Guest Blogging at The Writer’s Alley

Hey y’all! I’m guest blogging at The Writer’s Alley today. Hop on over and say “hello”

My Review of Quilts of Love by Amber Stockton

New From Quilts of Love || A Grand Design

A-Grand-Design-sm A getaway on a charming island may be just what Alyssa needs—if only she can let go of her past.

When Alyssa Denham, a single career woman, wins a fun getaway for two on Mackinac Island where her grandmother lives, she gives her carefree best friend a call. Together, they tour the old shops and hidden treasures of the quaint island while helping Alyssa’s grandmother piece together an heirloom quilt. Their quest gains them entrance into the homes of many longtime residents of the island, parts of the city that are otherwise off limits to tourists.

As the quilt’s story takes shape, Alyssa gains amazing insight into her grandmother’s life . . . and attracts the attention of the handsome Scott Whitman, an island resident in charge of hotel transportation. Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will the quest to piece together the heirloom quilt restore Alyssa’s fractured heart—and bring healing to her entire family?

About Amber

Amber Stockton is an award‑winning author, a national speaker, and a direct‑sales brand partner with Nerium International. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son, and an Aussie/retriever mix named Roxie. Three of her novels have won annual reader’s choice awards. Find out why readers love her by visiting her website AmberStockton.com.

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed stepping onto Mackinac Island with Alyssa and Libby. This was a fun book with a hint of mystery, a hint of history and some romance tossed in too. The characters are well written, the story was intriguing and there was just the right amount of humorous flirtation between the main character and her love interest.

Wedding Dress Dreams…Let’s Talk About It

  Wedding Dress

Let’s Talk About It…

How much did you (would you) spend on your wedding dress?

I spent zero. A very generous family member offered to pay for my dress as a wedding gift. (So of course, I picked the most expensive dress I could find!)

Okay, it wasn’t THE most expensive dress I could find. (I do have some sort of moral compass.) But I did choose a pretty pricey dress, a two thousand dollar pricey dress. I picked out this huge, fluffy, Disney Princess contraption of a wedding gown from Macy’s. It was beautiful but carrying around all that extra fabric left me tired and cranky by the end of the day.

Back then, if I had to pay for the dress myself, I would’ve spent the same amount or more. Weddings are special and we want them to be unforgettable.

However my 2014, thirty-five-year-old-with-two-small-children-and-a-budget self balks at spending that kind of money on a wedding dress. That kind of cash could be used on a couple of months of groceries and gas!

When the reality of day-to-day living sets in (especially for young moms who are in a constant care giving mode), it’s easy to forget there was once a time when spending thousands of dollars on this one day event was an investment well spent. After all, you are marrying the man you love.

So every so often, I’ll “splurge” by buying a cute outfit at Kohl’s or Target…from the sale rack…and marked down at least 50 percent.

It’s not very extravagant or dreamy, but it’s extravagant and dreamy enough for this thirty-five-year-old-with-two-small-children-and-a-budget.

Let’s talk about it: How much did you (would you) spend on your wedding dress?

 

 

The Fantastic, The Strange and The Ridiculous, a guest blog by Dorothy Adamek

Crazy Writer

You’re crazy.

Allow me to tell you, if you don’t already know.

Writers are a confirmed bunch of crazy people. It’s true. I’ve been told, so it must be.

I don’t mean the first dictionary definition.

  1. deranged of mind.I prefer the next one down.
  1. fantastic, strange and ridiculous.

Known to dive into crazy situations, we whisper crazy thoughts and hunt down crazy stuff. We sniff out the crazy in others and revel in their stories, mentally storing details to savor later in our scribbles.

It’s all part of the job description and none of us would be game to deny it.

We hear a delicious phrase and tuck it away for our good pleasure. Ponder the title of a book from a list of thoroughbreds about to race. Lose ourselves smelling fruit as we contemplate what best describes late autumn.

We visit places far from home to taste the wind. Just to get the crazy details right. Revisit childhood to unearth emotions only God can strengthen us to navigate again. And let the moon rise, hours after our beloveds have fallen asleep, to continue writing until dawn nudges the sky.

While others go about their normal day, we wander down a pathway no one else can see. We dawdle there and find something crazy enough to share with the dear one we call reader.

Last January, like every other summer, my kids swam in the waters of Australia’s Phillip Island. I stayed ashore, shivering in the absent summer. I would not play in frozen water… until one crazy thought gripped me and wouldn’t let go.

I wonder what it feels like to step in fully clothed? The way a character might in a moment of despair.

So I waded into the shallows and let the sea foam pull at my skirt with icy tugs. I let the waves assault my goose flesh until the black fabric stuck to my knees. And to my children’s horror, I ventured deeper and watched my clothes billow under me to the sway of the sea.

I just wanted to know. How would it feel to step out with sodden clothes clinging to my skin? How long would those tiny streams of water drip down my legs, and how much sand would my hem collect before I reached home?

Hours later I looked again, at the dusty salt marks in the creases of my skirt.

It was crazy and it was fun. And it was part of whom I’ve now become. A gatherer of details and experiences. A crazy writer.

Are you a crazy writer? Game enough to share a time when some craziness beckoned in your writing pursuits?

And if you’re too shy to admit a moment of craziness, remember crazy also means this.

  1. very good or excellent.

Ask any teenager. They’re crazy too!

Dorothy Adamek

Dorothy Adamek is an Australian writer of Historical Romance. She lives at Crabapple House with her Beloved and their three children, twenty fruit trees and Gilbert the cat. Come say G’day at her blog, Ink Dots.  www.dorothyadamek.blogspot.com.au/

I’m Talking About Materialism on Laura Kurk’s Blog Today!

Hey yall, I’m talking about Materialism today on Laura Kurk’s blog! Hop on over and say ‘hello.’

Materialism