Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My Kate Chopin short story collection now on Audible

Six short stories that I recorded by Kate Chopin were released as a collection last week on Audible. 

American Kate Chopin, now considered an early feminist, was a prolific writer of short stories in addition to two novels. Most of her stories were set in Louisiana, where she moved after marrying. Characters in her stories are as varied as her themes. Her use of irony and her ability to write so convincingly of characters from diverse backgrounds are hallmarks of her work. This collection includes The Kiss, The Unexpected, An Egyptian Cigarette, The Locket, The Blind Man, and Her Letters.

This collection was published under two different titles:  Kate Chopin: Six Short Stories and Six Short Stories by Kate Chopin.  It can be found under either title on Audible.  Or you can click here to listen to a sample/purchase.

Thanks for reading! To return to the FICTION WRITERS BLOG HOP on Julie Valerie’s Book Blog, click here:

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

'Thong' Bookmarks and Candy Cane Ornaments

My fingers have been really busy for the past couple of weeks.  I was afraid I wouldn't finish these little guys I wanted to make but I did -- just under the wire.  I came across this really cool tutorial for crocheting a 'thong' bookmark using string and beads.  I made two last year just before Christmas and was really happy with the way they turned out.  So, this year I decided to make more of them and use more string colors and various beads, etc.  One thing I noticed while working on these is the lighter colors of string make them much easier to work on.  The hardest of the colors shown was the deep red.  It's just harder to see the tiny loop in the crochet chain that you need to slide your small size 7 (1.65 mm) steel crochet hook into.  Live and learn.  The woman who posted the Book Thong pattern is Donna Hulka.  Many thanks to her for allowing others to use her pattern!  Her tutorial with pictures is here.   You do need to be a member of but it's free to join.

Here are my versions.  I took two different photos because the first three bookmarks were ones I needed to mail out of town.

The next five I just finished -- literally a half hour ago.

Hope the recipients like them.  It was fun selecting colors and beads for different individuals.

My second project was my annual 'make an ornament' for my three nieces.  This year I decided to go with this simple crochet candy cane pattern.   You can find it here on  Just click on 'FREE PATTERN' on the page and a PDF will pop up for easy printing.   My three candy canes are below:

If you have pets, they might think the candy cane ornaments are toys so I had to be careful around our dog, Cooper.  He thinks anything soft and squishy belongs to him.

Now, I have to get back to going through the usual promo for my latest book which went live on Audible today.  I'll be posting about it here.  Soon.     

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"Pacific Lady" is now on sale on Audible!

A book that I really enjoyed narrating just went live on Audible.  Pacific Lady: The First Woman to Sail Solo Across the World's Largest Ocean by Sharon Sites Adams with Karen Coates is a terrific nonfiction story of a spunky and very determined woman.  From Audible:

"It was an age without GPS and the Internet, without high-tech monitoring and instantaneous reporting. And it was a time when women simply didn't do such things. None of this deterred Sharon Sites Adams. In June 1965, Adams made history as the first woman to sail solo from the mainland United States to Hawaii. Four years later, just as Neil Armstrong very publicly stepped onto the moon, the diminutive Adams, alone and unobserved, finally sighted Point Arguello, California, after 74 days sailing a 31-foot ketch from Japan, across the violent and unpredictable Pacific. She was the first woman to do so, setting another world record.

"Inspiring and exciting, Adams's memoir recounts the personal path leading to her historic achievements: a tomboy childhood in the Oregon high desert, an early marriage and painful divorce, and a second marriage that ended when her husband died of cancer. In the wake of his death and almost by accident, Adams discovered sailing. Six weeks after her first sailing lesson, she bought a boat, and within eight months, she set out to achieve her first world record. Pacific Lady recounts the inward journey that paralleled her sailing feats, as Adams drew on every scrap of courage and navigational skill she could muster to overcome the seasickness, exhaustion, and loneliness that marked her harrowing crossings."

I've had the honor of speaking with Sharon Adams several times during the recording of this book.  She's 85 now but as peppy as ever.  Last year she went skydiving and lately she's been looking around for a place with hot air balloons.  She wants to go for a ride! 

To listen to a sample and or purchase Pacific Lady, click here on Audible.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Another Kate Chopin Short Story for Sale on Audible

Yesterday, my sixth recording of a Kate Chopin short story went live on Audible.  The Locket is set during the Civil War.

From Audible:
"A young Confederate soldier is given a solid gold locket before he heads to war. He and the woman who gave it to him are passionately in love and long for the time when they can be together. The locket is noticed by some of the other soldiers and plays an important part in what transpires as battle looms over their camp."

To listen to a sample and/or purchase the story, head to Audible here

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

We 'shopped Small Saturday' after Thanksgiving

For the third year in a row, Duane, Linda, and I participated in the Seminole Heights Shop Hop featuring small businesses in the Seminole Heights area of Tampa.  Not only is this a great way to support your local small businesses but the shops go all out with sales, discounts, treats, and prizes.  This year we started at the newly designed Christopher Wayne Home which now includes a coffee shop, The Blind Tiger Cafe, within the Christopher Wayne shop.  Fantastic iced coffee from The Blind Tiger!  Linda and Duane ordered tea and were also really pleased with the taste.

Christopher Wayne Home also shares a building with Cleanse Apothecary, another of our favorite shops.  We each made purchases from Cleanse Apothecary which carries some great lines including Lipstick Queen -- my favorite line of lipsticks.  After we finished our refreshments from The Blind Tiger, we headed to our buddy David's shop, A Modern Line -- always a fun place to pop in and see what's new.  We noticed that there was quite a bit of foot traffic due to the shop hop.  Then we headed to Bali Bay Trading Company which, like the other businesses, had treats out for their customers along with items to be raffled off.  Bali Bay was offering 20% off of all their regular priced items.  All three of us found some gifts there.

After that, we stopped in at The Folic Exchange -- a small vintage shop.  Once again, all three of us made purchases.  Then we headed to Susan Gott's Phoenix Glass Studio.  We feel fortunate that we have someone with Susan's talent in one of our favorite areas to shop.  She had treats set out and there were people being instructed in glass blowing as they made their own items.  Linda and I bought some small Christmas ornaments there. 

By this time, we needed to stop for lunch.  We decided to 'dine' at The Front Porch Grill and have a leisurely lunch.  I have never had a bad meal there.  Their desserts are fantastic, too, but the three of us had been nibbling our way through the shops so we skipped dessert this time.  After lunch we headed to D&D Antiques and More where our buddy Debra was greeting all of her shoppers with treats.  I bought something for myself there.  Debra carries antiques and vintage items.  I came across a metal bird that was screaming my name.  Very simple lines.  I think it might be made of aluminum. It reminds me of the birds you see in places like Design Within Reach (DWR).

We were pretty tired after leaving D&D we we decided to call it a day.  I'm so glad the idea of shopping at small local businesses has picked up and hope the trend continues.

Our purchases.

Handmade soaps, blown glass ornaments, etc.
Stocking stuffers and my bird.