Monthy Round-up: September

FALL IS FINALLY HERE! Seriously, the only thing that excites me more is Christmas. That will be along shortly…but in the meantime I’m going to enjoy this long-awaited respite from sweat, humidity, bad hair days and rain. Have we ever had a wetter, grosser summer? I probably say that every year, but honestly, it felt like once Memorial Day came, it never stopped raining.

I’ve been working hard on A Holiday Gift, and finally feel as though I’ve found my groove with this story. It hasn’t been easy, and the book’s release date has been delayed two whole years while I struggled to get it right, but I feel like I’m there at last. I should be on track to have a completed draft by spring, which will give me plenty of time to polish it and have it ready for a Holiday 2019 release.

And I’ve been doing other things besides writing and complaining about summer. I promise! Here’s a list of the most fun and interesting things I did in September.

Reading

I’ve been writing more than I’ve been reading this month, but the other day I got my daily BookBub e-mail and stumbled across Don’t Call Me Cupcake by Tara Sheets. I’m halfway through it and I’m loving it – it’s adorable! The main character, bakery owner Emma, bakes wishes into her cupcakes to help the residents of her small town. She lives in a possessed (and opinionated) house she can’t afford to fix, and when sexy, big-city real estate developer Hunter moves into town and threatens her livelihood, she gets desperate. I’m about halfway through it, but I’m really enjoying it and have already ordered the second book in the series – just out yesterday! Looks like there’s a third in the works, too.


Listening

I wouldn’t call myself a true-crime “buff”, per say, but thanks to my mom – whose piles of Ann Rule books on her bedside table are one of the standout memories of my childhood – I do have a persistent interest in it. We switched cable companies and I no longer get Investigation Discovery, but luckily this coincides with my discovery of the many, many podcasts that are available and how good they are at helping me pass the time in traffic on my way home from the day job. A whole new world has been opened up to me! This month I’ve been listening to Up and Vanished, an investigation into the 2005 disappearance of Tara Grinstead, which at the time the podcast began had been cold for a decade. It’s available from iTunes (and likely anywhere else podcasts are available, though don’t quote me on that). I’ve only listened to Season 1, which ran from 2016 through 2017, but it’s fascinating.


Cooking

I went grocery shopping and the store had boneless pork loin on sale. Not the little tenderloins, which are just fine for my family of 2 and feed us once. No, this was a 9-pound log of pork, almost 2 feet long. Used as a weapon it probably could’ve killed a guy, or at least knocked him out cold. I bought one, cut it into 3 pieces, and promptly made the slow-cooker BBQ pulled pork from Skinnytaste. I’ve made this before, and it’s always a huge hit. It includes BBQ sauce made from scratch, which my husband swears is better than anything available in jars. And it makes a good-sized batch that can feed both of us for about a week. It’s Crock-Pot season now, and I strongly suggest trying this (I’ve also done it with boneless, skinless chicken breasts – the same weight, 2.5 lbs – and it turns out great, although I do prefer the pork since the chicken can dry out). I have two roasts left in the freezer, so I might make it again with one, but I’m looking forward to trying these pork carnitas too.


That’s it for September! What have you done to welcome fall? Leave a comment!

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