Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Game's Afoot

The game's afoot.........


                                                        (left to right: Sheryl, Dot & Amber)
                                                       Illustration created by Mat Twassel




Are Sheryl Locke Holmes, Dot Watson and Amber Beaumont discussing their next case? Let's listen....


"What are we going to be searching for?" Amber asked.

"My Kindle," Sheryl said. "It has our case stories on it."

"You mean Amber's Mysterious Death?" Dot grinned at Amber when she moaned.

"Oh please don't remind me of  that horrible and frightening time." Amber shuddered. "To think if it hadn't been for Sheryl's logical deductions, the end result would have been much different."

"And there's also Ruby's Deadly Secret," Sheryl said.

Dot's hand grasped her throat. "If I ever see an attic, rafters or a rope again, it will be too soon. Now that was horrible and frightening, Amber."

"Humph!" Amber crossed her arms in front of her.

"Is Opal's Disappearance there too?" Dot asked.

"Yes, that adventure, too." Sheryl rubbed her head. "Now that was a horrible and frightening time. I was used as bait and kidnapped."

"Don't forget I was kidnapped," Dot chimed in.

"So was I," Amber said.

"Well, good came out of every case," Sheryl said. "We can't forget Dragon's Pearl."

"Ohhh ghosts! Haunted house! Haunted music box!" Amber's eyes widened.

"My honeymoon." Dot's eyes glistened.

"And I get to do a lot of kissing." Sheryl's eyes sparkled. "Brian also has nice looking legs."

"Uh huh. Better not let Jake hear you say anything about kissing Brian or his legs," Dot said.

"So you're saying all of our cases are on Kindle?" Amber said.

"That's exactly what I mean. As when we wrapped up Dragon's Pearl, I added that case story to the Kindle along with a few notes on Curse of Jade's Bluff."

"A curse? How exciting!" Dot clapped her hands.

"I'm not sure exciting is the right word. There are a lot of things that just don't add up with that case. Those notes appearing out of nowhere. Someone is following me I know it."


"Oh poo! You'll figure it out." Amber shrugged. "You always do."


"I just hope I'm alive with I do."

Stay tune, dear readers, Curse of Jade's Bluff is in the investigate stage and as soon as Sheryl, Dot and Amber solve that mystery, it'll be on its way to edits and to your Kindle. Until then, the game's a foot!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Story prompted by this photo......




There's No Going Back

By C.L. Exline

Lightning flashed. Thunder pounded. Rain poured. Jessica frowned.  Every ten minutes, the radio blared that another road had been closed and detours in place due to flooding. If she didn't hurry, she'd never make it home and would have to spend All Hallow's Eve in the office, sleeping on the oriental rug. Halloween has been canceled in Millstone.

No choice but to take the long way home which meant she had to cross over the haunted bridge. Thank goodness the creek had been damned and now only a small stream flowed underneath the bridge. She'd be safe.

Jessica grabbed her umbrella and made a mad dash to the car, splashing through the puddles across the parking lot. At least traffic was sparse.

In too short of time, she saw the sign for Hallowed Bridge. She took a deep breath and swallowed. The night seemed extra dark except for the occasional flash of lightning. All too soon, the entrance of the bridge loomed ahead. The support beams reminded her of sentries guarding a castle or waiting to give chase. The tires of her car thudded as she drove across the wooden planks.

Then a childhood chant she'd said many times while jumping rope, echoed in her head, "Troll at night, run in fright. Troll at night, run in fright." She caught herself murmuring the words. Her fingers fastened onto the steering wheel in a death-like grip.

A dark figure suddenly appeared in the middle of her path. She fought for breath. "Troll at night, run in fright." Fog swirled. "Troll at night, run in fright."

Her car crept forward. The headlights illuminated the figure--it was the troll. Jessica slammed on the brakes. He held out his hand. If she couldn't go forward, she'd go in reverse. She glanced in the rearview mirror and saw only gray, murkiness, nothing else. No shine of red taillights. No going back.

The troll stepped toward her. Jessica stepped on the gas.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Heat with Sheryl Locke Holmes

Heat and a Stormy Night with Sheryl Locke Holmes

Ever have one of those nights? It's hot. A storm is brewing. Your nerves are on edge. Well, so does Sheryl Locke Holmes.



"Let's make love," Jake said.

"It's too hot." Sheryl stood near the window and directed the fan to blow directly on her. "If you'd let me turn on the air, maybe..."

"And run up the electric bill! I think not." Jake huffed and crossed his arms in front of him. After a few seconds, he moved next to her and danced his fingers up her arm. "Come on, baby, let me shake your world."

"No, Mr. Tightwad."

"Fine! Be like that." Jake turned on his heel. "I'll go where I'm appreciated."

"Don't let the door hit you on the butt on your way out."

The door slammed. Jake was gone.

Sheryl  shrugged and flipped on the air conditioning with a smirk. What he didn't know wouldn't hurt him. When she heard rumbling at first she thought the air unit was acting up. Then she noticed a flash outside the window. A quick glance and she knew the storm was moving in for the attack. Off went the air and on went the fan. She picked up a book and barely finished one page, when a loud crack of lightning snapped, followed by pounding thunder. The lights flickered. Sheryl put down the book and peeked outside. The wind was blowing like crazy. Trees swayed. Limbs scraped the side of the house and clawed at the window. Suddenly rain downpoured from the heavens. More lightning. More thunder. More noises. The lights flickered, then darkness.

"Jake!" She remembered he wasn't home. The lights came on. Instantly, Sheryl dashed for her cell phone and grabbed a flashlight on the way. She dialed his cell.

"What?" he yelled.

"Jake, there's a storm...the power is blinking on and off... just come home."

"Why should I?"

"Please. The security system isn't working. There is a stalker after me." Lightning snapped and fizzled. Sparks lit up the night. The house was pitch black. Sheryl screamed. "Jake!" No answer, their connection was severed. She was worried that the house had been hit and could be on fire.

Flipping on the flashlight, she investigated. Everything looked fine. She'd just wait out the storm. No stalker would be out on such a horrible night. The sofa offered her a safe refuge. She curled up and listened as the storm raged. The noise was deafening. It wouldn't have surprised her if a tree toppled over and dropped on the house any moment.

The front door opened. A man's silhouette stood in the doorway. The stalker!

"Go away, I have a gun!" Sheryl shouted.

"No, you don't."

"Jake, you bum." She rushed into his arms.

"Want to make love now?" He whispered against her hair.

"Yes. Yes. Yes." Her silk nightie glided down her legs to the floor. She was ready to generate her own heat.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Practicing what I learned at camp

Sounds like I'm going to write an essay on what I did over the summer. lol In a way, I guess that's right, except it's at camp.

Once more I tweaked my blog. Want to know how? That became the topic of this post. The answer: BannerFans.com

It's free (always top choice) and simple (also a must). Now it can be time consuming until you get the right result. Again, it's easy.

Go to the bannerfans site, don't fret if site is unavailable that happens, return later.

On the layout if you have your own photo click on custom to upload your image, the option for that will appear. Click on browse, find the image and upload.To the right of that is several options, I use stretch to fit my banner, that you can play with.
 
Now you won't see your image, you have to click on update my banner .... and there it is.

If you want it a certain size, click the second custom choice and enter size. When done click on update my banner, when pleased with image, move on to Texts & Fonts.

There is a choice of using 6 lines, you can use all or not. You can change fonts, style, size and color. Always click on update my banner after changes to see the result.

When done, next is Shadows and Effects. Again play with it and see what you like.

Next is Border. I rarely use that but if there are choices for that as well. When done click on update my banner.

What I love about bannerfans is I can go back to the beginning and change the image and not lose any of the text already typed. Or change text, color, size, placement, etc. until everything is as wanted.

Last is Format. Pick you choice, jpeg for me. Then click on download banner and there you go. Save it to your computer or flash drive.

Warning: If you click on I believe it's "get codes" and/or "save banner" you'll have to sign up, there's no going back. It's not a big deal to some, I just don't like signing up and giving out my info all over the web.

SO, click on download banner and you're done. If I have time, I don't close bannerfans until I upload the image to whatever I wanted it for in case it didn't work. Sometimes Blogger cuts off the right side of text, so be aware.

If you don't like the way it looks on your blog or website, then back to the drawing board and fix the issues while everything is still there.

Friday, July 12, 2013

MFRW Summer Camp -- join us!!

A Taste of Summer Camp 
What is MFRW? It stands for Marketing for Romance Writers, which is a peer group for authors and others in the literary community. Our motto is "Seek, teach, share, learn, succeed."
The group helps us focus on learning marketing and publicity. We seek ways to advance our careers, brainstorm new ventures and ideas, get feedback, and find others interested in working together. We provide free workshops. You can take a class or teach one.
We welcome marketing-related material that asks a question, offers a promo or idea, or is a request for help, advice, or opinions. We offer opportunities to promote and join others in promotional efforts. As fellow authors (published and not-yet), publishers, and other members of the literary community, we are your support group and co-workers. Need to buy pens, pins, or other goodies? Found a great place to do that? We hope you'll share the news.
We're open to the entire literary community. Our writing is not discussed; we focus on creating an image and using it effectively. We provide ways to learn new ideas, new skills, to gain new opportunities, and share them with others.
While promotions are not allowed on the Yahoo group, news about pitch sessions and calls for submission are. We coordinate pitch events with publishers for our members. On Facebook, we promote and share news. We link our blogs via a unique software "ribbon" in blog hops. We pin books by members on Pinterest, and show off our cover models. We share tweets on Twitter. We interview each other on BlogTalkRadio. We're about to open a Goodreads group. You are welcome to join us at all our locations. We offer assistance to our members in every way we can.

Why? Because we want you to succeed.

This is our second annual Marketing Summer Camp. This year's theme is "A Taste of Summer Camp" and we've promoted it by sharing recipes on our blogs, Facebook pages, and with tweets. We partnered with Coffee Time Romance to hold the three-day all free conference in their forum. We have volunteer speakers giving classes, and panels on how to promote books. Here is the schedule.

Friday July 12

Start -- End -- Day -- Instructor -- Class
12:00 PM -- 1:00 PM -- Friday -- Wt Prater -- Podcasting
1:00 PM -- 2:00 PM -- Friday -- Tonya Callihan -- Street Team
2:00 PM -- 3:00 PM -- Friday -- MFRW Staff -- How to Use MFRW's Promo Options
3:00 PM -- 4:00 PM -- Friday -- Trish Owen -- Who's on First? Handling POV
4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM -- Friday -- Kayelle Allen -- Blogging
5:30 PM -- 6:30 PM -- Friday -- Tina Gayle -- Cut the Crap (Editing)
6:00 PM -- 7:00 PM -- Friday -- Kristyn Phipps -- Buffer
7:00 PM -- 8:00 PM -- Friday -- Killarney Sheffield -- Everything I Don't See
8:00 PM -- 9:00 PM -- Friday -- Kristyn Phipps -- Social Media
9:00 PM -- 10:00 PM -- Friday -- Kristyn Phipps -- Paper.li 

Saturday July 13

Start -- End -- Day -- Instructor -- Class
8:00 AM -- 9:00 AM -- Saturday -- Kristyn Phipps -- Paper.li
9:00 AM -- 10:00 AM -- Saturday -- Gina Ardito -- Hips Don't Lie (Body Language)
10:00 AM -- 11:00 AM -- Saturday -- Kristyn Phipps -- Social Media
11:00 AM -- 12:00 PM -- Saturday -- Tina Gayle -- Cut the Crap (Editing)
12:00 PM -- 1:00 PM -- Saturday -- Mary Caelsto -- Guardian Muse
1:00 PM -- 2:00 PM -- Saturday -- Wt Prater -- Podcasting
2:00 PM -- 3:00 PM -- Saturday -- Kristyn Phipps -- Buffer
3:00 PM -- 4:00 PM -- Saturday -- Killarney Sheffield -- Heroes and Heroines
4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM -- Saturday -- Kayelle Allen -- Back to Basics
5:00 PM -- 6:00 PM -- Saturday -- Karen Cote -- Pinterest Game
6:00 PM -- 7:00 PM -- Saturday -- Monica -- Log Lines
7:00 PM -- 8:00 PM -- Saturday -- Ann Siracusa -- I Wish I'd Known Before I Published 

Sunday July 14

Start -- End -- Day -- Instructor -- Class
2:00 PM -- 3:00 PM -- Sunday -- Wt Prater -- Podcasting
3:00 PM -- 4:00 PM -- Sunday -- Trish Owen -- POV
4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM -- Sunday -- Tina Gayle -- Cut the Crap
5:00 PM -- 6:00 PM -- Sunday -- Ann Siracusa -- Career Planning
6:00 PM -- 7:00 PM -- Sunday -- Mary Wilson -- Query & Pitches
7:00 PM -- 8:00 PM -- Sunday -- Kristyn Phipps -- Social Media
8:00 PM -- 9:00 PM -- Sunday -- Kristyn Phipps -- Paper.li
9:00 PM -- 10:00 PM -- Sunday -- Kayelle Allen -- The Next Step

10:00 PM -- 10:30 PM -- Sunday -- Kayelle Allen -- Farewells and Next Year
Summer Camp!
How much does this cost? A lot of time and energy, but the camp itself is free. We do this for our members every year. So how much is membership? That's free too. We're a Yahoo Group of about 1800 people, from every part of the literary community. We are mostly romance writers, but we're also poets, technical writers, and bloggers. We have publisher members, cover artists, and other professionals.
Why not join us and find out what it's like? Wander over to the Coffee Time Romance forum and join up. Come by our Yahoo group and see what we're up to. We promote for our members on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, BlogTalkRadio, and we're about to open a Goodreads group. Maybe you'll find a place you feel at home. Bring your questions.