Today on A Bed of Roses...Thorns Included, we welcome Heather Gray. Heather's recent release, Mail Order Man, made it to my list of review copies and I enjoyed it so much that I invited Heather to join us today. (Review to come, you know I seem to ALWAYS be behind on those things.)
Aside from her long-standing love affair with coffee, Heather's greatest joys in life are her relationship with her Savior, her family, and writing. Years ago, she decided it would be better to laugh than yell. Heather carries that theme over into her writing where she strives to create characters that experience both the highs and lows of life and, through it all, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her.
About the book:
Some people get a mail order bride. She got a mail order man.
A well-meaning friend places an ad to find a mail order husband for Sarah, the proprietress of Larkspur’s stage and mail office. Sarah, who is generally quiet and reserved, doesn't know about the ad and has no idea what to do with all the people that are showing up in her community. Before long, the town is overrun with men and mail alike. Sarah is trying to avoid some men who have accosted her on the street when she stumbles into Samuel. Through long days spent together at the stage office, some very adventurous pots of coffee and a shared faith, the two become friends. Sarah knows that Samuel is hiding something from her, something important, but that doesn't stop her heart from leaping wildly into love. Lacking the confidence to trust her heart, Sarah wars with herself over the feelings she can no longer deny. When some of the men who have come to town show their true intentions, a shootout follows. Sarah finally gets answers to many of the questions circling through her mind. One question remains, though. Where will her mail order man go when the dust settles?
Digital copies available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Astraea Press, Smashwords, and Kobo. Print copies available at Amazon.
Also take a moment to visit Heather's website, Heather Gray Writing, to learn more about her and see what she has coming soon.
Now without further ado here's Heather...
by Heather Gray
We all get frustrated once in a while. If I never got irritated I'd have to begin to wonder whether or not I was really alive. It's what we each do with our aggravations, though, that really matters. I try to live my life creatively. I do my best to avoid run-of-the-mill solutions and boring same-old-same-old answers to the problems of life. Why? Well…I'm just a little quirky like that, I guess.
Here are some creative ways to express your emotions when you feel your temper beginning to reach toward that boiling point.
- Sing. I remember one day when my children were driving me absolutely batty. They weren't misbehaving, but their overzealous enthusiasm for all things loud and annoying reached epic proportions on that particular day. So I made up a song. About gouging out my eyeballs. With a rusty pitchfork. The louder I sang it, the better I felt. By the time the kids figured out my lyrics enough to look at me in puzzlement, I felt like a brand new person. Eventually they learned the song, too, and when I would have one of those days where I reached the end of my rope, I'd begin belting out the tune, and they'd join in with me. And then we'd laugh together over how ridiculous we must sound.
- Say utterly bizarre things with a straight face. If I look at you and, without cracking a smile, say, "I am going to pluck every hair out of your nose, dye them orange and then glue them to your belly button," you can assume that I am almost ready to lose my cool and am trying to diffuse the situation before it's too late. This might not be the best approach in a business meeting or when being introduced to your significant other's parents for the first time. However, in more casual settings when surrounded by people who love you despite your oddity, I have found this to be both refreshing and effective.
- Go ooh and ah. Visit your nearest pet store and play with the puppies and kittens. Some pet stores will even allow you to pick the little fur balls up and cuddle them. No one can hold onto their foul mood when in the presence of so much adorably loving cuteness. If you don't believe me, give it a try. I dare you. Be sure to put the creatures back down before they piddle on you, though, or you might end up right back where you started.
- Show kindness. The surest way to make sure that you feel blessed is to get out there and be a blessing to someone else. It works every time. Rather than dwelling on everything that's going wrong in your own life, find someone who needs a helping hand, and then lend it. Or call up a person you know is lonely and give them the greatest gift of all – your time and listening ear. You can't help but feel better when you go out of your way to be kind to those around you.
- Buy me coffee. Hm. Maybe that came out wrong. Treat yourself to something special. That sounds better! I am never far from my coffee, but on some days, I go the extra mile and get some deliciously decadent mondo-expensive coffee beverage because, well, I need a little extra cheering up. It makes me feel better. I don't splurge on the expensive stuff very often, so when I do, I don't have to feel guilty about it. Maybe for you it's a mani/pedi, a chair massage or some frozen yogurt. It doesn't have to be expensive, and it doesn't have to be unhealthy. Find something you rarely indulge in but always enjoy, and put that aside as your special better-frame-of-mind treat.
When you're reaching that boiling point of irritation, frustration and aggravation, holding it in usually backfires. Instead, try to find a creative and entertaining way to let it all out. If you choose how to release your tension, there's much less chance of it spilling over in such a way that those around you get hurt.
Please share your own unusual ideas for handling stress and bad moods!
Ginger here again. Thank you to Heather for these great ideas to diffuse irritating or stressful situations. I sure could use it. :) So, readers, tell us...how do you handle stress and bad moods?