Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thirty-second Anniversary

It's my thirty-second anniversary.

Yup, yet another thing to remind me of how old I'm getting.
Here's my husband and I on our wedding day, December 21, 1979


And now, thirty-two years later, December 21, 2011

For our anniversary we went out to IHOP.
It wasn't a fancy meal at a nice restaurants, but it was nice.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oh, you shouldn't have!



You know you all got them. The unwanted Christmas present. 

Maybe it was the ugly hand knitted Christmas sweater from Aunt Aida, or the teddy bear you were told to share with your sibling, or something too old/too young for you.

What was the unwanted gift and how did you handle it? Were you diplomatic or did you say something you couldn't take back?

When I was much younger, I received a paint by number set. A gift from an uncle and aunt because I wanted to be an artist. 

My mom told me to thank them for the thoughtful gift. Although  they couldn't have put much thought into it if they thought that a paint by number set is what an artist does. I would have preferred a drawing pad, or something related to art. I opened my mouth to say that, but got a warning look from my mom. 

So I thank them with the sickly smile I only reserved for school photos.

And now I have the other problem--my husband is too way good to me--really too good.

He puts us into debt for some outrageous gift that'll take us years to pay off.

Yes, now that's the gift that keeps on giving. 

Oh, you shouldn't have. No really. You shouldn't have.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dyer died


My dryer died and my hubby, with my daughter's help, is trying to fix the darn thing. This sort of thing always happens when its not covenant for us. I have a huge pile of clothes I was going to do. It right before Christmas, so all our money is spent. Daughter has registered for summer semester at college and they don't want to wait for their money, so we have to cough it up asap. And it too cold outside for me to hang out my clothes. If I did my clothes would smell like an old mop.

The dryer still spins and all the lights come on, but the heat element doesn't heat anymore. So we need a new heat element, which my hubby will have to run down to Fresno to get.

Wish us luck getting the darn thing fixed.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Highest winds in California in years




Some of the worst winds in years blasted through California overnight, sweeping through canyons, gusting up to 97 mph (156 kph), and toppling trees and trucks while knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people.


We're lucky we didn't lose power or any trees. Just some limbs fell out of the trees in our yard.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I Won!


I did it.
I finished the 50K word count and I won the novel in a month challenge. 

Janice~

My Fickle-Muse

I did my day on Romance Books "R" Us and wrote about my muse getting drunk on eggnog.

http://romancebooksrus.blogspot.com/2011/11/anna-bella-fickle-muse-by-janice.html

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Anne McCaffrey Dead at 85


Anne Inez McCaffrey, author of sci-fi and fantasy, best known for her "Dragonriders of Pern" series, died Monday at her home in Ireland at the age of 85.
Publishers, Random House, announced that McCaffrey died shortly after suffering a stroke on Nov.  21 at her home.
McCaffrey published nearly 100 books mainly on fiction, including the Dragon Rider of Pern series. She was born on April 1, 1926, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

So sad, I really like her books too.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nano word count widget


I forgot to get one of these earlier.
Here you can see how well I'm doing with my word count.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday's Thirteen: The Nanowrimo self-sabotages


I'm doing the Nanowrimo and these are thirteen things that things that are sabotages my writing.
  1. I'm hungry, I think that candy in the candy bowl is calling my name. 
  2.  I'm thirsty, I think I have one soda left way in the back of the fridge. 
  3.  I need to use the bathroom, even though it's the tenth time in the last hour. 
  4.  I want to pet the cat she seem lonely; "Here kitty-kitty. Ow, don't bite me." 
  5.  My daughter friend came over, I get to have girl talk which will waste another hour or two. 
  6.  Is it lunch or dinner time yet? Did some one email me? 
  7. It has been two hours since the last time I checked. 
  8.  Is that show I want to watch on? I better check. 
  9.  I'm cold I better get a sweater on. Ooh, better yet I'll change into pajamas, even though its only seven o'clock in the afternoon. 
  10.  Did I hear the UPS truck outside? I think my package I ordered from cafepress is due. 
  11.  Time to update my word count for the third time in the last hour. 
  12.  I better check what's going on in the nano forums. 
  13.  Hey, I better do my Thursday's thirteen!
Are you doing the Nanowrimo? If you are how are you doing?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Nanowrimo


I just started National Novel Writer's Month or nanowrimo.
Which means I will be taking a break from my normal writing and promos to write a novel in a month.
Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Holiday Trivia


(our cat Ninja)

Halloween Holiday Trivia

Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with the Fall harvest and black is associated with darkness and death.


Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.


Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green. Great for unique monster carvings!


Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.


Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America.


The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.


Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.


Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters with Snickers #1.


Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first.


Bobbing for apples is thought to have originated from the roman harvest festival that honors Pamona, the goddess of fruit trees.


Black cats were once believed to be witch's familiars who protected their powers.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Two Thursday's thirteen


I'm a glutton for punishment. I wrote not one but two Thursday's thirteen.
This one is a list of thirteen creepy sounds you don't want to ear when your alone: http://romancebooksrus.blogspot.com/2011/10/thursdays-thirteen-scary-sounds.html
This one is about our haunted house: http://ladyjanice.blogspot.com/2011/10/thursdays-thirteen-my-haunted-house.html

Thursday's Thirteen: My Haunted House

Look closely for the orbs

As I written in my bio, I live in a hundred year old haunted house. I’ve had a lot of questions about our house and the hauntings. So here are thirteen creepy things that happened in my home.

 1. I’ve heard a little girl crying when I washed my hands in the bathroom. Which in itself isn’t anything unusual, but we live two miles out of town in the middle of what was a grape vineyard but is now an almond orchard, and we have no close neighbors. I’ve lived here for twenty years and heard the same child sobbing. Reason would dictate that if this was a child, it would be grown up by now.

2. When my daughter was a baby and would sleep with us, I would feel the bed dip like someone was sitting on it. I’d open my eyes to see if my husband was there putting on his shoes, but the baby and I were alone.

3. I, my husband and my daughter have seen a little girl ghost at different times and places in the house. One time while my daughter was sleeping with me, she screamed in the middle of the night. I jerked awake and turned over, that’s when I saw the little girl ghost sitting on my bed on the far side of my daughter, staring at me. Then she faded away.

4. When my daughter was little about three or four, she had an invisible friend named Jenifer or Jenny, which I later realized was our ghost girl.

5. I’ve heard a scary voice saying my name.

6. I’ve been woken up by the sound of my bedroom door being opened and when I got up, it was closed.

7. We’ve seen orbs. Mostly green ones and blue ones. I saw one in the bathroom and followed it into my daughter’s room, where it landed on the foot of her bed and disappeared.

8. When my husband worked nights sometimes I would see something under the fitted sheet moving back and forth. I thought maybe a mouse got into the mattress. My husband and I flipped the mattress over and I couldn’t find any mouse holes, so I have no idea what that was.

9. I’ve been woken up by a child singing the song called the Lilac Tree.

10. I’ve been woken up by the smell of brownies and thought my daughter was baking. I got up to go into the kitchen and no one was cooking. Boy was I disappointed.

11. One time when I overslept, I heard someone walking around my bed and a voice saying, “Come on, honey, it’s time to get up.”

12. A couple of nights ago my daughter told me one of her friends that spend the night and heard the bathroom door creak open and the sound of whispering. The friend asked my daughter if her parents were up. My daughter said no, then went and checked the bathroom. No was there.

13. Last night when I just laid down to go to sleep, I felt someone tuck in the tag on my pajamas top. My bedroom door was closed and hubby was working the graveyard shift and my daughter was staying the night at a friend’s house. I was alone.

Or was I?


My hubby inhaled a ghost

Friday, October 14, 2011

Guest Blogged



I guest blogged on Four Strong Women. Come read what outrageous thing my husband did when we went bra shopping.

Janice~

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sick



I've caught a nasty cold. I have a sore throat and my voice sounds funny when I talk.

I should have seen this coming. It got cold and I like an idiot let myself get a chill.

I had been allergies for weeks. Stuffy nose, sneezing and coughing. After I took the chill I started to ache and have hot and cold flashes that's worse than my normal hot flashes.

So I finally admitted the truth.

I'm sick.

So pass the soup and tea, then get out of the way if I sneeze.

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Shop


I got a new shop. A professional one so I can put all my artwork together in one place.


Janice~

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Poem


It's the ten anniversary of 9/11 and I thought I'd repost my 9/11 poem.
Janice~


911
In God's Name


Allah –they yelled!
ramming our planes into our towers.
lost to the flames the buildings fell,
with few survivors.

Oh my God! We cried;
as we watched horrified,
trying to save them
many brave people died.

Jesus, thank you! That they live!
As people walked with feet of lead,
dusty tracks of tears they shed,
for what they suffered and fled.

Christ almighty! We did swear.
When the smoke then did clear;
our stunned senses not prepare,
titans once stood-- nothing a nightmare.

God there's more?
We learned---four planes
went out with evil intentions.
The pentagon succumb to mutilation!

My God! What happened?
A field in Pennsylvania was reshaped;
the ruin of flight 93 over the landscape,
passengers and crew---no escape.

Allah —thank you!
Prayed He from a cave in a hill.
For helping me to hurt them
where they feel it still.


In God we entrust.
flight 93 loved ones informed;
heroes they were transformed,
together the cockpit they stormed.

Showing us courage in all of us inborn.
***

To all of you who have read my poem,God bless you.**

Saturday, September 10, 2011

And the winner is . . . .

Shadow!

Shadow you are the winner of one of my hand decorated surfboards.

Congratulations~

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

My computer crashed


My brand new computer crashed, so I'm on my daughter's computer.

I down loaded what I thought was adobe reader 9.0, but I think it was a virus or a Trojan virus. One of those viruses that pretends to be a safe program to get onto your computer, so it can corrupt your memory. 

Beware of adobe reader 9.2 MU

So I will be off and on the internet, just until my computer is fixed.
What's really hard is not writing until then and it looks like I will being missing a critique with my critique group, oy.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thursday's Thirteen

My Thursday's thirteen is on my website this week.

http://janiceseagraves.org/2011/07/13/thursdays-thirteen-conjunctions-other-than-and/

Alexander Graham Bell's Hydrofoil


I posted this because a few people showed some interest in it when I posted about Bell's hydrofoil in my Thursday's thirteen.
File:Bell HD-4.jpg

Alexander Graham Bell considered the invention of the hydroplane as a very significant achievement. Based on information gained from that article he began to sketch concepts of what is now called a hydrofoil boat. 
Bell and assistant Frederick W. "Casey" Baldwin began hydrofoil experimentation in the summer of 1908 as a possible aid to airplane takeoff from water. Baldwin studied the work of the Italian inventor Enrico Forlanini and began testing models. This led him and Bell to the development of practical hydrofoil watercraft.
During his world tour of 1910–11, Bell and Baldwin met with Forlanini in France. They had rides in the Forlanini hydrofoil boat over Lake Maggiore. Baldwin described it as being as smooth as flying. 
On returning to Baddeck, a number of initial concepts were built as experimental models, including the Dhonnas Beag, the first self-propelled Bell-Baldwin hydrofoil.[106] The experimental boats were essentially proof-of-concept prototypes that culminated in the more substantial HD-4, powered by Renault engines. A top speed of 54 miles per hour (87 km/h) was achieved, with the hydrofoil exhibiting rapid acceleration, good stability and steering along with the ability to take waves without difficulty.[107] In 1913, Dr. Bell hired Walter Pinaud, a Sydney yacht designer and builder as well as the proprietor of Pinaud's Yacht Yard in Westmount, Nova Scotia to work on the pontoons of the HD-4. Pinaud soon took over the boatyard at Bell Laboratories on Beinn Bhreagh, Bell's estate near Baddeck, Nova Scotia
Pinaud's experience in boat-building enabled him to make useful design changes to the HD-4. After the First World War, work began again on the HD-4. Bell's report to the U.S. Navy permitted him to obtain two 350 horsepower (260 kW) engines in July 1919. On September 9, 1919, the HD-4 set a world marine speed record of 70.86 miles per hour (114.04 km/h),[108] a record which stood for ten years.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Daughter's surgery update


Last week after my daughter's wisdom tooth extraction, she was swollen for a while and sore. I made lots of mashed potatoes and gravy for her to eat, since she couldn't chew. She could barely manage the sorbets I bought for her. 

This week she's doing good. Healed quickly and today she's out with her boy friend. They're suppose to go to the lake today and go boating with a friend.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Christmas in July

I'm participation in this years Christmas in July at Romance books "R" us.
It's a first for me. :)
2nd Annual Christmas in July TWO Contests!

Dates: 1 July through midnight EST 31 July.
We only ship snail mail items to US and Canadian addresses.

CONTEST 1: (Open to readers/unpublished writers/industry reps - NOT published authors unless you're already a RBRU Yahoo group member)
Prizes: Amazon/Barnes & Noble $125 Gift Certificate, Christmas ornaments, decks of Ellora's Cave/Blush playing cards, RBRU hats, tee-shirts and tote bags. To enter:
1. Join RBRU yahoo group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/romancebooksrus
2. Visit http://romancebooksrus.blogspot.com. Click on each of the 20 Bloggers names left sidebar) to visit their sites. Find the name of one of their books along with the names of the hero and heroine. COLLECT THE 20 BLOGGER NAMES, BOOK NAMES, AND HERO AND HEROINE NAMES. (If a blogger has two pen names, only do one). In ONE email message, send all this information to: contests.rbrus@gmail.com 
NOTE: For April Ash books information, click on MY BOOKS at the top of the page.
CONTEST 2: (Open to everyone, including published authors) 
Prize: Amazon/Barnes & Noble $25 Gift Certificate.
To enter:
1. Join RBRU Chat group at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rbruchat
2. Become a Follower at our blog: http://romancebooksrus.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Daughter's surgery

My daughter, Sarah, had oral surgery today. All four of her wisdom teeth were removed.

The top two were skin impacted and the bottom were bone impacted. Just like in the illustration above.

Luckily our insurance paid 80 percent, which is great since it usually cover only 50 percent of tooth extractions.

The oral surgeon knock my daughter out, however she remained aware of what was happening but was too loopy to care.

When I was brought into the room, Sarah rolled her head over to look at me, then gave me a big goofy grin with her mouth full of gauze. "Hi." Then she said it again. "Hi."

I had to laugh. "Your kind of drunk on the medication, aren't you?"

The dental assistant smiled and said she was.

Unfortunately Sarah hadn't eaten anything the night before, one of the things she couldn't have because of the surgery was food. Her stomach does not like to be empty. Now that the surgery was over, Sarah jumped up and was promptly sick in the sink.

Then she announced she was hungry.

I took her to the market and let her pick out what ever she wanted to eat.

What Sarah wanted was fresh fruit and sorbets. The dental assistant had already told us cold things like ice cream would be ideal for the next few days, because of the swelling. So I got them for her.

Tomorrow she can have soft foods, but nothing hot.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday's thirteen: My Dad

Johnnie B Seagraves 1922-1982
Photo taken at the Salton Sea (dad's last fishing trip)
(the pretty lady on the left is my mom, Jeannetta.)

It's almost Father's day and I find myself thinking about my dad. He's been gone for nearly thirty years, but I still miss him.

1. My dad, Johnnie B Seagraves, was born in 1922 in Mount Pleasant,Tennessee. But was raised on a farm near Pulaski.

2. My dad was raised on a farm and rode a horse before he could walk, but all his life he disliked horses.

3. My dad and his family came to Madera, California in 1936, when my dad was fourteen.

4. My dad learned to skate in an old barn, where he had nailed down ten can lids over the knot holes in the floor. He leaned to be a good skater, so he could skate with the girls at the roller rink that we still have in town.

5. He was drafted into the Army and served his tour in Hawaii as a ambulance driver and later a medic, taking care of the boys hurt in the war.

6. After the war when he came home, he used his Vet benefits to learned to be a Body and Fender man (that's someone who hammers out the dents and paints cars). According to his good friend Harmon Henderson, my dad was the best Body and Fender man in Madera.

7. In 1960, my dad met and married my mom, Jeannetta.

8. In 1961, I was born. :) In 1962 my sister Deanna was born.

9. My dad loved to fish and was very good at it too.

10. One time my dad went deep sea fishing and caught a shark. After wrestling with the thing for what seemed like hours (and may have been), he finally got it on board and decided to keep it. He took it home and cut it up. Soon all his friends found out Johnnie had a shark and came over to ask for a steak so they can try shark. My dad's good nature was his undoing, he gave everyone who asked a shark steak, until he realized he had given it all away.

11. Dad taught me how to fish, but I'm not very good at it on my own and don't fish anymore.

12. In 1980 my dad found out he had colon cancer.

13. In 1982, my dad passed away in the Veteran's hospital in Fresno. He was 60 years old. I was twenty-one. It was a very wet year and it seemed like the very skies wept.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Thursday's thirteen: Happy Father's day

I don't usually do a Father's day Thursday thirteen, mostly because I lost my father nearly thirty years ago. I still miss him.
So here to you dad. Happy Father's day.



1. He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. ~Clarence Budington Kelland


2. My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass." "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising boys." ~Harmon Killebrew


3. One father is more than a hundred Schoolemasters. ~George Herbert, Outlandish Proverbs, 1640


4. Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope. ~Bill Cosby


5. Father! - to God himself we cannot give a holier name. ~William Wordsworth


6. Henry James once defined life as that predicament which precedes death, and certainly nobody owes you a debt of honor or gratitude for getting him into that predicament. But a child does owe his father a debt, if Dad, having gotten him into this peck of trouble, takes off his coat and buckles down to the job of showing his son how best to crash through it. ~Clarence Budington Kelland


7. A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again. ~Enid Bagnold


8. Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father! ~Lydia M. Child, Philothea: A Romance, 1836


9. It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons. ~Johann Schiller


10. A father carries pictures where his money used to be. ~Author Unknown


11. When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years. ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Mark Twain but no evidence has yet been found for this (Thanks, Garson O'Toole!)


12. Dad, you're someone to look up to no matter how tall I've grown. ~Author Unknown


13. My first word was Daddy. ~Janice Seagraves

My dad Johnnie B Seagraves with fish
John Seagraves (he loved to fish)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Contest

My book Windswept Shores will be one year old on June third. To celebrate, I'm running a contest on my website.

http://janiceseagraves.org/2011/05/30/contest-2/



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I interviewed my character

 I interviewed my character, Seth, from Windswept Shores on Karenna's blog.


Please stop by and leave a comment. I could really use the support.

Janice~

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thursday's thirteen: Country Drive

I went on a country drive for my birthday. Here's some photos I took along the way.
1. We're on our way to Hensley Lake. In this photo you can see it's going to rain soon, and you also get a look at my little dashboard Kitties my hubby bought for me.
2. We live in a very dry arid area, but this is also farm country. Here you can see the "Happy Cows." 
3. More of our grass land and storm clouds.
4. Something blooming along side of the road.
5. We finally made it to Hensley Lake. Waters still a bit low though.
6. We stopped at Look Out Point, but the wind had gotten up. My daughter and I nearly froze our butts off, trying to get a couple of pictures before we hurried back to the car.


7. My hubby posed for a photo.
8. Look closely and you can see the dam. The name of the dam is Hidden dam. 
9. A blooming bush. I don't know what they're call but there were several of them close to the road.
10. I saw a spotted a abandoned house with a balancing rock in the foreground.
11. Above the lake is this lovely river that runs into it, but I forget to get the name of it. *slaps head*
12. Mean while my hubby was on the other side of the bridge and saw two turtles. Unfortunately they saw him and dived into the river before my daughter and I could join him and see them too. :(
All that's left is two wet spots on the middle rock (if you look very closely you can see them).
13. On the way home we saw a barn and I snapped this photo just as it started to rain.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Birthday Drive and a strange sight


My birthday is May 16 and I'm turning the big five-O.
One every decade there's a country drive I like to do on my birthday.
So today, we're going to drive around Hensley lake.
The first time I did this was when my mom took me, when I turned thirty and pregnant with my daughter.

We saw a lot of wild life that day.




Then the most amazing thing--a coyote  looked at us over it's shoulder at us,
then jump in the air, spreading it wings as it turned into a bald eagle and flew away.

I know it sounds crazy, but I'm not making this up and my mom saw it too.

I talked to an Native American and he said it could have been the trickster playing a trick on us, 
or it could have some deeper meaning.

So every decade, on my birthday, my daughter and I go on a drive around Hensley lake 
to see if we can have that weird spititual experience again.


Wish us luck.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Author Interview: Kay Springsteen

Come on in, your just in time. I have Kay Springsteen author of Lifeline Echoes here with me today.

Janice: Tell us about yourself?

Kay: I grew up in Michigan but transplanted to the south about 10 years ago and now reside in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia with my five small dogs and two bigger ones. Two of my four children live nearby, a married son who has a daughter of his own, and one of my twins. The other twin lives just outside of USMC Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. My oldest daughter still resides in Michigan. When I'm not writing, I transcribe and edit medical reports. Besides being an avid reader, my hobbies include photography, gardening, hiking and camping, and of course spending time with my terrific G-baby. I really am a firm believer in happily ever after endings and I believe there's one out there for everyone; it just may not be exactly what you expect or think you want.

Janice: When did you start writing?

Kay: I think from the time I could hold a pencil. I loved writing the essays for school and the book reports. I loved telling the classic back-to-school story of how I spend my summer vacation. I wrote stories off and on for years but I only began to seriously write while my kids were young, about 10 years ago. Then I put it on hold again, when I found myself a single mom. But last year I found myself living on my own, kids all out in the world, and unemployed from my medical transcription job. While I looked for a new job, I started writing. I was introduced to a wonderful friend, who became a writing mentor and a most awesome crit partner, mystery author J. Gunnar Grey. J. Gunnar is Mr. Han (Jackie Chan) to my Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) from the Karate Kid 2010. Everything I wrote before J. took me on as a crit partner was lacking. The embers of the stories were there but the flames, the ability to present them wasn't polished.

Janice: Who was the biggest influence on your writing?

Kay: Other than my crit partner, I would have to say my mom was a great influence because she got me interested in books and in reading, and she used to tell stories off the top of her head when I was small. My dad used to love everything I wrote, which of course encouraged me tremendously. In terms of authors, it was all things romance for a while, then on to science fiction, back to romance, into mystery. I was, and still am, a voracious reader. So there isn't one single influence.

Janice: It sounds like you have two very supportive parents. How do you go about your writing? Do your prefer pencils to pens or is it all straight computer work?

Kay: It's all about the computer. I type over 100 wpm, not quite as fast as I think but close, and someone who types for a living thinks in terms of letters instead of words. It's easier to work on the computer for me. I do carry a notebook to jot ideas when not near the computer, but the stories themselves pop out on the computer.

Janice: What influences you in your writing?

Kay: Music, movies, reading, or straight research? A combination of all these things. I make sound tracks for my stories and have certain theme songs for the characters and the moments. When writing the scenes, a song might be put on repeat on the MP3 player until the scene is finished. But movies and TV are a huge part of my life also, not for the story lines but because I watch the actions of the actors during various scenes, and as I'm watching them, I think in terms of how I would write the description. It helps me keep the action beats going in a story when, for instance, I pay attention to how two cops in a car all day chat back and forth, what they talk about not being nearly as important as their tiniest idiosyncratic actions that can be described. And as far as research, the nature of my day job is research, so that comes naturally to me. I like my stories to be as authentic as I can make them, so when I wrote a blind character, I researched all things to do with blindness. For Lifeline Echoes, it was things like rock climbing, or the things firefighters and dispatchers did 10 years ago. I talk to people, research on line, go to the library. Pretty much whatever it takes to learn enough to be comfortable in writing what I need to write.

Janice: When do you write morning or evening, or are you a late into the wee hours of the morning person?

Kay: My best stuff seems to come just before I start my job, so it often has to be put on hold for 6-7 hours. But when I stop working at 11 p.m., it's usually had time to steep and when I'm ready after work, it just spills out. I might write until 4 a.m. on those nights.

Janice: Who's in charge you or your muse?

Kay: It's a combination. I have an ability to write in my head and maintain the integrity of the story until I get to the computer. So if I'm on the road driving and the muse wants to work, we put on some music and go for it. Then when I can get to the computer, again, it all spills out.

Janice: That’s a very good talent to have. Use only one word to describe your writing style?

Kay: Descriptive. Or at least what you want your readers to take away from your writing. My vibe. That is, the vibration from the creative strings I'm plucking when I put words together.

Janice: What other books have you written?

Kay: My debut novel was a digital publication released March 1, 2011, called Heartsight, the story of a U.S. Marine who had been blinded in battle, and was more or less hiding out in his house on a secluded beach...until a divorced woman and her daughter with Down syndrome arrived and shook up his world.

Janice: That sounds like a wonderful story. What influenced your recent book, the one you are promoting here today?

Kay: Lifeline Echoes came about as the result of a challenge between myself and my crit partners. Originally, we were supposed to write a Harlequin-length novel - we were to choose a line from Harlequin and research the requirements. I thought perhaps a suspense. But I didn't have a clue what to write, and I was sitting at my desk with my MP3 player on wondering about it, when Garth Brooks came on, When You Come Back To Me Again (it's from the movie FrequencyI ). Basically, the song is about someone who's in trouble and he finds hope in knowing someone's out there who still believes in him. The chorus goes "On a prayer, in a song, I hear your voice and it keeps me hanging on..." That was my premise. A voice lifeline and falling in love with just the voice. It morphed a little from the original thought, since I was torn between a military theme and a firefighter theme. I considered using a September 11 story but really wanted this to be my own and didn't want to steal from the importance of that day. So I moved the story to the West Coast, created an earthquake, and stuck a firefighter under a building and a dispatcher in the office, who would try to give him the will to live until help could get there. As soon as I set that in place, the story took off on its own. I had the first 90K draft written in under three months, way more than a Harlequen but it didn't matter. My main crit partner told me it was a winner, with the right amount of tears, laughter, and suspense. And if you ever read any of J. Gunnar Grey's stuff, you'll understand why I found hearing those things very uplifting. My editor told me she stayed up all night reading my submission; she couldn't put it down. When people say those things, I know I've done something right.

Contest: I would love to give a free PDF copy of Lifeline Echoes to one of your commenters by drawing.

Buy link: http://www.astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662253&mode=product&product=3465733



Blurb:
Voices form a powerful connection. The day the earth rocked LA, Sandy Wheaton became a voice lifeline over the radio for trapped firefighter, "Mick." Less than twenty four hours later, she had fallen in love with him. Shattered when she learned that rescue came too late, she sought solace Wyoming, the home state he had loved. Now, seven years later, she's made a life there as the owner of a popular local bar. But her wounds are still fresh, and she longs to let go of the past and her lost love so she can begin living again. That opportunity presents itself when the local prodigal son returns home. The attraction between them is instant. It feels like she's known him far longer than just a few days.

Sixteen years ago, Ryan McGee left home in the midst of controversy. After living through a harrowing trauma, he finally returns home when his family needs his help through some troubling times. All he wants to do is make amends with those he hurt most and to get back to the life he'd never wanted to leave in the first place. When he meets the sexy bartender, he starts thinking in terms of forever. But there's still someone out there he wants to find, someone who once believed in him and gave him hope.

Excerpt:
The job was all that mattered now. Sandy made herself disregard the toppled shelves and scattered books. She blocked out all thoughts about the likely state of her own home. As she listened to the chatter on the official channels, she kept meticulous handwritten notes regarding the status of each unit checking in.

"Battalion 9 Alpha, this is Engine Squad 9-¬Bravo, do you copy?" The connection was filled with static and the voice was muffled, hard to hear.

Sandy waited for the response of the battalion chief on scene. None came.The callout was repeated, the voice sounding a bit more urgent.

"This is L.A. Engine Squad 9-Bravo, dispatched to the Convention Center—" Again static broke the transmission.Following protocol, after the second unanswered call, Sandy intervened. "Copy you, ES-9-Bravo. This is central dispatch. Your transmission is breaking up."

The response was drowned out by a loud burst of static in the earpiece.

"Nine-Bravo, be advised you're breaking up," she repeated.

More harsh squawks of static burst from the receiver. Sandy winced, feeling like her head might explode. Then, amid the static, she clearly heard the code every dispatcher dreaded.

"Nine-Bravo is 10-¬60, this location. Code three, code three, code three . . . trapped. . ."

The code for imminent danger!

Static filled the airwaves again as Sandy punched buttons on her console, frantically trying to boost the signal."Dispatch, are you there?" The voice was screaming. "Central! This is 9-¬Bravo in need of assist. The building's coming down around us!"

Afraid to switch over to relay, with the risk of losing contact altogether, she motioned to Ellen, the dispatcher sitting next to her.

Quickly, Sandy wrote on her notepad in bold black ink: UNIT IN TROUBLE.

At the next desk, Ellen nodded and switched channels to contact the Battalion 9 squad leader over the comm.

"Nine-Bravo, this is Central Dispatch," Sandy acknowledged. Only with great effort did she prevent her stomach-wrenching fear from leaking into her voice. Dread shot out little tentacles of hopelessness to curl around her lungs, squeezing the breath out of her. "I'm reading you, sending help your way. What's your location?"

"Civic Center parking garage—A level. The building's coming apart! We need extraction." The voice was still urgent but now without the panic.

She had to get her own panic under control and keep it that way, Sandy reminded herself, or she couldn't help anyone."Copy you, 9-¬Bravo. Who am I speaking with?"

"Mick-" More static, then, "Mic-key."

Sandy scribbled everything she could make out into her hand-¬written notes. "Mickey, you're breaking up very badly. How many do you number? How long have you been trapped?"`

"Two confirmed, dispatch, possibly three. I can feel my partner.He's not moving. I heard someone else moaning down here earlier. I don't know how long it's been. I think I've been unconscious—I'm pinned—can't move. It's dark—can't see a thing."

Sandy passed off the information to Ellen so her coworker could convey it to the battalion chief. The sarcastic part of Sandy's mind registered the irony of having crossed into the twenty-first century and being reduced to the mockery of a child's game of telephone.
With a pointed shake of her head, Ellen caught Sandy's eye and handed her a message from the battalion chief. As she read, Sandy's heart fluttered in her chest briefly before moving upward to stick in her throat.

Her free hand came up of its own volition to cover her mouth, as if to prevent herself from saying the words she was reading. Her stomach threatened to pitch up her breakfast.

The Convention Center had collapsed with several men inside.Some of them were buried under four floors of rubble, while above them, the fire from the gas main explosion burned fully involved and uncontained. Rescue efforts would be delayed and prospects for extraction were grim. A chaplain was en route.

God help them all! How could she tell someone he wasn't going to be rescued? What could she say to a man when her words were likely to be the last he'd ever hear?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Interview with Cassandra Carr

Hi your just in time. Pull up and chair, while I interview Cassandra Carr.


Janice: Tell us about yourself?

Cassandra: I’m a stay-at-home mom and writer living in Western New York. Before I was a writer I worked in marketing doing market research, public relations, and media relations.

Janice: Sounds interesting. When did you start writing?

Cassandra: I’ve been writing since 2008 but didn’t go full-time until 2010.

Janice: Wow, you've done a lot in a short amount of time. Who was the biggest influence on your writing?


Cassandra: Probably my mom, who is also a writer – she writes women’s fiction. She’s always encouraged me to develop my writing.

Janice: That's great to have such a talented mom to encourage you. How do you go about your writing? Do your prefer pencils to pens or is it all straight computer work?

Pencil and paper would make me stabby very quickly. I do everything on the computer.


Janice: Yeah, me too. What influences you in your writing? Music, movies, reading, or straight research?

Cassandra: I consider just about anything and everything fodder for my books. Having said that, though – I’m not one of those writers who makes a soundtrack for every book or anything like that.


Janice: When do you write morning or evening, or are you a late into the wee hours of the morning person?

Cassandra: I write when my daughter is napping and after she goes to bed, so most of my writing gets done between 8:30pm and around 1:30am.

Janice: Who in charge you or your muse?


Cassandra:  Gotta keep that muse in check or she’ll run away with your stories.

Janice: Use only one word to describe your writing style? Or at least what you want your readers to take away from your writing.

Cassandra: Sexy

Janice: What other books have you written?

Cassandra: I’ve got a trilogy with bull rider books which is out on submittal. I’ve also got a trilogy of non-erotic hockey romances. My next two projects are a holiday story for Loose Id and one I’m writing to target Harlequin Desire. I’d love to pattern my career after Maya Banks – I just adore her!

Janice: What influenced your recent book, the one you are promoting here today?

Cassandra: The concept of being seduced by a voice started the whole thing. The entire rest of the plot kind of took off from there.



BLURB:


Radio producer Jamie MacMahon is in over her head with ex-hockey player-turned host Drew Milan. She’s attracted to the man who earned the nickname “the Beast” during his playing days from the moment they meet, but he’s her boss and she loves her new job. She’s made plenty of mistakes with men and loathes the thought of being yet another plaything for Drew, a man who sleeps with women but doesn’t date them.  

Drew doesn’t want to lose a great producer and knows Jamie deserves a real relationship, but can’t stay away from the sizzling chemistry they create every time they’re together. Jamie’s insecurities and the very real prospect of having to leave a great job if this thing doesn’t work out, coupled with Drew’s fears about opening his heart and the possibility of losing his first competent producer clash.

BIO:

Cassandra Carr lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on Twitter. Her debut novel, Talk to Me, was released by Loose Id on March 22, 2011. For more information about Cassandra, check out her website at http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com, "like" her Facebook fan page athttp://www.facebook.com/AuthorCassandraCarr or follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/Cassandra_Carr.

BUY LINK:
http://www.loose-id.com/Talk-to-Me.aspx

Amanda Racette Twentyfive
writing as Cassandra Carr

Talk to Me, out now from Loose Id!
Uniform Behaviour, out now from Andrews UK!

Writer website: http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCassandraCarr
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cassandra_carr
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/CassandraCarr
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cassandra-Carr