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Saying goodbye…

So.

I’m not going to go into too many specifics here because I want to protect someone’s privacy as much as I can.

But…

My husband and I had a conversation the other night at the dinner table – where all the great conversations in the world should occur, I believe – about dying. Specifically, the things that get said to the person dying and the things the dying person needs to say to the survivors.

My husband is the smartest person I have ever had the privilege to meet and know. Truly. He is bat-shit brilliant when it comes to most things. If I didn’t love him to the moon and back I’d be wicked jealous of all those brains.

Any hoo.

He told me that he was at a lecture once on death and dying ( for those of you not in the know – hubman is a physician//surgeon) and something the lecturer said has stuck with him since then. It was about what a dying person needs and wants to say to the people he/she is leaving behind but doesn’t know how to articulate exactly what needs to be said.

The lecturer said there are only 11 words that need to be said  – by either party – before someone’s death. These are:

I am sorry; You are forgiven; Thank you, and I love you.

That’s all.

Those 11 words cover everything – every single thing – that ever occurred in a life or during a relationship. Think about it. Think about someone you love who is dying. Wouldn’t saying those words do justice to every thing that has ever happened in your relationship?

You don’t need to state what you are sorry for – the person already knows. Saying you are sorry  is enough.

You do need to tell them they are forgiven because they need to hear it, but they already know why you’re forgiving them without stating the reason you are.

You thank the person for being in your life, for being there during the good and bad times and everything in between, and again – you don’t need to state specifics about why you are thanking them.

Saying I love you is the most important thing you can ever say to another human being. 3 simple words, without any further exposition, is enough.

I love you.

‘Nuff said, no?

So. From me:  “I am sorry. You are forgiven. Thank you. I love you.”

 

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So, I took a little break….

I’m back.

Did you hear Arnold’s voice when you read that last line? Hee hee

My self imposed break from all social media that I told you about a bit ago (A different track) has officially ended. I was so stressed with everything that had been going on in my life of late – personally, professionally, medically, and spiritually – that I needed a little time to decompress and re-evaluate. Some sleep wouldn’t have hurt, either, but alas, I never sleep.

So. How did my little social media exile go?
Well, the first few days were hard. And by hard, I mean EXCRUCIATING! I had a real issue with FOMO ( Fear of Missing out!)


I seriously was concerned I was missing out on EVERYTHING and that I’d miss something crucial to my career or LIFE that I’d need to know. That lasted about four days. Seriously. I had hives.

Day five something happened. I woke up and the first thing I did wasn’t reach for my phone like I typically do. The first thing I did was kiss my husband good morning. The fact that it was three o’clock in the morning didn’t faze him a whit. He’s used to my insomnia.

And, no. My hubby isn’t Ryan Gossling. Just clarifyin’

Any hoo.

Days 6-10, no social media checks at all. Nada. In fact, I was cut off completely from news of the world on all counts: cyberspace, social media, and world, because I was in  the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a cruise and no wifi. Oh, I could have had it if I wanted to pay $20.00 a day to hook it up, but seriously! Have you met me? Calling me cheap is the best compliment you can give me!

Day 11 was a travel home day. When we pulled in NYC port, I turned my phone on for the first time in 5 days. It didn’t stop pinging for almost an hour. When all was quiet again I had 1596 emails, 620 spam mails, 42 texts, 122 facebook updates, 501 twitter notifications, over 200 updates on Instagram and those were just the ones I checked. The good Lord above knows how many Pinterest, Book Bub, Goodreads and TRiberr notifications I had!

It took me almost 2 entire days to go through all the emails because a great deal of them required responses.  I found out – via FB and Twitter that  two people I knew had babies, one was admitted to the hospital, had emergency surgery and was now, once again,  home.  The world was still spinning, the day was still breaking every 24 hours, and my life as I’d known it before my imposed exile was still the same.

Was I, though?
Was I any less stressed after unplugging for 14 days?

It’s a conundrum. I was happy while I wasn’t checking my phone every two minutes and living in the moment of the exile, but all the work I had to catch up on when I got back home was a little overwhelming. But, I’ll admit, since I was so relaxed, it didn’t feel insurmountable like it had before I decided to go social media-less.

So. What’s the takeaway with all this? What did I learn about myself from unplugging and stepping away from all my technology and social media platforms?

First, that’s it’s possible and I can do it again if I need to.

Second, the world still spins without you knowing what’s going on 24/7.

Third, immediate knowledge and hearing about realtime events, while a good thing, can make you blind, deaf and dumb to your own life and the events and people surrounding you.

Fourth, while unplugging totally can be a good thing, you still need to be locked in to certain things – like emails from editors who request FULL MANUSCRIPTS of your latest work! Yeah. Happened to me while I was unplugged. Le sigh. That was the first email I answered when I was on-line again, with an apology for the time delay in responding because I was out at sea.

Fingers crossed, peeps!
And last, while social media may rule the world, you can rule your own little part of it by limiting what you allow into you life everyday. I don’t need to check on all my SM accounts daily ( or even hourly, like I was doing!). I don’t need to respond to every single tweet or FB comment I receive. And I don’t need to check my phone the moment I wake up and the last thing I do before going to bed.

So, overall, I have to say, unplugging and going in a different track for a few weeks proved to be a good thing. For me, anyway.

These are the places you can find me if you’re looking. I may or may not be checking them hourly anymore, though! hee hee

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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So, an Angel walks into a room and…..

So let me tell you something funny – any by funny , I mean unusual – that happened to me yesterday….

 I breezed out of my office door into the reception area. Whoa… I rubbed my eyes. Was I seeing what I think I was? Wings? I ventured farther in and…sure enough. Tall, dark and WOW.

“Hello, I’m Caden Silverwind from An Angel’s Unintentional Entanglement. I’m filling in for Tena. She’ll be a long later.”

Shuffling my papers, really buying time, I snatched up a pen. “Uh…okay. Let me gather my thoughts and make a couple of revisions to the questions. You probably don’t know what inspired your story.”

(Caden) “I wouldn’t be so sure.” A devastating grin spread across his chiseled features. His green eyes sparkled with mischief. “Shoot.”

Hot damn. I said to myself fanning the air with my interview papers. That deep voice, smooth as honey warmed my… “Let’s start with where did the idea come from for An Angel’s Unintentional Entanglement.”

(Caden) “Tena claims she rounded the corner of one of the abandoned cabins (dating back to 1880-1890) that dot the landscape near the top of Independence Pass. It’s over 12,000 feet in elevation, you know. The first scene apparently played out right there. Or possibly lack of oxygen.” He snickered.

“Okay. So tell me a little about you.”

(Caden) “I’m a warrior angel… You do know the difference between angels? Right?”

“Not exactly. Why don’t you enlighten me.”

(Caden) A white angel is just what you would expect of an angel. They help people in need, and other divine duties as called upon to perform. The warrior angels are beings who are good souls but extenuating circumstances made them unable to fit that mold. Most were soldiers, warriors, or misfits with a good heart and soul in their human life. Warrior angels are the renegade angels up above. They take on the dark demons or dark ones that rise from the bowels of Hell, or are caught in between, and leave death and destruction in their wake. Mortals have no idea such creatures walk among them or even exist. That’s the way the big guy likes it.” Clearing his throat, he glanced at the heavens and grinned wide. “Warriors are considered outcasts by the white angels, but let one of those dark demons break through the perimeter and listen to the white one’s squeal.” He roared with laughter.

“Wow, didn’t have any idea… So are you going to be in trouble for telling me?”

“Nope, Tena spilled the beans in the book. She’ll have some explaining to do one day at those pearly gates.

“Uh oh. What’s your story?”

“I’d battled dark demons for a very long time. The last confrontation with them nearly destroyed my body and shattered my soul. I’d known it was coming for nearly a year. The darkness seeped into my consciousness a little more with each battle. I talked with my legion commander who ultimately decided the feeling would pass. It didn’t. At least I hadn’t endangered the mission when I failed to act. Against the advice of my superiors, I choose an indefinite sabbatical in the Colorado Rockies. The rugged strength and majestic beauty allowed me the serenity to pick up the pieces, face my fears, and contemplate the future. That’s when I found Mystic. She lay naked, battered, and beaten several yards off the trail. Her long, straight black hair fanned around her head, tangled with twigs, bits of grass and dried blood. That vision still haunts me today.

What did you do?

“Ah…well… you’ll have to read the book to find out. Don’t want to give anything away.” Leaning back in his chair he tented his fingers. “Don’t want her to kill me off in another book. You know how authors are.”

“Tease.”  The door to the outer office banged opened. Tena knocked and rushed in.

“I’m so sorry I’m late, Peggy. It’s been one of those days. Characters running amuck all over the place. I trust Caden kept you entertained.”

“Why yes, yes he did. I shuffled my papers and relaxed back in my chair. “Tell us a little about An Angel’s Unintentional Entanglement.”

Warrior angels are forbidden to fall in love…sometimes fate has other ideas.

Fallen warrior angel, Caden Silverwind, lives alone in Colorado’s rugged Rockies, healing from physical wounds as well as the mental anguish suffered during battles with dark demons. Then he finds a woman barely clinging to life after a horrendous beating. He is not prepared for the entanglement she brings to his life, nor the feelings she awakens in him.

Bureau of Indian Affairs Agent, Mystic Rayne’s personal dilemma and assignment nearly gets her killed. Divine intervention is a complication she never expected and her growing attraction to Caden is undeniable. Can she trust him with her secret?

Their quest to uncover her attacker takes them from the pristine mountains in Colorado to the wilds of Wyoming. Along the way, they find answers which may place them in more danger. Determined to solve the mystery, they must also navigate their feelings and fears to find love and unite heaven and earth.

How about an exclusive peek between the pages of An Angel’s Unintentional Entanglement?

Of course.”

She threw up her hands. “Where does that leave us? If there even is an us. What are we doing? Friends? More than friends? Protector and protected? What?” Oh geez, what am I doing. I learned to quit babbling on and on when I felt uncomfortable or not in control in law school. Clear, concise, and to the point. Did all my education fly right out the window, when an angel flew in? The corner of her mouth twitched, and she blew out a breath. She had to get a grip. Thinking with him so close was impossible.

“Not sure where our relationship is going, but I damn sure intend to find out,” he said.

“But if you are forbidden to associate with me…” She looked up at him, wriggled out of his hold and put some space between them on the couch. There, that’s better.

“Nope. I’m no longer a warrior, nor do I intend to return. I can’t be sure that I won’t succumb to the dark demon influence again. Physically I’m not one hundred percent either. That makes me a liability in battle, and I’m not sure when or if that will ever change.”

“I’ve fallen for a defective angel. Wouldn’t you know it.” She threw her hands up in the air then tried to stifle a giggle.

His heart took a leap, and his pulse quickened. “Did you?”

Available at Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon AU, itunes, The Wild Rose Press and Barnes and Noble

Thank you for sharing. What are you working on now? Peggy, I’m excited. A Magic Redemption, fifth book in A Demon’s Witch Series is in edits as we speak. Hopefully it will release by the end of 2018. This one is Synn’s story. She has been a reoccurring character in the series. I wanted people to understand who she really was and how she transformed.

Also I am working on a new series my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, put together about a small town in Willow Springs, Vermont. Where anything can happen. My book is a paranormal romance entitled Mystic Maples.

About the author:

Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal romance novels. An over-active imagination, led to writing her first vampire romance as a tween to the chagrin of her mother and delight of her friends. After many years as a paralegal, then an IT Manager, she decided to live out her dream of pursuing a publishing career.

With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, she sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of witches, shapeshifters, demons, faeries, and gryphons, with a Navy SEAL or two mixed in telling their tales. Her books tell stories of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Well, okay there are a few companion animals to round out the tales.

Tena’s social media links:

Website // Authors’ Secret Blog // MySay What blog // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // The Wild Rose Press // Amazon // Newsletter // Pinterest // Triberr // Book Bub // Instagram

Thanks so much for stopping by Tena and Caden. It’s been an honor.

“The pleasure was all mine.” Caden stood, towering over me by at least a foot. Leaned over took my hand kissed it.

My cheeks heated. But WOW…An angel.

“Thanks Peggy. Come on Caden, Mystic is waiting for you… something about ice cream in a waffle cone?”

He winked at me as he left. Whew what a day! My daughter and husband are never going to believe this.

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Denver or bust…

SO I made it! YAY!

I didn’t have the best experience on my second flight. On the first I had a flock of Nuns on board with me so those of you who know me KNOW how happy this made me! I felt safe, protected ( hello? Brides of Christs, peeps!) and so calm.

Then the second flight happened.

What is it about some men that feel they have the right to manspread? To invade your personal space without a care? A thought? The guy sitting next to me was about 6 feet 2 and almost as wide. When he shoved himself into the middle seat ( his wife was at the window) I lost more than a third of my personal space because took over 1/3 of my seat. I even put the arm rest down between us but that just made him spread his arm all over it, so I had absolutely no room to put my arm. He was touching me from shoulder to knees for 4 friggin’ hours! I wanted to work on my WIP but when when I opened my laptop I realized I needed my left hand to type and if I wanted to do that, I hit him continually with the movement.

So horrible. You think he would have gotten the message, but who am I kidding? The guy reeked of entitlement and masculine douchery. Is that even a word? Don’t know, don’t care, because it describes him perfectly.

Any hoo.

I’m here now, and ready to party, that rude gentleman relegated to a quick mention in a blog piece. On the agenda today is the Contemporary Romance Writers Retreat all day long. The speakers are R.L. Syme and my writing spirit guide, Damon Suede. Oh, and BTW, I’m a finalist in the CRW Stiletto contest in the Romantic Suspense division. Pretty cool, huh?

 

 

Stiletto Finalist 2018

More later. Off to learn things…..

Check for me here:  Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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So…Iceland

Last week I promised I’d share some memories of my recent Iceland trip and I’ve finally gotten a moment to sit down and put something together. This was a trip orchestrated by my daughter and which included myself, hubby, darling daughter and one of my fabulous nieces. This is us at the start of the trip. Notice the excellent and wicked expensive hiking boots we all have on. Necessary for walking, hiking, and basically existing in Iceland.

On my last blog I shared the things I liked and didn’t like so much about the tiny island. One of the things I had trouble with is the weather. I rained everyday. Every. Single. Day. All day. So we spent a great deal of time in the car, traveling to sites. One of my favorite places was to a waterfall, about 50 miles from downtown Reykjavik. Touring a waterfall on a warm, sunny day would have been bliss. On an already 45 degree, raining and windy day it….wasn’t. But it was fun! We actually got to climb up the perimeter of the waterfall and go behind it. I filmed a few seconds of our time as we stood behind the powerful rush and took a bunch of photos.

After the waterfall we drove to a LavaRock Tunnel. Think Carlsbad Caverns, but in Iceland. We went down into the bowels of Iceland about 60 meters ( 180 feet for you Americans, like me!!). I have to tell you, I was scared. Of so many things, but the biggest thing was the fear of being trapped underground should the lava shift and fall in on us.

You can see from this picture that this is the start of the “tour.” There is a huge whole in the ground where snow routinely falls into all year long. Notice the black rock we maneuvered over – that’s lava rock. 1,000,000 year old lava rock. Okay I’m not sure that’s how old it is, but you get the idea. It didn’t form last week. Not even last century! And yes, those are hard hats with lights attached to our heads. Second biggest fear? The lights would burn out and we’d been in total and complete darkness and unable to find our way back to the beginning of the cave. Told you I was scared!

On the last day of the trip we spent the day sightseeing in Reykjavik. Since it was yet another cold, rainy, and windy day, we figured we’d museum hop. 

I was able to take one picture before my daughter silently pointed to a sign that said “photography prohibited” in eight languages. Ooops. One cool thing about the city: tucked into sidestreets and painted along the sides of buildings and random houses, are dozens of street art painting. This one was my favorite:

It covered the complete side of an office building, so to get some perspective on it, the entire mural was about ten feet wide by 30 feet tall. Impressive!

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the food and some other places we went. Here’s a hint: it was rainy and cold. (Heehee)

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Tales from Iceland…

So. I’ve been on radio silence for the last week because I’ve been vacationing with the family in Iceland.

Yes, that Iceland.

Why Iceland, you ask? Well, I’ll tell ya.

I’ve mentioned before that my daughter and I no longer give one another birthday presents, instead opting to give one another experiences. Last year we went to trapeze school, so this year, I decided I wanted a trip for my b’day. My daughter went to Iceland for work a few years ago and loved it. I am a rabid fan and watcher of all things Housewives related and last year the OC girls went to Iceland and it looked beautiful. So, I said, why not go there this year? Daughter said yes, hubby said yes and we invited my niece ( who’s also hubby’s Goddaughter) to go with us. Hubby would be in charge of our itinerary, and daughter would reserved our lodgings. She did good, too. We AIRBNB’d at a farmhouse in Reykjavik.

Too cool.

Now, over the next few days I’ll give you a feel for what we did, but first I want to tell you the things I liked and didn’t like so much about Iceland.

Liked first:

1.The people

2. The roads

3. The venues we traveled to

4. The airport

5. The cleanliness of the country

 

The things I wasn’t too thrilled about:

1.The water smells like rotten eggs ( sulfur)

2. The weather is awful. All the time.

3. The price of things is waaaaaaaay ridiculous

4. You can’t go to the bathroom in a public place without having to pay.

5. it’s light out, literally and truthfully, 24 hours a day – no nightfall at all while we were there.

And now for some clarity. On the things I liked list:

The people are so friendly, they ALL speak English ( so yay!!) and they genuinely seem happy. The roads are amazing. Single lanes both ways, but not one pothole, dirt road, divet, or detour anywhere we traveled. You can see what they spend tax money on plain as day. All the places we went to visit were great! The airport was super clean,  accessible, and made sense to a foreigner ( me!). This is the cleanest country I have ever been in. No garbage, no litter, no homeless, no druggies.

Now, the negatives.

The country was formed when a volcano exploded so there is lava rock everywhere. Because of this, they are geothermal. The water comes from the underbelly of the lava so it smells like sulfur. Big time. I held my nose every shower I took. It rained everyday. All day. And never got above 50 degrees. I will never complain about the prices of things in the US again. A hamburger cost 29 dollars. A 16 oz. diet soda was 5.5o. Lunch routinely cost us 100.00. LUNCH! The kronur is 100 to 1 US dollar. 5 dollars is 500 kronars. Ridiculous. Also ridiculous is that you have to pay to pee. Everywhere. The public restrooms cost us 200 Kronur per pee each. I’m sorry, but there are some things in life that should be free: air, water, dirt, and the ability to pee. My daughter told me that this is a big thing in Europe = paying to use the public toilet. I stopped drinking completely when I found this out, Really. I was practically dehydrated, but I didn’t have to pay to pee. Everywhere we stopped I told my girls, ” find out if you can pee for free.”

A word about the perpetual light. It’s a real thing. There were blackout shades over all the windows in the house we stayed in, but it really didn’t make that much of a difference. At 2 oclock in the morning it looked like 3 pm outside. Very unsettling to the psyche.

Overall, I enjoyed the vaca, despite the few negatives. Would I go back? Probably not. It was a one and done for me. But I’m glad I went and saw the land of the midnight sun. Which is a thing. Really.

 

 

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#GoddessFishBookBlast for author Ella Quinn. #historical #Regency

USA Today Bestelling author ELLA QUINN is visiting today with an except from her newest release YOU NEVER FORGET YOUR FIRST EARL. She’ll be giving away a signed copy of the book to 5 lucky winners in her rafflecopter, so make sure you enter!

 

BLURB:

With her three good friends all recently married, Elizabeth Turley is ready for some husband-hunting of her own. One gentleman in particular sparks her interest. Geoffrey, Earl of Harrington is tall, handsome, and dashing. He’s also just a bit too sure of himself. But Elizabeth has observed enough about the rules of attraction to pique the earl’s attention. Yet once she has it, the discovery of a troubling secret taints her future happiness . . .

Lord Harrington must marry or lose a prestigious position in Brussels, and pretty, well-connected Elizabeth fits his needs admirably. But could it be that he has underestimated his bride? She doesn’t bat an eye in the face of the danger they encounter overseas. She’s strong-willed, intelligent, and more enticing each day—yet also more indifferent to him. Now Geoffrey faces his greatest challenge: to woo and win his own wife, or risk losing her for good . . .

Excerpt 

“It would not be only you pretending you might be interested in me,” Lord Littleton explained. “I would be seen to be interested in you as well.”

This still seemed unnecessary. Either Lord Harrington would want her for herself or not. She did not like to engage in deceptions. “To what purpose?”

“My dear lady.” Lord Littleton possessed himself of her hands, his gaze capturing hers.

Good Lord, the man was dangerous. She sent a prayer of thanks to the deity that she was not affected by him. “Do you do that on purpose?”

He shook his head and stared at her. “Do what?”

Elizabeth narrowed her eyes at him. “Look into a woman’s eyes as if she were the only lady on earth you wished to be with.”

“Ah, no,” he said a little sheepishly. “It just happens. I can’t seem to stop myself.”

“It’s like this, Lizzy”—her brother cut in—“any gentleman who’s interested in a lady don’t wish to see another man making up to her.” He gave his friend a disgusted look. “Littleton agreed to help, but you can see how dangerous it is for him to be in Town. He truly can’t help himself from flirting, and he’ll soon find himself in a bumble-bath if he remains too long. He’s not ready for a leg-shackle yet, but he’d be bound to raise some lady’s expectations and that won’t do.”

“That’s it exactly.” Lord Littleton must have realized he was still holding Elizabeth’s hands and released them. “But that’s not the only reason Turley and I thought I’d be the best one. You see, Harrington and I never got on well together. That will give him the extra incentive to court you properly.”

“And,” Gavin added, “Littleton is so full of juice that he is just as eligible as Harrington. Other than the title that is.”

Her brother and Lord Littleton focused their gazes on her, and she glanced from one man to the other. “I understand.” Or she thought she did. Men were such strange creatures. She wondered why Lord Harrington did not like Lord Littleton. He seemed amiable enough. “Very well, then. How do we begin?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

AUTHOR Bio 

USA Today bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.

She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, and a Portuguese Water Dog. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat. After cruising the Caribbean and North America, she completed a transatlantic crossing from St. Martin to Southern Europe. She’s currently living in Germany, happily writing while her husband is back at work, recovering from retirement.

website // facebook //twitter // Kensington

Ella will be awarding a signed copy of the book (International Giveaway) to 5 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter for a chance to win here:

 Rafflectoper

 

 

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An #interview with #RITA AWARD Nominee Lisa Olech

Today is one of the happiest days I’ve ever written for this blog. One of the dearest, funniest, and most talented authors I know, Lisa Olech, is visiting me and we’re discussing her recent RITA AWARD NOMINATION. Can  I just tell you how cool it is that I know, personally, a RITA NOMINEE?!! Fan girl moment here, folks, so bear with me. Lisa and I are NHRWA chaptermates and she was the very first person I met when I joined the chapter in 2014. At that time she’d just heard that her very first book was going to be published and even though I didn’t know her well at the time, her joy was infectious and palpable. I knew she was going to sore in the publishing world….and I was right!

When I heard Lisa was a 2018 nominee I simply had to have her on my blog to tell us about the book, her thoughts on being nominated, and her journey to publication. So sit back and relax and enjoy this little tete-a-tete.

1.What year did you first get published in the romance genre?

My first book, PICTURE ME NAKED was published in November, 2013. Somehow, I knew this book would be my “foot in the door” so to speak. It was the start of my Stoddard School of Art series and was published with The Wild Rose Press. There are two more books in that series, and I’m seriously contemplating a fourth!

2.What was that process like, i.e. how long had you been trying to get a story into print?

Years!! I’ve been writing novel length works for more than a dozen years, and had been seeking publication and agent representation for about seven. I happened to enter and win the RWA-ETC Southern Heat Contest in 2012, and one of the final judges was Rhonda Penders of The Wild Rose Press. She asked for a rewrite to make the book a bit more steamy, and I signed with them soon after. I signed on with my agent the very next day.

  1.  What was your first book about? Give us a little taste.

 Picture Me Naked is about a portrait artist and her nude model. He’s an outrageous, free-spirit who’s more comfortable out of his clothes than in. She is a rather uptight, self conscious artist who learns to love herself, as she comes to love him and see herself through his eyes.

  

  1. How many books have you had published to date?

I have eight books currently. Three in my art school series, and another five with Kensington, Lyrical. This series is historical rather than contemporary, and is set during the Golden Age of Piracy. Love my pirates!

5.What do you remember about the call from the RWA board member telling you you were a RITA NOMINEE? What did you feel? Do? Say?

Of course, I knew the calls were being made that morning, and I was trying very hard to be positive and at the same time not get my hopes up. This was the fourth time I’d entered, and I knew the disappointment that happened when the minutes ticked by and the phone didn’t ring. But this time, I filled my morning to overflowing so I would be too busy to watch the clock. Maybe I’d get so busy I’d forget and the day would pass… I was at work at my “day job.” And as luck would have it, I was being shadowed by a lovely young woman, named Heidi, who was learning the new software we recently implemented.

            Then my cell phone rang. It was earlier than I expected. I was sure it couldn’t be RWA, but my hands shook as I tried six times to swipe the screen and answer the call. The woman on the other end said, “Hi, Lisa? This is Donna Alward. I’m calling from the RWA. Congratulations.” I think my brain shut off at that point. I know somehow I leaped over poor Heidi like she was track-and-field hurdle, and rushed into the hallway where the only words I could keep repeating were, “Oh, my God!” and “Are you sure?” I even forgot Donna’s name and had to ask, “Who are you again?” By this time I was shaking and crying and my boss was out of her office cheering!

  1. For what book and RITA category have you been nominated?

I’m nominated in the Short Historical category for WITHIN A CAPTAIN’S SOUL.

  1. Tell us a little about the book. (How about a lot?)

WITHIN A CAPTAIN’S SOUL is the fifth and last book of my Captains of the Scarlet Night Series. If I could pick a favorite, I believe this would be the one (thus far!). It has been a special book for me from the beginning which makes this Rita nomination even more amazing. For one, it almost didn’t happen. I tried to kill my hero off in an earlier book!

I mean a pirates life is a hard one, and as they are known to say, there are only a few ways off a ship. Feet first with cannon balls lashed to your ankles is one of them! But this character, William “Bump” Quinn was first introduced in book two when he came aboard the Scarlet Night as a child. A Jamaican street urchin. A deaf Jamaican street urchin. Not being able to hear he was always where he shouldn’t be when something fell or got swinging, and his first few days, he got knocked around a bit…hence the nickname “Bump.” Bump was clever, however, and soon learned the ways of life aboard ship and grew into a fine sailor, and a fierce pirate. Tall, strapping…gorgeous…

            Well, as I said, I tried to kill him off, but the uproar this caused with my critique partners and plotting group was overwhelmingly “NO! You can’t kill Bump!” They had come to love him as I had. So, I saved him from my savage pen, and he became the obvious hero of the last book and final act.

            Being deaf, William used a form of sign language, but being non-verbal, all his communication needed to be physical—sign, body language, touch. Writing his book was quite a test for me as a writer. I need to thank the wonderful people from the deaf community who helped me make William “Bump” Quinn one of those characters an author (and hopefully, a reader) will never forget.

            Let’s not overlook my heroine, Jin Jun. Jun’s character was based on the real-life female pirate, Ching Shih. Ching Shih was one of the most ferocious and successful pirates of all time. She was a pirate queen.

            Bringing these two incredible characters together was a unique challenge, but made for an amazing story.

             

8.. Everyone says it’s wonderful to be nominated, and it is, but what do you think winning would do for you professionally? Personally? What has being nominated done for you? More sales? More name recognition?

Well, it’s only been a few days since the “fateful call.” So I can’t speak to the effects of that yet. And, honestly, I have no idea what happens from here. All I do know is I am honored and thrilled beyond words, and I plan to wrap myself in this feeling for quite a while.

9. What’s next for you career-wise?     

Good question! I have several proposals in the works. Time will tell. I have two series that splinter off my pirate captains. I also have a series set during the 1900’s that I’m playing with. Or I may head back into a contemporary story. I’m one of those writers that needs to follow her heart. Who knows where it will lead!

10. Will you be attending RWA18?

You better believe it!!!

 (Peggy here: and I will be, too, cheering her on with other NHRWA chapermates who love her and are so proud of her!)

A little about Lisa:

Lisa A. Olech is a multi-published, twin-genre author. Her quirky, artist contemporaries pair well with her historical, swash-buckling, cutlass swinging pirates—or at least they play well in her head. Of course one of these days she may cross streams and write about an artist with an eye patch, or a pirate with a flair for color.

Living in New Hampshire surrounded by lakes and “On Golden Pond” references, Lisa’s been writing for more than a dozen years and has been an RWA member since 2008.

You can reach her at all the social media hot spots and on her website www.lisaolech.com. Or you can email her at lisa@lisaolech.com.

 

EXCERPT from WITHIN A CAPTAIN’S SOUL

Chapter 1

Madagascar, 1717

William Quinn hated the dark. His companion had taken the lantern when she left. He could still smell the spiced honey of her skin and the musk of their sex in the rumpled sheets. She’d been a tiger in bed. His flesh still burned where her nails had raked his back. He’d lost himself for an hour or two between her smooth dark thighs. He only wished he’d learned her name.

Will lay in the bed and closed his eyes to the darkness. It was easier to visualize the layout of the room from memory this way. The door was to starboard. A three-drawer chest sat a foot to port. His pants were another matter. Where had she tossed them? She’d been in a terrible hurry to put her mouth on him. When she’d stripped him and seen his engorged cock, a smile spread across her shining face as if she’d discovered some long lost treasure. After that, she was driven by a single-minded desire. She’d been a most eager partner.

He rose and found his pants along with the wide blood-red sash he wore about his waist. And one boot. All the while, his limited sense was still on high alert. In this darkness, it would be easy to hide and ambush him. It wasn’t as if he’d hear anyone approaching, but having lost his hearing at such a young age, over his lifetime, he’d honed his other senses to razor sharp. Will lifted his nose and gave another sniff. No, he was alone.

The heat along this stretch of the world limited his choice of clothing. Bare chested, he slipped into a tooled leather vest. He patted the breast pocket. His lusty partner wasn’t interested in his winnings from tonight’s poker tables. As the daughter of one of the local pepper merchants, money was not what she longed for. Madagascar pepper was considered black gold along this great treasure route. Her father was one of the wealthiest men in the city.

Will found his other boot, and sat on the edge of the bed to slip them on his feet. He sat there for a long moment. The hollow beating of his heart echoed in his chest. Even after hours of pleasure, the only thing sated was his body.

This girl, whoever she was, hadn’t been interested in his newfound wealth or even knowing who he was. She’d only been interested in lying with him. It was the same wherever he went these days. He’d become a novelty.

Sex with the silent man.

It wasn’t as if he could brag about his conquests. Tell tales of your night in his bed. He wouldn’t bore you with long stories, or shout demands. He was deaf and never learned the basic fundamentals of speech. For some reason that made women eager to spread their legs for him. At least for one meaningless night.

Making his way to the door, Will wasn’t surprised to find the public rooms below still doing a brisk business. Time held no meaning to these establishments. Glancing toward the back corner, the poker game still wore on. He was tempted to add to his already bulging purse. Tonight’s profits had come too easy, but then it had always been a talent of his to read faces. Call it a lucrative byproduct of being deaf. Whether bluffing at cards or dealing with his crew, he could spot a liar at fifty yards.

Will’s long legs carried him quickly through the dangerous dark streets. At more than six and a half feet tall, he made an imposing figure. The three-pistol baldric and side cutlass helped. As did his permanent scowl. He pulled a short knife from a leather sheath and carried it at his side. For two reasons. A handy weapon was never a bad idea, and the high polish on the blade gave him the perfect view of anyone trying to approach him from behind.

Will reached the docks without incident and was finally able to breathe easy when he dropped down upon the polished decks of the Scarlet Night. The gentle tip of the boards shifting beneath his feet, the smell of tarred rigging, and the sight of her three thick masts brought a smile to his face. He was home.

Peggy here: KIds, you gotta get these books. If you like swashbuckling, steamy, sexy heroes and heroines, stories that are chockful of intrigue, adventure, and romance, Lisa’s pirate books are right up your alley. If you like stories of talented, moody, and (again) sexy characters willing to sacrifice all for love, The Stoddard  School  of Art series is  for you, too. Oh Hell! Any of Lisa’s books are for you!! 

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#SaturdaySeven #LASReviews; my 7 favorite Movie/book plot twists

Plot twists that lead to endings where you scream out, “NO FRIGGIN’ WAY!!” are just delightful to me. Remember the Agatha Christie book The Murder of Roger Ackroyd? At the time, many book reviewers accused Christie of playing unfair and being underhanded with the ending. But I’ve re-read that book recently and my thought: it’s masterful the way she manipulated the reader. If you’ve never read it, you should.

Because I like twisted endings, the kind you really should have seen coming, but the writer/director was so brilliant in how she laid out the story you didn’t, I give you my favorite 7 movie endings that you should have seen coming – but probably didn’t!

The Sixth Sense – really, folks, you should have realized where the movie was heading the minute the kid said, “I see dead people.”

Young Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) is haunted by a dark secret: he is visited by ghosts. Cole is frightened by visitations from those with unresolved problems who appear from the shadows. He is too afraid to tell anyone about his anguish, except child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis). As Dr. Crowe tries to uncover the truth about Cole’s supernatural abilities, the consequences for client and therapist are a jolt that awakens them both to something unexplainable.

Shutter Island ( the book and the movie!)  “Baby, why you wet?” One of the classic lines in fiction!

  The implausible escape of a brilliant murderess brings U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner (Mark Ruffalo) to Ashecliffe Hospital, a fortress-like insane asylum located on a remote, windswept island. The woman appears to have vanished from a locked room, and there are hints of terrible deeds committed within the hospital walls. As the investigation deepens, Teddy realizes he will have to confront his own dark fears if he hopes to make it off the island alive.

The Others. When you watch a movie about ghosts, you expect to see ghosts, no?

Grace (Nicole Kidman), the devoutly religious mother of Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), moves her family to the English coast during World War II. She awaits word on her missing husband while protecting her children from a rare photosensitivity disease that causes the sun to harm them. Anne claims she sees ghosts, Grace initially thinks the new servants are playing tricks but chilling events and visions make her believe something supernatural has occurred.

The Prestige. So bloody obvious…so bloody brilliant!

An illusion gone horribly wrong pits two 19th-century magicians, Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Rupert Angier (Hugh Jackman), against each other in a bitter battle for supremacy. Terrible consequences loom when the pair escalate their feud, each seeking not just to outwit — but to destroy — the other man.

 

 

 

 

 

Psycho. The movie that made the American public switch to taking baths!

Phoenix secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), on the lam after stealing $40,000 from her employer in order to run away with her boyfriend, Sam Loomis (John Gavin), is overcome by exhaustion during a heavy rainstorm. Traveling on the back roads to avoid the police, she stops for the night at the ramshackle Bates Motel and meets the polite but highly strung proprietor Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a young man with an interest in taxidermy and a difficult relationship with his mother.

 

Seven. The last 90 seconds are everything!

When retiring police Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) tackles a final case with the aid of newly transferred David Mills (Brad Pitt), they discover a number of elaborate and grizzly murders. They soon realize they are dealing with a serial killer (Kevin Spacey) who is targeting people he thinks represent one of the seven deadly sins. Somerset also befriends Mills’ wife, Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow), who is pregnant and afraid to raise her child in the crime-riddled city.

 

 

Planet of the Apes ( the 1968 version with Charleston Heston, not the asinine remakes. ) Can anyone say, “it’s the future?”

Complex sociological themes run through this science-fiction classic about three astronauts marooned on a futuristic planet where apes rule and humans are slaves. The stunned trio discovers that these highly intellectual simians can both walk upright and talk. They have even established a class system and a political structure. The astronauts suddenly find themselves part of a devalued species, trapped and imprisoned by the apes.

This post is part of a blog hop. Click on to see what some other authors find 7-worthy! SaturdaySeven

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#goddessfishblogtour Day 13… still going strong

I am exhausted!!! Yesterday’s book birthday was the most I’ve worked in a longlonglong time!!! But it was fun, that’s for sure. So, Back to the tour, still going on. Today  I’m over on the Avid Reader talking about all stuff writing related. Stop by and leave me some  love.

And if you missed it, I was featured on USA Today’s HEA Blog yesterday. Click here to read the interview. It’s was oodles of fun to do.

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