Monday, August 21, 2017

Health & Fitness for Busy People #OpenBook Blog Hop

I laughed when I saw the subject for this week's blog, because my workplace is one of those that "encourages" employees to take measures to be healthy. And even though I know it's supposed to be caring and help reduce insurance costs, it feels intrusive. I participate, but only in ways that I self-report.

And no one ever counts everyday activities as workouts. Cleaning house? You bet that burns calories. Ditto for doing yard work. You burn as many calories shoveling snow as you do when running, but I bet your fitness app doesn't tell you that.

So I'm probably not the best expert on "official" ways to stay healthy. But there are a few things I do.

Watch your eating. No, I'm not saying to give up all the things that taste good but are "unhealthy." Just eat smaller portions. Leave half of your french fries on your plate. You don't need to finish off the huge pile of spaghetti. Eating it won't help the starving children in Africa.  But like your mother told you, eat more fruit and vegetables.

Walk. As simple as that. Going down a few floors? Don't take the elevator. Going up a few floors? Same deal. If five flights of stairs is too many, work up to it. Start with one or two, then add another. And another. You'll get there. Is there one of those moving walkways in your path? It's okay to take it, but don't stand there and let it do all the work. Walk (stay to your left!) and you'll get to the end twice as fast. Better yet, walk around it.

Do you have a desk job? I suggest you fidget. I realize it may annoy your neighbors in the cube farm, so do it quietly. Tap your foot on carpet instead of tapping your pen. Play with your spinner while talking on the  phone. Studies have shown that you can burn up to 350 calories in a day if you fidget, and every little bit helps.

Last but not least. Watch out for the goodies that your co-workers love to bring and share. One piece of birthday cake a month isn't bad, but five or six start to add up. And, if possible, avoid the desks where people keep a bowl of candy. The temptation is real.

It's all very common sense, but sometimes hard to do. I know. I'm not the poster child for health and fitness movement. Some days I do good and other days we won't talk about. But I don't let my small failures discourage me from trying again.

I wonder what tips I can pick up from everyone else. Let's go find out by following the links below!

August 21, 2017 - Health & Fitness for Busy People – What little things do you do to stay healthy? Food, exercise, special vitamins, clothing, shoes, etc. What do you do that could help someone else.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Book Hooks Stories of Sun, Sand and Sea

“Guess who's here.” Lando elbowed Aiden in the ribs. “The girls from yesterday. And they're
both in normal clothing.”
“Huh.” The girl from the shop had exchanged her store smock for a nicely-fitting T-shirt. A
camera nestled between her breasts, accentuating them. Well, if fate was insistent about pushing them
together, maybe it was time he helped fate out. “Stay here with Grandma for a minute. I'll be right
He jogged towards the pair, trying to look cool. Not as easy as he’d hoped and he suspected zigzagging to dodge the rotting seaweed and other obstacles in his path made him appear drunk. Still, he’d take his chances.

From Love on The Rocks, part of the Stories of Sun, Sand, and Sea collection.

Stories of Sun, Sand, and Sea is 99¢ and available only on Amazon

A summer breeze, sandy shore, and sparkling waters. Is it the perfect setting for love or something more dangerous?
First loves, second chances, mystery, and intrigue, even murder.
Drift away with this collection of stories about Sun, Sand and Sea to 10 beaches…where anything can happen.

Short Blurbs

Whispers in the Wind by Angel Sefer
Blackmailed by a ruthless mastermind, Emily Stone finds herself on the Greek island of Alonnisos, impersonating the golden heiress of a luxury beach resort. Seductive Captain Andreas Aliveris is torn between his irresistible attraction to the stunning imposter and his need to protect a loved one. Can passion overcome suspicions and regrets in this game of danger, betrayal, and greed?

Amanda’s Revenge by Julie Sarff
One Hollywood heartthrob, one happily married woman and one very vindictive ex. Amanda is back looking like Winged Victory in a business suit, and Lily Bilbury is the only one who can stop her from ruining her husband’s career.

Beach Baby Blues by Stephany Tulis
In the midst of the sublime, an unexpected malady infiltrates the LaMagnifique cruise ship and bride to be, Honor Mattison’s, bachelorette party.

Will older sister Shelby's promise that what happens on the ship stays on the ship hold true or are some secrets just too dangerous to keep?

Judith Lucci
Kat had been counting the days until her beach reunion in the Outer Banks of North Carolina with her college friends from New Orleans. It would be the first time she’d seen major heart-throb Liam Cross since Christmas. She dreamed of a diamond engagement ring as she tucked her new bikini into her suitcase. Little did she know that in a few hours her life would change forever. Fire and Ice, Love and Murder. The Ocean can be Deadly.

Love Notes in the Key of Sea by Anna Celeste Burke
Georgie Shaw and Detective Jack Wheeler have a second chance at love if Georgie can let go of her past. A new mystery brought them together, will an old one drive them apart?

Pandemonium on the Peninsula by Valerie Clarizio
Talia Johnson is living her dream in Door County, WI. But, being a Park Ranger comes with sacrifices.
Deputy Ryan Larson loves his job but worries about the attraction he feels for the surly Talia Johnson.
When pandemonium breaks out, Talia's life becomes endangered. Ryan races to help her. Will her stubbornness prevent Ryan from saving her?

Copper Moon – The Meeting by PJ Fiala
Looking for solitude and the perfect sunrise is all that’s on Brie’s mind, until she stumbles into Hank James, that is. Winning the Copper Moon Cup is all that Hank has ever wanted, this year is his last year to get it right. Will bumping into Brie ruin his chance?

Love on the Rocks by P.J. MacLayne
Carena Galloway has big city ambitions and a broken heart, and men have no place in her agenda. Aiden Wade is only in town to help his grandmother and his schedule doesn't include the local ladies.

But Fate, it seemed, had other plans.

The Art of Getting Away by Nicole Sorrell
When her SUV leaves her stranded, Carlos helps get it running again, then can’t stop thinking about the sassy girl with the blue-green eyes. After discovering she’s in the cross hairs of the most violent outlaw motorcycle gang in the Midwest, Carlos is in way over his head when he tries to help her get away.

After the Storm by Kinsey Corwin
Charlene "Charlie" McCann isn’t looking to repeat her mistakes and all Beck Holland wants is to tear down the walls she’s built. Can they survive what comes after the storm?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Interesting stats #OpenBook Blog Hop

As many of you know, my paying job is in IT, a very male-dominated field. How male dominated? Let me give you some stats.

According to a 2014 article in Tech Republic, women make up 26% of the computing workforce. That's only a quarter, folks. I will give my employer credit where credit is due, because we're closer to, but not quite at 50/50.

In the mid-1980's, 37% of computer science majors were women, in 2012, only 18%. So despite all the talk of encouraging women in technology fields, it's not working.

In May of 2014, only 30% of the Google workforce was female. Other big tech companies had similar stats.

A study done by the Harvard Business school showed only 7% of venture capitol funding goes to women-owned businesses.

Yet a 2012 study by Intel showed that women are the lead adapters of new technology.

According to the Department of Labor, 20% of software developers are female. But a study of Silicon Valley startups says that only 12% of engineers are women.

And yes, women are paid less. A study showed, on the average, women in computer related fields earn 84¢ for each dollar a man earns.

And one good one to finish the list out, In the fall of 2014, for the first time, more women than men enrolled in an intro computer science course. Not by much- 106 to 104- but it's a start. The article didn't track how many stayed in the field of study.

Here's a bonus stat. The average age of computer programmers in 2015 was 42.4. I won't tell you where I would fall in that survey, although I don't do programming. If I do a quick analysis of my coworkers, I'd say the age average is closer to 37.

Now that I've managed to depress myself, let's move along and find out what the other authors on the hop are talking about!

August 14, 2017 – Make a list of interesting stats in your niche - Want to blow your reader's minds? Create a useful resource of stats in your niche.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Changes #OpenBook Blog Hop

I admit it. I'm an old fart. I've seen a lot of changes in my lifetime.

Let's start with technology. I remember punch card computing. I didn't actually do it, but I knew about it. By the way, did you know they used to make wreaths out of used punch cards?

Solitaire was played with cards. Multi-player games meant you sat at a table or on the floor and and played Monopoly or Mousetrap or Candyland with your friends and family.

I remember the days of modems and BBSs and having to make sure you didn't use the phone when you were on line. I remember fan-folded paper and dot-matrix printers. I remember copy machines that used rolls of paper. You could only make one copy at a time and you had to cut the paper after each copy. Better than having to type on three-copy paper and praying you didn't make a mistake.

I remember the days of party lines for your phone. (You shared a line with your neighbors, and only one person could talk at a time.) You didn't share a phone number, just the line on the poles. You paid for long distance calls by the minute. I remember the first mobile phones. (They didn't fit in your pocket!) and the different variations of the cell phones. Oh, and when cell phones only made calls. Texting wasn't a thing unless you had a pager.

Thanks to Redrum0486 for the image

I watched the first moon landing on T.V. and have seen numerous launches of the space shuttle from my front yard when I lived in Florida. (As well as other rockets.)

Just for fun, let's throw in a few non-technology memories.

Country music was Country-Western and the singers wore cowboy hats. Remember Roy Rogers and Dale Evans? Rock was still finding its way. The Beatles were hot and hair bands weren't a thing, let alone disco. Auto-tune? Ha!

When you colored, you used crayons or colored pencils, not markers. (The 64 color box with a built in sharpener was every kid's dream.)  And adults would have felt silly buying a coloring book for themselves. But you could paint-by-number.

What will the other authors on the hop remember? I'm off to find out. But you can share your memories in the comments!

August 7, 2017 – List some of the things that you have seen change or develop in your lifetime.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Blog Plug-Ins #OpenBook Blog Hop

Let  me start this by saying I'm not a professional blogger. I don't make any money from this site. That's not why I do this each week. I do it to try to attract people to buy my books. Frankly, I don't do that very well, but I try.

So don't consider me an expert when it comes to the mechanics of having a blog page.  I'm putting myself out here, struggling with the basic stuff—getting the words on 'paper' and really don't mess with much more than that.

Still, there's a few things I've personalized. See that big ugly rectangle to the right? That big white box? The one asking you to sign up for my newsletter? That's a plug-in. It's provided by Mail Chimp. Oh, you haven't signed up for my newsletter yet?  Go ahead. If you haven't done it already, sign up. I promise not to spam you. I'll wait.

Oh, you're back? Cool. And thanks.

Now let your eyes travel down and to the right. All the way past the other pages of this blog and the list of archives. You'll see two separate plug-ins.(Although they overlap) The first is so that you can follow me on Google+. If you do that, you'll get notified when I add a new post to this blog. If you follow me on Facebook, you might get notified there too, but I know how FB loves to not share my posts.

One more I'm going to point out. That cute little blue hippo? The one that says Featured Author? I got that by having a book accepted for the UK book site BookHippo. They are a tad bit fussy about which authors and books they feature, so it's a honor. (They recently listed The Marquesa's Necklace on their site.)

And that's it. My favorite plug-ins. Now I'm off to find out what the other authors are doing and steal their ideas!

July 31, 2017 - What Are Your Favorite Blog Plugins?
Write out all the awesome plugins that you are using on your blog. Make a big list of how you use them and why others should also be using them.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Custom Blog:

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

All in for Love

I'm pleased to welcome Kat Henry Doran and gang to my blog today, with their release of All In For Love.

Six award-winning authors bring you six *sweet to sensual* romances filled with suspense, thrills and maybe even a ghost or two―for less than the price of a cup of coffee―99 cents!
Welcome to La Bonne Chance Resort & Casino!
With thousands of people passing through the casino’s doors on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that a variety of lives and loves are on the line there. It’s said that you’re more likely to lose your heart at La Bonne Chance than a hand of poker. Whether you are the Director of Casino Operations or the guy who created its software, a jilted bride or a black jack dealer, a past guest’s ghost or a sous chef--when it comes to love, the stakes are high.
Thank goodness what happens at La Bonne Chance, doesn’t always stay at La Bonne Chance….
Ready to roll the dice?

An Inn Decent Proposal, Sharon Buchbinder
Can an hotelier with a past and a chef with a future revive the grand dame in a neglected old inn?

Perfect Odds, Lashanta Charles
When a jilted bride meets the man of her dreams, will she embrace the new plan, or cling stubbornly to the old one?

A Ghost To Die For, Keta Diablo
She didn't believe in ghosts...until one showed up in her room.

Raising Kane, Kat Henry Doran
Funny how a night in jail will change a woman's outlook on life.

For Money Or Love, Margo Hoornstra
She's the one woman he can't afford to lose.

Take A Chance On Me, M.J. Schiller
Who do you count on when the chips are down?
To Purchase All In For Love, go to:
Buy Link

Facebook Page



Fun Facts About . . .
Sharon Buchbinder
Sharon Buchbinder and her husband used to breed and show Egyptian Maus and Color Point Persians (formerly called Himalayans). If you’ve ever seen the mockumentary, Best in Show, you have an idea of what life was like 24 out of 52 weekends a year for this wild and crazy couple. When Sharon returned to school for her PhD in 1986, she decided a doctoral program plus a toddler plus a full time job was more than enough and they placed all their cats in good homes―including their own.

Lashanta Charles
So I don't really have anything too witty, but I have a 6-year-old with a sharp tongue. One of the things I always tell my kids is that mommy and daddy knows everything. So one day I'm taking my daughter to the store to buy toys with her birthday money. This is how the conversation went:

Her: So, who gave me this birthday money?
Me: Poppy (Grandad)
Her: Oh, I really miss Poppy. I want to go see him.
Me: Well, you have to wait until this summer, when you're out of school.
Her: Why?
Me: Because you have to learn things in school and if you miss a day, you'll miss what you need to learn and then you won't know everything.
Her: Ohhhhh, you mean like you and daddy don't really know everything even though you say you do?
Me: *speechless*

Keta Diablo
Keta once dressed up as old man on Halloween and picked up her 9th grader at school in costume! Needless to say, he wasn't pleased. In fact, he refused to get in the car. She followed him out of the parking lot and down the street for two blocks before he'd even look at her. Yes, he finally got in, but didn't appreciate her all. Update: He's in college now and says the "old man" incident is now one of his fondest childhood memories.

Kat Doran
There was the time I played private duty nurse for my uncle, a parish priest, after he underwent a resection of an aortic aneurysm. It was a very scary for the entire family, for a number of different reasons. It became my job to ensure Father Joe got sufficient rest which boiled down to playing traffic cop and time-keeper on visitors. On one afternoon, I could see Joe was fatigued and needed a nap. As I rounded up the crowd to send them out the door, one smirked at me.
"Who's Nurse Ratched, Joe?" he asked.
I said, "Who are you, the Pope?"
He said, "Close to it, honey. I'm the Bishop."

Margo Hoornstra
Becoming a coffee connoisseur wasn’t an instant fall head over heels event for Margo Hoornstra. Initial cups were loaded with milk and sugar. When the children arrived, two AM feedings coupled with six AM risings for work necessitated more indispensable caffeine. Flavored, iced, lattes and such, a true coffee aficionado, she covets them all.

M.J. Schiller
One day--when M.J.'s triplets were about two, and her eldest four--she was doing laundry and matching up the socks, one of her least favorite chores. She lined them up all along her arms as she hunted for their mates. After a bit of fruitless searching, she glanced at the time and realized she needed to hustle to be on time for a prayer service she was attending at her church.

She made it in time, her four children in tow, and removed her coat before kneeling to say a prayer. An half hour later, as she piously prayed along with the congregation, her eldest asked, "Mommy, why do you have a sock on your shoulder?" She had missed removing one of her husband's long, mateless gym socks!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Life Lessons #OpenBook Blog Hop

Life Lessons In IT

People have interesting misconceptions about folks who work in IT. They think we spend our days in nerf gun battles or discussing the latest sci-fi movie release. And like many stereotypes, there is some truth to the stories.

What people don't see is the behind-the-scenes teamwork. Sure, I work with a bunch of geniuses, but we are better in resolving problems as a group than as a bunch of individuals. They (thankfully) are not Sheldon Cooper type narcissists and know how to work together in a crisis. In fact, I'd say that they are actually fairly humble.

A major system goes down in the middle of the night? All hands on deck. That doesn't mean we actually have to get dressed thanks to the joys of being able to remote in and a dedicated conference line to have a group conversation. But if the network is down, there won't be any need for the boss to order people to come in. They'll already be there.

Another thing people don't understand is that IT is not just one area of knowledge. it's a whole conglomerate of specialties. There's networking and servers and help desk and operating systems and security and programs and ...okay, I'll stop now. Everyone in IT has to be part of the effort to keep things running smoothly for the end users.

IT can look like this:

Or, with good teamwork, like this:

Both get the job done, but one with more success than the other.

So what can people learn from what I do? The answer is simple. Teamwork.

To check in with the other authors, follow the links below.

July 24, 2017 – What Kind Of Lessons Could Anyone Learn From What You Do In Your Career?
Are there life lessons that people who aren’t in your career could learn from? You might be amazed.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Where the Fun Started- The Marquesa's Necklace #MFRWHooks

This week I'm joining in MFRW's Book Hooks. I've decided to highlight The Marquesa's Necklace, the first book in the Oak Grove Mysteries.This is from the scene where the reader is introduced to Detective Thomason.

 Thankfully, it was only moments until Detective Thomason appeared. I gave him the once over—brown hair still cut short—check. Glasses hiding those dark brown eyes—check. His shirt rumpled and in need of an iron—check. No wedding band in his finger—check. Yep, nothing had changed.
As I stood, his eyes wandered from my face down to my shoes. The corners of his lips curled upward, but I wouldn’t say that he smiled. A smile would have looked odd on his normally grim face.
“If you would come with me, please?” he said.

He even put the please in there, unlike our previous encounters. Of course, those times, I had been either in booking or in one of the interrogation chambers. I know, I know, they’re interview rooms. Whatever. I followed him through a maze of desks and hallways and into a small but comfortable office, my heels clicking on the tile floor. I’d never noticed before what a nice behind he had. I wondered if it was just the pants he was wearing, or if I’d just not looked before, having other things on my mind. Like calling a lawyer.


Harmony Duprie enjoyed her well-ordered life in the quiet little town of Oak Grove—until her arrest for drug trafficking. Cleared of all charges, she wants nothing more than to return to the uneventful lifestyle of a historical researcher she once savored.

But when her beloved old car “George” is stolen and explodes into a ball of flames, it sets off a series of events that throws her plans into turmoil. Toss in a police detective that may or may not be interested in her, an attractive but mysterious stranger on her trail, and an ex-boyfriend doing time, and Harmony’s life freefalls into a downward spiral of chaos.

Now she has to use her research skills to figure out who is behind the sinister incidents plaguing her, and why. And she better take it seriously, like her life depends upon finding the right answers.

Because it might.

The Marquesa's Necklace is on sale for only 99¢

Monday, July 10, 2017

A Day in the Life #Open book Blog Hop

It's boring folks. I have a standard 9-5 job. Well, it's 8:00 to 4:30, but you get the drift. So I spend my day in front of a computer screen and on conference calls. Thrilling, right?

Only I'd be lying. See, I work in IT. And I have one little word in my job title that changes everything. "Security." That means there's a lot about my job I can't tell you.

What I can tell you is that we pray for those boring moments in IT, because the excitement happens when something breaks. We don't like it when something doesn't work right. Neither do all the people who depend on the systems we operate, because that means they can't do their job in the normal fashion. We like it even less when it's a problem we can't fix within a few minutes.

And no, that's not me. I use enough programs on a daily basis that I have three screens. They take up a lot of territory on my desk. I don't drink coffee either. I never learned to like it. I keep a water bottle within reach all day and my coffee mugs are filled with pens.

But I have a great bunch of co-workers. On the days when everything is going smoothly, we sneak in a bit of fun to our normal routine. Things like Nerf gun battles (we are geeks!) and putt-putt golf in the hallways.Those are only short breaks, because there are systems to monitor and maintain and work to be done.

I'm always glad to head home to spend time with my dear hubby and the rest of my family. Of course, I have to take time to catch up on social media and write, so some of my time is spent by myself. I look forward to weekends when I can unwind and hopefully spend some extra time on writing.

So that's my day. Pretty normal these days, not like when I traveled for a living. That's a different day's post.

Now let's jump over and see what everyone else's day is like!

July 10, 2017 – What Is A Day In The Life Of A _________ (Insert Your Career) Like?
Walk your readers through the hour-by-hour day in the life of (your title). Also, don’t forget to share pictures. It’s always a lot of fun for people to peak into others’ lives.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Custom Blog:

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Dream Vacation- #OpenBook Blog Hop

This week we're talking about our dream vacations. And you know where I'm going right?

I'd start off with a drive to a small town somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. That leaves a lot of choices. Walden, Estes Park, Nederland—I don't have to be picky in my dreams.

There, I'd meet up with an experienced guide. I'd probably spend one night in a lodge, meeting fellow adventurers, getting acclimated to the altitude and having a beer or two. I'd go to bed early (if I was smart) because we'd be leaving early in the morning.

Breakfast the next day would be quick and easy. Cold cereal and fruit maybe, because there's a long ride ahead. First, a short drive to the alpine pasture where the horses wait for us—I get an older, gentle horse who's experienced enough to help a novice rider—and then we take off. There's no rush, and the horses meander along a well-worn path without urging. Most of them know the way as well as our guides.

We make frequent stops, admiring the scenery and getting off the horses long enough to stretch our legs. Lunch is sandwiches and (no chips- we don't need the salt) and more fruit, eaten beside a mountain stream. Oh, and we drink lots of water and re-apply our suntan lotion. Wrens and jays chatter happily as they flit from aspen branch to aspen branch. A few people take off their shoes and socks to go wading, but I refrain. I already know how cold a creek fed by snow melt is, and I grin at their cries of surprise.

Although the spot would be perfect (in my mind) for a place to camp, it wouldn't accommodate the whole group, so we mount up and take off again. Our destination is still a couple of hours ahead. I'm already feeling a story coming on, but I can't put words on paper just yet.

Although the clouds overhead seem to threaten us with a shower, the guides appear unperturbed. The trail we followed was steeper now, but the horses didn't seem to mind. Around each bend there is new and marvelous scenery, and we are accompanied by a string of "oohs" and "ahs" as well as the clicks of cameras. I'm starting to feel the ache in my legs and mu back, but I know there isn't too much farther to go.

Then we reach it. The high mountain lake that will be our home for the next few days. I breathe in the fresh air for several minutes before I set up my tent and roll out my sleeping bag, but there is still plenty of time before dark. Some of the other guests already have their fishing poles out, but I have other fish to fry.

But first there is supper, a simple meal of home-made chili and and fresh veggies to munch on. We sit on stools made out of old logs and talk about the the day as we sip on out drink of choice. For me, more beer. There will be the obligatory campfire once it gets dark, along with a few brave souls singing to the rising of the moon.

Some of the more enthusiastic fisherman will rise with the sun but chances are I'll sleep in. After breakfast, I'll finally have a chance to grab a notepad and pen and wander off to find a tree to sit under. Hopefully, the words will pour out. I'll stop long enough for lunch then go for a long walk in the afternoon. Take pictures of mountain wildflowers and mull over where the story is going. Head back to camp eventually, and do some more writing before supper.

Several days later, when it's time to leave, I'll have a solid start on a new story. Or two or three of them. When we roll up our sleeping bags and take down the tents, I'll be sad and happy at the same time. The return to civilization and the chance to take a shower will be welcome, as well as seeing my loved ones again.

And that's it. My dream vacation. What's yours?

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else dreams about. Let's follow the links below.

July 3, 2017 – What Is The Next Vacation You’d Love To Take?
Dream away. Share the fun. Or if your blog or business is made up of a team, you could always share where each of the team wants to go on vacation next. This is another one of those blog ideas that really help an audience get to know you better.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Custom Blog:

An InLinkz Link-up

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

J.J. Montgomery- Gun for Hire

Gun For Hire

The Maui Heat Series

by J.J. Montgomery

J.J. will be awarding 5 ebook of Gun For Hire to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here


The job should have been easy—patrol a swank beach that serves as a backyard for Maui’s rich, kick out the riffraff, and get a tan in the process. But rent-a-cop Samantha Winters didn’t anticipate a deliciously grumpy cop, Sergeant Grady Roark, who comes down to the beach to bust her chops and instead leaves her breathless…and wondering why the one man who could help her seems determined to thwart her at every turn.

Grady is keeping secrets from Sam that have him walking the line between attraction and duty. But when Sam becomes the target of a shadowy organization, Grady will have to choose between the law and the temptation of a woman who has him breaking every rule he’s ever known.

The job should have been easy, but when the bullets start flying, Sam learns nothing is as easy as it seems when you’re a Gun for Hire.

Buy Links:
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press


“The sunlight was intense after a half hour in that gloomy space, but I squinted hard and kept moving toward a narrow set of steps down to the parking lot. Grady walked a few paces behind me, and if he heard the crinkle of paper as I moved, he elected not to say anything.
Grady hit the remote to his truck and grabbed for the passenger side door, his hand light on my elbow as he helped me up. Paper crackled as my butt hit the seat and Grady’s eyes narrowed. Without a word, he slammed my door and went around to the driver’s side, climbing up into the cab and stabbing the keys into the ignition.
“So, I—” I hesitated as I shifted in my seat and my movement was accompanied by the distinct sound of cardboard bending.
“No,” Grady muttered, and clicked on the radio. “No talking.”
“Shh.” Grady put a finger to his lips, his eyes still on the road. “Any minute you’re going to tell me about the felony crime you just committed. And then I’m going to have to deal with the fact that I was an accessory to a felony crime." 
“Umm, yeah.” I reached around to the back of my pants and eased the file folder up from my waistband, working it out slowly so as to not lose anything as Grady headed up the hillside toward his house. As I brought it around to look at it, the red block letters damning me to years of incarceration should I get caught, a muscle ticked in Grady’s jaw.
“You stole classified documents.” He shook his head from side to side.
I looked up at Grady and then down at the mangled file with the red Top Secret heading. I took a corner of the front sheet and ripped across the width of the page, separating the words “Top Secret” from the rest of the paper.
“They’re declassified now.” I crumpled up the classification and shoved it in my pocket.
Grady sighed.
I shrugged and opened the file.”

Author Bio: 

J.J. MONTGOMERY writes romantic suspense novels with a sense of humor. Her heroines are as smart as they are smart mouthed and the men in their lives are just trying to keep up. Gun for Hire is the first book in J.J.’s Maui Heat Series. 

If you'd like to know more, including info on her newest book, where she gets her ideas, and how it’s possible she can’t use Facebook, please visit her:

Social Links: 
Website | Facebook |  Twitter  | Instagram 

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Sage Advice #OpenBook Blog Hop

As many of you know, I'm an IT geek (information technology)  by day and a writer by night. But unlike most people in the IT field, I didn't touch my first computer until I was over thirty. Yes, I remember the days BEFORE Windows.

But along the way, I was in a job where they were just beginning to convert to computers. We all got some basic computer training and sent along our merry where to put the magic to work—with varying levels of success.

But lo and behold, I found out I was actually GOOD at this stuff. Pretty soon I was helping my coworkers figure out how to make things work. When circumstances decreed that it was time for me to change fields, I decided computers were the way to go. And off to school I went, to learn the ins and outs of personal computers, servers, and networking.

I was lucky enough to get some very talented professors along the way. And they were tickled to have a "mature" student in their classes, who was genuinely interested in learning and didn't think she knew it all already. Many of the classes I'd be one of two or three females in a class of twenty-five and that made me stand out even more.

It was one of those wonderful teachers who gave—not just me but the entire class—the words I remember and pass along whenever I can. "A bad day in IT is better than a good day at McDonalds."*

How right he was. That emergency call at midnight when something breaks? Better than smelling french fries all day. Dealing with that user who just doesn't get it no matter how many times and how many ways you try to tell them how to fix their problem? Better than standing on your feet for an eight hour shift. Having to learn new technologies to stay ahead of the game? Way better than having to learn how to put together the newest sandwich on the market.

Thankfully I ended up in a job that I really love, working for a boss that really cares about the employees he manages. Still. there are days when nothing seems to go right and no matter how hard I try, the computers don't want to cooperate. And that's when I have to remind myself ... better than McDonalds! *

Now on to follow the links below and see what the rest of the authors have to say!

* No offense to those of you who work at McDonalds and love it. I did a stint in fast food and it's just not my thing.

June 26, 2017 – What Advice Has Stuck With You For A Long Time? And Who Gave You That Advice?
Did someone give you some great advice at a certain time in your life? Think back to that time and write down the advice as you remember it.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Events that Shaped My Life— #OpenBook Blog Hop

This week we're talking about the events that shaped our lives.

In one of the reviews for The Marquesa's Necklace, a reader wrote " the narrator mainly had too many situations." Well, if I ever wrote out my life story, I'm sure an editor would take a red pain to it and claim I had too many "situations", that all those coincidences couldn't possibly be real.

Let me tell you about the incredible string of situations that led me to meeting my beloved husband.

I had a plan for my life after I graduated from high school, all so many years ago. I happily went off to college, my major decided and the perfect school chosen. I was going to be a librarian. But after one semester, (that's four months) I changed my mind. I was in the wrong school for my vision for my future.

I decided to take some time away from college and reevaluate my goals. I returned home, got a job, and avoided thinking about what else I wanted to do. But my mother, in  her wisdom, didn't let me off the hook for too long. She encouraged me to come to a decision about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

So I did, with the help of a book listing colleges and universities in the United States. I'd already figured out a mew course of study, forestry, all I needed was the school to go to. And I found it. A little community college in the northwestern corner of Wyoming, near Yellowstone. Inspired by the music of John Denver, I applied and was accepted. (Hey, it wasn't Colorado, but it was close! Still Rocky Mountain High!)  When August rolled around, I piled all my clothes and a few other belongings into a small trunk and a backpack and got a ride on a cross-country Greyhound bus. Yes, I took a 1500 mile bus trip without ever having seen my destination. Remember, this was pre-internet, so I couldn't even research what the area looked like.

Where does my future husband come into this? Hold on, there's more in this string of incidents.

So I get settled into my dorm, and start classes, and everything is marvelous. One of my next-door neighbors is a local girl, who lived about 30 miles away in a small town. She decided to live in the dorm instead of dealing with driving daily and fighting the winter snows. Her boyfriend would come to visit her on a regular basis. Once day he brought along a friend, who fell for the next-door-neighbor's roommate.

Confused yet? The next night, the boyfriend's friend wanted to come back but his car was in need of repairs, so he asked yet another friend to bring him to the school. That friend agreed. The friend's friend and I met, and the rest is history. What editor is going to allow that chain of coincidences into a book?

That's just one of the many events in my life that has shaped me to be who I am. Let's find out what stories the other authors have to tell.


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Monday, June 12, 2017

Scheduling My Work Week— #OpenBook Blog Hop

This week we're talking about scheduling our work weeks.

I work a regular 9-5 type job, although how busy I am runs in cycles.That means I have to plan certain tasks for those times for those down times. Monthly reports, cleaning out my "sent" box—the non-critical parts of my job. I do them in bits and pieces when I have free moments. You'd be surprised at how much you can get done in short sprints of five or ten minutes.

But my "real" job isn't the challenge. It's finding the time and energy to write and work on publicity. After all, I have a loving family that wants to see me occasionally.

So I apply the same methods to my writing as I do to my day job. I do things in bits and pieces.

This blog post? Spread out over two evenings. Facebook? A few minutes in the morning and a few more in the evening. Twitter? A couple of times a week.

Actually writing? I can manage a few paragraphs in five minutes spurts, but it drives me crazy. That's the one thing I actually claim a block of time for. At night, when everyone else is in bed, I write. Maybe I only get five hundred words on paper, but it's progress.On the weekends, with any luck, I can do more.

So now you know why it takes me so long to write my stories.

If you have any tips to share with me, I'd love to hear them. You can share them in the comments. In the meantime, I'm going to head over to the other authors and see what they have to share.

June 5, 2017 – How Do You Schedule Your Work Week?
Walk your audience through how to schedule their work week productively. As humans, we always want to know how to get more done in a week. If you have anything that has helped you schedule your time throughout the week, put that into the post.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Custom Blog:

An InLinkz Link-up

get the InLinkz code