How to Get Over a Crush

How to Like Yourself

Another week has passed in this self-isolating and social-distancing world. Some places are beginning to re-open and normalcy seems to be on the horizon. I know during this time, I have wanted to focus on positive energy and things that bring me joy. With that in mind, there were days that were challenging. Today’s topic was inspired by a coworker who has returned to school after many years to earn a college degree.

She enrolled last fall pre-COVID-19. Some of her classes were online but some weren’t. She stated that she was the kind of person who learned best in a classroom environment. For one, she has a young child who interrupts her constantly when she’s at home. But she also enjoys interacting with others. What she didn’t enjoy was having to walk across campus to classes.
Now, seeing how this is the south, and it gets extremely humid, there’s not much shock that many people dislike having to walk in the midday sun with a ten-pound backpack only to enter a building with a thermostat set to subzero. However, her main reason for disliking this activity was because she was obese.
Like many others, she struggled with her weight most of her life. And also like many others, she tried multiple diets throughout the years and failed. She finally decided to have gastric bypass surgery shortly before Christmas.
After losing more than 70 pounds, she has received a lot of praise, and she stated that she did not like the way she looked before the surgery, although, she seemingly had embraced it. She was never camera shy and never allowed her sized to prevent her from doing anything she wanted. In fact, she frequently made body-positive posts on her social media. This is why it came as such a shock to hear her admit that she never liked her appearance. Basically, everything she said about herself back then was a lie. She claims it wasn’t, but I don’t see how it wouldn’t be. She didn’t say that some arbitrary point that she stopped liking her appearance. No, she said she NEVER liked it.
This prompted me to asks others if they liked themselves. Now, I know it’s in human nature to have minor complaints about this, that, and the third when it comes to one’s appearance, but I was stunned at how many people I know were severely dissatisfied with their appearance.

After discovering this, I did a round-up if friends and coworkers to ask what things they do to feel good about themselves. Here’s what we came up with.

DISCLAIMER: This post is not sponsored by or affiliated with any person, agency, group, organization, or brand. No money or gifts have been received, promised, or exchanged.
1. Watch a Lizzo video. I must admit that until I began this post, I had no idea who Lizzo was. It wasn’t until movie night that I saw her in a movie. (I believe the title was Hustler. JLo starred in it.) Lizzo’s rile was small but she demonstrated such confidence. When I mentioned it, my friends were quick to point me in the way of her videos. They are such happy and uplifting songs (at least in my opinion.) WARNING: The lyrics contain profanity and may not be appropriate for some ages or places. (I definitely wouldn’t play her at a church social.)  But she can give off some good positive vibes, especially for persons with body image issues.
2. Watch TikTok. TT is a unique SM platform because it shows ordinary people having awesome moments. There takes a certain degree of self-confidence to put self our there like TicTokkers do. Not only do strangers watch, but they have the ability to comment. TT seems to be more about being self and having fun, unlike some other SM platforms that appear to center on showing off and presenting self/life as close to perfect as can be obtained.

How to Self-Edit

Self-editing is a task that I absolutely have a love-hate relationship. I love knowing that at the end of the process, I will have a much better story. And of course, my main aim is to produce quality work. I despise it because it is tedious and, at times, seeming impossible. It can be a daunting job to tackle. In fact, some writers get so entangled in editing that it is the sole reason for them never completing their novel.

I need to stop here and point out that there are different types of edits and different styles of editing. There is no right or wrong other than omitting it completely. That’s a no-no. Some writers choose to edit as they go. Some choose to edit at the end. Some do a hybrid. What I’m writing about today is the process of self-editing. Self-editing should not be the only editing that a writer does. I realize that hiring an editor is expensive, but think of it along the line of having your car serviced. There’s nothing that says a person cannot change his/her own car oil. Having a professional do it is simpler in many ways. For shorter works, only doing self-edits may be feasible or even wise. However, professional editing versus self-editing is a controversial discussion for another day.

I’ve previously written posts about editing. Those have been some time in the past. I’m sure that much of the information may be repeated, but I’m sure that new stuff is included here. Also, a refresher never hurts.

Briefly, let’s discuss the type of book editing. (NOTE: The types of editing are listed in alphabetical order and not necessarily in the order that most writers do them. It also should be noted that some will argue that there is no order for these edits to be conducted or that all of them are necessary. However, it makes practical sense that some types of edits occur before other types of edits. Otherwise, the writer will waste time doing double work. For example, what is the point of doing line edits when the entire section of work needs to be deleted/omitted?) Furthermore, the following list of types of edits are not exhaustive. However, these are some of the most common ones.

  1. Copy Editing/Text Editing: This type of edits focuses on ensuring clarity and consistency by looking at issues such as capitalization errors, filler words, grammar, dangling participles, dialogue tags, industry-standard writing style (APA, CMoS, MLA, etc.), pacing, passive voice punctuation, sentence structure/parallelism, spelling, story inconsistencies, typos, verb tense, and word usage. This list is not exhaustive.
  2. Developmental Editing. This also is commonly referred to as structure editing. Developmental editing usually occurs at the onset of a writing project. This heavily focuses on plot and direction an idea to help shape it into an organized story.
  3. Fact-Checking: This is exactly what it sounds like. This type of editing may be covered in other types of edits, but sometimes, it is good to do this as a separate edit. When a writer focuses on one aspect, he/she is likely to find more errors or items that need to be corrected. Quick aside: I once was working on two manuscripts at the same time. In the process, I accidentally mixed up a character’s age. It seemed to be a small thing, only the error caused another aspect of the story to be factually inaccurate. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have caught this error, but I’m sure readers would have. It was a significant goof on my part. Luckily, my fact-checker caught this.
  4. Formatting: Again, this is self-explanatory. A formatting edit focuses on the manuscript looking the way it should. This edit is especially important when a manuscript has been edited by multiple people. It is easy for a tab to be hit or button click that causes a formation error. A tip I use to assist with formatting issues since I write in MS Word is that I turn on formatting symbols. At first, I found this feature to be annoying. But as I advanced in my writing, I’ve come to appreciate that it helps me quickly see extra spaces, inadvertent page breaks, and other formatting problems. For example, if I’m having difficulty with a section, I may put it in red or bold. When I get ready to turn it off, I may not select everything. Then, when it prints or I add something, it’s the wrong color or font.
  5. Line Editing: This is very detailed work that examines a story’s content and flow in-depth the content. This carefully scrutinizes characterization, pacing, and the point of view from which the story is told. A line edit is an equivalent to a microcopy edit. If this edit is done properly, it can elevate a story from good to great.
  6. Proofreading: Proofreading is the last edit that is performed typically. This occurs when the manuscript has been finished and is about to be submitted for publication. The purpose of a proofread is to identify any typos, inconsistencies, and/or formatting issues before the novel is printed. Consider this the last call of writing that ensures that every possible mistake is found and corrected.

Now, that the type of edits has been identified, it’s time to look at how to go about self-editing. The best way I know how to do this is to discuss my self-editing process. Editing is one of those things that is very personalized. Each writer will need to determine what works best for him/her.

Keep in mind that I’m a panster. That makes a difference in the order and how I edit. For me, a developmental edit isn’t something that I do initially. I write the first draft. Most times, I write scenes as they come to me which means the first draft usually isn’t in the order it needs to be. So, it’s only until I have the complete first rough, rough draft to I attempt a structure edit.

I do light copy edits as I write. For example, if I complete a chapter, I may read through it and correct typos, grammatical errors, or note errors in pacing or plot. I also write notes about what needs to be added or deleted or something to keep in mind. Something I recently started to do is to write down the characters’ names. I have this habit of changing a character name, and when I get to the end, I may have multiple names for the same character. I also do this for location. By having this list, in the end, I can do a search and replace. It makes life easier.

By this stage, I do another structure edit. This time I’m looking for pacing and if I created new plot holes after shifting around the text. I look at flow and chapter transitions. I check to ensure that I’ve included all key elements that I want to be included and be sure that I have all the necessary story beats. I don’t have to have any of this perfected at this point. I only need it to be workable. At this point, I’m still working in sections, and I’m noting any problem areas that I don’t have an immediate solution. By the end of this, I should have a true first draft.

Here is where I differ from many writers. Now, would be the time for my first read through. If the structure is good, I do a very heavy-handed copy edit. I refer to this as a line-by-line edit. Basically, I look at everything. I clean up as much as I find, whether it be grammatical mistakes, formatting issues, plot holes, character development, or whatever. This is the version that I will use as the foundation. I won’t make major changes to the structure or the characters. If I were a plotter, this would be my outline. All essential elements will be in this draft. I critique every sentence. This perhaps is the most brutal of all of my edits. But I don’t do just one line-by-line read through. I make several passes, evaluating if the changes that I made work. My line-by-lines tend to be in some people’s opinions as “obsessive.” I usually make more than a dozen passes, each pass focusing specifically on a certain aspect. For example, one pass I may be looking closely at the dialogue. Another pass I may be focused on location descriptions. Here is when I stop counting my draft numbers.

After the line-by-line, I do another overall structure edit. This is to ensure that I didn’t accidentally shift or delete something crucial to the overall plot while being nitty-gritty with everything else. I check for inconsistencies and most of all fluff and flow. If I’ve done everything as I should, this is the easiest of my editing, and I am able to quickly move on.

The next step for me is fact-checking and polishing. I refer to my notes and reach out to critique partners to ask questions. For example, I wrote a story that the protagonist was a firefighter. I contacted someone I knew who worked at the fire department to double-check if what I had written sounded authentic. Polishing, as I like to call it, is when I go in with my personal touches. This is when I make the writing sound like me. It’s getting deep into character and breathing life into the words on paper. This is the most fun of the edits.

After the polishing, I do several more line by line. For these, I use a check sheet. There are some errors that I make no matter what I do. I specifically check for those mistakes as well looking to pick up any others. (Search and replace is my friend!)

Finally, I tackle formatting, but I need to be honest. I’m probably very loose on this. I mean, I do clean it up as best as I can, but generally, by this time, I’m sick of looking at my manuscript. I can’t see any errors because my mind is allowing me to see what I want to see whether it is there or not. In short, I’m incapable of seeing my mistakes. I’m more relaxed on this edit, only because I know it will be heading to a professional editor at the publisher.

I’m traditionally published, and my manuscript will go through several professional edits by different editors. Typically, it will have a structure edit, two copies (at minimal), one fact (usually mixed in with the structure), one formatting, and two proofs (one from the editor and the final from me.)

Hopefully, reading my editing process will help other writers discover a writing process that works best for them. Again, editing is very personalized. So many writer friends have told me that my way of editing would never work for them. A plotter friend told me that if I outlined, I wouldn’t need to do so many passes. WHATEVER! I say to him, “Mind your business.”

Let me know in the comment section about your editing process. Was this post helpful?

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of my new steamy, sports romance, Ice Gladiators, guaranteed to melt the ice. It’s the third book in my Locker Room Love series. Available at https://amzn.to/2TGFsyD or www.books2read.com/icegladiators.

Taz has problems: a stalled career, a coach threatening to destroy him, a meddling matchmaking roommate, and a thing for his other roommate’s boyfriend. The first three are manageable, but the last… well, that’s complicated. Because as much as Taz is attempting not to notice Liam, Liam is noticing him.

IG GC AN

Missed the two books in my sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty. Defending the Net can be ordered at https://amzn.to/2N7fj8q or www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

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Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy about what could go wrong on vacation, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Life_s Roux- Wrong Doors

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

Until next time, happy reading and much romance.

Playing with Eye Shadow

As you know, here on Creole Bayou, I like to explore topics and branch out from time to time to write about subjects I find interesting that but do not necessarily fall within the range of what I generally post. I also enjoy revisiting topics to update, provide new information, or expand upon information previously covered. Typically, Creole Bayou is a blog dedicated to all things Creole (and Cajun) including recipes, trivia, culture, food, and music. Subjects also regularly covered are psychology, mental health, and self-help. Since I’m also a romance novelist, I would be remiss if I didn’t also cover writing advice/ writing tips, romance, and relationships. In the past, I have written special series (e.g., a guide for joining a Greek sorority).

Some of you may have noticed the absence of a post last week. Sometimes, life gets in the way with pesky obligations and unexpected inconveniences. Other times, it’s technology not wanting to play nice. Well, I intend to make it up to everyone by writing a bonus (well, makeup) post this week. And since it’s a makeup post, shouldn’t it be about makeup? (See what I did there? Who can resist a corny pun?)

It’s been a minute since I’ve written anything beauty related. However, if you follow me on Twitter (@dolynesaidso), you’ve seen the occasional beauty post or comment. I also sometimes post beauty photos on Instagram (GeneviveChambleeAuthor).

One of the things I do in my spare time is watching beauty and makeup tutorials on YouTube. I very much enjoy playing with makeup. It’s an activity that I find therapeutic. Recently, I watched a video by YouTuber Samantha March who participated in the #EyeShadowPaletteTag. It seemed fun and started me to think about my own collection.

Now, I don’t have a fancy, trendy, or massive collection at the moment. Okay, I never really have. But in all fairness, I did declutter several months ago. And before that, much of my makeup was discarded three years ago when a drunk driver crashed into the home I was living and destroyed so much and forcing me to have to move. Therefore, my collection has greatly been reduced, and I have not bothered to replace it.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I’ve been purchasing beauty products but not much in the way of eye shadow. I’ve been more focused on skincare and foundation. When I do buy eye shadow, I tend to repurchase the same products. I also wait for products to go on sale.

That being said, I still wanted to participate in this tag, especially with everything going on in the world. Sometimes, a person had to find ways to escape the bleakness. But there is another reason why I wanted to write this post.

Wayne Goss who is a phenomenal YouTuber made a very important point in his video regarding minimalist makeup. He stated that a person should not be ashamed (or even aspire to–unless you’re a collector, professional MUA, or influencer) to have the huge drawers and drawers of products that many influencers do. Most of them (but certainly not all), have been gifted those products by beauty companies and brands for review. Therefore, these influencers aren’t spending their own money a lot of the time. The ordinary makeup enthusiast will have pay for these products which can add up to be in the thousands of dollars.

I should confess that I did cheat just a little with this tag as I threw in a palette that wasn’t eye shadow. It also was harder than I thought. I also should confess while a lot of my eye shadows are drugstore brands, most of my other beauty products are not. It’s not that I have anything against drugstore products, but I’ve purchased too many products that haven’t worked for me from drugstores. In stores like Ulta, I’m able to see and test the products prior to purchasing. (That may change with COVID-19). Sometimes, looks can be deceiving, especially with powders and foundations that come in tented or frosted bottles. Eye shadows may look one way in the pan but another when applied. Additionally, undertones can affect appearance. But even if the color, shade, and hue work, the formula may not feel good on the skin. Being able to test the product in-store saves me time and money. For these reasons, I tend to avoid drugstore purchases unless I’m already familiar with the produce.

So, if this sounds like something that interests you, keep reading. Here’s my list. Let me know what you think

  • Newest: Anastasia Beverly Hills – Riviera. Yes, I know that this palette has been out for a while, but I held off on purchasing after watching the review. Initially, all the reviews were raving about this, which isn’t all that surprising to me. Here is another of my conspiracy theories—which isn’t so much of a conspiracy as it is to be a known marketing tactic. When brands release new products, they send products to influencers who they know will speak favorably about the product. As with ads, some influencers are paid for their endorsement. Since these are often the bigger and/or more popular influencers, their reviews are often seen first. So, it’s my practice to wait until smaller influencers (many who purchase using their own money). The later reviews weren’t as glowing as the initial ones. I decided not to purchase. However, this palette went on sale for 50% off, and I decided to give it a go.
  • Oldest: Almay – Smoky Eyes Trios Smoldering Embers. Actually, I’m not sure if this the oldest palette that I own; but if it isn’t, it is close to it. I’ve had this for ages, and not for a good reason. I was raised not to waste and to recycle. However, I wasn’t successful in finding this palette new home, and now it seems unfit to pass on. So, here’s a sad story with this. Almay had advertised this palette for being ideal for a person with brown eyes. However, these colors were not the original colors. The first brown eye palette I loved and repurchased several times. Then, Almay decided to change the color and design. They also discontinued (or at least I think because I can no longer find it anywhere) the eyeliner advertised with this. The change made this a huge bust for me. I try to use it in combo with other palettes but it’s just not worth it. And frankly, I’m much more satisfied with other products now.
  • Most Expensive: Benefit Cheekleader. This my cheat, because it’s not an eye shadow palette. But really, most of my eye shadow palettes are inexpensive. And the ones that are on the pricier side have either been gifted to me or purchased on sale. But it’s not a complete cheat because I do use Gold Rush and Cookie as an inner corner highlight.
  • Most Affordable: A. Colors – Nude. It’s been a while since I’ve had to make a repurchase of this. The payoff is excellent, so a little goes a long way. I know prices have increased since I purchased, but I know it’s still under $5.00. I want to say it was in the $2.00 range.

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  • Most Colorful: Icon by Absolute – Twilight. I debated if this was the most colorful when I compared it to my other palettes, and it won because of the range of color—from the light to dark—and the sheer number of shimmers. I will say there is a trick to using this palette, at least for me. Here’s my tip. Buy another brush. When I first tried this palette, the results were disappointing. I had massive fallout on my face and no color. I didn’t use it again for a long time. It wasn’t until I needed a black that I picked it up again. (It was the only black that I had.) I used a brush that didn’t come with it and packed on the color. I almost destroyed the look with how pigmented the black was. I thought maybe it was just the black that was okay, but when I used the brush in other colors, the payoff was there.
  • Smallest: Fashion Fair – Duo/ Golden Chestnut, Winterberry. When I said I was unsure what my oldest palette was, it was because of the FF Duo. I don’t know how long this has been in my possession. I don’t remember purchasing it or where it came from. In fact, I don’t know if they still make this or if FF is even a brand. Honestly, I don’t know why I have it. FF wasn’t ever a brand that I had any success with wearing. However, I do love neutral shades and have been drawn to cool tones from my early days in makeup. Furthermore, neutral tones were always more acceptable to my parents when I first began experimenting with makeup. I guess that stuck with me.
  • Biggest: Aromas – U Can Be. Physically, it may not be the largest in my collection, as I have others that are similar in size. However, it has the most pans. In the past, I’ve owned palettes with far more shade. However, all of those have been decluttered—either broken, lost, used completely, or tossed.

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  • Best Memories: Cargo Cosmetics – Namastay in India. The reason this palette has the best memories for me is that it offered the biggest surprise. This was gifted to me. I believe the person who gave it to me said that she had either won it at Bingo or it had been freebie with purchase. Either way, she hadn’t paid for it. At the time, I had never heard of the Cargo brand and the colors just looked “meh” in the pan. Then, one night I decided to play around with it because I had nothing better to do. What a surprise. This palette is awesome.
  • Worth the Hype: Juvia’s- Place Masquerade. I’m biased to her. This could easily be a Best Memories or Favorite from Favorite. And yes, of course, there’s a story. Sadly, I shied away from this brand due to a few reviews about the brand’s practice. I decided it was not a brand I wanted to support. But then, I had a special event to attend and needed a particular shade of purple. After roaming Ulta without success, a beauty represented suggested I look at the Masquerade palette. I never doubted the colors were striking or the quality of the product. So, I took it upon myself to look a little deeper into the brand and the controversy surrounding it. After a lot of investigating, I chalked most of what I’d read to personal conflicts that didn’t really apply to the overall brand. I’ve been a customer since that time.
  • Not worth the Hype: Elizabeth Arden – Quad/ Sparkle, Aura, Teak, Ember. It’s probably not fair that I list this here, but I am because I have to list something. Many years ago, Elizabeth Arden was my go-to for cosmetics and perfume. (I’m still a Fifth Avenue girl.), and it comprised approximately 85% of my collection. But truth be told, other than the lipstick, much of the other cosmetics did little for me. I don’t remember when or why I fell out of love with the brand. I just seemed to have walked away and never looked back. This palette is the last of the brand that I own, and it needs to go. These colors wash me out and make me look dead—that is after I wet a brush and slather it on because there is very little pigmentation. Now, this palette may work for someone else, but it’s not for me. I don’t know if there was really a lot a “hype” about this, but it’s the least favorite in my collection that is a brand highly advertised.

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  • Favorite from Favorite Brand: Aromas – U Can Be. Hands down this is my favorite when I think about it. There’s a story, but I can’t share it. Just know that I was super duped and pleased to have found this palette. It applies beautifully, and I get compliments each time I wear it. Because there are so many shades, it is super versatile. Plus, it doesn’t break the bank, which is the reason I went on the hunt for it in the first place.
  • Everyday Palette: A. Colors – Nude. This has been a go-to palette for several years. I can create a practical work look and then smoke it out and add a more shimmer for an after-work or weekend at the mall look. Plus, it’s small and slips conveniently in my purse. It’s affordable and usually in-stock at the Dollar General. And everyone knows, there’s a Dollar General nearly on every corner. So, if I get in a push and don’t have a palette, I can quickly pop in a neighborhood DG and grab one of these bad girls.
  • Most Use: Most of my palettes I use equally. I think I may use the fewest of colors from the Juvia’s- Place Masquerade simply because blues aren’t the most flattering on me.

BONUS (Not included in the tag)

Prettiest Packaging: ProfusionMixed Metals. Just look at it. It’s a nude palette, and truthfully, the colors could be found in other palettes. It’s not like “wow” colors. But I’m not mad at it. It does what it’s supposed to do. The formula isn’t too chalky, and the application isn’t patchy. It is reasonably priced. I have no complaints. Would I be devastated if I didn’t have this? No. Am I happy that I do? Yes. If you want a simple, practical look in a flashy package, Mixed Metals is the palette for you.

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There’s my list. If you like this type of post and would like to see more of them, let me know in the comments. Also, if you do this tag, tag me so I can read your picks.

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of my new steamy, sports romance, Ice Gladiators, guaranteed to melt the ice. It’s the third book in my Locker Room Love series. Available at https://amzn.to/2TGFsyD and www.books2Read.com/icegladiators.

Taz has problems: a stalled career, a coach threatening to destroy him, a meddling matchmaking roommate, and a thing for his other roommate’s boyfriend. The first three are manageable, but the last… well, that’s complicated. Because as much as Taz is attempting not to notice Liam, Liam is noticing him.

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Missed the two books in my sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty. Defending the Net can be ordered at https://amzn.to/2N7fj8q or www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy about what could go wrong on vacation, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Life_s Roux- Wrong Doors

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

Until next time, happy reading and much romance.

How to Avoid Complaining

Here’s a scenario. You awake early in the morning for some mysterious reason and are unable to return to sleep. You already feel that your back is stiff and a crook has formed in your neck. Before you roll out of bed, something in your day has gone wrong. The mood is set for a terrible day, but you decided to be a trooper.

You get up and shower to find that there’s no hot water. The water is freezing, and you hurry bathing as fast you can. As you’re getting dressed, you snag your favorite sweater and must change. Because you haven’t gotten around to doing laundry, your clothing options are limited. You grab a shirt that is appropriate and comfortable, but it doesn’t match anything else you’re wearing. However, you don’t have time to change. Sighing, you leave.

The weather is terrible, and people are driving like idiots. One car almost slams into you, and another nearly runs you off the road. However, you make it to work in one piece, but you’re late and your first appointment of the day is early. The client is a cankerous, ornery person that you’d prefer not to work with but have no other choice. You look at your watch, and it’s just 8:15 AM.

Everyone has had days similar to this. Hopefully, they are few and far between. However, when met with this type of day, a person has a choice to allow the day to drag them all the way under or be triumphant in staving off grimness. I know which one I would want to do, but it’s easier said than done. Sadly, I and others aren’t always successful in managing these types of days.

Today’s topic came from an associate who I hadn’t spoken in some time. We decided to catch up over lunch. Initially, the conversation went smoothly until I noticed that she was being quite reserved. Her answers to my inquiries were either generic or evasive. Finally, I asked her to level with me. She was hesitant to confess that her life was in turmoil—not so much because she was embarrassed but because she had grown tired of complaining. She stated she worried that I would be put off by it as her other friends where. “When people ask how are you,” she said, “they don’t expect you to answer truthfully. And when their life is going well and they are in a good place, they are not receptive to listening to others’ problems. They just want to be happy.”

I shook my head in disagreement, but a part of me knew there was some truth to this. It took some time, but I convince her to tell me about her situation.

After working for months to achieve a goal, an event happened to undermine it. She convinced herself that it was a minor setback that she would not allow to get to her. Then, another negative thing happened followed by another. The more she put on the brave, happy face and dug her heels into the decision of rising above the situation, the more negative things happened. It became evident that her goal would not be reached. In fact, not only did she not reach her goal, the future of it looked bleak. While she watched her friends and coworkers achieve success, her dreams crumbled. She lost nearly everything of material value—home, car, jewelry, etc. People she considered friends abandoned or betrayed her. In the end, she was left feeling broken, destitute, and in despair.

For months, she claimed this to be her life. She found little to live for, and in fact, reluctantly admitted she had considered taking drastic means to end it. She expressed that holding all of this inside and not speaking of it with anyone felt horrible. However, complaining, she said, made it worse. “No one likes a complainer, even when what is being complained about is legitimate.”

Then, she asked me to help her. She asked that she and I should together find a list of methods that would help her not complain. Thus, she and I set upon a research mission to find such ways.

  1. Focus on the positive. This is the most obvious but also one of the hardest. When my associate was explaining her situation, she pointed out the difficulty in finding a positive without repeating the same one daily. Some of the positives she listed included not being caught loitering or trespassing in buildings for a place to rest since she’d lost her home, being able to washup in a public restroom, and having a job where none of her coworkers noticed she was homeless. We expanded her list to include nice weather, quiet time to journal, YouTube videos, and restaurants that have free WIFI. Focus on little things and not big. Just keep listing the little things.
  2. Put money in a jar. Each time a complaint comes to mind, drop some money (you set the amount) into a jar. At the end of the year, use that money to splurge and pamper yourself. However, having to pay for complaining may be enough of a deterrent to prevent one from doing so.
  3. Engage in an activity that will prevent one from complaining. For example, it’s hard to complain with a mouthful of ice cream or when swimming underwater. Panting while running a 3k may take the wind right out of a person. (Yes, I went for the corny pun.)
  4. Seek professional help. Therapists are paid to listen to people’s problems. It’s not a burden to them to listen. They want to help and, in many instances, provide the tools to help. Being able to discuss issues with a professional may alleviate the need to discuss issues with family and friends. This is not to imply that talking to family and friends about problems is a burden to them. However, doing so can create uncomfortable situations. Think about when a person has relationship problems and discuss them with a close friend. When the problem between the couple resolves itself and all is forgiven, that third party person may not be forgiving. This may create a different problem.
  5. Put problems into perspective. Is whatever is bothering you worth the time and energy to complain about? The other day, I found myself in a situation where I had to ask myself why I bother. The issue involves a family member who when asked to do anything or is given in small task screws it up. I informed this person of a task that needed to be handled. Only she could handle it, but others were depending on her. I did as much of the footwork as I could and gave her explicit instructions on how to proceed. It amounted to talking to a brick wall. Her screw up caused many others to be inconvenienced. But there is nothing new or unusual about this behavior. And discussing it with her is just as pointless. She throws up her hand and shakes her head because she’s not interested in hearing what anyone has to say. So, I have to ask, why bother when absolutely nothing will change? She is not motivated to do better. She does not care if she creates issues for others. She has no intention of attempting to improve. But what she is good at is playing the victim and making others feel sorry for her when anyone tells her about herself. Then, everyone else looks like a villain. And oh, does she go to great lengths to tell anyone who will listen how she’s been so badly “abused” and “mistreated.” Just because someone reads you for filth does not equate to abuse. The short is to ignore worthless causes and keep it moving.
  6. Along the same lines, ask what one has to gain from complaining. Complaining may create bigger issues. Where I work, complaining has been the culprit to cause many people fired. In some situations, a person cannot voice what they think. A few years ago, there was a notorious incident where I worked. A supervisor and receptionist had worked together for seventeen years. Over that period, they had crossed the line of being just employer and employee. They had become friends—more like mother and daughter. The problem came when the receptionist began cyber-dating. There was a generational gap, and the supervisor did not understand or approve. In her own way, she demanded that the receptionist cease the behavior. When the receptionist refused, the supervisor began a covert stream of harassment. She started by demanding that the receptionist remove all photos and personal belonging from the receptionist’s office. Mind you, these photos and nick-knacks had been exhibited there for over ten years. Each day, she would do something more, and when the receptionist complained to other workers, the harassment worsened. Finally, it all escalated into a verbal altercation. Threats were made. Human resources realized that they should have intervened long before this point. It was decided to move the receptionist to another location. However, the supervisor had been publicly embarrassed by some of the things the receptionist said. She used her status as a supervisor and her husband’s clout in the community to pressure the administrators to terminate the receptionist because co-existing like adults in a large work environment where workers do not have to see each daily if they don’t want to wasn’t sufficient. Justice was not served that day, and all staff walked the line of having it confirmed that speaking up will result in termination.
  7. Keep a journal. Writing out problems can be therapeutic. If one doesn’t want to keep a journal, write the complaint on a piece of paper or in a word document and then tear it up or delete it. The point is to get the frustration out of your system and not hang onto it.

Do you have any tips on how to avoid complaining? If so, let me know below.

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of my new steamy, sports romance, Ice Gladiators, guaranteed to melt the ice. It’s the third book in my Locker Room Love series. Find it at https://amzn.to/2TGFsyD or www.books2read.com/icegladiators.

IG GC AN

Taz has problems: a stalled career, a coach threatening to destroy him, a meddling matchmaking roommate, and a thing for his other roommate’s boyfriend. The first three are manageable, but the last… well, that’s complicated. Because as much as Taz is attempting not to notice Liam, Liam is noticing him.

Missed the two books in my sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty. Defending the Net can be ordered at https://amzn.to/2N7fj8q or www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

2777b4e8-45db-46a1-b4ac-257a218ff424

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy about what could go wrong on vacation, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Life_s Roux- Wrong Doors

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

Until next time, happy reading and much romance.

 

How to Cope with Hurt

Once a person hurts you, it is easy to fall into a pattern of allowing that person to dominate your thoughts or dictate your actions. You may not even realize that the decisions you are making are due to this person. Most likely this is because you have not either processed or learned how to cope with hurt.

Unfortunately, sometimes persons we love and trust, hurt us deeply. It could be that they are disloyal, nonsuppurative, untrustworthy, manipulative, or abusive in some way. And oftentimes than not, no matter what the screwup or the number of times, you allow this person back into your life only to be hurt repeatedly. If you want to stop this cycle of being hurt, here are a few tips that may be of help.

  1. Know that whatever is going on with them is about them. That means that whatever is going on with you is about you. This does not mean that you deserve being hurt or disrespected, but it does mean that you are part of the cycle. There is a reason why you continue to allow this person to re-enter your life. You need to determine what that reason is and address that. They aren’t forcing you to allow them back in. They may knock at the emotional door, but you open it despite knowing what is on the other side. The first part of dealing with hurt is closing the door and protecting yourself. Think of it this way. If the person outside had a knife and wanted to stab you, would you welcome them inside?
  2. When someone hurt us, they do their damage and move on while you may cling to the hurt. If any part of the cycle is broken, it does not complete itself. Breaking the chain is a form of empowering self. For example, a few years ago a former coworker refused to attend a party because she speculated that a family member who had wronged her would be in attendance. Because of one person, she made a decision to avoid an event where numerous other people who loved and supported her were. She missed out. The irony is the family member she was worried about didn’t attend. Instead, that person went skiing with friends and had a blast. I highly doubt he gave a second thought to my coworker who sat at home miserable that night. To this day, she still complains about missing the event. Hanging onto the hurt hurts the person who has been hurt more than it does the person who has hurt them. For that reason, it important to forgive and move on.
  3. This leads to the next point. Forgiveness is hard but necessary. It also is a concept that is misunderstood. For starters, forgiveness does not mean forgetting or ignoring. On the contrary, it means to acknowledge and consciously deciding to move forward to prevent emotional baggage from pulling you down. It involves letting go of anger and hurt. To forgive someone does not mean the forgiver is weak or has lessened the impact of the hurt. Once something happens, it cannot be undone. It’s there. Hurt causes a person to remain in the moment. Forgiveness allows a person to create many moments after. In the example of my coworker, had she forgiven her relative, she would have attended the party and had a great time with her other family and friends. Instead, she allowed herself to be robbed of that one moment because she chose to focus on the one person who hurt her. When a person forgives, that person focus transfers from the person who hurt them to themselves. It says, “I know this person hurt me in some way, but I refuse to be bogged down in that one moment. I cannot change what has happened. I cannot control how the person who hurt me will behave now or in the future. will live my life. I refuse to allow the person who hurt me rob me of my joy.”
  4. Don’t expect an apology. Sometimes, people who hurt us apologize for doing it. However, when it is a repeat offender, even if he/she apologizes, it is likely an empty apology. They do it to gloss over an awkward time to get the person they hurt to be silent. Think of two siblings arguing in the backseat of the car. One punches the other, and the mother scolds the hitter. As a mother, she wants peace, and she instructs the hitter to apologize. The hitter does, but once the mother is no longer looking, the hitter sticks out his tongue at his/her sibling. Why? Because the apology was not genuine. It was given to pacify others. This is the same rationale that causes many parolees to return to jail. They are sorry for getting caught and will apologize for their actions in order to improve their situation. However, they are nor truly remorseful what they’ve done. NOTE: There are those who do things and sincerely apologize. But you can tell the ones who are sincere because they do not repeat the behavior.
  5. It is important to understand your self-worth. If you don’t value and respect yourself, no one else will. Know that you get to decide who is in your life and who is not. Just because someone is family does not necessarily mean you must be around that person all of the time. It also does not mean that you must cut the person completely from your life. A friend spoke about her strained relationship with her child. She said, “It hurts that she isn’t there like before, but it hurts worse when she is. I love her from a distance. If she needs anything, I’m there for her. However, she is not someone I allow my guard to drop.” She said this with tears in her eyes. Each day is a struggle for her; however, it is less of a struggle now that she understands that she cannot change, protect, or save her adult child from self-destructing. This friend has made the tough decision that she will not be an enabler to her child. She understands that she is more than just a mother. She is also a daughter, friend, aunt, cousin, sister, and employer. There are others who depend on her, and she should be there for them as well as herself. She understands that she deserves to be treated better—with dignity and respect. See, the thing with someone who hurts you is that the majority of your time, energy, and focus are on the one person and self is forgotten.
  6. However, one must look beyond self. When a person is hurt, that person crawls up into his/her feelings and forgets that the rest of the world exists. While you may be hurting, your action of withdrawal may be hurting others. Recently, an associate spoke about his divorce. He stated that he was overwhelmed when his marriage ended because he hadn’t known it was in such disrepair. He discovered that his wife was having an affair and that he’d been funding it. See, his wife didn’t work, and she used credit cards to buy her lover gifts and pay for trips and hotel rooms. This associate learned of the affair shortly before Christmas, and because he had young children at the time, he did not want to disrupt or ruin their holiday. He stated that he and his wife went to counseling, but he felt he was being pushed too fast for forgiveness. He said, “We had no intimacy. Each time I attempted to touch her in a sexual manner, I saw her in bed with him. With that part of our relationship gone, I knew she had to be frustrated because I was. But I knew I could hold to my vows in those moments. I wondered if she would. I didn’t trust anything she said to me. If she left to buy groceries and was late coming home or had forgotten something on the list, I wondered if the grocery store was the only place she’d been. My time was consumed questioning everything she said and did. In the process, I was neglecting my children because I was so busy trying to keep up with my wife. I stopped laughing and withdrew in myself. I didn’t go anywhere but work and home. And when I was at home, I mainly found reasons to be alone in the backyard or garage. My family, who didn’t know all that was going on, blasted me when I decided to end my marriage. I gave her the house and physical custody of our kids because I thought it would be easiest for everyone. However, my children felt abandoned. During an overnight visitation months later, I learned that my children had witnessed my wife’s infidelity. They had seen her being intimate with her lover in our home. My children wanted nothing to do with their mother. However, I knew she loved them, and that they needed to have a relationship with her. I knew then, in order to help them, I had to get the old me back.”
  7. Hurt doesn’t last forever. This is best expressed in Ecclesiastes.
  • To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven,
  • A time to be born, and a time to die;
  • a time to plant, and a time to pluck that which is planted;
  • A time to kill, and a time to heal;
  • a time to break down, and a time to build up;
  • A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
  • A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
  • A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
  • And a time to refrain from embracing;
  • A time to get, and a time to lose;
  • A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
  • A time to rend, and a time to sew;
  • A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
  • A time to love, and a time to hate;
  • A time of war, and a time of peace.
  1. The person who hurt you may leave a void and that void may never be completely healed. However, it does not mean that you cannot allow other people into your life. Look back on good times with fondness and appreciation. Place them as a cherished memory, and then, set them aside to make new and even better memories with someone else.
  2. Respect that the person who hurt you may cut you from his/her life. Just as you should not open the door to allow the person in the continue hurting you, you should not bang on their door asking for entrance. If they have moved on, that’s a pretty good indication that you should as well. There is nothing more frustrating than watching a person pine after someone who has rejected him/her. Keep it moving.
  3. Happiness is found from within. Make a list of all the things that make you happy and begin doing those things if you haven’t been.
  4. BONUS: Write a letter to the person and say all the things you want to say. Grammar, medium, and length don’t matter. Just get it all out. Once you have it expressed, burn the letter if on paper or hit delete if electronic. The point of this is to release the anger in a constructive way. However, a friend suggests joining a gym and taking it out on a punching bag. BTW, I have a bobo doll on my office desk. So, I’m not going to disagree with him completely on this.

So, those are the tips? What do you think? Did I leave anything out? What are some things you have found useful in coping with hurt? Let me know your opinions in the comments. Also, let me know if there’s a topic you would like for me to blog.

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of my new steamy, sports romance, Ice Gladiators, guaranteed to melt the ice. It’s the third book in my Locker Room Love series. Get it here https://amzn.to/2TGFsyD or at www.books2read.com/icegladiators.

Taz has problems: a stalled career, a coach threatening to destroy him, a meddling matchmaking roommate, and a thing for his other roommate’s boyfriend. The first three are manageable, but the last… well, that’s complicated. Because as much as Taz is attempting not to notice Liam, Liam is noticing him.

IG GC AN

Missed the two books in my sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty. Defending the Net can be ordered at https://amzn.to/2N7fj8q or www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game. And it gets even better. All of the Locker Room Love series is available on Kindle Unlimited.

 

2777b4e8-45db-46a1-b4ac-257a218ff424

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy about what could go wrong on vacation, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Life_s Roux- Wrong Doors

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

Until next time, happy reading and much romance.

Resources

 

 

How to be a Supportive Friend

Most humans—and I have to say most because there are always exceptions to the rules and because I know people who would argue not every person is human… but anyway–are social creatures. Many are finding self-isolation difficult, not because they have been ordered to, are acting out to be politically defiant, or a lack of understanding. Rather, it is the deprivation of an innate need (as is food, water, shelter, etc.). For those with families, they may be faring better—although, they may be experiencing different self-isolation/shelter-in-place issues. However, persons who live alone may be suffering deeply.

So, the other day, I had a virtual conversation with members of my critique group. As we discussed the sad state if our writing since none of us are at the peak of motivation, we began to discuss support systems and how not everyone has one. That discussion prompted this post.

Honestly, I was preparing another post on a different topic, but it just wasn’t coming together as it should. However, I strive to provide quality content.

Side note before I get into today’s post. Anyone who follows me on Twitter has seen my ranting. I have been having terrible issues with my cell and internet. If anyone has reached out to me and I’ve failed to respond, it is not intentional. Please resend messages, and I will get to them asap. Hopefully, the internet issues I’m having will be resolved shortly. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

The discussion I had gone further than supporting friends during this crisis. Friends should be loved and supported year-round.

  1. I have a friend who I think is in the beginning stages of dementia. She repeats what she says multiple times during a conversation. She honestly does not remember having already told the listener. It is very easy to drift off during the middle of a conversation with her or not pay attention. Many mutual friends have begun avoiding her because the conversations have become increasingly cumbersome. However, being a friend means listening to a thousand times to the same story if necessary.
  2. Listen II. When a friend talks, pay attention to his/her body language, hear what is not said, and read between the lines. The information there may be valuable and important and can assist in allowing one to be supportive.
  3. Don’t be in a rush. Sometimes when a friend is in crisis, it takes time for them to admit a problem exists to self, let alone someone else. Additionally, it may be difficult for the person to find the words to communicate what is wrong. Being supportive means waiting until the person is ready to talk and not pushing. However…
  4. Sometimes, a friend may need a push for help in the form of an intervention. If one decides to do an intervention with a friend, it is best to research how interventions work, what to say and what not to say, and how to design. The very best way is to speak with a trained professional prior to attempting to conduct an intervention on one’s own.
  5. Ask questions. There are friends who are motormouths and spill everything. Then, there are other friends who keep everything bottled up. They may feel embarrassed to bring up their problems or concerns but will be more at ease to discuss them if someone asks. However, if a person insists, they do not want to discuss an issue, respect their wishes—which is the next suggestion.
  6. Listen to what a person says and honor it. The exception to this rule is if the person is considering or has attempted bodily harm to himself/herself. In that case, it may be necessary to refer to that person for professional help.
  7. Reserve advise. Often, a person just wants or needs to vent. They aren’t searching for advice. In fact, some people are offended if advice is offered. The best rule of thumb is to offer advice only when request.
  8. Tough love. Okay, this is a tough one. I think everyone has that one friend who refuses to listen to logic. This person is headstrong and hellbent on surfing a dangerous wave. He/she becomes angry and insensitive to anyone who disagrees or attempts to help him/her see the flaws in his/her thinking. At that point, there is no helping or preventing. This person will need to make that mistake. A supportive friend will be there at the end when the disaster has struck and will refrain from saying “I told you so.”
  9. Check in. It’s not always necessary to ask how a person is coping. When a friend’s father passed away, she stated it was helpful just to have others call and check on her.
  10. Words of encouragement. I like to send cards the old-fashioned way. It’s a surprise for many of my friends to get an actual snail-mail letter. (I know the greeting card company appreciates me.) “Thinking of You” cards are great. But snail mail is not the only option. Emails, texts, phone calls, and instant messaging works well, too.
  11. Be their personal cheerleader. Encourage them to go for their dreams and give them pep talks if needed.
  12. Small deeds. Along with words of encouragement, do something nice for the person. It does not have to be a grand gesture nor does it have to be expensive. Once when I was going through a rough patch, a coworker filled my candy dish with chocolate while I was out. When a friend was stressing because her daycare was closing, I asked business associates if they had any leads.
  13. Remind friends of their worth. Often people devalue themselves or their achievements or even forget them altogether.
  14. Be a full-time friend. Everyone gets busy, but don’t become too busy for a friend. One can’t truly be supportive if he/she is clueless that a situation (regardless if it is positive or negative) happening. Awareness is essential.
  15. Advise the person to seek professional help. This has been mentioned in previous suggestions, but it is a good one. When the issue a person is having is too grave to be addressed by a friend, reach out to someone who has knowledge and experience in that area. Professional help comes in many forms. They include counseling, religious services, mentoring, and support groups/group therapy.

What do you think are the qualities that make a supportive friend? Do you have supportive friends? How have they supported you? Did I miss anything? What advice or tips would you give? Let me know your opinions in the comments. Also, let me know if there’s a topic you would like for me to blog.

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of my new steamy, sports romance, Ice Gladiators, guaranteed to melt the ice. It’s the third book in my Locker Room Love series.

Taz has problems: a stalled career, a coach threatening to destroy him, a meddling matchmaking roommate, and a thing for his other roommate’s boyfriend. The first three are manageable, but the last… well, that’s complicated. Because as much as Taz is attempting not to notice Liam, Liam is noticing him.

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Missed the two books in my sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty. Defending the Net can be ordered at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

79249743-513c-47e2-8c6a-958cd9c7421e31c098a4-d55f-4e51-aa6b-c0a5d976bebc

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy about what could go wrong on vacation, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Life_s Roux- Wrong Doors

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

Until next time, happy reading and much romance.