Sink or Float

DSC02460Starting off my summer with a broken arm didn’t lend itself to lots of extracurricular activities, but I did manage to have some fun despite my bum arm.

In July, we took a day trip up to McCall, Idaho to canoe up the river. My arm still was healing, so I had to be careful with it, which meant I didn’t have to row. Yippeee!!! My husband and son rowed me while I sat in the middle like the Queen of Sheba. That was pretty nice. I could get used to having people row me around, although I would demand a more comfortable seat next time.

Wanting to please me (or terrify me, more likely) my son stood and pretended he was a Gondola driver. He made me quite nervous that he would tip our canoe and drown me since I was wedged under the bar…but thankfully we kept afloat on that trip.

One day, we took an afternoon off to float the Boise River here in town. We shuttled our cars to both points so one of us didn’t have to sit in the park and read for 3 hours…and then we jumped in our inflatable raft and floated downstream with dozens of others Boiseans.

2014-07-31 17.52.24Floating the river is peaceful and calm for the most part…although we did hit one tiny wave wrong that flipped me on top of my son and soaked us pretty good. We had to bail after that…and our raft started losing air. Maybe we didn’t tighten the valves enough after we pumped it up…I don’t know. All I know is that we limped into the end with hardly any air holding us up. The river isn’t too deep and we probably could have managed to get to shore if we had sunk, but luckily we didn’t have to find out. I wish I’d taken a picture, but of course, I wasn’t thinking about it until we had it folded up and thrown in the trunk.

DSC02619This last weekend we camped at McCall again, but no Gondola rides this time…just a walk on the dock and a swim. The water was warm…the dock floated, and we picked enough huckleberries to make ice cream for Labor Day weekend. I wished we’d picked more, but for 20 minutes worth of picking, I was happy with our harvest. Yum! I love huckleberries.

The sinking and floating theme has carried into my writing as well. I know, I know…I’m taking forever getting this 3rd book done to finish the trilogy. I’ve felt like it has been sinking for a long time. But it is slowly gaining air and is almost floating now. I’m waiting for book cover ideas to form and polishing it some more and making sure the air valves are tight (edited well) so that it doesn’t lose air and sink once it’s published. That would be quite embarrassing.

What about you? Are you sinking or floating in your life right now?

char2a

Bonds of Loyalty

BondsLoyaltyBannerToday I’m participating in an awesome blog tour for the release of Bonds of Royalty by Jennifer Clark and Stephonie Williams. This is the sequel to Mark of Royalty, which I read in July and loved.

The premise of this story is that Sarah is the firstborn of twins to the king and queen of Kyridian, but a prophesy has doomed her to die if she is allowed to live. Knowing the risk she will be in if she stays in the kingdom, Apollo, the king’s trusted advisor, spirits her away to another country where she is raised as a commoner, not knowing her true identity and purpose.

In Bonds of Loyalty, Sarah is all grown up and the Court will not sanction her engagement (which you have to read the first book to know who she falls in love with) and her nemesis tells her she will never measure up to be a queen. It is easier to believe untruths than rise up to one’s responsibilities though. Sarah feels lost and unworthy of love. When her true mother’s health deteriorates, she returns to her homeland reluctantly and is caught up in political maneuverings and unrest because of that cursed long-ago prophesy that doomed her from her birth.

This book was written in such a way that the words grabbed hold of me and held me hostage. Truly! I was kidnapped, but Stockholm syndrome kicked in and I’m in love with my captor now. The story has amazing characters and cool plot twists. I love how Sarah learns to believe in herself through all her hardships and difficult choices. I could easily relate to her wanting to run away from problems instead of confronting them. Don’t we all?

If you haven’t read one of Jennifer’s or Stephanie’s books, start with Mark of Royalty and then read this one. I highly recommend being kidnapped by books. Stockholm syndrome is addicting, and these books will fill the void you may have in your heart.

Even better, enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card from Covenant Communications and a free copy of Bonds of Loyalty during this blog tour. What do you have to lose?

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You might also want to visit some of the other blogs along this book tour:

Unconditional Love

Ginger and the Neighbor's dogs002Sad day for my family yesterday. We had to put down my beloved dog, Ginger. I’ve posted about her in the past, so some of you are already familiar with her cute face. She went downhill pretty fast, which was a tender mercy (although super hard). I made this video as a tribute to her life. I never meant to have a dog. I didn’t have one growing up, so I’m not really a dog person. But I’ve never regretted bringing Ginger into our family.

Yes, I’ve complained about how hairy she was or stressed about finding someone to tend her when we left on vacations…but she was an integral part of our family. She taught us about unconditional love and always had a smile on her face. I will love her forever for how she blessed our lives.

Shadows in the Curtains

Every stage actress wants fans, but what happens when one goes too far?

Emmy has the perfect life— a house on the beach, a successful career headlining the local theater, and love. But when a brutal murder brings unimaginable grief, Emmy’s world comes crashing down. As she tries to pick up the pieces, she can’t seem to avoid Josh, the new fireman in town.

Emmy does her best to fight the sizzle in her chest when Josh is near. But with the stalker still out there, terrorizing her and those she cares about, she can’t fall for anyone—especially Josh, a suspect in the murder investigation.

If Emmy allows a man to get close, it’s not just her heart she puts at risk, it’s her life.

“Cami Checketts can spin a tale like no other. Love, suspense, thrills, she has it all, and Shadows in the Curtain is no exception. What a thrill ride! I highly recommend this book. 10 stars!!” -Sherry Gammon, author of the Port Fare Series

“I’m a sucker for the exciting parts, and this book has scenes that had my eyes racing my heart to the end of each page!” -Amanda Tru, author of the Yesterday Series

My Review 

This was a thrilling romantic mystery. Cami Checketts did a great job at weaving intrigue, love and danger into this story. I’ve read a lot of Checkett’s books and this one kept me on the edge of my seat wondering who the real killer was and if love would ever be possible again after such tragedy. Good job, Cami…and keep on writing!

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Shadows in the Curtain – Only $2.99 at the following retailers:

Buy it in print here for only $8.63

Cami Checketts’ books Poison Me and The Colony are only $.99 for the length of the Shadows in the Curtain blog tour – August 4th – 9th.

Jake Merrill was raised by his grandmother, Ruby, & her hilarious friends. After a suspicious death at the retirement home where Ruby lives, she enlists Jake and Chanel, the beautiful activities director, to help her find the killer. But secrets Ruby has kept for decades threaten her family and the man she’s always loved but could never have. Chanel’s unstable ex-boyfriend, a presumably dead relative, and vicious criminals add to the confusion. Time is running out as Jake, Chanel, & Ruby desperately search for clues to solve the murders and fight to save those they love.

To protect her sons from the mistakes of her past, Brinlee Trapper escapes to a secluded mountain home. But there are dangers lurking in the mountains she has never encountered. The little family is saved from injury by Jed, a mysterious hunter. Brinlee is drawn to him, but worries about his involvement with a peaceful commune hidden deep in the mountains behind her property. Lance, Brinlee’s attentive neighbor, has his own troubled history. Between his obvious attraction to Brinlee and his developing love for her children, Brinlee finds it difficult to guard her heart against this tender intrusion. While Jed offers a life of excitement and freedom, Lance holds the key to the family Brinlee always wanted. When it comes time to choose, she learns that both men have secrets that could shatter her fledgling trust in men and the wrong decision could leave more than her heart exposed to danger.

Hope you are enjoying your summer. I’ve been reading a ton of books (hence, the post on books), finishing writing the conclusion to the Bending Willow Trilogy, and almost sinking in the Boise River (it was kind of funny, especially since I didn’t drown). What about you? Are you floating or sinking?
char2a

Becoming Lady Lockwood

Becoming Lady Lockwood

Becoming Lady Lockwood

Amelia Beckett is delighted to be a widow. Married by proxy to a man she’d never met, Amelia recognizes that a fortuitous entry into widowhood frees her from meddlesome chaperones and matchmakers. Heiress to her mother’s sugar plantation in Jamaica, she happily anticipates working in a man’s world, with the additional credibility of her new title: Lady Lockwood. But with the arrival of Captain Sir William Drake, her plans quickly go awry . . . William has traversed the Atlantic with one purpose. If he cannot prove that Amelia’s marriage to his brother was a fraud, she will be entitled to a sizeable portion of his family’s estate. He is determined to return this duplicitous Lady to London for an official hearing, and he carries with him a letter that will ensure her cooperation . . . Left with no choice, Amelia joins the captain on his return voyage to England, and the two quickly find that ship life does not Continue reading

The Husband Maker

The Husband Maker by Karey White

Charlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she’s dated since high school has become his next girlfriend’s husband. Not hers. Not three girlfriends down the road. The next.

Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed?

When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she’s not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle’s wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?

Get your copy of The Husband Maker for just $3.99!

Amazon * Kobo * iTunes * Barnes & Noble Continue reading

The Narrows – Zion

DSC02411Here’s another hike my family did back in June. I couldn’t go since I was handicapped with my fractured arm, but I did this hike with my husband back when we were engaged, so I remember it. This is another amazing hike that touches the soul because it’s like you’re viewing a piece of heaven you never get to see in normal life.

My in-laws were beyond kind and drove my family 2-1/2 hours to the drop off point at some ranch outside of Zion National Park. You should have a big stick for support; this helps to check the river depth and gives you an ‘extra leg’ when hiking through the river (which you have to do a LOT on this hike since it’s in the narrow slot canyons).

This year was a low water year, so the water didn’t get above their waists, but on high water years, be prepared to swim many parts of this hike (waterproof your belongings either way). The river is full of slippery, mossy rocks, so wear sturdy shoes with good ankle support and carry a big stick (I sound like Teddy Roosevelt). Continue reading