Autumn Magic

Vienna-Fall-Resized-4-WebThere is something magic about fall, which is hard to explain. The green leaves turn into brilliant shades or red, orange and yellow. The air is rich and crisp, sometimes even foggy here in Vienna and that reminds me of being in London or in a US west coast city.

As a kid, Halloween intrigued me to no end and as an adult, the books I love to write the most are paranormal in nature. Today, I write about witches and warlocks, sorcerers and sorceresses, angels and demons or even the common person who somehow has the inside scoop on keeping us all safe and sound.

While some people are bothered by what I write occasionally, I know it’s the product of my hyperactive imagination and the never ending question of what if…what if demons really did exist? What if God needed help in keeping them in check? What if my heroine had to travel back in time to right a wrong without disrupting the space-time continuum? You know, typical writer-type questions.

For whatever reason, like I said in my last column, I tend to be rejuevenated during the fall. I plan stories, I start writing more and I keep to my plans better. I am a lifelong learner and have decided to add some classes into the mix as well. There is nothing wrong with a writer learning about things that will make their writing stronger.

Along with those classes, I’ve been reading more craft books than usual as well. By craft, I’m talking about the craft of writing books. I recently read a great one from Steve Windsor about the fear of writing called Authorphobia. Yeah, the title is exactly how the book is and if you don’t mind a rather sarcastic approach, I’d say check it out because the author has some good points. I’ve continued on with his series with a book on writing a complete novel in nine days. That’s even a little fast for me but I’m sure there are techniques in the book that will help any writer.Tree-Alley-at-Praterstern-F

I’ve also discovered Udemy where you can find a lot of online courses, some of them even free. So far, I’ve found ones on proofreading and designing your own book covers. There are hundreds to choose from and since I love taking classes, this is another win-win for me.

Then there is one more place I love to look for classes and that’s at edX. Here you can learn all sorts of things from leading university’s such as Berkley, Harvard or Rice University. I took an incredible course in Genetics from Rice University as research into on zombies. Basically, I was looking into if zombies are actually possible. Guess you’ll have to wait to see what I learned on that one…LOL!

With all this planning and class taking, I’ve also found time to write more, faster and in my mind better. I love fall with all the newness it brings to learning and doing more to enhance my writing.

What do you do in the fall to enhance your life? I’d love to hear from you and see how autumn is special to you.

Until next time…

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

Beth Rhodes is in the House

A day late and a dollar short, as far as the blog goes!!

I’m such a blacker [blog and slacker mix] or should I say bloacker? I wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea about me. 😀 Ha! But, I’m here. My day, the 23rd. I picked it because it’s my birthdate of the month. And I figured that would be easy to remember.  It is!! But that doesn’t mean I’m any better about blogging.

This month, I’m in a bit of a limbo… I have new work on the brain, but nothing really started. I have a release coming out in December, and I’m undecided about my cover, so that’s taking longer than expected…and I’m supposed to have a big REVEAL on November 6th, which–by the way–is much closer than you think! 😀

Phew. Crazy stuff. A busy month, leading into a busy season–holidays. I love them. This morning, after two days of clouds and rain, I woke up to snow on The Peak. I love that… there’s something spectacular about seeing the first snow of the season. And the trees are all gloriously colored while the leaves fall to the ground.

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Everything in life turns over… and even though winter is a season for hibernation, we still grow. For me? I’m just hoping my word count grows! LOL 😀

Hope you are all enjoying the cool weather, the falling leaves, and the chance to get all snuggly under your covers with a good book.

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet…or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

The Romance of Autumn

It’s Autumn again here in Northeast Ohio. I adore Autumn. I love the crispness of the air, the smell of burning leaves (it’s illegal to burn leaves here, so I always wonder where that smell comes from…), fresh apple cider, pumpkin pie, hot soups and stews, warm, cozy sweaters. I love the crunch of newly fallen leaves underfoot, the rich color of the trees, and the dark, dark blue of the sky on a stormy day. It’s the season of my birthday, Halloween, the Annual NEORWA retreat, and my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving.

 

I tend not to focus on the fact that fall means winter is coming. Winters are pretty harsh here–last year was really a doozy–but living in Cleveland teaches one to live in the moment, at least as far as the weather is concerned. So I enjoy the awesomeness that is Autumn, and worry about winter later.

Pumpkins 2012

 

This year I have more reasons than usual to look forward to Autumn. In addition to my 50th birthday, this October brings the release of my second book, Secret Promise.  I started to write it in during NaNoWriMo in November 2013, finished it in November 2014, and it takes place largely in the fall, so I had many of the things I love about the season in mind as I wrote.

 

Here’s the blurb and an excerpt:

Secret Promise (October 30, 2015)

SecretPromise_w9701_750Falsely imprisoned as a blockade-runner during the American Civil War, Edward Mason yearns to go home. But when after seven years he finally returns to England, the life he expected is gone. His parents are dead, his home destroyed, his father’s legacy stolen, and his girl—his girl is now the single mother of a child Edward never knew.

Abandoned by the man she loved and disowned by her family, Anna Templeton has learned to stand on her own two feet and make a home for her son. Now the successful owner of The Silver Gull tavern, she’s not about to put their happiness in the hands of the one man who let her down so badly.

Edward is determined to regain Anna’s love and be a father to his son. But when a series of suspicious accidents threaten him and those he loves, he must stop the man responsible, or lose everything.

Available in ebook and trade paperback from The Wild Rose Press and Amazon. Also available for Nook and Kobo.

Excerpt:

She meandered back to the bar through the now empty room, scooting chairs under tables, watching Edward, who now sat slumped over his untouched drink. Lightly squeezing his shoulder, she leaned against the bar at his side.

“What’s the matter? Other than the obvious, of course.”

Edward snorted with little humor and did not look at her. “The obvious. Shouldn’t that be enough to make me cry into my bitter?”

“A different man, maybe. Not you.” She thought for a minute as she gazed at him. He was older, certainly; they both were. He was harder, more…careworn, she supposed, although the scar added an air of devilishness she had to admit was really quite appealing.

She reached out and traced the mark with her index finger before she could stop herself, feeling the warm flush of his skin. Edward barely stirred, just eyed her from beneath his impossibly long, dark lashes.

“But you’re not the same man you were when you left, are you?”

“No. And you aren’t the same woman, I imagine.” He grabbed her hand to keep it still. She could feel the beat of his heart racing through her fingertips. Hers was not far behind.

She pulled her hand away before she rushed headlong into something she wasn’t sure she was ready to do, and changed the subject. “You never did tell me how you got that scar.”

Edward rose from his stool, tossed a coin onto the bar. “No, I didn’t.” In a single movement, he pulled her to him, pressing his lips to hers. She closed her eyes, tasting. He was the same as he had been on the cliff top, or at least the way she remembered him. Salty, sweet, the slightest bit sour from his last drink, all mixed together with something that was uniquely Edward. She wanted to crawl inside him, become part of him again, just as she had seven years before.

She moaned, grasping him tighter, even as he pulled away. Her eyelids fluttered as her brain tried to understand the absence of him. He rubbed a finger along her bottom lip, his gaze burning through hers.

“Not yet, Anna. You aren’t ready to take me back. But you will.” He kissed her again, hard, then was gone. Her legs were jelly as she slumped against the bar.

“No, not yet,” she breathed into the empty room. “But bloody close.”

 

About Marin McGinnis

A lawyer in real life, Marin McGinnis feeds the more creative part of her soul by writing Victorian era romance and mystery. She’s spent almost half her life in a tree-lined, unabashedly liberal suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. She’s been married to the same great guy for over 20 years, and has one teen-aged son. They all live together in a drafty old house with their two standard poodles, Larry and Sneaky Pete.

While her very first book will languish under the bed, the next book, Stirring Up the Viscount, won two contests in 2013 and was published by The Wild Rose Press in January 2015. Her next two books, Secret Promise and Tempting Mr. Jordan, are also available from Wild Rose Press.

Marin currently serves as President of the Northeast Ohio chapter of Romance Writers of America and is hard at work on the next book.

You can find her here, at marinmcginnis.com, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Communicating with Horses…

I usually write about something related to writing but today I’m going for something completely different.

I believe we should never stop learning and should take every opportunity to try new things. Recently, I was lucky enough to spend a week at the Tracy James Natural Horse Center, learning about natural horsemanship with Tracy James Ford and Mary Walker. Basically, learning how to make my communication with my horse clearer while developing a unique understanding of the horse’s language… Horses are prey animals. Humans are predators. We have to understand and work within those parameters.

These are the sort of questions we were asked during the course: Are you as effective working on distance as you are on the end of a rope?? Does your horse look to you for support, guidance and leadership…when he has a choice?

P1010029We did a lot of work in the round pen with the horses at liberty, learning how to send them away (Tracy and Mary teach that if you have the right energy and understand a little of how horses react then you can move a horse with nothing more than your breath—and it works. I saw it in action) and also to draw them to you. It’s an amazing feeling when a horse is free to go anywhere and chooses to approach you (and absolutely no bribes were involved.)

 

One of the main things I learned was that I have a huge amount of things to unlearn. I’ve been sitting all wrong. 12141596_1057061770979587_7578747853320624303_nAnd I’ve been letting my mare, Gencianna, into my space and allowing her to move me around as though I’m the lowliest member of the herd.

That has to change, but the change has to come from me rather than her. I had this pivotal moment half way through the week, when I realized that it’s not about me training my horse to do anything, but rather training myself to listen to what she’s saying to me and communicate what I’d like from her in a clear and horsey way. Neigh!

Back home now, I’m trying to share what I’ve learned with Gencianna. I’m not entirely sure she’s convinced but we will persevere. Robin my husband seems equally skeptical when I tried it on him.

If you’d like to learn more about Tracy’s work visit her site at: http://www.naturalhorseridinginspain.com/

Gencie

Gencie

What new things would you like to learn?

About Nina Croft

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

Guest Post, @LandraGraf: My Favorite Spooky TV Show

Today, Landra Graf is guest-blogging to tell us about her favorite spooky TV show (and mine, to be honest) and how we can pre-order her awesome new book, A Rose by Any Other Name. It has zombies and fairy-tale roots. Yay!

–Lori

I should be promoting my new book. It comes out in six days, but instead I wanted to talk about my favorite show, Supernatural.

There are a lot of people who love this show, and most of the big fans I’ve met started watching after the show had already aired about 5 seasons. I’m here to announce I watched the pilot, when it originally aired, and fell in love. I’ve been a Dean Winchester fangirl ever since, and I’m happy to announce that my daughter is now one to.

The show gives a wonderful look at tough, rough and tumble dudes who have to deal with the emotionally draining life of always saving the world, being in danger, and losing the ones you love. It’s not an easy job at all.
Then there’s the monsters. They’ve fought gods, myths, legends, dragons, werewolves, zombies, and a slew of other things. There’s even rumors God may finally make an appearance in season 11.

Add in some awesome guitar rifts, a great classic rock collection, memorable lines, and one of heck of an intriguing character called Death… it’s a show worth watching over and over. The 11th Season is getting ready to start and I never expected this show would be continuing over a decade. But I’ll keep watching.

So what’s your favorite spooky TV Show? Are you a Supernatural Fan?

P.S. My new book is coming out in a few days. It’s spooky, too. Read on for the blurb.


A Rose By Any Other Name

Rose SmallZombies don’t belong in fairy tales….at least not those with a good chance of a happily ever after…

Jason Prince, Charming’s once-upon-a-time star jock, only attends his Charming high school reunion to find his way into the heart of a certain wallflower who had no date for the prom.

Shy, geeky, chemical engineer, Emma Fay has been keeping her love for Jason a secret because she knows Jason and Rose belong together. But, when Rose Briar pricks her finger, fulfilling a prophecy about death and a plague, she throws a wrench into the class reunion that not even the best planning committee can tackle.

Can Jason and Emma stop Zombie Beauty Rose before she turns their loved ones into her undead court and sends them forth to spread the infestation to the rest of the world? Or will human flesh become the daily special at diners everywhere? And will there be enough left of Jason and Emma for romance to blossom?

Pre-Order:

Amazon :: ARe :: Kobo :: Goodreads :: Bookstrand

Excerpt:

Her eyes darted back toward the examination room. He couldn’t hear anything that gave the impression things were worse than they’d been a few moments ago. In fact, the silence in the room made him anxious, and he started to tap his boot on the linoleum floor. The rising tension around them or the number of feelings invoked knowing someone he cared about lay suffering in the other room failed to help as well. He gave a little shiver and involuntarily gripped Emma’s hand tighter. She tried to pull away, but he wanted to hold on to her a little longer.

“All right then, let’s break up this mood. I’m going to read your palm.” He hoped the ploy would cast away her urges to break their bond.

“Palm reading?” One brown eyebrow lifted, but her frame and hand relaxed at his touch.

“Yes, I’ve studied with the finest masters fair corn dogs can buy.”

She giggled.

“I can tell you your future, Miss Emmaline Fay,” he said with a grin. She gave one back and the effect was breathtaking. She’d always possessed a beautiful smile, one known for lighting up rooms, and he enjoyed being the recipient.

“Fine, Master Prince. Tell me my future.”

Jason turned her palm over in his, trailing his fingers along the lines. Leaning in for a closer look, he picked up on the scent of vanilla, flowers, and a hint of something he couldn’t identify beyond pure Emma. The power of the smell made his groin swell again, something he didn’t need at the moment. One glance downward and she’d see the evidence of how she affected him.

So he thought about cold showers and his grandmother’s gnarly hands and focused on the soft palm covered with lines.

“Ah, your life line is extremely long. I also see a man in your love line. This is a man who has loved you for a long time and watched you from afar.”

She scoffed. “Sounds kind of creepy. I don’t know if I want a stalker in my life.”

“Not a stalker, but an admirer. He’s always appreciated your loyalty.” Jason locked eyes with her green ones. “Your kindness and bravery, too. And your ability to push ahead. Strength like that is rare.”

She leaned forward, her nose barely touching his. “How rare?”

“Uh.” His words caught in his throat. To have her so close, too close…exactly where he’d wanted her since he’d seen her sitting behind the wheel of her car. “Rare enough that I’ve only known one other person to possess it. I—”

“The fever is coming down,” Dr. Mason announced, bursting into the room, face filled with relief.

Jason silently swore as she jumped out of her chair and moved toward the entry. “Can we go in?”

“No, not yet. I want you both to stay here, though, in case you come down with the same thing due to proximity. We’ve taken blood, and we’re doing everything we can, but I don’t know if this is contagious.” The doctor moved to a cabinet on the far wall and removed two blankets.

“You can camp out in the waiting room.”

“Completely understandable, Doc. I know we won’t leave until Rose is able to, anyway. We’ll want to be on the nurse-Rose-back-to-health team.” Jason stood to accept the blankets.

Her momentary excitement deflated, Emma shuffled back to her chair. “That’s right. I’ll be nursing our girl back to health or whatever else it takes, so I’m staying until everything is perfectly fine.”

“Good. I’ll see you both in the morning,” Dr. Mason said, leaving by way of the kitchen door. Jason could only imagine the amount of coffee the doctor planned on consuming for the night.

Emma curled up in her seat, slipping her feet out of her brown cowboy boots.

Jason sat down next to her and leaned back in his chair. “He certainly knows how to offer comfortable beds.”

“And there’s the sarcasm I know so well.” She leaned her head on his shoulder.

He tried to ignore how right it felt. “Yes, and that’s why you should just close your eyes and rest. Don’t worry. It’ll all be better in the morning.”

Author Bio:

Landra Graf consumes at least one book a day, and has always been a sucker for stories where true love conquers all. She believes in the power of the written word, and the joy such words can bring. In between spending time with her family and having book adventures, she writes romance with the goal of giving everyone, fictional or not, their own happily ever after.

Author Links:

Website: http://landragraf.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LandraGraf

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/landra.graf

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7847192.Landra_Graf

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/landragraf/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Landra-Graf/e/B00IESJED4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1440641120&sr=8-1

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

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