Friday, April 28, 2017

Unnatural Allies- Shari Elder

I'm please to welcome Shari Elder and her new release, Unnatural Allies, to my blog today. After reading the excerpt, this book is going on my TBR list!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I’m very excited to share Unnatural Allies, Book Two in the paranormal romance series, Shifting Alliances. Although part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone novel.


A World in Transition
Violent fae encroachment on shifter land is heating up. With death tolls rising, the impossible becomes necessary – an alliance among predator and prey shifters.

An Inconceivable Love
Nicca Baron, lone wolf and wolf clan beta, finds herself under the command of Evan Grant, the rat alpha.  In different circumstances, he’d be dinner. Or so her wolf keeps reminding her.  Evan proves to be a perceptive leader, a skilled fighter and irresistible to her lonely heart.

To rule the rats, you have to rule the pack. Evan is a whiz at managing people and groups. Until he finds himself leading a mission made up of every single large animal that thrives on rat flesh. And not the kind between his legs.  The only bright light is Nicca. Her storm gray eyes miss nothing, her brilliant mind comprehends everything and her succulent curves offer the perfect place for a rat to nestle.

An Impossible Future
In each other’s arms, Nicca and Evan discover love and a new perspective in an off-kilter world. But a wolf cannot mate with a rat, no matter the strength of the human attraction.

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Evan had never seen Nicca look frightened before. Those silver eyes expanded into saucers, and they were still beautiful. He wanted to wrap her in his arms, just hold her close as they both tried to process a world spinning out of control. Even his rat wanted to comfort her.
She was getting under skin and fur.
The last leaves hung limp on the branches, resisting winter’s pull. Away from the sidhe, the air had warmed, although the sky retained a grayish winter hue. Shifter bodies held heat, keeping them comfortable in the most brutal frost. Evan burned hot from continuous movement, the too frequent adrenaline spikes, and Nicca’s nearness. Everything about her fit, like she was made for him. That agile mind, open-mindedness, those lush curves. Hell, she even spouted poetry. He yearned to put a sign around her neck—no trespassing, this woman belongs to Evan Grant.
Except for that whole wolf thing…
Why don’t we find a comfortable place to set up camp near Fairy Falls and call it a day?” he said to get his mind back to practical things, not wishing for something he couldn’t have. He told himself he selected the location as part of the mission. All species declared the pristine, wild falls a safe zone, so they wouldn’t need the wolves or eagles to stand guard. The fact that it was the number one rated site for shifter romances had nothing to do with the selection. Nothing at all.
No one would ever accuse Nicca of talking too much, but she was withdrawn even for her on the hike to the Falls. “Any suggestions on places to sleep?” he asked when her silence got too loud for him.
I’ve, uh, never really been here,” she whispered, looking at the ground. “Just run by it on patrols sometimes.”
And that makes you sad?” He itched to run his hand down her cheek.
This mission makes me sad.” Her gaze stayed lowered as she walked.
His rat senses perceived a deep despondency wrapped around her like a black aura.
This mission makes you angry, anxious, and confused. Not sad.”
Who are you to correct my assessment of my emotional state?” She gave him a half-hearted snarl. He figured he’d hit an open, raw nerve.
I lead this mission, and I will not have you fall apart on me. Right now, you are not okay.” He opened his arm, aping Rafe’s earlier action, inviting her to him to take comfort. “Let me help.” Let me touch you.
She visibly shook herself, ignoring his outstretched limb. “You’re right. I need space. Let me run as wolf.”
He dropped his hand, then nodded to cover the ripping sound his heart was making. “Stay close,” he said over the lump of disappointment lodged in his throat. “Give me your backpack, and I’ll find a place to sleep. Meet me at the falls when you’re done.”
Relief brightened her eyes. Once shifted, she brushed against his leg, then licked at his hand dangling by his side. He ran his fingers through her thick, gray fur touched with black and silver as she trotted off. “Grab some happy, Nicca,” he said into the air, as she raced out of sight. Come back to me. Accept me.
Alone, he hummed as he walked toward the falls. The low tune soothed his skittish rat, who hated being alone and wasn’t too fond of the woods. Rats felt secure in the pack. The human in him appreciated the red gold of the sunset streaking across the powder blue of the sky, weaving in and out of spiky, hunter green firs that ate up the landscape. Beauty truly did soothe an aching heart. The whirr of winter birds, a chorus to his ears, unnerved the rat. He picked up his pace, following the smell of ice and the roar of the falling water.
When he arrived at the falls, he saw Nicca standing at the edge of the descending water, running her fingers through the stream. That sadness he’d sensed earlier scented the air and dulled those unique gray eyes. Following a powerful intuition, he approached quietly, staying upwind so she wouldn’t notice until he stood directly behind her. She may have rejected his offer of support earlier, but he was determined to try again. His way.
She turned to face him, and tilted her head up to meet his gaze. He pushed behind one ear a lock of hair that was draped along her cheek. The tresses felt like silk, the skin velvet against his fingertips.
He leaned over, touching lips to lips ever so gently. Giving comfort. Sneaking a taste. Exploring what might be. She pressed back, her mouth opening slightly beneath his. He sank into cherry and cinnamon, shyness and heat. She didn’t require a friend; she needed a lover. He desperately wanted to be that man.
He pulled back, falling hard for the blush staining her cheeks a bright pink.
Follow me,” he said, taking her hand, and led her to the camping spot he noticed along the way.
To love a wolf.

About Shari

Hello, I'm Shari. By day, I crawl out of bed, mainline coffee, walk the dog, get my kid off to school, hop on the metro, and save cities within the four walls of my office. Usually by email.

At night, the other Shari emerges.  I take off the suit, curl up on the couch and let my imagination play, with words and images until stories take shape (while periodically checking on my teenager, hiding out in the bedroom and plotting world domination with her furry minions).  As my alter ego, I save cities in a cape and spangled tights, wander space and time on a surfboard, fly over the Himalayas on feathered wings, make six-toed footprints in indigo talc snow on the sixth planet in the Andromeda galaxy or eavesdrop on Olympian gods while pretending to whip up a bowl of ambrosia.

In all these wondrous worlds, romance and passion blossom. I can't resist a happy ending. And I am particularly prone to writing happy endings for those who have given up on ever getting one. That gives me immense satisfaction. 

Join me on my journey. The best ideas emerge from team work.

Hang out with Shari on the Web

Monday, April 24, 2017

Top Five Distractions #OpenBook Blog Hop

You call them distractions. I call them moments to allow my brain to think about how I want to say something. Whichever. They are times when I'm not actually writing even though I could be. (Or I'm sitting at the computer pretending I'm writing!)

And that's the clue to my number one distraction. If I'm sitting at the computer, I have access to the internet. I can check my email, I can surf the 'net, I can read any number of forums I follow. None of those are me putting words on paper. (Or on the screen, as the case may be.) But if I disconnect my computer from the internet, I don't have easy access to research whatever question might pop up in the course of my writing.

How do I deal with the conundrum? Not very well, thank you very much. Many times my willpower is lacking and I find myself studying the mating habits of penguins or the the lives of ladies-in-waiting in Queen Victoria's court. My only consolation is finding a way to use the new-found knowledge in my story.

Number two-family. Do they truly count as a distraction? It depends upon what mood I'm in and how well my writing is going. There are times I welcome the little interruptions they provide, and other times when I let them know they'll have to wait for a few minutes.

Number three-the dreaded housework. There's always housework that needs doing. Sometimes I can turn a blind eye to it and other times there's no putting it off. Does anyone really enjoy cleaning house?

Number four-I live in a gorgeous part of the country. On a nice day, I love to go exploring. Traveling the back roads presents the opportunity for stumbling across unexpected beauty. Flowers in bloom, wildlife when you least expect it, new mountain peaks. At least I can claim that the trips recharge my soul and make me a better person and writer.

Last but not least-other creative endeavors. If you've been following me for while, you know I do embroidery and needlepoint. I also got interested in the adult coloring craze. That one was fairly easy to solve—I don't keep my coloring supplies on the same desk as my computer. If I have to get up from my computer desk to get to them, chances are slim that it will happen.

What are your distractions? You can share in the comments.

And to find out what the other authors' distractions are, follow the links below. I suspect at least one of mine will be shared by my compatriots!

April 24, 2017
What Are Your Top 5 Distractions And How Do You Deal With Them?
Distractions aren’t fun, but sadly we have them a lot in our lives. Especially with the Internet. There’s always a distraction waiting around the corner.
Do you have a way of holding the distractions at bay? If so, share your tips.
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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Monday, April 17, 2017

Missing The Point- New Release by PJ Fiala

I'm pleased to have PJ Fiala and her new release "Missing the Point" on my blog today.

And now, Here's the other PJ.

I'm so excited to release Missing the Point for so many reasons.

First and foremost, this is a series I've thought about for a long time.  You see, my father's parents were both born and raised in Kentucky.  My grandfather came from a very poor family and on top of that, his father divorced his mother when he was very little, about 2 or 3.  Divorce today isn't thought of in a negative way, back then it was horrible.  My great-grandmother did remarry and the man she married, took my grandfather as part of the package, but the stigma remained.  As a result, my grandfather lied about his age as a 16 year old and joined the Army.  He wanted a new beginning and he was willing to do what it took to find it.  The thing is, he'd met my grandmother before hand at a church dance and he didn't want to leave her behind.  He went to boot camp and as soon as he could come back, he did, and he married my grandmother, but they'd need to leave Kentucky.  Grandpa stayed in the Army for many years, and after leaving the Army, my grandparents settled in Missouri.  My grandmother went back to Kentucky every year to visit her sisters and brothers and their children, my grandfather only went back periodically, the bad memories just couldn't be erased, no matter the situation.

As a result of my grandmother going back each year, as I got to be a bit older, I got to travel with her to Kentucky and spend several weeks.  I remember those times fondly and they've ingrained in me a sense of family, easy times and a long-ago world.  Now, as an adult, I go back as often as I can to visit my father's cousins and my cousins.  My dad's cousin, Janet Sue, still lives on the family farm my grandmother grew up on and visiting there is such a treat for me.  So, as a result, I always knew I wanted to write stories that took place in Kentucky.

Secondly, my friend and fellow author, Stephany Tullis created Chandler County with me and this was truly a labor of love.  We knew from the beginning we wanted to invite other authors to write in Chandler County with us, so we could share this world with them and all of our readers.

It is with great pride and pleasure that I release my first book in Chandler County, Missing the Point.  This book is the first of my books in Chandler County but certainly not the last.  Sam McKenzie is an Army veteran who has finally retired after 25 years.  He and three of his friends have started Bluegrass Security in the little town of Bourbonville, one of two towns in Chandler County.  As the Kentucky Derby nears, the over-flow of people coming to Chandler County brings with it trials and tribulations and as the locals deal with these and other scenarios, we get to know many of the residents in Bourbonville.

Stephanie (Stevie) Jorgenson is a detective in Chandler County.  Though she comes from a wealthy ranch family, she made her own way in the world and followed her dreams.  Keeping Chandler County safe is her top priority.  When she meets the handsome security specialist from Bluegrass Security, there is an immediate spark and the two succumb to the attraction, but neither believes anything more should come of it.  Life, circumstance and intrigue follow the pair as they are thrown together time after time dealing with some terrible situations in Bourbonville.

I hope you'll enjoy Missing the Point and the books of my fellow authors in Chandler County.

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Learning Something New #OpenBook Blog Hop

I'm a firm believer in the idea that you're never too old to learn something new. There's several things I've wanted to learn but haven't for one reason or another.

I grew up around guns.  Hunting rifles, mostly. My dad and brothers went deer hunting every year and some years were even successful. They weren't trophy hunting, and the meat was put to good use. But for whatever reason, none of us girls were ever included. Still, I would hang out while they cleaned their guns and wonder if I'd ever get the chance to shoot one.

After I got married, I finally had the opportunity. I went target shooting with my husband. (the targets being soda cans) and he handed me his shotgun. He helped me get it in the right position and aim and showed me how to pull the trigger. I shot it, and missed. The kickback practically knocked me over and I ended up with a big old bruise on my shoulder and I haven't tried it again. But I'd like too. Maybe I'd even get it right.

What I did try recently (after all these years!) is shooting a handgun. I had much better luck with that and even managed to hit a somewhat small target after a couple of tries. (That's not me in the picture. No pictures exist of the moment.)  I know how to load the gun and switch clips. Next time the gun needs cleaned, I'm going to be the one doing it. (Under hubby's supervision, of course!)

Hitting the target made me feel like the heroines in one of my books, strong and confident, ready to take on the world. Or the femme fatale in a mystery. Or a little like Annie Oakley. (I have the hat!) Once the weather is better and our schedules calm down, I'm ready to try again.

So what is it you want to learn? You can tell us in the comments. And to find out what the other authors have to say—you know the rest—follow the links below!

April 17, 2017
What Would You Love To Learn How To Do?
Share pictures and what you’d like to learn, then go out and try that thing. Share an update of your experience with your followers.
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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Monday, April 10, 2017

Easter Week #OpenBook Blog Hop

Easter weeks holds a multitude of meanings, depending upon your beliefs and your background. It can be anything from a time of sorrow commemorating Jesus' death merging into a celebration of the Resurrection to a way of welcoming the arrival of Spring. I've seen the holiday from a variety of points of view.

Growing up in a religious family, we observed all the rituals associated with Easter. Everything from Ash Wednesday to Lent to Good Thursday and Good Friday. (There seemed to a thunderstorm every Good Friday afternoon.) We'd color eggs on Saturday. And of course, Easter was more than candy and eggs.We started with Easter services and our Easter baskets afterward. Lunch was a big family dinner.

But as it happens, kids grow up and leave home. Sometimes they move so far away they can't make it back for holidays. And chances are, they make their own traditions.

I don't do colored eggs anymore. It's a practical thing. Hard-boiled eggs are no longer a special treat. I can have one anytime I'm in the mood, and there's no little ones around to share the coloring process with.

I do look forward to the arrival of spring. Daffodils and tulips brighten the otherwise dull landscape. Lilacs aren't far behind.Trees are in bud and a few are in blossom. Easter means it won't be long until the lawns turn green.

And then there's the candy. Oh, the candy. The Peeps. (Although I stick with standard colors. None of these bright blues for me!) And chocolate eggs  of all varieties. Cheap or expensive, if it's chocolate, its good. Don't forget the jelly beans and robins eggs.

But what's the best part of Easter? I think it's the shift in people's moods. As there is more sunlight and the days are warmer and longer, lots of people become happier. It's as if the world breathes a sigh of relief after making it through winter.

What does Easter mean to you? Find out what the other authors have to say by following the links below. And Happy Easter to you (if you celebrate.)

April 10 – Easter Week - What's the one thing you look forward to most on Easter?
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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Monday, April 3, 2017

Favorite Paintings #Open Book Blog Hop

Joyce Kilmer said "I think that I will never see
                               A poem lovely as a tree"

I believe that extends to paintings as well. No matter how good an artist is, no painting can be as good as an original piece of art created by nature. And yes, I am aware of the "hyper realistic" art movement, and am awed by the skill of the talented individuals who create those works of art.
Here's one by Franco Clun. It's a pencil drawing, believe it or not.

No matter how much I admire well-done art, I prefer to spend my spare time in the out-of-doors, where the beauty comes in unexpected moments. Like a hawk perched on a hunk of carrion alongside the road, or a herd of elk grazing in a field. A salmon leaping out of a river, streaming sparkling drops of crystal-clear water. A gentle snow fall covering a cluster of pine trees.Snow covered mountain peaks reflected in a still lake.

So my apologies to all the wonderful artists who have given us gorgeous works of painted poetry. What they create are marvelous expressions of the human spirit. But I'll take the paintings of Mother Earth over them any day.

To find out the favorite paintings of our other authors, follow the links below.

April 3 – our favorite paintings
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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Sunday, March 26, 2017

How Music Inspires My Writing #OpenBook Blog Hop

The wind sweeping through the cluster of aspens in the fall, rustling the yellow-gold leaves. The gurgle of a mountain stream as water rushes on its way downhill. The calls of birds as they hang in the sky and flirt with the clouds. The chirping of crickets as they look for mates as the sun sinks in the west. These are the sounds that inspire me and my writing.

Thanks to juskiddin at FreeSound for the wav.

Then there are the times when I need to shut out all exterior sounds so I can listen to my interior voice. That's when I slip on a set of headphones and cue up some old favorites.

If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you know there's a lot of John Denver in the mix, depending upon my mood. You might not have expected Pink Floyd and the classic 'Dark Side of the Moon' to be on my list of favorites, but it is. Next toss in some classic rock and songs from the Woodstock era, Don't forget any number of female vocalists and singer songwriters from the 1970's and onward.

It's not only the music itself that inspires me, it's the words to the songs. So many of the songs are poetry when you take a look. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band comes to mind.

From Ripplin' Waters (by Jimmy Ibbotson)

And you made my world a warmer place
By the sparkling of your diamond face
On a frayed spot put a little lace
And you make me feel fine
Warm as the mountain sunshine
On the edge of the snow line
In a meadow of columbine

Many songwriters are gifted at making emotions come through not only in the words to the songs but in the music as well. Joan Baez comes to mind. Here's a sampling of the words from 'Diamonds & Rust.'

Well I'll be damned
Here comes your ghost again
But that's not unusual
It's just that the moon is full
And you happened to call
And here I sit
Hand on the telephone
Hearing a voice I'd known
A couple of light years ago
Heading straight for a fall

The words and music of those talented folks help me to find the mood and words I need to express the emotions of my characters. Listening to their songs also helps me concentrate on my own words.

I'm interested to see what our other authors listen to. You can find out by following the links below.

March 27 – How music inspires our writing
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:

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Favorite Poem- #OpenBook Blog Hop

What's your favorite poem? That's the question we're answering this week. Those of you who have followed me for awhile know that I've written a bit of poetry myself. I've also read a lot of other poets' work and I own more than the normal amount of poetry books. (Poetry books used to be my go-to answer about what gift to buy me.) It's going to be difficult to narrow it down to one poem. So I won't!

I'm not sure who introduced me to Dylan Thomas's work, but I've run into it time  and time again throughout my life. Although this one is well-known, it remains one of my favorites.

Do not go gentle into that good night

Dylan Thomas, 1914 - 1953

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

It still amazes me how the poet was able to express such strong emotion while still sticking with an extremely strict form. I still get chills reading it.

For the next poem, I debated between Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, both masters of free-form poetry. The margins and indentation of Howl don't format well on this blog space, so I'm giving you America by Ginsberg instead.


America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.
America two dollars and twentyseven cents January 17, 1956.
I can’t stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb.
I don’t feel good don’t bother me.
I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I’m sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don’t think he’ll come back it’s sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?
I’m trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I’m doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven’t read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for murder.
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid I’m not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right.
I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven’t told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over from Russia.
I’m addressing you.
Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
I’m obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It’s always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie producers are serious. Everybody’s serious but me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.

Asia is rising against me.
I haven’t got a chinaman’s chance.
I’d better consider my national resources.
My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals an unpublishable private literature that jetplanes 1400 miles an hour and twentyfive-thousand mental institutions.
I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underprivileged who live in my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns.
I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go.
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I’m a Catholic.

America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his automobiles more so they’re all different sexes.
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe
America free Tom Mooney
America save the Spanish Loyalists
America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die
America I am the Scottsboro boys.
America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party was in 1835 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother Bloor the Silk-strikers’ Ewig-Weibliche made me cry I once saw the Yiddish orator Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have been a spy.
America you don’t really want to go to war.
America its them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia’s power mad. She wants to take our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader’s Digest. Her wants our auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh. Him make Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers. Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I’d better get right down to the job.
It’s true I don’t want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts factories, I’m nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

Berkeley, January 17, 1956

If you've hung in so far, here's one more.

Ain'T I A Woman? - Poem by Sojourner Truth

Wall, chilern,
whar dar is so much racket
dar must be somethin' out o' kilter.
I tink dat 'twixt de nigger of de Souf
and de womin at de Norf,
all talkin' 'bout rights,
de white men will be in a fix pretty soon.
But what's all dis here talkin' 'bout?

Dat man ober dar say
dat womin needs to be helped into carriages,
and lifted ober ditches,
and to hab de best place everywhar.
Nobody eber halps me into carriages,
or ober mudpuddles,
or gibs me any best place!
And ar'n't I a woman?

Look at me!
Look at my arm!
I have ploughed,
and planted,
and gathered into barns,
and no man could head me!
And ar'n't I a woman?

I could work as much
and eat as much as a man --
when I could get it --
and bear de lash as well!
And ar'n't' I a woman?

I have borne thirteen chilern,
and seen 'em mos' all sold off to slavery,
and when I cried out with my mother's grief,
none but Jesus heard me!
And ar'n't I a woman?

Den dey talks 'bout dis ting in de head;
what dis dey call it?
(whispered someone near).
Dat's it, honey.
What's dat got to do wid womin's rights
or nigger's rights?
If my cup won't hold but a pint,
and yourn holds a quart,
wouldn't ye be mean
not to let me have my little half-measure full?

Den dat little man in black dar,
he say women can't have as much rights as men,
'cause Christ wan't a woman!
Whar did your Christ come from?
Whar did your Christ come from?
From God and a woman!
Man had nothin' to do wid Him.

If de fust woman God ever made
was strong enough to turn de world upside down
all alone,
dese women togedder ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again!
And now dey is asking to do it,
de men better let 'em.

Bleeged to ye for hearin' on me,
and now ole Sojourner
han't got nothin' more to say.'
Sojourner Truth

Now I'm off to see find out what everyone else's favorite poems are!

March 20 - Tell us about your favorite poems
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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Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Pros and Cons of ... #OpenBook Blog Hop

The challenge this week is to pick a subject and talk about the pros and cons. Sort of like being on both sides of a debate. Or trying to make a major decision.  So many possibilities.

I picked a subject near and dear to my heart. Living in Wyoming.

First the Pros.
1. Mountains. Big mountains that flirt with the sky. Mountains where it can snow in the middle of July. Mountains covered in wildflowers and golden aspens.

2. People. Not that many of them. So you can find a place to be by yourself. (And be yourself) Wyoming really does have more cows than people.
3. Wide open spaces. Anyone who has ever driven through the middle of Wyoming knows what I'm talking about. There's a lot of flat-ish land out there and it has its own beauty.
4. Yellowstone and the Jackson Hole area. 'Nuff said.
5. Devil's Tower. (There's some beautiful countryside in the area too)

6. Longmire
7. No state income tax
8. Lots of small towns. That can be either a pro or a con depending upon how you feel about small town life
9. Friendly people who are willing to lend a hand when you need it.
10. Did I mention mountains?

And now for a few Cons.
1. Wind. Wyoming is windy. Really windy. Like close down the interstate windy because trucks will blow over windy.

2. Because there aren't that many people, store choices are limited unless you are in one of the bigger cities. Even then, there are times when you have to go out of state  to buy something you want. (Or order online)
3. Job choices are also limited, but that's changing as some of the bigger companies figure out that Wyoming is a good place to do business.
4. It can get really, really cold. Like -20° cold, and that's before wind chill. Did I mention it gets windy in Wyoming?
5. Depending upon where you live in Wyoming, it can be really dry. High plains desert dry.
6. Also depending upon where you live, winter can last well into April. Or even May.
7. Did I mention it's windy?

As you can tell, the pros outweigh the cons in my opinion. But if you've ever been to Wyoming, you may have a few things to add. You can share them in the comments.

To find out what the other authors on the loop are weighing in on, follow the links below.

March 13 – Pro / Con post - The pros and cons ________________.
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, March 8, 2017

Introducing Melissa Storm -Love's Promise & a Giveaway!

She's waiting for her prince to come ... but was he right beside her all the time? Kristina Rose Maher wants to know why fairytales never happen for fat girls. Certain that diner cook Jeff, handsome and fit, will never want her as more than a friend, she stuffs down her attraction to him. But when she finds herself facing a life-altering weight loss surgery, she discovers she's willing to do whatever it takes to embrace life—and love—to the fullest. Jeffrey Berkley can't bear the thought of losing the friend he’s only just beginning to realize matters so much to him... no matter what size she is. But he is also terrified that helping her reach for her dreams will also mean finally reaching for his own—and letting down his family’s legacy in the process. Both Kristina Rose and Jeffrey must learn to love themselves before they can find a way to make a promise to each other. Will they finally be able to lay their heavy burdens at the Lord's feet, and trust him to bring the happily-ever-after they both crave? Don't miss this sweet tale of faith, love, and gastric bypass–get your copy of Love's Promise

Adult Apple iBooks ~
Amazon Kindle ~
Barnes & Noble Nook ~
Kobo ~
Amazon UK ~
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Paperback ~

Love's Promise Launch Giveaway

Melissa Storm is a mother first, and everything else second. Her fiction is highly personal and often based on true stories. Writing is Melissa's way of showing her daughter just how beautiful life can be, when you pay attention to the everyday wonders that surround us. Melissa loves books so much, she married fellow author Falcon Storm. Between the two of them, there are always plenty of imaginative, awe-inspiring stories to share. When she's not reading, writing, or child-rearing, Melissa spends time relaxing at home in the company of her four dogs, four parrots, and rescue cat. She never misses an episode of The Bachelor or her nightly lavender-infused soak in the tub. Because priorities.

Website ~

Monday, March 6, 2017

My Favorite Job #OpenBook Blog Hop

This week we're talking about our favorite non-writing job. Before I begin, I have to disclose that i know my current manager frequently reads this blog. (Hi, bossman!) Although the job I have now is way up there on the list of good jobs, I can't honestly say it's the best one I've ever held. There are two others that compete for that honor.

At the top of the list would be the summer I spent as a counselor at a Girl Scout camp. Although the girls attending camp came and went in one or two week cycles, the staff that ran the camp stayed all summer long. We slept in tents, cooked over open fires, (and ate in the mess hall) and spent our days hiking and swimming and making crafts along with the girls we were in charge of. The best part was we got paid for it!

My fellow counselors were a great group of ladies and young women. Some were returning and old hands at the experience, others were young and untested like me. Two were from overseas—one from Nigeria, one from Holland. Working together, we found ways to overcome the obstacles we ran into, including the language barrier, to give the girls at the camp the best summer they'd ever had.

The weekends when no girls were in camp we got to play. Maybe that meant going to the nearest small town, doing laundry and picking up snacks at the store. Or maybe we went home for a visit. Or maybe we just hung around camp, swimming and canoeing without having to worry about keeping our eyes on anyone. At night, we'd hang around a campfire, singing songs we could never sing around little kids.

The other job at the top of the list was when I worked at a 'road warrior,' traveling through the United States doing computer networking jobs. I'd hop on a plane early in the morning and head somewhere in the Unites States. Sometimes my trips only lasted a single day. sometimes I'd be in one place for three or four days. One trip in particular I went with a small group. We got to our destination at 10:00 at night, went to the business we were contracted to at 8:00 in the morning, and took a red-eye home. Although I think I visited thirty-five different states, I got to see very little of each location. Still, the time I spent in each city was enough to give me a 'taste' of the local flavor.

What was your favorite job? Tell us in the comments. And to find out what the other writers have done, follow the links below.

March 6 – What was our favorite non-writing job and why?
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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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Greatest Story Ever Told #OpenBook Blog Hop

This week on the blog we're talking about the greatest story ever told.

It has it all. Love and hate. Loyalty and betrayal. Friends and enemies and friends who become enemies. Birth and death. It keeps you on your toes throughout the entire story. What book am I talking about?  The Bible, specifically, The New Testament.

Leaving religion out of it (my apologies to those of you who are firm believers) the story of Jesus of Nazareth is a compelling tale. We have a hero who is born of humble beginnings and uncertain parentage who rose to become the leader of a movement that swept across the nation of Israel and later the world. With  nothing more than the carpentry skills learned from his father and an abundance of faith, he became a self-styled fisher of men.

His ability to do magic—turn water into wine, cure the sick and bring the dead back to life—was a major factor in his influence. But the wider his circle of friends and followers became, the more he opened himself to people who were threatened by his anti-establishment philosophies and wanted to destroy him.

We cheered along with the crowd when he turned a few baskets of food into enough to feed the assembly. We cried along with his mother when one of his friends turns his back on him and turns him over to the authorities. We wept with him when he was tortured and paraded through the streets.

When he was nailed to a cross and left hanging there, we almost tossed the book across the room in disgust. Only the hints that had been dropped about eternal life gave us any hope for a happy ending and kept us reading.

The ending (spoiler alert) —the resurrection and then the disappearance of the hero into the clouds—left the reader searching for answers.  The various points of view of the four narrators were at times confusing.  And although the story contains elements from tales of the time, overall, it cannot be matched.        

To find out what the other authors have to say, follow the links below. And feel free to leave a comment!                                      

February 27, 2017 - What is the greatest story ever told?
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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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Krissie Fortune and Desire, Deceit and the Doctor

How Adam Montgomery, hero of Desire, Deceit and the Doctor, became an army doctor.
Adam’s first decision was whether to attend an Army medical school. His great aunt, the multi-millionairess who doted on him, offered to pay his tuition fees as long as he didn’t follow the military route. Since her offer came with a generous allowance, he accepted. Of course, he had no idea how badly his great aunt treated his former girlfriend, the one he dumped when he thought she cheated on him.
After graduation, what next?
Adam enlisted. He needed to prove his was fit as well as meet the height and weight requirements. A natural athlete, and former captain of his high school football team, that wasn’t a problem for him. As a doctor, he didn’t have to complete basic training. Instead, he attended a six-week Officer Basic Leadership Course, which teaches about military life and the role of a leader.
What specialty did he follow?
Adam became an emergency physician, dealing with broken bones, bullet wounds, and other injuries. When stationed in the middle East, he got caught up in action and took out a sniper along with his two accomplices. His courage earned him a medal, but now he’s coming home to Westhorpe Ridge and buying into the local medical practice.
Boy, is he in for a shock.
Almost twelve years ago, he broke up with Mandy Devlin at their senior prom. Scared he’d forgive her and make up, he left town the next morning. Neither of them realized she was pregnant. Now the son he never knew existed is almost eleven years old. He didn’t expect Mandy and her son to move back to Westhorpe Ridge, but the last thing he wants is to rekindle old passions.

After Adam Montgomery walked away and left her pregnant, dare Mandy trust him with her heart again?

Twelve years ago, Mandy Devlin moved away from her friends and family--under threat. If she returned in the next ten years or told anyone who fathered her baby, her boyfriend’s great-aunt would bankrupt her family. She’s a single mom who dreams of her lost love and a good spanking. When she’s finally free to return to Westhorpe Ridge, the last person she expects to see is Adam—the man she loved and lost so long ago.

Dr. Adam Montgomery doesn’t know he has a son. Thanks to his great-aunt’s will, he has nine months to find a bride or he loses Montgomery Hall and the fifteen million dollars she left him. Although he seduces Mandy on his first night home, he still believes she betrayed him twelve years ago. No way would he marry a woman like her.

As Valentine’s Day looms, someone tries to kill Mandy. Is Adam trying to get rid of her? Or can Mandy trust him to protect them?

Buy links
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Amazon USA

Kryssie Fortune Social Media
Amazon Author Page

About Kryssie Fortune
Kryssie Fortune writes the sort of hot sexy books she loves to read. If she can sneak a dragon into her paranormal books she will. Her paranormal heroes are muscular werewolves, arrogant Fae or BDSM loving dragons.
Kryssie likes her contemporary heroes ex-military and dominant. Her heroines are kick ass females who can hold their own against whatever life - or Kryssie - throws at them.

Kryssie's pet hates are unhappy endings, and a series that ends on a cliff hanger.
Her books are all stand alone, even when they’re part of a series. Plot always comes before sex, but when her heroines and heroes get together, the sex is explosive and explicit.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Relaxation #OpenBook Blog Hop

What's my go-to relaxation? Come on, anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis already knows the answer. You guessed it. Hanging out in the mountains somewhere while listening to music. John Denver being the musician of choice most often, but classic rock runs a close second.

I considered talking about something totally different to throw everyone off, but why bother.

So put on your headset, listen to some tunes, and take a look at a new batch of pictures from the last couple of weekends.

One more to remind us that spring isn't too far away. 

I hope you're feeling a little more relaxed. I know I am.

How do you relax? You can tell me in the comments. And to find out what the others on the hop do to relax, follow the links. 

Feb. 20 - What's Your Go-To Relaxation?
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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