Today, I want to welcome D.A. Amberson to my Five on Friday Blog. She and I met several years ago via a writing website. Since she’s a Texas girl, we became fast friends! Please be sure and check out her book, Ronan Island. Here’s my review of the story. I give it 5 BIG Texas stars!!
Ronan Island is an excellent thriller with well-defined characters, which I got invested in from the get-go, especially Boston Jones. Got me a little book crush on him! In addition to a good mystery, D. A. Amberson has added an element of fantasy that doesn’t include vampires or werewolves (thank goodness). This is an engaging, suspenseful story well worth your time. ~~Ann Everett
Award winning author, D.A. Amberson started writing when she was 13. At 18 she promised herself she would be published by the time she was 20. But life happened and her first novel didn’t get published until she was 61. She likes to think it’s never too late to keep a promise to yourself.
She is an avid reader of British murder mysteries as well as being a fan of John Sandford, from whom she learned a lot about pacing and character development. The best advice she could give a new writer is to write the novel you want to read.
At present, she works in the healthcare field and lives near her children in West Texas. She is currently writing two follow-up novels to Ronan Island using the same characters. She also writes short stories and bad poems and has won awards for both.
I might also mention, D.A. designed her own book cover, which I think is fabulous! Once you read the story, you’ll understand why it is so perfect!
When a Federal employee takes bribes not to do his job and ends up dead, the killer might not be human.
FBI Special Agent Boston Jones has mixed feelings about his transfer from Lubbock, Texas to San Francisco. A promotion, for sure. But he’s leaving behind the comfort of a familiar job and colleagues – not to mention the rich sunshine and endless blue skies of West Texas.
Before he can get acclimated to his new location, Boston is sent to a fishing village in northern California where a Fish and Wildlife Commissioner has been found murdered and Boston’s supervisor decides a murder investigation is beyond the abilities of the small-town sheriff. When Boston arrives, he finds the sheriff is more than capable of helping him but has a good reason not to.
Fighting a viral illness, Boston struggles to make sense of the multiple suspects, including the victim’s widow, members of a seal saving group and the sheriff’s seductive wife. Boston must unearth who is who in this isolated coastal town without losing his moral compass – and his life – in the process.
Now for the five questions D.A. chose to answer.
1. If you could snap your fingers and make one thing happen, what would it be and why?
D.A.: I would get rid of the Twenty-Second Amendment which would allow Obama to run again.
Ann: anyone who knows me knows I’m the least political person on the planet, so I have no comment for this. Obama was a former president, right? :+)
2. Do you write in silence or listen to music?
D.A.: I listen to meditation music, which really isn’t music but a collection of sounds that are supposed to inspire creativity and lower blood pressure. Whether it’s inspiring or not, I don’t know. I do know it’s soothing and I recommend it.
Ann: I may have to give that a try. Right now, I write in complete silence or I can’t get anything done!
3. What is your favorite book and why?
D.A.: Whenever I hear that an author wants to write the Great American Novel I tell them it’s already been done. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald tells the story of how the wealthy use the poor for their entertainment. It’s also a novel of great hope and despair, accidents, and murder. I love the circular nature of this novel, how Daisy and Tom manage to kill each other’s lovers and get away with it. Only in America.
Ann: I also hear there are no new ideas for books. We’re all just writing the same one with different characters. However, there is no way I could write anything that would compete with the greats like Fitzgerald!
4. What is the single most powerful challenge when it comes to writing a novel?
D.A.: Resisting a writing group reviewer’s bad suggestions. Before I joined a writing group no one had read my work. While I was writing Ronan, some reviewers tried to take over my novel and make it their story by putting it in their voice/style. I also got a lot of good advice. Still, it was hard not to second guess myself, even though I knew the direction they wanted me to go was not the direction I wanted to take the novel.
Ann: I agree with D.A. When we first share our work with others in hopes of getting critique, we have to quickly learn how to stay true to our voice and vision for the story.
5. What’s the best advice you can give a new writer?
D.A.: Write, just write. And when you’re done, write some more.
Ann: Amen, sister.
D.A., thanks so much for being on my blog today. It has been a pleasure and fun!! I loved Ronan Island, and look forward to your next book!!
Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day! So to celebrate, you’re invited to submit a badly written poem to be included in my next book!
It can be silly or funny and about any subject. If chosen, you’ll receive credit as the author. Please send your submissions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Below, you will find two examples of really bad poetry…just the kind I’m looking for!! Please enter. I’m waiting to read your poem!!
He moved into the home February third
At least that was the rumor I’d heard
He’d been my doctor when I was young
Delivered my daughter and my son
I recognized him
But he didn’t have a clue
What they say about them
Must be true
If you’re an OB/GYN
You don’t recognize faces
Because they’re on the wrong end
You Give Me Asthma
The sight of you brings me to my knees
I lose my breath and start to wheeze
You give me asthma
You’re all I want and all I need
Your nearness causes my lungs to seize
You give me asthma
One glance and I cannot speak
The words in my throat freeze
You give me asthma
Talk Like Shakespeare Day!
Do you think you’d like to talk like Shakespeare? No? Well guess what…you probably already do. Did you know he invented over 1700 words? Well, he did by changing nouns to verbs, verbs to adjectives, putting words together, and adding prefixes and suffixes. Now and then, he came up with an original word.
No doubt if he were alive today he would have been the first to change Google to a verb. I got all this info by googling it!
So, if you’ve used words like blushing, eyeball, bump, hobnob, skim milk, frugal, and elbow, you’re talking like Shakespeare!
For a list of his invented words, go here:
Here are a few more facts you might not know about Big Willie.
There is no evidence of his birthday, but it is celebrated today, April 23rd. It is also the day of his death in 1616, at age 52.
He married at age 18 to an older woman, Anne Hathaway, who was three months pregnant.
During the years of 1585-1592, there is no record of where he was. They are known as the “lost years.”
Although successful, he wasn’t revered until after his death.
His bestselling work while alive was his erotic poem, Venus and Adonis.
The next time someone complains about how hard it is to read Shakespeare, remind them if not for him, we wouldn’t have great words like circumstantial, lackluster, negotiate, swagger, and puking!
HAPPY NATIONAL JELLY BEAN DAY
According to an unnamed university study done a few years ago, you might be able to determine someone’s personality by the color of jellybean they like.
Here’s a breakdown of the traits:
White: Organized. A bit of a control freak.They’ll bend over backward to do a good job.
Black: Enthusiastic and playful. Often artistic and not usually outspoken.
Yellow: Independent, deep thinker, a bit of a rebel when it comes to following rules.
Orange: Cheerful and plays well with others. Dresses well and believes in accessorizing.
Purple: Disorganized and procrastinates. Enjoys a bit of drama and chaos.
Green: Decisive. Delegator. Peacemaker.
Pink: Impulsive. Interacts well with others. Good listener.
Red: Enthusiastic. Good friend. Frustrates easily.
I don’t know about you, but none of these hit the nail on the head with me. I have a trait or two from several colors. I guess I need a rainbow jellybean!
Today, I want to welcome author Mary E. Thompson to my Five on Friday blog. Her book, Curvaceous and Captivating, just released a few days ago. Be sure and check it out! You’ll find the links at the end of this blog. I love how she’s used lips for the first O in Thompson! So clever. :+)
Mary’s a New York girl, but I’ll let you read all about that below.
Mary E. Thompson grew up loving to read, like a good little girl. Many nights she would fall asleep with the flashlight still turned on as she hid under the covers trying to finish the last few pages of a book. As an adult, the light from her ereader means she doesn’t need a flashlight, but she still stays up way too late to finish a book.
When Mary’s not reading, she’s playing with her two kids or living out her own real life romance novel with her hubby. She has a weakness for chocolate, especially when it’s paired with peanut butter, and has been known to have a bad day just because there’s no chocolate in the house. Unless there’s wine. Then everything is okay.
Mary grew up in Buffalo, New York and swears she’s the only local to never ski or snowboard. Soccer was always her sport, with a couple adventures white water rafting and skydiving to keep things interesting. Mary moved to South Carolina for college but missed Buffalo every day. Yeah, she thinks she’s crazy, too. She somehow convinced her South Carolina born and bred hubby to return to Buffalo to raise their kids and live out their lives. He’s still not sure what he was thinking.
Now, let’s find out a bit more about Mary through the five questions she chose to answer.
1. If you could snap your fingers and make one thing happen, what would it be and why?
Mary: That’s easy. I’d cure cancer. I know, something else would be front and center, but more and more, people are facing this horrible disease. I know first hand what a challenge it is to fight, and beat, cancer, but not every person is as lucky as I was. I would love to heal fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends. All of them, healthy. That’s what I would do.
Me: Well, I think that is a wonderful thing to wish for. I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t been touched by cancer and with all the research they’re doing, I truly believe someday we will have a cure.
2. What are the top three things on your bucket list? And why?
Mary: I’ve always wanted to travel to all 50 states within the United States so I could see all the beauty of my country.
Second, I’ve also always wanted to go to Tahiti. I’m a sucker for Tahitian black pearls (it’s the center stone in my engagement ring!) and would love to get some right from the source!
My third bucket list item would be to see one of my books in an airport or bookstore. Maybe one day!
Me: Anyone who knows me, knows I’ll pass on the travel, but seeing my books next to yours would be great!
3. Name one thing you’ve learned from your heroine.
Mary: Olivia is a single mom. I understood her because I’m a mom also. But I frequently fall into one of the same traps she was in. Forgetting to take care of myself. Falling in love beside Olivia reminded me that if I don’t take time for myself, I’ll only be part of the person I need to be for my kids.
Me: Good advice. I think as we get older, we focus more on taking time for ourselves. If you’re already making an effort to do that, then you’re ahead of the curve!
4. What is one of your favorite quotes?
Mary: Ray Bradbury wrote a letter to a schoolteacher named William Stanhope in 1991. You can read the entire letter here (http://www.lettersofnote.com/2011/02/be-your-own-self-love-what-you-love.html) but my favorite part is the last line.
“Be your own self. Love what YOU love.”
I think it’s a great thing for us all to remember.
Me: Absolutely agree! I always love seeing the answers to this question. They are insightful and gives a picture into the mind of the author!!
5. Dog-eared pages or bookmarks?
Mary: Bookmarks, definitely! I cringe when my daughter dog-ears pages!
Me: In a pinch, I have been known to dogear! My bad.
Connect with Mary
Website – http://maryethompson.com
Facebook – http://facebook.com/authormaryethompson
Twitter – http://twitter.com/authormet
Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/metdaisy7
Instagram – http://instagram.com/authormaryethompson
Goodreads – http://goodreads.com/maryethompson
Curvaceous & Captivating
He only has to resist one Curvaceous woman. Too bad she’s the only one he finds Captivating.
Single mom, Olivia Humphrey is always overwhelmed. The laundry reaches the ceiling some days, dishes fill the sink, and the trash always makes her gag. But she doesn’t have time to worry about any of that. She has a job to do, two of them, and as the mayor’s assistant and a mother, she has to suck it up and get the job done. Even if it means dealing with Winterville’s newest irritating man.
Ethan Norwood has bad news written all over him. From the dangerous glint in his eyes to the tattoos that cover his body to the power he holds as the biggest sponsor for Winterville’s Easter Egg Hunt. Olivia knows she absolutely has to stay away from him, not only because he warned her to but because she doesn’t need a man like him in her life. Too bad she doesn’t seem to be able to say no to him.
When Ethan and Olivia are forced to work together, it’s a battle of strength to find out who can resist longer. Or if either of them will.
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y3JPD6P/
Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/curvaceous-captivating
iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/curvaceous-captivating/id1224232232?mt=11
Now for my review of Book One in Mary’s series, Chubby & Charming(Big & Beautiful series)
First, you would never know from the cover that this is an erotica story, so from the get-go, Mary’s book is different. The story follows the life of a chubby main character, which is not your typical leading lady. Because of her weight problem, she has low self-esteem when it comes to men. During a business telephone call, she meets Xander, and he expresses interest in her just from the the sound of her voice and helpful personality.
That’s as much of the story as I’ll give away, but if you like extra-super-steamy love scenes and enjoy reading about an unusual main character, then this is the book for you. Whew! I was plum tuckered out after all those erotic scenes. But nothing that a cold glass of sweet tea couldn’t cure!
If you’d like to read book one, it is free right now on Amazon!
Mary, BIG Texas thank you for taking part in my Five on Friday Blog and best of luck with your new release.
Along with Be Kind to Lawyer’s Day and Drop Everything and Read Day, April 12th is also Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day!
I don’t know about you, but I LUV (I sang that in opera for effect) grilled cheese sandwiches. They have some of my favorite ingredients. Bread. Butter. Cheese. Well, throw in a few more of my yummy weaknesses, and you can’t go wrong.
Check out the link below for 50 different ways you can get your grilled cheese on! I especially like the sound of Potato Chip Grilled Cheese, Avocado Grilled Cheese, and Cheddar & Pickle Grilled Cheese.
For a little something different, sometimes I make mine with frozen waffles instead of bread. Kids especially like them.
What’s your favorite?
Follow Me ~~
Be a Sweet Thang and sign up for my newsletter!
Then, watch your inbox for a sweet surprise!