March Madness...But Without The Basketball

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Written while rewatching seasons two and three of Game of Thrones and giving my allegiance to the King in the North.


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music monday

Or should it be Mumford Monday?

Mumford & Sons is my all time favorite band and I've had the opportunity to see them live three times. The concerts have always been excellent, but they get better and better every time. I know I've featured Mumford & Sons in this Newsletter before, but today I'm going to do a top five of my favorite songs:

1.) I Will Wait - This is my ALL TIME favorite song by my ALL TIME favorite band. It's also a song that heavily inspired Shep and Hannah's story. See Unforgettable for further details.

2.) White Blank Page- This song was my introduction to Mumford & Sons. The first time I heard it I was hooked.

3.) Hopeless Wanderer - I love this song for many, many reasons, and I cannot hear it without seeing the video playing in my head. 

4.) Believe- This song was on the album Wilder Mind which came out when I was writing Unsung. I listened to this album on repeat for weeks and weeks, and I can't hear this song and not thing of Liam and Harper.

5.) Woman- There are so many songs on the new album that I love, but this song gives me goosebumps. The way Marcus Mumford sings the lyrics is EVERYTHING. I feel it in my soul.


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treat yo’ self tuesday


Sometimes we all need a little something extra to get through the week. Whether it's a second glass of wine, a refreshing face mask, or a fun new nail polish to give yourself a pretty manicure.

This month I've been ALL about Old Whaling Co. I discovered this store when I was in Charleston, South Carolina. I'd planned on only buying the lotion (Bergamot & Grapefruit) but then I used the Coconut Milk Salt Scrub and I tell you what, my hands have never been softer. There is nothing quite as luxurious as using the salt scrub for a full body exfoliator. Just saying.

 


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work it out wednesday

So I've been dealing with some back pain recently (something I've dealt with before and no doubt will have to deal with again). I've been re-implementing yoga into my regular routine as it really does help me get things stretched out.

There are a number of good videos on Youtube but my favorite is by far Erin Motz. She has a lot of excellent flows and in a wide range of options and intensity. I thought I'd share just in case you might be in some need of a little stretching too.


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#TBT

This month I'm taking a look back at Unsung and the start of Liam and Harper's story. Here is the prologue to the book for a little taste of their journey together. 

Found

June 20th

The crowd of people in the ballroom of the Brogan-Meyers Hotel was only getting thicker as the minutes passed. The space was packed with men in tuxes and women in designer dresses of varying lengths. Some gowns trailed along the floor, perilously close to getting trampled on, while others had barely enough fabric to cover the women wearing them.

Harper Laurence’s dress was somewhere in the middle. The midnight blue fabric clung to every single curve of her body, the neckline dipping just low enough to show her very impressive cleavage without being too immodest. Add to that the fact that it made her violet eyes pop, and looked pretty spectacular with her long black hair if she did say so herself.

Or she would’ve said so if it had been a few months ago.

She’d grabbed the dress when she’d been packing. It had been a magic dress before tonight and she’d always been able to rock it with every ounce of her confidence.

But said confidence was gone.

Gone. Gone. Gone.

She’d had it before. Before she’d been left by her fiancé. Before she’d taken a trip to Tennessee to get away. Before she’d fallen in love with a stranger.

But was he really a stranger?

No. Not by the end. Not when everything was all said and done. Not when she’d turned tail and ran scared. But he’d broken the rules…and so had she.

The rules had been so simple. Well, rule really. There’d just been the one: nothing personal.

But she’d been fooling herself from the moment she’d met him. Everything about their time together had been personal. Every moment she’d spent with him. How was it that she’d fallen faster and harder for him in two days, felt more for him in those hours than she ever had for her ex? How was that even possible?

And now everything was five thousand times more complicated.

What had she been thinking coming here?

Her stomach rolled and she closed her eyes, breathing deeply through her nose and counting her breaths until the nausea subsided to a tolerable level. When she opened her eyes it was to find Mel making her way over, a champagne glass in each hand.

Melanie Hart was one of Harper’s best friends and the reason she was at the party in the first place. A party of beyond attractive athletes, celebrities within elbow rubbing distance no matter where she stood, a handful of very important politicians, and even a Nobel Peace Prize winner. But as the Jacksonville Stampede had just won the Stanley Cup, it was a reason to celebrate. A distraction as Mel had put it.

A distraction from Harper’s current predicament? Impossible. There wasn’t anything that could detract from what was occupying her brain.

Harper raised an eyebrow as Mel passed her a glass.

“It’s ginger ale. Maybe that will calm your stomach,” Mel said as she brushed one of her short blond curls behind her ear.

“Maybe.” Harper nodded, not feeling confident in that prospect at all.

“Come on. Let’s go find my husband and the boys before they get into trouble.” Mel grabbed Harper’s hand and led her across the room. Good thing, too, because the crowd of people was thick and it wouldn’t take a lot to get lost among them.

Her eyes caught on a couple in the corner, the woman obviously pregnant and the man resting his hand on her belly as he whispered in her ear, grinning. The sight made her both sad and envious beyond reason.

She tipped the glass of soda back, wishing it were something much stronger. The bubbles popped against her nose and lips as the cold liquid hit her tongue.

Mel’s pace slowed and her grip on Harper’s hand loosened. Mel was talking and Harper turned her head at the sound of her own name being said.

Her eyes landed on the man directly across from her and she choked on her sip of soda, coughing uncontrollably.

He was here. The rule-breaking strangerwas standing right in front of her, the green-gold gaze that she knew so well focused on her.

Yup, there was nothing in the world that could calm her stomach now. No more hiding from the reality she was going to have to face head on in this moment. No more running away.

It was Liam. He’d found her.


follow friday

I'm trying something new this month and sharing some of my favorite people to follow on Social Media.

Yaoyaomva is a BEYOND talented artist who shares her brilliant illustrations on Instagram. A lot of her drawings feature herself as a single woman living with her dog. I obviously relate to this.

Another Instagram account that I love is Not Engaged. It features a very funny woman...or actually, it features a very funny woman's left hand that is ringless and in multiple scenarios. And here's the crutch, she's happy with life in her singledom. Hmmmm, another account that I relate to.


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silverscreen saturday

March was a month of many movies. First up, and my favorite of the bunch was Captain Marvel. I'm not even going to play here, I'm a HUGE Marvel Comics Movie fan. I love all of the movies and all of the superheroes (Captain America is my favorite, and not just because Chris Evans plays him). But there is something truly awesome about seeing ass kicking women on screen (I've always thought Black Widow was a BAMF and I know Wonder Woman is a different universe, but that movie was everything to me). Brie Larson was absolutely amazing and I'm so excited to see more of her in Avengers: Endgame, which I will without a doubt be seeing when it comes out.

Speaking of superhero movies, I just watched what I believe is the best anti-hero. I missed out on seeing Deadpool 2 in theaters but as it's on HBO, I spent a Saturday night with Ryan Reynolds being the most inappropriate masked man I can think of. This was a sequel that I enjoyed just as much as the first.

And last on my list, I FINALLY saw The Crimes of Grindelwald this month, and while I didn't enjoy it as much as the first Fantastic Beasts, I did like it very much. I'm a Harry Potter girl to the core and I love everything in this world. I can also say that Jude Law is my favorite Albus Dumbledore. HANDS. DOWN.


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small screen sunday

My favorite small screen watch this month is season 3 of Queer Eye. I love the Fab Five and have spent a number of evenings after work with them while enjoying a glass of wine. I loved season one, loved season two even more, and somehow season 3 topped them all. These guys just get better and better.

Another thing that I like to watch is standup comedy. I watched two specials this month and enjoyed them both. I know that Amy Schumer isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I really like her and I very much liked Growing. She's just as inappropriate as ever. The other special was Nate Bargatze's Tennessee Kid. I saw him for the first time during one of the half hour episodes of The Standups, and his was my favorite act of that season.

I'm also still making my way through a Game of Thrones rewatch to prepare myself for the final season. There are so many things to catchup up on and remember when it comes to this series. I feel like I got a very excellent rundown from the Binge Mode podcast, which I highly recommend. While I can't wait for this last season of GOT to start, I’m a little scared of how it’s going to end…most likely with me an emotional wreck. And never forget, the north remembers. 


As always, I'd love to hear from you on Social Media. So stop by and let me know what you're up to or just say hello!

-Shannon

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