Diamond in the Rough: Easter Eggs

Renegade Jeep eggDo you know what Easter Eggs are? They’re fun little hidden things left by designers for people to find. They can be found in video games, movies, books, etc.

I just bought a new vehicle recently – a Jeep Renegade. I absolutely LOVE this Jeep! When I went in, I had a list of wants: power MySky sunroof, automatic, 4WD, bright color, tow package. But as I started researching the vehicle, the thing that intrigued me the most was the Easter eggs. There are little goodies hidden all over the little SUV. One of my favorites is a little Jeep crawling up the windshield on the passenger side, which looks really cool as a shadow on the interior pillar. There’s also a bigfoot and a spider hidden on the vehicle.

Diamond in the Rough was born during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo to those of us who participate in the madness), so I hid a couple of Easter eggs in the story. One of them was cut in the final edit (the Traveling Shovel of Death), but one did make it into the story. If you’re a NaNo’er, let me know if you find it! I’ll give you a hint – it appears during the BBQ scene at the Diamond J.

If you like cozy, crafty mysteries, why not give a cozy, crafty romance a shot? Pick up a copy of Diamond in the Rough for yourself, or buy it for your favorite crafter. It makes a great beach read for vacation season!

Comment below and let me know if you’ve found a fun Easter egg anywhere.

 

Diamond in the Rough: Party and Giveaways and Prizes!!

Rough Blog GraphicAre you ready to escape to the Diamond J Ranch with me?

We’re only a week away from the launch of Diamond in the Rough. This is doubly exciting for me because I am launching the regular book (both as a paperback and an ebook) and a special bonus edition for scrapbookers (both as a paperback and an ebook). The ebooks are available for preorder now . . . and you have a great opportunity to get a fun book (total escapism) AND have a chance to win all sorts of fun things.

Every preorder is good for FIVE (count ’em – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!!) chances to win a pair of gorgeous diamond earrings (all you have to do is send me a copy of your preorder – to lori(at)lorilrobinett.com), plus I’m giving away several goodies during the Facebook Party next weekend.

So, here’s what I need you to do:

  1. Order Diamond in the Rough (if you’d rather have the scrapbooking edition, you can get it HERE).
  2. Sign up for the Facebook Party HERE.

I’d also greatly appreciate it if you would help me spread the word. Diamond in the Rough is getting good reviews so far – if you like romance with a bit of suspense, you’ll love Rough. 🙂

 

Cover Reveal! Diamond in the Rough

I’m pleased to unveil the cover of the next novel in the Diamond J Series . . .

DiamondInTheRough2

Diamond in the Rough is a romance with a dark streak. It’s the story of Gina Montgomery, a single mom who runs a scrapbook store, whose love life has been suffering a major drought . . . until a tall, dark, sexy cowboy strolls into her store. And it’s the story of Aidan Brackston, a ranch hand who has spent his whole life hiding from his past, keeping him from letting any woman get close . . . until he meets Gina.

Western contemporary romance / craft & hobby romance

Release Date: May 14, 2016

Pre-order your copy of the e-book HERE

Pssssst . . . stay tuned for announcements about:

  • a special print edition for scrapbookers
  • the online launch party (prizes galore!)
  • SWAG you can get for preordering

If you are a book blogger / reviewer and would like an advance copy, please email me at lori(at)lorilrobinett(dot)com for more information.

#ScrapRack

I tend to start thinking about organizing and cleaning up in the fall. Maybe it’s the start of school, the time that I used to start fresh. Last fall I signed up to take Tiffany’s Get Organized Challenge, after I bought myself a ScrapRack the previous Christmas. The Challenge was good. It made me think about how I scrapped, and forced me to evaluate how I stored all the goodies I’ve accumulated. This fall, I signed up for the challenge again. It has been good for me. I’m now on Week #5. The payoff? I’ve actually scrapped two nights this week. Just went in for an hour or so after work and created.

If you are a scrapbooker, I recommend the ScrapRack. It’s a great way to store your paper and embellishments so you can maximize your crafting time. An even bigger bonus: you’ll save money. Once you see what you have, and pull everything together, you will begin to purchase with intention.

Another bonus: you’ll begin to organize other parts of your life. I am a writer. Though usually scattered in my approach to writing, I’ve begun to focus my efforts. The book I am currently editing needed several major changes: (1) the insurance payout had to be denied, (2) the poison needed to be changed from melamine; (3) the heroine needed to be better defined, and (4) the passive voice needed to be cut. Instead of half-ass attacking all items in one massive pass, I am approaching it step by step.

How do you organize your hobby? Do you find that something that works with organization in one area of your life affects other areas?

#RIPArleneMartel

After the shock of losing Robin Williams yesterday, I was so sad to hear the news of Marlene Artel’s passing. I had the pleasure of meeting her last spring at the Chicago Star Trek Convention. She was an absolute delight. In honor of her memory, I decided to share my previous post this evening:

Arlene Martel

Arlene Martel

Arlene Martel was the first celebrity I saw at the Star Trek convention in Chicago in May 2013. I passed her in the hotel lobby with a fairly large man accompanying her. She was so elegant, with her striking good looks, dark hair and large sunglasses. At first, I thought she was Joan Collins. She nodded to me and said, “Good morning.” I was agog – a celeb spoke to me! But who was she? Would Joan Collins actually make an appearance? I knew she had been a guest star, but nothing had been said in the emails from Creation about her. When I got in the vendors area, I spotted her and immediately noted the pictures on her table – she was Spock’s wife! It was Arlene Martel! If you don’t know anything about Arlene, please check out her website here. I made my way through the line and finally got up to her. I was trying to decide which photo to buy, and one photo was of her as Spock’s wife in Amok Time. She leaned over and said, “What the hell am I holding there?”

I laughed, looked closer and said, “I think it’s a ring.”

“Oh, yes!” she said as she settled back in her chair. “They had the most fabulous jewelry on that show!”

I leaned forward and whispered, “They didn’t let you keep it, did they?”

“Oh, no, we had no idea what we were making when we were making Star Trek. Like those ears in that photo,” she pointed to the picture of her with Spock, “Those ears hurt so bad and when shooting was over, I ripped them off and tossed them on the makeup table. Couldn’t wait to get rid of them. And someone told me they sold at auction for $35,000. And I threw them away!”

Arlene Martel: In Star Trek and The Twilight Zone

Arlene Martel: In Star Trek and The Twilight Zone

When I finally settled on the photo of her with Spock, we talked about the episode and had a hilarious conversation about Vulcans going seven years without sex. Arlene laughed and said, “Seven years – can you imagine? I couldn’t go seven days!”

Arlene was an absolute delight to meet. She actually spoke with me – not just at me. Asked my opinion about television and movies. I was so impressed with her. She and her husband have written a book about mental illness. She was such a delight, I can’t imagine her having any struggles. But after meeting her, I want to read more about her.

Rest in peace, Arlene. I am honored to have met you.

#TBT – College Graduation

Gate Album: Jodi's college graduation

Gate Album: Jodi’s college graduation

First, I have to apologize for the quality of this pic, but I still thought it’d be fun to share. When my stepdaughter graduated and walked across the stage a few years ago, I was so proud of her (and so was her daddy!). I made a gate album for her using the backs of phone message pads as the base, then bound it using my Zutter Bind-it-all. The album was so much fun to make, and it opens this way and that, with different sized pages and a little bling here and there. It turned out really good, and I kinda hated to give it to her! ;o)

She’s now in her last semester of dental hygiene school, and I can’t wait to see her walk across the stage again. She’s done so well, and I’m proud to be a part of her life.

Throwback Thursday #TBT: 8th grade graduation gate album

Here’s a post about the gate album I made for my daughter’s 8th grade graduation. Enjoy!

One of my hobbies is scrapbooking, which dovetails nicely with my love of writing. Those are two things I can do that really get my juices flowing. Over the weekend, I worked on a gate album to commemorate my daughter’s 8th grade graduation. I thought I’d share, since this is a project I’m especially proud of.

1. Pick your pictures. Just pick the good ones. The not so good ones can go into your regular album, but you want a special album like a gate album to shine. By saying good pics, I don’t mean just those that are perfectly composed & lit – I mean those that mean something, those that bring back memories.

2. Pick a color scheme based on your photos or your theme. My album was celebrating my daughter graduating from 8th grade and going into high school, so I went with the high school’s colors – green and black – and added pops of pink and yellow to accent. I let my daughter pick most of the papers since this is her album.

3. Choose your base. I’ve been on a tree hugger kick lately (not sure what’s up with that, but last week I stopped twice to help box turtles across the road), and decided that recycled materials would be good. We still use old fashioned telephone message pads at work, so I started saving the backs of them. It’s like chipboard, basically, about 4 1/4″ x 5″ or something like that. I mounted 4 of them to cardstock (or mounted the cardstock to them. Six of one, half-dozen of the other.) to use as the base, then I built up from there, using 2 across for some pages and 2 stacked atop one another for others. Just remember to trim your pages that are not the base to allow for binding.

4. Scrap each page, leaving room along the outer edges for binding.

5. Bind the outer edge of the album using whatever method you prefer. Personally, I like the Zutter Bind-It-All, but you could also hole punch holes then use yarn or ribbon to tie your pages together. You could also use jump rings through the holes. The reason I like the Zutter binding  is that it is easy to use, easy to turn, and is sturdy. Another note: if you use the Bind-it-All (or some other binder), flip your pages so that the album back is at the front when you bind, so that your rings will be “clean” on the outside and the rough binding wire will be concealed inside your album. If you’re not sure what I mean, email me and I’ll send detailed instructions.

And here are a couple of images:

The front of the album (which is actually 2 half pages):

And here’s one of the inside pages:

Thanks for looking – and let me know what creative projects you’re working on.

Santa Suit Gift Card Holder

Santa Suit Gift Card Holder

Santa Suit Gift Card Holder

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a fan of gift cards, but don’t like the giving part of them, so this year I tried to dress them up a bit. In this case, literally. 🙂 I was looking through my scraps and found this red piece of cardstock, already cut. As I held it up, it occurred to me that if I used it like a gate, the cuts would look like a neckline. I grabbed my handy dandy Martha Stewart score board and scored the sides so they would fold in neatly. I took a piece of scrap black cardstock and adhered it on the right side only, to look like a belt. I put one little magnet inside the red flap on the right, and another little magnet on the underside of the black cardstock.

Now, here’s a tip for working with magnets as closures. Pay attention to the polarity! The best way I’ve found is to go ahead and adhere your bottom magnet where you want it, then drop your second magnet on top. It will automatically flip and stick. Then put a glue dot or adhesive on the back of the second magnet and press your cardstock on top of that. If you follow this method, working in order from bottom to top, you will be assured that your clasp will line up and close correctly.

Finally, I added some snowflake Stickles and gold Stickles to add a little buckle and bling.

Oh – and the inside! I cut slits in the center of the red cardstock with an Xacto knife, using the envelope accessory of the Martha Stewart scoring board as a guide so that the cuts would be at a 45° angle. By cutting slits, I was able to insert the gift card into the slots so that it wouldn’t fall out.

Have you ever made a gift card holder? Please share your ideas – I’d love to hear about them!

Vacation: Gas Stop (2)

Gas Stop (2) - Atlanta Illinois

Gas Stop (2) – Atlanta Illinois

This is the 2nd page of a 2-page “Gas Stop” layout about our stop at Atlanta, Illinois on our first day of vacation. Of course, I’ve always heard of Route 66 and we’ve driven on parts of Route 66 before, but actually standing on this little stretch of road – this piece of American history – was pretty cool. The murals in the town were amazing. The Palm Grills Cafe mural was one of my favorites. Oh – and see the smiley face on the sign above? Watch for a post about it and a picture of it in an upcoming post!

Vacation: Gas Stop

Route 66: Atlanta IL

Route 66: Atlanta IL

We stopped for gas in Atlanta, Illinois, and stumbled upon a Route 66 gold mine! What a picturesque little town! Loved the Route 66 park with all the beautiful painted highway signs. My favorite, though, was the bullet-riddled sign. Of course, everything on this stretch of road is “Route 66” – including a local mechanic!