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Thurs Thread book shelfs2Today we welcome

Tina Susedik

author of

Riding for Love

Donald describes this book as a beautifully descriptive story of love gone wrong between high school sweethearts who find themselves still in love years later. The vivid descriptions of outdoor settings on the Wisconsin horse ranch give the reader the sense of being there with the characters. The author is especially true to the small town feeling evoked in the story. Good repartee between the hero and heroine sparks the dialogue in this story.

20140116 Riding for Love Cover

One Line Hook: Can a man who is afraid of horses learn to ride to re-establish a relationship with an old flame? Love, Loss, Redemption

Heat: Sizzling

Excerpt:  “Hi, sweetheart,” Rose said, ruffling his hair before going to the refrigerator for a glass of lemonade.

He jumped and slapped a hand to his chest. “Geez, Mom, you scared the daylights out of me.” He set the brochure down and picked up an envelope. “What are you doing home? I thought you were going out with friends tonight.”

Rose sat down on the opposite her son. “I did, but Tom had to get back early and the others had family obligations. Tonight is the last night at the ranch for a youth group from Milwaukee.” She reached over and slid the brochure across the table. “It’s a group of teenagers learning to ride and care for horses to teach them alternative ways to channel anger. Eve developed the program this year.”

“Wow, I’m impressed.”

“You should be,” Rose commented, flipping through the pamphlet filled with photos of the cabins, lodge, barn, and horses on trail rides. “Eve’s worked very hard to make the ranch a success. Every year she comes up with another way to help others relax and have fun. Last year was the first year for winter activities.” She folded the brochure and pressed it smooth. “Have you been out there yet?”

Denton opened the envelope and slipped out a sheet of paper. “No, I’ve been too busy at work. Besides, I don’t think Eve would appreciate me just showing up.”

“Why? She’s so proud of what she’s accomplished.” Rose peered at her son. “You never did tell me what happened when you went to dinner with her. Is she still mad?”

Running a hand over his face, he huffed out a breath. “I guess that would be a good way of putting it, although mad seems too light a word. I explained about Marie, and she seemed to understand what happened, but, after all these years, she’s still angry with me.”

“There could be a good reason.”

“Yeah, like what?”

Rose reached across the table to stop his shredding the sheet of paper he was holding. “Could be she still has feelings for you. Do you still care for her?”

“What’s that got to do with anything?”

“Just answer your mother, Denton Johansen.”

“I never lost my feelings for her.” He pushed the paper away and tapped his fingers on the table. “She said she never had closure. Well, neither did I. One week, I’m home enjoying time with her and next, I’m married to someone else.” He raked his fingers through his hair again. “Now she’s ignoring me. I’m probably beating my head against the wall. I’ve called, written, sent flowers.”

“Hmm . . .”

Lord, he hated it when his mother got that tone in her voice. She didn’t have to say one word, just utter “hmm” like she knew something he didn’t and he would ultimately pay for it. “Hmm, what?”

“What happened when you went to dinner with Eve?”

“We met, had a drink, talked about old times, etc., etc.”

Rose chuckled. “Oh, I’m sure much more than that happened for you to be this upset.” She held up a hand to stop a reply. “Don’t say you’re concerned about the lawsuit. I’m your mother. You’re a problem solver and taking care of the embezzlement was more than work for you.” Rose rested her chin in her hand and stared at her son. “It’s solving the problem of Eve making you discombobulated.”

Denton pushed the piece of paper toward his mother.

“What’s this?”

He smiled nervously, stood, and paced the length of the kitchen, stove to refrigerator and back again. “Part of a plan to get close to Eve.” He finally settled his backside against the stove, folding his arms over his chest in defiance.

Rose dropped the paper on the table. “Are you crazy? You can’t possibly do this.”

“Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Rose stood and placed a hand on his cheek. “But this is a little drastic, isn’t it? Are you so keen on getting her back you’d go this far?”

“Mom, I need to find out if what we had as teenagers can be resurrected.” Denton wrapped his arms around his mother and held her close so she wouldn’t notice the tears in his eyes. “I’ve missed Eve for ten years and will do anything to win her back. Anything.”

“But, dear, how are you going to be able to get through two weeks of riding lessons? Aren’t you still afraid of horses?”

He laughed, hoping to ease the trip in his heart at the thought of spending fourteen days on the back of one of those giant creatures. But fourteen days spent in Eve’s company sent his heart tripping faster. “Nope.”

Rose leaned back. She squinted at him.

“Nope, not afraid.” His Adam’s apple bobbed up and down, and he refrained from wiping sweat from his upper lip. “More like petrified, horrified, scared stiff.”

“Well, you should be, considering what happened the last time you rode one,” Rose said, leaving Denton’s arms and picking up the confirmation for his stay at the ranch.

“Mom, that was twenty years ago. I need to overcome my fear of horses to spend some time with her, hopefully break through the wall she’s built against me,” Denton replied, trying to convince himself as much as his mother.

Rose shook her head and patted her son on the shoulder. “Well, you have only three weeks to convince that to your shaking hands, my dear boy.”

 

You can purchase “Riding for Love” at:  http://amzn.to/19EPv8v  

Website: tinasusedik.com

Blog: tinasusedik@wordpress.com

Twitter: @tina susedik

Facebook: Tina Susedik, Author

Goodreads: Goodreads.com/tinasusedik

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The Writer’s To-Do List ©

If you’re like us, you have a to-do list. It’s filled with the mundane-but necessary-things that must be accomplished to make life run smoothly: go grocery shopping, pay the bills, do the laundry, call the plumber to unstop the toilet. Sometimes these things, and life in general, can get in a writer’s way. But just sitting down at the keyboard isn’t the only thing a writer needs to do. There’s more to writing than putting words to paper or on computer screens. Here are a few suggestions for your to-do list. Don’t just write – feed your soul and your muse too.

  1. Read. Read books, magazines, newspapers, the back of cereal boxes-whatever you can get. Writers must be readers.
  2. Visit McDonald’s at lunchtime and pretend you’re a kid again. Buy a Happy Meal, eat it slowly, play with the toy, play with your food, make kiddie noises, and watch the other kids play. Writers must be able to get into the skins of other people in order to write realistically.
  3. Make a journal entry. Write about your dreams, your past, your goals, your feelings. Free-write to let creativity reign. Writers have to tap into the unconscious, creative brain functions that allow characters to come alive, ideas to bubble to the surface, and creativity to flow.
  4. Take a walk, jog around the block, visit the gym. Writers need exercise to stay healthy.
  5. Spend time with people. Writers can’t be lone wolves all the time. We need the stimulation of companionship to recharge.
  6. Pull your lawn chair under a tree and look up at the sky. Writers need time to stare into space and dream.
  7. Sleep late, go to bed early, take a nap. Writers need their rest so they can be alert to the world around them.
  8. Remember a time when your emotions ran high and re-experience it. Feel the anger, love, hate, fear, loneliness, sadness, courage, and jealousy. They are part of life. Writers must be able to pull emotions to the surface in order to write with passion.
  9. Close the office door and spend time by yourself. Writers need to be alone to create.
  10. Write today, tomorrow, and every day. Writers aren’t writers unless they spend the time doing the one thing they, by their very nature, can’t avoid doing. Spill your passion onto the page and release the magic into your writing life.

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Today, March 20, is Alien Abduction Day, and, no, we’ve never been abducted, although Catherine did have a boyfriend in the 60s who claimed to have been taken aboard an alien spaceship and had his broken leg healed. He was an ex at the time, which was good because if he hadn’t been she’d have shown him the door pronto!

Whether or not you believe in aliens, of the spaceship variety, they do make for interesting conversation and some pretty good stories. Consider all the fun we’ve had watching television shows  such as “My Favorite Martian”, “Mork and Mindy” (one of Catherine’s favs), “Third Rock”, “V”, “Star Trek” (also a favorite of ours), and “X-Files” (another favorite). Movie goers swarmed to alien-themed films “ET”; “Close Encounters”;Alien”, with the scary thing on the spaceship that drools; “Star Wars”, which is built on an entire universe of alien beings;  Hollywood’s newest release “Alien’s and Cowboys”; and Catherine’s all time scary movie “The Blob”, featuring a thing from outer space that sucked unsuspecting people into its black gooey mass. She was afraid to be in the dark for months after seeing that as a child.

Readers have always been interested in extraterrestrial stories. In 1898, H.G. Wells published his science fiction book “The War of the Worlds”, which has seen several adaptations throughout the years. Perhaps the most famous one was a 60-minute radio show, in 1938, written in a broadcast fashion that caused pandemonium when listeners believed they were hearing a news report, not a work of fiction.                                                                       

If you want to write an alien abduction story where would you begin? Start by setting it in one of the U.S. hot spots for UFO sightings like Roswell, New Mexico, the site of the alleged 1947 spaceship crash and the infamous Area 51, where spaceships and alien bodies are purported to be stored;  or Albuquerque, New Mexico; the state of Colorado, especially Saquach; Gulf Breeze, Pensacola or Santa Rosa, Florida; Elk River, Minnesota, or Anza, California. If you want to go farther afield consider Stonehenge, Australia, Canada, Russia, Africa, or Europe  where crop circles  have been found.

Like a touch of murder mystery in your stories? Then consider killing off someone who has a million dollar Alien Abduction Insurance Policy, which can include insurance against alien pregnancy or probing, as well as abduction.  Yes, there really is such a thing, but it has lousy payoff terms. Shirley MacLaine reportedly has a policy. I’m not sure how one would go about proving the insured had really been abducted, but that’s a problem for you, the author, to figure out.

If you want celebrities to cameo in your book as UFO believers you’ll have no trouble finding them.  John Lennon saw an oval-shaped UFO in the New York sky and reported it, along with a host of New Yorkers. You won’t find a record of his call with the city, however, because he didn’t leave his name. (Gee, I wonder why?) Former President Ronald Reagan reported witnessing two UFO accounts while he was governor of California, and Jimmy Carter said he saw something strange in the sky in 1967 when he was governor of Georgia. Astronaut Gordon Cooper said he took photos of a UFO while in space. The Pentagon allegedly took the films and they were never seen again. (There’s a cover-up plot, if I’ve ever heard one.) Even Walter Cronkite, a trusted newsman to millions of Americans, claimed he saw UFOs while watching a test of a new Air Force missile. With famous eyewitnesses like that who wouldn’t believe in alien beings and their spaceships?

If writing about aliens isn’t for you, then park the car in garage (because we all know aliens love to catch us in our cars on lonely roads at night), hunker down behind drawn shades with a few good alien movies, some popcorn, and a tin foil cap (if you’re cheap) or  thought screen helmet  (if you’ve got money to burn) to protect your brain from alien  probing. And …

 keep an eye on the sky if you go out … just in case.

What are some of your favorite alien television shows and movies? Did any keep you up at night worrying about alien abductions or invasions?

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