Elizabeth Seckman's Blog

August 5, 2016

I got Mark Noce's book, Between Two Fires,  on early release from Net Galley. I started it a few days ago, and I honestly hate putting it down. It's not because it's a historical, and I love history. It's not because it is action packed with wars between kingdoms, bitter feuds, and traitors in the mix. 

I mean all of that is excellent. But it's not what keeps me reading.

For me, it's all about the love. Blended in with all the goodness above is a wonderfully enticing love story. And I am all about the romance.

Okay, okay, so sometimes in the book world, it isn't cool to be into romance. I sat on a panel of authors discussing romance writing and several admitted, they either never considered reading romance until they decided to write it. Or they started reading romance early on, but would hide their "trash" novel inside another, more respectable book.

Not me. Unapologetic romantic here. I've been devouring romances since I could walk myself to the library and sign my name on the check-out card.

My first day of detention in junior high was after a dramatic reading of the love scenes from Danielle Steel's Palimino in math class. Of course, I wasn't the reader...I was entrusted to watch the door while my friend did her best audio rendition of the steamy content.  Little did we know our teacher was wise enough to turn on the intercom between the classroom and the secretary's office during her absence.

Busted. But all in all, it wasn't a tragedy. They let you to read books in lunchtime detention.

Not a believer in romance? Let's consider some very awesome movies:

Star Wars...Han Solo + Princess Laya = romance
Lord of the Rings...Aragorn + Arwen= romance
Thor...Thor + Jane Foster = romance
Harry Potter...Harry + Jenny; Ron + Hermione= romance
Spiderman...Peter Parker + Gwen Stacey (Gwen was better than Mary Jane) = romance 

Romance makes a story awesome.

As it does in Between Two Fires. 

Now, enough writing about the book when I could be reading to see if Branwen will toss the heartless Hammer King for Artagan, the dashing knight,

Praise from Bestselling Authors for Between Two Fires:

“A spirited ride through a turbulent slice of Welsh history!” – Paula Brackston, NYT Bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter

“A fast-paced read that has a wonderfully visual style and some memorable characters. Mark Noce combines Welsh history with a touch of folkloric magic in this promising debut novel. Lady Branwen is a strong and engaging narrator and the turbulent setting of early medieval Wales makes a fine backdrop for an action-packed story.” – Juliet Marillier, Bestselling author of Daughter of the Forest and Wolfskin

Synopsis of Between Two Fires
Saxon barbarians threaten to destroy medieval Wales. Lady Branwen becomes Wales’ last hope to unite their divided kingdoms when her father betroths her to a powerful Welsh warlord, the Hammer King.
But this fledgling alliance is fraught with enemies from within and without as Branwen herself becomes the target of assassinations and courtly intrigue. A young woman in a world of fierce warriors, she seeks to assert her own authority and preserve Wales against the barbarians. But when she falls for a young hedge knight named Artagan her world threatens to tear itself apart. Caught between her duty to her people and her love of a man she cannot have, Branwen must choose whether to preserve her royal marriage or to follow her heart. Somehow she must save her people and remain true to herself, before Saxon invaders and a mysterious traitor try to destroy her.

Places to Order Between Two Fires
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Amazon/ Amazon Kindle/ Barnes & Noble/ Barnes & Noble Nook/ iTunes/ IndieBound/ Thomas Dunne Books

Mark Noce writes historical fiction with a passion, and eagerly reads everything from fantasy to literature. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he’s an avid traveler and backpacker, particularly in Europe and North America. He earned his BA and MA from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he also met his beautiful wife. By day, he works as a Technical Writer, having spent much of his career at places like Google and Facebook. In addition to writing novels, he also writes short fiction online. When not reading or writing, he’s probably listening to U2, sailing his dad’s boat, or gardening with his family.
His debut novel, Between Two Fires, is being published by Thomas Dunne Books (an imprint of St. Martin's Press and Macmillan). It is the first in a series of historical fiction novels set in medieval Wales.

Social Media Links
Twitter/ Facebook (author page)/ Goodreads/ LinkedIn/ Google+/ Thunderclap Campaign

Now, for my good things!

Thanks to our hosts  LexaL.G, and Tonja Drecker for this weekly good things check in! 

I'm doing one good thing...
Today is my birthday. Feel free to send me cake. 

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Published on August 05, 2016 03:00 • 12 views

August 3, 2016

What is my insecurity this month? 
Tara Tyler and me
at the Ohio ExposLast month, I went to the Ohio Expos for readers and writers. It was an event that hosted more authors than readers. We were all there basically selling to each other. 
As a writer, I am also a reader. Book buying is as exciting as shoe shopping, so having down time to peruse the available books wasn't a totally bad thing. 
But from a reader's perspective, I couldn't buy all the books I wanted. I had a budget to stick with. So, out of all of these available, most certainly worthy books, I walked away with two new ones. 
I still haven't had time to read these new books. Earlier in the summer, I bought several titles for my Kindle. Then there are the books I've won in contests, the beta reads, and Net Galley reads. I've read a lot this summer, but I'm still way behind because as a reader, I'm swamped. I could NOT buy another book for a year and still not get through my to-read list. 
Good thing for family!
My cousin Jenny and Aunt Judy stopped in and stocked up. From a writer's perspective, that's flattening.

I was beginning to wonder...are there more writers than there are readers? 
Years and years ago, long before the rise of the indie market, I read an article in a writing magazine about the predicted glut of writers in the future. That the upstarts would hurt the market, making writing more of a hobby than a profession because there will be so many writers, they will desperately give away their work for free or dirt cheap in order to bait a single reader.   Young reader Kailee
There is hope.
She was eager for a book!
That article was prophetic.
Maybe there are just too many. Maybe a new book makes as much impact on the market as a hailstorm over an ocean. 
But then there is always hope. In conversation with the other writers (because we had lots of chat time in our down time), we decided that we may survive. Writing is hard work.

Every newbie (including ourselves) thought words on a page would be the magical portal to a life of leisure and liquidity. The hard truth is, sometimes if you're the author who sold a single title on a day when writers outnumber readers twenty-five to one, you're a best seller. That's not a truth new writers want to hear. And it's a truth that writers whose hearts aren't in it will tolerate. 
It's that marathon theory. Success in writing is a race measured in miles, not yards. And not everyone wants to train for marathons. 
Why does that inspire hope? 
Because when you accept that something is intrinsically hard, and possibly getting harder every day, it's no longer a personal failure, but a challenge.

IWSG question of the month:
What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

It was an action/romance about a kidnapped debutante and the hot black ops spy who saved her. It's sitting on my hard drive collecting dust. 

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and his awesome co-hosts for the August edition of the IWSG: Tamara NarayanTonja Drecker
Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor
Lauren @ Pensuasion
Stephen Tremp
Julie Flanders

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Published on August 03, 2016 03:00 • 4 views

July 22, 2016

While blog touring for Swept Away, I wrote a guest post for Annalisa Crawford's blog about the British Cemetery on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina (read that post here). In doing research for that post, I learned there was another British cemetery- this one on Hatteras Island in Buxton, North Carolina.

In a nut shell, during WWII the British Navy patrolled American waters to keep our shores safe. Unfortunately, several British sailors paid that ultimate sacrifice for freedom. Their bodies couldn't be shipped back home, so the island residents buried these heroes and tended to the graves throughout the passing decades.

During my vacation to the island this summer, I made sure to visit the Hatteras cemetery.

Located in a small clearing near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse were two graves enclosed by white picket fencing. Just like the Ocracoke site, the graves were neatly cared for and decorated with Union Jacks.

The difference between the two? The Hatteras site's headstones were covered in small trinkets, stones, and seashells. My nephew, Jay, was sight-seeing with me. He has an interest in grave yards and the differences in burials in varying cultures and time periods, so he had an explanation.

He told me it was a Jewish custom to place pebbles or stones on graves, and his guess was people were tweaking this tradition in order to show tribute to these heroes by using shells and trinkets.

I thought this was interesting, so I came home and looked it up.

Jay was right. It is a Jewish tradition to leave pebbles and stones- like at the end of Shindler's List. 

Ah-ha, now the ending makes total sense.

The Hebrew word for pebble is tz'ror which also translates to bond. A pebble or stone signifies a permanent, steadfast bond.

That sure makes more sense to me than flowers.

Speaking of excellent tales that involve graves...

C. Lee McKenzie's new book about a group of young adventurers is an A+ read! It's about a group of friends who find a mysterious crypt that may hold a clue to a treasure. This is a godsend to the boys because one of their crew is about to be shipped off to boarding school. This is a delightful story about the solidarity of friendship and the thrill of adventure.

Sign of the Green Dragon

Three plucky sleuths. A crumbling skeleton. A buried treasure.
Sign of the Green Dragon by [McKenzie, C. Lee]Pre-order your copy HERE!After six months in a new school, Sam’s finally fitting in. He’s the one kid with enough talent to hit the winning home run and bring the baseball trophy back to Haggarty Elementary. But Sam’s guardian is shipping him off to boarding school before that can happen.
When teammates, Joey and Roger, hear his bad news, they plot to hide him until the big game. Their secret cave is a perfect place until an earthquake shatters a wall and reveals a wooden chest with a red-eyed dragon carved into its top. Inside, a bony hand clutches a map with a note, promising treasure.
With Joey and Roger, Sam sets off to track down the clues and hopefully discover treasure. When some puzzle pieces start to make sense, the boys become lost in a labyrinth of underground tunnels, trapped by dangerous thieves and sealed inside an airless tomb. 
Sign of the Green Dragon gets a high five for fantasy, fun and some fearsome adventure. If you like intrepid would-be knights on impossible and dangerous quests, you’ll love this story. As one reader says, this book, “has more twists than a dragon’s tail.”
Buy now to jump into the adventure.

Now, for my good things!

Thanks to our hosts  LexaL.G, and Tonja Drecker for this weekly good things check in! 
1. It's so hot here in West Virginia, the lawn didn't need mowed this week.

2. I've been a horrible blogger this summer, but I've been a good reader. Now, I just need to get them all reviewed!

3. I'm headed to Akron, Ohio for the Ohio Expos this Saturday. I was born in Barberton, Ohio- a town not far from Akron- so I'll get a chance to see some of my family while I'm there. I'm sure I'll have pictures to share next week.
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Published on July 22, 2016 03:00 • 4 views

July 14, 2016

It's the family roadster all packed up and ready for fun at the beach. Of course with the a mini-van full of kids, we have to tow the trailer to carry all of our gear. 

See? No room for much more than bodies. And blankets. 

After almost twelve hours on the road, we arrived at our cottage. This was the view from the top deck. See the very faint sliver of ocean between the tree tops? I realized if I could see the waves from the deck, it wasn't my kind of swim day. 
Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for my guys, the winds over the coast were coming in from the southwest, so the waves were mostly calm both weeks. 
The only downside to calm waves was that bored boys have time to pretend they're sharks and see how often their mom will fall for a leg grab as a shark bite and book it to shore. 
Most running I've done in years.

And this is my husband and his salvaged boogie board. 
He rescued it from the trash and taped it up with Dollar Tree duct tape and painted it with toenail polish. It's this sort of behavior our kids try to hide from their friends and acquaintances. 
I would have told him to spring the $15 for a new board, but he was too proud...and small doses of mild parental humiliation helps build character in children. 
And there was that issue of them pretending to be sharks. 
Now, for my good things!!

Thanks to our hosts  LexaL.G, and Tonja Drecker for this weekly good things check in! 
My mom and her husband came down from Alaska for a visit. They're taking a year to tour the lower 48 states in their camper. Being a retired vagabond has its advantages. LOL. She loves it when I tell people that. Not. Truthfully, it's just payback for the time she made me try on a bra on over my shirt in the clothing aisle of Murphy's Mart when I was twelve.

Imagine what my kids will do to their father one day. ;)

Another good thing...that's really a great thing...

Autographed copies of Brandon and Bryan's (the Beer for the Shower guys) books!! You know what they say about squeaky wheels...I whined and they sent me oil, AKA awesome reads. I can't wait to dig in. If these stories are half as good as their other books, I'm sure to be turning pages happily.

If you're in the mood for irreverent humor with a dash of action- you can get your own copy here. 

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Published on July 14, 2016 23:25 • 3 views

July 5, 2016

But I am physically on vacation. I'll be back July 15th.

Enjoy some sun...it's summer time!!

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Published on July 05, 2016 15:18 • 2 views

June 24, 2016

I'm headed for the beach! While you're reading this, I'm packing and hopefully not forgetting the important things like my laptop...or the camera. We forgot the camera last year, fortunately everyone in my family has a phone with a camera, so we have pictures.

So, while I am away, please welcome Annalisa Crawford. She has a new book out that honestly looks and sounds delightful. I got mine in the mail last week, and I can't wait to read it. Knowing Annalisa, a treasure of literary surprises awaits me.

Annalisa asked me for a question she could answer, so I asked...

Who was the best British Monarch past or present, and why?

Oh gosh, this could be a long answer… Growing up I was intrigued by the Victorian Era. Queen Victoria was 18 when she succeeded to the throne, loved her husband so passionately she went into permanent mourning when he died, was a queen and empress, and oversaw the most amazing changes in social and industrial history. It was an amazingly romantic story.
However, these days, knowing more about her—about her less than happy marriage, and her almost loathing of her children—I’ve kind of changed my mind. She doesn’t come across as a very nice woman.
Instead, I choose our present queen, Elizabeth II. She too appears to love her husband very much and has seen a huge leap in social and technological advances during her reign. At 90, she’s still active in her royal duties, and has a great sense of humour. Just check out her involvement in the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony!
I’m not a flag-waving, queuing-up-at-5am-to-meet-her Royalist, but I like the tradition and sense of identity that the Royal Family gives us.
You. I. Us. is a collection of vignettes, small scenes which hint at the story beneath.
Annalisa has taken that idea to another level, because she asked 15 bloggers to ask her one question each, creating small insights into her life and writing. 
 You. I. Us.Publication date: June 10, 2016
Genre: Short Stories (Single Author)
Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository // Kobo // iBooks // Nook
In You. I. Us., Annalisa Crawford captures everyday people during  poignant defining moments in their lives: An artist puts his heart into his latest sketch, an elderly couple endures scrutiny by a fellow diner, an ex-student attempts to make amends with a girl she bullied at school, a teenager holds vigil at his friend’s hospital bedside, long distance lovers promise complete devotion, a broken-hearted widow stares into the sea from the edge of a cliff where her husband died, a grieving son contacts the only person he can rely Day after day, we make the same choices. But after reading You. I. Us., you’ll ask yourself, “What if we didn’t?”
About the author Annalisa Crawford lives in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of moorland and beaches to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, two sons, a dog and a cat. Annalisa writes dark contemporary, character-driven stories. She has been winning competitions and publishing short stories in small press journals for many years, and is the author of Cat & The Dreamer and Our Beautiful Child.www.annalisacrawford.com

Join the Goals Blog Hop Here!Misha Gericke & Beth Fred host this monthly goal update. 

Here's an update on my balanced goals for 2016!

1. Lose weight. Vacation is always a challenge. We'll see next week!2. Declutter rooms to declutter the mind. Slowly clearing stuff out. Taking more boxes to Goodwill in the morning. 3. Publish two books. Vacation is always a great time to daydream and plot.

Thanks to our hosts  LexaL.G, and Tonja Drecker for this weekly good things check in! 

I'm on vacation!!! 
I will celebrate that! 
I'm also doing a book signing while on the island (many of my books are set on the Outer Banks) 
If you happen to be in Duck, North Carolina, stop by and say hi!
Wednesday June 29th from 2:30-4:00 PM
Island Bookstore - OBX
1177 Duck Rd Ste 21, Duck, North Carolina 27949
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Published on June 24, 2016 00:30 • 6 views

June 9, 2016

My babies. Wonderful in spite of my mess ups. Last week, my niece shared this blog post, Excuse Me While I Lather My Child in this Toxic Death Cream, by Sarah Kallies on Facebook. It's a tongue and cheek piece about a serious issue- debilitating parental worries (or how the world drives you freaking insane with rules and warnings).

I got a good grin out of the post.

It was so true. Parents can break down with worry.

My first son was my trial child. Poor guy. I was petrified to take him out of the house. Every time I took him out, there was a constant barrage of strangers ready to say hi to him. I was aware from watching news reports that most people don't wash their hands properly after using the bathroom, hence they were all probably hepatitis infected.

Or so I convinced myself.

So, he was six weeks old (evidently the magical age of immunity) before I took him on an outing to somewhere as loathsome and dirty as a mall. By this time, it was the end of May. A day where the thermometer reached low eighties, with a slight breeze...a breeze that could give an improperly dressed infant pneumonia. So, I put him in a snowsuit.

Later that day, I noticed he was covered in a red rash. I rushed him to his doctor- the whole time feeling immense guilt for bringing my sweet child out into a world filled with microbes and diseases. My doctor told me to take the damn snow suit off the baby- I was giving him prickle-heat rash.

I felt like a horrible mother.

I was reading all the books. I was addicted to Dateline and every news story that involved killer nannies or freak things that may cause a child harm.

Basically...I was trapped in the sunscreen conundrum. Apply too much or the wrong kind and you'll give your kid weakened bones or cancer. Don't apply, you get horrid burns and cancer.
From Deep Friar blog.For more laughs, click here!
The problem is, we live in a world that bombards us with a plethora of information and opinions.

It can make a worried brain melt down to a puddle that leaks out through t
he tear ducts.

I know. I've been there. Done that. Still got the tear stains on my tee-shirt.

Then one day, I had a thought: what was worse for my kids- the occasional parenting screw up, or the constant vigil of perfection? 

Was I, with my constant worry, going to create more problems than I would by chilling and allowing them to eat a few toxic chicken nuggets?

It was then I decided: My kids. My rules.

I did things that would make squeaky wheels scream.

I let them drink Mt. Dew.

I fed them at McDonalds.

I let them play video games. Even the violent ones.

I let them listen to Eminem and 50 Cent.

I let them pull movie all-nighters and never set a summer bedtime.

But I loved them.  I taught them to trust in God.  I listened to the advice that suited me. I ignored the stuff that didn't. And best of all...I stopped sharing my life with overly-opinionated people.

You see, I once had a woman give me a condescendingly high-arched brow and a lecture on the evils of salt when I added the poison to my kid's popcorn.

Yeah, yeah...salt is bad, but I explained to her the risk/ reward ratio of the situation...popcorn is so much better with salt, therefore worth the risk.

She wrote me off with an eye roll and never tried to help me again.

Thank God.

So, as I read Sarah's post, I thought- poor woman. I should send her a note and tell her-

It's obvious you love your babies. Tell the world to go to hell and raise them the way you want. You know better than anyone else what your children need or don't need. Trust yourself. Take a deep breath and relax. Enjoy these years. They go by in a flash. I'm pretty much at the finish line of child raising. I did it my way and I made mistakes. But I have great kids. And in the end, that's all that matters. 

Thanks to our hosts  LexaL.G, and Tonja Drecker for this weekly good things check in! 

Took Carter (Boy #3) to WVU for his new student orientation. He got enrolled in his classes- a schedule that consists of chemistry, biology, and calculus on top of his Honors classes. It's good to know my kids were blessed with bigger brains than their parents.

Conner (Boy #4) is learning to drive. I've been making him accompany me on all my running around town. It's so nice to have a personal driver!

The beach countdown has begun! Thirteen days until saltwater therapy time. I am usually able to get writing time in on vacation, so double yay!

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Published on June 09, 2016 22:02 • 6 views

June 3, 2016

Top 10 Inspirational QuotesBy the wonderful Lori McLaughlin!

Thank you, Elizabeth, for having me over!!
Doubts. We all have them. Whenever we reach for our dreams, they sneak up on us and blindside us with words of our own inadequacy. We're not good enough, smart enough, talented enough. We can't possibly do whatever it is we want to do. Whenever those doubts start whispering in my ear and dragging me down, I go for some positive reinforcement. These are some of my favorite quotes that never fail to pick me up and get me going again.
1.      "When we believe, all things are possible." ~ Based on Mark 9:23 of the King James Bible (Jesus said unto him, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.")
2.      "If you can dream it, you can do it." ~ Walt E. Disney
3.      "It always seems impossible until it's done." ~ Nelson Mandela
4.      "Do or do not. There is no try." ~ Yoda
5.      "You don't always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe. Trust. Let go. And see what happens." ~ Mandy Hale
6.      "Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway." ~ John Wayne
7.      "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~ Mark Twain
8.      "A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings. Always believe in yourself." ~ Unknown
9.      "You have galaxies inside your head. Stop letting people tell you you cannot shine." ~ Unknown
10.  "A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms." ~ Zen Shin Talks by Sensei Ogui
These quotes always inspire me. What quotes inspire you?


Tara Triannon is no stranger to trouble. She's yet to find an enemy her skill with a sword couldn't
dispatch. But how can she fight one that attacks through her dreams?
With her nightmares worsening, Tara seeks answers but finds only more questions. Then her sister, Laraina, reveals a stunning secret that forces Tara to go to the one place Tara's sworn never to return to. Her troubles multiply when Jovan Trevillion, the secretive soldier of fortune who stole her heart, is mentally tortured by an ancient Being intent on bending him to its will. And worst of all, the Butcher — the terrifying wolf-like assassin she thought she'd killed — survived their duel and is hunting her again.
Hounded by enemies, Tara sets out on a harrowing quest to discover the true nature of who she is, to come to grips with the new volatility of her magic, and to defeat the evil locked in a centuries-old trap that will stop at nothing to control her magic and escape through her nightmares.

Lori L. MacLaughlin traces her love of fantasy adventure to Tolkien and Terry Brooks, finding The Lord of the Rings and The Sword of Shannara particularly inspirational. She's been writing stories in her head since she was old enough to run wild through the forests on the farm on which she grew up.
She has been many things over the years – tree climber, dairy farmer, clothing salesperson, kids' shoe fitter, retail manager, medical transcriptionist, journalist, private pilot, traveler, wife and mother, Red Sox and New York Giants fan, muscle car enthusiast and NASCAR fan, and a lover of all things Scottish and Irish.
When she's not writing (or working), she can be found curled up somewhere dreaming up more story ideas, taking long walks in the countryside, or spending time with her kids. She lives with her family in northern Vermont.
Website/Blog              Goodreads      Facebook         Google+          Pinterest
Thanks to our hosts  LexaL.G, and Tonja Drecker for this weekly good things check in! 

Swept Away  got a couple of great reviews from fellow authors. Stephanie FarisCrystal Collier, Jessica Kile, and Susan Swett Swiderski. These ladies left such nice reviews, I am just beside myself. All of these ladies are so very talented in their own writing, I take their praise to high credit.

I dedicated Swept away to our fellow blogging buddy, Jo Wake. Jo has been so giddy, it has made publication of this book as exciting as the first.

Seriously, the support from fellow authors and bloggers has just been the most amazing part of the writing process.

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Published on June 03, 2016 03:00 • 2 views

June 1, 2016

Last week, I was whining- as usual- about just how hard writers work for so little money.

I told my son I figured I sold more books out of the trunk of my car than anyplace else. I told him when I imagined the writer dream, it didn't include making parking lot book sales like some sort of desperate crack dealer who can't get the word of mouth running in her favor.

My son (Boy #2, Cole, the redhead), said, "Yeah, I bet that's what that guy who owns Under Armour thought."

Kevin Plank was the special teams captain for the University of Maryland Football. Tired of soaking wet cotton apparel, he decided there had to be a better way.

 UnderArmour PhilosophyIn 1995, he started designing his alternative to the cotton tee.

The end result was a shirt that stayed dry in the hottest heat. He shared those shirts with teammates and a few friends playing in the NFL. He got their feedback, applied their suggestions and soon brought to the market a revolutionary product.

He maxed out his credit cards and set up operations in his grandmother's basement, selling his product anywhere he could- even from the trunk of his car.

A year later, he made his first team sale to Georgia Tech for his fledgling company, Under Armour.

And the rest is history. Under Armour rivals all sports manufacturers.

He did ask for validation. He didn't ask for approval.
He just went to work.

Would you like to win an autographed of my latest book, Swept Away? 

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Goodreads Book Giveaway Swept Away by Elizabeth Seckman Swept Away by Elizabeth Seckman Giveaway ends June 11, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter Giveaway
Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and his awesome co-hosts for the May edition of the IWSG:
 Murees Dupe, Alexia Chamberlynn, Chemist Ken, and Heather Gardner! 
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Published on June 01, 2016 03:00 • 4 views

May 27, 2016

West Virginia has been invaded. Again. As predicted. 
Every seventeen years, Brood V Cicadas, emerge from their underground hovels and swarm all over our lush, green landscape. (*Click here to learn more
Granted, it's a disgusting time of year...especially when walking in the dark and they crunch under my feet and leave gooey guts on my flip flops. 
(Yes, a flashlight would be a good idea, but let's be honest...I dropped out of Girl Scouts after the first meeting. Being prepared in the face of all situations is not my specialty.)
I also hate it when I find one of these critters hitching a ride on my shoulder. 
I'm not sure if this happen naturally, or if it's because I'm married to a big child who finds scaring the crap out of me hilarious. Either way, I often find one perched quietly on my shoulder, imploring me with his beady little orange eyes to offer him a salad and a bed in a houseplant for the night. 
Wait, what was I saying? 
Oh, yeah, these once-every-17-year swarms are disgusting, but they are also fun. 
Not because of the drippy squished guts, or the random hitchhikers. No, they're fun because they because they bring back good memories. 
My first cicada (AKA locust in WV common tongue) invasion was in 1982. My cousin, Ross, was visiting from South Carolina and to impress my girlfriend, he ate one of the creepy, gigantic creatures. So, when I tell people they have a buttery, creamy taste...I'm not going on personal experience. I'm quoting the culinary review of a boy in the midst of puberty with more hormones running than brain cells.  The second invasion was in 1999. My boys were little then and hardcore bug freaks. On the first night the Cicada were out in droves, my husband and then three boys, ages 5, 3, and 1...went outside with flashlights and little plastic sand buckets to collect the bugs in all their forms- from the shelled larvae, the white newbie, and the black-bodied adult. I watched from the porch with one foot in the house, one out, protected by the screen door...just in case that bucket of bugs was tossed my way. 
Now, they're back...watching from every surface their sticky little feet can hang onto...as we go about the job of making a few more summer memories. 

Join the Goals Blog Hop Here!Misha Gericke & Beth Fred host this monthly goal update. 

Here's an update on my balanced goals for 2016!

1. Lose weight. I lost a few pounds in the chaos of the last few weeks, but I haven't been exercising or paying attention to my diet. When pounds are lot that way, they're easily found, so I need to get back on track. 2. Declutter rooms to declutter the mind. I haven't had a bunch of spare time, so what I've been doing is pick spot in a room- a drawer or a closet- and clean it out. It's amazing how addictive order can become. 3. Publish two books. Swept Away is done. Now, I need to decide on the next project to work on. I have several ideas in my head, but I can't seem to find the words until one of them opens up and starts speaking to me.

Thanks to our hosts  LexaL.G, and Tonja Drecker for this weekly good things check in! 

All the boys are home for summer vacation. All of our plan are set for the summer for vacation and a few weekend get-a-ways. Now, I'm broke, but happily looking forward to some family fun.

Swept Away is out, and so far, the feedback from readers is good. I can't help but hold my breath and pray in those first days! I'll gratuitously add the embed below...just in case anyone would like to check it out.

Available now!

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Published on May 27, 2016 03:00 • 7 views