For the Criminally Inane

For the Criminally Inane

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

25 Free (or near free) things to do in Paris

Paris in the Spring

Cathérale de Sacré Cœur
1.Walk along the Seine

2. Listen to the bells of Notre Dame

3. Picnic in the champ de Mars

4. Visit Cathedrals

5. Arc de Triumph

6. Window shop on the Champs Elysee

7. Buy flowers in the flower district

8. Walk around the Eiffel Tower (lift ticket does cost money)

9. Eat like a local, buy fresh

10. Sit in a park

11. Go to Bon Marche (But leave your wallet at home!)

12. Have a hot chocolate at a cafe (I don’t drink coffee)

13. Enjoy a tisane after dinner (I don’t drink tea)

14. Eat a macaron

15. Eat a pastry

16. Buy a baguette from the shop that won the competition that year

17. Walk in the Jardins to Luxemburg

Me trying a beauty mask
18. Stumble upon some cool quiet spot just by wandering the streets of Paris on foot

19. Buy a book at Gilbert Jeune on the Left Bank

20. Eat a crepe from a stand

21.Go shopping at the Rue de Trivoli

22. Shop for French lingerie

23. Shop for French fashions

24. Buy a little Eiffel Tower from a street vendor

Arc de Triumph
25. Shop for makeup at some expensive store

Monday, December 4, 2017

Top Ten Tips for traveling Paris like a Pro

Week 1 Paris!

I highly recommend visiting Paris in the Spring. But to make sure you have the best time, I’ve compiled a set of lists. Here is the first one with longer explanations below.

Top ten Tips for visiting Paris:
1.Weekly Metro passes start on Mondays and only Mondays
2. Bring a passport picture if you want a weekly bus pass
3. Order carbonated water
4. Don’t go on a jour de féirié (holiday) if you plan on shopping.
5. Don’t drink tap water
6. Learn at least how to say, “I don’t speak French.”
7. Don’t leave a tip
8. When eating out, clearly signal the waiter, they won’t interrupt you.
9. Bring good walking shoes but not tennis shoes and practice walking up stairs
10. Don’t talk loud in English anywhere

1. Weekly metro/bus passes is the cheapest way to get around. Unless you're afraid of being underground, use the metro or the buses to get around. There is Uber, but I always think that if you are in Paris, act as the Parisians. Also if you get there before Monday, buy either a one day pass or a several one-way tickets.

Because you want to be here
2. If you are going to buy the weekly pass, bring your passport picture and save yourself a lot of time and five euros. We searched the train station for an hour trying to find a photo booth that would take a credit card. It was a very frustrating hour!

3. Buying carbonated water not only is good for your digestion, but it also keep you from paying for bottled water but having the waiter fill it from the tap.

4. Opposite of America, all the stores are closed on holidays in France. You will not be able to do any shopping. If your vacations includes holidays, plan to do something else those days.
 See my post on which French Holidays to avoid.

5. Old pipes lead to leaky pipes. Enough said.

6. While I'm still pretty fluent in French and could shop, buy and make small talk, my poor husband was not able to speak any French. We rarely got separated, but I did teach him how to be able to say, "Sorry, I don't speak French." I think the natives appreciated that he at least tried.

7. Because of how they pay their service, you don't need to tip waiters.

8. Waiters in France are trained to be respectful of the diners and will not interrupt you if you are eating and talking. If you need help, Garçon, will attract his attention. I'm not sure what to say if you have a waitress. But you must flag them down to order, pay your bill or make a request.

9. If you are doing Paris right, you should be walking. A lot! And you'll be walking up a lot of stairs. So practice with a stair-stepper, lugging your luggage with you. Then you'll be strong enough to do Paris.

10. Speak in hushed tones in public spaces. Nothing is more rude than speaking English really loud in France. Trust me.

French Holidays that are horrible for shopping

List of French holidays to avoid if you want to shop:
New Years Day
Good Friday
Easter and Easter Monday
1 May
8 May
Ascension Day (40 days after Easter)
Pentecost Monday
14 July
Assumption Day
1 Nov
11 Nov
Christmas Day
Boxing Day (Day after Christmas)

Americans must be opposite of the French on this one thing: Shopping. While Paris shopping, I think, is some of the best in the world, you have to be careful and not go on Holidays. In the US, we shop on holidays, but in France, they close the shops and enjoy a day of vacation with their families walking around the parks or eating with friends.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Top Ten LDS Authors You Need to Read

 Top Ten LDS Authors You Need to Read

Small press! LDS! These girls are rocking it! Click their name to view their website.

1. Deb Graham
Check out her latest book Peril in paradise: a cruise novel on Amazon!

2. Laura Walker
Check out her latest book Pacific Coast Wedding on Amazon!

3. Emily Hall Bates
Check out her latest book Demon’s Heart on Amazon!

4. DeAnna Browne 
Check out her latest book, Demon Rising on Amazon!

5. Cassie Shiels
Check out her latest book, Lady A (A Princess Tale Book 2) on Amazon!

6. Valerie Giberson Ipson 
Check out her latest book Ideal High on Amazon!

7. Amy Martinsen 
Check out her latest book, The Secret Obituary Writer: What if obituaries told the truth? on Amazon!

8. Heidi Cederlof Tucker
Check out her latest book, Finding Hope in the Journey: Recognize His Message on Amazon!

9.Donna Hatch 
Check out her latest book, Christmas Secrets on Amazon!

10. Didi Lawson
Check out her latest book Hohenstein on Amazon!

And one bonus:
 11. Joyce DiPastina
Check out her latest book Loyalty's Web: Poitevin Hearts Book 1 on Amazon!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Paperback writer

 I cannot tell you about how special this moment is. This is my grandma holding my book. She's 101 years old! I lived with her for a semester in college, and she introduced me to Shrunk and White. She edited some of my early work. She's encouraged me to keep writing. I can't believe she lived long enough to see my book published. "I'm pleased and proud," she said.

If you want to hold your own copy of my book and breathe in the ink, it's now for sale at my publishers.

Or if you would like a break on shipping, leave a comment below and I'll see if we can get a copy to you.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Author signing Marissa Meyer

I love going to author signing events. My daughter checked the Lunar Chronicles out from the library and -loved- them. Then my husband read them and loved them too. I sadly didn't read them before they were requested back at the library. But now I own my own copy.

Marissa Meyer was a fun and engaging speaker. She talked about her new book Renegades and how she had to draft it five times. The lesson learned, she said, was to write the story that you want to write. 

For more on Marissa Meyer

She told stories in real life as well as her writing.

All of us together with her new book Renegades.

Signing our book.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Cover Reveal!!

And here it is!

Thanks to Debbie Taylor for cover design

What do you think? I love that it has the St. Louis skyline and Andy's red bag. Hugh looks like he's ready for a fight.

Backcover blurb:

Twenty-three year-old investigative journalist, Andy Miller is armed with her many disguises and creativity to take down the riff-raff of Saint Louis. When her stepbrother is murdered by the mob, Andy soon discovers she’s out of her depth.
Enter Hugh Donaldson who has reasons of his own for discovering the murderer. He’ll use everything in his power to achieve that, including lying to Andy about his past. Dangerous as he is attractive, his martial arts skills and his quirky ways raise Andy’s suspicions.
Although Andy balks at his lies, Hugh’s charms, twenty-inch biceps, and electrifying blue eyes are difficult to resist. Striking out on their own, Hugh and Andy try to outwit each other as they traverse North America tracking down people connected to the case.
As clues disappear and the body count climbs, Andy and Hugh must trust each other and use their combined skills to bring the murderer to justice.

Release date: 

December 15th, 2017

Available now for pre-order (digital)

Click a link below




The Wild Rose Press  (My publisher--check out with your Amazon account)

The next five weeks until the release I'll be running promos, and giving things away like magnets and things. So watch for those! Sign up for my newletter (link to the right) for more perks and insider information. Like...I'll send a magnet to the person who comments first on this blog below! And go!