#ThirteenforThursday with K.J. Pierce aka Your Host :-)

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I figured I should probably join the fun, so here’s my very first Thirteen for Thursday. 🙂

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What is your favorite book, song, and/or movie guilty pleasure?

Book: The Harry Potter series (I’ve read the series at least 15 times, and each time I read it, I always pick up something I missed all the times before)

Song: Tarzan Boy by Baltimora

Movie: Mel Brooks’ History of the World Part I

You’re trying to find a brand-new author to read. No recommendations allowed. What’s your decision process?

The first thing that typically catches my eye is the spine (assuming I’m in a book store and not shopping online, in which case I typically work from recommendations). If it’s interesting enough, I’ll pick it up and look at the actual cover before reading the synopsis. If that’s piques my interest, then I’ll read the first page of Chapter One. If I want to turn the page (or actually do so), I’ll usually buy the book (or make note of it to buy at a later time).

The one thing that’ll make me not buy a book? If I hate the font/typeset. Particularly if the font is too small and there’s too much crammed onto a page.

You have to move somewhere you’ve never been. Where would you choose to go and why?

I’m going to sort of fudge on this one and say Augsburg, Germany. It’s a fudge because I’ve technically been there – it’s where I was born. We left when I was less than a year old and I’ve never been back. I have zero knowledge about my birthplace, what it’s about, what it’s known for, and I want to go and spend some time, explore it, and validate the connection I feel to it.

What is your non-writing superpower?

I have the distinct ability to make the most mundane comments into something pervy, say the most inappropriate things and an even more inappropriate time, and to crack myself up.

What are your favorite and least favorite words? (in any language…)

Hands down, my favorite word is “Schwanzkaese”. It’s not really a word, that I know of – I smushed two German words together back in the day. I won’t tell you what it means, but Google translate works reasonably well. *snort*

In English, my favorite word is hyperbole – I’m a big fan. 🙂

What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done while sober?

Since I’m mostly a teetotaler, with the occasional toe-dipping into beer, everything crazy I’ve done has been while sober. Two instances come immediately to mind – The first – I quit my job and flew out to Germany to go marry a GI. The marriage never happened and I flew back 3 weeks later. He’s the one person I dated who I still want to punch in the face, all these years later, and on account of who I have a great line I haven’t yet found a novel to put it in.

The second instance was the move I made to the west coast on account of a man – long story,  and one I won’t relate here. I did write an essay about it called, “Ten Steps for Befriending a Rockstar or the Gentle Art of Stalking.” He’s still a man I adore beyond measure.

What is your favorite movie quote and why?

I have a couple – “Don’t be saucy with me, Bernaise!” from History of the World Part I and “Self-realization. I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, “I drank what?” from Real Genius

Would you ever jump out of a perfectly good airplane?

Not only no, but hell no. My dad and my brother both did, but not me. Nope. Not ever. I’m hard pressed to even get on an airplane – the last time I flew was in 1994 or 1995. The older I get the less appealing it is to be crammed onto metal tube.

Aside from writing, what different types of jobs have you done?

I’ve worked in any number of fields – real estate, summer camp, nuclear, to name a few – mostly in an administrative capacity. I’ve also worked in retail. My first job was as a Summer Hire when I lived in Germany – I got hired on to work as an admin in the same building my dad worked in. I think I was 14.

My favorite job was working for an import music distributor in the mid-1990s – I ran the shipping department and generally had the best time. The distributor is no longer in business, but I still keep in touch with one of the former owners. He’s awesome!

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I have a distinct memory from when I was maybe around 8 of lying on the grass, looking up at the sky filled with puffy clouds, and day-dreaming about being an Air Force pilot. Where that came from, I have no idea – I was an Army Brat! Obviously, it wasn’t a daydream that stuck with me for very long. Ha!

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?

I’d say the Jack the Ripper murders – I’d love to be able to know with certainty who he was, even though I know that most of the appeal of JtR lies in the mystery of not knowing.

If you could speak a second language, what would it be and why?

German. I was fluent at one time, but have lost it to disuse. I also wanted to learn Russian, for some reason, but never got around to it.

Favorite Olympic (Summer or Winter) sport and why?

Gymnastics, hands down, followed by diving. I’m a former competitive gymnast (in high school) and remember watching MaryLou Retton in the 80s and going to see a number of top male gymnasts do an exhibition somewhere in Germany (Brian Babcock and Tim Daggett among them). Diving because it’s kind of close to gymnastics with all the flipping around. J I remember seeing Greg Louganis crack his head on the diving board in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

As far as the Winter games, the only thing I ever watch is the ice skating.

Bonus Round

What is the most unusual conversation you’ve ever had?

Really too many to count – I have a knack for completely off-the-wall convos – but I remember having a random conversation about BDSM with customers who came into the lingerie department of the store I worked at in California.

What is one motto or philosophy you consistently live by?

There are three:

  1. Don’t ever hate anyone over something they can’t control. Hate someone because they’re an asshole.
  2. Don’t ever pit your wits against someone who is not on your same level. In other words, don’t bully or otherwise demean anyone who isn’t your intellectual or physical equal or who isn’t on the same level of social status as you, especially for reasons of making yourself feel superior or better about yourself.
  3. Someone else has the right to be offended. By the same token, I have the right not to give a shit.

Author Bio

K.J. Pierce is a jack of all trades. Her interests are varied enough to make this a requirement for a happy existence. Her main goal in life is to understand the human condition, which she explores through various mediums, including fiction, creative nonfiction, and scriptwriting. She sometimes succumbs to itchy-feet syndrome, a holdover from her Army Brat days. As a result, she can sometimes be found bouncing from locale to locale. She earned a BA in English Literature/Creative Writing from Agnes Scott College and a MLitt in The Gothic Imagination from the University of Stirling, Scotland. She puts them to good use by crafting stories that run the gamut in terms of genres, but which always include an exploration of the societal misfit and the darkness which pervades all facets of life, even in the most comic of circumstances.

K.J. currently lives on the east coast of Central Florida with her cat Dorian Gray, who lives up to his name by striving to be the state’s most prolific lizard serial killer. Yours Truly is her first novel.

If you want more random stuff about yours truly, go to the About the Misfit page.

My Online Playground

You’re at the website, but here’s where else you can find me online

Facebook Author Page: facebook.com/themisplacedmisfit

Twitter: @MisfitKJPierce

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/kjpierce

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#TellTaleTuesday with Beth Trissel & Red Bird’s Song

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Author Beth Trissel joins us today  to share the story behind her Native-American-themed novel Red Bird’s Song.

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Red Bird’s Song is inspired by events that occurred to my ancestors in the colonial frontier. This award-winning adventure romance centers on their conflict with Native Americans during the French and Indian War and has a The Last of the Mohican’s flavor.

Research into my English/Scots-Irish roots in colonial America led to my writing Red Bird’s Song. My fascination with this era, particularly stirring tales of the frontier and the Shawnee Indians, is an early and abiding one. My forebears had interactions with this tribe, including family members taken captive. I have ties to Wicomechee, the hero of Red Bird’s Song, an outstanding Shawnee warrior whose real-life story greatly impacted the novel. I’m kin to him through the Moffett line via the Houston side of the family (think Sam Houston). Both Moffetts and Houstons were early Scots-Irish settlers in the Shenandoah Valley. More on Wicomechee is included at the end of the story, as a bonus for those who read it.
I’ve written other Native American themed historical romances, some with paranormal elements, each carefully researched. I’m grateful for the help of historians, reenactors, anthropologists, archaeologists, and the Shawnee themselves. All the titles in my Native American Warrior series are available in kindle. Amazon bought the eBook rights to Red Bird’s Song from The Wild Rose Press for their Amazon Encore Publishing Division. The thing about this novel is that it’s the first book I ever wrote and rewrote and learned to hone my writing skills in the process of doing, and is still my best seller, by far. Maybe because it’s based on true accounts more than any other book I’ve done, although some of the others are also highly influenced. I‘ve pondered writing a sequel, but I know the ultimate fate of the Shawnee. Not a happy one. So how far into the future do I go?

Back to the story. The initial encounter between Charity and Wicomechee at the beginning of Red Bird’s Song was born in a dream I had on New Year’s Eve–a propitious time for dreams–about a young warrior taking an equally young woman captive at a river and the unexpected attraction between them. That dream had such a profound impact on me that I took the leap from writing non-fiction pieces to historical/paranormal romance novels and embarked on the most amazing journey of my life. That was years ago and the saga continues.At the start of Red Bird’s Song, I also met the prophetic warrior, Eyes of the Wolf, in another dream. When I describe him in the book I’m envisioning a character I know. Eyes of the Wolf became a spirit guide and spoke to me throughout the writing of this book, and others. He’s there still in various guises. My journey with him is not complete.

The attack at the opening of Red Bird’s Song in the Shenandoah Valley is based on one that occurred to my ancestors and is recorded by Historian Joseph A. Waddell in The Annals of Augusta County. A renegade Englishman by the last name of Dickson led the war party that attacked them. I’d initially intended to make Colin Dickson in Red Bird’s Song the historical villain that he was, but when he galloped onto the scene I knew differently.

A log cabin in a wooded setting during the autumn season

Regarding the setting for Red Bird’s Song: In the early mid 1700’s, the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and surrounding mountains was the colonial frontier. Only hardy souls dared to settle here. The bulk of these were the tough Scots-Irish, among them my ancestors. If 18th century warriors only had to fight regular British troops, they might ultimately have prevailed. They scared the crap out of men trained for conventional warfare. But the long knives were born fighters, and not easily intimidated. They learned from their cunning enemy and adopted his methods, weapons, and clothing.

Autumn in the Alleghenies

The ruggedly beautiful Alleghenies are also the setting for some of my other historical-paranormal romance novels, Through the FireKira, Daughter of the MoonThe Bearwalker’s Daughter, and my short historical romance, The Lady and the Warrior. I see these ridges from our farm in the Shenandoah Valley. The foothills are only a hop, skip and a jump away from us. The ever-changing panorama of the seasons never fails to inspire me. My Young Adult/Native American Wolf Shifter romance series entitled The Secret Warrior is also set in the mountains. Red Bird’s Song is Book 3 in my Native American Warrior Series. The series loosely ties together based more on time and place and strong Native American characters than as a traditional series that follows the story line. However, Kira, Daughter of the Moon (also purchased from the Wild Rose Press by Amazon Encore) is the actual sequel to Through the Fire. In addition to Native Americans, hardy Scots-Irish frontiersmen and women, colonial Englishmen and ladies, and even a few Frenchmen also play an important role in this series. It spans the gamut from the dramatic era of the French and Indian War, through Pontiac’s War, The American Revolution, and shortly afterwards.

Story Blurb for Red Bird’s Song

Taken captive by a Shawnee war party wasn’t how Charity Edmondson hoped to escape an unwanted marriage. Nor did Shawnee warrior Wicomechee expect to find the treasure promised by his grandfather’s vision in the unpredictable red-headed girl.

George III’s English Red-Coats, unprincipled colonial militia, prejudice and jealousy are not the only enemies Charity and Wicomechee will face before they can hope for a peaceful life. The greatest obstacle to happiness is in their own hearts. As they struggle through bleak mountains and cold weather, facing wild nature and wilder men, Wicomechee and Charity must learn to trust each other.

Reviews

“A beautifully written story filled with adventure and suspense…This book touched my soul even as it provided a thrilling fictional escape into a period of history I have always found fascinating.” —Night Owl Book Review by Laurie-J

“I loved the descriptions…I felt I was there…Many mystical episodes are intermingled with the events…The ending is a real surprise, but I will let you have the pleasure of reading it for yourself.” —Seriously Reviewed

***To purchase Red Bird’s Song in kindle or print visit: https://www.amazon.com/Red-Birds-Song-Beth-Trissel-ebook/dp/B013RJV9Q4

Author Bio

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my human family and furbabies. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. I’m especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. Lately, the Civil War.  And I love a good ghost story. In addition to Young Adult shifter romance, I write historical, time travel, and paranormal romance, plus nonfiction. I have twenty titles out, both novels and novellas, and a time slip novella coming out this fall. My nonfiction works are about herbs, gardening, and country life.

Beth Trissel’s Online Playground

One Writer’s Way: https://bethtrissel.wordpress.com

Facebook Beth Trissel: https://www.facebook.com/beth.trissel

Author Beth Trissel: https://www.facebook.com/bctrissel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BethTrissel

My Amazon Author Page where all my books reside:

https://www.amazon.com/Beth-Trissel/e/B002BLLAJ6

 

 

 

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#MondayMorningMusic – Tarzan Boy by Baltimora

There is zero story behind my love of this song – it’s just a happy song for me – and I can’t hear it without my toe tapping or my dancing around wherever I happen to be.

And with the hurricane causing devastation- though I didn’t get much in the way of damage – we were able to keep power for most of the storm – and once it went out, it was only out for about 12 hours. Other people had way more damage, serious damage that will take months and years to rebound from.

Still, I always forget how stressful these storms are, even without all the resulting damage, until after the storms are over and you’re just overwhelmed with exhaustion.

So, today, I just wanted something fun to pick up spirits.

Especially since we might have Maria on Irma’s heels. The storm’s too far offshore to know for sure yet. Fingers crossed it stays out in the Atlantic and far away from anyone’s shores.

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#ThirteenforThursday with Jean M. Grant

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Welcome author Jean M. Grant for this week’s Thirteen for Thursday

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Who was your first book boyfriend/girlfriend?

Wow, well my book husband is Jamie Fraser from Outlander. But since he is shared by many lovely ladies, I would say my first would be Iain from The Secret (Julie Garwood). Garwood’s books drew me into the world of Scots and kilts. ‘Nuff said. Added bonus: I married a man with Scots blood and he wore a kilt at our wedding.

What is the most interesting topic you’ve researched?

For my current work-in-progress, a contemporary women’s fiction set against a natural disaster, I had to research volcanic eruptions. Even though my background is in science, I didn’t study that much geology. My son loves volcanoes, so I already had plenty of books on hand but researching (and traveling to the Yellowstone super volcano region) was quite the adventure! A close second: for my historical romances I had the pleasure of traveling to Scotland a few years back. Also amazing.

[K.J. here – Scotland is one of the most amazing places on the planet!]

What is your favorite book, song, and/or movie guilty pleasure?

I’ll confess that even though I am happily married, I have lots of music boyfriends. I love Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran, and Shawn Mendes. Current favorite song though is “The Fighter” by Gym Class Heroes.

You’re trying to find a brand-new author to read. No recommendations allowed. What’s your decision process?

Are their books available on audiobook (from the library), b) Do they contain some sort of romantic element, c) Do the stories sound interesting (currently I’m reading romance, women’s fiction, mainstream fiction, historical), d) Have I heard of this author, and e) Does the cover art impress me?

What is your non-writing superpower?

Juggling IEPs & fighting the red tape of health insurance (without totally losing my mind), while also brewing a wicked good cup of Joe.

What are your favorite and least favorite words? (in any language…)

Resplendent…and asinine. J Both favorites.

What is your favorite movie quote and why?

“As you wish…” from The Princess Bride. Why? Well, because I am a sucker for true love. Followed by, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”(Pretty much all quotes from that movie are golden)

[K.J. here – I feel the same way about Mel Brook’s History of the World Part I]

Aside from writing, what different types of jobs have you done?

Grocery store clerk (seafood counter, cashier, and trainer), waitress, research scientist, church education director

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

That depended on my age. In elementary school I loved art, like my mother, and I would follow my art teacher around and help her whenever I could. Then I longed to be a travel photographer and writer. My interests in the tween years expanded to the world of science (sharks at first…oh yes, I wanted to be an Ichthyologist and swim with those magnificent predators), and writing. Ultimately I went to college and grad school and got a handful of –ology degrees, while still writing poems and dabbling in novels. The writing has now come full-circle and is my full-time profession alongside parenting.

White chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate?

White! And the rare peanut butter chocolate if you can find it.

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?

Despite the trauma associated with it, the sinking of the Titanic.

What is the first movie you remember seeing?

E.T. in the theater; at home: the original Star Wars trilogies.

What is one motto or philosophy you consistently live by?

God doesn’t give you more than you can handle…I just wish he didn’t trust me so much. (Mother Teresa)

Also

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. (Ben Franklin)

Bonus Round

What modern technology would you choose to not use and why?

Two – smart phone and GPS. I was reluctant to get a smart phone nearly 2 years ago. I was actually firmly against it. I did just fine without it. I mourned the loss of my little flip phone that made calls, sent texts, and took photos, that’s it. Refused to touch that new shiny smart phone for a few days. (no joke!) I like simplicity. Sure, a smart phone is fancy and the world is at your fingertips, but I am an old-school gal. I also don’t like GPS and prefer using maps. I love maps and will print them or write directions if I can! So GPS would be the other modern tech I could easily do without!

You have to move somewhere you’ve never been. Where would you choose to go and why?

Australia. Never been there but would love to visit the land down under. And its rugged beauty intrigues me. It’s also not too far from New Zealand, my favorite place on earth.

Jean’s Online Playground

Website: http://www.jeanmgrant.com

Twitter: @JeanGrant05

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

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jean-M.-Grant/e/B0728KFXP9/

Author Bio

Jean M. Grant is an author, former scientist, and mom. Her niche in fiction is romance and women’s fiction. She also enjoys writing non-fiction articles for family-oriented and travel magazines and is seeking publication of an autism-angle children’s picture book series. Jean spends her free time tending to her flower gardens, tackling the biggest mountains in New England, and advocating for autism awareness when not daydreaming about the next protagonist to write about…

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#TellTaleTuesday with Courtney Williamson Milford & Dot and the Nutrition Club

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Courtney Williamson Milford is here to tell us about her children’s book, Dot and the Nutrition Club.

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My nine-year-old son is overweight, and he knows it. He has a yet to be diagnosed muscle condition that makes it difficult for him to run or jump, so he does not participate in team sports, although we make sure he walks and swims.

When he went to his last annual check-up, his pediatrician suggested that I take him for a follow-up appointment with a pediatric neurologist at a local children’s hospital. I called, and was not able to get him in with the specialist he had seen before, but they scheduled him with another provider at the same facility.

What a mistake this turned out to be. Immediately upon our arrival, the neurologist pegged my son as lazy, and began to fat-shame him. He did not do it in the way that most doctors will, which is via veiled comments about the child getting more exercise and choosing healthier foods. No, indeed; he verbally abused my son for at least ten minutes, causing my boy to squeeze his eyes shut, cover his ears, and bend his head towards his lap as he attempted to shield himself from the doctor’s callous words.

Clearly, I should have stormed out of the office with my son, but I was caught off-guard. As awful as this experience was, it gave me the idea to write the eighth book in my children’s picture book series, Tales of Bark Story Land.

The book is called Dot and the Nutrition Club and it tells the story of Dot, a bulldog, and two other animal children who are called into the nurse’s office at school because their BMIs do not fit in with the school’s weight chart. The nurse tells them they are the charter members of the new “Nutrition Club,” and advises them to eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day, and drink only water.

Dot lives with her aunt and uncle, who quickly understand what is going on, and convince the school to change the “Nutrition Club” to the “Cardio Club,” and open it up to everyone. The animal children gather after school for active games and fun, and Dot feels better about herself, especially when she is asked to model a tutu in her dance studio’s fashion show.

I wrote this for all overweight children everywhere. My daughter, who is now a gorgeous 16-year-old lacrosse player, slender and fit, was fat-shamed when she was younger. She literally grew out of her puppy fat, but there were several years when she left the doctor’s office in tears. At one point, the pediatrician, who was well-intentioned but wrong, in my opinion, sent her to a nutrition specialist. She was the only non-anorexic girl in the waiting room, and the nutritionist said she was the healthiest child she had seen all day.

This topic brings me to tears, even though I have never been overweight myself. I hope this book inspires doctors and other adults who work with children to be sensitive when talking about weight, and to remember that everyone’s body is different.

Courtney Williamson Milford’s children Teagan and Justin

Blurb

Poor Dot learns that she does not fit into the numbers on the school nurse’s weight chart. When her Aunt Darling learns that Dot has been put in the school’s “Nutrition Club,” she sends her husband, Officer Caramel, down to the school to investigate. Soon enough, the Nutrition Club becomes the Cardio Club, and all animal children are welcome to join, regardless of body type.

Excerpt

Buy Dot and the Nutrition Club from Amazon

Author Bio

I live in Windermere, Florida with my husband and three children. I have owned and operated a wholesale automotive fleet leasing company called Courtney Leasing, Inc. since 1991. I just started writing in January 2016.

I have a degree in English and a master’s in secondary education, both from the University of Florida.

I am writing a series called The Grace Family Chronicles. it is historical fantasy in that the history is accurate, but the characters have special powers called “Graces.”

I also write a children’s picture book series called Tales of Bark Story Land.

My other books include two additional children’s picture books, and two middle grade books. I am working on converting a book I wrote blog-style into a middle grade novel.

Thanks for your interest. NSR (Never Stop Reading.)

Visit Courtney online at her Amazon Author Page

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#MondayMorningMusic – #Irma Edition

I’m gonna keep this short, because I’ve still got a little bit of hurricane prep to finish. Even though I’m not anywhere near where the worst of Irma will be,  it’s always a crap shoot if the power and internet will go out.

So, in the spirit of things, I give you my abbreviated, hurricane playlist.

For those of you in Irma’s path, stay safe! <3

P.S. Feel free to share songs from your own hurricane playlist in the comments…

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#ThirteenForThursday with DeeDee Lane

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Author DeeDee Lane joins us for the inaugural Thirteen for Thursday

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Who was your first book boyfriend/girlfriend?

The Witch of Blackbird Pond – I was in love with every single character in the book and read it dozens of times.

What is the most interesting topic you’ve researched?

The Oregon Trail and all the things that killed the people traveling along the journey

What is your favorite book, song, and/or movie guilty pleasure?

This changes constantly but right now it’s any book by Liane Moriarty

You’re trying to find a brand-new author to read. No recommendations allowed. What’s your decision process?

Getting ready to do this!  I’m going to the RWA website to see who got a Rita award – find out if there’s anyone new to me and give them a try.

What is your non-writing superpower?

Heal the Sick – da da da dahhhhhhhhh!

What are your favorite and least favorite words? (in any language…)

In German there’s a word for that song or rhyme that sticks in your head and you can’t get it out. It translates to something like “worm in your brain” – if I knew the German word that would be least favorite and most favorite.

[K.J. here – I believe the German word you’re looking for is Ohrwurm. 🙂 The German language has the best (and wurst…hahahaha – sorry about that) words!]

If you had to be a human planter, and you had to hold a plant while naked, what kind of plant would you hold and why?

I would hold star gazer lilies – they don’t bloom very often but when they do I would be transported.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A kindergarten teacher

White chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate?

Milk Chocolate

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?

One day I would like to witness a NASA rocket or space shuttle launch that will explore worlds unknown to us at this time.

(K.J. here – I’m hoping the shuttle program gets going again – I’ve always wanted to see a night launch!)

If you could speak a second language, what would it be and why?

Spanish – and I’m working on it. I think it’s important to know a second language to keep a global perspective.

Favorite Olympic (Summer or Winter) sport and why?

Winter – I am hooked on the figure skating competitions

If you ruled your own country, what would you call it, and what would it be known for?

Relaxatheria known for the best beaches in the world.

Bonus Round

What is the most unusual conversation you’ve ever had?

When my husband first told me he loved me…never will forget it.

Spiders, friends or foes?

Both when they stay in my garden and I am not in the jungle

DeeDee’s Online Playground

Website: www.deedeelane.com

Amazon Author Page

Author Bio

DeeDee Lane is a Seattle author and a member of Romance Writers of America. Her mystery scenarios and characters turn up on boat cruises and many corporate and private events around Puget Sound. She and her husband love to go on road trips, especially if there’s time to check out a tinfoil rooster or the largest truck stop in the world. Originally from central Wisconsin, DeeDee was raised on a farm and surrounded with book shelves filled with Louis L’Amour tales and other stories of the West. DeeDee is author of the Slip in Time series including My Mountain Man, My Gambling Man, My Law Man, and My Traveling Man. Also check out an interactive blog DeeDee just started with a group of eight other Wild Rose Press authors: http://novelconcepts1.blogspot.com/.

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#TellTaleTuesday with Jennifer Wilck & In the Moment

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To celebrate her new release, Jennifer Wilck is here to share the story behind her novel In the Moment

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Old houses speak to me. I walk in them and I imagine what it would be like to live in them. I love the details of the molding, the architectural styles, the massive fireplaces and the hidden nooks and crannies.

A few years ago, an old Victorian mansion went on the market near my home. On a lark, I took my two girls and we went to the open house. We instantly fell in love! If I had a spare million dollars lying around—plus a lot of extra to restore and decorate—that house would have been mine. We wandered through it, imagining which rooms would be ours.

And my muse tapped me on the shoulder and insisted I make the house the focal point of a book. I don’t normally begin my books with a setting, but this time, I did. I was able to use actual photos of the house and its rooms (empty) from the real estate website for my inspiration while writing the story.

The setting was a gorgeous old Victorian mansion. Cassie, my heroine, was restoring it in the hopes of one day raising a family there. She’d grown up as a foster child, and this home was the last one she lived in with her foster mother, the only place she’d ever felt truly part of a family. When her foster mother died, Cassie bought the house and began the restoration.

Since I had a heroine who was so tied to a home, I made the hero someone who was afraid to put down roots. He’s a war photographer recovering from the horrors of what he saw, and getting over the deaths of soldiers who were his friends. The last thing he wants is someone who oozes commitment from her very pores.

Of course, as you can imagine, that’s exactly who he gets. They’re perfect for each other, as he soon learns while helping her with yard work, misplaced supplies and errant rolls of wallpaper. And eventually, when they both find their happily ever after, it’s the house they return to.

Blurb

Cassie Edwards, a former foster child, purchases an 1870s Victorian mansion, the one home from her childhood where she felt like part of a family. She’s spending her summer lovingly restoring it, with dreams of one day raising a family of her own here. Rayne Tucket, a photojournalist, is haunted by the death of his best friend in Afghanistan, a death he thinks is his fault. He survives day to day. Forever is not in his vocabulary. Swearing off photography, he answers an ad for a handyman—mindless, no emotion involved. As the two of them renovate her house, can Cassie show Rayne that love is strong enough to heal all wounds?

Excerpt

“So, Rayne, where are you from?”

He seemed to chew his food longer than necessary and swallowed slowly before answering. “I was born in Vermont. My family still lives there. You?”

“Actually, I’ve lived a bunch of places, but I spent my teenage years right here.”

He swallowed a bite of chicken. “In Fortune’s Rock?”

“In this house.”

“Your parents owned this house?”

She looked away. “Something like that.” His gaze bored into her, as if he knew she wasn’t telling everything. But he wouldn’t be here long enough for her to confide. She looked away.

“Were you happy here?” he asked.

“This house represents the perfect home to me. It’s a place you can live in forever, raise children, and pass along to the next generation. It’s my dream of what a perfect life should be.” She looked off into the distance, pulled away by her memories. Slowly, she came back to the present. Rayne wasn’t talking or eating.

She hadn’t asked her questions. “So, you mentioned you were heading south. Any particular destination?”

He clenched his jaw. “Nowhere you’d know.”

Where to Buy In the Moment

The Wild Rose Press  /  Amazon

Barnes & Noble / Kobo

Author Bio

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and doesn’t share her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. All are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Jennifer Wilck’s Online Playground

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Wilck-201342863240160/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JWilck

Website: http://www.jenniferwilck.com

Blog: http://jenniferwilck.blogspot.com

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jenniferwilck/

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#MondayMorningMusic – Born of Frustration by James

Tim Booth (James), Guilfest 2004 (11861121463)

Tim Booth, singer of James. Photo by Drew de F Fawkes (Tim Booth (James), Guilfest 2004) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

One of my favorite songs ever is “Born of Frustration,” the first track on James’ album Seven.  Point of note:  my favorite line from the song is, “don’t need a shrink, but an exorcist.”

I’ve long joked about needing an exorcist – Lord knows I do things that scream absolute stupidity drama queen potential possession by demonic forces.  Especially when I’m frustrated or bored – and it’s gotten worse with feeling sick and tired virtually non-stop these days.

Even my closest friends, most of whom have been my therapy for one reason or another along the way when I’ve done something stupid, sometimes look at me askance as if to say, “What in the hell possessed you to think that was a good idea?”

If they don’t actually say it out loud.

As a non-segue, I’ve read The Exorcist a million times.  And seen the movie just as many.  Sure I joke about pea soup and giving birth to the anti-christ (which isn’t exactly possession per se, and it might even be worse; the jury’s still out on that one) but it’s one of those books that seriously creeps me out every time.  The movie is just as bad.

We live in a day and age of rational thought where science and medicine are purported to have the answer for everything – take a pill to cure what ails you – something I’m desperately trying to avoid with my own current health woes – but what if…what if neither science nor medicine could provide the answers?  What if demonic possession actually existed and the only cure lay in a ritual that rational people constantly debunk as, well, bunk?  What if you were an atheist and were left grabbing at straws to cure your daughter because science and medicine didn’t have the answers?

What would you do?

Would you spend precious time dragging her from doctor to doctor? Would you load her full of pills and medicines even when they obviously don’t work? Would you subject her to every invasive test possible that leave her sobbing and begging for help?

And would you, like Chris MacNeil, find it easier to believe that the devil exists but not God?

**Note: this is how my rabbit hole brain works… 😀

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#MondayMorningMusic – It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls

photo: marfis75

For me, music goes beyond nostalgia. Sure, a hearkening back to the good old days is part of it, but it’s also about reconnecting to who I am and how I feel. Having a chronic illness and constantly feeling unwell and just ick makes it difficult to access my normal, bubbly personality and the “every day is an adventure” outlook.

On those days, when I’m feeling oh, so unlovable, songs are all about the joy and laughter and just having fun.

And what’s more fun than the toe-tappin’, booty-shakin’ of The Weather Girls’ It’s Raining Men?

Happy Monday, y’all. I hope it’s raining men where you are. 🙂

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