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Glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again for Monday Morning Musings, Meet the Author Thursday, Who's For Dinner Fridays, and Saturday Sampler.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Blogging on Immigration


Today is my regular day over at The Roses of Prose. Last week's events disturbed me so much I had to write about it. See my post. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

#WeWriWa - #8Sunday ONE RED SHOE - Caught Again


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warrior and 8 Sentence Sunday, the weekly hops 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, Sam was ambushed by a Russian Mafia kingpin's security. He got away and today we catch up with him in New York City. 

Teller was late, and Sam Jozwiak was freezing his ass off—one more screw-up in one hell of a long line of screw-ups. Sam’s light jacket had been fine for April in Paris, but spring warmth was nonexistent on the deserted fifth floor of the old Guttschenheimer Department Store. After running for three days across Europe, he had to keep moving, if only to stay awake. When he heard the heavy footsteps, he stayed hidden in the rabbit warren of inventory shelving to make sure it was Teller.
“We know you are here, Samuel,” announced Yuri Grashenko, accompanied by his buddy the Hulk—damn, they found him again.
Sam had to ditch his weapon at Charles de Gaulle because the airlines were finicky about people carrying guns aboard—Sam was pretty finicky, too, about passengers being armed . . . unless it was him. Someone from the agency should have passed him along the JFK concourse and handed off a gun, but Teller probably didn’t think about that.
“Do not make things hard on yourself, Samuel, give me what I seek and we shall go our separate ways—as we have before.”
If Sam believed that, Santa existed and pigs could fly.


 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 27, 2017

THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC by Laurie C. Kuna Blog Tour


When Some Practical Magic isn’t enough . . .

When Endora Bast is asked for help by the same witch Tribunal that reduced her magic to almost nothing, she wonders why she should bother. Years ago, they punished her harshly, all because she’d fallen in love. Now, they desperately need her to save the entire witch community.

Endora is in for a shock when she’s told she must stop her old nemesis, Obsidian Ashmedai, before he regains his full magical powers. If she does, she’ll regain all of her magic and have her record expunged. If she doesn’t, Ashmedai will become the most powerful being in the world.

Only one other witch can help Endora defeat Ashmedai.

Marcus Morion, her former lover, was also punished by the Tribunal. As a penalty, Endora and Marcus were forced to remain apart, indefinitely. But now, without benefit of full magical powers, they are the witches’ only hope of survival. Failure might cost them their lives. But if they succeed, the happiness they’ve always yearned for will be theirs for the taking . . .

Just $0.99 For a Limited Time
That Old Black Magic
The Familiar Magic Series (Book Two)
By Laurie C. Kuna
Genre: Fantasy | Romance
Published by: Imajinn Books
Release Date: March 9, 2011
Length: 192 Pages


Excerpt

Prologue
She’d been in his dreams every night for forty years.
Actually, if he was brutally honest, and he had been of late, he’d admit she’d crossed his mind at least once every day of that time, too.
Seeking answers, he shuffled an intricate deck of tarot cards and laid several out in a Celtic Cross spread. The first card he placed in the middle of the table, putting the second card sideways across the first. The third went directly below. To the left of the cross he placed the fifth card. The sixth went to the right. The seventh card he positioned to the right of the entire six-card cross, level with the number four card. Cards eight, nine and ten were lined up in ascending order above the seventh card.
Then he studied the spread intently.
The King of Wands was upright in the first position. His current circumstance. So, he was handling the people around him with strength and compassion. True, he thought wryly. I’m just a compassionate sort of guy.
His light mood was instantly engulfed by resignation when he considered the card lying crosswise over the King of Wands. The Queen of Swords. That fit her completely. Amazing wit, inventiveness and grace. A strong ally. But the disturbing aspect of the Queen of Swords was her ultimate need to put her own interests first. He had no doubt this would be true, and he wasn’t certain he was ready for that.
Finding the Two of Swords in position three made his wry smile return. The best he could do at present was balance all the aspects of his life as skillfully as he could manage. Guess that’s going to take some doing, given what’s coming up.
The next two cards changed the tone of the reading. The Wheel of Fortune and The Tower. A negative situation over which he had no control, and the harbinger of bad luck, respectively.
Cards six through nine continued on the theme of unrest, danger and change. Very little to misinterpret here, he concluded. Cut and dried.
In the tenth and final position lay the Death card, reversed. It represented major changes for which he was ill-prepared but which were nonetheless entirely necessary. Change. Renewal. Possibly in a real sense death itself. Yet the latter really held little fear for him. Being what he was, he was philosophical about all aspects of the spectral universe. Physical death was just a shifting of energy on the metaphysical plane. Of course he was now fifty-nine, not twenty, and even though witches aged at about a third of the speed that humans did, he’d matured tremendously over the years. He liked the body he now occupied, yet he knew eventually it would break down and his light, the core of his being, would take some other form.
Right now, he had a bigger problem to worry about than dying, though.
She was coming.
And that scared the hades out of him.

About Laurie C. Kuna


Apparently, I have a split personality. When I’m writing contemporary paranormal romances, I’m Laurie C. Kuna. When I turn my pen to  historical paranormal romances, I answer to the name Laurie Carroll. If I’ve got my editor’s hat on, just call me Laurie.
I’ve been a reader since I was four and a writer since not long after that. I love words and the creative process, and it’s my hope that readers will enjoy my efforts to entertain them via those words, as I have been entertained by hundreds of authors throughout  my life.
I know many readers also are or aspire to be authors, and my advice to those starting on the road to publication is to join a reputable writing group–whether literal or on-line–and to hang in there. I’ve been a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Mid-Michigan RWA, my local chapter, since 1988. Five years after joining, I was a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart contest. Then in 2002–nine years after the contest final–my GH entry, A WAR OF HEARTS became my first published novel when ImaJinn Books picked it up.  So, no overnight sensation status for me!
I taught English in a public high school for 29 years before retiring and use that knowledge not only to write my own stories but as a free-lance line editor. I also enjoy public speaking, and have given speeches and workshops in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, often on my two favorite subjects–grammar and swearing. I’ve even had the privilege of twice speaking at the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference in Auckland, New Zealand. This time on American English.

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Meet Author Abigail Owens

I'm so please to welcome Abigail Owens to the blog. I met Abigail through the Paranormal Romantics blog. She's an entertaining and faithful blogger.


Welcome, Abigail. Tell us about yourself.

Oh gosh, let’s see… I am an author—paranormal and contemporary romance are my genres. I publish paranormal under the pen name Abigail Owen. Contemporary is about to start publishing more under a new pen name which I have yet to choose. Lol. Other titles include Star Wars geek, chocoholic, spreadsheet lover, organize house obsessor, wife, mom, total nerd. J

Where can readers find you? (social media, etc.)



How long does it take you to write a book?

Each book is different. For example, I find last books in a series take me much longer than most books. Months of agonizing. But, in general, I finish the first draft in 3-6 weeks and do additional drafts and editing in 3-6 weeks. At the moment I’m attempting to finish a book—including all the drafting and perfecting, in 4 weeks. That’ll be a stretch, but I’m determined. J

What does your family think of your writing?

I think they think I’m nuts. Lol. But they’d never tell  me so. I get amazing support from my family—especially my husband who might not get the obsession or read my genre, but let’s me chase my dream and listens when I tell him all the nutty details of the process. I think my daughter wants to be a writer. She’s constantly coming up with stories and writing them down. J And my mom edits all my self-published stuff and reads every book even if she doesn’t edit it. I love my family!

Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?

I am 90% pantser / 10% plotter. It’s an evolving process for me. My first completed book, Blue Violet, was 100% pantser. In fact, I didn’t even write the scenes in order, but skipped around. I do a lot more preparing ahead of time these days, though less to do with plot and more with understanding my character’s development and what my start and end points need to be. Maybe a few points in the middle so I know where I’m aiming. After some amount of preparation, I write the first draft, and my characters take that opportunity to tell me how to get from A to B (and sometimes B becomes C).

What did you learn from writing your first book?

Ahh! Everything. J Not really, but it feels like it. I learned how to finish a book (after 20+ tries). Then I learned about editing. I found a fantastic content editor who taught me things like pacing, no talking heads, avoiding clichés, and a ton of other tips and tricks which I’ve learned to incorporate into my writing as much as possible. I laugh when I read the first draft of Blue Violet What a difference!

What are some jobs you've done that would end up in a book?

Fun question! My life as a data analyst is coming out in my current WIP. I’d love to incorporate my stint working for a dry cleaners, or maybe my time as a Sonic car hop in a book. I have some good stories from those. I still have waitress dreams, so maybe that’ll end up in one someday.

If I were a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?

I’d recommend starting with Andromeda’s Fall or, if you want something sweeter, Blue Violet. They are book award-winning books and each kicks off a series. Although, my personal favorite is Tieryn’s Fury. But that one is 3rd in the series, so don’t start with it. Lol.

What two authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?

Yikes! I can’t limit it to 2. Lately I’ve been pouring through books by T.S. Joyce (paranormal) and by Noelle Adams (contemporary). I also recently discovered Samanthe Beck (contemporary) and love her characters! And I’ll always read anything by Rebecca Zanetti (paranormal), Lucy Monroe (contemporary), and Suzanne Wright (paranormal).

Tell us about your latest release.

A witch hunter, a witch hiding in plain sight under his nose, triplet preteen witches who need a mother, and a ton of secrets. What could go wrong?

Bait N’ Witch is my third book in the Legendary Consultants series. While the series is probably best read in order, each book can stand alone. So no need to start at the beginning if you don’t want. J Each book in the series features a different paranormal creature and a different love story. Book 1 was demigods and an office romance. Book 2 was werewolves and a marriage of convenience. There are two short stories, as well—one with ghosts and one with psychics. And now Bait N’ Witch with is, of course, witches with a nanny love story. I had a LOT of fun writing this one. Rowan, my heroine, appeared in Her Demigod Complex, and I couldn’t wait to finally get to her story!


Bait N’ Witch
(Legendary Consultants #3)
By Abigail Owen

Rowan McAuliffe has been hiding most of her life. Secretly trained in her powers by an unusual source, she’d been taught not to trust anyone. Especially other witches. However, after she was forced to perform a hateful act against her will, she now hides from the Mage High Council who seek answers, and possibly her life.

Greyson Masters is the Council’s best enforcer–a witch hunter who lays down the law. Despite the danger of his job, Greyson is also raising his triplet daughters. Alone. Budding new witches who display an alarming combined power no one understands. Too bad he hasn’t got a clue how to deal with them.

Little does Greyson realize that the new nanny sent to him by Legendary Consultants is the very witch he is hunting. When the truth is revealed, can these two opposing forces find a way to listen to their hearts? Or will Greyson have to follow orders and kill Rowan–the one woman who has made his soul come alive?

Bait N' Witch is available at:  Amazon 
Coming soon to: B&N | Apple | Kobo | Smashwords | Print

Tagline: In Love with Her the Witch Hunter Father of Her Charges
Book Info:
Publisher: Self Published
Author: Abigail Owen
Cover Art: Abigail Owen
Page Count: 193
Word Count: 45468
ISBN (Amazon): 978-0-9882272-8-6
ISBN (Smashwords): pending
Release Date: 1/20/2017
Rating: 18+

 Praise for Bait N’ Witch:
✭✭✭✭✭ I swear, there were times when sparkly dust should be coming down, then again, there were times darkness and fear rode roughshod…Park your broom, brew some tea and settle in for some wonderful reading! –Tome Tender

✭✭✭✭✭ This book is another one in a series and somehow each book gets better! I loved this story. It was an unexpected way to move the story and give more information on some more characters. Rowan’s character is so likable and Greyson and his girls are charming. I can’t wait to see what this author’s next move for this series will be. Please don’t stop!! –Fanatical Paranormal Romantical

Additional Media:

Excerpt

She raised her shaking hand to the door and glared at the offending appendage, annoyed at her inability to control the tremor. A shrill scream pierced the air, and Rowan froze mid-knock.

“What on earth?” Instinct had her reaching for the door knob.

Locked.

A quick incantation sprang to her lips, but, before she could utter it, the door unlocked and swung smoothly open on its own. Rowan didn’t question, instead rushed inside. Following the sound of a struggle, including several more screams, she hurried down a long hallway off the foyer to what appeared to be the family room.

The scene she came upon had her hesitating in the doorway. Three identical girls, around the age of twelve or thirteen, flung spells at each other in rapid succession and with angry intent behind every blow. In their midst stood a tall man, his face pinched with frustration as he tried to put a stop to things.

As far as Rowan could tell, the girls were using their magic to disfigure each other. Even as she watched from the shadow of the doorway, one wailed as her hair sprouted, lengthening until it touched the ground in a waterfall of follicles.

“Hey,” the girl squealed.

“Now Chloe—” the man tried in a placating voice.

But Chloe wasn’t listening. “I’ll show you,” she shouted. With a whisper of words and a fling of her hands, one of the other girls suddenly turned bald.

Another piercing scream of fury rent the air.

“Lachlyn, don’t you dare—”

Again, the man’s words went unheeded and next thing, Chloe’s long hair turned mint green.

The third girl laughed, and both her sisters turned on her together, faces red with anger.

“Enough!” Rowan snapped the word, voice full of authority, as she stepped into the room. With a wave of her hand, all three girls sat on the pale leather couch, mouths shut and hands in their laps, held mute and immobile by Rowan’s spell. She would not release them until they understood the consequences of their actions.

For the latest news and exclusive excerpts, sign up for Abigail's newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/Lw2XH

For additional information, contact Abigail Owen @ abigail.owen.books@gmail.com

Thanks for being here, Abigail, and best wishes on your new release.


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. 

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Chrys is interviewing these other survivors.