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, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day

Because it's my turn at The Roses of Prose today, please hop on over there to read my post on today's holiday. http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com/2016/05/memorial-day-2016-by-diane-burton.html

Also, the serialization of The Case of the Bygone Brother continues on Wattpad.  https://www.wattpad.com/story/72359159-the-case-of-the-bygone-brother-an-alex-o%27hara

Enjoy the holiday. Please remember the reason--honoring those who died protecting our freedom.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Exciting News: #Free Books

I know it's Tuesday. I didn't lose a day and I didn't forget to post Monday Morning Musing. I waited until today to share some exciting news.

Thanks to a Smashwords promotion, my first PI mystery, The Case of the Bygone Brother, is being serialized on Wattpad. Starting today, you can read a chapter a week. Bygone Brother was my first venture into writing a mystery. If you've read any of my books--or this blog--you know I don't write graphic violence (thriller-type). Nor do I write hard-boiled detective stories. Soft-boiled is more like it. And I can't resist adding humor. Definitely not slasher stories. I had a lot of fun writing Bygone Brother. Since it's written in Alex's point of view, it was like I'm her. All the things I've wanted to say or do, I could say/do as Alex. Smart-aleck comments, following clues into dangerous places, etc. As I mentioned, I had so much fun writing Bygone Brother, I had to write a second book,The Case of the Fabulous Fiance.  Currently, I'm writing the third book, The Case of the Meddling Mama.

If you haven't read The Case of the Bygone Brother, here's your chance. If you enjoy the first chapter(s) and can't wait to find out what happens next, you can download your copy from Smashwords.

More great news! PORTALS Volume 2 IS available. FREE You can read the first chapter of my science fiction romance, The Pilot (An Outer Rim Novel), along with first chapters from nine other sci-fi romances. A great way to discover new authors--or new books by familiar authors.

PORTALS vol 2 is available at
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/portals-14
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/639100
IBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/portals/id1117074551…
GP: https://play.google.com/…/boo…/details/Alison_Aimes_Portals…
NOOK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/…/1123847955;jsessionid=DF2A9…
** Amazon: https://amzn.com/B01G7RXDY4
ARE: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-portalsvolumetwo-2045466-153.html

** Wait until Amazon lowers the price to free.

So lots of free books coming your way. Happy Reading!

Monday, May 16, 2016


Whenever I see the word “portal” I think of a gateway to another time or dimension. How about you? Or do you think of a portal as a doorway? In the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, I didn’t get the big, black obelisk that kept appearing. It wasn’t until I read Arthur C. Clark’s novelization that I understood it was a portal to another universe.

There’s another meaning for the word Portals. It’s a book. Actually, a book in four volumes. The subtitle is: Gateway to the Worlds of Science Fiction Romance.

Writers are readers and we have the same problem you do. With all the books being published each day, how do you choose what to read next? Forty science fiction romance authors are making it easier for you. We (yes, me too) put a first chapter from our books into a free book called Portals. In each volume, you can read the beginning of ten books plus a little about why the author wrote it. If you like the first chapter, you can click on buy link and—hurray!—you can grab that book and continue reading. Is that cool or what?

There’s more. Portals has its own blog. http://sfrportals.blogspot.com/2016/05/welcome.html

Stop over and read more about the project. If you’d like a chance to be entered into a drawing for two $5 Amazon e-Gift Cards, leave a comment today. May 16th.

Here are some interesting facts about Portals:

1.         It’s FREE
2.         It’s a quick way to find sci-fi romance books
3.         Forty authors; forty 1st chapters
4.         Volume 1 is already available.

Get your free digital copy today. Portals is available at the following vendors. 

Portals: Gateway to the Worlds of Science Fiction Romance

I mentioned I’m one of the authors. The first chapter of The Pilot: An Outer Rim Novel is in Volume 2, which will be released on May 31st.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is one of those joyous/sad holidays. Joyous because my children celebrate with me—either in person or via Facetime. Sad because I miss my mother.

This picture was taken outside the church after my baptism. She was so young, only twenty when I was born. Six more children came after me. Coming from a family of two, she didn’t quite know what to do with seven. But she managed. Dad built our house—with help from his brothers and dad. Once the basic interior was done, sheetrock walls and plywood floors, he was done. So it was up to Mom to finish. She learned how to spackle and tape and lay tile floors. Not the peel-and-stick type tile. Oh, no. The kind where you had to spread tarry-like adhesive. She’d never done anything like that. But she managed.

Add nursing care to her list of accomplishments. All of us children went through many of the childhood illnesses today’s kids are vaccinated against—measles (both kinds), mumps, chicken pox. Mom managed our care. Broken bones, lacerations, etc. sent her to Emergency, injured kid in tow. When my dad’s COPD became worse, she nursed him, too.
At St Moritz
After he was gone, she blossomed. Took trips around Europe with my mother-in-law and her sister, sold off the albatross of a house, enjoyed her grandchildren, and gardened for fun in her new condo. 
She celebrated her 80th birthday with family and friends before Alzheimer’s sneaked in and stole her from us. As the disease progressed, we occasionally caught glimpses of her old self. The last picture I have of her (below) was taken six weeks before she died. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I see recognition in her eyes. That she understood she was holding my first grandchild.

I wish my daughter-in-law and my grandchildren could have known what a remarkable woman she was.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

#IWSG: Retreat From Harsh Reality

It's the first Wednesday and time for the Insecure Writers Support Group, whose mission is 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! IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. And thanks to this month's awesome hosts: Stephen Tremp, Fundy Blue, MJ Fifield, Loni Townsend, Bish Denham, Susan Gourley, and Stephanie Faris!

Every spring, the Mid-Michigan chapter of Romance Writers of America hosts an annual event—the Retreat From Harsh Reality. The retreat started as a weekend “pajama party” in a dorm at Western Michigan University back in 1985. Over the years it’s changed somewhat. For starters, a nicer venue—no bringing your own towels and bedding. This year was our second at Bay Pointe Inn, a lovely lakeside hotel with restaurant and conference room.

One thing hasn’t changed. The retreat is not a conference. No rushing from one workshop to another. We have one speaker, an author. No agents or editors. Not that we don’t appreciate the last two, but they would change the dynamics of the relaxed atmosphere. It’s a jeans and T-shirt kind of weekend. Someone’s husband suggested pajama pants to save time dressing. We could, since the only males were the wait staff.

Our schedule (yes, we do have one) allows for plenty of down time. Time to chat with chapter members we only see at retreat. Our members come from all over Michigan—Traverse City to Midland to St. Joseph to Detroit (even though the Detroit area has their own chapter). We have time to pick each other’s brains, as I did Betty Meyette about putting my books up in audio format. We have time to write and a quiet place to do so. Or we can take a nap, again as I did, and let all that we heard from our speaker percolate.

For all the wonderful getting reacquainted time as well as meeting new people, the best part is our speaker. This year, the hilarious, photojournalist and NYT best-selling author Christie Craig came from Texas to entertain, educate, and motivate (her words). And, wow, did she ever. She set the tone on Friday night and right away we knew she was going to be fun and why she calls herself a storyteller. With one story after another, Christie had us laughing until our sides ached. On Saturday morning, she told me exactly what was wrong with my WIP. How did she know??? I’ve been writing and going to retreats and conferences since 1993. Still, I always learn something new. I’ve never had such an “ah ha!” moment as I did last Saturday. My roommate, who has been writing longer than me, said she had several “ah ha” moments.

I always come home from retreat raring to get back to my WIP. Even better that now I know what’s wrong with it. If you ever want a relaxed weekend for writers, come to Mid-Michigan RWA’s Retreat From Harsh Reality next spring. You’ll have fun.

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, May 2, 2016

Disney Does Disability Right

Before embarking on our cruise, I worried about how I’d be able to get around on the ship. With a bad back, I’m not able to walk far without pain. I checked with our travel agent about bringing my rolling walker aboard. No problem. Without my asking, he registered us for a handicap stateroom. 


The stateroom aboard our first cruise back in 2008 was tiny—barely room to get between the end of the bed and the cabinets. On this cruise, we had LOTS of room. An automatic door stayed open more than long enough to get inside with a walker, wheelchair, or scooter. Same with leaving. In fact, it was almost too long for me. Not complaining, mind you. I was concerned that our room was at the very back of the ship. Next stop the ocean. But with my walker, I was able to get from aft to forward with little problem. Maneuvering down narrow corridors was a challenge, but gracious guests made sure I had room—and didn’t run over their feet.

The bathroom was huge. No threshold shower with a bench and plenty of grab bars, a high toilet (again with grab bars), and plenty of room to maneuver a wheelchair or scooter.

Our luxurious room had a drop-down bunk and the sofa converted into a single bed (same as the other staterooms). One evening, we took the grandkiddies so daughter and SIL could have a “date” night. After grandson and Hubs finished a detective adventure (requiring walking from one end of the ship to the other on multiple decks) and granddaughter and I watched a musical performance, the kids slept in our room with plenty of room to spare. Note the towel monkey. Loved the different ones each night.
I was so fortunate that Disney Cruise Line made accommodations for the handicapped. Beyond that was the courtesy of the staff. I can’t tell you the number of times a staff member offered assistance, especially in the buffet line for breakfast and lunch. “May I help you?” or “May I carry your plate?” etc. I know, smiling service is a Disney trademark. The courtesy of the guests was a bigger surprise. Many times Hubs and I waited for an elevator, only to find it almost full. So we’d say we’ll wait for the next one. Gentlemen, true gentlemen would say “we can make room. C’mon, folks, move back.” Some even got off with their kids to make room. I saw this happen to others in wheelchairs or on scooters. Maybe the Disney staff kindness rubbed off or maybe there still are considerate people.

Too often, we see rude people—shopping, at tourist venues, on the street. The vast majority of passengers on our cruise not only had good manners but were truly kind.

As much as I wish I didn’t have a disability, I am truly grateful that it didn’t keep me from having a wonderful time on the cruise.