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Thursday, January 28, 2016

LAZY COOK USES SHABBY CHIC

 TRIPPIN' THURSDAY
In everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose...in our latest season, with only a vague plan and a touch of creativity, we're off on another adventure. Half of this twosome is retired; my half will probably never know what that means. I promise to share.
Sunset over the RV Ranch
I've been visiting the same old haunts these last two weeks, zig-zagging between the RV Ranch, Phoenix, Prescott, the farm, back to Prescott, the farm again, and now a stint at the RV Ranch. May gas prices keep dropping! The traffic is awful in Phoenix and the gophers are taking over the farm. You'll have to allow me to continue calling it the farm. We do still have fruit trees. And once this frigid weather is over, I'll plant a veggie or two. It will technically be my home with a garden, but to me it will always be "the farm."

I've decided RVer's like to eat. In the last two weeks, we've had Mexican food night (my contribution was
Mexican Food Night
some tasty but greasy tacos) and a potato/dessert buffet. All my favorite foods. I love potatoes baked in foil on the grill and topped with all kinds of spicy or fattening additions. The desserts were great, too. Below is the recipe for one we had. This is my kind of recipe since I don't bake and typically don't enjoy cooking. This was absolutely delicious with vanilla ice cream.

CROCKPOT APPLE PIE
In the bottom of the crockpot, empty a can of apple pie filling.
On top of the filling, empty a box of spice cake mix.
Plop two sticks of butter on top of that. (no need to cut up or melt)
Cook on high for 2 1/2 hours.

The beginning of my shabby chic dinnerware
My other great find over the last two weeks is the Goodwill Stores. I've always loved second hand stores. Browsing through "other peoples junk", as my husband calls it, amuses me. And you never know what you might find. In the last couple of years, Goodwill has really improved their display and what they sell as far as quality.

I've had a set of white Fiesta dishes for the last couple of years, but I'm down to three plates. Replacing them won't be cheap. Then I had a thought. I'll go shabby chic for the RV. I've accented with purple and green in our traveling home, so that's the color for the dishes. I mentioned this to my mom. Before I could get out shopping, Mom and her friend hit four Goodwill Stores and I now have a real good start on my RV dishware. For $18, I have 8 dinner plates, 10 small plates, 8 saucers, 4 soup bowls, 3 mugs, and 4 glasses. It helped that they were having a half off that day. I have to be on the lookout for some smaller bowls which I'll have fun finding.

Buying used is the ultimate recycling. Finding those deals is a real feel-good experience.

Monday, January 25, 2016

VERONICA'S CANDY HEART by Veronica Lynch



MUSE MONDAY
Veronica Lynch has a new book out and it's one of the Candy Heart books for The Wild Rose Press. Read on to learn more about this enticing book. And be sure to comment to be eligible for the cute tote!
Did you always want to be a writer?  I wanted to be a doctor but my mother told me [this was the late 50's and early 60's] becoming a doctor wasn't something women did. I started writing in nursing school and never stopped.  As a nurse in the Operating Room right out of training I learned real fast that women indeed become physicians and were successful at it. It was too late for me by then.
Tell us about your new Candy Hearts book. As a Vintage Rose story, For Keeps takes place in the late 1980's when victim advocacy came into its prime. While advocates and cops 'hooking up' did happen, it was viewed by both sides of the issue as going over to the dark side. I wanted to show the conflict a professional woman might face with the idea of spending the rest of her life with a man who completes her versus remaining in an thankless occupation which often brings heartache and burnout.
What gave you the idea for the story? Personal experience. There comes a time in the story when the heroine responds to the hotline only to find the hero on the other end. The essence of that conversation [“if I was any better, I'd scare myself”] actually happened. I laughed the rest of the day and still smile when I recall that man's voice. It was a gift in the middle of a very stressful day. I'm sure that poor cop thought I was a raving lunatic. 
How do you normally come up with your characters? From news accounts, either print or electronic. I often receive a newsletter from one of the charities I support, such as Doctors Without Borders, and think, I'm going to do a story about a woman physician with PTSD.
What did you like best about your current hero and heroine in your Candy Hearts book? Keenan Rossi is patterned after a cop I once worked with. He had a great voice, the warmest hands in town and listened to my opinions. I miss him terribly. I like Meg Muldoon because she faced down detractors with grace and dignity. I wish I'd had half her courage back in the day. 
How about a blurb? 
Meghan Muldoon is at a crossroads: struggling to balance the demands of a high stress vocation as an advocate for victims of violence with her feelings for Keenan Rossi, a man who wants to make their relationship permanent.
On Valentine's Day,  a series of routine crises force Meg to question staying in a profession which fulfills her both professionally and spiritually—or devoting the rest of her life to the one person who completes her.
Which one is For Keeps?
CONTEST:  one lucky person who comments on my blog visit will win a small zippered tote fashioned in a Valentine's theme fabric. 

How can readers reach you or find you online?


Friday, January 22, 2016

THE OTHER SIDE by Starr Gardinier

FEARLESS FRIDAY

What a great post I have for you today, written by my guest Starr Gardinier. Love the spooky stuff, but it tugs at your hear too! Read on.

There’s a rumor going around that the paranormal is bogus. What does ‘paranormal’ mean? According to Dictionary.com, it’s an adjective, meaning “of or relating to the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation, as ‘psychokinesis, extrasensory perception, or other purportedly supernatural phenomena.”

Should you fear it? Perhaps, perhaps not. It’s about the not knowing for most of us. We really don’t know what a ‘paranormal’ event is unless and until we’ve experienced something without a ‘scientific explanation.’ So, we tend to fear the unknown.

Unless, you’re in the know…

While “The Other Side: Trent’s Story” is completely fictionalized and over-exaggerated, even for my beliefs, parts have a ring of truth to them. At least I can say that because I’ve experienced a ‘paranormal’ event.
After my mother passed away, I was distraught and, please keep in mind here that I’ve shared this with no one, suicidal. My mother meant the world to me and when I lost her, all I could think about was being back with her. No matter how. I didn’t care if I had to die to be with her again. These feelings went on for months. My depression got out of hand. All I wanted to do, and did every chance I got, was sleep. One afternoon, I laid down and the most extraordinary ‘paranormal’ thing happened.

Before I continue, I need to clarify something. It doesn’t matter if you believe in the paranormal or not. It doesn’t matter if you fear it. What matters here is the fact that if you open your mind, surprising things can happen.

My mother saved my life. No one, and I do mean no one, can convince me that what I’m about to tell you did not happen.

While resting (sleeping…dreaming…hiding in my depression, however you’d like to see it), I was on a shopping trip with a few of my friends and my mother. It was time to go home and I hugged my friends goodbye and turned to my mother. She was wearing all white and seemed to be glowing (I’m not lying here). I rushed into her arms and begged her to come home with me. She hugged me back and told me that she couldn’t. I then begged to go with her, wherever she was. She said no, that it wasn’t my time. I still had things to do here. (Sounds so cliché) I cried, begging for her to let me go with her, but she left without me. I went home and was showing my boyfriend at the time, what I’d purchased. He looked over at my purse and asked, “What’s that?” I looked and just said “Oh, Mom.” There lay a pair of pure white gloves. I feel as if she gave me those as a way of ‘holding my hand.’ When I got up that afternoon, a sense of peace came over me. One I’d never experienced before. I knew without a shadow of a doubt, that my mother had just saved my life. I was no longer suicidal, but beyond happy that I shared that moment with my mother.

Can science explain that? Can you explain that? Was it extrasensory perception? Is it paranormal? It’s unexplainable in our human sense. I know that in one afternoon, my life completely made sense. My mother said I wasn’t done here. I made peace with my mother’s death. She was only physically gone. She was, and will always be, in my heart.

Am I fearless of the paranormal? Yes. I don’t fear it, but I certainly have quite the respect for it. My experience, fortunately, was a great one. Good things can happen, but so can the bad. We are all sensitive. What separates us is some refuse to believe while others are open to the world of the unknown; that which science cannot explain.

So, today, on this Fearless Friday, tell me your fear relating to the paranormal. Then read “The Other Side: Trent’s Story” and tell me how over-exaggerated it is. Completely fictionalized, but with just a hint of truth.
I would love to hear your story, if you have one.


A paralegal by day, Starr Gardinier is an author by night. Apart from being an award winning author for her short story “Cut,” Starr has appeared in a blaze and made her mark on the literary world with her Ivanovich series and now her Other Side series.

Having studied and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Literature/Creative Writing, she has found her unique style and is known for her works' distinctive voice, making every character stand out.
She’s the founder and owner of Editing by Starr.

Starr is a member of International Thriller Writers (ITW) and of Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles Chapter and nationally.

Please see more on her editing service at www.editing.queenwriter.com, read more about her at www.QueenWriter.com, and/or visit her blog at www.qw-blog.blogspot.com.

AVAILABLE JANUARY 22, 2016

Melinda James is finally out of Skyview Haven—an asylum where she was confined for years—and is living her life, free at last. However, things are not going as planned; harassed by unexplained paranormal experiences, she doesn’t feel safe in her own home. And when she turns to her best friend Trent for help and support, she is surprised to find her feelings for him have grown far beyond a simple friendship.

Trent Miller isn’t prepared to fight evil, but he will do whatever it takes to save Melinda from an evil entity that is seeking revenge for past events. Armed with knowledge gleaned from television shows, a team of paranormal investigators, and the prayers of family and friends, he is ready to face anything.

The question is, does he tell her about his feelings for her before or after he fights a battle with evil for Melinda’s very soul?

Buy Links:

http://amzn.to/1OtIOgv                     
http://bit.ly/1R9xVTG