Travel Thursday: Shipshewana, Indiana

Welcome to one of my favorite places on Earth: Shipshewana, Indiana! You’ve probably never heard of it, and that’s okay. It’s a small town in northern Indiana with some of the best shopping and food imaginable!

What I would say is the biggest attraction to Shipshewana is the Flea Market. Rows upon rows of vendors with some unique items all for a fair and cheap price! It’s fun to see the popular items that change year after year as so many people will sell those. There are staples that my family checks out every year, and new vendors we find along the way. One of our favorites is the Spice Guy. I’m not sure what his shop is called at the moment, but that’s our family nickname for him. He’s got a multitude of variety in large containers. If you love to cook, he’s a must see.

It doesn’t matter who you are, there’s something for everyone! There’s booths with clothes, dresses, purses, tools, wooden crafts, guitars for kids, movies, books, flowers, and so much more! And let’s not forget the food vendors. There are lots of those too. Depending on how fast or slow you go through, it could take all day to explore!

The flea market itself is open with individual booths being covered by buildings, tarps, or nothing but open air. In rainy weather this can be an issue, but we’ve rarely ran into this situation. For us, it’s almost always been sunny and HOT. Very hot.

Also, unless specified as a special weekend event, the flea market is only open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays weekly and runs throughout the summer. You never know what you’re going to find. It changes year to year!

Right behind the flea market (or in front depending on which way you’re facing) is Yoder’s Meat & Cheese Co. Let me tell you, they have the BEST cheese ever! It’s also a great price. Plus, the variety of cheese they have makes me a happy person: they have samples I can try! (or so they did before this year, and I’m unsure if the pandemic has affected this or not)

My dad would say the best part are their pickles. They’re huge and whole. He likes to buy them by the 5 gallon bucket.

Now, for my second favorite place of all (and reason for going) is The Blue Gate Restaurant. Their family style chicken dinner is AMAZING!!! It’s now a buffet style meal, and you can’t go wrong with all you can eat of the best food around. Plus THE PIES!!! Yummy!! There’s always new flavors as well as the staples. Come with an empty stomach because you’re going to want all the room you can get for this food. They also have little bread loaves you can spread peanut butter and/or apple butter over. Their peanut butter and apple butter are both homemade and you can even buy them in the Blue Gate’s store. The store also sells pies, candy, mugs, knickknacks, Christmas ornaments, and soooooo much more food. I can’t name it all. And outside they have small ponds with fish (the kids in our family always find this facsinating)

Across the street and all throughout town are stores with furniture, decorations, and food! These stores are open during the week and after the flea market closes so there’s always something to do on days the flea market is closed.

The Shipshewana area is celebrated for being home to the third largest Amish community in the United States, for having the Midwest’s largest flea market, and for its reputation of hand-crafted wares. 

https://www.shipshewana.com/

While you’re planning your future family trips, make sure Shipshewana is on that list. You’ll never regret it. I wasn’t able to go this year when some of my family visited because I had car trouble on the way, but I can’t wait for my trip next year! (Pictures taken by my mom)

For more information, check out: https://www.shipshewana.com/
They even have an IG account: @shipshewana_flea_market & @shipshewanaindiana

Indie Monday: Sept 23

Today’s spotlight book just released so it’s brand spankin’ new! It’s book 1 in the Broken Court series, and don’t you just love that cover??? Another added to the TBR pile (I must read faster). Check it out below!

Dark Fae Cursed (Broken Court Book 1) by [Heather Renee]

The fae king once tried to break me, but now… I’m coming for him.

After being exiled from the only home I’d ever known, I swore to never return. Instead, opting to start a new life offering my services to supernaturals who’d rather not get their hands dirty.

When a distractingly handsome and alluring fae shows up asking for my help, my initial reaction is to refuse. There’s a darkness in him that beckons me, and in my experience, any type of connection is a weakness I can’t afford.

However, after I discover the identity of his enemy, I find myself pulled into his battle, hoping to slay a few of my own demons in the process.

As something sinister attempts to take control, I’ll have to decide whether to continue doing things my way… Or chance the risk and let others fight beside me.

The only thing I know for sure is that the fae king’s biggest mistake was thinking he broke me, and my biggest victory will be proving him wrong.

http://smarturl.it/DarkFaeCursed

Snippet Saturday: Sept 26

Today’s snippet is coming from my upcoming book in The Diner Box set. It’s called “Black Cat’s Curse” and I find this book hilarious. The dynamics between Lucky and Doris are beyond adorable as she tries to act like she doesn’t like him and he loves to annoy her.

Snippet

“Dear, I don’t know where those paws of yours have been, but that isn’t the place for them,” Doris stated, sliding in behind the bar on this side of the diner via a door to the left. “Now, take a seat on the stool.”

The woman’s voice jogged my witch’s attention from her laptop, and she finally noticed me. “Umm, nice kitty?” Her voice was so hesitant and uncertain that I had to wonder what about my small stature had her sounding like that. Did she think I was going to attack and try to scratch her eyes out?

Very nice kitty, I confirmed and watched as her bright, sapphire eyes widened and her mouth popped open.

“You talk.”

Doris chuckled, taking a drag on the cigarette still hanging out of her mouth. “Of course he talks. He’s a black cat. All they ever do is talk.”

I do not, I argued, sitting my butt down on the bar for emphasis. And this is my seat.

The Diner Cover Reveal Day!

The Diner Cover Reveal Day!

It’s cover reveal day!!!

This summer, me and three other authors decided we wanted to create a fun box set! Inside you’ll find the craziest and awesomest supernatural diner on the planet. Each of the four stories included in the box set revolve around this supernatural diner and its mysterious tapestry.

Blurb:

Step into The Diner, and enter into a world where nothing is as it seems. Enjoy a hot mug of coffee or a chat with a ghost.

Step through the Tapestry and portal to The Diner, where food is served with a side of supernatural. A place hidden from human sight, where you’ll discover witches with familiar’s, elven warriors and even Doris.

Step through the Tapestry and portal to The Club. Where the drinks are unusual, the vampires brood and danger lurks in dark corners.

Step into The club and become mesmerized by mermaids. Step into The Diner if you dare.

So, my story in the box set is Black Cat’s Curse, and I can’t wait for you to meet Lucky and Brooke! He’s a black cat on a search for his witch. There are also books with vampires, elves, witches, mermaids, genies, ghosts, and much more. Inside its pages is something for everyone.

US: https://amzn.to/33Lkjbu
UK: https://amzn.to/2ZWEYIy

Fonts, Fonts, And More Fonts!

Lately, fonts have been on the mind. Why? Because, as I’m not sure many know, I make most of my book covers myself. While I’ve purchased some premades and customs, I prefer to make my own covers. It’s cheaper for me to do it that way, but I also find it relaxing, and it’s a chance for me to learn something new. Learning new talents is like going on an adventure and not knowing what you’re going to find. It’s the same when I start a book and a new cover. I never know what adventures they’ll take me on!

Now, back to fonts. While the cover art is absolutely necessary and important, the right font is VITAL. You wouldn’t put a spooky looking font on a sweet contemporary romance cover just as you wouldn’t put beautiful swirly fonts on a horror cover. The fonts need to match the cover, story, and genre.

Since I make most of my covers, I have to constantly be on the search for new and good fonts. I’m still not an expert with fonts and finding the right fonts, but it’s fun to play with. I’m still learning all there is to know about fonts and where to get them, but I’ve found a few great places for amazing fonts.

One of those places is FontBundles.net. They have a huge selection of fonts! Some are free, others are on sale, and they have bundles of fonts also on sale. Their new font selection is one of my favorite sections to scroll. And, it just so happens that I found an email in my inbox today about a Christmas bundle for sale…well the word Christmas piqued my interest. You know how much I love Christmas anything! It’s definitely worth a look! I was giddy about every font I scrolled past.

So, in short, if you’re looking for a great font site, don’t miss FontBundles. Really, don’t. They have the perfect fonts at the right price and you’re sure to find a style that you love for whatever project you’re working on! I have some fun Christmas covers on the mind now…

(PS they even have craft bundles any crafters should check out too!)

Check out the Christmas Font bundle here:
https://fontbundles.net/the-christmas-font-bundle

Indie Monday: Sept 21

And we’re back for another book spotlight! I haven’t read this one either, but it has tigers, so you know I’m in! I’ve added to my TBR pile and you should too! This is the start of an addictive 10-book binge read with all types of shifters.

Tropical Tiger Spy (Shifting Sands Resort Book 1) by [Zoe Chant]

He’s on a mission to find missing shifters.
She’s about to become one of them.

Abandoned as a baby, Amber Allen has never known another shifter like herself. She came to Shifting Sands Resort hoping for answers about her past, but she only finds questions about her future. She doesn’t understand the connection she has with the handsome stranger at the bar, but she knows that his arms feel more like home than anywhere she’s ever been.

When spy and tiger shifter Tony Lukin asked for an assignment somewhere warm, he wasn’t expecting that the real heat would be between the sheets. But he’s at the all-inclusive, shifters-only, clothing-optional luxury resort for only one reason, and it’s not the sapphire pool or the white sand beach… or the enchanting botanist at the bar offering to buy him a drink.

Tony’s real mission is to uncover who or what is behind the sinister disappearance of shifters from the resort over the last few years. He’ll have to move fast or risk losing everything… and the secretive owner of the resort seems to be doing everything in her power to stop his investigation.

Can Tony convince Amber that they’re destined to be together… before she goes missing, too?

Indie Monday: Sept 14th

Last year, me and my friend Julie Trettel decided to do a fun little project highlighting Indie books once a week. That sorta died out a bit as life got crazy, but a week or so ago she let me know she was starting it back up again and I was totally in! With this year going all crazy and depressing, we thought it would be a fun way to lift others again and highlight some amazing books! Most of these I haven’t read yet, but adding them to my TBR pile because they sound really good!!!

The first book to kick this off is “Wolf’s Son” by Lynn Nodima! It’s a prequel to her Texas Ranch Wolf Pack series, which is complete with 12 books. I have to tell you, this series has been on my TBR pile forever!! It needs to be bumped up, that’s for sure! This one sounds really good as well. Blurb below!

Wolf's Son: A Prequel to the Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Series: Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Story (Texas Ranch Wolf Pack World Book 6) by [Lynn Nodima]

When newborn Nate Rollins shifts to his wolf just minutes after his birth, his parents panic.

The ability to shift at birth is unheard of and is the hallmark of a powerful were. 

Jackson, the pack Alpha and the baby’s uncle, is a jealous leader, murdering all who might ever have the power to overcome him. 

Desperate to save his son from his twin, Grant takes his mate and baby and runs. 

Nate could be the most powerful werewolf since Lycos…if they can escape Jackson’s clutches…if they can hide him from the Alpha…if they can keep him alive… 

When Jackson sends his Beta, Dustin, after them, Grant is willing to fight to the death for his family. 

Will Dustin try to return them to Jackson or will he help them escape when he learns the truth?  

What’s been happening?

Whew, that’s a big question! It’s been a long time since I wrote a blog post, and sooooo much has happened, both personally and with writing. Yesterday marked one year that I’ve been at my new apartment, and Gunney and I couldn’t be happier about that move. We’ve enjoyed sitting out on the back deck most of the summer, both writing and reading, or just eating dinner. The view is great with all of the greenery from the trees and bushes, so much so it’s hard to see the apartments and road behind them. It helps me feel like I’m less in the city. It’s also much quieter.

Because of Covid, I’m now working from home, and it’s been great! I love it, and so does Gunney since I can give him love and attention every day. However, this year’s goals of getting out and being social more are not happening, and I have to make a conscious effort to reach out to people. That’s been a tough one for some reason.

However, besides working from home, not much else has changed for me. I’m still writing like crazy (probably too much) and working on book stuff. I’ve taken up crocheting more again, making book cozies. Lots of books have been published and written, and next year is going to be awesome! I have huge plans for the First Blood world, as well as adding a new series into the mix and another sci-fi book. Yeah, because I’m not crazy to try this and never plan too much into my schedule…

So, in closing, here’s what’s upcoming for the rest of the year:

*Fourth Bunker (Released in August)

*Negative Energy (Releasing Sept 12)

*The Diner anthology ~ Black Cat’s Curse (Releases Oct 23)

*Something in the Shadows anthology ~ Whispered Summons (Releases Oct 28)

*Christmas Book (Currently unnamed, Sometime in November)

#Freebie Alert!

#Freebie Alert!

If you’re like me right now in this time with the COVID 19 virus, you don’t have any more time available to you than you had before because you’re able to work from home the same hours you did before. Or you’re a medical professional, grocery store employee, or other essential worker who don’t have the choice but to go to work to help the rest of us. However, I know many people who don’t have the ability to work from home or their places of employment have closed and have more free time than they’ve had because of it. Many authors did sales to help those in this situation to have more books to read. Good for them, but I wasn’t ready to throw mine in yet.

Free Graphic 1

So, I held off, and now I have my freebie ready for those who are still looking for social isolating reads! It’s also a way to celebrate that Fourth Bunker, the next standalone in the series, has finished being written!! This book should be released this summer and more information will be given at a later time. However, I will say that this is Avery’s book and the events take place after Third House. Thus far, betas are loving it!

If you’ve read First Blood and enjoyed it, please reach out to your friends and let them know it’s free! Hopefully it can spread some good vibes during this rough time in our lives. I know I’m handling social isolation much better than so many of my friends and family, but many others are like them and this is a difficult time. Hopefully you’ll enjoy this book and it can bring some fun to your life.

Free Graphic 4

Like most other college students in the United States, Koda Niklane’s dream is to join the government’s most advanced military unit: the Elite. Since the President’s great reveal of supernaturals living amongst humans, every college student is required to Interview for the Elite. Being human and unable to fight are setbacks for Koda, but she soon learns she isn’t quite as human as she’d thought, or rather, she’s not human at all.

When a purple-eyed blood drinker named Raven Cartana, a Captain in the Elite, announces publicly that she’s one of his kind, Koda refuses to believe him. As her new Elite trainer, Raven’s job is to keep Koda alive and teach her the ropes. Teaching is the easy part as Raven, Koda, and their team work to keep the streets safe from Threats. It soon becomes apparent that keeping Koda alive will be much harder than Raven had anticipated as the attacks on her become more personal.

As Koda works with Raven and the Elite, she can’t help but wonder how much of herself will remain once her maturity has finished. Will she still be Koda, or will she be something different? And is that why someone has their sights set on her?

Click for your Free copy of First Blood

Werewolves vs Wolf Shifters

Am I the only person who loves the trend where authors create a wolf shifter and have them called a werewolf because real werewolves are a myth but shifters are real? One True Mate (Westin Pack Book 1) by [Trettel, Julie]

I know I can’t be. In my opinion, that opens up so many more options. However, I still do love me some straight up naturally evil werewolves! So today, let’s talk about this.

The werewolf from legend/mythology is that one who changes at the full moon and can’t control that shift, and is pretty much a normal human being the rest of the time. Legend says they can be killed by a silver bullet, and that being bitten by a werewolf is all that it takes to start turning into one every full moon. They’re usually depicted as a wolf who stands more like a human on their hind legs than an actual wolf on all four, though they are versatile when chasing their prey.

Knight (Sons of the Alpha Book 1) by [Carmichael, Addison]

Meanwhile, wolf shifters keep their true wolf form for the most part, and can secondarily in some cases choose to stand straight like a human. I’ve read where some are also prone to being killed by silver, and others were any means that would kill a regular wolf would kill them. However, in these cases they can withstand far more than a regular wolf and heal more quickly in wolf form.

A lot of these similarities and differences can be found in movies as well as books (and obviously this is the case in a book to movie adaption.) It’s always fun to see what the artists in both mediums do to portray these creatures.

When I was working on First Blood, I knew I wanted to incorporate both versions of the Werewolf, what I call the true version and shifter version. While Jackson is only a shifter, and is referred to as such, many wolf shifters use the name werewolf loosely. I guess that makes Jackson a werewolf in some circles. That left me with the real werewolves. Creating rules around their species, specifically the laws they have to abide by, was so fun. And when the werewolves got out…well that was bound to happen, lol.

 

Off the top of my head, some books with one of the other version that I would recommend are:

 

Karen Lynch: Relentless Series

Melissa Haag: Judgement of the Six Series

Melanie Gilbert: Alpha King

Julie Trettel: Westin Pack Series

Heather Hildenbrand: Dirty Blood Series

Quinn Loftis: Grey Wolf Series

Addison Carmichael: Sons of the Alpha Series

Rachel Jonas: The Lost Royals Saga

Alpha King by [Gilbert, Melanie]

Others I have in my TBR Pile:

Bethany Wicker: Unexpected Alpha

Karina Espinosa: Shift

Olivia Wildenstein: A Pack of Blood and Lies

Leia Stone: Matefinder

SHIFT (Mackenzie Grey: Origins Book 1) by [Espinosa, Karina]

I’m probably forgetting several, but off the top of my head, this is what you get! Hopefully you found this fun. More creatures to come!