Thursday, December 18, 2014

We're Coming to the End of the Year!

Can you believe Christmas is almost here? Just a week away! As my best friend, Lauren, quotes frequently from the show, Community, "Crazytown Bananapants!"

As you've probably noticed, if you've been paying any kind of attention, things have been pretty sparse up in here, since Thanksgiving. I've been zonky and tired, and unwilling to do much of anything, which royally sucks, but it is what it is. I've been doing a lot of blog thinking, blog building, writing, and reading. I have a different plan for the blog than I did a few years ago.

The blog morphed into something that it wasn't initially supposed to become. It involved recipes, workouts, and became The Modern Jane Austen Works Out. Not what I had in mind. I'm wanting to get back to basics in 2015, and make this blog what I originally intended (though, I may not have known it at the time).

I want this to be a space where other authors can share their ideas, I can share my author process, and we can all talk indie publishing. There will be book reviews, and book tours, and the occasional day in the life post (rare, because my life is extremely dull!).

That being said, I also want to start showcasing other authors who have books coming out. To do that, I have joined up with Passionfruit Ads to start selling ad space.

When I published my first book a few years ago, I knew absolutely nothing about advertising, marketing, or anything. I thought I would publish my book, sit back, and watch the great reviews stream in, along with all of the money I was going to make.

I published in July and had plans to be sitting pretty by Christmas. Two years later, I'm still at it, and even back to the drawing board with my book. Live and learn, right?

Anyhoo, at the time, I was loathe to spend any money on marketing, because I thought it would be crazy expensive. Since that time, I've learned that it doesn't have to be.

I don't have a huge amount of traffic (yet), but I do have a decent amount of Social Media followers. I would now like to share them with you. If you have a book you'd like to advertise, I've got different options below to get your book noticed on my sidebar, as well as mentioned once a week on my social networking sites: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest. Check it out, and let my site work for you.

Along with accepting sponsors on my site, I'll also be putting my name out there by sponsoring other sites, so I can continue to build up your exposure. Let's help each other!
This information can also be found on the tab at the top of the page.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday Sale!!!!!!!! Courtesy of Samantha March of Chick Lit Plus

Looking for great deals on some amazing books this Cyber Monday? Look no more! Below are books that are priced at 99 cents or lower - get them quick before the sale ends! From chick lit to women's fiction to romance and more, we have something to keep everyone happy for this holiday! Find a special tweet at the end of each description and help us spread the word about these amazing deals!

Chick Lit

pie girls lauren clarkPie Girls – Lauren Clark Princess, Southern belle, and spoiled-rotten social climber Searcy Roberts swore on a stack of Bibles she’d never return home to Fairhope, Alabama. After marrying her high school sweetheart and moving to Atlanta, Searcy embraces big-city life—Carrie Bradshaw style. But now, Searcy has a teeny, tiny problem. Her husband’s had a mid-life crisis. He’s quit his job, cancelled her credit cards, and left her for another man. Searcy returns to Fairhope, ready to lick her wounds. But when her mother falls ill, she’s thrust into managing the family business—only to discover the beloved bakery is in danger of closing its doors forever. Enlisting the help of the adorable bike store owner next door, an array of well-heeled customers, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Searcy hatches the plan of the century to save Pie Girls. Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @LaurenClark_Bks Tweet: PIE GIRLS by @LaurenClark_Bks is just #99cents#chicklit for your ereader! #CyberMondayReads dancing naked in dixie lauren clarkDancing Naked in Dixie- Lauren Clark Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired. With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she's offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage. Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia's story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage? Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @LaurenClark_Bks Tweet: #CyberMondayReads - get DANCING NAKED IN DIXIE by @LaurenClark_Bks for only #99cents#chicklit #booksale the dr pepper prophecies jennifer gilby robertsThe Dr. Pepper Prophecies – Jennifer Gilby Roberts 25-year-old Mel Parker has a few tiny problems: * Her job is terrible * She's been dumped yet again (and her ex is now her boss) * Her parents think she's a loser compared to her perfect younger sister * All her efforts to improve her life seem doomed to failure * There just isn't enough chocolate in the world to make up for the above. The best thing in her life has always been her best friend Will, who has seen her through every crisis from lost toys to pregnancy scares. But his girlfriend (who's prettier, better-dressed, more successful and secretly evil) is determined to replace Mel as the woman in his life and how is Mel supposed to compete? And what do you do when you've pretty much given up on your own life? You help others, of course! Whether they like it or not. Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @GilbyRoberts Tweet: #ChickLit Sale! THE DR. PEPPER PROPHECIES by @GilbyRoberts is only #99cents#CyberMondayReads french twist glynis astieFrench Twist – Glynis Astie Sydney Bennett had spent her life in pursuit of perfection. She planned, weighed her options and made careful choices based on calculated outcomes. Through all of her efforts, she had come pretty close to perfection, if she didn’t say so herself. She had fled the cold winters in New York for sunny California, found a job that she loved and lived in the same town as her sister, and best friend, Kate. The one area of perfection that had always eluded her was her love life. No matter how hard she tried, she always ended up with a broken heart. After a particularly traumatic breakup, Sydney vowed that she was done with love. Just as Sydney threw herself into her new plan to forget about men, a handsome Frenchman tossed all of her intentions out the window as he swept her off of her feet. Louis Durand had lived a life filled with excitement and adventure. He was impetuous, intelligent and incredibly charming. So naturally, he scared Sydney half to death. From the moment they met, Louis and Sydney’s romance progressed at warp speed. Sydney did her best not to run, but her deep rooted relationship anxiety threatened to provide an easy exit. When Louis mentioned marriage before Sydney even knew his favorite color, she was more than tempted to reach for her running shoes. Will she be able to put her fears aside to follow her heart? The one thing that Sydney will learn is that sometimes perfection comes with a twist... Original Price: $.99 Sale Price: FREE Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @GlynisAstie Tweet: Who doesn't love FREE #chicklit? Grab your copy of FRENCH TWIST by @GlynisAstie now! #CyberMondayReads french toast glynis astieFrench Toast – Glynis Astie Sydney Bennett is back! And her pursuit of perfection is alive and well. Naïve to the core, Sydney believed that when she finally married the man of her dreams, the hard part was over. Following a civil ceremony as a means to keep Louis from being deported, Sydney continues to plan the fairytale wedding that she had dreamed of since the age of five. Much to her chagrin, she discovers that her mother-in-law is planning what seems to be a rival wedding in France that SHE has been dreaming about for her only child since before he was born. How will poor Sydney be able to ensure two perfect weddings in the midst of Louis’ fruitless job search? Especially when her mother-in-law’s idea of perfection appears to be having Sydney embarrass herself in front of hundreds of French people that she has never met? As if she didn’t have enough on her mind already, Sydney finds herself faced with the trials and tribulations of being a wife. Sydney had always heard that marriage was hard, but she thought that this was just a ruse that married couples portrayed in a bid to make single girls feel less desperate. But as the bills pile up and emotions run high, she realizes that there may just be some truth to this statement. And as she watches Louis’ perfection fade away before her very eyes, she begins to wonder if she made a rash decision in marrying a man that she had known for a mere six months. With all of the obstacles that Sydney and Louis will encounter, will they be raising their glasses in celebration or watching their impulsive marriage crash and burn? One thing is for certain, Sydney and Louis Durand are headed for one hell of a toast… Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @GlynisAstie Tweet: #CyberMondayReads: Get #chicklit for just #99cents! FRENCH TOAST by @GlynisAstie #booksale in need of therarpy tracie banisterIn Need of Therapy – Tracie Banister Lending a sympathetic ear and dispensing sage words of advice is all part of the job for psychologist Pilar Alvarez, and she’s everything a good therapist should be: warm, compassionate, supportive. She listens, she cares, and she has all the answers, but how’s the woman everyone turns to in their hour of need supposed to cope when her own life starts to fall apart? While working hard to make a success of her recently-opened practice in trendy South Beach, Pilar must also find time to cater to the demands of her boisterous Cuban family, which includes younger sister Izzy, an unemployed, navel-pierced wild child who can't stay out of trouble, and their mother, a beauty queen turned drama queen who’s equally obsessed with her fading looks and getting Pilar married before it’s “too late.” Although she’d like to oblige her mother and make a permanent love connection, Pilar’s romantic prospects look grim. Her cheating ex, who swears that he’s reformed, is stalking her. A hunky, but strictly off-limits, patient with bad-boy appeal and intimacy issues is making passes. And the sexy shrink in the suite across the hall has a gold band on his left ring finger. When a series of personal and professional disasters lead Pilar into the arms of one of her unsuitable suitors, she's left shaken, confused, and full of self-doubt. With time running out, she must make sense of her feelings and learn to trust herself again so that she can save her business, her family, and most importantly, her heart. Original Price: $1.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @traciebanister Tweet: IN NEED OF THERAPY by @traciebanister is just #99cents for #CyberMondayReads! Get #chicklit for your eReader! limoncello yellow traci andrighettiLimoncello Yellow – Traci Andrighetti Francesca "Franki" Amato is a tough-talking rookie cop in Austin, Texas—until an unfortunate 911 call involving her boyfriend, Vince, and a German female wrestler convinces her once and for all that she just isn't cut out for a life on the police force. So Franki makes the snap decision to move to New Orleans to work at her friend Veronica's detective agency, Private Chicks, Inc. But Franki's hopes for a more stable life are soon dashed when Private Chicks is hired by the prime suspect in a murder case to find out what really happened to a beautiful young boutique manager who was found strangled to death with a cheap yellow scarf. When she's not investigating, Franki is hoping to seduce handsome bank executive Bradley Hartmann, but most of her time is spent dodging date offers from a string of "good Italian boys"—make that not-so-good aging Italian men—that her meddlesome Sicilian grandma has recruited as marriage candidates. As Mardi Gras approaches and the mystery of the murdered shop girl gets more complicated, Franki must decipher the odd ramblings of a Voodoo priestess to solve both the murder and the mystery of her own love life. Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @TAndrighetti Tweet: LIMONCELLO YELLOW by @TAndrighetti is just #99cents for a limited time! #CyberMondayReads #chicklit prosecco pink traci andrighettiProsecco Pink – Traci Andrighetti For Franki Amato, life in New Orleans is anything but “The Big Easy.” When she met handsome bank executive Bradley Hartmann, she knew she’d finally found a man she could trust. But she can’t say the same for his sexy new secretary, who is about as trustworthy as Mata Hari and every bit as seductive. Meanwhile, Franki’s best friend and employer, Veronica Maggio, has named her the lead investigator in the murder of a gorgeous cosmetics CEO who was found lying dead in the master bedroom of a historic plantation home. Now the pressure is on Franki to figure out what a bottle of pink lip gloss and the legend of a pink diamond have to do with the bizarre killing. The problem is that the plantation is notorious for being haunted, and Franki is less than enthusiastic about the prospect of meeting a ghost. Adding to her stress, her Sicilian grandma is up to her usual meddling antics—this time planning Franki’s engagement to Bradley before he’s even considered popping the question. As Bradley grows distant and plantation employees begin dropping like Southern belles during a sweltering summer, Franki turns to a psychic with a phobia of ghosts to solve the mysterious murders and her own relationship fears. Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @TAndrighetti Tweet: Get #chicklit for just #99cents when you grab PROSECCO PINK by @TAndrighetti during #CyberMondayReads! breaking the rulesBreaking the Rules – Cat Lavoie When twenty-seven year old Roxy Rule’s best friend and roommate accepts a glamorous new job overseas, she expects their relationship to continue as it’s always been—carefree and easy—until they share a heart-stopping kiss moments before his departure. Overcome with mixed emotions, she fights the urge to over analyze the situation and resumes back to her normal life in New York City, working for an intolerable boss at a dead end job, creeping further and further away from her own dreams of becoming a professional chef. While things become more complicated between her and Ollie, Roxy is sure that nothing can come between two lifelong best friends—not even mild jealousy over a thriving career or a silly little kiss that meant nothing. In fact, it was such a meaningless and forgettable kiss that she convinces herself that it’s not even worth mentioning to her fiancé, although it is all she can think about. Roxy’s already topsy-turvy life only gets more complicated when her sisters Steffi and Izzie suddenly become her roommates. Steffi is six months into a pregnancy she refuses to discuss and Izzie is in the throes of a premature midlife crisis. Roxy tries to take control of her career, her love life and her sisters – but can she really handle it all? And can the Rule family keep it together – or break under the pressure? Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @Catenabi Tweet: BREAKING THE RULES by @Catenabi is just #99cents for #CyberMondayReads - fun #chicklit#booksale zoey and the moment of zenZoey & The Moment of Zen – Cat Lavoie When coffee shop owner Zoey Everwood takes her obsession with ex-boyfriend Braden too far, everyone—except Zoey—is convinced a bit of fun in the sun at the Moment of Zen Wellness Resort will help her get over him once and for all. But Zoey's relaxing vacation turns out to be anything but peaceful when she meets Shane Lawson, a resort guest who bears a striking resemblance to Braden. And things get even more complicated when the resort's owner starts spilling secrets about Zoey’s aunt Nessa, the woman who raised her. Add a snarky Wellness Coordinator and Nate Holmes—Shane's grumpy friend—to the mix, and you've got the recipe for a perfect tropical storm. When Zoey comes back home with a new husband instead of tacky souvenirs, she must convince everyone she hasn't completely lost her mind. As Zoey and Shane struggle to keep the magic alive outside the resort, Zoey discovers that she isn't the only one having trouble letting go of the past. And when Nate drops a bombshell that changes everything, Zoey must decide if the old saying is true—what happens at the Moment of Zen stays at the Moment of Zen. Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @Catenabi Tweet: Grab ZOEY & THE MOMENT OF ZEN by @Catenabi for only #99cents during #CyberMondayReads#chicklit when girlfriends chase dreamsWhen Girlfriends Chase Dreams – Savannah Page A novel about chasing dreams, for better or worse, and living your love story. Claire Linley is finally a bride! After nearly ten years with her college freshman sweetheart, Claire is going to become Mrs. Conner Whitley. She’s got her bridal magazines, is the biggest Martha Stewart fan, and subscribes to all the major wedding blogs. She’s been dreaming of this moment for years! How could planning her dream wedding be anything but perfect? The easy-going and bubbly type, Claire will obviously have a blast planning, and with her fantastic group of girlfriends-made-bridesmaids she just can’t go wrong. Whether it’s wedding gown shopping, makeup trials, or cake-tasting, Claire’s friends are there in a pinch. But how big does the pinch get? All Claire wants to do is get married, but at every turn something seems to go awry and she’s starting to lose it. How is a girl supposed to remain cool and collected when the pricey dream wedding planner isn’t turning out to be so dreamy? When DIY projects and the perfect venue are going up in smoke? How is Claire supposed to marry Conner when the special day that’s supposed to join them together, forever, is slowly tearing them apart? This is the charming story about how sometimes the biggest events in life are defined by the smallest acts of kindness and love. It’s a love story about dreaming large, loving deeply, and, in the end, truly having the happiest day of your life, no matter what happens (or doesn’t). About what happens when girlfriends chase dreams. Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: FREE Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @Savannah_Page Tweet: FREE #chicklit from @Savannah_Page when you grab WHEN GIRLFRIENDS CHASE DREAMS! #CyberMondayReads when girlfriends collection savannah pageWhen Girlfriends Collection 1-3- Savannah Page This digital boxed set includes the first three novels of the When Girlfriends collection: When Girlfriends Break Hearts, When Girlfriends Step Up, and When Girlfriends Make Choices.  WHEN GIRLFRIENDS BREAK HEARTS Follow Sophie Wharton as she learns what to do about matters of the heart when things don’t quite go according to plan. A novel about the bonds of friendship, the power of forgiveness, and the lessons you learn when you let go. WHEN GIRLFRIENDS STEP UP Join mom-to-be Robin Sinclair as she embarks on a journey she never could have imagined. A novel about love and support, and learning that with enduring friendships, no woman is ever alone. WHEN GIRLFRIENDS MAKE CHOICES Follow Lara Kearns as she struggles with how far she’ll go for true love…however forbidden… A novel about forbidden love, the choices you make, and discovering what’s important in life. Original Price: $7.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @Savannah_Page Tweet: Get 3 titles from the WHEN GIRLFRIENDS series from @Savannah_Page for only #99cents#CyberMondayReads

Women’s Fiction

toronto collection1 heather wardellToronto Collection 1 – Heather Wardell "Go Small or Go Home": When massage therapist and aspiring artist Tess begins treating stressed but attractive hockey star Forrest, her art career soars due to his gallery-owning mother, but her creativity plummets under the weight of rules and deadlines. Soon, she's lost the freedom and joy she'd always found in art. Is having her dream career worth losing doing her art her way, or can she somehow have both at once? "Planning to Live": Determined to lose weight for her best friend's wedding, goal-obsessed Rhiannon flees her parents' Christmas Day feast to avoid overeating but her car skids off the deserted road into a tree. Trapped and bleeding, with her cell phone out of reach, she struggles to escape, and to accept that she's spent her whole life planning but hasn't ever really lived. Will she get the chance to change that? "Stir Until Thoroughly Confused": Mary's given up everything, including an unsatisfying marriage, to become a chef. But the career comes with a side dish: Kegan, her sexy but controlling new boss. They're soon in a relationship, and in all-too-frequent arguments, and when it becomes clear they can't work together and be together Mary faces a dilemma: keep her dream job or her dream man? "A Life That Fits": Twenty-eight-year-old Andrea is devastated when her boyfriend of fourteen years leaves her for a woman he calls Andrea's opposite. Determined to get him back, Andrea changes everything in her life. New clothes, new activities, new friends... she'll be her opposite in no time. But will she change enough to get Alex back? And if she does, will he fit into her new life? Original Price: $9.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @heatherwardell Tweet:  Get 4 titles from @HeatherWardell for only #99cents during #CyberMondayReads! toronto collection2 heather wardellToronto Collection 2 – Heather Wardell "Live Out Loud": Songwriter Amy wants to honor her late best friend by starting the support center for teenage girls they'd planned when they were just girls themselves. When her song becomes an internet sensation she sees how to get the money she needs, but soon realizes she adores her new pop star career. She must choose: create the center she needed herself as a teen or truly become Misty Will, pop princess. "Blank Slate Kate": Waking up with a strange man is scary. Realizing you lost fifteen years of your life overnight? That's terrifying. With her memories from seventeen to thirty-two gone, Kate has no idea who she is and where she belongs. As she begins to fall for the man who found her, she wonders if she forgot those years for a reason. Should she keep trying to retrieve her original self, or start a new life? "Finding My Happy Pace": If thirty-year-old Megan were any more of a doormat, she'd have footprints on her back. She takes up running to strengthen her body, but marathon training with cute but heartbroken coach Andrew strengthens her assertiveness too. When her best friend's demands threaten her race Megan must decide: cave in as she always has before or stick to her new-found 'happy pace' in running and life. "All At Sea": Three months after they met, Melissa will marry Owen on his family's annual cruise. He's a great catch, though, so although they're moving fast she's sure they'll be fine. But when he proves to be a gambler and deserts her for the onboard casino, she wonders if she really knows him and if their marriage will meet her needs. Melissa must decide: stay with Owen or jump ship. Original Price: $9.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @heatherwardell Tweet: #CyberMondayReads: Four titles for one low price of #99cents from @HeatherWardell#booksale redesigning rose lydia lacebyRedesigning Rose – Lydia Laceby Rose Parker's husband has been lying. About everything. When a conversation with her husband triggers questions, Rose Parker uncovers alarming answers that shatter her perfect life. But it is only when she shoves her belongings in her SUV and drives off that Rose realizes just how far from perfect her life actually was. She has nowhere to turn. While debating between distressing sleeping arrangements–her mother’s house full of questions or a hotel room with too much solitude–Rose bumps into an acquaintance from her gardening class and allows bubbly, exuberant Becky to indulge her in a wild night full of whiskey, weeping, and whispered confidences. Suddenly, Rose has a new friend, a roof over her head, and two gorgeous men moving her out of her marital home. As Rose struggles to settle into her new life, she remains determined to comprehend her past. And with time and distance and especially wine, comes knowledge. Frank wasn’t the only one lying to her. Rose was lying to herself. Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $0.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @lydialaceby Tweet: REDESIGNING ROSE by @lydialaceby is only #99cents for #CyberMondayReads#womensfiction the holdout laurel osterkampThe Holdout- Laurel Osterkamp Robin wanted to win The Holdout, a cutthroat reality TV show, so she gave it her all, challenge after challenge. Then she fell for Grant, with his irresistible eyes and heartbreaking life story. But Grant was only using Robin as they competed for a million dollars. Once home, Robin wants to hide from the humiliation as episodes of The Holdout are aired, and she worries her family was right all along; she’s not a survivor. Yet she could surprise everyone, and have the last laugh. Besides, Robin now has jury duty. And as she forges ahead, confronting her demons about bravery, justice, and romance, Robin will come to decide which is more important: the courage to stand alone, or the strength to love again. Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @laurelosterkamp Tweet: Get your copy of THE HOLDOUT by @LaurelOsterkamp for only #99cents#CyberMondayReads #womensfiction the next breathThe Next Breath – Laurel Osterkamp "I kiss him, choosing love over honesty, which is a choice nobody should ever have to make…" Robin loves sweet, responsible Nick, with his penchant for Beethoven and Ben Folds Five. But she also still loves her college boyfriend Jed, an irreverent playwright plagued with cystic fibrosis. Now Robin is struggling to reveal her secrets and confront her past, as she finally performs in the play that Jed wrote for her, eleven years ago. Will Robin have the strength to keep her promise and stay true to her heart? Alternating between present-day scenes, college flashbacks, and segments from Jed’s play, this tear-jerking yet uplifting tale illustrates how life is finite but love is infinite, and the road to recovery begins with the next breath. Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @laurelosterkamp Tweet: #CyberMondayReads: THE NEXT BREATH by @LaurelOsterkamp is only #99cents#booksale coulda woulda shoulda tara lee reedCoulda, Woulda, Shoulda – Tara Lee Reed Elle Masters is over dating. It used to be fun: the drama, the angst, the exhilarating beginnings, the bittersweet middles, the blowout endings. Then the tears, hangovers, rebounds, and another addition to the Heartbreak Box in her closet. Now Elle can't remember the last time a guy made his way into her box. When her friends Rachel and Valerie insist she snap out of her post-breakup funk with a girls' night out/rebound hunt at a San Francisco bar, she isn't expecting tall, dark, and hummuna-hummuna, Nick Wright. This is no rebound guy. He's definitely, maybe, The One. In Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda, you play Elle as she and her pals put the "antics" in "romantics." You'll question everything you thought you knew about love, over-analyzing and second-guessing your way through hundreds of modern dating dilemmas and passionate predicaments. With 60 Happily Sometimes Afters, you'll always have another chance with Mr. Wright. Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @DoorFlowerCO Tweet: Interactive fiction for only #99cents! Get COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA by @DoorflowerCo#CyberMondayReads a questionable friendshipA Questionable Friendship – Samantha March Brynne Ropert and Portland Dolish have been best friends since being paired as roommates in college. Seven years later they are now twenty-five, married, and living in Maine–– but the two women couldn’t be more different. Brynne finds fulfillment in her life as a wife, mother and owner of a small café and bookshop, but is struggling to expand her family. Portland is still coping with her mother’s death during her childhood, and her marriage is unraveling before her eyes. Portland envies her friend’s seemingly stable and easy life while Brynne doesn’t understand the growing distance between them and cannot begin to guess what secret Portland is hiding about her husband and crumbling marriage. While one woman feels shut out, the other enters into a web of lies to protect herself. A Questionable Friendship explores what really makes someone a true friend, a support system, a sister. How much trust goes into a friendship and when is being a friend not enough? Brynne and Portland’s story will attempt to answer those questions, and show that happily ever after isn’t in the cards for everyone. Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @SamanthaMarch23 Tweet: A QUESTIONABLE FRIENDSHIP by @SamanthaMarch23 - only #99cents during #CyberMondayReads#booksale something yellow laura templetonSomething Yellow – Laura Templeton Thirteen years ago, Holly’s nine-year-old sister, Rachel, disappeared without a trace. Thirteen years ago, Holly left her hometown. Thirteen years ago, Holly’s first love and high school boyfriend, Houston, was the only suspect. Now, another girl has disappeared. Holly is back, and so is Houston—never charged and still proclaiming his innocence. Can she trust him? Should she trust him? When out-of-work banking executive Holly McCann moves to the rural mountain town of White Cove, Virginia to care for her dying mother, the past collides with the present. A violent crime against her nine-year-old neighbor evokes memories of the eerily similar disappearance of her sister thirteen years earlier. Holly is thrilled by the arrival of her estranged brother, Oliver, but concerned by his mysterious behavior. She is befriended by the new minister, Jonah, an outsider haunted by his own painful past, but it is Houston Phelps, the only person arrested for the disappearance of her sister, who forces Holly to confront the past and start living in the present. Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @Laura1264 Tweet: SOMETHING YELLOW by @Laura1264 is only #99cents for #CyberMondayReads#womensfiction

Romance & New Adult

the-right-designThe Right Design – Isabella Louise Anderson Interior designer Carrie Newman could not have envisioned a more perfect life for herself. She had a great job doing what she loved, wonderful friends, and a close relationship with her sister and brother-in-law. Add in an amazing man who she’d hoped would soon become her husband, and her life was perfect. Until one devastating decision ruins her relationship and changes the course of her life. Determined to make a new start, Carrie leaves Texas and heads to Palm Beach to pick up the pieces of her shattered and broken life. The last thing she expects is to find herself attracted to her first client at her new job--Brad Larson, who has proven himself time and time again to be caddish. But there’s something beneath the surface of Brad’s arrogant exterior that keeps her craving more of him--something almost sweet that Carrie can’t seem to resist. Is Carrie ready to take another chance on romance? And will this new design of her life prove to be the right one? Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @ILA121209 Tweet: #CyberMondayReads: Get THE RIGHT DESIGN by @ILA121209 for only #99cents for your eReader! laurel heights denise moncriefLaurel Heights – Denise Moncrief A dark cloud of deceit hovers over her family tree... Left an estate by an aunt she’s never met, Laurel Standridge takes possession of Laurel Heights, hoping it will be the safe haven she needs to recuperate from her ill-fated relationship with Rand Peterson. Secrets long buried rise to the surface when her cousin James is murdered and dumped on the highway just outside the gates of Laurel Heights. Her past trails her to the mountains of Arkansas... Caught in an obligation Chase Peterson feels he cannot ignore, he agrees to help his brother Rand take back the property he believes Laurel stole from him, but Chase remains at Laurel Heights after he discovers Laurel took nothing of Rand’s away with her except nightmares, fading bruises, and a broken rib. Unexplained disturbances shatter her hopes of a normal life... Are the strange bumps, thumps, and bangs reverberating through the night caused by the murderer of Laurel’s cousin James, someone Rand has sent to exact his revenge, or a disturbed soul existing in another dimension, trying to communicate with the living? Drawn together by the intrigue surrounding Laurel Heights, Chase and Laurel become hopelessly entangled in a relationship that goes deeper than mere physical attraction. Can their love survive the haunting of Laurel Heights? Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @DMoncrief0131 Tweet: LAUREL HEIGHTS by @dmoncrief0131 is on #sale for #99cents during #CyberMondayReads! chez stinky susan c daffronChez Stinky – Susan C Daffron Kat Stevens is a slightly insecure, mostly bored technical writer who likes her cat a lot more than her boss. She hasn't laid eyes on her great aunt Abigail since she was eight, so she's stumped when she inherits Abigail's house in the small hamlet of Alpine Grove.Kat's uncomplicated life gets decidedly less so when she discovers the inheritance comes with some hairy conditions: four dogs and five cats that her aunt wanted her to love as her own. Of course, the house smells like a barn--with a touch of antique skunk--and, naturally, has serious roof issues. And that's before the three-legged cat gets stuck in the wall and the shower goes kablooey. When Kat meets Joel, an unemployed techie type with no love lost for his sister, Kat looks past his obvious flaws, given his timely and desirable skill set: a talent for fixing things (and his own tools). Despite out-of-control dogs, cat fights, dust dinosaurs, massive spiders and an old grizzled hippie passed out in the yard, Kat discovers the tranquility of the forests of Alpine Grove starting to seep into her soul. And why she can't she stop thinking about Joel? Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @susandaffron Tweet: Get your discounted copy of CHEZ STINKY by @susandaffron for #99cents#CyberMondayReads Hard Hats and DoormatsHard Hats and Doormats – Laura Chapman Lexi Burke has always been a stickler for following rules and procedures. As a human resources manager for a leading Gulf Coast chemical company, it’s her job to make sure everyone else falls in line, too. But after losing out on a big promotion–-because her boss sees her as too much of a yes-woman––Lexi adopts a new policy of following her heart instead of the fine print. And her heart knows what it wants: Jason Beaumont, a workplace crush who is off limits based on her previous protocol. While navigating a new romance and interoffice politics, Lexi must find the confidence to stand on her own or face a lifetime of following someone else’s orders. Who says nice girls have to finish last? Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @lmchap Tweet: HARD HATS AND DOORMATS by @lmchap is only #99cents during #CyberMondayReads#newadult  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I Am Thankful

(C) Disney Cruise Line
I feel like I've gained a whole new perspective in the last year. I suppose that moving into a more modest home, and ridding yourself of 2/3 of your possessions can really make you wonder where your life is going. 

I'm thankful for many things: happy home, a moderately working car (that annoys me to no end), a job to pay for the repairs on the moderately working car, a loving family, loving fur-family, fabulous church family, and a bright political future. ;-)

Looking back on the year, I'm thankful for all of the blog education I've had. I'm proud of how much I've learned on building and growing blogs and websites. I'm even in the process of building a website for a family friend's business. 

I'm thankful that I got to see my cousin Jake get married. That kid is the little brother I never got, and being able to watch him pledge his life to his longtime girlfriend was heartwarming.

I'm thankful that I got to see Lauren not once, but TWICE this year. Having your best friend live two states away is hard work, and while we argue, we're human. I love her more than any other non-relative. She's my person. 

I'm thankful that an inexpensive gym opened up at my mall, which is two minutes from my house. It might seem silly, but I'm honestly thankful because if I didn't have a gym, I wouldn't make myself work out. It's amazing how much better I feel and sleep just because I work out regularly now. And people might talk smack about Planet Fitness, I love it there. 

I'm thankful for my church family. They accepted me with open arms, and I've grown to love them as extended family. 

Today, we introduce our family to our new home. It's small, and cramped, but warm, and we like it. It'll be interesting to see what everyhone else thinks of it.

I'm thankful that I've learned before I turned thirty that possessions don't make you happy. They weigh you down. 

Today is about being together with your loved ones, and appreciating what you have. Tomorrow is about shopping. Remember when you shop that retailers and fellow shoppers are people. Treat them with kindness and respect. No deal is worth hurting someone or being hurt, yourself. I would know. I've been pushed into a clothes rack before. 

Let us come to Him with Thanksgiving! Let us sing songs of praise to him!
Psalm 95:2

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

LiveFit Week Six Complete! (And the future of MJA)

So, if you can believe it, I've finished LiveFit week six! I can hardly believe it, myself. In the past, I've never really gotten past week five. I usually get pretty burnt out. I've said it before, but I think having my sister doing LiveFit with me is really helping to hold me accountable, and get my butt to the gym.

My eating last week was pretty spot on, with only a few hiccups here and there. I've been eating my Egg White cups, with either spinach or kale, pumpkin protein bars (greatest protein bars ever), and I was trying to get my protein, carb, and veggie in for my lunch, too. Breakfast was oatmeal with natural peanut butter, and clementines (I LOVE that it's the season for Clementines!).

Hate the commercials, love the fruit
I did gain weight this week, but I was lifting a lot heavier, and I had two rest days (on Friday, laziness got the better of me, but I made up for it on Saturday and Sunday). Honestly, I'm so proud of myself for getting this far that a little water weight is nothing to me. The motivation I have for just getting this far outweighs (no pun intended) anything that the scale tells me.

I did have something I wanted to share. Up at the top, there's a new tab called Built By Beks. This is the home of my future weight loss blog. I originally designed The Modern Jane Austen as an author's blog, where I could share my stuggles and ideas, as well as share writing information. Instead, it's morphed into something that I never really intended it to be. Where I share more recipes and exercises than writing blurbs.

This is where Built By Beks comes into play. It's a way to channel my interests, and focus my health interests into its own place. MJA is about writing, so once 3B (as I affectionately call my other blog) goes live (On New Year's), all future recipes and workout recaps, as well as any other health related topics will go there. Anything to do with writing, publishing, online book tours, and reviews will all be here.

I'll still be blogging, just focusing my interests (of which, I have MANY!). I hope you'll join me over at 3B! I'm really excited to launch it in a month.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Chick Lit Blog Tours: "The Right Design" by Isabella Louise Anderson

Hi, guys! I'm back with another Book Tour, this time, featuring one of my Author Friends. I'm so glad to have found this group that she started, where women authors can get together and share advice and tips. It's been a great learning experience for me to have this group, and I'll be forever Thankful for Isabella Louise Anderson for starting it.

Isabella's book, The Right Design, is the topic of today's Blog Tour, is a fun story about new beginnings, finding who you are, and who you're meant to be.

Carrie Newman is a Dallas-based interior designer who has been with her boyfriend, Roger, for six years. On their sixth anniversary, she returns home to see Roger starting the annivesary festivities...with someone else.

So begins Carrie's journey to find out who she is, what she wants, and who she wants. Moving to Palm Beach, she quickly finds a beautiful house on the beach, and a job at one of the best design firms in town, where her first job is to redecorate the mansion of Brad Larson, whom she had a less than ideal first introduction the night before, when they met at a bar, and he drunkenly tried to pick her up.

I guess what they say that no love is perfect is true for everyone.

I thought this was a fun read that would be perfect for the beach, or considering that it's November, and I got snowed in last week, perfect for when you can't leave the house. It's a quick read with a lot of fun characters, as well as a secondary story of Carrie's sister and brother-in-law's journey to get pregnant, and Carrie's concern over her sister's condition. They're a close set that reminds me of my own sister and me.

I really enjoyed this book, and can't wait to read more by Isabella. You can find her:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

LiveFit Recap Phase 2 Week 1

I am at a precipice of my working out with LiveFit. I've always gotten to week one of Phase 2, and crapped out. I don't know what stopped me, or why I just got bored, but I stopped. I feel excited and energetic to complete Phase 2 (especially since I now see that the workouts stay the same for two weeks before changing). I finished this week strong, and now know I can repeat it next week. 

I do admit, my eating habits haven't been spectacular, but I've been getting a lot of protein in. HyVee was having a sale on quarts of egg whites, so I bought some to make eggwhite muffins. I also discovered that eggwhite tacos are absolutely delicious. I also discovered that I have salsa in the fridge, which was suspiciously gone all week...

Anyway, I did try a new protein bar, Devil's Food. I took Jamie's Chocolate Protein Bar recipe, but instead of using regular cocoa powder, I used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder, and it gave it such richness for not a lot of extra calories. HIGHLY recommend!

I'm feeling fantastic about how I'm looking, too. My back used to have fat rolls, that are now gone. My clothes are a lot looser, and I even requested gift cards for Christmas to go shopping once I finish LiveFit. I just can't believe how different doing LiveFit feels this time. It's like night and day. It probably helps that my sister is doing it with me, so I have someone to hold me accountable. That accountability when you're trying to build a fitness habit is so important. I never realized it before, but it is. 

So, there's the first week of Phase 2. Feeling great. Cardio is doing great things for my energy (as is watching Gilmore Girls on my Netflix App, so I don't get bored), and I'm pretty positive that the cardio is why my back fat is gone. Or at least why it's leaving. ;-)

I'll be back with another update next week. Thanksgiving is coming, and now is the time to not rest on my laurels. Just because it's the holiday season doesn't mean you can't be healthy, and make smart decisions. I fully intend to indulge on Thanksgiving, but I'll also be working out that morning (before my gym closes for the holiday), and I want to make veggie dishes, along with my famous Corn Bread, which I'm quadrupling for my church's Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow. They don't know what they're in for. Mwah ha ha. 

Anyway, I'm really happy about my current results, and if I keep this up, my vacation next year will be the greatest vacation, health-wise, yet. 

  • What exercises do you like?
  • Big plans for Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 10, 2014

I've Completed Phase 1 of LiveFit!

And the last week was a pain to get through!

I don't know what it was this week. Was it the election taking up time? My work schedule? Worship team rehearsal? Pure and utter laziness? Whatever it was, I went into week 4 psyched to finish phase one strong, but by day 2 (Monday), after a morning full of errands (Chiropractor, Web Design Consultation, Eye doctor), by the afternoon, I just wanted to crash.

That feeling of wanting to crash carried over to Tuesday. After work, I went to my local polling place, cast my midterm election vote, and went home to eat soup and catch up on episodes of Forever with my dad.

I was a total lazybones this week. I did make it to the gym on Wednesday, and finished strong, Thursday, I had worship team right after work, so I took a lunchtime walk instead of going to the gym. It was nice to get out of the office, and clear my head (with the help of The Little Mermaid: The Original Broadway Cast). I think that's going to have to be a regular thing now.

Having skipped two workouts, that meant on Saturday, I had to complete two of the workouts, Chest/Triceps and Shoulders/Abs. Long day, but Saturday was a good day to do it. I had nothing else going that day. It took me nearly two hours to finish in the gym. That's a long time, and I've got noodle arms now, but I finished, and that's the important thing.

I was also feeling a bit discouraged this week, because I weighed myself, and gained. Figuring it was muscle, I tried to take my measurements, but I was also bloated. Talk about a bad combination. Usually, this would be where I would stop and say, "What's the point?" but then I realized something else. I could climb the stairs at work without being extremely winded once I got to the top. I was sleeping really well. I was still tired when I woke up, but my sleep was extremely deep, and starting later in the week, I started getting up with my first alarm. That NEVER happens!

I did weigh myself before finishing my last workout, and I lost another pound. Down three pounds in a month. Not fantastic, but I'm going for long term results. And the pros are outweighing the cons on everything right now. I feel great!

I'm part of two different body groups to discuss LiveFit, one on Facebook, and one on The one on Facebook was having a discussion about gaining during phase one, and someone suggested that your body might be hanging onto water to help repair your muscles, but once you bring cardio back, it'll all release (fun!). I'm optimistic about that, but also still trying to eat as clean as possible.

Speaking of clean eating, I started adding kale to my morning protein shake, which was a good addition. Couldn't taste it, and an easy veggie. Friday, I decided to add kale AND spinach. Extra thick, but still tasty. My favorite combination this week has been almond milk, vanilla whey, PB2, Special Dark cocoa powder, kale and spinach. I also had to add some water to get it all moving. Still pretty thick, but the vitamins in it are making it worth it.

I'm still loving Jamie's Pumpkin Protein Bars. They freeze and thaw extremely well. I grab four, throw them into a sandwich bag, and let them thaw on my desk while I work, and add a little natural peanut butter. Delicious. I've also reheated them for breakfast, and they're equally amazing. I think making these bars are going to be second nature to me soon. I did decide to make some chocolate ones to shake things up. They smell amazing.

I'm still hopeful that finishing LiveFit will help me with my confidence. I've never been an overly confident person (except when singing on stage), and I have the self-esteem of an awkward teenager. No matter how often people tell me I'm awesome, I still don't believe it. My friend, Sara, keeps telling me how gorgeous I am, and as much as I love and appreciate it, I can't accept it. When I was a kid, I was bullied about my looks. I was told I was fat, ugly, stupid, etc. Kids are real jerks. Ironically, I'm lukewarm friends with these people now. Maybe I rock forgiveness? But it still stings. I'm still working on getting past it, and getting over it. It's easier said than done. Jealousy keeps creeping in, and I want the self-confidence of everyone else.

My sister has the most self-confidence of anyone I've ever met. She's never met a stranger, and is always quick to reassure people when they're feeling less than stellar. She has to do it for me a LOT. And I love her for it, too. She's doing so amazing on LiveFit and her Vi Challenge. I'm extremely proud of her accomplishments, and hope she keeps going. On Saturday, we took her measurements, and she's down about an inch on all sides! I even commented yesterday that her boobs are looking perkier (I can say stuff like that to her). Hooray, Chest Exercises!

I actually started Phase 2 yesterday, and decided that the elliptical is of the Devil. I think I'll just stick to the treadmill for my cardio. I did watch Gilmore Girls on my phone, though, which helped make the time go faster.

I'm going to rock Phase 2, like I rocked Phase 1. So excited to go on!