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.

Custom Blog:

An InLinkz Link-up

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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

get the InLinkz code