Monday, February 26, 2018

Elizabeth Reid Boyd & Secrets of Mindful Beauty

Please welcome Elizabeth Reid Boyd to the blog today!

How did you come up with the topic?

Mindfulness is a hugely popular concept today. You may know that mindfulness can create improvement in our minds and bodies. What you may not know is that mindfulness can also enhance our appearance as well as bringing us peace of mind. 
Mindful Beauty is an exciting method of applying the practices of mindfulness to our overall health and well-being. The unique mindfulness techniques you’ll discover in The Secrets of Mindful Beauty offer a brand new way to bring the benefits of mindfulness into beauty and self-care. Mindfulness can be used to reduce stress and enhance beauty and in our easy to follow guidebook you can find out how.

What makes you passionate about this topic?

I’m passionate about mindfulness and meditation. I’m also an academic in the field of interpersonal development and gender studies. I often share mindfulness techniques with my university students, and I realised that applying mindfulness to beauty routines was an even better way to share its benefits with women everywhere.

There are eight key benefits of Mindful Beauty. They are drawn from the philosophy and psychology of mindfulness and underpin all the practices you will find in the book:

  • Mindful Beauty is non-judgmental. By approaching our beauty rituals in a new and non-judgmental way we become less critical about ourselves and how we look.
  • Mindful Beauty engages our five senses. By increasing our appreciation of what we see, scent, touch, hear and taste, we begin to enjoy our daily self-care routines more and see the benefits.
  • Mindful Beauty is kind. Its methods are soothing and sensitive, a balm to our souls, minds and bodies. It brings compassion to self-care.
  • Mindful Beauty is simple. It won’t ask you to add more to your schedule, but make the most of routines that are already part of your life. It will give you a sense of everyday pleasure and ease.
  • Mindful Beauty is meditative. Its contemplative approach doesn’t require you to switch off for an hour, but to go deeper into your daily life, with refreshing results. 
  • Mindful Beauty is of the moment. It brings present-moment attention to simple rituals, enhancing our experience of the here and now, and the miracle of mindfulness.
  • Mindful Beauty is healing. It can heal the scars inflicted by a lack of self-care in the past, or stress about the future by bringing peace into the present.
  • Mindful Beauty is a skill. It takes practice to cultivate. Take time to enjoy the process.
Like the best cosmetics, a little mindfulness goes a long way. There are so many opportunities for mindfulness in your daily beauty routine and they’re easy to make part of your life. The more you practice the simple, everyday techniques in The Secrets of Mindful Beauty the better you will look and feel. What’s more, they’re fun!

Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd has degrees in psychology and gender studies. She has taught interpersonal, communication, and personal development skills including meditation, self-awareness, self-care and mindfulness at the university level for almost two decades. She writes fiction as Eliza Redgold.

Connect with Dr. Elizabeth Reid Boyd:

Website           Facebook       Twitter

The Secrets of Mindful Beauty: Revolutionary Techniques in Anti-Aging and Self-Care

If you think the answer to anti-aging and looking good comes from a jar, a salon, or a surgical
procedure: think again. The best beauty treatment is in your own mind.

Did you know

Depression can give you wrinkles
Insomnia can cause sagging skin
Anxiety can increase reddening and skin rashes
Stress can result in acne and hair loss
and much more?

Discover the secrets of mindful beauty. Lose your permanent frown. Smooth your worried brow without Botox. Turn your sag lines into smile lines. These age-defying techniques have been specially created for a happier, more beautiful you.

Mindful beauty is a way of applying the practices of mindfulness to our physical health and well-being. Many of our routines around beauty lend themselves to mindfulness, and this will not only enhance the experience, but also have ongoing positive beautifying effects by reducing the stress and anxiety that can affect how we look and feel.

Buy on:

Amazon Kindle
          Amazon Paperback

Amazon Aus
              Amazon UK

Book Depository

Thanks Elizabeth!
Mindfulness is indeed powerful! We talk about it a lot at our school along with growth mindset. The two compliment each other quite well. Being truly present in the moment isn't something that comes easily to many.

How about you? Are you aware of mindfulness? Do you take care to be mindful in your daily life?

Monday, February 12, 2018

Mollie Blake & Feeling The Love

Please welcome back Mollie Blake to the blog!

Once upon a time I was a finance director. Then I woke up one morning and discovered I was an author of sexy romance filled with danger—“happy ever afters” are never easy to reach for my heroes and heroines.

Although Keeping You was the third of my books to be published by my American publisher, Black Opal Books, it was the first book I ever wrote. And probably the one I had the most fun writing.

Having been an avid reader in my youth, then struggling to find time to read anything other than accountancy journals or board reports, I was finally able to return to my love of fiction when I became a “nearly full-time” mum. Books like Fifty Shades of Grey and Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series left me wanting to write a sexy love story with a good plot.

It was the latter point that I was determined to focus on, and still am. I want to leave the reader desperate to know what happens next, whilst at the same time feeling the love.

With the basic story line in my head and an outline impression of the characters involved, I set about bringing them to life. Remember, Keeping You was my first effort at writing a story and I had no idea how it would progress. What pleased me the most was the way the protagonists came to life in my head and on the screen of my Mac. The more I wrote the more I got to know them, even the minor characters. And the more I loved them.

But my greatest pleasure came from writing the scenes filled with romance and sex. I love that tingling feeling from reading a well-written sex scene and I hope to share that with readers. My storylines are filled with suspense, danger and even abuse, but they are peppered with erotic scenes of exciting sex and passionate romance. This is how I try to keep the reader hooked.

For me there are three variances on a sex scene. One is tender, and a second is exciting. Love can be present, develop, or sometimes not quite there. The third is brutal. Of course the lines between them are not always definitive. For example sex can be both exciting and romantic. In certain cases, where there is total consent, it can be exciting and brutal.

In Keeping You there are elements of BDSM. It is the hero who likes to be hurt. So I get to write sex scenes filled with erotic pleasure. For the innocent heroine, part of her journey in their relationship is the discovery that she can give her man what he needs. It lends itself to a great angle to show her development into womanhood. Then there are a couple of scenes when things go too far for the hero. The plot requires submission and masochism that turns very brutal. I make every effort to ensure the reader feels the difference between what Lawrence likes and what he doesn’t. And I feel this makes him a more credible figure.

Depending on the nature of the sex scene, I will use a different writing style. For example, in a sex scene where there is no passion, I will use coarse nouns, even vulgar ones if I feel necessary, and distinguish with different adjectives and the occasional adverb. Often I will change the pace with shorter sentences. My aim is to convey the emotion experienced by the players in the scene, depending on whose head I’m in. This is most prevalent in the second half of Keeping You when Lawrence is dragged back to London and must confront his demons.

However my romantic sex scenes may not always be very long, but the pace will be slow, and the language seductive and sensual. I take loving care over my choice of words to describe the setting, emotions, pleasures.  Hopefully the reader is left feeling the love.

Thanks for reading and I want to end with many thanks to Jemi for inviting me to post here. In the 
interests of propriety, and not wanting to shock anyone, I won’t quote any of my sex scenes—if this has peaked any interest, you’ll have to read my book. Or contact me directly with a comment and request, and I’ll send you an extract. Let me know if and how you write your scenes of sex and/or passion. 

Mollie x
Editorial Review of Keeping You.
“Blake’s character development is superb, and she handles a difficult subject with both sensitivity and compassion. While Keeping You is not for the faint of heart, if you want an erotic romance with a little meat in it, you really can’t go wrong with this one.”
Regan Murphy
Mollie Blake is a published author of contemporary romance. A lover of reading sexy stories, Mollie decided to go one step further and write her own. Her romances are filled with danger and peppered with hot sexy scenes. She is a member of International Thriller Writers and UK Romantic Novelists Association.
Connect with her on the web:
Website     Facebook      Twitter       Author Page

Keeping You: A Cheshire Love Story (Cheshire Love Stories Book 3)
His past haunts him. Revenge drives him. Can her love save him?

After a chance meeting in a bookshop, young Suzy Harper is engaged by multi-multimillionaire, Lawrence Bane, to work on translating a French document. They embark on an intense relationship, but he is surrounded by mystery and shame as demons from his past threaten to destroy everything he has worked for, including her love for him.

This exciting erotic romantic thriller traces the increasingly intense and tender relationship between the inexperienced Suzy and her wealthy, troubled lover, Lawrence. There are two obsessions in Lawrence’s life—his passion for Suzy and his drive for revenge against the gangland boss who murdered his best friend.

Will Suzy be strong enough to accept Lawrence for the man he is? Will Lawrence trust the woman he loves enough to reveal his darkest secrets to her? Will their love survive the challenges that lie ahead?

Buy links:

Thanks Mollie!
My romance stories aren't as erotic as this, I definitely write on the tamer side of things :)
It's interesting to see how you put it all together - I love finding out about the processes of other authors!

How about you - is your first novel worth putting out in the world? 
Mine most definitely is NOT!!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

IWSG & Favourite Genres

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

February 7 question - What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

Great question!

I mostly write contemporary romance (although I think I'll always dabble in quite a few genres & categories!).

Some people have a tendency to look down upon the romance genre, but I'd guess many of those people haven't read many current romances!

For me, romance tends to be about hope.

The characters need to overcome an internal obstacle along with an external obstacle as they figure out how to trust both themselves and someone else. The story lines are complex and I enjoy building in suspense and humour. I also love knowing that there will be a happy ending with my story. The world has enough sad, I need my fiction to be about the happy!

How about you? What's your favourite genre to write in? What's the best part of that genre for you?

(As some of you might know, my MacBook appears to have died, my phone refuses to reply to emails, and basically technology hates me. While I am in technological limbo it may take me a while to return your comments. I will do my best to get back to you soon!  In the meantime, I hope your technology is good to you!)