Monday, June 24, 2019

Heal Your Self with Journaling Power


I’m delighted today to welcome author Mari L. McCarthy to Thoughts in Progress to talk about her latest release, HEAL YOUR SELF WITH JOURNALING POWER, as well as recreating the magic of NaNoWriMo writing.

Mari is stopping by as part of the WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR. You can check out her complete tour below.

Mari’s international bestselling book, Journaling Power, started a movement. Now, Heal Your Self with Journaling Power is igniting a revolution!

You’ll discover the life-changing magic of journaling through moving personal stories told by just some of the thousands of people who have tapped into the proven therapeutic power of expressive writing.
          These are people just like you, and their challenges are the same ones you have.
          Heal Your Self with Journaling Power reveals the inner strength and grace that comes with living your life in the present from the inside out. It will help you transform your life and…
● Manifest everything your desire
● Fill you with uplifting positive energy
● Put you on a path to better health and wellness
● Give you the inspiration and motivation to live your best life
● Show you how to use journaling to solve your most pressing problems

The only right way to journal is YOUR way. Just grab a pen and paper and do it!

Print Length: 143 Pages
Genre: Non-Fiction/Self-Help
Publisher: Mari L. McCarthy
ISBN-13: 9780463807361
ASIN: B07R47JT1T

Heal Your Self with Journaling Power is now available to purchase on Amazon.comKobo.comBarnes and Noble and also on Mari's website CreateWriteNow.com (where you can get a signed copy).

Now join me in welcoming Mari as she tells us “How to recreate the magic of NaNoWriMo in any month.” Welcome, Mari.

Every November, hundreds of thousands of writers from around the world participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It’s free to sign up, and the only objective is to write 50,000 by the end of the month.

NaNoWriMo fans love the structure, rigor and accountability this month of intense writing gives them. Instead of saying, “I’d love to write a book someday,” you have a tangible goal, a fixed timeline and a supportive community to keep you focused. But NaNoWriMo is just one month out of the year. What do you do for the other 335 days?

Try adopting these practices to recreate the magic of NaNoWriMo throughout the year.

Sign Up for Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo is a virtual writer’s retreat with sessions in both April and July. Register your personal writing project, which can be a novel, a movie script, poetry or any other writing you are passionate about. Set a word count, between 30 and 1,000,00, and join a “cabin,” a 20-person online writing group. You can start your own cabin with a group of friends, or you can be randomly assigned to a group or request to be sorted by similar interests.

Keep On Tracking

Use an app to set and track your writing goals all year long. NaNoWriMo has a goal tracker that is available year-round, and others include WordKeeperAlpha and Pacemaker. You can also use the old-fashioned notebook and paper approach; set a goal for each week or month, and record your daily totals (words written, time spent, etc.).

Start Your Own Group

If you like the community aspect of NaNoWriMo, create it on your own by starting an accountability group. Reach out to people you know who also want to make time for their personal projects. They may be fellow writers, but they don’t have to be. Group members can work toward their individual goals, whether that’s recording an album, training for a marathon or filming a documentary. Have each group member set a clear goal for each week or month and set a regular time for your group to meet in person or check in virtually.

Write Offline

Take a break from your computer screen and make time to write by hand in your journal every day. Set a timer for a few minutes and let all of your stream-of-consciousness thoughts out on the page. Don’t pressure yourself to come up with any brilliant ideas – just write. Give yourself a well-deserved break and give your mind room to explore and play.

Praise for Heal Your Self with Journaling Power

Mari McCarthy's latest, Heal Your Self with Journaling Power, represents the voice of a warm friend who not only talks the talk but also has lived first-hand the transforming power of writing. Packed with focused, fun prompts to jump-start the journaling process, this book is a motivation and an uplift! I especially enjoy the stress-bucket exercise. Not to be missed." -- Melanie Faith, educator and author of In a Flash and Poetry Power

In a world of ever-present scary news, stress, and technology that distracts us from genuine human encounters, Mari McCarthy invites us to do something both simple and radical: pause daily to encounter our own souls. And she not only tells us to just do it, she shows us how with her own life story, the stories of others, and her many ideas about how to maximize the transformative power of journaling time. -- Kevin Anderson, Ph.D., Author of Now is Where God Lives: A Year of Nested Meditations to Delight the Mind and Awaken the Soul and The Inconceivable Surprise of Living: Sustaining Wisdom for Spiritual Beings Trying to Be Human.

The most important lesson illustrated in Heal Your Self with Journaling Power is that anyone can enhance their health and wellbeing through the therapeutic power of expressive writing. This is the definitive book that shows you how. So just grab a pen and a pad of paper and do it! —Mike Bundrant, Co-Founder, iNLPCenter.org
Testimony from Casey Demchak, copywriter and consultant; also featured in Chapter 8, "Design Your Future" of Heal Your Self with Journaling Power

For those not familiar with Mari, here is a bit of background on her.

Author Mari L. McCarthy
Mari L. McCarthy is the Self-Transformation Guide and Founder/Chief Inspiration Officer of CreateWriteNow.com. She is also author of the international-bestselling, award-winning book Journaling Power: How to Create the Happy, Healthy Life You Want to Live.

Mari began journaling to relieve the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis (MS) over 20 years ago. Through journaling, Mari was able to ditch her prescription drugs and mitigate most of her MS symptoms. Now she teaches people throughout the world how to heal, grow, and transform their lives through the holistic power of therapeutic journaling.

She lives in a gorgeous beachfront home in Boston, where she has the freedom, flexibility, and physical ability to indulge in all her passions, which include singing and recording her own albums.


 Blog Tour Dates
June 17th @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Stop by Women on Writing's blog The Muffin and read an interview with author Mari McCarthy and win a copy of her book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power.

June 18th @ Karen Brown Tyson's Blog
Visit author Karen Brown Tyson's blog today where you can read Mari McCarthy's guest post about why you might still be experiencing writer's block.

June 19th @ Conversations Live with Cyrus Webb (Originally Aired June 12th @ 10:30 AM EST)
Cyrus Webb interviews Mari McCarthy of Create Write Now about her latest bestseller Heal Your Self With Journaling Power.

June 20th @ Look to the Western Sky
Visit Margo's blog today where you can catch her review of Mari McCarthy's incredible new book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power.

June 22nd @ Lapidus 
Visit Lapidus, words for well-being association, where you can read Francesca's review of Mari McCarthy's eye-opening book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power. 

June 23rd @ Life Like a Galaxy Girl
Stop by Alanna's blog today where you can read her review of Mari McCarthy's new book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power. 

June 24th @ Thoughts in Progress
Do you love the energy in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? Well, if you do, you will not want to miss today's post at the blog Thoughts in Progress where Mari McCarthy shares her tips on how to recreate the magic of NaNoWriMo in any month.

June 25th @ Bev Baird's Blog
Make sure you stop by Bev's blog today where you can read her review of Mari McCarthy's book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power.

June 26th @ A Storybook World
Visit Deirdra's blog today where she highlights Mari McCarthy's new book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power.

June 27th @ The Frugalista Mom
Make sure to Rozelyn's blog and read her review of Mari McCarthy's book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power. Plus enter to win a copy for yourself!

June 29th @ Coffee with Lacey
Grab your coffee and visit Lacey's blog today and read her thoughts about Mari McCarthy's powerful new book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power.

June 30th @ Wild Woman Writer
Visit Anne's blog today where you can catch her review of Mari McCarthy's inspiring new book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power.

July 1st @ Choices
Visit Madeline's blog today and read Mari McCarthy's poignant guest post about our conversations with our inner critic and how to silence them.

July 1st @ Writing Through Life
Be sure to stop by Amber's blog and read her interview with author Mari McCarthy and also enter to win a copy of the book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power.

July 2nd @ Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde
If you are in need of a new book in your life, make sure to stop by Lindsey's blog today where you can read her review of Mari McCarthy's new book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power.

July 2nd @ The Frugalista Mom
Stop by Rozelyn's blog again today where you can read Mari McCarthy's guest post about why we procrastinate and how to avoid it.

July 3rd @ The World of My Imagination
Visit Nicole's blog today and catch her thoughts about Mari McCarthy's book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power.

July 5th @ Bring on Lemons
Make lemons into lemonade today when you visit Crystal's blog today and read her thoughts about Mari McCarthy's new book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power.

July 7th @ One Sister's Journey Keeping it Real
Visit Lisa's blog today where you can read Mari's blog post about disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with yourself.

July 8th @ A Day in the Life of Mom
Want to inspire your kids to journal? Visit Ashley's blog today and read Mari McCarthy's guest post featuring imaginative journaling activities to do with kids. 

July 9th @ Bev Baird's Blog
Visit Bev's blog again where you can read Mari McCarthy's guest post about mindful journaling for mindful eating. Don't miss!

July 9th @ Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde
Visit Lindsey's blog again where you can find out more about Mari McCarthy and her book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power.

July 10th @ Lapidus
Join Francesca at Lapidus again where you can read Mari McCarthy's guest post about why journaling is part of self-care.

July 10th @ Look to the Western Sky
Make sure you visit Margo's blog again and read Mari McCarthy's guest post featuring more imaginative journaling activities you can do with your kids.

July 12th @ Author Anthony Avina Blog
Stop by author Anthony Avina's blog today where you can read his review about Mari McCarthy's inspirational book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power

July 12th @ Bookworm Blog
Visit Anjanette's blog today where you can read her interview with author Mari McCarthy and also be sure to check out Mari McCarthy's guest post about journaling power for emotional health.

July 13th @ A Day in the Life of Mom
Make sure your day today includes visiting Ashley's blog where you can read her thoughts about Mari McCarthy's life-changing book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power.

July 14th @ Author Anthony Avina Blog
Do you procrastinate too much? Well, visit Anthony Avina's blog again today where you can read Mari McCarthy's guest post on how to use your favorite types of procrastination to your advantage.

July 15th @ Strength 4 Spouses
Do you like to journal? Stop by Wendi's blog today where author Mari McCarthy talks about journaling power for mental health. Don't miss it!

July 16th @ Reading Whale
Visit Caitlin's blog today and read her interview with Mari McCarthy as they talk about Mari's book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power.

July 17th @ Michelle Cornish Blog
Stop by Michelle's blog where she reviews Mari McCarthy's book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power. You can also check out her interview with Mari and find out more about the author!

July 19th @ Strength 4 Spouses
Do you love journaling? Well if so, you will want to visit Wendi's blog where she shares her thoughts about Mari McCarthy's powerful book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power.

July 19th @ Bookworm Blog
Visit Anjanette's blog again where you can read her review of Mari McCarthy's book Heal Your Self with Journaling Power.

July 21st @ Jill Sheet's Blog
Visit Jill's blog today where you can read Mari McCarthy's blog post about overcoming writer's block. Don't miss this if you are struggling with staying inspired!

Thanks for stopping by today. Have you ever signed up for NaNoWriMo? If so, did it work for you or not?

Thursday, June 13, 2019

A Family of Strangers


It’s my pleasure today to welcome USA Today bestselling author Emilie Richards to Thoughts in Progress to talk about her new dynamic family drama releasing this month, A FAMILY OF STRANGERS (MIRA Books; June 25; $15.99 U.S).

Perfect for fans of Brenda Novak and Diane Chamberlain, A FAMILY OF STRANGERS presents a suspenseful, emotionally complex story about the dark shadows of sisterhood, and needing to work together with your family when you hardly know them at all. Emilie, renowned for her “intricate, seductive” storytelling (Publishers Weekly) and her realistic, yet unforgettable characters, tests the boundaries of family as a crime reporter tries to clear her estranged sister’s name of murder.

Wendy and Ryan are sisters, 17 years apart, Ryan living all her life in Wendy's shadow. Now, as adults even Ryan’s successful career as a crime reporter pales in comparison to Wendy’s picture-perfect life. But when Wendy randomly reaches out to Ryan to plead for her help after being accused of murder, Ryan steps in only to realize that Wendy is not who she seems to be.  Is Wendy, who always seemed so perfect, just a perfect liar—or worse?

Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Emilie, who stopped by to answer some questions for us. Welcome, Emilie.

The age-old question, what inspired this story?

Emilie:
This idea began to percolate years ago after reading a news story about a young woman convicted of murder. She was an exemplary student in high school, from a respected family, and there seemed to be no signs she would later murder somebody "just for fun." I began to wonder how well we ever know the people we love. Do we discount signs they might not be what they seem? Is loyalty the virtue that keeps families together? Do we take what our loved ones tell us at face value or do we dig deeper, keeping an open mind? And is an open mind possible under those circumstances? I wanted to examine those questions and did in A Family of Strangers.

Do you have a ritual that you follow when you are writing - certain place to write, certain time, drink, music, etc.?

Emilie:
I am happiest writing at my desk in the quietest room in my house. I start early and finish around five, but, of course, these days lots of that time is spent on promotion, research, and staying in touch with readers. I've learned that what I write on days when I'm not in the mood is as good as what I write when I am. So, I stay and I work whether I feel like it or not, but I've been known to bribe myself with peanut M&Ms.

What was the most difficult aspect of writing this story and what was the easiest?

Emilie:
Great question. The relationship between sisters Ryan and Wendy and their mother, Arlie, is highly nuanced and in many ways unusual. Showing why it was complicated as well as revealing secrets long held took a lot of planning and editing. So that was the most difficult part. The easiest part was the premise. How well do we know the people we love? Can we be loyal to them and still keep an open mind?

What question do you wish readers would ask that they never have?

Emilie:
I've been at this for a while, so honestly, I think I've been asked everything. I do love it, though, when readers start any questions with "This was such a fabulous book, can you tell me...?"

Are you currently working on any new projects?

Emilie:
I'm working on the idea for my next Mira, which includes doing research. Last week I spent a day in Tarpon Springs, Florida, where I plan to set the book. As I watched a diver demonstrate searching for sponges wearing the same historic diving suit used for much of the twentieth century, I decided that writing is similar. We dive deep, and we weed through a multitude of useless ideas until we find the one with value. That's me right now, sorting trash from treasure.

Author Emilie Richards
Emilie, thanks so much for answering my questions. Relationships can be trying in any family. As for your thoughts on diving, I must agree. I think writing is similar to diving. You never know what you’ll come up with.

Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with Emilie, here’s a bit of background on her.

Emilie Richards’ many novels feature intricate characterizations and in-depth explorations of social issues, a result of her training and experience as a family counselor, which contributes to her fascination with relationships of all kinds.

Thanks for stopping by today. What are your thoughts on the complex relationship between sisters and daughters and their mother?

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

One More Lie


I’m delighted to tell you about a new book that comes out today by a new-to-me author. Internationally bestselling author Amy Lloyd’s newest novel is ONE MORE LIE (Hanover Square Press Trade Paperback Original; May 28).

This is a harrowing tale that begins with 10-year-old Charlotte and Sean—her best friend from the wrong side of the tracks—are found guilty of a violent crime so heinous that they are tried as adults.   

          Charlotte wants to start fresh. She wants to forget her past, forget prison, and, most of all, forget Sean. But old habits die hard. Despite the ankle monitor she must wear as part of her parole agreement and frequent visits to her therapist, she soon finds herself sliding back towards the type of behavior that sent her to prison in the first place. The further down that path she goes, however, the closer she gets to the crime that put her in prison all those years ago. And that’s the one memory she can’t face. Until, one day, Sean tracks her down.
         
As the story builds, the author teases and hints with glimpses of Charlotte’s troubled past, culminating in a shocking conclusion that will leave readers chilled to the bone. For fans of Sometimes I Lie and Behind Her Eyes, Amy flexes her muscles with a crime fiction novel of unyielding suspense, creeping paranoia, and dark temptation that peers into the horrors that lurk in the human mind.

For those who aren’t familiar with Amy, here’s an introduction from her.

Author Amy Lloyd
I am the author of two novels: the first is The Innocent Wife, which became a top 10 bestseller and a Richard and Judy Book Club pick in 2018. The second is my new novel One More Lie, which is available in hardback.

Both my books are inspired by true crime. By crimes themselves but also, and perhaps more importantly, by our reactions to crime. In The Innocent Wife I wanted to explore our interest in true crime itself, such as our obsession with podcasts like Serial and blockbuster Netflix series like Making a Murderer. My second novel, One More Lie, is about a woman named Charlotte who has just been released from a secure institution for a crime she committed when she was a child. These cases seem to fascinate and horrify society in a way no other crime does. What is it about the idea of a child being capable of something so awful that stirs up such levels of emotion? And can a child really understand the gravity of such an act as murder?

Writing this book was an attempt to understand how something like this could happen and what it might be like to live with the burden of being infamous, branded as evil and not knowing whether you are a bad person or simply a person who did a bad thing.

It isn't based on a particular example of a true crime and all the characters and situations are entirely fictional but people will naturally draw comparisons with some of the infamous cases involving children who hurt or killed other children because these stories remain so vivid in our memories. Instead, I wanted to evoke the atmosphere those crimes created and the stain they left on our collective consciousness.

While writing the book, I tried hard to empathize with my characters who have done things which aren't easy to empathize with. I hoped that readers would be able to do the same and so I wrote them as vividly as I could imagine, in all their good and their bad. I wanted them to be human, believable and flawed.

I hope that One More Lie will offer a different perspective on a subject which has been much explored and that people will enjoy it the way they enjoyed The Innocent Wife.

For more on Amy and her writing, follow her on Twitter @AmyLloydWrites
and connect on Facebook.

Thanks for stopping by today. With my background in newspaper reporting, I can’t help but be drawn to true crime stories. Do you find yourself drawn to stories of true crime or about true crime?


Saturday, May 25, 2019


Two Like Me and You
Chad Alan Gibbs
Publication date: May 20th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Edwin Green’s ex-girlfriend is famous. We’re talking cover-of-every-tabloid-in-the-grocery-store-line famous. She dumped Edwin one year ago on what he refers to as Black Saturday, and in hopes of winning her back, he’s spent the last twelve months trying to become famous himself. It hasn’t gone well.
But when a history class assignment pairs Edwin with Parker Haddaway, the mysterious new girl at school, she introduces him to Garland Lenox, a nursing-home-bound World War II veteran who will change Edwin’s life forever.
The three escape to France, in search of the old man’s long-lost love, and as word of their adventure spreads, they become media darlings. But when things fall apart, they also become the focus of French authorities. In a race against time, who will find love, and who will only find more heartache?


Author Chad Alan Gibbs is also sharing a play list from one of his characters.
Parker Haddaway, one of the three main characters in Two Like Me and You, is obsessed with ‘90s hip hop and references songs several times throughout the novel. So I’m going to give you a mixed tape, with the A-side full of songs Parker references, and a B-side of songs that inspired me while writing the book.

Side A
1. “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” – Ol’ Dirty Bastard
2. “So What’Cha Want” – Beastie Boys
3. “I Wish” – Skee-Lo
4. “O.P.P.” – Naughty By Nature
5. “Poison” – Bel Biv Devoe
6. “Baby Got Back” – Sir Mix-a-Lot
7. “B.O.B.” – Outkast

Side B
1. “Go Places” – The New Pornographers
2. “French Navy” – Camera Obscura
3. “Inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur” – Sigur Rós
4. “Do You Believe In Magic.” – The Lovin’ Spoonful
5. “Rill Rill” – Sleigh Bells
6. “I Should Live in Salt” – The National
7. “I Don’t Believe You.” – The Magnetic Fields



Author Bio:
Chad Alan Gibbs lives in Alabama with his wife, two sons, two dogs, and an embarrassingly large collection of Star Wars action figures. Two Like Me and You is his first novel.
Thanks for stopping by. Do you enjoy listening to play list that you know your favorite characters would enjoy? Have you ever thought of songs you felt like certain characters would like? Have a great holiday weekend!!


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