Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Life is good! No insecurities this month!

Hi everyone!

Sorry for the late post, but I am MOVING into my new place in ORLANDO Florida! Yay!!! After 18 months of trying to find my winter escape, I finally bought a Condo...

So NO insecurities this month! I currently have no internet, so I am ousting this from my iPhone. Hamlet, my Westie puppy, loves his new digs, but he is definitely over the car after two days driving.

I can't begin to tell you how happy I am...

So here is my writer advice this month.. Ever give up your dream.... No matter what it is. BECAUSE, In Time... You will get there.

Another wonderful big I'd news is I also have my first published short story coming out on May 31st! That thing thsat turned me, an anthology will debut. It's an amazing collection of over thirty accomplished authors... Including Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Please drop by the other wonder writers in the IWSG... They will truly inspire you!  I'll write more soon along with pics. Once I get my internet... Lol.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

ANXIETIES MELT AWAY WITH SPRING....

Hi, All,

HAPPY SPRING! Even though we are still getting snow in Chicago, signs of spring are popping up everywhere. The earth is coming alive once more. So this is THE PERFECT time to renew our own hopes and dreams.

For over a year I was searching for my place in Florida. I spent so much time and money researching potential homes in Tampa and Orlando, but sadly my efforts were all in vane...until now! I am finally under contract for the cutest little condo in Orlando. Only two miles from the gates of the most magical place on earth... Disney.

This winter was a very depressing and stressful one for me. I had hoped I would be away from Chicago because after the past two winters, I knew I couldn't handle another one. But I survived, but at a price. I had promised myself I would NEVER gain weight again. For over five years I kept my promise, that was until now. It didn't take long to put on thirty pounds. Yes, you have read correctly. As most of us know depression and anxiety go hand-in-hand. My anxieties of my entrapment in Chicago certainly got the best of me... but NOW... with Spring in the air, I am back on track, found my place, in Florida, and have lost ten of the thirty pounds I had put on... It takes a great deal of time and tenacity to make our lives run the course we want them to run. Remember this every time it gets hard and you want to give up.

As most of you know, I always take negatives and turn them into positives. And that is what we all need to do. The moment I focused on getting myself put back together, everything fell into place. It all started with my acceptance in THAT THING THAT TURNED ME anthology. My short story, Through Shades of Gray, will be featured with many other amazing writers, including the creator of the IWSG, Alex J. Cavanaugh! I am honored to be included with him and other such esteemed writers that many of you know. I'd list them all, but there are over thirty of us.

I have been working on my illustrations and created a new look for them. I am beginning to send them out along with SLOWLY getting back to writing. So for this month, I have my anxieties in check.

I know many of you are in the A-Z challenge and I have nothing but respect and admiration for you! I hope to get around a bit today and visit some of you. In between taking care of my six-month-old puppy, Hamlet... I can't believe I've had him for four months already. He has turned out to be my new BEST FRIEND... Here's a illustration I did of him in my new style. I'd love to know what you all think!


I hope you all can pop in on other members of the IWSG. It's nothing but INSPIRING...

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, March 21, 2016

NEED SOME INTRIGUE?....

Words and thoughts swirl through my head. Each intake of air adds a new facet to the glimmering kaleidoscope of colors. Ruby flashes on the crisp white background.

The murmur of voices grows louder. My mind barely understands. "Murder" rises above all others. And then, an invisible steely blade rips through my heart. 


  *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Murder:

noun

1.
Law. the killing of another human being underconditions specifically covered in law. In the U.S.,special statutory definitions include murdercommitted with malice aforethought,characterized by deliberation or premeditation oroccurring during the commission of anotherserious crime, as robbery or arson (first-degreemurder) and murder by intent but withoutdeliberation or premeditation (second-degreemurder)


Obsession:

noun

1.
the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by persistent idea, image, desire, etc.




Put them together and you get...





Welcome my friends to the blog book tour of Yolanda Renee.

Murder and Obsession often goes hand-in-hand, just like "Cat and mouse" mysteries. My talented friend, Yolanda Renee, has woven both aspects into the final book of her amazing Detective Quad mysteries.

AND, today I have the honor of featuring her as my guest. 

I wanted this interview to be on a more personal note. Yolanda's novels speak for themselves, but we know very little about the woman behind them...




Michael: "Welcome!

We all love your adventurous soul, Renee… it’s quite obvious in your spectacular writing with mystery, horror, and intrigue… but your story began in humble beginnings…tell us about it. When did you know your life would take you to the snow covered, crystalline state? The Alaska so little of us know about…"

Yolanda:"I lived in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, attended college in Steubenville, Ohio, and worked as a receptionist for a Steel Company in Follansbee, WV. During that exciting time, I met a young genius. A microbiologist headed to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks for his graduate work. When my vacation came due, I was on the first plane. I knew immediately that Alaska was my future, and even though I no longer reside there, writing about it proves I was right. The funny thing is everyone who knew I was flying to Alaska described it almost as you did – only they referred to Alaska as an iceberg. Alaska was anything but – lush, green, and wild. An adventure waiting for an adventurer."

Michael: "Amazing. It sounds incredible. 

Almost every writer is asked these questions, but I think they’re so interesting to give us a true feel for the writer. When did you start writing seriously? Did you always write as a child? Or, did one day something clicked in your head?"

Yolanda: "I excelled at composition (story telling), and while my grammar was atrocious, my teachers gave me a pass because I could write a winning paper. I wrote and produced my first play in the 6th grade. Won third place in a writing contest in the 10th grade, and was told by my college English teacher that one day I would write a book. Letters to friends about my adventures in Alaska brought praise, and writing classes convinced me to pursue the impossible. Numerous rejections almost convinced me otherwise but meeting a writer made my goals achievable."

Michael: "It's not surprising that another writer can really help put things in perspective.  

At Denise Covey’s blog… one of the first stops of your tour, I was blown away by a true horror in your life. Many of us have had situations thrust upon us unwillingly, and it’s how we react in these situations, that show us what we can endure and how to survive. What impressed me most was how strong a woman you are. To face your fears and conquer them and turn this horrific situation into a positive. At what point did you say, ENOUGH? I am a survivor and I will move on and grow from this..."

Yolanda: "Honestly, that lesson came at a very early age. An abusive childhood made me a survivor; being thrown out on my ear at the age of seventeen made me a fighter. But the rape, in Fairbanks, Alaska was almost my Waterloo. I think that's why I completely suppressed the event. After everything I'd already come through – I simply couldn't deal.

Even though I didn't recall the event, I immediately made changes to my employment. I took a job on the North Slope, and in doing so went from the pot into the frying pan. By that, I mean a good percentage of the men who worked there were subhuman. When I got off the plane and on the bus to camp, the naked pictures of women from Hustler magazine greeted me. That was proceeded by crude comments and obscene suggestions. Staying took courage, and I'm proud to say, I found mine. Although, it took one hell of a conversation with myself to achieve. The tradeoff was the ability to hike the Brooks Range. So while I found heaven, it meant a serious walk through hell to get to it." 

Michael: "Thank heavens you had that to pull you through. You found your inner strength...

I am thankful to have the great fortune to know you on a more personal level than most of our blogger buddies. I know your writing well and have the pleasure of creating the blurbs, taglines, and even your bio for your amazing series. What I read in your bio pages that I wish to share with our friends is your bucket list. Please tell us yours… I found it fascinating~"

Yolanda: "I would love to learn to play the drums. In grade school, I passed the music test and had the choice of instrument. I chose the drums, but I never took the form for my parents' approval home because I knew my family didn't have the money for such luxuries. I've always regretted that decision. Especially when a year later, my sister took her form home and Dad made sure, she got the clarinet she wanted. Although, in high school I did learn to play the guitar, one I bought on my own.

I've also always loved cars, the faster, the better and I would love to own a racecar, actually any muscle car, or even a Model T. 

But more importantly, I want a pet dragon. I even had this silly idea of buying a piece of property down the road to install a Putt Putt golf course, just so I could have an enormous fire-breathing dragon of my very own. But truthfully, who needs a golf course just to own a dragon?"

Michael: "Very true... lol

Now on an even more personal note, I’d love to know more about your home life. Just a line or two about Where you live now? What does your hubby think about your writing? And, do either of your kids have a creative side like you?" 

Yolanda: "We currently reside in central Pennsylvania. Settling here had to do with job availability; we were both downsized from the same company in Tacoma, Washington. But we grew up and graduated high school in western PA so it's not an odd fit. My husband has always had more faith in my writing and me than I do. He supports me one hundred percent, literally and figuratively. 

I have two wonderful sons that I'm trying to marry off, and an old house that I love even though the remodeling is never ending. I love to cook, and I still love hiking. Walking is how I achieve true peace; it always was and still is. Yes, my sons are creative but they don't see the benefit in it. Maybe someday they'll achieve what I couldn't.

Thank you, Michael, for allowing me to discuss my journey and my books. Your friendship means the world to me."

Michael: "To me as well! It was a true pleasure, and all the best with your third book!"

If you'd like more information about the Detective Quaid mysteries here are all the links. I know you will tremendously enjoy this trilogy.

Thanks for dropping by today everyone. Please visit Yolanda Renee at her blog Defending the Pen...
And more info on her books and blog tour....here.



Have a great day Everyone!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

WINTER FLU... BLOWS INSECURITIES AWAY.....

Hi, All,

Today my post will be very short. I am sick with the Flu and feel miserable.

The one PLUS.... I haven't felt one bit insecure all week. LOL.

Once must always try to keep our sense of humor even if you can't lift your head from the pillow.

I hope all of you are well and FLU FREE...

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanuagh we have a chance to vent our insecurities once a month. Don't forget to drop by the other member for amazing support and advice.

And thanks to Alex' co hosts this month....  Lauren Hennessy,Lisa Buie-Collard, Lidy, Christine Rains, and Mary Aalgaard!  

The IDES of MARCH are blowing, but SPRING will be here soon. I HOPE!!!

Monday, February 15, 2016

GUEST SPOT.... THE THING THAT TURNED ME...An Anthology...

Hi, All...

Today I am visiting my good friend Yolanda Rene'e, talking about my first short story publication!

This post just made it to the Arts and Entertainment section of Arts and Crafts Daily!!! So cool!

Here's the link: 

Please drop by and say hi if you have a chance...

Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

PUPPY LOVE...AN ISECURE PET PARENT...

Hi, All,

Time for another session of the IWSG... What a great way to vent our insecurities the first Wednesday of the month...

THANK YOU, ALEX! If you'd like to join our illustrious group sign up here.

Life is far from flat after the holidays for me. One challenge after the next. Now it's trying to train THE MOST STUBBORN puppy in the world! 

I have been a pet parent several times and I have always managed to gain the love and respect of my fur kids practically in the first week.... But this little guy has managed to push every one of my buttons. Two months now and still he doesn't listen. I have read a few training books, even one specifically for his breed. I even ordered an intense web training system by a world famous dog trainer. UGH. Still he manages to misbehave. The funny thing is "CUJO" appears every other day. So I have like a Dr. Jeckyl and Mister Hyde, type deal going on here. Can animals be bipolar? I wonder. 

Don't get me wrong, he can be very sweet and affectionate, but at times he lunges at me with spiked teeth that tear. From what I've read and heard, he will adjust once he hits later puppyhood... in the meantime I have eight plus months until his first birthday... YIKES! Will I make it? 

Stay tuned... 

On a writer's note, I am thrilled to say one of my short stories will be part of Randi Lee's, THAT THING THAT TURNED ME anthology. I am extremely fortunate to be teamed with many amazing writers. It should be quite the read! SO MUCH TALENT in one Anthology!


As you can see by the author's listed, it will be an amazing collection and a wide variety of writing styles. This Anthology is also the first full story of mine to be published and I am thrilled. I'll  keep you posted on the launch date, which should be sometime in the late Spring.

Having been in writing SIBERIA for almost two years, I am hoping this will be the kick in the pants I needed to start writing again on a daily basis... One can hope!

Please drop by and say hi to Alex, the cohosts, and the IWSG site! 

Have an amazing day, everyone!


Monday, February 1, 2016

MURDER AND OBSESSION...THEY SEEM TO GO HAND IN HAND...

HI, ALL,

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Although Chicago is warmer than usual, there was still a damp chill in the air. More like March than January... Gray skies prevail though, so it still feels like winter. UGH....

BUT at least lots of good things happen in the winter months! Mostly, lots of new releases from our talented blogger pals!

Today I'd like to reveal my very good friend, Yolanda Renee's newest novel MURDER AND OBSESSION... Release date March-2016! So lets all get our ready for a intrigue... Yolanda Renee is the Queen of Intrigue! So don't forget to pic up your copy.... of....




As wedding bells echo like the ring of toasting champagne glasses in the ice carved mountains of Anchorage Alaska, detective Steven Quaid rehabs his grandfather’s cabin into a honeymoon cottage for his new bride.

When he returns from a hunting trip, Steven’s faced with five police officers, who “Want to talk.” Plagued by two unsolved murders, the Department is searching for answers.

The conversation comes to a deafening halt as the team finds a bloody crime scene in the bridal suite. "Where's her body?" is a question Steven cannot fathom. 

Steven’s jaw clenches and his heart races. Images of Sarah streak through his mind.

The silence breaks as an explosion of accusations vibrate through every fiber of his being.
Steven bolts…

Although running is never the smart thing to do, Steven’s not thinking clearly and his escape into the wilderness of the Brooks Range proves almost fatal.

This Steven Quaid mystery is both personal and heartbreaking.

*****


BUT...until then... why not curl up with the first two books in the series.

MURDER, MADNESS, and LOVE...



And...

MEMORIES OF MURDER...


Here are the links...

~Yolanda Renèe ~

   
  Author:     Murder, Madness & Love & Memories of Murder & When Zombies Attack
      Blogger:    Defending the Pen & Murderous Imaginings & WEP-Write...Edit...Publish
      Links:         Facebook Twitter / Pinterest / Wattpad / GoodReads


I HOPE YOU ALL ENJOY THEM...

See you all on Wednesday or IWSG...