I absolutely love promoting others on my blog and it’s been a very long time since I posted anything about ME. 🙂 So here goes, and a little fun music as well.
Last weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to deliver copies of my two latest books to the Coleman Public Library. It’s always a great feeling to know your books are sitting on a library shelf.
From there I drove on to Abilene, Texas for the first music festival of the year, Outlaws and Legends Music Festival. I have been working the VIP and artist gate at that festival for 9 years, so it’s a standing event.
Thursday night was a volunteer appreciation party with a great meal and entertainment.
This short video was taken on Thursday and not even half of the campers had arrived yet. We wound up with close to 20,000 in attendance (people, not campers).
I absolutely love Whitey Morgan‘s music, so it was a big treat to get to see him perform!
Fridays are always a full day for me and I seldom get to hear any music on that day. This time I was at my gate from 9 am to 10:30 that night. As soon as I could close it, I headed to the motel, exhausted.
Me checking in one of the artists.
Oh, did I mention it was windy? Yep, it was.
These pictures are from Saturday. I SO enjoyed getting to hear some great music that day!
Saturday night, not being so exhausted, I stayed for the after-party for more from Whitey Morgan and a new artist to me, Kendall Marvel. Both fantastic! And I even got to dance a couple of times. Then it was over until next year. There will be more music festivals for me this year, but this one kicked off the season.
Now to shift gears to another ME topic – my books and some awesome reviews!
Today is International Day of Awesomeness, and we at Story Empire wanted to pay tribute to a special lady across the waters who does so much to support authors. And that lady is none other than Sally Cronin!
There is no one in the blogosphere who is more giving and supportive of others than this lady.
Her Smorgasbord Blog Magazine offers an eclectic variety of content from her own personal stories and journeys through music and time to author features and reviews as well as nutrition guidance and fabulous recipes. If you aren’t following her blog, now’s a great time to remedy that. Just click on the graphic below.
This is just one of her many books.
HERE’S THE BLURB:
“Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” Arthur Brisbane 1911.
An image offers an opportunity to see endless possibilities depending on the viewer’s perspective. Where some might see beauty and joy, others imagine sadness and loss of hope.
In this collection, images and syllabic poetry are brought together to tell a story based on the author’s perspective. The poetry explores our human experiences such as love, happiness, hope, aging, friendship, new beginnings, dreams, and loss.
The world around us is an amazing playground and source of all our essential needs as well as sensory experiences that bring wonder into our lives. What lies beyond the horizon? What surprises will we discover as a garden bursts into bloom? Where do the night creatures live?
At the end of the collection, there are some longer poems celebrating memories of the author’s life of travel, teenage exploits, and love of food!
HERE’S MY REVIEW:
This book is one the reader must sit back and savor. It consists of images combined with a variety of syllabic poetry styles from simple Haiku to complex butterfly cinquain. Each is beautifully done. The author shares her unique perspectives in such a way that the reader is swept up into the scene. The first poem, “Washed Up,” is a great example, filled with stark reality, then hope. My all-time favorite poem is “Our Legacy.” Writers seek to inspire those of us not yet great to leave behind a legacy of worth. Fame and fortune are not required if we are remembered for our acts of kindness. As a writer myself, that one really hit home. “Silver Lining to Isolation” was another one that hit home as relevant and timely. “Life’s Progression” brings the entire circle of life to completion. I love this line, “Wrinkles mark passing time…” The flash fiction stories inserted following the poetry are poignant recollections of childhood and other life events. Every story, every poem, every line is well-written and powerful. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a unique perspective on life.
I had quite a busy month of reading and I am happy to share my 4 and 5-star reviews on some fabulous books! Because I have so many, I won’t be sharing the blurbs but will have purchase links if you want to know more.
I don’t know what this author’s experience is with motorcycle clubs, but she got it right. They live by a code that normal people cannot understand. Their definition of justice is often dealt with raw violence and Myers depicts that perfectly in this book. Jamie Quinn didn’t stand a chance in hell for any kind of a decent life. His father made sure of that. And when he finally got rid of the monster he called Dad, he felt no remorse. In fact, quite the opposite. But his father had introduced him to the Silent Phoenix motorcycle club. And when there was no other place to turn, Jamie turned to the club. Before long, he earned a reputation that no one dared challenge. He could kill without any remorse…and he did. Celia was seventeen, a straight-A student, growing up in a wealthy country-club family. But her father had a drug habit and it cost Celia everything. When the MC took Celia to pay her father’s debt to the club, her entire world came undone. And while the big biker took her virginity, she found herself strangely attracted to him. She saw kindness in his eyes. And Jamie couldn’t get Celia out of his mind no matter what he tried. But she was just a kid. A kid that wound up pregnant with his child. This story is fast-paced, violent, raw, and gritty. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Then came the ending and I literally gasped. Do not expect a resolution in this story. It ends with a gut-wrenching cliffhanger. I am invested in these characters, so I have no choice but to get the next segment of Silent Phoenix MC. If you are not squeamish about violence, rape, profanity, and drugs, you will love this story! The only reason I am not giving this book five stars is because of the ending. I needed a resolution and felt cheated.
This book is a solid adventure, from one story to the next. While each is different and eclectic, one common thread is woven throughout, and that is Mae Clair’s distinctive writing voice. It is hard to pick favorites, but for me, a few stood out on a personal level. Kin-Slayer was a mixture of family drama and a mythical creature. I was not prepared for the gut-wrenching ending. The author did a fabulous job of showing the emotions of a tortured soul. Desert White was probably my favorite. Suicide is not always the answer, as Micah had imagined. The redemption in this story left me smiling. Here is an example of the descriptive prose from that short story: “But in the desert—with life ebbing from his veins, the bloated moon a silent observer overhead—he’d been seized by a violent desire to live.” Miss Lily Makes a Wish had me chuckling. To watch this frail old lady command an entire army of genies was nothing short of brilliant writing! I’d be remiss not to mention Father’s Day. That story tore at my heart and left me astounded. If you are looking for entertaining stories that take you off the beaten path, you are going to love this book from Mae Clair! I highly recommend it!
As Emlyn’s journey continues, and the story unfolds, we get to see more about the characters with who she is traveling. In this segment, we learn a bit more about Haldis, the Watcher, and the Spirits of the Dead who can move between the veils. We also get a glimpse at Emlyn’s brother and his determination to remain with the status quo. But he gets a well-deserved admonition. One of my favorite scenes in this segment was with Elder Pwyll’s encounter with the dead. Mairead’s knowledge of history is revealed in her interaction with the dead king. It becomes evident that the rip in the veil between the living world and the dead is growing larger as numbers of spirits move between them. We also get to see Mercedes in action with her unique ability to diffuse any situation. But the deeper look into the character Boabhan is the most significant part of this story and it leaves me wanting to know more about her. I appreciate her kindness toward Emlyn. The gripping scene at the waterfall left me speechless. The mystery of the rune is solved! I’m ready for the next segment as I know there are more heart-stopping moments coming!
This segment of The Dead of Winter series begins with heart-stopping action and tension! Arawn appears out of the waterfall on the back of a huge black-winged creature and grabs Boabhan with its huge talons. Emlyn attempts to save her only to be swept up in the air. Their companions fight to save the two. I have to say this is my favorite segment so far. What is revealed about Boabhan and Arawn is chilling and horrific. And Emlyn is witness to it all in her dreams. It leaves them both shaken. Emlyn relies more and more on her mentor Osabide as this story unfolds. But I love the way each of the Daes Matres has taken the child under their wings to teach her as well as protect her. The events that unfold at the ancient dwelling where they seek shelter moves the story forward in a big way. Emlyn gets new colorful clothes, something she’s never had. And she learns more about the silvery-haired man and wolf. A new rune enters the story in this segment. The depth at which we are seeing these characters is a testimony to this writer’s ability to show them. And the ending left me wanting to reach for the next part of this journey!
I have read several books by this author and each one is unique and entertaining. The Yak Guy Project had me hooked from page one. When Ted wakes up in a desert, in an alternate reality, he’s sure he’s done for. That is until a talking Yak rescues him. The journey this man embarks on is full of insane situations. It is obvious that Ted has been shot and most likely died in his other world. And, the ultimate goal now is for Ted to grow from a disgusting selfish parasitic person into a caring and more spiritual man. The Major Arcana from the Tarot cards comes into play with various situations and characters Ted encounters. One of my favorite characters (besides the talking Yak) was Snark. I also love how throughout the story there is an admonition to always watch out for the lions. Somehow this translates into an ironic paradox that I could relate to. Sort of like watching out for the sharks (the human ones). The author’s description of the land, the people, the animals, and most of all the interactions between them take the reader right into the story with them. The need to survive is strong and Ted will do anything for another chance to live. I enjoyed this dystopian story with all its nuances. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to be entertained!
This book is one the reader must sit back and savor. It consists of images combined with a variety of syllabic poetry styles from simple Haiku to complex butterfly cinquain. Each is beautifully done. The author shares her unique perspectives in such a way that the reader is swept up into the scene. The first poem, “Washed Up,” is a great example, filled with stark reality, then hope. My all-time favorite poem is “Our Legacy.” Writers seek to inspire those of us not yet great to leave behind a legacy of worth. Fame and fortune are not required if we are remembered for our acts of kindness. As a writer myself, that one really hit home. “Silver Lining to Isolation” was another one that hit home as relevant and timely. “Life’s Progression” brings the entire circle of life to completion. I love this line, “Wrinkles mark passing time…” The flash fiction stories inserted following the poetry are poignant recollections of childhood and other life events. Every story, every poem, every line is well-written and powerful. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a unique perspective on life
I met Jacob and Petra in the first Enigma Series Book and their attraction was strong. So, with this short story, we got to travel into the future and see the couple happily married and with a child. I loved their devotion not only to each other but to the child. Christmas is coming and both Jacob and Petra strive to get the most unusual gift possible for each other and then keep it a secret. But this year, the secret gift Petra has to offer is one that not only surprises but stuns Jacob. This is a heartwarming story of family, love, and miracles. It’s a short and satisfying read!
This is the perfect read for the spooky Halloween season! Cain is a seventeen-year-old teenager who feels a heavy responsibility for his family after his father’s death. I love this character’s respect for his mother and attentiveness to his little sister. He and his best friend, Finn, love to hang out, play video games and talk about things that interest them, mainly playing soccer and girls. When Cain’s mother gets a great deal on a new house and they move in, things begin to change. At first, Cain is convinced he’s getting forgetful when the door leading up to the attic is open without explanation. But it’s no coincidence. Sarah is a teenage girl who met her demise in the house when it was under construction. The things that unfold with her story bring out empathy for what happened to her and Cain is motivated to help her. But Sarah is bent on revenge. She uses Cain to occupy his body, then to suck his energy out so she can use it to exact her form of justice against the boys who lured her to the house, then buried her alive when they thought she was dead. This is an on-the-edge-of-your-seat, holding your breath kind of story. I don’t want to leave any spoilers, but the level the anger and evil escalate to is off the charts. If you like a good horror story, this book is for you. It is rated YA, but any adult fan of this genre will enjoy it! The author left the ending open for a sequel.
That gives me 44 questions to answer and I’m not going to attempt to do that, so I am going to answer three questions from each blogger, focusing on the ones that are most relevant.
Gwen Plano asks:
What motivates you to write? Honestly, the biggest motivation for me to write is a new inspiration for a story. If I am in the middle of one story and get a big idea for another, it takes all my patience to simply jot a few notes and keep going with what I am working on. There is nothing like the adrenaline rush I get when a new story idea arrives!
Do you eavesdrop on your characters, or craft them to fit the story? This question has more than one answer. When I was writing my first four books, true stories, the characters were already created. My job was just to relate the story. But, having written several stories since then, that are pure fiction, I have to say that I definitely eavesdrop on them. In fact, I have conversations with them and have interviewed some to get answers to situations. One that comes to mind was for a book that I have written and have waiting in the wings. I couldn’t decide on my main character’s name, so I interviewed his mother (of course all of this took place in my head.) But, the result was the character’s name, Jag, and the story about why she gave him the name. She loved Mick Jagger. 🙂
How do you structure your time to make room for writing? I chose this question to answer because it is such a huge ongoing issue for me. Besides still working outside the home part-time, I also write for a music magazine that involves interviewing artists as well as reviewing new music. I try to give as much time as I can every day to supporting the wonderful authors at the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and RWISA. I have five grandchildren and make a strong effort to attend their events and spend time with them often. I also love to read and do so almost daily. I blog regularly and support other bloggers. I try to visit my various social media platforms daily. So, you can see I have a full schedule. I haven’t yet figured out how to juggle it all so that there is time for writing. Often, it gets shoved to the back burner, but I’m constantly working on improving my time management. I’m open to any and all suggestions!
Sally Cronin asks:
4. What is the most daring thing you have done? For those who have read “The Convict and the Rose,” you probably know the answer to this question. Back in the seventies, I went to Dallas with a guy who rode a Harley and was trying to get into The Banditos motorcycle club. While we were at the Dallas house, another motorcycle club threatened a war and I was put at a window with a loaded gun and told to shoot anyone that came into view. There is no way in hell I could have ever pulled that trigger. In fact, I’d never even held a gun before and I was scared out of my wits. Thankfully, it all ended without incident and the party continued. When I look back on it, there is absolutely NO doubt that I had a guardian Angel!
5. Name one item that is still on your bucket list. I have such a strong desire to visit Ireland and Scotland. It is the land of my ancestors and I am drawn there by a strong connection. When I watched Outlander, the desire grew even stronger. Someday before I leave this life, I will make that journey and I can’t wait!
6. What is your favorite movie of all time? While I’m not a big movie buff, I do enjoy a good show that moves me in some way. I have to say “A Star Is Born” is that for me. I have seen both the one from the seventies with Kristofferson and Streisand and the newest with Lady GaGa and Bradley Cooper multiple times and will watch them again and again!
D.L. Finn Asks:
7. How long have you been blogging? I created my blog site in May 2014. However, until the last three years, it was hit and miss blogging. I got serious about it and have now made 671 posts and my following has slowly built. I believe the keys to a successful blog are consistency and content.
8. Do Blogs encourage you to purchase books? Oh yes! Most definitely! I love reading others’ reviews and that influences my decision to purchase.
9. What do you write about in your blogs and why? The answer to that question is as varied as my blogs. 🙂 I love supporting other authors and Indie music artists. So, you will find anything that relates to words in any form on my blog. In the past, I’ve posted story series on my blog. I’ve posted CD reviews on my blog as well as book reviews. Most recently, I had the inspiration to create a #TarotTuesday on my blog. The idea was taken from Taco Tuesdays where across the nation you can find Tacos for 99 cents on Tuesdays. I draw a Tarot card and tell its meaning every Tuesday. I have really enjoyed this. Not only is it a great way to learn more about Tarot, but to offer uplifting and encouraging messages.
Ron Yates Asks:
10. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer or blogger? I’ve written all my life, but I never imagined myself as an author. That was my sister’s dream, not mine. My dreams always went in the direction of music. But, after my husband passed away I felt a huge nudge to get our story told. However, it took a while before the realization hit me that I would have to tell it. I seriously thought someone else would. So, when reality set in, there was nothing for me to do but educate myself on the craft of storytelling and get to work. Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.
11. What do you think makes a good story? A good story must be well-written, as error-free as possible and have compelling characters that drive the plot. I read all genres and the same holds true for all. I love unforgettable characters. And while I may eventually forget some part of the plot, I never forget a character that comes alive and takes me along on the journey.
12. If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why? I realize my answer to this question is going to sound a bit strange, but it is sincere. The one person I would want to have dinner with is my deceased husband. I have so much to tell him and show him. He has grandchildren he never got to meet and I would enjoy showing him pictures. I’d love to hand him a copy of the books I wrote about us, along with the poetry and art book that was his. And I would ask him a million questions about the afterlife! Then, I would write one helluva blog to tell you all about it!
That’s it. I thank each one who nominated me for this beautiful award! I apologize for not answering all the questions, but I am huge advocate for short easy-to-read blogs.
Please take the time to visit the four bloggers who nominated me at their sites and follow them, if you don’t already!
I know that here is where I am supposed to post the rules and nominate 11 more bloggers, but quite honestly, I think all the bloggers who follow my blog have been nominated already. So, I will leave it at that. Thanks so much for taking time to read my Q&A!
Welcome to the launch party for A Ghost in the Kitchen! It’s a wild ride on a magical trolley through haunted Savannah, Georgia. I am thrilled to help Teagan Geneviene launch her brand new book! Folks, if you have never read a book by this author, take it from me, you are in for a treat when you do! Her imagination knows NO bounds!
Thanks for hosting me for my novel launch and book fair.
Hi everyone. I’m Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, and I’ve brought a bunch of friends for this shindig on a magical 1920s trolley. First let me tell you a little about my new novel.
When my character, Paisley Idelle Peabody (better known as Pip) came along, I started writing a type of fiction that I never expected. Pip is a flapper. Her stories took me to Savannah, Georgia of the 1920s.
It’s only natural that some ghosts got in on the act. After all, many people say that Savannah is the most haunted city in the USA! Here’s the blurb for this novel.
A Ghost in the Kitchen, Three Ingredients-2 continues the flapper adventures of Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip. It’s a 1920s “pantser” story and a culinary mystery. This time Pip’s pal Andy (from The Three Things Serial Story) returns. Granny Phanny is there too. She’s still trying to teach Pip to cook. Granny is in a lather because of the supernatural goings-on in her kitchen. There’s also one pos-i–lutely potent poltergeist!
New adventures abound as Pip and Andy unravel an old mystery. It’s all spontaneously driven by “ingredients” sent by readers of the blog, Teagan’s Books.
Did you hear the bell clang? Our magic trolley is here!
There are links galore, so limber up your clicking finger and jump on the trolley. Here’s a map showing some locations. Friends who promised to participate in my launch will be at some of these haunted places. They’ll get on the magical blog party trolley as we tour haunted Savannah!
I just wish this 1920s trolley could move faster… Oh! A brass lamp just clattered to the ground. There’s purple smoke coming out.
“Your wish is my command!”
Aladin Fazel– my favorite magician! Now the trolley can go anywhere.
At the top of the map is the Moon River Brewing Company. That’s a good place to start incase anyone needs some liquid courage for this ghostly adventure!
There’s Christoph Fischer. Duck! A rowdy, spifflicated ghost just threw a beer bottle. Olga NúñezMiret is helping him Christoph get away from the spirited spirit and onto our trolley. Welcome aboard, Olga and Christoph. You two look darb in your 1920s glad rags.
Magician, those ghosts are going to follow Olga and Christoph all the way to the trolley. Can you please get us to the next stop?
We’ve traveled east, closer to the river. Our trolley is on a bluff above the River Walk. Now we’re at Factor’s Walk. The foundations of some of these buildings date back to the late 1700s. D. L. Finnand Valentina Cirasola should be waiting for us there. Ah, there they are, beside one of the sealed-off tunnel entrances. Love those hats, ladies! Applesauce, hurry to the trolley. There are shadow figures all around us!
Tunnels that originate in this area have been known to send ghastly moans into the still night air. Look out, DyannaWyndesong! A tall shadow was sneaking up behind you. Get back on the trolley, quick!
Yes, that’s one of the many tunnels. They make a labyrinth beneath Savannah. Wow, we’re going into the haunted tunnel.
Magician, why are you slowing the trolley? You must see something ahead in this creepy tunnel… Oh! It’s a poster for Teri Polen’s yearly October event, Bad Moon Rising!
I’ll be there on October, 18th, chatting with Teri about all sorts of Halloween-ish things, as well as my novella, Brother Love — a Crossroad. I hope everyone will join us for the fun.
Since this is a magical trolley the tunnel will take us directly the Sorrel Weed House where we’ll pick up two more guests. Just beware the lady in black! I hope John W. Howell and Dan Antion know about her. Oh-oh! John and Dan, that’s no damsel in distress, it’s a mean ghost. Hurry over here to the trolley, guys!
If you’ll keep the trolley heading south, Magician, we can pick up Michael (from OIKOS Publishing) at the Andrew Low House. I see that Jan Sikesis meeting us there too. Jan don’t go in that room! Through the window I see Juilette Gordon Low lying on the bed – but she died in 1927! Michael, watch out for that butler at the top of the stairs too. His clothes went out of style 150 years ago. Those are ghosts. You two better get on the trolley fast!
Aladin, this is great! You found a magic tunnel to take us north east. Sally Croninand Jacquie Biggar are waiting for us at the Colonial Park Cemetery. Ladies, I realize that handsome young man invited you to follow him. Don’t bother. He’ll just disappear once he goes inside the gate. He died a long, long time ago.
Applesauce! All these spooky apparitions have given me an appetite. Shall we find a haunted restaurant? Ah, the 17Hundred90 Inn & Restaurant is on our way. Robbie Cheadle and Marje Mallonare already there. Robbie, take care. That little boy is really a ghost. Marje, I know you feel sorry for Anna, but she’s been waiting for her lost love since before any of us were born. She’s a specter too.
That ghostly cook, does not seem nearly as friendly as Maestro Martino, the cursed chef in A Ghost in the Kitchen. She’s banging her pots and pans and making a quite ruckus. What’s our next stop, Magician?
Now we’re at The Marshall House. It’s a haunted hotel where we’re picking up Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape. What’s that dear Ape? You say your “naughty chimp” nephews are in a game of “tag,” chasing the ghosts of children who run up and down the halls there? They’re all having a great time!
Hey, there’s Traci Kenworthtoo, down at the other end of the building. Come on to the trolley, Traci. Those little ghosts are starting to raise a ruckus.
Thanks to Aladin and our magical trolley, we’ve taken another of those hidden tunnels. Now, we’re almost back where we started, between River Street and Factors Walk. We have one more stop. We need to pick up ResaMcConaghy and Jacqui Murrayat the Olde Harbour Inn.
Oh! They’re already running to the trolley. I expect the spirit known as Hank tried to crawl into bed with at least one of them. I also smell his cigar smoke. I think I’d run too!
Alright everyone. Pip and Granny Phanny are waiting for us at the cottage. Granny is eager to start her book fair. She’s a real bearcat, and she won’t like it if we’re late. So let’s get a wiggle on!
Granny Phanny’s Book Fair
Welcome to the book fair. All these authors volunteered to help me by sharing this magic trolley tour of haunted Savannah. Their books are all swell. So I put them in pos-i-lutely random order. Hopefully that will lead you to look at some things you might not typically read. You’ll find purchase links below the cover images.
Sheiks and Shebas, thanks so very much for getting on the magical trolley for this tour. Ya’ll are pos-i-lutely the berries!
This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.
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