Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits: STAYCATIONS

STAYCATIONS

Can’t get away this summer? Maybe your vacation trip has come and gone and you want more.

Here are 10 options for staycation fun.

1. MUSEUMS: Visit local museums. Even small ones have interesting finds. Did you know you can take museum tours right at home? Here are 3 sites that list some of the museums you can “go” to virtually:
http://mentalfloss.com/article/75809/12-world-class-museums-you-can-visit-online
https://www.virtualiteach.com/single-post/2017/08/20/10-amazing-virtual-museum-tours
https://www.educatorstechnology.com/2014/01/20-wonderful-online-museums-and-sites.html
You can take these tours year ‘round. So when you have cabin fever from a long winter, take a tour.

2. LOCAL THEATERS: Check out your local theaters to see what plays or concerts are playing for an evening out. Or see if there are any “concerts in the park.”

3. PARKS: Visit a local national park or an amusement park or the zoo for the day.

4. SPORTING EVENTS: Go to a major or minor league sporting event.

5. FILM FESTIVAL: Host your own family/friends film festival. Each person gets to choose a movie, then spend the day enjoying the features. Discuss and rate each movie. Don’t forget to have plenty of snacks on hand.

6. BOARD GAME TOURNAMENT: Choose a few board games, set up a scoreboard, and have fun. Again, don’t forget to have plenty of snacks on hand.

7. BACKYARD CAMPING: Can’t get away to go camping? Set up a tent in your backyard.

8. LOCAL TOURIST SPOT: Find what tourist spots makes your area unique and go visit them.

9. LOCAL FESTIVALS: Look in your local newspaper or online to find any local festivals.

10. THEMED RESTAURANT or DINNER THEATER: See if your area has any restaurants with an unusual theme or find a dinner theater.

Many of these can be done year ‘round, so don’t just save them for summer. Vacation all year long!



NEW!
THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT ~ A sweet historical romance that will tug at your heart. This is book 1 in the Quilting Circle series.
Washington State, 1893
     When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?
     Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.
     Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT is now available in ebook and paperback.

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS is a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. She has five titles releasing in 2018; "Holly & Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection in January, Courting Her Amish Heart in March, The Widow’s Plight in July, Courting Her Secret Heart September, & “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in MISSAdventure Brides Collection in December. She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-three years and two cats. She has three adult children and one incredibly adorable grandchild. Find her online at:


Thursday, July 26, 2018

ThrowBACKLIST Thursday: CINDA'S SURPRISE

I actually drew a rough sketch of
this cover and they used my idea.
 Cinda Harris tells herself she is content to be single. But her well-intentioned friends set her up as a mail-order bride. She knows nothing of the engagement until the day her groom, Lucas Rawlings, shows up to seal their agreement with wedding vows. Believing it is God's will for her life, she marries the handsome stranger. Lucas proves to be a gentle and kind man, and Cinda finds herself falling in love with her new husband. Upon arriving at his Montana farm, however, she finds out his real intentions for wanting a wife. Her new life is full of surprises, not all of them good.

I always wanted to write a mail-order bride story. This concept and story idea rolled around in the back of my mind for months and months before it came to fruition. I didn’t want to write the typical story of a woman corresponding on her own behalf to be a mail-order bride, whether it was for love, adventure, fleeing a bad situation, or whatever the reason. I thought it would be fun if she was an unwitting mail-order bride. So I had her well-intentioned friends offer her up as a bride.

When I wrote CINDA’S SURPRISE, it was a stand alone. This was early in my writing, and I had only the one story in mind around these characters. Until I met the other people later in the story, then I could see the stories for many of the other characters. Book two in this series was published, but not three-five (or six or seven or…). My brain started spinning with stories for all sorts of side characters. So far, only CINDA’S SURPRISE and MARTY’S RIDE have been published.

Though I have stories three, four, and five written in novella form, I’m not sure if after all these years, if I’m going to try to find a publisher for them, or self-publish them. CINDA’S SURPRISE originally released in 2000.


I hope readers will see that though Cinda didn’t set out to be a bride by mail, she could see God’s hand in the events.

CINDA’S SURPRISE, book 1 in my Rawlings Family series, still holds a special place in my heart. I still love this tender story of unexpected love.

CINDA’S SURPRISE was rereleased in a five story collection in 2013 in MAIL-ORDER MARRIAGE: 5 Historical Stories of Marriage Arranged by Letters Between Strangers







NEW!
THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT ~ A sweet historical romance that will tug at your heart. This is book 1 in the Quilting Circle series.
Washington State, 1893
     When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?
     Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.
     Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT is now available in ebook and paperback.

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS is a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. She has five titles releasing in 2018; "Holly & Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection in January, Courting Her Amish Heart in March, The Widow’s Plight in July, Courting Her Secret Heart September, & “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in MISSAdventure Brides Collection in December. She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-three years and two cats. She has three adult children and one incredibly adorable grandchild. Find her online at:

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Wordy Wednesday: PICAROON



PICAROON


Noun (archaic) - a rogue or scoundrel; a pirate, a pirate ship, to act as a pirate.

Origin: 17th century from Spanish.

This is not what I imaged this word to mean, but it’s a fun word nonetheless. I’m not sure what the definition might be. I just liked the sound of it and wanted to learn a little about it.

PICAROON appealed to me because it reminded me of a nickname we called my oldest son when he was little.

Ben-A-Roon
The Roon


How we got from his actual name (Benjamin) to something with “ROON” on the end of it, I can’t remember, but I'm sure it made sense at the time. Well, as much sense as anything like that can make.

We do this with most all names and especially our pets’ names. I like to joke that we only name our pets so we have something to deviate from.


Whether a pirate, a rogue, or my son, "ROON" can make most any word fun.



NEW!
THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT ~ A sweet historical romance that will tug at your heart. This is book 1 in the Quilting Circle series.
Washington State, 1893
     When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?
     Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.
     Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT is now available in ebook and paperback.

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS is a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. She has five titles releasing in 2018; "Holly & Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection in January, Courting Her Amish Heart in March, The Widow’s Plight in July, Courting Her Secret Heart September, & “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in MISSAdventure Brides Collection in December. She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-three years and two cats. She has three adult children and one incredibly adorable grandchild. Find her online at:

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits: LOVE SIGNS

There are many kinds of love. Love for God and from God. The love of a parent for their child and a child for their parent. Friendship love. Love of things and food. I love the mug with my granddaughter’s hand prints on it. I love raspberries.

But the love I want to talk today is romantic love. I am a romance writer after all.

How does a person know if they are “in love”? Can love be measured like our weight? Or be seen like a flower blooming? How do you quantify it to know? Science tells us that our bodies react differently to each emotion.

I think romantic love is more like wind. It can’t be seen, but we can see its effects. So what are these effects? Love feels different for everyone.


Science tells us that you might be in love if . . .

. . . you can’t stop staring at the object of your affection. When someone stares at something, they are usually fixated on that thing. So when the thing the person is staring at all the time is another person, they are likely in love or falling in love. Studies have shown that when two strangers lock eyes for a minute, they can start to have romantic feelings for each other.

. . . you trying new things. When you’re falling in love, you might find yourself trying new things you never imagined you would that your love interest enjoys.

. . . you feel a sense of euphoria. The brain of someone falling in love looks a lot like that of a person who has taken drugs. Both release dopamine into the system.

. . . you can’t stop thinking about the other person. When in love, your brain releases a hormone called phenylethylamine (the “feel good hormone” or the “love drug”) that creates the feeling of attraction. Ever feel a mood boost after eating chocolate? Thank phenylethylamine.




SIDE BAR: Chemical make up of love: dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.


. . . you’re stressed. Being in love can causes your brain to release cortisol (the stress hormone), causing you to be a little more testy or freaking out.

. . . you want the other person to be happy. You’ll go out of your way to make the other person happy even when it inconveniences you.

. . . you’re okay with gross stuff. A study found that feelings of strong love can override feelings of being grossed out. So you might just let your love interest double dip.

. . . you don’t feel pain as strongly. A study showed that moderate pain could be reduced by up to 40% when participants stare at a photo of someone they loved, and severe pain was reduced by up to 15%.

. . . you love the other person’s quirks. Even if you judge someone a little harshly when you first meet them because of their quirks, you may later find those same quirks endearing. Quirks rather than just physical attributes can make a person fall deeper in love.


. . . your heart rate synchronizes with the other person. Although a couple might not be able to tell, one study suggests that when couples are falling in love, their hearts begin to beat in time.

Ah…that’s so romantic.



NEW!
THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT ~ A sweet historical romance that will tug at your heart. This is book 1 in the Quilting Circle series.
Washington State, 1893
     When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?
     Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.
     Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT is now available in ebook and paperback.

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS is a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. She has five titles releasing in 2018; "Holly & Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection in January, Courting Her Amish Heart in March, The Widow’s Plight in July, Courting Her Secret Heart September, & “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in MISSAdventure Brides Collection in December. She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-three years and two cats. She has three adult children and one incredibly adorable grandchild. Find her online at:

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits: TWO EVENTS, MANY CHANCES TO WIN!



I'm participating in two events this week.

One ends today, so don't miss out. You could win books and prizes!

Click Here To Enter

The second is a Summer Book Release FB Party on Thursday with five other Mountain Brook Ink authors. Come join the fun and be entered to win


HAPPY READING!!!!
=0)




NEW!
THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT ~ A sweet historical romance that will tug at your heart. This is book 1 in the Quilting Circle series.
Washington State, 1893
     When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?
     Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.
     Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT is now available in ebook and paperback.

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS is a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. She has five titles releasing in 2018; "Holly & Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection in January, Courting Her Amish Heart in March, The Widow’s Plight in July, Courting Her Secret Heart September, & “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in MISSAdventure Brides Collection in December. She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-three years and two cats. She has three adult children and one incredibly adorable grandchild. Find her online at:

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wordy Wednesday: SHILLY-SHALLY



Verb [no object] SHILLY-SHALLIES, SHILLY-SHALLYING, SHILLY-SHALLIED — fail to act resolutely or decisively
Don’t SHILLY-SHALLY over the matter. Just make a decision.

Noun — Indecisive behavior
His behavior was SHILLY-SHALLY.

Derivatives — SHILLY-SHALLYER

Origin in the mid-18th century: originally as SHILL I, SHALL I. A reduplication of SHALL I?

Here are a few synonyms: dither (this is a fun one), vacillate, hem and haw, dilly dally.

This is a fun word and very unique. I wonder if there be a way I can work it into a story.

Perhaps I can sneak it into the current novel I’m writing, The Daughter’s Predicament, book 2 in the Quilting Circle series.

Even though Isabelle’s parents wanted her to marry Mr. Mallory—a man she didn’t love and barely knew—she SHILLY-SHALLIED over the decision.

Me thinks I might just do it.

=0)



NEW!
THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT ~ A sweet historical romance that will tug at your heart. This is book 1 in the Quilting Circle series.
Washington State, 1893
     When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?
     Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.
     Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT is now available in ebook and paperback.

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS is a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. She has five titles releasing in 2018; "Holly & Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection in January, Courting Her Amish Heart in March, The Widow’s Plight in July, Courting Her Secret Heart September, & “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in MISSAdventure Brides Collection in December. She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-three years and two cats. She has three adult children and one incredibly adorable grandchild. Find her online at:

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits: COFFEE or TEA?



Are you a coffee drinker? Or a tea drinker? Or do you have another beverage of choice you prefer?

I love tea! I drink a variety of teas. I love chai tea, in all of its spicy goodness. But I don’t care for iced tea. I like mine hot.


Moving back to Washington State over a year ago, I noticed something they have here that I didn’t see in Colorado. I’m not sure what they’re officially called, but I refer to them as coffee sheds, because they serve “coffee” (as well as other beverages) and . . . well, are the size of a shed.

Just drive up to the window, order, and be on your way without ever getting out of the car. A fast and easy way to get your coffee or tea on your way to work or wherever you’re off to.  
They serve the usual beverage options.

Some of the sheds have drive-up windows on both sides. 
Others have room for only one drive up widow. 

While others have one drive-up and one walk-up. 

In just over a two mile stretch of where I live are five of these cute little buildings. Some within sight of each other.

And each one looks different. 


I love spotting them wherever I go. =0)





NEW!
THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT ~ A sweet historical romance that will tug at your heart. This is book 1 in the Quilting Circle series.
Washington State, 1893
     When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?
     Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.
     Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT is now available in ebook and paperback.

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS is a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. She has five titles releasing in 2018; "Holly & Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection in January, Courting Her Amish Heart in March, The Widow’s Plight in July, Courting Her Secret Heart September, & “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in MISSAdventure Brides Collection in December. She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-three years and two cats. She has three adult children and one incredibly adorable grandchild. Find her online at:


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Wordy Wednesday: 4th of JULY


I want to take a brief look at the 4th of July.


The Fourth of July is the United States’ Independence Day. This is when the original thirteen colonies declared their independence from England in 1776.


Basically, the thirteen colonies were tired of taxation without representation. They paid taxes but had no say in anything of how the way things were run in the colonies. Fed up, they formed their own government and regarded themselves as a new nation, The United Sates of America. The continental congress wrote up the Declaration of Independence.

But it didn’t end there. Though the colonies declared independence, the fight to secure that right lasted another seven years, until 1783.

So each year, Americans celebrate independence by shooting off fireworks, going on picnic, and having parades.


Though I enjoy watching fireworks that others set off, I’m not all that interested in buying and lighting them myself. But I do love playing with sparklers. They are a lot of fun to wave around in the air. I also don’t generally go to the parades or on picnics on that day. You might think me unpatriotic, but not so. I’m very patriotic. I just don’t like crowds. I would rather save room on the side of the streets for people who really enjoy that atmosphere. Then we’re all happy. =0)

We can all celebrate this freedom in our own way.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

NEW!
THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT ~ A sweet historical romance that will tug at your heart. This is book 1 in the Quilting Circle series.
Washington State, 1893
     When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?
     Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.
     Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

THE WIDOW'S PLIGHT is now available in ebook and paperback.

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS is a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. She has five titles releasing in 2018; "Holly & Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection in January, Courting Her Amish Heart in March, The Widow’s Plight in July, Courting Her Secret Heart September, & “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in MISSAdventure Brides Collection in December. She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-three years and two cats. She has three adult children and one incredibly adorable grandchild. Find her online at:





Tuesday Tidbits: COUSIN CONUNDRUM

1st cousin? 2nd cousin? 3rd cousin? Once, twice, thrice removed? Isn’t a cousin a cousin? A lot of people find the whole 1st, 2nd,...