Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolution

As an expert at New Year’s resolutions, I have tried them all.  After all my research, I am here to tell you there is only one New Year’s resolution that can really change your life for the better. Are you ready to change your life?

You must learn to love yourself like a precious child. The lack of  self- love is the root cause of all of our problems.  We neglect ourselves, sometimes to the point of abuse. We work hard, skip meals or eat junk, don’t have time for exercise, fun…the list goes on. The fact is that many times we put ourselves last. We ultimately end up treating ourselves pretty badly.  We would never treat a precious child this way.

So let’s describe this as though you are now the parent of a precious child (which is you). This child is going to have to rely on you and your knowledge for everything.  You are going to embrace this child for the precious soul that it is, and teach the child how to live a happy, healthy life, rich with all the good things the world has to offer.

Forgiveness- not Judgment:  This is very important. You will need to be gentle and kind with your precious child (PC).  Be forgiving of mistakes.  We all make them and hopefully learn from them.  The key is to move on and do better! You must also make sure that other people do not mistreat the PC. There may be negative people who don’t add anything positive to your life. In fact, these people might even make you feel bad about yourself.  They can suck the joy out of living. Don’t expose your PC to these types.  Sometimes you have to just let go of those toxic relationships. Even though it might be painful-it’s sometimes necessary. Surround yourself with positive, happy people that make you feel good.

Social Interaction: You want your PC to have a happy, balanced life and you know that the social aspect is very important. Studies have shown that this is one of the keys to staving off dementia, as well as living to a ripe old age.  Interaction with others is another important part of a healthy and happy life. It could be meeting a friend for lunch once a week, joining a book club, doing a wine tasting,  taking a class, getting involved with your church, temple or mosque. It’s important to have something fun to look forward to least once a week.

Making a Contribution:  The key to feeding your soul is to do something that you believe makes a difference. I’ve always believed that the best way to make you feel better is to help someone else to feel better.   Make sure that you help your PC find their passion.  Maybe it’s visiting a pet shelter to show some love to lonely dogs and cats. You can touch many lives. Maybe it’s volunteering at a nursing home and spending some time with some elderly folks who feel as though they have been abandoned by the world. You can bring great joy.  Maybe helping to build a house for humanity is more your style.  Or perhaps you can find satisfaction in writing some letters to find justice for a cause that you feel strongly about.

Nurture: You must make sure that your PC gets enough sleep. Sometimes they will need a nice warm bath and a cup of tea to relax.  Maybe even a fragrant candle. Sometimes treating PC to a matinee is just the cure. PC might really enjoy a dinner date at a favorite restaurant.  A nice massage is always a treat. Dear little PC deserves only the best.

Nutrition: You know that good nutrition is important, so you will be sure that your PC get’s healthy food, full of fresh fruits, veggies, grains and lean protein.  Maybe it would be fun to join a group like Weight Watchers, so you can learn about a healthy diet and also have that group support. You want your PC to be at a healthy weight so that they never have to suffer from weight related health issues like Diabetes, heart disease and so on.

Exercise:  To keep little PC healthy, you will also make sure that exercise plays an important role.  We all know that exercise is imperative to a healthy body and life. You can cut your risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia and even cancer!  It doesn’t matter where you start. Even if you have to start with 5 minutes of walking a day, that’s a start.  You can slowly work your way up to 20 minutes a day.  You can actually choose whatever you and your PC enjoy.  Maybe swimming or dancing would be more fun.  Or perhaps a zumba or yoga class might appeal to you. How about a weekend of Ski Lessons? The sky is the limit!

It’s really all about loving ourselves. If we don’t take care of ourselves, then who will? Do you care enough to try?

Happy New Year to all and may 2013 be the best ever!

Picture courtesy of

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This book really opened a new world! @clrdougherty DUNGDA DE ISLAN'

Books can open new worlds. It’s kind of my mantra.

Dungda de Islan’ is one such book.  Bud and Leslie allow us to stow away as they set sail on the journey of a lifetime.  Aboard their 35 foot yacht, The Play Actor, they travel through the Caribbean, experiencing the islands in a way that a typical tourist never will. 

I was completely enthralled. Bud described the scenes so vividly I could smell the sea. I wanted to swim in the clear water with the colorful fish, to feel the warm sunshine, to see those incredible sunsets, to laugh as the dolphins put on a show… I was delighted to visit islands that I had only heard of…Antigua, St. Lucia, Martinique and so many others.

While visiting the islands, once the Play Actor was anchored in a nice spot, it is very common for various vendor boats to stop by to present their goods or services.  They offered fresh baked goods, fruit, freshly caught fish and even laundry service.

While they are all lovely, each destination is distinctive.  The citizens enjoy their own unique culture and culinary delights. Bud and Leslie,  being respectful of this, always blend right in. The locals acknowledge this and embrace them.  Bud spoke of the philosophy shared by many of the island dwellers. He mentioned that although they are hard working people, they are happy to have "enough" They live in Paradise after all.  They don’t have the compulsive greed that seems to be rampant among the “dirt dwellers”.

However, I must warn you: this life is not all fun in the sun.  Like any home, the yacht requires maintenance. It also experiences its share of mechanical problems. Then there is  the challenge of fixing them and finding the parts. Scariest of all, the sea can turn deadly and storms can become life threatening.  Bud and Leslie are very knowledgeable in taking proper precautions, but it takes some real courage to ride out a hurricane. Luckily, they make an excellent team.  They compliment & respect each other in a special way that makes a solid, lasting marriage. Many would aspire to such a marriage
 They have been able to weather the storms aboard the Play Actor for twelve years on the great blue sea.  God willing, they will continue to do so for many, many more. 

You can find Bud here on the web at  His writer’s blog is there, as well as information about his books.  There is also the sailing blog – that’s at Voyage of the Play Actor.  He has an author’s page on Facebook here, and you can follow him on Twitter @clrdougherty.  Email is welcome at

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What’s the Next Best Thing to being tagged in the Next Big Thing?

'Tis better to tag than be tagged.  When you get tagged, the work is ahead of you...

But don't get me wrong, I couldn't be more delighted!

Here are my answers about my next book:

1)What is the working title of your next book? I have not made a final decision, but I’m thinking of, The Bullying Epidemic: eradicate this and save lives. I’d love any feedback or opinions on that.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book? I wrote a book called, The Bullying Epidemic- the guide to arm you for the fight.  It is a short handbook on the growing bullying epidemic. There is information on the various types of bullying and tips on how to recognize the signs and act on it. Additionally, there is a list of resources to get help quickly.  After writing the book, word got around and I started getting invitations to speak at different schools and churches. I realized the only answer to this dilemma is to create awareness and to educate all involved.  This new book goes deeper into psychology behind it and dealing with the bullying as an environmental issue. There are specific does and don’t that are vital to the outcome.  The proceeds of the first book go to 'The Bullying Epidemic Foundation' to create and implement educational programs on bullying awareness for teachers, parents & students. I will do the same with this new book.

3) What genre does your book fall under? I believe it fits best under Education and Counseling

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?  Funny you should ask that.  There are skits in the book, meant to be interactive in illustrating different bullying scenarios.  I would want to choose regular kids to play the roles.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? This is how we stop bullying and save lives.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I will self-publish. I’m an indie at heart : ))

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? It took several months.  There is so much research involved, it’s quite time consuming.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? This is a unique genre. There are not many good books that give answers to this growing problem. 

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book? I wrote the first book because I feel strongly about this problem.  I was bullied as a child and I know those scars run deep.  I have young nieces and nephews and I would never want them to go through such torture.  No child deserves that.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest? This book is going to educate the reader on bullying. It will teach them the types of bullying, how to spot bullying, both from the perspective of the target as well as the bully & the bystanders.  It will illustrate how everyone is affected negatively by bullying. It creates a toxic environment. This book outlines exactly how to address it and finally put an end to it. It’s not as obvious as it may seem.  
I can’t believe I was lucky enough to have been tagged by two incredible authors for The Next Big Thing. I’m so honored and grateful.  Here are their links:

Diane Rapp :
Charles Dougherty:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

She's a Mystery, Science Fiction Writer and the Next Big Thing! @DianeRapp


This is from Diane Rapp's Blog: 

I can’t believe it! I’ve been tagged by four people for this blog. It’s lots of fun and here are the links to the four great authors who tagged me.

Jaq Hawkins:
Allison Bruce:
C.J. Sullivan:
Charles Dougherty:

Other talented authors who agreed to participate in this:
Regina Puckett:
Kathleen Patel:

Here are my answers about my next book. I’ve started writing, and it’s coming along (I’m on chapter 4 so far.)

What is the title of your next book?

I recently published Dragon Defense, the third book in my Heirs to the Throne sci-fi/fantasy trilogy. Now I’ve shifted focus back to my High Seas Mystery series, working on Murder For Glacier Blue.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I always planned to take my characters cruising up the Alaska Inside Passage. A wedding is planned for the main characters and I hope events don’t mess with their plans too much.

What genre does your book fall under?

The book is a “cozy” mystery with a female sleuth (but it’s also a romance).

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie

I’d like Piper Parabo to play Kayla and Matt Bomer to play Steven. (What a sexy combo.) Of course Matt would need to learn a saucy British accent (be still my heart). 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Kayla and Steven encounter rough seas as an art heist, murder, and an ex-wife generate "wedding turbulence" in the icy waters along Alaska’s coastline.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will self-publish. I’ve been down the agency route and have greater success on my own.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’m in the planning stages right now, working on an outline and doing research on landscape artists of the Northwest. I never look at the “how long” just concentrate on the “get it finished.”

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I read other authors who write cruise ship mysteries but we’re all different. My books are light and romantic, like Romancing the Stone combined with The Love Boat. 

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

My daughter Laura gave me the idea for the first book in the series. After we wrote a guidebook to the Caribbean together, Laura started to write a mystery novel. She hated writing fiction so she gave the idea to me. Now I've completed two books and have plenty of places to send my characters. I recently cruised Alaska for "research"—it's the part of the job that I love!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I live in a small subdivision in East Texas where retirees play golf every day. I decided to add a crazy bunch of golfers decide to take the Alaska cruise so they can play golf at midnight in Denali National Park. There really is a golf course where people can do just that. I expect my golfers to have lots of fun on the ship—maybe a rich Texan will be one of the murder suspects? When I took my recent cruise, various people volunteered to be the victim in the book--one offered to be the womanizer playboy but my husband steered me clear of that one.