Thursday Redux: Author Elizabeth Fountain

Elizabeth Fountain, author of science fiction, urban fantasy, and magical romances, is the Thursday Redux guest today. Writing is usually a solitary endeavor with few opportunities for interaction with other writers. Often we’re limited to occasional contacts at meetings and conferences. Another opportunity for interaction with other authors is membership in our publisher groups.

Liz is a fellow author at Champagne Book Group, one of my favorites. She writes funny, whimsical stories that have you laughing and thinking at the same time. She is always pleasant and supportive of the other authors. When I did an interview with her recently, I read her bio. Like her stories, Liz isn’t bound by one path to her destination, but she has a fascinating journey arriving there. Check out her website bio and her stories for great reads. Today, Liz shares a whimsical story that reflects her writing style. (Note: We also share an addiction to NANOWRIMO. See below)

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 It took me a long, long, time to choose a post for Rita’s Thursday Redux. The more I read my old pieces, the more lost in the past I became. Each one reminded me of everything that swirled around it in my life at the moment it came into being. Good thing I had a deadline, as it forced me to pick one, finally. I hope you like it.

This post was the result of a writing workshop I took at Richard Hugo House in Seattle, way back in early 2011. The workshop focused on using the conventions of fairy tales to tell all kinds of stories. Perhaps some seeds related to the fables in You, Jane were planted there and then. One exercise instructed us to take a favorite Disney-style tale and “rough it up,” making it into a more classic, adult-style fable. Well, my favorite Disney movie ever is The Jungle Book; here’s the moment where Mowgli meets Baloo, but, well, we’re not in Disneyworld anymore.

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ROUGHING IT UP

One day a bear was out bathing in a stream. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a creature come toward him that he did not recognize as a usual resident of the jungle. This creature was a human child.

The bear sighed. He knew what would happen, having seen other small human cubs wander loose in the jungle.

“Child, where are you going?” he asked the little naked thing.

“I’m running away,” said the human cub.

“You know you’ll be eaten in the jungle,” said the bear.

“Not me,” said the child. “I know how to take care of myself.”

“Do you,” said the bear. He heard wolves howl in the distance and closer by he heard the purr of the tiger.

“Yes I do,” said the child, and growled a pitiful whining sound meant to frighten the other jungle creatures.

“That won’t help you,” said the bear. “Shall I teach you how to protect yourself?”

“Would you?” asked the child.

“Certainly,” said the bear. And without a second thought he ate the human cub.  “You’ll be safe in my stomach,” he said, spitting out the bones into a neat little pile by the side of the stream, and went back to his bath, humming contentedly.

The wolf pack leader came by. “Have you seen a human cub?” he asked. “Yes,” said the bear, and gestured with a claw at the pile of bones. “There he is. “The wolf pack leader shook his great ruff and turned to go back to his pack.

The tiger slinked out of the tall jungle grass. “Did a human cub walk by here?” he asked the bear, who was just getting out of the stream to dry himself off and get ready for his afternoon nap.

“Yes,” said the bear, “I ate him and there are his bones, if you want to pick them over while I sleep.”

“Ah,” said the tiger, and with the swipe of one giant paw he sliced the bear open and ate his entrails, full of delicate human cub flesh as they were. “Now I need a nap,” thought the tiger to himself, and rolled over to sleep in the tall jungle grass.

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You, Jane

An Urban Fantasy – Magical Romance Champagne Book Group (June 2014)

you-jane_300dpiNote: You, Jane was born in my first joyous experience with National Novel Writing Month in November, 2010. The reliance on fables – some a bit dark – certainly found encouragement in the writing workshop that generated my Thursday Redux post.

Jane Margaret Blake’s problem isn’t her drinking. Sure, she’s missing work, and forgetting she’s already fed her cat, who’s getting a little fat. But Jane’s real problem is the reason she drinks: she writes stories that come true and wreak havoc in her life.

In her “fables” animals, people, angels, and the Universe itself conspire to destroy Jane’s last chance to be with her old love, or, just maybe, to bring her into the arms of a new love. Years ago, a fable pushed Jane’s best friend Charlie into marrying another woman. Now another fable shoves Charlie’s little boy in front of an angry dog – or worse, a wicked spirit bent on getting Jane and Charlie to face the truths they’ve spent a lifetime avoiding.

As her drinking and writing spiral out of control, Jane must finally discover how to write her own happy ending.

BUY LINK: AMAZON

SOCIAL MEDIA: WEBPAGE / FACEBOOK / EMAIL: lizfountain64@yahoo.com

AUTHOR PAGES: AMAZON / CHAMPAGNE

Thank you for visiting, Liz.  Tomorrow, More Pompeii

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Pliny the Younger Describes the Eruption of Vesuvius – Letter #2

Pliny the Younger (a lawyer, writer, and civil administrator) wrote two letters to historian Cornelius Tacitus about the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. The letters were written about twenty-five years after the actual eruption.  The letter is excerpted from Letters 6.20 by Pliny the Younger.

So the letter which you asked me to write on my uncle’s death has made you eager to hear about the terrors and hazards I had to face when left at Misenum, for I broke off at the beginning of this part of my story.  “Though my mind shrinks from remembering…I will begin.”

After my uncle’s departure I spent the rest of the day with my books, as this was my reason for staying behind.  Then I took a bath, dined, and then dozed fitfully for a while.  For several days past there had been earth tremors which were not particularly alarming because they are frequent in Campania: but that night the shocks were so violent that everything felt as if it were not only shaken but overturned.  My mother hurried into my room and found me already getting up to wake her if she were still asleep.  We sat down in the forecourt of the house, between the buildings and the sea close by.  I don’t know whether I should call this courage or folly on my part (I was only seventeen at the time) but I called for a volume of Livy and went on reading as if I had nothing else to do.  I even went on with the extracts I had been making.  Up came a friend of my uncle’s who had just come from Spain to join him. When he saw us sitting there and me actually reading, he scolded us both—me for my foolhardiness and my mother for allowing it.  Nevertheless, I remained absorbed in my book.

By now it was dawn, but the light was still dim and faint.  The buildings round us were already tottering, and the open space we were in was too small for us not to be in real and imminent danger if the house collapsed.  This finally decided us to leave the town.  We were followed by a panic-stricken mob of people wanting to act on someone else’s decision in preference to their own (a point in which fear looks like prudence), who hurried us on our way by pressing hard behind in a dense crowd.  Once beyond the buildings we stopped, and there we had some extraordinary experiences which thoroughly alarmed us.  The carriages we had ordered to be brought out began to run in different directions though the ground was quite level, and would not remain stationary even when wedged with stones.  We also saw the sea sucked away and apparently forced back by the earthquake: at any rate it receded from the shore so that quantities of sea creatures were left stranded on dry sand.  On the landward side a fearful black cloud was rent by forked and quivering bursts of flame, and parted to reveal great tongues of fire, like flashes of lightning magnified in size.

At this point my uncle’s friend from Spain spoke up still more urgently: “If your brother, if your uncle is still alive, he will want you both to be saved; if he is dead, he would want you to survive him—why put off your escape?”  We replied that we would not think of considering our own safety as long as we were uncertain of his.  Without waiting any longer, our friend rushed off and hurried out of danger as fast as he could.

Soon afterwards the cloud sank down to earth and covered the sea; it had already blotted out Capri and hidden the promontory of Misenum from sight.  Then my mother implored, entreated and commanded me to escape the best I could—a young man might escape, whereas she was old and slow and could die in peace as long as she had not been the cause of my death too.  I refused to save myself without her, and grasping her hand forced her to quicken her pace.  She gave in reluctantly, blaming herself for delaying me.  Ashes were already falling, not as yet very thickly.  I looked round: a dense black cloud was coming up behind us, spreading over the earth like a flood.  “Let us leave the road while we can still see,” I said, “or we shall be knocked down and trampled underfoot in the dark by the crowd behind.”  We had scarcely sat down to rest when darkness fell, not the dark of a moonless or cloudy night, but as if the lamp had been put out in a closed room.  You could hear the shrieks of women, the wailing of infants, and the shouting of men; some were calling their parents, others their children or their wives, trying to recognize them by their voices.  People bewailed their own fate or that of their relatives, and there were some who prayed for death in their terror of dying.  Many besought the aid of the gods, but still more imagined there were no gods left, and that the universe was plunged into eternal darkness for evermore.  There were people, too, who added to the real perils by inventing fictitious dangers: some reported that part of Misenum had collapsed or another part was on fire, and though their tales were false they found others to believe them.  A gleam of light returned, but we took this to be a warning of the approaching flames rather than daylight.  However, the flames remained some distance off; then darkness came on once more and ashes began to fall again, this time in heavy showers.  We rose from time to time and shook them off, otherwise we should have been buried and crushed beneath their weight.  I could boast that not a groan or cry of fear escaped me in these perils, had I not derived some poor consolation in my mortal lot from the belief that the whole world was dying with me and I with it.

At last the darkness thinned and dispersed into smoke or cloud; then there was genuine daylight, and the sun actually shone out, but yellowish as it is during an eclipse.  We were terrified to see everything changed, buried deep in ashes like snowdrifts.  We returned to Misenum where we attended to our physical needs as best we could, and then spent an anxious night alternating between hope and fear.  Fear predominated, for the earthquakes went on, and several hysterical individuals made their own and other people’s calamities seem ludicrous in comparison with their frightful predictions.  But even then, in spite of the dangers we had been through, and were still expecting, my mother and I had still no intention of leaving until we had news of my uncle.

Of course these details are not important enough for history, and you will read them without any idea of recording them; if they seem scarcely worth putting in a letter, you have only yourself to blame for asking them.

Tomorrow, Author Liz Fountain on Thursday Redux

Rita Bay – WEBPAGE & BLOG / FACEBOOK / PINTEREST / AMAZON

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Pliny the Younger Describes the Eruption of Vesuvius – Letter #1

Pliny the Younger (a lawyer, writer, and civil administrator) wrote two letters to historian Cornelius Tacitus about the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. The letters were written about twenty-five years after the actual eruption.  The letter is excerpted from Letters 6.16 by Pliny the Younger.

Thank you for asking me to send you a description of my uncle’s death so that you can leave an accurate account of it for posterity; I know that immortal fame awaits him if his death is recorded by you.  It is true that he perished in a catastrophe which destroyed the loveliest regions of the earth, a fate shared by whole cities and their people, and one so memorable that is likely to make his name live for ever: and he himself wrote a number of books of lasting value: but you write for all time and can still do much to perpetuate his memory.  The fortunate man, in my opinion, is he to whom the gods have granted the power either to do something which is worth recording or to write what is worth reading, and most fortunate of all is the man who can do both.  Such a man was my uncle, as his own books and yours will prove.  So you set me a task I would choose for myself, and I am more than willing to start on it.

My uncle was stationed at Misenum, in active command of the fleet. On 24 August, in the early afternoon, my mother drew his attention to a cloud of unusual size and appearance.  He had been out in the sun, had taken a cold bath, and lunched while lying down, and was then working at his books.  He called for his shoes and climbed up to a place which would give him the best view of the phenomenon.  It was not clear at that distance from which mountain the cloud was rising (it was afterwards known to be Vesuvius); its general appearance can be best expressed as being like an umbrella pine, for it rose to a great height on a sort of trunk and then split off into branches, I imagine because it was thrust upwards by the first blast and then left unsupported as the pressure subsided, or else it was borne down by its own weight so that it spread out and gradually dispersed.  Sometimes it looked white, sometimes blotched and dirty, according to the amount of soil and ashes it carried with it.  My uncle’s scholarly acumen saw at once that it was important enough for a closer inspection, and he ordered a boat to be made ready, telling me I could come with him if I wished.  I replied that I preferred to go on with my studies, and as it happened he had himself given me some writing to do.

            As he was leaving the house, he was handed a message from Rectina, wife of Tascius whose house was at the foot of the mountain, so that escape was impossible except by boat.  She was terrified by the danger threatening her and implored him to rescue her from her fate. He changed his plans, and what he had begun in a spirit of inquiry he completed as a hero.  He gave orders for the warships to be launched and went on board himself with the intention of bringing help to many more people besides Rectina, for this lovely stretch of coast was thickly populated.  He hurried to the place which everyone else was hastily leaving, steering his course straight for the danger zone.  He was entirely fearless, describing each new movement and phase of the portent to be noted down exactly as he observed them.  Ashes were already falling, hotter and thicker as the ships drew near, followed by bits of pumice and blackened stones, charred and cracked by the flames: then suddenly they were in shallow water, and the shore was blocked by the debris from the mountain.  For a moment my uncle wondered whether to turn back, but when the helmsman advised this he refused, telling him that Fortune stood by the courageous and they must make for Pomponianus at Stabiae. He was cut off there by the breadth of the bay (for the shore gradually curves round a basin filled by the sea) so that he was not as yet in danger, though it was clear that this would come nearer as it spread.  Pomponianus had therefore already put his belongings on board ship, intending to escape if the contrary wind fell.  This wind was of course full in my uncle’s favour, and he was able to bring his ship in. He embraced his terrified friend, cheered and encouraged him, and thinking he could calm his fears by showing his own composure, gave orders that he was to be carried to the bathroom.  After his bath he lay down and dined (8); he was quite cheerful, or at any rate he pretended he was, which was no less courageous.

            Meanwhile on Mount Vesuvius broad sheets of fire and leaping flames blazed at several points, their bright glare emphasized by the darkness of night.  My uncle tried to allay the fears of his companions by repeatedly declaring that these were nothing but bonfires left by the peasants in their terror, or else empty houses on fire in the districts they had abandoned.  Then he went to rest and certainly slept, for as he was a stout man his breathing was rather loud and heavy and could be heard by people coming and going outside his door.  By this time the courtyard giving access to his room was full of ashes mixed with pumice-stones, so that its level had risen, and if he had stayed in the room any longer he would never have got out.  He was wakened, came out and joined Pomponianus and the rest of the household who had sat up all night.  They debated whether to stay indoors or take their chance in the open, for the buildings were now shaking with violent shocks, and seemed to be swaying to and fro, as if they were torn from their foundations.  Outside on the other hand, there was the danger of falling pumice-stones, even though these were light and porous; however, after comparing the risks they chose the latter.  In my uncle’s case one reason outweighed the other, but for the others it was a choice of fears.  As a protection against falling objects they put pillows on their heads tied down with cloths.

            Elsewhere there was daylight by this time, but they were still in darkness, blacker and denser than any ordinary night, which they relieved by lighting torches and various kinds of lamp.  My uncle decided to go down to the shore and investigate on the spot the possibility of any escape by sea, but he found the waves still wild and dangerous.  A sheet was spread on the ground for him to lie down, and he repeatedly asked for cold water to drink.  Then the flames and smell of sulphur which gave warning of the approaching fire drove the others to take flight and roused him to stand up.  He stood leaning on two slaves and then suddenly collapsed, I imagine because the dense fumes choked his breathing by blocking his windpipe which was constitutionally weak and narrow and often inflamed.  When daylight returned on the 26th—two days after the last day he had seen—his body was found intact and uninjured, still fully clothed and looking more like sleep than death.

            Meanwhile my mother and I were at Misenum, but this is not of any historic interest, and you only wanted to hear about my uncle’s death.  I will say no more, except to add that I have described in detail every incident which I either witnessed myself or heard about immediately after the event, when reports were most likely to be accurate.  It is for you to select what best suits your purpose, for there is a great difference between a letter to a friend and history written for all to read.

Tomorrow, Pliny’s Second Letter

Rita Bay – WEBPAGE & BLOG / FACEBOOK / PINTEREST / AMAZON

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The Eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD

Pompeii CityMount Vesuvius is one of a line of volcanos where two tectonic plates (African and Eurasian) collide. The others volcanos along the plate are either extinct or haven’t erupted variously in tens of thousands or hundreds of years. Vesuvius in the only volcano to have erupted on mainland Europe for several centuries.

Mount Vesuvius has erupted often. Though there have been several large eruptions, the famous eruption of 79 AD was the most destructive. Vesuvius has erupted every century or so and more but has not erupted since 1944. Some eruptions have been so large that they blanketed all of southern Europe.

The 79 AD eruption that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum was described by Pliny (a Roman lawyer, author, and civil magistrate) in two letters to the historian Tacitus which have survived for almost two thousand years. Because of his thorough descriptions, the explosive eruption at Vesuvius is termed a “Plinian eruption.” According to Pliny, Vesuvius ejected a cloud of stones, ash and fumes about twenty miles high. The molten rock and pumice released was a hundred thousand times the thermal energy of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima.

An estimated 16,000 people died due to pyroclastic flows which are fast-moving currents of hot gas and rock (1800+° F) which can flow downhill at speed up to 450 mph. Today, Because of its location and  explosive eruptions, Vesuvius is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. The area is the most densely populated volcanic region in the world with 3,000,000 people living in nearby Naples and the surrounding areas.

Tomorrow, One of Pliny’s Letters on the eruption of Vesuvius.

Rita Bay – WEBPAGE & BLOG / FACEBOOK / PINTEREST / AMAZON

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An Author’s Desk: Author Jamie Salisbury

My guest today is bestselling author Jamie Salisbury who writes women’s fiction and contemporary and historical romance. Jamie is a 2012 RONE finalist and her historical-romance westerns have topped Amazon’s Bestseller’s List. Choice Matters, a contemporary erotic romance from Secret Cravings Publishing, is the first in the brand new series, “Southern Heat.” Jamie will share a bit about her writing style, her current work in progress and her current release, Choices Matter.

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10565693_10203449290425467_2065799498_nThis past winter I was forced to take to my bed in an effort to allow an ulcer on the bottom of my foot to heal. No longer could I sit at my desk and gaze out at the peaceful landscape of  a rolling lawn and trees as I wrote. While out on a rare shopping trip with a friend, and in a wheelchair we came across this. My new writing space!

Well that was last winter. Since then my foot has healed and I’m free to move about as I please. Though I could easily go back and write at my desk, I find my new environment far more attractive and coy.

My writing style is more of a panster. I let the characters tell the story. I keep a running notebook of each project containing character names, plot ideas, etc. I write the book, then go back and begin the self edit process of what is working and deleting what is not. At present I’m on a much needed vacation at an undisclosed location. My current project is the sequel to Choice Matters, tentatively called, Choice Affairs.

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Choice Matters

Secret Cravings Publishing  (August, 2014)

ChoiceMatters_SMApolo Choice…self-made billionaire before the age of thirty. At a time when most men are still trying to figure out what direction to take their careers, Apolo Choice is enjoying luxuries they are still dreaming about. But behind every powerful man come secrets, and Apolo is no exception.

Confident, intimidating, arrogant and handsome, Apolo Choice is a man who gets whatever he wants. At least in the boardroom. Away from the power deals, he has a dark side. One he allows few to enter. Until he meets Caitlyn White.

Caitlyn White…smart and self-assured, she has quietly worked at Choice Enterprises for four years. Until one day her world is turned upside down by the man at the top. Taking her from the cubical to executive suite faster than you can blink an eye.

Together they become a power couple both in the boardroom and the bedroom.

Will Caitlyn learn Apolo’s darkest secrets? Will he reveal them to her, when he has no one else? Or will she leave screaming as others have in the past, leaving him alone once again?

BUY LINK: SECRET CRAVINGS

JAMIE’S SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

WEBPAGE / TWITTER / FACEBOOK / PINTEREST / EMAIL: tudorrose829@gmail.com

JAMIE’S AUTHOR PAGES: PUBLISHER / AMAZON

Thank you for visiting, Jamie.

Tomorrow, The Eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD

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Friday Miscellany: Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD,  is located close to Naples, Italy. It has a large cone created by the eruption in 79 AD that is surrounded by a steep caldera which is a cauldron-like cavity created by the collapse of an earlier, higher structure – Monte Somma about 18,000 years ago.

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Vesuvius was formed as a result of the collision of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates. A chain a volcanos, most of which are underwater and extinct was formed when the African slid underneath the Eurasian plate. The mountain is composed of lava, volcanic ash, and pumice. Prior to 79 AD Vesuvius was a pastoral haven that was planted with vineyards that produced a popular wine shipped around the Roman world.

The slopes of the mountain are scarred by lava flows but are heavily vegetated, with scrub and forest at higher altitudes and vineyards lower down. Vesuvius is as an active volcano which last erupted in 1944 during World War II. , although its current activity produces little more than steam from vents at the bottom of the crater.

Sunday, Jamie Salisbury Visits an Author’s Desk

Rita Bay – WEBPAGE & BLOG / FACEBOOK / PINTEREST / AMAZON

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Thursday Redux: Author Lynn Rae

My guest today is Lynn Rae, an author of contemporary books at Liquid Silver Books. LSB recently published First Choice, Second Choice, the second book in the “Love Around the Corner” series. Lynn will share a bit about herself and the story behind the book.

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About Lynn: I make no secret of the fact that I love to shop at thrift stores and garage sales. I have ever since I was a kid, and I still get a thrill whenever I spot a jumble of used goods sitting on a rickety table in someone’s driveway. It’s the idea of finding something wonderful for a thrillingly low price that gets me going. I also like to speculate about the origins of the things being discarded. Was that set of unused china a wedding present? Why would anyone need four sets of crutches? It’s mysteries like this that keep me going as I sort through boxes of mildewed paperbacks and stacks of stained baby bibs in the hopes of discovering that one cool thing I can’t leave behind.

I’m also a generalist when it comes to shopping. I’m usually not looking for anything specifically and my interests change over time. In the past I’ve collected linens, old cookbooks, buttons, and seamed stockings. Right now, I’m interested in Corning blue cornflower cookware, vintage rhinestone jewelry, pewter candlesticks, and tooled leather belts. But my best recent finds were a vintage 1973 mint green telephone in its original box with wiring instructions and a gorgeous Waterford crystal water glass in my pattern. I think that’s why I like thrifting, it’s totally random, nothing is guaranteed, and there are treasures waiting for those who look. Just like life.

About First Choice, Second Choice. One of the plot points in First Choice, Second Chance involves the restoration of a historic statue. That may seem like an odd thing to focus on, but it really resonated with me because it touches on numerous real-life experiences I’ve had. With my background in public history, I’ve served on committees intended to preserve monuments, as well as participated in public sculpture inventories and done research on all sorts of memorials and the people who were determined to create them.

Not only is the art and history interesting, but the way a sculpture or monument works its way into a community’s consciousness can be fascinating. In my book, the sculpture in question has different meanings for different characters. For Emily Fontaine, it’s a chance for her to prove she can handle the responsibility of caring for a prominent landmark and managing a group of volunteers. Paul Ellison is involved because of family obligations; his sister, the mayor, needs his help and he also happens to be related to the subject of the sculpture. For other committee members, the statue has the potential to be a community rallying point, or a target of vandalism.

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First Choice, Second Choice

Liquid Silver Books (July, 2014)

FirstChoiceSecondChanceConscientious Emily Fontaine is on a mission to prove her marketing and public relations skills. When she volunteers to restore a historic statue, she isn’t prepared for her attraction to one of her fellow committee members.

Paul Ellison has stayed out of circulation since his wife’s death, but once he meets Emily, he can’t resist her quiet allure, despite the difference in their age.

When the statue which brought them together is vandalized, and both Paul’s daughter and sister strenuously object to their burgeoning relationship, Paul and Emily realize the sacrifices they’ll have to make for each other. Will Paul have a second chance at love?

Buy Link: AMAZON

Lynn’s Social Media: WEBPAGEFACEBOOK  /   EMAIL: lynnrae@att.net

 Lynn’s Author Pages: LIQUID SILVER / AMAZON 

Thank you for visiting, Lynn. Tomorrow, About Vesuvius.

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You’re Invited to Jamie’s Launch Party: THE HUSBAND GAMES

Jamie Farrell is a military wife who follows her husband with three little ones in tow wherever his career moves him. When he was stationed on the Gulf Coast, she joined the Gulf Coast RWA  for a couple of years. Her sense of humor and kindness quickly made her a favorite, but she moved on and I only see her on Facebook. Her posts about her life and the kids’ antics are a personal favorite. Now she’s not only published, but her Facebook release party for book #2  is TODAY. Check out her bio and the book blurb, then party with her and her friends HERE.
ABOUT JAMIE:  Jamie Farrell writes humorous contemporary romance. She believes love and laughter are two of the most powerful forces in the universe. Her debut novel, Southern Fried Blues, was a finalist in the 2013 National Readers’ Choice Awards and the 2014 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards.  A native Midwesterner, Jamie has lived in the South the majority of her adult life. When she’s not writing, she and her military hero husband are busy raising three hilariously unpredictable children.
Jamie’s  Links: Website / Facebook / TwitterNewsletter

 

THE HUSBAND GAMES:

After Natalie Castellano’s marriage imploded on the field of the Husband Games in Bliss, Illinois, the Most Married-est Town on Earth, the last job she expected to inherit was planning the fiftieth anniversary of her hometown’s unique Games. But with her mother’s unexpected passing, that’s exactly what Natalie’s doing. And the position demands that she play nice with CJ Blue, the man who ultimately caused Natalie’s marital demise.

Winning Bliss’s Husband Games and being crowned Husband of the Year was the brightest spot in CJ’s short marriage. Since his wife’s untimely death, he’s taken himself around the world, hiding from his grief. But now, family obligations have him trapped in Bliss, where he’s been invited to participate in the Games and humiliate himself in the name of closure. The whole town wants him to play. The whole town, except one. And he can’t decide what bothers him more—that Natalie doesn’t think he belongs in the Games, or that she’s right.

These two would make great enemies. But all games aside, the more they find themselves in close quarters, the harder it is to deny their mutual attraction. She’s battled Bliss’s bridal brigade, and he’s jumped out of airplanes and soared over waterfalls, but now they’re both facing the biggest risk of all: taking another chance on love.

Buy Links: AmazonB&N / iBooks / Kobo  / Google Play / Goodreads

See you at Jamie’s.  Tomorrow, Pompeii & Herculaeneum.

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An Author’s Desk: V.L. Locey

Author V.L. Locey is my guest at “An Author’s Desk.” Her O Captain! My Captain!, , the third book in the ‘To Love a Wildcat’ series from Secret Cravings Publishing,  is  an Amazon bestseller in sports fiction. V.L. will share some tidbits about herself, her writing area, and her writing routine.

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I love worn jeans, belly laughs,  reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers,  comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) I share her life with my husband, my daughter, one dog, two cats, a steer named after a famous N.H.L. goalie,  a pig named after a famous President, and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

Building a ficitonal sports teamAs you can see, my work area is my kitchen table. We live in an incredibly small house, so this is where I sat up shop when I began writing seriously. Once my daughter is on her own (she`s a commuting college freshman this fall so it won`t be for a few years yet) I have plans to convert her bedroom into an office. One with a real desk and a Fathead of Henrik Lundqvist on one of the walls. *sighs dreamily*

I do my best writing in the morning, although I do put in about 6 to 7 hours per day at the laptop. I generally begin writing at 8 am, if not before, break for lunch, do a bit more, then attend to the domestic chores as well as the farm chores. After dinner I try to do an hour of editing every night, but sometimes Pinterest or Facebook distracts me. When it`s hockey season, there is nothing that gets done after dinner aside from me putting on my lucky Rangers t-shirt and getting ready for that night’s game!

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O Captain! My Captain!

An Erotic Hockey Romance from Secret Cravings Publishing (July, 2014)

Naked man in hockey helmet and skatesO Captain! My Captain! is an Amazon bestseller in sports fiction, as well as being the third in the ‘To Love a Wildcat’ series. The story centers on two forty-somethings who decide to give romance another chance, even though both had previously been cross-checked by love

Being a single working mother isn`t easy. Just ask Maggie Charles. She`s juggling a job she hates, a rebellious teenage son, and the aftereffects of an abusive first marriage. There isn`t room in her life for a love affair, not that anyone would want to romance someone her age anyway, right? So why, after all these months, when she runs into the strapping Wildcats` captain at a charity event, does the sight of Derrick Andersson leave her so breathless once again? Is that really desire burning in the captain`s green eyes when he looks at her? Is it possible for a couple of been-there-and-done-thats to find love the second time around?

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Prelude to a Dark, Dreadful Day in Pompeii

HeculaeneumunderothertownsArchaeological investigations constantly add to the body of knowledge about the dark days of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Two decades ago the story of the eruption of Vesuvius went that in August of 79 AD a quiet mountainside with vineyards growing on its slopes exploded killing an estimated 16,000 victims and burying two towns, several smaller communities, and much of the countryside under layers of ash and mud. Over time the names of the towns, even their existence, was lost to memory until they were rediscovered in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

What is known for sure is that in February, 62 AD the area was rocked by an earthquake that caused massive destruction along the bay of Naples and in Pompeii. The city was undergoing restoration when the volcano erupted. Since six hundred sheep were reported to have died on the slopes of Vesuvius, the earthquake was likely associated with Vesuvius.

Family groupThe main (actually only) eyewitness reports that survive of the eruption of Vesuvius and the destruction that followed are two letters from Pliny the Younger, a nephew of a prominent Admiral of the Roman fleet who died attempting to rescue survivors, written 25 years after the event. (They’ll have their own day later.) The actual date of the eruption has even been called into question. While August has long been the date attributed to the eruption, some experts claim that the cooler weather clothing the victims wore and the food in season – even some references in one of Pliny’s letters – indicate November 23rd as the correct date.

The residents of Pompeii, a busy trading town in Campania which was several centuries old, were originally believed to have been killed by suffocation from poisonous gases, experts now believe – based on the condition of the bodies (see pic of contorted limbs of  cast of family unit at display in British Museum)– that they died from the superheated temperatures. The town was buried under 13-20 feet of pumice and ash. More wealthy resort town of Herculaneum was initially inundated by a flow of superheated ash (pyroclastic flow) that buried the town under about 75 feet of pumice and ash that hardened into “tuff” and encased the town in an airtight shell that left the town remarkably preserved. It has revealed fewer of its secrets because it lies beneath to small towns. (See pics)

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