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Monday, December 29, 2014

Out with the Old, In with the New



Have things slowed down at your house? They have here . . . a bit. In this lull, my thoughts turn backward then forward. Backward to reflect on 2014, a year that had its low points and high points. I’d rather not have a repeat of the health issues that dominated the first quarter. The high points were so much better. Many small and one huge—our son married a terrific woman and we gained a wonderful new daughter.

I have so much to be thankful for.

Family, of course. Living close to our daughter and her husband, seeing them on a more casual basis than a planned two-hour trip. Playing with the grandkiddies. Visiting son and his wife in Arizona. Seeing extended family at son’s wedding. Most of all an indulgent husband who gives me the space I need to write. Who “forces” me to exercise. And who isn’t buying snack foods anymore because he knows I can’t resist.

Friends near and far. Keeping in touch through Facebook and telephone. Meeting for the occasional lunch or dinner. Getting together with friends to celebrate New Year’s Eve as we’ve done for the past fifteen years.

Readers. I am very grateful that people enjoy my books. Writing is a solitary endeavor. We may share our work-in-progress for critique or brainstorming, but in the end we write alone. How wonderful it is to see that work appreciated by others.

What lies ahead for 2015? Foremost, my son and his wife are expecting their first child in the late spring. I’m over the moon about this. Hubs jokes (as he did when we were expecting our first grandchild) that he’ll have to hide my credit cards. When our children were little (and our money a lot tighter), I was very thrifty. No brand-name clothes. In fact, I sewed their clothes. Now it’s so much fun to buy those cute little outfits. Isn’t that a grandmother’s prerogative?

On the writing front, I plan to release three books this year. The third book in the Outer Rim series. Remember Rissa the tavern owner? She finally gets her own story. Human trafficking, kidnapping, and of course a hunky guy. I’m still agonizing over a title. Then, there will be a second Alex O’Hara mystery. She’s up to her eyeballs in trouble again.

Last year at this time, I planned to expand the short story I wrote for the Roses of Prose blog, “Christmas in Space” and release it as a novella this year. Didn’t happen, obviously. It will in time for Christmas 2015.

Goals give us something to aim for, to focus on. By the end of a year, I don’t always complete the goals I planned. But if I didn’t have some goals I wouldn’t accomplish anything. It is so easy to let time slip away. So I’ll make a list of what I want to achieve. I’ll break each goal down into manageable pieces then check off each item as I finish.

How about you? What lies ahead?


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Saturday Sampler - BRINGING IN THE THIEVES by Lora Lee

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. I'm so happy to share BRINGING IN THE THIEVES with you. I've know the author for many years and knew she was a talented writer. I just didn't realize how talented until I read this book. If you received a gift card to an online book retailer (or even if you didn't), you have to get it. **Warning** Do not read it in bed. You'll laugh so hard the bed will shake.


Author:
Series: Joyful Noise Mysteries, Book 1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books


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Blurb:

Frankie Lou’s back and Poppy’s madder than a wet hen.
Create a church choir filled with teenage misfits?
Over Poppy’s dead body.

Minister’s daughter Frankie Lou McMasters has come back to Ruby Springs, Texas with her daughter, Betsy, eleven years after running off to marry the town bad boy. Her mild notoriety as a bad girl is prime gossip for her childhood enemy, Poppy Fremont, now choir director of Faith Community Church–where Frankie Lou’s daddy, now retired to Florida, was the preacher.
When Frankie Lou comes to the deacons with a request to add a youth choir of at-risk teens she’s been coaching, Poppy throws a fit. A few hours later, Frankie Lou finds her dead in the baptistery pool. And Poppy’s not playing possum.

Frankie Lou sets out to clear her name as the main suspect, and tries to locate the real killer. Could he be sexy Joe Camps, the father of one of her teen singers? In the meantime, her momma shows up from Florida to take charge of Frankie Lou’s life. Bless her heart.

Excerpt:



I knew the minute I read the church bulletin that I was fixin’ to be Southern-fried and plated-up in front of God, the Faith Community Church deacons, and eventually the entire community of Ruby Springs , Texas, sure as my name’s Frankie Lou Birmingham McMasters. My well -meaning landlady, Nettie Bloom, had decided to announce my proposed church project without asking me if I wanted her to. I had just scheduled a meeting with the deacons about it, not given them any details about the idea. I hadn’t spoken it aloud to anyone but Miss Nettie. But now there it was in print, along with Miss Nettie’s usual assortment of misplaced phrases and Mrs. Malaprop word choices. Miss Nettie had been editing the church’s newsletter, News From The Pews, for a good many years, but I’d noticed her memory getting a little tangled lately.

NEWS FROM THE PEWS FAITH COMMUNITY CHURCH 100 Blessings St. Ruby Springs, Texas As we wait for the selection of a full-time pastor, we welcome back interim minister, Reverend Matthew Whitlaw to the pulpit next Sunday at Faith Community . His morning sermon will be “Jesus Walks on Water” followed by “Searching for Jesus” in the evening.

For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs. Members of the Weight Watchers group will meet Monday at 5: 30 P.M. for weekly weigh-in. Please use large double door at the side entrance to the annex. The Low Self-Esteem Support Group will be using the back door.

Prior to prayer meeting Wednesday evening, a bean supper will be held in the church hall. Special music will follow. Until further notice, please give massages to the church secretary, Lovey Muchmore. She will then give massages to the newsletter editor who will share the details in our newsletter.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: A NEW CHOIR FOR TEEN SINNERS IS BEING FORMED AND WILL COMPETE IN THE SLUMBER FUN AT THE CITY PARK NEXT MONTH. For more information on sinning contact Frankie Lou McMasters at Doc Adderly’s Animal Clinic. 

About the Author:



Though author Lora Lee insists the series isn’t about her in any way, shape or form, she does admit to being a real-life P.K. (that’s preacher’s kid, in case you didn’t know.) She was born in Texas and her Southern blood runs deep. Her daddy told her any place below the Mason-Dixon line was part of the South, including the Lone Star State.

Since living in West Michigan most of her married life, she’s lost some of her Texas twang, but once in awhile, a might could and a y’all or two slips into her conversation with her critique partners. They love her, anyway. So does her husband of fifty-plus years and their children. With a current family count of twenty-three, get-togethers often resemble an old time revival when they all gather for fun and food.

Lora Lee is a member of Romance Writer’s of America, Mid-Michigan RWA, Sisters-in-Crime, RWA’s specialty chapter Kiss of Death and is currently published in contemporary romance. She is also a proud graduate of the Grand Rapids Citizens Police Academy. When not writing or trying to keep up with her ever-growing family, she enjoys reading, music and travel.


Lora Lee's Social Media Links:
Website: http://lora-lee.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Author_Lora_Lee
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LoraLeeAuthor
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+LoraLeeAuthor/posts
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7688038.Lora_Lee


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!






Peace, joy, good will to all.

May you and your family enjoy this wonderful season.
 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Destiny Calling by Maureen L. Bonatch

Instead of my usual Monday Morning Musing, a friend and talented writer has stopped by to share her new book Destiny Calling. If you like stories about Good versus Evil, check out this book. If you like your stories to keep you guessing, Destiny Calling is the book for you.

Please welcome, Maureen Bonatch. 




Destiny Calling
The Enchantlings
Volume 1
Maureen L. Bonatch

A Paranormal Romance from
The Wild Rose Press
Available on December 22, 2014

Hope Doesn’t Know If The Man She Can Touch Is A Dream Come True, Or A Nightmare Just Beginning.

Hope only wants to find out if her ability to infuse euphoria or despair with her touch makes her the devil's spawn, or his exterminator. But when the woman who raised her is murdered by something not human, she loses the only family she knew and discovers one she might wish she hadn’t.

Drawn back to the hometown she vowed never to return to, her ability is seen as an asset to everyone but Hope, and she doesn't know who to trust. Her family wants her to help them overcome an enemy oppressing the human population, while the man of her dreams is courting her for the Underworld.

Time is running out, and Hope’s choice may be made for her, as she discovers she’s a pawn in a bigger game played by a merciless ruler who doesn't lose.



 Excerpt:
I strained to release my arm from Griffith’s vise-like grip while scanning the surrounding trees, trying to determine which was less of a threat, the beast of a man holding me or those who might be waiting for me in the woods.

“You will come inside, now.” Griffith spoke slowly and deliberately as if I were a small child.

I batted at the hand Griffith placed on my head. “I’m not a puppy, quit petting me.”
“I will protect you.” Griffith’s warm breath caressed my ear. “If for no other reason, to find out what I’m giving up and why she wants you so badly.”

I inhaled his masculine scent, like musky earth. It washed over my face, and the tension in my jaw released. I stopped struggling. “Are you the devil?” My tongue was thick and heavy so the words came out slurred.

“Not even close.” His words soothed and comforted, like having a weighted blanket cocoon me. Each movement was an effort. It wasn’t the same as the thing in the woods. This was more like the feeling after a long massage or bubble bath.

“It’s not safe.” Griffith wrapped his arms around me, and I rested against his broad chest.

“It’s not safe.” I nodded. My muscles relaxed and my eyelids grew heavy.

“It’s cold. We’re going inside.” Griffith kept his arm supporting me as he steered me toward the house.

“We’re going inside.” I parroted and walked up the steps, leaning heavily on him.

Out of the corner of my eye, something was cautiously moving at the edge of the woods. Branches snapped as whatever was observing us crept closer.

About the Author:

Growing up with four siblings had Maureen familiar with escaping into a good book, or the recesses of her mind. She realized later in life everyone didn’t have characters telling stories in their heads, or weren’t envisioning magic and mayhem within the everyday. This, and long walks in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania spawned a love of writing.

Since her desire to become a Solid Gold Dancer was thwarted when the show was discontinued, Maureen opted to pursue other paths. Attempting to conquer new endeavors proved fruitful with her first novella, while other attempts, such as challenging a fear of heights with parasailing, were unsuccessful.

Therefore she’s chased other interests, though none-the-less-daring, but closer to the ground, such as belly-dancing, becoming a self-proclaimed tequila connoisseur, fulfilling her role as biker babe to her alpha hubby and surviving motherhood to twins (so far).

Penning stories boasting laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world.