Hi, Everybody! Just a quick update for you, so you’ll know I haven’t forgotten you guys, or my promises that The Write Stuff was going to become more active in the weeks ahead. And that’s going to start happening very shortly, honest! 

I did have to take a slight break again due to my daughter and family coming to visit from Denver. They’ve been here almost two weeks, and it has been a great time, filled with a ton and a half of fun. (A two-year-old granddaughter and a 7-year-old grandson can really fill a house with noise and laughter, and an enormous amount of activity!)

Today is packing up day, though, and they will be heading back to Colorado tomorrow. I’m so sad to see them go, but also totally worn out (in the best way) from all the things we’ve been up to. (Gramps and Granny haven’t seen that much action in years!) 

Lest you think we weren’t being truly careful, let me assure you that my daughter was tested 3 times before the visit, and the four of them quarantined themselves for two weeks. And all of our activities have been “open air” and in low traffic areas. They’ve gone canoeing several times, gone to the (non-crowded) beach three times, and, BEST OF ALL, they gave me a private river outing on my friend Doug’s eco-tour boat, and my son & family came, too. So just the 9 of us, the captain in the back, and Doug, who has been isolating for months, just like me. I hadn’t been out on the St. Johns in about a year and a half (gasp!) and it was glorious. Perfect weather and a fabulous time for all of us.


BACK AT THE MARINA, TIRED BUT HAPPY!
(Reya,  SIL Myres, Kaelen, Me, Hubby Mark, Son Jason, Granddaughter Tabitha, Daughter Erin, and DIL Jenny)

What a motley crew, eh? But boy, did we have fun! 

Starting Sunday, life will be getting back to normal around here, such as normal is during on ongoing pandemic. But the best part is that I will have time to check in with my favorite blogs again, and to get some fun things going here. I do have a guest on Tuesday, and am planning a #FirstLineFriday next week, too. I’ll be running #WildlifeWednesday a couple of times a month, if all goes well, and in general, being a lot more active here on The Write Stuff. Hope you’ll visit often!

Now, go ye forth and enjoy your life, whether it’s quieter than usual right now or not. There’s still loads of stuff we can do, even when staying home, after all. And personally, I’m hoping to get back to my WIP and get that story told! What are YOUR plans? (Inquiring minds wanna know!)

 

#OnSale #Promo – Entire Riverbend Series – $1.99 each

Good Morning, Everyone! Hope your Christmas was Merry & Bright! Today, I’m offering a Happy New Year special, in the hopes that something fun will get the new year off to a great start. If you haven’t checked out my Riverbend series, now’s the time! Each book will be on sale for the (ready?) “low, low, LOW” price of $1.99 from today through December 31. Riverbend is a fictional small town in central Florida where anything can happen. And does. Unlike my mountain series, there’s nothing paranormal going on here because the folks who live in Riverbend are weird enough all by themselves. 😀 Hope you’ll check it out.  Happy Reading!

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.


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.


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.


And there you have my last sale of the year. Hope you’ve found a new book or two that appeals to you. Thanks so much for being such a lovely group of followers. You’ve made my life richer throughout good years and not-so-good ones, and I appreciate every single one of you! Here’s to a much better year ahead!

 

#OnSale #Promo – Entire Wake-Robin Ridge Series – $1.99 each

Merry Christmas, Everybody! As of today through Christmas Eve, each of my Wake-Robin Ridge novels will be on sale for the low, low, LOW price of $1.99.  This is your chance to check out all four books at a rock bottom bargain price! Hope you’ll take advantage of this holiday special! Happy Reading!

BTW, the wake-robin, for which this series is named, is the beautiful wine-red trillium that blooms in the forests of North Carolina every spring. You’ll see it pictured on the cover of all books in this series. 


WAKE-ROBIN RIDGE

BLURB:

“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

BLURB:

“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

BLURB:

“. . . 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.

As Rabbit’s gift of the Sight grows ever more powerful, his commitment to those who seek justice grows as well, even when their pleas come from beyond the grave.


THE LIGHT: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4

BLURB:

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.


Hope you’ll check these out while the sale lasts. There’s nothing like a new book (or four) for Christmas, and it will probably be some time before these books will be available at this price again.  Hope you’ll enjoy them (and might even consider leaving a review or two.)

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Having Internet Connection Issues

Factor15.5Me, Except skinnier. And without the silver hair.
But otherwise, ME.
😀

Been losing my connection, including WiFi, off and on all morning. I’m hoping this just means Spectrum is working in the neighborhood somewhere. But should I disappear for a day or two, the reason would be computer woes. Hopefully, this will be sorted before the day is done. I’m LOST without my computer and the ability to get online. Wish me luck! 😀 

DSM Publications – News From Don Massenzio & a Free Book Offer

LogoAn Exciting New Venture

Services for Indie Authors

(NOTE: So happy to share this news from Don Massenzio, introducing his new editing and formatting business. Hope you’ll all keep him in mind for your editing needs, and will share this news with your friends. Thanks!)

DSM Publications offers Editing and Formatting services to Indie Authors with advice and networking with other authors.

As Indie Authors, we are all in this together. Every day we make gains on the traditional publishing market.

One of the ways that we can accomplish even more is by making sure that the work we produce is of the highest quality possible to help alleviate the stigma that has been cast upon us by the traditional publishing world.

It has been my mission to help other indie authors realize a high level of quality while alleviating the tedious tasks of editing and formatting by sharing the experience I have picked up along the way. I’ve done this, for the past three years, through informative posts on my blog, promotion of author books and over 200 author interviews. I will continue to do these things on my author web site, but now I’m taking it one step further.

I am so excited to launch this new venture. Throughout my career, I have enjoyed editing documents and making them look professional. I have been working with word processing programs since the old Xerox XPS WYSIWYG system of the 1980s through Multimate, Word Perfect and Microsoft Word.

The thrill of seeing a document come together and look like something professional never gets old for me. Whether it’s my own book or one that I help another author finalize, I take a great deal of pride in producing that finished product.

That is why I’m so excited to officially launch DSM Publications as a service provider for authors. I know the struggles and challenges that Independently Published authors face because I am one. With 10 published books, so far, I’ve made nearly every mistake as I’ve learned the steps necessary to create a final product that I’m proud of.

I’ve collected all of this experience, along with my decades of editing business publications, into a process that is repeatable and efficient.

I want to help my fellow authors reach a level of quality that will make them proud of their work and put it on equal footing with the product coming from the traditional publishing path.

I hope some of you will consider joining me as I launch this venture. I’ve been editing books for others as I prepare for fully committing to this business. I feel like I’m ready to jump in with both feet.

My goal with DSM Publications is to offer cafeteria-style services to indie authors at a reasonable price.

I truly enjoy this kind of work while I help you on your writing journey.

I hope you’ll help me make this new venture a success.

Stop over to the DSM Publications web site and check out my services and rates.

Special Offer

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If you sign up for my DSM Publications Newsletter, you’ll receive a free copy of my book, The Ultimate Guide for Independently Published Authors. You can sign up for my newsletter by clicking HERE.

#ThisJustIn – Tea Drinkers, Rejoice!

 

Got a newsletter from my doctor’s office yesterday, and the word is–tada!–tea drinkers are in luck! Here’s why:

  1. Drinking tea regularly can lower your blood pressure by 2 points, reducing your risk of stroke by 8%.
  2. Drinking just 3 cups of tea a day (easily done by me each morning) can slash the risk of hip fracture by THIRTY percent, and it gets even better!
  3. Black tea contains chemicals called flavonoids which help prevent brittle bones.
  4. Flavonoids are linked with lower cancer and heart disease risks.
  5. Every cup of black tea lowers the risk of hip fracture by 9%, thus three cups a day can cut that risk by a third!

Now if that doesn’t send you running for the Earl Grey (or Ceylon, or Assam, or any other of many, many perfectly delicious black teas), I don’t know why not. Frankly, since both my mother and my grandmother fell and broke their hips in their later years, the reduced risk of osteoporosis is enough to make me glad I’ve been a confirmed tea drinker all my adult life.

Okay, you guys have been alerted to this wonderful news. Now I’m going to go make my second cup of tea for the morning, perhaps a cup of Summer Rose. A perfect black tea with just a hint of rose petals. Sublime.

(Of course, for those of you who prefer a bit of company whilst testing out this whole “drinking tea is good for your health” thing, I happen to know where a really swell tea party is going to be happening this coming Saturday. Just sayin’ . . . )

(Oh, yeah. The newsletter also mentioned something about beet juice. I’ll let you know if I ever work my way up to that one!)

 

My Schedule of Local Events March thru May

Believe it or not, I have had electricians, painters, and contractors to deal with this week, just when I thought I was nearly done with Irma, once and for all. Eeep. Therefore, I’m not really back to normal with my blogging and writing routine. However, I do have a lot of fun events scheduled every month through October.

For those of you in this area who might like to attend, here is a list of the ones open to the public, covering the next three months. Hope to see some of you at one or two of them! 🙂

MARCH 

SAT, 3/10DeBary Hall – Catered Luncheon and Tea 

Time: 11:00  
Cost – $25
Reservations Required by 2/28 (You may choose your lunch selection when you call)Includes luncheon with custom-blended teas, a reading, Q & A session, and a signed copy of one of my books, your choice.
Call (386) 668-3840 for directions or additional information.

APRIL

SAT, 4/7 – “Meet the Author” EcoTour River Cruise 

Time: 1:30
Cost – $30
Reservations required to hold a spot.
The Naiad departs from Highbanks Marina in DeBary. Your ticket includes full 2-hour tour, plus a short stop midway for a reading and brief Question & Answer session, and a signing back at the dock.
Call (386) 626-9004 for directions and addition information. (Please leave message if they are out on a tour. 

SAT, 4/28Enterprise Heritage Museum – Joint Wildlife Slide Presentation 

Time: 11:00
Cost – $10 (Includes Lunch)
Reservations Required
Joint Wildlife Presentation with Doug Little and Marcia Meara, in conjunction with Doug’s month-long wildlife photography museum exhibit.
Call (386) 259-5900 for directions and additional information.

MAY  

SAT, 5/12DeBary Hall – Central Florida’s Fabulous Wildlife #2
Wading Birds of the St. Johns River Basin 

Time: 1:00
Cost: FREE
No Reservations Required
A slide presentation featuring the wading birds of central Florida, with plenty of tips on identification, and information on nesting, feeding habits, and more. All you have to do is show up, ready for a fun and informative presentation. Plenty of time for Q&A.
Call (386) 668-3840 for directions or additional information.

Don’t Forget! #DeBaryHall #CFFW Presentation Tomorrow at 2:00 PM

One last reminder that I will be hosting a Central Florida’s Fabulous Wildlife presentation at DeBary Hall tomorrow afternoon, along with my very special guest, wildlife photographer Doug Little. This will be an introductory overview of my new, bi-monthly series, and I hope you’ll stop by to help kick things off. The series presentations will each focus on a different animal, or group of related animals, and I’m really excited about this opportunity to share photography and information on the critters that call the St. Johns River basin home.

Tomorrow’s presentation will be a teaser of the type of things to come, and a chance for you to ask questions and have some input into the things you’d like to see at future events. Doug will have his brand new 2018 calendars along, available for purchase and signing. And of course, I’ll have my books along, as well.

Hope to see YOUR smiling face in the audience tomorrow at 2:00pm! FREE, No Reservations Required!

DeBary Historic Site
198 Sunrise Blvd
DeBary, FL
(386) 668-3840

DON’T FORGET! #BlackFriday Mega #Sale – All Six Novels Just $.99 Each!

Just a reminder, this sale is still going on tonight, tomorrow, and Friday! Don’t miss out!

Wake-Robin Ridge: http://amzn.to/2x7li87
A Boy Named Rabbit: http://amzn.to/2gJpOCs
Harbinger: http://amzn.to/2w30QQx
Swamp Ghosts: http://amzn.to/2x6ICm8
Finding Hunter: http://amzn.to/2xLLuls
That Darkest Place: http://amzn.to/2w2IS0M

#ThatDarkestPlace Labor Day Sale – #SundayBlogShare

Labor Day Sale!

Starting tomorrow, Book 3 of my Riverbend series, That Darkest Place, will be on sale for $1.99. For one week only, save $3.00! Physical trauma, grief, survivor’s guilt, love, and the unbreakable bond between brothers. This one has it all!

BLURB

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.

REVIEWS FOR THAT DARKEST PLACE

“. . . This novel is a frank and realistic portrayal of a family who has had more than their share of tragedies and has come out on the other side better, stronger, and closer for it all. The best part is there’s no candy-coating or false happily-ever-after. These types of problems don’t go away in a few weeks, and Meara shows that reality in a compassionate and unidealized manner.”

“. . . Hunter, Forrest and Jackson Painter, like all of us, struggle with getting it right in dealing with life, friends, and loved ones. Throw in a vindictive mystery letter writer and you have another great Riverbend story. “

” . . . refreshing to see strong female leads in the story rather than damsels-in-distress. That doesn’t mean these ladies don’t feel pain or need support. It just means they can give as good as–actually, much more than–they get.”

“. . . excellent series which includes romance, heartbreak, suspense and family dynamics, in a wonderful setting…and not forgetting those Painter brothers.”

~~~


That Darkest Place $1.99 Sale 1 Week Only!