Thursday, June 30, 2016

Character Interview with Carlos—The Art of Getting Away

The Art of Getting Away by Nicole Sorrell is a companion short story to her series The Art of Living. The main character is Carlos, who lives in the small Midwestern town of Clantonville, Missouri, where he grew up. He’s thirty-four years old, and has one younger brother, Zac.
The story occurs when Carlos takes a vacation at Table Rock Lake. There he meets a sassy girl he calls Andie.
Let’s listen in as Carlos answers a few questions:
Q: “What is your superpower?”
Carlos: “I’d have to say cars. I can fix almost anything wrong with them. I’ve been hanging around my Uncle Jose’s garage since I was a teenager, and I’ve worked for him full time for over ten years. He’s the best mechanic there is, and he’s taught me everything he knows. So if it’s broke, I can figure out how to fix it.”
Q: “What’s your biggest regret?”
Carlos: “I recently lost my aunt, who was like a mother to me. My biggest regret is that I didn’t appreciate her more when she was here. My mother left when I was four, and I never saw her again until a few weeks ago. Looking back, I realize how involved my Aunt Cecilia was in my life. I wish I’d have told her more often how important she was to me, not just at the end.”
Q: “But you did get a chance to tell her?”
Carlos: “Yes, I did. She had cancer, so her death wasn’t a complete surprise. I sat with her one afternoon about a month before she passed, and told her how much she meant to me. We had a chance to remember some of the crazy things I did as a teenager when I was going through a rebellious phase. She kept me out of trouble with my dad, who was a deputy sheriff. She was always there when I needed her, with a smile, or a hug, or just to listen. It’s hard being without her now, knowing I’ll never see her again. We were really close.”
Q: “Clothes in the hamper or on the floor?”
Carlos: “It’s about fifty-fifty. I try to keep the place neat, but sometimes it gets away from me. Gets pretty messy.”
Q: “Do you have a favorite pet?”
Carlos: “I don’t have a pet. If I did, it would be a dog. A big one, like a German shepherd or a Rottweiler. One that would be good for protection, but well-trained. I hate dogs that have bad manners.”
Q: “What’s your favorite food?”
Carlos: “I like spicy food. My Aunt Marie is a great cook, and she makes the best Mexican food. I love her chicken enchiladas. She makes them with her homemade green salsa and sour cream. Delicious.”
Q: “And your favorite vacation spot?”
Carlos: “Table Rock Lake, in the Missouri Ozarks. I recently went there for vacation. I stayed in a little cabin that had a nice private beach. It was beautiful, peaceful. Real special. Even more so because of the people. You just never know who you might meet there.”
Q: “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
Carlos: “Funny you should ask me that. A year ago I would have said the same place I am now. I like small town life, and I like being single. I never wanted the responsibility of a wife and family, or even a pet. But lately I’m not so sure about the single part. I may reconsider that. Having children might not be so bad. You never know what the future holds.”
About the Author:
I currently reside in a rural area of the mid-west. After living in various parts of the U.S. and traveling abroad, I recently moved into the very same home where I grew up. I enjoy country living: ours is a small community, and everyone knows everybody. The culture of the city also draws me: the shopping, dining, and the opera and ballet. 

     I love traveling, especially to other countries, and I speak Spanish. Of course I love to read, and I'm a published poet. I like baking pies and drinking ale. Oh, and I like playing cornhole, and I spend way more time than I should playing computer games.
     My constant companion is a tiny Yorkshire terrier named Georgie Doodlebug. I call her GiGi. She's my fur baby.

Amazon Author Page:
Amazon Book Links:

The Art of Getting Away is part of the Stories of Sun, Sand and Sea collection, currently available at the links below:

Monday, June 27, 2016

Character Interview—Dot McKenzie-Lapahie

Today I'm welcoming PJ Fiala to my blog. She's going to interview Dot McKenzie-Lapahie, a wolf shifter, from my Free Wolves series. Dot is currently the CEO of Lapahie Enterprises, and mate to Gavin Fairwood of the Fairwood pack. So glad you could drop by, Patti, and glad to see you again, Dot. Now on to the interview.

1. Where were you when you heard about 911 and how has it changed you?

    I was waitressing at a little diner off the interstate in the middle of nowhere, North Carolina. What passed for breakfast rush was over, but we still had some truckers getting their morning caffeine fix. One of the truckers got a call from his manager to warn about the possibility of delays along his route and that was the first we heard about it. Hank, the boss, kept a small TV in his office and we all huddled around it to watch the news. I cried, I admit it. Up until that point, I'd never paid much attention to politics because I was too busy trying to stay ahead of whoever was chasing me, but that event changed everything. Now I understand how what goes on in the world around us impacts all of us for good or bad.

 2. How do you approach tough decisions?

   I've had to act on impulse too many times in my life, so I rely on instinct, Now that I'm running a business, I'm slowly learning to take the advice of people who have more expertise than I do in their specialties, but when it comes down to the final decision, I still rely on my gut.

3. Are you organized? If so, what do you do to keep yourself organized?

    It's not hard to stay organized when you own next to nothing. Now that I'm running a company, it's a lot different. Thank heavens I have an excellent assistant who keeps me in line. Still, all those lessons I learned from living minimally come in handy to help me stay organized even though I have more things to keep track off.

4.When was the last time you saw your family?

  It depends on your definition of family. My mother and stepfather are dead, and it's been six months since I've seen my aunt, but the Fairwood pack is my family now, as well as the kids at the school and the staff at the business. I'm with the pack almost every day and at the school at least once a week and it's an amazing how much support I get from everyone involved.

5. How do you spend your time in the summer months?

  Same way I spend the winter months. Working But at least in the summer I get to ride my motorcycle more often and that really helps me relieve stress.

6. What's your favorite vacation spot and why?

   I haven't had a real vacation in forever. Even when I was working in Florida, i rarely took time off to explore the state. Don't tell Gavin because he'd want to drop everything and take me somewhere immediately, and I can't leave right now.  But when I was a kid, my mother and stepfather took me to some caverns in the Smoky Mountains and they were really cool. I'd like to go back some day.

7. What's your favorite drink and why?

    A glass of ice cold water. Nothing beats water fresh out of mountain stream during spring, when the snow is melting.

 8. If you could pick one person from history to share a meal with, who would it be and why?

      Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokees. She was an inspiration to her tribe as well as women everywhere. I'd love to talk to her and pick her brain for ways I expand the school and help even more shifters find a place in the modern world. Maybe she could help me figure out how meld the competing sides of my background—Native American, wolf shifter and a little bit of Irish heritage.

9. When you need a creative fix, what do you do?

   I'm not what you would call creative in an artsy kind of way. I never advanced much beyond the  gluing macaroni on paper stage. One of these days I'd like to learn how to crochet. It seems like such a relaxing activity and heaven knows, I've had more stress in my life than I like to think about.

10. Do you like to cook and if so, what's your favorite dish? Care to share the recipe?

Despite all the time I spent working in diners, I'm not much of a cook. The places I worked didn't serve haute cuisine. But I don't have to be because Gavin is a meat eater and he cooks the perfect steak. I do make a mean tossed salad, but he only eats enough of his to make me happy.

But one of the favorite things I remember my mother making was chicken and dumplings. It was a pretty simple recipe. Cut up and wash a whole chicken and put it in a large pot. Add enough water to cover it, and bring it to a boil. Lower the temperature of the burner to keep in cooking but not boiling. Cook for a couple of hours, then remove the chicken and set aside. Add two cans of cream of chicken soup to the pot and continue cooking the mixture.

While that's happening, cut up the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add back to the pot. Now make dumplings dough according to your favorite recipe or from biscuit mix. Bring the mixture in the pot to a boil, and add wide egg noodles. The more you add the thicker the end product will be. Next drop spoonfuls of the dumpling dough on top and finish according to the dumpling directions. (It will probably be about twenty minutes for the dumplings to cook.) It's as easy as that!

To find out what other characters reveal about themselves, follow the links below.

And don't forget, tomorrow Stories of Sun, Sand and Sea goes live! Get your copy now!

June 27 Interview a character. Imagine you could step into the world of your novel and interview the characters like they were real people. What would you ask them? What would they say? (Alternative - if your novel were made into a movie, what famous actors would you have play the main roles?)
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use ?#?OpenBook? when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Custom Blog:

Code for Link:

get the InLinkz code

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Character Interview—Fawke DeSantos

This week I've got an interview with Fawke DeSantos from the story Dead End Beach. It's one of the 11 stories in the collection Stories of Sun, Sand and Sea. I've got more information about our pre-order giveaway at the end of the post.

Now, here's Cherime MacFarlane and her interview with Fawke.

Dead End Beach, Fawke DeSantos interview.
The road on Homes Spit is the end of the line in South Central Alaska. Between you and the rest of the world lie the Gulf of Alaska and wild mountains.
Fawke DeSantos rode his motorcycle from Louisiana to the end of the road in Alaska. It’s as far in the United States as he could go. What was he looking for?
Cherime: “I’m sitting here in the Old Salt Bar with a beer and ready to interview someone who has become a bit of a local sensation with the ladies of Homer, Fawke DeSantos. Fawke makes lunch deliveries for a local restaurant and has claimed a bit of fame while buzzing around town.”
Cherime: “Hi there. What’s your full name? How did you decide on Alaska as a destination?”
Fawke: “My name’s Fawke Layn DeSantos, I’m 28 years old and after spending nearly twelve years of my life taking care of my aunt, it was time to go somewhere else. I pointed the headlight north and kept on going.”
Cherime: “What did you expect to find up here?”
Fawke: “Other than icebergs and igloos?” He stops and rubs one hand down a bare arm. “I didn’t expect to find a little blonde bomb working in a bar as a bouncer. I heard Alaska women were different, but that was something else.” Fawke grins at me.
Cherime: “I suppose that was a real surprise.”
Fawke: “Sure as hell was! That is one jolie blonde in a tightly wrapped package. To be truthful the only reason I’ve been camping out on the beach and working for barely enough for gas money is little Ornery.”
Cherime: “That brings me to my next question. Are you planning on staying in Alaska?”
Fawke: “That’s one question I can’t answer for you. Little Miz Maddox holds the key.”
Cherime: “Do you think you can take winters in Alaska. You know the riding season is short up here.”
Fawke: I get a huge belly laugh from the man and his dark eyes sparkle. “Riding is an interesting concept. A person can ride a lot of things; just saying. After all, isn’t life the wildest ride of all? As to my staying in Homer, the end of the season party on the beach may be when I get my answer. I’ll be sure to let you know. Are you going to be there?”
Cherime: “Sure. It’s the end of summer, we have to send it out right. See you there, Fawke.”
I’m Cherime MacFarlane and proud to call myself an Alaskan. I’ve spent more than half my life in this state and it is home. I’ve done a lot of things while living here, the opportunities were endless.
Come and look around my sites. At the least I can guarantee you a lot of beautiful pictures of my home.

 HOT SUN IN THE SUMMER TIME! Time is running out. Stories of Sun, Sand and Sea – 11 Beaches – Anything Can Happen goes live in FIVE days. That means our pre-order contest is almost over. Some lucky sun worshiper is going to win money and books. It could be you.  It's EASY! And there are 11 different ways to do it. Go nuts! Good luck!!! Click HERE for for information on how to enter.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

What I Know to Be true—Open Book Blog Hop

Just FYI—I may go deep into the rabbit hole for this one.

When I was eight or nine, the neighbor, who worked for the county, did some road work near the edge of my parent's property. During the work, a large rock was deposited along the side of the road, and was turned into a playground by my siblings and me. Somewhere, there used to be a picture of three of us sitting on the rock having a picnic.

So what does this have to do with anything, you ask. Don't worry, I'll get back to it later.

Current US politics offers many choices of what is true or not. I'm not going down that path today, but consider the many possibilities. Each side believes so strongly in the truth of their claims that they aren't willing to consider an opposing viewpoint even when given facts that indicate otherwise. Those who are willing to consider both sides of the political argument are, to some extent, scorned.

And how do we know if what we see on TV or on the internet is true? Photoshopping is everywhere and it's easy for even am amateur  to "fix" photos and videos. It's become a game to find the worst possible examples of bad jobs. We can spot the ones that aren't done well, but how can we trust anything that we see on line?

So maybe we can only trust what we see with our own eyes. We all know that the sky is blue and grass is green, right? Except there is new theory floating around that our ancestors couldn't see blue. Homer, in the Odyssey, never described anything as "blue." If you do an search on the internet, you'll find many interesting articles on this topic. Here's one, Business Insider I consider it flawed, but it's an interesting place to start. The claim is if a culture doesn't have a word for a color, then the people of that culture can't "see" that color. They did an interesting experiment with the green squares below, and came to the conclusion that some cultures can distinguish between different colors of green better than we in the US can because they have more words to describe green, It's a fascinating read, even if you don't accept the premise.

So now the sky isn't blue (maybe) and the grass isn't green. So what else do we know to be true?

Even our memories of an event can be wrong. Law enforcement knows all too well that eyewitness accounts can't always be trusted. Scientific American. Here's a quote that best sums up the article. "On the contrary, psychologists have found that memories are reconstructed rather than played back each time we recall them. The act of remembering, says eminent memory researcher and psychologist Elizabeth F. Loftus of the University of California, Irvine, is “more akin to putting puzzle pieces together than retrieving a video recording.” Even questioning by a lawyer can alter the witness’s testimony because fragments of the memory may unknowingly be combined with information provided by the questioner, leading to inaccurate recall."

Have you ever seen the video that tests your powers of observation? I admit that I counted wrong the first time.

So what do I know to be true? Remember that large rock I talked about at the beginning? The one that we used as a picnic table as well as a rock climbing wall? I revisited that rock as an adult, and at first I thought that part of it had been broken off and hauled away. It was so small! Maybe two of my siblings could fit on it now, but there wasn't any room for a picnic. Of course the rock hadn't gotten smaller, I'd just gotten bigger.

So what do I know to be true? I know that I've experienced both love and hate. That I've felt joy and pain—sometimes at the same time. That I'm only one person, but if I can help one other person, I've made the world a better place. And I know that I wish more people felt the same way.

June 20 Prompt - "What I know to be true". No rules here, just run with it. If you're deeply honest and open, the beauty of what you write may surprise you.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use ?#?OpenBook? when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Custom Blog:

Code for Link:

get the InLinkz code

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Character Interview—Kat Benson

In this week's character interview, we meet Kat Benson from Beach Blanket Murders: The Ocean Can be Deadly

As I looked at the pretty young dark-headed young woman sitting across from me I noticed she’d checked her watch twice since she'd come into the room for her interview. As Associate Dean for the Graduate School at UNC, Chapel Hill, I planned to interview her for several reasons and wondered if she was in a great hurry.

“Good morning Kat. I’m Dr. Judith Lucci. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for the University newspaper. As you know, we're doing student interviews as part of resume building so that when you get your graduate degree next semester, you'll already have experience with interview techniques. Does that sound okay to you?”

“Yes, yes, that sounds great I'm excited about the interview.” Her voice was young, her eye eager and I had her total attention.

“Tell me a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, where did you go to undergraduate and a little bit about your family. I watched as Kat formulated her response. I could see the wheels turning in her head. She was so pretty, tiny and petite, with her emerald green eyes and her perfect smile. Truly a lovely girl.

Kat took a breath and began. “Well, I'm sorta from everywhere. My dad is retired military, Navy actually, so I've lived all over the world. I’ve got two older brothers. It's been a great experience for me to have been so many places, all over the world, at such a young age. My dad retired my high school senior year, and we moved to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. I went to undergraduate school at the University of New Orleans and became intrigued with the art, history and culture of the Big Easy so deciding to get a graduate degree in art history was a no-brainer.”

I nodded. “What made you pick the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for graduate school? Of course, were delighted to have you,” I added.

“Oh, it was definitely the reputation of the school and my brother went here and loved it.” She hesitated a minute and added, “I wanted to put a little distance between my boyfriend and I just so I could figure out whether it was a serious relationship, you know, the real deal,” she added with a serious smile.

I grinned at Kat and said “That's the first time I've heard that response but I appreciate your honesty.”
Kat blushed a little bit and said, “I guess that wasn't the best answer.”

“I think it was a very honest answer and its fine. I’ve noticed you've checked your watch three times in the last 10 minutes. Are you in a hurry?

Kat blushed even more, the red flush spreading from her neck to her face. "Yes, I sort of. I'm going to meet my old college friends from the University of New Orleans and my boyfriend, Liam… who lives in New York… for a long weekend at the beach. I'm so excited and I've been waiting for this for what seems like forever. Please forgive me if I'm acting rude."

I really liked this girl. "No problem, I just hope your weekend is everything you've been looking forward to.”

"Oh, I'm positive it will be. Nothing could possibly go wrong. All my best friends are coming and who knows, if I get my wish, maybe I'll get a marriage proposal!"

I smiled again at the eager young woman and hope everything went according to her plan. "Kat, I want everything you want. Now tell me, what are you planning to do with your graduate degree? Where are you planning to work?"

Kat’s smile was direct. "Well, I'm a little on the obsessive-compulsive side so I started researching where I might want to work last year."
I smiled at her. She was so young and eager. I remembered when I been young and idealistic. Anyone would be lucky to get her. "And, what's the verdict? What's your ideal job?"

"Well," she said with a huge, warm smile. "I want to work at the Smithsonian...I want to live in DeeCee..."

I smiled at her in return. "DeeCee, huh. Lots of opportunity and lots of traffic! Talk to me next spring. I’ve great contacts there who would love to have you,” I said as I stood and offered her my hand. “Have a wonderful time on the Outer Banks. I hope it all goes well with your boyfriend," I added as I smiled into her happy face.

"Oh, it will,” she assured me. "Nothing could go wrong. We're perfect for each other. I'll let you know how it goes."

"Please do," I said as she stood to leave. "Keep in touch with me during the next semester. I want to help you reach your dream of living and working in Washington."

"Promise," she said as she clasped my hand. She was gone in a flash leaving a scent of violets, a wave of energy and an exceptional impression."

That young woman is going to go places, I thought as I returned to my computer. Little did I know what the next few days had in store for her.

Alex Destephano Novels
Medical Thrillers that Chill the Heart

Michaela McPherson Mystery
Tough, Gritty Crime Thrillers

And don't forget our preorder giveaway! Details HERE

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

New Cover Reveal! Enforcer by Ryleigh Rhodes

I'm pleased to present the new cover for Enforcer by Ryleigh Rhodes. Ryleigh and I were working on our first books at the same time, and critiqued each other's work.

The book is currently in edits again as Ryleigh prepares for it's re-release sometime near the end of the month. In the meantime, get a load of the new cover!

After surviving Iraq, Claire finally has her life on track. The nightmares have stopped along with her need for physical therapy. She has friends and a husband she wouldn't trade for the world. Nearing the end of her residency, tragedy strikes with the loss of her husband in Afghanistan. Friends rally around her, but will her heart ever fully recover? Left to pick up the pieces and raise her twins alone, Claire struggles to rebuild herself.

Cover Artist: Rebel Edit & Design
Photog: Kruse Images & Photography: Models & Boudoir
Model: Matthew Hosea

Ryleigh can be reached on Facebook:

You can find her other books on Amazon

Monday, June 13, 2016

Tools Every Writer Needs—Open Book Blog Hop

What tools does it take to write a book? There's lots of goodies available for the beginner or experienced writer,with varying claims of how they can contribute to success, but what does a writer really need?

Many, many years ago, (I won't tell you how many,) I made my first attempt at writing a book. I even finished it. There's a copy of it stored in a box somewhere, but that's where it will stay. (It'd bad, folks, really bad.) I used the only tools I had available to me at the time- a pen and paper.

I don't remember how many words that book was, or how long it took me to write it. Or how long it took me to type it out on an old manual typewriter once I'd completed it. But by gosh, I wrote it.

The second book I wrote, many years later, I also wrote by hand. Same with the third. There was something about seeing the words spill out from the end of the pen that made me feel as if I was creating something worthwhile. Somewhere around the fourth book, I switched to typing into a word processing programming on a computer. It was different, looking at the words on a screen instead of on paper, but it was faster.

And editing was so much easier. Instead of scribbling in margins or over top of words on paper, all I had to do was delete a few letters and replace then with better words. Because editing is as much about writing as is writing a first draft.

There are several tools that every writer should have for editing. The first one is a dictionary. Misspelled words and words used incorrectly happen to the best of writers. A dictionary—either the old hard-bound type or one built into the word processing program—will help eradicate typos. Second is a rarely-used Thesaurus. A Thesaurus is great when a writer can't come up with just the right word, but it can be a crutch as well and should be used as a last resort.

There are various tools a writer can use for editing. There are sites on line that check grammar, word usage and punctuation. There are also pages where writers can post their work for other writers to critique. Two of these are ProWritingAid and CritiqueCircle. If a writer has access to an in-person critique group, that can be even better. Nothing like bouncing ideas off fellow writers to make improvements.

But there are a couple of tools that every writer should use that don't come in book for web page format. The first of these is perseverance. It takes a lot of work to write a story, no matter how short or long it is. It's one thing to put a few words down on paper and start writing a book, it's another to finish it.

And perhaps most important, is an active imagination. Mark Twain may have said that "substantially all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside source" but that doesn't mean writers have to stop trying to find new ways to express those ideas. Someone had to be first to write a vampire romance novel, And although my idea of a sci-fi time- travel medieval romance may not have worked for me, other writers have done a much better job with it.

So there it is. My list of the tools a writer needs. Pretty darn basic, Now if the topic had been what I wanted it would have been a different story., To find out what tools other authors use, follow the links blow. And feel free to tell me about the tools you use in your writing in the comments.

June 13 Tools every writer needs
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use ?#?OpenBook? when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Custom Blog:

Code for Link:

get the InLinkz code

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hank James Character Interview

This week I'm presenting Hank James, one of the characters from Copper Moon—The Meeting. The story is PJ Fiala's contribution to the Stories of Sun, Sand and Sea collection, available now for preorder. And don't forget about our giveaway! Find out how to enter at the end of the post.

Copper Moon – The Meeting
The Artist…
Brie Spencer is in need of solitude and scenery to help her heal from the loss of her sister. Feeling she will never be able to move on from this heartache, and the torment of the night her life changed forever, she makes the trip to Copper Moon, to paint and heal.

The Biker…
Hank James has always wanted to win the coveted Copper Moon Cup. But having the fastest time has eluded him, that is until this year. Having spent every waking moment tinkering on his baby, he thinks he's finally going to bring home the elusive trophy.

The Problem…
Looking to capture the perfect sunrise, Brie tumbles into the path of Hank James - literally. Making final adjustments on his bike before the race begins, Hank heads to the beach for a trial run. Almost running over a woman and dumping his bike is the last thing he needs.

Hank James
So, Hi. I guess you’ve gathered already that I’m Hank. I’m a Marine, and hopefully soon, a full-time bike shop owner and builder. I want to open my own shop and specialize in vintage motorcycles. I fell in love with older bikes when my dad, George, was still alive and I was a little boy. You see, my dad always wanted to win the Copper Moon Cup. Every year, we would load up my dad’s old 1942 Crocker and head to Door County, Wisconsin to race in the Cup. The Cup is a race for vintage bikes only. They have to be at least 20 years old, but the 20 year olds are the new bikes there.
The Crocker, which was my grandpa’s bike first, was special to my dad because it was the bike he learned to ride on. My grandpa bought it used, only a few years old, while he was home on leave from the service and it sat in his dad’s garage until grandpa got home to ride it. Then, well, he rode that bike everywhere. He didn’t have a lot of money when he first got out of the service, so the Crocker was his only mode of transportation for two years. Since he lived in Dell Hollow, Kentucky, it wasn’t too bad; the weather is usually mild most of the year.
When my dad turned 15 Grandpa let him learn how to ride the Crocker. Then, he got a job bussing tables at a local restaurant and paid Grandpa for it as soon as he could. Just like my grandpa, he rode it every day to and from work and school. He used to tell me that he thought he was the cat’s meow when he was on that bike. A smile as wide as an ocean and the girls thought he was something special. At least, my mom sure did. After they had me, Dad didn’t ride it that much – only on the weekends or when he needed to let off some steam. And of course, there was the Cup.
So, to race in the Cup, you can’t have any modifications on your bike; it has to be original. Of course, old parts are hard to come by sometimes, so they allow you to put newer parts on it as long as they are made just like the old ones and there aren’t any enhancements to it. There’s always someone trying to cheat, but that’s what happens when you have a large purse. The race has grown in popularity so much that the purse is now a half million dollars. That’s something special.
So, my two best friends are Colby Landon and Brian Knight. We’ve known each other since grade school. We all went into the service the same year, but we were each in a different branch of the service. I went into the Marines, Colby was a paratrooper in the Army, and Blake is a SEAL. Nowadays, Colby is a smoke jumper, which is a firefighter, and Brian is a bouncer. We’re all in our 40’s but none of us are married at this time. I was, but divorced many years ago. Brian’s never been married; he’s kind of a man whore and Colby was engaged to a gal whom he met in the Army, but she was killed in combat. He’s had a hard time getting on with life.
That brings us back to the Cup. Colby and I want to win so we can open our own bike shop. He says he’s getting too old to continue on with the firefighting, and he’s the best damn fabricator I’ve ever met. He’s made most of the parts we needed for the Crocker. Brian will be there with us, I’m sure. I’ve mentioned it a few times, but he’s noncommittal about it; first, we have to win.
That brings me to Brie. Holy shit, she almost made me dump Julie, that’s the Crocker – long story, but anyway, I did end up dropping her down when Brie stepped out in front of me on the race track. Silly woman. I was pissed off, but something about her just stirs me something fierce. She’s beautiful and kind of sad; but at the same time, she’s smart, funny, and well…I’m hoping we will be able to get to know each other better.

PJ Fiala
I am a wife of thirty years, a mother of four grown children and the grandmother of three lovely grandchildren. When not writing a new story, I can be found riding my motorcycle and exploring this fabulous country of ours. My writing revolves around people anyone would love to spend time with. No self-absorbed billionaires for me.

Earning my Bachelor's Degree later in life fulfilled a dream for me. Then, I found the courage to write and I haven't looked back. Currently I have five published books. I also serve as the VP of Communications for WisRWA and devote a large amount of my time helping other authors slog their way through this thing called publishing. I love to hear from fans, so look me up and touch base.
I come from a family of veterans. My grandfather, father, brother, two of my sons, and one daughter-in-law are all veterans. Needless to say, I am proud to be an American and proud of the service my amazing family has given.

Touch base with me or stalk me (I’d love that.)

Amazon Author Page:

And don'r forget the giveaway! If you haven't entered already, check out the details HERE

Monday, June 6, 2016

Books I Read as a Teenager — Open Book Blog Hop

As I've mentioned on here previously, as a kid I read constantly. Frequently a book a day. So it should be no surprise that I sometimes read books that were technically above my age level. Some that i even hid from my mother, because I figured that she'd take the book away from me.

One of those books was Hawaii by James Michener. I read the book the summer after eighth grade. For those of you who have never read the book, it's a sweeping saga of the history of Hawaii, approximately 1000 pages long, sex included. I devoured it, and finished reading the book in about three days (including a weekend.)

After that, I became more "adventuresome" in my book selection, although my choices were somewhat limited because I got most of my books from the school library. A Catholic school. No sex in those books. But that was alright, because I could find books that were written for more mature readers and therefore held my attention.

My mother was also a big reader, so I also started hitting up her bookshelf. And the books that no longer fit on the shelves and were being stored in the attic. That's where I found "Ivanhoe" by Sir Walter Scott. It's based in the era of knights and chivalry and Robin Hood. It was first published in 1820, but the copy I read was produced in 1928. How do I remember that? I don't. I now own the book. It has a few pages missing, and is definitely worse for the wear, but it now has a place on my bookshelf.

The reason Ivanhoe stuck in my mind is that it didn't have a happy ending for all the characters. Rebecca, who was quietly in love with the knight Ivanhoe, and knowing it would never work out between the two of them, gracefully bows out of the picture. I always felt bad for her, but admired her bravery.

(This isn't the edition I own, but it's in the spirit of the 1928 version.)

One last book before I close. Somewhere around my senior year of high school, i picked up a copy of Bury My Heart at Wooded Knee by Dee Brown. It was the era of the Vietnam War, but civil rights was still a very much discussed topic, but no one talked about the Indians—now called Native Americans. It was an eye opener for me, and to this day I pay more attention than many people to the ongoing battles that Native Americans have to fight to retain their culture in today's society. It may have been what influenced me to have Native American references in my first book, Wolves' Pawn.

Feel free to tell me about how the books you read as a teenager in the comments below. And to find out what our other authors have to say, follow the links below.

June 6 How the books you read as a teenager affected you. Could also be how they influence your writing now.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use ?#?OpenBook? when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Beck Holland- After the Storm

Today I'm tickled to present Beck Holland's character interview. Beck Holland is the leading man in After the Storm, which will release as part of our anthology, Stories of Sun, Sand, and Sea. He comes from a well-known family and resides in Ember Cove, Alaska, where he's lived his entire life. When he's not playing handyman, you can find him playing guitar and singing in the local bar.

Q: “Pull up a chair and let's break the ice shall we? If you were stuck in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and you had three people to help you fight of the zombie horde, who would they be?

A: "Do they have to be real or fictional? Don't believe in zombies, but should all my intuition on such things be wrong...I'm going to mix it up with some real and some fictional people. First I would choose Charlene McCann, because she's pretty fierce when she wants to be and I hear she's a wicked shot. That guy from the Walking Dead that all the chicks go nuts for...what's his name? Right, Daryl Dixon. Last I would have to choose Travis because although he's a pain in the ass, he's good in a fight."

Q: "So Beck, are you a clothes in the hamper or on the floor?”

A: “Typically the clothes go in the hamper, but it would depend on my day went and how anxious I was to get out of my clothes. My mother was firm on certain things when I was growing up, and now that I live on my own, they’ve kind of stuck.”

Q: "What is your biggest fear? What frightens you the most?"

A: "Never being able to outrun the legacy of womanizing that the Holland men are known for. I would love to be able to prove my dad wrong and make a relationship stick for the long haul."

Q: "What's your favorite guilty pleasure?"

A: "Watching a movie, in bed, with my girl cuddled up next to me. There is nothing like it." Beck leaned back in the chair. "Wow. Never thought I'd hear something like that come out of my mouth."

Q: "What’s your favorite comfort food?"

A: "Homemade Barbeque Chicken Pizza. Has to be on a thin crust though. Most people in my family think it's disgusting, but once I was introduced to it, I was hooked."

Q: "Have you ever Googled yourself?"

A: "No. Don't want to know what exists out there on the World Wide Web about yours truly. I'm sure there are plenty of things that depict a side of me, I'd rather forget."

Q: "If I give you a time machine, what time period and in what place would you travel

A: "I wouldn't go back too far. I wish I was living in the fifties. Classic cars, chicks in poodle skirts or pedal pushers, leather jackets, and old fashioned rumbles."

About Kinsey Corwin

Kinsey Corwin is a contemporary romance author who lives in Las Vegas with her two boys. She dreams of moving back to Texas, where she and her kids could enjoy the waters in the Gulf of Mexico. You will find that Kinsey is really drawn to small town stories, beaches, and cowboys...she blames this on her love of Texas and the character one can find in the small town settings.

Keeping Up With Kinsey

And don't forget the pre-order contest  and giveaway. You can find the details HERE