Monday, July 30, 2012

MAKING CHOICES


     Learn everything you can. Seek as much knowledge as you can about whatever it is you want to do. Leave no stone unturned. The more you know the more confident you will be. High confidence leads to greater self-worth which builds positive attitude. Your positive attitude has everything to do with your success.
     Know where the landmines are. Identify what could go wrong. Not in the way of being a constant devil's advocate. But knowing the pitfalls ahead of time helps you maneuver your way around them. Leaving these pitfalls unknown breeds fear. Expose them. Evaluate them. Solve them.
     Ask yourself these questions: "What is making me hesitate? What skills do I lack? Have I done my homework?" This is the step where you sell yourself on YOU.
     Choice #2- Realize that faith is stronger than fear.   Understand that God sees your problems. When things are going well, we feel we do not need constant assurance that God is with us. But during difficult times, we are in need of security. Place the changes you seek in attitude, thinking and behavior at the top of your prayer list. Ask God to help you do what is possible to bring about effective change. Then ask Him to do for you what you cannot do for yourself.
     Choice #3- Write a statement of purpose - Do you shoot the arrow and draw your target around it, or do you aim for the target? Sadly, many people approach their lives like Charlie Brown shoots arrows. They never draw a target so they never miss their goal. But they never really hit one either. Sometimes driving an hour to a bowling alley to shoot a 16 lb ball for 10 pins makes more sense than what you do at work because at least your goal is in front of you when you’re bowling.
     That’s why you need to begin with writing down a clear statement of purpose. It may take several drafts. Write specifically what you desire to accomplish each day. What are the giants you must slay to make your attitude what it needs to be? What resources will you need? Take actions on what you write and verbalize what you write each day.
     Choice #4- Have the desire to change - Often we change only when a huge boulder is headed our way. However, no choice will determine the success of your attitude change more than desiring to change. You have to exit your comfort zone.
     Reinforce Positivity in Yourself - Once I started thinking more positively and adapted to a more positive attitude, I realized I had to reinforce these thoughts and behaviors in myself so they would stick. As with any sort of training, practice makes perfect, and, yes, you can practice being positive.
     The best and easiest way to do this is to be positive when it comes to who you are. Tell yourself you’re awesome. Tell yourself you look good. Tell yourself that you love and accept yourself completely. Tell yourself you did an awesome job at work or raising your kids or whatever it is you do.
     Be honest with yourself, but do your best to look for the good. And, whatever you do, don’t focus on the negative. Nothing good can come of telling yourself that your butt’s too big or your latest career goal wasn’t met.
     It’s okay to not like everything about yourself (yet), but don’t spend energy dwelling on the negative. Remind yourself of the good in you. We all have positive attributes and it’s up to you to remind yourself of them every day.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ginger's Excited!!!!!

My newest release, Sarah's Passion, the sequel to Sarah's Heart is available now on Amazon.  Although this time, I did a novella, I accomplished what I wanted to do, and I think in a very interesting way.  Meet the new characters are Sarah returns from the old west to modern day, and has to compete with Peg, the black widow who has her sites set on Sarah's fella.  Reviews (positive and constructive) are appreciated on Amazon.  :)

Excerpt:

Sarah put on her other sock, donned her tennis shoes, and then, in the kitchen, pulled the bulging garbage bag from the can. The smell of last night’s chicken mingled with the smell from the candles until she tied the plastic into a knot. Opening the door, she headed for the dumpster, only to run into another neighbor, Peg Scott, armed with own refuse and headed in the same direction.

Her streaked hair perfectly coiffed and her flawless make-up already on made Sarah feel inferior. Of course, Peg never went anywhere without looking like a runway model. In contrast to Sarah’s dowdy gray sweats, Peg’s running suit matched the blue strip in her jogging shoes. She flicked her long hair back over one shoulder with her free hand. “Have you had a chance to get a gander of our new neighbor? Hubba hubba. What a hunk.”

A leaden knot formed in Sarah’s stomach.

“No,” she responded casually with a shrug, the lie rolling off her tongue with ease. “What’s so great about him?”

“Oh, girl. He’s yummy. Dark hair and complexion, broad shoulders, narrow hips, and arms that I’d do anything to have wrapped around me.” Peg’s eyes took on a dreamy haze.
Jealousy gnawed at Sarah.

That proverbial green-eyed devil she’d always heard about turned red and perched on her shoulder, whispering in her ear that Wolf belonged to her. Fighting the urge to swing her trash bag around and bash in her pretty made up face, she tamped down her feelings. Clearly Peg had no idea her target had already been a guest in Sarah’s apartment. She forced a smile. “Hmmm, he sounds interesting. Have you met him yet?”

Peg gave another flip of her hair. “No, but I fully intend to find a way to introduce myself. He’s sexy with a capital ‘s.’”

At the dumpster, Sarah loosened her fisted hands to stop her nails from biting into her palms and hefted her trash over the edge, her mind working a mile a minute. She had to get back to her apartment and find a way to distract Wolf for the day. If Peg got her clutches into him, Sarah might never get the chance to renew what they once felt…what she believed they felt.

 “I gotta rush. Nice seeing you, but I have some important errands to tend to. Catch you later.” Spinning on her heel, Sarah rushed back inside the building and down the hallway to her first floor apartment. She ignored the little voice in her mind that questioned her sanity.

Released by Books We Love, Ltd.

Western Roundup Event - Rita Karnopp's Encore




The idea for this book came to me when I was panning gold.  I couldn't wait to get home and start writing!  Then I had a computer crash and for years believed I had lost the entire novel.  Earlier this year . . . on the bottom of a stack of novel drafts - I found the draft printed out . . . and I cried.  Earlier this year I dusted it off and did a complete rewrite - and Books We Love loved it!  I'm so happy how this book unfolds and develops in the wild west!


Montana Territory 1867

When Laura Hewett follows her father out of the mountains she never expects to lose him to an avalanche before they reach their destination of Helena, in the Territory of Montana. With the help of her friend Raven Quiver, Laura arrives at the Prickly Pear Ranch on her sixteenth birthday. Her life changes forever when she learns that the man who raised her was not her real father. Daniel Hewett stole her mother and her, leaving behind a twin sister, Lilly.

Lilly Rolston is spoiled, possessive, demanding, and uncaring; all traits she leaned well from her father, Gerhard Rolston. Lilly is furious to find out not only does she have a twin sister, but she now has a half-Blackfeet brother, Jason Rolston. If it’s true, then she no longer is the sole heir of the Rolston Prickly Pear Ranch as well as the Rolston rich gold-producing Golden Eagle Mine. This is not the sixteenth birthday surprise she was hoping for.

Betrayed by Lilly, Andy Meldrum is bent on revenge and kidnaps Laura. Upon learning he has taken the wrong girl, he goes back and captures Lilly. He’ll trade the pair as slaves to the Blackfeet; putting the high and mighty Lilly Rolston in her place

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Western Roundup Event - Ginger's Turn Again



Howdy!  I'm back.  This is the last day of the Western Roundup Giveway FOR ME to help you realize your love of the old west. Rita will end our 'tour' tomorrow.  I hope you'll use this link to visit the other participants who have taken time from their busy schedules to share their work and provide winning opportunities for you BUT...not before you read my post.  *smile* 


I'm a definite lover of the old west, and I've written many books to show my passion with Cowboys and Indians.  Today, in White Heart, Lakota Spirit, you get a little of both.  I hope you enjoy what I have to share.

Blurb:
Caught between the world of red and white, how will Grace Cummings choose? A normal morning turns to disaster when a small war party attacks Grace Cummings' family and slaughters everyone but her. She returns to the Lakota camp filled with hatred, anger and fear, but through the help of another white woman in camp, learns the Lakota way. When white soldiers invade the camp and presume to rescue Grace, she must decide where her heart lies.
Excerpt: 
Papa scraped the last speck of egg from his plate and set it aside. “I s’pect Kev and me’ll find gold any day now. People are discoverin’ it all around us. When we make our strike, we can findsome land and build a real house. It’s sure to happen soon… afore summer is past and the weather turns cold. In fact, Sassy, you and yer ma might want to start gatherin’ fair-sized stones and rocks for our fireplace.”

He pointed to the lean-to, still in progress. “In the meantime, Kev and I will finish our temporary shelter, so we can spread out a bit.”
No more climbing in and out of a wagon to sleep. Grace clapped. “Oh, Papa, that sounds so good.”

She sobered and flashed the look that always won him over…the half-pout, wistful gaze. “When we finally settle in our real house, it will be near a town, won’t it? Otherwise, how do you expect me to be courted out here in the middle of nowhere?”
“I’m not so sure I want you to be cour...” He jerked around  and looked over his shoulder. “Do you hear that?”
“Hear what?” Kevin asked.
“I hear it, Papa,” Grace chimed in. “Sounds like yelling.”
Her father stood and scanned the horizon. He pointed. “Look. There!”

A group of riders emerged from a dust cloud in the distance. The yelling grew louder as they came closer.
The furrows in her father’s brow frightened Grace. “What is it, Papa?”

He darted for the wagon. “It’s Injuns! Hurry! You two women get inside and keep low. Kevin, get yer rifle!”

Grace’s heartbeat quickened and fear clutched her chest, making it hard to breathe. She’d heard about savages, but never saw one up close. She didn’t want to.

Her mother stood frozen in place. Grace grabbed her hand and pulled. “C’mon, Mama,  we’d better do as Papa says.”

They ran around to the back of the wagon, and her mother boosted her up and over the closed tailgate. Grace dove inside, her mind filled with horrible thoughts. Would she get scalped or worse…were they all going to die? All the while, piercing yells sliced the air while thundering hooves pounded the ground.

Realizing her mother hadn’t followed, Grace rose up on her knees and peeked outside. A pack of whooping Indians rode round and round the wagon, their voices creating a din of eerie screams while bullets exploded. The hair on Grace’s arms stood on end. She covered her ears, crouched against the sidewall and prayed the savages would go away.

Shots rang out from beneath the wagon when Papa and Kevin returned fire. Fretting over her mother, Grace peeked out again. Mama shrieked and grabbed for the tailgate, but a mounted marauder pumped a bullet into her shoulder. She fell, silenced for the moment, but tried to struggle to her feet. The Indian shot her again.

Grace’s screams echoed in her own head. “No! Oh God, Mama,” she yelled at the top of her lungs. “Mamaaaa...”

Overpowered by hopelessness, Grace looked on as the painted rider stopped next to Mama’s fallen body and emptied another round into her. A stream of bright red trickled through the dry dirt, and her beloved mother lay motionless. Bile rose in Grace’s
throat. She collapsed into a cowering heap, silenced her sobs with her hands, and clenched her teeth to keep from screaming.

God hadn’t intervened so maybe the ordeal was all a bad dream and Mama wasn’t really dead. Still, the shooting and whooping continued. Pounding hooves sent dust seeping into the wagon, and Grace sputtered. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t awaken from the terror.
The gunfire suddenly ceased. She listened for the awful war cries but heard nothing but stony silence. Terror brought her breathing in ragged gasps. Were her brother and father still alive? And what about Mama?

Grace wanted to look, but feared what she’d see. Were the Indians gone? Summoning courage, she forced her eyes open and lifted her gaze even with the edge of the tailgate. Her heart seized when she found herself nose to nose with a scarred face covered with paint. Hate-filled eyes glared at her, and in his hand, a wooden club with dangling feathers loomed directly over her head. In fear for her life, she recoiled and covered her mouth to stop the scream rising in her throat.

A second face, not as old or menacing, peered in at her. The younger Indian grabbed the arm of the other and said something indistinguishable. They both stared at her. Tears stung her eyes then drizzled down her cheeks. “Please, don’t kill me, please.
The angry one grabbed her arm and dragged her over the splintered tailgate. A piece of wood pierced her side. She grimaced, scrunched her eyes closed, then hit the ground with a painful thud. Was this the end for her?

The savage stood over her, burning her with his hateful glare. Why? She didn’t know, although she’d heard stories about the Indians’ anger over the miners being in the Black Hills. But to kill over gold? That couldn’t be why. It just couldn’t.

Looking past him, she noticed others still mounted, beyond them the body of her mother. Through blurred eyes, she glanced back to the younger man then scanned beneath the wagon, searching for her papa and brother. Their lifeless bodies lay sprawled next to one another. Her heart ached at the needless loss. She no longer had a family.

She glared up at the Indian whose bright, lightning-bolt markings did little to hide the evidence of his encounter with a sharp blade—a jagged scar ran from his ear to his chin. Well-deserved, she supposed. Despite her grief and trembling legs, rage overcame her. She jumped to her feet and pummeled the chest of the one she believed responsible. He reeked of death.

“You...you savage. I hate you, I hate you,” she yelled.

The younger man grabbed her wrists; the look in his eyes warned her to stop. She lowered her head and stared at the ground. Her falling tears sprinkled the sparse grass and glistened in the sun.

Again, in a language she didn’t comprehend, the two men spoke in raised voices. The older one shoved the younger one away, grabbed Grace’s hands and trussed them together with a long piece of rawhide. Yanking hard on her tether, he pulled her toward his horse. Once mounted, he glowered at her with piercing eyes beneath a brow creased from years of frowning. He nudged his horse forward and led her like a pack mule, slow and steady at
first. She flashed a pleading look back at the younger one, but he mounted his horse and averted his gaze. Why didn’t they just kill her and get it over?

She quickened her pace to keep from falling. Her bare toes struck an occasional rock, and she winced in pain. Now she wished she’d listened to Mama and worn her shoes. Mama! Her wonderful, beautiful, Mama. Through tears, Grace forced herself to glance back for one last look at the family she’d never see again.
**********

White Heart, Lakota Spirit can be found on my Amazon Page with all my other books.  Now, once you've downloaded your own copy (hint, hint), please leave a comment, then feel free to mosey over and visit the other "partners" (link in first paragraph) participatin' in this here roundup.  Thanks a lot for coming and visiting with us this week.  Ya'll come back, ya here?. :)  And keep reading those westerns. You don't have to ride a horse to love a Cowboy!

Western Roundup Event - Rita Karnopp Again



When I started writing . . . Kat Martin, an international best selling author from Clinton Montana, told me 'write what you love to read.'
Well, that was easy . . . I couldn't read enough Indian historicals. I was reading one after the other.  Could I really write an Indian historical that people would love to read? I truly believed I could.

So I wrote my 514 page Whispering Sun. Because it was my first Native American novel - it became extremely special to me. I'm so proud of this book - and nothing would please me more than for this story to 'take you away from it all' . . .  back to a time in the 1800s . . .  

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. 

~ REVIEW ~  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

Monday, July 23, 2012

Western Roundup Event - Rita Karnopp



Cowboys are sexy and deserve a hop of their own. The western genre has exploded beyond old west and romance to include werewolves, wizards and other magical beings. Want to meet a charming cowboy or tough as nails cowgirl? Want to know what magic has to do with the old west? Want an old-fashioned historical western romance? Well then, hop on and enjoy the ride!












Being a native of Montana, I am a firm believer the modern-day cowboy is just as sexy as those rugged men in the 1800s! Sacred Ground is a suspense that proves Brett Turner is one of those cowboys you can't help but fall in love with and root for! 


~ 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 


Reviews:  . . . 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~ RED ROSES FOR AUTHORS REVIEWS

~ "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

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ginger's Sunday Sampler - Western Roundup Event

Yee Haw!!! Today, I have the unique opportunity to share a bit of my newest release while still participating in the Western Roundup Giveaway Hop.  Today, Sarah's Heart is my offering.  I love this story, but because some people didn't truly GET the reason for the different-type ending, I have just completed a sequel (novella) to tie everything up for those who needed a little more.  I'm very pleased with the outcome, so you get a twofer today...first Sarah's Heart:

Blurb:

Will the man of mixed blood save her life, or will she save his?

When Sarah Collins sets her sights on California for a new beginning, she never dreams a war party will attack the wagon train she travels on. She and her new-found friend Molly are the sole survivors, but when Molly succumbs to her injuries, Sarah is left alone to find her way back to civilization. While trying to mount a stolen horse, she suffers a rattlesnake bite that threatens to accomplish what the Indians failed. Is it her time to die or does Sarah have a purpose she's yet to discover?

Excerpt:

1850 – Somewhere on the Santa Fe Trail

Sarah Collins struggled to open her eyes against the glare, but the pounding pain in her head urged her to keep them closed. She swept the tip of her tongue across cracked lips, her mouth as dry as the feathers in her pillow—yet she felt no downy softness beneath her, only an uncomfortable jabbing in her back. Her palms groped along something gritty. Where was she?

Suddenly patchy memories flooded back. The taste of bile filled her throat. She struggled to sit, groaning as she pushed herself up from the dusty ground and the offending stone stabbing at her spine. Her eyes misted with tears, and fear clutched at her chest as she surveyed what remained of the wagon train.

Grasping her constricting throat, Sarah stood, scanning the eerie site. The bodies of her new friends lay scattered amongst the smoking ruins, some oddly contorted and others positioned just as they’d fallen. Her heart ached for the mother who sat propped against a wagon wheel, clutching her baby to her breast—both obviously dead. Sarah covered her mouth to stifle a scream. Oh sweet Jesus, why kill a defenseless infant?

Was she the only survivor? As evidenced by an attacker’s body lying a few feet from her, someone had interceded and saved her life. There had to be someone else alive. There had to be! The hair on the back of her neck bristled.

If not for the carnage, the day would be beautiful—wispy clouds floated in a powder blue sky, and an endless sea of waving prairie grass announced the arrival of spring. The only sound came from water bubbling in the nearby stream as it traveled over a rocky bed.
Sarah remembered everything now. They had just made camp when war cries sliced the air. A few hours of daylight remained, but one family’s illness prompted the wagon master to halt travel for the day. Supper fires hadn’t even been lit when a band of whooping Indians with painted faces stormed the group. There must have been twenty or more on horseback. The last thing Sarah recalled was running to fetch her rifle.

She dusted off and inspected her body for injury. Other than her throbbing head, she assumed she was all right until something warm trickled into her eye. Her fingertips reddened from touching a sticky substance on her temple, and she flashed back to the terror of looking into the scarred face of the brave whose tomahawk struck only a glancing blow. Recalling those hate-filled eyes sent a shudder through her.

Her bonnet dangled down her back, its ribbon annoyingly tight across her throat. She pulled at the ties, easing the choking feeling, and then inspected the stained head covering. After wiping her bloodied hand on the yellow gingham, she tossed it to the ground where her body’s partial outline still etched the dirt.

The sun hadn’t risen very high above the horizon. She must have been unconscious all night. Releasing a pent up breath, she lifted her dress and ripped a piece from her petticoat, folded the cloth and held it to her wound. Fear clutched at her core, and unbridled tears ran down her cheeks as she prayed to see another living soul. Surely she was no better than the rest of these simple folk who were trying to find a new start. Why would God spare only her?

“Hello, can anyone hear me?” She called out in a faltering voice, then scanned the campsite and listened, but no answer came. Nothing moved.

Sarah started toward her smoldering Conestoga, now barely recognizable. She’d used her last penny to buy the wagon to make this trip, hiring a driver and packing everything she owned into the beautifully crafted prairie schooner. This wasn’t how things were supposed to be. Headed for California, she wanted to leave all her bad memories in Missouri and forge new and happier ones. Maybe any minute she would awaken and discover this was all just a horrible nightmare. The pain in her head dragged her back to reality.

The smaller wagon behind Sarah’s, unscathed except for the arrows jutting from the canvas covering, bore testament to the violent attack. In contrast, the delicate feathers decorating the shafts gently swayed in the breeze. Drifting smoke stung her eyes. She called out again, but still no response.

Gathering her wits, Sarah forced her reluctant legs to move. Unsteady at first, her determination gave her strength. She fought the urge to retch when passing the body of the wagon master, Mr. Simms. The top of his head had been slashed off, leaving a bloody pulp. She jerked her gaze away only to see three more male bodies, one clutching a lance stuck deep in his chest. All had been desecrated in the same manner.

She swallowed hard and forced herself to continue her search, circling the camp and finding more bodies as she went from wagon to wagon. Next to what remained of her own, she found Fred Tanner, her driver. His eyes stared lifelessly at the sky; an arrow protruded from a dried circle of blood in the middle of his shirt. He, too, had been scalped. Bending, and focusing only on his placid face, she gently closed his lids, fighting guilt. In their business arrangement, he had ended up paying far more dearly than she had.

****************

Although this is a Western Roundup, the "dream" man continues in modern day in this contemporary sequel.  Everyone has a tie to the past, and here's what's available today on Amazon.  (Whoot!)  Sarah's Passion!

Blurb:

Do dreams really come true? Sarah Collins awakens from one so real that tears still dampen her cheeks. Like a dust devil in a dying windstorm, all traces of the handsome half-breed with whom she shared a passionate farewell kiss have vanished…until he appears at her door, a new neighbor, and no longer her guide to safety from the wagon-train massacre she survived. Has fate given them another chance at romance, or will modern-day events prove as challenging as the prejudices of the old west?
 
Excerpt:

“Nathaniel Elder.” Sarah Collins leaned her elbows atop the manuscript spread across her desk and rested her chin between her raised palms. Her editing chore forgotten, she stared into space, picturing “Wolf’s” handsome face and puzzling over the amazement that led him to her doorstep directly from a dream so real she awoke with tears still wet on her cheeks.

“Something wrong, Miss Collins?” A brusque voice sliced through her thoughts.

Sarah jerked upright and stared into the pockmarked face of her supervisor, Mr. Crane. He stood in her doorway, his unibrow crooked upward with piqued curiosity. “No sir, nothing’s wrong. I-I was just thinking.” Shaking fingers straightened the manuscript pages she’d scattered to find where she’d left off. The mere presence of the man raised the hair on her arms, much the same the horrid banker from her dream had. Silas McCann. She shuddered at the memory of his horse-like yellowed teeth.
 
“Think on your own time, Miss Collins. You get paid to edit not daydream.” Mr. Crane disappeared down the hallway, his heels clicking against the aged brown tile. Maybe she’d read too many western historical tales, but the term, ‘burr beneath his saddle,’ came to mind. He never smiled and always acted like he was pissed at life. If only he knew how miserable he made his employees, but surely no one had the nerve to confront him--needing job security and all.
 
Tucking thoughts of her night vision and miserable supervisor aside, Sarah pulled her chair closer to the desk and started reading. The words didn’t register, and she re-read the same sentence five times before giving up. She tossed her head back and sighed. “It’s no use, I can’t concentrate.” Pushing away from the desk, she closed her eyes and massaged the bridge of her nose.
 
How could she feel so attached to a man she’d only dreamed about? They’d never met, at least not in this lifetime. Past lives? Dreams? The entire situation was far too confusing for her feeble brain. Her new neighbor had moved here from God knows where, with his sister, Molly, who by the way, just happened to share the name of someone else in the dream. What were the chances that Nathaniel also had the same ‘nickname’ as the Indian-named ‘hero’ in her dream?
 
This day couldn’t pass fast enough. She checked the clock on the wall, anxious to get home. Four more hours? No one could effectively edit in her condition. She’d just have to fake being busy, just in case the ogre happened by again. Her thoughts focused on dinner and what to fix. Her new neighbors were coming to dine. She’d asked them as a way of welcoming them to the neighborhood. Yeah right! His drop-dead gorgeousness had nothing to do with the invitation, nor did the fact that in her dream they’d just shared the most passionate kiss ever. One could only hope she wasn’t losing her mind. Considering the memories rolling through her brain, even a psychiatrist probably couldn’t sort them out.
 
She made another attempt at the editing task--another historical manuscript, but each mention of the Indian hero summoned forth visions of Nathaniel and the way they’d met, journeyed together, and fought the growing attraction between them. Sarah rolled her eyes. How crazy to expect tonight to resolve her confusion. 
 
She pictured herself trying to explain why she felt she knew them both. “Hi, Molly, nice to see you again, and alive this time. I’m really sorry I couldn’t heal your wounds after the war-party attacked, but…” Yeah, that wasn’t a one-way ticket to the loony bin. Now her insides quaked, but for an entirely different reason. How did one act normal around people you felt certain you already knew--people you loved and lost?

***************
Both of my stories are available on Amazon, along with my other western works and tales in different genres.  Rita will take over tomorrow, but I'll be back on Wednesday with yet another book to share.

Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for your choice of a book from both my 'pardner' and me.  Also...scroll down and visit the other sites for more changes to delve into the wonderful world of westerns.  You can find the completed list and links here and view the participants below:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Western Roundup Event - Ginger Simpson's Up

Click the picture to visit the host Blog

Welcome to the Western Roundup Giveaway Hop.  I'm so delighted to be one of the many participants, and I think I speak for my co-blogger, Rita, when I say that western romances are among our favorite genres to write.  During this blog hop, we'll be sharing some of our pertinent work with you, and I'm going to start off today with my debut western historical romance, Prairie Peace, which as "debut" indicates, was my foot in the door of becoming a published author.  I loved the story then, and I love it now, and I was thrilled beyond belief when my very first novel earned a 4-star review from the Romantic Times Magazine.  Back then, they were very tough on e-book authors, and I had an upset stomach until my review actually came through, then I happy danced for a week.  *smile*
This blog event is all about featuring books about Cowboys, but in this story, you also get an Indian Hero.  :)

My impetus for making western historical my primary and favorite genre comes from years of being "fed" a steady diet of TV westerns and reading everything published by Laura Ingalls Wilder when I was in grammar school.  As an adult, my reading passion turned to everything written by Madeline Baker and other western historical authors who, through their amazing "showing" talents, put me into the story and let me walk in the heroines shoes.  I think I managed, with the help of my first editor, to turn my own story telling skills into the showing of an entertaining novel.  I hope you agree.

Blurb:
 In the 1860's, Cecile Palmer is the envy of the single girls of Spring City and the object of every young man's fancy-until she experiences love at first sight. She meets and weds Walt Williams in less than a week. The newlyweds journey to her husband's newly-purchased ranch and a life for which this naive and pampered only child is ill-equipped. A series of events turns her life upside-down. An injured Indian brave stumbles into her doorway while her husband is away. Destiny changes Cecile's life in a way she could never have imagined. She discovers she's pregnant, and when her husband doesn't return with supplies, Lone Eagle offers to take her to winter with his people. She accepts his offer, knowing her chance of surviving on her own is not good. Then a trader comes to the village with evidence Walt may still be alive. Cecile now faces a difficult decision. Self-sacrifice, betrayal and lasting love lay on the rocky road ahead.


Here's an excerpt:

As if sensing her uneasiness, Lone Eagle urged his horse closer and patted her hand.  The entire village came alive, and much to her chagrin, clamored around their horses.  Smiles greeted Lone Eagle, as the people pushed closer, curious to see who rode with him.  She followed his lead, maneuvering her mount through a sea of bodies, while strange hands reached up and tugged at her clothing.  The men viewed her with open curiosity, but the women's hostile stares made her want to spur her horse in the other direction.  As the mob continued to press forward, blocking her path, Lone Eagle took her animal's reins and led her through the crowd.  She sat firmly in the saddle, holding her breath, fighting the panic building inside her.

At the chief's tepee, the masses parted and allowed Lone Eagle to dismount.  Frozen in place, she trained her gaze forward, fearing to look down into the strange faces still surrounding and picking at her.

Next to a distant tepee, apart from the rest of the crowd, one woman stood with arms folded in a domineering stance.  Her coal-black eyes locked in a bone-chilling stare with Cecile's, issuing a silent challenge.

You can find this book along with all my other work on my Amazon page.  To visit the other blog participants, click here for the list of urls.

On the 26th, both Rita Karnopp and I will select a winner to receive their choice of any of the books we've featured during this event.  Hope you'll continue to come back and enter a comment, and don't forget to at least check back at the end of the day on the 26th to see who we announce in the comment's section as our winners.  Two authors, two winners...several choices.  *lol*







"Dishin' It Out": YOUR ATTITUDE IS YOUR CHOICE

"Dishin' It Out": YOUR ATTITUDE IS YOUR CHOICE:      Your attitude is your choice.   We can blame circumstances for our attitude. We can blame the actions of others for our attitude. We...

YOUR ATTITUDE IS YOUR CHOICE


     Your attitude is your choice.  We can blame circumstances for our attitude. We can blame the actions of others for our attitude. We can even blame the dog. But the truth is, we decide, we choose and we determine our attitude at any given moment.
     The attitude that you have right now, at this very moment, is the one you have chosen to carry around. It is determined by your thoughts.
     In this silly illustration about the woman, she could have had one lousy day after another watching her each hair disappear just as easily. She could have spent her days depressed. She could have spent her time being angry.
     Instead, she looked for something to be positive about, even in the middle of a lousy situation. She chose to deal with her situation in a positive way, and as a result she had a great day. Even though this is a fictional story, the point is well made.
     Think about it. When was the last time you had a lousy attitude and a great day? Do you think that a connection exists between attitude, thoughts and physical realities of the day you are having? Of course it does!
     I am a strong believer that we are each responsible for protecting ourselves from negative energy. If you find it near you, and we all do, you need to distance yourself from it.  Yet this is often difficult or impolite to do.
     Right about now you might be saying to yourself, 'Getting motivated sounds great, but what if I don't know what I want to get motivated to do? What if I don't know what I really want?'
     This is one of the most important questions you'll ever ask, but if you're like most people, the answers you need are difficult to find.
     However, there is a solution. There is actually a proven method to tapping into your unique path to happiness and uncovering all of your goals, dreams, and true purpose in life. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Keeping It Positive...NOT - by Ginger

How about that?  Rita blogs about positive attitudes and goal setting, and I'm following up with a gripe.  I'm honestly so tired of the multitudes who have nothing better to do than rank books on the 'stupidest' notions.  I normally don't even look at the rankings or reviews because to me, anything less than three stars is a knife to my heart.   Imagine someone tell you that your baby is ugly or stinks.  :)

 I was actually checking Amazon yesterday because I had a specific purpose in mind, but in my search, I found two "ONE" star reviews on a short story I published some time ago...rather my publisher published.  They accept short stories, I submitted one, and it was accepted.   I really loved the plot, and sometimes, there is no need to make something entertaining into a full-length read.  Some authors like to write short stories, and some like to read them...but, evidently not in these cases:

Review #1 - I gave this "book" a one star because it is not a book but a short story. It didn't even take 15 minutes to read. I don't like short stories and would appreciate it if authors would not represent their short stories as books. I thought I had downloaded eight books and that was supposed to last me a week. All but two were short stories and I read them all in one half day. Now I have to buy more. Do you think it's fair to pay the same price for a short story as I do for books?


Review #2 - I enjoyed this author's writing and would have liked to have read a "book" by her... not an extremely short, short story! An interesting beginning that could have been developed into an interesting book. My mistake for not checking the file size. A definite rip-off, beware of purchases from this publisher if this is their idea of a book! 

My first point:  READ the description.  The length of the product is listed at 19 pagesThat should have provided a BIG clue to what you were getting for ninety-nine cents.  I can't help that some authors are selling their novels for the same price.  I guess my publisher happens to think the time and effort put into editing, providing and cover and uploading the story should garner us something...and not crappy comments.   How is my fault that the person in the first example repeated the same mistake over and over when selecting his/her weekly allotment?

My second point: To the person in the second review, I have full length books available, so read one, and don't tarnish the reputation of an honest and helpful publisher because YOU didn't do your homework. 

Third and finally:  I'm assuming your main complaint is not what you read, rather the length...specifically since "enjoyed" is listed in the second review. How does that equate to ONE star?

I suppose the point I'm trying to make...and not just for myself, for all those authors who are griping right now, and hurting, because of the thoughtless and painful words left behind by readers who didn't bother to pay attention to what they were buying is we don't mind CANDID reviews that help us.  A peer of mine just received a poor review because she wrote a horror novel, someone read it, got scared, and gave it a low ranking because they don't like the genre.  Really?  How is that the author's fault?  HORROR....it means scarey.  *smile*

I'm definitely not against constructive criticism.  If you read my work, and honestly feel I could have done more, then tell me, but do it a way that doesn't sting so badly or translates into venom. If you must give me a low ranking, make it based on something I can improve.  When I write and submit short stories and they're published, don't bite my head off because you didn't notice that nineteen pages isn't going to take much longer than the time required for a good poop.  I don't think any author, publisher or Amazon is out there trying to rip off anyone.  I know it's certainly not in my best interest if I want to maintain my integrity as an author, and you can bet it's at the top of my priority list.  When you ask people to avoid an author's work, you aren't just hurting that person, you're hurting everyone involved in the process.  Does that matter at all?  I suppose to some it will, but there are those out there who just fall in the "misery loves company" group, and since I'm thinking up sayings, I guess I ought to adopt "suck it up," as my new motto.  :)

Positive Attitude and Goal Setting



     I will be giving a presentation on Positive Attitude and Goal Setting at the Montana Romance Writers of America writing workshop in Fairmont Hot Springs in September.  I thought I would share that presentation with you in segments during my blogging time here at Dishin’ It Out!  If you have comments, please share them . . . I hope you enjoy this presentation . . . Smile!  Rita

     Hi, everyone, my name is Rita Karnopp and I so happy to be here with all of you today.  It has been a life-long goal of mine to be a published author.  I imagined what my cover would look like with my name on it.  If you are a published author you know the thrill of that first book . . . if you’re not published – you have an incredible thrill you won’t ever forget awaiting you!  I’m a successful author with Books We Love. It’s with great pride and satisfaction to share that I have eleven eBooks published at Amazon.com and two of them in print.
     When I was president for two years for a gold panner’s club, in Lincoln, I always started and ended each meeting with a joke. Soon I realized they looked forward to them. What I really was doing was setting the ‘attitude’ of the meeting. So let me set the ‘attitude’ for the next hour . . .
     Two bowling teams, one of all Blondes and one of all Brunettes, charter a double-Decker bus for a weekend trip to Louisiana.  The Brunette team rode on the bottom of the bus, and the Blonde team rode on the top level.
     The Brunette team down below really whooped it up, having a great time, when one of them realized she hadn't heard anything from the Blondes upstairs.  She decided to go up and investigate.
     When the Brunette reached the top, she found all the Blondes in fear, staring straight ahead at the road, clutching the seats in front of them with white knuckles.
     The brunette asked, 'What the heck's going on up here?  We're having a great time downstairs!'
     One of the Blondes looked up at her, swallowed hard and whispered, 'YEAH SURE, YOU'VE GOT A DRIVER'

A Positive Attitude is a Choice – Choose Wisely!
     Few people believe that their attitude is their own choice. For most people, their attitude depends upon other people and circumstances. If people are nice to them, then they have a good attitude. If circumstances are favorable, they are in a good mood.
     On the other hand, if someone treats them unfairly, then they have a bad attitude. If the circumstances are not favorable, they are in a bad mood.
     Most people fail to realize that their attitude and their mood are really their own choice. Let me give you a silly example…something I recently read in an email.
     A little old lady went to the mirror one morning and noticed that she had only three hairs on her head. As she looked into the mirror, she said, "I think I'll braid my hair today." That's exactly what she did. And, she had a great day.
     The next morning, at the mirror once again, the little old lady noticed that she only had two hairs on her head. Looking herself right in the eye, she said, "Today, I think I'll part my hair down the middle." That's exactly what she did. And, she had a great day.
     The next day, as the little old lady looked into the mirror, there was only one hair on her head. She looked at that one lonely hair and said, "Today I think I'll wear my hair in a ponytail." That's exactly what she did. And she had a great day.
     The following morning the little old lady looked into the mirror and there wasn't a single hair on her head. Her eyes lit up, and she said, "Yeah! I don't have to fix my hair today!"
     Your attitude is your choice.  -  Now, if you're a lady, please don't let this illustration shake you up too much, okay? I am quite aware that in our culture bald men are considered more attractive than bald women. In fact, I thought about that when I first read this story in the email. I wondered why they used the example of a woman in the story.
     But the more I thought about it, the more I saw how much more powerful and dramatic this example is with a woman! The whole point of the illustration is all about attitude.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Whispering Sun ~ now available in print!




I apologize for being absent for so long.  As I shared with with some time back, my daughter had a healthy baby boy, Dylan . . . we are so grateful God has blessed us so.  Our daughter's foot is also doing much better after the dog bite, and it's 50% healed.  She is still seeing the wound specialist - and her doctor is still cutting away dead skin to allow new skin to heal from the inside.  I would not wish anything like this on anyone!  She is now off crutches and the wheel chair and is finally walking on the foot (or should I say limping)... but we are grateful for this giant step forward. (pun intended)  :)  Thank you all for your happy wishes on my new grandson - - and for the well wishes to my daughter.  :)  
     I am sort-of back.  I will be out of town Monday - Thursday of this week for work.  So if I don't respond to your comments - please don't take it personal . . . I love comments . . . and it means a lot to me to read them . . . as well as be a part of this wonderful group of Dishin' It Out.'  Thank you for allowing me to be here with you.

     As a multi-published Montana author, I’m proud to announce my book Whispering Sun is now available in print. Check me out at BooksWeLove.net and at Kindle.com
     Whispering Sun ~ 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.
     ~ Review~ 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

    

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ginger says, "Brownies, anyone?"

 Hello Everyone:
Since I'm still on a camping hiatus, I'm using this funny story as a fill in.  I'll be gone until next Thursday, but Rita will be back to blogging next week, and you know she always provides some interesting and useful info.  Gotta love that girl!   Stay well and safe, and enjoy the post.  Ginger

Last night we went to a party at our local senior center. The second Tuesday of every month they have an evening potluck supper. We usually eat, play bingo, reminisce, and drink a little wine and talk about the good ole days.

We heard Selma Martin's grandson is staying with her for a few weeks. It's rumored he got in a scrap with the law out in Boulder over some marijuana and he came to The Villages to avoid the heat.

Anyway, Selma is known for her delicious Brownies and she always bakes up a quadruple batch for each get-together. She makes enough for everyone and some for folks to take one home for later.
For some reason they were extra good this week and every last one of them was eaten.
Not a one left over. We later found out that Selma 's grandson, Butch, laced the brownies with some of his marijuana.

Knowing this, I guess it offers a logical reason for everyone feeling good that night.
By the time Zeke put on the bunny hop record, everyone was in a real good mood and it was the first time the whole place got up and danced!

That is until the cops came to check all the noise complaints.

Well, that's another story...




YOU PUT YOUR LEFT FOOT IN AND ... WELL, YOU KNOW THE REST!

Life's too Short...
Dance like No One
is Watching You!


And you thought all we seniors did was play Bingo!!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Welcome Lisabet Sarai

Today, our (my) guest is Lisabet Sarai, a good friend and well-accomplished author.  She's sharing a story she wrote some time ago, but the message is so appropriate for right now, she's agreed to let me share it:


Child of the Digital Age



“Auntie Lisabet! Tell me a story about the old days.”

“Okay, settle down then.”

My nine year old grand-niece Ellie sits down cross-legged next to my chair. She removes her ear-buds, strips off her haptic glove and flips up the VR screen on her glasses. I'm flattered that she's willing to give me her full attention. But then, I'm her exotic, glamorous aunt, who lives half a world away and visits once a year, who has lived through things Ellie can only begin to imagine.

“In the old days,” I start, “all books were paper.”

“Yes, I know! My mom has four paper books. She keeps them locked up in a glass case. She won't let me touch them.”

“Well, paper books tend to fall apart easily, and old ones are worth a lot of money. Anyway, back then, I wrote paper books. I had eight print books of my own. Plus I had stories in lots of other paper books.”

“Wow! You must have been rich. And famous.”  These days the release of a paper book is a rare event. Only Pulitzer Prize winners and heads of state author are literally in print.

I laugh and run my fingers through her blond curls. “No, not at all. Back then there were millions of paper books. When you signed a contract with a publisher, you would get what was called an 'advance on royalties' - a few thousand dollars at most, at least for me. Each copy you sold would be deducted from the advance. You had to sell thousands of copies in order to start making any money. Only one of my paper books ever 'earned out its advance', as they used to say back then.”

Ellie looks perturbed. “But – I've read some of your stories. You're a great writer. How come you didn't sell more?”

“Thanks, sweetie. I don't know if I'm great, but anyway, remember, there were millions of authors to compete with. And it took a really long time for a book to be published. My first novel took more than a year, from the time I submitted the manuscript to the time it was actually printed. I had one book that the publisher kept for nearly two years. Then they decided not to print it after all.”

“That's a drag! After all your work!” 

“That book turned out to be one of my first digital publications. So everything worked out in the end.

Anyway, with print books, even if I wrote full time (which I couldn't – I had a full time job), I couldn't publish more than one or two books a year. Everything was so slow – you wouldn't believe it. You had to send a printed version of the book, by postal mail, to the publisher. Then it would usually be months before they read it and gave you their opinion. Then another month or two while you worked out the details of the contract. Months for editing, typesetting, galleys―printed versions of the book that you had to correct by hand, with a red pen, and send back by snail mail... By the time the book finally arrived on the shelves, the excitement was almost gone.

“Also, simultaneous submissions – sending the same book to multiple publishers at the same time―was considered to be unprofessional. So if a publisher rejected your book, you had to start all over again.”

“Bummer. Is that why you began to publish digitally?”

“Not really. I had a regular publishing company, and they were taken over by another publisher who wasn't interested in what I wrote. I tried sending my latest novel to some other print companies, and they didn't even send me an acknowledgment. At the same time, digital books were beginning to become popular. A e-publisher contacted me and invited me to submit some of my writing. After that, more and more of my publications were electronic―even though print books were still common at the time. I discovered that with an e-publisher, I could publish almost as quickly as I could write. The whole cycle was so much faster. The first year I was digitally published, I had four books released. The second year, it was seven. It went up from there.”

“So that's when you started to get rich?”

“No, there were still millions of books coming out. In some ways it was even harder to get noticed. But the money was more predictable, royalties every month or every quarter. And of course, the more titles I released, the more opportunity I had for sales.”

“I don't know why anyone would want a print book anyway.” Ellie does a quick check of her comscreen then sticks it back into her pocket. “You can only read them in one order. You can't add comments or bookmarks. And there's no sound or video or 3-D graphics. Boring!”

“Back then, Ellie, most e-books were just words, too. No multimedia.” Ellie clearly has a hard time getting her mind around this concept. “You had to use your imagination about what things looked and sounded like.”

“But at least you could carry the books with you on your comdev,” she asserts. “And you didn't have to worry that they'd get torn or wet. Or lost. Plus I heard e-books saved the forests.”

I sigh. Ellie has never seen a real forest―only parks and tree plantations. The last remaining natural forests are off-limits to everyone except the scientists.

“Very true. I have to admit, though, that for a very long time, for me, an e-book didn't seem like a real book. When my first novel came out, and the publisher sent me my author's copies, it was like a combination of Christmas, Halloween and my birthday all together. I was so excited!  There it was, in my hands, a real book, with a real cover that had my name on it! I could thumb through the pages and read the words that I wrote. Unbelievable! When I received author copies for my e-books, there wasn't the same thrill. After all, it was just an email attachment.”    

Ellie nods.  She remembers me telling her about email, which has become nearly extinct with the rise of real-time messaging and tele-presence.

“Getting published became too easy―or that's what it seemed like to me. Thousands of e-books were released every month. Some of them were good, but some of them were awful. Everybody wanted to get on the e-publishing bandwagon.”

“What does that mean?”

“Oh, that it was the latest trend. Everybody thought they could make money bringing out e-books. Every week a new publishing company opened its virtual doors. The world was flooded with e-books, and the average quality went down, at least in my opinion. I was still proud of my writing, still excited, but getting published seemed like less of an accomplishment. Practically anyone who could string a dozen words together could get published.”

“Like now,” Ellie says wisely. “My friend Judy published a book last week, all about her new dog. She sent me a copy. She's really bad at spelling. But the pictures were fun.”

“Actually, hon, it was not at all the way things are now.  Back in the old days, the publishers still controlled the purse strings. These days, most of the publishing companies are gone. People publish on their own and then offer their work, for free or in exchange for other content, or on a sliding scale of payment. You can still make a living as a writer, but you have to have a community to support you―people who really like what you write.”

“Can I see one of your paper books, Auntie? Mom won't let me touch hers.”

“Here's my first novel, published in the year 2000―just a few years after your mom was born. This is a first edition.”  Ellie doesn't hear the irony in my voice.

“Wow!” She reaches for the fragile volume. “This is really old. Can I read it?”

“Of course not. You know that my books were written for adults.”

“Auntie, don't be old-fashioned. I know all about sex.”

“I don't think your mom would approve. She's always been a bit embarrassed by my literary career. Anyway, you wouldn't understand this book yet, even if you do know the physical facts about sex.  Erotica isn't just about sex. But I'll tell you what. I'll give this book to you, autographed, for your sixteenth birthday.”

“Oh, Auntie. That's years from now.” She notices my wistful expression. “But thanks. And thanks for the story. Things were really weird in the old days.”  Her comdev gives a barely audible beep. She checks the screen. “It's Judy. Got to go. I'll talk to you later.”

“Okay.” As she scampers off, donning her various sensory prostheses as she goes, I wonder whether I'll still be around in seven years.  Will she'll remember how to read at that point?  And even if she can read, will my maiden tale of a woman's sexual awakening will make any sense at all to a child of the digital age?  

Visit Lisabet's website at http://www.lisabetsarai.com and her blog Beyond Romance, http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com.

Note from Ginger:  For anyone who thinks that erotica is all about sex...it may well have lots more heat, but there is an important message Lisabet delivers in her every work, and she does it extremely well.  She's well-traveled, and I'm fortunate to call her friend as I often seek her wisdom which far exceeds my own, amazing as that may seem.  *lol*






  

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