Four Rubbings by Jennifer Hotes Synopsis and Giveaway







Halloween.
The night the barrier between the dead and the living is as thin as muslin. Fourteen-year old Josie, haunted by the death of her mother, leads her best friends to an ancient cemetery to rub graves. Convinced she will come away with proof of her mother’s spirit at last, the evening takes an unexpected turn as the teens gravitate four ways into the haunted grounds.
Set against the backdrop of the rainy Pacific Northwest, four graves will be rubbed, touching off a series of events that will rattle their once mundane lives. From the lonely World War II hero to an accused witch, the people buried beneath the stones have stories that need an ending.
The journey to unravel the mysteries leaves the friends wondering if the graves would’ve been better off left alone.



Encouraged by her mother-in-law, Elizabeth A. Hotes, who told her to create something and share it with others, Jennifer writes and illustrates to keep her memory alive.
To date, Jennifer’s favorite medium is pen and ink, but she also loves to paint a wall or canvas.
Her works have been featured at benefit art auctions, adorned the walls of public spaces, graced  homes and enhanced books with vibrant covers and internal illustrations.
Four Rubbings is Jennifer’s first novel, though she’s busy writing the second book in the Stone Witch Weries presently. Four Rubbings is great for readers that enjoyed the Harry Potter series, and has been a fun book club pick across the country. The author loves Skyping into book clubs, so email her and ask – she may just surprise you with a cyber visit! 

You can find and follow Jennifer;


You can purchase four rubbings on amazon, or barnes and noble.

Enter the giveaway below to have a chance to win a swag pack, and a printed ARC of book #2!
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~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Cheryl. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Top 5 YouTube Yoga Channels

Yoga is one of my favorite workouts and I am working towards a goal of practicing yoga 3 times a week, even if it is just a quick 15 minute yoga flow. I am looking to work towards learning to lengthen, tone and learn to mediate. The body & mind feels so good after a good yoga flow that I have now become a huge fan of Yoga. I have a small DVD collection started but I also have some favorite YouTube Yogis I follow because they offer free online classes and tips on how to do different poses and flows. This gives me a lot of options depending on what I am looking to do that day. There is everything from mediation, restorative, power, detox, etc.

Here are my top 5 YouTube Yogis

Erin Motz aka Bad Yogi - Erin is one of the first YouTube Yogis I started out with and absolutely love Erin to pieces. She is so sweet, quiet and very relaxing. I took part in Erin's 30 day yoga challenge which is great for beginners. Erin teaches you a new flow each day that is geared to a certain part of the body or working towards a pose. I love learning all the different flows to help your lower back or open up your hips or chest etc.

Yoga with Adriene - Adriene is super funny with a light voice. She is a great instructor and I find it really easy to follow along with her flows. There are flows for all kinds - some for runners, beginners, bedtime, morning, healing and even a 30 day yoga practice. I love the foundation of yoga section also as Adriene breaks down each pose and walks you threw them with tons of great instructions. Perfect for beginners.

SarahBethYoga - Sarah Beth offers 5-30 minute Hatha yoga, Power yoga, Vinyasa yoga & Restorative yoga videos. The videos are usually posted as part of a series like "Yoga for Scoliosis" "Yoga for Women" "Power Yoga Workouts" etc. If you are like myself than you will be very excited to try Sarah Beth's Intermediate arm balance series! These are my goals to work on.

Yoga by Candace - Candace has a huge selection of yoga flow videos of all types, power, meditation, stress relief, after work, core etc. 15, 20, 30 minutes and even 45, 50 & a 60 minute flow videos. Candace has a gentle voice which is great for yoga and I find she gives great directions so you don't feel like you have to be watching all the time and you can focus on your breath and pose. Pop over to Candace's blog where she offers challenges, March is Balance Project.

Fightmaster Yoga - I have just recently found Lesley's channel and haven't done many of her flows yet but have watched a bunch and love them. Her voice is nice and soft and her instructions are very descriptive and easy to follow along. I found Lesley when I was looking up arm balance flows for beginners and found tons of great flows. Most classes are around 30 minutes but there are lots closer to an hour if you have the time.

I do subscribe to other channels and I love finding other flows that work for my practice but these ladies have been my go to yogis when I am looking for a yoga flow I know I will love and feel great after. I also love that they update often with new flows and tips. Check them out and let me know which are your favorite!


~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

The Big Book of Things to Make ~ Book Review

Are your kids on March Break? Are you looking for activities to keep the kids busy during the cold or rainy weather? Here is a great book that will keep the kids busy with all kinds of fun ideas! 

Book Synopsis: "A compendium of cool projects, exciting games, and fun quizzes kids can do inside or outside, The Big Book of Things to Make is the perfect activity book to cure boredom and inspire creativity. With more than 200 activities, including building a castle, learning to juggle, building a birdhouse, magic trips and sinking a pirate ship, plus sports quizzes, animal quizzes, film quizzes, and more. This book will keep kids entertained, active, and engaged."

Purchase a copy click this image...
Review:

This is a great book for kids to keep busy. When they are feeling bored this is a great book to pull out and choose a couple activities. The book is full of bright colored pages with crafts, activities, food, outdoor fun and so many other ideas that are different from the other books out there that we have had in the past. The kids got into this book right away choosing things they would like to try. Lots of recyclable crafts and food caught their eyes right away. The instructions are easy and straight to the point. My son loved the trivia section and started reading it out to me right away. Lots of fun! I highly recommend this book for anyone with kids, even for grandparents or babysitters. I would have loved to have had this book in my babysitting bag when I was younger.

The kids and I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars! It will be a resource I am sure we will use a lot especially with the summer holidays coming up!


~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received the above book for review purpose. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

21 Day Fix Extreme Review

I am a bit behind in updating you on my workouts. It has been a busy month and last week we had a lot of internet and home phone problems that kept me off the laptop. I finished up 21 Day Fix Extreme and wanted to let you know how I liked it.

First lets talk nutrition, I don't like the word "diet" as it is always thought of as a bad thing or something one does to get "skinny" by starving themselves. If you think you need to starve to lose weight then the 21 Day Fix programs are not for you. With these programs you will eat all the time and be satisfied each time you eat. Yes, it may be difficult at first because it may not be foods you are used to eating but hopefully you will give it a try and see what can happen. If you eat a lot of starchy carbs or eat out at fast food places regularly I would highly suggest starting off with the original 21 Day Fix (more on this soon as I am now doing this program). The 21 Day Fix Extreme is extreme in the fitness programs but also in the eating. It is clean eating with no cheats or treats.

A lot of planning does go into the eating plan but in the long run I am sure you will be very happy you did it. I started off with the Countdown to Competition to see just what my body could do and handle. I also didn't want to lose weight so I did the maintenance plan for eating. This had me in a calorie bracket of 1800-2099. That is a lot of food especially on carb depletion days where I was aiming to eat 9 proteins in the day! Yes, that is right 9!! For the most part I got in 7-8 as I was finding it really hard to hit 9 on most days especially work days. Eating every two hours had my hubby laughing and making comments likes "wow! you are eating again?!?" "Nice diet, you eat all the time". It is true I ate all the time sometimes even thinking oh no I don't want to eat again.

The workouts are fabulous. They are 30 minutes, so it is really easy to squeeze them into your day. For the first time since I started working out I was able to squeeze in workouts on my work days and it felt great! The are intense workouts with weights, think Insanity and 21 day Fix original. Seven different workouts, a different one each day with a yoga being an active recovery day. The first week I found myself struggling, I wondered what I got myself into. I felt weak and lost in the workout especially the pilates with the resistance band. I really didn't enjoy that workout. I felt like I was playing with the band more than getting a workout in. The second week I was getting everything down much better and starting loving all the workouts, I changed my band to a pilates band and had the best workout that day. Week 3 I was on top of my game. It really does take a couple times to do each workout to learn it and feel more comfortable doing it. Don't give up! Keep pushing through even if you need to modify or go slower you will still get an awesome workout in! 
I was really pleased with my results. I didn't get a 6 pack abs but I did improve in my strength, I toned my arms and legs more. I can see the tops of my abs coming through and I did make it through all the workouts without missing one for 3 whole weeks! My food was on par 90% of the time. I didn't cheat with treats, yes at the end I may have had some extra peanut butter. I ended up losing 4 lbs and an 1 1/4 inches from my whole body. I didn't except to lose mush as I was eating a maintenance plan and my goal was more to cut the abs and bulk the muscle.  I wanted to gain more  strength overall and I feel that I succeeded in doing just that.

I am now working my way through the 21 Day Fix original program and loving it also. I have switched out the yoga though for the extreme yoga this week as I love that yoga. I am now able to do the crow arm balance and also the wheel for almost the whole time. This is something I want to continue improving and work my way up to a handstand and also work on learning bird of paradise and the other arm balance that is in the extreme. The thing I love most about this workout is there are usually 3 different poses (modified, intermediate and advanced). Something for everyone so you can start at the beginning and work to advanced moves if you would like to.


~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

How to Catch A Prince by Rachel Hauck ~ Book Review & Tour

About the book:

How to Catch a Prince (Zondervan, February 2015)

She caught her prince once. Can she catch him again?

American heiress Corina Del Rey's life was devastated by war. Every thing she loved was lost. But after five years of grief, she's shed her grave clothes and started over in the sunshine along the Florida coast.

But some things are not so easily forgotten. When a secret from her past confronts her face to face, she realizes she must follow her heart. Even if it cost her everything.

Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom is a former Royal Air Command lieutenant turned star rugby player, trying to make sense of his life after the devastation of war. When his brother, King Nathaniel, discovers Stephen's pre war secret, he must deal with an aspect of his life he longed to forget. But how can he do so without exposing the truth and breaching national security?

Yet, true love has a destiny all it's own. As the cathedral bells peal through Cathedral City, Corina and Stephen must chose to answer the call of love on their hearts. Or let it be lost forever?

Purchase a copy.

About the author:

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle, and Once Upon A Prince. She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.

Connect: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Review:

I was captivated from the very beginning when meeting Carina. This is actually book 3 in the Royal Wedding series but the first one I have read, now I need to read the first two. It was easy enough to follow the story even if you haven't read the others as this is a story of Carina & Stephen's romance or lack of. It all starts out with learning there annulled marriage isn't really annulled and we head off in a fabulous story of romance, royalty, remorse and forgiveness. This is a Christian fiction like none that I have read. It is a sweet romance that will have you wanting more by the end of this book. 

Can Carina catch her prince twice? Can she grieve the loss of her twin brothers passing and find love? The author does a fabulous job of this story and building each character within it. You really do feel for Carina right from the beginning. Sometimes I would just shake my head at Stephen and want him to just smarten up but he does what he does for a reason and it just makes this story such an amazing tale.

I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars and look forward to reading more by Rachel Hauck. 

hauck1


~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Losing the Ice by Jennifer Comeaux ~ Book Review/Tour/Giveaway!

Series: Ice #2
Release date: February 23rd 2015
Purchase: Amazon

Book Synopsis:

Courtney and Josh are in love and excited to finally compete as skating partners. When they take the ice for their first competition, they want to show everyone, especially Josh's family, they are the perfect pair.

But ice is slippery, and one misstep puts all their dreams in jeopardy. Now they must show each other both their love and their partnership are strong enough to survive.

About the Author:


Jennifer Comeaux is a tax accountant by day, writer by night. There aren’t any ice rinks near her home in south Louisiana, but she’s a die-hard figure skating fan and loves to write stories of romance set in the world of competitive skating.

One of her favorite pastimes is traveling to competitions, where she can experience all the glitz and drama that inspire her writing. Jennifer loves to hear from readers!

Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook | 

Review:

Another fabulous book by Jennifer Comeaux. I was hooked from the start as I am with any of Jennifer's figure skating novels. There is just something about them that draws me in and brings back skating memories of the past. This is the second book in the series following Courtney and Josh as they have begun their relationship and their skating relationship. Of course not everything goes the way it should during their first competition and has the couple in trying times just before nationals. This is a fabulous sweet romance of two pair skaters fighting for their skating career together but also fighting to show that they are meant to be together even if Josh's family doesn't approve. I can't wait to read what is in store for the rest of the series!

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars! A quick and easy read. Lots of fun for the figure skating crowd!

Giveaway!

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~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Shop Pals ~ New Release


Newly released Littlest Petshop DVD out today! Join the as Blythe and her friends, new and old, create a fashion craze with Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Shop Pals from Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Hasbro Studios.

"Blythe and her very best friends  Zoe the spaniel, Pepper the skunk, Sunil the mongoose, Russell the hedgehog, Penny the panda, Minka the monkey and Buttercream the bunny   are back for five more exciting, not to mention hilarious, adventures! Plus, you’ll get a chance to meet some new friends, like a shy tortoise, a spying cat, a famous comedian orangutan, and Pepper’s new crush! Who could it be? Find out with Blythe and the gang in The Littlest Pet Shop  Pet Shop Pals!"
 
Episodes Include: Books And Covers * Helicopter Dad * Lotsa Luck * The Nest Hats Craze * Sweet Pepper 

Bonus Features: Sing-Along


My daughter is a huge Littlest Petshop fan and is always super excited when there is a new release. This DVD set includes old and new episodes that are a hit with my daughter. "A" says her favorite is Helicopter Dad because it is funny as Blythe's dad drove her to school and was dancing to the music in the car. This embarrassed Blythe as other kids were watching and laughing.  Blythe and Zoe are my daughters favourite characters. It is an amazing DVD set and A absolutely loves it along with the bonus Sing Along that she has been walking around singing!

"A" gives this DVD a 5 out of 5 as she loves it and has watched it a bunch of times already.  


~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received a copy of the above dvd for review purpose. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Boredom Busters: 50+ awesome activities, recipes, experiments, and more by Caroline Fernandez

Book Synopsis:

Let's get crafty! You will never be bored again with the brilliant things to make and do in Boredom Busters. The book is divided into five themed chapters: Art, Craft, Science, Food, and Travel. Art Activities shows you how to create pretty pictures using homemade paint, recycled crayons, and even coffee filter paper and shaving cream! In Craft Activities, reuse milk cartons for your own bowling game, turn a baby food jar into a snow globe, and make cinnamon clay decorations. You will love the cool experiments in the Science section--from growing your own crystals to setting off plastic bottle tornados and creating "lava" in a cup. Cook up a storm with the great recipes in Food Activities: cool ice cream cone cupcakes, delicious chocolate mug cake, and colorful pizza faces. Finally, discover ways to keep yourself busy on journeys and holidays in Travel Activities, such as making a T-shirt pillow, wooden spoon puppets, and homemade travel journal.

Purchase a copy through Thomas Allen & Son Ltd.  or Amazon

About the Author:

Caroline Fernandez is a freelance writer and blogger specializing in family activities, and has shared her activity expertise through appearances on TV, radio, and live events. Creator and owner of parentclub.ca, she has an extensive social media presence and has held ambassadorship roles for leading family brands such as Fisher-Price and General Mills. Caroline lives with her husband and three crafty children in Toronto, Canada.
 
Review:

This is a great book for all ages! It is great for days when you are stuck inside or just want to craft. So many different ideas from recyclable, tape, food, clothes, science experiments. My daughter has a list of crafts that she wants to do out of this book. One day she was bored and stuck inside due to the cold and she grabbed a egg carton out of the recycling and made the cute Egg Carton Creature. She did it all by herself! The food and science ones are tops on my list but all the crafts will be fun for the kids and teach them different skills. Great way to keep the kids busy and most of the crafts require stuff that is already around the house or inexpensive to buy.

My daughter has a new blog that she is posting her crafts, baking, etc on and has posted about this craft book on Abbygale's Creations.
 

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received the book above for review purpose. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Cauliflower Pizza Crust ~ Gluten Free

I love pizza! One of my favorite go to quick and easy meals. I used to make the homemade kind right from making my own crust in the stand mixer and then adding tons of tasty toppings. Then my son wouldn't eat the pizza if it was homemade and I really didn't feel like spending all that time making the crust etc if he wasn't going to eat it. He said it was the sauce... hmm. Anyways now that I am working on eating less starchy carbs I have been on the hunt for anything that is tasty, clean, and easy to make. This recipe fits all those. There are many cauliflower crust recipes all over the internet and it really is very versatile. You just play around with the ingredients for the crust and toppings of your choice. I know I will be making different ones and will share if you would like. Let me know in the comments below.

Here is the pizza I made just recently.

Ingredients:

medium to large head of cauliflower
3 large eggs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp taco seasoning
1 tsp Parmesan & herbs seasoning by Club House

Toppings
lean ground turkey - 1/2 lb
pizza sauce
onions
yellow pepper
mushrooms
spinach
old cheddar cheese

You will need cheese cloth to squeeze out the liquid from the cauliflower.

Directions:   

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Wash, dry and chop cauliflower into small florets.
3. Place half the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse to a very fine crumble. Add remaining cauliflower to food processor and pulse until super crumbly.
4. Once cauliflower is all crumbled put it into the cheese cloth and squeeze! Squeeze as much of the liquid out of the cauliflower as you can. This is super important to get a crust that holds together and isn't soggy. (I am speaking from experience - do not skip the cheese cloth stage!)
5. Now that you have the cauliflower squeezed dry as you can you can add the following - 3 eggs, garlic & onion powder, taco seasoning and parmesan & herb seasoning. Mix well.
6. Spray a pizza sheet or cookie sheet and press cauliflower mixture into pan in a thin layer.
7. Cook crust in oven for 40 to 45 minutes on 350F.
8. Once your crust is baked add toppings. I browned my lean ground turkey while the crust was in the oven. Crumble ground turkey on crust over pizza sauce.
9. Bake crust with toppings for another 5-10 minutes to melt cheese and warm toppings.
10. Enjoy!

The best part of this pizza is that it is 21 Day Fix approved and it is Gluten Free!


~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Love of Cooking Spiral Slicer ~ Review

I recently received this fun little kitchen tool that I may be totally obsessed with! Since starting on the 21 Day Fix Extreme program and eating plan I have been cutting back on the starchy carbs. Sorry pasta but you have been mostly replaced! Yes, for the past almost 3 weeks I haven't eaten pasta!! This coming from a pasta junkie. I have a new "pasta" that I am in love with and it loves me back thanks to this lil kitchen tool called the Spiral Slicer. Super healthy and a great way to get more veggies in for the whole family.

There are tons out on the market but this one is from a company called Love of Cooking. You can pick this lil gadget up on Amazon Canada or Amazon US.

Super easy to use. All you do is insert a veggie into the right end (there is a slicer and a spiralizer) and twist your veggie until you reach the end or the amount of food you need. It is also easy to wash if you rinse right away and use the little brush that comes with it. It also comes with silicone ties to tie up foods to cook or steam. I haven't used those yet but they do look handy.
I have made them warm by sauteing in a fry pan with some coconut spray and some garlic and herb seasoning or eat them raw. The ideas are endless with this tool. 

I highly recommend this kitchen tool and the kids love the dishes also! They think it is super fun to eat carrot or zucchini noodles!

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received the above product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Banana Pancakes ~ Gluten | Dairy Free ~ 2 Ingredient

I love breakfast foods! I will be honest I have a hard time not having breakfast for dinner at least once a week but since starting the 21 Day Fix Extreme I have been really dialing in my nutrition and eating clean. This system has really gotten me thinking outside the box and eating things I may not have thought of before. I want to share another great tasty and super easy breakfast item with you. I shared a recipe not too long ago for a 3 Ingredient pancake but sometimes we can't always use protein powder or you just want a change.

If you like bananas you will want to try these. They do taste like eggs and bananas but I love to add a tsp or so of natural peanut butter or almond butter on them with some more fruit on the side.

Ingredients:

1 medium banana
2 eggs

Directions: 

Mash banana in a bowl very well.
Add 2 eggs and whisk banana and eggs together.
Heat a frying pan with coconut spray on it and cook your pancakes to your liking.

They will be thinner than regular flour pancakes but you can usually make 3-4 medium pancakes and stack them high!


~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Just Pru by Anne Pfeffer ~ Book Review, Giveaway & Tour




Contemporary Women's Fiction
Date Published: March 2, 2015

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When twenty-five-year-old Pru Anderson—braless, pajama-clad, and clutching her cat, Chuck—is rescued from her burning Los Angeles apartment, the thing that scares her most is meeting the neighbors. New people make her hide in the bathroom, counting by sevens, but when her home is destroyed, she must turn strangers into friends …  or crawl back to the controlling parents she only recently escaped.

What would her idol, Pepper Hathaway, do? That’s a no brainer: the detective-slash-supermodel heroine from Pru's favorite TV series would take no prisoners while looking fierce in a tankini and stilettos. So when the chance comes up to live with playwright Ellen, Pru sets aside her fears and goes for it.

Thus begin the adventures a girl who's never had a job, a friend, or a first kiss. Swept into Ellen's whirlwind life, Pru begins to build her own, as director's assistant for a new play, muse to brooding actor Blake, and possible love interest to adorably neurotic neighbor, Adam.

Only one thing can derail Pru's exhilarating journey. Well, actually, it's two things—and they're in a car headed straight for LA to torpedo her life. When the past that nearly destroyed her comes calling, who will she be: a Prudence or a Pepper?

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Early Reviews of Just Pru

"Just Pru is a laugh out loud, heartwarming story ….Pfeffer does an amazing job with Pru’s character…. The supporting cast is … easy to fall in love with and to cheer for...." 5 Stars
The Self-Publishing Review

"A five star read all the way.... a happy, funny tragicomedy of errors with a cast of delightful neurotics."  Literary homebody.com

"Pru is hilarious..... Totally a perfect story, IMO. How often does that happen? Like never." 5 stars Candacesbookblog.com
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Excerpt

Chapter One

From Pru’s Journal:

How can you know if you’re normal when you’re always alone? You have no one to compare yourself to. I mean, I have my mom and dad, and I’m pretty normal compared to them. But then… a lot of people are normal compared to them.

**
As the rich CaraMellow ice cream slipped along my tongue, I popped a few potato chips in my mouth for contrast. Ah, the soothing combination of sweet, salt, cream, and crunch.

No good. Its magic wasn’t working.

Shifting my size 16 tush around on the sofa, I focused on the TV. It played an old episode from Model Cop, my favorite show ever on the Wholesome Family Channel.

Today, the show’s awesome heroine, Pepper Hathaway, was tracking down a serial killer in between fittings for a runway show at Fashion Week. It was hard to juggle her two jobs as a police detective and supermodel, but she excelled at both. Pepper ended every episode with a wink to the camera and her life motto: Remember, folks. Do Good, Look Good!

She was amazing.

I sighed. I bet Pepper didn’t get job rejections like the one I’d had today. Dear Loser, the letter said. We are relieved to say we cannot offer you the position of Low-Level Proofreading Gnome at our crummy little start-up online encyclopedia. No matter how unknown and undesirable our company is, you are more so.

Sincerely,

Executive Drone

Okay, so they didn’t use those exact words, but it’s what they meant. As I lifted my spoon, caramel dribbled down the front of my flannel nightgown. I scraped it off with a potato chip and ate it.

Mmraow. My cat emerged from one of his many hiding places. I suspected he hid on purpose, just to annoy me. “Hey, Chuck-Chuck.” I scratched his orange-and-white striped back. It lasted only a few seconds. Done with human contact, Chuck strolled away, tail in the air.

On the TV, Pepper was returning home to her elegant apartment in the Big City. Hey, girlfriend, she called out to her funny, devoted homosexual roommate Tad. They sat down and sipped Chardonnay. She was so cool.

I bet Pepper could pay her rent. I bet she didn’t run out of money just two months after moving into her place. I could justify having bought a used car, but perhaps the fifty-inch flat-screen TV had been excessive. Then there were those unfortunate yard sale purchases, but I had needed furniture, after all. I needed that Victorian-style vanity and the faux-leather recliner.

I could still hear my father’s voice, cool and cutting. You won’t last a month in Los Angeles. Mark my words, you’ll be back in Oregon before you know it.

 Well, ha ha on him, I’d lasted two months now.

And ha ha on me, because I didn’t know if I could last a third.

Tears prickled the backs of my eyes. I wished I could talk to Dr. Abbot, my wonderful therapist back in my hometown of Clayton. He had died unexpectedly last week. I’d hardly left my apartment since I’d gotten the news.

On the TV, Pepper was modeling her latest fashion purchases for Tad. I scraped the bowl with my spoon while contemplating her minuscule waistline. Was that real or digitally enhanced? Could a person’s body organs really fit into such a tiny space?

Not mine—I was sure about that. My body organs undoubtedly filled giant caverns, which was why I’d been blessed with my five foot ten inch, big-boned body.

A ringing began—yet another fire alarm. Great. We’d had two go off already this month, I thought grumpily, and they’d turned out to be cases of burned toast—a total waste of time.

I struggled up from horizontal, made my way to the living room window, and peered out. It was 8:00 on a June evening. It had just turned dark. Below loomed the building’s quiet, empty courtyard.

Just as I thought—no flames, no people fleeing for their lives.

The sofa called to me, yet the alarm blared on.

I should probably investigate, even though it meant I might have to talk to someone. And for what was probably a false alarm. I stumbled to my bedroom dresser and wrestled a pair of plain white panties up under my nightie. Where had I thrown my bra? When you’re a size 36D, you do not venture forth into public without one.

My eyes swept my twin-sized bed, the flowered rug, the vanity whose drawers I used to store cat toys. No bra to be seen.

Feet thudded down my hallway.

WHOMP! A fist hit my front door.  “Vacate the building now! Everyone out!” The man’s voice resounded through my door, then grew fainter as he moved away from me.

In an instant, sweat beaded my forehead. Vacate the building?

A siren, then others, wailed from the street. A megaphone-amplified voice blared from outside. “Immediate evacuation is required.”

“Chuck!” I shrieked. That ingrate. He’d probably hidden from me again. I dropped to my belly and crawled commando-style around the bedroom, checking under the bed and dresser. No sign of his malevolent green-eyed gaze. I checked the open laundry hamper. He wasn’t there either.

Outside, shouts and cries came to me from a distance, sirens grew louder, and banging noises intensified. I rushed again to the open living room window. Spotlights now lit the courtyard below, which had transformed into a disaster scene. Groups of people milled behind barricades. Firefighters twice the size of ordinary humans unfurled hoses and set ladders up against walls, while smoke drifted from some windows on the fourth floor, where I was.

Holy moley! Were we really on fire?

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Author Links

Twitter:  AnnePfeffer1

Purchase Links

Giveaway

$125 Amazon Gift Card


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Review:

Just Pru is amazing story of a girl out on her own that has been challenged with mental illness all her life, her parents feed this and protect Pru to the point of enabling her. This is a heart warming and hilarious story with characters that you will fall in love with from the get go. Pru is challenge at every turn to take control of her anxieties and face the world to show them she can be a part of it. Ellen is a loveable girl who takes Pru in after a devastating fire that leaves Pru homeless and without most of her possessions. Adam who is also battling his own neurotics is another fabulous character and pairs well with Pru. The author does a great job in decribing the characters and having so much feeling for them all in their own unique way. It is a smooth flowing storyline that keeps you guessing what will be in store for Pru and her new friends next.

A great story! I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars!  


~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received a copy of the above book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

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