Had 2nd CoVid Vaccination

I crawled to my laptop to post this. Darling Hubby and I had 2nd CoVid vaccination Saturday at noon.

He got sick at midnight and was sick with bad headache, fever, chills, nausea, and terrible back ache. I took care of him with cold compresses, chicken soup, lots of liquids.

Twenty-four hours later he was fine. By then, I had begun to get sick: migraine, constant nausea, lymph nodes in armpit hugely swollen, exhaustion, terrible back ache, fever, and chills.

Takeaway Truth

It's been more than 36 hours, and I'm still sick with all of the above. Won't be back for a while.

Alexa for Beginners

Alexa is one of the most famous voices on the planet yet there  are many people who don't understand Alexa.

This little post is for those who would like to use an Alexa device but don't know much about it.

Click here to read The Alexa User Guide. Here are some highlights from it to get you started.

1. Alexa app
The Amazon Alexa app, which can be downloaded, is a quick and easy way to try Alexa on your smart phone and help you set up and manage a compatible Alexa device. You can set up your Alexa-enabled device in a few simple steps through the Alexa app.

2. Read about the Alexa Privacy Controls.

3. Alexa Skills are apps you can download to your Alexa device. There are 10s of 1000s Alexa Skills. You can use skills to play games, listen to podcasts, meditate, order food, get organized, learn things, research, make phone calls through your smart phone, play music—the sky is the limit for what can be done.

4. Read the User Guide FAQs, excerpted below.

5. What is Alexa?
Alexa is Amazon’s voice AI, that is, Artificial Intelligence. 

Alexa lives in the cloud and is happy to help anywhere there's internet access and a device that can connect to Alexa. Making Alexa part of your day is as simple as asking a question or making a request.

6. What's the difference between Alexa and Echo?
Alexa and Echo work hand in hand—so you don’t have to use your hands. While there are lots of Echo devices, there’s only one Alexa. 

Alexa puts the smart in Echo smart speakers, screens, and wearables. Alexa lives in the cloud, which means you can ask Alexa for help wherever you find Alexa even in the Alexa app on your smartphone.

7. What is the difference between "Works with Alexa" and "Alexa Built-In?"
“Works with Alexa” devices are those you can control using the Alexa voice service, such as a smart light bulb, thermostat, or eletric outlet.

“Alexa Built-in” describes third-party devices that let you access the Alexa voice service.

For example, you can control a "Works with Alexa" device using your voice by saying “Alexa, turn on the light” to an Alexa Built-in device (or an Amazon device with Alexa, such as an Echo smart speaker or smart display).

Saturday Share: Summer Veggie Salad

Looking for an easy to fix meal you can make without turning on the stove?

Want something that's also healthy and satisfying?

Try this salad that can be as hearty as you please. If you're a meat lover, add salami, pepperoni, ham, or browned, crumbled Italian sausage.

You can serve this salad with a vinaigrette you make, or make it easy on yourself and serve it with a bottled salad dressing. It's particularly good with an Italian dressing.

I serve this salad with Olive Garden Italian Dressing. My local stores stock it.

If your stores don't, you can get it from Amazon where a 2-bottle package is $11.97 and has Prime Shipping available.

Summer Veggie Salad
  • 4 cups chopped lettuce—use any combination of lettuces you like. I use mostly romaine and iceberg.
  • 2 cups cooked Italian white beans (if you use canned, be sure to drain them)
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes—I prefer the cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 cup spinach and spring mix greens
  • 1 cup chopped or coarsely shredded red or green cabbage
  • 1 cup sliced olives—I use 1/2 cup black and 1/2 cup green
  • 1 cup very thinly sliced red onion or Texas 1015 sweet onion
  • 1 cup roughly diced cucumber
  • 1 cup thinly sliced bell peppers—use a mix of red, orange, yellow, & green
  • 1/2 cup sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup diced jicama
  • 1/4 cup sliced pepperoncini or cherry peppers
Toss it all together in an extra large salad bowl to feed a crowd. Add the dressing and toss or pass the bottle so everyone can add their own measure of salad dressing.

Serve with garlic bread, and you've got a crowd pleaser.

Takeaway Truth

Enjoy your weekend with this no-fuss meal.

You'll receive a download link for a free romance ebook
when you confirm your subscription.

Visit Joan at the usual popular online sites.

Image (Vegetables) by Jill Wellington from Pixabay.

Random Friday Facts Number 2

Enjoy this selection of Random Friday Facts.

Categorized, they are facts about: Phobias, Pop Culture, Reading, Wildlife, History, Food, WWII.

1. Cherophobia is the irrational fear of fun or happiness.

2. Movie trailers were originally shown after the movie, which is why they were called trailers.

3. Reading makes you seem sexier to women. A study showed reading makes you seem more intelligent, which is looked upon favorably by women. Therefore, the more you read, the more appealing you become to women.

4. Eagles are known as apex predators. This means they are at the top of their ecosystem’s food chain. That means they must be strong and powerful against their prey so it comes as no surprise that they are strong enough to carry away a young deer.

5. St. Lucia is the only country in the world named after a woman.

6. In the 1980s, Pablo Escobar's Medellin Cartel was spending $2,500 a month for rubber bands to bundle their cash.

7. Kool-Aid was originally marketed as Fruit Smack.

8. The string on boxes of Animal Crackers cookies was originally placed there so the box could be hung from a Christmas tree.

9. Casualties on D-Day were stunning. German casualties have been estimated at 4,000 to 9,000 men. Allied casualties were documented for at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead. (My dad, a young farm boy from Mississippi, landed at Normandy on D-Day. He could never talk about that day.)

June 6 of this year was the 77th anniversary of D-Day. If you're a World War II buff or you're just interested, there's a trivia book you might like. The World War 2 Trivia Book: Interesting Stories and Random Facts from the Second World War (Volume 1).

Takeaway Truth

Have a happy Friday and enjoy the weekend!

You'll receive a download link for a free romance ebook
when you confirm your subscription.

Visit Joan at the usual popular online sites.

Thursday3Some: 3 Quick Book Reviews #1

I've been stressed out with selling our house, packing, and the impending move.

So I went to my happy place—books. I'm making time each day to read more. That's a great stress reliever.

Reading more means reviewing more. Here are 3 quick reviews for books you might enjoy.

With This Kiss by Victoria Lynne

While the cover art is lovely, it's a bit misleading. This is not a contemporary, but a Victorian Historical Romance that's a bit different.

It was nominated for a Romantic Times Best Historical Romance.

Morgan St. James is the hero of this romance. He's known as The Beast because of his horrific burn scars resulting from his brave heroic action. In Victorian England, men who are unattractive aren't considered good prospects for marriage despite how wealthy he may be.

Julia Prentiss is The Beauty who has a proposition for The Beast: marry her and protect her from her uncle. In return, she will help him find the arsonist responsible for torching his mansion, killing many of his staff whom he tried to save at the risk of his own life.

Yes, you know this marriage of convenience will result in love, but the perilous journey these two take to get to that place will hold your attention and have you rooting for them.

A Bad Eclair Day by Susan Kiernan-Lewis

This cozy mystery is Book 4 in the Stranded in Provence series. I really like this series which is set in post-apocolyptic France.

Amateur sleuth Jules Hooker must solve mysteries the old-fashioned way—without cell phones, computers, cars, and instant forensic results.

Jules, an American stranded in Provence, began building a "family" of oddballs in book 1. In this book, she must prove the two little old ladies who she lives with—and who were French Resistance fighters in WW2—weren't responsible for the poisoned chocolate éclairs that killed someone.

This book, like the others in the series, is amusing and subtly  emotional as Jules continues her ex-pat existence in a changed world. Delightful!

Love and Betrayal…Regency style!

This Regency Romance is Book 1 of An Unlikely Husband. If you were enchanted by Bridgerton, the Netflix original, you're probably in the reading market for more Regency.

You can't go wrong with Mary Campisi.

Francie Jordan is a  young woman of noble blood, but she was raised as a peasant girl.

Alexander Bishop was an orphaned stable boy who became  the surrogate son of a powerful earl who just happens to be Francie's real father.

The two have nothing in common—she's a free spirit who runs barefoot and talks to animals. He's stiff, conservative, and unyielding in his attempt to be a proper son of an earl.

These two desire each other, but they have such an aversion to the other's habits that it's questionable whether they can overcome those barriers. Enter her conniving father who is determined that they should marry.

Unfortunately, not everyone in the ccountryside shares her father's opinion. This Regency romance will make you sigh.

Takeaway Truth

Stressed out? Read more! See you next Thursday with 3 more quick reviews.

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New Release: Secondhand Hearts by Kathryn Hills

Return to Last Chance Beach with Secondhand Hearts by Kathryn Hills.

Life takes you down many winding paths. Will theirs lead to love on Last Chance Beach?

Tasked with convincing her beloved grandmother to move back to the mainland, Kat Worthington returns to Last Chance Beach.

This vacation island paradise is filled with cherished memories, and the thought of relocating her loved one weighs heavy on Kat’s heart.

Is the alternative to uproot her life, stay on the island, and help run Gran’s charming B&B and antique shop?

Handsome neighbor, Ben Hadley, sure hopes it is. He and his playful pup are doing their best to upend Kat’s plans. Will their efforts convince her to stay?

Or will it require some of Gran’s special island magic?

Excerpt from Secondhand Hearts
A Last Chance Beach Novella by Kathryn Hills

“Look at that… Didn’t even break the pot.” Gran gave her a sassy little wink. “You’ve always been one for divine timing, Kitty.”


“Yup, I knew I had a matching teapot to the set that came in yesterday.” Gran stood a little straighter and squared her chin. “Besides, I’m not alone. Ben is here.”

“Who the heck is Ben?”

“That’d be me.” A deep, male voice came from behind, startling Kat.

Spinning with a gasp, her eyes widened when connecting with six feet plus of drop-dead gorgeous, dark-haired man.

He met her stare full-on without so much as a hint of humility, and he nodded a curt greeting.

“Haddie Marshall, are you up to your old tricks again?” Ben brushed past Kat. “I told you to wait and I’d look with you.”

“Well, I didn’t want you fussing. I know you’re busy.”

“Excuse me,” Kat interrupted, not bothering to disguise the irritation in her voice. “Who are you, and why would you allow my seventy-seven-year-old grandmother to climb to the scorching top of a barn and up a ladder for a teapot?”

The man stared at her in silence. One dark brow cocked in obvious annoyance.

“Ben Hadley…meet my first grandbaby, Kitty Worthington,” Gran announced with a proud smile.

“It’s Kat, Gran. Or Katrina,” she grumbled. “No one has called me Kitty since the fifth grade.”

“Oh, shush, child. You’ll always be Kitty to me and Grandpa Mike.” The elderly woman’s smile fell away. She took a wobbly step forward to hand Ben the box. “Be a love and take this down for me. I think I’d better hang on extra tight to the railing after all this excitement.”

“I’ll take the box,” Kat snapped. “You help my grandmother back to the house, where we can turn on some air conditioning.”

Meet the Author, Kathryn Hills

KATHRYN HILLS...Best-selling romance author, ghost hunter, dog lover, and iced coffee addict. She’s hauntingly romantic unless she’s writing sweet. From graveyards to country inns, get ready to explore spooky mysteries and have some sexy fun.

Find Kathryn Hills Online

Twitter * Amazon Author Page * BookBub

Learn more about Kathryn Hills and the Last Chance Beach Romance line on the Last Chance Beach WebPage.

Coming in September...

Sand, Salt, and Spirits, A Last Chance Beach Romance by Kathryn Hills.

Kyle Worthington hasn’t returned to Last Chance Beach in years. He’s worked hard to prove himself to his overbearing father and the rest of the world. 

Now it’s October, and the vacation island paradise is celebrating the season with an island-wide Fall Festival.

Family obligation demands he participate. Everyone will be there, including the ghost that haunts his grandparents’ B&B.

Visit Last Chance Beach Romance to learn more about Sand, Salt, and SpiritsA Last Chance Beach Romance by Kathryn Hills.

Takeaway Truth

Last Chance Beach is the island paradise we all need. It may be fiction, but it feels real when you visit it in romance novels full of joy, hope, and optimism. 

Summer Heat: A Quotation Post

OMG. It has been so hot lately. We left town and went to our house in the country.

The morning temperature in the country is more than 10 degrees cooler than in town.

What a relief to be able to sit on the porch and enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning and breathe fresh country air. I imagine we'll stay up here a while.

In fact, I'm setting up an office here. I haven't been writing, and I've got the itch to get back to helping a woman find her true love. It's so much fun and much easier than in real life.

On the subject of summer heat, Jane Austen said, "What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance." 

Inelegance? That's not how I would describe the way it feels to spend some time in the heat and humidity of summer on the Texas Gulf Coast.

I've collected quotes by Jane Austen for many years—long before I had a computer file in which to store them. I even named a character Austen after her. (Book 4 of The Good, The Bad, and The Girly, coming this year!)

Now there are several books with quotes by Jane Austen like The Smart Words and Wicked Wit of Jane Austen by Max Morris.

Takeaway Truth

Use sunscreen. Wear sunglasses. Wear a hat. (Hats are chic, fashionable, and protect delicate facial skin from the sun's ravages, i.e. skin cancer, wrinkles, brown spots, etc.) 

Also, read something by or about Jane Austen.

Modern Magic: Free QR Code Maker

Happy Monday! It's Amazon Prime Day

Here's a link to help you Expore Featured Deals.

I know you want to shop, but take a few minutes to read about the free app I have for you today.

What can you do with a QR Code? Embed information like any URL—your website, blog,  or other social media.  

With the free level, you can embed any URL, i.e. MP3, PDF, or a file URL.

With QR Code Monkey, create a static QR code that's 100% free and downloadable. Static means you can't edit it or embed other information.

If you need scan statistics, flexible editability, and other features, look at the professional level of QR Code Generator.

You can also embed an identifying image or logo that will appear in the center of the QR Code. I'll embed a couple I created so you can see what they look like. 

The images you make are readable with any QR code reader, like the one on your cell phone.

The QR Code at right is the signup URL for my free newsletter. Try it with your cell phone QR code reader. You'll see it takes you to my signup page.

What Can You Do with QR Codes?

When you create a QR code with this free app, you download it to your computer. Then you can use it as an image in blog posts, emails, your website, or in printed materials.

The app is really easy to use and can be custom designed with an image you upload or one of their stock images on the website. You can also change the color of the code data, purple in the newsletter code, and the background color, white in this case.

This QR code at left takes you to a Follow Joan page on SlingWords where you can find all of my social media links listed. 

You'll notice that this time I chose the standard black code on white background and used the social media image in the center as a logo. 

With some blog posts, I list the popular online links where you can find me and also post a signup link for my free newsletter. I think it would be easier to just post a QR code than list all the links.

I'm going to experiment with using QR codes in various ways. This "plain" QR code at right is the link to this blog. What do you think about QR Codes? Do you use your cell phone app to read product information in stores? I do.

Takeaway Truth

Is this free app something you might use to create QR codes to direct visitors to your websites or blog or perhaps in a letter so someone can find your website?

Ode to Dad

Dad is the unsung hero of the family. It's like Billy Graham once said: "A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.”

Dad gets taken for granted because he's dependable, hard-working, and places his kids first.

At least that's the way it worked according to what I observed with my Darling Hubby and our 4 kids. Yep, 4 kids.

Here's what Jim Gaffigan had to say about that. "You know what it’s like having a fourth kid? Imagine you’re drowning, then someone hands you a baby."

Having kids and raising them? That's expensive. Just ask Steve Martin who said, "A father carries pictures where his money used to be.”

Dads give up a lot—like time that they once used for tennis, golf, reading, and hobbies. Ryan Reynolds explained it to his daughter like this: "On our 6 a.m. walk, my daughter asked where the moon goes each morning. I let her know it’s in heaven visiting daddy’s freedom.”

Our oldest son is old enough that he's the embodiment of Mark Twain's famous quote: "When I was a boy, my father was so ignorant, I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got older, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned."

Raising kids is exhausting. Just ask Ray Romano who said, “Having children is like living in a frat house. Nobody sleeps. Everything's broken, and there's a lot of throwing up."

Then they become teenagers and being dad really gets hard. "When your kids become teenagers, you understand the true meaning of karma, and you're scared your teens will do things as stupid as what you did when you were a teen." —My Darling Hubby

Takeaway Truth

If you're lucky enough to still have your dad and your grandfather, tell them how much you appreciate them.

Tell them you love them—and do that every chance you get.

Saturday Share Recipe: Pickle & Ferment

If you think pickling vegetables is the same as fermenting vegetables, then you're mistaken.

Even worse, you may be missing out on health benefits you thought pickling gave you.

What is Pickling?

Both pickling and fermenting are the oldest methods of preserving food, but they are 2 different processes.

Pickling dates back thousands of years. There are records in India of pickled cucumbers around 2000 BCE.

My mom pickled dozens of quarts of cucumber and other vegetables every summer, and I helped. Pickling is easy but doing it on that scale is a lot of hard work. To create a pickled vegetable to serve at a meal is very easy. 

All you do is mix up vinegar, sugar, salt, spices, and water and heat it to boiling. Pour it over the food to be pickled and let it "marinate" so to speak in this solution for a few hours up to a few days. The longer it sets in the solution, the stronger the pickled taste.

Pickled food tastes sour, and the food is softened by pickling. The hot brine solution kills bacteria and other microorganisms. 

Be sure and cover and refrigerate the pickling food so it won't spoil unless you want to "can" the pickled vegetables.

You can create your own spice mixture for pickling or you can buy one that's already put together. Amazon offers several like a canister of Pickling Spice that is naturally sourced and Non-GMO.

If you want to read more about pickling, try The Complete Guide to Pickling by Julie Laing.

What is Fermenting?

Sauerkraut, bread, and beer are probably the most commonly known fermented foods. My mom told me how her parents would make a big barrel of sauerkraut every year. I remember thinking how odd that was because to me, sauerkraut was something we had on hot dogs occasionally.

Talk about something old being new again! Fermented foods are huge on everyone's must eat list in today's world because it is superior in creating a healthy gut. 

People are taking classes on how to ferment foods, not just sauerkraut but all kinds of vegetables.

Like pickling, fermentation is a simple process that dates back earlier than pickling—around 7000 BCD in China. By 2000 BCE, fermentation had spread to pre-Hispanic Mexico. 

Fermenting is using microorganisms such as bacteria or yeast, rather than an acid, to convert carbohydrates to alcohol. This process usually takes place in a brine that has no acidic ingredients.

There are 2 types of fermentation. Both work on the same principle, but one is a more advanced form.

Alcoholic fermentation—no pickling involved—is what you find in bread, beer, and wine. It's the process of pyruvate breaking down into ethanol and carbon dioxide by bacteria and yeast.

Lactic Acid fermentation is the second type and is the process of pyruvate molecules further breaking down into lactic acid. Fermentation encourages probiotics which are very good for the gut.

Summary of the Difference

Not all pickles are fermented, and not all fermented foods are considered pickled.

An easy way to remember the difference between pickling and fermenting?

Pickling involves putting food into an acidic brine to produce a sour flavor. Fermenting does not require any acid to give the food a sour flavor.

For those who want to learn more about fermented foods, try Fermented Vegetables on Amazon.

By the way, you may drink a fermented food every morning like I do—a tablespoon of organic ACV, that is, apple cider vinegar in a glass of water.

Apple cider vinegar is actually apple cider that has been fermented using yeast which breaks down the natural sugar in the apple and turns it into an alcohol.

There are many recipes online for pickled foods and fermented foods.

Try Quick Pickled Vegetables, a recipe from Food & Wine.

If you're into kits, you can get a fermenting kit like the one shown at left. It has jars and special plastic lids that won't rust from the brine solution, The Easy Fermenter.

What to ferment? Beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, fresh green beans, garlic, peppers, radishes, turnips—any crisp vegetable will work. 

To learn how to ferment vegetables, watch this video from ProHomeCooks, one of my fave cooking channels: The Complete Beginner's Guide to Fermenting Foods at Home.

Takeaway Truth

Let me know if you try pickling and fermenting. I'm trying fermented jicama just to see if it turns out well. Enjoy cooking this weekend.


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Random Friday Facts No. 1

Enjoy this selection of Random Friday Facts.

Categorized, they are facts from: American History, Food, Religiion, Weapons, Environmental, Health, WW1 Fact, Phobia, and Cats.

1. The Statue of Liberty is not actually in New York. It's actually in Jersey City, New Jersey.

2. Two of the most popular fermented foods are kimchee (Korean) and sauerkraut (German).

3. The term archangel is not found in the Hebrew Bible or the Christian Old Testament. It is found in the Greek New Testament twice to "label" Michael, previously called "one of the chief princes" in the book of Daniel.

4. The top 5 guns women buy are: Smith & Wesson MP Shield, Glock 43 9mm, Sig Sauer P238 .380, Glock 42 .380, and Walther PPS M2.

5. The average American throws away 4.4 pounds of trash every day.

6. People who read are 2 1/2 times less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s later in life. 

7. Kleenex tissues made by Kimberly-Clark were originally used as replaceable filters in gas masks, a demand created by the use of poison gas in World War I.

8. Brontophobia is the fear of thunder.

9. Male cats have longer tails than female cats.

If you're planning a family vacation, pick up a trivia book to keep your kids entertained. Family Road Trip Trivia, Grade School Edition, is a way to enjoy time together rather than time spent staring at screens. 

There are trivia books available for every age group.

Takeaway Truth

Have a happy Friday and enjoy the weekend!

You'll receive a download link for a free romance ebook
when you confirm your subscription.

Visit Joan at the usual popular online sites.

Laughter? Good for YOU!

Medical authorities, scientists, and other learned individuals all over the world acknowledge that laughter is good for the human race.

Proven to lower blood pressure, reduce pain, burn calories, and relaxe our muscles, laughter improves your physical health.

It enhances your mental health too and improves your mood. It can decrease anger, tension, and anxiety and increase feelings of optimism and hope. 

Laughter energizes you and makes you feel happier. Is it any wonder that humor in books is so popular?


Today is Thursday3Some so here are 3 videos that will tickle your funny bone. Don't have a mouthful of coffee when you watch these, or you may end up mopping the floor.

Funny Signs by El Arroyo (This is an Austin, Texas restaurant known and loved by many.)

Takeaway Truth

Prescription: Take as needed.

You'll receive a download link for a free romance ebook
when you confirm your subscription.

Visit Joan at the usual popular online sites.

House Hunting Tips

Darling Hubby and I feel like private eyes because house hunting turns you into a private investigator whether you want to be one or not.

 Armed with a flashlight, you peer beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks, looking for old plumbing pipes, evidence of water leaks, and water damage.

You investigate insufferably hot attics to see if they're floored so service people can reach the air conditioning and heating systems.

You inspect ceilings and walls for telltale signs that a roof has leaked.

You scan the roof through binoculars or with the help of a drone to judge how old the roof is when a seller marks "unknown" for the age of the roof on the Seller's Disclosure.

You tromp through tall grass, checking to see if there are French drains in the yard. We've looked at several houses that should have been in excellent condition based on their price point. We've been disappointed each time.

Why Investigate So Thoroughly?

Because home sellers often don't tell the complete truth about their homes on the Seller's Disclosure.

They hope no one will ask questions that might derail their efforts to unload a lemon of a house.

Of course, sometimes, sellers honestly don't know the information called for on a Seller's Disclosure.

We're not looking for things that may be outdated. That's generally cosmetic or decor stuff.

We don't mind doing some remodeling, but we don't want to have to re-pipe a house because the old galvanized pipes leak or have a certified electrician correct a homeowner's DIY wiring. 

Caveat emptor

When buying anything, one must always remember the Latin phrase, "Caveat emptor," which means "Let the buyer beware."

That's why we thoroughly investigate every aspect of a home for sale before we plunk down $250.00 on a Contract for the option to buy if the house passes a professional inspection plus a few thousand in earnest money.

It gets costly to lose $250.00 plus the cost of the home inspection by a professional (north of another $250.00 to 500.00+). Sure, we'd get our earnest money back, but we'd be out the $250.00 plus the cost of the inspection.

Don't fall in love with a house! Buying a home should be an intelligent decision, not an emotional one.

If you fall in love with your dream home, you will rationalize the problems with it. The result will be a house you come to hate because it will drain your bank account.

What to Investigate

Everything! Open every door, cupboard, drawer, and closet. 

Run the water in all the faucets. Flush every toilet. Check every window and door for water damage. Look under every sink. 

Check the attic to make sure there is easy access to the systems up there. Ask questions of your realtor if you don't understand something. 

Check the yard to make sure rainwater drains away from the house.

If appliances are included with the house, check them out to make sure they work properly.

Takeaway Truth

When househunting, check everything thoroughly and ask your realtor for the names of really good home inspectors who should check everything I've mentioned and more. Always remember, "Caveat emptor."

Santa Baby by Peggy Jaeger

SANTA BABY, A Dickens Holiday Prequel – Dorrit’s Diner by Peggy Jaeger

If you like to celebrate Christmas in the summer, here's a Holiday Romance novella just for you.

About Santa Baby

It’s Christmas Eve morning in the tiny New England town of Dickens.

Santa’s arrival is imminent, and a hint of snow is in the air.

Amy Dorrit is just about to open her popular diner for the breakfast rush when she discovers an abandoned baby on her back doorstep.

Amy knows she should call the authorities and turn the infant over to them, but she just can’t. Thoughts of her own abandonment as a baby flood through her and she wants to keep the little one out of the hands of the authorities until the mother – hopefully –returns.

But will the mom come back? And if she doesn’t, what is Amy prepared to do about the baby who has, already, claimed her heart?

Excerpt, Santa Baby by Peggy Jaeger

“What in the name of all that’s holy are you holding, Amy Dorrit?”

Willie Jackson stood at her office door, a lit cigarette dangling from a corner of his mouth, his leather jacket hanging open and his eyes as big and round as his county-famous blueberry pancakes.

“What does it look like?” Amy dug around in the carrier searching for a bottle, pacifier, something, to soothe the baby’s cries. “Lose the cigarette. It’s a baby and I’m pretty sure it’s hungry.”

He lifted those shocked eyes to Amy’s face. “Girl, you been keeping secrets from ol’ Willie?”

“Oh for Pete’s sake. Are you nuts, William Jefferson Jackson? It’s not my baby. I found it at the back door when I came downstairs.”

“Whose is it?”

“No idea.”

“What is it?”
Holding the small bundle like a football in one arm, she shoved the piece of paper she’d found at him. “Same answer. I haven’t looked yet. Here, read this. I found it tucked inside the blanket.” Once he had it, Amy placed her pinky finger over the baby’s lips. It immediately rooted, then latched on to suck.

“I knew it. It’s starving.”

“ ‘I’m sorry,” he read aloud, ‘but I can’t take care of her—’ well, we know it’s a girl –‘I have no job and no way to hold on to one with a baby. Please forgive me for leaving her like this, but I saw how kind you were yesterday and I know you’ll take care of her like I can’t.’” Willie scratched his head. “Well, shit. We got us a real abandoned baby, here, Ames ol’ girl.”

“Don’t curse in front of her.” She shot him an annoyed glare, her left eyebrow inching up her forehead to her hairline.

“It ain’t like she can understand me. She’s a baby, fer Chri-” Her other eyebrow followed its twin. “Er, pity’s sake.”

“I need something to feed her with.” She glanced around her office. “Can you get me one of the cake decorating bottles? The ones with the plastic tip? I think that’ll work.”

“What’a’ya gonna feed her? Frosting? You ain’t got no mother’s milk and you can’t feed her coffee creamer.”

“Dam-I mean, drat. You’re right. I can give her a little water to hold her over until I can run out and get her some formula.”

“Shouldn’t you call the police? I mean, she’s been abandoned, ain’t she? You can’t just keep her.”

Watch a Book Trailer

Santa Baby publishes on June 7, 2021.

Add it to your Goodreads WANT TO READ list.

Recommend it to other Readers on Bookbub.

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Discover Peggy Jaeger

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes Romantic Comedies about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. If she can make you cry on one page and bring you out of tears rolling with laughter the next, she’s done her job as a writer!

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, she brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she’s created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

When she’s not writing Peggy is usually painting, crafting, scrapbooking or decoupaging old steamer trunks she finds at rummage stores and garage sales.

As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!"

Peggy Online

Website: http://peggyjaeger.com/

Blog: http://peggyjaeger.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/peggy-jaeger

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDR8RRIlssIyS0FYZWeGqsg/videos?view_as=subscriber

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peggyjaeger_author/

Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/peggyjaeger/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peggy-jaeger-296ab878/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0

Authors database: https://authorsdb.com/community/15814-peggy-jaeger

Triberr: https://triberr.com/tribe/strong-women--loving-men

Takeaway Truth

Peggy is very active on social media. Connect with her at any of the above websites. Look for Santa Baby on June 7!

House Sold—What's Next

Darling Hubby and I have been very busy. We sold our house. That was the easy part.

All the buyer's inspections are finished, we'll be signing the final papers at closing in a few weeks.

I wish I could have picked up my wonderful house and moved it to a big lot and have another room built on downstairs because I want an office on the ground floor.

Next Step

We've begun the next step which is looking for a 1 story house. So far, that effort has netted a big fat zero.

We changed strategy. Now we're looking for a 2 story with a study or an extra bedroom on the first floor that can be turned into an office.

Net result? Lots of looking at houses that need a lot of remodeling. We've done the remodeling gig on 2 houses in past years. I really don't want to do it again. We have 1 week left to look for that mythical ideal house.

New Next Step

After next week, we begin packing and lining up a moving company to pick up our furniture and move it into storage. We'll move to our house in the country and wait until the right house comes along.

Takeaway Truth

As of now, I'm going to quit worrying about (1) finding a house in  a week, (2) finding movers, (3) packing, and (4) all the other unsolvable issues in my life. Must be time to start writing a new story.

Rock It To The Moon by M.J. Schiller

Good morning! I've got my coffee so grab a cup of your favorite morning beverage, and prepare to have your world rocked. 

Sorry, I couldn't resist. Read on, and you'll see why I chose that "rocking" phrase.

M.J. Schiller, author of the Love and Chaos Series, is my guest today.

She stopped by to share her new release, Rock It To The Moon, the third book in her Love and Chaos Series

Discover M.J. Schiller

Let me tell you a little about M.J. She's a lunch lady and a romance-romantic suspense writer.

She enjoys writing novels whose characters include rock stars, desert princes, teachers, futuristic Knights, construction workers, cops, and a wide variety of others. 

In her mind everybody has a romance. She is the mother of a 22 year-old and three 20 year-olds. That's right, triplets! So having recently taught four children to drive, she likes to escape from life on occasion by pretending to be a rock star at karaoke. However…you won’t be seeing her name on any record labels soon.

You Can Find M.J. Here

Website  |  BookBub  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest  

Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon
Take It Away, M. J.

I've published a rock romance collection before—standalone books related by the fact that they are rock romances—but this is my first rock romance series, and I have enjoyed writing it immensely.

Don’t get me wrong, I also had fun with writing the books in my Rocking Romance Collection. I hid some other connections between the books, in addition to their theme. 

For instance, Beth Donovan, the heroine in my first rock romance, Trapped Under Ice, is a romance writer. One of her fictional books was titled Abandon All Hope. That became the title for my second rock romance about rocker Chase Hatton and his long lost love Hope. 

Chase then made a cameo appearance in my chick lit Devilish Divas Series. In Book One, To Hell in a Coach Bag, the heroine falls in love with a roadie at a Chase Hatton concert.

Chase even makes an appearance in the Love and Chaos Series. In Book One, Rocked By Grace, Chase is the mentor of Just Short of Chaos’ lead singer, Zane Sanders, and Chase opens for the group when they’re on tour. 

This was inspired by a concert I attended where real life lead singer Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco insisted that his idols while growing up, the members of Wheezer, be the main act and Panic! be the opener. 

It was a sweet gesture, but when Panic! finished playing and Wheezer came out, the majority of the audience left. It was sad. Their roles had reversed and Wheezer was considered past its prime by most.

In the Love and Chaos Series I enjoyed following the members of Just Short of Chaos through all four books. Each book focuses on one member of the band’s story. 

Book One, Rocked By Grace, centers around the hotheaded, often rash, lead singer of the band and a woman he pulls on stage, Grace Prescott. 

Book Two, Rocked By Love, focuses on bassist Raphael Santiago’s relationship with reporter Mia Love. 

This release, Rock It To The Moon is about drummer Dex Rogan and Zane’s little sister, Tatum Salvetti. Tatum and Dex share a love for and interest in outer space. 

Book Four, Rock of Salvation, will highlight guitarist Jericho Tyler and preacher’s daughter Salvation Jones.

Each of the band members has a public persona, but the person who they are deep inside contrasts with it. 

Zane is the face of the band and appears to be outgoing. In reality he has a lot of social anxiety and has to work at being the band’s front man. 

Rafe is the cool, intelligent, in control member of the band on the surface, but he is dealing with a lot of grief and guilt concerning the death of their former drummer. 

Dex, on the surface, seems like a simple guy with simple needs and not a lot of thought going on. But Dex is actually intelligent, sensitive, and loyal. 

Jericho may be the most confused of all. He has bought into his image of the never-serious wild man of the band and has lost touch with who he really is, a homebody who enjoys nature and family.

It’s been great that, although each book centers on one band member, the others still appear and we can see them grow even after their story is in the books, literally. 

Plus, along with following previous characters, with each book we get to add new characters to the mix and get to know them with all their strengths and weaknesses. In fact, writing this series has been so much fun, I may have to do it again some time.

About Rock It To The Moon

While love had come to some of the other members of Just Short Of Chaos, Dex Rogan had no interest in getting tangled up in that mess. That is, until he stumbled upon Tatum backstage.

Before Tatum, I would have told you love was for chumps. But I would have been wrong. The moment I saw her, it was like BAM! This driving urge to be with her was more jarring than someone smacking me in the face with my drumsticks would be. And every moment since has just solidified her place in my heart. By the time I found out she was off limits, it was too late. I was all in.

Tatum Salvetti doesn’t have time for love. If it can’t be color-coded or found on the periodic table, she doesn’t need it. But when an ugly incident drives her into Dex’s arms, she’s shaken enough to step out of character for once.

I wasn’t looking for love that night, I was looking to escape, and Dex was the perfect distraction from my train wreck of a life. …He was perfect, period.

But I’m in astrophysics. I’m not stupid. I knew it wasn’t going anywhere. Even if he wasn’t just interested in a one night stand, we wouldn’t be able to hide a relationship from Zane. My brother seemed to still think of me as the ten-year-old he met when our parents wed. Well, it wasn’t any ten-year-old girl in Dex Rogan’s bed that night, and if Zane found out about it, he would go apeshit. I was trying to get away from chaos, not create it.

Tatum has sacrificed her whole life for others. But maybe this time she could think of her own desires. Could Dex’s brand of chaos be just what she needs?

Excerpt, Rock It To The Moon by M.J. Schiller

He pushed his hair from his face. He wore it long on top and I knew sometimes, like tonight, he simply let if fall in straight, sleek lines. Sometimes he would use product to flip it back and tousle it, as I saw in an interview in Rolling Stone magazine. The picture covered an entire page and it was what first stirred the lust in my blood.

“This is your new drummer?”

Zane and I were seated at the kitchen table. He leaned forward to take a peek at the photo. “Yeah.”

“Holy cow.”

“What?” He was visiting with Whitney at the other end of the table but now turned his attention fully to me. “You think he’s hot or something?”

“Hot? Hot doesn’t even come close. Flaming, scorching, sizzling…”

“Smoking,” Whitney added.

“Smoking, blazing—”

Zane waved a hand. “All right already. I get the picture.”

“Whit, come over here. You’ve got to see this.”

She got up and meandered my way. “You forget, I’ve seen him in person.”

“Oh, yeah.” She’d been to Zane and Grace’s a number of times but I hadn’t had the opportunity yet. Working full time at Frick’s Market in Sullivan—a neighboring city to my hometown of Stanton—and studying astrophysics demanded all of my time. And then some. “Is he as good in—?”

“In bed.” Whitney finished. “I wouldn’t know, sis.”

I smacked her arm. “In person.”

She ogled the picture. “Better.”


“Let me see it.” She made a grab for the magazine but I was too quick.

“No way. He’s mine.”

Zane rolled his eyes. “Oh, my God. What happened to you guys playing with dolls and Barbies?”

“Ken,” I said straight-faced.

They laughed.

Zane leaned back. “Why, Tatum. You’ve developed a sense of humor since I’ve been gone.”

My stepdad entered the room and we all sat up, eyeing him warily. “I had to,” I muttered.

Whitney was right. He was even better in person.

If you’d like to read on, you can find Rock It To The Moon here:


Barnes & Noble 



Thanks for reading! Now go out and rock your day!

Takeaway Truth

The weekend is here. Try a different sub-genre of romance with a book by M.J. Schiller. It just may Rock Your World!