Mary Smith's Blog

March 3, 2019

I am about to confess something weighing on my mind...



There are times when a human just has to tell the world the truth. The whole truth and nothing but the truth! But, it's hard to do. Especially, for me!
I know this blog is meant to talk about books and giveaway amazing gifts, but lately I've been using to give you an insight of my life. Some have enjoyed it. Some of unsubscribed. I get it and I understand. 

However, opening up myself to you all has really helped me personally and I'm going to continue. I hope you enjoy them as well and - possibly - helping you as well.

Let the confession begin...

I am human. Shocking, I know. Nonetheless, I am and - to top it off - I have feelings. A lot of them! At times, I can keep bottled inside. (Well, I usually do that). I pretend my world is perfect via social media (as most people in the world do) and most of all - I keep the smile on my face. 

Now, I'm a naturally bubbly person. I love waking up in the morning, thankful for food in my fridge (and in my belly), clean water and a roof over my head. I'm not lying. Ask anyone I know... they'll tell you the same. It's not a game or a act. I am happy. 

Then there are times, the smile is fake. Like I said, not always, but there are times. 

Recently, I told you about my current reads of self-help/self-improvement books and how they're helping me, how I never thought I would be driving off to my local bookstore, strolling through the section, trying to find the next best read to open my mind and change my life. 

In 2018, I published one book and one novella (part of an anthology). It had been the least amount of books I published since starting my writing career. The reason: I gave it up. Not because of the money. (A lot of Indie-Authors aren't millionaires). Not because of the crappy reviews or lack of reviews. (I get it! I don't love every book I read and bad reviews can be helpful!). Not because of all the bullying going on social media because I'm a KU author and (most) traditional authors hate us. (You can't please everyone!).

I wanted to quit, because the mojo - the love - was gone.

It disappeared.

I had a lot going on in my personal life. I had a day job and wasn't happy in. (I used my fake smile A LOT THERE!) My husband and I were going through a  rocky patch. (My fault - not his.) My mother was having health issues. (And it scared me!)

Hence, mojo left me. 

The big reason... and here is part of the confession... I wasn't good enough to be an author. 

See, I'm human. I'm that person who compares herself to other authors. I couldn't figure out my books weren't selling, when someone else (who just started) sold so many they hit the NYT/USA list on their first try.  I couldn't figure out why I had more bad reviews than good, but readers praised me on Facebook. 

I compared myself hard enough to quit. 

And it sucked!!!!!!!!

I've been writing since I could write my name. My first 'story' was about Rainbow Brite, She-Ra, and I as we went off to safe the world from the evil Transformers! (Ask my mother! I put on a whole production in the living room!) It has given me an escape from the real world. Just like reading. I spent every possible minute  in the library, reading all the forbidden books a young child should never read. (Jackie Collins, Danielle Steele, you get the point.) You can still find me in the library trying to hunt out the best reads! 

I spiraled into a dark hole. 

I don't want to say depression, because I don't think that's what it was. Could I be wrong? Sure! However, I've seen (and know) people with depression and it's scary how my friends get up everyday. Depression is no joke. Seriously! It's NOT A JOKE! Which is why I don't think I was depressed. 

I was lost.

I stared at my laptop screen, or my notebook paper, and no words would come out. Nothing. Not a single word. And it pissed me off. Being mad at myself had been an unfamiliar emotion. Sure, I'm super over-weight, but I love myself. Sure, I don't have supermodel good looks, but I love myself.

So, being mad at me... made me confused at what to do next.

I know what I'm going to do everyday, because I have it planned. I make a list for everything and I consider myself "A Fixer." Now, I'm not like Olivia Pope or anything, but I fix problems. When my friends come to me, it's because they have a problem and it needs fixed. Ta-da! I fix it!

But I didn't know how to fix myself.

Hence, the self-help/self-improvement books.

Sometimes, it's takes a outsider to kick you in the ass and get you back on track. Truly! Because there's a lot of people that have been through the same problem and came out on top.

This is what happened to me.

Books saved me. Again!

Since having this epiphany, I woke up. I started taking creative writing classes to find my mojo. I started taking marketing classes (from high-end authors) to find out what I had been doing wrong with reaching readers. I listened to my core readers more. (I reached out to them and asked what they hated about my books and what would they fix). 

Soon, the mojo was back. Words were flowing out onto the pages. 

Then I hit the USA Today list with a group of amazing authors in a charity anthology. Readers began asking me for my books again and I rushed to finish the words.

Then my world hit another wall.

My mother's cancer came back and with a vengeance. Something I couldn't fix and I became lost again.

Besides my husband (and yes, our personal problems are longs since forgotten and we've moved on), my mother is the only immediate family I have left. My dad past when I was a teenager and I'm an only child. My mother has been my rock since the day she found out she was having me. She worked hard (2-3 jobs at a time), to ensure I had it all, but showed me how hard work is what pays-off in the end. We were never rich! I can remember the summer of 1991, when we had no electricity because Mom was laid off and she paid the rent and purchased food, before paying the light bill. I can remember in 1987 we slept in the back of a  1977 Ford Thunderbird, because she didn't have a job. But she smiled everyday to me and told me it would be okay. 

She would fix me and when I got older - after her body broke down and she couldn't work anymore - I fixed her. 

But I can't fix cancer. My powers don't go that far. And I started hating myself because I couldn't fix her.

As she was wheeled to surgery, she still had a smile on her face, even though she was about to lose her voice box (never speaking again) and having her entire throat reconstructed. 

FYI: she's still in the hospital but doing great! Still smiling. 

Last week, I read a book. Yes, another self-help/self-improvement book. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Mason opened - yet another - door of my life. See, I do care what people think of me. A lot. I'm okay with bad reviews, but it still stings. I'm okay with people staring at my overweight body, but it still stings. I'm okay with people annoyed with my smile, but it still stings.

I want everyone to love my books. I want people not to judge me because I wear a size 20 jeans. I want people to enjoy my personality. But, hey, you can't please everyone. I should know this after my 39 years on this Earth.

However, Mark Mason's words hit me hard. People are going to have their opinions, but it shouldn't stop you from living your life. He's right. I want to be a great author. I took all these classes to improve my talent (or what I think is talent) to have readers say, "Hey, great book, Mary!". I want people to see that I've - recently - began losing weight and say, "Hey, great job, Mary!". I want people to see my smile and say, "Hey, thanks for the pick-me-up, Mary!". 

Okay, okay, I know that won't happen all the time and people have said those things to me, and I'm thankful for each one of them. 

The point of all this rambling, is to confess … I care about me and I love me. I'm an author with the greatest readers in the world. I'm an overweight female, who is slowly losing weight and getting healthy. Not because of society's standards, but for me. I'm a happy person and it's not to be fake or annoying, but because this life is short and there should be more smiles/laughter, instead of pain. 

Thank you for all the support and I promise more books coming. They will be the best that I can do and I hope you all love them as much I do.!

XOXO,
Mary! 
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Published on March 03, 2019 05:43

February 10, 2019

Do Self-Help and Self-Improvment Books Work?





Recently, in my personal and professional life, I've hit a wall.

Not just any wall... a wall made of the thickest steel in the world and nothing would bring it down.

Now, I'm not going to bored you with my self-pity party details, because everyone has problems in their lives and that isn't what this is about. 

In January, I turned the big 3-9! Yep, my thirties are almost in the past and the I'm knocking on forty's door. Normally, I'm okay with my birthday. Usually, my spouse takes me out, I drink a bottle of wine by myself (well, that's any given day - but my birthday one will be expensive, not the Kroger ON SALE Tag kind I normally look for on an average day) and at the end of the night, I will have a LARGE piece of cake (or maybe the whole cake - whichever!).

However, this year it was different.

I should have been proud of being 39. In 2018, I lost 60 pounds. I hit the USA Bestseller List. I landed an incredible day job and a promotion at the said job. So, when January 10th hit (that's my birthday, BTW), I should have been on top of the world.

Instead, I cried. 

I cried because I didn't sale as many books in 2018 as in 2017 and 2019 was starting out like crap.

I cried because I had a deadline looming and I wasn't sure I'd make it and I know my readers have been waiting on the book.

I cried because I had gained 6 pounds and hadn't been in the gym since (well, before) Thanksgiving.

I cried because I was tired of crying.

You get the point, right?

Come the Monday after my birthday I felt like I was buried in emotions I had never felt before. See, if you don't know me personally, I'll let you in on a secret. I'm happy. All the time! No joke! I'm that person with the smile on her face first thing in the morning (without coffee or caffeine). I look to the positive on every topic and when things go bad, I still smile. I have a Type A personality, but not as Alpha as others. And I’m a fixer. I fix other people’s problems and shove mine away in a deep dark sinkhole and never, ever let them resurface.

So, imagine my surprise when all these unfamiliar emotions came rushing up to the surface and I didn’t know how to handle them or what to do about them. Normally, I would write. Writing is very therapeutic for me. But no words came to me. Nothing. I was an empty well. A very, dried up empty well in the middle of Death Valley on the hottest day of the year. I would stare at the computer screen or notebook paper and it would be completely blank.  

Then I would cry!

I knew I had to fix this and get back to my old self. I had to. There are a lot of people that count on me and I couldn’t let them down. Not to mention, living in such a haze wouldn’t be good for my health or my future self.

My first thought: drink some wine. However, at the ripe age of 39, I knew that wouldn’t work. My second thought: there must be on book on this sort of … thing. Right? Maybe something about turning a year older and losing all your creativity. Something had to be out there, right? Right?

Thank you, Amazon!

Suddenly, panic hit me … I was in the world of self-help and self-improvement books! And it was scary. I mean. Stephen King-full-moon-hide-under-the-blanket type of scary. There were millions of options... literally! Where do I begin?  Is there a beginning?  What do I search for? If I put in: 39-year-old overweight female losing her mojo, what book would come up? Would it have the word loser in the title?

I’m a fixer. I’m not the type of person to ask for help, not even in an eBook format. I had to push these feeling away and forget about ... well, whatever this is. But nothing was working. Nothing and I couldn’t fall any further down this sinkhole.

Finding my strength (or what little bit there was) I dived into Amazon and searched until I found a section suited to my needs.

There were two books that jumped off the page for me.

Book one: Big Magic: CreativeLiving Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

You know her, right? She’s the author who wrote Eat, Pray, Love. (Full disclosure: I did not like that book. I tried at least four times to read it and never made it through.) Therefore, seeing this book had me on the fence. I mean, what does this author know about my situation. Come on! She’s loading up her trunk with money from all her book sales. (More disclosure: I’m never this bitter! But I was at that time). Nonetheless, I read the reviews and people seemed overly pleased about this book, so I thought … why not? Couldn’t hurt, right?

And I clicked purchase on the audiobook.

Book Two: You Are A Badass: Howto Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero 

If there was ever a title that a person needed at the lowest point of their life … this was the one. I had heard of Jen Sincero from others in the author community, but I was never read anything she had written. Albeit, I took their word that she was amazing.

And I clicked purchase on the audiobook.

On February 1st, I popped in my ear buds while I was at the office and turned on Jen Sincero’s book first. As I’m typing out the latest list of motions that were handed down from the boss, I suddenly became lost in Ms. Sincero’s words. Like … seriously consumed. It was as if was speaking directly to me and notjust through earbuds. Everything I felt at that time … she had too! And somehow, made it through.

She made it through!

It felt as if the steel wall around the creative part of my brain had begun to be chipped away. It wasn’t gone... but chipped. Plus, I had smiled for the first time in (close to) a month. A real smile, not the fake one I had been giving to others.

On February 2nd, I laid on my couch, still thinking of Ms. Sincero’s book, Netflix playing, and a huge bowl of potato chips on my chips. Chomping away through the new season of Medici. *chop* *chop* I should have been writing, but – again – no words were coming. I didn’t even bother to open my laptop because I didn’t want to feel the disappointment.  Instead of sulking, I listened to Ms. Sinero’saudiobook. (I even took some notes and placed them around my desk.) Afterwards, I felt better.

I opened my laptop, ready for the words to come … and … NOTHING! A BIG OL’ ZERO!

Moving away from the desk, I went back on the couch (this time with a bowl of popcorn) and finished Medici. (Very good, btw!) 

I decided to turn off the TV and popped in the good ol’ ear buds and started Big Magic.

From the first word until the last, I didn’t move from my couch. Tears filled me again, the good kind this time. Ms. Gilbert’s words knocked down that unbreakable steel wall. It felt like I had been found. Okay, that’s a bit out there, but I was found. My mojo came back, the world was bright and happy, and I was myself. Not completely, but much more than the six hours before I started her book.

I grabbed my husband and told him everything! Everything on how I was feeling, my disappointments with my weight and book sales, the weight on my shoulders and how I was sinking and couldn’t find any air. In his sweet (but don’t I said that) style, he hugged me and told me he was there for me and I needed to talk to him more.

And he’s right. (Please don’t tell him that either!)

Since February 2nd, I have started my life anew. I joined Weight Watchers and have since lost 5 pounds. (Might not sound like a lot, but I’m pleased with it.) I have sat down at my desk every night and wrote out chapter outlines. Now, this is something very new to me because – normally – I just dive in writing the last chapter and building a story around it. With me have a plan, I feel better equipped in tackling the next several books I want to release in 2019.

I purchased Big Magic in paperback and have highlighted passages most meaningful to my current situation. I even purchased You Are A Badass and done the same.

Even though I never thought I would be the type of person to ever be in the Self-Improvement section, I’m glad I did do it. I shouldn’t be ashamed of asking for help or seeking advice. Albeit, through Amazon or not. I’m a human and when I have a large amount of problems weighing down on me, I need help. I should never think I can handle it all on my own.

I love to make lists and there are a lot that don’t have one thing crossed off, but not anymore. I have goals for 2019 (even if I’m starting on January 1). I can complete them! And it’s okay if they’re not done in just a week. I must remind myself that self-gratification isn’t a real thing. Everything takes time.

The point of this (very long) rambling was to say, self-help and self-improvement do help and it’s okay to ask for help.


 -- Mary S.
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Published on February 10, 2019 11:42

November 27, 2018

Update!


As you know, the Hockey Holiday Anthology was released and eighteen (yes, 18!) amazing and talented authors wrote novella about some hot hockey males!  Grab it now, because it will go out of print on 11/30!


As a thank you, I thought I would give you a bit of my book. It's called The Devoted Father and the Introvert. This is a New Hampshire Bears Novella, but will lead into a full novel. It should be out Spring 2019.
Thank you …

Elexis wiped down the counter for the twentieth time. The customers at The Latte Bean still trickled in but closing time was growing closer, and she couldn’t wait. Not like she had any plans because she never did. However, she wanted to get back to her apartment, do some homework, and rest before she started job number two at the library in the morning. The Latte Bean covered her rent and bills and such, but her work at the library filled her heart. Reading to the children, helping to stock the shelves of new stories, and interacting with other book lovers brought a smile to her face every day. Although she didn’t need to, she worked both jobs because she loved to work.
“Elexis.”
She stopped her task and turned to her boss, Janie. “Yes?”
“Why don’t you head out? I can close up.”
Her mouth slacked slightly. “Really?”
Janie grinned. “Yep. Go on, kid, and finish your school work.”
Elexis hugged her boss, thanked her ten times, and raced to the time clock. She knew Janie wouldn’t change her mind but didn’t want to take the chance. She grabbed her purse, tossing it over her shoulder, and headed out the door toward the bus stop. It wouldn’t be coming for another ten minutes, so she paced in a small circle and checked her phone and Twitter.
Due to Elexis’ long work hours, she spent the majority of her time at home—alone. Honestly, she enjoyed being alone. Well, not really, which was why she loved Twitter. If she had to say she had a true love, it would be Twitter. She felt connected to people, without actually being around them.
While growing up in a small town in upstate New Hampshire, Elexis hardly had any friends. Sure, there were a few but none of them stayed around long enough because of her mother’s extremely busy schedule and her own shyness. Besides, Elexis’ mother kept a tight hold on her and wouldn’t let her do much.
When she heard the bus, Elexis looked up from her phone. She felt a small grin on her face as she eyed the advertisement on the side of the bus. New Hampshire Bears. The professional hockey team ruled the city. Really, the entire state. They even held a special place in Elexis’ heart. In middle school, her class took a field trip to Manchester. She knew nothing about hockey, had no clue what the game even entailed or saw a single second of it. The moment the players hit the ice, Elexis’ eyes remained locked on everything in front of her. From that moment, until this very day, she loved her Bears, as she called them.
She slipped in her earbuds as she found an empty seat. The sound waves filled her ears from the latest podcast of the Bears. A lot has happened in the offseason and since the new season would begin tomorrow, it brought a buzz into the air. Last season’s nightmare left the Bears one point away from the playoffs. Some blamed Bas Zorn for the loss since he had been out on medical leave for almost the entire season until Oliver Matthews held a press conference and told the truth regarding Bas’ medical leave. It brought the community together and showed how amazing the hockey world truly was to the world. Fans may hate each other during game time, but when tragedy struck, the fans became a family no matter what colors they wore.
“Who’s going to be traded?” Jerry Cannon, the leading Bear expert, began. “The Bears haven’t traded a single player in over three seasons. What the hell were they thinking?”
They’re thinking they have a great team and don’t want to mess it up. Elexis thought as she rolled her eyes.
“This team is becoming a nightmare. It needs fresh blood and the time to do it is now.”
Elexis continued to listen to the ramblings of Jerry Cannon’s words, which caused her to grow angry. She loved her Bears just the way they were and sure as hell didn’t want to see a single one of them leave. On the other hand, she knew he was partially correct. The Bears’ chemistry had changed in the past couple of seasons, and a new outlook would be needed soon. But who would they trade? Jerry Cannon went through his list, and then he said the one name she didn’t want to hear.
“What about Dag Limon? What has he done lately? We all know about his personal problems and clearly they’re affecting his time on the ice.”
She turned off the podcast and tapped the Spotify app.
Dag Limon, a defenseman, stole her heart at sixteen. Her heart hurt thinking about her favorite player being traded.
Sounds crazy, right?
However, it was true.
Thinking back to the moment he stole her heart, she had saved all her money from babysitting during the summer to ensure she would be at the home opener in the fall. She begged her mother to let her take the car, drive all the way to Manchester, watch the game, and then wait for the players’ outside of the entrance to—hopefully—receive an autograph. More than once Elexis’ mother told her no because she was only sixteen, but she kept on until she broke her mother.
The excitement bubbled over on that day. Her body jerked and twitched, waiting in line to be let into the arena. The tears burned the back of her eyes as she sat down, right in front of the glass. Nothing more than plexiglass separating her from the players. As she watched the warm-ups, she stood on her feet, praying to catch a puck. Sure, they mainly gave them to kids, but she hoped one would drop to her. Dag Limon had been just the one to give her one. He kicked it over the glass with the tip of his stick, and it landed perfectly in her hands. Almost as if he sent it to her. Just for her.
By the end of the game, her cheeks hurt from smiling, her voice hoarse from yelling and growling the Bears cry, but she still went to the entrance and waited for the players with several other fans.
Clutching the puck tightly, she watched players come in and out. A few came over to the crowd, but none saw her. She didn’t want to force her way to the front because it wouldn’t be polite but waiting her turn hadn’t been working for her.
As the fans began to leave, thinking no other players were going to come out, she remained, desperate to have just one player speak to her. About to give up, the doors opened and who walked out but—Dag Limon.
“Out here all alone, eh?” He strolled over to her.
“Um…” She barely remembered how to speak when she saw his chocolate brown eyes.
“Would you like me to sign it? Or are you waiting for someone more popular?” He joked, nodding to her puck.
“You gave it to me.” She blurted out in nervousness, shoving it at him. “Over the glass, I mean.” Taking a deep breath, she prayed for her nerves to calm down.
He chuckled at her, pulling a Sharpie from his pocket. “I remember. Glad you caught it. What’s your name?”
“Elexis.” Thankfully, she remembered her name.
He scribbled on the puck and handed it back to her. “Have a great night, Lex.” He flashed her a bright smile, turned and walked away.
To this day, she considered it her most treasured item.
Stepping into her apartment, she felt a sense of relief. She adored her place. She could afford it and loved the location. Albeit small didn’t even cover the square footage of it, it was all hers. You could see the entire apartment because it was an open layout. Her tiny kitchen had a two-burner stove. The fridge couldn’t hold more than a half gallon of milk, and her sink looked as if it belonged in a dollhouse. Her mother gave her a couch as a moving in present and until recently she didn’t own a TV. She found her bedroom set on sale and thanks to her income tax return, she didn’t have to put it on layaway. Even though she had been thrifty with her purchases, she admired every piece because she worked hard for it.
She walked into the bathroom, stripped out of her clothes, then turned on the water for her shower and waited for it to heat up. The bathroom was smaller than she would have liked. Elexis missed having a bathtub and counter space to lay out her beauty supplies. After finishing her shower, she wrapped herself in her large fluffy bathrobe and fired up her laptop that was sitting on the coffee table, which was surrounded by her textbooks.
Moving to Manchester shortly after her high school graduation, she knew a traditional college setting wouldn’t be for her. She didn’t like large crowds and couldn’t focus with others around her. She liked the one-on-one setting, which is why she chose to take online classes. And the plus side of it all was she could still work both jobs without them interfering with classroom time.
As the laptop screen began to glow, Twitter popped up. Elexis smiled seeing the numerous notifications and began to scroll through the countless tweets. She replied to a few before sending one herself.

Finished with a hot shower. #feelingfreshandclean Time to get some homework done. #workitout #getitgirl

Continuing to scroll through the tweets, she noticed the trending topics. One stood out to her—#dateme

Unsure of what it meant, she clicked the hashtag and the tweets loaded. Apparently, people are tweeting reasons why celebrities should date them. Some were funny. A few were sad. Several of them were disgusting and caused her to understand why people thought millennials were immature and irresponsible.
Elexis sat there for a few more minutes, still enjoying the entertainment of the tweets when she thought about which celebrity she would like to date. None really came to mind. She couldn’t even think of a reason why anyone would date her. Probably why no one had. There were a couple of boys throughout high school who asked her out, but she declined all of them. Books and school came first in her life. Of course, hockey was right up there too.
Glancing over at her puck, setting proudly on her nightstand next to her bed, she thought of Dag Limon. Would he date her?
“No,” she said aloud with a chuckle, but it would be funny to tweet about it.

I bet I would make @DagLimon02 a fantastic girlfriend because I love my Bears. I’m excellent at ordering takeout and I can read faster than he can skate. Oh, and we can go to Arby’s on our first date! #dateme

She laughed at herself and at what she tweeted, then wondered how many RTs she’d receive because she sounded so desperate. She laughed at herself again and then closed the tab to start on her homework.


What are you reading?
Well, my kindle and I - as always - have a close relationship! This week I was excited to see this one there. (I actually forgot I pre-order it and when it popped up - I was proud of myself)  I am not one to be political, but I have a deep respect for the Obama's and I love biographies and memoirs. This is very good, thus far. I hope you enjoy it as well.
What are you listening too?
This is my current Audible read.

I am a big fan of Layla Hagen. If you haven't read this series, or her Bennett Series, you have to grab it NOW! UPDATES!!!



I have some news for you. Are you sitting down?Are you holding tight to your drink?

Lindsay Paige and I are announcing … WE ARE WRITING AGAIN!!

I know! I know! It's been a long time since we've published anything together. We've both been focusing on our solo projects... but... we're back at it!

I can't tell you much about our new project, except... IT IS NOT HOCKEY!

Now, you're shocked!

Once we have more details, I will let you know. However, for now, WE'RE WRITING AGAIN! 
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Published on November 27, 2018 04:00

May 24, 2018

KU Author Bullying, I've had enough!

Now, normally, I don't involve myself in author politics. I keep my mouth quiet, but today ...

Today, I've had enough.

I'm in several author groups. You know the kind ... all there to help one another. Ninety-nine percent of the time, they are VERY helpful. Personally, I have learned a lot from them and thankful for them.

However, today seemed to be bash KU Author Day.

Let me explain, I'm a KU author. All of books are on KU and I've been successful on it. There are a lot of authors, who hate KU and feel Amazon is trying to monopolize the market. They're not wrong. We all are aware of Amazon's plan. We're all not that stupid.

But let me tell what KU has done for some authors, including me. It's helped reach readers that never would have given my books a chance any other time. It's helped me become successful in this craft. A craft I love and want to thrive in.

Someone once told me, a long time ago when I just started to self-publish, the Indie world would be the downfall for the Indie world. I didn't quite understand, until recently.

I'm an adult. An adult who doesn't talk behind others back. If I put it in a private message, I know people are smart enough to take a screen shot and post it in social media. Come on, we've all done it, one way or another. Therefore, if I don't say it to your face, I won't say it behind your back. But, my goal has been - and always will be - to uplift others. There are some talented writers out there, with the most amazing ideas, but no one gives them a chance. It's why I started Gone Writing Publishing. To help writers get their chance.

But I've grown old of the drama and the bullying.

Today, was the straw that broke me. Personally, I took great offense to when other authors say - just because they were on KU - they weren't real author nor do their opinions matter.

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Just because we chose to use Amazon as our only platform doesn't mean we're not authors. It doesn't mean we don't know how to market our books or get it on reader's kindle. It doesn't mean we don't pour our hearts, blood, sweat, tears and soul into our characters, editing, formatting, covering and publishing our stories.

I know my stories aren't perfect. I know I have bad reviews. I know people hate my stories. I get it. Hell, I've read stories and can't even finish them, they're so bad. Albeit, I'm trying to be a better author. This past year, I've taken online classes in creative writing to get my juices flowing. I took an English class to work on my grammar and writing. (Although, I'm still working on those parts. Those commas hate me!) I bought marketing books, took classes NYT Authors put on, and read numerous blog articles about getting my books to readers. I followed the rules as if the were the Bible of the Author World. I hired an editor and I've been having my older books edited again. I found the best cover designer, who creates breath taking covers for me.

And you know what ... it worked. It started to pay off. Albeit, it was on KU, but I started to gain confidence in my writing and my bank book. Not to mention, my publishing company started to take off and I was passing on my new found information to others.

And then today happened.

Now, I've sat at my desk all morning, afternoon and evening, with tears in my eyes and not wrote a single, damn word of my latest project.

As an child/teenager, I never was bullied and if I was, I don't remember. I always just stuck with my friends, kept my nose to the books, and ignored the world. Looking back, probably wasn't my brightest idea, but it worked for me at that time.

As an adult, I never thought this shit would be happening. I never thought a bunch of people, most of whom I don't even know personally, would affect me in such a way. Today, it has. Today, I let people cause me pain and I won't stand for it.

I'm a KU Author. I'm the owner of Gone Writing Publishing. I'm a human being and I - nor anyone - should be treated as if they're shit on someone's shoe. It's how I felt today and I won't do it again.

I'm going to power through this day, going to wipe my tears, and I'm going to write. Will everyone love my work? Nope. Will some people like them? I hope so. Will I get bad reviews? Yep. Will someone hate Oxford Commas? Yep and others will love it. Will others love my covers as much as I do? Nope. Some might even hate them. Will I forever be in KU? I have no clue, but I won't judge those who are and are not in KU.

Albeit all, I'm going to take this day as a reminder that I'm doing well and I'm going to keep doing it.

The point of all this is to tell everyone, especially the Indie Author World, stop being an ass. For all of those, who put the STOP BULLYING banner on your FB profile/page, follow through with it. If you see a KU Author struggling, don't brush them aside, help them. Give them some advice, maybe even give them a word of support. Just something to not make people feel so alone. Who cares if they're on KU and you're Wide? Does the world stop spinning because you were kind to a fellow author? Does the Earth fall of it's axis if even associate with a KU Author?

I hope someone explains it to me, because I have author friends who are on all platforms and author friends that are KU only. I respect them equally.

I'm using the words of Ellen right now ... be kind to one another.
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Published on May 24, 2018 17:41

May 15, 2018

What's on Sale?



This will be a book you won't be able to put down ... 


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Published on May 15, 2018 07:25

5 Things to Stay Organized

I'm a busy female, as are many. I work a full time day job, write full time and run my publishing company - Gone Writing Publishing - full time. Since, I'm so busy I need to keep everything in order ...
1) My home office desk was always a wreck, until I go this bad boy ... 
2) My life wouldn't be complete if I didn't have Post-Its. Seriously, check out this deal ...


3) You have to have a good pen and trust me I'm an expert on them. I have hundred of them and I'm not even counting the ones I giveaway at signings. However, there's one pen that's my go to ... 

4) I hand write all my books. It's something I've always done and on Prime I can get my legal pads in no time ... 

5) And lastly, my true love, this note pad. I carry it with me everywhere and I have several of them. Get them and trust me - then make you feel like the most organized person in the world...
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Published on May 15, 2018 03:30

May 14, 2018

What's in my purse?


WHAT'S IN MY PURSE?
Now, this might seem like a silly little post, and you're right. However, on a day like this, silly blog posts can bring smiles to our faces. 

I'm currently carrying a Michael Kors bag. I bought it at TJ Maxx. I love that store! 
Inside this you will find the following items:
a small makeup bag (never leave home without it.)my paper calendara small notebooknumerous pens (no seriously! when I was typing this I counted them ... there were 15!)my wallet (which I really need to clean out) 2 sets of ear buds (I didn't even know I had them in there)my cell phone (obviously! haha)my kindle paperwhite (never go anywhere without it)glass wipes (because my glasses get so dirty and I don't know how)my business cards (because you never know when someone will want one)my external hard drive (I keep it on me because I'm always afraid someone will steal - I don't know who, but it's my fear!)gum (lots it it) eye drops and allergy pills (because it's that time of the year)
Now, what's in yours? 

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Published on May 14, 2018 05:00

DO YOU KU?



BOOK 1 OF KIERA CASS' THE SELECTION IS ON KU ... IF YOU'RE A MEMBER GRAB THIS BOOK AND ENJOY!



YOU CAN FIND IT HERE
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Published on May 14, 2018 04:30

May 13, 2018

WHAT'S ON SALE?


Please remember these prices don't always last, be sure to grab them up or you might miss out.

There's are books and/or authors I've read, know and/or love. I have you enjoy as much as I do!!!


Pepper WintersCrown of Lies



Purchase it here.

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Published on May 13, 2018 19:15

The Lush and the Angel (New Hampshire Bears 10)

2017 had to be one of the roughest years of my life. It seemed like if something went wrong, it did. I still can't believe I even made it through. However, 2018 isn't starting off much better for me. 

I've not released a book since October 2017.  This has been the longest between books and it's weighed on me. I'm not a perfect author. Actually, if anything, I might be one of the worse. No, I'm not looking for pity or sympathy. There's a point to all this rambling.
The New Hampshire Bears are my babies. It's funny because I don't even have kids, but these characters have entwined their lives into mine. No, I'm not crazy and yes, I know they're not real. Please don't go off and call for help thinking I'm losing it over here. I promise I'm not. 


However, I've not been doing justice to these books and have been really focused on working on changing how I write, to write better and to be an overall gooder author. (See, what I did there? Gooder!! HAHA) Okay, back to serious mode ... 
I want to thank you all for supporting me, for taking your hard earned money and spending it on my books. I really don't believe you know how much it means to me. Truly, I care for each and everyone of you all!
The Lush and the Angel is not as long as my other books and I'm warning you of such. However, Bas' story is a bit complicated and I know you'll all have questions at the end of it. Let me answer a few now ... 
1) Yes, you will see more of Bas in other books2) No, at this time, I'm not going to write another story for him. But, never say never!
Also, here is an update of NH Bears and upcoming projects coming up ...
I have laid out books 11, 12 and 13. I have titles and my amazing designer is working on the covers. 
Yes, players of the NH Bears are going to be traded/retire and new characters will be coming onto the team.
I am still doing the spin offs for the baseball and football leagues. I'm currently working on those.
The NH Bears (the current ones released)  will be split up into 2 box sets and I'm hoping to have those out by the holidays. 
I am working on a paranormal story (which I'm LOVING!) and I hope it'll be out late this year or maybe 2019.
I am working on a novella series which will involve high in call FEMALES and MEN! (Haha! Thought you'd like it!!) This will not be out for a while because I want them all to be complete to ensure quick release. 
I will do better keeping you update and not slack as much! (Heard that one before. right? HAHA!)
If you would like to pre-order The Lush and the Angel please click here. I want to reiterate again, how much you all mean to me! 
Thank you,
Mary
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Published on May 13, 2018 19:00