Friendship Friday ~ Please welcome, author Shelly Bell

ayeartoremembercoverI’ve known Shelly for a little over a year. She is a vibrant, exciting person and makes me feel good just being around her. I know you’ll love her as much as I do. Here’s Shelly to tell us a little about herself, her books and to answer some of thosw weird questions. 

I just turned forty…but I’m not bitter! No really, I’m not. It’s hard to believe that I’ve accomplished so much of what I dreamed for myself growing up in Metro-Detroit. I moved back to my childhood neighborhood, married a man who can fix just about anything in the house plus he sews, and have a boy, a girl, and a dog. By day I’m an attorney, fighting for the rights of…a metal recycling company; by night I’m a mom, wife, and maid. I’m also a published author! So who cares that I never starred on Broadway when I got all How do I fit in the time to write? I gave up the three hours of television I watched every night. I also write when my kids are doing homework, lunch breaks, and occasionally, I hire a babysitter so I can write. I make the time because it’s important to me.

 My book, A Year to Remember, was published with Soul Mate Publishing in January of 2012. It’s about a twenty-nine year old woman who’s looking for her soul mate and vows to marry him before she turns thirty. On her journey, she is forced to confront her addiction to food and to decide what’s most important to her. I’m very proud of it because it was my first book and it was cathartic to write.

 I love reading and writing paranormal, but since the market is saturated with it, I’m currently working on a contemporary romance with magical elements. It’s been a lot of fun to write! Unlike paranormal stories, the magic is accepted as fact and it doesn’t have to be explained. For example, the reader will believe that the cat is actually dearly departed Uncle Al and I don’t have to explain how it’s possible. It just…is. It’s been used primarily in Latin American literature, but my characters are Greek.

1. How much cash do you have on you?

 Absolutely none. I almost never carry money with me. If I need some, I steal it from my husband’s wallet or the kid’s piggy banks.

 2. What were you doing at midnight last night?

 Reading. I always read at night. Lately, I’ve been on a self-published kick and I’ve found a lot of fabulous authors that way. Apparently, I’m not the only one because several of them have been recently acquired by large publishers.

 3. What is your favorite cheese?

 Feta. I’ve been addicted to Greek salad since I was five years old. I used to eat it for breakfast as a kid! We have a high population of Greek Americans in the area, so I’ve been fortunate to grow up on Greek food.

 4. What is one unique thing are you afraid of?

 Only one???? I’m afraid of sharks. I won’t go in the ocean and even though I want to go parasailing, I’m afraid they’ll land me in the water. My parents let me see Jaws at an early age and it became a phobia after that. Which makes this next question and answer ironic…

 5. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?

 Naples, Florida. Yes, that’s correct. I love Florida. I lived there for three years and I never went in the ocean. My parents are snowbirds and we go down to visit them every winter. I already have clothes there, so if I had to depart right now, that would be simple.

 8. Your house is on fire! You have just enough time to run in there and grab ONE inanimate object. Don’t worry, your loved ones and pets have already made it out safely. So what’s the one thing you’re going to save from that blazing inferno?

 My laptop. No contest. Sad, isn’t it? Most people would save their wedding album or an heirloom. It’s all about the electronics in my house.

 9. The Angel Of Death has descended upon you. Fortunately, the Angel Of Death is pretty cool and in a good mood, and it offers you a half-hour to do whatever you want before you bite it. Whatcha gonna do in that half-hour?

Easy question! I’m going to drink Diet Coke and Jack Daniels, smoke a pack of Malboro Lights, and eat Bill Knapp’s Chocolate Cake with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge. I’ll hang out with my kids and my husband if the smoke doesn’t drive them away.

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Please Welcome Ella Quinn to Friendship Friday

US ARMY LOGO

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Author, Ella Quinn

Ella Quinn is one of my favorite people whom I’ve never met in person. She is a fellow veteran–although Ella chose the US Army, while I chose the USN. That link, shared service, has been the foundation for a friendship that has lasted more than ten years. In addition to being one of my favorite people, she is a talented author and a fascinating person. But I’ll let her tell you about herself, so you’ll see how fascinating she is. Please welcome, Ella Quinn.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: I had several lives before deciding to be a writer. I dropped out of college and to tend bar and play in a rock band. Enlisted in the Army for five years. Got out and went back to college. After getting an MS in International Relations, I attended law school and went back in the Army for several years. I’ve lived all over the world and now reside in the Caribbean. About a year and a half ago, I decided to write Regency romances. I have an agent and am currently on submission, but not yet published.

Please share with us your current project (does not need to be a writing project) I’m writing my 6th book which is the second of my second series. It’s about a very politically conservative, priggish, young marquis who falls in love with a reformer who is the daughter of a country baronet.

1. Please answer at least five of the following questions.  Your answers may be but do not need to be ‘true.’  I highly recommend using no names or changing names to protect both the innocent and yourself.

2. What’s the color of your toothbrush? Blue and white, because I could find a different color.

3. What cd is in your cd-player right now? It’s a Beautiful Day.

4. How much do you use ketchup? (1 – not at all, 5 – on all foods) 1

5. Are you a “dogperson” or a “catperson”? Both. I have a Great Dane and a Chartreux cat I picked up in Belgium after our old cat died. Americans were not allowed to adopt from the pound.

6. What’s the meaning of life? Love.

7. What’s the model of your mobile phone? I have an iPhone.

8. What time do you normally go to bed on a working day? 10:00 PM

9. What is the most distant place you’ve visited (from your home)? Home is wherever I am.

10. In scale from 1-5, how afraid of dark are you? 1

11. The person you would never want to meet? Georgette Heyer.

12. How much cash do you have on you? $7.00 and 50 Euros.

13. What’s a word that rhymes with TEST? Best

14. What shirt are you wearing? Tank top.

15. What do you label yourself as? I don’t.

16. Name the brand of shoes you’ve recently worn. Teva flip-flops.

17. Bright room or dark room? Bright

18. What were you doing at midnight last night? Sleeping.

19. Where is your nearest 7-11? Probably about 1500 miles away.

20. What’s a saying you say a lot? Spit in one hand and wish in the other, see which one gets full faster.

21. Who told you they loved you last? My husband.

22. Last furry thing you touched? The dog.

23. Favorite age you’ve been so far? The age I am now.

24. What is your current desktop picture? Palm trees and water.

25. What was the last thing you said to someone? Actually talking to a person? I love you.

26. If you had to choose between a millions bucks and being able to fly, which would you choose? The million bucks.

27. What is your favorite cheese? Smoked Gouda.

28. What’s the longest you’ve gone without taking a bath? I was in the Army in the woods for a week.

29. What is your best physical attribute? (Then, you can dare the person to show you their best physical attribute.) My smile.

30. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go? Austria. The ski lifts are open.

31. Upon arrival to the aforementioned location, you get off the plane and discover another hundred-dollar bill. Cripes! Now that you are in the new location, where are you gonna go to spend that? Lift tickets.

32. An angel appears out of Heaven and offers you a lifetime supply of the alcoholic beverage of your choice. “Be brand-specific” it says. Man! What are you gonna say about that? Even if you don’t drink booze there’s something you can figure out… so what’s it gonna be? Châteauneuf-du-Pape

33. Rufus appears out of nowhere with a time-traveling phone booth. You can go anytime in the PAST. What time are you traveling to and what are you going to do when you get there? I’m going to Regency England to study the culture.

34. What is your favorite expletive? Shit.

35. Your house is on fire! You have just enough time to run in there and grab ONE inanimate object. Don’t worry, your loved ones and pets have already made it out safely. So what’s the one thing you’re going to save from that blazing inferno? My laptop.

36. The Angel Of Death has descended upon you. Fortunately, the Angel Of Death is pretty cool and in a good mood, and it offers you a half-hour to do whatever you want before you bite it. Whatcha gonna do in that half-hour? Make love to my husband.

37. You accidentally eat some radioactive vegetables. They were good, and what’s even cooler is that they endow you with the super-power of your choice! What’s it gonna be? Wiggle my nose like Samantha.

38. This question still counts, even for those of you who are under age. Check it out. You have been eternally banned from every single bar in the world except for ONE. Which one is it gonna be? That’s hard. Either The bistro in the bistro on the corner of Avenue de la Motte Picquet  and Avenue Bosquet in the 7th arrondissement Paris or La Chevre d’Or in Eze, France.

39. The Celestial Gates Of Beyond have opened, much to your surprise because you didn’t think such a thing existed. Death appears. As it turns out, Death is actually a pretty cool entity, and happens to be in a fantastic mood. Death offers to return the friend/family-member/person/etc. of your choice to the living world. Who will you bring back? My mother.

Friendship Friday–Please Welcome Mystery Writer, Extraordinaire, Maris Soule

Author, Maris Soule, Mystery, Writer, Romance, Friend, friendshipI’ve known Maris since before I started writing professionally.  You might say she was an inspiration and helped get me going.  I know she told me about RWA (Romance Writers of America), although she might not remember.  When we met I was a ‘fan’ and I’m delighted that we’ve become friends.  She gives some clever answers to my ‘weird’ questions.  Please leave a comment and let us know what you think on those topics.  Now I’ll turn things over to Maris.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m a California gal who was talked into moving to Michigan for “Just two years,” he said. That was 42 years ago. And yes, we’re still married. In fact we have two grown children and two granddaughters…and a Rhodesian Ridgeback who’s as big as a person. After having 25 romances published, I switched to writing mysteries (right after my husband retired. Anyone who lives with a man who is always around will understand why murder appeals to me). We now head for Florida in the winter, and as the temperature drops that’s sounding more and more appealing.

My two mysteries—THE CROWS and AS THE CROW FLIES—take place in southwestern Michigan, and, of course, include a Rhodesian Ridgeback and have a romance subplot. Both are available on-line, and I’m working on a third in the series.

 1. Have you ever had an imaginary friend? Definitely. I think I started making up stories in my head where Joey was my friend when I was around 6. He was my buddy into my early teens. Did I know he was make believe? Sure, but once I closed my eyes, he was real.

 2. Are you a “dogperson” or a “catperson”? I like both and have had both cats and dogs most of my life. I love Siamese cats and have owned a half dozen over the years. They have so much personality. As for dogs, I prefer the larger breeds, and maybe I love the Rhodesian Ridgeback because, in a way, they remind me of cats. Aloof is one word used to describe the breed standard.

Mystery Maris Soule, Author, Book, Novel, Writer, Story, Romance, Friend, Friendship, Rue Allyn,Mystery, Book, Novel, Story, Author, Writer, Romance, Maris Soule, Rue Allyn, Friend, Friendship3. What’s the model of your mobile phone? I have the 4S iPhone. Now does that mean I know how to use all the bells and whistles on that phone? No way, but it certainly makes life easier and I’d be lost without it.

4. What time do you normally go to bed on a working day? I’ve always been a night owl, even when I had to get up early in the morning. When my children were young and I was under contract for a romance, I’d often stay up until 2 a.m. writing and then be up at 6:30 a.m. to get them off to school. And no, I don’t usually take naps.

5. Who is the person you trust most? My husband. He’s my best friend. (And even though I have all of these books on poisons and weapons, I believe he trusts me. At least he still lets me cook dinner.)

6. How much cash do you have on you? $11. I need to go to the bank.

Friendship Friday~~Welcome Patti Shenberger

Patti Shenberger, Author, Novelist, Writer, Romance, erotica, friend, friendship, Friday

My good friend and author Patti Shenberger joins us today for Friendship Friday.  Her answers to the ‘weird questions’ are very interesting so make sure you scroll through all of them.

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself:  I’m married to a wonderful guy for over 30 years, have two great kids (on most days), and a great son-in-law an daughter-in-law.  My four legged kids are Sophie and Ace.  I love to travel, read, spend time with family and friends.  When I’m not writing, I’m reading.  I’m also the current President of the Greater Detroit RWA chapter.Patti Shenberger, Author, Novelist, Writer, Friend,<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
friendship, Friday, Novel, Novella, Romance, Erotica, Love

2. Please tell us about your most recent release:  My most recent release will be this coming November 15th from eXtasy Romance.  Flavorful Seductions is book six in The Zodiac Club series. Kate Carlisle needs every ounce of courage she can muster if she has any hope of keeping her catering business Sinful Sweets afloat.  But when business mogul Adam Belfour is in desperate need of her culinary skills, it’s all Kate can do to keep her mind off his sexy physique and on whipping up decadent desserts in order to seal the deal.

3. What cd is in your cd-player right now?  Carrie Underwood Blown Away

4. How much do you use ketchup? (1 – not at all, 5 – on all foods)  That’s a ‘5’.  I love ketchup on pretty much everything.

5. Are you a “dogperson” or a “catperson”?  Definitely a dog person (she says looking at her sleeping little cockapoo-westie mix Sophie Bean.)  But we also have a cat who believe he’s a dog in the house.  Good old Ace.

6. What’s the size of your shoes?   8.5

7. What would you want to be written on your tombstone?  That I loved well and lived well.

8. Is your middle finger longer than your ring finger?  Nope, not even close

9. The person you would never want to meet?   Freddy Kruger!  I hate scary movies.

10. Do you like carrots?  Ha, this is a good one.  I love raw carrots, but loathe cooked ones.  How weird is that?

11. What’s your favorite word?  Poopy-squats.  I have no idea where it came from, but it’s my word of choice instead of saying a swear word when things don’t go right.

12. When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought?  Crap, I look like my mother (G).

13. The last song you listened to?  On The Pontoon by Little Big Town on Dancing With The Stars

14. What is your guilty pleasure Disney movie?  Eight Below or Snow Dogs.

15. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?   I would go to Hawaii. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit.

16. An angel appears out of Heaven and offers you a lifetime supply of the alcoholic beverage of your choice. “Be brand-specific” it says. Man! What are you gonna say about that? Even if you don’t drink booze there’s something you can figure out… so what’s it gonna be?  That’s easy, being a non-drinker, I’m picking Pepsi

17. Your house is on fire! You have just enough time to run in there and grab ONE inanimate object. Don’t worry, your loved ones and pets have already made it out safely. So what’s the one thing you’re going to save from that blazing inferno?  I have an afghan that I made when I first learned how to crochet.  It’s pretty raggy, but I’ve had it for over 30 years, so that’s what I’m grabbing.

18. You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?  My gut instinct is to say my adventure with colon cancer.  But after thinking about it for a minute, there are so many things I learned during that time, that I don’t think I would erase what I went through.

Watch out! I’ve been decorating this Wednesday

This is the first time since my kids grew up that I’ve lived in an area where decorating for Halloween was the ‘in thing.’  Since I lack experience in this skill set, I asked one of my neighbors kids for help.  Here are the creepy and somewhat horrific results.  Please let me know what you think or tell me how you celebrate the season.

Before the spider invasion

I’d begun to decorate for fall before the spiders invaded my porch. Now I don’t dare go out there.

The biggest, baddest spider and its offspring

The biggest, baddest spider and its offspring are spinning webs all over my porch. What’s next? My house?

Who will win? Yucky green spider or evil-eyed black cat?
My cats chase spiders all the time. They think eight legs is a snack. But I have to wonder if the kitty in this picture hasn’t met its match.
Eek! Spiders are taking hostages

The Scarecrow’s daughter is being held hostage by spiders who are taking over my porch.