Superheroism Is Not About the Tights

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I admit it. I’m picked this one mostly for the title. It’s a fantastic title. Fitting with the “challenges” theme of the day, it’s all about taking control of your fear and taking control of the direction of your life. (Hmm. “Challenges” starts with a C. Maybe I should have saved all this for Thursday. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll think of something).


It’s Not About the Tights: An Owners Manual on Bravery by Chris Brogan. Amazon for $4.95. You are the superhero you’ve been waiting for.

For whatever reason, we tend to think that “someone” is going to make us better, that we’re broken, that we’re missing the key ingredients to succeed. We feel envy and we’re certain that we’re the only failures this world has ever seen. It’s a tough row to hoe.

Plenty of people have written books that talk about being positive. Others have written up plans that tell you what you’re missing. In this case, all I promise you is a cape.

I’ll teach you about Confidence, Acceptance, Permission, and Execution, and how Practice in all those areas will guide you to find those missing success points in your life.

My name’s Chris Brogan. I’m a New York Times bestselling author of four books (mostly about marketing and digital business), and I’m the president and CEO of a company that sells courses, workshops and speeches on business and personal improvement called Human Business Works.

This book is based on the experiences I’ve had with overcoming my own challenges, plus the wisdom of some other smart cookies. Plus, I’m blessed with hundreds of people who have participated in my online course, Brave New Year. Consider this book an invite into that community, should you decide you’d like to go further.

It’s not about the tights. It’s about you.

Cover Art by Josh Fisher

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A-to-Z Blogging Challenge AND Camp Nanowrimo?

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You may have noticed a brand-spanking-new badge in the sidebar. Actually there would be two if them if I could figure out how to load in the other one, but we’ll get there.

I’ve decided, for the month of April, to take on two challenges. Why two? I think I was slightly delirious on Saturday. I don’t think I’ve been eating enough protein. Still, I’ve signed up, and if anything spells commitment, it’s signing up.

I’m doing the A-to-Z-Blogging Challenge, which means that each day will have a theme around a letter. Tomorrow, for example, will be A. No fooling! (Ha! Get it?? It’s April Fools’ Day. And no, I cannot promise that will be the last of my corny jokes. The more tired I am, the more hilarious I think I am. Buckle up, by the end of the month, I should be a riot). Instead of 5 days a week, I’ll be blogging on Saturdays, too, but only a bit post, no books.

There’s still time to sign up, if you’re interested, all the way until the very end of April 2.

And I’m also going to do Camp Nanowrimo. Yes, while doing the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge, which involves visiting a whole bunch of blogs, I will, simultaneously, be writing the first draft of a novel.

Remember the delirium?

So that’s why the theme of the day is challenges. Wish me luck and sanity. I’ll need both.

Paging the Department of Lost & Found

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This week, I’ll be kicking off some challenges, which I’ll talk about in my bit post in, well, a bit. So I thought I’d pick a novel this morning that has the protagonist, Natalie Miller, facing a far more terrifying challenge: stage III breast cancer. Now that really helps to put things in perspective.

The Department of Lost & Found by Allison Winn Scotch. Amazon for $1.99. “Allison Winn Scotch is the real deal and The Department of Lost and Found is one you absolutely won’t want to miss.”
—Johanna Edwards, author of The Next Big Thing

“Funny, touching, tender, true….I loved it.”
—Pamela Redmond Satran, author of Suburbanistas

A Redbook Magazine Editor’s Choice, Allison Winn Scotch’s sparkling debut novel, The Department of Lost and Found, is a story that makes you laugh and cry in equal measure. This funny and uplifting tale of a young woman overcoming bad odds and changing her life, as she discovers unexpected truths about her friends, her family, and herself, is one that Julie Buxbaum and Jennifer Weiner fans will not soon forget.

Girl in the Box Free for Three

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A great deal for Free Book Friday: A whole boxed set for exactly $0.00! You get Alone, Untouched and Soulless, three superpowered books, for absolutely nothing. Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch? Ok, actually it’s a free box set, but you get the idea.

The Girl in the Box Series, Books 1-3: Alone, Untouched and Soulless by Robert J. Crane. FREE from Smashwords.com
This is a collection of the first three titles in The Girl in the Box Series, which are about a teenage girl who develops powers far beyond those of a normal human, and her battles against those who would use her against her will. (Approx. 185,000 words total.)

Books included:

1. Alone
2. Untouched
3. Soulless

Alone

Sienna Nealon was a 17 year-old girl who had been held prisoner in her own house by her mother for twelve years. Then one day her mother vanished, and Sienna woke up to find two strange men in her home. On the run, unsure of who to turn to and discovering she possesses mysterious powers, Sienna finds herself pursued by a shadowy agency known as the Directorate and hunted by a vicious, bloodthirsty psychopath named Wolfe, each of which is determined to capture her for their own purposes…

Untouched

Still haunted by her last encounter with Wolfe and searching for her mother, Sienna Nealon must put aside her personal struggles when a new threat emerges – Aleksandr Gavrikov, a metahuman so powerful, he could destroy entire cities – and he’s focused on bringing the Directorate to its knees.

Soulless

After six months of intense training with the Directorate, Sienna Nealon finds herself on her first assignment – tracking a dangerous meta across the upper midwest. With Scott Byerly and Kat Forrest at her side, she’ll face new enemies and receive help from unlikely allies as she stumbles across the truth behind the shadowy organization known only as Omega.

New Genre, New Skills

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So, as mentioned in this morning’s book post, my cozy mystery is nearly ready to greet the world. And it’s a strange feeling.

My comfort zone is weird, funny sci-fi. so it’ s a bit of a stretch for me to branch into, well, funny mystery. It’s the “weird” that’s tough for me to shake.

That probably gives you a little insight into my personality, I’d say.

As a writer, though, the experience of trying a genre bound by rules I don’t normally follow (you know, like physics. And nature) was tough. I felt constricted.

It was also fantastic. I had to reason my way out of the very dark and very pointy corners I tend to write myself into, and it taught me a lot about different approaches to plotting issues. Mystery requires a precision in the first draft I don’t always have, since I’m not a planner.

And when I went back to my normal genre, I took that all with me. It was like I’d been training with weights on my typing fingers, and going back to the offbeat science fiction, I’d left them in the dust.

I think it’s a good thing for us, as writers, to push ourselves in new directions, to take away our writing security blankets. It strengthens us in all directions.

Foreclosed on Free Book Friday

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Where I am today, it’s rainy and dark. Just the right kind of weather to curl up with a nice cozy mystery (speaking of, mine is almost ready for its debut, but more on that later). This one’s set in Portland, which, I think, is also rainy, though I admit a lot of what I know about Portland comes from “Portlandia,” and I’m pretty sure it’s not completely accurate.

 

Foreclosed: A Mitzy Neuhaus Mystery by Traci Tyne Hilton. FREE from Smashwords.com
Mitzy Neuhaus is the top selling Realtor in Portland, but even her office is dead. Determined to save one incredible mansion on her street from foreclosure she finds herself up against an owner with something to hide and a dangerously attractive rival investor. If Mitzy isn’t careful the economy won’t be the only thing dead.

Tempting Fate this Afternoon

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I enjoy Jane Green, and I don’t care who knows it. Are her books likely to change the world? Probably not. But they will take you out of your world for a bit, and that is, in essence, the power of a book.


Tempting Fate by Jane Green. Amazon for $10.99. From Jane Green, the New York Times bestselling author of such beloved novels as Jemima J, The Beach House, Another Piece of My Heart, comes an enthralling and emotional story about how much we really understand the temptations that can threaten even the most idyllic of relationships….

Gabby and Elliott have been happily married for eighteen years. They have two teenaged daughters. They have built a life together. Forty-three year old Gabby is the last person to have an affair. She can’t relate to the way her friends desperately try to cling to the beauty and allure of their younger years…And yet, she too knows her youth is quickly slipping away. She could never imagine how good it would feel to have a handsome younger man show interest in her—until the night it happens. Matt makes Gabby feel sparkling, fascinating, alive—something she hasn’t felt in years. What begins as a long-distance friendship soon develops into an emotional affair as Gabby discovers her limits and boundaries are not where she expects them to be. Intoxicated, Gabby has no choice but to step ever deeper into the allure of attraction and attention, never foreseeing the life-changing consequences that lie ahead. If she makes one wrong move she could lose everything—and find out what really matters most.
A heartfelt and complex story, Tempting Fate will have readers gripped until they reach the very last page, and thinking about the characters long after they put the book down.