The Laughter, The Fun, The Silence

I was all set to post something about rebooting old stories when the news of Robin Williams’ death hit me like a ton of bricks.  When I was a child I experienced my grandmother dying of cancer.  It was a tough time for me. I watched Mork and Mindy and for a time I escaped that sad time, I laughed and I was able to feel like the kid I was.  I wrote my first fan letter to Robin Williams (Mork) letting him know how much I loved him and the show and what it meant to me. I never thought I’d get anything in return. I didn’t even know that could happen.  But, one day something came in the mail.  It was a photo of him in his Mork outfit and on the back a line of encouragement that meant more to me at that time in my life than anyone could know.  I tacked the picture next to my bed where it remained long after my grandmother passed.

Listening to the radio today I heard something that really was quite profound for me. I know depression is an illness.  People wonder how someone like Robin Williams, who had so much laughter to give, so much life, could be so depressed that he took his own life.  Well, that’s like asking why good people get cancer.  No one asks for it. No one deserves it. They didn’t do something to get it. Sometimes, it just happens.  It totally sucks, but all you can do is hope someone finds help, and help them if you can.

There is help.  You need to know where to go for it, or where to go to help someone you love or know.  Know the signs.  Know you can’t “fix” it and are not to blame for it.  Here is a link for you-  Crisis Hotline.

There is a time for everything.  Now it is time to say goodbye.  But, don’t forget to hold on to the laughter, the fun, the good times that came before.  They are a cloak for your heart.

What was your favorite show, movie or funny line from the late, great Robin Williams?

You are free now genie

You are free now genie

Posted in Sheila's Posts | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Once a month I meet with a small group of local indie authors. Just before this last time, I’d gotten a new carpet in my office, which had inspired me to get rid of a lot of stuff that I wasn’t using. I had a HUGE bag of cords from various devices that I gave to my cousin. I also had a stack of books on writing that I brought for my writer friends. We normally don’t talk about the craft of writing – we’re usually all about the business of writing. But as we walked to our table, the conversation turned to love as a character goal. I said that I don’t read books where the heroine’s goal is love. I like a meatier goal.

One of the authors disagreed, then she said she didn’t know why, as she’d never written a book with a goal for her character to fall in love. The other authors said the same thing. It’s just an insipid goal for me. It doesn’t compel me. I like a character to want something badly. Or to need something badly. We all need or want love. I think that’s a given. But as a goal, it’s not enough to drive a story.

Even in fairy tales, the goal isn’t really finding the prince. In Cinderella, her goal was getting away from her mean stepmother and stepsisters. The prince has a tiny part in the story. And I’ve said before that my favorite fairy tale is Puss in Boots. No love goals there. Just finding a really nice piece of real estate to live – and doing whatever you can to get the deal. The same reason that HGTV is one of my favorite channels.

Perhaps because my mother was widowed with five young children, the goals of my main characters in my contemporary romances are often finding a home, starting a business, a career, something to do with money (and pets!). Sometimes just survival. And if you look at this summer’s movies, it seems like we have a lot of super characters saving the world or our civilization. What can be more important than that?

One of my favorite movies is Love Actually. There are quite a few love stories in this movie, but I can think of only one that stemmed from the goal to find a love interest (and I think his goal wasn’t love but to find attractive women to shag). And I just remembered that the boy in the movie had love as a goal. So there was one true love goal.

Anyone know which two characters I’m talking about? What are your favorite character goals?

Posted in Edie's Posts | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

A little more heat for the summer months!

Hi everyone! Once again, I have a new release to share. Of course, this is yet another anthology. So if you need a little more heat this summer let me introduce you to:


What To Read After Fifty Shades of Gray Gemstone Collection Part 4


[What to Read After Fifty Shades of Gray]

Buy at Amazon Buy at AmazonUK Buy for Nook Buy at Kobo Books

 Screenshot 2014-08-07 07.21.49

Heidi and the Kaiser by Selena Kitt
Mousy little Heidi is a wanna-be designer who works as nothing more than a glorified go-fer for one of the largest and most well-known companies in the world of fashion. When she accidentally stains CEO Warren Kaiser’s pants, she gets two things she didn’t expect—a spanking…and a job. Kaiser hires her as his assistant, and her “training” proves to be quite a test of surrender.

Yield To Me by Sarah Castille
Amateur MMA fighter, Marcy Foster is determined to win the state championship. But dark secrets and a broken trust mean there’s one submission she just can’t master. Fortunately Club Excelsior has hired a coach who knows all the right moves.

Sexy, confident and commanding, fight consultant Jax demands control, both in and out of the ring. But once he has Marcy against the ropes, Jax knows he’s in too deep. He has the dominance to give her what she needs, but once he unleashes her hidden passions, there’s no going back.

Under Jax’s skilled hands, Marcy submits to her deepest desires. But when her personal and professional worlds collide, she is forced to face a brutal truth — yielding to her darkest needs may be the one thing that costs her the fight…and her heart.

Finding Love’s Wings by Zoey Derrick
CAMERON ENDERS seems to have it all: a brand new condo in a city she loves, a top executive position at an international entertainment firm, an insane amount of money, and a gorgeous boyfriend. But when Cami catches the boyfriend in the act with another woman, it triggers all the anguish from years of neglect by her parents, and she realizes she never learned how to love or be loved. Cami flees to the remote tropical island of Tarah, but she can’t avoid facing her problems any longer when she meets the man of her fantasies…

Butterfly by Elle Harper (Sibel Hodge) 
Grace Elliot is falling apart. Overwhelming tragedy has turned her world into a dark and lonely place. She’s alive…but not living. Counsellor Ben Hardy is certain he can help Grace heal. Maybe it’s a way to rid himself of the demons haunting him from that one horrific night when his life shattered. When they meet, everything changes, and their pasts offer them a remedy to save each other.

Weekend at Wilderhope Manor by Lucy Felthouse
When Stephanie and Jenny go to a Murder Mystery Halloween weekend at Wilderhope Manor, they’re expecting fun and games. But following creaky floorboards, spooky noises and an alarming encounter in the Manor’s grounds, the girls begin to wonder if there’s more to Wilderhope Manor than meets the eye. As they find frequent comfort in one another’s arms — and their bed — will the girls discover what’s causing the bumps in the night, or will they run scared?

At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey
When Mia Strong, proud geek-girl and popular gaming blogger, auctions off her virginity online, she knows she’ll make waves. But what she will not be making is a love connection. Her rules are set in stone: One night. No further contact. It’s a desperate step, but it’s the only way she can go to medical school and pay her mother’s mounting hospital bills. Adam Drake, the enigmatic auction winner, is a software prodigy who made his first million at seventeen. Now, in his mid-twenties, he’s sexy, driven and—as CEO of his own gaming company—he’s used to making the rules. Before Mia knows what’s happening, he’s found the loophole in the rules of her auction. Every stipulation she’s made to protect her heart gets tossed by the wayside.

Closure by Kim Carmichael
There’s always the one…He’s one person throughout life you think about every so often, the one who leaves his unique indelible mark on you, the person with whom you need closure. For Margaret Collins that person was Mike Taylor. After he broke her heart seventeen years ago, she left everything she knew and reinvented herself. With a new home, a new look and a new name, Riley Williams is now an up and coming journalist given the assignment to interview a Mike Taylor. She never suspected he would be her Mike Taylor. With Mike having no hint of Riley’s true identity, she must decide if she will make him pay for sins he doesn’t remember committing, or if she can wipe away the past and be with the one man who she has always wanted?

Devil’s Kiss Trilogy by Gemma James
Kayla Sutton faces a question no mother wants to face: what would you do to save your daughter? Broke and desperate, she siphons thousands from the company she works for to pay for her daughter’s life-saving treatment, but when Gage Channing discovers her theft, she learns her boss has no intention of turning her over to the police. Instead, he issues an ultimatum—submit to him, or go to jail. As her daughter’s life hangs in the balance, Kayla must dig deep to find the strength to travel down the path of pain and pleasure. But when her past catches up to her, prompting a free fall into forbidden territory with a man she once loved, she knows her only recourse is to come clean and beg her Master’s forgiveness. INCLUDES: Ultimatum, Enslaved, Retribution.

Touched By Death by Dale Mayer
Anthropologist Jade Hansen returns to Haiti to face the demons of her past and finds herself back in the path of danger…and falling in love with a man who’s in the middle of it all.

Visiting his brother after the quake, independent contractor Dane Carter puts his life on hold to help the sleepy town of Jacmel rebuild. But he finds it hard to like his brother’s pregnant wife or her family. He wants to go home, until he meets Jade – and realizes what’s missing in his own life.

When the mortuary team begins work, it’s as if malevolence has been released from the earth. Instead of laying her ghosts to rest, Jade finds herself confronting death and terror again. And the man who unexpectedly awakens her heart — is right in the middle of it all.

Just Another Day At The Office by Hedonist Six
It’s Cath’s first day at the new job, and she’s feeling overwhelmed. Her colleague, John, is able to set her pulse racing just with his presence, while their sleazy boss, Richard, seems unable to grasp that she’s not into him. John is used to being ignored, or worse, by the opposite sex. When new girl, Cath, tries to get his attention, he reacts in the only way he knows how: with suspicion. Can she convince him he truly is the man of her dreams?

Summer’s Journey by Summer Daniels
Join Summer on her journey of sexual self-discovery; a well written, intelligent and sexy series about the beginning of her sensual, sultry love affair with life, and all the joys of being a woman.

This collection from many NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors is available NOW!

Buy Now:

Buy at Amazon Buy at AmazonUK Buy for Nook Buy at Kobo Books

Posted in Dale's Posts | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Welcome Paula Altenburg + a Giveaway!

I’m so happy to have my friend and fellow Bliss author, Paula Altenburg, here with us today! Paula is one of the smartest, wittiest people I know and I love what she’s sharing with us today. She’s also giving away a copy of her book, DESIRE BY DESIGN. Details below! Thanks for joining us, Paula!

Ill-Conceived Life Choices

By Paula Altenburg

Welcome to a writer’s world.

We’re not well known for our good judgment. In a business that involves a high level of uncertainty, and with the majority of circumstances beyond our control, we’re forced to blaze our own trails rather than following a clear-cut path to professional success. Sometimes we end up in beautiful meadows filled with flowers and sunshine and singing birds.

Most days we’re chased through the bushes by bears. In the rain. At midnight.

Our entire lives are riddled with poor judgment.

I’m sure elementary school teachers can spot a blossoming writer with ease. When the class lines up for a fire drill and is told turn to the right at the exit, the young writer goes left, then stands there, confused. When the teacher asks the class to write about what they did on their summer vacation, the young writer writes about where their mind went, not necessarily what their body did. My Grade One teacher wrote in my report card: “Paula writes too many thrillers.” My English teacher mother wrote back: “Paula can write what she wants.”

What’s also odd is that I seem to have worn out my interest in thrillers in Grade One, because I have no interest in writing them anymore. At the time I wanted to be Nancy Drew when I grew up. See what I mean about ill-conceived life choices?

I fought being a writer. To me, it looked like a lot of hard work for little reward. (Turns out I was right.)

I remember sitting on a city bus in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, stressing about declaring my university major. I had to make a choice, yet nothing quite grabbed me. I probably should have chosen English, but History looked interesting. But everyone takes English and History, so I started to flip through the course catalogue, got to Cultural Anthropology, and had a winner. It was close to History, but just different enough to keep me interested for an entire degree program. The whole decision making process took me fifteen minutes. Maybe. It never occurred to me to consider my future job prospects.

There’s step number one to becoming a writer, by the way. Make sure you limit your options for anything else.

So began a lifetime of acquiring skills but no direction. The only thing I’ve never abandoned is writing, and writing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, as well as the least fiscally rewarding. Yet I continue.

Fortunately, my characters don’t need to suffer from any severe writer affliction. Cass, the heroine in my current release Her Secret, His Surprise, has her act together. She’s an engineer. She knows what she wants out of life and she goes for it. Not even an accidental pregnancy will slow her down. The only thing that throws off her life plan is Logan, the baby’s father. While she thinks he’s pretty hot, she also thinks he lacks direction in his life.

Logan has plenty of direction. He simply can’t discuss it with Cass, so when he finds out he has a daughter, that limitation drives him crazy. He’s investigating her company, and her department in particular, on a matter involving government security. Logan is the Canadian version of a spy.

My poor judgment in the decision making process is actually a real asset when writing because I can empathize with my characters and their mistakes. I can also be useful to them. My favorite Jack Colton line from the movie Romancing the Stone: “Okay, Joan Wilder, write us out of this one.”

I can totally do that.

Writers may make ill-conceived life choices, but our characters benefit from all the lessons we’ve learned. Cass and Logan sure did.

 Her-Secret-His-Surprise-199x300Conflict of interest is an understatement…

Since being disowned by her strict father, Cass Stone has spent her adulthood trying to prove him wrong. Her drive has led to more success than her family ever thought she’d achieve, and life is looking great. Not even an incredible and mysterious one night stand that leaves her a single mom can trip her up…until the father of her baby stumbles back into her life, as sexy and unreliable as ever.

Logan Alexander hasn’t forgotten the night he spent with Cass two years ago, but he never expects to end up undercover as her assistant. His job saves lives—like it should have saved his brother—and he can’t afford complications. It’s difficult enough to maintain his cover as a carefree wanderer when he realizes his attraction to Cass hasn’t faded…and then he meets Cass’s daughter.

I adored this book! You can grab your copy here if you’d like:

Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Kobo

Paula is giving away one eBook copy of her other wonderful Bliss book, DESIRE BY DESIGN, to one random commenter. Leave a comment – any comment – and you’ll be entered. The winner’s name will be posted in the comments on Sunday, August 10th, so be sure to check back!


Paula Altenburg lives in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, with her husband and twosons. Once a manager in the aerospace industry, she now enjoys working fromhome and writing fulltime. Paula currently writes fantasy, paranormal andcontemporary romance. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter @PaulaAltenburg.


Posted in Uncategorized | 17 Comments

August movies, here I come

Going to the movies is a summer pastime for many folks. Comedies, action-adventure flicks, snacks. They’re all good. And I don’t know about you guys, but I certainly enjoy the dark and the air conditioning at the movies after all the bright, hot, humid days. It’s definitely a bonus.

Captain America The Winter SoldierIs it just me, but are all the good movies coming out in August this year? I just haven’t been all that excited about most of the movies that have come out so far this year.

I’ve seen tons of trailers, but very few movies have interested me enough to go see them in the theater. Except for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which was awesome.

But August? It’s loaded with movies that I want to see — Guardians of the Galaxy (playing now); The Expendables 3 (releases Aug. 15); and, yes, even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (releases Aug. 8).

So what appeals to me about these three movies in particular? They just look like fun. Guardians of the Galaxy looks like a zany superhero movie set in space. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles looks like a zany superhero movie with teenage mutant ninja turtles. And The Expendables 3 stars every action hero who hasn’t already been in the first two Expendables movies.

The ExpendablesPlus, action movies are my favorite, and all three of these should have plenty of action, especially The Expendables 3. If you’ve seen the first Expendables movie, you know that the franchise features car chases, fights, and explosions galore.

Plus, it’s still summer, and I want to be entertained before we all buckle back down for fall.

What about you guys? What movies are you looking forward to? What’s the best movie you’ve seen so far this year?

Posted in Jennifer's Posts | Tagged | 8 Comments

MagicalMusings Blogging

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

First off … sorry about being unable to blog two weeks ago. Edie covered me by posting one of my older blogs from six years ago! Yow! Have I been blogging at MagicalMusings for over six years?

Incredible. I remember when Michelle first came up with this idea. I have to admit that at first, I was really leery of the whole concept. I mean, blogging was relatively new and I knew next to nothing about it. Still, I gave it a shot. Michelle, Edie and I were all unpublished authors and decided to do a blog together aimed at both published and unpublished authors. Our goal was to get our names out there, but mostly to reach out to like-minded authors who were struggling to gain recognition.



At first, there was only the three of us and we rotated doing blogs every three days … and I seem to remember taking Sundays off. Or was it the entire weekend? I forget. Either way, we managed nicely for a couple of years on this schedule, but then it just started getting to be too much for us. One by one, we all got published. Between trying to manage new writing careers, family obligations and outside jobs, the blogging was becoming difficult.

So we brought in new people. Over the years we had a number of published and unpublished authors join us blogging here at MagicalMusings. Some worked out and some didn’t. A few left because of their publishing obligations and they just didn’t have the time and one or two were encouraged to leave because they weren’t meeting our obligations. Still friends with these people, so there were no hard feelings with their departures. :cool:

We also changed the subject matter of our blogs … to a certain extent. We’re still aimed at published and unpublished authors, but we also geared our discussions toward readers. As published authors, we wanted to keep in touch with the people who read our work. Get their opinions and preferences.

So, we have changed over the years. Both in subject matter and the number of bloggers (who are wonderful, by the way) who have joined us here at MagicalMusings … Sheila English, Robin Bielman, Misty Evans, Mary Hughes, Dale Mayer and Amy Remus. They sure as hell made my life easier in that I don’t have to stress coming up with a fresh and innovative blog every three days. :wink:

Now, I’m asking if there is some way we can improve on our MagicalMusings blogging. Any ideas are welcome … so bring ‘em out.

Posted in Liz's Posts | 15 Comments

Review: Bound to Danger by Katie Reus

boundtoreusBook info:

Title: Bound to Danger (Deadly Ops, #2)
Author: Katie Reus
Publisher: NAL/Signet Eclipse
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: ARC received from Author

Book Summary:

At a benefit dinner, community activist Maria Cervantes overhears two men plotting a terrorist attack that could rock Miami to its core. But before she can alert authorities, she’s almost killed in a massive explosion—and wakes up in a hospital with no memory of what happened. As the sole survivor of the attack, she is now a person of interest to the NSA—and especially to Agent Cade O’Reilly. Because Maria is the one woman Cade has never been able to forget.

Years ago, they were closer than either was willing to admit—until Cade disappeared when Maria needed him most. Now he’s sticking by her, whether she likes it or not. Because the memories locked inside her mind could hold vital clues to the next attack. Because terrorists want her dead—and because he never wants to let her go again.

My Thoughts:

Loved. This. Book. Bound to Danger by Katie Reus is why I read romantic suspense. It is an emotional ride that will have you on the edge of your seat during the action scenes and your heart melting during the passionate ones. The plot engages you from the beginning and has you turning pages quickly. The only problem I had reading Bound to Danger is that sometimes the danger would get to a point that I didn’t want to go any further in the book out of fear for the characters, yet I had to find out what was going to happen.

In Bound to Danger, Cade works for the NSA and takes on a job involving Maria, a girl he fell for eight years prior, but hasn’t seen since. There is a lot of complicated history between them (well, not really, but Cade makes it complicated), so when Cade is assigned to protect Maria, it is quite intersting.

Katie does a really nice job with both Cade and Maria. They have depth and they stay true to their characters from the dangerous situations to the romance and intimacy. The intimate scenes were written very well and fit the characters and the story. They didn’t just pop up out of the blue to throw one in. They moved the story along nicely. I really enjoy how each chapter started off with an email from Cade or Maria to the other, showing how they interacted years ago when Cade was serving as a Marine overseas. Great way to include a lot of background on the two.

Bound to Danger is written in 3rd person and what is different about this book is that we don’t just get the hero and heroine’s thoughts. We are in the villain’s head as well as Cade’s boss’ head. It really strengthens the story in my opinion, gives us a broader view of the situations and we get to see the motivations of terrorist Mihails and his crew.

One of the reasons I love a series is that we get to see characters from previous books. Jack and Sophie from Targeted make an appearance in Bound to Danger which is so cool. I am intrigued by Levi, another character that is a mystery to me but helped the team out. He is a lost soul after losing his wife and I hope we get to learn more about him in future books. If you are looking for a romantic suspense book that will play on all of your emotions with the right amount of action and passion, give Bound to Danger a try.

Reviewed by: Amy R.

Five stars

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Review: Taken With You by Shannon Stacey

twyBook info:

Title: Taken With You (Kowalskis, #8)
Author: Shannon Stacey
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: March 24, 2014
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: ARC received from Publisher via NetGalley

Book Summary:

Hailey Genest has seen most of her friends marry and have babies, and she’s happy for them, but it was a lot easier before she hit forty. She’s spent her entire life in Whitford, Maine, and if she hasn’t found her Prince Charming by now, she has to accept she’s probably not going to. When a new friend suggests they go on an adventure and embrace being single, Hailey agrees.

Surviving in the woods is game warden Matt Barnett’s idea of a relaxing vacation. But when he meets two women in need of help, he leads them back to safety – a task that proves more fun than expected, thanks to a certain hot blonde. He can’t resist pushing her buttons, even though she’s made it clear that the rugged, outdoorsy type just isn’t for her.

Hailey is glad to see the back of her tempting-tour-guide-slash-pain-in-the-ass. When he shows up in her life again, she’s determined to avoid him, no matter how good he looks in his uniform. But that’s easier said than done in Whitford, especially when he’s renting the house right next door…

My Thoughts:

Dreamy sigh. That was my reaction after I finished reading Taken With You by Shannon Stacey. Taken With You is a page-turner full of romance, humor, a little sass, passion and a swoon-worthy happy ever after. Even though I am on book 8 of the Kowalski Series and they are set in the same town, I don’t feel as though I am reading the same story with different characters, as some series can end up.

In Taken With You, Matt moves to Whitford, Maine as the new game warden. He first meets Hailey, the town librarian when she and her friend Tori get lost in the woods. From the beginning there was no way Matt and Hailey were meant for each other. Hailey’s idea of Mr. Right is a suit-wearing, museum-going, wine-drinking, 8:00 -5:00 type ofguy. Matt’s idea of the perfect woman is a girl who isn’t afraid of dirt and sweat, likes to fish and hike and doesn’t mind that he gets called at all hours of the day. So, from the beginning you can see these two are headed in different directions. How can they possibly work?

Shannon does a fantastic job of building up the romance between Matt and Hailey. She stays true to each of their personalities and slowly introduces each of them to the other one’s world. I enjoyed the back and forth banter between these Matt and Hailey, as it was an easy relationship yet it also had adult arguments. It just felt so real. The intimacy in Taken With You was at the right times and with just the right amount of description for the story and the characters. It was very hot and passionate, so make no mistake about that. One thing that always amazes me about Shannon’s books is how simple the plot can be yet they are so engaging and I totally get lost in them.

I enjoyed that Matt and Hailey were both established in their jobs and their lives so they were able to just enjoy getting to know one another as next door neighbors. The addition of Matt’s dog, Bear was a highlight of the story. Of course it was great to see some of the characters from previous stories such as Josh, Katie and Paige, among others. Rose was not as involved in the matchmaking this time around, but we still got to witness her attempt at meddling.

I feel as though my review doesn’t give Taken With You justice. Simply put, I loved this book. The ending was absolutely perfect, too. Don’t tell Joe and Keri (Exclusively Yours), but I think Matt and Hailey might be my favorite characters of Shannon’s now. Taken With You is an enjoyable, sweet, sexy romance story that you don’t want to miss!

Posted in Contemporary Romance, Reviews | 2 Comments

How do you decide what to read next?

To Be Read (TBR). This is what avid readers refer to the list, pile, stack or shelf of books we have marked either digitally or in print that we want to read. It is that list of books in which we never see the end. And we are mostly okay with that. Right?

tbr list

How do you decide what book to read next from your TBR pile? Do you go in date order? For the reviewers out there, do you pick the next book based on what you have scheduled to review or blog about? I am a book blogger and I try to stick with books by order of how they are submitted to me, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen.

I have to have a feel for the type of book I am reading or I am not giving it my all. Sometimes I want sweet. Sometimes I want edgy and action packed. Sometimes I want flat out naughty. For example, I just finished a super hot contemporary erotic romance. It was a book hangover type book. I knew I had to switch to either historical, paranormal or suspense so I wouldn’t compare it to the next one I read. Because of this, I sometimes take a little longer to review books, but it is only because I want to give each book an open mind when I read it.

I am curious about the rest of you. Does anyone else have this problem? How do you pick your next book to read off of your TBR list?

Posted in Amy R's Posts | 11 Comments

Why a Car is Like a Book by Candace Carrabus + Giveaway

I’m so pleased to have Candace Carrabus as my guest today. Candace has a book in the Must Love Pets: A Romance Box Set with me and five other authors (including Dale Mayer). Now I’m going to be in a paranormal box set with Candace and other authors (including Dale and Mary Hughes)! It’s fun working with all of them, and I love Candace’s writing, even when she’s talking about a new car. :)

Why a Car is Like a Book

CandaceWe had to buy a new car today. The one I’ve been driving for almost eleven years, the one with over 271,000 miles on it, the one that’s been burning oil, began running rough. Our mechanic said it needed a new engine. The several thousand dollars that would have cost were better put toward a new car, so that’s what we did.

It made me sad, though, driving that vehicle for the last time. Our daughter had just turned four when we got it, still strapped into a car seat. Now, she’s on the cusp of getting her permit and taking over the driver’s seat. In between then and now, a lot has happened. And a lot of it has happened inside that car.

MustLovePetFront200x300According to the National In-Car Study, Americans average more than 15 hours per week in a car. That’s nearly 14% of our waking hours. When you consider how much time Americans spend driving, it is any wonder we have a love affair with our automobiles?

I was in love with a car once (and that is, as they say, another story). Not this latest one. I’ve always viewed them as a tool for getting from point A to point B. But this car was comfortable and easy to drive, and I loved it.

Our daughter grew up in this car and began driving it down our dead-end gravel road while sitting on my lap. She giggled with her friends in the back, and the detritus hidden beneath the seat testified to her love of snacks and ability to do just about anything with the rubber bands from her braces except wear them.

Okay, so what does all this have to do with books? You may have already drawn the logical conclusion.

It’s the stories.

A car is a container–like a book’s covers–for hundreds of stories about us.

Like the time–shortly after we got it–when I pointed it down our road on a beautiful fall day with the roof open and Fleetwood Mac cranked up on the stereo. I heard a sound that didn’t belong with the song, and my cat, Rocket, poked his head through the moon roof. He’d been napping up top, and I hadn’t noticed.

Or how I had to tell Balto’s story EVERY SINGLE DAY to my daughter on the way to pre-school for months and months, and how shocked she was to learn we couldn’t go to Alaska to visit the famous wolf-dog because he’d died long before.

“But when you tell the story, it’s so real,” she said.

Isn’t that the point of reading a book? To get so caught up in the events and characters that you forget it isn’t real?

When I’m driving alone, I spend much of my time thinking about whatever story I’m working on, fleshing out personalities, hearing conversations, and discovering plot twists, sometimes discarding them just as quickly, sometimes recording notes with my phone. We took family trips to New York and Colorado and North Carolina. All chapters in our lives. Long talks, wrong turns, arguments, games, laughter, naps, songs, tears.

This is what stories are made of. This is what life is made of. 

Okay, okay, I’m starting to sound like a bad automobile commercial. But I’ve decided that a car is much more than just a tool to get from place to place. It is simply a container–like the front and back covers of a book–an empty vessel waiting to be filled with stories, with life, much like the blank pages of a manuscript. 

If that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is.

Have you had a special car in your life where you made stories and memories?

At the bottom of the post is Candace’s rafflecopter. She’s giving away a book and will announce the winner on her blog.

But first, here’s the info about Candace’s wonderful Dreamhorse Mystery #1:

OTBCoverFinal2FrontOnly2Jump in the saddle for a laugh-out-loud-funny gallop into the first Dreamhorse Mystery.

Meet smart (and sometimes foul)-mouthed jumper rider, Viola Parker, whose whipped-cream-in-a-can addiction is all that gets her through the day when her nights are invaded by a dead horse kicking up bad news…

Vi’s attitude just landed her out of work–again–and she can barely keep her horse in hay let alone support her need for whipped cream. Now, all that’s between her and a surprise trust fund is keeping a job for one full year by the time she’s 30. And a glowing letter of recommendation.

But it’s hard to keep a civil tongue when within minutes of arriving at her new post at a Missouri horse farm, Vi runs headlong into a bull, has to catch a runaway, and her horse kicks her kilt-clad boss, Robert Malcolm.

If Malcolm doesn’t make the farm a success within the year, his father will sell it to developers. The new manager is a key component in his plan, but the moment Vi and her long legs and keen gaze step into his bull’s path, he knows he’s in trouble. Soon, sparks fly between them. But someone else has their eye on the land, too, and they will do anything to kill his success.

It’s supposed to be a relaxing–boring!–year of riding “on the buckle.” First, Vi’s favorite red panties take a float downstream without her, and when she gets to the store to stock up on whipped cream, people are already talking about it. Soon, between the dead horse visiting Vi’s dreams and the dead bodies piling up, the question isn’t whether she can keep her mouth shut long enough to earn a reference, but whether she’ll live long enough to get it.

Amazon | B&N | iBookstore | Kobo | Smashwords

You can learn more about Candace by connecting with her on her website, Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter.

And here’s her Rafflecopter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Edie's Posts, Giveaway, Guest Posts | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments