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 26, 2018

Pea Soup Disaster by Elaine Kaye #Souper Blog Hop


I'm taking a break from my character sketches to share a debut release. Get set for a "souper" good time.




BLURB: Gregory Green loves his mom’s pea soup, but when he eats it at school, all of his friends make fun of how it looks. He doesn’t think it looks like bugs, and it tastes good! Then at recess, his friends run from him, screaming, “He’s a monster!” Gregory doesn’t know why his friends are being mean until he sees his skin is green. The teasing gets worse until an unlikely friend comes to the rescue—his teddy bear, Sammy. Sammy usually only comes to life for Gregory and his family, but Sammy has an important lesson to teach Gregory and his classmates.

Available in Print:




ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elaine Kaye got the idea for Pea Soup Disaster from her son who loved to eat her homemade pea soup. Pea Soup Disaster is the first of many fun stories featuring Gregory Green and his teddy bear, Sammy, as part of the Gregory Green Adventure series.

Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher's assistant in elementary schools in the Sunshine State. She currently lives in Florida, but she has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home. She is a grandmother of three boys.

Find Elaine:
Website / Instagram / Litsy - @ElaineKaye

My favorite soup is the potato soup served at Bennigan's. Unfortunately, we don't have a Bennigan's restaurant near us. So, I'm sharing a recipe that's close from All Recipes! Baked Potato Soup.




This is a blog hop. Visit the other writers who are sharing Elaine's debut release.



Sunday, February 25, 2018

#WeWriWa - Jack Leaves Nothing to Chance


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

Thanks for all your comments on last week's snippet. I'm sharing a work-in-progress, tentatively titled Unpredictable Nature, a romantic suspense about a woman who doesn't believe her brother's car crash was an accident. 

Suggestions are very welcome. Please excuse the rogue commas.

Today's snippet picks up right after last week's, which ended with “Can’t I visit my kid sister?”
         
Maggie put her hands on her hips and gave him the look that could quell a roomful of high school seniors full of themselves for being on the brink of adulthood and sophomores who were just full of themselves. “When you thought I wasn’t going to be home? Try again, Ace.”
Jack cuffed her around the neck. “Okay, you got me--I wanted to try out a new CD on your system.”
She ducked out from under his arm, then hip bumped him, “The truth comes out.”
His combination Christmas and birthday gift to her a couple of years ago was a sophisticated sound system. After he set it up, he’d left detailed—printed, no less—instructions for its use. That was Jack, always covering the bases--heaven forbid, he leave anything to chance, even his sister’s CD player.





Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday Morning Musing: Character Sketch - Jack

For the past three weeks, I've been sharing bits and pieces of my work-in-progress, a romantic suspense tentatively titled Unpredictable Nature. It started with sharing a snippet on Weekend Writing Warriors (WeWriWa). Then on Mondays, I shared a little about the main characters. Last Monday was Drew's turn. Now, it's Jack's, Drew's best friend and Maggie's brother.


With his younger sister, Maggie, Jack Sinclair grew up in a typical Midwestern subdivision. At age 8, Jack and his family relocated to a Grand Rapids (Michigan) suburb because of their father’s job. The first kid Jack met was Drew Campbell who knocked his block off, just to get the point across that he was in charge of the neighborhood. That’s how their lifelong friendship began. The two boys were inseparable, except for camping and Boy Scouts. Whereas Drew bailed out of Cub Scouts after a disastrous first campout, Jack earned every badge and became an Eagle Scout. Of course, he did. Jack always finished what he started.

Jack and Drew were college roommates and only after graduation did they go their separate ways—Drew as a lawyer and Jack, an accountant. Five years ago, Jack left a big accounting firm and with his friend Ben Voorheis formed a partnership. They each had their own clients. But when Ben’s motorcycle accident sidelined him, Jack took over.

Numbers never lie. They were black and white, no in-between. That suited Jack perfectly. He liked when things made sense. Which made his audit of his partner’s client disturbing. Certain things didn’t make sense. If what he feared was true, he and Ben were in big trouble.

Here are a few snippets from Maggie’s point of view that give you a glimpse into Jack’s personality:

His combination Christmas and birthday gift to her a couple of years ago was a sophisticated sound system. After he set it up, he’d left detailed—printed, no less—instructions for its use. That was Jack. Always covering the bases. Heaven forbid, he leave anything to chance. Even his sister’s CD player.

***
She looked around Jack’s perfectly neat living room. She always complained that he’d taken minimalism to new heights. Nothing, not even dust, marred the surface of the lamp table. No knickknacks, no forgotten glass or coffee cup. Magazines neatly stacked on the coffee table. The yellow National Geographic provided a splash of color next to copies of The CPA Journal.
All perfectly normal, perfectly Jack.

***
As she turned to leave, she saw that the pantry door wasn’t firmly shut. Nothing inside appeared to be disturbed. Everything looked the way it always did, cans and jars lined up perfectly straight, an inch from the edge of each shelf. Categorized. Vegetables with vegetables, pasta sauce next to alfredo sauce. She didn’t bother to check the spices. They’d be in alphabetical order. Her OCD brother wouldn’t have it any other way.

Are you intrigued? I hope so. As you can see from the progress meter on the right of this blog, I’m over 2/3 finished with Unpredictable Nature. Come back next Sunday for another snippet from the first chapter. Next Monday, I’ll share a little about Jack’s business partner, Ben. Have a great week.




Saturday, February 17, 2018

#WeWriWa: Visiting His Kid Sister


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

Thanks for all your comments on last week's snippet. I'm sharing a work-in-progress. It's a romantic suspense about a woman who doesn't believe her brother's car crash was an accident. Suggestions are very welcome.

Today's snippet picks up right after last week's, which ended with She lowered the shovel, “Gee, I don’t know. Ya think maybe because I live here?”

Jack picked up the CD and case, “Are you sick? It’s Friday, and only—” he checked his watch, “—one o’clock, why aren’t you in school?”
Maggie gave him a long look—shadows rimmed his eyes, and his mouth had creases she hadn’t noticed the last time she saw him, three or four weeks ago—her neatnik brother never looked disheveled, yet there he was in wrinkled slacks, sport shirt nearly hanging out.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, “you look tired.”
Actually, he looked like his shoulders carried the weight of the world, as their mom used to say, “With Ben out, I had to take over his clients on top of my own.”
Jack’s partner in the accounting firm had a nasty confrontation with the pavement when his motorcycle went one way, and he went the other.
“How’s Ben doing?” she asked.
“He came into the office today, hobbling on crutches and trying to type with one hand, and you never said why you’re home in the middle of the afternoon.”
“School is out for the summer—” she returned the shovel to the rack “—and you never said why you’re sneaking into my garage?”
He gave her a cocky grin—the creases along his mouth and across his forehead eased, “Can’t I visit my kid sister?”


Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. 


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Guest Diana Rubino: Eliza Jumel Burr, Vice Queen of America @DianaLRubino


I'm delighted to welcome back Diana Rubino. She writes about the most interesting historical figures. I knew quite a bit about Aaron Burr but not much about his wife. Diana shares some tidbits about this fascinating woman.

ELIZA JUMEL BURR, VICE QUEEN OF AMERICA
By Diana Rubino

A true rags-to-riches story: how “Bouncin’ Bet Bowen” George Washington’s daughter, became Eliza Jumel Burr, wife of Vice President Aaron Burr
and New York City’s wealthiest woman


My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my books and short stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Paris, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, Washington D.C. and New York. My urban fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. My husband Chris and I own CostPro, an engineering firm based in Boston. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano, devour books of any genre, and spend as much time as possible living the dream on my beloved Cape Cod.

Contact me at:


www.dianarubinoauthor.blogspot.com





While researching Hamilton, I became fascinated with his political nemesis Aaron Burr, which led to Aaron's last wife Eliza Bowen Jumel. Only a handful of biographies of her exist, so I learned as much as possible about her from these books and other sources I found.

She came from the filthy streets of Providence and wound up owning the grandest mansion in New York City, which has been Washington’s headquarters during the Revolutionary War and is open to the public. The urchin Betsy Bowen used her street smarts and business acumen to become Madame Eliza Jumel Burr, Vice Queen of America. Her legacy lives on—in the Morris Jumel Mansion of Washington Heights, where her spirit still lingers, 147 years later.

During her ninety-one years, she begged on the streets, sold her body, married a rich man, married a former Vice President, and as New York City’s grand dame, traveled Manhattan in the coach Napoleon Bonaparte gave her.

Throughout her adventurous and unconventional life, Eliza’s one regret was that she could not publicly announce that George Washington was her father. When Eliza was ten years old, her mother told her of Washington’s visit to Providence. They spent one night together at the home of Freelove Ballou, an aunt who later adopted Eliza. She was born nine months later. Her many attempts to reach her father gained her an invitation to Mount Vernon weeks before his death.

Eliza’s love of make-believe brought her to Manhattan’s John Street Theatre, where she played many leading roles. When the theatre was bought by a speculator and torn down, she “made a living how I could” – at the brothel of Manhattan madam Sally Marshall, whose ladies entertained senators and other prominent figures.

Eliza met the charismatic Aaron Burr when he became New York’s Attorney General. While standing outside Federal Hall after President Washington’s inauguration with her best friend Susannah Shippen, she caught a flash of dark eyes that sparkled and caught the sunlight like jewels. Susannah innocently introduced them, unaware of their instant attraction.

Deeply in love, Eliza wrote: “Colonel Aaron Burr appeared to me the perfection of manhood personified. Wherever he went he was petted and caressed by our sex. And yet, he never took advantage of his position.”

Eliza named her only son George Washington Bowen, believing Aaron was the father.
While Aaron climbed the political ladder on his way to the Vice Presidency, Eliza met wealthy wine merchant Stephen Jumel, a native Frenchman. Knowing Eliza’s heart belonged only to Aaron, he wooed her and trusted her to invest his capital in Manhattan real estate. With her shrewd negotiating skills and street smarts, they amassed an empire.
Eliza Jumel Burr

On Eliza and Stephen’s first trip to France together, the fallen and beaten Napoleon Bonaparte boarded Stephen’s brig the Eliza, seeking an American vessel to ensure his escape from the British. Stephen, in all seriousness, offered the Emperor a wine barrel to stow away in. The Emperor, haughtily put out when he realized Stephen wasn’t joking, accepted Eliza’s invitation to hide in their New York home, but never made it to the new world. However, he did give Eliza his yellow coach and other costly gifts, now on display in the Jumel Mansion. Stephen’s business connections afforded him and Eliza introduction to the upper echelons of  Paris society. She met King Louis XVIII, but he shunned her begging to let Stephen join court circles.

Back home, she resumed her love affair with Aaron, whose wife Theodosia had died of cancer. He was now Vice President, having lost the presidency to Thomas Jefferson. Eliza asked him to marry her, but he turned down her proposal. He just wasn’t ready for remarriage.

After the most famous duel in American history, Aaron fled New York City while Alexander Hamilton lay dying. When Hamilton died the next day, Aaron was indicted for murder. After four frantic months, Eliza finally received a letter from him, under an assumed name, R. King.

Financed by his son-in-law Joseph, he’d bought the rights to a half million acres in the South. He planned to make it into a new state, settle it with adventurous pioneer men, attract a slew of colonists and settlers, and make himself Governor.

His next hurried missive told her that he’d abandoned the entire plan. Why? He didn’t say. But President Jefferson had filed a formal charge of treason against Aaron. He was brought to Richmond, Virginia for trial.

He’d gathered so much support and adoration from Richmond, he was wined, dined and acquitted, with his daughter at his side.

He finally returned to Eliza after finishing out his term as Vice President, but soon sailed for England. Believing her life with him was over, she dragged herself back to Stephen and proposed marriage to him—only to be turned down once again. Determined to become Mrs. Jumel, she faked her impending death with the help of a loyal servant, a bottle of hot water to raise her temperature, and white powder to mimic deathly pallor. She called her doctor and had a stable hand inform Stephen that she was dying. When he rushed to her bedside, she begged him, “Before I leave this world, it would mean so much to me if I could leave as Mrs. Jumel.” He summoned a priest and they were wed even before she received last rites. But of course she made a miraculous ‘recovery’ and once again, returned to her wheeling and dealing.

While tending to his farmlands, Stephen fell from a cart and died in Eliza’s arms two days later. She was brought up on murder charges which were dropped. A despondent Eliza once again turned to her true love, Aaron, back in New York at his law practice.

One evening, Aaron showed up at her doorstep with a minister in tow, the same Reverend Bogart who’d married him to his first wife Theodosia fifty years before. He proposed to Eliza on bended knee: “I give you my hand, Madame; my heart has long been yours.”

She finally became Mrs. Burr at age 56. Aaron was a robust and youthful 78.
He began to spend Eliza’s money recklessly, plowing through $13,000 within a few months. The bickering became grounds for divorce when a maid caught him in a compromising position with another woman. Brokenhearted, Eliza hired a lawyer Who handled family matters—including divorces. Who was this lawyer? Alexander Hamilton Jr.

Aaron received the final papers on September 14, 1836, and died later that day.
Eliza returned home to her family and lived another 29 years as Mrs. Burr, the name she’d always longed for.

The Morris-Jumel Mansion still stands in Harlem, New York City and is open to the public. Visit the Morris-Jumel Mansion  www.morrisjumel.org
Me on the steps of the Morris-Jumel Mansion

Purchase Eliza Jumel Burr, Vice Queen of the United States
****
An excerpt from Eliza Jumel Burr, Vice Queen of the United States:

July 11, 1804, a day I’ll never forget, a Wednesday, I rose early from fitful sleep. Two of my servants huddled in the kitchen, murmuring instead of cooking. They held the newspaper wide open.

When I walked in, they froze as if turned to stone, and held the paper out to me.

“What is it?” Without fresh coffee I was half-awake. But seeing the paper, I trembled. My mouth dried up. “Oh, no …” I hid my eyes with my hands, I couldn’t bear to look.
“M-Miss Eliza …” Mary stammered. “Vice President Burr shot General Hamilton in a duel.”

Too weak to stand, I grabbed a chair and sank into it. “He … shot Hamilton?” My head spun, dizzy with relief. But I still didn’t know about Aaron. “Is he all right? The vice president?”

“We don’t know, ma’am. It just says General Hamilton was mortally wounded.”
Without another word, I ran down the hall, threw open the front door, not closing it behind me, and raced to Gold Street in the gathering morning heat. Humidity soaked my clothes. I mopped sweat from my face.

I banged on his door. No answer. “Aaron, open the door, it’s me, please, we need to talk!” I banged again. Echoes answered me. I stepped back and squinted into the sunlight, shading my eyes to see the upper windows. Nothing stirred. The house was shut tight. He’d fled. But where? When would I see my beloved again?

Hamilton died the next day, and the city fell to its knees in mourning. It was even more pronounced than when Papa passed – because Hamilton was one of New York’s own.
Public grief over Hamilton paled beside the anger at Aaron. As I approached Trinity Church for the funeral, Gertrude’s father Gouverneur Morris greeted me. “I’m to deliver the eulogy. But indignation mounts to a frenzy already,” he cautioned me, eyeing the mob.

The tolling church bells and muffled drumbeats echoed through the sweltering city air. I thought of every place Aaron could be. I knew he hadn’t meant for this to happen. It was a tragic twist of fate. I also knew Aaron’s political career was over. He’d never be president.

“Oh, Aaron,” I wailed, “Where are you, my love?”
****
I heard nothing from him as each empty day slipped away. Desperate, I wrote to his daughter Theodosia but received no reply. I contacted his friends, but no one knew his whereabouts.

I saw Mrs Hamilton on Broad Way, head to toe in widow’s weeds. I wanted to approach her and offer my condolences, but she knew I was intimate with the vice president, so I kept my distance. Their country home, The Grange, was not far from the Morris mansion I planned to buy. We’d be neighbors someday.

****
Read about my ‘ghostly’ visit to the Morris-Jumel Mansion on my blog
http://dianarubinoauthor.blogspot.com/2009/10/visit-to-eliza-jumels-mansion-in.html



Monday, February 12, 2018

Monday Morning Musing: Drew

Two weekends ago, I started sharing bits and pieces of my work-in-progress. Besides sharing snippets on the weekends, I'm also sharing a little about the main characters. Last Monday was Maggie's turn. Now, it's Drew's.

Lawyer Andrew (Drew) Campbell grew up with Maggie and her older brother Jack. The boys were best friends and did their best to torment little Maggie or ditch her at the first opportunity. Her persistence to keep up with the boys (and her natural athletic ability) made her an asset on their sandlot baseball games--the only time they let her play with them. Drew and Jack stayed friends into adulthood.

Between Drew's over-cautious mother and his wife's fastidiousness, Drew didn't get down and dirty. He golfed, he swam (in pools). He also flunked out of Cub Scouts. A year after his wife's death, he's trying to make a "normal" life with his fourteen-year-old daughter. Without knowing the details, he agrees to help chaperone her camping group. A perfect bonding time for the two of them. Here's a short excerpt:

“What do you mean no toilets?” Drew Campbell stopped on the dusty forest path, hooked his sunglasses on the placket of his golf shirt, and stared at his daughter.
“Dad-dy,” Ellen said. Was she only fourteen? She did exasperation better than his administrative assistant. “I told you we were camping.”
Not for a moment would Drew reveal that camping was not what he remembered her saying a week ago. She said she wanted him to come along on an outing with her little group of friends. He figured a hike, picnic lunch, and then home for supper.
After taking a call on his cell in the parking lot near the trailhead, he’d gotten his first surprise. That’s when he found out about the “no electronics rule.” No cell phones, no iPods. All were locked in the vehicles. Only the leader carried a cell phone and only for emergencies.
He got his second surprise when he opened the hatch of the Navigator. Five backpacks. Five backpacks with bedrolls. He’d transported four girls. It didn’t take a law degree to figure out who the fifth backpack was for. He was in deep shit. But what could he say in front of Ellen and her friends?
“Of course, sweetie. I knew we were camping,” he lied.
“Yeah, right, Dad.”
She didn’t believe him? What happened to the adulation for him that used to be in her eyes? The “Dad is perfect” look.

As he’d done several times in the past three hours, he took out his handkerchief, looked at it in disgust, and tried to find a clean spot. He wiped the sweat off his forehead. It was hot and sticky, more like August in Michigan than June. Drew intensely disliked sweating. Clean sweat—in a gym—was all right. Not this . . . dirt. More than sweaty, he hated being dirty.

Drew is in for more surprises. This story, tentatively titled Unpredictable Nature, is a romantic suspense. More on that next week.

Enjoy the week. Here in West Michigan, we're finally getting a break from ten straight days of snowfall. And the sun is shining. So rare and welcome.

   

Saturday, February 10, 2018

#Weekend Writing Warriors: Who's Sneaking In?


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

Thanks for all your comments on last week's snippet. I'm sharing a work-in-progress. It's a romantic suspense about a woman who doesn't believe her brother's car crash was an accident. Suggestions are very welcome.

Today's snippet picks up right after last week's, which ended with  The numb-nut scaring her half to death had better be him.


In case it wasn’t, Maggie moved quietly to the rack on the wall where the garden tools hung. It was a good thing she’d leaned the shovel against the wall instead of hanging it up properly. The awful screech when she’d pulled it off the hook would've given the intruder warning. She seized the shovel just as the figure outside bent in half and ducked under the door.
Maggie raised the shovel, ala Detroit Tiger Miguel Cabrera, fully prepared to whack the intruder. When he straightened, his look of surprise almost matched hers.
“Jack Sinclair,” she yelled, “What are you doing sneaking up on me?”
“Whoa!” Her brother recovered, right after dropping a plastic CD case on the dusty garage floor and a CD spilled out, “What are you doing here?”
She lowered the shovel, “Gee, I don’t know. Ya think maybe because I live here?”




Wednesday, February 7, 2018

#IWSG – Progress & Winter Blahs



It's the 1st Wednesday of February. 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. And thanks to this month's awesome hosts:  Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia, Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!
 
Progress & Winter Blahs


For the past three weeks, I’ve felt blah. Not sick, thank goodness. I shouldn't complain because so many people have had it much worse. Flu is taking its toll this winter. So far, the flu hasn't hit our family. Hubs had a cold and his cough has hung on. One of the 3-month old twins had pneumonia (maybe—the radiologist said no; baby doc said yes) but he’s doing better with antibiotics. Antibiotics for his brother (eye infection). Even Toddler Girl didn’t escape. She had a bad cold. Oldest granddaughter broke her foot doing what she loves, dancing. 

Everyone is better now. But I still feel blah, no other symptoms. Tired all the time. Don’t feel like writing or doing anything other than binge-watching Netflix. I wish I could escape the relentless cold and snow. But there's no going to Arizona, as we’ve done for the past three years. Our son and his family are here now. I guess I’ll just suck it up. And work on my works-in-progress.

Last month, my goal was to write a minimum of 475 words per day. From Jan. 1 – 15, I wrote 15,520 words. From the 16th through yesterday, I wrote 3,570. Quite a difference, right? No wonder I feel down. But . . . for this post, I figured out how many words per day I wrote. Holy cow! I averaged 530. That perked me up. Despite a few days when I didn’t write on my WIP at all, I’m not as far behind as I thought.

Many people disagree with keeping track of word count. That quality takes precedence over quantity. I agree with quality being better. For me, word count signifies progress. It’s concrete evidence that I’m working.

Optional Question: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

Although I write cozy mysteries, science fiction romance, and romantic suspense, they all have one thing in common. A mystery. I like keeping the reader guessing about the bad guy/gal and how they did it. Whether it’s murder or espionage, revenge or a con game. I enjoy leaving clues and red herrings, adding unexpected twists. If I’ve done my job right, the reader is surprised when all is revealed.

I’m eager to read what other writers say they love about their genre.

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. 


Monday, February 5, 2018

Monday Morning Musing: Maggie

This weekend on Weekend Writing Warriors (WeWriWa), I shared the beginning of my work-in-progress, a romantic suspense. Tentatively titled Unpredictable Nature (previous tentative titles: Maggie's Story and The Camping Trip), I wrote this story several years ago. Then, “life” intruded, and I set it aside. Until now. Being written so long ago, the story needs updating. Technology has changed so much. No more Palm Pilots or flip phones, for example. Still, I’m having fun revisiting an old manuscript. If all goes well, this story should be released in the spring. After this weekend's snowfall, spring can't come soon enough.

Along with sharing snippets each weekend, I thought I’d share the main characters here on Mondays.

First up is Maggie May Sinclair. Named after the Rod Stewart song, she’s in her mid-thirties and divorced. She teaches high school English and coaches the girls’ baseball team. She also volunteers as a Little League coach and PeeWee hockey referee. To say she’s athletic is an understatement. With all those activities, she doesn’t have time to date. Not that she’s interested. As she says, been there, done that, got the scars to prove it.

After their parents’ died, she and her brother inherited the family home. Since Jack had a condo and didn’t want the trouble of home ownership, Maggie lives in the home where she grew up in a Grand Rapids (Michigan) suburb.

An activity Maggie didn’t volunteer for but was dragged into by her best friend is co-leading a camping group of girls, now in their early teens. After four years together, their goal has been a week-long trip to Isle Royale, an island and National Park in Lake Superior. But when her friend’s family is transferred to Colorado, the group’s enthusiasm wanes. They still meet at Maggie’s to talk. Lately, “talk” has been about resuming the trip. They figured if they prepare enough, their former leader will return to make the trip with them.

Maggie and Jack grew up camping with their parents and then with Scouts. Jack earned the rank of Eagle Scout, and Maggie earned Girl Scouts’ highest honor, the Gold Award. While camping is in her blood, taking eight girls on an overnight camping trip is a big responsibility. One she won’t take alone. The only parent who volunteered was Drew Campbell, Jack’s best friend. The guy who, according to Jack, wimped out of Cub Scouts. The same guy who told fifteen-year-old Maggie she kissed like a goldfish.

Next Monday, I’ll share a little about Drew.

Have a great week.

Today, I’m over at Diana Rubino’s blog, sharing a little something about Mothers. Stop by if you get a chance.


Saturday, February 3, 2018

#WeWriWa The Story Begins


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

Thanks for all your comments on last week's snippet. This week, I'm sharing a new story, a work-in-progress. Suggestions are very welcome. It's a romantic suspense about a woman who doesn't believe her brother's car crash was an accident. This is how it begins.
 
The garage door rose. All by itself.
Maggie Sinclair’s heart shot into high gear. She set down the camping equipment next to her SUV. She wasn’t anywhere near the button next to the door to the house. And the remote was right where it belonged, clipped to the Suburban’s visor. She hadn’t opened the door.
Someone had keyed in the code.
As the door lifted, a pair of athletic shoes and legs encased in wrinkled khakis came into view. Only one other person knew the code to her garage. The numb-nut scaring her half to death had better be him.







Thursday, February 1, 2018

Guest Karilyn Bentley - New Release - #Paranormal

My friend Karilyn Bentley visits with info about her new release.



Hi Diane! Thank you for letting me blog with you today! I'm excited to announce Devil Take Me, the fourth book in the urban fantasy series, Demon Huntress, is available at an online retailer near you! In case you haven't read the series, it follows Gin Crawford as the world's newest demon huntress and her hot guardian mage, Aidan Smythe. 

The last book, Demon Cursed, left Gin depressed and in a funk. Devil Take Me starts the morning after Demon Cursed ends. Gin is faced with a demon rampaging through Dallas and trying to entice her to his side. In order to stop the demon, she needs help from Smythe. But due to a huge misunderstanding, Smythe refuses to talk to her. Needless to say, she needs to patch her relationship with him in order to stop the demon.

The next and final book in the series will be out late this year (provided I can come up with a title!).  Read on for the blurb and excerpt. Enjoy!!

Karilyn :)

Blurb:

A demon attack…

Reeling from a personal tragedy and abandoned by all she loves, the world's newest demon huntress, Gin Crawford, sinks into a deep despair. She’s forced back to reality by news of a large number of people committing suicide, all on the same night. Suspecting demon involvement, Gin must work with her sexy but estranged mentor Aidan Smythe to track who, or what, is behind the deaths.

Leads to a new discovery…

As they come closer to finding the culprit, they realize their employer, the Agency, is hiding its own secret, one which threatens Gin's very existence. New discoveries reveal that even those dedicated to eradicating evil can be bought. Can Gin and Smythe forgive each other and work together or will they fall under the demon's thrall?

Excerpt:

     A vision of an auburn-haired man dressed in dark trousers and a gray button-down, appears in my head. He sits on my closed toilet lid, watching me sleep in the full tub, watching as my head slides closer to the waterline.
     It must be a dream. How else can I be asleep and still see the bathroom, my sleeping self and the man? A dream. Only a dream. His voice is nothing more than my imaginings.
     And yet I feel the need to answer. To deny his words.
     I’m not listening to you. I make an effort to rebuke the voice, refusing to take what it offers, refusing to admit its enticing pull.
     Oh, but you are. He leans forward, resting his elbows on his knees, his gaze firmly affixed to my face. You contemplate my words. You seek the rest only I can give.
     Yeah, right. Not buying it, buster. Although I’m starting to want what he offers. I’ll never admit it to Mystery Man. What can a figment of my imagination really do?
     I am not a figment. He smiles, his lips pulling away from straight, white teeth.
     Despite the warm water, a chill runs down my spine. He holds out his hand.
     Come. Take my hand. Rest. Leave your problems behind.

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Karilyn's Bio:
Karilyn Bentley's love of reading stories and preference of sitting in front of a computer at home instead of in a cube, drove her to pen her own works, blending fantasy and romance mixed with a touch of funny.

Her paranormal romance novella, Werewolves in London, placed in the Got Wolf contest and started her writing career as an author of sexy heroes and lush fantasy worlds.

Karilyn lives in Colorado with her own hunky hero, a crazy dog nicknamed The Kraken, a silly not-quite-a-puppy, and a handful of colorful saltwater fish.

Where to find Karilyn
Website:        www.karilynbentley.com
Newsletter:    http://eepurl.com/ba_0Rf
Twitter:           http://www.twitter.com/karilynbentley1
Blog:              http://plottingprincesses.blogspot.com