Monday, April 14, 2014

Jewelry and books from the heart

Cly's Oceans Apart Clay Creations Necklace 
Fairy Tales and Jewelry is an Esty shop filled with enchanting necklaces, earrings, and more. The beautiful jewels are handcrafted by 82 year old Chuck Young.

Mr. Young has always been a creative. He works with wood designing and building everything from cabinets to delicate scrollwork. He found another love in crafting one of a kind jewelry creations for JLB Creatives Fairy Tales and Jewelry shop.

Mr. Young’s creativity rubbed off on his daughters, Janet Beasley and Dar Bagby both authors and creatives in their own rights. Janet is author of the best selling enchanted fantasy Hidden Earth series and CEO of JLB Creatives Publishing.

Dar, has a musical talent with a degree in music: vocal performance, she is an accomplished operatic soprano. Now she’s closed the curtains and turned her muse to writing. She is also the head of JLB Creatives Publishing’s editing department.

I have to say this is a family full of talent and great heart. They’re wonderful folk who make you feel like you’ve known them half your life just after meeting them.

Mr. Young’s jewelry is special for another reason. His darling wife Marilyn is also has medical needs. The
Cly's Pink Shadows of Desire Clay Creations Earrings 
proceeds of these handcrafted treasures help to meet those needs. The jewelry is an expression of Mr. Young’s creative talent as well as his heart for his lovely wife of 63 years.

I personally have two of Mr. Young’s pieces and love them to bits. They fit my personality perfectly and get tons of compliments whenever I wear them.

The designs are fun and there’s something to go with any outfit for any occasion. Not to mention links to the epic enchanted fantasy Hidden Earth series. So what are you waiting for go shopping already!

You can find Janet's books and other great reads at JLB

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Images: Why every blogger should use them

Every blogger should use at least one image in their blog post. Why? Well, the answer is simple. Images are powerful tools all by themselves.

A picture is worth 1000 words. The right image can grab a reader’s attention faster or sometimes more effectively than words when they’re scrolling through posts on Facebook, G+ or other social media site. Images can be bold and dramatic or even just silly. Whatever the impact you need to make the right photo can reel them in.

Shareablility! Yeah, I made that word up, but it’s true. People will share a snappy photo or a hilarious meme and often your link right a long with it. Not to mention getting pinned. Pintrest is out growing most other social media sites in popularity.

Snappy Susie pins the photo of a cat from your blog to her boards. Then Pinner Pam says “oooo” and pins it to her board and clicks on the link to see if there are any more cool things to pin from your website or blog. The cycle continues when people pin the photo from those to their own boards and so on. Before you know it you’re blog is all over the web and you’ve got new followers. All thanks to Snappy Susie taking a liking to the cute kitty you posted with your blog.

Searchablility. Yes, images can help you in your SEO. I have gained a few readers who mentioned they stumbled across my blog because they were searching for something and a photo from my blog popped up on their list. The blog title or something about the description made them hop over and check out not only the photo but my blog too.

There is a trick to it though. It is recommended that you place  your photo to the side of your text or under the first couple of lines so that the SEO bots don’t hit it first and skip over the important words that will help boost you in search engines.

Screencaps for easier explanation. If your post is something instructive, it may help to have some
screenshots showing exactly what you’re referencing.

Makes it more enjoyable to read. A lot of text can get hard on the eyes. A long post broken up with an image or two can make it more appealing and easier on the eyes.

All of that to say, photos can make a difference and even boost your blog. Here are a few sites to find some blogger friendly/ royalty free/ and cost free photos. Be sure to check the licensing before you use the photo, some require a type of attribution.

Half : A to Z Challenge letter H

Guarding CEO Alex Blazen during a charity gala was an easy job for Valeska Gorstef...until all hell breaks loose...literally. Forced to face her own darkness, Valeska may lose her only chance to live a human life. Two sides of her soul will be at war. Which HALF will win?
Purchase links:

Valeska stood within the darkness of the room and felt it breathe. The dark was a living creature part of what she was. Her darkness, her vampire, and she hated it. A bit of dust and the stain was all that was left of her father. Once she had thought killing him would free her to live a normal life, but that was just a pretty lie.

After all this time, she still had to exist in the twilight between two worlds. Trapped. She was lost in the past when she heard footsteps and smelled Alex’s cologne before he reached the room. Good. He’ll see the darkness and run. It would be that easy to stop this before I want any more than I can have.

Alex didn’t run. Instead, he walked over, embracing her and kissing her blood covered mouth. All he cared about was showing her it didn’t matter. That he loved her human or not. Plying her lips with his tongue, he gently pushed into her mouth and met sharp fangs.

She tasted fresh blood and pushed him away roughly. “Alex stop! I haven’t fed enough.”

He gazed at her and the concern she saw there was more than she could bear. “I couldn’t. I couldn’t take an unwilling victim, not even a four legged one.”

He looked beneath the splatters of blood to the pain her eyes held. What horrors she must have endured to survive over six hundred years of life.

She wanted to push him far away. “Don’t you see me? This is Valeska Gorstef. Alex, I can’t change what I am. I can smell the sweet copper scent of blood in your mouth. I can hear your heart pumping more through your veins and I want it. I want to taste you in ways that have nothing to do with passion.”

The video flashed in his mind. “I see the beautiful woman who walked into my office three days ago. I see the dark desire in your eyes. Blood isn’t all you want.”

She shook her head. “Alex, you don’t know what you’re asking.” Valeska felt her control starting to slip.

“No, I don’t.” Alex unbuttoned her shirt, peeled the blood soaked fabric from her shoulders. He pulled off his own shirt and tossed it in the pile. She was dizzy from bloodlust and need. Need to give in, need to love him.

She stood stiff as he embraced her and kissing, caressing first one lip then the other. He was more careful exploring the warmth of her mouth. He licked her fangs tasting the sweet copper in her mouth.

Weakening with the scent of his body so close, she kissed him back him feeling his warm clean skin. They fell to the floor, she rolled over him. “We can’t do this. I have to feed.”

He grabbed her face as he kissed her again. “Then feed.”

Getting caught up and making new goals ROW80 and G for A to Z challenge

The last week was busy and thanks to being anemic my energy level has been pretty low so that didn’t help things. Yet even though my Blogging from A to Z is behind (very as you can see lol) I still feel like this week was a success.

Here’s the update, goals for last week were:
1. Work on scheduling things better: Yes, there was improvement here. Even with low energy levels. We were able to make a schedule for the week and stick to most of it.
2. Write at least 3,000 words:  Almost, I made about 2,200. I think for everything going on this last week that was pretty good. I’m going to say even though it’s not 3k this goal was a success because there was still positive outcome.
3. Get rid of two boxes of clutter/junk: Yes! Thanks to a burst water heater pipe, we had to do a lil bit of cleaning out of the laundry room. We managed a box of junk to get tossed and two bags of old clothes that were just sitting in a basket waiting for someone to decide to give them a new home. So off to Goodwill they will go.

This next week is going to be better and finish stronger. I can already see a few crazy days screwing with my new schedule on their way, but overall I’m confident this week will see goals checked off.

Goals for this week:
1. Get caught up on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge
2. Write at least 3,000 words this week
3. Remove two more boxes of clutter/junk
4. Take some time to get out of the house with the camera and just breathe.

Falling behind is part of life. It’s not always easy to get caught back up, but it is always possible. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Forgotten : Blogging from A to Z Letter F

photo: Old Shed by Elise VanCise 

The old shed stood amongst the wild growth. The paint is worn, siding rusted with time, telling the world it’s been forgotten. What secrets are inside these simple four walls? Old tools, holiday decorations, toys now outgrown or boxes of memories. Or perhaps secrets better left forgotten. 

Empty pages, events, and ever changing goals A to Z letter E

Today marks the first day of the 2nd Quarter for Round of Words in 80 Days or ROW80 for short. The first day of making new goals and making new accomplishments.

ROW80 is a challenge for writers that gets we have a life and can’t always write two or three thousand words in a day. With this challenge writers set goals they want to accomplish in an 80 day time period.

Those goals can be anything, even not writing related. The best part about ROW80 is the wonderful group of folks that support each other through the quarter. It makes a big difference sometimes when you share a weekly update with a struggle and someone comments hey, I’m going through that too, we can conquer it!

That support can help charge a writer’s waning batteries so they can find the energy to fill those empty pages with, a novel, blogs, articles, and more. Sometimes we don’t reach our weekly goals and that energy fails too.

We have to remember that goals aren’t set in stone. They can change as our life gets crazy with activity or we realize that maybe that goal isn’t what we needed it to be. Never be afraid to simplify or break down a goal into something more manageable.

There will be times that even the simplest goal just doesn’t happen for us. That’s okay too. We have to have failures to recognize the successes. We also need to remember we’re not Super Scribe.

Being ambitious with goals can be a good thing. Elvis Presley said Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine. Ambitious goals can be exciting and make us driven to succeed. Yet we should be cautious, it’s very easy in our excitement to take on too much or push too hard to get the results we want so badly.

When Super Scribe gets hit by Kryptonite we just have to take a breath, step back, and re-evaluate those goals to see what needs tweaked before we leap to next chapter and type faster than a flying bullet.

That brings me to my goals for the second ROW80 quarter
  1. Finish Novel
  2. Start Editing Novel
  3. Get on a better schedule
4.    Get rid of at least two boxes of clutter/junk a week.
Goals for this week
  1. Work on scheduling things better
  2. Write at least 3,000 words.
  3. Get rid of two boxes of clutter/junk

Now for something fun announcing some upcoming author events that I’ll be attending with my fellow JLB Creatives Publishing team members as well as awesome authors. Janet Beasley and Jane E Lane.

May 11th 10 am - 2pm
Clermont Community Center
620 W Montrose St., Clermont, FL 34711

 Sydney and her friends, "JLBCreatives" will be signing copies of their best selling books. After a day of shopping at the Clermont Farmers Market, head on down to the Community Center and say hi to "Sydney" and all her friends. A reading station will be set up for the kiddies to sit and read to Sydney. We will be selling T-Shirts and raffle tickets to benefit our reading programs.

Stay up to date by following the event on Facebook! HERE

May 17th -18th
Saturday 10am-5pm
Sunday 11am-5pm
Long & Scott Farms 26216 CR 448-A, Mt. Dora, FL

Elise will be there with the JLB Creatives Publishing team exhibiting at the festival. Stop by, say hello and don't forget to pick up some great new books to read while you munch your delicious Zellwood Sweet Corn!

For more info about the event go to Long & Scott Farms

See what I mean by needing to schedule stuff better? I have a slew of JLB work stuff and writing stuff and well you get the picture lol. If you’re local I hope you can stop by at one of our events and say hi! Well, that’s my Super Scribe plan for the quarter what’s yours?

*puts on cape and mask then grabs her mighty pen…. Time to fill some of those empty pages. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Don't Touch : Blogging from A to Z Letter D

About Don't Touch
Dr Ryan Reign has unlocked a gift she calls a curse. Detective Jackson Prince and his partner need her help to stop a serial killer before he murders again.

One problem Dr. Reign can't touch or be touched. She's become a recluse, never leaving her home for fear of what she might 'see'. Jackson knows he has to help her accept her gift or there will be more deaths. 

It takes a woman's touch to catch a killer.

 5 Star Review
Great book! Couldn't put it down kept me reading the entire book! I wanted to wait and read some later but I couldn't I had to finish. There was enough romance, mystery and intrigue to keep me anxious to finish and make sure they hot the bad guy!!! Can't wait to read more by Elise.

4 Star Review

Don't Touch was very enjoyable to read. The writing style, the plot, and the characters are all very good. Elise has quite the imagination! I like a mystery with a "twist". I think the story would be a great series for the future.

 Other places to stalk find Elise VanCise on the web