Merry X-mas!

I’ve always loved this video and find it a bit of a tribute to men and women serving over the Holidays.

Happy Holiday’s to all of you!

~Tina

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Saturday Excerpt – Bast’s Warrior by Janet Walters

basts-warriorChapter 1

Tira wanted three things in life and she had little chance of gaining any of them. She wanted to be financially independent. She wanted to go to Egypt and study the ancient ruins. And she wanted her sister to stop using drugs.

The last desire brought memories of this morning’s quarrel.  The money squirreled away to see them through the rest of the month was gone. “Luci, why?”

“You don’t understand,” Luci screamed.

True. She didn’t understand why her sister needed to escape into a drugged stupor instead of studying and working to step onto the road leading from the slums. Tira’s hands stung with the memory of slapping her sister. And the words she’d shouted as she slammed out of the apartment echoed in her thoughts. “I hate you. I wish you were dead.” A shudder rumbled through her body. She hadn’t meant those words. As soon as she reached the apartment she would tell Luci.

With a sigh she turned back to the museum display. The Egyptian artifacts awed her. For a short time she allowed the beauty of the objects to carry her into dreams of pyramids and temples, of gods and pharaohs and of digging in the earth to uncover treasures of the past.

The dream hovered beyond her grasp. Her chances of gaining a position on a dig in Egypt were slim. Positions were avidly sought by students who had chosen the right colleges and the right professors. Those choices had been beyond her financially. She sucked in a breath. Instead of adventure, when the summer ended, she would take her place in front of a classroom teaching history at an inner city high school.

A glance at her watch said dreamtime was over. She had to reach the apartment in time to change for her evening shift at a restaurant several blocks from the cramped fifth floor efficiency she shared with her older sister. Once again, flash moments from the morning’s quarrel exploded in Tira’s thoughts. She’d been so upset she’d missed her morning martial arts session at the local center.

Tira cast her dreaming self aside and donned the role of practical sister. She hurried to the exit and stepped from the past into a steamy August day. Heat shimmered from the sidewalk. The air hung heavy and filled with the odors of the city and the noises of traffic. She strode along the crowded area taking advantage of every opening.

Ten days to dream. Ten days to walk the halls of the museum. Ten days to study the artifacts that had become her lodestones.She breathed the aromas of real time, spices of cooking foods, metallic scents of passing traffic and the odors of people, some pleasant and some not.

Several blocks from the apartment building the crowds thinned. In an alley she glimpsed furtive movements in the dark shadows. She hurried past. On the corner across the street a group of gang members gathered. She sucked in a breath and held her head high. For all her twenty three years she’d avoided the gangs. As she strode past she heard the usual crude remarks about her body and her attitude.

Get a life, she wanted to scream.

When she saw the ambulance and two cop cars in front of the building where she lived she halted so abruptly she stumbled. A hand caught her arm. Tira saw the gray-streaked beard of one of the winos who slept in the doorways or the alley. “Get your hands off me.”

“Don’t go home,” he whispered. “Lose yourself in the crowd and keep your head down.”

She saw a keen intelligence in the man’s dark eyes. Who was he? He wasn’t as old as she had imagined either. “Why?”

“Your sister’s dead. Cops’ll be looking for you. They heard about the fight.”

Tira’s stomach clenched. She blinked away a rush of tears. Though hearing about her sister’s death wasn’t unexpected another dream shattered. There would be no rehab for Luci. “Junkies O.D. every day,” she said.

“She was murdered.”

A chill slithered down Tira’s spine. A rush of acid burned her throat. What? Why? Who? Keeping her eyes on the ground she inched away from him.

“Murder. Murder.” The murmured word spread through the crowd gathered on the sidewalk and stung like attacking wasps.

The EMTs wheeled a gurney from the building. When Tira saw the body bag strapped to the frame her nails bit into her palms. Despite the heat of the day she felt chilled. A wave of guilt made her knees buckle. She stuffed her fist against her mouth to keep from crying aloud.

What now, she wondered. The apartment was a crime scene. Until the cops finished their investigation she wouldn’t be allowed inside. An officer stepped from the building. “More along, folks. There’s nothing to see here.” He stepped from the stoop. “Anyone seen her sister? We have some questions for her.”

Join me next week when we meet another author. ~Tina

AuThursday – Janet Walters

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Janet Lane Walters here. I’ve been a published author since 1968 though there were a few years taken off to return to work as a nurse to help children through college. I’ve been married to the same man for 55 years and there are four children. The youngest is an adopted biracial daughter. There are seven grandchildren, four biracial and three adopted Chinese children. I live in the scenic Hudson River valley. Billed as an eclectic writer besides short stories, poetry, and 3 non-fiction books, I write in a number of genres.

What genre are your books?

Genres – There are romances, paranormal, fantasy, mystery, historicals. I also have a YA fantasy series published under J. L. Walters.

What draws you to this genre?

Since I write in a number of genres I’ve chosen the ones I really enjoy writing and reading. Often there is some kind of medicine in many of my books. This goes back to being a nurse and my fascinating with alternate methods of healing.

Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?

I write seven days a week and being retired I can write where I want and when I want.

I see you write a few series including MOONCHILD, AT FIRST SIGHT, and OPPOSITES IN LOVE.  What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I enjoy reading series and also trilogies. Sometimes there need to be more stories to finish the story. My YA Affinities series is one of those. Readers like series. Sometimes a character in one of the books asks for their own story.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? 

I have not dipped into self-publishing. I am mainly with two small publishers. One US and one Canadian. For me self-publishing would present problems since I really like to do everything myself and having to hire people to format, edit, covers and etc. wouldn’t suit me at all. I do admire those who have taken this route but it’s not for this 80-year-old writer.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

I do proof my own books but then they go off to my current publisher Books We Love and they are also proofed by an editor there. I belong to a critique group and thus for content I have ten other voices to keep me on track.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Finish the book before tinkering with it. Trying to make each page perfect before reaching the end and you won’t ever finish the book.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

https://twitter.com/JanetL717

http://janetlanewalters.com/home

https://www.facebook.com/janet.l.walters.3?v=wall&story_fbid=113639528680724

http://bookswelove.net/

AuThursday – Your name here

img_0982We are getting to the end of the year and I’ll be looking for Interview Candidates for 2017.  

If you think this is something you might be interested let me know. 

I post Interviews every Thursday and Excerpts on Saturday.  I’m thinking of adding some new items like Wednesday Writer Space – More on that to come. 

I don’t do reviews or blitzes, as I want the readers to get to know the writer and what makes them tick.   

Reader make-up seems to be a mix  of Fans, Aspiring Writers, Actors and Veteran Writers.  This page if  viewed more as informative and educational rather than promotional. 

I’ll post the Clog Blog Results at the end of the year as I have in the past.   

Stay tuned next week for more writers. ~Tina

 

 

Saturday Excerpt – Ripcord: The Ever After by Jeanne St. James

ripcord_theeverafter_coverlg“This is an excerpt from Rip Cord: The Ever After (the 3rd and final novella in the Rip Cord trilogy)” ~Jeanne St. James

“Is the coffee helping?”
On the surface her question sounded caring, but the pointed gaze and the tightly crossed arms told him otherwise.
“Yeah. I’m drunk and awake now.”
“Good. So…why are you here?” She pursed her lips stubbornly. She wasn’t leaving without some answers. The sooner he answered, the sooner she would skedaddle.
He blew across the hot liquid before taking another sip. “For Gil.”
“For Gil, or for you?” Her gaze was unwavering as she waited for his answer. Her left index finger was beating a pattern into her right bicep. Tap, tap, tap. Tick tock. Tick tock. Ding. Time’s up.
“I just told you.”
“Well, I think you’re here for yourself because you’re a selfish shit. You need to stop playing with his emotions. You hear me?”
Rip winced. Holy hell. “I’m not.”
“Oh, you are. You need to man up and either be with Gil or leave him the hell alone. He’s not your boy toy. You can’t just take him out to play when you want to.”
Is that what she thought he was doing? Shit. Did Gil see it like that? “I don’t mean to—”
“Bullshit. I wish I’d never talked him into going to his class reunion. He didn’t want to go, you know. I made him.”
Rip grimaced. “I know.”
“He had a crush on you, and you opened the door to more. Between that night and the weekend at the cabin—”
“I never meant—”
“Listen Mister I’m-a-famous-wide-receiver-for-the-NFL, you knew exactly what you were doing.”
“For your information, I feel the same way about him as he does me.”
“Right.” Katie laughed bitterly. “You do know Gil loves you, right?”
Rip glanced at her, eyes wide. “He… does?”
Sure. Gil has feelings for him. Hell, he has feelings for Gil. But love?
“Of course he does, you shit. How could you not notice? Oh, that’s right, you’re a thick-headed football player that only cares about himself.”
“I care about Gil.”
“Then why don’t you act like it?”
Rip turned away from her and put an arm over his face. “I don’t know,” he muttered.
He was sick to his stomach. Not only from the over indulging but from what Katie said.
He’d never cared for anyone before. Never. His mom had died when he was young, and his pop had been a complete asshole. And, fuck, he did not want to end up like him. Unfortunately, he seemed to be headed down that same path.
First as being deemed The Bad Boy of the NFL—not without good reason—and now with Gil. He never meant to hurt Gil. He liked Gil. He always had. Even in high school. Yeah, so they hadn’t been actual “friends” because they ran in different circles. Gil with the geek squad and Rip with the jocks. But that was normal high school shit. Right?
He had never picked on Gil in high school like the other students had. No, it wasn’t just being picked on. It was downright bullying. The night of their tenth-year class reunion, Gil had asked Rip why he hadn’t ever come to his rescue. Rip’s lame answer was that he’d had a reputation to uphold. He was the captain of the varsity team. He was a jock. It was a bullshit excuse and he had apologized, of course. But it came too late for high school. However, here he was again…trying to live up to his reputation of being a badass pro football player.
And look where that got him…
Sobering up in his gay lover’s house. The lover whom he’d been ignoring because Rip was too much of a damn coward to come out of the closet and be his true self.
That’s because he always had to hide who he really was. Always.
All he’d known most of his life was how to be a good football player.
And now he didn’t even have that.
He emptied the mug and handed it back to Katie. “Thanks…and sorry.”
Katie pushed to her feet. “You’re apologizing to the wrong person.”
She beat feet out of the bedroom and slammed the door shut behind her.
            Fuck.
            The Bad Boy of NFL was no longer.
Now he was just a fuck up.

AuThursday – Jeanne St. James

What genre are your books?bangedup1-200x300

Contemporary erotic romance, I write m/f, m/m, and m/m/f (ménage).

What book(s) are you working on presently?jsj_doubledare_coverlg

I am currently working on two books right now. The first one is Made Maleen (a modern twist on a fairy tale). This novel will be in a multi-author anthology that is expected to release on 4/15/17. The other one is a m/m/f interracial ménage for The Dare Ménage Series. It’ll be the third book, though they are all stand-alones.

thumb_jstj_brothersinbluemax_coverlg_1024I see you’ve written a number of series including; BROTHERS IN BLUE, DARE MENAGE and RIP CORD.  Can you tell us your thoughts on writing a book series?

I only started writing series this year and I’m enjoying it. The Brothers in Blue trilogy books can all be read as stand-alones, but since it’s about three brothers who are cops, there are recurring characters. My Rip Cord trilogy consists of three novellas following a geek, Gil, and the Bad Boy of the NFL, Rip, who were high school crushes and as an adult found each other again at a class reunion. The Dare Ménage Series will be a continuing series which are all interracial ménages. The characters from previous books will have cameos throughout the series, but, as I stated above, they can all be read as stand-alones.jsj_ripcord_coverlg

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

My goal per day is 1000 words. Somedays I do a lot more, some less.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I’m a pantser (which means I write by the seat of my pants). I write organically, so I let my characters tell what I need to know about them and they decide the direction they want to go as I write. I usually start with an opening scene that pops into my head and I figure out everything as I write.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Putting yourself out there. When you publish a book—which you consider a labor of love (your baby),—you have to expect some bad reviews (and a whole lot of good ones—which makes up for the bad ones). However, this business is cutthroat and some people write some cruel reviews (for all authors, not just me) and they forget that there’s a human behind the book. Constructive criticism is great, being petty is not.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

For the most part, no. Sometimes I’m waiting for my characters to tell me where they want to go next, so I mull over it a little, or go back and read the few paragraphs I wrote previously just to get my creativity flowing.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Keep writing. You learn from writing. Don’t be afraid to ask other authors questions. Many are willing to help or point you in the right direction. Join writer’s forums and groups and absorb everything you can. Learn to love grammar. (I started with a love of grammar in high school so that’s helped me.) Don’t give up!

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Website: http://www.jeannestjames.com

Blog: http://jeannestjames.blogspot.com

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jeannestjames/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeanneStJames

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/jeannestjames

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JeanneStJames

Newsletter: http://www.jeannestjames.com/newslettersignup

Review & Book Crew: https://www.facebook.com/groups/JeannesReviewCrew/

 Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Jeanne’s book RIPCORD EVER AFTER. ~Tina