4.29.2012

Intractable Deceptive Heart
















Intractable deceptive heart
beating to a strange new rhythm
followed wayward eyes
into a blind alley
at the end of denial lane

Stubborn unreliable feelings
a flock of furious birds
hovering over the once blue-green sea
of passion, now pewter from
emotions spent chasing demons

Willful unreliable emotion
drunk from the flush of a thousand angry
lies squandering the chance of a lifetime
accommodating the reckless desire of immediacy

Read more Sunday Whirl
here.
 

4.27.2012

Some #FridayStuff About Me #7


Each week, Hilary at feeling beachie lists four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at feelingbeachie@gmail.com. If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop! This week’s co-host is Beth Ann from It's Just Life. She would LOVE it if you could please help her spread the word about this hop…. So, please tweet, FaceBook share, and add the linky to your post…

This week’s statements:

1.  I never _forget to make reservations__ when I _travel__. Got stuck in Hallettsville, Texas without a reservation one time. Who would have thought you would need one there? Ended up sleeping in a no-tell motel one night. Very sketchy.

2.  I used to _worry about things_but I stopped. Worry changes nothing.

3. My favorite picture of all time is of __a picture I took when my children were little. Their faces are close together and they look so much alike. I always smile when I see that picture___.

4. When it gets dark I think about ___sleep____________.

 Read more Friday Fun at Feeling Beachie

4.26.2012

Review of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With such an incredible title, I expected more from this book. It’s as if Mr. Ford exerted all of his creative energy in tantalizing the reader with the promise of something profound. This is a sweet love story, a coming of age story, a classic conflict between father and son story, all rolled into an adequate effort. Hotel is a bittersweet tale of young love lost set in the backdrop of Seattle during World War II just as Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

Henry, a native-born American of Chinese ancestry, filters his perceptions of his family, his identity, and his sense of right and wrong through the lens of honor, duty, and loyalty. Those bedrocks of Chinese culture are stretched to the breaking point for Henry when he falls for Keiko, a native-born American of Japanese ancestry.

In Seattle, Washington, during WWII, a relationship between a Chinese boy and Japanese girl was unthinkable. Geographical, cultural, and social, the barriers between the two young people were insurmountable until both of their fathers sent them to an all-white prep school on scholarship. The survival of the two outcasts in a hostile environment bonds Henry and Keiko. Although her parents accept the relationship, Henry’s father objects strongly enough to interfere with the young lovers. The two are separated when Keiko and her family are “evacuated” to an Internment Camp in Idaho.

The inciting incident in 1986 is the renovation of an old hotel in the area of Seattle that used to be the Japanese district. When Henry learns of the discovery in the basement of items belonging to Japanese internees, he decides he must find something there that belonged to Keiko. The story flip-flops between Henry’s memories of 1942 and his current life in 1986. As with Henry and his father before him, there is a strain between Henry and his son Marty. It seems some things do pass down from generation to generation. The common quest to find Keiko’s belongings finally bonds Henry with his son and helps Henry understand the actions of his deceased father better.

Other reviewers have addressed the numerous anachronisms in the sections set in 1986. Truthfully, I didn’t catch them. I was so engrossed in the underlying story I didn’t notice. That’s not say Mr. Ford’s voice or writing style was compelling or page-turning. As I said before, the story telling is adequate if not a little overly simplistic and sentimental at times. The premise alone kept me reading, despite some of Mr. Ford’s plot devices stretching the limits of credibility.

I would have given the book three stars had it not been for the underlying bittersweet nature of Henry’s undying love for Keiko, even years later after having lived his entire adulthood with another woman. I’m a sucker for a sweet love story. Mr. Ford did enough research on race relations during that era of American history to give the often used bittersweet story of forbidden love lost plot line a new spin.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read. Not necessarily a page-turner, but a good solid read-it-when-you-have-a-spare-minute sort of read.



View all my reviews

#ThursYumYum - Slap Ya Pappa Chili



This was my Daddy’s specialty. Like so many other of his recipes, he started his chili with a roux.

Roux
1 med. yellow onion, chopped somewhere between fine and coarse
2 lbs lean ground meat
2 cans chili beans
2 cans chili tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato catsup
Chili powder to taste

Prepare the roux by browning ½ C flour in a ½ C cooking oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook on med heat, stirring almost constantly so it won’t stick for 15 to 30 mins until the roux is the color of coffee with light cream.

Brown the ground meat and onion together. Add together the roux and the meat in a stockpot. Add the chili beans, chili tomatoes, and catsup. Add chili powder. Taste. Add more chili powder. Taste. Add more chili powder. Eventually there will be enough chili powder added that it tastes right.

Daddy loved to extol the virtues of eating onions. He claimed they prevented heart disease, stroke, and cancer. About two and a half years ago, he passed away from an aortic aneurism at the ripe old age of eight-nine, three months shy of his ninetieth birthday. Daddy said most of the world’s best recipes started with a roux. He always added a little sweet catsup to anything with tomatoes, because he said it cut the acid.


4.25.2012

Sunshine Blog Award

April 24, 2012


I was so excited to see that I had received a blog award:


Thank you, Lady Bren, for passing this award along.
The rules for this challenge include answering the following questions:
  1. Favorite color-  Red 
  2. Favorite Animal-  Well, I have one very chubby cocker spaniel whose name is Indiana. Is that too specific?
  3. Favorite number – 1017, for so many reasons
  4. Favorite non-alcoholic drink -  Coffee
  5. Facebook or Twitter – Twitter
  6. My passion – Writing 
  7. Getting or giving presents - Ah, that's a toss up. I love the look on someone's face when I've given a gift they love, but on the other hand, I love receiving a thoughtful gift as well.
  8. Favorite Pattern- Wow, I don't know that I have one. Never thought about it.
  9. Favorite day of week – Saturday. I love sleeping late.
  10. Favorite flower - Yellow roses
5 Blogs I am passing this award onto:

4.23.2012

All About Heroes - Author Interview With Krista Ames


I want to welcome author Krista Ames to Suspense, She Writes. I've come to know Krista as part of the Still Moments Publishing team.

First, tell us a little about yourself.

Well I was born and raised in Indiana, even lived in Florida for a while but now I live in the northern lower part of Michigan with my awesome husband and our 4 kids.  Our house is never dull, never clean either lol. 

I write contemporary romance at the moment but I would love to venture into maybe some romantic suspense and paranormal/shape shifters. 

As writers, we often become emotionally attached to our characters. Who is your favorite hero you’ve ever written?   

So far I haven’t written too much, I have 4 short stories, 1 novella and I had a 24k contest submission that I’m still waiting to hear about but I think my favorite so far has been the contest submission hero.  This character is a cowboy running from his life of being an EMT and a huge mistake that cost a life. 

Have you ever fallen in love with or had a crush on one of your heroes? Tell us about him.

I fall in love with all of my heroes because I want my readers to fall in love with them too so I try to make them as irresistible as possible.  To name one though it would be Gentry,  my cowboy/EMT.  He’s just sexy and he knows how to handle horses and women or maybe it’s just the fact I love cowboys. 

How do you develop your heroes? Do you imagine their personality or their physical appearance first? Do they grow as personalities as you write or do you do a character sketch before you type the first word?

When I start a story, I normally have a hero in mind and I develop him to match the heroine but I think I create his personality first.  I don’t really sketch any of my characters; I let their personalities grow as I write.  It’s more fun to have them develop on their own as the story grows. 


I like to give my heroes a personality quirk, just so they aren’t too perfect. Have you ever written a quirk for one of your heroes and what was it?

I’m actually not sure I’ve done that, at least intentionally but I think.   that’s a really great idea and thanks to you, I may just have to start incorporating that so it’s noticeable.


How do you name your hero?   

I have a huge list I’ve compiled of names and places, possible titles, things like that so I just pick a name that seems to sound good and matches the personality of the hero.  I don’t make it too complicated.  Sometimes my husband will suggest names and I just know when a name sounds right. 


Who is your favorite hero in books, movies, or television?  

I always like the underdog or the quiet one that flies in and saves the day.  For example, I’m watching the new lifetime series The Client List where Jennifer Love Hewitt’s brother-in-law is in the wings after his brother left her, helping whenever he can. She comes home to him mowing the lawn (which makes her so mad because it’s her husband’s job only he’s not around) or he goes to her kids’ concert and helps put them in bed afterward.  Tells her he will do whatever she needs, she only need to ask.  You can tell there’s chemistry there at least on his part.  Of course this is only my opinion but she just doesn’t see it yet because she’s still hurt that her marriage fell apart. 

Who is your hero in real life?

My husband.  He stands by me no questions asked and he’s my biggest fan.  I love him to pieces J

Tell us about your most recent release and where we can find it. Who is the hero and what do you like about him the most?

My most current release is a novella called Second Chances and released through Ruby Lioness Press and is now available, yay!


The hero of  Second Chances is Nick Prescott and he’s a navy man.  I love military men so this one is especially yummy to me.  I love this hero because even though it broke her heart, he did what he needed to do to keep her safe.  He thought of her first and foremost. 


Would  you like a blurb?

If you could get a Second Chance...

When the love of Dana's life leaves without a word, she is forced to move on with her life.  Despite loving him, she believes she will never see him again but, little does she know, she's being set up for a night that will change her life forever.

Nicholas, A Navy man, did the only thing he could to save the woman he loved.  Driven by a secret, he disappeared and now returns, years later, with hope for love.  With one opportunity, will he be able to make things right, or is it just too late?  Will she deny any desire for Second Chances?

Thanks for joining us today, Krista. It was great getting to know you better. Check out Krista's book at 







4.22.2012

Conversations With #MyMuse - 0002


Don't Hide


Is it getting a little crowded in there
why won’t you come out and play
don’t hide your pretty words from me

I need you to murmur motion and color
and light and shadow and perception

I need you to whisper depth and resonance
and space and texture and substance

see that
hear that
smell that
taste that
feel that

Don’t hide your pretty words from me

4.20.2012

Some #FridayStuff About Me # 6

Each week, Hilary lists four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blog. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at feelingbeachie@gmail.com. If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop! This week’s co-host is lisa from third time is a charm.

She would LOVE it if you could please help her spread the word about this hop…. So, please tweet, FaceBook share, and add the linky to your post…

This week’s statements:


1.I always forget_where I left my glasses.__

2.I never _fall asleep_without_tossing and turning.__ Five minutes after my husband's head hits the pillow he's out and snoring, while I'm still trying to get comfortable.

3.Recently I started to _planning a trip to Colorado____, and it has helped MY ATTITUDE tremendously!

4.If I had to find a date, the last place I would look for one is __a video game convention_____. Thank goodness I'm married to a wonderful man and only have to look at home for a date.



Photobucket


Read more Friday Four Fill-In Fun at Feeling Beachie.

4.15.2012

Liebster Blog Award


This is my first ever blogging award. Thank you Aderyn Wood for passing on the Liebster Blog award to me :)


In the spirit of the award, I'd like to pass it on to the following blogs:
5) Hilary

To accept the award, please follow these rules:

1. Show thanks to the blogger who awarded you by linking back to their blog.
2. Pick 5 blogs with less than 200 followers and let them know about your nomination by leaving a comment on their blog
3. Post the award on your blog!

4.12.2012

#ThursYumYum - Mississippi Mud Cake

2 C sugar
1 1/2 C flour
4 eggs
2 stick margarine
3 to 4 Tbsp cocoa
1 1/2 C chopped pecans
1 C flaked coconut
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix sugar, flour, and cocoa. Add eggs and mix well. Add coconut, pecan, and vanilla. Pour into 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Reduce heat. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes. Spread marshmallow cream on top of warm cake.

Topping

7 oz jar marshmallow cream
1/2 C margarine
1 C chopped pecans
16 oz box powdered sugar
1/4 C evaporated milk

Mix powdered sugar, cocoa, margarine, and pecans. Add evaporated milk and heat until warm. Pour over marshmallow cream.

4.09.2012

Conversations With #MyMuse - 0001


An Ode to My Muse

Where do the words come from
That express my life
My hope
The essence of me
That my soul spits out
Not sensible but making
oh so much sense

Regrets
Maybe
Not so much as joy and
Fleeting moments of happiness
Wrapped up in relationships and
Memories and
I don't want my life to be over

I want to live for the now
And for the future
And I want my words to flow
To tell stories of my essence
To betray the existence of my soul
With reckless abandon

Where do the words go
When they leave my mind
Do they frolic and
Dance
And cavort with intent
So that a piece of me
Makes oh so much
Sense to another

I wrote this in honor of my muse, who sometimes pushes nonsense through my fingertips…and hopefully, sometimes whispers in my ear a few things that are worth pondering.




Please read more at www.withrealtoads.blogspot.com



4.06.2012

Some #FridayStuff About Me # 5

Each week, Feeling Beachie lists four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email her at feelingbeachie@gmail.com. If she uses them,  she will add you as co-host to the hop! This week’s co-host is Jen from Just another day

She would LOVE it if you could please help her spread the word about this hop…. So, please tweet, FaceBook share, and add the linky to your post…
This week’s statements:

1. I never wear _lipstick__ and I don’t know why. Seriously, I have about  kajillion tubes, but never wear it.
2. In the winter I always_(what's winter? I live in Louisiana. We don't have winter!)__
3. When I _smell onions cooking__, I miss __my Daddy_
4. I love the way _rose petals__ feel.



This is a Blog Hop!






You are next... Click here to enter


4.05.2012

#ThursYumYum - Stuffed Pistolettes

1 stick butter or margarine
1 lb lean ground beef
garlic powder to taste
1 onion, chopped fine
1 lb processed cheese product, such
  as Velveeta pistolette
1 pkg frozen broccoli
1 tsp creole seasoning
16 rolls

Cut tops of pistolettes. Save tops. Dig the inside out. Melt cheese. Cook broccoli per pkg instructions. Brown meat and onion together. Drain meat. Add cheese, broccoli and creole seasoning to meat. Stuff mixture into rolls and put tops back on roll. Secure with toothpick. Melt butter and garlic powder. Brush rolls with butter mixture. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F until brown.

This is a crowd pleaser at family reunions. Makes a great finger food for parties.

4.02.2012

The Long Journey to Publication, Part IV


If you missed last week’s installment, you can find it at this link.

In May 2010, I joined a writing critique site. This was probably the best thing I’ve ever done to improve my writing skills. Other writers can be so merciless when reviewing your work. I’m thankful for the few on the site that wrote an honest review. I started writing short stories. This was great for improving my skills and developing my style. Everything needed for a well-written full-length manuscript is condensed in short story. Plot, characterization, pacing, point of view, grammar and punctuation, voice, style. All these elements combine into a polished piece. I applied these new skills to my longer works.

Deceptions of the Heart was completed in May 2010, and I began pitching it to agents. Twenty rejection e-mails later, I was about to give up. It’s hard to find an agent with similar tastes and interests who will “get excited” about a premise, despite the fact several agents said the concept had merit or was intriguing. I truly believe acquiring an agent is nothing short of a modern miracle.

By this point, I’d already decided I wasn’t going to self-publish. Being one small fish all alone in a big tank didn’t appeal to me. But I didn’t abandon the idea of publication. I’d just become painfully aware that I wasn’t going to get there through the agent funnel. Then, I found Still Moments Publishing. My relationship with Still Moments has been very satisfying. I like their publication philosophy. The other authors in the group are supportive of each other. This is a good fit for me. I’ve contracted four short stories and Deceptions of the Heart with them.

Lesson #5. Don’t give up. Keep looking until you find the right fit. Maybe your manuscript will find a home with an agent. Maybe not. Maybe you’ll find a home with a publisher and develop a working relationship. But whatever you do, don’t stop writing and don’t stop growing as a writer.

Just because you’ve signed that first contract doesn’t mean the job is done. Writing, editing, marketing. It’s a package deal. It’s work, but I love it!
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