First Love #MFRW


Welcome to week 42 of the 52-week MFRW blog hop – My First Love. Wow – do you realize there are only ten -TEN weeks left in the year??? Holy moly where did the time go?

My first love . . . hmmm. Does that mean the first man I fell in love with?  That would be my husband of 32 years, and we dated for 6 years before that.

Does it mean my first love as in God and Jesus? That should be all of our first loves, but I don’t really think that is what it is referring to in this blog hop. Although, if you are writing Christian romance for Steeple Hill, then I guess that would be a suitable topic.

OR does it mean my first love in reading? Sometimes I get confused as to what the intent was for these prompts, like the week about the open door, yeah I totally missed that one!

I need to think over a cup of joe while I sort this out in my head. In the meantime,  you can listen to this:

Alright, coffee consumed and I think I will share about my first love – my hubby. After all, our view about romance and how romance works is filtered through our own perceptions. I will be breaking a rule by sharing this because the hubs doesn’t like for me to talk about him, or us, on the blog.

2014-09-24 11.24.36

I was fifteen years old when I was crushing on this gorgeous hunk. Muscles, oh my! Ripped abs, bulging biceps, but not too bulky. His voice – a deep rich baritone, think Lou Rawls!

His sexy grin sent shivers down my spine before he ever cast a look in my direction. He was the Captain of his football team, I was a band geek. I never thought in a million years he would even look my way and was speechless when he asked me out. Please understand, for me to be speechless is a feat!

He had a full head of thick luscious hair, and back in the 80’s, his hair brushed his shoulders. Our first 3 dates were Friday night – school dance, Saturday night – my school dance, and Sunday – a bowling outing with our youth group from church.

2014-09-24 11.22.33

I was a goner from the first kiss. Man, can he kiss! The kind of toe-curling, knee popping, my insides turn to mush kiss.

This is one of my favorite photos of the hubs, taken long before we were married. He had been working on his car – a 64 Chevy Impala SS, you can see he’s inside the engine compartment and had been laying on the ground beneath the car.  He wasn’t too thrilled with my photography, but I just love this shot!

But, you know . . . true love is more than the physical relationship. We connected. We talked. We shared common interests while maintaining individual interests. He still loves sports, I don’t. I still love the creative crafty stuff, he is meh.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We’ve had our share of ups and downs, highs and lows. This year has been a lot of lows, but through it all, he’s been my rock. I don’t know that I could have made it through all this cancer stuff if he hadn’t been my biggest supporter, encourager, hand holder, chauffeur, and above all, my best friend.  He was willing to shave his head with me for support!

He puts up with all of my quirks. I’ve put on a lot of weight since we first began dating and he’s rarely complained. If anything, he encourages me to be healthy and regularly tells me I can do it!

True love goes so far beyond the physical attraction, it’s difficult to put into words for the younger crowd. When you find someone who loves you and wants to be with you even though they know your flaws, your hang-ups, and every one of your bad habits. . . . that is true love and worth hanging onto.

This is the kind of love that inspires me to write love stories,  to write romance. This is what inspires me to face the next day when I’m tired of being a pincushion, tired of Dr’s offices, and tired of facing yet another change caused by cancer.

We aren’t wealthy financially by any means, but when I count my blessings,  I feel I am the richest woman alive to have found my Mister Right!

Sure, he has flaws. He’s human after all but they are easily overlooked when looking at the big picture. The big picture for me is a life full of happy memories,  two beautiful children, a loving home, and my best friend to grow old with!

I’m curious to see what the other authors have done with this prompt, so let’s go check them out.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Weekend Writing Warriors


Behold – I do a new thing.

What can I say, my ADD got the better of me and I  jumped into another thing. Give me a break, ok? It’s been a crap year! I need more fun things in my life!

So, I joined this group, Weekend Writing Warriors.

HOW IT WORKS

It’s simple and fun. Sign up on the linky list with your name, blog url, and email address on Mondays, 8:00 AM EST. Each week, the list remains open until Saturday, 11:59 PM. Then on Sunday, post 8 sentences from a current writing project, published or unpublished. Visit other participants and offer opinions, critiques, support. Writers hanging out with writers, a good time with a great group of people.
~~~~~~~~~
8 sentences –  I can manage that, can’t I?  That sounded like a challenge and I was off!
YEs, it’s late in the year but what the heck! Maybe this will turn into a regular thing.  I ‘ve been thinking I should share more snippets anyway.
~~~~~~~~~

I gave myself a quick mental talk about facing reality and to stop being a hopeless dreamer as I took several deep breaths. One step into the doorway, all I could see was the curtain pulled around the hospital bed. Two steps, the end of the bed with feet visible beneath a white cotton blanket with the blue hospital name on it. Three steps and I was at the side of the bed, afraid to look down and recognize the woman in the bed as my mother. Tara was on the other side, her head down on the edge of the bed, holding a frail bluish hand.

My eyes welled with tears.

“NO!”

My body wracked with sobs as I lifted the other cold lifeless hand to my cheek. Tara lifted her head slowly; looking up at me with such a forlorn and lost expression, it broke my heart even more. I ran around the bed to her, lifting her from her chair as we sobbed together.

This is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Roxy Sings the Blues.
That wasn’t so hard! Just a note, but Roxy is going to be on a countdown deal from October 18 through the 25th! Be sure to get your copy!
Write on my friends, write on!

Interview with Jolele Buccheit


My guest today is Jolene Buccheit. I wasn’t able to connect with Jolene at Penned, except just a few times in passing. I’m telling you, it was a madhouse – but in a good way!

Tell me a little bit about yourself and where you are from.

My name is Jolene Buchheit, pronounced like Boo-Kite. Born, raised, and currently living in Iowa. My passion outside of reading and writing books is working with teenagers, which I do at one of the local high schools. My favorite color is royal blue, like my hair and my two favorite sports’ teams: Chicago Cubs and Kentucky Wildcats. I do not like long walks on the beach because it hurts my feet, but I love the sound of the ocean. Also, is it just me or does the sea have healing powers? Yeah, I thought so.

 Yes! YES, absolutely Yes, the sea has healing powers!  We got to go on vacation to the gulf the week prior to Penned, I was looking forward to it since April, when I thought I might never see the ocean again.  Yeah, I know, overactive imagination. What genre do you write?

All of my currently published material is young adult. The Charmed Trials series is Greek-mythology inspired urban fantasy. I also have a standalone that is young adult contemporary. However, I have several works in progress that are adult women’s fiction which might be classified as fantasy and romantic comedy contemporary.

Those sound fascinating, I am going to add those to my toberead list! I love stories about mythology. What genre do you read? Which do you read the most?

I read all fictional genres. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of romantic comedies and sports romances as I’m working on a combination of the two.

Who are your favorite authors –  can include Independent authors?

I read everything by my friend Emily Cyr, she makes me laugh and swoon. I love Meghan Quinn and Quinn Loftis, who crack me up as well. Jennifer L. Armentrout is my writing hero. Her books are exactly the kind of stories I love to read and aspire to write. Others I won’t miss include: Cassie Clare, Wendy Higgins, A. D. Ryan, Komali da Silva, and Angie Thomas.

This one isn’t writing related necessarily,  but I think it tells more about who you are. What do you value most in a friend?

Dependability. I don’t mean showing up on time, I mean being there emotionally. I love checking in with my best friends every day and when they have something hard to face, lending my support. I value the friends in my life who do the same.

I will have to agree with that. Having recently gone through some tough times, I found out who is dependable, who really cares, and who is a friend collector that doesn’t really care.  Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

I work in a high school with teenagers all around me. For my young adult books, the authenticity of the teens’ interactions is because I witness it every day. For my adult books, the things my coworkers and friends talk about spark ideas for “what if” situations in my more mature writing. I don’t know if I am surrounded by funnier people in general or if my humor filter works stronger to help me find the most hilarious way of telling a story. But, oh, how I love to laugh and hear others laugh as well.

Tell us a little about your latest book.

Right now, I am working on a romantic comedy about a clumsy girl who is accidentally tripped at a hockey game and ends up spilling beer all over the guy in front of her, who turns out to be an unbelievably attractive man who handles it far too well for the circumstances.   

Are you a pantser or plotter, or a plontser?

Pantser. I usually write with a loose idea of how the story goes, but nobody would call it a plot. Working on a co-written project has helped me see why plotters do it their way, but I still prefer for the story to be developed in a more organic way.

What’s next for you?

I’ve completed an adult fantasy novel with two of my best friends. That’s being considered by an agent at the moment, so hopefully that will be my next release. For my solo projects, book three in the Charmed Trials series should be out in the spring.

12.What is your work area like? (desk or work at table or on sofa, tidy or untidy, OCD organized, chaos, perfectly decorated, a niche carved out in a closet, etc.)

As I type, I am half reclined on my couch with Oaty (our dog) lying on my feet and Monte (one of our cats) upset with me because I won’t let him on my lap. The glare is real, y’all.

What is your ideal getaway vacation?

Beach, sun, and books with the husband by my side to remind me to eat and help me apply sunscreen. Plus, he’s my favorite friend and not hard to look at. XOXO *cues* “Awww.”

 I knew it would be something beachy! What is your favorite food?

Not gonna lie here and say it’s a spinach salad with mandarin oranges and sunflower seeds, though I do eat that several times a week for lunch. It’s pizza, okay? Papa John’s pizza to be specific, with beef, mushrooms, and pineapple. Don’t at me. LOL

What food do you dislike?

Oh man, I love food. You know what I don’t like too much of in my food, onions. I don’t hate them, but I hate when people use it in such a way that it hijacks the taste of anything else instead of simply adding flavor. However, I will order Hardee’s onion rings every time I go there. So who knows what’s going on with my taste buds??

IKR? It seemingly doesn’t make sense but I agree. I don’t like onion in a lot of things, but on occasion I do enjoy onion rings. Seriously, sometimes onions make me absolutely ill and it’s a gamble when I opt to get an order. If I give you a story prompt, could you write a flash fiction piece of 1000 words or less? Probably, as long as there wasn’t a time limit.

Great! Then I am going to PM you with a story prompt and give you a date for a future post.  In December and January I plan to share some flash fiction pieces.

Thank you for being such a wonderful guest Jolene! Check out her book below, be sure to follow her links!

Trial by Charm

blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Julia Wright doesn’t understand her friends’ obsession with boys. She’s never even had a crush, and proudly maintains her composure no matter who is in her presence. In fact, the hotter a guy is to her friends, the more annoying he seems to Julia. When she is blackmailed into being the manager of the men’s swim team, she finds herself face to face with the worst of them all.
Team Captain Vander Thelxinoe is the typical self-assured jock, with a not-so-typical ability to change people’s minds at will. It’s a talent he uses often to get what he wants—only his charms don’t work on Julia. Now he’s anxious to figure out why, and the closer he tries to get, the more desperate she is to stay away—especially when he somehow awakens a side of her she never knew existed.
Their unexpected friendship puts Julia in the middle of a quest she doesn’t quite understand. As her familiar world begins to unravel around her, Julia must partner with the one person who knows how to push her buttons—and in doing so, discovers the unbelievable truth about who she really is.
Can Julia and Vander survive the trial set before them, or will they fall to a more terrifying fate?

Excerpt:

I study his profile. His chiseled jaw and dark, floppy hair are like something out of a magazine advertisement. His eyes, too—they aren’t dark to match his hair, like mine—they are parts of green and blue, much like the painting of the sea in the other room.

“Who painted that piece above the couch in there?”

He shrugs, not answering me in any concrete way. Then he shifts his weight from one foot to the other and his awkwardness makes it clear to me.

“You did it, didn’t you? You’re a painter.”

He shrugs again. I hop down from my stool to go take another look at the painting. The artist must have signed it, and I will get my answer that way.

I go down the hall, past the bathroom, the stairs, and the front door until I’m standing in the parlor, looking at Vander, who is blocking the painting from my view. He must have gone through the dining room next to the kitchen to end up in here before me. He’s staring at me and chewing on his lip while flexing and balling his hands. He’s more nervous than I have ever seen him—not before a swim meet, not in class when he didn’t know an answer, not when he told me how he felt in the bathroom a little bit ago.

This is where his heart lies, in this painting of this island.

I try to look around him, and he leans over.

“Don’t.” He is stern, but gentle. He clears his throat. “Please don’t touch it. You will want to, but don’t.”

He’s right. I do want to touch it; I want to climb inside of it. I’m seeing it, and somehow it’s seeing me, and it’s making me feel pulled apart. I want to dive into the waters, to swim to that far-off land, and I also want to turn the boat around and sail as far and as quickly as I can in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, the light from the sun is dimming, laughing at me for thinking I can have any control here.

I want in!

Vander grabs both of my arms, which are currently outstretched toward the painting. My knees are on the seat of the couch, and I don’t even remember moving forward. His voice startles me. “You can’t.”

I blink hard and turn to look him fully in the face. “I can’t what?”

“You can’t go there, and you can’t go away from there. It’s just a painting.” Was I talking out loud, or can he read my mind? How does he know what I was thinking? I let him lead me through the dining room, back into the kitchen, where the timer is going off. I shake my head to let loose the feelings that painting stirred in me.

“It’s more than that, and you know it. How?” I don’t even have to finish the sentence. He knows exactly what I’m asking.

 

Author Bio:

At work, Jolene spends her days in high school classrooms and hallways harvesting material for her Young Adult novels. She is always willing to discuss vital issues like which is the best peanut butter to buy or whether Katniss should have ended up with Gale or Peeta. Personally, she is committed to helping teenagers become independent adults and helping them find a way to focus on the positive especially when life gets hard. At home, Jolene loves to cuddle with her husband, two kids, three cats, and a dog—sometimes all at once—while reading Young Adult books or repeatedly watching movies based on them.

Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01D25M7B4
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trial-by-charm-…/1123544097…
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1094129293

Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BeeJolene

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JoleneBuchheitBooks/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/author_JoleneBuchheit/

 

 

Thank you Jolene for sharing with my readers today! Go check out her books! Leave Jolene a comment below.
What do you guys think,  does the flash fiction share sound appealing? I’ve done them before and thought they went over well. A bit of free reading!
Write on my friends, write on!

Meet the author: George Sirois


I first met George online about six years ago. I don’t even remember how we crossed each other’s paths,  but we’ve been Facebook friends ever since.  I read his first book Excelsior , which was very good! I later discovered that he was a fellow St. Louisan.

This year at Penned Con was the first time we had met in person!

You may have to turn the volume up!

From Parts Unknown

 

 

 

www.HesGotIt.con
Facebook.com/excelsiorbooks
Twitter.com/georgesirois
Instagram.com/georgesirois

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Bio:

George Sirois has yearned to be a storyteller all his life, no matter the medium. That drive first led him to drawing his own characters while in grade school, and then – when his skills never advanced beyond the most primitive sketches – writing about them in various short stories and screenplays – before moving on to novels such as “Excelsior,” its sequel “Ever Upward: Part Two in The Excelsior Journey,” and the five-part serial “From Parts Unknown.” He is currently at work plotting “Greater Glory: Part Three in The Excelsior Journey,” and he has several other stories in the pipeline that fit into his “science-fiction for the young adult reader” niche.

While evolving as a writer, including an eight-year-long stint writing weekly movie news reports and opinion columns for the successful pop culture website 411Mania.com, George has also been evolving as a voice talent. He caught the acting bug at only four years old while performing in a short play in Poughkeepsie, NY. Two years later, he had his first taste of voiceover work, when he narrated a short story for his former preschool teacher, as well as several storybooks for his cousin who was recovering from cancer surgery. He went on to study Theatre in Godwin High School in Richmond, Virginia, and earn his BA in Theatre Arts (studying acting and writing) from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City.

George, his wife, and their two dogs now happily call St. Louis, Missouri their home. In his spare time, George is an avid cinephile, a collector of film scores, and a lifelong fan of the New York Giants. He enjoys West Coast Swing dancing and teaches beginner classes for the St. Louis Rebels West Coast Swing Dance Club (stlrebels.com). He is a regular contributor to Write Pack Radio (windingtrailsmedia.com) and was named President of the Missouri Writers Guild in May 2017.

Be sure to check out his books and if you need your book narrated, drop him a line.

Leave a comment for George below!  Thank you, George, for being such a wonderful guest and it was great to finally meet you in person!

Write on my friends, write on!

Meet the author: Rachel Jones


 My guest today is Rachel  Jones, a romance author. I got to meet Rachel at Penned Con 2017,  her table was directly across the aisle from me. Such a pleasant, lovely woman!  I am just now starting on this book, but so far I love it!  I’m not a super fast reader, but I’m on chapter 5 since this past weekend.

TO DANCE ONE MORE DAY

 Tagline: 

A broken ballerina repaired by the love of a trauma surgeon.

 

Blurb:

Jillian Russell, a promising prima ballerina, suffers the loss of her dance career. Redirecting her life, she opens the North Carolina Ballet Company.

Trauma surgeon, Alan Armstrong relocates to Charlotte, North Carolina for a fresh start. A supporter of the arts, Alan finds himself on the board of Jillian’s ballet company.

It is not long before they are romantically drawn to one another. When Alan discovers Jillian has been misdiagnosed, he tells her she must decide between their love and a performance career in ballet.

 

Excerpt:

Jillian lingered behind, thinking about her students. This was the best group of seven-year-olds she had taught since opening the school. She enjoyed teaching all ages but this group was the highlight of her week. Sighing, she wondered if maybe it had something to do with the fact Lily would have been seven this year. Brushing the thought away, she moved to the piano and focused her attention on arranging the music for the dance company’s rehearsal the next night.

Her school of ballet was impressive but her dance company was her crowning glory. Expanding her lungs to their fullest she exhaled, feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment. The North Carolina Ballet Company, now in its fifth year of existence, continued to experience growing pains and would for several years to come. As they grew in number they also grew in depth and dimension, becoming a cohesive group of artists excited to tell many stories through dance.  Their progress was measured by the reputation they enjoyed for offering professional performances to the surrounding communities.

“You have a good looking group of ballerinas, Jilly,” remarked David as he crossed the studio floor, followed by Alan.

The familiar voice brought a smile to her face. She had met David soon after moving to Charlotte when she was searching for a financial advisor. They had spent a lot of time together working on the financial end of setting up her school. When she took the plunge a year later, with David’s encouragement, and started the North Carolina Ballet Company, he was her biggest fan. Feeling she could trust him with her life, she was grateful he had accepted her invitation to be a part of the company’s initial board of directors.

Turning around at the sound of the tenor voice her eyes darted from her friend to the familiar form standing beside him. Her smile disappeared.

“You!” Jillian took a step back. “What are you doing here?”

“What’s wrong?” David’s gaze bounced back and forth between his friends. “Do you two know each other?”

Her eyes remained fixed on the doctor as if she were seeing him for the first time. He was tall, about six feet she estimated, with thick brown hair and he had the most gorgeous, deep-set brown eyes. It was like looking into pools of chocolate and she was finding it hard not to stare.  She shifted her gaze to her friend.  “I recall seeing him at the hospital, after the explosion.”

“Oh, come on, Ms. Russell. I performed the surgery on your shoulder and I was your doctor for two days—until you fired me. And all you have to say is, ‘I recall seeing you’?”

“If memory serves it was a day and a half. And I’d prefer not talking about anything having to do with the explosion if you don’t mind.”

“I see. Well, I hope your recovery is going well.”

“Yes, it is thank you.”

 

Buy Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Dance-One-More-Day-ebook/dp/B00L2EASUU/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-dance-one-more-day-rachel-jones/1119742718?ean=2940149747580

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/449309

https://store.kobobooks.com/search?Query=to+dance+one+more+day

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/to-dance-one-more-day/id890645465?mt=11

 

Book Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJc_RH2wOYRFyUsVUyfaRtA/videos

 

Author Bio:

Award-winning author Rachel Jones is a Labor & Delivery RN by night and a writer by day. Her love of reading romance novels prompted her at age fifty-seven to write her first contemporary romance manuscript. She loves composing stories about strong women and sweet romance. Her books reflect her love of the performing arts. Her twenty-eight-year career in healthcare has influenced the threads of medical drama woven into her storylines.

When she’s not working or writing, Rachel loves traveling, sewing and making music. She lives in Kennesaw, Georgia her husband of thirty-nine years. They have three grown children and one spoiled Labrador retriever. Rachel is a member of Georgia Romance Writers, Georgia Writers Association, Heart of Dixie Romance Writers, and is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America.

Social Media:

http://rachelwjones.com

https://www.facebook.com/RachelJonesAuthor/?ref=hl

https://twitter.com/rjonesauthor

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8336834.Rachel_Jones

http://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Jones/e/B00L2HSGZQ/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

https://twitter.com/MegWelchDendlerhttps://www.pinterest.com/rjoneswriter/

Please leave a comment for Rachel!
Thank you, Rachel, for being such a lovely guest. Be sure to check out her links and get your copy of this heartwarming book!
Write on my friends, write on!

Keys to the Kingdom #MFRW


 

Today is the 52-week MFRW blog challenge, Week 37- Five Ways to Win My Heart

Hmmm, at first  I thought –  what would it take to win my heart, but then I remembered a few weeks back, the ‘open/shut door’ fiasco. I think I’ll address both!

Hello, everyone! Glad you could stop by!  I know I’ve missed the last couple of prompts, but I have good reasons. No, really I do!  Doctors appointments and making final revisions on Roxy!

Five Ways to Win My Heart

  1. Bring me coffee – My husband follows a very strict Christian regime with the coffee, following Biblical instruction – He Brews.  Not only does he brew the coffee,  but on the weekends he brings me my first cup, made just like I like it! He scores some serious man points here!
  2. HE Gets Me – Understand me, get my jokes, my sense of humor, sarcasm, understand my point of view. It’s not even necessary to agree with me, just  GET me.  My husband gets me.  He laughs at my corny jokes,  he gets my quirky humor, and sometimes off-color humor as well.  He gets it when I am upset, although often he wants to fix it even though I just need him to listen and understand why I am upset.  More man points!
  3. Pens – Every year for Christmas Santa’s helper AKA Hubster sneaks a few pens or a lot of pens into my stocking or in a box beneath the tree. This past year, he gave me a giant box of gel pens to use for my adult coloring books. My favorite uni-ball pens find their way into my stocking.  He brings home novelty pens from salesmen at work. It’s amazing how many interesting pens salesmen use in the IT world! My name is Ellie, and I have a pen habit. Supplying my habit is a fast track to winning my heart! Exponential man points!
  4. Notice my weight loss – OK, this one is tricky. Living with a person that you see day in and day out,  it’s often difficult to notice subtle changes. A quick way to a fight comes from comments that I need to START losing weight. I go from zero to ballistic in .03 seconds. Seriously, I have been denying myself so many things, have given up many other things, have changed my diet drastically, have been exercising a little more each week, I know I still have a long way to go, but DANG IT –  lie if you have to, acknowledge something.  My skin looks clearer and not ashen, my shirts fit better, my shorts have been baggy –  but those are things that I tend to be the only one to notice.  Some day, he will notice.  It will probably be after someone else comments,  but eventually . . . I hope.  No points in a long, long time.
  5. Enjoy being with me – It doesn’t matter what we do or if we are doing nothing. Someone who wants to spend time with me earns instant points. In our cyber age,  it’s rare to still have freinds that will spend real life time with you.  Face to face time, where you can actually engage in a relationship.  It’s one thing to be freinds it’s another to want to spend time with an individual.  The fact that the hubster chooses to spend his time with me completely wins my heart!

How a Romance Author Wins My Heart

  1. Beleivable characters –  I need a heroine that I can relate to. I need to connect to her, put myself in her shoes.  The hero has to be  relatable as well.  I don’t get into those billionaire books.  The likelihood of some uber rich guy coming into my middle class American world is  beyond my suspension of disbelief.
  2. Nasty villain – Give me an antagonist I can hate, which also causes me to root for the heroine that much more.  He doesn’t have to be nasty in the sense of vile or perverse,  but nasty as in mean and ruthless. The kind of person that makes you hope they get their come-uppance.
  3. Action – Action draws the reader forward, narrative can bog down the story. I want a story that will  keep me turning the pages. I’ve read enough romance books to know the formulaic approach, and if the author can surprise me, I will read them again!
  4. Cliffhanger –  there needs to be at least one low point that leaves you hanging,  makes you wonder if the heroine will make it or ever achieve their happily ever after.  This is romance of course,  so  we know the author isn’t going to kill the Main character, but when an author makes you wonder if they are bucking the system, it’s very gratifying.
  5. The Denoument – when all the ends are tidied up at the end and you are not left wondering,  but what happened to that guy that was in the hospital on life support? What happened to her dog? On page 145 her dog was lost after the tornado,  then on page 187 she searches the animal shelter,  then   she gets the happily ever after  with the hero, but the dog is forgotten. Did she give up on the dog? Did someone adopt the dog?  I know,  it seems like a petty thing,  but things like this,  the author used a certain trope or character to fill space, and tell the story from point D to E, and by the conclusion at K, there is never another mention of it. This is one of those things where I would say tell me not show me.  Because if the author is trying to show that she was heartbroken, then distracted by the guy, then that makes her seem a crappy pet owner and it maight be best if she never have another pet. Do you get what I am saying? It doesn’t necessarily have to be the pet. I’ve seen it with a neighbor,  a coworker, where it is just assumed that since they don’t matter to the final outcomoe of the story,  they aren’t mentioned again.
What about you? What does it take to win your heart in person or in a book? Share your thoughts below.

Here  are the links for other authors in this blog hop sharing  their five points.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some other posts in this series from yours truly:

  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
  8. A Rose by Any Other Name . . . #MFRWauthor
  9. I’ll take What is Purple Prose for 50 Alex #MFRWauthor
  10. Ellie’s Guilty Pleasures #MFRWauthor
  11. How Do You Do That? #MFRW

There are more but I don’t have the links done yet. I will eventually, when I get to it.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

ROXY Release Day!


 

YAY!

I am very proud of this one. Not even so much the story, but rather the fact that even with BC, I have managed to get this one out before Penned Con.  I do love the story though.

The first time that Roxy appeared in my thoughts,  she broke my heart completely. With the help of the wonderful Karen Docter,  I’ve changed the story from memoirs of Roxy’s tragic life, to a story that unfolds with purpose.

So here it is:

Roxy Sings the Blues

BLURB:

Scars tell the story of a past. Roxy’s scars aren’t visible but they have carved her deeply and the pain they caused pours out through her music. If facing an uncertain future after losing her mother wasn’t enough, a failed relationship from the past returns to wreak havoc. Just when she was trying to build a new life for herself, the troublemaking ex Devon drags her into danger. Roxy sits in the spotlight of a pivotal investigation. Detective Devon Miller is hot on the case and stirring the embers of forbidden fires.

Will Roxy hit the right note to help her old flame solve the case in time or will she be left singing the blues?

Excerpt:

“Detective Miller, Detective Alvarez.”

Devon Miller nodded in acknowledgment. He hated these calls. He hated seeing veterans in the homeless shelter. It never made sense to him. “What have we got?”

“Two males. Looks like meth heads, but we need to find out what is going on. This is the fourth time this month that homeless guys have shown up dead. I am putting you two on the case. Check with Dickerson in narcotics, see if he has any leads.” Seargent Brenner stood, flipping the body bag back over the victim’s face. “I want to know what they are taking, who they are buying from, what the cause of death was. I want a full tox screen and have Simmons report anything out of the order. Anything! Talk to some of the regulars at the shelter up the street.” He tucked his hands into the pockets of his black leather jacket, eyes downcast to the ground. Hesitating as if he wanted to add something more, but then changing his mind. He added, “I want reports on my desk in the morning.”

Devon watched him walk away before bending to examine the body. He reached for a discarded straw in the pile of trash that the first body lay in. Using the straw, he opened the vics mouth, checking for missing teeth, foaming, anything. “Still got his teeth. That’s something.”

Alvarez stood with his hands shoved into his jacket. “This kid is too young to be here.”  He bent swiping the hair out of the eyes of the second body. “Both of them are. I’d lay odds that test results are going to be the same as the last guys. I think our best bet is going to be Dickerson. See if he knows who’s dealing the designer drugs down here and find out how bums can afford it.”

Buy Links:

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/746975

Amazon -https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Roxy+Sings+the+blues

While you are there, check out my other books as well!

Red Wine & Roses

Quotidiandose: 30 Days of Sass

Going to celebrate with some sugar-free pumpkin spice cappuccino, and a slice of sugar-free carrot cake!

Then it’s time to get back into writing mode.

Write on my freinds, write on!

Lamentations and Ecclesiastes


Breast Cancer awareness ribbons

Have you ever hit that point where you feel everything in your life is meaningless? The goals that you set for yourself seem like chasing the wind? Have you ever wondered what’s the point, when for all of your hard work, anxiety, stress, and aggravation that finish line seems elusive or when you cross it, it’s a day late and a dollar short? There has to be more to life than this, right?

I tip my hat to those men and women who continue in their daily roles after getting the diagnosis of cancer. The initial shock hit me hard. Making the decision for surgery seemed like a no brainer to me, I mean if there is cancer in my body – then get it out!

My blood pressure was the highest it has ever been the day I went in for surgery. I had never had a surgery before minus oral surgery which isn’t the same at all. Of course, Mother Nature thought it was funny to have major flooding in the area to cut off the major highways between us and the hospital. That had its own share of aggravation, but we managed it. It did mean, however, the day of the surgery I had one person in my corner to be there with me through all of it. My husband is a saint! He has been amazing through all of this, has been encouraging, loving, supportive and has been my champion every day.

It makes sense, of course, we are partners in life. When we took those vows years ago. . . we promised for better or for worse, through sickness and in health. . .

Funny how when you are young and in love, you never really think about the worse or sickness. Maybe it’s just me,  but there was a certain amount of moon-eyed happily ever after when I said my vows.

Honestly, I’d be in worse shape without him in my life. I know this for an absolute certainty. This wasn’t meant to be a “sing the hubby’s praises” post, but it needs to be said.

For all of his help and support, he can’t fix what’s inside my head. OH, that I wish he could. It has been a whirlwind of tests, needles, doctors, more needles, surgery, more doctors, back to the tests, the dreaded needles, and now radiation.  While I am thrilled beyond measure that I am not having to go through chemotherapy, I am trying to cope with the current radiation and oral medications.

Everyone around me keeps encouraging me and telling me how brave I am, how strong I am. . . not feeling it. At some point every day I feel exhaustion, fatigue, nausea, and that doesn’t even begin to get into the mental battles: the continued struggle to lose weight, the dietary restrictions because of cancer, the fear that cancer will be found somewhere else, the sense of failure as I slip further behind on my goals. At times the weight of it gets the better of me.

I think that one is the hardest for me. I can tough it out when I don’t feel great, but can still manage. I see my author friends cranking out one project after another and I get more discouraged. I know I’ve suffered from a lack of focus with too many projects in my queue. I’ve allowed criticism to derail me when I had a full head of steam working towards completion. I’ve  allowed the poison words of certain individuals to affect my mental state to the point that I quit working on particular projects.

You want to know what is really sad?  I have volumes of stories mostly written. For example, I was diligently working on Valkyrie’s Curse. I had the first draft completed, was 78% finished with second draft revisions when I realized that the story didn’t end at my ending. The overall story spans five more books which I outlined and have key scenes written for them.  I was excited, I was on a roll. I  can see the destination over the far horizon then the white haired witch rose up before me, hissing and flailing in wild gestations spouting words of her own self-righteousness, singing her own praises and that my methods and styles were wrong because they aren’t like hers. She was right, I’m nothing like her. I don’t want to be. After three rounds of being put off to review the manuscript, I got discouraged and set it aside. I will get back to it,  but I have been working on getting Roxy ready for her debut. I had my manuscript for VC ready to go,  had the second book first draft completed, so I needed something else to work on. In all honesty, I’ve had a dozen new ideas since then with a brief intro or scene written, enough to remind myself what the idea for that story is.

I sent my revised story of Roxy to a fabulous lady, who is an awesome author and mentor. She pointed out – very nicely I might add – plot holes and glaring errors. Hmmm, this wouldn’t do. I had to make it a story that I was proud of and that readers would want to read. I rolled up my sleeves and got busy. Very little of the original story remains, but  I think it’s by far better. So what’s the problem?

Finishing it.  I have nearly 60K words on this story. I’m adding in some transition scenes as well as some other scenes to take it to the final destination. I was on a roll right up to April 12th, when my world came crashing down around me. It galls me to admit that I can’t get it out by the deadline that I wanted. If that was the case it would have been published at the beginning of May.

There have been more than a few days since my surgery that I didn’t even get online. I didn’t crack my computer open. I didn’t have the mental energy to write a few hundred words. Now I am struggling to allocate my daily limited energy to what is important. I feel like a huge weeny because I  don’t have the energy to be superwoman – having my house immaculate, serving healthy nutritious and tasty meals to my family – five star restaurant quality because I am the overachiever, keep up with my day job – because I have medical bills to pay, this one has to go to the top of the list, writing, blogging, exercise, mental health activities.  Pick a day, any day and at least three of those things fall by the wayside. Care to venture which ones?

Most often the taking care of me part has been at the bottom of my priorities. Maybe it’s a mom thing or a woman thing but either way, I can’t do that anymore. I want to live to see my next several birthdays so I have to learn to make myself a priority. Why does this make me so emotional???  You’d think it was a good thing. I see people all of the time taking time for themselves, doing things for themselves, pampering themselves, yet I struggle to allow myself downtime to cope with cancer.

I will finish my books and get them published because that is a goal I have set for myself. The deadlines have been erased and pushed out even further. (I swear, if I were employing me I’d fire me to get a different content writer.) I may be in turtle mode, but by darn, I will get there.

So what doe this have to do with Ecclesiastes and Lamentations?  In the book of Lamentations, it was basically David crying out – lamenting his sorrows. Sometimes we want to vent or get it off of our chest. Ecclesiastes was written by Solomon,  astute observations and conclusions about life. Let me

Let me briefly summarize: Life sucks. It is like a wild rollercoaster ride that didn’t pass safety inspections and no one tells you when the dangerous curves or broken tracks will appear. We make the best of it, lick our wounds, recover, get stronger, and go on. We all die eventually and when we do, what will you have to show for your legacy? What will be your lasting mark on this world you’ve left behind? What of value have you contributed to this world? Or have you lived a self-serving existence that didn’t impact any other living soul in a positive way?

(This is by no means a church sanctioned summarization. For exact interpretation go read it for yourself.)

I know this is far from my usual uplifting encouraging post and I apologize for that. This is where I am.  I have been trying to remain positive, but there are days when I fail.

Tomorrow is another day and here’s hoping that it’s a better day!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

 

Suddenly


Hey, everyone!

How to write the post I need to write . . .  there is no real clever way so with all the tact I can muster, I’m going to plunge in.

With the A to Z Challenge, I left off with the letter O. I have a new word, that inadvertently has everything to do with my own writing right now –

ONCOLOGY

On March 28, I had my annual OBGYN visit. I shared some concerns with her about the girl parts, namely issues that indicate menopause.  She sent me to the Imaging center for a pelvic sonogram, and the annual mammogram. I expected some news on the lower region but not the tatas.

A scheduled date for a routine procedure for the girl parts was made. Later that day, I got a call saying I needed to return for an additional mammogram and breast ultrasound because I had some areas of concern. OK, that’s a bit disconcerting but no biggie, right? I figured fibrocystic breast syndrome because the girls aren’t exactly smooth like a muscle,  they are kind of like a well-used pillow. NO, I’m not going into detail on that but after nursing two babies, being a ‘mature’ woman I’m grateful they don’t drag the floor.

April 6th I go back for these additional tests and the Dr. that oversees the imaging center came in and told me that it’s cancerous. BUT, don’t worry, most of the time it’s benign.  He had one of those plastic forced smiles that is used to break bad news. I instantly don’t trust him.

April 12th, I have a Fine Needle Aspiration biopsy. Don’t let anyone fool you – it hurts. “Oh, you’ll just feel some pressure and hear a click” LIARS!!! 

IT HURT!  IT HURT FOR DAYS AFTER!  IT still hurts as the bruised area changes from purple to greenish yellow.

I wait for the verdict phone call which was supposed to happen either last Tuesday or Wednesday that never came. On one hand, no news is good news.  If they don’t call it can’t be too urgent right?

WRONG!

I called on Thursday because I suck at waiting patiently.

STAGE 1 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.

Yeah, that’s something you want to hear when you are in the office alone. I mean, literally alone. There wasn’t another breathing soul in the office complex.

The only time I’ve ever known doctors to act fast is when it’s serious so it didn’t alleve my fears when they called back to confirm an appointment with an oncology surgeon for the next day. Friday the 21st was a marathon. I would gladly attempt a running marathon as opposed to my day. The doctor explained completely with drawing little illustrations to emphasize the points. My options were presented to me, initial treatment assessment was discussed, and then it was off to the labs for more tests.

Bloodwork – one of my big fears about this whole thing is the needles. I have small veins, they are deep (being fat isn’t the only reason for this) and they roll. When I get blood drawn they use a child’s butterfly needle. What is going to happen if I have to go through chemotherapy and they blow my veins? I don’t have enough time to build my cardio level to have super veins like my husband. He makes a fist and the veins just pop out. Of course, that would look bad on me as a female.

Chest x-ray, EKG, new mammogram, additional close up mammogram slides, 3D Ultrasound – I was there from 8 in the morning until almost 5 at night.

I’ve had the weekend to digest all of this.  I’ve shared with close family what the diagnosis is and the plan for treatment, and have even shared on my Facebook account.  I was almost at a place of peace about accepting this. Nobody wants to go through this. Nobody chooses cancer.

Then, I get another call. Just a few minutes ago actually. I have to go back for an MRI and a second biopsy of additional spots that they found. This may determine whether or not I can have a lumpectomy or have to have the full mastectomy.

I’m not sharing to gain your sympathy. I’m not sharing because I overshare – if anything I hear from people that I don’t let others in, don’t share what’s really going on.

This isn’t about writing yet it is.  I write with passion. My passion. Passion for life, passion about love relationships, passion about the emotions we go through. My plan for today was to share some more from Roxy, a segment that I’ve recently tackled – one that was very difficult to tackle and I had to be in the right headspace to do. Ironically I had to draw on the raw emotions of my own mother’s funeral to write this. I’d put it off for weeks, but finally tackled it and was quite proud of myself for not only tackling it,  I think I did a pretty good job on it as well.

Then I get this news.  Well hell!  Oh trust me, I could write the emotional scene now. I could pour my heart out on the pages and nobody is the wiser that it was me going through this emotional tidal wave with the diagnosis of ‘You have breast cancer’.

Ironically, Roxy’s mother died after a long battle with breast cancer. Should I wait and experience first hand and rewrite? Should I proceed with it as scheduled? I know that women dying from breast cancer is rare, it’s usually when it’s metastasized beyond the breast and invaded other organs. Ultimately it started with breast cancer, and Roxy’s mother was a woman that put off her own medical treatment until it became critical.

For me, they caught it early with the mammogram. Of that I am grateful. Ladies, don’t put it off.  I still can’t feel any lumps even knowing that it’s there. I don’t have a family history of it. I don’t have the usual symptoms that indicate cancer.  In all of my regular doctor’s comments about concerns for being overweight he never said cancer was one of them. Now as I am reading the material provided to me by the breast cancer center, obesity can lead to cancer. Heart disease and diabetes were on my mind, not cancer. Never cancer.We hear the words “save the tatas” and kind of laugh, but we do the self-exams. It has become a reality for me now. This is a path I never wanted to go down but am forced to embark on this journey.

We hear the words “save the tatas” and kind of laugh, but we do the self-exams. It has become a reality for me now. This is a path I never wanted to go down but am forced to embark on this journey. April 20th is a day of demarcation for me. My life as I knew it ended that day, so tears were to be expected. Tears of grieving for what was,  what dreams may die, all of the changes that have to be made and tears to face the great unknown.  A little encouragement for saving the woman would be appreciated.

I’ll try to stay away from the pity parties but from time to time I will be sharing my struggles in this battle. I’m not looking forward to the needles. Not looking forward to losing part of my breast or the full breast or breasts depending on what they find. Not looking forward to possibly losing my hair. Not looking forward to much of any of this,  but it’s the path I’ve been put on and I’ll make the best of a bad situation.  I come from good stock and I am my mother’s daughter. My mother was ” a tough old bird”. I hope I have half as much chutzpah as she did.

I plan to continue writing, still pushing for my delayed deadline and praying that I don’t have to push it back further. The A to Z challenge . . . I don’t have the energy to continue that now. I thought about making a video, but I didn’t think I could get through it without an ugly cry and who needs to see that?

Hope you stick around to see me come out the other end of this!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

Musical Mayhem #MFRWauthor


badge-blog-challenge-updated

Welcome to week 7 of the 52-week MFRW blog challenge.  This is a makeup post, so the linky link for other authors will not work. 

This week’s prompt:

 Music to Write By

My musical choice is very much dependent on the mood of the story. For Roxy Sings the Blues, you can bet there is a lot of BB King and Eric Clapton.

While writing Kiss of the Dragon, I primarily listened to instrumental music.

My musical taste runs a gamut from classical, to Instrumental such as Tubular Bells, to some jazz, to Blues, bluegrass, rock, classic rock, some pop. but rarely does it include Country or rap. If you’re into that – great. I’m not. With everything, however, there are exceptions. I like Johhny Cash – he’s considered country.

My most recent playlist includes the following:

The video is shaky but I usually have  it playing in the background anyway.

 

How are you liking these posts?  Some are interesting to me, others are things I’d rather keep to myself about like my editing errors. Uffda!

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

Til next time!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie