From Wyoming to California #Open Book Blog Hop

This week’s question from blogger Stevie Turner is this. What elements of your life have you woven into your latest book? In The Red Dress, one of my characters, Jon, grew up in Wyoming but lives in California, where he does sound effects for movies. He’s based on my uncle, who has the same name, background, and occupation.

The following scene was inspired by a time when my late husband Bill and I visited my uncle and aunt in Valley Village. Here, Eve, my main character, gets to know Jon a little more.

***

In the kitchen, she found Jon at the stove. Ashley and Brenda were sitting at a nearby table,  eating.

“Hi, Mom,” said Ashley.

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.

***

Who is Brenda, and what is Eve doing in California? Read The Red Dress and find out.

By the way, from now until July 31st, you can download My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress absolutely free from Smashwords as part of its annual summer/winter sale. Click here to visit my Smashwords author page.

Also, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading. Stay safe, happy, and healthy, and may you always have positive experiences.

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.

***

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A Puppy to the Rescue #Open Book Blog Hop

This week’s question from blogger Stevie Turner is this. Have you ever written yourself into a corner? My answer is yes.

In my young adult novel-in-progress, Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, an elderly woman in a nursing home, who suffers from dementia, unexpectedly reveals a family secret to her teen-aged granddaughter. In shock, the granddaughter tells her parents she knows the secret. This causes a rift in her parents’ marriage. Then, the grandmother dies. At this point, I knew where I wanted to go but had no idea how to get there, that is, until Squeakers showed up.

I suddenly got the idea to have my characters find an abandoned black and white Dalmatian puppy while walking in the park on a cold November morning. My ten-year-old, Sarah, dubs him Squeakers because he’s doing what most puppies would do in this situation, whine piteously. Squeakers manages to bring the family together during this time of grief, but only for a short time until the next tragedy strikes.

I’m not sure when this novel will be published, since I’m still writing it. But as soon as it’s available, I’ll let you know. So, stay tuned.

Meanwhile, from now until July 31st, you can download My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress absolutely free from Smashwords as part of its annual summer/winter sale. Click here to visit my Smashwords author page.

Also, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading. 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.

***

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Previously Published #Open Book Blog Hop

This week’s question from blogger Stevie Turner is this. Are there any generic rules you had when you first started writing that have since gone out the window? Well, it was the other way around for me. I never had any rules when I began, but I’ve since developed one.

When I started my website in 2005, I didn’t know that material published online was considered previously published. So, I posted my stories, poems, and essays left and right, not realizing that many publications wouldn’t accept my work once it appeared on my site, even if I took it down. It wasn’t until two years later when I attended a workshop on publishing at a writers’ conference that I learned the truth. By then, I’d started a blog, and I’d posted some of my work there as well.

Now, my rule of thumb is this. I don’t publish anything on my blog or website unless it’s been published elsewhere. Not a lot of my work is published these days. So, it’s tough to find new material to post on the fiction, nonfiction and poetry sample pages on my site. Since I’m working on another novel, I’m trying to balance that with submitting work to journals such as Magnets and Ladders and The Weekly Avocet. Because of COVID-19, I’m not entertaining regularly at nursing homes and other senior facilities. So, I have more time but apparently not enough, unless I want to work weekends, which I avoid doing unless it’s absolutely necessary. Oh well, life goes on.

By the way, from now until July 31st, you can download My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress absolutely free from Smashwords as part of its annual summer/winter sale. Click here to visit my Smashwords author page.

Also, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading. 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.

***

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My Kind of Character #Open Book Blog Hop

This week, blogger Stevie Turner asks us writers what types of characters we like to read and create. I prefer characters who are down to earth and easy to understand. I also try to develop my characters as the book progresses.

Take, for example, Eve, the main character in my latest, The Red Dress. She’s a best-selling author with a husband and three kids. As the book opens, she’s spending more time with her writing and not always paying attention to her family. Laundry often falls by the wayside, and most of the meals she prepares are ready-made.

As the book progresses, Eve is forced to face her past after receiving a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and meeting her former best friend from high school by chance. She then realizes that her family is just as important as her work and that she needs to create more of a balance. In the following excerpt, she explains to her old friend how she is evolving.

***

“What’s this? Miss Independence let you make her lunch!” said Adele with a smirk after the teens  had departed.

Eve laughed. “I beat her to it. Greg and I got up and went for a run together, something we hadn’t  done in what seems like a long time. When we got back, while Greg was frying eggs, I made the  sandwiches and put them in the fridge so they’d be all ready to go. I half expected Julie to be  mad, but she surprised me by giving me a hug and thanking me.”

“That’s great.”

“I’m planning to make Jan’s meatloaf recipe tonight. Everyone loved it when I made it before. Jan  gave me a couple of other recipes I’m going to try.”

“You’re becoming quite the chef, aren’t you?”

Eve sighed. “Lately, I’ve been too busy writing and marketing my books, and I haven’t been paying a  lot of attention to my family. That’s about to change.”

“You just finished a book. Won’t that be a problem when you start your next one?”

“Not if I don’t make it one,” said Eve. “I just need to establish some priorities. My agent and  publisher aren’t too demanding. As long as I can produce a book a year, they’re happy.”

***

So, where does this conversation take place? Who are the departing teens, and where are they going? Is Adelle the former best friend from high school, and what ruined their friendship? Why would Julie be mad at her mother for making her a peanut butter sandwich? Who’s Jan? Read The Red Dress and find out.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, my latest book, The Red Dress, is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading.

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.

***

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

A Most Unusual Experience #Open Book Blog Hop

This week, I decided to participate in Stevie Turner’s Open Book Blog Hop. Her question is this. What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had, and have you incorporated that into your writing?

In 1980, when I was a senior in high school, I was the only girl in my class whose dad accompanied her to her senior prom. Did that embarrass me? Not at all, especially since no other boy in the class asked me.

At the time, I had a crush on a boy. Dad said that if I asked him, and he agreed to go with me, Dad would loan him his car. But I never worked up the courage to ask him.

So, my father, wanting his little girl to experience her senior prom, agreed to take me. It was fun for me but not for poor Dad. He was one of few adults in that gymnasium. To make matters worse, during a ceremony, all the girls had to remove the garters from their ankles and attach them to their dates’ shirt sleeves.

I didn’t exactly incorporate this experience in my writing, but Eve, the main character in my latest book, The Red Dress, had a much worse experience. In the following excerpt, she tells her story to her college roommate.

***

“Mom made that dress for my senior prom. I had a date with Trent Boyer, the cutest boy in school.  He was the captain of the football team, and I loved watching him play.”

“Wow, just like Alex.”

“Yeah. Well, at the prom, we danced to that song, and I felt like I truly loved him, and I thought  he loved me. Afterwards, he said he had to use the restroom. Other boys asked me to dance, and I  got to talking with my friends, and when I looked around the gym later, I couldn’t find him. I  asked my friends if they’d seen him, and they just shook their heads.”

“Oh, gosh.”

“Like I said, I thought he loved me. I didn’t think he’d leave me. I decided to go out to the  parking lot to see if his car was still there. He’d dropped me off at the entrance, so I didn’t  know where he’d parked. It took me a while to find his car, but I did, in a dark corner up against  the fence by the football field. I looked in the window and saw two figures in the back seat.”

“Oh, my God.”

“I thought I was imagining things. I was on the driver’s side, so I opened that door, and of course  the light came on, and there they were, Trent and my best friend, Adele Matthews. Or at least I  thought she was my best friend.”

***

What did Eve do next? Who is Alex, and what dress are they talking about? Read The Red Dress to find out. By the way, for those in the United States, the book is available for download from the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled website.

 

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

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.