YORKIES and RAG RUGS by DE ANN SMALLWOOD

One of my favorite memories is taking a bath in my grandmother’s claw foot bathtub and stepping out on the handmade rag rug placed on the linoleum floor at the side of the tub. The floor was always cold especially in the winter when the heat from the coal stove didn’t reach to the floor. But the crocheted rounds of material felt delightful to my feet.

Grandma had several rag rugs strategically placed throughout her house. They brought color and warmth to each room. They also carried the risk of slip, trips, and falls. They didn’t have the rubber backing we’ve come to expect on our more modern throw rugs. But thinking back, I can’t remember any such falls. I do remember grandma washing them in her wringer washer and because they were too bulky to run through the wringer, wringing them out by hand. The next day, there they were colors brightened, looking fresh and clean, gracing her floors.

I spent many special hours helping my grandmother roll the strips of material into balls, waiting for her clever hands to crochet them into rugs of various sizes. Pulling out these memories, I decided I needed a few of these rugs in my home. I searched my mind drawing forth the steps needed to make a rug. My husband’s mother used to crochet similar rugs and between Marvin and I, we set the process in motion and made our first rug. I have to tell you it wasn’t something to brag about. Still that didn’t stop us from patting ourselves on the back and ignoring how it cupped in the middle because we hadn’t increased stitches as often as needed. The Yorkies sniffed it over, walked across it, did their scratch and circle routine and pronounced it of napping quality. WHEW! We got better with each subsequent rug. Since our first attempt, we’ve made oval, round, and rectangle rugs. No they aren’t perfect, but each one is colorful and has fond memories crocheted in each stitch.

I’m by no means an expert on making rag rugs. I’ve been lucky to discover a woman in my church that makes rag rugs during the long winter months. This lady is an expert. My advice, should you want to take up this rewarding art, would be to find someone who makes rag rugs.and get their help. I’m going to attempt sharing my meager knowledge with you while assuring you crocheting a rag rug is easy. I couldn’t do it if otherwise.

For material, I haunt Goodwill for old sheets of any color, size or design. I hunt for old, cheap, clothing. Some articles I snap up are worn beyond wear. My friends know I make rugs so I get donations of cast-offs. First I cut the material into one inch strips. That’s why sheets work so well. You can make the first cut then rip it down the length of the sheet. WARNING: threads fly, landing on you, your clothes, furniture, and the floor. Very messy. Don’t worry if the inch varies it crochets in. When I first started this craft, I sewed the inch wide strips together. Then I was told about knotting the ends together. It’s easy to do and the knots hold. BUT I can’t explain this step well enough for you to understand. It involves cutting a small hole in the strip’s ends and pulling the lengths through. This is where a vintage rug maker can give you hands on help. My husband remembered his sister making this knot and through trial and error, we succeeded. Again, it’s not difficult and I wish I could be more precise in my directions. You might try google. Hmmm.

Roll the long knotted strips into balls. Don’t worry about joining colors of material or designs. You can if you are wanting a specific color blend. You’ll soon get creative. It all blends as you crochet. I’ve mixed some weird strips and darned if I haven’t gotten colorful and unique rugs. I’m always amazed at how it all works. And VOILA, you are now ready to crochet. I do a chain stitch of the approximate length I want. Then I crochet a double crochet into each chain using a size Q crochet hook. Again, there’s no specific size but you’ll want a big hook for the material. Here’s where you can make your own pattern of rectangle or oval. Your rug is now your very own creation and you decide size. Don’t forget to increase. When I asked how to know when to increase, my church lady just said vaguely I’d know. HA!! So I do it fairly often and it seems to be working. Through all this, I’ve discovered there are no precise do this or do that’s. It’s relaxing and rewarding. And I use the modern rubber backing strips found in Walmart. I sew a piece of this backing on each corner and the rugs don’t move on the floor.

I hope my feeble attempt at directions at least point you in the right direction. Visit your local nursing home. I’ll bet you’ll find someone there who is either making a rug or can tell you how. Seniors are a treasure trove of knowledge. And remember, to have fun while building your own memories.

Oh, I forgot to tell you, the Yorkies love to curl up on the mound of strips waiting to be wound into balls. They get a little indignant when made to move. Happy rug making.

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A Few of My Favorite Things: Second Chance Romances

Long before I started writing romance, I was (and still am) an avid romance reader.  I’d like to share some of my favorite elements from romance novels and the reasons why I think they work so well.

I’ve known that I wanted to blog about this trope for awhile but it’s taken me quite a bit of time to pin down my thoughts.  I’ve always really liked the idea of a reconnecting or second chance romance, because I like the idea that if two people have been in love and things aren’t going well, there’s a chance to reignite the spark between them.  However, that said, I often find actual second chance/reconnecting books are hit and miss for me.  Upon reflection, I decided to share what I consider the essential points for making a second chance/reconnecting plotline work.  (This is my opinion only, other people may prioritize different things.)

For me, the most crucial thing as to whether or not a second chance plotline clicks for me is the reason why the couple needs to reconnect in the first place.  Any hint of abusive or controlling behavior is an automatic no-go from me.  Even if the former abuser or controller is super sorry and has done extensive self-therapy work, as a reader, I remain skeptical.  For the curious, I also apply this to first chance romances.  A grand gesture does not negate abusive behavior in my opinion.  (If you have half an hour to spare, ask me about the novel I read where the hero kidnaps the heroine because he doesn’t like the building she lives in.  My response will be colorful and involve many, many shouty moments.)

However, I will admit that I draw a fine line between being an abuser and being protective.  Protecting the love interest is a worthy, heroic motivator, but how it is carried out is epically crucial.  Swoop down to save the one they love, awesome.  Tell them they can’t leave the house because bad guys are out there, less so.  I’m also much more forgiving of characters who are socially awkward or who truly believe they don’t deserve their love interest.  But I will die on the hill that main characters who are mean to their loved ones in order to drive them away “to keep them safe” are being jerks and need to seriously work on themselves.

Most of the second chance romances that I’ve enjoyed are where the couple was together as teenagers or young adults and split because adulting is hard or because they wanted different dreams, or some other unavoidable circumstance that wasn’t entirely in their control.  To have a couple like that reconnect later in life is like catnip to me, especially if they recognize that they needed that time apart to become fully-functional adults.  I will also tend to enjoy stories where the couple split because of a lie that a third party told, usually faking a death or a meddlesome parent/jealous friend telling one or both that the other partner wants to break up.  In that case, there needs to be a really good reason why the character would believe this third party and another good reason why they wouldn’t ask the love interest about the truth of the situation.

I have read some stories where the couple is married (or otherwise committed) and they’ve drifted apart from each other due to their various responsibilities.  Usually, it’s one of them has a job which requires long hours apart or there’s a caretaking situation with an ill relative or child.  Sometimes it’s just burnout from trying to be an adult in the modern world.  I really love this as a concept and I wish there were more stories of married couples rediscovering their happily ever after.  However, most of these types of stories I’ve read ended up being part of the inspirational genre where recommitting to their particular Christian church ended up somehow solving all the actual relationship problems.  I’d like to see more of these types of stories where the couple reconnects through couples’ counselling or by one partner making efforts to understand and support the other’s burden.  That’s something that I think would resonate with a lot of romance readers.  Or maybe it would just resonate with me.

Recently, I heard romance described as “significance fantasy” which was defined as a fantasy of being treated as if one’s needs, experience, and desires are important by another person.  That was a Keanu Reeves gif-worthy “Whoaaa” moment for me.  Because so often, our experience is dismissed, we’re told to shelve our desires, and to find a way to live without our needs.  Having that centered and made a priority is a very heady fantasy.  Maybe that’s why I love the paranormal-powers-that-will-tear-the-universe-apart-if-the-one-I-love-is-harmed stories.  Because I assume that if they’re willing to rip apart the fabric of space-time, then surely they will manage to put their dishes in the dishwasher instead of the sink.  (Perhaps it’s naïve of me to so assume, but I remain hopeful.)

In the end, I think significance fantasy sums up why some romances work and some HEAs aren’t believable.  There needs to be that “I am all-in on my partner’s happiness” moment, with the caveat that it should be a healthy all-in, not a sublimating one’s own desires into one’s partner’s.  At the end of a romance novel, the main characters should be able to achieve or experience more with their love interest than they would have on their own and the same should also be true for the love interest, whether this is their first time at the HEA or the second.

You can check out my previous Favorite Things (Real Life Edition) and Cynics and Dreamers.

I write paranormal romance full of suspense, action, and adventure.  My first book with Soul Mate is Deadly Potential (Federal agent Ben will do anything to protect songwriter Katie from a supernatural stalker who can hide in plain sight), available on Kindle Unlimited.  Or there’s my original series about a secret society of superheroes living among us.  Begin with Revelations for free!

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Mt. Rainier never fails to inspire…

My brother, Brian, and his wife, Rose, are moving permanently to the Philippines. I know he is loved and appreciated by her family, but its hard to think of him so far away. We took a day drive around Mt. Rainier National Park and he mentioned it could be the last time he sees this type of scenery.

I’ve lived in Washington State for over forty years and have taken at least ten guests on the same trip. Rose brought a fresh breath of excitement and awe. Her eye for photo opportunities was fun. She and Brian have lived in Michigan six months out of the year for the last five years. In the future, I hope to see the sights in the Philippines. Have you been there?

Paradise is an area where mountain climbers meet to climb to the peak and other less thrill-seeking folks enjoy wild flowers and a visitors center. A lovely lodge and restaurant are open during the summer months. About two million visitors enjoy the spectacular scenery every year.

Still in the Paradise parking lot, these other peaks deserve a bit of glory, too. At the first stop on the downward trip, we met a couple visiting from Minnesota.

A huge THANK YOU to all who voted recently. The Targeted Pawn finaled in The Raven Award Contest from Uncaged Magazine in the contemporary category and for the beautiful cover. Torn by Vengeance finaled in the contemporary category as well. The awards show determining winners will be broadcast soon on Facebook in a live event with prizes. If you are a Facebook user, join the Uncaged Book Reviews page and stay tuned. I ended up in Facebook jail last year for making too many atta-girl comments!

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Planning A Childrens’ Halloween Party by Susan Hanniford Crowley

Photo by Charles Parker on Pexels.com

Planning the Party!

Every year, I give a Halloween Garden Party for my grandchildren and one of their friends. The ages range between 9 and 2.

This year the theme is Witches. So all the invitations said to dress as a witch or wizard.

The party begins with a Scavenger Hunt. We put out Halloween standups on the lawn of different Halloween characters made of cardboard. (I bought a set of 8 on Amazon.)

Then we put out 8 bags for each child with their initial on it. Each bag has some candy. Some also have a little age appropriate toy. They can only collect the bags that have their initial. Running is not necessary in this game.

Next we have witch hats that need decorated bands. Each child gets a hat to decorate with lots of stickers and poms to put on it.

Then my oldest daughter is the fortune teller. Each child approaches and hears good stuff about themselves and then receives a stuffed toy animal who will aid them on their quest.

A favorite from last year was bubble wands. We’re going to do that again.

Now it is time for the pizza party! I have a fun party favor like finger puppets at each seat.

After the Party!

After it’s all done, the children go home or are inside watching some Halloween cartoons or animated movie. Then you clean up. It was worth it for all the laughter and photos filled with happy memories. I always ask another member of the family to take pictures.

It’s time for you to relax. Consider a good book. Maybe on a Halloween topic or theme. 
Check out Vampire Princess of New York. https://www.amazon.com/Vampire-Princess-York-Arnhem-Knights-ebook/dp/B01LWXYX1G

May you have a safe and BOO-tiful party! Have fun!

Susan
Susan Hanniford Crowley, Author of Vampire Princess of New York
Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
https://susanhannifordcrowley.com

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It’s Soup Season!

October is officially fall where I live in the Pacific Northwest. The days are getting shorter fast, and this time of year is always wet and chilly in Oregon. In our household, that means it is officially time for soup!

I’m a huge fan of soups and love the way one dish can be an entire, warm, comforting meal. Split pea soup was one of the first recipes I mastered after graduating college, and I recently discovered a passion for potato leek soup. Really the list of my favorites goes on and on. A ramen shop recently opened up in my town and I’m totally in love–since that’s one soup I’m not sure I’ll ever master at home.

Fun fact–yellow lentil soup is made with red lentils, which are actually a bright orange color. Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

Never say never, though, since I’m usually open to experimenting. My favorite middle eastern restaurant stopped carrying soups when they switched to all take-out last year, so I went on a hunt to find a good lemon yellow soup recipe of my own.

I experimented with a few variations, but really enjoy the recipe I found on Gimme Some Oven. The website gives instructions for the crock-pot, which I thought I would use, since I’m a fan of making stuff ahead of time. However, red lentils cook much faster than most peas or beans, so I’ve only done the stove top version. By the time the veggies are sauteed, the soup is nearly done.

I’ve simplified the recipe some, and don’t use all the spices, though it still has a rich warm flavor–perfect for a chilly fall day!

Here is my take on this recipe–

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and diced
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 12 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
  • 3 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • zest (optional) and juice of 2 lemons (I use fresh bottled lemon juice, not from concentrate)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.

Add the vegetable stock, lentils, corn, cumin, curry powder. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, until the lentils are nice and tender.

Remove from heat and add lemon juice, and optional zest and salt and pepper.

I’ll often skip the salt and pepper in the pot, and let my family add them at the table. Some of my kids like to add frozen corn as a way to cool it down, and I always add a little extra lemon juice to my bowl for a stronger lemon flavor.

If you try out this recipe, let me know what you think! Or if you have any favorite soups to share, I’m always looking for another recipe to add to the rotation.


Jaycee Jarvis has been an avid romance reader since devouring all the Sweet Dreams books her middle school library had to offer. Also a fantasy fan from an early age, she often wished those wondrous stories had just a bit more kissing. Now she writes stories with a romantic heart set against a magical backdrop, creating the kind of book she most likes to read.

When not lost in worlds of her own creation, she resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children and a menagerie of pets.

Jaycee is a Golden Heart® finalist and author of the Hands of Destin series. The award winning first book in that series, Taxing Courtship, released in June 2018. The final book in that series, Crowning Courtship, came out in May 2021.

Learn more about her around the web:

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It’s the Reading That Matters

Reviews.

We love them. We hate them. We can’t live without them.

This is on my mind lately because with two new books out at the same time I’ve had a lot of them. They come in two stripes: editorial reviewing services and reader reviews, the kind that land on Amazon or Goodreads with stars from one to five. They have rather different roles.

The quality of an editorial review matters—the more stars and the more raving the text the better. There’s nothing quite like a reviewer telling me I’m brilliant. I can quote it on my author pages. I can put it in a meme and spread it through social media. I can post a link on my website bookshelf. But what if they don’t like the book? The less said the better. Actually, I’ve never had a scathing editorial review. Often they simply ignore books that don’t interest or don’t fly. This summer I had one that took thought, though. A popular reviewer took great exception to the conclusion of The Price of Glory, my latest release from Soul Mate. She castigated me about, well, no spoilers. Let’s just say someone died. I was horribly disappointed in that review for about half a day. Then it dawned on me: I had written a book that so engaged her as a reader, one that had her so emotionally invested that certain events at the end caused her too explode. Now that is not a bad endorsement of my writing.

Reader reviews? Alas what matters most isn’t the content of them, but the quantity of them. There’s a snip of dialog from The Pirates of the Caribbean. The officer says, “You are the worst pirate I’ve ever heard of.” To which Jack sparrow says, “But you’ve heard of me.” So it is with authors. Numbers of reviews matter.

The question with such reviews is, how moved were readers to respond with a review and/or rating? I sometimes think those who respond either love it or hate it. Hence the proliferation of 5s. And 1s. It appears to me that in general the books of a reasonably decent author will always average in 4.xxx range. I always check the quantity of reviews for a better picture of how a book is doing.

Popular wisdom is that authors shouldn’t read their reader reviews. I don’t agree; if readers take time to write them, they deserve attention. But caution is required. The last thing an author wants is to become discouraged. I believe that if you read the 5s you ought to at least peek at the 1s. Every book gets at least a few. Some are from trolls, hateful folk who love to be negative. Some are from people who should have paid more attention to the blurb or they would never have read that particular type of book. On rare occasion I read something useful.

Which words from readers matter to me? The ones that motivate are direct messages from readers (and occasionally reader reviews) that tell me they bought the book and couldn’t stop reading. Or it kept them up all night.

When it comes to judging how well written a book is, it’s the reading that matters.

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Curing Imposter Syndrome

Last month I talked about imposter syndrome, the feeling some of us get when we’re successful, but don’t really think we deserve it. I also said there’s a cure, but it isn’t an easy one.

Dr. Valerie Young, an expert in this malady, has the following advice. First, recognize the moment those feelings are at the forefront. For me, the negative voices in my head sometimes tell me I’m not good enough, I’ll never be a success, I should have started sooner, I should quit.

Next, learn to protect yourself. Ask yourself questions. What would happen if I never changed this pattern? What price would I pay, what opportunities and experiences would I miss? And the big question: what is this pattern of negative thought protecting me from or helping me avoid? If I weren’t getting something out of it, I wouldn’t do it. So what is it?

Then set a new course. What would you rather feel, what would positive voices say? What would you like to do differently? For example, when you get a complement, say, “Thank you. I worked very hard on it.” Don’t say, “Thank you, I know it’s not perfect, but…”

Share positive thoughts that normalize self-doubt. Reframe what competence, failure, mistakes, and critical feedback look like. Acknowledge that you don’t always have to feel confident to move ahead.

In my case I get frustrated when words won’t come. I tell myself I’m not a good writer. I should quit. Instead I should be saying, the more I write, the better I get. This is my new career and I own it. How far would I be if I never started? I can do this.

It doesn’t matter if you write books, reports, letters or journal entries. It doesn’t matter if you cook elegant meals, sing in a choir, paint landscapes, or knit sweaters. It doesn’t matter if you are working in an office or a coffee shop or volunteering. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

If you do fail at something, tell yourself it’s okay. Pick yourself up and forge ahead. And even more important for those of us with imposter syndrome, don’t be afraid of success. If you find yourself falling back into minimalizing your successes, talk about why you do it, normalize it, and reframe it.

Feelings are the last to change, so we must change our thinking and our actions. Feelings will catch up over time.

You’ve got this!

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | 6 Comments

Recipes for Dinner Tonight from Perfectly Honest!

In Perfectly Honest, Mrs. Davy looks after Sam’s house when he’s not there and fills the fridge with meals that Sam can reheat. She makes a mean spaghetti sauce, and both Sam and Mikaela love Mrs. Davy’s chocolate chip cookies. And she makes a gluten free version!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened but not melted

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 ½ cups gluten free flour mix

2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375° F. Beat butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and vanilla in large mixing bowl. (I just use a fork and stir it vigorously.) Add eggs and mix well. Add flour and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by heaping teaspoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Mrs. Davy’s Bolognese Spaghetti Sauce

2 lb lean ground beef                           2 Tbsp sugar

1 onion, chopped                                3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

7 ½ oz can tomato sauce                  1 tsp Tobasco sauce

3 cups water                                       2 Tbsp each oregano and basil

5.5 fluid oz can tomato paste             2 tsp each garlic salt and celery seed

28 oz can crushed tomatoes                1 tsp pepper

In large pot, sauté the meat and onion until cooked. Add all remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly. Simmer uncovered 2 ½ -3 hours, stirring often. Serve over spaghetti with Parmesan cheese.

Perfectly Honest cover_850

You never know where your words will take you…

When Mikaela Finn agreed to be Sam’s “fiancée” for a weekend, she probably should have told him that she’s a doctor. Sam O’Brien, aka “Dr. Eye Candy,” is trying to shed his playboy reputation and convince a small town hospital that he’s ready to settle down. But when his “fiancée” helps deliver a baby in the middle of the meet and greet, it’s a bit of a shock. If he’d known the whole truth, he might have done things a little differently because somehow his “fiancée” ends up stealing his job and his heart. Not exactly the change he wanted.

Lies and deceit – it’s a match made in heaven!

Enjoy an excerpt from Perfectly Honest ~

your horoscope

ARIES (March 21-April 19) Emotions will escalate and confusion will set in with regard to a partnership you thought you could count on. Take time to absorb what’s happened. You are sitting in a much better position than you realize. Bide your time.

As they stirred their tea, Marla leaned forward with excited eyes. “I want to know all the details. What’s your sign?”

Mikaela blinked. “My sign?”

“Yes. You know, Sam is a Scorpio. I hope you’re not a Virgo. All the Virgos are a little…zealous. Too much energy, if you ask me. And I don’t know that Pisces would be a good fit either. They tend to daydream the day away, don’t you think? I think Sam needs someone a little more grounded. Taurus would be okay, but they do tend to be a bit stubborn and Leo, well I think a Leo would be a bit too boisterous, maybe a bit too bossy for Sam. I wouldn’t like to see another Scorpio. Could you imagine? That would be the worst kind of clash. Don’t you think? Now, last year, I would have said Sagittarius. It was a good year for Sagittarius. This year, I’m thinking a Libra or Aquarius would be good. I could see that working. I’ve given this a lot of thought. I’ve told Sam. I told him he has to watch the sign, but I never know if he really listens.”

Mikaela’s head spun. “Ah, I’m an Aries,” she said hesitantly.

“Oh perfect.” Marla clapped her hands. “That’s a good match, especially this year. The moon cycle is perfect for an Aries-Scorpio match. I’ve always thought Aries was best at thinking things through before they do something irreversible. That will be the perfect balance to Sam’s Scorpio impulsiveness,” she announced confidently.

Mikaela almost burst out laughing. Yup, that was her all right. Thinking things through. Planning change. Avoiding the irreversible. Marla’s nailed it, she thought ruefully. Sam really should have paid more attention to the sign.

“What is your Chinese zodiac?”

“Pardon?”

“You know. Your heavenly stem, your earthly branch, your animal, your element?”

“I’m not really sure.”

“Hmmm. We’ll have to figure that out. Sam is a Tiger. At least he’s born a Tiger. Personally, internally I think he’s a dragon. Truly there is a bit of ox and secretively, I suspect a little goat. But then I’m his mother.” She patted Mikaela’s hand. “So if you were a horse, dog or dragon, that would be wonderful. Oh dear, I do hope you’re not a monkey. That would not be good.”

“I’m pretty sure I’m not a monkey,” Mikaela assured her.

“That’s a relief. There are so many things to think about when you choose a mate. Are you a yin or yang?”

“Yin?” Mikaela guessed, hoping to make Marla happy.

“Perfect,” Marla beamed. “Sam’s a yang. The perfect match. You know Olivia and Ron are yang-yang, so I do worry. But they produced the most beautiful daughter. Just goes to show there’s something good there somewhere.”

“And what is your favourite color?” Marla asked earnestly.

Seriously? She was engaged to her son and that’s what she thought was important? She was beginning to understand why Walt went for a swim. “Ah, aquamarine?”

“Oh, aquamarine,” Marla repeated, nodding her head. “Now would that be more blue or more green?”

Mikaela just stared. “Blue?”

“Oh lovely. I love blue, too.”

“That’s important to finding someone compatible?” Mikaela asked skeptically.

Marla laughed. “No, now that would be silly, dear. No, I just asked because I enjoy quilting in my spare time, and I’ve decided to make a quilt for each of the kids as a wedding present. So yours shall be blue. And I’ll get started on that right away.” She leaned forward. “Have you picked a date for the wedding?”

Perfectly Honest ~ Medical Romantic Comedy PG-13

Buy link (free with KU): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08V9CWRMK

Award-winning author Linda O’Connor started writing romantic comedies when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at a local home décor store. Her books have enjoyed bestseller status. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic. She shares her medical knowledge in fast-paced, well-written, sexy romances – with an unexpected twist. Her favourite prescription to write? Laugh every day. Love every minute.

Website https://www.lindaoconnor.net

Twitter https://twitter.com/LindaOConnor98

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LindaOConnorAuthor

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/795688.Linda_O_Connor

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Linda-OConnor/e/B00S7CNLEA

Newsletter https://lindaoconnor.net/contact/

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Hurricanes, COVID, Manuscripts, Clapton, and the Saints:

Hurricanes, COVID, Manuscripts, Clapton, and the Saints:

Life along the Gulf Coast has been challenging these days—to say the least. Like the rest of the world, we have struggled with the pandemic. As a teacher, I have experienced the complexities of hybrid teaching. Students have been online and in my classroom. This year, the students are in person, but numerous students and staff have quarantined because of COVID. Since the students no longer have the online option, they often fall behind in their work. Seeing that they catch up is a problem and additional challenge. 

In Louisiana, nature threw us another harsh reminder of our frailty. Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana with savage ferocity. In New Orleans, we were spared the hurricane’s most powerful wrath; however, the coastal communities of Grande Isle, Jean Lafitte, and Houma suffered catastrophic damage. In New Orleans, the downed trees and power lines resulted in loss of electricity and internet/cable. Hubby and I stayed for the storm but soon evacuated to Biloxi once our roof received the necessary tarp. Most of the people in the New Orleans area dealt with some form of damage, but our ordeal was nothing like our more coastal neighbors. As of this writing, power and Internet are restored. School, however, won’t start for some of us for another month. My school, for example, has to dry out until the start of October. 

This enforced time away from my day job has given me the time to write. I completed one manuscript and will soon research and complete another. This time away from the hectic schedule of grading, meetings, and teacher gossip has allowed me more time for reading as well. I have enjoyed many books by modern and not-so-modern authors as I also deal with roof repairs and generator maintenance. 

Yes, we also have signs of normalcy returning to our community, but both COVID and the pandemic have changed the landscape and how we socialize. Our New Orleans Saints have played two games away from our Dome because of Ida’s wrath. One game was phenomenal; the other showed us where we had to improve. Like all New Orleanians, we had to produce our vaccination cards when we watched the game in a public place. (Thank God!) We also saw guitarist Eric Clapton live in New Orleans. We produced our cards again and wore our masks throughout the show. Yes, “normal” is returning, but “normal” will forever be different from what it was. 

Like the characters in many of my books, we have adjusted to the times. Change and adaptation are necessary in this life. People who lived during Prohibition, WWI, the Great Depression, and WWII all had to adapt, change, and adjust their lives. Such change only makes us strong and proves our resilience. 

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Generating Gravity has been released!

Hi, everyone and welcome to fall!

I’m pleased to tell you all that my fourth Universe Chronicles novel—this one titled Generating Gravity—was released on September 8th. I am so excited to share it with you all!. We shift the scene to Miami in the aftermath of the Bogeyman’s assault on the Universe group in that city. This time it is twenty-five-year-old Logan, a gravity talent, who gets sent down to Miami to determine if the head of Miami Universe, a gorgeous woman named Valentina, was innocent or complicit in the recent attack.

The Universe Chronicles is coming along nicely. I have book #5 drafted and have started on book #6. We have more twists and turns in store for those who enjoy reading about Universe, Whisper and the superpowered humans who meet and fall in love while battling enemies seen and unseen!

I hope that you enjoy the fourth installment of the Universe Chronicles as much as I did writing it. If you are so inclined, let me know what you think!

Stay safe out there, and be well. Here is a bit about the prior three books to whet your appetite!

Shifting Auras

When Maya gets yet another call to retrieve her drunken roommate, her mind shows her a hot, amber-eyed Universe operative.

Once before, Ian failed to protect a sensitive from a brain-scrambling attack. He will not fail Maya . . . if it means using his talent—or his body—to stop a bullet.

Tracking Shadows

Jiana escapes the paranormal agency Night Stars, only to fall into Quillan Hardis’ iron grip.

Under a secret order to unlock her untapped power, Quillan takes Jiana on the run, where desire blooms. But fear could drive Jiana so deep into the shadows, not even Quillan’s love will find her. 

Storming Time

Zared’s weather manipulation makes him Universe’s ace agent extraction specialist. But when Hannah dives into his front seat, their instant attraction strikes like lightning. Recently, Hannah’s chrono power’s been glitchy. And as her control slips, someone with a hidden agenda sets her up to fall—straight into Whisper’s trap.

Claire Davon

Claire Davon has written on and off for most of her life, starting with fan fiction when she was very young. She writes across a wide range of genres, and does not consider any of it off limits. Her novels can be found in the paranormal romance and contemporary romance sections, while her short stories run the gamut. If a story calls to her, she will write it. She currently lives in Los Angeles and spends her free time writing novels and short stories, as well as doing animal rescue and enjoying the sunshine. Claire can be found at: www.clairedavon.com

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