Monday, March 28, 2016

Look Who's the Follower of the Month & Hats Off Corner Welcomes Yolanda Renee

Available on Amazon

Today I'm excited to host two writers. One is my first Follower of the Month. She's been a long-time writer friend and she was the first one to take me up on my offer in March's Email Connect. Welcome Beverly Stowe McClure. 

If you're featured I:

  • buy, read, and review your latest book
  • mark your book as AM READING on Goodreads
  • feature you and your book(s) in my monthly EMAIL CONNECT email
  • tweet your book link(s) for 4 Wednesdays, 3 times a day during your month
  • post one facebook post with a link to my review
  • feature you on The Write Game on your month (this month's an exception since the AtoZ Challenge starts, so I'm posting it a bit early)
  • Pin and feature your latest book cover to my Pinterest Board, Book Covers that Catch my Eye.
Congratulations, Beverly. And thanks for always being so supportive of others who write books.

Hats Off Corner

And my second and very wonderful guest is Yolanda Renee! With her latest book.

Yolanda Renée

Published by Curiosity Quills Press, Murder & Obsession is the third book in the Detective Quaid Series.

Flames burn between a hardboiled cop and a gifted artist but soon extinguish as another man’s obsession ignites into an inferno of desire, driving him to destroy the object of his madness…

Unrequited Love

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines unrequited as "not reciprocated or returned in kind."

The plot of Murder & Obsession involves unrequited love and the act of killing to acquire and or retain that love. Remember Fatal Attraction?

Have you ever felt that deeply towards another individual that you couldn't let him or her go? I've always been of the mind that if he's not into me, move on. However, for some folks, it's not that easy. 

In Murder & Obsession, the antagonist is a man obsessed with a woman he can't have. Why murder the object of your love? That goes against everything that makes sense for most of us. Yet, the sad truth in this country is that death by a lover or spouse happens daily.

Statistics prove that on average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or lovers every day. Although, if you watch Snapped, you know life insurance seems to be a major factor too.

As wedding bells echo like the ring of toasting champagne glasses in the ice carved mountains of Anchorage Alaska, Detective Steven Quaid rehabs his grandfather’s cabin into a honeymoon cottage for his new bride. 

When he returns from a hunting trip, Steven’s faced with five police officers, who “Want to talk.” Plagued by two unsolved murders, the Department is searching for answers.

The conversation comes to a deafening halt as the team finds a bloody crime scene in the bridal suite. 

"Where's her body?" is a question Steven cannot fathom.  

Steven’s jaw clenches and his heart races. Images of Sarah streak through his mind. 

The silence breaks as an explosion of accusations vibrate through every fiber of his being. 
Steven bolts…

Although running is never the smart thing to do, Steven’s not thinking clearly and his escape into the wilderness of the Brooks Range proves almost fatal. 

This Steven Quaid mystery is both personal and heartbreaking.

Bio: Yolanda Renée
At one time adventure called to me and I answered. I learned to sleep under the midnight sun of Alaska, survive in below zero temperatures, and hike the Mountain Ranges. I've traveled from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, and the memories are some of my most valued. The wonders, mysteries and incredible beauty that is Alaska has never left me and thus now influence my writing.

Despite my adventurous spirit, I achieved my educational goals, married, and I have two wonderful sons. Writing is now my focus, my newest adventure!

~~ Pinterest ~~ Amazon ~~
~~ BUY ~~

Quote of the Week: "Your friend is your needs answered. He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving." Kahlil Gibran

Monday, March 21, 2016

Be Strong. Be a Penguin. AND AtoZ Challenge Theme Reveal, 2016

#InkRipples is a themed meme hosted by Mary WaibelKatie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand. They post on the first Monday of every month. If you would like to participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, include any of the images displayed on their page, and link back to our their blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation.

Here are the other topics coming up.

April - Poetry
May - Memories
June - Movies
July - Inspiration
August - Guilty Pleasures
September - Banned Books
October - Masks
November - Heritage

December - Cookies

Be Strong. Be a Penguin

It was an activist era, those 1960s. People rose up against the war in Vietnam. People rebelled against the corporate coat and tie culture with musicals like Hair. And women burned their bras to signal they were tired of being denied top-level jobs with equal pay just because they were women. 

Good job people of the 1960s, but did you finish that job? No, but it’s not your fault. It’s because cultures are like icebergs—we only see a small portion of what’s happening, the rest is out of sight and mostly out of awareness. Any real change is often glacial. 

About fifty years have passed since the bra-burning protests, and today there are still studies that conclude: “On average, depending on the type of institution in which women are employed, it takes women from one year to three and a half years longer than men to attain the rank of professor. According to the survey, women at the rank of associate professor appear to be standing still in relation to men." (Standing Still: The Associate Professor Survey, 2009) This happens to be about the world of academia—the world I’m most familiar with, but if I were doing an in-depth article, I’m sure I’d find similar ones in other professions and occupations. 

Because I’m so fond of metaphor, bear with me while I extend this one about icebergs. I stumbled on a New York Times  article that prompted me to write on this aspect of feminism for #InkRipples. In it the author said there was , “. . . a recent report about several hundred thousand penguins trapped by a collapsed glacier in Antarctica. Thousands had died, but the ones that survived did so only through perseverance — regularly traveling some 40 miles across barren nothingness to reach the ocean.”

The author struck a perfect way to cheer on the women of today who continue to seek the equality of pay and position in their field of work. We should all strive to be those penguins who won’t let the icy waters of cultural tradition stop them. 

Quote of the Week:

"Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women." Nora Ephron, Commencement Ceremony Wellesley Class of 1996

AtoZ Challenge Theme Reveal, 2016

Sign Up
 I'm not just going to TELL you. I'm going to SHOW you my theme. You guess.

And my AtoZ Blog Challenge Theme 2016 is? 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Hats Off Corner Welcomes Roland Yeoman

I have a bit of old business from last week before I turn everything over to Roland today. First, those amazing writers Jess and Steph, of Fairday Morrow fame, won a copy of Sudden Secrets for this meme. Just didn't want to leave them out of the winners' circle.
The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow

Hats Off Corner

And now start the drum roll. Hereeeeer comes Roland! Hope you'll start a dialog with this author and find out what his new adventure is all about.

“Hope is a waking dream.” 
- Aristotle

Fairy Girl on Dragonfly
See how she reaches for the light!

Roland Yeomans here:

Lee has let me slip into her “Hats Off Corner” on her blog in my 
“Don’t You Hate Book Tours?” Book Tour.

Lee asked what gave me the idea for my latest novel:

To talk of my dream and how it is working out.

How it is working out?  
I haven’t sold a single copy.  
Why continue writing then?

Let me go the side route on this:
There is an older woman who has moved somewhere in my square of blocks.  Her back is permanently bent so she must walk always looking at her feet.
On my way to work, I see her walking to the grocery store pushing her brightly painted red shopping cart (She cannot drive with her head pushed down.)
She is always jauntily clothed in gaily colored garments done in impish style.  Her eyes may be forced to look at the dirt, but her mind is looking up into the clouds.

That is why I still write.  

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
 – Leonardo da Vinci

Our circumstances may force our eyes down, but our hearts can ride on the wings of dream, wonder, and hope always upward, always reaching out to touch the impossible.

Who knows?  One magic moment we may just make it.

Each of us are on that journey to the dream of becoming a self-supporting writer. We are at different stages of that adventure.  We wave at one another to rally each other.

Just that recognition lets us know we are not alone.

When I wrote Death in the House of Life, (my 1895 Egyptian Steampunk Adventure), I had Mark Twain speak of the voyage he made famous in his The Innocents Abroad. I thought: why not tell that tale?

The Not-So-Innocents Abroad is a 1867 Steampunk journey: the maiden voyage of the Xanadu, the first Air-Steamship where …

A man with the blood of death in his veins is embarking on a perilous journey of learning how to be married to an alien empress…

11 year old orphan, Nikola Tesla, finds himself mentored by Mark Twain who is as much a child as the boy …

An insane Abraham Lincoln and a crippled General Sherman ally themselves with monsters to enact revenge upon Samuel McCord only to find it is a journey leading to dark places …

The twin sister of the empress finds herself falling in love with the husband of her hated sister – the man who sees the hurt little girl bruised by living in the cold shadow of her regal twin.

A global war of vampire kingdoms is being waged unknown to the living …

The vampiric Abigail Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Empress Theodora circle one another, looking for weakness in their opponents, blind to their own.

A Being older than the creation of light is moving his pieces on the board of the world as he has for millennia …

Yet, like The Lord of the Rings (especially The Fellowship of the Ring), my novel is one of friendships won, lost, and regained, of how the darkness around us is not as important as the light we carry within us, and of how that light is born of two hearts hesitantly reaching out to one another and finding its soul-mate.
The journey we start is never the one we finish.

Give my novel a chance.  Go to its Amazon Page and try the LOOK INSIDE feature:

I write to music.  Do you? Here is the selection that I am writing a scene in the sequel, The Not-So-Innocents at Large where the Sidhe fly their sky-boats to challenge the Empress Meilori Shinseen, flying over England.

Much to their regret, the Sidhe learn Meilori is, indeed, a star-child.

And there you have it folks! Want to give Roland a boost and venture over to good old Amazon? Take a look at what's he's created. And since Roland's already provided us with two great quotes, I'll let those be my quotes of the week. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Winners! Ageism in PBs, Volume 3

Remember this little Meme Hop? Well, it turned out to be a lot of fun and easy to do. It wasn't easy to pick winners, however. Tara, Christine and I had a devil of a time. But here they are. All very funny. And I only am showing one of each entrant. Some had several. Way to go writers.

Thanks for playing everyone! Here were the book prizes. 

PepperWords won one of the $25. GC from Amazon. 

J.Lenni Dorner won an eBook of Double Negative. 

Junetta won a copy of Sudden Secrets

Check out the other winners on Tara and Christine's sites. They each offered copies of their books, and there was one more $25 GC. Were you one of the lucky meme-makers?

L.L. is one of my Newsletter followers and she just won a signed copy of A. Formento's Twigs. Congrats L.L. The book is on the way.
My March Newsletter goes out next week. Hope you've signed up. I'm sending everyone a Marketing Checklist with examples of how I'm using it to improve my marketing. More about my marketing next month. There's also some news. Yes. I actually have NEWS

In case you're interested: My previous posts on AGEISM. Post 1 Post 2

David Wiesner is one of my favorite picture book writers, and I have three of his books. I decided to take a look and see 1) if he had any elderly characters and 2) if he treated them fairly or as stereotypes. Here's what I found. In one book there were zero elderly, even the animals were young. In another there was one picture of adults, however, I couldn't count them as elderly. They were reading while their son explored the beach. In the third book there were four characters that were pictured as elderly: round glasses, gray hair and facial lines. All were stern and, while not unkind,  they were stiff and all business. It didn't look as if being older was much fun.

A writer friend, Cynthia Jaynes Omolou published this PB, so I took a look at it again to see what she'd done with elderly characters. Hurray for Omolou. She not only had three elderly characters ( two men and a woman), but they were of varied ethnicity.

Quote of the Week:  "Knowing what's right doesn't mean much unless you do what's right." Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

IWSG March Has Arrived!

And with March comes so much for writers, INSECURE  and otherwise. 

Brain Child of Alex J. Cavanaugh

The awesome co-hosts for the March 2 posting of the IWSG are 
Lauren Hennessy, Lisa Buie-Collard, Lidy, Christine Rains, and Mary Aalgaard! 

Since Tara Tyler and Christine Rains invited me to be a part of the MEME HOP, I've become besotted by memes. Here's my IWSG short story told in memes.


My little man's pointing to my email subscribe field at the top right of this post. My next email goes out mid-March, so hope you'll sign up because there's some good stuff this month and a surprise. Here's a list of what Special Offers have already gone out since I started my email list.

  • 6 free books, some signed hardcopies
  • 2 $10 gift certificates
  • links to free book offers by others
  • 1 free story

Brain Child of DL Hammons

You can send your entries, starting April 1-30. Then the contest starts May 18. Wish I could jump in, but I'm booked solid all spring. I'll be stopping by though to see what you guys are submitting. There are always great stories.

Arlee Bird and tons of others make this work!

Have you signed up? Get going. April's here before you know it. HERE's the link.