Celebrating Fall with Vintage Postcards

Fall is here!  The dogwoods have started to redden. The tips of some of the other trees are tinged with yellow and orange and a bit of cool is in the air. I’m loving it! Thought I’d celebrate fall with a few vintage postcards over the next few weeks. The first is Thomas Jefferson’s home, probably pre-1940, maybe earlier. Lovely in the fall color. Feel free to pin or copy for your personal use.

TomJeffersonHomeFallJ

Note: Checked out a current aerial pic of Monticello. All of the trees are gone. So, this is a snapshot from times past.

More tomorrow,  Rita

Leave a comment

Filed under Vintage Postcards

A Visit to Sizzling Hot Books

Today, I’m visiting Sizzling Hot Books to share my newest “Sizzling Hot” story, The Caretaker’s Lady. Thank you to Marissa and Brynna for the invitation.There’s a new excerpt with Cathy and John visiting the mountain in full fall color.  Check it out HERE.

Sizzling Hot Books

BUY The Caretaker’s Lady HERE

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Visiting Day

Romance Magicians Visit & Giveaway

Check out my blog at Romance Magicians about fall in the mountains of North Georgia and my new release, The Caretaker’s Lady from Liquid Silver Books. I’m giving away an ebook of Finding Eve from Champagne Book Group which is also set around Atlanta and the Georgia mountains.

FindingEve-140x215     caretakerslady 180x280

RomMagBlogJ2

Leave a comment

Filed under Visiting Day

Thursday Redux with Nikki Andrews

My Thursday Redux guest today is Nikki Andrews, a multi-published author as well as my editor extraordinaire. She shares a humorous character interview with Maculato a canine featured in Framed that will make you want to hit that buy link.. A blurb, excerpt, and buy links follow the interview.

Today 2 Wild Women Authors are pleased to welcome author Nikki Andrews, who brings Mac (short for Maculato), from Framed, a current release from The Wild Rose Press. This interview first appeared on Wild Women Authors in November of 2012, and has been updated.

perf5.000x8.000.inddWhere are you from?

I’m in Nikki’s murder mystery Framed. I’m the most important character because I catch the bad guy!

What is Framed about?

It’s about how my human, Elsie, and her friends at the Brush & Bevel gallery figure out who really killed artist Jerry Berger and his model Abby Bingham. It’s kind of complicated for a dog to understand, but I get to help.

What made you choose bird hunting as a profession/career?

I was born to it. I’m a German short-haired pointer. Hunting is in my genes, and my wonderful human, Elsie, has helped me develop my talent.

Knowing what you know now, if you had it to do over again, would you stick with bird hunting or do something different? 

I like hunting birds. It’s fun to get out in an open field and flush them into the air. I love to catch their scent and watch them fly away. I like hunting in the woods, too, except for having to get groomed for ticks afterwards. But—please don’t tell Elsie—what I really love is chasing frogs. They’re so funny and you can never tell which way they’ll jump. I could chase frogs all day long!

What is your biggest fear?

Getting separated from my human or lost in the woods. Sometimes I run off after a bird, but I always know where Elsie is, even if I don’t come right away when she calls.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?

Enzo, the dog in The Art of Racing in the Rain. He’s so smart, and he gets to ride in a real race car. His people love him so much. And he even comes back to life as a human! I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet, but someday I’d like to try it.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

“Find a bird, Mac!”

DSC_3292 (3)To Nikki:  Which writer or character, from either books or movies, has had a major impact on your writing?

Must I limit it to one? I go back to Tony Hillerman again and again for the sheer beauty of his writing. Although it is as spare as the land he describes, he packs more emotion into it than many more florid writers. Dick Francis’s novels are a joy to read because of the research he blends so seamlessly into them. Not only do you get to solve the mystery, you have the pleasure of learning about a different trade or career. I try to bring a little of both Hillerman and Francis into my writing.

With regard to research, where did you start for this novel? Did that lead you down different paths, thereby changing the original concept?

I worked as a picture framer for nine years and I loved it. Almost all my research springs from that experience. I should state right here that although I collected many stories and character sketches from my time at the art gallery, the people in my book are most definitely not  real-life transplants. At most, the staff, vendors and customers served as inspirations for my fictional people. No artists were harmed in the writing of this novel.

I was very lucky in my research. When UPS did not have the lost and found policy I imagined, I searched out an independent courier to learn about her trade. She was very helpful, as were the police chief I talked to and my contacts in journalism. To my gratified surprise, I wasn’t so far off base that I had to make major changes in the book.

Blurb

When a long-lost painting turns up at Brush & Bevel, a decade-old mystery is reawakened. What really happened to artist Jerry Berger and his model Abby Bingham? Was it a murder-suicide, as the police proclaim, or was it something far more sinister?

Gallery owner Ginny Brent and her loyal staffers, Sue Bradley and Elsie Kimball, each take a different path to unravel the mystery. Together, their discoveries start to form a cohesive whole. But as they get closer to the solution, they discover to their horror that art is not the only thing that can be framed.

Excerpt

“Were they lovers?”

Jenna asked, wide-eyed. “You always hear that about artists and their models.” Then she blushed.

“Oh, no! Jerry never had any interest in her as a woman.”

“But they died,” Jenna prompted, absorbed in the story.

Ginny nodded. “Ten years ago last winter. They went missing during a snowstorm. The police went nuts trying to find them. At first, everyone assumed they had just run off together, but it wasn’t like that. Mike, her husband, really stirred things up, insisting something had happened. He forced the cops to look into it.

“It took the authorities about three weeks to find them. A hunter came across them in the snow.” She looked rather sick. “The coyotes had been at the bodies, but it looked like he killed her and then himself. Mike moved out west and never came back.”

She sighed and returned to the present. “All of which means you may have a gold mine on your hands, Jenna. Let us clean it up, verify it is what I think it is. There may even be a signature under all the grease and smoke. Would you feel better if we came up with an agreement about what happens then?”

Sue and Elsie excused themselves and went to the workshop down the stairs from the gallery. “I’d forgotten he killed himself,” Sue said.

“Don’t you believe it,” Elsie replied. “Jerry wouldn’t hurt a fly. That was no murder/suicide. It was a double murder.”

Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them? What influenced your decision to submit to them? Tell us a bit about their submission process. How long did it take from query to release?

My original publisher was L&L Dreamspell. I was very happy with the results at Dreamspell, but sadly, they went out of business after the death of one of the owners. The Wild Rose Press graciously stepped up and republished Framed after doing a new edit and creating a new cover. Framed is still the same story, but it has been improved.

TWRP is an independent publisher with a terrific reputation and has won many awards for its work. I’m thrilled to be one of their authors. Because of the unusual circumstances of my book and several others from L&L Dreamspell, the query to release period was somewhat shortened. TWRP’s policy is to release a book no later than one year after contract. From what I’ve seen, the process normally takes about nine months. The editing was thorough and the new cover is clean and enticing.

To learn more about Nikki and the stories she creates go to: www.nikkiandrewsbooks.com and http://www.scrivenersriver.blogspot.com

To purchase Framed in print or ebook, go to Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00HJEHFV2 or Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=5515

 Thank you for dropping by, Nikki. Best of luck with Framed.

18 Comments

Filed under Thursday Redux

An Author’s Desk: Susanne Matthews

Author Susanne Matthews is this Sunday’s guest at “An Author’s Desk.” She writes romance/suspense with and without paranormal elements, contemporary romance, and historical romance and is published with Crimson Romance, Secret Cravings Publishing, Solstice Publishing, and Anaiah Press. Susanne is a prolific writer who will share a bit of her writing routine and her latest release (On His Watch, her third romance suspense novel published with Crimson Romance). Meet Susanne …

Although I’ve only been writing since September 2012, I have sold ten novels, six of which are currently available. Three others will be released by Christmas, with another in May of 2015. I’m currently working on a YA novel as well as a chapter book for kids in grades 2-5. In addition, I co-author contemporary romance novels under the name Misty Matthews with a gal who lives about 1500 miles away from me. We’ve never met, and have spoken on the phone twice. Everything we do is done online and through the Internet. It’s definitely a 21st century partnership. We have a novella available now and a novel due out in October. Coming Home is the first book in a four book series called Taking a Chance on Love.  

DividerBar428x25

Hello. I’m pleased to have been asked to share information about where and how I write with you.

desk 1Unlike many authors who have to juggle a part-time or full-time job along with their writing, I’m retired with as much time on my hands to write as I like. I have a home office all to myself where I can shut out the rest of the world and focus on my writing. I prefer using a desktop computer, although I do have a laptop which I use when I travel. I work in as quiet an environment as I can get. As I write I use a screen reader to reread the work to me. That way, I can catch the awkward sounding sentences, over-used words, etc. Although the system isn’t perfect, I can’t imagine working without it.

 I tend to research my story thoroughly before and during the writing of a particular manuscript. Sometimes, I’ll come across an interesting fact I hadn’t known and I’ll incorporate it into the story somehow. I’ll print out information occasionally, but most of the time I’ll save the information in a folder and retrieve it as necessary. At other times. I’ll bookmark specific links. It like being able to use my research in different books. For example, the information I learned about fire for my novel Fire Angel, has proven useful in two other novels: In Plain Sight and Coming Home.

 While I have a phone on my desk, I rarely answer it especially if I’m deep into my edits or my characters are taking me on a new journey. I use a note book to keep track of POV, word count per chapter and number of pages per chapter since these things change according to the publisher’s needs. It helps me keep the stories balanced. If I hit writer’s block, I turn to a friend. I’m usually connected to my chat lines, but I’m good at ignoring them if I have to. One of the first things I do each day is check my emails and my calendar. I blog regularly and host other writers as well, so I need to stay on top of who’s where when.

 I can write at any time of day, and other than family and church obligations, my time is my own. I’ve been known to burn the midnight oil getting the last of the edits done. Most days, I’m at the computer by eight. How long I write is directly related to where I am in a project. I’m fortunate enough to be able to stay focused when I’m editing. I’ve been known to put in 16 hour days—not even breaking for lunch—when the muse has me, but most of the time I write for 6-8 hours a day.

 I’m a pantser, which is actually quite ironic since as an English teacher I insisted on plot graphs, character sketches, and the whole nine yards. When I decided to try my hand at writing, I simply started keyboarding. The story comes out of my fingers. I have no idea what’s going to happen next. The characters are real to me, and they direct the story. I suffer with them, grieve with them, and of course rejoice when everything works out at the end. I’ve been known to torture them if someone in my real life annoys me too. Venting inside a fictitious world is a lot safer and surprisingly just as effective. Plus, I never have to eat my words or apologize to any of my characters no matter how badly I treat them.

 I don’t write a story from start to finish as one draft. Instead, I add and create it bit by bit. I’m a linear thinker. A has to come before B, but if I have a brainwave, I’ll make a note to remind me of it later. My writing is a lot like building a wall. I’ll create a paragraph, go over it, add details, and then move along. I’ll save the work at the end of the day. The next morning, I’ll go back to the previous day’s work, revise, edit, and add to it until it’s doubled in size until the story is complete. As the story moves past the first chapter, I’ll start my writing day by reviewing the two last chapters I’ve written. This helps situate me in the story again and get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes I’ll move chapters around, add a chapter before the one I started with or I’ll add one between chapters. I constantly make sure that suitable clues have been planted as I move along—go back to verify details, and make sure that every issue is believable and resolved in a satisfactory way by the end of the story. Character names can change throughout a story if I come across a name I prefer or if I think similar names are needed or need to be avoided. One fact is consistent in all my work. The title of the book is always found somewhere in the narrative or dialogue in the story.

 And there you have the story of this author’s desk.

DividerBar428x25

On His Watch

A romantic suspense novel from Crimson Romance   (August 18, 2014)

On His WatchWhat starts as a quiet evening alone watching football turns into the night from hell for FBI agent Jason Spark, who is covering sheriff duties for his honeymooning brother. He thought the 911 call was a butt dial but instead stepped into a bloodbath, complete with writing on the wall. It’s a scene straight out of a slasher movie—a dead physician, his son, and his wife so badly beaten, it’ll be a miracle if Nikki Hart survives.

When Nikki Hart awakes from a coma, she’s terrified. She doesn’t know her name, recognize her face, or remember anything about herself and her past. She clings to the memory of the angel who comforted her in her darkest moments, but no one in the world she wakes up in resembles the good guy.

Evidence in the case leads Jason to The Butcher, a hired assassin usually contracted by the Sicilian mob, a man who doesn’t quit until the job’s done. News of Nikki’s recovery puts her in the killer’s sights again. Jason will do whatever it takes to protect the woman he’s learning to love. But can he save her from a vicious killer intent on earning his million dollar fee and his employer bent on revenge?

And when the smoke clears, can Nikki ever forgive the secret role he played in her injuries?

On His Watch Buy Link

Media Links: Webpage / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Email: mhsusannematthews@gmail.com

Author Page: Amazon

 

2 Comments

Filed under An Author's Desk

The Star-Spangled Banner

THE STORY OF STAR-SPANGLED BANNER

Meet Francis Scott Key, a young lawyer from Maryland. In 1814 towards the end of the War of 1812, Key who was a lawyer and an amateur poet was negotiating a prisoner exchange with the British.  He was aboard the HMS Tonnant on the night of September 13 and 14 when the British fleet bombarded Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

Through the rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air, Key was able to see that the American flag at Fort McHenry was still waving and reported it to the American prisoners below deck.  The experience inspired Key to write and publish the poem “The Defence of Fort McHenry”, which was published on September 20, 1814. It was placed to music and has become known as “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The first and last of the four stanzas are provided below.  The fourth stanza (seldom read and never sung) epitomizes the concepts of American exceptionality, reliance on God and appreciation for God-given liberties which, though profound beliefs of American citizens for more than two centuries, have been questioned by some today.


The Star-Spangled Banner

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The original Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired Key, is one of the most treasured artifacts in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington,D.C.

To read more about Key and the Star Spangled Banner:  http://francisscottkey.com/

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Event of the Week

The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia

In a luxurious resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia where the trees stand cloaked in fall colors, the apples and pumpkins are ripe for harvest, and pots of apple cider simmer beside the fireplace, a couple in the autumn of their lives surrender to lust and discover love.

FallNGA2For the next few days, I’ll share the beautiful fall scenery of North Georgia which is the location for my erotic contemporary romance from Liquid Silver Books, The Caretaker’s Lady. The first feature is an image of Blue Ridge Mountain in North Georgia with a short excerpt from the book. The play of light and shadow on the fall scenery is magnificent.

DividerBar428x25

John stopped on the path. Cathy halted beside him.

“Close your eyes for a moment while we step onto the overlook.”

She frowned. “That requires a bit of trust.”

He squeezed her hand. “You can always trust me, Cathy.”

“Okay.” She closed her eyes and took his arm as he guided her forward a few feet.

“Open your eyes now.” She heard the excitement in his voice. Then she saw why.

The Blue Ridge Mountains lay before them in their early autumn colors. In places, the clouds obscured the sunlight, creating a chiaroscuro patchwork of brilliant color and shadow in the valleys and on the mountainsides.

“Thank you for sharing this with me, John. It’s magnificent. Pristine, as though people have never walked these mountains.”

Read an excerpt or buy The Caretaker’s Lady from Liquid Silver Books HERE or from AMAZON or AllRomanceEBOOKS

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

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book News

Thursday Redux: Author Kimber Vale Visits

Liquid Silver Books author Kimber Vale is this Thursday’s Redux guest. Kimber writes erotic romance of all stripes, from hot hetero to mouthwatering manlove. Find her MF work published under Kimber Vale. Come for the sex. Stay for the storyDividerBar428x25

Hi, everyone! I’m Kimber Vale and I am so happy to be here today to share an old post from my blog (http://www.kimbervale.me). This is slightly revised (because I double-dog dare you to go back and reread something you wrote two years ago and not change a thing. Impossible!), and the original was posted on June, 15th 2012.

Who Here has Screwed the Pooch?

I’m wondering about weird phrases today.

It’s raining cats and dogs. Or maybe it’s colder than a witch’s titty. Oh, how the worm has turned, probably because it was a piece of cake.

What got me thinking of these odd sayings, you ask? Well, for some reason, “screwed the pooch” recently came up in conversation and I got stuck analyzing it:

How is the term “screwed the pooch” at all socially acceptable? Who started it and why didn’t the first person to use it get slammed by everyone within hearing distance? It just doesn’t make sense. Why? For the love of Pete, WHY?!

As an author, I know that basically all publishers forbid animal love. While the erotica industry is largely accepting of most forms of snoo-snoo, bestiality is pretty much a standard no-go everywhere you look. People getting kinky with pets? Hard stop. With good reason, I might add.

I do love to pet my pussy, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve never “screwed the pooch.” I won’t even allow a dog to lick me, to be honest. Grosses me out. I know damn well where that tongue’s been and I don’t want any part of it.

And they say the human mouth is the dirtiest. My personal jury is still out on that. I’ll let you know the final verdict once the zombocalypse hits.

So, what other asinine phrases can you think of? I revel in imagining “great balls of fire,” and “for the love of Pete,” especially since I know a very conservative Pete. How about “holy shit?” I can’t help but picture a priest in an outhouse for some reason. These are all well-known, oft-used expressions. But why?

What if we change it up the next time we’re in pleasant company? Will the revised versions have the same effect? Are my new phrases better or worse?

My best buddy just messed up royally, but I say, “Oh, man! You just made sweet love to a dog!”

“Huge flaming testicles! That kid is driving me insane!”

“Oh, for the sake of being largely enamored with my husband’s unattractive coworker.”

“Well, priest in an outhouse, this is a garbage poker hand.”

Actually, I could get on board with the flaming testicles. But really, where the hell do we come up with this excrement? The English language is walnuts. Someone pass me the flippin’ raisins ’cause I’m gonna start mixing it up in everyday speech just to see if I can start some new idiotic idioms.

DividerBar428x25

Hard Act to Follow

An MM Contemporary Romance from Liquid Silver Books (August, 2014)

Note: Hard Act to Follow is book three of Kimber’s “Shooting Stars” series but is a standalone book. If you like friends-to-lovers, fabulously flamboyant twinks, or big, burly overprotective buddies, this could be the book for you.

hardacttofollowKyrie is an actor with a physical aversion to telling lies, a one-eyed cat, and horrible taste in men. His ex-brother-in-law and best friend, Greg, harbors a secret crush he can’t shake. After denying his feelings for Kyrie for too long, Greg finally gives in to desire one drunken night. Come the morning, the facts get twisted. Kyrie pretends he doesn’t remember a thing—a lie that eats him alive—and Greg can’t stop thinking about how he screwed up the best thing in his life.

Before they can clear the air, Kyrie follows his dreams to New York City, but could he also be running away?

A mistake from Kyrie’s past detonates their silence, and Greg is forced to confront the man he loves. Is their new truth strong enough to support a relationship, or are they doomed to crumble under old fears? Their friendship could evolve into something a million times stronger, but maybe Kyrie’s act is just too hard for Greg to follow.

Buy Link: Liquid Silver Books / Amazon

Social Media Links Webpage / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Email: kimbervale@ hotmail.com

Author Page Links Liquid Silver Books / Amazon / Goodreads

5 Comments

Filed under Thursday Redux

The Caretaker’s Lady #MFRW Hop

logo book hooks

The Caretaker’s Lady, my erotic contemporary romance from Liquid Silver Books, released this week. Check out the blurb and excerpt below, then click the link to buy. Note: Hot, contains Spanking, Mild BDSM (with a chuckle). Visit the other authors by clicking the link.

DividerBar428x25

Click to read an excerpt.Pass the grits and call me y’all. Jasmine Bloom, queen of the bodice rippers for three decades, never thought she would become a victim of writer’s block. When family stress causes Cathy Morrow, who writes as Jasmine Bloom, to miss a deadline, Blaylock Publishing accepts a mysterious invitation for Cathy to visit The Mountain Ridge Resort to revive her muse.

Divorced for two decades with three grown children and two grandsons living in her home, Cathy can’t find the inspiration she needs to write the sizzling-hot romances that gained her fame and fortune. At the resort, Cathy meets a hot maintenance worker who warms the cool nights. Will she be content to role-play his favorite scorching-hot love scenes from her novels then return home to her dull routine?

The caretaker’s job at the resort allows billionaire John Murdock to live the life he loves in the Blue Ridge Mountains and keep a centuries-old family vow. When Cathy Morrow arrives at the resort, she lights a fire he’d banked years ago. Will she look beyond his white hair and menial job to appreciate what he offers—passion with the prospect for love?

DividerBar428x25

John was flirting with her. How long had it been since she’d flirted with a handsome man? Way too long. Could she play the game? Perhaps. Did she want to? Hell, yes! “No, but you’re handsome.”

“You think so? Thank you. I’m glad to hear that.”

Damn they were moving fast! “You’re welcome. Why?”

“Because when I proposition you, you won’t be too pissed off if my performance is not up to par. It’s been a while for me too.”

Oh my God! This wasn’t happening. Not to her, at least. It had been so long. “You’re going to proposition me?”

He laid his hand over hers. “Would you like for me to?”

BUY LINKS: Liquid Silver Books / Amazon

 

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter visit Blog Central…

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog Hops

Release Day for The Caretaker’s Lady

The Caretaker’s Lady, my erotic contemporary romance from Liquid Silver Books, releases today. Check out the blurb below, then click the link to buy.

Click to read an excerpt.Pass the grits and call me y’all. Jasmine Bloom, queen of the bodice rippers for three decades, never thought she would become a victim of writer’s block. When family stress causes Cathy Morrow, who writes as Jasmine Bloom, to miss a deadline, Blaylock Publishing accepts a mysterious invitation for Cathy to visit The Mountain Ridge Resort to revive her muse.

Divorced for two decades with three grown children and two grandsons living in her home, Cathy can’t find the inspiration she needs to write the sizzling-hot romances that gained her fame and fortune. At the resort, Cathy meets a hot maintenance worker who warms the cool nights. Will she be content to role-play his favorite scorching-hot love scenes from her novels then return home to her dull routine?

The caretaker’s job at the resort allows billionaire John Murdock to live the life he loves in the Blue Ridge Mountains and keep a centuries-old family vow. When Cathy Morrow arrives at the resort, she lights a fire he’d banked years ago. Will she look beyond his white hair and menial job to appreciate what he offers—passion with the prospect for love?

BUY The Caretaker’s Lady HERE

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Release Days