Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Promise is Made

Hi! Welcome to another Weekend Writing Warrior round. Every week writers post 8 sentences on their blogs from a published or unpublished book. Then we "hop" around and leave comments on each other's snippets. Whether our work is already published or in progress, the helpful comments help us become stronger writers on our next WIP. We welcome EVERYONE's comments.

See more at the
WeWriWa blog

& check out the
Facebook Snippet Sunday group


My entry this week is from Common Bond, Tangled Hearts. Layne Gillette’s world is turned upside down when a man she has never met shows up to lay claim as the father of her 6-year old son. 

Justin tells Layne that he's developed feelings for her and assures her that he will do whatever he can to protect her and Dennis. He reminds her that he has money and power to stand up against Charlie; this worries Layne because those are the very things Charlie held over her. Justin promises to take care of them both.

  (the following has been edited to fit)  ...and now the eight nine:

"Justin, I care for you, I really do, and what you're saying to me sounds really wonderful, but I don't want you making promises."

"I won't let you down, Layne, and I won't let Dennis down, I do promise, trust me."

He kissed her again, he gave her a gentle push until she was lying down, his weight partly covering her, his tongue exploring her mouth.

"Justin... what are you doing to my mommy?"

Dennis was kneeling on all fours watching them.

"Uh, I was giving your mom a kiss."

Dennis looked at his mother and then at Justin, "Are you my mommy's boyfriend?"

Layne looked surprised at his question.

Justin merely smiled, "I hope so."




For more WeWriWa Snippets, go to: 


About Common Bond, Tangled Hearts

Layne Gillette’s world is turned upside down when a man she has never met shows up to lay claim as the father of her 6-year old son.
Justin, the victim of a fraternity prank, and Layne, the subject of a forced insemination, have produced a beautiful child that they are both willing to protect… at all costs.
The two parents realize they can love each other, but when Layne’s abusive “ex-husband” shows up, they are torn apart by danger, kidnapping and lies. Justin won’t give up until Layne is returned to him. Layne uses her newfound strength, courage and knowledge to defy Charlie’s ugliest demands.




    ~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A chance to win a FREE copy of Hostage Heart

Every week I participate in a blog hop hosted by the Weekend Writing Warriors (also shared by the Snippet Sunday Facebook group) - Writers post 8-10 sentences from one of their stories (poems or blog posts as well) and readers hop around reading tantalizing snippets and are welcomed to comment - we encourage comments from all!
Anyway, since this week is the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall in New Orleans and my book Hostage Heart was inspired by stories of rescue and aid, I am posting the links to snippets I posted from the book. Please enjoy:

And if you like what you read, please enter my Rafflecopter contest and maybe you'll win a FREE Audio Book or one of two E-books of Hostage Heart!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Jimmy Carter, Our 39th President ~ #MondayBlogs

President Jimmy Carter showed a great kindness to my family in 1978 and I will forever remember how he helped us during a very difficult time. Let me explain...

Jimmy Carter
by Department of Defense
Department of the Navy
Licensed under Public Domain



My dad passed away in 1977 and following his wishes he was buried in one of the region's Veteran's cemeteries (He was very proud of his service in WW2). When a U.S. Veteran is buried in a national cemetery the VA National Cemetery Administration supplies the headstone as a way of honoring the service to our country.

For some reason though there was confusion about my dad's proper name and faith — multiple headstones were delivered to the cemetery, each time the combination was incorrect, either the name was misspelled or wrong or when the name was correct they displayed a marker from a different faith. (My dad always joked that he would take blessings from any religion, I guess the government was proving that?)

It is tradition in our religion, Judaism, to hold an unveiling several months after burial; in Judaism the unveiling (literally uncovering the stone) is a time to forever remember the love and life of the deceased as we view his/her name on the stone and a time when we are reminded that life continues. It is a very significant ritual.

With so many erroneous headstones showing up, it isn't an exaggeration to say how upsetting this was for my mom. Frustrated by her dismay and nearing the date of the anticipated unveiling and not knowing if we would indeed have the correct stone in time I decided to send a telegram to the White House and ask for help.

Almost immediately we received a response from the White House signed by President Carter (most probably mechanically) promising us that he would personally assign someone from his administration to ensure that we would have the correct headstone in time for the unveiling. He also expressed gratitude for my father's service, offered condolences for our loss and apologized for the headstone errors. (My mom kept the letter but unfortunately I don't know what happened to it after she passed away)

Even with President Carter's assurance we were filled with trepidation the day of the unveiling when we would once again make the journey to this particular National Cemetery - my husband had even fashioned a wooden headstone-shaped plaque with the correct information if necessary! We didn't need the wooden headstone. My dad's correct name along with the Star of David graced the brand new marble headstone.

We were told by the Cemetery Office that the headstone was delivered and installed just days before and that they had to submit a photo of it in place to send to the President's appointed representative. My mom sent a letter to President Carter thanking him for his assistance and expressed how wonderful it was to see my dad properly honored. I am eternally grateful to him for helping to remove a bit of stress from the shoulders of a grieving widow.

As I am writing this blog President Carter has just announced that he will be starting radiation treatments for an advanced case of cancer. I am praying for the President's well being and wish him an easy time. He has a positive attitude and has even suggested that if the treatments go well he may travel to Nepal in November to work with Habitat for Humanity; the Carters lead the Jimmy & Rosalynn Work Project for Habitat for Humanity for a week every year. Jimmy Carter, our 39th President, was awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development".

This is a man who has done so much for those in need
and for my own family specifically.
I wish him well.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A picnic lunch - Weekend Writing Warriors / #8sunday / 08/23/15

Hi! Welcome to another Weekend Writing Warrior round. Every week writers post 8 sentences on their blogs from a published or unpublished book. Then we "hop" around and leave comments on each other's snippets. Whether our work is already published or in progress, the helpful comments help us become stronger writers on our next WIP. We welcome EVERYONE's comments.

See more at the
WeWriWa blog

& check out the
Facebook Snippet Sunday group


My entry this week is from Common Bond, Tangled Hearts. Layne Gillette’s world is turned upside down when a man she has never met shows up to lay claim as the father of her 6-year old son. 

Later that day, after the mall incident, Justin brings Layne and Dennis to the park for a picnic lunch. Dennis is playing at the pond's edge, Justin is keeping a watchful eye on him. Layne is still embarrassed about the mall incident.

  (the following has been edited to fit)  ...and now the eight nine:

"I am so very sorry for the way I acted in the mall."

"Don't worry, being a parent is still new to me, I guess it's spooky when you hear about all the things that can happen to a kid." Justin made sure to keep an eye on Dennis while he spoke.

"It's not just that, I've worried that Charlie was going to try to snatch him ever since he was born."

"But Layne," Justin turned to her, "he hasn't found you in six years; maybe he's not even looking. You left before he even knew if you were pregnant, he probably figures that you would have had an abortion."

"I thought about it, but I kept denying that I was pregnant; by the time I admitted it, I felt pregnant, I couldn't do it anymore." She tossed a glance at her son, "I'm glad I didn't."


"So am I," Justin whispered as he watched her face.


For more WeWriWa Snippets, go to: 


About Common Bond, Tangled Hearts

Layne Gillette’s world is turned upside down when a man she has never met shows up to lay claim as the father of her 6-year old son.
Justin, the victim of a fraternity prank, and Layne, the subject of a forced insemination, have produced a beautiful child that they are both willing to protect… at all costs.
The two parents realize they can love each other, but when Layne’s abusive “ex-husband” shows up, they are torn apart by danger, kidnapping and lies. Justin won’t give up until Layne is returned to him. Layne uses her newfound strength, courage and knowledge to defy Charlie’s ugliest demands.




    ~~~~~~~~

It's been ten years since Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita ravaged the coastal communities off of the Gulf of Mexico. The devastation in Louisiana and especially New Orleans was heartbreaking and frightening. More than 1500 people died in Louisiana as a result of the storms and flooding.

My husband spent six weeks as a first responder down there giving medical aid and other assistance. When he came home he was filled with stories about the resiliency of the people who lived down there, about their remarkable spirit and their determination.

His stories inspired me to write Hostage Heart - to commemorate this event I am giving away a free audiobook download of Hostage Heart to one person who comments on my Author Facebook Page post about Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Just follow this LINK to be entered in the drawing
Win a FREE Audio Book or one of two E-books

a Rafflecopter giveaway
My Rafflecopter giveaway is LIVE -  There are THREE prizes: An audio-book of Hostage Heart and TWO (1 each) e-books of Hostage Heart. Earn points (entries) by following the simple instructions

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Please review me...

At a recent party a friend was praising a couple of books that I wrote - I stepped to the side and asked her if she would be kind enough to post a review. She looked genuinely concerned and said "I wouldn't know what to write". 
It's easy, if you can tell me one (or more) things you liked (or even disliked) about the book, you can write a great review. You don't have to be a professional book reviewer and you can post the review simultaneously on multiple sites.
You would be doing this author and all authors an incredible favor. Potential readers look for books that people want to read and seeing lots of reviews says to them that the book is worthy of their time.
So please, I know several of you out there have read at least one of my books - please help me by posting a review on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Goodreads, YOUR Facebook page, Smashwords, KOBO, iTunes or send it to me for the Potpourri Parlor.
Thank you!
all march 2015
"a good quality book review is NOT the school-age book report. Your review should be a minimum of five or six sentences up to two or three (small) paragraphs. Don’t prove you read the book by including spoilers (that totally unexpected twist that really made the story). Write what YOU liked (or disliked) about the book; a book should be a personal experience for every reader so keep it personal. Be honest but never brutal; if the book was filled with typos for instance but was still a great story say something like “a few distracting typos took away from an otherwise terrific story”. (Always try to find something positive to say). If you didn’t like the book because it was not your favorite genre then own up to it; despite mostly four and five star reviews, my favorite review I received on one of my books was only two stars — the writer stated she didn’t care for it because my style was too much like Danielle Steel and she doesn’t care for Steel (who happens to be one of my faves). Again, review the book from YOUR perspective, YOUR likes and dislikes, and the impact the book had on YOU. Remember to be gentle but always honest."

Monday, August 17, 2015

Hell Hath No Fury like Mother Nature ~ #MondayBlogs


Mother Nature spawned two daughters in the late summer of 2005, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. The devastation to the coastal communities off of the Gulf of Mexico was substantial thanks to storm surge and high winds. In the City of New Orleans, which was buffeted by Category-3 hurricane force winds (125 mph) and rain; aging levees designed to protect from rising storm waters broke and an estimated 80% of the city was flooded. Homes and lives washed away. 

All in all more than 1500 people died in Louisiana (more than 120 people are still listed as missing) and a total death count from the storm amounted to over 1800 (including Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi). The loss of beloved family pets, some dead and others forever lost in the chaos, weren’t even counted and families still mourn. The death toll rose with “indirect” fatalities which included a heartbreaking high percentage of stillbirths from the flooded parishes of Louisiana. Katrina made landfall in Florida on August 25, traversed the warm Gulf of Mexico and made landfall in Louisiana on August 29.

“Hurricane Katrina (2005). A Day That Shook The World . With the power of a nuclear explosion, Hurricane Katrina
made landfall in Louisiana on the 29th August 2005. 125mph winds caused widespread devastation.” (uploaded by 
British Pathé Aug. 1, 2011) 

The massive loss of life, immense property damage, the failure of the levee infrastructure, and the lack of adequate evacuations pointed to dismal shortcomings in disaster planning. The dedication of public servants was questioned, communication between agencies responding to the emergency was confused, people who needed food and basic supplies were mixed with looters, charitable donations and rescuers were originally denied access to the areas of need by the National Guard for safety concerns, and heads of state were accused of delayed response. 

Assistance and donations came from around the world to a country known so often for aid to others. Hurricane Katrina (followed quickly by Hurricane Rita) monopolized headlines and forced major overhauls in disaster planning and response. But even now, ten years later, destroyed homes still sit abandoned and thousands of people displaced during the storms never returned. There has been some re-building and the spirit of those remaining still shines strong, even so the scars will always be there.

People came from all over the country as part of organized Federal teams to render aid – rescue, medical, mortuary… My husband spent about six weeks in New Orleans helping to administer health services in tents set up in hospital parking lots; most hospitals were totally destroyed, others had minimal facilities available, and the patients overwhelmed those limits. During his tenure there he slept in tents, in a mobile van converted for administrative work, and in a firehouse on a barrier island (the firehouse had flooded and equipment destroyed); the teams he worked with shared supplies and sent messages home via satellite phones. 

Spouses of the team members sat at home listening to every news report and waiting for those short 45-second calls from our loved ones. When he returned home he was filled with remarkable stories of strength and determination. People who had been through hell were inspirations in survival and compassion. The people of New Orleans were grateful for the help and eager to assist. When he came home he was a changed man for the better after spending that time with such amazing people.

Hostage Heart
Life was hard after the hurricanes swept through, destroying her parents' home and livelihood...
An errand for her boss - a chance encounter with a crew of bank robbers - a kind man who tried to help her ... a man who isn't all he seems... no, he is so much more

(From the acknowledgments for my novel Hostage Heart)
To my husband
For inspiring me with the stories he brought home from Louisiana after the storms…
And to DMAT teams around the country who rendered aid after hurricanes devastated parts of the Gulf Coast. And to the resiliency of the folks who met these hurricanes firsthand.



Saturday, August 15, 2015

Panic ~ Weekend Writing Warriors / #8sunday / 08/16/15

Hi! Welcome to another Weekend Writing Warrior round. Every week writers post 8 sentences on their blogs from a published or unpublished book. Then we "hop" around and leave comments on each other's snippets. Whether our work is already published or in progress, the helpful comments help us become stronger writers on our next WIP. We welcome EVERYONE's comments.

See more at the
WeWriWa blog

& check out the
Facebook Snippet Sunday group


My entry this week is from Common Bond, Tangled Hearts. Layne Gillette’s world is turned upside down when a man she has never met shows up to lay claim as the father of her 6-year old son. 

This scene is still at the shopping mall. While Justin is paying for a camcorder he's buying so Layne can record Dennis in his school play, Layne realizes that her son isn't by her side. (this might be a bit choppy, I wanted to fit it all in to a certain point)

  (the following has been edited to fit)  ...and now the eight nine ten:

"Where's Dennis," Layne started calling his name in a panic.

Justin questioned salespeople on the floor; one woman, assuming the three were a normal family out for the day, told him that his son was over by the video game display.

"Layne, I found him," Justin guided her over to the video games; she saw Dennis and grabbed the little boy's arm.

"Don't ever do that again," she was on the verge of tears.

"Mommy," Dennis was startled and began to cry.

"Oh God. I'm sorry baby," she hugged him and cried, "I was so scared that somebody had taken you away."

Justin told the salesman he'd be right back for the packages, he put an arm around Layne and took Dennis by the hand to guide them out of the store.

Dennis was still protesting, he didn't understand what he had done to upset his mother so badly.

At the car Justin knelt in front of Dennis, "You must never scare your mom like that again, don't walk away from her in a crowded place." Wanting to take care of this woman and child was a strange feeling for him.


For more WeWriWa Snippets, go to: 


About Common Bond, Tangled Hearts

Layne Gillette’s world is turned upside down when a man she has never met shows up to lay claim as the father of her 6-year old son.
Justin, the victim of a fraternity prank, and Layne, the subject of a forced insemination, have produced a beautiful child that they are both willing to protect… at all costs.
The two parents realize they can love each other, but when Layne’s abusive “ex-husband” shows up, they are torn apart by danger, kidnapping and lies. Justin won’t give up until Layne is returned to him. Layne uses her newfound strength, courage and knowledge to defy Charlie’s ugliest demands.




    ~~~~~~~~

On this day in history, August 16, 1954
 Sports Illustrated was published for the first time. 
It was claimed that 250,000 subscriptions had been sold
before the first issue came off of the presses. 

Can you imagine selling that many copies
before the book was even available?!?!