Monday, July 27, 2009

The Get Out of Debt Audiobook-- Me Likey!

I found this audiobook today, and I like it already!

Similar to iTunes, this audiobook can be played on your computer or MP3 device, chapter by chapter.

Because it contains in part the FlyLady FACE book (a financial management system I've used myself), I'm already impressed.

My debts didn't disappear like magic, but they were and are shrinking, even now with my DH out of work and money tighter than a Victorian corset.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wow! Vote for Unicorn Valley at Whipped Cream

Wow! Three Changeling books are up for Book of the Week at Whipped Cream! Yeah, one of them is mine. Yes, I'm excited! This is my print book and the new Collection-- Unicorn Valley. (batting eyes at friends pleadingly)

Lena Austin

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fw: Get Rich Slowly: The Big Book of Everything: A Free Life-Affairs Organizer

I downloaded the Big Book of Everything and I was impressed. I want to share with everyone.

Get Rich Slowly: The Big Book of Everything: A Free Life-Affairs Organizer

Link to Get Rich Slowly

The Big Book of Everything: A Free Life-Affairs Organizer

Posted: 21 Jul 2009 05:00 AM PDT

Last summer, Mark Gavagan mailed me a copy of his It's All Right Here life and affairs organizer. This three-ring binder is big and unwieldy, but is amazingly comprehensive. It not only offers pages for credit card and saving account information, but also includes space to record family medical history, business information, and more. There are even several pages of vinyl or plastic sleeves where you can store things like keys!

The It's All Right Here life and affairs organizer provides 300 pages for recording your information (too many, if you ask me) and, like Suze Orman's Ultimate Protection Portfolio, it's a bit spendy. It's certainly worth ordering if you're looking for peace of mind, but there is another option.

After our discussion in February about how to organize your account information, GRS-reader Erik Dewey e-mailed me to say that he has created his own life-affairs organizer, and he's willing to share it with others.

Dewey calls his 565kb PDF The Big Book of Everything, and he's made it available for free download at his site. Dewey writes:

[The Big Book of Everything] is a notebook filled with all of the information anyone could possibly need to know about you. The idea is that in our lives we have countless things that we are involved in. On rare occasions, other people need this information and no one knows how to get it. That's where the Big Book comes in. By filling this out and keeping it current, you can simplify the effort others have to take on your behalf.

This is basically a less-polished version of Gavagan's life and affairs organizer. The Big Book of Everything includes sections for:

  • Passwords and logins
  • Bank accounts
  • Insurance policies
  • Tax records
  • Debt obligations
  • and more…

At just 37 pages, The Big Book of Everything is much more compact than the It's All Right Here affairs organizer. And did I mention it's free?

This is a great example of a Get Rich Slowly reader taking the time to create a tool to fill a need his in own life — and then being willing to share that solution with others. Thanks, Erik!

Related Articles at Get Rich Slowly:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Adorable Owl for Embroidery

Okay, I had to share this adorable owl with my bibliophile pals. (Yeah, we use words like that, and know what they mean, too.)
I can't get the picture to save, so I guess you'll have to click on the link. He's so cute!
Just for fun, I'll be starting my Yule projects soon. How's this for fun?
I'd rather be honest. I am naughty! And I like it!

Lena Austin

dawgtown_banner.jpg Dawgtown Banner picture by voiceomt2002

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Five Nymphs for Bad Dawg!

This just made my morning spectacular!


Here's a quote:


"...Lena Austin dresses romance up in leather and places it firmly on a '69 Shovelhead in Bad Dawg. I could feel the vibrations coursing through my body, and if the adult toy industry could manufacture it, Duracell would have to create a stronger battery...."


To read the whole thing, click here:


Thank you to Scandalous Minx!


Lena Austin

dawgtown_banner.jpg Dawgtown Banner picture by voiceomt2002

Monday, July 13, 2009

Romance Junkies review for BAD DAWG

My thanks to Chrissy for this lovely review! Please click on the link to see the whole thing. She did a lovely job, IMHO, but you might say I'm a bit prejudiced in this regard.

Title: Dawg Town: Bad Dawg

Genre: Paranormal

Author: Lena Austin

Reviewer: Chrissy Dionne

Reviewer Email:

Publisher: Changeling Press

ISBN: 9781604352429

Release Date: July 7, 2009  

Buy Link:

Author Website:

Author Email:

Format: EBOOK

Rating: 4.5 blue ribbons




Lena Austin's contribution to the DAWG TOWN line, BAD DAWG really brought a smile to my face.  Since my husband is an OTR truck driver I could appreciate that Ms. Austin obviously did some research into the truck driving industry and knew the proper terminology.  I fell in love with Bad Dawg in one of the earlier stories in this series so I was thrilled to know that he gets his own romance – even if it isn't with the man he's been lusting after for the longest time.  From the attraction between these dynamic characters or Loren's shock in discovering that the town of Barkus is full of shapeshifters BAD DAWG is an enchanting read.




OTR truck driver Loren has a thing for burly motorcycle riders so when he finds himself stranded in the middle of Hicksville, Kansas and a biker named Big Dawg offers him his couch for the night he gratefully accepts.  Not that he actually spends any time on that couch.


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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Get Rich Slowly: Learning to Budget with the JARS System

Before you read the article below, stop and grab up all your bills. Create columns on a sheet of paper or a spreadsheet. Label the columns thus: NEC, Debts, Savings. Now list all your bills in the rows, putting your monthly average in the correct column. For instance, my mortgage goes in the NEC column, my credit card in the Debts, and savings? What savings? Sometimes I'll throw a windfall in there. Okay, now total  up. Are you living within your means? Are you saving for a rainy day?


I'll bet your shock will be like mine. When did my budget get so far off kilter? I admit, I operate under a 70-20-10 split. 70% for necessities, 20% to get out of debt, and (supposedly) 10% to savings. I was shocked at how far off I'd allowed things to get.

Get Rich Slowly: Learning to Budget with the JARS System

Link to Get Rich Slowly

Learning to Budget with the JARS System

Posted: 08 Jul 2009 05:00 AM PDT

This is a guest post from Steve Martile, a life coach and the author of the personal-growth blog Freedom Education. Here he describes a budgeting system that actually reminds me of Elizabeth Warren's balanced money formula, but with a little more detail.

Managing money doesn't restrict freedom — it creates freedom.

That's probably not the first time you've heard this. If you want to create financial abundance, you've got to start managing your money. I started doing so in 2006 after reading T. Harv Eker's Secrets of the Millionaire Mind [J.D.'s review].

Before then, my wife and I were pretty random with our spending habits. We ran a pretty high tab every month and had nothing to show for it. At the time I was driving a brand new Nissan 350Z, which cost me an $800 payment each month. That didn't include insurance or gas; that was just the payment on the car.

The JARS Money Management System
Then we started using the JARS money management system discussed in Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. What are the JARS? The JARS are just that: plastic jars. Here's a photo of my jars from my home office:

The jars themselves aren't actually that important. What's more important is the money management system behind them. We actually bought the JARS as a visual reminder of where to put our money when we manage it. But we manage it from a set of bank accounts.

Managing your money reaps rewards
Once we started to manage our money, I sold the 350Z. After our first year, without any significant change in our income and all expenses being treated equal, our net worth increased by a surprising 45%. When we learned how to apply this system we realized it was very simple and it didn't require a lot of our time.

Here are the results we produced after using the JARS for 12 months:

  • Our net worth increased by 45%.
  • We bought our first home for $337,000.
  • We created $800/month in passive income by renting out our one-bedroom basement apartment.
  • We earned $200 in interest from our savings accounts. We use ING Direct savings accounts, which were clocking at about 3.5% interest at the time.
  • We created more peace in our relationship because my wife and I have our own "play" money.

The real trick to managing your money is not what you do — it's how you do it.

How to use the JARS system
Here are the jars and a short description of each one.

  • Necessity account (NEC - 55%): This account is for managing your everyday expenses and bills. This would include things like your rent, mortgage, utilities, bills, taxes, food, clothes, etc. Basically it includes anything that you need to live, the necessities.
  • Financial freedom account (FFA - 10%): This is your golden goose. This jar is your ticket to financial freedom. The money that you put into this jar is used for investments and building your passive income streams. You never spend this money. The only time you would spend this money is once you become financially free. Even then you would only spend the returns on your investment. Never spend the principal.
  • Education account (EDU - 10%): Money in this jar is meant to further your education and personal growth. An investment in yourself is a great way to use your money. You are your most valuable asset. Never forget this. I have used education money to purchase books, CD's, courses or anything else that has educational value.
  • Long-term saving for spending account (LTSS - 10%): The money in this jar is for the bigger nice to have purchases. My wife and I have used the money from this account to go skiing in The Rockies in Whistler, BC. We also used this money last September for our trip to Italy and Switzerland. The only reason we've been able to make this happen is because we've accumulated a nice sum each month in our LTSS. A small monthly contribution can go a long way.
  • Play account (PLAY - 10%): This is my favorite account. PLAY money is spent every month on purchases you wouldn't normally make. The purpose of this jar is to nurture yourself. You could purchase an expensive bottle of wine at dinner, get a massage or go on a weekend getaway. Play can be anything your heart desires. My wife and I each receive our own play money, and here's the best part. We're not allowed to ask what the other person spends their money on.
  • Give Account (GIVE - 5%): The money in this account is for giving away. Trisha and I give money every month to the Sick Kids Hospital Foundation. We also use the money in this jar to give to family and friends on birthdays, special occasions and holidays. You can also give away your time as opposed to giving away money. You could house sit for a neighbor, take a friends dog for a walk or volunteer in your community.

How the JARS work
Here is a sketch of how we use the jars. Actually, we don't use jars at all. All of our accounts are electronic savings accounts with our necessity (NEC) account being the only exception; it's a checking account. Trisha and I deposit all of our personal income into our necessity account. The money in our necessity account pays for all of our expenses. The remaining money is distributed into five other accounts.

I learned very early in the process that the jar percentages are not critical. To guarantee your financial success, just start using the system and build the habit. This is the key. It doesn't have to be perfect when you start.

You could even start by splitting $10 every month into the jars. There's an inspiring story in Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. One woman started splitting $1 into the jars every month. In her first month, she put 10 cents into her PLAY, 10 cents into her FFA, 10 cents into her LTSS, and so on. Later that month she used her play money to buy a piece of bumble gum. She received a mini comic with the bubble gum package that she bought with her play. She read the comic and got a laugh. Two years later she deposited a $10,000 dollar check into her FFA account. Now who's laughing?

I highly recommend the JARS system to anyone who wants to make the most out of their money. If you're looking for a simple way to budget, then start using the JARS system. Remember: Managing money doesn't restrict freedom — it creates freedom.

You can read more from Martile at his personal-growth blog Freedom Education. He has also written a free e-book entitled The Genius Within YOU.

Related Articles at Get Rich Slowly:

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fw: Excerpt Days with Elisa

Elisa does such a wonderful job of posting excerpts, I thought I'd share this list with you. Go check her out.

Hi all

here is the list of excerpt posted today:

Notturno by Z.A. Maxfield, MLR Press

ePistols At Dawn by Z.A. Maxfield, Samhain Publishing

Crossroads Revisited by Keta Diablo, Phaze Books

Carnal Cravings by Keta Diablo, Dark Roast Press

Kaji Sukoshi & The Shining One by Connie Bailey, Dreamspinner Press

Black Roses by Jaime Samms, LoveYouDivine

Hidden Enemies by Trish Kocialski, P.D. Publishing

Devotion and Grace by Vaughn R. Demont, Torquere Books

A Woman For Zachary by Adriana Kraft, Whiskey Creek Press

Don't Look Back by Josh Lanyon, Loose Id

Berdache by Lena Austin, Aspen Mountain Press

Framework by Anah Crow & Dianne Fox, Torquere Books

Blood Eclipse by A.J. Llewellyn & D.J. Manly, eXtasy Books

Warmest Regards, Elisa
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Thanks for popping by! Don't sit on the whipping horse unless you want to find out how it's used. I speak my mind and annoy many people, but all of it is meant in good spirit. Feel free to argue with me. I like it.

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