Monday, April 30, 2012

Let me share with you how they catch monkeys.

     Imagine a wooden box 12” x 12” and the top opens because it has hinges. Imagine opening the box and setting a big, red juicy apply in the bottom of the box. Then imagine closing and locking it. Then, around to the side is a hole and it is big enough for the monkey to look inside and see the red, juicy apple. But the hole is small enough so the only way for the monkey to get inside the box is to squeeze his fingers inside the hole. Now imagine the monkey reaching inside the box and grabbing the red, juicy apple. Now the apple is in the palm of the monkey’s hand.

     However, there is a problem. As the monkey tries to pull his hand out of the box, he finds it doesn’t fit through the hole. The reason is because the apple is in the palm of the monkey’s hand. Now the monkey won’t let go of that apple for anything. As a result, the poacher comes in and kills the monkey. Now realize, all the monkey would have to do is let go of the apple and he’d be free, but he won’t let go. Soon he’s a dead monkey.
     This is a metaphor for people who just don’t discipline themselves to write. Usually there is something in your life that you need to let go. But, as a result of not letting it go, it remains a roadblock to your success. Ultimately it ends up hurting you.
     Talk with your writing group or friend and ask, ‘what am I not letting go of?’ Meaning; is it your fear, is it the security of knowing you can’t finish your book, you don’t have to worry about what to do next – once the book is finished or is it because you’re just lazy? Whatever the challenge is, for most people, they don’t open themselves up to themselves or their writing partners, to learn what is not allowing them to ‘let go of the apple.’ Ultimately, it leads to the death of your writing career.
     5. Growing as a person. You know people want to be successful to see their income grow and they want to grow, yet they’re not willing to make the sacrifices that it takes to develop new skill-sets, new beliefs, and new habits. They take the same ‘employee mentality’ and bring it to the environment where they write. I think we’ll all agree, that someone who is an international best selling author with over 30 million books in print has a different mind-set than one who hasn’t yet published a book or has one or two books to their credit. Which is all the more reason why we must grow as people.
     6. Under confidence. If only I was published, then I’d write more and have more confidence. Well, people…it’s a big myth. It’s about reaching your personal writing goal and you won’t reach it without giving 100% to the first book, then second book, etc. Don’t look at someone else’s success to measure your own or lack thereof.

Next Monday we’ll discuss what happens when people do things ‘consistently right.’


Hiking last spring . . . looking for geods . . . the hike was great but we didn't find any crystals.  We are going again this summer in hope of being more successful.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ginger's Six Sentence Sunday

Do the weeks get faster and faster, or is it just my imagination?  Anyhow, welcome to Dishin' It Out and my Six Sentence Sunday.  Continuing with Chugiak Moon, my current WIP about the Tanaina, A North American Indian Clan within the northern Athabaskan group.  This is a big step out of my comfort zone, writing about a tribe other than the Lakota Sioux with whom I have a deep affection.  This book promises to be slow-going as I know virtually nothing about the Tanaina, so we'll be learning together as I research.  :)

Set up for this week's six:

My heroine, Nasnana is working with her clan and that of others who have gathered for the yearly Caribou migration.  Her recent contact with a member of a different group has stirred an interest she hasn't experienced with anyone of her own clan.  The image of the handsome face and virile body has caused a sleepless night, and she's thinking back on when she first saw him.  Here's today's six:



Returning to her chore, she bent and started pulling brush into her arms.  Despite her long sleeves, sticks and thistles prickled through to her skin, causing her to readjust her load. She recalled a song the tribe often sang around the campfire and  started to hum. 

 Someone tapped her shoulder.  “Drink?”

She straightened and swallowed hard. 

Now that you've hopefully enjoyed my six (and left a comment), please head back to Six Sentence Sunday and follow some of the other links.  There's a ton to choose from.  I'm pretty sure only superman could visit each and everyone of them.  :)

KIDNAPPED ~ showing free today on Amazon.com

I don't know how I mixed up my scheduled releases ~ but I apologize for any confussion. I'm hoping Sacred Ground will show free tomorrow for you all . . . that's what my calendar shows! Happy reading. Rita


         Kidnapped ~ A Books We Love publication. Get your free download today.  http://bookswelove.net/karnopp.php
     Laura and Aaron Palmer’s marriage is over, but they have newly adopted daughter, Amie, to consider. If they split up now, young Amie could be taken away from them both forever. Life is complicated, but it takes a turn for the worse when Laura finds Amie’s picture listed in an ad for missing and abducted children. But are the people who claim to be Amie’s biological parents really what they seem, or is something more sinister at play?
     Alienated emotionally from each other, and paralyzed with fear, can Laura and Aaron find a way to save their marriage and protect their adopted daughter? This story entwines your heart with the bonding love of a child.
     "This is a truly engrossing tale for anyone who has ever wondered about the stories behind those faces on the milk cartons. Author Karnopp does a great job revealing the stress of a couple unable to conceive. Her characters are all well developed and understandable, even the supporting cast. The story tugs at your heartstrings, without being saccharine or maudlin. I enjoyed it." ~ 4 Nymphs, Sphinx Minx, Literary Nymphs Reviews
     "Kidnapped by Rita Karnopp is a thriller. The characters have their own distinct voice. You could see the flaws in Aaron and Laura, and as the story progresses you see them mature and grow. This is a plot that could easily be ripped from the headlines. Kidnapped is an entertaining read." ~ 4 Stars, Debra Gaynor for ReviewYourBook.com

WHISPERING SUN ~ Releases Saturday and SACRED GROUND ~ Releases Sunday

Whispering Sun ~  Featured today on Amazon.com 
             Get your 'free' Kindle upload today!
A "Books We Love" publication   http://www.bookswelove.com/ 
     New Territory of Montana 1863. Sarah Bryson’s silent world is destroyed when her so-called fiancĂ© has her kidnapped to prevent his discovery as a gun-runner. After surviving a massacre, she is rescued by Blackfeet warrior, Two Shadows. But in order to reach the safety of his village, they must confront wild animals, ruthless mountain men, treacherous mountain storms, and Crow Indians bent on revenge.
     Sarah seeks her true identity as a woman. Two Shadows’ struggles with loyalties divided between his love for a white woman and his devotion to his tribe. Whispering Sun captures a time when the Blackfeet are forced to see their way of life disappear. It’s a story where it’s possible for a white woman to decide she belongs with a loving people and a Blackfeet warrior. It’s a story that shows how a half-breed can choose an alliance and find his place in a colliding world.
     "Rita Karnopp has composed both a creative and enduring tale of trials and tribulations that are, oh, too real, and leave an overwhelming impact on the reader. From betrayal, to finding love, she has written a masterpiece that is hard to put down." ~ Cherokee, Coffee Time Romance
     Chapter One ~ 
     Dirk sat straight in the saddle, face stretched to the sky absorbing the sun. He scanned the vast valley below. A few scrub trees competed with the brush for a haven from the relentless Montana wind. The brisk, spring air held a hint of warmth that promised the coming of summer.
     Movement caught his attention. Stretching up in the stirrups, Dirk observed the rider with interest. Astride a frisky horse, Sarah raced across the open valley, as though both sought to satisfy a need for freedom.
     The striking, black mare stumbled. Helpless from a distance, Dirk watched Sarah clutch aimlessly at nothing.
     He urged his mount down the rugged embankment, then across the wide stretch of open country. His boots touched the ground the moment his horse skidded to a stop. Rushing to the upheaval of motionless petticoats, his heart hammered in fear.
     Dropping to his knees, Dirk gently pulled Sarah onto his lap. He held her against his chest, gentle and protective.
     "Let me die," she whimpered.
     Dirk barely heard her words. He wished he hadn't. Gazing down at the young woman, her beauty left him breathless. Succumbing to temptation, he wound a long, golden curl around his fingertips. The silkiness made him shudder with longing.
     With reluctance, he lowered her back onto the thick, new grass. He feared she couldn't escape injury from so violent a fall.
     With knowing hands, he touched, pressed, and probed every inch of Sarah's slender body. So many times he'd watched his father do the same for bronc busters. Dirk's thoughts drifted back to the beautiful picture she'd made, racing across the plush, green valley of spring grass. The wind tugged at her waist-length hair, lifting it free to wave behind her like a golden banner.
     He'd watched Sarah come and go for the past two months. She wasn't the reason he observed the activities outside Fort Bryson, but she'd fast become an obsession, haunting his days and nights.


SUNDAY ~ DON'T MISS MY NEW RELEASE ~ SACRED GROUND ~ Get your free download Sunday from Amazon.com   A Books We Love publication.    http://www.amazon.com/ Someone wants Brett Turner’s land badly enough to sabotage him, and he knows just who the culprit is: his neighbor, Willow Howling Moon. They don’t see eye-to-eye on anything. When their sons, who are best friends, run away into the mountains just before a blizzard hits, Willow and Brett have no choice but to go after them—together. In the course of the rescue, they discover an unexpected and unwelcome mutual love. The realization that both their lives are in danger finally convinces him she’s not his enemy. This heartwarming love story is set in Montana.
     "A wonderful mix of romance and intrigue that will keep the reader turning pages until late into the night. Karnopp sets out to prove why her hero and heroine are all wrong for each other but in the process creates two characters the reader falls in love with and who ultimately fall in love with one another. But before their romance can really get going they must overcome the danger that lurks behind every boulder. Ms. Karnopp is a rising star in the romantic suspense field and I highly recommend Sacred Ground." ~~Lori Soard, author of Finding Ms. Right      "Brett Turner has mixed feelings towards his neighbor Willow Howling Moon. He blames her buffalo for his cows getting sick, but Willow insists that her herd doesn’t have brucellosis. Brett also dislikes the fact that his son likes to play with Willow’s son. As far as Willow is concerned, Sean is more welcome than his father. However, she admits he isn’t bad to look at, and despite his prejudice, Brett is physically drawn to the beautiful Indian woman. Whenever they meet they quarrel, but inevitably they are drawn together.
     This book tells of dreams and legends; of the struggle to overcome fear and prejudice. Beautiful, tender and full of love, it tugs at the heartstrings." ~ Five red roses, Larena, Redrosesforauthors.reviews

Thursday, April 26, 2012

White Heart, Lakota Spirit by Ginger Simpson

Well, if you know me, you know my favorite genre is historical western romance.  My debut novel, Prairie Peace, introduces two characters who follow in co-starring roles in White Heart, Lakota Spirit. Cecile, my heroine in PP, becomes Green Eyes, the wife of Lone Eagle, and is very instrumental in helping Grace acclimate to life with Indians when she is captured by a young and overly-eager war party.

 I recently re-read this book, and remembered why I loved writing it.  I think my admiration for the Lakota Sioux shows through in the storyline, as well as my unbiased portrayal of them as human beings who were lied to, cheated, and spurred to the defend themselves and their land based on their betrayal of the white man.  I hope my shared excerpt today might stir your interest to read about Grace and Little Elk in this fictional historical romance.

Writing historical novels as provided me the opportunity to research and learn more about the genre I love.  Even when I veered to contemporary, I managed to turn both books into time-travels that tie in with the old west.  I'm just hopelessly in love with cowboys and Indians.  :)

Excerpt:  (This gives you an idea of how Cecile's life has changed as she deals with the death of the chief and the possible rise of her husband to the highest status in the tribe.)


The air inside the tepee grew hot and stagnant with the door flap closed, but Green Eyes sought solace from the sorrow that gripped the entire village. The morning fire lay in a heap of gray ashes, but veiled sunlight filtered through the smoke hole, providing light enough to see. Occasionally, one small ember with the circle of stone sizzled to life, but quickly faded.
The constant wailing of the four-day wacekiyapi, or worship ceremony, continued outside. The woeful chorus replaced the sound of cheerful children laughing and playing. Chief Broken Feather was dead, and the tribe mourned his passing.
Green Eyes rested against her willow backrest and braided her auburn tresses. Her thoughts turned to her mother-in-law, Singing Sparrow. She and Broken Feather had been married for over twenty years. Although he’d been a formidable leader, Green Eyes hadn’t known him very well. Sioux tradition placed men and women on separate levels, with the men meeting to discuss war, hunting, and visions, while the women cared for the children, cooked the meals, washed clothing, and tended to their husband’s needs.
Her mate rarely complained, and seemed to love her as much as she did him. Lone Eagle was her life, and she would do anything to please him...anything possible. Her only regret: She hadn’t yet given him a child. A son of his own. She heaved a loud sigh.
 True, he claimed the child her first husband fathered, but Green Eyes still carried the burden of failure in her heart. Often, Lakota men turned to other women to produce more children, and even though Lone Eagle assured her she had no need to worry, she did. It was his right to continue his bloodline, but to lose or share him was incomprehensible. The idea turned her thoughts back to Singing Sparrow and the sense of loss she must feel. Green Eyes shuddered.
Vivid pictures of the past flashed through her mind. Fate had sent Lone Eagle to her rescue when her first husband, Walt, failed to return home and left her stranded alone in the middle of nowhere. Seriously injured and covered with blood, Lone Eagle had stumbled into her ramshackle cabin and collapsed at her feet. Thinking back, maybe she had rescued him. She smiled.
The past etched vivid pictures in her mind. When Walt married her, she barely knew how to cook or clean. Her skin, soft and unblemished, changed with her first attempt at real work—helping Walt repair the barn. With no gloves, her fingers blistered and split. She recalled how angry she became.
Her gaze dropped to examine her hands. Her once manicured nails were now jagged from hard work, and scraping countless animals hides had calloused her palms. Gone was the naive and helpless Cecile, and in her place, Green Eyes, a woman who decorated clothing with beautiful quills, made moccasins from softened hides, and even erected tepees.
During their trip to the village, Lone Eagle had kept assuring her she would be safe, but the Sioux’s reception made her question his promise. Curious at first, then angry, the villagers demanded to know why he had brought a white woman to their home. But, little by little she gained their acceptance, and found peace and contentment with the very people she thought hated her.


This excerpt shows a little more dialogue when Grace is brought to camp:

Green Eyes stood outside her lodge and spread three large rabbit pelts across her drying rack. A commotion caught her attention, and she crossed the compound to where a crowd gathered. She stood on tiptoes, looking over shoulders to see what caused the excitement.
 Little Elk stepped aside, and the reason for the fervor became evident. Black Crow towered over a terrified young white girl who looked to be around sixteen. Her sobbing had no affect on him, and with eyes wide with fright, she cowered in the dirt at her captor’s feet.
Intent on helping the poor child, Green Eyes pushed through the crowd. She tapped Little Elk on the shoulder. “Who is this girl?  Where did she come from?”
“Black Crow captured her. She will be his prisoner.” The young brave standing before Green Eyes hardly compared to the twelve-year-old orphan left behind by Spotted Doe. His body was no longer that of a child, and his voice boomed with authority.
His attitude angered Green Eyes. “What were you thinking? You cannot keep her against her will.”
Black Crow grabbed the white girl by her wrist and yanked her to her feet. He pushed Little Elk aside and glared at Green Eyes. “You have no say in the matter. It is not your place to question the actions of a warrior. Go away from me.”
Appalled at his behavior, she scanned the area for her husband but didn’t see him. She squared her shoulders and faced Black Crow. “I may not have the right to say anything, but your Chief most certainly will.”
Even as the words tumbled out of her mouth, she shivered in fear that she’d overstepped her boundaries. The young captive’s pitiful sobs tore at Green Eyes’ heart as Black Crow dragged her toward his mother’s lodge. Someone had to help the girl.

White Heart, Lakota Spirit is available on Amazon in both print and download as well as through the publisher, Eternal Press.  



RITA ASKS, WHAT ARE YOU READING?

A friend introduced me to author Greg Iles.  Therefore, several months ago I finished reading Black Cross by Greg Iles.
     What did I think of Black Cross? This is an absorbing read of reality and suspense. It reveals the savage cruelty of the concentration camps and the possibility - we don’t have a clue what could have happened during those dark times.
     There is no doubt in my mind Nazi scientists could have developed a toxic nerve gas that could repel and wipe out any invasion force.
      This story is a heart-stopping portrayal of sacrifice and bravery. I’ve referred it to many of my friends.
     It is 1944. The world awaits the Allied invasion of Europe. Churchill has learned that Nazi scientists have developed Sarin--a new weapon that could turn the tide for Hitler.
     Two men--a pacifist American doctor and a fanatical Jewish assassin--must embark on a murderous mission into Germany. Their target--a human hell where Jews fuel Hitler's last hope. It's odd how death often marks a beginning rather than an end...
     A worthwhile read . . . I promise you won’t want to put it down. Rita

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ginger Asks, Have You Met Any Movie Stars?


I was reading the Historical Western Romance page on FB, and looking at all the pictures posted of those sexy cowboys who played in the TV westerns most of us grew up on.  Someone had posted a picture of Gil Favor from the long-running series, Rawhide.  I always found him quite attractive, and like someone else had posted, Rowdy Yates, played by Clint Eastwood, at the time, was just too boyish for me.  To be truthful, I haven't been a Clint Eastwood fan since I had the misfortune to meet him in person back in the late 70s.

I lived in a little college town in No. California, called Davis.  Mr. Eastwood's dentist shared a duplex building with mine, so I always knew he was in town when the dental staff disappeared during one of my routine teeth-cleaning visits.  My then-husband was a Sgt. with the UC Davis police department, and on one particular night, several from his shift gathered at a local eatery/pub, The Graduate.  I received a phone call from him, all excited that Clint Eastwood was there and he wanted me to come down.  Since I was with two other wives, we flipped a coin, and two of us went while the third (loser) stayed with the kids.

When we got to The Graduate, the guys were eager to approach the big star and offer to buy him a drink.  After they hemmed and hawed about it and decided no one had the courage, I offered to do it.  To me, movie stars are just people and I don't get all starry-eyed over them.  I might salivate a little if they're really handsome, but since the Marlboro Man offered his autograph, I was a little turned off by people so taken with themselves.

Anyhow, I walked over to the bar, where Mr. Eastwood sat with a friend, and when I was sure they weren't in the middle of conversing, I tapped him on the shoulder.  Instead of a friendly greeting, he turned around, gave me a dismissing wave, and said, "No autographs, please."

Really?  I think I must have shook my head, but I do recall my exact words.  "I don't want your autograph."  At which time, he got a shocked look on his face.  "I'm here for the big ol' cowards over in the corner. (I pointed)  They're from the UC Police Dept, and they'd like to buy you a drink.

Okay, so now I expected him to at least be polite.  He glared at me and said, "Why, so they can ticket me for drunk driving when I get in my car?"  If he had smiled, I might have taken what he said as a joke, but he was just a rude bastard, in my opinion of course..either that or I injured his ego because I didn't want his autograph.  I've never understood why people collect them.  I could just as easily write his name on a piece of paper and tell people he signed it.  How would they know?

Anyhow...that's my story of why I'm not a Clint Eastwood fan.  Besides, movie stars get old and wrinkled just like the rest of us...no matter how taken with themselves they are.

INTERESTING STUFF ~ Let's continue . . .

     26. Google is actually the common name for a number with a million zeros.

     27. Switching letters is called spoonerism. For example, saying jag of Flapan, instead of flag of Japan.
     28. It cost 7 million dollars to build the Titanic and 200 million to make a film about it.
     29. The attachment of the human skin to muscles is what causes dimples.
     30. There are 1,792 steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
     31. The sound you hear when you crack your knuckles is actually the sound of nitrogen gas bubbles bursting.
     32. Human hair and fingernails continue to grow after death.
     33. It takes about 20 seconds for a red blood cell to circle the whole body.
     34. The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets.
     35. Most soccer players run 7 miles in a game.
     36. The only part of the body that has no blood supply is the cornea in the eye. It takes in oxygen directly from the air.
     37. Every day 200 million couples make love, 400,000 babies are born, and 140,000 people die.
     38. In most watch advertisements the time displayed on the watch is 10:10 because then the arms frame the brand of the watch (and make it look like it is smiling).
     39. Colgate faced big obstacle marketing toothpaste in Spanish speaking countries. Colgate translates into the command “go hang yourself.”
     40. The only 2 animals that can see behind itself without turning its head are the rabbit and the parrot.
     41. Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
     42. The average person laughs 13 times a day.
     43. Do you know the names of the three wise monkeys? They are:Mizaru(See no evil), Mikazaru(Hear no evil), and Mazaru(Speak no evil)
     44. Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
     45. German Shepherds bite humans more than any other breed of dog.
     46. Large kangaroos cover more than 30 feet with each jump.
     47. Whip makes a cracking sound because its tip moves faster than the speed of sound.
     48. Two animal rights protesters were protesting at the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn. Suddenly the pigs, all two thousand of them, escaped through a broken fence and stampeded, trampling the two hapless protesters to death.
     49. If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural cause.
     50. The human heart creates enough pressure while pumping to squirt blood 30 feet!!
      ..... I thought that was fun and interesting . . . I feel smarter already!

Ruby Reservoir ~ Calcite, opalite, and garnets are found south of Alder, Montana. Some people find gem quality almandine garnets by screening the gravel along the shores of the reservoir.

Monday, April 23, 2012

STAY FOCUSED TO REACH YOUR DREAMS

     If you want to change your life…don’t settle for a life of mediocrity. Dare to dream! You get out of life---what you put into it. I learned this from my mentor and friend, Doran Andry.
     So get a journal and have a daily chat with yourself. If you’re willing to learn and be teachable, it will assure your success. Evaluate your writing career –ask yourself; “Am I where I want to be? How can I change and get better?” Write down what your ‘self-talk’ is telling you. Find your passion and dare to dream where your writing career will take you.
     The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is usually a half a dozen things done consistently. The reason why people fail vs succeed is they usually do a half a dozen things wrong consistently. And most people never know what those things are.
     Doran Andry, in Gateway to Greatness, stated there are six steps to becoming great. They are the guidelines for my writing career. Since I adopted them I have successfully sold fourteen books; eleven are written and I’m starting a trilogy in two months.
     1. Make a real decision to choose success and take action. Most people hope for it, they’re open to it, they say they want it, and they’ll even say they’ll do whatever it takes, but, when things get difficult they default to ‘option B’—which is quitting and going back to their comfort zone. The net result is they stop doing what it takes to reach their goal of becoming a successful writer.
     2. Be teachable. Embrace the value that successful writers might know something about writing and the business. Be open-minded and willing to learn. Listen during critiques and remove the ‘personal’ from it. Be professional and apply comments in your mind; would it make my story better? If the answer is yes, you know what to do about it.
      3. Inconsistency in your daily writing commitment. Many people write for hours one day, then take a few days off or write barely an hour the next. If we did this in our ‘day’ jobs, we’d get fired. What’s ironic; people show up for their ‘regular jobs’ even though they don’t feel like it! It’s more or less creating a habit and sticking to it, or if you will; creating guidelines/rules for your writing career.
     4. Take advantage of the world of information about writing and keys on being successful and reaching your goals (which I call the mentors & the mentoring process). The beginning is the most difficult and most people hit the wall of skepticism, doubt and fear. These people fall back on their weakness and undeveloped skills, instead of going directly to their goals or writing network who have been to that same wall and conquered it. You need to develop the roadmap, tools and support that will assure you success.
'Giant Cedars in Libby, Montana'

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ginger's Six Sentence Sunday

Continuing last week from my current WIP, Chugiak Moon, I offer the following six:


Around her, the constant breathing and occasional snores indicated her family slept soundly.  How she wished she could, but thoughts of the young man she’d met while preparing for the fall hunt stirred her to sleeplessness.  Such a fine specimen, and so unlike any of the undesirables in her own clan.  With her first menses celebration held years ago, at nearly nineteen summers, she was ready to find a mate.  Her mind spun, carrying her back to yesterday when she’d first laid eyes on him.
“Nasnana, bring more brush,” father had snapped instructions as they labored with other clan mates on the fence following the caribou migration trail.

Now, head back to Six Sentence Sunday and follow some of the other links for more samples.  This is a great pastime for authors and readers alike.   

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Renaming Novels by Ginger Simpson


I've recently encountered a dilemma I hadn't faced before.  My newest publisher accepts previously released work but prefers that they receive a new name and cover.  I first wondered how upset I'd be if I spent money on something I'd already read, and decided "pissed" would be an appropriate term. Then I learned that the previous title would be the first bit of information prospective readers will see when reading the book description.  That made me feel much better.

Now, I don't feel as though I'm deceiving anyone, and as I've updated my videos, I've made certain to add a slide that also contains the previously published title.  There's a benefit in having this fresh start.  It sort of makes a more even playing field for me as an author. I've long considered that Amazon plays unfair when they refuse to take down the advertisements for outdated POD versions of my books.  Their reasoning: if they remove the book information, they would be denying customers who have purchased that particular copy the right to sell it as used on their site.  Of course, it didn't seem to bother them that my new, revised version competes with the old versions.  Now, this doesn't bother me nearly as much because the title is different as is the cover.  It's clearly a newly-revised edition.  Heck, even the big guys do this.  Let me just add that going through an entire book and chucking out all the amateur writing issues you've since learned to avoid is not an easy task.  It's almost as difficult as writing the book all over again.  As authors, we learn new "rules" every day.

So, one of my best-selling books, Sisters in Time, is now released via the KDP program as Time Tantrums.  Here's the updated video featuring the new cover art.  Books We Love, Ltd., does a great job for their authors, and I'm very pleased to be part of their team.  Check out my authors page after you watch this:


Oh...and since I had a few days since I scheduled this post, I decided to come back and add the new video for Ellie's Legacy, previously published as Sparta Rose and voted the best 2009 Historical at Love Romance Cafe.





RITA ASKS, WHAT ARE YOU READING?

     Well I just finished reading Against the Wind by Kat Martin. I’m hoping to have Kat as a ‘guest’ in the near future. If you haven’t read her - she’s a must!! (I make an effort to buy every one of her books – I highly recommend Kat’s books.)

     Kat is a personal friend of mine – a friendship I value. She gave me the best advice when I started writing, ‘write what you love to read.’ She is one of those people that you automatically like – her warmth and bright smile express more than words.
     What did I think of Against the Wind? I loved it, of course! I believed Sarah and she sucked me in from the beginning. Of course I’d have taken a second…third…and fourth glance at Jackson. My kind of man! What makes Against the Wind extra special is Sarah’s daughter, Holly. Love this book . . . and you will, too.
    
Against the Wind (2011) The first book in the Raines of Wind Canyon series
     They were known as the "no-account Raines boys" but they've grown into successful, honorable men and everything they have, they've fought for tooth and nail. Now each of the three brothers has one last obstacle to overcome to claim what's eluding them: love.
     Secrets don't stay buried long in cattle country. Sarah Allen, the beautiful girl who humiliated Jackson Raines in high school, is back in town. Not so long ago, she couldn't wait to leave Wind Canyon, Wyoming, in her dust. But, recently widowed, she has nowhere else to go and finds herself on Jackson's ranch. And despite everything, Jackson's finding himself reluctant to get rid of her.
     Sarah brings her own kind of trouble, and he can't resist trouble. Enemies of her dead husband show up making threats, thinking she has something they're owed. They're not taking no for an answer, but what they will take is the one thing she has left - her daughter. Jackson's the only one who might be able to save little Holly and bring her home.

     I’m looking forward to reading Against the Fire of the Raines of Wind Canyon series. It’s sitting on my desk…ready to start reading!!
     Once one of the “no-account Raines boys,” Gabriel Raines has pulled himself out of poverty by his bootstraps to become a successful businessman—one who has become the target of revenge…
     You can’t fight what you can’t see. And Gabriel Raines can’t be sure just who’s setting the fires in his new real-estate development. When two fires hit back-to-back, he knows it’s personal, but any number of competitors or ex-employees could be the arsonist.
     The police suspect Angel Ramirez, a local teen who’s been in trouble before. But Mattie Baker, a volunteer at the Family Abuse center, just can’t believe the kid she’s been working with would go back to his delinquent ways.
     Determined to convince Gabe that she’s right, Mattie must get close to him and find out who’s putting their neighborhood in jeopardy. And just as the arsonist’s flames continue to burn, they find a heat developing between them. It might just turn into a full-fledged fire…if they can survive long enough.
     You have to admit – this sounds great! I can’t wait to start reading!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Oldest!!!

How does it happen that a child becomes older than we think we are?  Today is my first-born's birthday.  Although he was due on March 17th, he made me wait another entire month and a day to make his appearance. If one more person had asked if I was "still pregnant," I think I would have killed someone.

Scott, or Skid as he prefers to be called,  weighed in at 9 lbs 9 ozs and was 22 1/2 inches long.  He went from being the biggest baby in the nursery to the first punk rocker in a redneck town, and I'm reminded of a poem I wrote for him in September 1988, that I'm going to share here so he can see that my feelings for him have grown with each passing year.

Life is What You Make It by Ginger Simpson

When you were little, you were my pride and joy.
While I'd wanted a daughter, God gave me a boy.

 I couldn't have been happier, you were ALL things to me,
And, I didn't fully realize how special you'd be.

Though sometimes were rough, quite often a "bummer,"
You, it appeared, had your own special drummer.

While you moved and marched at your own special pace,
I loved the contentment I saw on your face.

You knew your own visions, your aims and your dreams,
and my worries what others thought were wasted, it seems.

From you I learned and can finally see;
There's a lot to the song title, "I Gotta Be Me."

If you first please yourself and know you're okay,
You never have to worry what others may say.

You're special, my Scott...unlike any other,
Life's reward for me has been being your mother.

Happy Birthday, my sweet boy.  I love you more than words can say.




INTERESTING STUFF ~ FIRST 25 ~

The picture here was taken while my hubby and I were rock hounding for rose quartz, jasper, garnets and a few others.  The scenery was spectacular . . . as is much of Montana. 
     Since Monday was intense ~ I thought I'd share some fun stats with you today.  Next Tuesday I'll share the final 25 fun stats.  smile
     1. If you are right handed, you will tend to chew your food on your right side. If you are left handed, you will tend to chew your food on your left side.
     2. If you stop getting thirsty, you need to drink more water. For when a human body is dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off.
     3. Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.
     4. Your tongue is germ free only if it is pink. If it is white there is a thin film of bacteria on it.
     5. The Mercedes-Benz motto is “Das Beste oder Nichts” meaning “the best or nothing”.
     6. The Titanic was the first ship to use the SOS signal.
     7. The pupil of the eye expands as much as 45 percent when a person looks at something pleasing.
     8. The average person who stops smoking requires one hour less sleep a night.
     9. Laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system. Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults only laugh 15 to 100 times a day.
     10. The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear.
     11. Dalmatians are born without spots.
     12. Bats always turn left when exiting a cave.
     13. The ‘v’ in the name of a court case does not stand for ‘versus’, but for ‘and’ (in civil proceedings) or ‘against’ (in criminal proceedings).
     14. Men’s shirts have the buttons on the right, but women’s shirts have the buttons on the left.
     15. The owl is the only bird to drop its upper eyelid to wink. All other birds raise their lower eyelids.
     16. The reason honey is so easy to digest is that it’s already been digested by a bee.
     17. Roosters cannot crow if they cannot extend their necks.
     18. The color blue has a calming effect. It causes the brain to release calming hormones.
     19. Every time you sneeze some of your brain cells die.
     20. Your left lung is smaller than your right lung to make room for your heart.
     21. The verb “cleave” is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.
     22. When you blush, the lining of your stomach also turns red.
     23. When hippos are upset, their sweat turns red.
     24. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle was built in 1903, and used a tomato can for a carburetor.
     25. The lion that roars in the MGM logo is named Volney.

Monday, April 16, 2012

White Berry on the Red Willow ~ Releases


I'm very excited to share with you the release of my 2054 book that takes you back to the Blackfeet ways of the 1800s.  Get your 'free' copy today at http://www.amazon.com/White-Berry-Red-Willow-ebook/dp/B007U121ZE
     As predicted in the Ghost Dance Vision, life has come full circle in 2054. The Blackfeet now control Yellowstone National Park, where the buffalo have multiplied, as have the people themselves.
     Outside the Indian lands thousands are dying of Quake Fever every day. Doctor Alcina Hancock struggles to find a cure before her mother dies. Thrust into the world of the Indians, she not only discovers what it will take to save her people, but also herself.
     Ekuskini, son of the Blackfeet chief, revels in the demise of the non-Indian. Then he meets Alcina and finds himself searching the old ones for the answers. Together Alcina and Ekuskini realize they must learn from the past and use it to make things better for the future of all people.
     I hope you enjoy it . . . don't hesitate to comment.  :)  Rita

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ginger's Six Sentence Sunday



Well, there's been a change in plans.  My contract for Sarah's Journey has expired, so I'm looking to another publisher to re-release it.  The book is in the process of some minor changes, so once again, I've decided to switch horses midstream, so to speak, and I'll be sharing snippets from my WIP, Chugiak Moon.

By sharing six sentences with you every Sunday, I will effectively be pressuring myself to become more dedicated to finishing this historical novel.  I started researching this project during my trip to Alaska last year, and the Tanaina Culture within the Athabascan Indians is the feature of my story.  Since I'm going to start at the very beginning, I don't think I'll need to set up anything for you.  As a die-hard pantser, we'll all find out the story as it progresses.  I have no idea where my heroine, Nasnana, is taking me.  (big smile.)

After you finish my six here (and hopefully leave a positive comment), please head back to Six Sentence Sunday and follow more of the links.  Here's my six today:


A wolf’s howl pierced the night--a chilling sound, too close for comfort.  Although Nasnana's pallet sat atop birch branches inside her family's lodge, a chill crept over her and sent her snuggling deeper into her caribou blankets.  Despite the downy softness, she shivered. Perhaps fear rather than the cold iced her.  Pulling the fur higher, she ducked her head beneath it.  She hated noises at night.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Rita’s Lucky 7 MeMe

     Wouldn’t you know it . . . Ginger emailed me with her ‘buttering-up’ way of making me feel great by telling me I’m one of her top seven favorite historical authors. What can I say to that… other than ‘sure’ I’d be happy to play the ‘Lucy 7 MeMe’…. So below is list of my favorite historical authors ~ know Ginger would have been on my list . . . but she was already tagged …the sneaker bugger!
Rita’s Lucky 7 MeMe
     “I can’t see the need to have some lady come and teach me these things. I talk just fine. You and everyone else can understand my meanin’ so where’s the problem? I ain’t fond of schoolin’ and I sure knows how to eat. This whole thing is a waste of time.”
     “I don’t care to debate it further, Laura,” his tone was stern and unmoving.
     “Tarnation! You’re a mighty stubborn and curious man, Gerhard Rolston.”
     “How many times do I have to tell you, from now on you are to call me father?”
     “I’ve said my piece about the subject and it ain’t awful hard to understand. I’ve called Daniel Hewett my father for sixteen years. I loved him very much. I ain’t suddenly gonna start calling you father. You’ll have to give me a spell ta get use to things.”
     Now I have to name seven of my favorite historical authors. Hmmm, this will be hard because I have so many and Ginger stole a couple of them . . . as did some of my other writer friends. So I have to confess ~ I have a list of five to share with you. They are fabulous writers and if you haven’t checked them out ~ please do so, you won’t be disappointed.
     1. Lynn Connolly
     2. Maddie James
     3. Kat Martin
     4. Juliet Waldron
     5. Beth Williamson
     As Ginger commented ~ now comes the hard part . . . or maybe it’s not so hard. Writers are proud and happy to share their work. Requests like these are time-consuming, yet an honor.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Welcome one of our Fav Authors - Kristen Battestella

Fate and Fangs: Tales from the Vampire Family here- stopping by again to make trouble for Rita and Miz Ging! 

Resurrection: Stephanie after the Lilithan
, the final release in our 7 book series with Muse It Up Publishing, has been out now for over a month in ebook and Kindle. We have more promotions and events coming in June and bigger things in October, but the whirlwind that has been a book a month for the last 7 months plus is finally winding down- and I must say I miss it!! 

We began promotions for Book 1 Love: Ann and the Viking last June and rode both the virtual vampire wave and live appearances mayhem through Christmas before continuing the back spin now in 2012. It's still crazy, of course, just less crazy.  Like the writing process itself, sometimes you get tired of all the promotions and marketing and scream at the social media. You get sick of explaining to kids that your are not Twilight and would never want to be Twilight and want to shout at people and websites that tell you vampires are played.  Half the time your campaign is an argument, a defense or an uphill battle on why vampires are still scary, frightening, old world predators who should be feared for their demented behavior. There is an audience for mature adult horror, and just like any other genre, the secret is in finding your readers.  Promoting a book is never easy- let alone 7 in a row! On bad day, you want to throw your hands in the air and be done with it!

And yet, again as in the writing- where you repeatedly pull your hair out!- you don't like to be away from marketing.  Not because the publisher and the marketeer say you have to promote and can't not be away from it, nor because you must post on facebook every fifteen minutes or no one will see you. No, it is the readers that create the bright light of marketing.  A comment, a full chat room, a question, a response, a like, a smile.  Interacting with fans, discussing what's on the page, and  bringing it to life! This knowing you are read, that there are fans out there who enjoy the literature and the effort you've put into it- that's the marketing magic, and it is worth every bit of the craziness!

But enough of that! Here's some blurbs and treats from Resurrection!


Blurb:
Former Lilithan vampire and newly divorced scientist Stephanie can’t get over how much she misses being a vampire in this final tale from Professor James. After a harrowing car accident, Stephanie meets Mestiphles, the giver and taker of vampire power on both sides of the coven wars.  His charm and seductive powers sweeten the demonic offer he extends, but will Stephanie accept his dark opportunities?
 
Excerpt:

I don’t know what made me think of her…No, that’s not true.  You can admit it to yourself, Stephanie.  I’ve been thinking about Lilith a lot lately; ever since we left her company, in fact.  As to why I’m thinking of her now as I drive home, who knows?  Its dark; the rhythmic drizzle is rapping on the car windows in time with the steady wipers.  Up, down, left, right again and again- day in, day out the same dreary monotony.  Only Lilith’s deceptive white light could cease such conundrum I suppose.  Sometimes, in the banal ho-hum of the day, I even think I see her.  Is it really Lilith stalking the streets, taking the face of the store clerk for a moment, or passing me by as that one pedestrian on the crosswalk?  The ceremonial policeman upon his bay horse was Lilith not two days ago.  Her long white gown draped over the steed’s rump down toward the pavement-until I blinked and she was gone.


I wouldn’t be driving home alone late on a dark, rainy night like this if I were still married to Dr. Appolito.  No, the sun would be shining, no traffic would stand between the Museum day job and the casual suburbs were he here to drive and chatter like the happy days before the Lilithan. Yes, our union ended not long after our encounter with Lilith.  Over those long months, she became the phantom wedge between us.

            “Do you ever think about her?” I asked him one night as we climbed into bed.  It seems like such a long time ago, when we could pretend things were back to normal, as if immortality and death and vampires had never touched us.

            “Think about whom?”  Michael lay back on the pillows, content with the remote control.  Was he ‘cool’ with it or merely oblivious to my difficulty?  Does it really matter either way? He stared at the television, seemingly not hearing my words or meaning.

            “Lilith.” I asked again, “Do you ever wonder what happened to her?”

            “No.”

            “Not once?”

            “Nope.”

            “Lilith has never crossed your mind?”

            Michael looked at me, sincere, but not understanding at the same time.

            “Only when I think about how thankful I am we’re rid of her.”

            I knew then our marriage was over.




Vampires who love, regret, despise, and would do anything to succumb to that dark lifestyle again- who knew?

What are you reading?

WHAT ARE YOU READING?

I thought it might be interesting to share what we are reading. Did you like it? Why? Did you not like it? Why?

If this proves to be fun and a great way to share . . . we’ll start doing this Thursdays.

If you’re bored with it after a while – I’ll change formats to keep things interesting. I have to admit, though, I’m always reading something. Now that I have a new Kindle Fire, I don’t have to carry my thick book around. So when I’m stuck at the doctor’s office, or in line, I just pull out my Kindle and read a page or two. It’s helping a lot with my patience issue!


I recently went to the theatre with a friend and watched The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo . . . and I must say . . . I was impressed. I have to admit, I did not read the book. From what I’m hearing from friends, the book is fabulous. For some - the beginning was a bit slow . . . but once into it - a ‘can’t put down’ type of book.
After the movie, I had to pick up The Girl Who Played With Fire, and I wasn’t disappointed. In fact I absolutely loved it. It kept me turning the pages . . . all 724 of them! I wouldn’t read the second book without reading the first – or watch the movie of the first book . . . because the second continues with many of the same characters.


Now - for the disheartening news. I bought the third book - could hardly wait to read it - even had to buy it in hard back, which I hardly do these days . . . but I was sadly disappointed. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest had more characters in it than a bag of M&Ms. It was political and switched around so much that I found myself often asking, “Who are they talking about?” It’s not totally without merit or interest, and I was pulled into parts of the book. But I closed the cover thinking books one and two were ten times the book as three.

So what are you reading . . . and what did you think of it? Rita



Amazon.com Review ~ Amazon Best of the Month, July 2009: The girl with the dragon tattoo is back. Stieg Larsson's seething heroine, Lisbeth Salander, once again finds herself paired with journalist Mikael Blomkvist on the trail of a sinister criminal enterprise. Only this time, Lisbeth must return to the darkness of her own past (more specifically, an event coldly known as "All the Evil") if she is to stay one step ahead--and alive. The Girl Who Played with Fire is a break-out-in-a-cold-sweat thriller that crackles with stunning twists and dismisses any talk of a sophomore slump. Fans of Larsson's prior work will find even more to love here, and readers who do not find their hearts racing within the first five pages may want to confirm they still have a pulse. Expect healthy doses of murder, betrayal, and deceit, as well as enough espresso drinks to fuel downtown Seattle for months. --Dave Callanan --

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