Wednesday, April 2, 2014

More Fun Than $*%

I had planned to do a different Insecure Writer's Support Group blog post this month since I missed March. However, I’m in Las Vegas on a spur of the moment family vacation.

While on this amazing vacay (Vegas with kids is more fun than WDW-Walt Disney World!), I realized how important it is to find new sources of inspiration to reignite the inner muse. We can’t always take vacations when we’d like, but we can visit a new museum, venture beyond our comfort zone by experimenting at an exotic restaurant or simply checking out a new music artist in an unfamiliar genre.

Sometime this month I challenge you to put down the computer, get out of the house and do something you’ve never done before. Whether you love or hate the experience, hopefully it will open your senses, your mind, heart or soul in a new way.

I’d love to hear your responses on the first Wednesday of May, during the next Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. Thanks to Alex J.Cavanaugh for organizing IWSG.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Final Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who participated this week!

For the last giveaway, one of the things I asked was for you to leave a comment letting me know if any book has ever influenced your view of love, relationships (romantic or platonic) or the opposite sex.

I think some misunderstood. A book can be either fiction or nonfiction. Novels are only fiction.

The final giveaway winner is:

Congratulations, Ashley A! I just sent you an email.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Final Giveaway

Yesterday’s winners:

ALL 4 commenters. Why? There were only 4 of you and I love music more than I love Amazon.

Congratulations! My little one is up at the moment, so I haven't had a chance to send out emails yet, but I will. 

Sania, your email address is not in your profile or comment. Please send me an email: 
isis (at) isisrushdan (dot) com.

For the final giveaway, it's the winner's choice of a$10 gift card: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Starbucks or $10 worth of books from the Book Depository.

For a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment letting me know if any book has ever influenced your view of love, relationships (romantic or platonic) or the opposite sex. If you don't feel like thinking too deeply, you can even tell me who you think is the sexiest hero or heroine from a book or comic.

The winner will be announced on Saturday.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Day 4: Week of Love Giveaway

I hope you checked out the Rafflecopter on Brinda Berry’s site. There’s still time to win a number of great books.

Today is all about music. 

Music has always moved and influenced me, but it wasn’t until I was about nine years old that I realized how important it was to me.

I was in the car with my mom. As usual the radio station was on 98.7 Kiss FM. To say I had difficulty connecting with the music would be an understatement. During a commercial break, I committed the worst sin possible and turned the radio off. My mother said nothing, just eyed me suspiciously. I whipped out my cassette player and blasted She Bop by Cyndi Lauper.  

There was a twitch in my mom’s shoulders, but she didn’t say a word. After I’d played the album for the third time, she merely asked, “Playing it again?” Bless my mother. I’m grateful she gave me the opportunity to express myself and explore without criticism. I pray I can have that level of patience with my own children.

Today’s giveaway is a $5 iTunes gift card.

For a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment letting me know what song or genre of music inspires you to…write, get frisky in the boudoir, unwind or simply have fun. That’s it.

Make sure your comment is in by 0400 EST.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Day 3: Week of Love Giveaway

I loved the comments yesterday so much that I decided to pick two winners!

One person commented twice, but was only entered once. Here are the Amazon gift card winners from yesterday:

Congratulations, Mary Preston and Gaby! I sent you both emails.

We celebrate Valentine's Day, but we never do anything expensive or extravagant. We like to keep it simple, but heartfelt. For us, it's more important to show our love and passion for each other every day. Grandma will be in town for the weekend this year. We plan to have a yummy dinner at home, sequestered away from the kiddies, and enjoy hours of snuggle time.

I'd also like to thank all of the grandparents out there who babysit for their children. You guys are a blessing.

Today, I'm over at Brinda Berry's blog. She's an awesome person and young adult author. If you haven't read her work, you should check out her Whispering Woods series.

Head to Brinda's to learn a little more about me and for a chance to win some great stuff!

Be sure to enter on the Rafflecopter.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Day 2: Week of Love Giveaway

My Week of Love continues with more goodies.

First, the winner from yesterday’s giveaway is:

#9 is Vamped Chick. Congratulations! I sent you an email this morning. If you didn't receive it, please let me know.

There were some great responses. Thanks for sharing your most romantic gifts with me. My hubby is pretty good in the romance department. He's given me lots of romantic gifts over the years, but the one that always stands out the most was a surprise trip for my birthday when we were dating. Let's just say it involved a German castle (disclaimer: we were living in Germany at the time), an intimate dinner, and a huge red box that barely fit in the trunk of the car. It was the first time a guy had put real effort and detailed planning into sweeping me off my feet. I'll never forget how special I felt.

Now for today's giveaway.

One online retailer I’m in luv with is Amazon. 

This affair of the wallet started while I was living overseas. It allowed me to purchase almost anything I wanted from the United States with ease and efficiency.

So, today’s giveaway is a $5 Amazon gift card.

For a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment letting me know if you celebrate Valentine’s Day or treat it like any other day and why. That’s it.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Week of Love Giveaway

Ahhhh! It’s that time of year again when love is in the air…and thrust in your face at every turn. As a romance writer, I'm compelled to jump on the candy-coated heart-shaped bandwagon.

I’m celebrating this week of love with giveaways every day.

Today I’m giving away a $5 Starbucks gift card. 

Good java is nectar of the gods for me and the only thing stopping me from sipping on a frothy cappuccino all day is the fact I’m breastfeeding.

For a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment letting me know the most romantic gift you’ve ever given or received. That’s it.

You have until midnight to be eligible to win.

The winner will be chosen randomly using and announced on Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Valleys and Peaks

With a newborn and a toddler, it’s understandable that my writing has been in a bit of a slump.

For the past two months, this has been my life:

My goal is to get more sleep and then figure out how to juggle everything so my life becomes more like:

For now, I’m learning through trial and error, but strapping my daughter to me in the Baby Bjorn and giving my dog more “independent play time” outside has helped.

Although I’m experiencing a valley in one area, the new addition to our family has been the greatest blessing imaginable.  I was worried if I’d be able to give each child the very best they deserve. At first, I put tremendous pressure on myself, which wasn’t good for me or them. Then I realized a small shift in perspective on what was “best” would reduce my anxiety and ensure my children were happy.

My mental shift:

Please join me next week for my Week of Love Giveaway! Monday through Friday I’m going to give something away from gift cards to books.

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for another month of IWSG
If you don't know Alex, he's definitely worth checking out.

Also check out the awesome Insecure Writer's Support Group Website.

Are you having difficulty cutting yourself some slack? How do you let go of your stressors and go with the flow of life?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Writer’s Path

Every writer has a unique path to follow. No path is perfect. Most seldom go as planned, but how we handle the bumps and curves along the way will determine how much we enjoy the journey.

On November 24, 2013, my daughter was born. As I prepared for the birth, I used the delivery of my son, who arrived June 14, 2012, as a guideline. I was in agonizing active labor for 41 hours with my little boy. I spent the first 36 hours at a birth center using hypnobirthing techniques to manage the pain because I wanted the most natural experience possible. My contractions went from every five minutes to every ten minutes. Yes, the opposite of what was supposed to happen and I never dilated past seven centimeters.

My midwife recommended I go the hospital, get Pitocin, which they couldn’t use to aid in the delivery, and an epidural so I could rest since I was exhausted.  My husband wasted no time pulling the car around and we rushed to the hospital. Even with the Pitocin, my body resisted letting my little boy out, but eventually after 15 minutes of pushing he was born.

For the birth of my daughter, we planned to hang out at home with our son until my contractions held steady every five minutes for at least two hours, then we'd head to the hospital where I would promptly get an epidural. No hippie visualization the second time around for me.

Once again, the universe threw a wrench into my plan.

My labor went at warp speed, lasting less than three hours. Contractions never held steady at all. In the last 15 minutes of labor they dropped from ten minutes to four to two. It happened so fast, I never even made it to the hospital and my husband missed it because I told him to take his time getting home from work.

I ended up giving birth to my daughter at home, in the shower, with help from my mother who was visiting all while my son and dog watched. I pushed twice as I told the 911 operator my address and my daughter was born. The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. My heart stopped beating until we pulled it off and I heard her cry. I’ve never felt such relief and joy at the same time.

Each child had a vastly different experience coming into this world just as each writer will have a unique journey. Never compare your work or your path to anyone else’s. No matter what bumps or curves you encounter, try to enjoy it.

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for another month of IWSG.

What's on your TBR list for 2014? Any books being made into movies you want to see this year?