Writer of Soul-Searching Snark

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

PORTRAIT OF CONSPIRACY by J. M. Davis

This is a GREAT book with a lot of twists and expected turns. It’s a MUST read.

I do believe folks judge a book by its cover and great covers are necessary to get people to pick up the book.

What Has Been Read Cannot Be Unread

Portrait A wow of a book!  Really, just superb.  Something of a mystery, something of a thriller lite, something of a love story without all the gooey smoochie stuff, a little bit of blood, a LOT of action, and an ending that we can smell  coming but love anyway.

The young, 2-month pregnant wife of a very wealthy man mysteriously disappears 7 years ago.  Not a trace is found, ever, even of her car.  The police investigation turns up nothing, the man spends a fortune on private investigators looking for her, to no avail, and finally, the nice lady detective assigned to the case is ordered to give it up when it becomes apparent that there is absolutely nothing to go on.

Then one day, on a flight back to Texas from New York, the maybe-widower, Philip Lewellan, sees a brochure for a small art gallery (or was it a museum…

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Fresh Face Friday: Santorini Sunset by Claire Croxton

Thank you Book Maven for a lovely review

The Book Maven

Happy Friday!  Today I’m spotlighting yet another awesome read and author.  Claire Croxton’s Santorini Sunset has you falling in love with the characters and Santorini.  Not only is it a great love story it is a wonderfully emotional tale that illustrates the intricacies and complications that come with family.  Not to mention there is a super hot guy that should be on everyone woman’s Christmas list.  For my full review keep reading after the book blurb.  Have  great weekend and be sure to stay tuned I have some cool promo’s coming up in the next week.

13551416Book Blurb:

Caroline Clayton’s sister, Gabriella, is getting married . . . to Caroline’s former fiancé, Albert. Instead of drowning her sorrows in a vat of ice cream, Caroline recruits her sultry co-worker, Raul Sobrevilla, to be her wedding date. Showing up with Mr. Hotter Better Sexier has the desired effect. Both Gabriella and…

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Guest Spot on Kathy Wheeler’s Blog

Kathy Wheeler is featuring me on her blog today. Kathy and I met in 2009 at the West Texas A&M Writer’s Academy. NY Times bestselling author, Jodi Thomas, taught the week-long seminar.  The graduates of that first academy are known as the Jodi Pioneers. We’re still close friends and support one another. Kathy has published several romances in the past couple of years. I’m honored to be part of her blog:

http://kathylwheeler.com/2013/12/09/romantic-gestures-claire-croxton-contest/

 

 

Stagnation

quicksandDo you know what it feels like to stand in the middle of quicksand and have no idea how to get out? You can feel yourself being pulled under and have no control over the situation. The more you move, the quicker your sink, but doing nothing is against your nature. You HAVE to do something!  You can’t just stand there and be sucked into the bowels of the earth, right?  You’re overridden with despair, agony, regret. Where’s Mr. Darcy when you need him?

So, I’m not literally sinking in quicksand, but life circumstances have made a head dive straight into a pit of said substance sound appealing. How do things get so out of control? How do I let myself become so overwhelmed by issues that I don’t even care about? I know what I want. I want to make a living as a writer. I know what that entails, writing, promoting, blogging, promoting and definitely more promoting. What am I doing? Herding goats, managing a rabbitry and slopping hogs.

Recently, in the most ironic of situations, I busted my kneecap while doctoring our goat herd sire, Alonzo’s, busted kneecap. Yeah, I know, I should find the humor in it, but sitting on the couch with my leg in a brace is driving me nuts. Guilt overcomes me every evening when my 76 year old mother tends to all the farm critters. Work that I can do in three hours takes her at least six. What do I do? I try to help and end up doing further damage to my knee. alonzo

When I first discovered that the lightning bolt shooting from my knee to my ankle was indeed caused by a real, legitimate cause other than me wanting to avoid farm chores, I thought  woohoo! I can write.

Reality? It’s really difficult to be creative while doped up on pain pills and/or an electrical storm is brewing in your calf.

I’m stagnate and I hate it. Detest it really. I never considered myself an active person, but being planted on my backside for four weeks has taught me a thing or two about myself.

1) If I want to do nothing, which I do on occasion, it has to be under my terms. Then again, that really shouldn’t be that big of a surprise. I’ve never been good at following orders.

2) I have a sick obsession with Criminal Minds. Of all the shows on television, I choose that one to watch while vegging on the couch?  Disturbing right? Does it count if the Criminal Minds marathon has been coupled with BBC mysteries. Probably not, huh? You’d think I’d be spending my time watching sappy romances. I guess I don’t feel like crying on top of all the physical pain. Who knows? I can assure you that I don’t want the Behavior Analysis Unit of the FBI messing around with my brain. Oy! Talk about frightening.

3) My mother can guilt me with one raised eyebrow. I had no idea she had that much power over me. It’s wicked. I need to study her technique.

4) I already knew this, but it has been confirmed. I have some awesome friends. Really amazing ones really who are willing to drive to the middle of the boondocks to keep me company or schlepp me into town. That makes me happy, but I don’t think I really needed a busted knee to discover that truth.

5) Writing erotica when in pain, and sex is the very last thing you’d consider doing at the moment is impossible. It’s impossible to write romance too. When you’re in a mood most foul and you don’t want to talk to anyone, happily ever after is buried in the dark recesses of your criminal mind.

So, three more weeks of leg brace. Will I decide to pull my way out of the quicksand–or in my case drug-infused fugue–and do something productive or will I continue to veg on the couch with a bunch of psychos? Maybe if one of those psychos was super-duper hot my thoughts about sex might change, resulting in the ability to write erotica again.

Hey, a girl can dream!

The One Legitimate Excuse

Seems like I need to introduce myself to everyone again. It has been months since I have blogged. Trust me, the reasons/excuses are many and legitimate, but I can’t help recalling the words of the wise, talented, and divine Mrs Velda Brotherton. Early on, during one of my first meetings with the Northwest Arkansas Writers’ Workshop, someone commented, “I haven’t written this week. Who has time?”

To which Velda replied, “You WRITE. Everything else goes to the wayside.”

Dusty Richards piped up and said, “No husband has ever died from making his own sandwich for dinner.”

Velda added, “And no one has ever been killed by a dust bunny.”

??????????????????????Clearly, Velda has never been to my house. A dust bunny ran out from under the couch the other day and tried to choke the dog.  Then again, house cleaning has NEVER been an excuse for me not to write. Good lord. You should see it now. Hideously disgusting. I keep the kitchen clean since I cook a lot, but the rest of the house is a disaster. Yes, it bothers me. Yes, I do clean, but this past week has been particularly difficult. Instead of sweeping, mopping, slaying dust bunnies and folding laundry, I’ve spent every moment with my cat, Dax.

Prior to this past week with Dax, I’d finally gotten back to my writing schedule. Petty, little things had impeded my creative process such as organizing the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. Conference, establishing Sunflower Heritage Farms, and assisting in the births of rabbits, lambs and pigs (trust me, you do NOT want to now about that particular experience!)

Finally, back on my writing schedule and Dax gets sick. Some folks don’t get it, but my pets are like my family. I love them. I care for them. I cherish them. Dax moved with me from Alaska along with Leo (who passed in February 2009,) Cedric and Jasmine.  Dax was diagnosed with cancer last week, but was too weak to do a biopsy to determine treatment. Dr. Larsen at The All Cats Clinic in Fayetteville was very kind when she informed me that the blood test results came back and the only thing we could do was keep Dax comfortable until he passed.

So instead of writing, cleaning, cooking, eating, breathing, I held Dax. Mama would come up and sit with him while I fed critters. I didn’t want him to be alone.  Yesterday, my other brother, Darryl and I were supposed to go to Cove, AR to get a load of goats. I refused to go. There was no way I was going to leave Dax. My other brother, Darryl, agreed to meet the goat lady on his own and take notes.

Dax Hugs CedricAbout 4 PM yesterday afternoon, I knew Dax wasn’t going to be with us much longer. I took him into the bedroom and we laid on the bed together, his furry back pressed against my stomach. My hand barely touching his hip, not wanting to hurt him, but needing to touch him. His breathing slowed. My tears increased. For fourteen years, that little guy brought me joy and happiness. There was no way I was going to do anything other than provide him solace as he had for me for so many years.

He passed peacefully in his sleep, in my arms.

Did I write last week? Not a word.  Do I regret it? Not for a second.

This week though, no excuses. The hero from Loch Lonnie (God, he’s hot) has been yelling at me. The heroine in Desert Dreams, Grace, is really, really mad at me because I left her hanging.  Desert Dreams is a Luna Zega story and stopping in the middle of a sex scene is just cruel–or at least Grace keeps telling me that.

So, look out world. Claire Croxton and Luna Zega are back to their writing schedule. Great literature is on its way!!

Thank you to all my friends who have been so very supportive and kind during this trying time.

Giant furry, gray, Dax hugs to you all.

 

 

Memorial Day Musings

Pamela Foster says it all in this poignant post:

Pamela Foster, Author and Speaker

Today, Memorial Day, a day set aside to honor those who have died in my country’s many, many wars, I am publishing the same post on both this blog and my wounded warrior wife blog.

I grew up with images of fire hoses turned on protestors. Helmeted men on horseback beating those willing to put their bodies on the line for change. Napalmed children screaming on dirt roads. Boys who, a couple years earlier, sat beside me in Mrs. Conner’s fourth period English or Mr. Cobine’s American Civics class, returned from Vietnam as long-haired wanderers. My sisters fiancée returned from Hamburger Hill in a box. A sealed box.

It was common, in those days, to see Cronkite or Huntley report on a flag-draped funeral. God, how I hated all that fluttering red, white, and blue, lined up in a row, the snap of the bigger flag in the distance…

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Kae Elle Wheeler and “The English Lily”: Lady Yarmouth’s Letter

Kathy Wheeler—Jodi Pioneer–does it again!

Susana's Parlour

Lady Kendra has led a long fruitful life. But as a young woman, and in a major turning point of her life, her time with Charles Thomas was cut remarkably short. To ease her mind, she sends him a heart-filled letter.

Dear Mr. Thomas,

I realize it is most inappropriate for me to send you this letter, but rest assured I have my husband’s utmost approval. It has been many years since I last saw you, and the memory still haunts my dreams I fear. I thought if I could enlighten you to my situation we might each finally move forward, where ever that might be for you now.

Since that most fateful day aboard the Cécile, I married Joseph. True, he was a most successful magician, but I am pleased to say he has proved an even more devoted husband and father. We have four beautiful children. Our…

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