I'm glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Back at 2013

As the year comes to an end, newspapers and television reports give us the "best" and "worst" of 2013. In world news as well as our personal lives, we tend to remember more of the bad than the good. Or maybe it's our Puritan ancestors still whispering in our ears that to talk, or write, about our accomplishments violates the 11th Commandment (Thou shalt not brag).

We made all those resolutions--or set goals--back in January. How long did they last? Many of mine fell by the wayside. A few went beyond expectation. And some events happened that I never anticipated.

Here's a few of my best and worst of 2013:

Best: built a house and moved close to our grandchildren
Worst: packed the contents of a house where we lived for 14 years; unpacked hundreds of boxes and tried to find a place for everything

Best: welcomed two great-nephews into the family and a new nephew-in-law
Worst: lost another uncle

Best: released two books--Switched Resolution and One Red Shoe
Worst: haven't finished The Chameleon, an Outer Rim novel (soon, I hope)

Best: invited to be a regular contributor to 2 blogs--The Roses of Prose and Paranormal Romantics; joined a monthly blog hop, Insecure Writers Support Group; blog "tours" for new releases
Worst: coming up with new topics (LOL)

Best: discovered Doctor Who
Worst: watching Doctor Who episodes (ad nauseam, according to Hubs--who gave me Seasons 6 & 7 on DVDs)

Best: supportive family, friends, and readers
Worst: (none)

There are many more events that I've either forgotten or didn't share. I've worked hard to further my writing career, yet dropped everything to play with my grandkids or go to a movie with Hubs. I'm trying to find balance in my life. Not always successful, though. On the whole, I've been very blessed.

And I still haven't done anything with hundreds (thousands?) of photos still in shoeboxes. Maybe in 2014.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Free Short Story

I did something I haven't done since high school--back in the Dark Ages. LOL I wrote a short story. It is part of an anthology by The Roses of Prose authors called An Unexpected Holiday. We all started our stories with the same sentence: This was the last place she/I ever expected to spend Christmas.

The first part of my story, Christmas in Space, began Saturday. Here's the link: http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com/2013/12/christmas-in-space-by-diane-burton.html   

The story concluded on Sunday.

I hope you enjoy Christmas in Space and the stories by the other authors as well. 

Best wishes for a great 2014.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

After Whorl: Bran Reborn by Nancy Jardine

my sincere thanks for inviting me to share details of my latest historical romantic adventure, After Whorl: Bran Reborn, Book 2 of my Celtic Fervour series. After Whorl: Bran Reborn continues the story of Brennus of Garrigill who appears in Book 1 The Beltane Choice. Brennus was thought to lie dead on the battle fields at Whorl, but this was not so…

(Book 3 of the series After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks continues the tale of Brennus (also known as Bran) and Ineda of Marske, and will be published sometime around March 2014)

Ravaged by war

…AD 71. After the battle at Whorl, Brennus of Garrigill is irrevocably changed. 

Returning to Marske, Ineda finds her grandmother dead, though Brennus is not. Snared by a Roman patrol, they are marched to Witton where he is forced to labour for the Roman IX Legion. 

Embracing his new identity as Bran, Brennus vows to avert Roman occupation of northernmost Brigantia. Ineda becomes his doughty spying accomplice, though sometimes she’s too impetuous. Trading with the Romans lends excellent opportunities for information gathering. Over time, Bran’s feelings for Ineda mar with his loyalty to Ineda’s father. 

When she disappears, and cannot be found, Bran enters direct service with Venutius, King of the Brigantes. 

After Whorl: Bran Reborn is available in print and ebook formats from:
Amazon UK   http://amzn.to/1bNcpNk

And in ebook formats from:

Crooked Cat Bookstore  http://bit.ly/1fFq9vb

And other ebook retailers

After Whorl: Bran Reborn book trailer video 

Here’s a little bit from the beginning to tide you over till that copy is yours…

 Fóghnaidh mi dhut! I really will finish you! I have you now, invading scum!”
            Another couple of whacks would have the shield gone. The Roman auxiliary’s arm already showed signs of fatigue as Brennus slashed below the man’s chain link protection, his full power backing each blow of his long Celtic sword. The man was brawny, a practised opponent at the edge of the tight cluster of Roman bodies, but was much smaller than he was and rapidly weakened. Brennus knew the advantage he had. A drained grin slid into a grimace of pain as his sword jarred on the Roman gladius when the soldier’s stab interrupted another of his blows, the impact juddering his weakened elbow, an injury sustained with a previous combatant.
            Diùbhadh! Scum!”
            The gladius flashed upwards. To reach his head the angle of the auxiliary’s attack had to be higher than the usual, demanding a different force to succeed, and the Roman just did not have the strength any more.
            A cry of frustration emerged from the Roman, the clenched teeth an indicator of the man’s tenacity as the gladius prodded forward yet again. Brennus understood none of the man’s tongue, the battle ground not the place for meaningful talk, but the intent was clear.
            “Come! Come forward! A ghlaoic! You fool!” Brennus’ hollering taunts and crude ridiculing gestures gained him a little ground as the auxiliary broke free of the rigid formation, desperate to gain conquest over yet another Celtic adversary, the shorter gladius slashing and nipping at his chest but not quite breaking the skin.
            The tight group of Roman soldiers had been almost impossible to breach; their raised cover of shields an impenetrable barrier. He had been toying with and provoking this particular soldier for long, long moments. Yet, even with his superior strength, he knew he could not sustain such weighty combat for much longer either, before he would need to retreat to regain his reserves of vigour – though only a little more wearing down of the man’s resistance should be enough. He knew that from an earlier experience. Drawing breath from deep inside he slipped back a pace, and then another as if giving up the pursuit.
            “Come forward, you piece of Roman horse dung! You demand the blood of the Celts? Let it be so! Have mine!”
            Powerless to resist the lure the Roman soldier surged at his bidding, his shield swinging, his gladius jabbing. One last twisted swipe of Brennus’ longer Celtic sword detached the blade-nicked shield from his foe and sent it sailing aside. Abruptly unguarded, the auxiliary pulled his gladius in front of his rippling mail in a futile attempt to cover his chest.
            “Too late!” Brennus’ snort rang out as he whacked the soldier’s fist with his shield when his opponent readied his blade for another stab. It was enough: all the leverage needed to topple his foe. Witnessing the Roman’s slithering attempts to right himself he allowed an exultant smirk to break free, knowing victory would be his over this particular rival. “Death to all of the invaders!”

About the author:

Nancy Jardine lives in the fantastic ‘castle country’ of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, with her husband. She spends her week making creative excuses for her neglected large garden; doesn’t manage as much writing as she always plans to do since she’s on Facebook too often, but she does have a thoroughly great time playing with her toddler granddaughter when she’s just supposed to be ‘just’ childminding her twice a week.

A lover of all things historical it sneaks into most of her writing along with many of the fantastic world locations she has been fortunate to visit. Her published work to date has been two non fiction history related projects; two contemporary ancestral mysteries; one light-hearted contemporary romance mystery and a historical novel. She has been published by The Wild Rose Press and Crooked Cat Publishing.

You’ll find Nancy at the following places: Amazon UK author page    Amazon US author page   Blog    Website   Facebook  Goodreads   About Me   LinkedIn   Twitter @nansjar  Google+ 

 Nancy is giving away a FREE e-copy of After Whorl: Bran Reborn to a lucky commenter. Be sure to leave your email address.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Meet Terri Rochenski

Happy day after Christmas and to my British friends, Happy Boxing Day!

To follow Terri on her blog tour, click here.

My visitor today is fellow Wild Rose Press author Terri Rochenski who is blog touring with her new book, Alone No More. Even better, she's offering a giveaway. More about that at the end of our interview.

Welcome, Terri.

Please tell us about yourself.

I’m a stay-at-home mom to 3 little kids – two beautiful girls & one delicious 3 month old son. I live in a construction zone with my contractor hubs who is the love of my life. Speaking of life, it’s hectic and I hardly find ‘me’ time for writing, but I wouldn’t trade what I have for anything.

I remember how hectic it was with young children and I only had two. It's a wonder you find time to write at all. On that note, how long does it take you to write a book?

My debut fantasy novel, Eye of the Soul, took me close to 5 years between the research, writing, & editing. The 2nd book in the series, Secret of the Souls, only took 2. Alone No More, being a novella, proved much easier & took roughly 2 months.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I have no schedule. For me, writing is when I can, on whatever I can, and however I can. 5 minutes here, 2 minutes there. Occasionally I get lucky and my son sleeps while the girls play – then I might get a whopping 20 minutes.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love to cook & putter in my organic garden.

What does your family think of your writing?

As with most scribblers – even published ones – I have mixed reactions. There’s the supercharged cheerleader who tells everyone what I've written & where to find it, then there’s the ‘Oh, that’s nice’ family members who could care less. Fortunately, I don’t have any negative Scrooges bashing what I do.

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

LOL! Love this question because the answer is in it. I do all three, in that order. And I love them SO much that I procrastinate with the actual writing. Yeah, I’m weird.

I don't think that's weird at all. A lot of writers have to get all their ducks in a row before they can start writing. I get an idea and just start writing, doing my research on the fly, so to speak. What this says, though, is that there is no "right" way to write. Each author does what comes naturally. Now if you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?

Interesting question. Luckily, I’m happy with my life, so I wouldn’t change what I am and where I’ve ended up. BUT, if there was another dimension I could keep an eye on, I’d tell myself to finish college & become the nurse I had wanted to be.

Very interesting answer. What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?

I don’t write with a specific message in mind, but I always hope something somewhere within the pages a reader can find encouragement, edification, or enjoyment.

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

Hmmm that’s a tough one. Depends, I guess. If you enjoy fantasy, any of my flash OR my novel. If a romance lover, I’d go with Alone No More.

Speaking of Alone No More, here's more about it.

Book Blurb:

Dismissed from her job as a scullery maid and cast aside by her lover, pregnant Cara Morland has no choice but to return to her father’s farm. While lies of widowhood keep her from disgrace, Cara is faced with a local landowner’s unwanted attentions. Without the social status to do much more than avoid the vile man, she loses hope of ever finding happiness. 

A friendship based on mutual loneliness blossoms between Cara and James Elliot, a young farm hand hired by her father. He offers his protection, and one shared kiss reveals his heart, but propriety and her feigned grieving period hinders what they both desire.

When Cara’s stalker learns the truth of her circumstances, he gives her an ultimatum—submit to his possession or he’ll ruin her second chance at love with James.

That certainly sounds intriguing, Terri. Where can readers find Alone No More

One last question. Where can readers find you?

Curled up on my couch with a good book. I wish! Hehe Here’s my website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter links. I have a Pinterest account, but honestly I’m hardly ever there.


Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.

My Links:

And now for the giveaway. Terri is offering a free PDF copy of Alone No More and a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

Terri, it's been great having you here today and learning more about you. Wishing you much success with Alone No More and in your career.