Thursday, February 21, 2019

SWEET REUNION edits complete!

Finished editing!

Sweet Reunion - Bittersweet #1 - will now arrive very soon.

Stay tuned for release dates and buying instructions.



20th high-school reunion. Back in the town where dreams seemed possible and the future bright, where Kate's old crush Sam still lives with his seemingly perfect life.

When Kate’s family was in a devastating car crash, she took custody of her little brother at age twenty and focused on giving him the best life he could possibly have in a wheelchair. Eighteen years later, he encourages her to put herself first for once and have fun at the reunion.

Sam is waiting until after the reunion to announce his divorce publicly, but seeing Kate again rouses feelings long buried and he wants her no matter how much it complicates the weekend. She makes him feel alive for the first time in years, he’s missed their closeness from the past, and his mom loves her like a daughter.

Kate finds Sam even more gorgeous and sexy than twenty years ago, but he’s still technically married and she lives in Nashville. No matter how amazing their connection is, a relationship would never work. Why couldn’t he have shown up to that reunion fat and bald?

This story is intended for readers 18 and over due to adult language, sexual content, and adult situations.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

When August Ends excerpt by Penelope Ward #contemporaryromance #comingsoon #bookboyfriend



EXCERPT REVEAL

WHEN AUGUST ENDS

A Standalone Contemporary Romance Novel

New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Penelope Ward

Release date: 2/25/2019

EXCERPT:

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

SWEET REUNION is finished! Bittersweet series book 1 is coming soon!

Bittersweet #1

THE END

Finished a book today! 

"Sweet Reunion" will be available soon.

Edited and added to it for NaNoWriMo, then wrote 53,366 words since. Wrote the end this evening. 

103,661 words in total.

First, to betas, then polishing and proof reading, then ARCs, and launch!


Monday, January 7, 2019

Sign up for my Newsletter to get a free book! #exclusive

Subscribe to get a short story free!


Subscribe to my newsletter to get a copy of The Holiday.

This is the ONLY way to get this story free!


Christmas Eve. Two lonely hetero friends. A holiday movie. A little whiskey and pain.

It’s the recipe for truths and revelations that will change Dree and Kelly’s lives forever.

This story is intended for readers 18 and over due to adult language, sexual content, and adult situations.

Subscribe to my newsletter to get a copy of The Holiday.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year! I'm Carla Krae and this is what I write

Is what I write your cup of tea?

With the Bittersweet Series coming, I feel it's a good time to talk about the kind of books I write. Despite being published since 2011, I might not have risen to the top of your TBR list, yet.

I write steamy contemporary romance.

I like to read books by Penelope Ward, Vi Keeland, Tijan, Kennedy Ryan, Louise Bay, Kendall Ryan, Lauren Blakely, Kylie Scott, some JA Huss, Kim Karr, Nalini Singh's contemporary, etc.

I don't write sweet or clean, but I know a few authors who do if you want names. Likewise with fantasy, paranormal, westerns, or historical.

The My Once and Future Love (Revisited) series is the saga of Jacob and Beth. West Coast Soulmates is a spin-off about secondary characters. Love Bites is a series of shorter romances.

If none of this sounds up your alley, no hard feelings at all. I want you to spend your time on books you're excited about reading! Fiction authors are readers, too, so we get it.

But if you're eager to hear more about The Bittersweet Series


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Bittersweet Series is coming in 2019! #bookboyfriend #romancereads #romanceauthor

The Bittersweet Series

When finding your true love comes after a bit of heartbreak.

Flavors - like life - need balance. Nearly every cookie or cake recipe includes a pinch of salt. The finest dark chocolate rides the line between bitter and buttery sweetness.

So it is with The Bittersweet Series. Each book will start with the word Sweet.


Stay turned for the release announcement. Bittersweet #1 is coming soon.


Book #1 - Kate and Sam's story. Work in progress. 

This story is intended for readers 18 and over due to adult language, sexual content, and adult situations.


Book #2 - Rae and Wes's story. Work in progress.

This story is intended for readers 18 and over due to adult language, sexual content, and adult situations.



Wednesday, December 12, 2018

New cover in time for Christmas! The Holiday is only $0.99. #christmasromance #holidayromance #romancebooks

The Holiday

The Holiday - $0.99 - Feb. 5, 2018. Apple | Smashwords | Amazon | Kobo | Barnes and Noble | Google Play | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | Amazon AUS |

Christmas Eve. Two lonely hetero friends. A holiday movie. A little whiskey and pain.

It’s the recipe for truths and revelations that will change Dree and Kelly’s lives forever.

This story is intended for readers 18 and over due to adult language, sexual content, and adult situations.



Snippet of The Holiday:

Adrienne leaned close to watch it with me, her breast pressing into my arm. Our sides were pressed together down to the knees—how was I supposed to focus on a video? She had no idea what she’d done to me from the moment I caught a box slipping from her tiny hands and saw her face for the first time. Green eyes and black lashes in a canvas of ivory. Her hair had been pulled into a messy bun, but I got the full glory of its black silk the following day when she left for an appointment. The color seemed natural, but I’d never know for sure.

Dree’s string of boyfriends had put me in the Friend Zone, permanently left standing on the sidelines to keep my interest to myself. Tonight was no different—she needed a friend, not a guy with palms that broke into sweat every time she smiled at him.




Monday, November 5, 2018

My #NaNoWriMo project is Kate and Sam's book!

National Novel Writing Month

NaNo happens every November and the goal is to write 50K on a story. Or if you're a 'radical', to get a story to 50K or finish it.

I'm working on Kate and Sam, trying to finally finish this after starting it last year. I only have to write 20K new words for NaNo, but I want this book complete - however many words that is at the end.

Working title of the series has been Love Hurts - When finding your true love requires a bit of heartbreak. But I'll probably shift to something different when I start marketing this.

Anyway, I've edited through the existing chapters and started writing new ones this weekend. Wish me luck to reach 50K by Thanksgiving!

Chapter One

20th high-school reunion. Back in the town where dreams seemed possible and the future bright, where Kate's crush Sam still lives with his seemingly perfect life. 
Sam is waiting until after the reunion to announce his divorce, but seeing Kate again rouses feelings long buried and he wants her no matter how much it complicates the weekend.
But it’s clear Sam’s attraction isn’t only physical and that makes Kate nervous.  He likes a version of her, a projection that hides a lot of flaws and painful memories.  He’s a Boy Scout.  Freakin’ Clark Kent.  A pillar of his community.  He’s too good for her. 
Why couldn’t Sam have shown up to that reunion fat and bald?

This story is intended for readers 18 and over due to adult language, sexual content, and adult situations.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Meet MiniLo - my latest #fosterkitten #rescuekittens #CatsOfTwitter

To follow on my previous post....

Meet MiniLo

This kitten almost died last week.

$240 later, he now looks like this:



If anyone's feeling generous and wants to help the kittens, I've started a wish list.

He had an Upper Respiratory Infection come up quite suddenly last week and he was already the smaller kitten of the two. I picked him up lethargic and wheezing.

This baby almost died because Golden State Humane Society wouldn't treat him. Vet said there's no problem. Bullshit. Kittens that can't smell food won't eat. I waited hours to get into that clinic because of the low cost, but people obviously get what they pay for. By the time I got home, it was too late to see another vet.

Gave him a bath to take care of fleas that night, then off to Nohl Ranch Animal Hospital the next morning. They were appalled that the other vet saw no issue and brushed me off. He got a fluids shot for dehydration, antibiotic shot, Capstar to kill any remaining fleas, the SNAP test for viruses (negative), and meds and recovery food to take home. He gets an oral antibiotic and eye drops every day. The recovery food had a strong odor to entice him to eat. They got him to nibble at the office, but it took until that night for me to get him to take in anything at home.

Discovered he didn't want to eat in the crate but he'd do it in a box. That got him started and then there's been improvement every day since.  He was probably at least half a pound light at 6 weeks old, just skin and bones, so I've been refilling the bowl every time he empties it. He should be 2lbs at 8 weeks, which he'll turn on Monday, so we still have a ways to go.

If anyone's feeling generous and wants to help the kittens, I've started a wish list.

Right now, it's only the canned food. For being little, kittens actually go through a LOT of food in a week (a can/day at this age), so it'd be really helpful to get a case. Once MiniLo is recovered, I'll be catching his sister, too, and the food bill will double. Cat rescue is NOT cheap. Especially not done with the utmost care, and I'm too much of a softie to do anything but, so I'd be grateful for a little help.

Thanks!

Carla

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Did you know I do cat rescue? #TNR #rescuecats #adoptdontshop #formerferal

Cat Rescue

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you've probably noticed my efforts to rescue neighborhood cats and kittens over the past couple years and get them adopted.

Shelters and humane centers push adoption - and every living cat and dog needs a home! - but the reason why those shelters are full all the time is because cats and dogs aren't spayed and neutered. Female cats usually have at least two litters a year - a litter that's usually 4 or 5 kittens. Each girl kitten can get pregnant as of 6 months of age.

See where the math is going?

That's why trap-neuter-return is SO important! Volunteer rescuers are spilling blood, sweat, and tears every day to trap and sterilize all cats and dogs living on the streets. Suburbs and cities are awful places to grow up. Kittens die from diseases all the time. Lose eyes from untreated respiratory infections. Lose limbs from car accidents. Ever seen a cat in your neighborhood with a cleanly snipped ear tip? That means someone spayed or neutered the cat and returned it to its home territory.

Because there aren't enough volunteers to spend several months to a year taming feral cats to be indoor animals. Because there aren't enough foster homes. Because there are more cats and kittens than adoptive pet parents every year.

If you want to know more, you can follow rescuers on Instagram like Paul The Cat Guy, @LuxePaws, @littlewanderersnyc, and @kittenxlady.

Please help where and how you can! If you live in a city, I guarantee there's a local rescuer in desperate need of basic cleaning supplies and pet food, not to mention donations for vet bills.

Now wish me luck trapping a feral female cat! She got pregnant and gave birth during my unsuccessful attempts and the humane society vet is only open for spaying Tues-Fri. When did she usually show? Weekends and Mondays! Mama Cat is the mother to Lowen and my current possible #fosterfail the fluffy kid. The kittens - two - turned 3 weeks old on Monday (9/10) and won't be ready to leave her until at least 6 weeks old. This young, they're still in the nest she made in my backyard and I've only seen glimpses of adorable faces. They're vocal whenever she comes out to eat, though! Healthy lungs. Amazingly, one is colored like Lowen and the other like the new kid.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Is Real Friendship Dead in the Modern Era?

It's a serious question. 

From the actions I see around me, I don't think people understand what real friendship is supposed to be anymore. Certainly under a certain age, they do not.

Facebook calls it "friending" someone when your profiles are connected, but that's not real friendship. That's collecting popularity points - I have a bigger Friends List than you do.

Teens and young socialites are obsessed with getting followers. That's not connecting at all.

Dictionary Definition of Friendship:
the emotions or conduct of friends; the state of being friends.
a relationship between friends
a state of mutual trust and support between allied nations.

A post on Urban Dictionary defines it more specifically:
True friendship is not when you go to school and hang around with someone just because you have no one else to chill with. It's not calling someone up when you're bored because they are fun to talk to. It's not when you can't think of a birthday gift and end up buying your friend a Wal-Mart gift card. It's not when you have to talk to someone about something you don't particularly care about (like how much snow we got last year) to avoid an awkward silence. 
Friendship is when you love someone with every ounce of your being and genuinely want them to be happy even if it means sacrificing something yourself to make them happy. A true friend is someone you can talk to about your feelings, someone you can tell things you could never tell your family or even your partner. They are someone who you don't have to talk to but someone you want to talk to; someone you will go out of your way to be with. Friendship is when you love someone so much you want to hold them and never let go, someone you want to rest your head on and cry, and you would let them cry on you too. It's someone you can talk to about things you disagree on and end up being closer for that disagreement. It's when you think about someone and how close you are to them and how much you love them and you smile and are happy all over. 
Friendship is when your love for someone exceeds your need for them. (the Dali Lama said that)!

Real friends don't have to agree on everything. The truest friends should be able to have a full-on blow-up and still come back together. Rare is the argument that was truly so important that it is worth ending a relationship built on years of love and trust and memories.

The person that decides one day to shut a friend out of their life without discourse is a coward. To quote one of my favorite sci-fi characters, "Only Sith deal in absolutes." 

A true friend will give you a chance to make amends if there is a grievance. A true friend will hear a story directly from your mouth vs. believing hearsay from others. A true friend calls you on your shit because you've known each other long enough and deep enough to know your real selves. Because you built trust. And then you do it for them when they need it, too.

Do you forgive when a friend wrongs you? 

Do you speak up when a friend is heading down a potentially dangerous path? 

Friendship is a daily act of brotherly or sisterly love. You've made memories and seen the best and the worst of each other and still pick up the phone to talk like it was yesterday though it's been a year or ten. Friendship is a bond. Loving is a choice.

Friendship is also an obligation. Do not call yourself someone's friend unless you are ready to commit to what the word means. It's a two-way street, so before you hurt another person with your selfishness, be self-aware enough to be honest about what you can give. Be upfront about it.

Are you a good friend? 

Do you try? 

Are you ready to do better tomorrow than you did today? 

Go out and make a real connection.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Surprise! It's my birthday month but YOU get a treat!

The Holiday Sale



Special sale for my birthday month - The Holiday is $0.99 in June!

This story was therapy for me to write. It's a short "love bite" of hotness. Love Bites - Shorter romances to consume when time is limited. Need a lunch read? I'm your girl.

Apple | Smashwords | Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Kobo| Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUS |

Christmas Eve. Two lonely hetero friends. A holiday movie. A little whiskey and pain.

It’s the recipe for truths and revelations that will change Dree and Kelly’s lives forever.

This story is intended for readers over the age of 18 due to adult language, sexual content, and adult situations.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The West Coast Soulmates box set will no longer be on Amazon. If you have a Kindle, here is where you can buy it.

If you read on a Kindle, it uses a Mobi file. 



Amazon is using a Senate-passed US law (President Trump has to sign it) as an excuse to throw anything with sex scenes in Erotica. This is the bill. Amazon is trying to cover its ass. 

You can see an example of Amazon's new policy here.


They've done it to one of my romance box sets. I don't have a single thing about that set that makes it Erotica. It's Contemporary Romance.

The individual stories are (so far) still in Romance and have their ranks. Erotica books can no longer get an overall Amazon rank, the rank for all the book store. Erotica books are also "hidden" - they won't come up in a search. A reader would only find it through direct link.

Some authors have been told to remove all sexual content and republish anew by Amazon as the only way to not be in Erotica.

The stripped listing looks like this:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

#numbers in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Erotica > Humorous

#numbers in Books > Literature & Fiction > Erotica > Humorous

#numbers in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Erotica > Romantic Erotica


So, I've unpublished West Coast Soulmates Vol. 1 from Amazon. 

And as long as they continue this policy, no NEW books will be sold on Amazon by me. They're applying this ban completely at RANDOM, so no author can be sure they'll end up in the right category when they publish.

If you want to support me, buy my ebooks from Apple, B&N, Kobo, Google Play, or Smashwords.


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Want to win a Kindle Fire?

Romance Giveaway

Enter to win a Kindle Fire and 2 Romance Novels by some of today’s Best Selling Romance Authors! 
Sponsored by a fabulous group of authors! By entering you are agreeing to be subscribed to their newsletters! (You can unsubscribe at any time.)
These are the authors you’re subscribing to:
Victoria Pinder, ES Carter, Marika Ray, Andy Wayne, Carolyn Reilly, Carla Krae, Rachael Tonks, Megyn Ward, Robin Michaela, Arietta Richmond, Maddie Wade, Amy Brent, Aliyah Burke, Reana Malorii, Kelli McCracken, Sage Young, Nichole Riley, N.K. Stackhouse, Angela Kulig, Ravenna Tate, Dahlia Rose!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day! #romance #truelove

Happy Valentine's Day - here are some tips on showing your love

1. Practice random acts of kindness with your partner. When they need a little help, lend a hand. If he or she is too tired to walk the dog or do the dishes, take on the task to show that you see and you care.

2. Leave coded messages. With all the communication tools we have today, it is possible to stay in very close touch with the one you love. Sending little text hearts and love notes is a great way to keep the heart fires burning.

3. Do nice things for no reason. When you bring home flowers or prepare a special meal, it tells your partner you are taking extra measures to show you care. These are acts of love, and they will be felt.

4. Do all the little things you did when you were courting. Remember opening doors and pulling out chairs? What about telling him how great he looks, or treating her so sweetly that other couples blush? It’s a fun goal.

5. Give little gifts. It shows you have been thinking of your other half. Small and expensive has its place too, but you don’t have to go overboard; just the act of giving is a loving action.    


Now....need some hotness inspiration for tonight? Take a few minutes to read The Holiday!

Apple | Smashwords | Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Kobo | Google Play |

Christmas Eve. Two lonely friends. A holiday movie. A little whiskey and pain.

It’s the recipe for truths and revelations that will change Dree and Kelly’s lives forever.

This story is intended for readers over the age of 18 due to adult language, sexual content, and adult situations.

Dree closed her eyes and a tear streaked down her right cheek.
On instinct, I wiped it away with my thumb.  Her skin was so soft, like a rose petal.  Her face subtly shifted to lean into my palm.  The temptation to brush her full bottom lip was almost more than I could bear.  She opened her eyes and I dropped my hand before I crossed the friendship line.
“You’re always welcome to spend Christmas with me.”
One brow shot up.  “Eating Chinese food while watching Die Hard?”
“Hey, it’s a great Christmas movie.
“Oh my God.”  She rolled her eyes, but a tiny smile lifted her mouth.  “Just because a movie takes place at Christmas time, doesn’t make it a Christmas movie.”  She sat up.  “White Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, The Holiday, It’s A Wonderful Life—everything on Hallmark Channel in December. Those are Christmas titles.”
“I forgot—I’m talking to Miss Christmas.”
She groaned.  “Don’t start.”  Her eyes narrowed on me.  “Santa beard.”
“A full beard doesn’t make it Santa’s.”
“It’s already blond. Bleach it white and you only need the red suit.”
My hand went to my waistline.  “I haven’t eaten that many cookies this season.”
She elbowed me in the ribs.  Ow.  Skinny people and their bony appendages.  “Stop that. I can’t believe you’re still subconscious about your abs.”
“You didn’t grow up a fat kid.”  I grabbed the empty glasses and took them to the kitchen.  It gave me a few seconds to suppress the baggage my childhood always brought up.  I was trying to ease her pain tonight, not dwell in my neuroses.
“Kelly…”
Returning, I said, “I know you’re teasing. It’s fine. So what did you do this weekend while I had to work?”
“Just got home from looking at lights off Birch.”
“Yeah?”
“You’ve never wandered for lights? Dude.”
Shrugged.  “Didn’t know it’s a thing.”
“It’s totally a thing. There’s even a show called The Great Christmas Light Fight.”  She pressed buttons on her phone.  “Here, watch this.”  The screen was pushed into my face.
“Easy, you’ll make me cross-eyed.”  I moved the phone back to where I could focus and saw a YouTube video.  Tapped the play button on something called Wizards of Winter.
Adrienne leaned close to watch it with me, her breast pressing into my arm.  Our sides were pressed together down to the knees—how was I supposed to focus on a video?  She had no idea what she’d done to me from the moment I caught a box slipping from her tiny hands and saw her face for the first time.  Green eyes and black lashes in a canvas of ivory.  Her hair had been pulled into a messy bun, but I got the full glory of its black silk the following day when she left for an appointment.  The color seemed natural, but I’d never know for sure.
Dree’s string of boyfriends had put me in the Friend Zone, permanently left standing on the sidelines to keep my interest to myself.  Tonight was no different—she needed a friend, not a guy with palms that broke into sweat every time she smiled at him.


Monday, February 5, 2018

THE HOLIDAY wide release! Love Bites #1, romance for when you're short on time.

The Holiday - now available at retailers



Apple | Smashwords | Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Kobo | Google Play |

Christmas Eve. Two lonely friends. A holiday movie. A little whiskey and pain.

It’s the recipe for truths and revelations that will change Dree and Kelly’s lives forever.

This story is intended for readers over the age of 18 due to adult language, sexual content, and adult situations.

$2.99

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Spotty internet = words written!

Mr. Perfect

Kimmie and Justin's story has been growing. Our router has been dying, so some days it lets me post briefly on Facebook, others it says DENIED. We're waiting for the new one to arrive.

In the meantime, with no other work I could do, I've been writing Mr. Perfect, with over 5000 words added! Started at 21,039 and now I'm at 26,400.



Apple pre-order | Barnes and Noble pre-order

Shy and socially-anxious Kimmie's father gets a job transfer during her last college year, forcing her to go with him or stay in the only town she’s ever known, and she’s not ready to be alone.
Kimmie’s best friend Erin insists she move in, putting her down the hall from her crush Justin.  He’s been Mr. Perfect since he and Kimmie met at age twelve, excelling at everything including kindness.  A Christmas party kiss might move them out of the friend zone, but she doesn’t trust it as genuine romance. The surprise affection has Erin’s meddling written all over it.
Can Justin bring Kimmie out of her shell and prove his feelings for her are the real thing, or will first love die before it begins?
This story is intended for readers over the age of 18 due to adult language, sexual content, and adult situations.

Friday, January 5, 2018

The Holiday - exclusive release! #Patreon #romanceshorts #fridayreads

The Holiday



I'm sharing shorter fiction on Patreon.

$1/month will get you exclusive early access to the new shorts I'm working on. The first is about Adrienne and Kelly, two friends with nowhere else to be on Christmas.


Christmas Eve. Two lonely friends. A holiday movie. A little whiskey and pain.

It’s the recipe for truths and revelations that will change Dree and Kelly’s lives forever.

This story is intended for readers over the age of 18 due to adult language, sexual content, and adult situations.




Did you know I have rewards on Patreon?

$1/month gets you Exclusive Excerpts - Access to my patron-only feed where I share exclusive content.

$5/month gets you Early Access - See my latest work before anyone else! Subscribe at this level and receive the next novel before release day. 1 e-book per customer, 24 hours before wide release.

$10/month makes you a Super Fan - Contribute $10/month and receive paperbacks from the West Coast Soulmates series.

And $20/month is Your Name Here - Your name (real or a pseudonym) credited in my next book.


Happy reading!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Writing daily in a new story! #romancebooks #romancereads

Adrienne and Kelly

I'm 2348 words into a new story as of 2:00PM Pacific Time. ETA: 4900. Close to done on 12/31.

I'm sharing shorter fiction on Patreon. Subscribers get to see posts 7 days before the public and the first teaser is here.

$1/month will get you exclusive early access to the new shorts I'm working on. The first is about Adrienne and Kelly, two friends with nowhere else to be on Christmas.


Did you know I have rewards on Patreon?

$1/month gets you Exclusive Excerpts - Access to my patron-only feed where I share exclusive book excerpts.

$5/month gets you Early Access - See my latest work before anyone else! Subscribe at this level and receive the next novel before release day. 1 e-book per customer, 24 hours before wide release.

$10/month makes you a Super Fan - Contribute $10/month and receive paperbacks from the West Coast Soulmates series.

And $20/month is Your Name Here - Your name (real or a pseudonym) credited in my next book.


Happy reading!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Visiting The Past #Christmas

Small-town California

Spent yesterday in Oak Glen. 

Everything closes at 5pm, though, so we ran out of time for all browsing. And a couple places weren't open. It's better to get the experience during Apple Picking Time (Sept. - Nov.), but this was the soonest we were available. I think 6 used to be closing because we never had a problem fitting it all in when I went in the past.

I hadn't been in 20 years and Tech Guy never before. My father grew up near there, in Yucaipa/Beaumont, so my parents were taking me from young kids years. Since it's at 5000 feet, you have real seasons. Autumn leaves, crisp air, and the scents of rural life and so much baking. I introduced Tech Guy to a cherry strudel he might've proposed to, lol. 

Law's was closed for the winter, or we would've had the most amazing apple pie.

Thankfully, Mrs. Law, who is now 100, wrote a cookbook! Which includes the pie recipe from the restaurant, and she signed it for me. She still sews aprons in the gift shop below on most days. She moves a bit slow, but no walker or cane. Wonderful to see she was still kickin'.

20 years changes every place, so it was a bittersweet trip for me. None of the family I went with is around anymore, so I have no one to reminisce with and discuss all the changes.

A couple shops I loved to roam are no longer there, one of them a place my grandmother adored to browse antiques. Which weren't old to her since she was born in 1910! The owners passed a few years ago. The kids didn't want to keep it open, and now it's storage space for the new restaurant across the street. There used to be a cider mill where that is now where you could watch the full press process in progress and buy the results. Another shopkeeper told us a man that won the lotto bought both properties. We tried to eat at the steakhouse, but it was going to be an hour+ wait. Since it's the only place in town to eat at night...not a surprise. But we were hungry!

Tech Guy enjoyed it enough to want to go back, which is all I wanted. He fell in love with homemade almond brittle. And the strudel. And the cheese shop.