Author Jo Huddleston

Sweet Southern Romance

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

COTT Champ Lisa T. Bergren

*Guest post by Michelle Massaro
Congratulations, Lisa T. Bergren, author of Waterfall! Lisa's winning excerpt was discovered by COTT's new Talent Scout, Katie McCurdy. You can read Katie's review here. This YA title is being highly-praised by adults and is only the second YA title to win at Clash Of The Titles. Visit Lisa's site to learn more about her.
                                      About the book:
Gabriella has never spent a summer in Italy like this one.
Remaining means giving up all she’s known and loved…
and leaving means forfeiting what she’s come to know…and love itself.
Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Bentarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives with their parents, famed Etruscan scholars, among the romantic hills. Stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, dusty archaeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds… until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.

And thus does she come to be rescued by the knight-prince Marcello Falassi, who takes her back to his father’s castle—a castle Gabi has seen in ruins in another life. Suddenly Gabi’s summer in Italy is much, much more interesting. But what do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?

Sounds amazing, doesn't it? No wonder it won! If you're ready to read it, head to Amazon now. You can read Lisa's COTT interview here or check out her excerpt here. Lisa, welcome to the COTT Hall of Fame. We're very happy to have you join us!

Readers, do you hunger for a well-written convo--one dripping with sarcasm or perhaps laced with unspoken meaning? Maybe you like a quick wit or a character whose comments make you LOL. Wish you could influence the dialogue of the fictional characters you read? This week COTT is hosting a showdown for the Snappiest Dialogue. Hurry on over and let our authors know what you like, and what you long to see, in the spoken interaction between characters. See you there!

* Michelle Massaro is the Assistant Editor for COTT and has a passion for evangelizing through fiction. She writes contemporary inspirational novels with heart-rending themes intended to frame the message of God’s healing love. Michelle has written for Romantic Times, Circle Of Friends, and Pentalk Community, among others. Find her on twitter @MLMassaro, Facebook, or her blog, Adventures in Writing, and join the fun.

Monday, August 29, 2011

In The Sandbox

Monday Musings on This ‘N That

Is there anyone in your life that you just plain don’t enjoy being around? If so, does that person know you feel the way you do toward her/him? Can either of you define or pinpoint what formidable wall stands between you?

I’ve known some people who just don’t mix well together; like the proverbial oil and water. Why do you think that is? Why is it that what we call “chemistry” is favorably present for some folks and not for others? And, I must ask, what can be done about it?

It would be wonderful if there were a formula or potion that could be used to turn bad chemistry into good chemistry. But sadly there is none. It is so comforting to meet someone and within a short time you both feel like you’ve known one another since kindergarten. I won’t tell you how long my best friend and I have been BFFs; if I did, when you view my "young-looking" photos on my website you’d think, no way!

Life is too short to be concerned about how you don’t get along with someone. Have some discussions; make compromises if necessary. We’re all here on earth, playing in the same sandbox so can’t we all stop with the sand throwing?
Have you ever been in an association with someone (platonic or romantic) where the chemistry is just not right? What did you do to make it better? Or did you do nothing and you both continued to walk on egg shells when around each other?

Let’s tear down all the barriers that stand among us. As we tell our small children, “Be sweet to each other.”

“Being sweet is contagious. Go ahead and spread it around.”
--from a Splenda packet

Till next time … keep on smiling.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What About Self-Published Books?

Thursday Thoughts on Reading ‘N Writing

Last Thursday we looked at the reasons that lead you to purchase a book. To summarize, here’s what we looked at: Title, Cover, Back cover text, Recommendations, Price, or shopping for a specific author or title.

Let’s go a bit further today with this question: Would you consider self-published books when you’re shopping in a bookstore? Why? Why not?

Authors are seeing longer and longer waiting times when trying to get published with a “traditional, royalty-paying publisher.” I read that it took Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, five years to write that book. Then it took her three and one-half years and sixty rejections to get agent #61 to say yes.

Many authors now don’t want to go through such a long process toward publication. Because technology for the writer has opened an avenue toward publishing that is quicker and gives the writer more control, the scenario has changed. Self-publishing, Publish on Demand (POD), and eBook publishing are changing the publishing business in favor of the writer. This scenario has some traditional publishers now writing in an author’s contract that the publisher retains eBook rights. Some publishers today are coming out with a print version and an eBook version of each book they publish.

If you plan to publish an eBook yourself, be sure to get a professional edit before you submit your document. If you have out-of-print books that have been traditionally published, you won’t have to be concerned about the editing because it got a professional edit already. You must, however, get the rights to the book from the publisher who released it before. And if you want the same cover, you’ll have to contact the artist to obtain rights to use that cover.

Kindle, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble are places you can publish an eBook. But don’t expect an instant listing on the bestseller lists. Even as it is with traditionally published books, you should expect to do most/all of the marketing of your eBook.

So, as a buyer would you consider purchasing a self-published book? Why? Why not?
As a writer would you consider self-publishing your book as an eBook? Why? Why not?

Till next time ... keep on smiling.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

School Girl Crushes and Blushes

Guest post by: Jennifer Slattery

Do you remember those dances held during junior high and high school? How you and your friends would spend hours pre-dance talking about what you'd wear, how you'd do your hair, and...giggle, blush, giggle...who might ask you to dance? Only those dances never quite ended up how we envisioned, at least not in my school. Inevitably, the guys huddled near the far, heavily-shadowed wall while the girls spent their time crying in the bathroom or trying to comfort their near hysterical friend hiding in the stall.

At least in Junior High. High School got a little better and people actually danced, and the bathrooms were far less crowded with splotchy-faced, sniffling girls.

But reading this week's excerpts actually brought me back even sixth grade.

We didn't have dances--instead, our school hosted skating parties. Do you remember those? "Elvirah" blaring from those gigantic speakers while a disco ball lit up the room, making that feather pinned in your hair really stand out. (Those have come back, btw. Seriously.) We'd do the hokey-pokey, skate on one foot, then backward...but what the girls waited for, holding their breath and scanning the glittering room for their short, waif-thin and equally shy hero, was when the DJ announced, "Find a partner!"

Now here's where it gets really fun, and extremely embarrassing, but remember I was a stupid kid with absolutely no life....

Who knew come skating party time, a boy--maybe even the boy--might hold my hand. Oh, the very thought made my stomach twirl.

In preparation, I slathered lotion on my hands the week leading up the event--and I mean slathered. Then, I'd rub it in and hold my hand out to my mom. "Are my hands soft? Feel them."

She'd laugh and feel my hand. Then I'd slather on more. "Feel them now."

She remained patient for about three or four applications.

What about you? Any stupid, cheek-burning stories to share?

Be sure to come meet our competing authors this week on COTT

Monday, August 22, 2011

Are You an Evergreen?

Monday Musings on This ‘N That

We, of course, know what an evergreen is—a tree, right? Trees like pines, cedars, and firs and there’s even an evergreen oak. Evergreens stay green all year round, don’t lose their leaves as other trees do when fall comes. So, in essence we could say an evergreen stays the same, no pretense, they’re just what they are. They don’t change to adapt to circumstances as the chameleon lizard does.

Do you know any people who are evergreens? Merriam-Webster online dictionary gives a secondary definition of evergreen: something that retains its freshness, interest, or popularity. We know people like that, don’t we? And we’ve read and own books that are classics and fit that definition.

Do you and I fit that secondary definition? Do we retain “freshness, interest, OR popularity.” According to this definition, to be an evergreen you aren’t required to have all three traits; one or two would do. I equate freshness and interest with someone who has a positive outlook on life. Popularity? I think that’s sometimes a passing, temporary thing. But a positive outlook (freshness and interest) becomes a permanent thing once we get into the habit.

If you have studied sufficiently, instead of thinking, “Oh, I will fail the exam,” think instead, “But I may pass the exam.” If you start your day by breaking your breakfast plate, instead of thinking “From here the day has to go downhill,” think “It all has to go uphill from here.” Try positive thinking, it might just work and we’d be more pleasant people to be around.

Are you an evergreen personality? Do you want to be? Do you want to stay consistent, no pretense, be just what you are—every day? Will you try to be an evergreen, not a chameleon?

It doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.” —Lucille Ball

Till next time … keep on smiling.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Begin Again

Today's guest devotional post comes from Jennifer Slattery, a freelance writer who lives in the Midwest with her husband of sixteen years and their thirteen year old daughter.

Last year, during a Wednesday night prayer service, I heard sniffling behind me. I turned to find a woman crying, and soon asked her why. Turns out, her son was in his senior year and she desperately wanted a do-over. Between the hustle and bustle of life, she’d let “family time” slip, and nearly lost her son in the process. We prayed, and hugged, and cried together, and she left, determined to start fresh—to do whatever it took to win her son’s heart back.

About six months later, she came again, and sat in the pew behind us. After service, I asked her how she was doing, and more importantly, how were things with her son. She beamed, a smile spreading across her face, and launched into a story of sit-down dinners, one-on-one time with her son, and clearly defined boundaries. She'd received her do-over.

Clearly she couldn't go back and undo the previous seventeen years, but by determining to start fresh, at that moment, she salvaged what was left of her son's last year at home and paved the way for years to come.

Lately, I've spent a lot of time in the book of Ezra in the Bible. Ezra and the Israelites returned to Jerusalem after seventy years of exile. This wasn't an easy trip, and many stayed in Babylon. The journey to Jerusalem was costly, long, and dangerous, lasting for months. The people they encountered along the way were hostile, then when they got to Jerusalem, the city was in ruins and many of the people had intermarried with pagans. And yet, despite the arduous journey, the difficult task, and the discouraging circumstances, God called them to persevere, and begin anew. They were to rebuild the temple.

"And God stirred the hearts of the priests and Levites and the leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple of the Lord. And all the neighbors assisted by giving them articles of silver and gold, supplies for the journey, and livestock. They gave them many valuable gifts in addition to all the voluntary offerings." Ezra 1:5-6 (NLT)

So the rest was easy, right? God called, God provided, and everything else just fell into place?

Hardly. They experienced opposition and became discouraged. In modern terms, we'd say they hit one closed door after another.

Does opposition mean a closed door? Will change always come easily?

Like the story of the mother I shared with you, the Israelites were given a chance to start anew, but it wouldn't be easy. Not only did they face outer opposition, but I'm certain their hearts rebelled at every turn. Fear, anger, bitterness, discouragement churning into a faith-sapping mess. Opposition became so great, the building ceased for an entire year. Can you imagine what this must have felt like? They'd been freed from exile, likely resulting in a mountain top experience, only to be beat down on a long, treacherous journey. Then, when they were about at their end, exhausted and discouraged, they found their land filled with pagans. But wait, God showed up, and that tiny glimmer of hope that had kindled upon their release fanned into flame...only to be extinguished again. How many more trials could they face? At what point could they wash their hands in defeat?

Change never comes easy, and for me, it's a constant battle, one that requires diligence, prayer, and a steady dose of accountability. But regardless the opposition, regardless how difficult the journey, God calls us to keep on keeping on. And the beauty of the gospel is that each day, we have been given the opportunity to begin again. You didn't like how you treated your husband the day before? So start fresh today. Have years of arguing and eye-rolling caused a drift between you and your teen? So begin anew. It is never too late to make an about face.

All things are possible with God, and as I draw near to Him and meditate on His holy Word, He will mold me into the woman He wants me to be, day by day, mistake by mistake. It won't be a perfect journey. I'll likely fall enough times to become permanently bruised, but I know I'll never fall farther than His hand. And each time He catches me, I'll learn something new about His love and grace. And each time I persevere, I'll learn something new about myself.

Would you like to join me?

Jennifer Slattery writes for Christ to the World, the Christian Pulse, and Samie Sisters. She’s the marketing manager for the literary website, Clash of the Titles, and works for Tiffany Colter the Writing Career Coach doing critiques and marketing. She’s written for numerous publications, websites, and E-zines and has placed in numerous contests. Visit her devotional blog, Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud to find out more about her and her writing.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How Do You Decide Which Book to Buy?

Thursday’s Thoughts on Reading and Writing

When you shop in a brick and mortar bookstore how long does it take you to make up your mind what you will purchase? Do you find that you look through a lot of books and time gets away from you? When you’re not looking for a specific title or author let’s consider a few things that could draw your attention to a book.

• Does the book’s title determine if you even pick up the book to browse through it?
• How important is the book’s cover? The cover should give you clues to its story.
• Do you always read the back cover text? That should pull your interest into the book.
• Do you only look at the books with the front cover facing out toward the customer?
• Do you look through a lot of books and time gets away from you?
• Do recommendations from someone influence your purchase?
• Does price of the book enter into your decision to buy?

Even if you’re shopping for a book at online bookstores some of the above points might enter into your buying decision.

So what attracts you to a book?
• Title
• Cover
• Back cover text
• Recommendations
• Price

What settles your decision to buy a book?

Till next time … keep on smiling.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New COTT Champion: A Familiar Evil by Anne Patrick

Today we have an announcement from The Clash of The Titles blog alliance and find out who the current winner is. We have an interview with the author and a small excerpt of her novel.

 *guest post by Jennifer Slattery

The next Clash of the Titles literary champion is Anne Patrick! Her novel A Familiar Evil won the vote for Author’s Choice.
Here’s a blip of her COTT winning excerpt (excerpt B):

“Excuse me. I’m looking for Chief Russell.”

Jordan’s stomach did a nosedive at the familiar voice of her soon-to-be-ex-husband.

“You found her,” Frank answered.

Jordan looked up just as Sam smiled. “Indeed I have.” He started toward her desk.

Colleen barged through the opened door. “Chief, there’s an Agent Russell here to see…oh, I guess you found her.”

“Agent Russell,” Frank repeated. He turned back to Jordan, “Isn’t Russell your married name?” He then shifted his gaze back to Sam, “That must mean you’re her husband.”

“Not for much longer.” Jordan hurried around her desk and ushered Frank out the door. “You’ll be hearing from me.” She closed the door and looked at Sam. “What are you doing here?”

“I’m here at your request.”

Read the full excerpt here.

A few reader comments: 
  • I'm hooked! Loved the tension between Jordan and Sam.
  • Both were really good! I Liked Excerpt B because of the rather humorous exchange between husband and wife. :-) Definitely a book I'd want to get and read!
  • Love tension in Excerpt B. And there's promise of lots more!! 
After reading Anne’s tension-filled excerpt, we wanted to know how she came up with such great stories. Her answer? She writes on the fly.
“I’m a Pantser,” Anne said. “I never plan anything. As a matter of fact I didn’t know who the killer was in A Familiar Evil until toward the end of the book when he sprang out at me and said, ‘I’m your man.’ Of course I had suspected he was the one but I wasn’t for sure. There are several possibilities.”
Her plot ideas come to her just as unexpectedly. “Often times when I'm researching one book, ideas for another start to sprout,” Anne said. “Reading the paper is another good source for me. Life is truly stranger than fiction.
Read the full interview here.

What Anne had to say about her time on Clash:
"Thanks for having me here at COTT. You ladies are awesome!"

Want to join the fun? Hop on over to Clash of the Titles now to vote for our next literary champion and be entered into our drawing for a free book! And don’t forget to stop by Clash of the Titles Book Club to join our cyber-chat. We’re devouring Delia Latham’s Destiny’s Dream.

*Jennifer Slattery is the marketing manager for Clash of the Titles. She writes for Christ to the World Ministries, the Christian Pulse, and Samie Sisters. She’s also written for numerous other publications and websites including the Breakthrough Intercessor, Bloom!, Afictionado, the Christian Fiction Online Magazine, and Granola Bar Devotions. She has a short piece in Bethany House’s Love is a Flame (under a pen name) forwarded by Gary Chapman, another piece in Cathy Messecar’s A Still and Quiet Soul, and a third piece scheduled to appear in Majesty House’s Popcorn Miracles. You can find out more about her and her writing at Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud and you can catch some great writing tips at her writing blog, Words That Keep.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Simple or Stressful?

Monday Musings on This ‘N That

Is your life simple or stressful? If your life is stressful, can you ever get back to simple? These days the world seems to expect everybody to multitask—do more than one thing at the same time. Like those folks you see who can keep several plates balanced and spinning at the same time. Do you ever feel like that guy, running from one thing (plate) to another and barely staying ahead of a full-blown crash of your life (all the plates)?

A few of us probably would enjoy a life of simplicity. A little child’s life is a good model of simplicity. They can have a fuss one minute and then a while later are the best of friends. Seems like once we become adults we’ve learned the words disagree, dislike, argue, and unforgiving. We adults find it easy to remember hurt feelings; unlike little children, we hold grudges against those who have hurt us.

Can you remember how simple a little child faces each day? How they probably don’t remember having their feelings hurt? They embrace everyone, trusting and laughing. Little children who are cared for are happy every day (unless they are sick). They usually get along with everyone who pays attention to them. Little children aren’t aware of all the bad around the world; they look at the world through innocent eyes that yet don’t know evil.

You know, women usually have in their closet that “little black dress.” The dress that is completely simple but adequate for times when jeans won’t do. Think Audrey Hepburn—if you’re old enough to remember her in a simple, but attractive dress.

We can look at little children and find innocence. Knowing what we know in maturity, some might wish to turn the calendar back a ways and start again. The second time around they might keep that simple innocence that brings such happiness to little children.

The greater part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, not our circumstances.” –Martha Washington

Till next time … keep on smiling.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

If You Had a Choice

Thursday Thoughts on Reading and Writing

Today's guest blogger is April Gardner, Senior Editor of Clash of the Titles (COTT). She proposes some interesting and thought-provoking questions to writers and receives great and varying answers. Please read on...

Ever wonder what a writer thinks about other genres, authors, and books? Let's find out! I put together some fun questions for our Clash of the Titles authors, as well as our current anonymous Clashing authors. Some of their answer surprised me. Others made me chuckle, or made me think about my own motives.
Here they are!
If you had to choose... do only one of these for the rest of your life, which would it be? Read or write?
Amanda Flower-- Read- I write because I was reader first.
Lisa Lickel-- I’ve written twenty-five novels so far, published five of them and hope that’s not it, and it’s not like I feel I’ve written everything I wanted to...but between Kindle and my p-tbr-pile, there’s well over a hundred books just calling to be read.
Jennifer Slattery- Write, definitely, because that's when I feel God's presence strongest. I also process through my writing, whether penning articles, devos, blog posts or novels. So I imagine if I quit writing, I'd have horrendous therapy bills!
Gail Pallotta--  It would be extremely hard not to read, but I'd write because I feel that God can use my writing, even if it's in a small way.
Michelle Massaro-- mmm, read. That's why I write and it's also a whole lot easier! Lol

...only one genre to read for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Amanda Flower-- Mystery- I'm a huge mystery fan.
Lisa Lickel-- Ouch! Hit a girl where it hurts. Fantasy.
Author of Excerpt A-- History. I love science fiction, but I have a passion for history.
Jennifer Slattery-- Women's fiction. I love reading about characters ultra dependent on God's grace
Gail Pallotta--  I would read classic books that get at some truth about humanity.
Author of Excerpt B—Romantic Suspense

...only one author to read for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Amanda Flower-- Nevada Barr- Her description of the nationals parks is amazing.
Lisa Lickel-- Hmmm...besides you, of Stewart.
Author of Excerpt A-- Jack London. He wrote a lot of man vs. nature kind of stories, which I enjoy a lot.
Jennifer Slattery-- Hm...I'll give three. I love CJ Darlington and the real-life issues she writes about, but I also loved Diana Prusik's debut novel, Delivery. Then there's Athol Dickson. Wow, that fella can write
Michelle Massaro-- C.S. Lewis. He has such a variety of books to read and they all contain such spiritual truths. Screwtape Letters, Chronicals of Narnia, Space Trilogy, Mere Christianity, I'd be all set.
Author of Excerpt B--  Tough one!  I'll go with Mary Higgins Clark

....only one book (in addition to the Bible) to read for the rest of your life, which would it be? 
Gail Pallotta--  Other than the Bible, I rarely read a book more than once, but My all-time favorite book is An American Tragedy.
Author of Excerpt A-- Drat, you took away my answer. Since I can't pick the Bible, I would say Homer's, The Illiad.
Michelle Massaro-- Could I choose the whole set of Narnia books? If not, I'd have to go with Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. (hehe, is this answer a cheat?)
Author of Excerpt B-- The one that comes to mind first is Danger in the Shadows by Dee Henderson.

What about you? What would your answers be to these same questions?

At the Clash of the Title Book Club this month, we're discussing COTT champ Delia Latham's novel, Destiny's Dream. Head over there and see what all the hype is about!

~ April Gardner is the Sr. Editor of COTT, and best-selling author of Wounded Spirits

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kernel of Faith

Today's guest devotional post comes from Staci Stallings, owner of Spirit Light Books and author of Price of Silence. (Get your copy now, for only $0.99!)

Kernel of Faith by Staci Stallings

I don’t know why but I’ve been thinking a lot about that mustard seed of faith that Jesus says we need. It really, honestly doesn’t seem like much, does it? In fact, a mustard seed is about this small . Got it? That period is the size of a mustard seed, and Jesus says that’s all we have to have.

But how can that be? When things come along that look SO big, how does that mustard seed help? In fact, doesn’t it seem more likely that in the face of an overwhelming obstacle we would need FAR more than that little, tiny nearly nothing dot?

After much reflection, here is what I think Jesus meant. That mustard seed of faith is not what will get you through the storm. It is the seed of faith that allows you to cry out to God in the midst of the storm. It is that seed that says, “I can’t do this! Please, God help!”

Think about it. Without that seed, you would continue to try to do it on your own, and you would fail. Without that mustard seed, you would sink with no help of finding the surface or the answer to your problem.

But with that seed, you have God on your side. It doesn’t mean that you have to somehow gather and deploy the strength to do it. It means that you know enough to trust God to do it!

See, I used to always think that God was up there tallying up my life–the good went on one side, the bad on the other. Somehow not only did I have to make the good outweigh the bad, I also had to make the good be REALLY good in His eyes. And I never quite got there.

If I made a 96, it should have been a 100. If I helped out for an hour, it should have been two. If I put my all into something, there was some part of it that could always have gone a little better if I had just worked a little harder.

I wasn’t going on God’s strength, grace, mercy, and peace. I was trying to go on mine, and I was miserable.

Now, I realize I never have to do that. All I have to do is have enough faith to recognize that I can’t but He can, and then be willing to let Him step into the equation.

It’s much better this way. Much. MUCH better.

A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading. Although she lives in Amarillo,Texas and her main career right now is her family, Staci touches the lives of people across the globe every week with her various Internet endeavors including:

Books In Print, Kindle, & FREE on Spirit Light Works:
Spirit Light Books--The Blog:
And… Staci’s website Come on over for a visit…
You’ll feel better for the experience!
Connect with her on Twitter: @StaciStallings

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Are You Having Happy Weather?

Monday Musings on This ‘N That

Most of America is having an unusually hot summer, breaking many records for high temperatures. If you’re among those whose temperatures are normal for your neck of the woods, consider yourself lucky. Most of us at sometime are not happy with our weather.

In the Southeast when we go outside the air is stifling (Merriam-Webster Online: to be or become unable to breathe easily). Even walking out to the car is a chore because the hot, stuffy air is burdensome to inhale. Texas has had temps over a hundred degrees for days in a row.

So I thought I’d contribute to whatever remedies you’re trying for staying cool by posting the following pictures taken at my house. When you view them remember when we complained about those freezing days last winter. And snow in the Deep South? 


Did your state of mind if not your whole body cool down a bit? Well, when the weather begins to heat you up again, take a look at the photo below. Anchor the image in your mind so when you get aggravated with the hot weather, just think of you sitting under that umbrella. Imagine you can feel the soft tropical breeze fanning your face, making you smile. 

Try not to complain about the weather; it always changes. Turn your complaints into happiness.

 If you want to be happy, be.” —Leo Tolstoy

Till next time … keep on smiling.