Saturday, February 26, 2011

SAMPLE SUNDAY: First Chapter of " Mine Alone"


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Welcome to #SampleSunday a way to taste a book. While your visiting if anything strikes your fancy please pass it on by following or tweeting it. For this week, I chose the opening chapter of my just released *ebook. Hope you enjoy.


CHAPTER 1
It was Monday, July 9, 1879. His life was simple, at least in his mind. Monday's meant, first a leisurely breakfast with his brother, and then a casual sit down when the weather permitted. Today he filled the wooden chair in front of the saloon for a while before heading back home. Home was a small isolated cabin just eleven miles from where he sat.
He was just skimming over the monthly newspaper minding his own business. The warmth of the summer sun made his eyelids droop. Soon his head slowly nodded as his chin pressed against his chest under his black hat.
When the first vibrations of the thunderous sounds stirred him awake, he stayed perfectly still. The rumble filled his head. At first it reminded him of an approaching storm. Then the clatter of three pairs of horses' hooves pounding on the earth and vibrating like war drums caused a quivering sensation in his gut, and its echoes filled his chest. Letting these sensations pulsate through him made him feel alive. When the noise stopped and the dust settled, everyone knew the noon stage to town had arrived. Today it was on time.
Well, the town folk referred to it as a town. In reality, it was a hole-in-the-wall. They named it Paradise. Those passing through did not get the joke. It looked no different than all the other small towns whose founding fathers had had visions of grandiose things on the horizon for the budding new town, visions that the muses never allowed to be fulfilled. The population of the whole county totaled three hundred twenty, soon to be three hundred and twenty-one.
Only the newest resident did not know she was about to be one. Penelope Carson planned to be living in Dusty Springs, and in two more days she would be getting off this stage to begin what she hoped was a new life.
Today however, when she stepped down from the coach her thoughts were on the decent meal the driver earlier that morning had promised would be waiting for her. Maybe, if she just had not slipped climbing down.
Whoa there, missy, you OK?”
He saw.
The man saw and he wanted and he would take. There was nothing to think over. It was that simple.
He took.
*CHECK  it out.  ON SALE NOW at Sizzler Editions and Amazon Kindle $4.99
Today $3.99 discount applied at check out

**  BETTY CARLTON HAS 3 KINDLE BOOKS ON SALE FOR  .99 TODAY ALSO.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_13?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=betty+carlton&sprefix=betty+carlton

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Debut Novel: MINE ALONE

                Mine Alone

When the west was wild and a strong arm or a gun ruled.

Charles had both. He also had desires and once he saw Penelope, she was his for the taking. She resented his form of discipline. Only time will allow them to discover how a relationship can change from pain to ecstasy; from lust to love.

A review of " The Changeling " by Morgan Gallagher.

I don't read this stuff
I don't read this stuff

Not until I discovered, Morgan Gallagher. I found her on Sample Sunday.*
After opening her blog page I was just about to skip reading when a sentence caught my eye. Then another and another, I read the complete section and now had questions. Why was Joanne hurt, and who would have inflicted such bruises?
I read everything on her blog and could not find the answer. Her release wasn't until April 10th. So when an opportunity to read a pre-release copy of her book came my way I jumped at it.
It took me two sittings to read it. Why two, because I started reading it at 8pm. If I had started earlier, this would have been one of those books you don't put down until the last page and you read that twice not wanting the adventure to be over.
Morgan has mastered the emotional ride. From who cares about a cat. To I hope the cat is, Ok. From silly young woman to cheering her on to survive and onto that's it--show him, show them, show the world.
What can you say about Jonathan Dreyfuss? Miss Gallagher straps us into the roller coaster as she makes you dislike him, understand him, pity him, and then almost hoping for him.
Her ways with words will have you not only seeing the scenes before your eyes, but you will swear you're smelling what she wants you to. Whether the scent of cologne, sweat, blood, (yes blood) and the back streets of London at night, your senses will reel.
****
Dreyfuss is on the hunt. Joanne becomes his latest victim, then his prisoner. Her will to live will surprise him, and together a long arduous journey begins. He will take everything from her he can, until the day he decides to withhold nothing from her.
Joanne will not go willing in the direction he has set out for her. The day will come when she understands his weakness, and she discovers the inner strength to use it against him. Will she still want to?
Who will win the day? No spoilers here. Release date April 10th .
Check it out at: http://thedreyfusstrilogy.blogspot.com/
* Sample Sunday many independent writers offer on their blogs free reading from their latest work. On Sunday many links can be found on Twitter #ss or #samplesunday.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Dinner Invitation FREE READ/

Thank you for taking part in Sample Sunday. Leave a comment and how to reach you. I will be giving a free ebook read to one person.

I have 3 ebooks  online. Reaissance ebooks,  will be releasing 2 New books in March.

If you want to purchase links at end of page:

The classified ad read. "Roommate wanted. Female to share expenses. Call 800-555-1212. ad# 2343"

"Hello, Fast Rents, can I help you?"

"I'd like some more info about 2343 please."

The agent asked for her email address and sent over all the information requested. The room that was available was located just outside of town in what once was a very exclusive area. With the new expressway completed, it would take only twenty-five minutes to go back and forth to work. The e-mail also contained a picture of the room which was bright and spacious with a double bed and a large walk-in closet which was to die for, but the French doors opening to a private veranda made her mind up for her.

Zva e-mailed the agent and requested an appointment to see the room in person. The only time the leasing agent had available was three o’clock the next day. She took it even though it meant losing time at work.

The room and location was all that she hoped for and more. She agreed to rent the room and signed the lease that afternoon.

She watched as the woman who took her deposit turned her blue Honda Civic around in the front of the three car garage and left.

Thankfully tomorrow was Saturday. She moved everything she owned in two trips. It would be good to sleep on a bed and not an old classmate's couch in the basement. Even though the couch wasn't very comfortable, she still greatly appreciated her friend letting her stay there. The room that she originally planned on renting prior to her arriving in town was rented to someone else. She still fumed over that one. She signed a six-month lease for the room and headed to the place only to find out they decided at the last-minute to give the room to a relative.

Fresh from the shower she headed for the kitchen. Kitchen privileges would help save her money.

A man was sitting on the couch so comfy eating a sandwich.

Oh!” she said, surprised to find anyone in the house. The leasing agent led her to believe that the owner was out of town for a while, and she wasn't exactly sure when she’d be back.

He looked up and gave her the male once over, smiling.

Hi, I’m Mark. You must be Sandra’s new roommate.”

Extending his hand, she took it not quite sure why.

I'm Zva. I didn’t know there was anyone else living here.”

Oh, there isn't.”

Sandra’s my sister, and she travels a lot. So I check in every so often to make sure that everything's ok.”

That meant that he had a key and could come and go as he pleased. She felt a shiver run up and down her spine. It was then she realized he was eating her food. That ticked her off. It was bad enough that he suddenly appeared out of nowhere, but now he simply helped himself to her food. She held her temper and smiled sweetly instead.

So, you live near here?”

"In Brentwood two towns east of here,” he answered. “Oh, here’s my set of keys. I won’t be sneaking in on you or anything like that. I will be back next week to repair a small plumbing issue in the basement. So, if you're not going to be here just leave a key under the blue rock out front, and I'll leave them on the table when I'm done. Ok?”

Sure”

And just like that, he jumped off the kitchen stool, waved, and left. As the rumble of his car's engine faded, Zva berated herself for overreacting and getting herself upset for no reason.
*****

Hello, Fast Rents, can I help you?”

This is Mark Simpson. Please tell Gale to remove ad.1243. Mrs. Weston has decided not to rent out the second room. However, she is pleased with your choice of a roommate and a check will be forthcoming.”


*****

Zva was just getting home when Mark walked out of the front door and pulled it shut. She watched him walk down the steps, and she waved. He saw that she had packages and offered to help her.

Here, let me help. Give me your key, and I’ll unlock the door.”

Once he was inside, she felt rude not offering him some kind of refreshment.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Mark started showing up more often always working on something in the basement. Each time he came, he stayed longer and longer. The one thing he did each and every time was to make sure that she realized that he was leaving the keys, but he was always arranging to come back so she would always end up simply leaving the keys under the rock for him. One day he had just finished mowing the lawn, and they were sitting on the back deck. He sucked down a beer as she sipped on her ice tea.

Mark, wasn’t there a lawn service the first week I moved in. Why are you doing it? May I ask?”

So I can visit you, why else?” He smiled sweetly at her.

He had been nothing short of the perfect gentleman, but still like the first time they met another cold shiver ran down her spine.

Next time why don't you bring your girlfriend, and I’ll cook dinner?” Zva offered trying to sound casual.

I never said that I had a girlfriend.”

Stop it! A good-looking guy like you? You have to have a girlfriend.”

You think I’m good-looking?”

She blushed and hated herself for saying it, knowing that he saw it to.

Let’s see tall, thick dark brown hair, sharp brown eyes, and muscular. It's quite obvious that you're good looking?”

Dinner for four?” He asked.

No.” She answered rather quickly, too quickly. Calmer she added. “Dinner for you and a guest, I love to cook.”

You're on. When?”

"Well, how is next Friday evening at around 7:00?"

"Great! My friend Rose is flying into town." Then he was gone.

The week flew by, and Zva was now getting excited about the dinner arrangements. She made sure that everything was cooked to perfection, and she really got into it.


It was Friday evening, and she just finished the table settings. Sandra had some expensive china, and it looked beautiful next to her own European lead crystal and the fresh cut flowers in the Japanese vase. The lasagna was in the oven and the fresh bread ready to pop in next to it when they arrived. The wine was on the counter and the beer was cold in case Mark preferred that. All that was left was herself.

The pink sweater fit like a glove, and the slacks she chose had style, but still were comfortable to move around in. One more clip in her hair and the phone rang. She glanced at the clock. It was 6:30.

Hello, Zva, it’s Mark. I’m so sorry, but Rose's plane was delayed in Dallas. The flight was rescheduled, and she won’t be in until around midnight. I was really looking forward to the three of us getting to know each other better. Lasagna is my favorite meal. Now I guess it’s bologna sandwiches for me tonight after all.”

She ignored it when that cold chill did its thing along her spine.

Don’t be silly. It’s all ready. Come on over.”

Are you sure?”

Of course. See you in a few.”

She heard the car in the driveway and headed to the door, opening it before he could knock. If she had been interested, man he looked delicious. He wore a suit but no tie, and his shirt was unbuttoned showing just a hint of masculine chest hair. She had to stop herself from nuzzling up to him when she caught the scent of his cologne.

It was slow going at first. However, by the time the meal was well under way they were laughing and enjoying each other's company.

Why no foursome tonight? You’re not bad looking yourself, you know?”

Thank you. It’s personal, and I rather not talk about it. Ok?”

"No, it's not ok."

It was the way he said it, rough and demanding. She popped her head up, trying to decide if she needed to be afraid. All she saw was his soft brown eyes filled with concern, and the smile that made you want to smile back at him each and every time.

"Sandra's one lucky woman,"

Then she listened as he teased and coerced her to tell all.

There were no tears this time. No self-pity because she finally moved past that. It took years, and it had been rough emotionally.

"Steve and I planned the most perfect wedding, a future filled with happiness was just around the corner. Everyone was arriving. Everyone was laughing and joking, but the groom was late. The groom never showed. They found him and he could not say why he did not show, but they all knew. There would be no ramifications for his actions. She had to identify the body he had no family left. A delivery truck ran a red light. He died instantly they told her.

"Finally five years later, when I thought I was ready, I dated this jerk from my office and he tries to rape me in the car on our very first date."

"Man that's rough, I'm so sorry." He offered.

"Oh, wait it gets better." Smiling she said. "I can laugh now but then," a deep sigh. "I go to my tenth year class reunion and this guy I meet there and I start seeing each other. We dated about two-weeks, and I'm real shy and real skittish, so I'm holding back the sex. I mean, I figure Zva your thirty-two it's time to give it up, right? So, I plan this romantic dinner and buy sexy lingerie, the whole nine yards. Hey it's my first time and I'm nervous. The door-bell rings and who do you think is there? His wife, that's who."

"Oh, Zva, Zva honey." He's laughing, she's laughing. Then he adds. "It's the wife classic part that's funny, not the way men seem to keep betraying you. I'm sorry I laughed, That must have hurt you real deep." He put down his glass and stood.

"It's getting to be near mid-night, and I need to get Sandra."

Zva sat in the dark for two hours before getting ready for bed.



Chapter 2

She never met Sandra and wondered what type of person she was. Even though Mark did not talk much about her, she found herself feeling a hint of jealousy.

She watched Mark as he lugged stuff downstairs into the basement. Apparently the little plumbing issue turned into a major one, and she found him there so often in fact that he no longer played the 'leave the key game.' Sometimes they'd talk and other times he simply ignored her.

Today, he banged around downstairs until late into the night.

She just arrived home from a movie as she saw him come up the stairs and close the basement door.

"Mark, do you know what time it is?"

"No, I guess I lost track. Can I use my sister’s bath to clean up before I go?"

"Sure. Are you hungry? I can fix you something?"

"Great. Anything, thanks," he said as he headed down the hall toward Sandra's room.

They shared the snack and talked some more before Mark looked at the kitchen clock.

"Oh my is that clock right? I better get. I'll be back tomorrow, and if I can get here early enough, I'll be done."

Zva turned and looked up at the clock realizing it said 2:30.

"Mark, you can't drive all the way home at this hour and be back early in the morning. Why don't you just spend the night in Sandra's room? I make a mean breakfast."

"Are you trying to seduce me, Zva?"

"No!" she snapped.


"Easy, girl, I was just teasing. Remember it's me, honey. I understand. OK?" Smiling he added. "I better get going."

No, Mark, I'm sorry. I'd like you to stay, please. It was just an old reflex. Forgive me."

After getting ready for bed, she locked her door and couldn't help it as she moved a chair and forced it under the door-knob. Surprising even herself, she slept well.

Breakfast turned out to be a Southern style feast of eggs, bacon, sausage, gravy, and biscuits.

She giggled as she watched Mark practically lick his plate clean. She liked him and really was trying not to be so edgy around him. She knew he sensed it, but, like the nice gentleman he was, he never mentioned it once to her relief.

Right after he helped clean up the dirty dishes, he headed back into the basement, and she drove to the store for groceries. She noticed that his car was gone when she got back from shopping. As she put her groceries away in the kitchen, that tingle up her spine took her breath away once again. Chastising herself to stop it, she walked down the hall and stood in front of the basement door.
\With her right hand she slowly turned the knob, and taking a second breath she pulled. It did not open as she expected. That was when she noticed it also had a deadbolt lock on the door. It was not so noticeably since it was nearer to the top of the door than the center where they usually were located. Reminding herself that it was none of her business, she returned to the kitchen.

Snuggled down under the warm blanket Zva finished her report to the corporate office. She hated this part of her job. The squealing was the part that kept her without friends. She infiltrated the office staff and looked for the culprit, the thief.

Sadness washed over her remembering Kathy. She liked her, and they did become friends until Zva discovered the person stealing was Kathy's nephew. Kathy had no idea that her nephew was stealing from the company, but she blamed Zva for destroying her family. After that incident she was pretty much alone. No it was safe to say that she was completely by herself. No one would have anything to do with her.

Now this job was about to wrap up. She would be sent to a new branch of the company to investigate. It suited her just fine not having a permanent location. Permanent represented something she still was not ready to face.

She e-mailed her report, turned out the light, and drifted off to sleep.

The noise of the phone woke her.

"Hello."

"Hi, it's Mark. Listen I got to get a few things I stored out of the basement, and I was wondering if you could be a lamb and help me .They are not heavy, but some items are bulky and an extra set of hands would really help."

"Sure when?"

He set it up for four o'clock Sunday. She told him she'd fix them a bite, and after she hung up, she realized she should have told him to bring Dolly too. She quickly hit recall and discovered the number was blocked. That seemed odd. Oh well, she moved to the bathroom to get ready for work. This was her last day at Frank’s Clothiers and Sons.

When she asked herself just how close Dolly and Mark might be, reverting to old tapes of past behavior patterns, she decided it did not matter. She was not going down that road ever again. Her last thought before getting out of the shower was all guys are nice in the beginning.


Mark coming on Sunday gave her something positive to focus on. She threw herself into getting ready. Dinner would be Mexican frijoles, black beans, salsa, and wedding cookies for dessert.

He showed up right on time. He always did to the minute she realized as she smiled opening the door for him.

He had two dozen red roses, and they were for her. The gesture left her speechless.

"I hope you like roses. "

"Mark, they're lovely, thank you."

She did not know what else to do, so she gave him a peck on the cheek. Only he saw it coming and moved so that her kiss landed smack on his lips. The roses she held between them stopped it from becoming more than a simple kiss. To grab her and plant the type of kiss he wanted would have destroyed them. She felt it and it confused her. Silently, thanking the flowers for their buffering of the kiss and then blushing, she turned and he followed her inside.

Unexpectedly she turned and caught him ogling her. Then she watched as a frown formed on his face.

"Don't ever where yellow again. It doesn't suit you," he said in the authoritative voice she remembered from the first day they met.

She responded with an uncomfortable giggle.

"Thanks for the fashion tip. I'll have to remember that. Do you want to move your stuff before or after we eat? I cooked Mexican and hope you like it."

"I'm game if you are. Let's get it over with now, OK?"

Together they walked down the hall, and he took a key from his pocket and unlocked the door. She listened to the tumbler release with a click and for some reason jumped as if startled. She saw him reach along the right wall for the light switch and heard the click. Nothing happened.

"Oh, man I forgot the last time I was here the bulb blew. There's another switch at the bottom on the left about shoulder height that will turn on the other light . I'll hold this door open and you can turn it on."

Cautiously, Zva felt her way down the steps and slowly edged herself down into the basement.

"What is it that always seems to unnerve people when they enter a dark basement," she said hearing him laugh.

With fingers spread wide she felt for the light switch and clicked the room into lightness. Unbelieving eyes looked toward Mark as he closed the downstairs door and placed a padlock on it.

Mark!”



Chapter 3

Mark!” she repeated. The cold chill again ran up and down her spine.

Mark, where is the stuff that you want moved?” She said stupidly while he watched, trying to get her to focus on what was in the room.

Large frightened eyes watched as Mark placed the padlock key deep into his pocket and turned towards her. He was smiling, and it was not the one that made you want to smile back at him.

Mark, I want to go back upstairs now, please. Why did you me bring me down here?”

He walked over and sat in one of the two chairs near the middle of the room. He still had not spoken a word.

Mark!” She yelled. “What’s going on here?

Are you going to murder me?”

She began to cry.

Zva, sit down in this chair.”

I don’t want to. I want to leave.”

You're not going anywhere until we have a little talk. Sit!”

The way he said sit scared her. He watched her lose control. She screamed and sobbed unsure of what to say or do to convince him to open the door. Neither worked. Now he listened to her begging and promising things she had no intention of keeping.

When you're finished with all your tantrums, sit down and we will talk.”

After ranting and raving for another twenty minutes, all of her energy was expended, and she finally relented and sat in the chair in front of him.

That’s better. Now if you'll listen, you'll learn the rules.”

Friday, February 18, 2011

How to cure writers block:


I heard this question over and over. What do you do for writers block?
Maybe what works for me will work for you.

I have two very effective solutions.

The first one may not apply to you guys out there. Or even to the women who are clean freaks. ( No offense meant.) Hey, we love you, babes.

Those of you who are writers, housewives, and or mothers might. Your day has started leaving you two choices write or clean house.

Let's face it, who is going to choose dirty dishes, dusting, laundry, making beds over a chance to sit down and create far away places in our minds and out our fingers. Isn't that what the breaks are for. First break dishes. Ok, enough of that back to writing. Second break filling washing machine. Ok, enough there too. I think you get to point.

Now the second and truly effective motivator is this:

Have a character ask a question.

Why does that work because someone else in the room must respond? Here's an example. (Ok, your character is alone; let him talk to himself.)

"What's the weather like outside?"..boring and innocent enough right.
"I think it started to snow."She walked to the window and pulled open the curtain.
"Come look at this!"
Now first person has to move and respond.

Sam moved behind her and rested his chin on her shoulder.
"Wow. It must have snowed all night. I guess we won't be going to the office today. …...CUT :)Here you can chose any response. In my version they go back to bed and well you know. A whole nude new scene.

Here's the best part, You Hate what you wrote. No problem you hate it because you thought of a better way for the scene to go. If you scrap it, so what. You're writing and the ideas are back. Bonus you if like it, now you have a whole new scene.

Questions or things to say that work in case you really have a block.

Who is/are....? he, she,here, joining us, responsible for this.

What is/are....? that, happening to me/you/them/it, he/she doing

where is/are...? your.?..,he/she/you going/ is any object/place your can name.

How is/are....? anything characters or even you the author or a reader might ask at this point that maybe has not be addressed or made clear.

Try it next time and let me know how you do. I'd love to hear.

Have a great day and keeping writing.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sometimes the Long Road is the Shortest Road.

After reading this pieceI'm trying to find if there is a moral. Is there one? What do you think?
 

How’s that you say. Well count the tribulations and then you tell me if I’m wrong
Your standing in the middle of the road and a sign at the fork says 60 miles to get there. The other sign says short way 10 miles.
Which one do you choose?
Most of us just start strolling down the short route no problem, and certainly a no brainer. Right!


The longway starts with a warning no water first 2 miles. If you took it you would learn the sign was correct. However, what you did not know and will only learn after you began is the road is covered by beautiful shade trees, and a lemonade stand handing out free samples.
The next sign tells you it will soon begin to rain and it rains for the next ten miles. Night falls you sit under the trees having walked 12 miles that day.

The Shortway
Upon waking you stretch and continue on. A mile down the road the garden scene now changes and there are holes everywhere on the road and you must jump over each and every one to get through. The first five are a cinch but the next one you slip on your jump and land inside.
Two hours later you finally mange to climb out. Thankfully, as you look up ahead that one was the last. In exhaustion you lay on the road and rest. Another two hours later you again awake to continue your trip. Darkness falls and you stop for the night knowing you have traveled three miles.

Day 2 Longway
The road bends and head down a mild downgrade. The extra pull of gravity propels you forward faster then you thought possible. At the end of day two. You realize you have traveled 13 miles.

Day 2 Shortway

Day3 Longway’s morning greets you with the birds singings and me move down the path. You see a large lake and begin to explore it. You discover a deck and boat. Climbing aboard you start the motor and the humming engine brings you to the other side.
A taco stand waits for you to choose you dinner. Between you stroll and the lake crossing you traveled 20 miles today.

Day 3 Shortway’s morning greets your now open eyes with a sign ten miles to g life’s goal. So, full of expectation and a promise to yourself, that you will finish today, you race on. The turn in the path brings you to a stop. An old tingling sensation runs down and then back up your spine.
A new signs tells you, two miles to top and three miles down. Your eyes look up at the mountain ahead. It is covered in ice glaciers. As you nodded you head in defeat you see all the equipment you’ll need stacked at the bottom waiting for you. A tad more reassured you begin your climb as night comes your mileage tally is two miles.

Day 4 Longway
Another mile down the road you spy a bicycle leaning against a willow tree. The sun dripped low, but you ended your travels on time. NO one waits for you. All you have is the knowledge you did it. And did it well.

Day 4,5,6,7 Shortway. You start re-climbing the mountain and the ice is slippery. The crevices deep and deadly. When the ice stops the rocks and boulders block your .You never make more than a half mile a day. NO one waits for you. All you have is the knowledge you did it. And did it well.
this morning breakfast is two of last night’s tacos, but you’ll live, so you eat them and begin your journey. A mile down the road you see a sign twenty miles today or forty more if you don’t complete the tour today. Downhearted, but not defeated you press on.
started with snow falling and you watch helplessly as if covers the road. So not only is the next miles treacherous you have to keep stopped to make sure you haven’t left the road. As the snow stops and the sun comes out you count the miles and you have moved ahead three miles.
begins with sunshine, and so full of vigor you start out. A half hour in to your day you find a water hole and drink all you can hold. Fruit trees line your path and you pick to choices one.
starts out without any warnings. In fact the sign say enjoy flower garden next two miles. So off you go. Sniff; sniff enjoying the wonderful smelling flowers until your allergy hits. To sick to go on you rest, and after taking allergy pill you fall asleep .They always made you sleepy.