We Love Books Wednesday: Novel Spotlight

34879387I’ve had a crush on my best friend’s brother for years. Which wouldn’t be a problem, if he wasn’t such a cocky jerk.

It’s okay, though. My crush is based on shallowness, a simple attraction, so my heart isn’t at risk of getting broken.

Well, that is until my best friend decides she needs to teach her brother a lesson and take his cockiness down a notch. Her plan: I’ll get Carter to fall in love with me and then break his heart. At first I’m not fully on board with her plan, not only because it seems cruel, but I also highly doubt Carter will fall in love with me.

But then Carter does something that pushes me over the edge and I decide to go through with it.

Not only does the plan work, but Carter ends up being different than the cocky jerk I thought he was. At least I think so.

I might be falling for him.

He might be falling for me.

But not everything is what it seems.

We both might end up getting our hearts broken.

Please note: The Unexpected Way of Falling in Love is the first book in the Unexpected series and is not a standalone. 

**Review coming soon!**

Manuscript Monday: Writing Process

114a1ccb5f9c59a54ffbf79a7a8b94ebGood morning, Lovelies. For today’s topic I’ll be discussing my writing process. I apologize in advance if this post is all over the place, but so is my process. I used to think I was a plotter, but then one day I sat down and just started writing a brand new story; I must be a pantser. Recently I’ve discovered it doesn’t matter whether you’re a plotter or a pantser. What matters most is whatever works for you. Because at the end of the day, only you can write your story. So here are my top 6 staple things that usually occur at some point in my writing process.

 

  1. Brainstorming with my sisters. This usually consists of a general idea thrown into the wind and bouncing around ideas and components between the three of us until I have a feasible story idea created.
  2. A secret Pinterest board is created. On this board, my dream cast is formed. Also, items that are imperative to the story are also pinned.
  3. Reading an infinite amount of writing skills’ novels to try and figure out the ‘right’ way to plot, outline, etc.
  4. An array of plotting usually happens. This is normally filling out character sheets, stream-of-consciousness with the main characters, creating a step outline, and things of that sort.
  5. A playlist for the novel is created on Napster. I have so many novel playlists on my Napster account that it isn’t even funny. And when I’m working on a specific novel, I have to listen to the playlist for that novel. If I’m working on Sliding into Love, but listening to The Family Secret playlist, I feel like I’m cheating on my novel!
  6. Last, but not least, when I finally get my act together and realize there’s absolutely nothing wrong with my writing process or me, I begin writing my novel. I use the Pomodoro technique, which I find really works for me. I write for 25 minutes, and allow for a 5 minute break to surf the net, read, get lost in thought, or whatever it may be.

As I was writing this post, I was not a fan of my writing process. But now that I’ve reached the end of this post, I find my process is unique and I’m okay with that. Next week, we are going to go more in depth about my writing process and how my screenwriting knowledge forces its way into my novel writing process. I’d love to hear what your writing process is like.

Freebie Friday: Podcasts

Good morning, lovelies! It’s Friday, which not only means I’m closer to Spring Break now than I was last week, but it’s also the day I can talk about whatever I want. And since things are a little hectic at home and work, today I’m going to leave you with the names of my top 10 favorite podcasts I love to listen at work. Next week (fingers crossed), I’ll be able to go in depth as to why these podcasts are my absolute favorite.

In no particular order, here are my 10 favorite podcasts:

  1. The Goal Digger with Jenna Kutcher
  2. The Bitch Bible by Jackie Schimmel
  3. Boss Girl with Taylor Bradford
  4. Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso
  5. Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert
  6. Reality Bytes with Stephanie Beatriz and Courtney Kocak
  7. Don’t Keep Your Day Job with Cathy Heller
  8. The Marie Forleo Podcast with Marie Forleo
  9. Write Now with Sarah Werner
  10. Create If Writing with Kirsten Oliphant

Do you listen to podcasts? Which are your favorites? Did any of your favorites make my list?

We Love Books Wednesday: 2017 TBR List

Good morning, lovelies! For the first We Love Books Wednesday post of 2017, I thought it’d be a great idea to share with you the list of books that I’ll be reading this year. These books are based on a challenge my sisters and I conjured up amongst ourselves.

two-eyed-monster-reading-book

  1. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  2. Ain’t No Sunshine by Leslie DuBois
  3. Exactly Where They’d Fall by Laura Rae Amos
  4. My Fate for Yours by Steph Campbell and Mia Josephs
  5. The Girl Who Didn’t Die by Tim Kizer
  6. Somehow, Someday by Tamaika Belen
  7. And Then She Was Gone by Christopher Greyson
  8. Girl Tripping by Ginna LaManna
  9. Blurred Lines (Love Unexpectedly) by Lauren Layne
  10. Cheater by Rachel Van Dyken
  11. The Goode Fight by Seth King
  12. The Secret Ingredient by Misty Evans
  13. All the Frogs in Manhattan by Carrie Aarons
  14. Write a Novel Outline from Scratch! by Andrew Butcher
  15. The Year I Became Isabella Anders by Jessica Sorensen
  16. White Lies by Emily harper
  17. Wife By Wednesday by Catherine Bybee
  18. The Secret Life of a Witch by Jessica Sorensen
  19. Jackpot! by Jackie Pilossoph
  20. Halloween Treats by Alexa Riley
  21. The Practice Boyfriend by Christina Benjamin
  22. Cross My Heart by Katie Klein
  23. Within This Frame by Lindy Zart
  24. A Sister’s Place by Savannah Page
  25. Last To Know by Micalea Smeltzer
  26. Never Too Late by Micalea Smeltzer
  27. In Your Heart by Micalea Smeltzer
  28. Take a Chance by Micalea Smeltzer

I’d love to know what books you’re looking forward to reading this year. Also, what books on my list are you hoping I’ll review here on the blog?

 

Manuscript Monday: The Family Secret

dt8ajmateGood morning, lovelies! Over the weekend, I shared some pretty heavy stuff that had been going on in my life, and it was refreshing to finally be at a place in my life where I felt comfortable enough to talk about it. Today’s post is going to be on a happier note.

Just a side note, if the title of today’s post led you to believe I was going to be divulging secrets about my family, think again. The Family Secret is the newest novel idea I’ve had.

The Family Secret is an idea that I sat on for about four or five years, but it wasn’t a story I jumped at to write. Looking back on what my original idea was, I’m glad I waited. Sometimes it’s best to let work sit and marinate so it can be the best you have to offer.

I don’t want to give an extreme amount of the plot away, but I can tell you the book will follow four siblings and how they each cope with the death of their grandma. And, of course, along the way of coping they find out a secret their beloved Nana had been keeping from them.

Here are sixteen songs, from my playlist of 61 songs, I’ve been listening to while working on different aspects of this novel:

  1. Never Gone by Backstreet Boys
  2. Miss Independent by Ne-Yo
  3. Glamorous by Fergie
  4. Real Men Love Jesus by Michael Ray
  5. Run The World (Girls) by Beyoncé
  6. Optimistic by Sounds of Blackness
  7. We Don’t Talk Anymore by Charlie Puth ft. Selena Gomez
  8. Misses Glass by Leona Lewis
  9. Secrets by OneRepublic
  10. Fighting Gravity by New Kids On The Block
  11. Darlin’ by Backstreet Boys
  12. God, Your Mama, and Me by Florida Georgia Line ft. Backstreet Boys
  13. Disconnect by Kristinia DeBarge
  14. I’m Still In Love by New Edition
  15. I’ll Be There by S Club 7
  16. Good Life by OneRepublic

What other songs do you think are on my playlist? See you on Wednesday!

Story Time Saturday: Year of Changes

Hey Lovelies! It’s me again, finally! And in case you were worried that I was sentenced to a life where technology no longer existed, that was certainly not the case at all. A few things have changed since my last post, and as I sit here, writing this post, I know there are more changes to come (in a good way).

Grandpa’s Death

gramps

On December 4, 2016, I lost my grandpa. He was 91-years-old, still in his right mind, and had this certain sense of life about him. My grandfather, Joseph, was a Reverend for many years. He was the kind of man who believed in letting the Lord heal him as opposed to relying on doctors and medicines. He knew the Bible like the back of his hand, even when it wasn’t in front of him. More importantly, he was the kind of man who didn’t fear death. The day before his passing, he told my Grams that he wouldn’t be with her much longer. He even gave her Christmas money for my sisters and me to buy Christmas gifts that would allow us to remember him.

As stubborn and stuck in his ways that he was, he always meant well. He wasn’t just someone I saw on holidays and special occasions; I saw him every day. Because aside from him being my grandpa, he was also my next door neighbor, my Pastor, and the man behind the inspiration of my name (my parents thought I was going to be a boy). Because we were fortunate enough to have him until the age of 91, each day gets a little easier in knowing that the Lord only takes the best.

In Sickness & In Health

Photo Mar 09, 10 45 00 PM

If you’re new to this blog, you should know that I’m a renal failure advocate. However, if you’re not new here, it’s no secret I’m always preaching the importance of taking care of your kidneys. It’s also no secret my dad was diagnosed with renal failure six years ago and taking dialysis three times a week. But what you don’t know (unless you follow me on Instagram) is that on January 5, 2017, my dad had a heart attack.

I remember getting a call from my older sister who explained he got sick on his way home from dialysis. Luckily, he spotted his brother along the way, flagged him down, and his brother was able to get him an ambulance. On our way to the hospital he was at, my Uncle called. He said my dad had a heart attack and they were going to fly him to a heart hospital. To this day, I can still hear and see the plane taking him away. They ended up doing a stent for one side, but because dialysis had calcified his veins, he was going to need open heart surgery. The day of his surgery was scary due to a number of reasons.

Fast forward to today, he has fully recovered from his triple bypass, back to his normal activities, and giving us all a run for our money. He was in the hospital for a total of 11 days, and my mom, the epitome of Superwoman, was there the entire time; never leaving his side. With God’s will, my parents will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary later on this year, and to this day, they still stand by each other’s side in sickness and in health. That’s true love, y’all.

Revelation

Needless to say, with everything that went on, I stopped blogging, writing, and pretty much everything. My day would consist of working, sitting with my bedridden Grams until her sitter showed up, and passing out on the couch from exhaustion until it was time to do it all over again the next day. But it wasn’t healthy. I was suffering physically and mentally. For the longest time I felt like I needed to dedicate all of my spare time to Grams, to ensure she was okay, even when I knew she was in good hands with someone else. But my family helped me understand that I needed to take care of myself as well. I noticed when I started making my writing a priority again, I was no longer suffering from chest pains or miserableness. I was waking up a happier person, and believe me, I’m no morning person. Sometimes you just have to learn to make some time for you; even if it’s only 30 minutes.

With all of this being said, I’m starting the blog up again (thanks for the encouragement, Mom), focusing on my writing, and making room for some much needed ME TIME.