Pets and Writing #Open Book Blog Hop #Wednesday Words

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “Do pets (or other animals) play an important part in your books? Tell us about them.”

Absolutely! I love dogs. I remember plenty of them when I was growing up. Now, I don’t want the responsibility of caring for them, but I enjoy incorporating them into my stories.

In my first novel, We Shall Overcome, my heroine’s boyfriend has an Irish setter named Molly. Last year when I was blocked on my novel-in-progress, a Great Dane puppy named Squeakers saved the day. Now, here’s an excerpt from my latest novel, The Red Dress, in which we meet Ginger, the family’s Black Lab.

***

The clicking of Ginger’s nails on the floor in the hall and the jingling of her collar interrupted Eve’s thoughts. She turned as the dog loped into her office and to her side and placed her head on her knee.

“Oh, Ginger, I wish the kids would take more responsibility for you,” said Eve, stroking the dog’s head. “I’ve finished the proofs, now, so all I have to do is check email, and then we’ll go for a walk. Okay?”

Ginger flopped onto the floor at Eve’s feet and looked up at her as if to say, “I’m holding you to that.”

Eve smiled and turned to her computer, where she clicked the Accept button on Charlene’s friend request.

“We’ll see what happens,” she said.

In answer, Ginger wagged her tail, thumping it against the floor.

***

What was Eve doing when Ginger’s jingling collar interrupted her? Who is Charlene? Read the book and find out. To participate in this week’s Open Book Blog Hop, click here.

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Image contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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Prologues and Epilogues #Open Book Blog Hop #Wednesday Words

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another installment of fellow blogger Stevie Turner’s Open Book Blog Hop. If you’d like to participate, click here. Her prompt for this week is: ‘Prologues and Epilogues. Yes or no?”

In my opinion, it depends on the story. My young adult novel in progress, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, has no prologue. But I felt it necessary to tie up loose ends with an epilogue.

On the other hand, The Red Dress has a prologue that provides the back story through dialog. Since I was able to bring the story to a satisfactory conclusion in the last chapter, I decided I didn’t need an epilogue. So, to whet your appetite, here’s an excerpt from my prologue.

***

“Oh, Eve, don’t tell me you’re going to work on that creative writing assignment now instead of going to the homecoming dance.”

In her dorm room at the University of Colorado, Eve Barry was staring at the blank piece of paper in her typewriter, waiting for her poised fingers to produce something. She sighed and ran her fingers through her long, black hair as she turned to her roommate, Charlene Tucker, who was fresh from the shower, clad only in a black terry–cloth robe, her dark, wet curls plastered to her head.

“I’m really not interested in going to the dance, and this assignment’s due Monday. I went to the game this afternoon.”

“Yeah, wasn’t that awesome? We creamed the Wyoming Cowboys.”

“Wait a minute! You’re from Wyoming.”

“Yeah, but I’m in Colorado, now, and we have something to celebrate. You really should come to the dance. I know you don’t have a date, but I’m sure Alex wouldn’t mind if you came with us.”

***

Eve isn’t just being a goody two-shoes, doing her homework instead of going to the homecoming dance. She has an underlying reason for not wanting to go. If you want to know what that is, I suggest you read the book.

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Image contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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Writing My Protagonist #Tuesday Tidbit #Open Book Blog Hop #Excerpts

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Fellow blogger Stevie Turner asks this question. “Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?”

Frankly, I don’t want to understand villains. So, I write from my protagonist’s point of view. But I like to have my villain change, to a certain extent.

Take, for example, The Red Dress. After Eve, my protagonist, tells her college roommate, Charlene, about a painful memory associated with a red dress, Charlene bullies her into giving her the dress. Eve gives in, but when her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same. Twenty-five years later, Charlene is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Before she dies, she and Eve are reconciled.

Below are two excerpts. The first shows us Charlene’s villainous side, where she bullies Eve into giving her the dress. In the second scene, near death, Charlene undoes what she did twenty-five years earlier.

***

“You know, I can see why you put this dress off to one side. It’s only hurting you now. Let me take it off your hands. You don’t need it anymore.”

“But my mother made it. She worked long days at her job as director of the public library. There were only two weeks left until the prom when I told her I wanted a new dress, so she stayed up nights and scrambled to get it done.”

“Oh, you poor, homesick baby. Now you miss your mommy, who made this beautiful dress for you. Are you gonna cry now? Go ahead, crybaby. Cry.”

Eve was stunned but shouldn’t have been surprised. Her roommate cared little about others’ feelings. Her sympathy and curiosity were only a ploy, and she would stop at nothing to get what she wanted.

“Fine, take the damn dress. I don’t care,” Eve said before turning away in disgust.

***

Eve stared at Charlene as she lay there sleeping. Her old college roommate hadn’t really changed.

She looked around the room again. Was the red dress in the closet? She looked back at Charlene, who seemed to be sound asleep, and wondered what would happen if she got up, walked over to the closet, and looked inside.

Charlene opened her eyes and said, “It’s still there.”

“What?” asked Eve, leaning forward in her chair.

“The dress I took from you years ago in college. It’s in the closet.”

***

Thanks to Stevie Turner for inspiring the above with her Open Book Blog Hop prompt this week. If you’d like to participate, click here.

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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Fresh Squoze Orange Juice #Open Book Blog Hop #Excerpt

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

This week, in her Open Book Blog Hop, Stevie Turner asks, “How often do you overhear an awesome one-liner or witty comeback, and tell yourself you need to write that down to use for one of your characters? If you’d like to participate, click here. Now, here’s my response.

***

The one-liner I’m sharing isn’t one I overheard somewhere. It’s something my uncle in California said to my late husband Bill and me when we visited him in the summer of 2005. You can read more about that in My Ideal Partner, which is available for free this week from Smashwords.

On the morning after our arrival, when Bill and I walked into Uncle Jon’s kitchen, he said, “How about some fresh-squoze orange juice? I done squoze it myself.” Later, I used this in the following scene from The Red Dress. Here, my main character, Eve, is visiting her former college roommate in California.

***

Jon turned from the stove. With a broad smile and a Southern drawl, he said, “How about some fresh–squoze orange juice? I done squoze it myself.”

Eve laughed and said, “I didn’t know you were from the South.”

“I’m actually from Wyoming,” he said, reaching for a pitcher on a nearby counter. “I got bitten by the film bug and ended up here.”

“And he’s tired of just doing sound effects for movies,” said Brenda. “He wants to get cast in a new production of Gone with the Wind.”

“Now, you hush up, girl,” said Jon, again in his Southern accent.

***

So, who are Jon and Brenda? You’ll have to read The Red Dress and find out. It’s also available from Smashwords for free this week. See below for details.

***

I’m pleased to announce that from now until March 13th, The Red Dress and My Ideal Partner are available from Smashwords for free as part of Read an eBook Month. You can click here to download these books.

 

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

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Take Me Out to the Ball Game #Tuesday Tidbit #Excerpt

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

Spring is around the corner, and so is baseball season. In the following scene from The Red Dress, Eve, my main character, attends a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game.

***

That evening at the game, after the seventh–inning stretch, Eve made her way to the gift shop, leaving Jon looking depressed because the Dodgers were losing, and Ashley chattering on her phone to Thomas. She found a Dodgers t–shirt in Thomas’s size, and when she returned to the stands, Ashley was grinning and holding up a baseball. She snapped a picture of it with her phone, then said, “Okay, I’m going to send this to Julie now, and I’ll give it to you when we get home.”

 

After she put the phone and ball away, Eve asked, “Honey, did you catch that?”

 

“No, Mark did,” answered Ashley, beaming in his direction.

 

“Thank you, Mark,” said Eve. “That was so nice of you. My son will love it.”

 

“No problem,” said Mark, grinning at Ashley. “I would have, too, when I was his age.”

 

Jon, who’d been talking on his own cell, put it back in his pocket. He looked even more woebegone than before.

 

Sitting next to him, Eve put a hand on his shoulder, saying, “I know how you feel. Thomas gets so disappointed when the Rockies are losing.”

 

“Oh, no, it’s not that,” said Jon. “Wanda just called. Charlene’s gone.”

***

So, what is Eve doing in Los Angeles, and who are all these other people? You’ll need to read The Red Dress to find out. It, along with My Ideal Partner, are absolutely free from Smashwords this week. See below for details.

***

I’m pleased to announce that from now until March 13th, The Red Dress and My Ideal Partner are available from Smashwords for free as part of Read an eBook Month. You can click here to download these books.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website