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Moments of Magic

I shared this on Cathrine Goldstein’s blog. She is a great author. You can find her at https://cathrinegoldstein.wordpress.com/

Moments of Magic in the Midst of Ordinary — With Iona Morrison

This week on Nitty Gritty Romance, we are featuring the wonderful Iona Morrison, who shares what Happiness means to her…

From Iona:

Moments of Magic in the midst of Ordinary

My youngest grandson wiggled, hopping from one chair to the next, asking one question after another. I smiled, answering what I could before he bounded off on another topic. A chuckle desperately wanted to emerge as I watched him until I was dizzy and had to look away. A surprising warm feeling of happiness engulfed me as he continued to chatter on turning somersaults across my living room floor while all the ornaments rattled on the tree.

Watching his non-stop motion, I couldn’t help but think of my son, his father, at the same age. He was another big bundle of energy who chattered from the time he opened his eyes in the morning until he closed them in exhaustion at the end of the day. Sunshine wrapped up in a small boy’s body with loads of energy to spare. If I told him once, I must have said it hundreds of times you’ll have a child just like you some day and the little person wiggling around my living room was proof of the power of those words. It was about self-preservation and finding a measure of sanity in the chaos of a moment that I had uttered, those powerful words known as the Mother’s Curse. May I insert right here that I doubt the words are a curse at all, but rather a powerful blessing. My mother never meant more to me than when I was raising my sons. She had many laughs at my expense as I told her stories of another one of their escapades, even as I am chuckling watching my wiggly grandson.

Times like this make me sigh with contentment and remind me what real happiness is. Life is fragile and broken, but beautiful with moments of magic in the midst of the ordinary. I am happiest when I love, and I’m with those who love me; when I give of myself and when I  watch my children with their children in the circle of life.

*****

Iona is sharing a blurb and excerpt from her latest release:

Dance with a Devil !

dancewithadevil_w11110_300Coming In January and on pre-order now: Dance with a Devil, the fourth book in the Blue Cove Mystery Series.

Blurb:

Jessie is enjoying an evening run, grateful her life is finally back to normal. Starting the incline toward home, a sudden terror grips her. Someone is watching her. She picks up her pace, but he’s hot on her heels—and he means to kill her. She narrowly manages to elude her pursuer and reach the safety of her house. The first one she calls for help is the man she has grown to love, Matt Parker.

Matt already has his hands full dealing with a notorious hitman who’s in the area and a thug who followed a visitor to Blue Cove. Now Jessie is in danger, and Matt will do anything to keep her safe. He can’t lose her now.

When Matt becomes the target, it’s Jessie’s turn to help. She has a few surprises in store as a few ghostly friends come to her aid.

Excerpt:

A bullet splintered the bark of the tree where she had been standing. Jessie ran. She could hear someone crashing through the brush not far behind her. Another bullet missed her, hitting a little to the right, kicking up dirt and leaves on the ground. She ran faster. Up ahead, she could see a branch hanging low, and she did what she had done many times as a kid. She reached out, grabbed it as she ran by, and swung herself up into the tree to hide. She got a foot on a low branch and climbed up further, out of sight, her dress snagging on twigs. Her feet screamed in pain, her palms were slick with blood. Be silent! She crouched, one arm around the main trunk, trying to stifle her breathing. Her heart pumped hard, her ears strained for any sound. She took her gun from the holster, but her hand wouldn’t stop shaking. A branch snapped, and she jerked. Quiet! She covered her mouth with her hand. He was still coming, the hunter hunting his prey. He wasn’t trying to be quiet. Branches snapped, and she heard the thud of running footsteps. Jessie clung to the trunk, still as a piece of tree bark.

It sounds fabulous! Treat yourself to a holiday gift and pre-order today!

Where to buy?

Wild Rose Press

Amazon

And where can you find Iona?

Facebook

Website

Twitter

Pinterest

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

Wake Up!

Here it is again November with Thanksgiving a week away and Christmas not far behind.

 
I’m always surprised at the wonder a day can bring if I watch it unfold with gratitude. An unexpected event, a kindness shared, or new person who opens their heart to me. It still has the power to amaze me after all these years. Anne Lamott puts it this way. “Gratitude tugs on our sleeves and says, “Wake up!” Look around at the kindness that surrounds us, the love we are being shown, the hope that now makes sense. Emily Dickinson wrote that “hope inspires the good to reveal itself,” and we can be taken aback by a sense of amazement at how much someone has shared with us, or even sacrificed, for us, for cranky, secretive, mealy-mouthed you, and me.

I think gratitude is one of our most attractive and wonderful emotions. It’s the shaking of our head in quiet wonder at how much good is entwined in the ups and downs of our life. It surprises us with revelation of how enriched our life is because of someone’s love, simple acts of kindness, or help. The magic of gratitude is it connects us back to the life we were meant to live awakened and aware.

I like the feel of waking up and looking around me, to see in one moment the beauty of life that I rarely see. I like being hit in my heart with an overwhelming sense of thankfulness. I could feel it the other day at a memorial service of a young man. He died suddenly and way too young, but he had lived fully.  He had touched so many others in his short life. I was grateful to have met him and for him being my son’s friend. Gratitude came in a sigh of relief when my husband was told he was cancer free and doing well. The glorious feeling of being grateful arises when I look at my sons and grandchildren. Oh, I will be thankful this year as I have in years past on the day we set apart to say thanks, but truthfully, I love it when gratitude sneaks up on me a grabs me by my heart and says wake up!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

It’s Okay To Brag (Once in a while)

    The first cool days of fall are such a welcome relief from the heat of summer.  With the leaves changing into their glorious autumn colors I have to say this is my favorite season of the year. It always feels as if it is the start of a new year to me, instead of in January. I guess it’s because summer changes the routine of life a little and the familiar returns in the fall. It’s time for me to take a deep breath and do a little bragging about some totally awesome kids.

My youngest granddaughter received an award for a special project she did. Fiona, a third grader, decided that she wanted to support a clean water project in Kenya. She gave a presentation at an adult Sunday school on the challenges people can face in accessing clean water and how that can impact the ability of girls to attend school. Fiona’s original goal was to earn $10, which would have raised enough money for one clean water kit – but through her presentation and by selling her drawings over social media and at an outdoor stand, she raised enough to buy a whole well. This well supports 159 students and their teachers in Kenya in having access to clean, safe drinking water in their school. Fiona said, “My two favorite parts were drawing the pictures and hearing how many people I gave clean water. When I heard how many people I helped, I felt proud of what I did. She was given The Young Humanitarian Award from a woman from the nation of Kenya. We are so proud of her.   

                    

From soccer games, acts of kindness, and rounds of birthdays it has been a summer filled with grandkids and all their special accomplishments. Artwork, a first round of paintball,Tae Kwon Do, track, and a story translated into French are among a few of this summer’s highlights.  My oldest grandson is taking a creative writing class which makes this author grandmother happy. A story he wrote last year took second place in the school writing contest. Besides bringing laughter, and energy to anything they do they are great dreamers. One wants to design video games, one is learning Japanese and wants to go to Japan and another has dreams of going to Paris. Add to the mix they are kind and caring to those in need and you can see why I think bragging is okay once in a while.

                  

 

Coming soon another Blue Cove Mystery

Blurb: Jessie is enjoying an evening run, grateful her life is finally back to normal. Starting the incline toward home, a sudden terror grips her. Someone is watching her. She picks up her pace, but he’s hot on her heels—and he means to kill her. She narrowly manages to elude her pursuer and reach the safety of her house. The first one she calls for help is the man she has grown to love, Matt Parker.

Matt already has his hands full dealing with a notorious hitman who’s in the area and a thug who followed a visitor to Blue Cove. Now Jessie is in danger, and Matt will do anything to keep her safe. He can’t lose her now.

When Matt becomes the target, it’s Jessie’s turn to help. She has a few surprises in store as a few ghostly friends come to her aid.

 

A Little Therapy

The future belongs to those
who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
~Eleanor Roosevelt~

 I like this statement by Eleanor Roosevelt. I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer. Reading a book it was easy for me to imagine a different ending. I was the kid sitting in class that was always daydreaming.One of those dreams was to have a book published. I just received my third published book and the thrill is still there may I say. The release date for The Game Changer is June 29 and I have another one coming close on its heels. I’ve enjoyed this phase of my life it has been quite a journey.

Here is a small collection of some of my thoughts. I’m placing them here for me. I write so many little things daily and quickly forget them so this is my therapy for the week.

Life may not let me change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust the sails

🌿💛🌿   🌿💛🌿   

When you learn you can trust someone unexpected and joyous things can happen

🌿💛🌿   .🌿💛🌿   

When life hands you a tough hill to climb it’s best not to look down until you reach the top. From the top you can see how far you’ve come not how far you have to go. It can be a dizzy delight…

🌿💛🌿   🌿💛🌿   

May you hear the whispers of your heart and keep looking up.

🌿💛🌿   🌿💛🌿   

Actions do speak louder than words.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou~ 
                                              🌿💛🌿       🌿💛🌿                                             

Often life surprises us, and sometimes we surprise ourselves.

We have been land locked for too long. It’s time to see the ocean again. This is the year. What’s not to love about a few days at the beach. Except for sand in your shorts, which isn’t that bad when you consider the view. Dreaming…. Enjoy a lovely week

Road Trip

I have been thinking for several weeks now, I need a road trip. I’m in search of a town that looks like the one in my books. It is visually clear in my mind; an ocean front community, with some great little shops, and wonderful views of the ocean. I want to spend a few days there getting a feel for the area, and their way of life. Call it a therapy session, research, or vacation, I can hear it calling my name.

Life has a way of trapping us in routine and the mundane. Don’t get me wrong routine can be good, there’s a certain comfort in it. But, an open road, and a little time away is equally satisfying. The past several years has taken me on a transformational journey. Not an easy time, by any stretch of the imagination, but it helped me reinvent myself after a major career shift.

I started writing Novels, which in itself has been therapy. I have characters living, breathing, and telling their story in my head. They have added another dimension to who I am and I love them for it. From the cars that they drive, to the way they interact, I enjoying watching them come to life. I can’t always change the things happening around me, but in their world and on paper I can.

The third book in the Blue Cove Mystery Series will be out on June 29. The Game Changer  starts in Blue Cove, travels to Palm Springs, and then back again. I’m ready for my road trip. The only question I have is, do I take Matt’s truck, Jessie’s car, or maybe the dream express?

A New Muse & My New Friend

My guest today is Author Susan Jean Ricci. I invited her to my blog to tell you about her new book Falling for Niagara.

     A New Muse & My New Best Friend

            When my publisher Annie Acorn recently asked if I’d like to write a short story for her Romance anthology, I did a mental roll call for a hidden muse lurking around, who might be interested in this project.

After all, the muse usually inhabiting my persona is a mischievous vixen, not to mention a tad naughty. Surely, a softer substitute would be needed for me to achieve a sweet romance story.

Since there was a deadline involved, the muse I usually rely on cried, “Foul,” and decided it needed a vacation pronto, especially when she realized she had to be replaced.

Gah! Naturally, Annie soon called me, looking for an update. She asked me how the work was going, but I wasn’t about to say, “No where.”

So I faked it. Told her it was humming along. She asked me what the working title was, but this I couldn’t fudge.

Then, bam, all of a sudden, a tiny voice suggested, “Tell her it’s called Falling For Niagara.”

My publisher told me she LOVED the title – so there I was, stuck with it, for better or worse.

I had a great title, but no story.

I did, however, have a new, albeit shy muse.

Just wondering if this has ever happened to anyone else? 

            Anyway, I’m deep into sleepy time a few days later, when afore-mentioned muse woke me up with a knock-knock and a great idea.

It was caffeine time for me even though it was 3AM.

The story progressed nicely, even though my vixen muse stood on the sidelines giving my romance muse obscene gestures, which thankfully went unnoticed.

Soon Falling For Niagara was about to be finished, but the story didn’t have an appropriate ending, or not one I was satisfied with.

I tried to get strict with my new muse, but she was tougher than me.

She shared I should dig deeper within the story, flesh it out a bit more, and the answer would come.

She was right!

            It’s nice to know that, as an author, you can call upon unused resources when you’re stuck out in left field, with no hope of catching a fly ball.

             Great to realize, too, you can make a new best friend with another muse you’re unfamiliar with, or didn’t even know existed.

Thank you, Iona, for allowing me to share my new journey. Falling For Niagara is one of the sweetest stories I’ve ever written, and I’m happy with it.

 

The blurb:

Niagara Falls – a lovers’ destination if ever there was one, but keep in mind that the world in the award-winning, Cindy’s Crusades series is always a bit topsy-turvy. Given the odds, even the iconic romantic setting may fail to work its magic, as an alpha male who hasn’t bothered to date seriously and a talented young woman who believes she has already seen it all are thrown together in this warm-hearted, stand-alone story.  A pair of binoculars, a chance meeting, and an accommodating waiter all conspire to create a bit of Heaven on Earth as the beloved, From Women’s Pens author Susan Jean Ricci weaves her delightful tale, filled with the love and humor for which this wonderful series is noted.  So grab your raincoat and find a place on one of the fall’s many observation decks. You won’t want to miss this one!

The buy links  – Falling For Niagara:

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1pwscen

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/1MRBv40

Nook:  http://bit.ly/234f9xX

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

My website: http://www.susanjeanricci.com/blog.php

Author page on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1PxE4ab

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Susanjeanricci

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Game Changer

Coming Soon: The Game Changer (A Blue Cove Mystery)

Jessie is busy getting her new bookstore ready for its grand opening when deliveryman Evan Foster arrives with an order of books. To her shock, the suddenly distraught Evan tells her that he has seen her in a dream. She is the only person who can help him find his missing wife. Jessie calls her boyfriend Matt, the chief of police, and almost immediately, a picture of the abduction forms in her mind. Jessie is once more involved in a case. Missing files, strange fetishes, and general chaos worry Matt, but when a note shows up in Jessie’s mail, they are off and running following the new clues. Three separate cases merge into one, which takes them from Blue Cove to Palm Springs. A kidnapping, a stalker, and illegal weapons converge with the dark arts of voodoo, pushing Matt and Jessie to their limits. They are running out of time as the dark perpetrator stalks Jessie.

A Visit With Author Nancy Walker

I would like to introduce Nancy Walker to you. She is an author friend that I met through another mutual friend and social media. I’ve asker her to tell you about herself and her book. I read ‘ANYTHING For Anna!’ and enjoyed it very much.

Hi, Iona and friends, and thanks for your interest!

Born in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, I’ve been living in Switzerland for many years now. After acquiring my diploma in radiological technology, my plan was to work in Switzerland for two years, and take advantage of being in Europe to travel.

I found a job in the town of Sion in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Using my knowledge of school French, conversing with colleagues and patients, I was fluent in about two months. I did indeed return to Canada after two years, but it was an impossible time to find a job. After six months of unemployment, I wrote to the Swiss employment agency. Their answer was positive, but my heart pounded when I read,  ‘If you can speak German, we have a job for you in Zürich.’  I had had taken one year of German in school . . . for fun! A week later, I was on a plane, frantically translating body parts from English to German in hopes of being able to know what it was I was supposed to be x-raying! It was the beginning of another great adventure.

Life happened . . . and I ended up staying here. I live in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, which I have grown fond of.  The town I live in is similar to where I grew up. It’s medium-sized, by a lake with a huge park and beach. In the winter, a half-hour drive (up and) away are snowshoeing paths and well-groomed cross-country ski trails. An hour and a half and I’m in the Alps! Switzerland, geologically speaking, is bit like a miniature Canada. Nothing is far away. And it’s wonderful to be able to visit a city like Rome or Vienna on a whim, for just a few days, at little cost.

Ah yes; I’m here to tell about my writing! Since I was very young, many of my school projects were written story-style. My sisters used to find my postcards entertaining. When I had children of my own, I invented a new story every night for them. Once my daughter asked me to retell a story, but I couldn’t recall it. She was only three, but she solemnly suggested that ‘it would be a good idea for Mama to write her stories, so she wouldn’t forget them.’ The idea stuck. I became a student at the Children’s Institute of Literature, which not only helped me to learn to write, but also how to handle the marketing aspects; essential if one wishes to be published. I have now published hundreds of stories for children’s magazines (my first story was published in 2000) and have had ten picture story books published, translated into different languages, under the name of Nancy E. Walker-Guye. If you read High Five, perhaps you are familiar with Harriet, Felix and Max. I am their Mommy. 🙂

I soon acquired a routine of working at my day job in the mornings, and writing in the afternoons. All these years later, I still try to stick to this schedule.

As my children grew, I had more time, and decided to take the course with the Long Ridge Writers Group to learn how to write a novel for adults. It was a huge challenge, and I absolutely loved it. The first result was ‘ANYTHING for Anna!’

It’s a story about Karyn, a young widow, who struggles to figure out and use her gift to save her dear friend’s life. My book is available on Amazon and the link is: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JSW11UY. (When writing for adults, my pen name is Nancy Ellen)

If you’d like to know more about the book, and my published works for children, please check out my website at http://nancyellenwalker-guye.com/

I am on FB: https://www.facebook.com/nancy.ellen.507, and I’d be thrilled if you’d like to visit, and perhaps ‘like’ my author’s page at: https://www.facebook.com/NancyEllenAuthor/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel.

Presently, I am completing a second novel; Ruby Love.

My novels do not fit easily into genre slots, such as mystery, romance, fantasy or women’s contemporary. There is a little bit of all those things in my stories. A golden ribbon of faith, love and magic ties them together.

Apart from writing, I enjoy piano playing, as I have since I was nine years old. I also have a lovable Bernese Mountain dog who takes me for walks every afternoon when I’m ready for a break!

Hope to hear from you soon!

 

Soon to be Three

My first two books are soon to be joined by a third. I’m thankful for finding the joy of writing; for actually writing books, for risking my pride to send them to a publisher who took a chance on an unknown. (Thank you, Wild Rose Press) I’m so grateful for each of you who have supported me by reading them. There are more to come, just so you know. I have enjoyed this new phase in my life and all of the people I have met. I have new friends in so many places that I chat with on a daily basis. I’m grateful for this moment in my life.

You can find me on twitter at: https://twitter.com/ionacrv

If you haven’t joined me on FB yet please stop by check out my author’s page.
https://www.facebook.com/Iona-Morrison-Author-53431950662…/…

Some of my new book swag, mugs and a journal.

Iona M Morrison's photo.

On August 12, 2015 this was a special memory. I’m a little excited (please don’t mind me) The Harvest Club kindle is #40 on Amazon’s Bestseller list in its genre, today. Who knows for how long but I made it into the top 100.August 13, 2015. Some mornings are made for smiling, being grateful, and enjoying the moment. Today I woke up to The Harvest Club at #27 in Kindle and #47 in books in my genre. It makes me want to write!

Iona M Morrison's photo.

I didn’t realize just how much those Amazon customer reviews do for the author until a friend shared this. I want to once again thank each of you for leaving those reviews. Because of them Amazon Encore picked up The Harvest Club and after three weeks since its release from them it is still in the top 100 in my genre. #53 right now. I have high hopes for “Not For Sale” too.

 The Harvest Club is #8 for general fiction on Amazon Author Rank! On the same page with Stephen King!?1? October 3,2015
 Iona Morrison - Author's photo.
I’ve never been her before. A special moment for The Harvest Club (Bestseller on Kindle) and for me. October 2, 2015
Iona Morrison - Author's photo.