Monday, May 28, 2012

The Lost

One summer, my cousin Sandy came to stay with us. She's the girl on the left in the back, next to my brother. Sandy lived near Pittsburgh in a comfortable suburban home. My uncle and aunt had adopted her, but then they had four children of their own. Sandy felt she had far too many chores to do.

She enjoyed her stay with us and we all got along quite well but after she returned home, the tensions between her and her parents grew worse until at the age of sixteen she ran away from home. She called a taxi, telling her younger sister not to tell anyone.

Sandy was never heard from again. She was never found.

My mother and I had hoped she might run to us, since she had gotten along well with us. When we learned of her disappearance, we went to Penn Station in Newark and stood for hours on the platform hoping to spot her. It was a futile effort.

For a long time afterward, whenever a young woman's body was found in New Jersey, my mother would wonder if it was Sandy.

When I wrote Heaven's Blue I dedicated it to Sandy. It is not Sandy's story, but I was inspired to write it due to her disappearance because I always wished her story had a happy ending.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Hey Girls, We've Never Had It So Good

My work-in-progress is set in 1778. I've been delving into the details of history at that time. I love discovering all sorts of odd little facts. However, I sometimes go off on tangents--inadvertantly. I start off looking for one thing and wind up someplace else.

This happened to me today. I wanted to check into more of the particulars about my heroine's chemise, which was the only undergarment women wore at the time--and they wore the same chemise for days on end. Underpants had not been invented.

Then I saw some websites with information about chemises that I had not really considered. I found out that menstruating women usually bled on their clothing, including that all-important chemise which they wore day in and day out.

For those of you who are already grossed out, you may skip the following websites, though I really think you should take a look. Sometimes, I am just amazed that the human race made it this far.

Click on the following links and be grateful you weren't born more than a century ago:

http://myperiodblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/history-of-menstruation-part-1/

http://www.mum.org/whatwore.htm

As the websites point out, women did not menstruate as much because they started later in life than girls do today and then they were either pregnant, nursing, undernourished, or sick much of the time.

We've come a long way.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Remember

After college, my brother joined the Air Force during the era of the Vietnam War. He had wanted to be a pilot, but was assigned as the navigator/bombardier in an F-111, a fighter being tested in the New Mexico desert. He and the pilot died in December of 1973 when the jet crashed.

There's a memorial in Clovis, New Mexico for all those who died in the F-111, which you can see here.

Next Monday, on Memorial Day, please remember those who have served our country. There are no greater heroes.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Begging for Reader Love

Being an author has discouraging moments. Writing books is fun. Selling books--not so much fun. Part of the strategy in selling books is collecting reviews. From what I've been told, the best way to sell books is to get a lot of reviews--specifically on Amazon. Supposedly, an author needs at least fifty reviews to make a difference in sales! The reviews can be good or bad evidently. It's the number that counts. Quantity not quality. :^(

My publishers solicit reviews as the books are released, but many times their notices are ignored. I have asked for reviews from reviewers and I get ignored, too. Experienced book reviewers are evidently busy people.

Book bloggers tend to be more willing to write reviews, but--of course--the author is responsible for contacting each and every one of them. However, not all of them will post the review on Amazon.

Of course, Amazon reviews are supposed to be written by customers, but one need not buy the book at Amazon to post a review. Anybody can do it as long as they have an Amazon account.

I have been lax in soliciting reviews and as a result, I do not have many. I have gotten some very nice reviews over the years, but most of those are not at Amazon.

Obviously, I have to do some catching up. Hence, I am basically begging. I need some reader love.
If you have read my books, please go to Amazon and let everyone know what you thought of them. (You could make yourself famous!)

If you would like to know more about how the system at Amazon works I found a fantastic explanation at Amazon Reader Reviews: 12 Things Everybody and His Grandmother Needs to Know .

You can make a big difference. :^)










Monday, May 14, 2012

New Review for KISS OF BLARNEY!

Linda Tonis at the Paranormal Romance Guild reviewed KISS OF BLARNEY and she liked it. She said, "This book had so many amusing scenes...."

And it does. :^)

She said other stuff, too, all of it good.

So go on over to the Paranormal Romance Guild and check out the entire review for KISS OF BLARNEY.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mom


Here's Mom with Dad at the bulkhead in Keyport. Mom is holding a little sketchbook. She was always busy sketching or painting. She had more time in her later years for her art, but she did as much as she could when she was raising me and my siblings.

When we were young, she would sit at the easel, supposedly absorbed in her painting, but she always knew when one of us was up to something. She made me and my siblings believe she had eyes in back of her head.

Talented, intelligent, and loving, but a good disciplinarian as well, Mom did not hit us. She used words to guide us--lots of words. She told stories, moralistic ones, of course--but it worked. (Hint to parents: Communicate with your children.)

Sometimes, when she was not feeling well due to migraines, she would lie in the double bed and we snuggled down beside her. She made up stories in which all her children were the heroes and heroines. We loved it!

Maybe that is why I like to make up stories. :^)

When my mother read a story, it came alive. She gave the characters different voices and accents. Mom would have made a good actress.

Nearly three years ago, Mom died. Having no mother for Mother's Day takes some getting used to. Walking into the card shop before Mother's Day is a surreal experience. Nevertheless, I picked out cards for other mothers--my sisters and my friends. I ordered geraniums as usual, but I used to give them to Mom, now I put them in my own yard. And so life goes on.

I feel fortunate that my father as well as my mother-in-law are still here. It is comforting to have some of the older generation available to tell us their stories and offer their wisdom.

I am also very blessed because I have my daughters to pamper me. Daughter #1 has promised to make meatloaf for me on Sunday. I love meatloaf.

But, I still miss Mom. Sometimes, I talk to her. After all, she could be listening. If she had eyes in back of her head, she surely has ears in heaven.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you.


Friday, May 04, 2012

My First Communion

May is the month for First Communions. My brother and I knelt at the altar rail for the first time in May of 1957. We did not have a special sitting with a photographer. We did not get a party. That's the way it was.

I still felt special. Maybe that was due to the gigantic veil on my head.:^)