Catch and Release

fish

 

The weather is getting warmer and the days are getting longer. Spring is on the horizon. I love spring, with the flowers starting to bloom and the trees budding out. It’s like nature wakes up and comes alive.

It’s also when I get the urge to sit on the bank of some body of water and cast the old fishing pole out. There’s something very soothing about just being outside and watching the sun glisten off the water. Sometimes, if the fish aren’t biting, I’ll put my pole aside and just sit down and enjoy a quiet moment with the birds and turtles. There’s probably snakes too, but I don’t like to think too much about those! Lol.

This weekend, I found another benefit to fishing. I was sitting at the computer working on Once and For All, my next novel, and I got stuck.  So, I sat there for a bit, trying to figure out how to get unstuck. It wasn’t happening. It was so pretty outside that I decided to take a walk down to the pond and cast a few times to see if anything was biting.

You know what? I didn’t get a single fish, what I did get was the inspiration to not only finish the scene I was working on, but three other scenes as well! I have enough to write ALL week! So, I’m definitely thinking about adding fishing to my brainstorming repertoire. On a side note, I did go back after I got some words in and I caught a two small fish. So, I have to say that day was a win-win situation!

One of my characters, Carly, likes to fish too. Only most of her fishing is for men. In my novella, Catch and Release, Carly goes on the search to find the perfect man by Christmas. She goes on all kinds of horrible dates in an attempt to find Mr. Right. Will she catch the prize fish or will she end up releasing them all?

Here’s an excerpt…

Joey is sitting at the bar. As always, he’s wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and a ball cap. Joey is quite the looker, and he’s been known to turn heads. He’s a little bit taller than me, has dark hair, dark eyes, and an olive complexion. But my favorite thing about Joey is his dimples. Which he flashes regularly.

“Not much. Been thinking about writing again,” I say. I usually spend a few hours in the morning pondering ideas and writing some down. So far, the only thing that has stuck is something about dating and men. I haven’t completely figured a story out yet, but I will.

“It’s about time,” he says. “So whatcha thinking of writing about?”

“I’m kind of thinking about writing a book about dating.”

He almost chokes. “You? A book on dating? Are you writing about what not to do?”

That gets him a punch in the arm, which he and Ryder get often. Someone has to keep them in line.

“No, I’m serious,” I say. “It’s the holidays. I’m tired of being alone. I want someone to trim the tree with. I want someone to kiss under the mistletoe and to kiss on New Year’s Eve. I’m thinking about seriously looking for Prince Charming for Christmas. I’m thinking about keeping a journal and seeing what I can come up with for writing ideas. In fact, I already put my profile back online. They promise plenty of fish. I just hope they have some fish worth keeping.”

“You know what I told you about bringing home those shad.”

One night when I was complaining about my love life, Joey told me about shad, a type of throw-back fish that no one wants. He told me that night, “Carly, you’ve got to stop bringing home those stinky, no good fish. Look for something you want to keep.”

“You can’t catch a man by Christmas. I don’t care how well stocked the pond is.” I punch him in the arm again. “Oh really?”

“Oh really what?” I smile when I hear Ryder’s voice. I saw him when I came in. He was playing pool. I didn’t want to interrupt so I went to sit with Joey by the bar.

I sigh. “I need a man.”

He smiles mischievously and winks. “Well, you got one right here. What exactly is it that you need?”

My stomach flutters, my mind seizes up like cement, and I blurt out, “Fishing. I need to go fishing.”

He cuts his eyes at me. Ryder is gorgeous. He has a genuine smile that lights up his face. But what gets me is his eyes. He has the most amazing brown eyes of anyone I’ve ever seen. They sparkle with his mischievous sense of humor. When he cares for you, you know it because you can see it. So, I know he cares about me. I just don’t know if it’s more than friendship.

“You? Fishing?”

“Yes. I like to fish.” I stare into his eyes for a moment more, then stammer, “Music. We need music.”

Want to read more of Carly’s search? Check out Catch and Release! It’s FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

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Hurricane Season

barry

It’s that time of year again in the South…Hurricane season. No, not the drink, the storm. And we’ve already had our first one. Hurricane Barry. It’s early in the season for us. Generally, our storms come later in the year, in September and October. It was an interesting storm, it moved very, very, slow. This meant it lasted longer than usual, and increased the threat of flooding. We fared very well through the storm. We had some street flooding, but didn’t lose power and since it’s July in Louisiana, power is necessary!

Have you ever been through a hurricane or big storm? I would love to hear your stories! And speaking of stories, the storm gave me a lot of motivation and inspiration to work on Once and For All. This novel starts with an approaching hurricane and the rest of the story is about rebuilding after. Here’s a little excerpt…

As they approached the apartment, Gemma said, “When I grabbed my hurricane supplies this morning, I grabbed some extras for you as well. I got a couple flashlights, some water and ice, extra oil for the hurricane lamps. There’s a small grocery store at the intersection where the light is, but I’m not sure what they’ll have at this point. I’m sure you know how it is when a storm rolls in. It’s like the end of the world.”

“Thank you so much,” Emily said.

“You’re very welcome. Can I help you unload?”

“I think we got it,” Emily replied. “We don’t have too much.”

“Okay, then, I’ll get back to the shop. I have a few things to attend to there.”
Gemma hugged Emily, then Carly. “Text if you need anything. And keep me posted on how things are here.”

“Will do,” Emily said before turning to Carly, “Let’s get this stuff unloaded, then head over to the cafe and check on things.”

“You got it,” Carly said. She looked up at the sky, “We better get a move on. It looks like the big rain will be here soon.”

The storm clouds twisted around in the darkening sky. The wind picked up too, whipping through the trees. Carly felt a churning in her own stomach, a sense that something bad was coming. Had they made a mistake coming to Lafayette?

Want to read more? Check out the story on Wattpad!

https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/155292374-once-and-for-all

Once and for All

Want to read a real-life hurricane story that involves a wedding? Check out this story from Lee St. John’s, She’s a Keeper!

“Rain, Rain, Go Away”

While in Raleigh, North Carolina for the wedding and reception of a teacher friend in December 1982, Future Hubby and I met an older gentleman who became interested in our recent engagement and the date we had set for our upcoming nuptials. We replied that we settled on May 14 that coming year.

“May fourteenth, well, well,” he said. “According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the second weekend in May is always the nicest weekend in the South. You should check it out and see for yourself.” The next day, we immediately bought a 1983 Farmer’s Almanac before leaving North Carolina.

Sure enough, the almanac mentioned that the upcoming second weekend in May was the best weekend for farming because of the slightly warmer temps and no rain showers. It was like getting the green light to a perfect wedding day from a crystal ball. We were elated and trusted it completely.

As I counted down the days until the ceremony, I was especially concerned about the weather because my parents and I planned an outdoor reception on my front lawn on the thirty acres where I grew up. Everything for the wedding reception was to be outside—the band, the tables and chairs for guests, the tables for food, the wedding couple’s dance, pictures, everything.

All this effort made my mother and me especially nervous that the weather might not cooperate. The almanac was the only proven information that it was going to turn out well. But what if there was an off year, and what if it was 1983?

As the wedding day drew closer, my fears heightened, and so did the chance of rain. With only a week to go, the Atlanta news and weather stations reported it did not look all that good. If it rained, how were we going to get all those people in my parents’ house? Leaving the church to ride home, getting in and out of the car in my wedding dress, and grey skies in pictures just seemed unthinkable.

In 1983, there were no rental props in my small town. There was no Weather Channel either. I became so concerned that I called the meteorologist at the national weather service…every day. I called the national weather office because our local stations didn’t see the big weather picture in 1983. They only forecast local weather in the here, now, or tomorrow. I called so much we knew each other on a first name basis. I was totally afraid the weather was going to move in and ruin my day. He assured me that was not going to be the case. All looked clear for that week and weekend from California to Georgia.

Then it happened. There was a squall from the Gulf rumbling into Georgia just two days before the wedding. Mother and I panicked and scrambled to solve the problem. If only we knew someone who had university tailgating tents we could borrow. The only tents we knew about were the tents from our local funeral home…with their name emblazoned across the scalloped hem. They were not even in my wedding ensemble colors. And a few of them might have said, “We’re the last to let you down.” I was almost in tears.

A day later, the meteorologist and I spoke again and he knew I was in agony. He calmed my fears and told me that there was no need to worry. The storm had moved off in another direction and the next few days were going to be perfect.

And they were.

Note to self: always trust the Farmer’s Almanac.

Keeperpromo

Click the link to read more! https://amzn.to/2Ku8bl2

Stay safe out there my friends!

Bon Chance and Happy Reading!

A.L.Vincent and Jolie St. Amant

Take a Staycation!

A friend of mine and I were on way back from an Aaron Lewis concert when we decided to take a small detour and visit a local distillery. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and when the tour guide suggested we go see one of the oldest wooden bridges in the state, we decided to do that too. Our little detour ended up being a whole day of stopping in to different places we had never been. It was a fun experience we plan on doing again. It doesn’t cost much. The distillery tour was free, as was the samples. 🙂 So was the small campground we visited. Here’s a highlight of our stops.

  1. Bayou Rum Distillery

staycation1Located in Lacassine, LA, it’s a beautiful structure just off the interstate. It’s open 7 days a week, with hourly tours. Our tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable. I highly recommend a stop here if you are in the area. Learn a little about the area, local farming, and how rum is made.

Website:  https://bayourum.com/distillery/.

2. Lorrain Park

staycation5

A short drive from Bayou Rum is Lorrain Park. A perfect place to stop for a picnic lunch, if you happened to plan ahead. It’s quiet, scenic, and picturesque. Take some time and snap some shots of the Lorrain Bridge, one of the oldest wooden bridges in the state.

Website:  https://www.cppj.net/services/parks-and-recreation/lorrain-park.

3. Uncle T’s Oyster House

staycation4

All our traveling worked up an appetite and we decided we wanted some crawfish. It’s getting late in the season, and we wanted to make sure we got in one last feast before the party was over. After several phone calls and one stop that go us nowhere on this adventure, we finally found some at Uncle T’s in Scott, La. We were not disappointed. The mudbugs were perfectly seasoned and not that hard to peel, which can happen as the crawfish get larger. I’ve had the raw oysters there before, and I recommend them as well.

Website: https://uncletsoysterbar.com/

 

4. Parish Brewing Company

staycation3

We made one last stop on our staycation. The Parish Brewing Company in Broussard, La. They too, also free tours, but only on Saturdays, and we arrived too late to take one. We did try a few of their craft beers in a sampler you can purchase. I found one flavor I will definitely go back for. Pets are allowed as well, so feel free to bring your furry friend along.

Website: https://www.parishbeer.com/

Have a free day? Get out and see what your area has to offer. It’s fun!

Here’s to new adventures!

Bon Chance and Happy Reading!

A.L. Vincent/Jolie St. Amant

Want to read more about our area? Check out my Boonie series set in South Louisiana!

Run away to the Gulf Coast

A.L. Vincent’s Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/A.L.-Vincent/e/B016X3YYW2

 

Books, Reviews, and More for the New Year!

One of my resolutions for the new year is to read and review more books. I guess I shouldn’t really call it a resolution, who really keeps those anyway? This is more of a  real goal. I spent so much time writing last year, that I didn’t read as much as I wanted to or should. After all, isn’t the major advice for writers is to read, read, read, and read some more?

Also, to be honest, I abandoned a whole lot of books last year. For the longest time, I knew who I was as a reader. I knew exactly what I wanted to read. I voraciously sucked down all things vampire. I loved to get lost in a good Heather Graham paranormal. Don’t get me wrong, I still love those books, but I think I needed a break from my norm. I needed a palate refresher. I needed something new!

What finally got me out of my reading rut and gave me something I could sink my teeth into? Reading genres I don’t usually read. I read a couple of fantasies. That’s one genre I usually avoid, but did find a good read in Jennifer Allis Provost’s Heir to the Sun. I also read a really awesome YA paranormal, that will be the first book I feature this year. I’ll be sharing that book in my next post.

This year, I will make it a priority to read, review, and blog at least once a week. I have one book and a novella under my belt already, and I’m about to dive into an ARC by one of my favorite romance authors.

Now, I just need a catchy name. Weekend Reads? Nah, too plain. I’ll think of something. 🙂

Here’s to a great new year full of awesome new books and blogs!

Peace, love, and crawfish!

I’m out!

 

Lordy, Lordy, I’m (Almost) 40)!

401

Twenty-two days ago, I celebrated my thirty-ninth birthday. I have to admit, it freaked me out just a little bit. Seems like you spend your twenties trying to find your place in the world. When you finally do that, you realize that you don’t really know who you are. So you spend the thirties trying to figure that out. So, what about the forties? What do you try to find then? Or, are your forties when you realize you don’t really have to look for anything? Is this quest for self-realization finally over? Then, why do some have mid-life crises? 

Not being forty yet, I don’t have any of those answers.

After reading a blog a few days ago by a person also turning forty soon, I’ve decided to adopt her strategy for the upcoming year. She has made a list of thirty things she would like to do before she’s forty. She left ten blank for reader suggestions, for a total of forty things she would like to accomplish in the next year. 

I already have two bucket lists, a musical bucket list and a list of things I want to do when I return to Louisiana. So, forty seems like a lot on top of what I’ve already committed to. I did try to merge the three as much as possible. Multi-tasking is always a good thing. I came up with twelve. I figure one a month for the next twelve months is completely achievable. Each one would make this last year of my thirties, one of the best years ever. Instead of mourning the end of a decade, I’m going to send my thirties out on a bang! 🙂 

My Twelve? 

1. Go somewhere I’ve never been before. See a town I’ve never seen. I want to see Galveston or Austin. Both are within driving distance. 

2. See my name in print again. I want to publish an article, or maybe even my book will finally be on it’s way to being published. Quite possible, considering that an agent has requested the full manuscript. 

3. I want to finish the novel I’m working on now. I have 45,000 words to go. 

4. See one band on my musical bucket list. Will it be Jimmy Buffett, Alice in Chains, Sarah McLachlan, Kiss, Mumford and Sons, or someone I add in the future?

5. Learn something new. I’ve always wanted to learn to Cajun dance. Sometimes, it just isn’t fun to sit on the sidelines. I feel a little like Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing. Baby is in the corner. Well, this Baby needs to learn how to dance and get out there and dance with a fine hunk of a man. I’ve also wanted to learn how to make sushi at home. I love to cook and try new recipes, and rolling my own sushi looks like a challenge I’d like to tackle. 

6. I wan to see the ocean again. I have such an affinity for the ocean. I can sit for hours by the water, watching the tide roll in and out again. I love waking up and watching the sun over the water. Maybe it’s the Cancer in me, but this water sign loves to be near the water. 

7. See a symphony or other great live performance. I would love to go to a performing arts center and see a Broadway play like Wicked.

8. Apply for my passport. One day, I will travel to Bali or Europe. But, one must have a passport first. So, a passport will be something I may need for my forties. 

9. Do one thing that requires me to dress up. I’ve always wanted to attended the Apollo Mardi Gras Ball in Lafayette. Dress up, have fun, wear my hair up and a gown. Party down like Gatsby. 

10. Stick to an exercise routine. Would be nice to look as good in my forties as I did in my early thirties. 

11. Buy one good original piece of art. I want a piece of art that represents South Louisiana. Maybe a painting of the French Quarter. Or a drawing of a park in Lafayette. 

12. This last one I’m leaving free for an “oh yeah” moment. One of those things when someone mentions something, or you see something on television, or hear a song, and you think, “I’ve always wanted to do that. Maybe it will be one wild and crazy spontaneous road trip. Or a trip to Vegas (maybe I’ll get married by Elvis), maybe it will be trip to New York to meet my agent and editor. Who knows? With me, one never knows. 

All in all, I want to sit here a year from now and think, Thirty-nine! Wow! What a ride! 

Here’s to Hunter S. Thompson, that wild and crazy writer. One of my favorites! 

Cheers!

I’m out!

Like this blog? Check out my inspiration for this blog. 

http://40x40n15.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

 

5 Great Love Songs for Rock Fans

Nothing melts my heart like a good love song. Especially a good ROCK love song. I’ll take  a good guitar solo and a rough-looking rock and roller over some Justin Beiber pop cheesiness any day.  Must be the lingering hair-band loving teen that’s still alive and well in my psyche.

So, what songs would I include if I were compiling a “Rock Love” CD?

1. “Everything Changes” by Staind

“Say that forever is more than just a word.”

Aaron Lewis is my favorite vocalist right now. I could listen to him all day long. The man has some pipes. That’s probably why he’s on my list of next ex-husbands. Which brings me to number two.

2. “Tangled Up in You” by Aaron Lewis

In this world
Where nothing else is true
Here I am
Still tangled up in you
I’m Still tangled up in you
Still tangled up in you

You’re the fire
That warms me when I’m cold
You’re the hand I have to hold
as I grow old.
You’re the shore
When I am lost at sea
You’re the only thing
That I like about me.”

Come on, what woman wouldn’t want a man to sing this to her?  It’s pure poetry.

3. “Far Away” by Nickelback

“Cause with you, I’d withstand all of hell to hold your hand.”

This is definitely a quality I’d want in a man.

4. “Broken” by Seether

“The worst is over now and we can breathe again
I wanna hold you high, you steal my pain away
There’s so much left to learn, and no one left to fight
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain”

You get two great vocalists on this one.  Would definitely like to see these two do more duets.

5. “Lifeline” by Papa Roach

“We tore down the walls I built around myself
I was struck by the light and I fell to the ground”

Definitely not your traditional love song here, but who ever said (or thought) that I was traditional.  🙂

So, there you have it. Five great love songs that melt my ever hardening heart.

Need some more great love songs? Check out the links below.

http://waldo2010.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/top-14-hard-rock-love-songs-for-valentine/

http://www.top-lovesongs.com/Songs/hard-rock-love-songs.php

https://soonergirl.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/you-might-want-some-wine-with-this-cheese-part-i/

https://soonergirl.wordpress.com/2009/02/10/you-might-want-some-wine-with-this-cheese-part-ii/

https://soonergirl.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/play-it-again-sam/

Giving Thanks

It’s that time of year again….No, I’m not talking about turkey, I’m talking about thinking about what it is that we’re thankful for. What am I thankful for?

1. Being happier this year than I was last year. I’m happier with my surroundings, with my job, with MYSELF….

2. The wonderful friends and family I have that helped me achieve #1…

So, that my friends, is what I’m thankful for the most this year. For now, I’m off to enjoy a good glass of wine and a day of pampering myself.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m out!

Where Have all The Good Men Gone?

This is why I’m still Single #2


Where have all the good men gone?

They’re not on any online dating sites, that I can assure you.

Granted, two of my friends found love online, and I’m extraordinarily happy for them. And I did find one guy worth dating, but that was many years ago. Since then, what have I found?

*The guy who wanted to take me to meet his parents after we met for a drink.

*The guy who wanted to bring his mom on our first date.

*The guy who raised dogs and drowned the puppies that weren’t worth anything.

*Or how about the guy with anger management issues who wondered if his meds were working?

*I’ve met every player and wanna-be-player in the parish. The guys who impress you by taking you some place really great on a first date, then for the second date they want you to come to their place and watch a movie. Uh, huh, right.

*On the flip-side of the player, what about Mr. Too Ready to Commit? The guy who calls five times a day, just to see what you’re doing?

Yep, I’ve found them all.

Where are the normal guys? I do have many guy friends, and most are normal. Well, pretty normal. If they were truly normal they wouldn’t be my friends. I’ll take semi-normal. I know those guys are out there.

At this point, I’d rather sit through a speech by Barack Obama than endure another dinner and a movie.

Is it just me, or did dating seem so much simpler in our twenties? In our twenties, we met someone, felt a spark, and Presto! We’re in a relationship. In our thirties, it seems so much harder. We meet someone, hope for a spark, and when it doesn’t flame up, we start all over again. Do we tend to over think things? Or again, is that just me?

Right now, it would take more than dinner and a movie to impress me. Be original. My favorite first date was dinner and a drive out to the lake. The stars were shining, the moon reflected off the water, the sounds of the waves and the night insects were the music. A few years later, I almost married that guy. Apparently, originality goes a long way.

Maybe it’s not just someone normal, maybe I’m just looking for that guy that stands out. The guy willing to go that extra mile to impress me.

After all, am I not worthy of an extra mile?

I AM Queen Alisha.

Hehehe.

For now, I’m going to do some castle cleaning and enjoy yet another day off.

Here’s to the good men out there! I know you’re there somewhere!

Cheers!

I’m out!

The Songs of My Life #10

#10 “Scars” by Papa Roach”

One of my good friends gave her students an assignment last year that had me salivating. The students were to create the soundtrack of their lives. They started with selecting songs that represented different parts of their lives then wrote short essays explaining their choices. I so wanted to be in her class! Lol. Combine music AND writing? It’s Alisha’s idea of nirvana. Well, that and Orlando Bloom, Johnny Depp, and a can of whipped cream (or two), but I digress. As usual.

Since then, I’ve wondered what songs I would pick. I know I have a few in mind, but where do I begin? Do I begin in the beginning with “I was born”? Should I start at the end and work my way back? Or should I write in true Alisha fashion and bounce from song to song, time period to time period?

How about I begin with the present and start working my way back. And if I want to bounce around, well, I’ll just bounce around. It’s my writing. I’ll bounce if I want to.

I’ll start with “Scars” by Papa Roach.

“Alisha, can you……”

“Mom, I need…”

“Alisha, will you….”

“Mo-o-o-m, are you going to….”

“My weakness is that I care too much.”

I love to help people. I have taken in people who have no place to go. I’ve given money to people on the street. I’ve taken in just about every stray that’s crossed my path, human or animal. I’ve listened and tried to solve more problems than I can count or should be humanly possible.

What I’ve come to realize lately is when you become everyone else’s solver of problems, it leaves you with little time or energy to solve your own. Especially when some (not all) of those people who so depend on you to solve their problems or be there for them are not always there when you need someone yourself. It can become very one-sided.

“Go fix yourself.”

I’ve had a few days off lately and had some time to do some serious thinking. And sleeping (being everyone’s Superwoman can become exhausting.) I played hermit crab for two days. I realized that I’ve been giving too much of my energy away to those that don’t deserve it or don’t give back. And it’s something I’ve done all my life. I’ve got to let these people “go fix themselves”.

“I’m sorry but I’ve got to move on with my own life.”

This is the time for Queen Alisha. It’s time for me to be selfish. Time for me to take care of myself for a change. Time to concentrate on me and those that take time to take care of me in return. It’s time for me to get on with my own life.

It’s time.

Here’s to Papa Roach, “Scars”, and Queen Alisha

Cheers!

I’m out!

Better Than I Used to Be

Sunday, March, 20, 2011
29 days left
“I ain’t no angel
But I’ve been sitting out a few more dances with the devil.
And cleanin’ up my act little by little
I’m gettin there
I can finally stand the man in the mirror I see
I ain’t as good as I’m gonna get
But I’m better than I used to be

I’ve pinned a lot of demons to the ground
Got a lot of old habits licked
But there’s still one or two I might need you to help me kick
Standin’ in the rain so long has left me with a little rust
But put some faith in me
Some day you’ll see there’s a diamond under all this dust.”
-from Sammy Kershaw’s “Better Than I Used to Be”

I heard this song months ago, and cannot get enough of it.
Sometimes music just speaks to you. And this song definitely speaks to me. I’ve definitely had times in my life like this. I’ve definitely had to kick a few bad habits and wrestle some demons to the ground.

I was watching Criminal Minds, Suspect Behavior the other night and the characters were talking right before the episode ended. They were talking about ghosts. One character asked the other what he did with his ghosts. That character told him, “I make mine fly in formation.”

Demons, bad habits, ghosts, it’s all the same thing.

It’s how we deal with them that make us who we are. Do we let these things control us? Do we control them? There’s time I’ve controlled mine, and times they’ve controlled me.

I definitely prefer making mine, “fly in formation.”

And that’s what makes us better than we used to be. We live, we learn, we grow, we make mistakes, we dust ourselves off and get back to the business of living.

Speaking of which, it’s time I get busy living mine.

Here’s to becoming better than I used to be!
Peace!
I’m out!