What’s On Your Mind, Right Now? – Parents vs Return To School and Covid-19’s Influence On Our Decisions

I’m just thinking out loud really, and allowing my fingers to move across my keyboard. I’ve actually stolen a writing prompt from my own book 365 Days Of Writing Prompts For Romance Writers. ‘What’s on your mind, right now?‘  You see I woke up this morning thinking deeply about parents around the world right now, and how many of us are ‘stuck between a rock and a hard place’ as my own mum would say. Debating what to do about returning our babies no matter how old they are back to school vs the need to earn a living even if there’s a risk to our babies. Then I just finished home school my son about ten minutes ago, left him to get on with whatever six year old’s ‘get on with’ when their parents aren’t looking LOL so I could do some blogs. I got interrupted  as I received an email from his school. Since school has reopened a couple days a week around the 12th May, they’ve had just twenty kids return over three classes! Part of me wasn’t really surprised, the other half was absolutely  heartbroken that they went back. He attends a small private school with about  no more than fifteen kids in his class, so it’s a small school. Twenty returned over three classes has got to be less than a handful of kids per year group, but they are still there! I asked myself why? Why have these kids gone back to school!? If I could I’d baby sit them all I’d do it…then I thought about my sanity LOL.

Mission Statement Blog post2

 

I’ve read all the articles and listened to all the news reports in every corner of the world, since I’ve been locked down officially since 11th March. The newest worry being the Covid-19 impact on children. Especially, after it was thought that kids are less at risk, seems there’s something else that attacks their body.  I read one today, and how it attacks the vital organs. This is what made me decide that my son is not returning until September to school, earlier this month when some opened and the news reports started to surface I just could not do it to him, or myself. Many parents can’t even make that decision, many parents might forced to send their babies back to school. This is what crossed my mind as I woke up this morning. I felt incredibly blessed that I work at home anyway, so it’s not a thing to keep my boy off. But it’s damn near impossible to work as he is young, and not a teenager who understands ‘ I’m working keep the damn, noise down boy!’ My sacrifice is only to work when I should be asleep, and sleep when  I should be working. But many parents their sacrifice is actually safety because they need to return to work so their kids have to or must return. I sat with that thought all day today, and even more so when I got an email from the school.

It’s so sad, and I feel incredibly …. what’s the word I wanna say ’empathetic’ or maybe even ‘sympathetic’ towards all parents who have had to return their babies to school. If you are one of these parents reading this my heart and love goes out to you.

This Covid-19 has really shaken up life as we’ve known it for sure, and in some parts of the world governments are handling it very differently. Yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend on Skype in Brazil, she told me her president never agreed to the lock down. (OMG, right) and therefore the death rate in Brazil has been on a steady increase over these  last few months. My heart went out to this part of the world. I look at my own native country the UK, and feel that while we were so slow to move unlike other parts of Europe, one thing that we’ve got right is the financial support for those who need it who can’t work. But the health management part has been a bit of a disaster, as for the school’s management. I don’t see or even believe for one second as an ex- high school teacher that kids can ‘social distance’ at all!! And I don’t for one moment believe that when class sizes on average are around thirty in the UK, when I was teaching how they can expect teachers to narrow down classes to less than fifteen or whatever ridiculous number they suggested.

Then I think about the USA, and the outlandish comments the president has made around Covid-19, and even suggestions around drinking bleach!!? *Sigh* right now, I have so many views on what’s going on. And I just hope that every parent out there right now is able to make a decision on the return to school with safety at the fore front of their mind, and try not to let employers push you too much. I spoke to a girlfriend, she told me her kids will return a couple of days a week because her employer wants her to work from home still, but more efficiently. She has two small babies that are five years old – twins, so her work rate has dipped and her employers are throwing a fit. It upset me she is put in this position. Parents, please consider the pros and cons of this all, consider the reports on the impact of Covid-19 on children. Kids can’t and won’t social distance, my son can’t social distance to save his life LOL it’s his personality a very bubbly, touchy feely kinda boy. If he’s sick the whole house is sick, if he has a minor cold.

Ask your employer to stay home, apply for all the financial help your country offers and don’t be too proud to snatch it up!

Right now, I feel like home school should be an option for as many as possible, and the option to remain working from home. This would be my ideal world, and I know for many it may not always be possible. But, my thoughts are with you all.

How has your country or city handled the return to school? Have you sent your kids back? Why or why not? I’d love to hear how everyone is getting on do drop a comment.

Keep well everyone.

 

Out Now On Pre-Sale : 365 Days Of Writing Prompts For Romance Writers! #amwriting

Happy Monday guys, I’m extremely proud to announce that ‘lock down’ during this pandemic world-wide has been helpful in some ways for me, at least with writing productivity.  365 Days Of Writing Prompts For Romance Writers is out now in paperback and e-book on pre-sale, and will be free on Kindle Unlimited to read.  Writing prompts are everywhere! But I thought I’d write a very comprehensive book with 365 writing prompts for romance writers especially,  that can be used all year around. You’ll find writing prompts for every sub-genre of romance. Take a look here’s more details…

Blurb

With 365 Days Of Writing Prompts for Romance Writers, there’s no need for additional notepads or places to store your ideas.  For each day of the year there’s a dedicated space for plotting your ideas, with a writing prompt to create an outline for a romance short story, novella, novel or even flash fiction. All you need to do is adapt the characters or setting to your sub-genre.  For each day of the year you’ll find a creative, engaging, fun and challenging writing  prompt, with situations or people to craft your next story. There is also a personal blogging challenge with prompts, for every day for romance  writers to  engage with their readers, grow their following, find new readers and allow their audience to get to know them. With 356 Days Of Writing Prompts For Romance Writers you’ll never be stuck for a romance story idea, or blog topic again! Each month has a focus. Dip in and out of each day, week, month as you wish.

January- New Directions Love

February- Unexpected New Love

March- Fresh Starts and New Beginnings

April-  Love in Unexpected Places

May- Historical, Regency and Multicultural

June- Contemporary Romance

July- Paranormal, Horror and Dark Romance

August- Christmas and Holiday Love

September- Mixed Bag of Goodies!

October- December Romance Writers’ Blog Writing Challenge Prompts

Award-Winning Romantic Suspense and Thriller Author Kim Knight, also shares her secrets on writing page-turning romance, and her experience with writing prompts that allowed her to co-author two novels, and seventeen short-stories to date. So, romance writers around the world, grab your pen and your copy and get ready to write every day of the year and never run out of creativity. Note the paperback version will allow you to plot your ideas all in one space in the book, and let go of your hundreds of different idea notepads.

 

I love writing prompts and have found them so useful over the years!  They’re great for motivation and inspiration for all writers, I highly recommend using writing prompts if you’ve never done it. So here’s to a new venture. This is book one of a series of  “Savvy Writer’s” guides with writing prompts I’m planning to self-publish, in between books accepted by my publisher. In general I would recommend this  book of writing prompts ( without being bias lol) to romance writers who are ‘seasoned’ as well as those who aspire to write romance, no matter your background. This is a helpful book of writing prompts to help you outline romance stories of all heat levels, that are realistic, heart-felt and page turning! I wish all romance writers well. I wrote a blog about tips on writing realistic romance a 101 a little while back which may also be helpful.  Seven tips I recommend.

How To Use The Book:

The paper version will allow you to actually plot your stories in the book itself as there’s space. The e-book version is the same, the space is there however of course you can’t write in it. There’s no difference in the content.

The best way to use this writing reference is to keep in mind these things five small things.

  1. Make every prompt your own- you will find situations or people within each prompt. Nothing is set in stone, each prompt is just an idea or even outline or direction if you like for where you could head. I don’t really recommend (unless you really feel drawn to my prompt) that you stick to it and not put your own spin on it somehow. Take a prompt and add, subtract, what you feel suits your style, story telling, experience or even desire. Basically don’t feel stuck with what you have it’s just an idea to get your juices flowing.
  2. No matter your genre, steal it and use it! So as you know when by now, in the romance genre  I’m a romantic suspense writer in principle. Yes I have written other stuff and yes I can do I always default here because I love to read it and write it. So with these prompts I have kept them as generic as possible. This means if you like an idea, and wish to make it a paranormal, urban or fantasy romance, go for it! Like I said don’t feel stuck. Take the general idea and flip it to your own script.
  3. Heat and steam levels are completely free for all! I like my romance steamy, maybe you’re a sweet and clean writer, that’s cool. Do what you wish in terms of heat levels, if you want to ramp up a prompt and make it high in heat…please do, I’d love to read it too!
  4. Dip in and out of each month, week etc as you see fit. You can go through January-December or mix it up.
  5. The last three months of the year all the prompts are personal blogging prompts and I recommend that if you have not already, you really start to develop an author site or use your current one and do some personal blogs. Again you don’t need to wait until October to start, start today!

 

 Head To Amazon- Click  Here E-book Version 3.99! On Pre-Sale Now! Release Date 22nd June 2020.

365 days -romance graphic

 

 

 

Author Interview: Jenn. D. Young Paranormal Romance Author!

What inspired you to write this book?
Into the Shadows was a concept that I had come up with way back when I was in high school. I’ve had these characters floating around in my head for over 15 years and at the beginning of 2019, I decided I was going to sit down and start to write about Lorelei and Vincent’s journey. The main inspiration that I had was music. I discovered my favorite band, Lord of The Lost at the end of 2018 and their music shaped the book and my characters. I even dedicated the book to the members of the band, because I know without their music I wouldn’t have had that ‘Ah-ha!’ moment that I needed to actually get the words written. One of my greatest memories is when I went to Germany in December of 2019, I was able to meet the band after one of their shows and I told them how much they inspired me and that I was dedicating the book to them. They were so grateful and I got hugs from each member of the band.

What can we expect from you in the future?
I have a really overactive imagination and WAY too many story ideas so there will be a lot for me in the future. More from the Shadows universe, that is for SURE. Embrace the Shadows will tie up Lorelei and Vincent’s trilogy, but there are so many other characters that need to be explored that I am going to be writing about. I also have a novella I did that is a contemporary romance involving an online zodiac dating website called Signs of Love that I will be expanding on and putting out as well.

Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
Totally. And they usually end up being their books, or the concepts for their books. I am planning to make a full world out of this universe so most of the characters are going to get their own single book.

How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
They have been in my head for so many years and evolved so many times that I don’t even remember how I came up with the exact concepts anymore!

Where did you come up with the names in the story?
So Vincent was named after Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy VII, no joke. So I think it is crazy that now when I’m finally publishing them that the remake it coming out!! Lorelei was renamed after I started writing as I didn’t care for her previous name. She was based off the Lord of The Lost song, “Loreley” which is more the traditional German way of spelling the name, but I wanted to make it more Americanized. After I listened to the song, it absolutely fit to be her song and her name.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
The whole journey. Actually getting the words on the paper and then seeing where the characters have taken me. How they have evolved and became where they are at now. Then when I actually got the paperback in my hand, I broke down and cried. It was such an amazing moment and the feeling was so incredible.

Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
Lorelei is very headstrong Nephilim. She doesn’t want to have to depend on anyone or anything, but she is so entwined in Vincent that she can’t separate herself from him. In book two, she struggles to try and find her balance and who she is while coping with her powers that are starting to overwhelm her.
Vincent is a badass Demon and Seraphim hybrid. He is motivated to protect those around him that he considers family, which isn’t many people. Lorelei is his world and has been since she came into his life. He is driven by the need to protect her and keep her safe from harm.

How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
My ex-husband helped me to come up with the title. I am awful as coming up with titles, and usually ask for help from friends or authors I chat with to brainstorm for titles!

Who designed your book covers?
These two were designed by Megan Parker of EmCat designs. She has been fabulous to work with and helped me so much when I was such a little newbie to the custom covers game. I didn’t give her a whole lot to work with on Into The Shadows and she came up with a great concept and then knocked it out of the park with Out of The Shadows. The cover for the final book in the trilogy, Embrace the Shadows is EPIC. ❤

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I’ve learned a lot about my voice, and who I am as a writer. I always want to learn and grow and to explore who I am. I think I grow stronger with each book that I write.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I always pictured Lindsey Stirling for Lorelei and then Chris Harms, the lead singer of my favorite band as Vincent. They were a lot of inspiration for me.

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I love injecting a dash of humor and sarcasm into my books. While you may get all the feels, you are guaranteed to laugh at one point or another with the characters I have. Especially Nicolae. He is a smartass. It pisses Vincent off so much and I love it.

What is your favorite part of this book and why?
I loved writing the first book, Into The Shadows, but I think I loved Out of The Shadows even more. It told the story of their bond, the trials they faced together and boy, is it HOT. I love the emotion of it.

If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I love Vincent, but I think I would love to hang out with Nicolae, his badass Nightmare demon second in command. He is such a sarcastic jerk, but also a big giant softie that would just have me laughing all day. We probably would hang out, talk music and I would make him play for me or we would play video games.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Lorelei is actually my alter ego and always has been me, but more assertive. I base a lot of her reactions to things on the way that I would react to situations, she is probably the character that I am closest to and most passionate about. Vincent was originally loosely based on a friend I had from high school, but he evolved and changed so much from when I first came up with the concept that he is more based on the lead singer of my favorite band now.

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
They like to do what they want ALL the time! I can’t keep them in line that I just gave up on trying to do strict plotting or have a solid plan or outline. I am a total pantster, meaning that I had a basic concept of the story, but I really let the characters take me where they want to go. A lot of the times, it is where they demand to go.  

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
It gets you on all fronts. There is all of the feels. Lorelei goes through quite a journey as she grows up, before she actually meets Vincent and there are a lot of intense areas that will get you. But there is also passion, intrigue and that dash of sarcasm and humor. The chemistry between Lorelei and Vincent is intense and overwhelming and in book two, it bubbles over and there are so many passionate moments that they share.

Have you written any other books that are not published?
I have a prequel for a new series I am writing that I just finished, but hasn’t been published yet. It is pretty fun as it has Demons, Angels and will be a Reverse Harem outside of the Prequel which is young adult.

What did you edit out of this book?
Into the Shadows went through a lot of edits because it was my first book. I ended up totally re-writing the entire first third of the book because I was just getting my voice and style together and had to scrap what I had originally wrote because it was not very good.

Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?’-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.
I make dedicated playlists for most of my books! They are included in each of the Shadows books and I love putting them together from the music that inspires me and makes me think of the characters and story. It totally helps me get in the zone, especially if I am moving between different projects.

 

Into the Shadows
Shadows Ascending Trilogy Book 1
by Jenn D. Young
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Lorelei
I’ve lived my life on the run. Always looking over my shoulder. Waiting for the day that they would find me. Everyone I have ever loved has been ripped from me until I have nothing left but memories and dreams.
His voice haunts me.
Stirs me.
Makes me yearn for him.
My demon prince from my dreams.
But will I ever find him?
And if I do, will I be able to maintain control over these abilities that are manifesting or will they control me?
Out of the Shadows
Shadows Ascending Book 2
Lorelei
My time has come. To leave the shadows and learn to control these new powers that have been awakened within me. With my mate, Vincent, at my side, we will work together to battle the forces that are hellbent on bring about the end of the world.
While fighting our intensifying bond, I am thrust into a world of where one of our closest friends is taken captive by The Syndicate.
Will our newly formed bond survive the upcoming battle, or will our enemies destroy us?
Vincent
Lorelei is finally mine. Secure in my arms and bound to me, but we are in the middle of an impending war with Lorelei right at the center of it. Old enemies emerge to capture my oldest and dearest friend and I must do everything in my power to get him back. With Lorelei at my side, I feel invisible, but her powers are growing so rapidly she doesn’t know how to control them.
Am I strong enough to protect her or will they capture her again?
I am a native of Washington, currently living in Arizona. I have always dreamed of writing about the characters that have been floating around in my head. Ever since the age of 14, I have been obsessed with romance novels and reading them as fast as I could get my hands on them. My first love is Paranormal Romance, but I enjoy stories from all across the genre. You can typically find me listening to music or an audiobook, reading, or hanging out with my dogs Hermes and Loki.
$25 Amazon Gift card, Swag Pack that includes bookmarks, post card, pen, bracelet and some jewelry items that relate to the books!
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

 

Hot new Paranormal Romance + $25.00 Giftcard Giveaway by Jenn.D.Young! #amreading #romance

Into the Shadows
Shadows Ascending Trilogy Book 1
by Jenn D. Young
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Lorelei
I’ve lived my life on the run. Always looking over my shoulder. Waiting for the day that they would find me. Everyone I have ever loved has been ripped from me until I have nothing left but memories and dreams.
His voice haunts me.
Stirs me.
Makes me yearn for him.
My demon prince from my dreams.
But will I ever find him?
And if I do, will I be able to maintain control over these abilities that are manifesting or will they control me?
Out of the Shadows
Shadows Ascending Book 2
Lorelei
My time has come. To leave the shadows and learn to control these new powers that have been awakened within me. With my mate, Vincent, at my side, we will work together to battle the forces that are hellbent on bring about the end of the world.
While fighting our intensifying bond, I am thrust into a world of where one of our closest friends is taken captive by The Syndicate.
Will our newly formed bond survive the upcoming battle, or will our enemies destroy us?
Vincent
Lorelei is finally mine. Secure in my arms and bound to me, but we are in the middle of an impending war with Lorelei right at the center of it. Old enemies emerge to capture my oldest and dearest friend and I must do everything in my power to get him back. With Lorelei at my side, I feel invisible, but her powers are growing so rapidly she doesn’t know how to control them.
Am I strong enough to protect her or will they capture her again?
I am a native of Washington, currently living in Arizona. I have always dreamed of writing about the characters that have been floating around in my head. Ever since the age of 14, I have been obsessed with romance novels and reading them as fast as I could get my hands on them. My first love is Paranormal Romance, but I enjoy stories from all across the genre. You can typically find me listening to music or an audiobook, reading, or hanging out with my dogs Hermes and Loki.
$25 Amazon Gift card, Swag Pack that includes bookmarks, post card, pen, bracelet and some jewelry items that relate to the books!
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

 

Hot New Steam Punk Anthology + $25.00 Giftcard Giveaway!#amreading #steampunk

Of Steel and Steam:
A Limited Edition Steampunk Anthology
Love inventions, gadgets, and all things Victorian? This limited time
anthology is just for you! With more than 900 pages of captivating
fiction, you’ll be powered by steam, clockwork, hydraulics and
gyroscopic action. With no more fear of harming the environment, our
heroes can battle their villains in a world of fantastic flights of
science and fantasy.
With stories from:
Margo Bond Collins
J. A. Cummings
R.M. Garino
C.A. King
Majanka Verstraete
Klarissa King
M. R. Graham
Bokerah Brumley
Mary Kit Caelsto
and Pauline Creeden
Are you ready to get lost in an alternate reality before your chance is
gone forever? Then order this limited-edition collection of exclusive
material from USA Today and award-winning authors TODAY!
**Pre-order for only .99 cents!!**
**scroll through the slideshow to find out more about the authors!!**
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!
$25 Amazon

 

Giveaway ‘Deadly Inside Scoop’ by Abby Collette ( Mystery)

A Deadly Inside Scoop
An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery Book 1
by Abby Collette
Genre: Cozy Mystery
This book kicks off a charming cozy mystery series set in an ice cream shop—with a fabulous cast of quirky characters.
Recent MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse has just taken over her family’s ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and she’s going back to basics. Win is renovating Crewse Creamery to restore its former glory, and filling the menu with delicious, homemade ice cream flavors—many from her grandmother’s original recipes. But unexpected construction delays mean she misses the summer season, and the shop has a literal cold opening: the day she opens her doors an early first snow descends on the village and keeps the customers away.
To make matters worse, that evening, Win finds a body in the snow, and it turns out the dead man was a grifter with an old feud with the Crewse family. Soon, Win’s father is implicated in his death. It’s not easy to juggle a new-to-her business while solving a crime, but Win is determined to do it. With the help of her quirky best friends and her tight-knit family, she’ll catch the ice cold killer before she has a meltdown…
I write as Abby L. Vandiver and Abby Collette but you can just call me Abby . . .
I love mysteries! Whatever I write, I put a little mystery into it.
Now I’ve got a new cozy mystery coming out May 12, 2020. A Deadly Inside Scoop, is part of my new series, An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery from Penguin Berkley. I’m so excited for its release.
Stay tuned as I gear up for Release Day with giveaways, interviews and of course. ice cream. (Okay, I won’t actually have ice cream on my page, but I’ll talk about it. A lot.) Pre-Order here!
An ice cream maker and one-time ice cream delivery and scooper
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
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New Release ‘Slumberland’ Non-Fiction by Derra Nicole Sabo

Slumberland
By Derra Nicole Sabo
Genre: Biography
How do you dream? Are your dreams in color or black n’ white? Do they feel surreal or all too real?
Well, I’d like to introduce you to my little slice of bittersweet. These subconscious woods hold every fear and my anxieties masked are as wolves. Nightmares that play on a loop for weeks, even months at a time. Symptoms of waking in cold sweats and shaking. The only moments of peace are found in the sporadically studded dreams that happen every now and again. These woods house every past demon as well as certain past versions of who I once was. This place is worse than death, yet it inspires. So…
…Before my alarm clock goes off, before I take the last train out of here, I take one last glance back, one last glance at all of the Polaroids pinned to every tree branch, polaroids of every dream and nightmare that have stolen my nights since ’95…
These dreams…these woods…this place…it’s my upside down…
This is my Slumberland…
As someone with anxiety, writing is my way of speaking. When my verbal skills fail, my pen excels. I have always had something to say to the world and to the humans residing in it, I just could never get my mind and mouth to be on the same level. So, I picked up a pen and haven’t looked back. I have a message for you. A message for my family, my friends and to all the beating hearts. Dear You is a letter personally written, from me to you.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!