Thursday, July 14, 2016

Hello Everyone!
I hope everyone is having a fabulous summer. Karl and I are still traveling across, over and up and down the US. We're having the time of our lives, well except for the little mishap that sent our RV sliding into the side of a mountain.

Always trust your instincts no matter what. We tried to be prepared when we left Texas by buying a nice GPS that would tell us where you can fill up with water etc but most of all, it wouldn't take us down any unsafe roads. Yeah, right!

The paved road changed to gravel and there was absolutely no way we could turn around. Trusting the GPS we forged onward until we came to a 180 degree corner that we couldn't make. Because of the loose gravel, the RV slid into the side of the mountain. By this time we were already pretty much terrified. The bad thing was, we still had to get around the corner on a steep upgrade. We barely managed to make the rest of the journey up the mountain and make it to the campground. The host and hostess told us they'd been begging the county to put up a warning for RVers because it happens all the time. One unfortunate soul went backwards down the side of the mountain the year before when he couldn't navigate the sharp corner.

We ended up spending 6 weeks in Chattanooga, Tenn getting all the repairs done--like removing the limb from our bedroom wall (I still think it would've made a great hanger for hats), replacing the steps, the awning and the roof and the crushed storage area. 


After everything was fixed we headed for Dover, Tenn for 2 days. The next place was only 30 min away so we drove over without the RV to Bumpus Mills, Tenn to check it out and sure enough the GPS AND OnStar would have led us down an equally treacherous road. Sheesh! The device that took us a safe route was MapQuest and Google maps. We talked to a truck driver while at Bumpus who said he only uses MapQuest and Google maps. So, no matter what you do in life trust your instincts!

On a better note, we got to see a lot of Tenn. It's an absolutely beautiful state. We're in Kentucky right now and loved staying at Land Between the Lakes although we didn't catch any fish. Tomorrow we're off to Illinois. Maybe we'll have better fishing luck there?

 I did get more work done and the third book in my Nerak series is now available for download. Yea! Here's a little more about it:


Undercover cop, Sam Jones, is ready for his vacation, but his plans never included taking an uppity female alien to his cabin deep in the piney woods of Texas. Sure, he fell a little in love when her sister showed him the hologram of Lara, but he didn’t know a Healer would act so damned superior or look so damned hot. He wants to kill her one minute and seduce her the next.

Planet Nerak is perfect, but when earthlings are accidently transported to Lara’s planet one of them infects an Elder. As a Healer, Lara must test earth plants to find a cure, but Sam doesn’t seem pleased by her presence. He should, for she is from a much superior race.

Healers are set above everyone but the royals. A Healer must meditate to keep her mind one with the universe. It is not permitted to touch a Healer less they disturb her aura. Sam does not seem to know these rules, and worse, he doesn’t seem to care.  She only hopes she can find a cure soon because Sam is affecting her aura in an odd, but rather pleasurable way. 


                                Buy Now:      Kindle     Nook      Kobo     Apple

I hope you enjoy the third book in the Nerak series.
Karen Kelley
www.authorkarenkelley.com

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Writing on the Road


And so the Journey Begins

One of the most difficult things I’ve found to do on the road is write. Karl and I have not traveled that much outside of Texas so we’re finding new experiences around each corner and spending time writing was not top on my list. Before we left, it was a different story. We were in a mad rush to get everything done, including putting the house on the market, before we left. I think I’m finally taking a deep breath, enjoying life away from the 7am-7pm routine of nursing and I’m finding my love of writing once again.

If you’re keeping up with my blog then you know I write romance. My first book was published by Kensington way back in 2000. Most writers do not get rich off their writing. I’m no exception. I’m lucky to have taken retirement at 62 and writing does supplement that, occasionally. Karl and I did discover we could live with a little more freedom buying a fifth wheel RV. Someone once said they envied me. I explained to them that anyone could enjoy this kind of lifestyle. You only need to put all that you value into two shoeboxes, then give away, sell or store what’s left. We did a little of all three.

We’re finally on the road! So far it has been fantastic. The first night we stayed in Choudrant, LA in a roadside park. Cost: free. We couldn’t let the sides out but that was okay. It was a pretty little area. Since we have solar panels, we ran two small bedside fans since it was a little warm, plus it blocked any noise from the big rigs pulling in.

We stayed the next two nights at an Escapee Club, Bushnell in Alabama) which is so worth the membership price which is less than $40 a year. We boondocked (used no hookups) while we were there at a cost of $7.50 a night. The park was absolutely beautiful and the hosts were great! The spaces were very tight but since there were only one other RVer boondocking we had plenty of space. We were a little disappointed in the beaches. They cost $5 for 4 hours. The white sand was really pretty, though.

From there we boondocked one night at another Escapee Club, Rainbow Plantation in Florida, again at $7.50 a night. Not as many amenities and the park wasn’t as pretty but the trade-off was being close to a lot of attractions.

We spent 7 days at Fort Wilderness at Disney World. The spaces were really, really tight and we had to back our fifth wheel past the paved pad so we would fit. Next time we go we’ll probably spend less days, but we will definitely go again.

Savannah, GA was breathtaking! We did the daytime trolley tour which was about $20 each but you can get on/off at any time. We saw the Mercer house that was used in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, the bench that Forrest Gump sat on, and the restaurant that Julia Roberts caught in when he was with another woman from the movie Something to Talk About. They tell you a lot of history on the tours like the fact Spanish Moss isn’t really a Spanish or moss, it’s some kind of air plant. Very cool to see it draping the trees. We stayed at and RV park which was our splurge at $40 a night but it did come with full hookups, although no amenities. 

Now we’re in the Great Smokey Mountains. Wow! I found my inspiration for the next book in my series here. Because we’re staying 11 days I have plenty of downtime to write and still enjoy the views, hiking, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and the small, but wonderful, town of Cherokee. I’ll be posting lots of pics to my website when we get somewhere that we can have internet. I have been posting quite a few on my Facebook page. There is no phone service, no internet etc at our campground, Smokemont. The space was a little tricky because they haven’t opened the RV side yet.  I think May 16th is when it opens. The price is great, though at $7.50 night with a Sr Pass card, $17.00 without. Toilets, no showers, but there is potable water and a dump station. BTW, if you’re 62 or over you can get a Sr Pass for a one-time fee of $10 and get into any National park for free and camping is half price.

That’s it for this time. If you stumbled on to the blog, please check out my website at www.authorkarenkelley.com I’ve posted some videos and pics on Facebook and you can get to them from there.

Best Wishes and Happy Reading,

Karen Kelley   

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Things I've Learned Living In An RV

Karl and I went fulltime in the RV last October. It has been a time to ponder the meaning of life--okay, we haven't exactly been pondering much, but it sounded good when I wrote it. Mostly, we've been crazy busy with getting the house ready to go on the market, which we finally managed to do. Then getting everything done before we take off on the 21st. These are some things I/we've figured out:

1) My office shrunk! I now pile pillows behind my back and go to it.
2) When it's really cold outside we always run out of propane, usually around 3am and one of us has to go outside and switch it over.
3) Only so much can fit in the RV before I have to downsize again
4) Washing and drying dishes isn't as bad as I remember
5) Only one person can cook at a time
6) RV showers are small
7) If you exercise in an RV it's kind of like what an earthquake feels like---and don't do it if hubby is asleep
8) Solar power won't carry some appliances--like my flat iron! I'm glad I kept my hats!
9) Too many appliances on at one time will throw a breaker
10) The sticker on the outside that says 4 season protection lied, it gets damned cold in an RV. Adding rugs and a Little Buddy heater helped tremendously
11) I finally discovered putting a stone in the oven will keep the heat distribution more even
12) It only take 10 minutes to clean house
13) The national forest service, Bureau of Land Management etc will do your yardwork
14) We can live much, much cheaper in an RV and see the U.S.
15) We get to spend our extra time doing the things we love and less time taking care of the stuff we thought we had to have
16) Finding hotspots for the internet can be tricky, but it's not as important as it once was
17) Nothing beats the feeling of being free to travel to different places, and for the most part, clutter free

"Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind is a close encounter of the hilarious kind. The heroine's nonchalant humor, her quirky mannerisms and her misconceptions about herself on Earth are hysterical. The romance heats up fast with shower scenes and sex toys and remains prevalent throughout. The desire to know what could possibly happen next will make it hard to put this book down." -- Jennifer Madsen, Romantic Times

Click to purchase:  Kindle   Nook  Apple  Kobo

I think we've made the right choice but I guess we won't really know until we hit the road. This lifestyle probably isn't for everyone. We bought our RV in 2013 and loved it. Then, when we moved into the RV fulltime we were parked beside the house just in case it didn't work out. Plus, we plugged into the house electricity.

Writing has been a bit of a challenge but one I've managed so far. I just reissued a book from my backlist, Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind. It was nominated by Romantic Times for a Reviewers Choice Award. I hope you enjoy it.
Best Wishes,
Karen Kelley
www.authorkarenkelley.com

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Dreamcatcher Blog
Where dreams can become reality

Hi everyone,
I thought I'd update everyone on mine and Karl's RVing adventure and the writing life. We've been living in the RV since October and it has been a challenge. It's smaller. Only about 300 feet. We have an Open Range fifth wheel (one bedroom, one bath and a pull out sofa for guests). It's like a tiny apartment. Learning to cook in the smaller oven was initially aggravating, but I'd read enough blogs to know I needed to get a stone. My wonderful daughter bought me one from Pampered Chef. The stone in the oven made all the difference. Yea, I can cook again!

We also discovered, even though we have solar panels, it doesn't mean we can run every appliance. It shuts off the Keurig, my convection oven and a few more things. We can, however, run my small coffee pot, the toaster, vacuum, TV and a few other things.

Also, since we're still in North Texas in the winter, it's cold and we go through a tank of propane about every 3 days. Since we're still parked beside our house ---which goes on the market very soon---we plugged into shore power. Now we can use all appliances and the electric fireplace. If it doesn't dip into the 20's the RV stays cozy warm When we head out on April 21st we'll be chasing warmer climates.

Getting the house ready to sell and still working part-time has been a time stealer.  I'm ready to spend more time on writing! I'm working on a brand new series, though, and almost finished with the second book. I want to get a few done before I start putting them out so there'll be no wait time between books. I'm also working on getting the rights back to more of my back list and getting them up.

That's about it for this time. I hope everyone has a fantastic 2016 and remember, it doesn't take a lot to follow your dreams. 
Hugs,
Karen Kelley
www.authorkarenkelley.com

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Upgrades


Romancing the Road

 

We have Solar! If the sun is shining, we can generate 495 watts of energy. It’s uber cool to sit in the RV and watch TV, fix a cup of coffee and not be plugged in to shore power! We also have a backup generator if we have a lot of no sun days. Are we covering all our bases? Probably not. Some things you just learn when you go full time.

 Which is getting closer. We’ve taken everything we want to keep to our daughter’s house. I’m so proud my son-in-law didn’t freak out too much. Most of it, we just passed on to them.

 Unfortunately, our son and daughter-in-law and our youngest grandson got a fabulous job offer in California so they had to downsize. So our daughter is hanging on to a few heirlooms for them as well. Giving up the tea set Karl bought me in Ireland was hard, but not as hard when I see how our daughter has in displayed in her china cabinet. Some things will stay boxed and that’s okay too. After a while, Karl and I realized we didn’t want to be tied to “stuff”. Along with downsizing comes a sense of freedom. I’ve found we can put way too much “stuff” in the RV though so I’ll be purging a little more there as well. 

 Here are some neat tricks how we organized our shoes and my jewelry. Reusing my pantry organizer that was in the house and putting it on the bathroom door of the RV. All great info I found on Pinterest and from other RVers who are already full timers.

 We should have the house on the market by the end of the month. We’ll be having a major garage sale in 2 weeks. I think the main thing is trying to coordinate everything. If you read my newsletter you’ll know I’m retiring from nursing fulltime and going strictly part time and I will be returning to my first love, writing romance books. Which, by the way, I’m reissuing Double Dating with the Dead in a few days. Just in time for Halloween. If you like sexy romantic comedies, then check out my website www.authorkarenkelley.com And watch for brand new books coming soon.

 

Best Wishes,

Karen Kelley




Friday, April 3, 2015

Preparing for full time

USA Today Bestselling author


Hi Everyone,
I decided to start blogging again. I hope you enjoy my posts about RVing and what new books I have out and what I'm currently working on.

A new kind of life? Karl and I are so excited, nervous, anxious---you name it, we've experienced it! Our date to become full time RVers is approaching fast, and not fast enough. We're planning on the end of April 2016. In that time, we have to downsize and get the house ready to sell. That means working on projects that we sort of let slide as homeowners who planned on staying in the same house until we died.

Downsizing sounds easy, but Karl and I have been married 45 years. We keep stuff in case we might need it. We never do, of course. Well, unless we actually get rid of something then we definitely could use it a week later. Never fails. The initial downsizing was horrible! This is my stuff! It has sentimental value. Thank goodness our kids are taking a lot and storing what we don't want to sell. I figure another two sweeps and we'll be done--maybe.

When we went into deep downsize mode there were a lot of hard decisions we had to make when it came to what would actually fit in the RV and the weight of the item. Some things I won't give up, like my KitchenAide mixer and the convection oven. RV ovens pretty much suck. I'm tired of light golden brown biscuits on top and almost black on bottom. We're in deep downsize mode now--next stage is deeper downsizing, the last one is road to freedom. Weight is the deciding factor. You can only stuff so much in an RV. The more weight you carry, the more fuel you use pulling it. Not to mention stress on the tires if you overload.

I have pics posted on my website if you want to see our rig (website)

And in more news, Bachelor Party is now available!  Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Apple. This is the first book I sold and was only available in Wal-Mart. I've updated it and Karl created a really cute cover. I hope you enjoy it. Next up is the 4th book in my Southern series, Southern Star. This was originally titled It's A Wonderful Life and was in the I'm Your Santa anthology, but yea, I have the rights back. I'm still working on the 2nd book in my Scavenger Hunt series (darn day job).  

If you'd like to join my free newsletter group, I have a link on my website. I usually have a cool contest every month. If you'd like to ask any questions about writing or RVing, please feel free.
 
Best Wishes,
Karen Kelley