Sunday, April 19, 2015

Foofy * Not Foofy has a NEW HOME!

Foofy * Not Foofy has a new home over on Squarespace. You can find me at

Please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds so that you can keep getting updates. All prior content has been moved over to the new site but this blog will stay active so any old links will still work. I will be adding all new content to the new site though. There is still a lot of work to do to polish up the new digs so please excuse the progress. 

Thanks for all your support! My little blog is growing and it's all because of you! 

Friday, April 17, 2015

20 Fun-filled Cheap Dates Ideas

I am NOT an expert on date night. My husband and I don't slip away nearly enough for me to qualify if quantity = expert status. But I am a ROCK STAR at making lists. I've been adding to and maintaining a list of potential date nights for years. Since my hubby and I don't get to use this list nearly enough, I thought I'd share some ideas with you! My criteria for this list was cheap, out-of-the-house dates so put $20 in your pocket and head out the door to reconnect with your special someone.
  1. Spend the day searching for the perfect millinery choice for each of you. You don't have to buy anything but check out every hat shop you can find, try them all on (the more outrageous, the better). Model for each other. Snap some pictures (and upload to Facebook, if you dare). 
  2. Grab a blanket, a mini picnic, some paper and pencils and head to your favorite nearby park. While you are there, make wish lists together.  On each, put down anything the other can do for you that would bring you more joy - even if it's just as simple as taking over trash duty every now and then. 
  3. Find a spot to sit in a high traffic public place like a mall, airport or hotel lobby.  Guess the passersby’s occupations, ages and types of pets they own. Make up stories about their lives. (And remember to be nice even if no one else will overhear you - we all need more love in the world.)
  4. Check out a free concert. Especially in summer, free music can be found all over most cities. Even if you wind up at a bar to hear it, you can keep your tab low by sharing an appetizer and sticking to one drink each (no top shelf, of course). 
  5. Locate the optimal sunset-viewing spot in your area. This, of course, requires research so you could turn this date into multiple evenings as you "test-drive" different spots and debate the pros and cons of each. 
  6. Play tennis. Even if neither one of you is any good. You can find tennis rackets for super cheap at the thrift store, steal a ball from Rover and find your local tennis court. You'll get some exercise and probably quite a few good laughs. 
  7. Pretend you've just won the lottery. "Shop" for your dream furnishings in the most elegant craft galleries, jewelry stores, and boutiques your city has to offer. Finish up your "spree" with martinis or a fancy coffee at some trendy bar or restaurant. 
  8. Spend the day taking pictures together at popular tourist locations around your city. Find kind-looking strangers who will take the pics for you at each spot so you are both in the picture for a change without straining your arm for a selfie. Drop off your memory card at the one hour photo then go have coffee until they are ready.
  9. Play Frisbee. Or soccer. Or fly a kite. Or just swing on the swings at a nearby park. Pack a picnic from home and enjoy the outdoors together. 
  10. Visit a new (to you) museum. I'm amazed at all the museums in my own home town I've never been in. If there aren't any new ones, then visit your favorite. 
  11. Go in search of the best coffee in your area.  Ask for samples. If there are no samples, share one cup in each location. 
  12. Go bowling. Nothing says love like community bowling shoes and cheap beer.
  13. Have dessert! Visit your favorite restaurant and just order dessert. If you really need to watch the purse strings, then order one and share it. 
  14. Browse a used bookstore for a collection of love poems, find a cozy spot to sit, then spend the evening reading to each other.
  15. Go to a mega toy store with $5 each.  Separate and meet back after 30 minutes with presents to do together - crayons & coloring books, puzzle, card games. 
  16. Relive middle school - at least the fun part - and go miniature golfing. You could even make a little wager that loser has to give the winner a foot massage. 
  17. Go to the flea market or, bright and early one Saturday morning, visit nearby garage sales and see who can come home with the best bargain for a dollar. 
  18. Dress for a formal party, and then walk down the streets singing love songs or just holding hands. If you have a "fancy" area in our town (here in KCMO, that would be the Country Club Plaza), then by all means, head there and show off. 
  19. Visit your favorite local farmer's market and challenge each other to find the most unique (or bizarre, if you prefer) item there. Make sure to stock up on some produce favorites too.
  20. Go geocaching. What is that? Learn more at Don't be scared off by expensive GPS units. Most smartphones can get you close enough with the free app you can download in the Google Play store or the iTunes store. It's a great way to get outside and learn more about your community.
I'm off to check our calendar now and schedule a little one-on-one time with my terrific husband. Let me know what your favorite cheap date is and be sure to come back and share if you try one of mine.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Book Excerpt: The Andromedans by Elizabeth Lang

Andromedansbooktourbanner   IMG_0858-0.JPG
Elizabeth Lang is first and foremost, a geek with the obligatory love of science fiction and fantasy. She spent most of her life in the computer industry designing computer systems for world domination the mundane industry of life insurance, which is surprisingly, not as exciting as it sounds. Now she creates enchanted worlds of magic, explores the human condition in the light of future technology and civilizations, and dreams about world domination. Or at least, some of her characters do. Her first book, The Empire was fortunate enough to be a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and she has never looked back.

I'm pleased to present an excerpt from her new book, “The Andromedans,” published March 4, 2015.

As was her custom, Ren Dastrin, one of the most powerful leaders of Tellar, sat on the ledge of a large bay window, watching a violet sunset sink into the golden ripples of the sea. She relished these precious moments at the end of the day when liquid rays rubbed a healing tranquility into her soul.

“It’s beautiful,” said an unexpected male voice behind her, his voice like gentle granules of dry sand and his presence glowing with subtle power that lit up her mental landscape.

Ren Dastrin turned with unhurried concern. “Guild Master Venner, to what do I owe this unexpected pleasure?”

He bowed formally. “Will that be enough for the demands of etiquette?”

“For a meeting that has no official existence, it’s more than enough. Please, have a seat.” She gestured to the couch and sat across from him.

“You’re not interested in knowing how I entered your chambers without using the door or the windows?”

“Not particularly.”

Venner nodded, a speck of amusement sparkling in his brown pupils. “It has come to my attention that you’ve been researching certain aspects of the Guild.”

“You know why.” The more she delved into the past, the more Ren Dastrin realized the conflict with the Andromedans was not the simplistic battle between good and evil; the conflict that looked good in the holovids and the news flashes, even their daily doses of mass entertainment. Before her people joined the fight against the aliens, she needed to understand more about the history of this war.

“Of course.”

“Are you here to warn me, stop me or offer an alliance?”

It was rumored that the Guild Master knew what people were going to say before the first word left their lips—all without the benefit of telepathy.

He replied, “Charles Sester.” The name was said with finality, as if they had already reached the end of their conversation instead of the beginning.

“He’s your assistant.”

“He is also the most gifted psychostrategist of his generation, the one most likely to succeed me as Guild Master. I offer him to you as a pledge of my sincerity."

She finally understood his previous answer and was suitably surprised. Sester was Venner’s apprentice; no one knew more about him or the inner workings of the Guild. From her researches, the young man was rumored to be involved in some of the Guild’s greatest achievements. It didn’t give her a good impression of Sester, but it convinced her Venner was serious.

“You’re sacrificing your apprentice to gain my trust?”

The dry sand of his voice filled the void of her suspicions. “The nature of the sacrifice is up to you, Ren Dastrin. For the next six months, he belongs to you. Do with him as you wish, but when it is over, I expect an agreement.”

“You’re certain I will agree.”

“I have no certainty that you will agree with me, only the circumstance in which we find ourselves. That’s why you came to us first instead of the Empire.”

“You seem to know everything.”

“If I did, we wouldn’t need this alliance.”

The day after the meeting, Charles Sester arrived on Tellar. He came to her as a man laid bare; stripping himself to nothing and falling to her feet as a servant, as his Master had commanded.

“Why are you willing to do this thing?” she had asked, bewildered by the pain of his honesty, his servitude.

“Because you wish to save this galaxy.”

Author Social Media
Facebook: Elizabeth Lang 
Twitter: @Elizabeth_Lang
Pinterest: Elizabeth Lang 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New Book: Not Without You by Dianne Venetta & a GIVEAWAY

notwithoutyou-197x300 Grad student, Lisa Richardson, scours the high country in search of her beloved boreal toad. The amphibian is in danger of extinction, a fate she is determined to change. Single-minded in her focus, Lisa doesn’t realize that she’s being followed by a mysterious stranger. Enter McIntyre Walsh. Ex-marine with a heart of gold, this man lives and breathes duty. Protection. Content with his self-exile on a mountaintop in Colorado, he inadvertently witnesses a female hiker in danger, a situation he cannot ignore yet is unable to rectify. When their paths cross, Lisa and Walsh refuse to stray from their avowed goals and carry on–despite the other. It isn’t until a killer ramps up his game that both are forced to relent. Battling the rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountains and an undeniable attraction between them, Lisa and Walsh must work together against the odds if they intend to get off the mountain alive.

Buy at Buy for Amazon Kindle Buy from Barnes and Noble Buy for Barnes and Noble Nook Buy from Google Play Buy from iTunes / iBooks Buy from Kobo

About Dianne - Dianne lives in Central Florida with her husband, two children and part-time Yellow Lab--Cody-body! When not whacking away at her keyboard crafting her next novel you'll find her in their organic garden chasing grasshoppers and plucking hornworms all while drawing wild analogies between kids and plants and men. Definitely men. A girl's gotta have fun, right? When she's not knee-deep in dirt or romance, Dianne contributes garden advice for various websites and volunteers in school gardens (a crazy existence to be sure). But at the end of the day, if she can inspire someone to stop and smell the roses--or rosemary!—kiss their child and spouse good-night, be kind to a neighbor and Mother Earth, then she's done all right.

                               Twitter: @DianneVenetta

Enter to win a print copy of Not Without You and SWAG. Open to US residents 18+ a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 6, 2015

New Book: Ceaseless by Mindy Marin & a GIVEAWAY

Ceaseless-202x300As Ember celebrates her 18th birthday, she struggles to find her true purpose in life. In a world where men rule and women are viewed as objects to obtain, love is often placed last on the list. But everything changes when Elijah, the son of a Native Shaman enters her life. Knowing true love for the first time, Ember's heart is broken when her father forbids her from seeing him again. Manipulated into marrying a man she doesn't love, Ember finds herself trapped in a sadistic game, fighting to find a way back to her soul mate, Elijah. Will a reincarnation spell that binds their souls together be enough to save their love in this lifetime? Ceaseless takes you on a magical journey of love and betrayal that will leave you asking; what happens next?!

Buy on Amazon

MindyMindy Marin is an up and coming author with a background in the entertainment industry. Working as an independent contractor in film and television, she pursued writing as another expression of her creativity. Ceaseless: Birth of the Phoenix is the first book in the Ceaseless series and Mindy's first published work. Mindy was inspired to tell this story of unwavering love after a near death experience where she spent two weeks in a hospital. Having the same dream repeatedly she felt drawn to the idea of past lives and reincarnation, it was then that she began to write down snippets of her dreams and her character's stories began to come to life. Mindy is a mother of three and currently lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband Alex and two younger children.

Follow Mindy Marin: 

 Pick up your copy of Ceaseless and enter to win a Satchel with Earl Grey Tea in it along with a bookmark and some collectable character cards from her book swag attached. Must be 14+ Open to US addresses. Ends 4/27/15 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 3, 2015

New Book: The Inner Kingdom by S.R. Gibbs

I love fantasy fiction and I am ALL about the strong, well-developed heroine so when I had the chance to share this new book by S.R. Gibbs, I jumped on it! Three ordinary young women whisked away to a magic land of enchantment where they face danger and must learn to rely on each other in a never before needed way. Yes. AND the Kindle price is only 99¢ right now!


April, Angie, and Ashley are just three ordinary adopted sisters, just trying to survive their senior year in high school. They live by four simple rules: They must not tell anyone that they are adopted sisters, sit at the same lunch table, speak more than necessary to one another during school hours, and the most important one, Never get involved in the problems of others. The girls' rules no longer applied, when they are suddenly transported to a distant world; where they are welcomed as destined warriors, chosen at birth to save their world. In order to do this they will first have to journey to three of the four outer kingdoms, within six months to release their dragons, and defeat the evil Queen before she fully regains her strength, and continues the war she started over a hundred years ago. Even in her weakened state the Queen will not make it easy for them, with the girls' sudden manifestation of special abilities, they discover what they were really meant to be. Faced with a chance to be able to return home. They are forced to make the decision to stay in the world where they've found love, friendship, and a purpose, or go back to a world, that tried to take away their destiny. This YA book is on sale for only $.99 on Amazon

Reviews - "In the case of CS Lewis' body of work, I felt that in author SR Gibb's debut novel, there lay the hallmarks of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe." "If you are a fan of the Narnia series, or even animated shows like W.I.T.C.H, then you will surely find The Inner Kingdom by S.R. Gibbs an enjoyable read. It's fast-paced with a reveal at the end." "Author Gibbs has put together an excellent YA story. It's the first I've read in a while that has focused, believable heroines."   9039954_orig
S.R. Gibbs was born and raised in Florida, she have always been a bit of a bookworm. Her two daughters inspire her everyday to do what she loves, which is to create worlds and send people on an adventure from the comforts of their own homes. When she isn't writing, she can be found drawing and watching Korean dramas. Follow S.R. Gibbs Website / Facebook / Twitter

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Review: Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín

Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín

Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: October 7, 2014

Publisher's description:

Set in Wexford, Ireland, Colm Tóibín’s superb seventh novel introduces the formidable, memorable and deeply moving Nora Webster. Widowed at forty, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world to which she was born. And now she fears she may be drawn back into it. Wounded, strong-willed, clinging to secrecy in a tiny community where everyone knows your business, Nora is drowning in her own sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons, who have lost their father. Yet she has moments of stunning empathy and kindness, and when she begins to sing again, after decades, she finds solace, engagement, a haven—herself. 

This was a selection from my book club. No offense to my dear book club friends, but I must say this is miss number two as of late. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves was also a book club selection and also something of which I wasn't a fan. My book club usually picks two books each month. With all the other reading I do, I usually pick one of the books to read. Sometimes, I don't have a preference so I just put them both on the library hold list and read the first one that comes in. That was the case here. The second book (that still hasn't arrived from the library - I need to cancel that hold) is The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters.

Not having read a lot of Irish authors, I have to ask. Do they all write in stream of consciousness? There were many instances where James Joyce's influence on Tóibín were extremely apparent. Entire paragraphs dedicated to the typical wandering around a house people do when they are alone. The whole book is about the anonymous domestic life of an Irish widow. As a whole, it seemed like an odd jumbled together set of non sequiturs to fill space and pages.

Nora Webster is not particularly likable nor loathable. While I realize the book starts in 1969 and parenting styles have certainly changed, it still felt like she was extremely removed from her children and, only late, did she really start to show them any compassion. Her late husband was obviously well loved. You get the sense, both from what was said in the book and what was left unsaid, that he was the one, true parent as well. Even her grief seemed flat in places. There are references to a deep grief that came while the husband was dying (for example, leaving her two boys for two months with an aunt and not even visiting), but I just didn't see anything more than a numbness described during the time period of the actual book.  Nora comes across as very flat, at times uncaring and absent, and certainly socially awkward. What did she do before her husband died?

And yet, the people around her act as if they are afraid of her. Her single sister doesn't tell Nora she is dating. In fact, she is engaged to be married before she tells Nora. Of course, it's a small town, Nora already knew. There are numerous instances where things are kept from Nora because people are afraid of her reaction. The only glimpse into a possible cause for this is found in a scene where Nora has been asleep and wakes up to overhear her sisters, aunt and friend discussing her. The relatives are telling the friend about what a demon Nora had been before she met her husband and how much she changed once she met him. But then proceed to give an example of "demon"-like behavior that a) came after she had met him and b) was fairly tame all things considered.

There are references to The Troubles in Ireland at the time, but even these came across as flat and merely plot devices to move along a rather dull book. I realize I'm not the biggest fan of the domestic life fiction or historical fiction (though I'm not sure that's an accurate genre for this book) so that may be why I just didn't care for this book. My favorite books are fantasy and science fiction so I am fond of a bit more action in my novels. I would recommend this to anyone who really loves glimpses into the domestic life of another culture or enjoys watching a character grow and change and Nora does do that, albeit extremely slowly and a bit dully.