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Glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again for Monday Morning Musings, Meet the Author Thursday, Weekend Writing Warriors, and guests whenever they drop in.

Monday, January 15, 2018

#NewRelease ONEY, MY ESCAPE FROM SLAVERY by @DianaLRubino & @PiperHuguley

Instead of my Monday Morning Musing, I'd like you to know about a new release from my friend Diana Rubino and her co-author Piper Huguley It sounds fascinating.

ONEY, MY ESCAPE FROM SLAVERY
by Diana Rubino and Piper Huguley

Oney’s Story…

Teenaged Oney Judge was Martha Washington’s ‘favorite servant.’ Oney and Martha both longed for freedom, but in very different ways. Martha hated being confined to the president’s house, forced to entertain politicians and foreign diplomats. Oney hated being someone else’s property, forced to do labor and wait on her owners day and night.

After President Washington served one term as president, he wrote his farewell speech. He and Martha started packing for their retirement at Mount Vernon, but it was not meant to be. He was elected again—unanimously. He did not want to serve another term, but gave in under pressure.

Martha had no say in it whatsoever. But as she hosted her tea parties and levees, she became close friends with several forward-thinking women, such as Abigail Adams and Judith Murray, feminists of the time. Their radical ideas rubbed off on Martha—education and job training for women to be self-supporting instead of depending on husbands. By the end of George’s term, she experienced a steep character arc. She even changed her attitude toward slavery. When Oney escaped at age 20, at the end of George’s final term, Martha was very resentful: “She was more like a child to me than a servant.” The Washingtons knew that she’d escaped to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and made several attempts to recapture her. But in a sudden act of lenience, Martha gave up on Oney and let her remain free. During her husband’s presidency, Martha complained, “I am more like a state prisoner”, so perhaps she put herself in Oney’s place and realized she deserved liberty, too.

As our first First Lady, Martha Washington evolved from a  grandmotherly wife and homebody to an outspoken champion of women’s rights. She provided freedom for her slaves at her death.

While living in Portsmouth, Oney married a sailor, Jack Staines, and had three children. She outlived her husband and children, and lived her remaining free life in Greenland, New Hampshire. Somewhat of a local celebrity, she lived in poverty, but the locals supported her and she took in sewing to supplement her meager income. She declared in an 1847 interview, “I am free now and choose to remain so.”

An Excerpt from ONEY, MY ESCAPE FROM SLAVERY

The hour finally came—while they ate dinner.

Nothing heavied my heart—not remorse, not guilt, not sadness upon fleeing my master and mistress. Raw thirst for freedom overcame all that. I walked straight past the Washingtons and out that door. When I shut it, I left them—and my forced bondage— behind me.

I tore through the muddy streets in pouring rain. Gasping for breath, soaked to the skin, my heart slamming in terror, I glanced behind me, again and again. No one pursued me—yet. I dreaded and expected pounding footsteps, a clap on my shoulder. But, I asked myself, who would chase me through the driving rain? No, it is not possible, I affirmed—they didn’t even know I’d left the kitchen.

At the Jones house I slowed and caught my breath. When Absalom opened the door, I staggered inside, laughing, sobbing, gulping for dear life.

I spent the night pacing the attic room, hands clasped. “I beg of you, dear God, walk beside me on this journey. See me through this safe. Don’t let them capture me. I only want to be your servant, no one else’s.”

As daybreak nudged away the darkness, I fell to my knees, weary with fatigue. “Thank you, dear God, for ending my final night of bondage.”


Serendipity at Work

In May 2014, popular romance author Brenda Novak had her annual auction for diabetes—authors donate books, critiques, etc., and people bid on them, similar to Ebay. I donated one of my other books, and I also donated a free manuscript critique. An author named Piper Huguley won the critique auction, but the auction ended and I never heard from her. I thought oh, well, she doesn't want it after all. About 3 months later, she wrote me and sent me her story, A CHAMPION’S HEART, to critique. It's a romance about an African American girl, set in rural Georgia in the 1910s. Very moving and powerful story. I loved it. It was published in 2016 by Liliaceae Publishers.

I'd been wanting to find an African American author to go over my Oney novel, but never looked for anyone. I thought of asking one of my grade school classmates, but just didn't get to it...well, one day I decided to ask Piper.

Right after I asked her, she wrote back and said she'd be happy to help. Then I went on Facebook and saw that Piper just posted that her mother passed away that morning. So I sent her a message of condolence. Then she wrote this back to me:

And I appreciate your kind comments about my mother. You see, I see your request as "heaven sent" for I think I told you about how my mother told me about Oney. I know that she would want me to work on anything, do anything to forward that story. So, even in the midst of a difficult time, I look forward to helping you--something I really didn't expect after you had helped me so much. Thank you for that.

I don't remember her telling me that her mother told her about Oney. I've heard so many stories about people who pass away, and send 'signs' etc. to their loved ones, this was just too strange to be coincidence. Piper helped me a great deal with Oney’s story and became my co-author. We dedicated the book to her mother.


Purchase ONEY:

About Diana and Piper:

Diana Rubino writes about folks who shook things up. Her passion for history and travel has taken her to every locale of her stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, and New York. Her urban fantasy romance FAKIN’ IT won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. When not writing, she runs CostPro, Inc., an engineering business, with her husband Chris. In her spare time, Diana bicycles, golfs, plays her piano and devours books of any genre. She spends as much time as possible just livin' the dream on her beloved Cape Cod.

Piper Huguley is a two-time Golden Heart ®finalist and is the author of the “Home to Milford College” series. The series follows the building of a college from its founding in 1866. Book #1 in the series, The Preacher’s Promise was named a top ten Historical Romance in Publisher’s Weekly by the esteemed historical romance author, Beverly Jenkins and received Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest Contest of Self-Published e-books in 2015.

Her new series “Born to Win Men” starts with A Champion’s Heart as Book #1. A Champion’s Heart was named by Sarah MacLean of The Washington Post as a best romance novel selection for December 2016.

She blogs about the history behind her novels at http://piperhuguley.com. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son.


Connect with Diana and Piper:

Twitter: @DianaLRubino

Twitter: @PiperHuguley


Saturday, January 13, 2018

#WeWriWa - ROMANCE REKINDLED Mother's in Jail and She Has Company


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors where authors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here

I'm sharing excerpts from my new release, ROMANCE REKINDLED, a romance with a little mystery. With her teen daughter insisting on accompanying her, Abby goes to the jail to spring her mother.

To keep within the guidelines, this snippet has been edited from the original. Please excuse the rogue commas.

Clutching each other, Abby and Bethany staggered into the police station. The wind off Lake Michigan made the door hard to open and even harder to close behind them, before they stomped their feet on the mat to rid the snow and ice.
“Abby, Bethie,” Rose, the dispatcher, insisted on thinking her daughter was still the toddler she used to babysit, “Sorry to call you out on such a nasty night.”
Though she liked Rose, Abby didn’t have time for polite chit-chat as she scanned the room, expecting to find her mother sitting at one of the deputy’s desks, “Where’s my mother?”
A blush flooded Rose’s face, “Deputy Dawson locked her up.”
“In jail? My mother’s in jail?”
“Mom, don’t go ballistic on Auntie Rose, it’s not her fault.”
“No, it’s that dang Deputy Dawg—wait until I get my hands on that idiot—where is he?”
“Now, now, dear, listen to Bethie,” Rose led them down a beige hall to the jail, two cells complete with steel bars, a narrow cot and a stainless-steel commode in each. Mother sat on the edge of the cot—and she wasn’t alone.
“Who are you?” Abby demanded of the old man sitting next to Mother, holding her mother’s hand!



Abby Ten Eyck likes her life the way it is. She runs a successful business, has a well-adjusted teenage daughter, and has managed to keep men at bay since her divorce fifteen years ago. Just before Christmas, she’s hit with change. Her mother decides to sell the family home. Then she’s arrested, with an unknown man. Could this new man in her mother’s life create more upheaval? Or could his handsome son be just what Abby needs to revive her dormant feelings?

Sam Watson embraces transition from frenetic Wall Street to a small Michigan resort town. His health is worth moving close to his dad who seems over the moon in love. But it’s the daughter of his father’s girlfriend who fascinates him. Abby Ten Eyck reminds him of his driven self. He must help her slow down before she burns out. Like he did.

ROMANCE REKINDLED is available at:


Monday, January 8, 2018

A New Year




First an apology. When I started this blog, I faithfully blogged every Monday--musing about current events, either personal or world-wise. In 2017, I dropped the ball, especially the past few months. As happens with many of us, "life" happened. In a good way. The main reason I haven't blogged is I was having too much fun to write about it. Fun, in the form of family. If you've read my blog, you know about my immediate family (children and grandchildren) finally living close by. This Christmas was chaotic and fun. I loved it.

2017 is gone. 2018 is here. I love that January 1 is the start of a new year, but it's also a chance to begin again. So we didn't keep all the resolutions we made last year. We can start over. I didn't accomplish as much as I wanted to in 2017, but . . . Here's the disclaimer. I competed and published two books and wrote two short stories. For me, that was a big deal. I'm proud of that. I didn't expect to accomplish that much. Last year, I was invited to join another group blog (Pandora's Box Gazette--an online magazine) where I have a monthly column on Family Life. Added to Paranormal Romantics (where I blog once a month) and The Roses of Prose (where now I'll be blogging twice a month), and my own Weekend Writing Warrior contributions, I blog between 10-12 times a month. And I enjoy that.

My main job is writing books. While I enjoy blogging, that isn't adding to my stories. So I needed to examine what I want to accomplish in 2018. As I wrote for Insecure Writers Support Group last week, my goal is to finish three books. Two are already started, one new--a total of about 170,000 words. I nearly stopped before I got started. That's a lot of words. So, I broke that down into a more manageable goal, a minimum of 500 words per day (about one page single-spaced). Easy peasy. The harder part was choosing which book to go with first. 

The Spy (4th in my Outer Rim series): I'd already written almost 11k words. 

Unpredictable Nature (a romantic suspense): I wrote this book several years ago, and I finished it. I think. I just can't find all of it. I know that must sound weird. That story was written on two desktop computers ago. Back in those days, I kept copies of my work on 3.5" floppy disks. I'm still looking through those floppies, trying to find that story.

Untitled (4th in the Alex O'Hara PI mystery series): as of Jan. 1, not started but thought about a lot.

It makes sense to finish the book that's closest to being done. Right? Hah! That Alex O'Hara story just won't let me go. So, last week, I started writing. I've already 6700 words. I love when the words flow, as they've been doing for almost a week.

On the right side of this blog, you'll see my progress graphic for each book. Having declared my intentions, you can hold me to it. LOL I won't be offended if you ask about my progress (or lack of).

Have a great week. Come back next Sunday for Weekend Writing Warrior where I post 8-10 sentence snippets from my new release Romance Rekindled.  

If you're interested, here's my blogging schedule:

Each weekend: Weekend Writing Warrior, here
Each Monday: here
1st Wednesday: Insecure Writers Support Group, here
3rd Wednesday: Pandora's Box Gazette
13th of the month: Paranormal Romantics 
16th & 30th of the month: The Roses of Prose 

   
  

Saturday, January 6, 2018

#WeWriWa - ROMANCE REKINDLED: Arrested?


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors where authors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here

Sorry for being AWOL the past 2 weekends. With so many family/friends events, I knew I wouldn't be able to visit. I hope you enjoyed the holidays. Now it's back to work.

I'm sharing excerpts from my new release, ROMANCE REKINDLED, a romance with a little mystery. I'm picking up where we left off, with Abby getting a call at 2 am from the police dispatcher, saying her mother had been arrested.

To keep within the guidelines, this snippet has been edited from the original. Please excuse the rogue commas.

Oh, dear God, what had Mother done? “Arrested—for what?”
“Trespassing on private property and theft.”
Ever since Mother dropped the bomb yesterday about selling the house, Abby had worried about her. But trespassing . . . and theft?
“I’ll be right down.”
“Uh, Abby, Florence doesn’t want you to come—in fact, she didn’t want me to call you.”
“Not come?”
“I knew you’d want to know, this isn’t an official call—she says she’s saving her one phone call for someone important.”
Someone important? That sure puts me in my place.





Abby Ten Eyck likes her life the way it is. She runs a successful business, has a well-adjusted teenage daughter, and has managed to keep men at bay since her divorce fifteen years ago. Just before Christmas, she’s hit with change. Her mother decides to sell the family home. Then she’s arrested, with an unknown man. Could this new man in her mother’s life create more upheaval? Or could his handsome son be just what Abby needs to revive her dormant feelings?

Sam Watson embraces transition from frenetic Wall Street to a small Michigan resort town. His health is worth moving close to his dad who seems over the moon in love. But it’s the daughter of his father’s girlfriend who fascinates him. Abby Ten Eyck reminds him of his driven self. He must help her slow down before she burns out. Like he did.

ROMANCE REKINDLED is available at:


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

#IWSG and Chrys Fey's Flaming Crimes Blogfest


It's the 1st Wednesday of 2018. Happy First Insecure Writers Support Group Day of the year. IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. And thanks to this month's awesome hosts:  Tyrean Martinson, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Megan Morgan, Jennifer Lane, and Rachna Chhabria!


January is named after the Roman god Janus. Note that he has two faces, one for looking back and one to look forward. Isn't that what we do at this time of year? We look back at what we've accomplished and look forward to what we want to do this year. 

In 2017, I wrote two novels and two short stories. The novels were published, one in April (The Case of the Meddling Mama) and the other in early December (Romance Rekindled). One short story became my entry into The Rose of Prose Holiday Collection. The other is a free gift for subscribers to my newsletter. Considering I had houseguests (Son & his family) for two months, I'm proud of what I accomplished.

So what about 2018? My plan is to finish a romantic suspense (needs 20k words) and write two more novels (together 150k). That is such a daunting goal. Then I broke it down to the number of words I needed to write per day. Thanks to my handy-dandy calculator, 170k words divided by 360 days (I figured I'd need a few days off) means I need to write 475 words per day. Now that doesn't sound daunting at all. Yesterday, I wrote 779 words. I'm ahead of my goal already. (I didn't write on Jan. 1; one of my free days.)

This month's optional question: What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

I just told you part of my plan, writing at least 475 words/day. That is as far as I've gotten in my plan. I need to set up the months I want to have each story completed so I can line up my editor and cover designer. I also need to get Romance Rekindled into print, something left over from last year. 

How about you? Have you set forth your plan for 2018?

Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today. 

And now the 2nd part of today's post. Chrys Fey is one of our members and I'm happy to participate in her Flaming Crimes Blogfest. 



Prompt: What is something ridiculous you would save if there was a fire?

Chrys said what I write about shouldn't be something that everyone would save--family photos, passport and other documents, etc. It should be something that means something to me but that others would think ridiculous. I've had over a month to think about this. Did I? Nope. As I look around my living room/dining room/kitchen, I see my nutcracker collection on top of bookcases, the china cabinet, curio cabinet, and the kitchen cabinets. With over a hundred, I have a lot to choose from. My eyes keep going to the ugliest nutcracker I've ever gotten. My decision is made.



So why would I take that? Every year, Hubs works hard to find an unusual nutcracker, one I don't have in a thirty-plus year collection. Last year, he found the wolf. (I think it's a wolf.) I would take that one because it represents not just my collection, but it represents all Hubs' efforts to find that different nutcracker each year.
 





Series: Disaster Crimes #4
Page Count: 304 
Digital Price: 4.99 
Print Price: 16.99
Rating: Spicy (PG13) 

BUY LINKS:

BLURB: Beth and Donovan are now happily married, and what Beth wants more than anything is a baby. Her dream of starting a family is put on hold as fires burn dangerously close and Donovan becomes a victim of sabotage.

Donovan escapes what could've been a deadly wreck. Their past enemies have been eliminated, so who is cutting brake lines and leaving bloody messages? He vows to find out, for the sake of the woman he loves and the life they're trying to build.

Amidst a criminal mind game, a fire ignites next to their home. They battle the flames and fight to keep their house safe from the blaze pressing in on all sides, but neither of them expects to confront a psychotic adversary in the middle of the inferno.

Their lives may just go up in flames…



About the Author: Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. She’s partnered with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and runs their Goodreads book club. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.

Author Links:


Diane's note: I've read all of Chrys' Disaster Crimes books. They are riveting. Beth and Donovan have survived so many disasters. Each time, I'm on the edge of my seat hoping they'll make it. I can't wait to read this one.

Here's a list of others who are participating in Chrys Fey's Flaming Crimes Blogfest:


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year


Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, prosperous 
new year!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

End of Year Sale


My books are on sale at Smashwords. Most are 50% off, some are free. Load up your e-reader for the cold, dark winter. If you're in the southern hemisphere, you'll find some good beach reads.

Have you checked out my holiday short story over at The Roses of Prose? Part 1 (of 3) begins today.

Happy Reading!