Personal · This Week's Five!

This Week’s Five!!!


Five things that made me happy this week:

  1. There was a really nice round of thunderstorms that made for some awesome sleeping weather this week.
  2. I’m listening to an audiobook and enjoying it immensely! (Review to come, of course.)
  3. Working in my garden always brings a smile to my face. Yesterday I also took several pinks from my mother-in-law’s yard and planted them in my own. Soon we’ll be the house overrun with pinks, but that’s ok with me, better than weeds.
  4. I haven’t really explored it yet, but during #k8chat a couple of weeks ago someone mentioned using this site for maps. It looks like it could be interesting.
  5. There are a lot of various changes going on right now. Despite the stress of those, I’m optimistic.

Bonus! Things I’m looking forward to:

  1. A visit from a friend
  2. Helping S. Usher Evans, J. Leigh Bralick, Christina McMullen, and S.K. Valenzuela at Dallas Fan Expo

How about you? What made you happy this week? What are you looking forward to?


Blog Tour – Death Under a Full Moon

Death Full Moon Banner


(Wilbarger County Series #2)


Dianne Smithwick-Braden

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Date of Publication: February 4, 2016

# of pages: 268 Continue reading “Blog Tour – Death Under a Full Moon”

Personal · Tag/Meme · This Week's Five!

This Week’s Five!!!


Hey guys! Here are five things that made me happy this week!

  1. Plants!


  2. img_20160521_110311.jpgI had a visitor in my garden! (Toad on the lettuce)
  3. We went to a friend’s beautiful wedding!
  4. My family is just amazing.
  5. The weather was pretty pleasant this week.

What’s made you smile this week?

Guest · LSBBT

How to be a Texan Book Tour and Giveaway!!!

Andrea Valdez

Illustrated by Abi Daniel

Genre: Texas Customs / Social Life / Humor
Date of Publication: May 3, 2016

# of pages: 208, 58 B&W Illustrations

Scroll down for Giveaway!

There are certain things every Texan should know how to do and say, whether your Lone Star roots reach all the way back to the 1836 Republic or you were just transplanted here yesterday. Some of these may be second nature to you, but others . . . well, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to have a few handy hints if, say, branding the herd or hosting a tamalada aren’t your usual pastimes. That’s where How to Be a Texan can help.

In a friendly, lighthearted style, Andrea Valdez offers illustrated, easy-to-follow steps for dozens of authentic Texas activities and sayings. In no time, you’ll be talking like a Texan and dressing the part; hunting, fishing, and ranching; cooking your favorite Texas dishes; and dancing cumbia and two-step. You’ll learn how to take a proper bluebonnet photo and build a Día de los Muertos altar, and you’ll have a bucket list of all the places Texans should visit in their lifetime. Not only will you know how to do all these things, you’ll finish the book with a whole new appreciation for what it means to be a Texan and even more pride in saying “I’m from Texas” anywhere you wander in the world.

A native Houstonian who has worked for Texas Monthly since 2006, Valdez is the editor of She has written on a wide range of subjects, including more than forty columns on activities every Texan should be able to do, which provided the inspiration for this book. She also helped Texas Monthly launch The Daily Post and  FOLLOW ON TWITTER


May 3 – May 17, 2016

Check out these other great stops on the tour!

5/3       Country Girl Bookaholic — Promo
5/4       It’s a Jenn World — Review
5/5       Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books — Author Interview #1
5/6       Forgotten Winds — Review
5/7       StoreyBook Reviews — Excerpt #1
5/8       All for the Love of the Word –- Page Preview #1
5/9       Book Chase — Review
5/10     Margie’s Must Reads  — Guest Post
5/11     My Book Fix Blog — Author Interview #2
5/12     Books and Broomsticks — Review
5/13     The Crazy Booksellers — Page Preview #2                 
5/14     The Page Unbound — Excerpt #2  
5/15     Hall Ways Blog  — Review        
5/16     Byers Editing Reviews & Blog — Promo
5/17     Missus Gonzo — Review
   blog tour services provided by

Gardening with Julia – Weekly Update (8&9) and Transplanting Tomatoes

Garden Graphic (3)

Hey there! I know I haven’t been as regular lately with my weekly updates, but sometimes life happens, ya know? Here are Update Videos 8 & 9, and a text recap below.

Continue reading “Gardening with Julia – Weekly Update (8&9) and Transplanting Tomatoes”

Personal · Tag/Meme · This Week's Five!

This Week’s Five!!!


Here are five things that have made me smile over the past couple of weeks.

  1. My tomato seedlings seem to have turned a corner, and are starting to look strong and ready for transplanting.
  2. I received the most perfect Mother’s Day card from my son.
  3. I’ve read several great books in my position at BookFish Books.
  4. Attending NTTBF for the second year was great fun! (Post to come soon)
  5. I’ve been making homemade tortillas. I haven’t exactly figured out how to make them round (or even semi-round), but boy do they taste good!

How about you? What’s made you smile recently?

Resource Review · writing

[Writing] Resource – CMOS Hyphenation Table

[Writing] A Byers Editing Blog Series for Writers, Inspiring confidence and imparting the skills for success

Do hyphens drive you crazy? Did you know that the Chicago Manual of Style has a hyphenation table for compound modifiers and commonly used prefixes*? Not only is it in the Manual, it is also available online. I love being able to reference this on my computer, especially if I’m not sitting right next to my copy of the Manual. Click here (PDF – new window) to check it out.

Compound modifiers are those multiple-word phrases that modify a noun (also called phrasal adjectives or adjectival phrases). The Manual‘s general rule is that if the modifier comes before a noun, it is hyphenated, and if the noun comes first, no hyphen is needed. Of course this is just a general rule, refer to your style guide or dictionary if you’re ever unsure.

*These are not the only times that hyphens are appropriate. The main function of a hyphen is to aid in clarity and readability.

What’s your experience with hyphens? Does their usage come easily to you, or is it something you struggle with?


#RockMyTBR · Tag/Meme

#RockMyTBR – April Recap


The #RockMyTBR Reading Challenge is hosted by Sarah K, The YA Book Traveler. Click here for more info.

[My #RockMyTBR list]

April Recap

April  went about the same as January and February. I didn’t read any books from my #RockMyTBR list. In fact, I didn’t read many (published) books at all. Oops.

How did your challenge go this month?  Leave me a link and I’ll check out your recap!

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves – May 1

Stacking the Shelves

Hello there! Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. Usually a weekly meme, mine pop up on a monthly basis. These are the books I’ve acquired since the April edition.


More Than Music by Elizabeth Briggs

For Love or Legacy by Ruth Cardello

Talk of the Town by Lisa Wingate


Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

What books have you acquired recently?