Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
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Wednesday, July 27, 2016
The exception to my rule, memoirs. There, a photo is a must. My stalker self comes out. I want to see who I am reading about. An example below, A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas. The cover hits many of my must-haves. A photo of the author and her dogs. And to contradict my earlier comment about blurbs by other authors, Stephen King says it is the best memoir he's ever read. Okay, I am inconsistent. But that cover, oh my.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016
This post is part of Julie Valerie's Fiction Writers Monthly Blog Hop. You can find the link to continue to other sites below.
Thanks for reading. To return to the Fiction Writers Blog Hop on Julie Valerie's website click below.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
I have a house fantasy. I call it The Cottage In My Mind. I even started a blog to write about my dream house and other houses that fascinated me. The blog was not so much to be entertaining, with its lovely photos and work in progress on my own house, a late 1040's rambling ranch, that is a great house, but no matter what I do, it is a ranch, but a way for me to exorcize the demon that entered my brain some years ago, whispering . . . move. . .
The cottage in my mind is a lovely Victorian beach house close to the water, or just a sweet Victorian cottage in a small town an hour or two from Atlanta, and these days, it is a farmhouse on several acres. I can't decide where I want to live and how I want to live. Do I want to be in the middle of all the activities in Decatur (my little town minutes from Atlanta) where development is booming, a Starbucks, Home Goods, and two small shop areas are being built as I type, or a small community where everyone knows your name (the town my version of the bar in Cheers). Then there is the farm, a small farm with several acres, lots of out buildings, and a few hens and goats. Picture my six dogs in that scenario - not so much a good thing. They love chicken.
In the last two years I've had my house up for sale for thirty days each time. I had developers interested and a few offers that were hard to refuse, but my ongoing hip issues made it impossible for me to get my act together and move a house load of antiques, art, and dogs. So I took the house off the market before I said yes to someone.
I thought common sense prevailed, as I am having my second hip replacement on April 24th, but no, I went to a small town about two hours away and discovered a house I love. All the things I dream about and on one level and several acres of property. The house is dropped in the middle of the charming town on several acres, but not isolated from civilization. Should I? Could I? Would I? Maybe, after my surgery and rehab. I've talked to the realtor. But I am months away from doing anything. And when my hip is fully functioning, maybe my brain will be, too, and the cottage in my mind will be just a lovely dream. Time will tell.
In the meantime, while I can't move, I can write. This past week I started writing a cozy mystery. Guess where it takes place? A fake town name and location, but the latest fantasy house is the setting for my new book. I am having the time of my life dreaming big of how I would live in such a town and solve a murder! Yes, I am the character in the book, disguised as a thin agile woman, but the six dogs may be a giveaway!
The last time I fell in love with a house that I could not buy, back in 2011, I penned my little sexy thriller, Danger In Her Words. The setting was the house close to Athens, Georgia I loved so dearly. Making it the scene of my book helped heal the wound I could not buy it. I fall in love deeply with houses but once I've had my way with them in my writing, well, I am on to the next one.
Luckily for my husband when he was alive I was not so fickle with our true love! This latest house is my dream. No telling where that dream will take me. If I get a fun cozy mystery out of my latest passion I can't ask for anything more.
Unless, this is the one. Then it will be a different story.
Which makes me wonder, what fuels your passion for your stories' settings?
Note: Thanks for reading. This post is part of Julie Valerie's FICTION WRITERS BLOG HOP. To return to the blog hop and find some great posts just go to http://www.julievalerie.com/fiction-writers-blog-hop-mar-2016
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Said "Writer With Dogs" Never
I decided to cut to the chase. “You might say I have a multiple disorder. I am never satisfied with one.” I then went on to talk about my dogs, my shops, my antiques, my blogs . . . I did mention my husband who had died several years earlier. "He was six foot seven inches tall." I chuckled thinking of the man who made me want to settle down. “Thank goodness I only needed one husband.”
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
What brought me to the books above is the dog connection. Would I have read these books if a dog had not drawn me in? None of my friends are reading books on how to be fun and older. Nor my weird memoirs. Maybe a cat on the cover would have worked for them. Me, always a sucker for dogs and always drawn into animals on the cover. (This might be a good time to make note of that for your next book cover to my author friends.)
To give you a handle on my quirky reading, I am also reading a memoir on a pig and on owning chickens. My farm fantasy is alive and well as my reading habits keep changing.
I started a book club last year with visions of finding books less known and publicized. My goal was to read local authors, self-published authors, and have authors visit our book club meetings. I called the group The NOT The New York Times Book Club. Perhaps I am not the best one to start a book club, but I like to try new things as I age! (my books on aging tell me this is a positive!)
Our first three selections were NY Times Best Seller Books. I drank wine at our meetings and stuffed my face with food, these were not the books I wanted to share. But I am not an ogre, so I let the members pick what they wanted to read. To set an example for all members, I didn't read the books they picked, noting that you could come to the meeting and feel comfortable even if you had not finished the month's selection. I like to be a positive role model.
In the midst of my looking for 'memoir' style books to enjoy, a friend bought me A Moveable Feast as a gift. All the research I did for my little picture book for my dog Miss April in Paris (A Dog Dreams of Paris) gave me the French connection. He thought I'd love the book. He was spot on. So, at the last book club meeting, another NY Times best seller I had not read, everyone looked at me and asked, "So just what are you reading?" I had to hold back my giggle (I am not mature for my age) and smiled sweetly at them. "Hemingway." They looked at me strangely. "A Moveable Feast". I went from dolt to intellectual with those few words. Loved it! Then we went back to discussing the book everyone had read and I had not.
Sometimes you need those moments. Enjoy them. They can make a good story, too.
I am happy to report the group is seeing things more my way! Next Sunday we have local authors sharing their books with our members. Four women, who write amazing books you might not find without knowing they are there, will talk with us and share their writing experiences. They call themselves The Book Widows (I swear I did not choose them for their name because I am a widow and so easily influenced by things I am familiar with). They refer to themselves as Book Widows, like golf widows. The men in their lives do not go to book clubs. I am friends with one of the authors and this is going to be fun.
Finally. I Will Have My Way!
There are so many awesome books that never get the recognition they deserve. Fiction, non-fiction, any genre is included in this statement. The Book Widows have got me looking at fiction, too. Especially if there is a dog on the cover!
Would love some suggestions on books you have found that may be hard to find if not on the NY Times Best Seller list.
Links to The Book Widows: Please do not tell them I have not read their books!
But I have copies on my nightstand!
Valerie Joan Connors
Susan Clotfelter Jimison
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Thursday, January 14, 2016
Note: This review is part of the Women On Writing blog tour for Destiny Allison. Link here for more information on her tour!
Destiny came through a winner. Which my guess is one of her strong traits. As far as beauty, if I look at photos of Destiny from a few years back and compare them to today, she has an inner beauty that makes her softer and more beautiful than ever.
The memoir is short and I read it in one night. I couldn't put it down once I started. Her issues may be different than yours, but her tenacity and strength is something everyone can draw from and apply to their own life.
About the Author:
Links: Twitter @sfsculptor