Never Say Forever by Karen Harborne

Congratulations to Karen Harborne and her new release of Never Say Forever.

Never Say Forever Book Cover

Do you follow your dream or follow your heart?

That’s the decision Kendall McKenzie has to make when she meets hunky businessman Jake Newman. It’s obvious that he’s as attracted to her as she is to him. But Kendall has vowed to never get married – and it seems that Jake, too, is determined to never commit. When the two are together however sparks fly and it’s obvious to everyone except themselves that they’re meant to be together. Can Kendall trust Jake enough to give him her heart? And if she does will she have to say goodbye to her dream?

Get your copy at:

Astraea Press: http://www.astraeapress.com/

Amazon US:  http://www.amazon.com

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk

Secondhand Shadow by Elizabeth Belyeu

Congratulations to Elizabeth Belyeu  and her new book, Secondhand Shadow!

Secondhand Shadow book cover

It’s supposed to be a symbiotic relationship: the Shadow serves and protects the human Lumi, the Lumi feeds and cares for the Shadow. But when Damon’s Lumi died young and severed the bond between them, he declined to go with her like a good little Shadow. Yes, it hurts. Yes, he’s cold and hungry all the time. And yes, his own people call him an abomination. But for the first time, Damon’s life is his own, and he’s never going back.

Or so he thinks, until he meets Naomi, a pregnant college student… and bonds to her as his new Lumi. Which has never happened to a Shadow before.

Naomi has enough problems on her plate, juggling college and a crappy survival job, preparing for a baby, and getting over her cheating ex-husband. The last thing she needs is a dark, brooding fellow like Damon depending on her physically and emotionally, and hating her for it. But a vigilante among Damon’s people has his sights set on Naomi – and they both know Damon is her only chance for survival.

Get your copy at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

More about Elizabeth:

Blog – elizabethbelyeu.wordpress.com

Facebook

One man’s garbage…

Here’s a funny story for a dreary Friday.

We had a couch. We got it from my brother-in-law shortly after we moved into our house. He’d had it for several years before that. It was in pretty good shape and fairly comfy. My husband loved that it was long enough for his six-foot-two frame.

The infamous couch

On one of its better days. Back cushions don’t actually resemble craters and the seat cushions are still in place.

Well, thirteen years of dogs and kids had wreaked havoc on its appearance. I’d restuffed the back cushions several times and had to jump on them once a week to return them to some semblance of their original shape, because my fifty-pound dog thought they were a great place to sleep. My husband had the *great* idea of stuffing them with grocery bags, so it crinkled every time you leaned against it. (Yeah, I don’t know either.)

With kids and potty training came a variety of bodily fluids that after a while just couldn’t be cleaned out. An unpleasant aroma lingered.

And I couldn’t wait to get something different. Unfortunately that wasn’t in the budget, so we endured… as the fabric wore holes, and the dog hair collected, and springs sagged.

Then one day we found a new couch on Craigslist!! YAY! YAY! YAY!

The old couch was going to the curb. Well, as soon as the snow melted and we could see the curb again. Happily four months later, that day came. My husband hauled the massive beast out next to the garbage can and slapped the large item sticker on it.

Ten minutes later, two guys and a furniture dolly were hauling it down the street.

Perhaps, in the fresh air, they couldn’t smell the stench??

A month later, we drove past a garage sale around the corner. And behold, our couch was there for sale… for $50!

We had a good laugh. The couch didn’t tempt anyone. It was there each day of the sale with a sign prominently attached to it: Everything must go!

The next week, it was on their curb.

I wonder where this couch will pop up next.

True Colors by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Congratulations to Krysten on her new book True Colors. 

True Colors by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Every day I walked down the sidewalk to school and wished I were one of the interesting popular girls who ran up with exciting news. Just once I’d like to be one of those girls instead of the being the one who didn’t get invited to things because people “forgot” about me.

Landry gets pushed into trying out for the American Ingénue reality show modeling competition with her two best friends.  She doesn’t think she stands a chance, but she advances to the next level in the competition and her friends ignore her when they get cut.

Enter the gorgeous Devon, who also makes the first cut and includes Landry in her clique. Devon becomes the perfect best friend, but can their friendship survive the competition?

Landry hopes her big break could come at any moment, but soon sees there’s much more to modeling. She begins missing out on being with friends and has the chance to have a boyfriend when she meets a boy named Vladi from another school.

Part of Landry wants to be famous (and have her hair look good for once), but part of her just wants to be accepted. She learns about friendships, being true to yourself, and that a good hair conditioner doesn’t hurt.

Get your copy at:

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/True-Colors-Krysten-Lindsay-Hager-ebook/dp/B00L2G0YJS/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403025172&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=Krysten+Lindsay+Hager

 

Barnesandnoble.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/true-colors-krysten-lindsay-hager/1119742726?ean=2940149747658

 

Mother of the Bride Dress

No, not for me. That honor better be at least twenty years away.

My niece is getting married this summer and I agreed to make my sister’s dress.

It’s been at least ten years since I attempted to sew any type of formal gown, but I was up for the challenge. I figured if I worked slowly and thought about everything carefully, it wouldn’t be too bad.

My sister designed the ensemble–a top, skirt, and jacket–but I had to develop the pattern, which I’m not sure how to do. I traced and measured and erased a couple times. IMG_0940 Finally I was brave enough to cut the fabric. No, not the actual fabric. I made a practice top to see how it looked.

 

IMG_0943

The skirt was too full and had a train, so that had to be adjusted. My sister is also about 5 inches shorter than my mannequin so the skirt was a bit long as well.

 

After my sister tried it on and we did more measuring and adjusting, I cut the actual fabric.

The top is an ice blue with a raised flower pattern. A blue chiffon goes over this. The skirt is a narrow A-line in light blue satin. The jacket is made out of the ice blue with flowers.

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Getting there. It’s hard to tell how everything will fit. I didn’t adjust the mannequin to the right size, but it is about 900 years old and most of the nuts are rusted.

It’s been a lot of fun to try something new. And I’ve learned a lot of sewing tricks. I’ve also learned:

  • I hate chiffon. It’s stiff. It frays. It wiggles. It doesn’t fold the way I want it to. (See item about Heat Bond.)
  • Kick pleats aren’t so bad. Just don’t try to figure them out with a four-year-old jabbering in your ear.
  • Heat bond and Stitch Witchery are not the same.
  • I could say be careful what you volunteer for, but I am so honored to help my sister out.

My sister added some rhinestones to the chiffon to give it some sparkle. And she did look lovely at the wedding.

So proud of my sister and her family! Congratulations!

So proud of my sister and her family! Congratulations!

Writing Process Blog Hop

Thank you to Elaine Cantrell for tagging me on the Writing Process Blog Hop. Be sure to check out her books and website at:

http://www.elainecantrell.com/

So here it goes…

 

1) What am I working on?

I’m in the brainstorming process for the second book of the Pine Bottom books. The first book was just contracted about a month ago. Woohoo!

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My stories are a little bit of chocolate after lunch. A sweet treat to boost your day. I hope the stories bring a smile or a giggle to their readers.

3) Why do I write what I do?

When I read, I want something light and fun that makes me laugh. I hope to do the same things when I write.

4) How does your writing process work?

I start with a handwritten rough draft. The story wanders a bit until I get to the end because I have no idea where it is going until then. Once the plot is sorted out, I type the story and start sharing it with my critique group. They help me guide the story and smooth out some bumps (or mountains), then there are some polishing drafts (how many times can I use the word ‘that’ in a page? I’m pretty sure I’ve set records.) and off it goes to the publisher.

Have a great day!

Dye it or toss it?

My girls are quite talented at spilling chocolate or grinding mud into their newest and/or cutest clothes. (One of their favorite activities is digging for worms in our raised garden beds. I’m pretty sure that joy did not come from my half of the DNA.)

New, light-colored shirts seem to be extra special magnets for these stains.

So I’ve had a tub of shirts and shorts that I intended to soak in hopes of relieving them of the chocolate or mud waiting for months. This week after finding a box of dye at a garage sale, I attempted to do something about it. Yes, attempted is the operative word in this situation.

Since most of the clothes were pink or purple, I figured a blue dye would hide the stains and produce a pleasant color. A purple would be generally acceptable to the girls.

IMG_0959

Clothes after dyeing, but before the washing machine.

The clothes and the dye went into the tub and I swirled it for the required twenty minutes. As I checked the garments every so often, the process seemed to be working well. The stains weren’t noticeable, the colors looked good. I was patting myself of the back for rescuing the garments. Woohoo!

Then they came out of the washer. The stains still showed on one of the shirts. The shorts developed new splotches. The pants which were only worn once just looked weird.

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The un-salvageable shirt.

Sigh.

I stuck the pants and shorts in their drawers anyway, figuring worse things would befall them the next time the girls wore them. I tossed one of the shirts.

Before the dyed clothes made it out of the washing machine, the girls had destroyed their skirts by digging in the mud for worms.

The skirts went straight to the garbage.