#coping during #covid19 The #NewNormal , part 1

As we get into the second week of our self-isolation and social distancing practices, I thought I’d ask a few of my author friends for tips on how they are coping. After all, most writers already are experts at self isolating. We spend the better part of our days alone, in our writing caves.
I sent out the call to my writing peeps, and, as always, they didn’t disappoint. In fact, I got so many responses, I decided to do a two-parter for this post, today, and this Thursday, so stay tuned and checked back on Thursday!
Here are a few ways we are all attempting to get through this trying time!
First, me. If you know me you know I love to cook and bake. Well, my husband has been having a  real eating feast for the past 13 days from my baking attempts. I’ve made a series of muffins that are almost gone on a daily basis! Click on the video link to see my latest endeavor:

Video- baking

I’ve also started posting my MORNING MOTIVATIONS again every day on my Instagram account as a way to stay positive and give encouragement. Here’s a recent one:

Fellow ROMANCE GEM Caroline Clemmons told me this is how she and her husband are coping:
~ More time to read—yay!
~ Keeping up with friends via Facebook and text and messenger so we don’t feel isolated
~ Our Sunday School class is having our lesson by conference call (since not everyone can Skype).
~ Our church has online services
~ Binge watching a TV series on Amazon Prime
~ Continuing to write my stories
~ My husband plays with his ham radio or watches documentaries and Ted talks
Fellow Wild Rose Press Rose, D.V. Stone does this:
I love to make soup. Cutting up vegetables is quite cathartic to me. Adding and building flavors leading to fragrant and hearty comfort food which is also healthy for us.
Bonus:
Take precautions and pack it up in individual containers to share it with friends or family. Call ahead and leave it on their porch.

Another WRP sistah and fabulous writer, Kristal Dawn Harris sent me this lovely, and thought provoking note to share, since she is in a high risk category, health-wise:

“Like so many of you, I’m stuck at home adhering to safety protocols for the Coronavirus pandemic. I am in the high-risk group because of a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome. I only go out for food, make sure I keep my distance, and wash my hands, as well as my clothes, and anything I buy, upon returning home. As an author, I am used to spending long periods alone, but that doesn’t mean I don’t succumb to boredom, miss people, or need a break from writing.
There are many projects I have been wanting to do around the house, such as painting the bedroom, and now I have the time. I also get outside, in my own yard, when the weather cooperates. I’ve ordered seeds to plant a garden, so I should be able to do that soon. I exercise, listen to music, watch movies, read, and I’m thinking of cleaning out the garage (my husband will be so happy…lol). I am always searching for interesting articles online about places I’ve never been and weird topics, and sometimes I post them to my social media accounts.
With Skype, I can talk to and see my children and other family members when all else fails. There are so many ways to fill your time, so don’t let the quarantine ruin your life or your mind!  Humans are curious creatures by nature and there are plenty of ways to satisfy that side of yourself!”
Writer, friend and talented author Jennifer Wilck shared this with me:
“This self-isolation is anxiety-producing and kills my concentration. I’m an introvert by nature (a friendly one, though) and while my own personal habits don’t need to change much, having the other three members of my family home in my space definitely requires some adjustment. Some of the ways I cope are:
1) Each morning I remind myself that “this too will pass” and I tell myself how lucky we are.
2) I make sure to get exercise—the elliptical machine in the basement and walking around the neighborhood. I ask the rest of my family to join me on my walks, or I walk with a friend (keeping our 6-foot distance, of course) so that the blood gets pumping, the endorphins flow, and I have someone to talk to. And we try to discuss things other than the state of the world.
3) I try to keep to a schedule, so I feel productive. I follow a to-do list and cross things off as I do them. I make plans for later in the week, and give myself down time as well.
4) I cook or bake or try to find new uses for leftovers.
5) I clean—both for preventing Covid and for spring cleaning.
6) I read or watch TV or both.
7) I check in with my family and friends to make sure everyone is okay. It makes me feel better to think of others.
Hope you’re coping as well. And remember, this will eventually end.”
Another Rose sistah, Jana Richards had this to say:
I’ve had trouble with my back and sciatica, and I’ve found that regular exercise, especially stretching, is vital. So when my gym and my Pilates studio closed ( because of the virus), I started to worry. Fortunately, my yoga teacher found a way to offer live virtual online classes at the same times as our in-house sessions were scheduled to happen. I was sent a link and tuned in at the appointed time. It was fantastic! I felt connected to my instructor and so enjoyed hearing her familiar voice. I not only was able to stretch and strengthen, but felt a bit of normalcy in times that are anything but.

A quick Internet search will show you lots of online classes and exercises, many of them free. I found this one from Orange Theory that I’m going to give a try. So the moral of my story is that we don’t have to give up completely on exercise during this difficult time. Your body and your mind will thank you.

One of my dearest writing friends, the ubertalented Donna Simonetta  had to postpone her planned vacation last week and is having a staycation instead. Here’s how she’s been coping:

As a writer, I work from home. So, with my husband working from home too, I’m having LESS alone time than normal during this time of self-isolation. Haha! .One happy thing happening in our world is that Spring has sprung here in Maryland, and we’re enjoying all the flowering plants and trees in our yard and neighborhood. We take a little stroll around our yard every day to look at our daffodils and camellias.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writer Jean Grant’s take on self isolation mimics mine:

“It’s almost like ( as writers) we were made for this, right? I already deal with a lot of isolation and loneliness…now add in my husband and two kids, and home-school schedule — oof!

I’ve been listening to music and audiobooks, reading, and getting on walks. Staying physically active is important to mental health. I normally walk and exercise 4-5x a week. I love Denise Austin’s videos – she is a positive lady and still super fit at 62. She’s even offering live feeds and free videos during this time. I take walks in my neighborhood (with family or alone) and on local (quiet) trails, and I’ve started some spring garden work (though more snow is coming Monday). I’ve been baking, too. Cleaning/purging/sorting. Indulging in happy movies. Creating a schedule for my children has helped us, as they thrive on routine. Drinking my usual amount of coffee. ;-)”

One more for today: Writer Wendy Kendall, also a Wild Rose Press sistah, has this to offer to help you get through these trying days:

All kinds of music is helping me cope. Especially new kinds I never tried before, but also my favorites and familiars and tunes id forgotten. Music is a whole other way to tell a story, whether with lyrics or not. It lifts the spirit and touches the soul. Whether I’m listening while doing something else, or I’m focused only on the song, I am relieved and I am not alone.
Peggy here: All of these are thought provoking ideas, no?? I love them and can see how each is so helpful.
Don’t forget to check back on Thursday for more great tips from all my friends!! Remember: together, we can all get through this – even if we are isolating!! Hee hee
 And remember: 

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A few thoughts on the current world situation…. #stayhome #flattenthecurve

It’s been at least a week since #stayhome started trending everywhere in the U.S. I was actually a little ahead of the curve because I started self isolating the moment I heard about the nursing home patients in Washington. I knew, instinctively, that was just the beginning.

Am I psychic?

Not even a little. Just infection wise.

I became a registered nurse during the infant age of AIDS. Back when pneumocystis carini pneumonia( PCP)  was rapidly making its way through the gay male population of New York – where I worked and lived – I was a nursing student in Bellevue Hospital in NYC. During my intensive care rotation, I was assigned to, and  took care of, a young, comatose, black man. The nurse in charge told me that the health department was seeing an uptick in this new strange pneumonia infecting and killing young, gay men. The patient wasn’t in isolation at the time because the medical establishment thought the disease wasn’t transmissible. No one knew what AIDS was yet. Conventional wisdom dictated that you couldn’t catch pneumonia from another person. You can catch the bacteria or virus organism that may affect your respiratory system, but just being in contact with someone who has pneumonia doesn’t mean you will get it. Even still, precautions were taken when caring for the young man and we wore gloves while touching him.

Not gowns. Not masks. Not respirators.

Just gloves.

I remember so vividly thinking at the time the we should have–if not for our own safety, but for that young man’s– been better protected. He was already immunocompromised. What if the staff carried something to him? We could have been making his condition even worse. ICU’s are a hotbed of germs and invisible pathogens. When you are caring for someone in a coma you come in very close contact. Even a common cold could have killed him if one of us breathed over him and sneezed, or coughed.

Flash forward 40 years ( and doesn’t that blow my mind!!! 40 years since I was in nursing school) to this moment in time. As with  PCP, Covid 19 came out of no where and is now decimating people all over the world. And this time we know for a fact that if we are carriers of the virus we can infect and potentially kill people.

Read that again. If we have the virus, even if we are not symptomatic, we can potentially kill people we come in contact with.

Why, then, are there still individuals walking around without a care in the world? Why, then, are the Gen X’s still on spring break, crowding into bars? Traveling in packs? Why are people in retirement communities still going to bingo and rumba lessons? And for God’s sake, why aren’t all schools – all levels, including college – still not closed?

Have we truly become a nation of people who don’t care about others? Care about how our actions affect other people, those who are already compromised due to chronic health issues, or homeless, or have no access to adequate health care?

I don’t think we have – at least I hope we haven’t. All indications to the contrary aside, I truly believe we are a nation who cares.

So if you fall in the category of people who I think care about others, first, bless you. Then, if you are not an essential member of the work force – nurse, doctor, EMT, fireman, grocery story worker, pharmacist – then stay the hell home. If you don’t care about infecting others, then care about being infected yourself. This is the one time in your life it will be okay to be a hermit.

This is a practice the medical experts tell us will surely flatten the curve of new cases developing, which will in turn get us out of the situation faster and hopefully with less people afflicted and/or dead.

Listen to the experts. Not your next door neighbor or your son’s girlfriend’s mother who owns a nail salon and says that the virus won’t get to them. Hey, they wash their hands, they tell you. Often. Don’t listen to political pundits who tell you everything is fine and we have nothing to worry about. They just want your vote so they can stay in their cushy jobs.

Ignore these people.

LISTEN TO THE EXPERTS. The Public Health doctors and scientists and researchers who have as their purpose in life the health and well being of the population.

Take this time to take a beat and do what is recommended by the people in the know. This will pass. If we take precautions and listen and do as we are told, it will pass quicker and with less loss of life, erosion of our economy, and destruction of our lifestyle.

Life as we’ve known it will return to normal if we listen to the people who know best. Don’t be a self righteous, ignorant dick and think you are the one person in the world this will not touch. Because it will.

 

 

 

 

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#SundaySnippet 3.22.2020

SO I got the release date for my Wild Rose Press ONE SCOOP OR TWO addition, VANILLA WITH A TWIST. Publication day is May 20, 2020, so I figured I’d give you a little something for that soon to be released book today.

She pulled a paper towel from the dispenser, and before she thought better of it, cupped his chin intending to swipe at the grime on his face.

The moment she touched him Tandy knew she’d made a mistake. A big one.

His skin was as warm as sunshine, and the scratch of his evening stubble prickled her fingertips, the sensation vaulting though her and making her…yearn. It had been a long, long time since she’d experienced such an overwhelming sensation for a man—any man. Handsome guys on vacation came into her store every day. Sometimes with families in tow, sometimes not. A quick smile, a second glance, and a tiny show of interest on their part was something she was familiar with. But she’d never succumbed, never allowed herself to actually feel something akin to desire. The road to a quick and hot night of passion came with consequences that could last a lifetime. And she was the poster child for those potential consequences.

But now, standing in her shop after closing time, with the sun long gone and only the two of them for company, Tandy wondered what would happen if she gave in to the sensations swimming within her and centered on the man before her.

“You’ve got, um, motor oil. Here. Um, on your…face. Cheekbone.”

Goodness, it was bad enough she was babbling, but her hands held a fine tremor of visible nerves, too. He had to notice it.

“Go ahead and wipe it, since I can’t see it and you can.” His voice was smooth and modulated, the opposite of her jagged and blathering one. He dipped his head a bit so she didn’t have to stretch so far, his gaze zeroed in on hers. His face was so close it would take nothing, really, to bring her mouth to his. She couldn’t decide if the fact she could or that she wanted to was more terrifying.
She swiped the towel over the area, his chin still cradled in her hand. Standing so close to him, she detected a hint of citrus spice from his aftershave. The desire to run her nose along the column of his neck and inhale all that manly scent bounded through her and competed with the need she felt to kiss him.

Why did this man provoke such strong reactions in her? It was a question she couldn’t answer with any clarity.

“It’s not coming off?”
Tandy blinked him back into focus.
“No.” She dropped her hand and took a few steps back, needing the distance. “I think you’d better do it yourself.” She handed him the paper towel.

With a nod, he headed for the bathroom.

Tandy pressed her hand across her abdomen, let out a full, tortured breath in a long whoosh, and bent at the waist, hands now on top of her thighs.

Jiminy Crickets, Tandy. Breathe. Just breathe.

VANILLA WITH A TWIST ( One Scoop or Two) by Peggy Jaeger

Tandy Blakemore spends her days running her New England ice cream parlor, single-parenting her teenage son, and trying to keep her head above financial water. No easy feat when the shop’s machinery is aging and her son is thinking about college. Tandy hasn’t had a day off in a decade and wonders if she’ll ever be able to live a worry-free life.

Engineer Deacon Withers is on an enforced vacation in the tiny seaside town of Beacher’s Cove. Overworked, stressed, and lonely, he walks into Tandy’s shop for a midday ice cream cone and gets embroiled in helping her fix a broken piece of equipment.

Can the budding friendship that follows lead to something everlasting?

More info coming soon, peeps.

Until next time ~ Peg

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A #5starreview & an ego boost!

I just adore InD’tale magazine! They not only gave me a 5 star review for  A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK, they also made the lovely graphic above for me AND put the book in  you tube video:

This entire week just got waaaaaaaaay better, peeps!

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A little interview over on @bookgoodies

So I did a little interview on BookGoodies about A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK and it’s up today.

There are a few typos in the article – just thought I’d point that out so you wouldn’t think I glazed over the piece, hee hee.

Stop by and give it a quick read.

Until next time, peeps. Keep on self isolating, wash your hands, and keep hydrated ~ Peg

*** I’m social isolating, but you van find me – virtually! – here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// Book Me

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#CoverReveal for ROOT BEER FLOAT #OneScoopOrTwoSeries from Wild Rose Press & Sydney Winward

I’m so excited about the Wild Rose Press’s new summer series ONE SCOOP OR TWO. I’ve got a book in the series and so does my guest today, WRP sistah Sydney Winward.
Sydney very graciously allowed me to join her in revealing the cover of her OneScoopOrTwo addition, ROOT BEER FLOAT…tadaaaa…
I think this cover is perfect for the story!!!
Here’s a little about the book…..
Josephine Brevil has lived hundreds of years haunted by the horrors she experienced during the Salem Witch Trials. She takes great care to hide her powers, though serving a Root Brew Float laced with a magic potion now and again never hurt anybody. The Order sends her to Massachusetts to deal with a paranormal threat, and she meets the young and handsome widower, Clarence Watts. However, being with him comes with a choice. How can she choose between the man she loves and the magic she holds dear?
Doesn’t that sound delicious!!!?
And now, a little  about Sydney…
Sydney Winward was born with an artistic brain and a love of discovery for new talents. From drawing to sewing to music, she has loved to explore every opportunity that comes her way. At a young age, Sydney discovered her love of writing and wrote her first book at twelve years old, and since then, she hasn’t been able to stop writing. Her active imagination and artistic mind take her away to different worlds and time periods, making every new story a fantastic adventure. When she is not writing (or fawning over animals in the neighborhood) she spends time with her husband and children at home in Utah.
Visit Sydney here:
Preorder here : ROOT BEER FLOAT

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#LongandShortReviews #weeklybloggingchallenge 3.18.2020

The weirdest thing I learned reading fiction is today’s topic.

Hmmm…..this one requires real thinking on my part- something I’m not known for ( hee hee)

Okay, in THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES  I learned all about making honey, bee anatomy, and just how precious bees are to our environment and food supply.

Other than that I can’t think of anything WEIRD I’ve learned reading a book.

Now doing research for a book is different. For my own book, THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, I learned that  cows have 4 stomachs, I learned a horse has a gestation period of 11-12 months, and that emotional abuse can take many forms.

Let’s see what some of the other authors in this challenge have learned – and I can bet it’s way more than I have!! L&SR

Until next time ~ peg

and if you’re looking for me I’m out trying to learn stuff from reading here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me// Triber// Book Me

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For The Love of You by Claire Marti. #newbookrelease #authorvisit

I’ve been so lucky to meet writers during my writing journey who astound me with their talent and inspire me with their bravery. When I decided to publish my very first indie romance, it was to writers like today’s guest, Claire Marti, to whom I looked and learned.

Claire has a new book out today, the third in her Pacific  Vista Ranch series, and she graciously allowed me to talk the book ( and it’s predecessors) up !!!

FOR THE LOVE OF YOU by Claire Marti

For a French soccer icon, and a gifted artist, a fake engagement is the perfect solution for their current dilemmas. But when last summer’s fling slips from lust to love, their pretend relationship becomes too hot to handle.

Gabriel DuVernay is heir to one of the oldest wineries in France, but his passion is playing soccer, not tending vines. When he signs a multi-million dollar deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy, he’s able to postpone his unwelcome duties and help his younger sister convince their old-fashioned father she should be their family’s first female winemaker. Another bonus of moving to California is reuniting with the striking redhead who snuck out of his apartment after the hottest night of his life.

Last summer, artist Dylan McNeill’s life on her family’s Southern California horse-breeding ranch was thrown into chaos and she escaped to Paris. One electrifying night with a gorgeous playboy athlete helped her forget her problems. She’s never forgotten Gabriel, but aspiring artists trying to break into the elite art world don’t have time for romance. She’s determined to get discovered without trading on her family’s famous name.

When Gabriel suffers a career-shattering injury, he needs to buy some time to figure out how to remain in America and choose his own future. His influential mother can open important doors in the art world and help Dylan fulfill her dreams ––for a price. A fictitious engagement seems like the simple answer until living at Pacific Vista Ranch and pretending to be in love starts to feel real.

Can last year’s one night stand and this year’s fake engagement turn into true love forever?

 

Get your copy here: Amazon // Kobo // Apple books ( ibooks) // B&N

EXCERPT:

Hands linked, they ascended a single flight of broad wrought iron stairs. When he opened the large door, her lips parted in wonder at his home’s simple classic beauty. Wide honey-colored plank flooring set off the soaring ceiling, stark white walls, and midnight navy couch and loveseat. Nothing distracted from the main attraction: enormous glass doors revealing the unobstructed view of the wide golden sand beach melting into the cobalt blue Pacific Ocean.

“Wow. So I guess you signed on the dotted line the minute you saw this view?” Dylan drank in the beauty of the late afternoon sky.

Gabriel’s laugh was a low purr in his throat. “Exactly. Come.” He slid the French doors open and led her out to an immense deck.

Immediately, the warm, salty breeze caressed her skin and the shriek of seagulls filled the early twilight sky. Streaks of mauve and raspberry and tangerine turned the horizon into a watercolor tableau worthy of its own canvas. She leaned against the white wooden railing and sighed with pleasure.

“This is amazing. When did you arrive and do you get to spend much time here?” The Major League Soccer season ran from March to December. Professional athletes didn’t get much downtime, even in the off-season.

He was close enough that the clean fresh scent of soap and shampoo tickled her senses. His hair held a hint of curl and glints of chestnut and caramel. He angled his head toward her. “The transfer came through a few months ago, but I finished up my contract with Barcelona. I was at practice the morning after I arrived. So, no, I haven’t spent enough time here yet.”

“Thanks for sharing it with me.”

He reached for her hand again, lacing their fingers together. “Let’s have some wine and choose something to order for dinner. What are you in the mood for?”

“Italian or maybe French?” Her cheeks flamed. No innuendos there at all. Nope, not a one.

He waggled his eyebrows. “That can be arranged.”

Before she could react, he pulled her into his arms and lowered his head. He paused a few inches from her lips and slid one hand up her back to clasp her head. His minty breath mingled with hers and her lips parted in anticipation. His pupils dilated, his eyes black. With a growl, he captured her mouth and stroked and swirled his tongue with hers.

She melted against him, her knees buckled, and only his powerful embrace saved her from sliding to the deck in a boneless heap. She wove her arms around him, gripping the thin material of his t-shirt.

“Get a room!” A shout from the boardwalk below doused them like a bucket of freezing water. Gabriel’s hold softened and Dylan stepped back.

She exhaled a shaky breath and smoothed back her hair. Worked to slow her thundering heartbeat and gather some composure. When she’d agreed to come over to his house, she’d been anticipating flirtation and conversation, but nothing could have prepared her for experiencing the intensity of their chemistry again. They’d only spent one night together, but he’d left an indelible impression on her. Apparently, it was mutual.

Gabriel flashed a cheeky grin. “I’ve got several rooms inside, care to join me?”

“Aren’t you the clever one? Maybe we should slow things down and have that drink. And I am hungry.” Everything about him was seductive and she was inexorably drawn to him. If she didn’t at least gently tap the brakes, they’d be in bed before dinner. Or instead of dinner.

 

A little about my friend, Claire Marti:

Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga.

Her award winning debut novel, Second Chance in Laguna, was a Finalist for Best Contemporary Romance in the prestigious Stiletto Contest, won best unpublished contemporary romance in the Heart of the Molly and third place in the Maggie. Book two in the Finding Forever in Laguna series, At Last in Lagunaand Book three, Sunset in Laguna, ​are available everywhere. Sunset in Laguna ​was a Golden Quill finalist.
 
Claire’s exciting new Pacific Vista Ranch series set on a horse-breeding ranch in exclusive Rancho Santa Fe, California, launched in September 2019. 

When Claire’s not writing, she’s teaching yoga. You can find her teaching at studios in sunny San Diego or enjoy fifty online classes on the international website www.yogadownload.com. A breast cancer survivor, Claire is a sought-after speaker on the power of yoga and meditation. She’s been published in numerous magazines with articles on wellness and is the author of a memoir, ​Come Ride with Me Along the Big C, on her experience beating breast cancer. 
 
Claire is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Contemporary Romance Writers, and the San Diego Romance Writers.

You can find Claire here:

Website // Facebook  //Twitter // Instagram // Goodreads // Bookbub // Amazon 

Read books 1 and 2 in the PACIFIC VISTA RANCH SERIES now

NOBODY ELSE BUT YOU

A smoking hot stuntman. A fiery horse breeder. And a 220-acre ranch too small for both of them.
She’s avoided Hollywood for years…
When an arrogant Hollywood stuntman struts into Samantha McNeill’s breeding barn, sparks fly. She doesn’t care how mouthwateringly gorgeous he is, not when he assumes Pacific Vista Ranch’s resident horse breeding manager must be a man. Not to mention his job threatens to pull her family back into the paparazzi filled world they escaped from over a decade ago.
Now it’s at her door––wearing faded jeans and a wicked grin.
Holt Ericsson can tell the beautiful redhead hates him on sight and the feeling is becoming mutual. But he will call in a favor and convince Sam’s legendary director father that Pacific Vista Ranch is the only suitable place left in California to film an epic Western. Holt’s invested all his savings in the movie and his entire career is riding on it. No way will he allow one irritating, sexy woman to stand in his way.
Sam intends to fight him at every turn…if only her heart didn’t race when they’re together. Holt does his best to steer clear of her…except all he wants to do is hold her close. The sizzling attraction between them is either going to burn up the sheets or burn down the ranch…

THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU

A perfectionistic equine vet. A gorgeous fireman. An unrequited high school crush blazes hot twelve years later.
Reliable Amanda McNeill’s world toppled last summer when Hollywood invaded her family’s horse breeding ranch. Everyone’s moving onward and upward, but she’s in a massive rut. Weary of her label as the dependable older sister, she yearns to throw predictability to the wind and embrace spontaneity. She can be impulsive, even wild, and a hot fling with Jake Cruz might be the sizzle she needs to jumpstart her life.
When firefighter Jake Cruz rescues a dog from a hit-and-run, the nearest vet is none other than his high school tutor, Amanda McNeill. Face to face with his former crush, he finds her to be even more beautiful than he remembers, and her charming blushes and heated glances tell him she notices him this time around. While Jake longs to discover if this Amanda matches the girl who starred in his adolescent fantasies, his desire to become fire captain, and earn his family’s pride, requires he focus on work, not passion.
Could his dream woman become his real love or will his professional ambitions extinguish their chances? Once the smoke clears, will Amanda realize Jake isn’t a fling but her hero after all?

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today’s #coronapocalypse2020 PSA from…me

Had to do it…sorry for the shameless selfpromotion….

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Are you self isolating because of Covid 19? I’m a recluse, so here are some tips for survival

Panic, it appears, has infected the globe.

While I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to take all these precautions against spreading and/or catching the corona virus, most people are not used to being isolated in their home, unable to go outside to do anything for a minimum of 14 days JUST IN CASE they have the virus. Most people are social beings and need to be around others to talk, interact, bitch and gossip.

I’m not like most people. I self isolate routinely.

I could use the excuse it’s because I have a solitary career, being a writer and all, but that’s only half of it. I like being alone. I truly do.

So because I am used to being sequestered in the house, where sometimes a week can go by and I have only left it once to grocery shop and care for my parents, I know how to survive the long days where you may feel as if you are the only person on the planet. Here are a few tips so you don’t go crazy.

  1. even if you are not leaving the house, get up and take a shower and get dressed every day. This is your norm, isn’t it? Even when you go on vacay you still do this. Do it now. (Full disclosure here: sometimes I don’t do this until about 5 in the evening when I know hubby will be home in a few hours! )
  2. if you are working from home, work. Don’t watch TV, play a video game, or binge watch sixteen seasons of MASH on Netflix. Do what you’re supposed to be doing. Believe me, it helps off set depression and keeps you on schedule mentally and physically.
  3. make your bed. The desire to crawl back into it during the day is lessened if it’s already make. And don’t grab you laptop and work in you bed. The bed is for sleeping, recreational…sports, and making babies. Not for WORK.
  4. get some exercise. If you can walk outside even for a little while and you can avoid crowds, do it. I have a home gym so I get to exercise everyday no matter what the weather. If you live someplace with a gym on premises, or even have  a home gym like I do, utilize it.
  5. Take a lunch break. You do when you’re at the office, or wherever you work, right? This is the one time you can watch tv if you want. When I take a lunch break I typically watch THE VIEW on ABC and walk on my treadmill for an hour. I combine a break with exercise. Works for me.
  6. if you are truly isolating or working at home because YOU MAY have come in contact with Covid 19, you can still interact and talk with people via Skype, Face time, or any of the other phone/computer apps where you can actually SEE people you are talking to. My daughter’s company has made them all work at home until the end of March and we have had “lunch” together a few times via facetime. She’s eating, I’m eating, and we’re talking and planning.
  7. eat on schedule. DON’T GRAZE or snack. When  you have to get back into work clothes after doing this for a few weeks you will be pissed at the weight gain you could have prevented.
  8. if you no longer work but are isolating at home, my number one thing to do to drive off the boredom is READ. This, I feel, is why e-devices were invented. Even if you don’t have a kindle, but you have an IPAD, you can upload the kindle app for free or even the Nook app. There are literally thousands of free books you can borrow from Amazon, but you can also find oodles of 99cents books from new-to-you authors or recommendations from other people for good books. The other day on my FB page I asked my author friends to post links to their current books so people who were at home could download them to read.  Check it out, here: Recommend a book via FB

And now I just want to get a few things off my chest about this panic and why people are making me insane.

  1. If your kid’s school is CLOSED it’s not a license to take them on fields trips to museums, the movies, the mall, MacDonald’s playland, or anywhere where they are around crowds. The school is closed to keep them safe from catching the virus. Dragging them all over the place because they are bored – or you are – is putting them in danger, precisely what closing the schools was to meant prevent! Think with your brains, people!
  2. Corvid 19 is a RESPIRATORY virus not a GASTRIC one. If you get it you will be SNOTTY not SHITTY. STOP HOARDING TOILET PAPER!!! No person alive needs a gross of tp for 2 weeks of isolation. Even the Duggars don’t go through that much much in 14 days!!!
  3. If you are not feeling well – STAY HOME!!!
  4. Stop touching your face. I was at Mass last week and the priest on the altar kept swiping at his nose. Why my husband got mad at me because I didn’t want to receive from this guy is a mystery!!!! My nails are starting to grow for the first time in decades because I haven’t been biting them.
  5. Cough and sneeze into your elbow and teach your snotty little kids to do it, too! I was at Mass – again- last week and a six year old sneezed full faced so hard I thought he was gonna push out brain matter. Did he cover his nose and mouth? That would be NO! HE just let lose all over the people in the pew in front of him. It took every Catholic bone in my body not to scream at him and his parents.
  6. Don’t wipe up disinfectant after you spray or swipe it on a surface. The purpose of disinfectant is to DRY on the area you put it on in order to kill the germs. If you spray it on something and then wipe it off, you are doing no good.
  7. WASH YOUR HANDS. EVERY SINGLE TIME. I’m a nurse, so I was taught to wash my hands BEFORE AND AFTER I use the bathroom. Still do to this day.
  8. Use hand sanitizer LIBERALLY. Rub it in. I don’t care if you smell like bleach and no one else does either. Bleach is a good, clean smell. Use it as cologne for all I care, just use it.

Truly the most important thing you can do to get through this trying time is not panic.

Panic benefits no one.

Listen to the suggestions and isolate at home, wash your hands, avoid crowds, and cough or sneeze into your elbow.

This, too, will pass. And it will do so much quicker if we all use common sense and take necessary precautions.

And above all else STOP HARDING TOILET PAPER!!!!!!!!

Rant over…until next time, peeps ~Peg

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