Monday, December 29, 2014

2015: Ready or Not, Here it Comes

I've always enjoyed taking down the Christmas decorations and getting my living space back to normal. Maybe I've been a minimalist in training my entire life. Putting away the holiday stuff takes me visually back to the basics--the perfect place from which to welcome a new year.

I'm looking forward to 2015, though 2014 has been a year packed with lots of wonderful experiences and memories for me, and for our family. (I won't bore you with details, but you can go through the archives to see what's gone on.)

I know the new year will contain some personal challenges. Honestly, I'd be glad to skip those and just do the fun stuff, but as that's not an option, I'll be working through the challenges as well as I can.

After some consideration, my resolution for 2015 is the same as the one I made 12 months ago:

To begin and end each day with gratitude, and in between, to do the best I can with what I have. 

Sounds minimalist, doesn't it? But I have an idea it will take me the whole year to try to achieve. That's how it's worked in 2014. I think this is the best resolution I've ever made, and hope to renew it again at the end of 2015. I wish each of you a new year full of gratitude and possibilities.

Are you making any resolutions for 2015?

Mags

Monday, December 22, 2014

Simple Christmas Tree for Apartment Dwellers with Cat(s)

(Last week I posted these ideas about how to have a more peaceful holiday.)

Maybe a tree isn't part of your holiday, but I realized I missed having one. Because of Attila I can't put up my c.1960s aluminum tree. I do enjoy the magnetic one on the fridge with a numbered "ornament" each day, but I wanted more. (As a minimalist, I don't often say that.)

After a diligent internet search for ideas, I created this one. It is cardboard, wrapping paper, aluminum foil and fishing line. Also a staple in the tree, and in the star, to hold the fishing line. It hangs from a hook where a large picture usually is.

When most of the lights are off, the star reflects the light that remains. OR Behold! There is a star in the East!

Making the tree was quick. Looking for ideas of how to make a tree was time consuming. But it's worth it to me because I smile every time I look in that corner. I don't dread undecorating the tree, or putting it into a box. (It used to be a box.. Ha! I love a funny cardboard tree joke, but unfortunately I don't know any.)

There is space on top of the trunk to put wrapped gifts, which I can't do with the magnetic one. (Thanks to Attila, the gifts aren't going out until the last minute.)

I've seen several very simple live trees on social media, and one that was a single evergreen branch with some small decorations. Once, early in our 30-year marriage, I put small decorations onto a rubber tree plant in our living room. Different things are festive for different people, as circumstances evolve. This one is festive for me and doesn't antagonize Attila, so it is a winner.

~*~

Some progress has occurred on the Emily story in spite of the holidays. Yay!

Magdalena




Monday, December 15, 2014

A More Peaceful Holiday

In the busyness of the season, it may be difficult to find the peace mentioned so many times in Christmas carols.

All this extra stress isn't doing anybody any good, is it?

Here are some of the things that make my holiday less frantic and more enjoyable.

I realize it's likely too late to implement any major changes for this year. I decided a year ago on one of these things, and it looks as if that's going to work out.

1. Wear jingle bells. Perhaps I love jingle bells more than the average adult does. I have a pair of homemade jingle bell earrings that I love to wear. They make me happy, and seem to have that effect on others too. Piece of bent wire, jingle bell. Repeat.

2. Choose your music. I listen to public radio, and as a result I don't get sick of Christmas music. Maybe you never get tired of hearing it, but I have in the past because in my opinion it starts too soon. I will likely dig out my CDs in a couple of days.

3. Reduce gift giving. This is not impossible, folks.
This year we've decided to put a dollar amount cap on our family gifts.
Some years, we have done homemade. If you're super crafty, great. If you're not, homemade is still an option. I'm talking outdoor wind chimes made from plumbing pipe, a pretty jar of homemade laundry soap (I received this for my birthday and was tickled!), hot cocoa mix in a jar or mug. Use your imagination. It's the thought that counts, right?
Instead of exchanging stuff, if you're within driving distance, give the gift of time. Meet for lunch or dinner, or see a play, dutch treat.
We don't have to show people we love them by going into debt, buying more than anyone needs or can store--and expecting the same in return.
4. Make your holiday a gift to the community--shop local. I love doing this, and am fortunate to have some unique shops within walking distance. One in particular sells locally made crafts (Yes! Like The Emporium in Midnight in Legend, TN. I am excited.)

5. Support local events. I love our community's annual Madrigal Dinner. This year, sadly, it had to be reduced to a concert without the dinner, but the music was fabulous, and the decor lovely. One positive is that some people attended who might not have gone to a dinner. (Disclaimer: The Progeny sang in it, and the Progenette played the flute. But everybody said the music was fabulous--not just me.)

6. Look on the bright side. See number 5.

7. Simplify food prep. Unless, of course, you love having it complicated--then go for it.

I take the same thing to all of the holiday parties I attend. This makes food shopping super easy, and the thought process doesn't take any time at all. I also take this same thing to the Annual Football Game Food and Television Soiree.
On Christmas Day, I host a luncheon. In past years I've made lasagna, salad, garlic bread. This year I'm just making the lasagna, because all the guests wanted to bring something. I had resisted this, but who am I to refuse this if the guests are happier about it?
I will make the lasagna on Christmas Eve, because there's a Christmas brunch to attend. Last year I didn't have time to get to the brunch because I had not simplified my food prep. (Yep, I planned in December 2013 to tweak this in case I got invited to the brunch again.)
8. Take a look at your expectations for decor. If you love what you're doing, keep it up. If you need to pare down, for goodness sake don't feel guilty about it. It's not supposed to be the season of guilt.

I hope you can glean something that will help make your holiday, this year and/or in the future, more peaceful.

Magdalena

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Yay! Paperback of Small Town Christmas is Available

As everyone on my newsletter list can tell you, Small Town Christmas is now out in paperback form. Yeehaw!

Yep, for just $7.99 you can have one, and while you're at it, go ahead and buy a few extra for readers on your list. (The ebook is $2.99.)

That's one of the many things I love about writing sweet romance. You don't have to hide it from the teenagers, or from Mom or Grandma (or Dad or Grandpa) due to a "sensuality" level.

So please feel free to buy as many copies as you like. They'll make more if necessary.

Kindle ebook
Amazon trade-size paperback
Nook ebook
Kobo ebook
***

If you didn't get the word about the paperback via my newsletter, you can sign up for future issues at the Newsletter and Social Media page. When there's something big to announce, I try to share it with newsletter readers first. Sometimes it's hard to wait, but I have made this promise.

Plus newsletter readers get to do fun stuff. I can't tell you what the fun stuff is, because that knowledge is part of being on the newsletter list. (I will give you a couple of hints: it is not cash, and it is not a pony.)

***

BIG SIGH OF RELIEF. This book is my first effort at independent publishing, and I chewed nails. I spent gobs of time with it--way more than writing. I am even more impressed now with writers who routinely publish their own work.

***

Thinking about Goals for 2015

1. I'd love for us to have more interaction here on the blog. Back in the day, it was an entertaining hangout for several of us.

2. I want to put out a fun email newsleter to subscribers whenever there's something big to share. In the past I have sent very few newsletters; ideally it will increase, but not exceed one per month. So if you decide to subscribe, I promise not to flood you with email. I don't want that, and I bet you don't either.

Perhaps we can talk more about goals in the next few weeks. Do you have any in mind for yourself? Do you have suggestions for me?

Magdalena





Monday, December 8, 2014

Word to the Wise: Buy these Boxed Sets Before Christmas

Turquoise Morning Press has lots of boxed sets of digital books available now, priced at 99 cents. This is such a wonderful way to discover new authors, or to get a favorite author's books at a super low price. Well--best be snapping those up now, because the prices are going up after Christmas. They'll be at least $2.99 per set, and some larger sets will be higher than $2.99.

Here are the Turquoise Morning Press boxed sets in which I have at least one story:


Love in a Small Town

Boxed set of Legend novels and novellas. Sweet romance, sensual romance, and romantic suspense, containing
Claiming the Legend, Crescent Moon, Harvest Moon by Janet Eaves, 
The Reunion Game  by Jan Scarbrough, 
Bed, Breakfast & You by Maddie James, and
Midnight in Legend, TN, Where Her Heart Is, Building a Dream by me.


A Legendary Christmas

Boxed set of four Legend novellas (sweet to spicy):

Santa's Kiss by Jan Scarbrough
Home for the Holidays by Maddie James
The Christmas Gift by Janet Eaves
Christmas Collision by me.








A Legendary Christmas Past (1940s, 1960s, 1970s retro)

Boxed set of six Legend sweet to spicy romance novellas:

If Only In My Dreams... Christmas 1944 and 1945 by Janet Eaves

A Groovy Christmas, 1968 and
Not Quite Christmas, 1969 by Jan Scarbrough

Under The Mistletoe, 1975, and
The Holly and the Ivy, 1978 by Magdalena Scott

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Apple - ibooks







Sweet But Sexy

Boxed set of 8 sweet romance novellas

Blue Bottle Beach by Amie Denman
All That's Unspoken by Constance Phillips
Crossroads by Janet Eaves
Secrets by Jan Scarbrough
My Brother's Wedding by Jennifer Anderson
Double Dog Dare by Jennifer Johnson
Hard Candy Kisses by Maddie James
Building a Dream by Magdalena Scott




Small Town Charm Love and Mystery

Boxed set of 8 romances and romantic mystery/suspense novels and novellas set in small towns.

Bloom by Julie Anne Lindsey
Buried in Briny Bay by Bobbye Terry 
Midnight in Legend, TN by Magdalena Scott 
Murder at the Blue Plate CafĂ© by Judy Alter 
Shades of the Future by Suzanne Lilly
Heart to Heart by Jan Scarbrough 
Rebuild My World by Cheryl Norman 
Ice Princess by Jennifer Anderson 





Okay, that was your public service/library enhancement announcement for today. 

Happy reading!

Magdalena

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Shopping Season! (Not)

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday. Mine was lovely. It didn't go exactly as expected, but being flexible and not freaking out when I burn something in the oven can make every event better.

Okay, actually I did freak out about burning something in the oven, but I'm mostly all better now.

Christmas decor here in the Jewel Box is complete, I think.

My door wreath is wearing its annual red Christmas bow, mistletoe hangs above the doorway, and the magnetic Christmas tree is on the fridge. Attila would destroy my beloved aluminum tree. That's frustrating, but in the big picture it's okay. The magnetic tree is cute, and this clip art tinsel tree is always fun to take out and fluff.

There will be very little shopping this year (yay!) but plenty of holiday enjoyment. I'm looking forward to a Madrigal concert, seeing A Christmas Carol at Louisville's Actors Theatre, a Christmas cantata at the small church I attend, and some dinners and parties.

Christmas movie watching is in full swing (one or two per week), and I'm about halfway through Marcia Willett's beautiful novel, A Week in Winter. Not quite ready to listen to Christmas music yet, beyond what's piped into the grocery store sound system.

I'm enjoying the Christmas season in a relaxed, happy way so far. Makes it easier for me to focus on people instead of stuff. And it leaves more energy for writing.

What kind of holiday season works best for you and yours?

Magdalena






Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Black Friday Sale at Turquoise Morning Press Bookstore

November 25 through December 1, 2014, all ebooks are 50 percent off at Turquoise Morning Press Bookstore.

That's all Ladies of Legend titles, as well as lots of other romance, mystery, and women's fiction.

Even boxed sets, which are currently priced at 99 cents, are on sale. Wow, huh?

I'll be shopping there for sure.

Other than that, it's a quiet hometown Thanksgiving holiday for me.

Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours!

Magdalena

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Winter Writer's Life and Attila, the Kitten from Heck

Winter suddenly rushed into Magdalenaville, bringing snow yesterday. This morning when Attila and I got up, the thermometer said 14 degrees. I bet my electric meter is spinning like crazy right now.

I love my tiny apartment, partly because of the view. I guess this year I'm going to try putting plastic over the windows (recommended by friends) and see if that will help keep us warm while still allowing some solar gain on sunny days. Last year I covered some of the glass with styrofoam and duct tape, which was about as pretty as you are imagining. It kept us warmer, though, and if we have to go that way, we will.

Monday when I got up and looked out at the pretty blanket of snow, I was happy. (Snow is easier to love when getting out in it is completely optional.) The first thing I saw on my phone was a text from a friend pointing out how fortunate I am to work at home. So true!

At first, Attila wasn't sure what to think about me being constantly under foot. But he seems to be adapting.

After all, I make sure his favorite soft red throw is in place for his naps. I am available to constantly replenish his food and water, and since I generally eat three meals a day here, sometimes he get to try a new tasty treat. For months, every time I opened the fridge door, he stuck his head in there, hoping for spinach, but that ship seems to have sailed.

And he can sometimes get me to play in an acceptable manner. Today we tried a new game which entertained him and kept his mind off biting me, which seemed a very, very satisfactory passtime.

Yep, my version of the Writer's Life: It's All About the Cat.

Do your pets rule too?

Magdalena


P.S.: I must give admit he enables my writing, by draping himself over my feet instead of over my hands/laptop. That's a plus!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Shanna Hatfield and the Cowboys & Christmas Blog Tour

Shanna-Hatfield-Nov-Blog-TourWelcome to the

Blog Tour!

A kickoff of new holiday romances by Shanna Hatfield
and a fundraiser for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund


An Interview with Tate and Kenzie Morgan of The Christmas Cowboy


Two key characters from Shanna Hatfield’s contemporary holiday series Rodeo Romance visit us today. The series incorporates rodeo action, western settings, rugged men, and tenacious women. Tate and Kenzie Morgan share a little about themselves today.

Welcome Tate and Kenzie. Tell us a little about how you met.

Tate: (Grins, flashing the dimples in his cheeks) This girl saw me across a crowded room, launched herself over a table and claimed me for her own.

Kenzie: (Rolls her eyes and playfully slaps Tate’s leg) You wish, cowboy. A few years ago, Tate and I both spent more time travelling than we ever did at home. He was a professional saddle bronc rider while I worked as a corporate trainer for a direct sales company. We both flew out of the same airport in Pasco, Washington frequently and happened to notice each other in the crowd a few times.

Tate: I was running really late one morning and the only seat left was next to this beautiful woman. It took me a few minutes to work up the courage to go sit beside her but I’m glad I did.

Kenzie: I’m glad you did, too.



Did you watch Tate compete when you were both travelling so often?

Kenzie: Just a few times that first year. The first time I watched him ride, I was mesmerized by his skill and agility. Our schedules rarely meshed, but I did enjoyed every opportunity I had to watch him compete. It was always fun with his friends there, including his travel partner, Cort McGraw.

Tate: (Chuckles) Cort kept things lively, for certain. Besides, the first year Kenzie knew me, she wasn’t even sure she liked me and convinced herself she wanted nothing to do with a cowboy.



Is it true you lost the championship title one year due to an injury the last night of the finals rodeo?

Tate: It is true. I’m never quite sure whether to be sad or glad about it.



What do you mean?

Tate: (Winks at Kenzie) She still didn’t want a thing to do with me then, but when I got hurt, she ended up flying home with me then taking me to her apartment to recuperate until I could take care of myself. We ended up getting married a few weeks later.

Kenzie: (Claps a hand over Tate’s mouth) Shh! That’s supposed to be a secret!

Tate: (Grins) So it is.

Kenzie: As sappy as this is going to sound, we just couldn’t bear the thought of being apart when we returned to work after the new year, so we ran off and got married and didn’t tell anyone. We had a big wedding ceremony in Las Vegas the following December after Tate won a gold buckle at the finals.



What can you tell us about the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund?

Tate: It’s an amazing organization that steps in to help injured rodeo athletes when they’ll be out of work for while and are facing financial hardship.

Kenzie: Fortunately, when Tate was injured, he had good insurance and the ranch income to see him through until he could get back into the competition. Not all cowboys are as lucky as mine. The JCCF is a lifesaver for some families.



What’s your favorite thing about Christmas?

Tate: Everything! The decorations, the food, the smells, the sounds, but most of all, my Christmas bride.

Kenzie: (Sighs with a soft look in her eyes) You always say the nicest things. The holiday season is just really special to us, particularly now that we have a baby. Gideon will be old enough this Christmas to really get into the presents.



Thank you for joining us. Any parting words for our readers?

Kenzie: Thank you for hosting us today. If you enjoy sweet holiday western romances, I hope you’ll consider reading our stories in The Christmas Cowboy and Wrestlin’ Christmas.




Where to Find The Books

The Christmas Cowboy
Start the Rodeo Romance Series with The Christmas Cowboy.

Now through Dec. 24, Shanna will donate 10 percent of the net proceeds from all her book sales to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. JCCF logoThe JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period.

You’re Invited to PARTY!

You’re invited to join in the online Cowboys & Christmas Facebook Party Thursday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PST). Drop in anytime during those four hours to enter to win great prizes, chat with guest authors, and more! Here’s the link to the party: http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasparty

The third book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series releases that day! The Christmas Calamity takes readers back to Hardman just in time for the holiday season. Preorders are available now for just $1.99 on Kindle. You can reserve your copy here: http://amzn.com/B00OGOO994

In addition, the first book in the Hardman Holidays series, The Christmas Bargain, will be available free that day, as well!


Prize BasketEnter to Win Prizes!

To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, autographed books, chocolates, original western artwork, and more fun goodies, fill out this form.



About Shanna Hatfield

Shanna Hatfield 2A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”

She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America.

Find Shanna’s books at:


Shanna loves to hear from readers! Follow her online:


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Gotta love a bargain. Happy endings, no extra charge.

These two ebook boxed sets were recently reduced to 99 cents each.

If you haven't discovered Legend, Tennessee, now is the perfect time to do so! If you've read some of the novels and novellas but have missed a few, this may help you catch up.

The four authors of the Legend stories are Maddie James, Jan Scarbrough, Janet Eaves, and moi.

Love in a Small Town

AMAZON TOP 100 BESTSELLER
ROMANCE, CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE, ANTHOLOGIES/COLLECTIONS

Bestselling and popular romance novellas in the Ladies of Legend series of books.

WELCOME TO LEGEND, TN -- Where romance lives next door.

Nestled in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, the city of Legend boasts of small town pride and southern elegance. Porches are still for sitting and troubles for one family affect the entire community. Authors Jan Scarbrough, Magdalena Scott, Janet Eaves and Maddie James masterfully weave tales of women from different backgrounds who find home, and their hearts, in this small mountain town.

Come on in! The sweet tea is on the porch and the cookies are in the oven. Sit for a spell and enjoy the follow stories.

Claiming The Legend by Janet Eaves
Midnight In Legend, TN by Magdalena Scott
Bed, Breakfast & You by Maddie James
The Reunion Game by Jan Scarbrough
Where Her Heart Is by Magdalena Scott
Crescent Moon by Janet Eaves
Building A Dream by Magdalena Scott
Harvest Moon, by Janet Eaves



A Legendary Christmas
A companion boxed set to Love in a Small Town

It's Christmas in Legend, Tennessee and there is no finer place to visit than this small mountain town, sitting snug and cozy in the Great Smoky Mountains. You may have been here before, when Midnight Shelby came to town to find herself, or when Jane Smith switched places with her famous twin sister at her high school reunion. Or perhaps, you'll remember meeting up with Lilly Peach when she escaped to Legend with only her life, and found an entire town to watch her back. And then there was Suzie Matthews, chef and owner of the local B&B, who cooked up a sexy dream of her own.

All of these characters are still living in Legend. Plus you'll find some new friends, too. After all, it's Christmastime! People are coming home, visiting family, escaping their regularly scheduled lives, and maybe settling a few misunderstandings.

We hope you enjoy visiting this magical town of Legend. Whether it's your first visit, or you've been here before, we hope you enjoy your stay. We are pleased to share these stories with you. Eggnog, anyone?

Stories in the Ladies of Legend, Legendary Christmas series include:

Santa's Kiss by Jan Scarbrough
Christmas Collision by Magdalena Scott
The Christmas Gift by Janet Eaves
Home For The Holidays by Maddie James.

      Kindle    Nook    ibooks    Kobo   Turquoise Morning Press (publisher)

Sale ends after Christmas. It's okay to go ahead and buy these for yourself now, if you want.

:)

Magdalena

Monday, November 3, 2014

I am at Vicki Batman's Hangbag Monday blog today

My friend Vicki Batman runs the cutest blog.

Mondays are dedicated to authors showcasing their handbags. There have been some beautiful handbags, including one a couple of weeks ago by Helen Scott Taylor--a beautiful classy red one that made me question my own handbag attitude.

My little bag will make you smile, I bet.

Click here to be transported to Vicki Batman's Handbags, Books...Whatever blog.

Magdalena

P.S. This lantern seems random, but it's all I have that even slightly resembles a Tardis.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Writer's Retreat: Unplugged and Focused

I'm back from a brief writer's retreat with no internet access, and very spotty cell service. I got quite a bit of work done, but even at that Emily's story is a struggle. She's a complicated young woman.

To do justice to her story--and heck, to get it written at all--I have to consistently attain the level of focus I had in August while working Small Town Christmas, the first book in this series. The retreat helped get me on track; I was surprised with how well the writing flowed. But now I'm home and faced with the things that pull my focus away from the story.

In August I was mostly glued to the chair, but if I want to stay healthy I have to make time for daily exercise. While the weather cooperates, that means a nice long walk.

I need to make time to get Small Town Christmas published on its own. Right now it's only available in the wonderful ebook boxed set, Sweet Christmas Kisses.

As soon as I've published Small Town Christmas (um, first time doing this myself) I'll send out a newsletter to everyone on my email list. The winner of last month's contest will be announced, and a new only-for-newsletter-subscribers thingie will be available. Guess who doesn't know what that is yet.

And  then there are people and relationships and preparing and consuming healthy meals, and keeping my apartment from looking like a paper mill blew up in it. All important to a well-rounded life.

As I've explained to Attila, no story = no royalties = no more treats for either of us. He doesn't want to hear about that, or about self-publishing or sending out newsletters, or exploding paper mills. I imagine he wishes he'd been adopted by a normal person instead of a writer.

Magdalena

P.S. I took the photo above on a walk last week. I love autumn!

P.P.S. If you're looking for something to read while I'm writing Emily's story, all my books are available here:


Amazon (U.S.)    ~  Amazon (U.K.)

   Apple  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~   Kobo  ~  Smashwords

Monday, October 13, 2014

How Should I Celebrate?

Golly. I hardly know what to do with myself now that our boxed set, Sweet Christmas Kisses, hit the USA Today Bestseller list. We landed at number 51, just short of being in the print edition (drat!). But I've downloaded the list and have it saved in my virtual OH-MY-GOODNESS-WHAT-A-RIDE folder.

We learned about it on Wednesday night, October 8. I didn't even know how to celebrate, except to share posts by some of the other 13 authors in the set who announced it on Facebook and Twitter. Now that the news is almost a week old, I'm still at a loss. Do I throw myself a party? Buy a cake (bad idea, as I would eat the cake).

I did take a permanent marker and write the news on some of my giant postcards, then hand-deliver them around town. Nobody turned me away, and everyone seemed happy for me. I guess in a way, I gave myself a traveling party, and the party favors were the postcards.

I used to be organized, and a bit of a planner. In the past several years, life wore me down, and I struggle with both of those things now. Boy, does that need to change!

I can't take much credit at all for this achievement. The only things I did were:

1. Recognize that the formation of Sweet Romance Reads in 2013 was a turning point in my career. Before SRR, I always felt a bit out of place because I didn't write spicy romance.

2. Taste the thrill of great sales when Love in a Small Town with Maddie James, Janet Eaves and Jan Scarbrough was an Amazon bestseller in late 2013 and early 2014. And be hungry for that thrill again.

3. Quit my day job in order to make writing my full-time career. This was a crazy move--or, as I like to refer to it, this was stepping out in faith.

4. Attend the Romance Writers of America national conference in San Antonio and become even more excited and encouraged by the great information sharing and camaraderie. I even got to participate in the Readers for Life booksigning, with copies of my own three-story anthology, The Sweeter Side of Legend: The McClains of Legend, Tennessee. Thanks to Turquoise Morning Press for making that happen!

5. Write my best book in years, taking less than a month from start to finish. Enlist beta readers, purchase a cover, hire an editor. (This part makes me sound organized, but I think it's an anomaly.)

Most of the credit for the USA Today list goes to the other authors in the set. They are amazing businesswomen, clearly outstanding in their organizational and planning skills.

The choices, the relationships, the work and the teamwork have resulted in the letters USAT appearing after my name. I consider it a doctorate of sorts, cooler by far than the degree on my college diploma. (I'd leave instructions to have "USA Today Bestselling Author" put on my tombstone, but I plan to be cremated. I wonder if I can have my college ring altered to include USAT...)

The romance writing world is a beautiful place. I'm so fortunate to be here!

And you know, the next time I hit a big list, I think I'll go ahead and get cake.

Magdalena Scott, USAT



~*~

You can find all my books at your favorite online bookseller:


Amazon (U.S.)    ~  Amazon (U.K.)

   Apple  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~   Kobo

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I Get by with a Little Help from my Friends

Or, you know, a LOT of help from my friends.

This is true in every day life, and in my writing life, too. Here is one example:

All of the other 13 authors in the Sweet Christmas Kisses boxed set are not just authors, but incredible businesswomen. I am in awe of their abilities, and so fortunate to have worked with them in the creation and promotion of our boxed set.

It's doing very, very well...but that didn't just magically happen. Even when you write a good book, people have to learn about it. These women know how to get the word out!

UPDATE: We made the USA Today Bestseller List!

If you haven't bought your copy yet, there's still time to get it at the 99 cent price from your favorite ebook retailer:


   iBooks  ~  Barnes & Noble Nook  ~   Kobo

The graphic above shows the covers of all of the books contained in the set. All the authors are different, and our books are all different. But readers' reviews indicate that the set works really well together. 

I think we have too, and I'm so grateful for it.

I have other author friends that I'll tell you about one day soon. For now though--

Happy reading!

Magdalena



Monday, September 29, 2014

Please Join the Release Week Festivities

Please join us September 29-October 3, 2014, as we celebrate the release of Sweet Christmas Kisses.

Every day there will a fun question and answer session at Sweet Romance Reads website. All fourteen authors are participating. We've already submitted our answers to each daily question. But each of us was limited to a few words for each answer. Do you know how hard that is? It will be fun to see the resulting compilation. Click here to go to Sweet Romance Reads website. As always, please join in if you have a comment.




There's also a big party on Facebook September 30, which is the actual release day of the 14-story boxed set.

We all know your time is important, and we appreciate you spending some of it with us. The party will be fast-paced and fun, with lots of opportunity to join in. There will also be prizes galore.

Besides the authors of this set, we have lots of special guests, too. It's likely that one or more of your favorite sweet romance authors is participating. Click here to be magically transported to the facebook event page.  UPDATE: THE PARTY WAS FANTASTIC! HUGE CROWD, LOTS OF FUN GAMES AND INTERACTION. I'M SORRY IF YOU MISSED IT.

I hope to see you at one or both of those places. I won't be here this week. Busy, busy, busy.  :)

Magdalena

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Man in the Brown Suit and the Novelist in the Boxed Set

It's dangerous to even open Amazon on my laptop, because I start looking at things like sales rank. I can spend a lot of time not writing the next book by looking to see how past books are performing. Shame on me.

This morning, though, it wasn't my fault. A fellow author emailed to let me know that I was ranked in the top 100 of Kindle Romantic Mystery authors. Here is a link to the page, but I don't know who will be ranked where when you click on it. The list changes every hour, and as I'm writing, my rank is 64.

Small Town Charm, Love and Mystery is selling great. I've said before how much fun it is to have mystery novels and romance in the same collection. Results seem to show it's a good idea for sales too. We only have a couple of reviews so far, but they're five star. So very exciting all around.

I hope Agatha Christie will always be above me in mystery sales (paperback + ebook). Did you know she also wrote romance? As a teenager, I read The Man in the Brown Suit and discovered a new-to-me genre: romantic mystery! *Sigh*

This paperback survived our downsize. About 40 boxes of books went to the friends of the library, and I kept about 40. Not 40 boxes. I kept about 40 books, so you can see how much I treasure this one.

Have a wonderful day, and here's hoping you'll have some happy surprises along the way. I sure have!

Magdalena

P.S. My new Christmas story, and the series it kicks off has romance, a modicum of mystery, and a pinch of paranormal. Just FYI.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Happy Friday, and Something New

I took an online class in August about writing and sending good newsletters. Years ago I sent an occasional one, then real life took complete precedence.

Now that I'm back to writing, and things are happening rather quickly, I'm taking the plunge. I'd love for you to plunge with me.

Here are my promises to you.


  • I won't bombard you; newsletters will be emailed once a month, and sometimes less often. 
  • I will never give or sell your information to anyone or anything.
  • Each newsletter will have something special for you. Something that no one will have access to unless they are also a newsletter subscriber. This will vary each month, and I won't advertise what the special thing is, because it is only for newsletter subscribers. 
  • Each newsletter will be concise, because I know your time is valuable.
  • You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sound fair? Interested?

Thank you for considering it--and Happy Friday!

Magdalena


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Meet Jennifer Anderson and read about ICE PRINCESS

Welcome to Honey Creek, Ohio!

Take a walk around town, where there is only one stoplight, one gas station, one grocery story, many churches and one lake. But, oh man, what a lake.

Honey Creek Lake is where a lot of the magic and drama happens in the sweet, little town. Maybe take a dip in our man-made waters. Walk along the edge and watch the boaters zip by sending waves a water to lap the shores. Have a lazy day, cast out a line and wait for the fish to bite. Or maybe, grab the hand of your loved one and step inside our new gazebo. Slip under our famous Weeping Willow and steel a kiss from your sweetie. Every corner of our lake holds a story. When you’re there, create your own.

Head five miles back into town from the lake, stop by our White Cottage Restaurant, and have a slice of strawberry pie, although I’m partial to the lemon meringue. The pie display case and red-topped tables only add to the incredible yummies filling every plate. Catch 22 Pizza sets off the perfect Italian mood with soft lighting and scents of garlic, warm bread and spicy sauce. Grab a slice or an entire pizza pie. Is doesn’t matter because after one bite, you’ll be back for more.

If you’re only here for a short while, maybe plan a trip back during our summer months. We host a Strawberry Festival with music and booths full of berry fare. July plays host to a Fourth of July celebration with a parade and fireworks at the lake. Rent a cabin and stay awhile. You’re sure to find whatever you’re looking for in our charming town and rural county.

Honey Creek sets the stage for a sweet Young Adult novella, Ice Princess. In it, Mya wants to shake things up in her small town. But once she’s given what she wants, will she change her mind and crave for normalcy.

Here’s an excerpt from Ice Princess, Honey Creek Royalty Book 1:
“Okay. Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A farmer and a pig….”

“Stop,” I yelled without looking up.
“I already told you that one?”
“No, but any joke starting with a farmer and pig can’t be good.” I rolled over on the large towel we’d spread across the sand. It was the last day of summer vacation, and Michael and I agreed to spend the day together doing nothing but enjoying the sun. Living in Ohio, we weren’t sure how many more days we had left. Soon the leaves would fall showing off snow-covered cornfields.
“Can you toss me a Dr. Pepper?”
“Sure.” Without looking, I reached into the small red Igloo cooler we brought and produced a cold dripping can. I knew it was for him since I preferred bottled water to soda. Not Michael. The kid lived on caffeine and sugar. Which made the lack of fat on his body hard to explain. Not that I’d ever noticed. Michael Graves was my best friend. And nothing more.
“So, you ready for tomorrow?”
“Sure, I guess,” I answered. “How’s it any different than the last three years at Fayette County High? Really, we’ve known the same people and gone to school with them for the past twelve years. We all know who we’re gonna eat lunch with or who we’re gonna sit with at opening assembly. Boring.” I wasn’t a pessimist or a Debbie Downer, but Honey Creek needed some excitement and I didn’t think our senior year would prove to be any different unless something unusual happened.
“Ok. So why don’t we spice it up a bit.”
“Like what?”
“Let’s start a nasty rumor or sit at a different table at lunch.”
“Ooh, Michael, you’re so scandalous! Have I been rubbing off on you?”
“Hardly. I think the most daring thing you’ve ever done was streak across my yard when we were five because you’d heard wearing your bathing suit gave you tan lines. Even though you had no idea what tan lines were, I might add,” he said with a smirk. The afternoon sun danced across his blonde moppy hair, intensifying his golden highlights. He sat next to me in a short beach chair staring out at the water. Everyone we knew was out enjoying the last weekend of August. All of the rental cottages were empty from the few Honey Creek vacationers that came to visit the lake. It was a manmade watering hole, but that didn’t take away from the fun had there. Boats skidded across the water pulling skiers or tubers in their wake. The sand was dressed with towels and blankets full of half-clothed bodies soaking up the sun like Michael and me.
“So word around town is there’s a new kid coming to school.”

4 Star LASR Review: Great Read!
It is a wonderfully emotional short story with just the right balance of sweetness and sadness. I recommend it to anyone who relishes a charming story of love and friendship.”

"The emotional scenes in the hospital and day of funeral are great - I know I cried when I reviewed initially, and I cried again in both read throughs this week - I'm such a sap :-)" -Wendy on GoodReads

Blurb:
Mya Newman never minded the routine or quiet that came with living in Honey Creek, Ohio. For her senior year, she craves something exciting to happen instead of it melting into a cookie cutter routine like the previous years.

When a new girl, Audrey Moore, moves to town, Mya finds herself caught in a triangle. She discovers hidden feelings for her best friend, Michael Graves, but he seems to have eyes for the new girl.

After Mya's father becomes ill and eventually passes, she turns to her best friend, Michael. He never leaves her side, but she wonders if he'd rather be elsewhere. With fear of rejection and loss of friendship, Mya decides she can't confess her recently discovered feelings.

When Michael and Mya share a dance at the Winter Formal, does she open her heart to him? Or does she shy away, forever longing to be the princess who finds her prince?


Thank you for having me *wink wink*. Small Town Charm, Love & Mystery is available wherever e-books are sold.


About Jennifer Anderson:
I'm a Mommy, wife and now author. Even though I've spent many years on either coast, I've spent a majority of my life in the Midwest. Here is where my heart grows with the love and support of my family and friends and here is where I find inspiration for my stories.
I'm also excited to announce Spider, my first non-series YA novel will also release in 2013. My Brother's Wedding, a contemporary romance, releases in e-book only in August 2013. Stay tuned for more news.

My complete list of releases:
Ice Princess, Honey Creek Royalty Book 1
Prince Charming, Honey Creek Royalty Book 2
Queen Mean, Honey Creek Royalty Book 3
King of the Lake, Honey Creek Royalty Book 4
Spider, May 2013
My Brother's Wedding, August 2013
Print edition of Books 1-3 from Honey Creek Royalty Series are now available!

You can visit me at www.jenandersonauthor.com and www.musingsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com
Twitter: @JenniA8677



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