Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hobby Hoedown: Author Julie Hayes Handiwork and Giveaway

Welcome Julie Hayes! So pleased to have you share your hobbies of cross-stitching, crocheting and knitting. I played with counted cross-stitch when I was a young mother. I was fascinated watching the picture take shape as I drew the needle through the fabric.

Now it's your turn, Julie, to tell us about your experiences with your hobbies.

Readers, please leave a comment to be entered in the drawing to win an e-book from Julie's back list.

My Hobbies, or How I Unwind by Julie Lynn Hayes

When I was a kid, I was never interested in the domestic arts. I didn’t care about home economics, or learning how to sew. In fact, I managed to avoid taking the course entirely, and taught myself to cook when I got married at the age of eighteen—it was a necessity.
I liked art, but never did much with it. I had dabbled with cross stitch pictures when I was younger, but only on paper; creating pictures out of different color X’s fascinated me.  It wasn’t until I was working at Clayton Federal Savings (a now defunct savings and loan) that I met a woman who would cross stitch at work. She was making jar lids, and I was fascinated by what I saw, so she showed me how to do it, thus sparking my lifelong interest in cross stitch.
That Christmas, I made jar lids, put them together with the jars, and had ready-made handcrafted Christmas gifts, that all the recipients loved!  I began to think bigger, and discovered that you could buy kits and make big pictures in cross stitch! Then I found magazines with patterns that you could follow, with the same result. I can’t even remember all the cross stitch pictures I’ve made over the years. And I don’t have them to show, because I pretty well gave them all away. I love to make them and I enjoy gifting them to loved ones. I made one picture for my mother-in-law that was all blue and white and resembled a piece of Delft china. I made a silhouette of a sitting cat for my grandmother, and geese for my husband’s grandmother. I made birth announcements for my kids, a unicorn picture, a sampler of different alphabets, a picture with bees, and so much more.
I first tried to crochet in high school. A friend tried to show me, but that didn’t work. It wasn’t until years later that I bought a Reader’s Digest Guide to Needlework, and taught myself. I made oodles of blankets and baby clothes galore! I loved it! Crocheting gets faster and easier the more you do. I’ve made granny squares and afghans. I made a carriage cover in an afghan stitch, and cross stitched pictures over it in yarn. It’s now a family heirloom that my daughter Katie has.  I’ve crocheted little pillows to give away at conventions, and have made some surprises to take to GRL.
What more natural than I should learn to knit from the same book? Well, that didn’t quite come easily. Since then, I’ve decided that whichever you learn first—knitting or crocheting—the second one won’t come easy. So it was with knitting. I found myself throwing knitting needles and yarn across the room in frustration—more than once. But I persisted, and am now an intermediate knitter (as opposed to being, probably, an expert crocheter). Knitting is slower, but it’s more durable, and holds together better. I knit two Doctor Who scarves that my daughter Sarah has. I enjoy the clack of the needles as I knit, and pretend sometimes that I am Madame Defarge lol
I took up needlepoint when I ran across a kit at a garage sale about thirty years ago. It was a picture of a Pegasus, and I decided I wanted to learn.  I gave the result to my mother-in-law as a gift. Needlepoint is challenging, and there are a variety of stitches. I once did a very lovely picture of two women and a musical instrument that looked very medieval. I gave it to my mother, and at one time it hung along the stairs going to the second floor. Unfortunately, last time I saw it, she’d taken it down and put it in the garage, and the frame is twisted. Needlepoint goes back many years, to when women did tapestries, something I’d like to try someday, if I can.
Of all my hobbies, I think cross stitch is my favorite. It’s actually a form of embroidery, and I’ve done a bit of that too. When I was in high school, I took a piece of material and sewed a map of the United States on it. It took me some time to do it, and I even started to “fill” in the states. I have no idea what happened to that map, it would be interesting to see it now.
Something I am interested in learning to do is crochet by numbers, where you can crochet a picture that looks like a photograph. I haven’t figured it out yet, but I will. Also, I have a program that can take a picture and translate it into a cross stitch kit. I’d love to cross stitch one of my book covers.

Thanks for having me, J.Q.!

About Julie:

Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. 
She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she'd never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another's arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. 
She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. She enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch, knitting and needlepoint and loves to cook. While working a temporary day job, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews, which she posts in various places on the internet. 
Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn't mind. Marching to the beat of one's own drummer is a good thing, after all.  

Her other published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, MuseitUp Publishing and No Boundaries Press, and coming soon with both Extasy Books and Torquere Press. She has also begun to self-publish and is an editor at MuseitUp.  

You can find her on her blog at, and you can contact her at

Monday, May 27, 2013

Remember Those Who Serve Today--Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day, a day set aside 
to remember our fallen heroes 
and those who serve in the military 
to protect our freedom. God bless.
Please thank a vet for his/her service.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hobby Hoedown: Joselyn Vaughn and Transformed T-shirts

Please welcome my friend, critique partner, and talented author Joselyn Vaughn to the Hobby Hoedown. I'm thrilled to spotlight her hobby, but I am also excited to introduce you to her brand new sweet romance, Climbing Heartbreak Hill,  just released by Astraea Press on Tuesday!

With the help of the junkyard king and a mechanical bull,
can Tara and Ryan find the courage to climb Heartbreak Hill together?

Not only can Joselyn create funny and heartwarming romances, she is very accomplished with a sewing machine. Take a peek at her cute designs fashioned from T-shirts.

Transformed T-shirts by Joselyn Vaughn

I run a lot of races and quite often the race entry comes with a t-shirt. I have shirts in drawers, hanging in the closet, and stacked under the bed. Some are nice, some are sentimental. Some are not. When they offer an ugly one, I’m lucky if I remember to ask for an XL, then my husband can wear it. He’s somewhat less particular about what he wears than I am.

I’ll eventually make a quilt with the sentimental shirts, but what about the others? I may just refashion them like these.

These aren’t race shirts, but shirts I really like, but are not a style that I wear often.

First, I cut off the collar and sleeves. I made a buttonhole on the bottom, then sewed a channel around the bottom for the ribbon. I had a slight mishap on the purple one when I tried to put two buttonholes on the channel. Somehow (probably user error), they didn’t line up properly, but I figured the ribbon would cover them anyway. I made two more channels across the front and back and wove the ribbons through them. Tie some bows and you’re done. Very easy.

Can you believe my daughter turned up her nose at the purple ribbon when I tried to put it on one of her dresses? But then, she likes to wear polka-dots with camouflage and stripes. Our tastes are a bit different

Back of the Cover from Climbing Heartbreak Hill:

Professional runner, Ryan Grant, blows out his knee training for another attempt at the Boston marathon and the dreaded Heartbreak Hill. Ryan retreats home, not looking for anything more than a fast recovery, but he finds solace in the arms of his tax preparer, Tara Mansfield.
Tara’s cheerleading career ended abruptly and she faces an upward climb beating the stereotype as dumb blonde in her new calling as an accountant. Framed with defrauding the IRS during the last weeks of the tax season, Tara’s tentative confidence is shaken, but Ryan coaches her in ensnaring the true perpetrator. She cheers him on in discovering his identity as a coach rather than an athlete.
With the help of the junkyard king and a mechanical bull, can Tara and Ryan find the courage to climb Heartbreak Hill together?



A portion of my proceeds for Climbing Heartbreak Hill will be donated to the One Fund for Boston to help those injured in the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Contact Links:


Twitter: @joselynvaughn

About Joselyn
I live in the Great Lakes state with my husband, three rambunctious children and two barking Beagles (I suppose that is redundant.) When not suffering the woes of potty training three toddler/preschoolers, I enjoy reading, running (sometimes it's fleeing the craziness at home), reconstructing clothing, thrift store shopping and surfing (I spend way too much time there and am getting all kinds of exciting ideas for projects for my husband to do. He is less than thrilled by this.)
I love writing romance because I enjoy stories where everything works out all right in the end and the main characters have a happily ever after. My stories are set in small towns with quirky characters that take on a life of their own.

These shirts are so cute, Joselyn. Thanks for sharing!

Remember to leave a comment because May is my birthday month so I am celebrating with a fun opportunity for commenters.  You can name the shadow person in my work-in-progress!  Having that character's name will be a birthday gift I will truly appreciate. After your name is drawn on Monday, May 27 at 9 pm, I'll give you the info about the character so you can conjure up a name for him. Your name will appear in the acknowledgement section of my new mystery. Please add a note when you comment so I'll know you're interested in naming the character. Put on your thinking caps!

Thanks for visiting the J.Q. Rose blog!

Monday, May 20, 2013

This Week-Hobby Hoedown and Giveaways Start Thursday

Welcome Readers,

Once again the country has been ravaged by tornadoes leaving death and destruction along the way. My heart goes out to those who are dealing with the loss of loved ones and the reality of the clean-up. I pray for your strength and determination to carry you through.

Spring can be such a gorgeous time of year with so much beauty and sunshine, but the downpours and storms are inevitable.

Today I'm a guest at my publisher's blog, MuseItUp Publishing,  and being very honest about my challenge as a writer. I hope you have time to pop over to visit.

On Tuesday, I will be a guest at the Helena Fairfax blog. Wow, did she ever ask questions that made me think deep for the answer.

On Thursday my crit partner's newest book, Climbing Heartbreak Hill, will be released. She'll be my guest for the Hobby Hoedown that day, Launch Day! What's Hobby Hoedown?? Check it out below. 

On Friday children's authorTara Chevrestt will be my guest at the Girls Succeed Blog. I enjoyed her book so much I invited her to tell my readers all about her historical fiction, Ride for Rights.

To get you in the mood for the Hobby Hoedown, click on the music of Aaron Copland's Hoedown.

YouTube video: Hoedown by American composer, Aaron Copland

Alright, all you guys and gals, you're invited to a hoedown 
every Thursday this summer right here at the J.Q. Rose blog. 

A hoedown is a community dance party which usually features folk and square dances, but our hoedown is featuring authors and their  hobbies and books. You'll definitely see another side of your favorite author and learn about authors new to you.

I hope you'll join us for a great line-up 
of hobbies and stories this summer! 
Check out the right page margin for these creative writers 
and come back for the fun and giveaways!
Ya'all come back now, ya' hear?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hobby Time and Karina Fabian's Greater Treasures Tour and Giveaway

Please welcome fantasy author Karina Fabian to our Hobby Hoedown feature. She's stopping by while she is on her Greater Treasures Book Tour May 1-31. Here’s your chance to win a free electronic copy of Greater Treasures.  Leave a comment or question for Karina, Vern, or Sister Grace. I'll pick the winner at 9 pm EDST on Thursday, May 16.

Greater Treasures by Karina Fabian
Part of the DragonEye series of novels and stories

Oh, wait a minute, Readers.  Her main character, Vern the Dragon, is whispering in my ear...Hope he's not a fiery dragon while I'm listening. 

There has been a change. Karina sends her greetings to all of you but it seems Vern would like to share his hobby with us while Karina is on her tour. He's quite a character, so let's find out about Vern's hobby.
(Side note: Karina will be back with HER hobby in August.) 

Welcome, Vern!

Dragon Hobby—Collecting, What Else?

By Vern

Considering I’m a dragon, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’m a collector.  Yeah, treasure’s great, though perhaps not for the reasons you think.  We’re really not so interested in collecting a big pile of gold for its value as much as its color, its coolness, the way it rubs in our scales…oh, now I’m homesick for my pile!  To a dragon, there’s nothing as cozy.  (Although I am fond of my pile of mattresses and pillows that makes my nest here in the Mundane, except when the roof leaked and they got damp.  Dragons do not like damp.)
As far as collecting for collecting’s sake, I personally was into rare artifacts with interesting stories.  I had a love letter from Baldur to Hella.  Yep, he actually missed the Emo Maid of Norse Mythology.  She has it now, though.  I traded it for her father, Loki, who was doing his latest pennance in Helheim among the blind-deaf-mutes.  Oh, and her brother’s intestines to tie Loki up in.  It’s a Norse thing.  You can read about it in Live and Let Fly—after you finish this article.
My territory spanned the Mediterranean, so I have a lot of trinkets from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.  I have a statue of Anubis that I liked to mention to him now and again.  It’s a terrible likeness, yet caught his inner person, I thought.  He disagrees rather vehemently.  I have a Sumarian fertility symbol, not that an androgynous creature like me has need for it.  I have a little replica of the Ark of the Covenant; yep, they had souvenir drek in Solomon’s time.  I got a wizard to bespell it so it looks bigger than it really is; I loved watching people’s reactions.
Ever wonder why dragons favor caves?  Climate control.  I’ve got a lot of wonderful pieces back in my cave at Caraparavalenciana that would have otherwise succumbed to time, weather, and the handling of humanoid hands.  See?  Dragon collecting has purpose.
Of course, all that is temporarily on hold for now.  Vows of poverty working for the Church and all that.  Doesn’t stop me from collecting, however.  Now, my collections are more intellectual:  information, memories, unique experiences.  And if I can’t have the souvenir, at least I’ll have something to ruminate on when my stint serving God through the Church is done.

Thanks, Vern. Be sure to check out Vern’s other tales at Dragon Eye P I 

When Grace’s life is in danger, Vern will do just about anything to find a cure—
but will he sacrifice the fate of two worlds for her life? #dragoneye 

Blurb:  Being a private detective in the border town of the Faerie and Mundane worlds isn’t easy, even for a dragon like Vern.   Still, finding the wayward brother of a teary damsel in distress shouldn’t have gotten so dangerous.  When his partner, Sister Grace, gets poisoned by a dart meant for him, Vern offers to find an artifact in exchange for a cure.  However, this is no ordinary trinket—with a little magic power, it could control all of mankind.  Can Vern find the artifact, and will he sacrifice the fate of two worlds for the life of his best friend?

About Karina

Winner of the 2010 INDIE for best Fantasy (Magic, Mensa and Mayhem), Karina Fabian has imagination that takes quirky twists that keep her--and her fans--amused. Nuns working in space, a down-and-out Faerie dragon working off a geas from St. George, zombie
exterminators—there’s always a surprise in Fabian’s worlds. Mrs. Fabian teaches writing and book marketing seminars, but mostly is 
concerned with supporting her husband, Rob Fabian as he makes the exciting leap from military officer to civilian executive, getting her kids through high school and college, and surviving daily circuit torture…er, circuit training.  Read about her adventures at  

Find Karina at:

Monday, May 13, 2013

Giveaways, Hobbies, Birthday Celebration, and More!

So much happening in May here at the J.Q. Rose blog and at the Girls Succeed blog.

childrens book week hop 2013

Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop
May 13th – 19th
Hosted by 

~~Win over a 100 prizes by taking part in the Giveaway Hop. 
What a fantastic opportunity.
Click on over to the Girls Succeed blog to enter the drawing for my non-fiction book for girls, Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women. 
Just enter a comment to be eligible to win!

~~Beginning next Thursday, May 23, and continuing every Thursday this summer, authors will be showcasing their creativity, but not just in writing. We'll explore the pastimes of authors when they share their hobbies with readers. Check out the right margin to discover my guests and the dates they will be visiting the J.Q. Rose blog.
Generous authors will award giveaways too.

~~Somehow Vern the Dragon from Karina Fabian's Dragon Eye PI series got word of our hobby event this summer and decided to share his hobby

during the Greater Treasures Book Tour. He'll kick off the Hobby Hoe-down on Wednesday, May 15. And you can win the e-book, Greater Treasures.

~~May is my birthday month, so beginning today, right now, leave a comment and you will win the opportunity to name the shadow person in my work-in-progress! Having that character's name will be a birthday gift I will truly appreciate!
After your name is drawn on Monday, May 27 at 9 pm, I'll give you the info about the character so you can conjure up a name for him. Your name will appear in the acknowledgement section of my new mystery. Put on your thinking caps!!
What a month of fun and prizes. Thanks for visiting the J.Q. Rose blog!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Remembering Moms

Wishing all you Moms 
and women who are special to a child, 
a very
Happy Mother's Day!

This weekend we honor mothers and women who are important in our lives. If you have a mom, grandma, aunt, or woman in your life, grab her and give her a big hug and kiss.

My mother above and my mother-in-law below.
 I miss them.
Today I recall all the times my mother and I shared shopping, eating, wedding planning, births of our daughters, trips, talking, and so much more. Memories are powerful to keep your loved one's spirit with you.

On this Mother's Day weekend I remember my mother-in-law, a loving. caring woman. She was kind and thoughtful to me and gave the best hugs ever! She was taken too soon from this earth by cancer. 

Although these women are gone physically from my life, I can still feel their warmth around me every day and see them in the faces of my children and grandchildren. 

I was blessed to have them in my life.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Spring Walk in My Neighborhood

You can probably tell I am having a severe case of Spring Fever this year. Perhaps it's because spring has taken its time showing up in Michigan, so I really appreciate the mild temps and popping flowers and flowering trees.

This weekend the weather was perfect--for me--so I HAD to get out and capture the spring "feel" as much as I could with a camera. I'm sharing some of the 46 photos I took around my neighborhood. No, not all 46!!

We have a lovely little park near my house, Arboretum Park. The last photos are from that area. The wiildflowers are amazing! I hope you enjoy a little touch of spring courtesy of my camera.

Tulip time in Michigan. In fact this week is the annual Tulip Festival in Holland, MI.

Flowering trees are loaded with blooms this year. Spectacular!

Nothing beats the sweet fragrance of hyacinths. I could smell these beauties way before I saw them!

Wild violets abound at Arboretum Park. I don't care if they DO invade the lawns. They are so delicate and  cute.

You can see how the violets are carpeting the groundscape. 

Not sure what wilflowers these white beauties are. They make you smile when you see them.

Trillium are really putting on a show this spring.

The little creek running through the park is very full, and running fast. So peaceful.

The park is a restful, quiet place to plan another story.

Lots of events happening in May besides Mother's Day and my birthday (watch for a present FROM me to you). We begin a summer long event discovering hobbies of my author friends. Yes, authors are creative in more than just writing stories. Every Thursday I'll introduce you to their pastimes.

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Spring has Sprung!

Spring has sprung in Michigan! Hooray! My mother used to say, 

"Spring has sprung,
The grass is riz.
I wonder where the flowers is."

At least we have the forsythia in bloom now and daffodils and hyacinths are making their presence known. The sweet fragrance fills the air. Alas, my tulips are about ready to pop.

My hubby's greenhouse is in the backyard. 
He's waiting for the ground to dry out so he can roto-till the garden. 
Agony for him to wait. He did put on yards and yards of compost this week to amend the soil.

We sure are missing the fresh lettuce from our garden, 
but soon it will be in the ground and we'll be munching again.

Wishing you all a happy spring!!

Mother's Day Excerpt from Arranging a Dream, Happy Mother's Day, Working Moms

YouTube VIDEO: Mother's Day Excerpt from Arranging a Dream Hello and welcome! I wanted to pop in to wish you moms, grandmoms and those w...