Another winner in the series. Just read it in a day. The added bonus? This:
Tag Archives: #amreading
This week’s topic is Your Favorite Hobby and why.
Folks, this one wrote itself.
I was a kid in the 1960’s ( I know: I’m ollllllllllld!) and one of the fun-est things to do on craft day at school was decoupage.
Decoupage (noun) the art or craft of decorating objects with paper cut-outs.
As a kid it was sososososo much fun acquiring and stocking up newspapers, magazines, comic books, even old catalogs, and cutting out pictures, items, images that I loved just so I could them glue them to things like shoe boxes, jewelry boxes, pictures frames, and give them as gifts. I was between the ages of 5 and 10, so in those days, these were the extent of my gift-giving persona.
Nowadays, I do better.
Nowadays, I decoupage old steamer trunks that I find at rummage sales, and in second hand stores.
I’ve decoupaged 5 trunks over the past 3 years and have 2 more waiting for me to find some free time. When they are complete, I give them away as gifts to people around me who ask. My daughter has 2, my BFF has one, and I’ve got the other 2. This one is sitting in my office behind the couch I use to take naps in when the words aren’t flowing as fast as I want them to.
You can see a cut out of my first book SKATER’S WALTZ on the top of this one! The book just celebrated it’s 4th book birthday on Monday and is on sale until 3.15 for just 99cents an ecopy. ( hee hee, shameless plug, sorry. Had to!)
This is the entire top of the picture above it and if you have really good eyes, you can see a cut out of my second book THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME. I’ll give you a hint – it’s to the right ( your right as you’re looking at this) of Judy Garland.
Anyway, self promo over.
A trunk usually takes me anywhere from 1-2 months to complete, depending on the amount of damage the trunk has when I acquire it. The longest I’ve ever taken is 4 months because I had a trunk with an internal removable shelf. Both the inside of the trunk and the shelf had to be repaired, then papered, then decoupaged. I did the internals first, then proceeded to the outside.
That trunk is my favorite to date and holds sososososo much stuff I can’t stand it!
So. That’s my hobby. What about you?
Let’s see what the other authors in this blog hop do when they’re not writing away: L&SRBlogChallenge
And as always, look for me here when I’m not decoupaging, writing, or doing the other 7689 things I need to do daily:
Here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB
and the link to my recent interview on NewHampshirePublicRadio
The prompt for this week’s blog experience is What to read to learn about X. A little vague but I’m gonna take it to mean something to do with how we, as writers, do research. ( Fingers crossed I’m correct about this!)
If you’re a follower of mine you know that I approach everything in life as if it was a study because I have such a strong scientific background. I love the scientific method. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, here’s the textbook definition:
Let’s be honest: most of us took a basic English class decades ago. I would bet I’m not the only one who can’t remember the appropriate use of a semicolon, or when to use ellipses. For the basics in grammar, sentence structure, and just plain word use, The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation is hands down the best one – and easiest one to understand – of all I’ve read.
Before I wrote romantic fiction I dabbled in short stories that were mostly about murders, murderers, and mysteries. Since I’m a nurse, there are a great deal of little tidbits I’ve picked up along my career about poisons, drug interactions, etc., and ways to cause someone’s death – all great info if you write about murder! My favorite reference books for these are The MERCK MANUAL and the Nurse’s PDR ( Physician’s Drug Reference Guide). Both these little gems, when combined, can get those creative, murderous ( on the page only!) juices flowing.
One last series I think I should mention are the “Thesaurus” books by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. These include the Emotional Thesaurus, The Negative and Positive trait Thesaures, and a few more about location, setting. All of these books are gold mines of knowledge for the writer.
Those are my top five “research” books for now. I’ve got oodles more, but don’t want this blog piece to go on ad nauseum!
Since this is an author blog hop, hop on over to the other writers participating and read how they interpreted today’s prompt. L&SRWednesdayBloggingChallenge.
And, as always, if you’re looking for me, here I am:
and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB
and one more: here’s the link to my appearance recently on New Hampshire Public Radio, talking about all things romance.
Carly Lennox strode into the television studio armed with the self-confidence she’d been born with.
THE VOICES OF ANGELS, The MacQuire Women, book 4
Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.
Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.
Also available on AUDIBLE:
Find your bliss today, peeps, and let your beauty shine.
And you know I’m always here if you need me:
and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB
Seems appropriate that I title this one a look ahead when the last blog was about looking back.
I’m nothing if not consistent, peeps. Hee hee
I’ve got some career goals for 2019 that I want to accomplish, in addition to some personal ones that need doing, as well.
First, a little backstory. This is me, afterall.
In November 2018 you may remember I attended a conference where Jack Canfield was the primary speaker. He spoke about many things – all of them wonderful – but one thing he said stuck with me and resounded so completely, I’ve already begun putting its intention into use. Jack said, “You can’t have an uncluttered, focused life and mind, if your workspace and environment is cluttered, filled with detritus, and unfocused.”
Can I just tell you how that was a Come to Jesus moment for me?!
Since the day I arrived home from that conference I have been culling, cleaning, reorganizing, and reprioritizing my life, my environment, and my workspace. I started with the closets. All 15 of them. I’ve moved on to the bedrooms. After that, the kitchen, bathrooms, and then the living spaces will all be refreshed, culled of unnecessary items, and cleaned.
Yes, it’s exhausting work, and yes I find myself stopping at times to remember why I have this object, or obsess about whether or not I still need it – just in case! But then I remember what the point of this exercise in selective personal item culling is all about and I get on with it.
So, everything should be done by 12.31.18
On 1.1.19, in my newly refreshed, reorganized and restructured workplace/office, I will being writing the next 2 books on my TBWritten list and start planning out the next 3.
About those goals for 2019: here they are, in no apparent order.
1.Write a minimum of 1000 words before you start your actual day – what this means is that while I’m still in jammies, I write, Once 1000 words is achieved I get to get dressed, and do the adulting things I need to – like gym, laundry, etc. When they are done, I can write more.
2. Finish 2 complete manuscripts in 2019; have 2 published that are already completed.
3.Meditate for 20 minutes every day. No excuses. No matter what.
4. Gym 4-6 times per week.
5. Eat better, and by better I mean, cut out the crap!!
6. Blog no more than 2-3 times per week. I blogged upwards of 5 times a week in 2018 and it just got to be too much for me.
7. Perform daily aspirations re: career goals and personal issues. – these are private, so don’t ask!
I think that’s a good start, don’t you. We’ll see how far they get, which ones drop off by the wayside, and which ones become habits-for-life.
The happiest of New Years, peeps. ~Peg
and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB
You didn’t think I could go silent for the holidays before another shameless plug, did you??
Silly peeps! Hee hee
But in all sincerity, if you are still looking for a last minute gift for that book lover or romance reader on your list, take a chance and send one of my new releases to their Kindle or Nook or even iPad. The books and links are listed below. The prices are decent and not bank-breaking. Go ahead and give the gift of reading, books, and romance all rolled into one.
It’s the perfect present!
CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS
DEARLY BELOVED – bk 1 in A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN
HOPE’S DREAM ( DEERBOURNE INN NOVELLA)
and if you’re looking to save a few cents (!) THE WILD ROSE PRESS has all ebooks on sale for 40% off until New Years! Give a great gift and sale some coin!
Merry Christmas and Happy Reading ~ Peg
You all know I lovelovelove when one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs comes for a visit and today I’ve got a treat for you and me: new-to-me-sistah-and-author, Julie Howard.
Julie was so gracious to sit down with me and be interviewed and I couldn’t wait to share it with you all. She has a new book out titled, CRIME TIMES TWO and she’s giving us a little sneak peek at it today as well. So sit back and get to know this fab writer of mysteries, thrillers, and romantic suspense. And stick around because she has a special sumthin’ sumthin’ she ‘s offering exclusively here!
Julie, the Author:
What drives you to write?
I’m a sucker for a good story, whether it’s true or not. I loved working as a journalist because I met so many interesting people and had a great time telling their stories. Now that I spend my time making up stories, it’s even more fun.
What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?
Mystery, suspense and even a paranormal mystery recently. I love the thrill of the chase and a little danger along the way.
What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?
I love historical fiction because those stories take me places and to times I’ve never experienced. My particular favorites are those set in countries with vastly different cultures. I not only want to learn about places, but also about different types of people.
What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday?
Every. Single. Day. If I don’t, I feel like I forgot to put pants on for the day.
Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?
My office most often is a café somewhere nearby where people come and go and there’s a pleasant buzz of conversation around me. For some reason, none of that is distracting. But I can write just about anywhere. I keep a notebook with me at all times.
Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision?
I like total quiet when I read, but not when I write. This probably comes from working in a newsroom for so many years. They’re noisy places, with TVs on and people talking and arguing. That’s my normal.
Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?
I’ve tried listening to music but I’ve discovered it influences my writing. Other writers I know always having music playing when they write, with the type of music matching the mood and scene. Just doesn’t work for me.
How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?
When we first moved from California to Idaho, I was struck by the remote places people chose to live. The story for my Wild Crime series came immediately: what would happen if a woman didn’t want to move to such a remote location? What if her husband didn’t want her around anymore? What if she believed her only escape plan was to kill him?
Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?
For mystery/suspense, I think plot has to come first. I start with the murder – the hows and whys – and go from there. The romance comes from the characters as they react to the plot and, of course, each other.
What 3 words describe you, the writer?
Structured, obsessed, happy.
Julie, the Gal
Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!
Hmm…unusual. I don’t know how unusual this is, but I started kindergarten when I was three years old. I was already reading so my parents thought I should get started on math and the rest of it too.
Who was your first love and what age were you?
Chuckie Hutchins in the third grade. He was SO not interested.
If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and….
I think any day when my kids were little – maybe three and four. I loved it when they were that age and every day was so fresh and exciting. Hey, that would mean I’d be in my twenties again too!
Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando?
If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be?
I suppose the hair dryer could go away. I’d just cut my hair a little shorter. It would save so much more time in the morning.
What three words describe you, the person?
Soft-spoken, determined, patient
If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?
I wouldn’t dare sing in public. Trust me, not a good idea.
If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it be, why, and what would you do together?
The kids from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I would love to climb through a wardrobe with them and emerge into a fantasy world.
I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:
I love the Actor’s Studio too!
Favorite sound – Leaves rustling in the autumn
Least favorite sound – Someone leaning on their horn in traffic
Best song ever written – Itsy bitsy spider. Always got a giggle out of my kids when they were little.
Favorite actor and actress – Ralph Fiennes and Maggie Smith
Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) Eleanor Roosevelt, but how could I live up to such a strong woman? She was before her time in standing up for women’s rights and basic human rights.
What turns you on? The simple kindnesses people offer to one another
What turns you off? Casual cruelty
Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “It’s bigger than you think.”
What’s your version of a perfect day?
I wake early and watch the sun rise with my first cup of coffee.
“Crime Times Two”
When divorce is out of the question, can murder be forgiven?
Meredith knows three things: First, the man in the library begged her to help him. Second, he was afraid of his wife. Third, now he’s dead
While the evidence first points to a natural death, Meredith is certain there’s more to discover. People are tight-lipped in this small mountain village, and the man’s wife isn’t talking either. Then a second death occurs, with remarkable similarities. It’s time to talk about murder.
As a slow-burning relationship heats up in her own life, Meredith struggles with concepts of love and hate, belief and suspicion, and absolution and guilt. Nothing is clear cut…
She must decide: Is guilt, like evil, something you can choose to believe in?
Jowls quivered under the man’s weak chin, and Meredith noted the stained and frayed shirt of someone who spent a lot of time alone in dark rooms, sending out a better version of himself into the virtual world. His eyes were anxious and beseeching at her as though she should have a clear understanding of him and his life.
Somehow, over the past hour and a half they’d been sitting next to each other – him playing video games and sharing his life story and her ignoring him the best she could – she had become his confessor and friend.
Meredith gave him what she hoped was an impartial-though-quasi-friendly smile. She reached for her purse and papers and rose from her chair. “Well. Nice talking with you.”
The man was lost in his own train of thought and seemed only slightly aware that Meredith was leaving.
He shook his head, morose.
“To make a long story short,” he summed up, “I think my wife is trying to kill me.”
And as a special treat, Book 1 in the Wild Crime series, Crime and Paradise, is on sale for one more day (through Oct. 18) for 99 cents.
A little more about Julie:
Julie Howard is the author of Wild Crime, a mystery/suspense series. The series follows Meredith Lowe, a young abused woman figuring out her life after her husband moves them to an isolated valley in Idaho. After he is murdered, all the evidence points to her. Then she finds all is not as it seems in this small Idaho town.
The author is a former journalist and editor for a number of publications, including the Las Vegas Review-Journal and The Sacramento Bee. She manages the Boise chapter of Shut Up & Write, is editor of the Potato Soup Journal, and has written a number of short stories.
You can find Julie here:
DRAWING! Julie Howard is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one winner. To enter, comment on this post and then give her Facebook page a Like. I’ll announce the winner on my Facebook page on Monday, Oct. 22. https://www.facebook.com/juliemhowardauthor
Peggy here: Julie, I can’t thank you enough for stopping by and letting me, and everyone else, know a little about you and your books. They sound wonderful and intriguing….as do you!
So it’s no secret I like to read. And cook. I also like to read cookbooks. Hee hee. See what I did there?
I have over 130 cookbooks in my house, some dating back to the early 1900’s – old church-sponsored cookbooks with recipes like Lard Pie and Potato Treacle. Weird, no? Some are from famous celebrities – Trisha Yearwood’s and Rachel Ray’s are my fav – and some from the likes of Betty Crocker, Southern Comfort Magazine, and Weight Watchers.
I’ve read all of them – really. I have my own recipe books with written copies of the recipes I’ve read about impressed into them. I’m always up for a new cookbook gift. (Hint Hint)
I’ve got cookbooks devoted solely to chicken, meat, veggies, pasta, desserts, cookies, pies, hors d’ouveres, appetizers, munchies, smoothies, cupcakes and cakes. I have entertaining cookbooks with complete meal selections in courses from soup to nuts. I’ve got holiday cookbooks galore – of every holiday, not only Thanksgiving and Christmas, but Valentine’s Day, Easter, and even the Fourth of July.
I’ve got cookbooks with the titles “the best of American Cuisine” “The Number one recipes in England” “Fifty way to serve hotdogs”. Hubby loves that one!
I think my cookbook collecting is a little addictive, no?
Hi, my name is Peggy and I collect cookbooks.
Lets see what some of the other authors in this blog challenge collect. MFRWauthorBlogChallenge
Wild Rose Press sistah and fab author Donna Simonetta, is having a book sale. From now until June 8, A SWEETER SPOT will be on sale at the following Venues. If you’re looking for a great read to start your summer, this is a book for you!
Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.
Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff’s world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.
Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?
“Being cheated on is no fun. It happened to me once. Up here,” he tapped his forehead. “You know it’s not your fault. But here,” he tapped his chest over his heart. “You feel like it has to be your fault – like you could’ve done something to prevent it. But you couldn’t have. It’s all on him, Maggie. Not you.”
She picked a dandelion, whose flower had turned into a puffball, and blew on it, scattering the fluff to the wind. “Maybe. Maybe not. But thanks for the support.”
She pushed to her feet and took a couple of steps toward the river. Jeff rose and followed.
How could he be so angry at a man he didn’t even know? How could this Pierce jerk have slept around on a woman like Maggie? And the prick had even made her doubt herself in the process. It was written all over her anguished face.
He stood behind her and gently kneaded her shoulders. He turned her to face him and cupped her face in his big hands.
“This Pierce guy is the biggest fool on earth to go to someone else when he had you at home, Maggie.”
She blinked away tears, and he felt his heart constrict. Before he could think it through and decide it was a really bad idea, Jeff dipped his head and captured Magda’s lips in a gentle kiss.
My career has been a winding road. I worked in the business world for years, got my MLS and worked in a school library, and am now living my dream as an author. I love to read and write contemporary and fantasy romance. I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.
Find Donna Here:
It’s always a pleasure for me when I can host a fellow Wild Rose Press sistah! Today I’ve got C.B. Clark visiting and tell us all about her new romantic suspense, Broken Trust. Have a look-see:
After five years of hell with an abusive husband, Natasha Hartford vows never to trust another man. Then she stumbles onto a murder scene and meets sexy, stubborn Homicide Detective Chase Brandon, a take-no-prisoners tough guy who’ll settle for nothing less than the truth. Sparks fly, but Chase’s suspicions and Natasha’s innate distrust block the way to happiness.
The detective struggles with his own troubled past and is determined to find the truth behind the shadows dimming Natasha’s eyes. As more murders occur and a possible connection to her ex-husband appears, Chase fears her life is in danger.
Natasha and Chase race to find the killer before he strikes again. Their survival depends on their willingness to overcome their mistrust of one another. Will they overcome their fears and find love again?
The thick carpet muted the tapping of her high heels as she fled through the reception area and down the hall to the elevators. In spite of her cowardly retreat, she wanted to shout in triumph. She’d been terrified of angering the surly detective, but she’d dragged up her courage and told him what she thought. Blood buzzed through her veins, fueled by the adrenaline rush. Damn. It was good to have her old fire back.
She glanced down a short corridor on her left and stumbled to a stop. How had she missed the ropes of yellow police tape blocking the entry to one of the rooms? Her breath hitched in her throat. That must be where the grisly crime had occurred.
The shocking truth struck her like a blow—Jonas Waverley was dead. Murdered in cold blood. She staggered and grabbed onto the wall.
“Ms. Hartford, wait.”
She glanced back.
Detective Brandon strode along the corridor toward her, his long legs eating up the distance, a determined expression on his face.
Her earlier spurt of courage vanished, and she whirled and dashed toward the bank of elevators. Chest heaving, heart pounding, she hit the button for the elevator, jabbing it again and again.
“Look, I’m sorry,” he said, catching up. “I was hard on you, but I’m just doing my job. A man was murdered.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “I have to examine every possible lead, question every person of interest.”
She shuddered and stabbed the down button again. Person of interest? Her? She was a person of interest in a murder investigation?
“Can we go somewhere and talk?”
She shot him a look, making it clear what she thought of his suggestion.
He lifted one shoulder. “Maybe we could grab a coffee? I have a few more questions I’d like to ask.”
The elevator pinged, and the doors opened with a hiss, revealing a middle-aged man and an elderly woman who stared at them with vague interest.
Natasha stumbled toward the elevator.
Detective Brandon grabbed her arm, holding her back. “Ms. Hartford, wait.”
Warmth from his large tanned hand seeped through the thin material of her raincoat and raised goose bumps on her arm. “Let me go.” Her voice was shrill with rising hysteria. She tugged, but he held on, his grip tightening.
Broken Trust is award-winning author, C.B. Clark’s fourth romantic suspense novel published by The Wild Rose Press.My Brother’s Sins and Cherished Secrets were released in 2016, and Bitter Legacy in 2017. C.B. has always loved reading, especially romances, but it wasn’t until she lost her voice for a year that she considered writing her own romantic suspense stories. She grew up in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Yukon. Graduating with a degree in Anthropology and Archaeology, she has worked as an archaeologist and an educator. She enjoys hiking, canoeing, and snowshoeing with her husband and dog near her home in the wilderness of central British Columbia.
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