Dani Hoots’ Review of The Pirate Princess by Tawn Krakowski

What a lovely review of my book, The Pirate Princess! It means a lot to me coming from a fellow author. Thank you, Dani!

A Bibliophile's Reverie

The Pirate Princess by Tawn Krakowski

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Published by BigWorldNetwork.com, LLC
Review by Dani Hoots

As the ninth daughter in the ninth generation of the Puffinstuff line, Princess Penny is a very special little girl. With a destiny to save her family that only an elaborate scheme of fake pirates and adventure can possibly achieve, Penny might discover more than just pirate treasure along the way.

*Back cover taken from Amazon

In this Middle Grade fantasy by Tawn Krakowski, we are taken on adventure as Penny, a princess of Puffinstuff, is destined to complete a prophecy from years before. Now this twelve year old must sail the high seas and find whatever the map that was given to her guides her to. But little does she know is that there is something wicked waiting for her.

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Penny is a strong young girl that is a great female…

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Guest Post: Easy Morning Tricks to Help You Stay Healthy

If you resolved to start off 2016 as a healthy year, you probably already understand how important consistent daily habits are to improving your health and well-being. Starting your day off right is one of the best ways to encourage healthy choices for the remainder of your day. Because of this, focusing on making a few morning habits may be the game changer for your healthy 2016. Here are some of Modernize’s morning tricks to help you stay healthy.

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Meditate

Many people falsely believe that meditation simply isn’t for them. The truth is, meditation is for everyone. Meditating first thing the morning allows you to set the tone for your entire day when you become more focused and in tune with the world around you. A regular meditation practice is also known to have some seriously worthwhile health benefits, including lowering depression and anxiety, preventing high blood pressure, and boosting the immune system to prevent your from getting sick. Want to create a beautiful space for meditation? Check out some of our favorite meditation spaces at Modernize.

Drink Lemon Water

Did you know that warm lemon water, first thing in the morning, is one of the simplest ways to change your health for the better? Starting your day with warm lemon water has shown to improve digestion throughout the rest of the day. The Vitamin C in the lemon gives your immune system a little extra power to fight off viruses or other contagious illnesses. Lemon water is also believed to aid in maintaining a healthier weight by giving the metabolism a little extra boost for the rest of the day.

Eat Breakfast

Even though we have all heard it before, it is easy to forget just how important it is to eat breakfast each morning. Instead, we hit snooze one too many times, and wind up rushing out the door to work with an empty stomach and a cup of coffee in hand. The truth is, if we want our bodies to properly metabolize glucose for the entire day, it is crucial that we eat a balanced breakfast within two hours of waking. It is also true that what you eat for breakfast matters. Avoid sugary cereals, donuts, or pastries and opt for high-protein greek yogurts, low sugar cereals, or eggs and toast before starting your day.

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Get Moving

There are many benefits to starting your day with exercise. When you work out immediately after waking, you are less likely to skip your workout if you have had a difficult day and something else comes up. Working out in the early morning also allows you the time to prioritize your work, family, and friends for the rest of your day. Your metabolic rate is boosted each time you exercise, and when you exercise first thing in the morning, you boost your metabolism and burn more calories for the rest of the day.

Whether they are good or bad, habits are formed by repeating the same behavior over and over again. Repetition does something unique to the brain, and the repeated behaviors are eventually engraved into our neural pathways. This means that bad habits are hard to break and good habits are hard to form. Still, with determination and consistency, repeating the tricks listed above until they become habits is a surefire way to stay healthy this year.

PWN 2016

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In an effort to revitalize my blog, I’ve decided to offer a wider variety of content.  I promise to be true to TotallyTawn in that I will not feature articles that I don’t find interesting or that don’t align with my values (sorry bullies and kitten kickers- you’ll have no voice here), but I hope to provide a platform that encourages personal growth, fun, and a spirit of cooperation and love.

I wish all of you an amazing 2016 and look forward to spreading some positive vibes all over the place.

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Y is for Yuletide

I think it’s time to re-gift this little gem. Happy Holidays!

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I totally get the Grinch.  The poor old guy lives all alone up in his cave with only a mangy dog for company while the residents of Whoville go on about the business of living their selfish little lives and completely ignoring the Grinch.  And then, every year, they make it a point to celebrate Christmas as boisterously and obtrusively as possible, thereby forcing their belief system on the Grinch, who probably just wants to be left in peace to gaze at the stars with his own quiet dreams of cheerful solitude.

And then, when he finally couldn’t take it anymore, I’m sure the Whos were ready for him.  He probably couldn’t leave his cave without triggering Whoville’s Early Warning Defense System and relegating his whole carefully thought out plan to the crapper.  As he was sledding down the hill in his bright red Santa Claus disguise, the Whos were…

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The Change in My Wallet

NaBloPoMo 2015

Day 9: What’s in my wallet

Happy Anniversary to me! According to WordPress, I began the TotallyTawn blog five years ago today.  My, how times change! What began as one timid post asking what the hell I was getting myself into blossomed into something so amazing that I still have trouble believing how much my life has evolved.

Of course, many other things have changed in the last five years as well.  That’s what life is, after all.  Change.

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I used to lug around a giant totebag purse with a ton of stuff in it: makeup, aspirin, wet-wipes, a book or tablet, a crochet project, wallet, phone, lint, hopes and dreams; You get the picture. Despite being prepared for almost anything, I would go months without actually using any of those items as more than a collection of tiny anchors relentlessly pulling one shoulder lower than the other.

Since then, I’ve learned that it’s easier for me to make a pit stop if I need anything rather than drag it around on the off chance that I might someday need a wet-wipe and the nearest store is more than a block away.  Besides, I can now stash that junk in my car’s glove compartment.

Now I have an adorable orange wristlet wallet with a pink strap from Thirty-One which holds my phone, my credit cards, a picture of my kids, my library card (of course), and a crumpled wad of receipts that I keep forgetting to give to my husband to file.  That’s it.

No cash – I would only spend it unwisely and 99.5% of establishments take plastic anyway, so why bother?  No picture of my husband. Part of the reason I have a photo of my kids is in case anything happened to them and I needed to give the police a picture for the milk carton, so I must not be worried about my husband in quite the same way. In hindsight, I have a ton of pictures of my family (and my cat) on my phone, so there’s really no reason to have that photo in there anyway.

That’s it. There’s really no room for anything else, which is fine with me. No more back pain!  Hurrah for life changes!

Come back later and I’ll tell you about the best trip of my life.  Well, the one I remember anyway.

Tawn’s Best Laid Plans

NaBloPoMo 2015

Day 8: Five Current Goals

As you can probably tell, I generally don’t do well with goals. I can stick to a schedule if I really have to, but I’m usually a disorganized mess racing against the clock to finish my work.  I’ve come to the sad conclusion that I’m addicted to the adrenaline rush which, since I haven’t been flying in seven years, I can only get by flirting with death by editorial deadlines.

I’m not a completely lost cause, though.  I’ve recently started using Habitica to “gamify” my habits and goals, Cooksmarts for meal planning, and Google Keep for lists that I want to share with my husband like groceries, household to-do items, and reminders.  So far, the results have been encouraging.  I’ve been able to stick with these tools far longer than I’ve been able to complete a blog post a day, and I’m also able to track my progress objectively.

As for my five current goals, I doubt you are interested in baby steps like “walk 10,000 steps a day,” “floss,” or “take a yoga class.”   In that light, I’m going to zoom out and give you my big ticket items.

Create a Business Plan – I am just now beginning to understand that being an author is a business.  In order for me to be successful, I need to market and sell my books, maintain an author platform, participate in social media, and of course, write. Thankfully, I have the help of my publisher, BigWorldNetwork, in many of those areas, but the responsibility still rests on my shoulders. I need a game plan.

Figure out how to do in-person ebook sales – I will be participating in Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest December 4th – 6th, and it got me thinking about a way to sell ebooks in addition to my paperbacks from my spot in Artist’s Alley. I want to have something tangible that I can autograph. Anyone have any suggestions?

Complete my Cardinal Directions season– I am working with four very talented BigWorldNetwork authors to write this serial novel.  My season is approaching soon, and my goal is to have my twelve episodes written by the end of January.

Write another Toni Drake novel – She’s been talking to me lately. It seems being queen isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and she wants to go on another adventure.

Expand into audiobooks – While I’ve done the audiobooks for my own work, I’ve also narrated books for other authors, such as Heart of the Hurricane by May Woodworth. I would like to continue to do this for BigWorldNetwork authors, and also connect with other authors through Amazon’s ACX platform.

Whew!  Just looking at that list is making me a little lightheaded!  Hopefully I’ll recover quickly so I can catch up on my posts.

Speaking of which, the next blog must be sponsored by Capital One because the prompt is “What’s in your wallet?”  I’ll give you a hint: “cash” won’t be on the list.

A Little Mood Music, Please, Maestro

NaBloPoMo 2015

Day 7: My 5 Favorite Songs

Happy Monday!

Well, it didn’t take long for me to fall behind on this challenge. Not surprising, since this exercise is meant to help me develop my writing habit more than anything else. However, today is a new day, and a Monday at that!

I love Mondays. I normally accomplish more on that one day of the week than any other day, and today is no exception. With that in mind, I’d like to get right down to the nitty-gritty and share five of my favorite songs with you.

Now, just to be clear, just like almost all of the other challenge posts asking about my favorites, there are simply too many songs that I like for me to choose favorites. I don’t like to limit myself like that. The songs I’ve decided to share with you today are some that help me get my caboose in gear. I hope they also inspire you to make your Monday is as fantastic as mine.

1. Big Time – Peter Gabriel

2. It’s no Good – Depeche Mode

3. In A Gadda Da Vida – Iron Butterfly

4. Bang Bang – Jesse J ft. Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj

5. And finally, Cream  – Prince (Because who doesn’t like a little cream on top?)

Now that I’ve gotten your booty moving, go do something awesome!  And stay tuned for my next post when I share some of my current goals with you.  Toodles!