Flower Festivals Around the World

There is something joyful and inspiring about the burst of color and delicately perfumed air that accompanies the arrival of springtime flowers. Here are five incredible flower festivals from around the world.

If your own garden is slow to bud, grab a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy scrolling through these gorgeous photos. You might find one that’s just right for a new screensaver.

Fuji Shibazakura Festival (Japan)

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Skagit Valley Tulip Festival (Washington, USA)

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Flower Carpet (Belgium)

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National Cherry Blossom Festival (Washington DC, USA)

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Canadian Tulip Festival (Canada)

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What is your favorite springtime or flower celebration?

Reading for Stress Management

April is Stress Awareness Month. You probably already know if you are stressed out, but do you know how stress affects physical and mental health? Here are some interesting facts from the 2015 Stress in America survey conducted by the American Psychological Association:

The top three sources of stress for adults, in order, are money, work and family responsibilities.

More than one-third of adults reported an increase in stress and 78% of adults report experiencing at least one symptom of stress.

Symptoms of stress include: feeling nervous/anxious, feeling depressed/sad, constant worrying, irritability/anger, poor eating habits, changes in sleeping patterns, upset stomach, dry mouth, headaches, muscle tension, chest pains, fatigue, inability to concentrate, forgetfulness, jitters, increased frequency of colds.

 

Left unmanaged, stress can result in chronic, long-term health problems. Experts recommend a variety of strategies for managing stress, including exercise, deep breathing, medication, eating well, engaging in hobbies, spending time with friends/family, getting enough sleep and balancing life.

Reading is another effective strategy for managing stress. University of Sussex researchers reported six minutes of reading to be more effective than listening to music or going for a walk, reducing stress by as much as 68%.

The next time you are feeling stressed, reach for a book.

What are your other favorite stress management strategies?

 

 

Women Sleuth Mysteries Giveaway

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Have you read my novel, An Inner Fire? For a limited time, you can enter to win the book plus more than 45 fantastic Women Sleuth Mysteries from an amazing collection of authors, PLUS A KINDLE FIRE!

Enter the contest by clicking here: bit.ly/women-sleuth-myst

Be sure to check out the books from these award-winning and bestselling mystery authors.

Alana Albertson
Angie Fox
Ann Charles
Barbra Annino
Christine Kling
CJ Lyons
Connie Shelton
Dale Mayer
Danielle Lenee Davis
Deborah Brown
Dee Ernst
Denise Grover Swank
Dianne Harman
Emily Kimelman
Fiona Davis
Heather Sunseri
Jacki Delecki
Joanne Pence
John Sullins
Josie Brown
Joy Ohagwu
K.J. Emrick
Karen McCullough
Kathi Daley
Kelle Z Riley
Kelly Miller
Kristi Belcamino
Libby Fischer Hellmann
Linda Fulkerson
Lindsay Emory
Lynn Emery
M. Louisa Locke
Maggi Andersen
Mara Jacobs
Marcy McKay
Melissa Storm
P.B. Ryan
Paisley Ray
Pamela Fagan Hutchins
Patricia Rice
Sara Rosett
Seeley James
Sibella Giorello
Suzanne Jenkins
T.K. Wilde
Toby Neal
Vered Ehsani
Vicki Hinze

 

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3 Reasons to attend a Reader/Writer Event

One of the rising trends in the book community is the proliferation of reader and writer events. Back in the day, authors used book signings as a venue to connect with readers. With the closure of many brick-and-mortar book stores and the evolution of the digital marketplace, traditional book signings are a less popular option, especially when compared to everything a reader/author event (sometimes called a reader appreciation event) offers.

If you haven’t attended a reader/writer event, here are three reasons to finish the chapter you’re currently reading and find an event to explore today!

  1. SWAG! Event coordinators usually assemble a goody bag for attendees, but authors also have lots (and lots) of goodies. Tip: Bring an extra tote or backpack to carry all the great stuff you collect. You can always tell the hardcore readers who have attended events before because they bring those wheeled-shopper carts!
  2. Make new book friends. Everyone at a reader/writer event is there because they love books – reading them or writing them. This fun and friendly environment makes it easy to chat with strangers. You might even make a new BBF (book best friend)!
  3. Meet the real person behind the book cover. Have you ever wondered what your favorite author is like in real life? Connecting in person gives you chance to bond over shared interests, laugh over an inside joke or just express how much you enjoy their work.

Each reader/writer event is different. Some last a few hours; some a few days. Some are free; some require paid admission. Some include a variety of genres; some are genre specific. Most include a book signing and opportunity to mix and mingle with authors.

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I’m participating in the Reader & Writer Event in Seattle, June 3, 2017. This event includes more than 50 authors, hot cover models and other “bookish” fun. If you’re in the area, get a ticket before the event is sold out. If not, look online for other reader/writer events and have a great time!

Seattle Reader Writer Event

Reader and Writer Author Event – Seattle, WA

Featuring authors and cover models!
June 3, 2017 – WithinSodo, Seattle, WA
Tickets:  http://readerswritersevents.com/product-category/seattle-17/
Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1693884950856549/

February Reader Appreciation Giveaway

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Happy February! It’s time for another Reader Appreciation Giveaway. In keeping with the theme of Valentine’s Day and love, I’m giving away four totes loaded with romance books and swag because I love my readers!

Want to win? Here’s how:

Each week, visit my website and look for the I ♥ READERS graphic (see below).

I HEART READERSOnce you locate the graphic, fill out this form or send an email to Jacki@JackiDelecki.com.

I’ll announce the winner and post a reminder about the scavenger hunt on my Facebook page each Wednesday throughout February!

Good luck and thanks for being a Jacki Delecki reader!

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Triple Kindle Giveaway

Follow me — and your other favorite authors — on Amazon for a chance to win a Kindle Fire, a Kindle Paperwhite or a Kindle Voyage! Litring‘s Triple Kindle Giveaway offers more than 35 ways to enter. The more authors you follow, the more chances to win!

To get started, click HERE and log in using your preferred profile (email, Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter). The sign-on is directly under this graphic on the giveaway page.

amazongiveaway3The contest is open through January 27th so invite your book besties! If you’re a lucky winner, let me know!

Good luck and happy reading.

 

Big Quiz Giveaway – Fun, Books & Prizes

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Giveaways are great…until you discover you weren’t one of the lucky grand prize winners. LitRing is sponsoring a giveaway where everyone is a winner! Take the #LitQuiz to discover your next late night binge with a book tailored matched to your preferences.

Click HERE to get take the quiz. Be sure to browse the LitRing website where you can find lots of new releases, free reads and enter to win more than $1,500 in prizes.

Good luck and happy reading!

January Reader Appreciation Giveaway

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New in 2017! Each month I’ll be sponsoring a reader appreciation giveaway. This month, one lucky winner will receive a $25 gift card. It’s just my way of saying thanks for all you do!

There are lots of ways to enter for a chance to win:

Like, share and/or comment on one of my Facebook posts.

Share one of my tweets

Tell friends about one of my books on your Facebook page (be sure to tag me in the post so I see it)

Write a review for one of my books and send a link (or screenshot) to your review to Jacki@JackiDelecki.com

Newsletters subscribers will automatically be entered so join my mailing list if you aren’t already a subscriber.

Good luck and thanks for being a Jacki Delecki reader!

*Reader can select choice of $25 gift card from Amazon, Starbucks or Gyft.com.

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Celebrate December

11Although Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa fall toward the end of December, the twelfth month of the year feels like 31 days of festivities…and with good reason. December is jam-packed with noteworthy celebrations besides more well-known holidays.

Don’t miss any of these festivities. Some are silly, some are serious, but all of them fall in December.

December 5 – Repeal Day commemorates the repeal of the 18th Amendment and the end of Prohibition.

December 6 – St. Nicholas Day is the feast day of St. Nicholas.

December 9 – Christmas Card Day honors Sir Henry Cole, an Englishman who designed the first commercial Christmas card in 1843.

December 13 – Milad un Nabi commemorates the birth of the prophet Muhammad.

December 21 – Winter Solstice marks the start of winter and is the shortest day of the year.

December 23 – Festivus is a non-denominational holiday inspired by a Jerry Seinfeld episode.

December 24 – Chanukah (also Hanukkah), known as the Festival of Light, is a Hebrew celebration which runs through January 1.

December 25 – Christmas is a Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus.

December 26 – Boxing Day, also St. Stephans Day, is based on a Middle Ages practice in which alms were distributed to the poor.

December 26 – Kwanzaa is an African-American celebration of “family, community and culture” which runs through January 1.

What special occasions do you celebrate in December?

9 tips to survive holiday shopping

shoppingAre you a Black Friday shopper, battling the masses to get in on super deals, or do you prefer to purchase holiday gifts from the comfort of home on Cyber Monday? Whatever your preference, this upcoming weekend is one of the busiest times of the year for shoppers.

Did you know this weekend includes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday? Retailers and merchants focus an enormous amount of time and research to cater to shoppers’ preferences and patterns.  According to Fact Retriever, retailers use satellite images of retail parking lots to predict earnings and rely on psychological triggers such as music, visuals and key words to entice shoppers. Read 38 Fascinating Facts about Holiday Shopping for more details.

Holiday shopping can be stressful. It is time consuming and prompts financial anxiety. There may also be concerns about finding the “perfect” gift, obligatory gift giving and trying not to lose sight of the real meaning of the season. Here are nine tips to help you survive–and maybe even enjoy–holiday shopping.

  1. Make a list and check it twice. Jot ideas for gifts so you don’t wander aimlessly. Having a list can also help you determine your budget.
  2. Decide on a gift-giving theme. Have fun by deciding to purchase gifts according to a theme – books, crazy socks, food & cooking, gardening, music.
  3. Buy in bulk. No need to stress about giving each person an individualized gift. If you find an object you think people would enjoy, buy one for everyone on your list.
  4. Be realistic about your budget. Know what you can afford to spend and plan accordingly. If finances are tight, get creative and give handmade or homemade gifts such as jams/jellies, baked goods or coupons for services such as babysitting, yard work, etc.
  5. Give an “experiential” gift. Give a gift that allows people to enjoy a special experience – cooking classes, travel, skydiving. Even dinner or movie certificates are great!
  6. Give of your time, talent or treasures. You don’t have to buy something to give a meaningful gift. People may be even more appreciative of gifts such as preparing a special meal or recipe, piano lessons, creating a painting or handing down a beloved family heirloom.
  7. Don’t shop when you are tired, hungry or pressed for time. Dealing with long lines, crowds and no parking spots is bad enough, but the experience is even more unpleasant when you’re not at your best. Avoid peak shopping times (such as weekends), fuel up before you go, take your e-reader for long waits in line, leave the kids at home and focus on the spirit behind your gift.
  8. Shop online. Save time and money by shopping online. Be sure to allow sufficient delivery time, especially if you are ordering gifts that need to be shipped.
  9. Have fun! Hand out mini candy canes to children (ask parents first!) and store clerks. Wear colorful holiday clothing. Admire the decorations. Indulge in a cup of hot chocolate and cookies. Get your photo taken with Santa.

How do you survive the holiday shopping challenge? Share your tips and strategies. Happy shopping!

 

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