Friday, August 30, 2019

Labor Day weekend Kindle Book Giveaway!

Standing Stones on Amazon
Just for this Labor Day weekend, you can download STANDING STONES at no cost.

Click here to check it out on Amazon!

Share with friends, if you’re already a fan. And thank YOU for being a follower of my blog.

This story began my love affair with the McDonnell's. Here’s the blurb!

In 1842, Lord Gordon claims his new estate in Northern Scotland and plans to replace farmers and fishermen with sheep. 

Mac McDonnell, suspicious of Lord Gordon from the beginning, leads protests – despite the impact his actions will have on his sister and three brothers. When evictions begin, a second protest at Westness turns violent. What will Mac risk to protect his family, his sweetheart, and his livelihood?

Set in the Orkney Islands during the time of the Clearances, Standing Stones won an award from the Pacific Northwest Writers Association for historical fiction and was called “a very promising work, with appeal to a broad audience, peppered with a variety of characters the reader can identify with sympathetically or instantly distrust.”


“Well-developed characters and well-researched background & history made this an excellent book that I found hard to put down. I felt as if I was a friend of the McDonnell family, living on the island and sharing their love and hardships.”

Update on other writing: Working on final revisions for The Seventh Tapestry, a contemporary romantic-suspense set in Scotland with plans to publish before year-end. Here's the blurb: 

Newly hired museum curator Sandra Robertson is pulled into danger when she finds clues to an undiscovered 16th Century tapestry in Scotland and attempts to rescue it from the black market with help from Neil McDonnell, Edinburgh’s Art Crimes Unit.

May the end of summer bring you a sense of celebration as those leaves turn from green to brown and families gather.  Beth

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

WEP/IWSG August Challenge: A Poem for Frida

Imagine Frida Kahlo at the 7-11,
in that hour before the stars reveal themselves.
She just stands there, checking out
cold rows of Dos Equis in the cooler,
the blistered pizza barely warm,
clicking her red fingernails on a torn Lotto ticket,
glancing out the back window at
a weather-worn, red wheelbarrow on the patio,
bristling with mariposas and frangipani,
barely visible on some warm, summer night.

She would come into that space, trailing incense;
her earrings dangle to her shoulders,
jasmine flowers in her hair.
Her swirling long skirts cover a limp,
her fingers marked with blue and green
and yellow oil paint,
her wide, red lips and dark eyebrows,
dangerous and seditious. Revolutionary.
Her sorrows fall away in jolting lines of color.

WEP/IWSG’s August Challenge asks writers to reflect on William Carlos Williams lovely and short poem, “The Red Wheelbarrow” and see what writing emerges.

I’m remembering that Williams scribbled some of his poems on his way to house calls as he was a doctor. “The Red Wheelbarrow” was written one year before his death. I also learned from Wikipedia that Williams believed that writing poetry was an essential way to understand life. I agree, for the act of writing poetry leads me to observe more specifically and to reflect.

Williams also wished he had painted, admiring his mother’s work. Although many in my family have painted, I’ve always written poetry, though the work and lives of Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo inevitably make me cry.

The wonderful portrait of Frida Kahlo was created by Jane Perkins and is used here by permission. Explore her extraordinary work HERE. And, if you are a Frida-fan, check this out

You may read more about Williams on Wikipedia HERE.

Hard work goes on behind the scenes to make the WEP/IWSG Challenge possible. THANK YOU Denise Covey, Founder/Host. L.G. Keltner - Co-host, Nilanjana Bose, Blurbs/Host, and Olga Godim, Badges. And at IWSG: C. Lee McKenzie, liason IWSG/WEP, Pat Hatt, tweets and promo, Nick Wilford, judge, and Elizabeth Seckman - IWSG Newsletter.

This month's CRITIQUE PRIZE for August 2019 comes from the generosity of
CHRYS FEY  who's promised a critique of a First Chapter, Magazine Submission, or WEP Submission.

Why not read what others have written? See GUIDELINES and LINKY below.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

IWSG: May All Your Surprises be Happy!

The first surprise this month came when the introductory chapter to my current writing project got dumped. Totally rewritten. I wasn't expecting a brand new chapter at all, but now the story begins in the middle of action instead of back story. Are you surprised I'm happily working on revisions for the next three months or so? And that new story ideas are popping up? Hard work ahead, but I will persevere.

The second surprise this month began with my granddaughter now seven. She's starting to write her own books, embellished with her drawings. Here's a page from her latest story of the adventures of a Unicorn and a Caticorn (she loves cats). She puts her latest story written on folded pages under her pillow at night, just in case she wants to read it once again.

Her enthusiasm makes me wonder: Exactly when do we begin to express our creativity? Recognize that inner spark that leads us to draw, or write, or sing, or dance? And how is such creativity nurtured?

Do you remember those grade school art classes where our finished works were displayed and critiqued? I knew even then that what I made was for me -- not for an assignment. Art and writing were things I did 'between' other commitments, until that happy, unfettered time (retirement), led me back to writing stories.

We may admire those who set aside all else to simply create -- without worrying about what's next. They seem to have that gift of saying these precious days, here and now, we will cherish and celebrate with our own unique creations. For no one knows how our days are numbered. One question: How do we nurture our own creativity? Every day? For ourselves and those we love?

My last surprise is about my readers. They're reading my books! Against popular advice to indie writers, I do check sales daily. There I find mysterious readers who are buying my books. Are they readers intent on reading that next book in the series? Are they new readers, just starting the adventure? I just don't know, but I'm grateful for everyone who reads my stories and/or who leaves a comment or a review. That's always a truly wonderful surprise. Thank you!

Thank you, Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG), for posting a question each month  for writers to ponder. This month by August 7, the question is: Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you'd forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?

And thank you to those generous co-hosts for the August 7 posting of the IWSG are Renee Scattergood, Sadira Stone, Jacqui Murray, Tamara Narayan, and LG Keltner!  Why not sign up? Check out what other writers have posted this month right here at IWSG?