All of the best ones are crazy

Mad Hatter: “Have I gone mad?”
Alice: “I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”
―  Alice in Wonderland: Based on the motion picture directed by Tim Burton

This conversation between Alice & the Mad Hatter is comical yet also quite inspirational.  When you think about it, Alice is basically telling the Hatter to just be himself, and the best version of himself that he can be.  Ignore stereotypes and just be you.

“Crazy” is one of those words that historically has a bad undertone.  People use it to signify things that they don’t understand and people whose actions they don’t agree with.  But for many of us, it also symbolizes things that are fun or slightly outside the box.

We each have our own definition of what’s crazy.  Some people may say that reading a novel in a single afternoon is crazy.  Many of us would say that’s a normal occurrence with a good book.  I think that running a marathon is crazy (though admirable) yet at the moment my sister is training to do just that.  Heck, it wasn’t that long ago that flying across the country or speeding down a highway would have been considered crazy yet now it’s an everyday occurrence that we take for granted.

When you stop and think about it, crazy isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  We all have our own brand of crazy.  None of us can go through life without having at least a day or two when our ‘crazy’ shines through.  So what do I say to this?  Go with it!  Have fun!  Act a little crazy at times and get out of your box.  Life is so much more fun when you live it.

How do you sort your libraries?

main-e-readerI finally cleared myself some time in my schedule to read a book I’ve been dying to dive into. You know the one; that next in series, have to have it, bought it release day a year ago and somehow still haven’t dug into it yet. Yeah, that one. We’ve all got some of them and eventually we all make the time to read them (and if you’re like me, it’s because the book after it is about to be released, lol).

But back to my point, I finally found the time to read this book. I was so excited, but then my difficulties started. I couldn’t find it anywhere. It wasn’t on any of my book shelves. I had the rest of the series in paperback so I assumed that this novel would follow suit. I searched and searched. Checked under the bed, looked everywhere to no avail. I was starting to panic. I called my sister and my mom, the only 2 people allowed to borrow books from my sanctuary. Nope. I hadn’t loaned it to either. Where oh where could I have put it? Where to search next? My Kindle? After searching through my entire ereader and the Kindle Cloud just in case it didn’t download properly I determined that it wasn’t there. Searching my Kobo library had similar results. I even checked Google Play Books on the off chance that I decided to put it on my phone. Finally, after 3 hours of searching I found my purchase! It was on iBooks. Apparently the book was released the same week that I was all excited about my new iPad. Or maybe it was on sale on that platform. Who knows why I chose to buy one book there.

So, after hours of searching (when I could have read half the novel) I finally found it and had to take a break from my ‘non-reading’ to calm down enough to be able to read this novel (that was fantastic by the way). The moral of this story is that with all of these technological advances I need to find a better way of ‘shelving’ my books. So how do you sort your libraries? Do you have different lists? Minimize the formats in which you purchase books? A special shelving code? Are you simply one of those readers who doesn’t have a huge TBR pile? Let me know!

Find your own fit

Diet and exerciseMany of us who spend our days behind our computers find it hard to get the recommended amount of daily activity.  When 8+ hours a day are spent staring at a screen, finding time to go for a walk or to the gym isn’t always easy.  Between lack of time and a wicked kink in the neck after a long day of editing, the last thing I want to do is run around and jump up and down.

If you’re anything like me then getting a personal trainer or joining a running group may be right up your alley.  Having something scheduled means you’re much more likely to do it.  But it can also lead to its own set of issues and interesting stories.

At one time I had a personal trainer who insisted that we meet at a busy gym during their peak time.  Not only was it next to impossible to get any gym equipment to work with, but it was also impossible to get my trainer’s attention.  He spent the entire time trying to show off his muscles for the other women at the gym.  That was the longest 6 weeks of my life.

Another time I had a trainer who repeatedly told me I was running too fast and too long, not eating enough junk food, and to simply stop trying.  Now, it may sound like I was overextending myself, and if you think 30 seconds of jogging is too much then maybe he was right, but I would have been in worse shape than when I started if I’d listened to him.  And frankly, when you’re supposed to be training to run distances, you’ve got to run, right?

What I’ve learned from all of this is simple:  FIND YOUR OWN FIT.  Fitness isn’t a number on a scale or a measurement around your waist. It’s not your BMI or your body fat percentage.  Fitness is a state of health and a state of mind.  Do what works for you.  Do what makes you feel more energetic.  And above all else, do what you enjoy so that it becomes part of your lifestyle rather than something you do when you think about it.

How’s your penmanship?

986158f8d2785a33bff769951ab9efc7Recently, I received a letter in the mail from an old friend.  After I got over the shock of a real letter in my mail box, rather than simply the standard bills and flyers, I tore open the envelope to find out what the latest news was and the shock continued.

The letter was hand written on gorgeous stationary.  Unfortunately, I could only read about every other word.  After deciphering the bulk of the letter I found myself thinking about the state of my friend’s handwriting, and then my own.  What I discovered had me both laughing and cringing.

When you think about it, when was the last time you wrote something other than your grocery list? In my case, even that is digital now. I type everything, from letters to quick texts to shopping lists.  When I have a question for my sister, I don’t leave her a note, I send her a message.  It’s become so easy to do all of our writing and communication digitally that many of us have forgotten the art of penmanship.

Picture the calligraphy of the Middle Ages.  Everything was so beautifully put to paper.  Even 10 years ago we put effort into writing to each other, creating tangible records of our interactions and the events in our lives.  Personally, I love the look of a well written letter on parchment.

I tried to create one after reading my friend’s letter and discovered that my cursive was just as bad, if not worse than his.  And my printing, well, it wasn’t much better.  I cite lack of practice for the disastrous outcome of my attempt.  But it did remind me of how much I love the feel of pen sliding across high quality paper.  Legible cursive writing is a gorgeous thing that we should all remember to use before it goes out of style forever.

Cover Reveal: If I Could Do It Again

If I Could Do It Again

Ashley Stoyanoff

GENRE: Romance, Suspense
RELEASE DATE: September 26, 2016
COVER DESIGNED BY: Mayhem Cover Creations

On the outs with her abusive husband, a romance novelist seeks love and understanding from an unlikely source—a prison inmate serving time for murder.

IfICouldDoItAgain-ebook-2Romance novelist Victoria Clarke seems to have it all: adoring husband, successful career, beautiful home. At least that’s what outsiders think.

In reality, her husband is emotionally abusive, and their marriage is falling apart. Victoria is miserable but suffers in silence until she encounters the charming Joshua Larson while researching a new book.

She meets him in the most unconventional way—through a prisoner pen-pal website. Though Victoria is hesitant at first, she’s drawn to this intriguing, misunderstood man. He was charged with murder for his part in a bar fight, implicated for wearing the colors of his motorcycle club. She believes him when he says it was self-defense.

The two exchange letters and then talk on the phone. Joshua gives Victoria everything she’s been missing—support, confidence, affection, and passion.

Victoria can’t help but ponder a new life, leaving her awful husband and Canada behind for her new friend in the United States. After all, Joshua will be free in four years, and she’s beginning to believe that he’s the love of her life.

If she takes a leap of faith, will Joshua turn out to be her soul mate, or is he hiding something sinister?



Roanoke Author Invasion

Well, I’m back from an amazing weekend in Roanoke, Virginia and I have to say it was an awesome experience!

I got to meet some of my favorite authors …

Melissa and Ashley RAI 2016
(Me and the fabulous Melissa Haag)
Karen and Ashley RAI 2016
(Me and the amazing Karen Lynch)
(Club YA)

And some of my fan-freakin’-tastic Street Team members …

(Sara Meadows, Me and Hazel Godwin)
(Me and Jocqueline Protho)

And I finally got to meet my awesome PA …

(Me and Hazel Godwin starting our day off right with Starbucks.)

The signing was nothing short of amazing. It was fun, exciting, and yes, even a little exhausting.

(Me at my booth.)
(Me at my booth.)
(Me at my booth after the awesome Sara Meadows and Kelly Nagy saved the day and reorganized.)
(Me at my booth after the awesome Sara Meadows and Kelly Nagy saved the day with their amazing organization skills.)
 (First book signing of the day.)
(Me signing my first book of the day.)

And check it out! Two Truths and a Lie even made it on the WDBJ7 news clip!

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

RAI was simply wonderful!  I had a fantastic time and I seriously cannot wait until next year.

Up next … Romancing the Capital. Ottawa here I come!

Roanoke Author Invasion is right around the corner!

Roanoke Author Invasion is right around the corner! With this many authors, we are so excited to keep this a free event for readers as they meet their favorite writers and discover new ones!

Join sixty bestselling authors of contemporary and paranormal fiction and more at the Holiday Inn Tanglewood in Roanoke, Virginia on April 2, 2016 from 11pm-4pm. Signings will be split from 11-1 and 2-4p to allow a lunch break. Attendees will enjoy an afternoon of books, giveaways, and more as they get the latest releases from their favorite authors and discover new voices!

Authors include several bestsellers like #1 New York Times and International Bestselling authors such as Casey Bond (writer of the award-winning Harvest Saga); Cambria Hebert (of the popular YA Hashtag Series); Rysa Walker (2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards winner for her CHRONOS Files series); and Heather Hildenbrand, whose book Imitation has been optioned for television by NBC to be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

This free event is in its second year. With over 100 guests for the first year, attendance is expected to double as they travel from all over the country to visit Roanoke, VA. They will be able to meet their favorite authors and be introduced to new writers, win prizes, and take home swag. Free RAI tote bags will be given as first come, first serve, while RAI t-shirts will be available for purchase.

In addition, all attendees are invited back to the Holiday Inn for an afterparty from 7-10PM. Hosted by Forget the Housework, I’m Reading, City and Book and Brains, Beauty, BOOKS!

Tickets will be $20 sent to via Paypal. Price includes light appetizers, goodie bag and dancing. Proceeds benefit United Through Reading.

For more information, including how to get your free ticket, a full list of exhibitors, and the chance to volunteer for the event, visit



Load your eReader with these fat-free, but totally satisfying, free goodies.


Do you have them all?

☆*☽ THE FORGOTTEN ONES by Laura Howard ☆*☽
iBooksAmazonNookKoboGoogle Play

☆*☽ THE SURVIVOR CRONICLES by Erica Stevens ☆*☽
iBooksAmazonNookKoboGoogle Play

☆*☽ RELENTLESS by Karen Lynch ☆*☽
iBooksAmazonNookKoboGoogle Play

☆*☽ RUNES by Ednah Walters ☆*☽
iBooksAmazonNookKoboGoogle Play

☆*☽ AURORA SKY: VAMPIRE HUNTER by Nikki Jefford ☆*☽
iBooksAmazon | NookKoboGoogle Play

☆*☽ FIRST WORLD by Jaymin Eve ☆*☽
iBooksAmazon | NookKobo

☆*☽ IGNITED by Desni Dantone ☆*☽
iBooks AmazonNook | Kobo  

☆*☽ HOPE(LESS) by Melissa Haag ☆*☽
iBooksAmazonNookKoboGoogle Play

☆*☽ DARKNESS OF LIGHT by Stacey Marie Brown ☆*☽
iBooks | AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play

☆*☽ ELSKER by S.t. Bende ☆*☽
iBooks | AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play

☆*☽ DEADLY CRUSH by Ashley Stoyanoff ☆*☽