A Rose by Any Other Name . . . #MFRWauthor


Welcome to Week 8 of the MFRWauthors  blog challenge. This week’s prompt is: How  I Choose a Book Title. #MFRWauthor #amwriting #booktitles

 Good Titles may roll off of the tongues of some authors, but not mine. This is often why I refer to my projects as WIP – work in progress, and tell you right up front that it is tentatively titled XXX.

It is strange,  but when I am in my writing group, I can come up with good titles for someone else’s work easier than my own.

redwine-ebook

 

 

For Red Wine & Roses, that title came rather easily. It was the key scene that I wrote for a flash piece, then later developed into the full novel. Red wine and roses were touchpoints to Derek and Julia’s dates from the beginning so it seemed like a logical title. Derek has an old fashioned view about romance that in his mind, one expression of his love for Julia is by showering her with red roses. Towards the end of the story, after the darkest moment,  the reader will see the depth of his love expressed in this manner.

 

 

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For my second book Quotidiandose: 30 Days of Sass, I had lengthy debates over whether to use that for the title or not. I thought about just going with 30 days of Sass.  This book is a compilation of 30 short essays tinged with a lot of sass. A humorous view on life from the writer’s desk, while offering a little motivation to the reader, this nonfiction book is straight from the heart.

Titles are something that typically, I  ponder over and then tend to stress over. Consider the current WIP which I am targeting for completion by the end of April  2017. (Please help me stay accountable to this date!) My original story idea was titled Oral Dilemma. An erotic short where the Main character was always getting into trouble with her mouth via smart-alec quips, vocal talents behind the microphone at the bar, or oral talents in the erotic sense. It fit and I thought it was clever. However, while dusting this off from my files and giving it a thorough once over, I  realized  how bad my pantsing was. This was a serial that I shared on a former group blog I was managing editor for called Storytime Trysts. First of all, I cringed at rereading it, scratching my head at what I thought I was doing. Secondly, the pantsing gave me a lot of background scenes, but no real story. I really liked this character Roxanne Winters though, she had a story that needed to be told.

I basically have dissected this story, taken it apart and tossed out the majority. I had 57,000 words in this story. The bulk of that is gone and it currently sits at 21,354 with a revised outline, a real plot, and very real character goals. Oral Dilemma was no longer appropriate, nor did it really fit the story. I came up with the title Roxy Sings The Blues after debating several other options: The Blues Singer, Foxy Roxy, Little Girl Blue, Whiskey River (I couldn’t go with that one because I decided to cut out the lengthy section of her falling into an alcoholic abyss.) and finally landed on Roxy Sings the Blues. It fits, it’s concise and there aren’t twenty other titles out there with the same name.

Roxy Sings the Blues is another stand alone romance, but this one is romance suspense. The tentative blurb for it is:

Scars tell the story of a past. Roxy’s scars aren’t visible but they have carved her deeply and the pain they have caused pours out through soulful song. If facing a motherless future wasn’t enough, a failed relationship from her past resurfaces to torment her. Just when she was trying to build a new life for herself, trouble making Devon Miller drags her into his chaotic life. The stakes are high as Roxy sits in the spotlight of a dangerous investigation. 

Devon,  a homicide detective is hot for the case and stirring embers of a forbidden fire. Will Roxy hit the right note and help her old flame solve his big case or will she be left singing the blues?

An author’s book is like one of their children. We give them life. We watch them grow. We correct them when they go down the wrong path.  We scrub them clean to be presentable to company. We hope that when they go out into the big world, they are ready. We have to cut the chord and let them stand on their own. But our readers won’t take our babies into their homes if their names aren’t catchy enough to grab attention.  As a reader, I am very picky about titles. I find I do tend to pick up titles with nothing but Names especially if in a series. Especially if that name is

Our book babies need titles that will grab a reader’s attention. This is an artform in and of itself. One that I feel that with some of my future projects – Valkyrie’s Curse (NO, I haven’t given up on that one.) Realm Wars (This is the series title for the books that will include Faere Warrior, Faere Guardian, Faere Mage, and two more that I haven’t decided on titles for.)I am pleased with my title names. But for others – The Hamilton Project, Vamps Couture, my dragon shifter series,  my nefleheim series, I’m either not happy with my working title or don’t have a title yet. It is as personal as naming our biological children. But our readers won’t take our babies into their homes if their names aren’t catchy enough to grab attention.  As a reader, I am very picky about titles. I find I do tend to pick up titles with nothing but Names especially if in a series. Especially if that name is

Funny story about that – my oldest daughter’s name was selected when I was 6 months pregnant. She was going to be Rachel Lynne. Many of my shower gifts were addressed to baby Rachel. However, the moment that she made her debut into this world, I looked at her while the doctor was cleaning her up, suctioning the birth gunk, and she let out that first baby wail – she was not a Rachel. For the first twenty-four hours of her life, she was Baby girl. The nurses were counselling me that I could apply for her name with the state once we decided because I was to be released soon. You know how fast they kick you out after giving birth, right?

Well, after a gruelling delivery, I had a fever, extremely low iron, and was severely dehydrated. They kept me for another full day in which time my wonderful hubs brought the baby name books back to the hospital and we pored over them. I’m happy to say her name suits her, but it’s not Rachel. But our readers won’t take our babies into their homes if their names aren’t catchy enough to grab attention.  As a reader, I am very picky about titles. I find I do tend to pick up titles with nothing but Names especially if in a series.

That’s how we want our books to be –  well suited with a title. It can be a tricky thing.

How do I come up with a title?  Usually, it’s an element of the story like the roses, or the obvious sass. Sometimes it is the character’s name. I have to admit, I see the titles of other authors and wish that I were as clever. Ah well, maybe someday.

Let’s go take a look at how others come up with their titles!

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You can find other posts in this series here:

  1. Raindrops on Roses
  2. They’ll Survive – I Guess
  3. Binge Watching #MFRWauthor
  4. Thank God for Grace in Editing!
  5. #MFRW Best Friends
  6. Crafty Author #MFRWauthor
  7. Musical Mayhem #MFRWauthor

Write on my friends, write on!

 

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Malevolent Mind Cover Reveal


Today is a very special day. I have the privilege of sharing an awesome cover reveal with you. I’m not going to bore you with my incessant babbling,  I’ll just hand it over to my special guest and bud – Misty Harvey!

Thank you, Ellie for taking the time to share in Malevolent Mind’s cover reveal. This book has been a lot of fun for me to write and I hope in turn that readers will enjoy it as much as I have.

 

Hello, Readers!

Thank you for taking your time today to stop by to read about my novel and partake in the cover reveal. This novel has truly been a labor of nightmares. I mean that in the best possible way. Raven’s revenge certainly came straight from those sleep-filled nights. There are pieces that are intricately woven into the story line that I’d conjured up to terrify myself awake. Thank you again for that subconscious. Still, there was something so intriguing about the characters in this novel that I had to write their story.

After a nice talk with my editor, I came to realize that there are bits of me woven into each one of them. From Heath and his childhood antics of writing stories to scare others, to Raven and her wild dreams to visit haunted places around the world. Even Kade holds parts of me as well.

As a young child, my nephew and I used to write these grand tails to tell our younger siblings. We’d try to make them as scary as possible. Being the young, inventive things we were back then we weren’t going to leave anything up to chance. We would take them into the basement, in one of the backrooms and read the scary tales to them. Just as we’d get to the climatic part of the bit we were reading we’d haul our behinds through the basement, flipping off lights as quickly as possible to leave them alone down there in the dark.

While we were busy laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe our parents were right there, ready to ground us. Still, it didn’t matter how many times we did that to them they kept returning to listen to more of the story. We knew we were onto something when it even managed to scare us.

These things continued to stick with me as I grew up. I wove these stories trying to scare me and others around me. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don’t.

Still, I will continue to create these tales where I not only get to frighten others and myself, but it’ll give me a chance to delve into the psychological aspects that come with such things. I can’t wait to release more novels in the future for readers to enjoy.

I hope you will take time to enjoy the excerpt that I’ve chosen from Malevolent Mind and will keep your eyes open for its release on March 16th.

malevolent-mind-cover

 

Malevolent Mind

Horror

 

Blurb:

A story so dark, twisted and unfinished has a way of driving the sanest to the brink of insanity.

Between the constant state of bullying from Heath and his friends, and the unrest of not knowing what happened to her twin, Raven seeks revenge. Years later, she becomes the nanny for Heath’s young son, Kade. She helps him start a horror story with the plan to bring the horrible creature Kade created into the real world to torment Heath and his friends. It was perfect, until everything began unraveling. When Kade’s creation no longer wishes to do Raven’s bidding, it becomes a fight for life or death. The only way to survive is to figure out how to finish off the creature before she finds her freedom. Will Kade find a way to stop the creation of his malevolent mind? Or will Raven’s revenge consume them all?

Excerpt:

 Kade sat there in the middle of the room. He pulled his legs up against his chest, wrapping his arms around them. There was nothing to see now that his head cowered there in the darkness of his own lap. If tonight was the night that he’d die, he wasn’t so sure he’d want to see either of the girls coming for him.

His ears perked up. Behind him came the sound of rustling clothes. He lifted his head, unable to keep it down. It was just his imagination. That was all.

The feel of icy breath slid over the back of his neck. Each tiny hair stood at attention as the stench of decay washed over him. Was it the girl from the river or was it Zilla? Kade flipped onto his knees, the beam of the flashlight straight forward.

There, inches from his face, was Zilla. She stared at him. Her mouth was open at an angle as her tongue flicked out against the air. It was too late to run anywhere.

Death stared him right in the face. Part of him felt relief that it was only her. Of course, that was if the other one wasn’t waiting for him as well. He didn’t dare move the flashlight beam to find out. Zilla had appeared out of nowhere so who knew what would happen once the light wasn’t on her?

Kade watched as her blue-tinged hand reached up for him. She held her hand for him to take. Something told him that doing so would be the end of him. Panic gripped his insides and he knew he had moments to make the first move. If he didn’t react soon, she’d overpower him.

He swung out with the flashlight, catching her on the side of the head. Her body rolled across the floor with a sickening thud. Kade was sure that the magnum flashlight had cracked her skull. It had nearly broken his foot when he’d dropped it one time. He jumped across his bed, darting into the hallway. His gaze moved around the hall as he tried to make out anything.

The sound of her rapidly skittering toward him had him running down the hallway. He stopped at Raven’s door, trying her handle, but the door wouldn’t budge. Instead, the old wood rattled in the frame.

In a flash of lightning, he watched Zilla skitter into the hall on her hands and feet, her body parallel to the floor as she let out a sickening hiss. Half her head remained dented in from where he’d clocked her with the flashlight. It was a terrifying image to behold. The fact that she continued to chase him regardless turned his stomach.

Kade looked back only briefly before he ran. She was close on his heels. In the distance, he could just make out his father’s door. His bare feet padded against the wood flooring.

Goosebumps raced up his spine as her icy fingers wrapped around his ankle. The weight of his body hit the floor with a loud thud. His head bounced against the hard surface blurring his vision. Tears filled his eyes making it even harder to see. At least now, he wouldn’t have to worry about seeing his death coming.

The cold sensation crept up his leg, over his knee and toward his waist. He could feel the weight of her above him as she crawled up his body. Time slowed so that each second felt like eons. The stench of her undead body burned at his nostrils. Kade gagged on the smell that was so strong he could almost taste it.

He didn’t want to die. Life was too short for him. There was still so much that he wanted to do. Besides, he wasn’t sure who would take care of his father if he wasn’t there any longer. That thought rolled inside of him. He wasn’t going to go out like this, a cowering lump of fear on the floor. If she wanted to kill him, she’d have to fight a lot harder for it.

Kade grabbed her arms, rolling them over as he kicked out with both his legs. Her body smashed into the wall across from them, freeing him to run. He scrambled onto his feet, darting for his father’s room.

The bright light blinded him as he ran for it. That was it. He’d found his end and now he was headed into the light. Just as he’d read in another book. It was his time to cross over.

 About the Author:

misty

 

Misty Harvey loves writing spine-tingling horror novels sure to thrill readers. The psychology behind such tales has always been a fascination for her since she was younger. Even to the point that she once contemplated taking up psychology as a profession. Still, her love resides in the art of storytelling. An art she wishes to continue to share with readers for the rest of her days.

After climbing out of her writing cave and searching the house for the sound of the latest creak or pop, Misty can be found doing one of many things. Often times she spends the remained of her day with her amazingly supportive husband and youngest daughter. While she has two older children that are out there spreading their wings around the world, including giving her a few grandchildren.

Her favorite things to do when not writing are crafts, wrestling with her dog, avoiding her cat’s bite or generally making her husband and daughter crazy. Often times she can be found creating vivid tales with her daughter about whatever mundane thing happened in their day and turning it into a crazy story. She is also an avid gamer, crochet goddess (we shall pretend there), domestic queen, and animal tamer (it’s a work in progress).

Stalker Links:

Website: Mistyharvey.com

Facebook: Author Misty Harvey

Twitter: AuthorMDHarvey

Goodreads: Author Misty Harvey

Are you thoroughly creeped out now? Make sure to leave the lights on tonight and be sure to mark your calendar for March 16th!

Thank you for stopping by and sharing with us today Misty!

Write on my friends, write on!

 

 

Raindrops on Roses


badge-blog-challenge-updated

This is an unofficial blog hop challenge makeup post. Gee, guess which one?

Going back to the first week which I missed –  1. A few of my favorite things!

*hums song from Sound of Music*  Admit it,  you sang the title of my blog, didn’t you?

Favorites hmmm. Let’s do this in a simple but unorthodox format.

Favorite foods: 

  • fried chicken
  • Bordeaux cherry chocolate ice cream
  • crab legs
  • watermelon
  • vegetable lo mein

Favorite movies:

  • The Fifth Element
  • Excalibur
  • Fool’s Gold
  • RobRoy
  • Lord of the Rings movies

Favorite books:

  • Outlander series (Diana Gabaldon)
  • Highlander series (Karen Marie Moning)
  • Inca Gold – OK, I cheat here. I love nearly all of Clive Cussler’s books but decided that I would name the one that first ignited my interest in his books.
  • Timeline – Michael Crichton

Favorite possessions:

  • my bullet journal
  • my laptop
  • the pearl necklace and earring set that my husband bought me for our 30th anniversary. Absolutely gorgeous!

Favorite places to go:

  • Panama City Beach, Florida
  • Rich’s Frozen Custard
  • Laumeier Sculpture Park
  • Missouri Botanical Gardens
  • Any place new!

Favorite fast food items: 

  • Hardee’s mushroom swiss burger
  • Subway sweet onion teriyaki chicken
  • Panera’s bear claws *drools*
  • Lee’s fried chicken tenders ( don’t get these very often as we don’t have  a Lee’s around us)
  • Panda Express Orange chicken with broccoli and rice

Favorite articles of clothing:

  • a pair of Lee Rider jeans that fit perfectly!
  • my black leather jacket
  • red camp style shirt
  • Bohemian style ecru crochet sweater ( not much of a sweater as it’s more of an overshirt type of thing, but I love it!)
  • New Balance tennis shoes. If only all shoes could fit like these, I may actually wear shoes throughout the day.

Favorite flavors:

  • cherry
  • chocolate

Not that anyone asked,  but there you have it. Now I can mark that one off of my list and you now know more about me than you ever cared to.

Honestly, I’ve been so far in the headspace of Detective Devon Miller that I am suspecting my own family of covert operations. This calls for further investigation and a large supply of chocolate.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

 

 

KIss Me Deadly: The Craving


Paranormal Romance lovers, this book is for you! Let me introduce Anjalee Scott’s new release, The Craving.

cover

Here’s a blurb about the book:

Kellan has roamed the earth for the past 400 years searching for something, anything, greater than him, and now, in San Francisco, he thinks he has finally found it. He has stumbled across college student, Aria Sandoval, who defies his very existence, and he’ll do anything to figure out the magic surrounding the beautiful woman.

Aria Sandoval is a Criminology major in her second year at UCSF and has no idea that, instead of criminal behavior, it’s the paranormal she should be studying. Adopted when she was an infant, after being abandoned in a church, she has no idea about her heritage or its connection to the supernatural.

Intrigue, mystery, passion, desire, and an unexplainable magic never seen before surround the 20-year-old as she learns exactly who she is and what kind of fight she’s in.

Aria must believe in the unbelievable as she weaves her way through a web of enchantment spun just for her and seeks to find the answers to her identity.

*This book is intended for mature audiences 18+.

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All links for purchasing, including Amazon, can be found at http://anjaleescott.com. The ring contest ends the 28th, so get your purchase in before then to be entered and drop a screen shot of your receipt to support@anjaleescott.com.

Write on my friends, write on! Go read a good book!

Life Isn’t Fair


Since I didn’t share my snippet piece yesterday, I thought I’d fudge a bit and share today.

Wow! This story has really gone through the mill. Roxy Sings the Blues originally started as the serial post erotica that I shared on Storytime Tryst. Don’t bother trying to find it, I no longer have the time to manage Storytime and nothing has been posted since forever ago.

All rights reserved to original artist. Quotidiandose does not own rights to this image.

All rights reserved to original artist. Quotidiandose does not own rights to this image.

The only recognizable part of that original story is the characters, although they are more fully developed now as well. When I compiled all of my serial posts, I added bits and pieces here and there to  help it congeal. Yeah, it wasn’t really working for me. First of all,  the original story was erotica. It wasn’t even my best effort in erotica either. Something about this story just wouldn’t let me go. Although I wasn’t happy with it,  I knew there was something in it that screamed to be told. Maybe I had wax in my ears, maybe my internal editor was cringing so much she wouldn’t listen to the voice crying to be heard.  When the fecal matter hit the rotary blades with the previous small publishing house I was associated with, I fell into a pit of discouragement and shelved Valkyrie’s Curse, which was 90% complete.

When the fecal matter hit the rotary blades with the previous small publishing house I was associated with, I fell into a pit of discouragement and shelved Valkyrie’s Curse, which was 90% complete.

Valkyrie’s was ready to be sent out to my beta readers, but after some critical comments, I tucked it away, as I wasn’t ready to push ahead with doing it on my own just yet. I haven’t given up on it, but it was set aside before Penned Con 2016 with a bitter taste left in my mouth. Time heals all wounds, however, and I feel I can go that last 10% soon. In the meantime, I heard Roxy’s wails of sorrow crying to be heard.  I dusted off those files, cringing at points, but also seeing that she had a story worth being told. Not the story I had first written, but a much deeper, more encompassing story. I was giving a superficial glossing to her story, focusing on certain gritty aspects of her life. She deserved more.

I’m keeping a small portion of what I had written, but most of it has ended up in the recycle bin. The revision has turned into a complete rewrite. Sordid details of her bad mistakes really didn’t need to be aired as yesterday’s dirty laundry. I have to admit, it needed a rewrite desperately.

The original plot of transformation was heart wrenching, motivational, kitschy, and focused too much on the back story. Ironic since another shelved project I’ve talked about before, my Fae series – anyone remember me sharing about Faere Warrior? – was shelved because I needed to share more of the back story. I haven’t given up on that one either. Basically, I got myself into a state of being overwhelmed with numerous projects that are unfinished for one reason or another.

Just a quick note here, most of my projects are so very close, yet every one of them needs just a little more. This is where I kick myself with disgust. If I focused on just those in my unfinished files I will be writing until I am 60! Scary thing is, that isn’t that far away!

So anyway, back to Roxy. . . the deeper story. I think you’re going to like it.  Last time I shared a snippet from the intro. Let’s dive right into the thick of it, shall we?

Here’s a brief snippet from Chapter 1 to let you know where Roxy is starting from:

Two hours and twenty-four minutes later, I pulled up into a visitor’s spot by the main entrance. I barreled through the doors, racing down the hall to the oncology floor, running past the nurse’s station towards the room number Tara had texted me.

I stopped short just outside the door. This was it. This was reality. I did not want to face losing my mom. I gave myself a quick talk as I took several deep breaths. One step. Two steps. Three steps and I was at the side of mom’s bed. Tara was on the other side, her head down on the edge of the bed, holding mom’s hand.

My eyes welled with tears. “NO” My body racked with sobs as I lifted my mother’s cold lifeless hand to my cheek. Tara lifted her head slowly, looking up at me in such a forlorn and lost expression it broke my heart even more.  I ran to her, lifting her from her chair as we sobbed together.

It wasn’t fair. Even knowing it was coming someday, we were not prepared for this reality. Some day was not supposed to be this day or any day in the near future. At twenty-three and twenty we were not supposed to lose our mother. Before either of us were married, before either of us had children, before either of us had even had a chance to truly live, cancer took her from us. It. Wasn’t. Fair.

As I held my younger sister in my arms, my eyes clenched tightly to shut out the vision of the corpse that lay in the bed that was supposed to be my mother. My breath caught in my throat, feeling panicky and lost, so very lost. I turned quickly to the side, hitting the vase of flowers on the stand next to the bed rails. The vase that held a beautiful flower arrangement shattered into pieces as it made contact with the linoleum floor.

Shattered. Just like our lives were now.

Just like Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers, Roxy’s shattered life can be rebuilt. Slowly, piece by piece, and she will come out stronger than she began. Isn’t that kind of the point of a transformation plot? I guess I kind of gave that away, didn’t I? All I can say is don’t write her off just yet. Fate isn’t done jerking her around. 

Did you get the feels? Do you feel compassion for Roxy and her sister?

How have you dealt with the death of a close loved one?

When my father passed away, my world was suddenly shattered. When my mother passed away, I was only slightly more prepared having been her caregiver for the last year and a half of her life. I didn’t have to face it in my twenties, though, which I am grateful to have had them in my life as long as I did.  It took me a long time to find the good in life after both losses, but eventually, I did and I hope you have as well.

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

 

 

Cover Reveal: ROOK by Miranda Lynn


I know I promised a teaser today, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. Today I have the privilege of sharing a cover reveal for an author I met at Kentuckiana Book Blitz! This woman helped me calm my newbie nerves.  Kentuckiana was my very first author event and I was a nervous wreck.

Without further ado, I am honored to share with you the cover reveal for my friend Miranda Lynn’s newest book:

ROOK

Black Mountain Pack

Book 2

Coming April 2017

rook

Come join us as the story of the Black Mountain Pack continues. Follow Rook as he takes on the challenge of helping Mack and Casey repair the South American Pride.

Rook heads to South America and finds his hands full with bringing the Pride out of the dark ages that Tomas had kept it in for years under his malicious ruling. He reunites with a few old friends and discovers a dark and twisted world he never knew existed behind the closed doors of the Alpha’s house. With the help of old military buddy Jonah he guides the Pride onto the path of a happy and fruitful living.

Fate has other plans when Rook is blindsided with the fact that his true mate had been kept in the clutches of the former Alpha. Locked behind doors and used as an object to be shared rather than respected and revered as all female shifters should be.

Will he be able to cull the evil from the Pride and make it safe enough for Casey to lead without fear? Will he be able to help his mate heal from the hell she has been put through and coax her cat to come out and play?

Find out this coming April!

 

About the Author

miranda-lynn

Time Travel and Paranormal Romance author. Her Destiny series takes you on a roller coaster ride through time with sexy Highlanders and sassy female heroines. If shifters are your kryptonite, then check out her Black Mountain Pack series which throws a twist on the traditional shifter lore. Miranda is a mother to two teenage boys who are sure they know it all, a 75lb lap dog, a 15lb foot warmer, and a cat that most days plans her demise. She is thankful her husband doesn’t mind the extra voices in her head. Miranda is an only child who grew up on a dairy farm in Illinois which left her plenty of time to make up stories in her head for entertainment. She currently resides in Tennessee where she wonders if Mother Nature will ever stop with the hormonal mood swings. She fuels herself with coffee, chocolate, and wine.

Make sure to follow Miranda Lynn to keep up to date on Rook and all the other players in the Black Mountain Pack.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/MirandaLynnBks/

Join her readers group for sneak peaks and exclusive giveaways: https://www.facebook.com/groups/367841766921211/

Website: www.mirandalynn.com

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2ldOuDe

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MirandaLynnBks

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Time Travel and Paranormal Romance author. Her Destiny series takes you on a roller coaster ride through time with sexy Highlanders and sassy female heroines. If shifters are your kryptonite then check out her Black Mountain Pack series which throws a twist on the traditional shifter lore. Miranda is a mother to two teenage boys who are sure they know it all, a 75lb lapdog, a 15lb foot warmer, and a cat that most days plans her demise. She is thankful her husband doesn’t mind the extra voices in her head. Miranda is an only child who grew up on a dairy farm in Illinois which left her plenty of time to make up stories in her head for entertainment. She currently resides in Tennessee where she wonder if Mother Nature will ever stop with the hormonal mood swings. She fuels herself with coffee, chocolate, and wine.

Make sure to follow Miranda Lynn to keep up to date on Rook and all the other players in the Black Mountain Pack.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/MirandaLynnBks/

Join her readers group for sneak peaks and exclusive giveaways: https://www.facebook.com/groups/367841766921211/

Website: www.mirandalynn.com

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2ldOuDe

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MirandaLynnBks

A Progress Report of Sorts


My life has been derailed by a flu bug. I didn’t manage to get the blog hop post up on Friday – I barely managed to remain conscious for part of the day and the following couple of days. There is a long list of things I didn’t get done over the last few days. SIGH. Moving on, some tasks will have to be made up while others will have to be let go, deleted, or put back into rotation at a later date.

Up until now, I’ve been opposed to flu shots thinking that this was akin to the perpetual overly prescribed use of antibiotics that have aided in the creation of super bugs. Well, after this bout of influenza,  I am willing to succumb to the poke.

Anyway, enough about that.  A brief update on the list of things to do for the month:

Editing –  finished one book which was amazing! I am so excited for the release on this one. Have made progress on another editing job,  about three-fourths of the way completed, but waiting on payment. Also, I’ve picked up a couple more editing jobs. HA-  what’s a few more irons in the fire, right?

Writing – alas,  this was put on the back burner while tackling the next item on the list. It figures, right? When I get a plan in place of what I want to do, the direction I want to go in, then life throws a curve ball. It sometimes seems that the universe conspires against me. It’s time for the universe to start working with me, however. I have made up my mind that this is going to be my first priority, even over the editing.  For one, I think it will do me good to set the editing voice on the back burner,  she’s causing me to second guess practically every word I write down.  There are thousands of words that are going through my mind,  that sound like gold inside my head.

Online Course Requirements for the new job – this has been priority one for me. I haven’t done real well at juggling, in fact, I set everything else aside so that I could focus on this. Until the flu had its way with me.  I sat down Thursday morning to go through the second module for the longest class, only to end in failing the quiz. *Hangs head in shame*  The saying goes, most of the things that we worry about never happen. It’s true.

I spent a couple of hours spiraling into an all-out panic attack. I could already tell the fever was getting worse. The achiness wracked my entire body. My head was pounding. You think maybe, just maybe, that might have played a part in my less than stellar academic performance? Seems rational now but at the time I didn’t see it. When I couldn’t get back into the course, I panicked.  As my symptoms increased, my anxiety was through the roof.

After a while though, I had to stop. I’ll omit the graphic details, but  I didn’t willingly stop. Mr. Influenza didn’t exactly ask me if I wanted to spend the majority of my time in the bathroom. I had all of  the what if I don’t pass/ I’ll lose the job/but I feel like crap/ they don’t care/ license requirements don’t make exceptions for special snowflakes/ life isn’t fair/ oh my god I feel horrible/suck it up and  try again/I’m locked out/ now what do we do?/ contact them NOW/ it’s in their hands/ get some rest . . . this is when it got crazy.  I gave up on the course and sat down on the sofa. Immediately I had dozed off fitfully. I had chills so bad, the queen sized comforter wasn’t enough. My temperature was blazing hot, my heart was pounding in my chest – I knew I needed some sleep. So, when I moved to my bed, my nasal congestion immediately got worse and I literally couldn’t breathe. Yeah, add that to the mix! Because, you know things aren’t bad enough yet.  I needed sleep. I couldn’t sleep. Now I was afraid to go to sleep, what if I didn’t wake up? I mean, breathing is kind of a necessity.

I bounded out of bed like I had springs in my butt. The chills were gone and the fever was blazing. I considered going outside onto my front porch –  even in my state of undress. Who cares if anyone saw me in my undies, I needed fresh air STAT!  Now, doesn’t it just figure that we had record high temps in February? Going outside didn’t really help much. It felt just as stifling out there as it did inside. I ended up getting a cold washcloth and wiping my face, neck arms, stomach, legs, then repeating.  I was in this  fugue state of panic/fear/exhaustion.  I had taken some Nyquil and a couple of tylenol for the fever, but they had yet to kick in.

Misty suggested that I go through this technique to bring me down from the anxiety, which worked after several repetitions enough for me to relax so that I could at least breathe. It doesn’t help that my sister told me that people die from the flu! Not what I needed to hear just then.

Anyway, once the fever had dropped enough that I didn’t feel as if my brain was boiling, and the meds had kicked in enough that I could at least breathe, I decided that I would give my bed another go. Exhaustion can do strange things to you. Rest is the best thing you can do for yourself when you’re sick. I’m a terrible patient. There are things that need to be done, chores that don’t get done unless I do them.

Sometimes it takes an emergency to put things into perspective that if it doesn’t get done without me, maybe it isn’t really that vitally important. Has anyone ever died from dirty dishes left undone? Laundry accumulating? NO! It was waiting for me when I started feeling better. I have a lot of mixed emotions about that,  but in the end, I take care of it.

By Saturday morning I was feeling a little better. However, the hubs now had it. While he slept, I wrapped myself in a cocoon of blanketed warmth, got myself a new box of tissues, and put the kettle on for a constant refilling of hot tea. I made those classes my bitch! Owned those suckers with a final score of 92 out of 100. Hey, not bad considering I was under the weather. That material is dry, dull, boring, legaleze jargon that could put anyone into a comatose state.

Anyway, after completing the course I moved to the sofa where I crashed hard for  the remainder of the day. That’s my big accomplishment –  I have aced the courses ahead of schedule even while having the flu!  TADA!

*Throws confetti* This calls for a celebration!  Since I missed celebrating publishing my 500th post – which was One Phone Call,  completing my MLO classes is certainly means for celebrating.

Anyway, now that I’m moving back towards a healthy state, it’s time to tackle those undone things.

Write on my friends, write on! I promise less ranting next time!

Ellie

 

 

Crafty Author #MFRWauthor


badge-blog-challenge-updated

Welcome to week 6 of the 52-week MFRW blog challenge.  Each week will be a new topic. Isn’t that fun? 

This week’s prompt:  My hobbies.

I have more hobbies than I have time for, but I’ll share just a few in order of time actually spent doing them.

  1. Bullet Journaling – OK, technically this may or may not be considered a hobby. It’s a productivity tool but it’s also an outlet for artistic expression. I haven’t shared any of my pages for a while because they tend to look alike. For the most part,  my daily entries consist of my to do list, maybe a quote or scripture, and a few personal notes. There are days when I have a lot more on my mind and my journaling can be long winded.
First bujo cover - This is the 33 cent comp book. Notice the tabs, these are necessary for me.

First bujo cover – This is the 33 cent comp book. Notice the tabs, these are necessary for me.

From my humble beginnings last year, a 33 cent clearance  5 x 8 composition notebook, to the current one – a  dotted Leuchterm that was received as a gift, my bullet journal keeps me on track, allows a little artistic expression and allows a place to enter my thoughts.

A few pages are fancy schmancy, artsy fartsy but most are repetitive dailies. You can make your journal however you want. This is mine and I do what I want with it. I can color the page entirely black if I feel like it. I don’t see what that would accomplish, but I could if I wanted to.

Below is a quick gallery of a few pages. The cover is red, not sure why it looks pink in this photo.

2. Crochet – I have a multitude of projects from quick cup cozies to lengthy projects like afghans. I am currently working on 2 projects – a manghan – basically an afghan in charcoal grey for my husband ‘that is larger than a regular afghan so that it will cover his feet and still be able to tuck in  under his chin, in a basic design that doesn’t have big holes that  his toes can go through and not in some god-awful color that looks like someone couldn’t decide’ was his request, and a market bag which I am freestyling. I have to admit, I’ve ripped this one out a few times already. It’s currently about a third finished.

 

3. Furniture refinishing/repurposing. I haven’t been as diligent in taking photos of my before and after projects, but I do have a few. We find odd pieces at auction or yard sales. I can’t ay that I look for any specific style, it’s more a matter of what grabs my attention. 20160305_123147

This metal framed vanity chair was literally on the side of the road. Most people would look at that and say good riddance. No, not me. I look at that and see the bones of something more. So after a little bit of work,  and a lot of elbow grease to polish the metal, I transformed it into this:

20160314_174857I’m not a fan of orange, but the fabric popped and it sold for $40.00. Not bad for a scavenge, using up a bit of leftover padding, and a half yard of fabric.

Here are a few of my finds:

4. Crafts – all of the crafts that don’t easily fit within crocheting, refinishing, or journaling.  This includes sewing which I will do again when I can replace my sewing machine that died after twenty some odd years. As part of my office space that I am going to carve out in our basement, a craft area is going to be part of that plan.

I’ve been scouring Pinterest on the best way to handle storage in this area.  I need an area for items that will go into a resale shop, and an area for handcrafted items also. I have to admit before I can get the clean, tidy work area that I desire I will have to purge my stash and start over. It’s difficult to create a clean area when you are overrun with stuff.

5. Gardening –  I didn’t do much last year, and I really missed it. I love having fresh produce from the garden. I love planting the seedlings and watching it grow. I can’t deny I love the fresh produce that I know is organic as well. This month is the planning stage of gardening. I’m plotting out on graph paper to plan what seeds and starts I will need for my garden area. Yes, I’m a geek.

Managing time for all of these things however, that’s another story.

I wonder if there are hobbies that don’t cost money. It seems everything I do ends up costing money in some way. At least the refinishing/repurposing is getting a return! Do you have any hobbies?

Don’t forget this is a blog hop. Anyone can join at any point in the MFRW 52 week challenge…  Click here. Make sure you check out some of the other authors.

Other posts in this series:

  1. Raindrops on Roses
  2. They’ll Survive – I Guess
  3. Binge Watching #MFRWauthor
  4. Thank God for Grace in Editing!
  5. #MFRW Best Friends

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

One Phone Call


I have spent the last two days on the phone trying to find out information on the exact requirements that I will need to fulfill for my job. I don’t know about you but waiting on hold is one of those time-wasters that I could do without. It’s that feeling of helplessness, this is out of your control, and you are at the mercy of the person on the other end.

If everything could be straight forward, the instant response then things would go much smoother. But, alas it isn’t to be. The forces that be have decided that it is a requirement to be put on hold for an untold specified amount of time. Please tell me that I”m not the only one who is impatient with these things!

In the meantime, while I continue my quest for answers, I thought I might share a teaser from Roxy Sings the Blues. Since phone calls seem to be first on my mind,  I thought I’d share this brief opener.

~~~~~~~~

One phone call can change your life forever.

I’ve heard it said many times and I get it. If you are a ball player waiting for that call to the majors, if you are waiting for the call that you got that job that you were hoping for. I always thought however, that most people are just being overly dramatic and using that as a cliché’ statement.

What if you didn’t get this job, but instead got a call from a different company that ended up being a better job? What if, as a ball player you didn’t ever get called to the majors but stayed in the minor leagues and ended up being a top-notch coach? What if that call was the worst thing that could happen?

It’s always been my view that there are multiple paths that our lives could take. There are multiple opportunities presented to us and that one phone call bit was a bunch of hogwash.

Until today.

Until I received the phone call that without a doubt, changed my life forever.

DO you want to read more? 

I”ll share a bit more soon . Until then I have to get back to my search.

Write on my friends, write on.

Ellie

 

Break the Mold


“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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The army of plastics.

It is frustrating to see  your work crumpled up into the trash bin however, it would be far worse to not understand that it wasn’t right.

I’ve been working frantically over the past couple of weeks to salvage/improve my WIP. For those of you who read Oral Dilemma on Storytime Trysts,  it is nothing like that anymore.  For those who have read the snippets of what is tentatively titled Roxy Sings the Blues,  it’s not like that either.

‘Roxanne Winters, student, MMA fighter. A woman barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild her. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic blues singer. Roxanne Winters will be that woman. Better than she was before. Better, stronger, smarter.’  Don’t deny it –  you heard that in Oscar Goldman’s voice from the Six Million Dollar Man. OK, well I did even if you didn’t.

OK, don’t panic – breath.  That is self-talk for me, not the readers. 

I’m so close, yet so far away. There is always a giant obstacle before the goal is achieved, right? Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know but there always seems to be a few kinks to work out even when I have my  basic plot and outline. I don’t know the exact story yet, I haven’t written it! As it unfolds, I’m going to touch base on something that has been asked more than a few times.

Is Julia Mathers in Red Wine & Roses based on you? I see a lot of similarities in her personality and yours. 

NO! She is not me and I am not her.  As to similarities, I have been wracking my brain to figure out what similarities that these readers see.  We both have dark brown hair, brown eyes, but so do many men and women. When you think of a fashion model, what is the first image that comes to mind? Short, stocky, dark-haired beauty or tall thin blonde? (I have nothing against blondes, my sister is a blond and I love her dearly!)

Yea, me too. So, in essence, Julia is the antithesis of a fashion model.  Before Tyra there was Christie. The symbol of beauty in the 80’s, every man wanted Christie, every woman wanted to look like Christie.

I can only speak from my experience, but I know thousands of women can relate, so here goes.  From a very young age, I was expected to act a certain way, be a certain way, look a certain way.  My mother was very strict. Even though I was a tomboy at home, barefoot more often than not, outside until after the cows came home (we lived in the country), unhindered by the dirt smeared across my face, arms, or legs, when it was time to go anywhere I had to clean up.

I remember so many times being assaulted roughly with a washcloth as she frantically worked to clean me up to a presentable child that could be seen in public. Maybe that’s part of my obsession with being presentable before leaving the house now. Freud would be happy with the mental connection! You might laugh at my choice of wordage there –  being assaulted – but to a ten-year-old child that was more interested in playing ball  or bike riding with the neighborhood kids, when I was called home to change clothes and clean up, it was akin to me asking my own kids to do their chores or bloodletting which are apparently the same in their eyes. (I had chores, they were done first thing in the morning before I was allowed to go play. I would need much more coffee and time to share about mental scars from gathering eggs. You know back in my day . . .)

This seems so insignificant, yet,  it made a mark.  It contributed to the greater idea that I was expected to be something I was not.  I was not the shy little girl who would sit quietly on the church pew.   I got spankings because of my fidgeting. I was not the pretty girl in the party dress.  I was the one who still spills stuff on my clothes, still do! I was not the cool kid with the stylish new designer clothes. I got loads of hand me downs, it was a thrill to get brand new clothes in bright unfaded material! I was not the popular girl in high school. (Really, I knew practically everyone in my high school because it was a small school in a small town but knowing everyone isn’t what constituted popularity.) I was not the cheerleader, the pompom girl, or the beauty queen. There were so many things I was not.  It always seemed to be about what I wasn’t, that we were expected to fit into the societal molds put on us and assimilate to the plastic army.

We were supposed to look like Christie Brinkley. We were supposed to be nurses, secretaries, or school teachers. We were supposed to  . . . .. ugh.  The list goes on and on and on until one day you either give in to depression and booze and think that you don’t measure up or you wise up and realize that you aren’t part of the plasticine dream mold and decide to live as who you really are.  Are you following me?

I’m still working on accepting my own value.  I am very well acquainted with the things I am not.  What I am working on is finding value in who I AM.

In that regard,  my life experience lends itself to my character Julia.  She learns to value herself for who she is and overcomes her feelings of inferiority.  I’d like to say that I was inspired by overcoming my own sense of inferiority but I haven’t.  Perhaps I’m writing it prophetically. Yeah, instead of Chuck the prophet I am Ellie the Prophetess. Doesn’t quite have that ring, does it?  Maybe Sam and Dean will show up to correct me. Shhh, don’t break the fantasy.

My inspiration for Julia is the average woman: Every woman who has ever felt inferior. Every woman who has felt less beautiful than the fashion industry standards. Every woman who has sold themselves short for the attention of a man who disrespected them. Every woman who struggles with their sense of self-worth. Which I believe includes every single woman on the face of the earth over the age of twelve.  Did you know that even Christie Brinkley sees faults in herself? I don’t know what they are, but I know human nature.  Trust me – she sees them.

I am still learning how to be me. I know that sounds weird, but it’s  true. There has always been these expectations put on us by our parents, society, our peers and by ourselves. As life plays out, we discover who we truly are and who we aren’t.  I was never cut out to be a nurse, I accepted that early on. Trust me it’s best for all of us.  I was never cut out to be an Olympic gymnast, my rendition would look more like a Carol Burnett rerun.

One thing I have always been gifted with is a vivid imagination. It got me into trouble – often. That same imagination fuels my mind with story ideas. Well, with the addition of coffee.  Coffee is my catalyst. I think maybe today I’ll have a little Irish coffee.

Do you struggle with aspects of your self-image? Do dudes struggle with self-image or inferiority? How dull would it be if everyone conformed to the Stepford plan? Variety is the spice of life and some of us are a little spicier than others.

So why do I go back and rehash over my first book when I am in the trenches with Roxy And Devon?

Because my lovelies, I’m running a special deal over at Amazon.

For the next two days, you can get your copy at 60% off! What are you waiting for? Go get yours now while I get back to wrecking Roxy’s world. Errr,  I mean,  helping her discover who she is. Yeah, that’s it.

Go HERE to get your copy now! 

Write on my friends, and be yourself!

Till next time –  Ellie