All blogs are property of authors and copying is not permitted.


click on image to be taken to our NL subscribe gift card giveaway

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

I Remember Mama by Marianne Stephens

I Remember Mama was the  title of an old TV show in the 50's. And yes, I know that Mother's Day has passed. But that doesn't stop people from remembering their mothers.

I miss my mother every single day. I find myself thinking, "What would mom think about this?"

Mom lived with us for 10 years. We created an apartment in our home for her. Things went well until Dementia took over. Suddenly I had a mother I didn't recognize; one who swore, couldn't remember anything.

With tons of guilty feelings, we put mom in a nursing home dedicated to helping those with dementia and Alzheimers She got great care, but I still felt guilty.

I can laugh now at some of the things she did as dementia took over:
Talking on the phone to a cousin - without a phone. I told her to hang up so we could talk.
Watching a Christmas parade outside her summer while she looked at a parking lot.
Telling me "You lied to me. It's not April. Shut up and drive." I'd gone to get her for a home visit for Thanksgiving. We weren't even out of the parking lot. That was the last time I tried to bring her home. 
Telling me that my brother lived in the nursing home basement and was chasing the nurses. Boy, was she angry at him! And, his band played at the nursing home...and my then 3 year-old grandson sang with the band - in Italian.

It was sad to see her fade away. On my birthday in 2015, she held a stuffed bear wrapped in a blanket and called it her baby. I had to hold it so she would eat lunch.

There were lucid episodes, and I am grateful for those. She loved music and I'd dance with her when a band came and played songs from the 40's and 50's. 

After she passed away in Jan. 2016, my brother, sister, and I went through some of her things at my house. Tucked away in an envelope we found three for each of us. They all began the same:

These had been written long before dementia kicked in. How special she made each of us feel.
On her headstone at the cemetery, we wrote "Favorite Mother".

Yes, I remember mama for so many reasons!

What is your fondest memory of your mom/stepmom/godmother/any woman who helped raise you?


Monday, May 13, 2019

Mother's Day Musings

Yesterday was Mother's Day here in the U.S. I was lucky enough to spend it with the spouse, my two sons (aka the offspring) #2's wife and #1's fiancee, (aka the crazy ladies willing to put up with my offspring) and for at least part of the day with my two granddaughters (aka the grandspawns). Also with ffspring #5, wh isn't really mine but comes over on Sundays to watch Game of Thrones. The youngest of this generation is 25. Keep that in mind.

Spouse makes me French toast and bacon and brings it upstairs. No tray. Balancing a plate with syrup on your lap is tricky, but he's a wonderful cook and it was a very sweet gesture. Brunch devoured in to time flat. Nice start to the day. I shower, go downstairs and find yellow tulips in a vase by my comfy chair. More bonus points. A bit later he brings me a grilled cheese and a bottle of real Diet Coke. This is a treat, as with a horde of 20-somethings in and out of the house we usually buy generic. While I'm eating, Son #2, who lives here with wife and kids carries younger granddaughter past me. This is a mistatke. When Smallest Spawn (aka Squidlet) sees Gah! for the first time in a day, she demands her minutes of tribute. He puts her down in the playroom, but she makes a beeline for me, climbs up on the footstool by my feet, climbs into my lap, says very loudly, "Mine," plants smacking kiss on my nose, then clambers down and on her merry way. I am of the opinion that this was yet another Mother's DayTreat. I love that my grandspawns are part of my everyday life, and that I am part of theirs. She can claim me as hers any time she likes.

Spouse mumbles that my present is currently somewhere in Ohio accoring to his track shipping app. I am not surprised. Pretty much anything involving the state of Ohio has had it in for me since childhood. There is not enough alcohol in this town to make me explain that.

Right before dinner Elder spawn, (aka Squirrel) age almost 7, returns from a rough weekend at her birthmom's. She's not happy, but we cut her some slack, let her have some strawberry cake with strawberry-elderflower sauce after her steak and risotto, so she is pleased and goes to bed without meltdowns. A good day indeed.

I have lovely gifts from my kids--a hanging plants for my porch, a new handbag, and a few small odds and ends both sweet and thoughtful. I spend some time talking wedding plans and such, and spoke to my mother-in-law 2000 miles away who adored the elf-point ear wraps we sent. Not content to wait until the fantasy-themed wedding in September, she had to let us know she'd worn them to chruch today and gotten many compliments. I love my big, weird clan.

Of course days like this always bring back the harder memories too. My own mom has been gone for 14 years. I miss her down-to-earth practicality and our shared love of romance novels. She'd been gone just a year when I was first published, and I always wished she could have been there to revel in it with me. I can picture her, white curly perm, deep brown eyes and wicked smirk, playing cards and telling me she doesn't much care for my woo-woo (paranormal) books but my westerns aren't too bad.

Mothers, in romance novels, are very often absent. In the early years of the genre, I think the missing mums made the characters more vulnerable and more into the idea that they had to find the perfect alpha male (often the doctor to the nurse, or the tycoon to the secretary) to take care of the poor girl. I'm glad times have changed in that respect, Me, I write it story by story. If the mother's presence or absence is point plot, there you go. Otherwise? I'm just making it up as I go along.

Hug a mom today if you missed yesterday, or even if you didn't. Or a foster mom, a step-mom, a dad doing double duty as both mom and dad, a female mentor helping as a mom-lke figure, a big sister, an aunt, a mom whose kids are furry, feathered or scaled, or anyone, really, who's willing to go the distance and make a difference in someone's life.  Happy Monday!

Friday, May 10, 2019


Posted by R. Ann Siracusa


This was one of the favorite expletives used by Dick Dastardly, a cartoon antagonist created in 1968 by Hanna-Barbera, based on English actor Terry Thomas.

We never find out specifically what misfortunes D. D. is wishing upon his enemies, but the kind of curse we’re talking about today is the “invocation of a supernatural power to inflict harm or punishment on someone or something” kind of curse, not offensive words or phrases kind. We know those.
English is a rich language, with many ways to describe things, actions, and feelings, some words adding subtle differences to the overall meaning. Words are the tools of writers. It’s our job to put together words to amuse, teach, scare, entice, and entrance readers and put them in places, situations, and times they know well and those they have never experienced.
Yay Words! Unfortunately, sometime we use the same ones over and over.
Somewhere I read an article by an author commenting on the use of swear words. He said that, in English, about the worst thing you can wish on a person is to go have a sexual experience. He compared that to Jewish curses, which he felt embodied a true sense of inflicting harm.
Taking that to heart, I did a little research on Yiddish curses, and I have to agree with anonymous.
Anglo-Saxon curses often deal with body parts, Catholic curses go for blasphemy, and the Middle and Far East insulting ancestors. According to Marnie Winston-Macauley, “the Yiddish curse has a baroque splendor in its intricate ability to prophesize. The most spectacular lull the victim with a positive opening, which then turns into a juicy, literate, malediction that no mere obscene word could possibly convey. According to the Yiddish proverb “A curse is not a telegram: it doesn’t arrive so fast.
Like Jewish caviar, the Jewish curse must be savored. So, writers who don’t like using swear words in their novels or who perhaps want to enrich the quality of savoring ill will, you should take heed of the following examples
● May what I wish on him come true (most, even half, even just 10%).
● May he should drink too much castor oil.
● May someone throw salt in your eyes and pepper in your nose. 
May you turn into a blintz and be eaten by your cat. 
May you run to the toilet every three minutes or every three months.
● May you crap blood and pus.
● May you grow a wooden tongue.
May your mouth be in your rear.
May your head fall off.
May your intestines be turned into a telephone cord.
● May God should visit upon you the best of the Ten Plagues.
● May venereal disease should consume your body.
● May all your teeth fall out except the one to give you a toothache.

May leeches should drink you dry.

● May I live him long enough to bury him.

● May a wheel run over your skull.

May your tapeworm develop constipation while trolley cars run through your intestine as thieves camp out in your belly and steal your guts one by one.
     ● May you grow like an onion with your heard in the ground.

● May you live to a hundred and twenty years with a wooden head and glass eyes.
● May you enjoy a good time with plenty of good Vodka – and may your blood turn to
whiskey, so that 100 bedbugs get drunk on it and dance the mazurka in your belly button.

● May you be transformed into a chandelier, to hang by day and to burn by night.

●May you swallow an umbrella and may it open inside you.

● May you get passage out of the old village safely, and when you settle, may you fall into the outhouse just as a regiment of Ukrainians is finishing a prune stew and twelve barrels of beer.

And last, but not least, my favorite.

May you have a thousand mother-in-laws.

Well, some of those curses are pretty graphic, and they definitely have the impact of some serious ill will. Can any other culture match that? I took a look at some others. I believe the Irish are second in the running. They have many of the same ideas of ill will and misfortune, but they tend to lack the dramatic flourish of the Yiddish curses. I was a little disappointed.

I do like this one, though, probably because of the cartoon that went with it.

● May the gates of Paradise never open to you. 

I’m sure every culture and religion in the world has its own version of “curses” to wish misfortune on others, just as they all have their “blessings”.

Curses are not as easy to find on the internet as you might think. When you Google most of them, you get plain old curse words or definitions of malediction, ill will, curse, or whatever word you used to indicate willing someone bad luck.
It’s true you can add “May you…” to many of them and get a curse, just as many folk sayings can be turned into curses by adding the correct words to put the saying into the proper format.
Writers can spice things up a little by using one or two creative curses in a novel instead of everyday swear words. For those writers who are uncomfortable using too many swear words, try putting a few of them in other languages if it's logical for your story, and one character can insult another with legitimate words that not many people know.
Just sayin’.

Author R. Ann Siracusa
Converting oxygen to carbon dioxide for more than three quarters of a century
Travel to Foreign Lands for Romance and Intrigue

FaceBook   Twitter   Google+   Website/ Blog   Amazon

Sources:  and


Thursday, May 9, 2019

It's All About the Mom #MothersDay #RB4U #melissa_keir

It's All About the Mom

Welcome! Mother's Day is approaching and children all over the United States will be bringing their mothers breakfast in bed along with beautiful hand drawn photos of a smiling mom. A Hallmark moment for sure....But do you remember a TV show from the 90's where the catch phrase was "Not the Mama?"

Jim Henson dreamed up and Disney made the show happen. It was a weekly prime time comedy about a blue-collar family of dinosaurs who lived in an alternate reality where dinosaurs were never extinct. The family featured a father, mother, teenage son and daughter, aged mother-in-law and cute small baby dinosaur. 

The cute baby loved to hit the father (or anyone else) with a frying pan and scream "Not the Mama" to the delight of the audience. As mother's know, sometimes your child only wants you and no one else will do.

Even when you are an adult....

Now that another Mother's Day is practically upon us, I spend a great deal of time reminiscing about my mom. She's been gone for twenty years. She missed so much...her children and grandchildren have grown, gotten married, and had many celebrations without her. (although she was always in our hearts)

This year, I've felt closer to her as I worked to get her novel published. She had a dream in the early 80's and wrote a sweeping love story about a fiery young woman and the undercover spy who was trying to stop the gunrunning after the Civil War. (Available in ebook and print- Amazon)

I was excited to be able to bring her dream of becoming a published author to reality. But there are still times when I miss her and would give almost anything to spend time with her, sharing all she missed, especially as we celebrate our moms.

If you are lucky to have a mom still in your life, be sure to give her a hug, a flower or breakfast in bed. And if your mom has passed, like mine, spend some time on this holiday celebrating her memory. 

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and the "Not the Mamas"

Until next month,

Melissa Keir

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

World Joanne Jaytanie

How do some authors jump from world to world and achieve wonderful outcomes so successfully? Every fiction story has a certain amount of world-building. It might not be extensive in stories such as a contemporary romance, but even so, the author builds a world for their characters to come to life in. Granted, there are different levels, for example, fantasy and Syfy writers create entire worlds, complete with their own vehicles, dwellings, clothing, atmosphere, food, traditions, vocabulary, just to name a few aspects.

I know authors who can work on multiple WIPs simultaneously, I’ve never been one of them…until now. But to be fair, my projects are all at different stages, and I’m not going back and forth between stories…at least not too much.

Salvaging Truth was published earlier this year. Yes, that book is published, but that hasn’t stopped my mind from constantly coming up with ideas, plots, what-ifs for book two…and three. I jot down ideas because let’s be honest…even when I say—“Oh, that’s good. I’ll remember that”—I don’t. So now I force myself to stop what I’m doing and write it down or take a note on my phone.

I’ve completed writing, Twice as Bad, book 2 for Miss Demeanor, P.I. and I’m working on edits as they come. This novella differs from book 1 in that it is longer, grittier, and has more twists.

I’ve been listening to Chasing Victory and I’m working my way through the series to reacquaint myself with the Winters Sister’s world and the copious number of characters. Yes, I do keep a book bible. Thank goodness I learned that strategy early on. Right about the time I was two-thirds of the way through writing Chasing Victory, and I couldn’t recall something important and had to search through the story. Book 5 will be in a brand new three-ring binder and the second book bible of the series. I try to update my bible as I write. However, that didn’t happen when I wrote, book 4, Corralling Kenzie and I’ll be adding it to my bible soon.

Each of these series has their own worlds. Fortunately, I have set all my stories in present time, which makes for slightly less world-building, except for The Winters Sisters. Once I dive into the Winters Sisters, I become immersed in their world and have a difficult time trying to write anything else. Theirs is a more intense world, especially when you add in the distinct supernatural abilities of all the major characters, along with sub-plots, personalities, Dobermans, and villains.

This is the closest I’ll ever get to writing multiple stories at once. To those of you writing gods and goddesses that find the process of world jumping very doable, even easy…I’m in awe of you.

Until next month…


Amazon      Twitter      BookBub       Pinterest

Monday, May 6, 2019

Warrior Knights and the Women They Can't Tame - Tina Donahue Monthly News Magazine #Romance #FreeReads #GuestAuthors #SneakPeek #EyeCandy #Giveaway

There are lots of goodies inside my May News Magazine.

Check it out for:

Dangerous Desires Series - erotic historicals
Guest Authors
Free Chapters and Read
Eye Candy



Website  –  FB  – FB Fanpage  – Twitter  –  Amazon Author Page – BookBub - Instagram

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Bound by Blood to a Demon's Curse...

If you're loading your reader with stories in anticipation of stockpiling some summer beach reads, you might want to check out my latest sale. Cassidy's Touch, my paranormal romance is on sale today for the low price of $.99 cents!

Read an ARC of Cassidy’s Touch by Paris Brandon and loved it! This is a highly original tale that incorporates familiar character archetypes like witches, ghosts and demons, and gives the reader something fresh.”  Adele Downs, GoodReads ARC reader

Her gift is a double edged sword. Will it be enough to save a cursed bootlegger from becoming a demon’s prize?

The least of reality show host Cassidy Spencer’s worries is banishing the ghost of a handsome bootlegger who disappeared after being accused of murdering his best friend’s fiancĂ©e. According to an expert, her ghost isn’t a ghost and if she doesn’t use her psychometric ability to find his body before the witch who cursed him does, he could end up enslaved by a demon for eternity.
Chance Coraggio doesn’t remember anything before he could walk through walls and that includes the crazy woman telling him he’s been asleep for nearly a century. The life he should’ve lived has been stolen. All the people he has ever loved are dead—and it turns out the crazy woman isn’t as crazy as he’d hoped.
But waking Chance is only half the battle. Now, both are bound by blood to a demon’s curse. To break free, they must find out who is coming for them and why. Because the only reason for a sleeping curse that has lasted almost a century lies somewhere in a past that Chance can’t remember. 

Excerpt: PG

During her hiatus from the show, she planned on exploring the possibility of visualization as a way of handling the aftereffects of her little gift. Learning to concentrate for longer than five seconds might enable her to “see” the headaches and tremors float away, absorbed by the atmosphere instead of another human being. That would be a plus if the opportunity for another relationship ever arose. Which wasn’t likely to happen anytime soon.
Because, as much as she wished otherwise, she couldn’t imagine anyone not caring that she had the ability to read them through any object they’d touched.
She’d know if they were lying or cheating.
She’d know if even for one brief moment they hated or feared her.
Oh, hell; enough of the pity party.
The water was cooling faster than it should have. She tried adjusting the temperature, but it never got any warmer, and she added a water heater to the growing list of items the house might need. If she ended up keeping the house, it wouldn’t be a huge problem in the summer, but a winter in Kansas City spent taking tepid baths wasn’t an option she wanted to entertain.
She turned off the shower and pulled open the curtain. A shadow was there one moment, filling a corner of the room, and gone the next. It was almost as if the lights had flickered on and off. Fabulous. Whether she stayed or not, she’d need an electrician.
And she probably shouldn’t trust the fuses to hold up under the addition of a small window-unit air conditioner until she had the place checked out.
Stepping over the rolled lip of the tub, she grabbed for a fluffy white towel and blotted her hair and body but left enough droplets behind to help keep her cool for as long as possible. Wrapping the towel sarong style, she padded down the hall.
The water on her back and chest had evaporated by the time she’d made it to her small square bedroom. Sunrays filtered through the leaves of the huge old tree outside her window, leaving a dappled pattern on the crisp, white cotton sheets she’d found in the linen cupboard. They’d been tied with a rose-pink satin ribbon and still held a trace of her aunts’ loving attention within its threads.
She exchanged the towel for a short white cotton robe and turned away from her reflection in the cheval glass at the foot of the bed. The shower hadn’t helped her look any less tired. This season had been brutal. Between the nonstop shooting schedule and trying to deal with her grief she’d been on autopilot with barely a minute to breathe.
The room was marginally less stuffy since she’d turned on the ceiling fan. Closing her eyes, she tried to envision the sharp shards of emotional energy dissolving in a shower of soft, warm sparks that cascaded over her and into the ground. Instead the shards clung like dark magnets against her skull.
She was lousy at this.
A breeze chilly enough to raise goose bumps washed over her bare arms. A shadow flickered across the mirror. She blinked and for the second time that afternoon caught movement out of the corner of her eye.
The pale ivory curtains covering the windows on either side of the wide mahogany dresser had stopped rippling. The air around her was still—and cold.
“Are you Cassidy?” rasped a voice that sounded as if it were filtered through a layer of dust. “Maude said that you could help me.”


Paris Brandon is a paranormal romantic suspense author who also writes contemporary, erotic, and historical romance. When not dreaming up stories featuring heroes who aren’t intimidated by strong heroines, she can be found strolling through antique and thrift stores searching for vintage treasures, or communing with nature, which is code for sitting on the patio with a cup of tea and a good book.


Share buttons