Friday, February 10, 2017

Mr. Wright is available now

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Liza Jameson's new book is available now! Click the cover to pick up a copy at Amazon today.

When Lucy Merkin was young, she didn’t crush on the usual Tiger Beat poster boys. Instead she carried around a frayed copy of Time Magazine with comedian Benjamin Wright on the cover. Already in his forties when she was in high school, she knew that her crush was unusual, but his sense of humor and dashing good looks made him irresistible to her.

As an adult, the infatuation continues. Her friend gets her tickets to see him and his comedy partner live and she’s thrilled. During the show, the partner makes a joke asking if anyone in the audience would take pity on Mr. Wright and bestow a kiss upon him. Not wanting to miss her chance, she runs to the stage and gets to lock lips her celebrity crush.

After a few stutter starts, the couple begins a long distance relationship, but that is far from their biggest hurdle. Between his children’s attitudes, the press’ opinions and Lucy’s abandonment issues, the struggle to maintain their love is a difficult one.

Will some friends, some booze, and some pretty great sex be enough to ensure their happily ever after?


I cannot say enough about this book. It's funny, it's sweet, it's emotional. This is definitely a new author to watch!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Roller Derby


I have two dreams in this world. One is to be a best selling author who makes enough from selling books to be able to make it my career. The other is to be play Roller Derby. 

Yes, you read that correctly. I want to be a Derby Girl. I've dreamed of this for years and my main goal for 2018 is going to be to make it as Fresh Meat on a local team. Below are the basic rules of Flat Track Roller Derby.

I'd love to be a Jammer, but I don't think I'm quite coordinated enough for that. I see myself as a Pivot. Filling in when needed, but mostly keeping the pack in line.

Last year I went all out, bought the skates, pads and helmet, went to the rink to practice, read everything I could get my hands on about the game, watched bouts online and in person. I immersed myself in Roller Derby...then I let it fade away. As I do so many of my dreams.

But this one stuck with me. The passion didn't die...it just fell asleep for a little while. And now it is coming back. I think about it all the time, I dream about it, I want it. I need it.

I'm not even sure what about the sport speaks so strongly to my soul. Maybe because they are like modern day superheroes for me. They wear costumes, get cool code names, wear war paint, and get out there night after night to perform battle. It's beautiful and rough and...well, it's just so fucking cool!

This year I will train hard, work hard, play hard, and maybe even drink hard. I have my 2017 goals in place, and I'm doing well at working on them. But this...this is my ultimate goal. I will begin working toward it now so that when 2018 starts, I will be well placed to make this dream my one and only goal.

Fresh Meat here I come.

XoXoXo
D

Friday, February 3, 2017

February Goals

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Hello my lovelies!

So today I'm going to take a minute to share my February goals with you and show you part of my layout for my Bullet Journal. Last month, I finally shared my journal with you all and I'd like to keep that conversation going throughout the year.

 My theme for February is CandyLand. It just seemed like such a fun, bright, colorful thing to do in the middle of a dreary Michigan winter, and I've had a lot of fun creating these pages for it. A lot of journalists pick a word of the year as something they want to strive for to achieve. Their purpose when they get up every day. I get bored too easily to have one purpose every day. So I am doing a different word every month.



This month, as you can see over there, is Optimism. I have a terrible habit of being pessimistic and this month I really want to focus on improving my attitude.
My Habit Tracker (right) is honestly my favorite page every month. And I tend to just keep adding and adding things to track in it. It's fun to sit down in the morning and reflect on the previous day, see what I did (or didn't) do, or when the last time I did do something was. It also helps a lot with my self-care. I tend to get pissed, stressed, depressed...all the ssed's really. And then I don't take care of myself. I don't bother with make-up, I put off showering for multiple days. It just gets really gross around me sometimes. This way, I'm reminded, hey dirt bag, wash yourself. Obviously that's an exaggeration, I'm not, nor have I ever been, an actual dirt bag.

Something I did last year with relative success was create a 30 day challenge for myself every month. I started with Planking, working my way up progressively until I could do two minutes. (Hey, I'm lazy and out of shape.) Then I did squats and push ups and it was great to get me moving every morning. Last month I tried a non-physical 30 day challenge, writing 2k every day. But I wasn't as motivated for that, so I'm back to a physical challenge. This month, I plant to walk 100 miles in 30 days. It sounds like so much, right? It's not. In fact, it's kind of an embarrassingly easy goal, but it's just a start. Steps to Miles it works out to 7033 steps per day. Which is far below the recommended step count the interwebs has placed on us, but higher than my average 5800 per day average. So it's a challenge, but an obtainable one.

So far, you know, like a few days in, it's going well. I find myself taking the long way around the building at work, and at night I just walk around the house for 45 minutes to an hour reading. I don't have treadmill, and I won't join the gym again, so this is my solution. I actually kind of like it. I'm multi-tasking and working toward two goals at the same time. Damn, I love to color in goal boxes.

At the end of the month I will post my stats for the habits and the challenge and let everyone see what these pages look like filled in. Plus you can check my shower stats. Lucky you!

XoXoXo
D

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Introducing Liza Jameson


A week from today, Liza Jameson's debut book, Mr. Wright, will be available from Resplendence Publishing.  This highly anticipated first novel is being called one of the sweetest, funniest books of the year by people much smarter than myself.


When Lucy Merkin was young, she didn’t crush on the usual Tiger Beat poster boys. Instead she carried around a frayed copy of Time Magazine with comedian Benjamin Wright on the cover. Already in his forties when she was in high school, she knew that her crush was unusual, but his sense of humor and dashing good looks made him irresistible to her.

As an adult, the infatuation continues. Her friend gets her tickets to see him and his comedy partner live and she’s thrilled. During the show, the partner makes a joke asking if anyone in the audience would take pity on Mr. Wright and bestow a kiss upon him. Not wanting to miss her chance, she runs to the stage and gets to lock lips with her celebrity crush. 

They begin a long distance relationship, but that is far from their biggest hurdle. Between his children’s attitudes, the press’ opinions and Lucy’s abandonment issues, the struggle to maintain their love is a difficult one.

Will some friends, some booze, and some pretty great sex be enough to ensure their happily ever after?


For more information about Ms. Jameson, check out lizajameson.com and stay tuned for more updates on her debut and what more to expect from this breakout author. Mark your calendars for the release of Mr. Wright on February 8th, when it will be available at Amazon.com and resplendencepublishing.com as well as ibooks, nook, and other fine ebook retailers.

XoXoXo
Dakota

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Reading for Pleasure

This post contains affiliate links. 

Good morning darlings! Happy Sunday.

This weekend I have rediscovered a passion that I have neglected for far too long. Reading for pleasure. It's common knowledge that good writers are voracious readers. But, we are also busy as hell most of the time, and too often the first thing to fall from our to do list is to sit down and read for hour long stretches.

This is an absolute shame, because reading is what made most of us long to be writers in the first place. A book, an author, a story that called to our inner crazy and said to it "why aren't you doing this too?"

I've had a lot of influences in my life. One of the biggest may be surprising, as Stephen King and I couldn't have more different genres we write in. But it wasn't about the content. It was about doing what is most loved, what speaks to us, and doing it prolifically and well every time. This is the connection I have with the world's leading horror writer. (I hope the 'well' part, any way.)

I have been listening to Mr. King give talks on YouTube for the last couple of days, and the more recent ones had a lot to do with his newest Trilogy. The first book, Mr. Mercedes was conceived from a news story. The nugget stayed with him and when he started to work on it, he imagined a short story. Then he sat down to write it and it ended up being a three novel series. This is another thing I have in common with the King of Horror (Sorry, couldn't help it.) When I sit down to write, I rarely know for sure where my story is going to take me.

I've loved Stephen King since elementary school when I grabbed a tattered copy of The Gunslinger off my stepdad's book shelf. From that one book, a lifetime fan was born. I devoured the books that were available for that series. I moved on to It, The Stand, and The Shining.

Now, I will admit, I don't like all of his books. And that's okay. I don't have to. Some of them did not speak to me. And the ones that did were often his less popular works. My all time favorite Stephen King book, of his many, many titles, is From a Buick 8.

I think this book clearly demonstrates what Stephen King is most brilliant at breaking down. Relationships. In all of his books, at the center of every story he tells, it is the relationships between his characters that grip me and hold tight. I can give or take the monsters. That's not what makes him my favorite author. His skill at creating people that you care about, hate with a passion, cry for, laugh at, sometimes want to choke to death with your bare hands. THIS is what I live to read in his novels. And From a Buick 8 was such a beautiful demonstration of this. His ability to bridge a gap between a kid and his deceased father, to make you feel for them and want to throttle them sometimes. To make you wish things could have been different for these fictional people. It's just amazing to me. It makes me want to be a better writer.

I've always focused on my characters more strongly than any other aspect. It's probably why I feel I'm so much better at dialogue than I am at world building. I want people to love, hate, be amused by and want to sac-tap my characters on every page. The connection between people is so important when doing something as solitary as reading.

So this weekend, instead of doing chores, instead of laundry and shopping and cooking. Instead of Instagramming my broken shoe, Facebooking memes, Tweeting nonsense, I read. I devoured a book as one who has been stranded in a desert devours a bottle of Dasani. Because that's what I've been doing, starving for my favorite past time. Aching to reclaim the reason I became a writer in the first place. I read, my darlings. And it was the best weekend I've had in so long, I can't wait to do it again.

Remember, time spent doing what you love is NEVER time wasted.

All my love,
D

Monday, January 9, 2017

And in writing news...

Now and Then, the 5th book in the Touch of Gray series, has been turned into my editor at Resplendence Publishing.

I'm so excited. This one was really difficult for me to write. It delves into the story about the Grayson parents and the boys when they were kids. It was a pretty emotional story for me and I think that's why it took me so long to finish it. It had been sitting, half completed, for months. Finally, the ending clicked for me and I wrote that then went back and fleshed out the middle.

I had planned to do a post about my writing plans later this month, but I guess now seems as good a time as any.

If you've been following my posts, you've seen that I've set a lofty goal for myself of publishing 10 books this year. I know I can do it, because I've done it before. It's more about discipline than anything else. I've already got two of them done and slated for publication, so that leaves eight more. I can totally rock that schedule.

On February 8h, Mr. Wright, the first of my Liza Jameson books, will be released. I decided to create a new pen name, though it's obviously not a secret one. The books I plan to write for Liza are less erotic, and more sweet romances. I figured it would be easier for everyone to distinguish what kind of book to expect, if I just used a different name to write under.

I want to write three more novels under the new name this year. Two of which are already plotted and ready to be written. It's a big jump for me, though. All of my published works thus far have been erotic, and to remove that element from the story was a challenge, but it was so much fun to write. I had the ability to focus more on character development and external relationships. While I have always tried to keep my dialogue funny, I think I really knocked that out of the park with Mr. Wright.

Now and Then is the first of three books in the Touch of Gray series I hope to put out this year. Then I'd like to do a third installment of Ethan and Jamie's saga from the Anaboris Clan books. (Hopefully you remember them from To Hate and To Hold and Royal Pains.) I didn't know if I was going to give them another book, then I had an idea come up that just has way too much potential to ignore.

Beyond that, I should be able to do a few stand alone books as well.

So, there it is. My writing plan for the year. Ambitious? Yes. Achievable? Definitely. Scary? A little. But now that I've finally finished Now and Then, I'm hoping the rest of the year is downhill.

XoXoXo
D

Friday, January 6, 2017

Bullet Journal Joy Part 2

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Welcome back! In my last post I started to go on and on about my Bullet Journal and how amazing it is. Today I am continuing with that theme, and will share my monthly pages with you. These are the main focus of a bullet journal. Tracking tasks and appointments, birthdays, habits, digging into your goals. The stuff I shared before is the fun, fluff of the journal that makes it so great to play with. Today, I will share what makes the journal so necessary and functional for your every day life.


Quick Recap

On a day to day basis, this is all I need to use my journal. The Journal, a ruler and a pen. I prefer the Leuchtturm1917, with a Sharpie Pen (NOT MARKER), and a small metal ruler. These three items are enough to create an entire Bullet Journal. Yes, washi tape is super fun and colored pencils make everything pop, and of course stickers are just the bees knees. But none of that is necessary to make an awesome, FUNCTIONAL journal. And that is the real point of this. To create something that helps you become more productive.

Ryder Carroll invented the Bullet Journal system to be an analog planner in a digital age. I don't know if he expected his idea to flourish the way it has, but every blogger I've seen has taken his planner and run with it, reinventing it constantly to work for their needs.

If you already BuJo, or if you have looked into it with any interest, you will notice immediately that I do not do daily pages. This seems to be an anomaly in the community, but there you go. Maybe I just don't have enough going on in my life to need a section for every day. My weeklies more than cover anything I need to keep track of, so I just do a month overview and a week and call it done.

This is my month at a glance. This is actually my first time doing this sort of layout. In the past, I always drew out a calendar and filled in the traditional boxes. But I came across a layout like this on Pinterest (I apologize, but I don't know who to credit for the original post) and I fell in love with it and wanted to try it out. If I decide it doesn't work for me, I will go back to a traditional calendar spread. I'm already seeing that I may not have enough room for what I want to put on there. But we'll see. The month just started.




Here is my goal page for the month. This is where I start breaking down my large yearly goals into manageable chunks. I added quit smoking to my goals, but not to my main goal page. This is something I will have to tackle one craving at a time. I intended to start eliminating cigarette breaks throughout the day until I get to January 16th and then I am done. DONE!!! Then all of that money that I was literally setting on fire can go toward paying down my debt and saving for a vacation with my husband. Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it.



This is my social media tracker. I am trying to get my name(s) in front of more people like you so I can maybe gain some traction with my book sales. So my intention is to focus more on Social Media, but to do it methodically so I'm using my time wisely and not just looking at cat videos for three hours. Again, wish me luck.




This is my habit tracker. Another one of my favorite pages when I remember to keep up with it. This month, I added a lot to it, but it's more to show myself how much I accomplish, rather than to beat myself up over missed days. At the end of the month I'll come back and share with you all of the filled in pages and see how well I did with my January plans. (I am pre-writing this so please don't think I haven't taken a shower yet this year, it's still December on this side of the computer.)

These are my weekly pages. Again, I don't have all that much going on so I don't need a lot of space. I have a day job with a set schedule so the only thing I need to keep track of is what my kids are doing on any given day. I like having two weeks visible at a time too. And I add the coming up box on the right to cover the next two weeks. it's simple and gets the job done. The small box at the bottom of each day is supposed to keep track of my writing word count. Again, I'll come back at the end of January and we'll see how I did.



This is just another fun little spread that I did to track my Instagram and Facebook Followers. Do you follow me? facebook.com/authordakotarebel and dakota.rebel on Instagram. I'd love to color in a button and/or heart for you. :)




So there it is, my new Bullet Journal layout. Again, I just want to stress that this system can be as simple or as complicated as what works for you. As long as you love it, that is all that matters. You don't need good penmanship, you don't need doodles and stickers and color. Just create something that you love, that functions how you need it to, then run with it.

If you already have a Bullet Journal or if you want to start and have questions, or if you just want to say hi, please leave a comment. I'd love to talk with you.

XoXoXo
D

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