Welcome back, Anne and Ken

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Come in and sit down. A little cooler in Texas these days so you might want a cup of hot tea. I’m thrilled to have authors Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken HIcks back for a visit. You’ll love them.

thumbnail_Anne and Ken Egypt 2Now, let’s get to know them a little better.

When Anne Rothman was a student at Bryn Mawr College and Kenneth Hicks was a student at Haverford College, they began writing together in an independent-study course with one of Ken’s professors. A brief interlude ensued while Anne wrote wonderful poetry and Ken wrote a book about hitchhiking (The Complete Hitchhiker Tobey Publishing, Dell Distribution), but they soon got back together as writers when Ken was in law school at Columbia University and Anne was paying the rent by working in publishing. They have continued to write together for about forty years and, in that time, have published four adult novels, eleven non-fiction books for children, two fiction books for tweens, three fiction books for middle readers, and two photography books. They also produced three children whom they love even more than writing.

Their most recent book is Remembering Thomas, a sequel to Things Are Not What They Seem, both published by MuseItYoung, and available in all formats. Their three middle reader novels are Stone Faces, Brownstone Faces, and Splotch also published by MuseItYoung. Their previous adult novels are Kate and the Kid, a mainstream novel, and Weave A Murderous Web, Praise Her, Praise Diana, and Mind me, Milady, all mystery thrillers featuring Jane Larson.

Jennifer and James and their two friends, Kaytlyn and Sleepy, step through a time portal in the vicinity of modern-day Kips Bay, New York City, and find themselves in the middle of a Revolutionary War battle. Their purpose is to stop the evil Malman, who wants to change the course of history by altering an event that occurred at the Battle of Harlem Heights. Their task is complicated by a bumbling man, Arthur Whitehair, who was turned into a pigeon by the misreading of a spell many years before.thumbnail_Remembering Thomas 333x500

During the course of twenty-four hours, the foursome meets the genteel Mary Murray and her daughter, Susannah, credited with delaying the British and allowing the rebels to escape. They share the camp of Margaret Corbin, who fought with the rebels and was injured. Their lives are saved by swashbuckling Major Aaron Burr. They encounter Thomas Knowlton the hero of Bunker Hill who died at the battle of Harlem Heights. And, finally, Jennifer discovers the joys and pain of first love with Frederick Knowlton, the sixteen-year-old son of Thomas.

Remembering Thomas is a sequel to Things Are Not What They Seem. As in that novel, the four friends learn lessons about love, friendship, and self-sacrifice.

Links to Remembering Thomas and Things Are Not What They Seem

Remembering Thomas Amazon page: https://tinyurl.com/yavkyhyr

Things Are Not What They Seem Amazon page: https://tinyurl.com/ybhhepmy

Anne’s Amazon Page: https://tinyurl.com/y88wcdnb

Ken’s Amazon Page: https://tinyurl.com/ybkd3lw7

Our Blog: http://randh71productions.com/blog/

MuseItUp Publishing Bu Link: https://tinyurl.com/y73u3n63

The experts say that a person should write about what he or she know best, and we do that in our books for children and young adults.

We have lived in New York City for almost 45 years, and we certainly have seen our fair share of pigeons. So maybe it was inevitable that one day Anne and I should be sitting in a playground with pigeons all around searching for food, and fantasize that one of those pigeons was actually a 135-year-old man named Arthur Whitehair, who had been turned into a pigeon because he read a magic spell wrong. And if we accept that convention, Arthur might now be threatened by a man who had been turned into a hawk by Arthur’s mistake as well. For all these reasons, Arthur might have asked for the help of Jennifer, a young girl babysitting for her younger brother in that very playground. In this way, bits and pieces of the story evolved into Things Are Not What They Seem. Throughout, the point is made that appearances cannot always be trusted. Arthur was a lovable type, but somewhat selfish on occasion, who created enormous problems for Jennifer and her brother, James, and their two friends, and put them all in grave danger. Kirkus Reviews called our novel: “A learned, laugh-out-loud New York City fantasy for all ages.”

So, how about a sequel? Over the years, we had done a lot of reading for another novel we were writing that included aspects of the Revolutionary War in New York City, and the series of battles that took place in Manhattan. We decided to have Jennifer and James and their friends slip back through a time warp to find themselves in a Manhattan of centuries before, full of green fields, farms and forests. In this book, there are also scenes from the Battle of Manhattan with cannonballs flying through the air from ships anchored in the East River and British soldiers coming ashore to fight. Once again, Arthur was the cause of the problems these child heroes faced, and the fast-moving plot includes characters who actually played a part in that chapter of American history. The name of this novel is Remembering Thomas, and its major theme is the importance of remembering and honoring the people who have gone before us and who have made sacrifices on our behalf.

We hope you will read either or both of these books!

Thanks for stopping by, you guys! Enjoyed the visit.

 

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Advice On Submitting to Agents

Good advice!

Uninspired Writers

Morning world builders, I hope you’ve all had a great week.

Last Sunday I sent of my first ever submissions. I sent my carefully crafted work out into the world, and now I am up against the long wait for inevitable rejections and potential feedback.

It’s taken a long time to reach this point and I’ve needed to do a lot of research, and seek a lot of help, to get here. So I want to share with you some of the advice that has helped me, and some of the things I’ve learned. Please share your advice in the comments, as there’s still plenty I don’t know.


1. Make sure your novel is finished
This is the first advice you’ll see anywhere. It’s really tempting, when you’ve had an amazing idea, to pitch it before it’s ready. But the truth us, most agents want to hear from writers who…

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Author #SummerRead Exchange with Viviana MacKade

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Today I’m thrilled to welcome Viviana MacKade to stop by for a visit and get to know her better. First, let me say I LOVE her cover. Don’t you? And I’m sorry to say she’s the last author in my SummerRead Author Exchange. I loved meeting y’all and hearing about your books. I hope we can do this again soon. My TBR list is full again. I’d better get busy reading!

Viviana has selected some of my quirky questions to answer. Let’s see what she has to say, shall we?

Describe your rituals for preparing to write.

I see my boys out for work and school, make an herbal tea, sit down at my desk, Pino, and I start: emails first, blog entries, re-reading yesterday’s writing to get into the mood, and off I go.

Are you a plotter, a pantser or some combination of both?

A bit of both. I like to know where the external elements of a story go (where the character have to go, if something like a hurricane happens, at which point the character will do something important like changing job or stuff like that), then I let the characters lead me through that. Let’s say I know A – B – and C will happen. I don’t know how my people will react to it, which sometimes (I’m looking at you, Aidan) changes the axes of the story and makes me g nuts.

Where do you go for inspiration?

Nowhere. I do my things, and stay very open to that sudden sparkle that makes me go, “oh, now that’s something to look into a bit more”. It can happen anywhere and at any moment, but I trained myself to listen to it and don’t let it go.

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Tormented, fierce, and broken, sculptor Aidan Murphy has judged himself guilty. He yearns for love but pushes everyone away. He longs for acceptance but has lost the key to open his heart. Until he meets Summer Williams. Beautiful and smart, Dr. Williams promises haven for a man who believes he deserves none. All he has to do is let her in and risk his heart and soul.

Summer’s managed to keep her inner light alive, even through tragedy. She’s created a new life for herself and her daughter in Crescent Creek with loving, caring and fun friends–well, except brooding, breathtaking Aidan. She’s used to keeping away from his type, though. All she has to do is ignore the pull of a man who’s turning up to be much more than snarls and storms. Will her compassion and medical instincts let her?

Love can heal a broken soul and shake up a timid heart. Or it can unleash devastation and revenge.

Will Aidan and Summer survive the hurricane?

Release September 15, available for pre-sale

$ 0.99 FREE with KU

Buy Link Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GDP26VB?

https://goo.gl/L8okF6

viviana

THE AUTHOR

Beach bum and country music addicted, Viviana lives in a small Floridian town with her husband and her son, her die-hard fans and personal cheer squad. She spends her days between typing on her beloved keyboard, playing in the pool with her boy, and eating whatever her husband puts on her plate (the guy is that good, and she really loves eating). Besides beaching, she enjoys long walks, horse-riding, hiking, and pretty much whatever she can do outside with her family.

Find me: On my website http://www.viviana-mackade.blog/ On FB On Twitter Amazon Author page

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Dinner And A Movie Monday-The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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It’s been a long time since I’ve done Dinner and A Movie Monday. My sister and I still watch movies together, and we still find some unexpected gems. So I decided to start sharing them again. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a 2018 film based on the novel of the same name. Set in 1946, the plot follows a London-based writer who has a perfect life. She’s successful and has a rich and handsome American fiance.  She begins exchanging letters with Dawsey Addams, a resident of Guernsey Island.

She finds herself fascinated by Dawsey’s stories about how the people on the island survived German occupation during the war and decides to travel there, where she falls in love with the island, its inhabitants, and its story.

I loved it. It’s an old-fashioned tearjerker, nostalgic and romantic. The scenery will take your breath away and the music is lovely. If that’s what you’re in the mood for, it should fit the bill.

pork

ROAST PORK (This was a favorite with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix together black pepper, garlic powder and salt. …
  3. Put the roast on a rack in a roasting pan. …
  4. Roast until internal temperature is between 145-160°F, 20-25 minutes per pound. …
  5. Cover roasting pan with foil and let rest for 30 minutes.

A #SummerRead by Susan B. James for the Romance Reader

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Come in. Sit down. Make yourself comfortable. Still summer in Texas, but maybe we can take our iced tea to the front porch swing and catch a cool breeze while we talk about one of my favorite subjects…Time Travel. Susan is also giving away two of ebooks, Time And Forever and Maybe This Time (love those titles, don’t you?) Post a comment with your email address and enter the drawing for a chance to read!

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Susan writes second chance romances with a touch of magic as Susan B. James and children’s books as Susan J. Berger. She writes older heroines because she is chronologically gifted and enjoys creating characters who remember that change is only on the outside. Inside our older shells is a much younger psyche.

In her debut romance, Time and Forever, two women in their sixties inadvertently travel back to London in 1969. Maybe This Time is the companion book.

Susan’s other career is acting. In 2016, among other things, she killed Kathy Bates on American Horror Story- Roanoke. In 2017, among other things, she got stabbed by a pen on Future Man and played the victim on Major Crimes. Karma? Her 2018 began with a role on Lucifer. More to come.

 

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TIME TRAVEL? Worst birthday present ever!

London stage star Jennifer Knight, is perfectly happy until a freak accident sends her tumbling back in time from London, 2001 to 1988, landing her at the feet of computer genius Lance Davies, the man who’d captured her heart and then stomped on it – her ex-husband.

Lance follows Jennifer back to the future, tangling time, and landing them both on the world’s missing-and-presumed dead list. Now the only hope of righting the universe is to change a past they have yet to experience. Maybe this time – just maybe – Lance and Jen will get it right.

 

 

Excerpt

Jen looked into the face of the man she’d adored since she was nine, and actively avoided for the last twenty years. Lance looked almost the same as the day they’d parted. A few more lines framed his hazel eyes, now sea-dark with concern. His brown hair showed no trace of gray. It was still too long, with the same stupid lock falling over his forehead. She automatically reached to brush it back. Stopped herself. Her throat was so dry. Where was a cough drop when you needed one? “You’ve aged well.” Jen’s knees buckled.

Lance kicked out a chair and sat, pulling her into his lap. “It’s okay. Whatever it is, we can fix it.”

His warm, strong hands sent shock waves shivering through her body. She shook her head mutely.

Lance’s voice sharpened. “Is it Jeremy? Kathryn? Has something happened to them?”

“Uncle Lance!” Kathryn stopped in the living room archway, eyes child-solemn. “Why are you hugging Aunty Jen?”

Jen slipped out of Lance’s arms and landed on the floor. Could this get any worse?

“Aunty Jen says you are a stupid head with a big brain and no feelings.”

Jen rose with all the dignity she could muster. “You shouldn’t repeat things grownups say, Kitty-Kat. It’s not polite.” She reached for the packet Mrs. Flannery left behind, willing her hands not to tremble. “Here are the papers, you came for. Nice to see you. Goodbye.”

Lance glanced from Kathryn to Jen. “Where’s Jeremy? I know he and Kitty-Kat went to Sussex. Why is she back without him, and what are you doing here?”

“We couldn’t get home, Uncle Lance. So we came here.” Kathryn scuffed her foot, now shod in a plastic Jelly shoe, against the wood floor. “I thought Jen would like the machine, but I don’t like being young again. My brain is too small. I want to go home.”

Lance’s hand tightened on the papers he held. “Kathryn,” he said carefully. “How old are you?”

“I’m nineteen and I want to go home.”

Lance catapulted out of the chair. “It worked. By all that’s good and beautiful, it worked. I didn’t think he could do it.”

“You knew? You knew what he was working on?”

Lance’s grin changed to the expressionless mask she used to hate so much. “Of course, I knew. I divorced you. Not your brother. I was helping him with the theory. He probably would have told you about it, had you been interested in anyone but yourself and your career.”

Jen resisted the urge to punch him. One of them reverting to childhood was enough. Too bad. Her boxing trainer said she had a fantastic right hook. She kept her tone smooth and even. “I don’t know when we are, but I turned forty-nine yesterday, Lancelot, and you don’t know half as much about me as you think you do. I am very interested in my niece, and she’s standing there listening to every word we say.”

Lance turned to Kathryn. “I’m sorry, sweetheart. Your aunty and I won’t fight anymore.” He crooked his little finger at Jen the way they used to do when they were children. “Pax?”

Resisting the temptation to break it, Jen hooked her little finger in his. “Pax,”

Kathryn curved her little finger around theirs. “Pax. Now can we get ice cream?”

 

IND Tale use thisMaybe This Time

Buy Link https://www.amazon.com/Maybe-This-Second-Chance-Romance-ebook/dp/B073DJ2RK4

Website/blog https://susanbjames.blogspot.com/

Email: sueberger3@aol.com

Susan has consented to some of my quirky questions so we can get to know her better. Thanks!

How long have you been writing?

I started writing seriously in 1993. I began with children’s books. It wasn’t until 2009 that I thought about writing an adult romance. 

 

Are you a plotter, a pantser or some combination of both?

I am a total pantser. My first romance, Time and Forever came about because I had written a post for my children’s book blog, Pen and Ink, about how to use NaNoWriMo. I had to sign up for that year’s Nano event to write the post properly. After I posted it I felt so guilty that I thought I had to try doing my own NaNoWriMo novel that year. I started with a question and eventually came up with a first draft. The funny thing about it is I have been told that the plot is so intricate and so perfectly worked out. I am pretty sure I pantsed my plot. 

I’m a pantser too, but I’m learning to do some plotting. Makes it easier to wrap my poor little brain around the story.

Name an author or authors who never fail to inspire you.

I can’t name just one author. It depends on who I am reading at the time. My favorite authors are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Sarah Addison Allen, Jayne Anne Krentz in all three of her identities, Robert Heinlein, Georgette Heyer, and Jude Devereux. 

I love Sarah Addison Allen! A friend of mine loaned me her books and I’ve binge read all of them the past few months. Great stories!

Tell us about your current WIP.

Right now I am working on a novel that starts in Victorian England and jumps to 1940 wartime England. The heroine is a real person from history. Ada Augusta Lovelace – Lord Byron’s Daughter. Lord George Gordon Byron was a leading poet, politician and scandalous rake. His wife left him shortly after Ada was born. She saw that her daughter was given an excellent education in science and mathematics, hoping to avoid the strain of madness Lord Byron exhibited.  

Ada grew up to be a brilliant mathematician. She invented the first computer language in way back in 1843 for a machine that was a mere an idea – Charles Babbage’s Analytical Machine.  

Her story has fascinated me since I learned of her in my first computer history class. I wanted to time travel her to 1940 when Alan Turing, hero of the movie, The Imitation Game first made his machine to break German codes. I knew he had used Ada’s work.  I’m on the third draft. 

If you met a genie, what 3 things would you wish for?

I am well versed in wish lore and I know asking for more wishes is out of the question. 

A castle in Scotland with modern plumbing and an elevator? (My knees don’t do well on stairs.) 

One of my books optioned as a movie. (I’ll leave which one up to the genie.) 

A regular role in a popular TV series. (Prefer three funny lines and off per episode.) 

What is the one thing you never seem to have enough time for? 

Jigsaw puzzles. I love them and it’s difficult to find time to do them. 

Great answers, Susan. And I enjoyed our visit. Please come back when you’ve finished your WIP. And good luck on Maybe This Time. It sounds delightful!!!

Labor Day

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This is what Wikipedia has to say about Labor Day. In the US, it is celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American Labor movement and contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is a federal holiday and is considered the unofficial end of summer in the United States.

To me, it means farewell to road trips, weekends at the lake, spending time at the beach, camping. By now, we’ve all gotten sunburned at least once, fought off mosquitoes, stayed in the water until their skin was wrinkly and eaten dozens of hot dogs.

Time to shift gears, and get ready for cooler weather, football games, and sitting out under the stars enjoying s’mores. I’m ready. How about you?