Hi, all! I’m Shell Taylor, a stay-at-home mom slash author slash sometimes crafty person. I have three kids – a third grader and twin kindergartners. They keep me on my toes with their busy schedules, wit, and never-ending love. When I’m not chasing after them, I volunteer at our church, write whenever I can, and squeeze in some crochet projects when the mood strikes.
Most recently, I crocheted several things for Christmas gifts. For my kids’ teachers, I made little soap cozies (and paired them with some fancy soaps!) They were super easy and convenient, and I find most teachers appreciate the extra effort to make something (especially if it’s something they can actually enjoy.)
For my friends, I crocheted something called a scoodie, which is a scarf with a hood attached. A few of us walk together in the mornings right after we drop off our kids for school, and as the weather started to turn chilly, I realized I needed something to keep my ears and neck warm. Soooo, I found these things on Pinterest and I thought they were super cute. Whenever I crochet for someone specific, I also spend that time praying for the receiver and their family. Mine probably don’t look as good as the one I tried to copy, but I hope my friends know it’s the thought that counts!
Here’s a picture of the first scoodie I made. Each was a little different as I discovered what I liked and what I didn’t like about each one. They were fairly time consuming since I don’t crochet on a regular basis and I’m not the fastest, but I enjoy the process.
I found the patterns to both of these on Pinterest and both are for beginner level!
As I mentioned earlier, I’m an author, which also means I LOVE to read. These days, I mostly read romance since that’s what I write. I just love reading about people falling in love and whatever type of mystery or sci-fi or history is added to that is a bonus for me.
In 2016, I challenged myself to read more classics. Even though my favorite book, Les Miserables, is a classic, I’m woefully under-read in that genre. So, between each modern book, I read ones that were at least 100 years old! It was a rough start, but I eventually found my groove with the slower moving plots and old-time language and plan to continue the trend in 2017. So far, my favorite classic author is easily Jane Austen. I have some serious author envy over her. Her subtle wit and sarcasm along with her ability to point out society’s failings without actually criticizing society has me positively green.
Toward the end of the year, I started the first book in the Helen Grace series by M. J. Arlidge, and that’s when I broke my ‘every other book is a classic’ commitment. I haven’t been able to stop reading this series. I’m nearly caught up now as I’m on the fifth book, Little Boy Blue. Definitely recommend this series if you like a good mystery!
Before I sign off, I wanted to share a little about my latest book release, Reclaiming Hope. It’s the third and final book in the Home for Hope series and focuses primarily on the son who Adam and Elijah adopted in the first two books. If you’re not familiar with the series, Adam is founder of an LGBT youth refuge called the Center for HOPE. In his efforts to fundraise so he can purchase and remodel an old inn into a safe house for homeless LGBT youth, he meets Elijah. After some twists and turns and drama here and there, the two end up together with a young Kollin in their care.
Reclaiming Hope starts off several years later. Kollin is in college and is reunited with an old friend he thought had disappeared from his life. Riley, a female-to-male transgendered person, is still facing some of the same demons that made him run away all those years ago. Reclaiming Hope follows Kollin and Riley as they blunder their way through an awkward courtship that has as many mistakes as it does sweet moments.
As a sweet perk, purchases of Reclaiming Hope made through my publisher, Dreamspinner Press, are accompanied by an exclusive future take!
Four years ago, Kollin Haverty’s best friend, Riley Meadows, dropped off the face of the earth. When he shows up out of the blue, armed with a flimsy excuse for disappearing and having nearly completed his transition from female to male, Kollin wants to pick up where they left off. But Riley’s unwillingness to be honest with Kollin prevents him from fully trusting Riley again. Despite Riley’s insecurities and Kollin’s abandonment issues, they quickly discover there’s something more than friendship between them.
When a ghost from Riley’s past unexpectedly appears with haunting memories in tow, Kollin’s anger about being lied to outweighs his desire to be the understanding boyfriend Riley needs. As Riley’s web of strategically withheld secrets begins to unravel, he must find the courage to pursue his own peace before he can move forward with Kollin, and Kollin must decide what’s more important—supporting his best friend or protecting himself.
Big, mooshy thanks to Karin for asking me to share about my craftiness and give a shout out about my guys. I had a lot of fun! Drop me a line sometime and let me know what your favorite (and easiest) things to crochet are!