6 Sentence Sunday 4/13

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From Cabyll-Uisage (Mythical Adventures #3) coming in Spring of 2014

“Another person believing in ghost stories?” She put her bottle down and stood up.

“Not ghost stories, my dear. Monsters.”

Wanda tugged at Wendell’s arm. “Let’s

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6 Sentence Sunday 4/6

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From Cabyll-Uisage (Mythical Adventures #3) coming in Spring of 2014

“Yes, we did consider that. Many young people have packed up their bags and left for the adventures in the big city, but these did not.”

“How do you know that?”

“For one thing, none of them packed a single bag. None of them told a friend or left a note. None disappeared with a boyfriend or anything that would suggest such a move.

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Fool for Books Giveaway Blog Hop

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How many books do you own? Seriously, are we looking at a few dozen or hundreds? Maybe even thousands? You’re a fool for books when you can look around you and count a hundred or more books within your eyesight. There’s nothing wrong with that. We could be foolish about worse things.

 

Featured Book

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Look through the eyes of a small mouse and see a familiar event in a whole new light. The Last Supper will never be the same for you.

 

 

 

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6 Sentence Sunday 3/30

From Cabyll-Uisage (Mythical Adventures #3) coming in Spring of 2014

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“Did they say anything other than asking for the supplies?”

The man scratched his chin where a few days’ worth of stubble grew. “Well, let me see. They asked for all the items and when I asked why they mumbled something about things that go bump in the night. I just assumed that they did it themselves.”

“They did it?”

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6 Sentence Sunday – 3/23

From Cabyll-Uisage (Mythical Adventures #3) coming in Spring of 2014

“So, Kristi and Eloise said they were here. The nice lawman says this is the spot he directed them to. We are here and see nothing of them.”

“Sums it up. Look around some more. There has to be some sign they were here.”

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Keep the Magic Alive YA Blog Hop March 21 – April 4

Featured Book

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*THE AMAZON NUMBER ONE DARK FANTASY BESTSELLER!*

Sarah Bean lives a quiet life in Okeechobee, Florida until the day when she is transported from our world to the fantastic realm of Seythe. She meets a wayfaring wizard called Ossen who saves her from the dreaded black riders, servants of a being known only as the Fallen One. Together, they will have to undertake a treacherous journey to the far-away Fellhorn mountain where Sarah must find the one weapon that can save them from the black riders pursuing them – The Sword of Sighs.

NB: This novel is recommended for mature young adults as it contains occasional bad language and occasional scenes of a graphic nature

Rules of the Blog Hop

There will be no rafflecopter, this Event is about people meeting people. So everyone will leave a comment on this site (don’t forget to leave your email to be contacted with your win)
this will gain you an entry to win a YA Fantasy Book.
Random selection will be made on the comments. The winner will receive a print copy of the featured book.
Keep the Magic Alive!

I’d like to add a special thx to Liz McKeown at The Creative Writers Boost and Blogs About Writing for all her tremendous efforts to help promote, not only this event, but all the authors she gives attention to through her kind promotions and social media, as well as Stephanie Greenhalgh of A Writers Perspective, who jumped right on board, make sure you visit their blogs during the tour!

 

If you have any concerns or questions please get in touch with June at pressedleafpublisher@icloud.com

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Mental Health Giveaway Blog Hop

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 Featured Book

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Is someone else’s problem your problem? If, like so many others, you’ve lost sight of your own life in the drama of tending to someone else’s, you may be codependent-and you may find yourself in this book-Codependent No More.

The healing touchstone of millions, this modern classic by one of America’s best-loved and most inspirational authors holds the key to understanding codependency and to unlocking its stultifying hold on your life.

With instructive life stories, personal reflections, exercises, and self-tests, Codependent No More is a simple, straightforward, readable map of the perplexing world of codependency-charting the path to freedom and a lifetime of healing, hope, and happiness.

Melody Beattie is the author of Beyond Codependency, The Language of Letting Go, Stop Being Mean to Yourself, The Codependent No More Workbook and Playing It by Heart.

 
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6 Sentence Sunday – 3/16

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From the Cabyll-Uisage (Mythical Adventures #3) to be published in mid-2014:

Sunlight reflected off the water with the reflection of the surrounding trees adding to the multi-colored surface. Wanda looked out over the calm surface and shook her head. Why she was there was still beyond her comprehension. She was hundreds of miles from her home looking at a conundrum. Yes, she knew the why but the reason behind the why was still a mystery to her.

“What is the plan?”

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Jewel Blog Hop

Welcome to the Jewel Blog Hop

Jewel Blog Hop

Featured Book

51RYguvOg0L._SL160_* 2014 EPIC eBook Awards™ Finalist for the Spiritual category ***
Robin Bartlett said, “Yes!” Will she say, “I do,” when the big day arrives?
From his cultured handsome looks to his vast fortune, Antonio “Tony” Viscolli is every girl’s dream. Robin comes from a blistering past, struggling for survival in a cold, cruel world. Robin never had a chance to dream of a white wedding gown or a prince charming. Instead, her dreams were nightmares — dark and clouded with fear and desperation. By the time Tony thaws her heart, she has known hunger, poverty, violence, and want.
For months, Tony courted the blond beauty with the sapphire eyes. He showered with attention, respect, and charm and covered her in diamonds, sapphires, and rubies. Finally, Robin came to understand God’s love for her as imitated by the unconditional love Tony freely offered. On a sunny Florida beach, Tony proposed.
Back in bitter cold Boston, doubts about becoming a billionaire’s bride begin to burden her hopes for happiness. Robin struggles to cope with the never-ending details of the shower, ceremony, reception, and honeymoon; the prospects of changing her name and relocating; and the very public image she must suddenly adopt; all while dealing with her father’s very serious legal problems.
As the date draws inexorably near and the pressure mounts, Robin questions whether she is truly the woman God has made for him. Is she the girl of his dreams? His vast material wealth begins to overwhelm her. Nightmares from a forgotten past return in full force, reminding
Robin of an even deeper and more terrifying prospect. Will she give in to her insecurities and cancel Boston’s “Royal Wedding” for good? Or, with God’s guidance, can Tony sacrifice everything to prove to his beloved Robin her true worth
Inspired by the Critically Acclaimed Christian Anthology – The Jewel Trilogy — Greater Than Rubies takes place immediately after book 1 and before book 2.

 

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Reader Feedback on Leigh, a WIP – Chapter 1

oneI’ve been publishing a chapter at a time of my chick lit, Leigh, in The News in Books periodical. I was hoping to get some feedback on the first few chapters. These are barely edited versions so there will be more work done on them. I’m going to repost them here a chapter at a time until I’m caught up to the current issue of TNB. Please leave your constructive comments below. :) Shoot, maybe you’ll help drive the story line. :)

 

Chapter 1

 

The sun dancing through the leaves struck the patio and tables with a kaleidoscope of colors. Their iridescence landed on the water in the goblets and running across the stones they shot out in more directions as a fairyland sensation surrounded me. Their hues combined and separated into distinct streams of light that commanded my attention. The yellows and pinks swirled and hypnotized me. I felt myself falling toward the mesmerizing rainbow. Blues and purples sang and blocked out all other sounds. Life would be so much easier if only they would pull me into their depths, never allowing me to resurface.

Abigail’s loud voice, a voice that demanded my attention, caused me to cringe as her uncaring words sliced through my thoughts and unguarded heart.

“I just don’t see why you are talking such foolishness. Changing careers now will only cause hardship. What good can come out of it?” Abigail deftly sliced through the tomato in her salad. Her crisp outfit let everyone know that she was in charge and if you weren’t smart enough to comprehend that, she had her methods of making you see the light. Trust me, I know. The soft grey complimented her immaculately cropped black hair. Everything about her was neat and tidy all the way down to her smart black shoes. “Besides, you need to stick with what you are doing and improve your cooking skills. The gravy last week was still too lumpy.”

Here we go with the gravy again. Abigail, my lovely mother-in-law, is perfect in every way, at least in her own eyes.  But I fall far short of being an acceptable daughter-in-law.  As she droned on about my ‘lack’ of cooking and cleaning skills, the tranquil colors invited me to dive back in.  I’d heard it all before.  The house was never clean enough.  No one cared that I was working full-time as a nurse.  After arriving home from my shift, hours were spent picking up after my two teenagers that were never home but somehow still managed to destroy the house.  Then I got to clean up the mess my husband, a man whose destructive tendencies would make a tornado jealous, had left behind.  My efforts were never enough for this woman.  Why do I even attempt to do better?  Why do I bother to try and please her?

As the glass of water twirled between my hands, thoughts of just how badly I dreaded these lunches raced through my mind.  Abigail does this to make me feel uncomfortable, to put me in a situation where she controls the conversation and the temptation for me to speak up won’t interrupt her diatribe.  How I longed to live my life for me, just me, not for her or anyone else.

From the moment I became involved with her son, she never hesitated to point out my numerous flaws; her precious boy could have done so much better.  Not once did she mince words or wait until I was out of earshot.  “What about Claudia VanHurst?  She was always a nice girl who had style.”  Another time, “Are you really sure this is the one?  You could do so much better.”  Then to me, “Leigh, aren’t there any other boys from your part of town that you would be more comfortable with?”  Obviously she felt that I belonged to a different caste than her son.

Today as I walked up to the table, Abigail had to comment how lavender was not a good color for me. “Really, Leigh, you’d think by now you would have picked up on some fashion sense from me. That color is hideous for your complexion. You need darker colors like black and brown.” Something was said about my hair. “When was the last time you had your hair styled? It looks like it could use a little TLC.” When I selected the crab salad and soup from the menu, Abigail remarked, “Salad and soup might sound healthier, but Leigh, as a nurse you should realize that they are not going to help you lose that weight you gained while you sat around this past winter.”  I came to the conclusion years ago that even if I was Mother Theresa, in Abigail’s eyes, there would still be a million things wrong with me.

An expert at keeping a blank face around Abigail, I learned the hard way not to let her know when she is getting to me.  My appetite fades away as I just pick at my food and pretend to listen to what she is saying.  It’s all been said before. I really want to comment on how this food is not near as good as she made it out to be. What would her face look like if the words, “Abigail, I’m rather surprised you like this quaint little café as the food seems so beneath your standards,” came out of my mouth.  The thought of saying that was so irresistible; unfortunately I didn’t have the guts or the foolishness to do it.  Oh, well.  Seems as though my dreams aren’t meant to come true.

The meal finally over, maybe it was time to actually start listening to what Abigail was saying.

“Now that all of that is settled I am sure that you will be trying those new cooking methods I emailed you the other day. The gravy is foolproof, so I am sure you’ll be able to get it done by our dinner next Friday night. You are having gravy, aren’t you? I had told Nathan that you were.”  Words kept spewing out of her mouth, but she never gave me a chance to respond.  It’s amazing the things you can get used to after twenty years, but I have yet to fully get used to the hurt that cuts at my heart each time.

Abigail gave me an obligatory hug and kiss on each cheek before walking off toward her car. I barely had a chance to say goodbye before finding myself, alone again as usual, standing on the sidewalk.  With a sigh, I turned around and began walking toward my home, which was several miles away.

I had parked a few blocks away so the chance to walk and clear my mind before it was all claimed by Abigail would be waiting for me.  This way, there was no danger of carrying any negative emotions back to the house that would disrupt everything more than it was already.  Years of being told my moodiness was the reason for the chaos and bad tempers in the house has taught me to keep quiet and let all my feelings out some other way. Since there was no one I could vent my grievances to, these walks had become my time to release all of the anger.

Out of loneliness, depression has become my closest friend, an unwanted confidant where one that is made of flesh and blood would be preferable.  Just three months ago, I found myself with no friends after the excruciating pain of hearing my ‘friend’ side with my husband when all I wanted to do was release frustration.  Mark had been working so much lately, the kids were never home anymore, and the yard had not been mowed in weeks.  The job of mowing the lawn, as well as climbing up on the roof to nail down some loose shingles, was left up to me.  Mark never noticed the scrapes on my arms and legs received from the fall off the ladder.

The need to vent before Mark or someone else suffered caused me to turn to my closest friend, Nan.  Instead of sympathy and a listening ear, I found myself facing someone who was defending Mark as though he was up for sainthood. “For goodness sakes, Leigh, you act like Mark is sitting on the couch all day doing nothing. You know how hard he works. What would he think if he knew you were saying such things? You sound so ungrateful for all his hard work in making the money you use to buy groceries and clothes. You can’t expect him to do it all. I’m surprised at you. I never thought you would be so disrespectful to your husband. You’re lucky to have him.” With that, Nan walked away. She even went as far as cancelling our double date night that was scheduled for the next day. She told me I was too depressing to be around.

As her words washed over me, shock hit me like a punch in the gut as tears flowed freely down my face.  Nan was my best friend, the person I felt closest to.  She was like a sister to me; at least she used to be.  The shoulder to cry on that I sought turned to ice on me, even though she hadn’t been asked to take sides, only listen.  Voicing my feelings for the first time had turned into an epic failure.  That wouldn’t happen again.

It took me days to get over the shock of Nan’s response.  Since I’m not normally an open person, for me to confide in someone is simply amazing; they have to be something special.  After this horrendous episode, I withdrew even further into myself and became more introverted.  Food no longer appealed to me and my insides felt dead.  Was there any hope at all?  What made it worse was that it took days before anyone noticed my depression.  It was then that I began to question my life.

Twenty minutes after lunch with Abigail, the driveway that marked the entrance to our house came into view.  The uncut lawn screamed for my attention as I drove up to the garage and parked my small Hyundai.  Mark’s car was parked to the side which meant that he was planning on going out again.  The last time we had dinner alone couldn’t even be remembered.

I entered the house through our not perfect at all times but very lived-in kitchen.  Even on a good day, our home definitely could not be mistaken for a museum.

We had bought this house two years ago after eighteen years of saving money and surviving in two bedroom apartments.  This four bedroom house with a large gourmet kitchen, family room, game room, basement, and large yard had won my love and was a dream come true.  My enjoyment of it should have been greater, but it seemed like all I did was work and pick up the dirty clothes left behind by the rest of the family when they walked in the door.  Cook, clean, work. Cook, clean, work. And still nothing seemed to get done.

Laying my purse on the counter after pushing an empty cereal box aside, I made my way into the living room looking for my husband.  As usual, he was watching the latest political polls.  Walking up behind him, I slipped my arms over his shoulders and gave him a kiss on the top of his head.  Couldn’t let this chance to cuddle slip away.  He smiled and leaned back but kept his eyes on the television screen.

“How was lunch with Mother?” His eyes were still on the screen, although he did reach up and squeeze my hand.

Nodding my head and moving to sit beside him on the couch, I replied, “It was okay. Like normal.” Why couldn’t he just ignore the TV and look at me? I wanted to lose myself in his arms. Making love wasn’t needed, only the comfort of his arms wrapped around me.

Mark nodded in reply and then asked about the food. “Like normal. She loved it and thought it was alright. I would go back but wouldn’t get on TV and tell everyone about it.”

Another nod.

We just sat in silence. The clock was ticking and my head nodded in time with its beat.  The realization of my actions shook me out of the trance I had allowed myself to slip into and enabled me to pull away from the hypnotic scene.  At times I could be lazy right along with the rest of them but to just sit around all day long drives me nuts.

I got up and made my way back to the kitchen. When I paused in the doorway, the mess that was made this morning jumped out at me.  The midnight shift hadn’t allowed me to get home until seven-thirty.  After crashing for a couple of hours, I had to shower and get ready for my lunch date.  Not once had I entered the kitchen.  Good thing.  The sight almost pushed me over the edge.

Every square inch of the granite countertop was covered in dirty dishes and empty containers. Pieces of food were scattered across the table. Garbage and food littered the floor. It was evident that several feet had walked through here right over all of it.

Feeling sick, I gave my attention to the floor.  The garbage can filled up quickly. Pulling the bulging trash bag out of the can, I yelled into the living room, “Mark, could come take the trash out for me while I start on the dishes?” I placed the bag by the back door and began filling the dishwasher. No reply came from the other room. With a sigh I walked to the door.  He was still in the same position.  The only thing different was that sports’ scores were now flashing across the screen. I cleared my throat. Still nothing. Not even a shrug of the shoulders.

“Mark!” I yelled. He turned quickly in surprise. “I asked if you would take the trash out for me.”

“You don’t have to yell. I hate it when you do that. Just ask,” he grumbled as he got up.

My lips drew back reflexively.  “I did just ask, but you were not responding.” I followed him into the kitchen and began slamming dishes into the dishwasher.  Would hurting the appliances save my marriage?

As he returned from the trash cans in the garage, he replied, “I didn’t hear you. How many times do I have to tell you to just ask instead of yelling?” He continued on back to the living room and his show.

My world stopped as I leaned against the counter, closed my eyes, and breathed in deeply.  Couldn’t I do anything right?

After thirty minutes, the mess was conquered and the solace of my bedroom awaited me.  A headache was creeping in.  Thank goodness, the next three days were mine to stay home.  Right now, a couple of aspirin and a dark room until time to start dinner were all that this weary, aching body required.

Laying on my bed with the curtains drawn and a cool washcloth over my eyes, I tried not to think about my failures.  Abigail’s words kept reverberating in my head, preventing the headache from leaving me in peace. Thoughts of Mark pointing out my mistake in yelling and the mess in the kitchen caused nausea to rise up in my throat. A full-fledged migraine was setting in. Just what I needed! There was still laundry to do, dinner to prepare, and floors to be mopped. A tear rolled out from under the cloth as I somehow managed to drift away.

Two hours later, I moved slightly and found that my head was still attached to the rest of my body. Very slowly I sat up. A few seconds of sitting on the side of the bed enabled me to make my way to the bathroom and prepare to go downstairs.  My mind didn’t venture beyond that.  Maybe washing my face would bring me back to reality.

Letting the water drip from my face, I looked at the reflection. Who was this woman looking back at me? An extra fifty pounds or more was on her. Her hair was a dull color, not the shimmering blonde that Mark first saw. But it was the eyes that really got me. They were empty with no glimmer of life.   Where was the sparkle Mark used to comment on? He would say how my blue eyes sparkled like sapphires in pools of crystal clear water.  Now they seemed dead and lifeless. Who was she? She was Leigh Carmine, wife of Mark Carmine, mother to John and Zach. She was a nurse at St. Mary’s, a failure at everything she did. Was that all I was? What happened to all the dreams I once had? What happened to the life that came from me? Where was the real Leigh? Did she even exist anymore?

Two hours later I sat before baked chicken and steamed vegetables with my husband and two empty seats. My boys were somewhere. Who knew where?  If any questions were asked about where they were, Mark said I was nagging them.  He was talking about something that happened at work and confusing me with the names.   He never clarified which Adam he was talking about or which Michael; he knew so many people that it was impossible to keep them straight.  His mouth never quit long enough for me to interject a comment.   I eventually gave up and focused on the untouched cauliflower.

A few minutes later, Mark looked over at me. “What’s wrong? You haven’t said two words since we began eating.”

Knowing better than to tell him that he never shut up long enough for me to get a word in, I literally bit my tongue.  Not really wanting to fight, my silence was attributed to the migraine.

As soon as the last bite was consumed, Mark pushed his chair back and said he had promised a friend that he would come over and watch the game. He left after a quick goodbye kiss, leaving me alone at the table.

While staring at the mess left over from dinner, loneliness crept in.  Call Nan?  No, our relationship had not been the same since she had gone off on me.   It was not like I did not know other people, but they were all friends of both me and Mark. There was no one that was truly there for just me.

 

How is this for a first chapter? I appreciate any feedback you can give me. You can find the original posting in the TNB magazine along with other stories and articles.

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