Sunday, May 29, 2016

Guest Post with Chrys Fey with a Giveaway

I am happy to host Chrys Fey on my blog today whose blog is Write With Fey. She is current doing a blog tour for her latest book Seismic Crimes.  Her guest post is below, but I wanted to give a brief review of her book here on my blog.

Seismic Crimes is actually the second book in her disaster crimes series. The first one is called Hurricane Crimes.  I read that one shortly before Seismic Crimes and was disappointed that it was a relatively short book (more the length of a long short story). I wanted to read more about the main characters in the book, Beth and Donovan.

Beth and Donovan meet during a hurricane in Florida.  The town she lives is is recommended to evacuate, but for a variety of reasons she is not able to. She prepares her house for the approaching hurricane in hopes to try to weather the storm when she looks outside and sees a car careening down the street and it hits into a tree. Concerned, she goes to see if she can offer help and meets Donovan, who she aids in his injuries and has him come into her house. She sees that he is wanted for the murder of his brother, but after he tells is side of the story, she starts to believe he is not the murderer the press is making him out to believe.

That story ends with them being able to find and kill one of his brother's murderers but the second one is still on the loose.

Seismic Crimes begins where basically Hurricane Crimes ends. It gives a little background in case one didn't read the first book in the series. Donovan is on a mission to find the second killer of his brother, and Beth is on a mission to be with him, them having fallen in love over the short course of the first book. Their search for the killer finds them in San Francisco, where in the midst of the search a terrible devastating earthquake occurs. Won't spoil the rest of the book but basically all ends well, except for an ominous phone call Beth gets at the very end of the book.

My take, I liked both books; I enjoyed that Seismic Crimes was longer and went into more character description; got to know Donovan and Beth more in the second book. Chrys writes very descriptively and I felt I was there during the earthquake with the ground shaking. I would definitely recommend both books. They are romance based books and I will give the caveat that there are some lovemaking scenes in the book.  I look forward to wherever the series goes next in Chrys' writings with disaster and will definitely read what is next to keep up with the doings of Beth and Donovan.

And without further ado, please welcome Chrys to my blog and enjoy her recipe shared here, the excerpt from her book, and enter the giveaway she is hosting.



Snow Ball Cookie Recipe + Seismic Crimes Excerpt


Snow Ball Cookies

Need:
1 Cup Soft Butter
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Water
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 ¼ Cup Flour
½ Cup Chopped Pecans

Steps:
1. Combine all wet ingredients with the sugar.
2. Add flour and pecans. Mix Well.
3. Form 1-inch big balls and place on a cookie sheet. Note: Dough is thick.
4, Bake for 10-15 minutes at 325 degrees.
5. Cool then roll in powdered sugar.


EXCERPT:

Warmth spread through him as he watched Beth exchange hugs with them.

“Oh, Beth, we’re so happy you came,” his mom said. “I brought cookies. They’re in the car.”
“I can never pass up cookies,” Beth said.

In the backseat of his mom’s van, she cracked open a red and gold tin canister. The aroma of the snowball cookies Donovan grew up eating wafted out and touched his nose. Beth selected a cookie on top, bit into it, and let out a content moan. “These cookies are delicious.”

“I’ll have to give you the recipe. They’re easy to make,” his mom said.

“That would be great. Thank you.”

Grandma turned in her seat and held out a thermos.

“Don’t forget the hot chocolate. It’s the real stuff, too, none of that instant crap from a package.”

Donovan took the thermos, unscrewed the cap, and gave it to Beth. She took a sip.

“Wow. Can I take the two of you home with me?”

Laughter filled the van.

Seeing Beth getting along so well with the two other women he loved brought up a surge of emotions he couldn’t tamp down. Didn’t want to tamp down. As it consumed him, he had the urge to show her how much she meant to him. And he didn’t care who saw it either.

Title: Seismic Crimes
Author: Chrys Fey
Series: Disaster Crimes Series (Book Two)
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Format: Digital and Print
Page Count: 282


DIGITAL LINKS:

PRINT LINKS:

BLURB:

An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.

Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.

When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?


HURRICANE CRIMES 99¢ SALE!


DIGITAL LINKS:
Amazon CA / NOOK / KOBO 





GIVEAWAY: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 26, 2016

They fascinate me

I don't think this post will make much sense or come to any conclusions, but they do fascinate me. 

Who are "they?"  My across the street neighbors.

Little background.  Since I work at home and glued to the computer screen for 8 hours, hubby "insists" that I have at least a window to look outside of instead of just looking at 4 bare walls.  Every house we looked at we would consider where I would set up my work station which is just basically a computer desk with a computer on it; not too much needed.

It got so bad that our realtor would look at houses and herself comment where I would work and some houses were eliminated because there just wasn't a good work area for me.

I hit the jackpot here.  The way the rooms are lined up (yes I still need to take pictures), the front room actually is the best room for my work station and printer, file cabinet, etc., so we call in the "office room." (Brilliant name for it, don't you think?)

My work station faces right out the front window so I see all the gatherings of the house across the street and a little to the house left of them, my right, and I know things about that house, but I'll save that for another day.  

The people across the street are a Hispanic family (nothing against them, just for reference sake). I think there may be 3 generations living there, mom/dad, daughter and daughter's daughter. That's what I've put together with who leaves together and comes back together. Daughter's daughter is school age, I'm thinking 4th/5th grade.

The menfolk are gardeners.  When I say menfolk, I mean there are other men that don't live there, but show up in the mornings and gather things together and start out on their day's work. They start showing up at about 6:15 a.m. and oftentimes don't come back until after 6:30 p.m. I figure they must have a business and everyone works for the business and group at this house to get equipment, ride together, etc. They are masterful in parking their cars/trucks of the workers in the driveway or under their carports and then have things moved around by the end of the day in order to go home.

You might think I'm spying on them, and really I'm not (maybe just a little) but I'm on the computer that early because hubby leaves for work around 6:30 a.m.  I don't start my workday until 9:30 a.m. and finish up at 6 p.m.  

Throughout the day I see the comings and goings of the ladyfolk (I don't think that's a word, spell checker doesn't like it). The older lady there goes to work about 6:40 a.m. and comes home around 2:20 p.m.  She is wearing a shirt, slacks, and an apron. The daughter comes and goes at erratic schedules and I think last week she was going on job interviews because I saw her more dressed up than normal for a few days. The younger daughter (or her daughter, like I said, I'm still trying to piece this together) leaves for school around 7:15 and gets home varying times as the schedule changes throughout the week. Rarely will she walk to school but I've seen her walk home a couple of times.

The menfolk are hard workers. They oftentimes work Saturdays and sometimes Sundays. They have the only green grass on our block and water it daily (and cut it weekly). They also have a pool in their backyard (I saw the pool cleaning guy come by a few times). 

Do you think I'm stalking them? Honestly I'm not. Its just I'm "chained" to the computer for that work schedule and the window happens to just be right by my work station. Only thing we did wrong. My monitor is right smack in the middle of the view across the way so sometimes I have to lean to the right or the left as I check them out. 

Okay, so maybe I am a bit stalking them. 

And again, they fascinate me.

For whatever reason, I don't know.

Maybe its because I'm stuck to the computer desk 8 hours out of a day with just a front window to give me a little diversion.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

that moment

when you know you bonded with your grandchild




He still looks like a lot of newborn babies so I'll post his picture. When he starts becoming more distinct looking, I'll stop.

The young family have been coming over pretty much every weekend since we moved down here for dinner Sunday nights. A few weeks ago daughter in law went back to work and it created a gap in their schedules on Saturday when son had to be at work and daughter in law was still working so I offered to cover that gap (a few hours). 

We're getting to know each other, little one and me. I'm recognizing his cries, attention versus hungry versus tired. 

This past Saturday afternoon I put him in his swing for a bit and I was cooing and smiling, he was cooing and smiling back and it hit me "we have bonded." He is comfortable in my arms, I am comfortable with him in my arms. 

I knew we didn't have to be down here at the moment of his birth, but I knew for us to have a close relationship we needed to be down here by the time he was three or four months old. We moved when he was 6 weeks old; he recently turned 3 months old a few days ago.

I never thought I would be a grandparent. I know some people look forward eagerly to that day. I know a couple that was at the baby's shower that every other word to their adult daughter was basically "when are you going to have a child so we can be grandparents."

I never "pressured" son to have a child. In fact I went the other way. He would have friends that had children and I would say "you still have plenty of time." I figured it would happen after he was 30 years old. He turned 27 in March.

I am sorry that there are those that want to be grandparents and things turned out differently than they expected or they are still waiting for that day. I hope that day does happen down the road. 

Its an incredible type of joy. 

I started praying for him after I knew he was on his way and before I knew he was a "he". I prayed for a healthy baby, a safe delivery. Now for his health and also that he would come to know Jesus as a young one and be used mightily for God and his kingdom. In the Bible, John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit even before his birth. That was my prayer too. Not sure if it was answered, but it was prayed.

He is healthy. He is doing things at an advanced age. He is loved. He is well cared for. 

I started telling him about Jesus the other day. It is my intent to continue to do so all the days I am able to do so.

Jesus loves all the little children.

Jesus loves this little guy.

Just like I love this little guy.....

but he loves him so much more

if that is even imaginable

but it is.......

Thursday, May 12, 2016

maybe

......its a bit of laziness

or .......a let down after the A/Z challenge

........or this or that

but I have brilliant blog posts written in my head

but I just don't seem to have the motivation to write them down or to put pictures up regarding them

Life is going on and we are settling in.  We listed projects in priority to get them done and the last major one starts tomorrow. Then I'll probably do a before and after post with what we've been working on and include pictures of the house.  

I'm all unpacked, but then I didn't have much to unpack. Hubby has one more box to unpack in his music room and then he'll start organizing it and probably get rid of at least 30% of stuff he's been hauling around unopened for the past 15 months. 

Garage still needs to be unpacked but that's not my domain :)

Highlight of my week was reconnecting with an old friend (not in age on her part) from Montana.  There may be one or two of you still reading my blog that remember my stories about her, but I got to see her second baby born and then a few years later she came to visit us while we were still in Southern California and then a few years later I wrote when she was pregnant and lost her daughter at 26 weeks gestation.

We lost touch for a bit because of her busyness now raising five boys and the distance that separated us. We continued as Facebook friends.  She messaged me a month ago saying she and her hubby would be in town for a few days for business and a little mini getaway and wanted to get together for dinner. We met up last Saturday night at the same restaurant we held son's and daughter in law's wedding dinner back in October. Son couldn't make it because of his work schedule but daughter in law, the baby, and her daughter came along with us.  Walking into the restaurant, a sob escaped me. Ten years later since we were so close and so many tragedies and heartaches since then, but seeing her lovely smile.......precious........ We had a lovely dinner and catch up time and then she and her hubby came over the next day for dinner when son could also be there.  They have some tough decisions to make over the next few months; I am sure they will make the best ones seeking God's guidance.

It was very neat to see her.......

and just maybe one day soon I'll be motivated to actually put down on paper the posts running through my head....

until then, enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't

This is a post about Craigslist and listing free stuff on it. Before I begin, yes I know the dangers of Craigslist and I take a lot of precautions before I post anything on it for free.  I never let the people coming to pick up things inside the house, keep my cell phone handy when they are coming by, and I always let hubby know when someone is coming by, their phone number, name, etc., and text him afterwards.  There are certainly dangers with doing business on it, but there are certainly benefits too.

Sometimes it works to post things on there; sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes people say they will be there and never show up, etc.

Craigslist worked with getting rid of the old wood from a fence we had taken down and a new brick one constructed (that is a story for another day, a lesson in patience).  I advertised it at 6:30 a.m. on Craigslist, within a half an hour I had 5 people interested. I always start with first and then move my way down the list. The first guy said he would be there around 9:30 to pick up the wood. This just represents a fraction of the wood he took. I said in my post they had to take all and he took all. Took him and his friend about an hour to load it in their trailer.



This didn't work. These are two sleeping pads that you would put under your sleeping bag while camping. We bought them when we were going to be without a bed for a bit in a move and thought it might help not have the floor be so hard.  We barely used them, maybe 10 times top. We moved them a lot though and finally hubby was ready to part with them. 

I had 25 people interested in them when I posted them on Craigslist but I could never connect with the people low on the list and after two days I was done; deleted the post and eventually just donated them to Goodwill.



The moving boxes was a success.  We had LOTS OF moving boxes and packing paper.




I would say close to 50 boxes represented here. Hubby still has about 10 boxes to unpack.  

I bound the boxes together except for the big wardrobe and odd sizes.



We had 3 boxes of packing paper. I think the movers kill several trees when they pack your stuff.

We were storing things in the extra bedroom but now it was time to get that a bit more organized. 

I really wasn't going to work on the boxes today but felt like I should so I organized this and that, put some paper in the recycling bin and felt really compelled to put the pictures of the boxes on Craigslist.  Did the posting. 

About 15 minutes later I got an email saying that someone would come and pick them up around 11 a.m. He told me to delete my ad and he would take all the boxes and packing paper. I emailed back and said I wouldn't delete the post until he picked the stuff up but I wouldn't give it to anyone else. I gave him my name, address and phone number.

He showed up 30 minutes early. He had a hatchback car and the minute I saw it I thought "there's no way he is going to be able to get everything in there." 

I was right, he didn't get everything in there but he got all the boxes, some of packing paper but not the 3 boxes of packing paper we had.

We talked a bit as he worked. I told him when he first got there to take his time, I was going to be working inside. I had moved the boxes to the garage and had locked the door from the garage to the house. He was an older man. He said "I have lung cancer, I always have to take my time." I told him when he was done with what he wanted to take to knock on the door and I would close the garage. I also told him if he needed to come back for a 2nd trip I would save the stuff for him.

Ten minutes later he did knock on the door. I thought "oh great, he's done and now I'll still have to figure out how to get rid of a lot of stuff" only to be pleasantly surprised that he had gotten all the boxes in his car.  

I asked him when he was moving and he started telling his story.

His wife will retire the 3rd week in September. She is holding in there until then so she can get medical insurance benefits. 

They are moving back to South Florida where they lived for a long time and there are family and friends still there.

She is a multiple cancer survivor.  He will not be surviving this lung cancer he has.

His main goal is to get her moved and settled in with friends and family close by before he passes.  They have a little condo area they are looking to buy into where she won't have to do outside work and there will be other services available for her. 

He talked matter of factly without remorse or regret.

And so what did I do? I volunteered to take the 3 boxes of packing paper over to their house this weekend in my van (can't do it before because of my work schedule). We're still working out the details.  He might come back for them when his wife is off work the next 2 days or we'll try to unpack more and take the paper and the boxes over to him, about a 30 minute drive.

He was meant to get those boxes. I felt restless until I started working on them, though I was tired, not having slept well the night before.  

God was nudging me. I'm glad I followed through.

They will be in my prayers.

So sometimes Craigslist is beneficial; only if one makes sure to protect themselves in their involvement with it.