Book Tour: Little Gray Dress by Aimee Brown (Guest Post)

Friends, Readers and Writers- welcome Aimee Brown, author of chicklit romcom Little Gray Dress has written us a delightful spot on her story’s location. Check out her post below!

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How I chose Portland, Oregon for the setting in Little Gray Dress

Portland Oregon is a city near and dear to my heart. I grew up in a tiny town about an hour and a half south of Portland called Sweet Home, Oregon. (That’s right, it’s not just in Alabama.) As a kid I always loved going to the city for events, zoo trips and shopping. As an adult my husband took a job as an EMT for a Portland based company in 2005. We moved our family the 90+ miles north and settled in NW Portland.

A lot of the book takes place in the West Hills (the same one mentioned in Everclear’s ‘I Will Buy You a New Life’ song (video below)– he is from Portland!) & NW Portland as that was my side of town and I’d know it with my eyes closed. I also threw in other areas of PDX along with the fabulous downtown area and airport.

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I’ve spent a lot of time all over downtown doing everything from concerts at the Crystal Ballroom to the Saturday Market, Waterfront festivals (waterfront pictured below), even spending hours upon hours at Powell’s Books. Downtown Portland is unlike most cities I’ve been to. There is so much diversity in the people, shops and events, and it’s so busy in the downtown areas 24/7.
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I remember my first time in Oklahoma City and discovering that hardly anyone was downtown walking the streets checking things out. That was SO weird to me having moved from Portland!

Some of the hotels downtown PDX are simply breathtaking as well. I knew I needed to have Evan & Hannah’s wedding in one of them. I actually used Google for this part to see what hotel’s are popular for swanky weddings at this point in time and came up with the Hilton Executive Tower in downtown Portland. It sits right in the center of the city across the street from the Portland Town Center. I may make up the rich life but I’ve never lived it. I’ve not ever actually stayed there but you better believe I’d be up for a free night now that I’ve given them some free promo. 😊 I’m kidding… kind of. LOL

I absolutely couldn’t write about Portland without including the airport and it’s once infamous ugly carpet (pictured below). They’ve since changed the carpet to something a little more modern but still similar to the old and even though it’s not the legendary one from the 80’s (maybe before?) it’s still pretty popular on Instagram. pdx

I also included a beach town I’ve always loved visiting and that is Lincoln City, Oregon (pictured below). I’ll admit, I’ve mostly visited Lincoln City for it’s fabulous outlet mall but it’s really a fun beachy town with a lot to see and do. The hotel in the story, however, isn’t real. oregonbeach
I have a feeling because I know Portland well and grew up in Oregon that most of my books will be set there. It’s what I know and it’s a state that doesn’t get a lot of attention as settings in books. The Pacific Northwest is gorgeous, green, rainy and full of my family and friends. That alone makes using it as a setting near and dear to my heart.

I’ve no doubt I’ll throw in the random places I’ve lived over the last eight years like; Reno, Nevada (and the gorgeous nearby Lake Tahoe), Norman, Oklahoma (& surrounding cities) and Helena, Montana (& possibly some of its great National Parks.).

It’s been a lot of fun talking about places I’ve loved visiting over the years like Dallas, Texas & Tahoe. I’ve been moving around the country with my family, following my husbands job for just about eight years and I’ve had so many experiences that will likely make appearances in my future books. I’ve had such a great time going down memory lane from visiting the old Cowboy touristy town Virginia City (where Samuel Clemens was a reporter for the Territorial Enterprise Newspaper in 1863) dozens of times while living in Reno to the May 2013 EF-5 tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma (just a few miles from my own home in Norman) destroying a lot of my friends homes. While neither of these events is in Little Gray Dress, you never know where they might end up.

I’m excited to memoralize, honor and include so many of these places and memories in my books as a piece of me that can entertain you while you read.

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Wellness Wednesday: What I’m Working On

Happy Midweek, Friends! I started writing about Wellness topics on Wednesdays because I noted that so many of my creative friends struggle with balance, as do I. Join me as I journey to wellness and balance and make mistakes along the way.

I am tardy for Wellness Wednesday this week, but I am okay with that.  Because I am working on Letting It Go.

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Tis the Season

This is something I have been working on for some time, in many forms.  I lost some friendships over the past couple of years and that really made me realize a couple of things.  Sometimes I just need to let them go.  Even though they may have been wrong and I may have been right, it just doesn’t even matter anymore.  We didn’t need to be friends anymore and I didn’t need to even tell them so.  I let it go. (Ok so one still hasn’t returned my things.  I admit I am keeping a Messenger open in case that happens. Alas.  Maybe I should just let that one go, as well.)

I downsized from an SUV to a sedan, and I had to learn how to deal with trunk storage efficiency.  (still learning) Then my office was being remodeled and I had to work in a different city. I took advantage of the time to review my boxes and remove what was old and unnecessary.  I was able to shred a ton of old papers, have one box contents imaged digitally, and for another- I am going to transfer the cd files to the digital archive. Progress!

A donation truck comes round our neighborhood tomorrow.  I was saving some clothing items for a former co-worker’s son- but it’s been years since I’ve seen him.  So tomorrow, out they go.  Sing with me now (to the tune of Let it Snow): Let it go, let it go, let it go!

I am so blessed as I have some wonderful friends and family members who are such outstanding beams of joy- but perhaps it has made me have high expectations of others.  I’m learning to tone down my levels of expectations and realize that other people have their own stuff going on and sometimes they just can’t see their actions.  When my daughter’s friends parents (who only have one child) don’t even acknowledge my older child,  I admit that does make me kinda furious inside.  But likely they don’t know better,  they don’t have older children and so sometimes don’t even know how to talk to them. Other people may have their own blocks, or they’re too far invested in their perceptions that they aren’t likely to change.  Can I let them go?  Some people I can let go, as long as I don’t see them.  Right?  Bueller?

I admit I have high expectations of myself.   I wrote two books, one musical, and recorded an album.  Why aren’t I more successful? Why can’t I find time to sit down and write my next book?  Why don’t I have more savings? Why did I forget about that school thing? Why didn’t I see that email?  Why can’t I keep up blogging three times a week?

Why can’t I just love myself and let myself be?

I am pretty aware, and I do have a lot going on, but I also have a pretty good support system and many tools available to me. I can focus and start using them to my advantage.  You know how when you have the right mindset, things just come to you?  Like that year when I truly believed that I was lucky, and I kept winning everything.  I want to live there.  I’m working on it.

Lots of times I do one thing, or see another, and then I think: Is this my thing?  Maybe this could be my thing.

Like that time I wrote a book.  Maybe this could be my thing.

Or when I wrote that essay on how Harry Potter helps my family with Autism. Maybe this could be my thing.

Or when I started making collage journals.  Maybe this could be my thing.

Or when I started travel writing.  Maybe this could be my thing.

The thing is- they are all my thing. I am me, and I am comprised of all these things.

I just discovered a crafty planning community.  I love the integration of scrapbooking elements with planning.  Remember I like to Plan, to Have Fun.

Integration.  Maybe this is My Thing.

What’s Your Thing?

 

Finishing up the Book Tour with a Sweet Treat!

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It has been such a  joy touring with this book. Special thanks to Melissa Flicks for her excellent organizing and promotion!

Stop by today’s post by C. Streetlights on her blog here.

Join us tonight for the party on Facebook, if you can!

Peace,

Denise

 

Blog Tour Continues: Dee’s post on RachelintheOC Today!

Hey Everybody!  The Book Tour for Dee’s Dishes continues!

I’m so honored to be featured on RachelintheOC’s blog today!

How Writing Takes Me Out of the Crazy is here!

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Have you checked out the other stops on this tour?

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Don’t forget to stop my virtual party on Facebook tomorrow!  Follow this link to RSVP: Dee’s Dishes release party

I really hope to see you there!

Peace,

Denise

Wednesday Wellness: Writing

Happy Wednesday, Dear Friends!

I started writing on Wellness topics on Wednesdays as I noticed so many of my creative friends struggle with balance and wellness, as do I.  Join me on my journey and let’s explore wellness together!

You guys!  I wrote a book!

I am so excited to share it with you!  It’s called Dee’s Dishes– and it’s a collection of stories and recipes.  You can buy it on Amazon.  I have some exciting activities coming up- including social media promotion, blog tour, Facebook party, a Headtalker campaign, and some giveaways.

Join me as I reflect on my grandparents and share their recipes.  I’ll take you to my favorite restaurants and show you how to make copycat dishes.  Heck, I’ll take you to my mother’s tropical island and show you around, and share some island dishes.

Here is the official blurb:

Dee’s Dishes is a Cookbook…and So Much More

How many times have you had Pepsi dumped on you? I’m talking completely-out-of-the-blue, shocking-and-sticky, all-over dumped on you. Well, it’s happened to me…more than once!

But, that’s actually not what this book is about…well, kind of. Sit down, grab yourself a coffee, tea, or wine, and dive into my personal stories about food, music, Guam culture, family, and how these elements have intertwined and danced throughout my life, resulting in some AH-MAZING recipes that I’ll share with you.

With easy-to-follow organization grouped by Sweet and Savory, I know you’re going to love these dishes! Like Pepsi Brownies, Coconut Candy, Titiyas (flatbread from Guam), Caprese Denisi, my one-pot pasta dish (that I call Seconds Pasta) and more.

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Writing is one way I manage the relative un-wellness and chaos and transform it into something resembling goodness.  I read a book that was short personal stories and recipes, and I thought “HEY!  I could do that!”

It is my hope that if you read my book, you might discover that you have a book inside you, too.

 

Peace,

Denise

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Wellness: Giving

Happy Wednesday Wellness, Friends!  I started writing about wellness topics on Wednesdays, as I no9ted many of my creative friends struggle with balance, as do I.  I hope maybe some of my experiences may help you in your own quest.  Join me on my journey today!

Today I decided to complete and post reviews for another indie author.  I had thought about writing them for some time, I don’t know what took me so long.  I had thought about it so long, I thought I had already done it.  But I did it today, posting on both Amazon.com and on Goodreads. I let the author know I had done so, and she was thrilled.  It made me so happy to know that I had done something.  She had bared her soul in a book of poetry.  And I affirmed her.  Reviews are like gold.

I also completed and shared a testimonial.  Something else that I had been ruminating but not writing.  So I did it today, let the entrepreneur know, and we had a nice friendly little chat.  She provided exemplary service, and I let the world know! Hopefully she can use my testimonial in her marketing materials.

There’s a lot going on in my life right now:  kids’ schedules and chaos.  But you  know what, I gave testimony today.  And the recipients were so thrilled.  There’s something so satisfying about giving.

All is well.

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Have you experienced the joy of giving?