Sunday, August 20, 2017

Excuses, excuses, excuses

Welcome to my garden. It's nice and toasty in the garden, I love to sit out and enjoy. But don't ask me to weed or do anything. I'm not a gardener. My husband keeps up the flowers and things we enjoy. So for the tip of the week, I'll ask the pro of the household:

If you really don't like getting your hands in the dirt, hire someone.

Why am I all fired up about excuses? Me! I have been using the excuse that I do not have time to write. I have family, I have lots of friends, I work full-time and also the fact I take public transit. When I get home in the evening, I make dinner and then I'm exhausted. The last thing I want to do is write for an hour. Well I do want to write, I just have no brain cells by then.

Let me give you a bit of backstory around 2005 all of our kids had finally left the nest, my husband was making good money and we decided that I would quit my job and write full time. And it was wonderful. I never thought I'd go back to a day job. I would be able to help with grand-kids and write a few hours a day--yeah I know, not full time. Anyway, I was starting to have a bit of following and life was good.

In 2010 my husband was laid off. He was 61 so too early to retire and too old to start a new career. The industry he was in had gone to part time jobs with no insurance. That wasn't going to work for us. He tried for a year and could not find employment so he took early retirement at 62 and I went back to a day job. That's when the excuses started. I think I was just bitter and mad. Not at my husband, but at circumstances.

I know some author's write early in the morning, and my excuse for that was; well I'll be too tired for my day job. Early last week I was frustrated with the fact I wasn't getting any writing done. This wasn't a new dilemma, since I've gone back to work I've been writing in spurts. Writing days at Barnes and Noble with my critique partner, or when my husband is gone golfing on the weekends. Or during my annual writing retreat I do with two author friends. I have been completing a book a year. If I am lucky.

So what brought this new frustration on? Last month I went to the Launch Party reader's event that Brenda Novak threw for her new book and readers. And many of the attendees (readers) were interested in my books. That lit a fire under me. I wanted to write more. I still had the same excuses, but there was one I really couldn't justify. WHY couldn't I get up an hour earlier? A year ago my hours were an hour earlier, so why not get up at that time again?I decided to give it a try. And like magic I've averaged a little over 1000 words a day, during the week. And I've been able to write an hour or two on the weekend. Why? Because I'm excited about my writing again. The more I write the more dedicated I am to finding more time to write.
met

I hope it continues. I am not going to jinx it by saying I will. I am going to do my best to write everyday before work. And on the weekends if I'm too busy with family or friends or both, I won't have to feel so guilty about it. And the best part, maybe I'll get two books done per year.

What do you use excuses for? What are you doing to overcome those excuses?

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Grammar

Welcome to the Garden! Let's ask our resident Gardner, my husband Ron because it's certainly not ME!, what his weekly tip is:
Gardening tip of the week:
If you stop to smell the roses, you might get stung.
(Yeah I know and he's all mine.)
Today's subject--Grammar!

Mary’s Garden where imagination blooms.
The After Work Cook Blog: theafterworkcook.blogspot.com

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Mary's Ramblings....

Welcome to Mary's Garden. I'm trying to think of a garden tip of the day. I'll ask the residence expert, my husband. And here is his expert advise. "Talk to your plants, encourage them to grow and make them feel as if they're the only plant in the garden."


Brenda Novak's Launch party. A few pictures from the Wine tour.
Getting ready to go on our adventure to wine country!

Time for lunch at Cooper Winery

One of my new friends!

A few pictures from the Mimosa Brunch.
Ready for brunch with my new friends. Judy, Sabrina, Glennis, Lynnell. 
Brenda, her assistant and her daughter.


Two Cool couples. Suzanne and Amy and husbands.
Brenda, Me and her grandbaby Ella.

Judy, Glennis, Me, Suzanne

A few pictures from our Annual Backpack Fundraiser.
Bella is thinking about helping.
We even had the hulk.


Lots of good food.

Many Helpers
49er fans


Everyone who helped

100 backpacks! 50 to go to the Navajo reservation and 50 to a local school district.
She's done!


And I'm proud of my grandson who's trying to build a name as a guitarist. He started a YouTube Chanel a few days ago, he has three cover songs. Here is one of his covers. Please feel free to share it.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXheYkd2vtFMw7g2wgWh7Ag

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Marie Higgins is RE-INTRODUCING… her Heroic Rogue Series

Welcome to the garden! It's a very hot summer here, so try to find some shade. Before we get started with our guest, Marie Higgins. I need to give you my garden tip of the week...

Keep it weeded... Great words of wisdom from my husband Ron.
1 gallon of white vinegar
1/2 cup salt
Liquid dish soap (any brand)
Empty spray bottle

Put salt in the empty spray bottle and fill it the rest of the way up with white vinegar. Add a squirt of liquid dish soap.

This solution works best if you use it on a hot day. Spray it on the weeds in the morning, and as it heats up it will do its work. Check the entire article here...

Now, we'll hear from Marie!

RE-INTRODUCING… Heroic Rogue Series by Marie Higgens
Reviews
* This was a very intriguing book; it held my attention from start to finish--so much so that I read it in one day! I liked it and would highly recommend it as a worthwhile read. ~Amazon review

* I am so pleased to be able to give this book my highest rating and recommendation. It was an absolute delight to read, and I cannot think of any portion of the book I did not like. ~Barnes and Noble review

* One of the best stories I’ve ever read! ~Wattpad review

* Well done❤

* I always count on your books to be well written and well thought out. I don't get to see that very often. I really love your stories. They make me... happy!

GIVEAWAY – leave a comment on this blog with your name and email, and you’ll be entered into a drawing to receive a free book of your choice! (I have 42 to choose from)

Heroic Rogue Series - Heroes who fight to protect their country from Napoleon's controlling hand...and men who won't give up on the women who have captured their hearts.

"Pretending You're Mine" (previously published as Take My Heart) - Portraying her twin is the only way Mercedes Maxwell can get close to her sister's husband to learn his secrets. William Braxton is confused about the sudden change in his wife, and yet, now he'd drawn to her like never before. Can they fall in love with numerous secrets between them? http://a.co/9899GMP

"After the Loving" (previously published as Falling in Love Again) - Marcus Thorne / Captain Hawk is determined to capture Napoleon's spies, even if one is so very lovely and seductive. Isabelle Stanhope gives her heart to her captor, even if she's forced to marry a man she doesn't love. Can they fight against fate's rules? http://a.co/4A2MMbm

"Wonderland by Night" - Nobody must know that Lady Emiline Lucia's uncle is Napoleon Bonaparte. She must protect herself against those who hate France's emperor. Gabriel Lawrence hides his identity as a spy. How can he protect them both if a spy against the crown is always one step ahead...and wants Gabe dead? http://a.co/9Rx7QI9

"Worth Fighting For" - Lindsay Lennox, youngest daughter of Turkey's governor, will do anything to meet and kiss a man...even sneak aboard a ship that is sailing to England. Captain Barry Braxton is heading home to take over his dying father's place, co-partnering with his uncle (William Braxton). Will the lovely stowaway stop his plans? http://a.co/hu8dWdQ


Author’s Bio
Marie Higgins is a best-selling, multi-published author of Christian and sweet romance novels; from refined bad-boy heroes who make your heart melt to the feisty heroines who somehow manage to love them regardless of their faults. She’s been with a Christian publisher since 2010. Between those and her others, she’s published over 40 heartwarming, on-the-edge-of-your-seat stories and broadened her readership by writing mystery/suspense, humor, time-travel, paranormal, along with her love for historical romances. Her readers have dubbed her "Queen of Tease", because of all her twists and turns and unexpected endings.

When I first wrote the Heroic Rogue Series, each book was set in the Colonial era in the US, just before the Revolutionary War. I have revised them and placed each story into England during the Regency era. It surprised me how differently the stories turned out.

Visit her website / blog to discover more about her – www.mariehiggins.com
Find her on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/marie.higgins.7543
And Twitter – https://twitter.com/mariehigginsXOX

Thanks for dropping by today, Marie! Good luck with your series.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

DNA matters....

Welcome to my garden. Today is OFF topic of writing. DNA, gardening apparently is NOT in my DNA. Speaking of that here is today's gardening tip...

If you have a black thumb, hire a gardener. Or marry someone who does well with gardening. ~~~ words of wisdom by Mary Martinez

Designing Gardens in limited spaces. 

Question of the day... How many of you have done your DNA? I know most of you think you know your background, but you may be surprised. I am adopted so in order to find my birth parents I took two DNA tests. The first one with 23andMe, this one is a little more expensive but it not only gives you your DNA it gives you health issues, etc. Things like what you're DNA is prone to, I have a good chance to have skin cancer. WELL this would have been nice to know before I got it on my nose. But all is well.

Ancestry is all about just that... Ancestry. I'm trying to build up my tree, but the problem is this, I
have names of my birth parents and their parents now, but my father passed away before I had the opportunity to meet him. I think he would have liked me. But his mother's last name was Dolan, do you know how many DOLAN'S there are? It's the the Smith's and Jones of a American only in Ireland. And her first name is Helen, again there is almost as many of those in Ireland and in New York, where she immigrated to, as there are Mary's.

Whenever I think I have the right one, I have no one to ask if the siblings they have for her are right. It's a bit frustrating. But I'm working through it. The funny thing is, over the years people have asked me what nationality I am and I've always said I'm adopted so I can be whatever the hell er, heck I want and I say Irish. And turns out I'm 49% Irish and about 40% British which includes Scottish. My birth mother side has the Scottish Anderson and a bit of German and a few others.

I got my son's DNA because I figured I only needed to do one child and that would tell me what they were. Oh no! I found out that each child get's so much DNA from each parent and it's not always the same amount of DNA, like it's not 50/50. One child can get 90% of one parent and 10% of the other. While another child can have 40/60 or even 50/50 or even 95/5. Who knew? Certainly not me. Now I'm going to have the others done, just to see.

My sister-in-law fully expected to see that she was close to 100% Southern American or Spanish which if you're from Spain it comes up Iberian. She found out that she is 30% Greek. She has NO idea where that came from. My husband who thought he'd have all his ancestry from South American is 60% European (27.3% of that is Iberian) and 24.1% Native American. Which encompasses North and South America.

You just never know. Yet somehow I knew deep down I was Irish. And believe me I'm embracing my Irish for all it's worth!

Do you have a DNA story? I'd love to hear all about it!

And back to writing. DNA can bring in a bit of mystery to a story. I think I may use it at some point!

Have a good week.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Promotion AGAIN

Welcome to my garden. I'd like to share with you a tip for growing raspberries. Of course, it's not MY tip, but from a blog I found!

Today I'm going to video blog on my nemesis... PROMOTION! I know I have jabbered about this before, but apparently it's still giving me nightmares. Enjoy!

Here are the two banner's that I have done using a combination MS Publisher and my new Adobe Photoshop Elements 15, which I swear does not like me! Watching Jenny (I may tweak the writing on this).

Four Sisters

Visit my web site MaryMartinez.com tell me what you think. Just so you know the main banner with me on it, History Mysteries, and Classic Murder: Mr. Romance banners were all done by my cover artist Sheri McGathy. The rest are all my work, these two are my creations using both MS Publisher and Adobe Photoshop Elements 15.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think about promotion and PLEASE share any tips you have with us. Thank you for dropping by.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Book Launch - Eye of the Tiger (A Redcliffe Novel) book 4

Welcome to Mary's Garden. I got to thinking, most of you must think I'm an avid gardener. Especially as my tag line says "Mary's Garden where imagination blooms". Unfortunately that is the only place my garden blooms, in my imagination. Unless of course my husband does the gardening. I love to sit and enjoy a garden, don't get me wrong. Again, unfortunately I have a black thumb. Plants die when they see me coming to save time and misery. From this point on, I'm going to try to give garden tips (from others) or sayings. 

Tip of the day...

Today we have a special guest from the UK! Welcome Catherine Green. She has a new book out! 

OFFICIAL BOOK LAUNCH – Eye of the Tiger (A Redcliffe Novel) – book 4 –
by Catherine Green



Jessica Stone used to be a normal human. Then she fell in love with a vampire, met his identical twin werewolf brother, and her life fell apart spectacularly. Meeting Detective Jack Mason, and his brother Danny, brought about a powerful change, and Jessica’s magic was released. Now, in Redcliffe book 4, she must learn to control her ethereal animal familiar, who lusts after the alpha werewolf, and will stop at nothing to use her human mistress as a tool... Or is that a weapon?

The Redcliffe novels series follow the adventures of bookshop owner Jessica Stone as she meets a man and falls in love, only to discover the hidden werewolf secrets of her close friends. Who knew the Cornish coast could be so deadly?



Eye of the Tiger (A Redcliffe Novel) – available in bookshops, libraries, and online now!

Buy from Amazon UK; Amazon US, and other major online retailers.



Find Catherine Green and her British paranormal novels in the following places:



Have you discovered the Redcliffe novels? Sign up today, and receive your fabulous FREE book to get you started… (be warned, my vampires do not sparkle, and my wolves will bite!) 

Thanks for visiting my blog, Catherine! I wish you much success!