Favorite Scary Movies Just in Time for Halloween!

So it’s almost Halloween and I’m trying to get into the mood by watching my favorite Halloween movies. Some are scary, some are silly, and some have nothing to do with Halloween but they’re just creepy. This isn’t a complete list, just some of my go-to October spooky viewings.

All of the synopses are courtesy of IMDB.

1. Halloween (the original 1978 movie)

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.

I didn’t see this movie until years after it debuted on the big screen….on a night when I was in high school and I was babysitting!! It terrified me and is still one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen.

2. The Shining

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

I loved this book so much that when the movie came out I was first in line at the movie theater. And it didn’t disappoint! Even though the movie left out parts of the book, and it was made so many years ago, it’s still a terrifying movie that’s worth watching with a bowl of popcorn and the lights out!

3. Rosemary’s Baby

A young couple moves in to an apartment only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life.

I found this movie to be even scarier than the book. It’s still, even all of these years later, one of the creepiest movies ever made. The seeming normalcy of the people involved make it that much scarier. And I love Mia Farrow’s authentic 1960s dresses!

4. Hocus Pocus

A curious youngster moves to Salem, where he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches that were executed in the 17th century.

I just saw this movie recently and loved it. It’s fun and silly and a great movie to watch with the family.

5. The Haunting of Hill House

Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it.

Another book adaptation that I loved as much as the original short story. This Netflix mini-series is so good you need to make time to watch all of the episodes within a few days–you’re just not going to want anything to interrupt you until you’re finished. And this one you’ll need to keep the lights on. Yes, it’s that scary!

6. Bram Stoker’s Dracula

The centuries old vampire Count Dracula comes to England to seduce his barrister Jonathan Harker’s fiancée Mina Murray and inflict havoc in the foreign land.

This movie is a bit over-the-top with costumes and settings and plot, but I love this movie. It’s kind of steampunky yet still stays true to the original story.

7. The Birds

A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people.

I saw this Alfred Hitchcock movie in Halloween night when I was 12 and I don’t think I slept for six months. I was so terrified and it had nothing at all to do with Halloween. It didn’t even have a bad guy–it just had birds!! I still can’t watch this movie if I’m home alone. I have to be surrounded by my family and dog!

8. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.

Such a cute, clever animated movie with a great story and even more wonderful music. A great family-friendly movie!

9. The Blair Witch Project

Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind.

When I first saw this movie, I was astounded at how scared I was when it ended. At first I thought the moving camera was annoying but before I knew it I was so afraid I couldn’t leave the theater to use the restroom. I didn’t want to go anywhere alone! Now that I’m older, I don’t find it as scary–but it’s still super creepy and I can’t watch it alone.

10. The Witch

A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic, and possession.

I just saw this movie a few months ago (it was made in 2015) and I had to immediately rewatch it. It takes place during early colonial times in New England with authentic language that took time to understand. But once I realized what was going on, I was totally hooked. It’s a terrifying story that seems so real you can feel every character’s emotions. It’s definitely a movie that you’ll want  to rewatch and even study because there are so many layers to this compelling story.

11. Psycho (The 1960 Original)

A Phoenix secretary embezzles forty thousand dollars from her employer’s client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Another Alfred Hitchcock classic that is the standard by which all other horror movies must live up to.  A terrifying story with an ending that is still so disturbing and powerful that I can’t watch it alone or in the dark. It can still give me nightmares!

12. The Thing from another planet (the 1951 original)

Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a bloodthirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost.

This was my father’s favorite scary movie and we used to watch it together every Halloween once we got a VCR. It’s a bit corny but it’s still a great movie and another one for the family to watch together–as long as the kids aren’t too young.

13. Mary shelley’s Frankenstein

When the brilliant but unorthodox scientist Dr. Victor Frankenstein rejects the artificial man that he has created, the Creature escapes and later swears revenge.

I’ve seen a number of Frankenstein movies, but this one is my favorite because it stays fairly close to the book. The costumes are beautiful and the acting is great. It’s not super scary but it is very, very compelling.

14. Young Frankenstein

An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that his grandfather was not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.

One of my all-time favorite movies that never fails to make me laugh and cry at the same time. The humor is a bit “adult” but a fun movie to watch with teenagers!

Now I’d love to know about your favorite Halloween movies!


Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Amazon bestselling 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 bestselling debut book EVERY DEEP DESIRE, a sexy, action-packed retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is about an ex-Green Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife. It’s available at:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBoundKobo|  Google | Books-a-Million | Audible

Her second book, ONE DARK WISH, a passionate redemption of Othello with a HEA, is about an ex-Green Beret who must give up the woman he loves in order to redeem his honor and save the life of his men. It’s available at: Amazon |  Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million | iBooks |  Google | Kobo |IndieBound | Audible

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Fun Facts About ONE DARK WISH

ONE DARK WISH, the second book in my Deadly Forces series just released this past Tuesday. ONE DARK WISH has an action-packed, National Treasure-type plot with lots of romance and intrigue. But because I do so much research for this series, I thought I’d share some fun facts. Because the stories aren’t all about racing from villains and having sexy times. 🙂

Fun Fact #1: The truth about the Fianna

One of the villains in the Deadly Force series, and ONE DARK WISH in particular, is a fictional secret army of assassins known as the Fianna. The Fianna are led by a man known as the Prince. The men in the Fianna come from every army in the world. For personal reasons, each man leaves his men and his family and tithes to the Fianna. They then undergo extreme training for missions not sanctioned by any government. The Fianna army has more money than most nations and works completely on their own.  They are known for their assassinations although they perform many other missions that protect the innocent and bring justice where there was none previously. Governments and their armies, as well as the ex-Green Berets heroes in the Deadly Force series, stay out of their way.

But the idea of a secret army, that undergoes pagan-like training (including running naked in the woods during winter and speaking only in memorized Shakespearean verse) is not made up. My fictional army is based on the life and history of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, the hero of the Fenian cycle of Celtic Poetry. Fionn and his men lived in Ireland prior to the Roman Invasions of Britain. As Rome expanded their empire, Fionn gathered men, trained them hard, and attacked the Romans before they could get a foothold in Ireland. Irish storytellers (and some historians) believe that Fionn’s army is the reason why Rome never settled Ireland.

These Irish fairytales about Fionn and his men are loaded with fairies and magic and druid priests, but there is written historical evidence about a fierce tribe of young men who traveled from town to town, protecting villagers from all invaders—from Roman to Viking. The key thing about these men is that they were required to give up everything that tied them to this world—all their worldly goods and the people whom they loved and who loved them back.

Fun Fact #2: Pirate Ciphers

ONE DARK WISH is a romantic suspense story, with a National Treasure-type plot. The heroine, Sarah Munro, is a historian who specializes in 17thcentury pirates. Her hero, ex-Green Beret Nate Walker, has just been released from the U.S. Army’s secret prison hospital in Maine.

When Sarah and Nate meet in a remote colonial-era cemetery outside of Savannah, GA, and they’re threatened by a Fianna assassin, Sarah and Nate realize their very different lives are somehow connected.

Unfortunately for them, that connection is a 17thcentury unsolved pirate cipher.

17thand 18thcentury pirates were known—paradoxically—for both their brutality and their fairness. While movies and books treat these men as mindless beasts, the opposite is true. Many pirates were educated and smart, often having been officers themselves once. In order to hunt down well-armed ships, and out-maneuver senior naval officers, they also had to be clever in their tactics and communications. One way pirates secretly communicated with each other was with ciphers.

From the 15ththrough the 18thcenturies, pirate ciphers used two-part substitution encryption. The first part is a code, like a poem or a page from a book. This part is known as plaintext. The second part is a key that pulls out the message from the plaintext. It wasn’t sophisticated, but if you didn’t have both parts the message would never be revealed.

A popular type of plaintext would be a common poem even an illiterate man could remember, like one of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Then the key would pick specific letters in each sentence. When you string those letters together, you have your message. It was crude but effective. So effective in fact that, during the Revolutionary War, George Washington adopted this technique to communicate with his officers in the field.

Fun Fact #3: Herbal remedies do work!

I used to work as a chemical and patent librarian for a major pharmaceutical research lab. During our weekly meetings, we often talked about whether or not herbal remedies worked in a more complex, modern world. We had one lab that only studied chemical properties in common herbal cures like peppermint tea, dandelion flowers, elderberry syrup, etc. While the cost of researching herbal cures was too expensive (considering the potential future profit), they discovered that herbal remedies used during the 17thand 18thcenturies, especially in the colonies, had some positive effect on mild illnesses. It wasn’t enough of an effect to be worth the cost of developing a new drug, but we all started making homemade elderberry syrup to ward off the flu and drank ginger lemon tea to help with headaches.

In ONE DARK WISH, Sarah inherited a recipe box on her 16thbirthday. The box, from her grandmother, was filled with 17thcentury herbal remedies and is one of the things that made Sarah want to be a 17thcentury historian. When the story starts, Sarah has spent years reformulating these recipes and has come up with an herbal tea to help her father with his migraines. Then she meets Nate who is suffering from serious headaches from his time being tortured in an Afghan POW camp. When she encourages him to drink her headache tea, he reluctantly agrees. It works but it has a disgusting taste and he hates it. As they fall in love, solve ciphers, and outsmart villains, she has to find alternate ways to get him to drink it. Then she starts to blackmail him into drinking it—in those special, sexy ways known to romance novel heroines. J


Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Amazon bestselling 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 bestselling debut book EVERY DEEP DESIRE, a sexy, action-packed retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is about an ex-Green Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife. It’s available at:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble |iBooks | IndieBoundKobo|  Google | Books-a-Million | Audible

Her second book, ONE DARK WISH, a passionate redemption of Othello with a HEA, is about an ex-Green Beret who must give up the woman he loves in order to redeem his honor and save the life of his men. It’s available at: Amazon |  Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million | iBooks |  Google | Kobo|IndieBound | Audible

The Art and Grace of a Gratitude Journal

Previously on this blog I’ve written about the benefits of keeping a journal. Today I’d like to expand on that.

There are many types of journals–diaries, travel journals, food journals, etc, but there’s another kind of journal that does more than keep track of your life. There’s a journaling practice that’s been proven to reduce stress and improve happiness. It’s known as Gratitude Journaling.

There’s no doubt that every day we’re bombarded with negative images and messages. Everything in the world is (and always has been) dire. Everyone is stressed. And all of us eventually have to do things like pay taxes and attend funerals. If we only listened to the world around us, we’d never believe that anything good ever happens. We’d only believe that life is hard and then it’s over.

But there’s another way to look at life. Despite all of the difficulties found in adulting, there are also good times. There are weddings and comedy clubs and birthday parties. There’s the surprise reunion with an old friend and a last minute cup of tea with your neighbor who just happened to bring over homemade cookies warm from the oven.

A Gratitude Journal is one of those things in life that’s simple yet not easy. (Like dieting!) It’s nothing more than a daily record of your blessings, of things you’re grateful for, or even just the things that made you smile. It’s an accounting of the good things and people and moments of your life. Keeping a gratitude journal takes you out of the chaos in your head and allows you to clearly see the truth of your life, not what the mass media want you to believe.

There are no rules to keeping a gratitude journal. On simple way is to start by keeping a notebook by your bedside table and every night, before you go to sleep, write down five things you’re grateful for. It could be as simple as the fact the leftovers you had for dinner tasted better the second night. Or the unexpected text message with smiling emojis you received from a friend. It doesn’t matter what the five things are, just that you mentally review your day and record them.

Here are a few ideas to help you succeed:

  1. Write frequently, at least three times a week. Daily is even better. Regardless of how often you journal, pick a time of day and a place in which to work and be consistent. Do you want to journal in bed before going to sleep? During lunch in the patio behind your office building? Before dinner while your food is in the oven? Just pick one that works for you!
  2. While you’re recording these five things, be as specific as possible. When you read the entry over later, you don’t want to just remember the event or moment. You want to remember the emotions associated with it. Being specific amplifies gratitude. Saying you’re grateful that your neighbor brought over homemade cookies after she heard about your horrible day at work brings forth more emotions than just saying you appreciate your neighbors.
  3. Record events and moments that were complete surprises and how grateful you are for what happened. I don’t mean just surprise parties. It’s more about unexpected moments like someone paying for you coffee or a pretty card received in the mail.
  4. If you find yourself being grateful every day for the same thing (and that’s okay!), try to focus on a different aspect of this thing so you can elicit a different emotion. When good things happen, we often experience multiple emotions. See if you can describe the hidden ones.
  5. Treat all of these recordable events as gifts. Not like birthday presents, but like small gifts you weren’t expecting. Treating these moments like gifts helps foster gratitude.
  6. Don’t be afraid to list negative things that you’re grateful for. Sometimes negative things are a blessing in disguise, although it may take us time to realize that. But when you do suddenly realize why you didn’t get that job or why that person you dated once didn’t call you back is actually a good thing, write it down!
  7. Keep it pretty. This is not a rule, just a suggestion. By using different colored pens and washi tape and adding in small photos and postcards, etc, the journal becomes even more personal. Besides, sometimes it’s fun to write in different colors! For those who don’t like to decorate, choose a journal with paper you love and the perfect pen. When you love what you’re writing with, it becomes a joy instead of a chore.

Do you keep a gratitude journal? I’d love to know in the comments!


 

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 Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife.

Her second book, ONE DARK WISH, will come out September 24, 2019 and is available for preorder here: Amazon |  Barnes and Noble Books-a-Million | iBooks |  Google

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

2019 Mid-Summer Middle Grade & Young Adult Book List

It’s that time of year again! It’s time for the 2019 Mid-Summer Middle Grade & Young Adult Book List!

This is not a best-seller or new release list. This is an ongoing, cumulative list of books the kids in my reading army have read that is updated twice a year. I want to thank my teen readers for their help and suggestions, as well as my blog readers who’ve made this list such a popular download. You are all awesome!

This bi-annual compilation offers a good cross-section of genres for teens and tweens. We’ve added a lot of new YA Romance and Fantasy books as well as new Middle Grade Action/Adventure and non-fiction stories. There are books on the list for all readers just in time for the second half of summer!

Below are a few highlights (in no particular order), but for the entire printable list, click here: 2019 Mid-Summer MG/YA Book List.

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YOUNG ADULT FICTION

All covers and blurbs courtesy of Amazon.

A new generation. A new kind of love. A new Hidden threat…
The Hidden Saga comes full circle back to Altum as its citizens— and its king and queen— prepare for a very special arrival.
It should be the most joyous of occasions, especially as the new heir is expected to make an appearance during the holiday season. But things are never simple in the Fae world, and not everyone is who they seem to be.

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How can the wrong guy be so right?

Paige Locklear has prided herself on her perfection: first chair violinist, straight A student, well-behaved daughter of Cedar Oaks High’s principal. The last thing she needs at the end of her senior year is to get distracted. Enter Liam Harwick.

For his entire life, Liam’s been known as Cedar Oaks’ resident bad boy. Rumor has it he’s been kicked out of more schools than he can count and has a penchant for all things mischief. But when he meets Paige Locklear, a different, sweeter side of Liam is exposed. But can others see past his reputation?

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They are Hazel, James, Aubrey, and Colette.

A classical pianist from London, a British would-be architect-turned-soldier, a Harlem-born ragtime genius in the U.S. Army, and a Belgian orphan with a gorgeous voice and a devastating past. Their story, as told by goddess Aphrodite, who must spin the tale or face judgment on Mount Olympus, is filled with hope and heartbreak, prejudice and passion, and reveals that, though War is a formidable force, it’s no match for the transcendent power of Love.

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Here is what happens when your mother dies.

It’s the brightest day of summer and it’s dark outside. It’s dark in your house, dark in your room, and dark in your heart. You feel like the darkness is going to split you apart.

That’s how it feels for Tiger. It’s always been Tiger and her mother against the world. Then, on a day like any other, Tiger’s mother dies. And now it’s Tiger, alone.Here is how you learn to make friends with the dark.

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As one of the Queen’s elite assassins, Sal finally has the power, prestige, and permission to hunt down the lords who killed their family.

But Sal still has to figure out who the culprits are. They must enlist the help of some old friends and enemies while ignoring a growing distaste for the queen and that the charming Elise is being held prisoner by her father.

But there’s something terribly wrong in the north. Talk of the return of shadows, missing children, and magic abounds. As Sal takes out the people responsible for their ruined homeland, Sal learns secrets and truths that can’t be forgotten.

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No one knows death like Tea.

A bone witch who can resurrect the dead, she has the power to take life…and return it. And she is done with her self-imposed exile. Her heart is set on vengeance, and she now possesses all she needs to command the mighty daeva. With the help of these terrifying beasts, she can finally enact revenge against the royals who wronged her—and took the life of her one true love.

But there are those who plot against her, those who would use Tea’s dark power for their own nefarious ends. Because you can’t kill someone who can never die…

War is brewing among the kingdoms, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe.

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Abbi has lived almost her entire life in the shadow of the terrorist attacks of September 11.

On that fateful day, she was captured in what became an iconic photograph: in the picture, Abbi (aka “Baby Hope”) wears a birthday crown and grasps a red balloon; just behind her, the South Tower of the World Trade Center is collapsing.

Now, fifteen years later, Abbi is desperate for anonymity and decides to spend the summer before her seventeenth birthday incognito as a counselor at Knights Day Camp two towns away. She’s psyched for eight weeks in the company of four-year-olds, none of whom have ever heard of Baby Hope.

Too bad Noah Stern, whose own world was irrevocably shattered on that terrible day, has a similar summer plan. Noah believes his meeting Baby Hope is fate. Abbi is sure it’s a disaster. Soon, though, the two team up to ask difficult questions about the history behind the Baby Hope photo. But is either of them ready to hear the answers?

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The perfect addition to the #1 New York Times bestselling Red Queen series, this gorgeously designed package features three brand-new novellas, two previously published novellas, Steel Scars and Queen Song, and never-before-seen maps, flags, bonus scenes, journal entries, and much more exclusive content.

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Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto.

Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…

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As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid.

Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: He’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive in an endlessly shifting prison, forcing them to make a weapon that will guarantee Elazar’s success.

Escape is impossible—unless Lu becomes the ruthless soldier she hoped never to be again.

Vex failed to save Lu and Ben—and that torments him as much as his Shaking Sickness. With the disease worsening, Vex throws himself into the rebellion against Argrid. The remaining free armies are allied with the stream raider syndicates—and getting them to cooperate will take a strength Vex thought burned on a pyre six years ago.

Imprisoned, betrayed, and heartbroken, Ben is determined to end his father’s rampage. Watching Elazar sway the minds of Grace Loray as he did those of Argrid, Ben knows he has to play his father’s game of devotion to win this war. But how can a heretic prince defeat the Pious God?

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They say your destiny is carved in stone. But some destinies are meant to be broken.

The only curse Jesse Lachlin believes in is his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year.

A fortuneteller tells Scarlett she’s psychic, but what is real is Scarlett’s father’s controlling attitude and the dark secrets at home. She may be able to escape, but only if she can rely on the one boy who broke her heart.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings, but as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…

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MIDDLE GRADE FICTION & NON-FICTION

Become Awesome at (almost) anything

Getting good at stuff is not as hard as it seems. In fact, anyone can get (much) better at almost anything. With colour illustrations throughout, You Are Awesome is an easy-to-follow guide for children to discover their potential.

Follow the story of kid average vs kid awesome and discover how practise, hard work and the right mindset can help anyone achieve success. Whatever the awesome goal is, this book is packed with strategies, hints and tips on making it happen!

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A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he?

As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator?

Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if Will gets off that elevator.

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On the night of February 18, 1952, during one of the worst winter storms that New England has ever seen, two oil tankers just off the shore of Cape Cod were torn in half by the force of the storm.

This middle-grade adaptation of an adult nonfiction book tells the story of the shipwreck and a harrowing Coast Guard rescue when four men in a tiny lifeboat overcame insurmountable odds and saved more than 30 stranded sailors.

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They thought it was dead. They were wrong.

Two years ago, a virus hit London, killing thousands of people and driving the rest into hiding. But Leon has somehow survived, making it through two harsh winters. Now he’s living on the fragile hope that the freezing snow and ice of the English climate wiped out the virus for good. Word even reaches Leon of a rescue boat on its way.

But all is not as safe as it seems. The virus has been busy…

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The most important rule of Unicorn Day is to have fun, fun, fun!

The unicorns are celebrating their favorite day of the year, complete with rainbows, cupcakes, butterflies, and all sorts of joyful things. But when it’s revealed there’s an impostor in their midst, the party comes to a screeching halt…

Will the unicorns welcome all and continue their fun in all its glittery glory? A clever, colorful, and over-the-top picture book about unicorns, celebrations, and most importantly, friendship.

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Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.

Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.

Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.

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Aru is only just getting the hang of this whole Pandava thing when the Otherworld goes into full panic mode.

The god of love’s bow and arrow have gone missing, and the thief isn’t playing Cupid. Instead, they’re turning people into heartless fighting-machine zombies. If that weren’t bad enough, somehow Aru gets framed as the thief. If she doesn’t find the arrow by the next full moon, she’ll be kicked out of the Otherworld. For good. But, for better or worse, she won’t be going it alone. Along with her soul-sister, Mini, Aru will team up with Brynne, an ultra-strong girl who knows more than she lets on, and Aiden, the boy who lives across the street and is also hiding plenty of secrets. Together they’ll battle demons, travel through a glittering and dangerous serpent realm, and discover that their enemy isn’t at all who they expected.

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A heartwarming story of a friendship-seeking moon that also celebrates the extraordinary 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing!

From high up in the sky, the Moon has spent her whole life watching Earth and hoping for someone to visit. Dinosaurs roam, pyramids are built, and boats are made, but still no one comes. Will friends ever come visit her?

One day a spaceship soars from Earth…and so does her heart.

Includes bonus educational pages about the moon mission!

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Disclaimer: Some of these books are (or once were) controversial. Some older YAs have closed-door or open-door adult situations, and others (YA & MG) deal with harsh issues such as suicide, bullying, war, poverty, and loss of a parent. As a librarian, reader’s advisor, and mother, I’ve learned that tweens and teens tend to read within their comfort zone, both emotionally and reading-level wise. All of these books offer a chance for parents and kids to discuss which topics are appropriate now and which books are best left for another time. But I hope you all find books that will give your family new adventures and imaginary friends.

See you next winter for the 2020 Mid-Winter Young Adult and Middle Grade Book List!

*The books listed in this blog post and are in no particular order.

Do you have any books you’d like to add to the list? Please leave a comment and let me know!

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Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied 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 Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife.

Her second book, ONE DARK WISH, will come out September 24, 2019 and is available for preorder here: Amazon |  Barnes and Noble Books-a-Million | iBooks |  Google

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

ONE DARK WISH and a Recipe for Strawberry Pie

JUNE BRINGS A PRE-ORDER LINK FOR ONE DARK WISH AND A RECIPE FOR STRAWBERRY PIE!

“Twisty plots, fantastic characters, and pitch-perfect pacing. Fabulous!” ―ALLISON BRENNANNew York Times bestselling author

Her life must be forfeit for his to be redeemed

Historian Sarah Munro is not used to being shot at, but that’s just what happens while she’s poking around cemeteries on Georgia’s Isle of Grace, searching for the key to a centuries-old cipher. Her quest has unwittingly drawn the attention of two deadly enemies intent on destroying each other―and anyone who gets in their way.

Ex–Green Beret Major Nate Walker is on a mission of his own: to restore the honor of his men. To do that, he is required to stop Sarah―or one of his own men will die. Caught in the middle of a deadly rivalry, Nate can’t afford to trust the woman standing in his way. But his heart says he can’t afford not to…

ONE DARK WISH, the second book in my Deadly Force series, is a fast-paced story filled with all the staples of a romantic suspense, including a race through the historic city of Savannah and discovering hidden tombs in a long-forgotten cemetery, as well as sexy times. Yet Nate and Sarah do have a few moments to pause, reflect, and figure out what to do next. I guess you could call these “dates”. lol

On one of these dates, Nate buys Sarah a slice of strawberry pie. Being from Boston, Sarah has never had a fruit pie that includes cointreau, kirsch, and whipped cream. And she falls in love. 🙂

I’ve included the recipe below for Sarah’s Strawberry Pie. I hope you love it, and ONE DARK WISH, as much as she does!

Strawberry Pie

1 9” pre-baked pie shell

2 pints fresh strawberries, washed and hulled

1 envelope plus 1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin

¼ cup cold water

¾ cup warm water

1 cup sugar

¼ cup kirsch

1 Tablespoon Cointreau

Slice each berry into 3-4 lengthwise slices. Blend enough of the berries to make 1 cup of berry puree. Chill remaining berry slices.

In a small bowl, combine gelatin and cold water, stirring to dissolve. Set aside.

In a saucepan, add ¾ cup warm water and berry puree. Stir until mixture boils. Add sugar until dissolved and transfer puree to a medium bowl.

Add gelatin/water mixture to berry puree and stir until dissolved.

Strain berry puree through a fine-meshed strainer to remove seeds.

Partly fill a large bowl with ice and put medium bowl on top. Stir until mixture thickens into a syrup.

Stir in Kirsch, Cointreau, and the remaining chilled berry slices.

Mix well but gently and turn into the prepared pie shell. Chill for at least 4 hours.

Serve with whipped cream.


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 Beret determined 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!

How to Write a Love Story

He wept.

Standing in my kitchen filled with the warmth of baking sugar cookies and the scent of a cinnamon candle, I pressed the phone harder against my ear. Every one of his ragged breaths spears my heart. His wife, my dearest friend, has died.

And I have no words.

How do you comfort a man who’s lost his wife, his best friend, the one person in this entire world he counted on always to be there, always to love him?

Deep in the hard pit that used to be my stomach I realize you don’t. I can’t.

I finish the call and six teenagers, some mine and some borrowed, race in to find the cookies. I hand them out, present in person but not in heart, as his last words swirls around me.

“Why is this so hard?”

My answer was, “I don’t know.”

Does anyone know how to say goodbye and survive?

I pour milk for the chattering masses worried about Fall Out Boy concerts and cross country rankings. Yet all I can think about is it’s not the letting go that’s hard, it’s the leaving behind.

While her struggle is over, his is just starting. The world will expect him to grieve quickly and properly, take care of his children, go to work, accomplish things. Face the world with courage and strength and a smile stretched across his unnaturally thin face. Yet some accommodation will be made since he is the widower.

For her friends, those who sent cards filled with love when they couldn’t send themselves, those who sat by her bed, read her books because she lost her vision, we said goodbye at the proper time and now struggle to move on.

But I’m afraid. Afraid when I do move on it will be as if she never existed, never counted.

Yet she did and she does.

With her middle-grade mysteries and women’s fiction novels, her great scarves, white flowers, and endless cups of grande lattes, she brought her warmth and light and laughter to a new home. An act that has left our home darker and colder and quieter.

And I will continue writing a novella that she loved and believed in yet is suffering under the weight of my sadness and loss. She was my critique partner and head cheerleader. Without her wisdom and wit, I’m desperately making deals with God.

I’m determined to finish my novella but I want to read it to her, let her know how much I valued her attention and insight, let her know she was loved. I’m struggling with the hard.

“More cookies?” my daughter mumbles with a mouth filled with sugar and pink frosting. “Peesh?”

Assuming that was a “please” surrounded by pink sprinkles, I hand her the second plate and take another tray out of the oven unaware of the imminent danger.

One of the cookies is crooked, a bit overdone, and the frosting is smeared. And for some reason the frosting looks more red than pink.

“Eww!” My son points at this anomaly. “It looks dead. It’s a bleeding heart! Gross!”

They are heart-shaped cookies because that was the only cookie-cutter I could find. The others are probably hiding in the piles of laundry or empty flower pots that have yet to be filled for the season.

“I’m not eating it,” the other boy says.

“I dare you!” My daughter, the fearless one who wants to attend Hogwarts, be picked as a Tribute, and join the Dauntless Faction all at the same time, waves it in front of her brother. “I’ll give you my time on the Xbox.”

“No way,” he says, grabbing the milk container. “If I eat it, my heart might break too. And I haven’t even fallen in love yet!”

“You’re too scared to fall in love.” With a shrug, my daughter smiles, takes a bite, and leads her tribe of three girls back outside.

Left alone with my son and his friend, I say, “Don’t believe your sister. You’ll fall in love when the time is right. And when you do, you’ll feel no fear. All you’ll want to do is fly.”

He nods, but I realize I said the wrong thing. Where his twin would take off without wings, he would want to know ahead of time there was no risk. And he’d want that reassurance notarized and posted in public.

I apologize, but he just looks at his buddy and says, “It’s cool, Mom. But when I fall in love, I want it in writing that I won’t get hurt.”

He and his friend pack up the rest of the cooled cookies and leave for the part of the house as far away as possible from the girls.

And for the second time that day, I stand there with no words to offer.

If I can’t explain the benefits of love–and why it’s worth the risk–to my own son, what business do I have writing romance novels?

Suddenly, my daughter reappears. “Where is he?”

“Upstairs,” I say. “You hurt his feelings.”

“I know,” she says. “That’s why I’m giving him my Xbox time anyway. And tomorrow I’ll make his favorite pancakes.”

I am not surprised by her sudden reversal. It seems to be a teenage thing. But I am happy she’s making amends.

“And Mom?” She pops her head around the corner of the kitchen. “I’m also scared to fall in love. But don’t tell him. He’ll think I’m weak.”

She disappears, leaving me in the center of the kitchen with a dirty mixer, pink-stained cookie sheets, and a dog who would love to lick up all the dropped sprinkles.

Weak.

Is that how my children see falling in love? As a weakness?

My heart breaks a little. How can I prove to them that falling in love–and staying in love–takes a lifetime of compromise, kindness, and courage? That falling in love is the antithesis of weakness? If talking to teenagers has a fifty-percent chance of penetration, how do I explain that falling in love–in spite of the dangers–is the most important thing they will ever do?

I look over at my desk covered in manuscript pages, note cards, highlighters.

Why is this so hard?

Why did I have to say goodbye?

Why can’t I finish this novella?

The birds outside my window fight for seeds in the feeder, and I realize the truth. Life is hard because it’s a struggle to meet basic needs. Loving one another is hard because it counts on two people being vulnerable, taking risks, willing to lose the other to a breakup, debilitating disease, or death.

But writing about love? It’s more than hard. It’s devastating.

Love stories are written in the midst of the tears and suffering of real life. And while living through these emotions is difficult, reliving them through your characters is nothing more than a brutal reminder.

So why do I do it? Why do I force myself to sit down every day and throw words on the page? Because of the Happy Ending.

Yes, all romance novels have happily ever afters. And yes, I know, real life doesn’t. But that’s where the beautiful comes in.

Reading love stories, with their Happy Endings, allows us to revisit the most horrible of emotions in a safe, secure way. In a way that teaches us not just to survive, but to thrive. In a way that helps us heal, maybe even enough to try again.

And that means something.

Our words, our characters, our stories, mean something. This alone propels me back to my computer, my notes, my charts. If I finish this story with the care and passion it demands, I’ll find words of comfort for my friend and teach my children that love is not a sign of weakness.

That love, especially after a loss, takes enormous courage.

That love, if you’re willing to take the risk, allows us to fly.

All photographs courtesy of Sharon Wray.

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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

Her second book ONE DARK WISH is available for pre-order here: Amazon

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!

Book Lovers Con ’19: Come to New Orleans to Meet Your Favorite Authors!

In a few months I’ll be headed down to New Orleans for a huge reader event known as Book Lovers Con May 15-19 2019. For those of you familiar with the Romantic Times Conference, this is the new version of RT Con.

Photo courtesy of Marcho Mameli on Unsplash

According to the Book Lovers Con website“Book Lovers Con is the place to meet your all-time favorite authors, discover new-to-you authors and forge relationships with fellow Book Lovers. From our Jazz Festival Kick-Off Party to our Brunch & Bubbly breakfast, our program provides ample opportunity for readers and authors to connect!”

Photo courtesy of Jason Blackeye on Unsplash.

“We want BLC to be a valuable experience for attendees, one that will create cherished memories you’ll reminisce on for years to come. Readers will enjoy many opportunities to interact with their favorite authors and connect with new authors. Because we want to make sure everyone has a chance to meet, author registration slots will be limited. It’s the perfect environment for book lovers to mix and mingle, affording authors the opportunity to sit and chat with a new group of fans each day!”

Photo courtesy of Joaquin on Unsplash

As a participating Book Lovers Con author, I’m excited to attend author-led events such as:

Jazz Festival Welcome Party
“We’re planning a BIG welcome for Book Lovers! Our kick-off party will emulate New Orleans’ famous annual Jazz Festival. A Second Line Band will gather all of our guests in the lobby and escort them to a jazz fest designed with Book Lovers in mind! Of course, you can’t have a jazz festival without live music! A local jazz band will play tunes guaranteed to get your foot tapping. All that dancing will make you work up an appetite. Book Lovers who are feeling hungry can step outside to enjoy a taste of New Orleans’ food truck scene at our very own food truck area.

Three Truths & a Lie: Romantic Suspense, Horror, Mystery, and Thriller Signing
“Amateur sleuths wanted! Play Three Truths and a Lie with authors in an attempt to win a prize! Then join your favorite authors for a book signing!”

Wags, Whiskers, and Pet Swag
“Like animals? Read books? So do we–and we write them, too (books, not animals).  Get to know 10 “animal authors” in a rousing game of FETCH! Qualify for 10 raffles.. and pick up some swag for your pet!  We’re PAW-sitive you’ll have fun!

French Quarter Ghost Tour
“Take a walk through history (and spooky legends) with a Ghost Tour to the French Quarter. Readers will join several Sourcebooks authors on the trek with a professional guide, gorgeous swag, goodies and whatever ghosts decide to tag along!  Transportation provided to the start the tour. Please wear comfortable shoes.”

Book Bash Signing
“Join over 230 of your favorite authors for our Book Bash Signing! You can buy books on site or bring some of your dog-eared faves to get a signature. Many authors will be holding raffles so you might also win some prizes as you browse the aisles!”

Sourcebooks’ Bookseller, Librarian, and Blogger Reception

“Booksellers, Bloggers, and Librarians come to rendezvous with Romance Reads! Enjoy sips and sweets and chat with Sourcebooks Casablanca authors over yummy food, delicious reads, and tantalizing giveaways!”

As a reader, there are tons of events, booksignings, and chances to meet your favorite authors. There are brunches, swamp tours, champagne parties, Faery and Fantasy DinnerVoodoo Vampire Club and Dinner Dance, and the Book Bash Dance Party just to name a few.

Photo courtesy of William Recinos on Unsplash

I have no doubt it will be an incredible experience and I’m excited to go to Book Lovers Con not just as an author but also as a reader. Registration is still available and I hope to see you there!
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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 Gracealways 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

And adding it to your Goodreads TBR list is also always appreciated!

Planners: The Great Debate Between Paper and Digital (Hint: Paper Wins!)

I am a planner girl. I use Emily Ley’s daily half-sized spiral planner for my every day task and appointment list, I use a separate Emily Ley full-sized spiral monthly planner (from Target) for my Social Media/Media marketing schedule, I have a Kikki-K A5-sized ring planner for my writing business, another Happy Planner A5-sized disc planner (from Michael’s) to run my household and keep track of meals and my family’s schedules, and I have a huge, ugly whiteboard in the kitchen that holds shows me the family’s commitments for four months at a time.

I even use an Erin Condren deluxe monthly planner specifically for budgeting!

Yet, I can’t seem to figure out how to use my Google calendar. When I was a kid, I realized that if I don’t write things down, like goals, appointments, or due dates, I can’t remember them. Especially things like when my next manuscript is due! I’ve tried saving things to the calendar on my phone, and syncing up digital calendars with my kids and my husband, but if I have to rely on my digital planner I’m completely lost.

Luckily, I’m not alone. As I was searching for solutions, I discovered the planner community on YouTube. In this day of digital-everything, I found people who are just like me. 🙂 People who, for whatever reason, prefer to write down every aspect of their lives (and decorate with washi tape) and are willing to share their journeys online.

Below I’ve included a few of my favorite YouTube episodes that helped me choose the right planner(s) for my each aspect of my life. If you’re like me, you may have seen these already. If you’re a digital-only kind of planner, maybe these will bring you back to the joys of paper!

First up is Sarra Cannon at Heart Breathings. Sarra is a successful YA author who freely shares her love of organizing and planning. I use her HB90 method (downloadable calendars available in her Etsy shop) for all my business/writing planning needs. Here is her recent Plan-With-Me video of how she set up her February schedule in her Kikki K A5 planner.

Next is Stephanie Anne’s video of how she uses an Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly Planner to set up her family’s budget for the year.

Like I mentioned above, I use an Emily Ley daily planner for my everyday tasks and reminders. Here is a video Emily did explaining the pros and cons of this type of planner for work and home.

Here is a great video (with free printable!!!!) on how to use a Happy Planner to manage your household.

In case I didn’t mention this above, I also have a small personal-sized planner for my Christmas  planning. Since I still host at least 18 people for dinner every Christmas, as well as a week’s worth of guests who spend the night, my planning starts on November 1st! Here’s a cute Christmas planner video just in case you’re tempted. 🙂

What kind of planners, if any at all, do you use. Digital? Paper? Scratches on the back on an envelope (like my mother!)? Or none at all? I’d love to know!


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 Gracealways defeats Reckoning.

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

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

And adding it to your Goodreads TBR lisis also always appreciated!

All About the Podcast

I love podcasts.

I’m not sure why, but when I’m cleaning the house, making dinner, and walking the dog I love to listen to my favorite teachers, motivational speakers, business specialists, and short stories. Since the New Year started, I made a list of new-to-me podcasters, plus one I discovered last year, that I’m determined to listen to (or finish listening to) this year.

I’ve added my list below and have included the descriptions found on the corresponding websites. I hope you find these useful and if you have any favorite podcasts you’d like to share, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

The Modern CEO with Amber McCue

~ “With pieces of your business flying every which way, your to-do list out of control (and possibly sprouting wings) and your brain is scattered across 1400 different tasks, priorities, reminders, emails, tweets, deliverables, marketing ideas, client conversations, customer inquiries AND that one person you were suppose to follow up with weeks ago (whoops), one thing is certain: If it is freedom you want it’s time for a change.”

Detail Therapy with Amy Landino

~ “Are your ready to go after the life you want? Are you looking for specifics on how to make it happen? Join award-winning YouTuber, best selling author, and entrepreneur Amy Landino as she seeks out successful people and digs into the details of their daily lives to find out what they did to better themselves.”

Buffering the Vampire Slayer by Jenny Owen Young & Kristin Russo

~”Buffering the Vampire Slayer is a weekly podcast in which your hosts Jenny Owen Youngs (professional musician and recreational Whedonverse aficionado) and Kristin Russo (professional writer and former goth teen) discuss Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one episode at a time. Every installment of the podcast also includes a new original song recapping each glorious Buffy episode! *wolf howl*”

TED Radio Hour by NPR

~ “A journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, and new ways to think and create. Based on riveting TEDTalks from the world’s most remarkable minds.”

The Story Studio Podcast: Writing, Storytelling, and Marketing Advice for Business and Writers by  Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and David Wright

~ “Stories turn songs into symphonies, events into memories, and lives into legends. In our crowded world, “knowing your story” cuts through the noise so you can make your mark — whether you want to sell more books, increase profits, or just make a difference.”

The Creative Penn Podcast by Joanna Penn

~ “Writing, publishing, book marketing, making a living with your writing.”

Story Grid Podcast by Shawn Coyne and Tim  Grahl

~ “Resources and a step by step understanding of the Story Grid for beginning writers.”

Living Homegrown by Theresa Loe

~ “This weekly podcast is all about getting the best seasonal, fresh-picked flavor without having to buy the farm! Episodes alternate between instructional “how-to” and interviews with top authors & experts.”

The Minimalists by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

~ “Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus help over 20 million people live meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and documentary.”

Spark Joy by Kristyn Ivey & Karin Socci

~”Spark Joy is the podcast dedicated to celebrating the KonMari Method and the transformative power of surrounding yourself with joy; and letting go of the all the rest.”

Create Your Empowered Self by Jeannie Hall 

(Yes our very own SOS sister Jeannie! I’ve been listening to her podcasts for a while now and I love them!)

~ “This podcast is all about empowering you to live your best life! By incorporating the principles of Law of Attraction, NLP, meditation, and other spiritual teachings, Certified NLP Practitioner and Creative Empowerment Coach Jeannie Hall will show you the way!”

Like I mentioned above, I’d love to hear what podcasts you love to listen to! I’m always looking for more. 🙂

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 Gracealways defeats Reckoning.

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

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

 

And adding it to your Goodreads TBR lisis also always appreciated!