Thursday, February 27, 2014

Coming Home from Many Wars

Next month here at The Word Place, I'll be taking some of my older books off the shelf, blowing away the dust, and letting you know they're still available and still a good clean fast-paced read.

In 2008, I was fortunate enough to connect with the wonderful Wild Rose Press which took a chance on an unpublished author and brought out Where Is Papa's Shining Star? as well as it's sequel, Finding Papa's Shining Star. The terrific editor for both was Nan Swanson, and Rae Monet crafted an outstanding cover from the hodge-podge of images I threw at her.

But I won't be just doing "promo" for the book(s). There's a wealth of information out there about how the past repeats itself: specifically, soldiers have been coming home from wars for hundreds of years, and each new era has welcomed/assisted them in different ways. I'll be taking a look at

  • soldiers returning from World War I--what was available to help them make the transition in 1919 compared with what the military can expect today
  • a recounting of the infamous Bonus March on Washington, D.C. in 1932 when an noted American general led the rout against his own
  • an overview of the changes  for women on the Homefront, many of whom played a critical part in defense work as well as "keeping the home fires burning"
  • links to sites expanding on the information mentioned above
  • 'interviews' with the pivotal characters--Alan Ashley and Leonore Seldon, one consumed with bitterness and the other with keeping secrets

You'll also get

  • the full Prologue which sets the stage for the rest of the book
  • and finally, a sneak peak at the sequel, Finding Papa's Shining Star which catapults Alan and Lenore into yet another war--on the battlefield and in their hearts 

  Take a minute to read this blurb for Where Is Papa's Shining Star?

      Wealthy Alan Ashley, blinded in World War I, returns home to face a challenge to his ability to run the family business. As the case goes to court, he finds himself drawn to the cheerful, ever-optimistic Lenore Seldon, his defense attorney’s secretary. When he wins his case, he offers her employment, but she declines and disappears from his life.

     Ten years later, frail and in desperate need of work, Lenore answers his ad for a personal assistant. He hires her with the agreement she will live in, chaperoned by his housekeeper, so she can drive for him, and he can teach her to use the Braille writer. She is the perfect employee, but he senses that she is frightened of something—or someone.

     When he finds himself falling in love with her, he must uncover her secrets in order to save their relationship---and to save her from herself. 

Now... 

Visit Someday Is Here  and click on the tab for The Shining Star Books to view book trailers and read more about this multi-generational romance spanning two world wars.


And take a moment to follow and bookmark this blog for more to come!

See you tomorrow!



Monday, February 24, 2014

Putting on the Brakes

For most of my...er...um...somewhat advanced years, I lived life at break-neck speed, racing from this activity to that one, never slowing down long enough to smell the roses. From sunrise to sunset (and well beyond), I lived life at a frantic pace. Get up, get the kids fed and off to school, go to work, come home, fix dinner, do laundry, supervise homework, baths, bedtime, call parents (if not drive over to visit), pay bills, make lists, fall into bed...and start all over again when the alarm went off the next morning. On Saturdays it wasn't unusual to have two soccer games at two different locations to which I must somehow ferry two boys.

Even after I  had an empty nest, I still had responsibilities to parents. When I moved away to take a new job, many Friday afternoons would find me starting the drive 265 miles to my hometown. The list making continued. After my parents became terminally ill and were in a nursing home, a list of 40-50 items to take care of in just under 36 hours was the norm.

Then one day I was alone and retired and...I will never hurry again, I vowed. And for the most part, I've kept that promise to myself. Standing in a long line at the store, I remind myself I have no reason to hurry home. Caught in traffic, I remember my destination won't disappear. When I travel, I prefer to travel alone on my schedule with my carefully-planned itinerary which is not set in stone.

Returning from a lovely, unhurried yet full four days in Charleston SC on Friday night, I vacillated between driving home on a busy interstate, then on dark windy roads, or getting a hotel room for the night. Yes, the latter cost money, but so would car repairs, hospital bills, etc. I got the room. The next morning after a free continental breakfast, I drove home at an unhurried pace, stopped for gas--and still made it to the post office to pick up accumulated mail before it closed at noon.

Home again, I took one suitcase and one large purse out of the car, unpacked the suitcase in the utility room and started a load of laundry, then sat down to read the 'vacation-pack' of newspapers delivered that morning. Finally, I hopped back into the car and drove to Sonic for "Happy Hour" (diet vanilla Coke) and sat there for an hour reading on my Kindle.

My life. My pace. My resolve to keep those brakes ON.




Thursday, February 6, 2014

I need...

It is cold. I do not like all this cold weather. I am ready for it to go away. If you are sending it my way, I will find you. Keep it for yourself.

Ideally, cold weather like this should equal long productive days of writing, but it hasn't worked out that way. I've had many interruptions: sick grandchild to keep, haircut to get, tax information to organize for accountant, new storm door installation, check and adjustments on gas logs in fireplace, promotional package to organize and send.

I need to edit. I need to write. I need...I need...

These busy days have set me thinking about how I worked full time and wrote, too. Of course, writing was just a hobby in those days, but I still did  a lot of it. Now I'm retired, so there should be double the time. Not.

Perhaps the problem lies in not making good use of the time I have. I think I was better at that when I worked. Now it's too distracting to be at home all day, jumping up to do laundry, clean a cabinet, curl up with the Kindle, cook a meal, talk on the phone with someone else who's retired, chat on Skype, retrieving the small person from school two afternoons a week, visiting the public library and not on a Saturday...it's a vicious circle, I think.

The writing retreat was productive, but I can't live on retreat. And, I'm taking off for Charleston SC this month. Not to write, not to research, but just because I want to. At least I'm not heading to Africa on safari like a friend of mine!

Discipline, that's what I need. Anybody have any to spare?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Here's the deal...

Yesterday I posted the following on Facebook:

Okay, here's the deal: I've just read two very good books. I mean, they are really, really good...clever plots, well-developed characters, thoroughly engrossing...and based on that, they need 5-star reviews BUT...how shall I put this delicately? I'm reading along when all of a sudden the authors put the brakes on and seem to be thinking, "Oops, I'd better stop and put in a steamy (and that's mild!) love scene here." Now, the scene has nothing to do with the well-paced mystery plot...absolutely nothing. Do the authors think I'll stop reading if this sort of thing is missing? I just do some fast moves with the old stylus until I get back to the action, and I don't mean the kind of action I just mentioned. And I'll be dirty-darned if I'm going to review/recommend them just because! Plus, I won't buy those authors' books again, though it won't be the first time I've been burned...or the last.

I don't really expect any snarky comments for the simple reason that it would "show up" the person posting--so maybe I'll just get unfriended. That's all right, too, because I've done some housecleaning myself to keep from having to look at half-nude men and read some really nasty stuff. 

 So here's the REAL deal:

(1) Animals mate. (Yes, some mate for life.)
(2) Characters in books have sex at the drop of a hat. Often, they move on to another partner before book's end. 
(3) Lust does NOT equal love.
(4) A physical relationship is only one wonderful expression of love.
(5) Could the high rate of out-of-wedlock births and/or abortions be related to how our young people see/read the "glamor" of "if it feels good, do it" without being taught the consequences?

I can hear some people saying, "Oh, get a life!" I have a good one, thank you, and yes, I love romance. Real romance. Committment--that old-fashioned 'til death-do-us-part kind. Loving and cherishing and putting the other person's well-being first. Tenderness, caring, sharing...the kind that only grows stronger as time passes and young bodies (sensationalized and exploited in so many books) grow old. Who said, "Grow old along with me...the best is yet to be..."?

Ah, well, I'll keep looking for books I can read ALL of without skipping the "hot" parts. And I'll keep spinning my little tales of real love...because it's out there.