Let’s support those in need!
Sharing Love and Inspiration can lead the way to finding a cure.
J & Trey Productions presents “Inspirational Open Mic Night” at Love Jones Café
1920 Grand Ave, Baldwin NY on Wednesday August 28, 2013.
Door Opens at 8 pm- Admission $10
Bring a friend and send a message to those suffering from Lupus that there is hope and they have a strong community backing that believes they can overcome.
DWED: First, tell us a little about yourself.
I wrote my first story when I was in high school—seventeen hand-written pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last romance novel I read. I earned a degree in accounting, giving me some nice skills to earn a little money, but my passion has always been writing. I have written numerous short stories and more than a few full-length novels. My favorite pastimes when I’m not writing are spending time with my family, traveling, reading, and scrapbooking. I live in Louisiana with my husband and two children. DWED: Have you always aspired to publish a novel?
No. When I first started writing, it was for my own amusement. I didn’t begin to seriously write for publication until about ten years ago. DWED: Would you say the journey to publishing was easy or hard? Why?
Well, kind of a mix. It was difficult to get my first publishing contract because I didn’t know what I was doing. Most of what I’ve learned about the art and craft of writing has come through trial and error and a lot of critical feedback, some of it from publisher’s who rejected my first submissions. Once I signed my first contract, things got a bit easier. My skills have steadily improved over time, and now that I’ve been published, I know what publishers are looking for in a manuscript. DWED: Who or what would you say inspired “Crisis of Identity”?
I was watching the coverage for Hurricane Ike that made landfall near Galveston, Texas. The news reporter said that Texas authorities had advised those who intended to ride the storm out to write their social security numbers on their arm just in case they needed to be identified after the storm. The premise jumped out of the news report at me. What if a fugitive used a hurricane as an excuse to highjack someone else’s identity? DWED: How does “Crisis of Identity” stand out? What does it offer and more importantly what can viewers find within it pages?
Although Crisis of Identity is suspense with a romantic element, the book is also about forgiveness, personal responsibility, and redemption. The main character develops more than just a romantic relationship with a man, does more than escape her past. In the act of rescuing her niece from a horrible life, she transforms from a selfish live-for-the-moment individual into a selfless woman who wants to nurture and protect another person. She grows and realizes that not everything is always about her. DWED: At length how would you describe the feedback for “Crisis of Identity”?
I’ve received mixed reviews. Some people love the book and some people absolutely hate it.
Most people who like the book, adore Tess. The reviewers mention the fast pace of the book, the moments of humor, and the impulse to smack Tess for her stubbornness. Obviously some readers identify with the heroine. But… The book doesn’t give the reader a nice mushy happy ever after. Tess and Trevor leave the scene with a happy for now moment. The book ends with questions unanswered. This wasn’t sloppy writing or an oversight. The open ended feel of the book was intentional. The pivotal moment in the book isn’t when Tess finds “true” love or the mystery of the murder is resolved. Those elements are intentionally left without complete and tidy resolution. Life is messy. Tess’ life was really messed up before she rescued her niece. The final scene of this book was only the beginning of her journey into a new life. Her growth comes not from finding a man or solving a murder, but from evolving as a human being. DWED: Would you say you have a unique style of writing?
Yes. It’s taken many years to develop my own style. Each of my characters has to jump from the pages of my books with their own voice. Otherwise, all my characters would read alike. Not only is that redundant, but boring. I believe I’ve developed a narrative style than resonates in my books no matter the voice I’ve written for my characters. I hope that my faithful readers would recognize my style no matter which of my books they chose to read. DWED: what kind of messages do you try to instill in your writing?
Forgiveness. I try to instill this message into everything I write. Life is too short and fragile to carry unforgiveness in one’s heart. Hatred, bitterness, anger. These things are the poison one sometimes swallows in an attempt to harm someone else. I want the positive effects of letting all that toxic emotion go come through by the end of the book. DWED: Who is your favorite character in “Crisis of Identity” and why?
This is Tess’s story. She is one of my favorite characters that I’ve written. She’s smart, sassy, and strong. I wish I were as fearless as she is. She doesn’t shrink from a difficult situation, but uses her available resources to get herself out of jam. When confronted with her flaws, she resolves to change. She is no damsel in distress. She can handle just about anything.DWED: Who is your least favorite character in “Crisis of Identity” and why?
Oh, no doubt, my least favorite character is Mark Padget. If there is anything worthwhile about this character, I failed to write it into him. What he tries to do to Tess is heinous. He is the ultimate in selfishness and greed. I wrote him with as ugly a heart as I possibly could. DWED: What can we look forward to seeing from you throughout 2013?
The Wild Rose Press just rereleased two of my books, Deceptions of the Heart
and An Impostor in Town
. Deceptions of the Heart
is about a woman who wakes up in someone else’s body. An Impostor in Town
is the first book in the Colorado series. It’s about a woman who is hiding from her past by using her dead sister’s identity.
5 Prince Publishing will release my next book entitled The End
in September 2013. The End
is Ellie’s story. She discovers her husband’s nearly finished manuscript on his computer after his death. The suspense builds as she realizes his final manuscript was a true crime story.
I also have an upcoming release with The Wild Rose Press entitled Purgatory,
the second book in the Colorado series. This book is a man who discovers his missing wife after five years. Unfortunately, the woman can’t remember him.
I just finished a manuscript entitled The Memory Catcher
about a woman who can see other people’s guilty memories and I’m in the process of submitting this to publishers for consideration. My current work in progress is a ghost story set in south Louisiana with the working title The Unmistakable Scent of Gardenias
. Yeah, this will be a busy summer and fall for me. DWED: What would you say to all aspiring authors like yourself?
Don’t give up. Every rejection is one step closer to that first publishing contract. The first publisher who rejected my work gave me some solid advice. He suggested I attend a writer’s conference to sharpen my writing skills. Study the craft of writing. Read writing blogs and books. Attend seminars. One of the things that helped me was joining a writer’s critique site. Some of the reviewers on those sites can be vicious, but the feedback helps sharpen writing skills. You develop a base of knowledge about what readers don’t like. When you’re through with your manuscript, first hire an editor to polish it until it shines, then ask other writers to read it with both the eye of a writer and reader. DWED: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like your readers and potential readers to know about both your work and yourself?
I’ve only just begun to write. Over the last ten years, my writing has developed and evolved. I truly believe my best work is yet to come. Synopsis:
Tess Copeland is an operator. Her motto? Necessity is the mother of a good a con. When Hurricane Irving slams into the Texas Gulf coast, Tess seizes the opportunity to escape her past by hijacking a dead woman’s life, but Shelby Coleman’s was the wrong identity to steal. And the cop that trails her? He’s a U.S. Marshall with the Fugitive Task Force for the northern district of Illinois. Tess left Chicago because the criminal justice system gave her no choice. Now she’s on the run from ghosts of misdeeds past—both hers and Shelby’s.
Enter Trevor Smith, a pseudo-cowboy from Houston, Texas, with good looks, a quick tongue, and testosterone poisoning. Will Tess succumb to his questionable charms and become his damsel in distress? She doesn’t have to faint at his feet—she’s capable of handling just about anything. But will she choose to let Trevor be the man? When Tess kidnaps her niece, her life changes. She must make some hard decisions. Does she trust the lawman that promises her redemption, or does she trust the cowboy that promises her nothing but himself?Links: http://www.denisemoncrief.com/http://www.amazon.com/Crisis-of-Identity-ebook/dp/B00B5L0I7Shttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/crisis-of-identity-denise-moncrief/1114223396Excerpt:
I dropped onto the cot at the far end of the locker room, struggling to remove the stained smock the state so generously provided. Forget about sleep; it wouldn’t come. I had too many memories that begged to become nightmares. I closed my eyes anyway.
The springs in the cot next to mine creaked. “I’m Jake.” Why had it taken him so long to introduce himself?
I released an internal sigh. “Tess.” I told the truth, because I had to say something and I was out of lies.
“Yeah.” I wanted him to shut up and leave me alone.
“Why would someone like you
volunteer for this?”
I opened one eye and glared at him. “I didn’t volunteer. I was strongly encouraged to help. Why are you here?”
He hesitated. “I’m a U.S. Marshal. It’s my job. Part of the oath and all that.”
I opened the other eye and assessed him. “Why would you move here—” He smiled, cutting off my question. “I can tell from your accent you’re not from Texas.”
“I followed a fugitive here from Illinois.” He leaned forward, his knees not quite brushing mine. “She’s accused of murder.”
“Stabbed her boyfriend…in the back…in cold blood.”
My reaction gushed from my mouth. “How can you be sure it was cold blood?” I sucked back a gasp at my gaffe. My question probably seemed strangely timed and oddly constructed. “I mean…it could have been self defense.”
He offered me a cold, hard stare with unblinking eyes. “I just know.”
“I guess I followed my lead at the wrong time. I got trapped riding out the storm…just like you.”
“What makes you think I got trapped?”
“If you’d had any choice, you would have left.”
My brother Tony forced me to stay, but he left me. A storm surge so strong it pulled the house out from under us knocked him into the sea. The Gulf of Mexico spit me back onto the beach as if the ocean didn’t like the way I tasted.
I survived, but I had no time to grieve. The realization impaled my heart.
Jake stretched out on his cot. “There’s a boat out of here tomorrow. It’s taking volunteers back to the mainland.” Galveston was in ruins. The thin strips of concrete that once connected the island to civilization lay scattered on the beach looking somewhat like a child's building blocks.
“There is?” I tried not to appear too interested.
“You didn’t know?” A different question danced in his eyes—a challenge of sorts. “So how long have you lived in Galveston?”
“Not long. My brother found a job. So I moved here a few months ago to be with him.”
“Where’s your brother now?”
I blinked at him. “He’s gone.”
His stern countenance wavered, but before I could embrace his presumed compassion, his expression settled into severity once again. “Now you’ll have to start your life over…again.” His eyes captured mine. A shiver of dread slithered down my spine. It was as if he knew
me, even though he didn’t seem to know
me. “Are you going to sleep?” He nodded toward my pillow as if he didn’t think my conscience would allow rest.
“I never sleep.”
Within minutes, he emitted soft puffs of breath, in and out, obviously lacking any guilt to keep him awake.
The shadows lengthened and receded over the locker room, drifting in and out of the grimy, shattered windows as if the world was still revolving around its axis on schedule. But I was sure it had stopped turning. I was the fugitive he sought.
The unrepentant sunshine streamed through the cracks, jubilant in its victory over the storm. Only five days since the devastation of Hurricane Irving and the sun acted as if nothing had ever happened. I turned away from the brightness with an ill-tempered snort.
Jake caught up with me on the gym floor. “Did you get any sleep?” His question hit me as a trifle vindictive.
“No. But you did.”
“I snore.” He grinned. Then his smile faded. “I thought you’d be gone this morning.”
“Why? I have to finish the job.”
The thought that pestered me all night erupted from my mouth. “What happens to that woman when you catch her?”
“She’ll go back to jail.” He stopped by the double doors and folded his arms over his chest, blocking my path. “Then she’ll go to trial.”
“What if she did what she had to do?”
“There was no evidence it was self defense.”
I stared hard at his implacable façade. How could the man be alternately warm and cold, compassionate and hard, flexible and unyielding? I stepped around him and entered the gym. There were already bodies lined up waiting for our initial inspection, so I began the task of collecting information from my column of the dead. The hours passed as I searched pockets and noted identifying characteristics on those with no papers or markings. I glanced toward the open door as two men begin loading the last group onto a waiting truck.
One more victim to notate. I squatted next to her. Even in partial decay, her features were enough like mine it pushed me back on my heels. I lifted her arm. My breath hitched. Her Social Security number was so nearly like mine. I scanned the gym. Jake, the one man who might care if she became me or I became her, was absent. With a few strokes of the pen, I could die and live again.
My heart pounded with the possibility I might get a chance to start over without the baggage of my past dragging me down. I changed her identity with a few swipes of a permanent marker. The number went onto my log with an unshaken hand, and I was free to escape the woman I used to be…the woman I didn’t want to be any longer.
the idiosyncratic story of a brown girl with an American passport and very little compunction about pursuing what she wants—even when she should stop and think it over. Salihah dances, drinks, dates and attempts to find her purpose in this autobiographical novel that chronicles a young woman’s twenties. With a little flirting, a lot of signs from her guardian angel and her crew of eclectic travel buddies she makes her way across four continents. Her companions on theses escapades include a half-Ethiopian half-Brazilian dating guru, a gay retired ballet dancer and a collection of lovers from the beach who can never come home to her real life.Rating- ** 2.5 starsMy thoughts:
This book was not one of my most favorite reads. In comparison to most Indie books I have read, it was very well written, informative, and intelligent. However, my connection with the title Character who is also the Author had been severed within the first four chapters.
While I enjoyed being led through the vast cultures during Salihah’s travels, I didn’t grasp how one could be so misguided. The title character had little to no remorse for the wrong doing she had done on her travels, her lack of morals, and her demeaning behavior by blaming the world except herself for her misfortune and short comings: all in all she was both the protagonist and antagonist to me.
By the end, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I was angry. The time is set before terror was the world’s worst enemy, so I understood that precaution was maybe an afterthought. But as a woman, she had no common sense towards safety. Her infidelity was depressing, and I found myself wondering at times, why hadn’t anyone tried to kill her yet? She was so loose throwing caution to the wind. She had no respect for the people who had gone out of their way to help, her family was the least on her mind, and even her life’s path was not something she paid attention to. It reminded me of a bratty girl with no moral compass and a selfish streak of 180 on a crash course to see the world and wondering why she can only view it alone. Wondering why, once she returned home, there was no one to care or greets her.
Besides my beef with the main character, it was a very stimulating read. Salihah’s depiction of cultures and their homes was almost like watching the discovery channel, the knowledge and explanations were vast and enticing. Her travels were descriptive and inviting.
While I envied her free spirit to go with the flow and let her compass for traveling be her guide, I couldn’t understand why she put herself in impossible situations. I guess you can chalk it up to growing pains.
****Although I may not have liked the book very much, I do however want to acknowledge that one may not like everything they read, and encourage my viewers not to pass judgment on my thoughts alone. While it may not have been my cup of tea, it could very well be yours. Happy Reading always!****http://www.amazon.com/Transient-A-Colored-Girls-Travels/dp/1482340291/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375478112&sr=8-1&keywords=transient+a+colored
The racially-charged prejudice of the deep South forces eighteen-year-old Alison Tillman to confront societal norms—and her own beliefs—when she discovers the body of a hate crime victim, and the specter of forbidden love turns her safe, comfortable world upside down.
Alison has called Forrest Town, Arkansas home for the past eighteen years. Her mother’s Blue Bonnet meetings, her father toiling night and day on the family farm, and the division of life between the whites and the blacks are all Alison knows. The winter of 1967, just a few months before marrying her high school sweetheart, Alison finds the body of a black man floating in the river, and she begins to view her existence with new perspective. The oppression and hate of the south, the ugliness she once was able to avert her eyes from, now demands her attention.
When a secretive friendship with a young black man takes an unexpected romantic turn, Alison is forced to choose between her predetermined future, and the dangerous path that her heart yearns for.
HAVE NO SHAME is an emotionally compelling coming of age novel featuring a young woman who cannot reconcile the life she wants with the one she’s been brought up to live. Have No Shame will resonate with anyone who has ever fallen in love, and those who have been forced to choose between what they know in their hearts to be true, and what others would like them to believe. HAVE NO SHAME
When civil rights and forbidden love collide
The most important book of 2013
“An American classic, not yet discovered.”
“[Have No Shame] should be up there with To Kill A Mockingbird.”
"This book will resonate with readers who enjoyed Kathryn Stockett's, THE HELP, Julie Kibler's, CALLING ME HOME, John Grisham's, A TIME TO KILL, Sue Monk Kidd's, THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES, and Kathleen Grissom's, THE KITCHEN HOUSE."
Buy it now on AMAZON: http://amzn.to/16TaOSZ
Buy it Now on B & N: http://bit.ly/YATqAd
"Within moments of starting to read, you will be transported back to the Arkansas of 1967 - hot, dusty, utterly rural and edgy. Poor white farmers dependent upon cheap black labor who, due to their superior numbers, are constantly suppressed, living on the wrong side of town, ghettoised and terrified. You will remember scenes from `In the Heat of the Night' and `Easy Rider'; you will remember that, less than fifty years ago, if you were black, you could be beaten for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And if you died at the hands of a white youth, justice would almost certainly be denied you." Author Roderick Craig Low
"A gripping and poignant novel dealing with a subject once taboo in American society." Hagerstown Magazine
"Have No Shame is a powerful testimony to love and the progressive, logical evolution of social consciousness, with an outcome that readers will find engrossing, unexpected, and ultimately eye-opening." Midwest Book Review
Buy HAVE NO SHAME on Amazon: http://amzn.to/16TaOSZ
Buy HAVE NO SHAME on B&N: http://bit.ly/12WGCYD
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR
Melissa Foster is an award-winning, International bestselling author. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest
, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café
. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success
. Melissa is also a community builder for the Alliance for Independent Authors. She has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.
Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.
Visit Melissa on The Women's Nest
, Fostering Success
, or World Lit Cafe
, or attend her annual reader luncheon with the YaYa Writer Girls
. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event. Awards Megan's Way
2011 Beach Book Award Winner
2011 Readers Favorite Awards, Winner
2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award, Finalist
2011 New England Book Festival, Honorable Mention
(Spirituality) Chasing Amanda
2011 Readers Favorite Awards, Winner (Paranormal), Finalist, (Women's Fiction, Mystery)
2011 Dan Poynter's Global eBook Awards, Winner
Top 10 Books of 2011, Pixel of Ink
Amazon Top 100 75+ Days running
Indie Reader's Bestselling List That Counts (8 weeks)
Top Books of 2011, The Write Agenda Come Back To Me
2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Finalist,
2012 Readers Favorite Awards, Finalist
2012 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Books Award, Finalist
2011 Dan Poynter's Global Ebook Awards, Finalist
Top 5 Must Read Books of 2011, IndieReader
Top Ten Books of 2011, Tea Time With Marce
IndieReader Best Reviewed Books of 2011, Huffington Post
The Women’s Nest, women’s social network: http://www.TheWomensNest.com
World Literary Café: http://www.worldliterarycafe.com
Fostering Success: htto://www.fostering-success.com
Facebook Melissa Foster: http://www.facebook.com/MelissaFosterAuthor (Fanpage)
Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3023973.Melissa_Foster Buy HAVE NO SHAME on Amazon
: http://amzn.to/16TaOSZ Buy HAVE NO SHAME on B&N
: http://bit.ly/12WGCYD BOOK CLUBS
Melissa is now scheduling her late summer and fall events!
Book your author visit today!
Thinkhappygirl (at) yahoo (dot) com
“You think me daft, do you?” the girl in the refuse pile says. “You’re from the future.”
Living the last hour in a high-budget documentary has made me a time travel believer, so I’ll take her word for it.
“How do you know?”
“Boys always be from the future. What’s me name?”
“Yvaine?” I say.
Her smile is so genuine it startles me.
“There you go. I haven’t never heared that since I was a wee bit.”
I know how she feels even if I only mostly
understand what she says.
“Help a lady up, Charlie.”
I take the hand she extends, pull her upright, then kick my feet into the dirty pair of shoes I took off when I ran after her. Her scruffy outline stands out with unnatural clarity.
This cinches it. I know how to spot the historically homeless!
Dad’s history books, all his lessons, swirl in my head. He totally knew! If us extra-in-focus-no-names are time travelers, and he and Sophie have been off visiting the Crusades or whenever, why’d they wait till right before the clockwork cop showed up before trying to tell me?
“Are you from the future too?” I ask.
“You know nothin’, dinna you?” Yvaine cuffs me on the arm. “Boys are from the future, girls are from the past.”
“Where? I mean when? And when is now?”
“Let’s cosy someplace warm.” She tugs me toward the alley entrance. “We’ll be lucky not t’catch cold.”
“That’s what my mother would say.”
“I’m not your mother.”Synopsis: Untimed
is an action-packed time travel novel by Andy Gavin, author of The Darkening Dream
and creator of Crash Bandicoot
and Jak & Daxter
Charlie's the kind of boy that no one notices. Hell, his own mother can't remember his name. So when a mysterious clockwork man tries to kill him in modern day Philadelphia, and they tumble through a hole into 1725 London, Charlie realizes even the laws of time don't take him seriously. Still, this isn't all bad. Who needs school when you can learn about history first hand, like from Ben Franklin himself. And there's this girl... Yvaine... another time traveler. All good. Except for the rules: boys only travel into the past and girls only into the future. And the baggage: Yvaine's got a baby boy and more than her share of ex-boyfriends. Still, even if they screw up history -- like accidentally let the founding father be killed -- they can just time travel and fix it, right? But the future they return to is nothing like Charlie remembers. To set things right, he and his scrappy new girlfriend will have to race across the centuries, battling murderous machines from the future, jealous lovers, reluctant parents, and time itself.Online Reviews"A twisty-turny, swashbuckling adventure through time and history. I can't wait for the next book in the series!." -- R.J. Cavender"What a super-engaging and exciting time travel romp!" -- Bookish Whimsy"Like science class in Las Vegas!" -- Fantasy Literature"Highly recommended to anyone who appreciates a well-written, suspenseful tale packed with colorful characters, witty dialogue, and interesting and well-researched settings." -- Amazon reviewerDWED: First, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m an unstoppable storyteller who studied for his Ph.D. at M.I.T. and founded video game developer Naughty Dog, Inc. at the age of fifteen, serving as co-president for two decades. There I created, produced, and directed over a dozen video games, including the award winning and best selling Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter franchises, selling over 40 million units worldwide. I sleep little, read novels and histories, watch media obsessively, travel, blog (a million hits last year!), and of course, write. DWED: Have you always aspired to publish a novel?
I’m a lifelong creator and explorer of worlds. As far back as first grade I remember spending most of the school day in one day dream or another. I had a huge notebook stuffed with drawings, story bits, and concepts for an elaborate Sci-Fi/Fantasy world I cobbled together from bits of Star Wars
, and Battlestar Galactica
. By fourth or fifth grade not only was I loosing myself in every fantasy or Sci-Fi novel I could, but I was building Dungeons & Dragons castles and caverns on paper. Then from 1980 on the computer.
Since third grade I’ve read rather obsessively, so I was naturally interested in writing. I began fairly seriously in ninth grade. In high school, I won several national literary awards for my short stories and I was an editor and contributor to our high school literary magazine. In college, despite being a diehard science guy, I took creative writing classes (sometimes I was the only guy) and submitted stories to Science Fiction and Fantasy magazines (not that they ever bought any!). I co-wrote the stories for many of my best selling video games. But video games aren’t as story driven as novels, so don’t judge these in the same light J. DWED: Would you say the journey to publishing was easy or hard? Why?
I never do anything halfway. So in 2010 I read about 20 books on publishing and query writing and spent hundreds of hours researching and querying agents. But the return on time investment was horrible. You wait and wait and barely get any feedback at all. The process is entirely structured on the assumption that there are vast supplies of manuscripts and so the agents maximize their own time investment. If they miss some good ones because of it… there will always be more. And while this makes sense for them, it doesn’t for me.
And then I kept reading about publishing.
I’ve published dozens of projects myself (40+ million games sold!) and the overall process isn’t so dissimilar. Nor is the role of publisher. But as bad as game developer / publisher relations and contracts sometimes are… they are paradise compared to their literary equivalents. Book publishers prefer to preserve the status quo and monopolistic collusion over profits. They always offer the same basic deal and are not generally open to new structures.
Now indie-publishing isn’t necessarily easy or anything. For me, the production part was fairly straightforward after having done so many previous projects. I hired great contractors and the result looks fantastic. The book was line edited by two world class pros. Proofread extensively. Typeset by New York talent. The cover by award-winning fantasy artist Cliff Nielsen is gorgeous and looks every bit as good as the best New York books. The whole package appeals. When I ran a free day on Amazon it surged rapidly to number 4 on the whole Amazon store, number 2 in fiction, and sat there for nearly 24 hours. Reviews have been stellar too. But marketing in this new world of online publishing is a black art and very time consuming. For each thing I try that works, there are five that don’t.DWED: Who or what would you say inspired “Untimed”?
began from a fusion of ideas. Lingering in my mind for over twenty years was a time travel story about people from the future who fell “downtime” to relive exciting moments in history (until things go wrong). I worked out a time travel system but had no plot or characters. Separately, in 2010, as a break from editing The Darkening Dream
, I experimented with new voice techniques, especially first person present. I also read various “competition.” One of these was The Lightning Thief
(the first Percy Jackson novel), which has an amazing series concept (if a slightly limp execution). I love mythology and history, and liked the notion of something with a rich body of material to mine. I wanted an open ended high concept that drew on my strengths, which brought me back to time travel.
Some of the mechanics from my earlier concept merged well with a younger protagonist, voiced in a visceral first person present style. I started thinking about it, and his voice popped into my head. I pounded out a chapter not too dissimilar from the first chapter of the final novel. Then the most awesome villain teleported into the situation. I can’t remember how or why, but it happened quickly and spontaneously. Tick-Tocks were born (or forged). DWED: How does “Untimed” stand out? What does it offer and more importantly what can viewers find within it pages?Untimed
is aimed at anyone who likes a rip roaring adventure in the tradition of the great 80s adventure films like Raiders of the Lost Arc
. I wanted a lightning paced romp that showed unfamiliar takes on familiar places, times, and people. Charlie is 15, but slightly younger readers will probably appreciate the action, and adult readers enjoy the well thought out time travel system and carefully worked historical implications. Charlie’s voice is frank and compelling, but light hearted with an edge, and I dance across serious themes without getting too heavy. It’s PG-13, no racier than today’s network teen shows.
One of my major agenda’s was to show the past in a fun but accurate manner. History doesn’t have to be boring, and while situations and society changes, people stay the same. People in the past are just as human, but things really have improved in many ways. Charlie, as a contemporary kid, serves as our representative, experiencing different times first hand –up close and personal with chamber pots. DWED: At length how would you describe the feedback for “Untimed”?
Reviews for Untimed have been fabulous. It has a 4.6 average on Amazon with 128 reviews! It’s not at all uncommon for book bloggers to call it “the best book I’ve read in years” or something similar. DWED: Would you say you have a unique style of writing?
I’m a very visual writer. I see each scene in my head like a movie and I try to paint it for the reader. I also like to think that my style is very descriptive, yet rapid and compact. I’m very conscious of all the things that need to be conveyed coming into a scene, and I try to dole them out in rapid splashes. I don’t open with a big block of description, but jump right into things and tease out the information and descriptions bit by bit as part of the action. In editing, I try to remove anything non-essential or redundant. Untimed
is only 75,000 words, yet a tremendous amount of stuff happens. It’s very spare and efficient.
I like dialogue and action, and I think I’m very good at both. I try to keep the banter snappy and rapid fire, and I like to think I can handle pretty complex action scenes with multiple simultaneous goings on.DWED: what kind of messages do you try to instill in your writing?
I wanted to show people that the past didn’t have to be boring, and that while situations and society changes, people stay the same. I also wanted to illustrate that while people in the past are just as human, things really have improved in many ways. By having Charlie, who as a contemporary kid is our representative, experience different times first hand, it’s easy to contrast them. DWED: Who is your favorite character in “Untimed” and why?Untimed
’s single first person POV is Charlie, and he was very fun to write. He calls things as he sees them, and given his basic naiveté, that’s pretty funny. We’re inside his head, and nothing is really sacred there. This can also be contrasted with what he does and says, which is sometimes not as bold as he thinks. Dialog-wise, his love interest, Yvaine, is also a blast because she’s incredibly direct and not afraid to work it
.DWED: Who is your least favorite character in “Untimed” and why?
There are two ways to take that question, but I’ll choose who is the most “despicable” (as opposed to which character do I think I failed at). Donnie, as the human villain, is a nasty bastard, very self centered and temperamental, but at the same time I wanted to make him likeable, or at least charismatic. Guys like him would have been charming – some of the time. But the Tick-Tocks are cool tool in their more archetypal way. Rapier is like a kind of Boogie-man. He’s always in the wrong place at the right time (for him!). DWED: What can we look forward to seeing from you throughout 2013?
Right now, I’m writing two more and adapting Untimed
into a screenplay. DWED: What would you say to all aspiring authors like yourself?
Read, read, write, write, edit, edit, edit. And hire good professional help too. Friends and family can give you a sense of how the book reads, but they can't usually tell you how to fix anything serious. I've read a lot of half-decent Indie books on my Kindle that are at their core good, but just need some serious tightening and polish. Hell, I've read plenty of big-six bestsellers you can say this about.DWED: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like your readers and potential readers to know about both your work and yourself?
I’ll just throw in the blurb for Untimed:
Charlie’s the kind of boy that no one notices. Hell, his own mother can’t remember his name. So when a mysterious clockwork man tries to kill him in modern day Philadelphia, and they tumble through a hole into 1725 London, Charlie realizes even the laws of time don’t take him seriously. Still, this isn’t all bad. Who needs school when you can learn about history first hand, like from Ben Franklin himself. And there’s this girl… Yvaine… another time traveler. All good. Except for the rules: boys only travel into the past and girls only into the future. And the baggage: Yvaine’s got a baby boy and more than her share of ex-boyfriends. Still, even if they screw up history — like accidentally let the founding father be killed — they can just time travel and fix it, right? But the future they return to is nothing like Charlie remembers. To set things right, he and his scrappy new girlfriend will have to race across the centuries, battling murderous machines from the future, jealous lovers, reluctant parents, and time itself.Buy Links:
DWED: First, tell us a little about yourself.
My name is T.P. Miller and I’m from Birmingham, Alabama. I’m the mother of two children, aged 5 and 6 and married for 6 years. I’m the author of the Chosen Ones Series along with being featured in a few anthologies. DWED: Have you always aspired to publish a novel?T.P. Miller:
I’ve always been a writer. I started out with short stories passed around with friends and eventually started my own. I wouldn’t say that I aspired early on, but soon I started thinking about what I really wanted to do and what made me happy. Writing has always been that profession. DWED: Would you say the journey to publishing was easy or hard? Why? T.P. Miller:
A little of both. I think that as a fairly new author, that getting that word of mouth and interest has been a hard thing for me. But I love the connection with the readers and that’s what makes this all the better. I was lucky when I first started to get picked up by a company and my first book, Out for Blood to be released the following year. Now that I’m self-published, I’m really getting the chance to see the ins and outs. DWED: Who or what would you say inspired “A Woman Scorned”? T.P. Miller:
A Woman Scorned started out as a short story for an anthology that was going to be featured with my company. When it didn’t fall through, I decided that I wanted to put it out. I’m a paranormal writer and I wanted to show the readers that I can be versatile and dip my pen into other genres.DWED: How was the concept of “A Woman Scorned” born?T.P. Miller:
It was supposed to be about a woman that is so angry that her boyfriend cheated that she gets some revenge. The model for the anthology was the seven sins and I was given wrath.DWED: How does “A Woman Scorned” stand out? What does it offer and more importantly what can viewers find within it pages?T.P. Miller:
I think with the character of Zena you see the other side of being cheated on. You see the real angry and betrayal behind the actions and the emotions that we woman go through. Also, I think that Zena does a few things that we women would love to do. DWED: At length how would you describe the feedback for “A Woman Scorned”?T.P. Miller:
The feedback has been great! I’m amazed that people are enjoying it as much as they are. It definitely makes me feel better about stepping out and doing more things. DWED: Would you say you have a unique style of writing?T.P. Miller:
I think that every writer has their own style. It’s like their fingerprint. I don’t think that I have a specific voice but I’m always working on it. I’m always working to be better and to have my own unique style. DWED: what kind of messages do you try to instill in your writing?T.P. Miller:
I think that the main thing that I like to instill in my books is strong female characters. In Out for Blood, you had Nef that was searching for the person that killed her family and basically left her for dead and in A Woman Scorned, Zena is basically standing up for herself after a broken relationship.DWED: Who is your favorite character in “A Woman Scorned” and why?T.P. Miller:
My favorite is probably Zena. Like I said, she’s strong. DWED: Who is your least favorite character in “A Woman Scorned” and why?T.P. Miller:
My least favorite is probably Malik. I always have fun writing the “bad” guy. He’s just your typical guy that thinks that he can have his cake and eat it too. DWED: What can we look forward to seeing from you throughout 2013? T.P. Miller:
I would love to get the revised copy of Out for Blood back out for the readers. I’m going to be adding new scenes and I definitely have the cover done. I’m also working on the sequel and got other projects that I want to put out really soon. DWED: What would you say to all aspiring authors like yourself?T.P. Miller:
Don’t give up and keep writing. Never let the pen stop and then when you’re done…research, research, research. Good luck! It’s fun and be prepared to work. DWED: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like your readers and potential readers to know about both your work and yourself?T.P. Miller:
The only thing that I can say is that I don’t have words to describe the appreciation that I have you each and every one of you. I hope that I don’t disappoint any of you and I hope that you’ll be picking up my books in years to come.http://thevampyrequeen.wordpress.com/
Trayvon Benjamin Martin Feb 5, 1995- Feb 26, 2012
Originally, I was not going to get into the mix, state an opinion or talk about the Trayvon Martin Case. But as I peruse facebook and twitter, I find there are many angry people out there in regards to the Not Guilty Verdict George Zimmerman received for the murder of Trayvon Martin.
I don’t want to view this case from a racial or civil rights point of view. So far I have viewed it from the point of a mother who has a son. My first born happily for me was a boy.
It breaks my heart to think about how I will someday have to approach this subject with my son. I know it won’t be easy as I will not only have to explain the meaning behind his colored skin and how that will ultimately affect his life, but how to approach maturity and sex in a responsible manner, and let’s not forget violence.
As an African American male in the United States my son will have to endure racism, sexism, hate, racial profiling, stereotypes of black men, lack of resources in the black community and I must include the pressure to survive poverty and make something of his self, should he choose to do so.
And as my son struggles through life to find his place in society, he will also endure the fateful pressures of being a teen and surviving puberty. Measurements of his body parts and if it will be sufficient enough to please a woman, drug and alcohol consumption pressures, graduating, dating, learning to drive a car…things we have all faced growing up.
These pressures I am sure we can wade through together, as I have coped with them. Mind you, I can only show him and teach him so much because I am his mother and have never experienced life from a male perspective, but I will try my hardest.
But how do I explain the results of the Trayvon Martin case and how this sets the black culture apart from others?
I know that last question may seem to be racially motivated and I know I stated I am not in a racial point of view on this topic, but I have to face the facts. My son is black. I am black and Trayvon Martin was black. The Black community is outraged.
And frankly I only decided to write this article because of the remarks stated by Juror B37.
As a woman I would like to ask her to put herself in the shoes and heart of Trayvon’s Mother. I don’t care what race or creed George Zimmerman lives by, but I can say one thing to this said Juror. Come step into a black community setting and then tell the people there that George had every right to fire that weapon to protect himself.
This is how I explain my thoughts to you Juror B37 and how I will one day try to explain this to my son.
So please read carefully because I am going to break this down for you in a mother’s point of view. No, scratch that a BLACK mothers point of view.
We come from a culture that is statistically and stereotypically faulted for black on black violence. For those who honor responsibility and humility we try to teach our children that violence is only necessary when there is a threat to ones well being and life. Now George said he felt threatened by a teenager armed with skittles and a soft drink…and a teenager who used his fists.
I cannot tell you Juror B37 how many mothers who lost their sons to gang violence, gun violence, knife fights or what have you, pick your weapon of choice, wish their son had chosen to use his fist as a means of protection instead of a deadly weapon. Look up any past article on a black man or boy being killed by a weapon and I can tell you, it’s sad.
The use of weapons instead of words to settle a dispute is mind boggling. So much wasted precious life taken away from young people who just need guidance.
Now let me tell you WHY people are angry that you chose to acquit a man who was obsessively taunting Trayvon on his walk home.
Trayvon didn’t call for help but spoke to a friend. Lord how I wish he would have dialed 911 instead of talking to his lady friend. Because then the world would know his side and every misunderstanding that happened that unfortunate night could have been handled correctly on all sides. In fact, my first statement to my son will be to call 911 try to walk away and if that doesn’t work- then and only then ---Stand your ground.
Now we are being told as viewers that Zimmerman called the police and reported Trayvon as a suspicious character in the neighborhood. He was told NOT TO FOLLOW Trayvon that they would handle it. Zimmerman chose to follow trayvon. In my eyes this is an act of aggression and failing to listen to instructions. For a man who wants to be a police officer he should know better than to disobey orders.
The fact that Zimmerman made the conscious decision to follow Trayvon makes him the aggressor in this situation. He could have asked trayvon what he was doing in the neighborhood before harassing the boy. He could have stayed in his car and let the police do their job, because he is not a law officer and should not be trying to apprehend suspicious people. In my eyes its like he was trying to impersonate a cop and that is supposedly against the law. He did not have the authority or right to do what he did. And being part of the neighborhood watch he should have known the proper protocol for encountering suspicious individuals. Should there be any threat of danger you call the proper authorities and LET THEM HANDLE IT.
Also Trayvon was walking! Walking! He didn't go into any yards, knock over trash cans. He didn't vandalize any property. He walked fast when he realized he was being followed. How is that a crime? How is that suspicious?
And if George was paying this much attention to the teen, how come he didn't realize the teen was on his cell phone? How come he didn't stay back and wait for Trayvon to do something, anything worth this type of surveillance?
Further more I find there is a flaw in the law of “standing your ground”. Because Zimmerman was the aggressor, Trayvon had every right to defend himself should Zimmerman make a move.
And I do not believe Trayvon struck first. I believe that Zimmerman based on statements he made to the dispatcher and the fact that he took it upon himself to continue to follow and harass Trayvon, and the fact that he is obsessed with law enforcement, went over the line and probably grabbed, shoved, held onto or any form of contact to Trayvon, and since the boy was scared, thought this man was crazy and felt threatened, may have pushed, shoved or forcibly moved Zimmerman’s hand off of him.
That to me is a misunderstanding on Trayvons part but I would believe it to be a defensive tactic because we all can see that Zimmerman has a screw loose.
Why was this man following him? Why was this man blatantly disregarding the advice to stand down and let the cops apprehend and/or question trayvon if he was a menace to the neighborhood? Why didn’t Zimmerman ask a simple question of “are you from this neighborhood?” before he trailed Trayvon?
I swear I feel like I could be watching the discovery channel with an episode of a lion hunting his prey. Tackling him and moving in for the kill. How the hell do you justify what Zimmerman did? Do you lack common sense Juror B37? This man is obviously confused about his duty as a civilian and a neighborhood watchman. He obviously took the law into his own hands and forced an unpleasant situation into a brutally aggressive one resulting in the murder of an innocent boy.
You allowed Trayvon’s past to be a factor in your motivation for providing the wrong verdict but failed to take into account how Zimmerman conducts himself in normal society.
I ask you this, do you think Zimmerman would have stalked Trayvon if he had been a grown man? No I think not. He took advantage of a teenager. And yes I said Stalked because that’s exactly what Zimmerman an adult decided to do that day. He took it upon himself to apprehend Trayvon. And if he decided to “apprehend” Trayvon, then he is in the wrong. He is not a cop. He cant and has no authority to apprehend anything or anyone.
How are any of us, especially his parents supposed to cope with a wrong verdict? How can we view Justice as mercy and salvation for innocents who cannot speak for themselves when you have so blatantly destroyed it?
How the hell am I supposed to tell my son that he can be killed for walking home from getting a snack and visiting friends?
How am I supposed to tell my son that not only will he be unjustly persecuted for having dark skin his entire life but that he will also have to be faced with violence because of bigoted prejudice on behalf of years of stereotyping, statistics, and the fear of what we are as a race?
How can anyone on that Jury explain to trayvon’s family that they let this man go because he felt threatened by a weaponless kid who he stalked, who he victimized, who he profiled wrong? Who he didn’t even take the time to yell out and say “hey do you live around here?” if he took the time to ask that one simple question instead of taking it upon himself to scare the hell out of a helpless teen who did nothing to him, trayvon would still be alive.
You, Juror B37 and your fellow peers who decided on this verdict have justified racism, prejudice, hate, and lack of humility. This is why people are saying its racism. This is why they are crying for a civil suit. This is why the Black people in America are outraged. No Zimmerman may not be racist, but his motivation for harassing Trayvon was. And you have further put this country in a condition to publicize hate. To try and rationalize your opinion for giving a not guilty verdict by the means of the stand your ground law is absurd. Zimmerman was wrong. And so are you. And you have stepped so harshly on the hearts and caused heartache for so many mothers wishing to shield their children from such disgrace. Thank you for opening up wounds that were just starting to heal. You have set this country back a few decades.
Moral of my article? I didn’t mean to draw the race card. I simply meant to prove some points.
1. Stand your ground law has a flaw. Because Zimmerman harassed trayvon, and trayvon lived there, he should have had every right to defend himself against Zimmerman without being shot. Trayvon had the right to stand his ground because he felt threatened by the aggressive harassment of Zimmerman.
2. Regardless of whatever went down, Trayvon used his hands as weapons, Zimmerman used a gun. The unfairness in that battle tells it all. If Zimmerman was black, it would be seen as another black on black crime and swept under the rug. If Trayvon had a knife I could see Zimmerman’s defense, but he had nothing. SO how threatened could the man feel by a teen’s fist?
3. If Zimmerman was really into law enforcement he would know that officers use every means necessary to apprehend a suspect, from physical fighting, pepper spray, batons, and last form of defense is their gun. The LAST form of defense is their gun Zimmerman. You would not have had to fight with this boy if you had listened when you were told to walk away, you didn’t have to follow that poor boy. And you wouldn’t have felt your life was in danger if you hadn’t aggravated the situation.
4.There was some speculation as to who was heard screaming for help. I wish they had had a behavioral profiler do a study on Zimmerman and Trayvon. Because if we go by things Zimmerman has stated, his obsession with becoming a police officer, his use of cop language, his indifference to the situation, and his provocation of the situation can tell anyone with a brain that those cries for help was Trayvon not Zimmerman. Zimmerman has proven he has a temper, not only that, but an over inflated ego that when provoked by any means of insult, he will strike. If at some point Trayvon had the upper hand in the fight, this would have made Zimmerman even more aggressive and could be the very reason at that moment he pulled out his gun.
5. Zimmerman is older, heavier and had more training than Trayvon. If he was studying and preparing to become a police officer that would mean he had the known how, the training and knowledge of defensive tactics to take down or apprehend a criminal with brute force, without having to draw his weapon. Even if Trayvon did get the upper hand at some point, Zimmerman would have the skill to take him down. The fact that he drew a weapon at all shows he needed power and authority and his ego and pride were at stake. He wanted to be a law official so badly, he hated the fact that “these assholes keep getting away” so much that he took his hatred out on that poor boy. Anyone that can’t see that lacks common sense.
His blood is on your hands Zimmerman and may god have mercy on your soul.
What you and these Jurors have done to this country is added another sliver of pain to it. You have opened up wounds we all thought were healing, that we were progressing from. You have given every mother of a son another reason to fear for his life. How dare you. You should be ashamed.
I ask you this Zimmerman…Look your mother in the eyes and ask her what would she say, do or feel if You were Trayvon and Trayvon were you. If she had to bury you because of an unjust murder…Do you think your not guilty now?
What would you say to a man that took the life of your only son Zimmerman? How would you feel? Would you think this was justice?
Signed, an Angry Mother who fears for the future of her son.
I remember reading, years ago, the results of a study that suggested how many people have a story they want to write. I can’t remember the exact statistic, but it was something like one out of every ten Americans dreams of someday writing a book. I also remember this article saying that almost every one of these wannabe authors ambition was no more than a pipe dream. He went on to explain how incredibly difficult it was to actually write an entire book. And if that wasn’t enough, he added that finding an agent and getting published was tantamount to winning the lottery.
If I wasn’t already intimidated enough at the thought of writing, this certainly did the trick. Years went by before I decided to try my hand at it. And like so many things we postpone in life, once I completed my first novel, I couldn’t believe I had waited until then.
Here’s what I learned out of that experience.
The fear of doing something is always worse than the actual experience. Don’t let yourself be intimidated. If you feel the urge to write, then do. Writing an entire novel is not as difficult as it may seem.
The first step is to come up with an idea for a story. This can come from a news report, or a headline, or even just a daydream, and it usually starts with a ‘what if?’ For example, you might read an article about some recently found treasure, and you ask yourself, ‘what if somebody was to find a treasure that hinted at some great lost civilization?’
The next step is developing the main character and placing them in this what-if setting. For example, you decide that your main character is a priest and his concern will be that the treasure might disprove some part of the bible. Here you already have the makings of a great character and a suspenseful story.
I should add that one of the mainstays of an engrossing read is a main character who is conflicted. The story can be filled with suspense, but if the main character is not torn between decisions, much of the suspense will be lost.
I am convinced that every person who dreams of someday writing has already experienced a few of those what-if moments.
Now do yourself a favor and go write down your thoughts before you forget them. Who knows, you just might be the next best-selling author. It all starts with writing that first line.
All my best,
P.S. Let me know when you finish your first chapter.http://www.moniquedomovitch.com/
DWED Reviews Looming Murder By Carol Ann Martin
Synopsis: LOOM WITH A VIEW
Della Wright has come to peaceful and picturesque Briar Hollow, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, to realize her lifelong dream of owning a weaving studio. To promote her new business, Dream Weavers, Della is offering weaving workshops for all levels of ability. In her first class, she meets half a dozen of the town’s colorful characters, who seem as eager to gossip as to learn how to work a loom.
But when a shady local businessman is found murdered, Briar Hollow suddenly appears a lot less idyllic. And when one of her weaving students is suspected of the crime, Della can’t help getting entangled in the investigation—with some help from her criminologist friend, Matthew. But can she weave together clues as well as she weaves together yarn—and stop a killer from striking again?
FEATURES WEAVING TIPS!
Rating: 4 stars ****
My Thoughts: It has always been said that curiosity killed the cat. In the case of a sketchy accidental death and the murder of a prominent real estate mogul, Della Wright seems to be landing safely on her feet at every turn.
After facing a dramatic life change, Della moves to the small town of Briar Hollow to start fresh and live out her dream of owning and operating a Weaving Shop. But little time has passed before she is intrigued by the small yet quirky town with its vivacious cast of inhabitants, and a murder she unknowingly stumbles upon.
I found it entertaining that Della seemed to put herself in harms way despite the open threats to her well being. It was as if she needed more in her life other than operating a Loom and teaching others how to weave. It’s like she felt empty.
Despite this, the Author had a way of directing the story that kept my rapt attention, and I found I couldn’t put it down. I was far gone wanting to know who had actually committed the murder and if Della might come face to face with this unknown killer.
The whodunit feel of the book was riveting, and the end had a very well put shock value because the culprit and their reasoning for the murder were unexpected.
Romance, humor, family drama, with a touch of Buddhism. Sound interesting?
When approaching life's problems, Sophie sees in black and white. That is, when they're someone else's problems. So when it comes to her sister, Sophie is sure she has all the answers, and offers them without hesitation. If only her sister would listen.
Then, through a series of chance encounters, she meets Sam, who is witty, kind, and downright unflappable. Sophie has the overwhelming sense that she's known him before, and as a relationship builds between them, odd visions invade her mind. Though she tries to dismiss them, their persistence will not allow it.
As someone who is quick to judge others, she is intrigued by Sam's ability to accept people as they are. She begins to see him as a role model, but try as she may, his accepting nature is difficult to emulate.
Will Sophie ever be able to put her hasty judgments aside and realize not every problem has a simple solution?ReviewRating: 4 stars ****
This book was simplistically great. One of the things I loved about it was how it flowed. There were funny moments, sweet moments and gracious moments which allowed me as the reader to feel connected with the storyline and characters the entire book.
Shelly as an author, I believe, has a skill that allows the reader to constantly connect and stay connected as she paints a vivid picture.
My favorite character was Christian, Evie’s husband and friend. His inner conflict is what drew me to him and kept my rapt attention, although Sophie hated his guts and had no kind words for him throughout the story.
What I love is that we see so many different personalities and beliefs mixed throughout the story and its never changing. Everyone stayed true to their place, their beliefs and their core personality, although we saw major change in Sophie as she found love within another and allowed herself to really feel loved. We watched as she finally accepted one can have flaws without judging them, but accepting them.
This was a great read.Excerpt:
Sophie wandered into the kitchen where Christian was standing, clearly tortured in his own home.
“What’s up?” Sophie asked, slapping him on the back.
She did sort of feel sorry for the guy, pitiful thing that he was, but she often wondered if much of his manner was for show. She supposed only Evie knew for sure, and maybe his mother as well. Christian had conventional good looks—thick, wavy brown hair, nice skin. In Sophie’s opinion, he had no personality whatsoever. Evie must have seen something in him that Sophie didn’t. He never drank, which was probably a good thing due to whatever mood issues he had. But at the same time, Sophie thought he could use something to loosen him up.
“So whatcha been up to, Christian?”
“Not much,” he answered. “Been helping Mom around the house, doing some yard work.”
“Really?” How nice. You can help your mom with yard work, but you can’t help your wife with your own damn house!
Making an effort to have a positive conversation with him wasn’t going to happen here. Now she was just pissed off. “Well, I gotta get this drink over to Edward.”
As she passed her mother, they exchanged meaningful glances. Abby approached her son-in-law to attempt her turn at friendly dialogue. Maybe she would have better luck than Sophie.
Later that evening, Sophie sat with Lisa, her friend and fellow teacher, as she picked at a bowl of Chex Mix.
“Come on. It’ll be fun,” Lisa persuaded. “I’ve been married five years, and I still get out more than you do.”
“So what? Why is it so important that I get out more?”
“Well. . . .” Lisa hemmed and hawed. “Jerry has a friend I want you to meet.”
Sophie ended her search for melba toast in the Chex Mix and gave Lisa an annoyed sigh.
“Just agree to meet him,” Lisa added. “He’s a cool guy.”
“I’ll go, but only if you promise not to fix me up,” Sophie insisted. What was it about married people and their deep-seated desire to pair up their single friends?
“You haven’t dated anyone for at least six months,” Lisa pointed out, as if it were some atrocity.
“Lisa, I’m tired. I think you’ve forgotten what it’s like, and the last thing I want to do is meet some guy in a bar.”
“Oh, give me a break! You’re not going to be meeting some guy
in a bar. It will be someone that Jerry and I know, and it will be at Murphy’s. Remember Murphy’s?” Lisa jibed, poking her in the ribs. “We used to go there all the time when we were in college.”
,” Sophie groaned. “No set ups. It has to be casual.”
“They’ve got Karaoke now,” Lisa said in a sing-song voice.
“Is that supposed to entice me, or make me run away screaming?”
“Okay, no set ups. Some others from work will be there too, so it will be very casual.”
Sophie sipped her drink and watched Evie approach Christian across the room. He looked nauseated, stressed and self-conscious. Evelyn reached up and lovingly straightened his collar as if he were a little boy, and then said something that seemed to put him at ease. He grinned stiffly and put his arms around her.
Sophie was fascinated by their dynamic, wanting to be a fly on the wall to their conversation. Anything to understand why her sister stayed in this relationship.
Evie cocked her head and gazed up into Christian’s face, asking him something. His smile disappeared, and so did he as he retreated to the bedroom. Evie nervously skimmed the room and when her gaze met Sophie’s, Sophie averted her eyes, pretending to be ignorant of the exchange.
Christian wasn’t seen for the rest of the evening.http://www.shellyhickman.net/