Baby Boomers Downsize w/Tiny Homes #FreebieFriday Christmas in July #Romance


Downsizing

First posted 2015 

Many of the so- called baby boomer era are facing empty nesters’ syndrome. That is to say, their once boisterous, happy homes are now quiet wastelands of space.

According to CIGNA HealthCare, family life cycles have five stages:

  1. Independence from your parents
  2. Settling down with a partner
  3. Becoming a parent to your own children
  4. Launching your adult children into their own independence stage
  5. Your retirement years

There has been an upsurge in the housing market, which in turn, has led to many couples who are coming into their retirement years, selling their homes and either moving into condos, tiny homes, like the one pictured above, or RV’s.

We chose the latter route. With our daughter grown and hundreds of miles away, we found ourselves alone and lonely in a five bedroom bi-level that was much too big. My mother had a suite downstairs, but most of the time it felt like we were simply keeping the dust bunnies company.

There are RV resorts all over Canada and the United States that cater to year round travelers. Some are very fancy with golfing, pools, tennis courts, and fitness rooms:

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http://arizonaluxuryrvresorts.com/

And others offer the wilderness in all its glory:

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Our new home may not be thirteen hundred square feet, but it can take us to places we’ve never seen before.

And maybe even relieve some of that, ‘What are we going to do without our kids?’ feeling we all go through sooner or later.

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How about you? What do you do to relieve that empty nester’s syndrome?


Celebrate Christmas in July!

My holiday romance, Silver Bells is #Free July 12-14/2019!

Click the covers to visit Amazon for the books.

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Will a Christmas wish give a lonely author a family?

Mystery writer, Joel Carpenter, has no time for romance. He has a deadline to meet, and too many skeletons in his closet to trust the slightly spinny artist renting his house.

Christy Taylor has her hands full dealing with an ailing business and a diabetic daughter, she doesn’t need the temptation that is her landlord, Joel Carpenter.

Can a Christmas wish bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the gift she wants most?

Tangled in Tinsel: The Celebration Series, Book 1 

Being the new girl in town is hard, especially when you’re running from your past. It even gets harder when your handsome neighbor is a police officer who wants to get to know you. No matter how much Casey tries to avoid Thad, something is always pulling them together. 

Thad has lived in Celebration Township his entire life, and it’s not until a beautiful brunette moves in next door that his eye is finally caught. If only she didn’t push him away at every chance she got. 

When an unexpected visitor shows up at Casey’s house a few days before Christmas, her future and past collide. Will Thad figure it out what’s going on in time, or will Casey end up being a conspirator to a murderer? 

A KISS BENEATH A CHRISTMAS STAR 

Wounded warrior, Ben Michaelson is a former rock star who’s at Dragonfly Pointe intending to make a comeback at the town’s yearly charity event. 

The adopted daughter of a music superstar and an artist herself, Rose Atkinson has suffered her own share of heartache, long ago deciding she’d never get involved with another musician. 

But will the magic of a kiss beneath a Christmas star help Ben convince Rose that fate has always meant for them to be together?

Singing in the Rain #Inspiration #amwriting #Globalwarming


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It’s raining!

I don’t know about you, but those of us in the northwestern part of Canada are celebrating. Every year it gets hotter and drier and the earth is aging seemingly before our eyes.

It was always a dream for DH and I to move to Vancouver Island. We came here on our honeymoon and every year after that we could afford the trip. I craved the beautiful cedars, rhododendrons, ivy, and ferns. The lush greenness of the rainforest, the scent of the ocean on the air, the slap of the waves upon the shore… I could go on and on, lol.

Thirty years later we made the move and it was just as amazing as we remembered!

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Photo curtesy of Tofino Photography

I’ve made new friends, explored this magical place I’m blessed to call home, and learned to feel the pulse of the land.

And it worries me.

The birds and wildlife that count on the weather to keep the forest green and the food plentiful, are suffering.

Global warming is not simply a term-it is a view of our future. Unless we do something to change it. Not soon.

Now.

We’ve just come through the worst fire season in our province’s history. I shudder to think how many animals perished along with our forests, crops, homes–lives.

The hurricanes in the southern United States destroyed countless businesses, displaced thousands of people, cost billions of dollars.

And that’s only the tip of a quickly thawing iceberg.

I know this seems all doom and gloom, but it doesn’t have to be. I think we’re being warned, shape up, or face the consequences.

The tide is turning. Many areas now are banning plastic bags, urging economical use of gas and electricity, and promoting more green spaces in cities. This is all good, but we need to do more.

Being part of the baby boomer generation, I think much of the blame lies with us. We grew up in a time of exploration (the first trip to the moon), innovation (personal computers and cell phones), and excess. Lots of excess! Plastic water bottles, disposable baby diapers, takeout foods. You name it, we’ve done it.

I’m amazed by our growth and embarrassed with our neglect.

And I thank God every day that the new generation has learned from our mistakes. My grandson knows all about recycling, composting, energy efficient bulbs, healthy eating, exercise, growing your own sustainable produce.

And he’s ten.

This tells me that we still have a chance.

I’m writing this, drinking herbal tea and listening to the rain as it dances on my roof, and I’m grateful because Mother Nature is forgiving if we just make an effort.

Fav quote-Life had grace notes-Family Tree by @susanwiggs #BookReview #mgtab


One of the most emotionally satisfying books of 2016!

 

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Family Tree

By Susan Wiggs

 

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 

Sometimes the greatest dream starts with the smallest element. A single cell, joining with another. And then dividing. And just like that, the world changes.

Annie Harlow knows how lucky she is. The producer of a popular television cooking show, she loves her handsome husband and the beautiful Los Angeles home they share. And now, she’s pregnant with their first child. But in an instant, her life is shattered. And when Annie awakes from a yearlong coma, she discovers that time isn’t the only thing she’s lost.

Grieving and wounded, Annie retreats to her old family home in Switchback, Vermont, a maple farm generations old. There, surrounded by her free-spirited brother, their divorced mother, and four young nieces and nephews, Annie slowly emerges into a world she left behind years ago: the town where she grew up, the people she knew before, the high-school boyfriend turned judge. And with the discovery of a cookbook her grandmother wrote in the distant past, Annie unearths an age-old mystery that might prove the salvation of the family farm.

Family Tree is the story of one woman’s triumph over betrayal, and how she eventually comes to terms with her past. It is the story of joys unrealized and opportunities regained. Complex, clear-eyed and big-hearted, funny, sad, and wise, it is a novel to cherish and to remember.

 

Buy Link: Amazon

 

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About the Author:

 

Susan Wiggs’s life is all about family, friends…and fiction. She’s been featured in the national media, including NPR’s Talk of the Nation, and is a popular speaker locally and nationally.

From the very start, her writings have illuminated the everyday dramas of ordinary people. At the age of eight, she self-published her first novel, entitled “A Book About Some Bad Kids.”

Today, she is an international best-selling, award-winning author, with millions of copies of her books in print in numerous countries. Her recent novel, Marrying Daisy Bellamy, took the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List, and The Lakeshore Chronicles have won readers’ hearts around the globe. Her books celebrate the power of love, the timeless bonds of family and the fascinating nuances of human nature.

She lives with her husband and family at the water’s edge on an island in the Pacific Northwest, where she divides her time between sleeping and waking.

My Review:

This story touched me on so many levels it’s hard to know where to start. And such is Susan Wiggs’ appeal.

She seamlessly blends the strands of life she imbues into her characters, and brings them to blazing life on the page.

Family Tree is so much more than a love story, though it’s hard not to cheer on Annie and Fletcher and their on again, off again, love affair.

This is also the story of new beginnings and the strength of family ties. I loved the parts with Annie’s grandma and her pearls of wisdom.

I also liked the alternating chapters showing past and present. It made the story more in-depth and gave us a fundamental insight into Annie’s heart and dreams.

I loved this book and give Family Tree 5 lovely kisses

A highly recommended read!

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What would you do with a second chance?: New Beginnings by Iris Blobel #Romance #MFRWauthor @_iris_b


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The story is set in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, the most southern state in Australia. A most beautiful place. I went there a few years back and imagined how it would be to live in this city, how to adapt as a “non-local”, and bit by bit I wrote the story of two sisters moving there.

Obviously, I added a little romance into the story as well – so I added Mark and Zach.

This is the second edition of NEW BEGINNINGS.

The story is now a bit sexier and has also received another edit.

 

Literary Chanteuse’s review: “This author has a way of endearing her characters and it is easy to fall in love with them. An intriguing story with emotion, love and hope.”

Sharon’s review: “This was a very enjoyable read and it left me wanting just a little bit more. I highly recommend it.”

 

 

“Other people have to fight battles in their life as well.”

 

~~  New Beginnings ~~

(2nd Edition)

by Iris Blobel

 

 

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2a1BSJ7

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/29FTb4B

AMAZON AU: http://amzn.to/2a9yKgW

 

♥♦♥  SYNOPSIS ♥♦♥

 

The chance to start life all over with the help of a stranger.

 

Twenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to her eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother’s death a few years ago, and it hasn’t been easy. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is, though, they don’t know and have never heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator. Settling into their new life, Sophie is still afraid it’s all a mistake.

Mark O’Connor, attorney in Hobart and the bearer of the good news for Sophie and Mia, curses himself for the lack of information about the testator. However, researching the questions gives him an opportunity to see Sophie again, and the more time he spends with the two, the more he realises that his life is missing something. And it’s not his casual lover Linda.

But then there’s Zach, Sophie’s sexy neighbour from across the road… and a very good friend of Clara’s.

Will unravelling the mystery unravel Sophie and Mark’s promise of a future?

 

3D New Beginnings 2016

 

♥♦♥  EXCERPT ♥♦♥

 

Sophie Levesque stared at the attorney in front of her, waiting for some answers. She and her little sister, Mia, had been quietly sitting in Mr. O’Connor’s office for more than half an hour, learning about the details of their inheritance.

Once he was finished, silence hung in the air before she asked with raised eyebrows. “Who?”

“Clara Catherine Bellinger.”

Mia leaned closer to her elder sister and gave a soft tug on Sophie’s shirt. “Who is she?”

Sophie shrugged. “I wouldn’t have a clue.” Then turned her attention back on Mr. O’Connor and asked the same thing. “Who is she?”

The handsome attorney on the other side of the massive desk leaned forward and rested his elbows on it before he started to repeat his earlier speech. Although hearing his words, Sophie still found it all very hard to comprehend. Here she was in this old office, furnished with heavy antique oak furniture, the curtains in a pretty shade of aubergine, and the carpet beneath her shoes thick and warm in a matching shade, hearing about an inheritance from someone she’d never even heard of.

Startled by the subtle sound of the clock chiming across the road, Sophie’s gaze turned to the window, where she saw the post office building across the road. It looked impressive and old. It’d been only a few hours since they’d arrived in Hobart, the most southern capital in Australia, but she already liked it. A lot more than Sydney, the place she’d lived all her life.

Hauled back from her thoughts, she heard Mr. O’Connor say, “I believe she was a distant relative of yours. I’m afraid I don’t have any further details.”

Sophie arched an eyebrow in disbelief, doubting the accuracy of it all. Not only did she try not to question his competence as a lawyer, but she also hoped it wasn’t a dreadful misunderstanding.

With a slight shrug of her shoulder, she asked, “Why not?”

He met her gaze steadily. “Pardon me?”

Sitting up straight, she repeated, “Why not? Why aren’t there any further details?”

He rubbed his chin with his fingers, his unease now obvious, and although she almost felt sorry for him, she tried not to care. She needed to know more. And not just the what, but why and who as well.

Only a week earlier, Sophie had received the call from Mr. O’Connor telling her about an inheritance. Initially, she’d thought it had been a horrible joke when he’d given her details on where to pick up airplane tickets to Hobart. It was important for her to come, he’d explained. Some legality she hadn’t understood. Something about her having to sign documents for the transfer of ownership of some assets. It’d sounded too farfetched at the start, but after some research on the firm with the help of a friend, it sounded valid, and she’d hoped her life was finally turning around for the better.

 

 

♥♦♥ MEET THE AUTHOR ♥♦♥

IRIS BLOBEL

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

 

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

 

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Click here to subscribe to Iris’ Newsletter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IrisBlobel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_iris_b

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4067254.Iris_Blobel

Instagram: https:/www.instagram.com/iris_blobel/

Take Time for Simple Pleasures #Summer #Family #mgtab


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One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to pack an impromptu picnic lunch and go for a drive with DH until we find that perfect spot to while away the afternoon.

Sometimes I think we get so caught up in the hectic pace of everyday life we let the simple pleasures go by the wayside.

Funny thing though, looking back on my life it’s those sort of days I remember the most.

Rising early and driving deep into the forest to my dad’s favorite fishing spot, then walking through the bog, losing my shoe and having him rescue it for me. 🙂 Catching a creel full of trout and grayling and then stopping for lunch along the riverbank.

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Attribution: By Sobebunny – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7274675

 

Or going for a drive up and over the Great Divide to pick raspberries with my aunt who had a condition that had us kids giggling, but must have been frustrating and possibly dangerous for her. You see, she had a condition where she would be talking and all the sudden she’d fall asleep mid-sentence! When she woke up, she’d continue the conversation even though it might be fifteen minutes later.

 

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One of my favorite times was a picnic into the Cadomin mountains with my grandparents. My grandpa was sick with cancer at the time and wouldn’t see the next summer, but for that day, life was good.

 

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Don’t forget to take time to enjoy the simple pleasures, they’re the ones that matter the most.

Jacquie Biggar

 

What Would You Do? #FosterAbuse #mgtab #MFRWauthor


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What would you do if you saw children being abused?

The sad truth is many of us care, but not enough to get into the middle of what could be a dangerous or embarrassing situation.

We don’t do it out of meanness, as much as self preservation.

If we don’t get involved, we can’t get hurt, right?

 

This is a video from ABC News. It illustrates why many parents enter the foster system and how those children are mistreated.

 

 

Happily, there are those who will step up and help those in need, though in some cases this can cause an escalation in the violence these kids endure.

The CBC News in Canada did a post on the crisis children face within the foster system.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/canadian-foster-care-in-crisis-experts-say-1.1250543

Some children are placed in foster care without full safety checks while others wind up in supervised apartments or overcrowded homes, say child advocates who warn of a deepening crisis across the country.

In one case, a four-year-old girl was removed from the care of her aunt in 2006 after she was found to be neglected, malnourished and suffering from recurring physical abuse. An investigation found that the aunt had not been appropriately screened.

 

If you know of a case like this, or see signs of abuse please do the right thing and contact your local child protective services.

And if you are a child in need of help:

Childhelp® is a national organization that provides crisis assistance and other counseling and referral services. The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline external linkis staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with professional crisis counselors who have access to a database of 55,000 emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are anonymous. Contact them at 1.800.4.A.CHILD (1.800.422.4453).

If you need help with personal or family situations, you may wish to visit our resources on Where to Find Help.

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, or if you are a child who is being maltreated, contact your local child protective services office or law enforcement agency so professionals can assess the situation. Many States have a toll-free number to call to report suspected child abuse or neglect. To find out where to call, consult the Information Gateway publication, State Child Abuse Reporting Numbers.

This material may be freely reproduced and distributed. However, when doing so, please credit Child Welfare Information Gateway.

 

My new book, Summer Lovin’, explores this issue.

Two young boys are left in the care of a neglectful uncle after their mother dies. All he’s interested in is the monthly allowance he receives for their care.

When school secretary, Rebecca Sorenson, meets one of the kids and is threatened by the uncle, she decides to seek help from the sheriff.

 

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Here’s a short excerpt from Summer Lovin’

Tommy cried all the way home. Not great hiccupping sobs like he’d done in the past when they’d first arrived at his uncle’s house and realized they were worse off now than when their parents died. No, these tears were silent. A steady stream that ran down his face and dripped unheeded off his chin. Tears of despair, of a childhood lost, of faded dreams.

Just for a moment today with that pretty schoolteacher he’d felt something close to peace. Her scent when she’d held him in her arms reminded him of his mom and he hadn’t wanted to let go. But then his uncle had shown up.

He reached the edge of town and looked for the overgrown drive. A broken down gray wooden fence and a lopsided Keep Out sign pointed the way to the old cabin hidden amongst tall spruce trees. The dirt lane was rutted so bad it tossed his bike from side to side but he refused to walk; his uncle had warned them there were snakes in the grass just waiting for little boys. Tommy wasn’t taking any chances.

He pulled up next to the sagging porch and slowly laid his bike on its side, listening for his brother. A soft humming led him to the corner of the building. Jasper sat in the dirt, his scrawny bare back bent over a little toy truck he was using to make roads with in the sand. Tommy sighed his relief, no new marks that he could see. He’d gotten here in time then.

“Hey, brother, whatcha doin’?” He let Jasper know he was there before moving forward.

Jasper jumped up, ready to flee, then realized who’d spoken and cracked a mile wide smile. “Tommy, Tommy you’re back.” He ran and wrapped his arms around his brother and Tommy frowned at how thin they were.

“Did you eat the food I hid for you?” he demanded.

Jasper shrugged, his chin digging a hole in Tommy’s chest. “I wasn’t very hungry,” he mumbled.

Tommy frowned and set him back so he could look him in the eye. “Jas, you gotta eat. We ain’t ever gonna get outta here if you ain’t strong enough to run.”

Jasper’s eyes lit with hope. “Can we go now? Can we, huh?”

Tommy cursed his big mouth. Why’d he go and say anything? “No. We can’t go until we have a plan.” Jasper’s lips wobbled and Tommy changed the subject. “Show me the roads you’ve been building.”

It worked, for now. Jasper trotted over and sprawled out on his belly, reaching for the little blue car he’d been playing with. “Wait ‘til you see this. I made a hill and my car flies,” he said, his voice filled with excitement.

Tommy followed more slowly, his mind on that nice teacher. Why couldn’t someone like her have taken them in? He missed his mom so bad and yet sometimes he got scared because he couldn’t quite picture her in his head anymore. The teacher reminded him of her though. She smelled good too and had a pretty dress. His mom always wore nice clothes; she said she liked to look pretty for her boys. Man, he missed her. She’d know what to do right now because he sure didn’t. The only thing he did know for certain was that he’d promised to take care of his brother and he darn sure was going to.

The rumble of a vehicle coming up the drive had both boys scrambling for cover. A ratty blue tarp hanging over a pile of scrap metal nearby did the job, though it was a tight fit. Their uncle had warned them often enough to keep outta sight of strangers.

“Who is it?” Jasper asked, his voice squeaky with a mix of fear and excitement.

“Shh, we’ll know soon enough,” Tommy whispered. “Just keep quiet, okay?”

The rattle as the engine shut down told him who it was even before the tinny door slammed shut and his uncle stomped around the corner looking like the axeman from Snow White.

“Where the hell are you hiding, you stupid little shits?” he roared. His heavy work boots kicked up tufts of dust as he circled the yard in search of them. He glanced at Jasper’s toy car, reached down, picked it up, and sent it flying into the bushes.

Jasper whimpered but thankfully held silent, his body vibrating so hard the tarp rattled. Tommy jerked him away, pulling him up against his own shaking body. He was so scared he needed to pee.

“You come on out of there or your stupid ass brother is going to pay the price.” The edge of the tarp lifted and a hand reached in and latched onto Tommy’s arm in a death grip. Jasper’s eyes grew big as pie plates and welled up with tears. Tommy cried out in pain but shook his head viciously at his brother, warning him to keep quiet and stay still.

And then he was yanked out and thrown to the ground. Uncle Pete stood over him as he lay in the dirt, lips twisted in a snarl that sent shards of fear through Tommy’s gut.

“You better explain yourself, boy.” He nudged Tommy with his boot. “What did you think you were doing at the schoolhouse today?”

Tommy thought fast. There was no way he was going to tell this man the real reason. He had to come up with something to defuse the anger brewing in his uncle’s eyes. He reached into his pocket and reluctantly withdrew the gold chain he’d taken from the teacher lady’s purse.

“I was getting you some money, Uncle.” A beefy hand reached out and swiped the necklace from his hand. His uncle eyed him suspiciously for a moment before lifting the cross on the chain to the light.

“You aware this is stealing, boy?” He gave the chain a little shake and the cross glinted so bright it practically blinded Tommy.

“I did it just the way you showed me, sir.” Tommy lifted himself to his elbows. “She won’t know who it was.”

Uncle Pete frowned, his brows like bats wings over his eyes. “You better hope the hell not, kid. Your brother doesn’t like when you screw up.” He laughed, his belly jiggling under the dirty plaid shirt. He turned and strode toward the shack, hollering over his shoulder, “Git in here and make me some grub, I’m hungry after chasing you all over creation.”

Tommy waited a few minutes, knowing full well that it was his uncle’s routine to go into the house, grab a bottle of booze and flop down on the ugly green sofa for the night. He had time to make sure his brother was okay now.

He pulled back the tarp to let Jasper out, then went searching for the toy car, the last thing Jas had from their mom. A few moments later he found it under the edge of a blackberry bush. Careful to avoid the painful spikes, he managed to retrieve it with only a couple of minor scratches.

“Here you go, buddy, I found it.” He turned and offered it to Jasper but his attention was on the house. “Don’t worry, I won’t let him touch you again.” And when his brother looked at him with eyes that knew more than any five-year-old kid outta know about pain, Tommy’s gut tightened with a white-hot rage.

He fingered the wallet in his pocket he’d also stolen from the teacher. Soon. Soon he’d have enough to get them far away from here. And they weren’t never coming back.

I hope you try Summer Lovin’ and if you enjoy the book please consider leaving a review. I’d appreciate it, thanks!

It’s the Little Things #MFRWauthor #FamilyFirst


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This past weekend was cause for celebration. My grandson turned nine years old!

A few years ago when we moved from our home and followed my daughter to the west coast so that we could help with the care of our boy, we didn’t realize we would want to stay. He was five at the time and about to enter the school system for the very first time, {yikes} and needed care after school while my daughter attended university.

She came here with the dream of becoming a marine biologist, and four years later, she’s close to fulfilling that goal.

As for her dad and I, we’re grateful for the opportunity to live close enough to be there for our grandchild, as we were for our girl.

The older I get, the more time seems to slip through my fingers. It seems like just yesterday that I was sending my girl off to kindergarden, watching her grow up, teaching her to drive, and holding her hand when she needed us.

 

Now she’s doing the same with her boy.

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Training him to ride a bike.

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To learn the value of being a team player.

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We’re so very proud of both of them!

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It’s funny how you look back on life and it’s the little things that turn out to mean the most. So today I wanted to take a moment and share some of the many reasons I have for being grateful, and the blessing grandchildren bring to our lives.

Happy birthday, my boy. Grandma and Papa love you to Jupiter and beyond (because the moon isn’t far enough, as you kindly informed us :))

 

 

Aiden almost 7 yrs old-March 2014

7 Signs Spring is Here: #NewRelease #Ilovespring #mgtab


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Do you love spring?

It’s my favorite time of the year. I don’t notice it as much now that we’re on the island, but growing up spring was a really big deal.

In Alberta there is a standing joke that we have two seasons: Winter, and almost winter.

Generally, if we made it through September without snow it was reason to celebrate. And then we would spend the next eight months or so anxiously waiting the uncertain weather that came with spring.

 

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Our igloo 🙂 And yes, that is a bench buried under about three feet of the white stuff.

Needless to say, by the time April rolled around we were more than ready for the showers!

I thought it would be fun to list my favorite ways to tell spring is here.

  • Robins show up with their bright red chests pointed to the sun.

 

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  • Crocus poke their gorgeous purple hearts out of the snow.

 

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  • The bicycles come out.

 

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  • Kids play in the mud.

 

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  • Fancy cars start cruising the streets.

 

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  • The trees don their spring coats.

 

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  • Dusk lasts longer than a blink.

 

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What about you? Do you have a favorite season? Why?

 

I have three new releases coming in the next month that I would like to share with you. I hope you’ll consider giving them a try!

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.*´¨) ¸.*¨)

(¸.´Pre-Order NOW

The Guardian – Book 1 of Mended Souls

Lucas Carmichael and Scott Anderson had it all, money, fame, and fortune. But one night’s stupid mistake takes everything they thought they cherished and dumps it upside down.

A car accident ends Lucas’ life and leaves Scott injured and bitter. 

As the local ME, Tracy York, investigates the case, discrepancies begin to point to more than a simple drunk driving incident. When threats are made to Tracy’s life can Scott and his guardian angel, Lucas, protect her, or will she become another casualty?

Pre-Order Jacquie Biggar‘s

The Guardian 

Buy Link:

http://amzn.com/B01D4D3LMS

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29510815-the-guardian

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Pre-Order Summer Heat – Love on Fire : 16 Bestselling, 16 all-new romances guaranteed to make your blood run hot! Only 99c

 

Guaranteed to make your blood run hot. Passion, steamy nights, excitement, and suspense. Something to suit every reader’s taste. Grab a cool drink (you’ll need it!), find a hammock, and curl up for an unforgettable escape.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C68B7W8

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1QVFyh8

Apple: http://apple.co/1TVjEcN

BN purchase:  http://bit.ly/SuHtBN

BN UK: http://bit.ly/SuHBNUK

Kobo purchase:  http://bit.ly/SuHKb

Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/SuHtGdR

SummerHeatAuthors.com: http://bit.ly/1oI4s7c

Summer Heat Release Party FB: https://business.facebook.com/events/246899868978700/

 

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Protect and Love

When the oath to protect and serve tangles with love, expect sparks and lots of heat! 

Hot firemen, alpha cops, sexy detectives, and dashing federal agents…this anthology from 9 best-selling and award-winning authors will have you rooting for your favorite heroes and heroines as they step up to the greatest challenge of their lives–to protect and love.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CVXT194 

Short link: http://amzn.to/1RYa8ng

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/to-protect-and-love

on B&N! http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-protect-and-love-mimi-barbour/1123531064?ean=2940157689483

Google play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Mimi_Barbour_To_Protect_and_Love?id=xUS6CwAAQBAJ

Itunes-

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/to-protect-and-love/id1092817148?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29221804-to-protect-and-love

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Jacquie writes Romantic Suspense with tough, alpha males who know what they want, until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them that what they really need is love.

Jacquie has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happy-ever-afters.

Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂

Follow Jacquie’s website below – if you check out her giveaways page you’ll find tons of great prizes every month!

http://jacqbiggar.com

http://Facebook.com/jacqbiggar

http://Facebook.com/jacquiebiggar

Facebook Street Team:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1051448161572521/

http://Twitter.com/jacqbiggar

http://amazon.com/author/jacquiebiggar

https://www.goodreads.com/JacquieBiggar

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jacquie-biggar

Don’t Sweat the Little Stuff #mgtab #MFRWauthor #Writer


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The past couple of months have been a series of ups and downs, and anyone who knows me knows I don’t handle stress all that well, hence the gray hair, or so I like to tell myself 🙂

Normally, my life runs along a pretty even keel, with a routine that suits me fine. But then, stuff started to pile up.

February came and reminded me tax time was right around the corner and of course my paperwork was far from being ready.

 

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I’d booked myself into not one, but two online writer’s workshops and quickly fell behind on my assignments because I’d also agreed to participate in two multi-author box sets, both releasing in May!

This meant I had to get a new novella written, edited, formatted, and cover picked out for the one box set,

Summer Heat: Love on Fire.

 

 

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Pre-Order Summer Heat – Love on Fire : 16 Bestselling, 16 all-new romances guaranteed to make your blood run hot! Only 99c

Guaranteed to make your blood run hot. Passion, steamy nights, excitement, and suspense. Something to suit every reader’s taste. Grab a cool drink (you’ll need it!), find a hammock, and curl up for an unforgettable escape.

 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C68B7W8

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1QVFyh8

Apple: http://apple.co/1TVjEcN

BN purchase:  http://bit.ly/SuHtBN

BN UK: http://bit.ly/SuHBNUK

Kobo purchase:  http://bit.ly/SuHKb

Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/SuHtGdR

SummerHeatAuthors.com: http://bit.ly/1oI4s7c

Summer Heat Release Party FB: https://business.facebook.com/events/246899868978700/

 

And for the other, To Protect and Love, I had to make sure my book came out of Kindle Select in time to go up on all venues when we set the pre-order date, and of course help with promotions on both sets.

full box shadow

 

Protect and Love

 

When the oath to protect and serve tangles with love, expect sparks and lots of heat! 

Hot firemen, alpha cops, sexy detectives, and dashing federal agents…this anthology from 9 best-selling and award-winning authors will have you rooting for your favorite heroes and heroines as they step up to the greatest challenge of their lives–to protect and love.

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CVXT194 

Short link: http://amzn.to/1RYa8ng

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/to-protect-and-love

on B&N! http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-protect-and-love-mimi-barbour/1123531064?ean=2940157689483

Google play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Mimi_Barbour_To_Protect_and_Love?id=xUS6CwAAQBAJ

Ibooks-https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/to-protect-and-love/id1092817148?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29221804-to-protect-and-love

This includes daily teasers to Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook groups. As well, we planned guest blogs, blog tours, advertising, and Facebook parties.

 

Then I had the wise idea, 🙂  to get another book out there and published in time to pick up new readers from these sets, so I kicked it into high gear to finish the story I’d been working on for a few months, The Guardian, a paranormal romantic suspense novel.

 

 

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.*´¨) ¸.*¨)

(¸.´Pre-Order NOW

The Guardian – Book 1 of Mended Souls

Lucas Carmichael and Scott Anderson had it all, money, fame, and fortune. But one night’s stupid mistake takes everything they thought they cherished and dumps it upside down.

A car accident ends Lucas’ life and leaves Scott injured and bitter. 

As the local ME, Tracy York, investigates the case, discrepancies begin to point to more than a simple drunk driving incident. When threats are made to Tracy’s life can Scott and his guardian angel, Lucas, protect her, or will she become another casualty?

Pre-Order Jacquie Biggar‘s

The Guardian 

Buy Link: http://amzn.com/B01D4D3LMS

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29510815-the-guardian

Whew, finally all caught up and able to breathe again, except wait… I still never got my tax stuff together!!

And, I joined another group of writers for another boxed set with another brand new novella,

Love, Christmas.

 

smBoxset

 

We have a fun contest going on Fresh Fiction until the end of March, so hurry and enter soon!

Calling all Christmas lovers!
Do you love the music of the holiday season? If so, the Authors’ Billboard needs your attention! This coming 2016 Christmas, twenty of our authors—New York Times and USA Today Bestsellers—will be putting together a multi-author box collection of brand new, never before published stories to dazzle everyone, but we require your participation.
The theme of our bundle will be CHRISTMAS CAROLS. And we want to use YOUR favorite holiday songs. If you and your song title are chosen, one of the novellas will be dedicated to YOU.
Sound like fun? Please enter the contest by naming your special carols in the box below. You may enter as many times as you like. So what are you waiting for?
Here’s what the winners will receive:
1. Twenty winners will have his/her favorite song chosen as the title and possibly the theme for one of the novellas.
2. That particular story will be dedicated to the winner— twenty in total.
3. And the winners will receive a free copy of the box set (eBook only).

ENTER HERE

 

From all of this, my take-away is that it doesn’t pay to sweat the small stuff. Just focus, make a list of priorities, and get ‘er done.

Oiy, whoever said the life of a writer was easy!

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Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂

Jacquie writes Romantic Suspense with tough, alpha males who know what they want, until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them that what they really need is love.

Jacquie has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happy-ever-afters.

Follow Jacquie’s website below – if you check out her giveaways page you’ll find tons of great prizes every month!

http://jacqbiggar.com

http://Facebook.com/jacqbiggar

http://Facebook.com/jacquiebiggar

Facebook Street Team:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1051448161572521/

http://Twitter.com/jacqbiggar

http://amazon.com/author/jacquiebiggar

https://www.goodreads.com/JacquieBiggar

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jacquie-biggar

Newsletter- http://eepurl.com/2MFvX

pen-calendar-to-do-checklist

 

Party Like it’s 1964 #mgtab #MFRWauthor


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Do you have photos from when you were a child?

I have a few and they’re very precious. They tell of simpler days; of sunshine and pedal bikes, friends and lemonade stands.

 

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Today is my birthday and as I look back on all the changes that have happened in my lifetime, I miss those years when the biggest worry was who was outside to play with.

As a kid we were seldom in the house other than mealtimes, preferring to run up and down the block playing hopscotch or swords and dragons instead.

Nowadays I measure the passage of time by the growing height of my grandchild, the gray hairs appearing along my brow, and the creaks and groans from aging limbs.

One thing that hasn’t changed however, is my love of make believe worlds. Where we used to create in back yards and tree houses, now I use keyboard and mouse.

Today marks the pre-order of my fifth book, a milestone of which I’m very proud to have accomplished. All of which proves, just because the body gets older, it doesn’t mean the mind quits dreaming 🙂

 

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The Guardian

by Jacquie Biggar

 

Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense

 

Restitution begins with the truth

 

Lucas Carmichael and Scott Anderson had it all, money, fame, and fortune. But one night’s stupid mistake takes everything they thought they cherished and dumps it upside down.  

A car accident ends Lucas’ life and leaves Scott injured and bitter.  

As the local ME, Tracy York, investigates the case, discrepancies begin to point to more than a simple drunk driving incident. 

When threats are made to Tracy’s life can Scott and his guardian angel, Lucas, protect her, or will she become another casualty? 

Pre-Order your Copy Now

 http://amzn.com/B01D4D3LMS

Add to your TBR List

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29510815-the-guardian

 

Excerpt:

 

 

Scott couldn’t believe he’d escaped from a hospital just a few hours before and now here he was, riding in the back of an ambulance. He was pretty sure it wasn’t SOP to transport a canine, even if it was extenuating circumstances.

But the moment the paramedics had shown up, his companion had run roughshod over their objections. It was sort of sexy. Tracy York. He had a difficult time equating her as a medical examiner. She seemed too… young. Naïve. Cute. That is until a person got close enough to read the deep green pools of her gaze. They spoke of suffering, those eyes. They made him ache inside. He wanted to hold her. Offer to help, even though his world was a screwed up mess. Her thigh rubbed against his every time the ambulance changed lanes and was slowly driving him crazy. Every nerve strained closer, waiting for the next teasing friction of silk and jean meshing together and then apart. The vehicle took a corner and she lost balance, threw out a hand to steady herself, and came dangerously close to finding out exactly what she was doing to him. Scott grasped her forearm in his good hand and stopped her forward momentum. He froze, their lips a hairsbreadth apart. Her eyes grew large and he felt like the wolf at Red Riding Hood’s door. His heart skidded along his windpipe like it was an Olympic medal winning luge run. How had he thought her merely cute? She was gorgeous, with hair like the finest brandy and skin that rivalled any fairy tale heroine he’d ever read about. He leaned toward her, solely focused on tasting that lush, honey-sweet mouth.

And she frowned.

Just like that the noise came rushing back in, the creak of the van, the beep of machines, and the stifled snort of the paramedic who suddenly pretended to act busy. Tracy pulled her arm free. She ignored him to reach out and pet the mutt’s gnarled coat, and move a careful few inches down the bench. Scott glared at the grinning paramedic and sat back, his head resting against the cool metal wall behind him. He couldn’t honestly remember the last time a woman turned him down. He was disappointed, but there was no denying the fact that the doc intrigued him. If she were anyone else he’d be tempted to pursue the matter. But she held his and Lucas’ reputation in her dainty little hands. He couldn’t afford to alienate her.

Jacquie Biggar. The Guardian: Mended Souls (Kindle Locations 488-492). Jacquie Biggar.

 

Break My Fall by Jessica Scott #Romance #MFRWauthor #mgtab @Barclay_PR @ JessicaScott09


Break my Fall

 

BREAK MY FALL by JESSICA SCOTT

 

For Josh Douglas, broken by the impotent rage of combat and loss, pain is the only thing that feels real until he meets Abby Hillard.  In Josh, Abby sees a puzzle for someone else to solve even though she deeply feels the pull to free the darkness that cloaks him.  BREAK MY FALL by USA Today Bestselling author, Jessica Scott, is the second book in an emotional new adult series about a group of young veterans adjusting to life away from the military. They’ve got a lot to learn about life away from war – and college may or may not be the place for them to learn it.

 

 

Title: Break My Fall

Author: Jessica Scott

Series: Falling #2

Genre: New Adult

Release Date: February 15, 2016

 

Synopsis:

Violence. I’m addicted to it. It’s how I feel alive. It’s the only thing that’s real any more.

And now I have to sit around and discuss it like it’s physics or calculus.

I can’t do it. I can’t pretend that it’s some sterile academic topic.

Violence isn’t sterile. It isn’t calm. It’s pulsing. It’s alive.

It’s my drug.

Until I met Abby, I never wanted anything beyond the next fight.

Never considered that I might finally find a way back to the land of the living.

Now? Now I find myself dreaming of a woman with golden eyes.

But I can never be with her. Because I am not whole. And I never will be again.

But I cannot stay away. And loving her might finally be what breaks me.

 

Get More information at: Goodreads  | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

 

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Excerpt 

He’s watching me. I want to step closer to him but I can’t. I won’t.

Because I’m not blind to the darkness in Mr. Douglas. It’s there, just below the surface. Like a pot of water just before it boils.

The tension is back, now. A slow burning anger I should be getting as far away from as I possibly can.

“What?” I finally ask, needing something to break the spell between us.

“Why do you care why I got angry in class? You don’t even know my name.”

I narrow my eyes at him and open my mouth, then snap it closed, mirroring his earlier action. I didn’t expect the question and I have no idea how to answer.

Because in reality, I don’t have an answer for why I’m standing here at the moment.

Damn it.

My brain finally latches onto the first thing I come up with

“Wookie life debt. Payback for you helping me the other night.”

I try to leave then. Hoping that he’ll let me go and put all my curiosity away. For good.

“Hey.” His voice tugs at me to stop.

I won’t look at him now. Because I’m ashamed of what he’ll see if he looks into my eyes.

And I can’t stand the thought of him seeing the needful loneliness that has become my constant companion since Robert ripped my heart out and left it bleeding on the cobblestone sidewalk.

“What’s your name?” His voice is low and quiet. Steady now. Almost calm.

I turn, unable to avoid looking at him now.

It dawns on me that no, I don’t know his name.

I stand there for a moment, hesitant. The last time this happened, I fell too far, too fast.

This time will be different. Because I’m not going to make the same mistake twice.

It’s like standing too close to an electrical current.

The simplicity of the question is deceptively benign.

I’m drawn to him in a way that is unhealthy and dangerous. He’s already consuming my thoughts, drawing my attention away from the matter at hand and luring me down a dark corridor where only dark thoughts and whispered need twist together.

I hold up one hand, needing to break the spell or whatever is going on between us. My hand collides with his chest, and I am flush against the stark reminder of this man’s strength and power and capability to do violence.

There’s a small cut over his left eye, from the other night. Before the rational part of my brain kicks in, I brush my fingertips gently over the bruised and damaged skin.

He goes still beneath my touch. That full bottom lip opens a little. A tiny space, but I can feel the heat of his breath on my wrist.

His eyes are locked on mine. I’m trapped, unable to move. I’m not sure I want to. I’m furious for him but I’m frozen, burning where my fingers touch his skin.

I cannot move. Cannot look away.

“I’m Josh,” he whispers. An answer to an unasked question.

 

JScott- BMF

 

My Review:

If you’re looking for a light-hearted read, this book is not for you. It’s gritty, raw, and emotionally charged. I Loved It!

Written in first person, Josh’s story is one of immeasurable pain and suffering, yet for all that, the underlying core of steel that runs through his blood keeps him from giving up, letting go.

When he meets Abby the attraction is immediate, but here too, Ms. Scott doesn’t take the easy road. Abby has a past to deal with herself and the odds at times seem insurmountable, but pulls the reader along, hoping there’s is a way these two can find a fresh start.

This book isn’t easy, but it’s oh-so-rewarding!

Favorite Lines:

Violence isn’t cold. It’s not rational.

It is hot. Burning. Thrashing. Tearing at everything and everyone around it until there is nothing left. It is not helpless. It is not passive. 

It is action. It is motion and energy.

It is alive, a force of it’s own.

 

Powerful. This is a book that will haunt you for a long time to come.

I give Break My Fall 5+ Lovely Kisses

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Jessica Scott is an Iraq war veteran, an active duty army officer and the USA Today bestselling author of novels set in the heart of America’s Army. She is the mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, and wife to a retired NCO. She and her family are currently wherever the army has sent her.

She’s also written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View Regarding War, and IAVA. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/New Dawn and has had the honor of serving as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas twice.

She’s pursuing a graduate degree in Sociology in her spare time and she’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine’s Americans of the Year for 2012.

Jessica is also an active member of the Military Writers Guild.

 

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Connect with Jessica at: Website | Facebook | Twitter| GoodReads | Amazon | Instagram

 

I am so honored to have Jessica Scott on the blog today. Her books are definitely one’s you will want for your keeper shelf! I wanted to find out a bit about her creative process. These were her replies:

How do you approach starting a new book?
I have to figure out who the characters are. Sometimes I can start poking around a project a little bit here and there but until I have a sense of the characters, major work doesn’t really get under way.
What is your writing process?
In abject and utter chaos. I typically can’t dive into a new book until I have an opening scene or series of things that happen. Then I typically have a writing burst of about the first third of the story and then have to figure out what the rest of the story is.

What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?

I write to relax. It’s actually the most relaxing thing I can do for myself. Either that or I work out on my elliptical and read for a little while. Probably not the most effective work out but it’s enjoyable for me.

What was your best date ever?

Ah, I don’t have one. Hubs and I haven’t really dated. But if you want me to pick something, I’d say each of the times he came home from a deployment to Iraq.

Tell us something you are really proud of.

My books, honestly. A couple of them were such a struggle to write and could have been such a disaster and they weren’t.

Can you confide something you wish you were better at?
Taking care of myself and not beating myself up as much. I’m my own worst critic.

 

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 a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m Gonna Buy Me a Muscle Car #MFRWauthor #Cars #NeedForSpeed


Shelby Cobra

 

This locally-owned 1967 Shelby GT500E “Eleanor” just sold on auction for $286,000 USD.

Wow. More info: http://www.barrett-jackson.com/Events/Event/Details/1967-SHELBY-GT500-E-SUPER-SNAKE-192475

Ever since I can remember I’ve had a fascination for muscle cars- in particular the Ford Mustang.

There’s just something about them that says Hooyah!

I’ve had three so far, each with their own personality.

The first was a 1977 coupe (I won’t say how old I was when I got it :))

 

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I loved that car, with it’s white leather interior and shiny green body. I became part of the cool group. It was only a little four cylinder, but I didn’t care, it was a pony car that’s all that mattered.

 

Then, a few (okay, quite a few!) years later, I graduated to a 2001 Mustang convertible.

2001 Mustang

 

Now this car was fun. The wind in your hair. The burn on your scalp. Oh, and then there was the time we were on holidays and my daughter got pooped on from a low-flying seagull 🙂

Yep, those were the days.

 

My latest one is my favorite of all. Pitch black, lightning fast, six speed manual transmission, 420 hp, this car can go!

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The roar when I fire up the engine gives me a rush each and every time. And no, you’re never to old to love a fast car. 🙂

I think everyone should strive to live their dreams. For me that’s shifting gears and listening to the wind whistle.

What gets your heart pumping?

 

A good friend, Guy Ogan, kindly agreed to share some pictures of his pride and joys with us today. Check these out, I have serious car envy!

 

64 Studebaker Wagonair (called that because the back part of the top can slide forward turning the wagon into what basically becomes a “half-bed truck” (we’ve had my wife and five friends standing in the back with head and shoulders above the top). This is the vehicle that has the 5.7 Dodge Hemi and matching five-speed automatic that powers the nine-inch Ford rear with Detroit Locker 4.11 gears. The car has also been modernized for safety with four wheel power disc brakes (required custom steel wheels to fit calipers as well as stock wheel-covers). It has a Heidts front suspension (aka: Mustang II style) with rack and pinion power steering and coil over shocks along with Global West Sub-frame Connectors to help rigidity.

 

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My 05 Roush-Mustang Convertible is Sonic Blue with “ghost flames” (can only see them close-up and in sunlight as I didn’t want too much attention from law enforcement). The engine is a 5.0 3Valve (per cylinder) Livernois Stroker motor with ProCharger-D and 200 shot NoS (I don’t like the nitrous, too much on the streets as it comes on way too hard). We detuned the engine down to 525 rear wheel horse power and it also has a McCloud Twin-Disc Clutch to a TR-6060 Six-Speed tranny (had to have a special adaptor for it to fit the 05’s frame). It also has Global West Subframe Connectors among other stiffening equipment and J&M suspension goodies. I’ve had it at a road-course and it more than holds it’s own with very expensive foreign marks. Some BIG Baer Disc Brakes up front help haul it down approaching the S’s 🙂

 

My 66 Mustang Convertible is Wimbledon White with Dark Red interior (all original, just re-dyed). It also has new technology added with a Mustang II front suspension (this replaces the shock towers allowing for a big block if desired). It also has Power rack and pinion steering and front disc brakes (not powered). The engine is a Dart-Iron Eagle Siamese Bore Block that allows for cubic inch sizes up to 383 (I elected for 363ci for future boring or honing if ever needed). It’s a real torque monster (408 ft lbs at the rear wheels) with a torque grind roller cam, Edelbrock Performer Aluminum Heads and Intake with their new 650 cfm carb. and MSD ignition to keep the sparkplugs “lit”. It has a built up TR-3550 five-speed manual with McCloud Dual Clutch, long tube headers and Doctor Gas X-Pipe to Stainless Magnaflow Mufflers.

Absolutely beautiful, Guy!

The Cats of Cullaby Creek by @KimKasch #EggcerptExchange #NA #romance


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THE CATS OF CULLABY CREEK

by Kimbra Kasch

 

When Savannah meets Kyle, its love at first sight. And why wouldn’t it be? He’s perfect, as far as she can tell. But Kyle appears whenever things go wrong. Maybe he isn’t everything she thought he was. It’s a complete mystery until she discovers the water in Cullaby Creek is being bottled and sold as vitamin “infused” water. Mistic Water promises the impossible. And then, like a magical elixir, it delivers. People who drink it feel younger, smarter, faster…healthier. But it doesn’t take long before side effects hit. Literally. The secret has to be in the water…or is it something more?

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

Kelly and Kyle

These two shared some sort of history. And now I was in the middle of their story.

Sparks flew through the air. But, they didn’t seem to notice—or maybe they just didn’t care how uncomfortable they were making the rest of us.

I scanned the room. The terribly odd thing was that while they stood in the center of the cafeteria—arguing—everyone’s eyes were on me.

What is so interesting about me?

After a few seconds, I heard whispered accusations slammed back and forth, like a ping-pong ball. My name, muttered in odd and angry tones. No one seemed to mind staring at me, but only the bravest few were sneaking sideways glances over at Kelly and Kyle, hoping no one noticed.

This wasn’t what I needed on my first day at a new school. I hadn’t come here looking for instant enemies, but I knew I’d accidentally stirred a private pot and things were already starting to boil.

I needed to do something and quick. From the sounds floating around me, if they got into an actual argument, I was going to get the blame.

I spit out the first words I could think to say, “What’s a new kid to do, after school, around here… for fun?”

Kyle sighed and chuckled, “That depends on what you’re hoping to find and what you think is fun.” He stepped back away from Kelly for a moment. “You big city kids always think something needs to be going on. But in real life, in a small town, not much ever happens.”

“We could ask my Mom to drive us into Astoria to do some shopping,” I suggested. It was a little too obvious—even to me—Kelly wanted me out of the picture and was trying everything she could think of to keep me away from Kyle. I almost felt sorry for her—but only for a second.

“Or,” Kyle sat down and nodded for me to join him. I could feel a warm rush of air and his scent worked its way up inside my head. I barely heard him finish, “We could go for a run.”

“What?” Kelly demanded, clenching her hands into tight-balled fists at her side.

“Savannah,” Kyle lowered his voice and said my name slow, putting an emphasis on the last syllable, like it was a soft sigh, ‘ah’. And, for the first time in my life, I loved the sound of my own name. “Is a runner. And she’s fast. Aren’t ‘cha?” He nudged me and moved even closer. I could barely think. His smell overpowered my senses; it was the sweet woodsy scent of him that took me by surprise. I closed my eyes and drank it in.

When I opened them back up, Kelly’s eyes were shooting red flames of rage straight at me.

I gazed at Kyle and felt a warmth in my stomach again. It was working its way up into my chest. “That’s not what you said this morning,” I laughed then spun away.

 

 

 

– author short bio – 

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I’m a writer who grew up in a family with 9 kids and only 1 t.v. so I spent my days reading and, later, writing. I love books. . .maybe because I never got to pick t.v. shows we watched. But I’d run home after school to catch the last fifteen minutes of Dark Shadows…

I still love to run…and read. My favorite romance novels are The Hunger Games…okay, I know, it’s a survival book but it’s really all about romance. Then there were the series: Twilight, Fifty Shades, and more but I also love paranormal, Horror and even light books like Dewey the Small Town Library Cat… Mainly, I just love to read. . . and write.

 

 

KIM’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

http://www.amazon.com/Kim-Kasch/e/B00ZOAUKMO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Website: https://www.kimkasch.com

https://www.kimbrakasch.com

Blog: https://www.kimkasch.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009489617484

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kimkasch

 

– answer to character’s questions 

1. Nickname: Vannah
2. Job: Student
3. Level of schooling, or self-taught: High school
4. Birthdate: 8.15.2009
5. Birthplace: Portland, Oregon
6. Currently residing in…Mist, Oregon
7. Favorite type of pet: Cat
8. Favorite place to visit: Portland
9. Significant other: Kyle
10. Most important goal: Get her family out of Mist
11. Worst fear or nightmare: That Kyle won’t make it out of Mist
12. Favorite food: Chili Dogs
13. Wealthy, poor, or somewhere in between? In-between
14. Secret desire or fantasy: To Morph into a cougar
15. What would you do if you won the lottery? Move and buy out Mistic Water

 

eggs

Simmer and Smoke by Peggy Lampman #MFRWauthor #mgtab #Fiction @GoddessFish


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Simmer and Smoke: A Southern Tale of Grit and Spice
by Peggy Lampman

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GENRE: women’s contemporary fiction

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BLURB:

A single mother who dreams of becoming a chef.

A food writer who just lost the love of her life.

Two women discover what’s worth fighting for in this deliciously rendered novel that illuminates the power of food, love, friendship and family on the human heart
1. ASSEMBLE INGREDIENTS:

Shelby Preston–a young, single mother trapped in a hardscrabble life in rural Georgia–escapes her reality as she fantasizes herself a respected chef in a kitchen of gleaming stainless steel and pans shimmering with heat. Mallory Lakes–an Atlanta newspaper food writer–may lose her job, and searches for her muse in a shot glass of illusion.

2. SIMMER:

Mallory secures her job by crafting a zealous doppelgänger to satisfy the expectations of an illusive cyber audience. This also mollifies the memories of her lover who recently bolted; no warning. Shelby persuades her mother to take care of her daughter so she can pursue her dream of going to chef school in Atlanta. She cooks them a special dinner said to bring good luck; Lord knows her family could use a pot of something good.

3. SMOKE:

Chasing desires and ambitions, the women’s lives unravel down a path beyond the kitchen, then weave together in an unsettling culinary landscape of organic farms and shadowy borders–some borders not meant to be crossed. As Mallory combats her demons with booze and pills, and Shelby battles the odds stacked against her for becoming a chef, the women discover what’s really worth fighting for.

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Excerpt:

Mallory (Spoiler Alert!)

I stare through the window, which frames a mass of thick grayish-black clouds; it is, after all, the last day of December. I walk to Mama’s sofa and sit, hugging my thighs into my chest. So tired. So tired. Snuggling into the corner, I lay my cheek against the arm rest and inhale her powdered scent.

She is in me. Mama’s in me.

Turns out Itchy and I are both right. Life is random, a deck of cards shuffled, collapsed then dealt to its players with blind oblivion; sperm to egg, roll of the dice, quirky fate. Yet some of us—those fortunate to have been birthed into nurturing families, those lucky few with prescience to find hope in despair—can coerce, twist and reshape the odds into something redeeming. Make your best hand, high card wins the trick.

I cut deals with the devil, learning just what he can do and precisely how he does it, huddling in his abyss as the fear of living devoured me. But light seeped through, tracing the contours of darkness; he couldn’t steal my soul.

Closing my eyes, I round the bend to the place where the year began, and now is ending, and all of the events in between; everything that occurred the day of the accident, and my unraveling since. Nothing that happens in the universe vanishes, and our past is not a dream; our past is our story, which lives forever, somewhere, and is limitless, attaching itself to what follows, and it’s this thing that follows that is the dream. Some dreams drown in booze, some come crashing down on asphalt, while others dissolve in a backwoods Southern town. Yet, for some, the dream persists. Shuddering. So you pick yourself up, retracing your path, but only if—and here’s the burning truth—only if you’ve got the guts. I’ve seen the face of courage. In the past six months, I’ve seen this face on a man, woman and child. Next time I’ll recognize it sooner. Next time it will be my own.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Peggy Lampman was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in communications, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a copywriter and photographer for Hill and Knowlton, a public relations firm. She moved back to Ann Arbor, her college town, and opened up a specialty foods store, The Back Alley Gourmet. After selling the business, she wrote under a weekly food byline in The Ann Arbor News and MLive. This is her first novel.

Amazon Buy Link

http://www.amazon.com/Simmer-Smoke-Southern-Tale-Spice-ebook/dp/B0128KSSLW/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1447022165&sr=1-1

 

Goodreads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25826817-simmer-and-smoke?from_search=true&search_version=service_impr

Author Page

http://dinnerfeed.com/simmer-and-smoke-a-culinary-tale/

Blog

http://dinnerfeed.com

 

Peggy took some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us today 🙂

What do you write?

Women’s Literary and High Concept Fiction. I just published “Simmer and Smoke: A Southern Tale of Grit and Spice”, and am now working on my second book in the trilogy: “Where There’s Smoke.”

What genre do you favor?

If pressed to pick a favorite genre, Women’s Literary Fiction would be it. But I’m a fan of literary fiction, in general––particularly books that deal with the complexities of finding compassion and love (in all its guises) in today’s world. Quirky, original takes on this theme are especially enjoyed. A good example of this would be the last book I read, Jonathan Franzen’s, “Purity”. It’s not women’s fiction, but there were intriguing twists, turns and psychotic nuances, particularly between the mother and daughter. My favorite piece of historical literary fiction, to date, is Sue Monk Kids, “The Invention of Wings.” My favorite memoir is Patty Smith’s, “Just Kids”.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

After hitting puberty, I needed a vent and bought a diary––white leather with gold embossing. Every night before bed, I’d pen page after page of 13-year-old angst; the best way I knew how to get to the pain and pull it out. Journaling has continued to this day. In college, I majored in journalism thinking this would be a good way to monetize my desire to write. For many years, I’ve begun works of fiction only to abandon them. Two four-letter words kept shutting the books down: J-O-B-S & K-I-D-S. “Simmer and Smoke” is my first novel.
What do you think is the best way to publish these days?

It depends on your genre and goal. From what I’ve read, romance, erotica and paranormal do quite well in the self-publishing arena. For my book, I believed that the traditional approach to querying agents, getting an agent, and then getting an offer from one of the big five houses was the best bet. I got an agent via query—Wendy Sherman, the perfect rep for my genre–– but ended up self-publishing the book (after a major re-write) on Createspace. Since then, there has been some noise made regarding the book with Wendy, but time will tell. I’d like a major house to take me on because I’m not the greatest at self-promotions. However, ALL of the money I’m currently making (besides a donation) goes into my coffers. If the book is traditionally published, this will not not be the case.

 

What are your favorite genres to read? (see second answer)

Why?

They are my favorite genres because I’m a woman, a mother, and I’ve lived a complicated, quirky life of contradictions.

Do your characters talk to you?

Yes.

Especially in my dreams and when I first wake up. Mallory can be annoying so I have to shut her down from time to time. She also messes with my head since we’ve quite a bit in common. How can a writer possibly write characters if they don’t speak with their characters?

How do you approach starting a new book?

An inspiration sparks an outline sparks the first 10,000 words. I’m quick to discard a book that I’ve begun writing if that initial spark retires.

What is your writing process?

I first craft an outline, which reinvents itself through the writing process. Occasionally I let the story rip and roar, seatbelt unfastened, but I prefer using a road map.

What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?

Jane Friedman, The Book Designer, Kristen Lamb. Do you have recommendations?

What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?

Travel, hang out with my kids, cook, take photographs, hike, kayak, read, ummmm, converse with adult beverages…

What was your best date ever?

On a bus returning from a football game at the age of 13. I had my first serious kiss in the back of that bus and a new world opened and never shut down. I’m wondering what ever happened to you, Don Jackson? (include pic)

Navy SEAL or cowboy?

Ahem. Cowgirl.

Chocolate or chips?

If you’re talking imported Belgium chocolates stuffed with liquors, my answer is chocolate. But if you’re talking a Hershey’s chocolate bar, give me a bag of chips. In general, I prefer salt to sugar.

If you could have a superpower what would it be? Why?

That I could read people’s minds and have x-ray vision to see into their homes; to be a fly on the wall at intimate and family gatherings. I’m not a voyeur, but I’m sure this would give me great material.

Fancy restaurant or picnic?

Picnics are fanciful and fun, but to be honest it would be a fancy restaurant. And make that a Thomas Keller—French Laundry or Per Se.

Beer or wine?

Although I do love the artisan breweries, I’d say wine; Silver Oak Cabs, specifically. Frankly, there’s not an alcoholic beverage that I’m not quite friendly with.

Favorite author?

Wow. So many. If I had to pin it down to one, I’d say Sue Monk Kidd. Or maybe Ann Patchet. Can’t forget Donna Tart.

Smooth or hairy?

Smooth.

Thank you for inviting me to your book club. I am continuously updating my food blog and author page. I would love hearing from you @ www.dinnerfeed.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

Peggy Lampman will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn host.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love One Another #mfrwauthor #RSsos #Holidays


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My post today was going to be something light and holiday themed, but in light of recent events I felt the need to write about something much more serious in nature.

 

Our lack of respect for each other as humans astonishes and saddens me.

 

Almost every other night on the news we hear of mass shootings and suicide bombers.

We’re so blessed to live on this planet we call earth, yet we continue as a race to destroy both it and ourselves. Why?

I listened to a report the other day where President Obama said that if we don’t do something soon there would be tens of millions of climate refugees.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  It’s been a great pleasure to meet with several of the leaders of island nations who are vital to the work that we’re doing here in Paris.

Their populations are among the most vulnerable to the ravages of climate change.  If sea levels rise at currently projected levels, or the pace that is currently projected, some of their people will be forced to flee their homes.  Some of their nations could disappear entirely.  And as weather patterns change, we might deal with tens of millions of climate refugees from the Asia-Pacific region.

 

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Global warming will create flooding, drought, fires, and will force thousands out of their homes.

 

What can we do to change all these dire warnings?

 

I think it’s more important than ever to reach out in some way to show that you care about this world we share.

We can do this in a number of ways:

  1. Find the nearest shelter and offer your time.
  2. Bake some holiday cookies, package them up in little bags and leave them in an area where the homeless might find them.
  3. Support you local Santa’s Anonymous and donate a toy.
  4. Donate food and time to the food bank.
  5. Avoid using plastic.
  6. Walk more instead of driving.
  7. Look at your fellow man, really look. You might be surprised by what you see. We all have families we love, no matter our race or religion.
  8. Don’t judge many by the one.
  9. Smile more: it’s contagious 🙂
  10. Don’t take what you have for granted. Life is precious.

 

Happy Holidays all and love one another,

Jacquie Biggar

 

Drawing a Line #mfrwauthor #mgtab #amwriting @jacqbiggar


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Often writers attempt to make sense of a world gone mad through their creation of words on a page.

Some do it to purge their souls, while others seek answers to questions that may not even yet be known.

When I sit down to read a good book and it tackles tough subjects I wonder what the author went through to put that kind of emotion into their work.

Image courtesy of Cellar Door Films WANA Commons

Recently I listened to a podcast interview with romantic suspense writers, J.T. Ellison and Laura Griffin.

When asked if there was anything these two award winning authors would not write about J. T. Ellison said cats- she refuses to allow anyone to hurt a cat in her novels.

Laura said for her it’s kids, she can’t bring herself to see a child harmed within her books.

I thought this was very interesting.

Even though it’s fiction and anything goes, these writers still use a moral compass while creating their stories.

One of my favorite authors who likes to tackle tough subject matters is Sarah Mayberry.

She’s written about breast cancer, spousal infidelity and deaths, family rifts, and horrifying car accidents. Yet through it all Sarah avoids the depression you would expect from such a story by giving her protagonist a chance at a love so great it overcomes the odds.

As a reader I come away feeling as though anything is possible.

To me, that’s a good book.

In my own series, Wounded Hearts, set in the fictional small town of Tidal Falls I introduced a character, Grace Martin, who is learning to deal with a recent diagnosis of Diabetes.

Here’s a short excerpt from The Rebel’s Redemption:

“I’m worried about Ma. She doesn’t look very good. She almost lost her balance in the kitchen a few minutes ago. What’s going on, Sue?”

She fiddled with the washrag in her hands for a few moments, folding, and then refolding until he placed his own palm over the top, stopping her. “Look, I know she probably swore you to secrecy, but I have a right to know.” He hesitated, almost afraid to put his fear into words. “It’s cancer, isn’t it?”

Susan gasped, “God no, whatever gave you that idea?” She turned her work-roughened hand over and clasped his tightly. “No, child. Your momma is fine. She has diabetes, that’s all. If she doesn’t pay enough attention to the time and forgets to have a snack, she gets dizzy.” Susan smiled reassuringly, “It’s a process, and we’re still learning, but she’s doing okay. Don’t you worry; I won’t let anything happen to your mom. Who else is going to cause me grief, huh?”

Jared sat back and let the relief wash over him. Diabetes was a serious disease and needed proper management or it could have dire consequences, but at least it was manageable. “You don’t know how glad I am you said that. I was picturing…”

“Tut, tut, none of that now. We ain’t ready to be pushing up daisies yet, my boy.” Her gaze swept the restaurant, and then returned to him. “I won’t lie to you. Grace ignored the problem for too long—you know how she is about doctors—and it cost her. Instead of an exercise and diet plan, she now has to take meds three times a day. But at least for now, that’s it, no needles.”

Jared’s gut turned at the thought of poking himself. He must have looked a little green because she hastened to add, “Her blood glucose readings have been pretty good, in the sevens and eights. Not ideal, which is in the six point range, but not bad either. When she first went in they were sixteen. Doc Johnson wasn’t impressed, let me tell you. They had a bit of a go-around, but then reached an agreement. She goes in for a checkup twice a year; he’ll do his best to keep her feet planted on the ground.”

 

You can pick up your copy of The Rebel’s Redemption here:

 

AMAZON

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What stops you from picking up a book to read? Is there a line you won’t cross?

I’d love to hear what you think 🙂

Jacquie Biggar

 

Have you entered The Authors’ Billboard’s new giveaway yet?

You don’t want to miss this!

 

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ENTER HERE

The Coming of Arabella by Joanne Guidoccio #Paranormal #romance #MFRWauthor #RSsos @joanneguidoccio


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The Coming of Arabella

by Joanne Guidoccio

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GENRE: Paranormal Romance

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BLURB:

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On the day of her engagement party, an ex-mermaid’s life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of another mermaid—a sister she has never known. Under normal circumstances, Barbara Davies would be overjoyed, but her special day is already wrought with tension. While Barbara is not the first mermaid from the Mediterranean kingdom to settle in small town Ontario, she has yet to reveal her origins to her fiancé. So when Arabella, the gorgeous sister whose disturbing black eyes banished her to the island of Crete, saunters into her life, clutching the arm of Barbara’s discarded lover, a powder keg of emotion is released.

Relationships falter and careers stall as envy stirs in the hearts of the sisters. On the verge of meltdown after her fiancé leaves Canada for a teaching job in Vermont, Barbara flees to Arizona hoping for a reprieve. There, she finds solace at a retreat for ex-mermaids and a second chance at love with a charismatic preacher. As she contemplates a new life in the desert paradise of Sedona, shocking secrets emerge and tragedy strikes. A stronger and wiser Barbara rises up to face these new challenges and embrace the best parts of her mermaid heritage.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt:

Arabella threw back her shoulders and gazed down at Barbara. With her heels, she was almost a head taller. “What I need is a relationship with you.”

“A relationship with me?” Barbara repeated. She had been prepared for almost any response but not that one.

“That’s right. BFFs, soul sisters, whatever you want to call those tight bonds these humans have.”

Barbara’s eyes widened. “Do you even know or understand the concept of BFF?”

“Of course, I do. A BFF is a best friend forever. You’re my twin sister. You can’t get any closer than that.”

“It doesn’t work that way,” Barbara said. “You can’t order up BFFs. Friends have the same value systems and look out for each other. I can’t imagine you doing that for me.”

“Or you doing that for me,” Arabella said. “Mama’s explained all the reasons you’ve been avoiding me, and I do understand the envy and bitterness.” She shuddered. “I can’t imagine losing everything like you did. I don’t know what I would do. But that’s neither here or there. I’m a part of your life, whether you like it or not. And I’m not going anywhere. So, you better start being nice to me.”

“Are you threatening me?”

Arabella smiled and tossed her hair. “Everyone in your circle likes me. How would it look if you ignored me?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorPhoto_TheComingOfArabella

In high school, Joanne dabbled in poetry, but it would be over three decades before she entertained the idea of writing as a career. She listened to her practical Italian side and earned degrees in mathematics and education. She experienced many fulfilling moments as she watched her students develop an appreciation (and sometimes, love) of mathematics. Later, she obtained a post-graduate diploma as a career development practitioner and put that skill set to use in the co-operative education classroom. She welcomed this opportunity to help her students experience personal growth and acquire career direction through their placements.

In 2008, she took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Joanne’s Back Story

I never intended to write fantasy.

Poetry. Contemporary women’s fiction. Inspirational literature. Possibly a cozy mystery. That was the plan, or more precisely the life imagined at age eighteen.

While many winters have come and gone since 1973, I can recall sitting in Sister Maris Stella’s Grade 13 English class reading the poems of T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence and, of course, Margaret Atwood. Between my heavy mathematics schedule and a part-time job, I managed to scribble a few poems and short stories. Dreams of a writing career dangled before me, but I gave in to my practical Italian side and pursued degrees in mathematics and education. While I experienced many fulfilling moments during my thirty-one-year teaching career, I had little time to indulge my well-hidden writing dream.

When I retired in 2008, I faced large blocks of unscheduled time which I quickly filled with writing workshops, seminars, and online courses. Slowly, a writing practice emerged and I started seeing my articles and book reviews in newspapers, magazines and online.

Not the original plan, but satisfying nonetheless.

I had outlined a plot for a cozy mystery during my “year” and completed the novel shortly after retiring. Two fifty-something Italian women, their mothers, four dead blondes, deserving and undeserving men and food: A Season for Killing Blondes showed promise but was not picked up by any agent or publisher.

On a whim, I started attending creative writing workshops offered by dark fantasy and horror writer Sarah Totton at the Guelph Public Library. Impressed by Sarah’s tenacity—she entered the Writers of the Future Contest 17 times before winning—I listened attentively to her advice. Most of her examples dealt with the science fiction, horror and fantasy genres. Not my first choices for reading material, but I was open to learning more about the werewolves, witches, vampires, zombies and robots that enthralled the other workshop participants.

Could I write fantasy?

Driving home, I toyed with the idea and thought back to the fairy tales I had read as a child. Red Riding Hood. Cinderella. Sleeping Beauty. And The Little Mermaid.

What if…

A beautiful mermaid gives up her tail for an upwardly mobile international banker. Her grandmother, an esteemed elder of the Mediterranean kingdom, is displeased. In a fit of anger, she chops off her grand-daughter’s hair and ages her thirty years. When the banker discovers that his lovely mermaid has been transformed into a middle-aged woman, he abandons her on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England.

I put pen to paper and wrote Between Land and Sea. Debby Gilbert of Soul Mate Publishing offered me a contract and released the novel in September 2013. I had originally intended to write only one mermaid novel and then return to the cozy mystery. But too many secrets and unresolved issues remained. In The Coming of Arabella, these secrets implode when the ex-mermaid’s life is disrupted by the arrival of another mermaid—a sister she has never known.

In the meantime, The Wild Rose Press offered me a contract for A Season for Killing Blondes.

As a result, I had two books released this summer: A Season for Killing Blondes and The Coming of Arabella.

Social Media Links

Website:  http://joanneguidoccio.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/joanneguidoccio

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjoanneguidoccio

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanneguidoccio

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/jguidoccio/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7277706.Joanne_Guidoccio

Buy Links for THE COMING OF ARABELLA by Joanne Guidoccio

Amazon (US):   http://is.gd/DQhWmI

Amazon (Canada):  http://is.gd/JrwC1l

Amazon (UK): http://is.gd/fJ2x4E

Amazon (Australia): http://is.gd/6KovIe

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

 

Joanne Guidoccio will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.

 Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love The One You’re Witch by Randa Flannery #mfrwauthor #mgtab #PNR @randaflannery


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Love the One You’re Witch

by Randa Flannery

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GENRE: Paranormal Romance

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BLURB:

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Sassy and snarky witch Anastasia Gregor does not work with vampires. Unfortunately, she forgot to tell her boss that. Now she’s up to her neck (pun intended) in the night walkers as she attempts to help one family fix their love lives.

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Excerpt:

“Can you fix it?” She said it with a touch of desperation and I wondered how long this had been going on.

“I can if it’s a spell,” I offered. “How long has she been like this?”

“I’ve loved him forever!” the young vamp declared as she and Lucas finally made it to the couch. “And I will love him forever, no matter what you try to do to us!”

“It’s been about a month,” Lucas answered, frustration edging that smooth voice while she ran fingers through his hair. “She was fine one day, chatting and joking, completely normal. The next, she couldn’t keep her hands off of me.”

I nodded. “Yes, well, have you seen yourself? I think that may be the normal reaction for teenagers when confronted with…” I waved a hand at him. I stopped mid-gesture when I realized the silence around me was now more of a shock reaction than the discomfort of having the errant vamp pawing at her man. “Sorry, just trying to lighten things up,” I mumbled. This is why I didn’t like vampires. No sense of humor. Well, the trying to kill me thing was also a put-off. That in mind, I got back to business and refused to drool over Lucas any more. Or at least, I’d try.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Bio:

Randa Flannery has an a degree in English and writes a variety of romantic fiction, including suspense, comedy, and urban fantasy. Randa is a member of the Romance Writers of America and lives as an expat with her husband and children in FuYang, China.

Media Links:

www.Randaflannery.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/randaflannery

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorrandaflannery

Randa kindly agreed to an interview with me today:

What do you write?

I write a few subgenres in romance: suspense, paranormal, and contemporary

What genre do you favor?

It depends on my mood. If I am deep in a suspense and get mired and stuck, I start writing a paranormal to get a break but stay in the creative zone. I actually wrote Missing and Love the One You’re Witch at the same time just like that.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was about seven or eight when I wrote my first story. It was about a group of kids who were being bullied at school so they decided to teach the bully a lesson by luring him to a haunted house. I gave the finished product to my grandmother, who loved it (as grandparents do) and I was hooked. I took a couple of detours along the way, but it was always my dream.

What do you think is the best way to publish these days?

You know, I originally planned to self pub, but found that it was far too time consuming and I didn’t have the know-how when it came to covers and marketing images and formatting. It’s so easy to get scammed these days. So then I decided to check out the traditional route and talked to two different publishers, a big one and a smaller new one. The big one pretty much takes over, it seems, giving the author very little control over their story. I didn’t like that. So I went with the smaller one, where they do a lot for me but I still feel like I have some say in how my book goes out. It’s a happy medium for me.

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

I go through phases. Right now, I’m into the paranormal. I never really got into them before, really only giving them a try the past year or two, and I’m really enjoying it. I like that there’s this whole new aspect of the characters’ nature to explore. It opens up a whole lot of different possibilities. I also like suspense and contemporary. I really enjoy books that make me laugh in parts and want to cry in others.

Do your characters talk to you?

Not really to me. They talk to each other and I eavesdrop. They’re fascinating.

How do you approach starting a new book?

From the left. 🙂

I have an idea folder on my laptop where I keep the plots or characters or whatever may inspire a new story for me. When I’m ready to jump in, I read through it all and see which one starts grabs me the most at the time.

What is your writing process?

I start with the basic story line or idea, then build my main characters on paper, get their stats and backgrounds worked out. I move from there to the outline, which stays relatively basic, just hitting the main points I want to happen in that chapter, so I know where I need to aim. Then I start writing from the beginning. I have a white board that I use to keep notes on for the part I am working on at the moment, things that I need to change as I go along, questions that may come up that I need to work out before reaching another piece. I also have post it notes sitting beside me that get stuck all around the desk with further notes that come up as I go along. It looks like a lot of mess, but it’s really organized. Well…somewhat. Maybe. Hard to tell, really, but that’s how I like to think of it.

What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?

I actually have never read any. Which is funny since I was assigned one as a text book in college…

What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?

I play a little guitar and piano (very little), but that’s about it for hobbies. I learned to knit, but it requires a lot more patience than I have. To relax, I read (enough that I’m a very relaxed person), watch movies and TV, and tease my kids.

What was your best date ever?

In college, my then-boyfriend took me out for my birthday where I was extremely surprised by all of our friends. He’d organized a party without me knowing and it was fabulous. The real reason, other than the obvious, that this was so special is because he hates birthdays. He doesn’t like the whole celebration of birthday thing, so the fact that he did that without me even asking or hinting at him to made it the best. So I married him!

Navy SEAL or cowboy?

SEAL, definitely. Makes me all tingly just thinking about it.

Chocolate or chips?

Depends on the time of the month. 😀

I really miss chips from the States. They have chips here, but they aren’t the same. Some really strange flavors, and no dips! When I visit home, I stalk up on Ruffles and french onion dip, tortilla chips and cheese dip, and Doritos. And Cheetos (they have those here, but they, too, are strange flavors).

If you could have a superpower what would it be? Why?

I love comic book heroes. I used to be obsessed with X-Men, especially, and wanted to have Gambit’s powers just because he was the coolest dude ever! Now that I’m older, I would want Jean Grey’s power because she not only has defensive and offensive power, but she can fly.

Fancy restaurant or picnic?

Restaurant. I’m not a bug person. I actually flunked entomolgy in college because I couldn’t stand going to class any more where they not only talked about bugs and looked at pictures, but the professor brought some in and wanted us to pass them around. That killed the veterinarian career idea I’d had at the time.

Beer or wine?

I actually don’t drink alcohol, but if I had to choose one I’d probably take the wine. Beer smells pretty nasty and wine, at least, would be somewhat like grape juice, right?

Favorite author?

I have a few, but all time favorites would be Jayne Anne Krentz and Nora Roberts. Branching out, I love Draynda Jones, Robyn Peterman, Jill Shalvis, Suza Kates, and Marissa Meyer. If you want to go classics, definitely Jane Austen.

Smooth or hairy?

Smooth. If I wanted to pet hairy, I’d call the dog.

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

 

Randa Flannery will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon/BN to a randomly drawn host.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goddess Fish Promotions

Fury of a Highland Dragon by Coreene Callahan #mfrwauthor #mgtab #PNR @coreenecallahan


MBB_FuryOfAHighlandDragon

Fury of a Highland Dragon

by Coreene Callahan

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GENRE: Paranormal Romance

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BLURB:

MediaKit_BookCover_FuryOfAHightlandDragon

Trapped by a future she refuses to face…

Accused of cyber espionage by the United States government, ethical hacker Ivy Macpherson is now on the FBI’s most wanted list. Out of options, she runs, desperate for time to prove her innocence. When fate takes an unexpected turn, bringing her face-to-face with Tydrin, she must decide—trust a man more dangerous than the hunters on her trail to keep her safe. Or risk capture by a covert agency well known for ruthlessness.

Condemned by a past he doesn’t want to remember…

Cursed with a terrible temper, Scottish dragon-warrior Tydrin struggles to atone for a mistake that took innocent lives. Unable to forgive himself, he returns to the scene of his crime in hopes of finding absolution, but discovers a woman in need of his help instead. Intervening in the nick of time, he whisks Ivy to safety, only to realize the daughter of the family he wronged is the one destined to steal his heart.

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Excerpt:

Feet rooted to the ground, Tydrin stared at the female. He blinked to clear his vision. Nothing. No change in his visual field and—bloody hell. It couldn’t be. He must be seeing things. Must be imagining the impossible. But no matter how many times he forced himself to refocus, nothing changed. She remained front and center, kneeling in the dirt, head bowed, hands resting on her thighs. The submissive position drew him tight, messing with his ability to think for a second.

Tydrin shook his head.

The movement knocked brain cells into motion and…Good Christ. Unbelievable. She was real. He wasn’t imagining her. Or the radiating warmth frothing around her like sea foam. Glowing bright blue, the female’s aura lit up the space around her. Her bio-energy hummed and his dragon half woke, setting off a dangerous chain reaction. Bone-deep hunger punched through. His body came alive. His mind dulled, blocking out everything but her. Long red hair pulled into a messy bun, she shuffled closer to the headstone. Mumbling another apology, she cleared debris away from the granite base. The task was one he usually preformed. On this date, every year when he visited. Right now, though, he didn’t care about his mission.

Or about paying his respects.

Struck stupid by her, only one thought registered—a high-energy female here…in middle the of Aberdeen.

Tydrin frowned. Holy shite. He was in trouble. Neck deep and sinking fast without any idea how to control his reaction to her.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_FuryOfAHighlandDragon

Growing up as the only girl on all-male hockey team, Coreene Callahan knows a thing or two about tough guys and loves to write characters inspired by them. Call it kismet. Call it payback after years of locker room talk and ice rink antics, but whatever you call it, the action better be heart stopping, the magic electric, and the story wicked, good fun.

After graduating with honors in psychology and working as an interior designer, she finally gave in and returned to her first love: writing. Her debut novel, Fury of Fire, was a finalist in the New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Contest in two categories: Best First Book and Best Paranormal. She combines her love of romance, adventure and writing with her passion for history in her novels. She lives in Canada with her family, a fun-loving golden retriever, and her wild imaginary world.

http://www.coreenecallahan.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coreene-Callahan/173981189346509

https://twitter.com/coreenecallahan

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5321960.Coreene_Callahan

http://www.amazon.com/Coreene-Callahan/e/B006NAHH48/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1444769072&sr=8-1

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

Coreene will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC _ a Rafflecopter giveaway

Adding Real Life Issues In Our Novels #MFRWauthor #mgtab #RSsos #DiabetesSucks @jacqbiggar


Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of FromSandToGlass

Sometimes real life issues can leave us feeling as though we’re drowning. Whether it’s health related, monetary concerns, trouble with family, or work, it sometimes seems more than we can handle.

This year my seven year old grandson was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, type 1 Diabetes.

Life-threatening.

Think that over for a moment.

Our happy, healthy little boy suddenly ended up in hospital for a week of testing, poking, and learning the routine surrounding his treatment. Blood checks every two hours, twenty-four-seven, all done to his poor little finger tips. Learning how to count carbs, fifteen for snacks, sixty for a meal, and believe me, that’s as tough to maintain as it sounds.

On top of that we had to learn to give him insulin shots before every meal and at bedtime. If you’re picturing a human pincushion about now, you’re getting close to understanding how we feel.

Strawberry_pincushion

 

This is from the American Diabetes Association:

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.

 

 

And this, from the Canadian Diabetes Association:

Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas does not produce any insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body to control the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood. Without insulin, glucose builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy.

Your body produces glucose and also gets glucose from foods like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, milk and fruit.

The cause of type 1 diabetes remains unknown. It is not caused by eating too much sugar, and is not preventable. The current thought is that type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system destroys the cells that make insulin.

– See more at: http://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/living-with-type-1-diabetes#sthash.sk13bM7C.dpuf

 

 

This will be a lifelong learning process for our family and it’s taught me to let the little stuff go, because compared to your loved one’s health- the rest just doesn’t matter.

IMG_0399

 

Update:

Since writing this post we received some great news. Our grandson was approved for the Omnipod Pump. The omnipod is a cordless pod that attaches by adhesive to the body wherever you would normally give an injection. A remote reads his blood glucose and sends a wireless message to the pod which then feeds the insulin into his body. The pod gets replaced every three days so instead of four injections a day = twelve in those three days he’s down to one!!

 

THE PARTS

The small, discreet Pod holds and delivers your insulin while the PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager) wirelessly manages your insulin delivery.

The Pod

THE POD

A small, lightweight and discreet Pod you’ll hardly know is there.

  • Tubing-free design that doesn’t tie you down
  • Adheres securely to most places you’d give an injection
  • Precise insulin delivery that’s easy to manage
  • Internal reservoir, insertion components and pumping mechanism are right in the Pod
  • Inserts automatically at the push of a button, with no injection needles in sight
  • Waterproof so there’s no need to disconnect for bathing or swimming*
  • Now smaller, slimmer and lighter, but still holds up to 200 units of insulin
  • Stores personalized basal settings — so PDM can be out of range
  • Pink slide insert provides added confidence that the cannula has deployed

* The Pod is waterproof to 7.6 m for up to 60 minutes (IPX8 rating). Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM) is not waterproof. It should not be placed in or near water.

The PDM

THE PDM

A wireless Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM) that helps put you in control.

  • Insulin on board (IOB) is calculated based on correction and meal boluses
  • Wireless PDM works up to 1.5 m away from the Pod
  • Simple, intuitive sentences guide your use of the OmniPod® System from automatic priming and insertion to bolusing
  • Large, colour screen for the information you need at a glance
  • Integrated FreeStyle® blood glucose meter automatically incorporates your glucose levels into suggested bolus calculations and history records
  • Can be stored in your pocket, purse or backpack
  • Conveniently downloads data into easily understandable reports and charts
  • Customizable ID screen helps you easily identify your PDM

http://myomnipod.ca/

 

This will give him so much more freedom and is a huge relief to his family.

Type 1 Diabetes has no cure at this time, but with breakthroughs such as the Omnipod parents can breathe a little bit easier. 🙂

 

 


In my novel, The Rebel’s Redemption, Jared Martin returns to his hometown of Tidal Falls, Washington to make amends for wrongs of the past. Instead he finds his mother had been ill and was slowly recovering from a diagnosis of Diabetes. And if that wasn’t enough his old friend, Annie Campbell, had a son. His son.

Rebel's Redemption
Rebel’s Redemption

When an old enemy follows and causes mayhem in the small town of Tidal Falls, can Jared Martin overcome the odds to protect the woman he’s always loved and the child he never knew, or will it be too late for redemption?

BUY LINK:

AMAZON

 

 

Excerpt:

Jared’s world narrowed down to the little black barrel of the gun pointed at his chest. Funny, in all the years of being in the SEAL teams he’d never been in this situation. Not to say he hadn’t dodged his share of bullets. It’s just they’d always erupted like a hailstorm, out of nowhere. This was somewhere. The back alley of his mother’s freaking café in freaking America to be exact. What the hell?

If he wasn’t so pissed off at himself for getting into this situation, he might have laughed. Eight years overseas off and on, and he was going to get shot in his own backyard. How’s that for ironic?

“Look man, why don’t we talk about this?” Jared forced his gaze to focus on Sergei’s steely gaze instead of the muzzle of the semi-automatic.

“The time for talk is past,” the Russian said. “You ignored my advice and instead made a fool out of me with that stupid trick you performed.”

“Advice? You call beating the livin’ shit out of me, advice?” Jared ground his teeth together, and fought to keep a level tone. “You can’t blame a guy for wanting to retaliate.” A crash by the garbage caused both men to crouch into a fight stance. A tabby cat raced away. Jared straightened, his heart knocking against his ribcage, as desperate to escape this mess as the animal. He needed to defuse the situation before someone came upon them; please God not his mom.

“Okay, you’re right. I shouldn’t have set off alarms or caused those slots to pay out. But seriously dude, you can’t go around acting all KGB, we’re in the good old USA now.” Jared kept a careful eye on the guy’s trigger finger and cursed his loose tongue. What part of defuse couldn’t he figure out?

Sergei tipped his felt hat back on his bald head like an old time gunslinger. His hand holding the gun never wavered. “You have big mouth.”

Yeah, I’ve heard that a time or ten.

“Why don’t we handle this like two adults? I’ll call your boss, tell him I screwed up and it’ll never happen again…” There was no doubt on that, if he ever went near a casino again he’d kick his own ass. “And then you can go back to ruling your little kingdom far, far, away.”

Click.

The sound of the hammer cocking reverberated with frightening clarity in the small alley. There wasn’t even anywhere for him to take cover. The garbage can was at least ten feet away. Jared’s jaw cramped from the tension. His skin crawled as if overrun with fire ants. Where was his team when he needed them?

He’d just decided the only alternative was to rush the son-of-a-bitch when the alley erupted with the screams and laughter of children. Two kids rounded the corner at full speed on pedal bikes, racing each other to an imaginary finish line.

Fuck.

Sergei seized the opportunity, stepped between the bicycles and scooped the kids off their seats. The bikes, wheels still turning, fell to the ground in front of him creating a barrier. The kidsGod, it was Chris and little Jessicashrieked until Sergei shook them, then they froze, eyes wide and frightened, hanging under his arms like rag dolls.

“Let them go, you motherfu…” Jared’s voice came out low and lethal. Every muscle in his body prepared itself for the moment of attack. His breathing slowed until he could count each heartbeat as the blood coursed through his veins. Waiting. Watching.

Barnikov laughed. Laughed. The prick.

“Now it my turn to play game.” Jared made a slight move and Sergei’s smile flat-lined. He dropped Jessica to the ground in front of him but kept his forearm wrapped around her neck. The gun nestled the side of her head pointed straight at Chris dangling from his other arm. “Move and I shoot.” He shuffled the trio back towards the mouth of the alley. “We’ll talk again, my friend.”

And then he disappeared around the corner, leaving nothing but the slowly turning tire on a bike and Jared’s heart as it shattered.    

 

 

Have you or your loved ones faced something you thought you couldn’t handle? What happened? How did you overcome and move on? Any advice you could share?

 

Don’t forget to check out the Giveaway page. There is a windfall of books and prizes up for grabs 🙂

Autumn Harvest Giveaway

https://jacqbiggar.com/giveaways/