A Colorado Rockies Fan #OpenBookBlogHop #Excerpts #Inspiration

 

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “Do you have a favorite secondary character in your books? Or a favorite sub-plot?”

In The Red Dress, my main character Eve’s thirteen-year-old son Thomas adores the Colorado Rockies. I modeled him after my late husband, who was also an avid fan of this baseball team, though they rarely won.

Here are a few excerpts in which Thomas’s team loyalty is obvious. In the first, he and his father have returned home from a game just in time for supper. The others take place on a different evening, as Thomas anticipates watching the team play on television. You’ll also note that despite his obsession with the team, he still loves his mother.

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Thomas said, “Mom, the Rockies won. Maybe they’ll make the World Series, like they did five years ago.”

“We’ll see about that,” said Greg. “They haven’t been doing that well, so let’s not get our hopes up…”

***

“When are we eating?” asked Thomas.

“The meatloaf should be done by 6:00.”

“Oh, Mom, that’s when the Rockies start playing. Can I eat dinner in front of the TV?”

“Of course not. It won’t kill you to miss a few pitches.”

“Besides, this is gonna be the best meatloaf ever,” said Ashley. “It’s Sylvia’s mom’s recipe.”

“If you say so,” said Thomas, retreating from the kitchen.

***

Thomas burst in, wearing clean shorts and a t–shirt. “Dad, the Rockies are playing tonight, and they’re gonna rock.”

“Okay, buddy, that’s the spirit…”

***

An hour later, Eve and Ashley were about to carry platters of food to the dining room table when Greg and Thomas came into the kitchen. They’d been watching television in the living room after replacing Julie’s bike tire. Thomas was grinning from ear to ear.

Greg said, “Since Julie’s not here, and the Rockies are coming on, Tom and I will eat in the living room.”

“But I already set the table,” said Ashley, looking crestfallen.

“Oh, I’m sorry, honey,” said Greg. “I guess I should have told you sooner. Just leave it set. We can eat breakfast there in the morning.”

Stunned, Eve could only watch as Greg and Thomas filled plates with meatloaf, instant mashed potatoes, and canned green beans. Greg had always enforced her rule of everyone eating dinner together. Had he suddenly become that big a Colorado Rockies fan, despite their losing streak?

“I love you, Mom,” said Thomas as he passed her on his way to the living room. “And just to prove it, I’ll eat all my beans.”

***

Who are Ashley and Julie? Why does Greg suddenly not enforce Eve’s rule about the family eating dinner together in the dining room? Could there be trouble between him and Eve? You’ll have to read the book and find out.

How about you? Do you have a favorite secondary character or sub-plot? You can click here to participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ responses.

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. She has short brown hair which is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

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Open Book Blog Hop—A Home Run for Tom Sawyer #WednesdayWords

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Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is:  “If your character wanted to wear a disguise, how would they dress?”

In The Red Dress, my main character Eve Sawyer’s thirteen-year-old son, Thomas, is an avid baseball fan. I’m sure he would love to be disguised as a star player on the Colorado Rockies team. He would wear the regulation uniform of Jersey, pants, socks, shoes, and gloves. Since he’s had no formal training other than playing catch with his dad and watching almost every game on television, who knows how long this disguise would last if he tried to play with the team? But here’s a family dinner scene in which he imagines scoring a home run.

***

Thomas paid little attention to his food. It was no wonder, given all he’d eaten at the game.

Eve was tempted to tell him that if he didn’t finish his meal, he wouldn’t get ice cream, but she didn’t have the heart. It wasn’t often he had a chance to go to a baseball game with his father. Why spoil it?

 

The boy looked up and grinned. “Someday I’m going to play for the Rockies, and then they’ll win the World Series. Batter, batter, batter, SWING!” He flung his arm in front of his body to illustrate his point, and Eve was grateful he didn’t knock over his milk.

“That ball is not coming back,” said Thomas, mimicking a radio announcer they’d once heard. “It’s a home run for Tom Sawyer.”

“Okay, Tom Sawyer, but you’d better whitewash the fence first,” said Ashley with a grin.

Eve smiled as she remembered Greg reading Mark Twain’s classic to the kids when they were old enough to understand it. She was proud that they still remembered the story.

“That reminds me,” said Greg. “Our fence could use another coat of paint.”

“You’ve got to be kidding,” said Thomas.

***

So, does this modern-day Tom Sawyer have to whitewash the fence? Read The Red Dress and find out. By the way, it’s free this month from Smashwords. See below for details. If you’re a blogger and author and would like to participate in this week’s hop, click here.

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And now, I’m pleased to announce that today at noon, mountain time, I’ll be playing the piano and singing in the dining room at The Hub on Smith, here in Sheridan, Wyoming. If you live in my neck of the woods, the facility is located at 211 Smith Street, and you can come and eat lunch while listening. The event will be broadcast live and recorded. You can click here to visit the event’s Facebook page, where you’ll be able to see the live broadcast.

On Sunday, July 11th, I’ll be participating in a virtual poetry reading, where anyone is welcome to attend and share a poem or two. This will take place at 5 p.m. mountain time on Zoom. You can click here for more information.

Last but not least, throughout the month of July, My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress are available from Smashwords ABSOLUTELY FREE as part of its annual summer/winter sale. You can visit my Smashwords author page to download these books. Happy reading!

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.

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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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A Teenagers Favorites List #OpenBookBlogHop

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. Today’s question is: “Write a top 10 list in the voice of a character. Is your character a person making a bucket list? How about someone listing their greatest fears? What does the list they make say about the character?

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To me, a top ten list for one of my characters was a tall order. So, I shortened it to five. This list is for my main character Eve’s son in The Red Dress. This should tell you something about him and make you want to read the book, if you haven’t already done so.

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Thomas Sawyer’s Five Favorite Things

1. My Favorite Baseball Team: The Colorado Rockies. They don’t always play very well, but that’s okay. Their home is in Denver, not far from where I lived, Colorado Springs. Dad and I went to their games whenever we could. For my thirteenth birthday, Mom gave us two tickets, which was really awesome, although they lost big time.

2. Favorite Book: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Dad read that book to me when I was younger. He said that when he and Mom first met, she asked him if he was related to Tom Sawyer in the book. That’s why they named me Thomas.
3. Favorite Food: Mom’s Enchilada Casserole. For as long as I could remember, that was the only thing she made from scratch. Because she was so busy writing, most of the time, she put a frozen meal in the oven, and that was it. But then, she started getting recipes for meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, tuna casserole, and other things. She even learned how to make oatmeal. But her enchilada casserole hit a home run for me every time.
4. Riding My Bike and Hanging Out with My Buddy Andy. I also got a new bike for my birthday. Andy got one for his birthday a few months earlier. So, the two of us had brand new bikes. We also liked going swimming when our folks could take us.
5. Doing Cool Stuff with My Dad. Not only did we go to ball games, but we also played ball in the park a lot. Once, I had to whitewash the fence, just like Tom Sawyer in the book. But I didn’t have to do it by myself. Dad and I did it together, and it was fun.

***

How about you? If you’re not an author, maybe you could make a top five or top ten list about yourself and put it in the comment field below. If you’re a blogger and would like to participate in this week’s hop, click here.

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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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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.

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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.

***

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Field of Memories #Six-Sentence Thursday

My late husband Bill was a fan of the Colorado Rockies baseball team, even when they weren’t doing well. I don’t know if he ever attended a game, but he enjoyed listening on the radio, no doubt wishing he could be center field, but because of his limited vision as a child, playing baseball was out of the question.

After he passed, I had an opportunity to attend a game with relatives at Coors Field in Denver. Because I’d forgotten to pack a portable radio in order to hear the play-by-play, and since my own vision was limited, I didn’t always know what was going on, but as I sat in the stands, I felt close to Bill. If he were still alive, he would have been in the nursing home, and he would have probably called me every so often, and as I always did, I would have commiserated with him when the Rockies lost that game. To learn more about me and Bill, you can read My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

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The above is in response to this week’s six-sentence prompt from Girlie on the Edge. If you’d like to participate in her blog hop, click here.

By the way, 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. 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.

***

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