Merry Christmas, Darling!


Welcome to Flash Fest December!

I have a few author friends who have joined me in this challenge and are contributing to the prize baskets!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations Alina K. Field!

This week’s prize basket:

  • $5 Amazon gift card
  • ebook for Red Wine & Roses
  • Swagbag
  • ebook of Protected By His Grace by Grace Augustine

This is how the prize giveaway will work:

Leave a comment throughout the week on any blog post, whether it’s the blog hop, flash, guest spot, or weekend writing warriors. I will select one of the commenters through Randompicker and post it on Monday’s post. The winner can contact me on Facebook or email me at: l.e.mcatee@gmail.com.

I apologize for not getting it posted on Monday, it’s been a rough couple of days.

The challenge is to write a flash piece, 500 to 1000 words based on a Holiday tune as a prompt. The author was given the option to select their own or I would assign one. Trust me,  my list of holiday tunage is anything but traditional!

Merry Christmas, Darling!

 

Merry Christmas, Darling!

by Grace Augustine

Thanksgiving evening.

Leftover put away…check. Dishes rinsed and in the dishwasher…check. Cup of hot herbal tea…check. Pen in hand with Christmas cards and address book on lap…check. Cheesy Hallmark movies on television…check.

Christmas Eve.

The four of us walked to the church in the gently falling snow. It was only a couple blocks away and, of course, the boys ran ahead of John and me, but waited at the Narthex doors so we could enter as a family.

The Christ candle of the Advent wreath was lit, the ageless message was spoken, and the candles were lit as we sang Silent Night. That song always stabs my heart, this year more so than others.

Things with John haven’t been good for a very long time. The kids have picked up on the tension between us, so they’ve been a handful both at home and at school. It’s difficult pretending nothing’s wrong.

With a smile plastered on my face, I hugged several on the way out of the church.  I greeted Pastor Iverson and his wife and nodded when they suggested we all get together after the holidays. The boys, one on either side of me, grabbed my hands and pulled me toward the door.

John never likes to hang around to visit. He impatiently waited outside. The cold hit me as I opened the door and we walked out to meet him. The short walk to our house was in silence. It was still snowing, and the silence was deafening.

I’d made a crockpot of hot chocolate, so it would be ready when we returned. It was tradition in our home to open presents after church. They boys hurried upstairs and put on their pajamas and giggled their way back to the living room, sitting as close as they could to the tree and the brightly wrapped boxes.

We didn’t have much money. Even though John and I both worked a forty-hour work week, there never seemed to be any extra. I hated that I couldn’t get more things for the boys for Christmas, but two presents each would have to do.

Thankfully, they were happy with the toy selections. John was happy, too, when he opened his new electronic gadgets…and me—well, I got a new pair of socks and a flannel nightgown.

I picked up the wrapping paper and took it to the trash in the kitchen before filling my mug with more hot chocolate. I secretly wished I had something strong to put with it! I walked back into the living room and sat down. The boys were tired. They were whiney and biting at each other. It was close to eleven o’clock… time for bed.

John continued messing with the stereo speaker enhancer. As usual, I was on my own getting the kids calmed down and ready to sleep. I chased them up the stairs to their respective rooms, but they wanted to sleep together tonight, so I figured there was no harm in that.

They both climbed into the double bed and I grabbed ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas from the bookshelf. The longer I read, the sleepier they were…three-fourths the way through, both were fast asleep. I kissed each forehead and counted my blessings as I turned on the night light and closed the door.

My mug was lukewarm, but I wasn’t going downstairs to heat it. The last person I wanted to spend Christmas Eve with was John. I grabbed the cordless phone and went into the bedroom. I’m not proud of what happened after that.

You see, with the problems between John and me, and being overwhelmed with work and the kids, I’d reached out to anyone who showed me the least little bit of attention. I was in a chat room online and met several wonderful people. Some of us remain friends today. One person struck my fancy…and I did his. Doug.

Doug was a real estate mogul from Denver, Colorado. He’d been my saving grace more times than I care to count. He listened. He didn’t judge me on my feelings, or lack of, where John was concerned. He seemed to truly understand. He was divorced, and we’d developed quite a thing for one another. We’d talk to each other by phone a couple times a week and send countless email messages. We even met during a lay-over at Denver International Airport.

All I knew was that I needed to be anywhere but where I was tonight. That meant a phone call to Doug. I put my Carpenters Christmas CD in the player and punched his number into the phone. He thanked me for the peanut clusters I’d sent him for Christmas and we talked about church, dinner, his kids, my kids, how we wished we were together walking in the snow, sharing the quiet, magical night.

“Someday. I believe it will happen, someday,” he’d always say.

Tonight. I wanted it to happen tonight. How could it, though, when we were hundreds of miles apart?

“Merry Christmas, Darling. We’re apart, that’s true…but I can dream and in my dreams, I’m Christmasing with you…” The familiar words rang through my heart as I listened to Doug’s voice mixed with the words of the song. In that moment, it became our song. I began singing them as the music played. To my surprise, Doug joined in. There was a long pause in our conversation when the song ended. I didn’t want this moment to end. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I listened to his rich voice.

“Merry Christmas, Darling. Someday. Someday.”

About the author:  Grace Augustine

 

Author Bio:

Editor and award winning novelist, Grace Augustine, grew up in Montana. Her work career has taken her from title and abstracting to administrative assistant church work to co-owning a small town weekly newspaper to her current profession as a floral designer/jewelry designer/writer, and most recently, painter.

Grace thinks of herself as a “Jill” of most trades and is not afraid to learn new things. “If you can’t learn something new each day, there’s something wrong,” she says.

The ideas for her Acorn Hills series stem from her growing up years as well as the issues she has had to overcome along the way. “I’ve developed a new romance category…for the over 50 crowd…I’m calling it the salt and pepper genre. My books deal with real life issues, overcoming adversity, maintaining a positive outlook, and so much more. Just because we are 50 yrs old or older doesn’t mean that life stops. We all still want attention and affection and adventure! We want to experience all life has to offer. We use our age as wisdom to share with those around us. We are sexual, sensual, and sensible,” Grace explains.

Augustine was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in July of 2003. Her thoughts on that “It may slow me down, but if I can at all do it, I will. Sitting and feeling sorry for yourself isn’t the answer…living your life with an open, joy-filled heart is.”

Romance with a Touch of Grace

OTHER BOOKS BY Grace Augustine can be found on her Amazon author page:

Grace Augustine

Write on my friends, write on! Don’t forget to leave a comment!

 

Advertisements

4 Carat Christmas


Welcome to Flash Fest December!

I have some author friends who have joined me in this challenge, and are contributing to the prize baskets!

This week’s prize basket:

  • $5 Amazon gift card
  • Free ebook for Red Wine & Roses
  • Swagbag
  • ebook of Protected By His Grace

This is how the prize giveaway will work:

Leave a comment throughout the week on any blog post, whether it’s the blog hop, flash, guest spot, or weekend writing warriors. I will select one of the commenters through Randompicker and post it on Monday’s post. That person can contact me on Facebook or email me at: l.e.mcatee@gmail.com.

The challenge is to write a flash piece, 500 to 1000 words based on a Holiday tune as a prompt. The author was given the option to select their own or I would assign one. Trust me,  my list of holiday tunage is anything but traditional!

4 Carat by Kelly Clarkson

 

4 Carat Christmas

by Ellie Mack

Simone added the final ornament to her tree, then stepped back to admire her work.  It was perfect!

Staging houses around the holidays were her favorite. Her business was booming and she had a tidy account as well as investments. She was the most in-demand stager in the entire metropolitan area, and as such, she set her rates.

She moved to the kitchen, adjusting the red and gold blown glass bowl on the counter that she had acquired for super cheap at an estate auction. Auctions and estate sales were a great place to get stuff! She had several high-end collectibles and unique pieces in the old warehouse that she bought.

Walking through the newly remodeled home, no one would ever know what a trash heap it was when Cort bought it.  If it had been her, she would have had it razed.

He was due any minute. She hoped that this was the night he would pop the question.

Cort McClain was the top selling real estate agent in the region.  The Homes Channel was considering him for a series to begin in the spring of the following year. One of the executives discussed the idea that a married man would be considered more trustworthy than a single man. Simone took the opportunity to drop the hint for a 4-carat ring and a promising, financially smart match.

He wasn’t her only client by any means. She had contracts with the top four real estate offices in the area, working with over forty agents. She had dated a few of the men over the past three years of building her business when Cort caught her eye. Simone paid close attention to who were the top agents in any given office and used that information to zero in on the best candidate for her future Mister. She had even considered a couple individual homeowners as candidates, but they didn’t cut the muster.

A movement out of the corner of her eye caught her attention. She turned, seeing Cort’s Mercedes in the drive. Warm fuzzies and a huge smile spread.

Wait! Was that?

She watched out the window as Cort leaned across to the passenger side, locking lips with a buxom brunette. “What the hell?”

“Hey, Simone! The place looks great as usual.”

He gave the area a cursory glance. “That rug looks great!”

“Who’s the brunette?” Simone asked as she pursed lips and folded her arms.

“Is that a Chihuly? Where did you get this one? Man, I would love to have this.”

He seemed anxious to leave and ignored her question. He’d seen the bowl before.

“Who’s the brunette, Cort?” She didn’t budge.

He laid the paperwork out on the counter to sign. “She’s an executive from the Homes Channel. We are negotiating a contract for my show.  Pretty much a done deal! Isn’t that great?” He clicked his pen to sign.

“And sleeping with that whore is part of the contract?” Her jaw was stern.

“No. Her name is Adrian and she’s one of the executives. Not the CEO, but pretty far up there.”

“Huh” Simone glanced out the window at Adrian making a duck face in the mirror admiring her ruby red lipstick. “So, . . I guess this means we’re through?”

“Yeah, sorry. I wanted to break it to you gently. Guess I failed at that.”

Simone wasn’t exactly the romantic type, but she sure as hell deserved better than this.

It took every ounce of self-control not to bash him over the head with the Chihuly bowl. She waited as he signed the forms and her check.

She wished she had never agreed to give him the friends and family discount rate. Which was a Cort only rate because she thought this holiday held a 4-carat promise for her, but she was obviously wrong.

As she held the check in her hand, reading it she saw that it should have another zero behind the three that were there.

“Next week I’ll have that house on Spruce ready to show. Think you can fit me in to stage that one?”

That was it. She couldn’t stand it as he babbled on about his career and Adrian. “You like the Chihuly?”

“Yes. Maybe I’ll buy it from you after the open house.  Or maybe, you can give it to me for a present?”  He tried to make a smolder and it just pissed her off.

“Sure! Merry Fucking Christmas!” She raised the heavy bowl and bashed him in the head with it as she spoke.

He crumpled like a ragdoll onto the floor in front of her and lay motionless. She kicked him a couple times for good measure before bending to feel his pulse.  Yeah, he was still alive. She went through the house trashing everything she could. Flinging the tree in the floor, throwing the towels in the floor,  turning the faucets on, and stripped the bed before dumping the vase of lilies. She overturned the furniture in the living room which surprisingly didn’t seem to take a lot of effort

When she had worked out her frustrations, she checked on him again before taking his pen and adding the zero to her check.

“The 4-carat ring would have been less expensive.” Just for good measure, she emptied the trash bin over him. The liquidy residuals from carry out Chinese splattered on his chest. She walked out to the woman in the car.

“Hi!  Cort is going to be a little longer.  He found some issues that need to be tidied up and a small leak in the bathroom. He said for you to just sit tight, he’d be out in about thirty minutes. Merry Christmas !” She forced a smile. “Oh, and make sure he uses protection. He tested positive last month.”

She sped off flipping them the bird.

Write on my friends, write on! Don’t forget to leave a comment!

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Sparks of Genius #MFRW


Welcome to week 41 of the 52-week MFRW blog hop – My Blogging Inspiration.



Wow, what a loaded question. Where do I get my inspirations? The short answer, everywhere.

The more complicated answer: I have tried to work themes around different days, for example I’ve set aside Fridays for this blog hop. I tend towards Motivational Mondays, have posted Teasers on Tuesdays, Woman Wednesday where I have hosted many female authors, Thinking Thursday and Fun Fridays. Ironically when I tried to channel my ideas into specific ideas, my  creative juices came to a screeching halt.

Then there are the time issues,  like when I was undergoing treatment, the days I am still sruggling to function, the myriad of appointments, and other life demands.  I have  good intentions to blog daily,  but lately I’ve been doing good to post twice a week. By the way,  I sat at the computer for well over an hour with several stops and starts, erase, delete, type over for last week’s prompt.  My mind just wasn’t  in it. I couldn’t think of a single book quote to save my life and it wasn’t until it was time to log off and start on dinner that my friend Cathy suggested I google it. DOH!

Anyway, back to my inspirations. . . everything.  A post on Facebook,  something on the news, something  I saw while driving,  or most often that ‘spark of genius’ that pops into my head. LOL

I wish I could say that it was some deep thinking, brilliant thought process,  but most often it’s just what pops in at the moment.  Yes, on occasion my thoughts run deep but I don’t often share those, because I like to keep it light and fresh and those deep thoughts can be intense.

I enjoy blogging. probably more than I like writing books because they are short pithy posts, and I get them out of my system quickly.  Books take a loooooooonngg time and my ADD fights me every time. That and the perfectionist in me thinks  it has to be absolutely perfect before I release it to the world.  Meanwhile, I have twelve books completed and sitting in the files waiting for final edits. I am working on the next one, I’ve done final edits geting it in shape to send to my beta readers.

I may start sharing snippets again from that one, now that I have been in a good groove with my writing. Plus, looking forward to NANO next month to work on a new novella that ties into the universe of Faere Warrior.

One of the reasons I like to interview other authors is because I get inspired with their enthusiasm. Then I can write for a while longer. Selfish I know.

Comment below and let me know which of the topics you enjoy hearing about! Here are some other authors in the blog hop – be sure to check them out as well!

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!

It Was the Best of Times #MFRW


Welcome to week 38 of the 52-week MFRW blog hop – The Best of Each Season.

From a romance author’s perspective, there are a few things that can be a plus to each season.

IF we go into the way back machine, back to when I got married, not quite as far back as the stone age. . . it was the thing to be a June bride.

I can see why brides choose each season and weddings aren’t just on Saturdays anymore. For the same reasons,  I can see why an author would choose a certain season to convey a mood or feeling throughout their book.

WINTER:

A chill in the air, frost on the window, those wonderful fur muffs, snow,  horse drawn sleighs or carriages, and blazing fires in a fireplace are all perks to even the harshest winter days.  I read a romance book that was essentially the couple being stuck in a cabin together for a few days after an avalanche.

SPRING:

Fresh flowers,  bright green grass, lilacs, budding trees, warming temperatures –  I have been to beautiful weddings that took place in a botanical garden, surrounded by blossoms.  There is nothing quite like the smell just after a rain, with new grass and a light breeze.

SUMMER:

Less clothes! Swimming, beaches, swimwear – the perfect setting for a tropical romance, or stranded on an island together. Notice they are never on a northern island with Inuits?  Because that isn’t sexy! Stranded on a tropical island with shreds of what were your clothes, stripped down to bra and panties and maybe the shreds of a skirt, seeking shelter together in your make shift hut made out of banana leaves. . . I can picture this one now.

FALL:

Oh, the gorgeous colors of fall. My god daughter was married in September, with beautiful fall colors.

In my book Roxy Sings the Blues,  things come to a climax during the fall. I used to love hiking and plan to get back to it as I drop more weight. Roxy has an accident on a hiking trail that changes everything. If you close your eyes, you can almost smell the crisp crackling falling leaves after a  cold rain. This is the perfect time for mulled cider, that pumpkin spice cappuccino, and fresh apple pie! Food, after all,  is an aphrodisiac.

What appeals to you about each season?

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!

Protected By His Grace


‘Tis the season for releases! 

Today I get the privilege of sharing with you the latest by my friend, Grace Augustine!

Blurb:

Rev. James Turner takes his job seriously. As pastor of Lindenport Christian Church, he makes sure his congregation are spiritually fed and that their needs are met, especially during the holidays.

Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas Eve services are a mainstay to the Christian faith. At Lindenport Christian Church, it’s no different. The Thanksgiving community dinner and decorating committees have the church decked out for the holidays.

Pastor James’ faith is challenged when a beautiful female parishioner confides in him about her past, putting both and their loved ones in danger.

The magical beauty and wonder of Christmas Eve is a perfect backdrop for remembering God’s continued protection through adversity.

Are you ready to see this beauty?

 

I can already see this one as a Hallmark movie!

Universal book link:

Books2Read Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/478xYE

Amazon link isn’t available yet, but Ill keep you updated.

 

SYNOPSIS

PROTECTED BY HIS GRACE                                                                                   By Grace Augustine

Jaden McAdam has a secret, one few people know. After witnessing a murder ten years earlier, she moved to the oceanside community of Lindenport to start over. Her business savvy, positive attitude, and property knowledge makes her the best real estate agent in the area.

James Turner was called to pastor the Lindenport Christian Church three years ago. One of his parishioners confides in him about her life in the witness protection program and the testimony that puts the murderer, Jerome “The Crow” Bolcan, behind bars for life. Or so she thinks.

Jaden is faced with the reality of a mistrial, falling in love with the pastor of her church, and tossed in the middle of new evidence that puts her and everyone around her in danger.

Faith is tested as God provides protection for all involved during this dangerous, magical, mystical Christmas.

Author Bio:

Editor and award winning novelist, Grace Augustine, grew up in Montana. Her work career has taken her from title and abstracting to administrative assistant church work to co-owning a small town weekly newspaper to her current profession as a floral designer/jewelry designer/writer.

Grace thinks of herself as a “Jill” of most trades and is not afraid to learn new things. “If you can’t learn something new each day, there’s something wrong,” she says.

The ideas for her Acorn Hills series stem from her growing up years as well as the issues she has had to overcome along the way. “I’ve developed a new romance category…for the over 50 crowd…I’m calling it the salt and pepper genre. My books deal with real life issues, overcoming adversity, maintaining a positive outlook, and so much more. Just because we are 50 yrs old or older doesn’t mean that life stops. We all still want attention and affection and adventure! We want to experience all life has to offer. We use our age as wisdom to share with those around us. We are sexual, sensual, and sensible,” Grace explains.

Augustine was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in July of 2003. Her thoughts on that “It may slow me down, but if I can at all do it, I will. Sitting and feeling sorry for yourself isn’t the answer…living your life with an open, joy-filled heart is.”

Romance with a Touch of Grace

 

OTHER BOOKS BY Grace Augustine can be found on her Amazon author page:

Grace Augustine

 

Say Hello to Roxy!


I am so excited to reveal my new book I can hardly contain myself! 

It’s here – it’s finally here!

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 the most important people in her life 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?

Don’t you want to read it right now?

Are you ready to see this beauty?

To be Released September 14th!

Buy Links:

Will post them as soon as I get them. Amazon and I are having some issues.  I’m claiming residual chemo brain.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

OK, folks here it is:

 

You want to read a little excerpt?

 Excerpt 1:

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 or if you are waiting for the call that you got that job you were hoping to land. 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 never 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 numerous 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.

 

Because I am feeling so generous today, here’s a bonus

Excerpt 2:

“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 from his crouching position next to the bodies, 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.”

 

 

Author Bio:

Ellie Mack received her BS in cartography from Southeast Missouri State University. Since leaving the corporate world for the title of MOM, she has pursued her writing dreams. Nowadays Ellie charts unmapped territory through her fiction and humor writing. Formerly a columnist for a local paper, her weekly column received a lot of attention. She lives near St. Louis, MO with her husband of 32 years and their college aged daughters. When she’s not writing she can be found bullet journaling, crocheting, or cooking.

You can find her musings on her blog: https://quotidiandose.wordpress.com

If you’re reading this you’re already here!

 

Facebook  Ellie Mack author

Twitter- @Mack_Ellie

Pinterest- Ellie Mack

My blog- Quotidiandose

 

OTHER BOOKS BY ELLIE MACK:

Red Wine & Roses

Quotidiandose: 30 Days of Sass