Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Page Straight from MayAnn Kempher #apagestraightfrom

Forever Doomed


Jack watched Marni leave, torn. Did he think she’d killed Pam? No, but she was keeping something from him, something to do with Pam’s murder. He looked down at his arm, seeing her small hand. His heart was still beating hard. It had taken real effort to hide his feelings when she’d touched him. After a few minutes, he started walking, and was soon standing outside Marni’s cabin door. He hesitated. He told himself he was just going there to talk to her, to try to make her tell him what he sensed she was holding back. But that was a lie. He reached up and knocked. She opened the door wearing a towel.

“I was about to take a shower,” she said.

Jack didn’t respond. He walked into her room, shoving the door shut behind him. He took hold of her towel and pulled her tightly against his body, his mouth covering hers, his tongue searching for hers, his hands yanking the towel off and tossing it to the floor. He easily picked up Marni and carried her to the bed. She pulled his shirt up over his head, her hands running themselves through his thick chest hair. She reached for his belt buckle, undoing it slowly, her eyes watching his. Then she pulled his pants down and gasped.

Oh my.


Here is the buy link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H0OFCDY

 
Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CDNQ37Q. Remember, please write a review. Thank you.
  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Meet Carrie Lang from First Degree Innocence

Hi There.  My name is Carrie Lang and my story isn't exactly what you might expect.  I was sentenced to ten years in prison for a crime I truly didn't commit.  You may be sitting in your house, thinking you're safe and sound, just like I was the day I called in sick, but a bank camera caught a fuzzy picture of a car identical to mine and a shadowed face, and that's all it took to convict me.  No one cared that I screamed I didn't do it. In record time, I was hauled out of my house, handcuffed, finger-printed, tried, and convicted.  Boy, how my life changed.

I've always been kind of a loner.  My mother passed away and my dad left us a long time ago.  I didn't even know where he was until he showed up one visiting day.  He has a whole new family and life, so I don't know why he wanted to butt into mine after all these years. He must have a reason.

  I suppose some could also call me naive.  Like I said, I stayed to myself, went to my job, and then came home. Until I went to prison, I didn't know much about the world, but let me tell you being incarcerated is a real eye opener.  Even though I stayed in my apartment most of the time, I still enjoyed freedoms taken from me here.  No pillows, no choice of clothing, no TV whenever you want it, and only a few hours a week in the rec. room.  Believe me, it's not fun.

People talk about bullies. It's no different on the outside than on the inside.  Jet is the plague here.  She runs the joint, and even the matrons seem to turn a blind eye to anything she does wrong.  For some reason, she has her eye on me, and she doesn't like that I've found a friend in my cellie.  I have to do something to get away from her, so I'm hoping I get picked to work on the garden brigade.  At least I'll have a few hours of free time and fresh air.  The smell of this place is horrid.  Imagine bleach, sweat, blood, and pee mixed together.  Not a very refreshing scent.

Most of the female guards here a just plain mean, but there is one male officer who's been very attentive.  I know he could really get into trouble if he's even seen talking to me, but for some reason, we've connected, and I think he may be the only one who believes my story.  If I get picked for garden duty, maybe I'll get a chance to talk a little more to him since he's the person in charge.  Wish me luck!

What the heck?   Now Jet wants to involve me in some stupid plot to get even with someone.  Why me, oh Lord.

First Degree Innocence available on my Amazon Author's Page.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Meet Ellie Fountain #hitoricalromance


Hi, my name is Ellie...and that's what I'm called despite my birth name bein' Roselle Fountain.  Some how, I don't figure to measure up to that fancy name ever, because I prefer ropin' and ridin' to dressin' and actin' a lady.  Pa would like me to learn all about keepin' house, but since we have Cook to tend to all those chores, I keep busy with the hired hands, preferrin' to spend my time with them over pourin' tea and holdin' out my pinkie finger.  Oh, I wear a dress, but nothing fancy.  I'd much rather have on pants and chaps, but...

What has my dander up right now is the new ranch foreman, Tyler Bishop.  Pa hired him and I have no idea why.  We were doing just fine without him, but now he's here and thinks he's the boss of everything, including me.  I think Pa wanted some added security against the polecats that live on the neighboring land...the Bryants.  They haven't said as much, but it's clear they aim to own everything they can grab onto.  I'll be danged if they'll ever get their claws into Fountainhead.  My pa built this ranch and it's going to be mine some day, and I aim to run it as I see fit.  

I suppose Pa always wanted a son, but he got me instead. Now, he's treatin' Ty like he's the boy he always wanted.  Ticks me off a bit. 

 My ma's been gone since I was real small, and everyone tells me I'm her spittin' image.  I often wonder if I would be different if she was still around, but then I guess I'll never know. Some people think I'm spoiled, and I reckon I am  That's what happens when you're treated like a storybook princess.  If I could just learn to keep my mouth closed, I probably wouldn't get into so much trouble.  

My goal right now is to show Ty that I can do everything he can do, and even better.  I secretly bought myself a gun at the mercantile, and I've been practicing well out of earshot of the ranch to prove I can defend myself and our land.  I worry that nosy ol' Tyler will come snooping around and butt into my business like he always does.  I might be able to stay mad at him if he wasn't so dang good lookin'.  When I'm good and ready, I aim to show him my new skills

He had the nerve to ask me to a dance in town.  Oh, I'm no dummy...I know it was Pa's idea to make me more ladylike, and even though I'm not hankerin' to go, I said I would.  I've had a couple of brushes with the Bryant boys, so I hope they won't be there.  It would be just like Ty to come to my rescue and spoil everything.

Ellie's Legacy available on my Author's Amazon Page.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Round Robin Blog with Ginger - #RndRbn0414

Art Work Courtesy of Ray Arcadio
April's Round Robin topic:
You loved the blurb. First page sounded interesting. You bought the book. What makes you throw the book you're reading against the wall, stomp on it and go find another?



Hi, and welcome to Rhobin Courtright's brilliant idea of blogging on a shared topic each month.  I really had to stop and think about the questions posed this time.  Number one...if I threw a book, I'd break my Kindle and that could get expensive.  *lol*  Since I purchased my e-reader, I haven't invested money in a real "paperback."  I find reading on my Kindle so much more convenient, and I love the ease of carrying reading material wherever I go.  I must have over 400 novels and stories downloaded right now.

What usually grabs my attention is cover art.  Then I read the blurb to see if the cover matches the story.  I guess because I'm a visual person, I do judge books by their covers, and it's very important to me, at least in my own publications, that the artwork portray what the reader will find in the content.  Nothing disturbs me more than seeing a redhead on the cover and discovering the heroine is blonde.  May be petty, but it does bug me.

I must admit, I've started lots of book I haven't finished, but I chalk my disinterest up to the author not yet having learned to hook the reader and draw them in.  I discovered early on, the importance of having a good hook at the end of each chapter to keep the reader turning pages, but a lot of time passed before I realized if you bore a reader with tons of unnecessary  information or descriptions, you lose their  interest...at least in most cases. Most people want to jump right into the tension. In other n words, if you don't have a great opening that connects me with the characters and story, that when I surrender, and probably others do to.  

A great example would be my start to First Degree Innocence.  In my first draft of the manuscript, I started the story with lots of description of the dreariness of prison the smells, the drab color of the walls...the entire atmosphere.  While I want my readers to experience  those descriptions, they work best  if you pepper them in around the character...make her smell them, notice them them...compare them. So, when I redid the manuscript, my opening became:

 "Ok, Lang, strip!"  The guard's bark made Carrie's stomach roil.  

I think it was a vast improvement, and judging by sales, so did readers.  *smile*

Still, the blurb is the part of a book that most readers rely on to judge a promising read by putting a lot of emphasis on the descriptive strength, I believe the same emphasis needs to be placed on the first chapter opening.  I want  the first sentence of the book to be the key to make me want to read on...something that grabs and keeps my interest...puts me in the character's shoes.  The books that are my favorite are ones where I've actually lived the story through the character and sensed every emotion.

Yet, even if the author has mastered a strong first page, if I get to a place where there are far more descriptions that have no impact on moving the story or plot forward, too many unnecessary tags identifying who is speaking, or word duplications over and over, I'm no longer interested.  I don't throw the book for reasons mentioned earlier, but I do click onto something else and start over.

One thing I never do  is hurry to Amazon and assault the author's integrity.  I was a new author once and I've learned a lot of things that maybe others haven't.  I recognize that every book is someone's baby, and a lot of work went into the writing. One day, every author will learn to read with an editorial eye, and I hope they reflect back on when they first started.  I only wish readers could experience the same emotions and recognize the process is a journey of learning. That may never happen, as it's much easier to just pick a book apart than show compassion and understanding  How sad is that?

Now...hop on over to the following blogs and see what they have share with you:

Heidi M. Thomas  http://heidiwriter.wordpress.com
* Anne Graham writing as Anne Stenhouse at http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com
* Diane Bator at http://dbator.blogspot.ca
* Fiona McGier at http://www.fionamcgier.com
* Margaret Fieland at http://margaretfieland.com/my_blog
* Ginger Simpson at http://mizging.blogspot.com
* Geeta Kakade at http://geetakakade.blogspot.com/ 
* Connie Vines at http://connievines.blogspot.com/
* Beverley Bateman - http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
* Rhobin Courtright - http://rhobinleecourtright.com
-- 

In case you would like to check out my own work, you can find everything on my Amazon author's page..


Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Freebits with Ginger #FriFreebits

Welcome to Friday Freebits where authors share six paragraphs from published or works-in-progress.

If you'd like to be part of the group, it's easy...just contact me at mizging@gmail.com and let me know which Friday you'd like to blog on your on blog and be linked with me.

I'm sharing tidbits from a book that is being re-worked and hopefully republished:  Life is a Bowl of Toilets and I Feel Flush.   My six paragraphs come from the chapter, Take This Job and Shove It.

For some reason, I always felt I belonged in the medical field.  Each time I visit a doctor, and believe me, after chalking up the cast incident I discussed in another chapter, there were too many trips to count.  I always have this same eerie sensation that I've been a nurse or doctor in a previous life.  If I could stand the sight of blood or vomit, I might have tried to get into the profession, but I think my beside manner might be a little lacking.  I'm pretty sure throwing up along with a patient isn't an option that'd be welcome, but that's just a hunch.  I've never had any medical person share that little kidney-shaped tray they give you in the hospital when you feel nauseous.  I decided to stick with what I knew...or thought I knew I could handle.

After retirement at an early age, I expected to sit home, write and be discovered by Oprah for her book club.  Surely she could get me on the NY Best Seller's list in a hot minute.  Well, unfortunately, I didn't even get a response when I sent her a copy of my first "toilet" book  How rude.  Now she's calling me and those who didn't vote for Obama, racists.  I think the ship sailed and I didn't get a ticket.

While my writing dream didn't come true, Hubby and I made a leap of faith and left California for the southern charm of Tennessee.  We researched everything but employment and wages.  The town we elected to call home had just experienced a major business exodus to Mexico and with more businesses closed than open, I found myself having to search for a job while my husband found something lucrative...which in Tennessee pays more than $10.00 an hour.

Imagine my surprise when the employment agency sent me to the local jail to interview as a Correctional Officer.  Where they kidding?  I was almost sixty at the time, had no training whatsoever in the field and have a bad knee.  I assumed I was wasting my time, but went out of curiosity.  In California, you have to attend an academy to even apply, so I was stunned when they called before I could even reach home and left a message on my answering machine, offering me the job.  Yes...I accepted the outrageous $7.55 per hour to work along inmates incarcerated for everything from larceny to homicide.  I supposed I qualified because I was breathing, could walk, and was willing to give a career change a try.

Every other job I'd had in the past had no equipment requirement except maybe a good writing pen.  Now I found myself wearing a utility belt with handcuffs, an empty holster--had to leave a gun I'd never shot in my locker--carried pepper spray, flashlight, and a glove case.  Yes, I bought them myself and I didn't have a clue what most of the things were for.  Of course, in order to be certified to carry the gun, I had to actually shoot it on a range with others watching.  I was a nervous wreck.  Hadn't even held the dumb thing let alone hit a target.  I stunned myself and everyone else with a score of 83 our of 100 on my very first attempt.

Oh, the best part of all...in order to carry pepper spray, I had to attend a special class.  What I wasn't told was that I would have to "experience" the spray firsthand.  After the textbook instruction, we all assembled in the Sallie Port (term I learned) and stood in line to wait for the torture.  We had a choice of being sprayed or swabbed.  I elected the swab, thinking of something the size of a q-tip would be used, but I swear it was a mop.  I guess I'm lucky I didn't have to be shot to experience a gun.

*****

More to come next week, but hop on over to my friends' blogs and see what they've offered up this week.

Jamie Hill
Roseanne Dowell
Tricia McGill
Juliet Waldron
Sydell Voeller
Taryn Raye
Kathy Fischer-Brown
Rhobin Lee Courtright
Yolanda Ashton

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Page Straight From Sydell Voeller #apagestraightfrom

Free to Love

She needed plenty of space tonight. Time alone. Yes, tonight was the night. If she didn’t take off her wedding rings while she still had the nerve, she might change her mind. 

“I have a better idea. How about taking in a flick at the cinema down the highway?”

“No thanks. I really should turn in early.”

“All right. Then I’ll settle for the TV.” He jerked his head to one side. “I’ll go get it right now.”

A few minutes later, she held open the front door and watched him leave, carrying the TV across the lawn. “Good-night,” she called, struggling to keep her voice even.

“See you tomorrow.”

Shutting the door, she bit her lip and heaved a sigh. Yes, tomorrow. Tomorrow would be a brand new day. But right now she had all she could do to deal with the remainder of tonight.

She wandered into her bedroom and switched on the wall lamp near the doorway. Soft light flooded the room. On top of the bureau was her burgundy velvet jewelry box.

Kyle. Her gaze drifted to his photo next to it. His image smiled back at her, the smile that always flashed in her mind whenever she thought about him. She must’ve had a dozen or more pictures of Kyle situated around the duplex, she thought with a pang. But this one had always been her favorite. Balling her hands into fists, she pulled her eyes away.
Through the bedroom walls, from the other side, she heard the muffled tones of the TV. Cheerful sounds. A sitcom, perhaps. Canned laughter.

Slowly she lifted the lid of the jewelry box. In the uppermost compartment, nestled in the plush layer of velvet was the simple gold band she’d given Kyle on their wedding day. Seeing it, her heart seemed to turn inside out. What was she doing, taking off her rings too? she wondered desperately. Was she turning her back on everything that they’d shared? The good times, and sometimes not so good? Their hopes and dreams? Their plans for the future?

“Oh, Kyle,” she murmured, tears springing to her eyes. “You do understand, don’t you? This . . . this is something I’ve put off, but now I must do it. The time is right. But please know, I’ll cherish your memory always. I’ll always love you.”

She swallowed hard. It felt as if an ice cube was lodged in the throat. The tears fell, one after the next, tracking salty trails down her cheeks as she twisted the rings over her knuckles and then slipped them completely off.

In the lamp light, the diamond sparkled, flashing prisms of light. She traced her finger over it, then for a moment held it up to her lips. Blinking rapidly, hands trembling, she placed it in the jewelry box next to the gold band, shut the lid, then turned and walked away.

Through the bedroom walls, she could still hear the sounds of canned laughter.



My personal website:  <www.sydellvoeller.com
Publisher's website:  <http://www.bookswelove.net>

Monday, April 21, 2014

John Wayne - The Duke of Westerns by Ginger Simpson

As with all social medias that become important as an avenue of book promotion and reaching out to people, I've too, turned to Pinterest.  I know most folks are looking for boards that are unusual and entertaining, and I'm not smug enough to think people are going to come to my site just to read about me and my books.  Although I was at first reluctant to try involve myself in another site because my addiction to Facebook had already eaten up enough time to finish three novels, once I tried and discovered how easy it was to create a board and find fodder for Pinterest, I've crept over from time-to time and made quite a spectacle of myself.
 I offer the following to my visitors:
  • Videos Worth Watching
  • Love Those Westerns
  • Favorite Authors
  • Pictures That Have Special Meaning to Me
  • Political Stuff (can't help myself)
  • Helpful Tips and Ideas
  • Inspiration for Women (sexy men)
  • Places, Special Events and Sales (usually about contests, or thing that might be of interest to readers)
  • Funny Stuff
  • Countdown to Love (A special Karen Cote did for me that features lots of romantic stuff and all the graphics she did for me.)
  • First Kiss (An event I participated in on another blog where I feature everyone who shared their character's first kiss.)
  • Western Historical Romance
  • Shared Pins from Blogspot (places I visit on Blogger and share links here)
  • Places You Can Find Me (my website, blogs, special appearances, etc.)
  • Amazing Graphics (All the graphics Karen Cote has created to help promote my books...and those of Roseanne Dowell.)
  • Why I Won't Have Plastic Surgery
  • Who's Aging Gracefully
  • American Indian Love
  • Things I'll Never Wear (I'm having fun with this one.)
  • Can You Say "Eyebrows?"
  • People I Wish Were Still Here
  • Flashy Nails
  • Songs That Move Me
  • The Many Faces of John Wayne


Surprise of all surprises.  My inbox has been inundated with notices of "men" signing up to follow my John Wayne board.  I think I've finally struck their interest.  But then who didn't love "The Duke?"

In just a few hours after creating the board, I had amassed 323 followers for that particular one.  I have 329 pins of John Wayne there, but I plan to continue to add more as I find them.

I grew up on westerns around my house, and John Wayne was a frequent visitor to our television set.  I believe I've watched all of his movies countless times, and it really didn't matter if he wore a cowboy hat or an army uniform, he had swagger and sex appeal that made him unforgettable. Although some might argue he wasn't the best actor around, he certainly struck the heart of those who loved him...and obviously still do.  I may have to venture away from historical western romance and just write something down, dirty, and gritty like our hero.

You can find my Pinterest boards at http://www.pinterest.com/mizging



Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Freebits with Ginger - #FriFreebits

Hi, and welcome to Friday Freebits, a great way to get a sneak peak into published and unpublished works of some of your favorite authors.  We're new and looking for others who want to share;  if you do, drop me an email at mizging@gmail.com and let me know.

Today, I'm continuing with the book I'm reworking for re-release, Life is a Bowl of Toilets and I feel Flush.  Picking up where I left off, last week, and I hope you enjoy my offering.

Just a reminder...I was using six paragraphs from the chapter, Take This Job and Shove It:

Stupidity kept me at the nursery-landscape company for far longer than I should have stayed.  What started as a three-day-a-week position, turned immediately into five plus.  I was hired to be the assistant bookkeeper, but with his wife's departure, I kept my same crummy wage but acquired all her duties except for sleeping with her hubby.  I'm pretty sure I could have had that job too, if I would've wanted to cozy up in the sack.  I think my husband would've had a problem with that task.

I finally wised up the day the boss had my hauling five-gallon trees out in the landscaping yard.  Now I'd become a lacky?  I quit.  I was only one in an army of hundreds who came and went, judging by the number of W2 forms that arrived in the mail right before my departure.  Mr. Charming, it seemed, was hiring illegal immigrants, and faster than the INS snagged them back, he'd have another truckload delivered.  I'm glad I left.  The last thing I needed was trouble with the Feds.  Of course, I should have gotten a clue when none of the other employees spoke English.

From there, I went to work for a private industry, working for the unhappiest man alive.  I was young, inspired to be active, and played softball three nights a week--one of which I sprained my ankle.  Let me preface the incident by assuring you that "shit" does run down hill, as 'they' say.  My supervisor took crap all day from his boss, so he spread it around thick and idiotically.  For instance, one day he found something in the file cabinet stapled crookedly and demanded to know who did it.  I should have known that turnover was an issue there when I saw the empty desk that had been occupied when I went for my interview the week before.  But, live and learn.   Anyhow, the end came for me when I walked twenty-five paces across from my desk to the copy machine without my high-heel on my sprained foot and it became a major issue.  I'm pretty sure I cleaned out my desk and left at noon.

I applied for and was hired at another university, starting as a Senior Clerk.  I soon advanced to a Principal Clerk, and eventually worked my way up into management.  In all my twenty-plus years there, I never could figure out what a "Principal" clerk was...as opposed to an unprincipled clerk?

All those years spent working at UCD inspired happy and sad memories.  I've let go of the sad and held on to the myriad of good times.  We kept a running "funny file" to document the wacky things that happened every day.  When you work with a diverse group of folks, trying to adjust to new cultures and languages, you're bound to see some amusing things.  Just trying to pronounce names created some pretty humorous situations.  I'm not lying here...these are real names, and in their homelands probably don't even raise a brow, but imagine when Semma Dong came in to meet with me.  I had a horrible time keeping a straight face.  Of course meeting Ms. Dong was mild compared to my first encounter with Fok Yu at a student orientation.  OMG, how would you like to go through life with that name?  I'm sure there were lots of other amusing things that happened, but I've been retired for a number of years now and my long term memory has joined my short and gone on hiatus.  This is just another big plus of aging...something I'm sure I'll cover in this book.

*******

To be continued next week, but now, jump on over to my friends and see what they've offered up:

Jamie Hill
Roseanne Dowell
Tricia McGill
Juliet Waldron
Sydell Voeller
Taryn Raye
Kathy Fischer-Brown
Rhobin Lee Courtright

Thursday, April 17, 2014

INTERVIEW WITH Heroine from Ellie’s Legacy by Ginger Simpson

RF=Roselle Fountain

INT = Interviewer

Our special guest this evening is Miss Roselle Fountain, the heroine from author, Ginger Simpson’s western historical, Ellie’s Legacy. Welcome, Roselle. 

RF – *Fidgeting* Oh please call me Ellie.  I’ve never much identified with such a flowery name.  You probably can’t tell by the way I’m dressed today, but I’ve always been somewhat of a tomboy.

INT - *Laughing*.  So I’ve heard.  You look very nice in your flowered print—very much the lady.

RF – That’s Pa’s doing.  He insisted that if I was going to make an appearance, I needed to dress like a lady.  I’d much rather be wearing britches and boots. *Tugs at the neckline of her dress*.  These things are too danged uncomfortable at times.

INT – So, Ellie, tell the readers a little about Ellie’s Legacy.

RF – *Grins* Well, I can’t give away too much.  Ginger would skin me alive, but I’m sure she won’t mind me telling you that it’s got a little romance, a lot of western, and even more feistiness than her last historical romance.  It all starts when Pa hires Tyler Bishop as the ranch foreman.  I kinda figured Pa always wanted a son, and Ty proves me right. Their relationship gets me pretty riled up.  I have a bad temper at times… I think it comes from this red hair.  *pulls a strand of hair forward and smiles*.

INT – So, besides your being jealous of Ty, is there any adventure involved.

RF – Oh, you bet.  *Squares herself in her chair*.  The polecats that live on the neighboring ranch are aiming to get Fountainhead away from Pa.  Dude Bryant and his twin boys are meaner than snakes… well at least Dude and Jason are.  Joshua comes across as quiet and a follower.  But, *balls hands into fists* I’ll be danged if they’re gonna get my legacy.  I actually bought a gun and taught myself to shoot it. 

INT – A gun?  What do you plan to do with it?

RF – Protect Fountainhead of course.  I’m aim to show Pa he don’t need Tyler Bishop around when he has me.  I just wish that Ty wasn’t so dang good lookin’.

INT – I haven’t heard you mention your mother.  How does she feel about you owning a gun?

RF - *Lowers her eyes*.  My ma died when I was very young.  I suppose that’s why I took up with the ranch hands and spend so much time workin’ outdoors.  *Raises a steely gaze*.  But, now that Ty’s in the picture, Pa wants me to spend more time in the house doing womanly things.

INT – Would that be such a bad thing?

RF – Of course it would.  I don’t much care for cookin’ and cleanin’.  We have Cook for that.  I’d much rather brand a cow as fry one.

INT – So what about the romance part of the story?

RF – *Chews her bottom lip for a moment* I can’t tell you much more than I accompany Ty to a dance, but as usual, he gets my dander up there, too.  What happens from then on, you’ll have to find out for yourself.  I may look young and na├»ve, but I’m not silly enough to give away the whole story.  Miz Ginger is counting on sales to help pay for something called a root canal.  I wouldn’t want to let her down.

INT – I certainly wouldn’t want you to do that either.  You’ve given us enough of a teaser to stir some interest.  Hopefully we’ll see you on a best seller’s list somewhere.

RF – That would be right nice.  It just may happen cause remember, I have a gun. *Slaps hip and fakes a draw*.

INT -  Well, here’s hoping you don’t have to use it.  *laughs*.  Thank you so much, Ellie for being with us today.  And good luck in the future.

RF – Oh, yeah.  I almost forgot to tell you that Ellie’s Legacy is available on Amazon, published by Books We Love.  I reckon the copies are available on something called the Innernet.  *pulls paper from pocket.*  Miz Ginger gave me this to read: www dot amazon dot com forward slash author forward slash gingersimpson.  It’s her page where you can see all her books.  I hope I got that right.


INT – Sounds fine to me. Thanks again, Ellie.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Post Straight From Jamie HIll #apagestraightfrom

Blame It On The Stars

When she got home and pushed her garage door opener, she saw Steve’s BMW. “Damn it!” She slapped her dash board, and parked on the street. “Well, he can just come and get it.” She closed the garage door, and dropped the opener in her pocket. She hauled her suitcases up to the front door, and went in.
She threw herself on her bed, but realized her pillow smelled like Steve. For some reason that made her want to cry, but she wasn’t ready to cry yet. She was too angry.
Catlin unpacked and puttered around her house. The phone rang three separate times, but she never answered it. Finally, two hours later, her doorbell rang. She peeked out and saw Steve on the steps. She opened the door, unsmiling.
“Can I come in?” He asked quietly. He was not smiling either.
“Not even if my hair was on fire,” she replied. “And you held the only bucket of water on Earth.”
He nodded. “David dropped me off.”
She stared at him.
“I came to pick up my car.”
“Well, duh.” She leaned against her door frame.
“Catlin, I—”
She cut him off. “I think I’ve heard just about enough out of you today. You’re on my turf now, and if you want your car, you’re going to listen to me for a minute.”
“Well—” he started.
She jumped in again. “No! I’m talking now. Don’t you ever speak to me like you did today. I am not your child, and I won’t be spoken to in that tone.” She poked him in the chest with her finger. “If you want to fight, we’ll fight. I’ll go nose to nose with you. But cut out that condescending bullshit and I mean it.”
“If you don’t want to be spoken to like a child, then maybe you shouldn’t act like a child.”
She shook her head. “Are you serious? I don’t think I was acting like a child. Okay, I made a mistake. I knew better than to listen in. But I did not encourage Dana to do so. She fell into that room on purpose, by the way.”
Steve looked surprised, and Catlin continued. “And how dare you tell me that your conversation was none of my business? We’ve been together for a month now. Haven’t you figured out that what affects you, affects me? I love you, and I’m tired of that feeling not being reciprocated.”
He said slowly, “A month is not twenty-one years, Catlin.”
She looked at him angrily. “It’s a good thing you’re going out of town this week, because you have some decisions to make. You have two women who want you, imagine that. But you have to make a choice, because I’m not waiting around forever. And if you choose twenty-one years...well, I’ll be pissed. But eventually I’ll get over it.” She poked him in the chest with her finger again. “But if you choose me, I expect you to mean it. No more screwing around with my heart. And when we get to that anniversary, we’re skipping from twenty to twenty-two. Because I never want to hear the words twenty-one years again.” She reached in her pocket and pulled out her garage door opener. She pressed the button, and the door went up. “Now get the fuck out of here.”
As she walked back into her house, Steve said, “Can I say one thing?”
“No.” She closed the door in his face, and locked it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Good, Bad & The Ugly

Still sick, and Rita is still healing from wrist surgery and a torn retina.  Between the two of us, maybe we should just turn ourselves into a nearby glue factory.  They'd probably reject us.

This is a re-run for 2009.  The Book listed in the review has since been re-released as Ellie's Legacy by Books We Love.  You'll notice...it's a sweet romance. *smile*

I recently read the absolute worst review I have ever received since I became published in 2003. Normally, I can let the fact that ONE person didn't appreciate my efforts roll off my back, but this reviewer made it personal. I read her novella-length review, and wondered why she didn't write her own novel instead of picking mine to pieces. If she read the blurb, she should have known it wasn't her "cup of tea," so why spend the time on something you know you wouldn't enjoy from the get go? She started out her tirade listing all the things my book wasn't...again, evident from the blurb provided her.

Her points were delivered in her first paragraph, but she felt a need to animate her review with *sighs* and cliches...with which she compared my storyline. I believe she said the idea wasn't original. Am I mistaken, or hasn't the saying "history repeats itself" become popular because history does?

And of course, she lamented there was only one chaste kiss in the story. Could it be because Sparta Rose (Ellie's Legacy) isn't Erotica, rather sweet romance? What a concept.

My biggest mistake, it seems, was not writing the exact western she expected. She didn't want Little House on the Prairie, she wanted a shoot-em-up, painted whores on a piano, more sex, and a Gerald Butler look-alike for the hero. Sorry, but he does nothing for me and I quite liked the hero I created. John Wayne is dead, so get over it, and Clint Eastwood won't ever star as a sexy leading man again. He's approaching 80! If you want Hang 'Em High or Rooster Cogburn, then watch Saturday reruns on the western channel.

Hey, I've been in a reviewers shoes, several times and I appreciate that it's a demanding and thankless job. I also respect the reviewer's write to their opinion, but when you become "snarky," then you've turned the review into a personal attack and put the author on the defensive. I might have let this whole thing go, but when I read her response to my comment on the site, my rage flared again: "Although I know my review came off as snarky and cynical, that was not my intentions."

If you know your review comes off as snarky and cynical, then what exactly were your intentions? To invite me over for tea and crumpets?

Wikipedia defines SNARKY as follows:

ADJECTIVE - Snide and sarcastic; usually out of irritation.

Sparta Rose (Ellie's Legacy) was a labor of love for me. Inspired by the Cumberland Mountains where I lived for a time, Sparta, TN is rich with history, and I attempted to capture some of it in my historical offering.

This nameless person claims her review was her attempt at humor, but I suggest she leave that to comedians. There is nothing humorous about book reviewing. Authors take these written words very seriously and the end result can honestly impact someone's future. What I can paraphrase from this nightmare...although she made mention in a negative way, is her comparison of my story with an offering from Laura Ingalls Wilder. Little House on the Prairie has entertained millions for years, so I guess "it ain't all bad."

Life goes on and reviews keep coming. There are those who enjoy my work and will continue to read my books, and like I've reminded my peers before...there isn't an author alive or dead whose work is appreciated by everyone. This summarized assassination just stopped me dead in my tracks and inspired me to put on the boxing gloves...or in this case, my blogging gloves. Thank goodness for non-violent avenues of stress release.

I applaud all the reviewers out there who know the secret of capturing the good, bad and the ugly, but doing it in a way that a person can appreciate and learn from. I'm never above constructive criticism.

Here's an EXCERPT from this horrible, boring, predictable story with flat characters and an overdone plot:


Ellie delighted in the dumbstruck look on his face. She’d matched him shot for shot. Maybe she’d taken a split second longer, but she’d knocked down all her cans. Wasn’t that what counted? What she set out to do?

Ty still hadn’t said a word. He kept staring at the log as if expecting his one remaining can to fall, or for one of hers to jump back up on it. Ellie couldn’t stand the silence, and containing her need to gloat got harder by the moment.

“Well, aren’t you going to say anything?” Her lips curved into a smug smile.

He shrugged. “I’m not sure what to say. It looks as though your practicing has paid off. Good thing we didn’t really wager anything on it.”

She erupted into uncontrollable laughter. It couldn’t be helped. Her glee at proving she could shoot, and at this moment, better than him, was cause for celebration. She covered her mouth to stifle her levity. It seemed overly cruel to rub it in too much.

“And…just what would you have wagered?” Her curiosity piqued.

Without a word, Ty closed the distance between them, gathered her into his arms and covered her mouth with his. Her eyes widened, and a gasp of surprise parted her lips enough for his tongue to dart inside to mingle with her own. Shivers of delight coursed through her body, turning her knees to jelly. Her startled eyes slowly closed and she melted into his embrace.

Just as she started to revel in the moment, he pulled away and held her at arm’s length. “That’s what I would have wagered,” he said matter-of-factly. “Too bad I lost.”

With a grin, he turned and began gathering up the strewn cans and putting them back into his burlap sack.

Ellie stood, frozen to the spot, her fingers tracing her mouth. Her heart raced. She’d dreamed of the moment he’d kiss her, but this was nothing like she had imagined. It happened so quick, over and done, but it was still magnificent. His lips were so soft, yet demanding, his embrace strong, but tender. She took a deep breath.
Ty fished in the grass for the last can, affording Ellie a perfect view of a taut behind, encased in fitting denims. Years of riding had evidently created strong muscular legs, visible even beneath his clothing. She naughtily pondered his naked form and fought the flush she felt creeping up her neck. Her flapping fingers fanned her face while she tried to compose.

With a loud whoosh of air, she chased the unladylike thoughts from her head and the warmness from her cheeks. Her fingertips again outlined the lips that only moments ago had been kissed for the very first time.

“We best saddle up and get home to check on your pa,” Ty announced.
He startled her from her reverie. She dropped her hand and nodded. Although her legs felt leaden, she walked to her horse, untied the mare’s reins and pulled herself astride. Nudging Chessie, Ellie caught up with and rode alongside Ty.


Now to make myself feel better, I'll go read the 5 Heart Review the book earned at The Romance Studio!

You can find Ellie's Legacy available on my Amazon Author's Page.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Meet Cassie Fremont from Betrayed

“Go on Get out there. You promised to do this, remember?” *Ginger pushing Cassie onto the stage*

 *Cassie digs in her heels* “Okay, okay, I’m going, but I’d like to remind you that you’ve already put me through hell in that friggin’ book of yours.

” *She approaches the microphone and taps it* “Can everyone hear me?” *smiles* “My name is Cassie Fremont and I’m the head female character in Betrayed. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to share with you that Ginger hasn’t already divulged in the story. God knows she told you everything. *rolls eyes* I guess nothing is sacred when it comes to novels.”

 *Pulls up nearby stool and inches her butt onto it. Heaves a big sigh, and runs her hands along her slacks while peering into the bright lights over the crowd.* “Well, I promised her I’d make an appearance today,  so I’ll get on with it.” *Shrugs* “I’m a dolt What can I say? I found myself divorced, middle-aged and lonely. I share a home with my mother because I don’t want her to live alone, but she pretty much keeps to her own part of the house. I have a lot of spare time so I entertain myself with the Internet. Don’t we all spend time on the computer? Well, I happened across a dating site one night…big deal I figured it wouldn't hurt to join and see what happened. I never expected anyone… Okay, that’s a lie. I wouldn't have joined if I hadn't hoped someone would notice my post. I just didn't expect things would turn out so wrong."

 *Cassie rises, pulls microphone from stand and walks toward edge of stage.* “I admit I was flattered at all of Evan’s flowery words and his Texas accent, but I have no idea what happened to my common sense. I’m quite sure everyone was stunned to learn I let a virtual stranger move into my house… and my bed. *gazes down at stage* I guess if you’ve never been afraid of growing old alone, you can’t fathom why I did what I did.” *Pauses, pinches the bridge of her nose, then peers out at the audience again* “I should have listened to my sister and brother, but I didn’t. Instead, I flew into a rage and wrote them off. For two long years, they weren’t part of my life, but I was so wrapped up in myself and Evan, I didn’t miss them until things got so bad I had no where else to turn.” *Shakes her head*

 “Hey, talking about this is depressing the hell out of me. I’ve moved on to newer pastures. If you want to know the whole story, you’ll ust have to buy a copy of Betrayed…*stares at the ceiling for a moment* “Boy, was I ever.”

 *Walks back to stand and replaces microphone but remains standing  in front of it*  I can't say it was a pleasure being here today, because no one likes to admit being an idiot, but crap happens. All I can say is if I pull another idiotic stunt, I sincerely hope my sister will have the courtesy to forgo writing another book about it. I could write a journal about her stupidity, but I haven’t. Have a good day everyone, and be careful when you look for love in the wrong places.  *looks backstage and flashes a glare, then exits to applause*

*Ginger walks onto stage clapping with audience and pauses at microphone*  I’d like to thank my sis for being so gracious and honoring her word to be my guest today. Betrayed is available on my Amazon page at http://www.amazon.com/author/gingersimpson. for only $2.99.  Books We Love really puts out some great stories for low prices. *Looks stage left*

 Now that Cassie has gone,  I can divulge, I am working on another story about her life...this book will be called Deceived.  I think you can see a pattern developing here.  Cassie is just such a good model for my relationship series, I can't ignore all the fodder for a great story, can I? Anyhow...Thanks for coming, and I hope you'll read and review Cassie's story.  Good Day to you all.

http://www.gingersimpson.com
http://cowboykisses.blogspot.com

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Freebits with Ginger #FriFreebits

Welcome to Friday Freebits.  I'm so excited to have friends join me so we can let you glimpse into our published and unpublished work.  Each week, I'll present the links here for you to follow, and you can visit, and hopefully share the information, too.  I don't know if you realize that the responsibility for promoting our work falls mainly on our shoulders, and we appreciate all the help we can get.

So, without further ado, I present this weeks six from a book I'm reworking for re-release, my humorous offer, Life is a Bowl of Toilets and I Feel Flush.

This is from the Chapter - Take This Job and Shove It.

If I were to fill out an application for work today that required listing all my previous jobs, I'm pretty sure someone would request a psychological evaluation.  My first job was working for the US Air Force as a secretary for the missile safety program.  I left that job to take one closer to home with the telephone company as a Service Representative.  That was back in the day when you actually got service from the from the telephone company and didn't have to go through an everlasting automatic attendant.

Can you actually believe that back then, they hired people just to listen in our our conversations with you to make sure we said, "thank you," and timed us to make sure we weren't off the phone for more than ninety seconds without excusing ourself again?  A board was kept in our office that charted our delays, manner discrepancies and other faux pas, pitting our office against others in the district.  Now that I think about they way things were handled, all that monitoring was a pretty sick way to get people to be nice.

I left that stressful environment to accept work at a nearby university, acting as secretary for the English department.  I place a lot of emphasis on the "acting" since that stint lasted only about three weeks.  I discovered I was pregnant and couldn't stop throwing up.  I didn't think it was fair to get paid to lay in the employees lounge all day, so I quit before they could fire me.  I wasn't performing up to standards, and I admit it.

After my son turned two, I decided on a part-time job driving a school bus.  What the hell was I thinking?  I paid someone to watch one kid while I spent the day with 70.  Not my best idea, by far, but the position did create some lasting memories, one which you may have read in my first book, Life is a Bowl of Toilets and I Clean Them.  When I was recalling all the fun times then, I omitted the incident where I got my boob caught in the door and had to write an accident report on how it happened.  I had a had time offering an explanation, and I'm still not sure I was totally truthful.

From there, I went on to work part-time in a landscape/nursery business as a bookkeeper.  After two days, the job turned into a full-time one as the owners wife quit, left me her job and her husband...if I wanted him.  As it turned out, he was quite the lady's man and she'd had it with his shenanigans.  I didn't know much about sexual harassment at the time, but I think I might have had a case simply based on the fact that he call me "Chi-Chi" which I later learned meant "titties" in Spanish.  Somehow my boobs kept getting me into trouble.

I won't mention my ex-employer's name to keep from being sued, but I will tell you he was quite the charmer.  He was from Spain, and had killer blue eyes and a smile to match.  It didn't take me long to figure out why his wife got fed up with him.  Oh, I admit, at first I was dazzled by his accent and out pouring of attention, but when I noticed he said the same thing to every woman who came into the place, those lines he used on me somehow lost their appeal.  There's something suspicious about calling an elderly woman with a big mole on her nose, beautiful, and then using the term when you talk to me.  Okay...now I might be that elderly woman with the mole, and realize how much she appreciated his sweetness, but back then, I was rather insulted.  Besides, I started to see his ex's side of the coin. There should be some things a husband reserves for the special person in his life...and trust me, he didn't reserve anything.  What a crock!

******

More to come next Friday, but now hop on over to my friends and see what they have cooking.

Jamie Hill
Roseanne Dowell
Taryn Raye
Sydell Voeller
Rhobin Courtright

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Page Straight From Naomi Bellina #apagestraightfrom

Her Wild Protector
Adult Content



Teaser:  An accident gives her vision to see a secret group of shapeshifters. His job, protect her, whether she wants him to or not. Working together, they might both come out alive.


The room suddenly seemed very small. Tara was all too aware of Marshall and their mutual attraction. Her nerve endings were raw and her heightened senses almost on overload. She was suddenly tired of being so timid, of not going after what she really wanted. Right now, she desperately wanted Marshall. She stood and went to him, took his hand and put it on her breast.
“When this is over, I may never see you again,” she said simply.
He gathered her into his arms. 
“I know,” he answered and bent to kiss her.
His mouth covered hers hungrily, the touch of his lips lighting a fire in her veins. Her body reacted to his and she pressed into him, moaning with desire. The pull she’d felt since they met grew stronger with this physical contact, and she badly needed to feel the touch of his skin on hers. With shaking hands she began to unbutton his shirt. He felt the same sense of urgency and pushed her away, then ripped the garment off his body.
For just a moment he looked at her intently. Fire burned in those gold-flecked eyes and they seemed to drink her up. Then his lips were on hers again, his tongue exploring her mouth, sending a wave of desire through her body. She returned his kiss with a passion that surprised her. Never had she felt such longing for a man. Her panties were drenched and her nipples were almost painfully hard. She knew part of it was purely physical. Marshall was certainly attractive and sexy, but this intense longing for him came from a place deep in her soul. On some level, she connected completely with this man. Wrapped in his arms was the place she needed to be. Like the yin-yang symbol, they fit together to form a perfect circle.
His hands fumbled with her zipper and they stepped apart again, pulling off the remainder of their clothing. He gazed at her naked body, his chest rising and falling rapidly.

“You are the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen,” he said hoarsely and scooped her into his arms. He pressed his lips to hers again and kissed her all the way to her bedroom.

Note:  Naomi's book became available in March, before this post was scheduled, so we hope you'll visit Naomi's website for purchasing information on this spicy HQ release.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Ginger Simpson asks...Vision Quests Anyone?

No, you aren't imagining things.  With Rita convalescing with a bum wrist and me sick with asthmatic bronchitis, I'm taking a lead from TV and sharing a 'rerun'....a blog I did for Cowboy Kisses  I think the topic is most interesting, and I hope you do too.

I've always been the kind of mother who worried if my child wasn't home the moment I expected them.  Rather than chalk the tardiness up to just being late, I pictured them kidnapped, dead in a ditch, the most horrible scenarios one could imagine.  I've always been that way, so I can't imagine being an Indian mother and sending my son off on a vision quest.


www.native-americans-online.com
What is a vision quest you ask?  In most tribes this trek into the wilderness to bond with nature and commune with spirits was a young brave's initiation into manhood.  Usually clad only in a breechclout and moccasins, the lad is banished to a lonely existence in a vision pit where he'll stay for four days and nights without food.  Whether the vision he receives is from delirium or truly a spiritual occurrence, we may never know, but to the Indian nation, a vision quest gave the budding brave an experience to see life through the eyes of his heart...to determine an image of himself as an adult.  As in all rituals, preparation aided the participant for his journey, in this case, time spent in a sweat lodge purifying his mind and soul.

Now I've raised another question.  Sweat Lodge?  Usually a small and beehive shaped structure of willow
http://www.barefootsworld.net/sweatlodge.html
covered with buffalo skins in which stones heated outside were passed inside where water was poured on them to create a purifying steam. With the flap closed, occupants (all male) sat naked inside with the boy, chanting and praying, and claiming to hear spirit voices.  Afterwards, the  steamed  men dried themselves with sage leaves and the boy left for his quest.  A very similar ritual took place before each war party departed the village.  Unlike a women's first menses, which was a once in a lifetime celebration, vision quests took place as frequently as a Lakota Brave needed spiritual help.

When a young brave returned from his quest, his visions were interrupted by a medicine man who gave him clues to his  adult  name and the animal that would henceforth be considered the lad's protector.  For instance, a man might garner power from an elk, while another might have envisioned a bear during his quest.  Each animal represented a particular skill or attribute such a bravery, healing, speed, etc.

The Lakota Sioux are a fascinating tribe, and I'm so happy to be able to share some of their legendary history with you.  In my novel, Destiny’s Bride, my heroine takes up residence among the Sioux and learns very quickly that they, like the white men, have hearts and souls. I’d like to address the two one-star ratings I received, but I’m just going to bite my tongue and remind myself that some people just don’t GET every story they read.  Clearly, in this case, two people didn’t.  You can find all my books on my Amazon author’s page: http://www.amazon.com/author/gingersimpson.  Please also visit my website at http://www.gingersimpson.com.

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