Things I Learned (and Remembered) at the Beach

This summer has been slow to get rolling. That’s not just the weather I’m talking about, but us personally. My oldest daughter has a steady job, my youngest is taking here-and-there work, and their partners-in-crime cousins are super busy too. But we finally got there!

  1. The first thing I learned (and I really did already know this…somehow I just blocked out) is that when it’s 90 degrees in Michigan, that doesn’t mean the water is warm. I think it was around 50 degrees. Even my half-mermaid children would have none of it. I didn’t even get my ankles wet. This leads me to the next thing I learned (or remembered).
  2. When the water is too bloody cold, and your kids say they’re going for a walk, make the one who brought her Timex Ironman with her take it with her! Two hours after they trekked out, our wandering children returned, and DH and I had nearly roasted in the interim. Why? Because the water was too d*^* cold… and we need an umbrella.
  3. Buy a beach umbrella.
  4. Now to the good stuff. Know how your cheap favorite flip-flops break after a few weeks because the in-between toe thingy pulls through? No more!  Put the little green photo(73)

bread thing (is that a latch? A tie? A whatzit?) around the base. Voila…your favorite cheap  flip-flops stay your faves for a few weeks more.

5. Green Army Men Gummies. Because the beach needs snacks and ever since Toy Story who can resist a little green army man? They have low-crawl man, tank guy, plus your general infantry boys. Mmmm…green apple.


That’s it. Now that my head is on straight for the next beach trip, I’ll let you know how it goes. Any pointers?


Spring Break Cosplay Madness

Some people go to Florida for spring break (and believe me the Michigan weather sucked enough for it this week…boo, hiss!). We Grants make cosplay dresses. Many of you cheered me on through Ren Faire dresses and the Captain America dress, and I welcome your moral support on the journey to a Winter Soldier dress and another Captain America dress.

cap concept dress

The Captain America Concept Dress

While some people make cosplay costumes that completely mirror the character’s, my girls like to design their own, incorporating their own personal style with the character’s. I fully support this…why look like everybody else?  So…here are the concept dresses as drawn by the girls.


Here’s Captain America…if Cap preferred a little swing and a silver petticoat.

winter soldier concept dress

The Winter Soldier Concept Dress

Next up, the Winter Soldier, aka Bucky Barnes. He’s dark and forbidding.

Now, those of you who have visited with me before know that I prefer to build on someone else’s labor. I buy base dresses at consignment stores and from clearance racks and spice them up. In this case, we decided to go with homemade base dresses and spice as needed.

Enter the fabric store and the pattern book…

photo(66)This is the Cap base dress. It will be in navy with only a rim of silver lace on the arms.

photo(67)When push came to shove, the Winter Soldier went even more strappy. It will be in a black stretchy knit (yes, a fabric type NOT recommended by the pattern folks) with a straight skirt. So really…not much like this pattern at all.

Of course, cosplay dresses are never complete without a corset, at least not when my girls are designing them. The one shown below on the upper right will be for Bucky.


Cap will be going with a fuller corset…more like the ones shown in this Dr. Who

We actually broke ground (cut fabric today). I’ll try to keep you updated.  Cap will still need a shield and Bucky a metal arm, but I reserve that for a later post. The Doctor of Phabric, Joselyn Vaughn and her amazing sister, Lillian, Chris Allen-Riley, and Cousin L. can expect panicked phone calls.

There’s our spring break…what did you do for fun?


Climbing Heartbreak Hill…with the Meddlesome Matchmakers!

With the restyling of Joselyn Vaughn’s Meddlesome Matchmaker Series, Climbing Heartbreak Hill has also received a new cover. I love the new look! And the story? A must read.

Ready? Take a look…

Climbing Heartbreak Hill_500x750


Climbing Heartbreak Hill

A Meddlesome Matchmaker Novel

Professional runner, Ryan Grant, blows out his knee training for another attempt at the Boston marathon and the dreaded Heartbreak Hill. Ryan retreats home, not looking for anything more than a fast recovery, but he finds solace in the arms of his tax preparer, Tara Mansfield.

Tara’s cheerleading career ended abruptly and she faces an upward climb beating the stereotype as dumb blonde in her new calling as an accountant. Framed with defrauding the IRS during the last weeks of the tax season, Tara’s tentative confidence is shaken, but Ryan coaches her in ensnaring the true perpetrator. She cheers him on in discovering his identity as a coach rather than an athlete.

With the help of the junkyard king and a mechanical bull, can Tara and Ryan find the courage to climb Heartbreak Hill together?

Buy it here!

Other books in the Meddlesome Matchmakers series: Hauntings of the Heart and Sucker for a Hot Rod



Ta Da! Cover Reveal With Joselyn Vaughn!

You know I love her. You will too!

It’s Joselyn Vaughn…rocking a new set of covers for her fabulous romance (romance with a case of the giggles, that is) novels in the Meddlesome Matchmakers Series.

This week, the cover is a reimagining of one of my faves of Vaughn’s novels…Hauntings of the Heart. Check it out below. Hauntings of the Heart_500x750

Hauntings of the Heart

A Meddlesome Matchmaker Novel

When lost love shows up on your doorstep, what do you do?  Minnie Schultz slams the door in his face. She and Gordon Anderson have a history—close to ancient history, given the fifty years since their last encounter. After all that time, it might seem like water under the bridge. But the water pours from the plumbing in Minnie’s bed and breakfast, the Lilac Bower, uncovering all the secrets and heartache between them. With the help of some paranormal investigators, an Elvis impersonator and a couple of nosey friends, can Minnie and Gordon find the future they were meant to have?

Buy it here!

Other books in the Meddlesome Matchmakers series: Climbing Heartbreak Hill and Sucker for a Hot Rod



I’m back…and so is Winter (Rebekah Purdy’s Winter, that is…)

Woohoo! I’m back with a post, and a what a post it is. I know it’s been a while, and I’ve been wanting to jump back into the blogosphere, so when the chance came up to be part of a fabulous cover reveal for Rebekah L. Purdy, I took it. Rebekah’s trilogy The Winter People (The Winter People, The Summer Marked) is about to be completed with the release of The Winter’s Spite on June 27th, 2016. Read on for details…and that cover (plus a chance to win).

TheWintersSpite_Huge (1)

The Winter’s Spite: On the eve of the winter solstice, Salome receives word of a family tragedy in the human world, and an urgent request to return home. But after a failed attack on Winter, and the whereabouts of the Winter Court unknown, Nevin forbids her to go, declaring it too dangerous. However, Salome knows she needs to be with her family and can’t sit by to wait for the inevitable.

Gwenn has been a royal guard most of her life, and although she’s not a fan of humans, she has to admit Salome’s growing on her. So when Salome begs her to cover for her for a few days so she can be with her family, Gwenn can’t refuse. Gwenn soon finds herself creating diversions to keep Nevin from discovering Salome’s disappearance. Problem is the Council is growing suspicious of Salome’s absence, and has started making threats about Nevin’s removal as king. With her lie on the brink of discovery, Gwenn needs to find out what’s taking her brother and Salome so long to return. When she discovers the portals are closed, and someone within the Council has betrayed Summer, Gwenn knows the kingdom’s in jeopardy. But before she can confide in Nevin about helping Salome leave Faerie, Gwenn finds herself at the enemy’s mercy, fighting for her life.

When Salome arrives in the human world, she finds everything in chaos. Grisselle, the Winter Queen, has done the impossible and brought war to Salome’s world. And Kadie is acting as her right hand. Monsters born of man’s worst nightmares roam the streets—dark faeries and ghosts bring terror and destruction. And to her horror she discovers an old enemy is back from the dead, while a new one lurks in the shadows—watching her, hunting her—preparing to make its move. And this time they mean to finish what they started.

And you only have to wait until June!

In the meantime, you could add The Winter’s Spite to your Goodreads page:

Or register for a $20 Amazon card/swag pack.

Or check out Rebekah here…









Get ready for Winter…it’ll be here in June.