A Virgin Walks into a Strip Club…

Jade’s Spirit is here!

JessiGage_JadesSpirit_1400pxHow many virginal heroes are we up to now?

Let’s see. There’s Darcy from Highland Wishes #1 WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER, Riggs from book 2, THE WOLF AND THE HIGHLANDER, and now Emmett from Blue Collar Boyfriends #2 JADE’S SPIRIT.

I might have a thing for virginal men. Is there a support group for that?

So who is Emmett and why do you want to read about him and his sexy new girlfriend, Jade? Well, Emmett is a small-town, hard-working guy with a lawncare business. He’s your typical blue-collar hottie. Except for one thing. He’s a twenty-seven-year old virgin determined to “wait for marriage.”

But Emmett has a little problem. Ever since his parents’ divorce, he has been skittish about saying “I do.” How does a guy who takes his vows seriously vow to love one woman forever? No one can know the future.

Something is going to have to give. Either Emmett will blow a decade of “waiting for marriage” or he will have to come to terms with his fear of matrimony and find a girl to commit to forever.

When he meets Jade, a stripper from Boston, he knows she is the one. The question is whether she is the one with whom he will break his decade-long virginity vow or the one he will commit to forever.

So that’s Emmett. Jade has her own issues, including being on the run from an abusive ex and getting possessed by a dead witch turned demon minion.

If that sounds interesting, check out the blurb and buy links below. Don’t forget to share!

Jade’s Spirit

When exotic dancer Jade seeks refuge from an abusive boyfriend in her grandmother’s aging Victorian home, she finds she’s not the only houseguest. A dream-invading incubus has taken up residence, and it wants Jade’s soul. Fortunately, a flirtatious lawn-care provider has a trick or two up his sleeve for dealing with hauntings. And he has definite rebound-guy potential—if only he would stop inviting her to church.

The virginity vow Emmett “the lawn guy” Herald took when he was seventeen has become legendary in Dover, Vermont. Ten years later, everyone is waiting to see if he’ll blow a decade of “waiting for marriage” now that he’s dating the new girl from the big city. Even Emmett thinks he has met his match in the vivacious Boston beauty. In fact, he’s starting to think virginity may be overrated.

A spark of attraction ignites between Jade and Emmett, and quickly grows into a roaring inferno. But with a demon fanning the flames, attraction has never been so perilous.

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Google Play | All Romance | Goodreads


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Spy’s Honor Takes Home a Prism Award

Fantasy Romance Author Amy Raby Wins a Prism Award!

Prism Winner BadgeFantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance Writers is a chapter of RWA dedicated to romance that takes readers beyond the normal, beyond the expected. Every year, they hold The Prism Contest for Published Authors.

This year, Prism winners were announced in San Antonio at RWA Nationals, and I am thrilled to share that my friend and critique partner Amy Raby took home the Prism Award for Fantasy Romance with the second book in her Hearts and Thrones series, Spy’s Honor!

16072981Not only is Amy a wonderful person, but she is a marvelous writer. Some of my favorite aspects of her writing include the way she can build worlds with just a few, well-chosen words, and the way her characters balance a historic-fantasy feel while dealing with issues that feel current and relevant to women today.

If you haven’t read anything by Amy Raby yet and you love romance with action, swift pacing, unique worlds, and captivating characters, check her out!

Click the book image to buy Spy’s Honor in Kindle format at Amazon. It’s also available in print and ebook everywhere.

Amy also has an audio book out in her Hearts and Thrones series: Archer’s Sin.

Find Amy at any of these social media links and congratulate her on this well-deserved achievement!

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Thanks for reading!

***If you like this post, share it using the buttons below. I hear these buttons bring good luck, so click away!***


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The $20 5-gallon-bucket Air Conditioner Saga, PART 3

air conditioner

The AC-in-a-bucket saga has come to a close.

To see why and whether the results are joyous or tragic, click over to The Romance Troupe, where I post my final AC-in-a-bucket update.

To read Part I and Part II of the AC-in-a-bucket saga, click the links. Warning: frustration-driven humor and some mild cursing.

To view a quick update that is nothing but cuteness, click here.

Thanks for reading!






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The $20 5-gallon-bucket Air Conditioner Saga, Update

Here’s the latest status of my AC-in-a-bucket project. At least it’s keeping someone cool :)


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The $20 5-gallon-bucket Air Conditioner Saga, PART 2

air conditionerMy dear friend, critique partner, and sports romance author extraordinaire, Julie Brannagh told me about this $20 air conditioner Youtube sensation because she knows how much I loathe being hot. Click HERE or on the image to see the video for yourself.

Yesterday, I blogged about my adventures at Lowes and how easily I blew my $20 project budget (PART 1). I ended the post with two materials missing from my inventory: The bucket liner and the fan.

Minus those two items, I was at $40 already, including:bucket1

-A 5-gallon bucket & lid from Lowes
-3 pieces of 1.5″ PVC piping
-2 hole saws (2 1/8″ & 2 1/4″)
-2 gal water for freezing
-A utility knife

bucket2With my 3yo son, I leave Lowes disappointed I didn’t get everything on my materials list but determined to gather up the stragglers on Amazon. Because just about everything you could possibly want is available on Amazon. I’m a Seattlite AND an Amazon Prime member. This means I can often get items delivered for free or the next business day. It’s pretty sweet.

Imagine my surprise when I log onto Amazon and find they do not carry the bucket liners shown in the video. WHAT?! How can Amazon not carry something as simple as a foam bucket liner? Especially when I KNOW other people have been looking for them because the item list that came up when I searched for “5 gallon bucket liner” included 5 gallon buckets, 6″ fans, and PVC pipe sections: the exact materials used in this DIY project.

Amazon is usually so good at reading their customers and catering to their needs. I think Amazon knows what people need before they know it themselves. Amazon is like the perfect British butler in that way.

But my digital-shopping butler let me down. No, Amazon, NOOOOOOOO!!!!! You’re missing a great opportunity here! Do you KNOW how many people are trying to build this DIY AC-in-a-bucket? Probably thousands! You could be cleaning up on bucket liners!

Okay. Enough scolding my butler. He’s usually very efficient and discrete with my secrets, and nobody’s perfect. At least I have the entire internet at my disposal.

So I do a broader search for 5 gallon bucket liners. The only place I can find them: Home Depot. (That might have been nice to know in the video…”Oh, by the way, intrepid DIY viewer, don’t attempt to find a bucket and liner anywhere but at Home Depot. They’re the only ones that make the liner you’re seeing here.” Would that have been so hard?) Furthermore, they only come in packs of 3 if bought online. For $17.91. Plus $11.50 shipping & handling.

Untitled picture


Seriously? That’s almost $30 for three bucket liners! I only need one, and I can get a foam cooler in the shape of a rectangle at my grocery store for $3.

I realize that if I want to make this project exactly as it appears in the video, I am either going to have to make the dreaded drive to Home Depot (see PART 1 for why I do NOT like driving to Home Depot) OR I will have to vastly increase the budget for this project. It was supposed to be a $20 project, but I’m already at twice that. I refuse to make it a $50 project (and that’s not even including the fan!), so I bite the bullet and drive to Home Depot.

I only need to check my iPhone once for directions as I meander the unfamiliar streets of Seattle’s SODO district: think industrial and somewhat seedy but also artsy. Fortunately, I got to stop for a looooong train, so I had plenty of time to look at my Google Map and figure out where I was going.

Once the train passed, I find Home Depot relatively easily. No wrong turns, no ending up going the wrong way on a busy down-town street. I’m wiping my brow by this point and nearly sagging with relief that I’m about to purchase a single bucket liner for a reasonable price at the only store in all creation that apparently sells them.

My mom is with me. She graciously agrees to wait in the car with the kids so this quick errand doesn’t turn into a fiasco. (Anyone with kids knows there’s no such thing as a quick stop at the store).

There’s a host at the front when I enter the store. He’s wearing glasses and a tie and looks very helpful. I ask him where the bucket liners are. I even spot a display of 5 gallon buckets and PVC pipes, and I think to myself, Yup, they’re getting a lot of DIY AC-in-a-bucket folks in here. I bet the bucket liners are right over there.

The helpful employee in a tie has NEVER HEARD OF BUCKET LINERS! He has to look up the item on his phone to figure out what the heck I’m talking about.

Another employee comes over. This one is in a smock and looks like he might know the inventory a little better than Poindexter. I ask him for the bucket liners.

“Oh, yeah. I’ve seen that video,” he says. “We don’t carry those,” he says.

What do you mean, you don’t CARRY those?! You’re Home Depot! You’re the ONLY place that carries those, and I NEED THOSE! I HAVE KIDS IN THE CAR! I’M OVER BUDGET ON MY PROJECT! GIVE ME AN EFFING BUCKET LINER!

I don’t say any of this, though, because I’m a very sweet, rational person once the filter kicks in. What I say is, “Do you know where I can find a liner for a 5 gallon bucket?” My soul for a liner for a 5 gallon bucket!

“Nope, sorry. Good luck.”

Woodenly, I get in the car and tell my mom about the exchange with the Home Depot employees. I mean, seriously, why would they have an entire end display devoted to this AC-in-a-bucket project AND NOT HAVE THE NECESSARY BUCKET LINERS THAT ONLY THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE?!

Mom is livid on my behalf. She knows how much I didn’t want to drive to Home Depot. She knows how much I loathe being hot and how much I want to build this goshdarnmothereffing AC in a bucket.

I appreciate her support, but this doesn’t stop me from crying a little as I drive home, because not only have I wasted an hour of all our lives, but I get lost driving out of SODO and end up in Renton (don’t ask). I no longer feel like going grocery shopping, like I had planned. Instead, I cart everyone home, go online, and pay an arm and a leg for three bucket liners. I figure, I can use the additional two liners to make ACs-in-a-bucket for some friends who hate the heat as much as I do. Some people knit for their friends. I build odd DIY projects for them.

I get around the shipping cost by adding enough items to my cart to get free shipping. That’s the good news. The bad news is, I’ve already ordered a 6″ fan from Amazon. The fan is the last item I needed to complete my project. I could have used the fan to bring me up to the free shipping ceiling, but it was too late. So I buy $30 worth of storage stuff I won’t need until my kitchen remodel, which is several months away.

I have now spent $105 on my $20 AC-in-a-bucket, and I still have no AC-in-a-bucket. Why?

Because the bucket liners won’t arrive for two weeks. TWO WEEKS! I learn this after I make my purchase. Thanks, Home Depot.

“But never fear,” Home Depot tells me, “the rest of the items in your order will arrive in 4 business days.”

Awesome. I get the stuff I don’t really need and just bought to get free shipping (am I the only one that does this) lickety-split, but I have to WAIT 14 HOT, SWEATY DAYS for my bucket liners.

bucket3Thus ends part two of my saga. I am currently $85 over budget and two weeks from a completed AC-in-a-bucket.

I am filled with rage. I am apparently not a very good DIY person. Yet I refuse to give up. I will build this project, and it will be awesome.

It might be a while, but I’ll be back with more AC-in-a-bucket Saga. In two weeks.

In the meantime, enjoy these images of the little bit of progress I’ve made on what I can do without the liner:

bucket4To the left: Cut-out for fan, which I completed with the nifty new utility knife I bought.

(Home Depot, take note. I ordered this fan from Amazon on Saturday evening. It arrived Tuesday morning. That’s 3 days, 1.5, if you count only business days. Just sayin’.)

Perfect fit!

bucket5To the right: Frozen water.

So glad I’ll have these enormous jugs in my freezer for two weeks while I wait for the bucket liners to come.

Note to any spouses glimpsing the words “enormous jugs” over the shoulder of the person reading this post: I’m talking about water. Just water.

So the saga continues. I may attempt to make something work with one of those $3 coolers I mentioned I could get from the grocery store.

Thanks for reading! Do share DIY projects you’ve attempted that have not gone quite as expected.






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The $20 5-gallon-bucket Air Conditioner Saga, PART 1

My dear friend, critique partner, and sports romance author extraordinaire, Julie Brannagh told me about this $20 air conditioner Youtube sensation because she knows how much I loathe being hot. Click HERE or on the image to see the video for yourself.air conditioner

The video makes the process seam simple and fun. I though, heck, I’ll do this with my kids. They’ll especially enjoy taping streamers on so we can “see” the air conditioner working when we’re done. It’ll be fun.

Famous. Last. Words.

I’m 3 days and more than $100 into this project, and I am still not enjoying my home-made air conditioner.

The “$20 5-gal-bucket Air Conditioner Saga” begins with an optimistic trip to Lowes with my 3yo son. The video shows a Home Depot bucket, but Home Depot is in a part of town I’m not very familiar with. The potential to get lost and end up driving the wrong way on a one-way street in downtown Seattle is high.

In contrast, Lowe’s is 3 miles from my house and also right next to the grocery store where I knew I could by a gallon of water to freeze and use as the core of this awesome homemade cooling unit. Plus their buckets are blue, which I love, not orange, which I dislike.

Here’s my thoughts as I head out with the boy: I’ll make a stop at Lowes for the materials, then hit up the store for water to freeze, then whip the project together. I’ll be chillin’ in style by dinner time.

Yeah. Not so much.

bucket1And it all started out so good…

As soon as I walk into Lowes, I see their 5-gallon buckets. They are such a pretty blue, don’t you think? Much nicer to look at than orange, IMO. I snatch up this beauty and tossed it in the shopping cart along with a lid like the one shown in the video. Total so far: about $4

Directing my cart toward the plumbing section for PVC piping, I’m thinking: so far, so good.

The PVC piping is a little harder to find. The sections I find aren’t quite as long as those in the video, but I think they’ll work just fine. And they are less than $1 a piece. So I’m up to about $7 so far. Still doing good.

bucket2Next on the list are two hole saw extensions that will work with my power drill. This is where I blow the $20 budget. The harder the material you need to cut through, the more expensive the hole saw. I just need to cut through plastic and foam. Unfortunately Lowes doesn’t have the sizes I need in stock for the cheaper hole saws. I have to trade up and get kind of expensive ones. At $16 a piece, these hole saws put me up to $32. I’m still well under what I would spend on a traditional compressor AC unit, so I figure I’m doing okay.

Now that I’ve got most of the materials, I’m just kind of wandering through Lowes, looking for an insulating liner for the bucket. Odd that they didn’t have a big stack of liners right there with the buckets, but I’m not deterred. I keep looking.

Up and down the aisles I go. My son is being very patient. He wants to buy everything in sight, especially the orange traffic cones. They ARE made of molded foam, so I briefly consider using one as a liner for the AC-in-a-bucket, but they were $8 a piece for the smallest cones. Too much. I’m still determined to find the liners made specifically for the buckets, like the one shown in the video.

While I’m wandering, I pick up a new utility knife because I can’t remember where the one at home is. Now I’m up to $35. No big. I’m talking myself into not counting the tools in the budget since tools can be reused.

Finally, I find an employee–the hardware-store equivalent to admitting defeat and asking directions. When that employee answers: “Bucket liner? You mean like a trash bag?,” I look for someone more helpful. The second employee responds thusly to my request: “Oh, you must be making one of those Youtube air conditioners. Yeah, we don’t carry those liners. Only Home Depot has those.”

I inwardly groan. I do not want to drive to Home Depot. I take another turn around Lowes, looking for some substitute for a foam bucket liner. I look at hard coolers and wonder if the hole saws will grind through them. I look at soft coolers and wonder how they’ll hold the PVC pipes in place. I look at flexible duct insulation and wonder how disgusting it’s going to be after a gallon of frozen water sweats into it a hundred times. I also frown at the price tag, $20 for a single roll of insulation! A liner shouldn’t cost more than $5. I’m not spending $20.

At this point, my 3yo is done with Lowes. So am I. I leave without bothering to look for a fan and without the bucket liner.

We head over to the grocery store and spend $5 on 2 gallons of water. I’m up to $40. While I’m at the grocery store I swing into the next-door drug store to look for a 6″ fan like the one in the video. It’s mid-July, and the fan shelf is bare. This is what happens in a heat wave in Seattle.

No foam liner. No fan. No problem. I’ll get them on Amazon.

Tune in for PART 2 to see what goes wrong next!

Thanks for reading! Leave a comment and let me know what DIY projects you wished you never started.




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Free Publicity Fridays: Kyra Jacobs Has a New Release!

Flirting With Fire by Kyra Jacobs

22591831Kyra Jacobs has just released Hometown Heroes Book 2 Flirting With Fire! Are you pumped for it? I am!

I marked it “want to read” on Goodreads then ran over to Amazon to buy my copy.

Not only do I love Kyra’s concept for her Hometown Heroes series, but her writing voice resonates with me. Humor? She’s got it. Tenderness? In spades. Descriptions? Evocative and superbly written. So what are you waiting for? Read her blurb below then go buy your copy!

Amazon | Goodreads

Flirting With Fire by Kyra Jacobs

Look, touch, but don’t fall in love.

Massage therapist Liz Williams lives by one rule: never date a client. A rule she’s never had trouble following until she lays hands on fireman playboy Torrunn MacKay. Trouble is, Liz’s sexy new client is dating her arch-rival at work…and has a strange habit of appearing just before the fire alarm sounds.

Firefighter Torrunn MacKay has got it made: killer job, downtown condo with a view, and hot blonde girlfriend with no more desire to tie the knot than he has. But the surprise attraction he feels toward his new masseuse is threatening to change all that. And what’s with the string of fires that seem to follow her everywhere?

Can Liz mind her table manners and keep Torrunn at arms’ length? Will Torrunn put his commitment fears aside to keep Liz safe? More than hearts will be in jeopardy when the two start Flirting with Fire.

CONTENT WARNING: Beware of darkened rooms, delicious fire fighters, and desperate pyromaniacs.

Learn more about Kyra Jacobs: Website | Facebook

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