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Constance Walker: THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE
Friday, November 10th, 2017

Tomorrow, November 11, is Veterans Day, and tomorrow I will fly the American flag in front of my house. Not because it’s a political statement but because it’s my way to say thank you to all the veterans who left their homes, their jobs, their families, and their comfortable lives to protect our country. Think about it – young men and women who believed so strongly in America that they were willing to give up a portion of their lives so that we can enjoy freedom.

Many years ago, when I was a small child, we used to have elderly veterans from World War 1 come to talk to us in our classrooms on that day. They would tell us stories about their experiences in the war – none really too frightening – and we children would sit listening, fascinated to be told what it was like to go to other countries, see other sights, and learn new languages. We were really too young to know the real implications of battle and these men and women were not about to frighten us — they were there to give us a sense of pride in our country and a reason to honor the day. They would tell us stories and then, in closing, would remind us that America was the greatest country in the world and we should never forget it

November 11 was originally celebrated as “Armistice Day” in memory of the end of “The Great War.”  That’s what they called it – “The Great War” – because their hope, these men who fought in the trenches in France and Germany and all over Europe in 1914-1918, could never conceive that there would ever be another such war. They were wrong, as we know, and so, in 1939, when another multinational conflict erupted, the “Great War” became World War I in order to remember and designate the next horror…World War II. Then, in 1954, the name “Armistice Day” was changed to “Veterans Day” to honor everyone – men and women–who served in all wars and almost every home in my neighborhood displayed the flag.

I was young, but I was old enough to remember, during the late 1940’s, another type of flag — the small cloth flags with a blue star that hung in the windows of the houses on my street indicating that a family member was serving in the Armed Forces:  Later, sadly, as the war progressed, some of those blue stars became gold when the family was notified that the service man had made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. Our country.

On the last day of that war, we kids were exuberant and wanted to celebrate and set off caps and fireworks but my mother hushed us and nodded her head to the house with the drawn curtains and the gold star flag in the window. “Remember them, Connie,” she said…”pay honor to the family.”  And that’s what Veterans Day is all about – honoring those who served America.

So, tomorrow I’ll hang the flag from the pole next to my door and I’ll remember the veterans — my husband, my brothers, my cousins, all my family members, their friends, and all those brave young men and women who went off to the wars – some to never return – and I’ll silently thank them for protecting our way of life … our country.

I hope you will, too.

About STORYTIME AT THE VILLA MARIA

The characters in my latest novel, STORYTIME AT THE VILLA MARIA, consist of senior citizens – some, World War II veterans, and they tell stories to their friends every Monday night at their senior citizen residential apartment house. They speak of patriotism and heroism and weddings and births and good times and bad and all the things relevant in their lives.  These characters remind me of my parents and my parents’ generation.  And that’s why I wrote the novel – it’s my love letter, my thanks — to the seniors of the world who went to war, to the wives and families who kept the home fires burning, and to the lives that they lived afterwards.

Meet…

Dominick, who married “the most beautiful woman in the world”…

Sophie, who is haunted by terrifying memories of the Holocaust…

Ella, who made “sweet apple pies” for her war veteran husband…

Tom, whose music lured women into his arms…

Artie, who is plagued by the ghosts of long-dead soldiers…

Frank, who can’t let go of his yesterdays, though a better tomorrow beckons…

Join them and others as they gather every Monday night in the library at the Villa Maria to share their memories, their fears, and their dreams.

STORYTIME AT THE VILLA MARIA—the unforgettable book about life lived and still to be lived, and about the mysterious threads of joy and heartache and love that are woven into every life—including your own!

“A charming novel of senior citizens, storytelling, nostalgia, and a world gone by but not forgotten.”

Get your copy here!

 About the Author

Constance Walker is the author of THE SHIMMERING STONES OF WINTER’S LIGHT, LOST ROSES OF GANYMEDE HOUSE, IN TIME, and WARM WINTER LOVE among other works of Gothic and contemporary fiction.

MY LINKS:

WWW.CONSTANCEWALKER.COM

https://www.amazon.com/Storytime-Villa-Maria-Constance-Walker-ebook/dp/B072Q3VBP1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497301294&sr=8-1&keywords=STORYTIME+AT+VILLA+MARIA
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/storytime-at-the-villa-maria-constance-walker/1126484514?ean=9780988430730
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/storytime-at-the-villa-maria-constance-walker/1126484514?ean=2940154392010
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2090408.Constance_Walker
https://www.facebook.com/search/str/constance+walker+author/keywords_top

Joyce Palmer: Worth The Risk
Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Thank you, Delilah, for inviting me as a guest on your blog today. It’s so exciting to be back. I’ve missed all this fun stuff while life whipped me this way and that. They say trouble builds character, and maybe that’s true. One thing is for sure, humanity’s ups and downs, endless bouts of chaos and periods of unimaginable calm will keep you from becoming too complacent. It will give you a grateful heart—an outcome worth every fallen tear.

How fitting my topic is in the wake of all that has been gained, and lost, and gained again. Nothing is inevitable, and it’s never too late for wounds to heal. Life can be better on the other side of trouble! Trust me, I know.

I guess you could say, I’m a romantic at heart. Maybe it’s the way I was raised, by parents who stuck together through thick and thin, some seventy-plus years. It’s no secret, everyone is not so fortunate, as maybe they married the wrong person. It’s not so easy to prevent getting it wrong when we’re young, and maybe not all that bright. After all, there’s a lot of life’s lessons yet to be learned. I’ve been lucky, and I know that. We celebrated our thirty-third anniversary last month. As we grow older, I see things in him I never paid much attention to, and I love him more than the day we said, “I do.”

To me, there’s not much that’s more heartbreaking than to see two people who love one another, break up, especially when children are involved. It’s just— sad. For some reason, it thrills me when I hear of someone reuniting after they’ve suffered a divorce. Recently, one of our friends reunited with his former spouse even after she’d remarried and that relationship failed. I like the idea of people who made an impulsive decision to divorce their true love, having the opportunity to rectify their mistake. So thus, the inspiration for my latest story, Worth the Risk.

Forced to reconnect with her ex-husband in order to find their missing son, Stephanie and Devin Clark discover though their lives had grown dreary and cold, the flame never died, and before they know what’s happened, the fire of their passion is more combustible than ever, and life is anything but mundane.

Get your copy here!

Heather Long: SEALed for Your Enjoyment…
Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Military romance has been, and will always be close to my heart. Up until now I’ve primarily written Marines, my affection for them is well documented in nearly 30 books including the Always a Marine series, Lone Star Leathernecks, and of course, When Danger Bites, the first book of Bravo Team WOLF—marrying my love of Marines to my love of Shifters.

When Susan Stoker invited me to come and play in her Special Forces: Operation Alpha Kindle World, I didn’t hesitate to say yes! What did give me pause was writing a SEAL, I’d written Marines, but SEALs are different. I wanted to be accurate, and I wanted to be entertaining—but most of all I wanted to be honest.

Operation Research

I’ve met SEALs in the past, but there are only so many questions you can ask. Instead, I relied on observation. It’s easy to forget these men are some of the toughest men around, not because they hide it—but because they are usually very comfortable in their own skin. They know what they are capable of and they don’t need to prove it to anyone.

Their training is brutal, and it’s not just about physical capability but mental discipline. Their service is often classified or top secret, and they are always training, or prepping, or on a mission. It’s rather humbling to realize that they need downtime after a mission because days of being on and focused and pumped with adrenaline requires decompression time before they can come back to the civilian world.

Admiring the fortitude required for all of the above is only the first step to getting a grip on the character.

What About Movies and Television?

Why not watch television shows or movies featuring special operations? We can do that, and I have, but entertainment always takes a certain amount of dramatic license just like I do in my books. FYI, currently I enjoy The Brave of all the latest offerings on television. Liking it doesn’t mean I can rely on those shows to do my research for me.

So you interview who you can, ask questions and recognize that you can’t always get all the answers, but you might get hypotheticals. Then you respect the work they do and focus on your character—I’m not going to write about every minute of his training or every hour of his missions, but I can take the long view and see how all of these will inform the character’s development.

SEAL, Now and Forever?

Mickey is a SEAL, that is very much a part of his identity, but he’s no longer active duty. In the Marines, once a Marine, always a Marine. For SEALs? They’re always SEALs, it’s something they earn, they become, and retirement or not, the experience is theirs forever.

The best part of a writing SEALs? What makes them dangerous isn’t their weapons or their combat skills—it’s what it took to make them SEALs in the first place—their mental discipline and strength of character. Those elements are amazing to combine into a character I create.

What is your favorite part of a SEAL? Real or fictional?

Securing Arizona

James “Mickey” MacBride retired from the teams with a solid record of mission accomplished. Now at odds and ends, he accepts the request of his retired Petty Officer grandfather. They want to gather the children of the USS Arizona—the descendants of the 355 survivors—for a special event. No problem, how hard can finding one woman named Arizona Kensington be?

Ari King has been on the run for over a year. No matter where she goes, her stalker finds her. She’s changed her name, her hair color, and even gave up the job she loved. When Mickey walks into the restaurant and asks for her by the name she surrendered, she takes his order then leaves via the back door, running for her life. Only she can’t shake him.

Securing Arizona was supposed to be a favor, but Mickey soon discovers it’s the mission of his life, and the men after her will have to go through this SEAL to get her.

Get your copy here: http://amzn.to/2heiufp

Nancy Lee Badger: Art as Inspiration (Contest)
Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

 

As a young 17-year-old, headed to college in rural New Hampshire, I could finally breathe. I grew up in Huntington, New York, on the north shore of Long Island, in the shadow of Manhattan’s museums, theaters, and art galleries. I soon learned I preferred the slower and less-populated life in New England. After earning a degree in Art Education, I stayed.

I gave up rocky north coast beaches for waterfalls and streams; skyscrapers were replaced with camping and painting landscapes in a small town. Eventually, I wrote this story.

With Every Kiss: an Opportunity Falls novel

Abigail Huntington, a successful Manhattan artist, is burned out, and is more comfortable wearing jogging attire, than dresses and heels. Bored by the city, and the jerks she’s dated, she needs to get away to paint beautiful and pricey landscapes, which is why she starts asking about New England campgrounds during her one-woman art show.

Mitchel Campbell, a corporate lawyer working for his father, wants to bed the pretty jogger he has watched for weeks. Recalling happier times in New England at his aunt and uncle’s campground near Opportunity Falls, he grumbles when he is ordered to attend an art show. He overhears a woman asking about campgrounds, and realizes she is the jogger. When he disappears minutes later, Abigail is left fuming. Meeting him again in a campground in New Hampshire is a coincidence…or is it?

Excerpt

Abby glanced at Mitch’s backside, bit her bottom lip, and stifled a groan. Wide shoulders and a narrow waist led down to a tight pair of jeans. She shook herself and decided to glance at the landscape instead. Mitch led them along a trail bordered by sweet-smelling pine trees and bushes filled with the fragrance of mountain honeysuckle. Frik ran ahead, barked, then returned to Mitch’s side.

“Frik, leave the deer alone. Abigail might actually like to see one.” Mitch stopped to let her catch up.

Her gaze followed his pointing finger. Nearly hidden in the trees, a deer nibbled on a branch. The delicate creature inspected the humans and continued to chew until the dog growled. In a flash, the animal bounded away with her white tail bobbing.

“How beautiful.” Abby stared, her gaze attempting to follow the doe. Awareness crept into her thoughts. When Mitch wrapped an arm around her, she gasped in surprise. When she immediately tensed, he quickly backed away.

“I’m sorry. Forgive me.”

She glanced over at him. Fisted hands perched on his hips. He glared down at his feet and kicked a root. Ashamed at her edginess, she stepped closer and wrapped her arm around his waist. He raised icy blue eyes filled with questions.

“What’s next?” she asked.

He seemed to stumble to get the words out. “Let’s keep going.”

She smiled at him and his embarrassment. She was beginning to trust him, but bending to a man’s sexual urges couldn’t happen. Not here. Not now.

Why not?

Too many months of celibacy, sprinkled with dates with boring men, had pushed her into a sexless existence. Where was the fun in that?

*~*~*~*

Want to read more? Find all the Buy Links at:
http://nancyleebadger.blogspot.com/p/books.html

More about the Author

Nancy Lee Badger, formerly of Huntington, New York, has fond memories of growing up on Long Island. Her life changed when she attended college in New Hampshire. After meeting her husband at Plymouth State, and raising two handsome sons, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, and the Triangle Association of Freelancers.

Connect with Nancy Lee Badger:

Blog     Website     Twitter    Facebook   Goodreads     Amazon Author Page

Contest

*a personal note from Nancy: With Every Kiss: an Opportunity Falls novel was released November 3rd. Since this is also my birthday month, I am giving away an Artist’s Assortment of Goodies. No purchase necessary, and it ends November 18th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Tell Me A Story (Contest)
Monday, November 6th, 2017

Sometimes, I peruse photo sites without any particular purpose in mind. I find photos for projects I’m working on that I think might be used for covers. Then there are photos like the one below that I just can’t resist, because I know there’s a story waiting to be written.

Tell me a story! Doesn’t have to long. Doesn’t have to be good. Have fun with it! I’ll choose one winner who’ll get her choice of any of my downloadable backlist (already published) stories!

 

Mary E. Thompson: Being Thankful (Free Read)
Sunday, November 5th, 2017

Every November, social media is flooded with people listing all the things they’re thankful for. Family. Friends. Small things. Big things. It’s always interesting for me to see what matters to people.

It also makes me think about what matters to me. Giving thanks is not something I do consciously most of the time, but it is something that matters. I have young kids. Kids that I’m trying to teach manners to. I want them to be polite, but I want them to be sincere also. Saying thank you only matters when you mean it.

I have a lot to be thankful for. Most of us do. You don’t have to look far to find a person who has it worse than you do, or better, but being grateful for what we have is important.

I’m thankful for the innocence of my kids. My son, who’s seven, found out recently that I was adopted. When I asked him if he knew what that meant, he said, “Yeah. It means they put you in a box and your parents came by and picked you from all the other kids.” Not quite. But only a kid could come up with such a sweet and innocent explanation of something that is hard for so many of us to think about.

I’m thankful for the love of my parents. It’s been a little over two years since my family moved closer to my parents. Instead of 800 miles away from them, we’re now less than three. Over the last two and a half years, I’ve grown closer to my parents. They’re there for my family in ways they couldn’t be when we lived so far away. They are always supportive of us and I love being close to them.

I’m thankful for my health. I’m quickly approaching the (hopefully) one year anniversary of being in remission. Nothing makes you appreciate your health more than beating stage IV cancer and being able to tell your story.

I’m thankful for my career. Maybe that’s a weird one to be thankful for, but being a writer has given me so much. My previous job was one that was slowly sucking the life out of me. I truly believe it would have killed me if I hadn’t gotten out. Being a writer is the exact opposite. It’s brought new friends to my life, new opportunities, and a new connection with people. I love what I do, and consider myself very fortunate to have this job.

Lastly, I’m thankful for my husband. He’s always there for me. Whether it’s a plot problem I need to talk through, an extra hand around the house (yes, he cooks and sometimes cleans), or just someone to watch a movie or a tv show with, he’s always there for me. He’s been my best friend for fifteen years, and I know he’ll be there for me forever. I’m lucky to have him, and yeah, he’s pretty damn lucky, too. I remind him of that regularly!

What are you thankful for?

*~*~*~*

Now available free – Love The Wine You’re With

He could be just what she needs…

Alyssa Wright has one goal before she leaves for college. She refuses to go carrying her v-card. She just has to find someone to give it to in the next six weeks.

When she runs into Jake Monroe, almost literally, she knows he’s different. She thinks about him constantly, and not in the way she’s thought about any other guy.

She might be what he’s looking for…

Between his new job and helping his best friend’s widow, Jake doesn’t have time for romance. But there’s something about Alyssa he can’t resist. He’s torn between the light Alyssa brings to his world and the promise he made to his best friend.

Is it enough to keep them together…forever? 

What they want doesn’t matter. There’s a ticking clock, counting down the days until Alyssa leaves. Maybe for good.

 Get it free today – Amazon | KoboiBooks | B&N | Smashwords

About Mary

Mary E. Thompson grew up loving to read, like a good little girl. Many nights she would fall asleep with the flashlight on as she hid under the covers, trying to finish the last few pages of a book. As an adult, the light from her eReader means she doesn’t need a flashlight, but she still stays up way too late to finish a book.

When Mary’s not reading, she’s playing with her two kids or living out her own real life romance novel with her hubby. She has a weakness for chocolate, especially when it’s paired with peanut butter, and has been known to have a bad day just because there’s no chocolate in the house. Unless there’s wine. Then everything is okay.

Mary grew up in Buffalo, New York and swears she’s the only local to never ski or snowboard. Soccer was always her sport, with a couple of adventures white water rafting and skydiving to keep things interesting. Mary moved to South Carolina for college but missed Buffalo every day. Yeah, she thinks she’s crazy, too. She somehow convinced her South Carolina born and bred hubby to return to Buffalo to raise their kids and live out their lives. He’s still not sure what he was thinking.

Find me online: Website, Facebook, BookBub, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Newsletter

Crazy November and the next TEXAS COWBOY!
Saturday, November 4th, 2017

November’s shaping up to be one busy month!

First, November is NaNoWriMo—which is a writing challenge that causes authors around the world to lose their minds as they rush to finish 50,000 words! Yes, I accepted this year’s challenge. Nag me to make sure I hit that mark! As of this morning, I’m at 7029 words! Woot!

Next, I’m leading a FREE Mind Mapping workshop for authors November 6-12. If you’re a writer wanting to take a hard look at all the things you want to accomplish in 2018—start with this fun exercise!

Then, of course, there’s Thanksgiving… I am heading to Virginia with my dd’s family to celebrate with the rest of the Devlin clan. Vacay doesn’t mean I won’t be writing! Let’s see if I can figure out how to fit it all in!

Lastly, I have three releases this month! The first came Thursday. Love cowboys? Love reunion stories? Older woman/younger man? Well, you should enjoy this one! Ignore the clunky title. I promise it’s sexier than it sounds! ~DD

The Cowboy and The Widow

Following her husband’s death, Maggie McDermott faces the onerous task of running the family ranch. She’s through mourning her husband and the children they never had. The problem? She doesn’t know the first thing about running a ranch, so she knows she needs a capable hand. When Daniel Tynan applies for the position, she’s flooded with guilty memories of the time she tempted the younger man.

Daniel is more than willing to show sweet Maggie the ropes. His gentle ways melt her heart, and his sensual passion burns away her inhibitions. He may be younger, but he’s not without the right kind of experience…

Order your copy here!

All the Texas Cowboys, so far…

I can’t resist sharing this pretty picture… :)

Also this month…

Just click on the pics to pre-order!