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Friday Features

We talk about

Miss directions

My husband and writing partner discussed the building of a cabinet pantry. We spent the better part of an afternoon talking about the size and construction of the pantry to make sure it was exactly like I wanted it. Afterwards, he went to Home Depot to get the lumber.

While holding the front door open so he could carry the lumber in I noticed the first piece was shorter than I thought it should be. When I commented he answered as he went back out the door saying, “Didn’t you want it counter height?”

No, I thought as I closed the door behind him. I didn’t. Didn’t he remember what we’d discussed? I peeked through the side window curtain anxiously wondering what he’d bring in next.

The next piece was short too, and I became concerned. He laid the second piece on the floor next to the first and my angst jumped. They were definitely the wrong size. Did he have all the pieces cut wrong? I awaited the next piece, hoping it wasn’t going to be short too.

The third piece came in and I gave a sigh of relief. It looked like the right length. Then fourth and final piece came in and I could envision the size of the cabinet we had discussed.

“You scared me,” I said. “I thought you’d cut it wrong.”

He laughed and replied, “The other two pieces are the top and the bottom.”

My husband had purposely led me on, leaving me with a new question each time he brought in a piece of lumber.

As writers it is our job to lead our readers on, posing new story questions that will make them want to turn the pages. Each scene and each chapter should leave your reader with new questions about the plot you are constructing, the reasons your characters are acting and reacting, and how they are going to resolve their conflicts.

For example, in The Wizard of Oz, the over arching story question is will Dorothy ever get home? But along her journey in Oz a number of other questions pop up like:

  • What is going happen to her because her house fell on the Wicked Witch of the East and killed her?
  • Are the characters she meets along the way going to be friends or foes?
  • How do Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man figure in the story?
  • Will the Cowardly Lion sleep forever in the poppy field because his companions couldn’t carry him out in time?
  • Who is the Wizard …really?
  • How will the Wizard grant their wishes? Or can he even do that?
  • Will the Wicked Witch of the West get Dorothy before Dorothy and her companions get the witch, and thus secure Dorothy’s way home, a heart for Tin Man, a brain for Scarecrow, and courage for The Cowardly Lion?
  • When the Wizard’s hot air balloon leaves without Dorothy is she going to be stuck in Oz forever?

Each one of these questions moves the story forward, posing new problems that the characters must solve in order to reach their final goals—going home, getting a heart, a brain, and courage. A story with only one question is a simple story that will not hold readers’ interest for 300 or more pages. Baum answers his story questions fairly quickly after he has posed them, but it’s not necessary, nor desirable to do so, in today’s stories. We want our readers to keep turning those pages to find those answers.

But beware one thing—the questions you pose must be answered before the book ends. There is nothing more frustrating to a reader than to finish a book and discover you, the writer, have left out an important answer to a burning question you posed.

I forgave my husband his little joke, but only because he got the pieces right and made me a beautiful cabinet. Make sure you do the same thing for your readers.

Hope you enjoyed a little look into our lives as writers and learned something as well.

Links for our books are on our book page or under the menu at the top of the post.

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

A recipe from Tina Griffith who brings us a favorite recipe for Cheesy Olive Bread

This recipe is easy to prepare and a favorite with my husband and me. We usually add a crisp salad and Voila! we have a complete dinner in a flash. Of course a bottle of red wine adds to the festivities.

CHEESY OLIVE BREAD
1 large crusty loaf French bread
1 – 6 oz. can pitted black olives, drained and sliced
⅓ cup red onion, chopped fine
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ – ¾ cup mayonnaise
Preheat oven to 325° F.

Cut bread in half lengthwise and then in half across the width. You now have four pieces, tops and bottoms. Set them onto an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet.

Add olives, onions, tomatoes, shredded cheese, and mayo into a medium size bowl. Mix together thoroughly. Use a spatula to smear the mixture onto the white part of the bread.

Now pop it into the oven. That’s it. When the cheese melts, 15 – 20 minutes, the bread is ready.

How about a peek into my erotic mystery for dessert?

Everyone has secrets that they’d rather keep hidden, but we all know that these private matters have a tendency of spilling out at the most inopportune moments. And when a privileged piece of information does leak out and is exposed, it can sometimes change our lives so drastically that there’s no turning back. For in that fleeting explosion when we first learn of the shocking deception, our world suddenly gets transformed into utter chaos and fear, and it typically has us running for shelter.

The four main characters in this story, are all hiding something that they’d rather not have anyone know. Regrettably, the terrible secrets which each one of them have buried deep in their past, begins to bubble to the surface. With deceit and murder lingering in the air, can any of them survive the consequences of their pasts being revealed?

AMAZON BUY LINK

Tina Griffith, who also wrote twenty-seven children’s books as Tina Ruiz, was born in Germany, but her family moved to Canada when she was in grammar school.

After her husband of 25 years passed away, she wrote romance novels to keep the love inside her heart. Tina now has eleven romance novels on Amazon, and while all of them have undertones of a love story, they are different genres; murder, mystery, whimsical, witches, ghosts, suspense, adventure, and her sister’s scary biography.

Tina has worked in television and radio as well as being a professional clown at the Children’s Hospital. She lives in Calgary with her second husband who encourages her to write her passion be it high-quality children’s books or intriguing romance.

Stay connected with Tina (Griffith) Ruiz on her Facebook group Tina Speaks Out.

Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

Are You A Real Writer?

By LORENE M.

Seriously, are you? How do we even define what “a real writer” really is? Who says who is a writer and who’s not? Is there an International Organization Of Naming Real Writers or something similar I should know about?

All jokes aside, most of us probably have different views regarding what a real writer is. And this makes me wonder if . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Writing about…Writing blog

Friday Features

Sharing Excerpts from our series

The Turning Stone Chronicles

Often we are asked what is our favorite book or author. As writers there is another favorite that we have and that is certain sections of the books we have written. These favorite sections or excerpts become the lines shared to promote interest in the book. Today we thought we’d share some of our favorite lines from our paranormal romance series, The Turning Stone Chronicles Series.

Each of these books is a standalone in that there is a HEA in each. However, you will understand the continuing characters and their relationships if you start with the first book in the series.

With that said we will start our excerpts with the first book, The Promised One.


Tucking his gift under her arm, she started to leave.

“Hey.” He pointed at the other gifts. “Aren’t you going to add yours?”

“Nope. I’ll give it to you later, when we’re alone.”

“Ooh. Something special. Mineral or animal?” His right eyebrow raised, his smile growing.

Alexi laughed. “Just embarrassing.”

“For you or for me?”

“I’m not telling.”

Sidling close to her, he backed her against the wall. “Come on. Just a hint,” he said, a purr in his tone as he placed his hand on the wall next to her shoulder and moved into her personal space with the ease of a lover. One of his famous melt-the-girl looks smoldered in his gaze. The golden flecks in his green eyes lit up like fireworks. Hot fireworks.

Enjoying his closeness and the raw sensuality emanating from him, she lingered for a minute, then slowly moved away. Standing this close she could get burned, and she wasn’t ready to play with fire . . . not yet. She shook her head. “Not a chance.”

He crossed his arms, obviously irked that she hadn’t succumbed.

“My irresistible charms work on everyone else. Why not you?”

Oh, if you only knew. She had to fight to resist him. She flashed him a smile. “Because I’m special. And I’m your partner. Keeping your back safe is more important than getting you on your back.”

He laughed, a deep, throaty, and utterly sexy sound.

She locked her knees to keep from melting into a puddle.

“I like the sound of that.”

Of course you would. She felt her face flame.

Now for the second book, Blood Brothers, excerpt.


Sylvia Jordan Riley winced as Falhman dug into her shoulder and extracted a bullet. He dropped the bullet into the trash and swabbed the wound. “You want to tell me how you got injured?” he asked as he reached for the needle to stitch the gaping hole.

“Chasing Promised Ones.” And the man who murdered my ex-husband.

“I hope it was worth this.”

“It was.” She’d torn Baron’s killer to shreds, but that wasn’t the best part of her news. “I’ve found someone who shifted with me by using the power from my ring.”

Falhman stopped stitching and stared intently at Sylvia, his eyes glittering with undisguised interest. “Is he a rogue shifter?”

“I don’t think he’s any kind of shifter. He seemed startled when the shift occurred.”

“A non-shifter who can use the ring without the incantation? What’s his name?”

“Temple. Rhys Temple. There’s only one problem.” Sylvia paused then continued, “He’s in love with Baron Jordan’s niece, Alexi.”

“I thought that whole family was dead.”

“She’s the last one left, and I think she’s on track as a Promised One.”

Falhman went back to stitching Sylvia’s skin with practiced ease. “Get rid of her and get him. If we can control someone with that kind of power, we can control the world.”

Sylvia looked at her superior. He made it sound simple. Kill Alexi Jordan and lure Rhys to the dark side. Piece of cake? Not if a Jordan was involved. From her recent dealings with Alexi, she knew there would be one heck of a fight if she tried to take her man.

The third book in the series, Son of the Moonless Night, has some new characters but continues the underlying story. Here’s the excerpt:


A head of lettuce and a grapefruit escaped from the paper grocery sack as Katrina leaned sideways on tippy toes to get the topmost lock. The vegetables rolled across the small concrete patio at the bottom of the stairway well and stopped against a leg of the wrought iron café table. Whispering an expletive, she pushed the door open and placed her purse and grocery sack on the entryway table just inside the door. Then she swiveled to get the runaway vegetables.

A very pleasant and interesting sight greeted her. A pair of dark trousers caressed a toned posterior of the man bending over to retrieve her vegetables. She fought to rein in the path her mind started down. Been too long, Katrina, she said to herself as the vision straightened and turned around.

“Oh!” he exclaimed. “I thought you had gone inside.”

The way he held the vegetables out in front of him made her wonder what his hands would feel like if he held her breasts in that manner.

“Hello? Are you awake?”

“Ah, ah,” Katrina sputtered as she focused on his face to get her mind out of the gutter.

“Okay. Awake, but not here yet.” The corner of his lips started to rise.

“You,” she breathed when she recognized him. “Where’s my grandmother’s afghan and my Cleveland Brown’s hoodie?”

“Nice to see you, too, and thank you, I’m feeling fine.”

She crossed her arms tightly over her chest. “If you hadn’t run off I’d have known you were okay.”

The smile inched up the side of his cheek, lighting his electric blue eyes. “You worried about me. How sweet.”

“Sweet, my patootie. I just . . . You could have bled . . . Oh, crap. Where’s my stuff?”

He took another step closer to her. The deep blue ring around his amazing eyes seemed to darken.

She leaned back from him.

Without taking his eyes off her, he nodded to a brightly colored gift bag on the ground beside the door. “I got blood on the afghan so I had it cleaned. It wasn’t badly stained. The blood came out. The hoodie’s a different story. I couldn’t salvage it, so I bought a replacement.” Balancing the vegetables in one hand he lifted the gift bag to her. “Forgiven? Please?”

Book four, The Mercenary and the Shifters, gets more characters involved in the struggle. Here’s the excerpt:


Mike Corritore wheeled up the circular drive of the impressive house on Lakeshore Road and cut the engine on his motorcycle. After a quick glance around, he shouldered the bags containing his clothes, ammo, pump shotgun, and talwar sword. Then he headed for the carved front door. The doorbell echoed inside indicating the mansion had a cavernous entry hall. He searched the entrance stoop for security cameras and found none.

What the heck had he gotten himself into? A rich bitch, with no security on her home, mixed up with a bad syndicate spelled major trouble. With this chintzy level of security, it would take more time than he originally anticipated to make her house and business secure.

After a couple of minutes the door opened.

“Can I help you?” asked an attractive redhead.

“I’m Mike Corritore. Here to see Fiona Kayler. Will you tell her I’ve arrived?”

The redhead looked him over, then braced her legs shoulder width apart and crossed her arms over her curvy bust. “Do you have identification, Mr. Corritore?”

Mike returned her once-over. Her porcelain complexion blushed pink at his bold examination, and she tossed her mane of wavy, mahogany hair defiantly.
Damn, she was gorgeous.

If she thought her insolent pose enough to keep him, or intruders out, she’d better reconsider.

“Hugh sent me.” He stepped forward but she blocked him.

“A driver’s license for your very expensive motorcycle will suffice,” she said, wiggling her fingers at him. When he didn’t comply, she stepped back and reached to the side of the door.

The distinct cachung of a gun cocking sent him flying to the right of the doorway.

“Identification, Mr. Corritore. Please,” she said as she leveled a pistol at him.

Mike dug in his rear pants’ pocket. “Hugh lied,” he said as he held out his driver’s license. “You don’t need protection.”

After inspecting his identification, she lowered her weapon and waved him inside. “For my business, Mr. Corritore. I’m capable of protecting my home, but I can’t draw my gun just anywhere.”

“You should get a conceal and carry license,” Mike said as he entered.

She put the safety on the gun and stashed the weapon in the table beside the front door.

“I take it you’re not the help,” he said, glancing around the entry hall.

She held out her hand. “Fiona Kayler. Nice to meet you, Mr. Corritore.”

“Mike,” he said, taking her hand. Her palm, warm and soft, told him she lived a life of leisure. But her strong grip screamed, No patsy. He held her hand a bit longer than he should have. She wriggled free and waved him to the left.

“Ladies first.”

With a nod, she led him toward a sumptuously decorated room. He followed, his eyes taking in the soft curves of her rear as she sashayed across the marble-tiled floor. Mike’s body reacted to the seductive wiggle of her bottom. She walked as sexy as she looked.

Keep your mind on the job, Corritore. He shifted his gaze away from temptation, searching the ceiling and corners of the entry for security cameras. If she had them, they were well hidden.

The measured click of her high heels on the hard marble tile floor disappeared as they stepped on the thick, white carpet of the living room. This room appeared cozier than the entry. A huge gold, gilt-edged mirror hung over the fireplace reflecting the scene outside the oversized plate-glass window.

She motioned to a seat beside the fireplace. Mike chose a location less exposed to the exterior, where he could watch the entrance to the room. Fiona dragged a side chair across the room to where he sat, positioning it at a right angle to his seat. Two vertical furrows appeared in the carpeting, bisecting their shoe impressions and the vacuumed paths in the thick fibers. Apparently, she didn’t use this room much.

“So, Ms. Kayler—”

“Fiona,” she corrected.

“Fiona, exactly what do you need me to do?” As he said the words, he had a lurid vision of what he’d like to do to this lovely woman. He shook it off. She was Hugh’s friend and in trouble. He had no business screwing around with damsels in distress. They were needy. The last thing he wanted.

“A couple of years ago I had a problem with smugglers. They brought in some hazardous materials which got me in trouble with Homeland Security and the FBI. They cleared me, but my business took a pretty big hit. To keep things afloat, I’ve had to get in bed with some rough characters recently.”

At the phrase get in bed with Mike cocked his eyebrow at her.

“Not literally,” she amended quickly, as a dusky pink blush crept over her pale complexion. “I need my security beefed up so I don’t have a replay of two years ago.”

“Any good security company could upgrade you.”

“I also need someone I can trust implicitly. Hugh vouched for you, and I trust Hugh.”

“We should start with your home security. I didn’t see surveillance cameras at the door.”

“My home is perfectly safe. It’s my business I’m concerned about.”

Fiona crossed her arms over her chest, her body language closing off to further suggestions. Mike followed her motions. As he did, he spotted a red dot on her chest. The dot wiggled.

“Get down!” Mike shouted as he dove for Fiona.

They hit the floor as the pottery on the raised fireplace hearth exploded, sending shards across the room. Mike shoved Fiona behind the nearest chair then scrambled across the rug to the blown-out window. Removing his gun from his back-of-the-waist holster, he peered over the windowsill. Seeing no one in the driveway, he swiveled around to check on Fiona. The red laser point danced around the room, searching for a target.

We hope you enjoyed this look into some of our favorite lines from our books and maybe got a little interested to follow along with the story. Links for the books are on our book page under the menu or any of the links in the post.

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

A woman before her time, Anne Montgomery who shares how she was out of her league!

Sometimes we do things that, as Forrest Gump would say, “Just don’t make no sense.”

And I am guilty of such an act, mostly because I ignored the numbers and severely overestimated my abilities.

I have written about the fact that I performed in a community theater production of the musical Company in the past. Though it was initially terrifying, in the end I made friends and had fun. So, it seemed rational that I give it another try. Mamma Mia was coming up and I wanted to give it a shot.

I started singing along to the Mamma Mia CD in my car in February. I thought I was ready. Even the cast descriptions didn’t deter me. Though, admittedly, the fact that the “elder” female characters were listed as “late 30s-early 50s” should have tickled my spidey senses.

This time around, auditions were very different. Four times the number of actors showed up. And there was improv involved. Still, I thought I had a shot at making the cast, until I arrived at the dance callbacks.

My first clue should have been the young lady spread-eagled flat on the floor, stretching in preparation. In fact, the stage was littered with bodies of those limbering up. I was a tad bemused, as I had seen the movie and didn’t notice too much complicated-looking dancing, at least not from the named characters. Had I considered that the stage version might be vastly different from the one with Meryl Streep and her pals, I might have been forewarned.

Those hoping for a spot in the cast filled the stage facing a thin, twenty-something with a high, tawny pony tail and black leggings. She announced that we would be learning a series of dance steps.

“OK! Face the back,” she said, reminiscent of a drill instructor. ” Now, hips left, then right, and spin to the front. And … right arm up high. Good. Now side step. And back. Other side. Full turn to the left and drop to your knees.”

My head popped up. Drop to my knees? Did she mean the ones that have functioned for the last 15 years thanks to the miracle of modern science, infusions injected with big-ass needles that always make me wince? Those knees?

Not wanting to stand out, I dropped to the floor. I almost bellowed like a moose giving birth, but managed to stop myself.

“Now roll over on your butt and jump up.”

In my case, said roll did not occur. I just stared at the choreographer.

“Now … leap!” She took to the air.

Leap? The thing about leaping is there always tend to be landings involved.

The choreographer encouraged us to leap in this fashion. Don’t you agree it hurts just to look at this picture?

“Those of you who want to can bend your leg while leaping. Like this.” She launched herself skyward again. “Point your toes,” she said, alighting gracefully. “Second line, move up to the front.”

Hoping no one would notice, I melted into the back, which would be my primary strategy throughout the ordeal.

After an hour, we took a break. To my horror, five minutes later we were at it again.

“Let’s do another one,” she said. “This one will be easy. Even I can do it.” She smiled prettily.

What I wanted most was to go all Tonya Harding on her kneecaps. “See what you feel like when you’re over 60,” I muttered under my breath, as I mounted the stage.

Another hour passed. I longed for my chiropractor.

I know what your thinking. Why didn’t I just go sit down? Pride, I suppose. Or maybe just plain stubbornness. A few other older women had taken seats. I say “older” here with a caveat. If I had to guess, with the exception of my friend Scott, there was probably no one over 50 auditioning. Clearly, I was pretty much alone as a mid-sexagenarian.

Mercifully, the dancing finally ended. But my humiliation was not over.

Scott appeared. “Hey! You need to go in the back.”

I heard women’s voices singing Dancing Queen from backstage. “Why?”

“The mothers are auditioning,” he explained, using the term applied to the older adult women trying out for a part.

Not knowing how I could have missed the others being called away, I leapt – OK, in my mind, I leapt – onto the stage and bolted through a curtain and down a ramp toward the piano, where about eight women were lined up single file.

“I am so sorry I’m late!” I shouted.

All heads turned toward me. A woman looked up, paper and pencil in hand. “Your name?”

“Anne.”

She scrutinized the document.

The director rose from his seat.

“You’re not on the list,” he said. “You were called back only for a dancing part.”

I suddenly realized that if getting a part hinged on my dancing skills, I would need other plans for the summer. “I am … so sorry!”

I fled.

I found Scott in the seats and chastised him. It wasn’t his fault, though. He simply assumed I should be back there with the others, which in retrospect was sweet.

The director soon dismissed those of us who wouldn’t be invited to participate in any further auditions. Totally dejected, I sneaked out the back door.

When I got home, my sweetie pie stared at me. “I’m sorry,” he said without asking what happened.

I wondered if he’d had a premonition, since he already had a glass of wine poured and waiting for me.

“Maybe they did you a favor,” he said a short time later, as I sat in my jammies feeling sorry for myself, rubbing my aching knees.

I sipped my wine and pouted. “Maybe.”

Later that night, wrapped in two cold packs and a heating pad, I licked my wounds and considered whether I would ever try out for another play.

I’m thinking about it. I’ll let you know.

Here’s a little from my suspense novel based on a true incident. I hope it intrigues you.

As a Vietnam veteran and former Special Forces sniper descends into the throes of mental illness, he latches onto a lonely pregnant teenager and a group of Pentecostal zealots – the Children of Light – who have been waiting over thirty years in the Arizona desert for Armageddon.

When the Amtrak Sunset Limited, a passenger train en route to Los Angeles, is derailed in their midst in a deadly act of sabotage, their lives are thrown into turmoil. As the search for the saboteurs heats up, the authorities uncover more questions than answers.

And then the girl vanishes.

While the sniper struggles to maintain his sanity, a child is about to be born deep in the wilderness.

BUY LINKS

 

Anne Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. She worked at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter, and ASPN-TV as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery has been a freelance and staff writer for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces.

When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.

Learn more about Anne Montgomery on her website and Wikipedia. Stay connected on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

Setting The Hook: Book Blurbing for the Reluctant Author

By By Carolan Ivey, “The Blurb Wizard”

My book blurbing career started one summer night over Hurricane cocktails in the French Quarter of New Orleans. But that’s a story for another day. Er, what I remember of it, anyway…

I’ve written a little bit of everything: hard news, short stories, technical documentation, how-to software guides, and advertising/marketing copy. What do all these disparate jobs have in common? The ability to distill complex ideas into appealing, accessible chunks of information.

Are authors good at writing blurbs for their books? In general, the answer is . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Romancing The Genres blog

Friday Features

We talk about our book

Can’t Stop the Music

Slang has always played a part in the English language, no matter the era, and when you’re creating a period piece, the story wouldn’t be complete without the use of the slang of the time.

A lot of the hippie slang in our book, Can’t Stop the Music, had its origins in earlier eras.

Take the slang for money—in the 20s someone who was hip (a 20s and 60s word) might call money Cabbage. In the 30s the slang term morphed to Buck. In the 50s you would have said, Bread. By the time the slang reached the 60s the terms Bread and Dough were used interchangeable, and the term Buck was still around as well.

Various slang terms for policeman have also survived the decades, and are still being used today. Police officers have been called Flatfoot, Cop, Fuzz (1920); Copper (1930); Heat (1950); Fuzz, Cop, The Man (1960). The Man was probably the most popular term for police among the hippie generation.

Slang terms for women, especially attractive women, have abounded through the past decades. In the 20s women were often called Dames or Dish. In the 30s a pretty girl would be a Hot Tomato. Fifties terms for women included Chicks, Barn Burners, Dolls. In the 60s, the most commonly used slang was Chicks or Birds.

We’ve heard, and even used some of the above slang, although we don’t use it as freely as we might have in the 60s. Still, it was fun going back and searching out the slang of our youth. We were amazed how much of the groovy language from bygone eras has survived into present day.

We don’t want to seem like Abercrombies (20’s/know-it-alls) but we kinda blew our wigs (20s/became very excited) when our peepers (20s/eyes) landed on this >b>groovy (60s/great) subject. We thought it would be a blast (60s/ a lot of fun) if we clued you in (60s/informed you) on the story. And now, we’re going to make tracks (60s/leave) so you can read the outtasight (60s/fantastic) excerpt from our story, Can’t Stop the Music, set in Woodstock, where the music was hip (60s/very cool, far out (60s/wonderful) and righteous (something really great).

Can’t Stop the Music

By C.D. Hersh

For college senior and hippie wannabe Rosemary—Rose for short—a teaching job is within her grasp, but she wants more. She wants love, the kind of love that has bound her parents for so many years. When she’s dumped by her current boyfriend because her morals can’t bring her to give in to free love, she finds herself at Woodstock in the middle of the biggest free-love, music festival of the Sixties. Alone, again. Until a magical tree grants her wish and she finds the man of her dreams—and loses him before she really knows who he is.

Dakota meets the girl of his dreams at Woodstock, but a jealous wannabe girlfriend drives them apart before he can discover Rose’s last name and where she comes from. After he sees a disappearing tree that promises him true love, a frantic search to find Rose comes up empty-handed.

Magic and music brings them together at Woodstock in 1969. Misunderstandings tear them apart. Will two flower children find one another again, or live with missed opportunities?

Bethel, New York

August, 1969

Rosemary Sterling pulled her striped, gauzy maxi-skirt to her knees, stuck her sandaled feet out the rear passenger door opening of her friend Willow’s ’51 Woodie, and wiggled her toes. Sweat rolled down the center of her back. Not even a tiny breeze tickled the air on the crowded, one-lane road to the Woodstock Music Festival.

The heat radiating from the string of cars stretching in front and in back of her only added to the hot, summer air. Most of the vehicles’ occupants lounged on the hoods, the dirt road, or sat cross-legged on the ground, smoking pot or playing their guitars, their psychedelic clothing bright spots of neon color against the deep-green grass.

“How much longer before we find out what the holdup is?” she called as she exited the steamy vehicle.

Shielding her eyes, Willow straightened from her slouched position against the side of the car and peered between the row of stopped cars. “I see Bodi coming now. Maybe he’s found out what’s causing the traffic jam.”

“Aren’t you burning up?” Rose flapped the bottom of her cotton peasant blouse to stave off the hot, humid air. When the motion didn’t cool the sweat running between her breasts, she jammed the fabric under her boobs, swiping at the damp flesh. Then she clambered onto the sun-scorched hood, careful to tuck her skirt under her bare legs.

“I shouldn’t have let you talk me into burning my bra last night.” She glanced at Willow, envying her pert A-cups. You couldn’t tell Willow’s girls were unchained. “Even that thin layer would have kept the sweat off. Bra burning might be the rage right now, and that’s fine for someone built like you. For C-cups or bigger, loose boobs are a drag. Pun intended.”

Willow laughed. “You’ll get used to it. Once you do, you’ll see the advantage.”

So far the only thing her hippie friend introduced her to that she’d embraced was the shortened flower name Willow had given her.

“Rosemary’s the name of your grandmother, not a flower child. I’m renaming you Rose,” Willow had said.

Jake and Starr, the other two in their group, came around the side of the Woodie. Jake’s tangled curls looked as if he’d just rolled out of bed. Grass stuck out of Starr’s hair in a green corona. She doubted they’d been doing anything that merited halos.

Frowning, she slid off the hood, motioned Starr over, and began picking grass from her braids. “I hope you two weren’t cavorting in poison ivy. I don’t think we packed any anti-itch lotion.”

“You should cavort sometime, Rose.” Starr gave her a friendly shove. “You need to loosen up, girl. Partake of free love.”

She couldn’t get used to free love either. “No thanks.”

Available on Amazon

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Can’t Stop The Music

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

The first book in our paranormal series The Turning Stone Chronicles. We thought we would share, The Promised One, to start out the new year.

Blurb for—The Promised One

ThePromisedOne2In the wrong hands, the Turning Stone ring is a powerful weapon for evil. So, when homicide detective Alexi Jordan discovers her secret society mentor has been murdered and his magic ring stolen, she is forced to use her shape-shifting powers to catch the killer. By doing so, she risks the two most important things in her life—her badge and the man she loves.

Rhys Temple always knew his fiery cop partner and would-be-girlfriend, Alexi Jordan, had a few secrets. He considers that part of her charm. But when she changes into a man, he doesn’t find that as charming. He’ll keep her secret to keep her safe, but he’s not certain he can keep up a relationship—professional or personal.

Danny Shaw needs cash for the elaborate wedding his fiancée has planned, so he goes on a mugging spree. But when he kills a member of the secret society of Turning Stones, and steals a magic ring that gives him the power to shape shift, Shaw gets more than he bargained for.

EXCERPT:

The woman stared at him, blood seeping from the corner of her mouth. “Return the ring, or you’ll be sorry.”

With a short laugh he stood. “Big words for someone bleeding to death.” After dropping the ring into his pocket, he gathered the scattered contents of her purse, and started to leave.

“Wait.” The words sounded thick and slurred . . . two octaves deeper . . . with a Scottish lilt.

Shaw frowned and spun back toward her. The pounding in his chest increased. On the ground, where the woman had fallen, lay a man.

He wore the same slinky blue dress she had—the seams ripped, the dress top collapsed over hard chest muscles, instead of smoothed over soft, rounded curves. The hem skimmed across a pair of hairy, thick thighs. Muscled male thighs. Spiked heels hung at an odd angle, toes jutting through the shoe straps. The same shoes she’d been wearing.

The alley tipped. Shaw leaned against the dumpster to steady himself. He shook his head to clear the vision, then slowly moved his gaze over the body.

A pair of steel-blue eyes stared out of a chiseled face edged with a trim salt-and-pepper beard. Shaw whirled around scanning the alley.

Where was the woman? And who the hell was this guy?

Terrified, Shaw fled.

The dying man called out, “You’re cursed. Forever.”

Amazon buy links for all the books of the series:
The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 1)

Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 2)

Son of the Moonless Night (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 3)

The Mercenary and the Shifters (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 4)

Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

The Secrets Behind Making an Audiobook

By Susan B. James

Hi, my name is Susan, and I am a certified bookaholic. Up until the time I set out to make an audiobook of my first novel, I had only listened to audiobooks in other people’s cars. I prefer to see my books. Driving to Orange County with my son, I fell in love with Jim Dale’s voice narrating the Harry Potter series. He made it come alive.
When I made my first audiobook, I knew how important the . . .

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