Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Today I want to introduce you to one of my favorite historical writers, Tara Manderino. We met in Yahoo Instant Message about three years ago through a mutual friend J.D. Faver (whom will be joining us March 12th) We really made a connection as sprint-writing buddies. For starters, we both feel as if we live in the wrong time period. We like doing some things the old- fashioned way.  When she told me she wrote Wild Wild West kind of stories I was fascinated. As a kid, I grew up watching Wild Wild West. While most girls were hooking their Barbie up with Ken, my girl only had eyes for James T. West. I mean really, Robert Conrad was the dreamiest!

I am honored to have her with me today and I know you will love her as much as I do! As an added bonus... everyone who leaves a comment can snag the coupon code for a free download of her ebook - STIRRING WISHES! Thanks Tara!

Thanks, Angela, for inviting me to your blog. It’s as warm and welcoming as you are. It seems like a long time since we’ve talked over the virtual barbed-wire fence. At the time I was firmly stuck in the 1800s. My series, President’s Orders, follows the adventures of two agents in the recently created U.S. Secret Service. America of 1874 wasn’t so different from today. What it was, was slower. We’re used to texting and Twitter and an immediate response. Simon and Luke, the agents, had to rely on the telegraph if they wanted speed. Picking up the phone, landline or cell to ask someone a question, wasn’t an option. Phones didn’t exist. If you wanted to talk to someone, you had to send a messenger, or go yourself. If it was further than walking distance, horsepower was counted in the number of horses it took to pull the buggy.

All the same, it was an exciting time. A time of new ideas, and imaginations that took hold of what the future could be. There was no looking back. America was on the move and forging ahead. The completion of the Transcontinental Rail Road, which the agents used quite a lot, was a major step ahead in travel. You could comfortably ride across the country within the space of a week. The rail road at the time was on par with the launch of the first space shuttle. The train, and the speed at which all inventions were adapted and taken into use, made the U.S. the envy of her European neighbors. America was on the move, and the future never seemed brighter.

Because I was so entranced with the era, and fell in love with Simon and Luke, the first book, False Notes, evolved into a series. These men just didn’t know how to sit still. And the women they were involved with matched them perfectly. I always tend to think of the series as Wild Wild West meets Romancing the Stone.

Short Blurb
With one week to find the exhibit’s stolen stone, Luke Hayden, one of the premiere agents of the 1874 US Secret Service, travels in disguise across the continent. When he encounters Maj Bentzer, a woman from his past, he learns she plays a key role in the stone’s disappearance.

As the train rolled down the track at a clipping thirty-five miles an hour, Luke thought it was almost too fast to see anything. The trees were a blur of green and brown. Kind of like his life had been for the past few weeks. He shifted on the upholstered bench, trying to make himself comfortable, but he knew his discomfort was more in his mind than a physical pain. The slim man sharing his seat shifted. Luke apologized then returned to staring out of the window.

He had searched for Maj for several weeks after leaving Hobart. They all had. It was as if she had simply vanished. She had to have stayed close to the area and not gone as far east as Kirsten supposed. A week and a half of intense searching was all the time he had available, after that, duty called

Give Away
For anyone who stops by your blog this week, a copy of my ebook, Stirring Wishes.
Stirring Wishes:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/31334 
Coupon: DX77Y  Enter the coupon code before checking out to download the book for free.

Author Bio
Author Tara Manderino loves to create stories and situations for the people running around in her head. She first began writing in third grade when she realized she couldn't afford her reading habit. 

She writes and is published in a variety of genres and finds that each one is her favorite at the time. Her books are available at a variety of online retailers.
Tara resides in her native town in southwestern Pennsylvania. When she’s not chasing Lydia, the boxer, she’s writing her own stories, or reading, Tara likes to bake, watch old movies, and do a variety of crafts. 

Find Tara on her website: http://tjmanderino.webs.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/taramanderino 
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/TManderino

Buy Link
Heart Quest (Western Historical Romantic Suspense) (President's Orders)
Amazon:  http://amzn.com/B006HLA80S 

Monday, February 25, 2013

WEEKLY PLAN - February 25th

Between trying to make sure the house was semi-presentable before Bob came home on Wednesday, trying to bring my work habits into 2013 and prepare for an ice storm, last week was pretty much a wash where writing was concerned. I did get the blogs in line.

People ask why I have so many blogs and it's been suggested I should combine everything to one website with multiple pages. And here's why I don't. I LIKE the separate homes for my different resumes. My work targets a variety of audiences and potential editors and agents. Can you imagine if I attempted to target all of those people under one headline? Too confusing in my opinion.

So if you've ever wondered what keeps me busy, let me give you some insight.
For now, I consider my novel writing to be my dessert. I try to always make room (time) for dessert (novels) but the freelance, particularly in music and entertainment, has always been what made my heart beat as far back as I can remember. Even though novels don't come first on my To-Do list, I still need to keep my contacts in the field and stay abreast of what's going on ... so I have TheWritersStudio

Freelance, primarily entertainment, is my first love. To target that audience and promote myself knowledgeable to write in that field I have Kellys Country - http://kellyscountry.blogspot.com
That's where I keep up with what is going on in Texas music. I also try to keep an ear to the Nashville beat, especially for the traditional music that built Nashville and the entertainers trying to bring it back around.

I'm a creative person. From the time I was nine, my (step) mom taught me to glue paper together I've been in love with creating something from left-overs. I'm enthralled with color in any form. I can spend six hours in a fabric store just oohing and awing over pattern combinations and colors. I love to play with paper, inks, paints, fabric, clay, fibers... the list is endless. And I'm blessed that first introduction to crafting is part of my income today. http://kellyscreativedream.blogspot.com

I also have a spiritual blog I've not worked with much but am hoping to delve back in to. And finally, a blog about my home-area... http://anozarksjournal.blogspot.com  Just a place to share a little bit of the beautiful state of Missouri. Who knows, it might spark some freelance travel pieces.

Amongst all of this I enter writing competitions, mostly short stories make time to create for the creative blog as well as just because I need that 'play' time. I love to garden, play with my animals and spend time with my SUPER supportive husband Bob.

So the next time someone suggests because I work from home, I don't do as much as someone who works outside the home... come spend the day with me. I dare you to keep up! :-)

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Tuesdays are for Spotlighting Authors. Since I drug my feet into 2013, I've been behind in getting them scheduled. But that is changing fast. I thought for a post today, I'd give you a heads up as to who you'll be meeting in the coming weeks:

Tara Manderino
JD Faver
Kate Dawes
Annette Beecher

Vikki Lewis Thompson has promised to stop by again. We've just not set her date yet.

I'm hoping in the coming days to set up a new spot on the sidebar where you will be able to see the Coming Soon to the Spotlight.

Monday, February 18, 2013

WEEKLY PLAN - Feb. 18th

Happy Monday, readers!

A wet, gloomy day here in the Ozarks. I'm having to spend the entire day at a local cafe for a food drive I promoted. No donations have come in :-( but I've gotten a lot of work done.

As I was driving in this morning, I heard a song by Eddie Rabbit from the movie Every Which Way But Loose. Goddess, I loved that movie. I saw it with my first love and the title song still makes me weepy with the memory of holding his hand in that theater. He was never one to show affection so the whole hand-holding thing really caught me off guard that night. Just the little things, ya know.

Anyway, the lyrics threw me for a loop. In the space of the five-minute drive into town I went from thinking I needed to change the whole hero character in my current WIP, INVITATIONS TO AN AFFAIR, to realizing what a great premise for ANOTHER book! Some days I really would like to at least turn the idea faucet to a trickle.

I've spent all day getting the posts for The Country Angel scheduled. The Texas Music Awards will announce winners on March 23rd in Linden Texas. From now (I should have started a few weeks ago) until the big night I will be spotlighting all of the nominees. This week it is all about the Female Vocalist of the Year nominees. The good thing is I don't have to do anything else with that blog until Saturday.

I probably won't get to work on Invitations tonight unless I make notes by hand. We have thunderstorms headed our direction. It is February, right?

Happy Writing!


The first book in the INVITATIONS TO AN AFFAIR series is coming along. I did not make the progress last week I had hoped. No one's fault, and no excuses. I just didn't apply myself to the keyboard like I should have. I need to change the course if I am to write both books this year.

Though I am now rethinking the whole '52 invitations' route, meaning I could use less invitations and do it in one book, but the basic plot concept is Daniel asks Cherie to give him a year to prove they belong together.

I like to write from an outline, but because UNCHAINED HEARTS came together so well in November without one I thought I'd try to recapture the enthusiasm with the same process for Invitations. I'm not sure it's working. I think the lack of an outline and a character sketch is preventing me from having 'layers' to peel away as the story progresses. I keep asking myself, 'What is Daniel's problem?' 'Why does he need Cherie?' And I have to be honest, I'm stuck. Other than he knows Cherie is The One he's been looking for all his life, there really isn't anything wrong with him.

I know, no man is perfect. But Daniel comes close. He's a dark haired, sapphire-eyed, Italian with  sexy dimple in his chin. He's wealthy, intelligent, and well-mannered. He invests in people... providing them with opportunities to fulfill their potential and their dreams. Did I mention he's also a fabulous and attentive lover? He's not arrogant, just proud of his accomplishments.

Daniel does suffer from debilitating migraines. The headaches have also been known to cause black-outs. Oh my... I just figured out Daniels issue. Thank you, dear readers, for listening.

Oh, you want to know what Daniel's problem is? Guess I better finish the books so you can read for yourself.

In the mean time, leave a comment as to what you think Daniel's issue could be.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


As a writer I seldom take a day off. I'm writing something. Aside from working on novels I also have a weekly column in our local paper as well as writing features. As I've mentioned before, the freelance is finally starting to roll so even when I'm not actually writing... I'm writing. To top it off, the nominees for the Texas Music Awards have been announced. I began spotlighting the nominees each year about three years ago.

That was my first step back into the music industry side of freelancing. Freelancing, for me, is the meat and potatoes (though it's not paying the bills just yet). Novel writing is my dessert. I love dessert. But have you ever heard the phrase 'dessert is stress spelled backwards'? I can't say my mood the last couple of weeks was stress, but I was ready for a break. I was just BUSY!

As I thought about the schedule I've begun to keep since last August, I had been emailing back and forth with a man I interviewed in December. I was aware of the schedule he keeps... twenty times heavier than anything I carry at the moment. And I had to wonder... did he ever hit burn out?

I've interviewed a lot of entertainers over the years. I've had to squeeze my time with them in among tour schedules, studio time, and numerous other projects. Yet the thought of them hitting 'burn out' never occurred to me. Until I became friends with Steven Byess. So I emailed Steven and asked.."How do you keep the schedule you keep without wishing the merry-go-round would just stop?"

The powerful simplicity of his answer brought me to tears.

The balm that most people can, and will, use to sooth their life stresses is the very thing that is the mode of my life: music. If I can have a life that is inundated with music, then I can manage the small stuff.

His statement exemplifies one of the many things we have in common. I know, to think I would have anything in common with an international music conductor was quizzical for me at first. Yet the more we talked, the more I realized how everything each of us does involves passion for our art. For Maestro Steven Byess it is music. For me, it is words. Words in any context, as long as I can play with them.

But it doesn't hurt to have his (or any music fitting my current project) playing in the background.

Now, when I think I can not fit one more thing into my schedule, I think of where Steven might be at the moment. Is he in New York? Is he rehearsing in Tupelo for a symphony? Is he speaking before the state legislature? What time does his flight land in Tulsa and how will he stay awake the two and half hour drive to his next destination? Then I realize my day is easy and I am on this crazy ride because I choose to be. Because it is not what I am, but WHO I am.

What are you most passionate about? Let it be the reason you get up every morning and tackle life. For without passion, is there anything to live for?