3 Questions Wednesday with Sandra Byrd

Author Sandra Byrd is a best-selling author who has published more than fifty books. She also mentors and coaches new writers. Please visit www.novelcoaching.com to learn more. With great pleasure, we welcome her to 3 Questions Wednesday!

First question–

What inspires you?

Sandra: Art, in all its forms, and kindness.

Kindness is big for me also. My blog promotes small acts of kindness. 🙂 Now…

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Sandra: I love those pebbled crayons – the ones that have little beads and bubbles of colors all squashed together into a mosaic. Do you remember making those when you were a kid? You’d scrape up bits of leftover crayons and melt them together? Life is such a fusion of love, joy, pain, waiting, rejoicing, sorrow and grief, hope and renaissance.  I love to write about the full human experience – and I’d want me, the crayon, to represent that!

I love this answer! The perfect crayon. Last question…

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Sandra: I knew that I wanted to be a writer at six years old, as soon as I’d learned to read chapter books. Really! Then, I thought I’d better explore. So, as a kid, I wanted three careers: to be a hair stylist, to be a waitress, and to be an author. After I mohawked my Barbie I knew I wasn’t cut out for the hair stylist career. I was a waitress in a Jewish deli when I was a teenager and I then worked for a caterer till I went to college, both of which I truly enjoyed. Writing, however, was the real passion. And it stuck.

I know your readers are glad you did. Thanks so much for stopping in! 

Sandra has graciously offered a print copy of A Lady in Disguise to one reader who leaves a comment. (U.S. addresses only)


A Lady in Disguise

Daughters of Hampshire, Book 3

In this intriguing novel of romance, mystery, and clever disguise set in Victorian England, a young woman investigates the murder of her own father.

After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Drury Lane Theatre Royal. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.


After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than fifty books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne BoleynTo Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick, as was The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr.
A life-long lover of Victorian Gothic romances, Sandra’s new series, Daughters of Hampshire, weaves elements of that mystical, traditional genre with inspirational and literary threads. Mist of Midnight, the series’ first book, was honored with a coveted Editor’s Choice designation from the Historical Novel Society. The second book in the series, Bride of a Distant Isle, launched in March, 2016 and the third, A Lady in Disguise is just out in 2017.
A devotionalist as well as a novelist, Sandra’s best-selling devotional for tweens, One Year Be-Tween You and God  was followed up with her first devotional for adults, The One Year Home and Garden Devotions.  The One Year Experiencing God’s Love devotional will publish in Fall, 2017.
She is passionate about helping new authors develop their talent and their work toward traditional or independent publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to edit and coach dozens to success each year.
Please visit www.novelcoaching.com to learn more.

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3 Questions Wednesday with Melanie Dickerson

I’m excited to announce the return of my friend, Melanie Dickerson, to 3 Questions Wednesday. Melanie was the first “real” author I’d ever met and she was so nice. She looked over my manuscript and told me I needed to cut the backstory in the beginning. At first it upset me, but when I settled down, I knew she was right. I had eleven chapters of backstory! Thanks, Melanie, for being honest with me. Now for your first question…

What inspires you?

Melanie: Fairy tales, history, and movies. I love movies.

Movies are great for inspiration. Tell us…

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Melanie: Medieval red, because I love red, and I think of the red in Medieval stories as a dark burgundy color.

Red is in my top three colors also.  Last question:

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Melanie: When I was around 5 or 6, I wanted to be a ballerina. Later I decided I wanted to be a novelist, but I gave up on that when I graduated high school and went to college. I decided to take up writing again about 15 years later.

So many of us are glad you went back to writing. 🙂 Thanks for joining us today!

Melanie has graciously offered to give away of a paperback copy of A Viscount’s Proposal to one person who leaves a comment. Don’t miss your chance to win!


A Viscount’s Proposal

Leorah Langdon has no patience for Regency society’s shallow hypocrisy and unnecessary rules, especially for women. She’s determined to defy convention by marrying for grand passion instead of settling for a loveless union like her parents—or wedding a stuffy, pompous gentleman like Edward, the Viscount Withinghall. But when a chance meeting in the countryside leads to Leorah and Withinghall being discovered in his overturned carriage—alone and after dark—the ensuing gossip may force them together.

Withinghall has his reasons for clinging to propriety; his father perished in a duel with his mistress’s husband, and Edward must avoid scandal himself if he wants to become prime minister. He certainly has no time for a reckless hoyden like Miss Langdon. But soon the two discover that Withinghall’s coach “accident” was no such thing: the vehicle was sabotaged.

Can the culprit be brought to justice? Strong-willed Leorah and duty-driven Withinghall will have to work together if they have any hope of saving her reputation, his political career—and his life.


Melanie Dickerson is the New York Times bestselling author whose two favorite time periods are Medieval, which she has combined with her love of fairy tales, and Regency England, which stems from her love of Jane Austen. She is a 2-time Christy Award finalist, winner of The National Reader’s Choice Award for 2010’s Best First Book, and winner of the 2012 Carol Award in Young Adult fiction.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama and has taught children with special needs in Georgia and Tennessee, and English to adults in Germany and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing, hanging out on facebook, and being with her husband, two daughters, and two guinea pigs near Huntsville, Alabama. Visit her Amazon author page, http://amzn.to/2mdb5Bx , her facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/MelanieDickersonBooks/ and her website at http://www.MelanieDickerson.com

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3 Questions Wednesday with Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild

photo0057fourbysixAuthor Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild has a special occupation as the owner of Her Majesty’s English Tea Room and the British shoppe Fairchild’s. Imagine serving a proper English tea every day.  I’m ready to go. But first, let’s find out a little more about Jacqueline…

First Question:

What inspires you?

Jacqueline: I am inspired by everyone I meet and their stories. We all have stories, if we take the time to listen. They don’t have to be gigantic or earth shaking, they simply are each and every one of ours.  And as I hear them, I am inspired. I have a strong faith that people just need a friend.  I like to listen and then help people find that gem inside them they always knew was there.

Maybe that is why I started writing:

I think women crave a prettier, kinder, independent world.  Through my restaurant, my shoppe and my stories I show women how this can be achieved.  How they can find that gem inside themselves and develop it into their dream career or hobby.

I inspire and encourage women to leave the rat race before they are forced out, and to become self-starters in all the ‘dream’ categories from running a bed and breakfast, tea room, bridal business, photographer, pastry chef, interior designer and floral designer, to name a few.

My stories include the beginning and end—the very young and the very old and the ties we make with them in the middle.  And perhaps a bit of whimsical magic, because, after all there is that magic inside of us that sometimes we just miss. I think of myself as Hallmark meets Disney.

It’s wonderful that you have so many ways to inspire people. 🙂

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Jacqueline: I love color. I guess I can say I would want the entire box of crayons. Each color brings out a feeling or mood for me and I feel sometimes people unknowingly limit themselves. The colors of nature are my favorite because they simply are there, waiting for us.

Interesting answer. Last question:

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Jacqueline: As a child I wanted happy endings.  I felt by owning my own business (Her Majesty’s English Tea Room and my British shoppe Fairchild’s) I could bring beautiful things, and quiet moments of tea time to so many people while my creative side had endless outlets. I have always written, and always knew that I would take my businesses to the next level with my novels. I love people from the quiet small moments to the momentous ones and feel my stories capture them.

teatime

Jacqueline, we’re so glad you joined us today! 

Jennifer: Thank you for taking the time to visit with me. I think your blog reaches people you will never meet, but will change just a little bit.

More about Jacqueline: Follow my daily blog of one happy thought jgfairchild.wix.com. My facebook pages are always fun: Her Majesty’s English Tea Room and Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild. My Pinterest boards are a variety of all the things I love: Her Majesty’s English Tea Room at Fairchild’s.

This is Lucy my therapy dog. Therapy in that she simply loves me and is there for me, regardless of my day. I always have dogs and cats in my stories. They are the furry people  I think we all need.

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Tea time–that quiet time that restores us. Aren’t there just 20 minutes in the day, just for you?

Would you enjoy receiving  a hard copy of Jacqueline’s novel Estate of Mind or a gift certificate to tea at Her Majesty’s in Dunlap, Illinois? If so, please leave a comment below and you’ll be in the drawing to win…


Estate of Mind 

estate-of-mindWelcome to Estate of Mind. A beautiful bed and breakfast in an old apple orchard in the middle of the middle of nowhere. Ever wonder what restoring an old mansion and turning it into a bed and breakfast would be like? Miranda simply had to move her aging father from the city to a country retirement center and get her two small children out of inner city schools. This meant sacrificing her own career.

How hard could it be to find a new career in the country? Or a place to live? Harder than she ever imagined!

As the housekeeper at a derelict mansion, Miranda begins cleaning out decades of trash while vowing that when the absentee owner returns, she will give him a piece of her mind for living like such a slob. After endless scrubbing, painting, polishing, and restoring, the old house is magnificent. To Miranda’s delight, the attic holds a treasure trove of old furniture just waiting to be brought back to life. Encouraged by her friends, Miranda turns the gorgeous estate into a bed and breakfast. But what happens when the absentee owner finally comes home, only to be checked in by Miranda’s seven-year-old son?

Winter Winners

spring 1Spring is at our doorstep and winter will soon be a passing memory. But at the Writing Prompts blog, we still have time for a few more book winners before the snow melts. Are you on our list?

Gail Pallotta’s romance, Breaking Barriers, in either mobi (kindle), epub (nook) or PDF (winner’s choice) has been won by Randy Tramp. Congrats!

Betty Sanders has been picked to win either a Kindle or print copy of Jerusha Agen’s book,THIS REDEEMER . Congratulations!

Randy Knight’s book, Night to Knight, goes to Shauna Williams!

Nike Chillemi is gifting two copies of Harmful Intent to Caryl Kane and Randy Tramp. Woo hoo!

A copy of Restoration of the Heart by June Foster goes to Ann Ellison. Yay!

A big THANK YOU to all our faithful readers for taking the time to stop by and comment.

Disappointed you didn’t win? Next month, we’ll give away more books.  And don’t miss April. We’ll be giving away a gift card for the best answer to a writing prompt.

See you then...lamb 3

3 Questions Wednesday with Gail Kittleson

gail

Gail Kittleson

Author Gail Kittleson taught college expository writing and English as a Second Language. Now she writes memoir and women’s fiction, and facilitates writing workshops and women’s retreats.

With great pleasure, we welcome her back to 3 Questions Wednesday!

First question–

What inspires you?

Gail: Words inspire me. I can’t get enough of them. Long words, short words, phrases, and above all, quotes. Not just quotes from famous people, but the quotes on my tea bag every morning. Not all of them inspire me, but I’d have to say most of them do. Little notes like, “One of the greatest mental freedoms is truly not caring what anyone else thinks of you.” Taken to the extreme, this attitude could cause chaos. But I also relate to the power of being freed from the tyranny of others’ opinions. And there are certainly characters in my novels who feel weighed down by such a burden.

This morning, the quote was from Wayne Gretzky, an athlete I wouldn’t normally be reading about. But listen: “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” Wow! How inspiring is that? Whatever I’m facing that scares me and makes me wonder if I should hold back…ooh, better rethink that.

Of course, Scripture inspires me—that’s a given. But so many of the quotes that abound nowadays have roots in scriptural principles.

I love a good quote. 🙂 Now…

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Gail: I would be yellow—vibrant, clear, cheerful yellow, a primary tone that never fails to catch my eye, the color that enlivens tulips, daffodils, and daisies. When I asked my artist daughter to help me decide on colors for our dining and living room, she picked a deep intense yellow for the dining room. At first I thought, “I can’t put something this bright on the first room everyone sees when they enter our house.” But she asked, “Why?” The angle of her eyebrows told me I could, and moreover, I should.

So I did, and we love it. People say the light streaming in the south windows reflects so beautifully on this color. Its brightness cheers me every time I walk through the room, which is often. What’s not to love about this color?

Sounds like a beautiful room. Last question…

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Gail: .I wanted to be a writer. That morphed into being an English teacher, where I could inspire others to love the written word. But at base, the desire to write remained a calling, and though facilitating workshops on writing satisfies me in a unique way, writing thoroughly delights me.

Teaching and writing are both great professions. Thanks so much for stopping in! Readers, don’t forget to check out Gail’s newest book, With Each New Dawn here.

AND Gail has graciously offered to give away a print copy of her book, In Times Like These, to one person who leaves a comment. Make sure to enter below…
In Times Like These

screen-shot-2016-05-07-at-10-31-13-am-copyPearl Harbor attacked! The United States is at war. But Addie fights her own battles on the Iowa home front. Her controlling husband Harold vents his rage on her when his father’s stroke prevents him from joining the military. He degrades Addie, ridicules her productive victory garden, and even labels her childlessness as God’s punishment.

When he manipulates his way into a military unit bound for Normandy, Addie learns that her best friend Kate’s pilot husband has died on a mission, leaving her stranded in London in desperate straits. Will Addie be able to help Kate, and find courage to trust God with her future?

gailGail Kittleson calls northern Iowa home, where she and her husband enjoy grandchildren and gardening. In winter, the Arizona mountains provide new novel fodder.

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3 Questions Wednesday with Nike Chillemi

Nike Chillemi 2017

Nike Chillemi

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday, Nike Chillemi.

I met Nike Chillemi several years ago, through an ACFW critique loop. Since that time, I’ve been privileged to work with her on some of her latest releases. So, I’m excited to have Nike here today. She writes mysteries and romantic suspense. Check out her bio (below) for more about her writing life and why she’s called the “crime fictionista.” You can leave a comment for a chance to win Harmful Intent, the first book in her latest suspense-filled series. She recently released Blood Speaks, the third and final book in the trilogy. But I’ve heard a rumor, we haven’t heard the last of Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels and Dawson Hughes!

Nike, I have to ask (because it’s our first question):

What inspires you?

Nike:  Good question, and I have to think about this. I actually got up and walked away from my laptop to make a cup of tea. I guess I felt I was supposed to come up with something pithy and significant. I mean, I fashion myself a fairly deep writer. Buried within my action-packed detective stories are hopefully “meaningful” subthemes. But the truth is little, many times off-hand things inspire both my novel and blog writing. Several years ago I was totally taken by a pair of cardinals who were flying north for the summer and how they related to each other for the two days they came to my backyard. I’ve put a red cardinal and his mate in two of my novels as a symbol of love between spouses.

I love that. I’m a big fan of cardinals, and where I live, you have to be careful where you say that (really big basketball rivalry in Kentucky). We have a couple of the birds living in our backyard. Of course, in our mild climate, they don’t go anywhere for the winter, so we have them throughout the year. They seem very dedicated to each other. Funny how the simple things in life touch us so deeply at times.

Hey…

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Nike:  Right away I thought “purple” and I don’t know why. I don’t wear purple, there isn’t any purple in the décor of my home, to speak of. I guess it would be the deep amethyst purple. I do have a couple of earrings in that deep amethyst. In fact the first “good” pair of earrings I ever got were from my mom and they were small amethyst studs set in gold.

I’m not surprised by your choice. Lovers of the color purple tend to be unconventional, unique, different…umm…sound familiar? Purple is also dignified and royal.

I love this last question and can’t wait to hear how you’ll answer–

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Nike: I wanted to be Barbara Walters. I thought she had the most fascinating job, and of course she did. Today, interviewing famous people doesn’t interest me. I sometimes think I’d like to be a producer/interviewer for a cable TV station and go around to different towns and small cities in America and ask folks on the street, who is the most interesting, most respected, and/or most loved person in this town? Then I’d walk into that fascinating person’s hair salon, or restaurant, or catch them as they deliver the mail and interview them about their life in that place. My readers tell me that Bertha is the most loved character in my Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes detective series. And of course she’s a very strong secondary character in the final book of the series, BLOOD SPEAKS.

Barbara Walters! She did have a fascinating job. I think your idea is a good one, though. Sounds like fun–catching someone unaware, in everyday moments of life, then letting your reader see the real person. Bertha is a fine example of a strong secondary character. She’s real, and lovable. The good neighbor or best friend we all desire.  

Thanks Nike, for taking the time to answer our 3 Questions.


Nike Chillemi 2017 Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started at a very young age. Her first major work was a Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned as a little girl (colored might be more accurate) about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.

Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chair, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She has been a judge in the 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories; and an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category. Her four novel Sanctuary Point series (out of print), set in the mid-1940s has finaled, won an award, and garnered critical acclaim. The first novel in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes series HARMRUL INTENT won in the Grace Awards 2014 Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historical Suspense category. She has written book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and John 3:16 Marketing Network.

Nike’s website:  http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/

Readers, Nike is giving away a copy of Harmful Intent, the first book in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes series. Just leave a comment in the comments section below to be entered to win the Kindle version of the book.

Here’s more information about the book:

harmful-intentBetrayal runs in private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels’ family. So, why is she surprised when her husband of one year cheats on her? The real shock is his murder, with the local lawman pegging her as the prime suspect.

Ronnie Ingels is a Brooklyn bred private investigator who travels to west Texas, where her cheating husband is murdered. As she hunts the killer to clear her name, she becomes the hunted.

Deputy Sergeant Dawson Hughes, a former Army Ranger, is a man folks want on their side. Only he’s not so sure at first, he’s on the meddling New York PI’s side. As the evidence points away from her, he realizes the more she butts in, the more danger she attracts to herself.

Sweet, askance romance, warm intimacy, sophisticated themes presented tastefully.

Her latest release is Blood Speaks, Book 3 in the The Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes Trilogy

blood-speaks-coverVeronica “Ronnie” Ingels, Brooklyn gal PI, waited a long time for the solitaire on her finger. When her sometimes boss, a shadowy figure and director of a secret government organization, offers a one-week bridal shopping vacay in Virginia, she jumps at it.

Joined by bridesmaids, Sandra Daube and Bertha Dagney, Ronnie sets off for the village of Heritage Cove on Arrowhead Lake, Virginia. Their joyous stay at the rustic yet luxury Heritage Cove Inn is shattered by a murder with tendrils and a clandestine motive stretching back to the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

It doesn’t take long for Ronnie and her gal-pals to become targets of the killer. It goes without saying, Taylor County Deputy Sheriff, Lieutenant Dawson Hughes leaves Texas to protect his bride-to-be. He’s joined by Sandra’s employer, conservative political activist Ben Cohen. Neither hell-nor-high-water can keep Gabby Hayes look-alike Hoot Dagney from the side of Bertha, his new bride.

 

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3 Questions Wednesday with Jennifer Slattery

biophotocroppededited2016Welcome back to 3 Questions Wednesday,  author and speaker, Jennifer Slattery. Jennifer and I have been friends for a while and we try to meet at conferences when we get a chance. I love all her books and I know you’ll love them also…

First question, my friend:

What inspires you?

Jennifer: I’d have to say Jesus Christ as I seem to get a great deal of writing ideas and feel a strong pull to write on Sundays. This makes me chuckle as I always take Sunday off—except for one time when something urgent came through I needed to deal with as an editor. I suppose I could also say down time inspires me, too, as that might be a reason my creativity gets charged on Sundays.

I also tend to get ideas as I research. So, I’ll start with an idea, and honestly, I’m not sure what sparks it, and then I begin to research. The more I research, the more my imagination flows, which in turn requires more research, with leads to more ideas, which leads to …

Kind of a never-ending cycle. Great answer. Now…

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Jennifer: Oh, my. This is hard. I’m trying to think of my wardrobe. Right now I seem to be in a dusty pink or blush phase, though I suppose those aren’t new additions. Honestly, I can’t think of a color that hasn’t already been included in the large packs. Maybe your readers can help me out on this one. Haha!

Dusty pink sounds like a good color for you. 🙂 Last question:

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Jennifer: This might make you laugh, but an Olympic gymnast. I was convinced if I worked hard enough, I could make that happen. (And I wasn’t even that good, so I suppose that says a lot about my imagination and ability to live in a make-believe world. Haha!) After that—this dream died by seventh grade or so—I don’t really remember having any dreams. Except maybe meeting Bon Jovi or George Michael. Yes, I had a slight infatuation with both.

I could picture you as a gymnast. Thanks for stopping by!

Here’s more information about her latest book:


Restoring Love

Mitch, a contractor and house-flipper, is restoring a beautiful restoringlove_n174111old house in an idyllic Midwestern neighborhood. Angela, a woman filled with regrets and recently transplanted to his area, is anything but idyllic. She’s almost his worst nightmare, and she s also working on restoring something herself. As he struggles to keep his business afloat and she works to overcome mistakes of her past, these two unlikely friends soon discover they have something unexpected in common, a young mom who is fighting to give her children a better life after her husband’s incarceration. While both Mitch and Angela are drawn to help this young mother survive, they also find themselves drawn to each other. Will a lifetime of regrets hold them back or unite them and bring redemption along with true love?

Buy it on:

Christian Book Distributors

Barnes and Noble

Amazon


biophotocroppededited2016Novelist and speaker Jennifer Slattery has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, (http://whollyloved.com) she and her team put on events at partnering churches designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact.

She writes devotions for Internet Café Devotions, Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com, and edits for Firefly, a Southern fiction imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook , Twitter, or Pinterest.