Monthly Archives: June 2012

Boot camp for the Time Challenged Part 2

Last week I challenged you to determine what is important to you and to begin to cut the non-essentials from your life. How did that go? Did you find something you could cut from your day? From your week? Continue reading to find out what is next.

Schedule your day–This strategy may or may not work for you, but I have found it to be essential. I am self-employed and a full-time mom. Without a set schedule I would never accomplish everything I need to do. A typical school day goes as follows for me. Flexibility is key for me so I don’t become discouraged when something doesn’t go as planned. You will need to make changes according to your life style and needs.

5:45 Wake up

6:00-6:30 Exercise

6:30-6:50 Shower etc…

Run kids to school

7:00-8:00 Breakfast, devotions, clean kitchen

8:00-9:30 Social media: email, blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc…

9:30 -11:00 Write

11:00 Break for lunch

11:30 Clean the house

1:00-2:00 Read–This is a priority since I review books and want to stay up on what is current

Etc…

This is only a rough outline of how my day will ideally go. Clearly I’ve allowed more time than necessary in some areas. This is to allow for those unexpected things that inevitably pop up. Most days I’m doing laundry when I’m trying to write, fielding calls and/or urgent emails, and on occasion I have appointments to go to. I plan ahead for those appointments so I don’t get behind with my writing. I set goals for myself and if I exceed them then I can back off on busier days.

Keep in mind everyone’s day will look different. I’m a morning person, so my best time to think is early. If I had to be creative after three or four in the afternoon I’d never write anything. I’m aware that there is more to a day than what you see in my schedule above, but somehow it all works and I don’t feel overwhelmed. Keep in mind this is only a rough outline–figure out what works for you.

Check back next week for organization strategies that will free up your time for more important things, like that book you’ve been dying to read:)

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Cherry Blossom Capers

Cherry Blossom Capers is a four-in-one romance collection with threads of mystery and a little suspense.The stories all take place in Washington DC and follow the lives of four friends who live in the Cherry Blossom Estates.

Book one State Secrets, by Lynette Sowell, finds White House chef, Tara Whitley, in the middle of FBI agent Jack Courtland’s investigation.

In book two, Dying for Love,  by Carra C. Putman, attorney Ciara Turner discovers the body of the judge she’s come to meet. Her former friend and co-worker Daniel Evans is determined to solve the murder.

Book three, Buried Deception, by Gina Conroy has Archaeology intern Samantha Steele reeling when she discovers that a historical artifact has been swapped out for a fake. Former police officer, Nick Porter, determines to find the thief and bring him to justice while at the same time trying to protect Samantha.

Book four, Coffee, Tea, and Danger, by Frances Devine, follows Susan Holland the owner of  Coffee, Tea, and Sweets. Susan inherits the mansion of her Uncle, a former ambassador, along with all the trouble that he was hiding. Someone is out to kill Susan, and contractor Vince Martini is determined to protect her.

If you’re looking for an easy summer read then grab a copy of Cherry Blossom Capers. I’m not sure which story was my favorite as they all were enjoyable, but what makes a book like this so nice is that one story can easily be read in a day beside the pool. I have to admit to being disappointed when the first one ended as it seemed a bit sudden, but then I changed my expectations, realizing these were short stories that could only be developed so far. Once I accepted that fact the novellas entertained me from beginning to end. For those of you who enjoy reading but find yourself challenged for time a book like Cherry Blossom Capers is perfect.

Boot Camp for the Time Challenged Part 1

Crunched for time? Keep reading for tips to ease the load. Over the next four weeks I will lay out strategies that will help you organize your time, freeing up valuable minutes in your day.

Set priorities—If it is not important cut it from your day. If you don’t value it stop doing it.

There are only 24 hours in a day and we all have the same amount of time. What you do with your time defines who you are and what is important to you. This week I challenge you to take five minutes and figure out what is most important to you, and write it down. What are you passionate about? Of course we all have things we must do whether we like to or not, but I’m talking about those optional commitments.

Don’t sweat the small stuff and remember that your behavior needs to line up with what you value. Once you determine your priorities begin to whittle the non-essentials from your life. Be honest with yourself. No one can do everything. Over committing causes burnout and ineffective results.

Check back next week to find out what to do now that you’ve set your priorities.

Dawn Comes Early

In the mood for an awesome western romance?

Dawn Comes Early, by Margaret Brownley follows dime novelist Kate Tenney. Kate’s latest book is banned in Boston and now no one will hire her. With no family or any other skills she replies to a  post seeking an heiress for a cattle ranch in Arizona. Kate hopes that real ranch life is like what she wrote in her books, but quickly finds out she didn’t have a clue. However she is determined to prove herself capable.

Blacksmith Luke Adams is a distraction Kate doesn’t want, and she can’t get him from her mind. But if she is to become heiress of the ranch she must sign a contract to remain single forever.

I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Brownley’s humor and whit! My favorite line in the whole book– “It was so hot the chickens laid hard boiled eggs.” LOVE that. My apologies to Ms. Brownley if I messed up the wording. I should’ve written it down when I read it.

To read more about Dawn Comes Early and other books by Margaret you can visit her website at http://www.margaretbrownley.com/index.html

What would you like?

Hi everyone,

I’d like to start posting twice a week. Monday’s will continue to be either a book review or author interview, but the second day will be a different topic.

Is there something you’d like to see posted here?  I’m open to ideas and suggestions. Please leave me your ideas in the comments. Spread the word to your friends too. I’d love to see their ideas also.

Thanks!

From A Distance

Historical romance, From a Distance by Tamera Alexander is book one in the Timber Ridge Reflections series.

Photographer Elizabeth Garrett is on the job interview of a lifetime for the Washington Daily Chronicle. If she succeeds in her mission she will be the first female staff photographer and  journalist the Chronicle has ever hired. She heads West to Colorado to photograph the amazing scenery and wildlife. She especially wants to meet the Ute to photograph and interview them. But only one man, Daniel Ranslett, has contact with the tribe and he isn’t interested in helping.

Daniel Ranslett lives a solitary life in the mountains until he shoots the elk of a lifetime and comes face to face with the stubborn Miss Garrett who demands he take her out hunting after he shoots the elk she was about to photograph.

I won’t tell you anymore, because I don’t want to spoil the story for you. There were elements of danger, mystery, heart warming relationships, and angst all wrapped up to create an entertaining hard-to-put-down novel. I thoroughly enjoyed From a Distance.

Double Exposure

Double Exposure,Susan Sleeman’s latest installment in The Justice Agency series is romantic suspense perfection.

Photographer Jennie Buchanan’s life is in danger thanks to a picture she took that inadvertently caught a drug-cartel in the background. The Justice siblings work together to protect Jennie and to figure out who the threat is.

Ethan Justice had his heart broken by Jennie years ago and doesn’t want to go there again, but while protecting her he realizes what she was really running from and it wasn’t him.

I can’t express how much I enjoyed Double Exposure. Susan has a real talent for writing romantic suspense! To learn more about this book and others by Susan Sleeman you may visit her web sight at http://www.susansleeman.com

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