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A Bittersweet Ending

They say all good things must come to an end, and that is true of most things in life. This blog was home to a variety of women who, at one point or another, came together to share their views on life, love, and a myriad of other topics that struck their fancy.

Every woman who posted articles here–Dianne Venetta, Tracy Solheim, Shelia Seabrook, Andrea Wenger, Janna Donn, Kimberly S. Belle, Patricia Yager Delagrange, Sharla Lovelace, Kim Boykin, and yours truly–left a mark on the blog and in the hearts and minds of readers.

Dianne instructed on the finer points of gardening. Tracy catalogued her journey to publication. Sheila brought Canada’s frozen countryside to life. Andrea dove deep into complex issues. Janna shared her emotions with breathtaking honesty. Kimberly gave insight into the wonders of living abroad. Patty showed what it was like to live with a menagerie of animals. Sharla rolled out the welcome mat to the great state of Texas. And Kim brought her roses to life.

Although we part ways and forge new paths, the bond that was created here cannot be broken. It’s been a true blessing to work beside the ladies of Women Unplugged. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for each of you. I’ll be cheering from my little corner of the south.

As for me, I’m around in the usual haunts. Facebook, Twitter, my website, and my shiny new personal blog. I’d be honored if some of you who’ve spent time with WU these past few years visit me on any of the venues above. Until then…

Shock the Clock: Wisdom About Time Management by Writer Jeanette Levellie

Jeanette Levellie Shock the Clock cover

Are you a procrastinating procrastinator? Or just a busy bee?

You are not alone.

Well-loved writer and prolific speaker, Jeanette Levellie, is a recovering perfectionist and accomplished multi-tasker. This is why, in her third book, Shock the Clock: Time Management for Writers and Other Creatives, Jeanette presents a unique approach to time management based on personality types.

If you have kids, friends, and/or pets, work a day job, or got an A+ in Procrastination 101, you will benefit from the tools Jeanette has learned and used to write and publish hundreds of columns, stories, articles, and three books—in her spare time.

Unlike other time management programs, this unique approach helps you focus on your strengths and minimize your weaknesses to make the best use of your limited writing or other creative time.

Here, a few thoughts from Jeanette:

What inspired you to write Shock the Clock: Time Management for Writers and Other Creatives? I noticed that all the time management books I’d read were based on the writer’s personality type—mostly Choleric, or Type A—which doesn’t work if you are an introvert or ditzy, like many writers. I decided to write a book that addressed how you can manage your time, based on various personalities.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb? If you got an A+ in procrastination, can’t find your car keys, and might need a lifetime pass to Clutterbugs Anonymous, you can benefit from this lighthearted approach to managing your time and getting more writing done.

How did you research or plan your book? I planned the book based on classes I’ve taught at writers conferences on time management, which were well-attended and from which I received a lot of positive feedback. I also threw in some funny articles on clutter control, a list of 40 tips and secrets I’ve discovered (the hard way) for saving time, and a bunch of fun cartoons drawn by my artist son.

What do you hope readers will take away from your book? I hope writers and other creatives—from artists to musicians to movie producers to Play-doh sculptors—will be encouraged by God and my words so that they can learn to manage time, even if born disorganized and discombobulated like me.

Sound like a winner? I thought so. You can pre-order your copy of Shock the Clock over at Amazon. And RSVP to Jeanette’s launch party — games and prized included — over on Facebook!3 final

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About Jeanette Levellie: A spunky pastor’s wife of thirty-plus years, Jeanette Levellie authors a weekly humor/inspirational column, God is Greater, a popular feature in her local newspaper since 2001. She has published stories in Guideposts anthologies, stories in Love is a Verb Devotional with Gary Chapman, articles in Christian and secular magazines, greeting card verses, and poems for calendars. She is also a prolific speaker for both Christian and secular groups, and loves to make people laugh while sharing her love for God and life.

Jeanette is the mother of two grown children, three grandchildren, and servant to four cats. She lives in Paris (not the French one), IL, with her husband, Kevin. Her hobbies include dining out, talking baby talk to her cats, avoiding housework, reading, and watching old classic movies. 

Learn more about Jeanette, and her other books and projects, at www.jeanettelevellie.com.

When You Feel Like A Salmon

Keep swimming.

That’s how I feel these days, like I’m swimming against the current. How do I expand my reach, boost my discoverability factor? There’s a sea of books on the market, a torrent of good stories to choose from. It’s overwhelming. For me as a reader, finding that next great book to enjoy can be a challenge. Do I want romance or mystery? Espionage or intrigue? Do I want an established author or do I want to try someone new?

An indangered Chum Salmon, Oncorhynchus keta, (aka. Dog Salmon) attempts to jump a small dam on the Deschutes River in Tumwater Washington. The concrete in the foreground is the opening to a fish ladder.

As an author, it’s proves a different challenge. How do I reach readers looking for stories like mine? Book fairs, expos, online, social media–potential readers are everywhere, but I can’t be. How do we connect? Word of mouth, freebie giveaways or glittery ad banners?

Maybe I should join Kimberly in her yoga endeavor. Might calm my energy, streamline my thought process. Would probably improve my sleep, too! But seriously, as I find myself counseling my high school daughter on her education going forward, I find myself drawing on the tried and true words of wisdom. “Love what you do.” You’ll be doing a lot of it. “Don’t give up.” The time will pass anyway.

“Stay true to your dreams, and your dreams will stay true to you.” Persistence pays. Perseverance makes you stronger. **breathe** Life is a journey to be enjoyed, right?

End of Summer Book Recommendations!

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover:ugly love

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her. Never ask about the past.Don’t expect a future. They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all. Hearts get infiltrated. Promises get broken. Rules get shattered. Love gets ugly.

Ugly Love is as engrossing as this tasty back cover blurb. It will suck you in and have you turning pages faster than there are hours in the day to read. I read this one quickly, so quickly I’ll have to take some time to reread it and savor once again. It is worth your time.

In Too Deep by Tracey Alvarez:In Too Deep

She vowed never to return. To save her brother from financial ruin, Piper Harland must do the one thing she swore she’d never do—return to the tiny island hometown where Ryan “West” Westlake crushed her heart. Piper is tough, resilient and a little wild—much like the remote and beautiful Stewart Island where she grew up. As a cop who’s part of the elite New Zealand Police National Dive Squad, bringing the dead back to their families still doesn’t stop the guilt she feels over her father’s drowning death. Now nine years later she’s obligated to return to a hostile community as the outsider, and forced to work with the man who was once her best friend and first lover. She’s a risk he can’t take. West is an Island man, through and through. As owner of the local pub, he lives and breathes the local community, and sure as hell can’t imagine living anywhere else. But most of all he refuses to ever fall for a woman like his flighty mother. He lost Piper once to give her the chance to fulfil her dreams of becoming a cop. But now she’s back for an unexpected six week visit to help her brother—his best mate. Maybe West wants her a little bit, maybe he can’t resist the temptation to tease and touch her, but can he fall in love with such a flight risk? Saying goodbye for the second time might just destroy them both.

I love reunion love stories, and this one is packed with conflict and a backstory that is slowly, frustratingly revealed. With stunning New Zealand as the backdrop, how can you resist the allure of a second chance at love? 

*Blurbs and Covers from authors’ websites.

#amwriting but wish #amreading

I’m currently deep in the middle of writing my third book. Like, thirty thousand(ish) words to go and a looming deadline deep. Yoga pants and messy hair and not enough showers deep. Deeeeeep.

All that goes to say, when I sat down to write today’s blog post, I couldn’t even contemplate coming up with another 500 words. Sorry, y’all, but I got nuthin’.

But Women Unplugged is a blog about books, and raving about other people’s books is so much easier than talking about mine, so here are a few I love from brilliant fellow authors.

81L-XdfdbgLJonathan Tropper is an automatic buy for me. I don’t even bother reading the back cover, just point my mouse at the one-click shopping button. He makes me laugh, he makes me cry, he makes me wish he would write faster. I love all his books, but How to Talk to a Widower is my absolute favorite.

51CXyA2LniL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Allison Winn Scotch has such a great voice, and she writes characters I want to be BFFs with. Time of My Life is not her latest, but she smashed it out of the park — and onto the NYT list — with this one.

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A hunky chef, a snarky writer, and a story that sticks with you long after you turn the last page. The First Husband is a charming tale about finding your soul mate, and my favorite of all of Laura Dave’s novels.

51dx30Ray5LBridget Asher has a new one coming out this fall and I can hardly wait. Her last one, Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted, is heartbreaking and hilarious, a love story within a love story, and bonus! It’s set in beautiful France.

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I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this one. Julie Buxbaum writes so beautifully about love and loss and the secrets we hide from our families and ourselves. After You will haunt you long after The End.

If you read any of these, I hope you’ll let me know what you think!

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