Tuesday, February 20, 2018

New Job, New State and New House!

Hello, there gentle readers. It's been quite a while since we've bumped into one another and it's not at all your fault. I've been a bit preoccupied for the past what...two years?! You see my entire universe went and rearranged on me and my family back in July 2016. That's when my husband suddenly found himself laid off from his, what seemed like a steady and forever job, after 9 years of hard work and loyalty. We suddenly were left scratching our heads wondering what went wrong. Scrambling for a new direction for our lives. Eventually, we found ourselves packing up our family of six, selling our beloved home in Utah. We left all our family and friends behind to move across the country to upstate New York for a new job.

At the time I was also pregnant with our last child and our first little girl. So this only made the upheaval all the more stressful. Needless to say, my writing career and all other work, besides keeping my family afloat during this tumultuous transition, got put on hold. When we first arrived in New York we got a modest little apartment to get us settled while we looked for a house. Having bought and moved into our first house only a week before our first son was born we had never before experienced apartment living with little kids. We did not enjoy it. Children need lots of room to run around and play, inside and outdoors. We had neither in our apartment. Then we went and added a new baby a couple months after moving. Our daughter Lucy was born last April! :)

The housing market in this part of New York is really crazy. We lost three of the four houses we attempted to buy. Unfortunately, this meant it took us 6 months to find the right house for us. Finally, we moved into our new home in September the day before the new school year started. Ahhhh! It was nuts trying to get moved in and get my three oldest sons registered for school all at the same time. Somehow we managed it though. I wish I could say that was the end of our trails but alas our new home was only new to us; it was anything but in reality. Built-in 1960 and bought from the original owner who apparently updated very little over the 58 years they lived here, it was as outdated as a house can get! However, the house has great bones. It has four bedrooms to fit our large family. Large family room and living room and three bathrooms. Add a killer master bedroom with a master bath and it was nearly perfect. It also came with a separate room for an office totally secluded from the rest of the house. Did I mention I've always had to have my desk in someone's bedroom? Well, I have. So having a real office was a huge plus for me! The house is also located in our ideal neighborhood with friends only a few blocks away and right next to the school. So the house had loads of potential, but we simply couldn't live a moment in this dark, dingy grandma house the way it was.

Between my design background from my time attending The Art Institute of Phoenix, Arizona, and my husband's clean freak tendencies, the two of us put our creative energy together and embarked on the reno! Right away we started painting walls and tearing out the world most disgusting carpets. Amongst the first things to be redone was our rather ugly front entryway.


As you can see it wasn't pretty. The tiles were a strange beige color with brown veins throughout. Random blue and yellow floral tiles stuck out with a black dirty grout backdrop. The hexagon-shaped tiles were kinda neat though. My first instinct was to rip it all out and start band new, but my husband was intimidated by tile work and the potential cost involved. The next thought was to paint the tile, which would be much more cost-effective. It also meant no demo and would be more time effective, too! My original plan was to paint it all white and then stencil an Augusta pattern in blue over top. However, this kind of pattern is usually done on square tiles and wasn't ideal for a hexagon tile. :( While I scoured Pinterest and the rest of the internet for a stencil for a hexagon tile my husband stumbled upon another good option. As beautiful as my original idea would've been it was going to be tedious to accomplish. With five little ones in the house we needed a design solution, we could execute fairly quickly, especially if we didn't want little feet trampling paint all over our brand new carpet! So as much as I hated to admit it, my husband's idea was a pretty darn good one. So we went with his concept instead.

My original design plan
Jonny's design solution
To execute the project I got Behr premium 1-gallon deep base gloss enamel exterior Porch and Patio Paint in grey, white, and blue. We decided to trade black for blue in the pattern to better suit our homes overall color scheme. After a good cleaning with soap and warm water, we did a light sanding of the floor. (It's recommended to clean the floor with mineral water or vinegar to help the tile be more absorbent of the paint) Next, we painted the whole floor white. This gave us a blank canvas so to speak. Also, we had decided to have white grout lines. Next, we painted random tiles grey. Since I have a very steady hand and I don't trust painters tape we didn't use any tape to keep from painting outside the hexagon onto the grout. Lastly, we painted blue tiles at random to complete the spontaneousness of the pattern. We did this all late at night after the kids were all asleep to ensure we wouldn't be interrupted. This still didn't keep our crazy wild toddler from trying to get on it while it was still wet. (he's not a good sleeper - *sigh*) Luckily he caused very little damage to the paint. However, even after it dried the paint felt a bit tacky. It turns out that the paint was completely set up right because of the cold weather. Since we were painting in an entryway right next to a door it would've been ideal to have waited until the weather warmed up to paint. Fast forward a few months, and we're now seeing bits of the paint scraping off. We believe this is due to it not setting up right at first. As soon as spring arrives we plan to do touch-ups. In the end, we're very happy with our new entryway! We get lots of compliments on the floor and the kids think it's fun too. It also ties in all the colors form the adjoining rooms.

This isn't the first time I've given a Pinterest pin a try and it certainly won't be the last. But that's a story for another blog. And yes you can expect to see more DIY blog post intermixed with writing, art, and stay-at-home-mom-posts. Have you had a similar experience with a Pinterest that inspired a project of your own? If so, please share it with me in the comments or on my facebook page. 

So in closing, we've been living in New York a year now and time has certainly flown by. We've been in the house six months and there's still so much work to be done. But we're excited to see the process unfold and claim this old house as our own one room at a time. In the meantime, thanks for visiting my blog and having patience with my long absence from the blog sphere. :) It's been a pleasure sharing all the news of the past couple years with you. I hope to visit with you again really soon. I wish you all the best of luck in all your endeavors till we read again...

- R.J. Craddock

(Inspiration pics courtesy of Pink little Notebook and Cutting Edge Stencil) The paint used in this project can be found here.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Impossible Girl (Sexy Nerd Boys, 2.5) by K.M. Neuhold - Cover Reveal

Hey everyone I just wanted to share with you a cover reveal for a new book coming out in June 2016! You can even read the first chapter now on her website at http://kmneuhold.weebly.com/

Cover Design by Mae's Wicked Grafix

The only thing more difficult than catching her, is keeping her.

I’ve spent the last four years in self-imposed celibacy. It was going fine until I met her. Remy Harris, the wild-eyed vixen no man can pin down. She’s more than willing to have a good time, but I’m looking for so much more than that.

Love ‘em and leave ‘em. It’s safer that way. In my experience all men are looking for is a good time anyway. It’s better to give them what they want and walk away before they can do the same to you. When I needed a calculus tutor I never expected to find one who’s so...sexy. Since when are nerds so hot?

Keep An eye out for Impossible Girl coming in June!
Now go for, and read, read and then read some more!

R.J. Craddock

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Rebranding my urban fantasy series!

Yep The rumors are true, The Children of Cain series by R.J. Craddock (yours truly) has undergone a major change. From henceforth is will be known as The Thirteen Tribes of Cain series! Why? Because there is a handful of other book series out there with The Children of Cain name and also because The Thirteen Tribes of Cain makes a lot more sense with my series as a whole. So there you have it. A new name just in time for the release of the third book The Decree. In honor of this occasion I have revamped the original Forsaken trailer. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

RIP David Bowie :(

I grew up watching Labyrinth and always loved David Bowie in the part. I also enjoyed his brief cameo in Zoolander and am now a big Flight of the Conchords fan. So here in honor of the great David Bowie's passing, I present to you my favorite Bowie Moments, both real and imaginary :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

First Quarterly Book Bash/ Give Away!

I'm doing an experiment. My books are in a very popular genre and have very common themes. It is very difficult to get to the top 10 let alone the top 100 of a genre on amazon with this many books to compete with. One way to do this is to have a lot of sales on amazon in a short amount of time, this makes your amazon book ranking rise considerably. Why is this important? You ask. Well, the higher your book is on a list or search, the more visible it is to potential readers; which means more book sells and more chance of getting some real attention. So here's what I'm going to do. On Saturday, December 26, I'm throwing a Book Bash for my first book “The Forsaken”. Both my eBooks will be on sale for .99 cents that whole day. I'm trying to get as many people to buy my book that day as possible in the hope it'll help my book rise in the book ranking and thus make “The Forsaken” more visible to readers on amazon. As part of my Book Bash, I will be giving away a $25 gift card to one random person who buys my book that day.  Also, I will give out a few other prizes as well for some other lucky reader to win. Here’s how you get credit for your purchase to be entered into the giveaway.

To Enter into the Giveaway:
1.       Buy “The Forsaken” eBook for .99 cents
2.       Take a screenshot or take a picture of your amazon purchase confirmation email. Post it in the comments of the Book Bash giveaway post on my author Facebook page www.facebook.com/rjcraddockauthor (2 entries)

For Additional Entries:
1.       Buy book two “The Offspring” as well as “The Forsaken”.  (2 entries)
Again you must show the proof of this purchase in the comments of the giveaway post.
2.       Share your purchase in a post on Facebook, or twitter by using the hashtag #rjcraddockbooks
(1 entry per site)
3.       Like my author Facebook page www.facebook.com/rjcraddockauthor (1 Entry)

Sunday afternoon December 27th Rafflecopter will take the entries and randomly select one person to win the $25 Amazon gift card and four more to win a copy of one of the four eBooks available. That’s It! Spending .99 cents to potentially get $25 seems pretty awesome right? So mark your calendar, share this post and make sure to join The Forsaken Book Bash the day after Christmas!  You get my eBook for a steal, you could get a free amazon gift card, and it’s a win/win! The .99 cent sale ends on Saturday the 26 at midnight. Here’s hoping my little experiment works and together we can make big changes happen and win lots of great prizes!

Now go forth and enter!

Until next time,
R.J. Craddock

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Batman & Robin In The Clutches Of Fear

Some of you may not already know this, but my family and I are filmmakers. It is a Craddock family tradition to make a short film for every Halloween. We have them all on youtube on my Ruth Craddock channel if you want to check them all out. Anyways this year we went with a Super Hero theme. This is the results. It's a bit late but then I do have four kids so everything takes longer than I'd like it to. Anyways, without further ado I present to you Batman & Robin In The Clutches Of Fear! Muhahahahahahaha

Now go forth and watch it and share the spooky.

Until next time,
R.J. Craddock

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Numbers Ignite by Rebecca Rode - Cover Reveal

Hello again. It's been a while gentle readers, but there's good news. If you couldn't tell from the title of this post or the great big banner above I'm here to help reveal the cover for a new book coming out soon! Nope not book three in The Children of Cain series, (that's in the works though) but the sequel to the bestselling dystopian novel Numbers Game by my writer friend Rebecca Rode. Numbers Ignite is due out January 26th, 2016. That's a while from now, but you can see the new cover and learn more about it here while you wait. 

Numbers Ignite 
Rebecca Rode
(Numbers Game, #2)
Publication date: January 26th, 2016
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Treena and Vance think they’ve pulled out of the numbers game forever. They’re wrong.
After Treena’s disastrous attempt to unite the nation, she has the deaths of hundreds haunting her dreams. Now, with hatred and accusations following her past the border, she’s determined to leave that horrible day behind and find a peaceful, uneventful life with Vance and the settlers. But when she starts seeing mysterious figures hiding in the abandoned cities at night and uncovers a strange desert population, she realizes there’s a danger much greater than NORA to worry about—and she just abandoned her people to their fate.
Vance is a prisoner. Being rejected by the girl he loves and put on trial for betraying his clan are bad enough, but now he’s been framed for a crime he never committed. Their less-than-perfect refuge has become the political game of a madman, and Vance is the only one who can stop it—if he can keep from being executed first.
Treena and Vance are still very much in the game, and this time it will take everything they have to save those they love.
*Numbers Ignite is the sequel to the runaway Amazon #1 Bestseller, Numbers Game.
Sequel to:


Author Bio:
REBECCA RODE is an award-winning author, journalist, and mother of four. She is the author of the YA dystopian novel, NUMBERS GAME, and the inspirational book, HOW TO HAVE PEACE WHEN YOU'RE FALLING TO PIECES. She also writes for Deseret News, KSL.com, FamilyShare, and Provo Daily Herald. However, her true love is writing for teenagers. She enjoys traveling, reading, and martial arts, and she has a ridiculous addiction to chocolate-banana shakes. Visit her at www.AuthorRebeccaRode.com.

Hosted by:


Now go forth and check out Numbers game ( If you haven't already read it) and mark your calendar for Numbers Ignite's release January 26th! 

Till next time,
R.J. Craddock