Monthly Archives: January 2016

New Car

Tips For An “Almost” New Car

They say that the best time to get a great price on a new car is at the end of the year. The year-end deals are supposedly the best you’ll get all year … they want to sell the current models to make room for all the new models.
If you are like me (and most likely many others), buying a new car just wasn’t on the to-do list last month. To be totally honest, I wouldn’t want to start having car payments again – no matter how great a deal they could give me.
That being said, I wouldn’t say no to some upgrades and TLC for my SUV. Here are some of my ideas (aka my wish list):
• Get it detailed or at least a thorough cleaning –
inside & out, complete with a new air freshener
• Remote starter for those really cold / really hot days
• A dashboard docking station to hold my phone / GPS unit so I can see my driving directions without taking my eyes off the road
• A new bluetooth enabled sound system with satellite radio
In my opinion, having these upgrades done would be better than getting a brand new car ~ no car payments 🙂

Tracy Heps You Goals for 2016

Goals for 2016 ~ Reflections on 2015

 ~ Reflections & Aspirations ~

It has been 2016 for 3 weeks already, and I’m finally able to sit down to reflect back on 2015 and make some goals for 2016. The perfectionist in me says that I shouldn’t write a blog post about New Years resolutions / goals because it is already nearing the end of January. This topic should have been covered in my first post of the New Year. Oh well, it is what it is! December and most of January have been very busy with family & holiday stuff, plus an unexpected road trip for an out of town funeral (plus another local memorial service this weekend). In addition to all that, I had some technical difficulties with the website for most of December. So, I’m cutting myself some slack and starting my blogging New Year now 🙂

~ Reflecting back on 2015 ~

~ I wanted to blog consistently (once a week) ~
I was about 85% successful (having the technical difficulties in December played havoc with this goal).
~ I wanted to create a brochure ~
I now have a beautiful full color brochure for my future clients to learn about our services. I have also been able to have them displayed in many local businesses.
~ I wanted to get more local exposure / get our name out there ~
I joined the Chamber of Commerce and join in their networking events monthly. I’ve made many contacts and learned a lot about running a successful business. I also had a booth a 2 local vendor fairs.

~ Looking forward in 2016 ~

~ I plan to get a business mentor from the local SCORE program.
~ I plan on making a weekly blog schedule and having several posts written and scheduled in advance. Please let me know of any topics you would like to see.
~ I plan on taking some courses to get certified to offer more “Virtual Assistant” type services.

These are goals … not resolutions.

For me, the difference is this:

Resolutions seem kind of all or nothing – you achieved them or you didn’t 🙁

Goals can be broken down into doable steps … they are a work in process 🙂

What goals will you be working on in 2016 ?

Book Review & Giveaway ~ I’m Yours by Carolyn Menke

New Release….

I’m Yours is the prequel to Return To Me. This companion novella spins the tale of how Sadie’s mother, Audrey, becomes Audrey McCall, and the events leading up to one fateful decision that will affect generations to come.

The Roaring Twenties spell opportunity for Audrey McCall, a starlet who’s as irresistible as the illegal booze poured behind every shuttered speakeasy. Her big theater dreams include landing the impossible, a role on Broadway. But she’s fallen in love with handsome Edward Stark, who wants her to be his leading lady and his alone.

Edward’s confessed his love and is ready to embark on a future with Audrey. No more sneaking off to speakeasies and enduring cast parties, where the catcalls of men directed at his main squeeze get under his skin. Wouldn’t Audrey rather become the mother of his children than worry about the next paycheck?

Muddying the waters is the shifty Rex Wyatt, a new playwright in town, who promises to make Audrey a star. If Audrey gets the part of her dreams, she has to take it. There are no second chances in theater. Are there second chances in love?

~ My Thoughts and Review ~

I’m Yours is a prequel to Return to Me (you can read my review here). It is a short novella giving background stories to the characters in Return to Me. I’d recommend reading both books together.

The story is about the romance of Edward and Audrey that takes place during the Roaring 20’s. I loved the way the author used the lingo from that time era. Her descriptions made you feel like you were there.

Edward is a lawyer and has political aspirations. He is hopelessly in love with Audrey and wants to get married, settle down and start a family.

Audrey is an up and coming stage actress and wants to be a Star. She is deeply in love with Edward, but isn’t ready to settle down. She wants to follow her dreams.

Times were quite different back then, especially for women. In today’s world, you can have both – marriage/family and a career. Not so back then, women had to choose … love or career.

What did Audrey choose ??

If you like historical, romance fiction, I think you’ll want to read both I’m Yours and Return to Me.

Available to buy from….

Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   Kobo

Read an excerpt HERE

“A sweeping, romantic debut that brings the war-time forties to vivid life in this Titanic meets Philomena tale—fast-paced, tender, and real.” — on Return to Me by RITA Award-winning Author Gwyn Cready

“Menke’s writing is so lovely, you will want to wrap yourself in her words and savor each moment you spend in Sadie’s story. Return To Me will tug on your heart strings and take you on a journey back in time.” — on Return to Me by Dana Faletti, Author of the Whisper Trilogy

“A timeless tale of love, loss and sacrifice that will equally break and warm your heart, as you cheer for the beautifully complex characters until the very last page.” — on Return to Me by Lori M. Jones, Author of Renaissance of the Heart

Also Available

Return to Me
In 1942…

Eighteen-year-old Sadie Stark, raised by the governor of Pennsylvania, has the world on a string. She doesn’t need the mother who left her any more than she needs the fiance who promises to change. What she needs is to finish college, and keep her wits about her.

When war-bound James Pasko returns her stolen clutch, and shows her what’s missing in her life, she gains the courage to search for the truth about her past.

What Sadie uncovers rattles her to the core. But James’ steadfast love gives her hope for the future—for the first time—even as the war tears them apart.

When James disappears over enemy lines and Sadie makes a startling discovery, she must decide to follow in the footsteps of the mother who gave her away, or face a life of hardship like she’s never known.

Available to buy from….

Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   Kobo

About the Author
Carolyn Menke is the author of RETURN TO ME, published by The Wild Rose Press in September 2015 and I’M YOURS, the companion novella that released in December. RETURN TO ME, set during the 1940s, follows Sadie, as she uncovers pieces of her mother’s past. I’M YOURS, set during the Roaring Twenties, follows Audrey, Sadie’s mother, as a young starlet destined for Broadway, and the events leading up to one fateful decision.

Raised by a former kindergarten teacher and engineer, Carolyn grew up with a book in hand, a story in her ear, and was encouraged from a young age to pretend, create, read, and write. She’d often come down to the breakfast table with a new story or poem to share. Some of her fondest memories are of her mom reading to her from the front seat of their family station wagon during long road trips, her siblings fast asleep beside her. These read-alouds were the beginning of a lifelong love.

A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Carolyn blogs for a digital marketing agency and enjoys horseback riding and geocaching with her family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a mom to three young daughters, it’s her turn to carry on the tradition of telling stories, reading aloud, and making the every day magical.

Find the author on the following sites…

Website   Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Goodreads   Amazon Author Page

Follow the book tour

Photobucket I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own. NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY     Win a $20 Amazon.com GC / Paypal Cash (winners choice) Plus ebook to 3 runner ups Open Worldwide   Ending on Sunday 31st January at 11.59pm EST   Enter Below and Good Luck !! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Top 10 Blog Posts 2015

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2015 ~ The Year In Review

Happy New Year !!

I’ve always loved watching those “Year in Review”, “Top 10” (or Top 100) types of shows on TV. You know the ones … they usually break the stories down into different categories, like severe weather or celebrity deaths.

Sometimes I didn’t even remember the stories, or else I remembered but thought they took place longer ago. Time has a way of playing tricks with us. Some things flash by in an instant, while other times, time seems to stand still.

Tracy Helps You’s “Year in Review” for 2015

These were my top 5 Blog Posts from 2015 …

Back To School ~ College Bound

Locks of Love Donation

How My To-Do List Helps Me Get & Stay Organized

Tornado Touches Down / Stormy Spring Weather in Illinois

Top 10 Tips For Having A Successful Garage Sale

These were my top 5 Book Reviews from 2015 …

Book Review & Giveaway ~ Hot Flash by Kathy Carmichael

Book Review & Giveaway ~ Eighty and Out by Kim Cano

Book Review & Giveaway ~ Fractured Not Broken

Book Review & Giveaway ~ The Road Home by Kathleen Shoop

Book Review & Giveaway ~ Return To Me by Carolyn Menke

Thanks for taking the time to reminisce with us … Let us know if you have a topic you would like to read about … We’d love to hear from you :)