This week, I’m pleased to welcome Ashley Lynn Willis to the blog. Ashley’s first novel, The Calling, is available now as an e-book. It’s a different sort of paranormal romance – her characters have gifts but they’re not the usual vampire/werewolf/fae elements we’re used to seeing, which is quite exciting.
Ashley has graciously offered one e-copy of The Calling as a giveaway. Look for those details after you find out what Ashley does when she’s not working away on her projects!
I was totally excited when Jenn approached me about doing a “When I’m not writing” post. Then I thought about it for five minutes and realized I have no life beyond taking care of my two preschoolers.
I haven’t always been this boring. Before I had kids, I went snorkeling off the Florida Keys, skiing in Colorado, and riding tut-tuts in Bangkok, but now I wipe snotty noses, kiss boo-boos, and make a mean chicken nugget in five minutes flat.
Oddly enough, I wouldn’t go back to my kid-less days if someone offered me a lifetime supply of dark chocolate hand fed by my choice of Black Dagger Brothers. No, seriously. I mean it. I don’t have an ounce of remorse about losing those carefree days because I love spending time with my kiddos. Since they’re attached to my hip twenty-four-seven, you get to accompany me on one of my favorite weekly activities – a trip to the zoo!
Welcome to the Sedgwick County Zoo! I’m pleased to introduce my five-year-old daughter Abigail and my four-year-old son Asher. If you’re wondering why they look practically the same size, I have some advice for all you pregnant ladies out there: breastfeeding does NOT equal birth control. I found that out as I stared at a positive pregnancy test less than four months after having Abigail. Abby and Ash are twelve months apart and have a weight difference of about three pounds. People constantly ask if they’re twins. While their age difference was difficult on my husband and myself the first two years of their lives, it’s a blessing now because they are best buds.
In January of this year, I quit my engineering job so I could spend more time with my cute little buggers before they start school. Once a week, we pack our lunch and head out for some fun with the furry and scaly animals. It gives us exercise and, most importantly, it gets us out of the house for some educational fun.
Our first stop was the favored hippos. Unfortunately, the water is too murky for us see them from the lower glass, so we head to the top of the exhibit.
“There’s a hippo in the water somewhere, honey,” I tell my sad daughter.
“Why don’t we go swim with them, Mommy? Then we can find them.”
I gulp at the thought of my baby in a pond with a two-thousand-pound hippo. “Not today, honey.” I pat her head. At that precise moment, the hippo lifts her nostrils out of the water and snorts a loud gust of air. I guess she isn’t too keen on the idea, either. And now, we’re off to the jungle exhibit…
Okay, ladies, meet the creature of your dreams, the very beings that your hot lovin’ vamps descend from—the vampire bat. Did you know that vampire bats make very good neighbors? They will groom you, share their body warmth, and even regurgitate some of their last meal for you if you’re hungry. Yummy! I wonder if Bones or Edward Cullen would be so kind of a neighbor? *Shiver* I hope not. Okay, enough of that, let’s head to Africa…
I refer to these little guys as the Sharks and Jets. I have yet to see them when they aren’t pacing in front of the divider, acting as if they’re ready for a brawl. Of course, the kids love them. They’re so tiny and cute. And now, we’re off to eat lunch…
I’m pretty sure my kids are the only ones on the planet who don’t want jelly on their PB&J sandwich. I, however, load up my sandwich with strawberry jam. The rest of the menu consists of red grapes, chocolate milk, and sun chips. Yum! Sounds much better than regurgitated blood from the bats. *Shiver*
Where do the kids all want to hang out at the zoo? The playground, of course. Never mind the hundreds of exhibits waiting to be explored.
You can pick your nose, you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose. However, you can pick a silverback’s nose as long as he’s made of bronze.
And that, my friends, is how I spend one day out of every week. Now, only six-hundred-and-five days until they are both in school full-time, and I can get some much-needed rest. Doh! Did I just write that down? I meant, thanks for joining us. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
Thank you, Ashley, for taking the time to share your day with us! I love your pictures, particularly that last one. Your kids are adorable.
To get to know Ashley even better, you can visit her website.
Mandy Hardy lost more than a breast to cancer; she lost her fiancé when he dumped her a week before her mastectomy. Her ego bruised and her self-esteem battered, Mandy’s sure she’ll never fall in love again.
Justin Seward is a headstrong Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer with a heart of gold and the supernatural ability to command the seas. He had to hide his feelings while Mandy was engaged to his best friend. Now that she’s free, he’s vowed to make her his.
Together, they may hold the key to each other’s salvation. But when Justin’s past catches up with him, and Mandy’s ex-fiancé wants vengeance, they realize they might not live long enough for happily ever after. The Calling is a 360 page contemporary romance with a paranormal twist.
Purchase: Amazon (only $0.99!!)
As I mentioned at the start of this post, Ashley is offering one (1) e-copy of The Calling to a lucky reader.
To enter, do what the Rafflecopter says!
Giveaway closes November 30, 2011.
Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!
Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!