Texas Brags

Most of you know I live in Texas. My books for the most part take place in Texas, and my characters are mostly Texan. Texans are known for bragging. We have the biggest & best of everything: hair, tall tales, honky tonks, roads (these really do surpass most other states and not just because we have more of them LOL), and football (well, all sports). We have the scariest springs with hail, damaging winds and tornadoes. We also have the most beautiful springs.

This past weekend, Bob and I went with friends to the Texas Hill Country and got to observe another of the state’s great brags: our wild flowers! Not just bluebonnets which were the best I’ve seen in several years. They are the first talisman of spring.

But when they begin to fade, we are blessed with all kinds and colors of wild flowers. Vast fields rolling out as far as the eye can see. Our highways and byways are anchored with lovely splashes of color that look like an artist took a paint brush to the fields. So today, I’m sharing pictures of Texas wild flowers. I don’t even know all their names; I just know they are pretty, and they make me smile. I hope they do you, too. If you’re interested in where we went, my Thursday blog will tell all. It was gorgeously restful. Do you have wonderful wildflowers along your highways? Love to hear from you.

IMG_1106 IMG_1107

IMG_1115  IMG_1112My pictures don’t do these flowers justice. You just gotta plan to come see them next year. 🙂

Book 4 in The Second Chances Series, ACT OF BETRAYAL released this month it’s available at all the sites and in print from Amazon.  And today you can find a post all about the book on NN Light’s blog https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/book-promos I’ll try to add the actual link Tuesday.

Act of survival 200x300

Please sign up for my Newsletter on my website http://www.marsharwest.com Contact me at marsha@marsharwest.com , and follow me on my social media sites. https://authormarsharwest.wordpress.com/ for my Blog https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn

https://www.twitter.com/Marsharwest  @Marsharwest

https://www.pinterest.com/marsharwest/

https://sisterhoodofsuspense.com/blog

https://www.instagram.com/marsharwest

 

Advertisements

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about PLEAD #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about PLEAD

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


How dare she take on that risk alone. He’d begged and pleaded to be the one to go, but she’d left him on the sidelines—helpless.

Jacquie Biggar


A young woman looked over at them with pleading eyes. “Please don’t let it burn down. We have nowhere else to go.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


If Kaitlin or any of the others suggested lunch, I would plead a previous commitment.

Joanne Guidoccio


“I said almost exactly that to the stars every night. I would stand outside wherever I was and beg you to hold on until I could find you.”

Kathryn Jane


Was it her screams? Her tears? Had she pleaded for her life? Had she passed out from the pain?

Marian Lanouette


Then I looked into Jett’s eyes, pleading me to let go and trust him. He stepped close, one arm around my waist and his mouth next to my ear as he whispered, “You can do this.”

S.A. Taylor
Follow Me (work-in-progress)


“Jeremy?” Addie’s voice came out sounding pitiful and pleading. Not what she’d intended.

Marsha West


Isabel stayed quiet, her head lowered while she read their futures in the pine floorboards. “Isabel?” Etienne pleaded. “This is how we save Sarah.”

Sharon Wray


“This looks like the launching of a fine friendship.” A very appealing idea. I went for broke. “How about thanking me over pizza?”

Vicki Batman


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Praise of Affirmations

During my cancer journey, I read Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life, and developed an interest in affirmations.

What is an affirmation?

An affirmation states an outcome or truth you wish to impress upon your mind. While the affirmation doesn’t actually make things happen, it can raise your vibration so that you are more receptive to the desired outcome.

At first wary, I slowly warmed up to the topic and adopted several of Louise’s suggestions:

Every cell of my body radiates health.

I relax and let my body heal itself.

I lovingly do everything I can to assist my body in maintaining physical health.

I also liked using the following mantra-like affirmation from French psychologist Émile Coué de la Châtaigneraie:

Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.

Having experienced success with these health-based affirmations, I decided to use this technique to help achieve my writing goals. And I wanted to create my own personal affirmations rather than piggy-backing on someone else’s success.

Here are the affirmations I’ve used during the past eleven years of my writing journey:

My words flow easily.

Each day, I write with confidence and enthusiasm.

I submit a manuscript that is well received by a publishing house.

Joyful and creative, I delight in inspiring and motivating others with my written work.

Tips for Writing and Using Affirmations

1. Use the first person and the present tense.

2. Keep the affirmations brief and limited. Focus on one or two until you’ve incorporated them into your psyche.

3. Don’t sabotage yourself with an unrealistic goal. For example, “My book achieves best-seller status” is too much of a jump for an unpublished writer who is struggling with the first draft of her book.

4. Practice your affirmations each day. You can say them first thing in the morning, while looking in the mirror, or while exercising.

5. Write down your affirmations. You can stick them on your mirror or bulletin board, post them on your computer, or carry them in your purse or wallet.

Any affirmations out there? Please share.

 

Where to find Joanne Guidoccio…

Website | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

The Secret Art of Journaling

“Everybody allows that the talent of writing agreeable letters is peculiarly female. Nature may have done something, but I am sure it must be essentially assisted by the practice of keeping a journal.” ~ Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey.

Despite Miss Jane’s quotation above, what do Marcus Aurelius, Louisa May Alcott, Thomas Edison, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Epictetus the Roman Slave have in common? They all kept extensive journals, recording their wistful desires, their secret needs, and the history going on around them. Journals that historians have found, read, and preserved for future generations.

While it’s fun to read other people’s words, especially those written during epic historical times, the beauty of these scribblings  is that they were never meant to be public. They were private conversations between the writer, his head, and his heart. I’m sure if Epictetus knew one day, over two thousand years after his death, that his journal would be one of the most important primary historical sources regarding Ancient Rome, he probably wouldn’t have bothered searching for ink and papyrus.

But if people didn’t journal for posterity, why did they bother?

To heal the mind.

A 2011 study in Science  found that students who journaled about their upcoming math exams had less anxiety about their tests and received higher grades. Why? The researchers believe that “…by acknowledging their fears, students were able to tame distracting emotions.”

Perhaps because writing slows down the mind, it’s a perfect way to examine your day, your worries, your joys, and all of the things going on around you. Journaling offers the writer a chance to lay out the disparate points of her life and make sense of it all. Often, when journaling, I realized I was happy/mad/annoyed/etc about a certain situation that on the surface seemed trivial. Writing things out by hand can be the best form of therapy, it helps you find patterns in your life that are both helpful and hurtful. Journaling releases unresolved or repressed emotions and fears.

Whether you’re new to journaling, or an expert, here are a few tips to up your diary game:

Best Time:

It may take practice to figure this out, but finding your optimum journaling time is key to making this a successful habit. In Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way, she suggests morning pages. The writer writes first thing in the morning and fills three journal pages without stopping. The sentences can be non-stop, there can be off-color words and thoughts, it can even be a grocery or to-do list.  On the other hand, the Roman philosopher Seneca wrote every night after his wife went to bed. Supposedly, Seneca once confided, “I examine my entire day and go back over what I’ve done and said, hiding nothing from myself, passing nothing by.”

Best Journal:

Since this is a notebook where you’re going to bare your soul on a daily basis, it’s important you love what you’re writing in. That doesn’t mean it has to be fancy or expensive. It could be a legal pad or a college-ruled notebook. What it looks like doesn’t matter. What matters is it fits who you are and your writing style. The same goes for pens. Use what you love, not what’s in style.

Write Fast:

What this really means is as soon as you start writing, write as fast as you can to kill your inner editor.  If your inner critic can’t keep up as you skim along the pages, he’ll go away. The same advice works on your handwriting. If it’s messy, let it go. This is for your eyes only. Some writers I know say they never reread what they’ve written in their journals. They write their souls onto the page and move on. Neatness doesn’t matter.

Be Kind.

…to yourself. Your journal is your friend. If all you have to say one day is “I’m tired”, be kind to yourself and say “that’s okay.” Keeping a journal isn’t a race or a competition. It’s a private collection of thoughts that help you make sense of all the good and bad things you’ve experienced in the last twenty-four hours. The great thing about friends? They don’t expect you to be perfect. So let the perfection go.

Be Creative.

You can journal morning pages, or night-time reflections. Or you can keep a gratitude or prayer journal. I know others who keep vision journals where the write about the things they hope for in their lives. Then there are those who track their mood and health. What that Science journal found was that it didn’t matter so much what you were writing about. It was the act of writing that subdued a person’s anxiety.

It was the act of writing that brought peace.

And who doesn’t need more of that in their lives?


Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets meet their match in smart, sexy heroines who teach these alpha males that Grace always defeats Reckoning.

Her acclaimed debut book EVERY DEEP DESIRE, a sexy, action-packed retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is about an ex-Green Beretdetermined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife.

EVERY DEEP DESIRE is available on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | IndieBoundKobo|  Google

Adding it to your Goodreads TBR list is also always appreciated!

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about ASK #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about ASK

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


Once I dragged Ben inside the store, I asked the cashier to page the manager. My grip tightened on Ben’s shirt collar as he tried to bolt for the far-blue-yonder.

Vicki Batman


Her cold fingers brushed his aside for a better look. “What happened?” she asked, her breath sending prickles down his back.

Jacquie Biggar


I’m going to ask you something. I saw those scratches on your back yesterday morning. You and I both know they didn’t come from brush in the canyon.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


Kate could tell after several months of his repeated attempts to ask her out that Daniel cared less about keeping his job with Bardach & Associates and more about getting her naked.

Claire Gem


Before I could ask more questions about Dougie, the door opened, and Jake entered, followed by what I could only describe as a handsome Silver Fox.

Joanne Guidoccio


Broughton wanted to ask James to rethink the assignment, but nothing short of a gun to his head would get him to do that. Chain of command.

Kathryn Jane


“Do you have access to all the accounts in the bank?” Edwina asked, twirling a clump of his chest hair around her finger as she snuggled closer to him.

Marian Lanouette


This part of his job was never easy, but crucial time had elapsed, time without an arrest. Now he had to ask the tough questions.

S.A. Taylor
Shutter (work-in-progress)


“You hide the gun in your mother’s house. When someone comes asking about it, you pull it out for all to see.”

Marsha West


“Before I forget, here it is.” Zack handed Nate a Post-it note and went back to mainlining caffeine. “The weapons inventory you asked for.”

Sharon Wray


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about WANT #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about WANT

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


She didn’t want him to leave. She didn’t want him to go to that prison hospital somewhere in Maine. She didn’t want to lose him because she loved him.

Sharon Wray


The adoring expression they shared caused pea-green envy to skip through my veins and an ache to pierce my heart. I wanted my own man to love.

Vicki Batman


“What do you want, Mac, an apology in blood? I already explained…”

Jacquie Biggar


He’d had a mini-seizure. Just when he was about to make love to a beautiful woman he wanted so badly . . .

Claire Gem


I didn’t want to anger the grief-stricken constable who was bemoaning the senseless way Sarah had died, alone and exposed to the cool autumn evening.

Joanne Guidoccio


She not only wanted her husband out of the house, she wanted him out of the bank her family owned. Stripped bare; let’s see what woman would want him then?

Marian Lanouette


What he wanted to do was drag her into his arms. Same reaction he’d had when he first met her, but he sure as hell didn’t date anyone involved in a case.

Marsha West


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about TEASE #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about TEASE

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


“You know Fort Worth is where the west begins, don’t you,” Mike teased.

“Yes, but I’m more from the culture side of our ‘Cowboys and Culture’ slogan.”

Marsha West


She lowered the blanket. Not all the way, just enough to tease him.

Sharon Wray


I went for broke. “How about thanking me over pizza?”

A slow grin teased his mouth. “Tonight okay?” “You’re on.”

Vicki Batman


Sophia set out to prove they belonged together. She teased the corner of his mouth, little nibbling bites and soothing licks.

Jacquie Biggar


His tongue teased as he sucked and nibbled. The sensation created a tightening of the muscles in Quin’s lower abdomen that produced a profound ache for him.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


He’d wanted to tease her more, make this last longer. But he could feel his control slipping.

Claire Gem


I immediately regretted my response. Knowing Jim, he would pounce and tease me.

Joanne Guidoccio


Lord, I love the look of a man in a tux. Who knew you could clean up so nicely?” She teased as she patted his cheek.

Marian Lanouette


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blooming Like Crazy!

Spring began in my neighborhood in February, starting with the flowering quince. When we moved in this house over twenty years ago, I had no idea the large bush in the front bed was a flowering quince. Then Winter came and the shrub turned to sticks. But when Spring came, gorgeous salmon-colored flowers appeared along with the tiniest bees.

hbw quince close up

Sure, we can get a cold snap and the blossoms turn an ugly brown. However, most of the time, they last. It is truly a pleasure to sit at my desk which overlooks the front yard and see the signs of Spring appear.

Then more exciting things happen. Like the grass slowly but surely sprouts green. The red oak leaves press forward and in a gentle Spring breeze, wave gently.

Behind my garage is a small bed which leads to the backyard. After we renovated, I planted antique roses. The middle one had devil thorns and never thrived. The other two flanking it produce tiny flowers–one white and one is yellow. Several of the flowers  Rose yellow

Years ago, Handsome and I cruised the Rhine River. I was taken with the different flowers I saw there. When I returned home and showed off my pictures, I realized most were of flowers.

Flowers give me pleasure. They are soft, beautiful colors, sometimes scented. A bit of beauty, like the one I found in a sidewalk crack, in unexpected places.

Just Desserts 400x600 72dpi

Maybe the stories in Just Desserts and other stories are beautiful or beautifully written; however, I like to think they’re fun, too. And life needs fun.

Love blossoms in the small town of Sommerville in these heartwarming, “cute meet” tales, filled with fun and forever possibilities.

Find yours at: Vendor