Monday Mayhem – Sharon B freaks out

When I talked to Sharon Buchbinder about doing a little guest stint on my blog I offered her the chance to play two truths and a lie with y’all. Apparently that wasn’t very kind of me….

Play along, will ya? I think she’s on the edge.

Truth-Truth-Confabulation

When Margaret shared that her blog was now featuring author guest posts with two truths and a lie, I had writer’s block for the first time in years. Normally, I have what I call writer’s logorrhea, which Miriam Webster’s online dictionary defines as “excessive and often incoherent talkativeness or wordiness.” Yes, even my academic pals have marked up my work with the dreaded words, “over writing.” I paced the room, wrung my hands, and moaned, “Why me? Of all the writers in all the blogs in all of the world, why did Margaret do this to me.” See. I over write. And then I have to KILL MY DARLINGS.

So, on that note, I now present two truths and a confabulation involving my book babies and killing my darlings. I leave it up to you to guess which one is the lie. From those readers who correctly identify the confabulation, I will award the winner’s choice of a book from my backlist.

1.  The only problem I had with Desire and Deception was getting an agent, editor or publisher to give it a read was because it had “too much sex.”  When I submitted it to an erotic publisher, the editor liked it, but complained it had too little sex.

2.  Some Other Child is based, in part, on growing up the child of a sociopath.  My mother taught me not to pay parking fees and to use American Sign Language to pretend I was deaf when confronted by angry attendants. I deleted the scene where she kept a shovel and newspaper in the trunk of her car so she could steal plants when I saw ones she liked.

3.  Obsession originally came in at 100,000 words. After three rounds of revisions, and a virtual blood bath of killing darlings, the book is now 70,000 words long. Many of the words were related to hot monkey sex in Mexican jungles and expletives in English, Spanish, and Russian.

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Now Available from The Wild Rose Press: OBSESSION

A year after a barbaric childbirth, complete with a near-death experience and an encounter with her guardian angel, Angie Edmonds is just happy she and her son, Jake, are alive. She’s finally in a good place: clean, sober, and employed as a defense attorney. But at the end of a long work day, she finds herself in a parent’s worst nightmare: Jake has been kidnapped and taken across the Mexican border by a cult leader who believes the child is the “Chosen One.”

Stymied by the US and Mexican legal systems, Angie is forced to ask the head of a Mexican crime syndicate for help. Much to her chagrin, she must work with Alejandro Torres, a dangerously attractive criminal and the drug lord’s right-hand man. Little does she know Alejandro is an undercover federal agent, equally terrified of blowing his cover—and falling in love with her.

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Author Bio and Links

After working in health care delivery for years, Sharon Buchbinder became an association executive, a health care researcher, and an academic in higher education. She had it all–a terrific, supportive husband, an amazing son and a wonderful job. But that itch to write (some call it an obsession) kept beckoning her to “come on back” to writing fiction. When not attempting to make students, colleagues, and babies laugh, she can be found herding cats, waiting on a large gray dog, fishing, dining with good friends, or writing. You can find her at www.sharonbuchbinder.com

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Where Sharon Buchbinder can be found on the Internet

Website/Blog http://sharonbuchbinder.com/blog/

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001IODIE2

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4417344.Sharon_Buchbinder

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sharon.buchbinder.romanceauthor

Twitter @sbuchbinder https://twitter.com/sbuchbinder

The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/

Book Trailer for OBSESSION http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1kujUWoGbk

Book Trailer for DESIRE AND DECEPTION http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drjvWmZEHrU&feature=player_embedded

Book Trailer for SOME OTHER CHILD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EMvzxE-iBY

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Monday Mayhem – Acting Contrite

Hello, my friends! I’m in the great state of Texas again, but I haven’t left you lonely. My friend Linda Rettstatt is here to talk about her new release, Act of Contrition! Please make her feel welcome!

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I’m a juggler. It all starts first thing in the morning when I open my eyes and juggle the desire to close them again and snuggle back into the blankets with the desire to pay the rent. Most days paying the rent wins and I haul myself out of bed. My day job (which is how most of us authors refer to the work we do to pay the rent because we then write well into the night) is that of a social worker. And, again, I juggle my way through the day, determining who needs what, how to help them get it, and who might be feeding me their own brand of fiction to get unneeded help. It’s always a judgment call that requires a good measure of investigation and whole lot of faith.

Evenings are a whole new juggle—making dinner and taking the time to eat it without a thousand distractions, then deciding between something interesting on TV versus the writing or editing I need to do versus the laundry waiting in a pile.

When I started writing, I delved into writing women’s fiction. Well, they say write what you know and I know being a woman. Most women I know are jugglers, even if they’re not writers. It’s a fact of our existence. (In fairness, men may also find themselves juggling, but I can better speak to the female experience.) Women can make a sandwich while feeding a baby and taking a phone call all at the same time. Some call this multi-tasking, but juggling is, I think, a more descriptive term. Don’t drop the sandwich, the baby or the call. Some days you feel you’re juggling Nerf balls and other days it’s butcher knives.

Now, let me try to juggle two truths and lie for you.

1.  I used to play guitar for a folk group and worked as a semi-professional musician for over ten years. We recorded one album during that time, but mostly had a blast playing live concerts in small venues. Once we played a ski resort where we were paid with drinks, ski equipment use, and lift passes—not a good combination.

2.  I’ve been married and divorced three times. Number One was a college jock who never quite made it to pro sports and took up drinking instead. Bottoms up and bye! Number Two was a nice guy who taught math on a college level. In the end, we just didn’t add up. Number Three—well, let’s just say he had a wandering eye. And I don’t mean an optical problem. I’m staying happily divorced now.

3.  I got over my fear of heights by flying (in a window seat) to the Grand Canyon to stand on the edge and look down into that beautiful, terrifying abyss, and then to take a hot air balloon ride over Sedona, Arizona at sunrise. Whew. I’m cured.

But back to juggling. In my women’s fiction novel, Act of Contrition, Jenny Barnes has to learn to juggle grief, guilt, love and forgiveness. Here’s a blurb:

The argument ended as blinding headlights bore down on her. The steering wheel spun beneath Jenny’s fingers. A horn blared, and then…nothing. Jennifer Barnes wakens to learn she is the sole survivor of the crash that claimed her husband and eight-year-old son.

Why did she survive? The question haunts her even after she retreats to her cottage on the coast of Maine. She’s seeking a place to grieve and to escape the guilt that eats at her. Instead of the solitude she anticipates, Jenny comes face to face with her past.

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Here are the links to Act of Contrition:

Turquoise Morning Press  http://www.turquoisemorningpressbookstore.com/products/act-of-contrition-by-linda-rettstatt

Amazon.com   http://www.amazon.com/Act-Of-Contrition-ebook/dp/B00B1HGWNU/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1363565119&sr=8-1

B&N.com   http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/act-of-contrition-linda-rettstatt/1114146466?ean=2940015999747&isbn=2940015999747

And you can find me on the web at www.lindarettstatt.com and at my blog at www.onewomanswrite.blogspot.com

Thanks so much, Margaret, for having me here today.

Linda Rettstatt

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Now see if you can guess the lie! Ready? Go!

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Monday Mayhem – A Million Miles Away

Okay, maybe it’s not a million miles, but I am on the road today. My good friend Karen Booth is here to keep you entertained. If you were a child of the 80’s, you would know that the title of Karen’s new book is taken from the Plimsouls song I used as my blog title. And it may be playing on my iPod as I type this. Yes, I am that much of a nerd. See you soon, my darlings!

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It’s only fitting that my first guest blog appearance after the release of my new book, Bring Me Back, would be on Margaret’s blog. I’m not sure she realizes it, but she was instrumental in helping me decide that Turquoise Morning Press was the right place for this book. After reading several of her books and eventually getting past my immense fear that I would never write as well as she does, I knew that the stories she likes to tell were very in-line with what I write. So, thank you, Marg. I’m oh-so-just-slap-me-now happy to be here. 

(Aw! I’m blushing. And squeeing. And blushing again. Thank you!)

One of the best parts of becoming an author, aside from the massive royalty checks and all-night sex parties, is becoming friends with other authors. Writing is a lonely business built on a house of cards—one day you’re on top of the world, you just wrote the most amazing ten pages in the history of literature. The next day, those ten pages have been deleted and you’re thanking the stars above that you didn’t get carried away and actually show those pages to anyone. This is why you need friends, preferably friends with large, unlocked liquor cabinets.

My friendship with Margaret has grown from fan/author to author/author, which has been an amazing process for me. Sure, Margaret and I first bonded over my ability to gush about her writing, but we’ve since moved on to more important things like our shared love for Duran Duran and our propensity for getting in trouble on Twitter. When she began to read Bring Me Back and quickly sent me an email saying she was hooked, I nearly fainted. After she finished reading, she sent me an email saying she loved it and I felt as if I’d won the lottery. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as she did.  

So, without further ado, I present my Two Facts and a Work of Fiction. From those who correctly guess the work of fiction, I will award the winner’s choice of my backlist eBooks. And, please, while you’re here, take a gander at the blurb for Bring Me Back.

Two Facts and a Work of Fiction

1)      I have performed on a stage one time in my entire life, in the middle school school talent show. I tap danced to “Me and My Shadow” with the only other girl who’d signed up for tap dancing—Shari, a sweet, but very poor-sighted and unusually uncoordinated fellow sixth grader.

2)      I didn’t have my first boyfriend or first real kiss until college. There were a few sloppy, drunken attempts at kisses in high school, but nothing I care to count. The college guy wore black leather riding boots and listened to The Cult and I thought he was the sexiest thing ever. Now, the thought of him makes me queasy.

3)      I spent the summer after college backpacking through Europe with my best friend, Jane. We spent most of our time in Hamburg and Amsterdam, even though I’d told my parents we were going to Italy and Spain and several other countries that we never made it to. We were having way too much fun where we already were. I’d like to say that I regret our lack of miles traveled, but it was the most fun I don’t totally remember.

Bring Me Back

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Music critic Claire Abby is a single mom dreading her daughter’s departure for college and worried that turning forty will leave her career running on fumes. She’s floored when she lands a Rolling Stone cover story on 80s British rock legend Christopher Penman. She spent her teenage years fantasizing he was her boyfriend. 

In person, Christopher is everything Claire feared he’d be—charming, witty and unwilling to address the rumors he’s dodged for a decade. Still, she contains her adolescent fantasies and manages to earn his trust, unearthing the truth and the devastating secret behind it. His blockbuster story is her first priority when she returns home, a nearly impossible task when Christopher starts calling and flirting. She knows she should maintain a professional distance. She knows she should focus on the story. She knows it would be best to simply walk away. But how can she say “no” to the man she could never forget?

Website: http://karenbooth.net

Bring Me Back on Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17187439-bring-me-back

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Monday Mayhem – Big Things, Wow Things

It’s a new year and a new look here at Writings and Ramblings. Take a few minutes to click around and let me know what you think of the redesign.

I’ve been all over the place lately. Last week I was at Everybody Needs a Little Romance and The Diamond State Romance Authors for my usual monthly bog posts. I’m on those sites the first Thursday and Friday of the month (respectively), so be sure to bookmark them!

Next week, my literary alter ego, Maggie Wells, will be at the newly launched Literary Lagniappe (1/10/13), Delilah Devlin’s blog (1/13/13), Madison J. Edwards’ blog (1/17/13), and Evelyn Jules’ blog (1/23/13).

Whew!

I also start traveling again this month, so you’ll get to meet a few more of my friends. I wanted to kick things off with a bang, so I asked the fabulous Valerie Haight to start us off with a little game of two facts and a piece of fiction.

Val has a fabulous new After Happily Ever release from TMP called Happenstance, and this summer she and I will be anthology buddies in the upcoming Wedding anthology from TMP, so play nice!

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Thank you, Margaret, for asking me over to your gorgeous new site and for allowing me to share Happenstance with everyone! AND you want to play a game!! *claps and bounces* I’m all about games. Two Truths and a Lie will reveal my inner doof. You’ve been warned. J

  1. I once petted an established, successful author. You heard me right. I attended Murder Goes South conference in Atlanta, GA where thriller author Erica Spindler was keynote speaker. I listened to her speak, stood in line for an autograph and a pic, and in the process of trying to touch her arm to connect with her in one of those I-so-get-you type gestures, she leaned in, I moved at the wrong second and my hand was on her arm an awkwardly looooong time as we both tried to regain our respective space bubbles. This awarded me the nickname “the petter” from my twitter peeps for an extended period.
  2. I almost electrocuted my bestie at Lori Foster Reader/Author Get Together in Cincinnati, OH. We were riding together to a restaurant and she handed me this battery back-up plugger-inner thingee and told me to push a button. I, not knowing what I was holding or what button to push, proceeded to act like a three year old and push them all. Turns out, she was holding bare wires and actually asked me NOT to push ANY buttons. She doesn’t ask for my help with that stuff anymore.
  3. I climbed onstage in true Courtney Cox fashion and danced with a local band that opened for Smashmouth in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was EPIC! There was a rocker girl in the band and we both wore short, stiff tulle skirts over striped leggings. We ROCKED it hard that night and surprisingly, I didn’t get arrested! J

Okay, now that you know WHO you’re dealing with, (I’ll wait while you grab your protective bubble wrap suit and face mask) it’s time to get to the WHAT part.

My very first book release!! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!

 I’m rolling it out with a big bang blog tour and I’m so excited! Today, I received praise for Happenstance from someone I don’t know and it was an AWESOME feeling. That’s not to say I didn’t love the feedback I got from mom, sis and the cousins! But this lovely gal friended me on Facebook, left me a rockin’ message two minutes later and told me she’d written a review on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble! SQUEEEE! It was Christmas and New Year and Happy Birthday all rolled into one and yes, I fainted a little.

The sites are still going live and every day I get giddy over some new piece of information regarding the book. This first release stuff has me bouncing around like an ant on crack and I can’t get enough of this new author high. I just know years down the road, I’ll see tweets from a debut author cartwheeling over the same fabulous and I’ll be jealous because I was there once and I know how cool it is. 🙂

Happenstance was published by Turquoise Morning Press on December 13, 2012. *Merry Christmas to me!* I wrote this story using some of the relationship conflict I witness on a day-to-day basis. I’m an assistant in a corporate setting so I get to see a lot of Peyton Place happenings. What’s a writer to do but file that juicy stuff away for the making of a romance novel?! Here’s what all those observations created:  

Taryn Ballard is happily married and a newly appointed analyst for a prestigious shipping company.  Her career upsurges in record time but she’s about to discover the real price of corporate life.

While on yet another business trip, Taryn suffers a brutal attack by a carjacker. Her husband isn’t there, but her co-worker Devin is.  The accidental bond Taryn and Devin share pitches them into dangerous and confusing territory. Taryn struggles to discern both her feelings for her sexy protector and Wade’s reaction to it all. Unfamiliar emotions blur the rules of the game and Wade’s ready to quit.

Taryn must rise above disaster to save her marriage. But is she ready to let go of the man who saved her life? In a single moment, Happenstance changes everything.

This story was so much fun to write because I really let loose and wreaked havoc on both Devin and Wade. I also put poor Taryn through the wringer! Yes, I’m awful in a creative writerly way. J I merged my favorite genres-suspense and romance-to create a story that lets the reader experience pain, joy, laughter and a little fright! Here’s a snippet to give you the feel of the book.

“Devin, it’s Taryn. You were right. The execs want me to meet them for dinner and I feel really foolish because I have a GPS and a connect-the-dot map from the concierge and I’m still lost.”

Devin laughed. “Not a problem. Where are you?”

Taryn took a second to locate the green street sign. “At the corner of First and Third at a tiny, ancient-looking convenience store.”

“Oh, I know the one. You’re right next to us. I could probably see you from the tower window. Okay, which restaurant are you looking for?”

Taryn grabbed the hand-drawn map. “Caminas.”

“I know where it is. Actually, it might be faster by freeway.”

“Of course it would. I just came from—”

An unexpected rush of damp, hot air hit her and Taryn turned, confused to see her door open wide. She sucked in a quick breath and saw too late the arm reaching for her. Terror gripped her as she zeroed in on the gun in her face.

Happenstance is one of my favorite creations and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! You can purchase Happenstance here!

Turquoise Morning Press

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

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Tweet with me @Valeriebrbr, follow me on Facebook or find out the latest on my blog about my upcoming short stories Raeanne Revealed in the Orange Karen Tribute Anthology out in April and Magnolia Brides in a TMP wedding anthology out in June!

Thanks again for having me here! I’m sticking around for a comment session! Let’s gab!! If you aren’t afraid I’ll somehow grope, electrocute you or dance with you through the screen! 😀

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