Thursday, December 31, 2015

Reflections of 2015

As 2015 comes to an end, I can't help but reflect back. It's been a good year, nothing exceptional. It started out with a bitterly cold winter. The snow turned to ice on our drive and even though my nephew plowed, it remained ice.
 We have a gravel drive, and I swear the ice was several inches thick. I could hardly walk on it. Needless to say, we stayed inside for the most part, only going out when necessary. I even missed church several Sundays because of the ice. If I couldn't walk on it, I surely wasn't going to drive on it.
My nephew even slid off the drive with his truck and got stuck. I'm sure he wasn't anxious to plow our driveway, but he did it every time it snowed. I don't usually mind the cold or the snow, but this winter was brutally cold. The poor dogs ran out and didn't take long to do their business. I felt bad about having to let them out.

I became a great grandmother for the third time in May. My granddaughter had a beautiful baby girl, Michaela. Precious little beauty, but of course I'm prejudiced. Pictured here with her proud mama, (Allison) great grandpa, and a proud auntie (Alexandra). God has blessed us abundantly.

Spring took forever to get here. At least it seemed to and summer - well I'm still waiting for it to arrive. Not that I'm complaining about that. I dislike the hot, humid summer days as much as I disliked the cold. Only difference is, I was able to stay inside and keep warm in the winter. I hate staying inside in the summer. I like my doors and windows open. I'm not crazy about air conditioning and keeping the house closed up. It's closed up enough in the winter. This past summer was much more to my liking. We only had to run the air a couple of days.
 In fact, we only put one of our window air conditioners in. No, we don't have central air.
We did, however, buy a motor-home - an old one was all we could afford. 1989. But in fairly good condition. Doesn't look like much, all faded and such, but I love it. So we did quite a bit of camping this year. Our state parks offer half price during the week to seniors and we took full advantage of it. Although we still camped with the kids on weekends when they went. It's always fun
to camp with the kids and I even went tubing with them. Loved every minute of it. Granted it took a bit to get me in and out of the tube, but once in, we floated down the river and it was so relaxing. Something about being on the water is calming.
Fall was beautiful and lasted well into December. It was 60 Christmas Day. However, the temperatures have now dropped and returned to normal. I guess winter has finally arrived. We've seen a few snow flakes but so far no accumulation. It's supposed to be a milder than normal winter with less than normal snow. Doesn't bother me a bit.
Two of my grandchildren got engaged recently so weddings will be forthcoming, probably in 2017. We are also expecting a great grandson in June so it looks like 2016 is going to be a good year.

Funny, I hadn't meant to talk about the weather, but I guess it gives you a general idea of how uneventful my life has been this year.
But I did publish a new book, All's Well that Ends Well, book 2 in the Family Affair Series. You can find it at Amazon.

Wishing everyone a healthy, Happy New Year.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas by Roseanne Dowell

 Our Christmas celebration begins tonight. Every year my siblings and I get together to celebrate. A lot has changed over the years, what started out at my parents soon got taken over by us kids. As my parents aged, and our families grew, it got to be too much for them. Between us six kids, there were 23 grandchildren. Quite a crowd. What started out
as a traditional Christmas Eve dinner soon turned into snacks like potato chips and pretzels.
Each of my siblings and I took turns hosting, which wasn't too bad actually. We only had it once every five years - one of my siblings wives opted out. I guess the idea of 14 adults and 23 kids was too much for her to handle, but the rest of us participated.
Of course our families grew, the grandchildren married and one by one dropped out, having in-laws to visit. Soon there were just me and my siblings and a few grandchildren whose in-laws lived out of town. Alas, now it's just my two brothers and one sister. My parents have  passed on as well as one brother and sister. This year we're down to just the eight of us.
What started out as a joke many years ago soon became a tradition in our family. Joke gifts. We decided early on since there were so many of us not to give the traditional gift, other than for my parents who we bestowed a real gift. Not that my mom was excluded from the joke gifts. Far be it from us not to include her. I think we all get our sense of humor from our mother. She loved to play tricks and jokes on people.  
Every year my sisters and I would get together a week or two before
Christmas to come up with ideas to give my brothers. Often our gifts would include letters composed by our three minds put together. Often our gifts consisted of something to wear. 
Once the group shrunk to just my siblings, we began giving serious gifts also. Many times my gifts were homemade, quilts, embroidery, photos my husband took. After all, finding something for people who virtually had everything was quite a feat. Eventually, that became too difficult and we stopped, but the joke gifts continued. 
At least they did until this year. One of my sister in laws and my sister ran out of ideas. So this year, there won't be any joke gifts. 
In fact, this year will be the last with my oldest brother. They've purchased a house in Florida and next year will spend Christmas there. It saddens me to think we won't all be together, but at least my younger sister and brother will still participate. We'll be down to six.
No matter how many of us there are, it'll still be a fun evening. 
I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas

 Our Christmas celebration begins tonight. Every year my siblings and I get together to celebrate. A lot has changed over the years, what started out at my parents soon got taken over by us kids. As my parents aged, and our families grew, it got to be too much for them. Between us six kids, there were 23 grandchildren. Quite a crowd. What started out
as a traditional Christmas Eve dinner soon turned into snacks like potato chips and pretzels.
Each of my siblings and I took turns hosting, which wasn't too bad actually. We only had it once every five years - one of my siblings wives opted out. I guess the idea of 14 adults and 23 kids was too much for her to handle, but the rest of us participated.
Of course our families grew, the grandchildren married and one by one dropped out, having their own in-laws to visit. Soon there was just me and my siblings and a few grandchildren whose in-laws lived out of town. Alas, now it's just my two brothers and one sister. My parents have  passed on as well as my oldest brother and older sister. This year we're down to just the eight of us.
What started out as a joke many years ago soon became a tradition in our family. Gag gifts. We decided early on since there were so many of us not to give the traditional gift, other than for my parents who we gave a real gift. Not that my mom was excluded from the joke gifts. Far be it from us not to include her. I think we all get our sense of humor from our mother. She loved to play tricks and jokes on people.  
Every year my sisters and I would get together a week or two before
Christmas to come up with ideas to give our brothers. Often the gifts included letters composed by our three minds. Often our gifts consisted of something to wear an funny outfit. Last year we gave my older brother a suit decorated with glitter glue and poinsettias. 
Once the group shrunk to just my siblings, we began giving serious gifts also. Many times my gifts were homemade, quilts, embroidery, photos my husband took. After all, finding something for people who virtually had everything was quite a feat. Eventually, that became too difficult and we stopped, but the gag gifts continued. 
At least they did until this year. One of my sister in laws and my sister ran out of ideas. So this year, there won't be any joke gifts. 
In fact, this year will be the last with my oldest brother. They've purchased a house in Florida and next year will spend Christmas there. It saddens me to think we won't all be together, but at least my younger sister and brother will still participate. We'll be down to six.
No matter how many of us there are, it'll still be a fun evening. 
I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

My Favorite Time of Year

Christmas is my favorite holiday. If you follow my blog, you probably know that by now. I can't help it, I love it. I love the season. The Lights. The Tree. The Hustle and Bustle. Shopping. Yep, I love everything about it.
This year is special to me. I'm hosting Christmas dinner here in my house. It's been years since I've had Christmas. The kids took it over many years ago when we moved. An apartment is hardly large enough to hold my big family and it's growing by leaps and bounds as grandkids get married or have girl friends or boy friends. This year my adult shopping list went from ten couples to fourteen couples, leaving only  six younger ones to buy gifts for.
So, not only do I get to host Christmas this year, I'm also hosting our annual traditional Christmas Eve dinner, which I host every year. I no longer do it on Christmas Eve for a variety of reasons - 1. Everyone can't come Christmas Eve 2. Some people work Christmas Eve. 3. I celebrate Christmas with my siblings on Christmas Eve, leaving no time to have the dinner.
So, we do it a week before, which gives us another day to celebrate. It's also fun because there's no hustle and bustle of opening gifts. We have a leisurely dinner and fellowship.
The past couple of years, my sons and sons in law made the pyrohy (perogi) for this dinner. If you've ever made p, you know it's a lot of work. Not difficult to do, but time consuming. However, my sons and sons in law think it's fun and a big joke to make the pyrohy darn near the size of footballs. One pyrohy would suffice for three normal size ones.
Not that they weren't good because they were excellent. But I much prefer the smaller, traditional ones. That being said, isn't the reason I decided to make them myself this year. The real reason is I've turned into a couch potato and I needed something to do. One batch of pyrohy takes a good part of the day to make if you're doing them alone. So needless to say, I've spent many days making them. I actually had them done, but someone turned off my freezer and 4 dozen potato pyrohy had to be tossed.
Praise God, other than a couple packages of fish (that my hubby didn't like anyway) nothing else had to be tossed. I probably could have used the fish because they were still cold as if they were in a refrigerator. But I tossed them just to be on the safe side. The only reason I had to toss the potato pryohy  was they were all stuck together like a big pile of mush. So I had to remake those 4 dozen. All total I've made 14 dozen potato pyrohy and 6 dozen sauerkraut ones, but only reaping the benefit of 10 dozen potato ones. I'm debating if I need to make another batch of potato ones, but I really think I have enough. It's not the only thing we're eating. We're also having our traditional mushroom soup and balbaki (little dough balls with either poppy seed or sauerkraut).  A very filling meal. Some of us will fill up on soup.
I just chopped 10 packages of mushrooms and froze them for the soup. One of the things I love about this meal is everything can be made ahead and frozen. Of course, there's a lot of last minute preparation also. The pyrohy have to be boiled and fried with onions, the soup has to be made with potatoes and zaprashka  (a thickening made with butter and flour and browned to the color and consistency of peanut butter some people call it a rue).  The balbaki have to be steamed and then mixed with butter, poppy seed, honey & sugar, or butter and sauerkraut. If you over steam them they turn to mush. You bring a big pot of water to a boil and throw the dough balls in. Pretty much you push them down to make sure they're all in the water and then you drain them immediately.
I still have to make the balbaki. Usually I'd make them by now, but my freezer doesn't have room for them, so I'll wait until next week to make them. I think I'll have to make 3 batches of 6 cups of flour  each or maybe 2 and half - one batch being 9 cups of flour.
Needless to say all this prepartion and cooking has kept me extremely busy, but it's also brought back memories also. Memories of my early years and my mom baking and preparing for this special meal. Memories of my the years when I first started preparing it for my own family.
It was always a family affair. I remember so well helping my mom make the balls. She made the dough and after it rose, she'd take a section and roll it between her hands like a long skinny snake. Then she'd cut them into bite-size pieces and we'd roll them into balls and put them in the pan. After they baked, she turned them out onto a clean sheet on the dining room table. We'd take turns taking the pan and emptying it. Of course, we always grabbed a couple to eat. Nothing better than warm bread straight from the oven. We listened to Christmas music and sang as we baked. It was a fun time. However, if you dropped three of the balls while you were shaping them, you were out. I think my brothers always dropped three on purpose.
Back then my uncle, aunt, and cousins came to Christmas Eve dinner and then we went to visit my grandparents. Christmas Day we always spent with my uncle, aunt and cousins. Yes, the same ones from the night before. We followed the same tradition for years. Until two of my brothers and sisters married. Then we didn't have dinner with my uncle any more. For several years we had dinner with my parents, but it got to be too much for them. My sisters and I started preparing it for our own families and my parents usually had one of my brothers' families for dinner. After dinner, we gathered at either my house or one of my siblings to celebrate Christmas. Christmas day, we always went to my in-laws.
Now our parents are gone and we celebrate with our own families. My brothers, sister and I have carried on the tradition of getting together Christmas Eve. One brother and sister are gone now and we miss them dearly. Next year another of my brothers is bowing out as he has a place in Florida and will be celebrating Christmas there. It'll only be my younger sister and youngest brother (he's older than I am, but he's the youngest of the three boys). It won't quite be the same, but we'll continue the tradition for as long as we can.
It'll still be my favorite time of year.
To all of you, I wish you a blessed and Merry Christmas.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Visit from J.Q. Rose and Lauren Staab

Hi Roseanne. Hello Readers.

I’m sorry I can’t be with you at the blog today because I need to run out to buy Halloween candy for about the fourth time this year. Somehow, no matter where I hide the candy, it disappears before

I’ll be in a mess of pumpkin guts and seeds today as I carve those jack-o-lanterns for Saturday night. Fortunately Lauren Staab, the main character in my new mystery/romance, Deadly Undertaking, volunteered to take my place.  Books We Love just released the e-book this month. I’m so excited to have Lauren introduce the story to you on Roseanne’s blog and kick-off the book launch. Thanks so much, Roseanne.

No trick here, but certainly a treat for me to have Roseanne visiting my blog today. Because Roseanne is working on her Halloween costume, her character, Beatrice Lulu, from her new e-book. All’s Well That Ends Well, jumped at the opportunity to get her nose into my blog. You’re invited to come on over to the J.Q. Rose blog after visiting here. Thank you.
Link to J.Q. Rose blog

Now, here’s Lauren’s story:

No waaaay. No way did I ever imagine I would be suspected of killing a man. And in my own home
town of Mayfield, Michigan! Everybody knows me in my small town where I grew up. Everybody knows my family too because my dad’s the funeral director in town. Well, yes there’s Swartz Funeral Home, but they don’t do good work. My dad’s reputation is flawless, known for his integrity, caring, and putting out bodies that look better dead than they did alive.

Oh, excuse me, I should introduce myself. My name is Lauren Staab. My dad is Jensen Staab, owner of the Staab and Blood Funeral Home. He’s the one who found the dead man in our garage. He was lying sprawled out between the funeral coach and our black SUV we use for delivering flowers to the cemetery. Dad yelled at me to call 9-1-1. I wish I’d just called the number and never raced out to the garage to see the crime scene. I can’t erase the grisly view from my brain.

When I called 9-1-1 and told the operator the emergency was at Staab and Blood Funeral Home, she accused me of making a prank call after I said, “There’s a dead body in our garage.”

That was only the beginning of the most horrific time in my life, but also the most wonderful time in my life. At the same time my father, brother, and I were suspects in the murder, I re-connected with Gary Applegate. Gary was always there for me when I was in high school helping me with my trigonometry homework. He had just returned to Mayfield, too and joined the police department. I thought we could team up to find the killer, but he’d have none of that. We did get together for other reasons though, and that led to another kind of partnership, for life.

Henry, the shadow man, who regularly visited me, whether I wanted him to or not, knew all along that Gary and I were meant for each other. I hate to admit he was right. I mean, really, would you take love advice from a ghost?
# # #
Back of the Book: Deadly Undertaking by J.Q. Rose
Lauren Staab knew there would be dead bodies around when she returned home. After all, her family is in the funeral business, Staab and Blood Funeral Home. Still, finding an extra body on the floor of the garage between the hearse and the flower car shocked her. Lauren’s plan to return to her hometown to help care for her mother and keep the books for the funeral home suddenly turns upside down in a struggle to prove she and her family are not guilty of murdering the man. But will the real killer return for her, her dad, her brother? Her mother’s secrets, a killer, a handsome policeman, and a shadow man muddle up her intention to have a simple life. Welcome home, Lauren!

Buy Links
Books We Love has a BOGO special going on right now for a a limited time. Buy one book, and get another one of the same price or less for FREE.

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

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

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday, October 9, 2015

Available Now - Book 2 in the Family Affair Series

I’m Beatrice Lulu Eberhardt. Some of you know me from my niece Callie Johnson. Callie’s the new Chief of Police of our little town and I first appeared in her book, All in the Family.
Callie doesn’t know it, but she’s my favorite. I annoyed her  sometimes because I tried to fix her up with a nice young man, well several nice young men. I didn’t want her ending up an old maid like I almost was. If Ed hadn’t come along – well I shudder to think what my life would have been like. Callie didn’t much care for any of the men I introduced her to. Praise God, she finally met a nice young man on her own.
But that’s neither here nor there. This story isn’t about Callie. It’s about me. That’s
right, me and pretty much no one else. I’m a bit of a sleuth. Some call me nosy or a busy body, but honestly, I’m only trying to help. I don’t mean to interfere.
It all started when Ed and I bought a cabin. It’s a beautiful place with its own lake. Ed loves to fish. We thought it would be fun to have a place just for us, away from everyone. You may not remember I’m from a large, crazy family. Crazy in a fun-loving way, of course. So Ed and I wanted a place to relax, not that it’s turned out that way. We’re seldom alone. Guess it’s because we genuinely like people. So now days when we go up there, someone always comes along. Usually Ethel and her husband, Greg. Ethel’s my sister, by the way. I have two other sisters, also – Charlotte, we call her Lottie,  and Lillian. Lillian is Callie’s mother, and we have a brother, Clyde, but we don’t see him as often.
Anyway, we bought the cabin and Ed and I went up there to clean it up. No one had been in it for years. Cobwebs filled more than the corners I’ll tell you that. It was going to take days, if not weeks, to clean it. But Ed promised we could fix it up and Ed never breaks a promise. That’s one of the things I love about him.
So there we were looking around, deciding what to do, and Ed decided to build a fire to take the chill and damp out of the air. The place smelled musty, the way empty houses smell after being locked up for a long time.
Well there I was, thinking about where to start when I heard a strange clattering noise. I thought Ed fell or something. I turned around and lying on the fireplace hearth was an arm – well what was left of the arm, bones and tattered flannel from a shirt, I assume. Although I’ve been told never to assume anything.
If you want to know what happens next you’ll have to read about it in All’s Well That Ends Well soon to be released from Books We Love.

If you haven’t read All in the Family – Book 1 of the Family Affair series, you can find it and all my books at Books We Love. Just click on the book and it’ll take you to the buy page. They're also available from Amazon and other markets. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Meet Harlee from Lost in his Eyes by Ginger Simpson.

Hi, I’m Harlee Williams, the heroine in Ginger Simpson’s, Lost in His Eyes, just released by Books We Love.  I’m about to marry Logan Carruthers, the man
who rescued me from the darned ol’ well I fell into at the beginning of the story.

I’d like to invite you to share a tidbit to see if this
story is something that tickles your fancy:

  She positioned herself firmly against the wall, bending her knees and planting her feet against the opposite wall. Drowning wasn’t a preference and there was enough water if she passed out or fell over while sleeping. With any luck, she’d just nod off and wake up in the beautiful garden Ma read about in the Bible one Sunday. 
 The pictures the hallowed words painted colored Harlee’s mind, and her muscles relaxed. Her head lulled to her shoulder. If her time had come, she was ready. Anything had to be
better than the wet, damp hell that claimed her. Her eyes closed, then squinted
tighter against a light much brighter than she’d ever seen. Was it the door to
The bucket banged her atop her head. “Ouch!” The pain brought back her voice.
“Holy Shit ” A deep voice sounded above. Surely, God didn’t curse. Then who?
Harlee tried to adjust to the daylight filtering down the well by holding a shielding hand to her forehead. She looked up, but the dank and dark prison had stolen her vision as well as her voice. Weakness robbed her of the ability to stand. Despite being able to focus on the owner of the voice, she continued to peer up and pray. Finally, she managed to see her rescuer’s outline.
He learned farther over the opening. “Are you alive?” 
Seemed like a silly question since dead people didn’t speak, but she stifled her sarcasm, not wishing to risk her rescue. “I-I think so.” Harlee barely had the strength to respond, but at the idea of being set free, she found the ability to speak…or croak.
“Hold on, Let me see if I can find something to help get you
Out? The word sounded more beautiful than any other she’d ever heard, but when he disappeared from her site, panic seized her heart. Was she hallucinating?
The blue sky loomed overhead and the smell of freshness drifted down to replace the wet, musty smell she’d endured for so long. She released a pent-up breath when a fuzzy silhouette reappeared.
“This place is deserted, but I did manage to find a good, hearty rope. The one attached to this old bucket is so rotten, it wouldn’t hold up a feather. Do you think you could manage to tie this one around your waist and climb out while I pull?”
Tying something around her waist wasn’t the problem. Her legs had grown weak and she doubted she could stand. Still, the idea of living appealed more than dying. “I-I can try.” She braced herself with the sides of the well and forced herself to her feet. Her head spun and she feared she might faint. The rope unfurled as he released it. His comment about the place being deserted didn’t make sense, but then nothing did at the moment.
With shriveled and weak hands, Harlee secured the braided horsehair around her waist, and gripped the lifeline with all the strength she mustered. “Okay, I’m ready, I think,” she called up to her rescuer.
“I’ll pull and you use your feet to walk up the wall.”
“I’m not sure I can. I have no feeling in my feet.
“Well, if I have to come down there and get you, there’ll be no one here to pull us both out. You’ve got to try.”
“I’ll try my hardest.” She made a first step and a second. Water dripped from her
body and splattered into what remained in the well. Her limbs trembled and the
coarseness of the rope nipped through the thin material of her dress and chafed
her skin. On her third step, her left leg gave out and she slammed against the
wall, knocking the air from her lungs and scraping her cheek against the rough
stones. The stranger slackened the rope, allowing her to collapse back into the
water. Harlee massaged her burning face and even in the dim light saw blood on
her fingers. She used the wet hem of her dress to soothe the burning and dab
the wound.
“Are you all right?” His deep voice resonated and brought her to her senses.
Wouldn’t anyone who’d been trapped in a well for days be just fine? She took a deep breath and resisted asking him if he was serious.
“Did you hurt yourself?” He yelled louder.
“Yes. My cheek is bleeding and my hands are raw, but I’m ready to try again.” Determination drove her.
“Okay, I’m going to start pulling again, so stand up and
hold on tight.”
Her mind whirred with questions she hoped to ask. Harlee struggled to her feet and took a firm grip on her lifeline. “I’m ready; pull. ” Despite the pain, she concentrated on each step, unwilling to waiver until she reached freedom. Her palms burned and the top of the wellappeared miles away. Still, she made sure she kept one foot anchoring her in
place before she moved the other. Many times she wanted to surrender, but
looking up into the blurred face of her hero gave her the strength she needed
to continue.
After what seemed forever, sunlight warmed Harlee’s face and a breeze caressed her soggy skin. The stranger grasped her beneath her arms and hauled her over the well’s edge. Her feet touched the ground, but overcome by weakness, she sagged against her hero. He swept her into his arms as if she was nothing more than a feather and cradled her like a mother would her babe.
“There, there, you’re going to be fine now.”
Somehow, she believed his soothing words...especially because of the sincerity shining in his sky blue eyes.

If you like what you read, you can find all my books availabe on my Amazon page.  Check them out.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Welcome Jude Pittman from Books We Love Publishing

Thank you so much for being here, Jude.

1: First, I’ve discovered most publishers are also
authors. Are you?  

Yes I am.  I write mysteries and paranormal romance.

2: When did you start your publishing company?

Books We Love Ltd. incorporated in 2010, however, the predecessor to Books We Love, an author promotion group entitled Books We Love promotion, actually started in 1998.

3: What inspired you to start your own publishing company?

My introduction to online publishing came in the early 90s, and it didn’t take me long to discover there was very limited, if any, support given to eBook authors by either small press publishers or the industry in general.  Since I had a fair amount of experience with online groups like the original Time Warner and other Compuserve authors forums, as well as a stint as an editor of the Open Directory, I formed an author promotion group with a focus on group promotion to give us more exposure than any of us could gain on our own.  In the mid-2000s many small press houses began folding and by 2009 a great many of my co-authors and myself were looking for what we referred to as an “author-centric” publishing house.

4: What makes your publishing company different than others?

First, we do not “mass recruit” authors.  We focus on quality over quantity, and we’re very particular about the books we publish.  Our primary criteria are experience and knowledge of the industry.  Our authors need to have a history in publishing together with the experience required to be part of a quality-focused publishing house like Books We Love.  We pay higher royalties, offer a lot more promotion, and much more author support than most small press publishers.  We also expect a high degree of professionalism from our authors and we only work with authors who can meet those expectations.

5: What do you like the most about running your own publishing company? What do you like least?

Being able to publish some of the most fantastic books being offered in the marketplace and knowing that the author is going to get a fair share of the proceeds from those published books is what I like the most.

Having very little time left over for my own writing is what I like the least.

6: Tell us about your company, what type of stories are you looking for? How to submit, what length stories, and where can we find the submission guidelines?

Our company publishes genre fiction in most categories.  We do not have an “open” submission policy.  Most of our new authors are recommended by existing authors, and we do not provide submission guidelines because each offer of interest is geared towards a specific candidate referred by one of our existing authors.  When we do have an interest in an author we want the entire manuscript. We seldom bother with query letters and synopsis. We are a different kind of publishing company.

7: Tell us about your authors.

All of our authors are experienced professionals. Many of them have previously been published by large houses, and have opted for the smaller, more author focused and individualistic environment of a medium-sized publisher like Books We Love.  Of course, as far as we’re concerned, we have the most talented authors in the publishing industry.

8: How do you decide to accept or reject a manuscript?

Based on the quality of the work, the experience of the author, and the recommendations of our existing authors.

9: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

Before you attempt to publish a book, make sure you have thoroughly mastered the basics of your craft.  Don’t just toss your book out there and see if a publisher is interested.  Perfect it first, then seek out beta-readers, critique groups, and anyone you can find to give you an honest and thorough evaluation of your work.  I remember my first novel.  I revised it 6 times before it was accepted for publication and then revised it two more to the publisher’s specification.  Publishing takes, time, patience, hard work, dedication and a passion for writing that goes far beyond the possibility of any financial reward.

10: I know you’re extremely busy, but we all need to relax sometimes. What do you for fun and relaxation?

I bowl twice a week and my husband and I enjoy long walks.  We also enjoy short getaways that allow us to leave technology behind and explore our country and our neighboring countries.  We’re Canadian, but we’ve thoroughly enjoyed our visits both to the USA and Mexico.

11: Where can we find your website? Blog?

Books We Love is at : or

Our Insider Blog, written by all of our authors and unique in that our blog is not a promotion vehicles, it is a calendar of fascinating stories and articles written by our extremely talented authors.

12: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?

That I respect and value hard work and commitment.

13: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you or your publishing company?

That we have wonderful books written by very talented authors. We have a Bargain Store right on our website where smart purchasers can purchase the books in any format they choose at greatly discounted prices.  Books We Love also has a contest running right now where entrants can win their choice of one of three eBook readers.  Visit our main page, click the contest button and get your entry in there before the end of October.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions. You can find Jude's books at Books We Love

Saturday, September 5, 2015

A New Hat

I've added a new hat, so to speak, to my list of employments. I started out many years ago as a teenager - about 15 - cleaning house for an older couple. It was a pretty easy job because the wife was immaculate and cleaning was a breeze. She pretty much dusted and
vacuumed every day. So what did I do once a week on Saturdays? Washed windows, cleaned the blinds and washed the kitchen and bathroom floors as well as the landing and basement steps. Not hard to do since there wasn't much dirt.
It was a fairly large house, and it took a while to wash all those windows and clean the blinds. Probably my least favorite job. I would rather wash floors than clean blinds. Of course, I babysat in the evenings for several years.
My next job was shortly after I was married. I babysat three little kids while their mother worked. My husband dropped me off in the morning and picked me up in the evening. Another easy job as the children were very well behaved. I did that for the better part of a
year, until the husband started coming home in the mornings and going to bed. It didn't bother me that he came home and went to bed, what bothered me was the baby slept in the same room. I wasn't keen on the idea of putting her for a nap or getting her up after with him sleeping in the same room. It made me uncomfortable. Since I was pregnant with my first child and sick as the dickens, I quit. I could hardly open my eyes and my stomach erupted, mostly into dry heaves.
I didn't work again until my youngest son started school. I only worked a couple days a week, which worked out well with his schedule. I was assistant to the special ed. teachers, meaning I brought the students out to the van and copied papers for them or typed lesssons. Whatever they needed me to do.
From there I moved up to school secretary. A job I dearly loved. It was fun working with
the students and teachers. I worked in an office with the church secretary and usually a volunteer who helped us both if we needed it.
The principal and teachers were great. And the hours couldn't have been better. I worked when my kids were in school and was home when they were with the exception of a couple weeks in the summer when school ended and right before it started again. By then my oldest child was in highschool and I didn't need a babysitter. I had the best of both worlds.
I worked until my youngest child was in highschool and decided to stay home again.
At some point my second oldest daughter decided to sell Home Interiors - and I agreed to help her. She didn't like standing up and talking in front of everyone and I wasn't crazy about the idea - Heck, I never liked giving oral book reports in school - but I agreed to do it. For the most part, it really wasn't bad and we did pretty well.
Eventually she decided not to do it anymore and since I don't like to drive, I quit right along with her.
Several years later, my third daughter and I decided to sell Pamper Chef. Again, I was the spokes person. That worked out okay, but unless you have new people willing to host parties, you go nowhere and we gave it up.
Between that time, I wrote and wrote and submitted. I now have 16 books published and hoping my next will be out in November.
So, what's my new hat? I've decided to try my hand at selling Avon Products. I've
always loved their products and they're inexpensive. Living on Social Security is becoming more and more difficult, so any additional income is a help.
It's become much easier these days because you can order online from my website and have the products shipped directly to your home. They've come a long way from years ago. They don't just have beauty prodcuts. They now carry
jewelry, fashion items, and kitchen products. They also have a men's line as well as children's.
Anyone interested in ordering go to my web page and place your order. They're always running sales. Don't forget you can have it shipped directly to your home. It's easy to do.
Available from Avon

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Welcome, Karla Stover

An image posted by the author.
First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?

1: Thank you so much for being here Karla Stover, 

I see kids I went to school with from grade school on, and they say I was always writing. I do have some of my high school diaries, which are pretty funny reading.

2: Seems to be the standard answer for us authors. What or Who inspired you to write?

Anne (of Green Gables) Shirley, Jo (Little Women) March, and Betsy (Betsy-Tacy books) Ray. When I was lonesome, I read and reread these books and wanted to be just like the heroines.

3: Great books. What do you like the most and least about writing?

A while back, my husband and I went to Great Britain with my parents and one of the things we did was visit family in York. My mother just passed away and working on my historical novel, Wynters Way which takes place in York makes me feel close to her. What I don’t like is not having fellow writers to talk with.

4: I'm sorry about your mother.  Can you join a writing group to meet fellow authors?  Tell us what do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?

My husband and I walk our dog every morning, have coffee with friends, and garden. I am president of my garden club. This year’s drought, however, has fried my yard,

5: Sounds like an interesting life. Which authors do you like to read?
Alexander McCall Smith, C.S. Harris—she does an amazing job of creating Regency England and, since my husband and I recently visited Alaska, memoirs of the Gold Rush.

6: Tell us  one thing you’d most like people to know about you?

I’m a fun person. People think I’m super intelligent and I’m not. I just remember peculiar things. Actually it’s my gay friends who are the least intimidated.

7: Tell us about your current novel, where can we find it and your website/blog.

I am working on two books: I mentioned Wynters Way which Books We Love is publishing in late December. I already have the cover and it’s really evocative—all grays and gloomy. I am also working on a second non-fiction book of Tacoma, Washington (where I live) history. I can’t blog and keep up  website so I am at blogspot.

8: Sounds interesting. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

Find a good critique group. It will keep you to deadlines and point out mistakes. Just don’t be thin skinned.

9: Definitely can't be thin skinned with a critique group. Do you base your characters on real-life people?

I don’t know where they come from; they’ve never told me.

10: Great answer. LOL Where do you get your ideas?
Usually from something I’ve read. For example, in Murder, When One Isn’t Enough, the idea came fromMadame of the House, an autobiography written by a famous San Francico madame, and things she wrote about Errol Flynn.

11: What’s one thing no one knows about you?

I prefer small parties to big ones.

12. What’s your favorite book?

Anybody Can do Anything, Betty McDonald’s memoir about being a single mom in Seattle during the Depression. Seattle hasn’t done right by her, as far as I’m concerned—too focused on Kurt Cobain L The book should be a must-read for teenagers.

The City of Destiny took shape where rails met sails on the shores of Commencement Bay. When Tacoma was chosen as the Northern Pacific Railroad's terminus, the city rose from the mudflats and took the lead as the Northwest's destination for opportunity. In this collection, discover the city's early notables and uncover the stories behind the historic landmarks. Why did city planners abandon Olmsted's vision? How many war bonds did Lana Turner's kisses buy? Why were vegetarians warned "Don t drink the water"? Who is the tiny figure with coal black hair and bound feet who haunts Old Tacoma? Local author and guide Karla Stover answers these questions and more as she spins stories from the tomes of Tacoma's past.
Available from Amazon

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Welcome, Janet Lane Walters

1: Thank you so being for being here Janet Lane Walters. 
First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?
 If we don't count papers and doodling with stories in high school or care studies in nurses' training, I'd say my first attempts began in 1967. I was first published in 1968 with a series of short stories and some poetry. Then I graduated to novels when an editor said my short story sounded like a synopsis for a novel.
2:Great way to start. Tell us, What or Who inspired you to write?
Not sure anyone inspired me. I've always been a reader with a library card since I was four years old. Actually I wanted to be a journalist but college was out of the question so I became a nurse. Reading was my inspiration. We were living in a small town with a limited library leaving me with nothing to read. That's when I decided to write my own stories. Took a few years of reading books on "How to" and sending stories out in the mail, retyping them when they came back and sending them out again before I sold a short story. Then I was hooked.
3:Ah the dreaded rejection and felling of elation from that first sale. I remember it well. What do you like the most and least about writing?
There is nothing about the process of writing I don't like. To me they're all part of the process. From the idea to blocking the story to writing and re-writing, revision I find each part has its own joys. To me all is a challenge and knowing I'll reach the end of a story always spurs me on.
4: It's definitely a challenge. Okay tell us, what do you do for fun and relaxation when not writing?
When not writing I do a lot of reading, crossword puzzles, listen to classical musicals and catch up on favorite crime show. I also spend a lot of time tending to a semi-invalid husband. Plus phone calls to distant in location grandchildren and visiting with the ones close at hand.
5:Sounds like a busy life. So, which authors do you like to read?
This is a very hard question since I read a lot and read a variety of authors. There are many of the BWL authors stories I enjoy, plus people I've been reading for years and contemporary authors. As to picking a favorite often it's who I'm reading or re-reading at the time. The list would take a page or two on your blog so I'll just say they cover every genre except horror. 
6:Great answer. I always found that question difficult to answer also. Tell us one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
Interesting question And I really can't think of much. Maybe that I'm a Cancer with six planets in that sign a Taurus Ascendant with Uranus, the planet of the unexpected sitting on the Ascendant. Makes life interesting.
7: Wow, sounds interesting. Tell us about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.
My latest published novel is part of the Opposites in Love series. This one is called The Gemini - Sagittarius Connection. The heroine is a nurse with a pair of ten year old twin sons. She's a widow and has brought her sons to Eastlake to remove them from bad influences in the city. She has a connection to the heroines of the other stories in the series since they all went to the same college nursing program. Liz doesn't want another husband. Her dead husband was a hero who died rescuing children from a fire. She figures once is enough. She is a Gemini.
The hero is the Sagittarius and he often suffers from foot in mouth disease. He's a widower and isn't looking for another marriage. His first one was perfect in his eyes until she died. He is taken by the twin boys and steps in to be a male figure in their lives. Once he realizes he loves Liz he knows he must find a way to persuade her to take a chance.
8:Sounds like a great book. I'm a Gemini. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Tips for the aspiring author. 1. Write every day even if it's no more than a paragraph. 2. Persistence pays so continue writing and sending your stories out for people to read. 3. Listen to what your editor says. 4. Remember your words aren't carved in storm. You can delete and change them at will.
9: Great advice. A question I'm sometimes asked, do you base your characters on real-life people?
Perhaps in a general way but not on particular people. Sometimes I use people I know traits but most of my characters are pulled from the air and from my observation and by using Astrology to develop their inner nature, their emotional nature and the face they show the world.
10:I love using Astrology for my characters traits. So then where do you get your ideas?
I'm not sure where my ideas arrive. A number of my stories are based on my love of ancient Egypt. Four of the YAs were inspired by my grandchildren. My work as a nurse definitely inspired other stories. I may have a twisted mind and something I read or see might trigger the idea for a story.
11:I know what you mean, it's strange where our ideas come from.  Off the topic of writing, what’s one thing no one knows about you?
I'm not sure there's anything that someone doesn't know. I've met and made friends of many people in my many years of life.
12. Who’s your favorite author and what’s your favorite book?
There are a number of books I've read more than once. One author is Jane Austen and I've read all her books more than once. Tolstoy is another. Read all his books. I really can't name a favorite author or book but Anna Karenina comes close to being a favorite. This book also nearly found me kicked out of school in the third grade.
When she reached the nurses' station, she halted abruptly. Jeff Carter, the man who'd resided in her daydreams for years, stood at the unit clerk's desk. "Where's the new nurse manager?"
"Here," Liz said. "I'm Liz Jordan, and you are?"
"Dr. Jeff Carter, not to be confused with my son." He smiled.
Liz grasped the edge of the counter. "Since I know Alex, there'll be no confusion. Is there a problem?"
He nodded. "On Friday, there was a medication error involving one of my patients. I was told the incident report was in your office. I want to see it."
She frowned. She'd looked through all the papers that were in the basket and hadn't seen any incident report. "Let me look."
"Don't you think incident reports are important?"
"I didn't find one on my desk, but I'll check the drawers."
As they strode down the hall, he told her what he'd learned. "Someone on this unit is responsible. I spoke to the pharmacist on duty. He said a nurse had insisted she'd spoken to me, and I'd ordered penicillin on a patient who's allergic to that medicine. No one called my office. I want to know who's behind this."
"So do I." Liz checked the papers on her desk and searched the drawers. "Not here. Maybe Delores put it with the things she removed from the office."
"Find her." Ice coated his voice.
"On my way."
"One thing you'd better make clear to your entire staff. Any time there's a question about one of my orders, I expect a phone call."
Liz turned. "That's standard practice. Who signed off the order and sent it to the pharmacy?"
He shrugged. "Writing's on a par with mine."
Liz smiled. “Won’t be a problem when the computers arrive.”
“Not you, too. Find that incident report.”
Liz found Delores in the lounge. "Dr. Carter would like to see the incident report from Friday. It wasn't in my office."
Delores smiled. "Maybe I accidentally put it with my things. I'll check my locker and bring it to you."
"Thanks. He's a tense man."
Delores laughed. "Maybe he should be."
Ten minutes after Liz reached the nurses' station, Delores arrived. "Found it. Dr. Carter, I understand your patient was fortunate."
Jeff Carter's mouth formed a taut line. "Weren't you in charge Friday? Where were you when the incident occurred?"
The blonde rested one hand on her hip. "Taking some comp time. I'm sure I told the clerk to call your office."
The thin woman wheeled in her chair. "You never."
"Then I must have told the patient's nurse. These new grads let everything fluster them."
By the time the stories were checked, Liz had no idea what had happened. The incident report was no help. She frowned. Delores had signed the report, yet she denied being on the unit when the wrong medicine was given. "How could you sign a report when you weren't here?"
Delores opened a drawer. "Pre-signed forms. The nurse manager only needs to sign that the nurse made it out."
Liz lifted the forms from the drawer. "This won't happen again."
"Better not." Jeff picked up a stack of charts. "Mrs. Jordan , I'll speak with you after I've seen my patients and talked to their nurses."
Liz watched him walk away. She would rather hide, but she couldn't. She returned to her office and added more items to her growing list. How could one person sort out chaos?
"Mrs. Jordan ."
His deep voice sent chills along her skin. "Dr. Carter, come in."
He closed the door. "I know it's your first day, but do you have any idea when you'll have a smooth operation here?"
She wanted to laugh, but that would be the wrong approach. "I've a list of areas where improvements are needed and some ideas of how they can be accomplished. But to give you a date, sorry."
"I wish you luck."
"Thanks. I'll be speaking to all the doctors and asking for suggestions. Do you have any?"
He smiled. "A few hundred. We should name a time and place for a meeting."
"I'd like that." She mentally ran through a list of those who should be included.
"How about joining me for dinner on Friday?"
"Sure. No, wait . . . ." She'd answered before she thought, before she remembered this was real and not part of a fantasy. She shook her head. "Not dinner."
"Strictly business."
"We can meet here, or you could tell me now." Did he hear the panic in her voice?
"Can't today. I've office hours, and I need to organize my ideas. Not here either. Too many curious eyes."
She frowned. "Why would anyone be curious about a meeting in this office?"
"Don't ask."
"Let me talk to Eric. I'm sure we can use the conference room and ask the other doctors to come."
"Friday. I'll pick you up at seven."
"Tell me where, and I'll meet you." She'd also ask Eric and Jenessa to join them.
"You're new in town."

"Not that new. I went to Grantley with Megan." She chewed on her lower lip. Why had she reminded him? Evidently, he didn't remember how she'd made a fool of herself. Liz stared at her desk. This was the moment she'd dreamed of for years. Dreamed was the key word. Reality wasn't safe.