Old Memories

Happy Valentines Day!

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My good friend, author Linda Robinson, has been married for over 60 years.  I love her fictional characters, Nellie and Herman, who so apty paint laugh-out-loud pictures that illustrate what it’s like to be in a long-term marital relationships. Here’s one of Linda’s tales…

Enjoy!

Old Memories

A satire on aging by Linda Robinson

“Here it is.” Herman flipped his turn signal and steered the car left onto a washboard dirt road.

Nellie gasped and white-knuckled the armrest. “Geez, slow down to turn next time!”

“Who’s driving? You or me?”

“Well, with you almost deaf and won’t wear your hearing aids, plus your bad eyesight, it takes two of us.”

“Pfft.”

“Uh…I don’t think this is the right road, Herm. Don’t remember that old run-down shanty swallowed in kudzu,” Nellie leaned forward and rotated her snow-capped head ninety degrees, “or that stagnant old fish pond covered in lily pads.”

“That, dear Nellie, is not a pond. It’s Lake Jessup.”

“Pond, lake, lagoon or mud hole…what’s the difference? I don’t remember it.”

“Well, I may be nearly deaf and half blind, but at least I’ve still got a good sense of direction and some memory left. Yours went south!”

“What a crappy thing to say, Herm!”

“Speaking of crappy, I sure hope we catch a mess of ’em.”

“Quit changing the subject. Apologize.”

“Do you think making fun of my hearing and eyesight was a compliment?”

“I was just stating facts.”

“Pfft! So was I.” He slapped the steering wheel with his palm. “Remind me what it is I’m s’posed to be sorry for.”

“Herm, this was a terrible idea you had for us to celebrate our seventieth anniversary by going fishing.”

“Anniversary? When…I didn’t…who suggested…?”

“Oh Lord, Herman! Turn around right now. You talk about my memory going south, but at least I do remember…eventually. We live in Alabama now. Lake Jessup is way out in the sticks in Florida, where we went fishing over fifty years ago. Remember the baby gators we saw in the deep ditch?”

“Yeah, how could I forget you freakin’ out on me?”

“No, I freaked out a week later when I read a long article in the Orlando Sentinel about Lake Jessup. Locals nicknamed it Alligator Lake, and that’s why nobody was fishing there except us. Only people to ever go there were gator poachers who went at night.”

Whatever. Now, Nellie, don’t you go telling our young’uns ’bout this. They’ll have another pow-wow and try to take my car again.”

“Tell them about what, Herman? I declare. Sometimes your crazy notions flabbergast me. Watch out for that pothole! How much longer before we get to Lake Jessup?”

The End!

Copyright © 2016 Linda Robinson, all rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission from Truth & Southern-Fried Fiction

Click on the images below to learn more about each of Linda’s fantastic books.

 

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The Art of the Kiss

 

The art of the kiss 

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Every romance novel you’ve ever read, with few exceptions, starts out with several things in common. The couple meets. There is an undeniable attraction. Eventually, there’s a first kiss; an important kiss that sets the tone for the rest of the hero and heroine’s relationship.


It is the author’s job to get this initial smooch just right. And, with the help of a popular Internet star, I hope to show you what goes through the author’s mind before their fictional hero and heroine lock lips for the very first time.

The Internet star I’m speaking of is April, a fifteen-year-old giraffe who is expecting a calf any day at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, NY. This will be the fifth calf for April, and the first for Oliver, her five-year-old mate. (Uh-oh. Does this make April a cougar?) A live-feed camera lets visitors view the April’s every move, and several of my Facebook friends seem enthralled with monitoring the long-necked expectant mother.

So, without further ado, here are some things an inspirational romance author like me considers when formulating that first kiss…

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Here, whether initiated by the hero or heroine, the invitation for the kiss is waaay too forward. Eyes closed, neck extended, the tongue… Whoa, Nellie. Nix that idea.

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Next we have the lips-only kiss. If anyone is going to “practice” this one, it’s going be the heroine. We’ll call her April. April figures tonight’s the night the hero will finally kiss her. So, a little rehearsal is in order.

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But what if the hero is a bit more passionate. Or, maybe he’s the aggressive type. What kind of kiss then? April steps up her game and gets a little feistier with her “practice” kiss.

 

 

Any way you look at it, the author has to describe that first kiss in a way that will make the reader feel that she is there, feeling the winter wind, the summer breeze, or the grass underneath her toes as the hero delivers what can henceforth never be a “first” again.

Therein lies the daunting task of a romance writer.

Dying to Eat at the Pub

Presenting…

Dying to Eat at the Pub

A Jim and Dotty Weathervane Cozy Mystery

by Beatrice Fishback

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Dying to Eat at the Pub, is set in a small English village adjacent to a U.S. military base. It’s the perfect place for Americans Jim and Dotty Weathervane’s leisurely life after Jim’s retirement from the U.S. armed forces. This backdrop of mixed cultures is ripe for misunderstandings and perhaps even murder.

Join the gregarious Dotty and her husband Jim, along with a slew of locals who try their hand at solving two deaths: one an American ex-serviceman and the other a beautiful woman named Amy.

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ON SALE NOW! Click HERE for more information on purchasing.

Connect with Bea:

twitter.com/BeaFishback

https://www.facebook.com/bea.fishback

https://www.facebook.com/Beasattitudes

A Writer’s Fear of Plagiarism

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A funny thing happened after midnight. Jim was tossing and turning, so I went to the bedroom across the hall to sleep. As I lay there, I kept thinking that maybe the song I’d written for a chapter I’d penned that day wasn’t really an original from my brain, but the lyrics from a song from the Miss Potter movie. Was I plagiarizing without realizing it? I had to find out.

I grabbed my phone and was going to research the song on YouTube, but was afraid the light from it would brighten the room and also spill out into the hallway and into Jim’s bedroom. Both our doors were open. Too lazy to get up and close the door, I sat in the bed and tossed the covers over me like a tent and listened to “When You Taught Me How to Dance” from Miss Potter. With the volume turned super-low, I strained to hear the music.

Meanwhile, in the master bedroom, Jim thought he heard music and wondered where it was coming from. So, he got up and peeked out the blinds to the backyard. Nothing. Then, he figured maybe the neighbor was playing the radio and came to my room to look out my blinds.

He said he stopped in the doorway, saw a musical, glowing mound in the middle of my bed, and almost laughed.

“What are you doing?” Jim said.

I jumped out of my skin at the sound of his voice, let out a scream, and threw off the covers — then screamed again when his dark figure stood against the backdrop of white mini blinds.

The good news? I didn’t steal the lyrics after all.

Meet Author Beatrice Fishback

38588850b6f6fd8f89b2623302627b731ac8c8e2Bethel Manor, an inspirational romance, takes place during the Victorian era with engaging characters such as the wealthy Fredrick Shaw and his feisty daughter, Clare. Enjoy the rugged countryside as James Winthrop Blackwell travels across England. Revel in the setting, Bethel Manor, a place of magnificence and style where servants know secrets and the owner is a man of propriety and integrity. James Winthrop comes of age and searches for answers after being abandoned as an infant at Alpheton House Orphanage. He must come to terms with the reasons for his abandonment and resolve how God can still use someone whose parents chose to cast them aside. Join James, Fredrick and Clare at Bethel Manor and discover for yourself how others can bring optimism and encouragement when life seems difficult and without hope. Fans of Downton Abbey will enjoy Bethel Manor!

Bio:

Bea Fishback Author photoBeatrice Fishback, originally from New York, lived in the East Anglian area of Great Britain for over twenty years and traveled extensively in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe. She is the author of Loving Your Military Man by FamilyLife Publishing and, with her husband Jim, is the co-author of Defending the Military Marriage and Defending the Military Family. She has been published in various compilations, magazines and online websites.
She and her husband have spoken to audiences in the USA, Germany, England, Italy, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Korea, and Japan. They have also presented to international audiences in the Czech Republic, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Latvia.
Beatrice and Jim currently reside in North Carolina where scones are called biscuits and are topped with gravy, and tea is served over ice.

Interview with Bea:

What has been the most challenging thing about your new release, Bethel Manor?

This inspirational romance was written about the Victorian era, and although the Internet allows for easier access to information, I still had to double-check certain details to make sure I had the right information for that time period.

Where did you get the title for your book?

We lived in a home in England that was dubbed Bethel Manor by our pastor at the time. Bethel means “house of God,” and our small home had actually been a farmer’s cottage fifty-years prior to us owning it. Because it was so small, our pastor titled it a Manor—a bit tongue-in-cheek.

What is one thing about the book you’d hope to achieve by writing it?

My hope was that this story could be an alternative for people looking for a clean, wholesome romance with a faith-based backdrop.

I understand you have another book release in November. Is this the same genre?

No, I’m excited about the next upcoming book titled Dying to Eat at the Pub. This book is a contemporary, cozy mystery but is also set in Great Britain.

What’s a cozy mystery?

It’s a light-hearted murder-story-line with humor and gregarious characters. It’s intended to be a great read for a relaxing evening or a day at the beach.

When will we expect to see this next book?

Dying to Eat at the Pub will be released November 2016 by eLectio Publishers.

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Meet Author Dana K. Ray

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A PAST SHE CAN’T FORGET . . .

A FUTURE HE REFUSES TO ACCEPT . . .

Raven will do just about anything to forget a horrific event from the past that still haunts her. Forced to attend church because of a promise she made at a party, she is immediately attracted to the young, handsome preacher, but is unconvinced of his promises of a better life.

Matthew has everything planned out until Raven walks into his church and turns his life upside down. Repulsed by her lifestyle, yet fascinated by her beauty and charm, he finds himself drawn to her by a force he can’t explain.

Raven and Mathew’s unlikely friendship leads them through escalating troubled waters that threaten to doom their growing relationship. Will they survive to learn valuable lessons of grace, forgiveness and love?

 

Dana K. Ray

About Dana…

Dana K. Ray has been writing gutsy, true to life stories since she became a teenager. A full-time children’s minister in her church, she and her husband reside in the Midwest with their four children and four dogs. A Second Chance is her first published novel. Absolution, the first in the Luciano series, is set to be released July 2017. Connect with her at danakray.com. Dana has been writing gutsy, true to life stories since she became a teenager. A full-time children’s minister in her church, she and her husband reside in the Midwest with their four children and four dogs. A Second Chance is her first published novel. Absolution, the first in the Luciano series, is set to be released July 2017. Connect with her at danakray.com.

 

Q & A with Dana K. Ray

 

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

Always. I felt odd because I always had movies playing in my head. I was so concerned with it that in college I wrote a paper on “fantasy thoughts” because I wasn’t sure if it was normal. I was a stay-at-home mom which gave me the chance to write my books down. Now, I am a full-time children’s minister at my church, which I love, and a writer in the evenings and weekends.

What do the “movies in your head” look like?

Very vivid. I see the characters in color but the fun of it, is I can change things. I can watch a scene and if I don’t like it, I mix it up. I do this until I love the scene then I go write it down.

When did you first start putting your stories on paper?

I won my first poetry contest when I was in 5th grade, 1976. A very basic, five-line poem. (you can go to danakray.com to read it) I’m not a poetry writer so I find it funny that that’s what I wrote, entered and won first place. In college I’d write thoughts, short stories but when computers came out in 1994, I wrote the book, Absolution.

So A Second Chance wasn’t the first book you wrote?

No. A Second Chance was the second book I wrote but the first one to be published. Funny how that worked out. I’ve had a couple articles on the Internet published that I got paid for.

Were any of the characters based on real people or your own experiences?

All the characters are purely fictional. I did draw from my own experiences. I’ve been touched by one friend and two family members that have fought Leukemia. I’ve also experienced the effects of suicide four times in my life, from a close friend’s attempt to three friends/relatives that accomplished it. Although fiction, some of Raven’s feelings were therapeutic for me to write about. Suicide is never the answer and I’d plead with anyone thinking about it to please, please, please reach out for help. Your life is SO important and you are loved more than you can even imagine, even if you don’t feel like it.

Have you met people like Raven and Matthew?

Oh yes, and I have been Raven and Matthew. I’ve felt people were too judgmental of my past actions and I’ve been too judgment towards other people. That’s the awesomeness of our God. With repentance, He’s forgiving of everything. And as we grow closer to Him, we become more forgiving of other people.

Where can I buy A Second Chance or contact you?

I love to connect with my readers and aspiring authors. You can go to my website danakray.com, amazon.com or eLectiopublishing.com to purchase my book. If you buy from my website, I’d be happy to send you a signed copy. While at my website, you can signup on my email list so you can receive news, updates, blog posts and new releases. I’d also love to hear from you

What’s next?

Absolution is the first book in the Luciano series and comes out in July of 2017. It’s about two brothers, one woman, and one bullet. Absolution is a fast read with mystery, love, devotion, fun and you might find a murder or two.

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The Veteran’s Heart Series

 

Dreaming up another story lineHere I am, trying to lay out the storyline for my next novel in the Veteran’s Heart Series. In all likelihood I’ll spend seven to nine months on the project with a goal of writing 80,000 words.

For the next few months I will live in a world that is somewhere between reality and something else. My characters will keep me up at night with their problems (sigh... I have to solve them), they’ll make me laugh at their antics, and cry over their heartaches. No, I’m not schizophrenic. I’m just a writer. A totally absorbed writer. And I love it.

Now’s as good a time as any to sing praises for my husband  Jim who, for the duration of the writing of this manuscript, will endure less-than-stellar meals, wonder when his favorite pants/tees/undies will make it through the wash and back into his closet/drawers, and put up with me occasionally calling him Hank, Edward, Dex, Corbin, or other fictional character’s name. I couldn’t have made it through the last three manuscripts without Jim’s loving support.

To all of you who came to visit my blog, thanks for coming along on this journey with me.