Just Wanted To Say…

2017.  It hasn’t exactly pulled its punches.  Certainly on a national and even a worldwide level with natural disasters and heartbreaking tragedies one right after another, but maybe also on a personal level for some of you reading this right now.  Around here, we got hit with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis on one side of the family and a death on the other, and there are lots of other folks we know carrying heavier loads than that right now, some of them very near and dear to us. Kind of feels like we all need one very big collective hug sometimes.

Which is probably why it’s also been a year for thinking about the big questions and what really matters most.  Maybe you’ve had some of the same kinds of conversations lately with the people closest to you: talking about not taking things–or loved ones–for granted, or about trying to savor little moments of sweetness and beauty every day and trying not to miss opportunities to help ease the load someone else might be carrying, or even about things like tackling those bucket lists now instead of saving them for some vague time down the road that may never come.  Sometimes those conversations can be hard or even downright grim.  But sometimes I think they can be hopeful, too.

It’s been a challenging year, but I’m humbled and inspired by the stories of people who have shown tremendous courage and kindness in the midst of terrible times.  I’m grateful for friends who have been so thoughtful and supportive when some of our recent family struggles left our heads spinning, and I hope you are fortunate enough to have wonderful people like that in your lives.  Maybe you are those wonderful people.  In that case, thanks for making the world a kinder place.

If you’re dealing with some struggles of your own right now, I hope you’ll be able to hang in there and that there will be enough moments of warmth and sweetness coming your way to help make those struggles a little easier to bear.  I’ll leave you with one of mine here:

(Love these two…)

Have a good week.  🙂

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“It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth — and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up — that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Bumps On The Road To Love

It’s true that sometimes authors can be a tad sadistic to their characters by throwing obstacles in their paths, and I’m no exception.  But when you’re writing a romantic comedy, you’re supposed to make the road to love less than smooth for the leading man and lady, right?  So that’s what I’m doing with my current project.  And if I’m kind of enjoying that, is that really so wrong?

Mua ha ha…

I’m about 23,000 words into the first draft of my next Adventures in Blind Dating book, and I’m having a lot of fun dreaming up “bad date” ideas for my main character.  Have you ever googled “bad blind date stories”?  I have, and wow there are some doozies out there. Great fodder for the writer’s imagination.  And as I was using my imagination again today to write up my character Jenna’s latest dating disaster, I was reminded of a certain episode of Everybody Loves Raymond in which big brother Robert thinks his latest date might be “the one.”  If you haven’t seen it, check out the clip below.  Spoiler alert:  she most definitely is NOT “the one.”

At least I spared Jenna from frogs.  Well… so far, anyway.  🙂

Plugging Away On Ye Old WIP…

WIP.  That’s “work in progress” for you folks who aren’t familiar with the term.  For writers, I think that term conjures up feelings of both pleasure and dread.  Pleasure because when you’re in the writer zone and are excited about your project and writing in general and the world is a happy place, you jump to work on your WIP every chance you get and hurry back to it whenever something silly like, I don’t know, eating or sleeping or the need for basic hygiene practices pulls you away from it.

But it also can inspire dread because when you aren’t in the zone, your WIP seems to loom over you as you stare at the (sometimes) blank screen in front of you, begging your muse to quit toying with you and start musing already or whatever it is muses are supposed to do.  That’s when things like deadlines and release dates haunt your dreams, and staggering insecurities eat away at you as your level of productivity goes down the toilet.  And when kindly and supportive people ask you, “How’s the writing going?” you do your best to give a cheerfully confident thumbs-up and hope they can’t tell that you’re so tense that every single muscle in your body is contracted around the clock along with a few things in your body that aren’t even supposed to be capable of contracting.  Like your spleen, or maybe your hair.

Ah, thank goodness for chocolate…

But contracting muscles or no, I’m currently 10,000 words into my next WIP and still plugging away.  It’s a little harder to stay focused now that the weather is turning nicer and things in the yard seem to be calling out for attention.  Fortunately, I have an ace up my sleeve in the form of a serious aversion to yard work and manual labor in general, so… ha! Nice try, dandelions, but you won’t get me outside that easily!  At least until the neighbors come calling with pitchforks and torches to demand that we do something about the weeds in our front yard, at which point I will pluck up a bit of dandelion fluff on a stem and say, “These aren’t weeds, they’re wishes.”  And blow.  I foresee that plan working out great

I’ll leave you with the book blurb for my WIP, The Fix-Up Mix-Up:

When the two biggest self-proclaimed matchmakers in town throw down and call each other out, Jenna Owens feels obliged to step in and broker the peace any way she can. After all, one is her mother and the other is her best friend, and quite frankly all of this arguing is giving her a headache. So when they propose a three-week long “match-off” to see who can find the perfect match for the most widely-acknowledged practitioner of social ineptness in the neighborhood, Jenna is just happy that they’ve found a solution—until she realizes that they’re talking about her.

Oops.

Ryan Caldwell isn’t exactly thrilled that the two matchmakers have decided to use his bar and grill as the setting for their little social experiment and appoint him the official neutral third-party, but he has to admit that it’s certainly entertaining—especially when he gets a load of the unlikely candidates that come marching through his doors to woo the reluctant Jenna. If this is matchmaking, he wants no part of it, confirmed bachelor that he is.

Except that somehow intervening in one bad date escalates to the outright rescue of Jenna from another, and from there—well…

So much for staying neutral.

Release Day!

It’s officially Release Day for my new romantic comedy, Center Stage (Adventures in Blind Dating Book Two)–Yay!  There will be much celebrating around here, and possibly chocolate.  ‘Tis the season for Cadbury Cream Eggs after all…

If you’d like to check out the book–and possibly pick yourself up a copy, you can do that by clicking on the link below:

Center Stage: (Adventures in Blind Dating Book Two)

I’m also celebrating Release Day by putting the first book in the series–It Happened One Night–on sale as a Kindle Countdown Deal through April 6th:  99 cents!  So if you haven’t read that one but would like to, this week is a great chance to grab a copy at a discounted price.  Click on the link below to find the book on Amazon:

It Happened One Night: (Adventures in Blind Dating Book One)

And now I’m off to get back to work on Book Three…

Have a great day!

“Hoo-ga” Kind Of Girl

This winter I’ve been reading up on something the Danish call hygge (pronounced  hoo-guh or hoo-ga, or something along those lines–my Danish is a little rusty), and it just seems like exactly the sort of thing that would appeal to a lot of readers (and writers). Especially during cold and grey weather, which is why I’m sharing it with you now.

Hygge is all about an appreciation–or maybe even a celebration–of all things cozy and homey, usually simple pleasures instead of fancy ones.  Things like cups of hot cocoa or tea; a slice of freshly-baked bread or even just the smell of it filling the air while it’s baking; warm, fuzzy socks and blankets; fresh flowers; beautiful music; maybe a pot of homemade soup simmering away on the stove…  And candles.  Definitely candles and all of that lovely, flickering light.

If all those things aren’t conducive to curling up in a comfy spot with a good book, I don’t know what is.  And according to the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen (yes, that’s a real institute), an appreciation of these kinds of simple pleasures are also a key ingredient to one’s level of contentment with life, and since the Danish are commonly acknowledged as the happiest people on the planet, maybe this whole hygge thing is worth a look-see, eh?

I just finished reading and would happily recommend Meik Wiking’s The Little Book of Hygge as a way to learn more about the subject:

It’s a nice introduction to the whole idea, and I enjoyed curling up with it even without the lit candles or hot cocoa.  One of my favorite things in it was the idea of creating a Hygge Emergency Kit for those stressful times when you–or someone you know–is in desperate need of a little soothing relaxation.  Books, candles, chocolate, your favorite tea–or maybe something more like a bag of microwave popcorn and a favorite film, who knows?  The beauty of it is that you can tailor it to your own preferences and pull it out some time when you’re feeling tired or low or just in the mood for solitude.  Wouldn’t that make a great gift idea?  Incidentally–ahem–my birthday is coming up…

Another book I enjoyed on the same subject is The Cozy Life:

Either one makes for a good read, and at least now you know what “hygge” means in case it ever comes up on Jeopardy.  You’re welcome.

Hope you enjoy these last few days of winter 2017–Stay cozy!

For Cozy Reading…

This time of year with its–usually–cool and grey weather always puts me in the mood to curl up somewhere cozy with a good book.  (Or the mood to do my darnedest to write one, but that’s another matter…)  I don’t have a reading nook per se, but I’ve been seeing pictures of wonderfully cozy looking spots online that make me think it might be worth my while to create one, know what I mean?

Even if I can’t quite squeeze designing the perfect reading spot into my budget or my schedule–apparently housework doesn’t do itself, and I know this because I’ve done extensive personal research on the subject with disappointing results save for the possibility that the extra dust and cobwebs on windows may have provided an extra SPF factor–it’s fun sometimes to just take a look at what others have created and shared online and maybe dream a little bit.

And since every reading space starts with the perfect comfy place to sit, here is a cute article pairing an assortment of unique seating ideas with the perfect books to read with them, courtesy of Brit Co.  Click here to take a look, and who knows?  Maybe something will spark your imagination…

Enjoy!

Some Say It’s The REAL Holiday…

I saw this image on a Facebook post this morning, and I briefly toyed with the idea of hotfooting it down to the local grocery store to take advantaged of such rumored prices. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t or else instead of typing this blog post I’d be lying passed out on my couch in a chocolate-induced food coma with chocolaty evidence of my indulgence smeared all over my hands and face.

Valentine’s Day was mostly chocolate-free around here actually–hubby and I decided to stay in instead of going out, and we whipped up a roasted chicken with caramelized root vegetables that turned out to be melt-in-your-mouth delicious; who needs chocolate?  Our thanks to the Food Network, and if you’d like to try this simple yet scrumptious recipe for yourself, visit the link here.

In addition to experimenting in the kitchen, I’ve been experimenting with the written word as I work on the next book in my romantic comedy Adventures in Blind Dating series which is long overdue.  You remember the first one, right?  Here’s a picture to jog your memory:

Amazon

So yep, Book Two (Center Stage) is currently in the works and Book Three (The Fix-Up Mix-Up) isn’t far behind.  I’m happy to say that I should have cover art in a couple of weeks to show you for Book Two, and I hope to release it next month.  Fingers crossed…

In the meantime, here are pics from our Valentine’s Day featuring hubby modeling his favorite apron while he minces garlic; the finished chicken product; and the table that we set as prettily as possible but that is in reality usually covered in mail, books, and other assorted “stuff.”  So you see, I HAD to take a picture to document THAT…

Hubby acting as hand model–what a way with mincing!–GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Yum…  — GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Doesn’t look quite this pretty today, but it was fun while it lasted…  –GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day as well, and if you want to grab yourself some of that 70%-off candy, you’d better hurry before it gets switched out for the Easter sweets–

Oops, too late.  Dang, those grocery store stock boys work fast!  Well, enjoy those Cadbury cream eggs…

Just in Time for the Holidays…

The holiday season is here!  I hope you’ve been enjoying lovely fall color and that your Thanksgiving was spent with those you love.  Ours was pretty mellow, and we spent much of it tending to our beagle baby who was recovering from minor surgery and mostly doing some vigorous napping, as you can see in the picture below:

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Believe it or not, the t-shirt is there on doctor’s orders (to keep her from licking at her stitches).  Plus she’s very fashion-conscious.  The dog, I mean, not the vet–although I’m sure he’s a snappy dresser when he wants to be.

Anyhoo, to celebrate the fact that we are officially in the Christmas season now, I’ve slashed the prices on some of my Amazon paperbacks in case somebody out there is looking for some low-cost gift ideas for the readers in their families.  From now through Christmas, those special prices will be in effect for:

All’s Fair in Love and Weddings

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It Happened One Night

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The Encore

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The Heavenly Bites Novella Collection

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Just click on the highlighted titles of the book to see them on Amazon.

Hope you and yours enjoy a very happy holiday season!  🙂

A New Year…

I hope 2016 is off to a great start for you.  It’s off to a busy one around here, and I don’t just mean where writing is concerned.  Hubby and I are up to our necks in kitchen projects, and although we are hoping for a happy outcome, right now we’re a bit sore, achy, and quite possibly high on paint fumes.  It’ll be interesting to see how the paint fumes  affect my writing…

Got a few updates for you:

  1. There’s a chance that Amazon Encore will be putting the ebook version of The Bargain on sale on January 30th, so if you’re thinking of buying the book, you might want to hold out a few more days and see what happens to the price.  Fingers crossed…
  2. I just found out that WordPress has not been alerting me to comments that folks have left on this website, so I apologize for late responses.  Any time you have a question or comment, please do feel free to send me an email at christinesfeldman@gmail.com, and if you’ve had any trouble receiving your free ebook, be sure to check your spam folder.  (Sometimes the email ends up there.)
  3. There’s new cover art on the way for my Heavenly Bites novellas!  Seemed like it was time for an update.
  4. I’m close to wrapping up a draft of The Bloodline, a novelization of one of my screenplays that placed in screenwriting contests on both coasts.  Still needs some polishing, but it’s getting there…
  5. I’m just about ready to dive into my next contemporary story.  Looking forward to some love and laughter!  🙂

Take care out there, and if you’re an East Coaster, I hope you’re bundled up nice and warm!