I Tweet, therefore, I Am?

I set up my Twitter account back in the beta-testing stage and promptly pretended it/I didn’t exist. When I’d get a notice that someone was following me, I felt a little creeped out and I’d ask aloud, “Why?”

Fast forward to some writers conference somewhere when the hot topic was Twitter for Business. Okay, I’m definitely a business. I decided to get serious about growing my business. I started with 357 followers…again, why? I never tweeted. I was the dullest tweep on the planet.

But I found a coach–thank you, Rogenna Brewer. I learned. Now, I’ve crested 5K. Not a lot compared to those with a zillion followers, but I’m happy.

Screenshot 2015-06-14 16.52.56 Do I think this helps sell books? Oh, who knows? But once you get comfortable with the format, tweeting becomes a bit like a game.

And my most recent challenge has been to find a way to make it play with itself. (Sounds dirtier than it is.) I’m all about the visual these days. You’ve seen some of my memes in my recent blogs:Montana Hero quoteMontana Cowboy FREE Father's Day Tule Imagine my glee when a friend told me about a service that will feed my Tweets with images in a way that won’t make Twitter think you’re a spammer. :-) The service is called: Feed140.

Screenshot 2015-06-18 16.08.08 One of the cool things about this service is they offer playlists of their own that you can use to supplement your feed. I chose 100 Motivational and Self-Help quotes.

Here’s one in my feed: The achievement of one goal should be the starting point of another. -Alexander Graham Bell

I’m still figuring things out, but here’s a quick primer:

1.) Sign up for the free option to start out (no risk if you don’t like it).

2.) Create tweets and save them in a Word doc. Since I knew I wanted to be able to take advantage of Feed140′s Playlist option, I cut and pasted each tweet in the Playlist queue (not the Twitter queue). You can add tweets to the Twitter queue independently of the Playlist queue, but they will go away after they’ve posted and you have to fill the queue again. (Believe me, I did this and was not amused.) With each tweet, upload an image to go with it.

(Aside: I make memes using Canva. I will go into this in another blog, but it’s easy and cheap.)

3.) Visuals are a great eye-catcher in a Twitter Feed. Don’t believe me? Check your feed and see where your eye goes.

4.) Pick the frequency that you want your tweets shared. Feed140 insists that you have enough tweets to meet 3 days of unique tweets in order to make the Playlist initiate a loop with random selections (just like with your music). I uploaded 30 tweets, and set my frequency to 10 tweets/day for 3 days.

Here’s one of my tweets and the meme that goes with it:

She thought she had all the answers…at 17. Who doesn’t? @BNBuzz  MONTANA COWGIRL http://clc.li/hvS #readzTule   COWGIRL - mistakes rodeo5.) Don’t have enough tweets? Think about this: if your book is on multiple platforms and/or foreign countries, you can use the same tweet and meme with a different buy link for each format. I may change the wording slightly to target that link and possibly get some RTs (retweets).

You should also create interesting, non-commercial tweets. I support libraries, so I have some positive tweets about books, bookgirls, reading and libraries that I sprinkled into the mix.

Ex. Have you hugged a librarian today? #iheartlibraries quotes-about-inspirational_368599-4 So, if you’re new to Twitter, let’s connect. My handle is @debsalonen.

If you’re an author wondering whether or not you want another time-suck in your busy life, I can’t give you a definitive answer. But I will say that visuals help raise visibility and connect at some level that mere words don’t. Maybe they feel like less of a hard sell. And, if you can make one effort do twice the work, then why not give it a try?

And because life is soooo much more than just PR, here’s the other thing I did last weekend–my granddaughter’s 8th birthday. Daisy cake Deb PS: Next week, I’m going to tell you more than you ever wanted to know about making a book trailer. Oh, joy! ;-)

Debra Salonen

Amazon

Facebook  Twitter  Website Blog

 

When The Road Turns (Tara Taylor Quinn)

When the road turns, I turn with it.  Not because I’m that flexible, or that willing to be led on curvy or unknown paths, but because I know that if I want to live life, really live it, I have to move with the earth.

I have plans.  I work toward them.  And sometimes the road turns.  I can stay steadfast and still turn with the road.  I just have to find the way to get where I was going via the detour.  Or to assess my plan and determine if it was the best one.  The most authentic one.

My thought for the week…if you don’t turn with the road, and the road ends, you remain in place forever.  You don’t progress or experience.  You don’t even find out what life has to offer you or your plan because you refuse to go find out.

The road sometimes leads you on a painful or dangerous path for a while.  Don’t stop!!  Just keep moving forward, eyes ahead on that plan, and keep going.  Sometimes the road leads you past flower beds.  That’s where to take a breather from your journey.  Smell the flowers.  Let their sweet nectar heal you.  And when you’re ready, get back on the road.

I’m on a new and somewhat exhilarating road lately and invite everyone along with me.  For any of you who’ve missed the journey so far, here’s a recap:

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.
Check out all of Tara’s events HERE.

We’re blitzing the Grand Finale for
The Good Father
By Tara Taylor Quinn

If you missed any part of this tour, including any of the excellent guest posts (some of the best we’ve had the chance to promote) go back and check them out now, along with some excellent reviews…

Launch – Intro to The Good Father

This is the story I sat down to write. What happened on the page was, as usual, a total surprise to me.

Colorimetry – Excerpt

His father had failed first.

And then, according to his mother, she’d failed, too.

Brett didn’t agree with her assessment, knowing that when she’d lashed out at him the afternoon of Livia’s funeral, beating him on the chest with blows that didn’t even leave bruises, she’d been railing at life, distraught with grief, and clinging to him as much as pounding her fists against the wall he presented between her and her need to die…

“The characters are so realistic and lovable, I mean how can you not love them with everything that they have been through.”

underneath the covers – The Dark Night of the Soul

In every good story there has to be ‘that’ moment. The one in which the reader can’t see how the characters are going to get past their hurdles. The one that keeps the reader turning the page to find out…

Mel’s Shelves – Promo

Pieces of Whimsy – Excerpt

Still in the navy blue suit he’d worn to attend the morning board meeting, he’d loosened the knot of the red tie a bit. His one concession to relaxation. His wing tips were shined. His smart watch in place.

Brett’s life was a mission—and all pieces were accounted for.

Bookworm Lisa – Promo

Brooke Blogs – I Am A Survivor

When my story went public, my editor gave me another purpose. She wanted me to write a series of books revolving around a domestic violence shelter. I’d never felt more in commune with a project in my life. And so The Lemonade Stand was born. The Lemonade Stand, Where Secrets Are Safe. It’s a very unique women’s shelter. One that I wish so badly had been there for me to run to all those years ago. One that I wish existed today.

Copywrite1985 – Review

“Tara Taylor Quinn weaves a story here that grabs you and doesn’t let go until well after you turn the last page. The characters are compelling and realistic, their motives clear, and the conflict is high stakes and seems insurmountable. Ms. Quinn doesn’t shortchange the reader by giving us a pat ending that doesn’t take into account all that has gone on before, but gives the reader both a satisfying and realistic ending that makes the ride worth it–just like she promised.”

Paranormal Books – Excerpt

He’d been celebrating. Ten years since he’d sold the dot-com he’d started his junior year in college. A decade of his life had passed, and here he was. Standing alone in the walk-in shower in his elegant, historical, two-story walk-up across a quiet street from a flowered lot that led to the ocean beyond.

Beck Valley Books – The First Five Books

The books revolving around The Lemonade Stand are not all interrelated. Many of them don’t even feature characters who lived and breathed in previous books. The books are connected by a place. The Lemonade Stand. The series started out with ideas for three books. I am currently working on an eighth one and number nine is on its way, too. So for anyone who is new to the series, and for those of you who want a reminder, I’ll give you a one liner look at the first five books.

“I really loved this story, I loved that it shows there are help for women out there and there is also love out there, even when it is hard to realize.”

My Devotional Thoughts – The Food of it All

It was right then that Brett told me about his favorite meal. He told me, not to fill in background noise, but because it showed me the conflicted man he was. His favorite meal was a peanut butter and bacon sandwich. He loved them. And as he scarfed one down, he was angry with himself, too. Because his father had introduced him to the delicacy when Brett was a young boy. And Brett, the adult, hates his father with every dark crevice in his being.

Wishful Endings – Flowers

I sat down to write the first book in the Where Secrets Are Safe series, Wife By Design, and the hero shows up at The Lemonade Stand – the unique women’s shelter around which the series is revolving – as a landscaper. Kind of threw me for a loop. I know very little about landscaping. I tried to convince him he was something else. He kept coming back as a landscaper. So I did some research.

The Good Father

The Good Father
(Where Secrets Are Safe #6)
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Adult Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
June 1st 2015 by Harlequin

Starting over…again

It seems a lifetime ago that Brett Ackerman wanted to share his life with Ella Wales. He really believed he could put his abusive family history behind him…until he realized it would always be part of him. Then he pushed her away. Hard.

Now Ella’s back as part of the High Risk Team at The Lemonade Stand, the unique women’s shelter Brett founded. And she needs his help with a family crisis. But even now, Brett can’t admit he still loves her. Until one night of passion with Ella turns Brett into the one thing he fears the most—a father.

Also in the Series

Tara Taylor Quinn

The author of more than 70 original novels, in twenty languages, Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today bestseller with over six million copies sold. She is known for delivering deeply emotional and psychologically astute novels of suspense and romance. Tara is a recipient of the Reader’s Choice Award, a five time finalist for the RWA Rita Award, the Reviewer’s Choice Award, the Bookseller’s Best Award and appears frequently on bestseller lists, including #1 placement on Amazon lists. Tara is the past-president of Romance Writers of America and served eight years on that board of directors. She has appeared on national and local TV across the country, including CBS Sunday Morning and is a frequent guest speaker. In her spare time Tara likes to travel, climb Arizona mountains, and inline skate.

Tara is a supporter of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you or someone you know might be a victim of domestic violence in the United States, please contact 1-800-799-7233.

Click on the banner to take you to Tara’s landing page for all her tour events.

As part of Spend the Summer with Tara Taylor Quinn, Tara is holding a contest for those who share on social media about how they love life during the summer! Each day you can share an image, picture, or quote, linking to her events’ landing page (http://www.tarataylorquinn.com/Summer%20With%20ttq.html) to enter to win ONE BIG SUMMER BASKET!!! We’ll be pulling the best submissions and voting for the top one during her Facebook Party on July 16th. Pull out your creative juices and share your joy of summer, be it with friends, family, or the love of your life!

Beach-themed basket will include: shell wind chime, shell choker and matching bracelet, beach/flip flop note cards, picture frame, 4×6 picture album, plus some surprise print copies of Tara’s books (including Once Upon a Friendship).

Share must be public to be eligible. Can enter once each day. US only. Giveaway ends July 16th.

Tour Giveaways

$10 VISA Gift Card & ebook of The Good Father (INT)
Print copy of The Good Father & a Spend the Summer with TTQ T-shirt (US only)
ebook of The Good Father (INT)
Ends June 18th

(All to one winner – US only.)
$10 VISA Gift Card
Copies of all five books on Tara’s Summer Tour
Spend the Summer with TTQ T-Shirt
Ends July 16th

Spend The Summer with ttq (Tara Taylor Quinn)

Summer with TTQ Banner smallerThis week launches six weeks of on-line touring, giveaways, games and visiting with readers.  I’d love to have you all join in the fun.

There will be t-shirts, VISA gift cards, a visit from Heather Graham (this week!) a lot of free books, a picture contest, and a Facebook Party!  Click on the photo for more information!

In the meantime, this week also Suspicious Sheriff of Shelter Valleysees the release of Suspicious, a two book, one low price Bestselling Author Collection with Heather Graham and I.  It’s available in Print and eBook everywhere books are sold and on July 7th it will be releasing in all audio formats, including CD, everywhere audio books are sold!

Storybroads is on tour this summer, too!  I hope you’ll enjoy the authors who have and will be visiting us thanks to the great ladies at Prism Book Tours!  Every guest author offers free books and exerpts!

Overall, it’s a summer filled with great books, bargains, freebies, and lots and lots of reading!

Smelling the Roses (Tara Taylor Quinn)

Roses AboundI am stopping to smell the roses.  I am on a horrendous schedule over the first nine months of 2015.  Horrendous and blessed at the same time.  I’m in the midst of writing five contracted books.  Three are done.  I’m currently on number four.  And I want number five to be as good, as deep and enriching and entertaining as number one was.

So I’ve made a conscious effort to fill my well.  Every single day.  And I had to be able to fill it fast so I could get to the pages that were waiting.  I wasn’t going to be able to go out and find the roses.  So I brought them home.  Two bushes to go with the one floundering one I already had.    Asked nicely for my honey to give them the underground irrigation they’d need.  I took ownership of a pair of pruners.  And every single morning I visit all three plants.  I talk to them.  Thank them for sharing life with me.  One bush in particular has the most incredibly fragrant aroma.  Another has soul filling colors.  The third is angelic white roses.  So far I’ve only had one flower there.  The picture above was just taken.  I have more than twenty buds in various stages of blossoming into flowers on one plant alone.  The previously floundering one.  I’ve had the sickly bush for more than year.  It produced, at most two roses at a time.  And today I have more than twenty.  Funny what happens when you put your mind to something.  And I do.  Every day.

Funny what else happens.  You focus and suddenly you have four books coming out almost at once.  We’re planning a great summer for anyone who wants to join in with us.  I’ve had help on this one from the ladies at Prism Book Tours.  Lots of games and prizes, excerpts and free books coming up over the next eight weeks.  Starting next week.  You can follow the fun starting on 5/27 at Spend The Summer with ttq.  We’ll be visiting lots of places.  Giving away gift cards and books and a surprise or two along the way.  And ending with a huge Facebook Party and grand prizes in July.

The first book up for celebration is out in just six days.  It’s a re-issue of my The Sheriff of Shelter Valley in conjunction with a Heather Graham reissue, Suspicious.  You get both bestselling novels for one great price so if you missed them, you’ll want to grab the chance now!  You can click on the book to pre-order either print or eBook today at 35% off the price with coupon code HAPPYMAY!  Until next week, I hope you all smell some roses!

Suspicious Sheriff of Shelter Valley

Addiction: The Good Kind

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m an addict. I love every one of my addictions, and am eager to share them with you. In no particular order, here they are:

1. Writing

writing2

If I don’t write something every day, I feel… odd. I enjoy writing. Focusing on writing anchors me. Steadies me. Makes me sing inside. Even when the writing is going badly. Well, that isn’t quite true. When I get stuck and can’t write another word until I get unstuck, I angst for hours, sometimes days, hashing over what to do to fix whatever the problem may be.

During this time, don’t expect me to be in a good mood. Trick I have learned over the years to get unstuck: jot down ideas, no matter how ridiculous they seem, get away from the work by doing something totally unrelated,  phone a close writing friend for input. From experience, I have learned that the solution will always come… in its own time.

2. Reading

books 1 blooksbookshelf

Three of the six bookshelves in my home.  The top two are in my office, and include my own books, some of my keeper books (books I reread occasionally and can’t part with) and reference books. The bottom photo is in the family room.

My husband is an avid reader, too, and we have three more bookshelves and a window ledge or two filled with books. Don’t even ask about the books on my e-reader…

3. Coffee

steamcoffee

As a naturally caffeinated woman :), I don’t NEED coffee, but I like everything about this drink, from the smell, to the ritual of grinding and brewing, to the taste. I also love treating myself at Starbucks, which I do once or twice a week.

4. Exercise

3ts

These are three of my newest exercise T-shirts. Exercise keeps me in shape and makes me feel terrific, and I work out six mornings a week. As you may know from my post last week, I also try to squeeze in a midday walk whenever possible.

Some of my most creative thoughts occur when I’m moving. Don’t ask me why, but I suspect all that physical activity occupies my brain, which allows my subconscious mind to jump to the forefront with really cool ideas.

5. Chocolate

dark chocolate

I can’t do without chocolate. I try to keep it to a minimum, with a square after dinner. But sometimes (who am I kidding: a LOT of the time), one little square is not enough. I like all kinds of chocolate – dark, milk, with or without nuts, with or without fruit, with or without coconut…

I especially enjoy baked goods of all kinds, hot fudge sauce, chocolate malts, candy… Really, all things chocolate.

So there you have it, my top 5 addictions. I’m sure there are more, but I’ve taken enough of your time.

What are your good addictions?  I would love to know, and I’m guessing others would, too!

Until next time,
Ann
Connect with me on Visit Ann on Facebook
Follow me on
Follow Ann on Twitter
Sign up for my newsletter: Join Ann's Mailing List
Stop by my website:
www.annroth.net

Why I read (instead of watching TV)

Normally, my nose is too deep into my book to notice the latest “mews” (my word for media made-up news). But as I sipped my morning coffee planning my first not-writing day in months, my eyes were blasted by the hoopla surrounding the release of the new cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition–from the waist up. Apparently, the lower part couldn’t be shown on daytime TV. Ya’ think?!

hannah-davis-swimsuit-cover-reveal-2015

Forget for a moment, that wearing a swimsuit isn’t a sport. Forget the fact we hear this same chatter every year because…face it, controversy sells. Forget the whole objectifying women aspect of this. Forget that Carl’s, Jr., starts making a healthier hamburger then hawks it with a silly, over-the-top suggestive commercial during the Superbowl. Forget that I sound like a crotchety old woman… I had no choice but to click “OFF.”

Today is my day of R&R and I’m spending it with a book. Hopefully, a good book. I have 8 RITA books to read and judge, and, I couldn’t be happier, because, honestly, watching TV is not good for my blood pressure.

openbook

What are you doing today?

Deb

Riveted to… the Radio?

radio

It’s true. I’m a self-titled radio head. I love to listen to news, interviews, cooking shows and stories on the radio. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy TV shows, too. But there’s something about listening and letting my imagination supply the images instead of relying on someone else’s…

I feel the same about books. I so enjoy letting my imagination conjure up the heroes and heroines, the setting and everything in between.

readingBoth listening to the radio and reading books stimulate my imagination and stir my creative juices. This helps me become a better writer.

imagination-keyjpg

Back to radio. I don’t have time to listen to every program when it airs. Podcasts are a wonderful way to tune in at my convenience. In case you’re interested, here are some of my favorite radio programs. Some of the links here are for podcasts, some are for the main web page of the program. Give one or two a try and see what you think.

This American Life (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/podcast)
Snap Judgment (http://snapjudgment.org/podcast)
The Moth (http://themoth.org/)
Vinyl Cafe (http://www.cbc.ca/vinylcafe/home.php)
The Splendid Table, for people who love to eat (http://www.splendidtable.org/ )

Recently, I tuned into a podcast of This American Life, for what I thought was the usual hour-long story. But no, the producers decided to try something different, a story that wouldn’t fit into the usual hour-long format.

A serial podcast about a murder. (http://serialpodcast.org/)

Murder? Not exactly pleasant fare, but once I heard that first segment, I was hooked. I was/am just too curious to find out what happened next, and whether the accused actually committed the crime. There are 12 segments in all, and I am currently on #11.

I can’t wait to find out what happens next! Even so, I don’t let myself listen until I finish my pages for the day. (Yes, I set a daily page goal for my current work in process of between 8 and 10 pages per day. Pages that must be completed before I allow myself to move on to other things.)

Do you listen to the radio? If so, what are your favorite programs?

Until next time,

Ann
Connect with me on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AnnRothAuthorPage
Follow me on Twitter:https://twitter.com/ann_roth
Stop by my website: www.annroth.net
Sign up for my newsletter: http://bit.ly/1zgiKfG

 

 

 

 

My Talisman (Tara Taylor Quinn)

GloriaThis is Gloria.  I first met her twenty years ago.  I’d written a book and it had been published.  I was at one of my very first group book signings.  The event had been arranged by the head librarian at the Velma Teague Library in Glendale Arizona.  Her name was Shelley Mosley.  Shelley is a writer.  A librarian.  Mostly she’s a lover of people and books.  And she could sure throw a party.  I felt like royalty a I sat there among some of the romance industry’s greats.  USA Today and New York Times bestsellers.  We signed books right outside the library.  We had our own door into a private room where we kept our things.  And where Shelly had laid out a catered spread of lunch foods.  And there I was.  A brand new author.  With one book to sign.  I didn’t figure I’d sell many books.  I didn’t think anyone would know me.  I wasn’t one of the greats.  But a small woman with a big smile came right up to me.  She’d read my book already.  She was happy to be able to meet me.  She was the first person who had ever approached me simply because of my writing.  She didn’t know me at all.  We’d never met.  My writing connected us.

I have felt connected to Gloria ever since.  That signing in Glendale has changed over the years.  Shelley Mosley retired.  The library no longer hosts the group of authors.  But he city of Glendale still welcomes us as part of it’s annual Chocolate Affair.  I still attend every year.

This year I sat among great authors.  Bestsellers.  And now I am a bestseller.  A USA Today Bestseller.  I don’t just have one book to my credit anymore.  I sat there with seventy-three titles to my name.  I was happy to be there.  I watched.  And I waited.  Would Gloria make it?

Every year since that first signing, every year for twenty years, Gloria has walked from her apartment in downtown Glendale, to the Chocolate Affair to buy romance novels.  Every time she comes, she asks for me.  And if I’m not there, she comes back when I will be there.  Last year she’d been in the hospital for almost a month.  Had gotten out not long before the Chocolate Affair, and that morning she got up, got dressed in one of her colorful outfits, did her hair and walked up to see me.  She told me about her hospital stay.  And she grinned as she had me sign books.

This year it was cold.  Drizzling on and off.  I didn’t really expect to see Gloria, but I thought about her.  As I always do.  And then…there she was.  By herself as always.  With her hair done and her pretty clothes and that smile on her face.  She uses a walker, but keeps pace with the crowd.  And she comes up to me and smiles.  I’m ninety now, she tells me.  She has me sign books.  And she tells me she hopes she’ll see me next year.

I don’t know Gloria’s last name.  I don’t know what family she does or does not have.  I don’t know what she did, who she was.  I know what she is.  A very special spirit who is an angel in my life.  She is my talisman.  My reminder that my purpose is to write because my writing goes out into the world and touches people.  My reminder that every single one of us have something to offer.  That we all are equally important and our jobs our equally important.  Gloria might have been a senator.  Or a janitor.  She might be the mother of a president or might never have had children at all.  And she is one of the greats.  She taught me to get up every day and walk to the table.  And that smiles are worth more than just about anything.

Thank you, Gloria.  I hope my stories give you a small bit of what you’ve given to me over the years.  You are here with me forever.

Rushing the season

The push to introduce the Christmas buying season starts earlier and earlier. I swear I spotted Halloween candy with red and green bows on it. ;-)

And poor Thanksgiving. Before long it will be known as the Day Before Black Friday.

My late father-in-law and my sister, Jan, enjoying the start of one Thanksgiving with killer Bloody Marys.

My late father-in-law and my sister, Jan, enjoying the start of one Thanksgiving with killer Bloody Marys.

Me? I braved the madness of a big box store the morning after Thanksgiving ONCE. I promised my hubby breakfast out if he’d go with me to buy our daughter something she absolutely had to have and couldn’t live without because everyone else had one. Who remembers what it was? Not me.

Whatever that must-have gift was, it probably wasn't a book, which is something her daughter treasures.

Whatever that must-have gift was, it probably wasn’t a book, which is something her daughter treasures.

Anyway, by the time we pulled into the two-square block parking lot, there was one parking spot left, in the last lane. The lines at the checkout counters were twenty deep. My hubby’s a strong, brave man but I swear I saw his knees buckle in fear. It took us forever to find the cleverly hidden loss leader. And…you guessed it, they were all sold out.

A small sign said “No rainchecks.”

My husband, who obviously dodged a bullet and potential cardia arrest, gave a cry of salvation, “Hallelujah!” and pulled me out of the store as fast as he could. We never went back. Somehow, my daughter managed to grow up to be a productive, well-adjusted adult without that one must-have gift. But the experience taught me a lesson: time is the most precious gift of all. If you enjoy the frenzy of Black Friday shopping, then I say go for it. That’s time well spent–and bragging rights.

For me, the peace of not being in the madness is worth a million great deals. Give me a book and a cup of tea, and I’m good. Recently, I’ve been asking readers: what is the best “forever” gift you’ve ever gotten? The answers are interesting and insightful: my grandma’s wedding ring, my children, a trip to China with my sister…and so on.

Hint: it's something you already have.

Hint: it’s something you already have.

The conversation stems from my new release, HER FOREVER GIFT. I don’t want to spoil the surprise but love is not the gift in the title. The most obvious tie-in to the title brought me to tears when I was writing this short novelette (longer than a short story but shorter than a novella). But as the story progresses, other gifts appear. Heartfelt. Handmade. Representative of the giver’s love and respect for the recipient. Wouldn’t it be great if you could find that in a big box store? ;-)

Next week, on Black Friday, I’m going to try to put together a list of Book Bargains, including a couple of mine, as an alternative to getting up at zero-dark-thirty to stand in line. Just snuggle under the covers and read–that’s what I’ll be doing.

And this coming Tuesday: Please check out my EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY blog for some great Thanksgiving recipes from my fellow authors, Barbara McMahon, Linda Barrett, Karen Sandler and Rogenna Brewer, in the 5-author anthology: CELEBRATE ROMANCE–a real bargain at just $.99.

Love With All The Trimmings by Barbara McMahon is the Thanksgiving story.

Love With All The Trimmings by Barbara McMahon is the Thanksgiving story.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.

Deb

What Next? (Lynn Kerstan)

What Next? Going away again? Leaving me alone? Make sure Thea tends to me. She’s reliable and generous, unlike the Old Bat I am stuck with most of the time. You know who I mean.

The Holiday Season is over. I finally took down the Christmas Tree. I’d bought a new and nicer one, artificial and 7 feet tall. with colorful lights. I really enjoy decorating a tree. Every year, in my travels, I always seek out ornaments in markets and shops. Each one, hanging on the tree, takes me back to a wonderful place I will likely never visit again. Right now, I’m trying to settle on which trip to choose for my next adventure. My ultimate destination is the same sort of small ship that carried me and Pat Potter along the Dalmatian Coast. Best Trip Evah! I hope she decides to come along to places I know she’ll love. The same small, comfortable ships spend time weaving around Greek Islands and the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, where I can re-visit Rhodes, Kos, and Ephesus, along with many other gloriously charming islands. I still have an unopened bottle of the famous Greek licorice-flavored drink, Ouzo, which I bought  during my six-week trip to Greece and the islands in the mid ’70s.

If Pat’s not game for a trip, I will probably join a pair of gals from my high school graduating class, after which all three of us entered the convent. Now we’re out. I had a cool name, though: Sister Michael Damien. I sabotaged myself by telling my friends about my recent trip to England, and that’s where they are going. Sigh. I’d be glad to go back again, being ardently in love with England for most of my life. But I can’t afford another visit. I need to visit new places. So, if  I can’t join up with a friend, I’ll go to Israel on my own. I feel called to Israel, and from there I will book a cabin on the small-ship trip to the Greek Islands. At my age, I have to take advantage of good health and opportunities.   Happy 2014 to all of you who read blogs at StoryBroads. We love you all, and are ‘specially happy when you post Comments. We’ve been here, blogging, for a lonnng time, and we’d love to get better acquainted with our readers, which the Stats’ reports indicate are a great many more people we ever expected. Hurrah!