Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday Thoughts with Bru Baker

I'm a grade-A procrastinator, so I often fall for all the perils of the internet. A test on Facebook to see what kind of jungle cat I'd be? Sure! Hopping down the Buzzfeed rabbit hole? You betcha.

But when I'm trying to feel like I'm actually being a productive member of society while putting off whatever real work  I need to do, I turn to the king of all procrastination sites: Pinterest.

It's both my favorite and most-hated place on the interwebz. Like those teen fashion magazines that were so popular when I was a preteen, Pinterest hooks you with the idea that you can attain the kind of casual fabulosity it shows you. But the just like the blister-inducing jelly shoes and Blossom-inspired hats failed to morph me into a popular girl with impeccable style, Pinterest has failed to make me the perfect urban homesteader/wonder mom/most organized person on the planet.

Stormtrooper cake pops? Why stop there? Pinterest can help you make an entire Star Wars themed dinner for May 4th. (Yes, we celebrate May the Fourth Be With You day here in the Baker household. My seven-year-old insists on it.) Have a few old T-shirts? Don't toss can make an entire no-sew summer wardrobe of adorable dresses!

Pinterest reels me in time and time again, and I never learn my lesson. At least I usually have a good time laughing at the messes I get into with it.

While I'm wiling to concede that there are some realistic things on Pinterest, most of them are either too far out of the average person's skillset or flat-out misrepresentation. I'm pretty sure every Pinterest user out there has a good crafting fail story, and Luke in Finding Home is no different.

Poor Luke. He bought into Pinterest hook, line, and sinker, and he ended up taking Ian down with him.

Galaxies in a jar,” Luke said shortly. He turned the tablet around to show Ian what he was looking at. “Pinterest says it’s easy.”
What the fuck is a Pinterest?”
It’s a website with craft ideas on it. One of the moms in Leo’s class said she used it to plan the class parties. I’m told we have to have games and favors. I didn’t even know kids this age had parties, so….”
Luke blew out a breath and turned to the project in front of him. Ian wanted to offer some sort of comfort because he could tell Luke was beating himself up about not having birthday parties for Leo before, but that was ridiculous. Anyone with eyes could see how much Luke loved Leo, and Leo was just as devoted to his uncle. He doubted that would be welcome, though, and it wasn’t like Ian knew anything about kids or how to raise them. Maybe Luke had done Leo some sort of psychological trauma by not inviting a dozen screaming children into his home to beat on a piƱata and eat cake. Doubtful, but possible. He’d have to ask Dr. Green.
What he could do was help Luke with the ridiculous Pinterest project, so he rolled up his sleeves and stepped up to the counter. “So, galaxies?”
Luke offered him a tired smile. “According to the instructions, all we have to do is empty glow sticks into the jars, add glitter and water, and they’ll light up. I figured we could do it with the kids before we have cake, and then they could take them home with them in their goody bag. I wanted to try it out tonight to be sure, though.”
Sounds easy enough,” Ian said. He unscrewed the top of a small clear jar that looked like it had probably held pickles in a former life.
Luke picked up one of the neon tubes and cracked it. It instantly lit up a pale green, and Ian realized they were glow sticks. He picked another one up and followed suit. This one was a faint blue even though it had looked clear. “How many?”
Two should do it. We cut the tip off and pour the stuff in.”
It was easier said than done. Ian had expected the faintly glowing liquid to be viscous, but it was actually more like a solid. A very clingy, stubborn solid. Despite their best efforts, it took six glow sticks and about ten minutes to get a small puddle of glowing substance into the jar.
Now glitter,” Luke said. He was still scowling at the mess on the countertops. Ian hoped whatever the hell it was that made glow sticks glow didn’t stain.
He let Luke take the lead, pouring half a small canister of silver glitter into the pickle jar. “And water,” Luke said, letting Ian pour from the jug. “Up to the top.”
So this is a galaxy?” Ian asked. It didn’t look like much. The glow stick liquid was still at the bottom and the glitter was in clumps.
Luke screwed the lid on the jar and picked it up. “Now we shake it. The glitter’s supposed to stay suspended in the water and the glow stick stuff lights it up.”
He shook it, but nothing seemed to happen. The glitter swirled around and settled back down to the bottom.
Well, that was anticlimactic,” Ian drawled, unimpressed.
Luke frowned and shook it again with the same results. The glitter sank almost immediately, and the glow stick liquid seemed to have burnt itself out completely.
Maybe in the dark?” Ian suggested hesitantly.
Luke shook the jar vigorously and then flipped off the light in the kitchen. Practically everything around them lit up—except the jar. Ian couldn’t help himself; he started laughing hard.
Goddamn it,” Luke growled, but a moment later he seemed to realize the ridiculousness of the situation and joined in.
The glow sticks they’d opened and tried to empty into the jar had held more liquid than they’d realized, but most of it had ended up splashed across the cabinets, the countertop, the floor, and themselves than in the jar. It hadn’t been visible when the lights were on, but now that the kitchen was plunged into darkness, the liquid lit up like Christmas. Or Luminol.
-  Finding Home, by Bru Baker
            Available through Dreamspinner Press

This was, of course, inspired by the true story of one of my own Pinterest fails. (The spatters on my kitchen cabinets glowed like a gory crime scene for hours afterward.) I don't think Luke or Ian is ever likely to take crafting tips from the site again, by my addiction already runs too deep. I can't cut ties with it no matter how many catastrophes it inspires. Pinterest is like the bad hook-up you know you shouldn't call but end up drunk dialing on a boozy Saturday night anyway. Even knowing that it's no good for me, I just can't stay away.

Because c'mon, that candle made out of a clementine has to be as easy as it looks, right? What could possibly go wrong?


When an inheritance fell in Ian Mackay’s lap, he fled the high-pressure banking industry and didn’t look back. Since then, he’s spent four years living carefree on the island of Tortola, his life a series of hookups and hanging out with friends.

After his best friend moves to Seattle and gets married, Ian finds himself lost. His unapologetic existence doesn’t hold the same appeal, and he wonders if he’s throwing his life away. After visiting Niall in Seattle, Ian decides to stay, but that means taking his life off hold and finding a real job. Meeting Luke Keys, who is about as far from a player as possible, isn’t the plan but might be just what Ian needs. Luke and his values intrigue Ian, and he pursues Luke ruthlessly until Luke agrees to a date.

Their courtship sweeps Ian off his feet, and when the relationship gets complicated, Ian has the chance to cut and run. Habits born from years of being on his own are hard to shake, and self-proclaimed playboy Ian must decide if love is worth fighting for.


When she isn't stalking Pinterest and crafting up catastrophe, Bru Baker writes usually angsty but always HEA books for Dreamspinner Press. She and her husband live in the Midwest with their two young children, whose antics make finding time to write difficult but never let life get boring. Visit Bru online at or follow her on Twitter.


  1. Aloha Bru,

    I love the sound of this book! The story blurb really captured me and the actual blurb. Nice writing style. I enjoyed that. Very natural, had a great flow.

    And I laughed.... OMG yes, on Pinterest. I try and stay away, because I loved collages as a kid/adult. And I loved cutting out piccies and pasting them in books etc. So.. Pinterest is a picture bower bird delight place. I have to say, the clementine candle is verrrrrrrry tempting. And I'm pretty keen to try that galaxy thing in a jar, just for my own amusement. LOL. I'm still a fan of those stars you stick on the ceiling that glow when the lights are out. Love that stuff. :-)

    Loved your Pinterest post. Gorgeous. Thanks!!

    Aloha Meg :-)

  2. I think this book sounds amazing. And I love Pinterest.