Friday Free-For-All! Let’s go Walking!

Welcome to another Friday post! The weeks sure do fly by, don’t they?

Today I want to talk about exercise. Wait!! Don’t leave. Not hard exercise, just walking.

Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay

I recently had my yearly physical, where they draw blood and look at everything. My A1C was slightly out of range. Yikes! Diabetes runs in my family on both sides, so it’s something I’m acutely aware of.

I knew what I had to do. For the past two years, I slacked off on doing any kind of regular exercise and as a result, my body reacted to that. I had to get back into a regular routine of doing my favorite exercise, walking.

Thanks to my daughter, I own a treadmill. So, I have absolutely NO excuses for not walking for two years.

Photo by Jan Sikes

As curious minds will do, I started to wonder about the effectiveness of a treadmill vs. walking outdoors.

As I’ve mentioned before, I live in a huge metroplex. There is no nature trail nearby that would let me escape from the city noise. So, I am acutely aware of the constant drone of vehicles. A major freeway is a half-mile from where I live. I envy those who live in areas where they can walk in nature. There is a golf course across the street from me and a trail that goes under the freeway. I used to walk there until homeless people started camping under the overpass.

But, I digress. Verywellfit.com says this about walking outdoors. Walking outside comes with certain obstacles that make your body work harder, like wind resistance and pushing your own body to move forward, unlike a motorized treadmill that will keep you going with less effort on your part. When your body has to expend more energy, you burn more calories.

I will also add that, if you are walking outdoors, no matter far away you walk, you always have to walk back home, so there’s no quit, whereas, when you are on a treadmill, you can choose to stop at any time, perhaps shortening your walk.

You can also spot some interesting things on an outdoor walk. I saw this just yesterday. What a gorgeous sunrise!

Each time I walk by the wooded area, I always think it’s a great place to hide something. 🙂 And, I can see what’s showing at the movie theater. But the pair of abandoned shoes puzzled me. Did someone just take off their shoes and walk barefoot?

According to VeryWellFit.com, the advantages of walking on a treadmill are these. Using a treadmill for your regular workouts is a great way to train your walking muscles, practice your form, and achieve greater walking speed. If you opt for a treadmill, you can: Control your workout, Walk faster, Stay entertained and ignore the weather outside. So, it’s easier to stay consistent on a treadmill.

The benefit column seems a little heavier on the walking outdoors side as opposed to the treadmill, but they each have their benefits. One thing I didn’t mention about walking outdoors on concrete (which is what I have) can be hard on the joints. Whereas, a treadmill cushions the steps.

The bottom line: I think it doesn’t matter all that much where or how you walk, as long as you walk.

What say you?

Looking For Blogging Hosts! #NewRelease #SaddledHearts #RomanticSuspense

Greetings, kind folks!

I am getting ready to release Book 3 in The White Rune Series on October 19th, and am looking for a few blog hosts for the tour.

****PLEASE NOTE! AS OF NOW, I ONLY HAVE TWO MORE OPEN DATES: 10-24 AND 10-31!**** THANK YOU! YOU ROCK!

SADDLED HEARTS

GOING ON TOUR!!

Ghost of a Chance #NewRelease @jaydawes2

I am delighted to share a new book release with you from Jaye Marie!

Snow’s Prequel

Sometime during the night, the morphine had worn off, and detective David Snow woke early in agony. Looking at the bed, he had been thrashing around for hours. The damp sheets and the smell of his sweat permeated the room, a testament to his agony.

Sitting on the edge of his bed, he tried to think what to do first. He needed a shower, coffee, and another dose of morphine. He needed more but had been denied another prescription, which had not pleased him. How was he supposed to live without adequate pain relief?

He knew morphine was addictive, that he would have to make do with a less powerful drug, but already knew his shoulder would not like it. The morphine barely controlled the pain as it was and did nothing for his ever-growing depression.

Staggering to the bathroom, he swallowed the last tablet in the bottle. He had an appointment at the hospital today for more unwanted therapy. He stumbled into the shower and turned on the hot water, aiming the spray at his shoulder. This was the only way to briefly reduce the screaming from the damaged nerves.

Standing in the steamy shower, he wondered if his wife Jane had left for work yet. He couldn’t remember seeing her the night before, her ice-cold expression, or her accusing eyes. She had almost given up on him, probably thought he should man up and get back to work, seeing as how the wounds had healed. She had been patient in the beginning but increasingly critical of his progress or lack thereof.

Later that day, after being brutally attacked by the smallest but strongest physiotherapist, he sat in his car, failing to will the excruciating pain to subside. He had begged for morphine to no avail. They had palmed him off with something that had not touched the pain. Despair ran riot inside his head, and at that precise moment, if he had a gun, he would have used it.

He had tried different ways of coping with the pain. And the favourite was imagining suitable revenge for the woman who had fired the lethal crossbow bolts into his back and chest. Ruth Winton, a serial killer intent on ridding the world of anyone who had let her down, and Snow was top of her list. A clever woman who planned her revenge with clinical determination. Learning to be a police officer to get to him was a stroke of genius. Just a pity he hadn’t been more aware of her intentions.

He had not expected her to shoot him, something else that depressed him. But then, he had never been able to read any woman’s mind clearly.

His mind traveled on, coming to rest on Kate Devereau as it usually did, someone he met long ago while trying to figure out who had wanted her dead. He smiled for the first time that day, remembering her wild hair and stubborn ways. He remembered the beautiful artwork that had always touched his heart and soul, as did the woman herself.

She had called him her Snowman, but when her ex-husband tried to kill her again, her mind shut down, and she retreated into her painting, leaving him behind.

According to his wife Jane, he had called out Kate’s name in his delirium at the hospital, something he knew she would never forget…

PURCHASE LINK

Blurb

A damaged detective, out of a job

A relationship on the rocks

What does the future hold for David Snow?

Just when he thought life couldn’t get any worse

A ghost with a grudge adds to his pain

A ghost hell bent on stopping him from rebuilding his life…

JAYE MARIE

Jaye’s Biography:

I came to writing rather late but have always loved reading books. For someone who loathes computers with a passion, and I suspect this is mutual, I have managed to master the beast well enough to publish our own books.

I enjoy reading many different genres, so was very surprised to discover a passion for detective thrillers. I have written four of them to date, with more to follow.

I also enjoy running a joint website/blog with my writer sister, Anita Dawes, and meeting all the lovely people who drop in to say hello!

My other love is bonsai, and my small trees demand a lot of attention in the growing season, or they will die. Sometimes, it is just like having children!

PURCHASE LINK

Jaye Marie’s LINKS:

Email:       jayemarie01@btinternet.com

Website:  https://jenanita01.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jaydawes2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/doubletrouble44/

Goodreads: https://goodreads.com/author/show/8638857.Jaye_Marie

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Jaye-Marie/e/B00O2ZUFOK/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/anitajaydawes

Ghost of a Chance Order Links:

UK:    amzn.to/3QGfg2f

US:    amzn.to/3xpFWh3

#MondayMotivation – #Meditation #Tarot #DragonOracleCard

Today’s post will be a little different. Just remember I go with what I am given. Almost always, the message is for me, and I can only hope it resonates with someone else as well. The inspiration for today’s post came from a blog post that C.S. Boyack wrote. If you’re interested, here’s the link: https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2022/09/23/sage-grouse/

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I can distinctly remember the first time I realized life wasn’t fair for everyone and it broke my heart. Then the first time I realized that not everyone was honest, my heart broke again. Little by little my naivete and innocence got stripped away. This sweet meditation took me back to my child self, full of innocence, wonder, and trust. Life has worked hard to deprogram that out of us.

I only pulled one card today, and this is what I got.

Photo by Jan Sikes

The Ten of Cups embodies happiness, joy, and emotional contentment, particularly in your relationships and family. You have created an abundance of love and happiness in your life, and you now share this love with others, expanding your heart even more. This card often appears when you are surrounded by your loved ones with whom you share a powerful and deep connection. You appreciate and support one another, and together, you help each other reach your highest potential. It brings you so much joy to see your loved ones succeed and live happy lives.

The Ten of Cups is the ‘happy family’ card, suggesting that your family relationships are harmonious and loving right now. No one is fighting or causing any tension; all family members are getting along with each other and sharing in the love and happiness that surrounds you. This card may appear in a reading when you are spending more time with family, perhaps on a holiday, reunion, or event, where you can rest and relax together, creating fun and happy family memories and strong bonds.

The Ten of Cups encourages you to follow your heart and trust your intuition to lead you to the opportunities aligned with your Highest Good. Your feelings and emotions will guide you. When something feels fantastic, do more of it; and when something doesn’t feel right, do less of it. Allow your inner guidance to lead the way. Seek out opportunities that fulfill you and align with your personal values instead of following the path that others expect you to take.

MY TAKEAWAY:

Honestly, there isn’t anything I can add to that. I think we are being reminded just how important family is, even though sometimes we may not understand them or even like them. We chose them. They chose us. On the other hand, we have adopted families, and the same applies.

And this little dragon adds a bit more to the theme and message.

Lilac and Fire Dragon. Transmutes through the power of divine love. Open up to transcendent love and enlightenment. Purity of heart brings peace, hope and joy.

I hope you have a great week ahead! Embrace your family and try to find the carefree child you once were.

Friday Free-For-All – Clutter/DeClutter

Welcome to another Friday post!

I walked into my office the other day and stopped dead in my tracks. It was a MESS!!!

Photos by Jan Sikes

That’s ridiculous! It was time to do something about it. I stay so busy and go in such a fast run all the time, cleaning and organizing get pushed to the bottom of my list, as is obvious by these photos.

According to Psychology Today, clutter causes stress in part because of its excessive visual stimuli. It also signals to our brains that our work is never done and creates guilt, anxiety, and the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Wow! Can I ever relate to the part about my work never being done. It is overwhelming to constantly feel as if you are on a hamster wheel, running but never getting anywhere. And yes, then there’s the guilt about never making enough progress.

So, what exactly constitutes clutter? According to The Very Well Mind, The word clutter refers to items that are strewn about in a disorganized fashion. Well, that fits my situation. Things were strewn about and totally disorganized. They go on to say, In general, clutter is a collection of items that people accumulate in their homes and don’t necessarily use, but hold on to anyway. They also state, someone with perfectionist tendencies is likely to be more stressed out by clutter.

I don’t consider myself a perfectionist. If I ever did, I gave up on it long ago, as nothing is ever perfect. But I do have a touch of OCD. Okay. Maybe more than a touch. I obsess over things until they are finished. That’s a good quality for an author to have, right?

Back to the clutter. I decided it was high time I shut everything down and cleaned up. Heck, I had receipts from four months ago that needed to be processed, and that’s just one tiny part of it.

So, I put on music, which is my favorite thing to do when I clean, and got busy. A couple of hours later things looked totally different.

Ahhhh, much better.

Now I could go to work and be productive!

What about you? Does clutter bother you or are you one of those people who keep everything organized and never let it get cluttered? Let’s talk. Maybe you have some wisdom to share.

September Book Reviews @stacitroilo @maeclair1 @brendawhitesid2 @Sandra_Cox @maurabeth2014

I normally wait until the end of the month to share my book reviews, but these wouldn’t wait! Enjoy!

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PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

Hang onto your hat with this one, folks!
This story, written in dual timelines is hands-down one of the best books of the year so far!
I struggled at the beginning to keep all the characters from each timeline straight, but as the authors so effectively established each one, it became easy.
I love all the characters. Even the tertiary characters are bigger than life.
The relationship between Aiden and his Gran (Julia) is so special, not just because she raised him. They share something deeper than just family blood. They share gifts passed down through their lineage. But their banter is endearing. I almost laughed out loud when she drugged him with her special herbal tea.
The strong female characters in this story are unique and capable. Greer may be my favorite. Not only is she a talented writer and editor, but she’s also got flaws that make her believable. And that could be said about each character in this story.
Aiden is a non-believer in anything related to the spirit realm. So it was fun watching things unfold to challenge him at every turn.
From seances in the late 1800s to modern-day seances, this story encompasses it all. Some so-called spiritualists were no more than good magicians, while others truly possessed the gift of mediumship. Since I am a true believer in supernatural gifts, I found all of this believable.
I cannot fail to mention Aiden’s faithful dog, Levi. He is as much a character in the story as the humans and is entirely devoted to his master. So, I loved it when he saved the day.
If you love deeply intertwined family stories mixed with paranormal occurrences and a tantalizing mystery, you are going to enjoy this story from these two authors. I’ve been a fan of both of their writings for many years, but the two of them co-authoring this book have taken storytelling to an entirely new level. This is the must-read book of 2022!

 

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

I enjoyed this book so much. The author speaks my language. Elidor is an empath. She’s struggled throughout her entire life with how to manage that gift and not let it overwhelm her. She’s also an archaeologist and a good one. She’s traveled the world participating in digs. But this one, in New Mexico, changes her life. Bordering the Mescalero Indian Reservation, she and her partner, Cam make a discovery that will affect the future of the Mescalero Indians and their way of life. What to do? She’s developed a close kinship with a Mescalero elder, Juanita, who is teaching her how to manage her gift as an empath. Then Cam falls off the mountain and dies. Now Elidor is the only one who knows the location of the burial site and the massive accumulation of wealth it holds. She makes a choice that puts her life in danger. Greed can cause men to do unspeakable things. I cheered for Elidor when she made the decision to return home to Joshua, which is a fictitious town patterned after Jerome, Arizona. If you’ve never visited this place, put it on your bucket list, and don’t miss the kaleidoscope store. The author did a fabulous job of describing it. But I digress. I loved Elidor’s family and the hippie community that is bonded together in this quaint town. And while she knew it was always a possibility, she’d not prepared to cross paths with her one true love, Julien, whom she hasn’t seen in twenty years. He is an accomplished journalist turned author and has also traveled the world. Will they be able to renew their relationship? Will Elidor give up her secret? So many questions! You’ll have to read the book to find the answers. While this is book 3 in a series, is it a complete standalone You do not have to read the others before this one. If you are a fan of complex characters and a compelling storyline, you are going to love this book. I highly recommend it!

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

The cover for this story is the first thing that drew me. It’s gorgeous! I’ll Be Right Back is a short read that portrays a weak man’s obsession with a woman and the ultimate betrayal. Maura Beth Brennan has a distinctive writing style that pulls the reader into the story. She sets the scene, then follows through with the psychological aspects of both characters. Money isn’t everything, and love is truly blind. A short but good read!

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

A sheriff with amber eyes and lean hard muscles, a spunky southern girl, and a small Montana town makes the perfect combination for an intriguing story. Oh, but wait! Let’s add in the fact that the hunky sheriff is a shapeshifter who is determined to keep his inner wolf a secret. But when the people he loves are threatened by a powerful evil force, he has no choice. This story kept me involved from the beginning to the end. While I felt it was predictable as far as the romance part, it is a super entertaining read, and a great way to escape into another world for a while. This author does a great job of creating the characters. I could visualize them all and had a few favorites I immediately related to. Rose, Quinn, Jesse, and Adam, although tertiary characters, all play a big part in the unfolding of the story. If you are looking for a different kind of small-town romance story, there is no doubt you will enjoy this one. It’s a great escape!

#MondayMotivation – Meditation – #TarotReading #DragonOracleCard

Happy Monday! I wish you a great start to a new week. Let’s plant some seeds!

This mindfulness meditation is short but powerful for centering.

The Tarot cards really spoke to me today. I hope something about the reading will also resonate with you.

Photo by Jan Sikes

I know these cards will look familiar to you. We’ve seen them before, but never all three together.

First of all, notice the numbers (5,6,7). Interesting.

The Seven of Cups represents choices and decisions. There are so many things to choose from, and you may find your ideas are not grounded in reality. Often, the Seven of Cups can be a sign of wishful thinking and projecting into the future about what you would like to create, rather than taking action here in the present to make it happen. The Seven of Cups may be a sign of shiny object syndrome, where you keep finding the ‘next big thing’ but fail to see any of those new opportunities through to the end. When you are constantly in the idea phase, you miss the chance to bring your designs into fruition. Now is a time to focus on the one thing that will move you closer to your goal; resist the temptation to get side-tracked with other ideas as they arise. If need be, note your ideas as they come up, but stay focused on the one thing you’re doing. This card is inviting you to move out of the ideas and options phase and choose. Remember your choices today form your tomorrow.

The Five of Pentacles typically represent loss or poverty. It may predict hard times, especially when it comes to your work, career, finances, and material possessions. In this time of need, the Five of Pentacles indicates that you feel isolated and alone. Just like the two people in the card, you feel as if you have been left in the cold. You may wonder, “Why is no one coming to help me!?” It may appear as if no one cares anymore. However, since the windows in the church are lit up, help is nearby, but you are too focused on your problems to notice. You may be waiting for someone to come and help you when really, you need to be proactive and ask for help. You need to swallow your pride or let go of your fear of rejection and reach out. People are here to support you. Find them and let them know you need them. The upside is that this is a Minor Arcana card with temporary effects (rather than a Major Arcana card which has a longer-term impact). This, too, shall pass.

The Six of Swords may indicate that you are in a state of transition, leaving behind the familiar and moving toward the unknown. This change may be your own doing or forced upon you, and you may feel sad to leave behind what is so familiar to you. However, you know this move is essential for your growth and personal development. The card invites you to let go of whatever is holding you back. You are headed toward a much better position in life, so long as you are willing to evolve and shed whatever you no longer need. Do not dwell on what gets left behind. Instead, use this as an opportunity to change your beliefs about yourself, moving away from whom you used to be and toward whom you want to be. Similarly, the Six of Swords asks you to reflect on any emotional or mental baggage you may carry as you move from one phase to the next. In the boat stand six upstanding swords – a sign you are still carrying a heavy weight from your past as you move forward, which might slow your personal growth. These ‘swords’ may be memories, relationships, habits, behaviors, thought patterns, and beliefs that are no longer serving you. Decide what you need to take with you and what you can leave behind. The one comfort that always stands out to me about this card is that you are not alone. The boatman is helping get you where you need to be, and it’s a much better place.

MY TAKEAWAY:

Be mindful of the choices you make. Choosing something that is not grounded in reality is setting yourself up for failure, the feeling of loss, and desperation. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is time to leave behind what no longer serves you and move on to something better and brighter. But you are never alone.

And this little Dragon is ready to help clear your way!

Deep Blue Dragon - Keeps you safe by clearing your pathway. Trust that you are protected. Walk on a path of light.

#FridayFreeForAll #Crows

Happy Friday!! I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend ahead! Today’s subject may be a little ‘odd’ to some, but oh well, that’s what this Friday slot is all about. Anything goes!

Rick and I had some good friends, Roxy and Judy Gordon, who lived outside of Coleman between Valera and Talpa. (Yes, those are real places – tiny little towns) They were two of the most unique individuals I ever knew. They spent several years living on an Indian Reservation in Montana and practiced the Native American traditions and ways. They built what they called a house-up on top of a hill that overlooked a valley. I looked for a photo to show you and, after an hour of searching gave up. I have it on a video, but I did find this one which would have been taken shortly after they finished building it. (used with permission).

https://www.roxygordonfirstcoyoteboy.com/

Anyway, on the side of the building, they would paint the year and an animal, for example, ‘2002 The Year of The Snake’ or whatever animal had made its presence known that particular year.

What does any of that have to do with my post? I have been seeing an unusually large number of huge crows where I live.

Photo by Jan Sikes

That isn’t normal here. Occasionally I’ll see one or two, but not these large numbers. So, me being me, I had to consult my Animal Spirit Guides book and see what they signify.

Amazon Purchase Link (if interested)

Here’s what the book had to say about Crows:

You are on the verge of manifesting something you’ve been working toward for a while. Be very watchful over the next few days for any clear omens or signs that will guide and teach you. Expect a big change very soon. You’ve noticed something that’s out of balance or an injustice that hasn’t been addressed, and it’s important to speak up about it. You’re about to get a glimpse into some future event that affects your directly.

Hmmmmm. That’s certainly food for thought. Then I also found this on the internet.

Crows are a powerful symbol of change and transition. The crow is a symbol of metamorphosis or change. More importantly, it alludes to a shift in one’s spiritual or emotional well-being. With their keen senses and ability to adapt, birds are an invaluable source of information for people living in urban environments.

Courtesy: https://www.yourtango.com/2020334049/spiritual-meaning-crow

What to make of all the crows? I do believe there is a distinct message for me. I can certainly keep my eyes and ears open. At the very least, the pigeon population decreased when the crows showed up. I count that a win!

Author D.L. Finn embraces the concept of spirit animals in her life and in her books which often includes a bear. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading her books, take a look. This is her latest.

And to top it all off, here is a song by my friend, the late Richard J. Dobson that says a lot about crows. 🙂 Enjoy!

If I could paint on the side of a building, I would name 2022 as The Year of The Crow.

What do you think? Do different animals show up at different times in your life? Can you look back and see distinct meanings in their visits? Let’s chat!

#MondayMotivation – #Meditation – #TarotReading #DragonOracleCard

I love how each week there seems to be a theme. This week, Creativity in all forms is the message!

This is such a soothing and inspiring meditation.

The cards today speak to writers everywhere.

Photo by Jan Sikes

The Eight of Pentacles represents a master craftsman honing his skills. When this card appears in a Tarot reading, you are working hard to improve your skills and become a master at what you do. You are diligent and hard-working and you are applying yourself fully to whatever is at the center of your attention. As you do the same task over and over, you work your way towards mastery of your craft, and through your perseverance and unwavering attention, you create success. (Sounds a lot like writing, doesn’t it?) The Eight of Pentacles is encouragement to keep doing what you are doing as it will eventually lead to success. Yes, it requires a lot of dedication, focus and patience but as each day passes and as you stay true to your values and beliefs, you get a little closer to your goal. It may not be as apparent as you may like but events are unfolding that will lead you to the right path. Continue working on yourself, too, and making ongoing improvements and adjustments to ensure that you are the best person you can be.

The Two of Wands is all about contemplation and planning for the future. It’s not necessarily a card of action, but of thought. You are exploring your options and carefully plotting out the path ahead, accounting for all possibilities and potential challenges. You are open to growth and exploring new territories, so long as you maintain a level of certainty that your efforts will work out in the end. The Two of Wands is also about discovery, particularly as you step outside your comfort zone and explore new worlds and experiences. It may take courage to set out, but this card gives you the confidence of self-knowledge. You know what your goal is and are sure of its eventual fulfilment. Let your intuition and passion guide you as you confirm your next steps.

The Ace of Cups represents love, new relationships, passion and creativity. Now is the perfect time for you to open your heart and experience the rich flow of emotion available to you. You are more receptive to creative opportunities, loving connections, and deep compassion for other living beings. As with all Aces in the Tarot, this card comes as an invitation. Will you take it? Will you say “Yes!” to Divine love and compassion, and will you run with it? The Ace of Cups carries the potential for spiritual and emotional fulfilment – but only if you embrace it with an open heart. This card often appears in Tarot readings when you are open to creative expression, especially when you can allow your emotions to shine through your endeavors. You may be inspired to start a new project, take an art class or even engage in interpretative dance. At this point in your life, you are comfortable with who you are and happily express this part of yourself to others. You see fresh potential in allowing your creative juices to flow. Let your imagination and talent unfurl to new possibilities.

MY TAKEAWAY:

To get better at anything we do, we must continue to practice, to learn and hone our skills. Then, we can begin to look ahead at new projects, taking the time to contemplate and plan. Following that, In the flow of passion and creativity, we can embrace new endeavors, particularly ones that involve relationships.

I know I say this every time, but the little Dragon is absolutely beautiful. Look how he’s on the bridge, bridging the gap. 🙂

Orange Dragon. Brings soul families and communities together. Spread belonging, warmth and oneness. Bring people everywhere together.

Friday Free-For-All #4

It’s me again, with another topic for discussion. This one is always a two-edged sword, and I look forward to your comments.

Created in Canva

The topic for today is Social Media.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The dictionary gives this definition of social media: websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.

I often ask myself if participating on social media platforms is a complete waste of my time and effort. Is there one platform that is more sound and effective than another? Where do we go from here? Is there a point where we throw in the social media towel?

It’s a convoluted maze.

I have attended many author marketing conferences through the years, and every marketing expert drove home the concept that in order to be a successful author, you must have a strong social media presence. So, I believed them. And I worked hard to establish a social media presence.

Now, I hear of some authors who have no social media presence at all and still sell books. Teri Polen recently shared a blog post about her author friend who does not participate in any form of social media. I’m not going to reiterate that post, so if you missed it, you can take a look at it here. Coffee With Larry and An Unexpected Surprise.

Perhaps Larry found the magic solution to hitting a bestseller list.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Then again, it may not work the same way next time.

That is the other frustrating part about all social media. In one instance, I will have a gangbusters book launch with great sales, and the next time, using the same formula, hardly sell anything at all.

I am on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok (although not for long), and maintain my website and blog. That’s a LOT!

But what do I drop? Each platform has its strengths. Likewise, each platform has its downside.

I like Facebook for keeping up with family and friends. I have both a personal and an author page. I often consider deleting one of them, but so far, haven’t.

I like Twitter for short blasts. I also like Twitter because you can follow your favorite celebrities (if you have any.) I follow some mainstream authors just because I think I might learn from them.

I use Instagram the least because it all has to be done on my phone, and to be honest, I don’t always remember to take photos to share.

I use Pinterest as sort of a storage facility. I save blogs I want to refer back to along with images for future projects.

I put book trailers up on YouTube and have put a lot of Rick’s music on that platform.

I never use LinkedIn, although my blog posts are automatically shared on that platform.

I got a TikTok account because it was the hottest new platform for advertising my books. However, I don’t think it is for me. I am not that good at putting together great videos, and that’s what it’s all about.

I will always continue to maintain my blog and website. If I were forced to choose, those would be the two I would most definitely keep.

I truly am baffled and overwhelmed by all these platforms, and trying to keep current and relevant on each. So, which ones do I drop? Which ones do I give the most attention to?

Should I stop it all?

These are all things I ask myself.

So far, I’ve done a total of 19 Book Marketing posts at Story Empire. I’ve explored a lot of different avenues, spent hard-earned money on each, and shared my thoughts and results. As I look back on it, I’m left to wonder if I learned anything at all. Did I draw any concrete conclusions?

I feel like I’m searching for a holy grail that doesn’t exist. I don’t think there is a single magic bullet to selling our books via social media platforms. What works today might not work tomorrow, and vice-versa.

Keeping up with it all gets exhausting at times.

If you’ve found a solution to managing social media platforms, I’d love to hear from you. Let’s share.