M.J. Fredrick's Blog, page 6

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 • 7 views

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)


To be continued…
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Published on July 07, 2015 18:09 • 11 views

July 6, 2015

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Last weekend, my mom and I went to NYC for a wedding. It was the first time we’ve traveled together, and the first time I’d traveled without Fred, when there wasn’t someone I knew waiting for me on the other side. So it was a definite adventure!

Friday morning we left the house around 6:15 to get our bags checked and everything. We were through the gate and eating our doughnuts by 6:50! Our flight wasn’t until 7:50! We saw David Robinson, talked (not to David, because everyone was bothering him), then boarded. We upgraded to “comfort” class and it was pretty nice. We got free booze, so Mom got Bailey’s Irish Cream and put it in her Starbucks, and I got vodka for my Diet Coke. There was a man sitting with us who gave use a lot of good advice.  We had free TV while we were in the air, but we didn’t know it until the guy told us. Mom had been thinking the Supreme Court would be making the judgement on Friday, and when we turned on CNN, there it was. Breaking news. We cried and hugged and people probably thought we were nuts.

Then the “fun” began. We’d decided to take the air train from the airport to the subway. OMG. We almost got run over! I told Mom there was no benefit being a gray-haired lady in NYC! There were not enough seats, of course, and not even enough poles to hang onto, so I grabbed a pole between two guys and Mom held on to me. Never mind that her luggage was huge, and my luggage was threatening to knock her over. The train stops a billion times and by the time we got off, we were frazzled. THANK GOD the mother of the bride, Sharon,  sent my brother Mike and her son Will on the subway to get us. Theywaited for us on the other side while we paid, then Will took Mom’s bags and Mike took mine and we rode the subway. It wasn’t terrible, because we got seats, and we stayed on the same subway until we got off. My stepdad Joe had told us we needed to change. Then we emerged into the sunlight, just south of Times Square. Will led the way to the hotel, which was down this dingy street that was out of the movie Birdman, if you’ve seen it. We got to the hotel, checked in around 2:30, went upstairs and dropped our bag, and Mike found a deli for us….about 3 city blocks away. It was good, but dang, we passed about ten delis on the way.

While we were there, Mike said today was probably our only chance to go to Mood, the fabric store from Project Runway. We got back on the subway and rode down to the fashion district. We walked for blocks and finally found the place. It’s not well-marked. It was fun, but poor Mom was BEAT by this time. She didn’t even get to see all of it (it’s 3 floors). We walked home (10 not-city blocks), and got there in time for the cocktail party at the hotel. There was wine and cheese and crackers. Sharon’s cousins came in while we were there, and they know Mom from parties, so we all talked. When it was over, we went to our room and  Will ordered a free pizza that came with the room. Mike and I went down the street to get it. We brought it back to the room, ate, and Sharon and her husband Bill came to find us. They had some pizza (it was a BIG pizza) and we all went down to visit with the cousins some more. Mom and I pooped out around 9, came upstairs and took turns in the CRAZY shower. It had no shower door, no lip, so when you stepped under the spray, EVERYTHING got wet. They have a special toilet paper holder because otherwise even that would get wet. Then we got into bed, watched Blue Bloods, and Mom fell asleep. I took a LONG time to fall asleep. I was hot and didn’t have the white noise of my fan. But at least we didn’t have to get an early start on Saturday.

What we ate:

deli sandwich

To be continued….
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Published on July 06, 2015 18:08 • 5 views

July 5, 2015

Yes, this time next week I will have a 24-year-old son! We’re going to have his party on Saturday, though, so we can recuperate Sunday :) I’m inviting his girlfriend’s parents, for the first time, and that makes me nervous!

I realize I didn’t post my goals last week because I was in NYC and we didn’t have internet in the rooms, not that we were there much anyway! I’ll post all those updates later, but I DID finish my book and uploaded it on Thursday and Friday, waiting for the cover artist before I can get the print book going. I also had a BookBub ad, so I’m going to try to keep the momentum going this week.

Lunch with friends
Work on new book
Day with Mom
clean craft room
Polka to the vet
modify front matter in published books
take out ads
Get ready for Josh’s bday party
sew something
walk the dog

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Published on July 05, 2015 06:28 • 9 views

July 4, 2015

I’m wanting to update my Bluestone covers, but dang, it’s hard, especially since I have particular pictures of these characters, you know? Also finding three pictures with the same look is challenging.

I really like Robyn Carr’s new book covers, with just the hero, but I can only find one picture like that, and I need 3.


I really like Jane Porter’s covers, the beautiful colors, the focus on the heroine.


And I love the colors of Virginia Kantra’s books.


Here are the ones I’ve narrowed down:

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I’m not sure how I feel about the guitar guy, and I’d definitely crop out the globe, but they at least seem to have the same feel.

Then there are these:

He kind of reminds me too much of the nanny on Modern Family


I love the look of this picture, and think it’s kind of like Robyn Carr’s covers, but I can’t find any more like it that I like.


I can’t get past the sweater on this one.


So I guess I’ll keep looking. Any thoughts?

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Published on July 04, 2015 10:25 • 11 views

June 25, 2015

Originally posted on It's All About The Romance:

5b1c7-boxsetblue500x600 Two days ago was the release date of our box set Summer On Main Street, a six-book set of small town romances. It came out with a bang and it’s still selling well. I am so proud to be a part of this group of authors and I’m pleased to have another of the fabulous author-MJ Fredrick-on my blog today.

The Love I want to be in Final

Welcome MJ. Tell us about yourself.

I have been writing seriously for 18 years, when I joined RWA. I first published in 2008, with two different publishers, two weeks apart, both firefighter books. I’ve written 25 books now, from romantic suspense to contemporary romance, set from Antarctica to Texas to Africa. I have been teaching for 26 years now, every grade level but kindergarten. I’m currently teaching music, which means ALL the kids are my kids! I’ve been married for 28 years to an Emmy-award winning producer, and we have…

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Published on June 25, 2015 05:11 • 10 views

June 23, 2015

Finally it’s here, the summer on Main Street boxed set, with six stories by six authors, for 99 cents! I was so excited to be invited to be part of this. Allie and I were Samhain authors together, and I was so pleased when she invited me. I wanted to have a new book as a part of it, so I busted BUTT to get the first book of my new series, The Off-Season, ready to go. I’ve had the idea forever, since Fred and I spent a Columbus Day weekend at the coast, and I started thinking about the people who lived there. I put off writing it because Trish ALSO had the idea of writing the beach books that became the Starfish Shore series. I didn’t want to spread myself too thin, so I started the Boom Town books first.

ANYWAY, I hope you’ll check out Blue and Brioney, who’ve already gotten a good review from an ARC reviewer.

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00V6GBG3W

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/summer-on-main-street/id979811690?mt=11

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/summer-on-main-street-crista-mchugh/1121601835?ean=2940151718011

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/summer-on-main-street


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Published on June 23, 2015 06:27 • 5 views

June 22, 2015

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Favorite Things blog, and since I’m CRAZY stressed about this trip to NY, I thought it was time.

Not at all related to the previous statement: whiskey sours. I found a recipe on Pinterest and they are so crazy good and EASY and I get to use my mason jar shaker. (I wish I’d taken a picture of the last one I made, because I don’t want to steal the picture on her blog.)

The Strain. We’re rewatching the CREEPY vampire show and loving it all over again.


Shannon Stacey’s newest book. It’s Friday Night Lights, all grown up! I loved every minute.


Jurassic World. Jurassic Park remains one of my favorite movies of all time, and I was scared going into Jurassic World, but I LOVED it. Not as much as the original, but it was fun and surprising and FUN. I WILL see it again.


My dog. Yes, she’s stinky and she gets on the couch when she’s not supposed to, but she’s sweet and she loves me.


What’s on your favorites list these days?

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Published on June 22, 2015 18:49 • 4 views

Originally posted on It's All About The Romance:


Good Morning!

In celebration of our upcoming Summer On Main Street Box Set, I’m very pleased to have Allie Boniface on my blog today. Allie’s book The Promise of Paradise will be available in our box set AVAILABLE FOR SALE TOMORROW!


Welcome to my blog, Allie!  Tell us a little about yourself:

Well, I was born and raised in a tiny community in upstate New York, which probably explains my fascination with small town life. I currently live with my husband and our two furry feline children and teach high school English in the northern NYC suburbs.

I’m also lucky enough to be a USA Today best-selling author of sensual contemporary romance and have 3 series currently published (Hometown Heroes, Cocktail Cruises, One Night In…) I love stories set in small towns and am a firm believer in the power of love and the emotions that connect us all!

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Published on June 22, 2015 05:03 • 5 views

June 21, 2015

Pretty much the heading says it all. I. Will. Be. Crazy.

Today is Fred’s 50th AND Father’s Day, but we’ve pretty much celebrated, except for the enchiladas I’m making for dinner.

Tuesday the Summer on Main Street boxed set comes out and I’m hoping for GOOD sales.

Friday, Mom and I are heading to NYC and I’m an idiot who never thought about reserving seats when I booked the flight and now there are not two seats together. She hasn’t flown in 15 years, and I’m a little anxious. My stepdad is working on figuring out how we’re getting from the airport to the hotel.

ALSO I need to finish a book this week. I’m not going ANYWHERE.

Launch boxed set
Board Meeting (ugh, forgot about that)
Dentist (yes, again. Forgot about that, too)
Fly to NYC for a wedding
Newsletter/ads/Facebook party
Clean craft room
Finish Avalon
walk the dog

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Published on June 21, 2015 10:15 • 4 views