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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

I'm writing again by Janice Seagraves

Good news, I'm writing again.

I talked to several of my writer friends about it, but the ones who are also suffering from writer's block are more stymied then ever with the isolate at home situation we have now.  Or they gave me that same advice I gave them...do something different, take a walk, hike, get out, take a class, try a new hobby...

Getting out is nearly impossible right now and as for starting a new hobby....well that's kind of hard to do, too.

I spoke to my husband and explained to him the last words I had written was when the phone rang with the news of my stepdad's death.

My husband said, "But, honey, that was two years ago."

"Two years?"

"Yes."

For some reason, that seemed to snap me out of my writer's block funk. I picked up where I left off with a story about a dragon inhabiting a woman.

It's a complicated story.

I sent it into my critique group and one of my critiquers absolutely loved it, unfortunately, the other said it needed some work, but the one who loved my story as incomplete as it was did the trick. I started to write more about that story.

I can't share it with you because I still have a long way to go until I finish it, but I can share one of my favorite published stories.


Year of the Cat


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Blurb:
Morgan isn’t expecting romance when she accompanies her friend for a week of skiing, but when she meets Jared all bets are off.
Haunted by the loss of his parents, werecat Jared Catterick earns his keep working for the Catclaw Clan. Jared has secrets that he doesn’t mind sharing with a special lady, and he hopes Morgan is that special someone. When his past and present collide it’s worse than he imagined, and he’s forced to fight for his life.


Excerpt:
Auntie walked into the middle of the hollow. “We the Catcall Clan are gathered here together to witness a challenge. Called by Munch son of Tiger, who challenges Jared Catterick son of nobody.”
“I am the son of somebody,” Jared yelled. The sudden flow of anger had his heart pounding hard against his ribs.
“Who? What are their names?” Auntie crossed her arm and leaned on one hip and tapped a toe.
“I donna remember. I was too young when they killed them and took me away,” Jared muttered. “And she knows that.”
“Is Catterick your real last name?” Killer asked him in the canine speech.
“Aye. I donna remember much about me old life, but I never forgot me name.”
“Just tell her Mr. and Mrs. Catterick,” Killer said.
“Me parents were Mr. and Mrs. Catterick,” Jared said in a loud clear voice.
A few people around the hollow snickered.
Auntie gave a quick nod. “Jared son of Mr. and Mrs. Catterick. Munch challenges you for the death of his da, Tiger.”
Munch marched to Auntie’s side. He was every bit as big as his father. Well-muscled and not just tall but wide. Where Tiger’s hair was gray and white, Munch was blond and black. Another man accompanied him, his second, a tall, lanky male named Boyd. Jared knew him well, even though he was younger.
“Och. Here we go,” Jared told Killer and walked out into the middle of the hollow.
“He’s big,” Killer said in the canine speech.
“And ugly. I wouldna want to ride him into battle.”
Killer stayed at his side. “Psst.”
“Eh?”
“You can fight, right?” Killer asked.
“Aye.”
“Good to know.”
Auntie looked at both males. “Jared, as the challenged, you may decide on weapons and forms.”
“Human and no weapons,” Jared said.
“Very well,” Auntie said. “You may use your feet, hands, elbows and knees. Even your head if you feel the need.”
“What aboot sticks and stones?” Munch asked, his voice youthful.
“Will break my bones,” Jared said under his breath.
Killer snickered.
“No weapons,” Auntie shook a finger at Munch. “That includes sticks and stones.”
“Well,” Munch crossed his arms, “since I canna change into cat form, I think I should be able to use whatever I find in the hollow.”
“This isn’t a free-for-all, Munch. There is discipline to a challenge. You must remain in your human form and fight like a human. With this match, we’ll have a square go.”
“Not very cat-like.” Munch sniffed.
Auntie fisted her hands and leaned toward Munch. “You’re not a cat. You are a shifter. You shift between three forms. Now stay with one for the duration of the fight.”
“Doesn’t he understand?” Killer asked.
“A bit daft that one,” Jared muttered back. Munch doesn’t seem have a lot of self-control. Unlike Tiger who would have done exactly what Auntie said to the letter.
“Seconds, to the side.” Auntie pointed. “You may view the fight only. Do not interfere unless your partner is hurt or someone breaks the rules.”
Both Boyd and Killer trotted to edge of the clearing.
Jared stood facing Munch. Several feet separated them. Jared shook out his arms, moved his head from side to side, and loosened his muscles.
Auntie raised her hand and did a karate chop between them. “Now fight.”
“I swear on me da’s grave, I will end you!” Munch roared and the skin on his face boiled. His hands burst out of his gloves and feet from his boots. The shift made Munch bigger, tearing his clothes. He stopped in the in-between state, like movie werewolves of old, but in this case half-cat and half-human. The only thing that remained of his clothes was his black overall snow pants and even that stretched taunt across him. Extending his claws, he snarled and reached for Jared. “I want to see you bleedin’.”

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0748CP9JH

Monday, May 18, 2020

Do You Know What Day It Is?



It’s No Dirty Dishes Day. 🙌

That’s right May 18 is No Dirty Dishes Day. 😏

Today this is a no-no.


Why do I know this?

Because I came across a calendar on the internet that lists what every day of the year celebrates or honors. This honor (that’s why I’m calling it at least) has me a little confused. 

Is every other day dirty dishes day? 

And how does one celebrate such a thing? 

If you plan to eat anything, you will have dirty dishes. I don’t know many people who would just leave their dishes in the sink to pile up and stink up the home. So are you not suppose to eat or clean anything once you finish using a plate and fork. If you have a dishwasher, you wait until it is full before running a wash. 

So, you will have dirty dishes.

Then we have failed. Perhaps, disposable plates, cups, and cutlery is to be used today. Is that what the day’s creators had in mind? 
Whatever the reason and how to actually celebrate it is inconsequential. It’s just a little silliness that made me laugh. 

I doubt I will ever forget that May 18 is No Dirty Dishes Day and I reckon neither will you. Do you know of another day’s celebration or honor that is just as silly? Share with me. 


Sunday, May 10, 2020

Mothers Leave Footprints In Your Heart


Poster by R. Ann Siracusa


FIRST FRIEND, BEST FRIEND, FOREVER FRIEND

Mother’s Day is the special time of year set aside for celebrating a very special person; our best friend, our mentor, our personal advisor, the person who always has our backs. It is the time to remember that person and show our love to all the women our lives, be it mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend.


The year 2020 finds us in trying times, self-centered times that generate worry, but they also bring out the best in people. People all over the world are helping each other and finding ways to give their love to others less fortunate in meaningful ways. If you can’t be with the important women in your life, at least take the time to call, write, or share memories of them with someone else you care about.

A MOM'S HUG LASTS LONG AFTER SHE IS GONE


I’m sharing with the RB4U readers some of my favorite Mother’s Day Quotes. The part I like most about Mother’s Day quotes from famous people is the realization no one is born already a great athlete, or poet, or statesman, or movie star, or wonderful mother. All of us were born young and someone’s love guided us to become what we are today.

I’m sure you will find quotes that resonate with you.



GOD COULD NOT BE EVERYWHERE AND THEREFORE HE MADE MOTHERS


"When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child." ~ Sophia Loren


"My mom has made it possible for me to be who I am. Our family is everything. Her greatest skill was encouraging me to find my own person and own independence." ~ Charlize Theron


"The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children." ~ Jessica Lange


"My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it." ~ Mark Twain


"It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding." ~ Erma Bombeck


"That strong mother doesn't tell her cub, Son, stay weak so the wolves can get you. She says, Toughen up, this is reality we are living in." ~ Lauryn Hill


"I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars." ~ E. M. Forster


"Mothers are the necessity of invention." ~ Bill Watterson


"Yes, Mother. I can see you are flawed. You have not hidden it. That is your greatest gift to me." ~ Alice Walker


"My mother used to tell me man gives the award, God gives the reward. I don't need another plaque." ~ Denzel Washington


"Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials." ~ Meryl Streep


"My mother was a personal friend of God's. They had ongoing conversations." ~ Della Reese


"There was never a child so lovely but his mother was[n't] glad to get him to sleep." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Mothers and children are human beings, and they will sometimes do the wrong thing." ~ Maurice Sendak


"I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it's such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her." ~ Ellen DeGeneres


"Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing." ~ Ricki Lake


"I may be the only mother in America who knows exactly what their child is up to all the time." ~ Barbara Bush


"The real menace in dealing with a five-year-old is that in no time at all you begin to sound like a five-year-old." ~ Jean Kerr


"An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy." ~ Rudyard Kipling


"My mother gets all mad at me if I stay in a hotel. I'm 31-years-old, and I don't want to sleep on a sleeping bag down in the basement. It's humiliating." ~ Ben Affleck


"I was a brownie for a day. My mom made me stop. She didn't want me to conform." ~ Sandra Bullock


"I think in a lot of ways unconditional love is a myth. My mom's the only reason I know it's a real thing." ~ Conor Oberst


"Once you're a mom, always a mom. It's like riding a bike, you never forget." ~ Taraji P. Henson


"My mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all - the gift of unconditional love. They cared deeply about who we would be, and much less about what we would do." ~ Mitt Romney


"Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy." ~ Tina Fey


"It's a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful." ~ Roald Dahl


"There's no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one." ~ Jill Churchill


"If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?" ~ Milton Berle


"Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation." ~ Robert A. Heinlein


"To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow." ~ Maya Angelou


"The phrase 'working mother' is redundant." ~ Jane Sellman


"Love as powerful as your mother's for you leaves its own mark...to have been loved so deeply...will give us some protection forever." ~ J.K. Rowling


"My mother was the one constant in my life. When I think about my mom raising me alone when she was 20, and working and paying the bills, and, you know, trying to pursue your own dreams, I think is a feat that is unmatched." ~ Barack Obama


"My mother is my root, my foundation. She planted the seed that I base my life on, and that is the belief that the ability to achieve starts in your mind." ~ Michael Jordan


"Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother." ~ Oprah Winfrey


"It's not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it." ~ Dorothy on The Golden Girls


"Acceptance, tolerance, bravery, compassion. These are the things my mom taught me." ~ Lady Gaga


“If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?” ~ Milton Berle


“A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after.” ~ Peter De Vries


“Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.” ~ Unknown


● “All mothers are working mothers.” ~ Unknown


"The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant --and let the air out of the tires." ~ Dorothy Parker


"My mother loved children ~ she would have given anything if I had been one." ~ Groucho Marx


"There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it." ~ Chinese Proverb


AUTHOR R. ANN SIRACUSA
Travel to Foreign Lands for Romance and Intrigue
Converting Oxygen to Carbon Dioxide For Over Four Fifths of a Century

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Kat Martin's new page turner and some auhtorly hints

THE DECEPTION
By Kat Martin
Paperback release: 4/28/20

In my latest Romantic Thriller, THE DECEPTION, book two of the Maximum Security series, Kate Gallagher is devastated when she learns her sister has been murdered.  Determined to find Chrissy’s killer, Kate hires lethal bounty hunter, Hawk Maddox.  Working together, they follow a trail of clues that lead them deep into the city’s underbelly.  Though Hawk warns Kate of the danger, nothing he says can convince Kate to walk away.


From Publisher’s Weekly
Martin (Beyond Control) keeps the twists and turns coming in the sensuous and spirited first Maximum Security romantic thriller. Heiress and clothing designer Harper Winston is worried about her brother, Michael, who went missing after embarking on a solo sailing trip. She hires Chase Garrett, her brother’s former friend, to find him. At breakneck speed, Harper and Chase move into the crosshairs of the mercenaries who kidnapped Michael and his new girlfriend;
during the rescue, Harper kills the cousin of an abusive crime boss, who targets her for revenge. Martin throws Harper’s drug lord father and an unexpected parentage reveal into the mix. Interspersed with the bursts of terror are red-hot sex scenes, during which both Harper and Chase try not to fall in love (and fail, of course). Harper’s a determined, smart protagonist, and the same can be said for sexy, loyal hero Chase. Harper and Michael’s father is almost cartoonishly evil and it’s fun to cheer for his downfall. Readers will find it hard to wait for the next book in this tantalizing series about detectives, bodyguards, and bounty hunters. 

Creating a Page Turner
“I couldn’t put it down!  Those words are some of the most satisfying comments an author can receive.  Nothing pleases me more than a note from someone grumbling about staying up late to finish one of my books.
It’s music to my ears. 
There are lots of ways to earn those precious words.  Writing a fast-paced novel is one of them.  It is certainly my goal every time I start a new book.
My latest, THE DECEPTION, was no different.  I knew I would be writing Hawk Maddox’s story.  Hawk had been on my mind since he first appeared in a previous novel, BEYOND DANGER.  I knew what he was like--strong, determined, tough as boot leather, and at six-foot-four, two-hundred-twenty pounds, a total beefcake hunk. 
He was also a bounty hunter, which made him an interesting character with an interesting job.  I always try to find the hero’s perfect match and Kate Gallagher was just right for Hawk.  Tall, blonde, and curvy, she loved country music and drinking tequila at the Sagebrush Saloon. 
But that was her secret side.  She also owned her own business consulting firm so she was smart and hard-working. 
I like to read books that draw me in and won’t let go, books I can’t wait to pick up again to find out what’s going to happen next.
There are lots of ways to do it.  Pairing down description makes the story move faster--or as Elmore Leonard once said, “I try to leave out the parts people skip.”  
A Hollywood movie trick is to jump right into the scene.  Leave out the, “Hello, how are you?”  “I’m fine, how are you?” and just start talking.  
I try to use hooks at the beginning and end of chapter,  though some authors end a chapter in the middle of the action to keep you turning the pages. 
I’ve found I do a lot of characterization by showing how the hero, heroine, and sub characters react in a situation, rather than telling about their past.  For instance, I don’t mention what the heroine did in high school unless it’s important to how she’ll solve the problem she’s facing.
These are a few of my techniques, though every author has his own style and there is nothing wrong with any of them as long as they work. 
In THE DECEPTION, Kate Gallagher is devastated when she learns her sister has been murdered.  Determined to find Chrissy’s killer, Kate hires lethal bounty hunter, Hawk Maddox.  Working together, they follow a trail of clues that lead them deep into the city’s underbelly.  Though Hawk warns Kate of the danger, nothing he says can convince Kate to walk away.
I hope you’ll watch for THE DECEPTION and that you find it a fast-paced, high-action page-turner.  Until next time, all best wishes and happy reading,. 
Kat 
   

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Kat Martin Bio
  
Bestselling author Kat Martin, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, currently resides in Missoula, Montana with Western-author husband, L. J. Martin.  More than seventeen million copies of Kat’s books are in print, and she has been published in twenty foreign countries.  Fifteen of her recent novels have taken top-ten spots on the New York Times Bestseller List, and her novel, BEYOND REASON, was recently optioned for a feature film.  Kat’s next hardcover, THE ULTIMATE  BETRAYAL, a Romantic Thriller, will be released on July 28th.
 KAT'S WEBSITE
CONTEST LINKS




Monday, April 27, 2020

Alien Desire by Janice Seagraves

I just need to figure out what to do with them.
Alien Desire available now.
aliendesirecover200x300

Alien Desire (Chronicles of Arcon Book 2)

The Arcons Tane and Brock Moonwalker are vacationing in the small town of Greenwood. Tane is dealing with agoraphobia, a condition worsened by the loss of their female. Brock and his friend needed to get away, but a tiny, gang-ridden town is the last place they expected to find love.

Saki Starling had trouble on her heels and couldn’t catch a break. She lost her apartment and a local gang threatened her at every turn. With her week at its lowest point, Tane and Brock promised to brighten her darkening world.

Tane, Brock, and Saki must find a way to come together, if they have any hope of overcoming their past and heal their broken hearts.

“Hey, chica. C’mova ‘ere,” said a thickly accented voice.

Saki cringed. Emanuel was hanging out with his homies at one of the picnic tables. She swallowed hard. Damn, I should have known better than take a short cut through here.

“I’ve got to get home.” She walked faster.

Emanuel laughed. “No, you don’t. You ain’t got no home. My old lady said she saw you get kicked out of that roach motel you lived at.”

“I got a new place.” As she kept moving, her heart pounded a painful rhythm against her chest.

“With the aliens?” He jogged over, angling to cut her off, his baggy pants nearly falling off his ass. Hector and José trailed close behind. “You screwing those things from outa-space, chica?”

“I’m not screwing anybody.”

Emanuel grabbed her arm, turning her around. “Good. I got a job for you. A little skinny niña like you don’t get stopped. You look too sweet and innocent to be holding.”

Saki pushed him away. “I only did that once, and it was a mistake. I’m not going to be a carrier for you anymore. I almost got caught last time, you dick head.”

Emanuel turned to share a laugh with his cronies, and then he slammed her against the tree. While she gasped for breath, he grabbed her face in a painful grip.

“Puta. You’ll work for me until I tell you otherwise. Understand?” He looked her up and down. “If that’s not to your liking, then maybe there’s something else you can do for me and my homies.”

Hector and José both snickered, moving closer. Emanuel licked his lips and stared at her tits.

“Oh, hell no!” She kicked his knee.

Jodeinda puta,” Emanuel cussed, still keeping Saki pinned with one hand. “I’m going to make you pay for that.”

“No. You. Will. Not.” Saki slammed her knee into Emanuel’s crotch.

Emanuel loosened his grip to hold his family jewels.

Saki took a step to get around him, ready to run, but José with a smirk moved to block her way. When she went the other way, Hector stepped in to keep her from escaping.

“Excuse me, do you need any help?” asked a familiar cultured voice.

Emanuel straightened but didn’t even look around. “Get lost. I’m busy.”

“I wasn’t asking you.” A hand gripped Emanuel’s shoulder and spun him around. “As amusing as it was to watch Saki pound your testicles, I think I want a turn.”

Emanuel craned his neck, staring up at the much taller Arcon. “What the f—?”

“Here’s a lesson you need to learn, human.” Tane snarled, flashing his white canines. “You never hurt a female—ever.”

In a move almost too fast to see, Tane lifted Emanuel and sent him flying. The gangbanger landed on his backside, sliding through a pool of water, past a broken sprinkler.

Tane turned to the other two standing nearby. He cracked his knuckles. “Shall I show you some Arcon discipline?

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