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Archive for the ‘Summersrye’ Category

Gamechanger has been a word used in my life a fair bit lately. When I reflect back over the previous twelve months, I can see several gamechanger events that blended together and made 2019 resemble a fruit smoothie.

Some have been good events, a few planned out and brought to fruition and others just a happy happenstance. A few were tragic, negative or just plain bad. Either way, they each added to the mixture.

A few happy examples include the installation of a secondary fenced yard that eliminates the need to leash walk dogs now.  Not only does that make walking multiple dogs easier, that became critically important in December.  A surgery in December proved to be helpful in long-standing health concerns. A new book release with a new publishing house last fall has opened more literary doors.

Most recently a chance occurrence with my old house lead to a partial bathroom remodel, that includes the happy addition of  a 1925 Kohler claw-foot tub, which happens to be a long-term dream of mine to have. I have a wonderful old soaking tub now, which is a positive gamechanger.

In the spring, I impulsively bought some day-old chicks, and then some more chicks. It was crazy when they outgrew their brooder and started wandering all over the house because everywhere I put them, they quickly outgrew it. It was several months before I finally got their outside coop finished and they moved out of my house. That was a gamechanger in itself, but it also taught me I could transform my little courtyard to a backyard chicken coop.

Negatively, February 2019 brought a tragic shock that took me about six weeks to even begin to recover from. Big gamechanger. In September my middle-aged computer crashed and I lost everything on it. Merrily I’d been storing files and pictures to a cloud-based storage, confident I had a good backup should I ever need it. Was I ever surprised to learn for three years everything that showed as uploaded on my end never actually reached the cloud. It was simply lost somewhere in the ozone.

Three years of everything was simply gone. Big gamechanger. One of those ‘gone’ things was the novel I’d been pounding away on for three years. It was to go to the publisher that coming weekend, I had the contract signed, a rough release date, and cover work was starting. Now it was Gone. Not a scrap was salvaged. That series of September losses took me two months to begin to get over.

As I run 2019 back through my memory, with the exception of those two massive setbacks, it hasn’t been too bad. I adopted a senior dog and enjoy her company immensely. I have stayed busy in my “day job” business and it feels good to know I am appreciated and needed.

I have learned to master new technology tricks, especially with my smart-alec phone, and they’ve certainly been gamechangers. I can now verbally dictate notes into the phone, send it to my email and retrieve it later on or text verbally on the go to clients, saving time I used to just sit and text. Gamechanger. Using the zoom and key photo options, I can capture great action shots of my clients, which makes them happy. Gamechanger. I have Lucille, the GPS map program that gives  me shortcuts to places I need to go, saving me untold hours each month in lost travel time. Huge gamechanger. All that stuff is just sitting in the palm of my hand.

Thinking of all these gamechanger advances and revelations, I can only hope to use them positively in 2020. My hope is to remain more diligent with blogging. Time escaped me in 2019, and maybe I can reclaim some of it going forward. I might even get to reading a few of the countless books I’ve purchased in the last couple of years and start leaving reviews here again. I do read, but I am not at liberty to post those reviews.

I’d like to bring back the “I’ve been thinking…” feature. I do think–a lot–usually as I am running up and down the roads like the cartoon Roadrunner. Now that I’ve mastered the “Suri, send me an email” gamechanger, perhaps I can dictate the bones of my “thinking” and get it moved over to the blog relatively easily. Maybe.

With a houseful of critters, and those who live outside, I’d like to post pictures, anecdotes, and more. Heaven knows they keep me in stitches any given day.

Are there any special posts you’d like to see in this blog? If so, leave me a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts. This blog exists for others to read it. If I can put something meaningful here, that is all I can ask for.

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As a person who habitually finds cats camped on my doorstep or yard, I have long wondered how they know MY yard–of all the yards in the area–is the ONE to come to. How can they make that decision?
I think I finally figured out the hobo signs that cats scratch on trees as they travel the neighborhoods, leaving clues for the next little furry feline vagabond who wanders along.
In my imagination, I see little claw marks along the bottoms of trees and posts that sort of resemble these figures, left by traveling cats to warn others of good and bad houses along the “kitty hobo trail”.
#
Dog lives here — use caution
#
Persons with gun
#
Great garbage
#
Even better Food
##
Lots of Good food
#
Crazy cat lady lives here
#
Resident cats already here
#
Can get a warm bed here
Bad dogs  would somehow feature a cute dog within a circle and slash
Naturally I have adopted a few little furry hoboes, after taking great pains and time to tame them down. Without exception, once they are moved inside, they acclimate within a few days and never look back on their wild wandering days. A couple have remained (years later) suspicious of all humans and visitors, while others have adopted a tolerance of anyone who might want to pat them.
Whatever their origins–feral colony, second generation wild cat, or just homeless waif– I have loved them all and they have all enriched my life in their unique ways.

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I originally reviewed this book in September for “Uncaged Book Reviews”.

Joy Smith

Joe Carella’s father is missing at sea, and presumed dead, lost while sailing his beloved yacht, the Anna Bella. Now it falls upon Joe to get the recovered boat from Florida back home to Mystic, Connecticut. He’s no sailor, in fact he has spent his life living under his dad’s controlling shadow, but he feels obligated to get the boat home. To succeed, he will need a good captain who knows what they’re doing.

Marty Chase is a fishing boat captain, now living in disgrace in Mystic, Connecticut. Resigned to painting the undersides of boats since she took the rap for a boating accident, she leaps at the chance to captain Joe Carella’s boat back home. He’s a privileged son of a famous yacht racer. This could be the turning point in her captain career. Never mind she never handled large yachts or deep ocean waters. How different can it be from a fishing boat in local waters?

Set sail aboard the luxury yacht the Anna Bella.  Joe needs this trip to prove something to himself. And so does Marty. What they encounter is bigger than both of them. A brewing hurricane is just the start of their problems. Toss in a jealous ghost onboard, hijackers, being left for dead and having to fight to survive. The story does not suffer from lack of action.

In places the pacing does drag and there are frequent cases of abrupt timing changes. There are times Marty seems confused or inconsistent with her romantic choices between an old lover she knows she has to stay away from and her growing attraction to Joe. However, the chemistry between Marty and Joe is great, it’s hard not to root for them. The sex scenes are short, detailed without being overly descriptive.

The author is knowledgeable about boats and boating and her familiarity shows throughout the pages.

This book easily earns 3 1/2 out of 4 stars.

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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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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.

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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

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

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/

 

 

 

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I recently had the pleasure of reading Books 2 & 3 of the Sanctuary Tales by Giacomo Giammatteo. He and his wife, Mikki, operate an animal sanctuary and over time, Giacomo has shared his adventures and misadventures. They have pigs, dogs, cats, a horse, (had a duck), a boar, and other charming critters at their home.

Both books are fairly short, and are filled with dozens of large, color photos to help bring the stories to life. There are a few minor word and typographical errors in both volumes, but they are small in comparison to the humor and sometimes bittersweet stories between the covers.

If you are an animal lover, you will no doubt enjoy these true stories.

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What is it about stairs that appeals to me? Not that I like climbing them, as my hips and knees complain loud and long whenever I must. It’s the old, preferably abandoned outdoor flights of overgrown steps that make me stop and stare. I also love steps leading into the water. Oh, I really love those steps!
There is a neighborhood where I walk regularly, an old, historic area, with older houses. The roads are steep and winding hills. It’s a great cardio workout to hoof around there. And the landscaping of the old homes is always interesting. One thing most of them have in common is they are accessible by steep steps on one side and up a steep hill on the other side. I guess that’s how they designed neighborhoods years ago. steps 6  One of my favorite views

steps II 12-2016    steps  Steep climbingsteps 8  steps 5

steps 3  Any here you’d love to see the top of? steps 9   Or no way?Stairs 3

Very overgrown with ivy and kudzo.

 

stairs2228(1)  N-a-r-r-o-wThe Steps pic

This was in Galway Bay in Galway, Ireland. These sorts of entrances were quite popular. I am guessing people came in on larger boats, and took small rowboats/hookers from there to the land, using these types of stairs to cross over.

I think stairs represent something in our lives: a connection from where we are emotionally or physically to where we want to be or think we should be. Perhaps we’re trying to climb the ladder of success. That is easily seen in a flight of steps. Maybe we’re thinking we should have made another choice somewhere along the line. The flight of steps indicates where we are now compared to where we could have been. Or want to be. Thus steps are narrow, steep, long and winding, short and maintained, overgrown, etc… all dependent on how we view the journey. It is just a few footsteps away or the path of a thousand miles?

I also wonder if flights of staircases are indicative of our lives. Do tidy, well maintained staircases appeal to us? Does that mean we keep our lives tidy and well maintained? What about the overgrown, unassailable steps? Does it indicate our hearts?  Some here are lined in even blocks of concrete and others are stacked from natural stone. Some are edged in moss and others are kept free. Just like people, there are staircases to fit every house and personality.

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I am excited to have Highlander and Romance author Madelyn Hill visit today, talking about her Wild Thistle Trilogy.

 

 

First, let’s get to know a little about ‘Highland Honor’. Madelyn, what is this book about?

Lady Honor can heal everything but a broken heart . . .

Highland Honor is the final book of the Wild Thistle Trilogy set in the Scottish Highlands. The entire series came to me while in the shower of all places! The dialogue from the heroines’ dying father popped into my head and the story begged to be written. The father’s pledge was; “Through Hope, Faith, and Honor, ye can rule.”

The trilogy follows each of the heroines as they try to live up to their father’s parting words. The pledge cause uncertainty and conflict with each of the sisters.

For Honor, she is the clan healer and strives to never cause another person harm. Which creates quite the conflict with Bryce, a clan warrior who trains the men with fierce dedication. His goal is to protect the clan to his best ability, even if that means injuries or death. Bryce and Honor are thrown together after a stranger is detected in the area and Bryce is assigned to protect Honor as she gathers herbs in the woods.

Fantastic. I can see lots of conflict brewing there. Okay, let’s get to know you better.

   Madelyn Hill, author

Any special reason why you chose the character names and location that you did?

I choose the Highlands because Scotland has always fascinated me. As for the character names, they were derived from the father’s dying pledge. Luckily, the words he chose to speak were perfect for my heroines. For one of my other novels, Heather In The Mist, I named the heroine Rogan. I had a bit of pushback from my critique partner because she said it was a male name. However! I recently ran into a little girl named Rogan!

I love that name! And I’d certainly give it to a female character. What’s the hardest part about writing?

The hardest part of writing is keeping focused and not allowing social networking or writing minutia to get in the way. I find that time flies when I’m on Facebook or Twitter, so much so, that it eats into my writing time. Also, there is a lot of marketing and writerly stuff which needs to be done that also eats into writing time.

How do you beat writer’s block?

If I just can’t keep the story going, I revisit my Pinterest board for the novel or read over research to see if that will spur my muse. If this doesn’t work, I will start working on something new or take a short break.

The most recent movie you’ve seen or book you’ve read?

We just saw the Avengers: Infinity War movie. It was great! I love super hero movies and this one did not disappoint.

Your favorite town/ city in the world? Why?

I love Quebec. The history and beauty along with the food is a fantastic experience. The town is small enough to be quaint and the shopping is great too.

What is your favorite past time?

Besides reading, I love to cook and bake.

Would you rather have the ability to be invisible or have x-ray vision?

I think the ability to be invisible would be great. Just think of where you could go and what you could hear without being seen.

Indeed! If you had to give up one of your five senses, what would it be? (common sense does not count here) Most likely the sense of smell or touch. I’d hate to lose sight, hearing or taste.

How do you like to spend a rainy day?

I do not like rainy days and I prefer to cuddle on the couch with a blanket and watch movies.

Do you know any foreign languages?

I can understand Spanish and speak very, very little. My husband is fluent in Spanish.

What one item would you grab if the house was on fire? (assume no living beings are  inside)

The bins with my children’s pictures. I’d hate to lose them.

Describe one moment in time when you took a huge leap of faith. How did it turn out?

I packed up and moved to New York to be with my boyfriend. It turned out great! I end married the guy.

Yes, that’s a leap of faith. Glad it worked out so well. Okay, some short Q & A. Favorite food to cook?

Pasta

Favorite animal?

Horse

Favorite color?

Red

Favorite kind of music?

Country

Favorite place to visit?

My hometown in Michigan

Favorite season?

Spring

Strangest thing you ever ate?

Octopus

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

Beach

What kind of car do you drive? Color?

            A White GMC Yukon

What is your favorite type of art?

The Impressionist – Mary Cassatt to be specific

Maddy, I am so glad you stopped to visit today. In our parting thoughts, 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)

Assuming my family would not be considered a thing and would be there with me;

  • Tons of books, including one that details what is okay to eat on the island
  • Coffee
  • First aid kit

Now those are some good, solid choices. What would you do in life if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Be an actress.

I like that. Do you believe in love at first sight?

Yes!

Anything special you would like to share with readers?

I appreciate your interest in my books!

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CSY4PGY/

Social Networking connections:

Website: http://www.madelynhill.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/madelyn.hill.94

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorMaddyHill

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/madelynhill68

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2919194.Madelyn_Hill

Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Madelyn-Hill/e/B00ELRG34U/
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/authormadelynhill

Madelyn Hill, thank you for stopping by. Best wishes.

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Spring is here and I am enjoying how every few days there are flowers popping up in my flower beds. Some are returning from previous years and others are new from last fall’s planting. Either way, I smile as I see how much they grow. My yard is slowly becoming a great source of joy and pride for me.

The song birds are also busy courting, fighting, defending, and creating families. It is enjoyable to watch and listen to them. I spotted my first hummingbird this evening. It darted away before I could determine whether it was a male or female, but it was interested in the feeder I just hung two days ago.

Along some of my dog walking routes I am finding interesting flora and fauna to stop and study. This maple stump was particularly fascinating.

photo(68)Maples along walking route

Doubtlessly once upon a time this was a fine big maple tree, tall and proud. Many years ago it came down and the stump has rotted away and been consumed by moss and yearly dead-fall leaves. It’s a sad and poignant reminder of how one day we will all fall.

However, upon closer inspection, I spotted two tiny maple tree saplings sprouting up from within. Determined to not let the original tree completely die away, they are making the valiant effort to start over.

I have a maple tree in my yard that is doing the same thing. The twin saplings are almost three feet tall now and a thatch of hostas nestle in the center of the old stump. I treasure these old tree stumps and the growth coming forth.

photo(69) Flower bed in my yard

At another walking location, I discovered this fern slowly unfurling and preparing for another growing season. It seems to be preforming a delicate ballet as it steadily stretches for the sun, seemingly in no hurry to reach its goal.

photo(59) Fern in ballet dance of unfurling.

And now I shall honor spring by starting over again. Last night I gave my two-week notice at a job I’ve held for 10 years. Not all 10 years have been pleasant. Some years have been a downright challenge. I’ve learned a lot about the job, people, life, and myself. And now–finally!–it is time to start over somewhere and somehow else.  It’s scary and it’s good. There is a sense of relief and excitement in the air, just like when the first bits of green perk up through the dirt to feel the sunshine and the first flowers spread their colorful blooms to the springtime breeze.

I snapped these photos of fallen dogwood petals, because they seemed so perfect when they fell. The first one makes a lovely contrast with the pure white petal against the black of the asphalt. The second looks more natural. A white blossom  lying contently against the green grass. The third is the prettiest I think. Nestled under the still-yet-to-bloom roses, and landed on a bed of brown mulch, it makes such a natural scene.

photo(60)photo(63)photo(64)

Dogwood petals

And they all serve to remind me that we may not have a choice how or when we fall or start over, but we do have a choice how we react to it.  Our new beginnings. The dogwood blooms will wither or blow away soon, but we are capable of so much more. Our first big step is only the beginning.

 

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