Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Greeting Card Giveaway

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Some of you may know that I was raised by my grandparents. My grandfather died when I was still in high school, but my grandmother only passed away about eight years ago. When she died, somehow I inherited a whole bunch of unused greeting cards. All this time they've been sitting in a box in my studio, just collecting dust. Well, I'm slowly in the process of downsizing because I have waaaay too much stuff for this house. I don't want to just throw these cards away because that would be a huge waste.

Instead, I thought that I would pass them on to all of you! My plan is to choose a card each week randomly from the box and send it to someone who has signed up to receive one. I will write a personal note inside of each one. It's my hope that getting a card in the mail will help spread smiles during what is a difficult time for so many of us. 

If this is something that would interest you, all you have to do is fill out the form. Easy peasy! 


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Thursday, September 24, 2020

I Disappeared!

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Wow, it has been far, far too long since I posted anything here. I won't lie. It wasn't intentional. I had planned on keeping everyone in the loop as to what was happening with the various projects that I've been working on, but the truth is that Covid depression swallowed me up. With kids in college and friends scattered all over the world, my anxiety got the best of me at the beginning. Then, with panic buying, lockdowns, masks, and everything else that has become our new normal, I found myself becoming more and more depressed. I discovered that I wasn't as ready for any of this emotionally as I thought. I'm someone who spends most of their time home and alone, but suddenly being told that it had to be that way felt being trapped. 

I'm still struggling with it. I think that a lot of us are. None of us are alone in any of this. The world has become a really scary place. My best friend in the whole world lives in Canada and I can't get to him. He was seriously injured a few weeks ago and it broke my heart that I couldn't go and help him. We don't know when we'll get to see each other again and that's so hard. This is the case for so many people. Families divided by borders, divided by the pandemic. My heart goes out to all of them because I truly understand how hard this is. 

But, I do owe everyone an update. So, let's jump to that:

Tales From the Toy Store:
Holy crow, guys! I just realized that I never actually posted here that it was now available. Wow. That just shows how bad things have been. This book, my first solo book, is now available on Amazon! I absolutely love how it turned out. Eric did such an amazing job on the cover and all of the art inside. 

Apo's Army:
This is my brand new book that I'm working on! It's all about cats. Not just any cats, though. There are stories about my cats, but also cats who live in feral colonies in Florida. One of my favorite Twitch streamers (Apoinsettia, hence the Apo in Apo's Army) goes out nearly every day and he feeds and cares for so many wonderful cats. I've taken about 15 of those babies and I'm writing stories about them. My goal for this book is to actually be able to donate a portion of the proceeds to TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) programs. Again, the amazing Eric is joining me on this project to do the cover and interior art. We're hoping for a February release via Kickstarter with an Amazon release right after.

The Tether Saga:
Guys, I don't know what to tell you about this one. I wish I had some great news, but I just don't. I wrote the (really) rough draft of this book about 10 months ago and sent it off to Nick. I know that he read it, that he wrote a ton of notes on it, and that's all I know. The book series is back in his advertising rounds, but other than him saying he was going over the notes again, I've heard nothing. I so badly want to get back to Sarah and finish telling her story. As soon as I know anything, I promise to let all of you know.

Those are my writing projects. I'm still editing and loving it. I've gotten to work with some fantastic creators over this summer and fingers crossed that it continues to be that way! Speaking of fantastic creators and projects, I should sign off so I can get to work on Russell Nohelty's newest book. I took yesterday off for my birthday so I'm a teensy bit behind now. 

Thank you all for your patience and your support! I couldn't do what I do without it. You're all amazing.


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Friday, August 28, 2020

Book Review: The Silver Bowl

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Unwanted at home, Molly goes to work for the king of Westria as a humble scullery maid. She arrives at the castle with no education, no manners, and a very disturbing secret: She sees visions, and those visions always come true.

One day, while she's working in the king's great hall, young Prince Alaric passes by. Molly finds him unbearably handsome—but also unbearably rude. But what does it really matter? She'll probably never see him again.

In time Molly is promoted to polishing silver and is given a priceless royal treasure to work on: the king's great ceremonial hand basin. But there's something odd about it. The silver warms to her touch, a voice commands her to watch and listen, and then the visions appear. They tell the story of a dreaded curse that has stalked the royal family for years. There have already been deaths; soon there will be more.

As tragedy after tragedy strikes the royal family, Molly can't help but wonder: Will the beautiful Alaric be next? Together with her friends Tobias and Winifred, Molly must protect the prince and destroy the curse. Could a less likely champion be found to save the kingdom of Westria?

A month or two ago, I snuck into the library to see what they had on their giveaway shelves. I had heard that they were doing a purge of their children's book section and I was curious. I didn't expect to find much, but man, I hit the jackpot! Old Nancy Drew books, a bunch of other books, and this gem. I took so many that I had to make two trips to my car. I'd feel bad if I hadn't put hundreds of books on those shelves over the years for people to enjoy. Anyway...

The Good:
Great characterization. Each character had their own personality, their own viewpoints. The story itself was also very entertaining with little twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Since this book was written for middle grade readers, I was happy to see that nothing was so complex that a child wouldn't be able to dig into this book and enjoy hours of happy reading.

The Bad:
The beginning of the book felt a little slow, but that's very short lived.

The Summary:
While written for middle grade fantasy fans, I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it so much that I went on Amazon to find the other books in the series. I'll be picking them up soon and will hopefully be reviewing them as well.  The library's loss was certainly my gain.

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Thursday, June 11, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Teaching

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Writing Prompt Thursday : Teaching

If you were to teach as a career, what would you teach?

Wow...this is a tough one. It'd be nice to say that I'd teach editing or writing, but I don't know that I would. As much as I'm a professional in both, a lot of what I do is based on instinct. Yep, I'm stumped. I have no idea what I'd teach. My gut instinct is to say that I'd work with little ones because my favorite age group has always been birth to five. I once worked at a daycare and loved it. Every age group has something that makes it special, but there's something great about watching little ones discovering things. Perhaps that's why I write children's books right now. There's something special about the joy in children's faces as they listen to a good tale.

Is it possible to teach story time, block building, and splashing in water just for fun? If so, that's where I'd love to be. Maybe I haven't totally grown up myself and you know what? I'm okay with that. Imagination is a beautiful thing and without that spark, being an adult can get mighty boring.

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Monday, June 8, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Red Ribs

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Red Ribs:

2 pounds boneless beef short ribs
2 teaspoons ground ginger
4 cloves smashed and chopped garlic
1/2 cup cooking sherry
3/4 cup beef broth
6 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on personal heat preference)
1 (8oz) can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
1 (8oz) can water chestnuts, sliced or whole, your choice
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups sliced mushrooms


Add your meat to the crockpot. Open the cans of bamboo and water chestnuts and drain. Add dried ginger powder. Add mushrooms and the cinnamon stick. Smash the garlic, chop and add. Add your wet ingredients.

Stir to distribute.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

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Friday, June 5, 2020

Book Review: The Christmas Remedy

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When an Old Order Amish woman takes a job at a small-town pharmacy struggling to survive in a world of "big box" stores, her motive is to help her Plain community. But the advent of the holiday season brings an unusual mystery to the surface--and possibly love.

Twenty-four-year-old Holly Zook lives a unique life for a young Amish woman. Years ago, her bishop allowed her to continue her education and become the lead technician for Greene's Pharmacy, an old-timey drugstore that looks out for the Amish community--a group largely without secure healthcare plans. She knows she can't marry and hold onto her professional job. She's Amish, and she can only have one or the other, so she spurns love and works toward addressing treatable diseases--like the one that claimed her father's life.

As long as Holly continues to avoid Joshua Smucker, the one man who draws her like a warm hearth in winter, she should be fine. When something unexpected threatens Greene's Pharmacy, Holly and Joshua must work together to unravel what's happened and find the "missing" patient before the Board of Pharmacy shuts them down. As the snows of December arrive, with Christmas in the air, will Holly succumb to the generous spirit of the season?

The Good:
This is a sweet story told in a way that you end up feeling as if you know the characters. I was pulled in and read this in one sitting.

The Bad:
Honestly? I can't think of anything. The characters are likable, the book moves at a nice pace and while short, I didn't feel as if it were cut off or that things were left out.

The Summary:
If you like sweet Amish stories, then I can't recommend this book enough. It's full of characters that the reader connects with, each in their own way. The pacing is great...and who can resist a good mystery?

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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Color

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When I saw this week's question, out loud I said, "Oooh...I like this one."

What color are you today?

I don't know why I love this question so much. Perhaps because it's more of a creative question than a dull about me question. Not that you guys weren't fascinated by what I do each morning. I know that one was particularly exciting for all of you.

I think I feel like I'm a blue today. Not a sad blue, but a deep, dark sleepy blue. I haven't been sleeping well and my body keeps wanting to drag me back to sleep. Or maybe a happy, cheery sky blue because I'm so excited about my book and about the forward progress my life has been taking. It could be the color of the river or the ocean. Or maybe it's a bit of a tie dye because life is always changing and flowing...Life comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors and none of those are stagnant. That's one of the things that makes it so special. It's always changing, flowing, and is never the same twice.

What color are you today?

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