Tag Archive | children

Remember Me? LOL


My last post was over a year ago. I should be ashamed, and if I weren’t so tired, I might be. It has been a very long and hard year–illness and the endless medical stress that goes with it…but at the same time, it’s been a very rewarding one. I’m such a proud and happy woman right now.

My little girl graduated with Honors and Distinction with three degrees last May. She is now working on fast tracking her Masters and will graduate again in September. After nine years, we finally found a doctor that would listen to her and did an Xray of her hip–by this time, her hip had popped out and was facing whomever was walking beside her. Five minutes later, he diagnosed her with Avascular Necrosis from a “very old hip fracture.” We won’t go into how mad Mama is that she wouldn’t have had to go through all this had someone just Xrayed her all those years ago. Now, she has a new hip and starts PT Monday. And for those of you who know her…wait for it…she’s learned to crochet!!! I’m so happy.

My son just discovered his car is nearly paid off and he’s so close to having the entire thing redesigned and rebuilt. I’m simply amazed at what he’s doing. It’s truly a trial and error endeavor–the mixing of what he already knows and what he’s discovering works. He comes in and reports on his progress or his irritation–it’s so rewarding when he comes in all thunder and spitting fire and Mama still has the ability to remind him, it’s all a learning experience…all of which will serve him well when he flips more cars. As an antique needlework restorationist, I find such joy and satisfaction taking what most people would throw out and being able to make it like new again. To see him doing the same thing with metal and fiberglass and paint that I do with thread and natural dyes and stitches completely fills my heart.

My husband has lost 85 lbs in the last year and is feeling much better. He’s still trying to deal with the toddlers who are taking over his work, but he’s coping. I do see the words “don’t leave me with the babies,” in his eyes everytime one of his friends retire. Nice to know I can still calm him as well. We just celebrated our thirty-fourth wedding anniversary

In the last year I’ve had five books published and by Christmas, I should have two more out. Things are settling a little…I say and then run around the house knocking on everything that remotely looks like it may be made of wood–so I’m hoping to get more needlework projects and writing projects done. Life is looking up.

As for today, I have just closed two windows and turned off one fan. It’s the 5th of May. We have drizzle, wind and it’s 57* and dropping. The drizzle is gentle and smells wonderful. It’s full on spring and the wind is singing through the lush green trees. It’s cool so Mama’s making soup and everyone is happy! Especially Mama.

I promise not to wait another year to post. Until then, have a wounderful Spring!

Cover Wars at AuthorShout.com


Thank you all for your many votes for my cover for Kate’s House in Author Shouts’ Cover Wars. I’m thrilled you love it as much as I do, and Carol Fiorillo deserves so much praise for her talent. (She’s a sweetheart, too.) Please go to authorshout.com and click the Cover Wars tab at the top and keep voting. Four more days. One vote per day. Thank you again and sending big hugs.

KatesHouseCoverArt72dpi

Author Interview seventh question


And the last, best, and most visual question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: Referring to either your most recent book release, or your current WIP, if you were to cast your characters, what actors would portray them? Tell us about the character, and why the actor/actress fits.

ROFL…my poor writers’ group members will tell you that I drive them nuts, not only casting my own characters, but almost forcing them to cast their stories as well. When I’m writing a story, I may cast someone by looks alone, or perhaps I’ll see him/her in a role that screamed my own. Often though, by the time you finish your story, that casted actor may be too old, may be starring in something else where you say, “What was I thinking??” I tend to cast because of movements or attitude. It always helps to SEE your character in motion, catch tics, mannerisms, even the speech patterns. That does not, however, mean if they have a southern accent, you can’t force them to use an Irish one. Also, sometimes I cast people from photos that fit, even though I may not have any idea who they are. I give you the cast of my latest release, Kate’s House.

Anson Mount as Ian Stuart(WITH the beard, his dimples drive me nuts. LOL)

Hair model as Kate

Skyler Samuels as Crysta

Colin Ford as Liam

Maggie Elizabeth Jones as Livvy

Jasika Nicole as Reggie

Blake Michael as Rocky Lando

Maria Cesaria Cordel Encantado as Jannette

Miss Cicely Tyson as Nannette

Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.'s photo.Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.'s photo.
+7

Author Interview fifth question


Fifth question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: Pick five words to describe your writing style/voice… then tell us why you chose each word.

Irreverent–I’ve never been one to back down or believe or not believe something simply because that’s what I’m supposed to do. I draw characters who are the same way–be they children or old ghosts. Every character I create has at their core some belief system and they always follow it–good or ill. Which brings me to…

Emotional– All my stories are built around the character’s emotions. Their belief systems often drag them along from chapter to chapter and decide how they’ll react to whatever situation or other character they encounter. They will defend the things they think are important to the exclusion of many other “supposed to be important” things, and the resulting feelings–happy, sad, terrifying, and exhilarating–build the stories. This very often will include the emotions in the settings as well. I met an old lady once who smoked a cigar and drank moonshine. She was the most irreverent and the most fascinating woman I ever met. And that brings me to…

Lighthearted–In the immortal words from Legend, “there can be no good without evil….No love without hate….No heaven without hell….No light without darkness.” I take it a little further–“there can be no sorrow without happiness…not pain without humor” or you dissolve. Which brings me to…

Honest–While I adore fantasy, fairy tales and make believe, I can’t stand things or people who don’t ring true. I try very hard to make my characters breathe. I want them to walk off my pages, take my readers’ hands and pull them into the stories.

Southern–I am southern. I’ve lived in Delaware and Michigan, and still I came out southern. I lived in Florida and even though it’s south of Georgia, only certain parts of the state are really southern. Ninety percent of my characters are southern. Most bleed Georgia red clay, buttermilk and cornbread. There will be “sayings”. There will be accents–if not of the tongue, surely of the heart.

Announcing New Release and review


KatesHouseCoverArt72dpi Now available from Desert Breeze Publishing and Amazon.com, KATE’S HOUSE

When Katherine learns of her husband’s long time infidelity and other lies he’s told her over the years, she’s not sure which upsets her more: his duplicity or that she’s completely ignored the signs. Using his subterfuge against him, she acquires a quickie divorce, sole custody of their three children, and enough money to start a new life.

Finding an unusual and seemingly magical Queen Anne in the middle of a farm is the answer to her prayers–a place to teach her children that it’s okay to play and have fun–to be kids. She doesn’t count on falling love with the handyman who comes with the place–or dealing with his secrets–secrets that could destroy them all and their newfound happiness.

Excerpt~~

The heat hit them like a thick, wet blanket taken from the dryer way too soon. It made breathing a struggle.

Reggie put two fingers in her mouth and sent a piercing whistle into the gloom. “Hey, Ian, we’re here!” she bellowed.

There was no sound or movement for several seconds until, like a scene from a bad B movie, he appeared from behind the carriage house, moving in slow motion, pushing the fog out of his way. The sun chose that second to make a brief appearance long enough to shine down on his perfectly toned bare chest and arms as he quickly shrugged a gray tee shirt over it all.

Come on, seriously? No one really looks like that.

Katherine dropped her gaze to her feet, pretending to count the wild violets on the ground until she got the urge to giggle under strict control. A pair of bare feet peeking out from the hems of well worn jeans joined her feet in her vision of violets, and she looked up with a jerk directly into soft gray eyes, rimmed in charcoal lashes. His dark hair, thick and wavy, fell to his shoulders and was pushed straight back away from his face. Obvious from the fingers marks, he’d been out in the rain most of the day and the dampness fueled the waves already there. A heavy stubble darkened his chiseled chin, thick and well kept. The giggle bubbled up again when he spoke.

“Hello, I’m Ian Stuart.”

Of course you are.

The hint of an Irish accent crept from under his strict effort to control it. It was endearing and put her at ease. If he could be this beautiful and still feel self-conscious about something as innocuous as a slight Irish brogue, she was just fine.

She offered her hand. “It’s so nice to meet you, Mr. Stuart. I’m Katherine Jensen, and these are my children, Crysta, Willie, and Livvy.”

His eyes lingered on each child, and Katherine got the feeling he was memorizing their faces. When none of them squirmed under his perusal, he allowed a slight smile. “A fine lot you have here. I’d wager none of you fear the dark or imagine monsters under the bed.”

While Crysta and Willie’s eyebrows rose, Livvy took it in stride. “No, there’s nothing scary under my bed. Me and my animals have camp outs under there.”

He bent at his waist till he was eye-to-eye with her, no mean feat since he was well over six feet tall. “Then you shall be captain, my fine lass. Only the most fearless can be in charge.”

“Captain?” Willie scoffed. “She’s just a girl. And a baby one at that.”

“Age makes no difference. It’s strength that matters, Bodyguard.”

Her son’s eyes widened slightly. They stared at each other, some piece of information passing silently between them.

Crysta smiled. “And who am I to be, Mr. Stuart?”

“You are the balance,” Ian answered without hesitation.

So he had not only been listening to them the day they visited, he’d listened well. How else could he have sized up her children so fast?

“Well, I’m just the mama,” Katherine offered with a shaky smile and rushed on before he could bestow a title on her.

 

Review~~

Kate’s House offers a mixture of pain, humor, and romance as well as the supernatural, which adds dimension to this delightful novel. It is proof that redemption is possible even in the most trying situations and that love can be found when least expected.”  ~~Nancy C. LepriReadertoReader.com

Update and Review for ILLUSIONS from Desert Breeze Publishing now available at Amazon.com


IllusionsCoverArt72dpiNow up for voting in Cover Wars at http://authorshout.com/cover-wars/  ~~ Please register and vote daily October 11-17!

Seventeen years ago, Lily had the perfect life — loving parents and grandparents, a best friend and a boy she thought loved her. An explosion and a disastrous decision blew it all away.

She endures her estranged husband’s brutality in order to protect her six children and paraplegic grandmother, hiding her bruises and terror as best she can. Her family will be safe, even if it means shrinking their world into a very small space.

Alex has been trying to figure Lily out since he returned to town. His teaching job has not only allowed him to get to know her kids as he floats from school to school teaching them music, it’s given him a reason to reconnect with Lily.

However, the new persona he created is all she sees. In her eyes, the boy he was has ceased to exist. Will Alex’s love save or destroy her family?

Excerpt~~

“I’m sorry, Lily.”

She searched his face, and he didn’t buckle under her scrutiny. There was something about those eyes, something that grabbed her and wouldn’t let go. Something that made her feel safe and weak all at once.

“For what exactly? For my marrying the wrong man or for having the power to make me tell you things I refuse to tell anyone else?”

“Both, I guess.”

“You are a puzzle, Alex Anderson.”

“Not at all. My agenda is clear.”

She shivered. Her breath came in gasps as he leaned closer to her, and her heart beat out of control.

“Aren’t you going to ask me what that agenda is?”

“I’m not sure I want to know,” she whispered.

He surprised her by sitting up straight and offering her a wide smile. “You make very good tea.”

“You think I’m a coward?” She stared at her hands. There were tears in her voice, and she felt ashamed.

“Oh, no, Lily.” He put his glass down on the island, stood, and moved to stand in front of her. Sliding his hands along the side of her face, she felt his warmth flowing into her. Putting pressure on her chin with the pads of his thumbs, he raised her eyes to his. “You’re the bravest woman I’ve ever known.”

She scoffed. “You don’t have a clue what kind of woman I am.”

“You’re wrong.” The sudden pain in his eyes shocked her to her very core, and the need to comfort him was jarring. His voice when he continued was gentle, quiet, and intense. “I know you. I always have.”

With those words, he placed a gentle kiss on her forehead, soft, non-threatening, comforting and strengthening. Her eyes followed him as he picked up his glass, walked to the sink, rinsed it out, then headed to the door. As he opened the door, he slipped the lock on the doorknob.

“Get some rest. I’ll see you Monday.” With that, he closed the door behind him.

Lily remained frozen in her chair despite a devastating urge to run after him and beg him to stay. What was it about this man that made her feel so secure? By all rights and purposes, she’d only really met him this afternoon. He was a virtual stranger.

And why didn’t she send him away? After all, once he found out all the truths in her life, he’d leave anyway.

 

Review~~

Five our of Five Stars: A gut-wrenching, yet delightful read!

By Nancy C. Lepri on July 21, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Lily Cabot is raising six lovable, well-behaved children while keeping Peter, her abusive ex at bay. She fearful of him, and her kids hold him in contempt, also, wanting no part of him.

Living with her wheelchair-bound grandmother and caring for the needs of seven, not to mention herself, Lily is selfless and strong, determined to create a happy family environment.

The young man she once loved, Zandie Anderson is but a memory, though she still has a soft spot for him in her heart. If only, she thinks…but if only never happened, so she deals with the cards she’s been dealt. Not only deals with them, but does an excellent job, too. She encounters many stumbling blocks, though they do not deter her determination for a better life for her young ones.

Zandie, now going by Alex, teaches music for the local school system. His appearance is very different from the Zandie Lily once adored. He offers lessons to her children–drawn to the rowdy, but lovable brood–though more so to the girl he still loves. Attracted to him, Lily perceives something familiar in him, but cannot discern what, for he is not recognizable from the boy she had known. However, a relationship is impossible. She has her young ones and grandmother to care for, and her worry of reprisals from Peter keeps her from enjoying a life of her own.

Can Lily ever escape the bonds that bind her and find the true love she deserves, or will she continue to live in fear?

Ms. Hames Torres pens her novel with flair and wit. Though tackling the difficult subject of domestic violence, her protagonist proves to be a tough, independent woman who is doing an extraordinary job raising her six precocious kids while living with her grandmother, a feisty individual in her own right. Humor mixed with the issue of brutality offers a light-hearted, delightful read plus the anticipation of more in this same tone from this author.

Everyone should have a family reunion…


I’m a homebody. I don’t really travel. I like to go on day trips. Of course with my husband being on call with his job 24/365, day trips are about all we get…so, I like them. LOL

But staying home has a not-so-great-side. Stay at home and you’re not going to see anyone. You get so complacent that you don’t even realize you’re missing the people you don’t see. You know they’re missing from your life. They do cross your mind and you have nostalgic pangs of I-wonder-what-they’re-doing- right-about-now, and you miss them.

These days, we get so busy we don’t realize that with each day time is being eaten away by…well, passing time. Our jobs, daily chores and errands, stuffed full schedules get in our way, take up every minute in our days from dawn to night and we fail to notice another day has passed. Gone. Never to get back. Even when driving distance between close family members and friends is not so far away as to cost massive time and money, it’s hard to find time to do more than make do with the weekly phone call, or getting together on holidays when we can manage it. Then we realize how many of our loved ones we lose in a year. Five. Ten years. We think, how the hell did that much time pass? You find yourself remembering childhood memories of them because that’s all you’ve given yourself.

That’s just not right.

Last weekend, my mother’s family had a small family reunion. In the last few short years, she’s lost her brother and 2 sister-in-laws and a granddaughter. Her two remaining brothers, her niece and all their kids and grandkids are all the family she has left that she didn’t create herself…and she’s done a very good job of creating a massive family, six kids, sixteen grandkids, more than thirteen great grand children and I think 2 great great grandchildren. She and one of her brothers decided enough was enough and it was time for all of us to get together. Did we ALL make it to the reunion? Of course not. My sister’s daughter lives outside Seattle, one of my brothers lives in Virginia and his children and grandchildren live in North Carolina, and there were other grandchildren who couldn’t make it. Logistics of trying to get everyone off work and across state lines had to have been a nightmare, and yet, her brother managed to get two of his three daughters, and his one son to get time off and travel from Pensicola, Florida to Winder, Georgia. Seriously? We can bearly manage to get my husband, my kids and me all off and ready to go for out little day trips.

While it’s been years, and sorrowfully decades for some, since I’ve seen most of them, while I was looking at my “little” cousins’ children and thinking…why aren’t your mama’s still that size?…time fell away and everything was perfect. One of my cousins smiled and said, “Do you know who I am?” and I smiled back and said, “Do you know who *I* am?” Of course, we did, but that’s still pitiful, isn’t it?

And yet, seeing my mother’s smile as she slipped her arms around her “little” brothers’ waists, seeing this family that’s grown so large over the years, I drove home with a sense of reconnection and happiness, swearing that I wouldn’t get so swallowed up in the everyday goings on that I’d not talk to my sisters, my mother, my brothers only once a week. And yet, the week is over and we’ve all been exactly that, swallowed up in the everyday. My book, ILLUSIONS, was released on June first, and I’ve spent the week doing promotion, cleaning the house that was sorely ignored while I was writing and editing, and getting my daughter back and forth to her college classes, throwing away old copies of manuscripts now done and out into the world. I don’t see any light ahead and classes start back around the first of August. While we can call each other on the phone, trying to find little holes in our schedules to connect is sometimes impossible. Luckily, there is FB and email.

Sad.

Fourth of July cometh…

Thank God.