What Does the New Normal Look Like #Family #WorldViews


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What is your new normal?

Life has changed for all of us. Whether we like it or not, Covid-19 is an eyeopener. It shows that humans aren’t as invincible as we’d like to believe.

Like many others, I’ve been struggling to get my bearings. Half the time, I feel like a balloon floating in the sky with no real direction.

I’m stressed on so many levels:

Is it too soon to open up the economy?

How will we recover if we don’t reopen?

How many more lives will be lost?

Is my family safe?

My pet?

Me?

I’m sure these worries are running through our Prime Minister’s head, as well. I can’t imagine having to make the decisions he’s forced to do, and I thank him and all first line responders for all that they do to keep our country going.

My Mom lives next door in our RV park and took a fall in the early hours of Mother’s Day. I guess she called and called for help, but I didn’t hear her until a kind neighbor came and knocked on our trailer. I feel so horrible about that.

She’s in hospital now, and will be for quite a while. There’s liquid in her lungs which they removed with a giant needle (her words). They’re running all kinds of tests to find out why she’s so weak. Of course, I’m not allowed to visit due to Covid rules, but did manage to do a drop off of her cell phone charger and Kindle. A huge plastic shield greeted me just inside the doors and a health tech took my care bag from there.

I have a book deadline looming and have never felt less like writing.

I think these guys say it all

How about you? Are you coping all right? Feeling blue? Let’s chat…

P.S.

Here’s something that does make me happy- nature.

Positivity- #SundayStills #Photography


Lifting the spirits with positivity- Sunday Stills Challenge

Terri Webster Schrandt chose a wonderful theme for this week’s challenge- what lifts your spirits? You can view Terri’s photos or join the challenge here.

Number one on my list of things to lift my spirits would have to go to my grandson. He’s truly the light of our lives ❤

Visiting icebergs in Newfoundland
Dressed as a unicorn- for diabetics this means perfect blood glucose readings

Next is my pretty kitty

Harley relaxing
Helping me write

And finally, this beautiful place we call home

Papa and buddy posing
Friendly bunny

Happy Easter!

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#BookReview- Twenty Years After “I Do” by D.G. Kaye #Memoir @pokercubster


May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

Biography

D.G. Kaye was born and resides in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Conflicted Hearts – A Daughter’s Quest for Solace From Emotional Guilt, Meno-What? – A Memoir, Words We Carry, Have Bags, Will Travel, P.S. I Forgive You, and her newest release – Twenty Years: After “I Do”. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer and writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

Kaye writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and the lessons that were taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome some of the many obstacles that challenged her. From an emotionally neglected childhood, to growing up with a narcissistic mother, leaving her with a severely deflated self-esteem, D.G. began seeking a path to rise above her issues. When she isn’t writing intimate memoirs, Kaye brings her natural sense of humor into her other works.

D.G. began writing when pen and paper became tools to express her pent-up emotions during a turbulent childhood. Her writing began as notes and cards she wrote for the people she loved and admired when she was afraid to use her voice.

Through the years, Kaye journaled about life, writing about her opinions on people and events and later began writing poetry and health articles for a Canadian magazine as her interest grew in natural healthcare. Kaye became interested in natural healing and remedies after encountering a few serious health issues. Against many odds, D.G. has overcome adversity several times throughout her life.

D.G. began writing books to share her stories and inspiration. Her compassion and life experiences inspire her to write from the heart. She looks for the good and the positive in everything, and believes in paying it forward.

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return, Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

D.G.’s Favorite Saying: “Live. Laugh. Love …and don’t forget to breathe!”

When D.G. is not writing, she’s reading. Her favorite genres of reading are: biographies, memoirs, writing and natural health. Kaye loves to read about people who overcome adversity, victories and redemption and believes we have to keep learning–there is always room for improvement! She loves to cook, travel, and play poker (when she gets the chance).

You can find D.G. on social media and her author and blog pages:
http://www.dgkayewriter.com
http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye
http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7
http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster
http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
http://www.about.me/d.g.kaye.writer
http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7

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My Review

Honest. Heartfelt. Compelling. D.G. Kaye’s memorable memoir is a must-read!

Falling in love wasn’t in her plans. Falling in love with an older man changed her life.

What happens when you meet your other half in the twilight of his life? The author walks us through the thrill of falling in love, the reality of living with health issues, and the responsibility of becoming your husband’s caregiver.

Love is the bond that transcends and it’s proven with this couple as they travel life’s joys and obstacles with grace and laughter.

Over the last few years, I’ve become my mom’s caregiver and could relate to many of the issues broached in this book. Doctor and specialist appointments, nagging over proper nutrition requirements, cleaning and laundry for two homes, wheelchair operations, and over it all, the fear that you aren’t doing enough to keep them with you for a few more years.

I won’t lie- it scares me every day.

Thank you to the author for her honesty. It helps to know we aren’t alone, whatever our individual situations.

I give Twenty Years After “I Do” 5 lovely kisses- An Inspirational Read!

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I love having guests on the blog. If you have a new release, a sale or just want to chat, send me an email via the contact page and we’ll set something up. Hope to see you soon!

Keeping up the Traditions #holidays #family


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The quote above is particularly apt as the years go by.

When I was a child, Christmas meant decorating the tree we went into the forest to collect. My mom would pack up a lunch and bundle us in warm winter coats, mitts and toques, and then away we would go, my dad driving us deep into the woods where the very best trees were hidden.

We’d traipse through deep snow, broken only by Dad’s footprints, until we found the perfect tree. Not too big, not too small, even branches and a crown made for an angel.

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

A few days later, we could finally decorate. Lights first, then garland, tinsel, and ornaments- some we made and some passed down through the family. Then Dad would add the tree topper and our living room was transformed into a magical place!

Years later, when I married and had my own family, we switched to an artificial tree for the holidays. They’re convenient; you don’t need to fight with the lights, and it’s better for the environment.

But, the magic was gone.

Other traditions took its place- family breakfast Christmas morning before the exchange of gifts. Afternoons spent outdoor skating or tobogganing while the turkey cooked. The passage of time marked by those who joined the festivities, and family members we’d lost.

Then my grandson was born.

Christmas is made for children. The wonder on their precious faces fills our hearts with love and joy. They remind us of the magic of our youth and the importance of family.

My grandson

Then, my daughter was given the opportunity to gain her masters degree, but it was across the country and suddenly Christmas was down to DH, Mom and I.

I’m not complaining, many people spend the holidays all alone, but I have to admit I’m floundering.

We went to look at lights last night, DH and I, (Mom stayed home) and it was nice- quiet, but nice.

It’s so different looking at lights without snow on the ground and freezing cold air in your lungs! lol

What do you do to allay depression during the holidays?

I’m trying, really, I am!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas

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Give Thanks #GratitudePost #Family


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Gratitude

What gratitude means to me.

This is going to be a rather personal post, but I feel the need to put into words my topsy-turvy state of mind.

I guess it all started a couple of years ago when my daughter and grandson moved to the other end of the country so she could pursue her master’s degree in biology.

I’m so very proud of her, but miss them horribly.

Then, earlier this year my mother-in-law passed away. She’d been ill for a while, and we expected a call sooner or later, but it’s still hard.

July comes and DH’s union decides to call a strike. This is the first time he’s ever been in a union, so we didn’t know what to expect- five months and counting wasn’t on the list!

And finally, my mom went in for her regular blood work check up last week and received a call the same night to get in to emergency as her potassium had bottomed out and she was in danger of a heart attack.

What does all of this have to do with gratitude you might ask?

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

I’m grateful for the roof over my head, the medical services available in our country, the family and friends who have supported us during these rough periods, and most of all, for the strength to keep going when I’d sooner hide under a rock.

I’ve come to realise, no matter how hard life seems, faith and hope is a fire that will NOT let us give up. And sometimes, miracles happen.

Do you ever get depressed? What do you do to overcome it?

My upcoming release is the story of two sisters faced by the ultimate betrayal and how the strength of family ties bring them together again.

#CoverReveal

I’m excited to share the cover for my upcoming women’s fiction novel, The Sister Pact!

The Sister Pact: Home is Where The Heart is

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081L4SWDB/

International: http://bookShow.me/B081L4SWDB

Two sisters lose sight of what’s most important- family bonds.

Holly Tremaine is living on borrowed time. A life-threatening illness ends her promising musical career and sends her home in the hope of making amends for the past.

Levi Anderson is on the fast track to a successful year within his profession- the last thing he has time for is his twin brother’s shenanigans. But when it includes the one woman Levi hasn’t been able to forget, his conscience won’t let him avoid the temptation to see her again.

Can remorse heal all wounds? Or will past betrayals continue to ruin family ties, one thread at a time?

Eclipse Lake by @MaeClair1 #RomSuspense #BookReview


Small towns hold the darkest secrets.

Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.

But memories in small towns are bitter and long.

Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.

Biography

A member of the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers, Mae Clair is also a founding member and contributor to the award-winning writing blog, Story Empire. She has achieved bestseller status on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, with several of her novels chosen as book club selections.

Mae writes primarily in the mystery/suspense genre, flavoring her plots with elements of urban legend and folklore. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail, and cats.

Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at MaeClair.com

Photo by Hristo Fidanov on Pexels.com

My Review

Renewing family connections shouldn’t be this hard!

Dane Carlisle is returning home after a fifteen year absence. Many things have changed; he’s a widower, father, and a multi-millionaire entrepreneur- his life couldn’t be more different than when he was a troubled youth. Problem is, his older brother, Jonah, doesn’t want him there.

Jonah wants nothing to do with the selfish delinquent who’d landed himself in jail and disappeared years ago, leaving him to care for an aging alcoholic parent. Dane hadn’t even come home for her funeral, so why should he expect a warm welcome now?

When a skeleton is uncovered along the shores of Eclipse Lake it sends the two brothers on a road of self-discovery. Will long-buried secrets destroy any chance of reconciliation, or will it finally bring peace to Eclipse Lake?

This is my kind of story; family turmoil, mysterious events, romance- it was hard to put down!

I give Eclipse Lake 5 lovely kisses- Mystery meets family saga in this page-turner!

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He’s Still the One #Anniversary #FamilyFirst


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35th Anniversary!

Hard to imagine it’s been thirty-five years since DH and I said the big “I do” and began what would be a journey together filled with love, laughter, and yes, tears.

I remember being a nervous wreck that day. No one mentioned how stressful it is to plan a wedding- thank goodness I had the strong support of my family to help!

Pixabay.com

The day dawned sunny and bright (a good omen) and soon Mom and Dad’s was a flurry of activity. My bridesmaids looked beautiful in their pale pink dresses and I felt like a princess in my Cinderella gown.

There was a moment, pulling up to the church, when I was certain he wouldn’t show. I had to bite my tongue against begging Dad to take me home- I’m glad I didn’t!

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I’m not sure who shook worse walking down the aisle, Dad or me 🙂

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DH cried when he placed the ring on my finger.

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My brother, best man. Sister-in-law, maid of honor. Me and DH. My cousin, bridesmaid, close friend, best man.

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It was surreal. Was I dreaming?

At the park for pictures. In front; my youngest brother, ring bearer. DH’s niece, flower girl.

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We did it! Married. The word invoked feelings of comfort and sheer joy. Time to celebrate!

Grandma made our wedding cake, isn’t it beautiful?

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Mom and Dad (I miss him so!)

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Dancing with my new father-in-law- miss him, too!

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I won’t lie and say it’s been easy. DH and I are both hot-heads (he’s Scottish and a redhead, I’m French- need I say more, lol) but we took our vows seriously and worked through the issues and gradually they became fewer and farther between.

We’ve mellowed with age and melded our tastes into compromises that work for us. We’re best friends, lovers, parents and grandparents. The momentary fear I had on that Saturday so long ago was unfounded.

When you find ‘the one’, your soulmate, it’s worth taking a chance on love.

True love doesn’t happen right away; it’s an ever-growing process. It develops after you’ve gone through many ups and downs, when you’ve suffered together, cried together, laughed together.

Ricardo Montalban

Dodging a #Health Bullet and #ClimateChange


ammunition brass bullets cartridges
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

This past week was a tough one for me. We returned from a quick trip home (2500 miles in 3 days!) tired and a bit depressed. The hometown four generations of my family grew up in, is dying.

What was once a vibrant, growing town deep in the middle of oil, gas and coal country has been hit with a downturn in the economy like nothing I’ve ever seen.

To say it was disheartening would be an understatement.

I understand climate change is a concern for everyone, but should it come at the cost of livelihoods? People are losing jobs, homes, hope.

There has to be a compromise and it’s up to us to find it.

Edson- 1939
Edson, AB 1939

 

A day or two after our return, I developed this horrible pain in my lower back, left side. I put it off to a kink and took my ever faithful pain killers. But, it didn’t get better. In fact, it became unbearable every time I laid down- like a fist grinding into my back.

I hate, hate going to the doctor (it’s been 6 years since my last visit, other than for Mom and grandson) so that’s my explanation for what I did next. I attempted a self-diagnosis via the internet.

Please, don’t do this at home!

Talk about freaking out! When many of the so-called professional sites started throwing the ‘C’ word around, I quickly changed my mind and decided to call Mom’s doctor and see if I could get in. I nicely explained my dire emergency to the receptionist and that Mom, darling daughter and buddy were all patients of the clinic- imagine my surprise when she didn’t care, lol. They were fully booked and not accepting new patients- sorry.

Okay, fine. Give it another day or two to mend on its own then. Except, it didn’t. That night I moaned and groaned the hours until dawn away. The moment the walk-in clinic opened I was there. Forty minutes later, I got into the clean, stylish office (not half as bad as I’d imagined) and met with a doctor half my age, who kindly didn’t laugh when I explained the diagnosis I had come up with. Instead, he assured me it was nothing more serious than a muscle strain- possibly caused by all the gardening we’ve been doing- and subscribed some pain killers and muscle relaxants.

When I arrived home, DH ran outside to hear the news and give me a relieved hug and kiss- after all, who else was going to do his laundry? 🙂

Moral of the story- Don’t let pride go before the fall. If in doubt, visit your physician, they’re there to help.

A few of the flowers in our garden.

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Clematis

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Sweet potato vine, lobelia and petunias

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Rose and monkshood in the background

Busy bee

Baking up Memories #FamilyFirst #Dessert #Recipes


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One of my favorite treats my mom always made was Lemon Poppyseed Loaf. She had a baking table at our local Farmer’s Market where she sold Nanaimo bars, Butter Tart Squares, Rocky Road Squares, Lemon Pies and the most delicious glazed loaves.

Customers would line up to buy her desserts and she rarely had leftovers- our loss!

https://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/lemon-poppy-seed-bread/

Lemon Poppyseed Loaf

This is sure to be a hit in your home, too!

baking

Hardwired by Andrea Bills #Suspense #BookReview


When Navy Seal Operative Luke Kiersey, who suffers from amnesia, is finally granted leave after five years, he finds himself driving to a house he doesn’t recognize in a town he’s never been to. The house is home to a beautiful woman and a little girl with big blue eyes. Day after day, he drives back only to hide in the shadows and wonder why he can’t seem to walk away from them.
His therapist says is PTSD. 
His handler tells him he’s just not cut out to be part of the civilian world. 
Luke can’t help but feel like it’s more. 
The dog tags that once hung proudly around his neck, now feel like a collar; leashing him to a life that he fears he didn’t choose. After the terrible things he’s done in the name of freedom, could he possibly be worthy of something as precious as the woman and child he continues to watch?
When the two worlds collide, Luke needs his mind to be stronger than the implant the government placed in his back. They’ve told him he can’t survive without the implant they use to control him, but Luke’s wondering if he can survive without the little girl with big blue eyes and the gorgeous woman she calls mamma. 

Biography

Andrea is a wife, mother and writer from small town West Virginia. She spends her time while she’s not dreaming up lovers and villains alike chasing after her two kids and husband.
Her overactive imagination and her husband’s wacky dreams attribute to her love of the written word. Guilty pleasures include reading all night and Reese Cups.

Photo by Oscar Mikols on Pexels.com

My Review

Luke Kiersey doesn’t remember much before a near-death encounter overseas five years ago. He woke with a computer implanted in his back that literally kept him alive, and a debt to his country he could never repay.

Trained to become one of the deadliest assassins in the United States Navy, Luke is more machine than man.

Until a chance encounter triggers memories of his past.

Jen Kiersey has a counter full of unpaid bills and a hole in her heart from the death of her husband when her daughter was an infant. It’s not easy juggling a five-year-old with a demanding job and sometimes the loneliness gets overwhelming.

Until a tall stranger saves them from an intruder. Her not-so-dead husband.

Furious at the lies he’s been told, Luke tries to walk away from a government with its own hidden agenda, but learns the hard way it won’t be easy.

This book had an interesting concept and some twists I didn’t see coming.

One of my favorite lines between Luke and his daughter:

“Sometimes when I lose my favorite stuffy, Mamma makes me go back to where I last remember having it to help me find it. Maybe that would help you. Do you remember us at all?”

“I think that’s a really good idea, Bella. Maybe I can try that.”

“Uh, Daddy?”

“Yes?” Luke responded, hoping he didn’t sound as uncomfortable as he felt at being called that.

“I have to go potty.”

Bills, Andrea. Hardwired (The Brotherhood Series) (p. 112). Kindle Edition.

And between Luke and Jen:

Luke covered her small hands with his, afraid she would disappear. “Sometimes I’m afraid you’re just an illusion. As if my PTSD has conjured this all up in my head.”

Bills, Andrea. Hardwired (The Brotherhood Series) (p. 137). Kindle Edition.

I give Hardwired 4 lovely kisses- an entertaining read!

A Birthday Celebration #FamilyFirst #Grandparents


It’s my grandson’s birthday!!

Time seems to go faster every year. I can’t believe my boy is twelve already!

His mom booked him an amazing party at a recreation centre filled with activities like rock climbing, jamboree type rides, high jumping onto an air mattress (yikes!) and a trip to the movies for Avengers: Endgame. A friend made this amazing cake- isn’t it cool?

A good day 🙂

Memories

I love this kid!

Relatively Sane by @WhitneyDineen #RomCom #Reading @XpressoReads


Relatively Sane
Whitney Dineen
(Relativity Series, #2)
Publication date: April 1st 2019
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary

“The Masterson clan is back and funnier than ever in this delightful tale. Dineen’s comedic timing is pure gold!” -Jennifer Peel, Bestselling Author of My Not So Wicked Stepbrother

Catriona Masterton’s family is not normal.

Her father has a passion for taxidermized animals that he dresses in the family plaid. Her mother has a penchant for hoarding kitchen gadgets and other oddities that leave her sanity in question. Her grandmother, Nan, has never met a swearword she doesn’t like.

Despite all this, party-planner Cat leaves the hustle and bustle of New York City to move back to her tiny hometown outside of Chicago. She even buys her parents’ farm with plans to turn the barn into a stylish wedding venue.

Enter House to Home Television’s Renovation Brothers. Cat gets accepted as one of the show’s projects, bringing two gorgeous brothers to her doorstep. Unbeknownst to Cat, the TV hosts are behind a secret her newfound boyfriend will go to great lengths to keep hidden.

With all the upheaval—her parents’ chaotic move, her grandmother joyfully causing trouble wherever she goes, a film crew documenting her home being torn apart, and her boyfriend’s odd behavior—Cat’s starting to wonder if signing up for a reality TV show was a big mistake.

Will the renovation be a success? Or will secrecy and jealousy make Cat regret the day she packed her bags and left New York?

Find out in this hysterical tale packed with small-town charm, family drama, and true love.

Goodreads / Amazon

Book 1, Relatively Normal, is FREE for a limited time only!

EXCERPT:

As a kid, I had an ongoing fantasy. I’m waiting for the school bus to pick me up in front of my family farm, when a shiny black Lincoln Town Car pulls up next to me. A very attractive woman in the back seat rolls down her window and bursts into tears. She gasps, “Buffy, is that you?” (Note: I might have been enthralled with the television show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer at the time. I was definitely a fan of the name.) The woman and her equally handsome husband leap out of the car and throw their arms around me, engulfing me in a cloud of Chanel Number 5 and Versace Man.

Between sobs of joy, she calls to her husband, “Charles, it’s our baby. It’s really her!”

They tighten their embrace and I become the filling in a Pendleton wool sandwich. This wonderful, loving, perfectly ordinary couple, decked out in city clothes, explains how there was a mix-up at the hospital where I was born. Their baby and another were returned to the wrong bassinets after feeding time. They only discovered the truth when the person they thought was their daughter ran off and joined the circus as it passed through their town.

The woman says, “We knew then and there a mistake had been made. A child of ours would never dream of such nonsense.”

In retrospect, I realize I hadn’t thought this through very well. I should have wondered what kind of parents wouldn’t go after the child they’d raised and save her from a life of carnie living. At the time, I was too involved in my fantasy and the comforting explanation of why I was growing up in a near-insane asylum—a.k.a. Masterton Hall, a.k.a. an old farm house in Central Illinois. It was much easier to convince myself that I didn’t belong to the people who laid claim to me. I was Buffy Summers and my real family wasn’t embarrassing in the least.

This fantasy got me through some tough times. Like when my grandmother Nan called my little league coach a fukakta screwball who needed his eyes examined, I consoled myself that we didn’t share the same blood. As such, the shame I was feeling wasn’t really my own.

When my dad showed up to all my school functions wearing a kilt and boasting about the joys of being Scottish, I was comforted that the wrong girl was being called Catriona Masterton. When my mother bought six sauerkraut crocks because they were on sale, even though she hated sauerkraut, I said to myself, “Cat, these aren’t your people. Don’t lose hope. Your real parents will find you and take you away from all this.” When my brother Travis started to walk around the house in my mom’s high heels, I reminded myself that Buffy was an only child.

It wasn’t until high school that I finally accepted the Summers were no more than wishful thinking on my part, and that I belonged to the Masterton clan, hook, line, and sinker. Part of my acceptance was because I’d fallen head over heels in love with my childhood playmate, Sam Hawking.

Sam and I frolicked in the mud, learned to play cards, and studied for science tests together before discovering more adult games in the hayloft of my family barn. He gave my life meaning. He was enough reason to give up my dream of belonging to a normal family. If I wanted a life with him, I needed to stay right where I was. Goodbye, Summers Family! Hello, kooky Mastertons.

Sam made me feel things I’d never felt before. My body blossomed under his touch, my heart filled to the point of bursting, and my dreams shot out of the stratosphere. There was nothing he and I couldn’t do, be, or achieve as long as we were together. While my family was as odd as they came, around Sam I felt relatively sane. I’d even given us a celebrity couple name, SamCat.

Tragically, as often happens with first loves, we ultimately went our separate ways. The end of high school was the end of us. I was crushed, as it wasn’t my idea to break up, but college eventually softened the pain and my life moved on. My subsequent move to New York City propelled me into adulthood, which is where I met Ethan.

For two years, Ethan and I were a good couple. We were grown-ups together. We paid a mortgage, put money away for retirement, and we planned a wedding. Ethan was as different from Sam as I could find in a man. He’s what I thought I wanted, what I thought I needed. I was wrong.


Author Bio:

Whitney loves to laugh, play with her kids, bake, and eat french fries — not always in that order.

Whitney is a multi-award-winning author of romcoms, non-fiction humor, and middle reader fiction. Basically, she writes whatever the voices in her head tell her to.

She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jimmy, where they raise children, chickens, and organic vegetables.

Gold Medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2017.

Silver medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2015, 2016.

Finalist RONE Awards, 2016.

Finalist at the IRFA 2016, 2017.

Finalist at the Book Excellence Awards, 2017

Finalist Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, 2017

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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A cold-blooded killer resurfaces from the past… The Dark Bones by Loreth Anne White #Suspense #BookReview @Loreth


She’s come back to solve the mystery of her father’s death and confront her own dark past.

When Detective Rebecca North left her rural hometown, she vowed never to return. Her father’s apparent suicide has changed that. The official report is that retired cop Noah North shot himself, knocked over a lantern, and set his isolated cabin ablaze. But Rebecca cannot believe he killed himself.

To prove it, she needs the help of Ash Haugen, the man she left behind. But Rebecca and Ash share more than broken hearts. Something darker lies between them, and the investigation is stirring it back to life. Clues lead them to the home of Olivia West and her deeply troubled twelve-year-old daughter, Tori. The child knows more about the murder than anyone can imagine, but she’s too terrified to say a word.

And as a cold-blooded killer resurfaces from the past, Rebecca and Ash begin to fear that their own secrets may be even harder to survive.

Biography

Loreth Anne White is an internationally bestselling author of thrillers, mysteries, and romantic suspense. A three-time RITA finalist, she is also the Overall 2017 Daphne du Maurier Award winner, and she has won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Romantic Crown for Best Romantic Suspense and Best Book Overall, in addition to being a Booksellers’ Best finalist, and a multiple CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award winner.

A recovering journalist who has worked in both South Africa and Canada, she now resides in the haunting mountains of the Pacific Northwest with her family … where she tries to avoid the bears, albeit unsuccessfully! When she’s not writing, you will find her skiing, biking, or hiking the trails with her dog (aka the Black Beast). Or open water swimming. She calls this work, because that’s when the best ideas come. 

You find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Loreth.Anne.White
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/Loreth
Or connect with her via her website at:
http://www.lorethannewhite.com

My Review

A desperate phone call from Becca North’s drunk father fills her with a sadness that changes to horror when she receives the news he’s committed suicide. A trip home to arrange his funeral uncovers a string of inconsistencies that soon has the RCMP officer embroiled in a past she never wanted to revisit.

Ash Haugen can’t believe Rebecca- his Becca- suspects him in the growing case proving her father was murdered for the secrets he’d uncovered. Ash had a few of those himself; ones that could ruin any chance he might have of winning her trust.

As the investigation heats up, Rebecca is forced to rethink her beliefs while fighting a growing attraction to her teenage love- Ash Haugen- her chief suspect.

Loreth does it again in this spine-tingling thriller!

We get a little reminiscing with characters from the first in the series, A Dark Lure, a whole lot of broody settings, and a cast of characters that will leave you wondering in the way of classic mystery-suspense page-turners, who-done-it?

I give The Dark Bones 5+ lovely kisses- A chilling suspense!

Thank you to Montlake and NetGalley for the opportunity.

 

Cooking up Memories-Cousin Jack Pasties #Recipe #Familyfirst


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This post started out one way, but took a different turn after a distressing end to my week. Let me explain.

As a child I was what’s known as a tomboy. I’m sure I disappointed my mom, who liked to place my long, wavy brown hair in braids or barrettes and dress me in pretty dresses I couldn’t wait to get out of. While she dreamed of a daughter to do crafts like crochet or paper toíle with, I was outside playing marbles or catching bugs with the neighborhood boys.

One thing that I did have in common with my mom is a love of animals. We didn’t have a lot of extra money growing up, but she always made room for the strays I routinely brought home.

Which brings me to this week:

Eight years ago, DH (Darling Hubby) brought home a six month old pup. His workmate was going to have her put down because she was the runt of the litter, didn’t have the markings people looked for, and was horribly thin and skittish. We had just lost a dog a couple of months earlier that was precious to us and had decided not to take in any more for a while, but this pup needed help, so…

DH stayed in the backyard with her for hours until she got brave enough to come and check him out. You should have seen it–the most amazing connection happened between man and dog. She crawled on her belly to where he lay under the lilac tree, her sides heaving with stress, but so, so wanting to trust this human who waited with such patience.

I still tear up when I think of that moment.

For a while now, Annie (our Shepherd) has been suffering from degenerative hip disease. Friday she fell down the stairs because her hip let go and her mobility hasn’t improved. DH is carrying her in and out to do her business, but she weighs over one hundred pounds– he can’t continue to do this for long.

We can take her to the vet, of course, but her age is against her and hip replacement surgery is astronomical in price. Needless to say, we’re heartbroken. She’s our baby, quite literally because she is still that scared little pup on the inside and doesn’t trust anyone except us- her family.

She’s not in pain and is still eating, so I guess we’ll play the waiting game for now. One thing I have found that helps, is Absorbine Junior. She doesn’t like the coldness against her skin, but it seems to give some relief. All we can do is hope and pray for a few more years with our girl.

Do you have a favorite pet or a home remedy you can suggest? I’d love to hear from you and thanks in advance.

Cousin Jack Pasties the way Grandma made Them

This is a favorite in our family and brings fond memories of afternoons spent with my grandma and mom over a flour-covered kitchen table. I hope you give them a try.

3-4 white or russet potatoes, cleaned, peeled and cut in small bite-sized pieces. (On the small side is best)

1 chuck or round steak, cut into bite-sized pieces (on the small side is best)

1 large onion, cleaned and cut into small bite-sized pieces.

Salt

Pepper

Mix all except spices in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste, stir and set aside.

If you’re good at pie pastry you can make your own (like Grandma did 🙂 ) or you can buy frozen large pastry shells (like I would do, lol)

Add approx two tablespoons of mix to shell and then run a finger wetted down with water around the edge and pinch closed.

Cook for 35-40 minutes in 350 oven until crust is a nice golden brown. (Hint: a light egg white wash over the top will give a nice sheen to the crust)

Enjoy!

January’s Featured Blogger: Jacquie Biggar




I’m thrilled to be interviewed on artist and friend, Rob Goldstein’s wonderful #blog!

Art by Rob Goldstein

Jacquie Biggar has a wonderful gift for writing hot and extremely likable military men!

Jacqui Nelson

This month’s featured blogger is Jacquie Biggar

. Jacquie is a writer of romantic suspense novels.  She writes tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women.  Jacquie lives on Vancouver Island with her husband.

When did you start writing?

I wrote a few short stories in middle school that were well received by my teachers and fostered my dream of making it a career one day.

Unfortunately, I set it aside for many years while working and raising a family. I didn’t get serious about writing until 2012. I signed up to Romance Writers of America, took numerous classes to learn my craft and joined a couple of critique groups. One year later, I published my first suspense novel, Tidal Falls.

Did you always have a gift for writing hot guys?

Lol, I don’t know…

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