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Fun, sexy reads

Fun, sexy reads

Looking for fast-paced, sexy romantic suspense with military heroes? All books in the Men of Steele series are connected but can stand alone. Find fun facts and excerpts on each book's page.

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Scrivener Training for Everyone

Scrivener Training for Everyone

Need help with Scrivener? I provide Scrivener training to individuals and groups all over the world through online courses, in-person workshops, and private training sessions.

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Resources for Writers and Scrivener Users

Resources for Writers and Scrivener Users

A great reference for new and experienced Scrivener users, a guide to software and apps that help with productivity, and essays on every facet of writing from the Writer Unboxed contributors.

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84 Free Books

It’s my 25th wedding anniversary this week. ❤️ Obviously, our plans for a celebratory trip were scrapped, but I can’t complain because we’re together and that’s what it’s always been about.

Of course, with my husband teleworking, and our college senior home and remote-schooling until graduation, we’re really together. For someone who’s used to working from home by myself most days, I’m actually getting a lot more socialization than usual.

No complaints here!

In case you find yourself with more time on your hands than usual now that everything is closed, a group of (mostly romance) authors put together a bunch of free books for you to enjoy. With 84 books in several genres to choose from, you’re sure to find something great!

Some, like my book Blind Fury, are always free, and others will only be free through March 20th, so don’t delay in checking out this fabulous collection.

Stay safe and be well!

P.S. Unrelated to this promotion, Blind Ambition (Men of Steele #2) is only 99 cents in ebook through March 29th. Dan and Alexa get a second chance at love while on the run in the Caribbean jungle…

Why I gave $500 to ProLiteracy today

Did you know more than 43 million adults in the United States lack basic literacy skills, two thirds of whom are women? As a lifelong reader and writer, literacy is something I tend to take for granted. For those living without strong skills in reading, writing, and basic finance, it massively affects their job prospects and quality of life.

We’re all readers and writers here. Imagine how illiteracy would impact your life. I want everyone to experience the joy, education, and freedom contained in books and the ability to express themselves.

I usually attend the Romance Writers of America annual conference in the summer, but I recently withdrew from RWA—along with many other writers—to support the marginalized authors for whom it was not a safe or supportive space.

However, this mass boycott jeopardizes the nearly $50K raised at the conference book signing for ProLiteracy each year. So, Tessa Dare, Beverly Jenkins, and others got with the ProLiteracy folks to figure out how we could still support them, and the Romance for Literacy fundraiser was born.

To that end, I’ve donated $500 to the cause (in lieu of my conference registration). I hope you’ll help me empower women through the power of adult literacy with whatever you can spare at https://proliteracy.rallybound.org/romance-for-literacy/GwenHernandez.

Thank you! ❤️

Presence

rearview of woman meditating at the beach

I don’t know about you, but my mind is constantly “on.” I’m thinking ahead to upcoming interactions, coming up with strategies to meet my goals/deadlines, ruminating on past conversations, trying not to care what others think of me or my social media posts, figuring out how to improve my relationships, running through book ideas, planning out my weekend, and on and on…

It’s exhausting being in my head. I’m sure I’m not alone, though I sincerely hope you’re in your head, not mine.

So, I recently started meditating (again) just to start my day with a calm instead of a rush. I’m still testing out whether I prefer guided meditation, with or without affirmations—usually without—or just a timer and silence. So far, it depends on the day.

But that’s not really what this post is about. It’s about what makes us feel happy.

A recent guided meditation I tried focused on the idea that we’re happiest when we’re present in the moment. Nothing new. That’s one of the key points of meditation, to focus on our body, our breath, our space, right now.

Can we even be happy when our minds are elsewhere on the timeline? (Rhetorical question.)

Luckily, you can be present without meditating, though meditation is great practice for learning how. Simply concentrate on what’s going on right now. Give this moment, the person talking, the task you’re working on, your full attention.

Some activities give you little choice but to focus (boxing, jousting, watching a newly mobile baby). Which is one of many reasons I enjoyed martial arts in the past, and returned to yoga a few years ago. Both require an awareness of my body and my breath to keep me from taking a header onto my mat.

Even while running—which shouldn’t be that mentally taxing—I find that I can’t hold a complex thought for long (like, don’t ask me to do math) because my focus is on my breathing, my form, sometimes the pain, and my surroundings.

Much like traditional meditation, these moving meditations are a much needed break from…well, myself.

You might find relief in knitting, painting, singing, coloring, or building a bookshelf. Or, you know, writing. Maybe that’s why having a creative outlet is so important. Though when that outlet becomes your job, can it still serve as a calming intermission? (Also rhetorical.)

Other things that tap into that “present” feeling for me are traveling, hiking, watching the ocean, or exploring a new-to-me part of town. Half of what makes a sightseeing vacation so much fun is that my thoughts are mostly captured by the new and interesting things around me, keeping me in the moment.

If a week on the beach or in a cabin is more your speed, that relaxing holiday might be one of the few times that you allow yourself to slow down and fully tune into your surroundings and your companions. Or a really good book.

Vacations offer a break not just from work and school and routine, but from our scattered attention—hello cell phones and email and social media—from our concern about what comes next and all that we need to accomplish. No wonder we can’t wait to take a break.

I’m not traveling as much as I’d like right now—and I can’t do it every day anyway—but I am stepping up the frequency of yoga and meditation (and always running). I’m honestly shocked how much better I feel during and after yoga. Even at the end of a short routine, my muscles and my mind are less tense.

Such mini “vacations” have become a brilliant respite from the whirlwind of my thoughts. I’m grateful to have found activities that give me the rare gift of presence.

How do you cultivate a sense of contentment or find a moment of peace in your life?

P.S. If you’re interested, yoga doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby. There are plenty of free online resources, videos from your library, and even monthly online subscription services that cost less than a single yoga class. In-person lessons are my favorite, but I attend a class once a week and use videos or my own made-up routines the rest of the time. If you’re just starting out, a rug is fine if you don’t have a mat. You also don’t need special leggings from fancy “athleisure” stores. Any workout wear or comfy clothes will work, especially in the privacy of your home. Heck, do it in your underwear if you want to! Just, maybe, close the curtains. 😉

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

May 2020 bring you joy. (Also a new Men of Steele book—which I’m hard at work on—and Scrivener 3 for Windows.) 😉

Writers, if you've been waiting to take one of my Scrivener online classes, you can get 20% off any course for 7 days only by using the code 20NEWYEAR20 at checkout (discount expires 11:59pm PST on January 7, 2020).

Sign up now at ScrivenerClasses.com, start when you're ready, and work at your own pace.

Happy reading and writing!