Friday, March 30, 2012

FRIDAY FIRSTS with Ramona Butler

The First Five Sentences of... SABRINA SAYS

Please send your picture and writeto:
Three Lonesome Cowboys, PO Box 58,Stagecoach, Nevada.

“What the hell?”

Rusty Daniels swerved his shiny new four-by-four pickup off the roadand out of the crush of traffic. Open-mouthed, he stared at the gigantic billboard erected on thehillside above Highway 395.

Available now!

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1. Tell me about the first novel you ever wrote.  Whatever happened to it?
My first novel was born a short story, written via an all-night gusher of adrenaline, in a motel room on the way back home from the out-of-state high school reunion I'd just attended.  My first reunion -- my first short story.  But after I got home, I realized there was a lot more I wanted to include in that tale about reconnecting with old friends and classmates.  Until then, I'd never considered writing something as lengthy as a book.   I had been writing for publication, but that was poetry, short nostalgia pieces, and opinion pieces for one newspaper, while reporting for another.  But that reunion romance just grew and grew and grew, until it became a 400+ page manuscript.  More accurately, it became a 400+ page dust catcher, because it has never even been submitted to a publisher for consideration.  It was my "learning" book, and it's still a story I love, with wonderful characters and a unique setting.  So whenever I hit a wall with whatever I’m working on, I think about dusting off that manuscript, doing major surgery on it, and then seeing if it might fly.  But I probably never will.  There are too many other stories to tell.

2.  What's the first thing you do after you wake up in the morning?
That's an easy one.  Now that I no longer have to rush off to an office, the first thing I do is head downstairs, prepare hot tea, and then open up the house.  I've lived so long in an area where skies go on forever, that I can't stand for blinds and drapes to block out the sun or hide my view of the mountains and high desert.  By the time tea is ready, my cat is up and ready to join me for a few quiet moments before I actually start my day.  I know, I know, I'm really spoiled.

3.  Tell me about your very first date.
Gosh, that was so long ago it's nothing but a fuzzy memory.  I think it was a blind date.  A friend, a classmate named Marilyn, was invited to go on a hayride by her boyfriend, and he had a friend who was going along.  I think they set it up for me to join them just to keep their "third rail" busy and out of their hair.  I didn't mind, however.  I'd never been on a hayride and Danny was a nice kid, sort of quiet and kind of dorky, but he gave me my first kiss.  It happened that night.  I think he became a city bus driver like his father.  (Hmmm, guess that memory isn’t so fuzzy, after all.)

Ramona Butler is a true romantic. She met the love of her life at age seven -- she just didn’t realize it until they reconnected at fifteen.  They married at eighteen and are still going strong. She loves sunshine, ballads, the smell of freshly peeled oranges, the purr of kittens, the taste of nachos with all the fixings (including lots of jalapeƱos), plus the feel/freedom of truth and wide open spaces . . .  And her family.

BLOG  --
I’m on Twitter as Ramona2252

Friday, March 23, 2012

FRIDAY FIRSTS with Regan Taylor

The first five sentences of... WORLD IN HER HANDS

A huge smile on her face, Sarah Dinetti watched her favorite kind of drama unfold. Kim Turner had no idea what had been in the works for weeks and had been caught totally off guard. After weeks of planning, Kim’s husband, Chris had pulled off the surprise of a lifetime with this huge party celebrating their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

Sarah looked around the room at Kim’s friends, some who she knew the guest of honor had known since junior high. They had the world in the palms of their hands.

Publisher: eXstasy Books
Genre: Romantic suspense

Available now!

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1. Who was your first love?
His name is Roy. I was 16, he was 21 and a mutual friend invited him to a New Year’s Eve party at my house. He was tall, dark and the stuff of my fantasies and when he asked me out at the end of the night I was in love. At the time I lived in New York. He was studying art at Art Student’s League and I thought he was the most brilliant artist I’d ever seen. We dated until he went into the Army and I went off to college. He decided to end things but…not forever.  I moved to California, he apparently moved to Washington, D.C., met and fell in love with another woman and we both went about our lives.

About 5 years ago I was looking for some art for a cover and stumbled on some drawings that looked very familiar to me. I looked closer, did some checking and it was Roy’s. Taking a chance I wrote him and after many, many years – a couple of decades, we reconnected. His wife passed away two years ago and recently he asked me what do I think would have happened had we married all those years ago.

2. What was the first romance you ever read?
Rosemary Rogers’ Sweet Savage Love – and for years and years I read and reread it over and over again. I reread it again last summer and it was as wonderful as I remembered it being the first time.

3. Tell me about your very first kiss?
That was Roy. Okay there were kisses – like you know, you kiss, but they were the peck kind of kisses. The first REAL kiss, the one with passion and romance and bells ringing was when I was 17 with Roy. We were on a train going to Washington, D.C. He was returning to base and I was going to a conference in D.C. We sat in the bar car and I felt so grown up because he was in his uniform and he ordered me a rum and coke (I know, I know, what the heck was a then 22 year old guy doing buying a 17 year old girl a rum and coke on a train – if he happened today he’d be arrested but back then with my mother’s blessing to go, it was a different world.) As we sat there talking he leaned over and kissed me. At the time I was sure those were bells I heard but in retrospect I think it was just the wheels of the train on the tracks. I gotta say that kiss packed a wallop – and a peck’s never done it for me with a guy again.

An avid reader from childhood on Regan has always preferred the quiet of her room with a good book to dealing with mundane daily life. While working as a police dispatcher she began to write fiction and never turned back. Her favorite times are sitting home reading and writing with her three furfaced children commonly called cats (Miss Missy, Bogie and Mel).

You can find Regan online:

On Twitter at: Msregantaylor

Friday, March 16, 2012

It Ain't Easy Being Green

Welcome to the St. Patrick’s Day Blog Hop. Over 120 bloggers today are telling anything they can about being Irish, celebrating the day, wearing green, drinking green beer... pretty much anything!

Each author will be giving away a prize. Like a swag pack, gift cards, ebooks, print books, and so much more. On THIS blog, the prize is a $10 Starbucks gift certificate.

PLUS there will be TWO Grand Prizes for TWO different winners!

Grand Prize 1: Winner's Choice of a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
Grand Prize 2: Winner's Choice of a $90 Amazon or Barnes&Noble Gift Card

There are over 120 bloggers participating. Comment on as many as you want. The grand prize winners will be chosen at random from the commenters from ALL the blogs - meaning you can comment on EACH blog - meaning 120 entries to the grand prize.

Click on the links at the end of the post to visit the other blogs.

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Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but before I wrote this blog, the only thing I know about St. Patrick’s Day is that it’s on March 17, it’s an Irish holiday, and it’s an excuse to wear green, eat corned beef and cabbage, and drink beer.

So, I thought I’d do some quick research to find out the origin and meaning of SPD.

According to Wikepedia, it’s a cultural and religious holiday that commemorates Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), a patron saint of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.  It was made an official feast in the early 17th century and has become a celebration of Irish culture.

It is a public holiday in Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Montserrat. In North America, St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated since the late eighteenth century.

So, who exactly was Saint Patrick? He was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century. At 16, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave. He fled captivity and returned to Britain and joined the church, studying to be a priest. He was a Catholic Saint credited with converting the island to Christianity. Irish folklore tells that he used the shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to the Irish people.

What is a shamrock? It's not used just for Lucky Charms and Shamrock Shakes, but it’s actually a three-leafed plant. A white clover. It was traditionally used for its medical properties and was a popular motif in Victorian times. 

Why wear green? Originally, the color associated with Saint Patrick was blue.  Over the years, the color green became associated with the day. And, of course, shamrocks are green. Ironically, in Ireland, there is very little reference to green—it’s more of an American thing. I mean really—you don’t want to get pinched, do you?

Speaking of, why do we pinch people not wearing green on March 17? Apparently, the tradition of pinching started in the U.S. in the 1700s. St. Patrick’s Day celebrators thought wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns, who would pinch anyone they could see. Because everyone knows leprechauns can’t see you if you’re wearing green.

Why corned beef and cabbage? It’s considered a traditional Irish meal, but apparently in Ireland today, the serving of corned beef is primarily for tourists, and many Irish in Ireland don’t identify the meal as native cuisine. I’ve also heard that corned beef was the only meat that Irish immigrants could afford when they came to American, and that it’s now a reminder of their immigrant past.

And why is it called corned beef? The term comes from the treatment of the beef with “corns” of salt.

Why green beer? Really? You really need an answer for that? I didn’t think so.

So there you have it. A brief explanation of St. Patrick’s Day. Now don’t forget to wear green tomorrow. You don’t want those pesky leprechauns to see you…

After leaving your comment here, for a chance at a $10 Starbucks gift card, visit the other blogs linked below for your chance at their giveaways, and for a chance at the grand prizes!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The first five sentences of... PERPETUAL LIGHT

April 11, 1667

The Abyss hovered, waiting to take me.

More time, I need more time. He’s coming.

The raspy sounds of my own breathing filled my ears. With each jagged gasp, pain shot through my body straight to my core.

Genre: Paranormal romance, urban fantasy
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press

Available now!

1. Who was your first love?
His name was Richard and we were in kindergarten together. He had a little buzz cut. We used to hold hands on the playground. I went to full-day kindergarten and for part of the day we played in this giant playhouse. We were always married.
2. Tell me about the first novel you ever wrote? What ever happened to it?
Perpetual Light is my first novel. I’ve been very blessed with this book. It took few years, but it’s published and I couldn’t be happier.
3. What was your first date with your significant other?
So this is a debatable answer. The first time we went out together was for coffee after work. I asked him for coffee. He did pay, but I asked. Then the following weekend he asked me to dinner and took to a very nice restaurant and then for a drive along the sea wall where we stopped and talked. However, I firmly believe that if I had not asked him for coffee, we’d have never gone on that first dinner date. Thus, the first date was the coffee. He feels otherwise and swears he was going to ask for my number but I asked for coffee before he could get to the number. I’m not buying it!


After trying her hand at many, many things- from crafting and art classes to cooking and sewing classes to running her own handbag business, Jordan finally figured out how to channel her creativity. With an active imagination and a little encouragement from her husband she sat down and began to write, each night clicking away at the keys with her black Labrador, Dino curled up under the desk.
A few short years later she’s entered the publishing arena with no plans to ever turn back.
Jordan’s a member of Rhode Island Romance Writers, as well as RWA National, and the New England (NEC), Connecticut, and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal (FFnP) Chapters.
Her first book, Perpetual Light, is available on Amazon’s Kindle from Crescent Moon Press.

From Jordan: I’d like to offer a $10 gift certificate to Peet’s Coffee and Teas for one random commenter. To increase your chances of winning connect with me via one or more of the social networks listed below.
Follow my blog via the networked blog button on my site.
Everyone who comments is entered into the grand prize drawing for an eReader- Kindle Touch or Nook Simple Touch.

Friday, March 2, 2012

FRIDAY FIRSTS with author Calisa Rhose

The First Five Sentences of... HOME

Everything looks the same, even after three years.

The thought dragged through Sam Callahan’s mind like a stick through thick mud as he meandered along Center Street in front of the Five and-Dime. Across the street was the Mercantile and, next to it, the Cold-and-Ready Soda Shop bursting with teens filling up on ice cream and soda. He remembered when he’d been one of those kids. Popular, full of life, with high hopes. The drugstore was still between the antique store and Henderson’s Hardware.

Genre: Vintage Historical Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Available Now!

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1. What’s the first thing you notice on an attractive member of the opposite sex?
Hair, or the lack of if that’s his ‘style,’ or his eyes. Usually the eyes. But ultimately my gaze will generally take flight and soak in those biceps. I’m a sucker for muscular arms. Not overly muscled to the point of grotesque though, oh no.

2. If you had a free afternoon, what’s the first thing you’d do?
That’s a hard one because I’m pretty much tied down caring for FIL these days. I’m afraid I’d be like a wired kid in a candy store trying to do too many things at once until I end up napping like a baby from exhaustion. LOL. What I’d like to do after all that is take in a matinee. I haven’t done that in ages.

3. If you could live your life over again, what’s the first thing you’d do differently or change?
That one’s easy. I’d spend hours just talking with my parents and gramma about family and my heritage and stuff like that that I didn’t think to ask about before they passed away, but is now too late to do.

More about Calisa: Small-town country girl Calisa Rhose lives in a semi-remote area of Oklahoma with her husband, five dogs, one cat and one horse. All of her three daughters and their families live within throwing distance. She’s a member of RWA and the local chapter OKRWA. She intends to nurture and continue to grow as an author with the help of her family and supporters.

You can find Calisa on the web on her website/blog, Facebook (Calisa Rhose) and Twitter (@Calisa_Rhose)