Guest Post: My Morning Routine by Karis Walsh and book giveaway

Wow, it’s Monday again.

Fittingly for a Monday, Bold Strokes Books author Karis Walsh is here today to discuss something I think many struggle with: the morning routine.

Before we get to her guest post, I should mention she’s giving away one signed copy of her latest Set the Stage to a lucky winner. More details are below.

Please welcome Karis Walsh.

My Morning Routine

I am constantly in search of ideas I can use to whip myself into shape, because—to be honest—I’m a bit of a mess. I can be financially irresponsible (pressing the buy this book with one click button with alarming frequency) and I’m legally on-time-impaired. And my housekeeping skills? Well, until the dog and cat threaten to pack their bags and move out, I’m going to let that one slide…

In my quest for self-improvement, I have traveled far and wide to hear the advice of self-help gurus. Well, not exactly “far and wide.” I’m too lazy for that. But I’ve searched for videos on YouTube, and I think that’s sort of the same thing, isn’t it? Anyway, one of the most prevalent habits touted by these wise and highly trained (meaning they can press record on their phones) gurus is “The Morning Routine.” I have been assured in the intros to all these videos that by simply following the morning rituals contained within, I will rise to internet stardom, reach a nirvana-like state of serenity, and make millions of dollars (I’m not clear how I’ll make this cash, but I believe!).

“The Morning Routine” is usually some variation on the following. First, the guru is slowly roused out of a blissful slumber by one of those alarm clocks that uses gradually increasing light to mimic the awakening of the outside world. Next comes a peaceful session of stretching and meditation (“yoga mat and cute off-the-shoulder top available for the bargain price of $69.95. Just follow the link below this video.”). After this restorative activity, the guru settles onto a cream-colored couch in a minimalist, all-cream-colored living room and sips a soothing mug of herbal tea while journaling in a gratitude notebook.

I haven’t achieved the perfect morning routine yet, but I’ve come pretty darn close. This morning, I was gently eased awake well before dawn when my kitten jumped on my stomach and used it as a springboard to launch himself onto the windowsill. I then enjoyed a meditative session while I fed the animals, with the aromatherapy scents of liver pate and gross pieces of something in gravy wafting zen-like into my nostrils. I followed this with an intense burst of yoga-ish stretches while I wrestled with my goats, trying to remove their winter blankets.

(Side note. By now, we’ve all seen those adorable videos of goats in jammies. I love them. The little beasts are snuggly and playful, and it’s easy to see that they are appreciative of the kind humans who went to the trouble of buying them clothes and putting them on. My goats ARE NOT like this. When I try to either put on or take off their blankets, they react as if I’m fitting them for horrific torture devices. The blanket routine is nearly as bad as the tantrums they throw on hoof trimming day, but I can’t talk about that until I’ve had a little more therapy.)

Once I’ve finished these delightful and relaxing chores, I collapse onto the sofa in my not-cream-and-nowhere-near-minimalist living room, with barely enough energy to stuff a coffee pod into the machine and press the start button. Like I said, the routine is still a work in progress…

I have one part of the ideal routine down pat, though. I am filled with gratitude every morning, no matter how chaotic, messy, and exhausting it may be. This past month, I received some heartbreaking news about the health of one of my animals, and that has reinvigorated my awareness that every day with them is a blessing. With a long distance between me and my family comes the appreciation of every effort we make to keep close in spirit. I’m also grateful for my local friends, and for my writing family—my editor, readers, publisher, and author friends—who are always only an email away. And I’m grateful that every day I get to sit at the keyboard and create characters who don’t have perfect, cream-colored lives, but who still manage to messily find their way to love.


E-book $9.99
Paperback $16.95
Release date: November 14, 2017

Emilie Danvers wins a place in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s company and gets a second chance to launch her acting career. She’s vowed never to repeat the mistakes she made the first time: no following her heart, no putting herself second to someone else, no relationship drama. She won’t let any woman keep her from reconnecting with her dreams.

Arden Philips has stood on the outskirts of the festival for years, tending the gardens of nearby Lithia Park. She’s seen actresses come and go and only allows herself the occasional dalliance. But when she comes across Emilie rehearsing on a mossy riverbank, Arden realizes her heart might not listen to her head.

The stage is set, the house lights dimmed. Is true love merely make-believe or can these two women write it into the script of their lives?

Bold Strokes Book / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA /Amazon AUS


Karis Walsh is a horseback riding instructor who lives on a small farm in the Pacific Northwest. When she isn’t teaching or writing, she enjoys spending time outside with her animals, reading, playing the viola, and riding with friends.




Twitter / Website


Enter here for a chance to win a signed copy of


All you need to do is fill in your email, check the box confirming you aren’t a robot, and hit enter.

  • 1 winner
  • Value:
  • Prize:
    1 signed copy of Set the Stage

Enter to #win the #lesfic novel Set the Stage by Karis Walsh



To enter to win, please provide your email.


Thanks so much Karis for stopping by today.

Best of luck to everyone who enters the giveaway.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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