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Sharee Stover’s Real Life Hero

Sharee Stover is a good friend and one of my critique partners. Her newest book Untraceable Evidence is available now. It’s the first of three books in her ATF Agents series.

Scientist Ace Steele is hired by the ATF to develop a top-secret project named Ghost—a 3D printer gun that uses frangible ammunition. The components are comprised entirely of plastic, making the gun untraceable via metal detectors. The ATF is certain a mole exists who is working with a local militia. The militia’s leader will do anything to get Project Ghost. 

Untraceable Evidence

Sharee recently shared that her husband is her hero. My husband Tim is my hero too, and I wonder how many authors feel the same.Sharee said, “It will sound cliché I’m sure, but it’s the truth. My husband is my real-life hero. Not only because he’s a state trooper, but because he is willing to go running toward the danger when everyone else is running away. He’s a natural problem solver and has a huge heart to serve people. He’s dug cars out of snow drifts, helped move livestock off the highway, held a child’s hand after a car accident, and been the first person to notify a family member of their loved one’s death. He also has a teaching spirit, and he loves mentoring, encouraging, and instilling wisdom in those coming up in the ranks. But he’s also tenderhearted and very romantic (far more than I am). Most of all, he loves the Lord with all his heart.”

If that’s not swoon worthy, I don’t know what is.

Do you have a real-life hero?

A TIME TO REMEMBER

Today is Memorial Day in the United States. It’s a time to remember and honor the military personnel who died while serving our country.

In Ecclesiastes 3 we’re told there is a time for everyting…

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

This year we’ve also battled COVID and have lost many people in the fight. Today I plan to take time to remember our military and also those on the front line defending us against this horrible disease.

Wherever you are I hope you have a good day of celebrating. Thanks for your sacrifice and thanks to those who have given their all.

God Bless America.

Justice Undercover by Connie Queen

Connie Queen is one of my critique partners, and I’m so excited to introduce you to her. Her romantic suspense, Justice Undercover comes out in June. Connie has been gracious to stop by and spend a few minutes with us.

Hi Connie, I’m so excited to have you on my blog.

Thank you! I’m honored to be your guest today.

Connie, how did you decide to write romantic suspense?

Good question. I didn’t start out writing suspense, but rather western historicals. I grew up watching westerns on television, so it seemed natural. Finally, I started reading suspense, like Mary Higgins Clark, and I loved the stories, but I always said I wasn’t smart enough to write those. When I found Love Inspired Suspense books, I knew I had found my home.

Have you had any real-life mysteries or suspenseful moments? Moments you thought you might die?

A couple.

Not sure I should be telling this in case me kids or grandkids are tuning in. When I was in high school, I would stop by my boyfriend’s house (now he’s my husband…) every morning on the way to school for 5 minutes. One morning it was really foggy, and I couldn’t see his drive. I thought I saw it and slowed to make the turn when I realized it was the wrong place and I stopped in the highway. Suddenly, a huge semi-truck whizzed past me missing me by inches. All I could think was my parents would kill me if I’d gotten hit…

Not a bright move on my part, but once I stopped to help someone who had car trouble. This was before cell phones and a man in a broken down Bronco was sitting on the side of the road about a mile from my house. I stopped and asked when I got to my house if I could call someone for him. He said no but I could give him a ride a couple of miles away. Instead of saying no like I should’ve, I didn’t want to be rude, and agreed to give him a ride. He went back to his vehicle and grabbed something from the floorboard, wrapped it in a rag, and got in my vehicle. I glanced down and realized it was a gun. I’m sure he didn’t want someone stealing it, but I put myself in an awfully bad situation.  Luckily, he had no ill intentions and I dropped him off safely.

Oh my goodness Connie, how terrifying! I’m glad it turned out okay. How do you find time to write? Do you have a favorite spot to write? How about a favorite time?

I have more time to write now than I ever had. All my kids are grown, and my husband works outside of the home. Things can still distract me, as well as everyday life.

I like to write at my table in the middle of the dining room. This is why I need to the house to myself or I drive everyone crazy. I sit down early in the morning and get to work on critiques or research. But my most productive time is about 11-3.

How do you fight distractions?

If I really need to get the words in, I set a timer for 15-minute writer sprint followed by a 5-minute break for at least 4 rounds. Often, I do more, but I figure if I work from home, an hour of effort is never too much work.

Do you have a favorite place you go for inspiration? Or a favorite place to relax and renew your mind?

I love to take long walks. Not only is the exercise good for me, but just to give my mind a break and enjoy the great outdoors does wonders for my attitude.

What books are currently in your To Be Read stack?

I have several.  Currently I’m in the middle of Falsely Accused by Shirlee McCoy. The Sheriff’s Second Chance by Tanya Agler is also on my list. Even though I’ve seen sneak peeks of your very own Bite the Dust, I have it on my Kindle waiting for me to enjoy.

Connie congratulations on Justice Undercover. I’m so happy for you!

Justice Undercover

Readers, Connie has graciously offered to give a copy of Justice Undercover to one lucky person who leaves a comment. The drawing is limited to residents of the Untied States. We’ll do a random drawing and announce the winner next week.

If you want to get in touch with Connie, she can be found on social media. 

Website: conniequeenauthor.com

Twitter: @conniesuqueen

Facebook: queenofheartthrobbingsuspense

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/connie-queen-303309168/

BEACH RENOURISHMENT

Beach nourishment involves dredging large amounts of sand from the water in order to widen an existing beach. The sand can come from a sandbar, a borrow area, or the ocean floor or even an inlet or waterway. In Pawleys Island the sand came from a borrow area. Engineers create a plan for shooting the sand onto the beach with the goal of making a wider beach. The wider beach protects homes, tourism, and wildlife.

Pipes are used to transport the sand to the beach. Then bulldozers and loaders spread out the sand and pack it down. You can see the sand is darker, but we’re told the sun will bleach it out.

What does this mean for a cozy mystery writer? I’m pondering all the ways to tie this process into my next book.

Is It a Groin or a Jetty?

We used to have groins on Pawleys Island before beach renourishment began. The groins began on the south end of the beach and were spaced about four houses apart all the way up to the pier. Groins are engineered to go out to the sea and prevent erosion from waves coming in at an angle. I’m not an engineer and can’t explain the pros and cons of groins, but it can be a hot topic.

This is a groin on Pawleys Island.

We don’t have jetties on Pawleys Island, but there is one at Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet. A jetty is much bigger than a groin. It is used to help control currents and provides protection for a channel at an inlet. They are also used to help prevent beach erosion.

Because of beaches closing for social distancing, I haven’t been able to spend time on the beach for weeks. The last time I was on the beach the groins had disappeared. I don’t know if they are buried under the ‘new’ sand. If so, will the reappear one day? Once I discover the answer, I’ll be sure to share it with you.

Stay safe my friends!

Puzzle Rings

Have you ever heard of a puzzle ring? Maybe you’ve seen one but didn’t realize what it was. Today I’d like to share what I’ve learned about puzzle rings.

I like to puzzle rings that are open like this, but you can also find tight rings.

I hope you enjoyed this video about how puzzle rings are assembled.

I’d love to hear if you have your own puzzle ring.

Thanks for stopping by, and as always stay safe.

COZY INK PODCAST

This week I’m excited to announce Leah Bailey is hosting me on Cozy Ink Podcast.

Leah’s helping me have a little contest. In the interview there’s a question as well as a question on Leah’s website and my Instagram posts. If you can answer all three questions, you’ll be in a drawing to Skype with me. It can be for your book club or any group you’d like. Come back here and leave answers to all three questions.

Here’s the link to Leah’s website. https://leahbaileyauthor.com/author-interview-with-jackie-layton/

Here’s the link to my Instagram post where I ask the third question. https://www.instagram.com/p/B–MiCcAJO8/

Thanks for playing!

What’s The Difference Between Mocha, Latte, Frappe, Espresso, And Cappuccino Coffees?

Andi Grace loves coffee. Her brother Nate even accuses her of having an addiction to coffee.
Do you enjoy coffee? Do you have a favorite shop or blend?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on coffee, even if you hate it.

Artisan Coffee & Food Marketing

There are a lot of different espresso-based drinks, sometimes this much variety can be confusing. I have a friend who admitted that she didn’t like to go a coffee shop. She couldn’t choose between macchiato, latte, cappuccino, mocha, and many others because she didn’t know what they were. She was embarrassed to ask the barista what the differences were, so she started tobuy a different coffee drink every day.

What makes these coffee beverages different from each other? What are the distinctive characteristics between them?

Here are the major differences between latte, cappuccino, and mocha:

  • Cappuccino – 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, 1/3 foamed milk
    The espresso is toned down with milk, but the coffee taste is still featured.
  • Latte – 1/6 espresso, 4/6 steamed milk, 1/6 foamed milk
    This is a milk based drink with just a little coffee.
  • Mocha – 2/5 espresso, 2/5 chocolate, 1/5 steamed milk
    A strong…

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Taking a Break From COVID-19

Many people are exhausted from social distancing and staying at home. We can’t quit because we’ve got to flatten the curve. Who really heard of that expression before the coronavirus hit?

The point of today’s post is to take a mental vacation. One of my favorite trips was in 2019 when Tim and I visited France with my brother and sister-in-law, Chris and Carol Lutz.

Chris and Carol by The Roue de Paris
In the Paris, the City of Love, we witnessed a couple getting married! C’est très romantique.
I’d love to hear about your favorite trips.