Wednesday, December 30, 2015

This Could Be The Most Important Post of The Year

My Annual Reminder

Nope, it's not a writing tip, it's a career saving tip. 


Several years ago, I read a post by Syndee Rogers-Nuckles about the importance of multiple or redundant backup systems. 

She was kind enough to let me reprint this, with a few additions of my own. 




Have you ever had your heart sink? Feel the sting of tears streaming down your face as you realized all your files had disappeared?

I have. In a total panic I searched my computer looking for any sign of hope, I shook my head trying to awaken out of what had to be a nightmare.

Does any of this sound familiar to anyone reading this, other than LA, her buddy and me? 

Or were you one of the few lucky ones that had backups of all your files on another EHD (external hard drive) or DVD's? 

Or perhaps it's just been another thing on your ‘to do’ list? 

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to backup your files, but it can be so time-consuming and overwhelming. Like so many of you I am stretched to the limits of available time so after trying at least a dozen different strategies for backing up I finally hit upon something that really works for me.

Now, I use the ‘triple threat’, not just having a single backup copy but two so that you have three copies of all your important files. 

For instance, I have the following:

1- Original files: all my business files like documents are kept on my computer's built-in hard drive. My original design files are kept on my main External Hard Drive.

2- Backup 1: I try to make copies of all my important files as I create them to a second EHD that I keep hooked up to my computer. I try to back this up at least once a week.

3- Backup 2: This is where the online backup service comes in. I LOVE this! I use Backblaze which just runs in the background whenever my computer is on saving all my files for me! My files are backed up to a secure offsite server so if something were to happen to my computer I can still get to my files from another computer!

Online Backup Services

Backblaze
http://www.backblaze.com/

This service was easy to install and was backing up my files in minutes! One of the best things about this company is that it features unlimited storage. I was using Mozy before and they changed their pricing structure so much that it priced them right out of my budget. have been so happy with this service, I totally forget it’s running on my computer!


(LA) This is what I use. It took over 45 days to get all my data uploaded and that was several years ago, but it was done every day behind the scenes, I really didn't notice it at all.

Carbonite
http://www.carbonite.com/

I have heard good things about Carbonite. The biggest drawback is that they do not offer backups of your EHD’s, which is something I can’t live without. But if you are not using any EHD’s they are worth looking in to. 

Mozy
www.mozy.com

I had trouble installing Mozy on my Mac when I switched over from a PC, and when I contacted customer support and followed the instructions they gave me it still did not work. It was around the same time they changed the pricing structure so I canceled my account and signed up with Backblaze.

(LA) I have friends who swear by Mozy, so check them out.  Things change all the time :)

Keep in mind that these online backup services are not meant to be an addition storage system, if you delete the files off your computer these companies will delete those same files after 30 days. 

Thank you Syndee for your research!!

Back up your career, and have a wonderful and hopefully now, a worry free Holiday Season.

If you know of other companies, feel free to post them in the comments section.

Ciao and Happy New Year,
~LA


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Author Spotlight, New Release from Cynthia Woolf



I'm pleased to bring you Cynthia Woolf's latest release Genevieve, Bride of Nevada, American Mail-Order. This is a series of books released by the order in which the state the book is set in joined the Union.

Blurb:
A warehouse fire in Lawrence, Massachusetts has taken Genevieve “Genny” Copeland’s livelihood, but opened a new opportunity for her. If she takes the chance, she could have the family she’s always dreamed of but it would mean leaving everything she’s always known. Believing that opportunity only knocks once, Genny gets on a train west to Elko, Nevada and a new life. She becomes a mail-order bride.

Stuart MacDonnell lost his wife in child-birth six months ago. Now he’s left to raise a 2 year-old and a 6 month-old baby alone. He needs a wife but doesn’t want to court someone and pretend to be in love. He’ll never love again, but he needs a wife now and orders a mail-order bride.

Can Stuart and Genny come together and find happiness when they are at odds with each other? Will they find common ground and will love bloom amid the beautiful Ruby Mountains of Nevada?

Excerpt:
Genny took her hat and slapped it against her thigh hoping to remove some of the ash from the journey. Looking down she saw that her coat was the worse for wear and took it off and shook it, ash and dirt floating from it into the air. She shivered and put back on her coat, then picked up her bag and walked up to the one-story yellow station. She peeked in the window and saw a small waiting room with a potbellied stove and a ticket window.

The wind rushed past, making her pull the lapels of her coat closer and she thought about heading inside to get out of the cold. But how would Mr. MacDonnell find her? For the time being, she waited where she was. If she got too cold before he came then she could always retreat into the building.

Genny shivered in the cold wind, her coat unable to keep out the invisible force that froze her to the spot. Or had the approach of the tall man in the black hat, the collar of his sheepskin coat flipped up against the chill kept her motionless?

He stopped in front of her.

“Miss Copeland?”

His voice washed over her, a deep, silky baritone that sent shivers—having nothing to do with the weather—up her spine.

“Yes, I’m Genevieve Copeland, but everyone calls me Genny.” She held out her gloved hand. “Are you Mr. MacDonnell?”

His hand engulfed hers.

“I am. Stuart MacDonnell.”

He held her hand for a moment too long as his gaze took in her face and then traveled down her body. Perhaps she wasn’t wrong to hope for a solid marriage.

Neither had removed their gloves, but Genny would bet that his hands were rough, given the work he did for a living. She knew a rancher worked outside a lot, tending animals.

“Please come with me. I’ve taken the liberty of arranging for the judge to marry us upon your arrival.”

Genny’s heart leapt to her throat.

“So quickly? I thought we’d have a day or two in town to become better acquainted before we married.”

“I’m sorry, but we have to return to the ranch before this storm sets in.” He gestured toward the sky, full of storm clouds she hadn’t noticed before. “I brought a couple of blankets to wrap up in for the ride.”

This was what she’d signed up for…to be this man’s wife. Genny took a deep breath and pressed a hand to her nervous stomach.

“Very well. Let’s get on with it, shall we?”

The corners of his mouth turned up, but he said nothing, just picked up her bag and started toward a wagon at the end of the platform.

Genny walked beside the man who would be her husband. Close up, she saw he had blue eyes and brown hair. He was lean but by the way he moved she could tell he was also muscular. That made sense. From what she’d read at the library in Lawrence, ranching was a hard life. That was all right. Genny wasn’t afraid of hard work.

Buy on Amazon

Bio:
Cynthia Woolf is an award-winning and best-selling author of sixteen historical western romance books and two short stories with more books on the way. She was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.

Their closest neighbor was about one-quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.

Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.

Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance, Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede that is the only similarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy not a bounty hunter and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now) not the ranch owner.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she's made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.

Titles Available:
GENEVIEVE: Bride of Nevada, American Mail-Order Brides Series
THE HUNTER BRIDE – Hope’s Crossing, Book 1
GIDEON – The Surprise Brides
MAIL ORDER OUTLAW – The Brides of Tombstone, Book 1
MAIL ORDER DOCTOR – The Brides of Tombstone, Book 2
MAIL ORDER BARON – The Brides of Tombstone, Book 3
NELLIE – The Brides of San Francisco 1
ANNIE – The Brides of San Francisco 2
CORA – The Brides of San Francisco 3
JAKE (Book 1, Destiny in Deadwood series)
LIAM (Book 2, Destiny in Deadwood series)
ZACH (Book 3, Destiny in Deadwood series)   
CAPITAL BRIDE (Book 1, Matchmaker & Co. series)
HEIRESS BRIDE (Book 2, Matchmaker & Co. series)
FIERY BRIDE (Book 3, Matchmaker & Co. series)
TAME A WILD HEART (Book 1, Tame series)
TAME A WILD WIND (Book 2, Tame series)
TAME A WILD BRIDE (Book 3, Tame series)
TAME A SUMMER HEART (short story, Tame series)
TAME A HONEYMOON HEART (novella, Tame series)

Find Cynthia:






Friday, December 11, 2015

NEW RELEASE! Believe In Me This Christmas Morn



Yes indeedy. Book Three of the Star Light ~ Star Bright Series, Believe In Me This Christmas Morn is now available. I can't tell you what it feels like to have the third book in a series available for you. Thrilling isn't strong enough.

This is Mitch's story and it all came about because you, my dear readers, asked I find a way to make him whole and loved. 

And from today until December 26th it's on sale for 99¢, as are Be Mine This Christmas Night and Forever Yours This New Year's Night
Let's make this one a bestseller as well :)

Blurb:
It’s the week before Christmas and Belle Grantham has won the best gift ever. A website makeover she’s certain will save her struggling literacy nonprofit. 
Mitchell Thomas is giving Belle what she needs, a new website to maximize potential donations. In return, he’s getting the Christmas present he so badly wants, an escape from snowy Boulder, Colorado, and haunting memories. 
Their wishes are threatened after Belle meets with a donor and discovers his financial rescue comes with unwanted strings...and a ticking clock.  
As Mitch and Belle work side by side against time, Mitch is sure that Texas-bred Belle, born with a silver spoon in her mouth, will have little in common with him, who barely owned a spoon until college.
Will Belle believe in him after being dealt a soul-shattering complication? 

Buy Links:
Believe In Me This Christmas Morn
Be Mine This Christmas Night - Bestseller #1 in Amazon Holiday
Forever Yours This New Year's Night - Bestseller #1 in Amazon Holiday




Monday, December 7, 2015

Author Spotlight Featuring K.L. Docter and the Season of Thrills Boxed Set


Please welcome author K.L. Docter, and her new release Season of Thrills Boxed Set.

Take it away K.L.,

At the ripe old age of ten, I decided I wanted to be a police officer thanks to a sad incident in my neighborhood when an officer was gunned down while on a domestic abuse call. The sad thing was that he’d finished the call, everything was calm, but a drunken neighbor took exception to his presence and shot him on his way back to the car. That incident gave me my first awareness of the injustices of the world and I decided then and there to become a cop so I could address those injustices.

Needless to say, I never became a police officer. Other life incidents veered me in new directions. I’ve made writing my life. This one incident though is why I now write romantic suspense as K.L. Docter. I wrote contemporary romance novels for years as Karen Docter, many with suspense undertones that I was always toning down or ripping out of my work entirely. 

One day, a book I was writing resisted all of my attempts to rip out the suspense elements and one of my critique partners said, “Just write a suspense.” To which I said, “But I can’t write suspense!” Her smart reply was, “Honey, you already are.”


I will be forever grateful to my friend for setting K.L. Docter free. KILLING SECRETS is the first standalone story in the Thorne’s Thorns series about six foster brothers, and the dangers and women who crash into their lives. It is now included in the SEASON OF THRILLS BOX SET, 5 full-length suspense/mystery/thriller novels by Bestselling Authors, which released December 1, 2015.

Excerpt:
At the first crack of gunfire, Rachel dove headfirst into the garden she was weeding. Listening for the second report she expected to follow, she prayed Amanda stayed at Patrick Thorne’s house where she’d gone an hour ago to play with her new friend, Suze.
Gasping for air, she inhaled the rich, spicy scent of freshly turned soil and crushed nasturtiums instead. Dirt and grit bit into her cheek and the bare flesh exposed by her cutoffs and T-shirt. The mid-afternoon sun beat hot against her shoulders and legs, and all she could do was lie there and watch a fat bumblebee dip into a russet blossom three inches from her nose.
Had she run almost nine hundred miles only to die like this, grubbing alone in the dirt like a spineless worm?
A surge of anger gave her impetus to lift her head. She peeked over the flimsy wall of twelve-inch annuals between her and the street. A second gunshot rang out, belched in a cloud of black smoke from an ancient Volkswagen bus that disappeared around the corner.
Backfire?
She groaned, more relieved than embarrassed by her overreaction. Her chin dropped. Taking several deep draughts of the thin Colorado air, she worked to calm the pound of her heart against her ribcage. Her efforts made her head swim. A minute later she was able to push herself out of the three-foot section of garden she’d mown down.
Her nerves had been on edge since she fled Dallas on Friday, five days ago. If she weren’t so overwrought it would have occurred to her Greg would never stand at a distance and take potshots at her. No. Greg liked to look into her eyes when he meted out his punishments.
An icy shiver skimmed her skin. Each day that passed without his appearance should have reassured her she’d made the right decision to accept Katy’s arrangements with the Thornes. As long as Greg didn’t track her and Amanda to Denver, they were safe.
Problem is she hadn’t felt safe since Amanda was born and she discovered what kind of man she’d married. Now she couldn’t pluck enough weeds from Evelyn Thorne’s gardens by day to tear the anxiety from her heart at night. Her growing sense of trepidation kept her awake long after the morning stars dimmed above the mile-high city’s cloudless skies.
How could the justice system simply hand Greg a “get out of jail free” card?  She’d always known the man had connections in high places, but how had he arranged for the evidence in his case—evidence she’d risked everything to provide—to disappear before he even went to trial?  If he’d accomplished that feat while behind bars, how in the world was she and Amanda going to stay out of his clutches?
She felt like there were giant bull’s-eyes painted on their backs, that it was only a matter of time before Greg tracked them down. During their marriage the man would spend weeks, even months, laying meticulous groundwork for one of his cons. He’d had six months to plan dozens of new punishments for his betrayer.
           “‘Til death us do part, darlin’.”

Blurb:
The SEASON OF THRILLS Box Set contains 5 complete suspense/mystery/thriller novels by award-winning and bestselling authors: Jerrie Alexander, Kim Cresswell, K. L. Docter, Rachel Kent, and Marian Lanouette 

HELL OR HIGH WATERS by Jerrie Alexander A woman in danger. A man she loves but can't trust. 

When former SEAL Nate Wolfe learns a woman from his past is in danger, nothing will stop him from protecting her. Not even her. 

Dallas Child Protection Services Investigator Kay Taylor doesn't want or need Nate in her life. But he doesn't seem to understand the word no. He seems to also have forgotten the brand he left on her heart.

When Kay is taken and sold to a monster, the devil himself couldn't stop Nate from doing whatever it takes to find her...but will he be in time? 

REFLECTION (A Whitney Steel Novel - Book One) by Kim Cresswell 
Lunch with the ex-husband is not always a fun thing especially when bullets start flying and reporter Whitney Steel finds herself in the middle of a human cloning story that will rock the world...providing she lives long enough to get her byline. "A deeply emotional romantic suspense that starts bold and holds you captive to the very end." --New York Times Bestseller, Dianna Love 

KILLING SECRETS (A Thorne’s Thorn Novel, Book One) by K. L. Docter 
Some secrets are better left dead. Too bad the Angel Killer’s digging them up. 

Rachel James’ ex-husband is released from prison determined to reclaim her and her traumatized child, his key to the James fortune. Patrick Thorne isn’t interested in helping another of his parents’ charity cases, especially after losing his unborn son and wife to suicide. Only trust will untangle the secrets that dominate their lives, free a child of her silent prison, and save them both from a killer who stands too close. 

BROKEN PIECES (Bits & Pieces Book One) by Rachel Kent 
Tara Jacobs had her life completely planned. She truly did have it all after a lifetime of struggles. Unfortunately, her stepbrother arrives in town and threatens to ruin her well-laid plans with some blackmail. Tara stops at almost nothing to keep her skeletons from tumbling out of the closet. 

IF I FAIL (A Jake Carrington Mystery Book One) by Marian Lanouette 
Are rules really meant to be broken? Jake Carrington finds out the hard way and the answer is no! Dating Chloe Wagner was a huge mistake, and Jake should have known better—he’s investigating the murder of Chloe’s sister. Now Chloe is the number one suspect in that murder. If she’s convicted, Jake could lose not only his rank, but his career. If that’s not bad enough, he’s got a stalker on his hands, someone who’s threatening his fledgling relationship with the lovely Mia. Things are getting just a little too personal for comfort! 

SEASON OF THRILLS Box Set is a value-packed, thrill ride for those who love romantic suspense, procedural suspense, detective mysteries, thrillers, and so much more! 

Bio:
Bestselling Author K.L. Docter writes two different kinds of romance novels...Romantic Suspense w/a K.L. Docter and Contemporary Romance w/a Karen Docter.

Karen/K.L.'s an award-winning author, a four-time Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist, and won the coveted Kiss of Death Romance Writers Daphne du Maurier Award Category (Series) Romantic Mystery Unpublished division.

When she's not saving her characters from death and destruction or helping them to fall in love, she loves camping and fishing with her family, reading, gardening & cooking. If she can do most of those things over a campfire, all the better! FMI: www.karendocter.com

Buy Links:

Find K.L.:


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