Round Robin

Linda Trout here. Let’s do a round robin. Haven’t done this in a while so here are the rules:

 I’ll start a story, then you pick up where I left off and let’s see where it goes.

The Grandfather clock in the hall chimed midnight.

She sighed. “So it begins.”

Pulling back the heavy drape, she peered out. Moonlight bounced off the crystals on the brown grass, deceptively making the area look like a wonderland. Her little calico spotted her and came running for the door. Smart animal, she thought. No one or nothing in their right mind would want to be out in the frigid cold for long. Herself included.

But that would change all too quickly. Reluctantly she reached for . . .

Your turn. What happens next?

Friday on Sunday: Robyn Daniels’ Book Reviews: Three by Jean Brashear

FRIDAY BOOK REVIEWS

Robyn here. Sorry for the extended medical absence. Today’s review is a trilogy of three e-books about family by Jean Brashear.

Texas Secrets

What an opening Brashear offers up. Imagine growing up amid dysfunction where you do all you can to keep the family ranch going after the untimely death of your lovely family-centered mom. Then, when your distant dad goes to the great rodeo in the sky, you learn he mysteriously willed away part of your legacy. Boy, Brashear can build up the angst and write a well-plotted cozy mystery. The major characters are Maddie Rose Collins and Boone Gallagher in this first book. The secondary characters are well drawn and substitute parents to Boone Gallagher when he needs courting advice.

The lush writing and well done loving make it a hard book to put down. I reached for the second book as I said adieu to the first couple.

Texas Lonely

Imagine a Texas ranch boy forced from his home by his angry father at 16 years old. He never goes home again. Rootless, he becomes a hunter/guide and is befriended by Cy in the back of beyond around the Wind River Area of Wyoming. After the man passes, he leaves his rustic cabin to Mitch Gallagher. It is the closest to a home he’s had in years. He loves this haven.

One day nature sounds are broken with the call of a child on his land over two miles from the last parking place. Five year old Davey seeks his grandfather, Cy. Thus begins a deeply emotional story with three primary characters in the mix. Brashear’s writing is sensual and her description is in top form. Both Mitch and Cy’s granddaughter are wounded souls who heal each other. Davey and his questions and observations keep the story spot-on. Eventually, the outside world arrives to help them toward Happily Ever After.

This is an incredible read for phrasing and uses of all of the senses. Bravo!

Texas Bad Boy

As with the first book I just downloaded this selection after ending the second e-book. Without giving away too much, let me say we were short one man for the Happily Ever after without adding Devlin Marlowe to the mix. The story and back-story of Devlin Marlowe and Lacey DeMille is richly textured and peopled.

So, all three stand alone novels have different styles. Lacey is many things to many people but mainly as a people pleaser at her own expense. Brashear makes readers care so much about her characters that we hate getting to the inevitable ending.

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Remember: If you want a particular book reviewed, please contact me. If you wish to review a book, we ask that it not be your own work. Make reviews between 20 and 300 words. Scale between 1-5 hearts with one being the worst book you ever read. Five is for a best ever read. We reserve the right to edit reviews for length and content. The reviews are based on recent reads, NOT NECESSARILY NEW RELEASES.

Reviewed by Robyn Daniels

Remember: If you want a particular book reviewed, please contact me. If you wish to review a book, we ask that it not be your own work. Make reviews between 20 and 300 words. Scale between 1-5 hearts with one being the worst book you ever read. Five is for a best ever read. We reserve the right to edit reviews for length and content. The reviews are based on recent reads, NOT NECESSARILY NEW RELEASES.

Reviewed by Robyn Daniels

SOMETHING EXTRA

I’m writing this blog a week early, because I have a feeling I’ll be so tryptophan filled by next Saturday, I won’t wake up through the entire weekend.

Just a reminder. 🙂 Even Pilgrims could take only so much turkey leftovers.

Gotta love a smart turkey.

 This is a nod to our fabulous Miss Marilyn, lover of all things flamingo. The hokier the better. 🙂

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

Tradionally, the fourth Thursday in November is our Thanksgiving holiday in the US. This is an American celebration, much like the 4th of July. It’s not celebrated in other countries.

Since we were planning on returning to the states for Thanksgiving but NOT for the Christmas holidays, I found myself explaining our actions to lots of other expats.

People from all over the world understand Christmas as a family holiday, but fewer understand what Thanksgiving means beyond turkey dinner and football.

To me, Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate plenty. An autumn harvest of family and loved ones. I like the shared meal and the feeling that all I have to do is enjoy my family and spend time thanking God that I have them.  Fall usually gives us a crispness in the air and the certainty that things are about to get colder.  I have always liked the idea that the early colonists took time to share what they had with neighbors and formed connections so they could pool resources over the long cold winter.

Writers do a solitary task. When we get together to pool our resources, we share the load a little.  I’m thankful for all my associates.  It would be a long cold winter without you.

–Sandee Wagner

WRITING AWAY FROM HOME

First, I apologize for missing my blog last Wednesday.  My weekend ended on Monday and it threw me off the entire week.  I was flat behind one day all week!  By the time I realized my mistake, it was too late to post my blog. 

Do other writers have a “portable” office?  I don’t mean they carry a laptop or netbook or iPad when they travel.  I’m talking about a mini-office like the one pictured below.

 Yep, you’re seeing not only a laptop, but a printer, my “writing” iPod with Celtic music, and a table to hold all my writing projects. And I need them all to get any writing done away from home.  Weird?

I’ve met with this group for over 28 years.  I wasn’t a professional writer when we started, but I did always have books.  In fact, one year I was so enthralled with a “new to me” Johanna Lindsey’s books, I sneaked away as often as I could to read her entire backlist I’d brought along.

Once I sold, I was much better about writing every day than I am now.  I was given a cabin by myself so I could write without distraction.  Or so I wouldn’t bother others while they were sleeping.  My laptop at the time was a 386 and noisy as hell!  One year, it was so cold, that despite having TWO space heaters in the 10 square feet cabin, I was having to warm my hands over my candle so I could type.

When we moved into the cabin we use now, the group decided if I was going to write every day, they didn’t want me stuck off in a bunk room.  So I got assigned a corner of the main room and what you see in the picture is what I’ve had to write with for the past 10 years.  With my headphones, I’m writing without distraction, but still part of the group.  And I’m telling you, it doesn’t get any better.

Now, I only do this portable office when I’m driving and will be away from home over three days.  Otherwise, I carry my iPad with its separate keyboard.  I can write on that, save it to my Dropbox, and it’s ready to edit and print off when I get home.  God, I love technology.  At least, today I do.

Now if someone would please invent so tech gadget that would keep my butt in my chair every day!

Catch Up

I hate playing catch-up. That’s what happens to me after every trip, even if it is a single day. Since I’m one of those who doesn’t like change, I’m disoriented. Not so surprising for those who know me well.

But I needed this trip to Cozumel. I needed to get away to a magical place where I didn’t have to do more than eat, sleep, and play. I needed to be surrounded by people who love me, who make me laugh, who understand me. I needed to see new things, old things, and to dive.

Have my emotional batteries been recharged? Yes, and no. I come back to chaos, disorder, and that damn catch-up!