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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.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

#30 Days of Gratitude - Day Five: Special Events

 What special events are in your lives? 

The special events in mine revolve (or used to before covid) around my grandkids. Dance recitals, sports games, birthdays, Christmas pageants, Girl/Boy Scout advancements. 

Hubs and I sometimes reminisce about our own childhoods. Neither of us remember our parents attending our games or events. Parents didn't do that back in the "old" days. Graduations, of course. But rarely, if ever, anything else. So we made certain we were involved in our kids' activities. Whether it was as a Girl Scout leader, Boy Scout parent committee, Odyssey of the Mind coach, religious education teacher, baseball coach, we wanted to be involved. 

Now, as grandparents, we get to enjoy the kids' activities without the responsibilities. LOL We get to sit in the stands or audience and watch during those special events. I'm so grateful we live close enough to do that.

Here's info about the #30 Days of Gratitude.

Join in the fun! Here's the Form: 30 Days of Gratitude 2020 Blog Hop

Stop by Tara Tyler's blog to see who else is participating.

  

Friday, October 30, 2020

#30 Days of Gratitude - Day Four: Distant Friends

 I'm fortunate that I have many people I'm friends with. At the same time, I don't have many best friends. I'm sure that's probably true for most people. We've moved several times because of Hubs' job. While that's given us many wonderful experiences, it also has meant leaving friends behind. 

With technology, even distant friends are able to stay connected. FaceBook has many detractors and can be abused. I love FB for being able to connect (or reconnect) with friends we left behind when we moved. 

Sometimes, it's the friends who've moved. For a while, I felt bereft until we were able to connect. 

My best friend introduced Hubs and I by conniving with another friend and set us up on a blind date--my one and only blind date. She and I taught together for several years. We had our kids together. We cried together over disappointments and celebrated successes.

Unfortunately, she and technology do not get along. Email is beyond her. Something always goes wrong. But she has mastered texting. Though we live several hundred miles apart, we often text "how are you guys?" and engage in conversation or sharing pictures of grandkids. We've found a way to stay connected.

How do you stay connected with your distant friends?


 Here's info about the #30 Days of Gratitude.

Join in the fun! Here's the Form: 30 Days of Gratitude 2020 Blog Hop

Stop by Tara Tyler's blog to see who else is participating.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

#30 Days of Gratitude - Day Three: Close Friends

 What would we do without friends? 



 
One of the consequences of the covid pandemic is not seeing friends. We've stayed hunkered down for the past seven months. No going out to lunch with friends. We stay connected via social media, checking up on each other, encouraging one another to stay safe, yet missing that face-to-face connection.

It's the same with my family. Thank goodness for technology--for FaceTime and Zoom, email and text messages. Still, not the same as being together in person.

One thing the pandemic has taught me is not to take friends for granted. To stay in touch.


Here's info about the #30 Days of Gratitude.

Join in the fun! Here's the Form: 30 Days of Gratitude 2020 Blog Hop

Stop by Tara Tyler's blog to see who else is participating.


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

#30 Days of Gratitude - Day Two: Sunny Days

"Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away..." I always loved the intro theme for Sesame Street. 


Nothing depresses me more than gray skies. Winter in Michigan
, especially November and February, is filled with gray skies. I didn't realize how accustomed I was to the gray until we moved to Missouri. I wrote my mom, "It's January and the sun is shining! All the time!" 

When the sun is out, I have all kinds of energy. I'm eager to get things done. I want to write.




For several years, we would visit our son in the winter when he lived in Arizona. What a difference in my mental health. All that sunshine! As much as we love that he and his family now live a short distance away, I do miss going to AZ or anywhere south. With covid, we didn't travel south this year. Again, I noticed the difference in my energy and creative level. Zilch.

 Living near around the Great Lakes is wonderful in the summer, spring, and fall. But winter is not good. 


Vitamin D supplements help a little. 
Our daughter gave me a "happy" lamp, one that's supposed to replicate the benefits of sunshine, especially for those who have SAD (seasonal affective disorder). I guess I'm ready for the gray days ahead.

I've learned to appreciate and be grateful for the sunny days.

Do sunny days affect you? What about the gray ones?


Here's info about the #30 Days of Gratitude.

Join in the fun! Here's the Form: 30 Days of Gratitude 2020 Blog Hop

Stop by Tara Tyler's blog to see who else is participating.



Tuesday, October 27, 2020

#30 Days of Gratitude - Day One: Family

 I'm happy to join Tara Tyler in her/our Countdown to Thanksgiving with 30 Days of Gratitude. With all that's gone on this year, in our country as well as in our home, I need to focus on being grateful.

My husband, my partner, my love has gone through a lot of medical issues this year. I'm so grateful he is still here and that he's recovering well. 

Our children have been so supportive with all that's gone on with their dad. We now live close to each other--for the first time since they graduated college--over twenty years ago. So grateful we & they can easily drop in to visit.

Our grandchildren bring so much joy into our lives. Little kid giggles, big kid jokes, sports, recitals, and Boy & Girl Scout advances. As the saying goes, if I'd known grandchildren were so much fun, I would've had them first. They are our reward for raising their parents well.

I can't tell you how much I love my family and am so grateful for them.



In the comments, please tell me about your family.


Here's info about the #30 Days of Gratitude.

Join in the fun! Here's the Form: 30 Days of Gratitude 2020 Blog Hop

Stop by others participating... Elizabeth Seckman & Tara Tyler


  

Monday, October 12, 2020

Guest: VERONICA SCOTT and Pets in Space 5 #sfr #anthology

Last week, I opened my iPad and to my delight look what I found. During the night, Pets in Space 5 had dropped in. The marvel of pre-ordering.


I've read each of the previous Pets in Space anthologies and thoroughly enjoyed them. Such diverse pets. A bat, a frog, a holographic cat, rats, and more, some out of this world.



My friend, Veronica Scott, is here to tell us a little about the anthology and her story, STAR CRUISE: RETURN VOYAGE 

From the Pets In Space® 5 Anthology by Veronica Scott

 Thanks for having me as your guest today, to talk about the fifth annual Pets In Space® scifi romance anthology and my novel in the collection! When Pauline B. Jones and I came up with the idea in 2016, we thought it would be fun to have a group of authors take the story prompt along the lines of “Lassie in space” and add a romance for the main characters. This year we have ten other authors besides ourselves in the mix and the range of pets is so wide it’s amazing.


Every year it’s a fun challenge for me to figure out my alien pet. I’m a cat person here on Earth but I’ve written a cat, an alien cross between a red panda and a tribble, an eagle, a songbird, and a small dog for the various editions of the anthology.  Some years the choice of a pet is driven by a plot I already have in mind and other years the plot arises from the development of the pet and its attributes.

This year I went into the whole process fascinated by the Afghan hound. I’d seen snippets of the big national kennel show on the news and watched an Afghan hound prance by the camera. No offense to the aficionados of this dog breed but I find them to appear a bit alien just the way they are, so the animal made a good jumping off point for a PISA pet. I decided Verlaine the Tajikka Hound would have some vaguely equine characteristics as well, like black hooves and a somewhat horselike face. Our artist did his usual fabulous job in creating Verlaine for me. (The animal just seemed to require an aristocratic name, doesn’t he?!).

I like to make my PISA story into my annual entry in my STAR CRUISE series as well, located on the interstellar luxury liner Nebula Zephyr. I enjoy revisiting some of my characters from previous STAR CRUISE stories and I feel the concept of a huge cruise ship gives me plenty of latitude for telling a variety of stories. My next challenge for 2020 was what would bring such a sizable animal onto the ship as a pet? This past year there had been so many true stories about people bringing odd animals onto airplanes as service animals and I read about someone who had a miniature horse they wanted to travel with! Since I visualize Verlaine as being about the size of a very small horse that seemed perfect to me. So he became a genuine service animal of the far future.

But who would need such an animal to support them on a trip on a big luxury liner?

Enter Gianna Nadenoft, who survived the wreck of the interstellar cruise liner Nebula Dream in my very first published scifi romance novel. She was a (precocious) child of three at the time of the events in Wreck of the Nebula Dream so I felt it was a safe assumption she’d have had post-traumatic stress symptoms of various kinds and might have needed a service animal to help her cope with life after the wreck. Now she’s determined to travel the stars to her brother’s wedding and reunite with old friends but hasn’t left her own planet in the twenty or so years since the wreck. So of course she travels with Verlaine on my new cruise ship, Nebula Zephyr. (I had to be so super careful not to mix up the names of the two ships when I was writing. Dream =destroyed, Zephyr=still sailing the stars.)

Here’s an excerpt where the hero, Trevor, meets Verlaine for the first time. He’s been sent by his captain to meet her at her home and escort her to the ship.

Gianna Nadenoft stood on the threshold, dressed in a flowing pink garment, with an animal by her side. The pair moved forward toward him in unison.

He was positive it was her, having looked at the few photos available in the historical databases Maeve had found. Her face had the same shape, although now she was an adult and her hair was still a riotous explosion of ebony black curls, held under minimal control today by a pink headband. She had a splash of paint on one cheek and sparkling green eyes.

She came to stand next to him, studying the painting as if she hadn’t been the one to create it. “I’m in a more hyper realism phase now actually.” With a smile she offered her hand, “Gianna Nadenoft.”

He introduced himself, wondering what he’d gotten himself into. Her subtle perfume wafted around him in a beguiling manner which he was positive she didn’t intend and Trevor lectured himself sternly to treat this as a business meeting, not a blind date. He might be assigned to be her escort but there was nothing personal between them, nor likely to be. Personal protection couldn’t be done right if the protector had feelings for the protectee. Best to stamp out any slightest surface attraction to the woman now. He stiffened his spine.

Unaware of his personal struggles, she continued to make conversation. “And this is Verlaine, my Tajikka service animal,” she said, stroking the creature’s back. Verlaine was the size of a small pony, with a vaguely equine face and legs, but a more canine body and tail.  Verlaine’s fur was a long, shimmering white, with hints of gray here and there.

Moving away from Gianna, the doglike creature sniffed his hand, eyed him up and down, gave him a tentative lick and sat at his mistress’s feet. “He likes you,” she said, based on the scant evidence. “He never takes to anyone so quickly. A good sign for sure. I’ve been searching for signs and omens ever since the subject of this damn trip came up. I wanted my brother to be married here, on Brumel Three but of course his fiancĂ©e insisted on being married on her homeworld. I guess I’m not only an eccentric artist, I’m rather demanding too. Spoiled since I was a kid, or so people say when they don’t think I’m listening.” Gianna laughed at her own self-deprecating humor and the warm sound reached a place inside Trevor’s heart he’d thought was long frozen, if not dead. “I’m taking a break from working on my latest commission and I’m starved,” she said. “We can talk outside while I refuel. Painting is hard work.”

“I’ve never painted anything,” he said, as she led him outside through a set of doors at the far end of the library. “When I was a cadet, the upper-class students used to make us swab the decks of the training battlecruiser by hand though.”

“Not remotely the same thing,” she said with asperity although he could tell he’d amused her by the glance she gave him, those huge green eyes brimming with mirth.

PETS IN SPACE® 5 ANTHOLOGY BLURB:

It’s time for an escape! Pets in Space® 5 is back for the fifth amazing year! Escape to new worlds with twelve of today’s top Science Fiction Romance authors. They have written 12 original, never-before-released stories filled with action, adventure, suspense, humor, and romance that will take you out of this world. The giving doesn’t stop there. For the fifth year, Pets in Space® will be donating a portion of the first month proceeds to Hero-Dogs.org, a non-profit charity that supports our veterans and First Responders. If you are ready to forget the world around you and make a difference while you are having fun, grab your copy before it’s gone!

STAR CRUISE RETURN VOYAGE blurb: Gianna Nadenoft is a reclusive survivor of one of the worst interstellar cruise ship disasters in the history of the Sectors. Now a renowned artist, she hasn’t left her home planet in decades, not since returning there after the wreck as a traumatized three-year-old. With her service animal at her side, she’s going to attempt to travel across the star systems to attend her brother’s wedding and reunite with her fellow survivors.

Trevor Hanson is a security officer aboard the cruise liner Nebula Zephyr with his own traumatic past as a former Special Forces soldier and prisoner of war. He’s assigned to provide personal protection to Gianna during her time aboard the ship but soon finds his interest turning from professional to romantic.

Onboard the Nebula Zephyr, powerful enemies are watching Gianna and making plans to seize this rare opportunity to gain access to her and the secrets they believe she’s still keeping about the wreck. Can Trevor overcome his personal demons and rise to the occasion to save Gianna from the danger waiting on his ship, or will she slip through his fingers and suffer a terrible fate deferred from her last disastrous voyage?

Amazon      Apple Books      Nook      Kobo      Google Play

 

Pets in Space® 5 authors are:

1.          S.E. Smith

2.         Michelle Diener

3.         Veronica Scott

4.         Pauline Baird Jones

5.         Laurie A. Green

6.         Carol Van Natta

7.         Regine Abel

8.         Alexis Glynn Latner

9.         JC Hay

10.       Kyndra Hatch

11.        Cassandra Chandler

12.        Leslie Chase

 

Author Bio and Links:

 


USA Today Best Selling Author

 Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances!

 She read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the official audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

Newsletter Signup: https://us7.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=2a337b96e2ee1ee1250004b9d&id=7462393c9e

Blog: https://veronicascott.wordpress.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/vscotttheauthor

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Veronica-Scott/177217415659637?ref=hl

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/veronica_scott_author/

 

 


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

IWSG: The Working Writer


 Happy Insecure Writer's 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. We are rockin' the neurotic writing world!

The awesome co-hosts for the October 7 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, Beth Camp, Beverly Stowe McClure, and Gwen Gardner!

Thanks to everyone who left lovely, supportive comments last month. August was a rough month and September wasn't much better. Hubs' health issues took over my life. Stress went up, creativity disappeared into a black hole. He's improved, we had home health care who were marvelous with their suggestions. Right now, we're dealing with the unknown--diagnosis and prognosis. Next month, after a major evaluation, we hope to know more. Again, despite the fact that I didn't leave a post last month, many of you offered support. Thank you so much.

October 7 question - When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if latter two, what does that look like?

Not to be facetious, a working writer is a writer who works. One who writes on a consistent schedule, who doesn't sit around and wait for the Muse to hit them on the head. Until a few months ago, I used to see myself as a working writer. When I started writing back in the 1990s, I treated my writing as a business. I took classes in starting a home-based business and followed the criteria. I worked every day, probably more than my family thought I should. 😃

Right now, I'm neither working nor writing. As I wrote above, my creativity is at an all-time low. I think about writing. I think about the characters in a story I'm (sort of) writing. I want to write. I want to finish the sci-fi romance I started probably three years ago. But I don't have the discipline or inclination to open the file. I'd rather read or binge watch British mysteries. So, I can't call myself a working writer.

From past experience, I know I will come back. Hubs and I will deal with this latest crisis in our nearly forty-eight years of marriage. Our children live close and are supportive. We will get through this. As we know better what we're dealing with, I'll figure out how to be a working writer again.

Meantime, I hope October is a great writing month for you.


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.



Thursday, October 1, 2020

Guest: CHRYS FEY #NewRelease FROZEN CRIMES #Giveaway #thriller

 I am so happy to present my longtime friend (who I met through Insecure Writers Support Group), Chrys Fey. She writes the most exciting thrillers involving major disasters. I love her previous books, so I'm thrilled to see this new story.

Here's Chrys to share some tips about surviving a blizzard.


15 Blizzard Safety Tips by Chrys Fey:

1. If you don’t have a generator, have enough chopped firewood to last for several days. Make sure the generator is in a well-ventilated area, not in your garage.

2. In case the pipes freeze, have plenty of water. Stock up on bottled water, fill jugs, clean out trash cans and fill those, plug bath tubs and sinks and fill those, as well.

3. Salt the driveway and sidewalk before the storm hits, and have extra bags of salt on hand for after the storm leaves. Salt melts snow and ice.

4. Bags of sand could come in handy, too. Sand on top of ice prevents you from slipping because it provides traction.

5. Have a snow blower and snow shovels on hand to dig you out.

6. Check the house for drafts/cracks/leaks. Fix any cracks you find around doors and windows with caulk.

7. Hang thick quilts over windows to help contain the cold. If you feel it is necessary, board up the windows on the outside with plywood.

8. If your house is two story, move the mattress downstairs and make up the couch for beds so everyone can stay warm near the fireplace when the power goes out.

9. Stock up on canned goods and non-perishable foods. Make sure you have plenty of fruits and veggies, both fresh and canned. Don’t forget hot dogs and marshmallows for roasting if you have a fireplace. :)

10. Candles, batteries, electric lanterns, flashlights, a wind-up radio, and thermal blankets, are all good things to have on hand.

11. Layers of clothing and blankets are a must. Have scarves, mittens, wool socks, sweaters, turtlenecks, fleece lined snow pants, snow boots, and jackets ready.

12. During the blizzard, stay inside at all times and away from the windows. Heavy snow and ice can bring down trees and powerlines.

13. Keep busy with boardgames, coloring books, card games, books, charades, dominos, and old-fashioned games like marbles and jacks.

14. Move around to get your blood circulating. When your blood circulates, your heart pumps faster and your body warms up.

15. When it’s time to dig out, pace yourself. Wear warm clothing and don’t stay outside for long periods of time to prevent hypothermia.

 

QUESTION: What blizzard safety tips do you have to add?


When disasters strike around every corner, is it possible to have a happily-ever-after?

  


BLURB: Beth and Donovan are expecting their first child. Life couldn’t get any better…until a stalker makes his presence known. This person sends disturbing messages and unsettling items, but it isn’t long before his menacing goes too far.

Hoping for a peaceful Christmas, Donovan takes Beth to Michigan. Days into their trip, a winter storm named Nemesis moves in with the goal of burying the state. Snowdrifts surround their house, and the temperature drops below freezing.

Except, the storm isn’t the only nemesis they must face. Everyone’s lives are at stake—especially that of their unborn child. Will they survive, or will they become a frozen crime?

BUY LINKS: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes

 

EXCERPT:

The crunch of the shovel pounding into the snow and ice filled his ears. It was all he could hear. The rest of the street was silent beneath its wintry blanket. Breathing was difficult with the icy air clogging his lungs. His nose burned. His throat was dry and on fire. But he ignored it, focusing on his task.

Crack, crack, crack.

He jabbed the shovel into a hunk of snow. On the third hit, it shattered into several pieces. He scooped them up and flung them to the side. He surveyed what remained. There was one big ball in the middle of the path that needed to be dealt with next. He moved over to it and struck it. That one impact had it severing in two. He was about to hit it again when something crashed into the back of his head.

Explosions of white light danced over his vision. Pain enveloped his skull. The shovel slipped from his fingers. Blackness cloaked his mind, coaxing him into its depths.

Beth. Her name was a whisper in his head, as if his thoughts were being sucked into a wormhole.

His legs collapsed under his weight.

Cold. It seeped into him, consuming him. And then his consciousness fled down that same void that ate his thoughts.

 

***HUGE DISASTER CRIMES GIVEAWAY*** 

 


 

Prizes: 4 eBooks (Disaster Crimes 1-4: Hurricane Crimes, Seismic Crimes, Tsunami Crimes, Flaming Crimes) + Girl Boss Magnets (4), Inflatable Cup Holder (1), Adventure Fuel To-Go Cups (2), Anchor Fashion Scarf (1), Mermaid Nail Clippers (2), Citrus and Sea Salt Scented Candle (1), Snowflake Handmade Bookmark (1), Insulated Cooler Bag (1)

 

Eligibility: International

Number of Winners: One

Giveaway Ends: October 30, 2020 12:00am Eastern Standard Time

LINK: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/76132e0221/?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

***FREE EXCLUSIVE EBOOK***

 


 

To get the exclusive prequel to the Disaster Crimes series, sign up for Chrys’ newsletter. By signing up, you agree to receive Chrys Fey’s newsletter. After you confirm subscription, you will receive an email (so check your inbox and spam folder) with directions on where to snag your eBook copy of THE CRIME BEFORE THE STORM.

Click here to sign up and get The Crime Before the Storm FREE!

 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chrys Fey is author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept that blends disasters, crimes, and romance. She runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Book Club on Goodreads and edits for Dancing Lemur Press. https://www.chrysfey.com

Author Links:

Website / Blog / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon