Sucked Through the Veil

via Sucked Through the Veil

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High Stakes: Kids with Technology

When I was five, I had a coloring book. Maybe a few picture books. My grandson has an iPad. He had two. One cost almost as much as my laptop.

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Tonight, on our way in from a dinner out, he wasn’t listening (imagine that. He’s five…) He was carrying his iPad–the more expensive one–with the protective cover open.

“Please stay on the sidewalk. Stay out of the mud,” I said.

Of course, he didn’t listen. Stepping on the edge of the sidewalk, he got more than mud on his shoes. He tripped and fell. He’s fine (thank God). The very expensive iPad isn’t.

A shattered screen sent his mother into a tirade. I don’t blame her . . . but then again, he’s FIVE. He shouldn’t have been allowed to “play” with such an expensive piece of equipment in the first place.

So now he’s in his room, crying, banished. Banned from any iPad use indefinitely. Does he understand the brevity of the “crime” he’s committed? How can he? He’s FIVE.

My point is this: when I was that age, the biggest crime I could commit would be to break a piece of my mom’s china. Drop a glass. Spill grape juice on the carpet.

Today, the stakes are much higher. When a kid screws up, he can screw up BIG. Like, to the cost of several hundred dollars. That’s what it will cost to replace the screen on the iPad.

What effect will this have on him as he matures? Will he be more careful? Will the scar of having destroyed such an expensive piece of technological equipment serve as a lesson?

I think I liked life better when the worst thing I could do was to drop my three dollar coloring book into a mud puddle.

A Guest From Outside the Box

Today I have a very special guest with me on Emotional Journeys. Author John McKenna, who sometimes goes by the name Garritt O’Dwaine, writes nonfiction, crime fiction, and is also the mastermind behind the review website, Mysterious Book Report.

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John, along with my husband, Clark, grew up in the small town of Grahamsville, N.Y. He is here today to share some personal insight about his writing process, et al. Take it away, John!

John: First I’d like to thank Claire for stepping outside the romance genre to interview a crime fiction author and reviewer.
Claire: You’re welcome, John. I’m thrilled to have you with us here today. Tell us about your writing process. Are you a keyboard addict or do you write the words out the old fashioned way?
John: My process of writing is to write everything longhand with a pencil because it’s easier to correct mistakes and I have lost my ability to type because of an injury.  My assistant types everything and whips it all into shape.
Claire: Oh, I don’t know whether to admire you, or feel sorry for you! I am a keyboard addict. I can type faster than I can talk (and ask my husband, that’s not an easy feat!).
Tell us about a book you love, one you wish you could have written.
John: The book I wish I would have written is LA Confidential by James Ellroy, it is one of the finest examples of noir fiction ever written.
Claire: How do you choose character names for your books?
John: Names are important in books because I feel that they are the doors to ideas, and indications of character.  One of the best examples of this is Charles Dickens’s undertaker, Uriah Heep.  I keep lists of names I have gathered from many different sources including antique newspapers’ obituaries and graveyard registrations.  I have books full of them.
Claire: Ooh, being a big fan of graveyards, and an author of ghostly stories, I would LOVE to get my hands on your records!
Tell us, what advice would you give to aspiring authors out there?
John: The advice I have for other aspiring writers is persist.  Never give up. Never quit.  Never stop trying.  Write every day.
Claire: Agreed. It’s never an easy road, but if you’re dedicated it will definitely pay off.
What is your least favorite part of the writing process?
John: My least favorite part is editing and re-writing.
Claire: I hear you there! I get so I think I could recite my book by memory. So, your most recent release. Tell us about it.
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John: Colorado Noir is my 3rd and most award-winning book.  The others are Neversink Chronicles and The Whim-Wham Manboth of which are award winners.
Claire: My husband has read the Neversink Chronicles and, having grown up in that part of the world, he found it fascinating. To me, just the idea of a town disappearing entirely under water–on–purpose, is chilling. But the Neversink Reservoir is now a major supplier of water to the Big Apple, NYC.
Tell me, What are you working on now?
John: My next project is turning a short story called Mischief of Rats into a novel and I am also working on a historical mystery entitled Unforsaken, set in the year 1901, which features a women’s search for her missing brother and a determined but conflicted Texas Ranger who is 20 years older than her, widowed, and fatally attracted.
Claire: John, thanks so much for visiting with me today. I’m going to share with my readers a sample of your upcoming novel, Unforsaken, to whet their appetites! Be sure to update us on release dates and any future events.
~~~

1901

It was an almost perfect early spring morning . . . the thermometer was still in the mid-eighties, a slight breeze rustled the leaves in the live oaks lining the thoroughfare, and the sun stood low in a cloudless, cerulean blue sky that looked as fragile as Chinese porcelain and spread to the farthest edges of the world.  That’s when a man came up East Second Street in Cleburne, Texas.  He was driving a black doctor’s buggy with red wheels and seat, and pulled by a small Appaloosa mare.  He was looking for Featherston Lane, and a certain gray house with a green tin roof and white gingerbread trim.  When he found it, he nosed the mare to the curb, half-hitched the reins to the dash rail and backed out on the short step.  Once down, he checked his surroundings, opened the picket gate and strode up the flagstone walk like he owned the place.

The woman who lived there saw him come to her front door.  She was watching from the parlor, where she’d just placed a bowl of pink and yellow roses, fresh-cut from the bushes at the corner of her porch.  The man, who was tall and thin, had on a white shirt, black wool suit, black tie and gray waistcoat, and moved with the insouciance, grace and confidence of a feral cat on the prowl.  She noted the cant of his curled brim Stetson, the scuffed, dusty boots and tied-down Colt pistol at his right hip.  She shivered at the sight of his drooping, heavy black mustache.  Then he was at the door knocking.

She smoothed her apron and tucked a wisp of hair behind her ear before she went to answer it. “Yes,” she said, “may I help you?”

The stranger took off his hat, held it in his left hand and said, “Mornin’ ma’am.  My name is Boyd Pirtle.   I’m a Texas Ranger.   Are you the  Mrs.  Stringfellow who’s been runnin’ the advertisement in the newspaper, lookin’ for her brother?”

“It’s Miss, not Mrs., and yes, I am she.  Do you know of his whereabouts?”  She saw the creases in his sun-baked face, the gray creeping into his hair, and all the sadness and steel in a pair of pale blue eyes that looked as faded as old denim. Gun-fighters eyes, her father would’ve said . . . the eyes of a long and hard campaigner.  She added, “I’m willing to pay for information if you can help me find him.”  And Please God, she thought at the same time, don’t let this one be another crackpot, full of lies and a spinner of tall tales.

The stranger in the rumpled suit with the worn cuffs looked off to his left before turning back and gazing straight into her eyes.  “No ma’am.  I don’t.  I haven’t any news for yuh, but I do have a proposal that I believe can help both of us . . . if y’all’d care to listen.”

“You say you’re a Ranger.  Do you have any proof?  There’s been many who’ve come around looking for the reward money, but none of them had any validity.  No disrespect, but why should I believe you?”

“That’s a fair enough question,” he said as he pulled back his lapel with his left hand to display a five-pointed star, convex in shape, hand-hammered and filed from a single silver dollar with the words TEXAS RANGER etched into it.  “Here’s my badge, and you can wire Captain Wiley Newton at Division Headquarters down in Austin.  He’ll provide my bona fides for you.  And, as you can see, he’s the one who signed this here letter of introduction,” Pirtle added, and pulled an envelope with the Texas Ranger insignia on it from his inside coat pocket.  He removed the enclosed document and handed it to her.

She unlatched the door and took the missive, scanned it with care and handed it back to its owner.  She said, “Special Agent.  I’m impressed.  But what’s that got to do with finding my twin brother?”

“I’ll get to that.  It’s part of my proposal to you.”

She thought for a moment about asking him to leave.  But after a second or two of hesitation, she said instead, “When’s the last time you ate anything Mr. Pirtle?”

He looked down and said, “Yesterday mornin’, I guess.  Some jerky and a couple of corn dodgers.”

“Corn dodgers, huh.  Haven’t heard that expression for a while.  Were you in the war?”

“Yes’m.  I was.  Signed up with John Bell Hood and the Texas Brigade right after Shiloh.”

“Oh my . . . you must be brave.”

    ~~~

More about John McKenna, aka Garritt O’Dwaine: John Press photo

John Dwaine McKenna is an award-winning author, reviewer, commentator, publisher and lecturer living in southern Colorado.  His weekly column:  The Mysterious Book Report, appears in the Tri-Valley Townsman, a tabloid-sized regional newspaper published 49 times per year in Sullivan County, New York;  online at: Mysteriousbookreport.com, and Johndwainemckenna.com, as well as on Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, and Twitter.  He has three prize-winning crime-fiction works to his credit: The Neversink Chronicles, The Whim-Wham Man, and Colorado Noir.  Currently, he’s working on his latest, a historical fiction crime novel entitled Unforsaken set in the year 1901 which features a woman named Ella Stringfellow, who’s searching for her missing brother and a determined, but conflicted Texas Ranger. He’s  20 years older than her, widowed, and fatally attracted.  He is also working, at the same time, on a crime-fiction thriller featuring serial character Jake McKern, a hard-boiled CSPD detective born and raised working in Colorado Springs.

~~~

Claire Gem writes contemporary romance and supernatural suspense. You can find out more about her and her work at her Amazon Author Page or her Website.

How to Write Effective Emails

This was a VERY useful piece of instructional information!

Can you compose efficient and effective emails?

When I heard this question, my first impulse was to say, “Yes, of course.” But glancing through my in-box, I realized I wasn’t that efficient or effective. While I don’t ramble or use ambiguous language, I could improve the tone of my emails.

In her book, Playing Big, Tara Mohr devotes an entire chapter to “Communicating with Power.” She stresses the importance of identifying those “little things” that “walk the fine line of saying something without coming on too strong, but in fact they convey tentativeness, self-doubt, or worse, self-deprecation.”

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Definitely two extremes…I’m aiming for a middle ground.

My primary goal is to construct emails that will be read and understood and not take up too much time on the receiver’s end.

Here are some tips from Playing Big:

  1. Delete all “shrinkers”. We often use words such as “just”, “actually”, and “almost”…

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A Movie Review: Love Comes Softly

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I am not one to watch television, but my husband loves movies, particularly westerns. Last evening, he stumbled across on oldie but goodie: Love Comes Softly, directed by Michael Landon, Jr. The film originally aired in 2003 on the Hallmark channel, and is based on a Christian series written back in the 90s by Janette Oke.

As I said, I’m not one to watch TV. But the movie was worth staying up for.

This, my friends, is what I consider a true romance. A young couple, Marty & Aaron, head out west to start their new life together, but the dream is not meant to be. Before they can even set up camp, Aaron goes after one of their horses who wandered off and dies in a tragic fall. Marty is pregnant, alone, and winter is coming.

A local widower, Clark, proposes to Marty on the day she buries her husband. He offers her a solution: marry him, help him over the winter to raise his 9-year old daughter, Missie, who desperately needs a woman’s influence. In the spring, he will provide passage for Marty to go back east, along with the baby he discovers she’s carrying. With no options, Marty accepts.

The couple are married in name only, and live in separate quarters. Missie resents Marty’s presence, and her efforts to coax the girl to act more like a girl. But gradually, Marty finds a way to earn Missie’s trust. The grieving faux family show signs of becoming a real one.

As an author of romance novels, I read and listen to hundreds of titles every year. I seek out what’s popular, what’s selling, trying to figure out what today’s romance audience wants. This movie had no sex, no foul language, no violence, no dead bodies (except for Marty’s husband at the beginning). Yet the story captured my attention from the first minutes and kept me riveted to the very end, where the first kiss between Marty and Clark represents the start of their new love.

It’s true, there is a minor religious element–it was, after all, a Christian novel. But there is certainly no Bible thumping or prosyletizing. A subtle reference to Clark’s God, in one scene, is the extent of the Christian element. Other than the absence of graphic love scenes or bloody violence.

This, my friends, is romance. By the end of the movie I was smiling with tears streaming down my face. This is, ultimately, the kind of love story I love–the kind of emotional experience I’d love to provide for my readers.

Am I alone? I know I’m older, but . . . Has this kind of pure romance–without all the sex and language and violence–really gone out of style? Is there still an audience for stories like Love Comes Softly?

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Please share your thoughts in comments.

~~~

Claire Gem writes contemporary romance and supernatural suspense. And is strongly considering drifting over to the Inspirational side . . . visit her Amazon Author Page.

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A Real-Life Regency Era Scandal

Today I’m pleased to welcome historical author, Kryssie Fortune, to my blog to talk about her latest release Wickedly Used.

Picture1While he is no stranger to pleasurable company from ladies of the night, Major Richard Rothbury of the royal dragoons is not the kind of man who will stand idly by as a woman is taken against her will, and when he witnesses a disreputable cad attempting to force himself on a girl in a back alley, he does not hesitate to intervene.

But after the grateful young woman offers herself to Rothbury, he is shocked to discover that not only was she no harlot, she was a maiden and he has deflowered her. Furious at the girl’s scandalous behavior and her carelessness with her own safety, Rothbury chastises her soundly.

Though she is due to inherit one of the largest fortunes in England, the fact that she cannot touch the money until she marries or turns thirty has kept Elizabeth completely at the mercy of her cruel uncle, and for years she has been treated as if she were a servant. Her encounter with Lord Rothbury is by far the most exciting thing that has ever happened to her, but while he shows great concern for her safety, he refuses to believe that she is anything more than a serving girl.

Despite having made it clear that he doesn’t consider a match between them to be possible, when Elizabeth disobeys him Rothbury proves more than ready to strip her bare, punish her harshly, and then enjoy her beautiful body in the most shameful of ways. But can she dare to hope that he will one day make her his wife, or is she destined to spend her life being wickedly used?

Buy links:

Amazon USA     Amazon UK     Amazon Canada    Amazon Australia

Publisher’s Note: Wickedly Used: A Dark Regency Romance includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

Kryssie, tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write Wickedly Used.

Lord Uxbridge, later Marquis of Anglesey in North Wales, almost came through the battle of Waterloo unscathed. An old-fashioned hero, he had eight horses shot from beneath him but always returned to the fray.Picture2

Even the Duke of Wellington praised his courage. As the battle died down, a cannon shot rang out.

Uxbridge turned to the Iron Duke and said, “By God Sir, I’ve lost my leg.”

Wellesley stared down his long nose and replied, “By God Sir, so you have.”

It all sounds very polite and terribly British, but that veneer hid their darker feelings. A little research showed me why.

(Photo Credit: {{PD-1923}} – published anywhere before 1923 & public domain in the U.S.)

In 1790 at the age of 22, Uxbridge raised a regiment of foot soldiers, the Staffordshire Volunteers, from his father’s tenantry.

Five years later, when he was Lieutenant-Colonel of the 16th Light Dragoons, he married the daughter of the Earl of Jersey, and they had eight children.  He led Sir John Moore’s cavalry in the battle of Corunna in 1809.

Enter Lady Charlotte Wellesley, sister-in-law to the Duke of Wellington. Uxbridge’s liaison with her Wellington’s sister prevented him from serving with Wellington again until Waterloo.

Married to Henry Wellesley, 1st Baron Cowley, she’d already birthed four children. Uxbridge become infatuated with her. In 1809 he persuaded her to elope with him. Afterword, he fought a duel with Wellington’s brother, Baron Cowley. Fortunately, neither man was hurt.

Henry Wellesley divorced his wife. Uxbridge’s wife divorced him for adultery. Before he could wed, a court ruled Uxbridge must pay £24,000 settlement to Wellington’s brother. Once wed, he and Charlotte went on to have ten children.

In times when divorce was unheard of the ensuing scandal must have been the talk of society.

Uxbridge commanded the cavalry and led a charge which helped rout the French at Waterloo.

Given their history, I don’t imagine much love was lost between Wellington and Uxbridge, no matter how much courage either showed on the battle field.

I loved researching the people and places associated with Waterloo for my dark Regency Romance, Wickedly Used.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today, Kryssie, and best of luck with Wickedly Used.

7mpSocial Media Links for Kryssie Fortune

Website      http://kryssiefortune.wixsite.com/kryssie

Blog            http://kryssiefortune.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter         https://twitter.com/KryssieFortune

Facebook    https://www.facebook.com/KryssiesFortune

Pinterest      http://bit.ly/1OGFnjc

Goodreads     http://bit.ly/2kxqabJ

Amazon Author Page  http://amzn.to/2hA0ZVO

Welcome Peter Perrin with his new release, GRACE’S TURMOIL

Grace's Turmoil (4)Divorced and emotionally damaged, artist Grace Stollery wants nothing more than to spend her semi-retirement painting and let time heal her emotional scars.

But when dashing widower Alfred Nobel moves into her retirement village he turns her life upside down and her heart inside out by awakening feelings she wants to keep dormant.

Alfred quickly sets out to woo Grace and slowly she warms to him. But the village’s resident femme fatale wants him for herself. Will she succeed in driving a wedge between Alfred and Grace?

 

                                                                 Buy Link: http://www.devinedestinies.com/preorder/grace-s-turmoil/

Today I’m pleased to welcome Peter Perrin to Emotional Journeys to talk about his new release, Grace’s Turmoil. To help us get to know his main character better, Peter interviewed her:

Peter:  What is your name and how old are you?

Grace:  I’m Grace Marilyn Stollery. And, I think you’re a bit cheeky asking my age. But if you must know I’m sixty-eight-years-young.

Peter: Are you married?

Grace: Not any longer. I’ve recently gone through a painful divorce after fourteen years of marriage. I’m in no hurry to make that mistake again.

Peter:  Where were you born?

Grace: I was born in a quiet town called Romford, in Essex, England. But, it has grown over the years and is now considered part of East London.

Peter: How would you describe your physical characteristics?

Grace: Petite would sum me up I think. I’m just 5 feet 2 inches tall, with a slender but firm figure and cracking legs (especially for a pensioner). I have pale/creamy looking skin, with just a sprinkling of freckles, and beautiful bone structure. I have big brown eyes and gorgeous shoulder-length dark brown hair.

Peter: How would you describe your personality?

Grace: I suppose complicated would sum me up. I’m gregarious and sociable, but introverted and prone to depression. I’m a Pisces and when it comes to love I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m on cloud nine when my love life is going well. But, when it turns sour I don’t cope well.

Peter: What do you most like about yourself?

Grace: I’m adaptable, resilient, loyal, kind, and sensitive towards others.

Peter: Do you generally tell the truth? If so, under what circumstances would you lie?

Grace: I think it’s fair to say I generally tell the truth. But I would certainly lie if I thought that was the right thing to do. That might be to save somebody embarrassment, or hurt, or to save them from danger.

Peter: How are your relationships with the opposite sex, generally?

Grace: I’d have to say complicated. Men have always been attracted to me, and I’ve generally enjoyed their company. But, it is fair to say my personal relationships with men have rarely gone well.

Peter: How would you describe your dress style?

Grace: I love to wear flamboyant clothes in bright and bold colours and am especially fond of Mary Quant originals and reproductions—especially the Black and White squares dress and the GoGo dress with its bright pattern and flared sleeves – which goes great with a pair of GoGo white boots. I also like to wear brightly coloured kaftans, and I’m not above wearing a high-slit dress over skinny jeans or tight leggings to show off my legs which I think are my best asset nowadays.

Peter: What are your favourite foods/drinks?

Grace: I like a wide variety of food and I’m not fussy whether it is basic or Cordon Bleu. I especially love duck. And I have a sweet tooth, so I like any dessert with chocolate in it, but my all-time favourite is Chocolate Ganache Tart. As for drink, well I’m happy to drink lager (but not in a pint glass); but my favourite tipple is Gin & Tonic – plenty of gin and light on the tonic.

Peter: How would you describe your sense of humour?

Grace: Dry and subtle. And, I absolutely detest when sarcasm is passed off as humour.

Peter: Do you think readers will like or dislike you?

Grace: Well, I hope I come across as a likeable person. But, I’m worried that they might dislike me because of the way I sometimes am with Alfred. They may not understand why I am like that.

Peter is also going to give us a sneak peek inside Grace’s Turmoil with this excerpt:

Grace jabbed at the volume button on the remote control, turning up the sound on the television. She was trying to drown out the chatter which filled the palatial residents’ lounge. It had been like that for days, and she’d grown tired of it. Who would have thought the imminent arrival of one man could affect mature ladies like that?

One of the things which had appealed to her when she moved to The Grange retirement village was the lack of men. Yet a man who aroused feelings in her she didn’t want was going to add to their number.

Grace had caught a glimpse of him across The Lounge a few months ago, taking the standard tour of The Grange. He’d towered over the young woman he’d been with, and she’d guessed he was at least six-foot-five. Built like a tank, with a mass of wavy white hair and a snow-white beard, he’d reminded her of a polar bear. His presence had been overpowering and almost menacing. An image of him defending a seventeenth century mansion in days gone by had jumped into her mind.

Looking at him had sent a spontaneous burst of attraction rippling through her. It had caught her by surprise. Becoming attracted to anybody was the last thing she’d needed right then. Her divorce had been too recent and too painful. All she wanted was to focus on her painting to block out the pain. Although she hadn’t come there to look for a man, there was no denying how she’d reacted to the sight of him. She wondered how she would cope when they met. And she couldn’t help feeling he was going to have quite an impact on her life. Whether it would be a good impact or not was the million-dollar question. He might be the greatest thing since sliced bread! Or he could turn out to be a snake in the grass like her ex-husband.

~~~

We’re excited for Peter, and wish him all the best with his new release!

Buy Link: http://www.devinedestinies.com/preorder/grace-s-turmoil/

About Peter:

Peter Perrin writes sweet, seasoned romances involving larger-than-life mature characters who will make you rethink your views on older people in a positive way. His characters are mature in age but not necessarily in their behaviour. They may not be in the first flush of youth but that doesn’t stop some of them acting like hormonal teenagers.

Peter was born in Romford, in the county of Essex, near London, England. For nearly twenty years he has lived with his wife of almost forty years in a quiet suburb of Swindon, in the county of Wiltshire, in England. He is a father and grandfather.

He is a former member of The Royal Air Force who has served in the UK, and in Madagascar, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia. He was also stationed for two years in Aden—which nowadays is part of Yemen.

After almost fifteen-years’ service in The Royal Air Force Peter worked in Engineering, Quality Control, and Procurement Management, not to mention myriad smaller jobs in between those careers.

Now retired Peter’s interests are Writing, Carp Fishing, and (despite being in his early seventies) PC and PlayStation games.

His favourite quote is “Youth passes, but with luck, immaturity can last a lifetime.”

 

Headshot 1You can connect with Peter here:

Website: https://peterperrin.blog

Blog:  https://peterperrin.blog

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peterperrin44

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PeterPerrin44/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/peterperrin/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/

 

~~~

Claire Gem writes contemporary romance, women’s fiction, & supernatural suspense. You can find out more about Claire’s romance novels at her Amazon Author Page.

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A Writer’s Prayer

A beautiful prayer…

Joanne Guidoccio

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Two years ago, I participated in a series of Artist’s Way workshops facilitated by Lisa Browning of One Thousand Trees. During one of those sessions, I encountered an interesting task: Create an artist’s prayer. While reflecting and researching, I discovered the following Writer’s Prayer written by Sandy Tritt:

Open my mind, Lord. Grant me the talent to write with clarity and style, so my words go down rich and smooth, like fine wine, and leave my reader thirsty for more.

Open my heart, Lord. Grant me the sensitivity to understand my characters–their hopes, their wants, their dreams–and help me to confer that empathy to my reader.

Open my soul, Lord, so I…

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Dreams and Vibes: Her Story Inspiration

My guest post on fellow author, Rebecca Neely, where I’m talking about my present work-in-progress, supernatural suspense CIVIL HEARTS.
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MYSTICAL MUSINGS

Please make welcome Claire Gem, author of paranormal romance. Today, she’s sharing her inspiration for an upcoming story, CIVIL HEARTS, and you may be surprised to find out how the idea came to her…

Thank you, Rebecca, for hosting me today!

I’m taking advantage of the inspiration of November, National Novel Writing Month, to work on my upcoming supernatural suspense, CIVIL HEARTS. This one takes place in a haunted plantation home in a fictitious town in rural western Alabama. I’m proud today to share with all of Rebecca’s readers a little about the story-in-progress . . .

The inspiration for this book came from an actual experience in my past. Years ago, we were considering a move to Alabama. We toured an old Antebellum home on a lovely piece of land in a tiny town that was, literally, in the middle of nowhere. It had been empty a long…

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Sun Storm (The Gathering Storm Book 1) Marlow Kelly #BookHugs #RomanticSuspense

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Can a cynical soldier and a naive scientist learn about love and trust

in order to survive?

Welcome Marlow Kelly to share with us her new release, Sun Storm for the Ghost #BookHugs Blog Exchange!

Sun Storm

Available on Amazon

 Blurb

 Dr. Marie Wilson is a scientist on the verge of a breakthrough. She has come to Montana on the eve of a blizzard to prove her small, portable solar panel can generate electricity even in the harshest environment. But when four men invade her remote cabin with plans to kill her, she knows she’s in trouble.

 

Ex-Special Forces soldier, David Quinn, has had enough of danger and death. All he wants is to be left alone on his Montana acreage to pursue his dream of being a beekeeper. But when his old mentor convinces him to help retrieve a stolen solar panel, he thinks it will be a simple job. But the moment he sets eyes on Marie, he knows their assignment is all kinds of wrong.

Together, they escape. Chased by a businessman with unlimited resources, a gunman and a corrupt police force, they are thrust into the frozen Montana landscape. Can a cynical soldier and a naive scientist learn about love and trust in order to survive?

Excerpt: 

A crack of splintering wood and the door crashed open. Marie jumped to her feet, her heart pounding. A scream lodged in her throat as four men burst in, filling the tiny space. She raced to the fireplace and grabbed the poker.

A handsome blond-haired man led the way. He was so good looking he could be an actor. He had a square jaw and wore a well-tailored leather jacket. Even his fair hair was perfectly trimmed. Two burly men followed, both with dark, short-cropped hair. They could be twins. Their thick bodies and the way they swung their arms reminded her of a pair of gorillas. They also had the same flattened nose and malicious, small, dark eyes. They moved to the back of the room near the sink. The last man had unkempt, long, sandy-colored hair. He wore a crumpled, hooded camouflage jacket and baggy gray pants. A long scar ran across one side of his face, starting at his ear and running through his beard, parting it with a jagged white line. He didn’t say a word. He simply nodded at the poker in her hand and shook his head, silently telling her to drop her weapon.

Sensing that any attempt to fight him would be futile, she let it fall to the ground. “You can take the money. I don’t have—”

“Shut up,” the handsome blond barked. A vein on his forehead bulged as he scowled.

Her heart hammered against her ribs. She prayed they would take what they wanted and leave.

Handsome stepped in front of her and placed the barrel of his handgun between her eyes. “Tell us where it is.”

“What are you doing?” The man with the scar strolled over and stood next to her. In her peripheral vision, she could make out his intense, pale, lifeless eyes.

He leaned close to her face so his warm breath touched her cheek. “This is all wrong.”

A small squeal emanated from her throat. He was too close. Too scary. Killer. The word rang through her mind. The scar, those dead eyes, and his demeanor gave the impression of a lethal, terrifying man.

“What do you mean? Our intel is good.” The vein on Handsome’s forehead throbbed to life.

With one finger, Killer nudged the pistol away from her head. “First, how can she tell us where it is when she’s too frightened to talk?”

Handsome shrugged, revealing a smile with perfect white teeth.

Marie released a huge breath. She needed to do something, but couldn’t focus, couldn’t form a coherent thought.

“Second,” Killer continued, “what do we really know about this situation?”

Handsome sneered. “You were in the army. You know how it is. We don’t make the decisions. We follow orders.”

“And what exactly are our orders?” Killer asked, his voice low and calm.

“We’re to retrieve what was stolen and eliminate the girl.”

There had to be a misunderstanding. She was a scientist, not someone who needed to be eliminated.

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About Marlow

 After being thrown out of England for refusing to drink tea, Marlow Kelly made her way to Canada where she found love, a home and a pug named Max. She also discovered her love of storytelling. Encouraged by her husband, children and let’s not forget Max, she started putting her ideas to paper. Her need to write about strong women in crisis drives her stories.
Marlow is an award-winning author, and a member of the Romance Writers of America.

Social Media Links 

Website: http://www.marlowkelly.com

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Marlow-Kelly/e/B00MZE72CS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marlowkelly?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/want2write

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/Marlowkelly14/

#BookHugs Author Exchange

Hugs are powerful. Receiving a hug can give you the strength to continue, but giving one will make you happy. 

Here is the full buy link in case the hyperlink doesn’t work. 

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07466K711

Thanks for being my guest today, Marlow!

~~~

Claire Gem writes contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and supernatural suspense. Her award-winning novels bridge the gap between genre and literary fiction. These ain’t your mama’s Harlequin romances!

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You can find out more about her work at her website or her Amazon Author Page.