Productivity ROCKS!!!!!

So, what have I been up to lately???

LOTS!!! And I love it!!!

On the Homefront…

Today, I tackled one-half of a monster job – cleaning out our playroom closet. Trust me, it doesn’t even look that good right now, but it’s a 200% improvement from the way it looked this morning. I only had enough time to get one side done, so guess what my job is tomorrow???

 

 

 

The pic on the left is how it looked before I gave up for the day…the one on the right just shows you that we can probably clean all the toilets on the East Coast with the supplies we have on the bottom shelf. =)

 

 

On the Writing Front…

For the past month and a half, I’ve done 30 minute writing sprints every day. Chris Fox says, in his book 5,000 Words Per Hour, my word count per minute will continue to improve as I practice, and he was RIGHT!!! I get up early, eat that frog, and do my first sprint. It’s usually 500-600 words for the first one, but at 6AM and barely any caffeine in me, it’s the best I can do. My word count increases with each additional sprint. You know, as my brain wakes up. LOL.

But today, I did 3 30-minute sprints and got 2,000 words out! Now, since I’m not super prolific, I consider this to be a major accomplishment. So, YAY!!!

I also have a bunch of projects in progress. I finished my first real hard-core romantic suspense, called Fatal Lies, recently, which will release in the fall. And, for those of you who read about Jeff and Ariana in my short story Sex, Lies, and Wedding Bells (as seen in the Drunk In Love anthology for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital), get ready for Hard Time, coming in August!

Click on the title links above if you want to add them to your TBR on Goodreads!!!

And that’s not all…

I’m also working on another romantic suspense called Screwed By The Mob that’s due out this July, a Kindle Worlds novella scheduled for release in October, and I’ve plotted a holiday romance as well!

My dance card is officially FULL for 2017, but I am loving every sweet, sexy, and suspenseful minute! <3

 

What Does Success Look Like???

Let’s face it – the unknown is daunting.  Even extensive planning can’t always prepare you for challenges you may face in your entrepreneurial endeavors – whether you’re a startup CEO, a handbag designer or an aspiring indie author. Sometimes you just need to trust in yourself and be confident in your abilities. Obstacles may seem insurmountable at first glance but if you are dedicated to your efforts and you do the proper research, you WILL work through them.

You can’t crush true entrepreneurial spirit. If you have it, it’s only a matter of time before you find your niche. Each “failed” attempt has to be viewed as a lesson learned. The real failure comes about when you don’t take anything away from the experience, when you don’t apply any of your newfound knowledge to your next endeavor.

My advice is simple. Embrace the unfamiliar and power through. You’ll never know the full extent of your capabilities if you don’t navigate outside your comfort zone. We can’t always be the best at everything but we should always strive to be. Don’t let fear of failure hold you back. Sure, you may accumulate a mound of debt in the process (something your husband won’t ever let you forget) but you will have taken control of your future.

Clear strategy concept as a straight road going over confused paths for achieving success in the future as a symbol of business vision and planning to solve the maze.

Be passionate! If you aren’t, find a new goal. You’re not cut out to be an entrepreneur. It takes too much time and effort to launch a new business and if you don’t love what you’re doing, you’ll never get it off the ground. If you’re not willing to work harder than you’ve ever worked before, preserve your sanity and come up with a new game plan.

Take a risk. You’ll never have all the answers or the insight you need to feel comfortable in EVERY situation.  But that’s okay, because you have faith, drive and ideas to propel you toward your goal.  Sometimes, that’s all you need to achieve success.

Believe in yourself and what you can do. SEE yourself creating, developing, designing, writing, and selling. The powers of the subconscious mind are astounding. Envisioning success is just more positive reinforcement you can apply to your effort. Never let negative thoughts permeate your mind – they will only hamper your efforts. See yourself hitting #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, see a Hollywood A-lister clutching one of your evening bags as she graces the red carpet at the Oscars, see your gadget in the hand of Mark Zuckerberg as he sings its praises to the press. See it, believe it, and make it a reality.

Don’t be afraid to fail.  That only really happens when you give up on your dreams. Outcomes that don’t match your expectations aren’t an indication of defeat. Think of them as lessons learned, pearls of wisdom to draw upon at a later time, things that need to be tweaked as you progress toward meeting your goals.

Try new things. Be creative. Think outside the box. Do something nobody has thought of before. Find the whitespace and clutter it up with your ideas. Don’t try to create demand; figure out what people need and give it to them. Why waste precious resources building something that nobody wants?

Life is all about taking chances. If you play it safe ALL the time, you’ll never uncover your true potential and untapped talents.

LEAP. Nothing worth having ever comes easily. Even if you crash-land, you can still say you tried.

And finally, never give up… on your dreams or on yourself.

Business woman celebrates successful deal at office. Business People

 

A.J. Morgan Is FINALLY Here…With A Giveaway!!!

JointVent_ebook_Hires

Cover Design: Jena Brignola
Photo Credit: Josh Edmonds
Models: Sam Anderton & Savannah Kaitlyn Jefferson
Release Date: August 29, 2016

~Purchase Links~

~Synopsis~

Notorious celebrity playboy A.J. Morgan has more emotional baggage than notches on his well-used bedpost, but bleached blonde three-ways and excess of whiskey are all the therapy he needs.

Live to indulge, indulge to fill the voids.

Those are his rules…. until he meets cunning financial analyst-slash-sexy club singer Lisa Embry, a woman whose heart is surrounded by more barbed wire than a high-security prison.

Rules? What rules?

One lust-filled romp with his female alter-ego turns A.J. into an addict in need of his next fix and he’ll pay any price for another hit.

But Lisa has her own rules… ones that can never be broken.

Goodreads

JointVenture_Teaser3_PB

~Giveaway~

Signed paperback & One of Five Amazon eBooks for Joint Venture

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

JointVenture_Teaser5_PB

~Also Available~

Unlikely Venture (Book 1) Purchase Links – FREE
Nothing Ventured (Book 2) Purchase Links
Venture Forward (Book 3) Purchase Links

 

JointVent_Print_Web

~Connect with Me!~

Newsletter Link: http://bit.ly/1C27Kbh

Facebook Author Page: http://bit.ly/2b0vIHB

Facebook Reader Group: http://bit.ly/2aPbs0N

Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/2b9EztR

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2b2dqbg

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2b2dmIq

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2blb620

 

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Good Vs. Evil – Who Will You Choose?

Let’s talk HEROES! I think most of my fellow females will agree the hero is a focal point of the story. We’re all on a perpetual hunt for new book boyfriends, right ladies???

That said, what kind of guy do you want to read about? The perpetually good guy who always does the right thing, no matter what the cost? Or the inherently bad boy… the one beyond redemption, the one whose evil core always rears its ugly head and prevents him from attaining his happily ever after?

Check out my video and comment below! Tell me what kind of guy makes you want to flip pages!

Oh and by the way…the Captain America I’m referring to in this video is PRE-CIVIL WAR! LOL!

 

So You Wanna Be A Blogger?

Blogging is a great way to connect with a target audience on a somewhat personal level on one condition… you actually BLOG. It sounds great in theory – start a blog, write about a cool topic, get a bunch of readers to follow you, and BOOM! All of a sudden you’ve graduated to Perez Hilton status, with 14,500,000 estimated monthly users. Who wouldn’t want THAT????

But you need compelling content that people crave. It doesn’t happen overnight and it definitely won’t happen unless you do a few key things right up front.

Your first step is to figure out your topic and blog name. It can be your name or something that is related to the type of content you want to write about. When I created my blog, I knew I wanted to write about innovation, entrepreneurship and startups. So I agonized for DAYS and finally came up with The Idea Mama. It’s catchy, right??? =)

Once you have a name, you’re ready to roll! So here it is… my top 10 list for starting a new blog! These steps come way before your fingers hover over the keyboard, itching to type that first entry. There’s a lot of prep that goes into the setup. Don’t rush the process. Take your time, think long and hard about your goals with the blog. These tips will help you get started.

Group of BLOG related 3D words. Part of a series.

  1. Buy the domain. You can’t have a website without a domain name. It’s your home address… on the web. Go to http://www.godaddy.com and find out if it’s available. If it is, GRAB IT! If you want to test the waters, buy it for one year instead of three.
  2. Select a blogging platform. I use WordPress and I like it. I’m not wild about TypePad. I’ve used that in the past and found it to be extremely frustrating. One of my other sites, Author Navigation, was built with Weebly. They have a free trial available. Weekly is very intuitive. You can drag and drop components onto your page according to the theme you select. Easy to use and very reasonably priced.
  3. Get a logo for your website. Fiverr is THE place to go for a cost-effective graphic. It’s one of my favorite places on the web. It’s a community of freelancers who offer gigs for graphic design, online marketing, advertising, music and audio, writing and translation – all starting at $5. You can always beef up your gig for an additional amount but let me tell you, I’ve gotten kick ass results with only $5. Go. NOW! If you need a recommendation, I’ve got a guy… =)
  4. Create a Twitter handle…I have a couple… @kristen_luciani, @theideamama. Use your new blog name and if it isn’t available, come up with some variation. Then, HAPPY TWEETING! You’ll share your own content, as well as content you come across on the web and with your fellow tweeps. We’ll get to that in the next tip…
  5. Create a CrowdFire account. This will help you find the right target audience to follow on Twitter. It helps to grow your following, which you NEED to grow. You’ll also be able to find INFLUENCERS using this tool. Influencers are people who are subject matter experts in your topic and have a large following, which represents a large opportunity for consumption of quality content. Establish relationships with a few key influencers. Retweet and comment on their content and hopefully, they will eventually return the favor.
  6. Create a Facebook page for your blog and start to get likes. Make sure you post to it several times daily. You can post images, links to articles or anything else that is relevant to your blog. The purpose is to engage with your fan base and sharing compelling content is the best way to engage. Videos are cool too. People really appreciate the personal interaction, so get out of your comfort zone.
  7. Set up an Instagram account. You can post images or 15 second-long videos. AND you can link your Instagram account to Facebook and Twitter, so any of your images will post to all three locations.
  8. Establish a Hootsuite account. This is a tool that allows you to consolidate all your social networks and post to all at once. TIME SAVER!!!!!!
  9. Register an account on Quora. This is a great way to get exposure to a new audience. Establish yourself as a subject mater expert on your topic by answering questions in that category. It really helps get your voice heard and people will start to become familiar with the value you bring to the table. AND, you can always use those questions/responses as blog posts!
  10. Subscribe to a photo site. I belong to Dollar Photo Club. It has great images and is extremely cost-effective. $99 per year entitled you to 99 images. Each additional one will cost only $1. There are plenty of other sites, but this is my preference. You can’t post random Google images on your blog, even if you credit the website. If you get caught, you’ll get a nasty letter warning  you to take the image down or else legal action will be taken and you’ll most likely be threatened with a fine.

There are also a ton of informative books on blogging. Here are a few of my faves:

Feel free to browse other titles…just be careful that the book wasn’t published too long ago otherwise the industry will have changed too much for the information to be really relevant. Sometimes, though, you can find diamonds in the rough.

Okay, I’ve gotten you started. Next steps?

WRITE, then SHARE!!!!

Social Media Ideas Designer Desk Architectural Tools Office Concept

Social Media Ideas Designer Desk Architectural Tools Office Concept

Oscar! Oscar! Best Actress Does Not Equal Best Dressed…By A Longshot

#TGIF.  Seriously.

My first-pass synopsis for Unlikely Venture is begging to be trimmed but I don’t think I’m in the right frame of mind.  It is a lot of work for me to “trim.”  I am, by nature, long-winded.  I’ll never forget my editor’s feedback about the very first iteration of my manuscript.  She said, “I bet that you write the way you speak, am I right?”

Um, yeah.  I do.  If something can be summarized in five words, you’d better believe I’ll need forty-five to get to the same place.

But, have no fear prospective publishers!  I’ve successfully modified my style.  So now my writing is in direct opposition with my conversational (and blogging) style.  I can’t turn myself completely inside out.

Anyway, I digress.

Let’s return to my original point.  See?  I told you I can get wordy.

Sunday.  The Oscars.  The dresses.

I surfed a bit tonight to unwind after a long week and came across this infographic, courtesy of Cosmopolitan UK.

To be completely honest, there have been very few gowns that have really tooted my horn over the years.  I mean, there have been horrors for sure – Cher, Jodie, what the frock????  Oh, wait, it was the frocking ’80s

I think my fave was from 2004 – Charlize and her stunning Gucci.  I am always curious to find out the styles embraced by those being celebrated.  It’s a darn good thing that some of these ladies are so talented since they’d never make it as fashion icons.

But just to be perfectly clear, if someone invited me to join them on the red carpet in one of the many atrocities panned over the years, I’d do it.  Just saying.

https://i0.wp.com/www.mediarundigital.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/hi-res-oscar-dresses1.jpg?resize=500%2C1051

http://www.mediarundigital.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/hi-res-oscar-dresses1.jpg

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