Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Unexpected by Ginger Simpson

This year was a record year for me. On November 12, I turned 70.  I'm shocked to even be able to type my age. :)  Since my entire life I've been reminded that I favor my father's side of the family, and most of them have passed (Dad 61, Uncle late 50s, Aunt late 50s, Paternal Grandmother and Grandfather, both far too young,) I expected to be gone long before now.  Thank you Lord for giving me my mom's longevity genes.   She just turned 91 on November 1.
Nov 1 - Mom's 91st
Atrium balconys

My husband, bless him, took me to Gaylord's Opryland hotel for an
overnight stay.  I've always wanted to be one of those rich bitches sitting on their atrium balconies, looking down at the travelers below.

 For a fleeting moment...I was.  Not the rich bitch part,but I did sit on a balcony overlooking the bar, restaurant and walkways below.  That night, we left our door ajar to the outside so  we could listen to the amazing sound of the waterfall cascading just feet from our room.
Listen to the waterfall

We enjoyed a drink and cheese platter in the bar, and later dined in a very proper and expensive restaurant.   Personally, I loved the carousel bar that was lost during the 100-year flood. :( far as my birthday trip... I'll be paying the bills for a while, but it was worth every penny, and a proper celebration to reach a year I never expected to see.  I'm already saving up to go for my 80th.
Waterfalls from the bar

View from our room...notice the decorations going up.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Changing Traditions

Way back in my early years of marriage, we started a new tradition. It came with our first purchase of an artificial tree. I love Christmas, always have. Thanksgiving and Christmas are my two favorite holidays.
I have more memories of those two holidays from my childhood than any other. So it should come as no surprise, that once we bought an artificial tree, it went up the day after th and her neighbors thought the same thing.
Thanksgiving. Neighbors thought I was crazy, but I didn’t care. My mom always put up her tree December 6
My feelings are the same as my mom’s. We put too much work into decorating and we want to enjoy it for as long as possible.
Now days I see a lot of Christmas trees up before Thanksgiving. Which brings me to my newest tradition. Since my children no longer come here for Christmas dinner – our house is way to small to accommodate them and the grandchildren (and now great grandchildren) that my children have taken over the holiday. That’s fine with me, but that also means they don’t get to enjoy my decorations. So….yep, I put them up before Thanksgiving. That allows me to enjoy them more. So needless to say, yep, the tree is up, the house is decorated and today, I’ll light the lights – at least outside. I couldn’t wait so I lit the tree already.
There’s something so cozy and serene about the lights. I love the ambiance. They’re the only lights in the room for the most part. I used to have candles lit around the room also, but one night I went to bed and forgot about one. Luckily I woke up in the middle of the night and saw it. So now I have battery operated candles. They look just as nice and I
don’t have to worry if I forget to turn them off.

The only reason I still have Thanksgiving dinner at my house is only half of my kids come for dinner. My daughters all go to their in-laws and my sons came here. I use past tense because the last two years one of my sons went to my daughter-in-law’s uncle’s. This year my oldest son will be going to his girl friend’s sister’s. That leaves my youngest son and his family. There’ll only be eight of us this year. Everyone else will come later for dessert and I look forward to it. I’m sure I’ve said before my favorite thing is to have my family around me. I’m very blessed my children all live within about 20 minutes of me. So another new tradition will begin and that’s okay. I love traditions. Next month I’ll write about another one. 
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Day in the Life

Many people ask what a writer's day is like. Strangely enough, my day is anything but what the typical writer's day. At least the typical writers I've read about. I don't start the day with coffee, sit at
my desk and write for eight hours. Matter of fact, I don't even sit at a desk to write. Usually, I'm on the couch with my lap top. I seldom wake up, get my coffee and begin to write.
So when do I write, you ask?
I've often woke up in the middle of the night and wrote throughout the night. I learned early on in my career not to ignore a thought. If I don't write it down immediately, it's gone. I woke up one night with a dialogue from a work in progress. Thinking I'd remember it the next day, I turned over and went back to sleep. The next morning I remembered little of it. A few words here and there. In fact, not only was most of the dialogue gone, so was the idea.
So now I get up and write it down immediately. That often leads to other ideas and hence, the reason I ended up writing all night. Fortunately, my children are grown, my husband was on the road and I didn't have to answer to anyone. If I wrote all night and slept all day no one was the wiser.
Although seldom did I sleep all day. Sleep, in my opinion, is a waste of time. I hate naps, always have. Well, as long as I remember anyway. So I'd sleep for a couple of hours and if an idea hit, I'd write all day also.
So, what is my typical writing day?
Truthfully, I don't have a typical writing day. Sometimes I write first thing in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon. Sometimes, I don't write at all. Lately, I've not written much because my characters refuse to speak to me. They can be stubborn that way.
I must have made them angry or they don't like the way the story is going. I'm sure they'll lead me in the right direction eventually. In the mean time, I'm reading what I've already written and revising/editing as I go along. I'm hoping by time I get to the point where I left off, I'll figure out which direction they want to go.

For now you can find my books at Amazon

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Mama Went to Buy a Cow

I grew up in a strict Catholic home during the mid to late fifties, with three older brothers, an older sister, and a younger sister. We attended the Catholic School across the street from our house.  My mother, like all good mothers, was involved in the church and school, and knew the teachers and nuns well.  Our next door neighbor, and Mom’s best friend, Rose, often drove the nuns to the store, bank, or ran errands for them. Naturally, she knew a lot of what was going on at the school, much more than my mother did.
Two of my older brothers were notorious for getting into trouble, always playing silly immature pranks. It wasn’t unusual for them to receive a swat with a ruler.  Back then, corporal punishment was the normal manner of discipline in school.
 Our mother didn’t put up with disrespect or monkeyshines at home let alone in school. We were there to learn, and we had darn well better pay attention. So when she found out someone had gotten into trouble, and she always did, they paid for it at home, also.  We used to think she had eyes in the back of her head. Later we learned most of her information came directly from the nuns or teachers themselves, and sometimes from Rose.
We all knew if we misbehaved, it wouldn’t take long for her to find out. I tried to stay out of trouble - besides, it wasn’t in my nature to act up – at least not much.  My brothers did plenty of that, and I didn’t want to suffer the repercussions. Not that I was a perfect child, far from it, I got my share of spankings, but in school I tried to do what was expected of me. Maybe because of a lesson I learned early on.
My dilemma began in the first grade.  My teacher, Sister Roseanne, was a young and pretty nun. Everyone loved her. Besides, she bore the same name as me, which made her extra special. I loved school and every morning I willingly followed my brothers and sister.
Except for one day.
That day my sister, Mary, didn’t have to go to school. She had to stay home and baby-sit our younger sister. Not that this was normal, but whoever was supposed to watch Gloria couldn’t do it and my mom couldn't cancel her appointment. At any rate, I wanted to stay home, too. Naturally, she said no. I was angry and upset.
So upset, in fact, I didn’t even kiss my mother good-bye that morning, and off I went pouting, mumbling and grumbling about how unfair it was. My brothers laughed and teased me on the way to school, which didn’t help the situation.
 I’d never left without kissing my mother before, so, by time I got to school, I felt so bad that I sat at my desk and cried. Every time Sister Roseanne asked what was wrong, I cried harder and refused to answer. Feeling worse by the minute my tears soon turned into sobs.  I couldn’t even do my work.
Finally, at wits end, Sister spanked me for being insolent. This, of course, made me cry harder, and my little heart was crushed. My beautiful teacher, who bore my name, spanked me.
Since I still wouldn’t stop crying, she sent me for Mary, hoping, I guess, to find out what made me so upset. By this time, I’d forgotten Mary stayed home. I stood outside her classroom, tears streaming down my face and knocked on the door. Sister Mary Francis answered my knock.
“Sister Roseanne wants to see Mary,” I said, choking back sobs,.
“Mary isn’t in school today.” Sister Mary Francis gave me a quizzical look.  “Is she sick?”
“Oh, that’s right,” I wiped my tears, “I forgot she had to stay home to watch Gloria.”
“Oh and why is that?”
“Because my mama went to buy a cow.” I answered and hurried back to my classroom, for some reason the tears forgotten. I made it through the rest of the day dry eyed, but I couldn’t wait to get home to give my mother a kiss and hug.
Later that day, I sat outside the window as Rose and Mom talked. I was worried, sure that Rose knew about the spanking. Of course, I hadn’t told my mother, I didn’t want her to know.
 “Wait until you hear the story Sister Mary Francis told me.” Rose told my mother. “She said Rosi came to her classroom looking for Mary and told her the most fantastic tale. She could hardly stop laughing. Rosi told her that Mary was babysitting because you went to buy a cow.”
I held my breath, listening and waiting for her to get the part about the spanking as she told the story.
“But, Sister, I told her." Rose continued. "It was true. Her mother did go to buy a cow. They just purchased a freezer so she went to buy a side of beef. Julia, you should have seen the look on her face as the reality of it made sense, it was priceless.”
I let out a sigh of relieve when my mother laughed. She never did ask why I went to Mary’s classroom. Maybe she already knew and thought I had been punished enough. I never got in trouble or spanked in school again.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Who the Hell is Harlee Williams? Ginger Simpson responds. #newrelease #novella

Harlee Wagner didn’t expect to fall in the well when drawing
water, and she certainly never expected to be rescued only to find her entire family gone. Logan Carruthers, her handsome hero, insists she rest up before she starts searching and then leads her on a trail consisting of hints and guesses. Will she find her family, or will she discover love? There’s something about his gorgeous blue eyes and broad shoulders that makes her heart flutter. 

Harlee is the heroine in my latest novella, Lost in His Eyes.  I'm having a friend put it on Createspace so I can order my own copies because I love the cover so much.  Doesn't the title totally describe the look between the two?  Of course Jimmy Thomas always attracts attention and this pose just fit my description of Harlee....down to the dress she wore.

Harlee is a little bit of a rebel.  She gives as good as she takes, and she definitely isn't about to let Logan's ma run roughshod over her.  Of course, when Harlee discovers her own family missing when Logan rescues her from the well, the search Logan volunteers for doesn't please Mrs. Carruthers in the least.

Read Lost in His Eyes, and if you're inclined to leave a positive review, please do. Trolls not needed.  I can't learn anything from your unsolicited comments because you have to read a book in order to understand it.  Good news...Books We Love is having a BOGO sale right now:  Buy one, get another FREE.  Check out my BWL author's page...and don't forget Christmas is coming.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Inspiration for Geriatric Rebels

Sometimes people ask where I get the inspiration for my books. The idea of Geriatric Rebels first came to me when my father was in a nursing home. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get out of bed, but he did refuse to eat or take meds. After years of working as a tile setter, it had taken its toll and he suffered with arthritis in his knees and back, so much so that he wasn’t able to stand or walk. 
During several of my visits, I noticed a little old lady walk past his room. She always stopped and looked in, but never spoke, just looked at us for a minute and went on her way. 
Something about her reminded me of my mother. Maybe it was her
curly, silver hair, or her slight build. Whatever it was, she stuck in my mind and years later when I decided to write this story, she naturally came to mind.
This story actually had several different drafts. The original was a nonfiction assignment for a writing course I took. It was strictly about my father and his inability to get out of bed. From there it changed to fiction, and I brought Elsa into the story.  While her character is based on my mother – especially her love of playing jokes and her sense of humor, my mother predeceased my father by three years. And while Mike is based on my father, my dad didn’t have the same sense of humor. While I could picture my mother doing this stuff, even in a nursing home, I honestly couldn’t picture my dad. His sense of humor was much more sedate.
Where I came up with these ideas, I’m not quite sure. I think Mike and Elsa thought of them. The story just took off on its own and flowed. I love when a story does that.
Geriatric Rebels is the story of  seventy-two year old, Mike, forced to stay in the nursing home for therapy. He refuses to take his medicine, refuses to get out of bed, and won’t cooperate with the nurses. At least not until he meets Elsa. 
The spunky, seventy year old, Elsa was left in the home because her son took his family on a vacation. After an explosive meeting, she teams up with Mike and the nursing home is never the same. They become fast friends and later discover deception and fraud. Can the two find happiness together? Is there life after seventy?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

You Think It's Only Veteran's Day... by Ginger Simpson's Ginger's Eve.  Yes, I created this holiday years ago, but tomorrow is really THE big day, and one that has caused me a lot of stress.  I'm turning 70. even hurt to type that.  Why is there such a big deal in one year over another?

My siblings and I are all 3 years apart.  My youngest is 60, then my second sister who will be 63 in January, a brother who will be 67 in February, and then me.  For a few fleeting moments, we all share the the same decade, and then I begin a new one.  I think that's what causes me angst...that and the old woman in the mirror and the wrinkled hag who keeps cropping up in my "selfies."

Today is, more importantly, the day we salute our military and remember the veterans who have given so much to keep us safe and free.  I suppose that should be higher on the list than anticipating a birthday, so don't feel bad for me if you prefer to be selective.  I normally give them preference, too, but this year is a big deal for me, and I'm being selfish.

Mom - 91
So...when you take a moment to honor the Veterans, please remember me.  I haven't done anything as memorable or appreciated.  I guess living to be the age that Obama considers no longer viable for healthcare might not be a milestone one wants to recognize, but I'm here, Praise the Lord and I plan on staying.  My mom just turned 91 on the 1st, so there's hope.  I swear she's going to make 100, at least.

Me...right on her heels

I'd also like to remember my cousin, Barbara Ann.  Today actually is, or would be, her 70th Birthday.  She and I were born 14 minutes apart all those years ago, and I was so sad when I tried to locate her one year only to discover she had passed from Cancer.  Amidst feelings of sorrow, I also found a moment of sheer joy that I've been spared from such a horrific fate.  I pray I continue in good health if only to see my autistic grandson, Spencer, grow into the independent man I hope he'll be.  Having good friends is the best medicine I know, so I thank you for being one of mine.

If nothing someone and tell them you love them!  Do it for me because I lost track of Barbara and never go a chance to tell her how much she meant to me.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Cowboys & Christmas Blog Tour - Help a Cowboy


Welcome to the 2nd annual

Cowboys and Christmas

Blog Tour!

Raising funds and awareness for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund

Ring in the Holidays with a Helping Hand

JCCF logoNovember 1 through December 24, ten percent of the net proceeds from all Shanna Hatfield book sales will be donated to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. The JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period. Every book purchased during this promotional period adds to the donation total. Don't forget to add books to your Christmas lists! USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”

New Releases

To kick off the second annual Cowboys and Christmas Blog Tour and the JCCF campaign,
 two brand new holiday romances will release Nov. 12!

Capturing Christmas CoverCapturing Christmas is the third installment in the sweet holiday western Rodeo Romance series.
Life is hectic on a good day for rodeo stock contractor Kash Kressley. Between dodging flying hooves and babying cranky bulls, he barely has time to sleep. The last thing Kash needs is the entanglement of a sweet romance, especially with a woman as full of fire and sass as the redheaded photographer he rescues at a rodeo.
Determined to capture the best images possible, rodeo photographer Celia McGraw is fearless and feisty. Not one to back down from a challenge, her biggest risk isn’t in her work. Danger lurks in the way her heart responds to one incredibly handsome stock contractor. Will Kash and Celia capture the spirit of the season?
Pre-order your copy today!


“Someone like you should be smart enough to know better than to do something that stupid, Miss McGraw.” The man frowned at her as he held her across his lap, riding over to the fence, out of the way of the horses and the men on horseback behind them.

Too stunned to reply, Celia gulped and continued staring at him, gradually comprehending she hadn’t been killed.

At least she assumed she hadn’t died, unless angels wore dusty cowboy hats, dark blue chaps, and were breath-stealing handsome.

Those engaging eyes bore into hers, making her heart skitter in her chest while an entire bushel of butterflies burst into flight in her stomach.

She observed her rescuer. He sat tall in the saddle and had muscles to spare, or so she presumed from the way he easily hoisted her off the ground and onto his horse. A hint of light brown hair peeked out from beneath the brim of his hat. The pale blue shirt he wore almost matched the fascinating shade of his eyes.

Celia experienced the most unreasonable urge to run her fingers along the stubbly expanse of his cheeks, down his square jaw, and over his strong chin. Mesmerized by his full bottom lip, she inhaled a deep breath and nearly choked.

The very scent of him hinted at a lethal combination of freshly fallen snow, a warm winter fire, and sweet seduction rolled into one incredibly enticing package. 

Get all three books in the Rodeo Romance series!

The Christmas Vow CoverThe Christmas Vow is the fourth book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series.
Columbia River Pilot Adam Guthry returns to his hometown of Hardman, Oregon, after the sudden death of his best friend. Emotions he can’t contain bubble to the surface the moment he sees the girl who shattered his heart eleven years ago.
Widow Tia Devereux escapes her restrictive life in Portland, returning to the home she knew and adored as a girl in Hardman. She and her four-year-old son, Toby, settle into the small Eastern Oregon community, eager for the holiday season. Unfortunately, the only man she’s ever loved shows up, stirring the embers of a long-dead romance into a blazing flame. When her former father-in-law, a corrupt judge, decides he wants to raise Toby, Adam may be the only hope she has of keeping her son.
You can pre-order your copy today for only $2.99!


 No. Her fear was for the big, loveable lunk who’d scared her half witless when she saw him tumble off the roof.

“I believe that’s exactly the point.” Adam’s lopsided grin revealed his dimples and made her mouth water for want of his kiss.
Aggravated with herself, Tia aimed her fury at Adam. “The point is your recklessness might get you or someone else horribly injured.” She turned around and strode toward the kitchen door. “I insist you…”
A snowball caught her square in the back. Mouth hanging open in surprise, she spun around and glared at him.
Adam worked to form another snowball, ignoring her scowl.
Incensed, Tia surrendered to the need to stamp her foot. “How dare you!”
“Just like this.” He grinned and lobbed another snowball at her, catching her on the shoulder. Bits of snow sprayed into her face and hair.
“Oh! You are in for it now, Adam Guthry!” Tia bent down and hastily formed a snowball. With unmistakable precision, she threw it at Adam, hitting him on the chin.
He spluttered and returned fire, barely grazing her arm as she twisted away at the last second.
Peals of her laughter filled the quiet December afternoon and drew Toby outside as she and Adam continued to throw snow at each other.
“Mama?” The little boy’s lip quivered. “Did you send me inside so you could play without me?”

Hardman-Holidays-block for web 
Don't miss out on the Hardman Holidays series!

Guest Author Sign

You’re Invited to PARTY!

You’re invited to join in the online Cowboys & Christmas Facebook Party, Thursday, Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PST). Drop in anytime during those four hours to enter to win great prizes, chat with guest authors, and more (many of the giveaways will stay open until the following morning)!
Here’s the link to the party:
The talented guest authors joining in the celebration include: 
10 a.m. - Carmen Peone 
12:30 - Rachel Rossano 
1:30 - Dani Harper

Grand Prize Photo

Enter to Win Prizes!

To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, Wrangler Tote Bag, Rock & Roll Cowgirl T-shirt, autographed books, chocolates, and more fun goodies, fill out this form. Winners will be randomly drawn and announced Nov. 16.

Where to Find The Books

The Christmas Cowboy Cover 
Start the Rodeo Romance Series with The Christmas Cowboy.
christmas bargain cover 
Travel back to a time of grandeur in the old west
with the Hardman Holidays series.
The Christmas Bargain begins the popular series
and is available free for a very limited time!

About Shanna Hatfield

Shanna Hatfield 2Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield is out to make it happen, one story at a time. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances combine humor and heart-pumping moments with characters that seem incredibly real.
When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
This USA Today bestselling author is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, Romance Writers of America, Sweet Romance Reads, and Pioneer Hearts.
Find Shanna’s books at:
Shanna loves to hear from readers! Follow her online:
Make sure you sign up for her newsletter to get the latest on new releases and exclusive giveaways!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Great Sale on a Great Holiday Book - Check it Out


Maggie and Me… Sharing a Relationship with Coffee

HAZARDOUS UNIONS: Two Tales of a Civil War Christmas is about two sisters, written by two authors. Maggie Becker is my creation and we share a love of coffee. Why? Because when the world is falling apart around you, it’s the little things that make a difference, like a decent cup of coffee, or the lack thereof. Besides, I wanted her to make acorn coffee. It’s a family thing.
I learned how to make acorn coffee while researching. The important thing is to soak the acorns overnight and shell them before roasting. If you don’t, the taste is horribly bitter. I know from experience.
My father built us a playhouse when my sister and I were little. It was constructed out of odds and ends from the near continuous home renovation that our Victorian house required, and furnished with castoffs. One of our prized appliances was a wooden, hand-cranked coffee grinder. It joined us in the playhouse the day after we tried to make acorn coffee.
My mother had read about acorn coffee and how settlers used when coffee beans were not available. Acorns, chicory and dandelion roots were roasted and used for ersatz coffee during the war as well, but my mother’s family were strictly tea drinkers. We had a yard full of acorns, having a rather enormous oak tree beside the house. She told us about acorn coffee and my sister and I happily gathered the necessary ingredient.
We didn’t know about soaking and peeling them. Mum washed and put the acorns in a pan in the oven. There’s something else I learned later, when roasting coffee, the beans have to be kept moving so they roast evenly. Soon the kitchen was filled with the stench of burnt acorns. Nevertheless, once my mother started something, she never let small obstacles like that stop her. She picked out the best of the acorns and put them through the grinder. Half an hour later, Mum and I were trying acorn coffee with lots of sugar and cream.
It didn’t help.
My sister went back out to the playhouse at the first whiff. She was not very experimental as a child.
The coffee grinder was never the same. It became our toy. Truth be told, Mum preferred tea anyway and my father couldn’t tell the difference between fresh ground coffee and instant.
It was quite the eureka moment when I read about the proper way to make acorn coffee. I wasn’t going to pass up including it in HAZARDOUS UNIONS. I can’t say I have any desire to go collect acorns, however.

Excerpt (with coffee)
About an hour later, I had a mixture of roasted acorns and dandelion roots brewing on the stove. In another pot, raw acorns were soaking. By tomorrow they'd be peeled and ready to roast. Patience declared it was foul stuff and once said I was trying to poison her. Mrs. Hamilton politely declined in favor of tea. Mammy, Thaddeus and I needed our morning coffee and put up with my poor imitation. I was betting that Captain Stone's men would feel the same. Speaking of whom...
"You have coffee, Miss Becker?"
Captain Stone was disheveled and looking worse for wear. I hoped he was feeling the effects of last night's carousing.
"Something like coffee. I'll have a pot ready soon if you want to try it."
His nose wrinkled at the bitter smell. "Thank you. I think. That isn't what I came to speak to you about, however. Your watchdog was out late last night. He was almost shot by one of our sentries."
"I believe so. He said he was hunting."
"That would explain the brace of rabbits hanging in the larder," I said, turning back to the stove.
"Twilight and daybreak are the usual times for hunting, not the middle of the night."
"That's probably what the rabbits think, too. In any case, Thaddeus doesn't hunt rabbits. He traps them and then breaks their necks. If he left them out all night, other predators might get them."
"Regardless, please tell your boy not to go out after dark without clearing it with me first."
I slammed the pot down on the stove top. The cast iron responded with a dull clang and a splash of water from the pot sizzled on the hot surface. Across the room, Labelle drop a pan she had been drying. Mammy scolded the girl for being clumsy.
"Thaddeus is a free man, manumitted by Major Hamilton many years ago," I said, brandishing the coffee pot as I turned to face the Captain. "He is employed by the family, just as I am. And, I might add, if he is a boy, you are a babe in arms."

Twin sisters separated by war, bound by love…

After the death of their father, twin sisters Maggie and Matty Becker are forced to take positions with officers’ families at a nearby fort. When the southern states secede, the twins are separated, and they find themselves on opposite sides of America’s bloodiest war.

In the south, Maggie travels with the Hamiltons to Bellevue, a plantation in west Tennessee. When Major Hamilton is captured, it is up to Maggie to hold things together and deal with the Union cavalry troop that winters at Bellevue. Racism, politics and a matchmaking stepmother test Maggie’s resourcefulness as she fights for Bellevue, a wounded Confederate officer and the affections of the Union commander.

In the north, Matty discovers an incriminating letter in General Worthington’s office, and soon she is on the run. With no one to turn to for help, she drugs the wealthy Colonel Cole Black and marries him, in hopes of getting the letter to his father, the governor of Michigan. But Cole is not happy about being married, and Matty’s life becomes all about survival.

Two unforgettable stories of courage, strength and honor

(or banner)


Alison Bruce has had many careers and writing has always been one of them. Copywriter, editor and graphic designer since 1992, Alison has also been a comic store manager, small press publisher, webmaster and arithmetically challenged bookkeeper. She is the author of mystery, romantic suspense and historical western romance novels. Three of her novels have been finalists for genre awards.

Kat Flannery’s love of history shows in the novels she writes. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal, and romance. When not researching for her next book, Kat can be found running her three sons to hockey and lacrosse. She’s been published in numerous periodicals. This is Kat’s third book and she is hard at work on her next.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Sunday Snippets with Ginger Simpson #sundaysnips

Today, I'm sharing another sample from my current WIP, Sarah's Soul, releasing next year from Books We Love.  I don't have a cover yet, but I'm plugging along on te story and I hope you enjoy it.

Sarah's  Soul - Excerpt

The phone was ringing when Sarah unlocked the door.  The police had removed the tracking device right after George died so Sarah had had the telephone mounted to the wall.  She left the door open and rushed to pick up the receiver, hoping for good news.  “Hello.”

“You feeling safe, Sarah?”  An eeerie voice turned her blood cold.  The mechanical sound indicated the person obviously spoke through some sort of machine.

“Who is this?” 

Her frantic motions toward the phone grabbed Marie’s attention.

“Someone who plans to finish the job poor ol’ George started.”

“Why?  Do you know me?”  Sarah’s fright drove her determination to discover who wanted her dead.  She put her hand over the mouthpiece.

“Marie,” she whispered. “Phone Daniel on your cell and tell him the calls are starting again.”

“Oh, I know you very well.” Her attention was drawn back to her nightmare.  “Enough to know Marie is still there and most likely calling the police, but they aren’t going to find me by trying to discover where this call originated.  I’m not that stupid.  I won’t call again because you already know George is gone, but I wanted you to know I’m going to make sure to take Sarah’s Soul.  See you soon.”

Sarah hung up and sagged into a dining room chair. “Not again.  Please Lord, not again.”  She lowered her head into her palms to mask her tears.

“There is no bottom,” Sarah straightened and sniffed.  “The man on the phone said he won’t call again because I already know I’m going to die.  There’s nothing Daniel can do. The killer only wanted to torture me with one last call.  Unlike George, he’s through with these ridiculous warnings.

Marie shook her head.  “Daniel didn’t become a detective for nothing.  He’s got skills and he’ll find this guy.  Stop doubting him and trust he has your back.”

“Easy for you to say.  You aren’t the one who’s looking death in the face.” Sarah stood and walked into the bedroom and closed the door behind her.


Now...I hope you'll hop on over to the two dear souls who are carrying on this Sunday tradition: (Juliet Waldron)

Don't forget to come back next week for more Sunday Snippets.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Welcome J.Q. Rose to Dishin' It Out #guestblogger

Hi Ginger and Readers,

Thanks, Ginger. I’m excited to have the opportunity to “dish” about my new mystery, Deadly Undertaking. This story was a lifetime in the making. My main character is Lauren Staab who is the daughter of a funeral director. I am the daughter of a funeral director too, so many of the elements in the story are taken from my life experience. But, let me clarify. The story is fiction, so you can bet not all of the mess Lauren gets into is actually from my real life.

I mean we never actually found a murdered man in the garage of the funeral home. I never had a boyfriend who treated me like Chip DeYoung treated Lauren. I never actually took love advice from a shadow man. Hmm, now that I think of it, I guess there’s not much about my real life in there except I did dust the caskets in the casket room and set up flowers for visitations and funeral services.

When you read the story, you’ll have to decide what I’m telling is from my experience or just made up for your entertainment.

Back of the Book:

Lauren Staab knew there would be dead bodies around when she returned home. After all, her family is in the funeral business, Staab and Blood Funeral Home. Still, finding an extra body on the floor of the garage between the hearse and the flower car shocked her. Lauren’s plan to return to her hometown to help care for her mother and keep the books for the funeral home suddenly turns upside down in a struggle to prove she and her family are not guilty of murdering the man. But will the real killer return for her, her dad, her brother? Her mother’s secrets, a killer, a handsome policeman, and a shadow man muddle up her intention to have a simple life. Welcome home, Lauren!
Barnes and Noble
BWL is having a BOGO sale. Buy one book and get the second one FREE for a limited time.

After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction. Her published mysteries are Sunshine Boulevard, Coda to Murder, and Deadly Undertaking. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She and her husband, Gardener Ted spend winters in Florida and summers up north camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.

Connect with J.Q. Rose online at
J.Q. Rose blog
Author website
J. Q. Rose Amazon Author Page

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