Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sunday Snips & Stuff #sundaysnips

This week I'm sharing a snippet from Ages of Love..  I want to tempt you with a taste of romance as seen by the eyes of one of my three heroines...heroines who prove that there is no age-restriction on finding love.


Her latest assignment had to be here someplace! Chastity Holmes rifled through the papers on her large mahogany desk. This wasn’t her mess, but why wasn’t she more organized? Somehow, her best intentions got buried under mounds of stuff despite her trying to change. No wonder she’d been given the nickname, “Chase.” She’d spent her life in pursuit of everything. 
Her shoulders ached with unaccustomed tenseness. She shrugged her left one, moving it in a circle to work out the kinks. Perhaps her new job caused stress, but she quickly shook her head and decided the most apparent reason had to be her recent celibacy. Obviously, not having sex had taken a toll. 
Ending a relationship with her boyfriend, Eric, resulted in her accepting a position with Norwell Genetic Industries in Maryland—miles from California and her widowed mother. Eric had been a diversion, and she and her mother had drawn closer with him out of the picture. Still, a girl had to grow up, and moving and building a future away from home was often part of the journey to adulthood. 
Although she’d shared two years of her life with Eric, their life goals didn’t jive. The sex was fantastic, he had a successful career with an accounting firm, and wanted her to marry him, stay home and raise a family. At twenty-three, the thought of having kids boggled her mind. 

Faith Oliver:

Faith woke with lips feeling bruised from passionate kisses, her breath coming in quick gasps after a voracious bout of sex. 
Until last night, her dream lover had only touched and kissed her. She’d never gotten a look at his manhood before, and was awed by the size of it. If anyone considered a penis a weapon, the man was heavily armed. 
She pushed herself into a sitting position and rested against the headboard until she was composed. If she smoked, this would be the perfect time for a cigarette. The dream had been the most fantastic so far…and baffling. 
Her nameless beau has actually made love to her. Now she knew what she’d been missing. Her nipples remained pebbled beneath her nightshirt, and from something other than cold air for a change. Warm and moist, her inner core still contracted from the thickness of him, and her body quivered with delight. She pinched herself to make sure she was awake. Was this the afterglow she’d heard about? 
Still, the overwhelming question haunted her. Who was he and why did he come to her? Each time she came close to discovering his name, she awoke. Was there a reason? She enjoyed the familiarity of him…the way he comforted her, but she had to figure out this dilemma. She’d seen a lounge performance featuring a hypnotist ages ago. Maybe that was her answer. 
She glanced at the clock on the nightstand. Time to get ready for work. She rose from bed and headed for the bathroom. 
While the water ran, she stripped off her nightgown and underpants. Catching a glimpse of her reflection, she grimaced at the rolls and flab. Who would ever want to run hand over all those layers? “Hell, even I don’t wanna.” Living alone led to extended conversations with no one. 
Faith stepped into the shower. The warm water soothed her chilled skin, and she covered herself with a generous lather. Her determination to diet grew when she lifted the fold of her abdomen and washed beneath it. Of course, this was the moment every single day she vowed to lose weight, but today she really meant it. 

Hope Harrison:

Hope traversed the waiting room, avoiding the crossed and puffy feet blocking her path. Was she the only person there not pregnant? Clearly, she was the oldest. Why didn’t OB/GYN doctors maintain separate waiting areas? Feeling like the lone spotted pup in a litter of black ones, she took her seat. 
Within a short time, more women had signed in, and lined the wall. Rather than surrender her seat, Hope stretched across the chair’s arm to fill her cup. The water soothed her dry throat but did little to quell the queasy feeling in her stomach. Despite being all too familiar with the process, the thought of going through it set her nerves on edge. She glanced at the reception door, took the last sip of water, and fought the urge to leave. After all, shouldn’t she surrender her seat to an expectant mother? She offered, but sadly no one accepted. 
The trash receptacle sat about six feet away. Not eager to become the object of unwanted stares again, she wadded the pleated paper into a ball and risked a rim shot at the can. Luckily, the cup teetered on the wastebasket’s edge and then fell inside. Another woman watched from the other side of the room. Hope, her cheeks warm, shrugged her shoulders and flashed a grin before she hid her face behind a magazine. She absentmindedly thumbed through the pages, but her gaze wandered to the swollen belly of the young lady seated next to her. 
A pang of sadness stabbed at Hope’s heart. The girl probably had a husband…and a home that would soon house a complete family. Thoughts of Alan, her beloved husband, taken three years ago in an auto accident, blurred Hope’s vision. Although she’d prayed for children for years, they’d never been able to conceive. Evidently, God had ignored her pleas. 
At forty-nine and a widow, the parent ship sailed long ago. The only baby in her life was Chloe, her Maltese puppy. Hope blew an upward stream to air to dry her misting eyes and then surveyed the remaining crowd. More pregnant bellies only made her sadder. 

 You can find this tri-story novel on Amazon.

Now, please hop on over to my friends' blogs and see what they have to offer today.  See you next Sunday.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Brain Food for Writers by Connie Vines

It wasn't until I completed this blog post that I realized that my title, well. . .carried an unintended double meaning.

My featured novella this month -- Here Today, Zombie Tomorrow-- is a Zombie story. And today's topic is brain food.  Well, brain food for writers, anyway.

On deadline? Obsessed with your current storyline?  Forfeiting sleep, exercise, and nutrition to reach the moment you can type the words The End on the final page of your novel?

Here are a list of grazing foods that you can keep on hand.  High in protein, easy prep, and tasty.

Single serve, or 5 ounces of nonfat cottage cheese.  3 grams more protein than a typical serving of Greek yogurt.

Hard boiled Egg.  Nolonger shuned due to claims of too high cholestoral, we can enjoy in moderation. You can boil yourself or purchased peeled and packaged at the market.

Peanut butter.  Scoop your own or purchase in single packets, smear on a banana or apple slices.

Roasted chickpeas ( I love hummus and falafel).  120 cals per serving, 5 gram of protein and fiber.
To prep yourself rinse and drained chickpeas in a bowl with olive oil.  Add chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Oven bake at 425 degrees for 45 mins.

Greek yogurt

Turkey roll ups. Nitrate free deli turkey breast with a squirt os mustard, a slice of tomato, and some lettuce.  Add red pepper slices and baby carrots. Roll and store in a plastic container or foil.

Hummus.  Made from chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil, hummus is a healthy mix of protein and fiber. Use it as a dip for carotts, tomatoes, red pepper, and cucumber slices,

100-calorie almond packets.

String cheese.

Happy Writing & Reading.


Monday, April 25, 2016

New Kid on the Block

In case you missed it, there's a new name in the header. Mine. I've got a bit about me on a separate page. However, I do want to take this opportunity to introduce myself with a little more detail.

If you've checked out my author profile, it might be apparent that I'm just a little bit sarcastic. I have to be very careful with that in the written medium, because often sarcasm does not translate well so I try to remember to denote I'm being sarcastic.

I'm a romance writer, namely western historical romances. Blame syndicated western television series (my Sunday mornings were filled with a lineup of The Lone Ranger, The Sisco Kid, The Rifleman, and The Big Valley) and John Wayne for that. And, the older I get, the more I tend to look at the world and wonder what in the name of heaven has happened to us that we've decided to move away from a simpler time when the bad guys wore black and the good guys never got dusty. There was a simplicity in those days--or maybe, I'm just romanticizing it all.

Being an historical romance writer allows me to delve into historical documents, research until I'm giddy with discovery, but I have to be careful not to get too lost in the research and forget to write. (Yeah, I've done that.) I admit it, I'm a history geek. My undergraduate work was in English with a minor in Classical Studies; however I was just three credits shy of a second major in History. I concentrated that historical study to American history for the years 1800 to 1900. In other words, the events leading up the American Civil War, The War itself, and the period in American history we call The Westward Expansion under the doctrine of Manifest Destiny. As an aside, in case anyone needs reminded--there is NOTHING civil about any war. Fighting a war with outmoded Napoleonic tactics and what amounted to the most modern weaponry available meant the death toll was horrific for any war. Those young men were little more than cannon fodder. More American lives were sacrificed in that bloody conflict than all American lives in all other wars America fought combined. Let that sink in for just a moment...

I LOVE the American West, which is probably why I love John Ford movies. (My favorite John Ford movie is The Searchers.) The man was a genius with a panorama camera and his sweeping vistas can only be described as landscape porn. That love of the West manifest itself into a purchase of thirty-nine acres smack dab in the middle of the nowhere, Wyoming. As the crow flies, our property is only fifteen miles or so from the nearest place called a town. Roads aren't laid out in Wyoming as the crow flies. The dream was to retire there. That dream had to be adapted. So, we bought property in middle Tennessee and I moved all those dreams about 1100 miles to the east and nestled them safely in the woods between the Buffalo River and the Natchez Trace.

I raise and show collies. Again, have to blame television for that. I distinctly remember when I was about five or six stating I was going to live in the West, have horses, and collies. Well, two out of three ain't bad. My collies aren't Lassie, though. Lassie, for all the amazing PR he has done for the breed, is not the most beautiful collie around. As a conformation animal, he's pretty sad. And, as my author profile states, Lassie lied. Collies are not that smart. I have a horse. He's thirty-four now and he's earned the nickname "Lazarus" for his ability to cheat death in the last couple of years. My horse is a 3/4 Arabian. He's a freakin' baby-sitter and belies the myth that Arabians are flighty, spacey animals. He taught me to be a better horsewoman, taught both my children to ride, and took several other kids through 4-H. Because of his age, he's little more than a lawn ornament. And, I'm perfectly fine with that.
Dipper...AKA "Lazarus"

My choice of music all depends on my mood. I prefer classic rock to the new stuff. I'll drive down the road to dog shows or our place in Tennessee jamming to The Rolling Stones, Led Zepelin, Bob Seger, Queen...I also have a collection of classical music: Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, get the point. And, movie sound tracks, Native American flute music (if you need recommendations, I'll suggest finding R. Carlos Nakai and Dik Darnell). Broadway musicals, country music (but not that stuff before 1980), easy listening music station stuff...I think you get the point. It's eclectic. Thank heavens for an iPod and an MP3 player--both of which are completely filled.

I'm a huge graphics novel fan--DC mostly. I've been a Superman fan for as long as I can remember. Sometime, remind me to discuss Zac Snyder's interpretation of the Superman mythos. I'm also both a fan of Star Trek and Star Wars. Just don't get me started on emo Kylo Ren. Someone needs to pull that boy aside and point out he's a little messed up with his thinking about his grandfather. Someone does need to tell him in the end, Grandpa turned back to the light. (...sigh...) I can't stand Twilight. Love Harry Potter but think Dumbledore is a vile, manipulative, evil man. From the first book, even before the first movie, I have been enamored with Snape. I loved the character so much I named one of my show collies for him. Snape grew up to be GCh. Wych's Prince of Summer, and I'm finding it hard to believe he'll be eleven this July.

So, that's a little bit more about me. I'll be covering the Tuesday slot on a regular basis. I'd love to hear from you. Leave your comments in the box. I really do respond. (More so than I do to my cell phone, and that is not sarcasm. I hate being tied down by the cell phone.)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sunday Snips & Stuff....It's Here, It's Here, Sarah's Hope #sundaysnips

Today, I'm so thrilled to announce the release (4/20) of my latest venture, Sarah's Hope by Books We Love.

In Sarah's Heart and Passion, which took me on an exciting adventure, I ended up starting in one place and ending up in another.  Sarah couldn't stop there and kept bugging me to write a continuation of her story, so here it is.  I'm amazed at the story this time.  Remember, I'm a pantser, and my characters lead the way.

Here's the blurb and Link:

The love of her life is dead and Sarah escapes for a weekend retreat to the mountain cabin she and her beloved Wolf bought as a means to escape the city. A bad storm is brewing, Sarah is on edge, and that's when the anonymous calls start. A mysterious voice knows too much about her and her life, a life the caller threatens to end. 

Sarah comes face-to-face with a kidnapper hired to kill her, but manages to escape his deadly grasp. The devoted idiot is determined not to divulge who hired him, but does give away a valuable clue. Sarah's freedom only escalates the killer's plan. Who hates Sarah enough to want her dead, and why? Will she and the police find the person responsible for the calls and other mysterious events before the threats become a reality?

Cover by Michelle Lee at BWL
I hope you'll get a copy and read Sarah's adventure. a dear and hop over to my frends' blogs and see what they've decided to share this week.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

New Member at Dishin' It Out!!!!

It's with great pleasure that I welcome Lynda J. Cox to Dishin' It Out.  If you'll check out the left side of the blog, you'll see she's written some pretty wonderful books.  Just click on the one of your choice and you'll be magically taken to the publishing order page.

Be sure and check out her author's page for more information about our new member, and I hope you'll make her feel welcome.  We're lucky to have her.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Write-ins by Connie Vines

Happy Thursday, Everyone!

Writing without interruptions and distractions--a fact or a life long dream?

If you have a full time day job (me) it is difficult to snag writing time.  While signing up for the book in a month writing challenge may work for many, it only creates additional stress for me.  Weekly critique groups were helpful when I was a novice writer.  Now I find I up giving up writing time and end up with several hours of home work.

So how do I get support, without taking on additional duties?

One answer: Hold a Write-in.

What is a Write-in?
A write-in is a gathering of writers at a predetermined place, within a predetermined time period--who work quietly and independently on his or her own project.

Is a Write-in like a Critique Group?
No.  Write-ins are only for writing. Writers arrive and leave at any time during the scheduled time periods, no pre-work is required. Any numbers of writers may participate.

Critique groups are for discussing manuscripts previously submitted and studies by group members.  Attendance is expected, and group membership is small and closed.

How Do I Orginize a Write-in?

A Coordinator.  Our network chair coordinates suggestions for write-in locations each week and posts information on our weekly email list.  We could set up a yahoo group, but that seems too labor intensive.  We rotate between several locations:  a reserved library room, local coffee shops, homes.

Since I like to keep my weekends free, I usually attend the coffee shop group 2 evenings a month.  Other members meet after a RWA Chapter meeting, or a book club event.

A Consistent Time Frame, with Exceptions.  Saturday groups favor 9 AM to 3PM with a break for lunch.  I favor the 6:30 - 8-ish group with multiple coffee refills, situated in several large booths at a quaint (aka: somewhat dated) coffee shop.  

This is a welcoming, open, supportative atmosphere.  The only rule is to avoid talking, so writers can write.  It is during lunch time or during the first ten minutes that we play social catch-up or discuss publishing news.

For those of you who love a bargain, my books are on sale this month on Amazon.  Starting with Lynx today, followed by Here Today Zombie Tomorrow.  

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Farewell Juliet Waldron

Today I removed all information about Juliet Waldron because she's withdrawn from being a regular blog partner.  I'm really sad to see her go but understand how life gets in the way of our best intentions.

Thank you Juliet, for spending time here at Dishin' It Out, and enriching our lives with your posts and friendship.  We'll continue to look forward to your books, and am so happy you'll continue with Sunday Snippets.

I copied this from her Amazon page so you can familiarize yourself with an awesome author:

"Not all who wander are lost." Juliet Waldron earned a B. A. in English, but has worked at jobs ranging from artist's model to brokerage. Thirty years ago, after the kids left home, she dropped out of 9-5 and began to write, hoping to create a genuine time travel experience for her readers. "Mozart's Wife" won the 1st Independent e-Book Award and still, many years later, garners praise. She's recently published "My Mozart" which is a companion novel, a passionate story of love and madness told by a vulnerable teen fan. "Nightingale" is the romantic story of a prima donna--a bird in a golden cage--in 18th Century Vienna.

"Genesee", an interracial love story set during the American Revolution, won an Epic Award for Best Historical. In "Angel's Flight," a wealthy Dutch heiress is pursued up the Hudson by a fortune-hunting British major, who is determined to have her--by force if necessary. At the height of the Revolutionary War in New York, her only way home is through warring armies, brigands and Indians.

A historical romance set in German country, PA, "Hand-me-Down Bride," is based on the immigration story of her great-great grandmother. "Red Magic," a romantic adventure set in 18th Century Austria, tells the story of a spoiled, proud young woman who has to grow up fast when she's forced into a marriage with a man she despises. "Red Magic" has sequels--"Black Magic," now published, and, "White Magic," which will follow the supernatural adventures of the von Hagen twins, Goran and Mina, into the Regency period.

"Roan Rose" is a medieval novel "owed" to the last Plantagenent King, Richard III, since the day she was introduced to him by reading "The Daughter of Time," more than fifty years ago. Here, the now famous antagonists of York and Lancaster are viewed through the sometimes jaundiced eye of Rose, humble servant to the heiress, Anne Neville.

And most recently, an out-of-the-drawer book, "The Master Passion," about Alexander Hamilton and his wife, Betsy Schuyler, is now published. In some ways it's another story of the woman behind the man, but it's also the story of this immigrant Founding Father, too, and about the hardships he overcame on his way to the top and the personal demons which would, in the end, bring him down. 

Juliet enjoys playing doorwoman for her cats, long hikes, and reading non-fiction history and archeology. She gardens and cruises the roads of PA behind her husband of fifty years on his "bucket list" 'bike, a Hayabusa. Three granddaughters, mostly grown, make her proud. The oldest is in AmeriCorps, doing good for our country. Another just won a 2014 Watty Award for her stellar fan fic. The youngest dreams, too, but hers are more difficult to know, for she is autistic.

Juliet's reviews appear at Amazon and at the Historical Novel Society's site and magazine. She has been a presenter at two Historical Novel Society conventions.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Spring is Sprunging or Whatever that means... Sunday Snips & Stuff #sundaysnips

This week, because everything is starting to turn green and flowers begin to to does the "Plant that Ate the South."  As I see it, it's continuing it's lunch as I type.

I wonder if those who lived in the late 1800s would notice what they  started.  While we innocently plant new landscape to liven up our properties, do we really realize what those little lives can become? Those who concluded Kudzu would be a great prevention of erosion certainly didn't look beyond their horizons.

 I recall when we first visited Tennessee, I was so impressed with the different colors of green, specifically the huge vines adhering everywhere.  I later learned that "vine" is called Kudzu.  I've done a little research...and I want to share this interesting information with you.  I'm copying and pasting from Wikipedia, so I credit them with the content of this blog.

Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is a serious invasive plant in the United States. It has been spreading in the southern U.S. at the rate of 150,000 acres (61,000 ha) annually, "easily outpacing the use of herbicide spraying and mowing, as well increasing the costs of these controls by $6 million annually."Its introduction has produced devastating environmental consequences. This has earned it the nickname, "The vine that ate the South."

The kudzu plant was introduced to the United States in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Kudzu was introduced to the Southeast in 1883 at the New Orleans Exposition. The vine was widely marketed in the Southeast as an ornamental plant to be used to shade porches and in the first half of the 20th century, kudzu was distributed as a high-protein content cattle fodder and as a cover plant to prevent soil erosion. The Soil Erosion Service recommended the use of kudzu to help control erosion of slopes which led to the government-aided distribution of 85 million seedlings and government-funded plantings of kudzu which paid $19.75 per hectare. By 1946, it was estimated that 1,200,000 hectares (3,000,000 acres) of kudzu had been planted. When boll weevil infestations and the failure of cotton crops drove farmers to move from rural to urban districts, kudzu plantings were left unattended.
 The climate and environment of the Southeastern United States allowed the kudzu to grow virtually unchecked. In 1953 the United States Department of Agriculture removed kudzu from a list of suggested cover plants and listed it as a weed in 1970. By 1997, the vine was placed on the “Federal Noxious Weed List”. Today, kudzu is estimated to cover 3,000,000 hectares (7,400,000 acres) of land in the southeastern United States, mostly in AlabamaGeorgiaFlorida, and Mississippi. It has been recorded in Nova ScotiaCanada, in Columbus, Ohio, and in all five boroughs of New York City.  NOTE From Ginger...let me tell you, it's everywhere in TN, too.
Kudzu is a perennial vine native to Southeast Asia, primarily subtropical and temperate regions of ChinaJapan, and Korea, with trifoliate leaves composed of three leaflets. Five species in the genus Pueraria (P. montanaP. lobataP. edulisP. phaseoloides and P. thomsoni) are closely related and kudzu populations in the United States seem to have ancestry from more than one of the species.] Each leaflet is large and ovate with two to three lobes each and hair on the underside. The leaves have the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, which can supply up to 95% of leaf nitrogen to the plant in poor soils] Along the vines are nodes, points at which stems or tendrils can propagate to increase support and attach to structures. As a twining vine, kudzu uses stems or tendrils that can extend from any node on the vine to attach to and climb most surfaces. In addition, the nodes of the kudzu vine have the ability to root when exposed to soil, further anchoring the vine to the ground. The roots are tuberous and are high in starch and water content, and the twining of the plant allows for less carbon concentration in the construction of woody stems and greater concentration in roots, which aids root growth. The roots can account for up to 40% of total plant biomass.
Kudzu’s primary method of reproduction is asexual vegetative spread (cloning) which is aided by the ability to root wherever a stem is exposed to soil] For sexual reproduction, kudzu is entirely dependent on pollinators.
Although kudzu prefers forest regrowth and edge habitats with high sun exposure, the plant can survive in full sun or partial shade. These attributes of kudzu made it attractive as an ornamental plant for shading porches in the southeastern US, but they facilitated the growth of kudzu as it became a “structural parasite” of the South, enveloping entire structures when untreated and often referred to as “the vine that ate the south”.

Note from me...Kudzu is everywhere, and I wonder why nothing is done to rid this voracious weed when it is dormant.  During the winter, it turns brown and wilts like all other plants here, but come spring, it greens back up and continues its onslaught, overtaking almost everything in it's path.  I guess Kudzu only likes certain trees as our property, very wooded, has been spared being a lunch entree.  I shudder to think what might happen if it accidentally sprouts here.  Notice these  few pictures showing what this hungry plant is capable of doing:

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Welcome Heather Greenis to Dishin' It Out #guestauthor

Do you believe in Fate?

I must admit, I do. Fate brought me and my husband together.

I can’t say it was love at first sight. Not even close. He was a client at the bank I worked at and curled at our local curling club. He was a social curler. I had, and still have a bit of a competitive edge. A bit, is an understatement. I want to win while I have fun.

So why wasn’t it love at first sight? Well, his wife had a big say in that. Now before you ruffle your feathers, allow me to assure you, we did not break up a happy, unhappy or anything in between marriage. A greater being had other plans for his wife which is truly a shame. A friend, she was a remarkable woman. My husband visits her regularly at the local cemetery to chat.

A few months after his wife passed, the social put us on a team together. During one of our games, he fell and banged his knee on the ice. My first response was ‘Are you okay?’ Honest, I was sincere asking him that. I do have a bit of a heart. But the moment he said he was fine, I burst into laughter. He responded to my laughter with a joking ‘I hurt my %&@$% knee.’  I think he was looking for sympathy. Nope, I wasn’t going to allow him to get all sucky. Instead of sympathizing, I howled with laughter. I can be so mean. Then he laughed at me laughing at him. I think deep down, we both knew, then and there, we had something special. A strong friendship, plus.

I found myself a gentleman who still believes in chivalry. What are the chances? I’m not overly romantic, but I do like being treated like a lady. Hubby opens doors and assists with my coat. Sorry ladies, he does not have a brother. I’ve been asked that more than a few times.

Best friends, we make each other laugh. Even going through emotional storms, we bring smiles to each others faces. I think storms make a person stronger. They make you dig for your emotional strength.  We still joke about that day on the ice.

Fate brought my characters, Stewart and Natasha together. A chance meeting at a river. It was love at first sight, but I wasn’t kind to them. Instead, I test their fortitude with twists and turns and chuckles along the way. I do not allow them to wallow in self pity. The saga is not a fairytale romance. Life isn’t like that.

Stewart possesses my husband’s wit and his intelligence. Don’t tell my husband that. It will be hard to live with his expanded ego.

I remember when I finished one of my first drafts, I gave the electronic manuscript to my husband. An avid reader, I was half expecting him to say, ‘hmmm, not really my thing.’ A polite way of saying, ‘I don’t like it,’ without the risk of pissing me off.  A happy wife and all that fun stuff.  Instead, his response was, ‘This is good, but you can’t end it there.’

The four-part continuing saga took me over 10 years to write. The saga grew, new characters were added and developed. Crises and, well … you’ll have to read it for yourself.

It began as one big book, taking the Donovan family through generations. Too big, around 1200 pages, I decided to break the plot into 4 parts, each ending with a cliff hanger. Natasha’s Dream, Natasha’s Diary, Natasha’s Hope and Natasha’s Legacy, making The Natasha Saga.

Speaking of reading it, I received an amazing review through goodreads. It’s a long review so I’ll just given a wee snippet of it.  The review is from Holly:

‘Sometimes I get the rare chance to read a book series or in this case, a saga that leaves me speechless and deeply moved. This series has touched my heart and soul at the deepest level. …Heather Greenis has done a brilliant job as a master storyteller with this saga. Her amazing skills as an author have resulted in a story that will touch each and every reader in the deepest way possible.’

This review tells me, ‘mission successful. I accomplished my goal.’ If you decide to read it, I hope you enjoy the plot.

Where can you find me you’re asking.  We-ell, allow me to point you in the right direction…

Find my books at


borrow the saga from your local library -

you may have to ask the administrator of the library to carry the books

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Masculine Behavior for Believable Heroes (Part 3) by Connie Vines

Checklist for Masculine Characters

Be direct
Be issue orientated
Be analytical
Act casual even during a serious conversation
Make statements
Use short sentences
State his preferences
Verbalize only things he thinks is important
Give advice
Asks specific questions

He will not:

Ask a lot of questions
Ask leading questions
Turn statements into questions
Invite a ‘just talk’ situation
Speak in euphemisms
Use understatements
Downplay his idea
Let his sentence trail off
Volunteer his reasons
Hold eye contact for significant periods
Say, “I’m sorry” unless he really means it.
Tell stories about his failings
Get bogged down in introspection or self-doubt
Volunteer information about his feelings
Ask about others’ feelings
Ask for validation

I hope you have found this topic of masculine behavior for believable heroes informative.

Readers, what is your take on this topic?

Thank you for stopping by today.

A night at Medival Times,
Buena Park, CA

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Sunday Snips & Stuff #Sundaysnips

Author's are either plotters or pantsers.  I'm the latter, meaning I write by the seat of my pants.  I never plot, can't, don't even try.  My stories come to mind through characters who take up residence in my head, have a story they've already named and introduce me to the cast (also named.)  I guess you could say I have it easy because I don't have to fret over titles and suitable monikers for my characters, but...I'm only successful as long as the characters speak to me.  My writer's block comes from long unexplained silences. Don't understand the muted periods, but I have plenty of noises in my head.  :)

I love writing short stories because I'm not one for extraneous information or word counts.  I was very fortunate that Books We Love took a chance and put seven of my short stories into one book entitled, Discovery.  Strangely, all the stories fit that title because the characters in each tale discover something they didn't know.  I invite you to take a peek.  These short works make excellent reading while waiting for appointments, killing time, or just finding extra minutes to enjoy a story that makes you happy.

Here's the cover and blurb, plus a little comment from an author I admire very much:  Heather Haven.

Seven stories in one novel; each one with it's own plot and lead character: a stewardess who discovers her judgement may be a little flawed, an older divorcee who finds something far more interesting than sandals at a shoe clearance, a bride-to-be thinking she has a valid reason to call off her wedding, a pudgy ex-wife with a fear that a medical apparatus will make her look like Jacques Cousteau, a newcomer to Florida expecting fair weather and experiencing her first hurricane, but not alone or scared, a daughter in mourning, pursuing the meaning of three tarnished bars held together by a black ribbon, and a doctor who discovers something totally unrelated to medicine that heals a heart problem. 

"Throughout these stories, facets of each person's character are revealed, layer by layer, often with a punch of the Ginger Simpson sense of humor. Delicious! I can think of no better way to spend an evening or lazy afternoon than wrapped in the comfort of her words." ~ H. Haven

You can find Discover at  I do hope you'll order a copy.  Remember, it takes a long time to write a book, but only a short time to make it fizzle.  :(  If you're patient and cheap (lol), this book will be featured free in May.  I'll post the dates on FB when it's time.

Now, hop on over to my pals and see what exciting blogs they share this week: (Connie Vines) (Juliet Waldron) (Tricia McGill)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Welcome, Karla Stover to Dishin' It Out


Books by Karla available on Amazon


AMAZING MOSS: Always Under Foot

Almost every morning my husband, our dog, and I drive to McDonalds where I buy a large coffee with five creams ($1.09) and then head to the woods to walk. Something new pops up every season and right now it’s moss. I love moss.  It is an amazing plant.
     When moss first appeared, the land had no plant life and, therefore, had no roots to break up the rocks. That’s why moss has such a little root system—just enough to let it cling to the terrain. The plants collect carbon dioxide and water and use light in a process called through photosynthesis—remember that from junior high—to create its nutrients. It reproduces by both sexual and asexual reproduction and, there are three types:  acrocarpous are what grow on your driveway; pleurocarps are the bushy mosses that sometimes resemble feathers, and sphagnum which grows in bogs and creates peat moss.
     How moss has been used over the years is the cool part and somewhere within this history is a story waiting to be written.  
During World War I, many countries experienced cotton shortages, so clean, dried sphagnum moss was wrapped in thin layers of cotton and paper and used for surgical dressings. The United States’ Moss Czar (yes there was one) said Puget Sound’s moss was the best quality (which makes me very proud) and, sometimes, small towns shut down so everyone could go gather it. The moss went to drying barns and then to the Red Cross, or University of Washington women who made the pads. It all has to do with sphagnum’s cellular structure but I won’t go into that.
     This morning, looking at moss, my mind took several detours. For one, Joseph Medicine Crow just died; he was 102. Thinking about his amazing life led me to Canada’s First Nations.  For years, they used moss as bedding into which they put their stillborn babies. Animals seek it out because it has some healing properties. It’s been used to make paper, as housing insulation, as toilet paper, tucked into papoose carriers to act as diapers, and during menstruation.

     So, the next time you thatch your lawn, think about all the lives moss changed, made easier or saved. And, also, Lady Gaga has a moss dress. She knows a good thing.

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