Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Positive Attitude Can Change Your Life

I wrote this post a few years ago, but I might as well have written it two days ago. It all rings true. This time of year can be hectic and challenging for many people, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Life is a gift. Be grateful for your friends and family. Be grateful to be alive. Be Buddha!

“We become what we think about, all day long.”
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

On January 1, 2007, I decided to begin a new life and I’m not talking about making New Year’s resolutions. I made goals for myself: Exercise five days a week and write five pages a day—NO MATTER WHAT (Laundry, groceries, cleaning, cooking would have to wait until my daily goals were met). I decided to call this the ME year. I also decided to fill myself with positive energy and then pass it on to my family and anyone else I happened upon. Right away things started happening. I received an email from a local journalist asking to interview me about my life as a writer. She didn’t care that I was a struggling unpublished writer. The interview was enlightening and fun. People began to approach me and told me that my story inspired them. My kids began to notice a difference in me. The woman I exercise with left a DVD of The Secret at my door. I watched it twice and I knew my positive thoughts had attracted the DVD right to my doorstep.

“Imagination is everything. 
It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
--Albert Einstein

The Secret DVD has flaws. Don’t we all? If you watch the entire DVD though, hanging on to the stuff that works for you, it could change your life. I was mesmerized because I knew I had already started using some of the principles of the Law of Attraction. Like attracts Like. Negative attracts Negative. Positive attracts Positive. Below are the things that helped me. And remember, the Law of Attraction is only ONE tool to help you improve your life.

Take responsibility. Take responsibility for the things, good and bad, that have happened in your life. I feel I attracted the bad things and the good things that have come my way. Scientists have proven that we are all made up of energy. Think of yourself as tiny particles. Quantum physicists have proven that like energy attracts like energy. Whatever it is you choose to focus on is exactly what you are drawing to you. Start focusing on the things you want: happiness, financial freedom, a stress-free life, a publishing contract, etc. And then begin to visualize these things as if they have already happened to you. It only takes seconds to feel the power of good positive thoughts. When you’re tired, don’t think “tired.” Think energizing thoughts. If you can’t go to bed and take a nap, what good is thinking about how tired you are going to do you? You have nothing to lose by thinking positive. Nothing. Take all negative words out of your life. If you keep telling yourself that a task is going to be hard, then guess what? It’s going to be hard!

Be grateful. I think this is THE most important thing to do if you truly want to change your attitude and your life. Be grateful for every single thing you have. If you aren’t getting along with someone, remember all the wonderful things about that person. Look around you and be grateful for your eyesight. Be grateful for your legs that help you get around. If a messy house drives you nuts, be grateful you have a roof over your head. Be truly grateful and you’ll make room to receive more wonderful things into your life.

Be positive. Positive that you’re going to get a front parking spot at the store. Positive that today is going to be the best day ever. Positive that you will get everything done that you need to. Positive that any financial problems will take care of themselves. Positive that you will write five pages a day, that you will get an agent, that you will publish.

Action. Don’t just sit on the couch wishing. Do something. You might not know what to do, but putting yourself out there, even if it’s going for coffee with a friend, will lead to the next thing or idea. The very ACT of being, thinking, and feeling positive will make you feel happier. If you want to be published some day, you need to write. If you want to be rich, you need to come up with an idea or go to work. If you want to have a stress-free life, you need to stop sweating the small stuff AND the big stuff. You need to take action.

Amazing changes will occur. Once you start thinking positive, everybody you come into contact with, including your family, will react differently toward you. They will become more accommodating and/or cooperative. You’ll relax more and worry less. You’ll look and feel younger.

Life Still Happens. Think positive, but also keep your logic intact and know that your car might still break down, your kid might not make the soccer team, you might lose your car keys or stub your toe, but HOW you REACT will make all the difference in the world. Since surviving cancer, Lance Armstrong said, “I now have good days and great days.” You don’t have to survive cancer to feel the same way.

“We will not build a peaceful world by following a negative path.”
--Martin Luther King Jr.

Being positive, for whatever reasons, doesn’t appeal to everyone. Read up on the Law of Attraction and positive thinking and convince yourself to give it a chance. The power of positive thinking can do things beyond your imagining. If the idea seems strange, give it a try anyhow. You have nothing to lose, but only to gain. Ignore what others might say or think about you once they discover you are changing the way you think. My son pointed out that people aren’t changing around me, but that I’m seeing people in a new way, perhaps even through rose-colored glasses. Maybe he’s right. But you know what? It’s working for me. The other day I came home from a two hour PTC meeting and my daughter asked me how it went and I said, “AMAZING.” And it was. My husband rolled his eyes and said, “Everything that happens to you can’t possibly be amazing.” I laughed and said I would stop using that word around him so much and I could see his mind reeling, perhaps remembering the old me, and he said, “No. No. Keep doing whatever you’re doing. I like it.”

“We are shaped by our thoughts, we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Das Buch

Nachdem ihr Verlobter sie vor dem Altar sitzen gelassen hat, beschließt Jill Garrison, in Kalifornien ein neues Leben anzufangen. Und sie erfüllt sich ihren größten Wunsch: ein Baby – heutzutage dank Samenbank kein Problem mehr. Einen Vater hatte die selbstbewusste Ex-New-Yorkerin dabei nicht mit eingeplant.

Doch da hat sie die Rechnung ohne Derrick Baylor gemacht. Auch wenn der attraktive Footballstar seine Zustimmung zur Verwendung seiner Samenspende schon lange zurückgezogen hatte, will er seinen Sohn ganz bestimmt nicht ohne Vater aufwachsen lassen.

Der familienbewusste Quarterback und die überzeugte Single-Mom geraten zunächst immer wieder aneinander, doch schon bald stellen sich ganz andere Gefühle ein. Und so stellt sich die Frage: Ist zwischen Windeln und Fläschchen noch Platz für die ganz große Liebe …?

Thanks to ALL of my readers all around the world. I recently had my first contemporary romance, Having My Baby, translated to German thanks to the Libelli Agency! The book is at #39 today. 

LIKE Agentur Libelli on Facebook today! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Don't Stop Dreaming

Hi everyone! Yesterday, I was lucky enough to get a Kindle Daily Deal for all three of my books in my Lizzy Gardner Series. And then all of my friends and my author support group and people I never met tweeted and shared and my books hit #2, #3, and #6!

I don't know what to say except THANK YOU to every person out there who gave my books a chance. If you've read my blog or an interview that I've done over the past 2 1/2 years, then you know that after writing for 20 years, I finally got lucky. A brilliant man over at Amazon found a way to make it possible for EVERY writer to publish their book(s) and hopefully find readers. THANK YOU, Mr. Bezos.

If you're thinking of self-publishing, click on the green button on the upper left corner of my website "Steps to Self-Publishing" and that should be enough to get you going. After you release your book to the world, start writing your next book. I'm a big proponent of trying everything at least once, but I got carried away and for the past nine months or so I did more traveling and promoting than writing. Don't make the same mistake I did. If you're a writer, always make writing your priority. The signings and conferences I attended were great, but as far as I'm concerned, they're not the reason my books hit #2, #3, and #6. Some writers can do both, I'm just not one of them. 

So, that's my advice to you. WRITE. READ. WRITE SOME MORE.


I am blessed and grateful.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Meet Raen Smith

This past week, I was at a booksigning in Chicago and Detroit with amazing authors, Denise Grover Swank, Jana DeLeon, Jasinda Wilder, Liliana Hart, Debra Holland, and Tara Sivec. We had a wonderful time meeting readers, bloggers and writers. 

One author, Raen Smith, talked to me and other authors about her journey so far with self-publishing. Like many indie authors, she is struggling to find her audience/readers. We know they're out there, it's just not always easy to stand out in the crowd. I have yet to read Raen's books, but House of Fire and House of Steel are both in my TBR pile and I plan to get to them soon!

Author Raen Smith loves creating dark and twisted tales with a sprinkling of happily ever after. When she isn't writing novels, she spends her time wrangling two small sons and teaching at a technical college. She lives in a small corner of Wisconsin with her husband and two sons.


From author Raen Smith comes a new bone-chilling suspense series. House of Steel introduces young art professor Delaney Jones, who after sleeping with her student, is entangled in a lethal vendetta. She must follow the instructions of a mysterious messenger to save the student and the lives of the ones she loves. 

House of Steel:

House of Fire is the page-turning second novel where Delaney uncovers the truth about her family and her connection to a criminal underworld so shocking she fears to unravel it.

I am hoping Raen finds her readers sooner rather than later. Her third book in the series is due to be released November, 2013. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lizzy, Hayley and Jessica are just getting started...

"The satisfyingly frightful episode of a calculating cutthroat." ~Kirkus Reviews

"Ragan executes this spine-chilling thriller with such razor-sharp precision readers are left breathless." ~Romantic Times, 4 1/2 TOP PICK

I highly recommend these books the suspense and twists and turns will keep you guessing until the very end! 

"T.R Ragan has penned a dark, twisting crime thriller that will keep you up well past your bedtime. Page-turning suspense at its best!" -- Allison Brennan, New York Times Bestselling Author of Stolen

Saturday, July 20, 2013

FRIDAY, AUGUST 2nd - Seattle Signing with TEN Authors!

Do you have a book in you? 80% of Americans say they want to write a book. A much smaller percentage take the leap and put the words to page. Even fewer go the extra step of publishing their books. And with good cause. Writing a book is hard enough. Self-publishing can be even more difficult.

Have no fear! Ten New York Times bestselling authors are generously donating their time to share their experience and lessons learned. You'll get the inside scoop on the latest on publishing platforms, book marketing and the writing life.

           Authors include:
           Jasinda Wilder
           Jack Wilder
           Tina Folsom
           Jana DeLeon
           Liliana Hart
           Debra Holland
           Theresa Ragan
           Jane Graves
           Denise Grover Swank
           Colleen Gleason
           Dorien Kelly

If any of you are going to be in the area, come say hello!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing

Available for Pre-Order

The Naked Truth is not just another book about self-publishing. Ten New York Times Bestselling authors share their knowledge, their experiences, and their souls.

Jana DeLeon- A former CFO discusses taxes, corporations, LLCs, employees, deductions and many other things to help form your own author co-op.

Tina Folsom- An expert and bestseller in the foreign market. What to watch out for when dealing with translators, how to attract foreign readers, what countries are hot, foreign rights and much more.

Colleen Gleason- How does an MBA and two decades of sales and marketing experience translate into creating and promoting a brand that represents YOU and your work? Learn how to tackle an important element of self-publishing.

Jane Graves-What’s it like to spend more than a decade as a traditionally published author and make the switch to indie? Jane will offer guidelines to help you determine if you’re ready to make the leap.

Liliana Hart- An expert in marketing and social media, Liliana will delve into how to find your audience and keep them, and how to navigate the pesky algorithms that can make or break a career.

Debra Holland- With a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Dr. Holland knows the mind of a writer. How do you stay sane and run a business, while trying to meet deadlines and run the emotional gauntlet caused by being an author.

Dorien Kelly-A tough and practical attorney who will share legal pitfalls that could arise while self-publishing. She’ll also delve into contracts and clauses that can tighten the noose around an author’s neck.

Theresa Ragan- Finished your book and don’t know what to do next? Theresa Ragan shares the basic steps to get you started on your self-publishing journey. Theresa also talks about money and shares real data.

Denise Grover Swank-Thinking of hiring an assistant? Where do you find one? And how do you form a business plan for a business that can be anything but consistent?

Jasinda Wilder-What happens when you have a book that skyrockets? Do you take the traditional deals thrown your way or stay indie? How to make hard decisions from multi-New York Times bestselling author Jasinda Wilder

Get the naked truth from ten women who know.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


A DARK MIND, book 3 in the Lizzy Gardner series, is out TODAY! 
Amazon sent me champagne to celebrate. I will try to wait until 5 pm. before I drink it.

"T.R. Ragan has penned a dark, twisting crime thriller that will keep you up well past your bedtime. Page-turning suspense at its best!" -- Allison Brennan, New York Times Bestselling Author of Stolen

To celebrate the launch of A Dark Mind, I am giving away a Kindle Paperwhite to one lucky winner chosen by

All you have to do for a chance to win is comment and tell me what nickname the serial killer in A DARK MIND has been given. It's that easy! 


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I Love Jude Deveraux

1991 - Read my very first romance novel by Jude Deveraux
1991-1996 - wrote my own time travel romance, Return of the Rose
1997 - Joined RWA
1998 - 2009 - wrote at least 15 novels (time travel, contemporary, romantic suspense)
2003- 2008 - Finaled six times in RWA's Golden Heart Competition and signed with two agents
2009 - 2010 - Decided to kill some characters off. Wrote my first thriller, Abducted
2011 - Self published in March, 2011
2012 - Signed my first publishing agreement with Thomas & Mercer
2013 - Sold a half a million books and became a NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
2013 - Met Jude Deveraux!!!!

Me and Jude at RT in Kansas City - 2013

I recently returned from Kansas City after attending my very first Romantic Times Convention. I will be blogging about all of that in a few days.

More importantly, though, I met Jude Deveraux and I feel as if I have come full circle in my writing career.

I'm not one of those people who gets overly excited to spot a celebrity in the airport. But when my husband pointed out that my idol, Jude Deveraux, was signing books not too far away from where I was signing on Saturday May 4th at the Sheraton in Kansas City, I quickly ran off to meet her.

It's really weird to think that ONE person can change your life. What if I had never read A Knight in Shining Armor? Would I have become a writer? Sadly, I don't think so.

"The moment I read the last page, I knew I wanted to be a writer."

It all happened twenty years ago when I was pregnant with my fourth and last child and on leave of absence from work. My sister handed me Jude Deveraux's A Knight in Shining Armor and for the next few hours I was taken away to another world. The escapism and the joy I felt while reading AKISA was something I had never experienced before. I was so connected with the characters, Douglass and Nicholas. I cried and I laughed and the moment I read the last page, I knew I wanted to be a writer, too. I loved watching the heroine, Douglass Montgomery, slowly develop a backbone. She grew right before my eyes and I knew whatever life tossed her way, she would be okay. She found true love and she would find it again. I literally have chills just thinking about the story. There are so many great scenes, simple everyday events like making brownies come to mind, and seeing Dougless fall to her knees, overcome with emotion.

It's a special writer and a special book that can do that to someone...conjure up feelings so strong that they are literally lifechanging. That's what happened to me.

How about you? What lifechanging books have you read in your lifetime?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Thinking About Self-Publishing?

 If you're thinking about self-publishing, you might want to sign up for this course. This is the last one Amy Atwell will be offering until Fall.
Intro to Your Self-Publishing Business   Dates: April 28 - May 25, 2013

Course Details

Self-publishing provides an amazing opportunity for authors to take control of their own publishing career. It's also a lot of hard work.

This four-week lecture series and discussion group is designed to teach students about the business of self-publishing books digitally and in print.  When an author chooses to self-publish a book, it means supervising the production and distribution process.  We'll cover all the basics from the perspective of building a successful, long-runninng business:

- basics of self-employment models: sole proprietor, LLC, corporation
- protecting your privacy if you write under a pseudonym
- registering copyright
- obtaining ISBNs and when they're necessary
- finding and working with freelance editors, formatters and cover artists
- distributing directly to retailers vs using aggregators or publishing services
- self-publishing audio books and foreign translations
- where and how to sell your book
- building a basic timeline and budget
- best practices for building your self-published book
- understanding metadata and how and where it's used
- is self-publishing really for you?


- For students to gain a clearer understanding of how to self-publish
- For students to take ownership of their publishing career path
- For students to gain perspective on the financial and artistic reasons to choose self-publishing
- For students to gain knowledge and tools to help them embark on self-publishing their work
- For students to discover trustworthy resources for further research


Kelli Finger is published under her pseudonym Abbey MacInnis and has recently set up her sole-proprietorship publishing company.  A classically-trained vocalist with a Masters of Social Work, Kelli is a strong advocate for people with disabilities and has worked for over six years as a Braille proofreader. Having faced the challenges of developing her own self-publishing career, she's eager to help others save time and understand their many options.  Kelli will be moderating the class, so don‚t hesitate to direct questions to her.

Amy Atwell is the self-published author of Ambersley, which sold 36,000 copies in its first year and hit #1 in Historical Romance on both Kindle and Nook. Amy combines 10+ years of writing experience with perspective from her previous careers in production management, retail and education to develop classes for Author E.M.S., an online resource library and service center for authors. She is an active member of RWA, MWA and HNS and founder of WritingGIAM, an online community for goal-oriented writers.

Dates: April 28 - May 25, 2013
Taught by Amy Atwell and Kelli Finger
Cost:  $40 payable by PayPal or check
The class will take place on a Yahoo loop. Lectures will be posted to the group and in the files section. Registrants will receive an invitation to the group after they've completed the registration process (after April 23).


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hey there!

When my daughter was home for spring break a few weeks ago, we made a stop motion claymation video for my thriller, ABDUCTED.

We had a lot of fun. The spider we made out of clay and used to crawl up and over the book had to have a spider double to take his place because we had to squish him to the book so many times. The spider walking across the screen by its lonseome took one hour just to film 15 seconds of video. Enjoy!

And for those of you who are curious about how some self-published authors are doing when it comes to # of books sold, check out Marie Force's blog post on E-Book Formatting Fairies website HERE.

Don't forget to have a wonderful day!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Theresa Ragan is...


I want to thank all of my readers for making so many of my dreams come true. Since becoming an indie author in March 2011, wonderful things continue to happen every week.

I have a few contests going on during the Month of April. If you want to enter my GET YOUR NAME IN MY BOOK CONTEST (Book #4 of my Lizzy Gardner Series), CLICK HERE to enter.

If you would like a chance to win an ADVANCED reading copy of Book #3 in the Lizzy Gardner series, ENTER HERE TO WIN.

Also, don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter for a chance to win a $50 gift card each month! A winner will be chosen on the 15th of every month, but you must stay subscribed to be eligible each month.

Dream big and always believe in yourself!

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Eight writers met, many for the first time, on a windy day at an all-inclusive hotel in Cancun, Mexico on February 22, 2013 in a big a** hot tub. What began as a mere spark of an idea to join together to promote and market literally exploded into plans for yearly meetings in faraway lands, including a castle in Ireland. To read more go to

To celebrate the official launch, the authors of The Indie Voice are giving one lucky newsletter subscriber a Mac Air or $1,000. Don't miss your chance to enter. Subscribe to the newsletter now!

We're also offering, for a limited time only, EIGHT novels in one boxed set for the ridiculously low price of $.99. That's a $33.92 savings!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Helpful Links, Just Write, Be Happy

Christiana Miller has put together a wonderful list of helpful links for anyone thinking about self-publishing and also for those who have already taken the plunge. You'll find lists of formatters and cover artists...lists of sites where you can let readers know that your book is free. Links if you are interested in making audiobooks and links for editing software and much more! Click HERE to see what Christiana has put together!

The BEST promotion/marketing you can do for yourself if you're a writer is to WRITE.

Say NO to writer's block. Write your first draft from beginning to end without censorship. Don't worry about grammar or writing rules until the second draft. Write with abandon. Let it all out. Become your characters and go deep into their minds. Don't waste precious white space showing your characters showering and getting dressed and eating lunch. Get to the good stuff. Show readers what your characters are made of. Heroine gets into her car and it won't start. Does your heroine get angry? Does she ask her sexy neighbor for help? Does she walk to work and then get fired for being late? Does she say the heck with it and take the day off, go to the beach and find a dead body? Meet the man of her dreams? Find an abandoned dog that changes her life forever!? Once you get to the end, you can revise and cut and make the writing tight. Great writers know how to cut the crap. If you're bored with chapter two of your book, readers will be bored, too. Great writing is in the revisions.

Don't forget to enjoy life! Be grateful for what you have.

Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times
Book 3 in the Lizzy Gardner Series
Available for Pre-order!