Friday, October 24, 2014

Flashback Friday: Family Plus Two

October 2004:
Forgot To Mention:  Honorary grandkids A and J came to live with us in September, since their mom was working nights in Indianapolis.  The plan was for J to arrive for dinner, spend some time with her kids, tuck them in at night, then head off to work.

But gas prices jumped.  Soon she began arriving only Friday night....then Saturday morning....Saturday afternoon....Saturday night....Sunday for a visit.

A was 3, J was 2.  I don't remember what everyone dressed up as for Halloween; that particular photo album is packed away in storage.

What I DO remember vividly is 2 y/o J, standing by W in his exersaucer, yelling because W was smacking him on the head.

"Honey, you can move away.  He can't!"

J was also very unhappy to be separated from his mommy, and one afternoon he threw such a fit, I had no choice but to grab him and hold him tight; he had totally lost control and didn't know how to calm down.

We eventually settled into a routine.

*******
Present Day:
I plan to go ahead with my plan to dress up as Betsy Ross/Molly Pitcher tomorrow night, and since I have to be at church at 7:30 am, I'll have to leave at midnight.  So the two or three songs I plan to sing are
Famous In A Small Town
Let It Go
Edge of 17.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Flashback Friday

Forgot to post last week, due to being at my mom's....

Oct 1984:
TM and I began dating Sept 20th, and over the course of the next 6 weeks, I slowly lost my resistance to every overture.  Right before Fall Break, we were lying on my upper bunk, cuddling, when three knocks came at the door (our signal), followed by the sound of a key turning in the lock.  Since I wasn't sure if the sight of me laying on my bed with the opposite sex was going to be frowned upon, I decided to get off the bed asap.

Instead of landing gracefully on my desk chair, then leaning casually against the beds, I ended up wrestling with my chair, then falling onto the floor.  I laughed; TM looked down while laughing; EY and EK had expressions of 'WTH...'

And then I tried to stand up.

Pain shot through my left foot.

One of the guys we knew was an EMT, so we called him down.  He examined me, then suggested a trip to the ER.  So we went, and I ended up on crutches.

Over Break, Mom took me to my doctor, who injected dye to see the foot more clearly.  Result:  It was NOT a hairline fracture, just very sore.

I still had issues putting weight on that foot, and TM piggy-backed me when it became too painful.  For years after, I could always tell when rain was approaching:)

By Halloween, I was healed, and wore my punk-rock outfit to a dance.  EY borrowed my shirt earlier for another party, and GW dressed in black leather, while KC wore black pants and electric blue shirt and went as a rock fan.

Next Month:  Thanksgiving and going to State Band Finals

1994:
My next MOPS meeting went well, with the exception of the craft project.  I don't remember what it was; I just remember it fell apart.  S had objected to being in the nursery, so she accompanied me to the meeting and happily drank a bottle and charmed the women at my table.

For Halloween, we dressed 2 y/o K as a mouse, and S as a little pumpkin.

Next Month:  Thanksgiving:)

*********
Present Day:

Trying to add more words to book #4 of The Chosen series.

Tomorrow's Karaoke Line Up:
Hold On Loosely-38 Special
Hold On To the Nights-Richard Marx
Holding Out for a Hero-Bonnie Tyler
Holding Back The Years-Simply Red
Magic Power-Triumph

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Triple D Dude Ranch Tour:)



Today I'm hosting friend and fellow SCP author Beverly Ovalle:)  Take it away:)

Triple D Dude Ranch
By Beverly Ovalle
Published by Secret Cravings Publishing
October 4, 2014
Buy Link
Amazon

Tagline:
One look ignites a smolder between Dan and Blaire, one touch sparks a wildfire that burns out of control, hotter than the Texas sun.

Blurb:
Blaire is a freelance photographer on assignment. She is heading home to Texas, armed with her camera to do a photo feature for the Tribune. Taking photos of the dude ranch, she gets an eyeful of an uninhibited cowboy through her lens. The summer heat of Texas has nothing on the heat he generates in her.
Dan was expecting a photographer but not the sexy urban cowgirl that arrived. He knew it was hot out, he just hadn’t expected the hot and sexy woman to make him burn the minute he caught sight of her. One look and he had to quench this fire inside.

One touch between Dan and Blaire sparks a wildfire that burns hotter than the Texas summer and is just as hard to put out.







Clean Excerpt:
Graduation had her moving to Chicago. After a couple of years of living and working there, she realized that Chicago couldn’t give her the life she thought she’d wanted. What she wanted was right here in Texas, so when she got this assignment she packed her bags, subletted her apartment, and headed home.

The GPS announced she was there. Looking around, Blaire spotted the driveway; it was hard to miss. The wrought iron arch over the drive simply proclaimed Triple D Dude Ranch. She frowned. The drive was just as dusty as the road and there was not a hotel in sight.

Sighing, Blaire put on her signal and pulled over. She stopped and grabbed her camera. A picture of the arch, with the wrought iron words showcasing the name, would be a perfect shot. Blaire opened her door and groaned as the leather made a sucking sound as she peeled herself off. Maybe she shouldn’t have shucked her panties at that last stop. She hadn’t thought about peeling herself off the leather seats, only how infernally hot the day was. Stepping out, she looked both ways before she minced to the opposite side of the road. The heels of the unfamiliar and recently purchased cowboy boots and the long drive had made her a bit wobbly.

Blaire lifted her camera, uncovering the lens and holding the cap in her hand. No dust on the lens, she was glad to see. It wouldn’t have surprised her at all if there were. She felt like every crevice of her body had grit in it. Her cute Western outfit might never be the same. She felt wilted from head to toe. Lining up the arch in her lens, Blaire cursed as she dropped the lens cap on the ground. One of these days she’d remember to attach it with the string to the camera itself.

“Damn it!” Bending over from the waist, she picked up the cap from the ground; after all, it was a good opportunity to do one of her daily stretches. Blaire tucked it in the pocket on the front of her cute little denim skirt as she stood, like she should have in the first place.

Lining up the arch once again, Blaire could see that the dust continued, the drive a little smoother than the road coming in. Shaking her head, she snapped a picture. Moving around, she tried to capture it from different angles. She could always delete the ones that didn’t work.

Finishing, Blaire decided she’d had enough of the arch. There had to be at least one good one. She started back to the car when she heard a noise and whirled around.

Her breath caught and she instinctively lifted the camera for a shot. Holy hotness! That was          a real cowboy. Her eyes widened as she looked through the lens, quickly snapping a picture.


Author bio:
Beverly Ovalle lives in Wisconsin with her husband Edmond of 25 years and two Chinese Water Dragons. Having her own Dragons is expected as she is dragon crazy and anyone that walks in her house can tell. Her son Nicholas visits when he is on leave from the Marines.  Her daughter Susannah visits from time to time to make sure us ‘old’ folks are alive and kicking.

Beverly has traveled around the world thanks to five years in the US Navy and has worked for the government in one capacity or another for the past 30 years. Beverly and her brothers have travelled most of the continental United States as children due to the station wagon from Hell.  Still active with veterans, she is adjutant for her local AMVETS.

Beverly has been reading romances since her Aunt introduced her to the gothic romance in the fourth grade and is still reading every chance she gets.

Contact Links:


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Friday, October 3, 2014

Flashback Friday: Halloween!

October 1974:
My father did something unusual.  He dressed up as Hagar the Horrible (cartoon viking character), with a black and silver outfit, hat, fake black moustache, and carried a plunger wrapped in aluminum foil.  I don't know if he and Mom attended a party, since Mom hadn't worn a costume, and neither did the friends whose house we went to!

Mrs M had encouraged our class to make our own costumes, but since I didn't have a clue what to do, I figured my dad had mine covered, so I went as a skeleton.  My sister was Mickey Mouse, and friend A was a clown.

In class, we were learning our multiplcation tables and Mrs. M was dearly trying to remove the word 'ain't' from our vocabularies.  She refused to answer anyone who used the word, and soon even I had quit using it.

"There ain't no such word as ain't, 'cause the teacher says there ain't!"

***********
Present Day:
Yesterday's post seemed to be well received, and hopefully I'll hear soon whether or not Kabbage chose to promote my post.

Karaoke songs for tomorrow:
Hit Me with your Best Shot-Pat Benetar
Hold My Hand-Hootie and the Blowfish
Hold On-Wilson Phillips
Invincible-Pat Benetar

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Staying Productive

A few weeks ago, I was contacted me to ask about how I stay productive.  While I don't have all the answers, and at times I'm certainly NOT the most productive person in the world, I do happen to have a few things which work for me.  I recently found out about Kabbage.com, which provides small business loans and helps increase their productivity.

First of all, who are you?
My name is Molly Daniels/Kenzie Michaels, and I need to clone myself.  One to write, one to watch TV, one to take care of the house, and one to do everything else.

Seriously.....

Okay, okay.  Since my two busiest seasons are coming up, NaNoWriMo in November, and Christmas, this is a perfect time to remember these.

1)  Prioritize:  Not only am I a stay-at-home Mom, but a published author with two pen names, fourteen books, and four more due out in the next two years.  I'm also home schooling my youngest, caring for my two year old granddaughter, and dealing with a diabetic spouse who has a wound on his foot.  Yes, your read that correctly.  I'm essentially a teacher, Mom, Grandma, Author, Domestic Engineer (I hate the term homemaker), and Nurse.  I get up anywhere between 7:30 and 9 (that's the beauty of home schooling!) and go to bed around midnight.  

Obviously, the granddaughter takes precedence in the mornings, getting her changed and fed until her mom wakes up.  She loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so while she watches it, I can check emails and social media sites.  Then I get the Youngling started on his schoolwork, which is a combination of independent work and me working with him.

Household chores are next; twice a week I tackle laundry and the kitchen patrol, while the spouse and daughter usually take care of the rest (and yes, they gripe about it!).

But what does this have to do with your writing?  I'm getting to that.

2)  Social Media:  I'll admit it; I'm addicted to Facebook.  But this also helps me stay focused.  HOW?  I post my word count.  I join other authors in word sprints or word wars, either on Facebook or Twitter, where we write for 45 minutes at a time, then post our word counts.  There's no prizes for who's written the most words; it's all about encouraging each other.  I like to do these between laundry loads.  I use that 15 minutes in between sprints to stay on both tasks, and it means I have to get up and MOVE.

3)  MUSIC:  I like to work with music in the background.  Years ago, when my older two were little, nap time was 'my time'.  I'd get them settled, put on Hooked On Classics (remember those?), and write for two solid hours.  This was before we had a computer, so I wrote in longhand, since my electric typewriter was noisy.

4)  Being Alone:  Sometimes I work best when the family members go somewhere and leave me alone.  I also call this a 'mini vacation', ha ha!  I can play my music as loud as I want, and no one complains if I play the same CD over and over.

5)  Change of Venue:  Sometimes, all it takes is for me to be elsewhere with my laptop.  I can be at the coffee shop, or at my writer's group for the words to flow.

How often do you do this?

Sadly, not often enough.  For example, over the summer I managed to get hooked on NetFlix, watching Star Trek Deep Space 9.  If I found myself with a free hour, I fired up my Kindle Fire and watched another episode.  I finished the series this past weekend, and now I'm catching up on shows I didn't watch this summer (Extant) and the new season of shows which began this month (Ink Masters, Good Wife, Madame Secretary).  The only ones I'm actively keeping up with are Survivor and Big Bang Theory.  Plus the new episodes of Ink Master; I think there are only 3 I've not watched.  Yes, I'm hooked on TV and my DVR.  See why I need a clone?

8 hours of sleep equals 16 hours of productivity.

Not quite.  When you factor in an hour for lunch and dinner, plus clean up, that reduces it to at least 13.  Plus I need at least an hour every morning to get ready for the day.  So now we're down to 12.  Not to mention when I have to spend at least two hours working with the Youngling-

I get it.  You're now down to ten.

Plus I read for at least an hour every day.  That makes it 9.  Add in my TV time and that's at least two more hours.  So we're back to 7.

So 7 hours to do laundry, grocery shop, make sure your son does his lessons, write, cook dinner, and keep up with social media.  Whew....I'm tired and all I did was write that sentence!

I also have to write blog posts, then spend time promoting myself on chat loops, facebook groups, and other social media sites.  That can take up to two hours.  We didn't even touch upon my spouse's doctor visits.

Wait a minute.  The purpose of this post was to talk about your PRODUCTIVITY, not reasons why you're UNPRODUCTIVE.

Hey, you started it with your 'how-many-hours-can-you-be-productive'.  What do you say we go to lunch?  That's another problem I have:  Procrastination.  Maybe my publisher will see this and give me a kick in the pants.  My next book is due to be released in March, which means I have to get the rest of it written and turned in no later than mid-January.

Forget lunch.  Let's go get a drink.  You've worn me out.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's October???

Where did September go?  Oh yeah, I spent a week and a half with my parents, and had to promote Kenzie all month long.  Which reminds me, I need to award some books....

Homeschooling:  Going well, though he hates Study Island and all the reading he has to do.  He didn't pass his unit assessment due to spelling, so I've begun adding spelling words every day.  At the end of each week, I'll give him a spelling test, with the hopes of by the time the next unit assessment rolls around, he'll pass it the 1st time.

House Hunting:  I'll be frank; I'm getting really fed up with the way the family treats me, and am considering just finding a place and moving in.  If the family chooses to come with me, great.  If not, well, then, we'll manage.  No, I don't want a divorce.  I just don't want to live with him anymore.  Does this make me a selfish bitch or finally standing up for myself?

Books Read:  7
           Print:  3
           E-book:  4

DS9 on NetFlix:  Finished the series on Sunday the 28th, so my addiction is over.  Unless I can find the final season of 90210....

Festivals/Signings:  I've been invited to be a part of the Indianapolis Toy and Hobby Show coming up in November, so I'm saving all my inventory for that event.  My local writer's group's antho should be going Live this month:)

October Reading Schedule:
Print:  
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks-Rebecca Skloot Very interesting!
The American Heiress-Daisy
The Scent of Your Breath-Melissa P

E-book:
Bluebonnets For Elly-Sandra Nachlinger Wonderful story!  DRR
Lust, Sex, and Tattoos-Sheri Velarde Good
Waking Up Lori- Eve Simon Good
Reunited By Chance-Sharon Katana Good story!  RR
Under A Dom's Care-Sam Crescent Wonderful story!  Too much 'F' word though.
Never Coming Home-Paloma Beck Good story!
One Night Stand-M.O. Kenyan So-so.  Skimmed a lot after Ch 5 or 6.
The Cover Model-Cheyenne Meadows LOVED this story!  DRR!
Love Notes-Brynn Paulin Good story!  RR
Stocking Full of Cole-BP
Marriage Minded Lord-Sandra Sookoo
Black Irish-Tricia Andersen
Heartland-TA
The Troubles-TA
Man On-Liz Crowe
Red Card-LC
Shut Out-LC
If You Want It-Tara Mills
Irish Rising-Marie Rose DuFur
The Gentleman's Harlot-Natalie Dae
Slave-Sherri Hayes
Sticky Magic-Raine Delight
Lust On Tap-Liz Crowe
Blind Faith-Sandra Tilley
Laura Meets Jeffrey-Jeffrey Michaelson
Breathing His Air-Debra Kayn
Lawman-Regina Carlysle
Winning His Wife-Sandra Sookoo
Baby Stetson-Nikki Lynn Barrett, et al

Karaoke Songs:
Hit Me With Your Best Shot-Pat Benetar Not bad
Hold My Hand-Hootie and the Blowfish Bleh
Hold On-Wilson Phillips Bleh
Hold On Loosely-.38 Special
Holding Back The Years-Simply Red
Holding Out For A Hero-Bonnie Tyler
Hollywood Nights-Bob Seeger
Home-Daughtry
Home Sweet Home-Motley Crue
Hooked On A Feeling-Blue Swede (BJ Thomas??)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Interview With Kyle Sampson and Contest:)


Welcome to the SCP Sweet and Historical Blog Hop!  For a complete list of this weekend's participants, go here.

Today, I'm showcasing book #3 of my Arbor University series, simply because I believe it's better written and you can easily 'catch up' with both Amy and Elicia from the first two.  So in the interest of keeping this short, here's the blurb:

Meet Keri Patterson, a sophomore at Arbor University, pursuing an Auto Technology career in the middle 1980s.  The college is located in the fictional town of Arbordale, Indiana, and Keri’s dream is to one day be a part of an Indy car racing team.  Along the way, she meets and falls for an older man, Kyle Sampson, who happens to be going through a divorce.  With the innocence of her first love, Keri tries to balance her ambition to be the first female member of a racing pit crew and her awakening femininity.  Will Keri and Kyle’s romance survive the hairpin twists and turns, or is disaster looming?

Kyle is not without problems of his own.  He wasn’t expecting to meet the girl of his dreams so quickly, before the ink is even dry on the divorce petition.  Trying to keep the two facets of his life separate, he discovers there is a fine line between love and hate, as well as deception and protection.  But life doesn’t always get wrapped up in neat packages.  Sometimes it blows up in your face.

Buy Link:






(Reposted from 2012):
I sat down with Kyle Sampson, leading man of Fobidden Love.  He's fresh from his shift at the hospital, and decked out in green scrubs.  His vivid blue eyes are tired, but they light up whenever Keri's name is spoken.

M:  Welcome Kyle:)  It's been a long time.

K (nodding his head):  Yes it has.  How've you been?

M:  Doing well.  Inquiring minds want to know:  What possessed you to get involved with a college coed eleven years younger that you?

K:  Ever walk into a room and just know you're meant to be with someone?  That's what I felt when I looked into her eyes.

M:  Wow....that's romantic!  But another question I've been getting is why did you try to keep Keri a secret?  I spoke to her yesterday and even she doesn't fully understand.

K:  At the time I thought I was doing the right thing.  Lisa, my ex-wife, has a nasty streak in her, and I didn't want Keri to be the target of her wrath.  And with my son Rusty to consider...I just did what I could to protect Keri from all that.  She had enough to worry about, with school, her job, and working at the 500.  She didn't need any extra baggage; not when she needs to concentrate on the team.  What I regret is not meeting her before Lisa and I married....but she would have only been fourteen, so that would have been a definite no-no.

M:  Yeah....let's not go there.

K:  I appreciate you giving me a voice in this book; it shows I have a heart instead of just wanting her for her body.

M:  I decided it wasn't fair to you, to only show her side of the story.  I hope I got it right.

K:  I just wish you'd left in the early parts.  Couldn't you have squeezed it in somewhere?

M:  When I wrote Elicia's story, I didn't know I'd be cutting the first six chapters of yours and Keri's.  And then I had to cut the last few chapters because it bled into Gretchen and Caty's, so I felt it didn't need to be told three times.

K:  'Bled into'....I'm assuming you mean our story does continue?

M:  Oh yes.  Anyone who reads books 4 and 5 will read more.  She doesn't graduate until book #6...I think.  I might have graduated her in #5.  If she is in #6, she only plays a minor role.  Moving on...so her age didn't bother you?

K:  Not in the least.  She doesn't act young; she's focused on her studies and future career; and I'm thrilled she chose me to be her first lover.  You have to remember; I grew up during the 70's, when sex was synonamous with 'Hello'.  It was actually refreshing to meet someone who had never even had a serious boyfriend before.  I was able to show her- teach her, if you will- how to live with a member of the opposite sex, and encourage her to explore her sexuality.  I borrowed the Kama Sutra from Sid's girlfriend Carole and-

M (holding up hand):  I get the picture! Thank you for sitting down with me today, Kyle.

K:  Thanks for giving me another chance to explain my side of things!

Forbidden Love is available now at SCP


Want to win your copy of Forbidden Love?  Answer this question:  How many PUBLISHED books are in this series?  Hint:  Look to the right side of blog.  I'll pick a winner on Monday, so don't forget to leave your contact info!  Have a great weekend!