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I have been busy lately, and not had much time to invite guests to stop in at the blog. Fortunately for me, Jeri Bronson has been holding her invitation and patiently waiting for me. So I am very happy to welcome Jeri now, to come, sit down, have some tea and cookies, and talk to us about her book, “Seeking Perfect”. Might I say, it has a lovely cover. Welcome, Jeri!

SeekingPerfect600

What is this book about?  My book is a YA Contemporary about a 17 year old girl named Jesse Barnes. She lives in a small town in Oregon with her alcoholic mother trying to stay invisible until one day Derek Aames sits with her at lunch.  (Cue scary music) He’s so perfect, can she trust him with her secrets?

Why did you write it? I didn’t have a choice it wouldn’t leave me alone. I also thought it was good way to look at the choices people can make.

How long did it take? The first draft took me a summer and the edits like 7 years of learning how to write.

Seven years? That’s some dedication and education.

Any special inspiration? The world is full of inspiration. I took some from me and other brave people that choose survival.

Where do you write? Photos optional— Haha! It’s a mess always so no pics, but actually my dining room table. We only eat here on special occasions now.

Describe the path to publication? I never intended to publish. I thought I was never good enough and no one would want to read it. This was only supposed to be a way for me to help process emotions and thoughts that never ceased to be quiet.  I got brave in 2012 and I sent it out to agents and someone wanted it after I made some more revisions. She was very excited about it and I freaked out and I never sent it back. You see I fear success I know it doesn’t make sense.  I didn’t touch it again for another 3 years; talk about hiding out in a cave. Finally, in 2016 I joined RWA and sent it out once again and was offered a contract in 2017 by Soulmate Publishing. I found some courage finally.

Fantastic story. Loads of people fear success. I’m glad you sent it out again.

Are you working on anything else right now? YES, I have a romantic suspense that I’m editing now hoping to send out by the end of the year. I am also working on another YA that’s partially written, but some more plotting is needed.

Hardest part about writing? The never ending self doubt even with a published book I wonder if I’m good enough.

Biggest surprise about being a published author? People are always so surprised when I tell them that I write and their always so supportive.

Yes, I’ve noticed that too.

How do you beat procrastination? I walk. It works for writers block too. Once I go for my walk then I need to sit down and write. It engages my brain for whatever reason.

Okay, I’m convinced, this sounds like a terrific book, for young adults and us older adults too. Now, can we talk a little about you as an author and a regular person?

The most recent movie you’ve seen or book you’ve read? (or both) I went and saw The Incredibles 2 (so funny) I just finished rereading Tears of the Moon by Nora Roberts. It’s a comfort story for me.

What is your favorite past time? I love to watch tennis and of course I read a lot.

Would you rather have the ability to be invisible or have x-ray vision? I would totally be invisible and go in all the places you’re not allowed in like Buckingham Palace.

I like that.

What ‘s a typical day like? I drop my son off at school, he’s 16 working on the license so not for much longer yay! Then do house business stuff and writer business then go walk for about an hour. I will write or edit for a few hours eat lunch work some more till the boy gets home. Then writing will put aside till after his swim practice, dinner, dishes etc. I might work for another hour before bed then read a little. Boring, day, I know. 

Boring to some, blissful to others. We should never envy someone else’s life.

How do you like to spend a rainy day? I live in California what rain?

Good point.

Do you know any foreign languages? I could speak Spanish fluently when I was little because my grandmother was Hispanic. Now I get by with necessity Spanish like asking for food or the bathroom.

What one item would you grab if the house was on fire? (assume no living beings are  inside) Pictures of my kids and probably all the computers with the pictures on them.

Describe one moment in time when you took a huge leap of faith. How did it turn out? I sent my book to a publisher and worked out pretty well.

Indeed.

What’s one favorite thing you do by yourself? Going to the library and the movies. First no one will rush me at the library I can peruse as long as I want and then I don’t have to share the popcorn. Notice both places are silent.

Silence is a good thing, right?

Favorite food to cook? I can’t cook my husband does it. I’ve burned things and not only food.

Oh-oh.  Let’s move on to less incriminating topics, shall we?

Favorite animal? Cat

Favorite color? Green

Favorite book? Pride and Prejudice

Favorite sport or physical activity? Tennis

Favorite kind of music? Alternative

Favorite song?  U2, Where the streets have no name

Favorite place to visit? The mountains, any of them.

What makes you laugh? My husband constantly

What three adjectives describe you? Loyal, quiet, compassionate

Favorite season? Summer

Strangest thing you ever ate? Tofu it was fried but squishy in the middle.

Strangest thing you ever did? I asked my favorite tennis player for his autograph and he offered to take a picture with me. Remember I’m the quiet one hoping to be invisible.

That could qualify as a leap of faith too.

Which do you prefer for a second home? Mountain cabin, beach house or big city condo? Mountain cabin definitely.

What dessert do you order most often? Chocolate cake/brownie ice cream combo thing.

Oh my…YES!!!!!!!!

Whom do you admire? (living or dead) Why? I think Jane Austen because she wrote about women doing things they weren’t allowed to do.

What is your favorite type of art? Music always music

If you had a magic genie, what would your three wishes be? Hmmm…world peace you know like the pageant ladies really that would be nice. I would like to be able to speak every language in the world and an all access pass to See’s candy.

Favorite vacation spot? Hawaii

 Jeri, it has been an absolutely pleasure to have you visit today. Let’s wrap up our conversation with a few parting thoughts so we can share how readers can connect with you and check out “Seeking Perfect”.

What three items would you take if you knew you were going to be stranded on a tropical island for a year? (enough suntan lotion is a freebie) Books, a boat and wet wipes. Sometimes sand is not your friend.

One quote you love, that keeps you going in life? Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light –Albus Dumbledore.

What would you do in life if you knew you couldn’t fail? Play the piano

One thing few people know about you? That I can speak Spanish.

Do you believe  in love at first sight? I’m not sure anymore because no one ever looks up from their phones.

Excellent point. Jeri!  How many first’s do we miss because of that?

Anything special you would like to share with readers?   My story is about hope and choices people have to make on a daily basis.  I think sometimes young adults think they can’t do anything about their circumstances and to certain extent it may be true, but there is always help if you’re willing to ask for it.  You also have to do the hard work it’s definitely about the hard work in this life.

BLURB for “Seeking Perfect”:

Jesse learned early not to trust a soul, but what if he was her soulmate?

Senior year of high school should be about friendship, boyfriends and graduation, but for seventeen-year-old, Jesse Barnes, it’s about escaping the shame of life with an alcoholic mother.

Jesse’s goals are clear, keep a roof over her head, avoid the revolving door of leering men her mother brings home, graduate from high school, and do everything possible to keep her home life secret. Friends, boyfriends, not an option. Who would understand?

Then, perfect, popular Derek Aames, sits with Jesse at lunch. How can she discourage him? How can she keep him from intruding on her life and discovering her secret? And most of all how can she keep him out of her heart?

Will his persistence finally break down her walls, or just break her?

Connecting with Jeri:

Jeri is a native Californian that found her storytelling voice while walking home from elementary school. Long walks with a hyper imagination led to all sorts of wild ideas. Her debut novel, Wildflower, finally came to fruition after she was laid off from her full time job as Human Resources Manager.

She now works part time as a substitute High School teacher, which is a constant source of fabulous material. She lives in Orange County, California with her husband of 28 years, her teenage son, their dog Sam, and cats Sparky and Lilly. The whole time missing her daughter who’s away at college. Jeri does her best writing still while walking, but now Sam goes as well.

When not writing she is an avid reader, of course. She also is an equally avid tennis fan and can be found watching the Tennis Channel most nights. Definitely, do not bother her during Grand Slam tournaments. She is currently working on several Romantic Suspense novels, plus another Young Adult book is brewing. Stay tuned she’s just getting started.

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/JeriBronsonauthor/

https://twitter.com/jeribronson

www.jeribronson.com/

 

Book Links:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38472691-seeking-perfect?ac=1&from_search=true

https://smpauthors.wordpress.com/meet-jeri-bronson/wildflower-by-jeri-bronson/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seeking-perfect-jeri-bronson/1128622457?ean=9781682916674

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National Dog Day

Ryan Jo Summers

Wow, a whole nation-wide day dedicated to our best furry friends. What a pure stroke of genius someone had when they created this day. I could not let today slide away without paying homage to some of my beloved canine buddies over the years.

My most recent is Ty. He came to live with me March of 2015. He is about eight years old, though no one is exactly sure. Ty is part of a group of collies who were rescued from a hoarding situation in Tennessee. When I adopted Ty, he had severe (read Massive) PTSD and behavioral issues. He was not house trained, leash trained, obedience trained, or anything trained. He freaked out over anything and nothing. He spent two years living in a tiny corner of the kitchen (his “cave of comfort”) because he was too terrified to come out. Lately, he has progressed to the bedroom…

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It is no secret writers tend to be readers. It’s a sort of form follows function. Or a simple process of evolution. Call it what you wish, however after nearly five decades as a reader, and four as a writer, I have learned a valuable lesson. There are different ways to read and some of them can actually improve our writing.

white teddy bear reading book Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

For a few years now I have read books of friends and fellow writers and posted my thoughts as a review on my blog. It was done mostly as a means to help them promote their works and to add variety to my sometimes neglected blog. I did not notice the shift in my reading style then, from reading for a review compared to recreational reading a book just because it looked interesting.

adorable adult animal book Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Then last year I made the…

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August 15th is National Relaxation Day. In our crazy never-stop, always-on-the-go society, I personally think one day a year isn’t sufficient. I think we need more like one day a month, twelve days a year, in which to experiment, find and perfect the art of relaxation. With multiple methods available, we could find the one that matches our personality and needs the best.

Lying around in our jammies, binge watching TV or binge reading while eating ice cream? I’m in! Going to the movies? Cool. Traveling to the forest/beach/country/city/ happy place to take in the stillness? Or the sights? How about a spa? Massage? Golf? swim? Horseback ride? combing the flea markets? Most of those would be on my list to try.

Lounging on the front porch in a swing or hammock? With sweet tea of course. Chair with our bare toes gliding through the grass? Picnic? Park? Zoo? Day drive with the top down and music up loud?

I am so there!

 

How about gardening? Mowing the lawn? For some it’s work, for others it’s relaxing. For me, I find it soothing to putz in the yard, digging my fingers in the dirt, deadheading flowers and watching new transplants grow. And of course I am always planning next year’s planting designs. This next planting season I am seeking blue and white flowers to fill in some gaps. This was inspired by a lovely bouquet I received this summer, with a gorgeous, huge head of a hydrangea bloom. It was pure white with tiny baby blue pin dots in the center of each petal.

  Cats are masters of relaxing.

 

 

 

So in honor of National Relaxation Day, I’d like to offer some of my books for your consideration to find your perfect relaxation spot and get lost in another world. To me, that’s the ultimate relaxation!

 

 

If romantic suspense is your fave, there is “Upon the Tide”, set on a boat in the Caribbean. If you like a hint of two of mystical or paranormal with your suspense and romance, consider “Chasing the Painted Skies”, set on an isolated lighthouse island in the Great Lakes (complete with its own ghost) or “Wild Whispers”, built around the exciting world of horse racing.

If you prefer clean and wholesome Inspirational Christian fiction, how about “Shimmers of Stardust”, with a bit of time travel included; “Beside Still Waters” or “Rainbows in the Moonlight”. Both of these are family centered stories, rooted in romance, forgiveness and second chances. Sweet!

If you like anthologies, I got ya covered there too. “Sizzle in the Snow” is eight stories all about Christmas. “Food and Romance Go Together” is, yep, you guessed it, stories all about food and romance. Talk about cooking in the kitchen! “Craving Country” turns up the heat, with twelve stories all about finding love and good, country living.

And if you like a shorter read, consider “Glimpse Eternity”, a pretty little story centered around Valentine’s Day or “It Happened at the Park”, a rollicking romantic comedy including dogs and their humans.

Speaking of dogs, if you prefer non-fiction, how about my self-published story about Ty, my adopted collie (a beautiful blue merle) with PTSD and the first two years of our journey together? It’s called, appropriately enough, “Ty’s Journey” and features countless photos.

 

 

 

 

All these fine books can be found at Amazon or my website, http://www.ryanjosummers.com. Several have been nominated for various peer-review awards.

 

So there you have it, loads of ideas on how to relax on National Relaxation Day and a few not-so-subtle suggestions for a good book or two if reading is your fave way to relax. However you like to escape, feel free to drop me a line in the comments and share your secrets. As for me, I’ll be busy working August 15th, but I’ll be thinking hard of relaxing, most likely by trying to write another book.

I am so happy to welcome Limitless Publishing author Renee N. Meland today. She is here to share her Science-Fiction (sci-fi) dystopian series, The Extraction List.

If you’re a fan of Unwind by Neal Shusterman, you will enjoy Renee N. Meland’s page-turning tale of survival in a world where obeying the law is no longer an option.

The Extraction List, Book 1 (In development for film by 5×5 Media!)

An unforgettable, fast-paced science fiction adventure where a mother and daughter must rely on a gifted killer for survival…

In an America where parenting is regulated by the federal government, fifteen-year-old Riley Crane assumed she would never be taken from her home, and with good reason: her mother Claire had designed the criteria that parents must live by in order to keep their children.

But a simple knock at the door one evening proves her wrong.

Now on the run, Riley and Claire must rely on Cain Foley, a gifted killer who is as handsome as he is dangerous, to get them out of America alive. But when they discover what’s really happening beneath the government’s surface, they realize that escaping the country is only part of their problem. Together, they figure out that a killer can save a life, and a mother can damn a nation. 

Kindle Unlimited: https://amzn.to/2uDUglJ

Paperback: https://amzn.to/2L9je6E

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Burning Doors, Book 2

The suspenseful science fiction adventure continues as we now follow Cain Foley back to the beginning, where the extraction list started…

Fifteen-year-old Cain Foley just faced a fatal choice…

Fight back against his abusive father, or die on the basement floor.

He chose life. 

Now a fugitive in an America that is stricken with poverty and violence, he finds himself being hunted by a police officer with his own special brand of torture. Before he can save even a handful of the children who have been swept up in the gang life, he must first cover up not one, but two murders. His father’s and one committed by a teenage madam who is either the love of his life or his final undoing. 

As he feels himself being pushed closer and closer to the edge, Cain realizes surviving his father was just the beginning.

 

Kindle Unlimited: https://amzn.to/2uC8yTQ

Paperback: https://amzn.to/2O8bvDE

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Leave Me Lost, Book 3 

Riley thought she could live a normal life after The Extraction List, but now in this third book in the fast-paced sci-fi adventure series, she must reconnect with Burning Doors’ hero, Cain, to save the people they love most from certain destruction.

Four years after escaping America, Riley Crane discovers the compound she calls home is facing a looming danger, and she’s in desperate need of a solution. The last person she expects to have the answer is the guy who has been the one piece missing from her life—Cain Foley.

With a broken heart and a switchblade knife, Riley follows Cain to Italy in order to rescue a missing child. If they find him, the child’s parents will give them enough cash to move everyone they love to a safe location where they can build a new life for the second time. But with their goal almost in sight, they discover their mission wasn’t what they thought, and much more than they expected hangs in the balance.

The question they must ask has no simple answer.

They want to save the people they love…

But are they willing to sell their souls to do it?

 

Kindle Unlimited: https://amzn.to/2NzAa3g

Paperback: https://amzn.to/2O5hCbT

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About Renee:

Renee N. Meland is an avid writer and reader of speculative fiction. She and her husband reside in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. When she is not writing or being a devoted doggy-mom, she is gardening or learning a new recipe.

She is currently working on the rest of the books in The Extraction List Series. Other upcoming projects involve reincarnation, and a house filled with people who all have something to hide.

Amazon Profile: https://amzn.to/2NxafJv

Website: https://www.reneenmeland.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Reneenmeland

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

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/reneenmelandsbooks

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The Extraction List Series by Renee N. Meland is proudly published by Limitless Publishing, LLC. http://www.limitlesspublishing.com/

 

 

 

Winds of time cover

I received a free copy of this book from Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review.

Selena Tillman is a modern-day woman who is haunted by dreams of her ancestor, Mary, who disappeared in 1871. And of Dylan, the half-breed Native American man accused of murdering her. Peace and love in her time seem to be impossible to find, so Selena decides to return to Texas, the scene where Mary and her secret lover died. She hopes to lay the ghosts to rest so she can move on with her life.  Instead she finds more trouble than she thought possible.

Witnessing Mary’s death by a tornado, she time jumps from the twenty-first century to the nineteenth. Encountering the handsome, and bitter half-breed army scout, Dylan, she wonders if she just met her destiny. Dylan just knows she is a liar and probably crazy to boot. He has enough troubles trying to prove his innocence in Mary’s murder, and thereby save  his own life,  while trying to stop a war between the white men and Indians. He doesn’t have time for Selena’s foolishness.

This story has great potential and flowed along nicely, at a good pace most the time. It suffered from frequent misplaced commas, leading to awkward or jilted sentences. There is also frequent mild profanity and premarital, graphic sex between the two main characters. Beyond that, the heroine, Selena, is a fantastic character. She is quite likeable and her adaption to being unexpectedly transported to the past and her struggles against the typical male mind-set of the day make her winsome and likeable. The historical aspect seemed pretty spot-on as well.

Dylan is in need of serious work. He has such a massive chip on his shoulder, it’s a wonder it doesn’t make his horse collapse under the weight. So bitter with white women, white folks, and being the misunderstood half-breed Indian, he is convinced Selena is lying. He leaps to ridiculous conclusions faster than a spinning tornado, tries to constantly pick fights with the woman he loves, and treats her sometimes like dirt. He is so caught up in his own heritage and problems (mostly self-inflicted) that he is blinded to what Selena and others are trying to do to help him.

In my opinion, Dylan would have been a more likeable character and the story would have flowed along better without his chip, if the focus had been on Selena’s integration to 1871 instead. Clearly people did not understand her language or expressions of modern speech. It would have been nicer to see more character-wide confusion over the language gap filling the pages, with more “What is she saying” instead of “She’s lying again.”

Overall, I give this story three out of five stars. It’s a nice story hurt by randomly placed commas and Dylan’s deep running bitterness.

 

 

 

Catherine Castle

Rainbows in the Moonlight by [Summers, Ryan Jo]Today, Ryan Jo Summers is back on Wednesday Writers. This animal lover has an interesting tidbit to share about her book, Rainbows in the Moonlight, that had me smiling. I have to tell you, Ryan Jo, I love this title! Welcome to the blog!

Thanks, Catherine.

Unlike most of my books, “Rainbows in the Moonlight” did not start as inspiration from a photo or from a chance observation or conversation. In fact, I really don’t recall how the story line came to me. It just happened of its own accord. Almost immediately I felt a connection to Koda and Dalton.

Another unusual fact about this story is I seldom write stories involving children. Just a personal comfort level of mine, I suppose. It’s easier to focus on the relationship developing between the hero & heroine without kids needing their page-time too. However, Koda’s young children, Ruthie and Terry, quickly became…

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