The Writer Journey: Elude Burnout by Nourishing the Soul to Fuel Creativity

For a writer, when creative lightning strikes, the phenomenon is euphoric and all-encompassing.

We’re drawn into a wondrous journey, transported to another dimension.

Fingers fly over the keyboard.

Scenes unfold in vivid detail into clear receptive minds.

And as an obedient watcher, we document, transcribe, and hope to capture every sense and emotion as the adventure unfolds.

Ahhh…

That’s what we’ve been up to at the Bastion writing desks: tapping into that addictive drug of writing again.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Going into 2019 feels like the beginning of a blissful crisp glide through powdery snow: hearts beating a little faster, skin tingling from the chill, pure anticipation in our hearts for the undiscovered tracks that lie ahead.

We’ve done much soul-searching this last year…or two…

Eluding Burnout

“Know thyself” became a common phrase we’ve adopted. It’s helped us sidestep landmines of overachievement.

When real-life commitments pull us in too many directions, it’s normal feel overwhelmed. Saying “no” is something we’ve slowly learned how to do, even if it’s difficult for us to accept that we can’t take on everything.

And what has our “know thyself” taught us?

We have to slow down and take time to be in the real world: make social connections, breathe the air, notice the little things, actively listen more—be in the moment.

Not everything has to be done in one day, or that week, maybe not in that month, or even that year.

We need to make time for good food, from the “hunting and gathering” at farmer’s markets and grocer to the joy of preparing and savoring while we eat.

And if we want our bodies and minds to operate at their peak, we need to become attune to and attend to them throughout our day, exercising when and how feels best, resting physically and mentally, and learning what brings us joy.

A new rediscovery? We find the quietest place in nature we can find, lie back on a blanket in the grass, and stare at undulating misty clouds as they float by. We used to do that as a kid. Guess what? We’re still kids.

But in that real-life slowdown, we’ve come full circle to something Stone says frequently:

“The magic of writing is writing.”

The mantra means: Put aside all expectation, forget deadlines, step away from social media, ignore time itself—just write from the heart, with joy.

The magic of writing is writing.

Do you hear a distant drumbeat in a faraway jungle? Feel the cool spray of the water on your face as our low-slung canoe glides along the shore? Swallow hard, inching toward the edge of your seat, as we approach the waterfall and hope we’re all going to come through to the other side okay in the end?

That’s where you’ll find us. 🙂

We’ll also be here on TalkToTheShoe from time to time, sharing some of our behind-the-scenes adventures, possibly penning a fresh “Transparency in Self-publishing” post. Once in a while, when we stumble out of the writing cave, we’ll visit Twitter and Facebook, so drop us a line…we hope to be able to answer correspondence from our remote location, but appreciate your patience with our slow response times.

Feeding our Soul

A few years back, a great article in the Romance Writers of America’s monthly RWR publication shared the importance for writers to take breaks between one book and another for a “discovery” period.

The duration suggested was two weeks.

And during that intentional break, the goal was to immerse ourselves back into our world again: watch the latest movies, attend concerts or shows, read books for pleasure.

We’ve gone a few steps further…

We don’t take two weeks off between books. We take a good long breather. How long? As long as it takes. When the brain juices flow, we get jonesing to write again with our energy for the story all wound up and ready to burst out onto the pages.

We do our discovery daily. We’ve learned to make time for ourselves out in our world first, then we write. Mmm-hmmm… “Know thyself” kicked in big time there. Only when we’re at our best in every respect does the story shine through.

Self-improvement is an essential element for us. This last year in particular, we’ve made huge strides in finding that zenful life we’ve strived for. (Although we’d initially thought to share our journey on a separate blog, we found our path needed to be private, and so, ZenfulLife, the blog, has been retired.) Suffice it to say, we’re now awake, as opposed to being asleep. Or comatose. We’re working on embracing the present moment as often as possible, versus the past or the future. And (epiphany moment) to be creative is to be fully present. The magic of writing is writing…

We now filter our news. Nothing gets us sucked down some rabbit-hole tangent like a cleverly designed news headline; it’s by design.

Besides, as it turns out, we don’t need to know most of those shocking headlines.

You know, ’cause after we moved to Hawaii, the missile-scare happened. But we didn’t hear about it, because our low-tech flip-phones didn’t have the capability of alerting us. (Assuming they’d been turned on at the time.) After we got panicked calls and texts from mainland family and friends, and realized we’d been in bed sleeping in at the time, we decided we were exactly were we’d want to be if the last moments of our life were upon us: blissfully unaware.

We have plugged in to the best news source available for writers: The Passive Voice. Not only do we read his blog on an almost-daily basis, we’ve hit that “Donate” button on the righthand side and have subscribed to supporting our favorite blog monthly. Comprised of a unique and balanced collection of mostly writing-industry related posts, we’ve found his blog to be inspiring, enlightening, and amusing (especially when Passive Guy, PG, adds his commentary.) This morning, he excerpted one of the most riveting online stories we’ve ever read, so much so, that we’ve never been more tantalized to click through to read the full story from The New Yorker: The French Burglar Who Pulled Off His Generation’s Biggest Art Heist. We encourage you to give The Passive Voice blog a try. We’ll be there reading with you.

And then… you’ll find us where distant drumbeats in a faraway jungle can be heard.

The magic of writing is writing…

Your humble shoe and boot,

~ Kat & Stone

Stay in touch with us on our social media pages…
Blog * Facebook * Kat’s Twitter * Stone’s Twitter * Website

@2019 by Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion

It’s LAWBREAKER Cover Reveal Day! Featuring Fiercely Sexy @StuReardon ~ Image Provided by @Love_N_Books ~ Promotion by @InkSlingerPR

Lawbreaker Cover Reveal Preorder Banner

Cover Reveal Day for LAWBREAKER has finally arrived!

We’re thrilled to join with InkSlinger PR to bring you the cover reveal of LAWBREAKER featuring the fiercely sexy sports model Stuart Reardon. Plus we have pre-order links and a charged exclusive excerpt!

LAWBREAKER releases September 17th!

LAWBREAKER Cover

Pre-order Your Copy   |   Releases 09.17.18
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | Amazon AU
iBooks | NookBooks | Kobo

Heartbreaker on Goodreads

Cover Designer: Sarah Hansen, Okay Creations
Image provided by: Love N. Books
Photographer: Rick Day
Model: Stuart Reardon
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance

About LAWBREAKER:

Raised on the streets, Shay Morgan yearns for a real family, where love is unconditionally offered—even when trust doesn’t come easy. Before that day arrives, she trespasses and steals in order to provide for the few people who’ve gone out of their way to protect her.

Born to privilege, Ben Bishop loathes his family for the despicable things they’ve done, and not done. He vows to be different, play by the rules, do the right thing. Building a thriving nightclub with those who share his values dominates his world.

One explosive night at his bar, Loading Zone, changes everything. For both of them. Forever.

A dance of opponents commences as they thwart with suspicion, start to trust, then sidestep to protect themselves from a fatal blow. Until they soon wonder if they’ve been fighting for the same side all along.

As they begin to open their hearts, they up the stakes with a one-week pact. She shows him the power in breaking the law. He demonstrates the virtue of following it.

Then a far-reaching crime is suddenly exposed—that his family committed. And for one chance moment, Shay and Ben hold the key to right the wrong, correct the injustice. But at what cost?

Will they be able to return from the other side together? Or will their differences tear them apart?

Flirting with danger…has never been so tempting.

***LAWBREAKER is a standalone, full-length new adult romance told in dual POV. Due to mature themes and adult language, this book is for those 18 and older.***

Exclusive LAWBREAKER Excerpt:

“Ben!” Some overly excited female across the room shouted the name at the exact moment it settled into my mind.

An instant wave of energy crackled through the nightclub, hotter and more alive than anything the music or dance floor pulsed out. Slight movement rippled through the vast space of the reclaimed warehouse—toward the same metal roll-up entrance door that had been haunting me all night—as heads craned to see, breasts pushed out a little farther, and bodies pressed closer, like a powerful magnet pulled them uncontrollably forward.

Even I couldn’t look away.

After the initial crowd crush, I could see his occasional nod, a brief smile. He angled deeper into the club and scanned an assessing look across the bar, starting at Cade’s end. Seconds later, his sights landed on me—and stayed there, fierce gaze locked on to mine.

My breath caught at the intensity radiating from halfway across the room.

Ben. His simple name echoed larger than life in my head.

The crowd parted as he strode through the room. He stood a good head taller than other men he passed. Broad shoulders strained his black T-shirt with every slight rolling turn as he moved. Dark hair, cut closer on the sides, curled down over one side of his forehead. Shadowy stubble covered a defined jawline as it clenched. Thick brows drew together over eyes that narrowed as he stared hard at me. He stepped through the now three-deep crush at the bar, then planted flat palms on the edge of the metal bar top in front of me.

“What are you doing back there?” he snarled, tone low, heavy with accusation.

Cade braced his arms on the bar beside me, mirroring him. “She’s a new hire.”

Ben never looked away from me. “I asked her.”

Holding his unwavering gaze, I straightened my shoulders, undaunted. “Her name is Shay. And she’s behind your bar…working. Hard.”

Dark eyes narrowed a fraction more, boring into mine. “How old are you?”

Great.

Here we go.

“Old enough.” All he needed to know.

A muscle in that clenched jaw tightened. “Not what I asked.”

“You sure about that?” Because yeah, I looked young, no matter how old I really was. But his heat-seeking-missile aggression? Totally unwarranted.

“ID.” He kept at the groundless demand.

“I’m not some underage club-bunny at the door. I’m an employee. I’ve already been hired.”

“I don’t give a shit. I’m the boss. And I want to see your ID.”

“No.” Not gonna happen. I couldn’t risk it.

He gave a slight nod, smug satisfaction in his eyes. “So, you’re not eighteen.”

“I didn’t say that.” Yet somehow, I sensed our verbal tug-of-war had dragged me across lost ground.

“Are you or aren’t you?”

“I am,” I gritted out, angry that I’d been foolish enough to want something so bad.

“Then no big deal.” He rose back to his impressive height, crossing his arms, confidence plastered on his face. “Prove it.”

Damn. My first weekend night, not even a full one, and already the life I’d earned, had fought and bled for, had begun to slip through my fingers.

Disappointment seeped heavy into my chest. What naïve people got for having hope.

The inborn fight in me remained. Pride too. With every tightening breath, fury burned my lungs, for being judged without cause.

“No. You either believe me…or you don’t. I filled out my application. Gave my ID then. Got interviewed. Got hired. And I’ve proved myself over the last few days, tonight. Ask anyone here.”

“Doesn’t matter.”

But it did. My actions mattered to me. They were all my life had been based on. Everything I’d ever accomplished had been from what I had done—not who I was, what anyone thought, or what society believed.

I crossed my arms too, refusing to bend, by principle, if not more.

His expression hardened.

Commotion grew around us, two immovable blocks of granite, as thirsty patrons called out for drinks. Cade steadfastly remained beside me. While the poor lone fresh-shift guy hustled ass to fill orders.

The atmosphere grew charged between Ben and me. The sounds of the club faded to background noise as my heart thumped harder against my ribs, my pulse drummed louder in my ears.

Ben planted his hands on the bar again, staring me down as he leaned forward inch by inch. His eyes bored deep into mine, penetrating. Any other girl might’ve thought intimidating.

I didn’t twitch a muscle.

He towered over the bar, head lowered, a ferocious wolf who’d cornered an unknown threat. That shaggy dark hair spiked over darker piercing eyes. Unshorn scruff peppered an unforgiving jaw. An unhidden snarl curled his lip, baring white teeth.

No resemblance to the wholesome happy guy I’d spied on in the pictures hanging on his office wall.

Oddly, more attractive.

Most women would’ve gone weak in the knees. Some would’ve put on a layer of flirt, feigning vulnerability or exposing true fear, hoping to snag the obvious alpha in spite of the glaring warning signs. Maybe because of them.

I’d never been a bleating sheep in my life, wasn’t about to pretend with fluffy false clothing.

Wolf, too, buddy. I leaned forward, matching him inch for inch. My trim nails clicked on the bar top as I dug in, holding my ground.

Alpha all the way.

LAWBREAKER Cover

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One lucky subscriber wins an eBook of their choice from our backlist AND a $10 Amazon or B&N Gift Card with each announcement.

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Thank you for your support of Lawbreaker. We look forward to sharing Shay & Ben’s romantic adventure with you.

Your humble shoe and boot,

~ Kat & Stone

Stay in touch with us on our social media pages…
Blog * Facebook * Kat’s Twitter * Stone’s Twitter * Website

© 2018 by Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion

An Exclusive New Love Note from Cade, For Valentine’s Sale, and Giveaway with True Story Book Blog

Happy Month of Romance, everyone!

Missing sexy-talking Cade? We have a delicious new treat for you.

The wonderful True Story Book Blog is sharing an exclusive scandalous Love Note from Cade. Many thanks to Lisa at True Story Book Blog for inviting us to be a part of their 5th Annual Love Notes Celebration.

Click on the above link or below teaser pic for Cade’s entire Love Note. Find his full love note at the bottom of the post followed by a fantastic giveaway.

Here’s a tasty appetizer…

Chocolate truffles above a teaser of Cade's Love note

For Valentine’s is also on sale for $0.99 for a limited time!

Now’s the perfect time to pick up a copy of Cade & Hannah’s sexy weekend getaway and add the New York Valentine’s Day romance to your collection.

Kindle | Nook | iBooks |Kobo

"Savor your weekend getaway..." on a banner with pink and red roses

We hope you enjoy and have a wonderful February filled with romance.

Your humble shoe and boot,

~ Kat & Stone

 

Want to receive preorder alerts for special pricing?
Keep informed of new releases by signing up:
Kat & Stone Bastion’s Email Subscription

One lucky subscriber wins an eBook of their choice from the backlist AND a $10 Amazon or B&N Gift Card with each preorder or new-release announcement.

Stay in touch with us on our social media pages…
Blog * Facebook * Kat’s Twitter * Stone’s Twitter * Website

 

© 2018 by Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion

Merry Three Christmases & a Happy 3rd Anniversary Sale!

Wow. Three Christmases turns three this week. Let’s celebrate!

We’ve reduced Three Christmases to $0.99 for the first time since its release…

Three Christmases Holiday Promo Banner

No Weddings Series named “Best Of” by multiple romance blogs
Only $0.99 for a limited time…
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Heat up your holidays with the highly reviewed THREE CHRISTMASES, easily read as a standalone: “I’m new to the No Weddings Series…but this book sucked me in! The perfect book to start my holiday season.” ~ Amazon reviewer

“This was actually my introduction to Hannah and Cade. I really enjoyed Three Christmases, and it certainly can be read without having read the other books in this series. But I definitely plan on starting at the beginning so I can experience their entire relationship.” ~ Amazon reviewer


 

Have You Joined Our Email Notification List?
Keep informed of new releases by signing up:
Kat & Stone Bastion’s Email Subscription

One lucky subscriber wins an eBook of their choice from the backlist AND a $10 Amazon or B&N Gift Card with each announcement.


 

Have a warm Thanksgiving, a wonderful Christmas, and a Happy New Year, everyone. We look forward to sharing more romantic adventures with you in 2018.

Your humble shoe and boot,

~ Kat & Stone

 

Stay in touch with us on our social media pages…
Blog * Facebook * Kat’s Twitter * Stone’s Twitter * Website

 

@2017 by Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion

It’s June! The Month of NO WEDDINGS…

Hello, everyone. We’re thrilled to share that for the first time in two years, the romantic comedy No Weddings Series is on sale.

No Weddings is FREE, One Funeral is $0.99, and the rest of the series is discounted twenty percent or more. Find all five books on sale at Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Kobo.

If you haven’t experienced the Best of 2014 No Weddings series, or wish to recommend it to friends, now is the perfect time.

No Weddings Series page on Amazon

Read your FREE copy of No Weddings today:
Amazon * B&N * iBooks * Kobo

Praise for the No Weddings Series

“One of the best romantic comedies of the year!”
~ Agents of Romance

“The No Weddings Series is one of the best I have read that follows one couple. Cade and Hannah are both lovable characters, the storyline is real and entertaining, and the banter is fun and witty.”
~ Lives & Breathes Book Blog

“I loved it, and I mean REALLY loved it!”
~ Orchard Book Club

“This is an exceptional series…You find yourself fully engrossed in their world and can’t put the book down.”
~ Books -n- Kisses

“The No Weddings series has a group of such amazing characters; you can’t help but relate to them and feel the emotion in every situation they encounter. It has been a long time since a story has made me feel that way let alone an entire series!”
~ Under the Covers Book Blog

“The story of Cade & Hannah’s relationship is realistic, heart-warming, and filled with real-world connections that shook me in a way that few titles I’ve read this year have managed…I have loved every minute of the No Weddings series.”
~ That’s What I’m Talking About

Thank you for sharing news about The Month of NO WEDDINGS Summer Series Sale. We hope you enjoy Cade & Hannah’s romantic adventures.

Your humble shoe and boot,

~ Kat & Stone

 

Want to receive preorder alerts for special pricing?
Keep informed of new releases by signing up:
Kat & Stone Bastion’s Email Subscription

One lucky subscriber wins an eBook of their choice from the backlist AND a $10 Amazon or B&N Gift Card with each preorder or new-release announcement.

Stay in touch with us on our social media pages…
Blog * Facebook * Kat’s Twitter * Stone’s Twitter * Website

 

© 2017 by Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion

 

Welcome to a Zenful Life

Zenful Life Blog Post Pic - Zenful License Traveler

Today, we shared the first post on our latest addition to our publishing family, a new nonfiction blog: Zenful Life

Please come visit us there and join in the conversation. We’d love to have you be a part of the Zenful Life journey with us.

You can also follow our new Twitter account, where we’ll post inspirational quotes: @Zenful_Life

We look forward to seeing you there.

Your humble shoe and boot,

~ Kat & Stone

What if… From The Other Side of the World

What if…

Such beautiful words when used in the dreamworld. They make the magical, the impossible, the reach-for-the-stars ideas seem close enough to touch.

And yet, they are. Touchable.
We just have to bridge the gap between fantasy and reality.

shutterstock_303898226

It’s what an author does. In our heads, characters come to vivid life, face insurmountable obstacles, and go on grand adventures…all in the creator’s world of what if.

How has what if impacted us (Kat & Stone) in our real lives?

Well…

If you haven’t heard from us in a couple of months, it’s because we’ve taken a short hiatus from writing to make a two-decade what if of ours a reality.

We moved to the other side of the world. Got on a plane with two checked bags and two carryons apiece (laptops in tow, of course) and traveled across the ocean to reside for the rest of our days on a different continent. Simplified. Free.

Want a hint of where we’ve landed?

{whispers}
It’s one of the handful of locales mentioned in Rule Breaker 😀

But…
Where does that leave us on the writing front?

More Time? More Books…

A Foray into Nonfiction

One of the reasons we shucked nearly all of our material possessions and our former lives is those anchors weighed us down with time-sucks. Our new life still requires us to earn a living, but we have less living to support…and more time to do the living. A life rooted in minimalism.

The journey has been enlightening, is still ongoing, and is one we’ve begun documenting in our first upcoming nonfiction book, The Zenful Life.

Two Upcoming 2017 Romance Novels

Our greatest joy? Writing those adventuresome romance stories inspired in the land of what if.

We’re also diving back in to two of our favorite series this year. Lawbreaker is coming soon, the third standalone romance in our Unbreakable series. Shortly after that, will come the long-awaited third book in the Highland Legends series, Born of Mist and Legend.

We look forward to sharing more of our stories with you, forged from the amazing world of what if

What are your what ifs...?

 

© 2017 by Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion