My Laziness FINALLY pays off…

Hello, people of the world.  I’d like to share my latest adventure with you.   (No, this has nothing to do with books, writing, or spammy blog posts begging you to buy my stuff.  What?  Did you just audibly sigh in relief?  Geez…I’m not THAT bad.)

This blog post is a story of my latest purchase at a rummage sale.  In case you weren’t aware, my husband and I are addicted to seeking out estate sales, rummage sales, and thrift stores.  We search for hidden treasures to resell on Ebay and Craigslist.  No, we have not discovered any Picasso Paintings or buried pirate treasure yet.  If I do, trust me, you’ll be the first to know.

Here’s our strategy:  my husband combs through the newspaper and Craiglist, searching for the best sales.  Usually estate sales yield more rewards than rummage sales.  I also love going in people’s houses and seeing old décor from 1974.  Last week we went into an average house that appeared to have belonged to a kindly old lady.  Then you entered the basement.  Holy shit!  Party Central!  There were colored strobe lights on the ceiling, a MASSIVE bar area that would have given any pub a run for its’ money, and tons of party decorations.  If those walls could talk…they would write a story better than anything I could have come up with.  But I digress.  We’re actually here to talk about Exercise Bikes.  This is the reason my books have 125,000 words.  I can’t stay focused.

During a trip to a different estate sale roughly two weeks ago, I stumbled upon a recumbent exercise bike in someone’s basement.  Let me show you a photo so you can understand.  Evidently a recumbent bike is different from a normal exercise bike because the pedals are situated at a different angle.

It looks pretty darn close to this.

bike 2

So the bike had a price tag of ten dollars.  In most cases, there are always exercise machines sitting in someone’s basement because people don’t ever actually USE them.  People start with great intentions of getting fit and changing their lives.  That never happens.  So this particular bike looked brand new and even had the COBWEBS to signify how often it was put into service.  It had a fancy battery operated display that showed progress around a lighted track so you could watch as you pedaled.  It also showed speed, distance traveled, and calories burned.

One of my friends has this type of exercise bike and I know they cost a LOT more money than the standard bike.  So I knew it was a bargain at ten dollars.  I immediately motioned for my husband to come over and showed him my find.  He was unimpressed at the prospect of having to carry the damn thing up the stairs.  I explained that we absolutely needed this so I could be cool like my friend, get fit and muscular, and that I would totally 100% use it ALL THE TIME.  Of course he knew better, but he merely asked, “Where are you going to put it?”

This is a valid question.  He must have known that if it went down to our basement, I would never use it.  So I told him that I would put it in our spare bedroom (it’s not really a bedroom, but actually an “office” because it has a computer and a desk.  It’s actually the desk that he gave to an ex-girlfriend as a present when she graduated college.  She never took it, so he’s had it for the past THIRTY YEARS.  Yes, I hate that fucking desk.  Yes, I plan to smash it with an axe the first chance I get.  No, I have not had a chance in the twenty years that we’ve been together.  One of these days though…oh yeah….you WATCH OUT!).

I explained that I could pedal my fancy bike while I read magazines, or plotted out new story ideas, or did anything else creative like that.  He knows I love to read, so I think that helped sell him on the idea.

I stood guard by the bike so no one else could snap it up, while my husband went to inform the lady that it was indeed sold.  He likes to dicker on price and see what kind of a deal he can get.  I would have been happy to pay the full ten dollars, but he did no such thing.

He came back downstairs and happily informed me that he got an even BETTER deal on the price.

HIM:  “I told the lady that we might be interested in the bike for the right price.”

ME:  “You got it for LESS than ten dollars?”

HIM:  “How does a dollar sound?”

ME:  “No fucking way!”

So…we got the bike for a dollar, I was extremely excited and texted my friend about the deal of the CENTURY, and my new shiny cobwebbed toy found a home in my office.

But the story doesn’t end there.  Because that would be boring.

I adjusted it to my perfect foot length so I could reach the pedals comfortably.  The display did not work because it needed a new battery.  No problem.  I went and got some fresh batteries.  What?  You need a screwdriver to remove the battery holder plate because it’s in a totally inconvenient location?  WHATEVER.  So I huffed and puffed and contorted myself to unscrew, replace the batteries, and rescrew.  My husband jokingly said, “That’s probably the most exercise you’ll get out of that damn thing.”

Yes, he knows me too well.

So, batteries carefully in place, I started pedaling my ass off.  After being totally impressed with the speed in which I was whizzing around the track….which seemed too good to be true….I realized it was in KILOMETERS and not MILES.  Damn it!  I pulled out the book (because this gem actually came with the ORIGINAL owner’s manual) and discovered how to fix the display to show miles.  Success?  WRONG!  To get the crap-heap to change the display, I had to reboot the system.  What does this involve?  Any guesses?  If you said, “Take out the battery,” then you were correct.

Swear.  Get screwdriver.  Take out battery.  Find hidden switch on back of bike.  Flip switch to say Miles and not Kilometers.  Swear some more.  Replace the battery.  Screw in the screws.  Swear some more.

Now I’m FINALLY ready to do this properly.

Did we live happily ever after?  Fuck no!  What’s the problem now?  Evidently at the tender age of 40, my body decides it does not WANT to exercise and my damn knee started popping.

Well I’m sure as hell not going to blow out my knee and spend thousands of dollars for some fancy bionic knee surgery so I can become a test subject experiment and get filled with lead like I’m fucking Wolverine.  (Ok…adamantium is not lead, and it would actually be freaking AWESOME to have Wolverine claws pop out, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Obviously I made the tough decision to sell the exercise bike.

Yes, I’m lazy.

Yes, I put the bike on Craigslist.

Yes, I sold it within TWENTY-FOUR HOURS of the listing and made a sweet profit.

How much?

I sold that bike for a whopping $30.

I’m that much closer to my retirement home in Hawaii.

And we all lived happily ever after.

 

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Grace

Number FIVE is ALIVE!

No, the subject of this blog post has absolutely NOTHING to do with the movie “Short Circuit” with Steve Guttenberg and Ally Sheedy (although if you did pick up that reference, good for you!).  I wouldn’t promote that movie because I’m sure at some point it had a scene where the robot guy got deactivated and I probably started sobbing my eyes out.  It was from 1988 (when I was 12) and I’m ashamed to admit that I’m a horrible crier when it comes to movies.  If there is an animal or an alien (E.T.) or a robot that has human tendencies…and it gets hurt…then you better pass me a box of kleenex.  However, if there is anything close to something touching where human emotion is required (for example if a person gets sick or dies) then I’m usually totally heartless.  Why?  I have no idea.  That’s just the way I am.  Don’t get me started on those damn Disney movies either.  Bambi?  Hell no.  Care for an example?

Person I’m watching the movie with:  “Are you crying?  For real?  Over a CARTOON?  You do realize this is ‘Lilo and Stitch’ right?  It’s not real.  It’s all make believe!”

ME:  “I’m certainly NOT crying.  Geez!”

Person I’m watching the movie with:  “Then why are your eyes all red and watery?”

ME:  “I have allergies.  Leave me the hell alone.”

But I digress.  This post is supposed to be informing you about the release of my FIFTH full length novel, “My Dirty Vacation.”  This is the FIFTH book I wrote and it’s LIVE on Amazon as of today, May 7, 2017.  Hence the blog post…Number FIVE is ALIVE.  Woot Woot!

Since I’m a writer and this is my blog, it’s absolutely necessary to spam you with all the information on my new book.  Here is the blurb and the buy links and the cover.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35080627  (Goodreads link…so you can add it to your TBR list and all your friends will see and they will think, “Damn…that books looks AWESOME” and then put it on THEIR TBR list and then it will go VIRAL and the whole world will know me.)

https://www.amazon.com/My-Dirty-Vacation-Comedy-Adventure-ebook/dp/B071L5359F  (Amazon link to buy the book on AMAZON US Website.  If you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for FREE and I get paid for page reads.)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071L5359F   (Amazon link to buy the book on AMAZON UK Website.  If you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for FREE and I get paid for page reads.  My book actually went ‘LIVE’ about five hours ago and I already sold TWO COPIES.  Where did I sell them?  Amazon UK.  Love my British friends!)

Blurby Blurb (Because you probably want to know what the book is about):

When you think of Las Vegas, what comes to mind?  Most likely it’s fine dining, extravagant shows, and lots of gambling.  Not in my world.  Not when you’re surrounded by alpha males with a penchant for violence who ignore your meticulously crafted itinerary and expect you to ‘go with the flow.’  Why does nothing EVER turn out like I plan?”

Come along for the ride with ex-mafia enforcer Rocky, his germaphobe girlfriend Violet, and a few of their friends as they take a little excursion to fabulous Las Vegas.  Emotions run high, loyalties are tested, and danger lurks around every corner.  With new villains emerging and game changing opportunities presented, their vacation is anything but relaxing.

Please note:  This story contains a zombie survival paintball course, popcorn eating fish, several curse words (the heroine has a fondness for swearing), and a few descriptive bedroom scenes.  Vegas has a tendency to bring out the wild side in some of us…and things that happen in Sin City can get pretty exciting.

This 96,500 word full length novel is the second book in the Dirty Detour series, but can be read and understood as a stand-alone story.  Each and every one of my books has a Happily Ever After, no cheating, no cliff hangers, and a butt load of humor.  Sit back, strap in, and enjoy the journey!

My Dirty Vacation Amazon Cover

Thank you very much for reading and have a great day!

Why are vacations so short? (Vacation story with photos!)

I don’t do very well with vacations.  I know, you’re thinking to yourself, “What the hell is her problem?”  I’ll tell you what my problem is…

My husband wanted to get away from work for a few days and he suggested going to the beach and renting a condo for five days.  Our plane would leave at 7am on the last day, so that really doesn’t count as a day.  The plane arrived at 3pm on the first day, so I’m not counting that either.  What’s my problem then?

Packing:  I ran through my house like a crazy person trying to find everything I might need for three full days away.  What did I want to pack?  Everything.  We’re hoarders and we can’t leave home for five minutes without the insane need to bring everything with us.  A million panic scenarios run through my mind.  What if I spill something on my shirt and I run out of clothes? (That’s why they have laundromats).  What if I get sick and need cough medicine/cough drops/a thermometer/anti-biotic cream? (That’s why they have grocery stores and pharmacies).  What if I get hungry on the plane and don’t want to pay $4 for a small bag of crackers? (oh shit, better bring food for the plane!)  I usually ending up needing NOTHING that I actually packed and everything that I didn’t pack.  (This time I could have used a different bathing suit.  My husband asked me why the hell my bikini bottoms were hanging off my ass to the point that it looked like I shit myself.  I had no reasonable answer other than, “DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO FIND ONE OF THESE THINGS THAT FITS?!”)

TRAVEL: I’m not a fan of the airplane and sitting next to strangers.  I booked a window seat.  I paid EXTRA for this.  (Okay…I had to pay extra for EVERYTHING on the flight…we each got one “personal bag” like a purse or a small backpack, but the carry on cost EXTRA.  Since I wasn’t going to pay for TWO carry-ons because I’m insanely cheap, that meant I had to cram a house worth of stuff into one purse, one backpack, and ONE carry on.  I also had to pay extra to choose my seats.  I’m honestly surprised they didn’t charge me for the use of the oxygen on the plane).  So we board the plane by groups and for some odd reason my group went first and my husband’s group went third.  Totally weird.  I got to our row first and I see some lady sitting in my window seat.  I said, “Um…I think you’re in the wrong seat” and probably had a very grouchy look on my face.  She pointed to her leg (in a cast) and said, “They let me sit here.”  Well I can’t argue with her, now can I?   She was also in her 60s so I didn’t throw down.  My husband gets on the plane and he’s all, “who cares?  Sit in the aisle!” and he’s consoling her about her leg like it’s a fucking heart transplant or something.  “Are you okay ma’am?  How did that happen?  Let me know if I’m taking up too much room.”  EYE ROLL!

I’m part of the 99% and NOT the ONE PERCENT:  The condo that my husband found on AirBnB was absolutely amazing.  I’m talking granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, a breathtaking view of the lagoon behind the condo, not one but TWO screened in balcony porches, and walls that are not REALLY walls but instead are floor to ceiling window doors (I guess you’d call them sliding glass doors…I’m a writer…I should know words to describe things!) facing the lagoon.  Not sure if it was a lagoon or a marina or a canal or what.  It was fancy water that boats traveled to and fro upon.  I have none of these things at home.  And I want them ALL.  I’m sorry, I forgot to mention the most important part.  There was a swimming pool.  No.  There were TWO swimming pools.  And no one was using them.  So it was like I had my own private pool for THREE STRAIGHT DAYS!  I swam laps and pretended I was a movie star.  Okay…that’s a lie.  I pretended I was Michael Phelps and did every single swimming stroke I knew and some that I made up.  While I did this, my mind wandered and I came up with a new book plot.  For the present time, we’ll call it “Sexy Condo Story.”

Food is Weird:  The food on vacation is very hit or miss and I usually love it or hate it.  I got expensive shrimp that tasted dry and flavorless.  I got cheaper shrimp that tasted amazing because they added mango salsa on top.  I want to live in a place that has mangos and salsa combined.  I currently do not live in such a fantasy land.

I annoy the native species:  While this is not a problem for me, per se, it annoys my husband to no end.  I feel the need to get as close as possible to every wildlife creature and take pictures of it like I’m a National Geographic Photographer.  No pelican, gecko, or bird was safe from my camera.  At one point I threw a bread crust to the bird on the beach and got in trouble.  My husband said, “You’re going to KILL IT!  That bird can’t digest all the preservatives in white bread!”  Oh really?  Then why the fuck did he lunge for my bread crust like he hadn’t eaten in a week and it was as appealing as shrimp covered in mango salsa?  Mmhmm…that bird devoured my bread crust and came back for more.  Unfortunately I had none to give him.  Sorry bird friend, that sandwich was too good to share any more with you.

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(Actual photo of Actual Bird eating the Actual Crust I Actually threw for him.  Her?  Not sure.  Pretty bird though!)

I’m obsessed with time:  What time is it here?  What time is it at home?  Are we missing meals?  I’m not hungry because we’re on vacation and my time schedule is messed up.  Should I be hungry?  Why am I going to sleep so early?  Why am I waking up so early?  Is my phone the right time?  Did it switch over?  Are we late for the flight?  Why are we so early for the flight?  Why do I care?  I’m neurotic, that’s why.

I dislike coming home again after the vacation:  It seems like you plan and get excited for the vacation for MONTHS… and then before you know it, you spent all that money and the damn thing is over with and you’re stuck back at work staring at the clock thinking to yourself, “Exactly 48 hours ago I was swimming in my private pool living like a rock star and now I’m answering phones and forcing myself to be polite to customers.  How the hell did this happen?  Why did I come back?”

Sigh.  Tis better to have vacationed and returned home to the bland routine than to have never vacationed at all.

I also got a sunburn on my feet.

But I did see a pretty sunset.

IMG_0968

(Actual sunset that my husband actually took with his camera.  Pretty!)

In case you’re in the mood for a vacation, but can’t get the time off work or don’t have the extra money right now…maybe you can take a mental vacation without ever leaving home.  What the hell am I talking about?  Take a trip to a fictional world full of amazing characters you haven’t met yet…READ A BOOK!

Here are a few suggestions to get you started.  Remember I told you I signed up to do the Newsletter Swap Program where authors promote me and I promote them in return?  Here is a mix of books I’ve read lately OR authors that have requested to be included in my newsletter.  Broaden your horizons and read on…

1) Kinky Carnival Games by Chris Genovese… find out what happens when Mandy goes on a blind date to a carnival…   (this book was freaking AWESOME…total 5 star read!)   99 cents on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Kinky-Carnival-Games-Romance-Novella-ebook/dp/B00TC3608M

2) Forging History by Hanleigh Bradley… this book comes out TODAY (May 1) so you can be one of the first to grab it and check it out!  It’s book 3 in the trilogy, so you won’t have to wait to find out what happens because the series is finished!

https://www.amazon.com/Forging-History-Hanleigh-Bradley-ebook/dp/B06XBRM4ZY

3) Serving Strangers by Mr. Silence… this is FREE on Instafreebie and it looks sexy as hell…this is one of the newsletter swap people so I have no idea what the story is about…maybe it’s not for the faint of heart?  Consider yourself warned!  Here’s the blurb:  Rachel is a twenty-year-old waitress who only wants to earn enough money to take care of her sick mother and get back into school. When a handsome new boss, Richard, shows up one night with a new idea to boost business with sexier uniforms, all Rachel can think about is the impact on her tips, and Richard’s charming smile. However, things get out of hand when Richard makes the uniform a little too revealing. Rachel finds herself in an uncomfortable situation with a group of intoxicated customers who, with Richard’s encouragement, can’t seem to behave themselves. Before she realizes it, Rachel is giving a level of service she never imagined.

https://www.bookboast.com/link/3103/27583

4) Bedazzled by Madison Michael    (Looks good, but I haven’t read it)  $1.99 on Amazon

A sexy twist on a cinderella story….

Keeli Larsen, a modern day Cinderella, dreams of success, jewelry designs and the out-of-her-league, gorgeous man in the penthouse office – her very own Prince Charming. Although they have never spoken, a crowded elevator, a chance encounter and a misplaced hand are about to change everything.

Millionaire and sexy hunk, Wyatt Lyons Howe is trapped by four generations of family loyalty and tradition until a brief moment with Keeli rocks his staid world. Is Keeli his ticket to freedom or Is she just an opportunist looking for a bankroll? Unsure of her motives, but unable to stay away, Wyatt is bedazzled.

https://www.amazon.com/Bedazzled-Beguiling-Bachelors-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01EUJBPZA

5)  The Billion Heir by Nikky Kaye  99 Cents on Amazon (Also looks good, but I haven’t read it yet)

If you had to reform the public image of a bad boy billionaire, where would you start? Well, hiding your own scandalous past might help. You can’t spell “manners” without a man, but if an urban cowboy can fight in a tuxedo and scare away paparazzi… Is he more trouble than he’s worth?

https://www.bookboast.com/link/2501/24341

5.5) Crash into me by DD Sparxx   $2.99 on Amazon  (haven’t read it but the cover is hot as hell!  Here’s the blurb:  Ashford Westinghouse is handsome, well built, and successful. He certainly doesn’t see himself as lonely. He often uses one night stands as a coping mechanism to help him blot out the pain of losing the only woman he’s ever loved. She left him without a hint as to why and he has no desire to ever let his heart get destroyed like that again.

Isabella Alfieri is beautiful, independent and successful in her own right. Her world is almost perfect, but she still can’t seem to forget the man she loved and left seven years ago. And she’ll never forget the reason she had to go. She’s kept her secret all this time. Aside from her family, there’s only one other person that knows her secret and she would never tell a soul.

What will happen when fate intervenes and puts her on the flight he’s co-piloting? The flight that sets them on course for their worlds to come crashing back together after all this time.

**Crash Into Me is a full-length, standalone romance with an HEA, no cliffhanger and no cheating.**

https://www.bookboast.com/link/2493/27606

6)  Sheer Indulgence (Free on Instafreebie…since it’s free…why not?)

Ten tantalizing, titillating, tear-jerking, pulse racing, fall-in-love today book samples from some of today’s hottest writers.

https://www.bookboast.com/link/2781/24656

7) Kiss me, Promise me by Brea Viragh  (99 cents on Amazon..haven’t read it yet)

He’s arrogant, hot, and hard to resist…can she keep saying no?

Travel back to the mountains of Heartwood in this steamy, small-town contemporary romance.

https://www.bookboast.com/link/2697/24811

8)  Queen of Emeralds by Kelsey McKnight  ($3.99 on Amazon)

Historical Romance that actually had me hooked since page one.  Read it and loved it!

British heiress Charlotte Holloway never had any interest in marrying…
However, a woman in Victorian England spends her life in the control of men, making finding a husband necessary.  The handsome Scottish laird Conner MacLeod crashes the social scene. He sets her body on fire with a mere touch, but he has a bad reputation of leaving a string of women in his wake. Nonetheless, when Conner offers his emerald queen sanctuary in his Highland castle, Charlotte flees with him into the night…but those who wish to trap her are never far behind.

https://www.amazon.com/Queen-Emeralds-Scottish-Stone-Book-ebook/dp/B06XT66GGR

9) Powerless by Liz Gavin  (Free on Amazon!)

I just grabbed a copy because I saw it was free…  Here’s the blurb…

This short-story is intended for adults only! It contains graphic language plus kinky scenes involving a stressed out stock broker, her gorgeous ex-jock assistant, and a naughty young receptionist. Plus first-time lesbian action, naughty toys, and light BDSM.

https://www.amazon.com/Powerless-Liz-Gavin-ebook/dp/B00FHNW530

10) Come they told me by Eden Connor  (Free on Amazon)

I read it….it’s a hot menage story m/f/m and it’s FREE!

https://www.amazon.com/Come-They-Files-Banger-Lever-ebook/dp/B00R8TCJQ4

Thanks again for reading and have a great vacation…whether you’re traveling near or far or never leave the house at all!

Grace