Monday, July 31, 2017

The Countdown

She’s back! We’re all under the same roof, even though not everyone wants to be here. We feel more like a family than a bed & breakfast. And now the countdown starts.

Usually my countdown starts as soon as the kids leave for camp. I have only a certain number of weeks, days, hours responsible only for myself before they return and my life has to semi-revolve around what they need from me. So even though my time is my own and I can relax, there’s an end in sight that ticks away in the back of my mind.

This time, that wasn’t the case. There was no sense of “only x amount of time until…” Maybe because one was home and the other called every day? I’m not sure. But I didn’t face the end of each day with a sense of “never again” or “one less.”

But now that everyone is home, laundry is beginning. Summer homework is beginning. Plans for short trips are beginning. And suddenly the summer has a countdown...

...a countdown until the birthday trip
...a countdown until the birthday
...a countdown until the college visits
...a countdown until band
...a countdown until the summer job ends
...a countdown until college

What was once a long stretch of summer is all of a sudden parsed into short bursts of activity, punctuated by even shorter times of nothing. And I suspect my attempts at sitting back and letting things happen as others want them to will fail miserably going forward. Because now there’s no time for procrastination and I’m much better at following my own idea of a schedule than anyone else’s.

Going to be a fun few weeks!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Grocery Store Insanity

Wegmans opened up nearby this weekend. I received the postcards in the mail and signed up for the shopper card. Given the lousy selection of grocery stores in my area—causing most of us to go multiple places in order to complete our entire list, or settle for a store close by that we don’t like—we were all pretty excited. And since I’d spent the three days prior to the opening consumed with my book release, I needed to get out of the house and into civilization.

Or so I thought.

According to a local news article, people actually camped out the night before outside the store. I haven’t camped out since I was a teenager waiting for concert tickets. There’s something wrong with camping out for food when you can afford to buy anything you want.

So Sunday, I took my list and I drove to the store. The cars were lined up on the highway. There were police cars directing traffic. No grocery store is worth this. I turned around and went home.

Today I went there as I was doing errands. There was no line of cars. I was easily able to find a parking spot. There were lots of people inside checking out what was offered, but the lines moved fast (except for the two teens who clearly had never gone through a self-checkout lane and had no clue what to do). I bought what was on my list and I explored a little.

I like Wegmans. I’m glad it’s close by. And they have great quality and unique offerings that other stores don’t stock. But I’m also glad I skipped opening day, even though I had planned to go. Although I missed out on the free samples, I also missed out sitting on the highway with my car idling, wasting gas. I missed out on the frustration of standing behind a million people checking out their groceries.

Because it’s food, people. Fancy food, yes. Yummy food that I plan to buy later, yes. But it’s still just food.

Monday, July 17, 2017

College Shopping

We went college shopping for the Princess yesterday. Maybe I should say college “supply” shopping, since we’ve basically been college shopping for years now (and I’m still doing it for Banana Girl).

When I got engaged, I scoured magazines for to-do lists and timelines and let me tell you, I OWNED that. I did everything I was supposed to do when I was supposed to do it—or instructed my mom and others to do it for me, exactly how I wanted it.

When I got pregnant, I bought every single pregnancy book, studied every single website and took every single class they offered—at least once if not multiple times during the same pregnancy. I took into account superstitions that wouldn’t let me prepare too early and advice from other moms.

I should not have been surprised that there are college supply lists, college advice websites and catalogs and magazines dedicated to filling a dorm room with every conceivable item your student might find necessary. I read them all.

Despite my dislike of killing trees, I printed them out. I brought the catalogs with me. I even gave my husband specific jobs to do once we arrived at the store.

But one look at the Princess’ red face when we walked in and I abandoned them all—well, not the part about giving my husband instructions. Seriously, does anyone EVER skip a chance to do that? But I looked at her and realized she was totally out of her element. She had no idea what she wanted or what she needed. The fact that her roommate was with us was great—she kept her calm and gave her things to laugh at. But I knew if I went through my multiple lists, I’d lose her. So we wandered the appropriate aisles and gravitated to the things she wanted. I gave much of my advice to her roommate while the Princess was in earshot—the Princess is much more likely to listen when I’m not talking to her. J And we probably bought things we don’t need/won’t use. We definitely bought way more now, rather than holding it to pick up from the local store on the day of move-in, than we intended. And we bought multiple bedding, since she still can’t decide what she wants. But I can, and will, return unneeded/unwanted items.

I was way less anal than when I made my wedding registry/timeline. I was way less prepared than when I shopped for baby. I didn't look at my lists.

But we smiled.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Please Welcome Beth Trissel

Beth is another fellow Wild Rose Press author, with a book releasing today. Congratulations and welcome!

Thanks for having me on your blog, Jennifer. I’m excited to be back into writing time travels again and to share about my new release, Somewhere My Lady (Book 1, Ladies in Time).

Inspiration for this story came in various ways, but if I had to choose one, I’d say music. Edith's Theme, the hauntingly beautiful song from Crimson Peak, stirred my imagination long before I watched the movie, which was after I finished the book. Other songs in the soundtrack also sent my imagination soaring, but that one really did. Scenes took shape in my mind, especially the ghostly dance I wrote in chapter one.

Another draw for me is old homes. I’ve lived in them most of my life and visited others. The stately brick home in the Shenandoah Valley where my father grew up dates back to 1816. It’s called Chapel Hill and lies behind many of the homes I write. I also love gardening and have sprawling beds filled with heirloom flowers and herbs. Some plants have been here for ages and our valley farm-house was built in the 1870's.

Abraham Darby Rose 
Double Apricot Hollyhock
The gardens in Somewhere My Lady are especially beautiful and I used herbs in the story. Old homes exude an indefinable sense of place. Families filled them with the emotions accompanying the events taking place in their lives. The walls witnessed their sagas, good and bad, and absorbed the energy. A much lived in home is never really empty. Perhaps the spirits of those who once dwelt there come back and visit, or they leave a part of themselves behind. I don't know, but I like a good ghost story.

Harrison Hall, the colonial era home in Somewhere My Lady, is loosely based on Shirley Plantation, a magnificent 18th century home built along the James River in Virginia. In the story, this wonderful manor sized house is a paranormal hot spot, concealing a deadly mystery Hart and Lorna must solve.

"Somewhere My Lady is a fun supernatural romance that will have you slipping in and out of the past and future as if you were a spirit yourself.’’ ~Colleen’s Book Reviews

Story Blurb: 
Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary-War reenactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn't expect to receive a note and a kiss from the handsome young man who then vanishes into mist.

Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna – and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th century heir. Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart's life before the Midsummer Ball.


Something about him held her spellbound…the tilt of his head, arch of his brow, glimpse of his profile… She followed his every move with the fixity of an owl.

He turned blue-gray eyes toward her and sensuous lips curved into a smile on his handsome face. Hands down. No contest. He was the hottest guy ever. Her heart beat a thrilling new rhythm.

He circled closer to where she stood rooted in the foyer, not moving a toe, scarcely drawing breath. Did he truly see her backed tremulously against the wall, or did it only feel that way?
Unlike the others in the ghostly assembly, his eyes didn’t skirt past her. He paused in the dance. Bending at the shoulders, he tipped his hand to her in a genteel flourish.

He’d freakin’ bowed. Her jaw dropped. He most definitely saw her. And she sure as heck saw him.

A sparking sizzle jumped between them, awakening her as she’d never been roused before. Even more than when the house charged through her at her arrival. It was as if she were plugged in—to him.

How that could be, she had no idea, but when he gazed into her eyes, time seemed to stop. She spiraled into moonless stars, and back again to this dizzying realm. To him. Even if she were dreaming, she’d never forget this moment.

Somewhere My Lady is available from all major online booksellers. In Kindle at:

Author Bio: Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my human family and furbabies. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. I’m especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. And I love a good ghost story. In addition to Young Adult and New Adult fantasy romance, I also write historical, time travel, and paranormal romance, plus nonfiction.

Author Links:
My Amazon Author Page where all my books reside: