Last Day for a Chance to Win A FREE Book!

Because I’m a person who needs constant reminders for all sorts of things, I’m just going to assume that the rest of the world needs them, too. And so, my Public Service Announcement is a reminder that one very random person who supports my blog and/or sporadic newsletter will be selected to win a FREE paperback book! I will contact the winner via email/message at the end of this week and publicly announce the winner on my July 2nd post. More info below (as posted on June 13, 2019):

To get you into the summer reading spirit, and to thank the nearly 1,200 of you for your support – it means so much! – I’m giving everyone who supports my blog and my mailing list a chance to win an awesome FREE book!

As you likely know by now, my latest novella involves a love triangle. I was attracted to the messiness of it all, and as a writer, I wanted to explore the trope in all its ABC triangular glory. Luck of the Irish will be released on August 8, 2019, but for those of you who are looking to enjoy some geometrical hot mess romance right now, I’m giving away a FREE copy of a book that really had me turning the pages (well, mine’s a digital copy, but yours could be this sweet paperback version, wrapped in delicious cellophane). Yes, I enjoyed it so much, I bought it twice.

want-a-free-book-join-my-newsletter-

Meant To Be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow includes one heck of a love triangle that’s sort of like a bouncy ball, but that’s not the only interesting thing that happens. Not by a long shot. This sucker is a roller coaster that pretty much doesn’t slow down until the last page. Check out this trailer about the book on YouTube:

So, to show my love to all of you, I’ll randomly select one name to whom I’ll send a complimentary copy of this book. Why? Well, because I appreciate you, I’m a fan of this book and the author, and I’m sure it’s cool to see me plugging someone else’s awesome work other than my own for a change, haha.

If you’re interested in getting my attention, just leave a comment below or mention #AtinaReads on Twitter @Atina_Atwood. I’ll announce the winner on my Tuesday post on July 2, 2019. Be sure that you’re active on my mailing list (my sort of every other month newsletter) or following my blog to be eligible. Good luck, and THANK YOU!

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats#3, is now available for preorder.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

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Your Chance to Win a FREE Paperback Novel (Meant To Be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow)!

Whatcha Reading This Summer?

Okay, so now we’re finally in the month of June and SoCal is living up to its sunny reputation! Now that June is here, for me, it means kicking back a little bit and catching up on some summer reading. Last year, I simply recommended a great book to you (Home by Jezz de Silva). This year, I’m upping things up a notch.

To get you into the summer reading spirit, and to thank the nearly 1,200 of you for your support – it means so much! – I’m giving everyone who supports my blog and my mailing list a chance to win an awesome FREE book!

As you likely know by now, my latest novella involves a love triangle. I was attracted to the messiness of it all, and as a writer, I wanted to explore the trope in all its ABC triangular glory. Luck of the Irish will be released on August 8, 2019, but for those of you who are looking to enjoy some geometrical hot mess romance right now, I’m giving away a FREE copy of a book that really had me turning the pages (well, mine’s a digital copy, but yours could be this sweet paperback version, wrapped in delicious cellophane). Yes, I enjoyed it so much, I bought it twice.

want-a-free-book-join-my-newsletter-

Meant To Be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow includes one heck of a love triangle that’s sort of like a bouncy ball, but that’s not the only interesting thing that happens. Not by a long shot. This sucker is a roller coaster that pretty much doesn’t slow down until the last page. Check out this trailer about the book on YouTube:

So, to show my love to all of you, I’ll randomly select one name to whom I’ll send a complimentary copy of this book. Why? Well, because I appreciate you, I’m a fan of this book and the author, and I’m sure it’s cool to see me plugging someone else’s awesome work other than my own for a change, haha.

If you’re interested in getting my attention, just leave a comment below or mention #AtinaReads on Twitter @Atina_Atwood. I’ll announce the winner on my Tuesday post on July 2, 2019. Be sure that you’re active on my mailing list (my sort of every other month newsletter) or following my blog to be eligible. Good luck, and THANK YOU!

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats#3, is now available for preorder.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Confession: I’ve Never Watched GOT

Game of Thrones & Real Game Changers

Okay, so a day or two has passed since the last episode of the 8th (and somewhat infamous) season of Game of Thrones has aired. People are still coping, many are still fuming, and other, more pro-active folks are using their energies to create petitions to completely redo the last season of the multi-million dollar show. Meanwhile, some provocative legislature on women’s reproductive autonomy is being passed like wildfire in many states, and even the president is saying “Whoa, Nelly” on Alabama’s extreme, newly passed abortion law. Under this specific law, women and children would be forced to give birth to babies forced upon them in depraved, violent, and profoundly traumatizing circumstances, namely rape and incest.

I am personally Pro-Life and I’m also 100% Pro-Women’s Health and reproductive-autonomy. We’re treading a dangerous line when our society is once again turning blame and shame to only the female populous. The growing lack of consideration for women and girls is increasing at an alarming rate. When this argument reaches the Supreme Court – as it inevitably will – our country needs to be prepared to accept full responsibility for the health and safety of all, whatever the outcome. At this point, we’re already failing pregnant and post-partum mothers in myriad ways. It’s increasingly becoming more deadly and costly for mothers to safely give birth to their children in America, especially for women of color (specifically, Black women). More American women are dying of pregnancy-related complications than any other developed country in the world. No wonder our birthrate is declining.

But let’s go back to Game of Thrones, a show that I have never seen.

 

gameofthrones
GOT on HBO

Apparently, the show took place in a medieval-like society with 7 kingdoms containing royalty, dragons, slaves, and zombies. People loved it until well, the end, and now there’s a big hole where folks had made space for a “satisfying” ending.

Why am I writing about this show if I’ve never seen it? Well, because it all has to do with writing, of course.

Game of Thrones is based on the books written by George R.R. Martin. He’s written five books of what he initially planned to be a 7-book series, but the most recent book came out eight long years ago in 2011. Coincidentally, that’s also the year of the HBO series’ first season. According to this article, Martin shared major ideas for how he wanted the books to end with the main show writers years in advance.

Now, as a writer, I find a lot of this to be highly interesting. First of all,  the author is a genius because once he landed that HBO deal and the show took off like a juggernaut, the man said, “Wait, let me see how all of this turns out before I toss another precious book baby into the world.” The whole time, people are buying merchandise, subscribing to HBO, devouring his books as canon, and some have even gone so far as to name their offspring after some of his characters.

gameofthrones_baby
(I have no idea what this baby’s real name is. But look at those ROLLS!!)

Why would Martin disrupt that flow of interest and devotion by presenting another book until after the show has ended? Will he even release another one at all?

Watching all of this from the sidelines is interesting because most writers like to imagine what it would be like to have their work shared with, and appreciated by, millions. Very few people understand the struggle and heartache it takes to create a cohesive, alternative world as well as all of the beings that live within them. Many of us are happy if our work reaches a few hundred or *gasp* a couple of thousand people.

Now, Martin has the wonderful option of deciding whether or not to finish the series, or tour forever talking about ways he would have written it differently, or ride the wave of all of the continued hype and actually drop the next book installment with a continuation of the author’s solid character arcs that apparently disintegrated in the final season’s adaptation of the saga (this happens so often, it’s almost cliché). To be fair, the show’s writers no longer had any books to base the final season on, so there’s that.

No matter how we sum it up, in the end, author George R.R. Martin is clearly the biggest winner of all.

What are your thoughts about the last season? Have you read any (or all) of the books? I’m enjoying seeing how impassioned people are about all of this, and I’d love to hear your take.

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

15 Questions with Atina Atwood the Author of the Holiday Heartbeats Series (from House of 1000 Books)

My Second Blog Interview!

Things are starting to get exciting over here, and as excited as I am about it, I’m noticing that it’s getting a bit more challenging to balance all the things. Work is demanding more of my attention, and because I have an equally demanding toddler, I’m only just now realizing the similarities between the two, ha ha.

On another note, My interview with House of 1000 Books went live last Wednesday, and in case you missed it, I’m posting it here. Thanks to Topher for a great experience.

“Topher Hoffman: Hello! Today we have Atina Atwood answering questions at The House of 1000 Books.  She’s the creator of the Holiday Heartbeats Series. This series includes His Epiphany, Love Games, and her newest novel, Luck of the Irish!

She states in her bio that in general, her stories vary in heat levels— from YA to sweet romantic stories to steamy contemporary romance. All of her books have multicultural characters that are strong-willed and purpose-driven.

I’m interested in what she has to say, so with that, let us get to the questions.

Hello Atina, and welcome to the House of 1000 Books blog.  I have a few questions that I would like to ask you, that I’m sure our readers would love to find the answer out too.

Every author ignited their writing career at one point in their life. That point where they said, hey, I’m an author.  At what age did you realize that you were an author, and accepted it?

circle atina atwoodAtina Atwood: Thanks for inviting me. It’s hard to pinpoint the age where I initially self-identified as being an author. I see myself as being a lot of things, author included. My first published work was a poem when I was 12, but I guess the most defining moment for me was when I became a traditionally published author in nonfiction back in 2012.

TH: Sometimes to follow your dreams, you need to make sacrifices. If you had to give one thing up that is important to you to make you a better writer, what would it be?

AA: This makes me think of my main character in LUCK OF THE IRISH, Nhu. She made the mistake of sacrificing her dreams for what she thought was love and ended up misaligning the trajectory for making that dream come true. Now, she won’t let anything — or anyone — stand in the way of accomplishing her goal.

In my case, thankfully, things are less dramatic. I’m used to giving up sleep for reading and writing. It’s exhausting, but it’s worth it. Coming from a strong Performing Arts background, followed by a career in Academia, being prepared to make sacrifices is kind of ingrained in me. In my experience, with determination and focus, it’s usually worth it.

TH: Writing takes time, skill, and a lot of practice. If you had to do one thing differently as a child to help you with your writing practice today, what would it be?

AA: I like this question. Honestly, the experiences I’ve had led me to be the writer I am today. I understand the importance of self-motivation and discipline. There will be wins, and there will be inevitable losses, but nothing will happen if you don’t show up, day after day. These skills are proving to be helpful in my writing career.

TH: Now that you have three books that you have written, and I’m sure you read hundreds of other stories, could you tell us what, in your opinion, are the most critical elements of good writing?

AA: I can only repeat what the seasoned, great authors stress — and that is to study your craft. Learn what moves you as a reader, ask yourself why it moved you, and then spend the rest of your life trying to figure out how those word combinations moved you. Experiment to learn how you can create that same kind of magic for readers of your own works. Read, read, and then read some more. Find your voice. I’m still searching for mine.

TH: With writing being time-consuming, do you keep a schedule while writing, and if so, can you describe a typical writing day?

AA: On my designated writing days, my work day starts at around 9:00 AM; if I’m lucky, I can get in a half hour earlier. Mornings are my most productive work hours, so that’s where the most tends to happen. By 3:00 PM or so, my brain is ready for a break. My husband sends me reminders to eat, and I have apps that send me reminders to drink and step away from the computer. (I try not to ignore them.) Evenings are reserved for my family; after that, I’ve got another two hours to write before I go to bed and read for another 2-3 hours.

When deadlines approach, or when a particular scene needs to be written, I’m up until 2:30 AM getting it done. Writing is my job, and I treat it like one. The most dangerous thing novice writers can do is treat their writing careers like it’s a hobby.

TH: Writing habit and personal ticks, what would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

AA: I love wearing my malas when I write, one made of rose quartz and the other made of Tiger’s Eye. I’m big on crystals, and I have an amazing, inspirational assortment on my desk.

TH: Many people have said things over the years.  Some sounded smart, others wise, and some funny. What is your all-time favorite quote?

a goalAA: Because I’m bilingual, I have to pick two:
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Unknown
“Hier bin ich Mensch; hier darf ich’s sein.” – Goethe

TH: Now that you have a few novels out, could you tell me do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

AA: I appreciate the time any reader takes to write a review of one of my books. This is one of the best ways to connect with an author, and so far, I focus on that.

At this point, I’m still my biggest critic, so once I put something out there and It’s actually published, I need to accept that I gave my best at that time. Every project for me is bigger, more ambitious than its predecessor. There’s no chance of me growing as an author without pushing past my self-imposed boundaries and getting out of my comfort zone. LUCK OF THE IRISH is exactly that. It’s hard to make three likable main characters when you already know that one of them will not walk away with the prize. I’m curious to hear what readers think about that.

TH: In your profile, you mentioned that you have a wide array of written work, where does all your inspiration come from to keep things fresh?

AA: I started in nonfiction, and during a very stressful time, I turned to fiction (primarily Romance) to switch gears mentally. I’m fortunate to be able to write in both worlds, so I have plenty of opportunities for continued inspiration. Primarily, my inspiration comes from my desire to help, educate, and entertain. Escapism is a necessary act within the human experience, and I love creating stories that facilitate this process.

TH: I’m sure as you write, you get more and more ideas that flood into your brain that get you excited. Do you have any plot ideas that you haven’t written about yet, if so, can you tell us about one?

AA: My ideas sit with me and incubate, sometimes for years. There’s a YA fantasy trilogy inside of me, and it’s about 7 years old now. I’m not ready to tackle it yet, but I am looking forward to the day when I will be. I just finished my first YA novel last month, working title CHRISTMAS AT LOVEMOUNT HIGH (unrelated to the trilogy). I already have the entire plot developed for the second book in that series as well.

Let me point out that I don’t yet consider myself to be a YA or FF author. Still, when characters speak to me, I have to put them in the appropriate environment.

TH: Now, the time has come! The question you are dying to answer! Your newest book. Can you tell us about your latest book?

bookcover Luck of the IrishAA: LUCK OF THE IRISH (HOLIDAY HEARTBEATS #3) is a sweet contemporary romance novella, out on August 8, 2019, but is ready for preorder. It’s the third installment of my Holiday Heartbeats series, a collection of novellas with strong, diverse characters. The stories take place in various locations throughout San Diego, California.

Nhu Hoang’s tired of putting her needs second to everyone. When her boyfriend reveals he’s still not going public about their relationship after nearly two years, she’s blindsided. She deserves better, but it’s hard letting go.

Jack can’t win. Destined to stand in his father’s shadow and continue the Smith’s political legacy, he doesn’t trust himself to do anything that could lead to disapproval. He hates hurting Nhu, but losing his father’s favor would destroy him.

Eoghan Kelly knows what he wants, and he came from Ireland to California to get it. Winning the internship isn’t a surprise, but falling for the enigmatic barista with her stack of law books is unexpected.

When Eoghan learns Nhu’s not completely over her ex, things get complicated. When he finds out her ex is his cousin, Jack, things get messy.

Only one of them can be with Nhu. Will she make the right choice?

TH: Where did you come up with the idea for this book?

lovegames-bookcoverAA: While I was writing LOVE GAMES (HOLIDAY HEARTBEATS #2), the main character Marisol was talking to her best friend, Nhu. They were both waiting for their exam results. It ended well for Mari, and I wondered what happened to Nhu.

One of my advance readers requested a continuation of Dante and Marisol’s story, suggesting that someone from their past resurfaces, causing conflict. This made me think of love triangles and the challenge writers have of writing one that isn’t cringe-worthy. That’s how Nhu’s dilemma rose to the surface.

TH: That sounds great! What did you edit out of this book?

AA: I like to point out that my Holiday Heartbeats series is a sweet-heat, closed-door romance series, also known as “clean” romance. (Calling one type of romance “clean” infers that others are “dirty,” imposing an unnecessary sense of shame on readers that I do not agree with.) In this closed-door romance series, there are plenty of hot moments that progress the story, but there are no sex scenes.

TH: Out of the three main characters in the book, who is the one that you like the best?

AA: I have to say that I really like Nhu. She has so much to gain, and it’s beautiful watching her as she slowly begins to realize it. She begins to recognize and claim her sense of self-worth, and I love how she knows from now on she’ll be happy with — or without — a man beside her.

Eoghan is so confident and easy-going, and Jack is incredibly loyal but conflicted as to where his loyalties must lie. I like that there’s no true villain here — just three people who have to make some hard choices involving people they love and don’t want to hurt, but they all know that no one will get out of this conflict unscathed.

TH: What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

AA: This is another question that I appreciate. When readers finish reading LUCK OF THE IRISH, I hope they will remember that the hardest decision to make in love and life is to remember to love yourself first. By treating yourself with loving kindness, you gain a better understanding of what you want to give and receive in love. You understand that your sense of self-worth is not contingent upon being with someone in any relationship that makes you feel less than what you know you deserve.

TH: Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

AA: I’m Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™ Readers can join my quarterly newsletter to get updates about new releases and giveaways. Follow my blog, atinaatwood.com for my favorite motivational and romantic quotes, as well as my latest take on current events surrounding Love, Life, and Romance. I’m most active on Twitter (@Atina_Atwood), but I’m also on Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Thanks so much for interviewing me! I hope that more people will find LUCK OF THE IRISH and get to know and love Nhu, Eoghan, and Jack as much as I do.”

– End –

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, romance. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Thank You!

For those of you reading this post, I want to thank you for being a part of my blogging experience. As I’ve mentioned from the start, I don’t consider myself to be a blogger per se, but a writer who blogs.

I’m three months away from celebrating my 1-year anniversary of blogging here, and in such a short span of time, I’ve learned so much. There are things that I still clearly have no clue about, like enhancing my SEO, plugging magic keywords, and upping engagement, but at least I know of them.

My purpose here has been to wade through the murky waters of a hazy dream and blindly find a way to create tangible, solid goals out of it. It feels like a relatively solitary journey most of the time, but then I remember that despite that feeling you’re here, and I thank you for that!

I now know what I want to concentrate my energies on. Because of this blog, I created my sweet-heat #HolidayHeartbeats novella series. So far, I’ve happily shared each book with my mailing list subscribers for free.

Naturally, I won’t be doing this forever. Still, feedback and encouragement are worth their weight in gold, and this has been the best way for me to show my genuine appreciation to my subscribers.

As I prepare for the release of my next book, Luck of the Irish, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of my journey. I’m still Exploring Love & Life, One Word At A Time. It’s great to have you with me along the way.

Sending Love & Light,

Atina

#MotivatedMonday: Making It Easy Is Hard

Join my mailing list to be the first to know about my new releases, books slated for release in 2019, giveaways, and more. Follow me on Amazon and Goodreads. Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats#3, is now available for preorder.

"Easy Reading is damn hard writing.".png

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Preorder Luck of the Irish Today

Join my mailing list to be the first to know about my new releases, books slated for release in 2019, giveaways, and more. Follow me on Amazon and Goodreads

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

This past weekend was where we all had a chance to celebrate being Irish – or we could just claim to be Irish for a day if desired. For whatever reason, St. Patrick’s Day is one of my Daddy’s favorite holidays (hey, I may be all grown up, but he’ll always be my Daddy <3). For precisely that reason, I wanted to really do something to make the holiday even more special to me. That’s how Luck of the Irish, the third story in my Holiday Heartbeats series, was born.

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Luck of the Irish

Spoiler alert: my heroine is not Irish. Nhu is Vietnamese-American, and I have to extend a heartfelt thanks to one of my family members for helping me infuse authentic cultural insight while fleshing out her character. Please note: While Nhu’s ethnicity is clearly an integral part of who she is, know that there is no huge banner throughout the story that is demanding intense perusal and analysis of her life as a Vietnamese-American. When she first appeared in Love Games, she was Mari’s sassy best friend (don’t we just all want one of those?!). I couldn’t stop wondering what Nhu’s bar exam results were, and when I kept thinking about her, I realized that I was even more curious to find out who she is and what’s going on in her life.

It turns out that Nhu is a young woman of true grace and grit – and in Luck of the Irish, we find out that she’s also in quite a bind. Having a complicated relationship with one person is tough enough. Just imagine the headache (and possible heartache) of having to choose between two people pursuing you at the same time.

Don’t Let Love Define You

Still, what I love most about Nhu’s story is that it’s really about her self-discovery, reclaiming her power, and establishing autonomy in all things – including her love life. As a firm believer of HEA’s or HFN’s, I’m curious to see how this love triangle mess turns out because honestly, I can totally see Nhu running away from both pursuers in favor of just loving herself for a while.

Stay tuned for Luck of the Irish, available now for preorder now wherever ebooks are sold.

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.