Christina Cole Romance

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Endings and Beginnings

On Monday I spoke of synchronicity. I wrote that the universe seemed to be leading me in exciting new directions.  Later that day, I sat down in MLWR (my little writing room) and wrote a the set-up for a scene from The Sheriff Wore Skirts. In that scene, the main character, Caleb Bryant, ponders a fact of life:

Willow TreeCaleb leaned against the old willow tree and watched the waters of the nearby creek gurgling past. Not really much of a creek these days, although it had once been deep enough to swim in. Now it would barely come to the top of his boots if he stepped in.

Funny how things in life changed that way.

He shifted his gaze westward toward the glittering peaks of the Rockies, raising a hand to shield his eyes from the late afternoon sunlight. Some folks said even the mighty mountains would one day be gone, eroded away by the ravages of weather and time.

Caleb couldn’t imagine it. He’d once attended a fancy lecture in Denver and had heard some esteemed scholar with a string of letters attached to his name provide a scientific explanation. Water, the professor said, seeped into the cracks, froze, expanded, and broke the rocks down. Gravity then took over to carry the pieces down the slope.

When the spring rains came, more rocks were swept away. Some were even dissolved by the steady forces of nature.

The human eye might not see the changes happening, but they were going on all the same.

Changes were always going on in life, too. No matter how a man might wish things could stay the same once he got himself to a comfortable place, life didn’t work that way.

 

Caleb’s got it right. Changes are always happening in life.

Yesterday, I learned that my publisher — Secret Cravings — will be closing. What this means is that all  Secret Cravings and Sweet Cravings titles are coming down from Amazon and other booksellers, and rights to my stories — including those under contract for 2016 publication — will revert to me.  I can choose whether or not to re-publish the current titles and whether or not to release the upcoming additions to “The Sunset Series”.

In many ways, I think I was prepared for this. The writing/publishing industry has changed drastically in the last few years.  Although I was quite comfortable as an SCP author and hoped to publish many more stories through their imprint, I often found myself exhausted by efforts to keep up with marketing and promotional events and maintain a rigorous writing schedule in order to meet all deadlines.

At times, over the past year, I’ve considered other possibilities for my writing. Times are changing, and authors have to change, too. Accordingly, I choose to view this ending as a fortuitous beginning for my future.

What happens now?

My immediate plans are to take care of the business at hand — purchasing my cover art, putting files in order for possible re-publication, and making sure all legal issues are addressed.

I have many decisions to make involving not only the question of re-publishing my books but also questions involving this blog, my author page on Facebook, and my newly-formed “street team”.

What I don’t have yet is a definite plan…only a vague idea of where I want to go and how I’ll choose to get there. With a lot going on in my personal life, I’m choosing now to take a break from writing and publishing.  I will continue to post to this blog but not on a daily basis. I will also maintain my official author page at Facebook — Christina Cole’s Love Notes — and I will most like make daily posts there.

Of course, I will be keeping up with my friends and readers, although I will be “disbanding” Christina’s Corner. I want to thank each street team member for the love and kindness you’ve shown in the short time the group has been together.

At this time, I’m also choosing to set aside The Sheriff Wore Skirts. The book was scheduled for January release with Secret Cravings. That, of course, won’t happen now.  Instead of completing and publishing the book now, I will be exploring other avenues in my life.

I’m adopting the willow tree now as my symbol for the future. Willows bend; they don’t break. Endings bring opportunities to begin anew, and I’m looking forward to seeing where life leads me now.

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The Cosmos is Revolving

An_Eye_For_Synchronicity__58383_zoomSynchronicity is such a fascinating thing!

Whenever I see it at work in my life, I do a quick double-take. “Did that just happen?” I ask myself.

I learned years ago to take note of apparent “coincidences”. Life often speaks to us through such means.

What is “synchronicity”? Glad you asked.

 

 

The word can be broken down into its separate parts.

  • SYN – A prefix meaning united or joining together
  • CHRONO – A combining form relating to time
  • ICITY – A suffix used to form abstract nouns from adjectives

In other words, SYNCHRONICITY is a concept that relates to things happening at the same time. It’s almost a synonym — there’s that prefix again — for COINCIDENCE, but in my experience synchronicity has a more definite sense about it. When it occurs, I can’t help but feel that some unseen hand is guiding events, leading me directly to places where I’m supposed to be, showing me lessons that I need to learn.

The word was first coined by Carl Jung to describe an “acasual connection of two or more psycho-physic phenomena”… whew!  That’s a rather long-winded way of saying the same thing, but if you’d like to read more about Jung and his theories — as well as the golden scarab that inspired his thinking — you’ll find it all here:

Carl Jung Resources

carl-jung

In simpler terms, he described synchronicity this way:

A meaningful coincidence of two or more events where something other than the probability of chance is involved.

He believed that synchronicity is a part of life and that we should be mindful of its presence:

Synchronicity is an ever-present reality for those who have eyes to see.

Years ago, a good friend first taught me about the principle of synchronicity, and I’ve always loved his short, simple definition. “The cosmos is revolving,” he used to say, referring to those strange moments when life suddenly seems to have a theme, when everything you see or do seems to be pointing in one direction.

YESIt’s also been called “alignment with the divine”.

We must learn not only to open our eyes but to open our hearts. Synchronicity can guide us when we remove the expectations that so often limit us.

Synchronicity is all about possibilities, and it’s a great adventure in life.

Someone once remarked that synchronicity is life’s way of saying, “You’re getting warmer…”

Or maybe it really is life shouting “Yes!”

The day is still early, but already my morning has been filled with an awesome synchronicity. Life seems to be calling me in a specific direction, and I’ll gladly follow to see where this adventure will lead.  Life is teaching me to go another step, to do a little more, to give a little more, to add an extra bit of effort to everything in my life.

Today I’ll be looking for ways to follow that guidance.

I’ll do more than serve dinner; I’ll set the table with a special centerpiece.

I’ll do more than think about a friend; I’ll send a greeting.

I’ll do more than exist; I’ll live this day as fully as I can.

Synchronicity is, indeed, a marvelous, fascinating thing…not just an abstract concept or a theoretical principle, but a very real fact of life. I hope you’ll remain open to those moments of synchronicity that come into your life…and I hope you’ll follow wherever they lead.

Thank you for visiting today!

May your day be filled with joy and happiness.

 


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A Thought for Today: Peace of Mind

Peace of mind

There is no greater wealth in this world than peace of mind. 

I believe this is true. After all our struggles for riches and worldly success, we’ll always finds ourselves poor in spirit until we realize that real wealth — and happiness — comes from within. It comes from knowing who we are and being at peace with our self.

Life is best lived with balance and wholeness, and the curious thing is that we can only find peace of mind when we listen to our heart.

What is your heart telling you today?

 


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Secret Cravings Publishing Fall Party

Please join me and eleven other Secret Cravings authors today for the our Fall Party Event. The fun begins at 10:00 AM. Each guest author will be answering questions, serving up virtual treats, playing games, and giving away ebooks and other prizes.

Participating authors include Kathleen Tighe Ball, Vikki Vaught-McCombie, Shannon O’Connor, V. L. Locey, Susan Fisher Davis, Jean Joachim, Mageela Troche, Iryna Coombs, M. S. Spencer, Cindy McDonald, L. Marie…and me! I’ll be guest-hosting from 3:00 to 4:00 PM (Central Time), and I hope to see you there!

Secret Cravings Fall Party

LPartyI’ll be giving away an ebook copy of “No Regrets”, the latest release in my “Sunset” series of western historical romances. Plus…I’ve got another special prize I’ll be announcing at the party. Anyone who joins Christina’s Corner between now and the end of the party event will be entered into a drawing, but I’m not telling you what the prize is yet. Drop by the party today– from 3:00 to 4:00 PM — to find out!

Before the party begins, check out the trailer for No Regrets.

You can also read the opening chapter FREE at Snippets!

No Regrets – Chapter One

See you at the party!


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Victory Dancing

How would you describe your victory dance?

Happy Dance

That’s the question for today straight out of my little Question and Answer a Day book. I love this little book. It’s always fun to open it and find an interesting, amusing, or thought-provoking question.

So, victory dancing…

I laughed a little when I read it because “victory dances” are so closely associated with football — in my mind, at least. That provoked a chuckle because early this morning as I made my way from sleep to wakefulness, I was thinking about professional football, specifically players from the past.

Who was that quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers that I liked so well? The one who took the helm after both Terry Bradshaw and Terry Hanratty went down with injuries? I struggled to remember his name and finally had to grab my smartphone to look it up. Yes, at 3:30 AM, I was “googling” Pittsburgh Steeler quarterbacks. The answer, by the way, is Joe Gilliam, Jr. who had a fairly short, unhappy life. He died on Christmas Day, 2000, a few days short of his 50th birthday.

Next, my errant mind wandered to Oakland. Who was that wide receiver back in the 60’s? My mind just was not working. Oh, yes. Daryle Lamonica, the “Mad Bomber”.  I was rather proud of myself for digging that name out of the depths of my memory…until I realized that dear Daryle was not the receiver I was thinking of. It was the other fellow, you know, the one with the Russian name.

By now, my husband was awake, too, so I was pestering him with the question. I had to come in here to MLWR (My Little Writing Room) to dredge up Fred Biletnikoff, but in the process I came across a book I’d love to read.

Badasses: The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr. Death, and John Madden’s Oakland Raiders

badasses

Victory dances — those little displays of emotions after scoring a touchdown — have always been fun to watch, in my opinion. Of course, my opinion means nothing to the NFL — also known as the No Fun League. They have rules against deliberately “taunting” other players, and in their estimation, victory dances often fall into that category.

In 2006, they “taunting” rule was amended to include an automatic 15-yard penalty against any player whose “victory dance” includes leaving his feet, or using props such as towels or the football. This is termed an “excessive celebration” with the penalty yardage charged to the offending player’s team during the kick-off that follows. The good news here is that “spiking” the ball isn’t considered “excessive” — unless the player spikes it toward an opponent.

Just for fun, here are a few celebrations from the world of sports you might enjoy watching:

A Visual Guide to the NFL’s Anti-Celebration Rules

In my life, I don’t do “victory dances” because I don’t score any touchdowns. For what it’s worth, while growing up, I always wished I could play football, but despite that adage that “You can do anything you set you mind to”, I had to settle for cheerleading on the sidelines.

Of course, I do have many things in life to celebrate, so I’ve replaced the “victory dance” with a little “happy dance”. I love sharing my “happy dance” on Facebook when I have a new romance novel published, or when one of my novels hits the publisher’s best-seller list or gets a five-star review from a reader.

I smile a lot when doing my happy dance. I wave my arms around. I kick up my heels. I shimmy. I shake. I look silly, but as someone recently reminded me, it’s all right to dance like nobody’s watching because everybody’s looking at their cell phones, so in truth no one is watching.

So, whether it’s a victory dance following a score, or just a happy dance to celebrate the special moments in your life, what does your dance look like?

 


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Don’t Forget!

Just a quick reminder to all my readers who are on Facebook. I’ll be one of the guest hosts Saturday at the Secret Cravings Publishing Fall Event.

Dontforget

Secret Cravings Fall Party

I’ll be hosting from 3:00 to 4:00 PM (Central Time).  You can see the complete line-up of authors below.

10:00 – Kathleen Tighe Ball
11:00 – Vikki Vaught-mccombie
12:00- Shannon O’Connor
1:00 – Vicki Locey
2:00- Susan Fisher Davis
3:00 – Christina Cole
4:00- Jean Joachim
5:00- Mageela Troche
6:00- Iryna Coombs
6:30- M S Spencer Author
7:00- Cindy McDonald
8:00- Author LM Writes – L. Marie

Each author will be answering any questions you might have, and in addition, we’ll each be giving away one or more prizes.

I’ll be giving away an ebook copy of “No Regrets”, the latest release in my “Sunset” series of western historical romances. Plus…I’ve got another special prize I’ll be announcing at the party. Anyone who joins Christina’s Corner between now and the end of the party event will be entered into a drawing, but I’m not telling you what the prize is yet. Drop by the party on Saturday — from 3:00 to 4:00 PM — to find out!

Before the party begins, check out the trailer for No Regrets.

You can also read the opening chapter FREE at Snippets!

No Regrets – Chapter One

See you at the party…and don’t forget to bring a friend!

bring-a-friend-green


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The Best Part

cup-of-coffeeRight now I have a jingle playing in my head. You’ve heard it before, I’m sure.

The best part of waking up, is Folger’s in your cup.

No, this isn’t a commercial, and I’ll pass on the coffee and enjoy a zingy cup of herbal tea for my morning wake-up. Those of you who do enjoy a hot, freshly-brewed cup of java can grab one now as we sit and visit.

So why am I singing the Folger’s jingle today?

Blame it on my little Question and Answer a Day book. Today’s question is a delightful one:

What’s the best part of your life right now?

Oh, there are so many good things in my life. I hardly know where to begin. Before I answer the question I first want to express my joy in finding such a beautiful question in this little book. Although it may appear to be quite simple, it’s truly profound. It’s the sort of question that sneaks up on us and makes us think.

We need to think more about what’s good in life. Too often we’re surrounded by negativity — news reports, frustrations, problems to solve — and it rubs off on us. We can’t ignore problems, of course, but dwelling on what’s wrong doesn’t help us find solutions.

It’s wonderful to sit here this morning in MLWR (my little writing room) and think of all the good things around me. I invite each of you to do the same. Grab a cup of coffee, tea, or whatever your favorite morning libation might be, take a deep breath, and focus on what’s right in your world.

The best part of my life is…

Oh, it’s so hard to single out one particular piece of what makes my life so good and say “this is the best.” I’m going to have to find a way to draw it all together and include all the joyful moments.

The best part of my life is…having opportunities to live fully each day, to be able to learn new things and share them with others, to celebrate every moment with family and friends, and to enjoy being who I am.

Today’s question brings time for reflection. It offers us a moment of gratitude and thanksgiving. Yes, I am grateful, indeed, for the wonderful life I’m living. I’m grateful for my family, and I’m grateful to each of you who pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, and visit here each day.

I’m going to revise that little jingle now and say:

The best part of waking up is not what’s in my cup. It’s the people I share it with.

A-big-girls-tea-party-clip-art-150x150

Thank you for letting me share my mornings with you.