July 15, 2018

Jennifer Wilck Writes of New Jersey

Writers are often taught to “write what we know.” While I’ve usually taken that advice, only recently did I start to set my books in New Jersey. I’m not sure why I never did before—the state is beautiful and varied and much more than just the turnpike that everyone pictures. So when I wrote my last series, Serendipity, I decided to make at least part of the setting in New Jersey.

When I graduated college, I lived in Jersey City, which is on the Hudson River. The community I lived in was a beautiful modern high-rise apartment complex with gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline. And it was located right next to Hoboken, a mecca for 20- and 30-somethings.
The streets are tree-lined, many of the buildings have beautiful architecture, but the city itself is filled with bars and restaurants, with easy walking access to the commuter train. It’s a great way to live in New Jersey and commute to New York.

Hoboken’s claim to fame—at least one of them—is Frank Sinatra. His picture hangs in restaurants and there are baseball fields named after him. A more current claim is Buddy Valastro from Carlos’ Bakery and Cake Boss fame.

There’s a heavy Italian influence and the Italian restaurants are fantastic. When I lived there, my friends and I would walk the streets and hang out, listening to music, attending street fairs and of course, enjoy the bar scene.

So it was the perfect setting for my series, which features young professionals—some of whom work in New York City and some of whom work in New Jersey. My daughter and I took a drive and walked around Hoboken, exploring the area, tasting the food and reminiscing.

It’s the perfect blend of old world meets new and is great for a day trip for foodies if you ever get the chance.

Tell me your favorite foodie place, and I’ll pick a winner to get an e-copy of Addicted to Love, Book 1 in the Serendipity Series.

Here’s the blurb:

Dan Rothberg struggled after an accident killed his wife and he nearly lost custody of his daughter. He can no longer allow himself to get attached to anything or anyone. Until he meets Hannah.

Hannah Cohen is a young executive with a meddlesome grandmother and a troubled brother. She’d like nothing better than to find her own Mr. Right, after too many Mr. Wrongs. A sexy older man with a teenage daughter was never in her plans.

As they navigate their relationship through adolescent attitudes and grandmotherly interference, they realize age is just a number and love can be right in front of them. But when the terrible truth of Dan’s former struggles is exposed, Hannah must decide if she can get past his deception and allow love to conquer all.

Buy Links:
The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5133-addicted-to-love.html?search_query=jennifer+wilck&results=2
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Love-Serendipity-Book-1-ebook/dp/B071HZQS4S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499096714&sr=8-1&keywords=jennifer+wilck
Biography: Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and doesn’t share her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. All are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Social Media:

Blog: http://jenniferwilck.blogspot.com
(info provided and released by author)

July 8, 2018

New Hampshire’s Library System

Here’s a bit on the libraries of the Live Free or Die state-New Hampshire.
The New Hampshire State Library is the first state library in America and was founded on January 25, 1717

They’ve got several virtual libraries as well.  https://nh.overdrive.com  is a good one…easy to read, easy to click and sign in with your library card. 

I like virtual libraries because of their accessibility.  Some of us have a hard time either getting around or making the time to get around and a library isn’t high on the list of getting to most time.  My schedule allows for errands and online libraries take one stop off the long list of must do’s. 
To find more library connections for New Hampshire, Google New Hampshire library and tons pop up. 

Side Note:  if you like what you see here, and would like to be part of this project, contact me through the contact tab and I’ll send you information for 2019. 

July 1, 2018

Kay Phoenix: Hello from Las Vegas

Let me tell you about my hometown. Las Vegas is more than just the stretch of road that slices down the center, holding world famous casinos. Las Vegas is a city of old-west heritage, with a strong, female mayor who occasionally wears a cowboy hat. We have an independent spirit. We have a sense of community which has only been strengthened since that awful night last October when evil rained down bullets into a crowd of innocents. Our men and women of law enforcement, and our first responders, many #VegasBorn, rose to the occasion as heroes. Many others did what they could…giving blood, donating meals to the workers, providing free hotel rooms to family or even offering free plastic surgery to the victims.  There were so many acts of kindness that were not reported by the media to the rest of the world. It was truly astonishing.

I’m writing this blog the morning after our Vegas Gold Knights won the first game against the Capitals 6-4.  I hope that by the time this feature is released, that beautiful Stanley Cup will be residing in my hometown. But, if it isn’t, that is also fine. Our Knights have done what they promised us in the moments before the puck dropped in their very first game last October. After a permanent banner was raised bearing the names of the 58 victims of October 1st mass shooting that occurred only a few weeks before, and a few blocks south, they promised us that they would “do our best to help heal this valley.” And they have! Every home ice game has been played beneath the banner bearing those 58 names.

Las Vegas is a tourist’s paradise. I’m sure many of you have been here either on vacation or to celebrate a happy occasion. The next time you are here, please look out of your hotel room at the miles and miles of homes and neighborhoods that stretch to the beautiful, occasionally snow-capped mountains that frame our valley, and know that those homes are filled with unsung heroes. Know that your waiter, uber driver, busboy, or even the maid in the hallway gave blood and/or donated to the Red Cross after October 1st. If you see a show, know that many of our popular local entertainers held benefits to help cover costs of medical care for victims, and many of them visited patients in the hospital.

I’ve never been prouder to call Las Vegas my hometown, and seeing so many residents wearing Vegas Golden Knights shirts, high-fiving each other in the grocery stores, smiling and nodding to each other in the post office, is tremendous. It’s exactly what we’ve needed as a community to heal after October 1st. The very noble Vegas Golden Knights have made good on their promise to help us heal, rather or not they bring home the Stanley Cup (but I still hope they do!).

#VegasBorn  #VegasStrong

Ms. Phoenix is a rare bird herself...a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, Nevada. She belongs to Las Vegas Romance Writers and has served on the board for several years. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America with PAN status.

Prior to writing, Kay was a Graphic Artist for fifteen years in the casino industry and holds degrees in both Graphic Arts and Psychology. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, traveling and photography. She is also involved in several Las Vegas non-profits, and is the current Chairman of a popular, long-running, local art show.

Kay has been blessed to be able to travel many places, which inspired her to host a weekly author spotlight called “Midweek Escapes” on her blog. It features guest author’s favorite vacation destinations, their travel tips, and, of course, information about their book releases and occasional giveaways.

For a giveaway, Kay Phoenix offers two awesome prizes!  One audio book, and one physical, autographed book to be mailed. Leave a form of contact when you comment so we can award the prize if you win! 

(all info provided/released by author)

June 24, 2018

I don’t just write in Nebraska: Annette Snyder

Yep-it’s me.  Creator of 50 Authors from 50 States blog, writer, wife, mom, landfill worker, handyman-er-person.    A Jill of all trades and master of some.  I can do a lot.  I’ve only just discovered I’m able to change faucets without making too big of a mess.  Who knew that was possible until I YouTube-d it.  I YouTube a lot. 

I have a regular job that I love, working in an office doing, well, whatever my bosses request, within reason and I work at a bar on Friday nights doing-same.  I run this blog.  I write a lot in between—I’m just finishing up my third novel in my Packard Family Series.   Intimate Flames, the first, was a finalist at EPIC.  Drive Thru was second in that contemporary series which centers on a family and also scored some awards.  Going Twice is the name I’ve given the third book.  I have plans to write about all seven siblings from the Packard family.

When I’m not doing ‘D-All of the Above,' I work on the family home.  My husband and I purchased a 120-year-old house from my Great-Grandfather’s estate way back in 1988 (that rhymes! Who knew!) for nine thousand dollars and we’ve been plugging money into it ever since.  At first it was to keep a roof over the heads of our four great kids but now it’s a labor of love. 

About 15 years ago we replaced the cast iron sink and counter top in the kitchen and this year,  I replaced the kitchen faucet myself!  HA! HA! I paraded around the house saying, “HA!” for several hours after finishing.  I’d never attempted faucet replacement before and was sure I’d have water everywhere.  YouTube guided me.   If I’ve never attempted a project, I hit YouTube and see if it’s possible for me even start or if I need professional help.  And yes, my family says I need professional help.   The old cast iron sink is missed but and long gone but I love my new faucet.  It’s got a pull down water sprayer!   I know most won’t be as excited about that as I am.  Anyway, that’s phase-one in my kitchen self-remodeling project.  The kitchen cupboards and counters are next—someday.

It takes me a while to get to projects because I’m determined to accomplish the jobs by spending as little money as possible.  My husband occasionally calls me a hoarder because of the things I collect for future plans.  A tin ceiling tile I pulled from an old building a block away before the owner destroyed the structure about ten years ago is piled in the attic of my garage and I’ve just now started to use it.  I redesigned my bathroom vanity and used ceiling tiles for drawer fronts (and replaced the faucet—HA!) 
For a couple years, I had a stack of Italian marble bricks behind the shed.  A truck driver told me a story of his family house and the fireplace inside.  They sold the house to an eye doctor and the doctor was tearing it down and I said, “What a shame all that marble is going to be destroyed.”  The driver gave me the doctor’s phone number.  I called the doctor…and the doctor said…sure, you can go in and take that marble out of the house.  So I involved my son-in-law and we reclaimed. I drove home in a way overloaded pickup-think driving uphill 45 miles-- and showed my husband this awesome rock and he said, “I’m not helping you unload that.”  I moved thousands of pounds of heavy rock myself and stacked it neatly behind the shed in wait for that special fire pit project. 
truckload of marble.

I like to use reclaimed stuff for my projects whenever possible so it took me a few years to collect enough materials to finish the fire pit that started as the idea to use the rocks I collect from all over the world.  Big rocks, little rocks—I have rocks from everywhere including USA, Nova Scotia, George Washington’s potato field, the Vatican, Guatemala, Australia and Pompeii-so many countries!  When I find out people are traveling, I say, “Bring me a rock.”  They do and I save them for projects.   One project, phase-one of my backyard re-do, a fire pit. 

Fall of 2017, I finally collected enough stuff to assemble my fire pit.  I started by using the reclaimed marble to determine how big an area to cover.  I laid some discarded landfill liner pieces under the marble and, as luck would have it, I scored some crushed asphalt from the highway job nearby.  I smashed that down on the liner to make a hard base.  My friend Jazz hooked me up with a guy in a neighboring village who tore down a chimney so I got bricks for free and then I found some excess rock for fill.  I selected certain rocks from my worldly collection and made the actual pit using an old semi-tire rim instead of fire brick.  I made the end tables from a marble coffee table I got for free with legs of the of antique block from a shed we tore down at my mom and dad’s house. I purchased one thing, mortar. I couldn’t locate any excess concrete at the time.   My 4-year-old granddaughter, who I was babysitting for a few days, helped me put it all together over the course of some vacation days.  All it cost was a little harassment from my husband, effort and $80.
Phase-one of the backyard project turned out.  I learned how to work with rocks and cement.  My granddaughter has an actual knack for tooling around and my husband has stopped calling me a hoarder.  Just yesterday, he sat out and enjoyed a fire which he started by using my “Fire-Pit Starters” made from dryer lint, toilet paper rolls and wax from stinky candles I don’t like.  That’s another reuse project I’ll have to share someday.  On to my next project!

In the meantime, you can find out more about my writing by visiting my website and right here on my blog.  Use the tabs above for purchase links and contact info. 

Leave a comment with to win my offered prize this week.  In your comment, pick one book from each series: Travis Pass--1800’s Series, Viveka’s War-WWII Series and Packard Family-Contemporary Series.  I’m giving one winner an autographed copy of ONE of each book from each  series.  That’s 3 free reads.  Leave a form of contact in your comment or just email me thru the contact tab if you’d rather and have a great day!  

(all info provided by...me!)