MyTop Five Winter Essentials

Here’s a look at my top five winter essentials. Besides the necessities, like snow tires, shelter, and a great moisturizer. Things like scarves, tea and books!

Top Five Winter Essentials

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A Blanket Scarf

Okay, the first of my top five is the most extravagant item on my list. My fringed cashmere scarf comes from Kit and Ace, a Canadian company. And I’ll tell you why I LOVE it. First of all, it fits in with my idea of quality, sustainable fashion. (I bought a cheaper $50 blanket scarf from Chapters/Indigo. It’s soft and a lovely bright blue colour, but I wear a lot of black clothing and it sheds. Boo.) I bought my cashmere scarf two years ago and it’s my constant companion. It hasn’t aged, despite constant use. It’s wonderful for trips (car, plane, train, any mode of travel), used as a shawl in my office, as an incredibly warm scarf (and extra layer) over my winter coat. It will last for years!

Books (Of course!)

My second on the top five list is a no brainer here! Books can get you through a lot of winter related challenges like blizzards and cold snaps. It rained here in January and created extremely icy conditions. People were skating in the streets! It made surfaces treacherous. My daughter has mobility issues and it made getting out and about difficult. Rather than risk falling, we stayed home. I mentioned my January reading list here. I felt laggy and draggy this morning so treated myself to an easy morning and finished Year One by Nora Roberts. Other than a couple of nitpicks, I enjoyed the characters, her take of what brings the world to it’s knees, and her post-apocalyptic world.

Tea

I know there are a lot of coffee drinkers out there, but I’m a tried and true tea drinker and no top five list of mine would be complete without tea. I enjoy a cup of Earl Grey every morning. My favourite afternoon teas are Blood Orange and a Rooibos Cinnamon Chai. The evenings are spent sipping Peppermint or some type of citrus blend.

Essential Oils

I love essential oils! I tried a new blend today: 4 drops of Lavender, 3 drops of Bergamot, and 2 drops of Peppermint. It’s said to promote serenity. It was very pleasant and I’d definitely use this mix again. There is also a congestion relief blend I often use: 2 drops of Eucalyptus, 2 drops of Peppermint, and 2 drops of Tea Tree. I’m also a big fan of this headache roll-on!

Netflix

What did we do before Netflix? Wait until our favourite shows came out on DVD so we could binge watch that way. Or store up episodes on our PVRs. We can still do this, but it’s never worked for me. I forgot about the show and move on. My husband and I  just finished binge watching two seasons of Stranger Things. So. Good! It’s honestly the first time we’ve been so committed to a show. Now to find something new to watch.

What are some of your winter essentials?

A reminder that the romantic suspense boxset, including BACKLASHCloser To Danger is available for preorder! U.S. and Canada.

Closer To Danger: A Romantic Suspense Boxset

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Reading Away The January Blues

Any time is a good time to read a book, but something about the cold winds of winter, cozy blankets, and hot tea encourages me to hunker down and read away the January blues. Blue Monday falls somewhere in January, There’s some debate about which Monday specifically, and how the defining formula works, but I think it’s safe to say some of us find January challenging for a variety of reasons. My coping strategy is reading.

My January TBR Pile

My January TBR pile is an eclectic mix of books. Most of which I was fortunate enough to receive as Christmas gifts. I’ve finished reading The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld. This was our January book club pick and let me just say, wow. I can’t say enough good thing about this book. It checked all my favourites: remote setting, strong but damaged protagonist, enthralling plot, excellent pacing.

I have started Stephen King’s On Writing. A Year of Writing Dangerously by Barbara Abercrombie is sitting beside me on my desk as inspiration! Also, I was lucky enough to win a $25 KOBO gift card, so I bought a book by a favourite author, Nora Roberts’ Year One.

Take that January blues!

Karyn Good, Romantic Suspense Author

Upcoming News

My novel, BACKLASH, is included in a romantic suspense boxset, Closer To Danger, that is available for preorder and comes out February 8th. The entire boxset is only $2.99 (US) at Amazon US and $3.76 (CAN) Amazon CAN.

Closer To Danger: A Romantic Suspense Boxset

Six romantic suspense books! If you love intrigue, are looking for excitement, or want to set your heart racing, preorder now and don’t miss the chance to read books by these talented authors: Rachel Brimble, Suzanne Rossi, Mitzi Pool Bridges, Robena Grant, Debra Jupe.

What does your reading list look like for January?

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A Look Ahead at 2018 and a Look Back at 2017!

I’m looking back on 2017’s fondest memories and thinking ahead to 2018 with excitement.

2018

Every year I try to pick a word every year and 2018’s word is COMMIT. It’s difficult to explain to another what that word signifies to me. It’s a rather benign word without context. My writing has waited patiently in the wings these last couple of years while I’ve focused on improving other areas of my life. That’s not to  say I abandoned the process altogether, but writing wasn’t a priority. When I did sit down to write, it was a half-hearted, distracted attempt and my Muse knew it and made me work for any gains I managed.

Perhaps I should also explain that I’ve always felt my Muse was quite Nanny McPhee like, and therefore I don’t use the word lightly as she makes her presence known in my lowest of writing times.

“When you need me, but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me, but no longer need me, then I have to go.”

I feel like she letting go now and winging her way towards another struggling writer.

I also seem to attach myself to a quote each year. I love quotes and I come across them all the time on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and a host of other places. I know the right one when I read it. Also, I’m a firm believer in the Universe providing. The moment I saw this quote I knew it had my intentions for 2018 written all over it.

“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” Ginny Weasley (J.K. Rowlings)

So, here’s to a productive and creative 2018!

2017

But 2017 was pretty darn awesome and, boy, did it fly by. To be more mindful, in 2017 I committed to slow everything: slow fashion, slow food, slow fitness…you get the idea. I focused on my health. I chose quality over quantity. I shopped local. I did a host of things that inspired and motivated me to do slow down and find my focus and it worked!

Slow Down

I’ll end with two of my favourite images of 2017.

By far the biggest event of 2017 took place on September 30th! The day our son and daughter-in-law were married amid much joy, love and celebration.

J&B Wedding

I went on my first writing retreat in the spring of 2017 and my second in November. We chose the tranquil calm of the Living Skies Retreat and Conference Centre in picturesque Lumsden, Saskatchewan to get our creative juices flowing.

SRW 2017 Nov. Writing Retreat

There is a huge wood burning fireplace in the main area that we congregated in front of in the evenings. In front of us were large floor to ceiling windows with views of the Qu’Appelle Valley and lots of comfy seating for writing during the days. There were walking paths and a lovely labyrinth to explore.

Living Skies Retreat and Conference Centre

What were two highs for you in 2017 and how are you looking ahead at 2018?

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