M.J. Fredrick's Blog

July 26, 2015


This is it, my last week of being a hermit. I’ll have a couple of appointments, and a day with Mom, but for the most part, I’m on my own. Fred’s on vacation next week, so I’m trying to get as much done this week as I can.



Day with Mom
Work on new book–to 40,000 words
get hair cut
sew something
clean bedroom
walk the dog
Finish watching Outlander
read Laura Ingalls book

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Published on July 26, 2015 10:16 • 1 view

July 21, 2015

I’ve been looking for new cover images for the Bluestone books. Since I’m revisiting Bluestone with a Christmas story, and need a cover for that, I decided to rebrand the lot of them. And I’ve spent WEEKS going through stock photos to find just what I want. I got a new logo this week, which I love:


MJFredrick_WelcomeToBluestone_Logo


Here’s the picture for the Christmas book:


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Here’s the one I want for Bluestone Homecoming.


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I just need two more to kind of match these. HARD TO FIND.


Here are my thoughts as I’m looking for covers:



Don’t look at the camera
Don’t smile
Don’t be wearing white. Or shorts. Or a scarf with a short-sleeved shirt. Or a hat. Or a suit on the beach (for REALZ)
Don’t be holding something, like a globe. Honestly, I found the BEST picture, and he’s holding a globe. WHYYYYY???
No ridiculous haircut
Put a shirt on. Geez! It’s Minnesota!

What are your cover requirements?


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Published on July 21, 2015 05:27

July 19, 2015


Let’s see if I can turn this around. Last week I was WORTHLESS. I wrote MAYBE 20 pages all week, and I really did nothing else. I didn’t sew or craft or clean or read….ARGH. I’m so mad at myself.



Day with Mom
Vet appointments–one for Polka, one for YaYa
Work on new book
sew something
clean closets
walk the dog
take out ads
Get new covers for Bluestone books, including the Christmas one
REALLY look into getting an assistant

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Published on July 19, 2015 05:07 • 1 view

July 16, 2015







































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Published on July 16, 2015 03:45 • 9 views

July 14, 2015

The Love I want to be in Final Right Back to You Final


 


Two new books, same series. The Love I Want to Be In is already in Summer on Main Street, if you bought that. Right Back to You is Fitz’s story. And in 2 months, Mercedes’s story is coming out! Yes, I’m busy busy busy!


http://www.mjfredrick.com/the-off-season.html






Single mother Brioney Mayburn has learned about responsibility the hard way, working as a maid in the motel in the small beach town of Avalon Island, Texas and looking after her younger brother. Local jack-of-all-trades Blue Maddox was her sister’s high school boyfriend, but stayed behind when she went off to college. He’s now drawn to Brioney, admiring her drive, her determination to give her daughter the best life she can. But will Brioney look past his beach-bum facade to see who he really is?

Fitz Dawson has come home to Avalon Island after a stint in the army. After raising his brother and sisters when their dad died, his responsibilities are done. It’s time to follow his own dreams, which include remodeling an old motel on the north, less touristy, end of the island. It will take a lot of money and effort, but it will mean he can stay on the island he’s loved and missed.

Rachel Hamilton isn’t surprised when Fitz turns up at her front door when he comes back to town. They’ve always been friends and since high school, have added “with benefits” to the description. She often wonders what might have happened between them if his dad hadn’t died, if he hadn’t been left with the responsibility of raising his siblings, if he hadn’t thought his best option for providing for them was the army. She has dreams of a happily ever after, but he wants to live life on his own terms. She has to show him that she can take care of herself, and him, if he needs it. Can she turn their friendship into benefits for her?






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Published on July 14, 2015 07:15 • 2 views

July 12, 2015


We celebrated Josh’s birthday last night, though his birthday is today, so I’m chilling, trying to figure out how I’m the mother of a 24-year-old when I don’t feel much older than that myself! Okay, maybe I get a lot more tired than I used to, but mentally…


Two books releasing Tuesday means it’s going to be a busy. I am :thisclose: to hiring a virtual assistant, but getting all that set up makes me freak out. But I probably should do that before I go back to work.



Josh’s birthday
Work on new book
Day with Mom
Lunch with friend
Launch Avalon series
Newsletter/ads, including an extra promotion that I’m doing with 20 authors
Look into rebranding the Bluestone books
Clean closets
sew something (which I haven’t done all summer)
walk the dog
And I REALLY want to start reading that Laura Ingalls book!
WATCH OUTLANDER–I’ve been putting it off until I wasn’t busy, but I’m never not busy!
Color hair. Blue highlights this time, I think.

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Published on July 12, 2015 06:35 • 2 views

July 10, 2015

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Monday, we had planned to get up early to go to The Today Show, but then we were going to meet the boys at Grand Central Station, and didn’t want to walk back to check out, so we slept in a bit, then packed and dressed and checked out. While we were on the elevator, Sharon went to our room looking for us, and came back down and was waiting for us in the lobby. We spent about ten minutes sitting with her and Bill, then they headed off to breakfast with his brother and we went to Grand Central to meet the boys, who were late, as usual. Mike was meeting his friend from Florence, who was there in town for a bit on his way home from Flordia, so we met up, had lunch at Shake Shack (GOOOOD burger) and bought Magnolia cupcakes. Then Mike and Will were supposed to meet his family at our hotel at 12:30, so we took the subway (and we were in the BOWELS, let me tell you.) Took us longer to walk down than it would have taken us to walk the distance. When we got out, the family texted that no, they were meeting at the OTHER hotel. So we could have stayed at Grand Central longer, because we just came back so we could see everyone. So Mom and I did some souvenir shopping, then just sat at a shaded table in Times Square, because we didn’t have to meet the shuttle until 2.

We went back to the hotel around 1:30 so we could use the restroom and get something to drink from the gift shop. We sat in the lobby and ate our cupcakes. There was a German lady and her daughter and they smiled when they saw the boxes and the lady patted her behind, like they were fattening. Probably, but we walked it off, I’m sure!

We got on the shuttle, and the driver had to go to different hotels to get different people, so we were in traffic (OMG TRAFFIC) for an hour! But we got to the airport with plenty of time, he dropped us RIGHT off at the Delta place. We walked in, printed our boarding passes, checked our luggage, went through security (For some reason on this trip, we got the TSA precheck, which meant we skipped all the PITA security. We didn’t have to take out our electronics or anything). Our gate was RIGHT there, on the other side of security. But JFK has put in all these tables instead of rows of chairs like San Antonio has, so it was hard to find a place to sit. There aren’t enough seats for everyone who will board the plane. So ridiculous. We found a seat because another flight was boarding, but there were no plugs to charge our phones. I went to get us some drinks from Wendy’s and when I came back, Mom had moved to one of the tables and was charging her phone, lol. So she talked to Joe while we were there and he said we could ask if we could sit together so I did, and they changed our seats! I didn’t get to work at all, but I was relieved because I thought Mom would be too nervous by herself.

Then Fred came in to meet us at the terminal. He’d had dinner with Joe and then went to the house to hang out until we called. When we got home, I talked his ear off for like 2 hours. He’d cleaned the house and even made the bed!

Whew!

Okay, what we ate:
burger
fries (an order split 3 ways)
Magnolia cupcake
Wendy’s strawberry lemonade
cookies on the plane
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Published on July 10, 2015 18:27 • 7 views

July 9, 2015

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The wedding was held at 3 West Club or the Women’s Republican Club. It was smaller than I expected, but very vintage, and that was Shell’s look for the wedding, very Downton Abbey. Her theme was Love Makes the World Go Round or something because 12 countries were represented at the wedding! Marc’s family is Lebanese, but he was born in France, Shell lived in Qatar, now lives in Switzerland, they have friends from all over the world.



Okay, so we went in and sat with the cousins, who love my mom, though they’ve only met her a handful of times. We waited and waited and finally the processional. Marc and his groomsmen, Marc’s parents, then John brought his grandma, then Mike and Will walked in arm and arm. Mom and I burst into tears, because there it was, the truth, right there. Mom was SO HAPPY, and she said Joe would be SO HAPPY. Anyway…the girls walked in, then Shell with both her parents. She made them walk SLOW. I’ve never seen Sharon move that slow in her life. Anyway, the officiant was their uncle on their dad’s side, Uncle Randy, and he talked about their history, and then there were some readings. John and Katie read their scriptures, and then Mike and Will read a Latin poem–Mike IN Latin, and Will the translation. It was so beautiful. so many people said it was their favorite part of the wedding.

MY favorite part was the vows. OMG, Marc’s vows. Every woman in the room was sighing. When he was done, I wanted to go ask him for a copy to use for my books! And the way he was looking at her….SO romantic. I found out later he’s about 4 years younger than her. He’s younger than Will, even, and already very accomplished. More on that later. So they honored their parents by replicating their mother’s bridal bouquets. Sharon’s was white roses and white daisies and Mona’s was orchids and greenery. They couldnt be more different and that was SO SYMBOLIC of everything I was thinking.

So they did the rings and the kiss, and danced back up the aisle to “Happy.” That was the cutest thing. Sharon loved it. Bill did not.

So they led us to the rooftop room overlooking St. Patrick’s. The bride and groom had signature cocktails. I forget what hers was called, but it was champagne and raspberries and lemon. His was “Mint-to-be” mojito (which has mint in it) and OMG delicious! Anyway, people mingled, took pictures with the cathedral in the background. Then one of Marc’s childhood friends sang, and OMG, like being a  Pavarotti concert. It just took my breath away!

Then we went downstairs to dinner. People came from TWELVE COUNTRIES for this wedding, so she had us sitting by cities that were important to her relationship. We were in Doha, with Mike, Will, Sharon and Bill (and another couple). We were so grateful they took care not to make us uncomfortable. LOTS of food–salad, risotto, steak, two kinds of potatoes, asparagus, and the CAKE! OMG, the CAKE.

Shell came to ask Will to dance with her and told Mike to dance with his mother, but she wouldn’t, so I danced with him. It was fun. Then we all got Mom out to dance to “Jambalaya.” The only thing with the music was it was REALLY loud and they REALLY dragged out the songs. I was so tired, and I just danced to those two songs. I would have danced more but didn’t want to leave Mom sitting alone. I swear, some day I’m going to go to a wedding with someone who likes to dance!

Marc got up and played guitar and sang a Stevie Ray Vaughn song to Shell, and then the man with the beautiful voice sang “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Tutti Frutti” and EVERYONE was dancing. It was so much fun, no one wanted to leave.

Well, except Mom. It would have been nice if we had a room in the hotel because I was kind of stressed about getting back to our hotel. They had an open bar, and your wine glass was never empty. I wasn’t drunk though. I was so worried about getting a taxi back, because this place didn’t have a door man to help. So when we left, I asked the guy at the desk where was the best place, and he said 5th Avenue, which wasn’t far. But…we walked out of the hotel, an empty taxi was going by, and I raised my hand. He stopped! I felt so accomplished! Anyway, for $10, we were home by 11:30. I couldn’t go to sleep, though!

What we ate:

croissant and macaroon
sandwiches from the deli
cheese, beef Wellington, mini egg rolls, lobster puff
salad, risotto, steak, 2 kinds of potatoes, asparagus and wedding cake!
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Published on July 09, 2015 18:21 • 5 views

July 8, 2015

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Sunday was BUSY. We got up early and walked to St. Patrick’s for Mass. It was still misting rain, but we didn’t bother with the cheap ponchos. It was also COLD! I was dressed in a maxi skirt and t-shirt and shivering! We were aiming for 9:00 Mass, but didn’t know how long it would take to walk, and ended up in time for 8:00 Mass! So we went in, couldnt hear a thing. We left after communion and I was starving. NOTHING was open on Sunday morning, and even though Will said they’d meet us after Mass so we could go to the parade together, they didn’t answer the texts, so we walked over to Rockefeller Center, took some pictures, and saw a bakery was open! Yay, breakfast! While we were eating our healthy breakfast of croissant and macaroon, we could look right out onto the Today Show. There weren’t many people, so we said we’d go out as soon as we finished. Well, we did, and by the time we got there, the show was over! Lol, well, we tried.


Still no response from the boys, so we went to look for their hotel, where the wedding was going to be. Couldn’t find it. Mom was tired, so we went back to St. Patrick’s and sat down during the 9:00 Mass, so when we finally got the boys, we told them we’d already walked 2 miles and went to church twice!

So they told us to come over, and we found the hotel because Marc (groom) and John (Will’s brother) were standing outside. We talked to them a bit, and Marc told us he had 40,000 steps on Friday, doing all the running around for the wedding!

We went up to Mike and Will’s room and sat for a bit, but they were checking out, so they took us down to the library where Shell and Sharon and the bridesmaids were getting their make-up done. The wedding was at 5, and this was probably 11.  Anyway, it was VERY interesting, because it was this big beautiful room and their dresses were hanging all around, and Shell was wearing a shirt that said “Keep Calm and Say I Do,” and her maid of honor bought her a monogramed robe that said “Mrs.” on the back. They were going to do pictures before the ceremony, so were going to have something called “First Look” since the groom isn’t supposed to see the bride before the wedding. I learned a lot. LOTS of inspiration.

Finally we decided not to wait for the boys and walked down to the Pride Parade. We walked 12 not-city blocks to where the parade began, but we missed the first half hour or so, and then realized the parade ACTUAlly began farther down, and we’d missed more. Mom wanted a rubber bracelet that MetLife was giving out, and I got her a thing of beads and she found a flag. She was so cute. I asked Will on the way back if he EVER thought he’d see the day and he said no.

They walked us back and we rested for about 45 minutes before we started getting ready for the wedding. We went down at 4, thinking to get a taxi, but no one wanted to take us such a short distance (4 blocks) but Mom could not walk in her shoes.

Sharon’s cousins came down and we decided to get a Suburban and split the cost. It STILL took us 20 minutes in traffic!

To be continued….
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Published on July 08, 2015 18:20

July 7, 2015

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So Saturday morning we were to meet the whole wedding gang at BB King’s restaurant, but we didnt know what we were doing, so we left early, found out Will LIED about where it was, got lost, stopped at Starbucks, took some pictures in Times Square, and were STILL 30 minutes early. We went into a shop next door and I got some souvenirs, then we went into the restaurant but it’s weird, the way it’s run. Something about a line and tickets. Well, then the groom, Marc, came with his friend Henry.Poor Henry got stuck with us while Marc took care of the details. But Henry was a very interesting guy. He’s from Guernsey and he met Marc in Qatar and they were in a band together. He said he moved to Qatar because jobs were scarce in England, and he could get experience elsewhere. Anyway, LOTS of story ideas from old Henry.



Then we were invited into the restaurant (we’d been sitting in the bar with Henry). It was….like nothing I’ve ever seen. It was a buffet, and there was a show by Strawberry Fields, a Beatles cover band. I didn’t think Mom was enjoying it because it was LOUD and she said it brought back bad memories, but she said afterward she really enjoyed it. Shell (the bride) and Marc got up and danced, and were invited on stage, and then the band told us to dance and sing along. It was a BLAST.

Afterwards, it was starting to rain, but Mom and I had already decided we were going to go on a double-decker bus tour, and she wanted to ride on the top. She said she’d always wanted to ride a double decker bus, and she’d brought us ponchos, so off we went. The bus was partially covered but of course those seats were taken, so we sat in the rain (misting, drizzling, not really heavy) and took the downtown loop. We saw the Empire State Building and the Flatiron, the police headquarters, the federal courthouse, Battery Park, Statue of Liberty, Chinatown, 1 World Trade, Ground Zero, Macy’s flagship, went through Greenwich and Chelsea. We saw a LOT. Actually, around Chinatown, we were able to move under the sheltered part of the bus, and we didn’t leave those spots. It was a hop-on, hop-off kind of thing, but the weather was so bad, we decided to just stay on. Plus, the wetter it got, the more people were getting on and we were afraid we wouldn’t be able to find a seat.

Then we went back to the hotel and ordered another free pizza, then went and got it. After we ate, we took our baths and got in bed. We were watching Big Bang Theory and there was a knock on the door–John and Katie (Will’s brother and his girlfriend) heard we had ponchos and asked to borrow them.

BTW, Will said he and Mike and Shell and Marc (not sure about John and Katie) went down to Greenwich Village to celebrate the SCOTUS ruling on Friday night. I’m so glad they got to do that. It was a great weekend to be in NY.  According to our tour bus guide, Greenwich was where the gay rights movement started.

What we ate:

brunch at BB King’s, including fish, scrambled eggs, sweet potatoes, salad, macaroni salad and DELICIOUS brownies

brownie from the the place we got pizza (Mom had a cannoli)

pizza

To be continued…
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Published on July 07, 2015 18:09 • 2 views