Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Goodreads GIveaway



 
 


    Goodreads Book Giveaway
 

   

        Port Hope by Clover Autrey
   

   

     


          Port Hope
     
     


          by Clover Autrey
     

     

         
            Giveaway ends January 09, 2020.
         
         
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.
         
     
   
   



    Enter Giveaway



Sunday, March 10, 2019

A cruise, a cruise, we went on a cruise



Image may contain: Clover Autrey, smiling, indoor

Going on a cruise has been something I've wanted to do for a while and it finally happened. My husband, two youngest sons and myself drove down to Galveston (only a 5 hour drive away) to get on Carnival's Valor. The entire process of checking in, moving down the gangplank, was new to us, and exciting.

We had a wonderful time, even though my men were not the funnest travel companions as they didn't quite stick with me. We pretty much met up for meals. But being the kind of person who enjoys my own explorations, I walked all over that ship, went to whatever show I wanted to see, wrote a little, and gained four pounds.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Clover Autrey, people smiling, closeup and indoor
Pat and I on deck
I'm an early riser so I went to breakfast by myself before the rush. It was awesome having time to myself while gazing out to sea, well, the Gulf of Mexico. Our ship went straight through the gulf down to Cozumel. We never made it to the open sea, but the gulf is so huge it looked like it. Felt like it too. Whoever told me that you don't feel the ship move was incorrect. We felt the sways, but I kind of dug it. Gave the experience a kind of not-your-everyday feel to it.

The ship was smaller than I expected, but I've since learned that the Valor is one of the smallest. It reminded me of being in a Las Vegas hotel, just on water. It had the same type of atmosphere...the gambling, the buffets, the entertainment, the extravagant decor. But better as there wasn't anybody waiting on the curb to hand out stripper flyers.
Carnival Valor cabin window
Sam in our cabin's window, looking out at Galveston
By far the highlight was scuba diving with Sam and Tate. They had never been before and Pat and I hadn't been for long time. We went through the short--extremely short--orientation. They basically went over the hand signs, how to clear your ears, and your mask...and off we went. But we were diving off shore at only 20 feet so all the depressurization stuff was a non-issue. We had a blast. As a mom, I was really enjoying watching my boys experience this new thing. They were great at it. And all too soon it was over. 30 minutes in the water was not long enough.
Image may contain: cloud, sky, outdoor, water and nature
First view of Cozumel
 Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing and sunglassesImage may contain: 2 people, people eating, people sitting, drink, food and outdoorScuba diving

Then we sailed back to Galveston and drove home, tired and refreshed and ready to do it again. Next time, I think I'll go with my sisters or girlfriends. I love my guys, but not the best traveling companions. November 2020 my writers group is going, which will be nothing short of awesome. Ha! A group of romance writers on a cruise together...grinning at the thought. In between I'm going to try and get my sisters on board. Sisters trip, yay!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Waiting at the Airport

People watching at the airport is an interesting thing. I get there early because I'm a nervous nelly and want everything to go smoothly so, of course, I have nothing to do for two hours but wait.

Parking myself in one of the starched seats is critical. I want to sit by myself. If there's several seats alone I'm drawn there, but that's risky. I try to find a couple empty seats between a few people where I can leave an empty seat between us. Bonus if I can find a person who already has their earphones and is engrossed in their tablet or phone. The universal I'm-not-here-to-chat sign. My people. We can ignore each other in peace even as we side-eye to see what has the other so engrossed on their tablet.

Then it's all about propping my feet up on my carry-on and watching people.

There's the mom on the layover with two kids. Her hair's in a messy bun, she has no make-up, and her eyes wander the area as she stands guard over her chicks who are sitting, playing video games and eating the bags of chips she has just gotten for them.

There's the entire family, mom, dad, a couple of kids and baby. They are a controlled unit unto themselves, the parents tag-teaming duties.

There's the business folks, computers out. There's the guys and gals, loose shorts, sandels, sloppy buns, tats, frayed backpacks, who look ready to step off into the wilderness. There's the young women dressed for success or the runway. Maybe on their way to a wedding?

There's the sweet old religious lady who looks like the typical grandma. She's even wearing a gingham dress. She's zeroed in on a younger woman whose expression I'm trying to gauge as grandma is sharing her religion. Does she want to hear this or is she held hostage by politeness? And being the awful person I am, I don't save the young woman. Instead I worry that I'm going to be stuck next to grandma on the plane. Will earplugs be enough to fend off a two hour sermon from someone who genuinely feels it's her duty to save all she can?

I'd rather sit by the dog-mama. Because yes, dog-mama has just sat down beside me with her little dog in a baby wrap against her chest. The dog is well behaved, hasn't made a peep. On second thought, no, I'm hoping I'm not next to them either. I say that, hoping I haven't just offended all dog lovers here. Not my intent and no animals were harmed in the writing of this post. But the truth is, I've had a deep seated fear of dogs since I was a young kid. It's never gone away. Sorry. I'm sure I could handle sitting beside a well-behaved dog for two hours, but the relief was real when I didn't have to.

Yep, as boring as the airport is, it's also fairly entertaining. I make two trips to the bathroom because I want that bladder as close to empty as I can get even though I could guzzled down a bottled lemonade. Who wants to make the I-didn't-go-while-I-had-the-chance walk to the back of the plane with everybody glancing up to see who is moving past them? I hate people looking at me, but it's more ick when they know where I'm going--literally going. Taking care of my business is nobody else's business, especially a plane full of people I don't know. No thank you.

I'll pull my big girl panties up, or down as the case may be, if I have to, but I'd rather not, so bathroom visits while waiting is key for me.

Then the boarding begins. We are a patient society, yet I can still feel the eagerness of getting on the plane even though that means we'll just be sitting in the same seat longer. Truth is, we all want to make sure our carry-ons get to be close to us. Turns out mine isn't close to me at all, but I stuck a big patriotic scarf on it that I can see once the overhead bins are opened. I feel better about that, even though if I saw it being grabbed, I'm not exactly going to hurdle over twenty seats to bypass everyone in the aisle waiting to get out.

As it turns out, I'm in the last seat, last aisle in the back. How did that happen? I checked-in a day early online. It's a window seat except there aren't windows in this aisle. Upside, I'm sitting by the two fashionistas who don't talk to me at all. Score! And the plane has movie choices. I have my earplugs and get to spend the entire flight watching Pitch Perfect 3 and the first half of Black Panther. Just perfect.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Authors in Bloom

7th Annual Authors in Bloom Blog Hop
Monday April 18th — Wednesday April 27th 2018
10 Days of Giveaways, Gardening Tips, Recipes and More!
Dianne Venetta_AIB Logo_2015

My awesome boss visited Ireland over the summer and brought me back this cute little recipe book. Did I tell you my boss is all kinds of awesomeness?



Inside I found this cute potato pancake recipe I thought I'd share today called Boxty

250 g/9 oz raw potatoes peeled
250 g/9 oz mashed potatoes
250g/9 oz plain flour
good pinch bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
225 ml/8 fl oz buttermilk plus extra if needed
butter, for frying

Grate the potatoes into a colander lined with kitchen paper.
Press another paper on top and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
Mix in mashed potatoes.
Add flour, soda, and salt. Mix in enough buttermilk to make a soft batter.

Melt butter in frying pan. Drop in large spoonfuls of batter and cook each side for about 3 minutes until golden brown.
Serve like a crepe with stuffing of your choice.



Highland Chieftain cover picture
Highland Chieftain


As it happens, my Highland Sorcery series came to a conclusion with the final book that came out last month. I am going to miss writing about this time traveling magical family. Okay, an Irish recipe doesn't have much to do with Highlanders, but I didn't have a a recipe book from Scotland yet.

Anyway, look for the complete Highland Sorcery series at these retailers



My personal giveaway for 3 peeps will be a book of your choice in that series. 

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Speaking of Weddings



Peyton and Kyle June 16, 2017
We welcomed another person into our family as Peyton and Kyle were sealed for all time and eternity in the Provo City Center Temple. 

I am thrilled with my new daughter-in-law. She's sweet and easy-going, has an inner strength and beauty that will serve her well throughout life. The Ginger boy did well.  
I have to tell you a little story. For us Mormons, having your son serve a mission for two years is a big deal. Four years back, Kyle was ready and prepared to go, then one dumb thing kept him from going for a year. It really was a ridiculous circumstance and I kept wondering why this had happened. What's the point? He was ready. He was a great kid and was ready to serve. But instead, he stuck around home and got his first year of college in. Not a bad thing either. And the gut feeling I kept getting when I asked why, was that he was going to meet the girl he was going to marry on his mission. If he went when he was supposed to (my timeline, not God's),  he would have been sent to a different area and missed the time when Peyton was there altogether. 

Fast forward two years at the completion of his mission in South Dakota and he tells me he's met a girl who served in the same place that he'd like to date when she gets home in another month, this momma knew she was the one.  















Monday, March 27, 2017

Sixth Annual Authors in Bloom

Dianne Venetta_AIB Logo_2015

Authors in Bloom is one of my favorite blog tours. And this year we have a Facebook Party going on as well.

Gardening is on my mind lately. In fact, I'm about to go in the back yard and work after I post this. You see my ginger son got down on one knee in a proposal of marriage to a sweet gal.
They are doing a tour of sorts of their own. He's working and going to school in Idaho. She's working in Tennessee where he'll be heading to pick her up and then they are off to visit her family in Pennsylvania, then flying out here to Texas before the wedding takes place in Utah.
Proposal of Marriage picture


And my son told me recently, very recently, "Oh Mom, we're having an open house in Texas."

"You're what?" Yes, I have a month to get my yard in shape. Yes, the yard I have pretty much ignored this past year as I've taken on new challenges with work that leaves me zero free time and less energy. Yes, that yard.

And my lawn mower won't start. Off to get new spark plugs.
Fortunately, I also have a 16 year old who is very eager to earn money by tackling the harder jobs so he can go back into his batcave and order more part upgrades for his super computer that he built. I only hope that he uses his genius powers for good.

My gardening tip is pretty simple. Know your property.

  • Walk around and notice what areas of your yard get the most sun and which are shaded. That will help you know where to best plant which kind of plants. 
  • You can also have a simple soil test done at your local garden center to see if your soil is well-balanced in nutrients and pH. Mine is not, so that's another thing on my to-do quickly list. 
This is the first of my flowers to keep alive until April.


N

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Authors in Bloom Blog Hop


Happy Hopping Everyone!
I love to participate in these blog hops, because even though I'm a writer, I'm also a reader and get to learn about new books I haven't heard about before. I also get to know some of you readers better too. Win/Win

The giveaway for visiting my blog is two lucky commenters will get their choice of any one of my ebooks.  Just say which one you'd want in the comments.
Snippets of each can be found on the Kindle Preview page of this blog.
Don't feel like commenting? You can also enter by simply Liking my Facebook Author page at 
https://www.facebook.com/clover.autrey 

My recipe comes from the cafeteria at Cook Childrens Medical Center in Fort Worth. The Crazy Reid. Have no idea where the name comes from. It was my favorite dish they had on their menu so I started making it at home.

The Crazy Reid

Boil some penne pasta or rice and set aside.

In a fry pan add garlic salt to a few Tablespoons of butter and heat.
Add cubed or sliced chicken pieces and cook. (I like to precook my chicken, but you don't have to).
When it's done, lower the heat and add fresh tomatoes, cut up
And a few handfuls of fresh spinach on top and cover with a lid or another fry pan upside down to let the tomatoes and spinach steam a bit.
Meanwhile heat up either Mariano or Alfredo sauce. (I get mine from a jar, but you can make it from scratch if you prefer. I prefer the Alfredo.)

Pour the chicken/spinach mixture and the sauce over the top of the penne or rice and top it all off with fresh Parmesan cheese.  It's delicious. I have leftovers from when I took this picture last night. My mouth is watering so think I'll go get me some. Bon appetit.




Please remember to leave a comment. Good luck and have fun hopping around this week!


Thursday, March 03, 2016

if we were a movie

if we were a movie
If We Were a Movie by Kelly Oram (Power of the Matchmaker #3)
Music meets Movies in this sweet college romance from the bestselling author of Cinder  and Ella.
NYU freshman Nate Anderson is a triplet who is desperate to escape his wild and crazy brothers. After they screw things up for him one too many times, Nate flees his housing situation and takes the first available room for rent as far from his brothers as he can get.
Enter his new roommate Jordan–a quirky LA girl who believes that everything in life has already been done in the movies. In this heartfelt tale of love, friendship and family, Nate learns how to deal with his new adult life using Hollywood films as a guide.
* Content – Please note this is a New Adult title – I consider this book to be clean but there is implied content (not on the pages of the book but sex is implied), mild innuendo and mild language.

amazonhttp://tinyurl.com/gsw4ypb



What readers are saying about If We Were a Movie:

"WOW! This book is great! The concept is so inventive, and the writing is brilliant."

"I thought Cinder & Ella jerked with my emotions too much but this one might have
it beat."

"I finished reading If We Were a Movie yesterday. I loved it! I fell hard for Nate. Jordan was amazing! And Pearl's timing was perfect! "

"Amazing concept with movies as chapters, and fantastic storyline." 

"I loved this story and was humming along to the songs from the book whilst reading. I can see this book becoming the movie it was written to be."

"If We Were a Movie made me want to binge watch movies, listen to old playlists, and re-read it all at once."

Kelly Oram picture
Displaying Kelly Oram.jpgDisplaying Kelly Oram.jpgDisplaying Kelly Oram.jpgAbout Kelly  
Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen—a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy.


Connect with Kelly on social media:

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Cowtown Critiquers Christmas

I love my critique partners. They have literally rescued my characters out of plotting wells I let them fall into...or helped me shovel crap onto ones that needed it. I so admire these ladies and their intelligence and creativity. And they are so fun to be around. When I can't make it to one of our monthly plotting sessions at The Cotton Patch (we're the noisy laughing ones at the long table in the back who never leave--our poor waitress) I really miss them and can't wait for the next month when I can be with them. 

Seriously. Even when my personal life feels as bleak as wading through a quagmire with leeches in a dark jungle with vines slapping my face, a few hours laughing with the cowtown critiquers strengthens my lungs to get back at it and keep swinging that machete.  

We usually exchange small gifts at Christmas time. This year I wanted to add a personal touch and thanks to Pinterest (Best ideas ever. I want to do everything and I don't even like crafts.) I saw these personalized frames that would be perfect. So I had each of my critique partners write down what they love about writing or reading. Printed it off, and voilĂ ! 

personalized picture frames


Turned out pretty nice if I say so myself. Below are the quotes they each gave me.


"I write because it's who I am. I've been writing so long, I can't imagine not putting words to the page. It would be like a chunk of me is missing. Writing is just me. Besides, it's the only way to keep the voices in my head subdued."  C.A. Szarek


"I write because there are too many stories floating around in my head. Sending a story out into the world makes room for the next book and the next, and the next…"  Michele Welsh

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
― Mark TwainThe Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain

"I read to escape, to ride the roller coaster, to marvel at the journey. I write to humble myself, to embrace the challenge, to throw caution to the wind and soar."                    Gina Lee Nelson 
 

"I love to read because I love to learn new things, not just facts and figures, but words and ideas. I love to feel the highest highs and the lowest lows and to be moved to tears, laughter, or breathlessness. I love to be able to experience other times or other worlds through the eyes of characters that I have come to love and who resonate with me." 
Jen FitzGerald