Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Sharing Books with Little Free Libraries: Columbia River Gorge, Part 2

Columbia River Gorge...been there and done that, but I don't mind doing it again. Donating books that is. With a short stack of my latest, Hanging Around for You, and some fresh corner bookmarks, I did the rounds. First stop was on the Washington side of things...

White Salmon, WA
SE Wyers Street

Then we crossed that crazy, narrow Hood River bridge to the Oregon side and made our way to the Rockford area, passing the beautiful Marchesi Vineyards and Winery to find this gem, "I brake for Little Free Libraries." A new one for me...

Hood River, OR - Inside
Alameda Road

Hood River, OR - Outside
Alameda Road
 
Hood River, OR
Montello Avenue

Afterward, we drove the winding stretch of I84 alongside the Columbia River rapids to the city of The Dalles. With two more books in hand, we chose to donate to these cute libraries: one by the high school and one made out of metal, holding the American flag.

The Dalles, OR
East 10th Street

The Dalles, OR
West Scenic Drive

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"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy."~ Rumi

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Free eBook on Amazon...Today Only!

Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Today only on Amazon!

Free ebook alert! Hanging Around for You is available on Amazon today only, expiring at midnight. Grab a copy and enjoy a young adult romance with a side of gingerbread house, and I mean that literally.

See, the family had every intention of decorating the cookie ski chalet from my childhood cookbook, given to me in 1976 by my grandparents. Oh, how I used to love baking and cooking! I made this when I was a kid and wanted to recreate a similar experience for the holidays with my favorite peeps...

Cookie Ski Chalet, page 40
 
Earlier, we stirred up the dough, measured and cut the pieces, baked them, and then right before the frosting and decorating...well, all I can say is: FAIL.
 
2020 Gingerbread House...Yum!
 
Not a fail like last year when the dog climbed on the table and demolished our decorated houses made from a kit. No...a fail like we made the gingerbread from scratch. Big mistake! We were just too tempted to indulge. Nobody cared to play around with the candies and pretzels when molasses-flavored walls were under our noses. After a quick vote, we all agreed...let's eat!

So good...nom, nom, nom.

The moral of the story? Go eat a gingerbread house and read my book, Hanging Around for You.

Oh...and please support my writing by leaving an Amazon review! So very appreciated. :)

Merry Christmas, ya'll!
 

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"The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail." ~Anon
 

 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Sharing Books with Little Free Libraries: Lake Hills, Bellevue, WA


Books and Stuff

I've geared up for the giving season by making holiday-themed corner bookmarks, sorting through tree ornaments, and pulling together a book pile. It's the perfect time of year to donate to those cute Little Free Libraries. South Bellevue, here I come...

"Garden rules: Listen to the birds, feel the breeze, read a book, take a nap, sip a drink...relax."
SE 43rd Street

Dealing with Blue
"Popeye's Little Library of Eastgate"
149th Ave SE
 
"Robinswood Readery"
151st Ave SE
 
Lake Hills
158th Place SE

145th Avenue SE

 
147th Place NE
 

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

December 2020 Reading Challenge: Christmas Book Binge Reading

"Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we've no place to go...let it snow, let it snow, let it snow." ~ Dean Martin

The snow isn't piling up in my neck of the woods, but the books are...and just in time for this month's fourth annual holiday binge reading challenge. Some are corny, some are dull, but somewhere in that stack has to be a Christmas gem, I just know it.

The Snow Pile

Get ready -- brew the tea, don the slippers. 

Get set -- turn Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite Opus 71 down low and cuddle up with a blanket and a furry pet. In my case, two dogs. Nab a book off the pile and...

Go! 

Below is a mix of genres including children's picture books, middle grade, young adult, and romance. If the book made it on my good-read meter--meaning I'd recommend--then I made it bold and inserted a link. I'll be updating this list throughout December, so stay tuned while I dig out those Christmas gems for you.

"Man, it doesn't show signs of stoppin' and I brought me some corn for poppin'. The lights are turned way down low...let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!" ~ Dean Martin

 

CHILDREN'S PICTURE BOOKS

1.) Snow by Manya Stojic
2.) A Flower in the Snow by Tracey Corderoy & Sophie Allsopp
3.) Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon
4.) Snow by Walter de la Mare
5.) Little Fox in the Snow by Jonathan London
6.) Millie in the Snow by Alexander Steffensmeier 
7.) A Whisper in the Snow by Kate Westerlund
8.) Toot & Puddle: Let it Snow by Holly Hobbie
9.) A Dot in the Snow by Corrinne Averiss & Fiona Woodcock

10.) Diamond in the Snow by Jonathan Emmett
11.) Samson in the Snow by Philip C. Stead
12.) Footprints in the Snow by Mei Matsuoka

 

13.) Iguanas in the Snow by Francisco X. Alarcon
14.) No Two Alike by Keith Baker

15.) William's Winter Nap by Linda Ashman
16.) Bear and Hare: Snow! by Emily Gravett
17.) Nanuk the Ice Bear by Jeanette Winter
18.) Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring by Kenard Pak
19.) Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle
20.) Mice on Ice by Rebecca Emberley
21.) Imagine a Night by Sarah L. Thomson

22.) The 12 Sleighs of Christmas by Sherri Duskey Rinker
23.) Snowflakes Fall by Patricia McLachlan
24.) Millions of Snowflakes by Mary McKenna Siddals
25.) Santa Claus vs. the Easter Bunny by Fred Blunt
26.) Eloise at Christmastime by Kay Thompson
27.) Santa's Littlest Helper by Anu Stohner
28.) The Snow Angel by Christine Leeson
29.) On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
30.) The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson
31.) Penguin's Christmas Wish by Salina Yoon
32.) Waltz of the Snowflakes by Elly Mackay
33.) Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs
34.) Ninja Claus! by Arree Chung
35.) The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert

36.) Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins
37.) The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming
38.) Olive the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold
39.) Tracks in the Snow by Wong Herbert Yee

40.) The Winter Fox by Timothy Knapman
41.) The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
42.) Winter's Coming by Jan Thornhill
43.) The Winter Train by Susanna Isern 44.) Winter Woes by Marty Kelley

 

  MIDDLE GRADE

45.) A Very Babymouse Christmas #15 by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm
46.) The Sugar Mountain Snow Ball by Elizabeth Atkinson


YOUNG ADULT

47.) Snow in Love by Claire Ray 
48.) Snow in Love Anthology by Melissa De La Cruz... Five stars for "Snow and Mistletoe" by Katie West

49.) Home for Christmas by Daphne James Huff, Kayla Tirrell, and M.F. Lorson
50.) Snow: A Retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Tracy Lynn

 

ROMANCE

51.) Dear Santa: The Party by Mona Ingram
52.) Small Town Christmas by Magdalena Scott
53.) Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis
54.) Christmas in the City by L.J. Shen
55.) Christmas Magic by Beth Barany
56.) Baby, Let It Snow by Bevery Jenkins and Elaine Overton

 

2020 Christmas good-read meter = 8 book(s) to recommend, so far.

 

 
"I'm yeti for winter!" ~ TeeTurtle

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Check out the 3 recommended Christmas/winter reads for 2019 here!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Newly Released! Hanging Around for You

It's a 2020 New Release party where politics rage on, no one is invited, and toilet paper is in short supply (c'mon, that was so last March). Because, y'know...Covid. It's the same reason that SCBWI is nearly a month late mentioning their award winners.

Hence, I'm getting "holding pattern" fatigue with my latest book, Hanging Around for You. It's been a button-push away from publication for weeks while I wait for SCBWI, the election, the pandemic, asteroids...

How close is a buzz-cut?

Okay, never mind. I don't have to wait for asteroids anymore, and that being the case, then I don't have to wait to publish. I can do what I want because that's the beauty of being independent. So...BOOM! Done. It's out there, people. Released into the wild...

Want to read a young adult love story where an abandoned girl lies to hide a grievous secret about her narcissistic mother only to catch the attention of the mysterious new kid at school? Oh, man, is he cute! But he seems like a big liar himself...very "sus." Lol.

 

"Waiting for the right time...to do the wrong thing."
 

Check it out and leave a review if you want. I've heard those things help authors on the Amazon front...but then it's 2020. What do I know about anything?

 

Remember when this was funny?
Yeah...not so much anymore.
 
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www.meme.com
"One day, she realized that she was the only one who could live her life..."

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Book #3: Final Sneak Peak

One step closer to publication time with a cover reveal! Book three, Hanging Around for You, is wrapped up with a pinecone and an aura of colors...

Hanging Around for You
Waiting for the right time...to do the wrong thing. 
 

"Abandoned by her narcissistic mother, Pinecone Rudd (16) struggles with truth and trust in a small PNW town. She’s lying and building walls to hide a grievous secret only to have things come crashing down when the mysterious new kid at school takes an interest." (see more)

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"...it has a Riverdale setting plus humor and romantic adventure along with the danger aspect of the biker gang that would appeal to YA." ~Note from an anonymous PNWA Lit Contest judge

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Bookworm Treats

Normally, this is the season for getting my paper therapy on, and I'd be at the Western Washington Scrapbook Retreat in Port Townsend, WA, a wonderful place to hang with the ladies while I cut, glue, and soak up the coastal Fort Worden atmosphere. But this year it was canceled. Covid.

 
Happy Halloween!
 
And in a perfect world, my latest book would've already been published, and I would have tucked these one-of-a-kind Halloween corner bookmarks between the pages and made deliveries to Little Free Libraries as a Halloween treat. Unfortunately, the SCBWI contest I entered prevents me from hitting the "publish" button until the winners are announced, and it's been delayed by three weeks. Covid.
 
 
A Halloween Haul
Corner Bookmarks
 
Throw in a rare blue moon, a demonic apocalypse, and a time change...Well, guess where I'll be? Not outside in the dark, that's for sure. I'll be with my pooches, Tilly and Tango, snuggled under a blanket while reading a good book. No bitters or salt here because I enjoy making them and consider myself one step ahead for next year's Halloween blitz. Whoot!
 
Now--stocked up on glue tape, my scissors sharpened, my paper sorted--bring on the next holiday.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Book #3: Third Sneak Peak

Book #3 remains a button push away from being published. So while I play the waiting game...here's a spooky blackout poem from page 3 of book 3 called Three.

 
 
"Their hell reached extra ears."
Three

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Book #3: Second Sneak Peak

Book #3 is coming soon to a mega online store nearest you. It's a YA story about lies, spies, love, and adventure. Need a bigger taste? Check out the official back copy:

Forget something?
Abandoned by her free-spirited mother, Pinecone Rudd has been left with the only “family” she’s got, her mom’s ex-boyfriend, a seasoned biker named Hammond Barba. Together, they’re hiding a grievous secret, which has Pinecone making up stories, like how her mom is simply overseas, practicing yoga, and living her dream...but when a new, good-looking senior named Beau Smiley shows up at school, asking questions and hanging around, things begin to unravel. He’s definitely one to keep an eye on. Except every time she looks his way, he’s got his eye on her, too.
 
Play it smart.
Beau Smiley is in the middle of a dangerous game, working for one motorcycle club while spying on another. Acting like a rat is not a life goal but a temporary gig for some fast money to see his ailing grandma through hard times. The plus side: getting close to the bohemian beauty, Pinecone Rudd, because she’s a person of interest, in more ways than one. The down-side: potentially falling for this girl while deceiving her at every turn. That’s why he created rules for himself, like rule #2: No distractions. Too bad he’s not very good at following them…
 
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"Sometimes you have to lie. But to yourself you must always tell the truth." ~ Louise Fitzhugh, "Harriet the Spy (QuotesGram)

 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Book #3: First Sneak Peak

Book #3 is completely written, rewritten, edited, formatted, polished and ready for consumption, but is currently in a holding pattern due to a contest I entered back in March. I can't publish until the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) names the WIP Award winners! Could be later today...could be Halloween.

While I wait, here's a sneak peak of chapter one using TagCrowd, whose claim to fame is to "Create your own word cloud from any text to visualize word frequency." Great for editing to all you authors and writers out there.

Book #3: First Chapter's Word (Tag) Cloud

You might ask, What's this book about? My answer: Stay tuned :) I realize this isn't much to go on except to show I have unusual character names, and I used the words "hands" and "something" and "turned" often enough. So curious!

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"Have something funny to say..."

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Show Your True Colors: A Colorful List of Idioms

Color idioms, anyone? Look no further! I just spent a couple hours compiling as many phrases as I could find so you don't have to...thank-you-very-much and you're welcome.

 
RED
Caught red-handed: caught in the act of a misdeed
Seeing red: angry
Beet red: embarrassed and blushing
Red tape: Bureaucratic obstacles or tasks 
Taking the red-eye: late night traveling
Red light: stop
In the red: in debt, losing money
Roll out the red carpet: treat a person or group like royalty
The red-carpet treatment: give special treatment
Paint the town red: spending money on having a good time
Red-headed step-child: treated like the least favorite person
A red herring: a distraction
 
BLUE
Have the blues: melancholy
Feeling blue: sad, moody, depressed
Out of the blue: random chance, a surprise
Once in a blue moon: happenstance, something that rarely happens
Blue collar: manual labor, works with hands, wears overalls to work
Blue-eyed boy: a boy who is the favorite
Blue in the face: frustration
A blue-blood: aristocrat 
True-blue: loyal
A blue streak: moves fast
Blue cloud: profanity
Turn the air blue: saying a litany of swear words
A blue-hair: geriatric, old person
The blue hour: time when sun is below the horizon, either before sunrise or after sunset

YELLOW
Yellow-bellied: cowardly
To be yellow: coward
 
GREEN
Green with envy: to be jealous or envious
Green thumb: having a knack for growing healthy plants
Green light: permission to move forward, approval
Green backs: dollar bills, paper money
The grass is always greener: to covet, always wanting, never happy
Green around the gills: sick, queasy 
Looks green: sick, queasy
To be green: a novice, immature
Green-eyed monster: jealousy

ORANGE
Just peachy: everything is fine
 
PURPLE
Purple prose: flowery language that is excessive and draws attention to itself
Born in the purple: born into royalty

PINK
Tickled pink: delighted
Getting a pink slip: an official dismissal from a job
To see pink elephants: seeing imaginery things
Rosy outlook: optimistic
Rose-colored glasses: seeing things better than they really are
In the pink: in good spirits and good health

BROWN
Brown-nose: to curry favor by excessive obedience or attentiveness
A brown shirt: a Nazi 
Brownie points: an imaginary award for doing good deeds, a people pleaser
Brown-bagging it: bring your own
A brown study: lost in thought
 
BLACK
Black and blue: bruised
Black sheep: a person on the outs with their family
Black out: to faint
Black and white: clear and defined, plain and simple, easy to figure out
Black as night: dark, can't see
Black eye: a bruise around the eye 
Black gold: a valuable item despite its appearance
Black comedy: tragic yet funny
Pot calling the kettle black: hypocrisy
In the black: profitable, making money
A black day: bad things are coming
On the black list: a list of people on the outs
In a black book: rejected or out of favor
Black-balled: to be rejected in secret, a vote against
A black look: angry
Blackmail: a crime, demanding payment to keep secrets
Black-tie: formal dress, formal event 
Pitch black: dark, can't see
Black market: trading illegal goods

WHITE
White lie: a lie told to be polite or alter the truth enough to not get into trouble
White elephant: a possession that is expensive and hard to get rid of
White collar: high paying job, wear a suit to work, desk job 
White livered: cowardly
White as a sheet (ghost): pale, sickly
White flag: retreat, give up, admit defeat
White pain: shooting, hot, neuralgic pain

GRAY
Gray area: undefined and unclear 
Gray matter: brain or thinking
Shades of gray: ambiguous 
Has a gray cloud: pessimistic
 
GOLD 
Golden opportunity: a perfect chance
Good as gold: positive
Heart of gold: generous and kind
Worth your weight in gold: useful and helpful
The golden hour: when the sun is low on the horizon either after sunrise or before sunset
A golden boy: a popular, lucky, successful male
Taking the golden ticket: to swap one's soul for success, making a deal with the devil
 
SILVER
Silver screen: the film industry, Hollywood
Born with a silver spoon in one's mouth: born into a wealthy family
Silver lining: see the good in a bad situation
Silver-tongue: someone who says what others want to hear to persuade them 

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