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Announcement & Catch-up!
Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

This has been one helluva month.

With everything happening on the home front, I haven’t been able to get pages written, so the release of the book I promised this month, Big Sky Wedding, is delayed. So, what’s going on? Too many things, family-related, to go into, but the big thing is my dad’s deteriorating health.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that he broke his hip last year and went through surgery and rehab. He has other health-related issues—heart disease, kidney failure, diabetes, etc.—so, any new issues are always exacerbated. While in rehab, he developed ulcers on his feet. Since November, he’s been treated by a wound doctor and has had to remain off his feet, which hasn’t helped his hip surgery recovery. My dd and I have pitched in to clean and wrap his feet daily. Everyone’s pitched in to get him to his appointments. Sometimes, he’s on a walker, sometimes in wheelchair, when we take him to dialysis or his many appointments. Well, recently, he complained that he couldn’t breathe. Yes, too much fluid in his chest and around his heart. We’re pretty sure this is it. The fact he’s lived so long—he’s in his 80’s—has been a testament to his stubbornness. Right now, he’s back in the hospital, and my mom and aunt are staying nearby (the hospital is an hour-and-a-half away). I’m holding down the fort at home and preparing for them coming back soon, we hope. Anyway, that’s where we are with all of that, which has put me in a state of flux so far as work is concerned.

I have edits due on a story I wrote for Entangled. I have edits due back on two other authors’ projects. I have that book to write and a new collection to edit now that I’ve made the selections of the stories that will go into the volume. And that’s really what I’d like to take about now…


In case you didn’t see the notice I posted on my Collections website, I am pleased to announce the final lineup of authors who will be part of the Stranded: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology! Congratulations go out to:

A.C. Dawn – The Kiss of a Stranger’s Flame
A.J. Harris – Shelter From the Storm
Ara Geller – Reviving Artemis
Delilah Devlin – Quincy Down Under
Kenzie Mathews – Hourglass
Kimberly Dean – Out of This World
Kimberly Lithe – Burning Stars
Lucrecia Christina – Switching Call
Melanie Jayne – A Change of Predicament
Michal Scott – Put It in a Book
N.J. Walters – Undercover Lover
Sam Heathers – Too Deep
Sukie Chapin – Going Down

This comes out in April 2019! Mark your calendars! And you can pre-order the volume here! It’s just $0.99! Reserve your copy here!

Soon, the authors will be visiting the Collections site, and we’ll be talking more about the stories in this volume, so consider subscribing to that other blog (see the sign up on the right of that website’s home page). There will be contests, free reads, and plenty of juicy excerpts! You won’t want to miss any of the fun!

January, going, going, almost gone! (Contest)
Thursday, January 31st, 2019

UPDATE: The winner is…Laura LeCapelain!
*~*~*

Can you believe January is almost gone? I’m old enough I still can’t believe we’re 19 years into the new century!

January zipped right past me! And what did I accomplish? Not as much as I’d hoped, but I was still pretty darn productive…

January’s Work

First, I wrote and published Animal! Woot! Book 7 of the Montana Bounty Hunter series! Feels so strange to say that because I feel like I just finished Reaper (Book #1!).

Animal

I edited two fellow authors’ stories. One a novella, one a very long novel! I’m actually wrapping up that one today!

I’m teaching a plotting bootcamp with some very shy authors who haven’t taxed me nearly enough with questions!!!! So, time-wise, I guess I’m getting off lucky there.

And lastly, I’ve been reading, reading, reading stories for my Stranded anthology. Wish I could say I have my decisions all wrapped up, but I don’t. That may take me another week. 🙁

So, it was a busy, productive month for this very tired and stressed-out author-editor-teacher… I did manage to make time for some fun treasure-hunting trips (thrift store shopping!) with my dd, so it wasn’t all work and no play!

February’s Goals

February looks horrendous!!!! I’m almost scared to turn the calendar page to think about it. I have one novella to write (Big Sky Wedding), another to finish (Hot Zone). I have at least three editing projects booked. (Doesn’t sound like much, but when I bookend them with my own writing schedule… Gah!) And I have to finish a short story before the end of the month, because I want to wrap up the With His SEAL Team mini-series. We’ll see… And I do have to wrap up the Stranded stories and begin editing that whopper of a book!

Aside from the writing/editing gig, I want to re-open my Etsy store, so I’m hoping to make time to sit in my craft room and make pretty things. I don’t make any money doing it—certainly, not enough to pay for my passion—but it’s stress relief, and I need more of that! I want to add things other than jewelry to my Etsy store, like painted boxes, junk-store refurbs, etc. Fun things that will help make some of my thrift store hoard dwindle!

I hope your January is ending with a bang and that you managed to check off some of the items on your To Do list!

Contest

Tell me what things you checked off January’s To do list for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

Junking Day!
Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

My dd and I are best buds. Wasn’t always so, but these days, we could be together 24×7 and neither of us would get annoyed with each other. It’s a lovely thing to discover that we actually have so much in common.

Her hubby is away at the Police Academy for the next few months, and I do my best to spend extra time with her, keeping her spirits up. She was edgy today, because he had to qualify with his weapon today or be booted, and although I didn’t think he’d have any problems at all, she’s my worst-case-scenario girl, so when she asked whether I’d go shopping with her this morning, I dropped everything to keep her company. Of course, our favorite type of shopping is thrift store and flea market shopping. Not that we’re super cheap, we just enjoy hunting for hidden “treasure”.

The picture above is my haul from the two junk stores we hit today. And before you go, “Gah, it all looks like sh@t,” let me tell you what I see!

Starting from the left…

See the beige-colored pot? Well, I’ve been looking for something to hold all my paintbrushes. It’s in perfect condition, and once I fill it with dried beans, I’ll stand all my brushes inside it.

The ruby-and-diamond-colored crystal bracelet draped over the side? Well, if one of my granddaughters doesn’t want it to wear (they’re getting to the age where they love to wear jewelry, but I’m reluctant to buy “real” stones and gold because they lose shit all the time), then I’ll use it to decorate a box or take it apart and string it in an eclectic bracelet.

The large orange things at the bottom are part of a bib necklace. My dd loves retro costume jewelry, and with her long red hair, she can pull off a big gaudy piece like that, but if she never wears it, I’ll pluck apart the large plastic orange circles and use them to decorate a box. (Nothing goes to waste!)

See the turquoise letter holder? Well, the color doesn’t match anything of mine, so I’ll paint it with some Chinese red chalk paint and use it to stand my stencils in my art room inside.

Those flowers at the top are old enamel clippie earrings. I love them! They will either be glued to blanks to make up a charm bracelet or they will end up as drawer pulls on a small cupboard.

The two retro rhinestone necklaces? One of them has missing crystals, so I’ll cut it up to use for boxes or to add to another bracelet.

The one that’s intact, I’ll probably give to my dd, because again, she loves to wear retro fashion.

The two gold pieces in the center with the flowers? Those are huge gold-tone hoop earrings. My dd will wear those, and if she doesn’t, I’ll take them and bend them up to use in a leather bracelet.

The white Chinese bottle? I collect old snuff bottles. This one’s missing its stopper at the top, but I couldn’t resist it because it depicts two dudes smoking opium.

The neutral-tone tin box on the right will be cut up to make disks for earrings. And the leather bracelet on top of it will go to my granddaughters.

So, not junk at all. Treasures, all! And I didn’t pay over $20 for the lot. My daughter leaves the refurb-able (I know it’s not a real word!) jewelry to me. She loves to pick up small pieces of furniture to recover, repaint, and repurpose. So, it was a perfect morning for us! Now, it’s back to work!

Question: Do you love to go junking?

Debra Parmley: Joy Jars
Friday, January 25th, 2019

JOY. A simple three letter word, which can hold so much. Joy. Every year I choose a word for the year and my word for 2019 is joy. I made this selection and not long afterward saw on Pinterest where someone was making a joy jar.

What is a JOY Jar? It is a jar where you collect joys for each day of the year.

Making a Joy Jar easy to do. Take a jar. Decorate it if you wish, any way you wish. Write down one of your joys onto a paper and place it in the jar. Do this every day. At the end of the year, open the jar and read all the joys you collected in the Joy Jar in that year.

I loved this idea so much that I had to make one. I headed to meet one of my BFF’s for a Joy Jar making, 2019 planner day. I’d been looking for stickers, which said Joy and couldn’t find even one in any of the stories I searched. I was looking for joy and was surprised it wasn’t easier to find. When I arrived at my friend’s house and told her I couldn’t find Joy stickers anywhere, she said I have something I made for you. She went into the other room and came back holding white a red heart she’d knitted for me. It was the perfect thing to glue onto the front of my Joy Jar.

You know how when you buy a new car suddenly you are seeing cars just like it everywhere? Well that is how is has been with me with the word joy. The more I look for it, the more I find it. The word joy has been popping up and I am more aware of my joys each day. What we focus on often increases.

My challenge to you is, make a Joy Jar and start adding to it. See how it enriches your life this year and keep your eyes and ears on the lookout for joy.

One of my joys is writing. I’ve got seventeen books out now in various genres of romance and have many more to share with my readers. If you follow me this year, you are going to be hearing a lot more about my joys and hearing the word joy a lot.

Here are my pages and links to follow. Thank you to Delilah for inviting me to visit and share some joy!

Debra Parmley’s Links:
Website: www.debrapamley.com
Newsletter sign up link: http://eepurl.com/ZUyC1

Social media:
FB fan page: https://www.facebook.com/authordebraparmley/
FB personal page: https://www.facebook.com/debra.parmley.7
FB fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/debraparmley/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/debraparmley/
Goodreads Lamplighters fan Group: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/213745-debra-parmley-lamplighters
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/DebraParmley
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebraParmley
Writing Blog: https://threadingtheweb.wordpress.com/

Book sales pages:
Amazon: https: https://www.amazon.com/Debra-Parmley/e/B002BM9H4A/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1509300092&sr=8-1
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/debra+parmley
Audible audiobooks: http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_pd_Romanc_c2_1_auth?searchAuthor=Debra+Parmley
ITunes for eBooks and audio:
https://itunes.apple.com/ca/author/debra-parmley/id411082477?mt=11
EBooks on Kobo:
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/search?query=debra%20parmley
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/debra+parmley
Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/debra-parmley

Interviews:
Link to my old radio show Book Lights: http://bit.ly/BookLights
Cover Model Corner interview: https://covermodelcorner.wordpress.com/

Genevive Chamblee: Pampering Self
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

 

So, in 2019, I find myself with extra time—not a lot of time, just extra time. It’s what some call “empty nest syndrome”, but I don’t have an empty nest exactly. It’s that weird area when I’m not needed as much as what Roseanne Barr termed “domestic goddess”, but I’m not free to do whatever I choose. Well, I suppose technically I could do anything, but I imagine that will lead to a plethora of problems. Quite frankly, I don’t have that kind of money for an attorney. Therefore, I’m better off just staying in my lane and ignoring that less traveled path of adventure.

I’m no longer on a strict timeline where I awake early in the morning and immediately start playing commander and shouting orders to get everyone where they need to be in the allotted time before hauling myself off to the nine-to-five. Likewise, I’m no longer rushed to be somewhere the minute I clock out and damned to leaving with my feet blazing. I can actually obey the speed limit now. After years of having nearly every second of my day dictated by someone else’s schedule, I have arrived at having me-time, and I love it. There’s only one problem. Who am I?

It’s so cliché that I don’t know the answers. How many stereotypic characters on television and books reach a certain point in their lives where they are so involved in their families that they have lost all sense of self. They are portrayed as drab, boring, and frustrated. And here is where I believe 80% of chic lit/women’s fiction bloom. There are countless tales of these types of women resurging into the world of horrid dating and oppressive bosses barely out of diapers.

The answer seems simple—pick up where I left off before I took on the role of adulthood. That’s the second problem. Most of those things that I did years ago no longer interest me. For example, I used to paint. I was never very good at it, but it occupied my time. Now, it seems more of a nuance—brushes to clean, clearing a space to paint, cost of art supplies, etc. I used to enjoy cross-stitching, but try finding a local craft store these days. The local Wal-Mart used to carry limited supplies but have discontinued. The closest craft store is 30 miles away. Yes, there is always online ordering, but I often like substituting the suggested colors with the prettier one I find. Buying online makes matching colors more challenging.

Another hobby I had was shopping. Honestly, it was more window browsing. I would look at furniture or antiques and imagine decorating my own home. Or I would create mental wish lists of my wardrobe. That was fun because everything was guaranteed to fit. But these days, the malls look more like mausoleums. Once bustling stores stocked with the latest trends now are empty spaces or shell of the former. In December, I visited a mall I hadn’t visited in several years due to moving from the area. I remember that mall opening and bragging about its sixty stores with more stores to come. Now, maybe twenty stores remain. The music is gone, making it ghostly quiet. The food court is non-existent. The high-polished floors have been covered by dark grey and purple carpet. To distract from the number of vacant stores, the fronts have all been covered with boarding the color of ashes. Basically, it has been transformed into one long hallway from one anchor store to another. The stores that remain have much of the same merchandise and limited stock.

Some hobbies I once had do not exist anymore. For example, I had a ritual of curling up on Saturday afternoon and reading my favorite magazines. And when I say read, I mean read. I would read cover to cover, although, not necessarily in order. I’d usually start with the cover articles followed by the advice columns, move onto the silly quizzes, and finish with the horoscopes. I had about six magazine subscriptions and a few others I would pick up while in the grocery store or bookstore. Most of those magazines are out of print. Others I grew out of. A few are online, but that’s not the same as the old kill a couple of tree ones. I’ve looked around for other magazines but none has stuck my fancy thus far.

A huge part of my free time was spent hanging out with friends. Let me say, there’s nothing quite like childhood friends. But with time, things change. Friends that I used to be closed to have moved or moved on. Others are still busy with their families and/or careers. (I could pause here and discuss career, but that’s a different topic entirely.) Sadly, many I keep up through social media only. It’s only fair that I accept part of the blame, too. There have been instances where I have not done my all to maintain friendships. Life gets busy, and I didn’t always make time. I forgot to return phone calls or drop an ecard for birthdays. There were other instances where I felt I was investing more in maintain the friendship than others and stop trying.

When I moved (several times), I didn’t always bond with neighbors. One neighborhood that I resided was very nice. However, it had a high turnover rate. One reason for that was because a large company leased apartments for their employees. But these employees usually were assigned to stay for six months (a year max). Due to the high costs, most purchased homes in other areas. With my work schedule, I was rarely home when my neighbors were stirring. That being said, I became very close to several of my coworkers. However, these weren’t people I hung out with outside of work. On rare occasions, we might have gone out to dinner.

Other activities, I’m not going to try—like roller-skating. In the day, old girl used to be the bomb on skates. Now, I’m sure, I’d bomb flat onto my butt. The same goes for biking. I would go swimming at the natatorium, but their business hours conflict with my work hours. I’ve never been an outdoorsy, woodsy person. My idea of roughing it is a hotel that doesn’t leave a mint on the pillow.

I could go on, but I think I made my point. My former life is just that … former. There’s no need for me looking back and trying to recapture it. Besides, I’m not sure that I want to be that person anyway. I’ve grown and matured, and hopefully, evolved into a wiser person. Therefore, I need to develop new hobbies. I considered the new diamond painting I’ve been seeing all over the internet, but I don’t have the surface space. Those small beads would be all over creation.

After much contemplating, I decided to blend several old passions into one: cosmetics.

Here’s my logic. I enjoyed painting. Applying makeup is painting a different canvas with a different median. When I was younger, I used to wear makeup regularly. Currently, my makeup routine consists of lipstick/lip gloss. I enjoy shopping and trying on new looks. Cosmetics will provide this for me. I like watching television. Welcome to YouTube Beauty. Yes, I’m hitting up beauty channels for tutorials and makeup suggestions. Like some apparel may not fit, some makeup may not work well with my complexion or skin. This will allow me to discover what I like and don’t like. There are tons of cosmetic brands and choices. Applying makeup is not likely to result in any serious injuries unless I have the misfortune of getting a chemical burn. It’s a solitary activity but one that I can also do with another person. It’s an activity that I can do regardless of the weather, and heaven knows, the weather has been very bipolar lately. It does not require any really strange equipment (and if it does, I’m not purchasing it). And in the end, if all goes well and I hold my mouth just right, I may look pretty.

Okay, now that I’ve discovered my new hobby, what’s next? Being an adult, it would seem I would know what to do. I don’t. Well, I didn’t. Thanks to MUA bloggers and vloggers I now have something of a clue. First on my agenda was to stockpile my makeup bag, which I won’t lie, was pathetic. There is a makeup company that created a line of products that was my go-to makeup for those rare, special occasions that I needed to do a full face. Approximately two years ago, the company discontinued the line. For months, I scoured the town for remaining stock until I realized it was a lost cause. So, off makeup shopping I went.

After viewing several beauty influencers, I decided to follow most of their beauty regiment and some of their product suggestions. Here is what I have decided I need to stock in my bag:

Moisturizer Brow pencil Lipstick/Lip gloss
Face Primer Eyebrow comb/spoolie brush Lip pencil
Eye Base/Eye Primer Eyeshadow Palette Bronzer
Concealer Liquid Eyeliner Blush
Color Corrector Mascara Highlighter
Setting Powder Eyeliner pencil Blending sponge
Foundation Eyelashes/Eyelash glue Finishing Spray
Brushes

I do have a few specific items that are on my list to purchase including Laura Mercier setting powder, Tarte Shape Tape, and Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow.

These are items are on my list because they have frequently been given positive endorsements by beauty reviewers. Frankly, I’m curious to know what the hype is all about.

So, what was my point in sharing all of this? Well, in the days old, they would say, “The moral of the story is…”

1. Find something that makes you happy. It may be small and meaningless to others, but that won’t matter if it brings a smile to your face and fills your time.
2. Revisit the past but don’t try to relive it. Memories are there for reflection but looking in the rearview mirror may cause you to crash ungracefully into what’s in front of you. Don’t miss out. The best is yet to come.
3. If old hobbies no longer fit your personality, don’t try forcing them.
4. Look at what was enjoyable in your past and transform it into something new.
5. Be a little selfish now and then. Accept that you are a person and not just a daughter, mother, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, coworker, extraterrestrial, or whatever. You are more than a singular role.
6. If you don’t know who you are, it’s okay. You have time to learn.
7. Making mistakes is okay. Sometimes, it takes trial and error.
8. You’re not alone. Plenty of people have identity issues occasionally.
9. Your life is not a television show. Likely, finding all the answers will take longer than a half hour. There is no studio audience waiting to laugh on cue. Well, maybe, but let’s not complicate things.
10. If you may find picking up where you left off easy. You may still enjoy your old hobbies, even if they seem a little impractical or immature. That does not mean you can’t enjoy them. You’re an adult now and are allowed to do whatever you want as long as it isn’t criminal. You don’t have to ask or be granted permission.

Enjoy sports romance? Check out my new adult romance, Defending the Net, released on November 10. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It will be sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance where it’s 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.

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Copies of all my books and stories are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

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.

Finally, if you or anyone you know are interested in joining a college Greek life organization, check out my special series posted each Monday for everything you wanted (and didn’t want) to know about college fraternities and sororities.

DISCLAIMER: Creole Bayou is not sponsored or being paid to endorse any business, website, person, podcast, broadcast, videos, philanthropy, or products. Any shoutouts given are due to personally liking a product or cause. There is no intention to slight any competitors or introduce bias. If you have a product or service that is related to anything mentioned in this post and would like a shoutout in the future, please do not hesitate to contact via email to inform me of such product or service.

This and that…
Sunday, January 20th, 2019

Update! The entire family has decided that AQUAMAN is the best super-hero movie ever! We LOVED it! I will say, the dialog wasn’t the best (that honor goes to the two DEADPOOL movies!), but we loved the humor, the CGI-ocean scenery and creatures (I want a seahorse!), and the non-stop action! And of course, for all the girls, Jason Momoa WET for over two hours was a divine treat!

Just a reminder. ANIMAL will release a little after midnight tomorrow night! I hope you’ll keep it on you TBR-right now list! It’s fun and very sexy!

Oh, and I had another really weird dream last night. I know, like you care, right? But dang, I have to share anyway.

Last night, I dreamed that my dad was back in the hospital and scheduled for release. So, I got all domestic and made a stew that took me nine days to get right (I’m guessing that nursery rhyme “…in the pot, nine days old” was in my head). Anyway, he arrived home and I gave him the Christmas present I’d made him—a hand-painted ceramic head of Santa Claus (yeah, don’t know where that came from). He looked at it and put it aside. Said “that’s nice”, which told me he wasn’t impressed, and them my mom popped into the kitchen and brought him back a bowl of steaming…ramen. I was so pissed she hadn’t served him the reindeer stew I’d slaved over, especially given the fact that every time I went outside, Santa’s reindeer attacked me because Donner was in the pot!

Tomorrow, it’s back to the grindstone. I’m starting a new story, Big Sky Wedding, which will revisit Jamie and Sky from Big Sky SEAL. I’ll also be finishing up reading all those sexy Stranded stories, and working on edits for an author friend. So, busy, busy! Have a great week, y’all! ~DD

My gift to me!
Saturday, January 19th, 2019

I finished the book, so guess what I’m treating myself, and my family, to tonight?

 

I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!

Have you seen it? What is your favorite superhero movie?