Sunday, March 22, 2015

From Song to Novel?





When baseball season is in full gear, my radio is tuned in to anything Philadelphia Phillies. During the rest of the year, my radio is locked on our local "oldies" station.

Recently, I heard a song, and although I'd heard this tune many times over the last 30+ years, I had never really soaked in the words. I realized the lyrics actually made a good novel. Which got me to thinking about songs I've listened to in the past that would make an interesting read.

I've included youtube links should you want to give a listen. What do you think? Novel in the making? Is there a song you'd like to add to my list?


Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes



Cat’s in the Cradle by Harry Chapin



Honky Tonk Woman by Rolling Stones

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6M77oHD110




The River by Bruce Springsteen



Have a great week, Everyone!


(photo c/o npclark2 at morgueFile.com)


Sunday, March 15, 2015

It's Lookin' Like Spring!






What a difference a week makes! On Thursday, as I walked through Philly's Washington Square, those words ran through my mind. Exactly one week ago, I had been home, starting a four day "snow weekend" looking out my window and watching as the white flakes fell from the sky.

By this Thursday, the sun shined brightly, the temperature was in the 50s and snow? What snow? The white stuff was completely gone thanks to a combination of rain earlier in the week followed be some warm temperatures. When I arrived at my bus stop, I overheard everyone expressing the same sentiment, Spring is on the way. The season will officially be here at the end of the week, but today feels very much like Spring!

While everyone chatted as we waited, I thought about what I like about Spring, the warmer temperatures, baseball, daylight savings time, leaves and blossoms on the trees, Rita's Water Ice, flea markets...

Yay! What makes you happy that Spring is here?




(photo c/o paulabflat at morgueFile.com)


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Contest and Conference Update!

Writing contests and conferences, which provide feedback and networking activities, are essentials to a writer’s career. Periodically, I enjoy updating everyone on what’s out there and approaching deadlines.




Contests

Narrative Magazine’s Winter 2015 Story Contest; deadline, March 31, 2015; fiction and non-fiction, multiple genre entries including short shorts, short stories. Cash prizes. FMI, http://www.narrativemagazine.com/winter-2015-story-contest

2015 Touched by Love Award; sponsored by Faith, Hope and Love RWA Chapter; deadline, April 1, 2015; first 20 pages of an inspirational manuscript plus 2 page synopsis.  Cash prize and editor critique. FMI, http://www.faithhopelove-rwa.org/

32nd Annual Orange Rose Contest for Unpublished Writers; sponsored by Orange County RWA; deadline April 15, 2015; 35 pages including synopsis; FMI, http://www.occrwa.org/orangerosecontest/

84th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition; Early Bird Deadline, May 4, 2015; multiple genre entries including short story, essays, and poetry. Cash prizes and feature in Writer’s Digest. FMI, 


Conferences

28th Annual Pennwriters Conference; May 15-17, 2015; Pittsburgh Airport Marriott, Pittsburgh, PA; FMI, http://pennwriters.org/pwnew/conference/2015-conference/

2015 Milwaukee Writing Workshop; May 15, 2015; Country Inn & Suites, Brookfield, WI; FMI, http://milwaukeewritingworkshop.com/

Chicago Writing Workshop; May 16, 2015; Marriott Chicago Northwest, Hoffman Estates, IL; FMI, http://chicagowritingworkshop.com/?et_mid=720195&rid=235571114

67th Annual Philadelphia Writers Conference; June 12-14, 2015; The Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District Hotel, Philadelphia, PA; FMI,





 (photo c/o ranbud at morgueFile.com)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dr. Seuss and Read Across America



Tomorrow we celebrate the birthday of one of the wisest men to grace the world of children’s literature, Theodor Seuss Geisel aka “Dr. Seuss.” Along with March 2nd being this special man’s very special day, March 2nd is also the date of 2015 “Read Across America Day” created by the National Education Association. Each year the annual event coincides with Dr. Seuss’s actual birthday or the school day closest to it.

Dr. Seuss said, “Children want the same thing we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted.” All of which Dr. Seuss has accomplished with generations of children.






On “Read Across America Day”, schools, learning centers, and libraries across the nation bring children together to inspire, motivate, and make them aware of the joy and importance of reading. Check the websites listed below, and those in your area, for special reading events.


And, Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! We love you!!


For more information on the National Education Association and Read Across America, check out, http://www.nea.org/grants/886.htm


For information on events nationwide, books, and activity sheets, see Seussvillehttp://www.seussville.com/Educators/educatorReadAcrossAmerica.php 

Have a great week, Everyone!




(Dr. Seuss and Cat in the Hat photo c/o facebook.com/DrSeuss)

(Read Across America/NEA photo c/o facebook.com/neareadacrossamerica)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

"The Way I Like My Snow...



...is on a book cover!"

Often I'll hear people say, "I love snow," or "I hope it snows." When our Philly news teams were calling for a snowstorm earlier in the week, I overheard the gentleman in line at the supermarket bemoan to the cashier, we "didn't get enough snow this year." Considering the amount the forecast was calling for, and that I'd have to shovel, this man's words made me queasy. 

Whenever someone sighs and breathes the words to me, "I love snow," my reply is, "Me, too. When it's on a book cover."

Snow does look beautiful on a book cover. Seeing the lovely, fluffy white stuff will make me click on a book while surfing the web, or pick up the book in a book store, faster than I can utter the words, "Rock Salt."

But, whenever I see snow outside my window, am forced to trek through it, or even hear the weather forecaster mention the word "snow," I cringe.

Since the snow we had earlier in the week has now turned to frozen, ugly, dirty, nasty-looking mush, I've decided to feature some book covers with snow.

Because this is how I like my snow -- on a book cover!

For more information on the books listed, check out the accompanying links! If you have a favorite "snow cover" book, please feel free to share with us.

Have a great week, Everyone!



http://www.amazon.com/Sleigh-Bells-Valentine-Valley-Novel/dp/0062323407/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424349277&sr=1-1&keywords=emma+Cane


http://www.amazon.com/Winter-Dreams-Heartfelt-Holiday-Romances-ebook/dp/B00QH0IEBY/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424349832&sr=1-1&keywords=Winter+Dreams




http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Christmas-Whiskey-Creek/dp/0778316394/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424349462&sr=1-11&keywords=brenda+novak+whiskey+creek+series




http://www.amazon.com/Valentine-Babies-Holiday-Book-ebook/dp/B00B40PTME/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424349545&sr=1-1&keywords=valentine+babies




http://www.amazon.com/Kind-Christmas-Virgin-River-Novel/dp/0778313859/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424349617&sr=1-2&keywords=my+kind+of+christmas+robyn+carr




http://www.amazon.com/Holiday-Family-Love-Inspired%5CKirkwood-Lake/dp/0373879296/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424349712&sr=1-2&keywords=her+holiday+family










(snowflake photo c/o pippalou at morgueFile.com)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

"Cracks in My Heart"

“Cracks in My Heart” was featured in Long and Short Reviews (back when it was known as The Long and Short of Itin July 2010. The e-zine, at that time, showcased fiction shorts of 1,000 words or less.

I truly love this story. Many thanks to all who have complimented me on Jeff and Susan’s romance.

And, to all our Veterans out there, a huge, heartfelt "thank you," for your service to our country.






Cracks in My Heart

by Angela Adams

The red and gold leaves, blazing bright, swayed in the afternoon autumn breeze. Children romped in the tailored green grass. Patrons sat on wooden park benches, eating lunch, reading, or simply enjoying the sun’s rays. 

Seeing the oak tree, its thick branches hanging over the iron fence onto the busy sidewalk, I managed a smile despite the usual tears blurring my eyes. Jeff and I had always sat on the bench beneath this particular old tree. 

A low sigh escaped my lips as I slid onto the firm bench. My thoughts wandered, and it was two years ago. I felt Jeff sitting beside me, our thighs pressed together. He held my right hand, our fingers laced. 

"I’m sorry," he uttered. "Our relationship has to end. I can’t go fight a war and leave you here, alone. Waiting. You deserve better." 

We had only been dating two months when his notice arrived from the military. 

"But I want to wait."

He shook his head. "No." His tone was adamant. "It’s not fair to you. You ought to have a life. There’s a guy out there who deserves a great woman like you. Promise me you’ll move on. Forget about me." 

Forget him, he said. How could I forget a man so kind and honest? The man who made my heart race, my pulse rush, and my cheeks ache from grinning? Who made sitting in the park watching children play, tossing peanuts to squirrels, and hearing birds whistle a memorable experience? Forget him was like asking me to forget to breathe. 

I had learned how steadfast he could be when he had a conviction in his head. He couldn’t concentrate on the hardship of a battle zone, defending his country while thinking of me at home, yearning, and waiting for letters that he perhaps would have no time to write. 

And what if he didn’t come home? At all? Or arrived in a box with a flag draped over it? Or came back with a part of his body missing? Or his mind not fully functional? 

Those factors were sometimes the heartrending outcome of war. 

We had yet to say the words, and I wouldn’t pressure him with them now. Despite the short time the calendar said we’d been together, we loved each other. 

Jeff believed you didn’t burden people you love. 

I believed that when you love someone, pain was sometimes part of the deal. 

"All right." I slipped my hand from his. Even as I felt the cracks in my heart, I wished him well. With tears stinging my eyes that day, I watched him walk away.
 

Much has changed in those two years since Jeff and I sat under this oak tree together. The war has ended. Some soldiers were coming home, adjusting to a life that would never be the same as before they had left. Others would never return. For those soldiers, it was their families who would be forced to make the adjustment. 

I finished college and am teaching sixth grade. Some day this war will be in the history book I’ll teach from. I wonder how our side will be chronicled, and how I’ll feel every time I present the lesson, knowing that I had lived through history and what it had taken from me. 

What hadn’t changed, what remained over time, were those cracks in my heart. They hadn’t healed. Tears streamed down my cheeks. 

"Susan?" a male voice called.
 

My breath stopped. Jeff’s voice? Or was it my imagination? I began trembling. I was afraid to turn, fearing he wouldn’t be there. That his voice was all in my head and only a fantasy. 

"Susan!" 

My head swirled toward the park’s front gate. His dark hair was cropped. He had dropped some weight, his jeans baggy, his chest lost in the khaki green T-shirt he wore. But the slow, leisurely smile that made me tingle inside hadn’t disappeared. 

 "Jeff!" I cried, swiping at my tear-stained cheeks with the back of a hand.

I jumped up from the bench. We ran toward each other, he with arms held wide open. I couldn’t help myself and threw myself against him. His arms wrapped around my waist, pulling me close and holding me tight. Jeff was gentle, yet strong, and everything I had dreamed of all these months. Only now he wasn’t a dream. He was real.

"You‘re home," I whispered.

"A week," he said. "I’ve been coming here every day looking for you." He eased back and looked at me. "I missed you so much." His eyes held mine and he blurted out the words. "Are you seeing anybody?"

I was stunned by the question, but couldn’t help the smile as I shook my head. "I’ve thought of you every day while you were gone. Sometimes, like today, I’d just come here and think of us being together."

With the back of his hand, he rubbed my cheek "I love you, Susan. I have since the day we met."

"If you love me, why didn’t you want me to wait?" 

"Because by not asking, I had hope. That’s what kept me going," he said. "If I had asked you to wait, there was always the chance you’d get tired. I’d get the letter saying you had found someone else and we were finished. By not expecting you to wait, I always had the anticipation that you would be here when I got back."

"There’ll never be anyone else for me. You’re the one I love."

When my arms slid around his neck, he pulled me closer and kissed me. His mouth was warm and soft. As he deepened the kiss, I got lost in him.

And the cracks in my heart began to heal.


****The End****




Check out what's happening at Long and Short Reviews for the latest in book reviews, author interviews, giveaways, and surprises. Sign up for their emails -- I find them in my inbox every morning.




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Have a great week, Everyone!




(photo c/o pippalou at morgueFile.com)


Sunday, February 8, 2015

What are you Reading for Valentine's Day?




Sit back, grab some hot cocoa and enjoy these great Valentine's Day reads.



Love, Valentine Style

The magic of Valentine’s Day comes alive in a very special holiday anthology of novellas by NY Times and USA Today award-winning authors.

Finding Mr. Right by Lois Winston
In this mini-sequel to the award-winning Hooking Mr. Right by Lois Winston (writing as Emma Carlyle,) editor Grace Wainwright, has taken over the role of bestselling author and romance guru Dr. Trulee Lovejoy. Thea Chandler, the original Trulee, is now married to her Mr. Right and is a successful cookbook author. She and Grace host the top-rated Love Recipes cooking show. When producer Becket Delaney announces the first two shows in February will have a Valentine’s Day theme, Grace freaks out. The worst day of her life occurred on Valentine’s Day ten years ago, and she wants no reminders of it. Beck has his own reasons for hating the holiday, but the show must go on, and he absolutely refuses to deal with an uncooperative prima donna. When a citywide blackout traps him and Grace in his thirty-fourth floor office, their adversarial relationship really begins to heat up.

Be My Other Valentine by Jasmine Haynes
Grace is a baker and Sugar & Spice Bakery is her life. Five years ago she was given a sacred duty to perform by a mother dying of cancer: Every Valentine's Day, Grace must deliver one of her beautiful cake creations to a little girl named Valentine, and it must be addressed from the girl's mother up in heaven. But this Valentine's Day, Grace's delivery truck might finally give up the ghost before she drops off her precious cargo.

Brian lost his wife five years ago, and their little girl Valentine is all he has left of her. But what Brian has forgotten is that very special gift Valentine receives every year on Valentine's Day, and he's moved his daughter to a new house with no way to contact the mysterious baker who has followed his wife's wishes all these years.

In their quest to fulfill a dying woman's last request, can Grace and Brian find their own Valentine?

Hotel Amore by Pamela Fryer
After being jilted at the altar by her fiancĂ©, Virginia Montgomery quit her job and moved a thousand miles away to manage Hotel Amore on Little West Cay, hoping she’d never see that no-good coward Thomas Bennet again. But Fate and Mother Nature conspire together and whip up a little Valentine’s Day magic to bring Virginia and Thomas back together.

You know what they say; Fate doesn’t take no for an answer, and it isn’t nice to mess with Mother Nature.

Civil War Valentine by Haley Whitehall
Recently divorced museum curator Charlie Bristol comes to Seattle to set up a display at the Fine Art museum chronicling the history of Valentine’s Day. The director of the museum surprises her with a package of Civil War valentines from an anonymous donor. She reads the heartfelt messages and is touched by his words. Does such powerful love still exist?

During a nap she dreams she’s alive during the Civil War and meets Elliot Lowery, the author of the valentines who mistakes her for his fiancĂ©e Charlotte. She and Elliot negotiate the murky waters of wartime romance. When she wakes she’s still under the dream's spell and Valentine’s Day love is in the air, but Charlotte has no reason to celebrate. The man she loves died 150 years ago. Unless love works some miracle even time and death cannot overcome.

Forever My Valentine by Raine English         
She left him... He loves her... A snowy Valentine's gives them a second chance. Returning home after a disastrous job relocation, Miranda is determined to avoid the man she left behind—and whose heart she broke. Until she finds a hidden treasure in a music box. An engagement ring engraved with a decades’ old date. And the only man who can help reunite the precious ring with its owner is the last man she wanted to see.

When Ian sees Miranda walk into his antique shop, his defenses go up. She walked away from him once without a backward glance. Since then he’s given up on love. But when their eyes meet and sparks fly, he wonders if maybe there’s a Valentine’s Day miracle in store for them.

A snowy night’s journey to bring the ring to its elderly owner turns into a second chance at romance for Miranda and Ian. But as the frost melts from around their hearts, it exposes old hurts and deceptions. This Valentine’s Day could be the start of something wonderful. Or the proof that their love was never meant to be.

Valentine Rules by Mel Curtis
What started out as an innocent assignment for work –accompanying a popular actress fresh out of rehab on shopping trips – has gained Gemma Kent regular makeovers by said actress and a sidebar photo on People magazine’s cover!  All the attention would be flattering, except she’s become famous as a mystery woman with the Twitter handle: GlitterfrostGem.  Everyone, even the local gossip column, is speculating about her identity.  In real life, Gemma wears combat boots, poindexter glasses, and a prickly attitude.  Now Randy Farrell, the man she can’t get out of her head, wants a date with Glitterfrost Gem!  Which would be great if he realized that invisible Gemma Kent and Glitterfrost Gem were one and the same.


Amazon Buy Link








Gilt by Association (A Caprice DeLuca Mystery)
by Karen Rose Smith



Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery Series, Book 3

Caprice De Luca's latest house staging is all about hearts, flowers, lace and chintz since Valentine's Day is around the corner.  She never expects her client to be murdered in the greenhouse the day of the open house.

With her six-month-old pup Lady by her side and her own love life in disarray, Caprice ferrets out clues from the victim's best friend, Caprice's mother, the housekeeper and a special male friend who insists his relationship with the victim was platonic.  However, as Caprice digs deeper, she finds the victim's past is filled with secrets that she kept from her husband for thirty years.


The past isn't merely history.  The present isn't always what it seems.  When hearts are involved, passion and even murder aren't far behind.


Amazon Buy Link

http://www.amazon.com/Gilt-Association-Caprice-DeLuca-Mystery/dp/0758284888/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1423261401&sr=1-1&keywords=karen+rose+smith





The Soul Mate Search
by Morgan K. Wyatt


Nina can’t control love in her ordered universe. It has eluded her until a mysterious fortuneteller, Helena, reveals she’s already met her soul mate. Three times in fact and has only four times remaining before he passes from her life forever. A magic crystal ball allows her to see what he looked like several years ago, but no address. Helena warns her if she forces the meeting it won’t happen.

Tony’s life has hit a major rough spot with Sheila kicking him out of his house when he discovers her in bed with another man. If that wasn’t bad enough, she spreads rumors that she’s afraid of him because he’s abusive. What did he do to deserve this? All he ever wanted was to love one woman until he died. At this rate, he’s destined to die alone. It will take magic to meet his soul mate
.


Amazon Buy Link





Cowboy Kisses

What could be better on a cold Valentine’s Day than to sit down with a book chock full of stories about special cowboys and their ladies? Cowboy Kisses has just what you’re looking for! Eight stories by some fabulous authors who share with you their love stories of the old west!


In Lorrie Farrelly’s tale of love and fate, a tattered old diary sends a young woman into the arms of a long-ago Texas Ranger for A Kiss in Time.

Linda Carroll-Bradd’s When My Heart Knew is the story of young Maisie Treadwell, who has never been in love before, and handsome Dylan MacInnes, who might or might not be the one.

A Westward Adventure by Kristy McCaffrey is a story of aspiring novelist Amelia Mercer, who travels to Colorado, determined to find her own adventure to write about. When Bounty hunter Ned Waymire comes to her aid, the true adventure begins!

Valentine Angel by Gail L. Jenner is a poignant story of a determined young woman who rescues a wounded lawman and then must help him fight off his nemesis.

In Gil McDonald’s story, Hearts and Red Ribbons, a feisty young woman who dresses in men’s clothes and a drifter looking for—something—are thrown together by Fate on a wet February day.

Hunter’s Gamble, by C. Marie Bowen, is a gripping tale of lost love and determination. Life is a gamble, and Hunter knows he can't always win. With true love in the mix, the odds are stacked in Hunter’s favor!

Her Thief of Hearts by Tanya Hanson is the tale of an outlaw, an orphan, and a socialite—is this a recipe for disaster or true love?

Beverly Wells will steal your heart in her story, Hopes and Dreams. A woman on the run, a sheriff sworn to uphold the law, and one little girl’s pleas to Mr. Cupid for a new daddy!

Settle in for some mighty fine Valentine’s Day reading from your favorite western romance authors!

Amazon Buy Link

  

Have a great week, Everyone, and Happy Reading!