Stolen Time Book Tour & Giveaway

This morning, we are pleased to feature the latest romance novel by Chloe Duval in our book spotlight!  Check out Stolen Time, learn a little about the author--and enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of the book in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!

by Chloé Duval
Genre: Fiction, Sweet Romance

In a rural French village, a letter is delivered decades late, inspiring a young woman to try to reunite two star-crossed lovers . . .
Middle school teacher by day, romance writer by night, and group knitter on Tuesday evenings, Flavie Richalet leads a fairly uneventful life—until she receives a long delayed letter meant for a total stranger. Postmarked 1971, the yellowed envelope, addressed to an Amélie Lacombe, holds a fervent message of love and a marriage proposal, signed only with the initial E. Given her own fractured family history, Flavie is dreamily determined to learn what became of the couple . . .
Flavie’s inquiries lead her to a French seaside inn—and to E. himself, a true romantic who never forgot the girl who got away so many years ago. But his protective nephew, B&B owner Romaric, isn’t sure that trying to find Amélie after all these years is good for his uncle. At odds with the tall, dark, and impossibly passionate Romaric, Flavie must show him, and perhaps herself, that true love is timeless—and always worth waiting for . . .

As a little girl, Chloé Duval dreamed of knights slaying terrifying dragons and damsels in distress. Today, she’s still seeking, in her stories, to find again the sweetness and the enchantment of the fairy tales she absorbed as a child. A Frenchwoman by birth, Canadian by adoption, and Québecoise in her heart, Chloé lives in Montreal with her prince charming and dozens of characters jostling around inside her head.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!


Sleep Struggles for Two: Bed Options For Couples

Sharing a bed with someone is meant to be one of the most intimate things we can do. On a primal level, it’s fairly easy to see why. When we’re asleep we’re at our most vulnerable; if we’re willing to share that space with someone, then we have to have a lot of trust in them.

There’s no doubt that sharing a bed makes sense for a lot of other reasons, too. For most couples, it would be considered the normal thing to do, and they wouldn’t dream of doing anything else.

However… no matter how much you love someone, there is always the chance that sharing a bed is fraught with problems. The simple fact is that you’re there to sleep. Being able to ensure you get all the sleep you need is the primary requirement… but it’s not always possible when you’re sharing with another human being.

For one thing, it’s another source of heat - which is particularly frustrating during the summer months, when you’re struggling enough as it is. Then there’s the issue of one of you being asleep and the other not being; getting up could mean that you disturb your partner. Snoring is also frequently an issue, with one of you sleeping soundly while the other lies there with a loud source of noise keeping them awake only inches from their head. And finally, it would be impossible to discuss this issue without a nod to the eternal of struggles between people who share a bed: the battle for the covers.

Maybe it’s easy enough to put up with these things when you’re young and so in love the idea of sleeping apart is terrifying. Over time, however, it can present a real problem. This can then be complicated by the fact that you’re both verging on sleep deprivation, which can mean you’re already in a bad mood the moment you get up in the morning.

So rather than struggling on and sharing a bed for the sake of convention, what are the options?

Sleep Separately. This is best suited if the main issue keeping one of you awake is snoring.

There are various treatments and supposed hacks that you can use to reduce snoring but, frankly, few of them work. Losing weight can help as can patches to open nasal airways, but they’re not foolproof. Sometimes, snoring is caused by a condition called sleep apnea. Diagnosing this involves going through a sleep study but, if it is found to be the root of one of your snoring, the problem doesn’t end there. Treating sleep apnea involves the sufferer using a machine called a CPAP, which is not quiet in and of itself - so the problem of noise will still remain for the other person!

If noise is the problem, then sleeping in separate rooms is by far the best option. That’s in terms of both your relationship and the quality of sleep that you are going to get.

It might be something that you don’t like to consider, but a surprising number of perfectly happy, healthy couples choose not to share a bed. They even believe that their relationship is all the better for it. So if you have space, have a long hard think about the potential benefits you can reap.
Split King Beds

Split king beds are a relatively new innovation but, if you don’t want to sleep in separate rooms, they could hugely benefit your sleeping arrangements.

The idea is simple; a split king bed is actually two beds in one frame. Two smaller mattresses are positioned side-by-side and have individual springs and supports. However, when you throw a comforter over the top, it appears as if they are just an ordinary king bed.

The benefits to these beds are many, and they’re surprisingly easier to live with than one might initially expect. For one thing, if one of you wants to get up during the night, there’s no risk of disturbing your partner by making them roll unexpectedly as your weight leaves the mattress. Nor does switching to this kind of bed mean a complete rethink of your bedding; all you need are a few split king sheets as a new investment, but otherwise, your existing pillows and comforters will more than suffice.

So if you want the feel of sharing a bed without any of the inconvenience and terror of disturbing your partner, then this could be the right option for you.
Single Beds. Two single beds are perhaps the best option if your major issue with sharing a bed is one of heat. If you live in a hot climate or like to keep the bedroom warm, then trying to sleep next to another person is next to impossible. The more you both struggle to sleep, the crankier you get with one another - it becomes a vicious cycle.

With two single beds, you’re able to share a bedroom and thus enjoy the intimacy there, but you are then nicely separated when it comes to your body heat. You can spread out like a starfish and have your own fan, never having to worry about your partner complaining it’s too cold or telling you to move over.

Admittedly, this is perhaps the most expensive option. You will have to buy two new beds and suitable bedding, which is not the cheapest of tasks. One option if you’re looking to cut costs is to keep your existing bed and buy a second smaller bed for the time being - you can take turns sleeping in the big bed for the moment! Then, when finances are a little more free, you can move to the two separate beds arrangement and finally get a good night’s sleep.

Separate Bedding

So what if your main problem is not snoring, body heat, or worries of disturbance - but you’re just sick and tired of having to fight over the covers? This is a particular problem in winter, as we all seek to huddle down and preserve our body heat. Our sleeping mind doesn’t take kindly to someone else taking the covers as they try to do the same thing!

If there’s no other issue with sharing a bed, then opting for entirely separate covers on the same bed might be your best option. This allows you each to have “your” cover, and should naturally keep you separate during the night. If you do somehow end up in possession of each other’s covers, then it’ll be easier to free yours back from their grip due to its smaller size.

It’s also worth noting that this is a relatively inexpensive solution to the problems that have been discussed, so it might be worth trying first to see if you really need to take any of the more drastic steps.

The only downside to this option is that it can make your bed look a little disorganized during the day. However, so long as you choose the same sheets, you can add an extra large throw to cover them without disturbing the overall aesthetic appearance.

Hopefully, one of the above options will finally allow you both to sleep soundly. Just remember that if this is an issue you’re experiencing, it’s best for the health of your relationship to confront it head on. It’s not going to vanish without intervention from you both, so tackle it together until you find something that works for you both.

Talen Book Tour & Giveaway

This morning, I have a new paranormal romance novel in our book spotlight.  Check out Talen, learn about author Rebecca Zanetti--and enter for a chance to win a print copy of the book in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.

by Rebecca Zanetti

Genre: Paranormal Romance

She’ll love him forever . . . but he can’t make her obey . . .
The war is over. Danger has passed. Cara Kayrs is healed after decades of illness and ready for a break.
Too bad her brooding, alpha vampire husband can’t seem to change gears. In their twenty-five years together Talen Kayrs has learned to sense every shiver of her body, to ignite her desire with a word or a look. She would think he could learn she’s not some fragile damsel in distress.
But Talen is on edge, watching their backs, treating her like she’s made of glass. Like there’s something following them, a deadly threat that somehow none of their intelligence has uncovered. It’s enough to drive a woman crazy, and Talen has plenty of those tendencies already.
But what’s even more maddening is that he seems to be right . . .

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner - only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She writes contemporary romances, dark paranormal romances, and romantic suspense novels.
Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day—or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!


Want to Spend More Time With the Kids? Switch to Working at Home!

Every parent experiences this at some point in their lives. You’ve just had kids, your leave has ended and it’s back to the regular working hours. However, you’ve got more stress on your mind because you have to look after the kids, you need to drive them to school in the morning, bring home dinner every night, prepare their school bags and tuck them into bed. It can be an incredibly stressful period of your life especially if you have an important role at work that demands a lot of your attention.

Maintaining the balance between family and work can be hard which is why a lot of people are turning to working from home as a self-employed entrepreneur or freelancer. It means you can spend more time at home with your children, you can define your own working hours, and you don’t have the stress of dealing with your employers and colleagues. It’s a fantastic career choice for anyone who’s looking to take control of their life and spend more time with the children. To help you get started, here are a couple of useful tips.

Start small and keep your jobIt’s somewhat counter-intuitive to tell someone to keep their job while they start working from home, but it’s important to remember that starting up a business isn’t free. It could also go terribly wrong and you might find that being self-employed isn’t a career choice that’s right for you. In this case, you would probably want to revert back to your old lifestyle, but it’ll be difficult if you leave your job. Start small with things such as freelancing and make a smart decision whether or not a life of self-employment is right for you.

Remember the hidden tasksKeep in mind that as an employee, you have a lot of additional benefits. This could be in the form of discounts, insurance and automatic tax payments. However, when you’re self-employed, you need to worry about all the facets of business yourself. This means taking care of accounting, marketing and employment yourself. Tax is a very serious consideration and the laws surrounding it could put you off self-employment entirely. You’ll need to learn when you need a tax attorney, you’ll have to decide how to protect your business from copycats, and you might run into issues with clients that refuse to pay.

Caution with free timeWhile there are countless advantages to working from home, you have to keep in mind that many of them don’t come free of side effects. For example, having more time to spend at home means you’ll be distracted by your family while you try to work. Not having set hours may also create a disturbance in your regular schedule. You might decide to slack off work in the morning because your children have a day off, and that might mean you’ll have to do your work late at night to make up for it—it all depends on the career path you choose.

So Your Teen Messed Up, But How Should You Handle It?

As a parent, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Not only are you the there to raise your children and make sure they’re taken care of, but you also want to be able to protect your kids in any way that you can. It’s only natural. But as they start to grow up and become a teen, you can be unsure on how to do that for the best. And sometimes, you find that your teen messed up - even if it’s through no fault of your own. But, how do you handle it? Depending on what your kid did, and how they are handling it themselves, you should be able to come to the right resolution.

Got A Bad Grade.  First up, when your kid messes up in school, what do you do? Now, you may see this as something small, or it could be a huge problem - that will depend on your attitude to education and the expectations you have, and how bad the mess up actually is. But, getting a bad grade can cause a problem. If they slacked off without you knowing, you can feel frustrated, so you may need to take action. Or, if grade(s) are down due to stress or an honest, academic struggle, you might want to talk to them about how they’re feeling and/or consider a tutor.

Took Drugs.  Then there’s every parent’s worst nightmare of your kid getting messed up in drugs. It’s not easy to handle, but how you act will depend on how mixed up your kid is. If they smoked pot once and you caught them, you may need to talk to them about the reasons not too. Or, if it’s worse, you may need to get professional intervention.

Broke Your Rules.  Sometimes, you can feel so disappointed in your teen when they break the house rules. You set rules for a reason, and they weren’t made to be broken - so you can often take their breach more to heart compared to other problems. Whether they break curfew a few times, or even treating their siblings in a poor way, you’re going to want to decide on a course of action that will make them see why their actions were wrong.

Committed A Crime.  And where are you even meant to start when you discover that your child has committed a crime? It can knock you for six, but if your teen steals something, gets in a fight, or is even gets landed with a DUI, you may need to get a lawyer like Grant Scheiner to help you out of the sticky situation. Sometimes, their actions (and the effects) are strong enough to shock them, so you only have to let the consequences set their actions right.

Got Pregnant.  And finally, when you have a daughter, you can often have that worry that they’re going to get pregnant as a teen. Coping might not be easy, but if you discover that your teenage daughter is pregnant, you’re going to need to stay calm and talk. A Lot.  You need to be understanding and listen to what she wants, as well as be able to discuss her realistic options with kindness and honesty.