Saturday, June 30, 2012

What do you think?

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  • Leave a comment on any blog that catches your eye. There is even a list of older ones on the right below.  


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blurb and Excerpt from The Attache' by David Bond

Tell us about The Attache', your first book with Desert Breeze Publishing. What is it about?

Zack Brenner is blinded after a mortar attack by insurgents in Iraq. The image of a woman with penetrating eyes he saw in an email before he lost his sight is seared into his memory. He returns home to a failing family business, begins to learn independent living skills, and can’t help fall in love with the woman from the email. 

Jessie Weaver narrowly escaped the North Tower on 9/11 after a brief encounter with a handsome visitor who left an attaché behind. She is determined to find him again, and her only hope is to work for the man’s family business, now owned and managed by his blinded brother Zach. Jessie faces a test of loyalty as she questions her devotion to a wandering stranger, versus her growing compassion for Zach. 

Seeking to accomplish something, Zach sets out to climb his beloved mountain. A long buried family secret emerges, and a madman threatens the lives of Zack and the woman he loves. The Attaché is a story about overcoming obstacles, acceptance, and developing trust. 

Is there truth in the words found in Scripture? “With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”
Thanks for sharing a family photo. As my readers know, I am always interested in dog stories. Does yours have one?

People do wonder about her name. She is Lacey to everyone but me. I call her Missy. She doesn't seem to mind.

Well, she is a beautiful beagle. Will you share an excerpt from The Attache'?

Zach pushed away from the table. She figured he was getting the phone, but he trailed his hand along the edge of the table until he arrived where she sat. He reached out tentatively then pulled his hand back. "Can you... um, stand up?" 

He wore an odd look. She placed the last of the granola bar on the table and pushed her chair out. "Okay. What's this about?" 

He reached again, and she realized he wanted to hold her hand. Slivers of sunlight filtered in through the kitchen window, and a shiver traveled up her spine. 

"I might have waited for a better time, whatever that is, but I'm not going to. Jessie? I want to tell you something... I need to tell you something, and I'm not sure how you'll take this. I'm not sure how to say it either." 

His grip was firm, his hands slightly damp. Zach hid his nervousness well. His eyes were wide though, so wide she wondered how it was possible they were sightless. Whatever he wanted to tell her, Zach was paying a price. She instinctively gave his hands a reassuring squeeze. 

"I'll be all right. You don't need to worry. I'll be with Suzy for a couple days, and then I think I'll go back to Lancaster for a little while. So, Zach..." 

"Lancaster? Home?" 

"Well, yeah. What else?" 

He shook his head, trying to smile. "You can't think of any other options?" 

"Not at the moment. No." 

"Is this because you think there's no job?" 

"I don't have a job. How could I?" 

"I don't know. No one's fired you, as far as I know." 

"There's nothing for me to do. No business. You don't have to fire me, I'll just quit." 

Jessie tugged her hands away. She heard the words, flying out of her mouth laced with poison. She was under attack, emotions and logic warring for dominance, something inside her clinging to a desperate memory. For the past three years, one thing, one man, had given her a reason to dream. Joel understood life, knew the meaning of love between a man and a woman. He was slipping away, his memory a gray mist in the awakening dawn. 

If she stayed here, instead of seeing Joel, she would precipitate his demise. Joel would be gone forever. It was ludicrous to hope he would show up. How often did he come here? Almost never. She had to leave, had to flee for her sake, and Joel's sake. If not, Zach would block the way forever. 

Zach's hands reached for her, but she was out of reach. "Jessie. Listen. What I need to tell you is this. I love you. I. Love. You. But the thing is, I know how you might take that, and I understand. But I couldn't have gone much longer without saying how I feel." 

"Don't say that. Just don't say that. Zach, you remember the time I talked about Joel? Remember? There was this connection thing? I didn't tell you the whole story." She clasped and unclasped her fingers. "You see, he left his attaché, I told you that, but inside it, there was this... this manuscript. A romance story he was writing. Over the years, I've read it and re-read it. It isn't finished, but there was something in his writing, something that reached out to me and held on. You're laughing. Stop. Stop laughing..." 

Jessie was finished with this. Joel had gotten more defense than he deserved at the moment. She needed him in the flesh, not in her dreams. Even a few more minutes in this house would threaten his emergence into her reality, bringing about her own betrayal. 

Thanks! And one more time, remind us of your newest release and where to buy both books:

The most recent release is A Time To Build, Here is the blurb and link: A Time for Everything Book One: A Time to Build   Thirteen years is a long time. But not long enough for Brian Marshall to forget the face of the woman who stepped inside his office one July morning. Has the one mistake he made in his life finally come back to exact its toll?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

OK, you're blind - so how do you write, edit and promote??

David, I know you mentioned that you are blind, and that the hero in your previous books was blind as well. What is is like to be a writer who is blind?

For a blind author, clicking and dragging are just two of the terms not likely to be used. A couple things you might hear are, “…my screen reader stopped…help!,” or, “…what do you mean it’s underlined?”

Fortunately, most of the time, those of us who are blind authors are able to flow along pretty smoothly because we’re using a word processing program like Word. The uninitiated observer might be amazed how fast some blind authors can type, fingers flying and the sometimes tinny response of the synthetic speech output indiscernible. I’ve demonstrated my setup to many people over the years, and the most amazing part to them is often making sense of the little robotic voice! I can assure you, it’s quite easy to listen to this computer generated voice, it just takes a little time, and the desire to get the job done.

So how do you type on a keyboard? Have you ever had any typing lessons? I have. And the first thing I was told is, "…no good typist looks at the keyboard." It’s all about teaching your fingers to become familiar with the keyboard and to focus on what you are typing.

And trust me, if you are one of those who hunts and pecks, it’s time to find a blindfold and force yourself to get to know your keyboard a little better!

How about browsing the Internet? Is that problematic? Since the web is an essential component because of research, limited accessibility and other fancy web sites with pop-up boxes and floating banners are a real pain! Most people (sighted) look at any given screen, locate the place on the screen of interest, and click or scroll there and take care of business. It’s not so easy for us. It’s often a technical problem, where pop-ups and moving banners or bars make our screen reader act sporadically or lock up. If a web site doesn’t cause these kind of problems, we often do just fine. In some cases, maybe even better. This is because of the built-in search feature our screen reader’s use, enabling us to search for and land on a word or phrase of interest.

Then there is that huge new area for anyone promoting their books - social media. How accessible is that with your screen reader? The biggest nightmare in our present time revolves around social media sites. Facebook is accessible to a point, using the mobile version, but for the most part, the layout of the site which usually includes images and photos and limited textual content makes these kinds of sites very difficult to use. A new one, Pinterest, is enjoying a surge in popularity among writers, but it is almost entirely inaccessible to blind people since it is largely all about photos and images. Since all authors need to spend time performing self-promotion, which means making use of social media sites, we are at a distinct disadvantage in this realm.

It sounds like you've got technology and can do most of the things sighted authors do, though. All things considered, a blind author is almost on a level playing field with their sighted counterparts. Because there are myriads of promotional paths to follow, hopefully, avoiding the ones which are inaccessible will not prove to be fatal. Deep down, I hold onto two basic thoughts: First, God is overseeing my writing, and this includes promotion. Second, a good story will find an audience. So, my main focus is to pay more attention to the latter point, and let God worry about the former!

~~ Available now! -- A Time To Build --  and The Attache' From Desert Breeze Publishing ~~

(Note from Lynette: David informed me that this blog was not accessible in the current template. I had someone who specializes in accessibility build my website but I had not taken as much care with the blog. You may see me switching between templates for the next few days while David gives me feedback on accessibility.)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Can he build on the greatest mistake of his life?

Author David Bond has just released his second book with Desert Breeze Publishing. Dave, tell us about A Time To Build. Brian Marshall lives a quiet, serious life. At age thirty-three, he’s content and reasonably prosperous. When a new client steps inside his office one July morning, and he recognizes her strikingly beautiful face, his thoughts are thrown back in time thirteen years, to a time when he committed perhaps the greatest mistake of his life.

Hallie Grover has come a long way in thirteen years. When she left central Pennsylvania as a dispirited seventeen-year old to live with her divorced mother in California, she couldn’t have imagined the path her life was to take. Will she be able to handle her new life, owning and managing a small café in McCane, Pennsylvania? And will she be able to rebuild a relationship with her sister, and a thirteen-year old girl she’s never had the chance to know?

Brian fears Hallie will one day remember him. Hallie blossoms, but is she ready to embrace a relationship she wasn’t expecting?

Ooo - I like how that sounds. Tell us a little about yourself.
Like most writers, I love to read. As an appreciative reader, I've always been amazed at a well written book. Losing my eyesight at age 33 (in 1988) I had no idea I would one day discover writing to be an enjoyable career. I'm innately artistic, and writing is now a great outlet for my artistic creativity.
My debut novel is about a man who loses his eyesight. I resisted writing about a blind character, but eventually knew it was the right thing to do. I have always enjoyed romance fiction, as long as the characters were believable, and the story had depth. I hope my stories will come across as believable, yet also convey something important about life. Since I write inspirational fiction, God plays a role in how my characters work through their conflicts and struggles.
I'm married, and we have a teenage son. We live near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I have always enjoyed the outdoors, including the mountains and wilderness of central and northern Pennsylvania. In my books, readers will catch glimpses of the things I cherish, and hopefully come away possessing a greater understanding or appreciation for some of the important things in life.

Leave David a comment about the important things in life to YOU.

Buy his book:

Visit David:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How Jordan Bollinger's characters Run the Show

Where do you write? Describe your writing space. Anything that helps in the background?
When I lived in Connecticut, I wrote at a computer desk in the dining room with the Hartford Oldies station on.  Then I got a laptop, and could write wherever I wanted to - living room, patio-anywhere. Now I'm writing in the living room for the most part. I'm still pretty mobile, but with the bright Arizona sun and temperatures that have already been in the triple digits, the living room is the place for me. And, yes - there's usually caffeine involved as well as pet ruckus going on. I also need television on in the background, but sometimes it's turned down low so I can hear a book.

Do you have a schedule (daily or book-long) for writing or do you just go with the flow?

I actually blogged about this a few weeks ago. Our muses are fickle things, that appear on their own schedule; so I guess I 'go with the flow'.

What is your writing routine once you start a book?

I spend a lot of time thinking about things--just before I fall asleep and lying in bed when I first wake up. I also spend time sitting at the deep end of the pool, staring into the water and contemplating things. So, my routine is to plan out plotlines or dialogue and then write them down after email. 

Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?

Characters-without a doubt, because they're going to provide a story.

How about the people and/or animals you share space with. Do they know not to bother you when you are writing, or are there constant interruptions?

I live alone.  Well, I live with two wire haired fox terriers and a chiwinnie.  And, no--they don't know they should leave me alone.  Luckily, they're pretty much slugs-unless I make the mistake of saying something like 'car', 'leash' or 'outside'. My gentleman friend might pout if I tell him I have to work, but I try and get him to research things - mainly weapons and/or history.  Sometimes, he's even produced something informative and useful.
What do family members think of your writing? Do you ever ask him/her/them for advice? Editing? My family (which is my mom and her 'live-in' (and she turned eighty-four last week--so see, we're never too old for romance) are very supportive.  What surprised, and greatly disappointed me, was how my really close, friends (of thirty years or more) kind of ignored it. OR, which was even worse, they gave me a kind of 'that's nice, honey' look.
What kind of research do you do?
Oh, all kinds. When I first got the computer and started taking classes - back in the olden days, when a 1GB hard-drive would last you forever - they were a lot less people on the internet; and you could get to some surprising places (CIA, FBI, and MI-5 & MI-6--but just for job applications, no sensitive stuff!)  Now, technology has left me in the dust, and I'm lucky if I can find my own Facebook page.  Still, googling is a lot easier than searching library shelves.  I have started an antebellum romance, and I've researched Creole style houses to the point of making precise sketches of the front exterior and floor plans.  I have, however, promised myself I will not do sketches of the furniture arrangements. Although, I have assigned paper dolls to characters and am contemplating their wardrobes.
Are you a member of any author group and how does that help your writing?
I have been in some author groups, and I can't deny I learned at lot from the other members. I just am finding time to participate difficult now.
What do you think of critique groups in general?
They can be very helpful.  Often, someone will have a way of explaining something that makes it just 'click' for you.  And you can learn more from reviewing they you might expect.  Also, sometimes you see things that are wrong in other writing, and forced to acknowledge that you are guilty of that too.  That said, they can also be a hindrance.  You can't please everyone and having a dozen people evaluate your first chapter can get you in this endless loop of revising Chapter One and never make it to Chapter Two.
Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?
Characters! Characters! Characters! They will tell their own story, and the settings will come with the story.
What is the hardest/easiest part of writing for you?
I find writing dialogue pretty easy. Then, because I find settings often not important, sometimes hitting that happy balance of enough setting - without getting insane about it more difficult.
Are you in control of your characters or do they control you?
First time around, the characters.  I let them do whatever they want.  The thing is, if I've allowed them to 'form' correctly, they'll only do things that are 'right' for them.
Have you experienced writer's block? If so, how did you work through it?
Absolutely, but luckily not very often.  The best way I've found to get through it is to ask someone to request a bit of research for them, or write an article for a newsletter or something--anything!  Once you have something else you need to finish before you can return to your writing, you can't wait to get back to it.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I would have to say 'living' in my own little fantasy world(s).  It's good to be crazy!
What is the single most important part of writing to you?
Crafting a well-written, satisfying story - for me. 
Any words of encouragement for unpublished writers.

To paraphrase Dora from 'Finding Nemo', "just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming".  File the rejection letters or emails (And really, isn't it better to often get almost instant disappointment because of the internet?), have yourself a good old-fashioned cry (or whatever) and send out another query.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Do forty and fifty-year-olds deserve love?

Tell us a little about Leap of Faith, released June 21. What is the genre? What is it about?
 'Leap of Faith' and is the first in my DUTY WITH HONOR series. It is a suspense/romance, about a couple of 'forty-something's that find love, with adventures on the way.
Is this completely out of imagination, or are there elements of your real life experience in the plot/characters?
Well, except for the rich and famous brother, and the handsome and even richer hero, it's about me - 100%.  ;-) There are a few elements of me in my heroine.; but she's pretty fabulous. Seriously, most of it is from my fevered imagination; with just a sprinkling of true elements from my life. The trick is for the readers to figure out which is which. Here's a hint:  I don't weigh 130 lbs.
How much of your personality and life experience is in your writing?
To a great extent, my heroine, Beth, exhibits many of my personality quirks; and unfortunately some of my life experiences.
Where do your ideas come from?
Does anyone really know that?  This came from my 'knee-jerk' reaction to a class writing assignment.  We were supposed to write about a twenty-year-old, walking through a park and stumbling on love.  At nearly fifty, I wondered why love seemed to be reserved for twenty-year-olds.  Forty and fifty year-olds deserve love too.  I kept thinking of that old line, "Love is wasted on the young.".  I also was re-evaluating my life, and wrote about what my fantasy life and love would be.
How long did it take you to write this book? Edit it?
I began the book(s) on May 1st, 1999 and finished the first draft on September 15th of that year.  Then life got in the way.  I went through a divorce, moved across the country and met a new man.  And, to my surprise, I discovered I didn't get anything really accomplished when I was happy.  Unfortunately, once more, life took care of that obstacle. After some assessing and revamping, another major move and a new man, I found a way to balance happiness and work.  I struggled in some writers' groups - where I learned that you can't make everyone happy. Along the way, I acquired that 'mandatory-for writers' rejection file.  Finally I found someone who liked my writing,  and turned out to be a born editor. He helped me finish the edits and revisions.
Why did you decide to write (insert genre and rating here)?
The truth is, I didn't actually decide anything - it just happened.  But, after I faced the realization to get a mammoth 260,000 + word book published was daunting, I broke it into four books.  They're all suspense/romances, but the ratings vary.  'Leap of Faith' is Sweet/Warm, but the next in the series, 'Second Chances', will have a higher rating.  After that, they'll be back to Sweet/Warm, at least until the fifth book, 'An Unexpected Pause', currently in the first draft stage.  So far, it's turning out to be steamy.

Buy today:
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Suspense is in Jordan Bollinger's Blood

Jordan, I am so excited to have you visiting today. Your new book just released. You must be on top of the world. Tell us about yourself.

I grew up reading classic mysteries and watching 'film noir'. All I wanted was to grab a hat and go on adventures with Phillip Marlow or Sam Spade. Mom and Dad were all right with my insistence on switching from French to Russian in high school, even if the counselor wasn't amused with my reason - I needed Russian, if I was going to be an international spy. They were even okay with teaching me to shoot. However, they frowned on me spending time in smoky bars with fast guys or shady characters.           

 I would guess, then, that suspense and mystery are in your blood - and in your book series.
By dreaming up my own adventures, I could live vicariously without the worry of being grounded. Those fantasy worlds led me to writing down all those stories swirling around in my head. So get ready world. Bollinger, Jordan Bollinger is here to sweep you off your heartstrings one bullet at a time. 

Buy Leap of Faith today at her at her website at and her blog Drawing on the Write Side of My Brain, at

Future Releases by Jordan Bollinger at Desert Breeze Publishing
Duty With Honor Book Two: Second Chances - February 2013
Duty With Honor Book Three: Haunted Honeymoon - October 2013
Duty With Honor Book Four: Finessing the Wolf - June 2014
Duty With Honor Book Five: An Unexpected Pause - February 2015

New Release - Leap of Faith

Just before her thirteenth birthday, Beth Bennett discovered she was not only adopted, but had a father and a brother. Always the people-pleaser, she decided to split her time between her two families. After thirty years of juggling her life, the breakup of a disastrous twenty-year marriage and caring for her sister-in-law during her final bout with cancer, she retreats to her home in the Connecticut hills to regroup. Then she attends a charity banquet in NYC and meets a man who can't possibly be as perfect as he seems. he wants to pursue a relationship with her, but past experiences have made her swear off men and romance. Andrew Oliver doesn't give up easily, and when Beth finally admits to her feelings, she finds herself on an emotional roller-coaster ride -- remembering her past, living her present and facing her future with a self-reliance she'd forgotten she possessed.

Monday, June 18, 2012

How I grew up...

 The house I grew up in was a standout in the neighborhood - big side yard, made of brick with a full basement and natural wood floors. We added a big window air conditioning unit when I was in gradeschool and by junior high I moved to the basement where it was cool in the summer, so we were always comfortable.
We lived in the small, safe town of Greenville, Illinois.  We played in the yards all over our block, and the three or four blocks of the friends we played with regularly. There was a great climbing tree - not in our back yard but in one that connected with ours through a big block of shurbbery. We hollowed that out to make our Hideout. We eventually put a tree house on the ground by our apple tree. We were imaginative - played the characters of TV shows and comic books - and frequently added a twist of a new power, a new character.
"We" almost always included my brother Michael, two years my junior. When the Roodhouses lived in the neighborhood it included Steve and Kathy - and when they moved to the country and got a horse, they included us in new adventures at their new place. That's Steve I am wrestling with above. 
Mostly I played with boys. Gary was at our house weekdays after school from third grade through sixth. Bobby spent most weekends with his grandparents two doors down.
Becky and Gwen were a year older and while we played a little I wasn't as much into dolls, so bored easily. I did enjoy Becky's dogs, though. You can see from the swimsuit picture how much more feminine they were. I am the girl on the right next to my brother.
We didn't have much luck with dogs at our house so I enjoyed Becky's. We had a German Shepherd that we ended up giving back to the breeder because we were all afraid of him and no one had time to train him, and we had another little dog named Tiny for a short time. He was my piano teacher's dog and she eventually took him back. In the meantime he was more Mom's. Didn't have much to do with the rest of us.
And Janet - we were the same age, and she went to our church so until she moved away in Jr. High we hung out together a lot. She is still a friend, as are many of the other Greenville Girls. Janet is on the right in black at the birthday party. My Dad had to go to our church camp a lot, in order to  get people registered and take care of other church/camp business.  He got lifejackets for Mike and me so we could swim and play at the lake the camp built, and later I learned also assigned someone to watch us. We spent may a day at camp in the summers. Mom was home with the next two children, so Dad took us off her hands when he could.

I will talk more about camp sometime this summer. I have included just the swimming picture for this time. Next time I will talk about my friend Deb - from 4th grade on - who lived 50 miles away which was huge in those days. I remember riding a bus to go see her during the school year. We wrote each other letters, which deepened our friendship because we both said things in writing we might never have said in person.
But in those days we were mostly camp friends. And we are still very much friends today. More another day on that.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

To the Dads in My Life - Happy Father's Day

First of all I am grateful for my dad. He is one of those encouragers - always teaching, always giving opportunities for growth. From the time I was small he taught me the most interesting things - from how a darkroom works to all kinds of other scientific and historic things. He helped me get my first job, setting type for an offset press at the local print shop. His love of printing, layout, photography, newsletters, etc. can be seen in all the photographs he took and has since scanned and made digital much to the enjoyment of all of us.When Dad's office upgraded to a Selectric typewriter he made sure that I got the old electric, along with a typing text and a holder for handwritten notes. He showed me how to type my stories so that I could submit them to a publisher. Before I took typing in school (they didn't teach it until High School in those days) I was typing my stories to send to Straight Magazine. (Yes, that was really the name of it! A reference to living a life on the straight and narrow path.) My first was published when I was only 14 years old, a result of his pull in getting the editor to come to our church camp, and making sure we got to visit a local prison, and then encouraging all of us to write about it. The editor picked my story and had me add quotes from all the others. It was a wonderful first experience, and after that nine more stories were published by this Christian youth magazine before I graduated from High School. Many of them were written because either Dad or Mom encouraged me to "Write about that" or said "That would make a good story."

Both my parents have shared their faith and life encouragement daily. I will always be grateful for their direct Christian teaching, obersavations as we were  navigating our growing up years, and their continual example of a faithful life.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.

Next I am grateful for the man I married, a good Christian man, who is a wonderful father to our daughter Amanda. He learned from the example of his father. From the day he became of father he has been a great one, fun, encouraging, and also a teacher. As our daughter has grown and married she is still close to her dad (and mom) and is a delight to be with. I can't help but think she inherited some of that fun disposition from her father.

Her Dad performed the marriage ceremony for our daughter and her husband. As you can see in the first wedding photo, he wasn't certain he'd be able to hold it together to do the ceremony. Amanda leaned over and gave him a hug and he pulled it together and did a beautiful job. At the end of the day it was a joyous and fun day for everyone.

Happy Father's Day, John.

He learned from his Dad as well, another fine Christian who has set an example for his children and grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. Happy Father's Day, Jack.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention my grandfathers. We are all part of the families we came from and carry their memories, their wisdom and the moments we were able to share with them in our hearts.

The Bath from Touched by Mercy by Tina Pinson

The sheriff pulled the note from the door when he returned from Hays the next day and looked at his watch. Noon. He frowned. He expected this to happen, he should have talked to the new owner already. Should have warned her the day Pete down at the grain elevator said the new owner was interested in chicken ranching.
"She asked about the best of laying hens and where to buy pens," Pete laughed and slapped his thigh.
Busy tracking down train robbers, the sheriff was just getting back, never finding the time to get over to Lil's old place.
The Chicken Ranch.
Sam's Boarding House, the sign read now. The eyesore had cleaned up nicely.
Ignoring the laughter around town, the sheriff checked his gun and went to see about the ruckus at Sam's. He didn't know what to do with the poor soul who'd come looking for Lil, had no idea at all.
The townsfolk followed him. They'd read the note and were curious to see the goings on.
"Howdy..." A boy opened the boardinghouse door, paused momentarily, and looked to the yard and the people meandering there before he swung his attention to the visitor at the door. When his gaze landed on the sheriff's badge, he grinned. "Sheriff? Sam done fixed the problem. We won't be needing you."
The sheriff couldn't hide his surprise. "If you don't mind, I'd like to talk to Sam just the same?"
The boy shrugged. "Hey, Sam, the sheriffs here."
"Have him take a seat in the parlor, Grimes, and come help me a minute," she yelled from the kitchen. The sheriff heard the back door open and swing shut.
The sheriff stopped at the front door and yelled at the accursed mob in the yard. "Nothing to see here. Go on home," he told them with a wave. A couple left; most stayed. Others were still coming. He shook his head and followed Grimes.
Grimes led him to the parlor and motioned to a chair. "Wait here," he said before he ran out the back of the room. Allan didn't wait. He followed. He stopped at the screen door to watch.
The townsfolk moved around the house to watch. They got a show for their trouble. The sheriff thought to try and run them off again, but knew it would do no good. Resigned, he joined the townsfolk and, leaning against the backdoor frame, observed the goings on.
One barefoot young woman dressed in a wet calico skirt, with her soaked shirt sleeves rolled, faced him. By the pensive look on her face, the disarray of her hair, and the pile of rags over her arm, she'd prepared for battle. Beside her stood an equally sodden little girl, her arms laden with towels.
The other woman, nearly swallowed by a pair of worn, baggy overalls, her flaming red hair in fiery disarray around her head, yelled orders to some poor man they'd captured behind the blankets. Her back to him, he had yet to see her face.
"You will scrub, Quentin, or I promise, I'll come in there myself and see that you do." Several of the ladies in the yard gasped. A loud grunt answered from behind the curtain. "Oh, wouldn't I? Grimes, you go on and see that he does as I said?" The redhead commanded. "There's a bucket of rinse water, Grimes. Go ahead and pour it on him."
The captive responded with a tormented howl, causing the sheriff to question whether their captive was human or not.
"Oh, don't be such a baby. It's your own fault. It was warm when we brought it out, but you fought too much," the blonde replied.
"Egads, this water's blacker then my last bath," Grimes declared. Guffaws and snorts erupted in the yard. "Hey, who's laughing?" Grimes demanded to know. Poking his head out the blankets, he took a look around and disappeared again.
Another grunt resounded; apparently the poor man in the tub wanted to know the answer to the same question.
"Never you mind," the redhead called back. The sheriff watched her take in the yard. From the frowns on the faces, he knew it wasn't a smile she graced the onlookers with. "Heaven's sakes." Shaking her head, she sent her waves of red flying. "Grimes, if we have to do it twice to get him clean, we will." To which the poor man behind the wall of blankets groaned. "Don't worry, Quentin, next time you can use the bath indoors."
"I can't believe Miss Lil would let someone in her house when they're so dirty," the blonde commented naively. The sheriff joined the townsfolk in a hearty laugh, alerting the blonde to the man in the kitchen. "Sam, there's a man in the kitchen," she whispered loudly.
"Oh, Sheriff, is that you?" Sam asked without turning.
"Huuuuh?" The bather groaned nervously.
"Hush, Quentin," Sam assured him. "You finish with your bath. I'll talk to him."
"Ahh," came the moan.

Sam turned to the blonde and dried on one of the towels in her arms. "Sheriff, the matter for which we left the note has been taken care of."
"That's right, Sheriff," Erin agreed solemnly. The little girl nodded her agreement.
"There, see." Sam flashed a quick glance to the door and turned back. "Grimes, check behind his ears."
The good people in the yard hooted and hollered.
"That's right, boy, get behind the ears," someone jested.
"Don't slap me," Grimes yelped. "She said to get 'em." Quentin growled. "Okay, you get 'em," Grimes added quickly. "I'll pour more water."

The howl that followed left the sheriff shivering where he stood.
"Erin, hand Grimes those towels. And you people, the show's over. Now, Sheriff." Sam turned and headed for the screened door. The sheriff eyed her with new interest. "As you can see we aren't in need of your services, unless of course, you'd like to round up all these trespassers," she yelled loud enough for the people in the yard to hear. She smiled when they backed outside her fence.
Sam turned for the screen. When she opened the door, she froze. "You?"
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Friday, June 15, 2012

NEW Excerpt from Tina Pinson's In The Manor of the Ghost

Devlin heard her before he saw her. She pounded the door, drumming with a precision that resounded through the manor. Then she began to yell and her voice -- because of her lung capacity, no doubt -- echoed the halls.
From the landing, he watched as Perkins allowed her in and led her to the study. He'd hoped to gauge the woman from a safe distance, but a heavy cape covered her head and body.
He spied Perkins and the housemaid, Marla, with their heads bowed in discussion. From the pointed looks in his direction, they discussed the woman and the plans he and Eliot concocted for her. Did they wonder why he was about to do something so idiotic? Did they hope the woman would agree to the plans and give him his just desserts? He never should have discussed his plans with them. They were unhappy. They would never voice it, but it was loud and clear in their frowns.
Unhappy people were a commonality in his world. Scathing diatribes about him and his holdings were commonplace in the county. Why not in his household? He would ignore it. Either that or fire them. And good helpers were hard to find -- no one, unless they were female and of a marrying age, cared to seek employment at Clayborne Manor. Or even visit these days.
He rather liked it that way.
Clearing his throat to make his presence known, he watched somberly as his butler and housemaid disappeared like mist. He berated himself for thinking the worst of them. They said nothing to warrant his mistrust. They'd been with him through worse times without recriminations. Why did he expect them now? Why did it matter? He was the master of his domain. They were hired help. He sighed heavily. Maybe the fact that they'd been with him, faithfully, for years was reason enough. Caring as he did, he desired to know their minds, which compelled him to share his plans in the first place. He would do it again.
Leaning against the handrail at the bottom of the grand staircase, he listened as the woman railed at his lawyer and friend, Eliot Dunlevy -- her brother-in-law -- with clarity and diction. The staff was relegated to the back of his mind.
"What are you doing here?" she growled. "Where is he, Eliot? Where is that monster?" Devlin doubted the raggedness of her breath was merely from the brisk walk to the manor.
"Kaitlin, what happened? The driver informed me you chose to walk in the rain. Why didn't you take the carriage? You could catch your death."
"Death of Cold. Ha. Yet, you expected me to ride in that coach from Hades? I could have caught worse!" She flung the wet cape off her arms. "I bet he borrowed it from his father."
"Kate, let's not go into that." Eliot sighed, pulled his kerchief and wiped his face. "You must be freezing. Let me help you out of that cape. You can stand by the fire. I'll call for the maid to bring you a cloth and water so you can freshen up."
Devlin awaited her next move. The young lady didn't disappoint him. She pumped her fist at Eliot.
"I don't care to stand by the fire or clean up. I have enough water on my person. I don't plan to stay long, Eliot. Just tell me where he is so I can give the man -- and I use that term loosely -- a piece of my mind."
Devlin moved closer and watched from the crook behind the open door as she flipped the cape over her left shoulder and threw a sodden, muddied paper to the desk.
"How dare he think he can make such a request and not be made to answer for it. Who does he think he is? God?"
"Now, Kate. Take a seat and calm down." Eliot threw up his hands then motioned her to a chair.
Devlin found Eliot's exasperation a rare treat. Rare indeed when he'd tried to shake the unflappable manner of his friend occasionally and failed. The slip of a woman had put him to shame. His lips twisted into a grin. She would do nicely.
"Kate, take a seat. Please," Eliot said more firmly. He drew a deep breath when she took her chair. "Mr. Clayborne will not be joining us."
Kaitlin came out of her chair. "Are you telling me that... are you saying he's demanded this drivel but he won't be here to account for it? Has he no backbone? Is that why the sniveling coward sent you?"
Devlin's brows furrowed. His lips pursed. A sniveling coward. A devil. A monster. His fists balled at his sides. Were it a man making these claims, but it wasn't. It was a woman, a mouthy, stubborn woman.
"As his lawyer, I'm here on his behalf."
"So, you're going to stand back and watch while your employer -- blackguard that he is -- rapes the community?" She slammed the desk, and the dull thud reverberated through the room. "How could you? His demands are immoral. Don't you care about those poor children and young women the home is supposed to shelter from ingrates like him? Have you no regard for their well being?"
Eliot's sighs grew wearier. "He's not a blackguard nor is he raping the community. He's not going to harm the home or those housed in it. It's a simple business deal."
"Is that what you call it?" Kaitlin snapped. Eliot shook his head. "A simple business deal?" Kaitlin sniffed. "Ha. It's rape, pure and simple. Those poor women at the home told me all about his past deals. They say he threatens to withhold funds if he doesn't get his way. Now he's withholding funds because he wants some poor girl to be his... his... What's the matter can't the old geezer get what he wants at a brothel? I could strangle the old buzzard."
Blackguard. Old geezer. Old buzzard. Indeed! Devlin's frown intensified. This was too much. He'd celebrated his twenty-eighth birthday, hadn't lost his teeth and he'd never set foot in a house of ill repute. He wanted to march in and set the young lady straight. As a lawyer, he could deal with the legalities himself, but Eliot bade him not to show. He would have to confront her once they married. If they married. It didn't seem like such a good idea now. With his sigh he sounded rather like Eliot.
"Katie, I don't know what you're talking about. Where have you gotten such gross, and might I add, asinine, misconceptions concerning the reputation of my client?"
"I've heard them from near everyone in town."
More so from Greta, Devlin figured, but doubted she'd divulge that.
"If a whole town has misconceptions they can't all be wrong? Your client has a sorry reputation," Kate went on to say.

"His reputation is of the highest standard. I doubt the whole town maligned it. Sounds like Greta to me."
She sniffed. Devlin wanted to tell her a thing or two about Greta, but he stayed quiet and let Eliot deal with his sister-in-law.
"But, let's not go into that. Did you even read the letter?" Eliot asked. He twisted the gold chain on his fob as though he already knew the answer.
Devlin had his own suspicions.

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Tina's Writing Advice and Experience

How long does it take to "hatch" a book from conception to publication?
For me, I used to get a book done fairly quickly. I've slowed some. The road to publication was a lot longer. Several years of wondering if I would ever get there. I self-published back when because I got tired of waiting. Then I placed in a contest and thought, this was it. My call for a contract would be coming soon. It came seven years later. But I kept plugging away.
I would still like to get my books into print. As they are in ebook form right now. There is that dream of holding them in my hot little hands.
My biggest dream in writing though, is that my words and stories leave a legacy of life to others. To do that, I want to make sure I write with all the grace and imagination God has instilled in me. To do that, means I have to put myself out there and take a stand for Christ. Some people say writing fiction isn't really a way to touch lives, and I would beg to differ. And tell them they shook take that up with Christ himself, who for some reason thought parables were a fine way to reach people. That and giving all he had because of his love.
Any parting words of advice for would-be writers?  I would like to encourage other writers to keep plugging away and use what God has given them. Even if your words only touch one life, or maybe strengthen your own.

So where can the readers find your books and learn more about you?

Purchase my books at:

Desert Breeze Bookstore.
Touched By Mercy -
In the Manor of the Ghost
When Shadow Fall

Touched By Mercy
In the Manor of the Ghost
When Shadows Fall:

Barnes & Noble
Touched By Mercy—
In the Manor of the Ghost
When Shadows Fall:

Christian Books Distributors
Touched By Mercy –
In the Manor of the Ghost
When Shadows Fall