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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Tell Me Why by Suzanne Rossi

Hi everyone.

It's officially summer and, boy, do those of us in the Mid-South ever know it! Mid-90s, humid, and the occasional severe thunderstorm. A couple of bad ones blew through over the weekend. It's estimated some 23,000 people are still without power. We had a bunch of tree limbs come down, but thankfully that was all.

Sometimes, I find digging up subject matter to discuss here kind of hard. Will what I write interest my readers? Will I know what I'm talking about? (Every once in a while, I wonder.) Will I sound coherent or ramble on? I never know. That was my dilemma this month. Then my grandkids came over yesterday and I had the solution. They came to spend time with Gramma and Grandpa, but had their noses stuck in their cell phones almost the entire day.

I came to the conclusion a year or so ago that I must be the only person left in America who doesn't have a smart phone. Mine is close to ten years old and does all that I require of it. It sends and receives call and texts, and costs $15 a month. If I have an emergency, I can call 911. That's all I need. The only people I call are family. Occasionally, I text a few friends. Yes, I can pull up the Internet if I want, but why? I don't need to be that connected. I get 200 minutes added a month. As of today, I've accumulated a grand total of 9,731.50 unused minutes. As you can see, I really don't need them to roll over.

I'll admit, that sometimes I flirt with the thought of upgrading, and then dismiss it. My granddaughter said, "But Gramma, you can get on all kinds of social media and see what's happening in the rest of the world. It's all right there at your fingertips." Big deal. I know what's going on in the rest of the world. It sucks. Plus her "rest of the word" consists of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Lord only knows what else.

I have personal and professional Facebook accounts and a professional Twitter account. To be honest, I don't know the difference between Twitter, Instagram, or any of those other "gram" sites. I'm never on YouTube and can't understand why some people are so enthralled with any of it.

I'm not really anti-technology. Technology can make our lives easier. If it wasn't for technology, we'd still be reading the the light of a kerosene lamp or driving a horse and buggy. Technology helped free up our time so we could spend it with family, which we did for quite a while. Remember when families did things together? And enjoyed it? Remember how family members took turns hosting Sunday dinners? Now, the family unit is fracturing and eating dinner together at the same time is looked upon as an oddity.

I fear we as a society have become so dependent on non-verbal communication that it is fast becoming a lost art. No one talks to anyone face-to-face anymore. I read an article (yes, online) that said younger people have trouble getting jobs simply because they can't express themselves in a live interview. This is crazy!

Kids, put your phones down and actually talk to someone. It's a whole new experience. And for the love of God, let your phone ring or that text go unanswered while you're driving. No phone call or text is that important that you have to risk your or someone else's life to answer immediately. Wait until you've reached your destination before replying.

But all of that would require common sense, and it seems everyone is in short supply of that commodity lately.

So, maybe someone who reads this can tell me why I need a smart phone. I'm listening and open to suggestions.

Hope you all have a fun Fourth of July, and I'll be back next month.


Thursday, June 28, 2018

When The Muse is Fickle--Or I Am

Confession time. I hear it's good for the soul. OK, so I've been in a bit of a writing funk for the past several months, ever since I finished the third book in my Ladies in Time Series. I submitted that hard-fought story to my Wild Rose Press editor--more on Secret Lady later-- and the writer's funk/block, ensued. Deep down, I don't want to let the story go. But I have to move on. I can't hang out in the Civil War indefinitely, nor do I want to, though it's got a hold on me...

(Beth at the old family homeplace in the Shenandoah Valley, circa 1819--the  house, not me.)

Unlike those authors I envy who wrap themselves in an era and never depart  from it, I wander through time like a restless spirit. My ADD (attention deficit) may feature in this. The only parameters for my Ladies in Time Series is that the titles feature a strong young woman, just out of high school or college age, who travels back in time, so far in Virginia. I'm expanding this to allow her to travel forward or meet the hero who goes backward. Romance, mystery, history, adventure, and the paranormal are key elements. There may or may not be a connection character wise with previous titles, and I can send her--or him--wherever I like. Choosing is a challenge. 

To justify my delay in writing, I insist I'm doing research, and I am. Heaps. You have to, if you're gonna bounce around in time like I do. First, I decided to set my next story in the eighteen nineties and immersed myself in that era, finding it necessary to watch a lot of documentaries. My reading included half a dozen journals penned by country doctors who practiced in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century, because I want to feature a country doctor, of course. I picked up some interesting medical info in the process. Shocking what they used back then to treat people. Amazing anyone survived the cures. But I didn't stop there. Heck no. 

I've also read up on Victorian ghosts. Just because. Also, one of the medical journals had a fascinating paranormal account. It inspired me, and I can always use more of that. Then I decided to set the story farther into the twentieth century. That way, my doctor can access electricity for the time machine he's building. I hadn't anticipated that, and this endeavor doesn't leave him many free hours for practicing medicine, but, oh well. I concluded he needs a power source, and am contemplating how to construct such a machine. Tough to do. Apparently, they're not real, though I came across a scientist hard at work on one. He maintains his invention can only go forward in time--theoretically. Who wants to go there, dude? Us history folk are fascinated with the past. Stay with the program.

After exhaustive research--did you know the concept of time travel was unknown until H. G. Wells wrote The Time Machine, published in 1895?--I asked my Facebook crowd how they might build a time machine. Most wouldn't. I got reactions like, "Oh, we don't like machines. Use a locket or something cool like that for a portal." But I've written many approaches to time travel and want a machine this go.

Consequently, I've agonized over my creation but am making progress. It would be a lot easier to travel via a locket. My latest inclination is to focus on the nineteen fifties as my landing site, not because of Back to the Future. Seriously. I'm really nostalgic about the fifties. I was born then. But who knows? The Victorian era still beckons to me. It's quite possible I'm struggling to construct two different stories in two vastly dissimilar eras. I need to pick one and start writing again. I miss it. Writing is a big part of who I am.

Meanwhile, I spend hours in the garden. Soon, it will be too hot to linger outdoors. Then, I tell myself, I will get stuck in, as the Brits say, on whichever of these tales I choose. Unless I wander elsewhere. 

Book 1 in my Ladies in Time Series, Somewhere My Lady, is nearing its one year book birthday. This story was a joy to write and came to me like a gift. Rare indeed.

I'm drawn to including ghosts in my stories, and can't stay away from the paranormal. As I wrote Somewhere My Lady, ghostly figures appeared in the front hall for a dance. Yes, Somewhere My Lady is a ghostly time travel romance with a surprising mystery. The history is well researched. I enjoy blending fantasy and history in my time travels. 

Story Blurb:

Is he real or is he a ghost?
Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary-War reenactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn't expect to receive a note and a kiss from a handsome young man who then vanishes into mist.

Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna - and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th century heir. Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart's life before the Midsummer Ball.

"Somewhere My Lady would be a great novel to take on a vacation where you could read while relaxing on the beach or at the pool. Top it off with a tropical cocktail, and you have the makings of a beautiful day. I found the writing and the storytelling to be superb." ~

Somewhere My Lady is available in kindle and print at Amazon and soon to be out in Audio.

For more on me, visit my Amazon Author Page:

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Welcome June!

by Judy Ann Davis

There are so many beautiful things about the month of June in the northern states. It heralds the beginning of summer. The weather turns warm and balmy while vegetation sprouts and turns greener and greener. Even the drone of the bees grow louder and more pronounced as the multitude of blossoms appear. And the song of the birds in the bushes and trees are an old welcome melody--and many times a morning alarm clock.

The fresh smell of mowed grass and summer roses in full bloom wafts through our open windows and forces us to pause for a second and just enjoy.

Summer is a reminder that we can slow down a bit. We can take a leisurely stroll or sit by an open camp fire. We can take a break in the sunshine—or in the shade—and read, observe wildlife, listen to the hum of insects, or just meditate.

 For me, June is a month 
 that allows for peace of 
 mind.  My  favorite spot is a swing on our covered patio 
 where I can sit and watch the sun set, or close my 
 eyes and listen to the sounds of summer around me.
 There is something soothing  about the dip and sway of a 
 porch swing.

 Where is your favorite spot on a pleasant June day? 


Only on sale for $0.99 until the end of June.


When architect Elise Springer’s father is injured, she immediately leaves San Francisco to care for him. The last person she expects to encounter in her Pennsylvania hometown is her childhood friend Lucas Fisher. Lucas is investigating his brother’s death, and Elise can’t resist lending a hand.

Lucas longs for the close family ties he never had. He’s back in Scranton to set up a classic car restoration business and build a future. The torch he carries for Elise burns brighter than ever, but before he can declare his love, he must obtain the legal rights to adopt his nephew—and prove his brother’s death was no accident.

As they unearth clues pointing to find a murderer and a missing stash of money, Elise faces a dilemma. Is her career on the West Coast the key to her happiness, or is it an animal-cracker-eating four-year-old and his handsome uncle instead?

Amazon Author Page: 
Twitter ID:  JudyAnnDavis4 
Blog Link: “A Writer’s Revelations” ~ 
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