Posted in #Focus Friday, #Friday, #Special, Focused Posts, Holidays

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hey, ya’ll! Welcome to Simply Paradise & Haven. 

I just wanted to drop in and wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day! 

 

Happy Valentine's Day!!!Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.Instagram of Valentine's Day is a time a people expressed their love for one another, not only for couples but it can be a favorite pet, uncle, friend, most of all the one that rules your heart.2nd Instagram of Valentine's Day is a time a people expressed their love for one another, not only for couples but it can be a favorite pet, uncle, friend, most of all the one that rules your hear

 

Have a good day, ya’ll!

‘Til Next Time! 

~Paula

Posted in #Business, #Monday, #Monday Writing, #Special, General Writing, Holidays, Monday Short Tale, Mondays

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey, Ya’ll! 

Now, first of all before we get into the post, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Now, I know I’m early but I won’t be posting on the actual holiday as I’ll be celebrating it and my next post will be on Wednesday but that’ll be the weekly writing prompt post. Which by the way, has proven to be popular so I will keep doing that as long as I have prompts. 

I had a busy weekend. Not only was I sitting an adorable dog and cat but there were two craft shows in my area. There was the Peddler Show that cost $7 to get in with free parking that I went to on Friday and Funky Finds that was free admission but cost $10 to park that I went to on Sunday. Go figure that one out. I can’t even blame it on Arlington where I live as the Peddler Show was at the Arlington Convention Center while Funky Finds is at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Forth Worth. Honestly, though, I’ve gotten into the habit of if I’m going somewhere in DFW, I take at least $5 for parking. 

What the Peddler Show and Funky Finds is are craft shows, Funky Finds more so than Peddler Show. There are various booths at both shows where crafters and creators display their goods for you to buy. Peddler Show, however, accepts vendors that aren’t crafters, like this year there was four booths for CBD, one massage pillow booth and a Scentsy Booth. No, I didn’t go to any of those; Not only do I not mess with CBD but as far as the massage and Scentsy, the reason I go to these shows is to buy one of a kind goods from hard-working people and put back into the small business community; not something I can find at my local Walmart. Funky Finds, however, is solely hand-crafted, vintage goods, you can’t sign up if you’re not a hand-made or vintage goods small business. I hope to do a craft show with Imaginative HandiCrafts in the future.

Especially since I’ve currently closed the Etsy shop as I was going absolutely nowhere with it. However, while I hated that fact, and still do a bit, I don’t feel so bad as I was talking with a couple of ladies at the Funky Finds show while picking a few pairs of earrings they were selling for my mom. They mentioned that it’s insanely easy to get lost in Etsy and I’m pretty certain that’s what happened to me. So, I’ve closed the Etsy shop and put the hand-crafted business on a pause while I work on a new direction for Imaginative HandiCrafts. I have a few ideas.  For now, my sole focus is on Paula’s Pet Paradise which is doing very well. I have a few ideas for the direction of PPP in 2020. Which I’m not going to mention just yet. (I’ll be doing a Goals post for 2020 as well as a soul-searching how I did in ’19 post in December.) I’m also focusing on my writing career as that’s been my dream since I was a kid. 

Now, I can’t say exactly what I bought just yet. As I bought a lot of stocking stuffers and a few presents for my mom, who is currently the only one I buy gifts for. (She occasionally stops here) I also bought a few things for her to give me that she would’ve found had she gone with me. But her job is not as flexible as mine is.

I finished at the Peddler show early before I had a drop in job so I headed to the mall, simply to mall-walk; not necessarily to buy though I was in the Christmas gift mood. It’s something I enjoy. I grew up doing it as a kid, then a teenager as in my hometown, it was what you did. You went window/actual shopping at the mall, local Walmart-especially once our small one turned into a super Walmart- and various other stores. I love window shopping, actually shopping, garage-saling, and etc. I did find some gifts at the mall, including at my new favorite store. It’s a fairly new store in the Arlington Mall, Typo.  It’s apparently the only location in the DFW area. It’s a gift/stationary/specialty card store which doesn’t sound like it would be something popular. Except they had a lot of nerd/geek/novelty things among their regular stationary and cards. I found a Harry Potter reusable shopping canvas bag for $2 that also donated 7 bricks to a school in Kenya. There was a lot of Harry Potter and other similar items there, I just wasn’t shopping for myself. All of it is seriously decently priced. You should definitely check it out. I managed to find the website for it: Typo. You gotta make sure you’re on the USA website though, if you’re in the US as apparently the store is originally a UK establishment. 

Also, here are the links for Funky Finds as it happens twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, and for the Peddler Show so ya’ll can check it out for yourselves if you’re in the area or the Peddler Show is in your area. 

Funky Finds

Peddler Show

I’ve started my list for what I need for Christmas shopping so I can be fully prepared beyond what I bought this last weekend. My mom and I have also discussed about the number limit. We’re all that we have to buy for so we get each other stockings and multiple gifts. I’ll be crafting a lot as due to being a small-business owner/self-employed, I don’t have much extra money. But I enjoy it and I know she enjoys what I’ve made as I put a lot of heart and effort into everything I make, for gifts or to sell. Which makes the whole pause thing harder but I’m not giving up, just taking a break. 

Now, without further ado, here’s today’s Monday Short Tale. Nothing too long as I’ve been busy with NaNoWriMo when I’ve done my daily writing. 

Amanda opened her eyes, trying to figure out what woke her. It was the middle of the night but something didn’t feel right. 

She realized she was hearing rattling and shuffling in her living room. She didn’t feel like she was in imminent danger so she sat up and briefly stretched, getting the kinks out of her back. After all, even if she was in danger, her back issues would prevent her from defending herself if she didn’t shake them off first. 

She was still quiet as she made her way out of her bedroom and down the hall, leaving all lights on and while carrying her phone, she silenced it. Preparing to use her phone to call 911, she peered around the corner in her living room.

In shock from what she saw, she rounded the corner into the lit living room, “What in the world!”

 Her only three friends in the world, who were supposed to not even be in the city right now, froze in their steps.

Cindy turned to her and shakily smiled, “Uh, surprise?!” 

“What are you all doing in my living room? Why are you even here, you’re all supposed to be at your families for Thanksgiving.” 

Adam spoke from where he was setting the table, “Well, in our defense, you were supposed to be asleep for at least a few more hours.” 

“I was until you were making enough noise to wake me.” 

“Oh, sorry.” 

Andy added, setting the banner she’d been hanging down, “We decided it wasn’t right that you were alone on Thanksgiving. So, since I’m not particularly fond of my family anyway, and Christmas is more important with their families, we decided to do a Friendsgiving on Thanksgiving instead.” 

“We’ve got the food for it in your kitchen. We were planning to hide out in your office until you actually got up, then come out and surprise you when you made it to the newly decorated living room.” 

Not one for many words and knowing her friends would know her gratitude anyway, “Well, I’m awake now. So let me help you finish decorating then we can all go back to sleep for a few hours, and not in my office unless you’re using the couch.” 

In the end, this was the best Thanksgiving Amanda had ever had, all because her friends decided she shouldn’t be left on her own on the holiday.

-Fin

©Paula Crofoot

That’s all for now. So…

‘Til Next Time, Friends! 

It is not happy people who are thankful; It is thankful people who are happy

Posted in #Special, General Writing, Monday Short Tale

Happy Halloween!!!

Hey, ya’ll! Welcome back to Simply Paradise & Haven. 

Happy Halloween!! 

As promised, here is the final part of Haunted College Boys Arc. It is complete one year later. 

Two Days Later:

The boys gathered in the dining room, armed with the census from 1988 as well as a list of owners of the homes in their area from 1988.

Ryan asked, “How do we want to go about this?”

Connor offered, “How about we go by the homeowners first? It seems to be the shortest.”

Justin lifted it and peered at it to find the closest house to this home 30 years ago.

“There wasn’t a lot of homes around here, then, was there?”

Squeaks on the board, ‘No. I actually owned much of the property this house and the three houses closest to us now are on. Still do, my sister chose to rent that property out and have homes built on to bring in income. She sold the property the apartment complex on the next street over is on as the city bought some of the property to put in a street.’

The four boys hummed in understanding and Justin read off the first name.

Using the system they’d come up with, Jason marked an X on the board, the name didn’t trigger anything.

It wasn’t until seven names down that a memory flashed back.

“Mitchell Drake.”

The papers dropped as Justin, Ben, Ryan and Connor all covered their heads from the wind that had suddenly started up.

Justin peered up and saw Jason stiff as a board in front of the white board, blue eyes glowing, mouth open wide as if he was voicelessly screaming, his scars glowing white.

“Jason? Jason! Jason!!”

But there was no response. Whatever was happening to Jason, he was trapped within.

And they were trapped in a maelstrom with nothing to do but duck down and dodge the loose items that were beginning to be picked up in the wind. Windows opened and slammed close, shutters slamming against the house, floorboards creaking, doors opening and slamming, the house was losing it along with its owner.

Ryan crawled under the table, pulling Justin under with him, Connor following his lead with Ben.

What felt like ages later, but was likely just a few minutes, the wind finally died down and the house calmed, leaving marks of the chaos.

When it felt safe, the boys crawled out from under the table, eyeing the mess that had been left behind, and realized Jason was nowhere to be seen.

Before they could stop him, Justin took off up the stairs, headed to the one place they could always find Jason.

He came to stop before Jason’s office and knocked harshly on the door.

“Jason? Are you in there? Are you okay??”

No verbal response, of course, but the door slipped open. Justin stepped in, followed closely by the other three. He saw Jason in the chair at his desk, turned to look at them. His eyes and scars were no longer glowing, but his scars looked raw, his eyes pained. He’d clearly remembered something, something horrible.

“What happened down there? Who is Mitchell Drake?”

Jason turned away, picking up his pen.

Shortly, he handed Justin the paper and Justin read it aloud, “He’s my murderer. Daisy Brown must be the reincarnation of his sister, Eryn Drake. In 1988, she was my stalker.”

“But wait, why’d he murder you?”

Jason took the paper back and scribbled one last sentence.

“I can show you, if you like.”

Before they answered, Ryan looked up from his phone where he’d googled Eryn Drake.
“Jason’s right. According to Google, Eryn Drake committed suicide at a sanatorium in 1989, just a week after the one-year anniversary of Jason McKay’s murder and Marshall Davidson’s disappearance.”

“Wow, bad month.”

“Apparently, she’d tried on the anniversary, but the doctors were worried she’d try something since Jason’s death was what tipped her over and sent her to the sanatorium in the first place, so they’d kept a close eye on her.”

Justin turned to Jason, “I want to see.”

Ben piped up, “Me too.”

Ryan and Connor agreed.

In a ripple of light, their surroundings changed.

They were still in Jason’s office, but the light was brighter, the wall clock was ticking away and there was a cup of cold coffee beside the couch. In front of them, sitting at his desk was Jason. But the difference, they saw as he turned at the knocks on the front door, was that this was an uninjured Jason.

“This must be right before the attack.”

Jason was confused as to who was visiting this late at night as a glance at the clock on the wall showed it to be 10 p.m.

He made his way downstairs, knowing it wasn’t Marshall as he was still at work. Marshall often worked late hours, being a nurse at the local emergency room.

He peered through the peephole, confused when he saw the figure of his neighbor.

He opened the door and opened his mouth to ask what he could help him with.

But he never got the words out. Mitchell Drake jumped Jason, knocking him to the ground and stabbing him the first of the multiple times. While Jason was disoriented and in pain, Mitchell dragged Jason upstairs, he couldn’t leave Jason here in front of the door. If Marshall came in and saw him, he’d run and that would ruin his plan.

Once they were upstairs, Mitchell paused to catch his breath.

“I bet you’re wondering why I’m doing this.”

Jason sniped, the first the living ever heard his deep slow drawl, “That’s what most people who are being attacked wonder.”

Justin snorted even as that clearly angered the deranged man.

Mitchell pummeled Jason with his fist, too angry to control where the punches hit and uncaring if it knocked Jason out. He’d simply wait for him to wake up.

Jason tried to defend himself, but the man’s anger and the slow blood loss and pain of his stab wounds proved to be too much.

Mitchell finally calmed and explained why he was there.

“You turned down my sister! She’s in love with you and instead of returning her affections, like a real man, you chose to dabble in sin with Davidson. You couldn’t even respect her enough to not kiss him in front of others, including her. You must pay!”

“News flash, Mitchell, you can’t return affections that don’t exist. I’m gay, I don’t like Eryn and that can’t be changed.”

“I’m defending Eryn’s honor.”

“How? By beating me up, that’s only going to land you in jail.”

“Shut up! No one will ever know I was the one that did it. You’ll both be dead when I’m done.”

“This is a foolish plan.”

“Shut up, shut up, shut up!”

Clearly, Eryn wasn’t the only Drake with mental problems.

Mitchell decided to silence Jason permanently and after stabbing him several more times to ensure he stayed still, he cut out Jason’s tongue, gouged the knife into his face in a mockery of the Joker’s smile.

Then he wrapped the barbwire around the barely conscious Jason’s face, shredding his lower face, and down around his neck.

Mitchell tightened the wire around Jason’s neck, watching blood pour out of Jason’s neck and the life leave Jason’s blue eyes. Once he was dead, he didn’t dare leave him out here where Marshall would find him and flee before he could finish the job. He pulled Jason’s body by the feet down to Jason’s office, the sound of barbwire scraping against the wooden floor a familiar sound to the four living witnessing this horror.

Mitchell went downstairs and waited. But unknown to him, Marshall had entered through the cracked door and seen him attacking Jason upstairs. He’d run back out the door with the intention of going for help only to run into Eryn upstairs. She’d chased him back into the woods and ensured he never came out. Her part in this as well as the loss of her ‘love’ was what tipped her over as she was a naïve person who guilt weighed on heavily.

After enough time that he worried about being caught here by someone other than Marshall had passed, he made his way out and headed home.

A flash of light surrounded them once more and they were back in Jason’s office.

But he wasn’t there. Worried about where he was, they all ran out into the hall just in time to see him step out of Justin’s room.

Justin stepped forward to hug him, needing the reassurance he was still there, before remembering that he was ghost and he would just pass right through him.

Ben asked, “You okay, Jason?”

Jason peered behind him into what had been his and Marshall’s room and was now Justin’s before nodding.

They looked behind him but didn’t see anything.

The lights in the hallway brightened before returning to normal and Jason pointed into the bedroom.

Ben, with the knowledge from his grandmother, gasped.

“Oh! You know what happened to you, you’ve gained the closure you needed. You see a light now, don’t you!”

Jason nodded, not smiling but eyes brighter than they’d seen them.

It was a bittersweet feeling. They’d become close to their ghostly housemate but were happy he’d finally gained his closure and would see Marshall once more.

They bid him farewell and Jason walked towards a light that became brighter and visible the closer he grew to it before he vanished into it.

 

About two weeks later- October 15:

Justin stretched his arms over his head, homework finally complete for the weekend. He nudged Ryan who was staring at his book catatonic.

“I think you need a break.”

Connor rubbed his face from where he’d been studying a medical book, “I think we all do.”

He looked up to see Justin staring at the whiteboard that had been untouched since Jason had left them two weeks before.

“Still miss him, huh?”

“Yeah. I don’t know, we grew so close in such a short amount of time. I know it’s silly but if he’d been alive, I think we’d worked out well.”

Ben commented, “I’d been thinking about that. I’ve wondered if maybe you are Marshall reborn.”

“You think?”

“We already know Daisy is Eryn reborn. There’s nothing that says you can’t be Marshall. You both died within a year of each other, deaths resolved.”

“Then it was fitting that we helped Jason get his closure then.”

“Speaking of Daisy, it’s been nice having a place she can’t get into.”

“Here, here.”

Even without Jason, the house still barred Daisy entrance as they’d realized when they’d had a small party for their living friends a week after Jason going into the light and she’d attempted to crash it.

“I’m just grateful there hasn’t been many questions about it.”

Before anyone could answer, there was three knocks on the front door.

“Uh, did anyone invite someone over?”

“Not me.”

“Nope.”

“Uh-uh.”

Justin headed to the door, the other three following close behind.

When they opened the door, they received the shock of their life.

Standing on the front stoop, suitcase to his side, stood a tall young man, about their age, dark brown hair to his shoulders and very familiar royal blue eyes.

“Hello, my name is Jason McKay. My sister Shirly said there’d be room here for me to stay?”

“Uh, sure. Come in.”

There was another room in the wing with Ben, Ryan and Connor but first…

Ben asked, “What brings you here?”

“I’m studying architecture at the local university, a junior and just transferred there with my mom’s approval. She didn’t really want me back in the town of my uncle’s murder, but I managed to convince her.”

Before they could ask any more questions, a clearly living Jason smiled, “Hello Justin, Ben, Ryan and Connor. Nice to see you all again.”

“So, it’s really you? You’re reborn…?!”

Jason nodded to Justin’s question, “I’m now my sister’s son, it was the easiest way to get my home back in my possession. Technically this is my home now that I’m over 21 but I told my niece/sister that I wasn’t about to boot out the college students she’d rented the place to. I’d just move in with them.”

Justin grabbed onto Jason tightly, finally able to hug him and before they knew it, it was a large group hug, crashing to the ground as Jason couldn’t support four young men on him.

All sitting up, Ben did have one last question to ask, “Your name’s still Jason?”

“Yes. It was decided that my sister had had a surprise son a few years after my death and she’d chosen to name me after me. It was easier than me adjusting to a new name since I was being reborn so soon after passing into the light.”

“Why so soon?”

“I died 30 years ago. It was time for me to have another chance and since I’d started a new life by accident here already, I simply returned to it after resituating myself into my ‘new’ family.”

Justin stated, as he helped Jason up and grabbed his suitcase, “Well, we’re more than happy to have you back with us where you belong.”

With that, the boys headed upstairs, not even questioning that Jason would be moving back into his room with Justin, just as Jason McKay and Marshall Davidson had originally 30 years prior.

The End
©Paula Crofoot

 

Feel free to comment down below. I’d love to hear what ya’ll thought.

‘Til Next Time, Friends! 

 

Wishing you an eerie, spooky, hair-raising, spell-binding Halloween!.png

Posted in #Friday, #Special, Books

Lola’s Blog Tours: Shadow Prophet

Hey, Ya’ll! Welcome back to Simply Paradise & Haven! Today’s a special post. I signed up with Lola’s Blog Tours to be a part of the book blitz for Shadow Prophet by Andrea Pearson. Now, I haven’t read the book just yet but it’s at the top of my TBR pile and I’ll be posting a review here when I’m done. 

Shadow Prophet banner

My particular stop on the tour has a special excerpt from the book you can only find on the stops of the book tour and in the look inside on Amazon.

Now, without further ado, here’s the info on the book including a special excerpt. 

ShadowProphetPromo

Book blitz Shadow Prophet by Andrea Pearson

This is my stop during the book blitz for Shadow Prophet by Andrea Pearson. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 15 till 19 October. See the tour schedule here: http://www.lolasblogtours.net/book-blitz-shadow-prophet-by-andrea-pearson

Special release day price of 99 cent and special download bonuses!
Shadow Prophet is the first book in Andrea Pearson’s new Midnight Chronicles series. It’s only 99 cents for a limited time. And as a way to celebrate this new release Andrea Pearson has some special download bonuses that you’ll receive for free if you buy a copy of the book. All the information about the download bonuses can be found in the book.

Shadow Prophet (Midnight Chronicles #1)
By Andrea Pearson
Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Fantasy Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 15 October 2019

Blurb:
Bound to destroy the woman he loves…

Abel hasn’t seen Lizzie in at least seven years, and his experiences since then have changed him significantly. He’s sure he’s moved past his earlier crush, that he’s immune to her carefree and bubbly personality, but the moment his eyes land on her, he knows he’s still in love.

Instead of a joyful reunion, though, he only suffers agony at being in her presence again.

Because he’s being blackmailed into murdering her.

And there’s no way out. The Shadow Prophet has vowed to kill everyone Abel holds dear if he doesn’t complete the job. Abel has tried everything he can think of to break the contract, but nothing has worked, and he has nowhere else to turn.

Complicating things further, he gets recruited by a second client to help Lizzie achieve an impossible mission. One where they must work closely together while hunting immortal demons. One that will either destroy him or force him to kill her before he’s found a way out—before he’s ready to do it.

But how can a man ever be ready to murder the woman he loves?

If you enjoy high-stakes fantasy action, romance with a hint of angst, and fast-moving paranormal stories, you’ll love Shadow Prophet, book one in an addictive fantasy series. Grab your copy now!

You can find Shadow Prophet on Goodreads: Goodreads

You can buy Shadow Prophet here:
Amazon
Barnes and Nobles
Kobo 
Apple

You’ll receive free download bonuses when you pre-order or buy a copy of the book! The download bonuses can be found in the book.

ShadowProphetFinal_sliver

Excerpt: 

I refused to look in her eyes as I pulled the knife from her now-still heart and wiped the blade, her blood staining the fresh white cloth I’d brought just for this purpose.
She hadn’t struggled.
None of them had yet, though I wasn’t sure why.
My heart thudded dully against my ribs, making me choke on unwanted emotions. I wouldn’t allow myself to think, to feel. Not yet.
Before her magical powers could flow away, I removed a vial from my backpack, holding it against her temple and chanting words I’d memorized months earlier.
A silver-blue, steam-like gas flowed through her skin like smoke from dry ice. With gentle waves of my other hand, I encouraged it to enter the vial, then put the cap on and very carefully tucked it back into its protected pouch for later retrieval.
Five down.
Two to go.
The last two would be the hardest.
I still couldn’t believe I’d ever done the first.
Finally, with my jaw clenched, I looked at her face, so stricken now in death. It had been happy, excited even when she’d granted me access to her apartment. I reached over and closed her eyelids, hating that I was the last thing she’d seen.
I’m so sorry. I cleared my throat and shook my head. Plead my case when you get there. I hope you’ll understand.
I took a shuddering breath before lurching to my feet and stumbling away from the body.
No one would miss her, not for a very long time, regardless of how powerful she was or how well known or loved.
He had seen to all those details a long time ago.
I made sure my things were packed away before pulling my phone from my pocket and sending a quick text to the number I’d saved in my device a few days earlier.
It’s ready.

Grab Discern for free!

Discern

Disappearances at a popular national park… Monsters from another dimension… And Nicole can’t use her magic. What could possibly go wrong?

Links
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Apple
Kobo

About the Author:

Andrea Pearson

Andrea Pearson is an avid reader and outdoor enthusiast who plays several instruments, not including the banjo. Her favorite sports are basketball and football, though several knee surgeries and incurably awful coordination prevent her from playing them.

Andrea graduated from BYU with a bachelor of science degree in Communications Disorders. She is the author of many full-length novels and novellas. Writing is the chocolate of her life – it is, in fact, the only thing she ever craves. Being with her husband and children is where she’s happiest, and she loves thunderstorms, the ocean, hiking, public speaking, painting, and traveling.

You can find and contact Andrea Pearson here:
– Website: http://www.andreapearsonbooks.com/
– Blog: http://andreapearsonbooks.blogspot.com/
– Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/authorandrea
– Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AndreaPearsonAuthor
– Twitter: https://twitter.com/andreapearson2
– Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1909134.Andrea_Pearson
– Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Andrea-Pearson/e/B005CF5NQ4/
– Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/andrea-pearson
– Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andreapearsonauthor/
– Newsletter: http://andreapearsonbooks.com/myfreebooks.html

Shadow Prophet final

Giveaway
To celebrate the release of Shadow prophet Andrea Pearson is running a big giveaway. There will 9 winners!
– 1 winner will win the Grand Prize which contains 22 of Andrea Pearson’s books in print.
– 5 winners will win a copy of The Glimpses CD
– 3 winners will win a $5 digital gift card to Amazon.com or through PayPal/Venmo

For a chance to win, fill out this form 
All details about the giveaway can be found there as well.

banner Lola's Blog Tours
Lola’s Blog Tours

 

‘Til Next Time, Friends!