Monday, February 29, 2016

Drop the Phone and Step Away...


Time for a granny rant, I think, but I’ll start with a pleasant trip down memory lane. When I was small, there were telephones in most houses in the town where I lived, although many were party lines. The type of ring told if the call was for you.  Some folks snooped on their neighbors by listening in. Although it wasn’t polite, people did it sometimes. If you had any sense, you didn’t share secrets on the phone.

Then we got a private line. This came even before the television did, in an old house we’d just moved into. Daddy was back from the war now and had gotten a better job, so we could leave Grandpa & Grandma’s. Post War, housing was tight everywhere, as were jobs.

 “Ma Bell” was the omnipresent phone company. Her stock was stable and her employees were many and well paid. In the mid-fifties, we moved to upstate NY and I learned to call my grandparents by dialing the operator and giving her the number and the name. You’d hang on the line until she got the connection, or, if it was taking a long time, she would call back when the connection was made.   This was an expensive service and not done casually, especially by kids. Life went on, more connections were made across the world, area codes appeared and operators disappeared, and so on, but essentially, nothing basic changed—until the arrival of the cell phone.

Through that handy portal, we entered the funhouse of now, where the cell phone has not only become a camera, but is linked to the internet. This enticing, ever-expanding labyrinth leads us along, paying no attention to where we're really going--into the science fiction belly the beast. Our fascination with the electronic world shapes us, our behavior, even the wiring in our brains.   There's no way to stop it as long as the grid stays up. All we can do is attempt to stay sufficiently objective to observe the world as it changes around us, while we watch the people on every side becoming more and more engrossed in their devices. Some people--on foot and worse, in cars--aren't looking where they are going anymore. All their attention is focused on that little box in their hand. 
 

The only thing left to do now is to occasionally be an old cow of a busy-body at the coffee shop, and remind young mothers to stop fixating on their darn phones and pay attention to the kids they've got strapped into those fancy strollers, the ones they are currently ignoring. Kids are only small, adorable and plastic like that for a very brief time. It will be over before you know it.

This is time when you are supposed to bond with them, to love them, talk to them and just as important, listen to them. It’s when they learn to be human, so now's when you've got to shine on them like the sun. Remember, too, adolescence will be here in no time, so you better forge a good relationship now. Remember, too, “the cat’s in the cradle…”

 ~~Juliet Waldron

 
 

 
See all my novels @
 
                                                     http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004HIX4GS
 
 


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Sundays Snips and Stuff #snips&stuff #gingersimpson


We're changing our format a little.  I like being able to offer information other than tidbits from books, so like our Connie has been doing, today I'm sharing something different...responses to questions I recently posed about book covers:

1.  Most responders prefer people on the cover over just scenery.

2.  In series, it seems to be important to readers that the same people appear on the cover.  Specifically one response represented most answers:

"As for series covers, if the H/H from book 1 are the same for book 2, then I want to see them on the cover for book 2. If they are not the same H/H in book 2, then I prefer to see the new couple on the cover. And yes, matching covers models to characters is important to me."

3.  It's extremely bothersome to responders when the cover model does not match the description of the hero/heroine in the book.  For example...the heroine is blonde and there is a brunette on the cover.

4.  I also asked about video trailers and how closely the cover art should match the pictures used.  This was a mixed bag.  Some people don't even view trailers, others don't care because they use the video to see what books are about.

Feel free to leave your comments about your preferences.  I like learning new things.


You can view my covers and books on my Amazon page.

Now, hop on over to my friends and see what they're sharing today:

http://connievines.blogspot.com (Connie Vines)

http://yesterrdayrevisitedhere.blogspot.com (Juliet Waldron)

http://triciamg.blogspot.com (Tricia McGill)


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Cover Poll - I need your response #commentswanted

I'm very curious how important readers (and this includes authors)feel the images on the cover are to you when purchasing a book:

1.  Are you more likely to purchase a book that has people on the cover.

2.  Do you prefer background only.

3.  In a series, where one cover shows one image and then on the continuation of the story, a totally different woman is shown...how would that influence your decision?

4.  How about hair color.  If the heroine is a blonde, how disturbed are you to see a brunette on the cover?

5.  How about video trailers...how closely do the pictures need to be to the actual description of your characters?

What other issues do you consider when looking at covers, i.e., caricatures, shirtless cowboys on stories based in the Old West?

Also, I'm very interested to know when reading FICTION, how important do you feel it is for the author to have researched details when writing an historical story?

I know commenting is not a favorite pastime,, but please take a moment to help out an author who is trying to prove a point.

You can view all my covers on Amazon.

Ginger







Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Cover Reveal - Sarah's Hope

I'm pleased to share my new cover with you.  Sarah's Hope...a continuation of Sarah's life will be released soon by Books We Love.  I'm closing in on writing "the end."  I'm hoping everyone who read  Sarah's Heart and Passion will want to explore life a little further with Sarah.
If you want to purchase your own copy and be prepared...all my books are available via my Amazon page.  Oh...this beautiful cover was done by Michelle Lee.

 BLURB:

Sarah Collins first began her journey on a wagon train bound for old west and met a man who’d become the love of her life. After waking from a dream she believed truly valid, she met her half Lakota-half-white man again…this time for real and in Manhattan…and married him.  Now Nathanial Elder (AKA Wolf) is dead at the hands of a drunk driver, and Sarah Elder is trying to get past her grief and get on with life.  Somewhere, somehow, she angered someone and she hasn’t an inkling who or how.

Frightening phone calls, death threats, and police investigating for clues turn Sarah’s life into sheer turmoil. Another dream about Wolf adds even more confusion, and best friend, Marie, who is staying with Sarah until the culprit is caught doesn’t take things too seriously until the caller obviously knows all about her, too.

 A murdered policeman, a stranger who seems to know everything about Sarah’s past, present and future, makes the danger astonishingly real. Will the police discover the person who eventually kidnaps Sarah, and will they save her before the killer sends her soul to the great beyond?  Has Wolf intervened from the grave to lend help in keeping his wife alive?  



Monday, February 22, 2016

They say it's your birthday


Marie's Birthday, 2011 
 Sometimes, for those of us with a melancholy disposition, a February birthday isn’t an unalloyed joy.  This year, as mine comes around, I’m old enough to know I had better pay attention to the good times.

This year, I was looking forward to seeing a special friend on my birthday. Let's call her Pam. She was coming to town—and I and others of her old friends were truly looking forward to her arrival. She’s one of those people whose wit and humor, whose willingness to play, carries any party along.


Life, however, intervened. She isn’t coming. Like many charismatic people, she’s manic, living through huge ups and downs. We understand. However, her absence left us at loose ends in what was supposed to be a cheerful mini-reunion. You need friends around for a good celebration. As the Beatles observed: “We get by with a little help from our friends.” If loss, distance or just a bout of depression keeps them away, a birthday may end up being kind of depressing.  

 
I’m still here and it’s a year later, but so what?  Who is by my side cheering me on with a big “Go you?”

Who will eat cake with me or laugh and caper around to The Safety Dance?
 
Well, okay, my husband is still taking me to a special lunch at one of our local breweries. Here in the German part if PA we are well supplied with new, good ones. They have many varieties of beer and some nice dinner plates and all kinds of bar snacks. My favorite is a local bratwurst, which comes with red kraut and horseradish-y potato salad, which seems the exactly right accompaniment for a draft. A special new friend will come along with us, one with her own life-time fund of stories to share.
 
And then there are my sons. They can’t be here in person, but they are kind enough to call and send presents and all that good stuff we do on family birthdays.  I appreciate the attention, because, as the pop poet said, “it’s a drag when you’re rejected” and most especially a drag when the rejector is your own kid.  
 


So most of what’s happening will be on the plus side. And, actually, it’s quite a lot. I’m well fed (!), reasonably healthy for my age, more or less secure, and still breathing.  That I don’t get the bubbly fun of that senior version of girl’s night out shouldn’t be a total buzz kill. Still, all of us will miss our friend. It was a chance to laugh together one more time, a thing that the obits in the daily paper remind us should not be lightly passed by.
So there’s regret, but it’s not going to be a spoiler. Here I am, in my seventies, still relearning the lesson of one day at a time.  
 “I will make this day a happy one, for I alone can determine what kind of day it will be.”




  
~~Juliet Waldron
 
See All my historical novels at:

 
 
 
 
 
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Sunday Snippets with Ginger Simpson #sundaysnips



This week, I'm sharing a little from my book,Discovery.  I for one love short stories....something to read during an appointment waiting period or right before I fall to sleep.  I absolutely hate waiting to find out what happens, so shorts fill my need.  Each of the stories in this book were published individually by another publisher.  I've combined them into one book for your reading entertainment.  This is a portion from Joy's Revelation:

Joy didn’t mean for the door to slam when she walked into the front foyer.  Her mother, clad in her apron and flour on her hands, appeared in the kitchen doorway.  “Oh, you’re back so soon?  Did you forget something?”

With a big inhalation, Joy steadied herself.  “We need to talk, Mom, and right now.”

Her mother’s eyes grew wide beneath arched brows.  “All right, but you’re scaring me with such a serious look on your face and the tone of your voice.  Did something happen?”

“Please, can we just sit?  I need to ask you something very important…and you need to tell me the truth.”

Her mother’s mouth drew into a thin line.  She stared at her hands, back at Joy, and then released a loud breath that showed her frustration.  “I suppose supper can wait. Let me clean up and I’ll be right back.” 

Joy tossed her purse aside and sat on the edge of the sofa, sorting through her options.  Was she doing the right thing in confronting her mother alone?  Should she wait for her father…even include Scott in the conversation?  Nerves churned her insides into knots.  She clasped her hands in her lap and waited.  Sand in the Sahara couldn’t be any drier than her mouth.  She wanted answers and she wanted them now.

“Okay, okay, here I am.”  Mom appeared, running her just-washed hands down the front of her apron.  “Now, what’s got you in such a dither?”  She sat in her rocker and stared across at Joy.
Joy fluttered her lips with an exhalation.  “I don’t know where to start.  I’m so upset.  I think I’m gonna throw up.”  She rubbed her hand across the furrows in her brow.

“What is it, dear?”  Her mother cocked her head.  “You’ve never had a problem talking to me.  We’ve always been able to discuss everything.”

“Have we really?”  Joy leveled an icy stare at her.

“Well, I thought we had a pretty open line of communication between us.”

“I thought so, too, until I found the secret you’ve been keeping from me in your cedar chest.”
Her mother leaned forward, confusion clouding her eyes.  “Whatever are you talking about?”

Joy steeled herself.  “Who is Joey Andrew Garrett?”

A gasp sliced the silence.  Her mother’s mouth gaped.

“Well?” 

Tears welled in her mom’s eyes and her throat wobbled with a hard swallow.  “I-I can’t discuss this right now.”  She bolted to her feet and raced upstairs.  The slamming of her bedroom door wobbled the glass panes in the front window.

Stunned, Joy stared at the floor.  So much for open communication, but this wasn’t over.  Someone was going to offer up some answers, and if it had to be her father, then so be it.

Her familiar ringtone sliced the silence.  She reached for her pocketbook and retrieved her cellphone.  “Hello.”

“Hi, Sweetie.  Rough day?  You sound down.”

“You might say that.  Can you stop by on your way home from work?”

“I suppose so, but what’s going on?”  His voice held a nervous tone.

“I wish I knew.  I guess we’ll find out together when you and my father get here.”


You can find all my books on Amazon.  After you check out my short story collection,  then hop over to my friends and check out their posts today.  See you next week.




* * * *

Monday, February 15, 2016

Book Battles by Juliet Waldron




This is the title because sometimes that is how I feel about the work of writing.

I’ve been bashing my head against one particular story for months. In this case, it’s a book that was “supposed to be” a romance, the second in a projected series. As everyone who has ever tried to construct a basic, old-fashioned romance novel knows, this can be trickier than it seems.  

Conventionally, for starters, you have the heroine and you have a couple of guys who will be Mr. Wrong and Mr. Right. You will, eventually, in the course of an engaging, warm-hearted story, find a satisfying resolution.  Sounds easy, right? Just a formula!

(And, if you think that, I have a bridge I think you'd like to buy.)

I now understand that I set myself up for this by creating a heroine whose problem is that she is too pretty. She’s the girl who fits every 1870’s guy’s idea of the perfect box of candy. (From a historical perspective, perhaps her good looks have gone out of fashion, but we're in another time, so how would we know? All we do know is that she turns them on.)

 

For the young lady I created three principal suitors. I’d decided in advance which of the three would be the one to win her hand. Her choices: a wounded veteran who is now a minister, a farrier/farmer whose pride and joy is his trotting horse, or a natty gentleman with an inheritance, good looks and a few bad habits.  

If you are a writer, you’ve probably had characters rebel, take issue with your plans. First came the young lady, who tossed her head and told me that she was a material girl and not at all like her earnest elder sister, sweet Sophie of Hand-me-Down Bride.   The men proved difficult to bring to life. Their outlines stubbornly remained vague. Finally, the heroine, tapping her cute little foot, said that for various reasons not one of these men, as now drawn, would do.  On top of the heroine's dissatisfaction, the skeptical old woman inside me kept muttering how not one of these potential unions had "a snow ball’s chance in hell” of enduring for the long haul.

 
This was/is discouraging. It messes with my sleep, so I lie for hours each night trying to get a scene with this cast of actors to run.  I've tried many ways of making this story work. I've lost my temper and tried to hammer my square pegs into round holes. I've added more angst and then taken it out again. I've thought of writing in (and a job of work is that!) Suitor #4 and/or changing one of the Mr. Wrongs into Mr. Right.
In the meantime, other stories keep knocking on the door bearing strong images and smart bits of dialogue, dancing seductively in the costume of another time period, all calling for attention. Potential solutions--the light at the end of tunnel--disappear just before I arrive. Clearly, the secret is hidden inside one of these characters, something about one them remains undiscovered. 

And now it's time to go to bed and think about it a little more. I have faith. Sooner or later, one of these guys will set me straight . Then the rest will be duck soup.




~~Juliet Waldron  

 

All my historical novels Hand-me-Down Bride
 





 




 


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sunday Snippets with Ginger Simpson #sundaysnips




Happy Valentine's Day.  I hope you're munching on chocolate and enjoying the sweet aroma of the flowers your special person sent you.  I'm not, but that's because I'm trying to lose weight and my husband and I had an argument one year about his buying me flowers from a grocery store.  Since then, I haven't gotten any.  *lol*  Oh well...he shows his love in so many other way, I guess I'll just have to pretend Tom Selleck is here with my special Valentine card and on bended knee asking for my hand.  He can have all of me, if he can handle it.  *lol*

Anyhow..I thought it fitting to share an excerpt from "The Pendant", since it starts with a Valentine's Day Murder and progresses from there.  Hope you enjoy:

Joseph Flaherty wriggled his nose at the musty odor of the old antique shop.  The poor lighting caused him to squint. He sneezed when he opened a cookie jar and sent a cloud of dust spiraling upward.  The lack of cleanliness repulsed him.  He almost left the establishment, but behind the hazy glass of a display case, an antique necklace caught his eye.  He turned his gaze to the clerk across the room.  How much for the neck piece there?  He pointed.
The clerk ceased his meager attempt at cleaning and walked closer.  His bulbous nose protruded from between beady eyes.  Dandruff flakes speckled his shoulders and the part in his dark, greasy hair.  Oh, that necklace.  His bushy brows knitted into one beneath a crease.  Theres a history to that one, ya know?
Joseph straightened and pulled his wallet from his pocket.  Well, do tell, man.  This would make a perfect Valentine gift for my wife.
Laying his cloth aside, the clerk unlocked the display case and removed the silver neckpiece.  I bought this at a Catholic bazaar about a year ago.  I frequent antique shows and happened upon the fundraiser they were having.  The nun in the booth told me a troubled woman left this piece in the confessional, claiming the necklace held some sort of curse. According to the priest there that night, the lady muttered something about murder.  
He handed the pendant over the counter. There was a picture of a man inside who was purported to be the victim, but I discarded it.  After all, one never knows the validity of such tales.  He chuckled.
Flaherty laughed.  My wife threatens to kill me at least once a weeklast time for tracking up her clean floor.  Im thinking this might soften her heart, since she often complains I do nothing for her anymore.  How much do you want to make a woman happy?
Seventy-five dollars.
Make it seventy and you have yourself a deal.
Fair enough.  The clerk held out his open palm.  Were good, then.
Joseph withdrew a hundred-dollar bill and handed it across the counter. 


You can find all my books on Amazon.  After you check out my novella, which is only 99 cents, then hop over to my friends and check out their posts today.  See you next week.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Valentine's Day Contest by Ginger Simpson

Released by BWL, Cover by Michelle Lee

Notice the locket the woman is wearing in the picture?  That and a free copy of this novella will be awarded to ten lucky winners, with one winner getting a free box of chocolates.  All you need to do is enter the contest at http://www.bookswelove.com and keep your fingers crossed.  I'll also be giving away a couple of the necklaces and copies of the book here, so stay tuned if you don't win at BWL.

You can win every day with a BWL publication.  The prices are right and the authors are all previously published and have been given an opportunity to right the wrongs in their previously published books.  This story used to be entitled "The Locket."  I truly appreciate having the opportunity to improve my writing and make The Pendant a better read.

Go now, and enter for your chance to win.

If you want to read a sample...you can find this story by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Yuk---Colonoscopy Time by Ginger Simpson

WebMD.com

Colonoscopy is a test that allows your doctor to look at the inner lining of your large intestine camera.gif (rectum and colon). He or she uses a thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope to look at the colon. A colonoscopyhelps find ulcerscolon polyps, tumors, and areas of inflammation or bleeding. During a colonoscopy, tissue samples can be collected (biopsy) and abnormal growths can be taken out. Colonoscopy can also be used as a screening test to check for cancer or precancerous growths in the colon or rectum (polyps).
The colonoscope is a thin, flexible tube that ranges from 48 in. (125 cm)to 72 in. (183 cm) long. A small video camera is attached to the colonoscope so that your doctor can take pictures or video of the large intestine (colon). The colonoscope can be used to look at the whole colon and the lower part of the small intestine. A test called sigmoidoscopy shows only the rectum and the lower part of the colon.
Before this test, you will need to clean out your colon (colon prep). Colon prep takes 1 to 2 days, depending on which type of prep your doctor recommends. Some preps may be taken the evening before the test. For many people, the prep is worse than the test. The bowel prep may be uncomfortable, and you may feel hungry on the clear liquid diet. Plan to stay home during your prep time since you will need to use the bathroom often. The colon prep causes loose, frequent stools anddiarrhea so that your colon will be empty for the test. If you need to drink a special solution as part of your prep, be sure to have clear fruit juices or soft drinks to drink after the prep because the solution may have a salty or unpleasant taste.

The preceding medical information has been copied from: http://www.webmd.com/colorectal-cancer/colonoscopy-16695

Monday, February 8, 2016

Cat Bondage :)


 

 
Many writers have cats. I’m one of them. Still, sometimes, I wish I'd never gotten hooked on the  furry little tyrants when they do things like stand in front of the monitor (butt in your face), or lie on the keyboard, or step on it--unfailingly when you have 5 windows open and are in the middle of filling out some life-and-death form. Or they decide to recline on your forearms while you are typing.
(There's worse pictures, but I spared us.)
 
These boss-you-around-stories are the ones that people who love cats most enjoy telling. They are also the ones that make those who aren’t under the spell of Felis Sylvestris Catus wonder if we’ve lost our collective minds.

Supplication to the Goddess

You are the Great Cat, the avenger of the gods, the judge of words ,the sovereign and governor of the Holy Circle; You are indeed
The Great Cat!

Sometimes as I stand, holding the door watching metaphoric dollar bills fly out into February, I believe this is truly how the cat sees himself. I mean, what could I do that is more important than hold the door for my tiger cat, while he makes up his mind about whether he was, after all, mistaken in his burning desire to go out and harass the winged visitors of the birdfeeder? 

It's still cold and icy out there, even after ten whole minutes inside this boring house... 

Boot in the rear, you think? Well, you could do that, but just as in human relationships, treating a cat with disrespect will only lower you in his estimation. What goes around comes around. The return message will be clear, often written in poop. Back in the '60's, I knew a person who thought he could ignore cleaning the cat box. His cat, of course, soon registered his opinion by pooping upon his most precious possession—an expensive set of headphones, left on the sofa where the “owner” reclined for hours engrossed by the latest rock’n’roll.  Now, that was a perfectly symmetrical revenge.


 

All of us who share sleeping quarters with felines know that while they can be great cuddlers, they can also be disturbing, mostly because they are sticklers for routine. We’ve all slept beyond the cat-appointed time—only to be awakened by claws gently scraping along our face—or, delicately along our eyelids—or, maybe, worst of all—a single claw hooked inside a nostril, an ever-increasing pressure applied in some feline version of the death by a thousand cuts—to speed our sluggish getting up. 



A friend shared yet another story about this same long-ago Siamese -- probably the bossiest of all breeds -- who would noisily climb the door molding in her bedroom and then slowly slide down, creating a sound like chalk on a blackboard, while she lay, pillow over her head, desperately trying to collect a few more seconds of shut eye. This alarm clock behavior is prevalent Saturday/Sunday when cat owning working stiffs are trying to sleep in. In fact, for most of my own 9-5, the cat--using one of the above methods--would awaken me exactly two minutes before the dream-shattering beeping could begin. Maybe they just hated that sound as much as I did.

To end, I'll just say that all of my historical novels have feline characters. With such a lifestyle, How could they not?

 



~~Juliet Waldron
 
 
 






Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Manic Readers

Manic Readers

She Writes

Historical Fiction Books

Readers and Writers of Distinctive Fiction