This & That & The Other Thing – Update – And a Poem by Hunter Painter

THIS

Just a quick update to let you folks know I’m still here, though I’ve had a lot on my plate of late. Between endless appointments for this or that and some annoying health issues to deal with,  I’m continuing to run behind, but I do think I see a dim glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Can’t wait for things to return to normal.

THAT

I know I’ve promised I’d be writing on my Blog Break days, but so far, that isn’t working out as well as I’d hoped. (See above for reasons why.) However, I’m not giving up on my Cole, Cole, & Dupree novella. I’m determined to finish that, and very hopeful to make more progress in the next week or two. Don’t count me out, yet. My brain is jam-packed with ideas for this one, and somehow, I WILL get them down on paper. (Well, down in a Word document, anyway! 😀 )

THE OTHER THING

Was going through some clutter today, trying in vain to get my desk area organized and useful again, and I found this little poem I came up with while working on Finding Hunter. Hunter Painter is a writer. One who marches to a different drummer, as many writers do, but also one who has been in love with Willow Greene since high school, though he never had the nerve to explore his feelings. (Except in his dreams, of course, or scribbled on scraps of paper here and there.)

This is a poem he wrote while in 11th grade, though he never showed it to a soul. I debated including it in my book, but ended up not doing so. It does, however, appear on the cover, if you look closely enough at the page shown there. When I saw it this morning, I decided to post it for you today. This is the first time I’ve ever shared it, and I hope you enjoy taking a look.

Emeralds and Silver

No emerald pulled from
  darkest earth holds
    light so warm, so
      full of life, as the
          green in those eyes.

No precious metal
  curled or curved in
    filigrees of man’s design
      offers half the sheen of that
        spun-silver hair.

Who would trade her
  incandescent glow for
    emeralds and silver
      lonely and cold,
        joyless, both, next to her
          bright sparkle.

~~~

And on that note,
I’ll get back to work.
Enjoy the rest of your day, everyone!

#Excerpt – #FindingHunter – #MegaSale – #AlertTheMedia

Still having fun sharing excerpts–something I seldom do on The Write Stuff. (At least not from my own books, though I do intend to get my #ExcerptWeek series for guest posters going again before long.) Today, I’m sharing one of the lighter scenes from Finding Hunter that I hope will make you chuckle. To say Hunter Painter has issues would be an understatement, but he’s a kind and gentle soul through and through, in spite of the things life throws his way. Happy reading!


Finding Hunter takes a look at the devastating effects of a family torn apart by a horrific tragedy, pitting brother against brother, and focusing on battling PTSD with the redemptive power of unwavering love and support.

EXCERPT:

HUNTER GROANED, PULLING his feather pillow over his head not only to block out the world, but just in case he started shouting in frustration.

What the hell happened? What the bloody hell just happened? Everything was fine. It was going better than I ever thought it would, and then suddenly it all went crazy. She kissed me! Why the hell did she kiss me? How the hell was I supposed to resist that?

The memory of that kiss rocketed into him so hot and fast, it scorched a path through his soul. Never in his life had a kiss transported him that way. He could still feel her mouth under his, sweet and yielding, and burning like fire. The raspberry scent of her hair lingered on his hands, and he would never, ever forget the taste of her skin. Every nerve ending in his body felt burned raw from the experience—so sensitive, the slightest breeze sliding over it would cause unbearable pain.

But somewhere in his torment, he also remembered how she had responded to him, moaning into that kiss, and whispering his name over and over as they clung to each other. She wanted him, too, a concept that had never once seemed a possibility in all the years he had loved her.

Doesn’t make it any better, does it, you stupid fool? Still never gonna happen. You don’t belong with Willow Greene, and nothing’s going to change that. All you’re doing here is torturing yourself.

He swore into his pillow. “’Take a chance,’ Gunn said. ‘Call her up,’ Gunn said. I’m gonna find that bastard and pound him to death with one of his own cameras!”

That image distracted him from his woes for about thirty seconds, and then he slid even deeper into the hole of misery he’d dug for himself.

Never gonna leave this room again. Can’t be trusted to go out into the real world and behave like a person with a single, functioning brain cell. Just gonna have my meals delivered right here, and Dad can walk Biscuit. I’ll tell him I’m sick—and keep telling him that for the rest of my life.

A sudden rap on the bedroom door interrupted his maudlin thoughts. “Hunter? Are you awake?”

“Yeah, Dad. You can come in.”

His father stuck his head in the door. “Sorry to bother you, son, but … well … there’s a young lady down here says she wants to talk to you.”

Horrified, Hunter bolted upright. “What? What’re you talking about?”

“I’m talking about this pretty little thing at the front door, says she has to talk to you. Real long hair, sweet smile, named … um …”

Hunter smacked his head. “Willow.”

His dad nodded. “That’s it. You wanna come down?”

“No! Did you already tell her I’m here?”

“Well, sure. Should I be lying to young ladies who are looking for you?”

“Yes! I mean, no, not generally. Just this one.”

“You do something to her, Hunter?”

“No, of course not. Well, not like you mean. It’s just … aw, it’s complicated, Dad. Can you just tell her I wasn’t up here, or I’m asleep, or I’m sick, or I’ve gone to China? Something? I’m not coming down there!”

His dad gave him a disapproving look. “Okay. Have it your way, but no, I’m not gonna lie to this little gal. I’m just gonna go tell her you don’t want to see her.”

Flinging himself back down on the bed, Hunter growled in frustration. “Fine. If that’s what you want to do, do it. I’m still not coming down.” He clamped the pillow back over his face, and refused to say anything else.

His dad sighed, closed the door a little too hard, and stomped down the stairs.

Two minutes later, Hunter heard a tap, and the sound of the door opening again.

This time, he didn’t bother to lift the pillow. “Did she go away?”

“No, I didn’t go away, Hunter. And I’m not going to.”

Once again, Hunter bolted to a sitting position. He dropped his pillow and stared at Willow, mouth agape. “Willow! You can’t just walk into my room. It’s … you … this isn’t …”

“Oh stop, Hunter. I’m here. And you and I are going to talk.”


Available on Amazon for only $.99 thru Valentine’s Day!
Download  Finding Hunter HERE


Hope you enjoyed this excerpt from the second Riverbend novel!  Thanks so much for reading and helping me get the word out!

#AlertTheMedia – #Sale – All of My Books Just $.99 From Now Until #ValentinesDay – #Don’tMissOut!

Treat yourself to a reading bargain for Valentine’s Day! For the next fourteen days, all of my books —yes, every single one of them–will be available for download at the rock bottom price of $.99 each! That’s four Wake-Robin Ridge novels, three Riverbend novels, three Emissary novellas, and one Summer Magic book of poetry. Need to know more? Here you go:

Wake-Robin Ridge Book 1

“A PHONE RINGING AT 2:00 A.M. never means anything good. Calls at 2:00 A.M. are bad news. Someone has died. Someone is hurt. Or someone needs help.”

On a bitter cold January night in 1965, death came calling at an isolated little cabin on Wake-Robin Ridge. Now, nearly 50 years later, librarian Sarah Gray has quit her job and moved into the same cabin, hoping the peace and quiet of her woodland retreat will allow her to concentrate on writing her first novel. Instead she finds herself distracted by her only neighbor, the enigmatic and reclusive MacKenzie Cole, who lives on top of the mountain with his Irish wolfhound as his sole companion.

As their tentative friendship grows, Sarah learns the truth about the heartbreaking secret causing Mac to hide from the world. But before the two can sort out their feelings for each other, they find themselves plunged into a night of terror neither could have anticipated. Now they must unravel the horrifying events of a murder committed decades earlier. In doing so, they discover that the only thing stronger than a hatred that will not die is a heart willing to sacrifice everything for another.


A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2

“Evil’s comin’, boy…comin’ fast. Look for the man with eyes like winter skies, and hair like a crow’s wing. He’s the one you gotta find.”

The remote mountain wilderness of North Carolina swallowed up the ten-year-old boy as he made his way down from the primitive camp where his grandparents had kept him hidden all his life. His dying grandmother, gifted with the Sight, set him on a quest to find the Good People, and though he is filled with fear and wary of civilization, Rabbit is determined to keep his promise to her. When he crosses paths with Sarah and MacKenzie Cole, neither their lives nor his, are ever the same again.

The extraordinary little boy called Rabbit has the power light up the darkness, and the resourcefulness to save himself from the one person his grandparents had hoped would never find him. His dangerous and bittersweet journey will touch you in unexpected ways, and once you’ve let Rabbit into your heart, you’ll never forget him.


Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3

“. . . he felt the wet slide of the dog’s burning hot tongue on his face, and the scrape of its razor sharp teeth against the top of his head. A white-hot agony of crushing pain followed, as the jaws began to close.”

The wine-red trillium that carpets the forests of the North Carolina Mountains is considered a welcome harbinger of spring—but not all such omens are happy ones. An Appalachian legend claims the Black Dog, or Ol’ Shuck, as he’s often called, is a harbinger of death. If you see him, you or someone you know is going to die.

But what happens when Ol’ Shuck starts coming for you in your dreams? Nightmares of epic proportions haunt the deacon of the Light of Grace Baptist Church, and bring terror into the lives of everyone around him. Even MacKenzie Cole and his adopted son, Rabbit, find themselves pulled into danger.

When Sheriff Raleigh Wardell asks Mac and Rabbit to help him solve a twenty-year-old cold case, Rabbit’s visions of a little girl lost set them on a path that soon collides with that of a desperate man being slowly driven mad by guilt.


The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4

The Magic is Back!

For Robert MacKenzie Cole—or Rabbit, as he’s known to all—the chance to accompany his family to see North Carolina’s infamous Brown Mountain Lights has him nearly dizzy with excitement. And what better night to watch this unexplained phenomenon unfold than Halloween?

But when the entrancing, unpredictable lights show up, Rabbit gets far more than he bargained for. He’s gifted with what folks in the Appalachians call “the Sight,” and it’s this extrasensory perception that enables him to spot the one light different from all the rest.

In his biggest challenge to date, Rabbit—aided by his daddy and his newest friend, Austin Dupree— begins a quest to learn more about the mysterious light. Their investigation unveils a web of cons and corruption none of them expected and exposes a brutal murder along the way.

Throughout all, Rabbit is unfaltering in his commitment to do whatever it takes to understand the truth behind the glowing orb and to determine how he can help it. After all, it followed him home.


Swamp Ghosts: Riverbend Book 1

Wildlife photographer Gunnar Wolfe looked like the kind of guy every man wanted to be and every woman just plain wanted, and the St. Johns River of central Florida drew him like a magnet. EcoTour boat owner Maggie Devlin knew all the river’s secrets, including the deadliest ones found in the swamps. But neither Maggie nor Gunn was prepared for the danger that would come after them on two legs.

On a quest to make history photographing the rarest birds of them all, Gunnar hires the fiery, no-nonsense Maggie to canoe him into the most remote wetland areas in the state. He was unprepared for how much he would enjoy both the trips and Maggie’s company. He soon realizes he wants more than she’s able to give, but before he can win her over, they make a grisly discovery that changes everything, and turns the quiet little town of Riverbend upside down. A serial killer is on the prowl among them.


Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2

Before, I never thought about taking a life. Not once.
Now, the thought fills my mind day and night, and
I wonder how I’ll hide that terrible need,
As an old car swings to the shoulder,
And stops.

~ Traveling Man ~

Hunter Painter’s darkest fears have shaped his offbeat personality since he was a child, crippling him in ways invisible to those unable to see past his quiet exterior. In a sleepy Florida town known for its eccentric inhabitants, he’s always been a mystery to most.

Only one person sees beyond Hunter’s quirky facade. Willow Greene, the new age herbalist who owns the local candle and potpourri shop, has secretly loved him since they were in high school. When, sixteen years later, she discovers Hunter has loved her just as long, Willow hopes her dreams are finally coming true.

Willow soon learns that Hunter fears happiness at her side isn’t in the cards for him. With her natural optimism and courage, she almost convinces him he’s wrong—that they can really have that life together they both long for—but even Willow can’t stop what Hunter knows is coming.

One by one, his worst nightmares become reality, culminating in an unthinkable tragedy, which devastates everyone it touches. Willow’s battle begins in earnest as Hunter is plunged into a bleak, guilt-ridden despair, threatening to destroy not only their love, but Hunter, himself.

Finding Hunter is the story of a lost man’s desperate struggle to make his way home again, and one woman’s unshakeable faith in him and the power of their love.


That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3

“There are dark places in every heart, in every head. Some you turn away from. Some you light a candle within. But there is one place so black, it consumes all light. It will pull you in and swallow you whole. You don’t leave your brother stranded in that darkest place.”
~Hunter Painter~

The new year is a chance for new beginnings—usually hopeful, positive ones. But when Jackson Painter plows his car into a tree shortly after midnight on January 1, his new beginnings are tragic. His brothers, Forrest and Hunter, take up a grim bedside vigil at the hospital, waiting for Jackson to regain consciousness and anxious over how he’ll take the news that he’s lost a leg and his fiancée is dead. After all, the accident was all his fault.

As the shocking truth emerges, one thing becomes obvious—Jackson will need unconditional love and support from both of his brothers if he is to survive.

Just as he begins the long road to recovery, danger, in the form of a sinister, unsigned note, plunges him back into bleak despair. Scrawled in blood red letters, the accusation—and the threat—is clear. “MURDERER!”

Will the long, harrowing ordeal that lies ahead draw the Painter brothers closer together, or drive them apart forever?

Suspenseful and often heartbreaking, this small-town tale is a testimonial to the redemptive power of love and paints a story filled with humor, romance, and fierce family loyalty.


The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella

An angel’s work is never done—that’s part of the gig. But angels hadn’t been created to deal with such a vastly over-populated planet, rife with misery, suffering, and general chaos. Helping souls in peril has become a nearly impossible job, and even angelic tempers are frayed.

The archangel Azrael has had enough. He believes he’s found a way to ease their burden while saving jeopardized humans, too—hired help.

When Jake Daughtry lost his life rescuing a total stranger from certain death, he was on the fast track to Heaven. But that was before Azrael pulled him right out of line at the Pearly Gates. Now, as an Emissary to the Angels, Jake is taking to the highway in a quest to help souls in trouble. But the innate stubbornness of human beings bent on self-destruction is a challenge unlike any he’s ever faced.

It’s up to Jake and Azrael to bridge the gap between humans and angels. Will they ever convince the Council of Angels this endeavor is worthwhile? Can Jake figure out how to play by Azrael’s complicated rules? Will Azrael ever master the use of contractions in general conversation?

To find out the answers, hop on board Jake’s big red-and-white semi and travel the roads from the Florida Keys to north Georgia on an adventure that will make you laugh hard and cry even harder.


The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody

They’re back!

Jake and Dodger, the first (and so far, only) Emissaries to the Angels, are on the road again.

They’re looking for mortals about to take a wrong turn. You know the ones—the kid thinking about stealing from a corner market or the man planning to lie about a coworker and destroy her career. Yeah, them. People on the brink of making a mistake that could send them down that wrong road and jeopardize their mortal souls.

Of course, there are rules by which the emissaries must play, and the archangel Azrael stands ready to enforce them. First and foremost, a person’s free will must never be compromised. Emissaries are allowed to use only the smallest of mental nudges. Thankfully, a whispered suggestion here or images of a better course of action there is usually all it takes. The potential mugger walks on by. The thief drops the wallet back into the unattended purse. But whether the results are obvious or not, Jake and Dodger are fully committed to making a positive difference, even as they struggle with issues of their own.

Will Dodger get over losing his chance to learn what true love is all about? Will Jake survive the grueling angelic equivalent of Boot Camp? Will Azrael ever finish the Official Emissarial Guidebook—including the chapter titled Do Not Even Think About It?

One thing’s for sure—Jake’s and Dodger’s strengths are growing daily, as they help more and more people make better choices. But is the price for so much power higher than they’re willing to pay?


The Emissary 3: Love Hurts

The archangel Azrael created his emissaries to help mortals avoid choices that would doom them for eternity. He hadn’t planned on the youngest member of the team falling in love with one. In Marcia Meara’s final installment of her Emissary Trilogy, a Riverbend spinoff series of novellas, we find our heroes facing a new problem, and it’s all because Dodger died before having a chance to learn what love was all about. His request that Azrael help him correct that situation causes a multitude of problems no one could have foreseen. Except the angel, himself.


Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love

Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love is a collection of contemporary poetry about exactly that–life and love. The first part of the book features poems about the magic a young boy discovers while camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The second part of the book has a sampling of poetry about love, life and death, autumn, and dreams coming true.


And there you have it, my friends. If anything in that list sounds good to you, now is the time to download your copy.  I’ve never  had a sale this big before, and might not ever have one like it again, so don’t miss out! (And don’t forget, Gifting a download to a Kindle-loving friend is easy, too.  Just sayin’ … 😄)

Amazon Author Page

 


Don’t Forget: $.99 Sale on All #Riverbend Books – Last Six Days!

… to download your copies today! All three Riverbend books are still on sale for the ridiculously low price of $.99, so don’t miss out!

“Swamp Ghosts is an intriguing mystery filled with monsters, both on two legs, and four–or none at all.” – 5 Star Review
****

“Gut-Wrenching, Heartbreaking, and Soul-Warming!” – 5 Star Review
****


“Marcia Meara keeps the twists coming in this book! You think you have the story line figured out and BAM!!! A wonderful read!!!!!” – 5 Star Review
***

So there you have it, folks! Hope you’ll take advantage of this sale today, before they’re all gone. Oh, wait.  That’s right. These are eBooks. They’ll be around a long, long time–but NOT at this price!  😁 So run, don’t walk, right on over to Amazon and download your copies today! 

#Sale – #TenDaysOnly – #Riverbend eBooks 1, 2, and 3 – $.99

Still celebrating my escape from the world of Breakthrough COVID. Thought I’d offer another sale for you guys, only this one is going to last through 10/15, or ten days. So, if you’ve been curious about life in this little Florida town, replete with all the weird folks who live there, now’s your chance to download these books for $.99 each, or under $3.00 for all three!

Swamp Ghosts – Riverbend Book 1

BLURB

Wildlife photographer Gunnar Wolfe looked like the kind of guy every man wanted to be and every woman just plain wanted, and the St. Johns River of central Florida drew him like a magnet. EcoTour boat owner Maggie Devlin knew all the river’s secrets, including the deadliest ones found in the swamps. But neither Maggie nor Gunn was prepared for the danger that would come after them on two legs.

On a quest to make history photographing the rarest birds of them all, Gunnar hires the fiery, no-nonsense Maggie to canoe him into the most remote wetland areas in the state. He was unprepared for how much he would enjoy both the trips and Maggie’s company. He soon realizes he wants more than she’s able to give, but before he can win her over, they make a grisly discovery that changes everything, and turns the quiet little town of Riverbend upside down. A serial killer is on the prowl among them.

RECENT REVIEW

Strange people make wonderful stories.
Verified Purchase

I don’t actually read romances, but was drawn to this one. The author is a nature lover, much like myself, and knowing she was placing this tale in what amounts to her back yard appealed to me. The swamps of Florida are foreign to a westerner like myself. The depictions and descriptions are wonderful.

What I found was a wonderful murder mystery that lands squarely in these same swamps. It’s intense, thrilling, and scary. I pegged the killer early on, but that didn’t detract from the story. He’s so wonderfully creepy, Meara gets this across like she lived some of it.

I walked in knowing it was a romance, and that part was well done. I admit it was the nature tours, and the murder mystery that called to me. I’m giving it five stars, because it was that wonderful.

Download Swamp Ghosts HERE
~~~

Finding Hunter – Riverbend Book 2

BLURB

Before, I never thought about taking a life. Not once.
Now, the thought fills my mind day and night, and
I wonder how I’ll hide that terrible need,
As an old car swings to the shoulder,
And stops.

~ Traveling Man ~

Hunter Painter’s darkest fears have shaped his offbeat personality since he was a child, crippling him in ways invisible to those unable to see past his quiet exterior. In a sleepy Florida town known for its eccentric inhabitants, he’s always been a mystery to most.

Only one person sees beyond Hunter’s quirky facade. Willow Greene, the new age herbalist who owns the local candle and potpourri shop, has secretly loved him since they were in high school. When, sixteen years later, she discovers Hunter has loved her just as long, Willow hopes her dreams are finally coming true.

Willow soon learns that Hunter fears happiness at her side isn’t in the cards for him. With her natural optimism and courage, she almost convinces him he’s wrong—that they can really have that life together they both long for—but even Willow can’t stop what Hunter knows is coming.

One by one, his worst nightmares become reality, culminating in an unthinkable tragedy, which devastates everyone it touches. Willow’s battle begins in earnest as Hunter is plunged into a bleak, guilt-ridden despair, threatening to destroy not only their love, but Hunter, himself.

Finding Hunter is the story of a lost man’s desperate struggle to make his way home again, and one woman’s unshakeable faith in him and the power of their love.

RECENT REVIEW

5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Inspirational Story

The characters who populate the small town of River Bend come to life in this story about the power of love, from the inspired imagination of talented author, Marcia Meara. A truly wonderful novel, this story features two minor characters from Ms. Meara’s previous novel, Swamp Ghosts. Hunter, an introverted, hapless, but troubled writer who carries a load of family problems on his shoulders, and has no idea of the talent he possesses. And Willow, the selfless, caring extrovert, who adores him and tries her best to point out how valuable his life is.

This story is rather unusual as it’s the reverse of the standard romance novel. It begins with the romance, expertly written by the way, and works up to the events that threaten to end it forever.

The short poems at the beginning of each chapter add a bit of suspense to the story as you can’t help but wonder who’s thoughts they are. But eventually everything is revealed. The story pulled me in from the very first page, and kept me reading well into the night. I highly recommend this novel.

Download Finding Hunter HERE
~~~

That Darkest Place – Riverbend Book 3

BLURB

“There are dark places in every heart, in every head. Some you turn away from. Some you light a candle within. But there is one place so black, it consumes all light. It will pull you in and swallow you whole. You don’t leave your brother stranded in that darkest place.”
~Hunter Painter~

The new year is a chance for new beginnings—usually hopeful, positive ones. But when Jackson Painter plows his car into a tree shortly after midnight on January 1, his new beginnings are tragic. His brothers, Forrest and Hunter, take up a grim bedside vigil at the hospital, waiting for Jackson to regain consciousness and anxious over how he’ll take the news that he’s lost a leg and his fiancée is dead. After all, the accident was all his fault.

As the shocking truth emerges, one thing becomes obvious—Jackson will need unconditional love and support from both of his brothers if he is to survive.

Just as he begins the long road to recovery, danger, in the form of a sinister, unsigned note, plunges him back into bleak despair. Scrawled in blood red letters, the accusation—and the threat—is clear. “MURDERER!”

Will the long, harrowing ordeal that lies ahead draw the Painter brothers closer together, or drive them apart forever?

Suspenseful and often heartbreaking, this small-town tale is a testimonial to the redemptive power of love and paints a story filled with humor, romance, and fierce family loyalty.

RECENT REVIEW

5.0 out of 5 stars This book has it all – Suspense, Romance, Tragedy and Humour
Verified Purchase

Download That Darkest Place HERE
~~~

Hope some of you will decide to take advantage of this ten-day only sale, and if you do, will let me know your thoughts on the good (and not-so-good) folks of Riverbend, Florida. I also hope you’ll  consider sharing the news of this sale  with all your online friends, far and wide.  It would be greatly appreciated! 

Thanks for stopping by today, and here’s to a great rest of the week!
Happy Reading!

#WritingRambles #amwriting – Writing “What You Know?”

Good Morning, Folks!

It’s a lovely, sunny Sunday in central Florida, after a drizzly, gray Saturday. Happily, yesterday’s weather didn’t stop anyone from attending my talk on Owls at the gorgeous DeBary Hall Historic Mansion.

In fact, we had four extras show up, but had plenty of open space at the back of the room to accommodate them at a safe distance from everyone else. And as you can see from this week’s header image above, I’m still in an owlish kinda mood. (This is a barred owl, btw, my favorite of all.) And talking about these wonderful birds yesterday, gave me the idea for this post today. 

We’re often encouraged or advised to “write what we know,” and in general, I tend to do that, as all of my books are set in the southern part of the United States (just as *I* am), and feature the kinds of people I’ve known all my life. (Except for the serial killer in Swamp Ghosts. I confess, I’ve known some unpleasant folks over the years, but none that I know of have ever gone so far as to kill people and feed ’em to the local alligators! 😉 )

But, in general, I do write people I understand and who speak in a manner I’m familiar with. I also go a step farther by including habitats and wildlife I’m familiar with, too. I like to set up a scene so that readers will feel like they’re “there” along with the characters. For me, this can include describing a canoe trip on the St. John’s river, or a walk through a Florida wetlands area, or a slippery climb down a rock face beside a North Carolina waterfall. I think many of us do this when setting up a scene, and if done well, I believe (hope!) it makes it all more real to readers. But I want to take it a step farther today.

Here’s my question for you: do you ever include things from your real life that only your friends or family would likely recognize? Maybe as a private joke, or maybe simply because whatever it is happens to fit well with what you’re writing? I do, even though I don’t set out with that in mind. It’s just that as I’m typing along, I think of a familiar item or happening, or even a line of dialogue, that is part of my life in one way or another, and find myself including it.

For example, in Swamp Ghosts, one of my secondary (but pretty important) characters is Lester Purvis who drives an ancient, primer red and gray, 1967 VW bus. I’m very familiar with this bus, as is everyone who knows Mark and I, because it’s parked in our garage. My husband has had it since the early 80s, and, like Lester, has always planned to restore it to its former glory. (He drives it for short errands on the weekends, and can’t stop at a traffic light without someone pulling up beside it and yelling out to ask if it’s for sale.) You would be staggered to know how much he’s been offered for it, even with all the body work it needs. Apparently, being the last year they made VWs with the split windshield gives it some serious collectability. 


(Taken many years ago. Nothing much has changed.)

The VW is one of the more obvious personal tidbits I’ve tucked into my books, just for fun, but I find myself drawing on small events and funny moments from my own life fairly often. I’ve also mentioned a real person now and then, like my friend Bev who owns the DeBary Nursery, where my character Willow Greene likes to buy plants for her herb garden. Heck, even the barred owl that greets Sarah on her arrival at Wake-Robin Ridge is taken from my life. Everything is fair game, I figure, as long as it doesn’t violate anyone’s privacy, and it actually fits into the moment I’m writing about. (Bev was thrilled, btw. She sells my books at her shop and one of her customers who’d bought a copy of Finding Hunter from her returned to get Bev’s autograph after reading the scene! 😀 )

So, your turn now. Have you ever included something of this nature in your own books? Maybe as a little nod to a friend or family member? Or just to make yourself smile as you’re writing? Tell us about it in the comments below, since, as always, inquiring minds wanna know. Especially if you’ve ever included any private jokes or situations that only some would recognize. 

Thanks! And have a beautiful, peaceful, productive day! 🙂

Catching Up – #amwriting #MondayBlogs

 

HELP! Where Did All My Writing Time Go?

Happy Moon’s Day, Folks! I hope this Monday morning finds you in good health and good spirits. Just wanted to take a moment to let you know that my blog posts may be spotty for a bit. I have finally come to the conclusion that I am never going to get caught up again in this lifetime, but I can’t keep floundering in a sea of To Do Items and ignoring my writing. Sad but true, the time comes in life when we no longer have quite the energy or stamina we once did, and we have to slow the pace a bit. 

As a result of the above-mentioned (and truly annoying) energy decrease, I haven’t written a word in months, and it’s making me very unhappy. Therefore, I’ve decided I’m  going to take some time to write each day (at least until I get my 4th Riverbend novel completed) even if it has an impact on my blog posts and my blog visits. I’ll do the very best I can to keep up with both, but if I miss some of my regular features or a stop or two at my favorite blogs, please forgive me. And don’t be alarmed. It just means I’m working on my book.

 I know most of you will understand how frustrating it is to want to write but not have time to do so. (And the pandemic isolation, oddly enough, was not at all conducive to the process for many of us, either.) The good news is, I started said book Friday and managed to get the short prologue and the first two scenes of Chapter 1 written. Words cannot express what a difference even that little bit has made in my overall mood. Stress levels are definitely lower, and I’m actually smiling again. 

I have #GuestDayTuesday posts scheduled for several more weeks, and will definitely be reblogging Bad Moon Rising posts through the month’s end, and Story Empire posts always, so it won’t be completely empty here. I plan to touch base at least weekly, and I’ll try to find time for other goodies here and there, too, though I’m not going to promise when or how often. Once I’ve made substantial progress on this story, I’m sure things will starting heading back to normal, but until then, I hope you’ll all understand if you see less of me online for a few weeks. 

Thanks so much, and now, the Painter Brothers are demanding my attention. They have some interesting things happening in their lives, and some new characters coming into play. Must. Go. Write. 


Yes I know these three guys are really actors, but in MY world,
they are Hunter, Forrest, and Jackson Painter, and I’ve 
truly missed them! 🙂 ❤

What’s Up With This?

Sometimes you just have to wonder what the heck is going on in people’s minds. I’d say this isn’t for real, but it’s been in this range for several months.

You think maybe these stores are having a hard time finding someone who wants Finding Hunter this badly? (Especially given that it is not out of print and is still available on Amazon for the low, low price of $13.99. )

Hey. Maybe these are signed copies! Oh, yeah. That would explain it. (Insert derisive snort here.) 😀 

Don’t get me wrong. It is a great book, of course. (Just ask me.) But get serious!

 Anyone else find things like this now and then?  Just curious. 😀

 

 

#TwoferTuesday No. 2 – #BookSale – ALL My Novels!

Just want to let the Immediate World know all of my full-length novels are on sale from now until April 30! Yep! ALL. Of them. 🙂 Here’s the breakdown:

Book 1 of each of my series is always priced lower than the rest of the series, but now through April 30, both Wake-Robin Ridge and Swamp Ghosts can be downloaded for just $1.99! Here’s your chance to start a new series at a bargain price, if you haven’t already read these.

 

Buy Wake-Robin Ridge HERE

Buy Swamp Ghosts HERE

The rest of my novels will be on sale for $2.99 through April 30, too. So if you try Book 1 in the Wake-Robin Ridge series and enjoy it, you can download the other books in the series and save $2.00 on each one.  Included in this bargain price are  A Boy Named Rabbit, Harbinger, and The Light.

Buy A Boy Named Rabbit HERE

Buy Harbinger HERE

Buy The Light HERE

And if you checked out Swamp Ghosts, Riverbend Book 1, and enjoyed it, you can also pick up Finding Hunter and That Darkest Place for the bargain low price of $2.99! 

Buy Finding Hunter HERE

Buy That Darkest Place HERE

Such a deal, right? 😀 Offer good for a limited time only, as they say, so I hope you’ll take advantage while you can. And I also hope you’ll share the news of this sale far and wide. I don’t do this very often, but I thought it might be helpful to lots of folks trying to stave off boredom during their enforced vacations at home. I know I’ve been taking advantage of sales everywhere, and not just on books. It’s one bright spot in this Hot Mess we are all trying to survive.

Thanks, and if you do check any of these out, I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts. 

#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – Finding Hunter by Marcia Meara

I hope you’ll indulge me this afternoon, folks. I decided I was overdue in sharing one of my own reviews, so I’ve chosen a great one for my 2nd Riverbend novel, Finding Hunter. Hunter, the youngest of the Painter brothers, has a very special place in my heart. Hope you enjoy reading this one, and will pass it along where you can. Thanks!

REVIEW:

writester

I was looking forward to this book because I enjoyed the first one in the series so much. And now I’m eager to read book three. Marcia Meara has found her groove in the complex-character/Florida-fiction niche.

I love character-driven fiction, and this is the epitome of a character-driven piece. Hunter Painter puts a smile on your face and a tear in your eye from the first page. His story arc had me an emotional wreck, so you can imagine what he and Willow went through. And Willow… so strong, so understanding, so amazing. She is a force to be reckoned with.

These characters and the supporting cast kept me on the edge of my seat. This book depicts the horrors of PTSD from not just the person plagued by it, but also from the POV of the family and friends who so often feel helpless and are relegated to watching their loved one suffer. Meara explored this condition thoroughly and without restraint. It was an eye-opening and heart-wrenching take on the topic.

As I said, I really enjoyed this novel and can’t wait to read the next installment.

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