New Beginning and a Cover Reveal

The new year is a time for new beginnings. But with every new beginning comes an ending, and sometimes endings are bittersweet. That’s where we find ourselves with the Women Unplugged blog. We’ve got exciting projects taking us in different directions, and we’re redirecting our efforts.

I’m leaving Women Unplugged to focus on my personal blog and my new career as an indie women’s fiction author. My debut novel, Coronado Beach, will be released this summer. Here’s a little peek.

Book cover showing a wedding bouquet lying on a beach.

High-spirited public defender Karina Fields has found her dream job helping the indigent. Next on her agenda: romance. Trouble is, her faith in love has been shaken by the breakup of her sister’s marriage. Now, Karina’s ex-brother-in-law, Alex Kent, is moving from the cold marble world of D.C. back to the sand and blue waters of San Diego. He takes a job alongside her at the public defender’s office. Her instinct is to protect her sister from the ex-husband who bailed instead of fighting for their marriage. But Karina soon sees that he’s overwhelmed with grief over the violent crime that took the life of his unborn daughter and ended his marriage.

When a desperate client assaults Karina, Alex tackles and disarms him. Vibrating with terror, she cries in Alex’s arms, and a stolen kiss surprises them both. She doesn’t even like Alex—how can she be attracted to him? Despite her lingering desire, an entanglement with him would destroy her relationship with her sister. Karina’s following an old pattern: she’s drawn to men who need fixing. She won’t find the right man if she keeps falling for the wrong ones, and she can’t heal her family until she heals herself.

To learn about my new releases, be sure to sign up for my fan list. And if you’d like to receive free read-for-review copies before they’re released, join my ARC club.

You can also follow my Write with Personality blog, which was recently featured on BookRiot and Jami Gold‘s blog. It focuses on topics related to writing and personality type.

I’ve enjoyed my time at Women Unplugged and treasure the friends I’ve made here. I’m on Facebook almost every day, so this isn’t good-bye. See you around the Web!

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Flexing my mama muscles

Back when my kids were little, my biggest worry was that they’d choke on a marble. Then they started walking to school, and every time I watched them disappear around the corner, a not-so-tiny part of me worried they wouldn’t come back. Then came bikes, then cars, then airplanes and who knows what else when I’m not looking. The worries only get bigger, all the bad things that could happen scarier.

This is not a post about how to handle those fears. In fact, if you know the answer, please tell me, because my best solution is to try not to think of all the ways things can take a turn for the worst. One thing I do know for sure is that, if you think about them too much, your fears will make you crazy.

But fears aren’t reality, and physical safety isn’t the only danger kids face. What about bullies? What about injustice and intolerance? What about heartbreak?

Without throwing my daughter’s business into the big, wide world, let me just say that someone in a position of authority disappointed her. Big time. And it broke my heart to see how much this person’s careless actions broke hers.

I can teach my kids to keep their fingers out of the sockets. I can teach them to not run into traffic and about stranger danger. But I can’t unbreak my daughter’s heart, and that kills me. The only thing I can do is help her deal with this disappointment, because here’s another thing I know for sure: this won’t be the first time.

And the New Year Means…?

2016 is a big year for my family. My oldest graduates from high school and heads to college. My youngest just got her driver’s license and is off to parts unknown. My husband and I spend our time planning our “empty nester” stage in ways that both excite and frighten me to no end.fireworks

And the writing? Well, I’ve hit a snag. Last year, after finishing The Power of Faith When Tragedy Strikes by Chris and Terry Norton, my head was a mess–my creative head. Toward the end of the project, I couldn’t wait to get back to fiction where I could just make stuff up. I thought I was ready to dive head first back into my abandoned series, but after reading the first two books and a novella, I couldn’t find my mojo.

So I did what I always did whenever I got stuck. I read craft books–the ones that inspired me and guided me through every book I wrote.

Nada.

I reread my favorite authors.

Nope.

I decided to take the holidays off and not think about it for awhile. Enjoy the family, eat lots of food, and worry about it in 2016.

Now 2016 is here, and I’m starting to feel the fire again. I read some fantastic stuff out of my genre and signed up for an online class that begins today. When my laptop recently died, and along with it my floundering work in progress, I could have taken it as a sign to quit or take a little longer time off. Instead, I took it as a sign to email my files to my home computer and get back to finding the joy.

I’ll let you know how how it turns out, but things are looking up. What does the New Year mean to you?

photo credit: Happy New Year !!! via photopin (license)

Happy New Year!!

2016

Can you believe it? Another year has flown by and it’s already 2016!  I don’t typically do the whole resolution thing but, like most people, I look at the new calendar as a clean slate, a new beginning.  Each year, I try to come up with some goals for myself both personally and with my husband.  Early in our married life, we’d sneak off for lunch during those first weeks of January and write down all the things we wanted to get down that year from getting in shape to repaving the driveway.  We’d put down our long-term goals too–it wasn’t that long ago when I wrote those crazy words write a book!

We haven’t made one of those lists in recent years.  Probably because our life has become so hectic and crazy that our everyday ‘to-do’ lists became priority one.  But 2016 will be a seminal year in the Solheim house as we become empty-nesters this summer.  Life should slow down a little–I’ve got three books coming out with three different publishers, so I’m using the word ‘should’ loosely here–and maybe my husband and I can get back to adding the dreams back onto our yearly list.

New Year's resolutionEven though I don’t make resolutions, in the last few years I’ve adopted a one word mantra to be my guide for that particular twelve months.  I started a few years ago with JOY.  I had finally achieved that dream of writing a book and getting it published and I wanted to try to soak up the JOY that went with the experience.

grace 2

My word for 2015 was GRACE.  This one is a little tougher to live by in today’s competitive world, but once I finally let go and just treated others as I wanted to be treated–whether they returned the favor or not–I felt a lot better in my own world.

This year, I’ve adopted the word RELEASE.  Well, technically I stole the word after I posed the question about New Year’s resolutions on Facebook and Kelly Thompson posted this:

My resolution is “release.” I need to let go of clutter in my house and in my life. Emotions that hold me back. Old habits. One word that covers a lot of things I need to do in my life.

I LOVE this!  Especially this year when so much is changing for me.  I’ll be letting go of my youngest child and my everyday life will be forever different.  I’d like to ‘release’ all the anxiety and stress that has plagued me these past few months, not to mention the physical stuff that has been cluttering my world. I definitely need to ‘release’ some old habits–dessert for starters!

This doesn’t mean I’m ‘releasing’ the concepts of JOY and GRACE.  I’m still going to keep those two words front and center in my words and deeds.  I’ll just add a new word to the repertoire this year.  I guess you could call that a resolution!

If you could pick a word to live by for an entire year, what would it be?

What are you most looking forward to in 2016?

Are You Ready for 2016?

Brain powerIt’s the time of year for making resolutions, or, as I like to call it, setting ourselves up for failure. My resolution for 2015 was to get organized. Ha! That didn’t happen. But I did publish 10 books, which was more than I expected, so I guess I can’t be too hard on myself.

Why are New Year’s resolutions so hard to keep? According to psychiatrist  Dr. David Krueger, the brain is designed to conserve energy by sticking to the familiar. Change creates chaos. So you have to work through the physiological challenges of stepping out of your comfort zone, and manage the emotions around the brain’s reaction to the unfamiliar.

If you’re determined to keep your resolutions in 2016, Dr. Krueger offers this ROADMAP to making behavioral changes that last:

R: Recognize that you’re writing your own story at each moment. Your life doesn’t happen to you; you’re creating it.

O: Own your story. Take responsibility for the reality you create.

A: Assess your story. Continue to do what works. Stop doing what doesn’t. Enhance the things you need to do better.

D: Decide the steps to get traction. Motivation isn’t necessary. You just need to have a plan and take action.

M: Map the changes needed to meet your goals. Make them tangible and methodical, so they can become routine.

A: Author the changes and make your goals reality. Avoid the pull of the old and the fear of the new.

P: Program your new identity. Internalize it so it becomes the new familiar pattern that happens automatically.

My goal for 2016 is to write 1,000 words a day and publish a novella every month. That’s an achievable goal, as long as I develop a plan and follow it.

How about you? Have you set a goal for 2016? How do you plan to achieve it?

Image Copyright: ilyaka1972 / 123RF Stock Photo

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