Books to Read for Valentine’s Day Week

Valentine’s Day 2018 is over, but the fun of this romantic day doesn’t have to be. You can celebrate romance with your valentine all year long. Buy a book for you and one for your sweetheart. Go to your favorite bookstore, and shop for after-Valentine’s Day sales.

Enjoy Valentines Day – even after it’s over!

Walk into a Barnes & Noble, browse through the aisles of books, and make a note of what catches your eye. I did this activity the day before Valentine’s Day this week. It didn’t take long for me to realize which topics looked interesting to me – books and food. The following list is a combination of books I’ve enjoyed reading and what I came up with as I meandered through the bookstore during the hour I was there. Perhaps you will want to add one or more of these to your books-to-read file.

  • How to Find Love in a Bookshop

    is a story about Emilia who deals with the loss of her father, her promise to him to keep the store alive, and her loyal customers who have become like family

  • The Little French Bistro

    I’m a southern food blogger, and I love to cook, eat, and entertain. You can see why I named my blog Kitchen Southern Hospitality. Oh, and I am crazy about coffee. You can see why this book about a bistro seemed to jump out at me, saying, “Pick me, pick me!”

  • The Color of Love Coloring Book – I found a delightful Sarajo Frieden coloring book on a 75%-off table for $2.50 and couldn’t resist because I wanted to color with my two little granddaughters. They received coloring books and new crayons for Valentine’s Day. Both girls wasted no time coloring in my new coloring book filled with hearts and flowers.
  • Whole New You: How Real Food Transforms Your Life, for a Healthier, More Gorgeous You

    Again, it’s that “Food” that made me look twice at this title. By the time you get to be a grandmom like me, staying agile will make it much easier to keep up with youngster grandchildren. I did not want to be a couch potato kind of grandparent, so I decided to work out and eat nutritious food (learn more about my story of why I drink Shakeology).

  • Elizabeth Pye, author of Silk or Sugar and Return to Chateau Fleury,

    writes historical fiction based on ancient France history. During the eighteenth century, sending handmade love notes to your love had become a fun and romantic thing to do. Silk or Sugar mentions Napolean and his wife, Josephine. When you read this novel, take a few moments to read Elizabeth’s Valentine’s Day article about Napoleon’s love for Josephine.

  • The Winds of GraceI looked for Marilyn King’s historical fiction Winds of Love Series at Barnes & Noble and didn’t see them. However, you can order her books from Amazon. I loved reading this series. Marilyn King is one of my favorite authors. 
  • Sweet & Simple: Dessert for Two

    Simple is good. It’s easy.

cookbooks for sweets

Cookbooks, Sweets

I ended up in the cookbook area at the bookstore – my favorite book section. Last year I published Simple Summer Recipes, so any title that has to do with food and simple, I gravitate to. 

  • Love Soup – perfect for Valentine’s Day and as a meal any time of the year, and it’s just the cookbook for you if you’re vegetarian.

Past the chocolates and various candies I went, but I had my eye on this appetizing Apple Scone:


Apple Scone







What is your favorite section of the bookstore? Walk through and see which book list you come up with.


Become a Motivated Writer Despite Distractions

 How to Manage Distractions and Become a Motivated Writer

Organize daily tasks

Prioritize. Write.

Need the motivation to finish writing a book you started but can’t progress because of distractions? You can become a more motivated writer when you manage the distractions that interrupt your writing process. How? Add these four tricks into your daily routine:


New Management for Writers – Refocus. Life Happens.

Under New Management 

New management is not only for the store front. You’ve seen that sign in front of restaurants or businesses before. But have you ever seen an author’s page or blog Under New Management?

New Management

Sometimes writers have to refocus, let go of things that take them away from writing, change what isn’t working, and create new ways of performance. This enables authors to become better managers. Let’s face it – authors are “The Management” because it is up to them to see that their books are published and promoted. (more…)

Profanity and Substitute Cursing in Novel Writing

Southern Substitute Cursing Terms

books and cats

for the love of books

Oh, my goodness gracious! That’s a southern term which is an exclamation of excitement, surprise or frustration. The phrase was mentioned awhile back in my Wordsmiths critique session with my fellow writers. Wow! This brought back some memories for me. (more…)

Make Money Blogging through Funnels

Make Money Blogging

Generate Income Blogging

 How to Make Money Blogging

Thinking of starting a blog or already have one? You found this blog post, so you are probably on a mission to figure out how you can make money blogging. (more…)

Benny McCoy of Phantom Seven

Thanksgiving Lessons on Blogging

Today is the beginning of Thanksgiving week, a busy season that leaves little time for blogging. (more…)

Every blogger had a beginning

What it Takes to Be a Successful Blogger


Blogging still works – when you work it. Like anything in life that you want to accomplish, it requires effort for success to happen.

If you’ve started a blog, congratulations! Enjoy it, post consistently, and try out ways to make it become successful. When it hits a lull, don’t give up. Connect with other bloggers, learn strategies others have used to make their sites’ successful.

Consider the word success for a moment. What does that mean for your blog? Publishing a post once daily or weekly? Monetizing your blog? Seeing your blog traffic increase? All of these take time and effort, but you can make them happen if you follow a few important steps.


Many people have good intentions of making a blog successful. Life events happen, and the blog gets nowhere. I know. I’ve been there. Recently, my WiFi service and cell reception changed. Then my computer started doing strange things. This went on for over a month. Without a working computer and WiFi, blogging doesn’t work. It was frustrating. Yes, I understand that things will interfere. Commitment, however, means you stick to the goals that you set and find a way to accomplish them.


First, it helps to have a routine, daily and weekly. Get up early every morning about the same time, drink coffee, eat a light breakfast, and spend a few minutes in prayer or studying the Bible. That’s one way, doing whatever helps you to start your day off with a positive mind. Meditate on good things. My mother-in-law used to tell me she liked to start her day off early in the cool of the day with her gratefuls. Be grateful for what you have. Find joy in the little things and with family.


Write down your plan. I learned years ago that to accomplish a goal, I had to write it down. I attended a Franklin seminar and learned about organizing goals into A’s, B’s, and C’s. If you don’t write it, you forget it.

MyFitnessPal is an app I use for keeping up with my daily calories. Sometimes I forget to record what I eat. Guess what happens. That day the calories shoot up way high. Seriously, I think I can gain five pounds in one day. The app is a great way for disciplining myself. So it is with blogging. I have five blogs. If I plan my strategy of how to blog consistently on them, I’ll make it happen. When I don’t write the plan down, something will come up and I’ll forget to blog. After my time of computer problems and no WiFi, I was determined to discipline myself and work the plan I have in place for all five blogs. It’s doable but only if I follow my plan.

You can learn from the best of bloggers and apply their advice, but you must stay committed if you want to have success with your own blog. If you’re not committed, you’ll become inconsistent and discouraged. Interruptions will happen. The more that you have interferences, publishing posts will eventually end up on the bottom of your priorities.

Remember your purpose, your why, for having a blog. If it’s important to you, you have a reason to stay committed.

Routine will help keep you from overload. Without a routine, it’s easy to slack off from writing when tight schedules are a hindrance. Include these necessities in your routine:

  1. Sleep
  2. Healthy Eating
  3. Exercise
  4. Relaxation
  5. Sunshine

When you deprive yourself of those five needs, you’ll feel frustrated. Network with other bloggers, and read inspirational material like the iBlog magazine to stay positive and learn.

Go back to your plan from time to time and make changes when you need to. If one thing isn’t working, scratch it off the list, and replace it with something else you’ve learned from another blogger.

Be careful about comparing your blog so much to everyone else’s. Learn from others, but keep in mind that every blogger had a beginning. It took each one time to reach success. You’ll get there, too, so enjoy creating your blog as you fulfill your purpose.


Maintaining Blogs

Multiple Blogs

Managing Multiple Blogging Interests

Maintaining Blogs

Finding the time to blog takes planning. Maintaining one blog is one thing. Maintaining multiple blogs is another. If you are thinking of creating more than one blog, plan carefully before you launch them.

I’m a blogger who loves to blog about different topics and help beginning bloggers. When I began blogging, I was working a full-time day job and posting on the blogs whenever I had the time in the evenings and on weekends. Consistent blogging is important in managing blogs.

During the time I began blogging and was working a day job, my husband and I invested in a fixer-upper that needed major fixing up. That wasn’t all. I also was writing a book. Combining these multiple projects, I eventually became overwhelmed. In spite of adding more projects, the book was published and I finally learned how to blog.

Taking on too much

When you take on too much, even if it’s what you like or enjoy, you have to let something go eventually. I stopped blogging on two of my free hosted blogs in order to focus on a self-hosted blog that could eventually bring me extra income.You can only post on one blog at a time unless you duplicate, and that’s not a good thing for SEO (search engine optimization for those of you who are not into blogging).

As a blogger, I have become enthused about an idea, read an inspiring blog about blogging and discovered several more steps required to produce a successful blog, remembered that I still have to finish that blogging course I signed up for and saved but haven’t finished yet, and on and on and on.

At some point, you have to stop and think about your plan and order your steps to accomplish it. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself following the newest how-to-make-money-blogging ad (or whatever ad that offers what you need) that pops up on your Facebook page, daring you to check it out.

Do What Works Best for You

Listen to what works for others, but go at your own pace. Signing up for blogging courses, for instance, can be a good thing but may not be the best decision as far as timing goes. Can you afford it? Do you have the extra time it takes to complete the course? Do what works best for you or else you will become overwhelmed to the point that you won’t accomplish anything. You’ll become bogged down with unfinished projects and be too frustrated to complete them.

Find a way to get your projects organized. See my “Prioritize and Organize Your Clutter” blog post that  explains the ABC way of organizing. Prioritizing your tasks will help you to accomplish your dreams and goals.

One Blog or Multiple Blogs

You have to determine which is best for you, one blog or multiple blogs. If you have a day job, I wouldn’t recommend having multiple blogs. Maintain one blog at first. Then, if you feel like you have the time and want to blog about a different niche, go for it.

One option is to set up a website and have a blog on that website. If your niche covers similar topics, combine them into the same blog but on separate pages. This will help you to minimize your blogging time and prevent you from becoming too overwhelmed.

Bloggers with many diverse interests (mine include food, blogging, and gardening), or irons in the fire as writer Rusty LaGrange defines her blog, often find themselves needing to condense those interests. Rusty has condensed Old West topics into one blog, Old West Statecoach & Trading Post.

Are you a blogger with diverse interests? What has worked best for you? One blog or multiple blogs? Share your blogging experiences in the comment section below.


Overcome Writer’s Block: Encourage Yourself to Write

Prevent Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is unnecessary, but it happens. It’s a condition that sends a writer into the oblivion of being unaware of the senses.

If you’re suffering from writer’s block, there is a way out. But you have to take the first step. The way you do it is to encourage yourself.

Starting a blog

Begin writing by taking baby steps.

How to encourage yourself to write

Here are six steps to encourage yourself to fulfill your writing dreams and goals:

  1. Read books about authors and other writers. See what they did to make their writing dreams come to pass. Discover what measures they took to accomplish their publishing goals. A good book to find inspiring writers’ stories is Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul.
  2. Write daily, even if it’s a paragraph. Buy a notebook to write down ideas that come to you. This will help you get past feelings of writer’s block. Write each idea at the top of a page. When you can’t think of what to write about, flip through the idea pages until you find something that inspires you, that you have learned about, or that reminds you of an interesting thought. Write it down.
  3. Encourage other writers. Publish inspiring words, stories, and experiences on your blog. When you encourage others, you will feel encouraged.
  4. Pursue writing excellence. Join a writers group, critique group, or blogging group.
  5. Start a blog if you haven’t already. Look for blogs by authors with a similar genre to yours. You can even blog a book by writing the chapters in your blog. Nina Amir’s “How to Blog a Book” will show you how.
  6. Comment on the writers’ blogs that you follow. When you consistently comment on your favorite blogs, those bloggers will often reciprocate. Receiving a positive remark from a reader will make a blogger’s day.

How to become inspired to write

If you are looking for books to inspire you to blog and write, take a look at this blog’s Books page. Now, are you ready for some inspiration, something that will nudge you back into writing? Try these ideas out:

  • Always keep a notebook and pen with you.
  • Visit a vintage shop and write the thoughts down that come to you as you stroll down the aisles of nostalgia.
  • Take a nature walk. Listen to the sounds. Write about it.
  • Sit on a bench in a garden. Observe. Notice what you see, hear, feel, smell – and, yes, taste if there happens to be a fruit tree nearby.

Thank you for visiting!

“But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God” (I Samuel 30:6, KJV).



How to Insert a Link in WordPress

Starting a blog

Beginning Blogger

How to Insert a Link in a WordPress Blog Post

Inserting links in a blog post sometimes gets frustrating to bloggers. I assured the last blogger who was having linking problems that I would write a blog post with instructions on how to insert a link in WordPress.

You see the three words in the last paragraph – “insert a link”? There is a blog post on about high traffic linking. I went to the URL of that blog post, highlighted it, hit right click and copy then came back to this post and highlighted “insert a link” then clicked on the “Insert/edit link” icon. Next a window popped up where I pasted the URL. Often, there is already an “http” in the window, so I always delete it when pasting the URL.

Next in the pop-up window is a place with a box and this phrase, “Open link in a new window/tab”. I checked the box then clicked on “Add Link” at the bottom of the pop-up page which brought me back to this post I’m currently working on.

Pretty easy, right? There are also some shortcuts that offers in a helpful cheat sheet that I recommend. Try them. You may like using these keyboard shortcuts. They are good to know and might make linking less complicated for you.

Happy Linking!




Dig In and Learn Social Media Marketing

Angela McCoy Horn

Angela Horn,
Finding Inspiration

When was the last time you watched a webinar on social media marketing? I watched one last night, and it was a good one. So good that I was hoping that by the end of it, it would be offered at a very doable price.

Entrepreneurs who see the need for applying marketing strategies to their blogs seek information explaining how to do so. Like what happens to me, they scan their email messages and discover a webinar promotion. Clicking on it, they read the details and sign up right away. Logging onto the site ten minutes early, ready with their pre-printed guidelines (a thoughtful offer of the webinar speaker) with blanks to fill in, the eager-to-learn entrepreneurs wait.  The experienced speaker greets the online audience with phenomenal social media marketing nuggets learned from YEARS of trial-and-error plans of action, programs and designs that work.

By the time the small business owners get to the end of the awesome FREE online presentation, finally they are encouraged to hurry and sign up for the fabulous deal. Worth hundreds, even thousands, of dollars, the product or service offered is so amazing that surely no entrepreneur can pass up.

Truthfully, such webinars actually do, usually, contain an hour or so worth of good information. However, it’s packed into a small time frame that requires the attendees to be good at speedwriting or shorthand.

The problem with online social media marketing training worth hundreds or thousands of dollars? Only a select group of entrepreneurs can afford it, and it’s good that they have reached that level. On the other hand, many who would like to enroll in the program or sign up for the service can’t because lack of money puts them into a not-a-good-fit category.

Look at all of that information, those strategies and never-before revealed marketing tips and tricks that were studied for years. That means years of learning what works and what doesn’t. Years of research that saves time for others who need to use social media marketing and can afford the hundreds or thousands of dollars. It’s discouraging, though, for the ones who have limited funds.

So what’s the blogger and business owner to do when great social media marketing training is available but at a high price? Do what the social media expert did. Dig in and learn it yourself. You can do it. It might take you awhile like it did the expert to learn on your own. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Learn as you go. Do what you can.

The webinar I attended this week was loaded with very good material – even if it did seem overwhelming because there was so much to write. In spite of the fact that it was not doable for my budget, I still gleaned from the content presented.

I like what Joel Osteen said in one of his messages. Learn to encourage yourself. The more you grow, the less dependent you become on the approval of other people. God wants to see what you’re made of. This is the time to dig your heels in. Keep believing. Keep moving forward. Don’t fight against everything that’s hard.

Making money by blogging can be a challenge. Learning what works takes time and effort. New bloggers, don’t despair. Continue blogging and publishing good content. Hard? Yes, it certainly can be. But it’s doable.


Step Out of the Box and Learn to Blog

Starting a blog

Beginning Blogger

Reach your dreams by stepping out of the box and putting your feet forward. The doors will then open, and you’ll walk through.

That’s what happened to me. Bob Isbill, former president of High Desert Branch California Writers Club, asked me to chauffeur a blogger who was scheduled to speak at our club. I agreed.

The day I met Bill Belew, my blogging box became uncomfortable. Bill, the blogger who pays his mortgage by blogging, challenged me. I had joined his blogging meetup group, but it was too far for me to attend. Bill said, “Start your own.”

“Start my own?” How would I do that if I didn’t even know what I was doing?

I realized that I must learn by doing. The concept was familiar to me. I’m a Christian and a preacher’s daughter. Though my dad was a great preacher (also a lively one), I learned more about the Bible when I began teaching Bible studies.

The group was formed, and I started to learn about blogging. I met with like-minded individuals who also wanted to learn about blogging.

Eventually, I offered group workshops and individual blog coaching. Continuing to grow my personal blogs and helping others to grow theirs, I found that teaching new and intermediate bloggers was fulfilling. I could understand their frustrations of setting up a blog, trying to make sense of WordPress and learning the sections of the dashboard.

Since Bill Belew nudged me to start my own group, I’ve become involved with teaching blogging at writing salons, a fun way writers get together to boost their writing skills.

Recently, I’ve stepped further away from my former box of blogging comfort and started a newsletter blog corner. It’s a way that I can share what I’ve learned on my journey of learning to blog. These doors would not have happened, however, had I not been willing to step out of the box and put my feet forward.

Finding Inspiration to Blog and Write

Angela McCoy Horn

Angela Horn,
Finding Inspiration

I love to go vintage shopping. There is a little cottage vintage shop I go to that is quite amazing. You walk into the gate down a short sidewalk, turn to the left and wind around and around through sort of a vintage village. Sometimes I go just to find inspiration to blog about. It always works. Taking pictures of vintage, flowers in a vintage setting, the vintage oddities – all of it inspires me.

What is your brand of blogging? Do you blog about information, fashion, comedy, social media? What do you do to inspire, to motivate, through your blog posts?

Vintage is only one of my interests. My grandbabies inspire me. Ask a grandmother about her grandchildren and see if she doesn’t tell you a cute story or show you a picture. Yep! That’s what we do, and it’s so fun.

You don’t have to look far to find something interesting to blog about. It helps to network with other bloggers, too. Every time my meetup group of bloggers get together, I am motivated. Look on the internet for blogging groups that meet in your community. If there aren’t any, start one. Don’t know how? You can do it. Take it one step at a time. They may be baby steps, but babies learn and grow.

Beginning Blogging

Start blogging with baby steps – and don’t quit!

What inspired you today? Share it.


About Me


Angela Horn Blogger

Angela M. Horn

Read to be inspired. Then inspire. Blog it. Write it.

Welcome to my blog! It’s about inspiring others through blogging, writing, sharing what has worked for me in blogging and writing and any inspiration for the day.

This is a new blog. I have other blogs but decided to start one primarily on blogging, writing, and the things that inspire.

Helping you to start your own blog, overcome the obstacles, and find out what works best for your brand are important to me.

Whether you blog part-time or full-time, all bloggers need inspiration and to be motivated by other bloggers.

Look around you wherever you go. The inspiration is there. Blog it.

Go inspire someone today!