2018 Clearing My Life: Two New Reads!

      I’m clearing my life of unwanted clutter and offering up new and inventive ideas this year.

I’ve put out two new books in the last six months. Sometimes months of hard work on individual projects end up coming to fruition at approximately the same time and that is how it worked for me.

In the fall I released a fantasy YA book, Return to Glome’s Valley, which takes place in the valleys of southeast Oklahoma near the Heavener Runestone.  It is the sequel to Glome’s Valley and takes place 14 years later when Ethan has become a man.  He returns to the place he played as a child and finds escapades and secrets that only an adult could handle. Some mysteries should remain simply that. There are new adventures for some of the old characters and you might meet a dragon. It is available on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/ybdsqr6w  and Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/750678 in paperback or electronic download.

    Stones of Sandhill Island is part of the suspense series that takes place on a tourist island off the coast of Corpus Christi. Billie Stone – a legend in the Corpus Christi jazz scene – has come home to heal emotionally after her family is killed in a car accident.  She struggles with PTSD and survivor guilt.  She meditates and practices yoga to help with the symptoms and then her anchor – her mother, a former principal ballerina with the Corpus Christi Ballet – becomes ill with Parkinsons. Then Billie finds her mother held secrets.

Others also suffer from that effects of that fateful night.  Joe Franks was a little drunk and never meant to hurt anyone when he hit the mini van that killed two people, but he spent a year in jail for manslaughter and lost his home, car, job, and self-respect.  Now he delivers pizza for a living and blames Billie for his troubles.

On January 24, 2018 I will release the second in the Sandhill Island series.  It can be pre-ordered on The Wild Rose Press site at  https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=peggy+chambers&submit_search= or Amazon where the Kindle version is currently available for preorder https://www.amazon.com/Stones-Sandhill-Island-Book-ebook/dp/B078JYFSHN/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1515334460&sr=8-2&keywords=peggy+chambers. If you loved the first, I hope you continue the story with the second.  I plan a third as well and it is still a nugget in my mind.

A new year just begs for new reads.  Check out Return to Glome’s Valley and Stones of Sandhill Island and leave a review.  Authors love reviews!

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2018 Clearing Your Life: Out With the Old and in With the New!

            I’m beginning a clean sweep with 2018!  Out with the old and in with the new. 

            I was working diligently clearing out some dishes I no longer need in the kitchen, when the doorbell rang. I live on the outskirts of Enid and we have rural mail delivery.  On my bench near the front door sat a box along with some mail.  AND MY FIRST BOX OF STONES OF SANDHILL ISLAND HAD ARRIVED!  Like most writers I was so excited to hold in my hand the results of a year-long (or longer) project.  It was beautiful – better than I’d imagined.  And in my excited state I gave the first copy to my husband, aka final proofreader.  He is my biggest fan and supports me in my efforts, so, he always gets the first copy. And he sees mistakes others don’t.

            I made a place in the spare bedroom for the new arrivals and went back to planning the release party.  The book will be officially released on January 24, 2018, but can be pre-ordered on The Wild Rose Press site at  https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=peggy+chambers&submit_search= or Amazon where the Kindle version is currently available for preorder https://www.amazon.com/Stones-Sandhill-Island-Book-ebook/dp/B078JYFSHN/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1515334460&sr=8-2&keywords=peggy+chambers. You’re all invited to the release party sometime after January 24!

            But despite the excitement, I’m still clearing my life both physically and mentally.  I got rid of the giant Christmas tree yesterday when a friend who still has kids at home, and a big house, took it.  I also cleared out a spare crock pot, some Christmas mugs that no longer had a place in the kitchen, and some children’s books.  I will take them to a local thrift shop where someone who needs them will have access to them.  That is the theme; I don’t need them anymore and maybe some one else does.  

            Here’s to new beginnings, clearing out the old and replacing it with the new.  I’m also going to the gym today to try to revitalize the old body.  Twice a week isn’t enough.  I’m going to make it more often. After all, I’m retired and writing books.  I can make more time for the gym.

            What did you accomplish this week to make room for the new?  Clearing my life!

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2018 Clearing Your Life

              I’m a day early but decided to go ahead and begin the 2018 blogs.  Clearing your life will be the theme this year, because I need it!  I’ve recently been looking at things in the cabinets, closets and even in the living room that I can do without.  Maybe someone else can use them, but I know I don’t need them anymore.  And along with the cleaning out, I plan to repaint my white woodwork after cleaning it, and clear each and every drawer, cabinet, and closet.  It will be a trip down memory lane and a chance to clear out my life – and my mind.

            Along with the closet clearing, I hope to do some mind and soul clearing also.  Like my house, I am sure my mind will work better without the clutter.  We’ll discuss how to get rid of the clutter in your life as well as in your mind.  (Remember Goldie Hawn in the movie Overboard cutting through the cobwebs with a pair of scissors? It will be like that.) Negative thoughts need to go along with the cobwebs in the corners – they prevent us from moving on.

            In the process of clearing my house, maybe someone will need the things I don’t. It is a simple process, I don’t need it, but maybe you do.  So, let me know. Let’s discuss methods you use to declutter your life.      

           I hope you will join me and comment with ideas and tips as well as experiences you’ve had with clearing clutter.  Did it help your outlook on life, or just make your house look better? 

           Get ready for a clean sweep!

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2017 Something New: Christmas Now and Then

    I’ve been at this Christmas thing for a while now. I grew up in a family with two sisters and two parents and I remember one pair of cowboy boots handed down to whoever fit them that year.  They were polished on Christmas Eve, and morning would find them full of nuts and fruit.  No one thought about the stinky feet that had been there before the fruit, or the fact that Santa Claus brought fruit and nuts for three kids with one pair of boots. My dad would crack the nuts for us and we’d eat them and oranges for breakfast while the turkey roasted.  Of course, we got dolls, what girl didn’t back then, and Mom made Christmas dresses for all of us.

Then I had a family and I saw Christmas through the eyes of a parent. First a girl to dress up like the dolls I’d practiced on as a child in bows and ruffles, until she had a mind of her own about clothes (and that wasn’t long). Then I had a boy – and no idea what to do with him.  There was only one male in my previous family and he worked long hours and was seldom home.  I had no brothers.  Luckily my husband knew all about boys, and bikes, and ball games.  All the things my family never participated in. So, Christmas was saved, and the boy had gifts he would enjoy just like the girl.  I still put nuts and fruit in their Christmas stockings – there were no cowboy boots.

One Christmas a few years later we added a dog – a really big dog.  A huge Golden Retriever who weighted 85 lbs. in his prime and eventually sired 20 kids of his own in two different litters with his best friend.  We didn’t keep the puppies.  But the dog lived as the third kid in our household for 14 years – he was family. He was the Christmas gift that kept on giving. 

The kids grew up and left home, the dog died.  But the kids came back and brought others with them.  There were new kids to spoil for Christmas and we got another dog.  Christmas Eve with my husband is the same, snacks in front of the fireplace, but it’s just us and the new dog.  She gets a few nibbles, too. It’s a little bit quieter than it used to be, and we can sleep in on Christmas morning, but we will see our adult children and their kids before the day is over to feast and exchange gifts. However, I think the fruit and nut tradition has gone by the way side.

Like I said, I’ve been at this Christmas thing for a while.  And I think I may be getting the hang of it. Merry Christmas!  

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Author Interview with Peggy Chambers

Thanks for the interview, Caroline!

Book 'Em Book Club

Today we welcome Peggy Chambers.

Book ‘Em:  Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.

Peggy Chambers:  I am a retired office worker and now and have lots of time to write. I live with my husband and dog in my home town of Enid, OK in middle America (not Middle Earth).

Book ‘Em:  Which bookshave you written? What are they about and why did you choose to write them? Do your books have a message? Are they fiction or nonfiction?

Peggy Chambers:  All my books are fiction and I chose to write them because an idea came to me and would not go away. My first book was pulp fiction – The Apocalypse Sucks, published by Airship 27. It is a dark comedy about two women who are left to try to live their lives after a virus takes out most of the world. And they…

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2017 Something New: Non-Fiction Author Caroline Giammanco

     Today I am hosting Caroline Giammanco, non-fiction author, and teacher, on my blog.  Caroline hails from Missouri where she is a classroom English teacher at the local high school.

Tell us about the titles you are promoting and their descriptions:

Bank Notes: The True Story of the Boonie Hat Bandit – A bank robbing spree in St. Louis garners national attention in 2007-2009. This nonfiction inside look into our criminal justice system tells how an independent stock options trader, a single father of twins, became known as “St. Louis’s most notorious bank robber.” He’s also my husband. 

Guilty Hearts: The World of Prison Romances – Why would any woman love an inmate? Delve into the lives of eleven different inmate families and couples to find out what keeps them together—and why your life may depend upon the health of those relationships.

Caroline’s books are published by:  W & B Publishers

Her current work in progress:  I am finishing my third manuscript entitled Inside the Death Fences: Memoirs of a Whistleblower. This autobiographical work follows me from my life as the daughter of a deputy sheriff to becoming a whistleblower in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

I asked her favorite quote and her answer was: “The good news is we will all have high schools named after us.” This quote comes from the movie Deep Impact when the shuttle crew realizes they will have to sacrifice themselves to save earth. As a school teacher, this one always strikes a chord.

Who is the author who inspires you the most and why:  There are so many to choose from, so this is a tricky question. My two favorite books are The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird, so I would say Fitzgerald and Lee are tied. They make the readers face distressful situations, none of which are completely satisfied in the end.

If stranded on an island, what book would you want with you?  I would want to have Gone with the Wind with me.  It is long and has a great deal of subtext within it, so it would occupy my time and my mind.

What book is on your bedside table right now? Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari. It tracks the history of the War on Drugs.

Tell us three fascinating things about you:

1)      I am a country girl at heart and would live in the middle of the woods in a cabin if I had a choice.

2)      As I alluded to earlier, I am a middle-class, professional educator whose husband happens to be in prison for a high-profile crime spree. Life is full of unexpected twists.

3)      I have no fear of public speaking. I could speak in front of a stadium full of people and not even wince. Do not ask me to sing, though.

What would be your ideal workspace? My ideal work space would be an upstairs den in a cabin or cottage in the woods. I’d have a comfy chair and face out a window looking at the peaceful countryside. In reality, I do most of my writing propped up in bed in my single-story house in town. A girl can dream, though.

What is your advice for other authors: Don’t be afraid to speak the truth and be relatable to your readers. If you can get them to care about your topic and to consider you credible in their hearts and minds, you will gain loyal fans.

Tell us where to find you and your books: Readers can find me at the following:

www.booniehatbandit.com

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009880805237

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=caroline%20giammanco%20author%20fans

@ GiammancoBook on Twitter

Trailers for my books:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljro0F8oxg0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfv8H7-22OU

 Caroline’s books are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Check her out!  Remember books make great Christmas presents, and as always, if you love it, leave a review.  Authors love reviews. 

Thank you, Caroline, for guesting on my blog today.  Good luck with your books and keep in touch.

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2017 Something New: Author Peggy Jaeger!

    My guest blogger today is the uber-talented author, Peggy Jaeger.  We’ve agreed there aren’t enough Peggy’s in literature and it was a good way for us to begin talking. Both of us writing for The Wild Rose Press, we sometimes get in each other’s way on the Tuesday night chat room when called on.  Which Peggy?

So, please welcome – Peggy Jaeger,  she helps people find their HEA (Happily Ever After).

Her latest book: A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS  

Summary of A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights: Christmas is a few weeks away and Gia San Valentino meets the perfect guy, but a misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not. Perfect guy? Or Forbidden Fruit?

We know each other through The Wild Rose Press who publishes some of our work.  Do you publish with other publishers and who? Yes, Kensington/Lyrical Shine

What are you working on now? A brand new small town contemporary humorous romance series about three sisters who collectively run a “one stop shopping” Bridal business in their small New Hampshire town.

Favorite quote (from any source): If you can be anything, be kind.

Who is the author/artist that inspires you the most, and why? Nora Roberts/J.D.Robb. She writes characters who are real people in the way they talk, think, and act. I can see myself being friends with them.

If stranded on an island, what one book would you keep with you? New York to Dallas by J.D.Robb. I cry like a baby every time I read it.

What are you reading right now? (besides these questions…) Dreaming of Manderlay by Leah Marie Brown (a modern retelling of REBECCA)

Tell us 3 fascinating things about you:

(I don’t know if they are fascinating but here goes):

My left eye is significantly smaller than my right

I love scary movies – the scarier the better (and remember, scary doesn’t have to mean gory)

I’m a great mimic.

Describe your ideal work space…and then tell us about your actual one: My actual one is my ideal one. I write in an office in my attic that my husband designed for me. It overlooks our forest/woodland property and I can watch the seasons change outside my window while I type. It’s quiet, beautiful, and perfect for me.

What advice do you have for other writers/artists? Never give up on a dream. I wanted to write and publish my entire life. Life got in the way and I couldn’t devote myself to it the way I wanted, but I always dreamed I would someday be a published romance author. My first book was published when I was 55, so dreams don’t die – people let them. Never give up on a dream and don’t let anyone else convince you to.

Where can readers find you online? Good Lord, where can’t they is the better question!! I’m obnoxiously social on line;

Website/Blog: http://peggyjaeger.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072?ref=bookmarks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/peggyjaeger/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger

Instagram:  https://instagram.com/mmj122687/

Tribber: https://triberr.com/PeggyJaeger

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/peggy-jaeger

It was great having you here, Peggy, and I know we all wish you continued success.  Pick up a copy of Peggy’s books and as always, leave a review if you love it. Check her out!

Here are her buy links for those wonderful books (after all, it is Christmas and books make great presents):

Amazon : https://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Under-Christmas-Lights-ebook/dp/B01LZ28ZTQ/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Wild Rose Press : https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4700-a-kiss-under-the-christmas-lights.html?search_query=peggy+jaeger&results=12

Barnes and Nobel: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-kiss-under-the-christmas-lights-peggy-jaeger/1124783656?ean=2940157103873

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/search?Query=a+kiss+under+the+christmas+lights+by+peggy+jaeger

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Peggy_Jaeger_A_Kiss_Under_the_Christmas_Lights?id=OAqLDQAAQBAJ

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2017 Something New: Making Moonshine

    My husband came down with a cold at Thanksgiving after a week of sitting in a deer stand.  The cold weather made his body vulnerable to the rhinovirus that causes the common cold.  When you have a cold it doesn’t feel very common, but they are everywhere. So far mankind has not found a cure for the common cold and every doctor will say, “it’s a virus and it has to run its course.”  I read somewhere once that skin cancer had been cured by injecting it with the rhinovirus. That might be an urban legend, but then again, maybe there is a reason why we cannot, or should not, eradicate the common cold.

Instead of eradication, we are working on my husband’s immune system to give it a boost.  Moonshine is what he has dubbed my concoction, partly because I store it in the refrigerator in a mason jar.  I found a recipe that uses water, sliced fresh ginger and lemon simmered for fifteen minutes and then served with honey. (I drink mine cold and no honey. He prefers it hot with honey.) I found that simmering sliced lemon brings out the bitterness of the rind.  So, I simmer the ginger and then add the lemon juice afterwards.  I think it tastes better.

And believe it or not, he is drinking it! And he is feeling better.  I’ve been drinking a little too, to help my immune system stave off his virus.  It might or might not work.

But some of the old-fashioned cures are as good as the more modern ones.  Gargling with salt water for a sore throat, rubbing Vicks Vapor Rub (mentholated topical cream) on your chest to open up the sinuses, making moonshine (ginger drink) to help the immune system do its job, and last but not least, lots of soap and water to wash away the virus (hands, sheets, anywhere bodily fluids can touch).

A word to the wise, go easy on ginger if your digestive system isn’t used to it.  A little bit can go a long way.  I only give it to him once a day.

It’s cold and flu season so be careful out there!

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2017 Something New: Books for Christmas

    Books make great Christmas presents. I know because I read them, and others do to. I grew up happy in the library.  My sisters and I would walk the few blocks to the old Carnegie library in Enid during the summer and load up with as many books as our arms could hold (or the library would let us check out at one time). There was just something about the smell of ink on paper and the book in my hand that made me happy.  I was transported to another world.

When my kids were born, I read bedtime stories to them and we curled up with books together on the couch.  They especially liked fantasy.  I remember when they received their Weekly Reader order form we’d pour over it and buy as many as I could afford.  Even before they could read all of them by themselves, I would read the story to them.  My son had a favorite he memorized before he was old enough to read and he would “read it to us” at bedtime.  Somewhere I still have a recording of that on an old cassette tape.  It is a treasure I wouldn’t trade for the world.

My daughter loved the Bunnicula books and would buy them at school and I’d read them to the kids as I fixed dinner because they were so excited they couldn’t wait until bed time.

The first book I wrote debuted in a hotel room with my grandson.  We took him and our daughter to the Grand Canyon and I made sure the manuscript was finished and printed.  I placed it in a three-ring binder and read a chapter or two to him each night making sure we were done before the trip was over.  I may have loved that more than he did.

This year when you are starting your Christmas shopping be sure to include books for your loved ones.  They are a treasure for the giver and receiver.  They are a gift that you can share and create memories.  And if you love it, be sure to leave the author a review.

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2017 Something New: Foodfic

    Check out the website of Shelley Workinger’s Foodfic blog! But what are they eating? We discuss food after the apocalypse.

https://bookfare.blogspot.com/2017/11/foodfic-please-welcome-peggy-chambers.html

 

 

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