Friday, December 27, 2019

After the Gifts are Unwrapped...

The biggest holiday of the year is just a memory, but with the New Year revelry just around the corner, now is the time to look back and enjoy 2019. Bright lights, fireworks, and crowds are the norm, but I look forward to a quiet night watching the North Carolina Acorn drop. I write books with Scottish characters, so I will celebrate Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) my way.

I want to share my good fortune. Another royalty check just came through the door with last minute Christmas greetings, my health is better, and we have enough leftover food in the frig to survive any apocalypse. So, my recent ebook, Rescuing Christmas, is on sale until January 5th for only $.99 (US)

I am also giving away a prize CLICK HERE to one lucky winner. Quail Ridge Books is my local independent bookstore. They carry thousands of titles including my own Heaven-sent Warrior and Heaven-sent Highlander! They also ship just about anywhere.

This week is bittersweet. December 27th was my cousin Lee's birthday. She's been gone 13 months, but the pain is fresh. My dad left us on February 2nd, and Uncle Paul passed, too. 

My Dad, Robert F. Beegle
We can remember the good times with them, but the rest of us must soldier on, right? We can wave to a neighbor, drive a little slower, feed the birds, spend extra time on the treadmill, donate to the food bank, watch our pennies so we can get those home improvements done, and so much more. Enjoy the time you have.

May I suggest reading a book?

Friday, December 6, 2019

Nancy Lee Badger Presents Claire Davon

I invited Claire Davon, a fellow author with Soul Mate Publishing, to hit the holiday streets running by sharing her latest novel with all of my readers. Take it away, Claire!

Claire-I am so thrilled to share my second Universe Chronicles book Tracking Shadows. This book continues the adventures of the Universe group, a shadowy governmental agency that specializes in people with powers. In this story, the stoic leader of Richmond’s branch of Universe, Quillan Hardis, goes on the run with shadow manipulator Jiana Falco in order to save her from the two other agencies desperate to get their hands on her and her powers. But they’re not the only ones who want to get their hands on Jiana…

The book was recently released by Soul Mate Publishing. It is unabashedly a paranormal romance. The entire series started as a dream, but took many twists and turns to get to where it is today.

Book Blurb
Jiana Falco has waited and watched a long time for the chance to escape Night Stars. When she finally slips away, she burns the last bridge by saving Quillan Hardis. But now, trapped in his grasp, she’s in even deeper trouble.

Under a secret order to unlock her untapped power—by any means necessary—Quillan takes Jiana on the run, where a spark of desire blooms into something warm and genuine. But her fear of Night Stars could drives Jiana so deep into the shadows nothing can lead her out. Not even the light of Quillan’s love. 

Excerpt from Tracking Shadows
Jiana straightened in her seat. The shadows didn’t lie. The head of Night Stars’ opposition group was in danger. If Tanner detected her preoccupation, he didn’t comment on it. As long as she wasn’t moving then she supposed he figured he had nothing to worry about. His talent of enhanced strength was a weak one, but it made him stronger than her in a one-on-one matchup. At least that was what her uncle believed, and had passed along to the other agent.
He was about to learn differently.
Jiana watched a moment longer to make sure that she wasn’t mistaken. Spots danced in her vision and halos surrounded the vehicles. Her head throbbed like she had a headband on too tight. Then both feelings were gone and her sight sharpened. There was no error. The shadows grew thick around Quillan, flowing through the parked cars and onto the street. They almost seemed to have teeth and claws, with the sort of malevolence she did not often associate with shadows. They were used for good or ill, but they were tools rather than entities. These had a life of their own, and their malice made her shiver.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Her careful plan fading with every step the man took, Jiana sighed. She had steered Tanner here so skillfully and all for naught. Now she had to leap into action, but for different reasons than she had intended. She could see the shadows rushing toward Quillan to send him into oncoming traffic. She could not see her uncle or her cousin, the other shadow talents in Richmond, but that didn’t mean they weren’t there. This didn’t feel like her uncle, though, this was . . . different.
The shadows surged in front of a car going just enough over the speed limit to be a menace, guiding it straight toward Quillan. As before, the man was unaware of the fact. Once he was alerted to the danger he wouldn’t be quick enough to get out of the way. Without shadow talent he would have no way of knowing he was in peril.
But she knew.

Buy link: AMAZON

More about the Author
Claire can’t remember a time when writing wasn’t part of her life. Growing up, she used to write stories with her friends. As a teenager she started out reading fantasy and science fiction, but her diet quickly changed to romance and happily-ever-after’s. A native of Massachusetts, she left that behind to move to the sun and fun of California, but has always lived on one coast or the other.

While she’s not a movie mogul or actor, she works in the film industry with her office firmly situated in the 90210 district of Hollywood. Prone to break out into song, she is quick on feet and just as quick with snappy dialogue. In addition to writing she does animal rescue, reads, and goes to movies. She loves to hear from fans, so feel free to drop her a line. Connect with her here… 

*I use personal Amazon Associate links where available

Monday, December 2, 2019

Winter Wonderland EBOOK SALE!

ice ciclesWhile my edits for my next book are in the hands of my editor, I thought about what I could do to stir up some new readers. With 27 books published so far, I am always looking for a bigger and wider audience. 

This is one reason why I wrote Rescuing Christmas. It is a small-town sweet romance.

A Manhattan businessman on a December vacation to Canada, is stuck in Boston due to a snowstorm. Instead of waiting for another flight, he drives through the Vermont woods. Forced off the road, his rental ends up in a pond. When a firefighter sliding down the muddy slope to help him slams into him instead, his papers go flying and his phone disappears. Before he can complain, his mud-covered rescuer in firefighting bunker gear is a woman!

Rescuing christmas

Regular Price: $5.99 SALE PRICE: $2.99 at AMAZON

The other sale item is my Scottish Time-Travel series, Highland Games Through Time. This 4 book Boxed set contains over 900 pages!

Set in both the Scottish Highlands around Wick, near the North Sea, as well as present day New England, experience the athletics, the pipers, crafters, witches, and sensual romance. Dragon in the Mist, a bonus novella, is set in Scotland’s present day Loch Ness, where the Loch Ness monster lives on land as a Scottish bar maid. When an America scientist arrives to study earthquakes around the loch, romance erupts.

 Regular Price: $4.99 SALE PRICE: $.99 at AMAZON

The Sale ends soon, so enjoy the coming 
and keep warm reading books!

Nancy Lee Badger

Friday, November 22, 2019

Mindy Klasky Announces Eight Kisses, an Anthology of Hanukkah Romances!

More than Christmas is celebrated in December. Kwanzaa is a big one, but my guest today will share stories about relationships that occur during Hanukkah. We have Mindy Klasky to thank for sharing this special anthology with my readers. Take it away, Mindy!

Eight Kisses is an anthology of Hanukkah romance novellas—sort of a counter-balance to the winter season’s onslaught of Hallmark Christmas movies!  Some of our authors are USA Today bestsellers, and some of our authors are publishing their debut works.  Everyone, though, had the courage to respond to a call for submissions several months ago, offering up a true romance (Happy Ever After required!) with at least one main character who is Jewish. 

Book Blurb

Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights, celebrating an ancient miracle with candles, fried foods, and family gatherings. What better time to find true love?

From Regency Scotland to contemporary New York City, from sweet short stories to super-spicy novellas, Eight Kisses spreads a feast of love. Interfaith opposites attract. A small-town reunion offers a second chance. An interracial couple rises above initial misunderstandings. Online dating yields unexpected foodie dreams. A Jewish mourner discovers solace at a Catholic feast. A hometown visit heals old wounds. The girl next door is something more. Seasoned lovers reaffirm true love.

Move over Christmas movies! Spin the dreidel, gobble the gelt, and devour a tower of latkes as you read these tales of Hanukkah love!

Eight Kisses includes the following stories by USA Today bestselling authors, award-winning authors, and exciting debut authors:

Lori Ann Bailey – “A Highlander for Hanukkah”
Mindy Klasky – “Harmony Lights”
Rose Grey – “Can’t Help Falling”
Michelle Mars – “Frisky Connections”
JT Silver – “Love and Latkes”
Erin Eisenberg – “Hanukkah Kisses”
Lavinia Klein – “Bubbe Linda’s Menorah”
Lynne Silver – “Rededication”

Excerpt (from Mindy's story, Harmony Lights)

In retrospect, it was a good thing Abby Cohen wasn’t holding a skillet of boiling oil when she answered the front door.
In fact, when the doorbell rang, she was standing in the kitchen, sprinkling salt over the first batch of latkes. “Seth!” Abby called out to her good-for-nothing twin. “Could you grab that?”
But Seth was leading a take-no-prisoners game of dreidel in the sunroom, crowing with victory as he emptied the pot of gold-wrapped chocolate coins. He tuned out Abby as completely as he ignored the outraged wails from his trio of kids.
“That’s not fair!” shouted Abby’s youngest niece. “Daddy’s taking all the gelt! Bubbe!”
Deborah laughed from her grand-maternal roost on the couch. Her right foot rested on the battered leather ottoman, toes peeking out from an overstuffed nest of gauze and elastic bandage. In Abby’s expert opinion, her mother was still a week away from a hard cast. One month from a walking cast. Three from a full recovery. She’d mangled her ankle with one hell of a bad break.
Deborah shushed her granddaughter’s pouting, pointing to the plastic top in the center of the floor. “That’s the way the game is played. Now it’s your turn to spin. Maybe you’ll land on the gimel too.
As all the players ponied up to restock the pot, the doorbell rang again. Abby cast a weathered eye on her distracted family, adults and children alike, before she turned off the flame under her skillet of hot oil. The next batch of latkes would have to wait.
Her annoyance faded as she glanced into the parlor on her way to the door. The familiar brass menorah sat on a chipped white serving dish, secure in the middle of the card table Seth had carried up from the basement.
The blue candle in the first cup had already burned halfway down. The white shamash, the servant flame the kids had used to light the blue one, had burned even lower. Still, both candles flickered in the window, a beacon of welcome to the town of Harmony Springs.
Abby wiped her hands on her apron and opened the door.
And she barely managed to keep from slamming it closed again.
To be fair, Ethan Weiss looked as surprised as she was.

Find All Buy links HERE
Mindy is one of the Eight Authors and this is her bio:

USA Today bestselling author Mindy Klasky learned to read when her parents shoved a book in her hands and told her she could travel anywhere through stories. As a writer, Mindy has traveled through various genres, including cozy paranormal, hot contemporary romance, and traditional fantasy. In her spare time, Mindy knits, quilts, and tries to tame her to-be-read shelf. Connect with Mindy here:


Friday, November 15, 2019

Nancy Lee Badger Presents Susan B. James

I invited fellow Soul Mate Publishing author, Susan B. James, to share her new book with my readers. My big questions for her is...Why Irish Magic?

Thanks, Nancy. I wrote Irish Magic after a long-dreamed-for trip to Ireland where I visited Lisdoonvarna’s famed matchmaking festival. Since I didn’t find the festival as magical as I hoped I changed the name of the town to Cluhalaugh. This is my first contemporary romance. I skewed it with a tough of magic. I couldn’t find much about Leprechaun lore so I created my own legend where leprechauns could mate with humans, creating a half leprechaun. I also decided fairies could play be the same rules so there is a halfling fairy in the story. 

Book Blurb
What do you do when everything goes wrong?
Make a wish on a four-leaf clover, right?
There’s no other logical way out of it!

But a clover wish is a heart wish. Everyone knows that.
When part leprechaun, Bradley Flynn, is charged with finding Kate’s true love, he calls on retired matchmaker, Essie O’Callaghan, who happens to have a mission of her own.
Dr. Michael Walshe had a ring in his pocket when he walked in on his girlfriend sleeping with her costar. He wants no part of Essie’s plan to find him a wife.
Fate – or something more leprechaun-shaped – has Kate and the doctor both heading to Cluhalaugh, home to Ireland’s most famous matchmaking festival. And somehow their paths keep crossing. The more they see of each other the harder it is to resist exploring their reluctant attraction. Will Kate realize that Michael could be far more than the cure to her writer’s block?

The Abbey Court dining room was almost full. Kate slid into a seat at the long table next to a man holding up a copy of The Irish Independent. She snuck a look at the lead story. Irish Rail Joins Bus Eireann strike. Another plan down the drain.
“I thought we’d agreed not to eat here again.” Brad loomed over her, eyes bloodshot.
“You sound cranky. Have some coffee.”
“I am cranky. I wake up and you’re gone. Not even a note. I thought you’d run away.”
“If I’d run away, I would have left you a note. As it turns out, I’m stuck with you and Michael.” Kate pointed to the headline in her neighbor’s paper.
“That’s a relief. I wouldn’t want to lose you at this stage. Come on. Let me buy you a better breakfast.”
“I’m fine where I am, thanks. You go ahead.”
“Of all the stubborn . . .” Brad stomped off muttering under his breath.
The jam pot was empty. Kate crunched her dry toast, washing it down with coffee. At least it was free.
Brad returned with two Styrofoam cups of coffee and a plate of toast. “Jam pot’s empty.
“I know.”
He snagged a pot of jam from the adjoining table and sat next to her. He chugged the first cup of coffee. Picked up the second. “What are you studying so intently?”
“The plan for what was supposed to have been my bus trip.”
“You crossed out Blarney Castle.”
“I had to. Michael said he was giving us a ride to Galway. Blarney Castle’s in the south of Ireland. I thought I could get a train and meet you in Galway. The train map said it was possible. Except there’s no train.” Kate put her notebook back in her purse. “I’ll go check us out.”
“You have to go to Blarney Castle. You’re a writer. It’s your duty to kiss the Blarney stone. I’ll handle Michael.”
“Do you really think you can convince—”
“I do. It’s a lovely drive from Dublin to Blarney. We’ll take the coastal route and spend the night in Cork.”
Kate marveled at the ease with which Brad persuaded Michael to take the detour. Once Brad pointed out that Blarney Castle was only three and a half hours from Dublin and that among other things, it was famous for its poison garden, Michael agreed instantly. Very natural. What doctor wouldn’t want to visit a poison garden?

Buy links for Irish Magic

More About the Author
Susan writes second chance romances with a touch of magic as Susan B. James and children’s books as Susan J. Berger. She writes older heroines because she is chronologically gifted and enjoys creating characters who remember that change is only on the outside. Inside our older shells is a much younger psyche. Her second book, Maybe This Time, won the 2019 Raven award for Best Contemporary, the 2019 Readers favorite Gold medal in Time travel and was runner-up for the 2019 RONE Award for Audiobook-General. The audiobook will be out in December 2019. Susan’s other career is acting. On IMDB She is Susan Berger. Connect with her here:

Website    Twitter  

Friday, November 1, 2019

Autumn Maple and ButterSCOTCH Scones

Fall is in the air! To help celebrate the chillier temperatures that are heading our way, here in central North Carolina, I am sharing one of my favorite recipes.  

Nancy’s Maple & Butterscotch Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 stick (½ cup) chilled unsalted butter
1 cup (8 oz.) butterscotch chips
½ cup chilled whipping cream
Maple Syrup

Preheat oven to 400℉/200℃/GasMark #6. Wisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Dice the butter and mix in with either your fingers or a pastry blender until small peas forms. Mix in chips with a fork. Measure the ½ cream, add the egg, and mix. Add slowly into the dry mixture, stirring with a fork. The dough should be lumpy and stick together. If dry, add a little more cream. Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto large rimmed baking sheet, spacing apart (I always line mine with parchment paper). Bake scones until golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove to a rack, cool slightly. Brush tops with maple syrup. Makes about 14 scones. Enjoy!

Then, grab a book and read by the fire while nibbling on a maple and butterscotch scone. Need a boo idea? Check out these favorites of mine...

Available HERE

Available HERE

May I also suggest my own recent release? 
Available HERE

Friday, October 25, 2019

A Few More Trip Photos by Nancy Lee Badger

It is amazing what you will see when you leave your hometown. Well, Raleigh, North Carolina is my adopted town, but it is natural to forget that other places utilize things differently. 

Vermont is one of those places, When I was younger, hubby and I drove around New England and picked up antique milk cans whenever we spotted one in decent shape with its cover. Over the years, I have painted many cans and even sold a few, but most went to family members. I am currently selling one for $125. What did Vermont's Welcome Center do with their's? They painted it green and turned it into an outside ashtray! Horrors!

Here are Daryl Jamieson and I, pictured at the recent NH Highland Games. We are related! Loosely. Daryl is a Native American drummer and a member of the Clan Gunn Society of North America. Hubby and I are also members of Clan Gunn. It is so great to meet up with him every fall in New Hampshire. Find out more about Daryl on Facebook.

I love dogs. Really. Okay, I love cats a little more and miss my muse, Blaze, whenever we travel, but two beautiful and impressively large Irish Wolfhounds walked through the grounds at the NH Highland Games. I can imagine the food bill!

I had not driven over the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire in decades and I forgot the lonely splendor of the mountains. Many trees were just turning and their golds and reds dotted the vistas. Incredible.

As an original New Yorker, glancing at the New York skyline while crossing the Hudson River awes me everytime I see it. I am not nor have I ever considered myself a city girl. Give me trees, the ocean, and a cat and I can succeed.

Did I mention I also released a new book this month? Rescuing Christmas is a small-town sweet romance set in rural Vermont. See how visiting Vermont comes back to haunt me! Give it a try.

Buy Links
Amazon        Amazon CAN  

Friday, October 18, 2019

Christmas is Right around the Corner

...and my book was just released! The ebook's special pricing will end soon, so why not download a
copy today?

The basic premise is this...

Vermont is lovely this time of year, but where is the snow?

A Manhattan businessman in a Vermont ditch meets a muddy female firefighter. No snow since November might ruin the town’s annual fire department fundraiser. Can Elinor and Bradley stop their squabbling long enough to Rescue Christmas?


A lone figure stood on the roof where fire spewed toward the sky. 
“Dear Lord!” Bradley had spotted Elinor. She stood encased in smoke, just below the roof’s peak.
A firefighter raced by him, heading in the other direction. “Sean! Elinor is in trouble. Help her!”
Ignoring Bradley’s plea, Sean disappeared beyond the fire truck. Was he coming back?
Bradley was running before he knew he had moved. He grabbed a helmet and a pair of fire-retardant gloves off the back of the firetruck. Racing to the side of the house where flames licked from an upstairs window, he called up to her. “Elinor! Are you all right?”
She didn’t answer and appeared to be bending over, choking on the smoke. He had to save her, but how? Cinders spewed from the open window, and he tripped over something laying in the grass. “A ladder! Hold on. I’m coming!”
He slapped the helmet on his head, then pulled on the gloves. Seizing the heavy aluminum ladder, he struggled with its weight, but managed to prop it against the house. It barely reached the roofline where he had last seen Elinor.
“Elinor! Walk to the ladder!”
Could she hear him? The smoke was choking him, but he would not leave without her. Elinor must not have spotted it, so he slipped his glasses in his coat pocket and raced up the ladder. The helmet slipped sideways and the gloves were cumbersome, but Elinor’s safety was paramount.
Reaching the top, heavy smoke drifted into his eyes and throat and his cough must have caught her attention. The flames from a hole in the roof had been replaced with smoke, so she jumped over the hole and grabbed the top of the tall ladder.

“What are you doing up here?” she asked. 

Great news! Today I found out that the PRINT version 
is now available at Amazon! 
ISBN 978-1697443608  Amazon PRINT

Friday, October 11, 2019

Nancy Lee Badger Presents Author Donna Steele

My friend and writing buddy recently returned from a trip that has fueled her stories with the characters and lovely landscape of Budapest and beyond. Take it away, Donna Steele!

Thanks, Nancy. Budapest Fairy Tale, the fourth book in the Conall Clan series, is now available. Marcel’s story takes us to Europe to continue clean-up of the previous Alpha’s scandals and maybe rock his world.

When Marcel begins his tenure as Territory Alpha to clean up after Eric Davis’ devastating reign, he heads to Europe to oversee the dismantling of Eric’s holdings there. While in Budapest he makes a life changing discovery and learns what Lou, Brent and Wesley Conall already know
Jacquelyn has been in hiding for a long time, escaping what her corrupt Alpha wanted for her, but now that could come to an end, if she can still believe in Fairy Tales . . .
Jacquelyn Caron entered the bedroom and immediately her shoulders slumped. Once again, Adah had disappeared. How the hell did she get away this time? She was human and should be no match for Jacquelyn.
She would have laughed at herself for thinking this would be an easy job, if she didn’t have to face tracking the old lady down again.
How did that woman manage to get past her? It was beginning to feel like a contest, and Jacquelyn was losing.
Jacquelyn had her scent locked already from previous incidents. She began her search, hoping Adah hadn’t actually left the house this time.
That hope was dashed, after she was unable to find the woman anywhere. The cold weather should have kept her from walking far, so she must have called for a car. Jacquelyn had only been in the kitchen a few minutes. Adah had planned her escape carefully. Merde!
She stepped outside. Yes, Adah’s scent ended just down from the stoop. What a handful that woman could be! After nearly a year Jacquelyn had learned to adapt, however the irascible old biddy was tenacious when she wanted something. Even though Jacquelyn needed this job and the anonymity it offered, she had also grown fond of the woman, and was concerned about her. She needed to find her. Where would she go?
Jacquelyn hurried back to Adah’s bedroom. What had she been stewing on this morning?
There were papers spread out on the petite escritoire in her bedroom. Jacquelyn took a seat at the desk and began shuffling through them. She’d been looking at photos of the painting that had been stolen from her family all those years ago.
That damn painting! Adah was obsessed with it and had been like a bloodhound tracking it down, finally finding the thing. Her attempt to retrieve it had been brushed aside by the current owner. Jacquelyn had seen the man only once. She’d been stunned to realize he was a shifter and a strong Alpha. He’d treated the old woman like dirt beneath his feet. He knew Jacquelyn was shifter as well, and yet he neither acknowledged her nor responded to her automatic salute to an Alpha. He basically ignored her presence, acting as if she wasn’t standing there behind Adah.
Gods, she couldn’t be planning to confront him again, could she?
Jacquelyn jumped to her feet and raced to her used Mini Cooper. She knew the way to his estate. It was a place to start. She didn’t feel confident that the Alpha wouldn’t harm the elderly woman. Something tainted about that particular Alpha raised her hackles.

More about the Author

Women Strong Enough For Love 
Donna writes science fiction, paranormal and small-town romances about women coming into their strength and having the courage to find and accept love.
Now that she has retired from going into an office every day, she created an
office at home and writes full time. Talk about living the dream!
She was the girl at the party who was yearning for the quiet corner and a book to read (go Rory Gilmore!) and has been writing in her head since she learned to read. Getting those stories down on paper (or in her laptop) has been more fun than she ever imagined it could be.
The possibilities of science fiction have always drawn her, and she’s read them all, there just needed to be a little more romance in them. She finally got up the courage to write them herself and is delighted to be able to share these stories with you.

She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter of RWA and the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers. She can be reached at:

Friday, October 4, 2019

Scottish Games...what a Trip!

Doormat at the entrance to a clan's tent

I just returned from my annual road trip from Raleigh, NC to Lincoln, NH. What a blast! Every year I worry that this 2,000+ mile round-trip is getting harder and harder, but the NH Highland Games and Festival is quite a party! Here are several photos I took:

Honored Band: Royal Canadian Mounted Police 

The beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire

In case you want to investigate what Scottish festivals entail, here are some upcoming events you might consider. I have also added several of my favorites (or soon to be favorites as I expand my trips):

Oct. 5-6: Scotland County Highland Games, Laurinburg, NC
Oct 11-19: Celtic Colours Festival, Cape Breton, NovaScotia
Oct 12: Indianapolis Scottish Highland Games, Indiana
Oct. 18-20: Stone Mountain Highland Games, Georgia
Oct. 26-27: Central Virginia Celtic Festival and Games, Richmond, VA
Nov. 2: Charleston Scottish Games, Charleston, SC
March 14-15: St. Augustine Celtic Music and Heritage Festival, Florida  
Feb. 1: Sarasota Celtic Music Festival, Florida
April 17-19: Loch Norman Highland games, Huntersville,NC
July 9-12: Grandfather Mountain Highland Games,  Linville, NC
Sept. 18-20: New Hampshire Highland Games and Festival, Lincoln, NH

Teaching them young!

This is a FRACTION of the hundreds of events around the United states and Canada, Most event websites will help you find hotels and let you buy advance tickets. Kilts and bagpipes are optional!