Am I What I Write? (Posted for the IWSG Monthly Blog Hop)

IWSG logo

It’s IWSG Day Again!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. This month’s question is:

Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

My Answer … ABSOLUTELY, and it’s always purposeful.

Why? Because I am inseparable from my writing. I believe that’s what “finding your writing voice” truly means, at least what it means for me. Writing is an almost magical combination of intent and imagination, a mental and spiritual place where your life experiences and creativity combine to create something that is uniquely yours.

If you’ve ever entered a contest where you’re given a storyline (or even just a keyword), you know it’s true: one hundred different writers will deliver one hundred distinctly creative entries, each one influenced by his or her own experiences, preferences, and personal characteristics. That’s what makes writing such a beautiful, life-affirming experience. And why I will keep writing until I can no longer hold a pen or use a keyboard.

Writing Inspirational Quote by Jeff Goins
Source: Jeff Goins on Pinterest


The awesome co-hosts for the October 4 posting of the IWSG are Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan!

Blog Hop Link:

Insecure Writers Group Logo (IWSG)

About IWSG: The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

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!

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. Our goal is to offer assistance and guidance. We want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and by offering encouragement we are creating a community of support.


Alex J. Cavanaugh, the founder, noticed a lot of blog posts from writers mentioning their doubts, concerns, and lack of confidence. He also saw the positive replies they received and realized that the writing community offered an abundance of support. Writers want to see other writers succeed, which is how he came up with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. This group would act as a form of therapy, letting writers post about situations where they need encouragement, or to offer words of encouragement to others if they have experience.

On September 7, 2011, Alex launched the monthly blog posting of the IWSG and it has been going strong ever since.

On the first Wednesday of every month we share of thoughts about writing on our blogs. We also have an optional monthly question to assist with member’s posts, which can be found on the Sign-Up page.



The Insecure Writer’s Support Group has grown since conception. Over 250 people are a part of the blogging community that posts on the first Wednesday of every month, known as IWSG Day.

The group has expanded beyond blogging into other forms. We have a Facebook Group with 3,000+ members. Our free monthly newsletter, which has featured industry experts like Jane Friedman and Sandra Beckwith, has 600+ subscribers.

We offer a free guide for writers: The Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s Guide to Publishing and Beyond. We have an annual anthology contest, and the first book is available now – Parallels: Felix Was Here. The second, Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life, will be released in May, 2017. We even have our own merchandise which include pens, magnets, and T-shirts!

Alex and the nine other administrators are actively pushing the group to greater heights. Nothing is impossible when insecure writers band together.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Join Me on a Weekend Facebook Hop & Giveaway!

Promo Banner for St. Patrick's Day Blog Hop

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Join IndieSage PR and 80+ authors and bloggers (including me!) on the St. Patrick’s Day Hop to celebrate!

How does a hop work? In addition to the grand prize giveaway, each stop will have a chance to win MORE prizes. You can enter one, pick and choose, or enter them ALL. We hope you find new friends, new books, and new authors to enjoy.

Start the hop here:! If you encounter a broken link, you can always come back to the schedule.

A Rafflecopter giveaway

Check Out the Hop Participants: 

IndieSage PR
A Day With Ethel
Aleya Michelle Author page
Amazeballs Book Addicts
Another Book Hangover
Aundrea Mitchell
Author Abigail M
Author Alana Albertson –
Author Amarie Avant
Author Barb Shuler
Author Emerald O’Brien
Author FG Adams
Author Heidi Hutchinson
Author Isabel Love
Author J.B. Morgan
Author Janice Ross
Author Karri Thompson
Author Marissa Dobson
Author Nicole Blanchard
Author Santana Blair
Author Stephanie Rose
Autumn Jones Lake
Avery Hart-Author
Beth Anne Miller
Book Junkie Reviews
Booked All Night
Bookgasms Book Blog
Briana Pacheco Author
C. Kaye
Chasing Away Reality
Courtney Shockey
Craves the Angst
Dena Garson
DL Gallie Author
Elizabeth Keysian
Elsie’s Audiobook Digest
Ingrid Hahn
Jamaila Brinkley
Jen Tirone
Jennifer Faye – Romance Author –
Joyfully Reviewed
Katalina Leon
Katharina LeBoeuf, Author
Kerri Ann
Kiki Reader Loves Books
Kim Bailey Author
Krysten Lindsay Hager author
L.B. Dunbar
Liliana Rhodes
Lindsey Frydman – Author –
Lisa Kessler Writer
Literary Epic Charity Book Blog
Liz Durano Books
Max Henry
Melissa McClone Books
Mignon Mykel
Molly McLain Author
Nadine Bookaholic
Nancy C. Weeks
Nancy Haviland
Natalie Rios
New England Naughty and Nice Book Blog
Nina Croft
Of Pens and Pages
P. Marie
Page Flipperz
Paula Radell, Author –
Pretty Little Book Reviews
Quill & Ink Book Tours
Readers Retreats
Robin Covington
Romance Schmomance
Ryleigh Andrews – Author
Saffron A. Kent
Sasha Says
Sasha Summers Author –
Shannon Nemechek, Author
Shelby Reeves
Straight Shootin’ Book Reviews
TDC Book Reviews
The Phantom Paragrapher
Thoughts of a Blonde
Two Darlin Dolls and A Book Review –
Vox Libris –

It’s a Christmas Blog Hop, Sponsored by Divine Promotions, with Divine Prizes!

Promo Ad for the Christmas Blog Hop 2016 by Divine Promotions

Welcome to the 2016 Christmas Blog Hop, 

Hosted by Divine Promotions!

Divine Promotions Website – Christmas Hop Page

The Participants…

The Prizes…

Christmas Blog Hop Prize 1

3D fun face Charms Bracelet – 3 pieces (image attached)
18 K Gold Filled Crystal Pearls Heart Party Dress Jewelry Set (image attached)
$10 Amazon Gift Card from RAM PA Group
5 Days Promo Tour from Divine Promotions
Dreamspinner Press Vouchers
$5 gift voucher from Pride Publishing
Ebook of your choice from Author Grein Murray
Swag donated by Author Grein Murray (only available to those living in the USA)
Ebook of your choice from Author Sean Kerr (from his series Dead Camp)
Ebook – The Hard Boys: Alien Abduction (Case #1) from Ian Cadena
Christmas Blog Hop Prize 2

The Premise…

Each Hop participant was tasked with writing a short “getting to know you” post about the meaning of Christmas in our lives. We were also invited to post a holiday recipe we enjoy, and a photo that reminds us of the beauty of the season. Hopefully, our posts will inspire you to consider what your holiday — be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or other spiritual celebration — means to you; and encourage you to share your thoughts with others, in the spirit of the season.

The Post…What Christmas Means to Me

Some of you know that my mother passed away last January, and as her only child, everything in my life changed in a hot minute. Her sudden, unexpected death tilted my world on its axis, ripped the virtual rug out from under me; plunged me into a boundless sea of grief; and left me barely afloat for weeks at a time.

For most of my life, mom was the heart of our family Christmas celebration. When dad was deployed, she stepped up to make the holidays as ‘normal’ as possible by keeping beloved Christmas traditions alive from year to year. So naturally, as Christmas approaches, the sense of her loss is intensified. Long-buried memories surface at random, triggered by the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the holiday. It’s truly the definition of bittersweet – a mixture of profound love and sadness that has kept me more than a little off-balance in the past few weeks. But as mom would say, “This too shall pass.” The pain will not necessarily pass, but it will ease as time goes on, and the family traditions she cherished will mean more and more.

Some days it’s tempting to give in; to turn my back on the holiday this year, bury myself in work or writing, and let it pass without acknowledgment. But that would be a selfish act. It would do nothing to honor the wonderful woman who loved this season so much and worked tirelessly, year after year, to make it as “perfect” as it could be for her family. Today, in her honor, I ask your indulgence as I share just a few thoughts on the meaning of Christmas, 2016.

Christmas is about memories – some loving and tender, some ridiculous, some hilarious, and some incredibly painful — but all are part of the person we are today, and the person we will be tomorrow. They should be treasured and honored for enriching our lives or teaching us important lessons.

Christmas is about gratitude  for all that we have, and for all we are able to share with others.

Christmas is about hope – not merely in a traditional religious context, but in the sense that at the end of each year, we are given a fresh opportunity to be better than we were the year before; to do more; to give more; to love more.

Christmas is all about love, expressed through kindness of heart and gentleness of spirit. Peace cannot exist in a person, in a family, in a country, or in our world without love, respect and kindness, shared freely and unconditionally.

I hope you and your loved ones have a very blessed holiday season and a peaceful New Year.

The Picture…

My adorable granddaughter, Layla, last Christmas.

The Recipe…

Cranberry Sauce

Boozy Cranberry Sauce…

Source: Pinterest, shared by Heather Sheire,


1                 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries, picked over

1/2 cup       orange juice

1/4 cup       cognac

1/2 cup       cane sugar (I use organic raw sugar)

1/4 cup       brown sugar, packed

1/2 tsp.        cinnamon

pinch of ground cloves

pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

pinch of sea salt


Bring all the ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce to a simmer and cook until almost all of the cranberries have burst. Transfer the sauce to a bowl to cool to room temperature. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to five days. Serve cold.

Enter the Giveaway Here…