What’s With All the Love Songs? #MFRWAuthor

Here’s a really pretty version of a lovely song. In past blogging marathons I would dig up a sentimental song or two once in a while, sometimes when I was in on of ‘those’ moods. This time, I’m leading up to a special event.

With the very wise and welcome assistance of the exceptionally clever and multi talented Jami Gray, who understands how modern, non animal oriented, things work, we have put together a Blog Hop (pause for heralds to blow their long horns).

The theme will be Labor of Love. Clever, don’t you think? Labor Day weekend and a great list of Romance authors.

Yes! There will be prizes! Grand prize is a Kindle. It seems Kindle has become a fairly standard prize BUT this one will come preloaded with books from our awesome participating authors. The winner will be decided by Rafflecopter, which means the more you enjoy yourselves on the blogs, the better your opportunities to win, if not the Kindle there will also be gift cards.2015_8 Labor of Love hop_D2 copy

How cool is that? What’s also cool is our graphic. Dontcha just love it!

I’ll be back with a list of our authors and reminders for you carve out a few minutes and come on down.

 

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COVER REVEAL…**Clouded** #MFRWAuthor

Clouded.v2Clouded
By M.S. Kaye
A Sumerian water and sky god myth collides with a modern high school.
Ayanna is a math nerd, logical and rational, even cold, but Calder makes her feel things she never had before. Somehow, she’s able to accept it when she discovers he’s a reincarnated Sumerian water god. Will she be able to accept the full truth, that the story of Enki and Inanna has been reborn in a modern Ohio high school?
Release Date: 9/12/15
Inkspell Publishing
About the Author:
M.S. Kaye has several published books under her black belt. A transplant from Ohio, she resides with her husband Corey in Jacksonville, Florida, where she tries not to melt in the sun. Find suspense and the unusual at   Books By MSK.
To receive news on upcoming releases, sign up for email updates on her website.

Contact M. S. Kaye at:

Facebook  Twitter  Google+  Goodreads   Amazon  TSU  Linked In

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Thank You for Listening #MFRWAuthor

This is a self indulgent post, with just a little bit of trying to be better.

I’ve always had ‘odd’ feet. Not bad just not great and heaven knows not pretty. My mother, on the other hand, had lovely small feet with high arches. Feet that she crammed into fashionable shoes for most of her life, ending up with some sore tootsies. I wore shoes because they were required, or when the ground was rough and stickery. And when it was cold, of course. Boots whenever I could. So the not great feet turned into “what the heck happened to your feet?”

These feet served me well for walking and some running. None of that jogging stuff, but occasional bursts of faster walking, especially when I was showing dogs. As long as I kept walking and sort of running, I could walk and run…if that makes any sense?

Then Tom went into the hospital for five months, I sort of stumbled through life wearing the easiest shoes to put on, with neat Velcro straps. Didn’t realize they were too short until after he had died and I tried to pick up the pieces. Then I found out I had forgotten how to run.

I go to a running shoe store…they should know, right? I explain my problem: when I try to run in shoes my toes can’t feel the ground, they curl up and I stumble. The running shoe person said “You’ve been wearing shoes too short, I can tell since your toes are curling under. And since you have a narrow heel I have to put you in these shoes.”

The shoes worked on my wide front/narrow heel foot but didn’t do much for the can’t run, although having more toe space helped a little. Off to the podiatrist.

“You have flat feet,” he says. Well yeah I’ve had flat feet on and off most of my life. This toes curling under is new, what can I do about it? Use an orthotic for your flat feet. But…my toes curl under when I try to run and having these nice special shoes doesn’t really help and…and…

The orthotic helped some. I had worn out my first pair of narrow heel shoes so I bought another pair, sighing some at the exquisite ugliness of them in their blue striped whiteness. And I started experimenting with different shoes to run and show dogs since even with the orthotic and the special for my narrow heel shoe, I stumbled. So for the brief time I was in the ring, I wore shoes that might not support really well but allowed my toes to feel marginally better.

Recently I thought I’d give the first running shoe experts one more try. On a whim, on a hot day when I was in Albuquerque for various other projects and had sweated more than usual, I pulled into the parking lot. Went inside, gave my sorry story. I was pretty much the only person in the store, and it seemed like I had grown an audience by the time I finished with my sad story of ‘can’t run and really want to.” Turns out the person attending was learning so I had the input of the store manager (who shall heretofore be identified as he who worked miracles) who advised which boxes of shoes should be brought out to fit my half size larger than last fitting feet.

Half size larger? That’s good, right? Means those toe stretching exercises I found on the Internet are doing their thing, right?

The third pair of shoes, in a shocking raspberry sort of color, wrapped themselves around my feet and said, “Hello…is it me your looking for?”

Hey, it’s a great song!

001And…here are the shoes. I loves them I loves them. And when I put them on to run around the Agility practice, I actually RAN. Fire Dragon is in a state of bliss. He doesn’t have to wait for me any more!

They actually LISTENED to me. HEARD me and responded to what I was telling them. Seems that’s become kind of rare these days.

Now for the trying to be better part. I was babbling my happiness to a friend, who walks so much she leaves my FitBit numbers in the dust. She said something about her upcoming foot surgery.

Foot surgery? Did I know about this? Or was I too busy talking to her I didn’t listen?

A moment when I did listen

A moment when I did listen. Photo by Shiri Hoshen

How many of us are too busy talking, or listening to ourselves, to hear what the people who matter most are saying? Maybe we…maybe I…need to take that extra second to hear?

Thank you for listening.

 

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Texting and Driving: Redux

MonaKarel:

yes too important not to share! I admit to talking on the phone while driving, usually with an earbud in place. But not texting. Never texting

Originally posted on mwsasse:

I originally posted this a year ago, but it recently came up again in my classroom and thought it might be timely to post again. I asked my students how many of them have been in a moving car while someone was texting? 39/52 said they were. Wow! How incredible it is that parents value their children so little. You think that comment is too harsh, well it isn’t. Texting and driving is 17 times more dangerous than driving drunk at the legal limit. 17 times!!!! That’s crazy. The post below will give you the particulars. I told my students that they should grab the phone and throw it out the window. After all, a broken phone is much better than a dead child. Here we go: 

This feels like a public service announcement. Here goes …

I had a long interesting discussion with some of my students today. First…

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Sharing Wonderful News #MFRWAuthor

An ongoing punishment against females for the crime of being female has become a crime itself. “Nigeria made history by outlawing female genital mutilation.” Story HERE

Does this mean the practice of cutting into female genitalia will cease immediately? Sadly, no. But this is a crucial step toward shining a spotlight on the mutilation. And that’s a good start.

A very good start.

Good Morning Sunshine

Good Morning Sunshine

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What We Do For Love #MFRWAuthor #LOLHop

How many of us can remember at least one incident where we did something strictly for love? Whether it was love of a partner, a family member, a place, an animal, or all of the above? Even knowing it might well be an uneven trade. We could give our all and in the end, have only empty hands and empty hearts to show for our efforts.

I went looking for one of the classic versions of this song, and found a gem by Aretha Franklin. What a unique interpretation.

We might even ask ourselves: Was it worth the time and effort and sacrifice? Each of us must answer for ourselves. In the meantime, there are morning walks, and good memories.

007

Making Memories

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Generating Page-Turning Momentum—Characters & The Wound

MonaKarel:

Because this post is showing up at the PERFECT time, when I’m befuddled at the good story I’ve completed but I’m lost on how to take it from good to really good and maybe great. Especially because I forgot something I heard a long time ago: she’s beautiful, he’s handsome and rich…so WHO CARES what happens to them.
I don’t have words strong enough to praise this post, so I’m just gonna share.

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 10.17.54 AM Hmmm, what’s the story behind THIS?

Can we answer the question, “What is your book about?” in one sentence. Is our answer clear and concise? Does it paint a vivid picture of something others would want to part with time and money to read? Plot is important, but a major component of a knockout log-line is casting the right characters.

Due to popular demand I am running my Your Story in a Sentenceclass in about two weeks and participants have their log lines shredded and rebuilt and made agent-ready. Log-lines are crucial because if we don’t know what our book is about? How are we going to finish it? Revise it? Pitch it? Sell it?

Once we have an idea of what our story is about and have set the stage for the dramatic events that will unfold, we must remember that fiction is about PROBLEMS. Plain and simple…

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Hero Rats in Tanzania #HeroRats #Tanzania #MFRWAuthor

I have to admit I do not like rats. I know they are clever, intelligent, and all sorts of other wonderful things. My dislike goes back to my time working with horses. And then there was Ben…

But this story could almost make me change my mind. The program has been in place since 1997; I only now learned about these rats. Check it out

http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/tanzania605/index.html

There’s a video you can watch as well. What a brilliant, innovative idea. I learned about this through an e-mail…can’t find the source, but it has pictures if you can’t play that video.

***

Throughout the world, places that have been involved in war and/or civil strife often have large minefields that still need clearing. In 2013, it was estimated that there was a global average of around nine mine-related deaths every day. The situation is especially dire in Africa.

Typically, clearing a minefield involves men in body armor walking in very precise lines with metal detectors. Anything (from a rusty nail to an old ammo cartridge) that sets the detectors off must be investigated before moving on.  A new method of bomb detection using rats, however, is flipping this process on its head.

A Belgian NGO called APOPO has developed a way to train African pouched rats (named for the storage pouch in their cheeks) to sniff out bombs quickly and safely.

They used this rat because it has an incredibly fine-tuned sense of smell and a long lifespan (8-9 years) to yield returns on the nine months of training they undergo.

They’re called Hero Rats, and not one has died in the line of duty since the program started in 1997.

The average mine requires 5 kg (roughly 11 pounds) of weight to trigger an explosion, but even the biggest of these rats are only around 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds).

Since they’re trained to sniff out explosives exclusively, they aren’t distracted by other metal objects the way human minesweepers are.

They can effectively search 200 square meters in less than 20 minutes.

A team of humans would need around 25 hours to do the same job.

Since they’re in the African sun a lot, the Hero Rats get sunscreen to keep them cancer free.

If a rat does get cancer, it receives full medical treatment.

The rats are “paid” in avocados, peanuts, bananas and other yummy, healthy treats.

After about 4-5 years on the job (or whenever they lose interest in working), they’re allowed to retire.

Retirement consists of eating all the tasty fruit their little hero heart’s desire.

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The Games We Play With Ourselves #MFRWAuthor

Good Morning Sunshine

Good Morning Sunshine

We all do. Yes, you do too. Wait, not those games! What kind of a girl do you…never mind.

I mean the little half truths we tell ourselves. Like: “I can get by on four hours of sleep” or “I can get that done in a couple hours.” I can put in a garden, and train the dogs, and go to my job all in the same day. No problem.

The ones I like (or hate!) the most have to do with cleaning the house, or packing for a trip. No, I can NOT load the motor home in less than half a day. And no matter what lies I tell myself, fifteen hours driving is fifteen hours driving, or in the motor home more like twenty. We can’t fold time…yet.

Then there are the writing lies. Like: sure I can get all those reports, articles, and reviews done all at the same time. They won’t have any impact on edits or story creation or that great Deep Story class I’m taking. NO problem on racing through edits…even when deep down inside I’m wondering if this is the best ever or just a bunch of rambling words on the page. Yeah I know that’s not a new whine.

Maybe, in an alternate reality, I could do all these and more. Fact is not only are we all limited on available time but also on available brain cells, or maybe creative energy is a better term. We need that down time, whether it’s planting bulbs or walking with the beasts or maybe messing around with a new recipe.

Speaking of a new recipe, I had a bunch of zucchini from a recent buy. It’s the proverbial dark and stormy night and I’d seen a recipe for zuke fritters. And I thought…hmmmmm

Here’s the recipe, from the amazing ALL DAY I DREAM ABOUT FOOD. Well, okay, that’s the starter recipe. I’m avoiding grocery stores as much as possible unless I’m wearing blinders and racing through with a list. Trying so hard to break my fried chicken addiction! So I worked with what’s in the house.

The original ingredients:

  • 2 cups finely shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup golden flax seed meal
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground marjoram
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil or butter
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt for garnish (optional)

I had three zucchini so I grated those and put into a colander to drain. Chopped up an onion very fine. Used a low salt Tuscan blend of dried herbs. Flax Seed Meal, Coconut Flour, check. No feta but this amazing Cheddar Cheese from Trader http://www.turoklikefood.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Unexpected-Cheddar.jpgJoe’s “Unexpected Cheddar” with a rich, tangy flavor and a crumbly texture. Added some grated Parrmesan. All that dry stuff added to the grated zuke. Then the last little bit of chopped green chile in the fridge…next time I add more. Make a hole in the middle for the eggs so I can

Fried

Fried

whip them up a bit. Coconut flour AND butter. for cooking. Four splats into the fry pan…no way am I waiting around to fry all these so I poured some of the oil mix onto an oven pan and baked the rest.

Baked

Baked

CONCLUSION: the baked cooked up faster, held together better and was much easier to deal with. Both were ultra yummy. I’ll have a lot to share, for sure!
Done, and still time to race through ten pages of editing plus cover another Deep Story class. Of course I can.

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Introducing…Elle Wright’s THE FORBIDDEN MAN #MFRWAuthor

WrightTHEFORBIDDENMANElleI’m so excited to be able to help launch Elie’s book. Looks like there’s a Rafflecopter event going on as well. How cool is that?

EXCERPT THE FORBIDDEN MAN

“Are you still feeling cold?” he asked, adjusting the heater and finishing off the contents of his flask.
“Actually, I’m feeling pretty hot.” She jumped when he started coughing. “Are you Wright_The Forbidden Man_MMokay?”
He wiped his mouth. “I’m straight.”
“You sure?” Syd studied his face as she smoothed her hand over his back.
“Yeah.” He closed the flask and tucked it back into his pocket. “It’s the liquor.”
“Huh?”
“The bourbon.” He patted his pocket. “It’s making you hot.”
“Somehow I doubt that,” she mumbled.
“What?” he asked, leaning in closer.
I doubt it’s the liquor. “Forget it. I’m cold again.” She burrowed into him.
“You want me to make you hot?” he asked.
Her eyes flashed to his and her lips parted.
“I meant . . .” He cleared his throat and shifted in his seat.
“Uh, I can turn the heat up.”
“No.” She forced a smile and lowered her gaze. “It’s fine.”
When his hand caressed her cheek, her eyes closed of their own volition. Time seemed to stand still. She felt his warm breath on her skin above her lips. “I think—”
She dug her nails into his knee. “Maybe you should call Kent again. See where he is.”
He slid his thumb down the side of her neck.
She exhaled. So this is what Terry McMillan meant when she waited to exhale? “Because this isn’t going anywhere good. You’re acting like you want to kiss me and I know that’s not true,” she joked.
He clenched her hair in his hands and tugged gently.
“How do you know that?”
She searched his eyes. “Do you? I mean—do you want to?”
“I do—and so many other things.”
She let out a nervous giggle. “I think you’re feeling the effects of that gasoline you’re drinking, Morgan.”
His gaze dropped to her mouth as his hand crept up her thigh and rested on her hip. She jumped in surprise when he squeezed. “Actually, I don’t believe I’m drunk enough,” he said. “At this point, I know exactly what I’m doing, which means I’d be held responsible for my actions.”
Syd placed her hands on his stomach and felt his taut muscles tighten in response. “Den would kill you. So would Red.”
Morgan traced her lips with his thumb. “It may be worth it. Let me . . .” Then, his mouth was on hers, drawing a low moan from her mouth. The simple touch of his lips to hers set off a fire in Syd that seemed to burn brighter and hotter with every second.
She wrapped her arms tightly around his neck as he continued to assault her senses with his kisses. He slid his tongue across her bottom lip, demanding entrance, which she happily granted. She gripped a fistful of his hair as he pulled her onto his lap. He rocked into her, introducing her to his rock hard erection. She braced her other hand against the window as she grinded into him. He trailed hot, wet kisses down her throat and cupped her breasts in his hands. As his thumbs traced her nipples, she cried out and he captured her cry with his hot mouth.
Reluctantly, she tried to pull away, but he latched onto her bottom lip with his teeth and sucked. He obviously wasn’t ready for this to end . . . neither was she.

The-Forbidden-Man-Release-Week-BlitzAnd here’s the rafflecopter!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/26635ce2230/?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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