ruminate for a while…

Jess’ Strangely Specific Fetishes – A phrase coined by the lovely Bron during Merlin Club. I don’t think they’re strange…but I suppose I can see how they would seem as such to others. What are they, you ask? Well, hands, collarbones, forearms, Merlin’s Dragonspeak Voice, King Arthur’s use of the royal “we”… To name a few. ENDLESS inspiration for the writing, let me tell you.

Kids – As infuriating as they can be, they inspire me so much. Most often when they don’t even know I see or hear what they’re doing. They make me believe I’m doing SOMETHING right with my life.

Love – romantic love, platonic love, parental love… C’mon, love is just inspiring. Not much to expand on that.

Merlin – not specifically Colin Morgan’s Merlin (though he certainly is inspiring). The character of Merlin and all it’s incarnations intrigue me. There’s a reason Albion’s Circle centers around Merlin and the woman he falls for.

Nature – Although I would never claim to be an outdoorsy girl, I have a healthy appreciate for nature and it does inspire me. Sitting on the lake, or by the sea, hiking to a little known waterfall in the woods… ¬†Thunderstorms are the best thing ever. Yeah, see? I like me some nature.

OneRepublic – Don’t laugh. Their music is especially speaking to me as I write the Albion’s Circle series. And darn it, I know some people are go¬†to have Nickelback on their lists!

Pride & Prejudice – I love Jane Austen, but P&P is my fave. And it also inspires me to write the best damned books I can. Particularly when it comes to characterization because that is one of the first books I read that I connected so greatly with the characters. (Not saying it’s the first book I liked or I didn’t like characters in other books before, but I felt particularly invested in Lizzy and Mr. Darcy.)

Quiet – This one may actually surprise because I always have headphones on or background noise (TV) going when I write. BUT I’ll let you in on a secret – that started as a defense mechanism. An effort to drown out the general chaos that is around me. Then, I got used to some kind of noise while I wrote and it stuck. So yes, I need that when I write, but when I’m thinking through a story, plotting, etc… When trying to come up with somthing…quiet is the trick, my friends. Don’t know if that counts as “inspiration” but hell, what the fuck else am I going to come up with Q????

Readers – Readers saying they liked a book or asking about the next book in a series… Yeah, that inspires, big time.

(Lake)¬†Superior – I grew up where I could bike to Lake Superior. That is my happy place. Some friends and I go there every year for a retreat, and it’s honestly my light at the end of the tunnel when stress gets to me (and by that I mean ALL. THE. TIME.)

Tumblr – It’s my OTHER happy place. And so much more accessible than my dear lake.

United Kingdom – Big part of this¬†is because of my love of history and my family background. Always felt a pull. I finally had the opportunity to travel there this last year. Spent most of my time in London but spent some time driving across Wales and a day in Bath, as well. LOADS of inspiration. Hell, my upcoming book’s title is¬†London Bound so… there you go

(Bon)¬†Voyage – I know that’s sort of cheating, but… V…. Veeeeeeeeee!!!

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Anyhoo, love to travel – or Voyage, if you will – and find inspiration in the history, the architecture, people watching, the surrounding scenery…

Wine – Some of my best ideas and most brilliant moments happen under the influence of good, cheap wine, my friends.

X-rated – I write erotic romance. Hello?

(Da) Yoop, eh? – Since I already had something for U, I couldn’t put Upper Michigan or UP (Upper Peninsula). It’s where I grew up. I adore it up there. And I’ve definitely been inspired to write stories set up there because of my neverending love. Hey, once a Yooper…

Zeal – Seriously, I know the look on your faces right now….

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…but hear me out. One, Z is hard, people. Two, I admire zeal. I find it inspirational when I see someone passionate about what they believe. Unless, they’re dicks about it. Then, well, I’m the one with the expression above on my face.

Be sure to click below and see what inspires everyone else!
Bronwyn Green | Gwendonlyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa | Kellie St. James
Kayleigh Jones | Kris Norris | Paige Prince