Fun Find Friday:

Ya’ll, I’ve found a website that utilizes the best idea ever — and it may be the worst possible thing for my already-packed-and-now-weighting-down-the-floor-hazardously bookshelves. All of you bookish readers are going to LOVE it!

A friend was talking about it on Facebook. I’m like: what, a book swap WEBSITE??????? Where you swap books for free (just paying postage)? Sign me up! (I did sign up, and someone’s already requested a book I posted. That means another book credit for me! Woohoo!)

It’s PaperbackSwap.compaperback swap

Here’s how it works: you post books you want to trade, a person requests one, you pay basic media mail postage to send them the book, you get a book credit on your account. You can then use this credit to request a book from someone else on the site. For free. The other person pays the postage. Awesome, yes?

There’s all kinds of extras, like wishlists, reviews, and favorite genre features. I don’t even know what else. I’m too excitedly browsing the books available and plotting how to fit another bookshelf in my bedroom to stop and figure out all the extra features.

I hope you enjoy expanding your TBR stack with this website! Happy Friday!

Have you ever participated in a book swap? What is your go-to website for used books?

Fun Find Friday: What’s in a name?

As Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet,
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

For today’s Fun Find Friday, I want to share a unique and useful (especially to writers) website I found recently: The Baby Name Wizard.

You may be wondering about my Fun Find Friday choice – it sounds a little quirky, right? Well, it’s a really neat site that shows the popularity of a specific name for boys and girls over time, including the peak of its popularity, dating back to the 1800s. It also relates popular sibling names, name origin, AND a map of its popularity by state! On the home page, the current top ten most popular boys’ and girls’ names are listed.

I thought this would be a fun tool for writers and authors to utilize when researching character names – especially because it illustrates in which time period the name was most popular.

And, it’s just fun to learn about the origin of your own name. Or, if you’re considering baby names, this would be a great resource. So, check it out!

Baby Name Wizard- CourtneyHere’s the graph for my name. I have to say, I was born around the peak time for it!

Fun Find Friday: Family Fiction’s Short Story Contest

Ok, I’ve known about this “fun find” for a while, but I wanted my readers to hear about it! (especially you readers who are also writers)

Family Fiction is hosting a short story contest!!!! Officially know as “The Story: A Short-Short Fiction Competition”, the top 200 stories will be judged by a Celebrity Judges Panel, including some of my favorite writers and publicists, bloggers, etc. Several of the top stories will be featured in an anthology published by Family Fiction for purchase. Also, prize packages will go to some winners.

The different entry categories are Historical, Amish, Romance, Contemporary, Suspense, Speculative, and YA fiction. Entry submissions will be accepted starting on February 1. If you are an aspiring writer, this sounds like a great opportunity for experience and publicity!

For details on contest guidelines, visit the guidelines and information page here.

Fun Find Friday: Book Christmas Tree

For today’s Fun Find Friday, I’m featuring my book Christmas tree. For the “find” portion- I found the two itty bitty green books on top at my local used book store. The tiniest one is an old Italian-English dictionary!
Book Christmas Tree

Have you ever made a tree entirely out of books? Please share!

Fun Find Friday: Open Culture

For today’s “Fun Find Friday”, I’m sharing a fun website with TONS of free educational and cultural media.

It’s On it, you’ll find links to free audio books, online educational courses (posted anywhere from universities to YouTube), free eBooks, and even free movies. Yes, movies! Most are old-er black & white films, but those are sometimes the best!

I hope you find a topic or resource useful and fun on Open Culture. I know I did!


Fun Find Friday: Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

Last week, in honor of fall in general, I tried a new recipe. Let me tell you, this homemade pumpkin spice latte recipe has NOTHING on that popular chain we all know and love. It has a lovely, fresh flavor because of the real pumpkin puree you add.

I used this recipe from Bakergirl I found via Pinterest. The recipe is for a pumpkin spice syrup you combine with warmed milk and coffee for lattes. I bet the syrup would be great used in other ways, too! My advice: make some REAL whipped cream to top it.

This is one of my new favorite fall recipes. Do you have any favorite fall recipes? I’d love to hear your fall favorites in the comments! Thanks for visiting!