Tag Archives: Romance

#99centsale; Escape from Behruz

One of my Wild Rose Press sistahs is having a book sale! For a limited time ESCAPE FROM BEHRUZ by Judy Meadows is available for just 99 cents.

Rashid will help Olivia and the baby she’s been caring for escape the violence in Behruz, but he must guard his heart. He can’t risk being hurt by her again. Olivia has her own reasons for keeping her distance from Rashid. If Rashid learns that the baby is actually hers—and his—the sultan of Behruz will make sure she loses everything that matters to her. Their escape involves traveling with a group of nomads across the mountains into Iran. As they trek together by day and sleep beside each other in a nomad tent at night, the attraction that has always drawn them to each other grows ever stronger, Can Olivia survive the trip without revealing her secrets and without losing her heart to Rashid once again?

On sale now for just 99cents.

Amazon // Wild Rose Press

A little about Judy:

Judy grew up and went to college in Minnesota. She and her husband Jim now live in a small town in Oregon. When not writing (well, she’s nearly always writing), she likes to read, travel, swim, garden, and spend time with her grandchildren.

Judy’s first career was designing computer software. Since retiring from that field, she’s worked as a childbirth educator, doula, and now, writer.

Published under the name, Judy Gabriel, a non-fiction book: Touching Bellies, Touching Lives, Midwives of Southern Mexico Tell Their Stories

YOu can find Judy here:

Website // Facebook 

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2 weeks….

As promised previously, to ramp up interest for my Lyrical Shine 10.3.17 release of A SHOT AT LOVE, I’m posting little excerpts from the book. The last time you got to see Gemma for the first time through Ky’s eyes. Today, Gemma gives you a little glimpse of the FBI agent who pisses her off and turns her on at the same time.

Enjoy!

Gemma paced the small room for the hundredth time, her arms folded across her chest, desperately wanting to hit something.

No, not something. Someone. Agent Pappa-pain, or whatever the heck his name was.

For over two hours she’d been confined to this cramped, windowless, and drab room. During the first, she’d written, in full detail, everything she’d witnessed on the street corner. Agent Winters had guided her through the questions while she wrote the answers in her smooth, precise script. When they were finished, he’d left her, promising to return shortly.

            His definition of shortly was exceedingly different from hers.

With a heavy sigh, she plopped back down into a metal chair, arms still crossed.                        Agent Moron. Reconsidering, she added, a hunky moron, but one none-the-less.

Reconsidering, she added, a hunky moron, but one none-the-less.

She’d been speaking on the phone when she’d turned and seen him approaching her. Her first thought had been serious eye candy. Clad in a supremely well-fitted dark blue suit, he simply tore up the pavement on his way to her, those long legs striding with purpose and determination in each step. His face was a contradiction in origins. Deep, milk chocolate colored hair, cut just a bit too short for her liking, had soft, gold flecks framing his temples and the top of his head. His skin was a light golden brown, giving the impression he spent a great deal of time in the sun. Eyes the color of the sea at sunrise, so light green, they almost appeared crystal with the sun hitting them, were surrounded by jet-black eyelashes Gemma admitted she was jealous of. His face was angular, the jaw tapering into a rock solid V at its tip, a small crevice winking out right below his lower lip.

All-in-all it was a face she wanted to photograph, knowing just the way she’d capture it. The fact he’d yanked her along after him like an errant child got her dander up. Coupled with the way he’d carelessly held her camera made her want to kick some sense into him.

God, what a day.

PreOrder Links: Amazon //Apple //Google // Kobo // Nook

When I’m not trying to sell my soul in the weight of books (!) you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

 

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10.3.17…..#ComingSoon

MY newest Trailer for A SHOT AT LOVE, releasing into the book reading world on 10.3.17

Buy links:

Amazon // B&N // Kobo //Apple i-books // Google

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So, this happened today….

It’s for an – as yet – uncontracted new Romance Series I’m writing. Book one is the finalist!!! in 2014 I was a finalist in this contest also. Back then it was for a little, unpublished book titled COOKING WITH KANDY. And we all know how that story ended…..

When I’m not entering contests or writing romance you can find me here:

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#Sisters…the gift that keeps on giving

I’ve mentioned many times that I’m an only child. And that I hated being one. Still do. I think the reason I write about big families with multiple siblings is because that’s what I wanted when I was younger….still do! I love writing about sisters, especially. Older and younger sisters. I haven’t written twin sisters yet, but I intend to. I just need to do some research first.

Anyway…

Sisters. In my WILL COOK FOR LOVE series, there are 7 Laine sisters. Kandy is the oldest, Eleanor the youngest. Their parent’s volatile divorce left each of them scarred in different ways, and, like with anyone, some of the sisters are closer to one another than others. It’s that way for Kandy and Gemma, who is 3 years younger than Kandy. In the first book COOKING WITH KANDY, Gemma is her older sisters’ principal photographer. She does all of Kandy’s publicity shots and has photographed all her best-selling award-winning cookbooks. Gemma is a true visionary in her own right, and in book 2  A SHOT AT LOVE, we see her evolution since Kandy’s show ended.

Today I want to give you a little glimpse at their dynamic. From COOKING WITH KANDY, here’s a snippet of how the sisters react to one another.

“What’s going on with you and the hunk?” Gemma asked as she helped Kandy carry the leftover cake back into the kitchen.

“What are you talking about?”

“The two of you have been walking around each other on eggshells all day. I noticed it the second I got here. What happened?”

“Why do you think anything’s happened?”

“Stop answering me with questions, Kandace Sophia, and tell me what’s going on. I know you like I know the lighting stops on my camera. Have the two of you slept together?”

No.” The explosion echoed in the kitchen. “For goodness’ sake, Gem, what do you take me for?”

She shot her sister a cool, smug smirk. “A fool if you haven’t. I’d fall into bed with him in a heartbeat if he asked me.” When her sister’s mouth fell open, Gemma added, “Don’t be mad at me for the truth.”

She took Kandy’s hand in hers and rubbed it. The sisterly show of affection made Kandy sigh. “I’m not mad at you.”

“Then tell me. What’s going on with you two?”

Kandy sat on a breakfast barstool and rested her hands on the counter. “I don’t know.” A second later she added, “No, that’s not true. I think I know, but I’m not sure.”

When she sighed again, Gemma took a seat next to her. “Tell me.”

Kandy looked into her sister’s eyes, identical in every way to her own and saw concern wash through them.

With a great deal of reluctance, she related the scene in the kitchen the night before. Supreme embarrassment prevented her from telling Gemma what had transpired in the garage earlier.

“I’ve never acted like that before,” she said, dropping her head into her hands. “So needy, so totally off the wall sexually. It was scary.”

“It sounds exciting as all get out.”

Kandy shook her head and gave her sister a small smile. “Beyond exciting. I can’t describe how good it felt to be kissed like that. I can’t believe it was me.” She threw her head down into her hands again.

“It’s about damn time,” Gemma said, yanking her sister up by her hair, her gaze slicing into her. “All you do is work. You never have any fun, Kan.”

“Cooking is fun for me.”

“Yeah, well, we all know you’re not normal.”

“That’s mean.”

“No, it’s the truth. I can’t imagine a better diversion for you than having a hot, torrid, sexfest with this guy. It’s absolutely perfect. Go for it.”

“Gemma, I can’t have an affair with him.”

“Why not?”

“Well, for one thing, he doesn’t want me.”

Gemma’s eyes widened, making her brow groove in disbelief. “I don’t believe it for a second. I saw the way he looked at you in your office the other day. There was enough longing in his eyes to comfort a small, underdeveloped nation.”

“Then why is he the one who keeps pulling the plug every time we get in a clutch?”

Gemma shrugged. “Some weird sense of duty, maybe?”

“Right.” She shot a finger at her. “He keeps telling me I’m a client. That’s all I am to him, Gem. A job.”

Kandy’s heart ached when she said the words out loud. Admitting them to herself was one thing. Telling them to her sister, giving a real voice to them, was quite another. And it hurt.

It hurt like hell.

“Did he kiss you back?” Gemma asked.

Oh, baby, did he ever! “Yes.”

“Peck-on-the-cheek kiss, or I’ll-die-if-I don’t-wrap-myself-around-your-tonsils kiss?”

Kandy snorted. “The latter.”

“There you go.” She sat back, a smug smile wiggling across her mouth. “What more proof do you need? The guy wants you, Kan. I say go for it with all you’ve got. Enjoy the heck out of him.”

“And then what?”

“What do you mean?”

“What happens next? When this whole thing is over and he leaves? What am I supposed to do then, Gemma? Just go on as if it never happened?”

Gemma shrugged and rose. She opened the refrigerator and took out a pitcher of ice tea. “I don’t know. Why think about it now?”

“Because I think I may be falling in love with him.”

Gemma stopped pouring midstream and leveled a frown at her sister. “You can’t be serious.”

“I am. I’ve never felt like this about a guy before. It’s more than just the physical attraction. I like being with him, having him around. When we went out to dinner last night, for the first time in a really long time I was relaxed and comfortable. I can talk about anything with him. He listens. He hears and understands. I get a safe and warm feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I think about him. I can see the two of us together, sitting in the kitchen, drinking coffee, discussing the kids. I’ve never let myself think about children and carpools and starring in my own happily-ever-after before. Never. It’s never been an option for me.”

Gemma cocked her head. “Because of Daddy and what he did?”

Kandy nodded. “I don’t want to love someone as much as Mom did and then have it all turn to crap. I’ve done everything I could to protect myself from ever being that vulnerable.”

Gemma’s sigh was forceful. “And you all say I’m the one who’s screwed up the most in this family.”

“Gem, no one says that. Truthfully.”

“But you all think it. I know you do.”

The sisters stared at each other for a moment.

“Look.” Kandy finally broke the silence. “I don’t know what do to about this, how to handle it. Whenever we’re in the same room, all I want to do is have him hold me. When he’s not around, I’m thinking about him.” She told Gemma how he’d left her for an hour after the rat incident. “All my mind could focus on was how long it was taking him to get back.”

Gemma sat next to her sister and took her hand. “You sound like you’re in love with him already, no maybes about it.”

Kandy swallowed.

“Can’t you ever do anything halfhearted?” Gemma said, a lopsided grin tripping over her face.

“What?”

“Why’d you go and fall in love with the guy?”

“It’s not like I could help it. Don’t you remember what Grandpa used to tell us?”

Brow furrowing, she answered, “The thing about lightning?”

“Yeah. One day you’re walking along without a care in the world, and then bang, like lightning, you get struck through the heart for good.”

Gemma’s grin grew. “Grandma used to get all teary-eyed when he’d say that.”

“Because it’s what happened to him the day he met her.”

“And you feel this way about Josh?”

Her head moved up and down, slowly, a few times. “Believe me, if I could have prevented it, I would have. I don’t need this right now in my life, you know I don’t.”

On a sigh she said, “Yeah. I do.” Gemma took a sip of her tea. “So, what are you going to do? Pursue it and get your heart potentially stomped on, or let it go and wonder what could have been?”

“Oh, don’t be so melodramatic,” Kandy said. “This isn’t some Jane Austen novel. I have more choices than just those two.”

“Like what? Aside from using him for sex or marrying the guy, I don’t see a lot of options looming on the horizon.”

Kandy shook her head and hugged her sister. “You’re an idiot. I love you dearly, but you’re an idiot.”

BUY LINKS: Amazon // B&N // Kobo // Apple i-books // Google 

 

I just lovelovelove sister interaction!! Tomorrow I’ll be giving you a little glimpse of book 2, A SHOT AT LOVE, and how Kandy helps Gemma out when our fearless and opinionated photographer’s life is turned upside down.

When I’m not writing, you can usually find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

 

 

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2027…

Because I have a scientific background, I’m a planner. That’s why I classify myself as a plotter for writing. But I digress….

I plan. For everything, Disasters, worst case scenarios, major illnesses, disease, pestilence, and plague. I have enough non-perishable food to last through the next zombie apocalypse, and if we get hit with a nucelar warhead, we’ll have clean water to drink..and douse ourselves in (!) So it’s no secret I’ve got a plan for the next ten years of my career.

Originally, when I started writing full time in 2015, I had a 5 year plan. I exceeded all the goals on that plan by 2017, so I broadened and increased it to 10 more years at the beginning of 2017.

Here are a few things on that new career plan:

Get an agent

Have at least 1 NYTimes and USA Bestseller, if not more.

Have a movie made out of one of my books – a good movie, at that, None of this wrecking the story by putting it on film crap!

Have at least 2 books per year, if not 3, published every year

Make enough money to hire a personal assistant who will do all my web media. ( since you all know how much I hatehatehate self marketing!)

Win a RITA ( or 2)

There are more things, but I didn’t feel I needed to share everything.

So…check back in 2027. Until then, I’ll be working on my plan.

Check out the other authors in this blog challenge and see where they see themselves in 10 years. This should be fun!’


12.

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#RWA17…the reason I go every year

So, of course, the one thing I haven’t mentioned yet, are the Workshops I took at RWA 17. Between coloring, fangirling, attending the book giveaway signings, I did – actually – sit in on a f ew lectures and learn some things.

IF you have never had the opportunity to hear Damon Suede speak, I pity you. First, his voice is like a warm blanket thrown over your body on a cold day. Warm, rich, soothing. Second, he is a wealth of amazeballs information about character development, what makes people-characters tick, and what their motivations/conflicts/individual characteristics should be. Damon comes from a theater ( and life!) background and really helps you get into your character’s mind set, feelings, and persona just as if you were portraying them on a stage. I’ve already listened to his 2 hour workshop twice since I’ve been home because I purchased the flash drive of the conference classes. Each time I’ve heard something new and fresh I will be using in my next books!

Three uber talented and mega published romance authors, RaeAnne Thayne, Jill Shalvis, and Sarah Morgan gave a workshop on Contemporary romance in today’s marketplace.

They each have very different writing styles and ways of telling a story, but they also know their market. Thier stories are character and situational driven, and they bring into each one a perfect little snapshot of the contemporary age, without isolating themselves to this moment in time. Case in point: you can read one of their books from five years ago and even though things have changed in the tech world and the world in general, the stories told are still relevant and topical to today. That was my takeaway from this talk. Write the here and now, since I write contemp/romance, but make it relevant for the future as well. It’s all in the characters and how they are motivated towards their HEA. Love these three authors!

 

Another workshop with a trio of amazeballs and prolific writers, was one titled Fifty Shade of Funny with writes Jennifer Probst, Lauren Layne and Rachel Van Dyken. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture while I was in this workshop because I was fangirling like a two year old over Jennifer and Lauren and forgot!!!! I di remember their takes on what constitutes “funny” in a romance novel was very insightful, though, so that’s something ( heehee).

My absolute favorite workshop was the last one of the conference: The Neuroscience of high-impact Love scenes, presented by the amazingly brilliant, funny, and speedy-talker, Emily Foster. I wasn’t able to hear her speak when I was at the NECRW conference earlier this year because she was presenting at the same time I was, so when I saw her name listed on the RWA17 conference sheet for presenters, I knew I just had to attend her lecture. And, yowza, am I glad I did.

  

As a nurse I figure I have a pretty good idea of how the human body and the mind work. Yeah…not so much in reality. Emily gave me a completely different spin – a neuroscientific one – about how the body responds to desire and arousal, and how the mind is the major player in the difference, not the body’s reactions. Blew. My. Mind!!! Again, I played this lecture back once so far – but plan on listening to it, again and again, to make sure I get the character’s reactions to all things sex, correct!

These weren’t the only lectures I attended, but they were the highlights. There was sososososo much to do, sear, and hear at the conference I had to pick and choose wisely. Another reason I am so glad I purchased the conference recordings. I missed a bunch of really fabulous workshops and presentations because I needed to be elsewhere at the same time. Best $$$$ I’ve spent in a while, too.

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Cooking and Baking…the secret to happiness, one loaf at a time!

So, in my non-writing life, I love to cook and bake.  And I love to eat what I cook and bake. So much so, that I should be on that show My 600 pound life. Luckily, I’m not because, you know…exercise!

When I was dreaming about my current series WILL COOK FOR LOVE, I knew I wanted to incorporate some of the cooking and baking knowledge I’ve gleaned over the years into the books, so each book has specific recipes targeted for that story. In COOKING WITH KANDY, I added some baked goods and even made a recipe card for reader swag for Grandma Sophie’s Banana Walnut muffins. For my October 3 release, A SHOT AT LOVE, there’s a scene in the book concerning french toast, so I made another recipe card for swag for that.  To make sure the recipes hold up for the reader, I made a batch of Challah french toast this past weekend to ensure it did.

On Thursday, I made the bread. These are pictures I took to document the bread baking cycle. Start with the dough, cover it and let it rise for three hours until it doubles:

           

Then, divide the dough in half, slice into 6 ropes and braid it to make 2 loaves. Let it sit for another hour.

    

Cover with an egg wash, and bake:

    

Now I had my bread for the french toast, but I had to let it get a little stale. 2-3 day old fresh bread gone stale  is best for french toast. Sunday morning I made the actual breakfast.

     

I took pictures and made a new swag recipe card that I’ll be giving out at RWA this year when I do the Kensington Book Signing.

For those of you not going to RWA, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients to make the Challah

  • 1 1/8 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 Tbs dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten, plus 1 whole egg for glazing
  • 1/2 Tbs salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water with 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Beat well and let set for 10 min., until it’s frothy and bubbly.
  2. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Then add the salt, sugar, and oil and beat again. Add the frothy yeast mixture and beat well. Now add the flour gradually, cup at a time, and just enough to make a soft dough that holds together, mixing well. Turn out onto a bread board and knead for about 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic, adding flour if the dough is too sticky.
  3. Pour a little oil in the bowl and turn the dough around the bowl, so that it is greased all over.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place to rise for 3 hours, or until it has doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down and knead again, then divide into 2 pieces to make 2 loaves. Divide each into 3 long strips to make 2 bread braids.
  5. Braid challah into desired shape and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow them to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  6. Brush the tops with the beaten egg.
  7. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 25-30 minutes or until the loaves are golden-brown. They are done if they sound like a hollow drum when you tap the bottoms.

To make the French toast:

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon, nutmeg, apple pie spice

3 tablespoon brown sugar

butter, syrup, confectioner’s sugar to taste

Directions: You need a griddle for this or a cast iron frying pan

Heat griddle to medium heat, grease top.

Beat the eggs, add the milk and vanilla. Mix well. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, apple pie spice and brown sugar.

Mix very well. Cut the Challah into 2-inch widths. Dip each piece in the above mix to completely coat- do not saturate!

Place each piece on the griddle and cook on each side 1-2 minutes, until each side is golden brown. Serve hot and add your own butter, maple syrup , and confectioner’s sugar to taste.

Book One in the WILL COOK FOR LOVE SERIES is out now. COOKING WITH KANDY:

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .

 

My 3 favorite things: cooking, baking, writing. Oh, and eating. I need to include that, too, so 4!

When I’m not doing any of the above 4, you can find me here:

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Thoughts and ramblings….

Sometimes I seriously wonder why God put the desire to write inside my heart. Some days, like today, I question the logic of what I’m trying to accomplish with writing.

Is it a test, to see if I can be dedicated to an end product?

Is it supposed to get me motivated to live a better life? Be a better person? Practice better faith?

Should I be feeling frustrated, incompetent, and inadequate? Are these emotions necessary for me to experience in order to get to the finish line, literally, and write the end?

Or is it all about the journey, the roadmap, the ups and downs that will eventually get me there?

Whatever the reason I have the desire to write ingrained in my soul, there are days like today, when the words won’t come, the dialogue is cliched, and the syntax is unrecognizable as English, that I question WHY.

Why am I doing this to myself?

Why am I making myself crazy and heart-sick?

Why am I wasting my time chasing a dream to commercial success that appears all but delusional from my perspective?

Just at that moment I’m ready to chuck my laptop out the window I remember the real reason I write. It’s not for commercial success. It’s not because I like seeing my name emblazoned across a book jacket ( although that is nice!). It’s not because I’m so conceited  I want to jump up and scream “Look at me! I can write” just for the attention.

No. I write because all these stories swimming around in my head are begging to be set free. I write because I love to. I simply, uncategorically, love to. There is nothing else in the world that gives me such joy and pleasure as penning a perfect line of dialogue or a description that gets heads nodding in recognition when they read it.

So. Please excuse my subtle rant. I’m off to write now.

While I’m writing, you can find me here if you need me : Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

 

 

 

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The Art of Packing (for a Conference)

I tend to be spoiled. Yeah, I know: shocker. For someone who spends 94 % of her day in her pajamas with her hair in a messy bun and no makeup, you kinda doubt that. But it’s true.

And it’s never so true as when I’m packing for a trip away from home.

You all know how much I love my home. I rarely leave it – and I know, I just know, that sounds weird, but it’s for no other reason than I love to just sit and read or write during the day and all my friends still work at outside-the-home-jobs. I just happen to work inside my home.

Anyway…back to packing. Because I’m home all the time I have everything I need and want surrounding me, so it stands to reason when I go somewhere for a day or two or seven, I take all the stuff I love with me.

Yeah. I’m that girl.

The one who packs more toiletries than clothes, more shoes than underwear, more accessories and makeup than will be needed, just because I want to make sure I have everything, everything, I could possibly need.

For my very first RT conference next week, I’ve just started packing and already I’m having anxiety sweats. Not only do I need to bring enough clothes for 7 full days – and probably 2 clothes changes per day because of themed parties in the evening – since this is a reader’s conference basically, I need to bring swag. A lot of swag. More swag than I’ve ever traveled with before where I had to actually get it all on the plane.

Plus, I’m doing an independent book signing on Sunday so I have to bring copies of my Wild Rose Press book(s). On the plane. In luggage. Luggage the airlines now weigh and charge you for.

See my dilemma?

How can I possibly bring all that swag PLUS the necessary stuff I absolutely need like my makeup, toiletries, clothes, shoes, laptop, electronics, etc? I’m traveling alone, no hubby wingman to help, so that means I not only have to pack all that stuff, I then have to schlepp it through parking lots and airports all by myself and keep track of it. ( Did I mention that I’m really spoiled?)

Arghghgh. Well, back to the problem, I mean, packing. Wish me luck.

When I’m not packing you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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