Month: November 2014

The Waiting Chapter 2 – Fun Facts

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Before I get to Chapter 2 and its fun facts, if you haven’t gotten YOUR copy of The Waiting, NOW is the time because it’s FREE until Sunday.

🇺🇸 http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00MOJFZNW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1417004685&sr=8-2&keywords=elizabeth+burgess&pebp=1417004686877

🇬🇧 http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Waiting-Book-Series-ebook/dp/B00MOJFZNW/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

Seriously, if any of y’all were children of the 80’s and 90’s like me, and you loved shows like Dallas, Dynasty, or Melrose Place, then you’ll enjoy this book. Check it out and if possible, leave a review…us indie authors thrive on reviews!! Okay…to Chapter 2.

Two
“Hey sexy.” Tiffany Comeaux greeted her boyfriend with a kiss. She was wearing skimpy gym shorts and a tank top and hoped he noticed.
“Hey yourself. Just get back from working out?” Gregory asked as he closed the door to her Common Street apartment.
“Yeah,” she said, releasing her light brown hair from its ponytail. “Brutal yoga class today. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it. I’m sore for days after.”
“Well…” Gregory spun her around and smiled. “You’re a hell of a lot more flexible in the bedroom.”
“Totally worth the pain then, babe.” She kissed him again, this time slower and longer. “Hey? Thought you had a business dinner tonight?”
Exhaling, he pushed his thoughts of Arianne to the back of his mind. “It’s with friends. And I know it’s short notice… but… I… I’d like you to come, Tiff.”
“Are you sure?” she said with a subtle smirk. Meeting his friends was a huge deal. “No stomach ache, emergency at the hospital, or burst pipe at your mom’s?”
Gregory rapidly nodded. “I deserved that. Mama really did have a burst pipe though.” He chuckled, taking her hand. “I’m sorry. It was wrong of me to ask you to meet my friends and then back out on it. Tonight, I really want you to go.”
“Then you need to help me get dressed,” she said, leading him into the bedroom.
“Does that include helping you get undressed?”
“You wish,” Tiffany teased, opening her closet door. “Pick out something unpretentious and sexy. And then come talk to me while I’m in the shower.”
“Okay, I’m right behind you.” Gregory held up a pair of gray pants and a light pink spaghetti strap top, hoping it would meet her criteria. “Hey Tiff?”
Tiffany poked her head out from behind the shower curtain. “Good choice, babe.”
“I pulled the matching cardigan too. Might get chilly if we go out on the patio.”
“You’re right,” she said, returning to her shower. “Who’s coming tonight?”
“Just the Huffs and the Douglases,” he said, leaning on the marble vanity.
“The Huffs… as in Dr. Sylvia Huff? Doesn’t she have a wife who’s a nurse?”
“Yeah. Lesley.”
“Are you close with them like you are Dr. Douglas and his wife?”
Gregory placed Tiffany’s towel on the peg next to the shower. “Other than Andy, Syl is my closest friend.”
“Yeah? I’ve only seen her once or twice. She seems standoffish, but I didn’t talk to her or anything, so I could be wrong.”
He chuckled. “Nah, you’re right. She doesn’t have much to say. Ever. But when she does, you better listen.”
“Sounds a little like you,” she said, turning off the shower. “How long have y’all been friends?”
“About fourteen years. And yeah, we’re a lot alike. Sylvia’s harder to get to know though. Talk to her about your alma mater and you’re in.”
“Did she graduate from LSU?” Tiffany wrapped the towel around her body and opened the curtain. “Thanks for getting my towel.”
“No, but Lesley did and Sylvia’s developed a love for the Tigers.”
She planted a soft kiss on Gregory’s cheek. “Smart lady. Do they have any kids?”
“Twin girls. And Les stays at home with them.”
“Twins? Really?”
Gregory stood taller and puffed his chest. “Yeah, Stowe and Liene. I’m their godfather.”
“I didn’t know you had godchildren.” Tiffany grinned. “I bet you’re so much fun.”
“I’ve had lots of practice for sure. All four of Andy’s kids too.”
“Wow, six.” Steam flooded into the bedroom as he opened the door. “How long have you known him?”
“Awhile. We knew of each other in high school. His dad was a doctor in Mandeville and worked at Rivers. But when the four of us went to med school at River City University, that’s when we got to know each other.”
“Four?”
“My brother Trent and Andy’s ex-wife Millie. They were two years behind us.”
“You and Andrew have been best friends for a long time?”
Gregory lifted her chin. “Try longer than you’ve been alive.” It was hard to admit, but maybe he was looking forward to her meeting everyone. “You know you’re making life tough on this old man, standing there, taunting me in next to nothing.”
“Oh really?” she asked, allowing the towel to fall. “You might be older than me, but you are still… a man. A very hot… very handsome… and very turned-on… man.” Tiffany bit her bottom lip and unzipped his pants. “I don’t know if I can wait all night, and I know for sure that you can’t. Am I right, Dr. Adams?”
“I have amazing willpower. You’d be surprised.” He swallowed hard as she pressed her body—warm and still wet from her shower—into him.
“Really?” Tiffany knelt down. “So, if I stop, you’ll be okay?”
“I think I would live… Tiff.” His voice was ragged. “But I really, really wish you wouldn’t… God…”
“Don’t we have to be there soon?” She gazed at him with willing eyes.
“Actually, now,” Gregory answered, hoping that wouldn’t deter his young and beautiful girlfriend.
Standing, she kissed him hard and lifted his shirt. “Well, Doctor, I hope you work fast.”

“Pike?” Arianne shouted, walking into her South Lake Drive home on the northeastern side of Metairie. “Dad should be here soon to take you to your friend’s house.” Pike Douglas brushed dark hair from his face as he hopped down the stairs two at a time. “Stop jumping down the stairs, Son.”
“Can’t you or Greg take me, Mom?” Pike asked, laying his head on the kitchen counter.
“Pike, he didn’t mean to miss it.”
“That’s what you said last time, and the time before that.” He muttered more to himself than anything.
She cursed her husband under her breath, thankful her back was turned so Pike couldn’t see. Yet another time, Andrew had managed to hurt him with his absence. She had no doubt her husband loved their children, but sometimes she wondered if he loved himself more. “Pike, Chief of Surgery is a big job with lots of responsibilities.”
“Greg is over the whole hospital and he’s always there. Even if it’s just for a few minutes at the end of the game, Mama.” He inhaled and Arianne could tell Pike was trying not to cry. “Reece is in med school. Nash is a resident, and they’ve both come to some of my baseball games. Don’t make excuses for him. He’s just an asshole.”
“Pike.” Arianne scolded, “I know you’re upset, but you will show respect.”
Lowering his head, he whispered, “Yes ma’am,” and stared at her with those deep brown eyes, hurt again because of another broken promise.
I know how you feel, son. I really do.
Twenty-six years of marriage to Dr. Andrew Douglas Jr. had prepared Arianne for talks like this with her young son. She’d had the same discussions for years with their other three children. The truth was harsh and sometimes it was too much for any thirteen-year-old to handle. Andrew and Arianne’s relationship had been plagued with lies from day one. Never allowing herself to forget that he was married when she started seeing him, Arianne knew he wouldn’t be faithful for long. Twelve years into her marriage, she wasn’t either—the proof standing before her now with those big, brown eyes that matched his biological father’s. Neither of the two men suspected that Pike was Gregory’s child, and Arianne wasn’t telling. Fear and love kept that secret.
Gripping the shoulders of her third son, she kissed the top of his head. “Never doubt that Daddy loves you. I agree, he is a jerk sometimes.” She forced a laugh. “But son, he does love you. He wanted to take you today to apologize for missing your game. Maybe go to Arctic Shark and get ice cream like you used to?” Arianne lied, relieved to see a grin on Pike’s face as she spotted Andrew’s truck pulling up outside. “Is that one with all the candy bars still your favorite?”
“Shark Attack? Yes ma’am,” he said, returning to his usual cheery disposition.
“Good. Now run upstairs and get your clothes. Don’t forget your toothbrush—you’ll need it after the Shark Attack.”
While Pike was lumbering up the stairs, she hurried outside to meet a smiling Andrew as he approached the side door.
“Hey beautiful,” he said, leaning in for a kiss. “Missed you today.”
“Cut the crap, Andrew. I don’t know and I don’t care where the hell you were last night. But your child does. So, you best come up with a damn good excuse as to why you missed his game,” Arianne fired off, on the verge of tears.
“I told you.” Andrew lifted his hands. “Soliciting contributions for your charity benefit, working late, charting, scheduling staff assignments.”
“That might have worked when Pike was seven, but in case you haven’t noticed, he has good reasoning skills now. You don’t work twenty-four/seven, Andrew.”
“Are you making an accusation?” He ran his fingers through his salt and pepper hair.
“Because Ari, I’m not.” Andrew’s arms wrapped around his wife and he kissed her cheek.
“Baby, I’m not. I love you. God, I love you. Only you, Ari.”
She searched his eyes—hazel with an amber rim—the same eyes she fell in love with all those years before. Since then, he’d broken her heart, her trust, and their life together, but he was her husband and for better or worse she loved him.
“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to accuse,” she apologized. “Pike is upset. I was asleep when you got home last night, and you were gone before I woke up this morning. I’m crazy busy with the Hope Benefit.”
“No, you’re right. There’s no excuse for missing his games,” Andrew agreed, caressing her cheek.
“I told him you’d take him to Arctic Shark before you dropped him at his friend’s house,” Arianne said, burying her head in his chest, aware of how much she missed him.
Lifting her chin, he brushed stray strands of black hair behind her ear. “Sounds like a plan to me. And what about you, Mrs. Douglas? How can I make up the past few weeks to you?” His kiss was slow and full of need, reminding her of the first time at his boathouse almost twenty-seven years ago. “My God, you are the most beautiful woman in this world, Arianne.”
“Our son will be coming out soon. Let’s not scar him for life with a mental picture of his parents making out in the driveway.”
“Agreed. But tonight.” His eyes met hers, he kissed her again, this time taking her breath. “Tonight is all about you.”
“Mom?” The sound of Pike’s voice caused them both to jump. “Do you know where my navy St. Paschal’s hoodie is?”
“I’m coming. In the dryer, I think,” Arianne yelled, walking towards the back door.
Andrew nodded. “Oh sweetheart, do we have enough food for one more?” he asked as Arianne stepped into their house. “Because Greg’s bringing the new girlfriend, the gal who’s getting her Master’s.”
Her mood shifted. A carefree night with friends just became a competition.

Fun facts
– LSU had to be in this book. We bleed purple and gold here in Louisiana. 💜💛💜

– The twin’s names – Stowe and Liene – were inspired by one of my favorite actresses’ names, Madeleine Stowe. Liene is pronounced as you would say the end of the German word ‘Fräulein.’

– And the origin of Pike’s name is a secret until Book 2, but…it involves a historic landmark east of New Orleans. 🙂

– Andrew is such a jerk, but I have a soft spot in my heart for him. But y’all need to know, I DO think he’s a jerk.

That’s it for today!! Don’t forget to download your copy of the book and SHARE the link with friends!!

Happy Black Friday!!!!
Elizabeth

For Your Reading Pleasure…Melissa Palmer

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For our Black Friday feature, we have Melissa Palmer, author of the recently released book, Twin Oaks. We’re glad to have her with us to talk about the writing process.

1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)

I’m Melissa Palmer, not the doctor who writes about Hepatitis or Missy from Homestarrunner, but the author or strange short stories, the autism and mental health crusader, and the author of TWIN OAKS and A LIFE LESS NORMAL. I’m also known as @Noompsydahling where I tweet entirely too many pictures of my cat, cupcakes, and Supernatural memes.
My facebook is http://www.facebook.com/MelissaPalmerWriter

I blog at http://www.melissapalmerwritesbooks.blogspot.com

My Twin Oaks site is here https://www.facebook.com/notes/open-books/open-books-to-release-twin-oaks-by-melissa-palmer-on-december-10-2014/10152117907352824

I’m also on Goodreads, but I am a notoriously bad Goodreads updater.

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

Some just come to me because they sound cool, as in the case of Wilma Womack. But some are me being crafty. I have a girl named Iris in the book I’m working on who is based on my daughter Sophie. So I wanted a name we considered for her, plus one that really captures her personality. Mrs. Ringhaus of Twin Oaks is a character who realizes she’s spent her life running in circles…so…I kind of play with names a little bit there. Other times I’m just goofy, as in Gustav the dog, who is based on and named after my cat Gus.

3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?

They’re not?

4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

I have a steady diet of pre-writing music to get me in the mood. Right now it’s a lot of Hozier. I don’t think I’ve ever connected to an album the way I do with Hozier’s latest release. Some of those songs get me right in the back of the throat. My WIP, BAKING FOR DAVE was born out of the Dave Matthews Pandora station. I guess I have music for baking too.

5. How long have you been writing?

Since first grade, kindergarten really.

6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

I remember being in second grade and waking up in the middle of the night because I “had to write an idea down”. It was a haiku about squirrels, I think, but I remember as a little squirt sneaking into my closet (there was a light in there) and writing into the wee hours of the morning.

7. Do you have a muse?

The right music definitely impacts what I’m writing. Also, as strange as it sounds, water. So many story ideas have come to me when I was in the shower or doing dishes.

8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)

Rewriting. Teaching writing helps. I am kind of mental about writing, as far as making sure I get it in. I never stop. Even if I’m “blocked” I’m working on other aspects of the writing; things like this, or pre-writing, short stories if I’m not working on a novel. Also, I try very hard to pick at scabs. That is, if something bothers me in real life, I try to slay it in a book. That’s why there are so many things that happen in my books that are mirrored in my life in some way. It’s cheaper than therapy. :]

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

I always write better when I’m ovulating. I only edit when I am cursed.

10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.

Baking for Dave follows the journey of a young girl with autism who runs away from home to compete in a national bake-off. She connects to the world through Dave Matthews music.

11. What book are you reading now?

I am in mourning for having finished the GoT books. And by the time this is published I will have finished the new Lestat book.

12. What genre do you write in? What about PoV?

I write contemporary and psychological literary fiction. POV changes depending on the story. My memoir was in first person. And as different as my two books may seem they are really quite similar. While I was frustrated writing my memoir I started thinking about people and their secrets. Then I started thinking, Wouldn’t it be better if everyone just dug the skeletons out of their closets? That ended up being the question that started Twin Oaks. Writing fiction got me to the heart of my non-fiction and both works benefited.

13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?

I am definitely a bit of a madwoman when it comes to the way I write. First there is a notebook where I scrawl down the idea. Then I rewrite that idea in a neater hand, with some semblance of organization. (Sometimes this second step of the process will include sketches. I don’t mean this in the sense of literary character sketch. I mean this in the sense of- I grab my daughters’ crayons and colored pencils and draw out characters and neighborhoods. After that I type out all my notes. They become the skeletons of chapters.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

Always

.
15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

I always start out telling myself it’s just going to be a story. But no matter what I’m writing there is always a theme of isolation, of individual versus the “norm”. I guess I have some demons I still have to work out in the old noggin’.

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

I try not to just because I don’t eat after 8 pm and I’m a nocturnal writer. But oddly enough, I noticed when I wrote TWIN OAKS I had a bit of a tradition of the pre-chapter beer. Otherwise I was getting way to precious and nit-picky about what I was doing.

17. Tell us about your other passions.

I LOVE baking, probably too much. I like to make baked goods that are like my writing, fill them with unexpected surprises like bacon and booze. There is a character in TWIN OAKS who is probably a little too much like me as far as getting mental about distance running. Running, as I forgot to mention in the other question, is also another way I get inspired. Something about the silence and solitude, the rhythm of those steps. I get some really good stuff halfway through a run. I also have a character in TWIN OAKS who talks to her dog like he’s a person. She may or may not also be based on someone very close to me. But in my defense I also talk to my cat and fish like they are people.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

I have a cadaver hip. (Side effect of way too much distance running.)

19. Share a small sample (limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published. This is the blurb I wrote up for my publisher for release.

Twin Oaks is the ideal neighborhood. It’s got manicured gardens, potluck dinners, and good neighbors—the kind that keep their bodies buried deep.
Mrs. Womack is the eyes and the ears of the cul-de-sac, who sees everything but her own loveless marriage. She could be plotting murder as she makes small talk with her genius dog, or she could be thinking about her next sandwich. Mr. Chalmers doesn’t like to leave the house much, but he does love explosives and things that go boom. Mrs. Ringhaus likes a life of structure and rules. The thought of ripping off her clothes makes her blush. At first. Ms. Bea is the reasonable type who is good at pretending folks don’t stare, especially when they do. Then there’s Mr. Pollack, the frustrated painter in a search of truth and love. His wife April searches neither. She never asks once about Mrs. MacMillan, the founding member of the ladies club who has disappeared. Instead she takes in tea with Mrs. Granger, whose teeth look too long for her mouth; and with Annabelle, a known man-eater; and Abigail, who seems to have misplaced her mind. April doesn’t question why the Twin Oaks Homeowner’s Association is not what it seems.
Nothing in Twin Oaks is.

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

Thanks so much for reading. This has been a big year for me. To think after ten years of submitting I got two contracts in the same week. It’s unbelievable the way these things work. I cannot express my gratitude any more than that.

Thanks, Melissa. Good luck with Twin Oaks.
E&M

From Us to YOU…

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Marie and I are so grateful to everyone who’s helped us on this journey, and we want to say THANKS!! So The Waiting: Book 1 is FREE thru Sunday in the US🇺🇸and the UK🇬🇧. Thanks y’all and we hope you enjoy the love and lies on the banks of the Pontchartrain…

US: http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00MOJFZNW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1417004685&sr=8-2&keywords=elizabeth+burgess&pebp=1417004686877

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Waiting-Book-Series-ebook/dp/B00MOJFZNW/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

For Your Reading Pleasure…Dara Morris

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Today we have a special Wednesday edition of For Your Reading Pleasure. Dara Morris is one of my very first author friends, and a fellow Louisiana girl. Last month, she released her first book, “Only the Scars Remain” with Cool Beans Publishing. Lets see what Dara has to say about her writing process.

1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)

I have always loved to read since I was a little girl. I would lose myself in the pages of another world, one that always seemed more interesting and fun than mine! I excelled in writing in school but it wasn’t until last year that I decided to write a book. And once I did…I became hooked. I can’t imagine not writing now. It’s like breathing to me, a must. I love to write romance and in the magic of true love.
I live in West Monroe, Louisiana with my three beautiful children, two teenagers and a seven year old. I also work full time so I stay pretty busy. Once I get home and everything is settled, I pop my earbuds in and it’s just me, music, and my book. Writing brings so much happiness to my life and I hope my readers feel it too!
Author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cypress-Bayou-Series/725579504185537

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

In my novel, the main characters names are Alyssa and Ryan. I’ve always loved names that start with the letter A, and I thought Alyssa had a pretty, feminine sound. Handsome Ryan Gosselin is one of my all-time favorite actors, so I picked his name for my hero’s. My other character’s names were chosen pretty randomly, some after people I know.

3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?

I do! Sometimes people look at me like I’m crazy. But in my head they are real, and I have to get their story out so that others can share in their lives.

4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

I listen mostly to rock and alternative. John Mayer is a favorite.

5. How long have you been writing?

I started writing last summer. We were on a family vacation, and it popped in my head to write a book. I’d always been a good writer and loved to read, and I felt like I could really do this. It took me six months to finish my book, and another three to edit all my mistakes. I was pretty clueless!

6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

I would say it was when I was about halfway done with my first book. What I had wanted to accomplish was right in front of me, and all I had to do was finish it. I knew that I could do it again.

7. Do you have a muse?

My muse would be music. It helps me focus and places me in my own little world.

8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)

I do research online. I’m hoping to attend some workshops and conferences in the near future.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

I like to have a candle going and music up. That sets me in a great mood for a productive writing session

10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.

Right now I’m working on the second book in the Cypress Bayou Series. It’s the story of Fran, Alyssa’s sister. She struggles with drug and alcohol problems, but meets Lucas and he helps to turn her life around. He is a world famous musician who has issues of his own. But with the power of true love, happiness is found with the other.

11. What book are you reading now?

I wish I had time to read a book! Between work, kids, and writing, I haven’t had much time for reading but plan to squeeze some reading time in because I miss it.

12. What genre do you write in? What about PoV?

I write romances with a bit of magic thrown in. It makes me so happy to create a story where true love is found and there is a happy ending. I write from third person POV.

13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?

I have a spiral notebook that I keep for each book. I like to write each character’s looks and personality down for future reference. I write the outline for the book initially, and as each chapter emerges, I map out what I want to accomplish in that chapter.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

Yes. The middle part is the hardest to write!

15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

I would say mostly for entertainment. But I hope my books inspire someone to believe in true love, and if it’s real, it will always find its way back.

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

Diet dr pepper and dill pickle chips

17. Tell us about your other passions.

I love to shop with my seventeen year old, and spend time with my boys. The only thing I watch on TV is sports; I’m a huge football and basketball fan. I also love to go fishing, and plan vacations.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

I love roller coasters! Busch Gardens was an awesome theme park to visit last summer because of all the rides, I was thrilled.

19. Share a small sample(limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.

From Only the Scars Remain:
Ryan was gone, he hadn’t returned home since that summer ten years past. Alyssa wrapped her arms around her waist, anguish filling her soul for all that had been, and all that was lost. As she stared painfully upon their initials forever inscribed, she shivered as she was catapulted back to when their friendship had led to a fierce, sweet hell of an extraordinary love.

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

I would just like to say thank you for giving my work a chance. I’ve worked hard to realize my dream, and I hope all the care and dedication shine through to the reader.

Thanks Dara! Good luck to you and the Cypress Bayou Series!
E&M

For Your Reading Pleasure…Tom Beck

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With us today is Tom Beck. We’re glad he stopped by to share all his writing secrets with us. Enjoy!!

1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)

Facebook under Tom Beck, Thomas Beck is my facebook published site. Thomas Beck’s Blog Covers hospital stories, flash fiction/, poetry, family tales, etc.

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

Names can come from anywhere. Church bulletins, family members.

3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?

I write mostly from first person, sharing what my brain thinks the character sees, hears, and feels. When I write the character, it is me seeing through their eyes

4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

Usually if I have the radio on, it’s a talk station.

5. How long have you been writing?

I have written as soon as I knew letters could make words. Only recently published. I have reams of poetry, folders of haiku, A play script, several children’s stories that I illustrate myself. (Unpublished)

6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

It was a slow evolution that I knew I wanted to write and be published. Working as a nurse and having a family didn’t allow for much time writing. I think it was writing compositions and the professors’ encouragement that finally sealed it.

7. Do you have a muse?

Three muses so far. For Tommy Two Shoes Minerd it is his finicky deceased uncle Aidan Leclerc. For Mary Alice (Brandi) the P.I. it’s Mae West, and for Luigi Garibaldi, it’s Margo, the Shadow’s assistant. Guido isn’t actually a detective, but is a gambler in hiding from a casino owner and has clues dumped in his lap.

8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)

I belong to three writer’s group, an organization to promote new writers (CAW), and I attend and read at salons.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

The only thing special is that I hand write my stories and do my first edit when I enter it into the computer. I can write faster than I can type and I don’t want to impede the flow of words and ideas.

10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.

How many works do you want. I have probably 15 or more. Tommy is about to become a P.I. He figures if he’s solving mysteries, he needs paid. Brandi is investigating the spouse of a woman. She thinks that he is prostituting himself. I just entered a flash fiction contest where the entire story had to be 100 words or less.

11. What book are you reading now?

A book titled “What’s the Smallest Thing You Will Do Today.” By Dylene Cumraes.

12. What genre do you write in? What about PoV?Most of my writing is from the view of first person singular, but have been dabbling in third person for some.
13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines? )

I don’t have a specific outline. Just a general idea of a plot. Sometimes it’s based on a single phrase or sentence. Everything spills out of a disorganized, creative mind. The characters will often write the story themselves. I am often surprised how an insignificant detail will show up later and become very important.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

I will have a general idea of an ending, but there are times when the character steps in and changes things.

15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

The kids books, a specific message, poetry, message, haiku to share beauty, the cozy mysteries, entertainment.

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

Unsweetened iced tea or Diet orange Crush. I eat anything that isn’t nailed down.

17. Tell us about your other passions.

My deceased wife Cindy. Gone 12 years in March. Ovarian cancer. my three kids, and my three granddaughters. Also reading Louis L’Amour books. He has the most fabulous turns of phrases.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

The way I became published was unusual. I would have remained in obscurity if by happenstance I hadn’t met a woman at one of my writer’s groups. She liked some of the stories that I had written, had decided to edit and to start a publishing company. She asked me if I had anything to publish. The rest is history. As an aside we have about 8 to 15 members and out of that number, five of us has had our writing published in the year that we started the group. (No they aren’t all under the same publisher.)

19. Share a small sample(limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.

Her Beauty
She stepped onto the bus. Her tresses cascaded over her shoulders in shimmering chestnut waves. Her smile immediately filled the bus with sunshine. That smile seemed directed at me. With amazing grace, she dropped her money into the change box and sauntered down the aisle. She stopped.

“Is this seat taken?” she asked.

I glanced around. The bus was nearly empty and yet she chose the seat beside me.

“N-n-n-o-o,” I managed to stammer.

She slid into the seat. Her delicate scent filled my nostrils.

“I’m on my way home,” she shared, glancing over at me.

I felt a lump in my throat and couldn’t speak. She was so beautiful.

“My husband isn’t home at present,” she murmured and placed her slender hand on my thigh.

My breath caught in my throat. My brain began to spin as her heady perfume captivated me and her suggestion sank in.

She slid her hand up and down my thigh, stirring a feeling in my loins.

The bus hissed to a stop. Taking my hand, she led me down the aisle and off the bus. I held my newspaper in front of me to avoid embarrassment.

She closed and locked the apartment door behind her. Pulling me close, she whispered in my ear, “What do you want for supper, dear?”

“Whatever you want, but it’s my turn to pick you up on the bus tomorrow.”

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

A word of encouragement to all readers and would-be writers: May all of your romances be real, your mysteries, solvable, and your adventures be pleasurable. Thanks for your interest. If you should need anything, I am quite a character myself.

Thanks Tom! Good luck to you!
E&M

For Your Reading Pleasure…Charon Lloyd Roberts

Today we have Charon Lloyd-Roberts with us. Let’s see what being creative looks like for her…

1. Tell us about yourself. May include links.

My name’s Charon I work in the Digital medium.

As of May 2014 I’ve moved onto a different profession and am now writing a book series.

I’m self-taught in the Digital medium even though I only started painting seriously in 2013.

My Digital Art is a mix of Astronomy and the floral with a macabre twist.

My pages:
https://www.facebook.com/djlediperehodov
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Putsch-Trilogy/1450635768557884
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Schism-Putsch-Trilogy-Prequel/334115496770262?ref=profile
https://www.facebook.com/redskiesbrokencities
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Forthcoming-Trilogy/376786482474823
https://www.facebook.com/solatiumbook
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fracture-Trilogy/1465586520362140
https://www.facebook.com/Disquietude.Trilogy?ref=hl&ref_type=bookmark
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LediPerehodovArt
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CharonLRoberts
http://charonlloyd-roberts.deviantart.com
https://www.behance.net/CharonLloydRoberts
http://lediperehodovarts.tumblr.com
http://lediperehodovphotos.deviantart.com/
http://shadowness.com/CharonLRPhotos
https://www.behance.net/CharonLRobertsPhotos
http://lediperehodophotos.tumblr.com

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

I go for the weird obscure names and a majority of the names of my characters are just hard to pronounce anyway its fun.

3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?

Yes I do I get carried about talking about especially if I’m discussing a scene in my book.

4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

It honestly depends on my mood, but sometimes I do

5. How long have you been writing?

Well back in Secondary school I got bored in my lessons so I used to write stories I recently got back into it back in May 2014.

6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

I changed my profession in May 2014 as I wasn’t getting much out of my Digital work I still do it mind you but not as often

7. Do you have a muse?

I’ve been inspired by James Dashner, Ally Carter, Suzanne Collins just to name a few.

8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)
I read new books every month and I learn from them.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

Asking the staff at my local book store for bizarre subject matters for my book research.

10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress?

I’m in the process of working between the main book series and working on the timeframe between that and the prequel series.

11. What book are you reading now?

I’m swapping between a few books The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, The Eye of Minds & Timeriders.

12. What genre do you write in? What about PoV?

General fiction but I like to focus on fantasy mainly.

13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?

It’s best described as “Organised chaos”. I can’t put it any better then that.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

I have a rough idea for my current book series and its prequel.

15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

Well during the current state of the government in the UK I’ve taken note of how messed up the system is. But I’ve added some comic-relief in my book for good measure.

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

I only really eat if I’m drafting out rough ideas but that’s mostly in random public areas.

17. Tell us about your other passions?

I mostly draw traditionally, do digital paintings and have the odd photography session but I do enjoy the odd train commute twice a month.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

I don’t see myself as interesting at all I just have my head either stuck in a book or I draw things.

19. Share a small sample of your writing.

“The final contender for this years ISL Tournament is… Mitra Delmir!” I suddenly felt a gust of air a small camera was circling me I dropped the sachel in my hand and looked up my face was on the screen all the blood drained out of my face I looked pale my blood orange red hair blowing around my eyes purple eyes fixed on the screen I gasped to see myself my legs began to feel heavy. Again Governor Silmois showed her face on the screen “Congradulations to this years contenders you have five hours to sort yourselves out and you’ll soon be picked by escorts from the Presivida wall who will take you to Islette.” My back slumped agaist the wall I slid down to the ground the people around me where muttering I couldn’t make it out I felt Trielnois’ beak on my hand nudging me I remained still my body felt numb

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

I hope you enjoy what I have offer in the writing industry any support I get for my work is appreciated because I really use some right now.

Thanks, Charon. Great hearing from you.
E&M

The Waiting: Book 1 – Chapter 1 Fun Facts

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One
Three weeks earlier…
Watching Dr. Andrew Douglas roll out of bed, Rachael sipped the vodka she’d poured thirty minutes before. Blinking back tears, she wished for a high to make her forget how far she’d fallen—sleeping with her ex-husband, Nash’s, father. No amount of mind-altering pills could achieve that magic. They were a convenient pair. She knew what he brought to the table, and craved it as if it were air in her lungs, but all she had to offer him was herself. Andrew had always said that everything had a price, and for Rachael it was her sex. Having no intentions of being alone with her thoughts and vices, she threw back the drink and flung the sheet off, baring her breasts. “Stay awhile, Andrew?”
Glancing over his shoulder at the young woman trying her hand at seduction, a small laugh escaped his lips. “Maybe next time, Rachael. Ari wants me to grill tonight,” he said, buttoning his white dress shirt.
He wasn’t the oldest man she’d ever been with, but he was the strangest. Rachael found that Andrew’s public persona as Chief of Surgery at River City Medical Center was quite different from the man dressing before her now. In their six month affair, he’d never kissed her on the lips or held her afterwards. They undressed and dressed like a surgical procedure—meticulous and well-thought out.
“Room’s paid for and you’re welcome to it,” he added, rolling up his sleeves to fasten the silver cufflinks that had been a twenty-fifth anniversary gift from his wife. Rachael’s eyes darted around the room. Andrew always provided excellent accommodations. This Northshore bed and breakfast overlooking Lake Pontchartrain in Slidell was no exception.
“Andrew,” she whined, a perfect pout on her face. “It would be better, if you stayed.” Sliding her arms over his shoulders from behind, she kissed his neck and unbuttoned the top of his shirt.
Spinning around, his mood snapped from hot to cold. “You refer to me as Dr. Douglas, Rachael,” he fired back. “I told you, I have to get home to Arianne. Your prescription is on the bedside. Now, for God’s sake, put some clothes on.”
Dejected, Rachael turned toward the nightstand and spotted the small piece of paper. Immediately, she recalled why this tryst was taking place and started dressing.
“That script is for three months. See if you can stretch it longer this time. Arianne will take Gracie for a full month, starting tomorrow. Have her ready in the morning by eight, please. You are not to have contact with her per our agreement. Don’t pack anything. We have everything she needs,” he said, snatching his keys.
“Tomorrow? I can’t talk to my daughter for an entire month?” she squealed. “She’s my child. I’ve never been away from her that long.”
“She’s eighteen months, Rachael. You only have one-way conversations with her anyway. She’ll be fine, and so will you. Seems there’s plenty to keep you occupied,” he said, a touch too defensively. “Arianne will take better care of the child than anyone. Enjoy your free time, hon. Do you know how many young women would love to drop their kids with their grandparents for an entire month? Go out with girlfriends. Hell, go to the Caribbean. Graceanne will have a great time with her Mémère. And you, my dear, can return refreshed and revitalized.” Andrew opened the hotel door, absolutely certain he’d convinced her.
Reaching for the pills and vodka, Rachael forced a half smile and thought maybe he was right.

Donning his sunglasses, Andrew rushed to his black Tundra. If the traffic cooperated, he’d be on time to his next appointment. With his truck in gear, he glanced at his phone. Two missed calls—both from his best friend, Dr. Gregory Adams. Clicking Gregory’s name and the “send” button, Andrew turned the radio down before speaking.
“Hey Andy,” Gregory said. “Meetings go good today?”
“Yeah. Real good. Headed to my last one with Bob right now.”
“Thought you were supposed to save the best for last… not the worst,” he joked.
“No doubt, buddy,” Andrew agreed, excluding the real reason for the meeting and drinks with Bob O’Malley. “You know he’s the single largest contributor to the Hope Foundation, other than Doc Caissy.”
Gregory laughed. “Well, that’s because they’ve been in a forty-year competition to outdo each other.”
“Got a point there. Hey, y’all still coming tonight, aren’t ya?”
“I am. But I don’t—”
“Hell, Greg,” Andrew interrupted, “don’t pull rank on me because you’re Chief Medical Officer. I’ll call Human Resources to get the girl’s number so I can invite her myself.”
“Andy…”
“Greg, bring her. This would be the fourth time you’ve made excuses for the poor thing, and I know Ari is dying to meet her. What’s her name again?”
“Tiffany,” Gregory muttered. It wasn’t that he didn’t want his friends to meet his girlfriend. He did, but meeting his friends meant meeting Andrew’s wife, and Gregory wanted to delay that introduction as long as possible.
“It’s time, Greg. Gotta meet us before you take her to your mama,” Andrew teased. “You know Arianne is a good judge of whether or not your girlfriends meet Atlee Adams’ qualifications.”
Reluctantly, Gregory conceded, “Okay… okay. We’ll be there.” Tonight would be the night that the love of his life met the other woman.
“I just pulled up at Lochlann’s, but I’ll see you… and Tiffany, at seven.”
“Yeah, man… Seven.”

Lochlann’s Ole Ale House was bustling wall-to-wall with the happy hour masses. Grumbling to himself, Andrew wondered why the hell Bob chose a public place to conduct such private business.
“Andrew.” Dr. Robert O’Malley stood from a corner booth and waved. Taller than Andrew, Bob towered over most people, and he was as crooked as his nose, which was rumored to have been broken by his first wife. Prone to violent and rage-filled outbursts, Bob had been dishonorably discharged from the Marines fifteen years ago when he broke his commanding officer’s jaw. He wasn’t Andrew’s favorite person, but he had money… and power… and today—a proposition that might be difficult to refuse.
“Hey, Bob.” He extended his hand to the older man. “Good to see you.”
“You too, Andy. How’s that gorgeous wife of yours?” he asked, fantasizing about Arianne’s long legs wrapped around his body.
“Good. Thanks. Getting ready for the Hope Benefit next week.”
“You know, I’ve always wondered how a roughneck like you managed to get two of the most beautiful women in South Louisiana to marry him.”
“Stroke of good luck… both times. How is Millie?” he asked. “Been a while since we talked.”
“Hmph,” Bob grumbled. “I’m still trying to convince her to marry me. Any pointers?”
Andrew paused, formulating an answer. Thinking about his ex-wife keeping company with such a deplorable person sent chills down his spine, but he knew that a man would only hit Millie Douglas once. Since Bob sat before him now—it was safe to say, he never had. “Hate to burst your bubble… but Mills, she’ll never marry again.” Taking a long drink of beer, he leaned back, head against the booth. “My mama had to convince her to marry me.”
Bob glared at Andrew Douglas, hatred boiling below the surface. Stealing Millie all those years ago was only the tip of the iceberg. Flashing a strained smile, he replied, “Well, nevertheless I will keep trying. Now, first off—put me down for ten thousand for the Hope Foundation.”
“Doc Caissy gave twelve this year,” Andrew lied.
“Dammit. Fifteen then. But my name needs to be mentioned before Jamie Caissy’s at the benefit.”
Andrew grinned, certain Arianne would be pleased with Bob’s contribution. “Absolutely.”
“Secondly…” He narrowed his crystal blue eyes and lowered his voice. “Our proposal.”
“Yes?” Andrew leaned in, excited to hear more about what his eldest son, Nash, had called the chance of a lifetime.
“As I said on the phone last week, discretion is imperative,” Bob said.
“Of course.”
“An old friend of mine from Missouri, Stephen Mullins, asked if I would be interested in investing and participating in a market… for organs. He’s Chief of Surgery at Jefferson City Medical and has masterminded a plan he calls the ‘Operation.’”
Andrew’s eyes widened. “Well, that’s not what I expected. But please, continue.”
“Say I have a patient with abdominal pain. You know our patients. They don’t ask us why we order labs or tests.” Both of them laughed together at the blind trust most people had in their doctors. “And based on his results, I deem it necessary to order an exploratory surgery. Well, I’ve already done a liver panel work-up and established that his liver is healthy. I also know the real problem is gallstones. So, I extract the stones and what I need, poke around, and close. Document the biliary stone removal and send our liver piece on its way to wherever.” Bob hesitated as Andrew took in the basic idea of their “Operation.” “What do you think?”
Shaking his head, he crossed his arms over his chest. “There’s a shit-ton of problems that could go wrong, Bob. You know that, don’t you?” Andrew said. As interested as he was, he still needed answers. “Do we have specific surgery teams? What about security… funds? I don’t know… It sounds good, but shit… bringing in Rivers… I don’t know.”
“It’s a chance, but the payday is huge. Stephen’s team of docs up in Jefferson City average from $200- to $300-thousand a month. Each.” Pleased to see the younger man’s mouth drop, Bob knew Andrew’s greed would get them inside River City Medical Center. “Of course, we wouldn’t start out with that much. Maybe fifty to a hundred thousand.”
“Are you kidding, man?” he said. “That’s unfucking real. But still, what about everything else?”
“No, Andy, I’m not.” Millie had warned him that Andrew would be resistant, and she told him exactly how to counter his argument. “Take a day or two. Think about it. But Millie says she’d better get her white roses when you say yes and we start making money.”
“White roses, huh?” Andrew chuckled. He should have known his ex-wife would use that information to her advantage. “Well, you can tell Millie her roses are on their way.”
“Does this mean?”
Andrew nodded.
Bob raised his beer in celebration, their amber bottles clinking together. “To our little ‘Operation.’”
“Yeah…” Andrew breathed, hoping for more success than his last botched business endeavor. “To the ‘Operation.’”

Fun Facts
– Rachael’s name was originally Molly. After a suggestion that Molly sounded too much like Millie, we decided to change it to Rachael because what would The Waiting Series be without Millicent Douglas? Rachael is actually named for one of my dear friends who’s been so supportive with reading and offering feedback for the book.

– Since I’m a nurse , the whole “Operation” setup fascinates me. If you think about it, most patients have blind trust when it comes to their healthcare. A word of advice…DON’T. Of course, trust them with your well-being, but make them work for it. Ask your doctor ‘why am I having this test? Make your nurse tell you why she’s giving you that pill. I don’t care if she’s giving you baby aspirin, she should know why she’s giving a medication. Rant completed!!

– Marie chose both Gregory and Millie’s name. Fits them perfectly.

-Bob O’Malley wasn’t intended to be the main antagonist. He wasn’t even supposed to have a very big part beyond being Millie’s sometimes lover, but OH BOY, did he surprise me??? I know most of you hate him, and rightfully so, but I’ve loved exploring his psyche. When I write him, I see James Spader, but my editor will argue me down tooth and nail!! She loves James Spader and hates Bob. I expect her to chastise me for putting this idea in y’all’s head.

– Lochlann’s Old Ale House is loosely based on a tiny pub in a nearby city.

– When I wrote the very first poor, pitiful draft that will never see the light of day, I wasn’t prepared for the revelation that Ari and Greg had an affair… or that their love was sooooo strong.

That’s all for now!!
Enjoy!!
Elizabeth

P.S. Marie and I have a Thanksgiving surprise for y’all next week. STAY TUNED!!!!