Tuesday, April 21, 2015

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - Judy Nickles



I have known Judy Nickles for several years. She is a talented author and we have a lot of common interests. Being a grandma is one of our top priorities. 

A little about Judy...
Judy Nickles, also writing as Gwyneth Greer, has been spinning tales since she could hold a #2 pencil. A genealogist for over 30 years, Judy believes that stories are everywhere and wishes she had time to write all of them. She is having her adolescent rebellion 50+ years late and recently took a ride in a vintage B-24 bomber built the year she was born during the war (that’s WW II for all you youngsters out there). She has 5 traditionally-published novels and has recently branched out into indie publishing. She also manages to keep up with four adorable (natch!) grandchildren acquired somewhat belatedly but with great gratitude and joy.

Thank you, Judy, for joining us today!

Here is Judy's responses to my Fast Five Questions:

1     1) Why do you write?  
          Why not? People write for different reasons at different times in their lives. Right now I’m finding     it’s a nice way to make a little extra money in my retirement. But sometimes there’s still a story           inside clamoring to get out even if it doesn’t make a nickel!

2     2) What is your “Daily Mantra” for writing? What gets you to your keyboard above other     
            activities?  
           Sometimes it’s that story slipping the constraints of my mind and slithering down my arms to my       fingers. When I do NaNoWriMo (and that’s not every year), I know I have a minimum number of       words to write daily to meet the goal of 50K in a month. Without a deadline looming, I find Randy     Ingermanson’s advice about The 500 Club as useful as anything.

3     3)   What is the best writing advice you ever received?
             Just write the book/story and fix it later.

4     4) What is your favorite genre to write and why? 
            Cozy mystery with a taste of vintage wine…um, historical details…and maybe a ghost or two             stops the list. I suppose I never outgrew Nancy Drew.

5     5) What is the one key career you remember from your childhood of wanting to be when you           grew up?    
            A lady detective, of course! I even had a handy dandy little detective kit. And I was obsessed with       what might be hiding behind the walls of my grandmother’s house next door. 
  
   Here is a blurb from the Penelope Pembroke Mysteries:
B&B owner Penelope Pembroke has a son who’s a cop, an ex-husband who’s best not mentioned, and a penchant for toeing the line in life. So what’s she doing with a mystery man who comes and goes from Amaryllis, Arkansas, usually leaving murder and mayhem behind? 

You will find this series at Amazon

You can find out more about Judy Nickles 

Website
Blog
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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - Lori Robinett


The Author Spotlight shines on Lori Robinett. Lori has visited with us before and now she's back with a brand new novel to keep you turning the pages!

A bit about Lori:

Lori was born in Centralia, Missouri and now lives just a few miles from there with her husband on a small hobby farm. They manage the place for their Miniature Schnauzer and Miniature Beagle, two cats, and three miniature horses. Though she appears to be a normal person, she has a bit of an obsession with Star Trek and is quite proud of her autograph collection. She is even prouder of her "marksman" qualification for shooting. That's not the only reason not to mess with Lori - she keeps in shape by working out at a kickboxing gym. During cold winter months, she enjoys crafting, especially scrapbooking. And, of course, she always has a book with her, so she can read whenever the opportunity arises.  She always has a book or two in process - one at home, one at work, and one on her Nook for those got-a-spare-minute times.

Her first book, Denim & Diamonds, was published in 2014, and her second, Fatal Impulse was published in 2015. Her award-winning short stories have appeared in several anthologies and in The Storyteller literary magazine.

Thank you for being here today, Lori!

Let's see how Lori answered my Fast Five:

 1) Why do you write?
     Writing is a socially acceptable way for me to indulge my creative side . . . including those dark          thoughts that cross my mind.

2) What is your ‘Daily Mantra’ for writing? What gets you to your keyboard above other activities?
     It's one I got from Book in a Week (a monthly writing challenge I participate in): 
                  BIC HOK TAM - butt in chair, hands on keyboard, typing away madly.

3)  What is the best writing advice you ever received?
    That the first draft is perfect purely because it exists. I'm often paralyzed by perfectionism. The          idea of not doing something perfectly terrifies me, and I struggled for YEARS with the first draft         of my first novel (it's still not finished). Once I heard that quote about the first draft being perfect .     it was incredibly freeing.

4) What is your favorite genre to write and why?
     I love to write mystery/suspense. That's what I like to read, and I love working out the details to         figure out how it's all going to come together.

5) What is the one key career you remember from your childhood of wanting to be when you grew up?
   When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a lab tech. I had no idea what a tech did exactly,       but I knew they were involved in research, and that's what I wanted to do. My mother had health        issues when I was little and ended up at the Mayo Clinic for what seemed like a very long time. I       thought if I could do research, I could help cure her.

Blurb from Fatal Impulse:

Andi is the wife of Dr. Chad Adams, a well respected orthodontist in the small community of Buccaneer Bay, Maine. Together, they appear to be the perfect couple, but behind closed doors Chad has controlled every aspect of his wife's life. After years of control and abuse, he pushes Andi too hard . . . and she pushes back.

In the blink of an eye, Andi becomes a widow. She struggles to find her way, but revels in the joy of her newfound independence. Just as she begins to accept her new status, her husband reaches out to control her life from beyond the grave. As she fights to maintain her newfound independence, she learns that her husband was living a double life, and those he crossed threaten to expose her as a murderer. Can she put the pieces of the puzzle together before her life is destroyed?

Excerpt:
Lightning slashed the sky above them, thunder rolled and the windswept the rain in sheets across the blackness of the Atlantic that stretched away to the East. Andi hugged herself to calm the shivers. The wipers slapped at the rain while Chad berated her for the way she acted that evening. She stared out into the inky darkness.

He glanced at her, “You act like you don’t know what to say or do when we're out in public. You ignored me during dinner, and giggled like a schoolgirl at Carl Franklin at the bar.”
He overlooked the fact that he monopolized the gentleman’s time after dinner, leaving her alone in a sea of strangers. He accused her of flirting with other men on a regular basis, and that night was no different. Hopefully the anger would get out of his system before they got home.

“You make me look bad when you flirt like that,” he continued. “It’s not like Carl Franklin would ever be in the least bit interested in you, even if you weren’t my wife.”


It never occurred to him that his wife found the man’s hobby of rock hounding to be interesting. His accusations stung, and he didn't always stop with words. The two celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary the previous May, and she was determined to make her marriage work. Her parents raised her to believe marriage is forever, ‘til death do you part, so she would not leave him.  No matter what he did.

Lori's book is available on Amazon

You can follow Lori on her journey:

Saturday, April 4, 2015

MY SEXY SATURDAY - Our Sexy Tomorrow



My friend, J.D. Faver introduced me to a blog hop she thought I might be interested in. Imagine my surprise when this week's 'MY SEXY SATURDAY' theme fit perfectly for Trey an Alana's story.

The rules of this hop are simple:
1 - Sign up using Linky. This enables you to link your blog to theirs.
2 - Post 7 paragraphs/ 7 sentences/ or 7 words. These can be from a published book or a WIP
3 - Open to published AND un-published authors. Pretty cool!
4 - Promote My Sexy Saturday as much as possible through social media.

This week's theme:
This week’s theme is A Long Sexy Time and it’s all about those who have loved another for a long time. This love could have started when they were kids, when they were dating or even from afar. The point is that one character has loved the other for what seems like forever.

From Somewhere Down the Line
“Have you ever thought about the last time we saw each other?” His gaze dared her to deny his question. “Tell me you don’t remember anything special about that night in Abilene, and I’ll pretend I never asked. But I remember how you blushed when I sang ‘Earth Angel’ and how the last thing I wanted to use was my thumb to clean that dab of mustard off the corner of your mouth. I remember how tortured I felt at having to let you go, how trapped I was by responsibility and unable to do anything about it. I’ve carried those memories with me, Ali. So please tell me your coming here today isn’t just about an interview."

If you'd like to read more, check out the links on my sidebar for the various purchasing venues and formats.

Creative Blessings!
Angela

Monday, March 30, 2015

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - Tierney James




Today's Author Spotlight shines on Tierney James. Tierney and I first met at an author signing prior to our local Ozarks Romance Authors conference and we've been buds ever since. She is the sweetest lady you will ever meet and beyond talented in various fields (as you'll see below in her bio)

About Tierney James:
Tierney James is a former Solar System Ambassador for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab as well as a former geography teacher. Besides working on a Native American reservation, floating the Okavango Delta of Botswana, Africa and visiting The Great Wall of China, she has spent time at Space Camp for Educators and volunteering her time for Friends of the Library board. Living in a mining community for many years led to writing the novel, The Rescued Heart, a romantic suspense.  Between traveling, gardening and writing, Tierney serves as an officer for Sleuth’s Ink, a mystery writing group. Creating a writing workshop for beginning writers is her latest project.  

Thank you, Tierney for joining us today!

Note: My apologies for question 5. Nothing I do puts things in correct alignment. Everything looks fine in preview. LOL 

Let's see what T (that's what I call her) has to say in response to my questions...

1)      Why do you write?
My writing generates because I have a very over active imagination. Even when I was a little girl I wrote puppet plays, pretended, and dreamed of bigger things. My parents used to ask, “What’s wrong with you?” This is a true story. It is therapy for the soul. Even when I’m not in front of the computer, I’m writing in my head. Breathing and writing. Same thing.

2)      What is your ‘Daily Mantra’ for writing? What gets you to your keyboard above other activities?
I do start each day with a daily devotion and thankfulness for this life I’ve been given. It doesn’t take much to get me to the keyboard. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and look at the clock to see how much longer I have to lay there before I can get started on my work in progress. My trouble is taking care of things that need to be done, like laundry and cooking.

3)      What is the best writing advice you ever received?
I’ve met many people in the last couple of years from Ozark Romance Authors and Sleuths’ Ink that helped give me confidence. With their encouragement and support I’ve been able to free myself of self-doubt and just do the job of writing. You are one of those people! Don’t give up. Just write. Listen to the voices in your head. Go to conferences. Drink lots of coffee. All of that is advice I’ve taken to heart.

4)      What is your favorite genre to write and why?
My favorite genre to write is suspense/thriller. I love the edge of your seat kind of stories, movies and adventures.  I have since I was a little kid. I would much rather go see American Sniper or Indiana Jones than a movie like The Notebook or Dear John. Having said that I like them too, but not my favorites.

 5)      What is the one key career you remember from your childhood of wanting to be when                you  grew up?
The number one thing was to be an astronaut. I loved science and NASA. Later I got to go to             Space Camp for Educators and then became an ambassador for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.               My second thing was to be a famous writer. Although the famous part probably won’t happen            since I just started to take writing seriously a couple of years ago, I am at least a published                  author. Then I wanted to be a teacher. I loved doing that for 35 years. Because I’m a life-long              learner writing and research went hand in hand.

Here's a blurb from Tierney's cool bookmarks about The Rescued Heart


You can order your copy on Amazon

You can learn more about Tierney James and her journey:




Tuesday, February 24, 2015

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - Allison Merritt


I am getting back in the groove and have some great authors lined up for the next several weeks. We are kicking of the Author Spotlight 2015 with a recurring author, Allison Merritt. Last we visited with Allison, she introduced us to Wynstan. This time she brings us a more modern cowboy Good Ride from the boxed set -  COWBOY UP2.

Before we get into the story, I asked Allison five writing-related questions. She offers up some great tips!

Welcome, Allison Merritt!


1) Why do you write?
Because I'm bad at math. No, really, I think the main reason is because it gets me away from the day-to-day problems like gas is high or groceries are expensive or the world can be a terrible place. In fiction, I can create anything from horrible problems for the characters to solutions that end in happily-ever-afters.

2)  What is your ‘Daily Mantra’ for writing? What gets you to your keyboard above other activities? “They are waiting.” I try to leave off at a chapter end so I can propel myself forward into the next scene, but sometimes that's not possible. Sometimes I have no idea where the story is going, but it's important to remember these characters—who often take over everything in my brain—are waiting for me to sit down so they can tell me where they're going next.


3) What is the best writing advice you ever received?
Penmonkeys love to write, not to get published. That's Chuck Wendig. He's extremely foul-mouthed, so take care when you're reading his blog, but the man is a writer encouraging genius. Erm, and I am published, but he has a point. The writing thing isn't about what comes after I've finished the story, it's about the build up while I'm writing it and the satisfaction when I can close a document and say, I finished something I thought I'd never get through.

4) What is your favorite genre to write and why?
Romance, over everything else. I need that happily-ever-after. There's nothing more satisfying to me than knowing two characters can overcome serious odds and make it through. It gives me hope, not just in my own love life, but in everything.

5) What is the one key career you remember from your childhood of wanting to be when you grew up? I seriously wanted to be an oil baron. I don't know how I thought I was going to get an oil field, but I was thinking, gee, you could make a lot of money doing that. On a more realistic note, I wanted to be a writer from the time I was 12, and that's worked out pretty well. Not quite as lucrative as an oil baron, perhaps, but definitely satisfying.


Here's the blurb for the box set, Cowboy Up 2, coming March 1, 2015.

Saddle Up with the best-selling authors who brought you Cowboy Up... And fall for six more Cowboys ready to steal your heart!
Authors in this box set: Allison Merritt, Leslie P. Garcia, Melissa Keir, Autumn Piper, Sara Walter Ellwood and D’Ann Lindun

And from Good Ride, Cowboy:
Thanks to her ex-boyfriend, Sommer Allen's life is in shambles. She's headed home to Courtland, Texas for her sister's wedding, but when a quick stop at a gas station ruins her plans, she's left stranded and at the mercy of a handsome cowboy.

Perry Glidewell is on his way back to Texas after winning another championship in the arena versus a bull. When he finds Sommer having a meltdown in the middle of a parking lot, he knows he can't leave her alone. Since her hometown is near his, it makes sense to hit the road together.

Sommer never imagined falling for a cowboy. His manners and gallant attitude win her over quickly, but with her future uncertain, she's not quite willing to give her whole heart to Perry. He'll do whatever it takes to break the walls around Sommer's heart, because beneath her tough-talking exterior, he sees she's the type of Texas girl he's always dreamed of.

Excerpt:
Perry opened the door. “What the hell are you doing? Are you trying to steal my truck?”

She glowered. “Of course not. You snore. I thought I'd be able to sleep out here. I was asleep, until I  turned a little and set off the alarm. I'm so sorry.” She handed him the keys and knocked something off the dash.

A lacy bra landed on his bare feet. His gaze shot straight to her chest. Sommer's t-shirt was tight around her breasts and her nipples made perky bumps in the material.

Perry clenched his teeth. Of all the damn things to notice. He bent down and picked the bra up by the strap. “Think you lost something.”

She snatched the bra out of his hand. “You try sleeping in one of these.”

“Not really my style, sweetheart.”

You can follow Allison Merritt through her:







Thursday, January 29, 2015

FINDING NORMAL - This Author's Journey


Every January first, most of us make resolutions or set GOALS we want to accomplish in the new year.  For me, I just want to enjoy the journey. I don't want to miss anything, I want to learn new things, experience new adventures... I want to do it ALL!

Well, I learned in November that I can not do it all. Most of you do not know I was out for the count for about six weeks beginning the first week in November. I had a sinus infection, ear infection in both ears and for the first time in my life I understood that vertigo is real. Okay.. so maybe I don't want to experience EVERYTHING. 

While this was happening, contractors were in and out of my house every day for twenty three days. All but three of those days I cooked for the crew. I LOVE to cook and miss cooking for a group of appreciative eaters. Not that my husband doesn't enjoy my cooking - he does - but he is only one. I was taught to cook for groups of 10-21. So aside from being sick, watching hungry men wolf down food was probably one of the high points of the build. 

What were they building? 

My new office space/ art studio!

The drawing is a bit off scale (was a quick sketch to show my MIL layout in relationship to the house) but shows my 480 square feet soon to be known as CREATIVE DREAMS. I've been showing progress (going back to the build in November but only posting this month) on my art blog (You can search Tag: Building to see all the posts)

I will have space for all of my books, including getting my Keepers out of storage. I will have a designated place to write where I can shut out the cats and the rest of the world. I will have a place to create art - and leave stuff out to dry rather than having to shuffle stuff out of the way to put dinner on the table. 

This addition is above ground. So no more 'dungeon' basement. I will have actual windows and air flow. Whoo Hooo!

So November was kind of a blur. LOL 
December, I took the entire month off to spend with my hubby. He is not always home for the holidays and this year I was blessed to have him home for Christmas AND New Years. Rather than write about heroes, I enjoyed time with my own.

January has found me struggling to get back into the swing of things. I've kept up the day job - to an extent. Just enough to get buy. I've already started the year off published in a magazine. Polymer Cafe is an art magazine designated for artists in the polymer clay industry. I am a regular contributor there. I should be in one of the next upcoming issues. I've also signed a contract for an article for the 2016 Songwriter's Market.

As if that were not enough to kick me in the fanny, I am participating in JANO.. our Sleuth's Ink group version of NanoWriMo. Two bonuses are that we can work on an existing project without being considered a 'rebel' and January has an extra day in the month. 

So with 31 days in the month of January, I am out to beat my record. I wrote Somewhere Down the Line in 18 days. I'm determined to write the rough (and I do mean rough) draft of How Do You Like Me Now? in 10 days.  

Three more days to go. I just might make it! I feel like the little engine that could.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....

And we all know you can do anything you set your mind to.  I'll be back on Monday with regular blogging schedule and let you know how I did.

Creative Blessings!
~Angela

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sparkling Happy New Year animation banner with rose beside brandy snifter
courtesy of netanimations.net