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See You at the Mother’s Day Finders Keepers Market at NoDa Brewing Company

Where:

NoDa Brewing Company

2921 N Tryon St, Charlotte, North Carolina 28206

Finders Keepers Market Information

When:

May 14, 2017

1:00 – 6:00 pm

Come out and pick up a signed paperback of Manual Exposure and my handmade items: embroidered hoops, original coffee mug designs, Cozy to Go! cup wraps, earrings, necklaces, greeting cards, key fobs, and more!

Bring Mom along and let her choose her favorite things!

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See You at the Girls Shopping Network Lifestyle Show in Mooresville, North Carolina

girls shopping network

I’d love to see you at the Girls Shopping Network Vendor and Lifestyle Show in Mooresville, North Carolina!

Come out and pick up a signed paperback of Manual Exposure and my handmade items: embroidered hoops, original coffee mug designs, Cozy to Go! cup wraps, earrings, necklaces, greeting cards, key fobs, and more! Mother’s Day (May 14, 2017) is just around the corner, and Bushnell Unscripted Handmade items make wonderful gifts.

See you there! Look for my banner!

March 18, 2017

10:00 am – 3:00 pm

In the Old Burlington Mill

Merino’s Furniture & Design

This event will have a separate entrance – look for signs!

500 S. Main Street Mooresville, NC, 28115

girls shopping network

 

Visit my shop to see a sampling of the items available:

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Book Review: Crafty Critters by Vickie Clontz, Leisure Arts

felt leaf mug rugs
Crafty Critters Book Cover Crafty Critters
Vickie Clontz
Nonfiction: Craft: Sew
Leisure Arts, Inc.
printed, digital
32

The craft patterns include shoulder bags with fox and raccoon faces, a big-eyed owl case for eyeglasses or cell phones, cute pincushions and storage cases, leaf coasters, wall pockets, and magnets. The instructions are easy to read and decipher, whether you are a beginner or expert crafter.

The completed projects from this book will become treasured gifts, too!

 

crafty criter book

I was ecstatic to receive a review copy of this book from Leisure Arts. Over the years, I’ve learned many skills from the wonderful publications Leisure Arts produces. I wanted to start with an easy project, and one that will definitely be of use to me, and I hope it will inspire you, too! I thought the leaf mug rugs looked adorable, and I couldn’t wait to create them.

 

felt leaf mug rugs

 

The following method that I use differs slightly from the instructions provided in the book. The directions in the book are fine; this is simply the procedure I used to create the end result.

A Note About Materials Used:

The directions use wool felt, but as a vegan, I don’t use wool. I substituted the wool for my favorite Kunin Eco-fi felt. It is made of polyester from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. The felt is made in the US and comes in a number of great colors. I’ve used it for many years and always have a large stash on hand. I am using olive and goldenrod colors. This felt is actually stiffer than a wool felt, so keep that in mind.

Time to craft!

I printed a copy of the leaf I wanted to use and transferred the outline onto the felt. I used a marker, as I knew my lines wouldn’t show once cut.

leaf selection

 

I cut out two leaves from the felt–one for the front and one for the back. The instructions also call for a thin batting to be sandwiched between the layers of felt. I used Insul-Bright, as this is the batting I happen to have on hand, and I know it will help keep my cup warm and toasty.

Insul-bright

 

After all the cutting, you should have the following pieces:

a front and back of the leaf, a liner for the leaf, and a piece of jute

The photo below shows the order the layers should be in. You will be inserting the twine between the leaf layers, sewing around the leaf, and turning the leaf right side out so that the finished product will have the two felt pieces on the outside and the batting on the inside.

cut leaves

 

For the loop:  The instructions call for 10 inches of jute twine, but I used 8 inches of hemp twine.  Sandwich the twine between the leaf layers, placing the hoop on the inside and the loose ends hanging out 1/2″ beyond the raw edges. The key is to place the hemp where the stem of the leaf would be.

 

leaf stem

 

I like to use clips to secure my layers together before heading to the sewing machine. Yes, feel free to use pins, and use as many as you need. There are no judgments here. Also, don’t worry about one heart being a tad larger than the other, and don’t fuss over trying to perfectly align them. As you can see, I have a little wonkiness going on, and that will take care of itself when you sew around the edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance (give or take a little more as needed).

clipped felt leaf

 

With a sewing machine, sew around the perimeter of the leaves, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance and a hole for turning the leaves right side out. You may want to use clips or pins to mark where you want to start and stop for your opening. It is easy to sew past the spot you wanted to leave open for turning.

Tip: Remember when I said this felt was stiffer than wool felt? Well, that becomes important with turning. I needed two inches to turn this fabric right side out.

 

turn and stitch

Once you’ve turned the fabric right side out, you need to use a blunt object, such as a chopstick, blunt crochet hook, or turning tool to round out the leaf and smooth out the curves. Once complete, it is time to sew your leaf closed. Take your time, and you’ll be pleased with your results.

Next, I recommend freehanding the leaf lines with chalk. You don’t need anything fancy. I have a box of sidewalk chalk that works just fine. Again, don’t worry about duplicating the exact lines from the book. It is okay if your lines vary from the project instructions. I used to worry about making everything an exact duplicate of what I saw in a book, and that really took the creativity and fun out of crafting.

leaf marks

Take the leaf to your sewing machine, and stitch along your drawn lines. Before your very eyes, you’ve whipped up a beautiful little mug rug that is sure to make your coffee breaks more enjoyable. These make great gifts, and with four different leaf patterns, you can make an assortment! As you can see, there is plenty of room next to my mug for a cookie or two.

leaf mug rug with coffee

Stay tuned for more crafts created from this adorable book. For more information, or to order the book (as a digital download or print edition), please see the following link:
DIY Crafty Critters

Items I used to create the mug rugs (affiliate links to Amazon products):

Felt:

Kunin Eco-Fi Felt Goldenrod

Kunin Eco-Fi Felt Olive

Hemp
Hemptique Cord Spool 20-Pound Earthy

Liner: Insul-Bright Needlepunched Insulated Lining -45 inches x 1 yard

Clips:
50pcs Sewing Craft Quilt Binding Clips Clamps Clear and Red

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Traveling Author: Epicentre Studio Movie Grill

Epicentre Studio Movie Grill seats

Charlotte has some great movie theaters, and one of my favorites is the Studio Movie Grill at the Epicentre in Uptown Charlotte.

Check out my view from my sweet seats in the theater.

Movie time! #theaccountant #Charlotte #movie

A photo posted by Jeannie M Bushnell (@jmbushnell) on

What Makes it Unique

Studio Movie Grill has the first-run movies you want and alternative/retro movies you can’t wait to see on the big screen. The in-theater dining includes the old popcorn favorite, but they have a full menu to order from, including a black bean burger for your veggie friends! There is a full-service bar, too.

As the video below shows, you push the little button on your seat table and an SMG team member appears at your seat and takes your order. You now sit back and relax in the reclining seats and enjoy the movie. Your food arrives hot (unless you order something chilled) and freshly made. The servers are not a distraction during the movie, and surprisingly enough, the smell of the various foods being eaten are not bothersome. Unless your bladder alerts you, you won’t have to leave your seat for a refill or to purchase the food. All transactions are brought to your seat.

Discounted Tickets

Studio Movie Grill frequently runs a promotion on Groupon for $5.00 movie tickets. If you are like me, and you consider movie tickets to be a nice treat, then you will want to scoop up the frugal ticket price when you see it on Groupon. At 51% off the regular price of a ticket, you will find yourself treating your friends and family to a night on the town and a movie.

Please note, food is not included in the Groupon ticket price, and you cannot use the Groupon discount toward food.

There are restrictions on the Groupon ticket purchase.  For example, the tickets are not valid for movies at 5pm or later on Friday – Sunday. They cannot be used for Special Event movies, Crowd Sourcing, or Film Series Movies. There are extra fees for 3D movies. See the link above for additional restrictions.

Buy Tickets in Advance or in Person

If you are attending a movie where you may be running late, or you anticipate the theater will be full, then you may want to redeem the Groupon tickets online and reserve the exact seat that you want (a $1.50 convenience fee/seat applies).

Otherwise, have your Groupon ticket ready to redeem at the counter, and you can pick your seat from the ones still available. You will know going into the theater what seat number you will be sitting in. Pretty cool, eh?

Parking

Parking in Uptown isn’t scary at all once you realize that SMG validates parking (up to 4 hrs)  in the self-parking area of the EpiCentre parking deck for guests of Studio Movie Grill. Valet parking will not be validated.

Be sure to check out the other restaurants and stores at the Epicentre. Fun events happen every day of the week, and if you are still hungry after the movie, you can swing into Five Guys and feed your french fry addiction. I know I’m not the only one who loves a potato.

Studio Movie Grill Experience from Studio Movie Grill on Vimeo.

Location and Phone

210 E Trade St, Charlotte, NC 28202

704-972-1062

 

 

Check out some of the views you can see at the Epicentre!

uptown charlotte
uptown charlotte epicentre

#Charlotte sky is dark and cloudy. #sky #clouds #night

A photo posted by Jeannie M Bushnell (@jmbushnell) on

 

 

This post contains affiliate links that help to support me and my french fry habit.

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Become a Bushnell Unscripted Insider

JMBSale

JMBSale

 

Sign up to become a Bushnell Unscripted Insider, and you will be the first to know when I am having a sale in my shop! You will receive special promotional offers that won’t be available to anyone who isn’t an Insider!

Starting April 1st, all Bushnell Unscripted Insiders will receive 25% off of an order placed at my online shop. Want this deal? You have to sign up! Feel free to let your friends know, but they won’t see the discount in their cart unless they become an Insider, too.

Sale Dates: April 1, 2016 – April 20, 2016

Below are just a few of the items available in the shop!

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Traveling Author: Bechtler by Night Scavenger Hunt

Jeannie M. Bushnell Draws her version of a sam francis self portrait

Photo of the Firebird at the Bechtler Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina

As someone still new to the Charlotte scene, I’m always searching for fun and affordable events to attend within the city. One of my favorite places to find information that fits within those parameters is the Charlotte on the Cheap list that Jody Mace compiles. One of the events that she recently listed is Bechtler by Night.

The Bechtler museum is in Uptown Charlotte and open Monday through Sunday. I’ve had plans to make it out there before, but something always comes up, and I find the hours are just not workable for me. I’m obviously not alone, as the Bechtler by Night event exists for those like me who can’t seem to make it to the museum during the regular business hours.

Once a month, on the third Friday of the month, the Bechtler museum opens from 5 pm until 9 pm for a night of art appreciation wrapped in fun activities and prizes. The event makes for a wonderful date or outing with family and friends.

Unsure of what to expect when we arrived, my friend and I found a bustling museum entry filled with people in line to receive their bingo cards and sheets for a scavenger hunt. If you are one of the first 100 people to return the completed scavenger hunt and bingo card, you will be offered the chance to draw from a raffle box and win a prize!

As you walk through the museum hunting for the answers to the questions on the scavenger hunt page, you find yourself reading the descriptions for the art and looking at the art in an entirely new way than you have before. As a lover of museums, I’ve frequented my fair share, but this event encourages us to take the time to really read about the artists and the works rather than just scan the room and do a quick glance at each piece as we pass them by without a notice of much else.

The current exhibitions feature Sam Francis: Rapid Fluid Indivisible Vision (on view until March 7, 2016) and The Art of the Print (on view until June 19 2016). This was my first introduction to Francis, an Abstract Expressionist artist, and I found myself enamored with his techniques and works.

On the back of the scavenger hunt sheet, you are asked to draw a quick sketch of your favorite work of art in the museum. I chose a self portrait of Sam Francis. The obscure sadness just called to me.

Jeannie M. Bushnell Draws her version of a sam francis self portrait

I applaud the museum for creating an event that invites patrons to engage with the art in a new way. The modest size of the collections at the museum are ideal for this type of event. The museum is not expansive like The Smithsonian, and this helps prevent the patrons from feeling overwhelmed by the game. My friend and I were two of the lucky ones to finish the scavenger hunt before all the prizes were awarded, and we won two passes to the museum! Other prizes included items from the museum gift shop and tickets to jazz performances at the museum.

I thoroughly enjoyed my night at the Bechtler museum, and I can’t wait to return for future nights of Friday fun at the museum.

More information about Sam Francis at the Sam Francis Foundation.
Here are the future 2016 dates for the event:

March 18
April 15
May 20
June 17
July 15

Price: Free

Parking: Don’t fret – if you park at the Levine Center for the Arts Parking Garage, you will pay $5.00 and the museum is just a scant walk across the road. More information about parking can be found on the Duke Energy Center page.

Food and drink: Check out a menu and times for The Modern Cafe at the Bechtler

Normal Museum Hours and Admission:

Monday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Closed for major holidays (New Year’s day, Thanksgiving day, Christmas day)

Check out their regular admission prices, but please note:
Active-duty and retired military personnel,
National Guard, Reserve and their families get in Free!

Check out what people are saying on Yelp!

bechtler museum outside from the inside

The first image is of the Firebird, a permanent fixture in the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art collection.

Blue Balls art print by Sam Francis:

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New Products in the Store: Cozy to Go! Cup Wraps

The Book Was Better Coffee Cozy

Are you in need of the perfect gift for your favorite bibliophile?
Bibliophile on Cup

What about your best friend who devours big books?

I like big books cozy

 

Maybe you just want to say that you love them?

Sign Language Love Cozy to Go

Gifts are wonderful to give, but don’t leave yourself out!

I'm drinking coffee for your benefit Cozy to Go cup wrap.

Whatever the occasion, my Cozy to Go! cup wraps are the perfect accessory. Each Cozy to Go! cup wrap is cut and sewn by hand. Made of three layers: one outer embroidered cotton print or solid fabric, one cotton lining solid or print fabric, and a polyester insulating liner. You’ll be fashionable while protecting your fingers from the cold or hot drink in your hand.

The wrap should fit most disposable hot and cold to-go cups, however, it may not fit all large cups. Send us a note regarding specific cups, and we may be able to help you.

I’m continually adding new designs to the shop, so please stay tuned. Also, if you sign-up for my newsletter, you will automatically become a member of the super club who receives special coupons and purchase opportunities that are not made available to the general public. Don’t worry, I don’t flood your inbox with junk mailings or alert you to my every move.

New products are in the shop! Scoot over and check them out.

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Traveling Author: SCarowinds

terrified man

 

 

scarowinds sign

Starting in September, Carowinds becomes SCarowinds. It is a haunting event for the young and old!

scarowinds tree
A spooky old tree greets park attendees. SCarowinds 2015.

 

Scaredy Pumpkin

 

scared pumpkin

 

For $8.00, you can purchase a plastic necklace that features a glowing pumpkin to alert the costumed employees that you do not want to be scared. I know, there are some of you who think this is ridiculous. After all, you’ve come to SCarowinds to be scared, right? Well, while I didn’t purchase one of the necklaces (because I think they cost too much and I didn’t see them offered until I was leaving the park), having had the experience of the employees getting a little too close for comfort and screaming in my face, I can see the value of purchasing such a necklace.

No, I don’t like to be scared. I like to stand back and admire the scary displays and costumes, but I do not like to be screamed at or grabbed, and I’m not a fan of someone coming up behind me in a darkened walkway to scare the crap out of me. Nope, not a fan.

terrified man

Mazes and Scare Zones

I went through the Seventh Ward maze (aka haunted house), and had the actors refrained from shouting in my face or reaching into my personal space, I would have enjoyed it. The strobe lights and mirrored walls didn’t help. The maze is indoors and very detailed and interesting, but I couldn’t enjoy it due to the constant onslaught of people screaming in my face.

I didn’t want to go in any other mazes after touring the scary “mental institution” that I’d raced to get through. My friends (two adult males in their 40s) went through the Cornstalkers maze (which they found scarier than the Seventh Ward), and the Zombie High maze (which they also found spine-tingling).

There are also established scare zones. The Bloodyard resembles a junkyard where you are surrounded by thirsty vampires waiting to turn you into one of their own. The London Terror scare zone doesn’t look too bad, but the small area in which there is to walk, and the mass of costumed characters waiting to scream at you make it less than a welcoming stroll down the streets of London.

If you love haunted houses, I think you will love SCarowinds. If you don’t, I think you should invest in a glowing pumpkin necklace or just skip SCarowinds and stay home where you can watch a scary movie with the mute button depressed to prevent hearing the horrible scary music and sounds from reaching your sensitive ears and heart. Is that just me?

 

rip buckley train car
A painted train car speaks of the death of Buckley. RIP Buckley the cat. – located in the Bloodyard Scare Zone

 

skeleton key

Delights for the Ears and Eyes

The employee costumes and makeup is definitely my favorite thing about the SCarowinds experience. With over six hundred monsters to create for the event, the work of the makeup artists really shines. Read more on the SCarowinds blog to discover what goes on behind the mask. The article states that each artist is given 8 – 12 minutes to complete the makeup, and as someone who has toiled for hours to get Halloween makeup 1/2 as good as what the employees of the park are sporting, I am amazed at how quickly it all comes together every night of the event.

There are a number of shows offered for the event. I attended the Tribal Terror drum show and I enjoyed it immensely. The musicians did a great job. Showtimes are 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00 p.m.

Rated PG-13, Leave Your Costume at Home, & You May Not Re-enter

The park states that the event is rated PG-13 and may be too intense for young children. I saw plenty of small children in the park enjoying themselves, but I know that won’t be the case for all young children. The younger children (or scared adults) can always come to Carowinds during the day before SCarowinds opens in the evening, and there is even a Great Pumpkin Fest to enjoy.

There is one extremely odd caveat to the SCarowinds event: guests cannot re-enter the park if they leave for any reason. It is normal for Carowinds guests to receive a stamp on the arm upon exiting so they can re-enter the park during the same-day visit with ease and no extra charge. This is not happening for SCarowinds. Everyone is held captive to this rule, so don’t think you are exempt Gold Card Members. I’m not sure why they’ve put this new rule in place, but that means guests can’t take a break to exit the park during their SCarowinds visit. What makes the SCarowinds event so special that guests cannot leave the park and return? I have no idea. If you find out, let me know. I asked several employees during my visit but none seemed to understand the arbitrary rule, either.

Darkness & Security

The park is too dark during SCarowinds. The regular low lighting that is used at night is made worse by colored bulbs and fog machines that occasionally make it hazardous to walk. There was security presence at the park, but the two people I saw aren’t enough for such a large crowd. The lack of security is one of the features that most people find disconcerting during regular Carowinds hours. Considering that the majority of the employees are teenagers, the park doesn’t exactly feel like the safest place at all times. While I know that many people feel safe allowing their teenagers to go to the park alone, I would not allow a minor to go to the park alone with the current security presence.

monster werewolf

Scary Deals & Dates

The best deal (outside of the regular Carowinds Gold Pass) is the Haunt Pass which allows for unlimited admission to SCarowinds. You can attend every night of the SCarowinds events for a low price of $59.99. If you have a regular Gold Pass to Carowinds, you can also attend every night of SCarowinds, too. If you don’t have a pass, prepare to pay $15.00 to park.

Do yourself a favor and check the site before you head out to the park. If you are looking for some Halloween night fun, the park is open from 7:00 pm until 1:00 am. Have fun, but you won’t see me there. I’ve had my fill with the one night I attended. But then again, I’m a scaredy pumpkin.

I’d love to hear about your visit to SCarowinds!

Hours for SCarowinds:

September
Fridays & Saturdays
7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

October
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays
7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Late Night Closings
October 24 & October 31
7:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.

 

 

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Banned Books Week 2015: Celebrating Intellectual Freedom

bannedbooks

 

Banned Books Week – September 27, 2015 – October 3, 2015

I love reading banned books. It encourages the tiny rebel that lives in a dark corner of my psyche. Who are YOU to tell ME what to read?

I don’t know about you, but when I look at the titles on the banned book list, I see books that have made a profound impact on my life. The books are deep, thought-provoking literary guideposts that reflect our culture and experience on this planet. What one person labels “dirty” or “inappropriate” shouldn’t be the deciding factor on whether or not another person has the opportunity to read a book. Parents who protest a book’s inclusion into the school library because it speaks about slavery or homosexuality should be allowed to have their child excluded from reading the book, but they shouldn’t be allowed to speak for every parent and child.

There are those who defend the censorship, but when you show them the banned books list, they are dumbfounded when they realize one of their favorite books is included on the list. Well, some people will have this reaction and others will continue to blindly defend the censorship.

It is hard to believe that in 2015 such a thing exists, but readers and writers must continually be on guard against the myopic view of censorship and continue to fight for intellectual freedoms.

 

Watch this clip from Bill Moyers on September 25 2012The Bane of Banned Books“On the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, Bill explains why censorship is the biggest enemy of truth.”

Celebrate your freedom to read what you want and check out these other pages about banned books and censorship!

100 Most Frequently Challenged Books By Decade

An Interactive Timeline that Celebrates 30 Years of Liberating Literature

Project Censored
National Coalition Against Censorship

Support the ALA and spread the word with these free downloads

banned books poster
“Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.”

 

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New Things and an Update on My Work and World

a single leaf in burnsville nc

a single leaf in burnsville nc

Hi, Y’all!

While things appear to be quiet around the site, my life has been anything but silent and boring.
I really don’t know where 2015 has gone. The stores are filled with all things fall, Halloween, and Christmas. I understand why this is necessary from the retail perspective, but it is also a good illustration of how crowded the end of the year becomes for most of us. I love this time of year, and as a result, I am more creative during this period. This increase in creativity and productivity can sometimes push me to the limits of my energy supply, but as the saying goes, “I can sleep when I’m dead.”

Here are a few updates about my site and my work.

[hr]

Shopping

The “Shop” tab isn’t new, but the items in it are new and shiny. Now you can purchase paperbacks of my book (signed, of course), and you can pick up some other awesome items like embroidered wall art, cup cozies, altered notebooks, embroidered key fobs, and more. I have many products in development and hope that you will turn remember to shop with me when you are looking for a little treat for yourself or that perfect gift for someone else. As an illustrator and artist, I’m excited to offer you additional products that reflect other sides of me.

I’ve also added a tab for “Stuff Jeannie Loves at Amazon” below the “About Me” tab. There are links to products I’ve reviewed and products that one could find within the pages of Manual Exposure. I’ve also added categories for the reader or writer in your life. Stay tuned, as this store will continue to grow and expand.

There is a third “shop” option that exists through my Zazzle store. You can purchase items that I’ve personally designed with my illustrations, photographs, and sayings. There are items related directly to Manual Exposure and there are general items that target readers and writers in general.

 

 

[hr]

Writing

Events in my personal life, including issues with health and family, have pushed my writing to the back burner. I haven’t stopped promoting and expanding the reach of Manual Exposure, but I haven’t been able to suspend all other activities in my life and focus on completing my second book. I’ve been working on it, and I can’t wait to give you more details, but I haven’t been able to devote the time to it that it deserves. I hope the remaining months of 2015 will be dedicated to bringing more life to the pages of my second book.

I’m focusing on getting Manual Exposure on the shelves of more independent bookstores and creating opportunities to meet you at book signings and readings. My “Events” page is the place to watch for all the latest dates and occasions that may be near you.

There will be new essays coming to the blog, as well as a new segment that follows my travels. I like to take weekend or day trips to little spots near me, and I hope to bring these adventures to your inbox.

[hr]

Podcasts

I can simply state that more podcasts are on the way. I love offering you the podcasts, but they do take a good chunk of time to edit. There are more book reviews and author interviews planned, so keep your ears open for a podcast update!

[hr]

Newsletter

If you haven’t already, you’ll want to sign up to receive my newsletter. There are giveaways, updates, teasers, and special deals that are either offered exclusively or early to my newsletter subscribers. Don’t worry, I won’t drown your inbox with junk, and you can unsubscribe at any time if you find it is not to your liking.

[hr]

Appreciation

Thank you to all who continue to support me by spreading the word about Manual Exposure and those who loyally return to the digital pages of this blog. I appreciate each of you, and I hope that you will continue to send me your notes and comments. I love reading them and responding to you. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to me.

Keep Love and Kindness on Repeat,

Jeannie