Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New Magazine for Writers

New Magazine Calling for Submisions

In today's ever-changing 'brave new world of publishing' we need a forum where you can keep track of what is working, what is not, and what is new. 

New Magazine For Writers

 I'm excited to hear about a new magazine opening up and actually calling for submissions!  It sounds as if The Writers Monthly Review Magazine is something that both poets and writers will want to take note of!  
The Writer’s Monthly Review Magazine
Debuting in January 2015
 A Magazine Where Writers, Poets, Authors, Editors, Publishers and Literary Agents Come Together Under One Roof Offering Inspiration, Motivation, Encouragement and Knowledge With One Another
 A magazine for writers of every genre 
$25 per year for 12 issues/published monthly
Writer’s groups get a 15% discount on all orders with a group of 10 or more.
Send form and check or money order or via paypal for $25 to: 
The Writer’s Monthly Review Magazinehttp://writersmonthlyreview.com/
  
marcies04@yahoo.com

Meet Marcella Simmons, the editor.   Marcella, welcome!  What will this magazine uniquely offer its readers and writers? What will make the magazine stand out?
The Writer’s Monthly Review Magazine is a place where new writers can read articles and learn from the mistakes of others; get encouragement, inspiration, motivation and feedback from other writers; our readers are for those who enjoy reading about writing to learn, etc. Our panel of writers will share information and knowledge in unique ways you won’t find in a classroom…
Oh, this is SO needed, especially in the realm of promotion and self publishing;  what works, what does not.   So much is changing so rapidly on those fronts!  How heavily will you/other editors be involved in editing articles that are submitted?
We have two editors on board who will be editing manuscripts and offering suggestions in rewrites…rewrites if necessary will be left up to writers.
 How many articles per issue will you expect to publish, and what ratio of contributors do you imagine to have between beginners/experts/editors/agents/etc.?
 Every month, we expect to publish anywhere between 8-15 articles. Since this is a new venture, there is no correct answer for what ratio of contributors there will be. But an educated guess is this: we work with new writers and will accept articles based on subject matter, content and valuable information useful to other writers each month; we will include guest editorials, articles from agents, experts and editors as they are presented to us. We are not limited to either group.
 So how did you decide to start on this project?  Starting a magazine from the get-go is a pretty ambitious project, for sure.
 I started writing back in the late eighties, and there were a handful of small press publications around that accepted my stories, articles and poetry. During that time, several local newspapers started publishing my columns and feature stories. From that time on, I launched my career doing what I love best! You guessed it! Writing. Since then, some of the small newsletters and magazines like Byline, The Writer, Writer's World and House Wife Writer's Forum have either changed hands (and names) or folded. It was publications such as these that held my hand and helped me become the writer I am today. There were many others (too many to name) that published my material regularly that have ceased to be. This, above all, is the reason why I am starting this magazine.. There's nothing new under the sun especially for writers, but newbies need a place to start and old pros need a place to submit their how-to's and other writing related articles to. I want to share my knowledge along with other writers and help others on their journey of becoming better, and published writers.
Oh, we need a good forum, and even more so today than back then!  I'll definitely help you promote this! I notice that you're asking readers to let you know what they'd like to see.  That's way cool, and a nice interactive start to the magazine.  How is your fan-base building coming along? 
 Our readers are our number one fans. When we meet their needs, and wants, this will certainly help us grow and become the worlds best little magazine on the market!  We've already started picking up fans from FACEBOOOK and other social media outlets, and I have started building my client/subscription database from the response I have gotten so far from this.
Whom do you see as your readership?
I have people all over the world interested in The Writer's Monthly Review Mag. because of our exposure on the Internet. There will be a readership of new writers from every walks of life, as well as professional ones. We work with both. Our readership will extend from the U.S into other countries.
It sounds like a superb resource for new writers!  And as I said here, we SO need these resources.  Way too many na├»ve new writers are getting scammed in this brave new publishing world!  And now for the hard questions;  are you going to be paying for submissions or simply offer exposure to contributing writers?
We do pay our writers as long as they are subscribers - shorter pieces get paid $5 and longer ones $10, plus they get 5 copies each. Nonsubscribers get paid in copies. We promote in two ways: in the print magazine and they get a contributors byline and recommendation on our website.
 Here is the link to our current writer's guidelines:
Very nice!  So there you go, folks.  A new magazine that will benefit you and can become a market for you as well. I've already subscribed to it.  Even if you don't subscribe to it, spread the word, will you, through your Twitter, Facebook, and social media?  Let's support a new marketplace and a 'zine that's going to benefit writers! 
Thanks so much, Marcella, for answering out questions and good luck with the magazine!
And remember -- Marcella is looking for submissions!  
Looking forward to January and the first issue!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

So Much for Good Intentions

With the weather forecast predicting colder weather starting tomorrow - January cold from what they're saying, I thought I'd take advantage of today's beautiful weather and put my outside decorations up.
So I gathered everything together, making several trips from the basement. First order of business was putting the lights in the bushes. Easy peasy.
Next came setting up the angel and the trees. The angel is also
easy, just had to put some stakes in the ground to hold her in place securely. With the lamp post staked and weighted down, I moved on to the trees. 
 The trees took a bit more work because they were in sections. Once they were securely in the ground, I placed Santa on the swing and secured him to the seat and staked him to the ground so the swing wouldn't blow too much in the wind. Could have Santa blowing away. 
4 Foot Christmas Inflatable Santa Claus Yard Decoration




I ran the extensions cords, plugged everything into the proper places and, tada drum roll.. the moment of truth I plugged everything into the outlet.
The lights in the bushes looked great, the lamp post looked  awesome, as did the small tree. The large tree, however, was only half lit and the angel and Santa....well I'm sorry to say, the angel is dark and Santa, well no other word for it, Santa is dead. I'm going to look for lights to restring the angel, the large tree will remain half lit this year. And Santa...well I'm going to miss the old boy.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Featured Today

 Designed for Love is featured today at eBookSoda, a new reader's site where they'll send you ebook recommendations tailored to your tastes.

Check it out at www.ebooksoda.com/ebook-deals/

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Character Blog

Meghan Shelby is a fictional character who returns to her hometown of Littleton after she inherits the family home. Meghan's parents moved away when she was sixteen. Now ten years later she's back and ready to inhabit her grandparents' home. What a shock whens she sees its dilapated condition. A total renovation is in order. 
Meghan's only problem isn't the run down condition of the house, there's a dead body inside and the town wants to condemn it and tear it down. Determined to bring the house back to its former glory, she rolls up her sleeves, enlists the high school boys shop class, and applies to the National Register of Historic Buildings to prevent them from taking action. 
In the process of cleaning things out, Meghan finds an old diary in a trunk that reveals secrets about her family.



Secrets, Lies, & Love is availabele from Amazon for 99 cents through September.
Check out J.Q Rose's blog to learn about a character from one of her books.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Blog Hop - Writers on Writing



A couple weeks ago, I was approached about participating in a Blog Hope by my friend and author of the Alvarez Family Murders, among other books, Heather Haven. I’ve known Heather for several years, love her writing and we’ve become friends. How could I refuse? Besides, I take every opportunity to participate in blogs. So, of course I said yes. She sent me this list of questions to answer. Hopefully, I’ve told you something you don’t know about me.


What am I working on/writing?

I’m working on a sequel to All in the Family. Callie’s aunt, Beatrice Lulu, insisted she have her own book. She’s quite a character and I enjoy working with her. Unfortunately, she quit speaking to me. It’s been over a month since I’ve written anything about her. Not sure why she quit talking, but she takes fits every so often. Usually when I’m blocked on a book, I work on something else. I do have another book going that I’ve been blocked on for several years, so needless to say, I’m not working on that one at the moment either.
Unlike other authors, I don’t plot out my books. I did that once and it took me two years to finish the book. The only thing I know about my books when I start to write is the beginning and end. What happens in the middle is as much a surprise to me as it is to my readers.



How does my writing/work differ from others in its genre?

I usually write romance with mystery elements. My heroes and heroines range in age from mid-twenties to seventies. Yes, old people need love, too. Not only do I write mystery, I often write paranormal, usually ghosts. I did do one with ESP, which was really fun. I try to add humor to my books. I enjoy comedy and love to laugh. I come from a large family who loves to play jokes. I’ve often used some incidents and enhanced them, of course.


Why do I write what I do?

Boy, that’s a good question. Simply put, I can’t not write. I love to write. Where do my ideas come from? Somewhere in the deep recesses of my brain. LOL Seriously, I have no idea. They just pop up and I can’t ignore them. Once an idea hits me, I’m off and running. I love when a book flows. I’ve had a few that flowed from beginning. Not that it happens often. Sometimes I have to brainstorm with a fellow author to figure out what happens next. As I said earlier, I don’t plot my books so I never know what the characters are going to do, why, or when.


How does my writing process work?

When a book is flowing, I write whenever I can. Once the ideas hit, no matter what time of day, I have to get them down on paper –uh, I mean the computer. I’ve often gotten up in the middle of the night and wrote through until morning. I learned early on not to let an idea wait until morning. I’ve lost dialogue and other ideas that way. My memory isn’t what it used to be. If I don’t put it on the computer, at least I jot it down on paper. More often than not, the ideas keep flowing and I find myself writing for hours on end. I don’t have a set schedule like many authors. I’ve not written much in the past month since my characters have decided to ignore me. Before this block, I’ve written every day if even for only fifteen minutes. Sometimes it’s junk and I end up throwing it out, but at least I was writing. For some reason this past month, I’ve not even been able to write junk. Usually if I go back to the beginning of the book and start reading, ideas come to me, but I’ve read this one over several times and nope, nothing comes.
I figure there’s something wrong and ABLL (my nickname for Aunt Beatrice Lulu) doesn’t like something I’ve written or isn’t satisfied with the way the story is going. Until she lets me know what it is, I sit and stare at a blank screen.


The following authors are participating in the Blog Hop, check them out. And thank you again to Heather for asking me to participate. Pop over and see how they answered the same questions. Cindy Sample and Marva Dasef. While you're at it, don't forget to visit Heather's blog also.

My book, All in the Family is available from Amazon

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

As we celebrate Memorial Day this weekend with cookouts and picnics, I'd like to take a moment to remember our Vets and talk about how Memorial Day started.
Originally called Decoration Day, it's a day of remembrance for the men and women who died serving the United States. More than two dozen towns claim to be the originator of Memorial Day. In 1996, President Lyndon Johnson officially declared Waterloo, NY as the birth place, but it's impossible to prove the origin of the day. It was originally started to honor the dead of the Civil War. 
That being said, Memorial Day became a National Holiday and celebrated on the 30th of May in 1868. Its purpose was to decorate the graves of our men and women who died in defense of their country. The date of May 30th was chosen because it wasn't an anniversary of any particular battle. 
General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery on the first Decoration Day and more than 5000 participants decorated the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.
By 1890 Decoration Day was recognized by all of the northern states, but the sout refused to acknowledge the day until after World War 1. 
Congress passed a bill in 1971 changing the date from May 30th to the last Monday in May. 
Let's all take a minute from our celebrations to remember the true meaing of the day.
Thank you to our men and women who serve our country in the past, present and future. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Finally, a break in the weather

A break from the rainy, cold weather we've been experiencing. The weekend promises warmer temperatures and sunshine. And the week ahead looks amazing. It's been a long cold winter, and a rainy, chilly spring.
I know in a few weeks, I'll probably be complaining about the heat and humidity. It seems the older I get, the less tolerant I am of the heat. Usually, I don't mind the cold, snowy winters, but this year has been extreme. Brutal cold temperatures throughout January left everyone begging for spring. I can handle cold. Heck, just put on more clothes, right? But not this winter.
I've always been one to crank up the air conditioning in the summer time. My sister always brings a sweater when she comes to visit. That's fine, better she bring a sweater than me taking something off. After all there's only so much you can remove, but you can always add more.
This year we decided to try camping. My son bought a new camper and we bought his old one from him. I mean old - 1979. Granted, it needs some work, but it's dry and better than a tent any day. Years ago we tent camped. Yep, did it for a lot of years and with six kids. The days of sleeping on the ground are in the past. I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to get up once I got down. So we bought the pop up camper.
We were a bit concerned (as were my kids) whether we could open and close it. My hubby has COPD and gets out of breath with any bit of exertion, but we managed and have now developed a system. It takes us a bit longer than most people, but we manage.
So last weekend was our first campout. Unfortunately, the weather didn't exactly cooperate. It reminded me
of the first Memorial Day we camped in 1968. Cold weather and this time to top it off we had rain off and on. At least back then it was sunny and dry.
But we had fun and that's the important thing. I'm looking forward to our next camping trip which is planned for June.

Find my books at Amazon.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Freebits

Today's Friday Freebit is from Deadbeat Dads 


Once Katie and Josh were settled, I picked up the phone, took a deep breath, and dialed. “Babette, this is Mrs. Morris, I just….”
“I think you’re mistaken, I’m Mrs. Morris.” Babette’s whiny voice came over the line.
I took another breath. Point made. “Right, this is Erica. I just heard the news and wondered if there’s anything I can do.”
“Actually there is. You can leave me alone. And don’t think you’re going to horn in on Johnny’s insurance policy either.”
I held the receiver away from my ear. That little bitch hung up on me, slammed down the phone. I called to offer help, and the only thing Babette could think of was Johnny’s insurance policy. Well let her have it. Johnny only carried a minimal amount. She’d be lucky to bury him with it.

The next call I made was to Becky. “Hey Beck, you’re not going to believe this. I just called Babette.”  After relaying the conversation to my friend, I was surprised at her reaction.

Deadebeat Dads is available from Amazon

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Freebits

Time for another Friday Freebit - From my book All in the Family -

Saturday morning, Callie woke up and stretched. Today promised to be a good day. A very good day. William had called twice since Wednesday. The first time to get her address and the second just to talk. And talk they did, for over an hour and a half after Berry was in bed. Seemed they had a lot in common.
Both of them liked to hike, not that she got the opportunity much lately. And they both liked to dance. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d been to a dance.
She got out of bed to get ready for work, praying it would be easy day. Mostly she didn’t want a late case that would prevent her from leaving. She couldn’t wait to see Berry and William again.
Callie buttered a bagel, turned around and stopped dead in her tracks. A huge dog stood in her kitchen. How the hell had he gotten in? He just stood there looking at her. The patio door stood open behind him. Crap, was someone in the house? She hadn’t anyone come in. Memo to self, get lock fixed on patio door. She’d forgotten about that and neglected to put the pipe in the track. Afraid to move, she stood there, looking at the dog.
“Nice doggy. Are you hungry?” Callie tossed him the bagel. He caught it midair and gulped it down. Now what? She grabbed another one and tossed it toward the open door, hoping it’d go outside. Again he caught it midair, not even close to making it outside, and gulped it down.
He seemed friendly enough. At least he wasn’t barking or growling at her. Dare she move? She took a step forward. He sat down. “Come on, doggy, you have to leave, you don’t live here. Obviously, he belonged to someone.

“Hello.” A woman carrying a baby came up on the deck. “Oh my god, I’m so sorry. Zoey, get home.” A little girl and boy came running after her. Zoey ran to the kids.

All in the Family can be found at Amazon


Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Freebits

Here it is, Friday again and time for more free bits. 
Blurb:
Just when Susan Weston wrote her first big byline, the killer called and hinted at more murders. Not to mention someone started stalking her and leaving red roses at her doorstep. To top it all off, she dropped her bracelet at the murder scene and the handsome detective considered her a suspect. Was she being stalked by a killer? Could she convince the detective she was innocent? 

Georgie Porgie pudding and pie kissed the girls and made them cry — now it’s time to die.

He released his hands from the victim’s neck, and the lifeless body slumped to the ground. He stood back, and stared at it in disgust.
“You thought you were so cool, didn’t you, George? Playing all the girls like that. You could’ve had anyone you wanted, but you weren’t satisfied with one. You wanted them all. Then you broke their hearts and left everyone else to pick up the pieces.”
He stooped down, lifted George’s head, and propped it against a rock, then pulled a tube of lipstick from his pocket and smeared it across the victim’s mouth. How many times had he seen George wipe off his lips coming out of the locker room? “You won’t wipe it off this time, Buddy.”
He stuffed a paper into George’s hand and tightened his fingers around it. “You don’t look too cool now.” He laughed and pulled a container of pudding and a strawberry pie out of his knapsack, opened them, and dumped them over George’s head. The gooey mixture ran down George’s face.
He licked his lips. “You poor, pathetic bastard.”

Gathering up his knapsack, he took one last look at the body, then turned and ran from the park. His job was done.
Ring Around the Rosy is available from Amazon

For more Friday Freebits

           Click on the logo above for more Friday Freebits.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Freebits Friday

Michele swore she’d scream if she had to look into one more smiling face or listen to the words, ‘you make such a perfect couple’, one more time. And her feet hurt. She shifted her weight from one foot to the other. To make matters worse, the warmth of Brad’s hand on her back sent heat coursing through her body. How
had she let them talk her into this?

The exquisitely decorated hall looked like a fairyland. Mother sure went all out this time. Twinkle lights sparkled through gauzy material that draped from the center of the ceiling and cast a glow on Brad’s face. He was so handsome in his tux. She could almost love him. That is, if she were inclined to love anyone.

The guests sat at round tables adorned with a single red rose in three-foot tall vases. Sure looked like they were having a good time while they awaited the announcement of the newlyweds. Michelle inhaled the scent of roses from her bouquet. The red roses that cascaded through the center of the bridal table looked beautiful, one of the few things Brad had insisted on.

Her mother had sure loved that. “Such a romantic gesture,” she had said. Little did her mother know the pact Michele and Brad had made. “Red roses,” he had told her, “not only mean love, they also mean respect. And though we don’t share love we promise mutual respect.”  A sweet and surprising comment.

Now their seats awaited them, their places of honor, the happy newlyweds. Ha, happy, Michele felt anything but happy. What she felt was tired, irritable, and just plain sick of this whole charade. If she had the nerve, she’d kick off her shoes and run out of here. But she didn’t and she wouldn’t - couldn’t - embarrass herself or her parents that way. She’d agreed to this charade. So she’d stay here, smile and play the happy bride.

 “Almost time to make our grand entrance,” Brad whispered. “Smile.”

It's Only Make Believe is available from Amazon

For More Freebits go to: Ginger's Blog 




Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Freebits

Excerpt from Another Day

Someone once said a hangover felt like a sharp spear of light, slicing your eyeballs out of their sockets and leaving every nerve rubbed raw, while a hundred drummers played in your head, complete with cymbals. I couldn’t remember who said it, but I could attest to the truth of it. The room spun. My stomach churned, and my mouth tasted like sour milk. I squinted against the bright sunlight. Darn, why hadn’t I pulled the shades? What time was it anyway?  Rolling over and lifting my head just high enough to look at the alarm
clock, I tried to focus. My eyes hurt just looking at the digital numbers.
Ugh, eight o’clock already.
Slumping back down onto the soft mattress, I pressed my fingertips into my temples. Rotten headache, served me right. Had I really drank a half bottle of wine?  God, I had drunk so much and barely remembered anything from last night. Anything that is, except Paul’s hands all over me. Oh Lord, Paul. Memory of last night flashed through my mind.
What had I done? Trying to block out the memory, I pulled the sheet over my head, and inched my way to the other side of the king-sized bed, glad for the coolness of the soft cotton sheets. What had possessed me last night?  I wasn’t some sex starved teen. I was married for cripes sake.
Oh God, how would I face Andrew?

Tears stung my eyes. Suddenly, my actions from last night became all too clear. How could I have done this? Just because Andrew had been inattentive and away on business a lot didn’t justify having sex with another man. 

Published by Books We Love and Available at Amazon





For more Friday Freebits go tohttp://mizging.blogspot.com


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Another Fantatic Design

by Karen Cote. - It's Only Make Believe

When Michele Markey is forced into marriage to the son of a long time firend, the only stipulation she makes is he remain faithful. 

Brad Lawson agrees, but faithful is one thing, celibate is another.
Too bad Brad's assistant is determined to break up the marriage. Is Brad keeping up his end of the bargain on those extended business trips and late night appointments? Or has he taken up with his sexy assistant again? 

Available from Amazon


Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Freebit

From Designed for Love available from Amazon

“What the hell?” My carry-on bag slid across the floor and slammed into the wall. My feet slipped out from
under me, I landed flat on my back, and someone fell on top of me, pinning me to the floor. The breath knocked out of me, I lay still a moment.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I finally caught my breath and pushed him off. “Everyone’s always in such a big hurry.”

“Why’d you slow down? You darned near stopped in front of me.” He stood up, brushed himself off and held out his hand to help me up. “Sorry.”

I knocked his hand away, got to my knees and stood. I didn’t need his help. Not his or anyone else’s for that matter. What I needed was to find my bag and get on to my gate.

“Look, I’m sorry. It was entirely my fault. I shouldn’t have been in such a hurry.” He held his hand out to me again, but I ignored it. “Here, let me get that for you.” He hurried to pick up my bag, but I grabbed it first.


“Look, Mister, I have a plane to catch, so excuse me if I don’t have time to chat.” I straightened up my bag, grabbed the handle and started toward my gate. Good looking in a rustic sort of way, I had to admit. Probably worked outdoors or at least spent a lot of time outside. Not that it made any difference. I didn’t have time for him. Or any man for that matter. I had a career to build, and men didn’t figure into it.


For more Friday Freebits go to: http://mizging.blogspot.com


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Morning Without Coffee...

is like a day without sunshine. Dreary and bleak.  My husband ususally makes coffee in the mornings. Partly because I stay in bed, even though I'm awake long before him. I know, it's not nice, but if he doesn't get up by seven-thirty/eight o'clock then I get up and make it. Most days he's up by seven, which is great because I wake up around six and it's awfully difficult to stay in bed that long. 
So this morning wasn't much different, except I actually slept until seven. Hubby was up and after my morning routine, I looked forward to a good cup of coffee. Strange thing, I didn't smell it brewing like I should have. 
I went in the kitchen and the pot was turned out, but nothing was dripping out. I opened to make sure he'd remembered to put in water (yes, I've forgotten that step a time or two). Yep, there was water, but no coffee dripping into the pot. 
Darn pot wasn't all that old and we only used it for a pot a day, unlike years ago when we drank several pots a day. Those pots sure lasted longer than the ones today.
At any rate, the only thing left to do was boil water, pour it over the grounds and make a pot the old fashioned way. Although it works, it's not something I'd want to do every day. 
After we had a couple cups, it was off to the store to replace it. I couldn't go another morning making coffee with boiling water.  I was half tempted to look for the old-fashioned percolators, electric of course. I didn't have much luck with the ones on the stove. Either they boiled over or the coffee was either too weak or too strong. 
I guess I'm not that old fashioned and have grown accustomed to our modern conveniences. Although, I don't think I'd like one of those new coffee makers that only make a cup at a time. My husband and I both drink at least two cups each, usually three. Making it one cup at a time seems inconvenient to me.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Friday Freebits

From Geriatric Rebels

Mike took her arm. “You better come with me.” He led her to the hall after a quick check to make sure it was still empty. “So you’re the one stealing the pitchers.”
She shivered and for a moment he felt sorry for her. What a mean trick, but he couldn’t help himself. He pushed open the exit door.
“Where are we going?” Elsa stiffened and tried to pull away. “Where are you taking me?”
 Her timid tone melted Mike. Time to confess. Damn, too late.
“Wait just a dog-gone minute.” She pulled away from him. “How do I know who you are? Where’s your uniform?  Show me some identification.” Although she spoke in whispers, the tone of her voice showed Mike she wasn’t buying his act.

Surprised by her sudden change of attitude, he stopped, raised his hands in surrender, and grinned at her.

Available from Amazon -

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Freebits

FROM TWO LOVE AGAIN - two stories one book

Christine

Christine stood on tiptoe, peering over people’s heads as she hurried down the long corridor through the crowded airport. Pushing the shoulder strap back up, she readjusted her overnight bag. She should have taken Lisa’s advice and borrowed her pilot’s bag; at least it had wheels. She hated this, hated traveling, and crowds, but she was down on the ground in one piece. Worst part of flying, taking off and landing. Vacations were great, but whoever said there’s no place like home hit the nail on the head.
“Mom!” Lisa’s voiced carried through the crowd.
Christine spotted her daughter, and hurried toward her family, smiling. Her grandchildren’s faces looked like breaths of fresh air among the busy travelers.
Hello, who’s that tall, handsome man next to Lisa? Not another fix-up, she hoped. She let out a low groan. When was her daughter going to learn she didn’t want a mate? Her life was fine.
His salt and pepper hair curled around his ears, and the way his graying mustache drooped about his mouth caused Christine’s heart to flutter. She always was a sucker for a man with a mustache. Probably because her father had one. The slow, easy smile that started with a twitch of his lips sent a quiver in Christine’s stomach. His smoky blue eyes captivated her.

Jenna and Richard raced toward her. Christine hugged her grandchildren but maintained eye contact with the man, curious about the stranger. “Gram, we missed you!” They said in unison. 

Elizabeth

Swaying to imaginary music, Elizabeth held her sundress out to the side and imagined the long flowing gown she’d wear at the ball. Bowing and smiling at an invisible partner, she twirled around the gazebo floor. Her long dark hair fell forward, covering her face. Tossing it back, Elizabeth laughed aloud and batted her long lashes, pretending to flirt with her imaginary partner.
“May I have this dance?” A masculine voice startled her into awareness.
“Um… uh. Oh shoot.” Heat burned her cheeks. A tingling swept up the back of her neck.  Elizabeth lowered her eyes, turned and ran.
 “Hey, wait.” He ran after her, caught up, and grabbed her arm. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.”
Elizabeth stopped, the light pressure of his grip sent a tingling sensation through her. Gathering her composure, she remembered her manners. “You must be new to Lakeview?” Her gaze caught his blue-green eyes and locked.
“Just arrived.” A smile twitched on his lips, as if he wanted to laugh but thought better of it. “Never been to a resort before. I’m staying with my aunt, Melissa James, maybe you know her?”


Available from Amazon

For more Friday Freebits go tohttp://mizging.blogspot.com



Thursday, April 3, 2014

Strutting their stuff



And here he is chasing one of his harem. I didn't know much about wild turkeys, so I looked it up. Here's some fun facts from: About.com

Wild turkeys can be fun when you consider how unique they really are. They were nearly extinct in the 1930s. Today there are more than  million wild throughout North America. .There are approximately 5500 feathers on an adult wild turkey, including 18 tail feathers that make up the male's distinct fan.
Wild turkeys have powerful legs and can run at speeds up to 25 miles per hour. Their top speed is 55 miles per hour. Most of their diet is grass and grain, but they have a varied diet and will also eat insects, berries, and small reptiles.
The average lifespan of a wild turkey is 3-5 years. They range from 5-20 pounds unlike domestic turkeys which are bred to be much heavier.
Because it is a native bird with a proud demeanor and protective instincts, Benjamin Franklin wanted it for the national bird because of its proud demeanor and protective instinct. Whereas the bald eagle is a scavenger and will rob other birds and animals for prey.
A wild turkey's gobble can be heard up to a mile away and is the primary means for a tom to communicate
with his harem. The adult male is called a tom, females are called hens, and young birds are poults A group of turkeys is called a rafter or flock.
The wild turkey is only one of two birds native to North America that has been regularly domesticated and are raised all over the world.
The only two states without extensive wild turkey populations are Alaska and Hawaii. The turkey's bald head and fleshy wattles can change color in seconds with excitement or emotion. The bird's head can be red, pink, white, or blue.
Wild turkeys see in color and have excellent daytime vision that is three times better than a human's eyesight and covers 270 degrees, but they have poor night vision.
Newly hatched turkeys are born with feathers and fend for themselves quickly. They leave the nest within 24 hours to forage for food with their mothers. Males have little to do with raising chicks.
The first unofficial presidential pardons were granted to domestic turkeys in 1947. Since then every president has pardoned  two birds (a presidential and vice presidential turkey) before Thanksgiving.
June is National Turkey month to promote eating turkey at times other than holidays.

So now you know as much about the turkey as I do.





Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Only Ninety-nine Cents

for a limited time Geriatric Rebels from Amazon


Who says life begins at forty? Life is wonderful at any age as long as you're willing to live it and Mike and Elsa prove it.
Seventy-two year old Mike Powell refuses to get out of bed or cooperate with the nurses, until he meets  seventy year old Elsa Logan. The tiny spunky Elsa sparks new life into him.
Elsa's son puts her in the nursing home while he takes a family vacation. She joins forces with Mike, setting the home on its heels and later discovers deception and fraud. Can they find happiness together?

Exceprt:


Peeking around the corner into the dimly lit halls, Mike watched the pretty silver-haired lady slip into a dark room. What was she up to? He looked up and down the hall to make sure no one was around and followed her. Next thing he knew, he ran smack into her.
“Whoa,” she whispered. “Who are you? What are you doing here?”
“Maybe I should ask you that question,” Mike answered. “This isn’t your room.” A tiny little thing, she 
barely came up to his shoulders. She put her hands behind her back, and Mike chuckled. What was she
hiding? “I’m night security,” he lied. “What’s behind your back?”
She lowered her head and brought out a water pitcher. “It was only a joke.”
Mike took her arm. “You better come with me.” He led her to the hall after a quick check to make sure it was still empty. “So you’re the one stealing the pitchers.”
She shivered and for a moment he felt sorry for her. What a mean trick, 
but he couldn’t help himself. He pushed open the exit door.
“Where are we going?” Elsa stiffened and tried to pull away. “Where are you taking me?”
 Her timid tone melted Mike. Time to confess. Damn, too late.
“Wait just a dog-gone minute.” She pulled away from him. “How do I know who you are? Where’s your uniform?  Show me some identification.” Although she spoke in whispers, the tone of her voice showed Mike she wasn’t buying his act.
Surprised by her sudden change of attitude, he stopped, raised his hands in surrender, and grinned at her.
“Who are you? Where do you think you’re taking me?” She glared at him with the lightest, bluest eyes he’d ever seen. Eyes that right now, he swore pierced into his.
 “You’re a burglar, aren’t you?” She tapped her foot and crossed her arms over her chest. “If you think for one minute, I’m going out that door with you, think again, buddy.”
Mike stifled a laugh, finding her amusing, obviously she didn’t trust him. Not that he blamed her, he did lie to her, and she didn’t know him from Adam. What did he expect?
“What were you doing in that room, buster, and if you don’t tell me who you are, I’m going to scream for help.”
“Okay, okay, quiet down.”  Hell, she meant business. “I was following you.” He tried to sound serious, but he couldn’t. He found the whole situation humorous. “My name is Mike Powell, room 110, but I don’t belong in this home.” He held out his hand toward her.
“Yeah, none of us belong here,” she scoffed. “Why were you following me?”
Since she ignored his outstretched hand, Mike lowered it. “I was curious to see where you were going in the middle of the night.”
“Humph.” Elsa tapped her foot. “So why are you here?”
“I fell and there wasn’t anyone to take care of me. My wife passed away three years ago, and I don’t have any children. So they threw me in here for therapy.”
“I never see you in therapy.”
“That’s ’cause I don’t need it anymore.”
“Humph. So how come you’re still here?”
“Nothing to go home to. I have more fun here. They don’t know I can get out of bed.”
“And just how did you pull that off?” Elsa seemed surprised to hear he had fooled the nurses into thinking he couldn’t get out of bed.
 “Simple, I refuse to get out of bed. Of course….” He combed his fingers through his thinning white hair and laughed. “They don’t know about my night time escapades.
“Ah, I know who you are. You’re that difficult man. I hear them talking about. You don’t eat, refuse to take your medicine, or even get out of bed. They call you the ‘Geriatric Rebel’.”
Mike chuckled. He liked the sound of her voice, musical, not raspy or whiney like the other women here. “So why are you here?” he asked. “You don’t seem like the typical resident.”
“Humph, kids are on vacation and don’t want to bother with me. I’m Elsa Logan, by the way.” Elsa turned away. “I better get back. Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow.” She left him standing in the hall.

A quiver of something familiar went through him as she disappeared down the hall and into her room.




Design by Karen Cote

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Another great design from Karen Cote




During the renovations of her Queen Anne Victorian home, Anna Hughes discovers a hidden room, complete with furniture, a trunk full of treasures – including a diary – and shadows hovering over it.  Available from Amazon.





Excerpt:
Whack! I swung the hammer, and the hole in the attic wall widened. Even through the plaster dust, I swore I smelled flowers. Roses and something else—lily of the valley—that was it. One more whack and a section of the wall collapsed.
"Ben, look!" I stepped through the opening and stared into the room. A dusty, women's antique French desk stood in the center of the large room. The wall behind it held book shelves still lined with books. Two chairs grouped, in front of the window, around a table that held a tarnished silver tea set.
I spun around the room. "My God, what is this?" Pictures hung on faded rose wallpaper. Dim light, from the dirty, stained glass window in the alcove, cast eerie shadows. "This is unbelievable."
Shadowy figures in the corner of the room beckoned to me. At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks. Between the dust and the dim light, but no, the shadows were there, plain as day. They hovered over a carved trunk.
"Ben, do you see that?"
"See what?" Ben brushed the dust off his hands.
I held back a giggle. I couldn't help it, he looked so uncomfortable. This wasn't Ben's cup of tea. I was still trying to figure out why he helped me. He stepped through the opening and looked at me.
"Shadows over that trunk." I held back, dying to know what was in it, but half afraid to go near it.
"Probably cobwebs."
I sighed. The look on Ben's face said it all. "Cobwebs, right."
"There you go again. You and that overactive imagination. I suppose now you're going to go ahead with the renovation." He took a couple steps into the room, stopped next to the desk, and opened a drawer. "Hm, Look at this." He pulled a sheet of stationary out of the drawer. "Mary Elizabeth Gilbert, wonder who she was."
I took the stationary from him. A bouquet of lily of the valley embossed the top of the page. Again, the shadows appeared and beckoned to me. "Those aren't cobwebs, Ben. Look."
 Like I didn't know the difference between shadows and cobwebs. Definitely shadows. Willowy figures hovered over the trunk. Come open it, they seemed to say. There was a sense of urgency about them, yet I didn't feel threatened. Giving in to the urge, I hurried to the trunk and lifted the decorative lid. "Oh, look at this!" I lifted a pearl handled hairbrush out of the trunk. "It's beautiful." A shadowy figure floated above it. Then, I lifted out a corset and held the tiny form in front of me. One of the shadowy figures moved closer, almost on top of me.
"Ugh, I can't imagine having to wear one of these." Suddenly, my stomach and chest tightened. I lost my breath, gasped, and sunk to my knees. The corset fell from my hand. The shadows backed off. I was finally able to take a deep breath, and let it out slowly.
When I opened my eyes, Ben stood over me. "Are you okay? What happened? You looked like you were going to pass out."
"I...I don't know. I couldn't breathe. It felt like someone was squeezing the life out of me." I looked at the corset lying on the dusty floor. What just happened here? A shadowy figure lingered nearby. What was it trying to tell me?
"I think we better get out of this dust for a while, get some fresh air." Ben helped me to my feet. "You can come up later. I know how anxious you are to go through that trunk. There's no stopping you now, is there?"
I hated to leave, but Ben was right. I had inhaled an awful lot of dust. "Ben do you smell flowers—roses or lily of the valley?"
"All I smell is plaster and years of dust. Roses, are you sure you're okay?" He furrowed his brow and gave me one of those disapproving looks that said I was nuts. I hated that look.
"I'm fine, just a little woozy. You're right, probably from all the dust." So Ben hadn't seen the shadows, and he didn't smell the flowers, so what. I looked back through the opening, and they were there, big as life. I sighed and reluctantly followed Ben downstairs.
After a quick lunch and something to drink, I stood, anxious to go back to what I now called my treasure trove. I love old things. That's why I bought this old Victorian house. Sure, it was a fixer-upper, but that was part of the charm and fun.
 I needed a quiet place to write. Someplace I could retreat while work was being done on the rest of the house, and the attic fit the bill. Besides, I needed a place of my own, away from Ben.
Ben had noticed the stained glass window from the outside a couple weeks ago. I hadn't noticed it when I bought the house. I'm sure Ben was sorry he mentioned it to me. Not that it mattered; I was still planning on renovating the attic. The window was the only reason I managed to talk Ben into tearing down the wall. Not that he believed me. He thought someone just covered over the window from the inside. He only went along because he thought it would prove me wrong. Ben liked to do that. But I knew I was right this time, and I took great satisfaction in proving him wrong for a change.
I had been drawn to the attic ever since I first saw it, even without knowing about the window. And I wanted to help with the renovation, but it didn't take a brain surgeon to know there was a lot I couldn't do. Electrical work for one and the whole house needed rewired. Thank goodness, Connie told me about Chad. Hopefully, he was still interested in doing the work, and Ben's rudeness hadn't turned him off.
Downstairs, Ben dusted off his clothes. "I hope you're going to hire someone to finish this. You know I'm not cut out for this kind of work."
I sighed. Luckily, Ben had helped this much. "You know I'm going to hire Chad, if he's still willing to do the work, that is. You were awfully rude to him."
"I think you should find someone else. I don't like that guy."
"He comes highly recommended. Connie says he's tops in his field." Of course Ben was going to give me a hard time about Chad. His dislike was evident right from the beginning, and he didn't do a thing to hide it. "Besides, I liked him. He didn't have to suggest we knock down the wall. He could have charged me for it. I think he's honest."
"I don't like this, Anna. This whole renovation thing is crazy."
"Come on, Ben. Just help me finish knocking down that wall. There's not much more to do. I'll call the contractor later."
I didn't like the way Ben looked at me. Like he was sorry he offered. He hated dirt. Besides the fact he was sweating and the plaster dust mixed with the sweat probably made him feel gritty. He was going to back out and leave me to finish the job. I wasn't sure I could handle it. "Please, I really need your help." Begging usually worked with Ben. He loved to hear me beg.
"Oh, what the heck." He shrugged. "You're right, there isn't much more to knock down. Guess that's the least I can do. Besides I'm already dirty. Once we get that wall knocked down, I can take a shower and call it quits. Okay, I'll help with the rest of the wall, but that's it."
I smiled and kissed him. "Thank you." How Ben was going to survive here with all the renovation going on, I didn't know. Even as a kid, he said he hated getting dirty. While the neighborhood kids played in the dirt, he sat in the air conditioned house, reading. I could picture him. Serious-minded Ben didn't like things other boys enjoyed, like sports. He still didn't.
 He followed me up the steps. "Let's get this done."
Back upstairs, we knocked down the rest of the dividing wall. All the while, I watched the shadows move back and forth between me and the trunk. What was in there? I couldn't wait to find out, but I continued to help Ben. He'd have a fit if I quit.
"Why do you suppose someone sealed up this room?" I tried to ignore the shadows flitting in and out of my vision. They definitely wanted my attention.
"I have no idea." Ben knocked down the last of the dividing wall. "There, we're done. Now let your contractors finish the job." He brushed off his hands. "Why I offered to help you is beyond me. Can I leave now?"
I laughed. I couldn't help it, he looked so pathetic. Pathetic and so dirty. I appreciated the fact he helped me. Really I did. Ben didn't particularly like the old Victorian and couldn't understand why I insisted on buying it. Oh, well, he'd get used to it. He'd have to if we were going to get married. This was my home, and I was in it for the long haul.
 "Maybe someone was hiding a past." I ignored Ben's question. Seldom did he ask permission for anything, and staying dirty a few more minutes wouldn't hurt him.
"It's like someone walked out of this room and built the wall. They left everything just as it was." Again the shadows appeared and disappeared. Maybe they held the key. I was dying to dive into that trunk.
With the last of the wall down, I began the clean up. Ben stood by while I put chunks of plaster and pieces of lathe into an old box. I could see all Ben wanted to do was jump into a shower.
Finally, he apparently couldn't stand it anymore. "I'm heading for the shower." He turned and hurried down the steps before I could answer. Not that I cared. Right now I was better off without him. I barely glanced at him. "Go ahead. I can clean up."

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Secrets, Lies, & Love

Another fantastic design from Karen Cote. She never ceases to amaze me.

A dilapidated Queen Anne Victoria, a dead body, and an ex boyfriend complicate life for Meghan Shelby
when she returns to her hometown after a ten year absence.

Available at Amazon




Excerpt:

Meghan loved this time of year, though a little too hot to start school in her opinion. Why they felt the need to go back in August was beyond her. She remembered her mother complaining about it years ago. “What was wrong with starting after Labor Day like they did in my day?” Her mother used to rant and rave for weeks before school started. Even got on the School Board. Not that it changed anything. School still started the last week in August. Meghan smiled at the memory.
Now that she thought about it, it was silly. Like they took the last week of vacation away from the kids. Bet the teachers didn’t like it either.
Meghan pulled into the school parking lot. Not much had changed here either. New landscaping, new windows, but that was about it. The old building looked pretty much the same.
Her footsteps echoed in the empty hall. She’d never been in the school when it was empty before. The strong odor of wax and other cleaning products prickled her nostrils. The clean smell lingered through the first few days of school.
It had been a long time since she’d been to the principal’s office and she stopped outside, took a deep breath and held it. Here goes nothing. Mr. Duncan said look for Mr. Mac.  He must be new in town. It wasn’t a name she remembered. So what was the worse he could say? Letting out her breath, she hurried inside, before her nerve left her. A man stood with his back to her, unpacking a box of books.
“Excuse me. I’m looking for Mr. Mac.”
 “I’m Mr. Mac.” He turned toward her.
Meghan’s breath caught in her throat. “Patrick!” The word slipped out of her mouth, before she could stop it. The love of her life stood in front of her, even better looking and sexier than she remembered. Her heart skipped a beat, her legs turned to jelly, and she grabbed the edge of the desk to steady herself.
Patrick smiled at her. That easy smile she remembered from long ago. The smile she used to love. It lit up his eyes.
“Little Meghan Shelby. Not so little anymore I see.”
Heat burned her cheeks as Patrick looked her up and down, apparently taking in every inch of her. He remembered her. After all this time he knew who she was. Would wonders never cease?
“Uh, um...” Oh crap. Now wasn’t the time to get tongue tied. “You’re the principal here?” Lord, could she work for him. See him every day?
“Yes, I am. I heard you were back in town. Are you staying then? Do you want to register your child?”
“Huh?” Her child, was he nuts? “Uh no I’m here about the secretarial position. Mr. Duncan was supposed to call you.”
“Really? You want the job?”
“Yes, didn’t Mr. Duncan call? He told me to come right over.”
 “If he did I didn’t hear the phone. I’ve been in and out of the office.” He nodded toward the stack of books. “Too busy around here this time of year.” Patrick grinned and motioned her into his office. “So tell me about yourself. What qualifies you for the job?”
Qualifications? Think damn it. What was the matter with her? She’d lost all train of thought. “Well, I’m computer proficient. I’m good with math. And I love children.” What more could he want?
“I see. So why do you want the position? Tell me about your education.”

His deep voice sent shivers down her spine. Meghan couldn’t take her gaze from him. All sense of reason flew out the window. She had the most God awful urge to reach up and push his dark hair out of his eyes. “I’m a former Math major, have two years of college. I’m a quick learner.” Finally, she looked away.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Another Great Design by Karen Cote

Imagine being threatened to give up your child. That’s exactly what happened to Vanessa Gleason. A fairytale marriage turned into a nightmare. Now, alone in the world, Vanessa vows to fight her wealthy ex-husband for custody. Was it fate that brought her to that little church on Christmas Eve?
Available from Amazon