{WIP} A Tale of 2 Light Houses

Last year, we took a vacation to visit my Grandma’s house in Washington after we finished haying. We had a wonderful time exploring the forests, beaches, and small towns around the area.

While there, my grandma took us to a little tourist trap town on the coast, I can’t even remember the name now. But what I do remember is the yarn and needlecraft store we ran across. Now, if you don’t know this about me, I’m an avid crafter on top of being a writer, and this was a store that I refused to bypass by without going inside. As hubby and girls found a rock store a few doors down, I basically had all the time I wanted to explore inside.

Jennings Yarn and Needlecraft is a unique yarn shop specializing in quality natural fibers and designer yarns.  Our yarn collection features wool, cashmere, alpaca, mohair, angora, silk and cotton, along with many novelty yarns.  We feature yarns from Trendsetter Yarns, Prism, Lang, Berroco, Malabrigo, Lana Grossa, and Noro, to name a few.

We also carry cross stitch and needlepoint from Dimensions, DMC, Elizabeth Bradley, Thea Gouverneur, Stitch n Zip, Textile Heritage and others.

jenningsyarn.com

Once inside, I really didn’t want to leave. It’s been a very long time since I was in a craft store with shelves upon shelves of my preferred crafting mediums. Fabric, thread, and patterns for cross-stitching and embroidering, and yarns and various tools for crocheting.

Now it was almost as hard not to buy a carload of materials for all the different projects I suddenly wanted to do as it is for me to go into a bookstore and not come out with more books then I could possible read in a year.

Now, I did restrain myself from going on a shopping spree, but only because I had a choice between bringing home our girls or a crafting stash that I couldn’t possible finish in my lifetime. I chose to bring home our girls because they are irreplaceable.

If I do decide in the future that I want to purchase anything from Jenning’s Yarn and Needlecrafts I can always order it over the phone as they don’t have an online shop. Or I could purchase it online from the several retailers who do have online shops.

I did, however, splurge on two counted cross-stitch kits of lighthouses for the bathroom. I did one several years ago that I gave to my mom that has the same look to it and that I still have the pattern to so I plan to stitch it up again. I started the first on around the first of December and I finished the second one around the end of June this year.

Here’s what they look like without the frame.

I did buy a double frame from Walmart during our monthly trip there that I thought would compliment the design,  but since I now plan to add the third lighthouse to the series, I’m going to take it back and get the three single frames. At least that is the plan at the moment. It’s prone to change if I find something better. 😀

When I get them framed and hung, I will post a picture of the finished project.

I wish you all the very best in August,

Stephannie Beman

 

In Which I Contemplate the Future

Wow! I didn’t realize that I had been absent from here so long until I jumped on the computer this morning to check my emails before starting book #3 in a series of book cover designs for an author friend and found a shout out linked to my blog.  Thank you, Ondeane Lourens, for your kind words, I was glad to help!

I couldn’t believe that my last post was almost two months ago. Sadly, this is also how long it’s been since I wrote anything more than an to-do list, email, letter, or shopping list.

Little writer, child typing

I’m not sure what it is about the Summer months that make all my well made plans swirl down the crapper within the first few days, but it seems to happen every year. The kids get out of school and the beautiful days cause my focus in life to shift. Add all the increased ranch work and the housework from more people being here during the day, and my days change to a different kind of busy.  I guess an added benefit is my days become almost electronic-free as I’m no longer glued to my computer for four or more hours a day to write and I really have no interest in social media.

Yeah, I know I’m living in the dark ages by not having my cell phone glued to my hand or posting what I’m doing all the time, but neither of them has ever held any appeal to me. I only have the cell phone for when I’m working around the ranch by myself or emergencies while away from the house. I believe my daughters spend more time texting on it this past summer then I have. Actually, if my phone or social media disappeared today, I wouldn’t miss them one bit. But that is neither here nor there, or even the point of this post.

This year has been a stranger year of contemplation and realizations, but the ones I want to talk about is the writing aspect of my life. Unlike in years past, I didn’t spend any time feeling the guilty or berating myself for not writing or working on my writing business since sometime in May. I thought I would try to go with the flow and see what happened.

Five years back, when this first started happening, I thought maybe it was a seasonal thing, but as time passed it was harder and harder for me to return to. Three years ago I thought that maybe I was burned out. I started writing 22 years ago and except for a few little breaks, I really hadn’t stopped. So I took break that lasted almost a year before the writing bug hit and I returned to writing. But that break didn’t seem to help.

Now, with each passing year, I’ve started to wonder if it was time to quitting this writing gig and just write for myself when the bug bites. The passion I’ve held for writing has been fading over the years and I’ve started to wonder if writing has served it’s purpose in my life. Or if I’m going about it all wrong for who I am.

Maybe it is time for me to move on to other things. Maybe it’s time to set up that handmade shop I’ve been dreaming of since last year. Or maybe it’s time for me to put all business related things aside and do something else…

Stephannie Beman

May 2018 Reading List

While May has been the best month reading wise, it was the worse month writing wise. I kept stalling out in my current WIP to the point that I finally backtracked about 16,000 words and started from that point to work forward.

Now, just because it was a great month for reading, I really don’t have a ton of books to recommend. There were those that I liked, but not many that I loved enough to share. I might be getting more picky in my ‘old’ age, but I think it has more to do with me being way to busy to read something I don’t like. 😀

Please Note: All pictures of books and links come from their respective author or publisher websites when possible.


His Wicked Lady (Marriage by Arrangement #1)
by Ruth Ann Nordin

Description: Helena, Melissa, and Chloe have started arranging marriages, but not all will go smoothly on the way to a happily ever after…

Regan Alger, the Lady of Cantrell, is bored with her life. Yes, she’s been more fortunate than most. She was once married to a wonderful gentleman, and this love resulted in her young son—a boy she loves more than anything. But even a son can’t fill the void in her life. She misses having a husband, both in and out of bed, so when she happens to come across a gentleman at a ball who ignites her passion, she decides he’ll be her next husband. And she’s not the least bit shy about letting him know it.

Just as determined as Regan is to have Mr. Malcolm Jasper for a husband, he’s equally determined to end up with anyone but her. If he marries her, his life will be one of chaos and scandal. He’s sure of it. After all, she’s much too outspoken and flirtatious. So he jumps at the chance for an arranged marriage, thinking once he secures a reputable and quiet bride, Regan will leave him alone. Little does he know, though, his sister and her two friends know Regan wants to marry him, and they are more than happy to help Regan get what she wants.

Regan’s risk pays off. She manages to secure him as her husband. Will the gamble pay off? Or has she just unknowingly doomed them both?

My Thoughts on His Wicked Lady: I started and finished this book in one day and loved every moment of reading it. This is the first Regency Romance that I’ve read from Ruth Ann Nordin and I loved the fact that I didn’t end up skimming through paragraphs of filler in order to return to the story. I loved that it wasn’t filled with stupid misunderstandings and meaningless fights that take chapters to resolved because the characters can’t talk to each other like adults.

I also love the idea that while Malcolm starts out prim and proper that he is able to loosen up because of his wife, while Regan is more prone to scandalous behavior and by the end of the book she’s learned the value of being a little more proper. Basically, the couple does what many compatible couples do, they balance each other out. It seems more real to life. I will definitely being getting the next books in this series.


C*cky Author and C*cky Neighbor
by Fettucine Holliday

Description for C*cky Author:

This totally original book is about a cock…sure man who is caulky, cocked up, and above all else, confident. He lays it into a lady real good, and leaves her satisfied(c). This is a totally great comedy erotica story that in no way infringes on a certain word, no sirree, not at all.

Description for C*cky Neighbor:

This super fun book is about a conveniently close male heterosexual and the lady who parts her drapes for him. He shows her what a real man is, and satisfies(MT) her completely. This is a totally great comedy erotica story that in no way infringes on a certain word, no sirree, not at all. 

My thoughts: First, I spend most of my time laughing over these short satires/parodies dealing with a more serious issue in the writing community.  I would not recommend them to everyone which is why they were placed at the end.

Second, I bought these books, among others, to support of those affected by #cockygate. Fettucine Holliday has placed a statement in her books that “if a legal fund is put together for those affected by #cockygate, some of the proceeds of this book sale will go to those defending freedom of dick slang speech.”

Third, I support the rights of business’ and authors’ trademarking their business, brand, or book series if they feel the need to do that. I don’t see the point in most cases, but I do support it. What I don’t support, is businesses or authors trademarking a commonly used word in an underhanded way to get rid of the competition. It’s a harmful way of doing business.

Happy reading to ya’ll!


Stay Updated!

What I’m Doing in June 2018

Living on a ranch is so very different from living in a city. It’s more than just the wide open meadow, the forest of trees around me, the herd of cows I help care for, or the fact that the nearest neighbor isn’t able to look out their windows into mine. It has more to do with every schedule or routine that I create to keep me sane changes from season to season and sometimes even day to day depending on the weather.

With Spring finally making its appearance in May, it means the more labor intensive ranch work is about to start. Now, it can be a slow build up depending on the weather, but by June it will be more consistent work and it will ultimately mean less time to write. 😦 But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Now before we get into my very short list of what I’m working on in June, let me tell you what I accomplished of my to-do list in May.

  1. Designing The Warrior’s Rebellion – Done! My plan is to post the cover reveal and excerpt for The Warrior’s Rebellion this next month with the announcement for the pre-order of the book.
  2. Editing Love is Blind – Done!  Finished this around the end of the month, also renamed it to Blind Love. This will be going on pre-order sometime this year when I’m more certain of publishing dates.
  3. My Lord HadesDeath’s Lover in Paperback – Done! I finished this around the first few weeks of May. I was hoping that the reviews for the paperback of My Lord Hades would link up with the eBook, but no such luck. That leaves My Lord Hades with a pathetic star rating that I can’t change. 😦

So that is what I finished, let’s move on to June’s to-do list!


Finish Writing The Dark God

At least this is my goal.  Sorry to say it, but I’m still working on The Dark God, book #2 in the Children of Khaos: The Rebellion Series because I hit a major snag in the story that took me a while and two other people to help me work through it. I ended up tossing nearly 20,000 words into my deleted scenes folder. I might find a use for them someday, or I might not.

As of writing this, I was nearly back to 45,000 words in the manuscript and if nothing else happens and I work hard, I should have this done soon and start working on The Iron Queen. But until I finish this book, I’ve told myself that I won’t be focusing on any other writing projects.

Setting Up Summer Learning Time

Every May for the past 5 years I’ve spend most of May working on a summer learning schedule for our daughters, Miss T and Miss K, that works with my work schedule. I do this in the hopes that the girls will continue to learn throughout the summer months and not lose too much of what they learned throughout the School year, but still have fun that doesn’t include technology to entertain them.

Each year, the girls have more and more learning they can do without me and I learn more about what I do and don’t want to do for next year. This year I found a Math packet for each of them that reviews the math that they did in their respective grades and what they will be learning in the grades they will be heading into. They will also be required to read daily and write a book report on the books that they finished, and by their request, I’ve also added story writing, music practice, more advanced life skills lessons that our girls have dubbed Arts & Crafts, and harder chores for them to do around the ranch to their summer schedules.

Now I’m not going to list all the websites where I’ve gotten my information from, but for those interested, much of what I’ve done each year can be found on my Pinterest board.


So that is my plan for the rest May in June. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my girls this Summer.

Wishing you all the best,

Stephannie Beman


April 2018 Reading List

Welcome back to another Reading List post!

This month was a little weird on the reading front. Mostly because I started reading a few books in my massive TBR pile (my ebook reader has over 1,200 books on it, mostly unread, and there are several unread books on my book shelves and in boxes that I declined to count because I’m lazy, or maybe just because I don’t care to, anywhoo…) and within the first 50 pages or less I lost interest and abandoned them. Now, don’t get me wrong, they weren’t all bad stories, although there were a few that bordered on being not something I would enjoy reading. But I think for the most part, it had more to do with me not being in the mood for certain genres or story lines.

Anyhoo, let’s get down to this months recommendations…

Please Note: As of this month, I will no longer be posting a picture from or linking to the books Amazon page. This is a personal preference. All pictures of books come from their respective author or publisher websites.


Armor by John Steakley (Military Science Fiction)

Description: The military sci-fi classic of courage on a dangerous alien planet.

The planet is called Banshee. The air is unbreathable, the water is poisonous. It is home to the most implacable enemies that humanity, in all its interstellar expansion, has ever encountered.

Body armor has been devised for the commando forces that are to be dropped on Banshee—the culmination of ten thousand years of the armorers’ craft. A trooper in this armor is a one-man, atomic powered battle fortress. But he will have to fight a nearly endless horde of berserk, hard-shelled monsters—the fighting arm of a species which uses biological technology to design perfect, mindless war minions.

Felix is a scout in A-team Two. Highly competent, he is the sole survivor of mission after mission. Yet he is a man consumed by fear and hatred. And he is protected, not only by his custom-fitted body armor, but by an odd being which seems to live within him, a cold killing machine he calls “The Engine.”

This is Felix’s story—a story of the horror, the courage, and the aftermath of combat, and the story, too, of how strength of spirit can be the greatest armor of all.

My Thoughts on the Book: I first read this book 20 years ago (Damn! That makes me feel old!) and while I couldn’t remember most of the book, there were parts of the story that stuck with me throughout the years. So when I saw it at the library book exchange several years ago, I grabbed it for a refresher course. Basically, I wanted to know if the story was as good as my teenage mind thought it was.

Since I decided to take a sick day from work last week, I decided it was a good day to read Armor. Now, I’m really torn on whether I liked this book or just find the authors treatment of the tale to be fascinating. Probably a little of both.

Without giving too much away, I found the way John Steakly wrote the book from the POV of Felix and John Crow to be very nicely done. And while there was a great reasons for the two characters point of views being there, there wasn’t any head hopping from one chapter to another. The book was broken into four parts. Parts one and three told Felix’s story (which happens in the past), while parts two and four told John Crow’s story. For those into Military Science Fiction who don’t mind reading an “old book” (first published in 1984), I would recommend it.

The Write Attitude by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Non-Fiction)

Description: A writer’s attitude can help bring success. But what should that attitude look like? Rah-rah positive? Pragmatic? Take-no-prisoners serious?

USA Today bestselling author and renowned business blogger Kristine Kathryn Rusch helps guide writers to find the right attitude for a long-term writing career in this latest WMG Writers’ Guide.

Rusch covers topics such as habits, the importance of routines, the dangers of following a crowd, and how to create—and follow—one’s own vision of a writing career.

With The Write Attitude, Rusch shows writers how they can do what they love and love what they do without sabotaging their own success.

My Thoughts on the Book: This is a very short, non-fiction book for writers but it is packed with great information from a professional author who has been writing books for 30+ years. Some of my favorite chapters included: 1. Habits, 2. The Importance of Routines, 5. Following the Crowd, 6. Indispensable, 8. One Phone Call from Our Knees, 10. Believe in Yourself, and 12. The Writer You Want to Be.

I got a ton of great information from this book about creating a long-term writing career and I’m looking forward to applying some of what I learned to my life. I highly recommend this book to any writer who wishes to have a successful, long term career as a writer.

Happy reading to ya’ll!


I have a small favor to ask…

Today I sent out an email to my mailing list ask them to do me a small favor. And I promised it was a very small one. It’s the same favor I want to ask all those interested to do for me now. So here we go!

In 2018, I decided to refocus my life to better reflected who I am. As life is full of all the little things we love, I wanted a place where I could share my love of reading, writing, book design, and handmade crafting. I decided to do this on my website. As all things in life worth doing are, it’s still a work in progress, so don’t judge me to harshly. 😀

As part of those changes, and here is where the small favor I’m asking for comes into play, I’m asking all those interested to sign up for my mailing list. I’ve several lists (6 to be exact) that I would hate for you to miss out because I haven’t been vocal about their existence.

What you will find on my mailing list depends on the list(s) you signed up for, I promise that each email delivered to your inbox is mindfully written to entertain or share information with you about:

  • For those who subscribed to a Book List or several, you will not only get updates on what book project I’m working on, new book releases and pre-orders, but also a heads up on special offers and coupons for books.
  • For those who joined The Reading List, you will receive a monthly list of books I’ve read or would recommend to others. Because who doesn’t love sharing the books they enjoyed with others.
  • And for those who signed up for Stephannie Beman Handmade: These emails may not be as frequent, but they will have inspiration behind the item, what I’m working on, new handmade items for sale, and special offers on handmade crafts.

Please Don’t Miss Out!

May 2018 Updates From Stephannie’s Desk

Yippeee! It’s time for another update on what the Hell I’m doing, because most of the time I’m not sure and neither are you!

Besides, you all really want to know what I’m doing, right? Hello? Anyone still around? *looks around and listens to the crickets chirping noisily*

Just kidding, I know there is at least one person looking forward to this post, because she told me so. 😛

And without more time-wasting, let me get started…

Writing The Dark God

Cover Coming Soon…Actually, the cover is done…Kinda. I’m letting the design percolate for a little longer so I can decide if that will be the finished cover or if I need to create a new one.

Yep! I’m still working on The Dark God, book #2 in Children of Khaos: The Rebellion Series, and until it is done I’m making this my main priority. Mostly because I refuse to place The Warrior’s Rebellion up for pre-order until I’m nearing the end of this book. The plan is to have all three books in this series published within a month of each other.

The Dark God is a romantic fantasy novel that tells the story of Persephone’s abduction by Hades and the Battle for the Underworld. It has a projected pre-order date of July 2018 and a publishing date of September 2018.

Designing The Warrior’s Rebellion

Cover Coming Soon…Same thing applies to this  cover as what I said about The Dark God cover

I’m in the process of finalizing my book cover design and formatting the interior of The Warrior’s Rebellion, book #1 in Children of Khaos: The Rebellion Series. This is a romantic fantasy novel that tells the story of Hades and Persephone as their relationship blooms and the Titan-Olympian War comes to an end. I’m looking for a projected pre-order date of June 2018 and a publishing date of August 2018.

Editing Love is Blind (Working Title)

In the process of being designed

This is a short story from the Children of Khaos: The Originals Series, Love is Blind (Working Title) is a little tidbit into the life of the nymph Tarma that is introduced in My Lord Hades.  This is a previously published short story that I’m in the process of editing and preparing to send to my editing team before publishing. I’ll also be updating the title and the old description.

Love is Blind has a projected publishing date of October 2018.

My Lord Hades & Death’s Lover are Coming to Paperback in May!

Death's Lover, book #2 in the Chilren of Khaos: The Originals

Death’s Lover (Children of Khaos: The Originals, Book #2)

My Lord Hades, author Stephannie Beman, book #1 in the Children of Khaos: The Originals series

My Lord Hades (Children of Khaos: The Originals, Book #1)

By the time you read this, My Lord Hades and Death’s Lover should be entering the proofing stage for the paperback edition.

I decided to create a lovely paperback version of all my longer stories, if for no other reason than that I want a copy of these lovely covers in print. It’s always nice to have a hard copy of all my books which is why I’m also looking forward to creating hardback version of all my books from now on. That way, I can have them for a long time to come. 😀


So that is my plan for the rest of April and into May. I’m looking forward to seeing how much I can accomplish before the Spring and Summer ranch work begins for the year.

Wishing you all the best,

Stephannie Beman