Five Money Saving Tips for the New Year and a Writing Update

Since it’s the New Year I thought we could all use some money saving tips. So here are ten of my favorites:

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1. Cook instead of eating out.  Considering how expensive it is to eat out, try cooking at home more.  It’s cheaper and you are eating more healthful especially since you know what you are cooking and what you are putting into it.

2. If you have direct deposit with your job have them take a hundred dollars from your paycheck and have it sent to a Credit Union or your savings account.  If you don’t have direct deposit have your bank do an automatic withdrawal from your checking account and putting it in your savings account on the same day you are paid. And if you want to be really old school put twenty dollars a week in an envelope and keep it put away.  Regardless of how you do it the money is gone so you won’t miss it and you’ll be surprised at how quickly it adds up.

3. If you like movies go on cheap nights.  Most theaters note only offer matinee pricing but usually once a week, typically a Monday or Tuesday the tickets will be about half the cost of what they would be on a Friday or Saturday. 

4. Along with cooking at home, double your recipe so you have leftovers to take for lunch.  If you can save the $10 for lunch each day that is about $200 a month you are saving. Even if you don’t like, or have leftovers, make a sandwich and take a piece of your favorite fruit, it’s a lot cheaper than eating out everyday.

5. This is a big one.  Make your coffee at home before you go to work and take it in a travel mug.  You can still go out of your Starbucks once in a while but at $5 (on average) for one Starbuck’s coffee the cost adds up.  It’ll surprise you how much you can save even if you just cut out one or two Starbucks a week.

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Bonus. Buy what you can in bulk; laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, meat, cheese, cereal, milk, coffee, etc. These are things you’re going to use and when you buy them in small amounts can cost you a lot, but in bulk it will save you money.

These are all tips that Eric and I use (with the exception of the coffee we don’t drink coffee) and we’ve saved a lot of money.  It won’t make you rich, but it will sure help keep the money in the wallet. If you have any tips, share them below.

Writing Update:

What a busy start of the year I’ve had.  As you all know I had my book launch for The Calling this month and had an amazing write up in the San Jose Mercury News (click here for the article).  I also, had my first ever Blog Tour thank you to IndiGo Marketing.  If you want to check out each days stop, click on the day below:

Day One: The Blogger Girls
Day Two: Love Byters Reviews
Day Three: Queer Sci Fi
Day Four: Divine Magazine
Day Five: The Novel Approach

I also took some much-needed time off.  Eric and I went down to Disneyland for a week.  We hung out with some family and some amazing friends. It was a great break. Here are a couple fun pictures from our trip if you want to suffer through and check them out.

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While I was on vacation, I got to finish The Stark Divide (Liminal Sky Book 1) by J. Scott Coatsworth.  Its a wonderful story and such a joy to read.  If you want to check out my review of the novel click here.  This is a must read if you love Science Fiction.  It has something for everyone. Buy it here.

For a quick writing update I wanted to share that, at this moment my publisher is evaluating A New World – Contact and I’m hoping to have more information on that soon.  I’m also working on book two of my New World Series and I’m over a three-quarters of the way through.

Which means, I’ll be working on the sequel to The Calling in the coming months. I have the second book outlined and I’m working on the finer points of the plot, but that doesn’t mean everything is set in stone.  So if there something special you would like to see in book two of The Calling now’s your chance to weigh in.  You can make your suggestions below in the comments section.  Please try to avoid spoilers. Let’s have a little fun with this.

Until next week have a great week.

Writing & Personal Update

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It’s time for another Writing Update and given all that has happened over the last several weeks there is no better time than now.  Things for me have been a mixed bag full of blessing and sadness. It’s never easy talking about the not-so-happy events going on in our lives, well not for me, but I figured I would share as talking it through is supposed to help.

Recently, my husband and I had to go to Utah to take care of my husband’s father. He has terminal cancer and dementia.  It’s not been easy, and my husband is an only child, so there is a lot for him to deal with. All I can do is support him and the decisions he makes. Luckily we’ve had some wonderful support from his aunt and uncle so we weren’t totally alone in dealing with all of this. 

A few weeks back we all spent a week in Utah taking care of his father’s house (getting it ready to sell). We also spent time seeing his dad and making sure he is settled in the care facility, which is amazing. The staff are wonderful and so is his father’s hospice worker.  As I’m sure you can imagine it was a stressful week, but we got everything we needed accomplished. By the end of the week we were all exhausted but we still had out humor. Eric’s uncle summed up the week like this, “It’s amazing we’re all still talking to each other.” We all got a good chuckle out of that.

Amidst that, my short story, The Reunion was being finalized and getting ready for its launch. The launch was October 23rd and went off swimmingly.  I’m so thrilled that I had the support of great friends, family, and the wonderful folks at NineStar Press (check them out here).  They really helped and made the process seem less.

Unfortunately, because this has been a mixed bag of emotions. Last week I got news that one of my only living great-aunts passed away (she was 99 years old).  This sad news brought up the memories of my grandmother (my aunt’s older sister) and the realization that that generation has all moved on. We have a close family so that has made it all the more difficult.

Also, on October 23rd it was the fifth anniversary of Eric’s mother’s passing in a tragic accident.  So, the day my debut short story launched there was an air of both joy and sorrow. Eric and I agreed that his mother would’ve been proud and excited and we’re sure that the launch date was no coincidence.

I’m a firm believer that our family never leaves our side and that they are always there with us. The launch day was one way for her and my mom (also passed away) to show their collective support.

There you have it an emotional roller-coaster.

I don’t want to end this on a sad note because as I said at the start these last few weeks have been a mixed bag of both good and bad. To that point, I still have two more books coming out over the next few months, A Dragon for Christmas (December 18th) and The Calling (Jan 1st) I’ve also, been writing/editing three different stories so there is much more to come. And lastly, I want to share some quotes from a few of the reviews I’ve received for, The Reunion (buy it here):

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“…cleverly written and I couldn’t put it down because I just needed to know what had happened in this town!” – Lulu Forth (Alpha Book Club) full review here.

“I thought I knew where the author was going with the story and time after time, they proved me wrong.  And that ending….” – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words (full review here).

“A fantastic story full of good times and bad, The Reunion is one of those tales that you're going to want to read over and over again.” – Amazon Review by Wordsmith full review here.

Until next week, have a great week gang.  Remember I love hearing from you, so leave me a comment and don’t forget to like and share.
 

Writing Update

I didn’t realize until today the last time I provided a writing update was in April.  So, let’s get you all up to speed on what is happening in my wonderful world of writing.

To start, I’m happy to announce, ‘The Calling’ will be published in January 2018 by NineStar Press it’s very exciting and honestly a little scary. It’s cool to dream this will happen then when it does, it kind of freaks you out.  There is a lot to do to get the story ready for publication as you can imagine.  If you have some time to check out NineStar Press here, they are a ton of wonderful books by some amazing authors and they are a good group of people to work with.

Next up, this year I have the honor of being a judge for the 2017 Rainbow Awards.  It’s exciting to be part of such an activity and I can’t wait for the award winners to be announced.  If you want to learn more about the Rainbow Awards check them out here.

Third, I’ve written a short story ‘A Dragon for Christmas’ its a cute short story and one I’m hoping to get published (fingers crossed).  Stay tuned.  In the meantime, you can read the blurb for ‘A Dragon for Christmas’ here.

On a more personal note, I’ve been busy working in the background on some new headshots and working with a few really good friends on how to not only market my novels but also myself.  It’s an interesting process one I didn’t think would be as difficult as it is.  It’s like this whole new world is sitting there and I need to figure out the best way to navigate it all.  So, as we move forward, you may see not only my photos change (may all that is fuzzy and warm take mercy on you when those come out), but also my website. There may be updates/changes to my Facebook Page and all of my social media as well.

Also, you’ll be happy to learn we are still doing our weekly meal in a box.  Its great and we still love it.  If you want to see pictures, let me know in the comments below, also, if you want an update on how we’re doing I’ll happily share.  There are some new developments.

Now more on the writing front, I’m still working on Book 2 of ‘A New World – Conspiracy’ and I’m working on a novella called ‘T.A.D.’. I’m about two-thirds of the way through ‘Conspiracy’ and ‘T.A.D.’ has its first draft finished and I’ve started the editing process so the writing is moving forward.  There are a few more stories that are floating around, but nothing nearly as far a long as these.

With respect to my blog, I’m changing my posting day to Mondays in hopes to get more traffic. I have to think about and pay attention to these things now.

Well that’s about it for this week.  Next week I have an exciting Author Interview coming up.  So, stay tuned.  I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment, drop me a line and remember to like, share and subscribe.  Until next week keep cool and #HappyPride2017