Wednesday, December 16, 2015

BOTB and WEP: Holiday Celebrations

I'm out of town, and wasn't planning on posting for either the BATTLE OF THE BANDS (hosted by Saint Mac and FAE) or Write Edit Publish: Holiday Celebrations (hosted by Denise Covey and Yolanda Rene) because it will be a couple days before I'm home and able to browse this many link participants.

Scroll down for WEP if this BotB doesn't dazzle you.

For BotB'ers: short and sweet. Vote on your favorites, or just enjoy - or not. Please feel free to vote on all your impressions: visual, auditory, group favorite. Or stick your tongue out at me in the comments and register a "no vote." Ya'll know I'm not one for traditional or commercial Christmas spirit.


Or Starry?

For more BATTLE OF THE BANDS Participants, or to add your own battle, click here for the links.

Want to give me MORE Holiday spirit? Read and comment on my original Write, Edit, Publish: Holiday Celebrations writing. Yep, you read that right, I wrote a near one thousand word excerpt as my last writing and blogging post for the year.

From the WEP Challenges page:

For this challenge, our final for 2015, you will be asked to share your ideas for a holiday that is out of this world, literally. Take us to a new planet, universe, or simply change the one you're on.
Since December is the month of celebration, the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Chanukah, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, New Year's Eve and many more. We want you to take us out of this world. Take a trip to a new planet but use your experiences, memories, or just your imagination to write a holiday celebration that is unique to you and this new or drastically changed location.

Write a story, a paragraph, a poem, show us some artwork, a screenplay or take a photograph. The night sky is always 'out of this world' – okay, sorry for the pun, but have fun!

Remember, anything is possible! You can make it happen!

This month, the out of this world, speculative fiction/sci fi excerpts will be judged by author/blogger and IWSG founder Alex J. Cavanaugh. Click here for further details of this challenge and to read others and/or add your own submission to the linky. Submissions close Dec 19, Australian time.

998 words
All feedback acceptable.

Dag and Fil clipped the mossy skirt to the six meter long metal float, then stood back to admire their achievement. For months the two boys had spent every free moment collecting the glowing, multicolored lichen and embroidering it into the satiny blanket that now surrounded that float’s structure.

“Now what?” Dag asked his brother.

“Now we wait for Sol to place his ice sculpture atop and we join the parade,” Fil answered.

“He’s late.”

“Yep,” Fil agreed, scratching at a down-covered spot on his neck that had begun to molt.

“Don’t pick at it,” Dag warned. “Someone will notice and report you.”

Dag had begun molting again a few weeks earlier, starting between his shoulders and quickly spreading down his back and hips. Just thinking about the changes made him shake involuntarily, causing the rough undershirt to rub against his feathering skin and satisfy the urge to scratch. Two years older than his brother, he’d been through the process once already, and knew a few tricks about remaining undetected; and coping.

Fil looked around the warehouse, taking note of the noise and bustle of the other parade participants for the first time since arriving hours earlier. No mentors were allowed in the staging area as the students put the final touches to their Earth Day projects and jostled for position in the line up. Many of their classmates had already joined the procession – those that decorated with traditional Earth flowers and vegetables grown in special green houses all year, musicians and dancers in colorful costumes depicting the unusual diversity of that old world; bakers and cooks that intended to sell their wares at the banquets and street markets that the holiday encouraged.

None of the other industrial projects looked ready for presentation. Fil was sure they could be next up, if Sol would just get here and uncover his masterpiece.

“We’re all evolving, no one is Pure anymore. I’m not ashamed.”

Dag moved closer, lowering his voice to a level that no Pure Earthling and few Articans could hear. “It is not shame that keeps us hidden.”

“No shame.” The words drifted on the air from many directions, sifting through the artificial warmth.

Dag and Fil glanced around, but everyone seemed busy with their projects. Welding sparks, shouts of enthusiasm, curses and challenges, hammer bangs and ignition booms; nothing out of the ordinary for this artistic apprentice group.

“Trouble makers.”

That whisper was easily tracked, and both boys smiled as Sol strode through a side door. As usual he was wearing only a short sleeved shirt, khaki pants, no shoes, his long blue-black hair looking more like a mammal pelt worn by their ancient Earthling ancestors. Jem followed in his wake, small and mysterious in a deep blue robe that covered her from head to – bare feet.

“Aw come on; this is not the day to make statements.” Dag succumbed to a nervous itch, then he and Fil followed Sol to a locked freezer.

Sol punched in a code, lifted the huge metal lever, and turned to grin at his friends. “We’re going to win today. Grand prize is an audience with the Empress –"

“Only her daughter-”

“ – who is rumored to be evolving just as we are. I say that today is the perfect day for a statement.” Sol opened the heavy door wide and motioned for Dag, Fil and Jem to precede him.

“There will be a hundred prize winners Sol. And who wants to sit through all those ceremonies and speeches instead of drinking, eating, and getting it on with the girls.”

Dag adjusted his body temperature as he stepped into the freezer. At three degrees Celsius outside, it was one of the warmest days on Artica, and the scientists had speculated direct sunlight might even reach them later in the day. Dag put as much faith in the possibility of sunlight as he did in a supply shipment from Earth. It’d been over three hundred years since the appearance of either anomaly. Unlike the self claimed Pure Earthers, Dag did not welcome the feel of heat, although he hid his displeasure in clothing that looked layered and warm when in public.

“Its beautiful,” Fil stated, scratching at his neck again.

The sculpture glistened in the frigid air, a perfect replica of the colony ship Pleiadies that brought their first ancestors to the frozen planet named after the coldest region of Earth. The settlement had thrived for a hundred years after it was established, but as supplies and support had diminished, and eventually stopped, the citizens had to adapt to the frozen tundra. Many of the younger generation questioned why the annual Earth Day holiday was still celebrated. Few lived who remembered landing day.

“Its too small to be noticed,” Dag disagreed.

At just under four meters, the replica would be the smallest entry into the parade. The prospect of a dance or three, and possibly more, with his girlfriend later was looking up. He could almost taste the Artican Brew on his rubbery lips.

Sol and Jem laughed, the sound vibrating on the freezing air like the humming notes of a flute.

“Show them Jem,” Sol said, tugging the shoulders of Jem’s robe.

She raised her arms and let him pull it over her head. Fil showed his respect by turning his head, but Dag stared at her nude, multi-colored body. He’d seen her talents before, and the spectacle always fascinated him.

Jem winked at Dag, and suddenly the room was filled with a shifting rainbow of colors that crystalized around and above the Pleiades sculpture.

“Under the lichen blanket Jem will be able to absorb and reflect the natural colors. We’ll outshine even Dar’s electrically generated lights,” Sol bragged.

Dag glanced at his brother, who returned his eager grin. “We’ll be arrested.”

“Making us the biggest winners of the parade, with a private audience with the young Empress for sentencing.”

“Brilliant,” Dag and Fil said together as they lifted the sculpture.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Happy Holidays All

Here in the US it is the holiday season, starting in November with Thanksgiving, which officially opens the SHOPPING SEASON for Christmas. Although I enjoy the lights, decorations and sentiment of peace, love and togetherness, I'm not fond of the shopping mandate, the advertising that implies (and many times outright states) that the LOVE a person receives is dependent upon the price of the gift giving.

Color me a scrooge; I don't need all that advertising - as in constant e-mail spam - to remind me I'm broke. I'll give gifts when I feel like it, which is birthdays and whenever I see something that I think someone I care about would like to have.

Bah Humbug!

I caved into the shopping spirit this year, and have already got a good portion of my list completed. I've even been thinking of buying a four foot tree for the Cat to enjoy. Its early, we'll see about that one. My favorite thing about Christmas is the stockings. I love collecting items to stuff them with on Christmas Eve. Candy, lottery tickets, iTunes/Google Play gift cards, miniature cars and action figures. And of course a book or two for those who love a good read to cozy up to.

E-readers and tablets are making that book stuffing a bit more difficult; the generic Amazon or B&N gift card just isn't the same as picking out a specific book title. Unless the person I'm giving a book to is as difficult to buy a book for as I am. My grand daughter (11) is an avid reader, and she loves the feel of a paper book, but already she is proving difficult to buy a book to her tastes. Today she is into faeries and dragons, tomorrow she might prefer Greek Gods, and then there's the Monster High or zombie books she'll sprinkle into the mix. Like me, she needs to be staring at the book titles and covers before making a final decision about what to read.

Today is the first Wednesday of the month, and for my INSECURE WRITERS SUPPORT GROUP contribution I'd like to admonish all my author friends to remember their target audience. THE STRANGER READERS, not the fellow authors or critique partners that consistently view the working manuscript before its final publication. Yes, do listen to your crit partners and those you trust to give you honest feedback.

As a frequent critique partner and beta reader, I am often reminded that writers have a tendency to want to please their writing groups as much as their target readers. I am guilty of this fallacy myself. Too often when starting a project, I think of what my critique partners would like to read in the story I'm producing, and I forget that my friends/co-authors are not the purchasing audience I want to entice with the publication. Admittedly, writers are also readers; but I have noticed (for me anyway) that being a part of a story's creation can remove the wonder of discovery that makes that stranger reader so important..

Congratulations to all the NaNoWriMo participants that completed their commitment; and for those that started and did not finish, kudos for the attempt. Keep at it, some people write slower than others, but the revision process is in all our future stories.

Be sure to visit the IWSG founder Alex Cavanaugh, and his co-hosts this month: Sandra Hoover, Mark Koopmans, Doreen McGettigan, Megan Morgan, and Melodie Campbell. For more IWSG posts, and to add your own link if you are not already a participant, visit the IWSG sign up list.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Hey Ya'll; Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends - and anyone else who celebrates this holiday. Turkey Day is one of my favorites because all you have to do is cook, eat and spend time with family and/or friends. Who doesn't love a good meal!?!

Speaking of meals, and overeating, and getting fat and lazy - at least for one or two days - I found your perfect after Turkey read. Or, before the meal, if you don't have to cook or travel and need something to take your mind off all the delicious smells.

Perhaps THE BODY INSTITUTE (Entangled Teen) will even help you to not overeat due to reading about the health care issues and bullying surrounding obesity, even those who carry just a tad of extra poundage. Of course, you could go the other way; feeding your literary appetite while stuffing your gut and then napping with the dream of a Reducer melting off all that excess poundage. Now that's my kind of weight loss program!

I wasn't sure I'd like this YA novel, but I was intrigued by the premise, and the one line on the cover that asks the question "are we our minds . . . or our bodies?" I attended a book signing at a local bookstore, and after hearing author Carol Riggs discuss the book, the plot concept and issues explored, I had a few questions. The author wasn't sure if it was Dystopian, but did assure me it was not the typical angsty YA voice. I liked what she read, and that intriguing question, and decided to take the chance and purchase a paper copy.

To my mind, this is definitely not dystopian, and does not take place in a school. The world is set approx 50 years in the future, but that future is not a set date, as the technology, environmental, and social issues addressed could plausibly happen any time between next year or more than a hundred years. I liked how the author moved today's current issues along to a logical conclusion, complete with all the expected benefits and drawbacks. I could see myself living in this speculative future and completely related to the concerns and stubbornness of the Grandfather.

The age of the protagonist - nearly 18 year old Morgan who is an over achieving science geek with loyal friends and a wholesome, patriotic attitude - works well for the future focus, as even today young people and their industriousness is what the older (not elderly) generation depends on to keep the world moving forward. Each generation of characters was well developed, easily relatable regardless of the age of the reader.

Without giving spoilers, I'll just say the villain in this novel is Big Business and Government, focusing down to one person of course; and includes the question of how much control each should have over our individual choices/rights. I like a book that opens my mind to different opinions, and makes me want to research/learn about technologies and philosophies.

I would recommend THE BODY INSTITUTE to anyone who enjoys a well paced mystery, an exploration of social issues in the near future, excellently developed and believable characters, and a wholesome concept that promotes family values.

As I said, this book is good food for thought, and if you would prefer exercising your mind as opposed to your body after an excellent meal, pick up this book and your favorite beverage and snuggle in for a cozy read.

Purchase links:
Amazon   B&N   Kobo   Indie Bound   Powell's Books   Books a Million

Meet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body—leaving her client slimmer, more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches…

For one, Morgan won’t remember what happens in her “Loaner” body. Once she’s done, she won’t recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the super-cute Reducer she’s been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Still, it’s all worth it in the name of science. Until the glitches start…

Suddenly, residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan’s mind. She’s feeling less like herself and more like someone else. And when protests from an anti–Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she’ll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul…

Are we our minds...or our bodies?

Carol Riggs lives in the beautiful green state of Oregon, USA. She enjoys reading, drawing and painting, writing conferences, walking with her husband, and enjoying music and dance of all kinds. You will usually find her in her writing cave, surrounded by her dragon collection and the characters in her head.

Contact Carol on her website, blog, twitter, Face Book, Good Reads,

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Now, I'm not a beer drinking woman - don't like beer at all. Hmm, well, had few sips of a Bud Light Strawberita a couple times, and that wasn't too bad. It didn't have much of the usual beer aftertaste, but I wouldn't drink it just cuz there was nothing else alcoholic around. I'll pass. Wine is my adult beverage of choice, but I rarely say no to Captain Morgan.

I do love those drinking songs though. Red Solo Cup is likely my favorite, but Drunk On A Plane comes close enough to call it a tie.

BEER DRINKING WOMAN embodies that fantasy of sitting at the bar, having a guy hit on you, buy drinks in hopes of going home (or somewhere) with you, then the gal gets to walk away and leave him with the tab.Not that this has ever happened to me . .  the last time I was out and got too drunk to drive I was alone, with a slot machine, and an attentive waitress.

HooYeah I got lucky - which is why I kept saying yes to the cocktail waitress well past reaching my two drink and drive limit. Too bad I spent all the winnings on the motel room. I don't remember much; except the music was good, the machine kept vibrating and screaming, and Willie stared down and encouraged me again and again to make all my dreams come true.

Ah well, on with the battle.

The original:

The cover contender

Which story did you like better: Memphis Slim or the Roy Buchanan remake? And if you care to visit other BATTLE OF THE BANDS competitions, visit the link at my awesome sexting - er, texting pal  STMcC Presents, and my wino pal Far Away Eyes. FAE has been feeling poorly of late, so be sure to stop by and leave her some blogger smiles.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Today I have the exquisite pleasure of hosting everyone's favorite cocoa-nut Mark Koopmans and his debut biography REVIVAL; The David Braswell Story.

Mark Koopmans is originally from Ireland. After working in Holland, Spain, France and England, he won his U.S. “Green Card” in 1994, and is an American by choice since 2003. Koopmans began his writing career with a feature for a regional magazine in California. Since then, he’s worked as a staff writer for newspapers in Florida and Texas. Koopmans is also a proficient blogger and is working on his next book, a novel. Koopmans lives in Virginia and is a married, stay-at-home dad to three active boys under the age of nine. He writes at night.Visit his blog here.


Continuing the second week of the REVIVAL – The Donald Braswell Story Tour, Donna is my host and I bow down in humble gratitude, dearest Donna!

She wants to know the history of the title, and how I came up with “REVIVAL.”

Simplest explanation is to head down the Webster rabbit hole (and yes, I got distracted by the Monster of the Day feature, and now I know way too much about the Chupacabra!)

There’s several definitions to “Revival," but the two that struck me were the musically related one (a period in which an old play becomes popular again...) and the Christian “revival” (a period of renewed religious interest.)

Once I realized the significance—and connection—of this one word with Donald’s inspirational journey, I knew I’d found the winner.

Time wise, I came up with the title in about five minutes (the benefits of working as a beat reporter under a daily deadline) but then had to sit on it for years while I wrote the book and waited for last week’s official launch.

I did have to laugh then, a couple of months ago, when a certain blockbuster author (I won’t take The Stand or complain about IT) released his latest novel. It’s called “Revival.” Of course it is.

Really, Stephen. Really?

Thanks again Donna, for being so kind in hosting me today. I really appreciate it - and you!

Tomorrow, I’m heading over to spend time with Sir David Powers King, who's curious about the book's timeline.

Donald Braswell II is an American actor, classical crossover tenor and composer. Braswell was on a fast track to become an internationally acclaimed opera singer when he suffered a car accident in 1995 that made him unable to speak for almost two years. After that, he lived a quiet life outside of the spotlight until his appearance on the 2008 season of America’s Got Talent where he was a Top 5 finalist, which gave him another chance at a career in entertainment. Since then, he has entertained audiences both internationally as well as shore to shore in the United States in concerts, television appearances, inspirational speaking and radio. He boasts an international fan club with fans from over 25 countries.

Braswell has reentered the world of music by singing in concerts starting with the Symphony of the Hills in Kerrville, Texas in June 2009. He performs a variety of musical genres ranging from pure classical repertoire to soul to mainstream pop. He engages people of many cultures by singing in various languages outside of English, including Spanish, Italian, Neapolitan, French and Russian. His concerts are generally multilingual, and he has performed pieces that are themselves in more than one language.

Some of these include: Mario Frangoulis bilingual version of “Nights in White Satin” (Italian title “Notte di luce”), originally by The Moody Blues; “The Prayer”; and Andrea Bocelli’s “Vivere” (English title “Dare to Live”). His other non-English repertoire includes Aqustin Lara’s “Rosa” (Spanish),Mario Frangoulis’s “Vincerò, perderò” (Italian) and the Neapolitan standard “O sole mio”.

Some of his many compositions can be heard on his recent album We Fall and We Rise Again.

Donald is a testament to the powers of the human spirit in difficult times and he inspires all who come to know him. Find him at

The book
Title: REVIVAL - The Donald Braswell Story
Subtitle: How a Tenor Lost his Voice, but Found his Calling
Authors: Donald Braswell with Mark Koopmans
Category: Non-fiction
Genres: Memoir, Biography, Inspirational
Publisher: Pen-L Publishing
Length: 236 pages
Release Date: November 03, 2015

Pitch: From Juilliard to jumper cables; from wasting all the talent in the world to America’s Got Talent, this is the story of the Texas opera singer who lost his voice - but found his calling.

Five years removed from his 1990 Juilliard graduation, Donald Braswell is set to be “the next Pavarotti.” Braswell’s successful career ends, however, not with a standing ovation at Carnegie Hall, but alone, lying in a dirty ditch. Following the hit-and-run accident that steals his voice and future, the “Texas Tenor” struggles with depression and despair - until the night his daughter, Aria, is born. Understanding this new and immediate life change, Braswell fights to relearn how to speak, sing -and share this gift of second chances with others.

Working as a plasterer, a car salesman, and many jobs in-between, it takes thirteen years - and a musical miracle - for Braswell to battle back and sing on a professional stage. His dreams and ambitions collide with a tired and angry crowd when he auditions for America’s Got Talent. For his family, his faith and his entire future, can the Rocky Balboa of the operatic world find the courage and strength to win just one more fight?

click here to read a free chapter

purchase links
Amazon US
Pen L Publishing
Barnes and Noble

● GRAND PRIZE (2 winners): Donald Braswell to sing (Happy Birthday/Anniversary) via Skype or phone call. (A unique gift idea!)
● 1ST PLACE PRIZE: Signed Donald Braswell CD/REVIVAL book combo
● 2nd, 3rd and 4th PLACE PRIZES: Signed copies of REVIVAL (by Donald and Mark)
● 5th, 6th and 7th PLACE PRIZES: Signed copies of Donald Braswell CDs
● 8th, 9th, and 10th PLACE PRIZES: Signed Donald Braswell 8x10 picture
EMBED CODE: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

IWSG: reviews

Ok, its late, like after 11 pm pacific time, and I'm just starting my post. Years ago we (military) cared about Zulu time, but now the only time that matters is Eastern US. So yeah, I'm writing/editing/posting late - blogger time. Or early, if you're across the pond. I prefer late, as I'm always late. My sister says I'd be late for my own funeral . .  yada yada. Whatever.

I missed the IWSG anthology deadline; couldn't get up to word count. Dumped the damn thing three times before 3,000 words, when the self editor said the story line was not flowing well. Thank you, but . .

At least I can move on to other projects now the deadline has passed. A much anticipated beta read, a book to read for review, several overdue book reviews. Yes, I enjoy writing/publishing reviews, and hosting author on the blog; but don't enjoy the review/survey in other aspects of my life.

You book a room, log onto a sales site, purchase a product, access some information, pay a bill, check your account balance. The email is instantly there: Your opinion is important to us, please fill out this survey and tell us about your experience. If you did not have a 10 star rating someone will be fired, but give us your honest feedback.

Sometimes I'm ashamed of myself in this opinionated world. I don't feel the person/service/product met my expectations, but I'm not sure if that is my unreasonable expectations, or the limitations on the product/service. I certainly don't want to be responsible if someone keeps their job or not, especially based on my mood at the time of purchase/usage. Hello, I'm human. I've also been on the other end of the survey where the customer wants something the company does not produce, but as the rep I'm the bad guy for not satisfying the customer! Can you say survey frustration; regardless if you are consumer or product rep?

My Insecure Writers Support Group post this month is about the REVIEW/SURVEY SYSTEM. All those policies and rules, and sometimes bullying, for an opinion. On EVERYTHING.  Now, many of you know (if you've followed me for a while, long before this particular blog incarnation) that I write reviews for the books I read. I understand how much effort the author put into the writing and development of the characters/setting/plot; but as a reader of a finished, published product, I'm entitled to my opinion. If I care to share it publicly.

Recently I read three books from author/bloggers specifically for review. Yeah, I bought each of the books cuz I wanted to review (familiar with the authors) and I did not want to add the disclaimer "I was given this novel in exchange for an honest review." Amazon is getting weird about published reviews when the reviewer  is friends with the author, and I am acquainted with a lot of inde/self pubbed authors. The blogs, ya know?!?

I understand the policy Amazon has adopted that they don't want to publish reviews by persons "acquainted" with the author, whether the review is positive or negative. I've seen enough blog posts where the author is upset by a review, especially by a review from a fellow blogger, and next thing you know there is a review war. Total abuse of the review system, if you want my opinion, but nothing that helps comes without its drawbacks. Sad but true, just how society is today.

Was this post a rant? Sorry. I guess my complaint is the obligation to review EVERYTHING. Sometimes I want to, other times the service wasn't worth the time or effort. But posting a bad/negative review takes courage. Its the bullying concept. Say you don't like something and you are subject to harsh response and ridicule; say you liked it and you're scrutinized as currying favorites.


This post is part of the Insecure Writers Support Group. Please visit the linky for IWSG at your host/founder Alex J Cavanaugh, and his helpers Tyrean Martinson, Karen Walker, Denise Covey, and Stephen Tremp. Our Ninja Captain is still looking for co-hosts for December and January, so if you are looking for some blog excitement, be sure to let the Captain know at his blog.

And good luck to all the NaNoWriMo participants. I can barely produce 1k a month, so I have not signed up, but I applaud all those brave writers that have made the commitment. Remember, its all about the word count, so shut down that internal editor and JUST WRITE IT.

Monday, October 26, 2015


Cover Girls Jax and Dani have come up with a cool way to entertain you.

Some rules:

Your Flash Fiction piece must be 400 words or less.

You must use all 13 Scattergory items in your flash fiction piece. Please highlight or underline each of them in your story, so we know where to find them.

Post your flash fiction piece any day from Saturday, Oct 24th thru Wednesday, Oct. 28th.

Be creative and have fun!!!

Your flash fiction piece can be spooky, comical, or whatever you'd like. You can use pictures to set the scene and/or a song to set the mood, if that helps.

The winners will be posted on Halloween!
We will each choose a winner. That’s right – two winners! And as an added bonus, we will also be selecting 2 runner-ups this year.  

That’s a total of 4 prizes! How awesome is that?!

2 Winners - $20 Giftcards each
2 Runner-Ups – Either, a book from our bookshelves OR a critique (first 10 pages)

Oh, and yes, this blogfest is international. So what are you ghouls waiting for?

Here is my 406 word piece.(sorry for the overage)

Loci darted his dark head into the fish pond and snagged a medium sized, orangish carp, then scampered up into the purple blossoms of a bonsai tree. On a third branch up he stopped to shake the water from his long black hairs and inspect his catch.

Three feet to the right a brown owl hooted a protest to the cat’s intrusion. Loci hissed, swishing his tail in agitation. The owl flapped his wings, whootled, and advanced towards the carp. Bristling and screeching, Loci stood firm on his tree space. The brown owl advanced again its yellow eyes twirling hypnotically. Unfazed, Loci hissed and sat on his catch.

The owl swooped, screeched, and flew on into the moonlight. When the night remained silent, Loci returned his attention to his catch. Grasping it firmly in his jaws he leaped, and using the shortcuts open only to his kind, reached his destination in three turns.

Justine seemed distracted as she opened the sliding door. Sounds of Johnny Janis singing LIVE UNTIL I DIE buoyed his steps.

“Where were you,” Justine chastised. She set aside her glass of Moscoto and plate of goat cheese. “Jezel and Argus have already left. Oh, what’s this?”

Justine inspected the carp, turning it over in her petite hands. “Not too old, pregnant, vibrant colors. So you’re looking for peace and contentment in your next life?”

Loci head-butted her ankle, then rolled onto his side and exposed his stomach. Ignoring him, she returned to her seat. Loci jumped onto the witch’s lap, kneading the loose robe and purring out his life stories of tragically lost loves.

“I don’t know,” Justine advised. “You haven’t earned this life cycle you desire. You’ve been cowardly, sedate in your prior two lives.”

Staring into her azure eyes, he preyed upon Justine’s own lost loves. The loneliness she suffered from betrayals and misunderstandings of her craft. He purred his acceptance of Justine’s usual terms; a hundred years of devotion regardless of his success.

Justine leaned forward and scratched between his ears. “Very well.”

Loci fell to the floor as she stood. Tossing the fish into her stew pot, she asked if he had a birthstone for the spell. Loci produced a multifaceted tourmaline.

Justine cackled, lowered goggles over her eyes, and wrapped his feline form in gauze. Loci tolerated the confinement with an anxious heart as he closed his eyes and waited for his spirit to be reborn.

* * *

What do ya think, ready to add your own story to the linky and possibly win a prize?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

WEP: Halloween

October 21 - 23 WEP HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE: Youthful Frights Vs Adult Fears.

For this challenge, you will be asked to share a childhood fright that might or did turn into an adult fear, real or imagined.

To start the fun you can:
1.    share with us a favorite frightening tale, movie, novel or a photograph or painting that will leave us quaking in our boots
2.    in a short paragraph describe how it scared you, and why it did and or still does today
3.    then you can:
a.    write your own scary piece, 1000 words or less, in any format or
b.    share a photograph or painting that captures the horror you've felt.

The subject or theme is a childhood fright that might or did turn into an adult fear.

Since I didn't write a story - too much writing for IWSG and critting projects for other friends - I'm taking a couple liberties with the above format.

  I guess I was subject to the usual childhood fears, but nothing that scared me to the point of absolute avoidance forever. Vampires and Werewolves used to be spooky, and Mummy's. Frankenstein's monster, the monster under the bed. Bela Lagosi, Vincent Price and Christopher Lee are some of my favorite horror actors from childhood, and taught me the value of locking windows and doors before bed. Later came mutants, demon possession, Freddy Kruger, Jason and zombies. While the movies were scary, I developed more of a curiosity in scary things - stories and creatures - than a fear of them. And no, clowns do not scare me. Never have, never will. Well, maybe Pennywise . . .
  But Hobo's did. For me, the Boogie Man was a homeless transient that lived down along the railroad tracks. He dressed in dark clothing, had a shaggy beard and long, dirty hair, and walked stooped over from carrying sacks of bad children to their camp to put in pots and boil for dinner. At least, that was the story my parents told us. I only saw one man that looked like that; we drove past him one night on the way home from church. One sighting was enough for me to pray extra hard for a few months.

Part I  Some things that I saw in movies as a kid that scared me, and stick with me as an adult, kinda?
 - I'm a doll collector; movies about evil dolls scare me. Long before Chucky, there was this movie about a construction worker that dug up a buried porcelain doll, and took it home to his daughter. The little doll turned out evil. I collected very tiny dolls after that; ones I could crush with my foot. Later my sister got this three foot doll that would walk with you when you held her hand. She (the doll) ended up in the attic, staring out a window. Creeped us all out. Especially at night.
 - things that come up out of the toilet. Alligators and Crocs, snakes, demons. Yep, toilets can be fear inducing to the unsuspecting arse. I never sit on a strange toilet without flushing it first (difficult now with those auto flushers) and for years refused to use a port-a-pot in camp grounds. I'd rather drop my drawers behind a tree, and to hell with whoever sees me and is disgusted.
 - Dead people freak me out. I watched Dawn of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, Dracula, Mummy movies. People buried alive, people who drowned and came back. Ghosts, burned witches, demons. I will not be buried when I die; I will be cremated. After I'm embalmed - no way to live through that process. Its not the dead (or resurrected creatures) themselves that scare me, its the thought of coming back. I may still haunt you as a ghost, but that is more natural than a zombie. Or worse, not being dead and waking up buried in a coffin. Do I like caves? Not so much. Sad to say though, I avoid funerals and cemetaries, and don't go to open casket viewings. The dead are gone - hopefully.
 - Strangers in the night. You ever watch Twilight Zone or Outer Limits? Really bad things happen to people who walk around in the dark. Pretty people mostly (so its a good thing I'm not pretty!), even monsters prefer a good looking meal - virgin or not - to the dregs of society. Beware world, minions are ugly, stinky, and liars; victims are honest, good looking and caring. Or at least having sex in interesting places. Just saying, based on the horror movies.
  But not all monsters are supernatural. Best not to tempt fate by being a hitchhiker, or picking up one, or going home with that good looking guy who talks so sweet and pays for all your drinks. I think I'd rather be eaten by a troll, alien, vampire, even a zombie, than be tortured and murdered by a fellow human being. I hate being out by myself at night, driving or walking. And truthfully, I don't like dark rooms in my home. When I open my eyes, for whatever reason, I want to clearly see what is sneaking up on me. Constant Vigilance are my watch words; my kids complain all the time because it is hard to sneak up on me to scare me - day or night.

Part II Pictures that invoke terror

Dr. Harold Fredrick Shipman was an English doctor and is one of the world’s most prolific serial killers in recorded history, proven to have been responsible for up to 250 murders. A trusted doctor, he was well respected in his community; however colleagues and local undertakers began raising concerns over the high death rate in the area and the large number of cremation forms for elderly women that he had countersigned. Several bodies were later exhumed and postmortems revealed diamorphine within their system. It was later established Shipman had purposely injected fatal doses of the drug in a huge number of patients, causing their death. He then forged their wills so he could inherit large sums of money and completed cremation requests to destroy the victim’s bodies. The trial judge sentenced him to 15 consecutive life sentences and recommended that he never be released. Shipman hanged himself in January 2004 in his cell at Wakefield Prison.

One of the United States most prolific serial killers, Gary Ridgway was arrested in 2001 for 4 murders though confessed to killing at least 70 women in Washington state throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. He avoided the death penalty by providing detailed confessions and led police to the dumping sites of his victims, five of whom he dumped in the Green River leading to the press nicknaming him The Green River Killer. He was convicted of 49 murders and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

One of the most widely known murderers of the 20th century, Ted Bundy was an American serial killer and rapist who kidnapped or overpowered numerous young women and girls during the 1970s. Bundy typically approached his female victims in a public place and led them to secluded areas where he would sexually assault and kill them. He decapitated at least 12 victims and kept the severed heads in his apartment as trophies. Repeatedly captured, he twice managed to escape from police and court houses before going onto commit three further killings. Convicted of multiple murders he sentenced to death. He was executed by the electric chair in 1989.

A Chinese-American serial killer, Charles Ng is believed to have raped, tortured and murdered between 11 and 25 victims with his accomplice Leonard Lake at Lake’s ranch in Calaveras County, California. They filmed themselves raping and torturing their victims. Their crimes became known in 1985 when Lake committed suicide after being arrested and Ng was caught shoplifting at a hardware store. Police searched Lake’s ranch and found human remains. Ng was identified as Lake’s partner in crime and attempted to evade police by fleeing to Canada. After a lengthy extradition to the United States He stood trial in 1998 on twelve counts of murder and was convicted in 1999. Ng is currently on death row at San Quentin State Prison.

Known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, Jeffrey Dahmer was an American serial killer and sex offender who raped, murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. He also committed necrophilia and ate parts of his later victims, dismembering and cooking parts of their bodies within his home. Dahmer was eventually caught after a would-be victim managed to overpower him and alert police. In 1992 Dahmer was convicted of 15 of the murders and sentenced to 15 terms of life imprisonment. However just two years into his sentence he was beaten to death by a fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution.

They look so normal, don't they? Go here for a longer list of human monsters.

I know Denise and Yolanda, there was a word up there I didn't incorporate into this writing: FUN. Sorry, this is where the writing took me at the time.

If ya'll would like to read more actual FUN participants, click here for the linky at Write..Edit..Publish.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Well, I had my apology post all scheduled for today's BATTLE OF THE BANDS (couldn't get my Nightmare post done properly), but I ran across this in my drafts and decided to post it. I've been on the road a lot since last Thursday, and when not driving and inventorying my stores I've had lots of paperwork and other stuff to do. I only work one week a month, but its sometimes more than 12 hour days when I run my route. Hectic and tiring is an understatement. The only thing I want at the end of the long day is a decent hotel (with a wine shop close by) and a shower that does more than sprinkle a couple droplets of soft, tepid water on my wide posterior.

Anyway - HOTEL CALIFORNIA by The Eagles has been overdone by just about everyone. Click the link to read all about it. According to Wikipedia:
The lyrics weave a surrealistic tale in which a weary traveler checks into a luxury hotel. The hotel at first appears inviting and tempting, but it turns out to be a nightmarish place where "you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave". The song is an allegory about hedonism, self-destruction, and greed in the music industry of the late 1970s. Don Henley called it "our interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles" and later reiterated: "It's basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream and about excess in America, which is something we knew a lot about."

Watch an Eagles version here, if you're interested.

You're lucky; that's not the song I'm doing today.

Today's contenders will battle it out over your funny bone. Hopefully you find these two as hilarious as I did. Fair warning: put down the coffee or whatever else you're consuming before clicking on either of these - in case you find it funny.

Barry Poole (born December 18, 1964) is an American country music artist who records under the name Cledus T. Judd. Known primarily for his parodies of popular country music songs, he has been called the "Weird Al" Yankovic of country music, and his albums are usually an equal mix of original comedy songs and parodies. (source)

Cledus T Judd parody Motel Californie

Justin Hansen, better known as GISH, is one of the most popular comedians on the NZ ProComedy Circuit. With a wicked combination of original and popular song parodies and a healthy toke of comedy for the bro's, GISH is a a favourite headliner throughout New Zealand.

GISH has turned his song writing talents to comedy providing a unique alternative amongst his fellow stand-up comedians; for which he has been a previous Billy T Comedy Award nominee in 2006. He has also featured on "Pulp Comedy" and TV3's comedy special, "AotearoHA".

Want to know more about Gish? Check out this article in the Auckland City Harbour News.


OK, go vote in the comments. Then check out the list of other participants here at the blog of Lucky Saint Mac (aka Stephen McCarthy), and don't forget to wish Wilting FAE a speedy recovery.

I will continue to be busy the next few days too. I will attempt to visit all the posts, but with grandkids here, who knows what will happen - or not happen.

I still have lots to complete on my IWSG anthology story. How's yours shaping up? And no, I have not started on my WEP Halloween writing, or the Spooktoberfest flash. I'm starting to get a bit commitment phobic; or at least scared to turn on my computer and contemplate My Documents.

If I don't see ya'll around timely, have a good weekend.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


October IWSG: and my birthday month. Know what my birthday present this year is? Know what, know what? Ok, I'll tell you. New season The Walking Dead starts Sunday, October 11. Scrrreeeeaaam!!! Just for MEEE hahahaha

But seriously, this month I'm not going to expound on my own writing insecurities, as there are so many, the biggest being I'm not sure I will ever write anything publishable again. I have too many story starts, and nearly finished projects, and so many more procrastination projects. Typical  writer anxieties. Nothing new here.

Lately I've been watching TV and movies with people (no, not something I usually do). Things I don't normally watch, or stuff I've seen over and over during the summer since all my normal viewing is on season break. Even some movies I've wanted to see, and now that I'm not working during the day I can hit some tight-wad Tuesday theater times. With friends/family.

They really don't like to watch with me; a writer, aka story teller. If there is a plot hole to be found, trust me when I say, I'll spot it. You can shush me during the show (unless its soooo obvious I'm sure even the most unobservant can't help but take note) but in the discussion afterward, I'm a Siskel and Ebert wannabe critic.

Friends/family that enjoy reading the same books as me never ask my opinion of the story either. Cuz, I'll tell them exactly what I think of it - the good and the not so good. The disappointments. The obvious plot or story or character holes. When I discuss a book or movie and say nothing but good THEY of course look at me like I'm just saying what they want to hear.

And I have to wonder if I will ever write a story that I don't edit forever, or don't write an ending to because I know it has to be missing something. Some, minor point I forgot to flesh out, or a detail I mentioned in one segment and ignored in a couple paragraphs later. Something I didn't explain, like the movies/shows I watch or the books I read.

Do you have an overactive external critic as well as an internal critic?

Be sure to visit other IWSG participants on the linky here; and thank our host Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh. This months co hosts are:  TB Markinson, Tamara Narayan, Shannon Lawrence, Stephanie Farris, and Eva E Solar.

And don't forget to polish up those submissions for the IWSG anthology. Deadline is Nov 1; coming faster than you can blink into a wormhole.

Monday, October 5, 2015


Recently I was contacted by a book promoter named Jessica Hardesty (Mind Buck Media) with a request to read/review a MG/YA novel Thee Links of Chain. I rarely read anything in this genre, but her pitch for the book was intriguing:

Just as parents are searching for those elusive last summer reading titles that are both exciting and uplifting, I'm working with Dennis Maley on his upcoming book release. Maley’s new young adult book, Three Links of Chain, tells the story of an escaped slave who makes his way across the Kansas Territory in the mid-1850s. Three Links of Chain provides a textured historical account of how Kansas struggled with becoming a free state and the importance of literacy to the individual at that time within a gripping adventure story. 
Intrigued by the themes of the novel, I accepted the challenge. I am glad I did. First let me introduce you to the author, Dennis Maley.


Born in the middle of the baby boom, 1948, Iowa. The best uncle a guy could have moved Mom to Wichita, Kansas, where my dad came once he got his walking papers from the Navy.
Just north of Wichita is a town called Valley Center. I was a mouthy underachiever K-12. Went to Kansas State University in the Little Apple, Manhattan, one semester, then transferred to Tulsa University where I met Mrs. Maley.

Mrs. Maley (Deliliah, Dee, Boo) was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma. She attended Edison High School in Tulsa (portrayed in the book and movie "The Outsiders" as the soshes). She and I married two years after the "Summer of Love." A bum shoulder gave me a 1-Y draft classification and I wasn't called to serve.

We moved to Oklahoma City where I worked in the income tax business. We have two kids. Our daughter was valedictorian at a good school, Phi Beta Kappa at Oklahoma University, suma cum laude. Our son won an award during freshman orientation for being able to put a condom on a banana the fastest while blindfolded. I am proud of him, too. He runs marathons. Because he graduated college, the odds against him getting incarcerated are 63 to 1. We're nuts about our three grandkids.
Mrs. Maley is a killer reading teacher. The part of "Three Links Of Chain" that is about literacy is a hat tip to her.

I started writing maybe 15 years ago. I gravitated to screenwriting as I didn't think my wordsmithing was good while my storytelling was OK. I love going back home to Oz, or Kansas as it is sometimes known. Mrs. Maley and I got a chance to visit the Beecher Bible and Rifle Church on a recent visit. Several years ago, out in the tallgrass prairie, I saw a roadside marker that sparked my curiosity and I ended up writing a script that involved Kansas history. People seemed to love a minor character, a runaway slaveboy. That's the genesis of "Three Links Of Chain."

I made four comedy short films with a couple of friends who have since died on me. Just as soon as I took over as dictator of my book club, one of our venerated members died. A theme is developing.
I sang and danced in a community theater production of "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," a minor role, the mayor. I got paid $6. I have a couple of guys hot to make a short film out of the first chapters of "Three Links Of Chain." If we didn't cut corners, the budget says $60,000 for 15 minutes. And if we caught lightning in a jar, maybe we make a feature length film. I organized a tax-exempt charity, raised $3,100, but have since run out of good ideas.

The number of ways to get $50-ed to death in this business are endless. I joined the Historical Novel Society six months ago, attracted to conference, but I didn't see any classes I liked. They all seemed to be for writers of bodice-rippers.

A writer from Florida accidently got himself born and was given my name. He's an ex-wrestler and boxer and to avoid conflict I've ceded the part of Florida south and east of Tallahassee to him. DON'T BE CONFUSED. It's the real me that has written "Three Links Of Chain," and I'm trolling for an agent to help me sell "Profane Fire At The Altar Of The Lord," a popular history about a couple of false Messiahs in the 16th century.

I don't want to tarnish my serious writing, so for my trashy humor, I borrow the name of a figment, T-Bob Corvus. A second e-book should be posted on Amazon in a month.

I play poker weekly with a bunch of guys I call my poker students. I like to walk when I play golf. I'm learning to play the banjo clawhammer style. People think I am eccentric.
Facebook: Dennis Maley

The flyer reads “One dark mulatto runaway, aged fourteen, well dressed and bright…”

Blanche thinks he has it good. He has risen above the field hands to a position helping run a printing
press. He's well fed, never physically mistreated, and he has taught himself to read, though he keeps the illicit skill a secret. Most importantly, he has been promised a chance at emancipation. Then, in a single bloody morning, Blanche’s world is overturned, his master lies dead, and his widow has no intention of following through with her husband's promise to free him.

Blanche would never have considered running away from his old life, but faced with the prospect of being sold as a laborer or worse, he forges his free papers and flees north, a fugitive, to create his own future. Only a few steps ahead of the slave catchers, he travels hundreds of miles across the violent backdrop of “bleeding Kansas” in the 1850s, a land torn apart by two very different visions of humanity.

This richly researched work of fiction weaves actual historical characters and institutions into the gripping story of a young man born into slavery but resolute in his quest for freedom.

Release: July 7th, 2015
Publisher: Jublio
ISBN: 978-0-9861158-0-6
Price: $11.95
Kindle Price: $2.99
Pages: 242
Distribution: Amazon and Ingram
Publicity Contact: MindBuck Media

My Review:
This was an intriguing book. I liked the voice and pace; it was written using the languge (idioms) of the 1850's. The story line was interesting, the setting was vivid and sometimes violent (as befits the "Bleeding Kansas" situation), and the main character Blanche was well developed with a large character arch. I liked the arrogance he developed as a skilled laborer, and how that arrogance was chipped away, sometimes in large chunks, as his life deteriorates and he finally determines to run away.

The journey Blanche embarks on to find the underground rail road leads him through much of the political turmoil in pre-civil war Kansas/Missouri, and the author expertly weaves in the corruption, violence, and debates of the times. My only complaint with the novel was the author's prolific use of research, often overly describing the uses and development of items and issues, and personal motives and histories of the famous individuals Blanche encounters.

Overall a well developed, well paced historical fiction, with authentic voice and personalities. The author note at the end of the novel was much appreciated, as it described which of the characters and events were historically accurate, and which were composites of much research. I highly recommend this novel to anybody who enjoys a rich historical content; but mostly for school aged children who don't enjoy a dry history lesson, but enjoys a good, factual story.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


October is a spooky month, one of my favorites. I love it when something really scares me, makes me jump clear out of my skin. My kids are always trying to sneak up on me; rarely works. Got that third eye in the back of my head that always tells me where they are. That played havoc with daughter when she was a teen, sneaking out of the house at night. I'd be standing there watching her crawl through her bedroom window and say "you could have used the front door ya know. You have a key."

She'd just say that was unnatural. Really??  I hope she remembers this when her own daughters are teens in a couple years.

She was lucky not to get eaten by any Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, general monsters, or other more human predators. Not to mention the Mommy at the door waiting to club her brainless - but I restrained myself and found other ways to punish her - hehuchehuc.

With THE WALKING DEAD returning Oct 11 (birthday present from AMC) you'd think my Battle of the Bands post would be about ZOMBIES. Buuut, there just isn't anything out there with covers that appeal to me. You'd be surprised how many instrumentals there are with "zombie" attached to the title. And yes, I considered Michael Jackson's THRILLER and Rob Zombie's LIVING DEAD GIRL. I have not found any covers for those, but of course, NOBODY could ever possibly do THRILLER as well as Michael Jackson (yes, I grieve for the fabulous artist he was).

The BATTLE OF THE BANDS list of participants is growing so big now I'm sure someone will find covers for all the usual Halloween monster songs. Here today, you get a Vampire song. I'm busy writing on a couple short stories for submission before the end of the month, so I'll just leave off the song/artist write-up and get strait to the horror.

Entombed: Night of the Vampire

Black Debbah: UPDATE; This is a German, metal band. Germans do not pronounce the letter V; instead, they us a W. Hense, this band is singing NIGHT OF THE WAMPIRE.

When you are done voting here be sure to haunt our hosts Stephen T McCarthy and Far Away Eyes. Give 'em all hell for me.

Monday, September 28, 2015

BotB Results, Daughters and Terrors

Hey Y'all. Happy, happy! Been a very busy week for me, and that actually makes me HAPPY, even if I do feel behind. Always always behind . . . I guess I feel loved.

First up is the Battle of the Bands results: Weed With Willie  vs  Squirrel Revival.

Predictably, The Squirrel wins by a bushy tale; even with my vote for Willie *Toby* and Saint Mac's vote for Wildwood Grass, technically a vote for Weed, which equates to a vote for Willie. You follow the logic - dancing feet may be required.

And also there are the book announcements I signed up for, then forgot to post. Ya know, busy, supposedly. Don't you just love the cover of Stephen Tremp's paranormal novel SALEM'S DAUGHTERS?

Stephen Tremp writes speculative fiction and his fourth novel, Salem’s Daughters, is supernatural thriller. A four hundred year old evil is unleashed when souls of the daughters of those killed during the Salem Witch Trials find a new generation of people to murder at a popular modern-day bed and breakfast.

For a full synopsis and to pre-order a copy of Salem’s Daughters for $2.99 (price goes up to $4.99 soon after release) Click Here.

And what better way to gear up for Halloween than revisiting all our childhood fears? Or instilling them in our own children  bwahahaha!!

Childhood Fears Cover Reveal

It's heeere! To everyone who's been asking me when they can buy a hard copy of The Bear Who Wouldn't Leave, here it is in all its glory.

The best part is that you also get three other awesome novellas! Whether clowns give you the creeps, or you've never quite trusted that scarecrow, there's something to frighten everyone.

If you like it, please give it (or my Bear) a review. Reviews make a huge difference, and to everyone who's taken the time to write one already, thank you so much! You've earned yourself a lot of great karma. The Childhood Fears anthology is available for pre-order now through,,   Kobo,   iTunes,   Barnes and Noble,   Samhain Publishing,

On her blog/newsletter, J.H. Moncrieff is announcing:

Coming next month: all horror, all the time

In honour of Halloween and the release of the Childhood Fears anthology, I'll be blogging about the creepiest stuff I can find throughout October. 

I'm also participating in the October Frights Blog Hop. If you know another writer that may be interested, please send them the link.

October 1-10th

A Frightful Blog Hop Celebrating 
All Things That Go Bump in the Night

Paranormal & Horror Authors 
Promote your current, upcoming and new releases
Prizes and giveaways are encouraged!
(authors responsible for their own giveaways)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


I promised to post for this episode of THE BATTLE OF THE BANDS, hosted by the 60's child Far Away Eyes and Mr Wanderlust Stephen T. McCarthy; but this isn't the post I originally put together. Or, almost put together then saved as a draft to use someday.

But, I was lucky enough to meet the lovely FAE over the weekend, and my my what a marvelous time we had. She invited me into her home, let me use her restroom, the dog greeted me with anxious barking. And then we went out for food and wine, and a phallic picture to send to our mutual heart throb through sexting . . . er texting; and talked and talked until way into the night, when even the dog lost interest. Then, I drove the three hours home.

We had such a blast getting to know each other, and of course we'll do it again, soon and frequently. FAE could be my sistah from another mistah we're so alike.

On my way out I promised to post something appropriate about our visit, and she grimaced (yes, grimaced) and suggested something totally inappropriate would relevant. Are we alike or what??

Well, so much easier said than done, as I had problems finding covers for all the inappropriate songs I could think of. I blame this mind freeze on the wine. And both of our hope for a somewhat family friendly posting.

This battle is going to be just a little out of the ordinary. I have two songs that one might consider inappropriate content. I enjoyed them very much, laughing so hard with my head phones on my ex-husband decided to go out to his trailer way early and left me with the TV to watch FEAR THE WALKING DEAD.

Anyway, here's your two inappropriate songs to vote on. Listen to both, and pick which one you feel is the most inappropriate - or the most fun.

Toby Keith and Scotty Emerick: WEED WITH WILLIE

According to Songtracks: Toby Keith wrote this with Nashville songwriter Scotty Emerick, who he's collaborated with many times. The first time Emerick and Keith met Willie Nelson, they visited Willie's bus to present their song "Beer For My Horses" as a possible duet for Toby and Willie. Not only did they achieve a #1 Country hit for "Horses" from that experience, but they had a night to remember, which inspired this song. Since then, Scotty says, "I've smoked weed with Willie, like, 20 times. You have to, you know. When in Rome." And it is really, really good stuff. "I think fans come and bring it to him."

Next up we have the always hilarious Mr Ray Stevens saving souls at The Mississippi Squirrel Revival.

 Stevens . . joined MCA in 1984 as a "country comedy" act and thereafter released only novelty song albums. The fan-voted Music City News awards named Stevens Comedian of the Year for nine consecutive years from 1986 to 1994. A few of Stevens' singles charted during this time, but only one, "Mississippi Squirrel Revival," made it to the Top 40, On April 14, 2011, Stevens decided to end his subscription-based web-site, Ray Stevens Backstage, after a two-year run. A music video from Ray uploaded on YouTube in 2009 but taped in 1992 entitled The Mississippi Squirrel Revival surpassed a million on-line views. This became the third music video from Stevens to obtain at least a million on-line views. (Wikipedia source)

Time to vote, if you dare, on which is most inappropriate, or most fun. For more BATTLE OF THE BANDS listening please visit the linky list provided by Stephen T McCarthy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015



Its the first Wednesday in September. I always find it weird when this day falls in the first few days of the month. Seems to me it should be a week into the month (2nd Wednesday) so Insecure Writers Support Group doesn't just sneak up on me. But, IWSG is a good way to announce a new month, with new goals and networking opportunities. And what better day to talk about ME  . .

Well, ME as I relate to social media. As authors and bloggers, social media is the life blood that feeds our muse, connections with fellow authors and industry professionals, opportunities for fame and glory (or rejection and heartbreak), and allows us to indulge in hours and hours of entertainment. Not that any of us would prefer to play FB games and watch cute videos of kitties/dogs instead of write, revise, query or market our hard work.

Today we celebrate author blogging, and so my IWSG topic relates to blogging. Specifically, that all important Follow/Friend button we all stare at with anxiety and hope.

I don't have as many followers as most bloggers I follow, but those that have followed me here as dolorah at Book Lover followed me from a previous blog. Late last year I suffered an ego blow in my day life that resulted in a knee jerk reaction of deleting my blog under my true name Donna Hole (many of you still will read that with my unique signature of ........dhole in the comments) at A WRITERS LIFE IN PROGRESS. I fondly remember the day Dezzy gifted me with the header he created.

So many wonderful blog moments were lost when I deleted that blog. I backed it up, reposted and deleted again every about two and a half months to keep it from permanently deleting, and eventually created this dolorah persona because I missed all my valuable online friends, Many fabulous friends followed me here. Some took my suggestion to UNFOLLOW me from and others deleted the blog from their blogroll. I am sure it hurt my friends to wave so long to that blog as much as it did me, what with all the blogfests, awards, author interviews, book reviews, and shoutouts that marked my previous journey as an author blogger. I would not be the confident blogger/author I am here today without that other blog (may it rest in peace).

Could you imagine our IWSG host Alex J Cavanaugh starting over again under another name/blog address? My guest blogger lists pale by comparison, but I was (am) every bit as proud of my first blog.

Lately some of my friends have noticed that the donnahole.blogspot has become active again in their feeds, and these concerned bloggers have informed me something wicked has usurped that former address. Imagine coming home from vacation one day to find aliens have moved into your lofty home while you were away!!! Opening your mail, inviting your unsuspecting friends over through duplicitous acts, smearing your name with unintelligible marketing gibberish. This spammer writes ABOUT ME as (translated) "Donna Hole is a portal of information about health and beauty tips. Thank you for visiting this blog." Even has a lengthy Blogger disclaimer stating the host is not responsible for fraudulent or misinterpreted information, which means nothing to ME, as I am not THAT Donna Hole.

I, dolorah, still and always the one and only original Donna Hole, am trying to figure out how to report this abducted blog as spam to Blogger. INConveniently, there is no "report this blog" link on the stolen blog.  In the mean time, I request anyone who is following to IMMEDIATELY GO TO MANAGE YOUR BLOGS, UNFOLLOW, and REMOVE THE DELETED BLOG FROM YOUR BLOG ROLLS AND OTHER FEEDS (Feedly, follow by email). I know how hard it is to hit that unfollow/unfriend/remove/delete key (even for someone you no longer care to follow or receive posts from), but I assure you it will be beneficial and painless to both you and ME (dolorah, aka Donna Hole). My FB, Google+, GoodReads, Linked In, Quora, Disquis, and email, and this blog are all linked to Donna Hole's gmail (view my complete profile), so no worries in deleting me from anything you've followed/friended me on elsewhere. Its all still ME Me me; as anyone with a linked Google account will know how hard it is to delete oneself entirely from social media. For me, that was a good thing. I think.

If it pains you to undo all that blog-love, assuage your guilt by following me here at Book Lover. I promise that at this blog (, you will receive all the sexy snark, constructive criticism, heartfelt accolades, and general information you have come to associate as ME by any other name or avatar. You can refer to me in the comments as Donna, Donna Hole, dolorah, or even Mom if you expect to stay all day and want a bologna sandwich. (Adult beverages subject to age restrictions; I do NOT share my Diet Pepsi. Please drink the milk as my son and I are lactose intolerant and it is used only for cooking so it goes bad very quickly if guests do not imbibe.  No coffee or tea on premises, bring your own. Cookies never last long, so you might want to show up on a shopping day and help unload the haul.)

Enough about ME! Ya'll will be seeing me around your blogs (as many as I can get to over the next three days) as I'm co-hosting IWSG with Heather M Gardner, Christine Rains, Julie Flanders, and Murees Dupé, Notice how Alex has a harem of help again? Come on GUYS, step up and flex those bloggy muscles next time Alex puts out a call for co-hosts. And don't forget to visit the IWSG linky and click on as many new blogger links as you can spare the time to visit.


The IWSG Short Story Contest 2015

After the success of last year’s IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond, we decided to create another book. This time it’s a short story competition with the top ten stories getting published in the anthology.

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free.

Word count: 5000-6000

Theme: Alternate History/Parallel Universe. That’s right, we’ve decided to go the speculative route. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines, except erotica or graphic violence.

Story deadline: November 1st 2015

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to TheIWSG at gmail dot com before the deadline passes. Make sure to include your contact details.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges:
·         Laura Maisano - Senior editor at Anaiah Press for their YA/NA Christian fiction
·         Russell Connor – Author and owner of Dark Filament Publishing Startup
·         Candace Havens  - Author and Editorial Director for the Covet, Edge and Select lines at Entangled Publishing
·         Dawn Frederick – Literary agent and the founder of Red Sofa Literary
·         Alice Speilburg – Founder of the Speilburg Literary Agency
·         Michelle Johnson – Founder of Inklings Literary Agency and Writers' Center and Bookstore owner
·         Kendare Blake - Author
·         Lydia Moëd - Associate agent at The Rights Factory

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title. The winners will also receive an exclusive badge to display on their blog.

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word!