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Muse Monday, Wicked Wednesday, Trippin' Thursdays,
and Fearless Friday as told by my guests and me.

Monday, May 2, 2016

LAND SHARKS by Nancy Raven Smith



MUSE MONDAY
Welcome my guest, Nancy Raven Smith. Grab a cup and enjoy the post!
As a writer and a reader, I am intrigued by frauds, cons, and scams. I recently wrote the first book in my new mystery/romantic suspense series, Land Sharks – A Swindle in Sumatra. For me, land sharks stands for people who prey on others. In my story, the major fraud involved is a sweetheart swindle.
A sweetheart swindle, a Casanova con, or a love con are all the same. They occur when a con artist pretends to love their victims, when in reality, all they want is their target’s money. My research for on the subject shows older people are the predominant targets, because they are often alone and lonely. But it can happen to anyone at any age.
We’re all aware of possible misrepresentations on online dating services. But one of the recent occurrences of this type scam occurs on Facebook. I must get five or six friend requests a week from (supposedly) men who are retired, generals, businessmen, writers, doctors, etc, and who are widowed. If you go their Facebook page, there are very few entries, indicating a new account. There will be three or four pictures, the main one of a handsome man, another maybe of a cute dog, or a pretty little girl, but not with the man whose page it is. Their “stats” will say they live in Berlin or St Petersburg and went to school at Princeton and vacation in California or work at the U.N or something similar. Is you alarm bell ringing yet? 
You’ll also see they’re friends with a couple people you know. That’s misleading. Somehow they got a couple of your friends to ok them. If you’re really interested in the person wanting to friend you, call or email that friend and ask how well they know the person. My guess is they won’t. If you do friend this type person in error, they will try to start a personal conversation immediately with you. It may be as simple as “Hi, I’d like to know you better” or “You look beautiful.” How are your alarm bells doing now?
A friend of mine has a picture of a toad up as her personal picture. She was told how beautiful she was. She hit the unfriend button as fast as she could and reported the person to Facebook as spam. That’s the right thing to do.
So how do you know when relationships and love are real? That’s the question the female protagonist in Land Sharks has to answer for herself.

Land Sharks – A Swindle in Sumatra
A bank fraud investigator goes undercover in Sumatra to find a young woman who may or may not be kidnapped. Her job might be easier if she didn't have to deal with her boss's untrained son who has a crush on her and the unexpected appearance of an ex-boyfriend who’s a conman and always has a secret agenda.
From Land Sharks – A Swindle in Sumatra
I sense Andre studying my face as I force myself to stare fixedly at the passing landscape. I can’t believe I’m sitting within two feet of him. It’s not fair. It’s like waving a box of See’s dark chocolate butter creams in front of a diabetic. You know it will destroy you, but you can’t resist having one -- or two . . .
Bio
Nancy Raven Smith grew up in Virginia where she ran horse sport events. Later in California, she traded her event experience for film work as a production coordinator and enrolled at UCLA to study screenwriting. Her scripts have won numerous awards, but she decided to write one idea as a novel. To her surprise, she discovered a passion for writing mysteries. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime, Women in Film, Romance Writers of America, & Mystery Writers of America. Her debut novel, Land SharksA Swindle in Sumatra, was chosen as an Amazon/Kindle Scout Program Selection Winner.
Land Sharks Available on Amazon - http://amzn.to/1JuIHku
http://www.NancyRavenSmith.com
Http://www.Facebook.com/NancyRavenSmithWriter
 



Thursday, April 28, 2016

TRIPPIN' TOWARD THE ROCKIES

TRIPPIN' THURSDAY
In everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose...in our latest season, with only a vague plan and a touch of creativity, we're off on another adventure. Half of this twosome is retired; my half will probably never know what that means. I promise to share.
 
Papa and Sadi in town by stream
My latest release is a romantic suspense set in a small town in Austria at the base of the Alps. I've been to the Alps and they are awesome, but I happen to think our Rockies are just as fabulous. This week we've been in a small town that although is a little farther than the base of the Rockies, is close enough that you can see them.

It's not the prettiest time of year for Trinidad. It's that pause between
Entering Trinidad
winter and spring when the leaves aren't back on the trees, and the snow has melted to expose the colorless sleeping foliage. This little town had declined over the last few decades, but is now on an upward turn. It's an old city and picturesque. We've spent the week in a house that was built in 1896. Back then, there were no kitchen or bathrooms. The cook had to go outside to make meals. The house is now an upstairs apartment and a
Main street ahead
two-story house with a basement. There are three bathrooms in the main house and a kitchen to love. The wood floor, built-ins, and woodwork is beautiful. Some of the windows have original stained glass.

We're happy to have family living here now. This week has been about
Typical neighborhood street
helping with the moving and unpacking. Future trips will be about exploring the area and getting deeper into those breathtaking Rockies.

Glimpse of the Rockies
My pictures aren't too astounding. I snapped a few but we didn't do any real sightseeing this week. 

I'm thinking I might just have to write a series set in the Rockies...bound to be a healthy dose of suspense and romance in such a breathtaking area.





Monday, April 25, 2016

#2016MysteryCon

Only about six weeks until Arizona's first ever Mystery Con. This is the premier event for fans of Contemporary, Historical, and Paranormal Crime fiction, Thrillers and Suspense, Mysteries, Military Crime, and Romantic Suspense. This is your chance to meet authors in an informal and casual atmosphere as well as purchase signed copies of their novels. It's going to be a lot of fun!

Many of the authors are giving away prizes, offering some fun events, and discounts.

In the coming weeks, I'll announce my own discounts, coupons, or giveaways. Here's the link to register:
http://www.azmysterycon.com/

Friday, April 22, 2016

WYOMING ADVENTURES by Kim McMahill



FEARLESS FRIDAY
Please welcome my guest for Fearless Friday and Discover Yourself. Kim is a true western gal!
Growing up in rural Wyoming, I’ve done some pretty crazy things. I’ve been on family pack trips in grizzly country, driven over unplowed mountain roads in a blizzard at 5:00 a.m. on Christmas morning to join family at our cabin for the holidays, ridden motorbikes all over the hills behind our house with my older sister, and spent most of my youth proving to my dad that I was a cowgirl he could be proud of.
Despite being a tomboy, more comfortable with a skill saw than an eyelash curler, I wouldn’t necessarily say that I was always fearless. Occasionally, some of my exploits were down right terrifying.
One of my most frightening adventures occurred on a cattle drive I was on as a teenager with my dad. We were helping friends move their cows to a high grazing lease for the summer. By the time we reached the steepest, last big push, the cows were getting tired and a few decided it would be easier to slide back down the mountain than to keep climbing. My dad was on a green-broke colt which wasn’t as surefooted as my palomino gelding, and getting a little tired herself with her heavier load. To make a long story short, my dad told me to go after the errant stock. I looked at him like he was mad, but nudged my horse, assuming he wouldn’t go if he thought it was too steep. He was a good cow horse, so he didn’t hesitate to plunge over the edge after the cattle. The slope was too steep and the dirt too loose to stop and I ended up beating the cows to the bottom. As calmly as possible with one’s life flashing before her eyes, I gathered the cattle up and herded them back to the dirt road where my dad was waiting to help me guide the cows up the hill to the rest of the herd. I still occasionally have those, “Man From Snowy River,” flashbacks, but the experience did help me write a couple adrenaline-induced scenes in Big Horn Storm.
My Wyoming adventures have slipped into more than one of my novels. In the first book in my Risky Research Series, A Dose of Danger, you can experience a little more of how it felt that snowy Christmas morning. The second novel in the series, A Taste of Tragedy, was just released, and it takes the reader on a much warmer adventure, but hopefully one just as exciting.

Blurb:
Morgan Hunter sacrificed everything for her career. She had yet to encounter anything she wasn’t willing to do to succeed...until now. When she uncovers evidence that the healthy foods she’s been hired to promote may be dangerous, she must reevaluate her priorities. As questions mount and the body count rises, she finds herself caught in the crosshairs of an organization that will stop at nothing to hide its secrets and protect its profits. With no one else to trust, Morgan is forced to seek help from the man she drove away, but whom she never stopped loving.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

ONE LAST TRACTOR RIDE

 TRIPPIN' THURSDAY


In everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose...in our latest season, with only a vague plan and a touch of creativity, we're off on another adventure. Half of this twosome is retired; my half will probably never know what that means. I promise to share.
They'll miss the old tractor

Today the U-haul will be loaded. The car will be packed with boxes, dogs, and granddaughter. The caravan will head to Colorado on a two day journey.

This last week has been a hard-worked week of packing, cleaning out, and working on the land to prepare for the move and putting Tortuga
The garden zone is turned
Flats up for sale. Frank and I will head out a day later and drive straight through. We'll help get them unloaded and unpacked. Once back, we'll continue getting the property ready for sale, hopefully by the first week of May.

A year late and thriving with the weeds
We decided to not rip the garlic field...not until we can harvest the garlic that came up from last year!

The grass is green again
I'll not do a recap or sendoff until the property is in the hands of the next owners. Whoever they are, I hope they make use of the fertile ground we leave
Apple trees are blooming
behind.







The greenhouse needs love
Side note: The greenhouse was closed up and neglected this past year. When we opened the door we found a couple of herbs, kale, and chard still living!

Monday, April 18, 2016

From Simple Paraprofessional to Paranormal Romance Writer by Tamela Miles



Please welcome new and promising author Tamela Miles to Muse Monday!

I always imagined a perfect life for myself in 2011– working as a school paraprofessional classroom aide as I worked hard to complete my Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development at the cozy Cal State University campus in my little haven of South Bay, CA.  I had it perfectly planned, with structured time for work, classes, and my writing.

My first trip into paranormal romance writing began many years before, in the late 90s in my beloved hometown Altadena, with a dreary little piece entitled “The Mirror”. The 90s were largely about Generation X angst (just give almost any 90s song a good listen!)  and I was angsty enough to craft this short story that was a downer from beginning to end. My friends loved it and I cherished those worn printed pages of my story in a binder. Life happened, as it eventually does to all of us, and I set aside writing for awhile.

Fast forward back to 2011. When I wasn’t busy, I was voraciously reading paranormal romance stories and asking myself, “Why aren’t you sharing all these great ideas you have?” Inspiration struck to try the self-published route and I got busy very quickly, crafting my own stories. I decided that “The Mirror” needed me to breathe new life into it and I overhauled it. It became “Thea’s Mirror”, which I included in my horror/paranormal romance compilation, “Rock, Paper, Scissors”, which was published in 2015 by Broken Publications. Readers tell me all the time how much they love that little gem from my past and it makes me emotional every time. I realized that I had so many more stories to tell, so I got to work over the summer of 2015 and crafted a short series, entitled the Hell On Heels series. The first story is “Heart of a Hunter”, which I submitted to The Wild Rose Press. I was a ball of nerves during the time between submission and acceptance by TWRP. My hands were shaking when I got the news. “Heart of a Hunter” was just released in early April 2016 and the positive feedback I’ve been receiving from readers is glowing! I’m working with my editor at TWRP on #2 in the series, entitled “Dark Deliverance”, which continues Elle’s story.

“Heart of a Hunter” shares the story of a teen, Elle Connor, who’s more paranormal than normal. She discovers that the war between guardian angels and demons is real and is herself called to follow in a long line of demon hunters. She must make difficult life choices about love and friendship. Ultimately, it’s a lonely road for her. She does, however, know how to hunt in style – black stiletto boots and all.

So, now I have my (kind of!) perfect life. I’m currently an Ed.S Masters Degree student, studying School Psychology at another Cal State University campus in the Inland Empire, CA. My writing is definitely not in the backseat of my life anymore – it’s front and center. Writing, for me, is like taking a deep breath and jumping into another world of endless possibilities – very much the air that I breathe. 

   
Author Bio:
Tamela Miles is a California State University San Bernardino graduate student with a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development and a former flight attendant. She grew up in Altadena, California in that tumultuous time known as the 1980s. She now resides with her family in the Inland Empire, CA. She's a horror/paranormal romance writer mainly because it feels so good having her characters do bad things and, later, pondering what makes them so bad and why they can never seem to change their wicked ways. 

She enjoy emails from people who like her work. In fact, she loves emails. She can be contacted at tamelamiles@yahoo.com or her Facebook page, Tamela Miles Books. She also welcomes reader reviews and enjoys the feedback from people who love to read as much as she does. 

Ms. Miles has a current short novella 3 story series on her writing plate with The Wild Rose Press, entitled the Hell On Heels Series. #1 of the series, entitled "Heart of a Hunter", is now available. #2 of the series, "Dark Deliverance" is coming late 2016. For those who are excited about it (yippee!), please feel free to check out the author's soundtrack playlist for Hell On Heels on YouTube.com, listed as Hell On Heels: Songs from the Edge by Tamela Miles.