Thursday 31 July 2014

Think Out Loud #17: Confessions of a Work at Home Mom #2

 Think Out Loud is a weekly meme created by
to break out of the blogging bubble. 

Consider your Think Out Loud posts a time to do WHATEVER YOU WANT!

You can find more information and how to participate on your blog HERE! 


So, here is my Think Out Loud for this week!

Confessions of a Work at Home Mom

I am a medical transcriptionist who has been working from home for the past nine years.  Over those years I've learned that although working from home is a blessing, it also has brought many challenges.  I have decided to put some of these challenges, as well as the blessings, into a weekly post.   

Some of the topics I will write about are learning to balance work, family, and home without burning out; learning to say no to friends; and when to turn work off.  My goal of these posts is to share some helpful hints with other work at home moms that will hopefully help make their work at home experience even more productive and successful. 

Confession #2:  

I wish school was year-round 

Don't get me wrong…I love my children.  I love having them home and being able to be at home with them.  I love that our house is the neighborhood hangout.  I love knowing who they are spending time with and what they are doing.  I love everything about them (well, at least when they are behaving).  But, to be honest, we are all happier when they are at school during my work hours.  When they are home, they are running in and out of the house, fighting with each other, wanting snacks, fighting with each other, interrupting my work to ask to go to a friend's house, fighting with each other…you get the picture. 

Some days I can deal, but some days I just want QUIET!
I have learned by trial and error over the last few years ways to manage this, and here is a list of ground rules (subject to change based on my mood on any particular day) that must be followed on days when there is no school but mom is still working:

1.  No friends in the house while I am working. 
If you want to play with friends, you must play outside.

2.  No running in and out! 
If you come in for any reason other than to use the bathroom, you stay in.

3.  Big brother (age 14) is "in charge" while I am working. 
He can give permission to go to a friend's, ride bikes, or get a snack, and deal with generally anything else that doesn't involve cooking, a lot of blood, or door-to-door salesmen.

4.  If Dad is home, ask HIM!

These rules generally make summers and other school breaks run smoother, and everyone stays happy :)

That’s it for confession #2!  What are your thoughts?  Have you ever worked from home?  Do you have any rules you would add to my list?

That's What HE Said #17: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

That's What HE Said
is a weekly meme hosted by Chapter Break  

where you share your favorite line from your book boyfriend to his heroine. 

 You can find more information and how to participate on your blog HERE!

“You can ignore me, Rachel, and you can try to treat me as a friend, but none of that will erase the fact that I think about kissing you every second I’m awake and dream at night of my hands on your body. And it sure as hell won’t erase that I’m terrified by how much I like you.”

-Isaiah Walker

Title:  Crash Into You

Series:  Pushing the Limits #3
Author:  Katie McGarry
YA Contemporary Romance
Kindle Edition, 489 pages
Published November 26th 2013 by Harlequin Teen 

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life—that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

My Thoughts
Another favorite for me.  I realize that I say that about a lot of series...what can I say?  I'm pretty easy to please :)  If you haven't read these books, they actually can all be read as standalones.  Each new book spotlights characters that had been in the previous books, but, you wouldn't  really miss anything by not reading the first ones.  However, I wouldn't recommend it skipping them, just because you'll miss out on a lot of awesomeness!!

This one...Isaiah, *sigh*.  Good girl meets bad boy.  I love it!

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Interview + Giveaway: Borrowed Promises by Judith Ingram


Borrowed Promises (Moonseed Trilogy #2)
by Judith Ingram 

On the night of the new spring moon, a near-fatal accident propelled Victoria Reeves-Ashton over a century back in time to awaken in the body of Katherine Kamarov. 

Now, after three months of pretending to be Katherine and laboring to repair relationships damaged by Katherine's brash and selfish personality, quiet and gentle Victoria finds that her heart is putting down roots in Katherine's world, in her family relationships, and especially in a deepening friendship with Katherine's winsome cousin Michael. 

Hidden letters reveal the story of other moonseed-time travelers like herself-and Victoria realizes that she and Katherine will likely be returned to their own times the following spring. Tension mounts when a rich and handsome suitor applies to marry her, and Victoria must choose whether to accept him for Katherine's sake or to follow her own heart. 

Ryan Ashton, the husband Victoria left behind, is baffled by the woman his wife has suddenly become. Unwilling to believe her story about an exchange in time, Ryan struggles to understand the stark transformation of his timid, remote wife into a sexually aggressive and captivating siren. Against his better judgment, he falls hard for this new woman who is a perplexing mixture of cruelty, sensuality, and tenderness, a woman who he suspects has the power to either break his heart or heal the aching loneliness he has lived with all his life.

Genre: paranormal romance
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing, LLC
Number of pages: 249 pages
Cover Artist: Elaina Lee/For the Muse Designs

Judith Ingram weaves together her love of romance and her training as a counselor to create stories and characters for her novels. She also writes Christian nonfiction books and enjoys speaking to groups on a variety of inspirational topics. She lives with her husband in the San Francisco East Bay and makes frequent trips to California's beautiful Sonoma County, where most of her fiction characters reside. She confesses a love for chocolate, cheesecake, romantic suspense novels, and all things feline.

Website, blog & free weekly devotional:

Q & A with Author Judith Ingram

Tell us a little bit about your main characters.

Victoria and Ryan Ashton are a rich, glamorous couple who live in present-day San Francisco. Beautiful and shy Victoria longs to escape her unhappy marriage and the haunting memories of a childhood terror she cannot remember. Ryan, too, feels trapped in his second failed attempt at marriage. After she is nearly killed in a falling accident, his wife emerges from her coma a bold and sexually aggressive woman. Unwilling to believe her story of time travel, Ryan looks for answers to her puzzling new behaviors even as his lonely heart begins to open up to her.

We first know Katherine Kamarov through her journal entries in a book Victoria discovers under the attic floorboards of an old house. Katherine lived in the late 1800s, and when Victoria suddenly awakens in Katherine's body around the turn of the century, she discovers that Katherine's abusive husband has just died under mysterious circumstances. The narrative never gets inside Katherine's head, so readers are left to guess at her motives and piece together the complexities of her personality, all the way to the climax in Book 3 of the trilogy, Into the Mist. 

What was your favorite scene to write?
One of my favorite scenes appears twice in Book 2, Borrowed Promise. Throughout the trilogy the two women's narratives alternate season by season, first Katherine and then Victoria. At the end of the summer season, time returns each woman to her own life for a brief period. Thus, the same event appears in two different places in the book—at the end of Katherine's narrative as told from Ryan's point of view, and then at the end of Victoria's narrative and from her own perspective. That was fun to write. My other favorite scene in Book 2 takes place in Golden Gate Park in old San Francisco. Victoria is falling in love with Katherine's cousin Michael, and this scene marks the subtle turning point in their relationship, from simple friendship to something deeper and troubling for Victoria as she knows she cannot stay more than a year in Katherine's body. 

 What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I am by nature very single minded. I can't talk when I drive; I can't have music on when I read. So when I'm in the groove with my writing, I sit at the computer for hours writing until my fingers just about fall off. My husband saves me by taking me to the kitchen and feeding me. I live in my characters' world; I think and dream about my story. Certain scenes come to me like islands, and I play with them in my imagination, perfecting them. Not all of them make it into the story, and some that do make it in get cut later because they're not necessary to move the plot along. But they are still fun to create! 

 How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
I inherited a practical, observant nature from my German father and a love of language from my Russian mother. I need both sides when I write. My older sister was always considered the writer of the family, so I didn't have much confidence in my own gift for a long time. Like my character Victoria, I survived an abusive childhood that haunted me, and it was through my recovery in therapy that my story emerged as a tale that needed to be told. Given hope and healing, I believe our darkest memories can provide fertile material for our novels. 

If you could be any character from your book, who would you be and why?
That's difficult to answer because I am Victoria and I am Katherine! Those characters came right out of my own heart. I guess I would answer that I'm rather attached to Elizabeth. She is the caring adult aspect of Katherine's personality who falls in love with Ryan and has compassion for the damaged child Katherine had been. Elizabeth loves with all her heart, and I admire her.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
I love to read more than anything. I cannot go to sleep without reading at least one page of a novel before I turn out the light, even if I'm so tired I'll probably have to reread that same page the following night! Walking is also very relaxing and builds me up emotionally. It's funny because as an abused child, I learned to distance myself from my physical body. Even well into my adult years, I could not enjoy walking or dancing or swimming. As part of my recovery from abuse, I learned to experience pleasure in my body. Now when I walk, I feel my strength. Thoughts come and go, and sometimes I get really great ideas to write about.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Russia, definitely Russia. I am half German and only one-quarter Russian, but I have always chosen to identify with my maternal grandmother's people. Russia has a history of romantic literature, poetry, architecture, and art. I love the folk tales and textiles associated with Russian heritage. I know it's impossible to visit old Russia, so that's probably why I create time travel stories! 

 What book are you reading now?
I'm reading The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig. Lovin' it!

July 21 Spotlight
CBY Book Club

July 22 Interview
Roxanne's Realm

July 23 Spotlight
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

July 24 Guest blog
Fang-tastic Books

July 25 Interview
Diane's Book Blog

July 28 Guest blog
Addicted 2 Heroines

July 29 Interview
Darkest Cravings

July 30 Interview
Shut Up & Read

July 31 Guest blog
Cloey's Book Reviews and Other Stuff

August 1 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair.

August 4 Spotlight
Sapphyria's Book Reviews

August 5 Spotlight
Lisa's World of Books

August 6 Spotlight
More Romance Please

August 7 Spotlight
Share My Destiny

August 8 Spotlight
Deal Sharing Aunt

August 11 Spotlight
Kristy Centeno

August 13 Spotlight
Emma Weylin

August 14 Guest blog
Corazones Literarios

August 14 Review
Deb Sanders

August 15 Interview
A Writer's Mind

August 18 Interview
Books Direct

August 18 Spotlight (review)
Michelle's Paranormal Vault of Books