Monday, June 30, 2014

Monthly News From My Guests ~ Keep Informed

~ Katya Armock Celebrate Sale for her new release, To Snarl or to Snuggle, book 1 of the trilogy, To Hiss or to Kiss, is on sale for 99 cents at all retailers! AMAZON

~ Terri Osburn  Award of Merit: Book 2 in Terri's Anchor Island Series, UP TO THE CHALLENGE, won two awards of merit in the HOLT Medallion contest, in both the Mainstream/Single Title and Best Book by a Virginia Author categories. AMAZON

~Veronica Arnold  New Release: “Adam & Eve: The Way It Might Have Happened” How did it feel for Adam to wake up that first day as a fully formed adult? How did that first temptation look? Short story, Kindle and paperback. AMAZON

~Kaye George New Short Story: Snatched Potatoes, a Father's Day story
from Imogene Duckworthy's childhood in King's River Life. KINGS RIVER LIFE MAGAZINE

~Margaret Daley New Release: Deadly Intent, a romantic suspense and second book in Strong Women, Extraordinary Situations about a female Texas Ranger.  AMAZON

~Lauren Linwood New Historical Release: Written in the Cards, a feisty dime novelist interviews a cowboy for her next book and sparks fly. AMAZON

~Lisabet Sarai New Release: The Eyes of Bast - Shaina must defeat the vicious 
but seductive sorceress who has bewitched her shape-shifter soul mate – even 
though it might mean losing him forever.  AMAZON

~Rogenna Brewer Sale: Celebrate Romance, five bite-size stories from five USA Today Bestselling  and award wining authors.  Celebrating the sweet gift of romance all year long.  Only .99 July 1st-31st. AMAZON

~Beverley Bateman  New Release: A Murder to Forget, Book Two of the Holly Devine, Assistant PI series  AMAZON

~Kayelle Allen, founder of Marketing for Romance Writers, has new pages up, including recommended reads and software for authors. KAYELLE'S RECOMMENDS

Friday, June 27, 2014

Last Friday Recipe of the Month Is The Easiest French Market Chicken Dinner You'll Ever Make ~ Really

Gary saw this show on Food Network where Ina Garten was talking about Paris and food, and how she would often walk down a street and see rotisseries filled with plump chickens. Nestled below were potatoes that absorb all the drippings...are you salivating yet?  

So she came up with a simple recipe. We've adapted it and made it even simpler, same results.

3 Ingredients.  THREE!!

~Rotisserie Chicken (we get Costco's)
~A loaf of Artisan bread (we get Costco's Olive Oil and Rosemary)
~Chicken broth.

Put the chicken in a pan or baking dish, and add chicken broth, we use about 16oz.

Cover with foil and put in warm oven or warming drawer.  You're not cooking the chicken you're just blending flavors.  And if you don't have time, just warm the rotisserie juices with the chicken broth.

Cut up the bread into cubes.  Bigger than stuffing size. At least 1/2". We cut them 3/4 to 1".

Place the bread on a platter.

Cut up chicken, 

Pour on broth and serve.  The bread absorbs the broth and it's heavenly.  Really.

Serve with a crisp salad, like Caesar.

Simple and delish, even gourmet.


Here is a short excerpt from Stone of Heaven, Book One in the Carswell Adventure Series. 

Book Two in the series is Viking Gold and is scheduled to publish late 2014.  

Both are Romantic Adventure stories, filled with danger, treasure, suspense and of

AND I have a trailer for Stone of Heaven that will be out in a few days.  Stay tuned for the post.

Short Excerpt: 
Deep in the Yucatan jungle . . .
Siesta forgotten, Jacinto pushed the broad leaf aside and saw several blue pebbles twinkling in the sunlight.
Scooping them into his palm, awed that they glowed so brightly, he was certain they must be worth much. He carefully pushed the pebbles deep into the pocket of his pants, making sure they were safe, then scrabbled in the sodden underbelly of the rainforest for more.
As he dug deeper into the mud, a sting crossed his palm. He jerked back his hand, fearful an asp had bitten him. But a gash, not bite holes, bled through the mud covering his palm. Relieved, he carefully started to dig deeper.
Soon the broken edge of a thick blue stone poked above the mud.
Excited that it had to be more valuable than the pebbles and forgetting caution, Jacinto thrust his hand deep into the muck, folding his fingers around the object, holding tight despite the sharp edge slicing deeper into his palm.
Freeing the egg-sized piece, he wiped his prize on his shirt and stared with awe at the intricately carved corner, broken off something he couldn't imagine.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Take Five and Meet Author Veronica Arnold

Today we get to meet non-fiction author, Veronica Arnold, who has self published an inspiring story.  Read on.

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Veronica.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book “It’s Okay To Be Me?”

In the summer of 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Before that I had always been healthy, so this came as a shock.  I tell people, though, that if you have to have cancer, you should do it the way I did.  My tumor was small, surgery took care of it, and I didn’t have to have chemo or radiation.  I took expensive supplements from an Oregon clinic for a year before the money ran out to pay for them, but that was it.

The inspiration to write my book came from all the people who poured out their love to me during that scary, vulnerable time.  My entire life, I was always sending out radar, trying to figure out what people wanted from me so I could give them that so they would like me.  This cancer journey brought me to a place where all I could do was survive.  I could give nothing to those around me—for a few weeks after surgery I couldn’t even stay awake when people came to visit me.  But still they came and helped and loved my blogs.  It began to dawn on me that it really was okay to simply be me.  I didn’t have to try to be someone others would like—it was enough just to be me.  This idea was so revelational that I had to write a book about it.

I had a good childhood—no abuse or neglect or poverty.  As writers we think there has to be some terrible conflict, or where is the story?  I thought perhaps there might be others like me who had not suffered terribly, yet still endured a lifelong crisis of identity.  Maybe they could benefit from the lessons I learned.

What people helped you the most in getting this book published?

In the spring semester of 2012 I took a Creative Nonfiction Writing course at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, where I live.  It was there that I submitted the first very rough draft of what would become my book.  My teacher, Kerri Mitchell, and my classmates gave me invaluable critiques.  That summer I submitted my manuscript to an Inspiring Voices writing contest, but didn’t win anything.  Still, I felt strongly that the book needed to be published. I submitted my revised manuscript to the follow-up Creative Nonfiction Writing course at FRCC.  Then I self-published through Inspiring voices in November of that year. 

My classmates gave me the technical critiques I needed to polish my work; other friends gave their own critiques; and my husband encouraged me all along the way.

Are you planning on writing other stories, books?  If so what kind?  

I briefly tried my hand at fiction, and maybe at some point I will be able to do that, but not now.  When I was a child I longed to write stories, but I could never get past the point at which I had to come up with names for my characters.  The only names I could think of sounded stupid to me.  As an adult I realized that to write good fiction you have to do a lot of research.  I can think of interesting plot lines, but I have no idea how to fill in the background with credible descriptions of the way things work.  And at this point the research part escapes me.

I love to write about my life because that’s what I know, and I think it’s interesting.  In my Creative Nonfiction Writing course, our first writing prompt was to write a couple paragraphs about how our parents’ first date might have looked.  I realized I had no idea where my parents met or anything about their courtship.  I didn’t want that to be the case for my children, so I wanted to write about their dad and I.  So presently I am working on a book about our courtship, which took place when the man who would become my husband and I worked at a mental institution, and our ensuing marriage.  My husband, Jerry, came up with the title, “Love In the Looney Bin.”  I realized that what all of life is about, fundamentally, is a search for love; and as crazy as life is, we all live in a looney bin called planet Earth.  So maybe a lot of people would be able to relate.

 Recently Jerry and I wrote a short story about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. When I told a friend at church about that, he looked confused and said, “Uh, don’t we already have that story?”  Well, yeah, but what did it really feel like to wake up as a fully formed adult in that perfect world?  Did Adam come pre-programmed with language, or was there a learning curve?  When Eve offered him the fruit from the forbidden tree, did Adam just stand there dumbly and eat of it with her?  Or did he try to dissuade her, or try to correct the damage once she bit into the fruit? I wanted to understand the scene better, so I had to write it.  Then Jerry basically rewrote it, preserving the basic idea but adding words that brought it to life.  We hope to publish it soon on Amazon’s Kindle.

Two semesters ago I took an Old Testament survey course in which we had discussion board questions every week.  I would like to expand those essays and make them more personal than what we were allowed to do in class.  The Bible fascinates me, and I would love to address some of the knotty questions that come up with research and personal examples.  (I do love that kind of research!)

Where would you have someone start looking for help with the crisis you've faced?

My first resource was a book I had read a year or so earlier, about a young woman who was diagnosed with stage four aggressive breast cancer.  She had surgery right away, but had to wait for chemo and radiation, which her doctor insisted she must have, until she gave birth (she was 38 weeks along when she was diagnosed). While she waited, she and her husband did extensive research on cancer treatments.  As a result, she rejected the recommended treatments and instead went with supplements from the same clinic I subsequently used for my supplements.  She has been cancer free now for many years.  The book was, “You Did What??” by Holly and Patrick Quinn.

I also highly recommend the web site of an author friend, Sandi Rog,, where she tells her cancer story.  When a particularly awful cancer reappeared after going into remission, she discovered B17 shots and went with that rather than the treatment she had received the first time around.  That cured her cancer without killing her.

As you will learn from my book, though, my very first line of defense was Jesus Christ.  The Lord had prepared me spiritually for my crisis, and when it came, my response was, “Bring it on!”  I was eager to see the miracles God would perform to bring me through this.  No matter how effective the traditional or nontraditional treatments for the disease, a crisis like this can rock your world, because in truth, you are facing the very real possibility of death.  I would have been defeated from the outset if I had not been able to confidently place my trust in the God who holds all of creation and every moment of my life in His hands.

Would you share some Words of inspiration that you've used to help you through each day?

I have been memorizing scripture regularly for many years, and those words are the ones that come up the most when I need encouragement.  When I faced retirement from 30 years as a rural route mail carrier, the Lord addressed my fear of the unknown with Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
In a Biblical counseling course I took after I retired, I learned that I am not powerful enough to screw up the plan God has for me.  That has been a very comforting thought ever since.

When I was returning home from getting my biopsy, the sign on a church near our home gave me a strong weapon against my fear: “I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me,” from Psalm 23.

My husband once said, “Ultimately, freedom is the right to choose right.  While it also includes the right to choose wrong, that choice ultimately leads to the loss of freedom."  That has served to help keep me on the straight and narrow road more than once.

Give us a brief summary of “It’s Okay To Be Me” :

A cancer diagnosis is never welcome, but for me it was a call to battle rather than a temptation to drown in despair.  My response was, “Bring it on!”  I wanted to see what God would do with this.
My book chronicles the very personal account of my early years and the factors that contributed to my feelings of rejection.  While not a victim of abusive, alcoholic, or drug-using parents–or even of abject poverty–indwelling sin twisted my experience, convincing me that I was terribly flawed and unworthy.
But God was at work in my life, calling out to me and holding me close even at my most rebellious times.  It was when I was at my most vulnerable point, fearing a possible death sentence from cancer, that I finally got the message that I was infinitely valuable and eternally and unconditionally loved by the very Creator of the universe.
Walk with me through the revelational process of finding my true worth.  Discover the ways God prepared me for my most difficult journey of breast cancer and continually supported me through the stress of the challenging decisions, surgery, and recovery.  Read how I discovered, for the first time in sixty-five years, why it really was okay to be me.

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I am Veronica Arnold, author of the book, “It’s Okay To Be Me: A Journey to God’s Heart by Way of Cancer.”  In 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, subsequently having a mastectomy and breast reconstruction.  My book is the story of that journey.  The take-away message for me was that it really is okay to be me.  That message was so revelational that I had to write a book about it.
It occurred to me that I might not be the only one with identity issues. I have been learning that what we believe about ourselves determines the way we live.  God’s Word tells us how He feels about us–if we could just agree with Him in the deep place of our hearts, we could experience His love and grace on every level of our lives.  The question is, how do we come to that place of agreement?  I hope my book will help you answer that question.
I live in Fort Collins, Colorado, with my husband of 47 years, Jerry Arnold.  Our two adult children and their spouses, children, and assorted pets live in nearby towns.  I worked for 30 years as a rural route mail carrier for the US Postal Service (maybe someday I’ll tell you that story!) and retired in 2004.  In 2007 I took a two-year Biblical counseling course through Re-Connect Ministries in Greeley, Colorado.  In 2009 I began taking courses at Front Range Community College, working toward a master’s degree in counseling.  In the spring of 2012 I took a Creative Nonfiction Writing course there, the result of which was this book.
I have always wanted to learn things, but while I was working I never had the time, money, or self-discipline to go to school.  Taking one course at a time I may never make it to that counseling degree, but I am loving the journey.
In my blog I hope to share with you some of the cool things I’m learning along the way.  I hope you’ll join the on-going conversation and, with me, never stop learning and growing.
For comments or questions please email me, or add a comment to any of the blog posts. I look forward to hearing from you.

Find Veronica at:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Five Secrets from Kathleen Kaska and Her Novel ~ Murder At The Galvez

First we get to meet Kathleen, and then read her secrets. They're very interesting :)

Bio:  Kathleen Kaska writes the award-winning Sydney Lockhart mysteries set in the 1950s. Her first two books Murder at the Arlington and Murder at the Luther, were selected as bonus-books for the Pulpwood Queens Book Group, the largest book group in the country. The third book in the series, Murder at the Galvez, has just been released and number four will be out soon. Kaska also writes the Classic Triviography Mystery Series, which includes The Agatha Christie Triviography and Quiz Book, The Alfred Hitchcock Triviography and Quiz Book, and The Sherlock Holmes Triviography and Quiz Book. The Alfred Hitchcock and the Sherlock Holmes trivia books were finalists for the 2013 EPIC award in nonfiction. Her nonfiction book, The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The Robert Porter Allen Story (University Press of Florida) was published in 2012.

When she is not writing, Kathleen, a native Texan, spends much of her time traveling the backroads and byways with her husband, looking for new venues for her mysteries and bird watching along the Texas coast and beyond. It was her passion for birds that led to the publication The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane.

Hi Kathleen, please tell us Five Secrets we may not know about you, but will after today!

1)  I had not planned on writing the Sydney Lockhart Mystery Series. At the time Sydney appeared in my life, I was working on another series. Then one afternoon while staying at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Sydney walked into my life and demanded I tell her story. The crazy girl wouldn’t shut up until I wrote the first scene. Her story was so entertaining, I put the first series on the backburner and began writing Murder at the Arlington. I’m working on book number five right now. The first series is still unpublished.

2) Since I’ve been writing my Sydney Lockhart series, I’ve had this weird reoccurring dream. Let me back up. Like I mentioned in my bio, the series is set in 1950s and Sydney is a twenty-nine-year old female Philip Marlowe. One of my readers described Sydney as a cross between Jessica Rabbit and Lauren Bacall. Anyway, since I began writing about her wild exploits, I’ve often dreamed of running down the street wearing a pair of red stilettos. I do own a pair of red stilettos, but when I run, it’s in a pair of New Balance sneakers.

3)  When I was a teenagers in the 1960s, I watched a lot of TV. My favorite TV personality was Morticia Adams from The Adams Family series. I wanted to look just like her, act just like her, and be blessed with her femme fatale charm. A few years ago, I wrote a short story about a high school girl obsessed with Morticia. The title is Role Model and by the time this blog posts, the story should be up on Amazon as an e-book. 

4)  I want to be an Egyptologist. Yes, I know at my age that will probably not happen. I didn’t discover my passion for ancient Egypt during my trip to that wonderful country in 1992. Since then, I’ve read everything about Egypt I can get my hands on, nonfiction and fiction. And that includes Elizabeth Peters’ entire Amelia Peabody series. I’m fascinated with King Tut’s story and am intrigued over the mystery surrounding the demise of his sister/wife Ankhesenamun. 

5)  Okay, I saved the most shocking secret for last. Don’t hate me, but I don’t like Oreo cookies. A real chocolate cookie is not pitch black and a real cream center is not stark white. I ate them when I was a kid because every kid ate them. Now that I’m an adult, and not so susceptible to peer pressure, I eat whatever cookie I want.


Eighteen years after discovering the murdered body of her grandfather in the foyer of the historic Galvez Hotel, Sydney Lockhart reluctantly returns to Galveston, Texas to cover the controversial Pelican Island Development Project conference. Soon after her arrival, the conference is cancelled; the keynote speaker is missing. When his body turns up in the trunk of Sydney’s car, she’s hauled down to the police station for questioning. The good news is Sydney has an alibi this time; the bad news is she finds another body—her father’s new friend—he’s floating facedown in a fish tank with a bullet in his head. Her father’s odd behavior and the threatening notes delivered to her hotel room, leads Sydney to suspect that her grandfather’s unsolved murder and the present murders are connected. As if this wasn’t bad enough, just a few blocks from the hotel at her parents’ home people are gathering, sparks are flying, another controversial event is in the planning, one that just might rival the Great Storm of 1900. 

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Take Five and Meet Author Kim McMahill

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Kim.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book, Shrouded In Secrets?
Quiet a number of years ago I saw a program on the Travel Channel about thirteen crystal skulls and their associated legends. There were a lot of theories surrounding their origin, if all thirteen actually exist, and if they are even truly ancient. Whether or not any of it was true didn’t matter to me, I was only interested with the mystery and the potential to create a really awesome adventure.

What were your experiences as a child that contributed to you becoming a writer?
I grew up in the country, with no close neighbors or cable television, so imagination was essential. I didn’t have a tricycle or video games, but I did have a mini-bike, pony, and later, a horse, which provided countless adventures.  In high school I wrote a short story in a creative writing class and the teacher noted that with more character development, I had a novel. From there, my passion for writing stories of adventure and romantic suspense grew.

Do day-to-day life experiences influence your stories?
Yes. Working for the National Park Service has given me the opportunity to see and do some amazing things. Also, I travel as much as we can, which is where I often find my settings and story ideas.

What is the first thing you do when you begin a new book?
First, I get to know my characters, and then I write, rewrite, and rewrite the first chapter until I practically have it memorized. I want to give readers something special right out of the gate.

If you were a TV, film or book character, apart from one you've created, who would you be? And why?
I would be Lady Sarah Ashley from the movie Australia. I’ve always dreamed of exploring Australia, and hanging out with the Drover wouldn’t be bad either. Australia is one of my all-time favorite movies and Lady Ashley really proved herself to be a strong and resourceful woman. 

Give us a brief summary of Shrouded In Secrets:

The massacre of an unarmed South American village, destruction of one of the greatest manmade wonders of the world, and multiple museum thefts ignite a desperate scramble to locate a deadly group of terrorists. An international team led by the ruggedly handsome, but emotionally scarred CIA agent, Cash Luker, scours the globe in an attempt to keep ahead of those striving to bring thirteen mythical relics together. As Cash’s team closes in on those responsible for the devastation he must conquer past demons in order to save the woman who has captured his heart and prevent destruction of legendary proportions.

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Kim grew up in Wyoming, which is where she developed her sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. Since leaving Wyoming she has enjoyed many opportunities to see the world and has lived amid some of America’s most stunning landscapes. Kim started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense. Along with writing adventure novels Kim has also published over eighty travel and geographic articles, and contributed to a travel anthology and cookbook.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Take Five With Lauren Linwood and Her Novel ~ Written In The Cards

Thank you, Lauren, for coming up with the name for my new Meet An Author Series.  You rock!!

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Lauren.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book Written in the Cards?

I wanted to write another western and decided to incorporate the idea of dime novels into the storyline. After the Civil War, public education grew by leaps and bounds, and the literacy rate rose dramatically. People were hungry to read. Dime novels were the Harry Potter books of their time—popular, accessible, reasonably priced, and full of adventure.

I decided to have my hero Ben Morgan be the author, but my heroine Maggie Rutherford is pretty darn feisty. She demanded to be the dime novelist of my tale, so I let her have her way. She writes and illustrates her dime novels under a male pen name and travels to the West so she can experience firsthand the events she writes about. Ben wound up being a gambler who killed a card cheat in self-defense, and now the cheater’s gunslinger brother has sworn to kill Ben.

Have you been a lifelong reader of historical romances? What are some the first books you remember reading?

I’ve always been drawn to historical romance, probably because I love history. Growing up, I read Victoria Holt novels and wanted to crawl inside and live them! Then Kathleen Woodiwiss hit the scene and changed the landscape of romance forever.

What do you do to rev your creative juices?

I’m a reader by nature, so I’ll read all kinds of history books and scour websites that have information that involves the era I want to write about. I’m drawn to medieval times and the American West, in particular. 

I’m also a daydreamer, so I devour dark chocolate (I freeze bite-sized Dove so I don’t gobble it too fast!) and then I let my imagination soar. I think of a name, and then I begin to physically see a person of that name. The personality and characteristics follow. I finish fleshing out my hero and heroine (and sometimes the villain) by creating their back story. Once I have the people, the creative juices begin flowing—and the fun of writing their story begins.

LA NOTE, good idea about the chocolate, I'm going to try that!

What would be your advice to people who are considering a writing career?

Don’t quit your day job! If you really want to write and be published, you’ll find the time to be creative through your writing—and still pay your bills. It’s the rare author who can make it through writing alone. At the same time? You’ve got to write, write, write your heart out. 

Dare to dream. Jim Carrey just told a class of graduating college seniors in Iowa, “You could fail at what you don’t love, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” If you love writing, pursue every avenue possible. Write every day. Join a critique group. Attend writing workshops. When you’ve got the best polished product, be brave enough to submit to a publishing house.

You’re having a dinner party. What character from your novel do you hope doesn’t show up? 

Without a doubt, Black Tex Lonnegan. Why? He’s the 19th century version of a terrorist! He’s got a set of big guns, has murder on his mind, and . . . he’d smell AWFUL!

Give us a brief summary of Written in the Cards:

When dime novelist Maggie Rutherford interviews cowboy Ben Morgan for her next book, she falls fast . . . and then learns he’s actually a gambler with a gunslinger hot on his trail. Will Ben run from his growing attraction to Maggie and an outlaw’s promise of death—or will he make a stand for his life—and love?

Lauren Linwood became a teacher who wrote on the side to maintain her sanity in a sea of teenage hormones. Her romances use history as a backdrop to place her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire and yearning for one another grow into the deep, tender, treasured gift of love.
Lauren, a native Texan, lives in a Dallas suburb with her family. An avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan, she manages stress by alternating yoga with five mile walks. She is thinking about starting a support group for Pinterest and House Hunters addicts.

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