Rescue Me!

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I love Mardi Gras! As an Oklahoma transplant, it’s not something I grew up with. My first MG experience actually happened many years ago, and I was in New Orleans for the first time. First NOLA experience and first MG. It was then that my love for Louisiana began to blossom. Years later, I would end up moving down here and have experienced many parades and celebrations. I even rented an apartment on the parade route here in Lafayette so I wouldn’t miss a thing! I’ve ridden in a few parades. Want to feel like a rock star? Ride in a Mardi Gras parade. Everyone is vying for your attention for those precious throws.  Throws can be anything from fake roses, to stuffed toys, to the coveted plastic beads of all colors and shapes. These things usually end up in a storage container after the season is over, but for the Carnival season, they are displayed with pride.

One of my favorite parades is the Krewe de Chien parade. This is a day when the dogs get to strut their stuff. There are best costume awards and the royal court gets to ride in awesome looking cars and be celebrities for the day. The best part of this is that the money raised from this event goes to pet charities. Adoptable dogs are shown off before the parade starts, and get to walk in the parade in hopes of finding their forever homes.

Rescue dogs are near and dear to my heart. My last three dogs were rescued. Sammy the dachshund was being shifted from vet to vet to keep from being euthanized. She had been in a very abusive situation and had her moments when she was hard to get along with, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a better protector. Oscar was next. He was given to a family who left him out in the cold on a chain without even a dog house. He was quite the character. Then there was Furby, named because when we got him, he looked like a little furball. Furby had been headed to the shelter when my son grabbed him up and brought him home. I had just lost two pugs, bonded brother and sister, and had sworn never to have another dog. I immediately told my son to find Furb a new home, but that new home turned out to be ours. These three eventually became characters in my Boonie books. Sammy is Carly’s dog, Oscar is Emily’s, and Furby became Grace’s rescue in Running on Empty. 

If you’d like to read more about these “characters”, I’m including pics and the links to the book they star in. 🙂

Tangled Up In You 

Oscarpromo

Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2VYMTQU

Running on Empty

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Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2JvVcmf

Catch and Release

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Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2Fj0blV

Are you a writer who would like to help out with rescue charities? Bienvenue Press is looking for submissions for Finally Home, a charity anthology benefitting pet rescues. Click the link for more information! 

https://bit.ly/2SdDcAJ

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I’m a Loser, Baby. A NaNoWriMo Loser.

It’s November again. National Novel Writing Month. I can’t count how many times I’ve attempted to write 50,000 words in one month and not once have I achieved this lofty goal.

This month, I decided not to even try to reach 50,000 words. I set my own goal. Eleven days into it, I’m giving up. I’m done.

Why?

Last night, I went out and was listening to karaoke and enjoying some time out. Sitting at a bar, even in a restaurant, has always been my brainstorming time. I write notes on napkins and log things in memos on my phone. Last night was no different. I was getting all kinds of future writing ideas. What was I not doing? Writing. I wasn’t logging those word counts. As I realized this, I knew that NaNoWriMo was simply not working for me.

You see, when writing starts to become a “job” for me, I start to lose interest. I know that to write books, you have to sit and write, but I want it to be because I enjoy it. Putting those words down is a stress reliever for me. When it becomes something that causes stress, it’s time for me to take a step back and reevaluate. I did that. In doing so, I realized that even when it’s not NaNoWriMo, I’m pushing myself too hard. There are many things I want to write, blogs included, and I’m not doing it. It’s time for me to slow down and enjoy the process.

I so admire the people that can win NaNoWriMo.  And I enjoy doing word sprints and the camaraderie that results from those. I’m definitely not saying it’s a bad thing. Writer’s supporting each other to reach their goals and words being written in droves can never be a bad thing. It’s simply not MY thing.

I’m a loser, baby. And I’m okay with it.

Peace!

I’m out!

 

A House Divided, by Deborah Leblanc

ahdA House Divided

by: Deborah Leblanc

Book Synopsis:

Keith Lafleur, Louisiana’s largest and greediest building contractor, thinks he’s cut the deal of a lifetime. The huge old, two-story, clapboard house is his for the taking as long as he can move it to a new location. It’s too big to move as it is, but Lafleur’s solution is simple: divide it in half. He has no idea, though, that by splitting the house he’ll be dividing a family- a family long dead, a family that still exists in the house, including a mother who will destroy anyone who keeps her apart from her children.

My Review:

5 STARS!!!

I saw Deborah LeBlanc at a writer’s conference, and knew I wanted to read one of her books.  How could a ghost hunter not have a great paranormal novel? I picked up A House Divided, and once I started reading, I could not put it down.

First, I love books set in south Louisiana written by local authors. LeBlanc does a great job of capturing the local color and character of Cajun country. Her characters feel like people I would meet while standing in line for groceries.

Second, the storyline moved at a perfect pace. I was able to read this book in two days, its flow was so smooth. I kept turning pages wanting to see what was coming next. The story was also unique. Haunted house stories can become clichéd and predictable, and this book was neither.

The story is about a house that is literally split in half. A local contractor purchases the huge house and moves it to another town. In the process, he divides the house into two sections. Each has an apartment on the top floor and a business on the bottom. Lara and Tawana, take one section and open a beauty salon. Matt Daigle opens a new location for his successful café. Soon after opening, the euphoria of new beginnings is replaced with fear. Waking up one morning, the inhabitants of the house find flocks of dead birds littering their yards. And that’s only the beginning…..

What happens later is a journey through a family’s history that will leave one of the characters reeling.

I give this book five stars for a flawless Southern ghost story.

Buy Link:

Link: http://a.co/bOXqOdD

Against All Odds

Music always plays a big role in my novels. It inspires scenes, lines, and even entire story lines sometimes. One day while I was driving, “Against All Odds” came on the radio and I got the chills. This was Grace and Gabe’s song. I knew I had to incorporate this song into my book. This excerpt is that scene. I’ve also included the YouTube link to the song for your listening pleasure. 🙂 Enjoy!

from Running on Empty

Back at the Redbird Inn, later that afternoon, Gabe slid the piano cover open and ran his fingers along the smooth, worn, black-and-white keys. He had learned how to play music here with Grams looking on and listening. He played a few notes to get a feel for the instrument again. As he played, his mind drifted back to high school when he and Grace would sit here practicing whatever song they were working on at the time.

Automatically, his fingers started playing the old Phil Collins song “Against All Odds.”

He sang softly as his fingers traveled over the keyboard. He had convinced her to sing the song as a duet for the prom, hoping she would see how badly he was crushing on her. But she never had. She had left for New Orleans soon after that to attend the University of New Orleans on a music scholarship. He and Bennett moved to Austin, where there were more opportunities for musicians trying to make it big.

He sang quietly, still playing the old song, hoping Grace would take a look at him now.

“You’re still hung up on Grace, aren’t you?” Glinda asked from the doorway.

Gabe stopped singing, but not playing, his fingers still as restless as his mind.

“I am.”

She smiled and came to sit beside him on the stool. “What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know. I saw her on the beach this morning while I was fishing.”

“And?”

Gabe thought of the dark circles under Grace’s eyes. “I don’t know, Grandma. Something seems different.”

“Like what?”

“It’s a look in her eyes. I don’t know. I can’t put my finger on it.”

“Grace is a tough girl. She’ll make it through whatever it is. She does have that soft side though.”

He laughed. “Grace? Soft?”

“She is, Gabe. Look at her with Ryder, or Joey, or that crazy dog of hers. She doesn’t love easily, but she loves with all her heart when she does.”

He nodded and, suddenly feeling uncomfortable, was quiet.

“Gabriel?” Glinda asked, patting him on the knee. “Since you’re here, how about you help me out with some repairs around the place? A little hammering and nailing might be what you need to keep that mind of yours occupied. We can give Noah a little break.”

He smiled and mentally shook off the past. “Of course, Grams. Just let me know what you need.” He slid the piano cover shut and followed Glinda into the kitchen.

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/32Ea9P3

 

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!

 

Scary Story Entry #2

Gray Line Tours in New Orleans is having a contest. Every week they post a picture and a prompt, which you must write an ending of 100-150 words. The winner of this contest will receive free passes to a ghost camp held at the haunted Bourbon Orleans hotel. Now, I think this is a fun idea! I love New Orleans, and am always looking for a reason to go!  Here’s my second entry for their contest.

nola2

I turned my head slowly to the side.

It was him.

I had seen him at night watching me from the murky shadows of the French Quarter as I walked home from my job as a bartender on Bourbon Street.  I noticed him at first, because his long black coat was so out-of-place on such a warm, humid night.  It was an old-fashioned coat, much like you would see in the old black and white movies. I wondered if he was an actor, or a tour guide for one of the many ghost tours that trekked through the Quarter every night. Any of these were possible. It was New Orleans after all.

His hand moved from mine. He covered his lips with one finger, motioning for me to be quiet.

I froze.

The hunt was over.

 

Here’s to hoping I win!

I’m out!

(Want more information on the ghost camp or Gray Line Tours? Check out their Facebook Page

 

https://www.facebook.com/GrayLineNola/reviews )

 

 

 

 

Great Reads

Not only do I love to write blogs, I love to read what others are blogging about. I get some great ideas reading what others have written. I like to see what ideas are out there, what people are thinking, and what they are interested in. So I thought today, I would post a few of the blogs I’ve really enjoyed reading lately.

If you have a minute, stop in an read a couple. 🙂  You won’t be disappointed.

Mama Stress

A humorous blog that includes recipes!

7 I Appreciate Yous

This one inspired an upcoming blog of my own on what I appreciate.

Alternate Views and News

Short and interesting news stories

Out of Context: Pieces of a Life

Quirky little phrases that make you think.

Crime Narrative

Everything about crime stories

Young Cadence (University of Music)

A wealth of information about music!

What A Girl Wants

A great blog that makes me want to “Step out of the boat!”

For now, I’m off to enjoy some more vacation time!

Peace! I’m out!