Hello and welcome to my little letter. I’m so glad you’re here. Here’s what’s happening in my corner of the Pacific Northwest.
I’m still editing.
That pretty much sums up my writing process lately. I’m still editing and I fear I may never be finished.
I’m actually considering booking an editor now so that I have a hard deadline to work toward. Sure, I could set a deadline for myself. That would be the grown-up thing to do, but I figure if I’m paying someone to perform work for me at a designated time, I might be more inclined to work harder knowing that deadline is approaching, you know?
My biggest challenge right now is I’m basically exhausted every day, and by the time evening rolls around (when I normally crank out the writing), I’m ready to crawl into bed and sleep like I’m dead.
Are any of you feeling so tired lately? Like you just can’t even make dinner because you’re just too pooped out from the day? How do you cope? And don’t say coffee, because we all know I drink waaaay too much of that as it is!
When I’m not trying to keep my eyes open while I edit, I’ve been reading, going to physical therapy, listening to podcasts, and making a shit ton of smoothies.
It’s a gangster life, ladies and gentlemen.
Book Recommendations / What I’ve Read Recently
I finished “Praying for Rain”by B.B. Easton in about three days.
I would classify it as a young adult dystopian romance, which sounds like something I would never want to read, but everyone in the Instagram book world was talking about it, so I picked it up.
And then I couldn’t put it down.
This story was well written, fast-moving, filled with suspense, dry humor, sadness, violence, and some pretty intense steamy scenes. It hooked me from the first page and kept me wondering how it would possibly end, right up until the last page. I appreciated the fact that it was well edited (I wasn’t stumbling over grammar and punctuation errors), and that it was tightly written; the story just flowed so easily.
Fair warning: this is book one in a series. And while there is resolution to the conflict in this story, the series does go on (and I can’t wait to read more).
I would recommend this to readers that liked the Hunger Games, and who don’t mind some language and racy sex scenes.
While this was my first read from B.B. Easton, I was really impressed and can’t wait to check out her other novels.
You can find a copy of Praying for Rain here for only $3.99 or FREE if you belong to Kindle Unlimited.
Psst: If you don’t belong to Kindle Unlimited and you read more than one book a month, you are really missing out. I think it’s only $9.99 a month to subscribe and then you can read ANY book in the KU library for free. FREE! And bonus: many authors are utilizing KU now so you aren’t going to find a bunch of junk novels in the catalog.
You can find out more about Kindle Unlimited by clicking here. And as always, you can cancel your membership at any time.
I also read Cat Porter’s Lock and Key, book one in her motorcycle club series.
If you liked the HBO hit Sons of Anarchy, you’ll love this book. In fact, I couldn’t help but picture many of the actors from the hugely popular series as the characters in this story.
Lock and Key was interesting, raw, gritty, and tender as well. It was an accurate depiction of what living life inside a motorcycle club could be like, and some of it wasn’t easy to read. But Grace and Miller (aka Lock) fit together perfectly and like always, Cat painted a masterpiece plot around these two fated lovers.
Check out Lock and Key here. I dare you to put it down.
My TBR is bigger than yours
I am SO excited to read two books next.
The first is from a favorite author of mine, Mia Sheridan. She is the star behind a book that consumed me, Archer’s Voice. If you haven’t read it…GAH, go get it! It’s such a great romance, and the plot is so unique. You will not be disappointed, I promise.
Small sidetrack there, but anyway, Mia has written something new and the premise sounds so interesting. But first, look at the cover. Oh my Lord.
It’s just amazing. If you look closely you can see the animals outlined. Ugh. I love it.
Okay, so here’s the synopsis for Savaged:
When wilderness guide, Harper Ward, is summoned to the small town sheriff’s office in Helena Springs, Montana, to provide assistance on a case, she is shocked to find that their only suspect in the double murder investigation is a man described as a savage.
But the longer she watches the man known only as Lucas, on the station surveillance camera, the more intrigued she becomes. He certainly looks primitive with his unkempt appearance and animal skin attire, but she also sees intelligence in his eyes, sensitivity in his expression. Who is he? And how is it possible that he’s lived alone in the forest since he was a small child?
As secrets begin to emerge, Harper is thrust into something bigger and more diabolical than she ever could have imagined. And standing right at the center of it all, is Lucas. But is he truly the wild man he appears to be? A cold blooded killer? An innocent victim? Or a perplexing mix of all three?
Harper must find out the answers to these questions because the more time she spends with him, the more she risks losing her heart.
Savaged is free on Kindle Unlimited or $3.99 on Kindle.
I’ve been loving smoothies lately. They are easy to make, full of nutrients, and an easy way to get a super serving of vitamins and supplements.
- While listening to the Model Health Show podcast, a few weeks ago, I heard about these Organifi products you can use in smoothies that taste great and are packed with ingredients we all could use in our diets. My favorite is the green juice because, for me, it’s hard to get enough servings of vegetables in my diet. With this, I just throw a spoonful of green juice powder into the blender with a few other ingredients and mix it all up. This is the perfect mid-morning treat that gives me enough energy to keep going and fills me up so I don’t snack on garbage (Juanita’s Tortilla chips, anyone?)
- Here’s my recipe:
- 1 Banana
- 1 scoop Organifi green juice
- 1 scoop Vega Protein and Greens Vanilla protein powder
- 1 scoop All One Green Phyto Base multi vitamin and mineral powder
- Plain Greek yogurt
- 3-4 drops of liquid Stevia
- Almond milk
- Blend it all up and enjoy!
Podcasts I’m loving
So, if you haven’t listened to this podcast yet, you need to drop whatever you’re doing and give it your utmost attention.
You will die.
You will freaking die laughing.
I use to listen to this either on the way home from school drop off, or on the way to pick up the kids — basically whenever I didn’t have them with me. And I swear, I nearly wrecked my SUV from laughing so hard.
But be warned: it’s not for kids’ ears. I mean, it’s about an x-rated ridiculously stupid erotic romance novel this guy’s father wrote. The son finds the novel and reads chapters each episode with his friends providing a running commentary.
Did I mention they are British?
So the accents and the euphemisms are to-die-for great.
Please listen to it, give it a few episodes to get use to it, and then let me know what you think.
And p.s. I won’t be held responsible for any car accidents or spit out coffee from laughing too hard.
Products I Would Give up Coffee For
Diffuser Bracelet from The Wild Bloomery, starting at $18.50.
These bracelets are my new favorite thing.
Side note: this brand has the most adorable Instagram feed.
Okay, so sure, these bracelets are all over the place, but the thing that sets this brand apart is the fact that the beads are wood, not plastic. This means you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil or perfume to the beads and it soaks right in, leaving the scent lingering on the bracelet all day.
And there are so many styles and colors to choose from. I have this peach moonstone and brass one, pictured above, and I love it.
My daughter and I were in Las Vegas recently for a volleyball tournament (omg, that’s a whole newsletter in itself), and as we exited one of the malls early one morning, a “buddhist monk” (I say that in quotes because, let’s face it, there are a lot of panhandlers and street scammers in Vegas) approached us and slipped a bracelet on our wrists. It was a similar style, beaded, stretchy, cute…and I decided to keep it (and donated $5.00 to a temple he was raising money for. Yes, I know it was a scam. I didn’t care. I felt like maybe it was putting coins in my karma jar).
Annnnyway, I’ve been wearing that Vegas bracelet with my moonstone bracelet for exactly the same amount of time and while the black Vegas one is now all stretched out and loose (wow, unintentional perfect pun there), the moonstone one from The Wild Bloomery has kept its original shape and style.
So that was a very long way of saying, if you like these kinds of bracelets, this brand is pretty kick ass.
Summer Nail Color, Essie $8.99
Nail polish is all about the name, amiright? Sure, the first thing you look at is the color, but the second go-to is the name.
And this pretty pink is perfectly named, Strike a Rose.
If you grew up in the 90’s (like me), this nail polish name will probably immediately take you back to Madonna’s hit, “Vogue”.
“Don’t just stand there…let’s get to it…strike a pose…there’s nothing to it…Vogue.”
If you are reading this with a blank look on your face, check out the video here. It’s actually fantastic, especially if you picture women in leotards and leg warmers Jazzercising to the beat, because…that really happened, people.
Special Edition: Gifts for Graduates
Here are a few ideas for the graduates in your circle.
Be a Nice Human mug, $5.99
Actually, I think we could all use this mug. I know I certainly could use the reminder 🙂
But honestly, how cute is this? I think any graduate would appreciate this small token, especially with some cash and coffee beans stuffed inside.
PS: have you tried Kicking Horse coffee yet? Omg, DO IT already!
Swissgear Smart TSA Laptop Backpack, $69.99
Your graduate is going to travel. Whether she’s going to Europe (take me too, please), or road trippin’ to Burning Man, a multi-use backpack is essential.
This gem from Swissgear features some pretty amazing organizational details:
- Tablet pocket
- Multiple Compartments
- Accessories Pocket
- Cell Phone Pocket (fleece lined)
- Key Fob
- Laptop Pocket
- Mesh Pocket
- Organizer Pocket
- Padded Laptop Pocket
- Side Pockets
- Sunglasses Pocket
- Utility Clip
- Zip Pocket
Grab this backpack, throw in a packable microfiber towel, some prepaid gas cards, some non-perishable snacks, and a guide book to a new city and your grad gift is good to go.
Hello Fresh gift card, $60.00
One way to ensure your grad gets adequate nutrition without having to hover.
Special Edition, Part II: Father’s Day Gifts
Along with grads we can’t forget the dads, right?
Here are a few items I think are cool and unique.
Centennial Rolling Cooler, Magnolia & Hearth and Home, $139.99
This is so retro and I absolutely love it. I love the color, I love the design, I love the functionality of it.
Okay, so maybe this would be a Father’s Day gift that mom actually likes more, I don’t know. But I bet if you stuff it full of cold ice and different bottles of tasty brews (here’s list of Oregon top winners), and plop a comfy chair with a thick sandwich next to it, your man will hear the homing beacon and make his way to this little mini paradise.
The Office, the complete series DVD, $49.99
We’ve all been there.
Co-workers drive us crazy, managers make us want to jam pencils in our eyes, interoffice relationships so cringe worthy, we’d rather crawl under the desk…It’s work, and sometimes it’s not fun. But commiserating with our peers has never been more enjoyable, or more relatable, than while watching this hilarious series.
If it’s been awhile since dad’s watched the gang at Dunder Mifflin, pick this up and set it near the remote. He’ll thank you.
Flask Lid for Yeti Rambler, FlasKap $24.99
Do you have a daughter that’s dating? How about recently started driving? I have the perfect gift* for you, dad.
This lid is actually a flask in disguise. It holds up to 5 ounces of your favorite spirit, fits perfectly over the Yeti Ramblers, and the push top releases a 1/2 ounce shot with each press. Enjoy your favorite cocktail as light, or as strong, as you like. Refill and repeat as needed.
*full credit to my friend JM for finding this gem and sharing her knowledge with me…you rock!
Breaker Short, Vineyard Vines, $75.00
These shorts are spendy, but worth it. They are so well made and will last a lifetime. The classic styling and comfortable construction (98% cotton and 2% spandex) will make dad happy, and you’ll love the way they look on him. Visit www.vineyardvines.com and sign up for their newsletter to receive 20% off.
Psst: Target just released a limited collaboration with Vineyard Vines and they have some really cute stuff. It’s selling fast though, so hurry!
Braided bracelet, $29.00
I don’t personally like jewelry on men…except in three instances:
- A wedding band
- A nice watch, and
- A simple braided leather bracelet
This bracelet is a nice choice because it’s not super wide, it’s not over the top flashy, and it sits low enough on the wrist that it’s not accidentally mistaken for a concert wristband.
Job well done.
For the Love of Music
Music can change your life. Here’s what’s making a difference in mine lately.
Rescue Me – One Republic*
Bass Beat (remix) – Michael Douglas
I Guess I Just Feel Like – John Mayer
*In addition to being one of my top 5 favorite bands, One Republic filmed the video for this song in and around the nearby town I grew up in. And what’s really cool is that a boy my daughter goes to school with is IN the video! He’s the one at the end that removes his mask.
Have a wonderful start to summer, friends. I hope all the happy things in life happen to you this next month.
May all your kisses be sexy ones.
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2 thoughts on “The 5-Minute Newsletter || June 2019”
You always have such great ideas for gifts! Thank you!
Also, I can’t tell you how many things I’ve purchased for myself or read after you’ve recommended. It’s ridiculous!
Thank you so much for the feedback. I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the book and product recommendations! Take care, Steph!