What we’re reading right now

hey y’all

What are you reading this summer?

BA reads a lot of horror. Right now she’s reading the Beauty of Death  anthology. Click here to check it out. 

I just finished Cherry Pop by Samantha Kane (clicky!) . I love the Mercury Rising books. I’m fixing to dive into Elizabeth Lowell’s Dangerous Refuge. I’ve been a fan since the Tennessee, Nevada and Utah days…  It’s here, and I’ll let you know what I think!

Feel free to rec us some books!

XXOO

Julia

Random Book News for BA and Julia

Look at me, blogging! Cackles.

Okay, so BA is sponsoring at the Gravetells blog indie month this week! Check it out here!

There’s a chance at an Amazon gift card for 25.00 in it for you to go look!

In other news, BA just signed a contract for Slip, the second Recovery book. The first book, Refired, about gallery owners and ex lovers Josh and Kris, is here!  

BA and Julia Just had releases at Changeling!

Julia’s is a standalone called Fairweather Fiend

Find it here!

BA’s is the 3rd reclamation book. Uhn

Find it here!

And finally, Julia has a reprint coming soon. Okay, breaking third person, I love this one so much! Sparkle and Shine has been out of print for a year and a half, and I missed it!

It’s on preorder! Available Aug 2

Hugs and thanks for hanging with us. I’ll be on the ball again, I swear.

XXOO

Julia

Romantic Times did us in

Hey y’all!

We’re not dead I swear. I’m just a bad blogger. I am. We have book news and side hustle stuff and food to blog! We went to the Romantic Times convention over a month ago, and we’re just now recovering.

Hang in there!

XXOO

Julia

Our mini vacation in pics

The Giant Beaver in Ruidoso

Log Cabin Restaurant Ruidoso

Giant Pistachio Alamogordo

Pistachioland

White Sands

Mesilla

Garth!

 

New re-release from Julia Talbot!

Just a Cowboy is the second in the Riding Cowboy Flats series. It’s a second edition, originally published in 2010

It’s here at Amazon!

And here at Dreamspinner!

5 Things We’re Looking Forward to on Our Mini Vacation

We’re going to see Garth Brooks in Las Cruces in 2 weeks. We’re gonna take 3 days or so and explore southern New Mexico.

We intend to take lots of pics.

Here’s what we’re looking forward to most.

  1. Garth
  2. The world’s biggest pistachio
  3. Bowlin’s Running Indian
  4. White Sands National Monument
  5. Weird local food

I’ll let you know what actually ended up being the best part!

XXOO

Julia

 

This week’s planner layout

This week I used a combination of stickers from Myfoxydesigns on Etsy (the purple and blue spring hearts and raindrop checklists and the weekend sticker) and some florals I got from Pipsticks.

I love the springness of it. I also love the little check boxes. Ticky!

MyFoxydesigns has great Happy Planner layout stickers, but also great daily use ones, like these social media things here!

Pipsticks.com  has a sticker subscription.. They send you a monthly envelope with stickers! Almost always seasonal.

Then there’s my daily to do list planner. Today as I mark things off, I want to use glasses and mustaches to mark off my tickys!

Those came from Pipsticks, too!

I use the Happy Planner Classic, which comes in boxed sets, even. Click here to see.  They also have larger sized planners or minis, which are purse sized.

Happy Planner day!

Basset picture day!

Just sharing some of the recent houndie pics we’ve taken lately!

 

Now who could resist those faces?

XXOO

Julia

Cover Reveal- Just a Cowboy

Book 2 of the Riding Cowboy Flats series. Isn’t that pretty?

Check it out. It’s on preorder here at Dreamspinner Press!

 

Side Hustles and making extra money — the reality

 

Hey y’all!

I know that most of you are internet fans, or you wouldn’t be here reading a blog, right? If you read lifestyle blogs, or look st Facebook sidebar ads, you’ve probably seen the graphics. 50 side hustles to make $500.00 this week! 100 ways to put money in your pocket without a job!

I know, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is, right?

Still, I’m a writer. I work from home because physically I’m ill suited to day jobs, and yet I’m not qualified for disability. Recently not one, but three, of my publishers simply stopped paying me and my wife. To the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. Money we earned and they kept. No apologies. No attempt to make reparations or payment plans. Just, see ya, wouldn’t want to be ya, suckers!

So, yeah, that left us scrambling. Hard. We write more books when something like that happens, but publishing still takes months to accomplish, even self publishing, and we needed money to pay the rent.

Armed with all the blogs and articles about side hustles, or making money on the side of a day job, I set out to see what I could make money on.

First let me say I discarded a few options right off. Uber is a big deal right now, and while my car qualifies, I live in a crime-centric city. No way. Not to mention I have a chronically ill wife who also works from home. I need to be home. Ditto the dog walking/sitting. Anything I can’t do from my house is out. I have a dog sitter who comes in for me during emergencies, and I can tell you they make good money. So you might give either of those a try.

The next category is taking surveys. I’ve tried OnGo, iPoll and Swagbucks. Some sites pay via paypal when you hit the minimum payout, some by gift cards. I find OnGo is great if you’re willing to do in store product surveys, like taking pictures of beer displays. iPoll is the best pure survey site, but often you take half a poll before they decide you’re not right for it, and you get nothing for your time. I managed to make $40.00 a month on iPoll but that was spending an hour or so a day doing polls, and I’m using that time now to blog and design websites. Swagbucks is an all around site where you get cash back on purchases, do surveys, watch videos etc.

Then we have internet sales. Make T-shirts and sell them on Zazzle! Sell your crafts on Etsy! Get rid of your unwanted stuff! Places like Zazzle and Cafe Press are great for people who have a little design experience and are even remotely hip. Therein lies my dilemma. I was last hip in 1996. So, I’ve made .96 on Zazzle. I haven’t had time to make crafts in ages. Not to much with Etsy. Plus, I find the fees there a little daunting.

My best experience with internet sales is Decluttr, a site that pays you for books and movies and tech. Just scan a barcode and they give you a quote. Boom. Once you get a minimum they send you a mailing label and then a check. My other winner is Ebay. I sell destashed yarn, books, vintage jewelry and more. I once sold a tortilla maker. Ship on time and be honest about your product, and you can make good money. I average a couple hundred dollars a month.

The best way I’ve found to make money on the internet is to get cash back on what you spend already. While we tightened our belts, we still shop. Groceries. Occasional clothes or craft supplies. There are cash back apps all over. Ebates pays you quarterly for online shopping, and for some in store, such as World Market or Bed Bath and Beyond. Ibotta and Checkout 51 give you rebated from .25 to 5.00 on grocery shopping on specific products. The key here is to only buy what’s on your list, then match up any rebates. Be sure on Ibotta to look at the specialty stores. Lane Bryant, for instance, has a $5.00 rebate running right now. Shopkick is another good app, one that gives you points for scanning barcodes in store, and for purchases. Gift cards add up pretty quick on it. Ibotta is my big winner here, with $81.00 in earnings in just 6 months or so. Not get rich quick, but why not get money back on stuff you already buy?

I’ll post links to the major players at the bottom of the post, but bottom line is, unless you have a full time day to devote to side hustles, they’re best done as you have the time, and take just a few minutes a day to supplement your income.

XXOO

Julia

iBotta  referral code riwvnrd

Ebay

Ebates

Swagbucks