Monday, October 23, 2017

How To Go For A Walk #OpenBook Blog Hop




There's lots of advice on walking on the intranet.Walking fast vs. slow. How far to go. What to wear. How to get in the most steps for your fitness device. Don't bother googling it, because I am going to tell you how to break the rules.

Start by finding your most comfortable shoes. They don't have to be fancy or expensive or a certain manufacturer. You just want to be able to get home without blisters.



Dress for the weather. Coat, no coat, pants or shorts, tank top or sweatshirt. That's going to change day by day. If you're going into the woods (we'll get to that) take bug spray.

Ready? Not until you've turned off your cell phone. (Or at least turned down the volume.) Leave your MP3 player by the computer. You don't need it.

Now, where are you going? Around the block? Out to the back 40? Maybe to the park down the way? it doesn't matter. Take a deep breath and walk out the door, locking it behind you if necessary. When you get outside, stop for a minute. Look up at the sky. Is it sunny or are the stars out? Take another deep breath, and this time smell the world. Is the neighbor barbecuing or is that the smell of falling leaves. All that's left is to move one foot in front of another.

It doesn't matter if you go slow of fast. This isn't about where you are going or how quickly you get there. It's about the journey. At the house down the street, stop and admire the potted flowers on the windowsill. Or watch the red-tailed hawk circling overhead. Or savor the smell of salt drifting in from the ocean.

Don't let the blaring of car horns distract you from your task. Did I forget to mention that you have something to accomplish? A little nothing, really. I want you to daydream. When was the last time you did that? So feel free to take a break and sit on a big rock or park bench for a few minutes.



Then keep putting one foot in front of the other. You're getting there. Wherever 'there' is. Remember, there's no deadline. You can stop whenever you want to look around. See all those things you've never noticed before even if you've been by there five times before. Maybe it's the dew on a spider web sparkling in the early morning sun. Or the way the clouds drift behind that skyscraper. Or the way that noisy little mutt's body quivers with excitement when you pet him.

Listen to the world around you. Smile at the people passing by. Watch the children play. Take your time and really see the world around you. There's beauty there.

Remember the words of the greats, Simon & Garfunkel:

"The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)"

Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy
Ba da da da da da da, feelin' groovy

Hello, lamppost, what'cha knowin'?
I've come to watch your flowers growin'
Ain't'cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in doo-doo, feelin' groovy
Ba da da da da da da, feelin' groovy

I got no deeds to do
No promises to keep
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me
Life, I love you
All is groovy

And that's how to take a walk.

Let's find out what the other authors are sharing by following the links below.



October 23, 2017 – How to post. Pick something and explain how to do it. It can be writing related, craft related, garden related – just share how you do it.
Rules:
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, October 17, 2017

Wolves' Knight Book Hooks





From Wolves' Knight, Book 2 of the Free Wolves series. On sale for 99¢ for a short time.

     The wind picked up and a gust almost covered the sound. Tasha’s ears pricked forward at the shuffle of footsteps. A figure inched along the side of the building, stopping at a window. Tasha tightened her muscles, but didn’t move.
     Then he went on. Tasha was positive it was a male although the wind blew the wrong direction for her to catch his scent. Not even her tail twitched as he stopped at another window. Her ears caught the sound of him tapping on the glass. He moved again.
     The third window sat in a pool of darkness. But Tasha’s eyes watched as he raised the window. He grasped the window frame and started to lift himself inside.

      And Tasha exploded into a snarling mass of muscle and fangs.




Blurb: 

Tasha Roeper knows what it means to protect your own. So when her friend, Dot Lapahie, CEO of Lapahie Enterprises, suspects that the Free Wolves are under attack, Tasha immediately signs on to lead the investigation and guard Dot.

But Tasha's not convinced it's the Free Wolves that are the target. She fears that her own pack—the Fairwood Pack—are the actual quarry and Dot is only a decoy.

The deeper Tasha digs, the more puzzles she uncovers.

Torn between tradition and a changing world, will Tasha risk everything to save a friend—including her own life—when old enemies arise?

Buy Links










Monday, October 16, 2017

Things to Change in my Industry #OpenBook Blog Hop



People hate computers. Come on, admit it. There a necessary nuisance as far as you're concerned.

So when I mention I'm in IT, you roll your eyes and say "Better you than me." Or something like that. Right?

Here's the thing. Me and machines don't get along. At least we didn't. I can cause a radio to go all static-y by just walking in the room. But me and computers? Different story.

Now, I'm not an expert in all things computer. But I'm definitely above average. Not bad for someone who didn't touch their first computer until she was over 30 years old.

Thing is, I'm not afraid of them. Just like I know how to break them, (and I have broken a few)  I know how to fix them. To me, it's fun It's the logical side of my brain analyzing a problem and figuring out how to resolve it.



So what would I change about my industry? Same thing as I do on a regular basis. Help the end user understand what how they can use all that power at their fingertips. I don't expect everyone to be able to open a computer case and understand all the bits and pieces inside, but they should be able to make an effort to understand the programs they use on a regular basis. For example, they don't have to hit Caps Lock to make a capitol letter, that's what  the shift key is for.

Is it scary? Sure, at first. But, as in many things,  too many people aren't even willing to try.And that's what I would change.

Let's find out what our other authors would change by following the links below.



October 16, 2017 – Things you want to see change in your industry.
Rules:
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, October 9, 2017

Business Resources #OpenBook Blog Hop




Thank heavens for the internet. When I started this process of being a writer, I relied on magazines as a source of information. Anyone still subscribe to Writer's Digest? Or Coda? (now Poets & Writers)

That was back in my poetry writing days, and they were a lifeline. Inspiring articles, success stories of other writers, lists of potential markets. All things I would have never found  on my own.

Then I started writing books and everything changed. The list of literary magazines I haunted on a regular basis held no value anymore. I needed a list of agents and instructions on the proper way to type up a manuscript. At least that's what I thought.

Then I signed up for my first writer's newsgroup through Yahoo. I thought I might get some tips on writing as well as information on how to submit a query. What I got was so much more.

I'd vaguely been aware of ebooks, but hadn't seen one. I still made my weekly or so trips to the library to get my reading materials. The first few electronic books I downloaded were enjoyable reading, but I missed the feel of paper in my hands. (And still do!)



When the first discussions of indie publishing came to my attention, I followed them with curiosity. Then interest. I could publish my books without an agent or a publisher? I didn't have to
change my stories to fit someone else's boring standards?

Eventually I discovered other writers on Facebook. And on-line critique groups. And sites where you can check your work for spelling and grammatical errors. And free blogging sites (Like this one! Thanks, blogger!) And so on and so on.


So thanks, internet, you've been a great help.

*****

Here's a few links a starting author might be interesting in.

prowritingaid.com/Free-Editing-Software.aspx

https://www.grammarly.com

http://www.critiquecircle.com/default.asp

Now let's go find out what everyone is using!




"October 9, 2017 – My favorite business resources.
Rules:
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.
Wordpress:



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"
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Monday, October 2, 2017

Favorite Charity #OpenBook Blog Hop


I suppose some people wouldn't consider my favorite charity as a charity at all. They consider it more of a club, but it couldn't exist without contributions from lots of people.

I grew up wearing brown and then green with this organization. As a teen, I spent summers as both a volunteer and a paid employee working for this group. I was lucky enough to be able to move on to being an adult volunteer first and a paid employee later.

It was with this group that I learned my love of nature. The trees, the hills, the sun and the rain. I learned how to build fires and how to put them out. I hiked trails and helped build them where none existed.
.




I learned self-reliance and child care and how to manage money. Through this organization, I got to  explore cities and places where I'd never traveled before.I got to have relationships with adults that weren't my parents and be more of an adult myself. And yes, I sold cookies.

It was on a camping trip with this group that I first decided I wanted to grow my hair long. One of the adults on the trip-another girl's grandmother- always wore her hair in a braid that was wrapped into a bun. Very old fashioned. But one morning she took it down to comb it out and it was the longest, most beautiful silver hair I'd every seen. I'll have hair like that some day.







So here's to the Girl Scouts. Still my favorite charity. I know they've been having some tough times lately, but I hope they stick around for years to come.

Now let's go find out what charities the other authors like.



October 2, 2017 – Talk about your favorite charity and why it’s your favorite?
Rules:
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, September 25, 2017

Business Lessons for Writers #OpenBook Blog Hop







I don't claim to be the most business-savvy author you'll ever meet. In fact, I'm still learning. But the toughest lesson I've learned is that it takes money to make money.

For the most part (and there are rare exceptions) writing a good book isn't enough to make you successful. There are lots of good books out there, and it's tough to get noticed in the crowd. You can try all the free sites in the world and sell a few books, but that won't support your writing habit.







Then there are other places that charge varying degrees of money to publicize your book for you. Usually the price of their advertising matches the size of their audience. The bigger the number of their followers, the more money you have you spend to get listed with them. But there's a reason that authors buy promotions with those sites—they sell books!

I'm not going to give you a comprehensive list of sites that will publicize your books. A quick search on the internet will give you that information. Two moderately priced ones I had good luck with are E-Reader News Today and Robin Reads. Each costs around $50 to promote a book in the mystery genre.

There are also services that will send out tweets to their followers and others that will post to groups on Facebook for you. Some offer to promote your book across a wide range of social media. What you do depends on how you want to reach your target audience.

So if I had to start over, I'd make sure I had a "bank" to use for paid promotion services. I know it may seem unnecessary after sinking money into editing, formatting and a professional cover, but it's worth it.

And that's my 2¢ worth. Now I'm off to learn from my fellow authors!





September 25, 2017 – Tell us your biggest business lesson learned. If you were to start your writing career all over again, what would you do differently?
Rules:
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, September 19, 2017

Cover Reveal #EnforcerSeries



I'm tickled to help out a friend with her cover reveal today.It's her next book in the Enforcer series.


Ryleigh, take it away!

Reveal Date: 9/19/2017
Blurb:
She was too broken and I couldn't save her.

I’ve survived multiple deployments to places that just hearing the name makes people cringe. I think nothing of attempting to save lives when they have the most impossible injuries, all while sustaining my own wounds. I’m a medic, a healer, a helper, a fixer. I must do this to conceal my dark, scarred, broken soul. I loved her beyond reason even though I knew I could never have her.

Now I’m dragging myself back to the light, the land of the living with the help of my friends.I need to find her. The one who will be my rock. My heart. But to find her, I have one more battle to fight.

This one will be the most difficult yet.





Links:
https://twitter.com/ryleigh_rhodes
https://www.facebook.com/RhodesRyleighAuthor/
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35431235-j

Photographer: Kruse Images and Photography - https://www.facebook.com/KIPmodelsandboudoir/
Cover Artist: Rebel Edit and Design - https://www.facebook.com/rebeleditdesign/

Hashtags:
#AuthorRyleighRhodes #EnforcerSeries








Monday, September 18, 2017

What Would You Do in a Recession? #OpenBook Blog Hop



First, let's get one thing straight. The difference between a recession and a depression.

A recession is an economic downturn characterized by an uptick in unemployment. They normally at least 6 months. A depression is more severe and may last years. There have been 8 recessions since 1960, according to The National Bureau of Economic Research. Bet you didn't know that! I didn't.



So surviving a recession isn't so hard, especially if you are lucky enough to keep your job. Here's a few things you can do beforehand to get ready for one:



Keep your debt as low as possible. I get it, that new gadget is really hard to resist . But do you need it? Is it worth buying now and paying interest for several years? Interest is low right now, but it might not be in several years.



Stash some cash. Forget what the experts say about saving enough to cover several months of your expenses, that's unrealistic for many of us. But save something. Every bit helps.



Remember the old saying—waste not, want not? I had a friend who used to throw away things that were old but not broke. (She's not a friend anymore.) She didn't want to be bothered with storing them (which I understood) or donating them (which I didn't understand.) We as a society are too quick to discard things. I'm a strong proponent of recycling and believe that might save us some problems down the road.

But what to do if another recession hits? First off, don't worry about maintaining your current lifestyle. That may be a losing proposition. Instead, figure out a new lifestyle that is sustainable Can you live on unemployment and food stamps? (in the US)



Grow your own food. Well, not all of it, but start with fresh vegetables and spices. Even if you live in an apartment, there are some you can grow on a windowsill. Eat out less and cook more.


Live simpler. How many pairs of shoes do you need? Same goes for everything else you buy. How many TV channels can you watch at once? In fact, turn off the TV and read a book (and save electricity at the same time.) You can borrow them from the public library for free.


Learn how to fix the things you already have. Sew on a button or change the hem yourself instead of taking that outfit somewhere else to be fixed. By the way, bartering is a way to get goods and services without spending money and it works. What are you good at that you can use as a bargaining chip?


Like to travel? Take day trips instead of week long trips. You'll still need to buy gas but you'll save the cost of a hotel room.Or, go primitive camping. See nature from the ground up.

How wold you adapt to a recession? Tell me in the comments. In the meantime, let's hop over and see what the other authors have to say.




September 18, 2017 – The Great Recession. We have probably all heard of if not lived through a recession. If a recession occurred today, what would you do to sustain your lifestyle? What changes would you make?
Rules:
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, September 12, 2017

Her Ladyship's Ring #MFRW Hooks




From Her Ladyship's Ring, Book 2 of the Oak Grove Mysteries:


Freddie nodded and climbed out of the ambulance. I watched with interest as he and the officer walked towards the porch. The officer, one of those people who used their hands to talk, waved them wildly in the air. The flashlight he held created a miniature laser show as he moved it about. But my attention was diverted when the paramedic discovered another ding on my face and applied the medication that stung worse than the original cut.
Are any of those cuts going to leave a scar?” Luke asked from the peanut gallery.
They shouldn’t.” The paramedic cupped my chin in his palm and moved my head back and forth, studying his handiwork. He pushed a strand of long brown hair that had escaped from my bun away from my face. “Not as long as she keeps them clean and they don’t get infected.”
One more thing for me to worry about. I tried to remember which cheek James Bond’s scar was on. Or were female PI’s supposed to be flawless? If so, I'd never qualify. My glasses were enough to eliminate me.
It didn’t take long until Freddie came back. “How long were you here before the shot was fired?” he asked. He seemed tired as he climbed back into the ambulance and stood opposite me, bending so his head wouldn't scrape the roof of the ambulance.
Maybe fifteen minutes.”
And Luke and Joe were with you the whole time?”
Well, no.” With Freddie back into cop mode, not friend mode, I got nervous. “I drove up ten minutes or so before them.” I glanced at the boys, and Joe shrugged.
Did you go into the house while you were waiting?”
No.” I felt the heat in my cheeks. “I thought I saw something moving upstairs, and decided to wait outside for them. It was probably just the reflection of a bird on the window, but I didn’t want to take any unnecessary chances. Besides, they were bringing the cleaning equipment.”
Did you hear the shot? Was there more than one?”
What the hell? “No, I didn’t, I was singing.”
Badly,” muttered Luke.
Off-key,” added Joe.

I never claimed to be good.






Blurb: 

Harmony Duprie is back, and so is trouble in Oak Grove.

When a man is murdered in the back yard of the old Victorian house she is remodeling, Harmony is determined to locate his next-of-kin so he can be put to rest properly. But with her ex-boyfriend Jake out of prison, back in town and one of the suspects in the murder, she takes on the challenge of solving the crime.

With Eli, her current love interest, in Florida and Jake close by, old emotions come back to haunt her. Can Harmony clear Jake's name and solve the mystery of her own heart?

Her Ladyship's Ring is available at these retailers:


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VQE31S2

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1121692446?ean=2940151639064

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id982884469 


https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/her-ladyship-s-rin










Monday, September 11, 2017

Where were you on 9-11 #OpenBook Blog Hop



Some events are burned into our memories. The moon landings. The Kennedy assignations. We use them to mark the passage of time. For me, one of those was 9/11.

The day started out normally at the state agency where I was employed. The beginning of the day paperwork and barrage of phone calls. The smell of a plethora of cups of coffee in the air and the chatter of coworkers as they settled into workday echoed in the hallways.

And then, the mood changed and the whispers started. Something about a plane crash in New York City. Into a building. Our boss pulled a TV out of his office and moved it into an empty room where any staff member could stop by and catch up on what was going on.

Then a second place crashed into a nearby skyscraper. All pretense of work ended as we tried to keep up with the rapid flow of incoming news.

When a plane crashed into the Pentagon, I couldn't believe it. I'd always thought of the Pentagon as indestructible. But then, I'd never imagined anyone crashing a plane into it.

Unlike some of my coworkers, I hadn't started crying yet. I was too stunned to process my emotions. And then the South Tower collapsed.

When word came of another plane being hijacked, we were all sent outside. Not that our small office was a likely target, but all the government facilities in the state were being evacuated as a precaution. Some of us sat in our vehicles and turned on the radio to listen to the news.


And that's when I panicked. All they knew was the fourth plane had crashed into a rural area in Western Pennsylvania. And that was all they knew. My family lived on Western Pennsylvania in a rural area. I couldn't even go back inside the building to call them. Luckily, one of the other employees had a cell phone and she allowed me to borrow it. (Daytime calls were limited back in those days!) I was able to get through to my mother and check in. All of my siblings were safe—including the one that worked in the DC area— although she was still waiting to hear from some nieces and nephews.


We did get to go back inside after awhile. I don't remember much work getting done that day. Not that anyone cared.





The images of people covered in ashes walking away from the disaster site will forever stay with me. I feel blessed that no one I knew was killed in the attack.

Let's find out what the other authors remember about the day.

P.S. To all my friends and acquaintances throughout Florida—may you stay safe and may your electricity come back soon!


September 11, 2017 – Where were you and what did you do when you heard about the 911 attacks? What did you do to move on?
Rules:
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, September 4, 2017

Common Mistakes in Books #OpenBook Blog Hop



There's a lot of things I'm forgiving of when it comes to reading books. The occasional typo. (Like one or two in an entire book. Not one per page! ) As an author, I know how hard it is to track those things down and I'm willing to overlook the occasional slip.

I'll forgive a slight slip in logic especially in fantasy and science-fiction. After all, you have to be able to suspend reality to read those stories.

There are a few things I can't forgive.

Many years ago, when I wasn't working out of the house, I'd watch a soap opera—more to have noise in the house than to follow the story line—and then I realized that one night in soap opera time had eaten up over a week in real life. That was the last time I watched the show. Time slips in books do the same thing to me.

The beginning of the page it's morning? And by the bottom of the page the characters are eating supper? And there's been no break in the conversation in between? Imaginary points deducted. Depending upon the story, it may be what drives me to close the book and never finish reading it. Sorry, I can't tell you what book that was so you can avoid it. I've driven it out of my memory.

Another thing I despise are books for teenagers that try way too hard to sound cool. (See what I did there?) Sure, teenagers use slang, but I've never talked to one that every word that came out of their mouth was a fad. I've talked to a lot of teenagers and guess what? Most of them use the same words as you and I.



One more. If you are going to write a series, you must have a different plot for each book. Don't rehash the same story over and over. The heroine gets kidnapped in book one? She'd better not get abducted in book two. The dashing hero overcomes his past trauma and rescues the lady and falls in love with her all in one book? Maybe book two the heroine should rescue the hero!

And please, even if you are writing a series, don't write a cliffhanger at the end of the story. Give us closure at the end of the book. You can leave enough open questions to make us want to read the next book without leaving us dangling. I'll refuse to by the next book out of sheer orneryness.  (That's not a word, I know! It should be.)

'Nuff said. Let's find out what everyone else has to pick on!



September 4, 2017 – As writers, we’re also readers. What is a common mistake you see in many books? Offer suggestions for making a change. You can even share a paragraph from a book and correct it.
Rules:
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 28, 2017

Favorite Food #OpenBook Blog Hop



Food—one of my favorite topics. There's a running joke that I should have been born Italian because my favorite food is just that—anything Italian. Spaghetti, pizza, lasagna, fettuccine alfredo, you name it.

What I don't claim is to be a good Italian cook. I don't make my own sauce or pasta. It always tastes better when someone else cooks it.


But I'm also a fan of comfort food. Old-fashioned cooking that clings to your ribs and fills your tummy. Chicken and Dumplings. Beef Stew. And I've got some great recipes. Granted, some of them are better suited to a cold winter's day rather than the log days of summer, but it's almost September already, and snow isn't too far off in these parts.



Here's my take on Hamburger stew:


Hamburger Soup

Ingredients

1 ½ lbs lean ground beef (or substitute ½ lb hot Italian sausage for an extra kick)
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cups shredded cabbage (I buy the pre-shredded cabbage. It cuts down on the preparation time.)
1 sweet bell pepper, chopped
1 tbls minced garlic
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
4 cups beef stock ( I usually use more)
½ tsp seasoning salt
½ tsb basil
¼ tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, brown the beef, onions celery, garlic and pepper until the meat is no longer pink. Add the cabbage and cook together for a couple of minutes. Drain. (I find it easier to add most of the vegetables after draining the fully cooked meat.) Add the seasoning.

Transfer the meat and vegetable mixture to a stock pot, add the beef stock and tomato sauce. Mix. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30-45 minutes and serve. (I like it with shredded cheese on top.)

I've used both yellow and green peppers at the same time to give it some added color. I also like to add sliced carrots.

Serve with some freshly baked bread and you have a real treat. (Don't make your own bread? Me either. I hit up my favorite grocery store bakery and warm up a loaf for a few minutes before serving.)

This is just as good as leftovers as it is the day you make it, but you may need to add some additional beef stock.

I wonder what our other authors are eating. Let's go find out!


August 28, 2017 – Favorite Foods. What are your favorites, something you could eat weekly or more often. Feel free to share a recipe.
Rules:
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 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.
Rules:
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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Custom Blog:



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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
back.”
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 https://www.amazon.com/Stories-Sun-Sand-Sea-Anything-ebook/dp/B01FL1F1EM

Blurb:
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.
Rules:
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.
Wordpress:



Custom Blog:



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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.
Rules:
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.
Wordpress:



Custom Blog:



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