Friday, April 28, 2017

Sumo Suma #FunnyFriday

Today’s post is April’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write five captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.


Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Baking In A Tornado             http://www.BakingInATornado.com



39 - Baking In A Tornado - April 2017.jpg



1. My first thought upon seeing this picture: Say hello to my little friend.

2. My name is Sumoson Wheels. Be prepared to die!

3. Hiiiiiiiiiiii yahhhhhhhhhhh!

4. Boy to mom: Ma, this is a bit overboard. A helmet and elbow pads, maybe knee pads, sure... This? This is too much!!
Mom to boy: I know what a klutz you are. Keep the suit on.

5. This week on extreme sports... Sumo Skateboarding. Who will be the last wrestler riding?!


Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

Friday, April 14, 2017

Off My Chest #UseYourWords

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:
gravely ~ gratify ~ legit ~ misjudge ~ realign
They were submitted by: The Angrivated Mom (Thank you for these awesome words!!)

Helllllloooooo!!! How are you guys doing?! I hope none of you are gravely ill. I am sorry if you opened this today, expecting to see an installment of the Stable Layne story. This read will not gratify your curiosity for more Stable Layne. I do hope you get some enjoyment from it, even if it is just that we connected. 

I had a legit plan on how to use my words, that involved Stable Layne, but once again, the stars did not align for that to happen. Hopefully, by next month's Use Your Words post, the stars will have shifted to realign, and I will supply you with more of the Stable Layne story. Just so you all know, I already know what happens with the Stable Layne story, I just need to work the UYW words into it, as well as break it down into segments. SO, if you are a fan, I promise you will get to know what happens with Layne and Damon. Pinky promise.

So, I have been going through some things lately. Really, I have been going through things for a few years now. Some personal, some related to my health, some shared struggles with others in my life. I just keep on going. That is all we can do, right? Well, lately it has been really weighing on me, but I just keep pushing on. Then, something happened recently, which was very much the straw that broke my metaphoric camel back. I guess the good news, is that it has been broken before, and I have overcome it. So, if history does in fact repeat itself, I should definitely overcome this. 

Admittedly, I am having trouble seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, but admittedly I have not been searching for the light for long. Plus, I am very determined, so that should help. The biggest thing working against me, is that I am feeling so stressed, and my body just does not handle stress well. Actually, I handle stress so poorly, that my doctor has given me strict orders to eliminate any and all stress that I am able to. The funny part is, that I think mentally, I do okay with stress. Yes, I tend to freak out, but I also tend to persist. Unfortunately, my body doesn't fair well at all, and that is my downfall. So, what has happened recently, has led to so much stress, that my body is just not doing as well as I would like. Luckily, I have some wonderful blogger friends, and non-blogger friends, and so I do have support.

I was speaking to one of my blogger friends a few weeks ago, before the straw broke my back, and she encouraged me to write a particular blog post. So, I added it to the growing list of blogs I want to write for you guys. The list is getting long. I am excited that it is growing, because in my plans of improving my blog, I also want to put out more (and better) content. So, on one hand, having a list of potential blog posts, is a GREAT thing. Yay for content. The truth is, it is actually not a good thing. The list is growing, and none are being marked off. I am not writing the things I want to for you guys. I am not making the progress I want to, in making my blog better, and more of what my actual vision is.  

The post the aforementioned blogger friend encouraged me to write, is a deeply personal one. I have never actually considered talking about it before, but she made very valid points about why I should share it. Plus, writing such a personal post aligns with my desire to put more of myself into my blog. So, it is really a perfect idea. During our talk, where we discussed me writing the post, I shed a lot of tears, and I had a bit of an emotional cleanse, and it was lovely. Unfortunately, after the recent events, I feel like I need another emotional cleanse. So, instead of just keeping my mouth shut, I decided to tell you guys about what I am feeling.

I am feeling stressed and worried. I am feeling angry and disappointed. I am feeling inadequate and unworthy. I am feeling frustrated and unheard. I am feeling trapped and threatened. I am feeling weak and vulnerable. I am feeling determined and stubborn. I am feeling confused and unsure. It is what it is.

I have been doing some deep thinking lately about my blog. I have been thinking about walking away from it, and ending it. To be honest, that would be a kinda wonderful thing, because it would just eliminate some of my stress. To be honest, that would also be kinda horrible. I would miss everyone who interacts with me. I would miss my blogger friends. I would miss finding out my subjects and words each month. I would miss having commitments. I would miss it. Period. 

There are a lot of things going through my head. I think part of the thing pushing me to walk away, is how hopeless I feel about certain things. What if I quit, and it ends up that I misjudged the hopelessness of things, and they get better, but my blog is gone. Would I want to start back over? I know I have not built much, but I have built some, and I built it with my heart and soul. It is a tough decision. I definitely have not made up my mind yet.

Another thing I keep weighing against the option to quit, is what my blogger friend and I discussed. What she wanted me to write about. I have extreme social anxiety. It is so extreme, that even just talking to people online is extremely hard for me. Even friends I have known for years and adore, I struggle with talking to them, even online. I work hard to not let it hinder me, and one of my ways of fighting against it, is my blog. Is writing things and sharing them with the world. Is posting on my blog's Facebook page, and interacting with everyone. Trust me, I struggle with every blog and every post. I struggle with every conversation. If you are thinking about a time we have interacted, and wondering if my social anxiety was bothering me during it, the answer is yes. Absolutely yes. The only person I do not struggle with anxiety with, is Gigi. Seriously. She is the only person. 

So, I have a lot on my mind. I will either push forward with improving my blog, which I have failed at so far, or I will bring it to an end. I promise if it ends, it will end with you getting all the answers you could possibly want about Stable Layne. I absolutely will not leave you guys hanging. I will also say goodbye. I will not just poof on you guys. You have all been so awesome over these past few years, and I will definitely not just disappear. 

So, there you have it. I am not really sure what this post is, and I am sure it is not what was in mind, when these words were assigned, but I just needed to get this all off my chest. I need to write about it. Think about it,. Gather my thoughts. Try to sort things out.

So, I hope you all have a wonderful Friday, and an amazing weekend. Now, go see what awesome things my friends did with their words!!


Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Friday, April 7, 2017

April Showers, May Flowers #SecretSubjectSwap

Welcome to April's Secret Subject Swap. This week fourteen brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. 





My “Secret Subject” is:

Are you showering for May?



Confession.... I almost just typed out "Yes." and called it done. That would fulfill the subject. Yes? No? Well, in my head it worked. I would have felt like I took the super easy way out though. Part of me is just so bogged down these days, that the easy way was tempting. I did not join onto the Secret Subject Swap group to go the easy way. I joined to challenge myself, by allowing my fellow bloggers to challenge me, with the subjects they concoct. If you have followed my blog, you know they have certainly challenged me over the years. I like to think I have risen to the challenge, at least most of the time. I am sure I fell short here and there, but I also like to think that I have done my best, and I think that is what matters. Though, admittedly, I still struggle to consider myself a bonafide blogger.

So, of course I decided to not take the easy way out, and I spent time pondering the subject. Am I showering for May? April showers bring May flowers. Showering. Showering for May. Showering in April for preparation for May. Showering for May. My mind went to so many places, and I really wanted to go to Sarah and say... What do you mean am I showering for May? Are you trying to say I smell?! Hehe. 

At the end of the day, this is how I decided to answer this question....

Am I showering for May? Yes. Cleanliness is next to godliness, and I love to be clean, so showering just kinda comes with the territory. I am currently addicted to Soft Soap body washes, especially their pomegranate one. I am also in love with Neutrogena's RainBath. That is a love that started over twenty years ago though. I just bought a new one. The purple one. No clue what the scent is, and I am too lazy to go look at the bottle. I usually only use the orange one, which I LOVE. Have you used it? You should.

I am also planning on a few other showers.

I plan on showering Gigi with love. She will soon be four, and my threenager will be gone forever. So, I am going to love her a bit extra this month, and next. Then I will love her even more once she is four. 

I plan on showering myself with love. I think I have been too hard on myself in recent months. I think I am due for a break. So, for April, I will shower myself with love, acceptance, and appreciation.

I plan on showering myself with challenges. I have several writing challenges in place for myself this month. I also have some physical challenges in store. I have two 5ks I am doing this month. One benefits MS research, and the other benefits our local Second Harvest Food Bank. Both are causes I LOVE. 

I plan on showering my flower garden with plants, seeds, and actual water. It is that time of year, to get it in shape for the rest  of Spring and Summer. I had a talk with Gigi about the garden, and her sister in Heaven (Kateri), and explained how it is a memorial garden. So, I feel like her help with the garden will have even more significance this year, since she actually understands what it represents.

I plan on showering myself with peace. I will dive deeper into my me time and self care. I will do more meditation. I will let myself find a deeper peace. I need it. I have been feeling stressed and chaotic for too long. It is time to give myself the gift of peace.

I plan on showering my community with my time. I have a few volunteer activities planned for this month. I am also hoping to add more volunteering into my entire year. I love volunteering. It makes me happy, and I need more happy.

I plan on showering my fellow moms with love and acceptance and compassion. I want to grow even stronger in my Mommitment. The last few months, I have seen some instances of judgement among moms, that have made me believe even more, in the importance of the Mommitment movement, and I want to spread the word even more. We are all moms, who are doing our best, and we need to be built up, not judged and torn down.

I plan on showering my friends with love and encouragement.

So, yes, I am definitely showering for May. 

I am also excited for May. This is major. I normally dread May, and in some ways, I am dreading May still. I just also have some awesome things planned, that I am genuinely excited for. Kateri would have been fourteen this May. I think it is time to stop spending the entire month of May being depressed. I think it is time to start showering May with some happiness. 

I hope you enjoyed my take on my Secret Subject. How about you... are you showering for May?!?! I hope you have a lovely Friday, and an amazing weekend!! Definitely go check out what subjects my fellow bloggers received, and see how they handled them!!

Here are links to all the sites now featuring April's Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a drink, and check them all out. See you there:


Abandoned by Lyz Kelley #BookReview

Okay, I am coming to you today, to tell you my opinion about two books. Yes, two. Not just one amazing book, but two AMAZING books. Do you remember when I told y'all about Blinded by that awesome author named Lyz Kelley? If you missed it, or simply do not remember, then you can read it here. Well, now I am here to tell you about the next two books in that Elkridge Series.

The short of it, is that you need to go get these books and read them. Since Blinded, there have been two more books added to the series... Spurned and Abandoned. After reading Blinded, I was pretty darn sure that Lyz Kelley was an awesome writer, and now two books later, I am completely positive she is. I absolutely cannot wait to read the entire rest of her Elkridge Series. Lucky for all of you, there are three AMAZING books for you to read, and then we will have three more. 

In Blinded, we fell in love with Mara and Joey and the town of Elkridge. We also started on the journey of trying to solve Sam's murder. I am happy to say that in Spurned and Abandoned, we get to fall in love with more of Elkridge's citizens, we get glimpses into the lives of the citizens we already love, and we get some clues to help us solve Sam's murder. Lyz Kelley does this amazing job, making you feel as though you know this town, and you know these characters. She does a wonderful job using her words to paint a complete picture for us. 

If you loved Mara and Joey, you will definitely love Kym and Zach, and Ashley and Chase. You will love their stories, and you will love how their pieces fit into the puzzle that is this Elkridge series. You will also fall more in love with Mara and Joey, as we do get some awesome glimpses into their life. 

These books are these beautiful love stories. They aren't all mushy, lovey dovey goop though. There is suspense. There is pain. There is passion. There is frustration. There is sadness. You will laugh. You will cry. You will be aroused. You will experience a full spectrum of emotions. Also, if you are like me, you may just read them twice. The first time for full enjoyment. The second time to fully pay attention to the details. I am definitely on the case. I am hoping to figure out Sam's murder, before it is completely revealed to us. 

If you love romance novels, you will love these books. If you love suspense novels, you will love these books. If you love to laugh, you will love these books. If you love being immersed into a complete world, when reading books, you will love these books. These books are page turners. They will keep you captivated, and they will entertain you. You will fall in love with the characters, and chances are, you will want to pack your bags and move to Elkridge, Colorado.

These books are so well written. I cannot praise Lyz Kelley enough. If you love steamy romance novels, you will absolutely love these books. If you prefer for your romance novels to leave the details to your imagination, you will love these books. Lyz does this amazing job, of giving you enough details to heat things up, but not so many that it will feel like too much. These books are well balanced in all things.

Please, do yourself a favor and go read these books. Then, come back here or to my Facebook page, and let's discuss it. I would LOVE to compare notes on Sam's murder case, as well as just discuss the storyline in general. Now, that I have read three books, I really have started to develop ideas on the who/what/why of Sam's murder. I cannot wait to hear what you have to say about it!!

So, continue to read, for information on how to get copies of these books for yourself, find out more about the author, get answers to questions about this series, and enter a giveaway!!





Abandoned by Lyz Kelley
(An Elkridge Series Novel)
Release Date: 4th April 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
#AbandonedTour
Synopsis
LIFE DOESN’T EVER GO AS PLANNED, BUT CAN BE BETTER THAN IMAGINED. Her mother’s death. His PTSD. A combustible relationship.  A CAREGIVER WHO NEEDS TO MAKE A PLAN, AND FAST… Ashley Bryant has less than five weeks to organize, sell, and pack away her old life before she’s uprooted and forced into a completely new one. She needs to make several critical decisions, and with her life upended and spiraling out of control, the last thing Ashley needs is a sexy U.S. Marine complicating matters. A MARINE WHO HAD A PLAN BUT HAS LOST HIS WAY… Gunnery Sergeant Chase Daniels has just buried his best friend, and his commanding officer has given him a month to commit to either retiring or returning to active duty. Struggling with PTSD, fatigue, and grief, he stumbles into Elkridge, a quiet Colorado mountain town, to figure out his future. With their lives in upheaval, Ashley and Chase have a lot in common, but the last thing each needs are more complications—like their instant attraction to each other. The ELKRIDGE SERIES is a set of steamy contemporary romance novels about wounded women and the men who heal them.  If you like heartfelt characters, deep topics with powerful emotional cores, and happy endings, then you’ll love Lyz Kelley’s incredible tales of strength, love, and survival.  The third, full-length novel in the series, ABANDONED continues to give you a peek into the day-to-day lives of the town characters, and drops clues about Sheriff Sam’s murder. 

Buy The Book

Meet the Author
Award-winning, contemporary romance author Lyz Kelley lives in a small community in Colorado with her husband and several four-legged family members. Lyz writes about brave women who have faced extraordinary challenges, and the honorable men who have an enormous capacity to love, even if they may not know it. 
A healing love is at the heart of her book series. Creating wounded yet amazing characters—discovering what drives them, frightens them, heals them, makes them laugh—is what gives her joy. Lyz is pleased to share that joy through her masterfully written stories. 
To keep tabs on her award-winning novels, connect with Lyz by signing up for her newsletter at LyzKelley.com. Also visit LyzKelleysHeroes.com to join Kelley's Heroes, Lyz's VIP club. Members receive an exclusive copy of A Soldier’s Wife, learn about thoughtful giveaways, and get a sneak peek at upcoming releases. Members may even get the opportunity to receive advanced reader copies. Check out LyzKelley.com for more information.
Newsletter Sign Up: www.LyzKelley.com

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Why would I want to read the Elkridge Series?  Each book in the Elkridge series is a piece to a puzzle—a suspenseful mystery involving the murder of a small-town sheriff. You get six contemporary romance books to figure out the mystery and a bunch of happy ever after (HEA) endings. Two novels in this fiction series—Blinded and Orphaned—are award-winning romance books.
Where is Elkridge, Colorado?  Elkridge exists only in my mind. On any given day, I can stop at River Creek Café for Jenna's fresh baked cinnamon rolls, or shop for a birthday present at Mara's Blooms, or get my nails done at Kym’s nail salon. Sitting in the park eating lunch, I can watch the kids play and hear the latest gossip from neighbors. Later, if I want, I can stop at Mad Jack’s to hear a local band play and get some dinner. Elkridge is a great small town where the sun shines 360 days a year and people do their best to make ends meet.
Would you tell us about your writing process?  It takes me awhile to write each stand-alone story because I am passionate about creating the very best stories for my readers. These contemporary romance books have complex plots and sub-plots and include suspense romance threads, with deep emotional women’s fiction elements, humor and even a bit of quirkiness. I’m so excited to see the 5-star ratings because it means I’ve created the ideal mix to provide readers with a few hours of enjoyment.  

Giveaway http://geni.us/LyzKelleyElkridgePage

ABANDONED: Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQ)

Sheriff Joe shows up in ABANDONED several times. Does this mean there are more clues as to who (OR WHOM?) murdered Sheriff Sam?
Absolutely. Joe is still trying to catch a killer, but he’s not the only character presenting clues in this book.  Don’t forget, I’ve slipped in a few red herrings to keep you guessing. 

I was surprised to see a poem in this book. What inspired you to add it?
I’ve been writing poetry for years. The challenge was to create a poem that Chase’s character would write—something corny, simple, and amateurish. I didn’t want the poem to look like it could be a Pulitzer winner—thus you have Chase’s love poem to Ashley.

Where did the inspiration for Ashley’s father come from?

My father was a Marine. My brother was in the Navy. My husband was in the Air Bourne.  I have friends that have served in both the Army and Air Force. Basically, I respect those in the military for their sacrifices and challenges. While I know many military families move  as their assignments change, I’ve had two friends in my life where a military parent has chosen to create a stable base for their spouse and kids, and return home whenever possible. This type of arrangement is unusual, but it does happen. I wanted to explore the family structure and how each person must live with the sacrifice.



Other Books in The Series

Blinded - Buy Here












Spurned - Buy Here

What I need you to know... I received free ARCs of these books, to read and give an honest review of. I was not paid. I was not told what to say. Every opinion is my own, honest opinion. If I had hated these books, I would have said as much. Luckily, I LOVED these books, and I am sure you will also LOVE them! I have an inkling that any book Lyz Kelley writes, is worth reading, and I fully plan on reading all of her books one by one, after I finish reading this series. 

B to the BBB #UseYourWords

Welcome to July's Use Your Words blogging challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phra...