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COWBOY is here! Brand new release! FREE in KU! (Contest)
Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

Cowboy is out! At least, it’s out on Amazon in both print and ebook. In a couple of months, I’ll take it wide, meaning: publish it in all the usual places. For now, if you have Kindle Unlimited, it’s FREE.

I can’t believe I’m already five books into this series. I can’t believe I’m still having a blast writing about bounty hunters, but the secret, for me, has been making sure I have unique characters every time. No cookie cutters.

This time around, my heroine isn’t as confident about her appearance as she would like, especially when she meets the perfectly buff, perfectly handsome Cowboy. It takes a while for her to see herself through his eyes. In the meantime, there’s lots of sexy times, lots of funny shit happening, and of course, we have the Dead Horse crew to add dimension to the excitement.

I hope you pick up a copy. And if you have time after you’ve read it, I’d appreciate it if you’d leave a review. Reviews aren’t for me, they’re for other readers who need to know your experience with the story. I can say it’s sexy and fun, but readers believe other readers. 🙂

Cowboy’s out now!

Cowboy

A lonely, bounty-hunting cowboy looking for one last great adventure may have found it in a girl with serious curves…

Order Ebook: Kindle
Order Print: Amazon

What’s next?

And in case you were wondering what’s next…you can pre-order Eli’s story! I don’t know much about Eli now, or who his heroine will be, but if you trust me to deliver his story, you can pre-order the book now!

Pre-order Eli!

Contest

For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, give me a sexy name for another Montana Bounty Hunter! Have fun with it!

Genevive Chamblee: Unnoticed Traditions (Recipe)
Monday, October 25th, 2021

Bonjour, salute, and greetings once again, mes amis. Happy fall! Now, down in these parts of the deep south, we know it’s fall not so much by the temperature—although, it has cooled off some—but rather, by the lack of mosquitos, how the fish are biting, and the street lights popping on at 5:00 p.m. Some trees have even decided that they would grace us with a change in coloration; although, many are still blooming. And speaking of fish, I’ll tell a funny quick aside here.

I never realized that certain fish can’t be purchased or sold. That’s because some fish, while safe to eat, are considered gamefish and are prohibited from being legally sold in seafood markets, grocery stores, restaurants, and/or by individuals. One would think I would have known this, but the truth is… I never attempted to buy any of these fish. I live on the bayou; so, there’s no purpose. If we want perch or brim and whatnot, we simply grab a pole and catch it.

Now, that may seem like such a random thought for a blog post when talking about fall, but it actually ties in. See, it got me to thinking about all the small things that I’ve grown up doing but have never quite given much thought as to why I do it. One such tradition is having red beans and rice on Mondays. (Yes, that’s a thing.) And there’s a couple of caveats to this.

First, red beans and rice has been a part of Creole culture for over two hundred years and is a staple, comfort food in many Creole homes. According to historical accounts, the tradition of red beans and rice on Mondays began due to Mondays being the day most people did their laundry. Since the preparation is simple and the meal is both scrumptious and fulfilling, it is easy to understand why it quickly became a favorite. In an age when women typically prepared the family meals and did the laundry, preparing red beans and rice, just mixing the ingredients and allowing it to cook all day while the laundry was being done was easy. It also can feed large families for a relatively small cost.

I grew up on Red Beans and Rice Mondays, and to this day, it’s a tradition I tend to stick to a lot. However, I’m not as faithful about it as my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. One reason for that is the heat. Typically, on hot days, I enjoy a meal that is light and cool. Red beans and rice is definitely not that. But with the arrival of fall, it’s the perfect meal, especially to curl up and eat while reading a good book.

Experts and historians cannot agree on when the recipe first entered Creole culture. They also cannot agree on the original recipe or preparation of the dish. Another area that remains uncertain is the original recipe. There are hundreds of ways to prepare it, as no two recipes are the same. Some would argue there is no right or wrong recipe, either, but after seeing some of the ingredients some people put in their red beans and rice, I’m going to have to strongly disagree (and gag).

The following recipe is the one my family has used for generations. As with many Creole recipes, this one involves many ingredients. There are others that are much simpler to prepare and cheaper.

I use dried Creole red beans for this dish. There is a difference between a Creole red bean and another red bean, however, I won’t be getting into that here. Kidney beans are a good substitution if Creole red beans are not available. I begin by placing the beans in a slow cooker and allowing them to soak overnight. A quick tip, though, is if the beans will be on slow cook for more than ten hours, soaking them overnight is not necessary.

After the beans have soaked, drain and add butter, canola oil, onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Allow to cook until the butter has melted. Stir. Add the spices (salt, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne, basil, celery salt, thyme, onion powder, paprika, sage, and oregano). Mix well. Add tomatoes and stir. Allow to cook for approximately five minutes. Add chicken stock and stir. Add ham hock, andouille, and bay leaves. Allow to cook 8 – 10 hours.

In a pot, cook rice as directed. Serve the red beans in a bowl with a scoop of rice atop. For an alternative method, sometimes, about an hour before I’m ready to serve, I add my uncooked rice to my crockpot. This allows the rice enough time to cook without becoming overly mushy. It also allows for the flavors to really get into the rice. (Bonus, red beans and rice always taste better the next day. The same applies to gumbo.)

So, that’s all I have for a fall welcome. What’s your favorite fall recipe? Let me know your thoughts and opinions below. Oh, and if you like this post, please click the like button and share it. As they say, sharing is caring, and it does help my blog grow. If you’re not following me, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou. We have fun, and there’s no need to worry about what’s in the water. Not everything bites. Creole Bayou is a blog dedicated to all things Creole, Cajun, recipes, romance, trivia, psychology/mental health, self-help, writing, and books.

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Penalty Kill, my sensual and saucy sports romance, that is guaranteed to make the already melted ice turn to steam and fog the plexiglass. Available at https://amzn.to/3ex0N9p and www.books2read.com/penaltykill.

When the scandal of a double homicide threatens to destroy his career, this billionaire hockey player hires an ambitious sports agent to improve his public image. It’s time to let the puckery begin.

Timothée Croneau is that jock—the bad boy superstar with the naughty reputation. He’s handsome, arrogant, and a billionaire. He’s also the number one person-of-interest in a double homicide and recently traded to a losing team who is showing him no love. And wouldn’t it be just his luck that his career splashed in the toilet six months after his long-time agent kicked the bucket? Now, he’s stuck with Ryker Kitsch. An agent is supposed to fix his life, though, not break his heart.

Speaking of breaks, ex-athlete Ryker Kitsch wants his in the sports agency realm. He sees his chance to make a name for himself by helping rebrand his agency’s newly acquired hockey star, Timothée Croneau. The guy needs every lick of positive PR he can get. So, why is the devilishly gorgeous forward fighting him at every step and leaving Ryker to wonder if he’s been hired for a babysitting gig?

The mess Timothée is stirring was never in any contract Ryker was hired to handle. One thing’s for sure. Whether it’s a forecheck or backcheck, collision is inevitable.

Order your copy at:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ex0N9p
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/ B08YMYZF2S
Other booksellers: https://books2read.com/penaltykill
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3ex0N9p
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/30zhdWC
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3vjFmP6
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3cjyFnE
iTunes: http://apple.co/30xulf0
Nook: http://bit.ly/3bEi0w4
Kobo: http://bit.ly/30CNe00

Missed the three in my hockey romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box (book #1), where it is one minute in the box or a lifetime out, is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Defending the Net (book #2) can be ordered at https://amzn.to/2N7fj8q or www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Ice Gladiators (book #3) is the third book in my Locker Room Love series. When the gloves come off, the games begin. Available at https://amzn.to/2TGFsyD or www.books2read.com/icegladiators.

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors or BookBub.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click https://genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com/newsletter/ and signup today.

Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Laissez le bon temps rouler.

My Long To Do! Take a look at Eli! And Open Contests!
Sunday, October 24th, 2021

Sooooo, I already told you Cowboy‘s coming out tomorrow night at midnight. Yesterday, I uploaded the cover for the book that follows it, Eli. Have a look! Just thought I’d get that out of the way first before I start chatting.

Cowboy
Click on the covers to pre-order!

I have a long To-Do list to conquer today. 23 items on it. Zero interest in accomplishing anything other than “feed the cats”. Yes, I put that on my list—otherwise, it might be forgotten. I’ve completed two books this month already, and I’m simply out of brain cells and “give a shit”.

Which is not a good thing, since I have three editing jobs to wrap up this week!!!!! Okay, I’m using all those exclamation points, hoping they would tell my mind to light a fire under my ass to get it all done. Whatever works, right? And I have yet to unpack from last week’s art festival. And my studio looks like a tornado rolled through it. And my floors could definitely use a vacuum. I have a stack of laundry that has risen well above the height of the laundry basket… I could go on. Every chore was set aside while I wrote the books.

So…for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, I’d love a funny or simple stern admonishment from you, telling me to get the lead out of my ass and get to work! Have fun!

Open Contests

  1. Diana Cosby: Inspiration From Nature – Fall! (Contest)Last day to enter! Win a signed book!
  2. Getting in the Halloween Spirit! (Puzzle-Contest)Last day to enter! Win a FREE book!
  3. C. Marie Bowen: Unable to write! (GIVEAWAY) — EVERYONE gets a FREE book!
  4. Cowboy’s coming in 5 Days! (Contest & Excerpt) — Win a FREE book!
  5. Scary Halloween Puzzle & a Cowboy Reminder! (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
Scary Halloween Puzzle & a Cowboy Reminder! (Contest)
Saturday, October 23rd, 2021

Just a quick reminder before we jump into the puzzle!

Cowboy releases this coming Monday night at midnight! Have you pre-ordered your copy? I loved writing this story! There are some very funny scenes, some great action, and lots of sexiness!

A lonely, bounty-hunting cowboy looking for one last great adventure may have found it in a girl with serious curves…

Pre-order your copy here!
In Kindle Unlimited, too!

Puzzle Contest

For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, tell me this…
What’s your favorite Halloween story or movie?

Harley Wylde: BEHIND THE SCENES with Harley Wylde … (Excerpt)
Friday, October 22nd, 2021

For readers who are familiar with my work, you know I don’t shy away from harder topics. If you’re looking for a sweet, fluffy romance, you aren’t going to find it here. What you’ll get are alpha men who go after what they want, women who are stronger than they give themselves credit for, and some darker topics like child abuse, assault, human trafficking, and murder. Not necessarily all in the same book.

What types of heroes do I write most often? Bikers who might have a hard exterior, but when it comes to those they love, or women and children in need, they’re complete softies on the inside. In the case of Samurai, you’ll find out why he’s got such a hard exterior, and it’s a rather difficult topic to cover. This book does come with a reader advisory, and for good reason. Samurai suffered trauma in his past that has shaped who he is today. In the previous books, you’ve not received so much as a hint as to what’s driving Samurai, so be prepared for a curveball with this one!

Readers first met Samurai in the earlier Devil’s Boneyard MC books, when he was a prospect known as Jin. Now he’s all grown up and battling demons who seem to be getting the best of him. Until sweet Grey comes along and is far more understanding than he could have ever hoped for.

Samurai (Devil’s Boneyard MC)

 Author: Harley Wylde
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Release Date: October 22, 2021
Genres/Themes: MC Romance, Romantic Suspense, Multicultural/Interracial

Grey — Desperate times call for desperate measures, otherwise, I’d have never signed a contract with Knox’s Pleasure Emporium. Selling myself for a few hours once is far better than my other option — letting my mother’s loan shark use me however he sees fit in order to recoup his money. I can’t even be angry with my mom since she’s no longer with us. She did what she’d thought was best at the time, but now I’m paying the price.

I didn’t count on a biker changing my life forever. Not only did we have a slight miscommunication that ended up leaving me with an eighteen-year commitment, but he’s my only hope of escaping my son’s father. Why do I keep getting tangled up with bad boys? It never ends well for me.

Samurai — I can admit my past has left me screwed up. I’d never thought I’d pay to be with a woman, but not just anyone can handle my needs. The little goddess I purchased isn’t anything like I expected. The way she gives into me so sweetly, and comes apart in my arms, makes it damn hard to forget her when our time is over. I didn’t realize I’d be seeing her again, under less than favorable circumstances.

She needs my protection. What do I do? Act like a bastard and call her names. Not my finest moment. Now I need to fix things before my cousin, Phantom, decides to step in and claim her for himself. I might have some issues to work through, but Grey is mine, and no one is taking her from me. Not Phantom, and not the man threatening Grey and Ryo. Because once I’m in, I’m all in.

WARNING: There are scenes with bad language, adult situations, violence, and talk of abuse that may bother some readers. No cheating. No cliffhanger. And a guaranteed happily-ever-after. Samurai is part of the Devil’s Boneyard MC series. While the series may best be enjoyed in order, each book can be read as a stand-alone.

Get it here 👇
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2ZyYIEA
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3FihQqN
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3uQ8IF5
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3DcA9Mi
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2XXtFl6
B&N Nook: https://bit.ly/3zPcUps
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3uoISHX

TRIGGER WARNING

WHAT REVIEWERS ARE SAYING…

“Wow….I’m not sure I will be able to find the words to give this one justice… I can’t even express how much I love this story!” – Shelby, Goodreads

“This story will take you on a journey that will break you apart and then put you back together in a way that you don’t expect. Samurai and Grey embarked on a raw and emotional ride that started some healing that both of them deserved. This is a powerful, strong, meaningful and heartfelt story. I enjoyed every single second of this book.” – Drea, BookBub

“Another brilliant read from Harley Wylde. Samurai and Grey’s book is on point. I highly recommend this. You have to binge and read all her books. I have not come across a bad one.” – Alice, Goodreads

“Samurai took me completely by surprise, I couldn’t be happier that he did! These two are just perfect for each other, I fell in love with them both. All the stars for Grey and Samurai” – Leslee, Goodreads

“I absolutely loved Samurai and Grey. Their story was so emotional.” – Tanya, BookBub

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Harley Wylde

I didn’t want to be here. I had a feeling this would end badly, but I didn’t know what else to do. Ryo clutched my hand and I shifted from one foot to the other while the guy behind the gate looked me over. His gaze landed on Ryo and his eyes slightly widened as he took a step back.

“You said Samurai?” he asked. “Not Phantom?”

I didn’t know who Phantom was, or why this man would think I didn’t know who to ask for. Clearly I’d come here for a reason. Did women show up and get the men confused on a regular basis? I wasn’t sure how to take that.

“Samurai.” I took a step closer. “Please. It’s important.”

His gaze dropped to Ryo again. “I bet it is.”

I breathed a sigh of relief when he opened the gates and let us through. At least we’d made it this far. Samurai might very well tell me get to lost and never show my face here again. At least I’d get the chance to find out.

He pointed to a building not too far off. “He’s probably at the clubhouse. But um… you may not want to take the kid inside there. It’s not too wild at this time of day. Doesn’t mean people aren’t smoking, or that he wouldn’t see something he shouldn’t.”

Right. Because I was at a biker compound. Who knew what went on behind the gate, much less in the building he’d called a clubhouse. I doubted they were in there playing video games or watching movies.

“I can’t leave Ryo outside on his own,” I said.

The guy looked around and let out a shrill whistle. “Hey, Sam! Lady needs her kid watched for a minute.”

The other man jogged over. I noticed both wore the leather vest like Samurai had, but neither had a name on theirs. It only said Prospect. I had no idea what that meant, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.

“Sam, this is…” The guy rubbed the stubble on his jaw. “Sorry. Didn’t catch your name.”

“I’m Grey and this is Ryo,” I said.

He nodded. “Right. Grey and Ryo. She’s here to see Samurai.”

Sam’s eyebrows rose as he stared at Ryo a moment. “All right. I can sit outside with him, or I can go in and get Samurai. Might be better to have him come outside.”

“Going inside doesn’t bother me,” I said. “But he said it wouldn’t be a good place for Ryo.”

Sam shook his head. “No, I have a feeling Samurai would kick my aa… uh, rear, if I let either of you into that building. You can sit in the shade. There’s a few chairs up on the porch.”

I led Ryo over to the building and claimed a chair while Sam went inside. I could hear laughter and music spill from the open doorway, as well as the sounds of women. My stomach soured when I pictured Samurai with them. It was stupid to come here. He wouldn’t want this baby, or me. Wouldn’t care about my problems or that my son was in danger.

I stood and lifted Ryo into my arms. “Come on, sweetheart. We shouldn’t have come here. We’ll go home and figure something else out.”

I walked down the steps and toward the gate, but the guy who’d let me in was shaking his head and pointing back at the clubhouse. “Nope. Sorry. I’m not letting you leave until you see Samurai.”

“Are you serious right now? It’s obvious I made a mistake coming here. Let me go before he comes out and…”

I heard heavy steps behind me and stopped mid-sentence. My nape prickled and I had a feeling the man in question was right behind me. Ryo’s head remained tucked against my chest, and I tightened my hold on him. If I’d had anyone to watch him, or felt safe leaving him behind, I wouldn’t have brought him with me.

“Before I come out and what?” Samurai asked. I’d recognize his voice anywhere.

Slowly, I turned to face him. He rocked back on his heels, his gaze going to Ryo. “Sorry to disappoint, but no fucking way that kid is mine. Your math is off by a few years.”

“I never said he was yours.” I backed up a step. “I needed help, but I shouldn’t have come here. He won’t open the gate and let me leave.”

Samurai’s gaze went over my shoulder and I saw him scanning the road. I knew what he’d see. Nothing. I didn’t have a car or any other transportation. I had to walk everywhere and coming way out here hadn’t been easy on either me or Ryo. Thankfully the weather had cooled a little, so I at least didn’t have my clothes and hair plastered to me from sweat. Could have been worse.

“You walked here carrying him?” he asked.

“Yes, and if you’ll tell him to let me go, then I’ll walk right back home. I shouldn’t have come.”

“Why did you?” he asked, folding his arms over his chest.

I shifted Ryo in my arms and felt my dress pull tight over my stomach. I tried to hide the small bump before he noticed and seemed to have managed since he didn’t say anything. Or maybe he didn’t care. This version of Samurai was very different from the one at the Pleasure Emporium. The man who’d made me cry out his name, who’d melted my bones with multiple orgasms, wasn’t the one eying me now.

“Some people in town have talked about the good things your club does. Toy drives and helping homeless women. I’d hoped you might know of a way to solve my problem, but it was wrong to even ask.”

“You sure the kid isn’t Phantom’s?” the guy at the gate asked.

Samurai’s eyes narrowed as he studied Ryo. The look he slid my way held a hint of hostility. I didn’t know why they kept bringing up Phantom.

“I’ve never met anyone named Phantom,” I said. “Why does everyone keep asking me that?”

“He’s my older cousin, and your son resembles him,” Samurai said.

I didn’t want to do this out in the open, or where Ryo could hear, so I chose my words carefully. “Do you remember my first reaction to you, and why I said it happened?”

His chin went up and he cursed softly. “The guy who hurt you. The one you said was Japanese, like me.”

I ran my hand over Ryo’s hair. “He saw me last week, with Ryo. He knows, and he… he said he’s coming for us. I survived him once. Even if I could live through it again, I won’t let him get his hands on Ryo. My baby is a good boy. He’s sweet and innocent. If Itachi gets his hands on him…”

“Itachi Suzuki?” Sam asked. “That’s who you’re running from?”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harley Wylde is the International Bestselling Author of the Dixie Reapers MC, Devil’s Boneyard MC, and Hades Abyss MC series.

When Harley’s writing, her motto is the hotter the better — off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place. She doesn’t shy away from the dangers and nastiness in the world, bringing those realities to the pages of her books, but always gives her characters a happily-ever-after and makes sure the bad guys get what they deserve.

The times Harley isn’t writing, she’s thinking up naughty things to do to her husband, drinking copious amounts of Starbucks, and reading. She loves to read and devours a book a day, sometimes more. She’s also fond of TV shows and movies from the 1980’s, as well as paranormal shows from the 1990’s to today, even though she’d much rather be reading or writing.

You can find out more about Harley or enter her monthly giveaway on her website. Be sure to join her newsletter while you’re there to learn more about discounts, signing events, and other goodies!

Find Harley Online:  Website | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Twitter

Cowboy’s coming in 5 Days! (Contest & Excerpt)
Thursday, October 21st, 2021

Cowboy

Coming next Tuesday!
Order your copy now!

I’m writing my stumpy fingers to the bone to get this book done! I have to load it TOMORROW! But the good news is I’m almost there! I can’t wait for you to read Cowboy and Colleen’s story next Tuesday! They’re a mess. Or at least, she is. And fun and funny! My girl’s a beautiful girl carrying some extra pounds, and Cowboy has his work cut out for him convincing her she’s the only one for him. And of course, you have the entire Dead Horse crew interfering/assisting in their romance. I’m soooo going to hate it when I run out of Dead Horse bounty hunter stories. Maybe I’ll have to write some Dead Horse resident stories after that… I think Nadine needs a man.

Anyways, happy Thursday! Wish me luck. Just a few pages more…

Contest

For a chance to win your choice of one of my Montana Bounty Hunter stories, tell me whether you’ve read any of my bounty hunter stories! If so, which was your favorite? If not, why the heck not?

An excerpt from Cowboy…

He was sleeping with the back of his head against the wall and a cowboy hat tilted over his face to shut out the overhead lights. His chair was a curved hard plastic and looked tiny in comparison to his large body. He wore jeans, very scuffed cowboy boots, and a plaid shirt rolled up to his elbows with the sleeves of a thermal shirt stretched to his wrists. The hat shouted that he probably wasn’t from around here, but the thermal shirt in mid-October sealed it.

Colleen Bradley lowered the top of her magazine just a little more to give his body a onceover, knowing she was safe because no one else was around to see her ogling the hot cowboy.

Lord have mercy, the man had muscles on his muscles, a thick chest, tapered waist, thighs like tree trunks. The beard sprouting on his cheeks and chin was dark, maybe black. She wished she could see more of his face so she’d have a reason to lose interest. No way could he be handsome as well or the world would just be too cruel.

A man like that wasn’t meant for a woman with curves too soft and rounded. He’d need a woman with stamina, while she huffed and puffed climbing the stairs up to her apartment on the second floor. Well, it didn’t hurt to look.

Until it did.

Suddenly, he straightened in his chair and tipped back his hat.

Damn, the man was fine, fine, fine.

He stood, removed his hat, and raked a hand through his short black hair.

Darn, he wasn’t bald. Did the man have any flaws? Maybe he had a high squeaky voice. Maybe he was gay—which would be disappointing, but then she’d turn her eyes elsewhere. Maybe he had a horrible temper, was a narcissist—someone as hot as he was might be entitled to think he was the moon and stars and all that

He turned to peer into the room he sat outside of, his hands on either side of the wide doorframe, which gave her a view of his toned back and ass, and man, she had the sinking suspicion the man really was perfect.

His gaze shot sideways, toward her, and she quickly lifted her magazine to cut off the sight of him. Maybe he wouldn’t know she’d been eating him up with her gaze for a while now. How embarrassing would it be to see him smirk? And again, how disappointing. Then again, if he was a jerk, he’d be a whole lot less fascinating.

Colleen lowered the magazine to find him staring right at her.

“Was I snorin’?”

Shit, was that a southern drawl? “What?” she asked, pretending she hadn’t been watching him while he’d slept.

“You know, that magazine’s upside down.”

Her jaw dropped, and she glanced down at the magazine. It was not upside down.

“You had to look, though, didn’t ya?” A grin stretched across his handsome face, revealing two perfect dimples in his cheeks.

A. Catherine Noon: Organize!
Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Do you have lots of supplies, Dear Reader, for things like a craft, (or more than one), a hobby, for kids, or for your home office?

Do you know where everything is?

Loaded question, I know. Some of us might have things totally organized. But I suspect there are a lot more of us who, well, don’t.

It’s that part of us to whom I write.

When I’m not writing, I make stuff. Mostly, the stuff I make involves yarn. Not always, but in the interests of time and staying focused, (i.e. not chasing ALL the squirrels), I’m going to stick with yarn for the purposes of our discussion.

I truly do have a LOT of yarn. I started knitting the year my mother died and found, through knitting, a solace that other things haven’t brought me. But my obsession with yarn didn’t start there. If I look back in my own timeline, I see yarns woven in and out of my tapestry since I was a little girl. My first art, in fact, was embroidery.

I made a unicorn.

What about you? Do you have a particular interest in a type of material? When I was little, I loved stickers – a thing that has matured, I find, with friends who geek out for hours about washi tape and bujo (“bullet journals”).

So here’s where things get interesting. I love to write, I love to make things – particularly with yarn, and my day job is highly organized, (I work in the insurance industry). How are these things related? Well, I could get really philosophical and talk about relationship-driven business and how much I love to teach, and teaching is woven in and out of all three of those pursuits, but that’s not what I’m after today. No, today, I’m all about the organizing.

When I buy yarn, it’s usually in a specific place for a specific reason. I don’t necessarily mean “sweater for husband.” I mean I’m at a writing retreat, say, and we go visit a local yarn shop, (known in our subculture as an “LYS,” or “Local Yarn Shop). I buy a skein or two of high-end fiber, maybe out of the sale bin, (these fibers can be spendy!). I haven’t yet decided what to make, but it will likely be a shawl to commemorate my experience. My “Bryce Canyon Shawl” is one such example – made after a trip to, you guessed it, Bryce Canyon. (If you are a fellow yarnivore, my Ravelry is here.) More often, though, I don’t yet know what it will be, just that I want to connect the yarn to my trip and the people with whom I’m retreating.

Here’s how I do it: I have bins that I numbered. My first bins were actually repurposed cat litter buckets, washed out, and with the labels removed. My more recent ones are plastic shoe boxes from the big box store. (Now I feel compelled to note that some purists feel storing fiber in plastic can degrade it, so it pays to do your research and understand how you are choosing to curate your collection.) I made numbered labels for the bins, and then tracked them in a word table, something like this:

 

I’ll give myself as much context as I can, without going overboard writing a novel. I stress, the detail matters. “Green yarn for Suzie” is going to be a lot less helpful two years from now than you think it will. And definitely go through your collection from time to time. There are many benefits to this: maybe you and “Suzie” aren’t as close as you once were; maybe you have a new idea for an existing fiber – shop your stash!; maybe you want to use it for a new craft – this happens, as for example when I took up weaving.

There’s no reason you can’t have a well-managed yarn collection, and as my coauthor Rachel Wilder puts it, “it’s hours of pre-paid entertainment.”

Any other ideas? I’d love to hear in the comments.

And stay well, Dear Reader. ~hugs~