Welcome.

Glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again for Monday Morning Musings, Meet the Author Thursday, Weekend Writing Warriors, and guests whenever they drop in.

Monday, February 18, 2019

GUEST: Sorchia DuBois WITCHLING: A Collection of Zoraida Grey Short Stories @SorchiaDuBois

Please welcome today's guest, Sorchia DuBois. Sorchia is a fellow contributor to the Paranormal Romantics blog. Her Zoraida Grey trilogy is captivating. Now, she has a collection of fascinating facts and short stories in Zoraida's world. Here's Sorchia to tell us about her new release.


When I started writing about Zoraida Grey, I really intended to produce a bunch of quick little paranormal mysteries—the trials and tribulations of a fortune-teller in the Bible Belt. Fun Fact: I (and numerous other writers) use Tarot cards for inspiration.

So I started pulling cards to learn about Zoraida. My intent was to flesh out her backstory a bit—just a bit. Instead, I found castles and mystery and magic and witches galore. You’ll have to read the Zoraida Grey trilogy to find out exactly how far from the original idea I strayed.

But the original idea gelled into several short stories so I put them together into a little collection. Witchling: A Collection of Zoraida Grey Short Stories follows Zoraida on adventures that take place before she knows anything about fabulous Castle Logan in far northern Scotland—before she finds out Granny has been hiding secrets wrapped in secrets.

Witchling: A Collection makes a great introduction to Zoraida without spoiling the rest of the tale. And it gives some fun context to the big books for those who’ve already read them.

Blurb:

Welcome to the Magical World of Zoraida Grey! Before the events depicted in the Zoraida Grey Trilogy, Zoraida was a small town fortuneteller. Her magical journey begins with a murderous presence in her hometown. As a young woman, she finds ghosts in the strangest places. PLUS a tale about Castle Logan and how it got its dark reputation. If you've read the Zoraida Grey trilogy, you'll learn tidbits of backstory in this lively collection.

Stories in the collection:

"Zoraida Grey and the Skinwalker"
"Zoraida Grey and the Twisted Sisters"
"Zoraida Grey and the Surly Spirit"
"The Witch and the Spaniard"

Book 1 in the Zoraida Grey Trilogy, Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones, garnered a third place Romance Writers of America Prism Award, sponsored by Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter. Book 2, Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen was nominated for Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewers Choice Awards—as was the entire series.

Excerpt:


from “The Witch and the Spaniard”

“Don’t be a fool. The Gathering in two weeks will begin our conquest of Scotland and England. Already dark rumors follow Father and Michael. None must suspect who we are––what we are––until it’s too late.” Ursula tied off a thread of burgundy, snipped the skein free with silver scissors.

The tapestry depicted a great battle of knights and fantastical creatures. Each thread shimmered with the blackest magic—death, fear, and despair. Each knot bound the spell more tightly. Burgundy blood punctuated the chaotic panorama. Ursula breathed life into the figures until they writhed and contorted in paroxysm of agony.

“Father can’t stop me.” Skulja stamped her foot on the hard stone floor. “Ignacio is a powerful wizard from Spain. Father can’t deny our marriage.”

“Father will do as he pleases and you will abide by his decision. You’re a foolish girl to let such an idea distract you. I’ll not intercede with him on your behalf.” Ursula moved her hand across the tapestry, concentrating on the enchantment. “Now leave us to our work, Skulja. You’re no use.”

Vera coiled a fresh skein of thread and tossed it into a wicker basket with several others. Leaving the wheel, she hoisted the basket into her arms and moved toward the door. “What colors do you need, Ursula? I’ve enough to finish the tapestry, I believe.”

“More burgundy and black, please. All that remains is to bind the protection to our faction and it will be ready,” Ursula whispered, her mind deep in sorcery.

With her back to Ursula, Vera cocked an eye at Skulja and mouthed the words, “Come with me.”
Skulja glared at her older sister, not quite ready to abandon her argument. “You’ll not govern me, Ursula. I’ll marry Ignacio and leave this cursed place behind.”

Ursula’s concentration remained on the tapestry. Either she was so deep into spellcasting she didn’t hear or so certain of her own position she didn’t care. Skulja followed Vera out and slammed the heavy oaken door behind her. The crash echoed in the empty passage but even that did not pull Ursula from the dark enchantment she wove. Alone in the tower room, she muttered ancient words, her mind and soul spiraling into the ether.


Universal buy link:  http://books2read.com/WitchlingZG


Author Bio

Sorchia DuBois lives in the piney woods and can often be found at Scottish celebrations watching kilted men toss unwieldy objects for no particular reason.  She writes tales of magic, mystery, passion, history, a little whisky, and a cat.

Website: https://www.sorchiadubois.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SorchiaD
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SorchiaDuBois



Saturday, February 16, 2019

#WeWriWa--RESCUING MARA'S FATHER: Useless Info #MGsf


Each weekend the Weekend Writing Warriors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here.

I'm sharing a new story, a Middle Grade/YA science fiction adventure, titled Rescuing Mara's Father. It's a work in progress (though it's with my editor), so suggestions would be great. The narrator is Mara, an almost 15-year-old girl. The scene is class in Teacher's study in a mining outpost on the Outer Rim. This snippet takes place immediately after last week's, which ended with Mara saying, "The Central Planets with their Coalition are light years away, besides they don’t care about us. Why should we learn about them or how they rule? All we have to know is who’s in charge here, and that’s the mining company.”
Please excuse the creative punctuation, necessary to keep this within the guidelines. It's also edited from the original.

I sit quickly, surprised at my own outburst, not as surprised as the rest of the class, let alone Teacher. He gives me a look that says I’m going to hear about this later. I am so glad I only have one more month of this. At Pamyria Tech, I won’t have to learn useless information about the Coalition and especially about Compara—I’ll learn important stuff about starship engines. One more month, just one more month, and I am gone.
“Teacher?”
I shift around in my chair to look at Jako, who never voluntarily speaks during class—unlike his brother, Lukus-Know-It-All—and he’s even standing, “Why do we have to learn stuff we’ll never use? Manager says we don’t need to know more than to read and write Arthos.”
In linguistics class, we learned that Arthos, the language used throughout the Rim, is a combination of the home languages of the early explorers. Besides learning how to read and write in Arthos, we’re learning to speak Tumie, the language of the desert nomads—practical stuff, not useless information about planets we’ll never have contact with.



Blurb:

Her father is gone! Taken by the Queen of Compara’s agents. Mara has to rescue him before the Queen tortures and kills him.
Instead of the kind, loving father she’s always known, he’s become demanding, critical, with impossible expectations—not just as Father but also as the only teacher in their frontier outpost. Mara would rather scoop zircan poop than listen to another boring lecture about governments on Central Planets. Give her a starship engine to take apart or, better yet, fly, and she’s happy. Now, he's gone.
Never mind, they’ve had a rocky road lately. 
Never mind, Father promised she could go off planet to Tech Institute next month when she turns fifteen, where she’ll learn to fly starships.
Never mind, she ran away because she’s furious with him because he reneged on that promise. Father is her only parent. She has to save him.
Along with her best friend, eleven-year-old Jako, and his brother 15-year-old Lukus, Mara sets off to find her father. An old spaceport mechanic and her mentor seems to know why the Queen captured Father. In fact, he seems to know her father well. But, does he tell her everything? Of course not. He dribbles out info like a mush-eating baby. Worse, he indicates he’ll be leaving then soon. And Lukus can’t wait to get off our planet. Mara’s afraid they will all leave her, and she’ll be on her own. Despite her fears, she has to rescue her father.




Saturday, February 9, 2019

#WeWriWa: RESCUING MARA'S FATHER - Might Makes Right #MGsf


Each weekend the Weekend Writing Warriors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here.

First, I need to apologize for missing last week. After a week of Polar Vortex and being literally snowed in (we couldn't get out of our driveway, let alone out of our subdivision), we beat it down to Gulf Shores, AL for some needed sun and warmth. I'm sorry to say I forgot to post for Weekend Writing Warriors.


I'm sharing a new story, a Middle Grade/YA science fiction adventure, titled Rescuing Mara's Father. It's a work in progress (though it's with my editor), so suggestions would be great. The narrator is Mara, an almost 15-year-old girl. The scene is class in Teacher's study in a mining outpost on the Outer Rim.

Please excuse the creative punctuation, necessary to keep this within the guidelines. It's also edited from the original.

The rest of us sit back in relief as Lukus has Teacher’s attention, which is just fine, “The ideal form of government is one where all the inhabitants have a voice and are treated equally.”
I snort then mutter, “Like that’s ever going to happen.”
Jako kicks my chair and hisses at me to shut up.
Teacher pins me with his stare, “Mara, you have something to add?”
“I can explain what Mara means,” Lukus says—he’s still standing and according to class protocol, I shouldn’t have spoken, “Civilizations strive for the ideal, however—”
“I can do my own explaining,” I ignore class rules and stand without waiting for Lukus to sit, “Out here on the Rim, the only thing that matters is who’s rich enough or strong enough to rule—might makes right. The Central Planets with their Coalition are light years away, besides they don’t care about us. Why should we learn about them or how they rule? All we have to know is who’s in charge here, and that’s the mining company.”




Blurb:


Her father is gone! Taken by the Queen of Compara’s agents. Mara has to rescue him before the Queen tortures and kills him.
Instead of the kind, loving father she’s always known, he’s become demanding, critical, with impossible expectations—not just as Father but also as the only teacher in their frontier outpost. Mara would rather scoop zircan poop than listen to another boring lecture about governments on Central Planets. Give her a starship engine to take apart or, better yet, fly, and she’s happy. Now, he's gone.
Never mind, they’ve had a rocky road lately. 
Never mind, Father promised she could go off planet to Tech Institute next month when she turns fifteen, where she’ll learn to fly starships.
Never mind, she ran away because she’s furious with him because he reneged on that promise. Father is her only parent. She has to save him.
Along with her best friend, eleven-year-old Jako, and his brother 15-year-old Lukus, Mara sets off to find her father. An old spaceport mechanic and her mentor seems to know why the Queen captured Father. In fact, he seems to know her father well. But, does he tell her everything? Of course not. He dribbles out info like a mush-eating baby. Worse, he indicates he’ll be leaving then soon. And Lukus can’t wait to get off our planet. Mara’s afraid they will all leave her, and she’ll be on her own. Despite her fears, she has to rescue her father.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

#IWSG: Achieving Goals


Happy Insecure Writers Support Group Day. IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. 

Thanks to this month's awesome hosts:  Raimey Gallant, Natalie Aguirre, CV Grehan, and Michelle Wallace!

Last month, I talked about goal setting. I'm happy to report I accomplished two small goals leading to one big one. I prepared my Middle Grade science fiction adventure story for my editor and sent it off to her. The second goal was contracting for the cover. Here it is:


Blurb:
Her father is gone! Taken by the Queen of Compara’s agents. Mara has to rescue him before the Queen tortures and kills him.
Instead of the kind, loving father she’s always known, he’s become demanding, critical, with impossible expectations—not just as Father but also as the only teacher in their frontier outpost. Mara would rather scoop zircan poop than listen to another boring lecture about governments on Central Planets. Give her a starship engine to take apart or, better yet, fly, and she’s happy. Now, he's gone.
Never mind, they’ve had a rocky road lately. 
Never mind, Father promised she could go off planet to Tech Institute next month when she turns fifteen, where she’ll learn to fly starships.
Never mind, she ran away because she’s furious with him because he reneged on that promise. Father is her only parent. She has to save him.
Along with her best friend, eleven-year-old Jako, and his brother 15-year-old Lukus, Mara sets off to find her father. An old spaceport mechanic and her mentor seems to know why the Queen captured Father. In fact, he seems to know her father well. But, does he tell her everything? Of course not. He dribbles out info like a mush-eating baby. Worse, he indicates he’ll be leaving then soon. And Lukus can’t wait to get off our planet. Mara’s afraid they will all leave her, and she’ll be on her own. Despite her fears, she has to rescue her father.


Optional question: Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?

Many of my creative outlets have dropped by the wayside as writing has taken over. For years, I did needlework--counted cross-stitch, needlepoint, candlewick, embroidery, and quilting. Photography has stuck around. I use pictures to record our vacations and our family. Hubs and I both have good cameras, those that take film and digital ones. He could start a museum with his cameras. šŸ˜Š

So what camera do we use the most? The one on our phones. Currently, we're on vacation on the gulf coast. Our son "ordered" us to send pictures. He's going to regret that. LOL I set up an iCloud album, invited our immediate family and have been sending pictures each day. That will teach him!
The ease with which we can take pictures makes it so handy. So, I think that's one creative outlet that won't drop away.

A while ago, I shared the contest for the next IWSG anthology! Here's the cover!

Masquerade: Oddly Suited…




Masquerade: Oddly Suited
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology
Release date – April 30, 2019
Young Adult Fiction: Romance - General/Paranormal/Contemporary
Print ISBN 9781939844644
EBook ISBN 9781939844651

Find love at the ball…

Can a fake dating game show lead to love? Will a missing key free a clock-bound prince? Can a softball pitcher and a baseball catcher work together? Is there a vampire living in Paradise, Newfoundland? What’s more important—a virtual Traveler or a virtual date to the ball? 

Ten authors explore young love in all its facets, from heartbreak to budding passion. Featuring the talents of L.G. Keltner, Jennifer Lane, C.D. Gallant-King, Elizabeth Mueller, Angela Brown, Myles Christensen, Deborah Solice, Carrie-Anne Brownian, Anstice Brown, and Chelsea Marie Ballard. 

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will mystify and surprise even as they touch your heart. Don your mask and join the party…

Congratulations to all the winners. Happy Writing. See you next month.

Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.



Friday, February 1, 2019

GUEST: PJ Colando - ;The Winner's Circle #Women'sFiction

Today, author PJ Colando visits with her new release, Winner's Circle, third novel in the Faith, Family, Frenzy! Series.


Here's PJ to tell us about her book, which releases today.


Life in rural small town can dull the senses. A trio of gal pals—mired in middle age, Middle America, and other people’s problems—long to escape.

When Bonnie wins the Boffo Lotto, her circle of friends urge her to lawyer up, invest, and sequester herself.

But secrets are inconceivable in small towns, so Bonnie and Carl invite close friends to witness their Vegas wedding and honeymoon in Hawaii with endless vagabond beyond. The sky’s the limit!

The allure of travel is fun for a while—hilarious, in fact. But when the husbands are jailed, wanderlust is no longer a romp and things get complicated when you’re halfway round the world, untethered from all you know and love.

Life has its consequences… and there’s no place like home.



Blurb

A trio of gal pals—mired in middle age, Middle America, and other people’s problems—long to escape. The Boffo Lotto funds wanderlust, but husbands misbehave, lawsuits proliferate, and conundrums get amplified when you’re halfway ‘round the world, untethered to all you know and love. There’s no place like home. 
Excerpt
One: Fran
Unlike Jackie, Fran was irked by “Amazing Grace”. Especially when Bonnie’s ringtone interrupted steamy Tom Selleck dreams. She groped the nightstand for her cell, clicked it on, and croaked, “How—“. 
Fran swallowed to regain her voice and attempt cordial. She needed to reply,  “How sweet the sound, “ the obligatory response among friends, but just now the ritual undermined behavior management principles. One shouldn’t reinforce disruptions like nighttime phone calls. Though she was a late-in-life newlywed, who didn’t require beauty sleep, she did need peace. How did Jackie Breeden sleep with grandfather clock chimes every quarter hour through the night?
Fran opened one eye to sneak a clock peak: 10:33 p.m. In the jostling, her phone dropped to the floor, but their carpet prevented clatter. Gratefully she rolled over, mindful not to bump her snoring mate. His guzzle-snort camouflaged a phone call that would awaken him and ignite his potential to pray.
Joan Baez’s famed anthem resumed. Fran suppressed a groan. Her clumsiness had disconnected the call of a persistent friend. Rolling to a crouch on the floor, she scooped up the phone and clicked on.
“The new sweet sound will be cha-ching,” Bonnie said. “Write these numbers down!”
“Hold your horses if you want to remain friends. I didn’t hear please. Also, speak softly. Paul’s asleep and I need to locate paper and pen, plus my bookmark. I’m reading the new Jan Karon book.”
This was a half-truth, a misdirect to cover her irritation. Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good lay spread-eagled on the nightstand. A moment ago, it covered her phone.
“Trying to learn how to be a pastor’s wife?” Bonnie joked.
“Bad move, Bonnie. Thank your stars you’re long distance. Do you want me to write the number or not?”
Fran bustled into the robe draped across the foot of the bed. A double bed shared with a pastor who performed unpuritanically under the sheets, then cozied her onto the mattress edge where she tried to read herself to sleep. Marriage was unexpectedly exciting. Apparently abstinence did make a body grow fonder. Fran was considering an additional wedding gift: purchase of a king size bed to ensure her own space.
She grabbed her phone and held it low, amidst the rustle and swish of the silken fabric, hoping the noise would infuse sense into Bonnie’s head.  Fran padded to her office down the hall and Brailled the desktop. A tablet and pen aligned in their always-place. The silver patina of her recent wedding photo’s frame twinkled in the moon glow.
Fran startled. She’d never noticed Paul’s tie skewed to spoon the folds of her wedding suit sleeves. Significant lust hidden in plain sight.
She smiled as she recalled squeezing her nosegay during the ceremony and the subsequent photo shoot. Moments later, she lofted the roses over her head backwards for a perfect landing into the hands of Bonnie, Paul’s secretary. The same, still unmarried woman who’d quit her job and left town a few days ago with Carl, Steve Breeden’s half-brother. California bound, they said. What an upended apple cart to accept, to explain, and, eventually, to embrace.
Bonnie Voss. The same woman who’d lost her morals and her mind. The same still unmarried woman who called her for a favor in the middle of the night. Please.
Fran’s chair rewarded her careful sit with silence. Her knees complied, noiseless too. She poised the pen and drew her cell to her ear. “I’m ready. Shoot me the numbers.” Fran cleared her throat to underscore her great effort.
“Please? 10. 11. 31. 41. 44. 14. 24.”
“Okay. Let me repeat them to make sure I got them right.” Fran adjusted her robe. “10. 11. 31. 41. 44. 14. 24.” After Bonnie’s confirming purr, she continued, “What are these? Sounds like high school locker combinations.”
“Good guess, girl! It’s Carl’s combination from his junior and senior years of high school. He was excited to have a locker in the jock block twice.”
“Is that the hell why he remembers the numbers?” Fran snapped so harshly, she almost bit her tongue. She nursed a grudge about entitled high school athletes, a remnant of fending off Coach’s over-protection when his star players missed grades. She smiled at a memory of hoisting her paddle in the general vicinity of his over-stuffed ass. Hell, she’d have whacked him, if her office door had been closed.
Emboldened by the memory, she pressed on. “What the hell am I supposed to do with these numbers? Memorize them and then eat the note? Global nuclear war didn’t start after the nightly news, did it? You giving me the combination to Carl’s underground bomb shelter or his safe deposit box?”
“Watch the Boffo Lotto drawing tonight at 11:00. We can’t, because we’re deadheading to Rock Island, Illinois. I knew you stayed up late and would do a favor for a friend.” Bonnie didn’t pause to allow Fran to object. “I have a question for you, Fran? What the hell are you saying hell for? You’re a pastor’s wife now!”
“I’m off-duty.” Fran slammed down the phone.
Fran stood, hoisted her robe so she wouldn’t trip over its hem—and to shake off Bonnie’s rebuke—and swished into the family room. She turned on the TV, already set on FOX, and heard the same news pronounced by another bubble head, part of the daily parade, all interchangeable, most often blondes with hair sprayed into helmets. Cement-smiled with chunky gold jewelry coiled at the crest of vibrant high-necked, sleeveless dresses. Clothing to frame the toothy truths spread by big mouths on pedestal necks. Lipstick like dual blood streaks cheek-to-cheek. Yip-yap-yip. It was exhilarating to watch.
Fran settled in. She’d never monitored the lottery picks before, never even bought a ticket, considering the act beneath her station in the small, close-knit community. Maybe she’d made a mistake. A buy was frivolous for certain, but watching the drawing promised the simplest high on the planet. Its pep counterbalanced the bite of the recycled news’ spew.
The numbered ping-pong balls bubbled, perked, and popped into round channels, the Plexiglas contraption reminding her of the junior high science teacher’s elaborate gerbil cage.
Glad to perch on her chintz-covered chair, swimming solo in a household of beige leather and brown corduroy, Fran felt secure. She’d moved into the parsonage under extreme protest, put her Craftsman cottage up for sale. Paul didn’t know it, but she’d slipped back several times for respite from his parishioner problems, of which she now owned fifty percent. For better or worse.
The sixth ball rolled down the chute, almost smiling as it scooted into place. Fran looked at the paper in her lap, looked at the screen, looked at her lap, took a deep breath, and squinted.
Then, she looked again. Shock sucked her breath. I’ll be go to hell and back! Did that just happen? Is this a dream, a fairytale, or a nightmare come to life?
Bonnie’s, er Carl’s, numbers were winners! Fran’s heart felt as skittish as the numbered balls had looked inside the tumbler that assured their mix. Her sleeves fluttered like monarch wings while she flapped her arms in a wild chicken dance. She’d never pranced with abandon at wedding receptions, not even her own.  She grabbed a table lamp before it toppled, then twirled it for good measure.
She longed to scream. She was a former school administrator, used to being in control, and a newlywed mindful of her husband’s rest, not a frivolous teen. Yet unbridled joy surged her arms to the ceiling to accompany a silent “Hip! Hip! Hooray!” No high kick, her knees still aggravated by the beside-the-bed crouch to answer the cell call.
When she realized the size of the lottery win, she gasped and slid to the floor. Her mind flip-flopped like the ponytails of the cheerleaders whose moves she’d emulated. The ones whose skirts grew shorter every year—as did Fran’s fuse, fueling her retirement at the end of the last school year.
Should she call Bonnie back? She’d said something about being on Illinois time, an hour earlier than Michigan, but not whether she and Carl would be driving or sleeping at this hour. Perhaps Bonnie and Carl were as involved as Fran and her new husband, Pastor Paul, had been an hour ago.
She couldn’t tell Paul. She heard her snoring giant, sawing logs as if cutting away the sins of the world, perhaps beseeching God on His heavenly throne to fix all of the church problems overnight.
She couldn’t call Jackie Breeden. It wouldn’t be copacetic, as her husband, Steve, would say. Fran knew the farm couple awakened earlier than early for chores.
 “Bonnie, how are you? Are you sitting down?”
“I’m fine. Doing 80 mph on I-80, so of course, I’m sitting. I’m seat belted and squeezing the handle above the truck cab door, gluing my tongue to the roof of my mouth to improve my balance, like you told me from yoga class. I’ve only driven small town roads, never been accelerated as a passenger to this speed. Carl said the sky’s the limit on the Interstates, so I’m hoping to not go airborne.”
“You won.”
“Of course, I won. I won the man, took that church secretary job and shoved it. Did I tell you we’re headed to Vegas to marry in the Little White Wedding Chapel near the Strip? Elvis will officiate.”
“You won the Boffo Lotto.” Fran kept her voice flat. Mention of a strip flustered her all the more. Was the former church secretary wayward already? She held her tongue, willing Bonnie to comprehend soon. Fran longed to end the call and return to bed.
“I did, er, Carl, my intended, did? What’s the total?
“$536 million.”
Fran clicked off the TV. The lottery win was the only news needed, and her tolerance for noise not what it used to be. Perhaps that’s why she disliked football, that roar of the crowd bullshit.
Along with the silly frilly cheers.
Then Fran realized that the phone echoed the silence of her home. Bonnie said nothing. No sounds. Not even road noise broke the silence. Eerie.
Fran shook her phone, pulled it back from her ear to see if it had gone dead. “Are you there?” Still silent. Fran wondered about tunnels on I-80 that might block cell reception. She’d never been west of Chicago.
Fran clicked off the call and sent a text, which took longer than it should because her fingers kept hitting the wrong keys. That many zeros after a dollar sign seemed inconceivable. The spacing back to erase and then re-enter the correct numbers took several seconds. Her phone rang, startling her into additional errors. Bonnie’s name appeared at the top of her screen, but she ignored the call until she completed the text.
She didn’t bother with the voice mail she received in the interim. She suspected it would be a resounding yelp. Instead she hit the callback feature.
“Yes… Yes… Yes… Bonnie, calm down. You won. Yes, you won. Or did Carl? Where did you buy the ticket?”
“I bought the ticket in Tinley Park, Illinois. At a Speedway station while Carl gassed up. It was a whim. I was bored riding shotgun in a truck. Carl didn’t even need me to read maps! I had to pee and the kiosk in the station enticed me as much as the snacks, so I bought one of each!”
“A ticket and a Twinkie! You’re a two-fisted wonder woman!” Fran doubled over with laughter, almost peeing her pajama bottoms. Fran thought, but didn’t say anything about Bonnie not peeing the leather seats in Carl’s new truck. Bonnie’s giggling seemed out of control.
Bonnie calmed to talk, her voice stronger now. “The station and neighborhood looked safe, not likely harboring Chicago’s high crime, so I won’t mind going back to claim the money. $536 million, really?! Wow-oh-wow-oh-wow!”
“Well, as I recall, you don’t get the cash at the ticket seller’s. It’s not like an ATM. Think about it, woman. Give your brain a spin.”
“You shouldn’t insult me now that I’m a millionaire, Fran.”
“I’d say sorry, but it’s near midnight, Bonnie. I’m trying to help. Anyway, come home. You have to lawyer up, hire an accountant, and a financial planner. Maybe a publicist. I’ll call my brother—remember he’s a judge— tomorrow to see who he recommends.”
“Well, I hadn’t thought of coming back to Michigan—” Bonnie said.
“Where else would you go?” Fran interjected.
“I guess you’re right. There’s no place like home, among people we trust. Thanks. Thanks a multi-million!” said Bonnie, her excitement building to a shriek.
Despite the distance, Fran heard a loud “Woot! Woot! Whoopee!” The news must be sinking in. Fran could almost hear the phone tossed over Bonnie’s shoulder into the back of the truck cab. How sweet the sound, indeed!
 Buy links




All are live for order now. Books are also available on B&N, KOBO, etc. 

Official release date is today, February 1.

BIO

PJ Colando was born and raised in the Midwest, yet unabashedly aspired for adventure elsewhere, following her parents’ model. She lives in southern California with her family, hobbies, and pets.

PJ writes comedy and satire with a literary bent. She is the author of three previous novels, with short stories, personal essays, and articles published in journals, magazines, and anthologies. Follow her boomer humor blog on pjcolando.com.







Best regards and Muchas Gratias, Diane – PJ Colando, grateful author of The Winner’s Circle

Thursday, January 31, 2019

GUEST: Keri Kruspe - D'zia's Dilemma #sfr @authorkkruspe

I'm happy to welcome a new author to my blog. She's a fellow Michigander and a member of Mid-Michigan RWA chapter. Plus she writes science fiction romance. Yay! Keri's here to tell us why she wrote her new release, D'zia's Dilemma.



What can I say? I’m a nerd who lives for romance stories. I love all things weird…aliens, vampires, were-animals, time travel, mystical/mythical creatures and sexy beings that help define who we are as a species. When I created my debut trilogy, I just knew it had to be a sci-fi romance with all the trappings. 

After writing the first book and developing the characters in An Alien Exchange, I knew I had to tell D’zia and Lora’s story. Besides, JR10 demanded he be created. Who am I to deprive the universe of his wonderful self?




“Save the girl or save the galaxy?”

Blurb:

Guardians of the Galaxy meets The Princess Bride.

The second book in the trilogy, D’zia’s Dilemma features a disembodied galactic gangster, a snarky spybot, and a sentient, lovesick spaceship. If you like non-stop action, powerful emotions, and sensual aliens, you’ll love the next installment of An Alien Exchange.


A woman betrayed. An alien duke faced with an impossible decision. Can two lovers who long to be together overcome those determined to keep them apart?


Lora Dharma Callahan excitedly agrees to leave Earth to attend “The Exchange” and meet the alien mate of her dreams. Instead of finding true love, she’s forcibly kidnapped and held captive by an alien lunatic who plans to take over the galaxy. He’s going to use her to create a serum that will ultimately enslave every human female on Earth. But no emperor wannabe is going to keep this girl down. Lora will find a way to save not only herself, but her planet as well.  

Duke D’zia Yaq E’etu, cousin to the crown prince of Zerin, suspects a malicious plot to overthrow the galactic government. When the opportunity arises to insinuate himself in the suspected traitor’s stronghold, he doesn’t hesitate to use his infiltration skills. While there, he encounters Lora, whom he soon recognizes as his TrueBond. The only problem…she’s imprisoned and scheduled for experiments that will destroy her.

Now D’zia has a hard choice to make. Should he stay and get the proof he needs to prevent a narcissistic megalomaniac from taking over the galactic government…or escape with the only female he can claim as his own?

Excerpt

An eternity passed before Lora’s brain cells decided to come back online. Which wasn’t easy since D’zia had pulled her hips into his hard groin. Holy shamoka, was all of that for her? Wait, what did he say? Something about a JR10?

“D’zia.” She pulled her mouth away from his while her inner nasty girl screamed to keep going. “Don’t, I can’t think when you kiss me.” Her heartbeat was going crazy and it was hard to breathe.

Okay, take in a few deep gulps of air…yeah, now she was calm. Right. She put her hands on the sides of his face to place him farther back from her so she could gaze into his eyes. Feminine pride warmed her as she took in the dazed, unfocused stare he gave back. Lordy, those dual-colored orbs were beyond beautiful, especially dilated in passion. His wet, full lips were tempting, and she’d love to spend eternity bathing in the weight of his intense focus.
His three-fingered hands burrowed under her loose tunic to wrap around her naked waist; his palms massaged her eager skin in heavy strokes.

She jumped when warm oils under his hands caused a path of lightning to cover her skin wherever he caressed. A fleeting scent of spiced licorice teased her nose. She drew in a shuddering breath as she cleared her throat. “D’zia, please, let’s stop and think about this.”

Universal Link:  books2read.com/dzias-dilemma

Reviews 

“Great book! Loved the characters. Loved the story line. Loved where you are going with the series. Wouldn't change a thing! Can't wait to read "Ki's Redemption"! ...Will they find a way to (spoiler alert)? ...Does it really matter? Can they save the Earthlings from (spoiler alert)? (Maybe the question should be "should they save the Earthlings from (spoiler alert) - but that's a discussion for another day!...” Barb B

“Great ending and of course a tease for wanting to read the next book. Very  good.”  Mary V.

“First, let me congratulate you on a very fun story. Great characters, and wow, nice creativity.” EF


Author bio

 “Author of otherworldly romantic adventures”

Keri Kruspe has been an author since the age of twelve and has always been fascinated with otherworldly stories that end in Happily Ever After. Her current works, An Alien Exchange trilogy had its first release Winter 2018. The trilogy continues with D’zia’s Dilemma and concludes with Ki’s Redemption — to be released by the first quarter of 2019.

A native Nevadan, Keri resides with her family in the wilds of Northwest Michigan where she enjoys the stark change in seasons and the pleasures each one brings. An avid reader, Keri loves an enjoyable bottle of red wine, a variety of delicious foods and watching action/adventure movies…usually at the same time. You can find her most days immersed in her fantasy world on her latest novel while foot tappin’ to classic rock. When not absorbed in her writing, Keri works alongside her husband in building their dream home or discovering intelligent life in America in their RV.