Monday, August 31, 2015

Substitute Teaching

I had big plans to sit and work on real blog posts for this week. Then I struggled to get out of bed and wake my kids for school. Two minutes after the last one walked out the door my phone rang. Cue the jitters. Only one person calls at 6:30 AM.

SubTeach

Now, I signed up for this so I shouldn't dread those calls, right?? It's just my bed is so comfy that early in the morning. :) Anyway, I sucked it up and answered the phone. The good news is it was for a cushy job today. I'm subbing for the technology teacher. She didn't leave any lesson plans so we are playing computer games. You can't beat that!

I did require them to read a book on TumbleBooks before going to pbskids.org or other fun site. I was even wicked enough to make them wait until the last 15 minutes of class before playing Animal Jam. Yeah, I'm so tough!

Totally kidding. For those of you who don't know, all the "educational" games these days are fun. Kids are playing math games and other stuff that builds skills, and they think they're having a free day. At the end of class we played a version of Simon Says with the parts of a computer.

I can't complain. Of course, after this free time I have a kindergarten class. That might bring me to my knees. 24 kids that have only been in school for 2 full weeks. With computers. Pray for me!

Friday, August 28, 2015

A New Romance Collection!

Some of my favorite clean romance writers are at it again!  Check it out.

Christmas Kisses is a collection from five bestselling and award-winning authors.

Set in the snowy town of Echo Ridge in upstate New York, these inspirational romances are sure to delight while you sip cocoa by the fire and listen to Christmas carols.



***Pre-order now for only $.99***



Amazon * Barnes and Noble * Kobo * iTunes * Smashwords

Add it to Goodreads


Win amazing books by each of the authors. Enter below to win - nine different books will be given to nine lucky winners.



Christmas Makeover by Cami Checketts Amazon bestselling author

Chelsea Jamison has been infatuated with Drew Stirling longer than she's loved playing basketball, high-top sneakers, and the Knicks. Unfortunately, all Drew sees is the kid who kicked his trash in the high school free throw contest and not the girl whose heart breaks into a fast dribble when he's near.

Drew makes an unexpected visit home to Echo Ridge and their friendship picks up where they left off as they scheme to make a teenaged boy's Christmas dreams come true. When Chelsea realizes she's fallen for her best friend, she wonders if there is any hope of a relationship with Drew or if she's stuck in buddy-status for life.

www.camichecketts.com * https://www.facebook.com/CamiCheckettsAuthor



The Candy Counter Heiress by Lucy McConnell Amazon bestselling & award-winning author

Someday Reese Gates will own The Candy Counter at Kenworth's; but someday can't come fast enough when the manager threatens to bring in a national candy provider. Reese secretly takes matters into her own hands hoping to save her parents from additional worry and prove herself capable of running the company. Her deception deepens as she ropes computer guru Andy Edwards into helping her expand the business.  Reese wanted to shake things up, but she wasn't planning on her heart getting caught in the mix by Andy's stolen kisses. If she can hold it together until after Christmas, then she can reveal her successful online company and her feelings for Andy. Unfortunately for Reese, even the best laid plans can melt like chocolate.

https://lucymcconnell.wordpress.com/ * https://www.facebook.com/ChristinaDymock?fref=ts



Soda Fountain Christmas by Connie E. Sokol Amazon bestselling author

Keira Kenworth has one focus this holiday season: save her father's old-time department store from bankruptcy. She is not focused on Tayton Wells, the tall, dark, and genius marketing guru from downtown New York, hired to make it happen. He is as doubtful that her nostalgic connect-the-town ideas will succeed as she is about his numbers-first plan. However, it's not just their different approaches that cause sparks to fly. Working together on a fast deadline to save the store before Christmas, the unspoken connection between them grows. But will the tough decisions they face drive them back to their separate worlds, or will they lead to the beginning of love?

www.conniesokol.com * https://www.facebook.com/8basics?_rdr=p



Christmas Makeover by Heather Tullis Amazon bestselling author

Jonah Owens thought moving to Echo Ridge to open his art gallery would solve all of his problems. The need to sell his grandma's house adds an unexpected complication. It would be easier if his neighbor didn't have all those farm animals.

Kaya Feidler's family has owned their land for nearly a hundred years--long before the neighbors were there. There's no way she's giving up the animal therapy business she's been struggling to make profitable. She gets a temp job helping Jonah in the gallery. Spending time together is a recipe for romance, but can they overcome their own hangups to be more than friends?

http://heathertullis.com/ * https://www.facebook.com/HeatherTullisBooks



Hope for Christmas by Rachelle J. Christensen Amazon bestselling & award-winning author

Anika Fletcher hates Christmas--its promises of good tidings and hope for the future are as tinseled as the ornaments on Kenworth's Hope Tree. Despite her feelings, Anika wants to maintain her daughter's faith in the magic of the season and gladly accepts a second job working with the handsome Carlos Rodriguez to restore Kenworth's old fashioned soda fountain. Carlos is no stranger to hard times and slowly shares his life of light and joy with Anika as they work together. Just as her fragile soul begins to feel hope again, an ill-timed act of charity changes everything. Anika isn't sure who she can trust or if hope is worth nurturing--especially at Christmas when it's easy to enjoy a kiss and believe love can last longer than the season.

www.facebook.com/rachellechristensenauthor * http://rachellechristensen.com/





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Monday, August 24, 2015

Beautiful Weather to Inspire!

We have had a wonderful break from the heat this last week. The kind of break that lets you open all the windows because it's cooler outside than in. Even though it's strange August weather, I'll take it!

Last week I barely touched my computer, and that was fine. Hubby and I got a lot done. Not as much as we hoped, but enough that I'm okay taking things a lot slower from here on out. We still have to sell our other house before we can get the rest of the kitchen finished. That could take a while. Even though most of the house still looks like this...

No floors and stuff piled along the sides.
We have one room that is finished "enough" to enjoy and be our sanctuary from the rest of the crazy.

And finally, as soon as I hit publish on this post, I'm going to write! From here on out, I'll get back on a regular schedule of exercise, house cleaning and writing time. I'm so ready! Even though there are still boxes piled up in the sunroom, this is where I'll sit and write today. The weather is a comfortable 72 degrees and the sounds of insect life buzzing is quite pleasant.


In other news:
  • I've sent a note to my editor and am just waiting to get started on SFK edits. As soon as I know a timeframe for the release I'll let you know. 
  • Now that I'm moved, I'll start advertising the Bold New Worlds contest more. I've sort of neglected it this month. :(
What are your goals for this week?


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Kitchens and Sequels

I went without internet for a few days after last weekend's move. Thank goodness I had pre-scheduled the Adam Lambert post! Anyway. Every day has been filled with work. And driving my hubby's truck. Randomness right here! I'm so glad he finally bought a truck. A big truck. Why? Because I really like driving it. :)

Okay, back to the remodel goals for this week...
Getting ready to start laying tile. This is the one thing we're paying someone else to do--so far.
He laid about half of the 900+ square foot room today!
While floors were going in, hubby and I decided to try putting up our own wall cabinets because, why not?
Don't worry, the base cabinets won't be off center when installed. That's for those of you with OCD like me. I just like torturing you with the photo. :)
Most of the other work we need to do seems small compared to getting the floors and the kitchen put in. But there's tons of it left to do. Right now I'm just praying our other house sells, like THIS week. Until that happens, we won't have our kitchen island, the rest of the appliances, countertops, backsplash or floors in this area of the house.

I feel like I should sit and watch The Money Pit. I think it would make me feel better. Maybe. This house is old and that means we have had a few surprises. Such as the fact that we couldn't move our pantry from it's horizontal position to vertical because it was only half an inch shorter than the 8 foot ceiling. I really miss my 10 foot ceilings! We gouged a few new holes into our scraped and patched ceiling. In the end we cut off almost 4 inches from the base before we could scrape by. Of course once it was upright there was plenty of room to spare.

And, after four months of begging multiple electricians for a quote on the work needed at this house, I finally got one yesterday. It's in the $8500 ballpark. *sigh* We have three fuse boxes, none of which are up to code. They are about $1200 a piece to replace. Then there's the cosmetic stuff we'd like to do. It'll have to be done bit by bit.

The good news is even in this state of chaos, this feels like home. That's a good thing when it's all said and done.

Okay, now for some great news!

It's official (actually it was official last Friday), WiDo Publishing has picked up Talia's sequel. All the paperwork is signed and they've announced it on their website. You can read the interview HERE.

Thankfully, we'll finish stage one of renovations by the time I need to start working with an editor. I'm excited for that. It's possibly one of my favorite parts of being an author. That's when you get to take something good and make it shine. It will also put me firmly in Talia's world so I can get back to drafting book three in the series. I REALLY want to get the first crummy version on "paper" by the end of the year. With hard work, and some luck, I can get that one out in a year instead of two. That's my goal anyway.

What's everyone else up to this week?

Monday, August 17, 2015

There I Said It

My sweet hubby is taking this week off to help me unpack and turn this house into our home. In the meantime, here's another new song that I can't help but like. A Lot.

In the early days I was a big American Idol fan. One of the people I really enjoyed was Adam Lambert. He has a distinctive sound and he's full of personality. I loved that he made every song his own. He knew who he was and what kind of music he wanted to make. Through out the season he didn't compromise who he was. I loved it!

Adam even did a stint as Queen's lead singer. His latest album "The Original High" has this song on it that reminds me of the great ballads of the 80s, but with a twist. :)

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