The Sweet Smell of Spring

Tomorrow is the official first day of spring. Here in Seattle, the air smells delicious! Currently our Daphne bushes are blooming. We have two different kinds, each with its own sweet smell.

Daphne2 other daphne

In a few weeks, The Daphne will shed their petals, and other flowering plants will perfume the air–freesia, lilacs, lily of the valley, azalea, peony, sweet peas, honeysuckle, lavender and a host of other flowers whose names I do not know.

Between the fragrant scents, the calls of mating birds and the greening trees, one can’t help but be happy. Even so, I tend to get caught up in whatever story I happen to be working on, to the point that nothing else matters. If I’m not careful, I can easily miss the joys of spring, and I don’t want to do that!

To prevent that from happening, I’m taking daily walks after lunch. (Except when it’s pouring outside.) Fresh air, exercise, staying in the here and now rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, and admiring Mother Nature–what’s not to like? I come back happy, refreshed and energized.

And Bonus: My midday mini-excursion often refills the creative well, so that I bring home new ideas for my current work-in-process. I love that!

Happy Spring, and  until next time,
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Dr. Duffy’s Close Encounter (Maggie)

Help a pal out?

Hi, All!

Someone was sad that I hadn’t posted about my trip to New Orleans.  Well, let me just tell you, it was amazing.  I walked on the Moonwalk, atop the levee, looking out over the Mississippi River in awe.  I listened to jazz on the streets.  I ate great food, and best of all, made friends I’ll never forget.  The keynote was well received, I made them laugh, and then made them cry, and I think they really liked it.  ;)

All very good.  Of course I couldn’t wait to get home, which is always the case.  And now it’s as warm here as it was there, and I’m outside daily and relishing every second.

I have a couple of projects you can get involved with though so I want to get to those right away.  First, our annual SPRING INTO FITNESS CHALLENGE is about to begin over at Maggie’s Health and Fitness.  This year’s challenge is to create a workout plan for the month of April.  It can be anything you like; choose something from the many fabulous workout DVDs, websites, magazines, etc, or make up one of your own.  The idea is to build yourself a month-long schedule.  Make a chart to hang on your wall with what you will do on what day of the week, and what day or days you’ll give yourself for resting up.  Get it all ready so that you can begin on April 1st.

We’ll be sharing our workout plans, and reporting in each day on the page and via the email loop.  (you can subscribe to the email loop too if you prefer it.  Send a blank email to this email address: )

Best part: everyone who manages to get through the month of April sticking to their plan, will be tossed into the drawing for some neat prizes at the end of the month.  (To be announced.)  It’s entirely on the honor system, and you’ll be granted a few cheat days to use or not at your own discretion.  So please pop over to the Facebook page or join the yahoogroup and join in the SPRING INTO FITNESS fun!  (I don’t make any money or anything off this, or even add you to a mailing list or anything.  It’s just because I think we do better if we support each other.)

Buy it on Monday March 26th and save a buck!

Okay, next thing, and this is big.  DR. DUFFY’S CLOSE ENCOUNTER will be ready to publish on Kindle and Nook over this weekend. (Originally titled OUT OF THIS WORLD MARRIAGE, it’s been re-edited, polished, packaged, and I’m re-releasing it.)  I’d like to shoot for a powerful opening day on MONDAY MARCH 26th! I would like you all to help me spread the word and the links (which I’ll have soon) in my “BUY THE BOOK ON MONDAY & SAVE A BUCK” Campaign.  So if you’ll just check in on my facebook page or on twitter (@maggieshayne) over the weekend, (and I’ll try to post here as well on Sunday with my fellow Broads’ permission)  I’ll get an easy to share post up with the Nook and Kindle links to the book, and I’ll ask you to share them for me. The book will be $3.99 on Monday only. Tuesday it goes up to its regular price of $4.99. Let’s see if we can make this work! THANK YOU ALL for playing along.

Do you love this cover?  My daughter Jessica of Author’s Life Saver did it!

And now you’re all updated for the week!  Make it a great one!


Here Comes the Sun! (Maggie Shayne)

My daughter Katie and I right after her wedding last year

This was the most sunshiny photo I could find to use today, and besides, Katie’s first anniversary is upon us, so what better photo to use? Happy Anniversary Kate! And welcome back, sunshine! Oh my, you have been missed!

All week long, we’ve had beautiful sunny days in the mid to high sixties and even lower seventies during the peak hours of the afternoon. It’s still dropping into the mid-forties at night, to make for lovely sleeping weather. And there’s just something about the return of the sun that inspires me so much. I don’t know if it’s true for you, but it is for me. I’ve not only spent tons of time outside this week, but I’ve also managed to accomplish more work than I usually get done in two weeks!

I wake earlier, the bright yellow sunshine streaming through my windows.
I go outside running, almost unable to resist doing it, rather than having to force myself.
I can hardly wait until it’s time to walk the dogs.
And I’m dying to get some of my more mundane tasks wrapped up so I can play in my flower beds. I’ve already done so to some extent. I have tulips, grape hyacinths and daffies like never before. And Lance has mowed the lawn for the first time of the season. I love that smell!

I am so thrilled with spring’s arrival, even though she was fashionably late, like the sought after belle she is. I’m basking. And basking is good. I’ve covered that with you all, right? Basking is the best thing you can do for your life, because when you’re basking, just simply relishing the very fact that you’re alive, that’s when all the wondrous wishes, hopes and dreams you’ve been wishing and hoping and dreaming, can most easily find their way to you. They follow the beam of your basking.

So bask!

I do have an annoucement–two actually. First, I’ve inked a new three book deal with MIRA for a trilogy of dark, sexy paranormal stories about Witches. They’ll be as follows:
MARK OF THE WITCH in October 2012
BLOOD OF THE SORCERESS in February 2013.

Exciting, yes? I’m excited, that’s for sure! And busy writing too.

But don’t forget TWILIGHT PROPHECY is on sale now, followed by the companion book and finale of my vamp series, TWILIGHT FULFILLED in late September. In between–on sale in just a couple of weeks–look for VACATION WITH A VAMPIRE.

Also, I’m blogging today at

Until next week–BASK!

Seasons and Such (Maggie)

Maggie & Dozer

Okay, so I suppose I have to admit at this point that I was wrong in my prediction of an early spring here in the northeast. It was still snowing a little bit as late as yesterday. And our morning temperature here still hasn’t hit 40, though I expect it to get there momentarily. The forecast high today is 55. We’ll have about three days of high 50′s and then Monday it’ll be 73. This is a phenomenon that happens where we live from time to time. Winter lingers too long, and then suddenly it’s summer. And we’re left wondering what happened to spring. Not complaining, mind you, just observing.

The photo above is the one I’m sending in for the RITA Awards. (Imagine the word RITA with the little R inside a circle beside, as it’s a registered trademark.  I’ve never been able to find a way to insert it via my keyboard, and not one font on my Mac includes it, so just be aware.)  The Romance Writers of America (another trademark) will put a photos of the nominated authors and their book covers up online, and in the magazine, and then on the big giant screen at the back of the stage on our glittering gleaming awards night. I dithered a bit about what photo to use. This one was my favorite, especially since one of the nominated books (KILL ME AGAIN) featured Dozer as the third main character, Freddie. My daughter Lisa, a fabulous photographer, took the shot, but I was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, and no makeup. Then I found India Redman, who actually changed my outfit and added a bit of makeup by magic! If anyone needs a photo retouched, definitely contact her. I have her email.

So yes, RITA finalist day this year was a very good one for me. And after the first call, first thing in the morning, I was convinced that would be all, and just basking in happiness. And that’s when the second call came in. I blogged about it on my solo blog. Was in the midst of writing the blog, in fact, when that second call came in. And it amazed me how easily the Law of Attraction worked for me in this case, when I was relaxed enough to allow it. I felt like quoting the kids from South Park, “I learned something today.”

I’m still learning. Lots of good things happening around here. I’m doing my best to bask in every one of them, and relax enough to allow even more.

And there are sure to be more to come, and soon, too, as TWILIGHT PROPHECY goes on sale April 19th in print, and May 1st in E. The reviews are coming in: 5 Stars from Night Owl Reviews has been the highlight so far. Send me links if you find any (But not to bad ones. You know I’ll mope for days if I see those.)

As for me, I’m heading outside to enjoy our 3-day Spring before it’s gone!

Oh, and please tune in to my Health and Fitness Facebook Page, where I’ll be cajoling members to join me in my “Spring Training All Out Get Ready For RITA Award ™ Ceremony Bootcamp Workout.”  I want to rock my glam gown and have strong enough knees to handle one night in killer heels.  I might shorten the name of the challenge, though.


Beat the Winter Blues Naturally (Maggie Shayne)

Snow got you down?

It’s February. And although it’s the month of my birthday and the month of romance’s own holiday, it’s not my favorite month. I think it’s probably my least favorite month. It’s the month when I reach my absolute limit with winter. And being the owner of dogs too big and temperamental (and yes, spoiled) for anyone else to care for, going south is not an option.

Neither, however, is giving in to the winter blahs. You know if you have them. You feel tired all the time, and sit around watching too much TV, overeating. You feel cranky, your joints ache, you think you must be getting old. (Age is way more mental than physical, dear readers.)

I enjoy being up, far too much to let winter get me down. Even in the aftermath of the biggest storm the Northeastern US has seen in a while. I love being happy too much to tolerate being sad. (Or SADD). So here are some of my tools for staying aligned, upbeat and happy during this final few weeks of winter.

1. Vitamin D. Take a supplement, and get extra by exposing skin to sunlight at every possible opportunity. Yes, even here in the frozen north, we have sunny days.
2. Exercise! I know, this is the time you feel LEAST like moving, but it’s also the time you need is most. Exercise releases the same chemicals in your brain that anti-depressants do. Now which do you think is healthier? Get some fun, silly workouts and make a game out of it. Old school Jane Fonda routines complete with leg-warmers, you’ll laugh so hard you can hardly do the steps! They have workout games for every game system on the market now, and dance games too, which serve the same purpose. (Michael Jackson Experience, anyone? Learn to do the Thriller Dance!)

3. Get outside. No matter how awful it is, bundle up and go outdoors. Even fifteen minutes a day will help. That’s a short walk with the dog. (Sidebar: if you don’t have a dog, get one!)

4. Reduce the Carbs! Yes, you crave them more at this time of year. But you need them less. So it’s a great time to start paying attention and eating less carbs, more protein.

5. Increase green leafy veggies and fresh fruits. These food items carry the energy of the sun inside them. Eat them, and you get instant sunshine.

6. Fish Oil! Make sure it’s a good quality supplement (or get it by eating actual fish) and you’ll feel loads better. It’s good for any depression, but especially effective for Seasonal Depression.

7. You can get artificial sunlight by adding full spectrum bulbs. Though they’re expensive, they cost less than therapy and prescriptions.

8. St. John’s Wort has been shown to be helpful too.

9. Laughter is always good. Watch funny movies, read funny books, share a laugh with friends, and just generally do things that you enjoy!

Hope some of this helps you get through the remaining weeks of winter. If not, here’s a bit more. The groundhog didn’t see his shadow, which points toward an early spring. And we’ve just passed the exact halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox! It’s all downhill from here!