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Archive for the month “February, 2014”

Hanging By A Hair Top Pick Review

Nancy Cohen is one of my favorite online “friends.” Hope to meet her someday!

Nancy's Notes From Florida

Here is one of the early reviews in for Hanging By A Hair, #11 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries coming in April from Five Star.

Night Owl Reviews Top Pick—5 Stars!    NOtoppick

http://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Reviews/Merrynoelle-reviews-Hanging-By-A-Hair-by-Nancy-J-Cohen

The twists and turns will keep you guessing to the end and just about the time you think you have it all figured out she surprises you by steering you away with another clue. The author is always keeping you guessing as to where the story will lead you next. Ms. Cohen has just joined the list of my favorite authors and I look forward to reading the other books she has written. I hope you find Hanging by a Hair as great as I did.

Marla Vail, owner and operator of the salon Cut N’ Dye, and her husband, Detective Dalton Vail a homicide investigator, moved into Palm Valley recently following their recent marriage. They are…

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Star-Gazing by Marcia Meara

2005_perseids

The Perseids . . . 
Lying back under 
The ink-blotted sky,
He tries out the words.
They tickle his tongue.
The Per-see-ids. Those
Pinpoints of brightness
And streaks of fire,
Lighting the night
In a spectacle
Older than he can 
Possibly know.

Look Dad, he cries,
Look how many!
I see a hundred,
Maybe a thousand!
I see them, too,
Dad says,
And together, they laugh, 
Delighted.
Joy shared, 
And excitement 
Doubled.

Come see the meteors,
Dad said, as he
Shook him awake
Just before dawn.
He crawled from the tent,
Rubbing his eyes, 
Then staring in wonder.
With the sky still a midnight black,
And bright stars wheeling overhead, 
The fireworks came.
Racing toward Earth,
One after another,
The Perseids. 
The miracle of hot August nights.
A late-summer light show
That electrified his soul.
His young heart transfixed
By the sight of the universe,
Lit with streamers
Of flame.

A meteor shower,
Dad tells him again,
But he knows nothing
So beautiful has a name
So ordinary.
Stars, he thinks, pulled loose
From the fabric of the sky,
And flung toward earth, 
Trailing silver and gold,
And bringing pieces of Heaven
To those watching below.

He holds up his hands,
Cupped reverently, 
To catch one of his own.
To be blessed by 
This summer magic.
He holds his breath, waiting
For the illumination
Of his soul to begin.
Falling stars,
Falling from the
Summer sky,
For him.

 -Marcia Meara –

Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love

Another Free Kindle Promo This Weekend! :-)

Check these out. I’ll be reviewing the cookbook later today. Just tried a wonderful chili recipe!

My Poetic Path

third chapter second chance cover

GGK COVER WITH MY PHOTO-FRONT COVER ONLY

Two of my Kindle books are available free all this weekend at:

Amazon.com, .ca., UK., etc…

***

Third Chapter, Second Chance (a midlife romance)

and

The Groovy Green Kitchen: Weeknight Veggie Slow Cooker

Click through from the links on the sidebar —->

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And if you enjoy any of my books, reviews at Amazon are always appreciated! 🙂

Happy Reading, Cooking and Weekend too! 😉

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Need an Editor?

For those who don’t know, I’ve been buried in the final chapters of my draft for my upcoming novel, Swamp Ghosts. I’m happy to say that I’m close enough to the end to start the editing process on the beginning. Yay! I’m hoping to have this book published by the first of May, if all goes well.

In the meantime, I’m also happy to say my editor for Wake-Robin Ridge, Caitlin Stern, is once again going to be working with me. I can’t say enough good things about working with Caitlin. She was very accommodating and we were able to come up with an arrangement that was perfect for both of us. Her flexibility was wonderful, and she has mad skills, too.

In my case, I asked her to edit for typos, grammar, and general errors of the mechanical sort. Plus, she read the book as a reader would, and kept me honest when she felt my characters weren’t acting true to how I had described them. She never lopped out anything or replaced anything with her own words, which I would have hated. Instead, she circled and underlined and made suggestions in the margin, and let me make all the changes myself. If I was being repetitive, for instance, she would point out that something should probably be cut, and give me her thoughts on which sentence could be removed without changing my meaning. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, I agreed with her and made the suggested changes. In the rare instance when I really preferred my way, and stood firm, she was good with that.

In short, she made me a better writer, but didn’t do it for me. I re-learned a lot of half-forgotten grammar rules that had long disappeared into the dark corners of my mind, and she gave me easy ways to remember them in the future, too. Hyphens are still my enemy, but I know Caitlin will be on the job and catch my mistakes.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced but very good editor, I hope you’ll think about contacting Caitlin. I’m sure you would enjoy working with her. You can reach her at Caitlin Stern Writes for more specific info

Showers by Marcia Meara

rain11

Showers

Drip-drip.

Huddled and sighing
Inside the tent,
Boredom a damp presence
Keeping him company,
While Dad naps
To the sound of the rain.

Drip-drip.

Comic books scattered,
On his rumpled cot.
Superheroes as powerless
As little boys, while
The day spills water
Over all his plans.

Drip-drip.

No fishing today.
Those shimmery trout
Are safe in the stream.
No hiking alone,
That’s the rule.
What’s left to do?

Drip-drip.

Quietly, he crawls outside,
His stifled squeals
Turning to laughter
As the ice-cold water
Tickles his back.
This could be fun!

Drip-drip-drip-drip.

Rain falls harder.
He splashes wildly
Through silvery puddles,
Arms flung wide,
Laughing louder, and
Doing a rain dance all his own.

Drip-drip-drip-drip.

Awake now, Dad laughs, too,
Tossing him a bar of soap.
He grins at this new idea.
A rain shower? 
Why not, says Dad. May as well,
Once your rain dance is done, that is. 

Drip-drip-drop.

   – Marcia Meara –

Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love

Crossing

Love Caitlin’s poetry! Hope you enjoy this one, too.

caitlinsternwrites

Image from WikiMedia by Vince pahkala. Image from WikiMedia by Vince pahkala.

Crossing

Train horn shatters the ice

cold night

light stabbing the dark

brakes screeching

Huddle in the lee

of this steel river winding

across streets

Thunderous noise

rippling motion

dancing lights

Wait on the cold dark asphalt shore

for stillness

and the safety to pass

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Indian Summer by Marcia Meara

Just sharing a poem from my Summer Magic collection. Enjoy!

Indian Summer

He sees her standing 
Below the falls,
Carefully balanced
On the slippery rocks,
And laughing
In the hazy October sun.

Only yesterday 
The ice-rimmed pool
Mirrored angry gray clouds,
And a wind out of the north
Chilled his bones.
Today, a warm yellow sun
Has eaten the frost,
And resurrected the ghost
Of a summer already laid to rest.

She’s wearing shorts, 
As if she knew 
There would be a reprieve
And dressed accordingly.
Dampened hems, and a
Misty sheen on 
Her long, slim legs
Bear testament to 
The wind-blown spray.
Her loosened hair is a 
Sable cloud swirling
Around her face, 
Smelling faintly
Of August nights
And tupelo honey.

She turns toward him, 
Radiant and joyful, 
Filled with a wonder
Most have long lost.
Her smile invites him
To let go of autumn,
To share the sunshine,
To be reborn in this moment.

Surprised, his mouth 
Curves in response, and
His soul cries,
Yes, oh yes!
Desperation gives voice
To need long ignored.
Yes, he says again,
This time aloud. 
I want the sunlight,
The warmth, the wonder.
Show me, teach me.
He takes her hand, and
Lets the sunlight
Flood his heart,
Thawing the frost within,
Setting him free.

   – Marcia Meara

 

No Longer Alone, 214 Valentine’s Day Erasure Poem by Caitlin Stern

My editor, Caitlin Stern, does wonderful erasure poetry. I love her artistry on this one.

Silver Birch Press

Image
NO LONGER ALONE
by Caitlin Stern

A dance
and a mystery
A generous gesture seeks out
the wish
that didn’t fit
Mend the drift of act
and imagining

SOURCE: “No Longer Alone” by Caitlin Stern is based on page 214 of Five Golden Rings by Fern Michaels (collection), story entitled “Twelfth Night.” by Jo Beverly (Zebra, 2000), available at Amazon.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Caitlin Stern grew up in San Antonio, Texas, where she read in trees, avoided team sports, and “published” her first book in elementary school. As she grew, she wrote and read more, developing into an avid bibliophile and writer. She followed her love of books to Angelo State University, where she worked as a tutor at her school’s Writing Center, and later as a Teaching Assistant while she earned an English MA. Recently, she has edited an e-published mystery novel and a poetry collection, and had poems…

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Marriage Dreams, 214 Valentine’s Day Erasure Poem by Marcia Meara

This poem will be included in a brand new Silver Birch Press erasure poetry book. Look for more info soon! Click on the Silver Birch Press link to see the full post. Enjoy!

Silver Birch Press

Image
MARRIAGE DREAMS
by Marcia Meara

She longed
For comfort.
Married,
Safe,
Together.
All evenings
Sorted out,
Detached from worry.
She needed to think,
To be certain.
No mistakes.
She needed a plan…
Satisfaction.

SOURCE: “Marriage Dreams” by Marcia Meara is based in page 214 of Wake-Robin Ridge, a romantic suspense novel by Marcia Meara (2013), available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marcia Meara is a native Floridian, living in the Orlando area with her husband of almost 28 years, two silly little dachshunds and four big, lazy cats. She’s fond of reading, gardening, hiking, canoeing, painting, and writing, not necessarily in that order. But her favorite thing in the world is spending time with her two grandchildren, eight-year-old Tabitha Faye, and seven-month-old Kaelen Lake. At age 69, Marcia wrote Wake-Robin Ridge, her first novel, and Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love. She is currently…

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Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

takedown_

My Rating: 2-1/2 out of 5 Stars

Sadly, it has become more and more difficult to give the Stephanie Plum books my usual 4 stars for humor and fun. The last two were just not as funny as the first 18. But what can you expect? How long can you keep the same jokes and same love entanglements going on? Takedown Twenty has convinced me that the number is definitely less than 20. I have been saying for years that the constant leaping back and forth between the handsome and oh-so-husband-worthy Morelli and the Uber-sexy, but totally undomesticated Ranger needed to stop. I stand by that observation, only now it has just all become so tedious and unpleasant that I can no longer justify Evanovich keeping this series alive. She should have wrapped it up a few books ago, while it was at its peak. 

Takedown Twenty was painful for me to read, as a petty-sounding Stephanie spends half the book complaining about Morelli’s big Italian family, and suddenly making him out to be pretty much of a boring schmuck. I really thought she was going to dump him so she could roll in the hay again with Ranger, who, btw,  told her flat-out he didn’t intend to “pay the price” for being with her. What? The jokes were so tired and stale, even a giraffe on the loose for days and days (which no one could find…again, what???) didn’t even liven it up. And the final explanation for what the giraffe was doing in the Burg was too stupid for words. The books have always been formulaic, but the formula worked because the dialog was snappy, the men were interesting, Stephanie was someone you could identify with, and all the side characters were hilarious. None of those things were true this time.

It breaks my heart, but I believe it is time for me to write my own ending for Stephanie, and wrap up the story in my own mind, to my own personal satisfaction. So, here it is: Stephanie suddenly realizes that she has strung Joe Morelli along long enough. She tells Ranger to peddle his Bulgari-scented goods elsewhere, marries Joe, and they start their own private investigation firm. They intimidate witnesses into talking by siccing both of their grandmothers on anyone who refuses to divulge information. Grandma Mazur waves her giant pistol around, shooting random inanimate objects, and Joe’s grandmother puts the Evil Eye on them, unless they spill their guts. They are very successful and Joe can finally afford to finish fixing up his house. His dog, Bob quits horking up lingerie on the carpet, and Stephanie’s hamster gets a giant Habitrail to run around in to his heart’s content. Lula keeps doing what she does so well…dressing badly and eating at Cluck In a Bucket. Vinnie runs away to Vegas after he’s caught fooling around with the livestock at a petting zoo, and Connie runs off with a hunky UPS guy. And they all live happily ever after. The End. Works for me!

If you are not convinced to avoid this mishmash of a book by the above review, here is the link for you. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. And hey, there’s always a chance you haven’t reached the same saturation point that I have. You might enjoy it. I know I LOVED the first 15 or 16. It will always be one of my favorite series. It’s just that it’s gone on way too long now. Only my personal opinion. Around my house, that doesn’t count for all that much, anyway.

Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum)

Sunday Update!

image4

SO sorry to have been absent so much recently. My life has spiraled out of control, it seems. Outside issues, animal issues, book writing issues, self-marketing issues–all of them have conspired to fill up my every waking minute. I’ve even been relegated to catching up 0n my reading at midnight, lately, which leads to nodding off after a few pages. Things should be easing up a bit soon, says she, with fingers crossed.

I have reviews to write, and all I need is a few minutes in which to do so. On my list are Janet Evanovich’s Takedown Twenty, Gail Carriger’s Timeless from the Parasol Protectorate series, and Ned Hickson’s hilarious Humor at the Speed of Life. A couple other things are waiting, too, but those three will probably be coming up in the next day or so. This is assuming I can finish mastering the proper use of Hootsuite, and get out from under the extra work involved in promoting my books via Twitter. I’d like to get the basic promo type tweets automated, so I can concentrate on meeting and enjoying fellow Tweeters for the more social aspect of Social Media. If you’ve never been on Twitter before, trust me, it can overwhelm a newbie in no time.

On the book front, Wake-Robin Ridge is still selling well, which pleases me no end. I won’t be retiring to a South Pacific island any time soon, but I’m optimistic about my late-life career as a Romantic Suspense novelist, at least.  And that’s good, because my second novel, Swamp Ghosts, is almost finished. At least the rough draft, anyway. I expect to get it through the editing process in a few weeks, and then on to publishing. (I hope I can remember how I did it the last time. Now where are those Kindle notes?) So, I expect to be announcing publication at least by late spring, if not sooner. I’m really excited about this one. Alligators, and snakes, and psychopaths, Oh, MY! *grin* It was fun to write.

And that’s about it for me. What have YOU guys been up to? Any news you want to share? I’m listening……………

Follow me on Twitter: @marciameara

And Like Me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marcia.meara

I’ll follow you back, I promise!

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