Friday, November 21, 2014

Just in Time for Christmas

Previously only available as part of the A Fantasy Christmas anthology, you can now purchase the novella Halfling on its own!

Read the three excerpts below the purchasing information.

Banished from the South Pole, Kara tries to carve out a new life among the elves of the North. It’s not easy with a secret to protect—a secret she's cursed with by the unusual circumstances of her heritage: half-elf, half-fairy. In the North, she’s assigned to work with Seb on a special project. He's the most gorgeous elf she’s ever seen—and the orneriest.

As if being banished wasn’t punishment enough. 

Seb introduces her to Trystin, a fairy from the nearby fairy forest. Trystin discerns her secret right away and promises to teach her how to use the powers given to her by the very thing she’s fighting to keep hidden.

Only $2.99 ebook, or $9.99 paperback*

Amazon Barnes & Noble Smashwords CreateSpace

*Get the ebook free with the purchase of the paperback on Amazon only.

Excerpt #1

Kara took a deep breath, her hand on the glass doorknob. A new beginning. She kept repeating the words over and over in her mind. They rang just as hollowly now as when she’d been banished. Well, there was nothing to be done for it. This was her new life—for now. At least until her secret was once again discovered.

Excerpt #2

She caught sight of a male elf entering the room and froze. He was dazzling. She’d never seen an elf that looked like him. He was tall and lean, as were most elves, but he was even taller than most. His broad chest and shoulders made him formidable. His arms rippled with tight muscles. His form was arresting, surely, but it was his face that held her mouth-gaped attention.
His cheekbones were high and strong, his lips full and sensuous above a seriously masculine jaw. His eyes shone bright blue—like the sky on the clearest of days, framed with long, dark lashes that would be envied by any female. His long midnight-black hair was tied back with a length of leather, giving him a fierce appearance. He was attractive beyond any elf—beyond anything—she’d ever seen—and that was saying a lot considering the natural beauty of all elves.

Excerpt #3

He held the helmet out once again and this time Kara took it. She climbed on behind Seb, holding to the side handles. He grunted, in frustration or humor she couldn’t tell. He reached behind him, grabbed her hands and wrapped them around his waist. Kara gasped.
“No backrest,” he said, which was true enough. “You’ll fall off if you don’t hold on.”
Seb hit the throttle, launching them forward. Kara couldn’t stop the small scream that escaped her throat as she tightly clasped Seb, burying her face in his back in terror. She slid forward, pressing tightly against him, refusing to look up as the world sped by. Panic slid across her bones until she felt as frozen as the Earth’s surface beneath them. He sped around corners and across bumps that lifted the machine airborne. Her breathing was rapid and her heart felt as if it would pound its way through her chest. It seemed as if hours passed rather than a mere thirty minutes when he finally pulled to a stop.
Kara tried to release him, truly she did, but telling her brain to release her death grip on him and actually doing it seemed to be at opposite ends of the spectrum.
“Kara?” he asked. She couldn’t lift her head to answer him.  She felt his hands on hers, peeling them away. He managed to do so, though she still couldn’t move.
Pulling her helmet off, he leaned down to peer into her face. Seb surprised her by pulling her into his arms, holding her tight, safe, enfolded in his warm embrace as she shook, spasms wracking her body. Kara didn’t know how much time passed before her brain began to really process the situation. As she became aware of her reaction to nothing more than a ride on a sled, and the fact that she was now clasped tightly in Seb’s arms, embarrassment seeped through her.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Matchmaker by Karey White

Match Maker

Blog Tour hosted by I Am A Reader November 4th to 21st Tour Schedule

Match Maker Book Cover
   The Match Maker by Karey White (The Husband Maker #2) (Summary contains spoilers if you have not yet read book #1 The Husband Maker) It’s been six months since Charlotte and Kyle broke up, and the Husband Maker strikes again. Kyle is officially engaged, while Charlotte is still nursing a broken heart. In an effort to get Charlotte out of her rut, she and her best friend decide it’s time for some good old-fashioned matchmaking. While Aleena arranges for Charlotte to meet up with a handsome Scottish tourist, Charlotte gets her two best friends together. But when sparks start to fly between Aleena and Angus, Charlotte is left feeling more alone that ever--at least until the charming Scotsman becomes more than just a safe, rebound guy and teaches her that maybe, just maybe, she can dare to open her heart again.


Order your copy Now!


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Have you read the first book in the series?
The Husband Maker by Karey White


Husband Maker Cover

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Coming Spring 2015
The conclusion to The Husband Maker Series
The Wife Maker by Karey White

Wife Maker 2 

Karey White
    Author Karey White Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.



    $25 Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 11/30/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Gratitude Giveaway Hop

gratitude 2013

I love participating in this hop because it's my chance to thank you, my readers, for allowing me to do what I love - write! I guess I'd still write even if no one read what I wrote, but still, it's nice to know someone out there wants to read my words. So to thank you for your amazing kindness and love, I'm giving away a $10 Amazon gift card, and with that a digital copy of my novella Halfling. I've just recently released Halfling on it's own (previously it was only available as part of the anthology A Fantasy Christmas). I posted info about this particular story and purchasing links below.

Once you've entered, make sure to click on the links in the list below that to go to other blogs for more chances to win some great prizes! Thanks to I Am a Reader for hosting this!

Banished from the South Pole, Kara tries to carve out a new life among the elves of the North. It’s not easy with a secret to protect—a secret she's cursed with by the unusual circumstances of her heritage: half-elf, half-fairy. In the North, she’s assigned to work with Seb on a special project. He's the most gorgeous elf she’s ever seen—and the orneriest. 

As if being banished wasn’t punishment enough. 

Seb introduces her to Trystin, a fairy from the nearby fairy forest. Trystin discerns her secret right away and promises to teach her how to use the powers given to her by the very thing she’s fighting to keep hidden.

BUY YOUR COPY NOW AT ANY OF THESE RETAILERS:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Smashwords CreateSpace


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Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Christ Centered Christmas Blog Tour


As a Christian I celebrate Christmas and not the generic "holidays". That's my choice. If you choose to celebrate the holidays, that's your choice. Great thing about being human is we all have the right to choose what is right for us. I was invited to participate in the blog tour for A Christ Centered Christmas by Emily Freeman. This is a great book for anyone who does celebrate Christmas and struggles to keep it Christ centered amidst all of the commercialism, not an easy task. It's really easy to get swept up in all of the other things Christmas has become about and forget the reason it is even celebrated. This book is set up to be easily adapted to your family needs. Some of the "lessons" are even just good jumping off points to make them your own. So if you'd like to get back to celebrating Christmas or if you just want to expand how you do, this is a great helper.

About the Book:
This year as you prepare your home for the holidays, resolve to prepare your heart with seven traditions that will lead you closer to Christ. Discover the meaning behind seven gifts of Christmas, each celebrated with an invitation from the scriptures and a simple tradition.

• Each gift is based on a figure in a Nativity set
• The traditions are simple and can be combined with things you already do
• The order of the traditions and the length of time between each is left completely to your inspiration
• The traditions are appropriate for any age and families of any size


About the Author: 

Emily Belle Freeman is a coach’s wife, mother to four children and a few others who have found refuge in her home, and sought-after inspirational speaker. She finds great joy in studying the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Her deep love of the scriptures comes from a desire to find their application in everyday life. For a few minutes every day Emily forgets about the laundry, leaves the dishes in the sink, and writes. She is the coauthor of The Peter Potential: Discover the Life You Were Meant to Live and coauthors a blog that is a stopping place for hearts seeking all that is good:www.multiplygoodness.com.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Becoming Beauty by Sarah Boucher






Welcome to Becoming Beauty's Blog Tour! Learn all about Sarah E. Boucher and her exciting new Young Adult novel based on the classic fairy tale Beauty & The Beast.

Becoming Beauty

Self-centered Bella focuses her attention on beautiful dresses and fabulous balls rather than helping her family earn a living.  And her siblings have had enough! To pay off their father’s debt, they send Bella to a far-off manor where the owner is more like a beast than a man.

As their personalities clash, Bella comes to realize there’s more to the Beast than she could ever have dreamed—if only she can look beneath the surface. And then there’s Jack, the kind servant who helps Bella adjust to her new life, someone Bella could easily fall in love with. But pursuing love may cost Bella her dreams of wealth and beauty. And that’s a price she’s not willing to pay.

My thoughts: I love fairytale retellings, as is obvious by the fact that I’ve written a few. My favorite part of retellings is to be surprised by a twist in the story. In the debut novel by Sarah Boucher, Becoming Beauty, that’s exactly what happened.
Bella is a spoiled girl in spite of her fairly meager upbringing. She has a major sense of entitlement. When her father goes on a business trip, her request for a bauble from said trip sets in motion a series of events that land her as servant for the “Beast”, Phillip.
Add to that a mysterious past with a woman named Rose who Bella seems to be psychically connected with, and a loyal friend who becomes Bella’s only friend in the castle, and you immediately have a twist on the traditional tale. Where it goes from there is completely unexpected as the overindulged princess is brought to her knees.
 Boucher has created a flawed heroine you’ll love, and a hero that isn’t what you expect. Prepare to be enchanted by this debut novel from a promising new author. I look forward to what comes from her next!

Becoming Beauty is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and books & things.

Author Spotlight


Sarah E. Boucher spends her days instilling young children with the same love of literature she has known since childhood. After hours, she pens her own stories and nurses an unhealthy obsession for handbags, high heels, baking, and British television. Sarah is a graduate of Brigham Young University, who currently lives and teaches in Ogden, Utah. Becoming Beauty is her first novel.

Visit Sarah at blog/website (SarahEBoucher.com) 

Or connect with Sarah by clicking through to the following social media sites: 


And don't forget to click below and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Now Available: RAINE!

I'm so excited to announce the release of Raine, the newest novel from M.M. Roethig. It's available NOW at Amazon and Smashwords, Want a chance to win c copy free, as well as a bunch of other prizes? Join M.M. tomorrow for her Facebook Launch Party. It doesn't matter where you live, if you have Facebook, you can come. Read all the details here.

Meantime, here's a sneak peek at Raine, and what's being said about it.

Starting her senior year of high school, Raine Patterson is content with being invisible. That is, until the mysteriously handsome Kaden transfers in and turns her world upside down. Drawn to him in ways she can’t understand, Raine finds herself falling for him, regardless of his harsh stares and mixed signals. When she discovers a hidden ability to control the elements, she finds herself the target of a madman, and Kaden is the only one who can help her. Can she trust him?
Kaden Williams has hated Elementals from the time he lost his father to them as a young boy. Chosen to protect Elementals, Kaden turned his back on his duty, swearing to rid the world of them instead. Meeting Raine was no accident, but his feelings for her throw him into turmoil and threaten to change the way he feels about Elementals. When Raine becomes the target of an unknown aggressor, Kaden is forced to decide which path he will follow.

As the struggle for knowledge unfolds and the beginning of a pending war looms closer, Raine and Kaden must lean on each other to discover the truth and survive.

“Refreshing tale of love, betrayal, and spectacular feats. Unputdownable with a cast of characters so real, you’d wish they could live on past the pages.”
~Elizabeth Mueller, author of Darkspell.

“It takes a gifted writer to snare the reader from the first page of a story. M.M. Roethig does just that in Raine, crafting a hero and heroine who will capture your heart and have you championing them along, especially as they begin to understand not only who they are but how each fits into the life of the other.”

~ Linda Boulanger, author of Dance with the Enemy

Sneak Peek:

Pain shot through her head as she came to.  The events of yesterday were a blur. Raine gingerly blinked her eyes against the blackness. She tried to lift a hand to touch the throbbing pain on the back of her head only it wouldn’t move.
Cobwebs in her mind slowly cleared as memories fought to come to the surface, but lay just beyond her reach. Confusion made her shake with fear.
The room was uncomfortably hot and the smell of musty old wood accosted her. She shook her head against the smell and paid with another stab of pain in her head, making her eyes water.
Raine blinked the tears swiftly away and waited for her vision to come into focus in the dark room.
The marking on her wrist began to glow, softly at first, slowly growing in intensity until the darkness faded away.
She knew her fear made her marking come to life. She also knew he would be close.
Thoughts of him opened her mind and Raine shuddered when her memories finally hit her with full force.
He tricked her. The one person she thought she could trust betrayed her. He was the reason she was here, and she couldn’t stop the overwhelming despair that threatened to crush her heart.
With deep breaths, Raine tried to curb the sting in her chest as she took in her surroundings.
The room was dark with pitch-black curtainless windows in the far corner, which meant it was the dead of night. Outside the window she could make out the shapes of trees, thick trees that blocked the faint light of the moon.
A blast of heat accosted her directly in the face, making her feel weak. She fought the urge to sleep as she furiously blinked against the warmth that somehow drained her instantly. Her marking slowly faded as weakness enveloped her and it became harder to keep her eyes open. She was going to lose the battle. She could feel the subtle pull of the moon and struggled desperately to hold onto the strength it provided, but she was too weak to pull from its energy.
A faint light appeared under the door in front of her and she heard faint creaks in the wood just beyond the door that held her prisoner. Someone was coming. She fought against her heavy lids as the door opened and light flooded into the small room.
A shadow, tall and lean, sauntered into the room and Raine strained to see his face. She wanted to look in his eyes and find the answers to her questions. She needed to know who wanted her so much. She needed to know why.
The shadow stepped closer and Raine let out a weak gasp.
“You?” Confusion warred with reason inside her head as her neck gave way and her head slumped forward, eyes closed.
Laughter followed her into the blackness.

Order your copy here:




In preparation for the release of Raine, get Elemental Princess FREE for a limited time. Get your copy here.

Kaesen, an elemental princess, lives on a distant star called Maia. She loves Alwen, but as her sworn protector they're forbidden to be together. Promised to a cruel man, Kaesen will do whatever is necessary to change the stars and be allowed to love her Alwen.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Coming Soon: RAINE

No, this isn't a weather forecast. This is an announcement that Raine, the newest novel from M.M. Roethig, is set to release on November 10th! It's available for preorder now at Amazon and Smashwords, Want a chance to win them free? M.M. Roethig is giving away a signed copy of both Raine and Beginnings, the anthology which includes Elemental Princess, the prequel to Raine. You can enter to win that here.

Meantime, here's a sneak peek at Raine, and what's being said about it.

Starting her senior year of high school, Raine Patterson is content with being invisible. That is, until the mysteriously handsome Kaden transfers in and turns her world upside down. Drawn to him in ways she can’t understand, Raine finds herself falling for him, regardless of his harsh stares and mixed signals. When she discovers a hidden ability to control the elements, she finds herself the target of a madman, and Kaden is the only one who can help her. Can she trust him?
Kaden Williams has hated Elementals from the time he lost his father to them as a young boy. Chosen to protect Elementals, Kaden turned his back on his duty, swearing to rid the world of them instead. Meeting Raine was no accident, but his feelings for her throw him into turmoil and threaten to change the way he feels about Elementals. When Raine becomes the target of an unknown aggressor, Kaden is forced to decide which path he will follow.

As the struggle for knowledge unfolds and the beginning of a pending war looms closer, Raine and Kaden must lean on each other to discover the truth and survive.

“Refreshing tale of love, betrayal, and spectacular feats. Unputdownable with a cast of characters so real, you’d wish they could live on past the pages.”
~Elizabeth Mueller, author of Darkspell.

“It takes a gifted writer to snare the reader from the first page of a story. M.M. Roethig does just that in Raine, crafting a hero and heroine who will capture your heart and have you championing them along, especially as they begin to understand not only who they are but how each fits into the life of the other.”

~ Linda Boulanger, author of Dance with the Enemy

Sneak Peek:

Pain shot through her head as she came to.  The events of yesterday were a blur. Raine gingerly blinked her eyes against the blackness. She tried to lift a hand to touch the throbbing pain on the back of her head only it wouldn’t move.
Cobwebs in her mind slowly cleared as memories fought to come to the surface, but lay just beyond her reach. Confusion made her shake with fear.
The room was uncomfortably hot and the smell of musty old wood accosted her. She shook her head against the smell and paid with another stab of pain in her head, making her eyes water.
Raine blinked the tears swiftly away and waited for her vision to come into focus in the dark room.
The marking on her wrist began to glow, softly at first, slowly growing in intensity until the darkness faded away.
She knew her fear made her marking come to life. She also knew he would be close.
Thoughts of him opened her mind and Raine shuddered when her memories finally hit her with full force.
He tricked her. The one person she thought she could trust betrayed her. He was the reason she was here, and she couldn’t stop the overwhelming despair that threatened to crush her heart.
With deep breaths, Raine tried to curb the sting in her chest as she took in her surroundings.
The room was dark with pitch-black curtainless windows in the far corner, which meant it was the dead of night. Outside the window she could make out the shapes of trees, thick trees that blocked the faint light of the moon.
A blast of heat accosted her directly in the face, making her feel weak. She fought the urge to sleep as she furiously blinked against the warmth that somehow drained her instantly. Her marking slowly faded as weakness enveloped her and it became harder to keep her eyes open. She was going to lose the battle. She could feel the subtle pull of the moon and struggled desperately to hold onto the strength it provided, but she was too weak to pull from its energy.
A faint light appeared under the door in front of her and she heard faint creaks in the wood just beyond the door that held her prisoner. Someone was coming. She fought against her heavy lids as the door opened and light flooded into the small room.
A shadow, tall and lean, sauntered into the room and Raine strained to see his face. She wanted to look in his eyes and find the answers to her questions. She needed to know who wanted her so much. She needed to know why.
The shadow stepped closer and Raine let out a weak gasp.
“You?” Confusion warred with reason inside her head as her neck gave way and her head slumped forward, eyes closed.
Laughter followed her into the blackness.

Preorder your copy here:




In preparation for the release of Raine, we're offering Elemental Princess FREE for a limited time. Get your copy here.

Kaesen, an elemental princess, lives on a distant star called Maia. She loves Alwen, but as her sworn protector they're forbidden to be together. Promised to a cruel man, Kaesen will do whatever is necessary to change the stars and be allowed to love her Alwen.







Thank you for stopping by,

Creative Prose Publishing

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Tribute to My Dad

My dad passed away last week, on September 29th, a day before his 73rd birthday. In actuality, it was 2 hours before his birthday since he died at around 10:00 p.m. My dad was a funny guy, so I can imagine him gloating that he didn't hit his birthday, because my mom (who turned 73 in May) will now forever be older than him. 

It sucks. There's just no other way to say it. I hate that he's gone because I'm going to miss him. But he'd been suffering for so long, and was in so much pain when he died that it's pure selfishness that I wanted to keep him here. He was done. He said so, many times. He didn't want to suffer anymore, so for him, I'm glad he's finally at rest. 

I thought the best way to honor my dad is to share both a bit about his life and about who he was, so I'm posting both his obituary and a copy of the talk I gave at his funeral. I only hope I did him a small amount of justice.

Melvin Rudolph Carlsen, age 72, died September 29, 2014 at home after a long struggle with heart disease.
Melvin was born September 30, 1941 in Murray, Utah to Melvin Richard Carlsen and Lizzie Verona Hardcastle. He graduated from Murray High School in 1959 and married Shirley Ann Ertmann on November 20, 1959 in the Salt Lake Temple. He also attended Salt Lake Trade Technical Institute where he earned his journeyman machinest certificate.
Mel was a hardworking business man. He realized his dream of opening his own business, C&F Machine Shop, as well as being a partner in Salt Lake Cable and Harness, and was able to support his family for many years. He retired early at age 63 in 2004. He was an active member of the LDS church. Mel spent his spare time bowling, doing yard work, golfing, camping, 4-wheeling, and attending Utah Jazz and BYU football games.
Mel is survived by his wife, his son Russ Carlsen and his wife Stacy, daughter Wendy Carlsen and her (husband/boyfriend) Rod Thurber, daughter Cindy Bennett, and son Dennis Carlsen and his wife Janie.
He’s also survived by 10 grandchildren: Ryan Bennett, Mandy Walters, Randy Bennett, Danielle Teerlink, Lindsay Bennett, Lexcie Bennett, Chayton Carlsen, Breann Carlsen, Shailey Carlsen, Lizzie Carlsen, and one-and-a-half great grandchildren: Royal and Khaleesi.
He’s also survived by three sisters: Betty, Carolyn and Barbara, one brother: Richard, and one son-in-law, Kelly Bennett. He is preceded in death by his parents and his brother Keith. 

At most funerals, people stand at the podium and extoll the virtues of the person who has passed away. I’m going to do something a little different. I want to tell you some of the things I blame my dad for.
For example, I blame my dad for the fact that I try to be careful in the words I speak to others. I’m not perfect at it, by any means, but I try. I’m always conscious of something he told me once. He said that if you say something mean or cruel to someone, it’s like hammering a nail in a board. You can apologize, or remove the nail, but the hole will always remain. You can’t take that hole away, only try to make it a little better. So think before you speak. I blame him for the fact that most of the time I do that.
I blame him for my love of music. This might seem strange to you since most people wouldn’t consider my dad musical. Yet, he was always singing. Not always sensical songs or even sensical words for that matter. But he was always singing. Sometimes in the car, if the radio was playing songs he didn’t know, he’d just kind of bounce back and forth a little and hum along. I don’t think I ever realized how much that influenced me, but one day when I realized how much power a song or music can have over me, it occurred to me that it was him and his constant singing or humming that made music a background in my life.
I blame him for my fashion sense. I know what you’re thinking—Mel had fashion sense? Well, if you’re a girl raised by a dad who thinks the height of fashion is plaid short and cowboy boots, or denim shorts and black socks, you learn really fast how you never want to dress. I’m kidding—sort of. Really, my dad was a pretty classy dresser. He had t-shirts, sure. But more often than he wore those, he wore a collared golf shirt, tucked in, with a black belt and black loafers. When I think of my dad, that’s how I picture him.

I blame him for the fact that I find education important. My dad always wanted us kids to go to college. He offered to pay for us to go, no obligation, when we graduated high school. None of us were smart enough to take him up on it. But he still managed to drill into us that education is important, and I now have two kids who’ve graduated college, and two more who are on track to graduate within the next couple of years. My dad wanted us kids to be smart and even if we didn’t continue our education then, he still taught us to be smart, and I think we all are fairly intelligent beings.
I also blame him for teaching us to work hard. If there’s one thing that can be said of my dad, it’s that he was a hard worker. He worked hard at a lot of jobs before he was finally able to open his own business, C&F Machine Shop, which he owned with his partner Flash for I don’t even know how many years. As long as I can remember, really. He worked a lot to make a success of his business. And it was a success. He supported us all very well. We never wanted for anything. I’m sure there were lean times, but he and my mom worked hard to make sure we didn’t feel it, and that we were secure and happy. He taught us that when you are working—whether for yourself or anyone else—that you worked hard and did your best.
I blame my dad for showing me you can achieve your dreams. He did this by opening his business. He made it possible for me to have a stay-at-home mom, which was important to me. I loved that she could be the mom who went on all the field trips and was there when I got home from school. I knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, which I eventually was, because he made it possible for me to have that. I’ve achieved many of my dreams because I knew it was possible from watching him.
I blame him for my sense of financial responsibility. When we were teens we had to buy our own cars if we wanted one. That meant we had to work and budget our minimum wages in order to pay for the car. Throughout all of our lives, we’ve all gone to him for help or advice, most always financial. He was smart in that way and was always able to give us the advice we needed. I always feel responsible to meet my financial obligations, and feel guilty if I’m late with a payment, because he was so financially responsible. I admired that about him.
I blame him for the need to make others feel like I’m truly listening to them when they speak. My dad never zoned out in the middle of a conversation, or interrupted to talk over top of you. If you were having a conversation with him, he was in it. He couldn’t always remember someone’s name, but he’d remember faces. If he couldn’t remember your name, he’d call you Ralph or Rebecca, or the all-encompassing kid. In fact, if he did remember your name, he’d likely call you Ralph, Rebecca, or Kid. In this fast paced world we live in, paying genuine attention to someone and the conversation you’re having with them is an art, and it’s one my dad had down to a science.
I blame my dad for teaching me that how you treat others is important. Even at his sickest, when he was suffering, he was still trying to make others comfortable or to entertain them. As a kid, I watched how he was around others. He was never the guy who was making things weird or uncomfortable or being so rude he’d make everyone around him want to leave. Not that he didn’t have bad days, or that we didn’t see the ornery side of him at home. But I saw how he would be with friends or other family, how he was in public, and he was always happy and funny. I don’t want to be the person no one can stand to be around because they’re always unhappy, so I try to follow my dad’s lead and be the one who’s trying to make things lighter.
I blame my dad for my chosen career. I’m a writer of fiction. And who knew how to tell a story better than my dad? It always went something like this: "It was August 4th, 4:00 in the afternoon. I was milking chickens, but only the chickens with lips. Your mom was wearing army boots, and my pancreas was fluctuating . . ." Anyone who knows my dad at all has heard one if not all of those phrases from him. His stories never made much sense, and were completely wild, but they were always funny and entertaining. How could I grow up around that and not think storytelling—fictional storytelling—was the way to go?
I saved this one for last because it was the best thing about my dad. I blame my dad for my sense of humor. My dad was a funny guy. Growing up in a house like ours, humor was pretty much a requirement. We’d have these Sunday dinners that lasted forever because we’d go off on all these tangents about anything and everything, mostly just laughing. Anyone who knew my dad would use funny as the first word to describe him. He had a quip or one-liner for everything. Humor was important to my dad. Laughter was important. And because of this, all of us kids have a great sense of humor. All of Mel’s grandkids have senses of humor. Everyone who’s ever met him has some story about him and something funny he did. Even before I understood all the nuances of humor, I understood laughter. I understood my dad was funny and took great pride in making others laugh. He'd say things like: "If I was any better I'd be two people." Or, at a restaurant when asked how he'd like his steak cooked: "On the stove." And then he'd point at another table when the check was brought: "You can give that to them. They'd like to take care of it." He would say: "I have the prettiest feet in the world" or "No one has a better looking belly button than me" and then proceed to show you. He would make (small) bets on football games and upon losing would either shred the $20 he owed you and send it to you that way, or maybe put it in a jar of some kind of gel, or laminate it, or anything to make sure he paid but that you'd have a difficult time using the money. The last few weeks when he was having almost daily heart attacks, and suffering for hours with them, he'd still be making jokes through his pain.
Selfishly I wish my dad was still here. I’m going to miss him fiercely.  I can’t believe I’m never going to hear his voice again, or see him sign his name, or drive his gray Ranger, or pull his comb out of his pocket and comb his hair. I can’t believe I’m never going to hear him sing, or say August 4th, or ask “does a chicken have lips”, or have him hug me again. But I also know the kind of pain he was in, how miserable he felt all the time, how exhausted he was from all of that, and I know he’s so much happier now. I know he’s at peace. And so I’ll be patient, I’ll wait until I can be with him again, and then all of these things I miss will be there for me to enjoy again. I love my dad, and I’m so grateful I got the chance to be his daughter.



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Thirty-Two Going on Spinster by Becky Monson



Thirty-Two Going on Spinster by Becky Monson
Julia Dorning is a spinster, or at least on the road to becoming one. She has no social life, hates her job, and lives in her parent’s basement with her cat, Charlie.
With the arrival of Jared Moody, the new hire at work, Julia’s mundane life is suddenly turned upside down. Her instant (and totally ridiculous) crush on the new guy causes Julia to finally make some long-overdue changes, in hopes to find a life that includes more than baking and hanging out with Charlie.
But when the biggest and most unexpected change comes, will the new and improved Julia be able to overcome it? Or will she go back to her spinster ways?

Purchase your copy for just $2.99!!


  Praise for Thirty-Two Going on... Spinster   "Oh my, oh my. I have just finished wiping the tears of laughter from my eyes. This is seriously funny." ~Julie Darley (Never judge a Book by its Movie) "This was a refreshing change of pace for me to read. Some good clean romance was found in it’s pages and that is a rare find these days. It was some great chick-lit. I would not have thought this was Becky’s debut book, it was so well done." ~Liberty Ann (SnifferWalkBooks)

Excerpt
“I feel that, as a friend, I need to tell you something,” Brown says to me as we go outside to the smoking area. It’s near the end of the day and Mr. Nguyen had a meeting, so I figured I could take a little break.
“What is it?” I ask, not truly caring. I am still annoyed with her. I want to say something, but there is no point. She wouldn’t care anyway.
“Friends do not let friends go around with that,” she says, pointing to my upper lip.
“What do you mean? Is there something on my lip?” I ask, walking over to the door to see if I can see my reflection in the glass. I can’t see anything.
“Yes, there is something on your upper lip… hair.”
Whaaaaaaaaat? “Are you serious? I have a moustache?” My hand immediately goes up to my mouth, covering it and my upper lip. “But… I… How bad?” Somehow this is very fitting. A spinster with a moustache.
“Look, it’s not bad. And we do not call it a ‘moustache,’ it’s referred to as ‘upper lip hair,’” says the perfectly-put-together prom queen. “You have sort of… always had one. But it was always blonde hair, so I never said anything. But now, all of the sudden, there are brown hairs as well as the blonde.”

I guess right now would be a good time to die. I mean, I recently had a conversation with a good-looking man and this hasn’t happened in, well, over a decade. And I realize it wasn’t a real conversation since I couldn’t say more than three word sentences. But he was talking to me up-close and—oh my gosh, he could have seen it. Of course he did because that is how my life goes. I am an under-a-conference-table-hiding-deaf-mute-possibly-slow-spinster… with a moustache. Next comes sagging boobs and trailer parks.

Becky Monson  Author Becky Monson By day, Becky Monson is a mother of three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. In her debut novel, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc), and wishes she had a British accent. She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful time will last... But it probably won't. Becky runs a large book club on Facebook called "This Chick Reads".  


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