Sunday, October 31, 2010

Things That Go Bump In The Night...

My guest today is Jim Whitaker, humorous and talented author of Hill of Beans. Jim's been here before because I generally "blogjack" his posts, but always with his blessing. Enjoy his take on Halloween:



Halloween – A Few Transparent Thoughts about Ghosts

So, why so self-assured that your home is not haunted?

Granted …Your home isn't necessarily haunted just because somebody or perhaps … some thing … flung the last known ice cube tray back into the freezer overturned with just one cube left in it.

Your home isn't necessarily haunted just because somebody or perhaps … some thing … spread cheese popcorn residue all over the living room carpet you just vacuumed.
Your home isn't necessarily haunted just because somebody or perhaps … some thing … locked the door you just exited with your keys inside lying on the kitchen table.

Your home isn't necessarily haunted just because somebody or perhaps … some thing … left your toolbox open on the driveway in the evening and the rain poured at midnight.

Your home isn't necessarily haunted just because somebody or perhaps … some thing … keeps resetting your computer to all things Justin Bieber.

Your home isn't necessarily haunted just because somebody or perhaps … some thing … exchanged those four $20's you know you had in your wallet just minutes ago with a single $1 bill.

Your home isn't necessarily haunted, but … maybe. Ha, ha. (Insert a throaty, ominous chuckle there, thank you.)

We never truly know what lurks amidst the at-rest nights or the time-we-are-away days in our homes, now do we? Does that realization evoke in you an apprehension, a chill, a cautionary shudder? Well, it's probably all just the dumb cat so give it a piece of cheese, throw it out and disavow any knowledge of its whereabouts.

And what if it's not the dumb cat? What if it's a dumb ghost after all?

To find out you can call in professional ghost hunters or local paranormal society investigators. Then watch in layman-wonder as these experts in spooky-spooky set up in your home dozens of elaborate cameras and recorders and thermometers and meters and laser fields, all high-tech gear enabling them – after dark with the lights out – to better run around bumping into one another screaming "Oh, (bleep)" and "What the (bleep) was that?" every time your goldfish gurgles in its bowl. I think the bleeps are free as part of the service.

To find out if there is a "presence" in your home you can call in one of those medium –small, large, whatever – people who claim communication with the deceased. They say they can "see" and ask questions of and get responses from any passed-away relative or friend of yours. Except, of course, that vanished third cousin who evidently passed over before repaying the $259.78 you lent him to buy cigarettes and a tank of gas. Even if he's just faking death that guy's way outa here and he ain't comin' back.

To find out if a ghost is floating about you can consult what's called a "sensitive." Many sensitives promote themselves with dramatic paintings of young Native American maidens wearing feather boas and little or nothing else – a ticklish prospect. A full-fledged sensitive is allegedly able to feel, smell, hear, know, taste and see the presence of passed spirits. I'm sensitive enough to feel that if you spend money on these people then they smelled, heard, knew, tasted and saw you coming.
Now before you ghost hunters and mediums – large or small, whatever – and believers in the realm of spirits think me an irrational skeptic, would I ever discount the existence of ghosts here in the season of Halloween? "Never," he cried with an eerie, distorted laugh and a contorted countenance highlighting his scarred and tangled brow while his gnarled fingers pounded with ee-vil belligerence the faded keys of the dusty and ancient pipe organ.

In fact, let me tell you the true story about Helen.

Several years back, a couple we know rented a stone house in one of the nearby macbeths – I mean hamlets.

The house was cozy, cool and subdued in the summer, warm and welcoming in the winter. And talk about location, location, location.

After the couple moved in … well, things started happening (you were expecting otherwise?) They'd leave and return to a thermostat reset at a temperature higher than they had left it. Plates moved. Glasses rattled. A pipe from his collection disappeared. Voices could be heard when the windows were open.

They named their ethereal resident "Anastasia."

Scary stuff, huh?

Of course, after they replaced the thermostat, bought a new china cabinet, discovered that one of the neighbors had taken up smoking to ease stress brought on by asthma, and shut the windows … Anastasia moved out. Just couldn't stand all those changes.

So if you suspect you have a ghost in your home this Halloween, throw a white sheet over him and force him to sit on the front porch all evening. A night of some of those trick or treaters will exorcise anybody … or any thing.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Spooky Stuff...

How about this cover?  Dawne Dominique did a wonderful job of capturing the essence of  The Locket.  I don't have a release date yet, and I still have to spend time with an editor, but I'm so proud of this story, Halloween weekend seems a pretty good time to share a blurb and an excerpt.  I hope this whets your appetite enough to keep checking Eternal Press for the release date.

Blurb:
A simple, yet beautiful heart-shaped locket becomes the focus of appreciative and unsuspecting women.  Someone should warn them of the danger of owning the cursed piece.  But who?  Sadly, the previous owners are no longer around…nor are the loved ones they killed in a fit of unexplained rage.

Excerpt: (UNEDITED TEXT)
Boston – October, 1940

Sheila Townsend hauled open the heavy Cathedral door and slipped inside. She scurried up the long aisle into the safety of the confessional and collapsed. Panting, she creaked open the little sliding door. The priest’s outline loomed on the other side.    
"Father, forgive me, for I have sinned.” She swiped at her bangs, wet from the fog outside.
“How long has it been since your last confession?” The priest’s voice filtered through the mesh between them.
“Six months, Father.”
 “Tell me of your sins, my child.” 
“I-I’ve had evil thoughts and fear I’ve done something horrid.”
“What have you done?”
“I might have killed someone because of the curse.”
“Curse?”  The deep voice raised an octave.
“The one that plagues this locket.”  She dangled a necklace close to the screen. “I must leave it here with you and stop this madness.” 
Sheila rose, dropped the pendant onto the shelf separating parishioner from priest and fled without another word. The stained glass window in an image of the Holy Mother looked far less impressive at night than when the sun shone through the tinted panes. Pausing at the door, she secured her scarf over her head and pulled her coat collar higher.
 She leaned her weight against the door, allowing the breeze to flicker the candles at the altar. The gripping hatred that had consumed her for the last month melted away like snow in springtime. Her need to hurt someone had only intensified when she put a picture in the locket.  But now she was free—free from everything but the guilt and memories of plunging the knife into her boyfriend’s back.  
Stepping back into the misty night, she headed toward the river.  She hadn’t actually been honest with the priest.  The police were sure to soon find the body in her living room, and she no longer had a will to live. She’d made peace with the Lord now she needed to find peace with herself and what she’d done.

Father Finnegan’s brow furrowed at the woman’s sudden departure.  “A curse?”
He stood and pushed through the curtain at the rear of the confessional, walked around and opened the door to the parishioner’s side.  There, on the shelf lay the necklace the woman had left.  A heart-shaped gold locket hung from a long chain, and when opened, displayed a picture of a mustached gentleman wearing a black fedora.  Father Finnegan pinched the locket closed.  The pendant looked entirely harmless—nothing more than delicate piece of jewelry.
“What have you got there, Father?”
He turned to find Sister Mary Catherine.  “A locket… supposedly cursed.”  He laughed. “Me thinks tis the soul of the person who left it who needs the blessing.”
“The jewelry looks to be a fine piece for the fund-raising bazaar, if you’ve no other plans for it.”  The nun smiled and opened her hand.
“You’re welcome to it.”  He dropped necklace into her waiting palm.  “Although the strange behavior of my last visitor surely makes me wonder what it is about this lovely piece she found so frightening.  Certainly not the picture of the handsome fellow inside.”
            Father Curtis arrived for his time in the confessional and Father Finnegan retired to his room via the kitchen, carrying a pot of hot tea.  He sat at a small round table in his sparsely decorated chamber and poured himself a cup of orange pekoe. With a glance at the golden crucifix above his bed, he crossed himself.
         The morning newspaper lay unread next to the ceramic teapot.  Prepared to unwind from the multitude of confessions heard earlier, he flicked open the publication and gasped at the picture adorning the front page beneath the words, “Found Murdered.”
            “Mary, Mother of God!”  He stared at the face from the locket.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Logic? Sure Thing!

Do You Really Understand English  

Everyone who reads my blog knows I love Reader’s Digest.  In their September 2010 issue, they presented an article by Melissa Demeo and Paul Silverman that resonated with me.  Although I like to think I’m literate when it comes to speaking and writing, I honestly had to pause after each example and consider if I’m an offender. 

I’m going to share some of their tips with you today.  I suppose as long as I’ve credited the magazine and authors, I won’t be brought up on plagiarism charges.  I’ve “bolded” the correct examples below, and in some cases, both are appropriate when used in the correct situation:

Could care less versus Couldn’t care less:  Because you care so little already, you couldn’t care less.

Less versus Fewer:  Recommend the use of fewer when you specify a number of countable things (50 words or fewer).  Less is appropriate when speaking of mass amount (less than half.) *Raising hand as guilty on this one.*

Hone in versus Home in: Since hone means to sharpen, Home in comes from “homing pigeons.” which indicates being single-minded.  You either want to home in on something or, if you’re confused, zero in on the topic.

Brother-in-laws versus Brothers-in-law:  Form the plural by adding an s to the thing there is more than one of.  Of course an ‘s would indicate possession by one brother-in-law.  (applies to runners-up and hole in ones, too)

Different than versus Different from: If you can substitute “from: for than, then do it.  Use “than” for comparisons.  Example:  My office is different from any other in the building.  My office is bigger than any other in the building.  *Raising hand as guilty on this one.*

Try versus Try to: If you are planning to do something, then try to do it. Of course, try and try again makes sense, but remember the rule.

Supposably versus Supposedly: Although spell check tells me that supposably is not a word, it is one—meaning “conceivably.”  But, if you’re trying to relay, “it’s assumed” than supposedly is what you want to say and what most people recognize as correct English.

All of versus All:  Drop “of” whenever you can, but not before a pronoun. Examples:  All the children were in their seats.  All of them were in their seats.

Outside of versus Outside: Both are prepositions and weren’t meant to be used together. 

Each other versus One Another: Each other is appropriate when speaking of two people or things. Example: Ginger and Barbara present each other with a gift for the occasion.  One another is used when more are involved.  Example:  The debaters argued with one another.

Now for some confusing pairs:

Wary = suspicious
Weary = tired
Farther = physical distance
Further = metaphorical distance or time
Principle = rule
Principal = School official
Compliment = saying a nice thing
Complement = match
Continual = ongoing but intermittent
Continuous = without interruption
Stationary = doesn’t move
Stationery = paper
Imply = suggest a meaning
Infer = draw meaning from something
Affect (v) = to act upon. (n) = an emotional response
Effect (n) = something produced, but as a verb) to bring about  

If you’re like me, you’re still confused about affect versus effect, so here are some examples:  His bad behavior affected the entire classroom.  His bad behavior had a negative effect in the classroom.

I still don’t get the “emotional response” usage of affect as a noun.

A few last helpful hints:  Did you know that saying “at this point in time” is redundant?  Point and time have the same meaning in this instance.  At this time, at this point…

Past history?  Isn’t all history past?

Be careful where you place your modifiers…if you even need one.  If you read this sentence with “even” placed after “need”, the meaning of the sentence is changed.  “Only, also, and even can impact your story if you aren’t careful.

And one of my favorites,  I versus me:  When comparing yourself to someone or something, use I.  “Am” is implied so consider that “me am” is not appropriate. Meow is, if you’re a cat.  J

The rules continue to grow the more I write.  Just when I think I have a grasp on something, one house claims the rule inappropriate and I have to change my logic.  What logic, I say….there is none in writing.  But just in case you want to check out my accomplishments, please visit my website at http://www.gingersimpson.com and see if you think I understand English.  Now don’t forget, we’re talking U.S. English, not The Queen’s English.  Shouldn’t English be English?  See, I told you…no logic.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Spooky Tails? Tales?

The Storm raged on outside.

They were together in the House.

Just the two of them.

It was a cold, dark, stormy night. The storm had come quickly

And

Each time the thunder boomed he watched her jump.

She looked across the room and admired his strong appearance...and

Wished that he would take her in his arms, comfort her and protect her

From the storm.

Suddenly, with a pop, the power went out.... She screamed...

He raced to the sofa where she was cowering.

He didn't hesitate to pull her into his arms.

He knew this was a forbidden union and

Expected her to pull back.

He was surprised when she didn't resist but instead clung to him.

The storm raged on..They knew it was wrong...

Their families would never understand... So consumed were

They in their fear, they heard no opening

Of doors...just the faint click of a camera......

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

David Fingerman - Stopping by on his blog tour...

 Ladies and Gentlemen,
I've very pleased to welcome author, David Fingerman to my blog today.  He's nearing the end of a whirlwind blog tour, and I'm happy to help him promote his new book.  I'll let him tell you a little about himself and his book, Silent Kill.  So without further ado, meet David Fingerman:

As a very young boy, I remember watching an episode of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” on TV. If memory serves correctly, the name of the episode was “An Unlocked Window.” It’s the one where the guy was going around killing nurses. It was the first and only time (that I can recall) that a piece of fiction on television scared the hell out of me. So much so that it stayed with me for all of these years…and started my love affair with the horror genre.

After more than twenty years working as a Court Clerk in the Hennepin County Court System, I am fascinated by all sides of the human condition. I have seen the best and worst people can bring out. I try to incorporate all of these traits into my writing. Whether I’m writing a thriller, horror, mainstream, or humor, my goal is to tell an entertaining story with characters that will stay with you long after you put the book or magazine down.

Eons ago, as a wee nip of a lad,  I saved breakfast cereal boxtops until I had enough to send away for something cool.  Poor memory doesn’t allow me to remember what those cool toys were, but I do remember waiting patiently each day (at least the first week, waiting quite impatiently the next 4 to 6 weeks) for the mailman to drop off a small package with my name on it.  Those memories came flooding back a few weeks ago when my publisher, L&L Dreamspell, emailed me what the cover to “Silent Kill” would look like.  The first thing that hit me was what a great cover.  The second was my understanding that the cover would be the last step before the book being sent off to the printer.  That meant the book would soon be released. 

 I ordered some extra copies to send out for reviews, etc., and the wait began.  The first week passed by with no trauma.  I wasn’t really expecting anything.  In the back of my mind there was a faint glimmer of hope that maybe by Friday or Saturday ~ but no.  By Wednesday of the next week I kept thinking any day now.

 When just the typical mail showed up on Saturday I could feel the little kid in me getting a bit flustered.  As the next week wore on it was a chore not to sit out on the front step and wait for the postal carrier. (A lot has changed since I was young – they’re called postal carriers now.  One other thing has changed since I was a kid waiting for the mailman.  Back then one could pretty much count on the mail arriving at the same time everyday.

 Today it seems as though I have a different carrier each day.  I can get my mail as early as 9am or as late as 6:30pm.  It varies day-to-day which could make sitting on the front step an exercise in futility – and a very sore butt.)  By Thursday the stress was getting to me.  I dreamt that night that my books arrived but the print was so small, the entire book was no bigger than a pamphlet – complete with staple in the middle.  I thought that was a sign.  I was going to get my books on Friday.  Nope.  Saturday morning I slept until 9:30.  Not ten minutes after getting up, the doorbell rang.  I peeked out the window and saw the postal carrier walking back to his truck.  My heart raced faster than my feet as I dashed to the front door.  There, next to the welcome mat (well, mat anyway.  I admit I’m not the most social of creatures) were boxes of my book.  And nope – they ain’t pamphlet size.  I gotta say ~ it’s a damn handsome book.  Buy one and see for yourself (hey, if I’m not going to pimp myself ~ who will?).

You can find out where David's book is available on his site.   Also, continue to follow David on his next stop, October 22.  I'll be drawing from those who leave a comment, and one lucky winner will receive a $10.00 Amazon gift card.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How Polite Do We Have To Be?

When you've sent out a manuscript to a few places and heard nothing for weeks...not even a "canned" response, how polite do I have to be if I decide to go a whole other route?  Such is the case with First Degree Innocence.  I worked so hard on this story...harder because it's different from my historical roots, and I wanted something more than just twelve cents per print copy sold through an e-publisher. My attempts at larger houses have gone unanswered and my patience has run out.

A few days ago, I received an invitation to place my book with a newly-formed e-pub where I retain the print rights.  The royalties are bigger, and I have implicit trust in the three founders.  I snapped up the opportunity, asked one of my two favorite cover artists to design a cover for me, and begged another author friend to give it a second look through.  So, now all I'm waiting for is the finalized copy to send off to the publisher and I'll have one more book under my belt.  My loving thanks to Dawne Dominique for capturing my heroine's agony in this stunning cover.

I've spent a good part of the day seeking pictures to create my book video, and trust me, there are no good-looking security, police or prison guards on Istock.  *lol*  I settled for a nice looking butt and tried to capture the most important points in the story. I hope you enjoy my new presentation; I had a good time putting it together.  Let me know if it makes you want to read the book.  After all, that's the point.

 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Interesting Word Origin...

As I come across interesting historical facts, I like to share them.  Since this one has to do with my favorite word, I thought you might like to know the origin:

Manure . . . an interesting fact

Manure: In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship and it was also before the invention of commercial fertilizers, so large shipments of manure were quite common.

It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, fermentation began again, of which a by product is methane gas of course. As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen.

Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern, BOOOOM!

Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening

After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the instruction ' Stow high in transit ' on them, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.

Thus evolved the term ' S.H.I.T. ' , (Stow High In Transit) which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.

You probably did not know the true history of this word. Neither did I. I had always thought it was a golf term.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Welcome, Heather Kuehl

When I’m writing a story that is set in modern times, I prefer to set it in a place that I have been. I adore accurate description within a story, and nothing makes me dislike a story more than when it’s obvious the author has never been there. Most of my books are set in Charleston, South Carolina, since I live near there. Charleston was colonized around 1670, so many of the buildings in the downtown area have a lot of history behind them. However, most of my characters aren’t interested in Charleston’s rich history. It makes picking locations more interesting.

When picking out a location, I usually choose places that are my favorite. For example, Haven is one of my favorite houses in downtown Charleston. Donavan’s house from Fade to Black was a house that, as a child, I told myself I would one day buy. Sadly it has since been demolished to make way for new housing, but the image of it is stuck in my head. I figure if I bond with a location then it has got to be for a reason. Malevolent Dead is really a restaurant located on Meeting Street. At one point, the second floor used to be a night club. All the locations I put into my books are locations that stick out in my mind. For some reason they have wiggled their way into my imagination until they’ve become a born vampire’s club or the home of a werewolf Clan.

My advice for writers looking for locations to set their writing in is this: Don’t force it. Let memories from your past or childhood inspire you, whether it be those hot summers at the beach or relaxing weekend camping trips. If you force it, then the reader will be able to tell. Another piece of advice, do your homework. Has the building been around since 1700? Make sure and read up on it. Maybe something happened there that you can incorporate into your work.

Discover Charleston as I see it in the Sarah Vargas Series. Books one and two in this series, Fade to Black and Malevolent Dead, are available now from Eternal Press. Book three, Blood Moon, is due out in March 2011.

Fade to Black blurb:
Werewolf bounty hunter Sarah Vargas has only one goal in life; to kill the Were that attacked and changed her. However a slew of werecreature murders send Sarah and her partner, Jared Fontaine, on the mission of their lives, ending with a discovery about Jared’s past that might destroy them both.

Malevolent Dead blurb:
Werewolf Sarah Vargas thought all she had to worry about was the Blood Moon Corporation's retaliation. She never dreamed that another vampire would arrive, disputing Damian's claim over the throne to Charleston, SC. To make matters worse, he is no ordinary vamp; he's a vampire necromancer. He's exceptionally hard to kill, and Sarah will have to do what ever she can to keep those that she loves safe... Even if it means doing the unthinkable.

Blood Moon blurb:
After she broke her contract with the Blood Moon Corporation, Sarah Vargas knew that it was only a matter of time before they came for her. What she didn't know is what lengths they would go to to make sure that she had no where to run. Everyone Sarah has every relied on is in danger while friends become enemies, and Sarah quickly realizes that the Blood Moon Corporation will never give up until she is dead. The Blood Moon Corporation is coming, and even Sarah doesn't think she can make it out alive.
 
To find out more about Heather...visit her website.
 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Meet George Sherman Hudson




George Sherman Hudson was born and raised in Atlanta Ga. After being continuously rejected by different publishers because of the subject matter contained in his books while serving time, this father of two did some research and started G Street Chronicles, the urban book publishing company that's ran by him with the help of his COO and fiancé Erica Jones. While George is continuously working hard to make G Street Chronicles a recognized name in the literary industry, he's also working hard on his highly anticipated REAL series. George has authored five books in all. His debut book Drama is in stores now. Having published more than 10 titles in the first year of business George is determined to make G Street Chronicles an urban lit powerhouse.


Synopsis of Book:


The drama just doesn't stop in the lives of Deb, Tammy, and Lisa. Deb, the hard worker and savvy entrepreneur is blessed with a multimillion dollar contract, but has to enjoy the success without the comfort of her man whose fledging music career has him busy from state to state. Tammy has everything a diva could want, a multimillion dollar home, expensive cars, clothes, jewelry, and she thought love.

Drama is a book a lot like sex in the city with black characters, each chapter is told from the point of view of a different character. They take turns telling their side of the story. It has everything, humor, emotions, great characters, and a lot of drama.

To find out where George will appear next, click on the banner above.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What is This Steampunk Everyone is Talking About?


I’d like to thank Ginger for inviting me to her blog today and I’m looking forward to hosting her on my blog. 

As the release month (Dec. 2010) approaches for my Steampunk/Science Fiction romance novella, Tangled in Time, I’ve been fielding a lot of questions that are variations of: what is this Steampunk? 

Wikipedia tells us that “steampunk involves an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century and often Victorian era Britain—that incorporates prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy.” Think Wild Wild West or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen if you’re still having trouble with the concept. On my website I have a lot of links to additional information: http://www.paulinebjones.com/steampunklinks.htm

At its heart, steam is what puts the steam in Steampunk, but the imaginative use of other anachronistic and/or impossible elements is what makes it fun to write and read. NCIS Los Angeles dipped a toe into the Steampunk pool on an episode last year, but they focused more on the “punk,” (thinking its counter culture when it’s not) and offended a lot of Steampunk enthusiasts. 

At its heart, Steampunk is the basic “what if” but grounded in (with some exceptions) the Victorian time period. (Since there are no rules, authors are already pushing the “boundaries” in a lot of interesting directions.) If you’ve been following publishing trends at all, or looking at publisher wish lists, you’ll see requests for Steampunk popping up more and more. 

In fiction—which is my main interest though the jewelry and clothes are very fun—the genre covers a lot of ground, from dark, dystopian works to whimsy and humor. I like to laugh, so mine comes in on the whimsy/humor end of the Steampunk scale. 

While I’m happy to be on the front end of a trend, I will confess that I wandered into it accidentally. I’d read a fun Steampunk novel and thought, “Oh, that was fun. I’d like to do something like that.” And that’s pretty much all I did until…
…I was asked to write a short story for our chapter anthology, an anthology based on Texas landmarks (which should have ruled out Steampunk, but somehow didn’t). Tangled in Time quickly burst the short story bounds and ended up as novella (my editor was thankful it was a “mere” 28,000 words, since I usually produce what we “fondly” call the BABs–big a** books). 

Its roots as a short story, and the Texas landmarks requirement, are the reason for the local: Big Bend National Park. I also wanted to tie it into my science fiction romance novels, so I picked my hero from the supporting cast of The Key and Girl Gone Nova. Colonel Carey was a favorite of mine and I’d been waiting to give him star billing and a girl. I will admit even I didn’t see his “right” girl coming until she arrived. 

Olivia Carstairs is an 1890’s geek, a girl willing to push the boundaries of her own time. But she is still a creature of her time. I learned a lot about the origin of words and 1890’s slang during the writing of this book, not to mention a ton of other stuff, such as that the El, the elevated train, ran during Olivia’s time. You can see actual video of it and read about how Olivia got her job by going here: 

 
Of course, the biggest challenge I faced was bringing such disparate characters together and giving them a story that readers could dive into with suspended disbelief (because both the science and the Steampunk are fiction). 

Here’s the blurb:

Colonel Carey (from The Key and Girl Gone Nova) takes a test "flight" through the Garradian time-space portal, but an unexpected impact lands him somewhere and some when. As he attempts to get to Area 51, he crosses paths with Miss Olivia Carstairs, who could be Mary Poppins' twin sister. Or maybe her cousin. Olivia's got a transmogrification machine powered by steam and something else that looks really dangerous, and a mouth he'd like to kiss like it was his job. Can he get them both to safety before the buzzard eats them or she shoots him with her derringer?

Review quotes:

"I read this Sci Fi/Steampunk Romance Novella ARC for the author and I couldn't put it down. It was wonderful with great gentle humor!" Reviews by Martha
"Jones packs a wallop of a story in Tangled in Time. Humor and suspense abound in a tale filled with action and suspense. The diversity between Carey and Olivia in manner and speaking is portrayed with engaging wit and the chemistry between the two is fun and highly entertaining. Fans of Jones will recognize favorite characters from The Key and Girl Gone Nova, an added bonus. This novella will appeal to readers across genres, offering romance, suspense, and mystery all wrapped up in an intriguing Sci-Fi plot that grabs the reader from beginning to end." Midwest Book Review
"I can’t thank Pauline enough for exposing me to a new genre. I absolutely recommend reading Tangled In Time to science geeks and non-nerds alike. Pauline has the art of subtle romance down, which is something I can now say that I have been missing on my reading list. Tangled In Time is perfectly executed and an absolutely satisfying read!" Http://FirePages.wordpress.com

Link to excerpt
Link to book page 

Friday, October 8, 2010

We Learn by Example...don't we?

I understand why people despise bullies and being bullied, but I don't quite get why everyone is up in arms now. Yes, I know it's because of the rash of teen suicides that has brought the subject to the forefront, but there have been and always will be bullies in this world.  You can't change anyone else, you can only change yourself, so the only option we have as parents and grandparents is to model the kind of behavior we want our kids to exhibit. And we need to stop putting all the responsibility for teaching our children life's values on teachers and babysitters.

Think about it...Ramses bullied Moses, The whites bullied the blacks...and the Indians, Hitler bullied the Jews, the democrats bully the GOP and vice versa, Al Queda bullies everyone, and we act like it's only children entering puberty who have the problem.  We learn from the way we live, and from years of examples, we've taught our children to elevate themselves at the expense of others.

I doubt there is one person in this world that hasn't as one time or another been the victim of a bully.  It's no wonder that our younger generation is one of entitlement and bullying.  We've taught them in the wrong way by giving them everything they wanted or demanded and not expecting anything in return.  How many times have you used a racial slur or unkind remark in front of your children.  Use the word, "hate" much?


So what constitutes bullying? My upcoming young adult novel, Shortcomings, deals with this very topic...how we relate to people who are different from us.  At the recommendation of my present publisher, I'm creating a study guide to accompany my book, with hopes that it might be used as a tool in our local H.S.  My book is geared for 7th-12th grade, and a story that can also be enjoyed by adults.  It's never too late to learn.

Here's part of what will be included in my guide:

It’s a well-known fact that people with self-esteem issues like to make themselves appear bigger, better and smarter by bullying those they can.  What sorts of things constitute physical bullying?

  • Pushing
  • Punching
  • Poking
  • Grabbing
  • Shoving
  • Basically, any type of unwanted, unwarranted to unhelpful touching.

Some choose to engage in verbal bullying:

  • Name calling
  • Unkind remarks
  • Rude stares
  • Making threats
  • Spreading rumors or gossip
  • Putting someone down
  • Any verbal acts of unkindness directed to someone with limitations that keep them from taking a stand for themselves.

SO…what can we do to remedy these problems?  If you recognize yourself in any of these situations as the “bully,” then stop the bad behavior.  A better person will treat others as they would like to be treated.  Take a moment and picture yourself on the receiving end of your nastiness.  How would you react, and more importantly how would it make your feel?  I’m guessing, not very good.

If you aren’t a “bully” but have observed someone being one, you can still play a vital role by following one of these guidelines:

  • Tell a teacher or another adult you trust what you’ve witnessed.
  • If you’re invited to join in harassing someone or making fun of them, say “No.”
  • Support the victim by extending friendship.  Advise them to tell a teacher or counselor.
  • If you are frightened that you might become a victim, ask the teacher/adult to keep your name confidential.
  • Don’t engage the bully physically.  Ask for help.
  • Remember:  Saying nothing and watching is almost as bad as being the bully.  Silence indicates approval, so tell someone.

What if you are the victim?  Try following these tips:

  • Avoid reacting whenever possible.  Reaction=satisfaction.  Deny the bully pleasure..
  • Don’t engage.  If someone shove’s you, don’t shove back.
  • Stay in an area where teachers or adults are present.  A bully is less likely to perform in front of an audience of grownups.
  • Stay with friends.  There is safety in numbers
  • If the bullying takes places on a bus, find a seat near the driver.
  • Don’t flash expensive items that a bully might want to steal.
These are just a few of the many things that happen when a bully picks a victim.  I witnessed it during my youth, and my biggest regret is that I stood by and did nothing.  One of the young victims did commit suicide, but I doubt anyone associated it with how he was treated daily.  No one wanted to share a bus seat with him, and I recall moving to center of my seat along with the others...only because I didn't want "to get involved" and have the bad behavior directed at me.  Maybe if I had done something...led by example...he wouldn't have killed himself.

As I said before...we can't change anyone but ourselves, so until we start exhibiting model behavior for our children to follow, bullying will continue to thrive in our lives.  Take a moment and think about a time you were bullied....please share it with us.  I truly believe the the old adage, 'misery loves company' is why there will always be those who strive to bring us down to their level of agony.  Don't let them.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

George Carlin's Views on Aging

As I approach my sixty-fifty birthday, this seems like a timely post.  I keep asking myself, "When did I get old?"  I  went to bed one night, a young person, and woke up facing medicare...or so it seems.  Yes, I'm very grateful to still be here and I hope God allows me to hang around a while longer. I've got lots to accomplish and I just bought a new car.  :)

I've often heard that laughter can prolong your life...so my friends, read, laugh and live life like everyday is your last.  You never know if it might be.  To coin someone's brilliant words:  Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, "holy sh*t...what a ride."  I'm sure Mr. Carlin did just that.  :)  He remains my favorite comedian although he's been gone for two years.
Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions.  

'How old are you?' 'I'm four
  and a half!' You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key..

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead...

'How old are you?' 'I'm gonna be 16!' You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life  
!   You   become   21. Even the words sound like a ceremony.YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!  

But then you  turn  30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a sour-dumpling.. What's wrong? What's changed?

You  BECOME  21, you  TURN  30, then you're  PUSHING  40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you  REACH  50 and your dreams are gone..

But! wait!! !  
You  MAKE it  to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you  BECOME  21,  TURN  30,   PUSH  40,  REACH  50 and make  it  to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you  HIT  70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You  get into  your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you  HIT  lunch; you  TURN  4:30; you  REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; 'I  Was JUST
  92.'

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. 'I'm 100 and a half!'
May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!  


HOW TO STAY YOUNG:
 

1.  Throw out nonessential numbers.  This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them.

2.  Keep only cheerful friends.  The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning.   Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever, even ham radio.. Never let the brain idle.. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the  devil's    family name is    Alzheimer's.  

4.  Enjoy the simple things.  

5.  Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6.  The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love
  , whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever.....Your home is your refuge .

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it.. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips.... Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity..  


AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away
 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Welcome, Sloane Taylor...I can already feel the heat!

 Sweet as Honey, Hot as Hell!  That one line aptly describes my good friend, Sloane Taylor. When I need help making a scene spicier, she's my mentor.  She and I are doing a cross posting today.  I'm visiting her blog, and she's visiting mine.  I couldn't be more pleased to show everyone that sexual content can include an captivating storyline.

BUT...consider this a disclaimer...this woman's writing can send you straight to a cold shower, seeking relief from the sizzle.  So, if you are easily offended by sexual or adult content...then enjoy her bio, but read no further!  Don't say I didn't warn you - Ginger

Sloane's Bio:
Sloane Taylor is a sensual woman who believes humor and sex are healthy aspects of our everyday lives which carry over into her books. Her stories are set in Europe where the men are all male and the North American women they encounter are both feminine and strong. A true romantic, the women Sloane writes will bring more than lust to their men’s lives.

Born and raised in Chicago, Sloane and Studly, her mate for life, split their time between a home in Illinois and a weekend cottage on the back roads of Indiana…or you can catch up with her as she travels though Europe, researching new material.

Please visit her at her website, Facebook  or Myspace. Sloane loves to hear from readers. Feel free to email her at sloanetaylor at comcast dot net.

LAST CHANCE....THE FOLLOWING INCLUDES VERY ADULT CONTENT.


French Kiss
From Aspen Mountain Press
The Naughty Ladies of Nice
Book Four


BLURB:
Straight-laced children's author, Rachel Conklin, awakens on a deserted island wrapped in the arms of a sexy pirate. Convinced she's in a dream conjured from the pages of her breakout novel, Rachel casts her inhibitions to the wind. Guilt-free, she seduces the handsome sailor and rides the waves of passion.
Pediatrician Henri Bernier wasn't quite sure what to do with the sexy mermaid he'd pulled from the sea. Then she started kissing him and sent his libido soaring. Now the good doctor is ready to practice anything.

EXCERPT:

His mystery woman wiped mist from the cheval mirror. In the cleared glass, Henri caught her image. He stood in the bathroom doorway, frozen, staring at her through their shared reflection. She smiled at his shocked expression, probably enjoying the fact she had him at a disadvantage.

The bath towel dropped from her fingers, exposing her firm breasts.  Her large, dark nipples drew him like a siren to the sea and his dick sprang to life. The desires to lave and suckle her flooded over him while his stiff cock demanded he bend her over and fuck her until he came.

Droplets glistened on the ringlets of her long hair, reflected by the late afternoon sun. Several beads gathered, then made a slow descent down her spine. He stood mesmerized by the rivulet, staring as it glided to the sleek curve of her hip, following it lower until it disappeared between her firm cheeks.

With her good hand, she pulled thick strands of wet hair off her back and draped it over a shoulder, exposing her delicate neck. She held his gaze and bent over at the waist, offering him a seductive view of her pink labia. In slow motion, she drew a pair of red panties up her legs, then did a little hip wiggle and tugged them into place.

The shiny panties caressed her rounded ass cheeks midway on her derrière, accenting the creamy bare skin and framing the lower portion. His hands itched to cup her, squeeze the firm muscles, but his arms were frozen at his sides.

The kissable white flesh rounded above legs that went on forever down to trim ankles and slender feet. He imagined those long limbs circling his waist, better yet, wrapped around his neck as he watched his cock slide in and out of her.

"Magnifique." The word slipped out hoarse as struggled for oxygen.

He walked closer, his movements dreamlike. The honey shampoo aroma filled his lungs when he finally reached her.

“You are beautiful.”

Merci, Henri.” A smile twitched her lips.

“Your wrist should be in the sling.” He held up the black cloth with his other hand.

“I agree, but there’s time for that later.”

She leaned into him and reached back for his free hand, hanging limp at his side, then laid it across her bare ribcage. Her smooth skin felt warm against his damp palm.

“I intended to hang it on the handle, but the door popped—”

“Henri, isn’t there something else you’d rather do right now than talk?”

His sex-engrossed brain finally registered her words. “Mai oui.”

He laid a soft kiss on her shoulder, nipping his way along the side of her neck until he reached the tender area behind her ear lobe. Her nipples pebbled with his gentle touch, encouraging him to explore more of her.

His fingers played across her abdomen, sending prickles of anticipation up his arm as they climbed higher. He cupped her breast, massaging the firm mound until soft moans slipped past her parted lips. The entire time he watched her reflection in the mirror while his thumb made slow, teasing circles around her areola.

She wrapped her warm fingers over his other hand and guided it across her body. The combination of soft skin and firm muscle was the most erotic sensation of his life.

Dieu, how he wanted to dip into her hot pussy, His cock, with drops of pre-cum seeping through the slit, demaded relief.

With shaking fingers, she guided his other hand lower until she stopped at the elastic band on her wet panties. He grazed the fabric across her mound and stopped, then moved his hand to her thigh and edged toward her nub. She wrapped her fingers around his forearm, encouraging him to travel beneath the thin cloth. Anxious to please, he glided his fingers under the damp fabric and into her wet hairs, searching for her clit. After a moment of teasing, he slid first one finger, then a second into her hot, wet channel and watched her expression turn to ecstasy.

“Come for me, ma petit.”

Her trembling body tensed. She clutched the basin rim, squeezing her thighs tightly around his hand, grinding her hips against him. Shivers coursed through her. Her whimpers turned to a scream of pleasure as she sprayed hot cum onto him. A unique feeling of joy settled in his heart.

He turned her limp frame in his arms, his fingertips skimming across her tender nipples. She melted against him, pressing her breasts into his chest hairs...

 ****

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Wonders of Make A Wish

I've finally found a real "flesh and blood friend."  For the past few weeks, Debbie, who lives in my same condo village, has been coming over on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays to exercise with me on my Wii board.  She makes life fun even when we're huffing and puffing and sweating like pigs.  She shared a story with me the other day that pulled at my heartstrings and made me admire her even more than I already do. 

Meet Debbie's beloved grandson, Dakota.  He was only eight years old when he passed away from cancer, but his memory is still fresh in his Maw Maw's mind.  I found myself swallowing a lump in my throat as I listened to Dakota's story, not just because an innocent child became a victim of such a cruel disease, but because my grandson just turned eight and I can't fathom my world without him in it.  I've bemoaned the fact that he's autistic, but at least I can rest easy that no matter how hard life may be for him at times, it won't kill him.

Because of the Make a Wish Foundation, Dakota got to go to Disneyworld before he passed.  His family could never have afforded the expense, and Make a Wish gave a little boy some happy moments before he, in his own words, went to be with Jesus.

Debbie shared that while Dakota's time waned, he saw her unhappiness.  "I'm going to die," he said.  "But don't worry Maw Maw, I'll just sit and play games with Jesus in heaven until you get there." 

The Bradford's loss that day was heaven's gain.  Debbie also shared that Dakota has a cousin he adored, and all Dakota wanted was to be thirteen like his idol.  On what would have been Dakota's thirteenth birthday, the family gathered and celebrated in his honor.   I only pray that if God grants us one miracle, it will be to find a cure for Cancer.  It steals too many people from those who love them, and often way beyond their time.

I'm going to donate my next quarter royalties to The Make A Wish Foundation.  I invite you to join me by giving whatever you can afford.  My donation might not be enough to grant a child's dying wish...heck not even enough to take the family to McDonalds for dinner, but together we can make a difference.  Click here to visit The Make a Wish website and give someone what they wish for...someone like Dakota.

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