Friday, September 27, 2013

Inside Books We Love: A Few Lines from . . . Diane Bator

Inside Books We Love: A Few Lines from . . . Diane Bator: A Few Lines from The Bookstore Lady by Diane Bator   ...

A Few Lines from Diane Bator

A Few Lines from The Bookstore Lady by Diane Bator When the hunched over, balding pharmacist next door called out, “Good morning, Katie,” her hand flinched and her heart raced. It took her nearly a full minute to remember she’d been Katie Mullins for two months and she’d better answer before he got offended. “Hi.” She nodded. The drugstore opened at eight every morning and it was now quarter to ten. Must have been a slow morning if he had time to stand in the doorway with a large cup of coffee rather than hanging out behind the back counter. “You’d best convince Ray to get some air-conditioning for that store before your new books curl up and warp. It’s beyond me how he’s never lost half his books every summer.” “Dust absorbs the humidity.” She smiled wryly. “I don’t think we can afford air-conditioning this year.” “I know a guy who’ll give you a quote. He’s not bad looking once you get past the bug eyes and scars. I can call him, if you’d like.” “Maybe some other time.” Like when hell froze over. He waved and went back into the drugstore. Katie drew in a deep breath. The air was fresh from last night’s rain and the hint of a breeze mussed her hair. In two months, the only thing to find her was the sunshine and a case of withdrawals that made renovations hell. Nate, bless his heart, had had more compassion while she fought “the flu” than any man she’d ever met. She blew a strand of stray copper hair out of her mouth and jiggled the door lock. Another thing that needed to be fixed before winter. She should have done it during renovations, but it hadn’t seemed as important as books and workmen. Luckily, Nate worked cheap and she hadn’t had to dig into the money from Dunnsforth. The money was tucked up in a box in the backroom, fastened with half a roll of duct tape. She’d ask him to fix the lock when he delivered her order later. The door opened with a groan. “It’s about time.” Available at: http://www.amazon.com/The-Bookstore-Lady-ebook/dp/B00DWKNGPQ/ Tricia McGill follows with A Few Lines next week. Diane Bator Website: http://penspaintsandpaper.com Blog: http://dbator.blogspot.ca/

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Free at Amazon Sept. 25-29 ~ A House Divided by Sydell Voeller Rebecca Lorenzo, the young widow of a Hollywood actor who was killed by a crazed fan, is struggling to raise their young daughter, Wendy. Rebecca is embittered that God allowed her precious husband to die. She has turned her back on Him. Rebecca and Wendy move from L.A. to Rebecca's hometown on the Oregon coast. Due to a miscommunication, Rebecca mistakenly believes she can buy a Victorian house there. She hopes to cocoon herself in the security of her "safe" hometown. Rebecca meets the handsome, enigmatic homeowner, Mark Simons, and learns of his plans to tear down the house. Mark, a psychiatrist, is attempting to raise money to build a halfway house on the property, and he is admittedly a workaholic. He believes this project is God's will for him. Mark refuses to budge when Rebecca approaches him about selling the house. As Rebecca and Mark struggle to battle their individual demons from the past, they also struggle to resist their growing love for each other. "A heartwarming and memorable story. I was drawn to the story from the beginning, with very realistic characters and situations. Mark and Rebecca struggle with their respective pasts in and their faith in a very positive way. The characters were well developed, the plot was fast paced and never boring. This story is an inspiration to us all. Bravo, Sydell Voeller!" ~ 5 Stars, Lettetia, Amazon Reader and Vine Voice Member "A HOUSE DIVIDED is a two-character driven inspirational tale that focuses on the differing needs between a pair in love that though powerful seems not strong enough as each has not yet contended with tragedy in their pasts. The story line focuses on the struggles of the present relationship to cope with what has scarred their respective hearts..." ~ 4 Stars, Harriet Klausner, Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008PN9ONI/

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Few Lines from Victoria Chatham


Friday, September 20, 2013
A Few Lines From . . . VIctoria Chatham



A FEW LINES from  COLD GOLD by Victoria Chatham

“Well, look ‘ee here!” The first rider grinned at her, revealing a mouthful of stained and crooked teeth that reminded her of broken tombstones. “New blood in town.”

“Hello, fancy lady,” the second rider said. “You goin’ to share a drink wi’ me before we share somethin’ else?”

The other riders dismounted and gathered around her, jostling Serena until her back flattened against the wall of the saloon. Her mouth quickly dried up. Her heart pounded. She smelled their sour breath and sweat-stained clothes, felt their anticipation and wished she had paid more attention to Sheriff Johnson’s warning.

“Oy, you lot!” Every head turned at the strident tone of a woman’s distinctly English voice. “Jasper, you idiot, you don’t know a real lady when you see one. Cal, you wouldn’t know what to do with one anyway. Tom, Walt, Clarence, stand back and give the lady some room. Clear off, the lot a’ ya.”

Grumbling, the men turned away and walked into the saloon. Serena closed her eyes and sighed with relief.

“Are you stupid, or what?”

Serena pushed off the wall and faced her rescuer. The force of the expression in the woman’s blue eyes almost caused her to take a step back again.

“I...I wasn’t thinking,” she stuttered.

“That was perfectly obvious,” the other woman retorted. “Come on, we need to get you off the street. This way.”

The woman took Serena’s arm in a strong grip and hurried her along the boardwalk in the opposite direction to the Eldorado.

“In here.” The woman opened a door and pushed her into a store redolent with the warm and wonderful aromas of coffee and fresh baking. “Go on, straight through that door facing you. I’m right behind you.”

Her rescuer’s hand, firm on her back, gave Serena no choice but to go where directed. The moment she passed through the second door, she spun on her heel.



“Just who are you?” she demanded. “And what gives you the right to push me around?”

“Well, pardon me for breathing.” Anger spiked the woman’s voice and blazed in her blue eyes. “You’d rather be pushed around by a bunch of randy miners, would you?”

“No, of course not. And I do thank you for coming to my aid, but who are you?”

“Someone you shouldn’t be seen with, that’s for sure.”

“Why shouldn’t I be seen with you?” Serena looked her rescuer up and down and might have been looking in a mirror, so similar were they. The woman was her height, dressed in clothes as fashionable as her own. Tendrils of hair, blonde rather than dark brown, framed the woman’s face and, just like Serena’s own skin, the woman had a fresh, clear complexion.

“Because I’m Lorelei Sutton and I own a brothel just outside of town.”


Buy at http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Gold-Buxton-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00F04HD1K

Visit Victoria Chatham at
www.bookswelove.com/chatham.php
www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaChatham

Join us next week for A Few Lines from Diane Bator

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It's All In Your Mind, Young Adult Novel by Ann Herrick. Published by Books We Love

Blurb:
17-year-old Vija Skalbe wants to be an all-American girl—no matter how hard her parents try to impose their strict Latvian standards on her. Then one day Nolan, a folksinger, steals her heart at a coffeehouse.
Soon Vija is cruising from one adventure to another, dizzy with joy, her new-found freedom and the excitement of being with the kind of guy who is a challenge.
However, when Vija's father has a heart attack, she must take over running the family lawn-care business. She feels overwhelmed until sweet brainiac Joel volunteers to help. He shares the workload and lifts her spirits with his humor. But it is Nolan who fills her heart.
It doesn't matter that Nolan wants everything his way. Or that he's constantly eyeing other girls. Or that he can be pouty and punitive. Or that he says she's seeing things all wrong. Until it does matter. But Vija's in so deep. The thing is, she likes the excitement of being with him. Now, she is about to find out just how much she likes it.



Purchase Link:
http://www.amazon.com/Its-All-Your-Mind-ebook/dp/B00ED1ZFVG/

Chapter One 

1959

            If I had to pinpoint exactly when I started denying reality, I'd say it was the night I went to The Exit.
            "Turn off the engine, and let's go in," Caprice said.
            "I just want to hear the end of 'That'll be the day.'" I did like the song. But what I really wanted was a few more seconds to gather myself. The dingy building with the dim light struggling to shine through the grimy windows was not exactly in New Haven's new Urban Renewal. "Are you sure it's okay for us to be here?" A mist of cold sweat formed on my brow as I watched people filing in. "Everyone looks ... older. What if they throw us out?"
            "Vija Skalbe, would you cool it just for once? It's a coffeehouse, not a bar. No one here is over twenty. Trust me." Caprice snorted her snide, stifled laugh. "You'll be glad I dragged you here."
            I doubted that.
            Caprice lit a cigarette the second she stepped out of the car. "Just this one," she said. "I'm trying to quit."
            I'd told her Karl had warned me not to let anyone smoke in his car. I took a deep breath as we went inside and ordered coffee from a rough-looking guy with a Frankenstein forehead. Caprice pulled me toward a mushroom-sized table near the low platform that served as a stage. I sat down and wrapped my hands around the mug of acrid liquid. Caprice drank hers black. I had enough cream in mine to turn it white, but still could hardly stand to swallow the bitter taste. My folks loved the dark brew, but my coffee-appreciation gene must have been recessive.
            Blue smoke hung in the air from all the people puffing on cigarettes. One girl with long black hair touched a black cigarette holder to her lips, and blew a thin stream of smoke that swirled in the hazy light. Her over-sized black sweater hit mid-thigh on her black-tights-clad legs.
            I slid my feet under my chair, pushed myself close to the table, and tried to hide. As usual, I didn't quite fit in. Ever since my family finally decided to emigrate from Latvia to Connecticut when I was eleven in order to get away from the ravages of World War Two, I had one foot in each country. I wanted both feet planted firmly on American soil. But my parents constantly reminded me that our roots were in Latvia.
            I'd asked Caprice what I should wear, and all she'd said was, "Something somber." My black pleated skirt and mustard-colored sweater with matching cardigan turned out to be as out-of-place as I felt. I should've guessed, since Caprice had been wearing mostly tight-fitting black for the past two years. Her white lipstick, however, was new. Not a look out of Seventeen. Not that I was either. I tried to follow the latest fashions, but seemed to latch on to them just as they were ending. I was not what you'd call hip.
            During most of the week The Exit held readings. "Beat" poetry, radical writers such as Jack Kerouac, that kind of stuff. I'd read in On the Road. I lost track of how many times the characters drove back and forth across the country on the open roads. I wasn't sure there was any purpose to it, but I envied them their freedom, if not their dreariness. My parents viewed American coffeehouses with profound suspicion. They would be appalled if they knew I was here.
            On Fridays, instead of readings music was featured. I liked music, and that was one reason why Caprice was finally able to strong-arm me into going.
            Caprice and I had become friends in the middle of sixth grade, soon after I moved to the small shoreline town of Chatfield. I was extremely shy. Caprice lived just a block away then. We found ourselves walking to and from school together, and something clicked. She helped me with my English, and radiated confidence. I admired people with confidence.  Caprice enjoyed coming to my house where there was a father and a brother. She had neither. She liked bugging my brother, Karl, and he liked to tease her. Caprice and I became best friends. For a long time she was my only friend, and even now I was not what you'd call popular.
            Caprice and I even had a ceremony to make ourselves Spit Sisters. We were both too chicken to actually cut ourselves in order to become Blood Sisters. So, instead, we spit into each others hands, rubbing them together to "absorb" the saliva. We figured one bodily fluid was as good as another. We cut a lock of each other's hair and clipped the tip of each other's pinkie fingernail. We dug a hole and buried the hair and nails. Then we marked the spot with a pile of round rocks we'd collected from our back yards.
            We started to drift apart in junior high. When we started high school, Caprice announced that she'd dug up our hair and fingernails and scattered them. She didn't want to be Spit Sisters any more.
            This spring I turned seventeen and my brother joined the Navy rather than wait to be drafted. He left his old Chevy in my care. That's when Caprice started getting friendly again. Maybe it was our history together—as well as the car—that renewed her interest in me. We certainly weren't in the same circle. Of course, my circle was much smaller than Caprice's, so I was more willing to adapt. I struggled to find my place in the world.
            "Well, Vija ...." Caprice lifted an eyebrow. "What do you think?"
            "What do I think about what?"
            Caprice let out a loud sigh. "What do you think about The Exit? Is this a cool place or what?"
            What could I tell her? That The Exit felt like a journey to an alien world to me? That my parents, instead of asking me the usual twenty questions, would've grilled me with thirty questions if I'd told them my plans to drive into New Haven at night. It was only a few miles, but to my parents it was another galaxy. I told them I was going over to Caprice's. Since she'd moved across town a couple years ago, it made sense that I'd drive. I just didn't mention that we were not staying at Caprice's. "Yeah ... it's ... cool."
            "Maybe we'll meet some guys."
            "Me? Meet a guy? Yeah, right." I crossed and re-crossed my ankles. What if I did meet a guy? Then what! Caprice talked about trying to meet "men from Yale." Yale! Guys from our own school made me nervous enough. But of course I couldn't tell Caprice any of that. When she'd been convincing me to drive into New Haven and spend the first Friday night of summer vacation at The Exit, she made me think I'd be a failure for life if I didn't.
            Caprice just shook her head. With her naturally flirtatious manner, she couldn't possibly understand what it was like to be drab in every conceivable way. Besides, I wasn't interested in just any guy. I wanted to wait for someone special. Of course, back in junior high when I told Caprice that she laughed and said I was afraid of life. Maybe she was right.
            "Cast an eyeball on him." Caprice gestured toward a lanky, dark-haired guy in a far corner. "He's a cool cat."
            "Um. Yeah." He looked kind of gloomy to me.
            The lights blinked and the room's discordant chatter turned to a soft murmur.
            "Here comes Nolan Shar." Caprice nodded toward the stage. "I've heard he even plays gigs in Hartford."
            "Yeah, I know. You've told me." A hundred times. As if Hartford was the center of the music world. Of course, what did I know? Caprice said this guy was a folk singer. I loved rock n' roll, especially Buddy Holly's music. He was killed in that awful plane crash a few months ago, and I still mourned him.
            Nolan Shar stepped out of the shadows, up onto the platform, carrying a guitar. It was rumored that he'd attended Yale for a semester, then dropped out of school to sing. He was the kind of guy Caprice would set her sights on. I saw him only from the back, and took in the sandals, striped shirt, and chinos. A Kingston Trio look. As the lights dimmed, except for one casting its gentle, muted light on him, he turned. He looked out toward the audience—and smiled directly at me.
            A swath of dark curls fell casually on his forehead. His stubbly five-o'clock shadow gave his face a slightly dangerous look. He moved with nonchalant grace as he placed himself on the tall wooden stool in the center of the stage. His hands gently cradled the guitar. He spoke two words. "Aura Lee." Then his long, slender fingers caressed the strings, and he started to sing in a quiet, yet almost gravely voice. "As the blackbird in the spring ...."
            The music, I realized, had been used for Elvis's "Love Me Tender." But these original lyrics had a haunting quality, and filled me with a sense of peace and satisfaction.
            Every word pulled at me. Or maybe it was Nolan's voice.
            I applauded, too enthusiastically apparently for Caprice, as her mouth was tight with displeasure. I realized then that steady, rhythmic clapping was the approved method of The Exit crowd. Still, in the dim, smoky atmosphere, I allowed myself an intense smile.
            Through his set Nolan sprinkled in a couple of lively songs with high humor. But the general tone of the music was soft and yearning. After his last song, he simply acknowledged the final applause with a nod, and put his guitar its case. As the lights came back on, he stepped down from the stage.
            My throat closed as he started toward the door.
            "Nolan, wait." Caprice's voice shot across the table. She arched an eyebrow. "Join us?"
            Nolan stopped. He looked at Caprice, then me, then at Caprice again. He shrugged, grabbed a chair from another table, and sat down.
            I stared into his peacock-blue eyes. I could not open my mouth. Fortunately, Caprice never had that problem. She launched into a monologue about Chatfield, folk music, and, of course, herself. Word after word tumbled off her lips, effortlessly, like rain off a roof.
            Nolan sat, apparently fascinated, staring at Caprice, nodding occasionally, tossing out an "mmm-hmm," now and then. Finally, the flow of words stopped. Caprice reached out and placed her hand over Nolan's in a possessive gesture. "Can I get you a coffee?"
            Nolan shook his head. "Sorry. Gotta split." He pulled out a pen, tore off a corner of my paper napkin, scribbled a phone number on it, and shoved the piece paper at me. "In case you'd like to talk some time."
            Then he left.
            For a second Caprice gawked in stunned silence. Then she sat bolt upright. "I can't believe he asked you out!"
            "He ... he didn't ask me out."
            Caprice rolled her eyes. "He gave you his number. Same thing."
            "Yeah, right. As if I'd ever call him. Girls don't call guys."
            "Maybe prissy little girls don't. But some of us do."
            I looked down at the piece of paper and traced my finger over the number. I folded the paper in half, and in half again, then tucked it in my pocket.
            From the moment Nolan strummed the guitar I knew he was someone special. I suddenly realized what I'd been waiting for. I'd always wanted to fall in love with a folk singer.


Friday, September 13, 2013

A Few Lines from Joan Hall Hovey


This week, a few lines from The Abduction of Mary Rose by Joan Hall Hovey

The teenage girl hurried along the darkening street, head down in a vain attempt to divert attention from herself as she headed for her bus stop, still over a block away. The car behind her was a soft growl in the still, warm air.  The day was fast fading, the sky a light mauve, only a sprinkling of stars yet. Soon it would be dark... Ignore them, she told herself. But it was impossible to do with the car following so close that the heat from the motor brushed her bare legs, like a monster's breath.

 

Victoria Chatham follows me next week.
 

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Few Lines From Connie Vines

A Few Lines From. . . Connie Vines

Brede swallowed, trying to ignore the thick, tight feeling wedged in his throat.  He didn't welcome the onslaught of emotion that filled his chest and caused him to stroke her jaw with an unsteady finger tip.  He reminded himself that he didn't need to be involved in her problems; he had enough of his own.  As soon as the roads were passable, he'd get her to a doctor and the police could take care of the rest.

Still, no matter how hard he tried to remove himself from the situation, he kept remembering how fragile she'd seemed in his arms.  he felt as if he'd carried a sparrow, all feathers and tiny bones, out of the gully.


Connie Vines
Expect the UnExpected!
https://twitter.com/connie_vines

Stop back next week for a few lines from Joan Hall Hovey.