Friday, August 31, 2012

Back to the Books Hop

Hi, welcome to Back to the Books blog hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. Today on my blog you can win a $10 Amazon gift card or a free e-copy of my book The Alias (learn more on Just follow the link) In order to win, just follow the rules listed below. And thanks for stopping by.
1) Follow this blog (Mandatory)
2) Like Tide Ever Rising on Facebook (New book coming Feb. 2013) ( +3)

That's it!

Monday, August 20, 2012


Ammonites are one of my very favorite fossils. I remember exploring the desert hills behind my hometown with my parents for hours and hours while we hunted these fun little fossil shells. This Ammonite is unique in that it has been replaced by Gold Pyrite. It's a beautiful piece.

 Pyrite Ammonite                                                                                                          For Sale

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Recycled Table(s)

I love love love to turn odd pieces of furniture into something unique and beautiful. A week or so ago, I was in need to a new kitchen table, so I decided to explore the local thrift stores. I happened to stumble on an old table in need of much love. I wish I had taken some before and after pictures, but I didn't. Needless to say, this table was in rough shape. I scrubbed the top, then used a fork and a hammer to distress the wood even more before I added a darker stain. After letting it dry, I pulled it apart and discovered these amazing, old, rusty gears. I was in love. The inside of the table base also made a great shadow box type thingy that I was able to decorate. My dining room is very green. I have decorated with artificial plants and real plants, so I changed the "shadow box" thingy up to make it match. Once that was finished, I placed my old glass top from my previous table on top, giving my new table a very uniquely-me look. Even the gaps between the wood add a certain "style".

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Taming of Lady Kate

By Author GG Vandagriff

Publisher's Note: Lady Kate Derramore and the Marquis of Northbrooke have one thing in common: In order to receive their inheritances, they must marry. Lady Kate, prevented from marrying the man she loves by her father’s will, determines to marry for convenience. With the forthrightness for which she is noted, she sets her sights on Jack—aforesaid Marquis. Jack, meanwhile, has tumbled into love with Kate at their first meeting. All might have gone swimmingly, were it not for his “other life,” the mysterious job that calls him out of town at the most inopportune moments. Unwittingly, he puts Lady Kate’s life in danger, and while attempting to rescue her comes up against her “reins-grabbing” nature. Will he ever be able to master Lady Kate? Will he ever be able to oust another man from her heart? And, despite Kate’s penchant for disaster, will he be able to save her life and his own?

If you liked The Duke's Undoing, you'll love The Taming of Lady Kate

Mandi's Review: The Taming of Lady Kate quickly became one of my favorite reads. This is a fun story filled with intrigue, romantic tension, and a handsome hero. Lady Kate, in an attempt to provide for her younger brother, feels it her responsibility to marry as quickly as possible, but because of her deceased father's will, she is unable to marry the man she loves. When she meets the handsome Marquis, Jack, she is definitely intrigued, but his "secret life" leaves her confused and uncertain of what she really desires. She is torn between her growing feelings for Jack and the man she swore she would always love. The action in this story is paced perfectly, and I absolutely loved the characters. I thought Lady Kate was a wonderful character. She was snarky, independent, cute, but frustrating…a perfect combination. I also really liked Jack. It took me a little longer to like him the way I liked Kate. Right at the start I had him figured for a “player”, but in the end, I was in love too. Vandagriff's newest Regency is definitely a story that will leave you turning the pages long into the night. Your heart will race, and I can almost guarantee that you'll close this book with a sigh. 

To purchase a kindle copy of The Taming of Lady Kate for only $2.99 visit Amazon Today

Making ¢ents....

On a hot sunny day, one of my favorite things to do is to wander around thrift stores. I adore thrift stores!! I drag my children down every isle while I shop happily to the sound of their whines and "pleeeeease"s. The thrill of the hunt keeps me coming back week after week. Thrift stores are wonderful, because I never pay full price for anything that I use to decorate my home and I LOVE to decorate. I change my design scheme at least 3 times a year. And I am amazed by how creative a mind can get while searching the cramped shelves and dark, dusty corners of these stores. My friends and family are always surprised at my thrift store discoveries and I often hear, "you found THAT at a thrift store?", and my answer is always, "yesssss". They shrug and ask, "how?". So.... for today's post I thought I would share some of my best discoveries and thrifty trade secrets.

Number 1) I never enter a thrift store without a plan of action. First, I start in the back. This is usually where the "Yard Sale" type items are kept and this is ALWAYS where I find my best "finds". The broken, outdated furniture can be used for a number of amazing household accessories. Decide what you need and then get creative! Use your imagination and remember two simple words: glue and paint!  For example...I needed a new kitchen table. One day while searching through the plethora of furniture, I discovered a much-outdated, glass top poker table. It was UGLY and it took nearly 15 minutes to convince my husband that it had potential. Eventually he caved and with his grudgingly wary help, I loaded the table into the van, ran to the nearest hardware store to buy a 1/2 gallon of paint, and Walla!! The table looks fantastic and I had the giggling pleasure of saying, "I told you so." Then I patiently waited until just the right stools came along on my local classifieds and I purchased the stools for $20 each. The total cost for chairs and table: $135....

You'll be amazed by how a can of paint can transform an outdated piece into one of your very favorites.....

The next example....I needed a desk; a place where I could write my books and still keep an eye on my children while they tear apart my house. I love green. One day, while rummaging through the "As Is" section of a thrift store, I stumbled across a sad little IKEA desk. The wheel was broken, the paint was scratched and dinged, and it was filthy, but it cost $5. I couldn't pass up that sort of deal. I crammed it into my van, brought it home, and cleaned it. (Mr. Clean Erasers© are truly magical) In this case, I couldn't paint it, because I loved the So  instead, I distressed it. I took a fork, a hammer, and a bottle of wood stain and I scratched and dinged it to my heart's content, creating an entirely new, shabby-chic look that blended perfectly with my collection of antiques and fossils. I glued the wheel in place, purchased a cheap black chair and now..... I have a fantastic work space! It cost a total of $18. 

Distressing furniture can suddenly bring an old shabby piece to life, and it's difficult to mess up the "distressed look". Not only is it easy, it's fun! If you  know how to yield a hammer, you know how to distress wood. 
Number 2) The next little bit of advice I can give is to move on from the yard sale section and race into the heart of the store. This is where you can find a melange of items to decorate your home....lamps, pictures, curtains, vases, old fishing gear and other crazy items that you never knew existed. The possibilities are endless. Broken trinkets can be glued, painted, and remade into whatever you need. Also, if you're like me, a simple object that piques my interest is often the inspiration to an entire decorative scheme. My dining room was built around one single object-- an old fan from the 40's. I found ← this fan hiding on the bottom shelf in the electronics section for $3, and that brings me to my next bit of advice.

.50 to 2.00 this-and-thats
Number 3) Always, always, always search the bottom shelves. You will be surprised how often the bottom shelves get missed by the casual shopper. I have found amazing nick-nacks, antiques, and other little this-and thats hiding in the back of the bottom shelf. When you go thrift, be prepared to get down and dirty and don't be afraid to DIG. Glancing and picking at the top shelves will yield you nothing but an empty cart and frustration.                                    

So the next time you're in a thrift store, keep in is a treasure hunt and you can't find the gold if you don't dig deep. Have FUN and remember that old adage, "One (wo)man's trash is another (wo)man's treasure."