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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, March 18, 2019

GUEST: Pamela S. Thibodeaux - LOVE IN SEASON


My friend Pamela S. Thibodeaux is here to tell us about her collection of short stories. Authors find inspiration everywhere we look. I think you'll find Pam's inspiration for the cover of LOVE IN SEASON very interesting.

Here's Pam to tell you about her book.


Look closely at the cover….

Recently I visited Animal Kingdom @ Walt Disney World in FL with my family and one of the most breathtaking sights is the Tree of Life / garden. Within the trunk of this huge tree are carvings of every kind of animal. You can view it from any angle and take a dozen different pictures and each time, see something more and/or different.
What does this have to do with a book cover? You ask.

Read on…..

I’ve always admired the covers Pelican Book Group creates for their titles and when I first received the cover for Love in Season, I thought – how sweet, but a closer look revealed a whole lot more than a couple on a bench in front of a lovely tree.

If you took a passing glance, look again….

What do you see?

Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter are all depicted within the leaves and branches of this tree!

It takes an amazing eye for detail to pick something like this for a book cover.  Thanks to Nicola Martinez for creating such a beautiful work of art for for my collection of romantic short stories centered around the four seasons and four love-oriented holidays!

*see photos of the Tree of Life/Garden Here: https://www.wdwinfo.com/Photos/AK-treeoflife/pages/DSC00093.htm

Fun Fact: For quite some time I wanted to put together a collection of short stories that centered around the 4 seasons and 4 holidays that focus on love and family (Valentine's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas). Since I already had several stories at PBG, I mentioned this idea to my editor, the amazing Nicola Martinez, and she loved it. I submitted two previously unpublished stories to round out the collection, along with those Pelican Book Group had already published, and viola! Love in Season was born.

Blurb: Anytime is the perfect time for love.

In this anthology, author Pamela S Thibodeaux brings together eight of her most beloved romance stories—one for each season plus four holidays that revolve around love and family.

Includes two brand new stories!


Story Blurbs:

(Winter) Winter Madness: Sienna has survived what most succomb to - the death of a spouse and child and has maintained her faith despite her troubles. William has never met anyone who actually lived out what they say they believe. Is it true love between the faithful optimist and broody pessimist or simply winter madness?

(Valentine’s Day) Choices: Best-selling novelist and songwriter, Camie Rogers has penned numerous accounts of the secret love she holds in her heart. Country-Music Superstar Kip Allen has changed from the shy, humble boy, to the epitome of “star.” Can the two rediscover each other after one night of his Home is where the Heart is Tour?

(Spring) Cathy’s Angel: Single mom Cathy Johnson is tired of running her life alone…what she needs is a well-trained angel to help out. Jared Savoy gave up the dream of having a family when he discovered he is sterile. Can a confirmed bachelor and the mother of four find love amid normal daily chaos?

(Easter) Lilies for Sandi *NEW!* Sandi and Brett did everything backwards. They got pregnant before the wedding and had a baby instead of a honeymoon. Since, Brett has resented the fact that his dreams of a football career have been cut short and wonders how long it’ll take God to forgive him for his mistakes. Sandi has played second fiddle to Brett’s dreams and desires to the point of not knowing herself any longer and fears her marriage will never be a true one because of their failures. Can two hearts broken by unfulfilled dreams find healing, wholeness and restoration?

(Summer) The Big Catch *NEW!* Karla and, the love of her life, Jeff, have uncovered some uncommon ground: The Great Outdoors. For the life of her, she does not understand his love of fishing and how he can spend so much time doing so. Will she come to love the sport as much as he or will his passion for a rod and reel tangle up their relationship?

(Fall) A Hero for Jessica: Anthony Paul Seville is known as the ‘most eligible bachelor’ in New Orleans, possibly even the entire state of Louisiana, but finds himself alone—completely and explicitly alone. Jessica Aucoin is a writer on her way to fame and fortune, but is haunted by a man from her past. Will the “champion” lawyer and the author of romantic suspense find love written in their future? 

(Thanksgiving) Review of Love (Newly Edited/Revised/Lengthened!): Jason Stockwell has been commissioned to interview Kylie Erickson and to review her books. Only problem is, she won’t give the time of day much less an interview to someone whose type of writing she deems not worthy of respect. Can they suspend their judgmental attitudes and find true love?

(Christmas) In His Sight: Grade school teacher Carson Alexander has a gift—a gift that has driven a wedge between him and his family. Worse, it’s put him at odds with God. Feeling alone and misunderstood, Carson views God’s gift of prophecy as the worst kind of curse…that is until he meets Lorelei Conner, landscape artist extraordinaire, and perhaps the one person who may need Carson and his gift more than anyone ever has.  

Lorelei Connor is a mother on the run. Her abusive ex-husband has followed her all over the country trying to steal their daughter. Distrusting of men and needing to keep on the move, she’s surprised by her desire to remain close to Carson Alexander. Through her fear and hesitation, she must learn to rely on God to guide her—not an easy task when He’s prompting her to trust a man.
 Can their relationship withstand the tragedy lurking on the horizon?



Author Bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

Links:
Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com  
Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU



Saturday, March 16, 2019

#WeWriWa - RESCUING MARA'S FATHER - Mara Joins the Fight

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. The narrator is Mara, an almost 15-year-old girl who lives in a mining outpost on the Outer Rim. This snippet takes place after last week's. Mara's friend Jako is being beaten by the Dunpus brothers. Since they've never heard their first names, she and Jako call them by numbers. 

Please excuse the creative punctuation, necessary to keep this within the guidelines. It's also edited from the original.
  
They are a lot bigger than me, but I don’t hesitate. I’m tall for my age, but what I lack in bulk I make up for in cunning, thanks to Father’s self-defense lessons. I leap up and kick the back of the knee of the oldest brother—I’m wearing stout boots so I’m sure he’ll go down. He does and hits his head. While he lies there dazed, the middle brother starts dancing around so I can’t kick him. He must have seen what I did to Dunpus #1. I jump on #2’s back, and that gives Jako a fighting chance with the youngest. I wrap my forearm around Dunpus #2’s neck and hang on while he tries to shake me loose. If I press hard enough on his throat, I could choke him. Even though he’s a bully, I can’t do that.



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 them 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, March 9, 2019

#WeWriWa - RESCUING MARA'S FATHER: A Fight

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 still a work in progress, so suggestions are welcome. The narrator is Mara, an almost 15-year-old girl who lives in a mining outpost on the Outer Rim. This snippet takes place a little later than last week's. Mara's friend Jako told her about a new ship that's come into spaceport. 

Please excuse the creative punctuation, necessary to keep this within the guidelines. It's also edited from the original.
 
Spaceport is at the far west end of the village, an easy ten-minute walk. I cut through the alley between Main and Back Street, but as I round the corner of the mercantile, I run into a cloud of dust. The dry season has been drier than usual. If the clouds actually bring rain tonight, everyone will be grateful, especially the farmers, but the dust cloud I’m seeing isn’t made by the wind whipping sand between the buildings.
No, it’s a fight—a one-sided fight, three against one. Since the ‘three’ are the Dunpus Brothers—meaner than vipers and stronger than hicans—and the ‘one’ is Jako, I wade in. I mean, he’s just a little kid, while the brothers are around my age. Two are older, one younger, I think. They don’t come to school—their father says it’s a waste of time.



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 them 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.

RESCUING MARA'S FATHER BLOG TOUR

Would you be interested in hosting me on my blog tour? If yes, please click here to sign up. Thank you in advance. When you have a new release, I'm happy to repay the favor.





Thursday, March 7, 2019

STORM OF THE GODS by Amy Braun Blog Tour & #Giveaway




My friend Amy Braun has a new release. I've read snippets on Weekend Writing Warriors (#WeWriWa) and was intrigued by this fine urban fantasy. Often, we writers look back on our career and speculate on what we would've changed. Here's Amy to tell you her perspective. Be sure to click on the Rafflecopter link to enter a fantastic giveaway.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Keep going.

When you’re younger, it’s hard to know what you want to do with your life. I spent a couple years not really being sure what I would do, going back and forth between careers until I realized that writing was the only thing I wanted to do, that suited me. I spent my first few writing years working on short stories and my two first independent novels, Demon’s Daughter and Path of the Horseman.

In hindsight, I would have told myself to focus on a single project and perfect it to send it to literary agents. Writing and publishing is not an easy thing to do, especially for someone who didn’t go to school for it. It takes dedication, trial and error, and above all, patience. I would have told myself to take more stock in all those things.

Finally, I would have told myself the same thing I tell myself every single day, and more importantly, after every mistake I’ve made: Keep going. Keep writing and creating and trying. There are countless authors who have been in the same position I’m currently in, who’ve made similar mistakes and have overcome them to become intensely successful. I know there will be more query rejections, more mistakes, and more disappointment in myself. But I also know that it will be worth the struggle, and that literally creating magic and monsters for a living will be worth every moment of it.




Storm of the Gods
An Areios Brothers Novel #1
by Amy Braun
Genre: Urban Fantasy 

Thirty years ago, the gods of Greek legend returned to the world. Their return restored their powers, which had been spent in a cataclysmic battle with the Titans. With the ancient deities imprisoned in Tartarus, the Olympians now reside in Néo Vasíleio, formerly known as California.


Twenty-four-year-old Derek Aerios is a war scion, a descendant of Ares, the God of War. He and his brother, eighteen-year-old Liam, capture mythological creatures and rogue scions as part of Ares's elite military force. As he struggles to cope with his violent powers and the scars of a traumatic childhood, Derek tries to keep the two vows he has made: protect his brother, and never kill a human again.

But when Ares forces him to hunt and kill four rogue scions under Athena's control—by threatening Liam's life—Derek chooses to go after the scions in order to save his brother and keep his promise to himself.

Yet the closer Derek gets to the scions, the more he realizes that his orders are part of a deeper conspiracy that put him at odds with his mission and his conscience. Athena may not be the enemy, a traitor could be in their midst, and the Titans could be closer to freedom than ever before.







Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action. She is an active member of the Weekend Writing Warrior community.


When she isn't writing, she's reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction, and diving headfirst into danger in Dungeons & Dragons campaigns





Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!


5 Stars

If you grew up reading Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series, watched your kids/grandkids enjoy reading modern stories based on Greek mythology, or (as I did) read it yourself, Amy Braun's new series is a great transition to an adult view of those gods. 

Derek Aerios could've gone to Camp Half-Blood with Percy, Annabeth, and Grover. Now, he's an adult. Percy's adventures are child's play compared to the crises he and his brother Liam are forced into. 

This story is fast-paced, fight scenes so well done the reader feels right there. Characters are well-drawn, although since this is the first book in a series, I'm sure the reader will learn more about Derek and Liam. With one confrontation after another--battles with scions, monsters, and gods--the reader keeps turning the page to see what's next.

Between battles and confrontations with Ares, we get glimpses into Derek's psyche. His vulnerability is his brother. He will do anything to protect Liam. Despite being a war scion (disciple of Ares), Derek will fight but refuses to kill. Ms. Braun forces him into situations where his ethics vie with his sibling obligation. She makes the reader feel his torment, his anguish.

Get set for a fascinating read, one that captures your imagination and doesn't let go.





Wednesday, March 6, 2019

#IWSG: Differing Perspectives


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:  Fundy Blue, Beverly Stowe McClure, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard!

I am so grateful for this month's question. I'm neck-deep in edits for my middle grade science fiction adventure, RESCUING MARA'S FATHER. Although the revisions aren't onerous, the nit-picky edits are a pain in the you-know-where. I'm more than halfway through and getting to the exciting part of the story, where the MC finally learns the reason for prior events.

Consequently, I was at a loss as to what to write for this month's post. The optional question is a life saver.



 


Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?




Definitely the protagonist. In a few of my stories, I've included a few paragraphs from the villain's POV, just to give some info that the reader needs to know (to up the tension) but keeps the MC in the dark. Usually, I write third person POV, that way I can alternate between the hero and heroine. But my adult cozy mysteries and my latest, the MG sci-fi adventure, I write in first person. And I love it. Readers have commented on my "voice" that works well. A little snarky, self-deprecating, laughs at one's self. It's easy for me to slip into the character's mind and "become" her. And it's fun, too. Since I write light-hearted stories--no dark and dangerous thrillers for me--I enjoy writing from that perspective.

                RESCUING MARA'S FATHER BLOG TOUR

With regard to my upcoming release: would you be willing to host me on my blog tour? If yes, please click here to sign up. Thank you in advance. When you have a new release, I'm happy to repay the favor.

Here's more about the story.

RESCUING MARA’S FATHER
A Middle Grade Science Fiction Adventure
By D.M. Burton
Approx. 75,000 words

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. Her mentor, old spaceport mechanic, 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 them soon. And Lukus can’t wait to get off our planet. Mara’s afraid they will all leave, and she’ll be on her own. Despite her fears, Mara has to rescue her father.


Now, back to our regularly scheduled program. 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.


Saturday, March 2, 2019

#WeWriWa - RESCUING MARA'S FATHER: Living With Two People

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 still a work in progress (though I just got my edits back), 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 Jako, her best friend, saying, “I heard a Voxian cargo ship came in this morning, wanna go to ‘port and see?”

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

I look at the darkening sky then at the clothes hanging on the line next to the house, “I have to take in the laundry first, then I’ll catch up with you.”
I take the clothes in through the side door, not the one to the classroom. If I hurry, I can leave them on my bed and be off before Teacher turns into Father.
It’s like living with two different people. In the classroom, his study, he insists I set an example for the others and call him Teacher. There he’s a stern taskmaster. In the rest of our house, he’s Father, warm and caring—at least, he used to be. A while ago, he started changing. Now, even at home he’s demanding, and nothing I do is good enough.




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 them 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 23, 2019

#WeWriWa - RESCUING MARA'S FATHER: A New Ship


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.

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


Wilanda, who sits between me and Lukus, says, “Manager doesn’t know anything—he’s so stupid he has to have Teacher read letters from Mining Headquarters and write his reports.”
One of the boys whose father and brother work in the mines defends Manager, then things go downhill from there.
“That’s enough for today,” Teacher says, giving me a look. He’s always after me to contribute to class discussions, so the one time I do, chaos breaks out—is that my fault?
I figure it’s best to exit quickly with the rest of the class, outside Jako punches my arm, “Are you ever going to learn to keep your mouth shut?”
I punch him back, “Yeah, I saw how well that works for you. One more month and I won’t have to worry about that.”
He picks up a rock and hits the same spot on the back of our shed he always aims at, “So, you’re really going, huh?”
“Yeah, I can’t wait.”
“You don’t have to sound so happy about it,” then he brightens, “I heard a Voxian cargo ship came in this morning, wanna go to ‘port and see?”




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.