Hard Ever After Cover Reveal

You Are Invited…

To the Wedding of the Year

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We cannot tell you how excited we are to bring you the Cover Reveal for Laura Kaye’s HARD EVER AFTER!! HARD EVER AFTER is a novella in Laura’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Hard Ink Series, published by Avon Impulse. You can read all about Nick and Becca’s happily ever after on February 2, 2016!! Pre-order your copy of this must-have novella today!

 

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About Hard Ever After:

Justice served. Honor restored. Team reunited.

After a long battle to discover the truth, the men and women of Hard Ink have a lot to celebrate, especially the wedding of two of their own—Nick Rixey and Becca Merritt, whose hard-fought love deserves a happy ending.

As Nick and the team shift from crisis mode to building their new security consulting firm, Becca heads back to work at the ER. But amid the everyday chaos of demanding jobs and their upcoming nuptials, an old menace they thought long gone reemerges, threatening the peace they’ve only just found.

Now, for one last time, Nick and Becca must fight for their always and forever, because they know that when true love overcomes all the odds it lasts hard ever after.

 

Author PhotoAbout Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and upcoming Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

 

 

 

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Barbara Freethy Guest Blog

Barbara Freethy#1 NY Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy talks strong women, hot guys and family series… Check out what she has to say then Read on for more information about this blog tour and all its great prizes!

One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Eleanor Roosevelt: “A woman is like a tea bag. You don’t know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”

This quote perfectly describes the heroines in my new connected family series: The Callaways. I love to write about ordinary women who get caught up in extraordinary adventures. My heroines don’t always know what they’re made of until they’re tested.

While we sometimes associate strong female characters with over-the-top roles like vampire slayer or some other kick-ass profession, I believe most women, even the quiet ones, have a superhuman core of strength that enables them to change the world they live in and also to change the men who love them. In my books, the heroine’s strength is enhanced, not only by a new and powerful romantic relationship but also her personal journey to find herself.

 In the first book in the Callaway series, ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS, the heroine, Sara, has grown up in a troubled family and is estranged from her father. She grew up next door to the chaotic, fun-loving Callaway family and often envied the relationships she saw on the other side of the fence. She also had a huge crush on the second oldest male in the family, Aiden Callaway.

 While Sara was a studious, serious girl in high school, Aiden was the charming rebel. As teenagers they were not ready for each other, but now they meet again as adults and both are facing pivotal moments in their lives.

Aiden is recovering from an injury he acquired as a smokejumper and grieving for the loss of his best friend, who died during their last jump together. Sara has come home to repair the relationship with her father, only to discover that there are family secrets that will change everything she thought she knew about her past and her parents.

Sara has to find the strength within herself to risk her heart on a man who could quite possibly break it, to face a terrible lie and to find a way to forgive her father. Aiden also has to find a way to deal with the secret that took his friend’s life. Together these two characters find strength within themselves and also draw strength from each other, which is, really, what love is all about.

As a reader, I love books that have layers: romance, mystery, adventure and surprises. As a writer, I strive to bring those same elements to all of my stories. My heroines have to be as strong as the heroes. And I always hope that they inspire my readers in some way, too.

I grew up reading books about strong female characters, and I know those reading experiences helped shaped some of my own attitudes about the kind of woman I wanted to be.

Who are some of your favorite female characters? And what do you love most about them?

About the Callaway Blog Tour & All Its Great Prizes!

This is the week you finally meet the Callaways! Not only are they all over the web as part of their extraordinary blog tour, but they are also out and about in your neighborhood. That’s right; we’re celebrating the print launch with Ingram by throwing a party all over the world! Make sure to follow this tour closely for your chance to win gift cards, swag, autographed books, and other incredible prizes.

All the info you need to join the fun and enter to win amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment—easy to enter; easy to win!

To Win the Prizes:

  1. Purchase any of the Callaway novels by Barbara Freethy (optional)
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity (go here)
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event (that’s where the HUGE prizes are)

About The Callaways: The Callaways were born to serve and protect! In Barbara’s new connected family series, each of the eight siblings in this blended Irish-American family find love, mystery and adventure, often where they least expect it! Each book stands alone, but for the full enjoyment of the series, you might want to start at the beginning with On A Night Like This! Get the eBooks via AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks, or Kobo.

About the Author: Barbara Freethy has been making up stories most of her life. Growing up in a neighborhood with only boys and a big brother who was usually trying to ditch her, she spent a lot of time reading. When she wasn’t reading, she was imagining her own books. After college and several years in the P.R. field, she decided to try her hand at a novel. Now Barbara is a #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author loved by readers all over the world. Her novels range from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Learn more on her websiteFacebook page, or in her Street Team.

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Cat's Pride Fresh & Light Litter

Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Litter Review

Litter is a standard staple product for most cat owners that is purchased frequently (unless you have all outdoor cats that is). Things have changed since I had a cat last so I did not think the style or brand of litter was very important … boy was I ever wrong! I am one of those people who scoop the litter box daily, add more litter weekly and change the box completely every three to four weeks. I needed to buy more litter when I was at Rite Aid for a few things already so I grabbed some lightweight litter to carry home and I was off. 

Cat's Pride Fresh & Light Litter

Using Cat’s Pride Litter

As soon as I got home I dumped the old litter, cleaned the box & filled it up with the Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light. When I opened the litter jug I was hit with the strong floral fragrance and I wondered if it would be too much for my dainty cat in a covered cat box but, figured it would work out. 

Later that evening I went to clean the litter box for the first time and that is where all the trouble began. I began scooping but quickly realized that the litter is super fine and while it is easy to scoop though it did not clump well at all. Most of the clumps just fell apart while I was scooping leaving tiny clumps that could not be caught in the litter scoop. I also noticed that the damp clumps leached whatever coloring is used in the litter onto the scoop so that cannot be good for an animal. About one minute into the scooping my eyes started to water, my nose started running and a sneezing attack began. I just figured that it was the strong fragrance and it should not be a big deal WRONG! Less than a minute later I started itching, my hands / forearms that came into contact with the litter dust started getting blotchy, angry red and I wanted to dig my skin. Basically, I am allergic to something in Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light litter. So I had to immediately purchase another brand of litter and dump the Cat’s Pride stuff which was a big waste of money. Based on this experience I know that I will never purchase Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light again and I am hesitant to ever try other styles of litter from the same company.

 

This is an honest review on a product that I paid for and was not compensated for. This post contains affiliate links.

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Dollar Stretching for Single Moms

Dollar stretching techniques are key to being a single mom, SAHM or a WAHM. As a single mom, widow & full time college student I have had to become very, very careful with my money. My dollar stretching techniques really affect every aspect of my life and that is okay because we manage to have everything we need. In order to spend my money wisely I do the following things: budget, prioritize, cut costs, and earn simply.

Single Mom Dollar Stretching

Keys to Dollar Stretching

Budgeting

My first step to figuring out how much dollar stretching I needed to do was to create a budget that included my current income, set expenses and flexible expenses. I looked at this budget to see where most of my money was going and why it was going there, giving me a clear picture of what needed to be changed.

Prioritizing

Before considering cost cutting you need to figure out what budget items are most important. Shelter, utilities and food should be your most important expenses and paid for first no matter what the situation is. All other expenses should come after this by how much you need them.

Cost Cutting

  • Shop Generic – In order to stick to my $150 per month food budget (1 adult & 1 teenager) I shop at discount grocery stores like Aldis (and sometimes WalMart) for almost all of my food. In order to stretch my dollar even more while at discount grocery stores I shop either first thing when the store opens or about an hour before it closes in order to get discounts on fresh meat & poultry.
  • Stop Ordering Out – I cook dinner at least 4 nights per week making enough leftovers for at least one if not two additional meals. Also, I am a HUGE fan of my crockpot even though I am just cooking for two because this gives me many additional meals to freeze for the future.
  • Lower Utility Bills – Learn when your utility companies off peak and therefore less expensive hours are (usually at night / early morning) and take advantage of it.  For example running the dishwasher, doing laundry, and charging electronics during that time. Unplugging small appliances that are not in use and turning off surge protectors where the plugged in items are not being used also help lower utility bills. In the winter lower the heat a few degrees and wear warmer clothing or add a blanket, in the summer keep the house closed up & dark during the day.
  • Lose The Cable – It is much cheaper to have subscriptions to services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon to stream media (via computer, tablet or Roku) than to pay monthly for a cable service. For example I pay $29.99 per month for my internet plus Netflix & Hulu Plus for a total of $45.97 which is about half the cost of having cable service.
  • Use Coupons – In the name of dollar stretching you have to let go of a lot of your product preferences. If you are not tied to a brand your options for goods are almost endless. To get my coupons I print them out from the internet, are given coupon inserts by family & friends, and sometimes even purchase coupon inserts in bulk online. I use coupons in drugstores, at the dollar store, at the mall and when doing online shopping.
  • Comparison Shop –  Always compare store prices for items you need whether they are brand specific or not because you can save a lot of money this way. For example: I am getting a cat this weekend who due to age & health issues is on Hill’s Science Diet Adult Optimal Care Original Dry food. This food is one of the more expensive ones that you can buy at $39.99 per 17.5 lb bag at most pet stores. However, after searching I found the same food on Amazon for $28.04 per bag and even cheaper if you subscribe to auto ship it so that is a savings of at least $11.95 per bag (I get free shipping from as a Prime Student Member so that makes it more worthwhile).  

Earn Simply

It is very easy to make money while doing basic tasks & shopping online. I use sites such Swagbucks and I earn points for searching via their search engine, shopping at certain online retailers, doing surveys, watching short videos, printing coupons, and more. It does not take up much time to rack up a decent amount of points either.

These points then can be redeemed for gift cards/codes for different retailers and paypal deposits. You do however, need to compare the point redemption costs for the gift cards to make sure you get the most for your points. For example a $5 Amazon gift card is 450 points while a $10 gift card is 1,000 points so obviously it is better to get the $5 cards.

This week alone I redeemed enough Swagbucks to get 3 $5 gift cards to Amazon. Previously I mentioned that I purchased a large bag of expensive cat food from Amazon listed at $28.04. Even with taxes, after I applied my $15 in gift cards I only ended up paying $15.28 so that is $0.87 per lb instead of the original $1.60 per lb (in store price $2.29 per lb yikes!) . Plus, I also earned 5 Swagbucks per dollar spent by using their link to purchase the food.

There are other programs like Ebates where you can earn cashback for each dollar that you spend at certain online retailers again by using their links. I have had success with Ebates and have earned enough to be paid out to Paypal and earned a $10 Walmart gift card for signing up and making my first purchase from their links.

 

How do you save money in your household?  How do you feel about online programs like Swagbucks & Ebates?

Keurig Mini Coffeemaker 800

Keurig and The Keurig Mini Recall

Before my move I noticed that my Keurig was very loud, taking longer to brew, and the coffee was not coming out as quickly. I feared that the death of my Keurig was imminent however, to try to prevent it I cleaned out the machine with a vinegar and water (as suggested on Pinterest) and it seemed to help. This week I noticed the same things happening with my Keurig yet, more pronounced. I’m figuring that sooner, rather than later my poor Keurig is going to die on me so I had better be prepared. I’m a bear in the morning without my coffee fix seriously!

I started to price replacement machines and the only machine that is within my budget was the Keurig Mini. I had some reservations because the Keurig Mini does not have as many features as my current machine. I’ll be totally honest and say the auto-off feature is a necessity for my OCD tendencies. Ultimately, I decided to wait until after Christmas to purchase a new machine.

Now, I am so glad that I did not order this machine as a replacement because I would be out of a coffee maker for an extended time while waiting for the recall replacement solution. So, I am still on the hunt for a new coffeemaker.

Keurig Mini Coffeemaker 800

As you may have heard, there is a recall on the Keurig Mini Plus brewing systems. The recall is due to the unit overheating and spraying scalding hot water which is obviously dangerous. 

Determine if your Keurig is recalled.

  • Recall is for the model K10 brewer.
  • Sold in different colors with silver trim.
  • Have serial identification numbers beginning with 31.
  • Units were sold between 12/2009 and 7/2014.

What to do.

What is your favorite coffee maker? Do you prefer a single cup machine or one that makes a whole pot?