Sunday, October 4, 2015

Creating Your Own Family

I just realized a bookish fact about me this morning. Right after I finished reading Lady Fortsecue Steps Out.

Image result for lady fortescue steps outImage result for lady fortescue steps out

I own the cover on the left, though I do like this newer silhouette one on the right. Anyhoo, what I realized: I like books where people create their own families. Either because there's are all gone, or are horrible. This excerpt from the end of Lady Fortescue Steps Out is what prompted me in my realization. 

The poor relations sat on a bench and watched their shadows growing longer in the setting sun. Somehow the old fears of what would become of them and whether they would continue to survive assailed all of them. 

A reaction to the wedding and to all the luxury they had recently enjoyed was setting in. 

Children's voices blown on a light breeze reached Lady Fortescue's ears and she thought of her dead children and unconsciously took the colonel's hand for comfort. 

Sir Philip scowled and took Lady Fortescue's other hand in his. Miss Tonks, suddenly frightened by the temerity of what she had promised, took the colonel's hand, the one not holding Lady Fortescue's, for reassurance, and Mrs. Budley's hand stole into Miss Tonks's. 

And so they sat like that for a long time, hand in hand, until the sun went down and candles began to twinkle in the windows of the houses across the Park. 

* * * 

I'm one of those people who created their own family over the years. First, there was an elderly lady who lived behind us growing up. She went to church where we went, and helped out my single mom so much. We loved hanging out at her house in the evenings, sitting on their back porch, and swinging on their porch swing. 

She was the one who came over in February, the first Christmas after my mom died, and gently, but lovingly, told me it was time to take down the Christmas tree (and helped me do it). She passed away this summer, and it was so sad to say good-bye to a lady who helped shape my childhood. But she left behind so many people that she touched with her smile and always, that hug. 

Then there's the couple who I call my adopted parents. They lived two doors down from my grandfather's, and didn't mind at all when I attached myself to their hip. They were such a huge support for me and my grandpa. I ate meals with them, celebrated the holidays with them, and became a permanent lump on their couch, reading in the evenings. 

So it's no surprise that I love books where I see my own actions reflected back. Where people--young or old--create their own families. There is something so strong and compelling about seeing these relationships form, seeing someone say by either words or actions: I choose you. 

It's a beautiful thing!

Monday, September 28, 2015


Cover reveals are always fun, and even more fun when they center around Christmas (which will be here before we know it)! And, also, how cool does a spooky Christmas anthology sound? 

It's the most wonderful time of year...or is it? 

Christmas Eve is a night of mystery and magic, but not always in ways we expect. Things lurk in the shadows and they're not the least bit jolly or merry. Let's just say some presents are better left unopened.

‘Tis the season to be screaming along with our thirteen tales of holiday horrors. Ghosts. Monsters. Demons. And more! 

This Christmas, be careful what you wish for... 
Author List:
Richard Ankers  
Jackie Horsfall
Boyd Reynolds
Lea Storry
Ally Mathews
Laura Pauling
Ty Drago
Jessica Bayliss
Judith Graves
Andrea Stanet
Patrick Hueller
Dax Varley
Medeia Sharif
Pre-Order Sale and Book Links:
Pre-Order ebook sale for $1.99 – regular price $3.99

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Fright Before Christmas by Shannon Delany

Fright Before Christmas

by Shannon Delany

Giveaway ends December 05, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

(P.S. I'm picky about book trailers, but this is a really good one, everyone!)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Hey all! I feel it's been awhile since I just dithered about things here, so that's the kind of post I'm going with today.

On the writing front, it's been slow. I've barely written anything in the past month,which for me is not normal. It all has to do with life stress and I feel super guilty about it. I have done a lot of thinking on my WiP, so that's good, being I've worked out quite a few plot issues. But still...I need to do the whole BICHOK* thing asap. 

Then there's the near-future thriller that I've got hanging around begging to be revised. I have critique partner notes all ready to go, but no motivation. I know it's just one of those phases that I'll eventually work my way through. Until then...(shrugs and goes and reads another Regency romance).

I have been creative in other areas, as I decided to make my own cupcake stands. I scoured the junk shops in my area and came up w/lots of white (well, white-ish) plates. Then I went to the Dollar Store and bought candle stick holders. Here's what they look like, they just need to be glued down. Most of the DIY blogs recommended E6000 superglue, and I've yet to meander out and buy it. 

Setting the stage for the picture. Nothing says party like fun straws, in my opinion.

Up close of my favorite one.

I think they'll look nice at either end of a table, one with savory food stuffs on it, and the other sweet. Cupcakes, of course! I also bought lots of little jelly jars. I had two at home and bought eight more. 

I'd like to use them for dessert shooters. I can imagine all kinds of combos of cream cheese layers, graham cracker crumbs, and whatever fruit filling you're feeling at the moment. 

Ugh, I'm so making myself hungry right now. 

*If you don't know what BICHOK stands for, just ask in the comments! ;)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Out Now: OUR LITTLE SECRET by Ashelyn Drake

OUR LITTLE SECRET by Ashelyn Drake

“Is there a difference between a secret and a lie?”

Becca Daniels needs a passing math grade…but what she wants is to spend more time with Toby Michaels.

The only problem is Toby is her best friend’s twin, and Tori has a very firm “no dating the brother” policy.

But Becca’s grade has hit rock bottom and she needs a tutor. It just so happens that Toby is a math genius and more than happy to help—lucky her! Working so closely with the handsome, popular Toby, Becca can’t hide her attraction, and it soon becomes obvious he feels the same way.

Becca doesn’t want to lose her best friend, but she isn’t willing to give up Toby either.

At first, sneaking around is fun, stealing kisses right under Tori’s nose. But things take an ugly turn when Toby’s ex-girlfriend Meredith catches them together. Meredith demands Toby take her back and restore her reputation, or she’ll tell Tori their secret. Do they dare tell Tori the truth? Or would that just make things worse?

Surrounded by secrets and knee-deep in deception, something has to give…

How far is Meredith willing to go to keep Toby and Becca apart?

And how much is Becca willing to risk to keep…

Our Little Secret?

Cover Reveal: THE FULFILLMENT by Erin Rhew

For your viewing pleasure today, here's the third & final book in Erin Rhew's The Fulfillment series!

Layla’s world tumbles out of control when she discovers the truth of her parentage and realizes the Prophecy—the one she upended her entire life to defend—is incomplete. When her new friends share the entire Prophecy, the revelations contained within it alter her destiny and challenge everything she and Wil believe in. Now, she must confront the Outlander queen to save the Ethereal kingdom while grappling with this new reality.

Tortured and imprisoned, Nash accepts his fate and offers the First Ones the one thing he has left to give: his life. In a desperate attempt to save the people he loves most, he surrenders himself to the Outlander queen and a destiny darker than he could have ever dreamed possible. Wil, tormented by the consequences of his choices, realizes he may never be able to uphold his end of the Prophecy. His mistake casts a deep, foreboding shadow over his kingdom and those he loves, while its ripples threaten to shatter both the Prophecy and everything he and his family have sworn to protect. In this epic conclusion, lives are lost, kingdoms clash, friendships are tested, and love and fate collide.

* * * 

Erin Rhew is an editor, a running coach, and the author of The Fulfillment Series. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the "Grammar Police." A Southern girl by blood and birth, Erin now lives in a rainy pocket of the Pacific Northwest with the amazingly talented (and totally handsome) writer Deek Rhew and their “overly fluffy,” patient-as-a-saint writing assistant, a tabby cat named Trinity. She and Deek enjoy reading aloud to one another, running, lifting, boxing, eating chocolate, and writing side-by-side.

Find me online:
Twitter: @ErinRhewBooks
Goodreads The Prophecy:
Goodreads The Outlanders:

Friday, September 11, 2015

Cover Reveal: BRIDGETOWN HIGH by Paul West

Today I'm delighted to help author Paul West show off his dramatic cover for his debut novel (love the blue and aqua together!).

Seventeen year old Mark Wilkerson has no memory of the fiery crash that killed his family on the Carquinez Bridge…

Living with his grandmother and burdened with guilt, Mark vows to find the hit-and-run driver and take his revenge. The only detail he remembers is round taillights swerving in front of his family’s car, and he’s shocked when he notices the car of the high school’s bully, Jeff Marino, has identical taillights—and a suspicious dent.

Now he wants revenge more than ever…

Jeff believes Mark is an anti-Vietnam War activist like his cousin Gary—and despises him for it. To make matters worse, when Jeff’s girlfriend Genie Lombardi dumps him for Mark, it kicks Jeff’s hatred for him to a dangerous new level.

Lies and threats escalate, until drugs and a shocking death send Jeff over the edge, and his campaign to get Genie back any way he can turns violent.

When Mark’s memory begins to return, it leads to a terrifying confrontation. 

Will he finally prove the identity of the guilty driver? Or will he and Genie become one more tragedy associated with the Carquinez Bridge?

* * *

Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a “Prune Picker,” though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

The rustic San Francisco Bay Area countryside, the quaint small town in which he grew up, and the colorful people who once lived there, have all teamed to fertilize his ever-churning mind with stories that are yearning to be told.

From his earliest days in high school, his English teachers saw some raw writing ability in him, both for fiction and non-fiction, and urged him to pursue his dream of being a writer. In college his creative writing professors also encouraged him to mold his ability into a talent.

After settling on a career as an environmental biologist, where he’s written numerous technical publications, the stories swarming through his mind kept crying to get out. So Paul began writing fiction, but only as a hobby at first. He has recently finished his first novel, BRIDGETOWN HIGH, and is working on his second. Paul intends to keep letting his stories out through future novels.

Paul is the originator and former moderator of a private critique known as “The Writer’s Pen,” a sub forum in the “Authors by Design” web site (now defunct). He is also a member of Query Tracker forum; and Children's Writer's & Illustrator's forum; Utah Children’s Writers forum; among others. In addition to his writing, he and his wife, enjoy spending time with their four children and thirteen grandchildren, gardening, reading, traveling, and researching their family history.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Kidlet's Room: An Update

Almost two years ago, I posted about the kidlet's room. Just last week, I looked around at that same room, and needed an update. Not a decorating update, but a content update. The kidlet's two bookshelves were full-- of baby stuff. Stacks of receiving blankets and baskets that still had diapers and pacifiers in them. Baby monitors and booger sucker-upers (there is probably a technical term for those things, but honestly, that's pretty much what they do). 

The kidlet didn't play in there often, except to check out his books and make book piles on the floor. And no wonder, because there were hardly any toys in there. I mean, who wants to play with a booger sucker-uper?  The majority of his toys were in the den, and some in a basket in the living room. That has since changed, as one evening (and then most of the next morning) I organized 80% of his toys on his shelves. He loved helping, and is in love with the results. Especially the robot shelf. He's kinda obsessed with that shelf...



The biggest change between the above pics is the fish tank my in-laws bought. I (like a true decorator) was sad that my adorable button lamp arrangement on top of the dresser had to be replaced, but no way could a pressed wood and laminate bookshelf hold a ten-gallon fish tank, so onto the dresser it had to go.

A close-up of the treasured robot shelf. The book contains a robot you can take out and make.


As you can see, we add to add another basket for the books. (Which makes me happy!)

Here is Popcorn (in the ball) and Goldie, and below is Master of the Submarine, Stripes.

Another change since he's became a big boy, are posters. The super-hero one actually glows in the dark. We got these posters from inside of books. Thin paperbacks, that cost around $6-7 at our local bookstore, Viewpoint Books. The Thomas the Train book also has train tickets in it, and stickers. Can't beat that kind of small investment!

* * * 

So there you are, an update of the kidlet's room. Who knows, next time I do one of these, there will probably be teenage clothes strung everywhere and strange band posters instead of cartoon ones. I need to enjoy all this small child fun while I can! 
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