Rachel Thompson

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How to Meet Deadlines and Remain Sane by Claire Charlins

We all live on deadlines, in some way or form. Whether it’s needing to be at our day jobs for a set time, taking the kids to soccer practice, or even making sure that dinner is done and served, life revolves around deadlines. And that quite honestly is how I manage my writing and professional deadlines. I just keep myself sane by being very organized… and I mean very organized!

Here are three tips to keep yourself sane when facing a deadline:
  1. Limit your online time! We all know that online time is the biggest time sucker in the world. And yes, online time does include trying to beat that level in Candy Crush you’ve been stuck on for weeks! Turn off the internet if you have to. Turn your wi-fi off and focus. It doesn’t matter who posted what on Facebook. It doesn’t matter what your books are ranking at on Amazon. Focus on the deadline. But also reward yourself… I’ll set my time in breaks. Two hours of work, ten minutes to goof off online.
  2. Focus on the project! This may go along with online time, but don’t focus on anything outside the project. It’s very easy for our minds to travel elsewhere thus wasting time and when we waste time it makes that deadline seem harder and harder, doesn’t it?
  3. Finally, stay organized! I use the calendar on my iPad and have made it my best friend. I don’t just manage current deadlines but ones that are far out. That way I know exactly what’s happening and when. It actually keeps ‘deadlines’ for really happening… if you know what to do and when to do it, it becomes work instead of a monstrous deadline.
There’s plenty more you can do to stay on top of looming deadlines but that’s what I do. I keep a date in mind, I keep it on calendar, and I focus on it. Deadlines also require some sacrifice but always remind yourself that once you hit the deadline… you get a little free time! And make sure you reward yourself. When I’m done with a big deadline… when I’m finished with EVERYTHING with the book and then step back and look at the cover for a little while and smile. Then I treat myself to dinner, a movie, and some time away from the laptop. It makes me feel very refreshed and ready for the next project.

West for Love
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Genre - Western/ Christian Romance
Rating – PG
More details about the author and the book
Connect with  Claire Charlins on Twitter

A Day in the Life of Rachel Hanna

I always laugh when someone asks me what my day is like as an author because it's never the same. I'm well aware that some authors do the exact same routine every day, but that would drive me crazy. I'm way too creative and distractible to be able to do the exact same routine every day. But, I'm going to try to give you an example of what my typical day might be like anyway.

Since I'm a night owl and rarely go to bed before about 1:30 in the morning, I usually don't get up and around until at least 9 AM. The first thing I do these days is make a green drink. I used to eat breakfast, but it seemed to weigh me down and make me more tired early in the day. Now, I make a green drink with a little protein in it and that lasts me until lunchtime.

My kids are usually up and already doing their school by then. They use a distance-learning program on the Internet that is beamed in from a college, so they know how to get started on their day without my input. Throughout the day, I end up grading some papers and tests and recording their grades as well.

Before lunch, I usually spend my time checking emails, responding to Facebook posts and doing any kind of marketing that needs to be done for my books. I like to get that done early in the day so that it frees my mind up for more creative pursuits. Usually, that takes me all the way until lunchtime, and my brain is just starting to wake up.

After lunch, I usually do my writing or editing. If I'm working on a book, I will often go back and edit it in pieces so that I don't have to edit the whole thing at the end. This also reminds me where my story is going and allows me to read it just like a reader would. I usually spend my time from lunch until early afternoon doing my writing for the day.

Around 4 o'clock in the afternoon, my kids' activities begin. At that point, we're usually on the road back-and-forth between activities until almost 8 o'clock at night. That means that we are often eating dinner very late.

Once we get home and eat dinner, we usually watch some TV together as a family and then the kids go to bed. Often, I will spend my quiet night time hours writing or maybe reading. I consider reading to be part of my research and development as an author.

There you have it! My day as an author! Not all days look like this, but many do. Either way, my goal is always to get some kind of writing done during the day.

Buy Now @ Amazon @ Barnes & Noble @ Kobo
Genre - New  Adult Romance
Rating – R
More details about the author and the book
Connect with  Rachel Hanna on Facebook & Twitter

The Virgin Widow by Andrea Gould

Dear Reader…

It is within the context of death that life takes on its vivid nature.

The Virgin Widow is my story, but it is yours as well. Like you, and like millions of other women, I became a “Virgin Widow” overnight. Like you, I willed myself to survive.

As a psychologist, I am sensitive to the shades of psychic change. I have always found writing to be a way of helping me to digest and understand my experiences. Even as I mourned my loss, my journal entries became a reflection on the process of adjusting to change and transition itself. This book, therefore, is both a memoir and a personal-growth book for individuals like you who have recently lost a partner. My ‘notes from the front’ are meant to guide you on your own healing path.


When the reality of losing a partner is thrust upon us, we are often unprepared. The grief that accompanies the loss can be overwhelming. Not only do we mourn the comfort and the familiarity of our partner, but we also find ourselves being forced into a new, unwelcome, and radically shifted world-picture that eerily—frustratingly—contains many of the same objects, people, and places, although we see these in a different light.

By my definition, “Virgin Widows” are innocent, first-time widows. They have no experience from which to draw the wisdom, philosophy, and behavior necessary to find a way through the intricate and immobilizing situations demanding their attention. Though they may have loved and lost before, they have never experienced the absolute finality that the death of their loved one imposes on their world.

Whether a loss is a “complicated” grief — when death is the result of unusual circumstances: accident, suicide, or mayhem—or the natural outcome of a long and happy life, pain, uncertainty, and the need for guided healing are no less diminished.

I have been trained to be both an observer and experiencer, creating for myself and others a delicate balance, between who we are and who and what we are to become. As I worked through my own grief and began to rebuild in the days and months following my husband’s death, the liberating gift of my professional training gave me permission to reclaim control of my life. I intend to help you do the same as I share my thoughts with you.

Losing a spouse carries with it the loss of life as planned. Coupled life carries with it a shared identity, so this identity is lost too. We lose our friend, our lover, and our partner. The ultimate crippling blow comes when we realize that we have lost an essential part of ourselves as well. And because it takes time for the reinvention process to begin, we can do little more than face each day, one day at a time, under a magnifying glass, in a kind of self-imposed exile.

The time to reinvent ourselves does come, however, and when it does, we know what it is to crave normalcy, to have some semblance of our original self returned to us, to seek the ordinary comforts of companionship, and to feel the first stirrings of curiosity about our desirability: “Will I ever love again?” and “Will anyone again love me for me?”

This is the start of the healing process. Though conventional wisdom says that new partnerships are not the way to soothe our loss, we are social beings who grow and change through our interactions. Balanced against those times of much-needed, sacred solitude is a loving network of friends and family, and it works as an incubator, nurturing and protecting us while we reconfigure our newly evolving selves.

For me, “staying in the present” was of primary importance, both as a safety zone between the poignancy of a lost past and the frightening uncertainty of an abstract future. Though I was sometimes tempted to numb myself, I chose not to. My mind and body — trained by childbirth and sustained by meditation — acknowledged the intensity completely without shutting down.

For many months, it seemed that time hung suspended and that the happy and productive life I had known before my marriage and during the many years we shared our lives had been overshadowed by the Yesterday when he died and the endless Today in which I now lived. Moving in slow motion, I anchored my awareness to the spectrum of sensation and sanctuary that each moment offered.

Other times, I felt an impatience to get away, to be free of this dreadful burden of sorrow. On those days, my body ached — not for him, not to turn back time, but to fast forward to the day when I would awaken from this nightmare. I craved the day when my step would quicken as it had before and I would be consumed once more with my passionate belief in endless possibility.


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Genre – NonFiction

Rating – G

More details about the book

Connect with Andrea Gould on Twitter

Website http://lucidlearning.com/

Serving Time (The Timemakers Trilogy) by Nadine Ducca

In the beginning, the Logos created the universe. It was a lonely place, empty and quiet, so the Logos brought forth three goddesses: the Past, the Present, and the Future. With them came nostalgia, audacity, and uncertainty. The three child goddesses gazed at their creator with expectation, for now that Time existed, so could life.

Robert stood in the center of the astral circle etched on the hardwood floor of his living room. His brow creased as he studied the ring of symbols. His fingertips tingled. The portal was ready, and no matter how much a small—yet insistent—part of him wished to put it off, he knew the time had come to open it. He closed his eyes and recited the first two verses.

As the words tumbled from the edge of his lips, a blast of air whirled around him. The wind’s fingers plucked at his clothes and buffeted his face, so he crouched and lowered his head. Just one more verse to go. He yelled the final words, raising his voice over the increasing howling of the wind.

The living room dissolved into gray and blue smudges. With a sickening lurch, Robert felt his body somersault through the air. His concentration vanished into the wind, and he rolled over himself, his stomach wadding into a knot.

“Abaddon,” he whispered, “my Keeper. Protect me.”

Only the gale answered.

Something was wrong. Why was it taking so long? Why hadn’t he practiced the chant one last time before rushing to open the portal? If he had made a mistake—even the tiniest of mistakes—in the runes or the chant, he was as good as dead.

He cupped a hand over his breast pocket and felt the capsule within.


He ground his teeth together. That isn’t the answer. He wasn’t ready to quit—not yet—and he refused to entertain that idea any further. He hadn’t worked for twenty years to end up swallowing a pill. My calculations are correct, he reminded himself as he weathered the storm. But the shrieks of the wind begged to differ.

Just when it seemed that his mission—and his life—had come to an end, the gale swept past him and vanished. Nonspace retreated, and Robert once more felt solid ground beneath him. He trembled from head to toe and waited for his stomach to stop shuddering before daring to open his eyes. Although he was gaining skill in the art of astral jumps—like learning to land on his feet—he hadn’t traveled to other planes often enough to suppress the wave of nausea that overwhelmed him after each trip.

He hesitantly opened one eye, and when he realized his calculations had been, in fact, correct, his heart skipped a beat. He was crouching on a barren white plane under a blazing white sky. He couldn’t distinguish a horizon, for there was none to see, only a tenuous mist a million miles away.

He narrowed his eyes and looked up at the goddess before him. She stood a few feet to the right, her slender, bare back turned to him. Her gleaming silver dress streamed from her shoulders to the spotless, featureless ground, where the fabric dissolved into ripples that flowed all the way to Robert’s feet. Her golden, waist-length curls spilled over her shoulder, and she twirled a lock between her fingers as she stared into the empty distance.

Robert pulled himself upright. He couldn’t bring himself to take that first step or utter that first word which would break the beautiful silence between them. He had so much to offer her…so much to gain from her.

The cream! His hand shot to his pocket. Nothing. His heart jumped in his throat. He patted his clothes and searched through his overcoat. Had he forgotten to take the cream along at the last moment? But that was impossible; he would never forget something so important.

Did they—?

He ran trembling hands over his entire body. Sweat dampened his armpits and clung in beads over his lip. He had read sufficient literature on nonspace to understand the dangers of traveling outside the boundaries of time and matter. Something supernatural inhabited those corners, and that something had sticky fingers.

But those creatures wouldn’t open my pockets—would they? He wiped the sweat from his face. Of course they would.

The wind had been prying at his clothes like an impatient child searching for candy, but Robert had hidden the tube of cream in his pocket and had zipped it closed. But now the cream was gone. Mugged in nonspace. A zipper. What was I thinking? Robert could flay himself for his stupidity. He glanced at the goddess, who stood in silence, either unaware of his arrival or uninterested. Just then, his hands came across something in one of the open pockets of his overcoat. He pulled out the white tube of cream and his jaw dropped open. Those tricksters. But now was not the time for revenge. He needed to concentrate on his mission.

As if sensing his rekindled determination, the goddess spoke. “What do you want?” Her lazy words wove their way across the emptiness toward him and wrapped themselves around him.

Robert cleared his throat. “Greetings, my Goddess. It is an honor to be in your presence.” His voice faltered and he swallowed. “My name is Robert Westbrook.” He bowed his head. A second flitted by. Another. He cautiously glanced up.

The woman standing before him had not stirred. The ripples in her dress gently swelled and receded.

Robert licked his lips. A pearl of sweat tickled as it ran down his temple. “I have dedicated my life to finding you. I am your humble servant.” He dropped to one knee.

“How interesting.” The woman’s sweet voice coiled tighter around him.

She turned, and Robert gasped for breath. Her eyes were two unsettling black pits speckled with stars—the cradle of the universe itself.

“Oh, my… I must say…” Finding words became more and more difficult. “Your beauty has no rival, my Goddess.”

The woman’s brow furrowed, and the corners of her mouth sank into an unflattering scowl. “Yes…beauty.” She lifted her chin. “That is why your kind represent me as an old man. With a beard and a scythe—and an hourglass. You call me Father?” She pointed at herself. “Look closely at me. Observe my brilliance! Now imagine me in a black cloak, lugging a useless hourglass and a scythe from one place to another!”

Without uttering a word, Robert settled his gaze on the ground. It was best not to infuriate her.

“Black is not my color!” she continued. “Have the Grim Reaper wear black if he so wishes. Not me! I am Time, overseer of the universe!”

Robert waited for her to finish with a bowed head, his lips pressed together.

“How did you arrive at my plane?” Time demanded. “For what reason do you dare interrupt my passage?”

Robert took a deep breath, cleared his throat, and in a smooth, unwavering voice, said, “I have dedicated my life to the summoning of Devourers and the travel from one astral plane to another. Years ago, the Devourer Abaddon, my Keeper, suggested I study your magnificence. Since then, I have spent my life honoring you and investigating how to contact you. Today, I have achieved my lifelong ambition. I am finally here, with you.” He smiled. Time did not look impressed. He swallowed and said softly, “Abaddon informed me of the state of the universe.”

Time awarded him a withering look. “So you know. Those beasts cannot hold their tongues.”

“We are living in interesting times.”

“And your prattle is boring me.” Time turned.

“No! Wait! My Goddess, I’m here to make a deal, if you would listen to what I have to offer.” Robert swallowed and his ears clicked. “I wish to buy a bit of time.”

Time gasped, and a cold breeze swept across Robert.

“Foolish little man! Buy a bit of me? How dare you insult me!” A purple mist rose from the ground, making Time’s dress flutter in bubbling waves and locks of her hair dance like serpents. She swelled into a fifteen-foot colossus, her silhouette overshadowing the white plane beneath her.

Robert clambered to his feet and braced himself.

Serving Time

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Genre –  Science Fiction/Fantasy

Rating – Adult

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Nadine Ducca on Facebook  & Twitter

Website http://nadineonwriting.blogspot.com/

Accountability Leadership by Di Worrall

Di Worrall

Accountability Leadership Saves Tech Company

In 2005, HCL Technologies was in trouble.

The Delhi-based IT firm was losing market share, as competitors grew by 50% annually.

By 2009, HCL’s president, Vineet Nayar had turned the company around, nearly tripling annual revenues and doubling market capitalisation despite the recession.

Nayar accomplished all this through a top-down culture of accountability, beginning with the leadership qualities of himself—the CEO—and other senior managers.

The Rules Of Accountability Have Changed

Great business leaders understand that acceptance of greater personal accountability and responsibility leads organisations back on the path to success.

But with the evolving nature of 21st century business, the practical steps that go into creating a high performance culture of accountability have become more muddled than ever.

Many organisations have seen temporary improvements, implementing traditional systems of accountability in an attempt to drive high performance in the workplace—only to quickly revert back to their old ways, or worse.

Accountability Leadership Will Teach You:

  • What it really takes to lead a high performance culture of accountability
  • Why so many of today’s employees avoid personal accountability and responsibility like the plague, and how to reverse that trend
  • How to sustain great performance through inspiring feedback, feed-forward and follow-through
  • What an accountability plan is, how to create one, and why it’s considered the “secret weapon” behind successful business transformation

Filled with real world case studies and straightforward, easy to digest research, Accountability Leadership offers practical solutions that are direct, engaging, fast, cost-effective, proven, and easy to implement...

Immediate, Concrete Solutions You’ll Take Away From This Book Include:

  • How to transform the “dark side” of accountability into a positive force for change
  • Why carrots and sticks no longer work—and what they’ve been replaced with
  • How to create compelling consequences that inspire people to perform at their best, and achieve the ultra productive workstate known as “flow”
  • Crack the code of high accountability conversations, turning confrontation into a productive and positive opportunity

Accountability Leadership Also Sheds Light On Topics Like...

  • How negativity bias covertly sabotages your feedback loop with your employees
  • The optimal ratio for positive to negative comments in feedback
  • The right amount of autonomy to give employees—without overdoing it
  • What lack of recognition is really doing to your workforce (hint: it’s staggering)
  • The surprising biochemical effect of praise, and why it cannot fail

Plus, You’ll Also Receive A Special Bonus

Reader’s can claim an exclusive 20-minute podcast interview with top-rated thought leader Marshall Goldsmith, sharing his powerful experiences and groundbreaking ideas on coaching for accountability leadership—absolutely free.

A Personal Message From The Author

Accountability is arguably the number-one issue that makes or breaks leadership performance today. Yet most of us were never taught this critical skill—not by our parents, teachers or business leaders.

The good news is, accountability can be coached.

The ideas in this book draw from extensive research and 25 years experience working with executives to improve performance through high accountability.

These ideas work.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Business, Leadership, Workplace Behaviour, Human Resources, Executive Coaching

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with Di Worrall on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.diworrall.com.au/

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