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22 July 2019

Thoughts On Being Boring & A Blogging Break

 
As I sat down to write a post for you all today, all I could do was yawn. And that wasn't just because I hadn't had any coffee yet. It's because life on our boat is pretty BORING lately. Tickety Boo is still broken and until we get her keel repaired, all other boat projects are on hold. No point in spending time and money on other stuff if we're not sure if she'll float again.

So that means that there's nothing exciting to report. Not that boat projects are all that exciting, but they're a lot more interesting than telling you all about what I've been working on in the meantime. {Spoiler alert: It's a Mollie McGhie prequel novella all about how she met Scooter at the roller derby. Yes, Mollie used to be on a roller derby team. Scary thought.}

Because I don't want to BORE you and I don't want to keep on yawning as I write blog posts, I'm going to take a little summer blogging break. I'll be back on Wednesday, August 7th for IWSG day. Hopefully, we have some forward momentum on our boat by then and I'll have exciting things to report.

Hope everyone is having a great summer (or winter if you're in the southern hemisphere) and I'll see you back here next month.



Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!



Have you read MURDER AT THE MARINA yet? If not, now's the perfect time as the ebook is on sale for only 99c/99p.

Pick up your copy of this humorous sailing mystery at https://books2read.com/MurderAtTheMarina

Find out more at https://ellenjacobsonauthor.com/

17 July 2019

Wordless Wednesday | Life Without A Fridge


Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:
 
1 - The fridge on our sailboat is broken. Again. {Sigh}

2 - It's hard to believe that I happily lived without a fridge on our first sailboat in New Zealand. Once you get used to having a "luxury" item like a fridge, it's hard to go back to not having one.

3 - It's probably worse not having a fridge in southern Florida because it's so stinking hot here in the summer. I sure am missing having a cold can of sparking water after being outside.

What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it? 
 
For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here and here.

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!




Have you read MURDER AT THE MARINA yet? If not, now's the perfect time as the ebook is on sale for only 99c/99p.

Pick up your copy of this humorous sailing mystery at https://books2read.com/MurderAtTheMarina

Find out more at https://ellenjacobsonauthor.com/

10 July 2019

Wordless Wednesday | Tropical Drinks


Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:

1 - What is it about tiny umbrellas in drinks that makes them so much fun?

2 - I remember getting Shirley Temples when I went out to eat as a little girl. Ginger ale, a splash of grenadine, and a maraschino cherry. It all seemed so fancy, especially when there was a umbrella adorning the drink or the cherry was skewered on a tiny plastic sword.

3 - I don't think I've ever had a drink out of a coconut before. Must get to a tropical island soon and try one.

What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it? 
 
For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here and here.

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!




Have you read MURDER AT THE MARINA yet? If not, now's the perfect time as the ebook is on sale for only 99c/99p.

Pick up your copy of this humorous sailing mystery at https://books2read.com/MurderAtTheMarina

Find out more at https://ellenjacobsonauthor.com/

08 July 2019

Cost Of Living Aboard A Broken Boat | May & June 2019

We track and report every penny we spend living aboard and cruising on Tickety Boo, our Moody 346 sailboat for a couple of reasons.

1 - It helps us see where our money is going, helps us make informed choices about where to spend our money, which in turn helps us stretch our money further so that we can keep adventuring longer.

2 - We found it really useful to check out other people's cost of cruising when we were starting out, so we figure we can return favor by sharing ours.

While we had hoped to be in the Bahamas this season on our boat, we're currently at Indiantown Marina in south Florida on the hard in the workyard due to a crack in our hull. We've sorted things out with insurance but we're still working through logistics of how and when to do the repair.

In the meantime, we've basically put everything else on hold. There's no point in spending money on our boat until we're sure the crack can be repaired. So this cost report is going to be a bit dull as there was very little spending on anything besides workyard fees and food.

You can find links to other cost updates from ourselves (on Tickety Boo, camping across the States, and our previous boat in New Zealand) and others on this page, as well as on The Monkey's Fist.

Living Aboard Costs | May & June 2019

Overall, we spent >>$3,677<< during May and June.

When you look at the nitty-gritty details of what we spent below, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1 - All costs are in US dollars.

2 - Not all expenses are included - here's what we've left out:

(a) We don't report how much we spend on alcohol. I remember reading some horrible, judgy comments in a blog post a few years back about how much someone spent on booze, so I left it out when we first started tracking our cruising costs back in New Zealand. For consistency's sake, I've continued to leave it out when tracking our cruising costs.
(b) We've also left out our costs for medical insurance. We didn't think it made sense to include insurance costs as they can vary so widely depending upon your nationality, where you cruise, what level of coverage you want and can afford, whether you get subsidies etc. In case you are curious, while we're back in the States, we do have a high deductible/high out-of-pocket expenses insurance through the health insurance marketplace (aka the Affordable Care Act), primarily to protect our assets and cover us in case of a catastrophic medical condition.
(c) I haven't included any expenses related to my writing projects (e.g., editor, book cover design, publishing expenses, author website).

3 - I've included any shipping and taxes we've paid in what we report - Florida has a 6% sales tax.

All right, now that we've got that out of the way, let's dive into the numbers.

GROCERIES | Total = $554

This category includes everything we put in our bodies in terms of food and drink (excluding booze) that we prepare ourselves. It doesn't include things like paper towels and ziploc bags, which I know some people would classify as groceries. Sure, you could probably eat them, but they wouldn't taste very good.

Although we don't budget (you can read more about that here), I'm happiest when we keep our monthly grocery spend per person under $200. As you can see from the total above, we more than achieved that due in part to focusing on eating up all the provisions we had bought for the Bahamas, which we never ended up getting to this year due to the issues with our boat.

PERSONAL & HOUSEHOLD | Total = $26

This is the category where we include household things (like paper towels and ziploc bags) and personal hygiene items (like soap and shampoo). We also capture items for the "home" here - like bug spray.

ENTERTAINMENT | Total = $175

In terms of drinks and eating out, this includes everything we don't prepare ourselves, even if we get something to go and eat it back on the boat. We also track how much we spend on books, magazines, DVD rentals and going to the movies in this category, as well as the occasional lottery ticket.

Our spend in this category was higher than I would have liked. We spent way too much on eating out or getting takeout food in May ($94), but managed to cut back a bit in June ($43). I also got a month of CBS All Access ($5.99) so that I could watch the latest season of Star Trek: Discovery. And, as always, I spent a chunk of change on books for my Kindle.

COMMUNICATIONS | Total = $110

Our cell phone is actually one of our biggest non-boat related expenses. We have a monthly prepaid plan with AT&T which includes 8GB of data and unlimited calls and texts.

BOAT FUEL | Total = Nil


Tickety Boo has been sitting in the workyard so we haven't needed to get any diesel or gas.

PROPANE  | Total = $7

We have a propane/LPG cooker on our boat, which we need to replace as the stove no longer works and replacement parts aren't available. While we're at Indiantown Marina, we use an electric hotplate and a crockpot for cooking, so we haven't had to spend any money on filling our propane tanks. But we did get some small propane bottles for our Magma grill in June.

MARINA COSTS | Total = $1,810

The workyard isn't cheap - $30 a day which includes water an electric. If you pay for a month in advance, you get a small discount.

BOAT STUFF | Total = $376

This category is for all the stuff we buy for the boat, as well as  repair and maintenance costs. Since our boat is broken, we've put boat projects on hold for now for the most part (there are always a few things you still have to take care of to keep your boat livable). Much of our spend over the past two months was for insurance.

TRANSPORT | Total = $80

This category is for costs related to our vehicle, mostly for gas to drive into the nearby "big city" of Stuart for errands. We typically fill up our vehicle once a month.

MEDICAL EXPENSES | Total = $208

This category includes medical expenses outside of our monthly insurance premium (which aren't included here - see section on exclusions above), like over the counter medications and prescriptions, as well as doctors visits.
 
OTHER | Total = $326


In this category, we break out how much we spend on clothes and travel expenses. We also include a catch-all miscellaneous group for stuff that doesn't fit neatly anywhere else - things like laundry, Amazon Prime, presents, computer parts, postage etc.

Any money saving tips to share? What do you spend the most on each month? Are there any areas you're trying to cut back on?

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!


Have you read MURDER AT THE MARINA yet? If not, now's the perfect time as the ebook is on sale for only 99c/99p.

Pick up your copy of this humorous sailing mystery at https://books2read.com/MurderAtTheMarina

Find out more at https://ellenjacobsonauthor.com/

03 July 2019

Release Of Poisoned By The Pier & Character Traits | IWSG


The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is a place to share and encourage, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without appearing foolish or weak. It's a great place to mingle with like minded people each month during IWSG day.

Every month there's an optional question which may prompt folks to share advice, insights, a personal experience or story. Some folks answer the question in their IWSG blog post or let it inspire them if they're struggling with what to say.

This month's optional question is:

"What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?"
Check out how people have answered this month's question, as well as the other insecurities and writing topics they may have shared by visiting the IWSG sign-up list here. You can find out how I answered the question below, as well as find out more about the release of my latest book!



Poisoned by the Pier is now available! This is the third book in my Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery series. You can find the blurb at the end of this post. If you'd like a copy, it's available in ebook, paperback, and large print.

EBOOK: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play

PAPERBACK: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million

LARGE PRINT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million 

Part of me is thrilled to have published another book. The other part of me is a mass of writerly insecurities. What if everyone hates it? What if nobody buys it? What if it isn't as funny as the previous ones? What if. . .you get the idea.

But enough about me. Now a word from our sponsor. Okay, he's not really our sponsor, but he's a really cranky cat who won't stop annoying me unless I let him speak. Yep, you know who I'm talking about. None other than Simon the Time Traveling Cat.

* * *

Simon pawed at the computer screen and growled. "Who's that stupid cat in that stupid picture?"

"He seems like a perfectly intelligent cat to me." I picked Simon off of the keyboard and set him on the seat next to me.  "Don't you think his gray and white markings are handsome?"

"If he was smart, he wouldn't be posing next to your books, lady."

"Maybe he likes my books."

Simon jumped back on the table and sprawled next to my laptop. "No one likes your books. You go on and on about chocolate. Nobody likes chocolate."

"I like chocolate," I said.

"So basically it's a book about you." He leaned over the table to look at the pen he had just knocked off. "All you did is write a book about someone just like you."

"Mollie is nothing like me."

"She likes Star Wars, you like Star Wars. She lives on a sailboat, you live on a sailboat. Need I go on?"

"She finds dead bodies everywhere and I don't," I said. "We're nothing alike. Case closed."

"She has a cat and you have a cat."

"Simon, you're imaginary. You only pop up in these IWSG posts. You know I don't have room for a real cat on my boat. Where would I put the litter box?"

"Could an imaginary cat do this?" Simon asked as he proceeded to hack up a hairball on my keyboard.

I put my head in my hands and sighed. Maybe a real cat would be less trouble than an imaginary one.



What would you do if your hubby signed the two of you up for an extreme diet?

Life without chocolate and junk food—completely miserable. Finding someone poisoned by a cake—even worse.

Mollie thought she had enough problems to deal with when her husband threw out all of her chocolate and junk food. But when someone is poisoned during a cake baking competition, she’s thrust into another murder investigation.

While she tries to identify the killer, Coconut Cove’s annual boating festival is in full swing. In between getting ready for her first sailing race and cheating on her diet, Mollie and her cat, Mrs. Moto, uncover clues, interview suspects, and do their best to avoid rutabagas.

Can Mollie nab the murderer before someone else is poisoned?


Poisoned by the Pier is the third book in the light, humorous, and original Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery series. If you like kooky characters, adorable cats, and plenty of chocolate, you'll love this cozy mystery. Buy Poisoned by the Pier today and laugh out loud from the first page to the last.

EBOOK: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play

PAPERBACK: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million

LARGE PRINT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million 

Spoiler Alert: You’ll never look at rutabagas the same way again after you finish reading this book! {Not sure what a rutabaga is? You might know it as a swede, a neep, or a snagger. Find out more here.}


Poisoned by the Pier can be read as a standalone book, but you’ll have more fun if you start at the beginning of the series with Murder at the Marina. And guess what - Murder at the Marina is currently on sale for only 99c/99p!

You can grab a copy of the ebook at your favorite retailer.

Want to know when I have new releases and hear about other fun stuff? Sign up to my newsletter.

Writers - What personal traits do you work into your character(s)? Readers - What are your favorite character traits?

01 July 2019

Happy Canada Day!


Happy Canada Day to all of our Canadian friends out there! In honor of this auspicious day, I'm rerunning a post that I originally wrote in 2017. The same sentiments hold true today.

* * *

During the winter season at Indiantown Marina, Canadians probably outnumber Americans by a sizable margin. It's quite a popular place for Canadians to store their boats during hurricane season. Once the snow starts to fly, they make their way down south to Indiantown and get their boats ready to head out cruising or just hang out here at the marina for the season enjoying the sunshine and palm trees.

You've heard all of the stereotypes about Canadians before. They say "eh" a lot (true for some), they have unibrows (no comment), they say "a-boot" and not "about" (yes, and it's adorable), they live off a diet of maple syrup and Tim Horton's donuts (sounds good to me), they're all lumberjacks (uh, no) and they're super nice (very true).

I can't emphasize how much that last one is true. Canadians are some of the nicest, helpful and most generous people you'll ever meet. They're all around good eggs. Okay, maybe there's some bad Canadians out there, but you won't find them at Indiantown Marina.

Honestly, they've restored my faith in humanity. After a bruising and divisive election cycle (no matter what side you were on), I kind of started to lose hope in the basic goodness in humanity. You know, the "do unto others, as you would have them do unto you" way of approaching each other. It seemed like it was becoming more of a "who cares about you, it's all about me" kind of a place.

Then along came the Canadians with their help, support and "pay it forward" mentality. Don't get me wrong, the Americans here are wonderful too and we'd be lost without the support and help of our dear Yankee friends (not to mention their "tool shed" and acrylic expertise). That just goes without saying.

But this is about the Canadians and how much they've been instrumental in getting our boat ready to go cruising. (I should say "somewhat ready to go cruising" just in case I jinx things and more stuff breaks.) These guys might not be lumberjacks, but they sure are geniuses when it comes to electrical systems, engines, solar arrays, you name it. And they share their knowledge freely. They even come poke around in the murky depths of our engine room or in the confines of the lazarette to help us chase down issues and sort out problems.

And when you apologize for taking up so much of their time and pestering them with annoying questions, they just shrug their shoulders and say, "Don't worry. Just pay it forward."

I always knew I loved Canadians. But now I love them even more because they've reminded me that humans (at least most of them) are good at heart and genuinely want to do unto others as they would have them do unto them.

What's your favorite things about Canada or Canadians? And for a more controversial question - only 100% genuine maple syrup on your pancakes or will Mrs. Butterworth's do?

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!


Poisoned by the Pier, the latest Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery, is now available!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble Nook | Apple Books | Google Play | Kobo

Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com


26 June 2019

Wordless Wednesday | Crazy Cat Lady Strikes Again



Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:

1 - Is there anything cuter than a kitten on a sailboat? 

2 - I wonder how they got the kitten to hold still long enough with that hat on to get this picture? 

3 - Maybe Scott and I should get sailor hats? Or maybe a kitten? Okay, the kitten is happening, but I can see the hats in our future.

What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it? 
 
For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here and here.


Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!


The latest Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery is releasing this Friday! 

Pre-order >>Poisoned by the Pier<< on Amazon | Barnes & Noble Nook | Apple Books | Google Play

Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com

22 June 2019

Saturday Spotlight | Release Of Windy Hollow & An Author Interview With Tara Tyler

In addition to the usual blog posts every Monday and Wednesday about our travel adventures and day-to-day life living aboard a sailboat, I also occasionally post on Saturdays, focusing on things related to writing such as cover reveals, book launches, reviews, interviews with authors etc. So if you're a bit of a book nerd like I am, check in on Saturdays - you never know what might pop up.



Today, I'm featuring an interview with Tara Tyler to celebrate the release of Windy Hollow, the third book in her Beast World middle grade fantasy series. It's a really fun book, perfect for readers of all ages - you can read my review here.

Grab your favorite beverage and a snack, sit back, and find out what Tara has to say about writing, cookies and penguins.

Author Interview

1 - What inspired you to write this book?

Way back when I used to do the A-Z challenge, one year I was promoting Broken Branch Falls. For Z day I came up with a new character name Zolaf, and he was a were-ogre... he was causing trouble because he was an outcast and I built an entire story) WINDY HOLLOW) around him.

2 - Do you have any writing rituals?

I always write my first drafts on paper. I buy a dedicated notebook and go to town!

3 - What's more important - character or plot?

It depends on what kind of story you’re trying to tell. For my adventure stories the plot is very important, but with my middle grade series, the character is also very important in how he deals with everything that happens. and if readers don’t like the characters the plot won’t even matter!

4 - What do you like best about being an author? What do you like the least?
 
The best part is meeting readers and knowing me I have touched their lives hopefully for the better! The worst part is all the waiting and insecurity, blech.

5 - What's your favorite cookie? If you don't like cookies, what's wrong with you? Oops, sorry, scratch that. My follow-up question was meant to be far more polite - "Why don't you like cookies?"

Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite dessert in the world! I agree, who doesn’t like cookies?!

6 - A penguin walks through your front door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he there?


“Which way to Mexico?”
It was Cinco de Mayo of course!
7 - What else would you like us to know about you?

I used to be afraid of dogs and bees. Now I love dogs and I tolerate bees...





About Windy Hollow

In BROKEN BRANCH FALLS, Gabe and his friends go on a quest to save their school, blowing up all the rules, and discover their origins.

Then they go to CRADLE ROCK and meet some real live humans, scaring them into attack mode. The Beasts realize they have to spread the truth ASAP.

Now, school's out, and Gabe is ready for a break from all the drama...

Gabe and his friends fly over the Great Sea for the wedding of the century: a dragon prince and a beautiful harpy. But Gabe can't relax on this vacation. Besides competing in rigorous wedding events, he overhears the nearby human village WINDY HOLLOW is in danger from an evil human scientist and a vengeful were-ogre experimenting on beasts. Gabe and his friends risk crossing the mountains to help, despite several warnings.

Maybe he's going too far this time, but he's in too deep to quit. It's do or die, hopefully not die!

Pick up a copy on Amazon - Ebook and Paperback




About the Author 
  

Tara Tyler has had a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After moving all over the US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her husband and one boy left in the nest. She has two novel series, Pop Travel (sci-fi detective thrillers) and Beast World (fantasy adventures), plus her UnPrincess novella series where the maidens save themselves.

She's a commended blogger, contributed to several anthologies, and to fit in all these projects, she economizes her time, aka the Lazy Housewife—someday she might write a book on that... Make every day an adventure!

You can connect with Tara on her Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter


EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks for being on the blog, Tara! You have excellent choice in cookies. I hope that penguin made it back to Mexico in time for the Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

What's on your reading list? Have you ever been to a dragon wedding? What's your favorite cookie?

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!


Poisoned by the Pier, the latest Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery, is coming soon! 

Pre-order on Amazon | Barnes & Noble Nook | Apple Books | Google Play | Kobo

Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com

19 June 2019

Wordless Wednesday | Geography & Maps



Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:

1 - I love looking at maps and nautical charts and daydreaming about traveling to exotic destinations.

2 - When we're in the car, my job is Chief Navigator. I'm not very good at  it. Probably because I can't tell my left from my right. I have to physically turn the map around in my hands to try to figure out which way is which.

3 - Why yes, our car is really old and we don't have a built-in GPS navigator thingamajig. So we rely on my map-reading abilities. Let's just say that we would be wise to leave early for our destinations so that we can factor turning around time.

What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it? 
 
For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here and here.


Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!


The latest Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery is coming soon! 

Pre-order >>Poisoned by the Pier<< on Amazon | Barnes & Noble Nook | Apple Books | Google Play

Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com

17 June 2019

An Ode To Libraries & A Request


How many of you love libraries? How many of you frequent your local library? How many of you think it's important for communities to support and nurture their libraries?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you're my kind of person. A library person. A bookish sort of person. A person who thinks there are treasures to be discovered inside the covers.

I know some of us don't get to libraries much these days. Maybe you read ebooks instead of checking books out. Or you're a full-time traveler and don't have a local library to call your own. Or you're just plain busy. I get it. I can relate. But regardless, I bet you still think libraries are important. What is it that Albert Einstein said?


Apparently he was smart guy so he must know what he was talking about, right?

On the subject of libraries, I have a favor to ask. I'd love to get my books into more libraries so that people can check them out and enjoy them for free. I know that not everyone can afford to buy books. When there's a new author I want to try out, I often check my local library first. It's a no-risk way to see if they're my cup of tea (if they are, I might go on to buy other books for them), plus it helps me save money, because when you live on a money pit, aka a sailboat, every penny counts.

If you'd be interested in helping get the Mollie McGhie Sailing Mysteries into your local library (ebook, paperback and/or large print), you can download all the information you need HERE. Many libraries have online forms you can fill out or you can print out a copy of the info sheet and give it to your local librarian.

And if you library does get one of my books, I'd be thrilled if you'd send me a picture of it on the shelves! Here's a picture of Murder at the Marina at Central Library in Portland, Oregon. Squee!


If you can help out, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!


The latest Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery is coming soon! 

Pre-order >>Poisoned by the Pier<< on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play  | Kobo

Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com

12 June 2019

Wordless Wednesday | Evil Popsicle Sticks




Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:

1 - The thought of popsicle sticks makes me shudder and break out into a cold sweat. I freak out at the thought of putting wooden sticks in my mouth, whether that be a popsicle stick, chopsticks, or a bamboo skewer.

2 - Thanks to the trusty internet, I've self diagnosed myself. I have xylophobia. No, that's not the fear of xylophones, it's the fear of wooden objects. Don't believe me? See for yourself here. Fortunately, my phobia is limited to evil popsicle sticks and their cousins. I can happily touch wooden objects and hug trees.

3 - No, that doesn't stop me from eating a popsicle or an ice cream bar. I just eat around the edges and leave the middle part untouched. Bonus: you save calories that way.

What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it?

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here and here.

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!


The latest Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery is coming soon! 

Pre-order >>Poisoned by the Pier<< on Amazon | Barnes & Noble Nook | Apple Books | Google Play

Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com


10 June 2019

Books About Sailing



It's crazy busy right now for me in the run-up to the publication of the next book in my sailing mystery series, but I wanted to take a break and share some great resources for finding sailing-related books that you might want to check out. Even if you're not a boater yourself, you'll still probably find something you enjoy whether it's a travel memoir, historical fiction, thriller, kids books etc.

Charlotte Kaufman has lists of sailing-related books broken down by age groups. If you aren't familiar with Charlotte and her family's experience losing their boat, Rebel Heart, check out this essay she wrote for HuffPost. Charlotte has written a memoir about this tragic event which I'm looking forward to reading when it's published.

Sailing Book Suggestions for Adults
Sailing Book Suggestions for Tweens & Teens
Sailing Book Suggestions for Children


Check out SisterShip Press for another great list of sailing-related books written by women, including books published by their press. The team behind this organization--Shelley Wright and Jackie Parry--are responsible the relaunch of SisterShip Magazine and the annual Women Who Sail Australia Gathering on the Bay.

SisterShip Book Club


The Boat Galley has a podcast on books for people who are getting ready to cut the dock lines and head off cruising. If you're not familiar with The Boat Galley, it's a wonderful resource about all aspects of boating. And if you don't already have a copy of The Boat Galley Cookbook, that's well worth checking out. I can't imagine cooking on our boat without it.

Best Books for Soon-To-Be Cruisers


The American Sailing Association (ASA) has a list of books about sailing voyages and adventures.

8 Great Sailing Books


If you're looking for books to do some armchair sailing during the off-season or to stock up your floating library Waterborne has you covered.

20 Sailing Books Every Sailor Should Read


Thinking about cruising? Cruising World has a list of books to read to get prepared.

Top 10 Books to Prepare You for Cruising


What have you been reading lately? If you know of any other lists of sailing-related books that you think I should add, leave a comment below with a link to it and I'll check it out.

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!


The latest Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery is coming soon! Pre-order >>Poisoned by the Pier<< on Amazon.

Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com

Other eretailers and paperback / large print coming soon.

08 June 2019

Saturday Spotlight | Hoosier Dad By Elizabeth Seckman

In addition to the usual blog posts every Monday and Wednesday about our travel adventures and day-to-day life living aboard a sailboat, I also occasionally post on Saturdays, focusing on things related to writing such as cover reveals, book launches, reviews, interviews with authors etc. So if you're a bit of a book nerd like I am, check in on Saturdays - you never know what might pop up.

Today, I have the pleasure of celebrating the release of Hoosier Dad written by my wonderful blogging friend, Elizabeth Seckman. 

I'm about halfway through reading Hoosier Dad and can't wait to see how it ends. The quote below is a perfect example of the great banter and humor between the characters. If you like sweet romances, then you'll love this book! But don't take my word for it, check out these great reviews on Goodreads.


Sarah Andrews can hold her own in a courtroom, but when it comes to love, she’s 0-3 and Rich Cooper was her biggest loss to date. 

Hoosier Dad is available!








Elizabeth is a mom, a wife, and the caretaker of far too many pets, all of whom her children swore they'd take care of. But they went off to college leaving fur babies in their place. She is a multi-published author of women's fiction and romance. 


05 June 2019

Simon The Time Traveling Cat Vs. Dewey The Talking Chameleon, PLUS A New Release | IWSG


The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is a place to share and encourage, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without appearing foolish or weak. It's a great place to mingle with like minded people each month during IWSG day.

Every month there's an optional question which may prompt folks to share advice, insights, a personal experience or story. Some folks answer the question in their IWSG blog post or let it inspire them if they're struggling with what to say.

This month's optional question is:

"Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?"
Check out how people have answered this month's question, as well as the other insecurities and writing topics they may have shared by visiting the IWSG sign-up list here. I didn't exactly answer the question, but I did write about my favorite genre to write in - cozy mysteries.

Simon the Time Traveling Cat vs. Dewey Decimal the Talking Chameleon


"Why aren't you rubbing my belly?" Simon asked as he dug his claws into my arm.

I pushed the large gray cat's paw away. "Hey! That hurts!"

"It's your own fault, lady," he said. "That's what you get when you pay attention to that stupid computer of yours instead of me."

"The world does not revolve around you, Simon," I said as I pulled him away from the keyboard. "I have other priorities."

"You call that a priority?" He batted at the screen. "These are stupid book covers. No one wants to read another one of your silly cozy mystery series."

"They might want to read this one," I said. "You know why? Cause it features a talking chameleon named Dewey Decimal instead of an obnoxious cat who is always demanding belly rubs and full-fat milk."

He growled. "Chameleons. What a dumb idea, lady. All they do is sit around and change color."

"Not this one. He lives in a library in North Dakota and helps the amateur sleuth find clues in books which solve murders."

Simon sprawled on the keyboard, erasing all my work. "Why don't you tell him to come down here to Florida and we'll have it out. A chameleon is no match for me."

"I'm not so sure about that. I've seen you hunting lizards before. They always seem to get away from you."

"Enough talk, lady," he said digging his claws into my arm again. "Time to rub my belly before my afternoon nap."

I shook my head and sighed. Hopefully, Dewey doesn't turn out to be as much trouble as Simon, I thought to myself. Imaginary creatures can be so unpredictable.

* * *

Yes, it's true. I've been distracted by a shiny, new object - namely, a new cozy mystery series. I even spent an hour or two procrastinating and creating mock-up covers for the Dewey Decimal Mysteries. I really need to focus on getting some more books out in my current series before I move onto a new one. How do you guys keep focused on what you should be working on instead of something new and exciting?

My Latest Release - Can You Help?



And in other news, Poisoned by the Pier is going to be released on June 28th. This is the third book in my Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery series.

I did something crazy and put it up for pre-order on Amazon before I have the final manuscript back from the editor (it's due back mid-June). Poisoned by the Pier will also be available on other eretailers (Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple Books and Google Play), as well as in paperback and large print closer to the release date. I've got a lot to get done this month before the release. Eek!

If you can help spread the word about my upcoming release that would be awesome! Drop me an email at ellenjacobsonauthor@gmail.com or leave a comment below with your contact details and I'll follow-up with more info.

BLURB

Life without chocolate and junk food—completely miserable. Finding someone poisoned by a cake—even worse.

Mollie thought she had enough problems to deal with when her husband threw out all of her chocolate and junk food. But when someone is poisoned during a cake baking competition, she’s thrust into another murder investigation.

While she tries to identify the killer, Coconut Cove’s annual boating festival is in full swing. In between getting ready for her first sailing race and cheating on her diet, Mollie and her cat, Mrs. Moto, uncover clues, interview suspects, and do their best to avoid rutabagas.

Can Mollie nab the murderer before someone else is poisoned?

Poisoned by the Pier is the third book in the light, humorous, and original Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery series. If you like kooky characters, adorable cats, and plenty of chocolate, you’ll love this cozy mystery. Buy Poisoned by the Pier today and laugh out loud from the first page to the last.

Spoiler Alert: You’ll never look at rutabagas the same way again after you finish reading this book!

Pre-order your copy on Amazon

Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com

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Add Poisoned by the Pier to your Goodreads TBR list

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03 June 2019

Cuteness Overload! KinDoo Family Center Celebration

Scott and I have been volunteering as English teachers at this wonderful place in Indiantown, Florida over the past several months - the KinDoo Family Center. It's been such a joy and delight working with this organization. Honestly, I think we've gotten more out of the experience than we've put in.

There was a celebration of the students' achievements last month and I've got a bucketload of pictures to share with you. Hang in there to the end when you'll see photos of some super adorable kids. Total cuteness overload!

KinDoo offers free classes in English, sewing, art, nutrition, exercise, computer skills, and math, as well as a citizenship course. At the celebration, students made presentations in English and showed off their sewing talents during a red carpet fashion show.


This is Sister Mary Dooley, one of the two nuns who founded KinDoo. She, along with Sister Kate Kinnally, worked for years as administrators at Hope Rural School which serves children of immigrants in the Indiantown community. In April 2015, they were moved to open a family center focused on offering life skills to parents.

You can read more about these remarkable women here. {BTW, I don't know why we didn't get a picture of Sister Kate. Such a shame. She's a real sweetheart.}


One of the things I love about Indiantown is its diverse community. Families from Guatemala, Mexico, and Haiti have settled here and made this small town their home.




The celebration kicked off with a welcome from two of the ladies who attend classes at the center. So nerve-wracking to speak in English in front of a crowd!


Then this lovely couple led a prayer.


Sister JoAnn and another volunteer led a group of students in reading a book about baby animals and what they grow up to be. During the presentation, they taught the audience the Spanish translations for the various animals.


Other students shared stories they had written about their families, while others presented bi-lingual books that had been donated to the center, sharing what they had learned from them.


After the English presentation, it was time for the fashion show. Cuteness overload! The students and their families modeled the clothes, pillow covers, and bags that they had made. Look at this cutie in her new pink dress.


This is an adorable skirt. By the way, it isn't just ladies who take sewing classes. This little girl's father made pajama bottoms. A lot of talent in this family!


I love the pattern on this dress - so sweet!


Who doesn't love an adorable little romper?


See how Scott caught a picture of someone taking a picture on her phone of this cutie-pie? Another adorable dress.


Squee! An adorable baby wearing an adorable bib! It's possible I've overused "adorable" and "cute" in this blog post, but there was a serious amount of adorableness and cuteness going on.


Have you done volunteer work? What kind? What did you enjoy about it?

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!


The latest Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery is coming soon! Pre-order >>Poisoned by the Pier<< on Amazon.

Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com

Other eretailers and paperback / large print coming soon.