Month: December 2014

#20ThingsIWantFor2015

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Apparently…
The #20ThingsIWantFor2015 hash tag is popular on twitter today. My author friend, Allison Maruska, posted this on her blog here otherwise, I would have never known as I’m not a huge ‘twitterer.’ However, I enjoy the sentiment of setting goals and I’m ALWAYS up for list.

In no particular order:
Elizabeth…
1. Go somewhere new
2. Start jogging again… and not stop.
3. Read all of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series.
4. Go somewhere I’ve been before and learn something new.
5. Teach Bowie and Pike (my 2 Catahoula Cur dogs) to come inside when we call… not when they choose.
6. Be more positive. Anyone who’s known me any length of time knows that I’m a glass half empty kind of girl, and I shouldn’t be. Despite its hardships and momentary glitches, life is wonderful and I am completely BLESSED.
7. Help someone.
8. Stop doubting myself.
9. Publish 3-5 books.
10. WRITE. Who knows if these books will go anywhere beyond the reach they have now? I hope they do, but I don’t know if they will for sure. Nevertheless, I will keep writing… because it is the only thing I’ve ever done that doesn’t cage me.

Marie joined in the fun too, so I gave her the other ten…
Marie…
1. To have my master bedroom finished
2. To be the best version of me
3. To take my kids to Disney
4. To spend more time with my parents
5. To not sweat the small stuff
6. To fully enjoy every moment with my babies
7. To go on more dates with my husband
8. To make more time for the important stuff
9. To take more deep breaths
10. To lose a little weight

So there you go…
💗E&M

P.S. Happy Birthday to Marie!!!🎉🎈🎊
P.S.S. Today’s picture is from mine and Marie’s hometown…well, sort-of. We grew up in a small Louisiana town that was more or less a ‘twin city’ with a Mississippi town. Anyway, this is the Mississippi River as seen from Jewish Hill at the Natchez Historic Cemetery.

For Your Reading Pleasure…Liltera R. Williams

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Our feature today is Liltera R. Williams. We’re glad to have her insight into her writing process.

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

Poet, Author, Editor, Publisher, born to write in Jacksonville, Florida, with a Bachelor’s degree in English from Florida State University. I discovered my passion for writing at age 12 and realized that it was my purpose at 18. In August of 2011, I established my own writing, proofreading/editing and publishing company, iWrite4orU. I specialize in assisting first-time authors.

Facebook.com/iWrite4orU

Twitter & Instagram: @iWrite4orU_LRW

writergrind.blogspot.com

Amazon.com/Liltera-R.-Williams

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

I usually come up with the character description before an official name is assigned and I try to select names that complement each character’s overall demeanor.

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

All of my characters are relatable and derive from people I’ve encountered throughout my life. I’ve been asked numerous times if there’s any truth hidden within my first novel, Dearly Beloved S.I.S.T.A.S. I personally believe that all fiction stories are loosely based on true circumstances. I don’t talk about Sheila, Brenda, Sunni and Faith, the characters from my first novel, much anymore because I’ve moved on to a new plot, but they’re still alive. None of my characters will ever truly die.

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

Yes, I’m a fan of all types of music. I prefer to listen to songs with creative and motivating lyrical content when writing. Alicia Keys is my favorite artist, but I find myself in a more focused zone when Gospel music is playing. It can become a distraction sometimes, though, when getting lost in the melody.

5. How long have you been writing?

Personally, 16 years.

My permanent relationship with writing first began at age 12, after my paternal grandfather passed away. For the first few years, it was my therapeutic outlet, strictly a form of expressing myself and dissecting my emotions.

Professionally, 5 1/2 years.

After graduating from FSU, I started blogging and also completed two post-grad internships, which allowed me to build a freelance portfolio of over 50 published articles. My first article was published in 904 Magazine in March 2009. I then published my first book, Amateur Thoughts: A Personal Collection of iWrite Poetry and LRW Quotes, on 12-12-12 because my career was finally perfectly aligned and it was time to progress to a new level of writing.

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

I instantly realized it the first time I recorded my feelings in a diary. Nothing compares to that type of emotional release. However, the defining moment revealed itself when I declared Creative Writing as my major at FSU. Before then, I was always told that writing isn’t an actual career and I foolishly believed it. Yet, I understood that I had a special gift with words. The more I learned to develop the craft in college, the more I fell in love with it. My name, Liltera, resembling Literature, is also a clear sign. I think my parents subconsciously knew that writing was my calling before I did.

7. Do you have a muse?

God is my ultimate muse, but I often discover inspiration in all things, from relationships and daily conversations to my random, complicated thoughts. I have a strong desire to inspire and I’m motivated when I’m able to impact others who may be lost while seeking to find their purpose in life.

8. How do you improve as a writer?

Writing is an acquired skill. Although it’s a natural talent that I was born with, it requires constant nurturing and practice. I write every single day and I’m always reading and researching. I attend at least two writers’ conferences and/or book festivals each year and I’m constantly networking and gaining insight from other experienced authors. I encourage all aspiring writers to treat the skill like a priority instead of a hobby.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

I don’t share any content publicly without spell checking it three times or more. I’ll even reread it after it’s been published. I’m obsessed with editing and revising.

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

I’m currently working on my next two releases, scheduled for 2015: Pen, Publish & Promote Your Book the Write Way (Detailed Guide for First-Time Authors), my fourth nonfiction book, and Date Knight: A Man Who Findeth A Wife, my second novel.

11. What book are you reading now?

I read quite a few kindle edition short stories this month: Holiday Hotel by Barbara Joe Williams, Double D Death/Double D Death II by Felicia SW. Thomas, A Husband for Christmas by Nakia R. Laushaul, Wife Insurance by A’ndrea J. Wilson.

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

I’m a versatile writer. So far, I’ve self-published two poetry books, a spiritual mystery novel with four main African-American female characters and a short self-help LIVE YOUR DREAM guide. I’m a fan of first-person point of view, but third person seems to be more favorable for most readers. I creatively weaved both POVs into my first novel, Dearly Beloved S.I.S.T.A.S.

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

As soon as an idea hits me, I log it ‘write away’. I have a weird method of outlining. I don’t create a traditional layout. Instead, I draft breakdowns of characters, scenes and dialogue. I tend to write out of order, in spurts, but somehow, it all comes together during the editing process.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

Not always. While writing my first novel, I tried to control the plot way too much, and then the characters just took over. I’m allowing my second novel to write itself… I think. Ha!

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

LIVE YOUR DREAM is the ultimate message within all of my nonfiction books. My first novel is a suspenseful and entertaining story that delivers an overall message of faith.

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

I like to write while nibbling on all types of fruity candy and dry cereal (Honey Nut Cheerios). For some reason, I write better on an empty stomach, but I always have juice or water readily available to keep myself hydrated.

17. Tell us about your other passions.

I’m extremely passionate about sports. As a former athlete, I once dreamed of becoming the first woman to join an NBA team.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

Hmmm… I don’t sleep well unless I’m positioned on the write/right side of the bed. That’s if I sleep at all.

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

“Sheila wanted to change, but she was now the prototype for an all-in-one persona… A nemesis to her own resilience, trying to spearhead a solo movement. And Sunni made her feel like she could do anything…” Dearly Beloved S.I.S.T.A.S

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

Thank you! I hope you enjoy my work enough to become a long-time supporter of my #WriterGrind™!

LIVE YOUR DREAM, whatever it may be.

Great message about living your dream. Everyone should strive to do that. Thanks, Liltera.
E&M

For Your Reading Pleasure…Dawn Geiger

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Our feature today is with Dawn Geiger. Let’s read about her approach to the writing process.

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

My name is Dawn M. Geiger and I was born and raised in central Virginia. I am an author, an educational consultant, and a life coach. I am a mother to two adult children, a mother-in-law to two more, and Nana to two precious grandchildren. I am an avid bargain shopper, a fun party planner, and a DIY crafter.
Please feel free to contact me at: http://www.dawnmgeiger.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dawnmgeigerauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dawn_geiger
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Dawn-M.-Geiger/e/B00NMVFR3Y/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

Once I can see the characters’ faces in my mind, I name them.

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

Yes, my characters are real and have a story of their own.

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

No. Music is quite distracting when I’m writing because I often find myself singing along with the song and losing my train of thought.

5. How long have you been writing?

I started writing my first book about 10-12 years ago. During that time I would write a page or two and then let it sit for weeks or months at a time before picking it up again. I was quite busy with my family and my writing priority would only click in occasionally. However, during this past year I was able to finish writing my book. I’m hoping my next book won’t take near as long to complete as my first one.

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

I’ve always known that I had a story to tell, but it wasn’t until I started sharing my story with others a few years ago that I realized that I had to keep putting the words onto paper.

7. Do you have a muse?

Yes, my family and the students that I speak with daily keep my inspiration going.

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

An editor who asks great thinking questions is always very helpful! I also enjoy reading and attending writing workshops and conferences.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

I always have a notebook or post-it notes close by so I can jot down my thoughts as they come to mind.

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

I’m slowly beginning to work on my next book, which is a continuation of my first.

11. What book are you reading now?

I‘m currently not reading anything right now; however, I do enjoy reading books from many different genres.

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

My genre is family relationships, and my POV is first person and limited third.

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

I begin by making lots of notes and lists. I then divide my notes into chapters as I work through an outline. I also develop my characters to match the story line.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

I have no idea. I let the book write itself, so to speak.

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

Yes. The message I want to convey in my writing is that regardless of your current situation, there is always hope for a brighter future!

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

Not usually; however, diet coke and water are my drinks of choice.

17. Tell us about your other passions.

My passions are spending time with my family, traveling, education, and humanitarian work.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

I would like to someday start an educational foundation.

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

Chapter 1, paragraph 1 of Mama Knew Best.
​Going for car rides was one of my favorite things to do, so when Mama asked if I wanted ​to go for a ride with her, Grandma, and Grandpap, I jumped up excitedly. “Yes ma’am!” I ​squealed, running towards the front door.
“Slow down,” said Grandma, smiling as she helped me put on my jacket.
I was really excited by the thought of being the special one today, being that it was rare when ​one of us children got to ride in the car with just the adults.
After zipping up my jacket, Grandma, Grandpap, Mama, and I walked out the door and down ​the front steps. As I turned to wave goodbye to my brother, Sammy, and cousins, Mandy and ​Scott, Mandy ask her mother, “Where are they going?”
“They are going for a ride and will be back soon,” Sue answered.
“I want to go!” Sammy cried, running across the porch towards the steps.
“Maybe next time Sammy,” Sue replied, pulling him close to her side.
​After climbing into the back seat of Grandpap’s old white station wagon, I quickly rolled down ​my window as far as it would go and smiled out into the sunshine while Mama slid in next to ​me. As Grandma and Grandpap got in up front, I didn’t notice that I was the only one smiling.​

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

Thank you all so much for your encouragement and support. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thanks Dawn! We’re so glad you shared.
🎄E&M🎄

Fun Facts – Chapter 4 The Waiting Book 1

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Three
“Who’s keeping the twins?” Arianne asked as she and Lesley chopped vegetables in the Douglas kitchen.
“Well, you know Sylvia. Bless her heart. She demands that all our babysitters have advanced lifesaving skills to take care of our kids.” Lesley shook her head. “So we got Layton.”
Arianne smiled at the thought of Layton. If anyone could be a good influence over her eldest son, it would be Layton Beard. She and Nash had started dating a little over a year ago, and in that time she’d seen her son more often than in several years prior. Very seldom did she allow herself to dwell on her own bad relationship with Nash. The reality was she’d failed him as a mother, and he had turned to the one person who thrived on hearing his story of neglect. Her son’s friendship with Millie was the strongest bond in his life. Arianne despised her more than any other person, and cringed thinking of how her husband had concealed Nash’s involvement with the woman for years. By the time Arianne figured it out, Nash was old enough to do whatever the hell he wanted. Everything got slightly better after Graceanne was born, but he always managed to find fault with her and Andrew again. It wasn’t until he started a relationship with Layton that they began to see a marked change in their son. With long blonde hair and deep blue eyes, she was equally as beautiful as she was kind—an unlikely albeit lucky match for Nash.
“Can I just say again how much I love that girl?”
“For the nine millionth time? Sure,” Lesley joked. “She is great. Made a huge impact on Nash.”
“I was just thinking that,” she said, transferring the lettuce from the cutting board to the colander. “Did I tell you that when Andrew talked to Rachael today, she said something about going to the Caribbean?”
“What? No.”
“Yeah. And I’m wondering what the hell she’s thinking? She knows I’m tied up with the benefit all next week. Don’t get me wrong, I love having Gracie. Nothing makes me happier. But Rachael knew I was going to be busy. I know she did.”
Lesley frowned as she retrieved glasses from the cabinet. “That’s odd.”
“Tell me about it. I’m having breakfast with her tomorrow morning. I mean, I hate to ask Rachael’s parents to take Gracie. I know they will, but they live so far away. I don’t know. We’ll figure it out.”
“Well, if that doesn’t work, you know she can stay with me and the girls.”
“Three little girls under three years old?” Arianne said. “That’s a lot for anyone.”
“Ha… yeah… but some days, when Liene has dumped spaghetti on the floor and Stowe is screaming her head off, I think, what’s one more?”
“Those girls are a mess,” Arianne said, walking into the dining room with a handful of plates.
“So are we going to talk about the text you sent me?” Lesley asked when she returned. “You’re telling Andrew about Greg?”
“She paused for a few seconds. “No. I’m pissed Gregory’s bringing her. But no. That won’t solve anything. I was just being dramatic.”
“No, it won’t. Especially since he finally seems halfway content in his life.” Lesley wasn’t surprised to see the hurt look on her best friend’s face. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.”
“He really seems happy?”
Shrugging her shoulders, Lesley exhaled. She’d never understand why the two of them tortured themselves like they did. But as she wrapped her arms around Arianne, she knew it wasn’t her job to understand. It was her job to be a friend. That meant telling the truth even when it hurt. “You know he’s not truly happy unless he’s with you. But yeah, Sylvia says this girl is different. Greg’s kept her around a little longer than most.”
“Do you think he still loves me?” she asked, wiping away fresh tears.
“Oh Ari. Ari, you know he does. You know it. But honey, you’re married. To his best friend.”
Arianne sighed. The truth was never easy to hear but Lesley was right. It was unfair to Gregory for her to hold so tightly to something that ended years ago.
“He’s a good man. He’d never ask you to leave Andrew. Look, no one can take away what the two of you shared. Having said that, you have to let him go. He deserves happiness just as much as you, and if you can’t be together, well, y’all have to find it however you can. How are you and Andrew anyway?” she asked, trying to change the subject. The more Arianne thought about Gregory, the more depressed she seemed to get.
Opening the refrigerator, she pulled out dressings for the salad. “Busy. Too busy. I don’t remember the last time we made love or even spent quality time together. We argued today because he’s missed every single one of Pike’s games. I know he doesn’t mean to. I have to at least hope that.”
Lesley frowned. She wouldn’t bring it up to Arianne, but Andrew’s behavior now mirrored what happened fourteen years ago when his infidelities drove her into Gregory’s arms. Even though he’d come a long way, Lesley didn’t trust Andrew as far as she could pick up his six-foot-two ass and throw him. Before she could answer, the doorbell chime interrupted; Gregory and his girlfriend had arrived.
Arianne’s nails dug into her best friend’s forearm. “I don’t… I don’t want to do this.”
“Deep breaths,” she said, calmly. “You have to. You’re not competing for his heart, you got that years ago. Now, let’s go in there and be gracious and cordial.” They walked arm-in-arm toward the great room where they heard Andrew’s booming voice introducing Tiffany to Sylvia. “Right, Ari?”
Locking eyes with Gregory across the room, Arianne said in a small but determined voice, “Right.”
“There they are,” Andrew said pointing at the two women. “Tiffany, this is Sylvia’s lovely wife Lesley.”
“Hey.” Lesley extended her hand to the petite woman. “Very happy to meet you.”
“You too, Lesley.”
“And my beautiful wife…” Andrew’s arms encircled her waist. “Arianne.”
She smiled and looked at every inch of this woman who enamored her beloved. Tiffany was a cute girl with a generous bosom; she was possibly around her stepdaughter, Sydney’s age. That would make her almost thirty years his junior and certainly ready for marriage and children with the CMO of River City Medical Center. “Good to meet you, Tiffany. Welcome to our home.”
“I’m so glad to be meeting everyone. Gregory has nothing but good words to say about all of you,” she replied. “May I help you ladies in the kitchen?”
Andrew answered for them. “That sounds like a plan. I’m gonna run out here and get the grill fired up. Hope you like steak and sausage, Tiffany. We’re all carnivores here.”
“Sure do,” she said, leaning up to kiss Gregory on the cheek.
Sylvia motioned to Gregory. “We’ll come with you, Andrew. I know Greg wants to go over tomorrow’s meeting before we sit down for dinner.”
“Tiffany, we have a rule with these three. They’ll talk about work all night long if we don’t stop them,” Lesley said, glaring at the three doctors playfully. “They get their time before we eat and then no more hospital business the rest of the night. You’ll have to help us keep them in check. Greg and my wife are usually the worst offenders.”
“I’m usually too drunk to give two shits about the conversation,” Andrew added, opening the patio doors. “Ari, I’ll be ready for the meat in about five,” he said as Gregory and Sylvia followed him into the backyard.
“Arianne, your home is gorgeous. I’ve always loved the Mediterranean style,” Tiffany said, politely. “How long have you lived here?”
“About fifteen years. We moved from New Orleans when Metairie was much more suburb and less crowded. Now you almost have to go across the lake to get any peace,” she said. Though it was hard not to judge everything about her, Tiffany seemed sweet enough. Arianne decided that she could spend the night getting to know this girl, but talking to Gregory about his girlfriend? She wasn’t prepared for that. “Where are you from, Tiffany?”
“I’m from a very small town in northwest Louisiana. Zwolle,” she answered, washing her hands at the sink. “You’ve probably never heard of it.”
“Honey…” Lesley’s clear blue eyes sparkled. “I’m from Bodcaw, Arkansas, and my mamaw and papaw used to drive us down to Zwolle every October for the Tamale Festival. We’d stay for almost a week camping at Toledo Bend State Park.”
Tiffany’s face brightened, grateful for some common ground among Gregory’s friends. After four months of dating and several missed meetings, making a good impression was paramount. “Yeah?”
“I didn’t know that, Les,” Arianne said, turning towards her best friend.
“Nothing my grandparents liked more than eating tamales by a campfire. Goodness, I hadn’t thought of that in years.”
“Well, I’m glad my hometown brings you such happy memories, Lesley.” Facing Arianne, she held her hands out for inspection. “Clean hands. What can I do for you?”
“You’re the guest, Tiffany. You shouldn’t be doing anything.”
Undoing the tie on the bag of sourdough rolls, she said, “I can butter rolls.” After accepting a butter knife from Lesley, Tiffany looked in Arianne’s direction. “Gregory told me you’ve been busy with the Hope Benefit. This will be my first time to attend. I’ve heard about it, but never had the invite to go.”
“I guess it’s your lucky year then.” Arianne gave a closed-mouthed smile through gritted teeth.
“Arianne, that’s an understatement in my book. I wish I could tell y’all how great that man is out there.” Tiffany’s head fell, concealing her blush. “Y’all know him better than me though. You know he’s amazing. I didn’t think it was possible to find someone like him. I just… he’s the best.”
Lesley glanced at the counterfeit smile on Arianne’s face and then to her eyes. Green and expressive, they always told the truth, and now they were screaming “get me the hell out of here.”
“Gregory is one of the most genuine men you will ever know.” Lesley took the meat out of the refrigerator. “Ari, Andrew should be ready for the meat.”
“Oh,” Tiffany exclaimed, sliding the rolls into the oven. “May I take it?”
“Sure.” Lesley opened the side door leading to the patio. “Thank you for your help.”
“Anytime.”
Outside, Andrew stood alone by the grill. “Where’s everybody, Dr. Douglas?”
“Hey Tiffany, it’s Andrew, please. You’re part of us now. No need to be formal,” he said, taking the bowl full of marinating steak and sausage. “Greg and Sylvia went into the pool house to play a game of air hockey. They have a little bit of a competition going on.”
“Yeah? Who usually wins?”
“Sylvia. She has much better hand-eye coordination. Which is saying a lot because Greg is a kick-ass heart surgeon. Did surgery on me.” Andrew proudly undid the top button of his shirt, revealing the top of the six-inch vertical scar over his sternum. “If it wasn’t for him and my ex-wife, I’d be dead.”
“Oh? Your ex? Y’all must have a good relationship.”
Andrew’s jovial laughter carried underneath the awning. “Well, we do. But Ari and Mills? Not so much. They haven’t tried to kill each other in about three years so I say, that’s a good relationship. Millie is a phenomenal doctor and Gregory honestly didn’t want to do the surgery with anyone else.”
“How long ago was it?”
“Fourteen years. And I’m still going strong.” He leaned in, eying the young woman. “I know you might be concerned that it took so long for him to introduce you.” The steaks sizzled as Andrew tossed them on the grill. “Damn, that’ll be good. But Tiff, he only brings the women around that he’s serious about. In the years I’ve known him—and mind you, that’s a long while—I’ve only met three of his girlfriends. And his family, less than that.”
Closing her eyes, she released a long-held sigh, relieved to hear that admission from Gregory’s best friend. “I was so scared, Andrew, that it was because he didn’t like me. And I was scared y’all wouldn’t either. I know our age difference…”
“Aw hell,” Andrew muttered, sipping his bourbon and water. “My wife hadn’t even turned twenty and I was thirty-two. I know there’s a few more years than that between you and Greg, but being so young, Ari was practically jail bait. And here we are twenty-six years later.”
“How did y’all meet?”
“She’d just moved to New Orleans and started working at Rivers as an aide. Had it not been for Greg doing some sleuth work on my behalf, I never would have talked to her,” he said, looking out across the backyard. “She blew me off that first time. But Mother Nature intervened the second time when her car broke down on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in a huge ass thunderstorm. We’re talking hurricane force winds.”
“Oh goodness.” Tiffany’s eyes widened, awaiting the rest of his story.
“I just happened to need some time to myself that evening and was headed to my camp on the lake in Madisonville. When I finally convinced her to come with me, we were both soaked to the bone and freezing. We went to the boathouse and ‘bam,’ it hit me. I didn’t want just one night with this woman, I wanted a lifetime.”
“What a great story to tell your kids and grandkids. And why was Arianne on the Causeway that day?” Tiffany wondered.
Andrew bit his bottom lip realizing his wife had been very vague about why she’d been driving there during such a bad thunderstorm. “I don’t know? I think she’d had an argument with a friend.” He nodded thinking that sounded about right. “Clearing her head, same as me.”

An hour later, pleased with the way dinner went, Arianne quietly excused herself to the kitchen to prepare dessert. She still wanted to vomit, seeing the way Tiffany rubbed all over her beloved, but the night was almost over and she’d managed to avoid him. In her mind, that was a small victory, but as if he knew she was thinking of him, Gregory came in the kitchen shaking his almost empty glass.
“Oh Gregory, I’m sorry. That was rude of me,” she said. “I should have asked about refills.”
“Ari, it’s me. I can wait on myself.” He opened the freezer to add more ice to his tea. “I wanted to talk anyway,” he replied with a nervous smile. “Well?”
“Well, what?” Arianne played dumb.
“Am I going to get your opinion?”
“Of?”
“Of Tiffany?” He led.
“There’s a strawberry virgin daiquiri I made for Pike in the fridge. She’s welcome to it.” The words dropped from her mouth like a guillotine before she could stop them. Immediately she wished she could rewind and start over. “Gregory, that was wrong. I had no right,” she apologized, placing her hand over his.
He jerked away. “No, Ari… you didn’t. This is exactly why I didn’t want to bring her.”
“She’s almost thirty years younger.” Arianne tried to bite her tongue, but it was impossible. “What could she possibly want with you, but the charmed existence of being a doctor’s wife?”
“Thanks for the compliment. Isn’t that the damn pot calling the kettle black, Mrs. Douglas?” he countered.
“You know damn good and well why I said yes to Andrew.”
“Yeah, and look at you now.” He threw up his hands. “Still just as conflicted as you were back then. I’m not doing this with you. I think it’s time for us to leave.” He breathed out, exasperated.
“Gregory, don’t do that. Be rational,” she argued.
“Coming from the most rational person in the world. Go to hell, Arianne, you and your perfect life.” Gregory sneered, storming out of the kitchen.
Regretting their conversation, Arianne’s head lowered, ashamed. She had earned that outburst. Every bit of it. If anyone deserved happiness it was Gregory. The question she had to ask herself was: why did she have such a hard time being happy for him?

In the great room, Lesley stared straight ahead, wondering what kind of heavy conversations were going on between the two unrequited lovers. Gregory and Arianne fought hard and loved harder, and when they were together, the rest of the world didn’t exist.
“Hey, where you at?” Sylvia whispered to her wife. “You seem a world away.”
“I don’t mean to, love,” she replied with a peck on Sylvia’s cheek.
Moments later, an upset Gregory rushed out of the kitchen and bent down to Tiffany’s ear.
“Hey Syl, I think we might have a problem.” Lesley tilted her head in Gregory’s direction.
“Crap. They can’t stay away from each other long enough for us to have a dinner? Damn, I need to talk to him about that.” Sylvia shook her head. “Guess we should help them out.”
Wasting no time, Lesley stood, hoping an inebriated Andrew wouldn’t relate Gregory and Tiffany leaving early with anything that may or may not have happened in the kitchen. “I know this is shameful, y’all, she said before the group. “But my wife and I miss our babies. This is the longest we’ve been away from them.”
Laughter filled the room, the loudest being Andrew. She was glad. He suspected nothing.
Agreeing with a strained smile, Gregory helped Tiffany stand. “Yeah, it’s late for me too. I have two early meetings, and we’re still having that luncheon with the interns tomorrow, right Syl?’
Sipping her drink, Sylvia nodded yes. “At thirteen hundred.”
“Great. I’ll see the two of you tomorrow morning,” Gregory said to the other two doctors. “Andy, please tell Ari thank you for another lovely evening.” After a swift handshake, he gripped the bronze door handle.
“We enjoyed meeting you, Tiffany. Keep this old guy in line.” Lesley gave Tiffany a quick hug before excusing herself while the others said their goodbyes.
Finding Arianne up on the levee in the back yard, Lesley chastised, “Next time you want to fight with Greg, please don’t do it during dinner when Andrew is throwing back the bourbons like Prohibition’s starting tomorrow?”
“Did they leave?” she asked, ignoring her friend’s rant.
“They did.”
“What did Andrew say?” Sipping her own bourbon, her eyes were fixed on the waves.
“Nothing,” she reassured. “When I realized Greg was upset, Syl and I ran interference and it’s fine now. Greg was mad though.” Lesley knew the answer but still asked the question, “What did you say to him?”
“I made a comment about her age.” Arianne’s heart burned as much as the whiskey easing down her throat, yet she swallowed hard. One day she might find a way to be happy for Gregory and his hot, sexy girlfriend… but today was not that day.

Fun Facts

– Today’s picture is of the Sunshine Bridge in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, a very important place for Ari and Greg in Book 2.

– Layton’s name came from a street in Monroe, Louisiana, which is the only large city near where I live. Oddly, there’s also a Garrison Road (Gregory’s father’s name) and a Mills Farm (Millie’s nickname) in Rayville.

-A local supermarket sells frozen Zwolle tamales, and they are kick-ass.

– Arianne’s car that broke down on the Causeway was a 1979 Ford Thunderbird. We took that detail out.

-The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway has seven turnarounds. It truly is one of the most impressive bridge in the world. The only other one that compares (IMO) is the LA 1 Bridge to Grand Isle. There’s a moment on both these bridges when you realize… it’s you, a bridge, and WATER. Scary cool!!!

– Greg and Ari have such a volatile and maddening relationship. It’s always run the gamut of extremes. I tried to make them romantic and loving, but they didn’t want that. They wanted explosions and fire.

Hope y’all have an awesome week…yay for Christmas! 🎄Elizabeth

For Your Reading Pleasure…Leslie Sansom

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On the blog today, we have Leslie Sansom. Enjoy reading about her writing process.

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

I started writing about 7 years because I was depressed. It became an outlet for me. I have released 7 self published books and am about to release my 8th. https://www.facebook.com/lesliemsansom @lmsansom http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HES7W3Y I also write 2 blogs. motherof2kids.wordpress.com thedirtygirlsbookclub.wordpress.com

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

All of my names for characters come to me in different ways. My first book, I used names that meant something to me personally.

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

Sometimes

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

I listen to the West Wing on Netflix. I usually have it pulled up on a tab on my computer while I write. I have seen it so many times I don’t have to watch it to know what’s going on.

5. How long have you been writing?

About 7 years

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

I still haven’t realized that yet.

7. Do you have a muse?

My muse is Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I love his eyes. The way he can convey his emotion just from the way he looks at you. I call him the Sexy Serial Killer, because you never know if he wants to sleep with you or kill you.

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

I read all the time. I have taken a few creative writing classes. I would love to attend a writers workshop.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

no

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

Right now I am working on 2 books. The first is the 4th in my Keeping her in the Dark series “Surrender”. The series is about Liam Hastings, a rich businessman from London who buys a young girl at a slave auction, thinking it was a completely voluntary situation. After realizing his mistake he doesn’t know what to do with her. If he lets her go he risks himself, but if he keeps her he is afraid of corrupting her. Sold, Consumed, Betrayed and now Surrender. I am done with the first draft, but now I need to go back and edit/rewrite. The other book is the first in my King of Kings series. It is about a motorcycle club member that obtains a girl from another motorcycle club to babysit so she can not testify against them. Things heat up when he starts to care for her and he finds out they’re plan is to kill her anyway.

11. What book are you reading now?

I am not reading anything right now.

12. What genre do you write in? Erotica/Romance What about PoV?

I write from both of main characters POV.

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

I usually write, actually write with pen and paper a rough outline and list of characters with stats, how they look to me, age, job, wife, kids, parents. Then I break it down in chapters. While writing sometimes my characters take me on a turn away from the outline and I have to re-think it.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

I usually know the beginning, the big drama and the ending.

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

purely for entertainment

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

I love to eat jelly bellies! Juicy Pear is my favorite!

17. Tell us about your other passions.

I am scrapbooker. I love to scrapbook. I take a lot of pictures of my kids, the outdoors and my dog. I love expressing my creativity through paper and embellishments.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

I am a Navy wife and my family and I lived in Spain for 3 years.

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

Here is something from Surrender: Keeping her in the Dark Vol. 4 : “Detective, I am going to say this one time and one time only. People tell me that on my happiest of days I am no joy to be around. So how do you think I am going to be if you keep trying to drag my wife into this? I suggest that you keep my family out of this. For both our sakes,” I said.
“Are you threatening me, Mr. Hastings?” he asked.

“No sir I am not.” I was not threatening him. I was very serious.

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

I appreciate my small flock of readers very much. They are a loyal group and I love them. For any future readers, Welcome to my world!!! Thank you for giving me a chance.

Thanks Leslie! Good luck to you and your books.
E&M

Ragan’s Song Review

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For anyone who enjoys a story about second chances, Ragan’s Song is a perfect choice. We meet our heroine, Ragan, at the beginning of her journey home. For Ragan, returning to Fairfield Corners is bittersweet. She loves her parents, friends, and family, but secrets of the past threaten to destroy her chance at a new life. Ragan’s Song is a lighthearted read…a sweet romance with a touch of paranormal. Wonderful installment to the Fairfield Corners Series.

***This book would be enjoyable to someone who likes standalones, but are still part of a series. Presently, I’m reading the first Fairfield Corners, Saving Cassie, and I’m not having any problems following along. It’s recommended that you read them in order, but if you’re a bit of an odd bird – like me – you won’t be confused or thrown off if you happen to read 2 first. You will, however, be itching to find out Cassie and Logan’s story. Remember, this is the LAST day for the sale.

Saving Cassie 🇺🇸
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FNQTYAS

Ragan’s Song 🇺🇸
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OX5EKFE