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Friday, September 30, 2011

Fashionista Friday: I Want This!

I've found some totally unrelated items that I love and want to share them with you.  This first outfit is from Donna Karan's fall collection.  I'm totally, absolutely in love with it!  So elegant with perhaps a bit of a retro touch.  Gorgeous!  Perfect!  You don't want to know how much it costs.  Find out at http://www.donnakaran.com/collections/fall-2011/collection/fall2011collectionlook4/fall-2011-collection-look-4


I also like these shoes. 
My last thing is this pair of pants.  I like them because they have four way stretch. 





Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Winners Fall Harvest Blog Tour

I really hate picking winners because that means somebody has to lose.  Thanks to everyone who graciously visited my page and participated.  I found a random number generator to pick the winners.  Molly, you win the surprise package, and LuAnne you won a copy of A New Dream.  I hope everyone will check back next month for another chance to win.

Why I Love Wednesday: Banned Books

Okay, right off I'm going to offend some people by saying that I think some books ought to be banned.  We are a reflection of our thoughts, and if our thoughts are bombarded by dark and twisted material, it stands to reason that we lose a little bit of goodness and human kindness.  I don't want to read a book about some psycho who brutally tortures a young woman, leaving her family to grieve forever.  I'd rather read about someone who loves enough to make true sacrifices for his/her loved ones.

That being said, the first amendment to our constitution grants freedom of the press, and I'd never change that.  If we prohibit free expression, our democracy crumbles and freedom is lost. 

I took a look at some of the books that were on the banned list in recent years, and I've read some of them.  Stephenie Meyer was banned, and I like her Twilight books.  Huckleberry Finn was banned, and I understand why, but it was a contemporary reflection of Southern culture at the time it was written, and I think it should be seen as such.  And I'll never understand why anyone would want to ban To Kill A Mockingbird.  The writing is excellent, and the message is conveyed loud and clear without any undue preaching. 

To wrap it up, I'd say that we should let our own morals and values be our guide when it comes to banned books, and even though young people may disagree with me, I think parents have a responsibility to their children to make sure they aren't reading something that might ultimately be harmful to them.  If it violates your beliefs you'd do well to stay away from it. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Welcome and thanks for stopping by!  I appreciate your feedback so much.  I've been sharing character sketches from some of my characters, and today I'd like to do Richard Lovinggood from Return Engagement.  In this scene Elizabeth's fiance has just learned that she's involved with Richard.  We're in Richard's POV.


On our first full day as man and wife she cried over another man and sent her husband packing. She should have been worried about how I might be feeling. Instead, she focused on dear, sweet Alex.

He swallowed hard. He knew one thing: dear, sweet Alex had better stay the hell out of his way. You let that ambulance chaser so much as call Elizabeth…

Intense, isn't he?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sweet Saturday Sample


Today's sample comes from The Best Selling Toy Of The Season.  The novel is published by Melange Books and is available at















http://www.melange-books.com/authors/elainecantrell/cantrellthebestsellingtoyoftheseason.html

In this excerpt, my heroine is meeting her boyfriend's parents for the first time.

Nikki stepped into the house, figuratively glued to Tommy’s side.  She wondered if she might have a stroke. The way her heart pounded  it wouldn’t surprise her in the least.

“Dad, I’d like to introduce Nikki Lane. Nikki, this is my father, Tom Price.”

Mr. Price extended his hand, and Nikki remembered what Mandy had told her to say. “How do you do? It’s lovely to meet you.”

“It’s lovely to meet you also. May I take your coats?”

Nikki’s coat shamed her. She had found it at a thrift store and worn it for years, but it had seen better days. Only yesterday Michael had smeared jelly on the arm as they rushed to get ready for school.
She had rinsed it off, but it definitely showed.

Mr. Price hung her coat in the closet. “I like your coat. It reminds me of one that my wife used to wear. She gave it to charity, but it always looked so pretty on her that I wished she had kept it.”

A thrill of horror shot through Nikki, for she suspected that her coat used to belong to Mrs. Price. Mr. Price might not know, but Mrs. Price would.

He led the way into the living room. Nikki saw a tremendous marble fireplace that burned real wood. The room had hardwood floors covered with expensive looking oriental rungs. Someone, probably a decorator , had painted the room apple green and trimmedit in white, and the furniture was covered in a pretty floral print that coordinated nicely with the walls. Pretty, decorative pillows covered the sofa.

Mrs. Price waited before a roaring fire. She had dressed casually, but nothing disguised the air of elegance that emanated from her. She had definitely not bought her pretty sweater and slacks at Super Mart, and suddenly Nikki felt ashamed of her sweater and skirt. They had looked fine and new at Higgins Court, but on James Street they looked cheap and tacky.

They made introductions, and Mrs. Price patted the sofa beside her. “Come and sit beside me, Nikki. Tom, why don’t you get us all a drink?”

“What’ll you have Nikki?”

“Do you have any ginger ale? I don’t ever drink alcohol.”

“One ginger ale coming up.”

Mr. Price handed out the drinks and sat down across from Nikki and Mrs. Price. “Tommy told us how he met you. Did your boys like their robots?”

“Yes, they sure did. It was nice of Tommy to find them for me.  After I clean his house one more time, we’ll be square.”

“It seems to me that you don’t owe him a thing,” observed Mrs. Price.

“I couldn’t take a gift like that. I like to pay my own way when I can.”

Mr. Price sagely nodded his head. “That’s a good practice.”

“Yes, I think so. It’s hard sometimes because bringing up two boys is expensive, but I have a steady job, and I get by.”

“Do you like to work at Super Mart?”

“Yes, I do. They have some good bargains there especially if you wait for things to go on sale. I got Michael and Tommy some socks today. I got six pairs for $4.50, which is a good price. It seems like we never have enough socks to go around. I don’t know why, but I think the washing machine eats socks.”

“I chaired the committee that planned the Hunt Club Ball last year,” Mrs. Price chimed in, “and we bought several things at Super Mart.”

“They have good cleaning supplies too,” Nikki answered, remembering what else she had purchased. “The store brands are as good as the name brands, and they cost a whole lot less.”

“I imagine that our cleaning service might buy things from Super Mart.”

A butler, the first real butler that Nikki had ever seen, entered the room. “Madam, cook says that dinner is ready to be served."

"Thank you, Henry."

Mr. Price offered his arm to Nikki, and Tommy escorted his mother to the table. Mr. Price pulled out Nikki’s chair and seated her, and Tommy seated his mother.
“Did you settle the Warrington case out of court?” inquired Tom senior, and suddenly an animated conversation broke out between Tommy and his father. Occasionally Mrs. Price made a comment, for
obviously she understood what they said, but Nikki didn’t get a word of it. She didn’t really mind. Let them talk so she didn’t have to say anything.

Unhappily, Mrs. Price saw that they had excluded her. “Tom, must we discuss business at dinner? I’m sure you’re boring Nikki to death.”

“I’m sorry,” Tom answered. “I forget that not everyone loves the law like Tommy and I.”

The butler arrived with the main course, which wrinkled Nikki’s nose with its fishy smell.

“Grilled trout,” Tommy announced, his voice oozing satisfaction.

The butler smiled at Tommy. “Clara did it just for you.”

“Tell her thanks, Henry. I’ll be out to say hello before I leave.”

Nikki began to nibble the trout, but Mrs. Price noticed her lack of enthusiasm. “Don’t you like trout, Nikki?”

“It’s delicious.”

“If you don’t like it, Henry can bring you something else. It’s really no bother.”

“It’s the bones,” Nikki confessed. “The bones in a fish are so little that I’m always afraid I’ll get one stuck in my throat. I knew a girl that had to go to the hospital to get a bone out of her throat.”


Nikki didn’t see Mrs. Price give any orders, but Henry appeared with several slices of roast beef. The roast beef looked pink in the center, and to Nikki, whose mother had always cooked meat until it
was good and chewy, the beef appeared underdone.  I'll eat it or die, she silently vowed.

The butler hovered at Nikki’s elbow with a piece of lemon pie when disaster struck. She turned so swiftly in her seat that she bumped the butler’s arm, and the lemon pie bounced off her lap and
smeared the white brocade fabric of her chair.

“I’m so sorry,” she apologized. She grabbed her napkin and attempted to wipe the chair, but she only succeeded in smearing the yellow stain to fresh areas of the upholstery.

Readers, it just gets worse after this.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Fashionista Friday: Get Your Own Private Designer

Wouldn’t you love to have your own private designer?  All of your clothes would fit perfectly and look great.  Well, I intend to do just that, and I recommend that you do too.  I found a company called eShakti that will customize any of their styles for you.   Yep, that’s right.  Anything they sell they’ll customize for you for only $7.50.  Seven dollars and fifty cents.  Yeah, you read it right.  This means that anything they sell will fit you as if it was made for you.  Which it was. 

On their website they say they:

1.Offer trendy, comfortable styles in a selection of fabrics.

2.Provide the full size selection from 0 to 26W. They also offer custom sizes.

3.Empower the customer by providing the option to change the styling to suit her body.

4.Simple, no hassle, money-back guarantee on sales returns.

5.All items, including custom orders are shipped in 3 days or less and should arrive at your door within 7 days.

Here are some of my favorites.  To see the entire collection go to www.eshakti.com


Thursday, September 22, 2011

David's Name Before the Masses Blog Tour

 

David M. Brown was born in Barnsley in 1982 and first conceived the idea of Elenchera in college. His love of history and English led him to read these subjects at Huddersfield University. David is inspired by medieval history, Norse mythology and Japanese role-playing video games and anime films. He lives in Huddersfield with his wife Donna and their six rescue cats. 

David, thank you for including me on your blog tour.  And now, I'll let David talk.








The Elencheran Chronicles: http://elenchera.com
The World According to Dave: http://blog.elenchera.com  





I can remember when I first began to write seriously. It was 12 years ago and I was studying at Barnsley college. Prior to that I had enjoyed creative writing at school but never had any inclination to write in my spare time. I left secondary school with a glowing appraisal from my English teacher ringing in my ears. He told me never to give up writing poetry and prose and that I had talent. Flattered as I was I didn’t take such kind words seriously.



At college I excelled in history but was something of a seesaw in English language and literature. I did, however, seem to thrive whenever we did creative writing but that wasn’t enough to tip the balance for me. The catalyst came, believe it or not, from my brother’s Playstation. In 1998 I discovered Final Fantasy and began my love affair with this memorable RPG series by tackling instalment no.7. The games’ depiction of worlds veering between sci-fi and traditional fantasy were a huge inspiration and by the time I was playing Final Fantasy VIII in 1999 something had changed.



Those games led to me reading Norse mythology which I found infinitely more fascinating than the Greek tales. One day the idea for the world of Elenchera came to me and I drew a world map. From there came many more maps (eventually 500+) and with them a timeline of historical events started to come together. Choosing the fantasy genre was an easy decision. I had grown up loving such fantasy film classics as The Neverending Story, Labyrinth and Willow and, coupled with my passion for history, the opportunity to create an entirely new world was too good a chance to miss.



As Elenchera came together I found myself drawing heavily on world history which gave me the added benefit of learning a few things at the same time. From world history I looked at how empires rise and fall, nations interact through trade or warfare, innovations in technology and agriculture are made and how seemingly ordinary individuals can make their mark on history. Elenchera is a world with twenty-three lands trying to go about their daily lives, survive and overcome any threats that may be heading their way.



I’m not content with being just another fantasy writer. I want to do something a little different with the genre. With Elenchera I promise you novels where the characters have more precedence than the world they inhabit. Each book will be set in a different part of Elenchera’s 47,000+ years and will offer an insight into a different phase of history. World events will be going on in the background but the core of each novel will be a handful of characters and their stories. I want the readers to be absorbed by the characters, live with them, struggle with them, go through all their emotions but still get a feel for Elenchera and what this world is.



Writers such as Tolkien, Goodkind and Pratchett are ones I admire greatly in this genre but I do not seek to emulate or even equal them. Like Hemingway and Murakami, I want to offer a simple style of writing to the reader, not heavy set with endless description, but still packing in plenty of story. My debut novel, Fezariu’s Epiphany, has had some good feedback and I’m already hard at work on my next book, A World Apart. There are many stories to tell from the world of Elenchera and I simply cannot wait to share them all with you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Autumn Harvest Fall Through The Pages Blog Tour

Tour Rules

1) HAVE FUN!!!

2) INVITE ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS!!! SPREAD THE WORD!!!

3) THIS TOUR STARTS: Monday, September 19, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
THIS TOUR ENDS: Monday, September 26, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
Winners will be drawn and posted September 27th! ***

4) MEET AND MINGLE WITH ALL THE AUTHORS & BOOK PAGES! EXPERIENCE A NEW DESTINATION AT EVERY STOP! PARTICIPATE IN EVERY BLOG CONTEST AND BE ENTERED FOR CHANCES TO WIN MULTIPLE PRIZES! EVERY BLOG VISITED IS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO WIN!!

5) PARTICIPATION AT ALL BLOGS IS RECOMMENDED, BUT NOT REQUIRED. REMEMBER, THE MORE BLOGS YOU HOP, THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING PRIZES. EVERY AUTHOR & BOOK PAGE IS WAITING TO MEET AND INTERACT WITH YOU, SO PLEASE BE SURE TO SHOW THEM SOME LOVE!

6) DID I MENTION TO HAVE FUN? WHOO! HOO!! HERE WE GOOOOOOOOOOOO!

***Authors & Book Pages have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this blog hop tour is subject to these rules***


One fun part of autumn is Halloween.  Even as an adult I think it's fun to dress up and pretend for awhile.  In this excerpt from A New Dream, my hero and heroine have gone to a Halloween party.

When Matt turned around, Violet caught a glimpse of his face, and it occurred to her how dark and quiet the deserted store seemed. Maybe she shouldn’t have worn such a revealing costume!

Violet hunched her shoulders and pulled the top of her Cleopatra gown up. But that only drew attention to her chest. His eyes lingered and his tongue darted out and lined his lips. Violet shivered as her senses registered how the air swirled with sensual overtones.

“Hadn’t we better go?” she appealed as she fidgeted with one of her bracelets.

“What’s the hurry? We never have a minute to ourselves.  Someone’s always around.”

Violet’s heart raced as Matt moved toward her. She wasn’t really afraid of him. She couldn’t imagine him forcing his attentions on her no matter how big and powerful he was, but he had acted different the last week or so. With effort, she held her ground at his approach.

“Why are you scared of me?” Matt asked his voice as soft and rich as velvet. “Your eyes are as big as saucers.”

Violet’s chin came up. “I’m not scared of you.”

“Then you won’t mind if I do this.” Matt trailed his fingers up her bare arm, leaving a path of goose bumps behind.

Violet quivered and tried to catch her breath as he pulled  into his arms. She didn’t know whether to bless or curse her costume, for both of his hands now rested against her bare back.  Matt laid her head against his shoulder. Violet caught his male scent and shivered; she pressed herself closer to him. A warm, fluttery feeling deep inside coiled and twisted and threatened to build into something monumental and wonderful.

He bent his head and nuzzled his face against Violet’s neck.  She felt his lips warm against her throat, and convulsively her arms tightened around him. A few guys had kissed and nuzzled her before, but it had never been like this. This was the most arousing experience of her life. Matt’s masculinity had stimulated all of her feminine instincts. Had she ever been so aware of a man before?
No, she hadn’t.

Boldly, she stroked the back of his neck and explored the texture of his hair. Matt didn’t seem to mind, so she rubbed his shoulders and back; the man did have great shoulders. Matt made a little sound low in his throat that made her knees grow weak. What audacity to think she could control the leashed power under her fingers.

In a sudden, swift motion, Matt pushed one of the brief sleeves of her costume from her shoulder and kissed the place where the sleeve had rested. “Your skin is so soft and warm,” he whispered.

Violet gasped. 

To win a copy of A New Dream become a follower of this blog.  Leave a comment telling me about it.  If you already follow leave a comment and say so.   For a chance to win an extra surprise package, tell someone about me and my writing.  Tweet it, post on FB, etc.  Leave a comment telling me where you promoted me.  Good luck!

Go here for a list of all participants.
 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Today's character sketch is Nikki Lane from The Best Selling Toy Of The Season.  In this excerpt Nikki goes with her fiance and his friends to an upscale restaurant for dinner.  She's scared because Tommy comes from an upper middle class family while Nikki is a working class girl.  She orders plum punch which she doesn't realize has alcohol in it.  After she's had a few glasses disaster strikes.  Ben is her fiance's best friend.

“Why were you scared to have dinner with us?” Ben asked curiously.

“Because you’re the mayor. You and your wife aren’t in the same social class that I am, and I expected you to look down on me. I don’t know why you would though. After all, you got caught with a
prostitute and your wife almost divorced you. I never did anything that bad.”

By the way, Ben didn't do any such thing.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sweet Saturday Sample

In this excerpt which is from Return Engagement, my heroine has just come home from the hospital where the doctors had to remove a bullet fragment from her head.  Return Engagement is available at Whiskey Creek Press.

When Elizabeth opened her eyes the room lay in darkness.  She yawned and stretched. She had slept a long time.  Wonder why her mother hadn’t woken her for dinner? Her stomach growled and reminded her she had skipped lunch.

As she turned over for a look at the clock, a shadow moved from the corner of the room. “Hello, Miss Lane,” a well-remembered, cultured voice said. “How nice it is to see you again.”

Elizabeth sat up in bed, her breath coming in painful gasps that hurt her chest. “You! You can’t be here. You’re dead!”

“I’m not dead.” As Brady moved toward the bed, a flash of light from a passing car glinted off the object he held in his hand: a syringe.

Elizabeth started to scream. Her muscles churned as she tried to run, but she couldn’t move. She could scream, though. In the back of her mind she heard her mother’s voice.  “Elizabeth! Wake up!  Elizabeth!”

A strange man’s voice, a deep voice, cried, “I’ll call her doctor.”

“Elizabeth! Wake up! Open your eyes!”

Elizabeth’s eyes flew open to a room full of sunshine and bodyguards. A dream. It had only been a dream. She fell into her mother’s arms and started to cry.

Fashionista Friday: Let Those Straps Show

I don’t like wearing strapless bras because I always think they’re going to fall off of me.  That never has happened, maybe because I stopped wearing them.  Still, lots of dresses and tops just call for a strapless bra.  Luckily, the problem is now solved.  There are lots of companies that make interchangeable bra straps.  You can put them on any strapless or convertible bra you’d like to, and they can transform your outfit from ho hum to wow.

One such company is Strappy’s.  I landed on their website and had fun looking around.  Here are some of my favorite straps. 




 



   

If you’d like to check them out, their website is http://www.strappys.com/  However, you can buy them anywhere from Wal Mart to nice department stores.  Price: $20-$40.  I saw them cheaper at Kmart.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why I Love Underrated Authors

This is one of my pet peeves.  I see authors promoting their books all over the internet, but then when I look at their Goodreads account or something of that nature, they post nothing but reviews from major authors.  What's a major author?  One published by one of the big New York publishers.  Folks, that's just plain crazy.  I've tried to read some of those authors and tossed the book aside never to finish it.  I've also read some who wrote really great books.  My point is, why not read some underrated authors?  Lots of times you can find their books on sale so it's not like you're making a major investment when you buy their books.

If you're wondering if I'm taking my own advice, I am.  I've downloaded three ebooks from authors published by small publishers, or in one case, I think self-published.  I started one of them Ghost Ship last night, and it had an intriguing beginning.  Watch for my review on Goodreads.  I won't stop reading bestselling authors, but I intend to add a few more underrated authors to the mix, and I encourage all of you to do the same. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rising Star

I teach social studies, but my students know that I write so sometimes they show me some writing that they've done.  I always feel very honored when this happens.  Larissa showed me this story that I thought was very well done.  Authors and readers, please help me encourage Larissa whose story you are about to read.


Growing up in a small town and having two brothers can really change how a girl would normally think or act.  Everybody knows of a little girl that would come home all muddy, rip heads off of Barbie dolls, or who would rather play with trucks than to paint her nails.  Well, in this case, I was that girl.  So most people weren’t surprised that I didn’t believe in fairy tales.

Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty: what is this junk?!  But I’ve recently discovered that fairy tales don’t just revolve around a princess kissing a frog, magic potions, or leprechauns and fairies.  A fairy tale can be whatever you want; a dream you have that seems too good to be true, a goal that seems too hard to reach but you work towards it anyways, or even the way a person acts that you don’t think will ever change.  Every girl, it doesn’t matter what age or what personality, has thought of their own fairy tale.

My fairy tale began when I was about seven years old.  We’d just recently joined a new church and my brothers easily made new friends while I sat back and watched this new world spin around me.

My older brother, Shawn, was about  nine years old and he’d met a guy from church named Scott.  Our parents met and –BAM- just like that my little brother Cody, and Scott’s little brother, Sean, were hanging out as if they’d known each other their whole lives.  So Shawn had Scott, Cody had Sean, and I had…nobody.  I was left alone.  The guys didn’t want a girl hanging around.  I felt alone.

Months passed by and I slowly began making friends at church.  Shawn and Cody still hung out with Scott and Sean while I sat back and watched.  I got used to feeling invisible.  When I was about nine years old, we were going to the Brown's house for dinner and right when we walked in their door, I noticed how cute Scott was.

Pitiful little me.  I had learned to stay invisible around the guys, but now I didn’t want to be invisible to Scott anymore.  I started following him around all the time, just hoping that one day he’d notice me.  I soon realized that getting someone to notice you was a lot of hard work, but I didn’t give up.

By the time I was eleven, Scott would be about thirteen or fourteen now, I was determined to talk to him.  We pulled into the driveway as usual.  Something seemed different, but I couldn’t quite figure out what it was.  I walked in the house and to my dismay, Scott was standing in the kitchen holding hands with his girlfriend.  My nightmare had become a reality.

Disappointed and discouraged, I still didn’t give up.  A couple of weeks went by and the one girl was soon replaced with another and another until I finally stopped going with Mom to see Scott.  I’d given up.

At this point, I was about twelve or thirteen and my brothers had stopped hanging out with Scott and Sean Brown.  We didn’t go to their house anymore, and they never came over.  All connections seemed to be lost.  You would think that by this time I would have moved on and stopped thinking about Scott.  But no, not me.

By the time I was fourteen, I covered, or so I thought, my scars of being hurt by a boy who never knew that I dreamed for him to talk to me.  One day, I got home from school and checked my email.  To my surprise, I had an email saying that Scott Brown had added me as a friend on Facebook.

That long lost hope was back now.  We chatted for a few minutes and I game him my cell phone number.  As I logged off of Facebook, I thought about those scars he’d left me with.  Should I risk getting myself hurt again? 

After four years of trying to get Scott to talk to me, being pushed further and further away, and finally covering those scars that he’d left, the dreams of that nine year old girl eventually came true.

Picture by xfinity.comcast.net

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

I'd like to take just a moment to remember those who died on September 11.  I'd also like to thank those rescuers who sometimes gave their life and health to save others.  God bless America.

I'd like to do another character sketch today.   Last Sunday we looked at Elaine Lovinggood from Return Engagement who was rather high strung to say the least.  Today's character is Julianna Martin from The Welcome Inn.  This excerpt is the opening part of the book.  Julianna was crossing the courtyard of the motel which she manages, and a man grabbed her.  I guess he got more than he bargained for.  The Welcome Inn is available at Wing's Press.


The hot, heavy darkness, as cloying as dusty velvet, pressed relentlessly upon the two struggling figures.

"Let me go you pig, you... you... pervert!"

Two well-placed kicks and a jab of the elbow later, Julianna Martin broke free.

"You swine," she raged.  "How dare you come to MY motel and attack me!"

She shoved the man’s chest with all her strength, and he stumbled backwards and fell against the stairs leading into the pool.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sweet Saturday Sample

This sample is from a short story that I wrote.  I don't like to write short stories, but sometimes I have.  The name of the story is Coincidence in Beave Creek.

“Gah!” Marnie yelled as she stumbled on the rough dirt road. She squinted against the sun that had broiled her for the last hour. She’d look like a lobster fresh from the pot if she didn’t get out of the sun soon.

She blew a breath of air through her mouth toward her forehead. It briefly lifted her blonde bangs which had totally plastered themselves to her head. Sweat poured from ever pore on her body. Each step she took stirred up little dust devils that threatened to choke her.
 
Rounding a sharp curve, she saw a white house at the end of the road. Finally-a way out of this grassy wilderness! A door slammed, and a man came out of a neatly painted white barn.  The man hadn’t seen her yet. She watched as he stripped off his tee shirt and wiped his face and upper back. Muscles rippled in his chest and arms, and as he swept off his hat the sun gleamed on his dark hair, turning it as shiny as a blackbird’s wing.

He looked around and saw her, and she raised her hand in greeting. “Hello,” she called.

He put his hat on and came to meet her. At five nine she towered over lots of women, but this guy made her seem petite. He had to be six four at least, and… Oh. My. Goodness. Look at the definition of the muscles in his chest and shoulders.

Her nostrils flared; he smelled of sweat, hay, and motor oil, not an unpleasing combination. She liked his eyes too. They reminded her of the sky right before darkness fell, full of depth and mystery, hinting of the unknown and making a girl long to plumb those depths. She liked his face too. It wasn’t classically handsome, it was too rugged for that, but the angles and planes she saw there gave her a few-okay a lot of-butterflies in her stomach.

“Can I help you?” he asked.

Nice voice. It sounded smooth and rich in her ears. “I was hoping to use your phone. My car broke down up on the main road, and my cell phone’s dead. I waited for awhile, but nobody drove by so I started walking.”

If you liked what you read, go to http://www.elainecantrell.com/?page_id=117 and finish the rest of it for free.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fashionista Friday


Did you enjoy looking at Kim Kardashian’s wedding pictures?  From what I understand some people didn’t like Kim’s dress, but I thought it was pretty.  If you’re someone like Kim you can have a multimillion dollar wedding that makes money for you.  You can even wear a $25,000 Vera Wang dress for free. 

Every girl wants a beautiful dress on her special day, but not many of us can pay $25,000 for a dress.  Honestly, why do you want to spend a fortune when you can get wonderful dresses for a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay at expensive wedding shops?  I did a bit of department store shopping to find some beautiful dresses at reasonable prices, and this is what I came up with.  Yes, that’s right.  Department stores.  And if that doesn’t sit well with you do a little internet shopping for reasonably priced dresses.

Dress 1 by Sue Wong is one of my favorites.  This strapless lace gown features a soutache embroidered torso and pleated godets.  I think it’s elegant and classic.  Buy it at Belks for $550


Dress 2 is available at Sears for $199.  I like this one because of the skirt.  It could hide a multitude of figure flaws.


Dress 3 is also from Sears.  Buy it for $199.00.  Look at the detail on the skirt.  So traditional, elegant, and formal.


I’d get married in any one of them, would you?  Save your money for a fabulous reception or a dream honeymoon.
If you aren't convinced about department store gowns check out these links. 
This
dress came from bargain wedding gowns.




Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why I Love Alexander

No doubt about this one!  I have a delicious crush on Alexander Barrington from The Bronze Horseman.  Alexander is also in the other two books of Paullina Simons trilogy.  I love Simons description of the man, but better than that there's nothing the guy can't do.  The story is set in Russia during the seige of Leningrad.  Alexander who's an American fighting in the Soviet army (It's a long story.) does truly heroic things to save the woman he loves from first starvation and then prison.  He's also a military hero  whose men are lucky to have him to watch their backs. 

Try the book and see if you don't think the guy is drool-worthy.  At one time or another I think we've all needed an Alexander in our lives.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Welcome Gigi!

Readers, please welcome my special guest Gigi Sedlmayer.  Gigi's native language is German, so she asked me to look over her answers to be sure they were correct, but I didn't find much of anything wrong.  Her command of English is excellent, and her life is inspiring.  Gigi, First I want to thank you Elaine for giving me the opportunity to express myself.

1. Gigi, thank you for coming today.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Answer:

First I want to thank you, Elaine,  for giving me the opportunity to express myself.  I, Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer was born on 19 May 1944 in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin in Germany.

My family escaped to the West just before the infamous wall went up. We then moved a lot around in Germany where my father got the work. That meant that I changed schools 9 times. In the end I never made friends anymore, knowing that I would lose them anyway again. It was a very bad time for me and I was often rejected, because of not learning to make good conversation, never had the opportunity and so I didn’t have the skills to do so. So rejection was not new for me.

Finally we settled in Munich where I studied architectural drafting and met Albert, an Australian in 1965, marrying him in December 1967. I worked as a civil draftsperson in various private consultancies in Munich.

Hearing that my uncle was a writer, I wrote short animal stories, since I love animals. Here I could express myself without laughed at and I could be the person I wanted to be. Nothing further came of it, but I developed a love for the written word and I started to consume books.

In May 1975, Albert and I moved to New Zealand. Because of language challenges, I started a handcraft business. As a specialty, I made colourful parrots of which I sold thousands in a few years.

In 1988 we decided to adopt from Fiji. We became adoptive parents of 3 ½ year old Indian twin girls the year after.

We lived in New Zealand for 18 years and moved to Australia, my husband’s home, in September 1992.

Two years later I was diagnosed with cancer. After the operation and radiation I just vegetated, thinking and knowing that I would be dead in two years. The TV was my friend. But I was there, never neglected the girls or my husband.

Finding myself still alive after two years, my brain started to work again. So I told herself, ‘Get a grip on yourself and make something out of your life.’

But not knowing what I could do, because I couldn’t go to work anymore, had a lot of pain from radiation damage, my husband said to me one day: ‘Why not write again?’ He was writing the story of our adoption in that time.

Yes, why not! But in what language should I write this time. The short stories I wrote in my youth, were in German. But living in an English speaking country, I have to write in English. Was my English good enough for the written word?

I started to write, in English, in a scrapbook the week after my husband Albert showed me how to use our spare computer. How good was that, after the crossing out and writing over in the scrapbook. It was heaven to write and my fingers flew over the key board.

And so I developed many short stories and have sent them in for competitions. None made it to the first prize, but I got a few very good comments. It gave me confidence to go on writing.

One day I wrote a short story about Matica and Talon. And this story gave me the idea to make it  into a novel. And so the idea for the Talon series came to me.

Now I love writing, but I also love travelling, 4x4 touring, gardening, and I enjoy good adventure DVD’s or going to the movies.

2.Gigi, you inspire me!  The next time I feel sorry for myself I’ll think of you and snap out of it.  What genre do you write in?  What drew you to it?

Answer:
Children suffer from all sorts of affliction and through my book they can learn how to cope with everything, as Matica did, the main character in my book, TALON COME FLY WITH ME. She had to learn it in her early life. Children can find a “Condor” as Matica did. Not literally a condor, but every child or adult for that matter, they are battling with non curable afflictions, should find something that let them forget what is happening to them. Finding a “Condor” would help them to overcome that.

Parents can read my book to younger children so they can see that they are not alone, but that they can overcome it in a positive way, not in a negative way.

And that is all about my book TALON, COME FLY WITH ME, but not only the first one, in all of them.

In my late teens and having free time beside my work, writing manuals in the firm where my father worked, I wrote short animal stories. With these stories I could express myself, being me. I wrote what I wanted to do, what I wanted to be, but had never, and could have never done it.

The short stories I wrote, after I survived the cancer, they were all animal stories as well, but with children, loving them because they had an issue of being handicapped in one-way or another.

I know that there are lots of people and children out there, who are not accepted by their peers. Children are getting bullied in school, driven to suicide. We know that first-hand as well. We have adopted Indian twin-girls from Fiji. Mostly they were accepted, particularly in our church. But when I went shopping with the girls, some people looked at us, with the look on their faces that would say: How can she do something like that.

Since I went through the things Matica is going through, Matica is actually me. (I am not handicapped but faced lots of rejection in my life as well.) Matica and I, we are one person and we are looking for acceptance.

I say:  Children with special needs or with disability, or are handicapped don't have an illness, so there is no cure and it's not contagious. They want what we all want, to be accepted.

But I think that my books are not only for children. As I said, adults face some illnesses as well, so my book is for adults as well as for children.

3.What do you think makes a book a page turner?

Answer:

Firstly, I think the cover of a book must be showing something, something that would catch your eye when people are going into the bookstore. Then they will pick it up and look at the blurb in the back.

Second, the back-blurb must be short but showing what the book is telling you.

And then it must be a story, particular if it is from a new author, it must be something that wasn’t written before.

The purpose of my book, and hopefully it is a page turner, is to help children and adults alike to overcome some of their affliction; and feel that they are not alone. It’s a story about hope, love, inspiration but it also is Matica’s journey and her adventure.

But my book is for everyone, not only for the ones that face affliction. It should show them, that handicap and affliction can’t be cured but they are not bad.

That they are all alike to get noticed, that they will accept these people as well.



4. How many WIP do you have going?

Answer:

The second and the third manuscript in the Talon series are finished and professionally edited. I am working on the fourth right now and being at the first revision.

I am waiting that a publisher will discover me, will see what the book is all about.

The second manuscript is called: TALON, ON THE WING

The third manuscript is called: TALON, FLIGHT FOR LIFE

The fourth manuscript is called: TALON, HUNTING THE HUNTER

I am planning about 8 books in the Talon series.

 5. What other authors if any have influenced your writing?

Answer:

C.S. Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia

Christopher Paolini: Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr

Cornelia Funke: Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath
But then I love Science Fiction: Frank Herbert’s saga of: Dune, read all 16 books twice now

Ben Bova: Mars and all his other stories

In a way, they all have inspired me.

6. Would you share your links with us?

My publisher:

http://www.bookpal.com.au/StoreAdmin/Categories/PaperbackBlackWhiteSmallSizes/tabid/130/CategoryID/59/List/1/catpageindex/6/Level/a/ProductID/527/Default.aspx

My website:

www.writersportal.org/Gigi
Short animation clip about my book made by Martina Berger with the background music of my husband Albert:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0ontac7S20&feature=share





http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/gigi+sedlmayer/talon2c+come+fly+with+me/7640458/






 7. We’d love to read an excerpt.  Don’t forget to give us a buy link.

 You can buy my book from my website or from all the Internet bookstores, like amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com or directly from my publisher.



Excerpts:



Amos said, ‘Size is nothing. The heart is all that counts. And you have the best, softest and most caring heart I ever have encountered. Because of your heart, you survived the hardship the Indians have put you through.’

Matica smiled. ‘Thank you, Amos.’

 “Lack of knowledge can do so much damage, cause so much pain.”

Her eyes clouded over when she continued. ‘Well, in a way they have told me, I know. But again, it is only now because of Talon. I see.’

He could hear bitterness in her voice.

‘Do not judge them and do not let it bug you. They did not know better. I thought you knew that. We still have to learn and understand not to reject unexplained things but help that person.”

 “Be you, yourself, be happy again. Don’t let life pass by you. Don’t look back, look into the bright future. The future is as bright as the promise of God. Smile – it’s the most beautiful attire.”

 “I can do it. These four words are the most power-filled words.”

 “Self-pity is a useless emotion.”

 “Self-pity can ruin one’s life.”

“Love and acceptance for each other, without boundaries.”



Gigi, you’re a wise woman!  I love this excerpt.  I hope your series does well, and I wish you and your family health and happiness in the future.   Readers, here’s a live link to purchase Gigi’s book at Amazon 


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

For the next few weeks I may do a series of quick character sketches.  The subject of today's sketch is Elaine Lovinggood from Return Engagement.  Return Engagement is available at Whiskey Creek Press.  In this excerpt, my hero's mother finds out from the hero's father that some major bad stuff has happened to her family.

“What’s wrong with you?” she screamed. “How could you let a thing like this happen? I go away for two weeks to buy some clothes, and in my absence you let things totally fall apart.”

Stung, Senator Lovinggood retorted, “I’m sorry I forgot to schedule a kidnapping, Elaine.”

“I’ve told you a million times you need a bodyguard, but no…”

“You don’t have a bodyguard either so…”


Readers, what do you think?