New Release Spotlight! Gathered Around the Campfire – S’mores and Stories Under the Stars by Melody Carlson

New Release Spotlight Driftwood Dreams (4)

Celebrate the Great Outdoors 

Whether your idea of camping is in a tiny tent, a luxury RV, or somewhere in between, nothing beats having fun with family and friends in the fresh air. Relive favorite memories of childhood vacations and get excited for future outdoor adventures with these humorous and heartwarming recollections from bestselling author and camping enthusiast Melody Carlson.

Pack your gear and hit the road with Melody as you encounter:

  • Campfire Connections—how a simple offer of firewood sparks a friendship.
  • Lolly the Bear—an unexpected guest with a sweet tooth pays a morning visit.
  • The Worst Camping Trip Ever—a pregnant woman and a torrential downpour make for a hasty midnight departure.
  • Best-Laid Plans—all it takes is one unhappy camper to spoil an outing.
  • Fireworks on the Fourth—an explosive clash between generations ends with a promise of unconditional love

Along the way, you’ll enjoy inspirational quotes and practical tips to make your next camping experience even “s’more” of a success. So gather ‘round and get ready for some unforgettable stories.

 

Gathered Around the Campfire

Start reading now!

About the Author

melody carlsonMelody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors, etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including Romantic Time’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website.

Note: I am an Amazon Associate and may receive a small commission from book sales.

Some Thoughts on Mother’s Day Plus a Book Sale & Giveaway

Mother Day's Meme 2020

This weekend is Mother’s Day, not my favorite holiday. In the past I always felt torn on this day because I lived far from my mom and could not always get away to spend the day with her. Now, my mom is gone and we will never share another Mother’s Day, although she’s in my heart. Ironically, my daughter recently moved across the country with her new husband so I will not see her on Mother’s Day either, and that makes me sad. Which leads me to my next quote: Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing. Ricki Lake got that right. Raising children is not easy, yet it’s full of joy, and letting them go is difficult. Many people have told me I’ve done a good job as a mother to have raised a child with sturdy wings, capable of living her own life. We Facetime often, share recipes, gossip, and watch our favorite TV shows together, tethered by iPhones. But it’s not the same. If you’re a mother I’m sure you understand. My plans to visit her are on hold because of the virus, but as soon as it feels safe to travel I’ll be on my way and we’ll have a week’s worth of Mother’s Days. I wish you a happy Mother’s Day!

My Book Sale & Giveaway

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If you’ve read any of my books you might have surmised that strong mothers are at the heart of my stories. Resilient, independent women like my mom, who lost her husband at age 48 and raised four children on her own at a time when few women were single mothers. We endured many difficult times but Mom held us together, even at her own expense. As a tribute to Mom and all the mothers out there struggling to care for their families during these troubling times, I’m offering all of my stories with strong mothers at their core for free or on sale. This includes Sara in Blue Hydrangeas, who endured the loss of her 16-year old daughter; Devon in Swim Season, who served our nation after 911 as an Army nurse caring for our soldiers; Ino, the loving Italian mother in Ino’s Love who shares her gifts with a mother facing challenges raising her own children; and the she-bear of a mother Meg in the Daisy Hunter stories, rearing a large brood with not enough money and lots of love. You can pick up Blue Hydrangeas on a Kindle Countdown Deal at .99 starting May 9; Swim Season, also a Countdown Deal at .99 starting May 9, and the three short stories Ino’s Love, Collection, and Birthday Party for free on Book Funnel. Act now! These deals won’t last for long. Please share with your friends and family.

Happy Mother's Day

New Release Spotlight! I’ll Have Some of Yours, One Family’s Dementia Story by Annette Wick

New Release Spotlight-4

What my mother taught me about cookies, music, the outside, and her life inside a care home.

Annette Januzzi Wick longs to find the perfect care home for her proud, Italian mother, who is slipping further into dementia. In her memoir, Annette shares gripping truths about the mistakes she makes before ultimately finding a place where her mother develops a crush, heckles an Elvis impersonator, and magically bonds with her daughter through Frank Sinatra’s songs. Whether she is breaking up a fight between her mother and the Easter Bunny, advocating for her mother to avoid a tracheotomy, or struggling to duplicate her mother’s cookie recipes, Annette tries to balance the trials with the triumphs of being a daughter—and caregiver. But can she and her mother love without memory—or regret? I’ll Have Some of Yours is for anyone who longs to move past being a caregiver to find a deeply human and humane connection with someone you love.

Purchase I’ll Have Some of Yours Now


Annette Wick, AuthorAbout Annette Januzzi Wick

Annette Januzzi Wick grew up in northern Ohio. She graduated from the University of Akron with a Computer Science degree yet still sighs when her cell phone doesn’t work. For a time, she made her home in the Pacific Northwest until firmly planting her feet in Cincinnati. When she’s not writing, she is walking Cincinnati’s fifty-two neighborhoods or finding and making connections in the community.

Her writings have appeared in the Alzheimer’s Association Cornerstone, Erma Bombeck Humor Blog, Grief Becomes You: A Narrative of Loss, and Movers and Makers, and have received awards from Writer’s Digest, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Sinclair College, and USA Book News.

Annette is available for speaking events, book signings and writing workshops. Visit annettejwick.com to purchase her book or learn more. I’ll Have Some of Yours is also available for order through Amazon and major distributors.

Connect with Annette Wick

Website  (includes links to blogs)

Instagram

Facebook

Note: I am an Amazon Associate and may receive a small commission from book sales.

Father’s Day Memories: My Dad Left Us the Blueprint for How to Be a Great Dad

blueprint for a great dad

Celebrating Father’s Day is bittersweet for me because I suddenly and unexpectedly lost my own father at the tender age of 15. He suffered a heart attack at home one lazy Sunday morning and life was never the same. Ted “Bunky” Kasica was a good man,  and my brothers, mother, and I keenly felt his loss. It’s been 43 years, and I don’t believe any of us ever got over it. In his short life, he left us with many gifts, most importantly a blueprint for what makes a man a great father.

Dad was the 11th of twelve children born to Polish immigrants in South Boston. His own father unexpectedly died when he was just three years old. He never finished high school, but enlisted in the United States Army where he served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. In spite of his humble roots, his early life was one grand adventure. The Army took him out of Boston and stationed him in Germany and Austria for years. His love for that life is clearly documented in the few photographs I have of him as a young soldier: Parachuting out of airplanes, skiing in Austria, and competing as an amateur lightweight boxer.

Once home from the Army he soon met my mother and fell in love, married, and settled down at the age of 28 to a quiet life as a cabinetmaker, with four children, a mortgage, and an ailing heart. Continue reading