Thursday, November 29, 2012

Angel Sometimes, a Review by DL Larson

Helen Ginger, author of Angel Sometimes, has been writing since she was a child.  This is her first published work in fiction.  Helen holds a Bachelor's in English and a Master's in Speech Communications.  She admits two things she loves to do is write and talk! 

My review of Angel Sometimes:

Angel Sometimes is not a quick read, but it is a thought-provoking one. Angel was abandoned at twelve years old. Her struggle to survive is never fully described, we simply learn she lived on her own, making friends that shaped her future. She has come to a fork in the road; she can earn her GED and get on with her life and goals to become better educated, or she can buy a gun and make the long trip back to her childhood, back to her parents.

Angel Sometimes is heartbreaking at times, but as the story unfolds hope filtrates through the pages that Angel may chose wisdom rather than wrath. Bravery jumps from the pages as Angel travels back to her childhood, the bad things that happened, the death of her little sister, the sadness of her mama and the flowers they planted in the small garden in the backyard. It’s all there, just as she remembered, but her folks are gone.

How Angel handles this second abandonment will stretch your heartstrings and make you cheer for this young woman who faced too much alone. Angel Sometimes is an intriguing read with a satisfying ending that will have you thinking of Angel long after the last page is read. Helen Ginger has proven she is adept at weaving real life issues into page turners.  I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. 

My copy of Helen Ginger's book will be going to the Earlville Public Library, snuggled in the Young Adult section.  It could find a home in the Adult Stacks as well, but I know teens will eat this story up.  I also hope teens who read Angel Sometimes will reflect on their own past, perhaps re-evaluate some uncomfortable memory and see with clearer eyes the events of their younger years.  Perhaps some misconceived notions of how things "really were" will allow them not to be so judgmental.  We all have baggage from tender years and this book forces us to wonder if we missed an important detail in understanding why something happened the way it did.  Helen Ginger has opened the door of doubt and we readers have the choice of peeking through our own past and sifting through old memories to decide if we too are missing an important piece of information that forced a turn of events in our lives. Not many books have us wondering about the accuracy of our own memories.

For those wondering, Angel Sometimes is available in paperback and e-book form.  Search Amazon to purchase your copy today. 

Til next time ~

DL Larson

PS: something to smile about in this hectic season ~
No matter how big and bad you are, when a 2 year old hands you a toy phone ~ you answer it!

Now go write something worthwhile!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Another Transition

It seems like it was just yesterday that I was putting out my turkeys and Pilgrims in anticipation of Thanksgiving. No, wait, it seems like just yesterday that I was putting out my pumpkins, witches, and ghosts in anticipation of Halloween.

And here we are getting ready to celebrate Christmas one month from today.

Seriously...where does the time go? This time of year seems to slide into a time warp and the days fly by in a quick blur. Almost like those lines we use in our stories to transition us from one scene to another: A week later, the days sped by, over the next few weeks etc.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving here on Thursday. It was our first year hosting, and everything was simply perfect. A small group of family and friends gathered and we indulged in turkey, stuffing, corn, beans, two kinds of potatoes, rolls, and cranberries. Then of course there was dessert: homemade apple and pumpkin pies. After dinner we watched a bit of football, and then everyone headed out, stuffed and content.

Less than twenty-four hours later, the turkeys (both food and paper decorations) were packed away and the Christmas decs were in place. Two trees, outdoor lights, and a plethora of other decs went up. We took a break and had turkey club sandwiches for lunch, but went quickly back to work. All the while, Chrismas music played in the background. That night we watched our first Christmas movie: Christmas with the Kranks.

I even have some of my shopping done! Most of the nieces, nephews, and Godchildren are finished, and I have a few other presents already stashed away. There's still quite a bit to be done, but it's nice to have a head start. (And I am not one to brave those Black Friday sales...)

So, we've transitioned into another holiday here in this season of holidays.

Are you ready?!

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


Holiday Stories from Debra St. John and The Wild Rose Press
An Unexpected Blessing - a Thanksgiving novella
A Christmas to Remember - a Christmas novella
Mistletoe and Folly - a FREE read

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What Is Your Dream? by DL Larson

Happy Thanksgiving America!

The turkey is cooking in the roaster, filling the house with tantalizing, take a deep breath, aroma.  We're having dinner at our church today ... we're providing the turkey.  Tomorrow the family will fill our house with their lively banter and the table will overflow with yummy things to eat.  It will be a great weekend of family and friend fellowship. 

I encourage you to take a moment to appreciate all the many blessings you have, and then take another step beyond to think about your future.  What is your dream?  What do you want most?  I've always wanted to be a published author.  And I am, but I also need to expand that dream.   Perhaps you need to expand yours too.

In such trying times it's easy to focus on the immediate problems of the day, and our dreams, although precious, tend to slip to the back of our minds.  They become neglected and turn into a "someday" goal or even a wish-like symmetry.  If you're serious about fulfilling your dream ... don't allow that to happen.  Stay focused.  Keep your dream alive.  Think about what you want to accomplish - every day.  Make the necessary changes to find time to do something to reach your goal.  I've spent much of my adult life working on being an author, have had encouragement from my family and friends, but my goal still ends up slipping off my "To Do" list.  When my kids were younger I wrote every day, faithfully.  Now that I'm a grandma I thought I would have more time and yet the opposite is true.  There are more people in my life that I want to spend time with and I struggle with keeping up on my writing.  I never had that problem before.  I hate to say age is a factor, but it probably is. 

It takes strategy to accomplish any goal.  Keep that in mind as you work toward fulfilling your writing goals. What will it take to complete part one of your goal, then part two and so on.  Devise a plan.  Anything worthwhile doing is never easy and takes great amounts of effort to achieve.  Someone famous said that - sorry I can't remember who! 

I am in the process of revising my priorities in order to keep my dream in focus.  It won't be easy, I know I'm a stubborn subject who does not enjoy change.  But if I want to reach my goal I have to change my attitude of "someday" to "today!" 

How about you?  What do you need to do to keep your dream alive? 

I'm thinking of using the "carrot on the stick" theory!  I love rewarding myself.  Silly but effective.
Good luck reaching your goals.

Blessings America ~

Til next time ~

DL Larson

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Next Big Thing: Zombies and mysteries, oh my!

The blog event, The Next Big Thing, is the gift that keeps on giving!

Recently, Peg Herring talked about her new mystery and links to me where I talk about my upcoming YA book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie

I also link to a couple other authors, including Stephen D. Sullivan, who’s writing sci-fi and horror, and Gail Ferrelly, who talks about her Thanksgiving-themed short story... See details and links on my website blog -

* If you've got a Next Big Thing post - share the link! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

You've Got the LOOK!

Thanks to fellow author, Jennifer Wilck, for tagging me with the ziggy zig zag tag—“You’ve got the LOOK!”

As part of this tag, I have to take my most recent work in progress or my current manuscript and search for the word “look,” then post the surrounding paragraphs/text.

Since I've been blogging a lot lately about my new release An Unexpected Blessing, I decided to do the search on my WIP, "The Feels Like Home". This mss is in a second round of edits for an editor at Wild Rose. It would be the completion of the series begun with This Time for Always. This Can't Be Love was the second installment.

I found the word look in the second sentence! So here are the first two paragraphs:

Jake Hawkins spotted the newcomer right away. Her fancy clothes made her look as out of place as boots on a chicken. No one from town would wear a fancy sweater and dress slacks to The Corral. Not to mention heels so thin they looked like they’d snap if she tried to walk on them.

But his gaze didn’t linger too long on her attire. Instead, he studied her as best he could from across the bar. She leaned toward her friend, elbow on the table, chin resting in her hand. Her legs were crossed. One foot waved in the air. She wore her dark hair up in some kind of twist. As she gestured, her features settled into a frown. He wished he could tell what color her eyes were.

And now, the fun part–why should I be embarrassed on my own–I get to tag five more authors. So, Morgan Mandel, Calisa Rhose, Isabella Macotte, Margot Justes, and Sherry James, tag, you’re it! You can post in your blogs, website or on your Facebook pages. And the rest of you, these ladies are great writers, so check them out!

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Gracious Holiday by Margot Justes

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, it is a day to give thanks for our many blessings. It is a gathering of family and friends and most of us adhere to old established traditions. Breakfast with family, setting the table, stuffing the turkey, enjoying the wafting smell coming from the kitchen as the turkey is basted; all those memories to appreciate and treasure.
It is a gracious holiday, with none of the chaos of the holiday shopping frenzy, where people will do anything to get that  super deal; people have actually been killed for a sale item during the so called 'black Friday.  There is not a single material possession that is worth someone's life, at least to me.

The traditional 'black Friday' now starts Thanksgiving Thursday, and earlier every year. I know the retailers want to make the most of the holiday season, they must make a profit during a very short period of time. I understand the economic process of retail survival. But is that profit margin enough to disrupt the actual day of Thanksgiving for their employees? Have we lost track of what this holiday is all about?
I will not be going shopping on Thursday or Friday. I will spend that time with my family and friends giving thanks for what I have; a terrific family and life-long friends.

How do you plan on spending your holiday?
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris
Hearts & Daggers
Hot Crimes, Cool Chicks
and coming soon A Hotel in Bath

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Line Up and Sneak Peek at Blessing or Curse by Morgan Mandel

Blessing or Curse
by Morgan Mandel

Since I'm in the last legs of finishing up Blessing or Curse before sending it off to my editor, Helen Ginger, I thought I'd share something about it, and a small excerpt, which may change in the editing process, maybe not.

What Blessing or Curse is:

Blessing or Curse is the sequel to the science fiction thriller,  Forever Young: Blessing or Curse. This book can be read as a standalone or part of the projected three-book series.

In the first book, the emphasis is on a 55-year old widow, who takes the young pill turning her back to 24. All should have been wonderful, but then she makes a discovery which has her fleeing both from the villains and the law.

Blessing or Curse, the new book, is chiefly a romance, with a smattering of science fiction, since no one yet has invented a Forever Young pill. It's broken into five separate stories depicting how the pill impacts the lives of five test market subjects, and whether or not their choice was the right one. These participants come from differing ethnicities, ages and classes, yet all have a reason to be young. The loved ones of these characters are also at some point in the stories impacted by the test subject's age reversion.

Here's the lineup of stories:

Desperation forces Consuela to order the Forever Young pill to cure her husband, Diego, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease; but will the cure become a curse?

Ezekiel, an African-American male with  E.D. difficulties, sends in for the young pill to prevent his lady love, Luana, from discovering he can’t get it up. Will the pill draw her closer or drive her away?

Strawberry blonde model, Sherri’s popularity is fading with her looks. The pill can bring her fame and fortune, but what about love?

Overweight Chicago Police Officer Walinski must pass a new physical or lose his job, along with his canine partner. Will the young pill provide security, when danger lurks in the line of duty? 

Downtrodden going-on-sixty housewife, Dee Dee Marshall, suspects her husband of infidelity, and will do anything to keep him, even take an experimental pill. What she really needs is self-confidence.

A Sneak Peak at the Consuela and Diego's Story: 

First Trial Run -  Albuquerque, New Mexico

Consuela & Diego Morales

Ah, the wonderful love they’d shared. Why must it end this way?
“Diego, eat,” Consuela Morales said, holding out a spoonful of puree to her shrunken, wheelchair-bound husband. His dry parched lips remained obstinately shut, his gray eyebrows furrowed. He wanted to die and she didn’t blame him. God help her, sometimes she wanted him dead too. Till death do us part seemed a long time to live with half a man.
Placing the spoon into the jar with a klunk, Consuela gazed morosely at her husband. Mamacita, God rest her soul, had warned her not to marry a man twenty years older, but the ripe, chestnut-haired Consuela had paid no heed, choosing passion over common sense. Diego of the raised eyebrows, straight black hair and cocky mannerisms had fevered her blood, making her come alive as no other man could.
She remembered the exact moment he’d strode into the basement of her friend, Isabella’s brownstone. As their eyes met, her heart raced beneath the confines of her ample breasts, almost drowning out the background sounds of New Year’s Eve TV reveling.
Quickly averting her eyes, she whispered to her friend, Isabel, “Who is that studly guy?”
Isabel glanced at the new addition and frowned in concentration. “Oh, that must Diego, Alessandro’s cousin. He broke up with his girl and asked if he could come with tonight. He’s hot, if you go for father figures.”
 “My father never looked that good his entire life. That man steams. I need to cool off some.” 

Hope you enjoyed the Sneak Peak. If all goes well, this book will be available on Kindle in December, fingers crossed!

Morgan Mandel
The thriller, Forever Young: Blessing or Curse, the first in the trilogy, is available at Amazon at 

If you prefer humorous romance, check out Her Handyman at

Morgan's Amazon Author Page: 

Excerpts, Buy Links, All Venues of Morgan's Books:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Making Progress...

It was a week of making progress writing-wise. I have a blog tour coming up (starting this week actually) for An Unexpected Blessing.

If you want to check it out, this week I'm at:

Tuesday - Tuesday's Table
Thursday - Romancing the Book
Friday - Sizzling Hot Book Reviews

I have a few more stops later on in the month. By the end of the day today I hope to send out two more posts I've already written and write two more. Then I'll be finished with the initial set up and will just need to check in on those places on the respective dates.

I also made some headway on the revisions for "This Feels Like Home". I really hope to get those done before the end of the year and get them sent off. That said, it's one of those busy weeks coming up where I'm not home at all at night, so that particular project might come to a grinding halt in the next seven days. But there's always the week after that.

All in all, I have to say it's been a productive week. I hope the momentum can keep going!

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


An Unexpected Blessing - Coming November 21 from TWRP

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Forgotten Civil War by Margot Justes

The non-fiction look at South Africa in the early 80's is painstakingly slow, but I'm working on it. The working title Memories of a Country Long Ago brought back another memory, this one belongs to my father and also takes place in Africa.
There are very few memories for me of the time he spent in Biafra in the late sixties and early seventies. He was a very private man and never shared much of his life with others, and that included his daughter.

His decision to sell his practice and head to Nigeria and the Biafra conflict was made on the spur of the moment, one day I was getting ready to head to Paris to study-and I use the term loosely-the next day my father announced he was going to Lagos for an extended stay. There were no conversations, no further plans, just an edict that he was going.
Doctors were needed, there weren't many available and the conflict was brutal.  This was a time when we didn't  really hear much about what was going on in other parts of the world. We didn't live in a global society as we do today, but it was indeed brutal.

I've recently started doing some research about that conflict, civil war, whatever you want to call it. In about two and half years, a million or so people died as a result. The Republic of Biafra seceded from Nigeria because of cultural, economic and religious differences.  In many cases much has not changed, sad to say we still fight over the same things.
This was about the time that Doctors Without Borders came into being, but I don't even know if he went through that organization or another one. All I know is that he went there to help set up a hospital, I want to learn more about his time there.  

He was a remarkable man, and it would nice to share some of his life with my daughters, but I'm starting from scratch and so far have not made much progress.
If anyone can point me in the right direction, it would be greatly appreciated.

Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris
Hearts & Daggers
Hot Crimes, Cool Chicks
and coming soon A Hotel in Bath

Friday, November 9, 2012

Get-Away Weekend! by DL Larson

My suitcase is packed - in my dreams it is!  Does that count?  My "L-Girl" weekend starts tomorrow when my daughters, niece and sister meet up in Chicago for fun and frolics.  "L-Girl" came about since we all have L in our last names and we wanted to spend time to officially kick-off the holiday season.  And so L-Girl weekend came to be. We usually meet the 3rd weekend in November, but we had a clash of commitments so changed our time to get together.

We are celebrating our 13th Anniversary of L-Girl weekend.  Lots has happened, missing the train, singing happy birthday in the middle of downtown, finding $400, giving it all away, laughing til we cry and crying until we laugh.  We have eaten at so many fantastic restaurants I can't remember them all, the plays have been plentiful and some more comical than they should have been simply because we were together.  We unanimously agree we could decorate the Macy's Christmas tree better in one afternoon and continue to wait for them to call us to intervene for them.  Doing the windows would come later.  Someone always buys shoes, someone always loses something, and we eat what we want, when we want.  We even have our favorite spots for a potty stop, er, rest stop!

This year we are going to Orchestra Hall for the symphony, after dinner at Carnivale. (sp?)  Our biggest worry is: 1.  can we be quiet enough?  2. can we get there without being late?  3. can we sit still long enough?  and 4.  are we really ready for a symphony? 

I should mention we are rather a rowdy group.  That's a polite way of saying we are LOUD.  We try to be quiet, but we are not quiet people.  We are boistrous.  We are big laughers.  We are the table at the restaurant who bursts out in high pitched chortles and snorts.  We talk over each other and rarely take turns when we should. 

It's awesome!  It's absurd.  It's who I belong to ... and I can't wait to be with them again.

Til next time ~
DL Larson

Monday, November 5, 2012

NaNo Monday....

Well more like no... at least officially.

I'm trying it for the first time to finish up an idea I started.

The outline is sitting ready, most of it anyway.

Just have to get to it once edits on the zombie book are sent in and several stories are written and I have a show to attend on Friday....

Makes it hard to work on another long project and stick to it.... but if I don't do it now....

So nose to the grindstone.

What do you do to keep motivated?

Who else is in NaNoWriMo? Buddy me - chrisv07

Sunday, November 4, 2012

An Extra Hour

Although it's bittersweet in some ways to see Daylight Savings Time end, I do love getting an extra hour this time of year. It's most apparent for sleeping. For about a week or so after the change, it still feels like sleeping in everyday, even though I'm getting up for work.

I'd like to say I did something really productive with my extra hour last night. I have blogs to write and revisions to make and new stories to create. But I didn't do any of those things. (Well, actually, I wrote this blog, but that didn't take very long.)

What I did...was sit on the couch and relax. The hubby and I watched the CMA's we'd DVRd earlier in the week. (The best part of the show was that Taylor Swift did NOT win any awards.) After that was done, I turned all of the clocks back so they'd be ready in the morning. Hubby took one look at the new time and said, "Wow, it's early. I'm going out to the garage to hang out." (He loves the garage...hopefully he's doing some cleaning while he's out there!)

I thought, okay, I have the house to myself for a while, I can get some work done. But it had been a busy day: laundry, raking leaves, baking, cooking, and updating my web-site and sending off some guest blogs. All in all the day was very productive. I even put away the Halloween decs and got out the Thanksgiving ones.

So, instead of working, I let the couch call my name and I ensconsed myself there for some R & R. Which really is what the weekend is all about...right?!

So, what did you do with your extra hour?

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


An Unexpected Blessing - A Thanksgiving novella - coming November 21

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Day at Sea by Margot Justes

As the time nears for my cruise, I check daily to see if the prices change to my benefit. So far, it's going in the other direction.  However, it reminds me why at this stage in my life why I really love cruising.
Surrounded by water on all sides, the giant ship glides along the waves, the water lapping steadily as the ship moves forward. Mesmerizing. Relaxing. Blissful. All cares are swept away.

If the first day of the cruise is spent at sea, is a perfect time to relax and take that deep cleansing breath, as your cares glide away . The early morning is best, before the multitudes wake. That first cup of coffee and that first gaze at the ocean.  There is nothing better than the gentle breeze and sometimes not so gentle, and that fresh waft of the ocean air. Fresh and invigorating.
The coffee itch is always satisfied. I'm addicted to the brew, and fortunately it's served piping hot early every morning. It's not the best coffee by far, but considering how many people are on board and that it's continuously flowing, the ambiance makes it more than palatable. By the way, good coffee is available later in the day for an extra charge.

If your wishes tend toward walking there is a path high up above everything else, where it's just you, water and the sky. Early in the early morning twilight is just perfection. That is not a bad way to begin a vacation.
The delightful part of being at sea, is that you can do as much or as little as you want. There are plenty of planned activities, from belly dancing, belly flops and I'm sure other belly things, there is ballroom dancing, and...well, you get the drift. You can be as busy or as relaxed as you like. It's all up to you.  

The staff always on hand to bring fresh coffee, milk, whatever you need; they are continuously working. By the end of the first day, the steward will know your name, what you like, if you want coffee delivered to your cabin, and at what time. It's all part of the training to make each guest feel at home and welcome. You know what, it works.
The elevators have a plaque on the floor, changed daily to make sure you know the days of the week; a gentle reminder that you're on vacation.

Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris
Hearts & Daggers
Hot Crimes, Cool Chicks
and coming soon A Hotel in Bath

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Heaven or Hell? By DL Larson

Whether you are Republican or Democrat, I bet we can agree the politics in this country suck!  Here's a little something to make you smile ... I didn't write this and would gladly give credit to who did ... if only I knew who thought this up.  It's one of those that I call "priceless!"

'While walking down the street one day a Corrupt Senator (that may be redundant) was tragically hit by a car and died.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St.. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the Senator.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from the higher ups. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really?, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the Senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course.

In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They played a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and the finest champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who is having a good time dancing and telling jokes.

They are all having such a good time that before the Senator realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises.

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens in heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him, "Now it's time to visit heaven...”

So, 24 hours passed with the Senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."

The Senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell...

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls to the ground.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulders.

"I don't understand," stammers the Senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"

The devil smiles at him and says,

"Yesterday we were campaigning,

Today, you voted.."

PLEASE Vote wisely on November 6 2012'

til next time ~  AFTER elections!!!!!!!!

DL Larson