Posted in Environment, Family life, Uncategorized

Kicking the plastic habit

Ever since a stint living in Germany in the 1990s, I’ve tried to be thoughtful about my use of plastic. Twenty years ago, cashiers didn’t know what to do when I brought my own love_birds_2pkreusable bags to stores. One even called a manager! Could you imagine that happening in 2018? I average one case of plastic bottled water a year. I do keep some in the house (and in the car) in case of emergency, but I never drink it at home (unless there is a drinking water emergency) and I rarely buy water out because I use a refillable water bottle. I buy resealable plastic bags for school supply lists, but lunchboxes I use these sandwich bags and other refillable containers.

With China’s announcement that they will no longer accept the world’s plastic for recycling, I’m looking for more plastic alternatives.  I’ll share a few things I currently do, a few changes I’ve started to implement, and a few wishes. I’d love to know how YOU reduce plastic.

WHAT I DO (in addition to those above):hk048-sap

  1. refuse straws
  2. use glass containers for storage
  3. skip plastic in home decor items
  4. seek out clothing and other fabrics made from recycled water bottles. If you are in the market for a new purse or backpack, I love Haiku bags. I recently bought a second one – not because the first wore out, but because after 6 years, I wanted a different pattern.
  5. shop the farmer’s markets. Less packaging = less plastic.

WHAT CHANGES I’M MAKING NOW:

  1. Switching back to bar soap. This one hurts. I love body wash and hate slimy soap, but I love our planet enough that I’m giving up the bottle.
  2. Bamboo toothbrushes.

MY WISH LIST: (Can you help?)

  1. Alternative to plastic wrap in the kitchen. I want something to protect oddly shaped food (say cut avocados) from the air and to cover bowls of rising bread dough.
  2. A peanut and tree-nut allergy safe place for buying food in bulk. Every single place I’ve seen has potential for cross contamination and I won’t risk my daughter’s life.
  3. plastic free toothpaste.
  4. Lip balm in non-plastic container.
  5. antiperspirant in non-plastic container.

I would love to hear ideas and suggestions from you. How do you reduce plastic in your life? I’m on the lookout for new ideas.

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Happy Book Birthday to me!

Facebook reminded me that two years ago, Bad Traveler debuted. While it never hit the Bad-Traveler300x450Amazon top 100, I’m amazed how often Bad Traveler appears as a category top 50 seller. I love that readers keep discovering Bad Traveler. Seriously, you readers make me happy.

bookbirthdayswagYou know what else makes me happy? Swag. Who doesn’t love free stuff, especially books, pens, coasters and more? To celebrate my book birthday, I have a Rafflecopter.  My giveaway will include these items, plus whatever else I can fit in the box for domestic shipping (P.S. – this is open to US residents only).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to bake a birthday cake. Any suggestions which type?

Posted in Uncategorized

First Friday: Inventions I love

I missed the First Friday in July because I was traveling to Jamaica and there is nothing like travel to make you appreciate the little things in life. Here are five modern inventions I love and don’t want to live without.

  1. Air Conditioning. Pools are a good way to cool off, but air conditioning is better and it doesn’t make your skin all pruney.
  2. Rolling suitcases. Two wheels are good, four are better, especially when they can pivot in any direction.
  3. Sunscreen. Sunburns are painful. Sunscreen lets those of us who’ve been called “Casper the friendly ghost” get outside and enjoy fun activities like ocean kayaking, water slides and a bobsled ride in the rain forest.
  4. WiFi.
  5. I was going to say airplanes, but then a friend shared this post, so number 5 is the Epipen.

sunset photoJamaica was beautiful. Beaches Ocho Rios offered my family delicious food, terrific hospitality and no end of activities. I still haven’t figured out how to upload the underwater photos I took when I went snorkeling for the first time, so this photo of a sunset will have to suffice.

I’m headed off to the Romance Writers of America next week. If you’re in San Diego on Wednesday, July 13th, I hope to see you at the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing. I won’t be signing, but I will be at the check-out so stop by and say hi. I may even have goodies.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

I won!

I have to share the adorable award I won for my pre-published mainstream fiction with romantic elements, tentatively titled “Can’t Go Home.” Rudy G M

I took home the 2016 Rudy sponsored by Chesapeake Romance Writers.  I’m thrilled this manuscript was honored in such a way. I hope to find a publishing home for it by the end of the year.

Writing a book is a lot of work and can take years from concept to print. The author often doesn’t know if readers will enjoy a story as they write, which is why this award is so meaningful to me. I cannot wait to find out if the rest of you enjoy this book as much as I do and the Rudy judges did.

Posted in Uncategorized

Spotlight on The Hookup Hoax

Heather Thurmeier returns to the spotlight and I couldn’t be happier. For a happily ever after with enough humor and heat to melt a kindle,  Heather is my go-to gal.  Today she’s sharing her latest, The Hookup Hoax.

THH_500-2

The perfect guy. The perfect girl. The perfect lie.

Sawyer Sterling needs a girlfriend. With the family cabin up for grabs, he’s desperate to prove that he could be the guy to “pass it on.” Of course, Sawyer also has a tendency to treat relationships like a contagious stomach flu that should be avoided at all costs. Now he needs a girlfriend-for-hire. Someone he can trust. Someone he could never, ever fall for…

Someone like his best friend’s sister.

Sawyer’s offer is exactly what Olivia Morgan needs. After traveling around the world for the last five years, the promise of a job and free accommodations is heaven. And sure, maybe Sawyer’s a super-hot, charming guy with dimples made for kissing, but he’s not willing to be the guy—or relationship—she needs.

All it takes is one hot hook-up before this little hoax gets blown all to hell…

If that isn’t enough to make you run to the closest virtual book store, enjoy this little excerpt.

Turning her back to Sawyer, she opened the cabinet and reached up to the middle shelf. She never really thought of herself as short until she had to perch on the balls of her feet to reach something, feeling the stretch through her entire body, like a yoga instructor. Just as her hand circled the glass, a cool breeze blew across her right butt cheek.

Her exposed right butt cheek.

Why did I wear a thong today? Couldn’t I take two seconds to put on pants?

Quickly, she lowered her arm. As she did, the soft cotton of her nightshirt slid back over her rear, covering her. She swallowed hard.

Did he see? Please be looking anywhere else…

She turned, gripping her newly acquired glass.

His gaze hit her right around the tops of her thighs then slowly traveled up the length of her body before settling on her eyes. Every nerve ending came to life under his scrutiny. His jaw muscle bulged as if he was clenching his teeth.

Oh, he saw. Everything.

“I…” she said, then closed her eyes while trying to think of something appropriate to say. Sorry I just flashed you my ass? Thongs, huh? Can’t depend on them for coverage!

She bit her lower lip and forced her eyes open. She was a big girl. Surely she could face a minor awkward moment head on. Olivia met his gaze while pulling a quivering breath into her tight lungs.

“I…”

“I’m going to bed,” he said quickly, holding her gaze. His eyes sparkled in the bright kitchen lights, like the sun reflecting off the ocean. “I have an early meeting. Tomorrow, I’ll get everything sorted out for your new job and bring home any paperwork you need to fill out. You can start first thing next week, okay?” He stared at her for a moment before pushing off the counter and walking out of the room with what she thought was a sigh.

Could’ve been a quiet groan.

“Thank you,” she called weakly after him, thrilled for the change in topic, and for his chivalrous behavior concerning her wardrobe malfunction… until she realized that not only had her platonic, fake-boyfriend and roommate just seen her naked ass cheek—so had her new boss.

Wowza!

Heather Thurmeier is a lover of strawberry margaritas, a hater of spiders and a reality TV junkie. Born and raised in the Canadian prairies, she now lives in New York with her husband and kids where she’s become some kind of odd Canuck-Yankee hybrid. When she’s not busy taking care of the kids and pets, Heather’s writing her next romance, which will probably be filled with sassy heroines, sexy heroes that make your heart pound, laugh out loud moments and always a happily ever after. She loves to hear from readers on social media and her website at heatherthurmeier.com!

You can find The Hookup Hoax at THH_500-2

AMAZON:  http://ow.ly/Mx9Vx

B&N:  http://ow.ly/Mxbq1

KOBO:  http://ow.ly/MxbDr

iTUNES:  http://ow.ly/MxbZ1

 

 

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Spotlight on Imy Santiago

Today I’m turning my spotlight on Imy Santiago and her debut novel, Chasing Reese.  I’m pleased to be part of her cover reveal because it’s so beautiful it makes me want to grab my backpack, tuck this book and a water bottle inside and take a hike.

ImySantiagoREVEAL - Cover OnlyEverything in life is not permanent but it was perfect. Catalina Pardo had a career in journalism most people could only dream of, a hot, sexy fiancé to call her own and a brilliant future ahead of her. When tragedy struck, the life she once knew fell apart. Four years later, traumatized by the events that ultimately changed her existence, Catalina sets herself on a punishing work schedule, preventing herself from facing the demons of her grief-stricken past. Emotionally shut down, she’s alive but not living because everyone she ever loved leaves her.

Fate intervenes in Catalina’s life in the form of a last minute assignment to a snowy mountain lodge in Whistler, B.C. Sent there to cover the life of the infamous Jackson Reese; an Olympic Snowboarding Champion, she is faced with many challenges bringing to surface the raw emotions of her past. Compelled to work alongside Stryder Martynus, an award winning photographer brought in to document the Reese press tour, tensions and denial run high forcing Catalina to accept the past and face the present with zero regrets.

 

*Adult Contemporary Romance – Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen (18+).*

Pre-Order Links:

Amazon US $3.99 http://amzn.com/B00OQXA91W

Amazon UK £2.55 http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00OQXA91W

Amazon CA CDN$ 4.50 http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00OQXA91W

Amazon AU $4.56 http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00OQXA91W
Amazon ES EUR 3,22 http://www.amazon.es/dp/B00OQXA91W

 

You have a few months to save up those coins Imy Santiago’s Chasing  Reese. a SAFELIGHT novel will be available January 5, 2015. Enjoy the anticipation!

 

Cover Design by CoverMe, Darling

www.covermedarling.com

 

Add to Goodreads TBR:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22853493-chasing-reese-a-safelight-novel

 

Book Teaser Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRizWBL2wJM

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

I love surprises

I love a good surprise.  Bad Traveler released early and at a special introductory price on Amazon. I hope you’ll enjoy Kyle and Gwen’s story, and right now, it costs about the same as one of Gwen’s chocolate chip cookie.

 Amazon

If you prefer a different format, you’ll find other options at Decadent Publishing and All Romance.

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First Friday Five: Beat the heat!

The dog days of summer are upon us, or at least upon readers in the Northern Hemisphere. To welcome August, I offer you five ways to beat the heat without cranking up your home’s air conditioning.

1. Have a popsicle.

2. Soak your feet in a kiddie pool.

3. Soak your whole self in a pool. Swim up bar and frozen margarita optional.

Swim up bar at Arizona Falls

4. Catch an afternoon matinee at your local movie theater.

5. Find a shady spot and read a Christmas, New Year’s Eve or winter themed book. Thoughts of snow flakes will cool you down.

livinggreenandfrugally.com offers directions to make this bench

What are your favorite ways to cool off?