Life got you down?

Welcome to T-shirt Topic Tuesday!

Four is greater than two originalToday’s topic is brought to you by a man on a plane.

My husband and I were travelling home after a wonderful visit with our out-of-state kids. The man sitting in the aisle seat had a lapel pin that said, “4>2.”

My husband, ever the curious, friendly fellow, struck up a conversation with the gentleman and found out the meaning behind his lapel pin.

Essentially, it stands for his philosophy in life: the things that happen for (4) me are greater than (>) the things that happen to (2) me. He believed, as do I, that we can gain and grow and learn from every experience, becoming stronger, wiser, and more empathetic towards those around us. Even when life is hard, or people are cruel, we can learn patience, forgiveness, and kindness. We get to choose how we respond in any given situation. Those choices can lead to great growth and progress in building our character.

So my challenge today is this: If you find yourself frustrated by the trials of your life, remember that you can choose to allow the situation to happen TO you, dragging you down, or you can choose to see it as happening FOR you, allowing you to learn and grow.

Let’s choose to grow together!

If you have a t-shirt topic to share, feel free to contact me! I’d love to feature you and your topic right here!

 

Be Yourself, unless…

Welcome to Feature Friday!

Rather than feature an author this week, I ran across a meme that sparked my imagination. Take a look.

Jedi Betty WhitePersonally, I adore Betty White. I think she’s funny, sarcastic, quick-witted, and most of all, genuine. When you see Betty, you see the real deal. She doesn’t sugar-coat it to please you. She tells it like it is. Which I believe is part of her charm and genius.

What sparks me about this meme, is the message that we should always be ourselves, like Betty White. How many times do we find ourselves “acting” for someone else’s benefit? How often do we try to be what someone else believes we should be? A boss, a co-worker, that hottie we’re in love (or lust) with, even our children sometimes. It’s exhausting!

How much easier… rather, how much simpler life would be if we could all just be genuine, be ourselves. That’s not to say we shouldn’t be working to improve the person we are and become the best person we can be! But I believe those transformations should happen because inside us, we have a desire to change and improve. Not just because someone else thinks we should. Or because we think someone else thinks we should.

So my challenge today is to be myself… my genuine self. I still want to learn, grow. and improve, of course. But today, I will strive to be the best me I can be!

What about you? Will you join me in this challenge? Just for today, will you be the genuine you? The best genuine you possible? I’d love to hear how it goes for you. Drop me a line and let me know!

If you have an idea for Feature Friday, send me an email or look for me on Facebook or Twitter. I’d love to feature you or someone you like, love, or admire!

Meanwhile, always be yourself… unless you can be Jedi Betty White. Then be Jedi Betty White. 😉

A Matter of Perspective

Welcome to T-shirt Topic Tuesday!

Today’s post is brought to you by my children, who still find it fascinating when I create things out of thread, yarn, and fabric. They gave me this t-shirt several years ago, and as I took it out of the dryer and was folding it, I realized there is more to this message than the obvious. Take a look.

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A story is told of an older couple who had a difference in perspective. He came home one day and found a large bag of yarn sitting in the living room. Immediately, he became concerned about how much the large amount of yarn had cost. Confronting his wife, he was angry, and she became defensive. When she was unwilling to tell him how much it cost, he stormed out of the room.

Later he returned and the bag of yarn was gone, but his wife was quiet and seemed a bit sad.

A couple of months went by, and the man had a birthday. His wife surprised him with a beautiful afghan. It had all the colors of the rainbow and he was thrilled. He thanked her profusely, then asked. “Where did you find such a lovely afghan?”

She smiled and replied, “Remember the bag of yarn you saw in the living room last March?”

He nodded.

“My friend was cleaning out her craft room and gave me the skeins she didn’t want. I’ve been stealing moments here and there to make this for you. It cost me nothing but time, and love.”

Needless to say, the man was ashamed of himself and vowed to make it up to her.

The point of all this is, we can’t always see things from another’s perspective. We make assumptions based on our own point of view. That can lead to misunderstandings that too often get out of control, causing pain, anger and disappointment.

So, my challenge today is this: when you find yourself judging a situation or event, stop and ask if there might be another perspective that you hadn’t considered. This world  can be happy or sad, or anything in between, and sometimes, it’s just a matter of perspective.

If you have a perspective you’d like to share, or want to contribute to T-shirt Topic Tuesdays, leave me a comment below. I promise to reply!

Oh, and if you’re looking for a good book to read this summer, check out this link!

Nine Indie Authors You Have to Read

What’s a hoyden to do?

Welcome to Feature Friday!

Today, I am interviewing one of my favorite authors, Laura Beers. Laura writes fascinating spy novels, but not just ordinary spy novels. Her novels boast of female spies, French invasions, romance, unexpected love, and lots of twists and turns that will keep you riveted!

Laura BeersLaura Beers spent most of her childhood with a nose stuck in a book, dreaming of becoming an author. She attended Brigham Young University, eventually earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management.

Many years later, and with loving encouragement from her family, Laura decided to start writing again. Besides being a full-time homemaker to her three kids, she loves waterskiing, hiking, and drinking Dr. Pepper.

I’ve asked her to answer a few questions for our Feature Friday post, and she was kind enough to reply. Ready to meet Laura? Here we go!

How old were you when you wrote your first book?  I started writing my first book when I was thirty-six years old. (I am now thirty-eight)

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? When I am writing, I attempt to get into my characters’ heads and I react as I believe they would. Sometimes I cry, laugh, or smirk as I write. Sadly, my kids witness this and just think I am weird.

Where do you get your ideas for your books? Everywhere! Inspiration can come from reading, watching t.v., or even talking to friends.

How long does it take you to write a book? That varies. I can typically write a book in less than four months.

How many books have you written, and which is your favorite? I have written four books. Ugh… which book is my favorite? That is like asking which one of my kids is my favorite. I would have to say A Tangled Ruse because it is being released soon. Also, I find that I relate to Lady Rachel and her hoydenish ways.

I understand you are releasing A Tangled Ruse on July 1st. Tell us a little about it. I am so excited about the release of this book. Lady Rachel is a self-proclaimed hoyden, but she also has a kind and loving heart. Luke Beckett, the Marquess of Downshire, is a handsome, brooding Lord and his whole world turns upside down when he meets his neighbor’s niece. As Luke hides behind the guise of a common horse trainer, he begins to form a peculiar friendship with Lady Rachel, without the constraints of his title. However, the longer the ruse continues, the more Luke realizes there is much more at stake than just their friendship. Now throw in a looming French invasion and you have a great story!

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating A Tangled RuseThe English channel was impenetrable, or so everyone thought. What most people don’t realize is that some French ships did make it past the blockade and landed in Ireland and Scotland. Their schemes failed at triggering a rebellion, but what if the circumstances had been different?

Do you have any suggestions to help a someone become a better writer? Just keep writing and hire a really good editor. Now that I am on book #5, I can definitely see that I am a better writer than when I started.

What do you think makes a good story? In order to have a great story, you definitely need spies, intrigue, a swoony love story and handsome Lords. Yup, handsome Lords are a must!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I like to play golf with my family, go running, drink Dr. Pepper, and feed my children.

A Tangled Ruse cover

Our thanks to Laura for being so willing to share her life and views with us! If you’re looking for a fun summer read, pick up a copy of A Tangled Ruse!

A Tangled Ruse by Laura Beers

The Force

Welcome to T-shirt Topic Tuesday!

We attended a family wedding this past week. It was great connecting with family both near and far. Our nearly-2-year-old niece was wearing a t-shirt that caught my eye.

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When you consider that an energetic toddler is wearing this, it’s hilarious! But as I thought about it, I found another meaning.

What is the Force that awakens the creativity in you? What is your passion? What do you find yourself thinking about more than anything else? Is it writing? Blogging? Running? Dogs? Cats? Food? Money? Friends? Family? Work? Just what is it that motivates you?

For me, it’s family, writing, and helping others to help themselves. I love spending time with my husband, kids, and grandkids. They bring me joy and hope. I also enjoy writing and the research that goes along with it. That sparks my imagination and makes me smile. My third passion is helping others… not just giving to them, but helping them to find ways to help themselves. I derive great satisfaction when someone discovers a new way to progress because of something I’ve said or written. It’s awesome!

So, your challenge this week is to find your passion and then follow it! I promise that the ultimate satisfaction you find in pursuing your passion will far outweigh any challenges that may present. Send me an email and let me know what you discovered!

If you have an idea for our T-shirt Topic Tuesdays, just leave me a comment below. Include a picture of the t-shirt, if you’d like. I’d love to hear from you!

Contact me

Book-a-versary!

Welcome to Feature Friday!

Today is the 2-year anniversary of the publication of my first novel, Devlin’s Daughter. I can’t believe it’s been two years already.

Writing this first novel was a journey of courage and discovery for me.  I had previously published a series of children’s books based on stories that I told my kids when they were little. That was not so scary, because I was publishing them for my grandkids. If I sold a few copies here and there, that would be the icing on the cake. No worries, right?

Then, my publisher challenged me to write something different. He suggested something in the romance genre. I didn’t really want to write “fluffy romances.” Not that there’s anything wrong with those. I have friends who write wonderful romances that will tingle the hearts of the swooniest romance readers. However, I wanted to write something with a little meat in it. So, he suggested historical romance/fiction. That sounded like something I could sink my teeth into.

The months that followed were filled with research, writing, second-guessing myself,  editing, re-writing, many fear and tear-filled nights, more research, more re-writing… until, finally, it was ready. I submitted it to my publisher and waited, and fretted, and waited, and had a few anxiety attacks, and waited. After a couple of months that seemed like years…

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I held my first copy of my first published novel in my hands!

That was a thrilling moment, let me tell you! In fact, it was such a heady feeling, that I immediately started on my second novel… then my third… and now, I’m working on my fourth historical fiction/romance, due to be released later this year. I’m hooked!

So celebrate with me! Share this post. Send me an email. Comment on Facebook or Twitter. Let the world know that Emily Daniels is alive and well and writing more novels.

Buy Devlin’s Daughter here!

For my celebration, I’m going to give away 24 digital copies of Devlin’s Daughter between now and midnight tonight. To enter to win, just comment here, “I’d love a copy of Devlin’s Daughter!” along with your email address (I won’t spam you, I promise!), and I’ll get you your copy asap! The first 24 commenters will win!

Comment here to enter!

Oh, for your information, each week I’m planning to create a fun Feature Friday post. I’ll be featuring not only my work but other authors as they have new releases or book-a-versaries or just have fun things to add. We’ll enjoy bios, teasers, Q&As, and maybe even a video interview or two. I’m excited to include my author friends in this new adventure!

Meanwhile, go out and make it a GREAT day!

 

Non-Flammable?

Welcome to T-shirt Topic Tuesday!

Recently, my son and his family visited us from out of state. One day, he was wearing a t-shirt that said, “Non-Flammable? Challenge Accepted”. I thought about that for a few minutes and realized there was a message there.

Have you ever heard the expressions “He was smokin’ hot” or “She’s really on fire”? Generally, that means the person in question is doing great, looks fantastic, or is especially excited and energetic in their task.

So what if that great, fantastic, excited, energetic person gets squashed? What if someone tells them they can’t succeed, or they aren’t dressed right, or they need to calm down, or slow down? That can be a real stumbling block to success!

So my message today is two-fold.

First, don’t accept the discouraging statements and actions of others. Take them as a challenge to keep working, keep writing, keep pursuing your dreams and prove them wrong!

Second, don’t be the discouraging factor in someone else’s life. Even if you don’t see how they can accomplish what they are trying to do, praise their efforts and then stand back and watch them fly!

I hope you enjoy my T-shirt Topic Tuesdays. If you have ideas for a topic, just snap a picture of your favorite t-shirt topic and click on the link below to send it my way. Who knows? Maybe next week’s topic will be yours!

Emily’s Email

Until then, make it a great day!