The Purse Project: Kate Collier

What does my purse say about me? Let’s start with why I have Vera Bradley purse.


Because it’s a colorful floral; all those pockets keep me organized; the strap is cross-body; and the bag weighs next to nothing. I also love the whole idea of two women turning a good product idea into a thriving business that benefits breast cancer research.


The matching zippered pouch holds delicious lip balm to prevent chapped lips and eyedrops to soothe my dry eyes. Why suffer when I want to take a walk on the lakeshore on a cold windy day?  Or when I can’t tear myself away from a writing session? The pouch also hides my loyalty cards. I recently added the black one, for MacKimmee’s on Church Street in Lenox, MA, where I finally found a simple black alpaca sweater, warm enough for the coldest days, dressy enough for dinner, and lightweight enough to carry in a weekend bag.


Two other cards are neither credit cards nor loyalty cards. The one on the left is an appointment card; that’s my acupuncturist’s office, which was originally the Trolley Barn for my town. The lime green card? That’s for Sonnenberg, an impressive mansion in my town. I love walking the grounds, meditating in the Japanese Garden, smelling the roses in the formal garden, and taking pictures of the changing landscape as the seasons unfold. The fabric pencil box was made by a cousin who is both a romance author and a talented craftsperson. Even though I do all my writing on my laptop, I’m lost out in the world without sharpened pencils (with erasers, please!) to jot ideas and write notes.


These items are obvious: a bookmark for my romance series, a business card for my mystery series, a B&N coupon, a hair clip, and mouthwash. Those in the know recognize the anniversary coin from a 12-step program (29 years and counting!). But what in heaven’s name is the teeny old man hugging his knees and wearing a quirky cap? That’s a Piskie from Cornwall.  I don’t leave home without that Piskie, and I don’t let anyone see me rubbing it for good luck.


Ah, more items that are always in my purse: a pick to tame wind damage after a walk, hand sanitizer, nourishing lotion for my hands, and yummy gluten free fig newtons.


Finally, the one item that’s so valuable it has to be pinned to the inside of my purse: the smartkey to my hybrid vehicle. I love my Prius, which is pushing 100,000 miles and still getting 48+ mpg. You’re thinking, cars come with two keys, don’t they? Yes, and mine did, too. But somehow I lost one key during a trip to Ireland, the trip before I got the Cornish Piskie.




Writing as C. T. Collier, Kate’s newest release is Planted, first in The Penningtons Investigate, a series of traditional mysteries set in the Finger Lakes of upstate New York.

Learn more about C. T. Collier and the Penningtons at:


The Purse Project: J. Lynn Rowan

I kind of hate purses. This aversion goes back to my college years, when I felt it necessary to separate myself from the less-than-adorable purses my well-meaning relatives tended to gift me around holidays and birthdays. I had one of those itty bitty college wallets, embossed with my school’s logo, that didn’t hold much behind my official ID, driver’s license, and five bills. And if I could get away with not carrying even that tiny, relatively useless thing, I’d do it.

Supposedly, the contents of a woman’s purse can reveal things about her personality and lifestyle. You’d have to take the contents of my purse in tandem with the contents of whatever larger bag it’s usually being carried in to really get a sense of who I am.

Purse + work bag = teacher who keeps procrastinating about grading papers.

Purse + diaper bag = mom who really wishes her kid would figure out how to use the potty so we can downsize said diaper bag.

When you narrow it down to just my purse, though, it’s pretty basic.


A wallet. Yes, it matches the purse (and diaper bag). I like things to color coordinate.

  1. Smartphone. Because connectivity.
  2. Gift cards that may or may not have money left on them.
  3. Lip balm of some sort, usually Blistex. My lips always seem to be chapped.
  4. Lipstick and lip gloss, specifically Mary Kay because that’s the only brand of lip color I’ve purchased in the past ten years. The only reason it’s even in there is because I went to a wedding a month and a half ago, and still haven’t remembered to take the lip color back OUT of my purse.
  5. Business card carrier, because you never know when someone might ask about your books and you want to send them easily to your website.

Interestingly, I rarely carry my keys in my purse, unless I’m out and about without one of my larger bags.

I guess I’m still a minimalist at heart.

At least when it comes to my purse.


Marissa O’Brien has sworn off long-term relationships. But all her rules fly out the window when she grabs the attention of a sexy, international stranger during her weekly Girls’ Night Out.

Josh Mattingly has spent the last two years trying to turn over a new leaf. In Asheville, North Carolina, on business, the last thing he’d planned on was getting involved with a local girl. But one encounter with Marissa has him hooked.

Marissa recognizes a playboy when she sees one and tries to keep her attraction to Josh under wraps–until they share a passionate kiss that leaves both of them singed. Now Josh has to prove to Marissa that she can trust him with her heart.

The One I’m With is available at Amazon.

About the author: Lynn Rowan started writing stories as a small child, usually starring her favorite cartoon characters. Most of her work through middle and high school was filled with typical teenage angst and melodrama, and usually mirrored the books she loved to read. But eventually she found her own author’s voice and decided to seriously pursue a writing career.

Historical fiction remains J. Lynn’s “first love”, but she has enjoyed the journey to becoming an author of romance and chick lit. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Central New York Romance Writers, and the Historical Novel Society. She is also a teacher who tries to instill a love of learning, reading, and writing in her students.

When she’s not writing, J. Lynn enjoys travelling, gardening poorly but enthusiastically, studying various topics in American history for her own expertise, and channeling Julia Child every time she steps into the kitchen.

A native of Oswego, NY, she now lives in Charlotte, NC, with her own Romantic Hero of a husband and the most adorable toddler on the planet.

Follow J. Lynn on social media:

The Purse Project: My Summer Edition

Yes, I am one of those women who carries a summer purse–i.e. a different purse in the summer than I carry the other three seasons.

I’ve had this purse for about 8 years. I absolutely love it. The sun hat (you can see the brim lower right) is made of the same material, which actually has a very high paper content.

purse project summer 01

One of the things I love about this bag is the detachable cross body strap, which comes in so handy when I’m grocery shopping.

purse project summer 03

It doesn’t “organize” internally as well as my other seasons bag. Oh, and my new glasses came with much larger cases, which I’m not sure I can correct.

Purse Project with D.R. Grady

Thank you MJ for helping me unearth…uh…discover the treasures in my purse!

Here’s my current purse. I got this on sale for the season – a creamy white St. John’s Bay crossbody bag. I have two requirements for a purse. It must be a crossbody, and it must have tons of pockets! This one fits my requirements. I do change my purse out for fall/winter and spring/summer.


What’s inside:

The two outside pockets contain my keys and my phone.


Inside  the main compartment you’ll find a few other essentials. Regular sunglasses for when I wear my contacts and prescription sunglasses for when I’m wearing my glasses. Lip balm, phone and glasses cleaner, and eyedrops. Oh, and my wallet. I bought this one a few years ago and still really like it. The back slot of this wallet is perfect for carrying my author business cards and I do hand them out!


Next up is a hodge podge of other “essentials.” I’m usually thankful for these when I need them. As a writer, I would be horrified to not have pen and paper, and the stylus comes in handy sometimes. Hand cream is a year round must. A Leathermen because you need scissors sometimes, cuticle stick, stain and hand cleanser, a nail file, and Advil.

05 06

The second picture shows the pile of coupons that are usually in my purse. They’re there to taunt me when I leave the store, purchased the item, and forgot to use the coupon…(eye roll)

I’ve only ever used the umbrella once. I still it carry it everywhere…. The Five Crowns cards are a favorite that I also forget about unless a family member reminds me. I like to keep at least one snack in my purse. It helps quell chocolate withdrawal crankiness. (big smile)

The stevia drops are a must because I’m addicted to coffee and iced tea. They live in the back pocket with some tissues and cough drops.


That’s everything! I try to keep what’s in there fairly light. I add a bottle of water if I’m going to be away for a while.

The Dragon Chronicles Book 3: Healing

HEALING-Soulmate 805_805x1275 (3)

 Ewain Douglass and Marissa Mays are dedicated healers who work together, and live together, in tight confines. Too bad they set sparks off each other. They might struggle to remain professional to each other, but they’re working on it. Then the enemy sets his sight on the unmated, and targets Marissa with a vengeance.

Meanwhile, Lindy and Alex, the dragon and her controller, are still seeking to learn all they can about their abilities and their future. They tremble once they learn the identity of an enemy no one wants to face. One only the dragon has a chance to defeat.

The dragon has called her allies together and many have come. Paranym soon becomes crowded with the family members of family members. A war for their very lives looms.

Ewain and Marissa don’t have time to declare it on each other.

Available at Amazon.

D.R. Grady photo

D.R. Grady lives with her husband near Hershey, PA. She adores chocolate, laughing, collecting bags, books, and shoes, and writing stories that resonate with others.


Twitter: @drgradybooks

Amazon  Author page

Faceboook Page: D.R. Grady

Google+:  D.R. Gradybooks


Purse Project: Kim Hotzon

What a fun idea! Thanks, MJ for having me here today, sharing the contents of my purse.

This is my current purse— a basic, brown tote from RW & Co.

kim hotzen purse

I tend to switch my purse every 3 or 4 months, depending on my mood, outfit, whether I’m travelling, etc. I favor tote bags because they carry lots of stuff!

I’m pretty good at reducing clutter on a regular basis, shredding receipts, throwing away wrappers, etc. I keep the essentials, things I need.

What’s inside:

kim hotzen purse contents

  • silk scarf (essential for travel and windy days)
  • keys
  • flashlight (you never know when you might need it)
  • Dentyne gum
  • mints
  • Clinique lip gloss and YSL lipstick
  • L’Occitane hand cream
  • sunglasses
  • Kindle
  • I-Pad
  • FlowerBomb perfume
  • Hair elastic
  • African bracelet (from my trip)
  • OPI nail polish for touch-ups
  • Phone and I-Pad chargers (always handy)
  • pens (always two in case one runs out)
  • postcards for my design business (my author business cards have been used and more are coming but they’re great for handing out)
  • a copy of my first book with a matching tote bag (there’s always an opportunity for marketing)
  • change purse
  • magnetized wallet
  • my favorite Eiffel tower keychain which keeps falling off

Things often found in my bag but not today:

  • granola bars
  • water bottle
  • sunblock
  • Band-Aids
  • I-Phone (used to take the picture)

My newest release, A Time For Love In Paris is now available!

kim hotzen cover

In 1975, Elise Sutherland, a young woman from Scotland, travels to Paris, France, to study art at the illustrious Fine Arts School of Paris. Stumbling upon a mysterious old book in the infamous Shakespeare & Company bookstore, her world opens up an undiscovered realm. Elise finds herself in late nineteenth century Paris, becoming the muse of master painter and sculptor, Michel Flaubert. Together, they share their passion for art, architecture and each other.

But their love is threatened by people, time and events in history. Will they find their happily ever after?

Kim Hotzon

Born in beautiful British Columbia, Kim developed a passion for writing at an early age. Her interest in people led her all over the globe, including a two year stay in Japan and a humanitarian trip to Rwanda.

She loves to write contemporary romance stories that feature strong women who deal with compelling issues. Kim enjoys adding unexpected twists, usually involving a dangerous and dramatic backdrop. Her first novel, Hands Full of Ashes, was inspired by her trip to Africa. Her second full-length novel, A Time for Love in Paris, was inspired, naturally, by her trip to Paris. Kim also wrote a short, contemporary romance story for the anthology, Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection, which became a top seller on Amazon Canada.

She currently resides in the sunny Okanagan of British Columbia with her husband and two children. When not writing, she can be found on the local ski hills in winter, or racing in dragon boats in the summer.

You can get in touch with Kim by visiting her website or follow her at: