Posted in Libraries, Personal Stuff, Random, Reading, Writing, Young Adult

Recommended Reading…

It’s been a while since I posted anything here about the awesome books I’ve been reading. I’ve been sharing my reads on my Instagram and lately, on Litsy. It’s a newer app, like a combo of Instagram and Goodreads. So, basically, book nerd paradise! I’m Jennie748 there, so once you download the app, friend me!

Here are just a few of the wonderful books I’ve been reading lately. I recommend all of these!

Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

Back to drafting

Back at it!

After a summer off from writing, I was starting to get that itch to sit down at my MacBook and pound out another story. I went back and forth on what I wanted to write next, and finally settled on the second in my Castaway Cove contemporary romance series. I just wasn’t ready to let go of this small Missouri lake town, and there are a few citizens that haven’t gotten their HEA just yet.๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve started drafting now, but plan on participating in NaNoWriMo to (hopefully!) finish it by the end of November or early December. (My ultimate goal is to be done with the first draft before my kids are out of school for winter break.)

Here’s my Pinterest board for the first in the series.

Here’s my Pinterest board for the second in the series.

But prior to actually starting that first sentence, I wanted to create a word count tracker that would motivate me to keep trucking along, especially when I hit that sucky middle. I couldn’t find anything I liked around the web, so I made this bad boy myself. Iโค all the little boxes just waiting for my input!

NERD ALERT: I love Excel!

Is anyone else doing NaNo this year? If so, find me and friend me on the NaNo site! I’m Jen748.

Happy Drafting, friends!

Posted in Castaway Cove, NaNoWriMo, Personal Stuff, Random, Reading, Writing

Welcome Autumn!

So, um, hello. Remember me?๐Ÿ™‚ It’s been a long while since I’ve blogged. I spent the summer settling into our new home, chasing after my kiddos, reading a lot, and having a lot of sunscreen-scented fun. But now it’s autumn, my very favorite.

Here’s a small window into what I’ve been up to recently. I’ll be sharing about what I’m working on now in a few days, and maybe a post about some of the amazing books I read over the last few months!

Hope everyone had a wonderful summer and has already been having a fabulous fall!


Posted in Castaway Cove, Goals, Marina Story, Personal Stuff, Random, Reading, Writing

:::summer fun:::

Hiya! I’m just dropping by to say hi (imagine the waving hand emoji right here) and share a little of the summer fun I’ve been having. Other than reading a CP’s MG manuscript and sending my MS out to beta readers, my warm weather writing hiatus is still on-going. It’s been very refreshing! Though, I started getting the itch to sit down and write something last week…not that I have a project to dive into just yet, but it’s nice to know that the want is still there.๐Ÿ™‚

For now, I’ll keep enjoying the lower stress level and continue tackling things from my General Life To Do list and also our family’s Summer Fun To Do list.

The summer so far looks a little like this:


Posted in Castaway Cove, Goals, Marina Story, Personal Stuff, Random, Reading, Writing

that sweet magic of summer

Thereโ€™s a lake I know
In a nearby park
You and I can go
Take a break and get awayโ€”

Lyrics: Take a Break, from Hamilton (If you didn’t recognized them, let’s talk)

Monday I finished my second round of revisions on RETURNING TO CASTAWAY COVE (still haven’t found a title that I love, ugh) and Tuesday I sent the whole shebang to two CPs.

And now, in the wise words of Eliza Hamilton, I’m going to take a break for the summer. There are many layers to this much needed break, and because I love making lists…let me tell you some of them.

*I need to refill my creative well. I’ve been working on one WIP after another, drafting and revising and then beginning again on a new idea. I usually have The Idea that I want to write next before I’ve even finished revising, but not this time. My muse is tired. My fingers are tired. My CPs are probably tired.

*I want to frolic, to splash at the pool, to wade in a creek, to laugh until I cry. My kids are growing so fast, and I don’t want to miss it because I’m stressing about word counts and self-imposed deadlines. And I have been stressing myself…and its reached unhealthy levels. A step back is in order, a few months to breathe and just BE. 

*I’m in a reading rut and I want out of it. It’s gotten worse this year than I can ever remember. My tastes are fickle right now. I get a book I just CAN’T wait to read from the library and then it sits on my shelf…and I’m blah about it. This is all compounded by my focus on writing, giving up reading time to draft and revise.

*My husband’s schedule is straight-up bananas this summer. I’m the SAHM, he’s the paramedic/firefighter. When his department has guys out on injury leave or other leave, that means he has to pick up extra shifts. And right now, it’s a lot of extra shifts. And his those shifts are 24-hours, which means he’s gone 4 or more days out of 7. Four complete rotations of the Earth…he’s not home for dinner or bedtime or any of that. Others might be able to juggle all of that solo time and write, and I’ve done it before, but not this summer.

I am EXHAUSTED after spending 14+ hours with two kids, doing summer fun things and feeding them and wiping faces and hands and breaking up fights over every little toy. It doesn’t leave much left over in my brain for writing in the couple hours I have alone in the evening before I fall asleep. More importantly, it doesn’t leave much left over for ME, the person.

My family helps out a lot, but they have lives and wonky work schedules too. Hiring a baby-sitter for a few hours isn’t exactly feasible. My daughter’s peanut and hazelnut allergy means whomever is in charge must understand and respect the severity of food allergies. They have to recognize the signs of a reaction and be prepared to stab a seven-year-old in the leg with a needle to keep her from dying. That’s not something I’m comfortable putting on just anyone.

*Related, my youngest has regularly started boycotting naps. Naptime was my writing time. In those 2-3 hours I would pound out a few thousand words or revise a few chapters. Oh, and also, that was when I kept my sanity. I’m losing that when he boycotts. (both the writing time AND sanity!)

*I suppose some might see this list as Excuses. They might say, “If you want it, you’ll make it happen.” And, that might be true for some people, even true for me at another time. But I also recognize my mental and emotional health, and that takes priority right up there with my family. 

*I’ll still be doing a little writing-related stuff as it comes up, revising after receiving notes CPs and (hopefully) beta readers later in the summer. I’m not giving up on this marathon, not at all. I’ll still post random thoughts on Twitter and Facebook and pretty photos on Instagram. But mostly, I’ll be reading and splashing in the pool with my kids and enjoying the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. (If you get that reference, we can be BFFs)

Posted in Currently, Personal Stuff, Random, Reading, Writing


Once again I’m joining Katy Upperman’s Currently posts. It’s really fun, so you should join too!


OUR NEW HOUSE! We moved two weeks ago tomorrow, and it’s been a crazy, stressful, wonderful fourteen days.


Because of the moving, my attention span has been zilch. I’ve started and quit more than a few books, but both of these have drawn me in:



My husband and I FINALLY watched The Force Awakens over the weekend. We never made it to the theater when it was there, and we were SO ready to find out how awesome it was. And it was awesome!

Listening To

Hamilton. Again. Always. The kids have become obsessed too. It’s pretty much all we listen to anymore. (Oldest’s fav: My Shot. Youngest’s fav: Helpless.) I just ordered the Hamiltome today…can’t wait to read through it with the whole family.

Thinking About

Decorating the new house including a wall of bookcases! My books are all in boxes right now and it’s making me very sad!


Gilmore Girls Reboot! I’m such a GG fangirl, and I’ve been snapping up any articles and photos about the revival and couldn’t be more excited!!


I want these remaining cold nights to go away so we can plant our backyard garden! We have big plans, and just need Mother Nature to cooperate so we can put them into action.

Making Me Happy

Three small bushes in our new backyard started blooming!


Posted in Castaway Cove, Currently, Libraries, Marina Story, Personal Stuff, Random, Reading, Writing

{Currently} The Moving Edition

Once again I’m joining Katy Upperman’s Currently posts. It’s really fun, so you should join too!


Last week was both of my kids’ spring break, and one of the things we did was a visit to a local Living History Museum. We met people in period clothes and riding horses and wandered through buildings originally located in the area. It was fascinating and fun. The blacksmith’s barn was my favorite. IMG_6641


I just finished this biography on JQA (who is one of my biggest historical dude crushes) and it was highly informative and engrossing. I also just read this biography on Rosemary Kennedy after one of my BFFs recommended it and it was fascinating. Horrifying at what ended up happening to her, but also fascinating.



The kids have been watching a fair amount of movies because of all the packing. That’s about all we’ve had on lately.

Listening To

Hamilton. I FINALLY convinced my husband to give it a listen and now it’s the only thing we listen to. Last week I had tears streaming down my face with my whole family in the car. (Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story gets me every time!)

Thinking About

MOVING! We will be moving half of our house today and the rest tomorrow. We close Wednesday afternoon! Fingers crossed it’s a smooth transition! Hopefully next Currently, I’ll have some photos to post of the new place. I’ve got big plans for new bookcases.๐Ÿ™‚


With spring break and packing, I haven’t had much writing time. I’ve squeezed in some, but I’m looking forward to next week and getting back into our normal routine a bit more.



Mother Nature needs to get her seasons straight. The Easter Bunny brought us snow yesterday! It was melted by noon, but still. The tulip photo is from Saturday and the snow is Sunday…it looks like it survived the cold snap we had overnight Sunday, thankfully.


Making Me Happy

The idea of unpacking all of these boxes in the new house! Also, this tree outside of our local library branch.