I’m “Going Dark” for the Holidays!


I’m ‘going dark’ for the holidays. That sounds cryptic, however it’s anything but. I’m taking time to slow down as much as possible, and that means scaling back my blogging. And by scaling back, I mean I’m not posting so much as picture of my big toe.

Instead, I’m going to take time to actually enjoy the holidays and all that they entail. I’m planning to take time to breathe. To be fully present at every gathering rather than mentally running down my to-do list and anxiously wondering how soon I can leave without being rude.

I want to bake lots of desserts that I shouldn’t be eating (even as I type this I’ve got cinnamon rolls baking in the oven). I want to slow down when I see spectacular Christmas lights and watch cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies. I want to laugh often and loudly.

I want to daydream and star gaze.  I want to take time to be quiet. To be still and present, celebrating all that I have to be grateful for. I want to write without limits, which is my truest form of meditation.

I’m doing all of this and more because if 2015 has taught me anything it’s that time is not promised. Loved ones who are here this Christmas, may not be present physically next Christmas. I encourage you to celebrate them while you can, and savor every moment. One day the memory of them will be the thing that keeps you going.

Count your blessings. Embrace your traditions. Celebrate the here and now.

May your holidays be filled with much joy, peace and love!





Late Post: Ranches, Horses and…Me?????? #WritersRetreat

What do you get when you combine a plus-sized city girl, a ranch in the boonies, a sneaky horse named Sky and a free wheeling golf cart? I’ll tell you what you get: a writer’s retreat worth remembering.

A few weeks ago I took a road trip to Red Oak, Texas which consisted of 6.5 hours of me singing along (horribly) to Adele and Kirk Franklin. I arrived at Shooting Star Ranch & Retreat slightly hoarse and ready to get my write on.

But that didn’t happen. I think I wrote approximately two pages the whole weekend. Instead, I whiled away the weekend chatting with the ladies from the best writer’s group in Texas. We talked about everything from race relations to crazy exes to pimps in pepto-bismal pink cars camped out in the suburbs. And of course we discussed publishing industry trends, our current works in progress, etc. It was all kinds of real and I loved every minute of it.

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When I wasn’t running my mouth, I took a tour on the ranch’s golf cart. Never mind the fact that I’d never driven one before in my life and that I’m directionally challenged. Did I get myself in a situation where I needed to reverse and didn’t know how? Yep. Did I get turned around and almost end up in a ravine? Yep. Did I attempt to outrun a horse in a gold cart? Yes. Yes, I did.

It was a weekend of firsts for me. I roasted marshmallows over an open fire and touched a horse for the first time in the entirety of my life. I told you I was a city girl. I discovered that I like the idea of ranches, horses, pitch black starry nights and whatnot, but the reality of them freaks me all the way out. I’ll leave that to my rom-com books and movies, thank you very much.

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My greatest take away from the weekend was how refreshing it was to have a change of scenery. It did wonders for my creativity and spending time with like-minded individuals was rejuvenating. Writers are a unique group of people. A hilarious, broad thinking, intuitive, life loving bunch that I’m proud to be counted among!

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 When’s the last time you did something for the first time? Are you a nature lover in theory (like me) or in practice? What’s your writer’s or book club group like? What do you love most about being apart of it?

Are You Ready?

 You ever come across someone with a sweet spirit? You know, those people who seem naturally and effortlessly warm and kind? That’s the impression I get from today’s guest blogger Corine Marie! First, she’s going to share some inspiration geared towards helping you pursue your passion with abandon. Then, she’s going to share a little about her debut novel A Small Piece of Her Heart.


Are you ready? I wasn’t! Sweat filled my palms and coated my forehead. Butterflies danced in my stomach, leaving me to feel weak. That’s how I felt at my first keynote speaking engagement. But I did it despite my nervousness and succeeded.
When I knew I wanted to write my first book, the fear of failure was so strong that I didn’t tell anyone for months that I was writing. I didn’t feel intelligent enough to call myself an author. Eventually I gave myself a pep talk and now I proclaim it from the roof tops and can’t wait for people to read my book. 
So, are YOU ready? You have aspirations. It may be something you’ve dreamed of your entire life or suddenly, it came to you in a dream. Are you ready to pursue those aspirations? You may not feel ready but that’s perfect because no one is ever really “ready” to do anything. Being “ready” almost doesn’t exist. Pushing through those moments of uncertainty is when one discovers their power within and their strengths. So don’t be paralyzed by fear. Don’t allow yourself to focus on what might go wrong, instead, focus on what could go right and take some risks. One of my favorite quotes is, “Success never happens from comfort zones.” Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free. If you don’t ever take the risk, you’ll never find out how great it could have been. 
Ask yourself these questions:
  • 1. What will my life look like in a year if I continue to do nothing?
  • 2. How can my life potentially change for the better if I do take the risk?
  • 3. Will I be happy with my life in the next five years if I continue on this same path?

If you wait until you’re “ready” you’ll be waiting a very long time, possibly the rest of your life. Be bold, take risks and fear nothing except regret.

a small piece


Aubrey Blake does not live her life all-in with anything. She learned from her unfortunate upbringing that everyone has a monstrous side lurking behind a well-polished facade. As a result, she armors her heart with a Teflon shell.


Aubrey’s only focus is becoming a thriving individual. She is progressing just fine until former college football superstar, Daniel Sane transfers to her college.  Their connection is immediate but when Aubrey discovers that Daniel has a concealed reason as to why he no longer plays football, her skepticism of people resurfaces and she is reluctant to move forward. Though they become flirtatious friends, Daniel’s secret and Aubrey’s vaulted heart has them on a constant roller coaster ride of emotion.​

Click HERE to Check out A Small Piece of Her Heart!

Author photo1Bio: Corine Marie Tindell was born in Canton, Ohio. She attended the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio where she earned a Bachelors degree in Interpersonal Communications.
Shortly after graduating from college, she started her first business, CorineMarie.com, an online store where she sold handmade fashion designs. The business evolved when she began blogging alongside her husband, Lucas, about getting dressed up and enjoying a weekly date night. That’s when she discovered her passion for writing about love and relationships.
Today, Corine and Lucas – having only been married six years – are blessed and privileged to share their relationship with others through facilitating marriage counseling, teaching healthy relationship courses, and monthly blogging.

Faith Simone says: That last line, though? “Be bold, take risks and fear nothing except regret.” Chile’, somebody needs to put that on a Hallmark card because that sentence is everything! I think I found one of my new mantras for 2016. 🙂
When’s the last time you did something you were afraid to do? How did you feel afterwards? What advice would you give someone who’s striving to live life without regrets? Do you have any questions about A Small Piece of Her Heart? How did you/do you keep past hurt from interfering with your relationships?