Karen Witemeyer’s Scrapbook Page
The heroine from In Honor’s Defense enjoys needlework and has several cross-stitch samplers on display in her home. In fact, when she creates a special space for the hero during his recovery, one of the things that makes it feel like home to him is the stitched sampler with a Bible verse that she uses to adorn the wall.
I share my heroine’s love of needlework. I’ve been cross-stitching since my teen years and love to adorn my own walls with my needle art or give projects away as gifts. As most things do, the craft of cross stitching has evolved over the years. Back in the 1800s, most designs consisted of rudimentary figures (houses, trees, flowers) along with alphabets, special dates, and Bible verses or inspirational sayings.
In this virtual scrapbook, I’ve compiled photos of some of my modern projects that I consider to be most similar to those Damaris might have completed.
Sampler-type designs featuring Bible verses and inspirational sayings.
A hand-sewn pillow Christmas ornament with a design reminiscent of 19th century stitching – simple flowers and a Bible verse.
Damaris is also an avid reader, so I can picture her stitching this quick bookmark with the candle and mantel clock reminiscent of her era.
These designs are more modern than what Damaris would have likely stitched, but with her affinity for novels, I think she would have enjoyed stitching this pair of medieval maidens.
With Damaris’s dedication to family, I can easily picture her stitching a wedding sampler similar to the one I stitched for my son and his bride this past year. This mimics the nineteenth-century style of commemorating an important date with a piece of heirloom stitchery.
|6/28/22||Notable Quotables||Chapter Break Book Blog|
|6/28/22||BONUS Promo||Hall Ways Blog|
|6/28/22||Review||It’s Not All Gravy|
|6/29/22||Review||The Plain-Spoken Pen|
|6/29/22||BONUS Promo||LSBBT Blog|
|6/30/22||Guest Post||KayBee’s Book Shelf|
|6/30/22||Author Interview||The Adventures of a Travelers Wife|
|7/1/22||Scrapbook Page||The Page Unbound|
|7/1/22||Review||Shelf Life Blog|
|7/2/22||Excerpt||All the Ups and Downs|
|7/3/22||Excerpt||Reading by Moonlight|
|7/5/22||Series Spotlight||Writing and Music|
|7/6/22||Review||The Clueless Gent|
|7/7/22||Review||Rox Burkey Blog|
STRANGER IN THE MUSHROOM PATCH
THE MISCHIEF SERIES, BOOK 4
BY AMANDA M. THRASHER
Monsieur Pierre appeared out of nowhere and stood behind Boris as he released a slimy bomb. He grabbed Boris by the scruff of his neck, but it was too late. Boris, dangling a foot off the ground, watched his moss bomb rip through the air and splat all over Jack. Stinky slimy moss ran down the left side of Jack’s temple. Though Jack should have been expecting an attack, he’d momentarily let his guard down, and the stinky moss bomb took him by surprise.
The sting forced Jack to yelp out loud and jump right out of his chair. His eyes searched the room for Boris. Monsieur Pierre, though he dared not say it out loud, recognized the skill it took to pull off such a sneak attack while dangling in midair.
As soon as Jack spotted Boris’s predicament and realized Boris had managed such a hit, he mumbled a compliment under his breath.
“Nice one, Boris.”
Boris, a good-sized fairy, looked down at the floor he no longer touched with his feet and was reminded that Monsieur Pierre was quite strong indeed.
“How many times have you been told not to pelt moss bombs in the dining hall, Boris?”
Boris shrugged his shoulders. He wasn’t trying to be rude; he honestly had no idea how many times he’d been told not to do it. He hadn’t been keeping up and was trying to calculate how many times it had actually been.
“Whatever it is you’re going to say, don’t,” Monsieur Pierre added as he set Boris back down on the ground with a loud thump. “I would confiscate them,” Monsieur said as his eyes darted toward Boris’s pocket, where another moss bomb had already appeared and was ready to go, “but we all know there’s no point!”
BETTING ON LOVE
RomCom / Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: March 24, 2021
Number of Pages: 193 pages
Scroll down for Giveaway!
Tempest Swan is out for revenge. Billionaire Leonard Allred’s software program has put her out of a job. She makes a bet with a friend that she’ll get Leonard to take her on a date so she can get retribution, but a fortuitous accident with an adorable nerd might just derail her vengeance.
Leonard has reasons for hiding his identity from the public. It’s worked well for him so far, until he starts falling for the honest and witty Tempest. But how can he destroy their budding romance by admitting he’s actually the guy she hates?
PRAISE FOR BETTING ON LOVE:
“If I could give Betting on Love more stars I would because 5 stars aren’t enough.” -Jacky, Goodreads reader
“BEST BEACH READ!! Witty and fun and it was super hard to put down.” – Katherine, Goodreads reader
“It had just enough spice to make you feel the sparks.” – Rebecca, Goodreads reader
CLICK TO PURCHASE!
Betting on Love is a witty comedy with well developed characters and odes to sports and nerdiness mixed in. Awkward dating, bad job markets, tension filled holiday dinners, camping trips that no one is prepared for but ‘seem like a great idea at the time’. What a great recipe for book.
Tempest is passionate about her job and after five years, a meeting that she expects to be a raise turns into her life spiraling. I have to give it to her. She still keeps her head high and with a bit of savings, manages to still have some fun while looking for another job. What’s more fun then ‘not stalking’ someone outside their house on a bet to date then dump him?
In short, Tempest fumbles a word around her vivacious roommate and somehow makes her way into awkward romantic tension with a man she keeps running into.
The switch between our main character point of views was effortless. The author did a great job with making the story flow. It also added quite a bit of humor seeing both sides of the awkward and flirtatious encounters. Leo, or Arty, does live up to a few stereotypes though. Genius nerd that doesn’t know how to properly talk to women? Check! Though I did appreciate the nerd aspect, in both of them. But I had to agree with Blair sometimes:
“Is there anything you do like about him?
Blair smiled. “His money.” Her lips turned down. “But otherwise, nothing right now. He hurt you and didn’t fix it when I told him to, so he’s on my shit list.”
Honestly, I’d read a spin-off of Blair and her quest to open a sweet shop of some kind. Been there!
This was a great, comedy romance, that I could see on the screen one day. I’d definitely recommend this one for you to read.
Mary Beesley is a Whitney Award Nominee and received a Crowned Heart of Excellence Review and a 5-star Reader’s Favorite Award.
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
1st: Signed copy of Betting on Love + $25 Amazon Gift Card;
2nd & 3rd: signed copies of Betting on Love
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 6/24/2022)
CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
or visit the blogs directly:
|6/14/22||Review||Boys’ Mom Reads|
|6/14/22||BONUS Promo||Hall Ways Blog|
|6/15/22||Review||Rebecca R. Cahill, Author|
|6/15/22||BONUS Promo||LSBBT Blog|
|6/16/22||Review||That’s What She’s Reading|
|6/17/22||Review||Shelf Life Blog|
|6/18/22||Review||Reading by Moonlight|
|6/19/22||Review||The Page Unbound|
|6/21/22||Review||Carpe Diem Chronicles|
|6/22/22||Review||Writing and Music|
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THE STEALING TIME SERIES
Time Travel / Suspense / Romance / Alt History / Mystery
Publisher: Blondie Books
Stealing Time, December 20, 2014, 319 pages
A devastating hurricane. A time travel betrayal. Will Ronnie survive the witch hunt or forever be lost in time?Stealing Time is the first book in the “breathtakingly original” Stealing Time Series of time travel wrapped in a hurricane. If you like strong-willed modern women and gripping stories that transport you back in time, then you’ll love KJ Waters’s Books. As Hurricane Charley churns a path of destruction towards Orlando, Florida, Ronnie Andrews scrambles to prepare for the storm and seeks shelter at her boyfriend’s weather lab. What she finds there is more terrifying than Mother Nature’s destruction. During the peak of the hurricane, Ronnie is hurtled back in time to eighteenth-century London where she is caught in a web of superstition, deception, and lies in a life and death struggle to return to her own time. Her best friend Steph is thrust into the middle of the hurricane.
Shattering Time: June 27, 2017, 336 pages
A hurricane the size of Texas. Another time travel betrayal. Will Ronnie figure out how to return home or die trying?
Shattering Time is the second book in the best-selling “Breathtakingly original” time travel series that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Ronnie Andrews returns from 18th-century London shell-shocked from her first terrifying time travel encounter. Her boyfriend, Jeffrey Brennan, casts doubt on her sanity leaving Ronnie wondering if she went back in time or is having a mental breakdown. To add to the tension, Hurricane Francis, a storm the size of Texas, is barreling towards Florida and her fears of a repeat time travel experience mount. Ronnie’s best friend Steph, along with her friend Nick and Steph’s younger brother Ian, shield Ronnie from the dangers of Francis but cannot save her from traveling back in time. Unfortunately, their meddling brings Ronnie to the brink of destruction as they are caught in the throes of the hurricane’s wrath.Once again, Ronnie is transported to dangerous places and desperate situations, while experiencing perilous cultures including one of America’s first mysteries — the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island. A stunning conclusion brings Ronnie face to face with a dangerous ally who may hold the key to her past while offering salvation for her future.
Killing Time: August 27, 2021, 437 pages
When the Strongest Hurricane in Decades Takes Aim at Florida, Ronnie Tries to Escape its Wrath. Will she Die in the Storm or Be Lost in Time Forever?Ronnie Andrews is lucky to be alive after a time travel glitch nearly took her life during Hurricane Frances. When Hurricane Ivan, one of the strongest storms in decades, sets its sights on Florida, Ronnie jumps at the chance to join Mike, her mysterious new boss, on a business trip to Puerto Rico. Sparks fly, but when a newspaper article surfaces with horrific pictures of a woman who may have died at Mike’s hands, Ronnie regrets the decision. Before she can confront Mike about what she knows, Hurricane Jeanne forms off the coast, trapping them on the island. Her doctors warned that another time-travel-induced illness may kill her. Mike may be her only salvation.
The storm strikes and Ronnie time travels to Texas in 1872 where she is taken by Comanches. A rescue party saves her life led by Jesse and Frank James, hiding under assumed names.
Will Ronnie find a way to make the time-traveling episodes stop before the dangers of the past, and the damage from the journey destroy her?
Excerpt from Chapter 7 of Stealing Time
Book One in the Stealing Time Series
By K.J. Waters
“Miss Regina,” Margaret interrupted Ronnie’s thoughts. “Are you feeling a mite brighter now that ye’ve had a bit of a rest?”
“A bit better now,” Ronnie said, keeping up the fake English accent.
“If I may be so bold, ma’am reckon I know what you need. Some of Mrs. Baird’s cake. Ain’t nuthin’ better.” Margaret walked over to the tray of food and filled a plate, poured a cup of tea and brought it to Ronnie.
“Oh, thank you Margaret.” Ronnie devoured the second piece of cake. The tea was almost hot enough and did a lot to restore her.
Ronnie ate and thankfully Margaret quietly tidied the room while she continued her ruminations. Did she switch places with Regina like Freaky Friday? Would another hurricane bring her back? That was rather unlikely to happen in London. She eyed Margaret. Was this woman really from 1752? By all outward appearances it would seem so.
As she took the next bite a glint of metal caught her eye. She lifted the white lace of her sleeve and saw rose gold. It was the watch—the one Jeffrey had given her! If she were in Regina’s body how was the watch on her wrist?
Was Regina already wearing it when she … what would you call it … arrived? Looking down at the strange hand she moved the lacy sleeve aside to look at it again hoping Margaret didn’t notice. It was new like the one Jeffrey gave her, and didn’t have the smooth edges of the antique she had seen in London. But it wouldn’t be an antique in this time period. Is that what connected her with Regina?
The shopkeeper said it was from the early nineteenth century, so that didn’t fit. Could she have brought the watch with her? An image of her body lying lifeless on the floor of the lab bathroom hit her. Is that where her body was?
If she could see the back of the watch she would know. Jeffrey’s watch looked completely different with the modern backing and waterproofing. Ronnie didn’t want to draw any attention to herself with Margaret nearby so she continued eating the cake.
The antique she had found was in London and here she was in London. Is that why she was here? She laid back down, head spinning with implications of time travel and being in 1752.
“Miss Ingram, are you feeling a bit out of sorts, you’re looking as pale as a death. Shall I run and fetch the doctor?” Margaret headed towards the door.
“No!” Ronnie was dreading seeing the doctor. “I’m just a bit tired.”
“Well I never! Bless me if they’re not on their way here as we speak.” Margaret went out of the room. Ronnie touched the watch, and turned her wrist over. The clasp was complicated. Before she could figure it out she heard footsteps coming into the room. Pulling the sleeve over the watch she looked up. On first sight of Jack’s tidy figure Ronnie inhaled sharply.
Margaret followed Jack into the room wringing her hands. “Mrs. Ingram, sir? Is she unwell?”
“Catherine is resting comfortably,” Jack said. He headed towards Ronnie.
The doctor opened the black case he had left on the table. He took out a sheet of thick paper and rolled it into a tube.
“Miss Regina. Forgive me, but ’tis vital that I should listen to your innards and make a thorough examination of the rest of you.” His hot foul breath wafted towards her. She turned her head away and breathed through her mouth.
Jack moved to the other side of the bed to give the doctor room and to block her escape. “Regina. You will lay quietly while Dr. Wiggams attends to his duties with you.”
What does it look like I’m doing? Ronnie thought, but kept her expression neutral, not wanting to see the wrath of Jack again.
The doctor brought the rolled-up paper close to Ronnie’s chest. What the heck was this quack going to do, give her a paper cut? He put one end against her chest and the other end to his ear in a makeshift stethoscope.
KJ Waters is the international best-selling author of Stealing Time, Shattering Time, and short story Blow. She is currently working on book four, Fracturing Time.
In addition to her writing, she runs KJ Waters Consultancy and is the co-host of the popular podcast Blondie and the Brit, and she provides author consulting services covering branding, social media, and publishing.
She has a master’s degree in business and over eighteen years of experience in the marketing field. Before quitting her job to raise a family and work on writing, she was the Director of Marketing and Communications for a national behavioral healthcare company.
Grand Prize: $25 Amazon Card & signed copies of three novels in a swag bag
Three Winners: eBooks of novella Blow US only for print copies & swag bags; international winners: eBooks
(Ends midnight, CDT, 6/10/2022)
INTERVIEW WITH NATALIE WALTERS
How does your book relate to your spirituality or life path?
One of the themes in Fatal Code deals with shouldering guilt and responsibility for things that were never ours to carry in the first place. Personally, this is something I have struggle within my own life, and I didn’t intentionally start with this theme when I began writing but as I started to see what was holding my character back it became clear and I loved being able to remind myself of the freedom that can come when we hand back to God what was always His.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Intially, it was discovering what my bubbly, fun-loving, Hawaiian hero was hiding. His personality didn’t give anything away and I really had to dig to find out what his backstory was. The next hardest part of this story and the thing that gave me nightmares was understanding the science behind pseudocodes, algorithms, cryptology. *shudders* still have nightmares about that.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I loved being able to share more of Kekoa’s heritage. My husband is Hawaiian, so it was really fun to include some of my favorite characteristics into the story. I also really enjoyed working with my brother and his love of comic books to come up with a top-secret weapon.
In researching this book, did you learn any unexpected, unusual, or fascinating information?
Yes! As I was researching the roles of my Los Alamos Five, I was really excited to learn about the African American contribution to the continued development of nuclear projects for our country. I also discovered that there was a top-secret design plan stolen from the Los Alamos National Laboratory…eerily similar.
Which character from your book(s) is most or least like you?
I’m the least like Elinor. Science was my worst subject in school so I really had to lean into my experts to help me make sure I had all of that correct for the story.
What is something you want to accomplish before you die?
I would love to see the Northern Lights and visit Ireland.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
“Her legacy was that she loved Jesus, her husband, and children more than anything.”
EXCERPT FROM OUTLAW WEST OF THE PECOS
BY PRESTON LEWIS
“We the jury find the defendant guilty as charged.”
“This is the greatest legal wrong in the history of the State of Texas,” I cried.
“Another outburst and I’ll add a second contempt charge to your list of crimes. You best keep quiet for your own good.”
I sat there fuming, but silent.
“Okay, for carrying a concealed weapon, I’m fining you fifty dollars. There’s a seventy-five-dollar fine for contempt of court. I’m tacking on the five-dollar inquest fee I would have received from the county had you fallen from the high bridge.”
“I’ve got the money, so I’ll pay the fine and leave on the next train,” I offered.
“No, sir, I’m also incarcerating you for the next ten days to teach you respect for the laws of this great state. That’ll be another ten dollars a day for a jail boarding fee.”
“What?” I sputtered. “Before I leave here, you’ll have all my money?”
Bean grinned at me. “That’s a good thought, Lomax. Now I want you to strip naked.”
I was as bewildered as a rat at a cat convention. This magistrate struck me as a lunatic, but I jumped down from the keg and unbuttoned my long johns.
The judge slammed his gavel against the bar top. “Not in here, not in front of Miss Langtry,” he shouted. “She’s a lady. Go out in the hall and throw your union suit and socks back in here.”
“Move or I’ll tack another contempt charge onto your bill.”
Bolting out of the room, I did as ordered, standing in the hallway making sure that Lilly’s lifeless portrait eyes didn’t see my nakedness. Now I hoped not only that justice but also Langtry was blind as I questioned my future in Texas. I stood there maybe ten minutes before I heard Bean call me from the front porch. Slipping just my head outside the doorway, I saw him sitting on a burro with a double-barreled shotgun pointed my way.
“Come on out, Lomax. Let’s go for a walk.”
“Where?” I wanted to know.
“To the river to bathe.”
“I need my clothes,” I pleaded.
“I don’t have any shackles,” Bean answered.
“What’s that got to do with my clothes?”
“I’ve found I don’t need shackles for naked men. Now come on out or I’m fining you another hundred dollars.”
Damn if Bean wasn’t right. As soon as I stepped outside, my hands dropped to my groin and stayed there all the way to the Rio Grande. We walked past the tracks and beyond the more numerous buildings on the railroad’s south side, where folks had built their homes and stores to put some distance between them and the law west of the Pecos. As I ambled through town with the double-barreled shotgun pointed at my back, some men and women giggled, but most made the sign of the cross over their breast. “El camino de la muerte,” cried one woman.
Bean translated for me, “The walk of death.”
I suppose it was a half mile or less from his courtroom to the ledge overlooking the Rio Grande River, but it seemed like forever, me being naked and barefoot and trying to miss the cactus and thorns that littered the trail. At the canyon’s edge, Bean pointed me down a path that led a hundred and fifty feet to the water’s edge below. I followed it and Bean’s instructions to wade out to an island that appeared to be an acre or more in the middle of the river. Bean followed me; the shotgun always pointed at my back.
“This island is neither Texas nor Mexico. Nobody’s certain who has jurisdiction, so if I shoot you, I won’t be prosecuted by me as law west of the Pecos or anyone else. Now if I do shoot you dead, and you float away, make sure you land on the Texas side of the river so I can get my five-dollar fee for handling the inquest.”
I emerged from the water on the island and Bean came close enough that I could’ve grabbed the scattergun’s barrel, but I feared he’d earn five dollars if I did. He reached
in his britches pocket and tossed me a bar of soap.
Catching it, I asked, “What’s this for.”
“It’s soap. Don’t you know how to take a bath?”
“I do, but why do I need one?”
“Every man needs to be clean on his wedding day.”
“You’re getting married when we return.”
Stunned, I looked from him to my naked flesh. At least I was already dressed for my wedding night.
Recipes for foods found in
By Stacy Wilder
Liz’s King Ranch Chicken
1 can cream of mushroom soup 8 oz. (2 cups) cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup 1 package corn tortillas
1 can Rotel tomatoes 1white onion diced
1 cup chicken stock 1 green bell pepper diced
rotisserie chicken 1 Tsp ancho chili powder
9×12 baking dish ½ tsp garlic salt
Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place corn tortillas in a bowl and cover with chicken stock. Soak until soft.
Shred chicken. Fine dice onion and bell pepper. Combine soup and cheese in a separate bowl. Use half of the tortillas to cover the bottom of the baking dish. Layer half of the chicken on top followed by half of the onion and green pepper. Follow with half of the cheese/soup mixture. Season. Repeat. Pour can of Rotel on top.
Bake for thirty minutes.
Liz’s Oops Salad
1 bag of mixed spring greens
I cup of strawberries diced
A few handfuls of blueberries
A few handfuls of raspberries
A few handfuls of blackberries
Wash and dry fresh produce. Toss and serve with your favorite raspberry vinaigrette. Garnish with toasted almonds.
Charleston Conundrum Cookies
This recipe is compliments of Chef Amber Griffin, Vermont. Chef Amber baked these during When Words Count Pitch Week Competition XXI. She is an amazing chef. Thank you Amber for allowing me to share this recipe.
2 sticks butter (softened) 1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup brown sugar 3/4 cup pepita seeds
1 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt 2 cups flour
2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 bag shredded coconut 1 bag Lays potato chips (crushed)
1/2 bag heath bar bits
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, sugar, and salt together. Add the eggs. Mix well.
Add coconut, heath bits, chocolate chips, pepita seeds, and vanilla.
Mix and add flour and baking soda. Mix until just combined. Mix in crushed potato chips. Drop on a baking sheet and bake for twelve to fifteen minutes.
Lou’s Favorite Egg Salad
eight hard-boiled eggs
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 Tsp. dijon mustard
4 Tsp. chopped celery
4 Tsp. chopped red onion
2 Tsp. dill
garlic salt to taste
pepper to taste
¼ tsp. smoked paprika
fresh dill as garnish
Finely chop the eggs, celery, and red onion and place them in a bowl. Stir in mayo, mustard, dill, garlic salt pepper, and paprika. Garnish with fresh dill. Serve on your favorite bread. Enjoy!
The Conundrum Cocktail
This recipe is compliments of the team at Hugh O’Connor’s Irish Pub, Houston, TX. Hugh O’Connor’s served the cocktail during the book launch party for Charleston Conundrum. Thank you Hugh O’Connor’s team for creating the cocktail and allowing me to share this recipe.
1 ounce orange vodka
.75 ounces vodka
.75 ounces St. Germaine
.25 ounces Malibu rum
.25 ounces lemon juice
.25 ounces lavender syrup (add more to taste)
Splash of grenadine
Pour ingredients into a martini shaker. Mix, add ice. Shake multiple times. Strain and pour in a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge. Enjoy!
The Charleston Conundrum Playlist
Available on Spotify – Charleston Conundrum Playlist
Fire and Rain, James Taylor
Dancing Queen, ABBA
I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Marvin Gaye
I Second That Emotion, The Miracles
If I Could Turn Back Time, Cher
If I Were a Rich Man, Robert Merrill’s version
Edge of Glory, Lady Gaga
Wanted Dead Or Alive, Bon Jovi