DIY & Love Under Construction

DIY & Love Under Construction

Welcome to book four of the Thurston Hotel romance series.

DIY SheilaThere’s always a lot to do before a book is released. There’s blog posts to write (waving at you all while you’re reading this one!), a newsletter to prepare, updates to the website, Goodreads, and Facebook, and of course final edits. The edits are never done until the book goes live.

And I love doing it all. I’m what you might call a multi-passionate entrepreneur. Or maybe I’m just a control freak. Whatever the case, I like to fiddle around until my DIY guy says, “Enough!”

Speaking of the DIY guy…the heroine of my addition to the Thurston Hotel series is building contractor, and let me tell you, I’ve had lots of experience building. Two houses and most recently, major renovations on Youngest Son’s old farmhouse. Look, there’s me in a protective mask during some of the demolition.

Now on to the book…

Quickie Q&A with Sheila Seabrook (as if you don’t already know me!):

Chocolate, kraft caramels, or ice cream? Chocolate covered caramels!

Coffee, tea, or wine? Coffee.

Star Trek, Fifty Shades of Grey, or We’re the Millers? Don’t make me pick just one. I love Star Trek and We’re the Millers!

Sweats, blue jeans, or a skirt? Sweats.

Sleeping, massage, or a beach vacation? Beach vacation with a massage included.

Love Under ConstructionAbout the book:

Billionaire land developer, Hunter Davis, returns to Harmony with one agenda in mind. Right the wrongs of the past, because until he does they are like a black smudge on his soul. But Hunter has never been able to forget what he once shared with Mackenzie Berg, the woman he secretly married eleven years ago. And now something in his heart refuses to die, something that makes him want to woo her back into his arms…for the rest of his life.

Local contractor, Mackenzie Berg, may be secretly married to Hunter Davis—she might even have a small mountain of newspaper and magazine clippings about the hunky land developer tucked into the bottom of her dresser drawer—but that doesn’t mean she still has feelings for him, does it? She intends to avoid the man she once loved, but her plans go awry when town officials blackmail her into escorting him to every event planned for his short stay.

With the whole town watching their every move, can these two lonely people rediscover the love of a lifetime?

You can find out more about LOVE UNDER CONSTRUCTION and the other Thurston Hotel books at the Thurston Hotel website.

LOVE UNDER CONSTRUCTION is now available for purchase at:
Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AUAmazon Global

Please Don’t Tell Me Your Secrets!

Please Don’t Tell Me Your Secrets!

Caught Between a Lie and True LoveSpecial Note: In celebration of the Memorial Day holiday, I’m running a FREE promotion on the first book in the Caught Between series. For two days only, May 29 and May 30, you can pick up your FREE copy of Caught Between a Lie and True Love by clicking here. So click here, now.

And to pick up other great books, check out the Free Kindle Books & Tips blog.

Now, on to the secrets…

Early this spring, my siblings and I planned a surprise birthday party for our mother. We told her there would be nine of us and we would take care of all the food.

Busy out in her yard, she didn’t bother us for a whole lot of details, but as the weeks passed, every once in a while she’d ask questions…and we would have to think fast or pretend ignorance.

You see, we wanted to surprise her (and trust me, she’s not easy to surprise!). Somehow we managed to find a date that worked for the entire family, and everyone including Mom’s five kids, our spouses and signifiant others, and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren would be there. Twenty-six people in all!

A week before the party, I told Mom she needed to get a haircut because we were taking family pictures.

“Who’s taking the pictures?” she asked.

Tell-Me-Your-Dirly-Little-Secrets

Ms. Blabbity-Blabbity Seabrook, who apparently isn’t the brightest of the siblings, informed her that her oldest granddaughter, well known for her love of picture taking, would be there with her camera.

Mom, who at 88 is still sharp as a tack, questioned who besides her granddaughter was coming, and if maybe she should invite the rest of the grandkids because she wouldn’t want them to feel left out.

Oops, a bit of the secret slipped…and now the problem…how could I prevent her from phoning her other grandchildren, and risk the possibility of discovering the full extent of the guest list? And if she did call them, would the others be on the ball enough to lie about their plans for the day? Or would one or more get caught in a slip-of-the-tongue like I did?

Fortunately my fibbing skills returned, and I told Mom that this particular granddaughter always came to these family functions, even when she wasn’t invited, so not to worry about the others. And somehow, Mom bought the story and happily returned to her yard work.

Moral of the story…if you tell me your secrets, I just might blab. Not intentionally, but in that moment when my guard is down and my mouth is open, it all comes spilling out.

Needless to say, keeping my mouth shut about my Super Secret Project is killing me. It’s true. I want to talk about it, share details about it, and in a weak moment, posted this.

So please don’t tell me your secrets or I might just—unplanned and uncensored—blab it to the world…

How about you? Are you a blabber or a successful keeper of secrets? Let me know in the comments. I love to hear from you!

Holiday Wishes & A Surprise!

It’s hard to believe 2015 is almost over. Every year whips past so fast, but I guess that means I’m having fun, right? 🙂

This year was devoted to family, a carryover from all of the busyness in the latter part of 2014. Now that Youngest Son’s house is almost finished, I’m happily anticipating a return to the writing life (as opposed to sandwiching writing in-between hammering nails and sheeting walls).

So to give you a taste of what’s in store for your reading pleasure in 2016, click here to read the first chapter in my upcoming release Caught Between a Rock and a Hunka Man.

From my house to yours, I wish you a safe and happy holiday season. Talk to you in 2016!

Boxed Christmas Bauble Decorations

I love to hear from you, so in the comments below, tell me about your holiday plans.

What I Know For Certain…About Gratitude

Last weekend, we celebrated the Canadian Thanksgiving. My brother and his beautiful wife hosted the event, and we celebrated with lots of good company and good food.

Thanksgiving Day is a reminder to be grateful, and when so much bad happens in our world, it’s important to remember to be thankful. And yet, gratitude is easily pushed aside by the busyness of every day life.

What I know for certain about gratitude is that I’m fortunate to be filled with it.

Gratitude

1. I’m grateful for my family and friends who have always supported me on my writing journey…my husband and boys and oldest’s beautiful girlfriend who listen to my plotting woes and celebrate my writing victories; my parents who gave me the gift of life and encouraged my dreams; my brother, his lovely wife, and my three sisters who give me glimpses into their lives that occasionally <gasp!> find their way into my stories and characters; my friends who read my books, tell me how wonderful they are, and love me enough to point out the errors within the pages.

2. I’m grateful for an overactive imagination—sometimes too overactive—that allows me to daydream about possibilities, and come up with plots and characters that keep me entertained.

3. I’m grateful for this job that I love. I get to make things up, wear pjs to work, and the furthest I have to commute is across the hallway.

4. I’m grateful for today’s technology which keeps me connected to my family and friends no matter where I am, and has allowed me to be the CEO of my own publishing empire.

5. And finally, I’m grateful for the readers who read my books. Your kind words keep me working, even on the days when I’d rather scrub the floor with a toothbrush than face the challenges of unraveling a muddled first draft.

So tell me…what are you grateful for today?

How I Lost 10 Pounds On My Summer Vacation & A New Cookbook

I’m back and so glad to be here. It’s been an incredibly busy summer that started out with us packing and moving the in-laws from their apartment into a senior’s facility. They didn’t need to do much downsizing because the spaces were comparable in size, but their move inspired me to continue to clean out the accumulation of “stuff” that one collects over the years.

Fragile-packing-boxAs we packed—and packed and packed—I kept thinking that I don’t want to put my boys through this. Better to get stuff sorted and recycled and discarded BEFORE it’s time to downsize.

There’s also the fact that the older we get, the harder it is to make changes in our life. At 95 and 86, my in-laws were resistant to the move. They didn’t want to leave their apartment. They didn’t want to part with anything. My father-in-law kept packing and unpacking and repacking the same box, until we’d finally sneak it out of his room when his back was turned, tape it closed, and move it to the pile of boxes so he’d be done with it.

Except when we’d arrive the next day, he’d have opened all of the boxes in his search to find the one we took from him.

On the day before the actual move, I was packing up the last of the kitchen items. When I thought I was finished, I double-checked each cupboard and drawer to ensure that I hadn’t missed anything. Then I opened up the dishwasher…and it was full of dirty dishes that my mother-in-law had been storing there until the move.

My DH says that the look on my face was priceless, a mixture of stunned disbelief and barely contained annoyance. Before a few choice words could escape, I sealed my mouth shut, unloaded the dishwasher, and proceeded to wash and dry all of the dishes so I could pack them away for the movers.

The packing ordeal lasted three whole weeks. Three weeks of hot, humid weather. Three weeks of sorting and packing, unpacking and repacking. Three weeks of digging deep and discovering more patience than both my DH and I thought we ever had.

Thankfully, it’s long over now and the in-laws are still adjusting to their new place. On the day my in-laws moved, my mother went in for her knee operation, which I’ll tell you all about next time. 🙂

Bake-Love-Write-coverDuring my in-laws move, I lost 10 pounds, a nice bonus considering I’d been trying to lose those 10 pounds for about 10 years. But now I’m sure I’ll gain those 10 pounds back this winter because of the BAKE, LOVE, WRITE Cookbook: 105 authors share their favorite recipes and advice on love and writing.

You should check it out. Maybe buy copies to give to your friends and relatives as gifts. My Banana Nut Bread is in the book along with a pile of mouth-watering recipes that will make you want to spend time in your kitchen. And then, of course, there’s the advice on love and writing that each author shared.

When was the last time you packed up and moved yourself or someone else? Did you love it as much as I did? Or are you looking forward to the next move?

(Special Note: This post first appeared on the Women Unplugged blog.)

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