My Sqeezy Freezy Failure

              As you may or may not be aware, I’m a garage sale/estate sale-aholic. I love a bargain.  I love finding things that I would not normally see in a store.  Estate sales are much more exciting because it’s usually a life-time worth of possessions that people are getting rid of.  Imagine all the hidden gems sitting in closets and kitchen cabinets just waiting for me to find them.

On occasion, I’ll find a great treasure of the highest magnitude and I can turn around and sell it on Ebay for a sweet profit.  I got a vintage one-piece jumpsuit for a dollar and sold it for fifty bucks.  I read US Weekly and I figured if the Kardashians wear stuff like that, then maybe it’s in fashion and worth a fortune.  Thanks Kourtney, you helped score me a hefty return on that one!  Honestly, those instances are few and far between.  Mostly I buy garbage that I can’t sell and I end up giving it my local thrift store.  But I digress.  I got extremely far off topic.  Today’s topic is the Squeezy Freezy.

At an estate sale a few weeks ago I stumbled upon a Squeeze Freezy, brand new in the box!  In case you’re asking yourself “what the hell is a squeezy freezy?” you would not be alone.  I had never heard of this either.  It is a magical beverage cup that turns any drink of your choosing into a slushie!  I am a slushie/slurpee/icee fanatic and I was beyond excited to find this heavenly item.  Why had no one thought of this before?  Here is the official product description of this amazing “as seen on tv” wonder:

sf

Squeezy Freezy is the quick and easy way for kids and adults to make their favorite slushies without a blender. Simply freeze the Squeezy Freezy polar cup, put the beverage in, and squeeze the cup to turn your drink into a frozen treat! Make slushies instantly with no ice, no blender and no mess with Squeezy Freezy! It turns any drink into a tasty slushy, just freeze and squeeze!”

I’m totally all over this! Even better, it was at the estate sale for the low, low price of a dollar.  And BRAND NEW IN THE UNOPENED BOX!

So I got home and carefully read the directions.  I’m notorious for doing things half-assed and not following instructions.  I was taking no chances with the squeezy freezy.  This could change my life.  I occupied myself for hours by thinking up all the fancy drink combinations I would soon be enjoying.

I read and re-read the directions.  Make sure you wash the cup before use (did that), make sure you freeze the cup AT LEAST SIX HOURS (I froze it for two days because the people who gave reviews on Amazon said this was very important that it be completely frozen), and make sure the beverage that you put in the cup is ALREADY COLD and not room temperature (I used apple-orange-pineapple juice from the fridge as well as coconut syrup from the fridge).  I wanted to add vodka, but I didn’t.  I was afraid that alcohol doesn’t freeze and it might mess up my inaugural squeezy freezy.  Nothing was keeping me from frozen happiness in a cup.  I was hell bent on making this work.

I did as I was directed and let the product sit before squeezing it.  You’re supposed to leave it sit for at least two minutes.  Some people said to wait longer.  I let it sit for six minutes and then squeezed as if my life depended on it.  Nothing happened.  Nothing remotely close to slush.  I let the beverage sit for another six minutes before my second attempt.  Picture a very frustrated person squeezing a cup like a maniac and getting no results.  My normal reaction would be to throw the damn thing across the room and start screaming.  However, this is a liquid beverage and that would NOT have been a wise idea for obvious reasons.

In summary, the squeezy freezy is a waste of money and I would not recommend purchasing this item.  I would recommend having vodka on hand so you can pour it in your apple-orange-pineapple/coconut syrup concoction to calm yourself down when the squeezy freezy yields no results.

As always, thanks for reading and have a great day!

Graphic Teasers

I am so excited because I just learned how to do a new computer thing. My new knowledge also came with some really cool technical difficulties! Here’s the story.

If you read my blog post from last week, you know my new hobby/obsession is contacting book reviewers on Facebook.  One blogger was kind enough to offer to put my graphic teaser on her facebook page.

After I googled to find out what a Graphic Teaser was, I had to go about making one.  Wow.  Bad idea.  I have a habit of getting addicted to new things.  I went to Pixabay and searched for some CCO Public Domain Images.  Now only three months ago I would have had NO idea what that last sentence even meant.  In case you don’t either, let me explain.  Any images that you want to use on a book cover or teaser image…well they can’t be someone else’s copyrighted image or you’ll get in MAJOR trouble.  You have to find Creative Commons (CCO) Public Domain Images that are Free for Commercial Use with No Attribution Required (you don’t have to find the source of the photo and give them credit for it).  Pixabay is a website that has a great variety of this type of image that can be used for making book covers and graphic teasers.  I could easily get addicted to Pixabay.  Awesome images.  That was STEP #1 in making a graphic teaser.

But that’s not where the REAL addiction comes in.  Once you go to Pixabay and find a lovely image, you now have the option to do all sorts of fancy edits.  This is STEP #2 in making a graphic teaser.  Once your Pixabay photo is saved, you then go to PICMONKEY to edit the photo.  Wow.  I never knew there were so many editing options.  It is simply amazing.  I could spend hours on there.

The technical difficulties came into play when it was time to SAVE the finished graphic teasers to my computer.  For some reason it saved two them in the APRIL 2016 Pictures folder, but the last one was nowhere to be found.  After some immediate frustration, I found that the last graphic teaser was saved in my MARCH 2014 Pictures folder.  Evidently I somehow time-traveled two years into the past during the making of my graphic teasers.  Very interesting.   Still not sure how that happened.

In case you’re curious…here are the graphic teasers I made.  The first two are quotes from Rocky in “My Dirty Detour.”  If you’re following my blog, then chances are very good that you’ve already read that book.

earth meme

HEA meme

 

The third graphic teaser really IS a teaser.  It’s from my second book which is currently 70% complete.

hand shake zeus

Curious to find out more about that book?  So am I!  That’s why I have to finish writing it.

As always, thanks again for reading and I hope you enjoyed my graphic teasers!

Facebook: Friend or Foe?

          An extremely important part of being an author is knowing how to market and promote your book.  By nature, I’m a very shy, introverted person, and I found this the most difficult aspect of the writing business.  After creating a website and signing up for a Goodreads Author Account, I asked myself if there was really more that was necessary.  The answer was a resounding “YES!”

Most authors have accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Amazon Author Profile, Author Website, Blog, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Kboards, and probably more that I’m unaware of.  So I decided I should bite the bullet and get a Facebook page.  Here’s a little story about my experience with that.

I joined up and created an author page.  I had the brilliant idea that I would join the groups that promoted Kindle Unlimited books, thinking I would advertise my book on there and everyone would jump to read it.  Ha ha ha.  It turns out that I was not the only one with this idea and new posts were created every five minutes, quickly burying my book at the bottom of the stack.  Facebook 1, Grace 0.  However, since I joined these groups that left me open to friend requests from people in the groups.  I got a lovely friend request from a gentleman who was standing naked in front of a cave.  I get the impression that this cave is where he lives and not a nice tourist destination that he just happened to be visiting.  Not judging.  Just an observation.  My next friend request was from a beautiful lady named Betty (all names have been changed to protect the innocent.  Or not so innocent in this case…read on….it’ll all make sense pretty soon).  So Betty looked nice and I accepted her friend request.  She could be a potential book customer and I don’t want to alienate anyone by turning down their friend request.  Betty’s profile was brand new and she had 6 friends already.  Her profile said she was a supermodel from California.  Wow.  I’m friends with a supermodel.  I bet she has fun supermodel friends that probably want to read my book, too.  I should pay attention to Betty.  I was playing on Facebook and some time passed and I noticed that Betty had about 60 more friends.  Keep in mind this was an hour later.  Now Betty’s friends were giving ME friend requests.  Interesting.  I looked at my newsfeed to see what my new friend Betty was posting.  I was treated to some tantalizing photos of Betty’s supermodel friends wearing G-strings and not much else.  No thank you, Betty.  Unfriend.  Which is a shame because Betty was now up to 184 friends.  Facebook 2, Grace 0.  I had a panic fit and suspended the ability for Facebook to give me any friend requests at all.  Better to be safe than sorry, right?

Fast forward to a few weeks ago.  I found out that a massive amount of book reviewers have Facebook pages and I was shooting myself in the foot with my crazy Facebook phobia.  So I gave it one more try.  I searched for romance novel reviewers and I found some amazing people.  There were so many reviewers that said they would love to review my book that I had to start writing notes to remember them all.  (Yes.  I have a spreadsheet.  I’m all about the spreadsheets.) I made some nice new non-naked-cave-dwelling, non-supermodel friends.  People with Facebook pages that were too busy to take on new reviews actually referred me to other people who WERE accepting new books.  Someone referred me to a page that was having authors sign up to do a takeover.  To qualify, you have to be a new author with under 1000 likes on your Facebook page.  Since I have 7 likes, I qualified!  Facebook 2, Grace 1!

Basically I’ve found that the Facebook Community is very supportive of new authors and extremely helpful in promoting their books.  I was amazed at the generosity and kindness of complete strangers.  It pretty much restored my faith in humanity.

So, in conclusion…Facebook is definitely a tool that no author should overlook.  Also, if it doesn’t work out as an author, there’s a cave somewhere with a man who wants to be my friend.  When one door closes, another one opens.  Never forget that!

As always, thanks for reading and have a great day!

Here is the link to my Facebook page in case you want to stop by and bump me up to 8 likes:     https://www.facebook.com/Grace-Risata-1692337781051007/

 

Can I get a Rewind?

                 I made a stupid mistake a few days ago and it got me thinking.  I came to the conclusion that my life is desperately in need of a rewind button.

What was the cause of all this deep contemplation of mine?  I seem to have computer issues on a daily basis and I accidentally hit “REPLY” instead of “FORWARD” on an email.  There are too many arrows without labels and I might have been in a hurry.  Completely NOT my fault.  I was trying to forward an email from one of my favorite book review blogs to a friend to tell her about a new book release that sounded amazing.  My email might have contained some profanity to describe how F-ing great the excerpt was.  I asked my friend later if she was going to pre-order the book and she had no idea what I was talking about.  Turns out she never got the email.  No problem.  I actually follow several blogs and I got more than one email about this particular book.  So I re-sent the email from a different blog I follow.   Awhile later I was deleting old emails and I realized I hit the “REPLY” instead of “FORWARD.”  Not once, but twice.  With two separate book bloggers who now probably think I’m insane.

This is an example of why I need a REWIND button.  Nothing too drastic, mind you.  I don’t need to have the ability to rewind five years or anything.  That’s way too long of a do-over and it would probably break the space-time continuum.  All I really need is five minutes.  Just enough time to take back that email or stupid comment that flew out of my mouth before I thought it through.  Or the time I wasn’t paying attention while I was driving and hit a parked car.  Or the time I put an aluminum pan in the microwave and almost burned the house down.

It would also be nice to repeat the great moments in life. Who wouldn’t like to hear that unexpected compliment again or replay the sweet thing that your significant other did for you?  Not to mention relive those spicy bedroom activities that left you breathless!

Ah…who am I kidding?  I would mostly use the rewind button for food.  Have you ever eaten something that tasted so mouth-wateringly fantastic that you wish you hadn’t eaten it just so you could eat it again?  Maybe that’s just me, but I could list a dozen things off the top of my head that I would rewind and eat again.  92% of them happen to belong in the dessert family, but that’s no shocker.

Don’t even get me started on what I would do with a fast forward button.  The possibilities are endless!

As always, thanks for reading and have a great day!

Happy April Fool’s Day!

 

I just wanted to take a minute to wish everyone a Happy April Fool’s Day and give you a reminder to watch out for people playing tricks on you today.  I also thought it would be fitting to share the story of my most memorable April Fool’s joke.

Once upon a time when I was about eight years old, my cousin was staying over at my house for the weekend.  He’s about two months younger than I am, and we’re both the youngest kids on that side of the family, so we usually fought like cats and dogs.

Well he got sick of my incessant talking (my book on Amazon is a 190,000 word romance novel.  I’m physically incapable of telling a short story and I’m very chatty in real life too) and he made me a bet to shut me up.  He said, “I’ll give you FIVE DOLLARS if you can go ten minutes without talking.”  Once I made him show me that he really had five bucks, the bet was on.

By some small miracle I managed to go nine minutes and 58 seconds without talking.  At the very last second, my cousin turned to me and said, “You did great, but I’m not giving you the money.  Guess what?  APRIL FOOL’s on YOU!”

I screamed and cried and tattled to my mom.  Unfortunately she took his side by explaining, “It was an April Fool’s joke, and a very good one at that, so just admit defeat and move on.  He got you good!”

Gee, thanks for the support, mom.

I must have spent another half hour crying in my room, so my cousin actually got way more than his 10 minutes of peace and quiet from me.

To this day, we still try and top each other with April Fool’s jokes.  Although we do get along great now, I’m still naming a nasty character after him in my next book.  Just for spite.  Eight year old me still holds a grudge!

Thanks for the inspiration Barry!

Happy April Fool’s and watch out everyone!!!!

Thanks for reading and have a great day.