Tag Archives: Thursday Redux

Thursday Redux: Author Celia Breslin

Celia Breslin is revisting my blog today with a favorite post which first appeared here last year during my October Goosebumps special. (Thought this would be a good day to decorate my blog for Halloween) Celia writes Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance at Champagne Books. She’s one of those authors I’ll be able to say “I knew her when …”I’ve read and LOVE all her books. Can’t wait to get my hands on her new one—Destiny—and share a review here. Why not buy the first two books in the award-winning Tranquilli series to be ready for the new release.

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Fun facts not in my bio: Joss Whedon rules–The Cabin In The Woods is my current, favorite movie, and I’ve been known to walk around tossing out movie quotes from it. I’m not a morning person, so don’t talk to me before 8AM, unless you’re my trainer and we’re kicking serious exercise butt! Other random tidbits… Love Asian food, especially Thai and Japanese. Cinnamon addict. I have a tattoo I designed myself.

I originally wrote this post to honor my grandmother. She inspired my writer’s journey with the many stories she told me throughout my childhood. It was originally posted during Halloween month because what better way to celebrate this fun holiday than with a spooky story? Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

I grew up listening to my Irish grandmother’s stories about the Fae, including her encounter with a Banshee in her cellar when she was a teenager. Of her many stories, this is my favorite.

Bumped by the Banshee

By Celia Breslin

(Based on actual events as recounted by her grandmother)

I lived in a large two-story house with my parents, sister and grandmother. It was a cold, winter evening, nothing special or out of the ordinary. The family dined together, then my sister and I cleaned up while our parents and grandmother drank tea. We joined them at the dining table to do our homework, but my grandmother said she was tired and went upstairs to bed. My parents followed shortly after that, but my father paused on the landing.

“Maeve, it’s going to be a cold night. Fetch us some coal, please.”

I abandoned my homework, grabbed the empty coal bucket from the kitchen, and went down into the cellar. I filled my bucket and returned to the stairs. I had one foot on the first step when the temperature in the cellar, already cold, dropped dramatically. Chills ran down my back. Behind me, someone moaned.

But how could that be? I was alone…

Terror rooted me to the spot. The keening grew louder. I dropped my bucket and covered my ears. A cold wind bumped against my back. I stumbled forward as the shrieking wind rushed over me and up the stairs.

But how could that be? The cellar had no windows…

Above me, the cellar door slammed shut. The sound broke me from my stupor. I screamed and ran from the cellar, through the kitchen and dining room, up the stairs to my room. My parents and sister found me under my bed, shaking like a puppy lost in a snowstorm.

“What is it? What’s wrong?” They asked me, while pulling me from my hiding place.

“I heard the Banshee wail.”

We stared at each other in silence, all of us reaching the same conclusion moments later. We hurried to my grandmother’s room.

She was dead.

Copyright 2013, Celia Breslin. No part of this family story may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical without permission from the author. Rita Bay has my permission. 🙂

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Destiny

Urban Fantasy with Romantic Elements from Champagne Books

November 3, 2014 (available now for pre-order!)

Vampires, love, mayhem…all in a day’s work for Carina.

Picture of a fast moving cars at nightIn HAVEN, San Francisco nightclub owner Carina Tranquilli survives a vicious attack by her vampire family’s longtime archenemies. Several weeks later, as she struggles with PTSD and survivor’s guilt, supervillain Dixon resurfaces and kidnaps two of her best friends. To save them, Carina must comply with the evil bastard’s unusual demands. The kicker? She must tell no one what she is up to.

Meanwhile, she has a new dance club to open for the preternatural community, a fated soul mate acting secretive and distant, and a sexy, new, undead friend who’d love to take Alexander’s place in her heart and bed.

Blackmailed, betrayed, tempted…sometimes destiny has a wicked sense of humor.

Buy Links AMAZON / ALLROMANCEEBOOKS

Author Page Links CHAMPAGNE / AMAZON / GOODREADS

Celia’s Social Media Links WEBPAGE / TWITTER / FACEBOOK / PINTEREST

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Thursday Redux with Melissa Keir

My Thursday Redux guest today is Melissa Keir who is published with Secret Cravings Publishing, as well as being self-published. Melissa writes contemporary, small town romances. Her Melissa’s Wilders Sisters series takes place in her hometown of Amherst, Ohio and features five girls who left Amherst only to return to care for their ailing father. Her other stories feature small towns, blended families, and happily ever afters. From September through June, Melissa teaches children and shares her passion for writing and math with them. You can also hear Melissa’s Morning After Movie Reviews on a local Michigan radio station each Monday morning. I loved her Redux post, having enjoyed a similar relationship with my grandmother. Check out Melissa’s Redux post and her contribution to the Wilders Sisters series.

This post I originally wrote in 2009 after cooking my grandmother’s favorite recipe. My mother has been gone for over fifteen years yet she still remains in my memory. I remember the day I was cooking, wanting to call her to ask her a question. Her death hit me hard again. My grandmother, her mother, had been my best friend when I was a teenager. I rode my bike to her house when mom and I butted heads. Yet she also died shortly after my high school graduation, never knowing my children…never having that close relationship with them that I had with her. Needing to get my feelings down, I wrote this post and shared it with my family and friends on my blog. Now each time I make this recipe or the other family recipes I feel like they are there with me.

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Food Has a Memory

 Food has a memory, for good and for bad. We can remember certain foods that were important to us as children or food that made us sick. One time when I was ten years old, my father thought I should try some shrimp. He didn’t believe me when I said that I didn’t like it, but forced me to try it and watched me run to the bathroom like a mouse with a cat on my tail, to get sick. That memory stays with me today and shrimp will never cross my lips.

There are foods that are a part of tradition. My family makes a sauerkraut soup for our Christmas Eve celebration. It takes two to three days to make this recipe with the smell of sauerkraut wafting through the house. We are also known for our dilly bean recipe which is nothing more than pickled green beans. This too was a production of momentous proportion each summer after the green beans came in!

Today for some odd reason, I decided to make German Kuchen. This was a recipe which came from my mom’s side of the family. I remember vividly her, my aunt and grandmother making dozens of these delicious coffee cakes in my grandmother’s small kitchen. It was given to my mom from her grandmother who came over from Switzerland to live among the shores of Lake Erie. Pulling out the recipe, I noticed my scribbles on the old recipe card that my mom gave me. I was trying to decipher the magic code for a recipe that my mom knew by heart.

After a quick trip to the grocery store for ingredients, with recipe in hand, I was ready to begin. Like any good recipe, there are tweaks that have been done to it over the years. My mom used to use cake yeast, but I use bread yeast dissolved in warm milk. The recipe calls for one or two eggs. How do I know which is the correct amount? Do I split it and put in one and half? Mixing the sugar, butter and eggs into a nice blend was easy. But then I got to the next stage, where it became truly challenging for me. I wasn’t sure what my mom meant by a stiff batter. Was that like pizza dough or more like cake batter? All I wanted to do was pick up the phone and call my mom or grandmother to ask them! They would know the secret to the scribbles on the recipe card so that I could become a part of the generations of Jones women who made this delicious dessert.

At this point, I feel the weight of generations on my shoulders. Will I be good enough? Can I carry on the traditions of my family for the next generation? Will my children have the fond memories of cooking with me to look back on when they have children of their own? I took a chance with the batter and went for something in between pizza dough and cake batter. Then I had to let it rise, and rise again. All the while, I am trying to channel my family members who can help me with this problem. I can’t call my mom and just ask her because she died over 15 years ago.

Parents are not supposed to die. They are the superheroes of every child. The “person” who can do no wrong and make all hurts go away with just one kiss. No one ever imagines a day when they will be without a parent-your father who will help you with your car, or a mother who knows just what to add to her secret recipe, yet we do have to go on without them here beside us. I thought I had accepted this fact until I tried to make her family recipe. Then I was back to being a kid wanting her mother to help her make things all better.

Food can make you closer to your family as you enjoy a treat and think back to yesteryear, remembering the laughter and deliciousness of the meal prepared with your family. Today I wanted that closeness, that bond with my mom. Making the Kuchen was hard for me because I wanted to make her proud and do it just like she always did. As I pulled the pans out of the oven, my son asked about them and after the explanation of what they were, he remarked that they smelled good. Tears formed in my eyes. Yes, maybe they will remember these days when they are older with children of their own. Maybe the memory of the Kuchen and my mom and grandmother will live on!

DividerBar428x25 Cowboy Up Book Bundle- The Heartsong Cowboy

Contemporary Western Self published, Sept 2014

About the series:  D’Ann Lindun contacted me and five other authors with the idea of writing a cowboy story for a book bundle. Each author took the idea in their own way and wrote captivating stories which showcase the uniqueness of cowboys. My story- The Heartsong Cowboy- is inspired by a real life event.

CowboyUpGroupBundleSeven men as tough as the west…Seven women who know how to…

Cowboy Up

A boxed set of seven romantic novellas by seven award-winning authors experienced with writing about the men of the West.

The Heartsong Cowboy blurb:

Can two people, one horse and the power of love cure a little girl?

Angela French blames herself for her daughter’s lack of voice. Determined to do anything to correct the situation, she seeks out Jake Kyncade, the owner of The Heartsong Ranch.

Jake Kyncade hides his own sorrows behind his no-nonsense demeanor. Helping children becomes one way to correct his past. Using equine therapy, he sets out to make a difference.

Can Jake help Angela’s dreams come true or will Jake’s past bring more heartache? Will love save them all?

Buy the Series: AMAZON

Melissa’s Buy Link:  AMAZON

Melissa’s Media Links:  WEBPAGE / TWITTER / FACEBOOK / FACEBOOK2 / BLOG

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Thursday Redux with Jude Johnson

new author pic Jude Johnson, an author who is multi-published in several genres, is the Thursday Redux contributor today. Jude writes historical nonfiction, historical fiction, contemporary romance, and children’s stories. Her publishers include Champagne Books, 7DS Books, Open Books Press, and Scorched Hawk Press. She reports: “I believe in living the Renaissance life: Develop a myriad of hobbies, interests, and skills to cram as much life as possible into our short time on this plane of existence. Yes, I’ve kept my day job. *wink, wink*”

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My post was originally published on 17 March 2014 in honor of World Down Syndrome Awareness Day (http://www.worlddownsyndromeday.org/)

This darling boy is the son of a very dear friend. Sara, an Arizona-born cowgirl embodies all the finest qualities of ranch gals. She trains horses with a gentle hand, teaches and counsels children, and hardly says a bad word about anyone. The worst I ever heard her say about a former boyfriend is, “He was not a very nice boy.” Her husband Marty is also a kind man, takes all sorts of teasing from her friends (like me) with good humor, and has a great heart.

So when they had their first child, a boy who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, their friends weren’t sure how to respond. Everyone wants a perfectly healthy child. Everyone usually assumes two great people will have a great baby. Guess what? They have. [Photo by The Bug’s Dad, Martin.]

BugThe Bug, as he is lovingly called, is a beautiful, happy boy. He has the best laugh in the world. (Well, second to my son’s baby laugh. That was enchanted music, but I’m biased.) As Bug approaches his first birthday in May, he’s reached those milestones every parent brags about or frets over: lifting his head, rolling over, sitting up, smiling, laughing, wriggling, crawling, getting into things, walking, burbling–oh, and did I mention getting into things?

This is a fortunate child to be born to loving parents who live in a tight-knit community of family and friends. We all know he’ll face more challenges than average as he matures, but he will have a strong support system around him to help him learn to meet each obstacle and deal with it–in his own way and time. He will grow up in a ranching/farming environment, well-acquainted with dogs and horses, where the insane pressure of modern urban life is not as much of a factor as it could be. He’ll face the incredible cruelties other children can inflict, as we all know will happen, but he’ll also be surrounded with acceptance and encouragement in a way few people experience. I have no doubt The Bug will learn to achieve through determination, hard work, and love–just like his folks.

Down Syndrome is trisomy-21, a genetic anomaly of an extra of chromosome 21. Its effects can vary from severe (with multiple organic issues such as heart problems and other organ dysfunctions) to mild, with some facial effects and  slower than average cognitive learning. People born with Down Syndrome can lead rich, productive, independent lives–if given the chance and acceptance. There are more than a few young people with Down Syndrome who have made incredible achievements–way above any average. To learn more, and read about these remarkable men and women, please take a moment to check out The National Down Syndrome Society page.

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Save The Last Dance

A Contemporary Romance from Champagne Books  (April 2014)

save the last dance ecoverABOUT: A trilogy of novellas about Maggie Pearce and the love of her life, English actor John Harrison—how each break the chains of bad relationships through their mutual love of ballroom dance, surmounting obstacles to prove that love does conquer all.

The road to love is rocky for Maggie and John. Both in loveless relationships, they share a passion for dancing, and along the way, for each other. Their attraction could destroy everything they’ve worked for, so when circumstance throws them together again and again, they must choose if it’s better to stay in their loveless relationships or gamble on love.

Save the Last Dance Buy Link 

Media Links: WebpageTwitter Facebook / Email: AuthorJude@comcast.net

Author Pages:   Publisher Page / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Tomorrow, Countdown to Publication

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Thursday Redux #1 An Exclusive Interview with Miss Jane Austen

Thursday Redux is a new feature on my blog where authors share their favorite post, the story behind it, a blurb, and their links.

The story behind my favorite post. I wrote An Exclusive Interview with Miss Jane Austen for a group blog – Southern Sizzle Romance, when a guest blogger backed out a few hours before her post was scheduled to go up. I had recently read a collection of some of Jane Austen’s recently released letters and used excerpts of her letters for the answers to my interview questions. It’s far longer than most of my posts, but remains a favorite. Rita.

Wishing to share one of my favorite blogs for the introduction of my blog’s new feature – Thursday Redux, I determined to invite an incomparable guest to share her thoughts on writing and publishing. I retrieved my well worn Ouija board from the basement where it has resided for decades, dusted it off, and once again invoked the spirit of one whom every writer of romance esteems above all others. Miss Jane Austen, the genetrix of all writers of romance, graciously consented to an interview to be published as the first Thursday Redux blog (minus the references). Allow me to present Jane in her own words.

Miss Austen, could you share your thoughts on writing romance? “I could no more write a Romance than an Epic Poem.–I could not sit seriously down to write a serious Romance under any other motive than to save my Life, & if it were indispensable for me to keep it up & never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first Chapter.”

But you have had great success with your books. I hesitate to mention gauche matters such as money but I understand that your books are selling rather well. “You will be glad to hear that every Copy of S.&S. is sold & that it has brought me £140–besides the Copyright, if that should ever be of any value.–I have now therefore written myself into £250.–which only makes me long for more.”

In my humble opinion, your literary endeavors merit the highest approbation. What has been your experience of the matter?  ” . . . there seems almost a general wish of decrying the capacity and undervaluing the labor of the novelist, and of slighting the performances which have only genius, wit, and taste to recommend them.”

I appreciate your support of your fellow authors and admire your insistence on upholding only the highest standards in literary endeavors.  I should not have been surprised, therefore, to discover that you have been very hard on your critique partner, your niece Anna.  Her “Henry Mellish I am afraid will be too much in the common Novel style–a handsome, amiable, unexceptionable Young Man (such as do not much about in real Life) desperately in Love, & all in vain. But I have no business to judge him so early.” And her “Devereux Forester’s being ruined by his Vanity is extremely good; but I wish she would not let him plunge into a ‘vortex of Dissipation’. I do not object to the Thing, but I cannot bear the expression;–it is such thorough novel slang–and so old, that I dare say Adam met with it in the first novel he opened.”

I find your Elizabeth Bennet entrancing. Do you have a personal favorite? “I must confess that I think her as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print, & how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her at least, I do not know.”

Have you considered following the emerging trends in the romance market? “No–I must keep to my own style & go on in my own Way; And though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other.”

Miss Austen, please accept my sincere appreciation for visiting. I regret that you will be unable to respond to comments and I would never presume to channel you, so return to your blissful sleep content in the knowledge that you are the idol of many and exceeded by none.

Source of Jane Austen’s Quotations: Daily wit and inspiration from Austen, compiled by Lori Smith, author of A Walk with Miss Jane Austen

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Duchess in Waiting is an erotic Regency romance, a Siren Classic which contains voyeurism, light consensual BDSM, and support characters (a dominatrix and her lover employed at the local brothel) who try to steal the story, but settle for educating the Duchess. Check out the cover (by Harris Channing), blurb, and buy info below.

CLICK TO READ EXCERPT/BUYIt’s not nice to keep a lady waiting. Lady Ellen Hammond languished for years at Madame Foret’s Academy for Young Ladies while her fiancé and guardian, the Duke of Ralston, enjoyed a rake’s life in London. When she must return to England to escape the violence of the Revolution, she decides that the life of a long-suffering duchess-in-waiting is not for her.

Posing as a valet, Devon Townsley, the Duke of Ralston, accompanies Robert Montclair to Paris to rescue Ellen and her English friends. Unprepared to settle down, he wants to discover if his fiancée will make a suitable duchess. He has his doubts when he must rescue her from captivity in a brothel.

Determined to settle her business in London and travel the world, Ellen finds romance and passion with Rob’s aggravating valet, Tobias Stanford. When sparks ignite between the two and burst into a passionate affair, Devon reconsiders his commitment to living a rake’s life. He discovers, however, that his deceit has a high price.

Buy or read an XXcerpt at my Siren BookStrand AUTHOR PAGE that includes all of my stories or at general ebook outlets. AMAZON / KOBO / NOOK

WEBPAGE & BLOG / FACEBOOK / TWITTER/PINTEREST/AMAZON

 

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