Typed Tales

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Wednesday Roses of TWRP

Only three authors responded to the offer for some free Wednesday promotion, but I’m pleased to present:

Rolynn Anderson, who bills her books as suspense spiked with romance and heart-rending, heart-pounding contemporary suspense, is the author of
·        Lie Catchers (4.5 stars)
·        Last Resort  (4.3 stars)
·        Fadeout       (4.4 stars)
·        Swoon          (4.8 stars)

Here’s Mackenzie Crowne who shares A Case for Calamity (4.9 stars) Will her lark gone bad be the sweetest calamity of Jane’s life?

Visit Mackenzie’s Amazon Author Page for a looooooooong list of books!

Finally, meet Ashantay Peters who has a brand-new release just in time for Christmas:  Dickens of a Death. She invites you to do Dickens Days—a lethal holiday event for the unwary. It sounds scarier than it is. I write humor—well, deadly humor.

Find Ashantay, who bills her books as romance and mystery with a touch of humor at www.ashantay.com

I'll be giving each one of these authors her own Wednesday beginning next week! 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Secrets Left Behind

"The Centenarian's Secret" by Diane Speare Triant,, featured on the 5-Minute Memoir: Tales From the Writing Life page in the February 2013 issue of Writer's Digest would spark even the dullest imagination. The author relates a chance acquaintance with a 103-year-old man and the treasure trove of Civil War letters she found (with permission of his heir) in the ramshackle cabin which had been the old man's home. You have to read this story, find the issue in your library of possible.
The memoir set me thinking about 'hidden treasures' I have found or searched for without success. I knew my family had taken so many secrets to their graves, but I felt they were discoverable. The first hoped-for cache was in my grandmother's Bible, but though I paged through it meticulously and more than once, I found only the stuff of her life: phone numbers, newspaper clippings, a pamphlet, family snapshots, and my grandfather's obituary.
I moved on, after my mother's death, to what she'd kept in shoeboxes and plastic bags: mostly handmade items from my school days but also many, many newspaper articles on breast cancer (her cause of death) which told me what I already knew: she'd ignored the warning signs for years until it was too late.
My aunt left behind two class rings and several scrapbooks, as well as the love letters written by her husband-to-be (who was twice her age). Despite my pleas, my mother sat in my kitchen one afternoon and tore them to shreds. A step-granddaughter to whom my aunt was close would have treasured them, but I couldn't save them for her. Before my aunt's death, I asked for and was given a box containing a dress, pinafore, and shoes her mother (my grandmother born in 1875) had worn. Those are preserved behind glass.
A cousin brought me several boxes of papers and pictures belonging to his father and asked me to go through them. Among the papers was a page from the same aunt's high school diary. She'd sent it to him and commented on how amusing it was--but within the lines penned by a teenager before WW I, I found the dark thread running through my grandparents' marriage.
Finally, on a remote mountaintop, where my great-great-grandfather had brought his younger second bride (and where he probably lived with his first who died with two years of their marriage after giving birth to a daughter), I found the remains of the house, an empty well, bits of broken pottery, a tin barrel rim, and other reminders that people had once inhabited this now-barren place. I lugged heavy (probably slave-made) bricks down the old wagon road and sighed with regret that the rumored blood-stained floor had rotten away. In 1876, within the now-fallen walls, my great-grandfather had shot his stepfather to death. It's a tangled tale, the twists and turns of which we'll never really know, but at least I'd stood where it happened.
All of this brings me to speculate on what I want to or am willing to leave behind for others to find. I've already shredded all the letters which passed between my husband and me. I've destroyed, with unholy glee, a book of poems written about me by the aforementioned aunt, which everyone thought amusing but which had the end result of firmly pigeon-holing me as a third-class member of my own family. The rest to be left will simply be left, carefully labeled, even parceled out in some cases.
I will be, as others before me, the keeper of my own secrets. They are the stuff of stories--which I may or may not tell.
What secrets might you spin into stories? Or, are they best kept hidden?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In Dancing with Velvet, Celeste kept secrets about her family, though she suspected many in town knew them. Kent, the man of her dreams, had a few of his own. In a war-wracked world, these secrets seemed small and unimportant. But unrevealed, they could only spark another war on the home front.

Video link 

Celeste believes she’s met the man of her dreams under the twinkling lights of the Roof Garden, but what she doesn’t know about the handsome bombardier may turn out to be her worst nightmare.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Get hooked on a good clean read!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Are You Walking Over History?

Anglo-Saxon Skeletons Found in Suffolk Dig This article caught my eye and led me to pursue information on other recent archaeological finds for today’s Friday Five.

I’m hoping to find this back issue of Archaeology Magazine at the local library or online for order. It features the Top 10 Discoveries of 2013:  everything from the skeleton of England’s Richard III to the oldest petroglyphs in North America to signs of cannibalism in Jamestown during the ‘Starving Time’ of 1607-1610. 

Speaking of the ‘Starving Time’, you’ll want to go Jamestown Rediscovery next and meet “Jane” who fell victim (hopefully post-mortem) to the appetites of her fellow Jamestown settlers.
Take a look at Biblical archaeology’s top ten finds of 2013 including a rare Egyptian sphinx, the discovery of one of King David’s palaces, and a look at Jerusalem’s oldest alphabetical text.
The Ten Coolest Finds in recent years are detailed here with some surprising information on rock art, stone speaks, and DNA discoveries. 

 And last but not least, we’ve all wondered about Stonehenge, but did you know a second circle of stones was discovered in 2009? And the next year, about half a mile away, archaeologists unearthed a circle of wooden timbers which scientists date at 4,500 years old! Was it an astronomical observatory? A funerary? The search for answers continues. Read about ‘wooden henge’ and nine more top discoveries of the 21st century.  

Now, aren’t you brimming with story ideas? I am!

Speaking of discoveries, while this doesn’t qualify as ‘archaeology’, I include a reference to a station on the Underground Railroad in my first vintage romance, Where Is Papa’s Shining Star? Wealthy entrepreneur Alan Ashley, blinded in World War I, lives a solitary life in the colonial mansion where he was born. As a boy, he explored the house and found a sliding panel in the attic. Prying it open with his pen knife, he discovered the room used to hide escaping slaves on their way to Canada. A tunnel extends downward through the hill behind the house, providing them safe passage to travel on.
But even he couldn’t guess it would someday save the life of someone dear to him…and, years later, save her life yet again.

Where Is Papa’s Shining Star?
The Wild Rose Press
Cover Art:  Rae Monet

                                                          Get hooked on a good clean read!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Another New Feature at The Word Place

Beginning next Wednesday--November 26--I'll be featuring 5 'Roses' (authors with The Wild Rose Press) here at The Word Place. I've put out a call for
  1. Cover in jpeg
  2. Buy link (preferably with Tiny URL if too large)
  3. Tag line (sweet to sensual)
  4. A few choice words from a great review
at the TWRP message board on Yahoo. But if you're a 'Rose' and would like some free promo, email me: judy at judynickles dot com.

I'll also tweet the info throughout the week. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

They're Everywhere! (Ideas for stories, that is...)

Many interviewers have one question in common:  Where do you get ideas for your stories? It a fair question, and I have an answer:  Everywhere.
But let’s get specific. Here’s a list, and I wish you happy hunting if you’re on the prowl for an idea.
·        Old family stories told to me or within my hearing
My great-grandfather shot his step-father and ran off, but the law caught up with him and said, “The man needed killing. Come home.” (Four Summer Days coming in 2015)
Very hush hush story about another grandfather which got completely changed in the writing! Where Is Papa’s Shining Star? and Finding Papa’s Shining Star)
·        Poignant trivia gleaned from genealogical research.
The man went off to the Civil War leaving his childless wife behind and died in camp of an illness. She remarried a much older man and became step-mother to his children. She wasn’t even important enough to have a grave marker like his first wife.
·        Death certificates
The young woman died of tetanus from a self-induced abortion.
·        Observation
I used to wonder where the door from the balcony of my childhood church (1912) led. Turns out it led to the roof where services were held in nice weather!
·        Obituaries
The unmarried woman was survived by 9 brothers.
·        Newspaper articles
When the antique dealer went upstairs in the building she rented, she found an almost-untouched…um…establishment.
·        Tours
In another…um…establishment…there were pictures on the wall of the ‘ladies’ who worked there. (The Face on Miss Fanny’s Wall)
The paddlewheel steamer oozed romance as it plowed through the dark waters. (The Showboat Affair)
·        Travel Brochures (Stock up at the next state line welcome center and see where they take you!)
·        Road signs
Doesn’t Mustang Creek conjure up pictures in your mind? (Short story: Madness at Mustang Creek)
·        Backs of menus
The history of the massive bar, allusions to Al Capone’s patronage (The Dreamland Series)
·        Conversation
Few Catholic characters in novels (The Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series)
·        Travel brochures
·        Notes jotted in notebook while waiting at airports
If you can’t find a character for a story here, you aren’t looking!
·        Song Titles
Tell Me That You Love Me (short story)
·        Mainstreamed ‘fan fiction’
(A Very Kate Christmas, The Kate Chronicles)
·        Roadside Historic Markers
What happened here? What used to be here and isn’t anymore-e.g. ruins of old buildings)
·        Memories
The old school, the old church, the house you grew up in—do a walk-through in your mind.)
·        Calendars
Special dates
·        Museums
Something’s bound to rattle your cage!
·        Coffee table books
The pictures should set your mind spinning.

Next Monday I’ll provide some links to online sources which are full of ideas. Meanwhile, drop by Someday Is Here. Maybe you’ll even find an idea there!

Get hooked on a good clean read!