Armed Services Day

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First, my thanks to everyone in the Armed Services.  Welcome Home cover

I grew up with veterans, WWII seemed to be the main topic of conversation around every meal I had with the extended family (Thanksgivings, Christmases, Easters, etc.). Certainly came in handy for history class. But I loved my veterans, still do.

Then came my war and they weren’t so beloved, but thankfully the tide has turned again and people once more appreciate the sacrifices of our too young men, having to grow up way too fast and make split-second decisions in situations where I couldn’t decide after a month of studying it.

These men and women are real heroes and I’m delighted to be able to weave them into stories as my way of saying thank you. I actually hadn’t realized how many times I had chosen them as my fictional heroes but they so easily fit my idea of the wounded warrior, whether or not any injury shows. I wish them all health and happiness today.

If you want to visit any of my heroes, please stop by – Dance Partner, Wraith’s Heart, Red Shoes, Welcome Home, and Nowhere for Christmas, and coming soon Mac’s Family

Fabulous Spring!

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It’s finally that time – the snow completely gone and the temperatures making us think of the beach. It’s a family tradition for us, that week at the beach. Now that the kids are grown we pick quieter places to go. No more boardwalk and amusement parks, more long walks and sleeping late.  2012-06-16 12.31.58

We take a jigsaw puzzle for the whole family to work on and paperbacks to enjoy and often leave for the next person to enjoy as well. During the heat of the day, I’m on the balcony in the shade while the others cavort, as they will. I already know I’m not going to tan, and gave it up years ago. That’s a great time for a nap, or to work on some scene that’s eluded me earlier. It’s all about the relaxing for me – though we’ll be making new memories this year with the grandson seeing the ocean for the first time – probably not that relaxing – LOL!

theme-parks

 

 

What about you? Do you have traditional family vacations or go somewhere different every year? Is it for relaxation or sightseeing and getting some adventure in?

 

Which ever you prefer, please stop by the 1st Annual Fabulous Spring Giveaway – there’s no telling what you might find that will make your next adventure even better!  Remember – there’s a Rafflecopter at the end – don’t miss it!rafting2

Retirement Update

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Of course I’m loving it – it’s been a month and I think the good habits are beginning to be routine. Still getting up when Hubby does every weekday morning and getting in the pool – not mentioning weight loss because I’m superstitious about it, but heading in the correct direction for a change. A lot less stress eating.

Have cleaned out several corners of the house and thrown away a lot of trash that I didn’t realize was still hanging out. Of course more to come, but even I can see a difference. The guy at Goodwill now waves at me, because I’ve become familiar.  blueberries coming  050515

I discovered I have a lilac bush in  my back yard, and the blueberries are getting ready to pop. One bush is so full it’s incredible. I never had time for that before.

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And, I finished two stories that were languishing on my computer. Mac’s Family was accepted by Rebel Ink Press! Don’t have a release date yet, but got to type “The End” and now get to concentrate on the next one until the edits come in. I’m thinking of becoming a hybrid writer with the other one – self pub it and learn the other side of the business. That means creating a cover and all of that, but I have more time of my own now, so why not try it.  Pool w: Grandma 2  030215

But most important, I got to spend some more time with the grandson. He lives too far away, but he’s the only thing I’ll give up my writing time for. I wasn’t really worried about retiring, I knew I had something to do, but like all my friends that have retired, I have to wonder – how did I manage to get everything done (especially the errands) while I worked???

Many thanks to you guys for helping make this work!

Cassie’s Influence

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I realize your readers aren’t the ones I typically write for – but someone is out there reading Fifty Shades of Gray. Cassie and Tom’s story is mostly a love story, with a twist maybe. It’s a series, but you can really jump in anywhere, I hope you’ll give it a try – PK

Cassie's-Influence-Final-500

Intentionally or not, Cassie’s influence spreads. Sue’s marriage had improved through Cassie’s influence. However when Sue’s marriage unexpectedly takes a turn for the worse, Sue pushes for the solution she feels will work, a solution that could put Cassie on a collision course with the ivory brush.

Allie and Ryan are both feeling influence from Cassie and Tom. Cassie doesn’t mean to lead Allie astray – but Allie sees Cassie as a role model. Every adventure, old or new, captures Allie’s attention, which increases her desire to be more like mentor. But for better or worse, Ryan is just as determined

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Excerpt –

Steve, Tom and Ryan walked around the massive tree simply staring. Steve began again with mock gruffness. “Do you have any idea how hard it’s going to be to get this thing up and ready to decorate?” I could tell Steve wasn’t really upset at all.

“I’m not worried,” Sue said, smiling. “I have total confidence in you three, now you all just pop the tree up and we’ll decorate it and then Allie will feed us.”

Steve’s eyes began twinkling and I could tell sure as the world he was hatching a plan. He studied all the people in the room then asked Sue, “Do you trust Ryan?”

“Do I trust Ryan?” Sue repeated. “Yeah, I guess,” she agreed suspiciously. “Why?”

“You have just handed us a mountain of work without even asking. Our plans were to come home from golfing and take a nice quiet nap. I think to pay for this tonight, you’re going to get one swat for every time this little chore makes one of us cuss. Ryan can keep score.”

“Hell, no!” Sue said at once. “That’s not fair; you could cuss a blue streak just for meanness.”

“I promise to try to restrain myself, but that’s the price you’re going to have to pay for getting this tree put up.” I could see that Steve was clearly enjoying himself and I was too.

“Son-of-a-bitch,” Sue muttered quietly. “Fine,” she snapped. “Just get on with it.”

“No problem, Ryan, what’s the score so far?” Steve wanted to know.
”Two,” Ryan answered gleefully.

“Two?” Sue yelled. “He hasn’t cussed once yet. What the hell are you counting?” “Three!” the rest of us all shouted together.

We were all laughing as Steve reiterated, “I said if this little chore made any of us cuss.”

Sue looked like she wanted to bite someone. And before I could quit laughing, Allie piped up with, “Oh hell, that’s too bad.”

She surprised me, but never one to be left out I shook my head at Sue and said sadly, “Yes, it’s a damn shame.”

Before Sue could lunge at us, Tom cleared his throat. “Ah-hum…” he began, casting me a mock stern look. “I think that since all our women folk got us roped into this chore without our consent, and since Cassie and Allie seem so willing to throw Sue under the bus, I say they need to share in whatever is earned.”

Steve and Ryan seemed to think this was a great idea, and then Tom went on, “Furthermore, I’ve done chores such as this with two of these ladies before, so I suggest one additional swat for each suggestion or ‘helpful’ hint we’re given.”
It seems we ladies weren’t given a vote in this and try as we might the ‘swat count’ was mounting – way more from us trying to direct the proceeding than any cussing coming from the men. But whether it was because of our help or in spite of it, the tree turned out to be amazingly beautiful.

Donna here – you might also check out the BOXED SET!!  Enjoy!

 

 

Earth Day, 2015

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Yep, April 22, and guys, it’s important. There’s only the one planet so far, droughts, dust storms, flooding, 100-year storms every year now. Think about it. There’s no where to go, so start small. Don’t buy a plastic bottle of water, refill a recycled bottle – they’re given away free all over the place. That will help with the drought AND put less plastic in the landfill. (The water may even be better.)

plastic bottlesThey always ask me if I want plastic bags at the grocery, then realize I’ve brought my own reusable bags (which again are given away nearly everywhere these days – they fit nicely in the back of the car). The look on their faces when I say no plastic is almost funny. Even if I don’t have a bag with me, paper bags are usually available. And I can get everything in one trip rather than a plastic bag for each item

flood Paper is easy to recycle, there’s no reason to toss it in the trash. Pizza boxes, cereal boxes, spam snail mail – it’s all paper and can be recycled now.

I know some things take a little more thought, electronics, batteries, but nearly every municipality has created a place for these, even if you have to wait a few weeks until pick-up comes around again.

Maybe it sounds like too little a thing to matter, but it’s not. Every little bit helps, take the baby steps until you realize how easy it is. Just start now.  drought

Yes, I write about this stuff and try to make it more real for you. The Melting series was based on it. I’m re-editing Rth Rising and the sequel is almost done.

The Melting Book 1

Remember, you’re helping yourself as well as your descendants. Happy Earth Day!

Celebratin’

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Here you go – Hannah M, Peg B, Andrienne D and Nina H are the three winners (I can’t count any better than Cherry Adair! But it is my birthday so whatever!) Contact me at steelestories@gmail.com and let me know which of the back list you want!!

Yep, it’s my birthday again. They sure do come faster now. This is a special one – retirement just happened and that’s been great, but let me call to your attention to the fact that April 5 is Easter this year. It was 62 years ago as well. As far as I can remember, I haven’t hit Easter for my birthday except those two times. Now I did get married on Easter; that was April 15 – 36 years ago, so I’ve enjoyed the holiday for lots of personal reasons. Ryder and Easter Bunny

Daddy’s story of my birth was that he was at the hospital hanging out and the Easter bunny came hippity hopping down the hall with a baby in his basket. I was too heavy for the bunny, so Daddy offered to take me off his hands, but he really wanted a chipmunk. Great self esteem there, Pops!

Always got an Easter basket, even after I was grown and gone from the house. Try to do that for my kids too. (Just as I still celebrate Valentine’s Day because it was Daddy’s birthday). First time the grandson is getting a basket and I’m trying not to go too far out there. It’s not like he can eat the candy anyway.

Celebrate with family and break into those Cadbury eggs or go hunting outside for the plastic ones. We used real boiled eggs outside when I was a kid, then had a great egg salad afterwards. I know, not at all safe, but we all survived. Wonder if there’s still some old ones haunting Charlotte’s front yard….

Happy Birthday, Twinsy Lilly!!

butterfly cake

Retirement

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fireworks color

Here you go – Hannah M, Peg B, Andrienne D and Nina H are the three winners (I can’t count any better than Cherry Adair! But it is my birthday so whatever!) Contact me at steelestories@gmail.com and let me know which of the back list you want!!

Well it sure took its time getting here. After fifty years running one office or another, I’m out. Now please note, I really did go to work for Granddaddy’s company at the ripe old age of 12 – honest. It was a propane gas company and we also sold appliances. At first, my duties were to dust the appliances and fill the drink machine, but by the time I left at 22, I’d created the inventory system they were still using when they sold the company. It taught me a lot and gave me a great work ethic, which I’ve passed down, and I’m grateful for it.

Now hopefully I’m still young enough to do what I want to do – write full time. Yes, I’ve already been writing a long time. Ten years with fanfic from the X-Files and three years as a published author. That doesn’t count the early stuff, which no one will ever see.

I’ve made rules for myself and since I’m the boss, I have to follow them. Minimum four hours a day in the office with no Internet, TV and hopefully phone. If I’m on a roll, I can stay all day, but that’s the minimum. In the afternoons, I’ve promised to start cleaning out the house. If you’ve read Homecoming, you know why (way too much of me in that story). My kids would kill me if I left that for them. Can’t do the whole house in one day, but I can do that drawer, and tomorrow the next one. Baby steps. Maybe I’ll come up with a great idea for another story while I’m doing that. fireworks-4

I suppose eventually I’ll miss having to go into work – nyah, don’t think so. I do plan to force myself out of the house on Thursdays – hitch up the mules and go all the way into town and find someone to lunch with, then hit the grocery store on the way back since it’s senior citizens’ day. I plan to do more housework so Hubby and I can have the weekends free in the future, instead of doing it all then. I want to look like one of those people that comes back to the office looking 20-years younger and smiling. (Maybe they’re laughing at us).

And I want to finish up the nine stories I’ve already got started and are in one state of completion or another. I want them to be what keeps me up at night (if anything does) instead of what I didn’t get done because no one returned my call at the office.

Everyone tells me that I’ll be so busy I won’t remember how I managed to work full time anyway – we’ll see!

I’m celebrating – leave a comment and you’re in the pot for a free book – giving away 3, your choice of my backlist!fireworks-3