Monday, August 29, 2016

Me Mondays: Avenging the O'Donnells

Hello everyone!
Hope your weekend was great and your work week starts of  great as well. As the title implies, today is dedicated to my updates: where I'll be virtually and in real time, what's new with me, my new releases, what I'm working on and so forth.

My monthly newsletter is live and doing well. Everyone who gets the newsletter is automatically entered in the drawing to win an original item from my craft shop. (This craft shop tab on the website) The newsletter is also your vehicle to ask me questions. When you send in your questions you are entered again into the monthly drawing. The answer to those questions will be posted here as well. What is exclusive to the newsletter is the free reads. Sign up for the newsletter on my website

Currently I am editing The Right Choice. It is book II of the Happily Ever After: By Any Means Necessary series. This series is basically about the lives of established couples and how they deal with issues in their relationship.

Book ISeven Year Switch was about Kyle and Sonja Winters, a mid thirties, childless couple, together 10 years, married 7 and happy. Sonja discovers a secret that rocks their marriage to the core. It will either destroy them or they will have to restructure to survive it.
Available now

Book II: The Right Choice, is about Christian and Andrea Cooper. They have a long term marriage, 20+ years, are in their 40s and are new empty-nesters. Basically this book shows how you could get caught up in doing the right thing and push someone away unintentionally. Even after being together for years you can still make mistakes.Coming in September, 2016


Today I am spotlighting my completed work, Avenging the O'Donnells, a wolf shifter, urban fantasy romance. 
I love to put folklore and magic into my stories. Avenging the O'Donnells has it all, folklore, tragedy, redemption and destined love. It is waiting for it's cover and to be edited.


Blurb:
The beast of the lake massacred the O’Donnell family leaving only Ian to avenge his clan. During the long wait to them he met Nadine and fell in love. With love in his life again, Ian is distracted from his duty after waiting over a hundred years for the chance. Will Nadine be the loophole that will allow him to have love and revenge?

Excerpt:

“Wait! Listen…do you hear that?” he asked in a hushed voice.
Sean joined him at the doorway. He looked left then right, before closing his eyes. Suddenly he gasped and turned wide eyes to Ian. Ian’s heart filled with the fear he saw in his friend’s eyes. He returned to the pantry with Sean close at his side. Opening a cabinet he tossed Sean one of the swords that were hidden there, took one for himself and they left the kitchen again with a sense of urgency.
They walked through the house, but came across no one. None of his brothers or servants seemed were about. As they approached the great room, muffled screams reached his ears. Ian and Sean looked at each other and ran to the steps, taking them two at a time. At the top of the stairs they found the missing servants. Their broken and abused bodies lay along the hallway with all sorts of weapons lying nearby.
The sight froze them in place, but another shriek shook them alert. Ian pushed through his fear to hop through the small spaces between people moving down the hall. Following the sounds, he and Sean burst into a bedroom. A monster, taller than any man he’d ever seen, black as night and dripping with what looked like loose mud, plunged his fist deep into his brother’s chest. His mouth dropped open as he stood horrified.
“No! Leathan!”
The monster flung Leathan’s lifeless body across the room. Ian watched his brother’s body hit the wall and slide to the floor to land on top of his other brothers disfigured bodies and turned toward Ian. The monster moved in his peripheral, but he could not tear his eyes away from his brother. Tears streamed down his face. His breath caught when he was abruptly yanked away.
“Come, Ian! We must flee!”
Sean dragged him from the room toward the back steps. The obvious thud of bodies hitting the walls followed them. The terror in Sean’s eyes woke Ian from his stupor fueling an urgency to get back to the kitchen. Ian leaned on the door closing it behind them. He snatched his hand away from Sean and held it up.
“Wait, Sean, stop. I cannot run away. I must fight!” he told him trying to catch his breath.
“Ian, don’t be daft! Think man! Live today, fight tomorrow!”
Ian shook his head. “My family is dead. I must avenge them.”
Sean pointed up the stairs. “That was the demon from the lake! You cannot defeat it on your own! You must go to your guardian and pray for help.”
Ian shook his head. “Listen to me, Sean. I cannot leave my family. I must fight with them or die with them. You must go to the glade and summon the guardian for me.”
“What? No! I won’t leave without ya, Ian.”
Ian grabbed Sean by the shoulders and shook him hard. “Sean! Do as I say! You are my servant!” he snapped choking on the words as new tears fell down his face. “And my friend,” he added in a softer tone. “Now please, go to the guardian and beg for her help.”
Sean stared at him for just a moment longer then pulled him into a hug.
“I pray that the guardian hears the pleas of one that is not an O’Donnell by blood. Now go,” Ian said.
Ian took a deep breath and returned to main house. Halfway up the stairs muffled screams and doors slamming reached his ears. Images formed in his mind of the monster going room to room dispatching all he found hiding. His distress magnified when he realized they came from his father’s bedroom. Standing in the doorway he could see his father broken body across the room. He moved inside at the sound of a door being torn off its hinges. The monster pulled Emma from the closet and lifted her from the floor by the throat. He knew his horror matched hers when their eyes locked, but for a brief moment he saw relief in her gaze before the light of life faded from them. 
“No!”
Howling his rage, Ian charged the beast with his sword extended. With all his might Ian shoved the blade deep into its back. The monster screamed in apparent pain. Swirling about trying to dislodge the weapon, the beast slung Emma’s body one way then slapped Ian haphazardly across the room the other way. His body crashed to the floor landing on discarded and broken furniture. Pain radiated through his body from head to toe. It was unlike anything he ever felt. He could barely draw a breath.
The monster had managed to remove the weapon. It turned toward him with the blade in his hand. Ian closed his eyes bracing himself as the beast walked to him. The blade pierced his gut swiftly stabbing into the floor beneath him. Surprisingly it did not add much to his discomfort. The monster stood over him just a second the shuffled from the room.
A visual of his father and brothers came to mind. Ian could not avenge them, but he was at peace to die with them. Closing his eyes he prepared for death. His head lifted and rested on something softer than the floor.  Conscious thought slipped away and the pain began to ease.
“In here! He’s in here! Oh my God! Fairy! Quickly!”
Ian gasped and let out a moan when the blade was removed from his body. His eyes flickered open, but closed again.  
“His heartbeat is very faint, but he lives. The O’Donnell’s are good and kind people. Don’t let their line die this horrible way. Heal him, please,” Sean begged.
Fingers touched Ian’s forehead. They were so light he barely registered the sensation, but a rush of heat rolled over his body like a wave at the slight connection. Immediately he drew in a deep breath and his eyes popped open. The pain ceased and his heart beat with new vigor. He felt stronger than he ever had. Sean smiled down at him.  
“My God Ian. The bleeding has stopped. The fairy has healed you.”
Ian scrambled to his hands and knees rushing over to his father’s body. Cradling his father’s head in his lap he looked toward the fairy.
“Can’t you save him too, fairy? He is my father, leader of our clan.” 
She shook her head. “No, Ian O’Donnell, I cannot. It is fate to end here.”
Ian cried rocking his father’s head close to him. Sorrow and frustration filled his screams. After a while he stopped and he laid his father back on the floor, retrieved his weapon, and moved toward the door. 
“Ian, where are you going?” Sean asked.
“I’m going to avenge my family’s deaths,” he replied calmly.
“Ian, no! The fairy has given you a second chance to live. You cannot squander it!”
Ian turned and opened to his mouth to argue his point with his friend, but the fairy’s calm voice stopped his retort.
“Ian O’Donnell, your family line will not die here, but if you chase the beast now you will erase what I have done. I can give you the means to avenge your family, but it will not happen today. The beast thinks he has destroyed your blood line, he must continue to believe it is so. All must believe until the time is right.”
Ian looked at his father’s body again and then to the only mother he ever knew. His heart was heavy with his loss. He was exhausted with grief. Turning tear filled eyes to the fairy, Ian dropped his weapon and fell to his knees beside it.

“What must I do, Fairy?” 
*********

Keep an eye out for a cover reveal! All Dana's books are available on her website and Amazon

Follow Dana on 
Facebook: author Dana Littlejohn    
Twitter: @liljohndana   
Instagram: @danascrochetdelights    
coming soon Periscope @liljohndana

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thursday Tips: Proofreading

Hello everyone!
Welcome back to another week of Thursday tips to help you become a better writing. I want you to know I do this blog not only for but for me too. As I share with you I learn and apply them to my own writing. So we are essentially helping each other. This week I found a few tips to help with proofreading. 
Be sure to conduct a thorough proofread of all documents before handing them over to someone else to edit. But before you proof, you must self edit.There’s no use expending time and effort to check for minor typographical errors until the editing stage is complete. Review for proper organization, appropriate tone, grammar, syntax, usage, and style before moving on to the proofreading stage.
1. Use a Checklist
Create a list of important things to check for, such as problem areas like agreement of nouns and verbs and of pronouns and antecedents, and number style.
2. Fact-Check
Double-check, re-check and then check your facts again. Make sure your facts, figures, and proper names are in order. 
3. Spell-Check
Before proofreading a printout, spell-check the electronic version not only to find misspellings, but errors that are frequently missed like omitting a closing parenthesis or quotation mark and 
putting period where there should be a question mark.
4. Read Aloud
Reading text during the proof stage improves your chances of noticing errors, especially missing (“he kissed her cheek and smiled”) or repeated (“he kissed her cheek and smiled”) words.
5. Focus on One Line at a Time
When proofing print documents, use another piece of paper or a ruler to cover the text following the line you are proofreading, shifting the paper down as you go along. This technique helps you keep your place and discourages you from reading too quickly and missing subtle errors.
6. Attend to Format
Proofreading isn’t just about reviewing the text. Make sure that the document design adheres to established specifications. Check page numbering, column alignment, relative fonts, sizes, and other features of standard elements such as headlines, subheadings, captions, and footnotes. Inspect each type of feature within categories, such as looking at every headline, then every caption, and so on.
7. Proof Again
Insert revisions on the electronic version, then print off and proofread the document again with the same thoroughness, rather than simply spot-checking the changes. An insertion or deletion may have thrown off the line count, for example.
Hope this helps! See you next week!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wicked Wednesday: Judy Kammeraad "Teach Me Too"

Welcome back to Wicked Wednesday! Today we have Judith Kammeraad giving us a look into her book Teach me Too formally of Secret Publishing now available at I Heart Publishing.


Blurb:
Soul-melding sex turns up the temperature in this tale of empowerment via unselfish love. Injured in body and mind by her students, Lyla Gray tries for a new life as governess on the DuPree orange and alpaca ranch in Citrus County, Florida.
Lyla recovers her professional confidence quickly, but her drive for a normal life—including romance—is something else. What is she supposed to do when, despite a libido on overdrive, her trauma rules out contact with...the scary part of men? It’s not easy with sex –exuding young males all around, including sweet, delicious looking Mark DuPree and his hungry, sad green eyes. Mark seems to be spoiling for a fight with her all the time, and he’s lost in grief and work demands and looking for someone to help him regain some kind of life.
Vandalism, mysterious deaths, community feuds, and tending to the tattered emotions of those worse off than she is gobble up Lyla’s obsession with herself.But will Mark help her save herself from the past and learn that there’s nothing scary about loving after all?


Excerpt:
Piles of books surrounded Lyla and Libby when Mark poked his nose into the attic room. He looked rather mulish to her.
“There you are. I’ve been looking for you. Come down to my study, please.”
Lyla’s back stiffened. He demanded her presence, did he? What was it about that man that made her feel so annoyed? Why couldn’t he act like his easy-going brother? They could have so much fun working side by side in this house.
She started off to Mark’s lair, as far from her room as possible, thank God. She wanted to keep that grimace at arm’s length.
She forced a few deep breaths and halted on the stairs to consult with her inner self. What did Mark say that set her off? Did he mean it the way she took it? She felt sweaty and cranky. Don’t be stupid, Lyla. Don’t start out on the wrong foot. She stopped in front of Mark’s open door.
She opened her palms to him. “You summoned me. Here I am.”
His oversized, tidy desk dominated the center of his uncluttered office. Books and organized stacks of papers filled shelves on three walls. She drew in the odor of leather and wood, aromas that spoke of testosterone and set her anxiety vibrating like a violin string. Just enough to keep her on edge.
He motioned her to the cowhide chair across from his desk. He sat down in its twin, with his back to a double window that looked out over the back lawn and the Big River. Good. Just keep the desk between them. Already the hairs on the nape of her neck stood at attention, and he hadn’t said a word.
Lyla sat up straight. The chair was comfortable but made for a man’s long thighs, so she kept sliding forward in the well-rubbed cowhide. If only her mouth weren’t so dry. She forced down a couple of swallows and turned her face to sniff the leather, as if that could immunize her against masculine power. She couldn’t get comfortable with him over there ogling her, judging her.
Mark stood up and extended his long-fingered hand, the nails short and clean. Her hand in his felt like a chocolate in an overly warm room, but she lacked the will to remove it. At the same time, his sober eyes on hers made her anxiety twang. He tipped the plantation blinds to minimize the glare on her eyes. Hmmm, all right, she could give him points for that.
She rubbed her wrists against each other, leery of him as a male, maybe a man who missed having a woman. Already he put her teeth on edge and pulled her closer at the same time.
At first they engaged in general conversation about his two children. She burned to pry more out of him.
“What are your goals?” she probed. “What do you want me to do for them?”
“They need to learn, especially English and math—and anything you think is important. I want to send them to college.”
“Ah, that helps. Do you have a copy of the local curriculum?”
He waved the question away. “I thought that was up to the teacher.”
“What about textbooks?”
“Order what you want—Dick and Jane or something.”
Inside she growled. “Well, I expect you’ll want your stamp on their education. Do you value creativity, or rote learning? Are you a liberal thinker or conservative? Not that they won’t experience my influence as well.”
“All that. Whatever works.” He passed a hand over his face.
Annoyance bubbled over in her stomach. “My goodness, haven’t you thought about the shape of your children’s education at all?”
He stood up and stared out the window at the wide part of the river. Had she irritated him? Good. Stick a match under him.
“Damn it, just teach them,” he said, running his hands through his hair. “Can’t you do that?”
His distraught gesture pulled on her reins. Don’t jump to conclusions, said an inner warning. You did that when you trusted your students. You don’t know what’s going on with this man. The blood throbbed in her veins from sparring with him or trying to. This was like a good jolt of caffeine, honing the sharp, suspecting edges in her mind.
She paused while she restrained herself a little further. “Mark, I’m not trying to wear you down. I don’t want a dispassionate discussion. Surely you have hopes…objectives.”
Mark jerked in his chair. “Don’t you have any idea how to take care of this without me telling you everything?” His eyes were flinty.
She met his gaze, her chin high. “Of course, I do. I know how to do it all, but I can help your children so much better with you involved. Your resistance is holding me back.”
His eyes blazed, and he clenched his fists. She shouldn’t have worked herself up, but, damn it, she enjoyed it, and she liked seeing his eyes darken with feeling. Heat rolled off him to her and made her shiver. Inside her, where he couldn’t see, longing unrolled itself, a carpet, long untrodden. She tried to stuff it back inside.
He looked from side to side, as if searching for something. “Can’t you see I’m at a loss how to proceed with the children? I’m at a loss how to deal with you, too, if you want to know, though I shouldn’t admit weakness.”
“Maybe you don’t need to deal with me, as you say. But we do have to talk. I need to know where you stand.”
He turned to the window. He waited, his words below the surface, like a long forgotten wreckage, and when he faced her, his jaw was all hard angles again.
They started to talk, both at once.
“Mark, I…”
“It’s…”
They sighed.
He cleared his throat. “Look, I run this place. Office work, phone calls, orders, sales, manning the winery—that’s my day and part of my night, with my dad’s work knocking me into next week. I need to be steel-minded, and I make all the decisions—all of them, but I’m out of my depth here. He
opened his hands in an expansive gesture. “I really need you to take charge of this.”
Approval cuddled up in Lyla’s heart. Wasn’t it nice that, after all, Mark could concede his shortcomings without it bringing him down? That made him a man like her father, the pastor who was quick to say he didn’t know it all. A real man.
“Mark, why don’t you let me tell you some of my ideas? Then, if you agree, I’ll start that way. Let’s just talk, okay? I merely need to know if we’re on the same page about the children.”
He flopped back down in his chair. “Yes, all right.”
She summarized her observations so far. Elizabeth could start at grade level in math. Reading was a mixed story. Lyla talked about passive word recognition and phonics skills. “Teaching those is my job.” She explained the importance of writing alongside reading.
His face cleared. “You mean Libby can tell a story but not put it in writing?”
“Exactly. That’s not too unusual but frustrating for her, given the large number of words she wants to use. I have an idea she’s pretty bright, and she’ll learn quickly. She’ll have a lot to write about.”
Mark grinned. “That makes me proud.” His hands were in his hair, his elbows on his desk. “So, reading and writing are perfect partners.”
She smiled. “Yes, the light will go on. She will start choosing to read more often than doing something else.”
He laughed. “You mean soaking up television and punching her brother.”
“Yes, she already loves stories. She told me about Jane Eyre today. You were there.”
He grinned. “I hate to bear bad tidings, but she didn’t read the book. We watched it on television together not too long ago.”
“And she loved the story, right?”
Mark gave a tentative smile. “Yes, and she was in heaven when she learned a governess was coming here.”
“Well, I want to give her the skills to express herself. Her delights, her fears—everything in life.”
Mark agreed that Libby would like that. “That’s how you get on top of life before it crushes you, I imagine.”
“Yes. I can’t say I’ve mastered that a hundred percent myself—getting on top.” She remembered the blood all over the closet on the day words had failed her. Raw fear alone had helped her to survive, and it was still with her now sometimes.
Mark bounded to the opposite side of the desk. “You don’t look too well all of a sudden. Wait a minute.”
He returned in a moment with a glass of water. “Here, clear your mind.”
The water felt cool, Mark’s response warming.
“I’m sorry. I can see I put you too much on the spot.”
She shook her head. “You didn’t.” Her voice was a dry croak. How could she explain that fear unsettled her?
Mark leaned against the edge of the desk, watching her nurse her water.
This put her face on the level of his crotch. She eyed the wide leather belt holding his jeans low on his hips. She could smell the cowhide on him, along with gentle soap. The honest scents kept her anxiety at bay. Lyla claimed a deep breath and lifted her eyes to Mark’s face in time to see an earnest smile replace his knit eyebrows.
“Maybe it would be more fun to talk about my son. I’m sure you’re wondering about Raisin’s name?”
She nodded.
“It grew on him over the years. Most of his mishaps had something to do with his raisin obsession. Early on, he stuffed several of them far up his nose to save them for later. The same with his ears. Another time, his raisin stash sent Ralph to the vet hospital with kidney trouble.”
“Yes, I can see Raisin’s difference from his sister. He meant it when he said he didn’t want to go to school, but he’s a sucker for stories too. I intend to draw him in with that. And raisins.”
Mark’s attentive eyes indicated he followed her ideas for his offspring.
Finally her talk turned to him, the father. “Libby and Raisin need you to read to them. A lot. And talk to them about the stories and the life lessons in them.”
“That’s what I pay you for, isn’t it?” His abrupt tone rankled “You read to them. I’ll work and make money so I can pay you to read.”
She straightened her spine and lifted her chin. “Your children need both of us if this is going to happen for them. I’m telling you.”
Mark steepled his fingers and peered at her as clouds gathered on his face.
She had to win this round. “Reading can’t be something you do only in school, Mark. Reading has to be something the children care about deeply, because it connects them with their dearest love.”
He took the bait. “What’s that?”
She looked into his earnest eyes. “You.”
He paced in front of the window.
Finally she changed the subject. “What about the teenager you described in your letter?” She already knew the answer, but she wanted to hear it from him. It was hard to repress her smirk.
He chuckled then. The thunderclouds cleared off his face, and he gave her a sheepish glance. “That was Robert. I don’t know why I wrote that. He’s a college graduate now, with a degree in agriculture and business, to the benefit of the ranch. I suppose it’s too late to tame him now, anyway.”
“Maybe he doesn’t need taming. Maybe he needs freedom.”
“Look, it was a joke, writing that, and partly I was irked with him at the time, because I wanted him to stop goofing around and take responsibility. I’m, er, ashamed of myself now. Of course Robert works. He just has fun while he works.” Mark paused, scratching his head. “And you’re right. Robert feels shackled to a job he doesn’t love. I’m sorry about that, because he deserves better.”
A man who can apologize, purred the warm, fuzzy spot in her heart.
Mark sighed. “I’m sorry too, for the offensive things I said when we met. It seems a long time ago now, and I can’t believe I was not more cordial.”
“That was today.”
“Well, I was angry. I was irritated. I was frustrated. And I was unbelievably tired. I know those things do not make an excuse for my bad behavior. Please forgive me for that. I need a second chance. With you, with my kids…and with life.” His eyes looked contrite.
That squeezed Lyla’s heart. “We both need that, I think.”
“The truth is I’m the one who needs to be tamed. Ever since my wife died and my father started getting more eccentric and depressed, I felt like the only adult in the family, with this strange cast of characters around me.” He made a wide circle with his arm.
“What happened to your wife?”
He lowered his eyes and hunched his shoulders forward.
The pain in his eyes made her heart turn over. “I’m sorry.” she said. “I have a way of saying the wrong things.
“No, we might as well get to know each other, so, yes, my past is a place you should be able to visit. My wife Ruthie died three years ago. She had a heart attack shortly after giving birth. The baby died too. Raisin was two, and Libby was five.
“My father was undependable, my brother just a kid, or so I thought. Mattie kept our bodies and souls together in every practical way after Ruthie died, just as she did before, when my wife was sick, and even earlier, when my mother passed away. I ran the ranch…I don’t know how. Emotionally, I was shattered and exhausted. Maybe the others were too.”
Mark paused but finally continued in baby steps. “So…you see…I…I don’t really know what we
need. I don’t know…what I want, except in the broadest way. I want my kids kept away from danger and bullying. I want them nurtured the way their mother can’t do anymore.”
His groping fingers made his hair stand up like a child’s. Lyla wanted to laugh at this sign of his agitation, but she knew this was serious. Important.
He cleared his throat. “So, maybe that addresses your question. I want less aggravation. I want some kind of life back. I want laughter in my house. Maybe you can help me with that. If you think that’s not your job, I understand.”
She nodded assent.
“How about you, Lyla? What do you want? What do you need?” He reached for her hand.
How could she tell him the truth? Hers wasn’t an easy story to tell, especially to a man.
He turned her hands over and examined the scars on the inner surface of her wrists. “What’s this?”
She turned her eyes to him. “What do you know about me? Did you notice I haven’t worked for over a year?”
“Yes, I did notice that.”
“Didn’t you think it was strange? Didn’t you want to ask me about it?”
He gave a rueful laugh. “Nothing you may have to hide is stranger than what you’ll find right here on the funny farm.” Those remarkable green eyes riveted her to the point. “What I needed to know when you answered my ad was that you were willing to come here and take on my kids…and the rest of us.”
He waited a few beats. “I can see somebody hurt you. The rest of your story I’d very much like to hear when you are ready, a little at a time, or all at once. Lyla, no one will hurt you here.”
He cleared his throat. “I run a rat race around here every day, but in the long run I have time to listen. He smiled and took her hand again, as he rested his elbows on the desk. He looked over their hands into her eyes. “Let’s talk again, okay?”
This moment didn’t last as long as she wanted. Mark stood up and led her to the door. “You know where you can find me.” He closed the door behind her, and she heard his boots squeak on the rug as he returned to his desk.
Her breath hitched. A sensitive man who tells you his story on the first day, said her inner self. Why was she standing here outside the door, just when he got her interested?
She didn’t get him. First he lit a fire in her, but then he called it quits. It felt exhilarating to argue with him, though she felt strong empathy too. He gave her a peek inside him, when they’d only just met. Maybe she wanted to do the same for him.
Inside her quarters, she leaned against the door. “It turns out you want the same things I do, Leather Man. So you say.” She closed her eyes and ran her hands up and down her arms. She growled as she revisited his words. “I want some kind of life back too. I am shattered and exhausted too, so if you can help me, that’s what I want you to do.” She tasted tears in her throat. “And I want to help you too.”
In her memory, his eyes flashed. She groaned and opened her eyes wide, her pulse awakened. “And I want to fight with you too.”

My website is www.judithkammeraad.com  
People can get to know me on my two Facebook pages:  judith kammeraad or author judith kammeraad.



Bio:
Judith Kammeraad grew up a good girl under the triple onus of preacher-teacher-author’s kid with a fecund imagination as a survival tool. Making up stories proved almost involuntary, and books were her best friends. Dad reinforced words as the best fun ever.
She married her high school sweetheart, who brought out her naughty side at last. The Kammeraads settled down in Michigan and raised two daughters as creative as their mom, encouraging them to embrace their inner quirkiness. Judith devoted herself to a teaching career and created her stories and poems on the side.
These days the Kammeraads and their talented sheltie live in Florida near their six grandchildren, who inspire stories about the mental workings of children. In a secret life she writes sweaty novels that break hearts and warm the spirit. And keep her laughing and crying all day.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tasty Tuesday: zucchini chips

Hello everyone!
Welcome to another Tasty Tuesday! Today we have an appetizer that is good for you and delicious: zucchini chips 
Super easy, super good and good for you!

Easy Baked Zucchini Chips


Prep: 10 minutes                               Cook: 20 minutes                        Ready in: 30 minutes

2 zucchini- thin sliced

2 TBSP olive oil

salt to taste

shredded cheddar cheese


Instructions:
Preheat over to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) Drizzle olive oil of cookie sheet. Place zucchini on pan, salt to taste and sprinkle cheese over the slices. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thursday Tips: Writers block!

Hello everyone!
Welcome back to Tip Thursday! Today we talk about getting pass writers block. Every author suffers from it so here are a few tips on how to get pass it and get your story completed.

1) Purposely ignore the block
Make the time to write, add it to your schedule and show up to write, even if nothing comes right away. When your body shows up to the page at the same time and place every day, eventually your mind — and your muse — will do the same. 

2) Don't Be Too Hard on Yourself.

Don’t be hard on yourself at all while writing. Turn the critical brain off. There is a time and place for criticism: it’s called editing.

3) Think of Writing as your regular Job.

If we think of ourselves as laborers, as craftsmen, it’s easier to sit down and write. You're an artist, you create worlds for others to read. We’re not just putting words on the page. At the end of the day, we’re creating things — stories, poems, plays — just as bricklayers do accept we use vocabulary and grammar instead of bricks and mortar.

4) Work on More Than One Project at a Time.

Some writers find it helpful to switch back and forth from one project to another. Whether this minimizes fear or boredom, or both, it seems to prevent writer's block for many people.

5) Take Time Off If You've Just Finished a Project.

Writer's block could be a sign that your ideas need time to gestate. Idleness can be a key part of the creative process. Give yourself time to gather new experiences and new ideas, from life, reading, or other forms of art, before you start again.

Try these out and let us know if they work! See ya next week with more tips to help make you a better writer.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wicked Wednesday: Motor City Book Experience author, Terrie Branch

My name/ pen name is Terrie L Branch.
I'm a  participant in the Motor City Book Experience August 20th in Detroit Michigan.  Im  a Shaunta Kenerly Presents Publications Author.  

******************************************
Excerpt:
Choose Your Poison  ( Confessions of a Stripper)
KRYSTLE─── Yeah, that’s me. Hmmph … They wonder where I got that name… Shit, I just simply like the damn name. So I rolled with it. My government name is Chrissy Burton. I couldn’t do this shit with my real name.   A broke college student that needed money to get through. So I did what I had to do. See, all the guys in school used to ask me was I a stripper before I was technically one. That was because I possessed this sexy ass body that you could see even if I had on a MUMU. I could honestly say I got it from my mama. This lady still had a nice shape as an older lady. I guess it was in our genes! My eyes were a hazel brown. That's another thing that I had inherited from my mom. The shape of my eyes was strictly from my dad's side of the family. Everyone on his side of the family had slanted eyes.  My hair hung below my shoulders, even though I still rocked a few pieces of Malaysian extensions in it for added volume from time to time. When bitches met me for the first time they would always ask if it was all mine. ─Technically the shit was all mine. I paid for it! So when I did take the weave out muthafuckas were usually shocked to see how much hair I had. I guess for an African American girl I was supposed to have short hair. You know the stereotype that if you weren’t Caucasian or Hispanic you couldn’t have hair. I don’t know who the fuck thought of that dumb shit! But any who! Soon after meeting my best friend Shanna Howard, a stripper name Xtreme, she introduced me to this world. Now she was a bad bitch. She was beautiful with a slamming ass body. This bitch seemed to have her shit on lock; She knew how to get her money up ─ for sure! Having strict parents was one of the hardest things I could ever have to deal with. When it came to being a college student. No matter how much I begged, my dad’s answer would always be no when it came to money for leisure things. I remember calling and asking him for money so I could get a Coach bag that all the girls were rocking at the time and his answer was no. I even asked him for money for a new laptop and his answer was, “Is the refurbished one that your mom and I bought you working? Because if it is, I’m not spending money on another just so you can show off to your little friends. That’s wasting money girl! Do you realize that money don’t grow on trees and there is so much more we can do with the money you want to waste to keep up with the Joneses?” He was stingy as hell and I hated it! He was so damn thrifty and the thought of it ticked me off! Shanna on the other hand, had the best of everything. Now I wasn’t at all jealous, but the shit was annoying. I loved my dad but I hated his ways sometimes! Shanna and a couple other friends of mine, would go to the malls and come back with all kinds of shoes and clothes. These bitches were fly as hell.  Me, I had to recycle what I had from the year prior and that shit wasn’t cool. I had bare minimum when it came to extra cash, clothes and anything else. I would usually lie when it came to going out with my friends, telling them I had to study for exams or that I had homework to complete. I knew that it was a white lie, but it was hella embarrassing to say that I didn’t have any money. Even though some of my friends had jobs, there were some of us that were funded by our parents. Although mine wasn’t giving me shit, but the necessities. Later, I learned that everything that looked innocent wasn’t. My point… a lot of those bitches weren’t as innocent as they looked. Most of them had sugar daddies and the so called jobs that they were working was in the same damn field that my ass is in right now, SHAKING THEIR ASSES for this quick cash. And me, I had no clue at the time. I was “Miss Follow All The Rules and Be A Good Girl!” I was so na├»ve that I really thought that they had legit jobs and shit! Little did I know! Hmph!!! Now years later, here I was… a college dropout shaking my ass for some grimy ass niggas for money. The same kind of money these bitches were getting back then. I started thinking, why the hell should I go to school for years only to get out of school and sit around for another few years searching for a damn job. I had friends that had graduated with a master’s degree and applied for jobs that they were turned down for. The reason usually was that they were too qualified. These damn places were smart. They knew if they hired someone with little or no education in the field, that they could train them, pay them less and they would be good with it. They also knew if they hired someone who held a degree that they would have to pay them their worth. So you would be doomed if you did and doomed if you didn’t. So I began to not really give a fuck about school. Why go? For what? When it was easy to get my money now. See- I let all the damn money go to my head after receiving large sums of cash. I forgot all about my real goals. All that shit went downhill once this money started to hit my hands. Fast money… So here I was… Standing behind these streamers waiting for the DJ to play my intro song. I was watching Xtreme swing her hair as she slid down the pole. That girl knew how to work that pole. Rubbing the pole in between her breast while the ballers sat at the far end of the stage with fists full of cash. It wasn’t strange for them to be here on what used to be a slow night. The club owner Rick arranged this night to get the club packed on these kind of days.  The crowd usually came in on ‘Turn Up Tuesdays,’ because they got shots for a dollar and for that they stuck around. Tuesdays had been pretty slow in the past, but it was turning around for the club and we weren’t complaining. Shit, we had to still make that money. Now Extreme knew she was pretty so she used it to the extreme… Just like her damn name. Hell, I hated waiting for someone to finish. Hell… I hated being here period, dancing for these old dirty and sweaty men. Only- here I stood anyway. A girl had to get her money up some kind of way.



INSTAGRAM:  AUTHOR_TERRIE_L_BRANCH

TWITTER:
  BOSSLADYTERRI

FACEBOOK:
TERRIE BOSSLADY BRANCH 


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Motor City Book Experience take over with Dana Littlejohn

Hello everyone!
Welcome to day 3 of the Motor City Book Experience Take over! 
Today I will show you a look into my, Dana Littlejohn's, 3 book married couple series, Happily Ever After… By Any Means Necessary. The married couples in this series deal with and push pass the worse case scenarios in their married lives.



Seven Year Switch
Sonja Winters enjoyed the good life with a great job and being married to Kyle, the man of her dreams. As she prepared to celebrate their seven year anniversary she came across a secret her husband had kept from her. Would it alter the course of their marriage forever? Yes! Would it end their marriage? Or open a brand new chapter?

Excerpt:
“Oh my God, girl. You look like hell,” Charlene said when Sonja opened the door.
Sonja rolled her eyes and walked to the living room, leaving the door open. She plopped down on the couch, sniffed loudly and heaved a big sigh. Charlene followed and sat in the chair opposite the sofa, crossing her legs.
“Tell me what happened, Sonja. When I spoke to you yesterday, you were all geeked up about your weekend. You were going to stop and get some food to make his special dinner and everything.”
Sonja dropped her head back and stared at the ceiling. “I don’t even know where to start. It’s all so unreal.”
“What could have happened in that short amount of time that’s so bad?”
Sonja shifted into the corner. “Kyle is having an affair,” she said pushing the disheveled hair from her face.
Charlene’s crossed leg dropped to the floor. Her shoe made a dull thud against the waxed wood. She leaned forward waving her arms back and forth.
“No! No way! I refuse to believe that.” She pointed an accusing finger at her friend. “That man loves you like no man I have ever seen. He would only see you in a room full of Janet Jacksons, Marylyn Monroes and Beyonces. Uh-uh, somebody lied to you.”
Sonja’s eyes filled again as she nodded. “I know, I thought so, too,” she sniffed. “But he said so. He told me himself that he was seeing another woman.”
Charlene sat back and shook her head stubbornly. “Uh-uh, you must have misunderstood him.”
“No, Charlene, I didn’t. I found a collar in his gym bag and confronted him with it.”
Her friend’s brows furrowed. “A collar? What does a collar—”
“He says he wears it when he’s with her. She teaches him how to be a good husband,” she explained doing quotation marks in the air.
Charlene’s bewilderment continued. She leaned forward over her knees. “Huh?”
Sonja shrugged. “I don’t know, but that’s what he said.”
Charlene rubbed her temple and stood. “Okay, now I’m really confused. I’m going to make some coffee to clear my head and you look like you need some.”
The heaviness in Sonja’s chest compressed even more, creating a knot at the base of her throat as she watched her friend walk into the kitchen.
“Sonja, have you been in here today?” Charlene called out.
“No.”
“Who made the coffee?”
“Kyle usually sets the machine on automatic so I have coffee before I leave for work in the morning.”
“You put him out and he makes sure to start the coffee maker before he leaves?” her friend called out to her.
Sonja shrugged at the surprised tone in her friend’s question.
“That doesn’t sound like a man caught cheating to me,” Charlene added.
Sonja twisted her lips as she looked up and accepted the cup from her friend. Charlene returned to her seat and held up an envelope.
“This was on the counter for you.”
Sonja saw her name the envelope she held out and sputtered. “So.”
Charlene didn’t bother to mask her annoyed grunt. “Don’t you think you should read this to see what the man has to say?” Charlene asked, brandishing the letter. “This could all be some kind of crazy misunderstanding, like I said.”
Sonja sipped loudly. “You read it. I don’t care what he has to say.”
Charlene rolled her eyes. “Now you’re just being stubborn.” She tore open the envelope and glanced over it. “Umm, I think you should read this,” she said after a short while and offered her the letter again.
Charlene’s tone changed from concerned and chastising to extremely serious. Though reluctance riddled through her, now Sonja almost feared not taking the pages. She put her cup on the coffee table and cautiously extended her hand as if the papers would burn her. She lowered her eyes to read the words and her breath caught half way down the page. As she read on, her heart raced. She gnawed on her bottom lip, eyes widening and jaw dropping as she shuffled to the next page. Suddenly her hands clenched, crumpling the edge of the letter.
Sonja pressed her lips together into a thin line. Every so often she tore her attention away to see if Charlene was watching her. Respectfully, her friend sat quietly staring into space drinking her coffee, seemingly oblivious to Sonja’s changing state of mind. Sonja took a deep breath and turned her attention back to the letter. It was informative and answered many of the questions that plagued her through the night as she cried herself to sleep. Kyle ended it with “I love you” and a phone number that wasn’t his. Silently she let the pages sail to the table before her and raised her cup to her mouth again.
“Well?” Charlene asked.
“Well what?” she answered her voice echoing inside the cup.
Charlene scoffed. “Don’t ‘well what’ me, Sonja. What are you going to do?”
“About what?”
Charlene groaned and threw her hands up in frustration. “Oh my God. You can be so stubborn. Talking to you is like pulling teeth sometimes. I swear!”
“Don’t be mad at me, Charlene. I need you right now,” she said sadly, returning the mug to the table.
“Look, I didn’t read the whole thing, okay? I stopped when he started going into how he wants to serve you, but didn’t think you would let him so he went to her to feed his need, or something like that.” She held her hand up. “When I got there, I thought it was getting a little too deep for someone other than his wife to be reading. I saw the collar. It’s still in the kitchen. I really don’t know what to say about that thing.” She shook her head before taking a sip of her drink. “Whatever works for you and all that, but now that you have read how he feels what are you going to do about it?”
Sonja crossed her arms around her chest. “Nothing.”
Charlene leaned forward staring at her. “Nothing?”
Sonja nodded to confirm.
Her friend fell back against the sofa cushion. “So that’s it? It’s over between you and Kyle?”
Charlene’s words hit her like a slap in the face. Sonja blinked away the instant tears and averted her eyes. Charlene pressed on.
“You’re just going to let some other woman feed your man’s needs when clearly it should be you since you’re his wife?”
Sonja’s pulse raced and her breathing sped up.
Charlene scooted to the edge of the couch and pointed at her. “You’re an intelligent, educated and sexy black woman capable of doing whatever it takes to make her man happy, mentally and physically. Are you seriously going to let another female come along and take your man from you?”
Sonja pressed her lips together in defiance and turned away. Charlene leaned to the right, almost falling over to catch her eye.
“So you’re saying you’re okay with that?”
*********
Follow Dana on this blog and elsewhere too:      Twitter        Facebook