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Monday, January 23, 2017

Television Binge Watching #MFRWAuthor

For two weeks, I participated in MFRW's 52-Week Blog Challenge on Fridays. I was really happy about the 3rd week's topic--bingeing on TV shows. So happy, I wrote my post before realizing I'd already committed to Chrys Fey's "I Survived" Blogfest last Friday. Waste not, want not, as my mother would say. Even though, it's not Friday, here's my post.

TV Shows I Binge On

If you follow my blog, you know I love watching movies and television. Never ask me to name my favorite book, movie, or TV show. I can’t. My favorites change like Michigan weather. Binge watching takes favorites to an extreme. Let me tell you about some shows I’ve binged on.

photo: IMDB


Firefly: science fiction adventure. Long gone, but not forgotten. After watching the movie Serenity, I found a DVD with all fourteen episodes. Watched them all the way through and then over again several times. What’s not to like about Captain Reynolds (Nathan Fillion)?







photo: IMDB


Stargate SG-1: action/adventure. I missed all ten seasons when they were on originally. I’d catch one here and there, but not faithfully until we got Amazon Prime. Binged on all of them, just not all at once. Interesting premise (traveling via a portal to different planets) and a great cast.




photo: IMDB




Farscape: science fiction, action/adventure/romance. Totally missed this series during its four-season run. Besides the sci-fi aspect, I loved the creatures designed by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. The romance started slow and built. I just hated the way the series ended.






The above were shows I binge-watched because they were no longer on. But I have other favs besides science fiction. Here are my current ones. Thank goodness, we’re getting the Ovation Channel now on cable.

photo: IMDB

Murdoch Mysteries (aka The Artful Detective): mystery. My sister gave us the 1st season on DVD for Christmas one year. She is so lucky to live near Detroit because she gets a Canadian channel and watches new episodes as they're released. For ten years, Detective Murdoch, with the Toronto Constabulary, solves crimes in the 1890s using unusual at the time (but commonplace now) scientific methods. Meanwhile, he and Medical Coroner Dr. Julia Ogden danced around each other in a will-they/won’t-they romance. Based on books by Maureen Jennings. Before Ovation came to our cable network, I went to the library and borrowed the DVDs.






photo: IMDB


Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries: mystery. Another recommendation from my sister. Phryne Fisher of Melbourne solves mysteries in the late 1920s in this Australian three-season series. Based on the books by Kerry Greenwood. I'd read the first book, Cocaine Blues, first in the series before watching the TV series. Love the period costumes, Phryne’s battles over injustice, and her banter with Detective Jack Robinson. I haven't seen all the episodes but, sheesh, would they just kiss!




photo: Amazon


Father Brown: mysteries on PBS. You might recognize the actor who plays the sleuth-priest in a 1950s English village from Doctor Who (Rory's dad) and Harry Potter (Ron Weasley's dad), Mark Williams. He's accomplishes are a hoot. As I've said with regard to most of my favorite shows, it's the cast that makes the show.






See what I mean about not being able to choose one?

Do you binge watch? What are your favorites?




Saturday, January 21, 2017

#WeWriWa - #8Sunday: One Red Shoe


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warrior and 8 Sentence Sunday, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to read write! Writers share an 8 to10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other writers. You can find them here.

I'm back again with another snippet from my romantic suspense, One Red Shoe. In last week's snippet, Daria was leaving Iowa for NYC, despite her overprotective brothers' objections. Here's what's happening on the other side of the world.

Sam unlocked the hotel room, realizing too late that it wasn’t locked.
“Hello, Samuel, long time no see, as you Americans say,” Yuri Grashenko said from the corner of the small room, his smile as deadly as the Walther PPK in his hand. “Please return what you stole from my employer—he is most unhappy.”
“Why you talk nice to thief?” said the male voice behind Sam.
Spinning low with a move he hadn’t forgotten from his college basketball days, Sam slammed into the newcomer as a bullet from the PPK slammed into the wall where Sam’s shoulder had been seconds before. One good thing, Yuri wasn’t trying to kill him…not yet, anyway.
Sam and the newcomer—geez, the guy was big—rolled down the dark stairs in a tangle of arms and legs, elbows and knees wreaked as much havoc as the wood steps, bruises on bruises.
His dad was right…Sam should have gone to work in the steel mill, shoveling slag had to be easier than this.


It Happened One Night meets Knight and Day.

When elementary teacher Daria Mason left Iowa for a writers’ conference in New York City, she didn’t expect to come home with a wounded spy. Sam Jozwiak works for a shadow agency that gathers intel vital to U.S. security. From the moment he steals digital files from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist. Thus, begins a road trip that takes Sam and Daria cross country with the assassins right behind them. 




Friday, January 20, 2017

Chrys Fey's I SURVIVED Blog Fest


"This is Chrys Fey reporting for Disaster 5 News. I am in Anchorage, Alaska where a tsunami hit yesterday morning. I have Diane Burton with me, a survivor of the tsunami. Diane, can you tell our viewers what happened, and how you survived?"

Diane: Oh my God, Chrys. I can’t believe we survived. Hubs and I were on an Alaskan cruise and land trip. We’d taken a trip to Denali National Park. Wow. What a gorgeous mountain. The road was horrible, ruts and—


Chrys: Diane, what about the tsunami?

Diane: Of course, Chrys. Sorry.  When the tsunami hit, we were on the motor coach on our way back. If we’d been here in Anchorage . . . I can’t imagine. Look at the destruction. All those homes destroyed, and the people who lost their lives. 


That could have been us. *wipes away tears* I managed to call my family and let them know we were all right. I don't know how we’re going to get home, I'm just so thankful we survived. *breaks down*

Chrys *pats Diane’s shoulder* Yes, thank God you survived. Oh, there’s another survivor. *leaves* Ma’am, sir, may I talk to you . . .







Title: Tsunami Crimes
Series: Disaster Crimes #3
Author: Chrys Fey
Genre: Romantic-Suspense
Page Count: 272

BLURB: Beth and Donovan have come a long way from Hurricane Sabrina and the San Francisco earthquake. Now they are approaching their wedding day and anxiously waiting to promise each other a lifetime of love. The journey down the aisle isn’t smooth, though, as they receive threats from the followers of the notorious criminal, Jackson Storm. They think they’ll be safe in Hawaii, but distance can’t stop these killers. Not even a tsunami can.

This monstrous wave is the most devastating disaster Beth has ever faced. It leaves her beaten, frightened. Is she a widow on her honeymoon? As she struggles to hold herself together and find Donovan, she’s kidnapped by Jackson's men.

Fearing her dead, Donovan searches the rubble and shelters with no luck. The thought of her being swept out to sea is almost too much for him to bear, but the reality is much worse. She’s being used as bait to get him to fall into a deadly trap.

If they live through this disaster, they may never be the same again. 

DIGITAL LINKS:

PRINT LINK:



99 CENTS: Amazon
And everywhere ebooks are sold. 


GIVEAWAY!

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Chrys is interviewing these other survivors.






Thursday, January 19, 2017

SCAVENGER FALTERS by Liza O'Connor Blog Tour

 
Diane sez: I am so excited to share in Liza O'Connor's blog tour for SCAVENGER FALTERS. I read Scavenger's Mission in one night! As I wrote in my review on Amazon, don't start that book before going to bed. Forewarned by self, I started Scavenger Falters in the afternoon. LOL It's another thrill ride. Here's what Liza has to say about her new release.
Alisha got slammed in book 1 for disobeying an order that she hadn’t even known existed. And now she discovers that a reg that has been in the book since early on, one against abusing new cadets is being blatantly ignored and not even Jack wishes to stop the horror. She declares it hypocrisy at its worst. Here she got slammed for rescuing a flyer in need of medical care, while this fort still allowed the ‘making of dogs’, abusing first year cadets, sometimes to their death. So with her new Colonel powers, she storms into the mess hall and climbs upon a table, determined to end the practice of dogs once and for all.

Scavenger Falters
By
Liza O’Connor

Alisha Kane, the Corps’ best flyer, is promoted to colonel, in charge of teaching the Corp’s SkyRyders her extraordinary flying maneuvers. The man she loves, Logan, continues to place the Corps first and insists they both remain focused on their work. For Alisha, this means ferreting out the best flyers in a Corps that has systematically forced great flyers into mediocrity. Logan focuses on learning Alisha’s flying techniques so that he can become the hero the East Coast desperately needs. The result includes fractured ribs and broken hearts, but through it all they never relinquish their love of the Corps.
 EXCERPT

Alisha pushed her way through the crowded mess hall and climbed up on a table. Standing taller than the men for once, she had little trouble getting the troops’ attention and silence. “It has come to my attention that this fort still keeps dogs.”
A few snickers in the far corner got her quick attention. “I will remind each of you that reg 3.354 forbids the practice. But then you all know that. So I will tell you something else. It. Is. Wrong!” She displayed her anger in each separate word. “The Corps is not just a job. It is your family. And what type a family takes their new additions, their children, and beats, rapes and sodomizes them for the first year of their lives?”
The room was deathly quiet as she continued. “On my first day as a Ryder I was the dog, and I was nearly killed when I was purposely stalled out at three hundred feet over the Wind Farms Ridge. And before you say ‘so what’, think about how many of you would be standing here today if I had died before the Ridge and Broadtown battles?
“All of you have probably been a dog. That’s what makes the continuance of this behavior so horrible. You personally know how hurtful it is. Nobody will admit it, but you know the violence can go too far. You know Ryders who have died. So I’m telling you now. The practice of making dogs stops today! And captains, I hold you personally responsible for the health and well-being of every member of your squad. If I even suspect that someone under your care is being abused, I will come down on you so hard, you will long for the anger of the general. Is that understood?” she asked softly.
The dead silence gave no reply.
“The colonel is waiting for a reply, captains,” General Powell said from the door.
“Sir, yes, sir!” The reply came immediately.
“I hope the slowness of your response was because you were in shock at the realization of the monstrosity of this practice each of you has participated in. Because if you only replied because I prompted you, then your time as captain will be very short-lived. And I don’t just mean at this fort.” The general entered the commissary and walked to the table where Alisha stood.
“We’ve all been the dog,” he continued. “I was one, myself, when I was a cadet. But until today, I’d forgotten the horror of that year: the beatings, the abuses. When my year was up, I put it behind me. I convinced myself it made me a stronger soldier. But it didn’t make me stronger. It just made me hate a couple of officers for the next forty years.”
The remark got several nervous chuckles from some of the men.
The general was not smiling, however. “We are at war, gentlemen, and our enemy is well financed, clever, and determined. If Colonel Kane’s reasons have not convinced you that the practice of dogs must stop, then let me try one more reason. We can’t afford to waste Corps resources. Had Colonel Kane died during her time as a dog, the war would be over now. And every man here would be nothing more than a glass-framed picture on his mama’s mantel.”
The general let his words sink in for a moment and then continued.
“Now, is there any soldier here that thinks I’m not dead serious that the days of dogs have ended?”
The reply was instantaneous. “Sir, no, sir.”
“Consider this a part of the new world, gentlemen. No dogs, no rabbits, no nothing! You will treat your newest members with the same dignity and respect you expect from your own commander.” He looked up at Alisha. “Sorry for stealing your thunder, Colonel. Is there anything you’d like to add?”
“No,” Alisha said. “I think they’ve gotten the message.”

SALES LINKS
The SkyRyder’s Series, Book 2
Scavenger Falters


The SkyRyder’s Series, Book 1
Scavenger’s Mission

About the Author
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

OTHER BOOKS BY LIZA O’CONNOR
SCIENCE FICTION
Sci-Fi Soap Opera with humor, romance, and science


Sci-Fi/Romance

The SkyRyders Series
Sci-Fi Romance
 Scavenger Vanishes-coming 2017


Social Networks 





Monday, January 16, 2017

Nostalgia


On Saturday, I drove over two hours to a meeting. My companion was Sirius radio. Normally, we don’t subscribe, but it was free for a couple of months. I tuned the radio to "60’s on 6." All the way to (and from) my meeting, I sang along with songs from my youth and remembered where I was when I first sang along. Like Saturday, I was probably in my car when I heard those songs. 

I wish I could say I had that red Mercury Cougar the entire time. Not so. My first car was an ugly blue-green sedan my dad insisted I buy in 1965. Like a good daughter, I obeyed. The Cougar didn’t come until 1969. It was used, but I didn't care. Dad was not pleased that I didn’t ask his advice. Bad daughter. LOL



What wonderful memories the artists and their songs evoked. Neil Diamond, Judy Collins, The Beachboys, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and so many more. Nostalgia for a bygone era. I came of age in the 60s. More than missing the cute Cougar, I miss those days. I was young, single (a state I bemoaned at the time), free to do what I wanted, when I wanted. With my girlfriends, I traveled and saw so much of our country. Only one time did I fly and that was to NYC to see seven Broadway plays in five days. Tickets were cheaper then. A lot cheaper.

The other trips we made in one of our cars. Usually, a car bigger than my Cougar. With four or five of us, we could drive straight through from Michigan to Florida, California, Texas. Four of us were teachers, so we traveled during school vacations or the summer. Sometimes my sister (telephone operator) or the sister (nurse) of two girlfriends came, too. Since we split travel expenses, those were cheap vacations.

I mentioned “cheap” twice. That was important in those days since teachers (especially those who in parochial schools) weren’t paid well. Neither were public school teachers. Still, we had such fun. We talked to strangers at historic sites, happy when we met someone from Michigan. We hiked in National Parks, fearlessly walked in the Rio Grande in Big Bend N.P., the U.S. on our right and Mexico on our left. We hiked to a glacier in Colorado, visited Disneyland and San Simeon. Terrific vacations, wonderful times.



The 60s were a turbulent time, too. Viet Nam dominated TV news and family dinners. Protest riots on college campuses and race riots in big cities. On the day the riots broke out in Detroit, my sister and I had taken our younger siblings to a Tigers’ baseball game. We knew nothing about the riot that started a few blocks away until we got back home in the suburbs. Although I didn’t know him at the time, Hubs remembers returning from vacation to see an Army tank blocking a street he needed to use. The scariest event in my life at the time.



The 60s changed us. We went from the naivete of the 1950s to skepticism and distrust of authority. Our parents didn’t understand, which led to confrontations during dinner. But we weathered all that and turned out okay.

Those thoughts and many more drifted through my mind as I listened to “Sweet Caroline,” “Good Vibrations,” “Hey, Jude,” and “Lay, lady, lay.” My trip went quicker with the radio playing. Though I wouldn't win any awards for singing, it kept me awake during the drive home. 

And I felt like 21 again.

What songs did you come of age to?



Saturday, January 14, 2017

#WeWriWa - #8Sunday: One Red Shoe


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warrior and 8 Sentence Sunday, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to read write! Writers share an 8 to10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other writers. You can find them here.

Did you miss me? That quote from PBS' Sherlock also applies to me. My last post was on December 10. Time and the holidays got away from m. But I'm back with a snippet from the beginning of my romantic suspense, One Red Shoe.

“Billy, don’t feed Rover any table scraps, only two cups of kibble a day, and, Andy, you’re going to put food in the barn for Archy and Mehitabel, right?” Daria didn’t wait for his response, continuing with, “Tommy, you’ll take care of—”
Jimmy straightened, saying, “For crissake, Daria, it’s a goddamn zoo around here.”
At least he wasn’t trying to delay her with talk about new tires. She reached up and patted his cheek. “Don’t swear.”
“I mean it, Daria Jean,” Jimmy said. “Don’t you dare bring home some wounded stray. I don’t care if it’s bleeding—no more.”



It Happened One Night meets Knight and Day


When elementary teacher Daria Mason left Iowa for a writers’ conference in New York City, she didn’t expect to come home with a wounded spy. Sam Jozwiak works for a shadow agency that gathers intel vital to U.S. security. From the moment he steals digital files from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist. Thus, begins a road trip that takes Sam and Daria cross country with the assassins right behind them. 



Friday, January 13, 2017

#MFRWAuthor 52-Week Challenge: Family


It's week 2 of Marketing for Romance Writers' 52-Week Blog Challenge. I love that we have topics. So much easier to write when someone else comes up with a topic.

HOW MY FAMILY SURVIVES MY WRITING.

When I first started writing over twenty years ago, I was embarrassed to tell my family. My kids were in high school, and I could feel them rolling their eyes if I told them I was writing a romance story. To my surprise, they thought it was great. Hubs thought it was a nice hobby until I told him I was serious about this, that I was writing to be published. This was my business.

He supported me when I said I wanted to take a class at our local library on starting a small business offered by the Michigan State University Extension Service. In fact, he’s supported me all along. While he prefers reading nonfiction, he will read my books. I’m not sure he realizes how interruptions can be very distracting. But every morning (my best time to write) he’ll go downstairs to his office, leaving me in peace. When I buried or on deadline (my own, since I’m self-published), he’ll make dinner. Now that’s support!

My kids, now grown with children of their own, say they’re proud of me. But it’s got to be uncomfortable for them to read the sex scenes knowing their mother wrote them.

When the 3 “Moms”—my mother, mother-in-law, and her sister—read my first book, Switched, that had some quite sensual scenes, it made me uncomfortable. They told me they skipped those parts. LOL Unfortunately, they passed away before my other books were published. I think they would have enjoyed my PI mysteries a lot better than the science fiction romances. My sisters enjoy the mysteries better, too.

My grandchildren are too young to read my books. But they write their own stories with me. I found this wonderful program, My StoryMaker, from the Carnegie Library at Pittsburgh. The kids choose the characters, setting, tools, etc. and tell me the story, which I type for them. At the end of the story, I print it out for them to show their parents. We’ve been doing this since before they started school. Five years later, their stories are now longer with more depth. It’s great combining something I love (writing) with fun time with the kiddies.

I am truly blessed by my family’s support.

Here's the link to the others participating in the challenge: http://mfrw.blogspot.com/2017/01/join-us-its-week-2-mfrwauthor-52-week.html