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New Year? New Reads! Blog Hop Your Way through these 99 Cent Book Deals!

Did Santa give you a gift card? Whoo hoo! The party is on, y’all! A whole bunch of authors, including me, have put their books on sale for 99 cents so you can celebrate the new year with some new reads! So, if Santa tucked a gift card in your stocking, take a moment to check out the books I’m offering, then hop your way through the links at the bottom of this post to see what other authors have for you today! Psst! If you’re on Twitter, help spread the word using the hashtag #NewBooks4Me. My 4 books are 99 cents through January…

Cover Reveal: Abducted Life by Patricia Josephine

Abducted Life by Patricia Josephine Whoo hoo! My pal, Patricia, has a brand new book coming out! I had the pleasure of beta-reading Abducted Life and I’ve gotta say: It’s a real page turner that will keep you guessing until the end! So, without further ado, let’s reveal that cover as advertised. Check it out below: About the book: Abducted Life by Patricia Josephine: Savannah Janowitz’s perfect life was destroyed the night she and her boyfriend vanished without a trace. When she reappears a year later––alone––she’s a shell of her former self. Robbed of her popularity and her boyfriend, she has no…

Understanding Cemetery Symbols: Book & YouTube Series Trailer by Tui Snider

Book Trailer & YouTube Series Trailer Yee haw! I finally made a video for Messages from the Dead: Understanding Historic Cemetery Symbols. The video is actually a two-for-one deal. It’s a Book Trailer *and* a YouTube Series Preview all in one. About the book: If you are a genealogist, taphophile, history buff or paranormal researcher, you might enjoy my upcoming book, Messages from the Dead: Understanding Historic Cemetery Symbols. Basically, it’s a field guide explaining the meaning behind historic cemetery symbols. About the YouTube Series: Each episode of my YouTube series will focus on the meaning behind one historic cemetery symbol or interesting graveyard…

#Review Log Cabin Guest Haus in Cisco, Texas

Weekend getaway in West Texas Last weekend, my husband, father-in-law, and I had a weekend getaway at the Log Cabin Guest Haus in Cisco, Texas. [Please note: While our lodging was provided free of charge and this post may contain affiliate links, the opinions expressed here are wholly my own.] Historic cabin purchased on eBay! This historic log cabin dates back to the 1840’s but it was not built here in Texas. BnB hosts, John and Mary Kay Williamson, purchased the building on eBay, yes, eBay! I had no idea you could buy a house on that site, but there…

Overwhelm, Dirty Dishes & How Marie Forleo Does it All!

Trying to do it all… Am I the only creative person out there who routinely bites off more than they can chew, then needs the Heimlich Maneuver to keep from choking on their overly ambitious to-do list? It’s one of those life lessons I seem destined to learn over and over again! (Do you have any life lessons like that?) Overwhelm is like dirty dishes Overwhelm is a bit like dirty dishes. You can start off with a clean, gleaming kitchen, but then someone leaves a dirty spoon in the sink, and that hardly seems worth bothering with. But then…

Quirky Texas: Jesus in Cowboy Boots

Quirky Statue in Paris, Texas The following is an adapted excerpt from my Amazon Best Seller: Unexpected Texas. Enjoy! The north Texas town of Paris is home to a quirky statue known locally as the “Jesus in cowboy boots.” This statue is actually the 20-foot grave marker honoring a man named Willet Babcock, who died in 1888. While impressive, it would hardly be the quirky tourist attraction that it has become were it not for the unusual footwear worn by the cross-bearing figure it depicts; instead of the bare feet or sandals one often associates with Biblical folk, this one…

C is for Coral Castle, a Quirky Florida Must-See

Quirky Architecture OK, so it’s not quite coral, nor is it truly a castle, but the Coral Castle Museum (28655 S Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33033) is a delightfully quirky structure, and a great example of someone marching to their own drummer. The grounds include a variety of unusual rock buildings and furniture carved from over 1000 tons of oolite limestone, including a water fountain, a sundial, a crescent moon, tables, and living areas. Inspired a Billy Idol Song As the legend goes (and, really, how could a place like this not have a legend behind it) a Latvian immigrant…

Are Pick-up Trucks the State Vehicle of Texas?

Here in Texas we have everything from an official state cooking vessel (Dutch oven) to an official state dinosaur (Pauluxysauras Jonesi.) We don’t yet have an official state vehicle, but if we did, it would surely be the pick-up truck. One in four Texans owns a pick-up truck, and they are often customized. Pick-ups aren’t just for macho men, either. In my neighborhood, I sometimes see a bright pink one with “Daddy’s Girl” emblazoned across the back window. My favorite local customized truck, however, sports a purple and green Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle theme. (Every time I see it drive…

Guest Post: All About Jackalopes

Enjoy this Guest Post by David “Sumoflam” Kravetz I rarely have guest posts, but here you go! I’ve been so busy getting my quirky Texas travel guide together that I asked the prolific traveler/photographer and all-around nice guy, David “Sumoflam” Kravetz if he could put together a Jackalope photo essay. I hope you enjoy it: Jackalope Spotting – a fun road trip tradition So, you are a fan of the Jackalope? Having traveled all over the country I have seen my share of Jackalopes…you know, the furry rabbit looking creatures with antelope (and sometimes deer) antlers! My first inkling of…

Photo Essay: Stalked by a Deer

A Little Island You’ve Probably Never Heard Of Some of my family members live on Lummi, a lush island off the coast of Washington State. Every time I visit, we walk the beach at least once a day. We always try to make it down for low tide. That’s the best time to find agates and seashells, the best time to peer into tidal pools to see what they reveal. No Palm Trees Here Of course, we’re not talking tropical style beaches with palm trees and pale sand. This is the Pacific Northwest, folks. We’re talking a different kind of…

Quirky Headstones: These Boots Were Made for Walker

Aurora Cemetery With over 1800 graves, Aurora Cemetery claims more inhabitants than the town itself, with its population of 376. As you might imagine, not much happens in Aurora, Texas. There’s no courthouse, no historic town square, no central shopping area at all. There’s so little to this town that it’s nearly impossible to tell you are there. Bizarre Incident Mentioned on its Historical Marker Even so, Aurora Cemetery attracts a steady stream of curiosity seekers. They come to look for the grave of a space alien who allegedly crashed there in 1897. The bizarre incident is even mentioned on…

10 Quirky Facts about the Space Needle

I’m not much of a sports fan, but I did grow up in Washington State, so I can’t help but feel excited that the Seattle Seahawks made it to the Superbowl this year. That’s why, for this week’s world travel post, I’m posting a photo of the Space Needle along with ten unusual facts about the Emerald City’s famous icon. I hope you enjoy it: Ten Quirky Facts about the Space Needle The Space Needle was originally called the Space Cage During the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, the Space Needle was topped with a 40-foot high flame which burned…

Where does Poetry Hide?

OctPoWriMo Day 2 prompt: Where does poetry hide? Where Does Poetry Hide? Poetry gathers dust in the corner It peers up through stains on the floor Thriving in haphazard textures It’s all this and so much more Poetry lives in all we rush past Undervalued, overlooked, swept aside I found one once tucked in a napkin Shivering and trembling inside It’s what our mind crops out of the picture It’s at the heart of many mistakes All it wants is to be acknowledged If ignored it will make your heart ache – Tui Snider 31 Days: Today’s photos Today’s photos…

Prejoicing for OctPoWriMo, Blogtoberfest & 31 Days

Day One: Prejoicing! I want to share last night’s dream: I’m walking through Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle with my pal, Woofmutt, when an elderly shopkeeper waves us over and asks, “Do you kids like words?” “Sure,” I say. “Of course,” adds Woofmutt. “We’re writers.” “Thought so,” the man says. He then launches into a sales pitch while sliding a piece of wood out of a rough burlap sack. It’s a varnished board, about two feet long, six inches high and thin as a candy bar. The man explains that, by using special tools included with his kit, we…

Traveler’s Show & Tell: It’s a Big One!

  Welcome to the July 2013 edition of traveler’s show and tell. As you can see, this edition of the Traveler’s Show & Tell is a big one. Some of the bloggers have included their Twitter names, so you can look them up there as well as leave comments on their posts. I hope you enjoy this armchair world tour! Zhu presents London’s Parliament Square posted at Correr Es Mi Destino, saying, “Par­lia­ment Hill is one of my favourite land­marks in Ottawa : it’s a scenic place with great views on the Ottawa River, and there is always some­thing going…

Literary Nails: Fashion Fun for Readers & Writers

Nail Polish as an Ice Breaker According to The Colorful History of Nail Polish, the custom of painting fingernails dates all the way back to ancient Babylon, when males wore different shades to denote their social status, with lower class wearing green and upper class wearing black. For me, nail polish became a part of my routine when I was a barista. Swiping finely ground espresso off of a portafilter all day can give you brown-tinged fingernails no matter how many times you wash your hands. Keeping my nails clipped short and brightly painted was cute-yet-practical solution. I no longer…

Hemingway Cats in Key West, Florida

The Old Man & the Polydactyl Cat Not only was Ernest Hemingway fond of cats, but his name has become synonymous with a particular feline genetic mutation, one that causes cats to have extra toes. While these polydactyl cats are not an actual breed, they are often referred to as, “Hemingway Cats,” in his honor. It all started down in Key West…[CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS & READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE] Tweet This Post

Review: US National Tour of Traces in Dallas, TX

Traces at AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Winspear Opera House The AT&T Performing Arts Center’s 2012-2013 Lexus Broadway Series ends on a high note with the US National Tour of Traces now playing at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas, Texas. Opening night for this limited run was spectacular and well-attended. It was also peppered with applause throughout and received a spontaneous standing ovation at the end. What a show! Traces: Jackie Chan meets Stomp You know how Jackie Chan performs crazy gymnastic stunts in real-life settings, and how Stomp performs intricate percussion pieces with ordinary objects, like buckets and brooms?…

A to Z Texas: Z is for Zoo in Fort Worth

Fort Worth Zoo – An Award Winning Top Attraction The Fort Worth Zoo consistently ranks among the top ten zoos in America, occasionally taking first place. Zagat Surveys even named it 19th out of the 50 Overall Top-rated Attractions in the entire USA! The zoo has come a long way since it first opened in 1909. Back then, it only had a handful of exotic species. These days, the zoo is teeming with animals. It is easy to spend an entire day here, and still not make it to every exhibit. In summer, you’ll find lots of shade, which is…

A to Z Texas: XXX & Texas, Texas, Yee Haw!

X is for: XXX Brand Root Beer The XXX brand name first appeared in 1895 in Galveston, Texas as the moniker for a keg beer stored in oak barrels labeled, “XXX.” Hence, the name! (They could just as well have been stamped Gurglthwang, in which case I would have had to choose something different for this letter.) Years later, during the Prohibition Era, when alcoholic beverages were made illegal in the USA, the beer brewery shifted its focus towards soda pop. Although the company brewed a variety of flavors, such as cream, lemon lime, orange, chocolate and even a cola,…