Friday, January 01, 2016

2016: The Year of Liking Myself with Sharon Buchbinder

Each year I write down a list of goals for the New Year. Year after year, I make a list that includes the usual suspects: lose weight, get a better job, exercise an hour a day, go on a 1,000 calorie a day diet, become a super model. Okay, that last one was never on my list. However, when I look at these lists, embedded within each goal is a kernel of shame whispering “You are not enough—and you never will be.” Many of us have these feelings, ranging from “You really stink” to “You’re okay, but still not good enough for xyz.” Each year brings a mantra of “not enough.” Well this year, my goal is to live like me, and LIKING me. Sounds crazy, right? Here’s my wild plan.

1. Each day I will remember to be grateful for my life. I have a gratitude jar, one I filled with slips of paper on which I wrote things I was grateful for. I began it years ago and put it away. I’m pulling that jar out and adding a new slip: I’m grateful to be me and to have a great life.

2. I will put things in perspective. It is not reasonable to believe, based on my age and chronic illness of asthma, that I will be a mountain climber, body builder, or super model. I don’t ask the dog to be a cat. I shouldn’t do it to myself.

3. I will focus on what gives me pleasure instead of what gives me pain. Shifting focus and emphasizing the good in my surroundings may sound rather Pollyanna-ish. However, rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) has demonstrated that stinking thinking can get you down. Refocus, reframe, refresh will be my mantra.

4. Grow older. This one is pretty easy. A friend who is a gerontologist told me, “The older we get, the more we become like ourselves.” I can’t stop the clock, so I’m going to accept that and become more like myself.

5. Ignore the little stuff. That annoying petty gossip at work, the angry driver honking his horn, the irritated woman in line behind you. I’m going to walk away from the gossip, allow the angry driver to pass me, and give that irritated woman my place in line. What will it cost me? Five minute of my time and I will receive a little more peace of mind.

6. Move more. Notice I didn’t say run a marathon. I already walk our dogs for 1.5 miles a day. Adding a yoga class to my routine twice a week will allow me to become more flexible, better balanced, and more meditative. Ommm. I’m already signed up at the Senior Center!

7. Eat. Never again (except on Yom Kippur or before a colonoscopy) will I starve myself. Those days are gone. Food—good food is the fuel we need to work, play, think. The fuel can be low test or high test, so I’m going to do a better job of watching what I put into this amazing engine called my body.

8. Drink. Water, yes, water, lots of it. Less soda, less junk fluids. The machine needs fluid to keep running right. Dehydration leads to a host of issues. And, yes, alcohol in moderation.  I didn’t say I was Carrie Nation, did I?

9. Spend time with people I love. Negative, nasty people sap my energy and generate bad responses in me. Our lives are finite. From this point on, my time will be spent with those I love and make me happy. 

10. Finish two new novels. Hey! That’s not saying I’m not good enough! That’s saying, “I am good enough!” Every new book requires the author to take risks, to brave the fear of finishing and of criticism. This year, it’s going to be number three in my Kiss of the Jinni Hunter Series, Kiss of the Burmese Prince and a ghost story, The Haunting of Hotel Labelle. I can’t wait to dive into them.

When someone says you will never do such and such, don’t buy into their low self-esteem and put downs. They do that to feel better about themselves. It is never too late to say, “I’m good enough” and to like yourself. 2016 is going to be a GREAT year! 

Kiss of the Virgin Queen
Kiss of the Jinni Hunter Series
Book Two
Sharon Buchbinder

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: October 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5092-0392-5 Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-5092-0393-2 Digital

Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 75K

Cover Artist: Rae Monet

Book Description:

Homeland Security Special Agent Eliana Solomon is on a mission to prevent terrorist attacks. Hard enough to do when the threats are human, almost impossible when it's an evil, shape shifting jinni. Eliana needs help so she calls the sexy and beguiling psychiatrist, Arta Shahani. However, no matter how good he is at his job, the man is on her blacklist. On their last case together, the guy left her for dead.

Arta is stunned when he receives Eliana’s call. Forced to abandon the woman he loves, he now fears she won’t accept his shape-shifting skills as a Persian Lion. Eliana, in the meantime discovers she is a direct descendant of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba with special powers of her own. But will her skill and Arta's be enough to defeat the jinni, or will they lose the love history decreed for them as well as their lives in this battle of good versus evil?

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Short intro: This full length novel is the second in the enthralling new Jinni Hunter series from award-winning author, Sharon Buchbinder. Edgy and suspenseful, this paranormal romance series explores diverse cultures and an array of supernatural beings. Join the Special Agents of the Anomaly Defense Division as they race to save humanity—and the people they love.

Excerpt: Chapter One

Summertown, West Virginia, U.S.A., Present Day

A picturesque flight over the Appalachian Mountains to Summertown, West Virginia gave Special Agent Eliana Solomon of the Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, Anomaly Defense Division time to process the urgent report she’d received by email. Up until this week, the existence of werewolf packs had been concealed from the general population. Now reports of the secretive shape shifters exploded in her inbox. Where had this information been all this time? Had the government monitored them all along? If so, why had her boss, Bert Blackfeather, insisted on her obtaining proof of their existence, along with the jinnis? She’d pry an answer out of that closed mouth man—someday. Right now, she had a more pressing matter at hand.

Five days ago, three nine-year-old werewolf boys and their three eighteen-year-old sisters went on a birthday expedition in the heavily wooded state wildlife area and disappeared. By day, local human authorities, volunteers, and bloodhounds brought in from surrounding jurisdictions combed the forest, the hills, and caves. By night, pack members ran through the forest using their extraordinary senses—olfactory, visual, and auditory—to hunt for their missing kin. Divers also explored the waterways, all to no avail. No clues to the kids’ whereabouts had been found, not even a backpack—until two this morning.

A night security guard discovered the boys in the middle of the Adalwolf Winery parking lot. Slightly bruised and scratched up, but otherwise alive and well, in their human forms, the youngsters had no  recollection of anything between arriving at the park and waking up in the parking lot with their back packs under their heads—their five-day-old lunches untouched.

Rushed to the ER and examined thoroughly, the boys displayed no evidence of physical abuse. The blank space in their minds where the memories should have been was inaccessible to parents and psychologists. If it weren’t for the fact that the three older girls were still missing, the local authorities wouldn’t continue to press the boys for information. Over time, their memories could return, but without ransom notes, calls or clues, the clock was running down for a successful search and rescue. The local police, state troopers, sheriff’s office, and the West Virginia Bureau of Investigation feared the operation would soon become a search and recovery.

The plane touched down, bounced along the runway, and Eliana’s cell began to vibrate.


The gruff voice of her boss boomed in her ear. “New development in the case.” Blackfeather paused. “A hiker found one of the missing girls in a culvert near an abandoned mine. Bites, claw marks. Throat ripped open. Damn thing nearly tore her head off.”

She shuddered. “Black bear?”

“Based on the paw prints around the body, the first responders are saying these weren’t bear bites. More like a dog—or wolf.”

“Boss, aside from zoos and wild animal preserves, there are no wolves in the eastern U.S.”
He sighed. “I stand corrected. Werewolf.”

Her stomach lurched, and she gripped the armrest so hard her knuckles turned white. Shit. Shit. Shit. A werewolf attacking one of its own? Why? What the hell was going on?

“West Virginia Division of Homeland Security has a car waiting for you, fully loaded with everything you’ll need for the investigation. Get to that scene.” Her boss clicked off.

Bossy desk jockey.
A flush of shame rushed over her. He’d taken on the orphan Anomaly Defense Division of the Science and Technology Directorate that no one else wanted, along with a mission no one else supported or believed in. As abrupt and abrasive as he could be, the Gulf War veteran deserved credit for giving her the opportunity to pursue what everyone else thought was something out of the tales of The Arabian Nights: jinnis. With the needed proof of werewolves and jinnis from Project Aladdin, support surged into the division. A stable funding source made her jinni hunting work possible So far, it seemed wherever there were werewolves, there was jinni activity.

This case was no different. According to the report, relationships between the local humans and werewolves were more than cordial. They were so intermarried, almost everyone was family. A large non-denominational wedding facility placed Summertown on an international list of destination weddings, like Hawaii and Las Vegas, but specifically for werewolves. A thriving bed and breakfast trade supported the wedding industry, along with other leisure activities, such as biking, hiking, white-water rafting, and winery and sightseeing tours. Murder of a werewolf girl wasn’t just bad for the family, it was bad for the town.

About the Author:

Sharon Buchbinder has been writing fiction since middle school and has the rejection slips to prove it. An RN, she provided health care delivery, became a researcher, association executive, and obtained a PhD in Public Health. When not teaching or writing, she can be found fishing, walking her dogs, or breaking bread and laughing with family and friends in Baltimore, MD and Punta Gorda, FL.

Twitter ID @sbuchbinder

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Sharon Buchbinder, Romance Author said...

Thank you for hosting me and my Queen!!!