Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Lighting the Way

It's time to start building up your library for those cold winter months ahead--getting those books for you to read by a cozy fireplace or by the window as the snow comes down outside. Today's guest in My Writing Corner, Annette Montez Kolda brings us a special tale of love and courage with her new book, Bring the Light.

Annette earned a B.S. in Communication and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas. She continues to develop her writing and is currently halfway through UCLA’s Creative Writing Certificate. Kolda has spent most of her career teaching middle school English. She has also worked for the Catholic Church’s Ministry to the Disabled and has traveled throughout Mexico. Bring the Light is the second in a series of Sister Bridget crime-fighting novels.  Let's learn more about Annette.

What do you enjoy about being an author?


I enjoy the creative process of making a story happen that didn’t exist before. A story that is meaningful to me and hopefully to readers. 


What do you find is the most challenging part of being an author?


The most challenging part of being an author is focusing my attention fully on my writing each day.


How do you develop characters?


I develop comprehensive characters by making an inventory of their history, their personality, their likes and dislikes, their physical characteristics, their previous interactions with the main character, and sometimes write a background scene that is somehow informative to the plot but not included in the book.    


How do you come up with your plots?


I am very much of a “pantzer” rather than a plotter. I come up with a general idea - for example, my current WIP is a mystery. It’s a murder that cuts very close to Sister Bridget’s heart, and shocks and disrupts her entire close-knit community. I know who done it, of course. The rest of the mystery is created as I write though.  


Tell us about your road to publication.


My road to publication began with online writing classes from UCLA Extension. One of my first professors made the comment, “Write the book you’d like to read.” He said think about a story that’s always interested you or a character that you’ve always kind of held dear somewhere in your heart or mind. So, I started with a character: a sleuth named Sister Bridget.  


What is your latest book and how did you come up with the idea to write it?


Bring the Light is my second Sister Bridget book. I came up with the idea for this book by considering what would be a circumstance in which Sister Bridget would find herself that would be fun, interesting, and unusual for her. The answer: a baby comes into Sister Bridget’s life. 


Let's get a blurb:



Sister Bridget Ann Rincón-Keller is known as the crime-fighting nun of East Austin's Latino Community. But her heartstrings may be pulled beyond their limit when she finds a newborn by the statue of the Virgin Mary. The baby’s mother is an undocumented, teenage immigrant. ICE separates the girl from her baby, and Sister Bridget tries to reunite them. But little does she know, there are five other girls, victims of Mexico's kidnapping epidemic, who also need her help. Sister Bridget puts her life on the line. Can she rescue the girls…and herself…from the clutches of evil?

Tag Line:  Sometimes, you have to pursue your own justice 

Sounds intriguing. How about an excerpt?


"Who the hell are you?" El Gigante shouted, towering over Sister Bridget. “How’d you get in here?” 

El Gigante embodied the DNA of the previous century's roaming Karankawa people, between six and seven feet tall. Though thick and bloated by debauchery, he exhibited the sculpted face, sharp cheekbones, and deeply ruddy skin tone of his ancestors. 

        He reeked of body odor and stale alcohol.

Devil, we meet, Sister Bridget thought. She stood steadfast, bat in hand, determined to hold her ground. Jesus gave his disciples power to cast out demons, but she didn’t have that kind of confidence. 

Nevertheless, emboldened by the Holy Spirit, Sister Bridget said, “Alejandro, I know your childhood was difficult. The horrible things that happened to you were not fair. Those abuses were not your fault, but these girls are innocent. It’s not too late to repent and turn your life around.” 

        El Gigante threw the girls to the ground. He smirked, and relished bringing his big boot down, crushing Araceli's leg. The girl screamed and sobbed. Her friend scrambled to her side. The giant then turned to Sister Bridget, laughing, taking pleasure in his cruelty. 

    "I have come to get these girls. Give them to me without any trouble,” she shouted. She imagined Jesus’ disciples standing with her, shouting with her.

            El Gigante stepped in front of the girls, blocking them.  

            Sister Bridget shouted, "God, forgive me," as she ran at the giant with the bat, swinging with all her strength.


What’s your next project?


My third and possibly final Sister Bridget book is a mystery in which Sister Bridget’s neighbor and dear friend is murdered.


What advice do you have for beginning writers?


To beginning writers, I advise taking a class and learning the basics of a story: genre, theme, plot, character, setting, arc, pacing, dialog, opening lines, etc. Once a writer understands the building blocks of a story, it is then a matter of constructing the book. 


Great advice!

Here are the buy links and the social media contact information for  Annette.

Buy Links:


Amazon: https://a.co/d/22KnUA9


Barnes & Nobel: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bring-the-light-annette-montez-kolda/1141688127


Social Media:


Facebook: Annette Montez Kolda Author


Instagram: annettemontezkolda


Twitter : @MontezKolda


Website : annettemontezkolda.com


Thank you for being my guest today. Any comments or questions for Annette?

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Getting in the Spirit

Having always been a reader who enjoys finding a new series to read or an author whose work I haven't read, I was very intrigued when I heard about the new work by author Terry Segan. She lives in Nevada, though she says  the beach is her happy place, and any opportunity to travel soothes her gypsy soul. She says her imagination runs wild and she conjures up stories while riding backseat on her husband’s motorcycle. The intriguing characters, situations and settings she comes up with on those rides can be found throughout the pages of her paranormal mysteries.

Her latest work is Spirit in Tow. It's Book Number One in the Marni Legend series.  Let's get a blurb:

Marni Legend is about to publish her thirteenth novel. Gus Zuckerman has been hanging around since his death in nineteen-ninety-five. With her deadline looming and her recently deceased mother refusing to move on, can Marni dispatch both spirits and still have time for romance?


Armed with sarcasm and a warped sense of humor, her innate ability to stumble into awkward situations lands Marni in the midst of a car theft ring. As her circle of friends becomes populated with felons and possible murderers, the lines blur around whom she can trust.


Juggling a hot new beau with one hand and rekindling an old flame with the other, she may need to put on the brakes with one. Should she pick the probable criminal who may know Gus’s fate or play it safe with the sweetheart from her past? She’ll need more than her special abilities and quick wit to navigate the twists and turns of this paranormal mystery.


Let's hear more about this dilemma from Marni herself:


What do you want your current life to be?


Spirit free. I never asked to be part of this family tradition. If Grandma had simply passed on a tendency to get thunder thighs or a furry upper lip, I could have worked with that. Nooooo. She had to give me the ability to see dead people. They pop up in my kitchen, in my car, while out with a hot date (okay, that doesn’t happen often—the hot date part. Insert frustrated sigh here.) But if that’s too much to ask, how about we eliminate just one ghost—Mom. At the age of forty-eight, I believe I’ve mastered the skill of picking out my own clothes and deciding when my kitchen needs to be tidied up (when I run out of clean dishes, right?). She doesn’t need to stick around giving advice on chores.


What would you say is your biggest strength?


I’d say it’s a tie between getting myself into trouble and throwing a sarcastic barb without a moment’s notice. Or maybe it’s because of my unique style of humor, I get into a bind occasionally. Well, more than occasionally. That’s probably not a great strength. Hmmmm. Let’s just go with I make great coffee.


Tell us about Gus Zuckerman and your relationship with him.


I wouldn’t exactly describe it as a relationship. Believe me, had I known him twenty-five years ago, I might’ve done more than drool over a muscular hunk of flesh like him. Until he’d open his mouth to speak. Gus isn’t the brightest tool in the shed. He and I have more of a partnership working toward a common goal—both of us want to know how he died. The sooner that happens, he can move on to that big towing garage in the sky, and I can focus on finding a live guy to spend time with.


What are the difficulties you're having with your mother?


You want that list alphabetically or chronologically? She’s dead and refuses to move on. I think it’s a conspiracy created by St. Peter to punish me for underage drinking in college. Mom believes she has a bunch of things to resolve before leaving. For instance, she’s delusional enough to think my sister, Gloria, and I need to be civil to each other. (Did I mention my perfect sister who does everything right?) Mom would have better luck solving the riddle of the sphinx. I might never get rid of her! She also has doubts about my brother’s fiancé being able to put together a proper wedding. So what if the girl dresses like a hippy and is a bit spacey? I’m sure she’ll hire a Ringling brother and have the event set up in a couple hours without Mom’s assistance.


Tell us more about your complicated love life.

You think I have a love life? Aren’t you sweet to say so. I’ve gone from single and divorced to meeting two men in the space of only a couple days. I can barely handle one, but two? St. Peter must’ve had a hand in this just to continue my torment. One of the men is my high school sweetheart. That pretty much describes him—sweet. He’d always treat me right. The other guy, well, can you hear the theme from the show ‘Cops’ playing in your head? Bad boy doesn’t begin to describe that yummy morsel. I was never very good at juggling, so I expect it all to come tumbling down around my ears. But who knows? I might learn a new skill or two.


What do you want for your future?


World peace, and for my ex-husband’s much younger fiancé to get a botched boob job. You know, if the doctor could slip and make the left breast one cup size smaller than the right? My needs are few. After that I would welcome time to myself without spirits nagging me to help them resolve their issues. Couldn’t people be a little more careful about where they placed that revised version of their will leaving everything to the cat or buried that body they thought no one would ever find? These aren’t hard concepts. Until then, I suppose a romantic dinner with a handsome guy would be nice. Perhaps I should add a handsome guy who isn’t a criminal. Yeah, that would be a good detail to include on a dating profile.


Intrigued? Let's get more about Marni and her complicated love life with an excerpt:


    The usual cadre of fishermen dotted the docks. If I boldly stepped onto the ship, would they know I didn’t belong? Could one be a sentry in disguise? I sauntered past, trying to catch a glimpse of any crew hanging about. The boat was in complete darkness.

    Gus waited on my favorite perch. “It’s about time you showed up. Why aren’t you in all black so nobody can see you? God, you look like an amateur.”

    “Perhaps because I am an amateur. I’m not the one with a criminal record.” I sat beside him.

    “Who says I got a record? I ain’t never been locked up.”

    It never occurred to me he’d never been caught. Maybe I should have consulted him—had he bothered to show up earlier. “This way I blend in with the tourists. If anybody comes, they’ll think nothing of a woman enjoying the fresh air.”

    “You got a lot to learn.”

    Breaking and Entering 101 wasn’t a class I wanted to take. “Enough about my lack of burglary skills. Go check the boat, and tell me if anybody is aboard.”

    “Okay, okay. Stop barking orders.” He disappeared.

    

       I tapped my foot on the wooden dock, concentrating on the staccato noise. It soothed my racing mind as it conjured all the things that could go wrong. My plan had two parts—break in and don’t get caught. Simple, right?

Does that excerpt have you hooked yet? If you would like to read on, here are the buy links: 

BUY LINKS:


Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Spirit-Tow-Marni-Legend-Book-ebook/dp/B0B372WLF7 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/spirit-in-tow-terry-segan/1141622246 


And if you would like to get to know Terry better, here are her social media links:

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:


Author Website: https://terrysegan.com/

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/AuthorTerrySegan

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/terrysegan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SeganTerry

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Terry-Segan/e/B087YQGXMD

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/terry-segan 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18604926.Terry_Segan 


Thank you, Terry, for being my guest today. Any comments or questions?


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

An Enchanting Read


Part of the fun of doing a writers' blog on authors is getting to meet so many different writers with so many stories to tell. A weekly blog also allows me to keep up with some of the authors who have visited me in the past and have different stories to tell.


Today's guest in My Writing Corner is Kathleen Ann Gallagher who visited not long ago, but now she has a new story to tell. As noted on her last visit, Kathleen hails from

New Jersey; however she now lives in Southwest Florida with her husband and her Coton de Tulear, Luc.  She says she began writing stories when she was a young girl, but her interest in the arts extends beyond being a writer. She tells us she also enjoys performing in community theater.

Her newest book is A Summer's Enchantment, the second book in her Moonlight and Jasmine series.


Let's get a blurb:


A strange request brings Cassandra and Jake together, but opposite worlds may tear them apart. 


Cassandra Wales, an independent and determined registered nurse, finds her plans for the future shattered when her boyfriend dumps her. Her witchcraft made him squirm, but she wasn’t about to change for him. Decorating her new home keeps her mind off her failed relationship. She never expected to find an elderly woman, accompanied by her hot and sexy grandson, at her doorstep with an odd request. 


Jake Connor is an ambitious, up-and-coming lead singer in a rock band. When his grandmother has a dream about her late husband and she asks him to drive her over to their first home, he doesn’t question it. Once there he meets the woman of his dreams. But how can he expect her to take a back seat while he pursues his big break in the exciting world of rock and roll? 


Cassandra can’t resist Jake’s magnetism, yet she has her doubts about a man who has women begging for his attention. Can a rocker and a nurse who practices witchcraft have a future together, or will their different worlds put a halt to their budding romance?


And now, how about an excerpt:


The DJ played Always by Bon Jovi. Cassandra smiled. “I love this song. It’s one of my favorites.”

“Let’s dance,” he said.


“I’d love to.”


Jake took her by the hand, his gaze locked on hers. He led her to the dance floor, and they found a spot in the far corner, away from the crowd. With their bodies close, as if they’d danced together before, each step was effortless and seductive. She placed her head on his shoulder, with her hand across his chest, and slowly advanced down his arm, her body alive with desire. How could she respond so easily to a man she’d just met? His breathing sped up as she snuggled up against his cheek.


“You’re so sexy,” Jake whispered in her ear.


Her fingertips glided across his back, exploring each muscle, making her delirious with longing. Lost in his tender embrace, she felt warmth ignite between her legs. It seemed as if they were alone on a desert island, and she wanted nothing more than to stay all night. It was the most sensual dance she’d ever experienced. If a slow dance was this good, the sex would be unbelievable. A longing to feel his bare skin against hers was undeniable. She secretly imagined his lips trailing down her chest to her belly.


His warm breath on her neck tantalized her. Jake brushed his lips against her cheek and she responded with uninhibited whimpers. His woodsy scented cologne was hypnotic. He sang the song nuzzled up against her ear, making her light-headed. It didn’t scare her; it felt wonderful.


When the song ended, they remained wrapped in each other’s arms. Jake pulled back, but kept his arms around her waist, their foreheads touching. “You’re so beautiful. I’m happy I gave my grandmother a ride the other day. Thank God for her dream about my grandfather.”


Speaking of your grandfather, I think he’s come back to his old house for a visit.”


“What do you mean? Come on, let’s sit a minute.” He took her by the hand and guided her back to the table. They sat down, and he moved close to her. “Now, what were you saying?”


“Strange things have been going on in my house,” Cassandra confessed.


“What kind of things?” He looked at her curiously.


“I sense a spirit, and it gets cold when he visits. I’ve experienced this before, and I’m sure he’s hanging around for a reason.”


“I hope he’s not calling my grandmother to join him. She’s got so much life in her.” The sad look in his eyes made her heart ache.


“It doesn’t mean he’s here for her. There are a number of reasons spirits return to their homes. Maybe he wants to check up on her.”


“Yeah, then why isn’t he in our house?”


“You have a good point.”


She’d try a spell to free his weary spirit, but now, all she wanted to do was pick up where she and Jake had left off. It seemed like the energy had shifted from a romantic one to one of concern. She should have kept her mouth shut until another time. She took a long, cleansing breath, hoping he’d be okay.


“I have to get back.” Jake pulled her into him and kissed her. “You’re overthinking.”


His smile was infectious.


“Maybe so.” She laughed. “Go on. I’m going to the restroom, but I’ll be right here when you’re done with the set.”


“I’m counting on it.” He took off.


*****


Want to read more? Sorry, you'll have to get the book! Here are the Buy links and Kathleen's social contacts if you would like to get in touch with her:

Moonlight and Jasmine 

https://bit.ly/3vFEPcc Twitter

https://bit.ly/3P47Hln Blog 

https://bit.ly/3QllTaE Facebook

Thank you, Kathleen Ann, for being my guest today. Any comments or questions or her?

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Sweet Discoveries

I don't know about you, but as we move into the cooler days of Fall, I could use something sweet and tasty.  No, not ice cream or candy, but a good book that features some sweet treats. My guest today in My Writing Corner brings us just such a delight. Cherie Colyer is visiting today and brings us her new book in the One Scoop or Two series from The Wild Rose Press: Salted Caramel Bliss with a Wedding Kiss. How can you go wrong with a title like that?

Cherie is a professional network technician by day and a novelist by night, She says she lives a quiet life in the Chicago suburbs with her charming husband. She tells us she has four amazing sons she loves dearly. Her writing goal is to weave together stories with a paranormal twist. She’s the author of the Embrace series, Challenging Destiny, Damned When I Didn’t, and Friends to the End. She tells us she waltzed into the adult novel world with Merry Little Wishing Spritz, and now she’s delighted to be back with her latest book.  Let's get a blurb!


Roman Briggs built a life for himself in Siren’s Cove. He restored the Sugar Cones Ice Cream Parlor and turned it into a popular stop along the boardwalk. He has everything he needs until a certain blue-eyed woman wanders back into his life.

 

Seer and witch Peyton Woods isn’t sure why her latest visions feature a man and boy she’s never met. Determined to find out, she casts a spell that leads her to a small beach town in Maine and, to her utter surprise, the man who broke her heart eight years earlier.


Peyton's left with one question. Why didn't her magic show her him?


Want more? How about an excerpt?

 

   "We’re meeting up with Henry and some friends,” Roman said. “We always watch the fireworks together during the summer festival. You’re welcome to join us.” 
    Since I was there to see Henry and Travis, I couldn’t say no. 

    I expected to stop at a picnic table, but Roman strolled past them on his way to the docks. 

    “We’re going on a boat?” I asked. On land, if the metaphorical shield protecting my heart from breaking cracked, I could leave. But on a boat, I’d be trapped. 

    “Just a mile out. We can see the fireworks better. Come on.” He jerked his head to the side. When I still hesitated, he added, “I don’t bite.” 


    I remembered him nibbling all the right places when we dated. The memories sent an elated shiver through me. Sex with Roman had always been amazing. At least, I thought it was. Roman obviously enjoyed love-making with Travis’s mom more. The thought added a new layer of protection around my heart. I reminded myself that I was over him. His endless brown eyes and smoky voice no longer had any sway over me. Now, if I could just convince the fireflies in my stomach to settle down, I’d be okay. 

    I could do this. I could be held captive on a boat with Roman and not let old emotions ruin the evening. Maybe we were destined to be friends all along. 

    That thought had me agreeing to go with them to watch the fireworks. 

    Roman led the way to the pier and a battered blue- and-white fishing boat. I stumbled. The boat looked as if it had made hundreds of exhausting voyages and was ready to sink. 

    “She isn’t pretty,” Roman said as he lifted Travis onboard. “But she’s safe.” 

    “Sturdiest fishing boats on these waters,” Henry said from the back of the boat. He sat on a folding chair next to an older Black couple. 

    “It’s the only fishing boat docked in this harbor,” a white-haired man said, clapping Henry on the back as he walked by.


    “Don’t listen to Mattie.” Roman climbed in and then held his hand out to help me.
I glanced over my shoulder, finally second-guessing this whole trip. What had I been thinking, racing off to follow a vision and then sticking around even after I found out Roman was here? I should have fled Siren’s Cove the moment Karly said his name. 

    But then Henry coughed as if choking, and Travis patted his back, just like I’d seen in a vision. 

    Jinx jumped on my legs. She wasn’t worried about boarding the vessel. I scooped her up and whispered, “Don’t get attached to these people. Hanging with them is a onetime thing.” 

    Jinx licked my face. I seriously wondered if I should trust the instincts of such a young familiar. Maybe magical companions grew into their sixth sense instead of being born with it. Past the boat, a spark shimmered above the water. Was the spell that led me here telling me this was the right course to take? Or was the glow of the evening sun reflecting off a buoy? I hoped to soon find out. 


Want to read on? You'll have to get the book! Here are the 
Buy links:


Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Salted-Caramel-Bliss-Wedding-Scoop-ebook/dp/B0B1Z5RBBQ/ 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/salted-caramel-bliss-with-a-wedding-kiss-cherie-colyer/1141502750 

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id6442847514 

Universal link: https://books2read.com/u/38en9w 


Embedded links:


Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Apple ~ Other Retailers


To learn more about Cherie and her novels, visit www.cheriecolyer.com. 


Website: https://cheriecolyer.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cherie-Colyer-author-250631921629169 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CherieColyer

Instagram: www.instagram.com/cherie_colyer/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5288487.Cherie_Colyer 

Bookbub author page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cherie-colyer  


Or  go directly there:


Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ InstagramGoodreads ~ Bookbub  


Thank you, Cherie, for being my guest today. Any comments or questions for Cherie?


A Visit to Another World

Discovering a new author to read is always enjoyable, and it's even more fun to find one who is just starting out in the publishing worl...