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

 

Shackled To The Past… Rejecting Hope For The Future

My latest read was one that gave me some pretty mixed feelings, Author Anonymous by E.K. Blair.  The writing was, as expected, fantastic because that’s just how E.K. Blair spins a tale. But the story itself… I had reservations, I’ll be honest.

This is the story of a woman named Tori, a stay-at-home-mom-slash-bestselling-author who has some deep-rooted issues she doesn’t discover until it’s almost too late for her to battle them. Her family, her husband, her life – none of it is important enough for her to fight against the allure of something different, which turns out to be a man she meets on a website while doing research for a new book. And the something, or rather someone different turns her into an addict in need of a constant fix. She can’t operate without it… without him.

No matter how many people try to save an addict, only they can ultimately save themselves. I hit peaks and valleys where I felt sorry for Tori and when I wanted to smack her silly and scream at her. I can empathize to a point, but when too many opportunities to fight for what is most valuable are ignored, I lose patience. One may argue – maybe what you consider most valuable isn’t what is most valuable to everyone else, Kristen. To which I would respond, you’re absolutely correct.

Everyone has different needs, and sometimes what we want isn’t actually what we need to be happy. Such is the case with Tori. In her mind, she wants to love her husband, to rekindle their fire, to have a happy family life. But that isn’t what she needs. She can’t be satisfied because it’s something she’d never truly experienced with her own parents during her childhood. So deep down, she can’t accept it.

It saddened me to read about her struggles, a woman who had a perfect life, but couldn’t accept her place in it. E.K. Blair brilliantly captured the raw emotion of this story and when the wounds were torn back open time and again, I felt the sting.

Side note… the cover? Freaking fabulous.

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Get It On Amazon

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

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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

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~Giveaway~

Signed paperback & One of Five Amazon eBooks for Joint Venture

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

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~Also Available~

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

 

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~Connect with Me!~

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

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

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

 

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Venture Forward Is Live! Let’s Celebrate With A Giveaway!

Title: Venture Forward

Series: Book 3 in The Venture Series
Author: Kristen Luciani

Special release price of only

$0.99 until March 25th.

 

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1LsLGFR

 

Enter the release blitz  GIVEAWAY!!!

Raw. Cold. Detached. Domineering…

Paul Emerson lives life like he f*cks. It’s the only way to survive, to battle the demons forever lurking in his subconscious, to resist succumbing to the darkness that perpetually overshadows his existence. As a ruthless venture capitalist with an insatiable appetite for power and control, he has no tolerance for emotion or any tryst spanning more than a few hours. Feelings equate to weakness and weakness destroys livelihoods.

Driven. Focused. Bitter. Guilty…

Avery Hunter is tormented by what she can’t change, but letting go is never the preferred option. Her successes aren’t nearly enough to fill the gaping void in her heart and soul. No, revenge always begets satisfaction and fulfillment…except when it extinguishes the last source of brightness in her life. Karma is a bitch and irony is her evil twin sister.

Damaged. Rejected. Broken…

The woman who harbors and the man who resists. With so much baggage and even more angst, can their wounded souls finally find solace in one another? Or is their future happiness doomed to be ravaged by the lies and deceit that litter their pasts?

 

Kristen Luciani is a self-proclaimed momtrepreneur with a penchant for Christian Louboutins, Silicon Valley, plunging necklines and grapefruit martinis.  As a deep-rooted romantic who prefers juicy drama to fill the lives of anyone other than her, she tried her hand at creating a world of enchantment, sensuality, and intrigue, finally uncovering her true passion. No pun intended…

Be sure to click the link below to sign up for Kristen Luciani’s newsletter to stay up-to-date with upcoming releases and events!

Enter the release blitz  GIVEAWAY!!!

Unlikely Venture

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1VlTyhW

Nothing Ventured

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1QHzvql

Happy Release Day! HOOKER HEELS By Ryan Ringbloom

I am so excited to share the news of Ryan Ringbloom’s 7th book launch! “Hooker Heels” is one of my very favorites by this fab author. And in case you were wondering, “Panic” is my all-time fave, so make sure to one-click that one as well. =)

Okay! Without further ado…I bring you Kenna and Zack…

Title: Hooker Heels

Author: Ryan Ringbloom

Genre: New Adult

Release Date: 10-1-15

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***Synopsis***

Kenna Winston’s world revolves around money, and the men who spend it. Men are mere pawns in the game that she calls life. However, her game is about to change once she’s offered a business contract with some interesting caveats. Kenna has to decide whether she is ready to up the ante and play in the big leagues. Or decide if the proposal being offered is crossing the line, even for her. With her heels high and morals low, she wonders what will happen if her heart gets involved?

Oh that’s right, she doesn’t have one.

Zackary Knight has always had things handed to him. That’s not the life he wants. Can’t anyone see that he goes deep, that he’s more than just a shallow dollar sign? Who is this beautiful woman who just appeared on his doorstep? Is she someone he can finally open his heart up to?

Because his heart, it’s a big one.

*Contains Mature Content

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***Excerpt***

“Perhaps you’d care to join me.” His eyes roamed down to my legs and he took a sharp breath in through his nose. He stood and extended his hand to me. “We can discuss my business some more and then maybe we can discuss yours.”

My business. I covered my gulp with a small cough. It was crystal clear what he was insinuating and yet I accepted his hand, gracefully standing from the tall stool. That was the kind of power that came with money. And at the moment, I was powerless.

“Send another bottle up please,” he all but growled, his hand on my back ushering me in the direction of the lobby.

“Right away, Mr. Parker,” the bartender acknowledged him.

Mr. Parker. That was the name of my wealthy suitor. Good to know.

A black card was slipped into a slot in the elevator and it took off to an unmarked floor on top of the hotel.

The doors opened to a posh hallway and I followed Mr. Parker to the only room on the floor. We entered the penthouse and were greeted by a butler dressed in black tails.

“Good evening, Mr. Parker. Miss.” He nodded at me. “I have your bottle of champagne set up on the bar. Shall I pour?”

I glanced around the enormous space. There was a bar near the windows with another bottle of Dom already waiting for us. A simple gesture was made, two glasses of champagne were poured and a crystal glass was placed into my hand.

Fancy nights courtesy of a man who was attracted to me and looking for sex was nothing new. I’d received many drinks, trinkets, jewelry and more from the many disposable men who had come and gone in my life. I had incredible assets and knew how to use them to get what I wanted. Or needed.

The butler disappeared. I didn’t even see him leave. We were alone. I placed my empty glass down on the bar. Time to work my magic and see what it would get me.

Hmm, what was Mr. Parker’s fantasy?

Figuring out a man’s desires was my gift. It was a talent I had perfected.

Once again, I found Mr. Parker admiring my long legs. They were toned and perfectly tanned. A winning combination that I learned early on stilettos accentuated even more.

I reached forward and pulled on his blue silk tie, walking backwards, leading him seductively over to a pristine white sofa. I gave a playful push, seating him in front of me. His eyes opened wide in lustful admiration.

I expertly unzipped my dress in one quick motion and let it fall. He groaned and leaned back. I hid a smile at his predictable reaction and stepped free, kicking the garment to the side. If I was wearing a bra or panties, I would have removed them next but… oops look at that, I wasn’t wearing any.

This left me standing tall in nothing except my heels.

My hooker heels.

***Review***

Redemption. A great book always has characters that need to be set free from their past mistakes so they can finally find the happiness that has eluded them. Such is the case with Kenna. Her collective life experiences and subsequent choices have led her to a crossroads. She can continue along her path, bleak and lonely as it is, because it is the safer option…one where she controls the outcomes and reaps the rewards. Or she can take a rather large risk, which **may** beget her the bliss and fulfillment she has been missing.

Trust. Zachary the white knight. God, I loved this guy. When he loves, he loves big and hard. But because of that, he is susceptible to hurt and betrayal and that makes him closed off. When he finally opens himself up to the possibility that unconditional love does actually exist, he pours his soul into his hope for the future.

Feeling (not just watching) these characters grow as individuals and together as a unit, experiencing their happiness and subsequent anguish…it all made the story that much more fulfilling.

In the spirit of baseball season, I’ll be a little cliché and say it…

Another home run for my dear friend Ryan Ringbloom. Congrats, love! <3

*****FIVE FLIPPING STARS!*****

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***Buy Links***

AmazonUS ~ AmazonUK ~ AmazonCA ~ AmazonAU

***Add To Goodreads***

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***Connect With Ryan***

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page ~ YouTube ~ Instagram

Sign Up For Ryan’s Newsletter

“Nothing Ventured” Is Live! It’s Giveaway Time!

It’s LAUNCH day!!!!!! Let’s CELEBRATE!!!! How about a giveaway, in honor of our delicious hero, Chris Camden?????

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Here’s to Chris, the Adonis and certifiable charmer with more lines than a supermarket before a snowstorm. With a panty-melting smile, ridiculous body that oozes pheromones, and a hot car, he’ll have your knees weak within minutes. I promise. <3

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of ‘Unlikely Venture,” Book One of the Venture Series.

The contest closes on 9/22/2015 and the winner will be notified by email. GOOD LUCK!

Buy Nothing Ventured:

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  iBooks  Smashwords

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How Do You Know You’re Ready For Launch?

We all want a big-splash launch – no matter what the offering. Who wouldn’t want mountains of accolades and recognition for a job well done?

In the period leading up to your big day, the best advice I can give consists of one very important word – plan.

Planning is critical to a successful launch, so make a list of everything you can possibly do to make your event as grand as possible. Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • Create a Task Timeline – Identify each component of your launch prep along with an expected timeframe for completion and a point of contact.
  • Prioritize Each Task – For each group of tasks you’ve outlined, ask yourself which ones will have the greatest impact on your launch. Focus on the ones that will deliver the biggest bang for your buck first.
  • Ask For Help – Reach out to all your contacts – family, friends, colleagues – anyone who can help you spread the word. Send them Facebook posts, tweets, images to share via Instagram, fliers to hand out in their towns – anything that will highlight awareness.
  •  Leverage Your Existing Fan Base – Come up with creative ways to engage your existing fans. Word of mouth is the most effective way to generate interest because of the credibility factor so ask your fans to get involved with your launch.
  • Cross-Promote – Identify potential partners who have launches around the same time as yours and augment your target audience by gaining access to theirs.
  • Maintain Your Plan – Update all notes and statuses so at any given point, you can see exactly what your progress has been in preparing for the launch.
  • Follow-Up As Needed – People generally don’t have a sense of urgency about someone else’s endeavors so a gentle nudge is sometimes warranted.
  • Get Out the Corkscrew – When you’ve fully executed your plan and feel confident you’ve done all you can do, the rest is up to the stars. So sit back, relax and have a glass of wine because you deserve it.

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It’s Almost RELEASE DAY for NOTHING VENTURED!

September 15 is almost here! Release day for “Nothing Ventured!” I’m excited beyond words (which is kind of odd for an author) and thrilled for the launch day events to kick off!

We’ll be running giveaways with awesome prizes, so be sure to check them out! I’ll post all the details here!

Nothing Ventured, Book Two in The Venture Series

After suffering a devastating loss that forever changed her life, eluding love is Mia Bradshaw’s primary objective…. until she’s granted a coveted career opportunity to partner with Silicon Valley heartthrob, Chris Camden. But when everything she’s been so careful to protect and control is put in jeopardy, can the guy with more lines than a supermarket before a snowstorm save her… and himself?

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So while I wait for Tuesday to roll around, I’ll need to find ways to keep calm and occupy myself…hmmm…this might do the trick.

Happy Release Day! “Ride It Out” by Aden Lowe and Ashley Wheels

♥ Ride It Out Release Day Blitz ♥
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 31st, 2015

Synopsis

All Hound wants is some peace and quiet away from his everyday life. A stay at the beach house is the perfect opportunity, but when he arrives, he sees *her*. From that moment, his thoughts are anything but peaceful.

Anne has spent her life in relative obscurity, with other people in control of her every move. Fed up with it all, she orchestrates a little getaway to show them she’s capable of a normal life. But Blake(Hound) invades her solitude and independence like the storm that hovers on the horizon and makes her want the extraordinary.

When the hurricane warnings come, Hound decides to stay put and ride it out with Anne. Will the emotional storm be worse than the weather?

Amazon US ➡ http://amzn.to/1N6IggQ
Amazon UK ➡ http://amzn.to/1JupcTm
Amazon AU ➡ http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B014R1WSI4

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♥ Join our Release Party – Here

♥ Follow Aden Lowe & Ashley Wheels ♥

Aden’s Facebook Author Page

Aden’s Twitter

Website

Ashley’s Twitter

 ***Review***

Such a sweet romance! Blake, a tough-as-nails Hell Raider, is bitten by the sweet love bug otherwise known as Anne and he’s immediately taken. I really enjoyed seeing his character evolve under the influence of this young, innocent woman.  They are an unlikely pair but then again, sometimes that makes for the most epic romances. Anne eases the rough edges of Blake’s character and Blake brings out of Anne the feisty vixen that lies just beneath the surface, patiently waiting to be released. I loved the relationship between Anne and her brother Adam. This was a lighthearted and satisfying read, and I look forward to more from the dynamic duo otherwise known as Ashley and Aden.

Cover Reveal & Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!!!

Okay… I’ve been waiting for this for soooooo long and I just had to do a giveaway to celebrate the great news!!!

Click Here To Enter The Rafflecopter Giveaway!!!

Drum roll, please…

I give you… the cover for “Nothing Ventured!” Book Two of The Venture Series will be available in early Fall! For more news and fun giveaways leading up to the launch, join my Facebook fan club, The Stiletto Click, and LIKE my Facebook page!!!

Check out the synopsis below… =)

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Synopsis

Mia Bradshaw realized long ago that falling in love is a harbinger of pain. As a single mom working for one of the most prestigious venture capital firms in the country, she doesn’t have time for serious emotional entanglements. Her sort-of–friend boy is dependable, respectful and…okay, fine, maybe a little lukewarm but whatever! Who ever said there was anything wrong with being…vanilla? It’s safe, low-risk and not fraught with conflict and heart wrenching disappointment.

Chris Camden is one of the most eligible bachelors in northern California. A successful entrepreneur with a hot car and a panty-dropping grin doesn’t need to do much to keep his bed warm at night. His smoldering hazel-eyed gaze makes women melt at his feet. No strings, no conditions, no questions – just the way he likes it. Why should he settle for just one when there are so many sizzling alternatives begging for a spin?

A coveted opportunity to partner with Chris’s company stirs up emotions that threaten everything Mia’s been so careful to protect and control. The guy with more lines than a crowded supermarket before a snowstorm can singe her insides with the slightest accidental touch, proof that she needs to steer clear.

But reality hurls a very unexpected curve ball that can change Mia’s life in a heartbeat. And sometimes…the perception of safety is relative.

Buy “UNLIKELY VENTURE” – Book One of The Venture Series:

Amazon  Kobo  Smashwords  Apple  Barnes & Noble

 

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