Monday, February 27, 2017

This Week's #MadeinUSA Products

My search continues for products that are labeled Made in USA. I've found some are listed as Products of USA. Others say "Packed in USA." Today I'm sharing photos of a cross-section of items with such listings on their labels. 


So happy to see my favorite hand lotion, Curel, is a USA product. 

The Del Monte cans I had on hand all have Product of the USA on them. Sugary Sams Sweet Potatoes were also from USA. Along with IGA salt.



Pine-Sol is made in the USA. One of the few cleaning products I have found so far with this label.

If you're looking for a body wash made in USA, Softsoap is one I found in the soap aisle.


Hope this helps you when you go shopping if you're looking to buy USA products! 

You can check out my previous Made in USA post here. Also I want to invite you sign up for my newsletter which contains recipes as well as upcoming news about my books! 



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Must Have a Title #MRFWauthor

When it comes to writing a book, I always need a working title for it. You know, it's like a baby and you wouldn't want to call your baby "hey, kid" until you came up with a name. So I usually come up with a title that could be considered a nickname. But at least I have something to call the book when I refer to it.

When I come up with a final title, I try to consider the book as a whole and find a title that is meaningful to the story and characters in some fashion. I think I've been really lucky when it comes to the books and stories I've sold to publishers. I've only had one title changed and that was for One Week in Your Arms. My original title was One Week in Paradise, which I've used a lot in the promo I've done for it because that is actually what the brunt of the book involves is a one week trip to Hawaii. I would have loved to have had the book titled One Week in Paradise, with a billionaire (subtitle) with tagline: How can she say no?  But that was not to be.

Also with titles that are books in a series, I try to make them work together. In the Love Heals All series, the first book had 5 words in the title, so I came up with longer titles for the next two books so they would blend. I also matched the titles for my historical series, which I still haven't finished.

That about wraps it up for titles. I hope everyone has a good weekend!

You can check out other posts about titles at MFRW Blog Challenge

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Sound of Music: Music Streaming #MFRWauthor Blog Hop

This week's subject is about music and writing. I have always found music very inspiring and I love writing to music as it helps set the mood for me. It depends on what I'm writing the kind of music I have playing. For comedy, I usually have lighthearted music or bluegrass playing. I love epic music for historicals and all types for contemporaries. I prefer instrumental music most of the time.

I use Napster as my primary music service because you can create playlists. They were Rhapsody for many years and they had an excellent player software, which allowed you to add music from your personal library. That was great because I have a lot of CDs. Then they changed their software so you can no longer add your own music to a playlist. I don't like what they have now all that well but it is still so much better than Amazon. This is the service I use when I write. 

I have Amazon music through Prime. In the beginning, the app or program was okay as far as easy to use and see. This year they changed it and the appearance is terrible. The background is navy blue with dark gray print and you have to run your mouse over the print to turn it white where you can read it. Also when they changed the app, all my playlists were still listed but they were empty. I do not recommend Amazon Music. I exported the music I had bought on Amazon to iTunes which is far superior to Amazon in appearance. A lot of people complained about Amazon Music so I am hoping they will improve the program. Otherwise, I don't use it.

I've been a Pandora subscriber for years and this is where I have found a lot of new artists and music I love. They have radio playlists where you don't control the songs that are in the playlist but they are of a similar nature. Like I have a Piano Guys playlist. I have Pandora on my phone so I use the blue tooth sync to listen to it on speakers. 

If you are looking for a music service to use while writing, I would recommend Napster. 

Check out other blog posts here

TGIF!!! Have a great weekend! 


Monday, February 13, 2017

Checking the Pantry: Made in USA

Today, I'm sharing some photographs of products that are marked "Made in the USA" or "product of the USA." The label is supposed to mean that the goods or most of the contents used in making the products were produced in the USA.

I hope to make this a weekly post as I think it's important to support the companies who are producing goods in the US but it is time-consuming when you are shopping to check labels. So you can note the products in the pictures to save you time if buying "Made in USA" is something that interests you. 

I've found a lot of major brands of food/health/cleaning products are listed as "Distributed by." This means a company or store brand like Kroger is the "middleman" between the manufacturer of the product and the consumer. The item could be manufactured in the US or in another country. I think it would be a great idea if the manufacturer's country was required on the label. On some labels, the country of origin is listed.  I found a couple of items marked made in Canada. But most of the time only the "middleman" is listed with no country of origin mentioned. 

My list of Made in USA labeled products this week are Palmolive Oxy Dishwashing liquid, 409 spray cleaner, Method foaming hand soap, Wisk, White Rain hair spray, Irish Spring soap, Lindsay Olives and Campbell's Soup which says cooked in USA.




Friday, February 10, 2017

What's a Hobby? #MFRWauthor Blog Challenge

This is probably going to be a short and sweet post! I actually don't have time for hobbies. Besides writing and a part-time job plus all the stuff you have to do to survive, I can't say that I have a serious hobby.

I've always enjoyed arts and crafts. Many years ago, I did a number of crafts and when I worked in a library, I had craft workshops. Now I would be lucky to remember how to do most of them. LOL. I actually had my own ceramic kiln ions ago. And once I had a load of house plants. Now I'm down to only a couple.

I would say my "hobby" now is photography and graphic design. I have a Canon camera that I prefer to use rather than my phone. I have tons of photographs and stock photos that I use in Photoshop and different programs to create memes and fun stuff. I've made some simple book covers for myself and for a few friends. I find working with the photos and fonts fun and very relaxing.

Also I've played with the new app Prisma to turn photos into paintings. With just a click, you can turn your picture into a painting. I actually found out about this on Twitter when I saw a tweet by Russell Crowe with photos he'd done. I thought at first he's a really talented artist. Then I saw where others responded with photo/paintings of their own and they were all using this app. The only negative thing is that it only makes a square picture. I haven't found any way to resize the picture. I'll post some of my photos before and after Prisma.

Before:
After:

Portrait I created:




Check out other MFRW blog posts at MFRW Blog Challenge!   Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Lazy Home Cooking: Ambrosia Pies #Recipe

Here's a super easy recipe for making a delicious chilled desert!

Ambrosia Pies
(Recipe makes 2 pies so you can give one to a friend!)

1 can pineapple
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar.

Mix and cook in sauce pan until it boils.  Set aside to cool

2 large bananas
2 graham cracker crusts
1 can coconut
1 cup pecan pieces
1 12 ounce whipped topping (Cool Whip)

Slice up bananas and cover bottom of crusts with slices. When pineapple mixture is cool, pour over bananas. Then add a layer of coconut, a layer of pecans. (you can add cherries to pie if you want)
Top with Cool Whip. Chill and Serve! 




Saturday, February 4, 2017

#SaturdaySpotlight: Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley #RomanticSuspense


Justice Delayed
 “Patricia Bradley weaves together law enforcement and suspense in a beautiful tapestry of words that results in a book the reader won’t want to put down.”
Lynette Eason, bestselling and award-winning author of the Hidden Identity series


It's been eighteen years since TV crime reporter Andi Hollister's sister was murdered. The confessed killer is behind bars, and the execution date is looming. But when a letter surfaces stating that the condemned killer didn't actually do it, Detective Will Kincaide of the Memphis Cold Case Unit will stop at nothing to help Andi get to the bottom of it. After all, this case is personal: the person who confessed to the crime is Will's cousin. They have less than a week to find the real killer before the wrong person is executed. But much can be accomplished in that week--including uncovering police corruption, running for your life, and falling in love.

Excerpt:

New Year’s Eve
Paris, France. She should be ecstatic to be here on the cusp of a new year. Stephanie Hollister pushed aside the hotel’s heavy brocade curtains and looked out over the city. The setting sun provided a beautiful backdrop for the Eiffel Tower. She didn’t have to ask how her ex-boyfriend afforded such a room.
Stephanie turned from the window, and her mouth dried as she stared at the diamonds glittering on the crimson duvet. Briefly, she closed her eyes, but the image of the fiery stones remained, and she opened her eyes again.
“Beautiful, aren’t they? Not a one under three carats.”
Stephanie clenched her jaw. She had promised herself after the last shipment that there wouldn’t be another. She drew her gaze away from the bed.
“I told you last time was it.” She hated the fluttering in her voice. She hated, too, the way her heart pounded just from being this close to him. Get a grip. He used you.
“It’ll be ten thousand cash, like before.”
Ten thousand dollars could not buy peace of mind or wash away the shame of breaking the law.

Buy Links for Justice Delayed
Amazon  B&N CBD  (Christian Books)

Thanks for stopping by! Check out all of Pat’s books at http://www.ptbradley.com/books


Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Writer's Friend #MFRWauthor Blog Challenge

My journey as a writer has meant acquiring some great writer friends. As the years have passed, I have come to think of some of them as family. Unfortunately, a few of my closest friends were taken from this life far too early, but I still have reminders of them in the way of gifts and photos in my writing cave. They are never far from my thoughts.

I think a good friendship with another writer is so important because who understands you better than a fellow writer? Of course, writing tends to be such a solitary endeavor that friends that understand writing are a necessity. You need someone you can relate to and vice versa. So there are a few things I feel are super important when it comes to being a writer's friend whether you are a writer yourself or someone who knows a writer.

Nothing is more important to a writer than to have the support of family and friends. A little support is such a precious thing and it requires so little of you. Always offer encouragement, praise or sympathy depending on the situation because we all go through times when we need these things.  At home, do your part to see that a writer has time alone to write. You can't imagine how much that will be appreciated. 

Be a positive cheerleader. I have to say I have a small group of true friends who are great cheerleaders. They always lift me up. They have been there to congratulate me and console me when I needed it. Looking back, much of what I've learned and accomplished as a writer has not been without the help of fellow writers and fans. Some I have never met. But they willingly helped me by hosting me on their blogs, helping with promotion and sharing their knowledge of publishing. 

Make suggestions rather than handing out advice. Don't be discouraging. Just because a writer isn't writing the kind of story you write or the kind you read doesn't make their work invalid or any less important or marketable. Don't be judgmental or jealous. All writers, regardless of how they have published their books or the success they've had, have worked long, hard hours completing their books and have spent even more time with the publishing and promoting process. Most of them have devoted a good part of their life to this endeavor. Always respect that sacrifice regardless if you think their books are crap or the best thing you've ever read. 

Always be the kind of friend that you would want to have. It's those friends who are always remembered in the dedication of books and in the heart. 

This is a blog hop: Find other participants at MFRW Blog Challenge







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