Select Page

Where Did the Years Go?

I’m getting ready to go to my high school reunion this weekend. Let’s just say my graduation was a long time ago, and leave at that. The coming event has me going through old photos and ploughing through the cobwebs of my mind to recover memories of a time, which went way too fast some days, and oh so slow on others. Especially, waiting for the bell to ring in one of my least favorite classes, Physiology.

I loved high school. From the football games, to friends, and yes, even some of my classes, I enjoyed it all. I think that’s one reason I love the fall to this day. The cooler weather brings back memories of a new school year, and going to football games in my friend’s old 53 dodge. (No, that’s not the year I graduated). It was built like a tank. Strangest thing happened when she turned the corner, the car horn would randomly honk, and the passenger door would fly open. We got so the person closest to the handle would hold the door closed and the next person would hold on to her. Safety didn’t seem to be uppermost in our minds. We couldn’t do anything about the horn. but laugh, and wave at the other cars we passed as we turned.

Those years are a bit of a blur. They moved quickly. When I ask myself where did the years go, all I can say is, I was busy living them. Beauty School, state boards, and Bible College, marriage, along with children filled up many years. Laundry, mounds of laundry, and meals for my eating machines were part of the hectic years of raising three boys, along with going to every game imaginable. Priceless, crazy, busy, but filled with happy memories. More time slipped by as I taught women’s classes, worked outside the home, and took writing classes.

I am the author of eight books and counting. I never saw it coming, although I dreamed about writing someday. I am somewhere to be found in every book that I’ve written. I’ll never tell where. Jessie Reynolds might be my alter ego, at least in my dreams.

It’s true life is short, and time moves swiftly, but this small trip down memory lane has reminded me that I’ve really had a wonderful life.

Guest Author

I’m happy to have my author friend Donna Simonetta as my guest today. I asked her to share what has been happening in her life the last few weeks. I also wanted her to promote her new book. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read her update and learn more about her latest book.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2VMxHKx

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2YwYrMO

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2Ee3071

Apple iBooks: https://apple.co/2Ecj8pm

 

Author Links:

https://www.facebook.com/donnasimonettaauthor

https://twitter.com/donna_simonetta

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15422407.Donna_Simonetta

https://www.amazon.com/Donna-Simonetta/e/B06X415TWW/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/donna-simonetta

https://www.instagram.com/donnasimonetta4/

 

“I didn’t realize you two had moved into the ‘in sickness’ part of your vows.” A childhood friend wrote to me recently. And it was true. As I read her words, I was sitting in a hospital room with my husband. A routine physical revealed an anomaly in his EKG, some further testing, and…BOOM!…the Friday of Memorial Day weekend we were told he needed open heart surgery, and BTW, we’re admitting you and keeping you in the hospital until it can be done on Tuesday. A week earlier, we were doing what all good Baltimoreans were doing, sipping Black-Eyed Susan cocktails and watching the Preakness Stakes. To say it was a shock, would be a dramatic understatement. Fortunately, his surgery was a success, and he is now home with me for the long recuperation.

But it made me think, as a romance writer, I end my stories on a high note. After all, one of the reasons I write and read romance is for the happy-ever-after endings. Life is a winding road, however, and love stories inevitably end up this way––one partner supporting the other, while facing a health crisis. And you know what? There’s a romance to that moment too. The depth of my love for my husband hit me like a sledgehammer, the moment they called from the OR to update me that he had been taken off the machines, and his heart was beating on its own. I cried. With relief. With love. We might not be as young as we once were, but he’s still my own personal romance hero, and I hope my characters someday share the kind of love Leo and I do.”

 

 

Author Bio:

My career has been a winding road. I worked in the business world for years, got my MLS and worked in a school library, and am now living my dream as an author. I love to read and write contemporary and fantasy romance. I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

Blurb:

Stephanie Williams left skid marks on the road out of Willow Springs, Vermont after she finished high school. She didn’t return until her company sent her to evaluate the town for a massive development project. Back then she thought the town was way too small and too cold. Now the cold isn’t as much of an issue since she’s reconnected with her childhood friend, Donald Flanagan. Stephanie doesn’t remember his eyes being quite so green, or his body quite so built. He’s smart and funny as he ever was, and a forest-fire sized attraction burns between them.

Donald never understood his old friend’s driving need to leave Willow Springs. He loves everything about it. When he learns the truth about Stephanie’s project, and how it will turn his hometown into a theme-park version of itself, will it extinguish the flame that has sparked between them?

Excerpt:

It was much darker on this side of the building, without the bright, neon lights around the entrance, and even though they could hear the muffled music through the wall, it felt as though they were all alone in the world. Donald stopped and turned to face her, which placed her between him and the building. He cupped her face in his hands, and Stephanie marveled that she’d never noticed how big his hands were before. He leaned down a little and studied her face. His eyes seemed to be searching for a clue as to what she wanted. There were complications aplenty––putting their lifelong friendship at risk, and her work here in town, which Donald still didn’t know the extent of, being two major hurdles, but Stephanie knew what she wanted right now. She knew it from the bottom of her toes to the top of her head, with a certainty she’d never experienced before. Her blood pounded in her veins, and she felt a little breathless with excitement about the step they were about to take.

“Hurry up and kiss me, Flanagan, before I spontaneously combust.”

One side of the mouth she longed to be kissing quirked up in a sexy half-grin. “There’s no turning back if we take this step, Williams. Are you sure?”

Kari Nichols Author of the Plagued Triology

I’m happy to introduce you to Kari Nichols an author friend of mine. I first met Kari on twitter a few years ago. I followed her adventure as she and her husband moved to France. I’ve watched their growing photography business and all the amazing wedding photos they’ve taken. I’ve visited many places vicariously through them. I’m happy to say she is still writing. I’ll let Kari tell you in her own words what she’s been up to.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is GetAttachmentThumbnail

I’m so happy to have just completed my first trilogy, The Plagued Trilogy. The story is about a family of immortals who are international assassins. The series begins by following Mattia, a grandson of the first immortal. The second book follows his father, Thomas. And the final book follows Priest, the original immortal. The most interesting part of the series is that the present-day story continues through all three books, but the historical flashbacks go further back in time with each story. Each book reveals more about how the family became immortal in the first place, so it’s really fun to get a little piece at a time as you read. If you’re a fan of romance, history, or contemporary fiction with a supernatural twist, you’ll definitely enjoy The Plagued Trilogy!

Now that I’ve finished my first series, I’ve begun world-building a massive epic fantasy series. I’m working on the map, history of the kingdoms, history of the gods, and character bios at present. But I’ll hopefully start writing soon! I’m also writing a fun, light, new adult romance in a university setting. And I’m working on a historical drama set in Alsace, France (where I currently live) during World War 2. The history of the war in this region is horribly sad and difficult, so I’m absolutely fascinated by the idea of writing a story set here during that era. It’s going to take a lot of research to make sure I honor the people who lived here during that time, but I’m absolutely willing to put in the work to tell the region’s story. That’s if for now, but I have a few more stories just swirling around my mind, waiting their turn to make it onto paper!

Thank you so much for letting me tell everyone about these stories! It means so much to me to have a connection with such a delightful author like you, Iona! Thank you!

Best,
Kari

My pleasure, Kari. You can check out her books by following the links below.

Rogue, Book 1 –  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MRO73PM/
Ghost, Book 2 –  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0155OLR5M
Plague, Book 3 –  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07LGV6Y2D


Be Human, Be Kind

It happened again in Colorado, a parent’s worse nightmare. News filled the airwaves of another school shooting. I watched, the now familiar scenes of, frantic parents racing in fear to find their children. Kids who may have made it out alive in body, but will forever be impacted by the senseless event. The arguments about gun control and gun rights will rear its head for a moment, but in the end it will all be reduced to talking points, and parents will be left with the task of somehow easing the fears of their children.

My daughter-in-law shared a conversation she had with my granddaughter. It was heartbreaking to me. “Fiona couldn’t fall asleep tonight because she was scared someone was going to shoot her. I told her, “No one is going to shoot you! I am right here!” Only to have her reply, “that makes it worse. Then you would just die protecting me.” So this is parenting in the 21st century.

I can still remember the moment when I heard about the children at Sandy Hook, and the people at the concert in Las Vegas. I view going to the movie theater differently since the theater shooting in our state. I’ve had to ask myself what does this say about us as a society that we can see these horrific events, shake it off, and go about life as though we haven’t been diminished by it in some way; safe in our thinking and not challenged beyond our own belief. Not realizing that every time we allow the horror of it to be reduced to political spin, and more polarization we lose a little more of what it means to be human. We call the shooter, crazy or evil and wipe our hands, pushing the memory far into the recesses of our mind until the next time.

I’ve always thought we were better than this. I have friends, good people on both sides of the aisle. Being a Democrat doesn’t make someone evil, or being a Republican doesn’t make someone good or vice a versa. Love doesn’t belong to a political party. To me that’s where it starts.

I’m not advocating anything, only venting maybe, as I’ve had to take a hard look at myself. If I say I believe in life, it should be all life from the birth to the grave. The idea of treating others the way I want to be treated might help too. In the end I believe I must love the next generation, more than I love my own rights. I can’t say I’m for life and separate children from the parents at the border. Or consider another person as less than who I am. I can’t speak about life if I watch children die in their school where they are going to learn and say nothing. I can’t say I’m for life if I turn my back on those who are hungry, cold or sick. Our children are watching us and learn hate by the example we give them.

I remember the words from the Bible “a little child shall lead them.” I feel I’ve seen what that means and the price is way too high. Eighteen year old Kendrick Castillo, ready to graduate from high school tomorrow, died Tuesday when he rushed the gunman. He was shot saving others in his class. I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, eyeglasses and outdoor
Kendrick Castillo

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, my heart screams. Hate has had its way for too long. Maybe to honor the memories of all the kids who have died in their schools we should remember we are humankind and be both human and kind.

Finding a Way Forward (teaser)


Finding a Way Forward is the latest of the Blue Cove Mystery Series and has quickly become my favorite. I hope you will like it as much as I do.

Here’s a small taste of Finding a Way Forward.
“A flash of lightning lit up the living room with its brightness, followed by a clash of thunder that reverberated off the walls around her. The reflection danced eerily across the cove. She shielded her eyes, looking away for a few seconds. The air crackled with suspense. Jessie stared out the window, not wanting to miss…what? Motionless, she was spellbound, gazing into the heavens as the flashes of light and the darkness suddenly took on forms. With their swords drawn and gleaming shields in front of them, beings of bright light zipped in and out of the clouds. And then she saw him, a dark, terrifying dragon-like creature rising out of the dark waters and rushing toward the sky, warring with the creatures of light in the night sky. “